Thursday, February 13, 2014

Special Miracles

The special miracle of a mom, Sabrina Moyer started a Down Syndrome digital community following the birth of her son Colton, called Special Miracles. She explained, "After Colton was born I made a resolution to myself and to him; that I would become his strongest advocate, and his devoted ally." 

This community has grown to well over 135,000 people and she has also created a digital magazine featuring images, stories, information and topics relating to Down Syndrome and Parenting. The Special Miracles Magazine is intended to promote the support, love and respect for all individuals with Down syndrome.
 The goal is to provide awareness and celebrate the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.

Today the second issue of the digital magazine, Special Miracles went LIVE! inside you will find an article I wrote about an encounter with a stranger, my son Blake and a 'Brave' Mom (p. 20)
in digital form for $1.99
Subscribe to all 12 issues for $19.99
OR order a card copy for $14.99 plus tax/shipping.

You should subscribe, you never know who's beautiful face will grace the cover.

Join other 135,000 parents, siblings, family and friends of those with Down Syndrome on the Special Miracles FACEBOOK page 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Shame Game: Shame on them? or Shame on us?

Is it just me or are there others who are annoyed to see the winner of 'The Biggest Looser' being shamed for her weight loss? 
Our society projects an utterly unattainable ideal of beauty. It is unattainable not only because it is unrealistic, it actually ceases to exist. No one can agree on what is 'perfect' or 'ideal' at all as beauty or any imagery  is a totally subjective experience.

The winner of the reality series, Rachel Frederickson lost 155 pounds on the show. She started at 260 and the final weight was 105 (she is 5'4" & 24 years old.) 
The Internet has exploded with criticism over her loss and I am sickened to read the comments from people. I do not watch the show but have had a hard time escaping the news stories and commentary from all the critical people hiding behind their computers and smart phones.

My first thought was, 'society should be ashamed of themselves. First they FAT shame her for being overweight and then they THIN shame her for being to thin'.  My second thought was, 'is this really a news worthy story? who cares how much weight some stranger just got paid $250,000 to loose'. 

After the incessant images, stories and posts in my facebook timeline and twitter feed I felt compelled to 'weigh' in on the issue.

I would first like to say BRAVO to Rachel. She worked her ass off, literally to lose the weight, regardless of peoples warped opinions. It was her choice and I'm glad she is standing behind it. 
The "experts" are complaining that her BMI now is too low, but before it was too high. They are the Goldilocks of body image but what they forget to mention is no one will be ideal or juuuust right. If people were accepted for who they are shows like "The Biggest Loser" would be completely irrelevant.

BMI it is like the weight equivalent of IQ in my opinion. A completely arbitrary measure with way too many variables to be accurate and applied to everyone. 

This issue of body image and shame must be discussed so I guess we should all be grateful to Rachel and the media shame game for being the catalyst. Women need to open their eyes and realize that there is no REAL ideal of beauty, only the ones that we impose on ourselves. We are served the proverbial entree of some random fashion editor's ideal but it is only a 'suggestion' or something to 'inspire us'. Instead of taking accountability, women BLAME the media and fashion magazines for depicting an image that they CHOOSE to accept.
Labels & Stereotypes

Day after day I see intelligent, beautiful women feel poorly about themselves based on what a stranger prints online, in a magazine or puts on television. They hold themselves up to a standard that completely ceases to exist and is generally a digital illusion or digital delusion. We have all done it. We just need to not take part in societies shame game.

Why do we accept the shame that others project on us for our weight, body shape or overall appearance? 

Don't you think it is time to take our power back and stop being mindless victims to the media and fashion magazines? There was nothing more empowering to me than the day I realized that actual person who makes us fee 'less than' is US/ME/YOU.

We should embrace the media onslaught of unrealistic imagery and choose to turn it into an inspiration for self improvement or accept it simply as someones subjective taste, not something that you are to be compared to or measured against. There IS strength in accountability ladies. I don't have a flat stomach because I choose to eat/drink what I want and not exercise to the level that would be required to achieve that result. I am not the size I was in high school because I choose not to put the work in to be so and instead I make excuses. I am actually happy with who I am today. It has been a long road, not without days I feel less than fabulous but that is all me, not participating in societies shame game. I accept accountability for myself and my choices. I strive to be the best version of myself not a version of someone else, especially someone who is clearly a figment of Photo Shops imagination. I do enjoy my fashion magazines too and feel no need or desire to compare myself to anything  I see, I just gush over the grossly over priced accessories and dream of the day I can waltz into CHANEL in Paris and get my quilted bag.

