Archive | April, 2012

Exposing Sweatshops

30 Apr

Do you ever wonder where your favorite electronics and clothing come from? Why are these items so cheap? Well, often our luxuries come at the expense of persons in less developed countries, working long hours under harsh conditions.

Here is a snapshot of a serious and current issue: Sweatshops.

Exposing Sweatshops – A Communication Ethics Presentation

^ I’ve attached it as a PowerPoint file because the animations are crucial to the aesthetic of the presentation. Just click and it will open in Slide Show mode!

Below is a copy of the presentation from an online program. However, it does not run as smoothly and there are a few slides which are confusing because they require animations.

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Beauty, Bullying, and a Battle

28 Apr

I just finished watching my peers’ Ted Talks and there were three that stuck out because of the importance of the topic: Bullying, Teenage Depression and Suicide, and The Perception of Beauty. These are all social issues which I’m constantly thinking about. Our societal perception of beauty and other issues has been so skewed over the last few decades. It’s interesting and beneficial to take a step back and ask yourself, How can I make a change? What have I done lately to improve my life or someone elses?

Beauty:

I continuously post about our society’s flawed perception of beauty. As an avid fashionista, this is something I struggle with. If I have trouble finding NORMAL style icons and I’m actually aware of our skewed perception, imagine how a susceptible a 13 year old girl feels. They don’t know the difference, and what they see in magazines is what they think beauty is. THIS IS SO FALSE. If 96% of women think they aren’t beautiful…something is seriously wrong. I joined the 4% about a year and a half ago when I ended a six year battle with myself. I’ll post a quote below, but I decided that I wouldn’t be subject to the ignorance of others and I would no longer have my life narrowed down to the pages of a magazine. Clothing slowly became a celebration of beauty, not a battle against it. This is the bottom line: our skewed perceptions leads to a fake image of perfection and then we bully those who are “different,” ultimately leading to depression which no one will address because “we don’t talk about it” …do you see the dilemma and the vicious cycle? I sure do.

The issues Marissa addressed were perfectly on-point. Our social media should not be a place where we allow ourselves to be consumed with the images of skinny girls and buff guys. Don’t we get enough of that everywhere else?

So, will you join the 4%?

The four percent of women, worldwide, who will consider themselves beautiful and worthy of everything life can offer once you start living for yourself and not others….

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” – Bell Hooks

Bullying:

The effects of something doesn’t stop once the words are said or the magazine is closed, the effects of both verbal and visual stay with us. Hence, why this topic is so pertinent because I feel as though today’s youth cannot function without putting others down to make themselves feel better. Last weekend I had the privilege and honor of meeting a young boy, Joseph, who is scared to enter middle school because he fears being a subject of bullying. I met Joseph after this talk and I couldn’t help but think of how valid the argument was. The obsession with stopping bullies has become impractical and a failure. Noah’s use of a personal story really made the talk impactful and left the viewer thinking about it after it was over. Finally, last Saturday, when my day came to an end, I told Joseph to stand tall and remember to be himself. That bullies won’t go away, but you don’t have to let them affect how you go through school. Now, this boy was marvelous and He loves science and math (makes sense since his Dad is a science research professor). It broke my heart to hear how scared he was…

Teen Depression:

As a university student, this topic is extremely relevant because we confront these issues almost daily. However, the social stigma attached with teen depression has left individuals feeling even more alone and unable or scared to find treatment. Silencing something which affects millions of teens and adults is not the way to handle any situation, let alone mental health. If young adults don’t receive help, they can become the victim of suicide. Suicide is a fully preventable death, but because society turns a “blind eye,” it has become the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24. I liked the focus on the importance of our mental health because it IS just as important as our physical health. I think that teen depression is something that the public has covered up for too long and now it is time to talk about and deal with. A life could be saved.

In a world of Size 2…Real Women Deserve Recognition

19 Apr

I read an article yesterday on Kim Kardashian and Photoshop. First, I just want to say that she looked beautiful in both pictures.

