Tag Archives: brave

Words to Inspire Your New Year

Last year, many of our Intent team chose words to focus on in 2014.
Words like “courage” or “fun” became our banners for the days to come and, speaking personally, having a simple focus made life so much easier.
My word being “fun”, I would ask myself:
“What is the fun option?” 
“Would this be fun to me?”
“Which choice is more fun?”
It didn’t always mean that my choice was the most frugal or the most realistic.
It simply meant that whatever I was doing was the most fun.
The singular focus was so helpful in easing the anxiety and complication of decision-making which happened to be my issue at the time.

This year I’ll choose a new word. I encourage you to do the same.
Some options? Continue reading

Wordplay Wednesday: One In The Same

braided rop
Maybe it was naïve
Of me to assume
It would be safe
To express myself
What I’ve experienced
And felt
Maybe my enthusiasm
Took me too far
The energy and relief
I got
From breaking
The silence
From letting go
Of my desire
To control
What you and you
Knew about me
I was just trying to be
Fully integrated
To hold my head high
And not care
What you think
I didn’t mean to make
Anyone uncomfortable
I was just trying to
Be
And now
To my disappointment
I’m realizing
It’s not quite
That easy
That I need to set
Boundaries
For my creativity
And I wish so badly
That I didn’t have to
Compartmentalize
And filter
What I say and do
I know I’m not perfect
But how boring
That would be
And honestly
Who is?
I’ve demonstrated
That I find solutions
No matter what
The challenge is
And
I was just trying to be like
The women I admire
So courageous in their
Commitment
To speak the truth
But now I feel
Split in two
And
Maybe it was naive
To think
That people in business
Would understand
What I’m doing
Are one in the same
Pursuing my passion
And trying to help
Now I’m scared
To have my poetry
Attached to my name
And I’m scared
I’ll be punished
For what
I’ve already said
That I’ll shut down
Out of fear
And be silent
Again

I wrote this in September of 2012, after it was suggested that sharing my poetry publicly was a risk to my business pursuits. Obviously, I haven’t gone silent:)

Why Disney Princesses Are Too Sexy for My Daughters, and 5 Heroines to Admire Instead

If you watched the movie Brave and then saw the recent corporate rendering of the willful protagonist, Merida, you may have been taken aback. The film’s Merida was modeled after the 13-year-old daughter of director Brenda Chapman – she’s wild, sweet, and pretty but in an unglamorous, un-womanly way (as would be expected of a girl her age.) The makeover, all in the name of princess branding, portrays her with an hourglass figure, waist as tiny as a Barbie doll’s, “vapid,” “unrealistic,” and “vacant looking.” Take a look for yourself:

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When these are the images our children receive as messages of what to aspire to – and Merida’s strength and courage are conflated with her tiny waist and heavily made up face – it’s no wonder advertising and media have perpetuated a culture of body-shaming. I don’t have kids yet, but I can imagine the turmoil I may face if my future daughters (or sons!) ever ask to dress up as a Disney princess… Ariel’s sea shell bra, Jasmine’s sultry eye make-up, and all of them with long, flowing straight hair, slender figures, and perfectly proportioned features. There’s nothing wrong with being “beautiful” in a mainstream, heteronormative, Western aesthetic, except when that kind of beauty is elevated above all other forms, and when that alone is what’s associated to success, strength, and heroism.

So what are we to do?

Mom and photographer Jaime Moore provides us with an excellent example. Instead of gifting Belle gowns and Cinderella crowns, Moore decided to commemorate her daughter’s fifth birthday by dressing her as five real-life heroines for a photo series entitled “Not Just a Girl…” The series pays tribute to Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel, Susan B Anthony, Helen Keller and Jane Goodall – powerful women and influencers in their respective fields. Moore explains her motives on her website:

My daughter wasn’t born into royalty, but she was born into a country where she can now vote, become a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut, or even President if she wants and that’s what REALLY matters.

Here are two of the five photo juxtapositions, both of which portray just the kind of confidence, sass, and radiating inner beauty that I hope my daughters and sons someday feel in themselves. And it just goes to show that we really have no need for Disney princesses with so many incredible real women out there to inspire us.

Coco Chanel:

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Amelia Earhart:

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What real-life role models would you encourage your kids to look up to?

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