Thank you Rachel for getting this dialogue started. Enjoy your success and don't get caught up in the shame game.

Is it then shame on them? or shame on us?
What do YOU think?

My personal BMI (Bold Modern Idea):  We are ALL PERFECTLY IMPERFECT!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bombshell Birthday

Happy 83rd Birthday to Blond Bombshell Mamie van Doren. I had to acknowledge this Hollywood legends special day because she is truly inspiring. She proves once again that age is only a number. She is still stylish and as glamorous as EVER! Living proof that you get out of life and yourself what you put into it. She seems to still be having a BLAST! Bravo Mamie. Thank you for the inspiration! I would LOVE to see all of the fashion treasures you have collected over the years. We need to have a closet confession from you ...
True Hollywood GLAMOUR!

Mamie 411:
*American Actress, Singer, Sex Symbol
*Born: Joan Lucille Olande on this day in 1931 (Named after Joan Crawford)
*Discovered by producer Howard Hughes on the night she was crowned Miss Palm Springs.
*Often compared to Marilyn Monroe 
High school Confidential 1958
with Clark Gable (Film: Teacher's Pet - 1958)

Vargas Girl: Pin-up artist Alberto Vargas with Mamie Van Doren c. 1955

*She LOVES the beach and her dogs!

Want to know more? Check out her Autobiography

Many Happy Returns Doll! 83 has NEVER looked so good!
Photo by Alan Mercer

Photo by Alan Mercer, taken in Palm Springs

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

GRIEF: Talking with Christina Rasmussen

Author Christina Rasmussen is a leader in bringing the topic of Grief to the table. Because the topic is a painful one, people shy away from open, honest dialogue or discussion whether it be face-to-face or on social media. Christina is hoping to help healing by dealing; dealing with grief in an open and honest way. I have always felt the only true way to heal and grow as an individual is through accountability and honestly, with oneself and others. She and I share this same philosophy.

Her book, Second Firsts is a tale of HOPE. A lesson or example that there is indeed life after loss. I reviewed the book when it was released but I also had a chance to chat with Christina about her experiences and how it has influenced her current path.

LG: What inspired you to share your story? 

      CR:  After my husband died, my world was truly and utterly shattered. I had two young daughters to take care of, a job I hated and I was pretty much ‘homeless’, in the sense that I had to start from the bottom up. It was a very difficult time for all three of us. It wasn’t until two years later, after living day-to-day, not happy, that I entered my second first life. I quit the job I hated, I went on a first date with an amazing man and I started doing things that made me happy. I wanted to help others who are going through what I went through, to help them move forward and heal… and show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
LG:  Explain the unviersality of the "Life RE-Entry Model" for ANYONE that is grieving, not just those who have lost a spouse.      

       CR: Grief can result from a number of different losses; it can be for a physical loss, emotional loss, or what I call an invisible loss, such as an unrealized goal or dream. My Reentry model helps people live their best lives after any of these losses. Reentry is a five step model that helps people move forward and get back to living their best lives . Most people who have been through invisible losses don’t even realize it, nor do they realize that they are experiencing a form of grief. They don’t realize that there is an extraordinary life waiting for them ahead - they just need the tools to get there.
LG:  What is the absolute FIRST STEP in the healing process, in your opinion?

CR: The first step is being real with yourself. Coming to terms with the fact that the loss happened is a big step. Being honest is huge. Once you are real and honest with yourself, the door will open and the healing process begins. It’s a difficult step, make no mistake, but it is possible.

LG: I love the concept of "Plug into your life" - I feel it can be applied to ANY life, not just after loss. Your thoughts?

       CR: Absolutely! Like I mentioned earlier, the word ‘loss’ is somewhat a misconception. People automatically associate it with physical losses. There are all different types of losses and this is why my second step of Reentry, “Plug into your life,” can be applied to many different lives. The concept involves stopping the procrastination of taking action and actually doing something, taking action, moving forward. Essentially taking steps to plug into your new life. I go into great detail on how to do this in my book.
LG:  If you had just ONE piece of advice for my grieving readers who feel lost, what would it be?

CR: Sing in the shower again. Period. As silly as it may sound, after loss people forget to do little things like this again. Singing should make you feel happy and make you smile.. and even feel free to laugh at yourself while doing it!
Are you dealing with grief and want a new life?