Issuu on Google+

u u


Women’s History Month

u u hey, beautiful! Welcome to our annual Women’s Issue! March happens to be

Women’s History Month, and every year we jump at the opportunity to highlight how far we’ve come and the strong women that have helped us get to this point (and keep us here!).

Let’s face it, women face a lot of obstacles, even in today’s world. In this issue, you’ll get current info about the state of women’s rights, who’s fighting for us, and how you can get involved. We also have some amazing women as contributors in this issue and we’re very

excited to share what they have to say with you! So, without further adieu, this is for you and all the wonderful women in your life! Share the girl love!

Questions / Comments? Feel free to email us at! P.S. The images in this issue are not our own unless otherwise specified. Our cover image is from Times of India, who captured activists dancing in an event to support the “One Billion Rising” global campaign in New Delhi, India - a campaign to end violence against women.

the chics behind beutiful PATRICIA

From New York, living in Philadelphia. Educational background in Graphic Design. Passionate about making a difference.



Resides on Long Island, New York. Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. Loves being a part of the Beutiful movement.



From Melbourne, Australia, now living in NY. BA in Social Sciences, Policy and Research. Passionate about social education and helping to create a media literate world.

WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE? Our woman of the year Girls just wanna have...fundamental human rights! Riots, not diets! Tons of other cool stuff The Half-Naked Project Our Women’s History Month image collection A “thank you” from us Our previous issues and resources Info about Beutiful / Advertising / How you can get involved

OUR WOMAN OF THE YEAR my journey to self-acceptance and healing My name is Heather Lynn Colonna and I am twenty-seven years old. I now accept myself and love myself unconditionally; thanks to my faith in God. Strengthening my relationship with God was a choice I was faced with eleven months ago. I could either keep reeling from being raped when I was 18 years old OR heal from it and trust God and know that everything will be ok. Between the ages of 18 until 26 years old, I was literally walking around like a body without a soul in it. I felt like I wasn’t living life and I was not present in the moment - like I was a rose that had shriveled up and was not being taken care of properly. My spirit almost broke, but I survived. Over nine years,

I gained 110 pounds because I wanted to die. Faith saved me, healed my heart, healed my mind and healed my soul. I am now alive and I am healing beautifully and it is all thanks to my inner strength. Since I have become more spiritual, the biggest change in my lifestyle is the realization that life is beautiful. That life is about learning difficult lessons so that you can take a tragic event in your life, heal from it and help other people. You should always be kind to people - you never know what kind of day they are having and a little word of encouragement could change their day or lives for the better. There is a lot of love and positivity out there in the world; you just have to open your eyes and your heart to see it. Do you even notice when someone opens the door for you to come into a building or a store? Or a wonderful piece of advice when you are talking to someone? I learned to keep an open mind as a result of becoming more spiritual. All of my life, I had self esteem but I did not truly accept or love myself until I began my spiritual journey. That’s when I started to pray and meditate. I also decided to put God in control of my life and my health. I started to think positive, and put love and positivity into the world. In return, I started to love and accept myself.

heather lynn colonna I learned not to put too much emphasis on weight loss. Over the past year, I have lost 50 pounds of the weight I put on during those 9 years. I know it will stay off - and I am not on some fad diet that Hollywood promotes nor do I have unrealistic expectations for my body. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, forget Hollywood’s standard of beauty and body size. Follow the beat of your own drum and don’t try to emulate what you see. True beauty and self acceptance comes from the soul and not what you see on T.V. Just remember that with all the ups and downs you go through in your lifetime; your life is beautiful and make every day your heaven on earth.



No matter your age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, shape, size and race, etc. - you can always begin the journey of unconditionally loving and accepting yourself.

journey is a healthy body. Not necessarily a “skinny” body, but a body that can really engage in physical exercise and not get sick from a heart attack or cancer. I want to run, play tennis and go hiking but I am taking baby steps towards these goals. I want to live a long life and staying obese will cut my life in half. I know if I did not change my life spiritually, physically and mentally, I would have died. I wouldn’t have the chance to live past my thirties because of my family’s medical history. Being a positive person and living a positive life is a choice. I am not oblivious and I notice the world around me, but I only absorb the positive things. If something negative happens, I process it…but then I stay strong - mentally, physically and emotionally. I give my love and strength back to the world. I cannot wait to see where this health journey takes me. I love you all.

To sum this up, make sure to love yourself and others unconditionally. What I hope to get out of this health

“I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness by the rape and humiliation of us?” - Eve Ensler, “Over It”


Girls just wanna have... fundamental human rights!



We honor the women that have lived before us and fought for our rights. But if you follow politics and even through everyday experiences living as a woman, it’s clear that we still have a long way to go. Here are three things, that are relevant to recent news and events happening around the world, that WE can do to fight for true equality.

Don’t turn a blind eye to violence against women: Sexism exists, and it was more apparent than ever when the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was allowed to expire after 18 years in effect. Although VAWA has been recently reauthorized, the fact that it was even a discussion shows how unimportant violence against women is to authorities and society.

Support and appreciate the women in your life and around the world - we are all in this together: Fifteen year old Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistan girl, was attacked (shot in the head) by the Taliban just for wanting to get an education - something that many women don’t have to worry about. Until we are ALL equal, we are not. Malala was released from the hospital and has now been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We hope she gets it.

CNN recently published an article about ending rape culture in 2013. The terrible incidents of sexual violence (including public gang rape) cited in the article will leave you outraged. This graph, called “The Saddest Graph You’ll See Today,” was published by The Washington Post - it illustrates the number of rapes to those reported, facing trail, jailed, and falsely accused - which made up only 2%.

