Tag Archives: women

Meet Gil Harrington

Gil HarringtonGil Harrington’s work on behalf of the victims of crimes and in support of the families of so many young women who have been kidnapped and/or murdered is inspirational (www.helpsavethenextgirl.com). Beyond that, Gil serves in Africa with the Orphan Mission Network International, supports her husband Dan in his work as one of the Deans of the wildly successful Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.  She reaches out in love and compassion to others with consistency and grace. 

Nominated by Bruce Bryan 

Join us each weekday during the month of October as we recognize extraordinary women in our area! Nominate someone you know by emailing us: bella@beckmediagroup.com.

Meet Anne G. Fox

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnne G. Fox is a mother of five, a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and an eleven year breast cancer survivor. But to me, Anne G. Fox has always been my Kindergarten teacher. She inspired me at a young age to learn and strive for educational Anne Foxsuccess. She made learning fun, from making “magic pancakes” to “edible green goo”. Things I learned in her class are things I will never forget. I’m sure that throughout her twenty-one years of teaching at Oak Grove, she has inspired many other young students. Only one word can describe Anne G. Fox: Extraordinary.

 

Nominated by David Koehler

Join us each weekday during the month of October as we recognize extraordinary women in our area! Nominate someone you know by emailing us: bella@beckmediagroup.com.

Purse Problems

I have always envied my husband’s ability to fit everything he needs into a tiny wallet. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about accessorizing my outfits with the most fabulous purse I can find. The problem is, the bigger the purse, the more stuff I put in it. At this point, I carry one bag with all the junk I think I need, and then another tiny one inside it to take with me when I go into a store. Nothing ruins a shopping trip like inexplicable pain in your shoulder from carrying your giant bag.

The same is true for a girl’s night out. On these occasions I need four things: My cell phone, my ID, a credit card, and some lipstick. So there is no reason for me to carry everything else downtown. Not only is it unnecessary, it can also be dangerous. I needed something that disguised my valuables but was also convenient to carry.

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Recently, we stumbled upon Sholdit. Their creation, a Clutch Wrap purse, is both fashionable and functional. It can be used as a scarf, wrap, or purse—whichever is more convenient.The best part? It holds all of my essentials! There is even room for a medium sized wallet or passport. Visit their website for more information and to purchase your own in a variety of colors.

 

Celebrating Women Everywhere!

Ladies, I would like to remind you that Saturday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day.

Without the progress that we have made in the last century, we would not be able to celebrate the achievements of many female entrepreneurs, politicians, doctors, celebrities, and activists. The way we view ourselves as members of a community would change entirely.  Our imaginations would be stifled, and our dreams would likely burn out long before we began to pursue them.  There are many famous women who deserve celebration, but I want to remind you that YOU deserve just as much recognition.

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Perhaps you are a single mom, juggling two jobs and the responsibility of raising your children.  Or, you are a student, waitressing your way through college.  Maybe you are a cancer survivor, learning to face each day with the ability to enjoy your moments of happiness—without constantly living in fear of the future.  The fact that we wake up and face each day with determination—even just a sliver of it—in a world where anything can happen, is worth celebrating.  We balance the things we need to do to survive and the things that mean the most in our life on a daily basis.  This may not always be graceful; it may not always be pretty, but the fact that we keep trying makes us strong women worth celebrating.

I am lucky, because I have had so many strong female role models over the years.  However, there is one that I will not be able to thank in person tomorrow.  My aunt, Joyce Young, was one of the strongest women I have ever known.

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Joyce Young

One of eleven children, she made it her personal responsibility to make sure our large family stayed connected after my great-grandmother passed away.  At times she worked two jobs, kept up her house, and still found time for her husband, son and extended family.  She would have given her last dime to anyone in need—no matter how hard she worked for it.  Although she will never be famous, she influenced the way I work and interact with other people.  There are days when her memory and the desire to make her proud inspire me to push forward.

Make the most of this opportunity to thank the inspirational women that you know.  Pick up the phone and call your mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, or friend and thank her for all the sacrifices she has made in her life.  Remind her that she is an amazing person, and congratulate her on her accomplishments.  Also, please know that I am celebrating YOU, and that I appreciate every contribution you have made to our area and our world.

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Feel free to share your stories about the influential women in your life in the comments below.

