Archive for the ‘health’ Category

men are from mars, women are from venus :)

June 11, 2008

a dear friend, shu hua, shared the following with me. basically, it’s oprah winfrey’s two cents worth on relationships and men (for both the ladies and the men out there). i don’t agree with every single piece of advice but yes, i do agree with most of it.

hope the rest of my dear readers will also find it useful and enlightening. ūüôā

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.
If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.

Stop making excuses for a man and his behaviour.
Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.

Slower is better.

Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.
If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no, you can’t ‘be friends’. A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.
Don’t settle. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is Don’t stay because you think ‘it will get better’.
You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not.

The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women.
He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you
any differently?

Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up.

Never let a man know everything.He will use it against you later.

You cannot change a man’s behaviour. Change comes from within.

Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are…
Even if he has more education or in a better job.

Do not make him into a quasi-god.
He is a man, nothing more nothing less.
Never let a man define who you are.

 
Never borrow someone else’s man.
If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.

 
A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.

All men are NOT dogs.

You should not be the one doing all the bending… Compromise is a two way street.

You need time to heal between relationships…
There is nothing cute about baggage…
Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship

You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…
A relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals…
Look for someone complimentary…not supplementary.

Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.

Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always know where you are,
and you’re always readily available to him – he takes it for granted
Never move into his mother’s house.
Never co-sign for a man.

Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.

Dr Phil : Scared of being alone is what makes a lot of women stay in relationships that are abusive or hurtful.

You should know that:
You’re the best thing that could ever happen to anyone and if a man mistreats you, he’ll miss out on a good thing.
If he was attracted to you in the 1st place, just know that he’s not the only one.

They’re all watching you, so you have a lot of choices.
Make the right one.
 
Ladies take care of your own hearts….
 
Share this with other women and men (just so they know)…

You’ll make someone smile, another rethink her choices, and another
woman prepare.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to
appreciate them, a day to love them and an entire lifetime to forget them. 

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Amazing Videos from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

June 3, 2008

First up, a poignant short film on the daily struggles of many girls who are still coming to terms with themselves amidst peer pressure and teasing.

And, next up, a powerful video that goes behind the scenes to show us that the glamorous models gracing the glossy pages of magazines could simply not even be real but mere products of photoshop and makeup. So we’re torturing ourselves by striving to meet beauty standards that are not even achievable or real!

Another very sweet video that reminds us that we all have at least one person in our lives who loves us very very much. And, although we may be berating ourselves for many things, in someone’s eyes, we’re simply beautiful and special just the way we are. If only we could see ourselves through their eyes…

Last but not least, a wake-up call that the beauty industry thrives on making us feel bad about ourselves…

Amazing videos by Ogilvy with very powerful messages. Keep up the great work, Dove!!!!

Make Peace with Your Body Today!

May 18, 2008

If you were thinking that the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was the¬†only corporation-initiated campaign¬†promoting¬†healthier notions of beauty and self esteem, think again!¬†Because Seventeen, the world’s number one young women’s magazine¬†has jumped on the bandwagon and joined in the cause! ¬†

Not only has Seventeen developed a Body Peace Treaty which to date 32,042 young women worldwide have signed, it has also hired Jess Weiner, author and self esteem expert, to address the body image questions and concerns of young women from all over the globe! These questions and concerns are posted together with Jess Weiner’s replies on the Seventeen Body Peace blog and other young women worldwide can comment on these posts! What’s more, the Body Peace Treaty truly appeals to young women by allowing them to share the treaty on facebook, kaboodle and other “hip” websites and applications!

So, what exactly are the clauses of the Body Peace Treaty?

I vow to:

  1. Remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.
  2. Never blame my body for the bad day I’m having.
  3. Stop joining in when my friends compare and trash their own bodies.
  4. Never allow a dirty look from someone else to influence how I feel about my appearance.
  5. Quit judging a person solely by how his or her body looks ‚ÄĒ even if it seems harmless ‚ÄĒ because I’d never want anyone to do that to me.
  6. Notice all the amazing things my body is doing for me every moment I walk, talk, think, breathe…
  7. Quiet that negative little voice in my head when it starts to say mean things about my body that I’d never tolerate anyone else saying about me.
  8. Remind myself that what you see isn’t always what you get on TV and in ads ‚ÄĒ it takes a lot of airbrushing, dieting, money, and work to look like that.
  9. Remember that even the girl who I’d swap bodies with in a minute has something about her looks that she hates.
  10. Respect my body by feeding it well, working up a sweat when it needs it, and knowing when to give it a break.
  11. Realize that the mirror can reflect only what’s on the surface of me, not who I am inside.
  12. Know that I’m already beautiful just the way I am.

Want to show support for this movement? Sign the Body Peace Treaty today!