We must acknowledge and support women who take a stand - even if it does not directly affect us. Every activist makes a difference. Be political, take time to learn about the major issues and women in politics: The 113th Congress of the United States boasts the most racial diversity and number of women (including the first Buddhist Senator, the first Hindu and the first openly bisexual woman in the House). If you followed women’s health and politics in 2012, it was a crazy year as far as women’s rights were concerned. Women need their voices heard in politics because this is where all the life-changing decisions are made. If we don’t stand up for our rights and support those who fight for us, we give others the power to change them. If you can, find a part of politics or activism that you care about. It’s easier to start with issues that you have first-hand experience with. For example, the education system or health system?

No matter where you are or which stories resonate with you the most, global and local women’s issues are in need of passionate people. These three things are perfect ways to begin pushing women’s rights further.

VAWA AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS TODAY GLOBALLY “All women deserve to live free from fear,” Barack Obama said after signing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) earlier this month. This act was allowed to expire and it is disappointing that there was even a debate about whether or not this act should be signed again. Rachel Maddow probably put it best when she said,“If you are against the Violence Against Women Act, what does that mean you are for?” Our thoughts exactly.

stable for five years, the Justice Department said in a recent survey. In 2010, women and girls nationwide experienced about 270,000 rapes or sexual assaults, compared with 556,000 in 1995. However, advocates are careful not to suggest that the problem has become any less urgent. One in five women will still be raped within their lifetime. The work toward a more equal and peaceful world for women is far from over.

In the USA, we are lucky that this legislation was put back into action. However, the United States is not the only area where women’s rights need to be made a priority. Especially when we examine women’s rights from an international point of view. Across the board, women are not being valued, protected, given the same freedoms and opportunities, or being paid equally as men. Here is some summarized info about VAWA, where women and their rights stand globally, the areas of society that are failing women miserably, and what we can do to start changing things.

Globally, there are several horrific offenses being committed towards women that are actually EMBEDDED into the culture!

The Violence Against Women Act President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act, renewing a measure credited with curbing attacks against women a year and a half after it lapsed amid partisan bickering. After twice being renewed with little resistance, it was a surprise in 2011 when lawmakers let the act expire. At the heart of the clash were disagreements about expanded protections for gays and lesbians, Native Americans and illegal immigrants (are they not women, too?). This particular revitalization of the act in 2013 was an important win for gay rights advocates and Native Americans, who are now protected under the law (they were excluded before). The bill also includes new funding to reduce the backlog of DNA tests in rape cases and improve police facility storage across the country. The Violence Against Women Act has been credited with helping reduce domestic violence incidents by two-thirds since its inception in 1994. The rate of sexual violence against women and girls age 12 or older fell 64 percent in a decade and has remained

Here are some, thanks to Women’s Rights Worldwide: • Female Genital Mutilation • “Honor” Killings • Slavery • Forced Prostitution • Forced Marriage • Forced Abortion • Restricted Freedom of Movement • Harassment by “Morality Squads” • Infanticide What can we do? None of us can change the world by ourselves, but lots of people doing a little can make a real difference. The nations that tolerate the mistreatment of women must know that we are watching, and that we will not stand by. Most governments are run by men who may not have the desire to change things unless the world makes some noise. Let them know that we’re watching.

CLICK HERE for more info on what is happening to women worldwide and ways that we can help them!

“If you are against the Violence Against Women Act, what does that mean you are for?” - Rachel Maddow

“for the men wh “What if

all women were bigger and

stronger than you and thought they were smarter What if

women were the ones who started wars

What if

too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos and no K-Y Jelly What if

the state trooper

who pulled you over on the New

Jersey Turnpike was a woman and carried a gun What if

the ability to menstruate was the

prerequisite for most high-paying jobs

ho still don’t get it” by carol diehl What if

into the front of their jeans and articles

on the size of your penis

or “What your doctor won’t tell you

your attractiveness to women depended

What if

every time women saw you they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands

What if

like: “How to tell if your wife is unfaithful” about your prostate” or “The truth about impotence” What if

the doctor who examined your prostate was a woman and called you “Honey”

women were always making jokes

What if

bad sperm tastes

breath as she insisted that sleeping with

about how ugly penises are and how

What if

you had to inhale your boss’s stale cigar her was part of the job

you had to explain what’s wrong with

What if

greasy hands who stared at your crotch

company dress code required you

your car to big sweaty women with

in a garage where you are surrounded

by posters of naked men with hard-ons What if

men’s magazines featured cover photos of 14-year-old boys with socks tucked

you couldn’t get away because the wear shoes designed to keep you from running

And what if after all that,

women still wanted you to love them?”

ONE BILLION RISING: TAKING BACK V-DAY Valentine’s Day saw women from around the globe take up the cause of ending sexual violence. From London to Los Angeles to Johannesburg, street exhibitions, dance performances and musical rallies were all held under the slogan “One Billion Rising.” In New Delhi, revulsion over the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student gave added significance to the international campaign. The dancers and drummers that reverberated from Parliament Street in central New Delhi on Thursday night were meant to highlight a sobering United Nations assessment: that 1 in 3 women in the world, or roughly 1 billion, suffers some sort of violence at the hands of men in the course of her lifetime. Urging people to join the One Billion Rising campaign, Indian musician Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the late sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, revealed in a video that she had been the victim of sexual violence. “As a child I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man my parents trusted implicitly,” she said. “Growing up like most women I know I suffered various forms of groping, touching and verbal abuse… that I didn’t know how to deal with… and as a woman I find that I’m

frequently living in fear, afraid to walk alone at night… and you know, enough is enough… so join me. Let’s rise together.” High-profile cases Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, is the founder of One Billion Rising. She credits widespread coverage of both the gang rape in Delhi and the Taliban shooting of the young girl in Pakistan for spurring this global outpouring to end violence against women. Thousands danced in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Philippines. San Francisco saw flash mobs that drew people with eyecatching outbursts of dance and theatrics. In Delhi, the campaign’s Southeast Asia coordinator Kamla Bhasin called it a fight against “hatred” and “patriarchy” that deliberately coincided with February 14th. “On this St. Valentine’s Day, we are saying we don’t want violence. We want love. What kind of love? Just love. Loved based on justice, love based on equality, love based on mutual respect,” she said. CLICK HERE to read the full article!