 

The Plus Size Problem: Revisited

Written By Kacee Eddinger

February is Body Awareness Month. To celebrate, I want to build off of one of our previous articles, “The Plus Size Problem.” Both the plus size problem and the Body Positivity Movement both go back further in time than you may realize.

The Body Positive Movement began fifty years ago, alongside second wave feminism, as the Fat Acceptance Movement. It started as an effort to combat social and legal inequalities surrounding those who do not conform to a slimmer body type. This movement led to the promotion of healthy ideals regarding different body types.  Societies like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and Health at Every Size(HAES) were formed.

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Since then, designers have created fashion lines dedicated to plus size clothing.  Despite setbacks due to the diet and exercise culture of the 1980s, the Fat Acceptance movement did not disappear. In fact, a new group, The Body Positive, was created.

Seeking to teach everyone to cherish their bodies regardless of size, the group has added the term, “Body Positivity” to our vocabulary. Although “Fat Acceptance” is still an important movement, this group encourages everyone, including skinny individuals, to value their appearance.  It advocates against the pursuit of an ideal that cannot be achieved instead of asking the general public to attempt to conform to it.bpm3

Still, there is a misunderstanding in our culture regarding body acceptance.  In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Jennifer Lawrence said, “I just think it should be illegal to call someone fat on TV. I mean if we’re regulating things like sex and cigarettes and cuss words, because of the effect it has on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?”

Much was said about Lawrence’s quote, from news stations, to blog posts, and many lauded the movie star for speaking out against fat shaming.

I didn’t hear about Jennifer Lawrence’s talk with Barbara Walters until the media storm around it had died down.  However, in a discussion with my friend regarding body positivity, I realized that Lawrence’s statement just missed the mark. My friend told me she thought my body was beautiful. “And it’s so nice to cuddle with people who have an extra layer to them!” she added. She was paying me a compliment, which I took, but I could hear dancing around something with her word choice.

“You know,” I said. “You can call me fat. It’s just an adjective. For me, it’s the same as saying I’m tall, I have brown hair and blue eyes. I am fat.”

For a long time, this was not so. From a young age, I was called fat as an insult. Fat people on TV and in movies were invisible or made out to be jokes. Nobody outright said it, but diet infomercials told me being fat was wrong. Everyone in them said they were so much happier now that they were skinny. My mother never called me fat, but has encouraged me to diet since I was nine.

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Being fat has never been easy. Since discovering body positivity, I have learned to love myself for who I am AND for how I look. I have found encouragement from those who told me I was both beautiful and fat– the two did not have to be separate ideas. Now, being fat is very much a part of my identity. That’s where Ms. Lawrence’s words fell a little short for me.
While Lawrence was trying to speak out on bullying and name-calling, she still implies in her quote that being fat is shameful and equates it with cancer-causing cigarettes. The truth is that identifying someone as “fat” should not be illegal, but fat shaming should be. Fat people should not be ridiculed for being fat, no more than a person with blonde hair should be ridiculed for being blonde. However, too often people are humiliated by others because of their appearance.  Instead, they should be encouraged to love their bodies; regardless of race, size, hair

color, etc.  It is important to emphasize this to young women—so they spend their lifetime loving themselves, rather than trying to conform to a standard that no one can achieve. It is up to each individual to stand up for body positivity and end “fat shaming.” Our responsibility, as women, is to support one another for who we are– not for who society tells us we should be.

 

 

 

 

 

Product Spotlight: 800razors.com

Ladies, let’s be honest: shaving is not fun.  In the short term, it is less expensive than waxing or laser hair removal.  Of course, once the hair is gone, most of us feel better.  For whatever reason, smooth legs give us the confidence to rock a gorgeous skirt at the office or on a first date.  That doesn’t change the fact that every step leading up to the finished product is often a chore.

I have always believed that shopping for razors is a lot like buying hair dye in a box.  The women on the packaging look so happy and beautiful that you convince yourself the experience will be nothing but pleasant.  Then you get home, and after attempting to use it, you discover you are allergic to the chemicals in the hair dye.  Your scalp is itchy, and your hair is more orange carrot than blonde bombshell.

