I have a little sister. She is 7 years old and her name is Ruby. She is a wonderful, happy girl who loves dancing on the soccer field during games, singing to the Wicked Musical Soundtrack, doing cartwheels and the monkey bars, acting in shows, and watching movies. She is so vibrant and funny and I feel so lucky to be able to watch her grow up. I have just realized what a miracle a child is in the last few years. She has gone from not being able to speak a single word to reading full chapter books, writing and doing things that I never thought she would come to do.
There are so many great role models for my little sister in the world today. I was just watching the Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. There are so many amazing women for my sister to look up to, like Missy Franklin or Allyson Felix. My sister has decided that she is going to run track in the Olympics someday. Sometimes, I just can’t help and wonder what she is thinking when she sees certain images of women that are constantly bombarding us every day. Like, say, Jessie J in the Closing Ceremony. Not that the girl doesn’t have an amazing voice (because she really does), but as my Mom said tonight, “Why does she feel like she has to look naked?”. If anyone hasn’t seen what she was wearing, it was a nude-colored skin-tight suit. And she is a beautiful and talented woman, as anyone could see, but seeing her made me wonder what my sister saw when she saw this woman. Does my sister think that women have to look pretty and sexy to have value? Does she think that this is what she is supposed to look like when she gets older?
I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this, but I just couldn’t stop wondering. What does my little Ruby think when she sees images of women in bathing suits or posing in very sexual ways? I remember having this thought a couple months ago when I was with my family and about to get into a taxi to go to the airport. The advertisement on the top of the taxi had a blonde girl with a “Gentleman’s Club” sign. What did my sister think when she saw that advertisement? What was going through her head? Don’t get me wrong. I think the female body is a beautiful and wonderful thing. I’m not one of those people who thinks that women should only be valued for their intellectual value and should not think about what they look like. I happen to be very into physical activity (running especially) and I think its so important to be physically fit and eating food that is good for your body. I think that beauty comes in many different forms. But it is what we do with the beauty of the human body and how much emphasis we put on it that I sometimes have to question.
I just want my little sister to live in a world where she is free to think how she wants to think and act how she wants to act and love how she wants to love and look how she wants to look. I want to help make this world that place. I don’t want there to be any pressures to be or look a certain way. I love my sister with my whole heart. I wish I could see what the world looked like in her eyes.
I just read a really cool article on Yahoo from a couple weeks ago. It talks about a 14-year-old girl named Julia Bluhm in 8th grade that has created a petition on change. org to urge Seventeen magazine to feature one non-airbrushed photo a month. She likes this magazine, and thinks that it has done a lot for girls already with their feature called Body Peace. She has also joined an organization called SPARK that is ”girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media.” She led a protest outside of a Seventeen magazine office in Manhattan that included a mock photo shoot.
She said about perfect looking models in magazines today: “Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. Those ‘pretty women’ that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photo-shopped, airbrushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life….I’ve been fighting to stop magazines, toy companies, and other big businesses from creating products, photo spreads and ads that hurt girls and break our self-esteem….I’ve learned that we have the power to fight back.” Wow. This girl has obviously found her voice and is using it. We should all look to this girl for inspiration.
I found out a couple days ago that I have been voted Vice President of my school’s Women’s support group called the Girl Effect (named after the women’s organization)!!!!!!! I am ECSTATIC!!!!! I can’t wait to plan events and discussions and this is going to be so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats to me!
I know it has been a few weeks since this has happened, but can I just say how much I admire our president currently. During an interview for ABC News, he said “At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” This is proof that our country and our world is going somewhere. I am so proud to be an American right now and so proud that Obama is our president.
This issue of LGBTQ rights is very important to me. My cousin happens to be bisexual, and he came out to me last December. I love him so much and was so happy that he told me. I’ve also grown up in Los Angeles, which I believe is a pretty diverse and accepting place. I know its not perfect, and has its flaws, but I do love where I live. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the thing I love most about my city is this diversity. To me, homosexuality and other types of sexuality are normal. I don’t even think twice when I see a gay couple holding hands when I’m shopping on the promenade or going for a run. I have personally decided that I believe love is love. I believe that growing up in this area has helped me to be as accepting as I can possibly be. And that is what I love about Los Angeles. I know it happens to be the home of Hollywood and a lot of people that are very materialistic. I know it teaches girls that their only value is their looks. But it has taught me to be open to different cultures, religions, beliefs, sexualities, political ideas and much more. And thats why I love my city.
A couple days ago, a centuries-old practice of the British royalty was finally abolished. The rule that the first-born male of the royal family would inherit the throne, even if he had an older sister, has been taken away. Now, birth order trumps gender in terms of inheriting the throne.
I just read about this in the LA times the other day during one of my daily perusals of the newspaper. I couldn’t believe that this rule has just recently been taken away. Is this shocking to anyone else besides me? But as I read in the article, this is pretty revolutionary for a country “where women have historically been valued for their fecundity or married off to create alliances” (LA Times).
So basically, girls rule (when they are older than their brothers). If Prince William and Kate Middleton have a girl first, then she will be in the position to take the throne after her father by birthright.
Photo Credits: Dan Kitwood, Getty Images / June 11, 2011
Would you like to be a “sexy” version of a mental illness? Yeah? Then you can be Anna Rexia!! Wrong. Nobody should be this for Halloween because its sick and just so wrong.
Just read the description of the costume: “If Anna Rexia doesn’t want to put it in her mouth there is nothing you can say to change her mind. You can stop trying to sell her on the point that there aren’t any carbs and it’s all protein because Anna Rexia just doesn’t want anything to do with it. Make no bones about it this girl is as disciplined as they can get. Anna Rexia costume is anything but bare bones! Costume includes headband, choker neckband, removable ‘Anna Rexia’ badge and ribbon tie belt. If you’re starving for attention, this costume will be sure to put you on top of the world.”
Is this real life? Wow. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Up to 10 million females and one million males in the U.S. suffer from diseases such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. And we are making fun of this disease with a Halloween Costume? This costume has been available since 2007 and is even selling out in some places. It is disturbing that someone could even think up this costume, much less wear it.