Q & A:

As a woman, what change would you like to see in society?


“The victim blaming that society seems to have regarding women; ‘Well, if you weren’t wearing a skirt, you wouldn’t have been raped’ mentality.” - Jen Sporka

“What frustrates me is seeing women denied opportunities daily. I’d like to see no more male violence towards women.” - Carrie Melbourne

“Equal job opportunities in industries that are male dominated. I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to get a job in the beer industry just because I’m a woman and ‘because I’m a woman, I wouldn’t be taken seriously.’ And yes, that was really told to me in a job interview.” - Melissa Lynn Meier

“I would like to have or feel more equality to men. Like careers - police officer or fire fighter even the pay, men shouldn’t be paid more than women if it’s the same job. We should be equal all around.” - Bernadette Colli

“While I am PROUD to be a woman, I want to be known as a person. I believe the next step in feminism, is to not pound in that women need to have gender equality but that we should be ‘gender-blind.’ Many people look at women as inferior, not strong enough, not able to do certain tasks and I believe there are many strong powerful women who prove them wrong. But are we still segregated as far as men and women? Yes. And while we are amazed that we have come far enough that there is a black President…I want there to be a day when there is no amazement for who a person is but by the great qualities they possess. When we have a woman President, and I hope that to be soon, I also hope she is chosen not because she is a woman, not because the previous party in office messed up so much the latter seems more appealing - but for her qualities, her strength and leadership. Women are as capable as any person and the sooner we all see this the sooner we can move to being a ‘human race’ and see qualities in people rather than what they look like or what sex they are.” - Helen Tiller

“What frustrates me about being a woman is that there are still so many women out there that are enduring abuse and things that they should not have to endure. I wish I could help all these women. So it frustrates me to see abuse of women and especially children still go on in this country and in other countries. In this male-dominated world, things still do not seem to get done about it. It is frustrating to be a woman when women are still belittled in this day and age whether it be from their own environments or the media, the workforce, or in general. The day I stop being frustrated as a woman is when women have the rights and respect they deserve worldwide!” - Sara-Loretta Hardin


By Meftihe Achamyeleh, Beutiful

March 8, 2013 marked the 105th year anniversary of International Women’s Day. Women’s Day is by far my favorite day of the year that doesn’t involve presents. Since it’s inception in 1908 right here in New York City, Women’s Day has come to represent the celebration of women’s achievements and goals through fantastic events. Our mission for this day is to ensure a future for girls everywhere that is “bright, equal, safe and rewarding” (IWD official site). Ideally, we would do this every day, but at the very least we have this one fantastic day a year where the world has to sit up and take notice! Fantastic, right? In Australia, this day has only become more and more important, and more celebrated. People wear pins, make lunches and attend events at school, work and home. People donate to, and spotlight, their favorite women’s organizations and charities. Some of us even take the time to reach out to the influential women in our own lives and thank them for leading the way. So this year, I waited impatiently as all the usual social media outlets began to promote Women’s Day (and all the regular media ignored it) and I went on the official website to see what events were in my area. This was my first big shock. I now live in New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world and the birthplace of Women’s Day. Yet I could count on one hand the number of events being held. Unfazed, I decided to plan my own event at the nonprofit

where I work. As a huge and influential women’s organization with international reach, I felt confident that I could, even with short notice, plan a fantastic event. Without completely throwing my organization under the bus, let me just say it was quite a battle to get this thing going. Those who live locally will know the weather was terrible and the media was hyping up a storm (which I now realize just means it will snow - New Yorkers despise snow). So I was pressured quite heavily to change the event date. I was mortified. Reschedule International Women’s Day? But it’s an international date! I tried to reason with them - I mean, the whole world agreed on one day a year, surely I could hold up my end and stick to the date? Eventually they gave in, and the event was held to huge success (take that, snow!). But I was left wondering why I seemed to be the only one prioritizing this very important day. Another important goal for International Women’s Day is spreading the message of celebration and support for all women. Everyone wishes each other a Happy Women’s Day both in person and online. Google even releases a special doodle for the day, which is great in terms of promotion and discussion. What better way to get people talking than to force an image on their browser page? But this year I worried that the Google Doodle for International Women’s Day 2013 was worse than no Doodle at all.