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I have never been good at buying razors, and I am often surprised at how many times you can succeed in accidentally wounding yourself with one.  Additionally, like many women, I have very sensitive skin.  So, my pretty little bare legs are often subject to razor burn—which is not pleasant, nor is it pretty.  All of these factors make that moment of buying a razor incredibly stressful.  I wander through the aisle with other bewildered women reminding myself, “This is a necessary evil.”

Recently, I stumbled upon 800razors.com, and I’m going to be completely honest with you—I was skeptical.  They advertise a razor and 12 replacement cartridges for $19.95, with free shipping no less!  The description claimed the razor was comparable to a Venus razor.  That was the hook for me.  If it was that cheap and could compare in any way to the only razor that had ever made the act of shaving remotely bearable, then I had to give it a try. 

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It only took a few days for my first order to arrive.  I typically put off shaving for as long as I can.  However, I had to try it out as soon as I got home.  I was excited to discover that my initial skepticism was incorrect.  The razor is phenomenal.  There is a little strip around the razor that has aloe in it, so your shave does not even require soap!  Seriously, even for people like me with sensitive skin.  After my shower, I had nice pretty bare legs without razor burn.  

Needless to say, I am done going to the store for my razors.  So, if any of you bewildered women in the razor aisle wish to escape with me, go to www.800razors.com and sign up for your first delivery today.  Let me know if you like them as much as I did, or if you have any go to beauty products that have changed the way you get ready in the morning! 

Email editorial@beckmediagroup.com or comment below!

The Plus Sized Problem

Body positivity and fat acceptance have never been an integral part of the fashion world. When an industry is built to thrive from shame, it often reflects the current societal expectations from the majority. Stores everywhere cater mostly, if not entirely, to women of “straight sizes.”  That is, women who fit into sizes 0 to around 12. Trying to find trendy, affordable styles for larger women is a quest that often seems impossible. Most of these stores order very few pieces of clothing in the upper ranges.  Even plus sized models that are used in their ads or campaigns look to be more on the smaller side when compared to the diverse body types of the American woman.

Professionals are trained to eliminate fat where it exists because it is not considered marketable. For instance, Target recently opted to use a pregnant model in order to show off plus size wear, instead of just hiring a plus size model. The American obsession with thinness is so rampantly widespread that “fatshaming” is becoming a cultural norm. Young people are being bombarded with billboard campaigns insulting and degrading overweight children.  Young girls are constantly flooded with edited images of their favorite stars, giving them unrealistic measures to attain. When children’s anti-obesity ads are created, they often use a lot of children of color as well, even going as far as Photoshopping thin child models to look as if they were overweight behind demeaning advertisement text.

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In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, straight sized actress Jennifer Lawrence stated “I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat.” I believe the main issue with this statement is that it perpetuates the stigma that “fat” necessarily equals “bad.” We are facing consequences of being culturally ingrained with this mindset daily. Going to any store and being able to find your size represented is an example of thin privilege. Being able to say statements like the quote above is an example of thin privilege. As another thin woman, we do not have the authority to deny or dismiss words that aren’t meant for us. Fat isn’t/shouldn’t be a bad word, but Lawrence is inherently saying it still is unacceptable.

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On the bright side, there has been a lot of recent movement towards reclaiming the word “fat”–not as an insult but as a positive identifier.  The fashion world has been steadily advancing the availability of cute and quality plus size clothing to be distributed to the masses. Eden Miller became the very first plus size designer to have her own runway show at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, showcasing models sized 12 to 24 in her collection of bold printed dresses. Rick Owens’ fashion show in Paris showcasing his 2014 Women’s Spring/Summer collection featured four step teams to model the line. This gave a new diverse and genuine look to the fashion industry that has never been represented before, as most of the models were Women of Color ranging in all sizes. Rockstar and fashionista Beth Ditto walked in designer’s Jean-Paul Gaultier’s 2010 Spring/Summer runway show and has even launched her own edgy clothing line for women sized 14-32 that was carried by the plus sized clothing store Evans. In Manhattan, Full Figured Fashion Week, a concept developed by former plus size model Gwen DeVoe, finished its fifth year with a bang.  It drew attention from hundreds of fashion bloggers and some lesser known celebrities who would occasionally walk in the runway shows.

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Visibility and representation of body diversity in the fashion world and the media, as a whole, is too important. Without which, many women who are unrepresented in the media available to them will continue to feel less than other women. We are making small steps towards body positivity and acceptance and hopefully, we won’t stop now.