Food for thought:

For so many years, as a leading fashion magazine for young women worldwide, Seventeen has played a quintessential role in shaping young women’s perceptions of beauty. And personally, I am very glad that Seventeen has joined in the cause because who better to change existing perceptions of beauty than the very people who had set them in the first place? The very fact that an “authority” for beauty issues is speaking out against existing notions of beauty is a powerful statement, indeed!

But, at the same time, in order to continue attracting advertisers, the magazine cannot afford to do away with the glamorous slim models they have always been using. Would this defeat the entire purpose of the campaign and in fact make young women skeptical about such campaigns in future?

Coming up next:

A ground-breaking Spanish study on female body shapes which may revolutionize the way clothes will be made and offered

and

A look into how perceptions of beauty have evolved over the years!

So, if you haven’t subscribed to my blog, subscribe today and stay tuned for the updates to come!

The Real Truth About Beauty

May 13, 2008

In 2004, DOVE launched an exciting global study on what women around the world are saying about beauty ideals and self esteem. Because the report is wayy too lengthy for many of us to plough through, I’d like to share some key insights from this enlightening study¬†with my dear readers and friends!

  1. ¬†Modern definitions of beauty are too narrow, many women¬†worldwide are protesting. Not only do many women feel that beauty ideals are too myopically focussed on physical attributes instead of encompassing so much more of who they are as women such as their happiness, kindness, confidence and dignity, many expressed their strong desire for the media to better represent women of diverse physical types, body shapes and ethnic backgrounds. (And Mariko says amen to that! ūüôā )
  2. Beauty beliefs learnt early in life between the ages of six and seventeen have a huge impact on how women feel about themselves and their lives.
  3. Nine in ten women want to change some aspect of their appearance – with the greatest dissatisfaction being expressed over body weight and shape. (And Mariko says, “Well, looking at the fashion industry today, that doesn’t come as a surprise, does it?”)
  4. A woman’s sense of self worth varies with her appearance satisfaction.¬†(And Mariko¬†is thinking that it’s so sad that a woman should peg her self worth to her appearance. Yet, it’s a painful truth, isn’t it? That a large part of a woman’s identity, especially a young woman, is her sexuality and attractiveness.¬†Can the hypersexuality of women in the media be blamed for this? Or is it an inevitable manifestation of traditional gender roles?¬†)
  5. When women feel good about themselves, they are more active as a result of feeling more confident and loved. On the other hand, when women feel bad about themselves, they express feelings of insecurity and tiredness and seven out of ten women actually withdraw from normal activities because they feel badly about their appearances! The activities they avoid when feeling bad about themselves include giving their opinions, going on dates, physical activity, going to school or work and going on job interviews! Instead, they turn to extreme self modification (such as disordered eating), watching TV, sleeping or napping and staying home. (Mariko can’t agree more with this finding because she remembers withdrawing for a period of time immediately after her break up¬†when she was feeling bad about herself. ūüėõ )
  6. Family and friends are extremely important¬†for a woman struggling with a low self esteem. That’s right, women worldwide have confessed that when feeling bad about themselves and their looks, their first step is to reach out to family and friends for support, understanding and encouragement. Mothers and girl friends, they say, are the most powerful shapers of a girl’s feelings about beauty and body image. (And Mariko says, “Amen to that because family and friends so so rock! They really do. I don’t know where the hell I’d be if not for their love and support!”)
  7. Last but not least, what exactly do the women of the world wish to say to their fellow women??? Yes, it is their wish that parents and schools will talk to young girls early on in their lives about what real beauty is. Not only do they hope that young girls will eventually adopt a more realistic and healthy body image, it is also their vision that women of the future will learn to eat heathily rather than dieting and embrace the idea that beautiful women come in different shapes, sizes and colors! (Mariko says amen to that!! But she’s also wondering how long it would all take for that vision to come true…)

For more on the Campaign for Real Beauty by Dove, do visit: www.campaignforrealbeauty.com

 

¬†“What really stands between you and your beauty? Actually, nothing more than the courage to believe you possess it.”

This is My Story; What’s YOURS?

May 10, 2008

Childhood – The Earliest Seeds

As an overweight kid, I could never escape the clutches of the Trim and Fit Club! Everyday, I had to report to a designated area in the canteen (in full view of other kids) where I spent recess with other overweight children like myself and the teachers would monitor whatever we ate. 

I was miserable because it was bad enough that I could never spend recess with my friends but on top of that, I had to spend recess with other overweight children in full view of the entire school!!! Even now, I remember crawling towards the Trim and Fit area ashamed, embarassed and feeling extremely small. After reporting to the teacher, I slunked in a corner hoping against hope to escape from notice.

Did this experience leave an indelible mark on my self esteem? Maybe; maybe not. But what I do know is that from a young age, I was different – because of my weight.