Google’s Doodle (pictured above) was a step backwards for this day, and for women’s achievements all over the world. I read countless articles, posts and tweets raving about its “diversity” and how far we’ve come. How exactly is it diverse? On first glance, it appears to be what everyone is saying - a collage of women’s faces, in different colors, shapes and sizes. However you’ll notice on a closer look that all the faces actually have light skin and traditionally Caucasian features. Out of 27 faces, Google couldn’t be bothered to draw ONE African, Asian, Indian, Islander or anyone with naturally darker skin or different facial features? And they thought TINTING WHITE FACES would be the solution? Needless to say, I was enraged, and took to facebook and twitter to let the Women’s Day organizers, and anyone else who would listen, know that this image should not be celebrated. That, particularly in 2013, we could and should do better! I tried to explain that diversity means inclusion of all cultures, and a huge part of that is having a representation of my face, my friend’s faces, hell even our FIRST LADY’S face in this drawing. But you know - there’s a woman in a Hijab and another wearing cornrows so we should all just call it a day, right? Thanks for throwing us a bone, Google! For recognizing us mere women on our special day! It’s not like we make up half of the

2012 IWD Google graphic

world’s population or anything! Obviously, I’m still mad about this. And my point is, you should be, too. In 1908, at its inception, Women’s Day served as a reminder that the world was not yet equal, and women here in the US marched against their oppression and demanded equality. Today, thanks to the great achievements of women over the last century, Women’s Day has become less a negative, and more a day of celebration and encouragement. But let us not forget what we want and need to achieve. We are far from equality nationally, let alone internationally. In 1908, Women marched and shouted on the streets of this great city to get their message across. Today we can campaign and spread a message from the comfort of our homes and it will be heard on the other side of the world. So consider this your reminder to keep shouting.

Meftihe Achamyeleh is from Melbourne, Australia, now living in New York. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, Policy and Research. She is passionate about social education and helping to create a media literate world. Read more about her here!

2011 IWD Google graphic

Protesting women symbolically spin their green shawls above their heads to express their unity during the ‘Bangalore Chalo’ protest rally in Bangalore, India on Nov. 4, 2011.

“Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. Every nine seconds. Violence against women is the single greatest human rights violation of our generation.� - Sir Patrick Stewart

‘ONE MILLION MEN’ TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Sir Patrick Stewart stood in the center of the Diplomat Ballroom at the UN Hotel, pounding his fist methodically against a podium, each thump punctuated with a number (“One … two … three …”) until he got to nine. “Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten,” Stewart said. “Every nine seconds.” The 72-year-old British-born actor, best known for his roles in “X-Men” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” served as host for the launch of “Ring the Bell,” a global campaign calling on 1 million men to make 1 million “concrete, actionable promises” to end violence against women. “Violence against women is the single greatest human rights violation of our generation,” Stewart said. “This is a call to action - not an action that will make things better in six months’ time or a year’s time,” he continued, “but action that might save someone’s life and someone’s future this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning.” The event - coinciding with International Women’s Day and the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at United Nations headquarters was attended by about 200 assorted actors, activists, politicians, filmmakers and musicians, including Michael Bolton, who fought back tears while talking about his work lobbying for the extension of the Violence Against Women Act passed by Congress earlier this month. “We will continue to battle,” Bolton, a father of three daughters, said. Later, Stewart received a standing ovation after recalling the repeated violence he witnessed as a 5-year-old child at home.

“I became an expert,” Stewart said. “I knew exactly when to open a door and insert myself between my father’s fist and my mother’s body.” He said his father was “an angry and unhappy man who was not able to control his emotions - or his hands.” “The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured,” Stewart added. “She did not provoke my father - and even if she had, responding with violence is not an acceptable way with dealing with conflict.” Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings, who in January launched an initiative to combat domestic violence in his city, suggested “dialing up the shame” for men who commit violent acts against women. “You can call a man who hits a woman a lot of things,” Rawlings said, “but you can’t call him a man.” Don McPherson, a former NFL quarterback and college football Hall of Famer turned feminist, agreed. “We don’t raise boys to be men,” McPherson said. “We raise them not to be women, or gay men.” McPherson compared the fight to end violence against women with the one to end racism. “White people confronted white people to fight racism,” he said. “Men need to confront men.” CLICK HERE to read the full article and watch a video on what Richard Branson thinks about ‘Ring The Bell’!

Gender-based violence kills one in three women across the world and is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide, causing more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war.

“I think being a woman is one of the most powerful things in the world, I do not think we should hide from our sexuality or femininity and realize there is a strength in that that is incredible.” - Chantal Claret 

“Such is the tragedy of girls and women who by the structures of their upbringing and culture cannot own up to their body’s desires, even to themselves.” - Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“Rape jokes are not jokes. Woman-hating jokes are not jokes. These guys are telling you what they think. When you laugh along to get their approval, you give them yours.” - Thomas Millar, Meet the Predators

“Why is it that when people end up losing everything they own to an earthquake because they made the decision to live in California, there is a national outpouring of sympathy, but when women make the decision to take the last train home or take off their clothes for money, suddenly they have to accept the ‘consequences’?” - Celine Loup

“Let me reiterate that to you: If facials or any other sex act makes you feel bad, gross uncomfortable or degraded, then you should not do it ever. That is wrong. But men aren’t the only ones who like things they see in porn. In my case, there’s nothing degrading about receiving a desired sex act I’ve asked for as a consenting adult. Sex acts are degrading when they make you feel degraded - and nobody gets to decide that but you, not even feminism.” - Emily McCombs, Do Women Like Facials?

