Are Blogs Dead? Who Cares, Here’s Magical Girl Nicki Minaj!

I suspect it’d have a bit more color in it’s face if I’d update at least one time a week.

You know how it is.

I started a new project recently since I arrived home from our beach vacation and I’m so excited to tell you!

I’ve decided to do Magical Girls pins which are honoring to actual female idols but in my own kawaii style (similar to my lucky cryptokitty pin!). They are each inspired by a real life magical girl whom exists in our culture and inspires others with music, fashion, charitable giving, love and mega heart beat motivation. She is not only a magical girl with super special powers but she is here to inspire you to be yourself and never give up.

These are ladies who are stars and have inspired me in a great way.

I also welcome suggestions and have received quite a few. So to be honest the list of future idols is LONG, but, if you suggest the next girl you’ll win a free pin of her. So get to suggesting, darling, and maybe you’ll be on the same page and win!

Our first Magical Girl is… Nicki Minaj. So please say hello to Magical Girl Nicki!

How can you get your own? Well you preorder her here, at my shop! Once there are 15 preorders she will be made and all 15 supporters will receive a surprise gift and their pin. And lots of love and virtual hugs from me. And a big discount for a future order in case you might have your eyes on some other goodies!

She’s Too Pretty to Have No Curves, Curves, Scars, Curls

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There’s a pet peeve I have that I feel is a prevalent issue in our society and yet I see little to no articles around the specific flavor of it while cruising through Google and the blogosphere… I’m hoping I just missed them but regardless, I must write. I’m referring to how, “She’s too pretty to… *insert visual ailment or critique here*”, or “She would look better if…” My parents told me as a child that I was beautiful. However as I got older (into the grade school years) I began hearing comments, like most girls do, about how I shouldn’t wear wrinkled clothes, how I shouldn’t eat too much sweets or gain weight, how I should brush my hair, how I should take care of my skin, how I should appear in public. All slightly caring things.. but they soon started to get worse and much more critical.

You see, as most (if not all) women get older, the comments get WORSE. Much, much worse and what’s even more tough is they are generally coming from your peers and people whom you respect. People whom you want to like and accept you.

“Why is your face cracking?”, asked a first-grade classmate, referring to my slight spider veins. After which telling the entire class how scary my face was and many of my friends turning around and laughing at me. My face wasn’t cracking… my heart was.

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As you start to near and/or go through puberty as a young woman you can be sure things will again take a change for the worst. Suddenly you are not just a child anymore, suddenly you are expected to be whatever form of beautiful the person criticizing you appreciates. Suddenly if you’re eating too much dessert you’re going to get too fat to have any friends. If you’re growing too fast you’re going to look like a promiscuous 11-year-old that is unknowingly asking for attention from boys and men. If you’re growing too slow you’re going to earn songs of mockery about how your chest is flat. Blatant critiques about how your hair is too short, too long, too flat, too full. About how your skin is too pale or too dark. About how your legs are too short or too wide. About your body hair is too dark, too thick or too long. Never mind how different each of us are, how she might have vitiligo but you have a scar; she has spider veins but you have dark body hair; she might have acne but you have curly hair; how she has thick thighs while yours are “chicken legs.” Why isn’t a girl pretty BECAUSE she’s unique? Because of her freckles? Because of her scar? Because of her skin coloration? Because of her texture of hair? Because of her build? Why do we all have to fit a mold of whatever is deemed attractive when we don’t even want to? When we don’t even agree? When we want to be ourselves? When everyone should adore us for our unique, visual features?

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The worst of all these critiques start coming from your friends as a pubescent girl and from other girls. Girls begin to lose sight of lifting each other up and being strong together and instead choose to tear each other down and gain “status.” They begin to believe if they tear her down for her hair then they’ll feel better about their own. The walls between women begin to be built. In a personal example I remember being teased incessantly in 6th grade at age 11 because I hadn’t developed breasts yet and my classmates had began to. Then when I arrived at school after summer break ready to start 7th grade (with breasts) I was suddenly attacked by all of my friends for stuffing my bra. When I showed them I didn’t stuff my bra in gym class I was teased for trying to seduce them and labeled a lesbian. When I avoided guys I was a “lesbian” but when I had guy friends I was “slutty.” I hadn’t even began to date at the age of 13 and already I was labeled with just about every female-based insult you could come up with. By other girls. By my “friends.”