This went on for many years but the year I hit twelve years of age, enough was enough. The crash dieting began. Only one meal a day and I started running at a feverish intensity Рonce in the morning and once at night. Within months, I lost 11kg. Teachers began to worry and my parents were called in. But nothing could stop me. I was determined to do anything to be normal.

Over time, I eventually fell out of the Trim and Fit Club because I was not only no longer overweight but I was UNDERweight. And yes, I got my wish of finally being able to spend recess as a normal kid but it was never the same again. In my heart, I was an ugly duckling who had clamoured its way into the world of the normal. Although many boys started showering me with attention and I was nicknamed the belle of the school, deep inside, I would always be nothing more than an ugly duckling playing swan.

Rejection (s)

Of course other events continued to punctuate¬†my growing up years but if I were to expound on all, it’d be a thesis!!! ūüôā¬†Through it all, though, my self esteem remained extremely low. In secondary school (junior high school), I was actually a candidate for prom queen (surprise!!!) and I was doing well both academically and socially. But sadly, my self esteem never improved.

The huge blow came when I moved into junior college (senior high school) and started falling for this guy we shall name J. He was a very good friend and the feelings grew as we became closer friends over time. By this time, I had gained some of my original weight and was no longer the slim and beautiful prom queen candidate in secondary school. Instead, I was hoping to be loved and accepted for who I was. Fully aware that I was the girl-next-door kind of girl guys enjoyed having as a friend but rarely fell for, I knew better than to betray my feelings for J. Nonetheless, as a streetwise young man, he knew.

One day, I was returning to the classroom after visiting the restroom and only J and his friends were in the classroom at that time. None of them had any idea that I was there and as many normal growing up guys enjoyed doing, they were discussing girls. 

“J, I see you’re quite close to Mariko huh?? Any chance or not?? That you both will be together?”, J’s friend teased.¬†

Mariko? Oh please. I would never fall for her. She’s not even pretty and what’s more, she doesn’t play sports – So boring. She’s too fat for me too. I like slim girls with big eyes and long hair.”¬†

Thereafter, I stopped hanging out with J and his friends and I never spoke to any of them ever again. Did they ever find out that I had overheard their conversation? I will never know. But from that day onwards, the crash dieting and self mutilation began again. And till today, J’s words remain deeply ingrained in my heart.

Craving for love and acceptance, when I was slim again after several months of crash dieting, I started dating around and eventually landed myself in my first relationship. It was self affirming at first but the relationship winded to an end amidst violence and cheating after 4.5 years.

Today, I stand alone struggling with a staggering self esteem and a deeply wounded heart that has probably never healed completely ever since¬†that day when I had overheard J’s comments to his friends.

The one important lesson I’ve learnt is¬†: That we should never pin our self esteem and self worth on anybody other than ourselves. Because one day, that very person will disappoint us and we’ll only end up with more pain and an even more damaged self esteem.

Yes, this is my story – unabridged and painfully honest. What’s yours?

Not Here by Coincidence

May 8, 2008

Hey dear readers and friends! 

Firstly, a big warm welcome and it’s so nice having you over!

No, I don’t think any one of us is here by coincidence – perhaps we’ve been lamenting at society’s preoccupation with appearances for some time; perhaps we’re just so tired of the whole “survival of the most beautiful” game; perhaps we have our own self esteem struggles and stories to share; perhaps we’re just curious about the different perceptions of beauty across cultures; perhaps a loved one so dear to us is¬†battling with self image and self worth issues; or perhaps we’re simply looking for people¬†with similar struggles so we know that we’re never alone. Whatever our reasons may be – no, we’re not here by coincidence.

Neither have I started this blog by chance. Growing up, self esteem was something I constantly struggled with. Not only was I of mixed heritage and¬†therefore “strange looking” compared to my peers,¬†having lived¬†in various parts¬†of the world, the conflicting expectations and perceptions of beauty in different cultures confused and plagued me. I soon realized though that I was not alone in these struggles. That we all face them at one point of time or another. It’s the kind of experience that we know everybody has faced but not many are willing to talk about.

This blog is not just part of a healing process for me, but it’s also my attempt to use my experiences to make a difference in a small but meaningful way. It is my hope that this site will be a voice for many and at the end of the day, we will not only support and encourage each other, but we will also learn and grow together through the sharing of experiences and stories.

I will be updating this blog regularly with interesting articles on the different perceptions of beauty across cultures, my own personal anecdotes and stories, tips from self help books and authors on how to love ourselves more, and more stories on campaigns and initiatives around the world to spread healthier notions of beauty and sexuality!

So, what’re you waiting for?¬†Subscribe today! And you’ll never be left out! Any new stories or words of encouragement and you’ll be the first to know! Comment away on any of the posts, join the conversation¬†and be part of this community today! May we all grow, learn and inspire together! ūüôā