PAST AND PRESENT incredible women in history Some made music, some made noise, all made a difference. We celebrate women who have broken records, blazed trails, and suffered trials. While some are obvious choices and some obscure, all acted to increase our liberty, safety, and prosperity. We are thankful to these women for their bravery, perseverance and dedication to making a name for women in this world. CLICK FOR MORE

ten overlooked women in history We celebrate Women’s History Month with the stories of forgotten women artists, crusaders, and activists throughout history. These are some of the women you’ve never heard of, whose accomplishments have unfortunately been overshadowed by more popular names. We pay tribute to these women and what they have done for our world. CLICK FOR MORE

the world’s most powerful women in 2012 CLICK FOR MORE

For nine years FORBES has ranked the 100 most powerful women in the world. These are the women who adhere to the traditional classifications of power (political and economic might) and those who have risen to the top of the social and cultural landscape. It is our annual snapshot of women who impact the world.

why the united states needs to ratify the women’s rights treaty


Our politicians regularly cite America as a beacon of freedom and as a champion of the cause of human dignity across the globe. Yet, in at least one important instance, America lags behind. The United States remains the only industrialized democracy not to have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a watershed international agreement that protects women and girls from unfair treatment and abuse.

educated girls will change the world CLICK FOR MORE

Girl Rising is a film about nine girls from different countries and the impact that education would have on their lives. The film includes a slew of strong female actresses doing narrative work. This documentary from the trailer alone looks inspiring, emotionally engaging, and empowering. “No one is more vulnerable than an uneducated girl,” said Actress Freida Pinto, who is active with the organization behind the film.

the gender pay gap: how far have we come? CLICK FOR MORE

“Equal pay for equal work” sounds like a simple concept. But how close are we to actually achieving that standard? Neale Godfrey takes us back to the 1970s, through her career as one of the first female executives at The Chase Manhattan Bank. She speaks about how she encountered pay inequality simply because she was a woman. Neale talks about the state of inequality in the workforce now - and what we do to can keep closing the gap.

sexism in politics: ashley judd gets slut-shamed CLICK FOR MORE

It’s a sign of how anxious the right wing is about the possibility that Ashley Judd might run for Senate when the attacks on her have geared up before she’s even formally entered the race. The Daily Caller, which has been trying to frame Judd’s feminist beliefs as fringe, has launched the stupidest salvo against her: arguing that Judd, because she has done nude scenes as an actress, “has - literally - nothing left to show us.”

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” - Susan B. Anthony, 1896

“And when we frame all women as being someone’s wife, mother or daughter, what are we teaching young girls? We are teaching them that in order to

have the law on their side, they need to be loved by men. That they need to make themselves attractive and appealing to men in order to be worthy of protection. That their lives and their bodily integrity are valueless except for how they relate to the men in their lives.” - The Belle Jar, I am not your wife, sister or daughter. I am a person.


one billion rising This is the trailer to “One Billion Rising,” a film by Eve Ensler and Tony Stroebel dedicated to spreading awareness and ending violence against women globally. CLICK TO WATCH!

islamic practices that demean women Ghada Jamsheer, an activist for women’s rights in the Middle East, bravely denounces the religious beliefs in Islam that oppress women and allow deviant sexual practices on little girls as young as infants and toddlers.


violence against women is a pandemic

Actress Thandie Newton talks to Channel 4 News Presenter Jon Snow about the “One Billion Rising” campaign.


awra amba 2013 women’s day film

A message about equality from Awra Amba, the amazing egalitarian village in Northern Ethiopia, where men and women enjoy equality at home and at work.

A Muslim woman protesting the burka. In some countries, Muslim women are raped and beaten for showing even their noses or mouths. In some places, they get their hands chopped off for showing their wrists, or looking at a man.

Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country.

Riots, not diets!


On March 8, 2011, several hundred supporters of Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions as well as other women’s health care services, rallied to protest bills addressing reproductive rights filed in the Indiana General Assembly.

What began with a fight over defunding Planned Parenthood - a battle that nearly shut down the federal government - became a fierce debate over governmentmandated coverage for contraceptives. Abortion restrictions, which states previously passed with little fanfare, began blowing up into national controversies. In the 2012 campaign, women’s health played a role like never before. Women must be able to access health care without fear of violence, harassment, or intimidation. Young people must be able to get accurate information about their health and how to protect it. And women, men, and teens must able to make their own decisions about their health and their futures without government intrusion. Recently, Arkansas lawmakers overrode a veto earlier this month and gave the state the most restrictive abortion law in the country - a near-ban on the procedure from the 12th week of pregnancy onward that is certain to end up in court. Abortion rights proponents have already said they’ll sue to block the 12-week ban from taking effect.

Brazilian transgender model Lea T has recently signed onto United Colors of Benetton’s new global advert campaign to “fight against hate and discrimination in all its forms.�

portia simpson-miller The country’s two candidates for Prime Minister met for a televised debate. The moderator asked them, “What do you think of former Prime Minister Golding’s statement that homosexuals were not welcome in his cabinet and do you share his sentiments?” One candidate, Andrew Holness, dodged the question. His opponent, Portia Simpson-Miller, did not. “I do not support the position of the former Prime Minister, because people should be appointed based on their ability,” Simpson-Miller said. “No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.” She also said the government should revisit its anti-gay law. No Jamaican politician of her stature had ever said anything like this in public, especially while running for office. In very homophobic Jamaica, she called for full civil rights for gays and lesbians. She won the election.


