Thank You Mom . . .

8 May

Me and my Momma!

For loving and teaching me to love every part of myself, my body, my heart, and my mind.

For acting like it was no big deal when I wanted the black baby doll when I was little. You taught me to never judge anyone because of their appearance or their beliefs, even when they were different from mine.

For believing in my dreams and giving me the courage to go after them.

For always making the BEST halloween costumes! Princesses, Minny Mouse, and even a Troll!

For having the strength to leave a marriage that was hurting you. It showed me that we always deserve to be treated right and to be happy.

For being a room mom, a Girl Scout leader, a marching band volunteer, and the manager of our sports teams.

For being open and honest with me about sex and discovering my own sexuality and teaching me to love myself as a sexual being and to never be ashamed of that.

For embracing and trying to understand all the things that made me different and special.

For going to Planned Parenthood with me when I was 19.

For encouraging me to play with Barbies and baby dolls and kitchen sets and makeup when I was little.

For encouraging me to play sports like volleyball, baseball, snowboarding, hockey and lacrosse.

For letting me play baseball on the boys team, when I didn’t want to play with the girls.

For the MANY MANY times you helped me get organized.

And most of all, thank you for being a strong, confident, beautiful, driven, passionate, intelligent woman for me to look up to. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without you.

I love you more than anything in the world! You are my rock, my mom and my best friend!

Love, Fess ♥

My Mom with me and my brother after he was born! Almost 21 years ago!

I couldn’t resist . . .

6 May

Saw this on a tumblr feed and I couldn’t resist posting it for everyone. I’m a huge someecards fan anyways.

If you haven’t already spent hours checking out their cards I highly recommend it! Love this!

. . . only if she swallows

Even a real life Cinderella didn’t meet their body image standard . . .

5 May

I think she's beautiful . . . even before photoshop!

I have my own opinions about marriage and I don’t think it’s for everyone. But surprisingly, I found myself really into the Royal Wedding. Usually, I’d be repulsed by the abusrdity of some of the traditions (like when the priest asked “who givith this woman” and Kate Middleton’s dad physically gave her hand to the priest, who gave it to Prince William. *gag* Please, she’s almost 30 years old, I’m pretty sure her daddy doesn’t make her decisions for her any more). On the other hand, I have a lot of respect for her for taking the word “obey” out of their vows. I can only imagine that she didn’t have too much say over how it went, so the fact that she had “obey” removed deserves so much credit. I think it shows she really is a modern woman.

As I was watching the whole thing go down I realized that Kate looked SO incredibly happy. I guess I was expecting her to be nervous or some royal version of bridezilla, but instead I found her to be incredibly enchanting. I thought her dress (as well as her sisters) was the perfect mix of class and sex, modern and tradition. I was completely captivated by her.

I read in a couple different places that she went from a size 6 to a size 2 for her wedding. This is a common thing for most brides so I wasn’t too surprised to hear that. However, yesterday at the Huffington Post I read an article about how the magazine Grazia had photoshopped Kate Middleton’s wedding photo for the cover image to make her waist look much slimmer than it already was. Grazia told the Huffington Post:

 “Grazia did not make any changes to the image of the Duchess of Cambridge to make her look or appear slimmer than she is.”

Do they think we’re stupid? All you have to do is look at the two pictures to see they did a good squeeze job on her waist. This is so discouraging! Kate Middleton looked so stunning and sexy and classy and happy on her wedding day. She’s a real life modern Cinderella story! She’s a size TWO! How much skinnier did she have to be for the media to consider her skinny enough? I guess in today’s world, even Cinderella isn’t skinny enough to escape the devastation of photoshop. Maybe she should have tried for Barbie instead of Cinderella . . .

Here’s the photo:

Turning Women into Meat . . . Literally

4 May

I realize that this HUSTLER cover is really outdated (June 1978), but I think it’s important to talk about. This was the cover of a HUSTLER magazine form 32 years ago. Yet, I still feel like it’s relevant to how women are viewed in the gentleman’s magazines of today.

Yesterday started reading the book Pornland: How porn has hijacked our sexuality. So far I’m loving the book! I’ll be sure to post some updates about it!

Any thoughts on this image? 

Take Back The Night: End Sexual Violence

2 May

Here is a short video I made from a collection of street interviews about rape and victim blaming. Feel free to share it and spread the word! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Feminism Worth a Thousand Words

26 Apr

I found this to be very profound. Thought I’d share it . . .

Take Back The Night Part I

17 Apr

The teal butterfly is the international symbol for rape survivors.

