Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

India Arie – Beautiful Flower

June 26, 2008

the amazing lyrics and beautiful melody of this song speak from my heart to every single beautiful girl out there :).

This is a song for every girl who’s
Ever been through something she thought she couldn’t make it through
I sing these words because
I was that girl too
Wanting something better than this
But who do I turn to
Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives
‘Cause you’re beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you, who are beautiful
Yeah, you, who are brilliant
Yeah, you, who are powerful
Yeah, you, who are resilientThis is a song for every girl who
Feels like she is not special
‘Cause she don’t look like a supermodel Coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you to shake your moneymaker

 

Shake your head and tell them, tell them you’re a leader                                                               Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives                                                                                           ‘Cause you’re beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind

 

There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you, who are beautiful
Yeah, you, who are brilliant
Yeah, you, who are powerful
Yeah, you, who are resilient

Yeah, you, who are beautiful
Yeah, you, who are brilliant
Yeah, you, who are powerful
Yeah, you, who are resilient

Yeah, you, this song is for you
Yeah, you, this song is for you
Yeah, you, this song is for you
Yeah, you, yeah, you
You are brilliant

 

 

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 — even if it seems harmless — 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 — 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!

Miss Invisible

May 15, 2008

In 2004, a fresh face with a sweet but powerful voice and a story to tell the world won the Pantene Pro-Voice concert with this heartfelt song, “Miss Invisible”. As a plump child growing up of mixed heritage, Maria Digby struggled for acceptance almost all her life. This song was her plea for more acceptance and less judgment in the world today. It’s a song that is very dear to her, she says, because it’s not just a song; it’s her story about life in junior high school (secondary school) just trying so hard to accept herself and to be accepted. I sincerely hope this song will be a source of comfort for some of you the way it has been for me :). Because deep inside, at the end of a long and tiring day, perhaps, all we really need is to know that we’re not alone and that someone truly understands.

“Miss Invisible” lyrics:

Verse 1:

There’s a girl
Who sits under the bleachers
Just another day eating alone
And though she smiles
There is something she’s hiding
And she can’t find a way to relate
She just goes unnoticed
As the crowd passes by
And she’ll pretend to be busy
When inside she just wants to cry
She’ll say…

Chorus:

Take a little look at the life of Miss Always Invisible
Look a little closer, I really really want you to put yourself in her shoes
Take another look at the face of Miss Always Invisible
Look a little harder and maybe then you will see why she waits for the day
When you’ll ask her her name

Verse 2:

In the beginning, in the first weeks of class
She did everything to try and fit in
But the others they couldnt seem to get past all the things that mismatched on the surface
And she would close her eyes when they laughed and she fell down the stairs
And the more that they joked
And the more that they screamed
She retreated to where she is now
And she’ll sing…

And one day just the same as the last
Just the days spent in counting the time
Came a boy who sat under the bleachers just a little bit further behind…

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 – once 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!!! 🙂 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! 🙂