Search This Blog

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Confidence trumps all

Carleigh O'Connell (Photo courtesy of:
Carleigh O'Connell, confidence, bullying, personality, healthy

Carleigh O’Connell

I ran across an intriguing article online. Carleigh O’Connell is a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who appears to be very healthy and fit. She heard rumors from her classmates that someone made rude remarks about her behind by tagging "Carleighs ASS" on a stone wall.

First of all, why do people have to be so cruel?

Second of all, Carleigh has an amazing personality in that instead of crying, being ashamed and wanting to change herself (like I probably would have at 14 years old), she put on a bikini, found the wall and had someone take a photo of her proudly smiling about the graffiti.


Carleigh posted the photo to Instagram, and her mother, Daryl, shared it on Facebook. The photo instantly went viral.

Carleigh told that "It felt very empowering…it felt really good [to take the photo]."

And Daryl couldn’t have been more proud of her daughter. According to her original Facebook post, she said, "For me as the mom…I type this with tears in my eyes. Tears of joy knowing that my daughter can face negativity with a smile and a sense of humor. This will take her far in life. No perfect report card, high test score or award could top the pride I have today."

Isn’t it cool how something like this can go global in a matter of hours or days? Social media and the connectivity through the Internet is one of the greatest things for our global culture.

I can’t be certain, but my guess is that Carleigh has inspired many young and old women (and men). I know that she inspired me, and I will teach my daughters how to have such a great sense of pride and confidence in who they are as well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Ashley Judd, puffy face, feminism, beauty, body image, hypersexualization

Actress and Activist Ashley Judd. Source: Wikipedia
Isn’t it quite spectacular when someone with a global reach can chew up and spit out all of the terrible things said about them – but in the most eloquent way? Isn’t it amazing how social media and the Internet can propel something into the limelight to the point where it’s still talked about years later?

Ashley Judd a noteworthy actress with more than two decades of acting experience did just that.
Ashley Judd, sister to singer Wynonna Judd and daughter of singer Naomi Judd, most recently starred in the movie Divergent—an action film based on the young adult novel by the same name.

However, Ashley is probably more known for her activism in politics and humanitarian efforts, which means she’s comfortable with speaking her mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

In 2012, the media heavily criticized her for having a work done on her face (because it looked puffy) and for being “fat” and a “cow” when she went from a size two to a size six.

Ashley Judd’s own personal Ninety-Five Theses

Martin Luther. Image source:
Ashley’s response to these derogatory comments is epic to say the least—she essentially wrote her own version of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. Instead of nailing her essay to the door of the Catholic Church, she blasted it out online right back at the media.

Check out this little gem from the very beginning of her statement:

“Consequently, I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.”

How can anyone not read this and be like, “Wow! She hit the nail on the head and did it with such intelligence too”?

All I have to say is Ashley Judd rocks it hard and true.

“If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start…The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.”

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie, brainwashed, beauty standards, body image

Men recognize this pattern, too

Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie.
Picture pulled from The Daily Mail (c) Columbia Pictures
Dustin Hoffman

About a year ago, The Huffington Post ran an article about an interview that acclaimed actor Dustin Hoffman gave to the American Film Institute. This video sat in the archives for awhile and was published on YouTube recently by the AFI (December 2012).

Hoffman talks about his role and movie "Tootsie," where he was transformed into a woman to earn an acting role in a soap opera after being considered difficult to work with as a male.

In the interview he goes on to say how he was brainwashed by the industry into thinking what beautiful women looked like. Hoffman even admits that he thought he made an interesting woman, but if he saw Tootsie at a party, he wouldn't give her the time of day.

Fighting through emotions, Hoffman said, "There are too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life, because I have been brainwashed. That [movie] was never a comedy for me."