Why are girls taught to do this to each other? Why do we continue to do it in new and more covert ways as we age?

I began to get comfortable with myself in college and I just avoided people who openly judged me by my appearance. I gained my freshman 30 pounds and my clothes stopped fitting and I felt happy. In all of the photos of that period I’m smiling from my heart. I’m with my friends whom accept me regardless of my size, regardless if I lost 40 pounds the following year or gained another 30, friends I still have to this day. I felt accepted and happy in a positive community of supportive women.

Years later, in graduate school, came the body-shaming to a degree I realized I had only tasted in middle school.

Lately there has been a lot of social media popping up about fat-shaming, about curvy hash tags and models with figures of a larger clothing size, about disgusting comedians who insult a whole selection of people based on size. About how companies don’t have “real women” as models and how companies that use non-models showing their natural, naked bodies in a tasteful way get sued for “pornographic material.” About how bikini’s look on voluptuous, “real women” vs thin, fake ones.

It reminded me of being the only “skinny” girl in my graduate class.. about being teased about my clothing not fitting my body right, about my saving my food/dessert to eat at home because I must be “anorexic”, about how men don’t like bones cracking together and they want a “real woman” to hold onto. About how I’m not a real woman. About how I don’t have large breasts and therefor am a child, not a woman. Now I understand these women must have had prior experiences of being treated in a similar way or they probably wouldn’t be doing it to me but why are we so happy to pass on the shaming to each other? The teasing got worse and worse every late night we worked together on our project. Why wasn’t I eating enough? Do I need a hamburger? They will THROW a hamburger at me if I’ll eat it! I’m 22 and I don’t even have cleavage! What’s my issue with food? Am I not eating enough? Do I buy my clothes in the toddler section? I look unhealthy! I decided not to go back the next semester. My anxiety had grown to an all-time high for many reasons but I felt it getting worse just being around those two, strong-willed women who couldn’t accept me because of my size.

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This was in 2008 and although many things have changed since then.. one thing hasn’t. Women are still building walls in between each other that weren’t even theirs to build. Whatever current, boring beauty standard seems like the truth is only a lie and an opportunity to further pull each other down. Don’t even get me started on the current great makeup debate about how we should wear makeup, shouldn’t wear makeup or how we must be insecure liars if we do, too masculine if we don’t. Or how if we wear colorful, revealing or tight clothes we must be asking for attention from everyone. When really we shouldn’t have to force ourselves to fit within anyone else’s mold of beauty and we certainly can’t expect push our sisters into that mold with us if we try. We are women, we must stick together and protect our beautiful spirits. When women encourage each other amazing things happen.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.. with all of these debates going around describing what “real women” do or do not look like, act like, have or are.. Real women have HEARTS. We’re all real women.

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Current Events

Get listed here?

Toronto police officer told a crowd of college women that if they wanted to avoid sexual assault, they shouldn’t dress like sluts.

Amber Rose Slut Walk LA

Lipstick feminism is a movement that attempts to dislodge the idea that traditional ideas of femininity undermine women. This movement encourages women to embrace things like makeup and feminine clothing, including revealing clothing, in order to show that having qualities that are defined as female does not make one inferior.

– Shaming women for makeup a destructive, anti-feminist approach, The Collegian

Instead, can we all just agree that we’re all uniquely perfect in our own way? Can we just start celebrating ourselves for who we are and not be so caught up in the competition?

– Curvy vs. Skinny: Let’s End the Women’s Weight War Once and for All, The Huffington Post

Turning 30: Five Things I Learned in my 20s

30th birthday party

I remember once upon a time when turning 30 seemed a distant memory, not even a concern in the least. In my teens I remember talking to peers who said we were “old” now because we were graduating high school. I would tell them you’re only as old as you feel because I felt like I was 15 on a bad day (on a good day I feel 12). Most of my friends have always been older than me so I never concerned myself much with age and that it meant anything other than wisdom.

So tomorrow I’m turning 30. Today my partner says he’s planning something for me and that I need to be ready to leave for dinner at 5:30pm.

Update: David threw me a surprise party and I thought maybe it would be us, his mom and maybe my mom… But it was my family, friends and at my favorite place to eat (Saigon) and it makes me cry just thinking of how much trouble he went to… For me! I’m just in shock and tears as I write this and SO grateful to have these people in my life.