By Jocelyn Watts

One of my problems with today’s society is that it is too easy to be yourself and then be scorned or hated for doing so. Being openly gay feels to be a present oxymoron and, in some ways, it feels that way to be a woman as well. What I have personally observed from my own experiences is that some of the world is ready for the true you; you are encouraged to stand bravely and walk out the door with pride every day. However, when you reach the outside world the real battle begins and your true self is now challenged. My experiences so far as a gay woman have lead me to believe that for the rest of my life, I will be challenged by some heterosexual male. In my own neighborhood, should I walk alone, it will be assumed by every heterosexual male that I am available. Now, I will not use the term “single”; “available” here would imply that at any given moment, I am ready for communication and possible sexual contact. Thus, I cannot walk alone without being called out of my name, hearing degrading cat-calls, or being subjected to a very short and meaningless conversation. The kicker is if I am walking with a male friend, then I am now protected and no longer available. In fact, I have noticed that the chances of being subjected to another male’s blatant disrespect and distaste are significantly lower when I am accompanied by a male friend. I suppose this would mean that males still have more respect for a male they do not know than a female that they also do not know. Am I wrong for expecting the same level of respect? One thing that I wish to point out is that when I walk down the street alone, I am still a lesbian. So many times have my male friends told me, “You have to remember you are still a girl,” when I complain about guys constantly hitting on me. My only defense to that can only ever be, “But I am not interested.” Honestly, if I was not a lesbian, then I would still not be interested in any male who uses a cat-call to initiate a conversation. But I guess that is my own personal problem. Standing up for myself, I wonder why it is that males assume that I am available. Do I live in a world surrounded by available women who enable and encourage the male’s image of the available woman? Do all available women walk alone, without a male companion to keep her safe?

Why is it that my body is a reason for me to be subjected to annoying and hurtful comments? Maybe it is the media I should blame. Men - some, not all - have this twisted view of women and what they should be. Through their eyes women are bitches and hoes, internet porn stars who sleep with the pizza delivery guy, or toys meant for humping purposes. Women equal video hoes and video hoes equal not real people. So thanks, media! This idea that women function as the ‘other’ in a man’s world seems to be the driving force behind the male’s distastefully arrogant behavior. Women do not have feelings, they do not feel fear, and they do not fight back because they are supposed to answer. The most difficult thing I have had to do as a feminine lesbian is walk down the street holding my feminine partner’s hand. Why? Well, as liberating as it feels to show affection for a woman I adore in public, the act seems just as binding. What I am getting at is that holding her hand comes with more negative societal consequences than holding his hand. Two feminine lesbians holding hands while walking down a street will generate a plethora of inappropriate comments from men. These men will either hit on one or both of us, they will be upset to see us together and uninterested in them, they will call us names or say very vulgar, inappropriate comments. Some men will be very angry because our ‘no’ destroys their fantasy. While walking with a “butch” lesbian, it feels as though I am still walking down the street with a male for the most part. Even with the social struggles a butch lesbian must face, it would seem that males are hesitant to challenge a butch lesbian, who in some form of dress code, fits the idea of the male role. The butch lesbian has broken through to the societal title of ‘other’ and crossed over to the side of the margin that has a level of acceptance and dominance, not granted to her feminine lesbian partner. What is also a big letdown for a feminine woman is the idea of the socially undermined ‘no.’ Let’s consider a generalized scenario. If a woman is sitting alone in a bar, then she is subjected to the idea of being available. A man approaches and offers to buy

her a drink in hopes of initiating conversation - a very common gesture. Now, should the woman refuse with a simple ‘no’ or a comment about being uninterested, then she must deal with the dominant male idea of ‘your no is not good enough.’ I am sure that many women can report an incident where a simple no is undermined by a man who is under the impression that she is merely being difficult and playing hard to get. However, if a woman was to tell the approaching man that she is awaiting the arrival of a boyfriend, then her answer is now more respectful and acceptable. Why? The thought process of a man may be to respect what belongs to another man, even a theoretical one who is not present, in hopes of avoiding conflict. It all boils down to the idea that a woman’s ‘no’ is available to the subconscious idea of having a lack of authority. Now I will expose the previous situation to a new light; the woman sitting at the bar is a lesbian. If she says no to the man, then her ‘no’ is undermined. If she says she is awaiting her girlfriend, then she may also be undermined and a rude comment about ‘joining in’ could be added. So what does she consciously deduce is the best copout? She will find it easier to deny the man by telling him that she is awaiting her boyfriend because it is less likely that this man will dispute her claim. Could you imagine how it feels to constantly lie to society just to feel at

ease about not being challenged? I know that it feels horrible to lie because I have been the woman in the latter situation, lying to a man that I have a boyfriend to make him stop hitting on me when I really just want to tell him that I am gay without him accusing, ‘There is no way that you’re gay.’ In daily, situational life, inequalities for women still exist. I’m hopeful for the day when men can all not expect a woman to be available without a man, a day when holding her hand is as respectable as holding his hand, a day when no really means no. As women (gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual, or transgender), we can no longer accept being the marginalized “other” in society because it is disrespectful to the progress already made. Women coexist with men and thus our equality should never be challenged. Jocelyn Watts is an aspiring artist with strong opinions. She graduated from Temple University with a BA in Psychology and is currently a drug and alcohol counselor for a nonprofit organization. Jocelyn also spends much of her time writing - a passion of hers since childhood. You can check out her work on her blog The Purkinje Project.

“‘No’ is a complete sentence.” - Oprah Winfrey

“FEMINISM is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke.’ It means you believe in equality.” - Kate Nash

eve ensler Eve Ensler is a Tony award-winning playwright, performer and activist. She is the award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Eve’s experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. She has devoted her life to ending violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. In 2013, Eve Ensler launched “One Billion Rising” on V-Day, a call for one billion women and all the men who love them to walk out of their jobs, schools, offices, homes on Feb. 14, 2013 and strike, rise and dance! Every city, town, village, person would determine what they were rising for - to end female genital mutilation, to remember their daughter’s rape, to stop sex slavery, to educate young boys and girls about non-violence in sexual relations. The response was enormous.

