Little Blue Distortion

The first time that the idea of women’s objectification or distortion in the media was brought to me was when I was at the young age of 12, and it was brought to me by a Smurf.

Yes, a Smurf as in a small blue cartoon creature living in a mushroom forest. I was at a conference in Los Angeles called Turn Beauty Inside Out, hosted by New Moon Magazine. Amongst the powerful and much admired female leaders there was Geena Davis, not only a long time actress, producer, and writer, but also a former model.

Davis began her spiel with a single image: a lovely blue Smurfette with long flowing blonde hair and a tiny white dress. Naturally, my first reaction was questioning why on earth this brilliant woman was bringing a silly cartoon TV show into her talk about inner beauty and respecting women. Then she started talking about it, really talking, and that was it, I was hooked on the idea. She talked about how despite yes, being Continue reading

A Lesson From June

Cynthia Oredugba, is open to learning what beauty is all about

Cynthia Oredugba, is open to learning what beauty is all about

Today I just wanted to lounge in bed.  Actually every morning I have to be a leader to myself in order to get my day started with exercise.  Today was no exception.  Finally, after much debating why I should or should not go to my yoga class,
I propelled myself into forward motion and went. Yeah!

There is a beautiful woman named June who works out at my gym every day.  When I go at 8:00 a.m., she’s there.  June is always well groomed with a touch of lipstick, delicate earrings, and a twinkle in her eyes.  I fascinate myself with observing Continue reading

Restless Leg Envy Syndrome

Annie McVey

Annie McVey on comparison and body critiquing

My whole world changed the day I noticed Tiffany D’Amore’s legs.  It was a brisk afternoon in the fall of freshman year.  We were changing classes, ambling in pairs down the narrow path that led from Main Building to the Library Building.  We stopped on the path to chat with a group of fellow freshmen making the reverse commute.  And there, against a backdrop of red maple trees, over talk about a grueling biology test and the upcoming dance at St. Peter’s, I glanced down and looked at Tiffany D’Amore’s legs.  She was wearing navy blue stockings, just like half the girls around me.  Our Continue reading

Speaking of Beauty’s Style Profile Test

Welcome to Speaking of Beauty’s Style Profile Test. Melissa McNamara and I designed this exercise to allow you to discover the one word that best describes you. It is Continue reading

Before You Judge Me, Get to Know My Story

Holly at age 14.

Holly at age 14.

I recently commented on a  Huffington Post piece about the science of beauty and attractiveness. I said that I had always been attracted to men who have brilliant minds. Looks have never been what attracts me.

One of the comments I received in response was in regard to the photo I have up on my Huffington Post account for Speaking of Beauty. Continue reading

On Random Thoughts & Raising Girls

Because raising girls is hard, y'all. Consider your own childhood the prequel.

Because raising girls is hard, y’all. Consider your own childhood the prequel.

I once worked in a strip club as a (fully clothed) waitress. While there, I learned that most of the dancers making the big bucks only pretended to get drunk on the $12 mocktail containing only cranberry & orange juice because it made the guys paying for the drink feel like he was going to get somewhere, Continue reading

Can You Describe Yourself In One Word?

Michelle Obama is a "Leader"

Michelle Obama is a “Leader”

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling

Have you ever given any thought to the significance of a word? Words express us. They are powerful and they impact our day to day life. If you say a person is eccentric, you get a sense of that person. Continue reading

It’s Not About the Nipples

Gloria Steinem

I saw this post the other day on Gloria Steinem’s Facebook page, “How hard is it to be a female human being in the media? Anne Hathaway is a pretty good measure. She learned everything she could about sex trafficking and prostitution to play Fantine, and knew only too well that modern-day Fantines were probably living within blocks of the Academy Awards. Continue reading