Category Archives: Beauty

Always Remember, Never Forget

This weekend my brother was in town and one of the things he requested we do is visit the Ground Zero Memorial. I hadn’t been yet and was more than willing to oblige. So I snatched up three tickets for Sunday afternoon and Dustin, Justin and I trekked down there. It was so beautiful and unbelievably moving. I nearly cried reading everyone’s names again and was so sad seeing names with flowers rested upon them. It made me wonder who had visited to lay them there, and I wanted to know their story. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has had to personally deal with a lost loved one on that tragic day.

If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend you go see the memorial for yourself. I went during the day, but think it would be beautiful at night with everything lit up. And when spring comes around, all of the trees in the park are going to be in bloom and it’ll just make the memorial vibrant and full of life — something I think many people need to be reminded of. Live life to the fullest, you never know which day is your last.

Here are a few of the pictures I snapped while at the memorial. I hope you enjoy ❤

September 11, 2001: Always Remember, Never Forget ❤

Operation Beautiful Covers Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’

I’ve blogged about Operation Beautiful quite a few times, but I just can’t stress enough how awesome this movement is, or how much it’s spreading across the world. Founder Caitlin Boyle is even working on her second book, this time for tweens. I can’t wait to get it for my 11-year-old cousin!

Anyway, I was perusing Caitlin’s blog this morning when I came across this awesome video by her friend Peter Hollens. It’s a fantastic cover of Lady Gaga’s latest hit, “Born This Way.” I love that song in the first place (and even have it on my feel-good workout playlist), but this cover is simply amazing.

Here’s the deal: Caitlin and Peter would love for this video to go “viral.” After all, spreading the message can only help! So if you like this, consider pasting it in your own blog, tweeting about it or linking to it on Facebook.


Your Feel-Good Workout Playlist

Although National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is coming to a close, that doesn’t mean its purpose should end. Throughout the week, I’ve hit up the library to find some more good reads about the inner workings of an eating disorder, just so I can understand it a bit more. A few that I’m really looking forward to reading:

Please keep in mind that I have not actually read these books yet, so I can’t recommend them. But you can always start reading along with me!

I’ve also found myself migrating toward morale-boosting, feel-good music. Tunes that uplift me during my workout and make me feel beautiful from the inside out. After all, I don’t work out to be skinny or because I feel guilty about a slice of pizza I ate. I exercise because it makes me feel amazing and I revel in the post-workout endorphins that surge through my body. So what songs are making me feel so fantastic during my sweat sessions? Check it out!

In no specific order:

1.) Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars

2.) Crazy by Simple Plan

3.) Imperfection by Saving Jane

4.) It’s My Life by Bon Jovi

5.) Born This Way by Lady Gaga

6.) Video by India Arie

7.) Perfect 10 by Beautiful South

8.) I Am Not My Hair by India Arie, featuring Akon

9.) Ugly by Sugababes

This song has been stuck in my head all week and I’m absolutely in love with it. I’ve always loved Pink and her music — she’s so strong and embraces being different. She’s a great role model for young girls to look up to. Enjoy one of her latest:

Most of these songs are a little too slow for me to run to, so I often pop on the playlist when I’m on the elliptical or doing strength training. I hope you find a few to fall in love with, and remember you’re amazing just the way you are 🙂

What are some of your favorite feel-good songs?

Operation Beautiful Hits Oswego State

I had heard about Operation Beautiful before and thought it was a really moving, inspiring and motivational international body image movement. But I never did anything about it myself. I would follow the website and read the stories of random girls placing Post-It notes in the bathroom or hanging signs throughout the campus, reminding women that they are beautiful and they shouldn’t berate themselves. But I never once saw a Post-It note in a bathroom at Oswego State; I never put one there to inspire another girl.

I decided today that was going to change.

In the final hours of Sunday night, I learned that this week is Fat Talk Free Week, “a national public-wide awareness effort” that targets negative body image and stops it in its tracks. For only one week, the founders want girls to completely abolish all forms of fat talk, look at themselves in the mirror and focus on their strengths instead of their flaws.

I work at the campus fitness centers as a student manager, so I like to believe that I’m in an influential position of power. Today I put my power to good use and finally put Oswego State on the map with Operation Beautiful.

I made Post-It notes in both gyms and lined the mirrors with reasons why the girls  at my school are beautiful. Some that pertain to me in particular: “I love competing with the boys,” “I don’t need to run…I go because it makes me feel great,” and “Smile…you never know who’s falling in love with it.”

No matter what, the message behind this movement is important. Girls need to stop focusing on their bodily flaws and remember all the great things about themselves. Nobody has the perfect body and nobody ever will. In fact, the “perfect” body doesn’t exist. So stop chasing it. Embrace your differences because they’re what make you unique. You are beautiful because there is no one else like you.

What is fat talk, exactly? It’s anything that berates a woman and her body image. Saying things like, “I need to lose 10 pounds,” “Look at my love handles,” or “I despise my back fat” is considered fat talk. Even giving someone a backhanded compliment like “You look great! Did you lose weight?” constitutes fat talk because you’re only feeding this girl a compliment because of her physical appearance. You’re buying into the mainstream ideal that women need to be stick thin and are only beautiful when they’re skinny. This can lead to a girl focusing solely on her body image to keep your approval, when she should be focusing on all of the other things that make her fantastic. Being beautiful is about confidence and health, not being thinner than a rail.

So remember, no fat talk! And not just this week, either. Do it every day. Tell yourself every morning how great you are, or put a Post-It note somewhere to remind another girl.

Have you seen an Operation Beautiful note on your campus, or in a bathroom somewhere? What did it say?