I’m just wondering.. how significant is it to turn 30? How do others feel about turning 30? Am I supposed to be preparing some big, bold change? Am I supposed to feel or act different? I don’t. I will tell you what I’ve learned by 30, though, and maybe it will help you no matter what age you are.

“You’re 30: You know stuff now. Your 20s were for ‘ducking up,’ as my auto-correct would say, and learning from those mistakes. (For instance, never again will I convince myself that sleep is for sissies and go straight from a party to the airport. You will not ‘sleep on the plane’; you’ll vomit in the security line. Go to bed.)” — Olivia Wilde

1. Don’t settle.

You’ll learn by now that settling to keep things nice now will not pay off. If you feel like your settling in your job, your relationship, your friendships, for something less than you feel is healthy and encouraging for you then you’re only delaying the pain of giving yourself what you need. Do it now, don’t wait another 30 years. If you don’t know what you want then take a few years to honestly find out what your purpose in life is.

2. Take care of yourself.

You probably stopped eating cake, dessert and chocolate for breakfast (unless it’s your birthday, ha!) with a side of a fast food lunch and little to no exercise because you’ve seen how you age when you care for yourself that way. You’ve seen how your body changes and becomes more sensitive. I can hardly even eat cheeses or most dairy products now without my body breaking out in hives and my throat closing! Our bodies become more sensitive to what is good or not-so-good as we age; to keep looking our best incorporating healthy meals and daily exercise is important. Trust me, I’m pretty petite and enjoy junk food.. but all of a sudden the combination was very apparently affecting how I felt and looked much faster than in my 20s. What I eat today affects my body much faster than it did as a younger woman. I can even tell how it affects my mood and energy quicker than that.

3. Explore yourself.

Similar to #1, find your purpose in life, what means most to you and find a way to do it. For instance one of my purposes is to inspire others to live a happier, creative life and I carry this online, in my family, in my work. Even just at home I spend a lot of my time doing crafty things with the kids, connecting with them and doing art journal projects. My spouse is a contemporary realism painter and when I am able to encourage him and give him more availability to work I am doing this. My other purpose is to LOVE love love with no reservations and this is something you can do no matter what you do for a living or where you are. You can donate to the needy, save animals from dying in shelters, so many options of things that are unrelated to your location, family, job, etc but the goal is ultimately to find your purpose and live it in every way. Start small and allow it to affect your whole life. When you’re living for your purpose you will feel it.

4. Know that personal style is ageless.

I am one of those women that doesn’t believe you have to change your style as you age. If you see me out and about you’ll think I’m a teen (until I get wrinkles I suppose) and be shocked to know I am married with children and a professional career. Does that mean I dress inappropriately for work? No. I do dye my hair pink, wear bunnies, frilly skirts and rainbows galore. I cannot stand reading articles (I saw a lot when writing this) that explain how women need to “dress their age” because that is different for everyone. If you love it and it makes you feel beautiful, wear it. If people don’t like it they probably aren’t good for your spirit.

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5. Family growth.

You always hear that around 30 your biological clock ticks louder.. Some women who didn’t ever want babies suddenly are warming up to the idea. Is this because they feel a time crunch or because they want to experience mother hood? Have a baby is a huge amount of responsibility, it’s the hardest and most rewarding job there is. Let alone having more than one. However if that is your dream you’ll probably hold that as important to you prior to turning 30. If you’re having babies because you feel like you should, don’t. Having a child requires you to be 100% in and even then it will be very hard some days. If you don’t want kids, embrace it. Don’t ever feel like you need to do something because you’re “supposed” to want to. I always wanted a child and fawned over the Cosby family.. low and behold I have 4 kids and it works for me; I’m extremely happy. I even consider having another sometimes. Would it work for you? I don’t know. I’ve met equal amounts of women who are drowning in their decision for a big family.

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I don’t care how cliche it is, I will always adore this movie and it is one of the very few chick flicks I actually own (the other one is Riding in Cars With Boys which is good too). Plus it has Mark Ruffalo in it.

Articles

Freaking Out About Turning 30? @ The Guardian
What to Own Before You Turn 30 @ Harper’s Bazaar
Why No Woman Should Ever Be Scared of Turning 30 @ She Does the City
Quotes from Celebrities on Age @ POPSUGAR
22 Books Every Woman Needs to Read @ The Frisky