The Pink Sari Gang, or Gulabi (pink) Gang, is a group of several hundred vigilante women in India, committed to protecting women against social malpractice, corrupt administrators, and abusive husbands. A revolutionary movement in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state’s Banda area, the Gulabi Gang is striking fear in the hearts of wrongdoers and earning the grudging respect of officials. Leader Sampat Pal Devi, wife of an ice cream vendor, mother of five children, and a former government health worker, says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term. We are a gang for justice.” Two years after giving themselves a name and uniform, the women in the Pink Sari Gang have thrashed men who have abandoned or beaten their wives and unearthed corruption in the distribution of grain to the poor. According to 25 year old gang member Aarti Devi, “Men used to think the law didn’t apply to them but we are forcing a huge change.”

“There’s always someone asking you to underline one piece of yourself - whether it’s black, woman, mother, dyke, teacher, etc. - because that’s the piece they need to key into. They want to dismiss everything else.” - Audre Lorde


a photographer on a mission Anna, a 23 year old photographer born and bred in Dublin, Ireland, has something to say. Be on the lookout for Anna’s work in our future issues, but in the meantime here is what she revealed about her photography and how she uses it to make a statement about body image and the sexist portrayal of women in the media! Before I went into photography I had planned on becoming a professional singer. I attended a course for a while called ‘The Rock School’, but it wasn’t right for me. When I tried my hand at photography in my first photography course, I took to it like a fish to water. I loved how expressive and creative the medium was and how, once you learned the rules, they were made to be broken - with good reason, that is! I’m still extremely passionate about music and now intern with the Irish music magazine Hotpress.

My attraction to body image and feminism A big part of what I do and what I want to do is to create media to inspire a new generation who want to like what they see in front of the mirror, including all the little imperfections. Images are a very powerful way to convey feelings and messages. When something inspires or provokes me, whether that’s a feeling, a mood, or something more specific, a way I express myself is through the creation of images. I care deeply about connection with others so when I see people being treated unfairly, I use that energy to make something. I guess that’s why I like creating work on feminist topics. I hope to go on creating fashion-type imagery from a feminist perspective.

I really enjoy creating fashion photography from a feminist perspective. I’m also really interested in fantasy/fairy-tales. I would regard myself as an artist, and a dreamer (I think my left-handedness has a lot to do with this. Both my parents are lefthanded, too!). I wouldn’t know how to live without creativity in my life. Some of my inspirations include: Annie Leibovitz, Tim Walker and Frida Kalho. I also like creating self-portraits. When I began creating photographs, I realized I like to tell stories through my use of imagery. I guess that kind of led me to an interest in documentary style photography, especially when I began learning about feminism. I felt so inspired and fired up to create!

The “Back to Basics” Project I decided to try a week without makeup. The thought came to me when it was taking me quite the time to get ready just to go to the shops. I thought, ‘Feck it, it’s time for a detox!’ And so committing to seven days bare faced, I prepped my face for the challenges ahead.

When I take photographs, by main concern is the story I’m trying to convey to my audience. I want the viewers to feel something. I work to create powerful contemplative imagery.

The first night was the hardest. I met a friend at the cinema to see ‘The Avengers Assemble’. By the time we got to the ticket booth, our showing was sold out. We decided to get tickets for the next showing and headed to the local bar.


Usually, a trip to the cinema will have me in the ladies room afterwards with hot cheeks, still visible under the beige of foundation. And when I drink the same thing tends to happen. So off we went with a skip in our step to the bar and ordered a pitcher of ‘Sex on the Beach’ for two. While under the guise of the low lighting and enjoying the banter and flowing alcohol thoroughly, we made our way back towards the cinema entrance. We headed to the ladies room first, and when I saw myself in the mirror, I was pretty shocked. Being so used to seeing perfected faces in women’s magazines and on the streets, it was really hard to find the strength to love myself in that moment.


After the movie I was still glowing, but I had to accept it. I had left my makeup at home in case I felt weak and wanted to continue to hide. I was proud of myself for toughing it out. I had worried that people were staring at me, but reminded myself that most people are so focused on what others think of them, that they barely have time to notice other peoples’ insecurities. From that night on, it got better. I think because that was pretty much worst-case scenario, things just had to improve.


But since I had committed to the project, I pushed on. I thought to myself, “This is the point of the project. I am going to face challenges and have to learn how to overcome them.”

Positive things that came out of the experiment: • I was taking better care of my skin instead of just focusing on the makeup aspect. • When I saw myself I wasn’t taken aback by how I looked without makeup. I think because we are so used to going out into the world wearing makeup, we have a fear our faces are not beautiful without it. I found that my face didn’t suddenly fall off and I didn’t look like a different person without makeup on. • I had more time. I was saving 20 mins + by not putting my makeup on, and I wasn’t hovering back to the mirror numerous times to check my makeup was still in place before I left the house. • I was beginning to accept myself exactly as I am and loving my uniqueness. By trying this, you will notice your own benefits from the experiment. All you need is a bit of courage and an empty makeup bag. I would definitely recommend giving it a go! The makeup-free photoshoot was inspired by my own awakening from this experiment. I have to admit the models seemed keen on the idea of the shoot but were a bit nervous about absolutely no makeup/ hair extensions etc. The ladies did however take the plunge and braved the camera without any cosmetic help. The photographs revealed the young women still looked like themselves without makeup. So far from what I’ve heard, one of the girls has said she is really glad she took part in the shoot and feels inspired by her photos. This lady is a makeup artist so I felt particularly proud I could help her feel this way.