I spent all day Saturday at the Take Back The Night event in Tampa. It was inspiring, powerful, emotional, beautiful, and life changing. I got the chance to do some random street interviews with people that were walking around. The interviews came out amazing and I will be putting them into a short video in the very near future. The event ended with a Survivor Speak-out. It was unbelievable. I’ve never been witness to such a powerful gust of intimate emotion on such a public platform. The women and men who spoke about their stories had an amazing sense of heart and strength. They were all such beautiful people. One young girl, in particular, broke right through my wall of armor and brought me to tears. Her story landed right inside my heart. Her courage and will to fight will stay with me forever. As she was leaving the stage after she told her heart wrenching stories of being sexually abused by a former boyfriend, her dad hurried over to her and enveloped her in this hug that radiated love and support. This was a tipping point for me  – I went from tearing up to full on, lip quivering, crying.

One of my favorite parts of the event was the Clothesline Project. Throughout Hyde Park Village were clotheslines of hundreds of t-shirts. Each t-shirt was decorated by a survivor of sexual or domestic abuse. White t-shirts represented women who died because of violence. Red, pink, and orange were for survivors of rape and sexual assault. Yellow or beige represented battered women. Blue and green t-shirts were for survivors of incest and sexual abuse. Purple or lavender for women who were attacked because of sexual orientation and black shirts for women who were attacked for political reasons. Reading the messages on each shirt was incredible. Out of hundreds of shirts here are my favorites.

When we Said we Wanted Equality, we Didn’t Mean This

12 Apr

I swear this is the real image from the Man Spanx home page!

 

My boyfriend and I were at a men’s dress clothing store today called The Shirt Box. While he was trying on clothes, I was browsing around the store and I couldn’t believe what I saw on one of the shelves. Mixed in with the bow ties, tie pins, and cuff links were . . . . SPANX FOR MEN!! I was shocked when I saw them.! I might have believed they were a product that sat on the shelf for a long time that men just laughed at, but As I was having this conversation with myself, trying to comprehend the tragic-ness of the situation, I realized that a man in the store was trying the man Spanx on!

The Spanx website features undershirts and underwear for men with the catch phrase,

“Expect more from your underwear!”

The website claims, “These physique-improving, game-changing undershirts feature powerful compression zones that comfortably transform the torso and chest! He’ll look sharper, stand taller and feel stronger in his clothes!” Another style claims, “These chest-firming, back-supporting shirts will narrow his waist line, flatten his stomach and leave him looking and feeling his best!” Because we all know your true self is never your best, right? This is the same bullshit that these companies have been feeding women for years!

We have been fighting the toxic body culture that we (mostly women) live in for years. We have been fighting for equal rights with men for so long. But, when we said we wanted equality, we didn’t mean we wanted men to hate their bodies as much as we do! How sad. There can’t be much hope for women if the toxic body-hate is spilling over to the male gender too.

From Seed magazine:

Every bit as unattainable as Barbie-doll proportions and the heroin chic look are the broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, fat-free, and muscle-sheathed male physiques littering today’s media.

Men in advertising and media are no long hairy, sweaty men who don’t care what they look like. They are now shaved, buff, fat free dudes who put a lot of thought in to their appearance. I don’t have too much expertise on this subject, but I sense that this is creating some sort of conflict in the male world. Our culture is telling men to be “men,” but at the same time the media is teaching them to hate their bodies. I feel like these are two very conflicting messages.

Seed Magazine says:

Whether “real-body” discomfort in men is truly new or something that’s only now being noticed is impossible to say, but sociologists and psychologists say that images of hairless, sweatless, pseudo-perfect men are more common than ever before.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, there are about 1 million men with serious eating disorders and tens of millions who have some form of eating disorders.

Again, this is sad. Not only do we have to worry about protecting our young girls from the body-hate culture, but now we also have to protect our boys.

Video For Those With Vaginas!

8 Apr

In light of the pending government shutdown over the proposed Planned Parenthood budget cuts, I thought I’d post this video. It is definitely worth the watch!

“They help women . . . period!”

Thanks to TheSecondCity Network for creating it!

Nascar > Planned Parenthood

6 Apr

Are you serious? I'd like to hear them justify this one.

Via The Campanil. “On February 18th, the US House of Representatives voted to withdraw federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The withdraw amount in total, if it passes in the Senate, will reduce the organization’s budget by $363 million dollars.

The measure is part of a larger bill to cut government spending — strangely, among the programs which did not receive cuts that day was NASCAR, the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States. Yes, really.

A bill proposed by Minnesota Democratic Representative Betty McCollum would have stopped the Army’s annual $7 million sponsorship of NASCAR, paid for by taxpayer dollars.  However, the Republican-controlled House voted overwhelmingly against it.

Apparently health services for low-income, uninsured women is less of a basic human right than high speed car races.

The Campanil Staff feels that cuts for Planned Parenthood in conjunction with the decision to continue to federally fund NASCAR is one of many examples showing the often mixed up priorities of our country’s government.  The billions of dollars spent on the continuation of the “War on Terror” while the nation’s schools suffer enormous budget slashes comes to mind pretty quickly.”

I think I might be sick. Read the article for yourself here.