Photoshop has distorted the way we view beauty in our society. Today, we expect everyone to be perfectly airbrushed in real-life. That just isn’t reasonable nor is it rational. Kim K, alongside other celebrities such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez have capitalized on their curves. Personally, I’m one hundred percent supportive because no one can realistically or healthily look like the twig which Hollywood has marketed over the last decade (there’s a difference between this and those individuals who are naturally thin).   The average American woman is not a size 0. With over 8 million American girls/women and 1 million men suffering from eating disorders, one look at a magazine is a dead giveaway for WHY. (These statistics are not consistent because many do not receive any form of treatment) It’s gotten to the point where we think that unless we are tall, long-legged, and twiggy that we aren’t worthy.

    A twitter picture that Kim K. posted

What should we be doing?

The media should be capitalizing and recognizing women with curves. There shouldn’t be such backlash on celebrities and their weight. It’s as though the public thinks they are super-human when in actuality they are real people with real bodies. They don’t deserve constant scrutiny based on their weight. Women like Kim K who embrace their curves are inspiring because in a world where size 2 seems unacceptable, female icons such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and my favorite First Lady Michelle Obama are what I want to see on the covers of magazines.

Don’t be Caught in These Summer Fashion Don’ts

18 Apr

Every Summer I see the same things over and over. I always think to myself, “why would anyone wear that?” Well, here are a few things that are more trash-ion than fash-ion:

1. Super short-shorts

I’m not quite sure that anyone wants to see that. You know how they say keep something to the imagination? … yea maybe keep some of it covered too when you’re in public. I don’t care if you’re a size 2 or a size 12, inappropriately short shorts are just tacky. Now, I’ve heard the motto “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” before and if you’ve got legs as tall as me, go for it…but there will always be something intriguing about a girl who is put together and leaving a little something to the imagination.

2. Inappropriate clothing 

You probably shouldn’t whip out your lowest vneck or backless halter when you’re at church. That would be an extremely poor fashion choice. It may be summer, but all your class doesn’t have to fly out the window. There are plenty of clothing options that can keep you cool in the blistering heat and yes, you can still show off all your fabulous assets; just do it at the right time. However, the right time would probably not be when you are at the playground when you’re baby-sitting or out to dinner with your parents. Be realistic and rational. It seems like the heat makes people wear crazy things. Really, is this necessary? Anyways, flowing maxi-dress or sundress are probably a much better option when its 100 degrees.

3. Foam flip-flops

We all have them. They’re not the problem…the problem is how people wear them. I’ve never been a fan except for in the freshman dorm showers at college… Just because it is summer time does not mean you need to wear flip flops everywhere. If you’re out to dinner at a nice restaurant or at a more formal gathering, the bar, work, etc. you probably should have on a nicer sandal (i.e. flip flops that aren’t made out of foam…wedges and flats are always great options and they can still be comfortable). There is a time and a place for your “beloved” foam flops.

4. Tanning

Your skin is one of your best assets. So, take care of it. When you spend hours in the sun not only are you risking Skin Cancer, but you might end up being a leather-y as your purse. ICK.

5. Socks with Sandals

We’ve been over this before. It’s just not acceptable.

6. Dress for YOUR body type

This is the most important rule…Don’t wear something just because it’s been in every magazine of the season. Wear it because it looks good and makes you feel confident. Not everyone is meant for bikinis and daisy dukes. A sundress might be the perfect summer look for you.

The Little Black Dress

10 Apr

Little Black Dresses are a female essential. They go with anything and everything. You can wear them to work and then wear them out at night. You can dress them up with high heels or down with a cute flat or sandal.

A little black dress is the most versatile piece you could have in your wardrobe.

Some guidelines:

1. Find a dress that compliments your curves (a flowy skirt or a fitted mini, whatever it is there will be a style that you resonate with)

2. Look for dresses with details (pleats, flowers, one-shouldered, strapless, etc. ) This makes the dress personal and “one of a kind”

3. Length: if you wan the dress to be a cross-over Day/Night look for something that hits you only slightly above the knee. This is professional, yet versatile. If you are looking purely for a cocktail dress for night’s on the town…go a bit shorter. Just choose something that you like and the dress will do the rest.

Here are a few LBD’s that I’ve spotted recently:

 this Little Black dress is professional, yet super adorable

 this LBD is great for a day out or a night at the bars

 This is a great example for a versatile LBD…