The “Sexism in The Media” Project As it was my intention to further myself as a fashion photographer, I filled my visual diary, a source of inspiration for all photographers, with fashion images from online and glossy magazines. They inspired and provoked me. I began to realize I was feeling bad for some reason about it and when I analyzed why, I found that it was because most of the images weren’t giving me positive representations of women. I began exploring the objectification of women in the media and found a lot of disturbing material. This led me to take a number of adverts that used extreme female objectification to sell products and come up with my own alternatives. I felt that by exploring these alternatives with male models I could express how we often overlook the exploitation of women’s bodies to sell products. Sex doesn’t sell. Women’s bodies do. This is not equality. These photographs were the product of my end of year exhibition project. The reaction overall was positive and most people really liked it, which I was very happy about.

To see more of Anna Kerslake’s work, you can visit her website or her photography facebook page!


meliha varesanovic SARAJEVO, BOSNIA - 1995: In the dangerous suburb of Dobrinja, Meliha Varesanovic walks proudly and defiantly to work during the Siege of Sarajevo. Her message to the watching Serb gunmen who surround her city is simple, “You will never defeat us.” During the siege of Sarajevo (1992-1995), this woman, this photo, became a symbol. A symbol for the spirit of women from and in Sarajevo. A symbol for the people’s resistance. She walked down the notorious “Sniper Alley.” She and other women of Sarajevo refused to become caricatures of the war. A war in which mass rape was used as a tactic to destroy the people’s self-worth, pride, dignity.

“Does it come as a surprise, that I dance like I’ve got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs?” - Maya Angelou

what do you call a woman who has a lot of sex? HER NAME.

“‘Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes. ‘Friend zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no. And ‘bitch’ is attacking women for their right to call you on it.” - Unknown

“I know of young women who have been returned to their families by their husbands because they did not bleed on de-floweration.” - Shereen El Feki on what she learned while researching her book Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life In a Changing Arab World

“So the next time someone tells you that ‘boys will be boys,’ that guys just absolutely cannot help themselves from staring, catcalling, or groping people, or, worse, that it’s your fault for wearing those shorts/that dress/ something that announces that you have a body and are not made of pure air, don’t believe them. Boys will be what we want them to be. And we have the power to decide what that is.” - Tyler for Rookie Magazine LIORA K PHOTOGRAPHY

STAND UP FOR WOMEN why does feminism scare people?


Women now outnumber men on college campuses and legally can pursue any career, but socially we are still enslaved by antiquated perceptions of what a woman should be like. The dictionary’s definition of a feminist is someone who “advocates social, political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.” The mistake people often make is thinking that being a feminist means you want power for women, that you support women. But in reality, the word refers to equality between the sexes, not to women over men. When did we let “feminist” become such a negative word?

the best birth control is... for men


The perfect contraceptive would go something like this: no babies, no latex, no daily pill to remember, no hormones to interfere with mood or sex drive, no negative health effects whatsoever, and 100 percent effectiveness. The funny thing is, something like that currently exists. The procedure called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) in India takes about 15 minutes with a doctor, is effective after about three days, and lasts for 10 or more years. Why haven’t we heard about this?

kotex: breaking and ending the cycle of silence CLICK FOR MORE

Get this: Over three-quarters of girls feel like they shouldn’t talk about their vaginas or vaginal health in general. More than half of girls say that most girls their age are misinformed about vaginal health. What is this, the 1950s? Even though we’re living in the 21st century, it’s easy to have negative feelings about our bodies when society is busy building myths and treating vaginas like some crazy big secret. Kotex is changing that.

‘re-envisioning the female body’ project


The University of Cincinnati gave the green light to a pro-choice group to put on an outdoor display of female genitalia posters on campus amid vocal opposition from anti-abortion activists. The college’s LGBTQ Alliance and UC Feminists say the 12 photos of vaginas are meant to cause discussion aimed at discrimination and exploitation of women’s bodies. The project called ‘Re-envisioning the Female Body’ also wanted to counter a pro-life demonstration on campus last year that featured giant posters of aborted fetuses.

rape is not inevitable: zerlina maxwell, men and hope CLICK FOR MORE

Of all the feminist ideas that draw ire, one would think that “don’t rape” is a fairly noncontroversial statement. It seems not. Zerlina Maxwell, political commentator and writer, went on Fox News’ Hannity to talk about the myth that gun ownership can prevent rape. Maxwell made the apt point that the onus should not be on women to have to arm themselves but on men not to rape them. Then the floodgates of misogyny opened.

why seth macfarlane’s misogyny matters CLICK FOR MORE

Seth MacFarlane made a whole bunch of sexist, reductive jokes at the Oscars. It’s frustrating enough to know that 77 percent of Academy voters are male. Or to watch 30 men and 9 women collect awards that night. But MacFarlane’s boob song, the needless sexualization of a little girl, and the relentless commentary about how women look reinforced, over and over, that women somehow don’t belong.

henry rollins’ thoughts on the steubenville rape case CLICK FOR MORE

Henry Rollins has done everything, he was in a punk band, had a tv show, appeared in films, and has campaigned for LBGT rights. He’s outspoken and proactive. He shared his thoughts on the Steubenville rape case verdict and we encourage you to read his blog post. It is an interesting point made on the events in Steubenville, the prison/juvenile system and makes you think about what sentencing really does.

the fight against street harassment


Dhruv Arora lives in Delhi, India, and he’s had enough. Enough of rape, enough of harassment and enough of the belief that what women wear has something to do with it. And so, in January of last year, Arora and a friend, outraged by the story of a 22-year-old woman raped by a cab driver, then blamed for it in the press, decided to do something about it. They created a Tumblr with a simple request: send in photos of what you were wearing when you were harassed on the street, along with your story.


tavi gevinson: still figuring it out

Tavi Gevinson (16) is editor-in-chief and founder of, a site for teenage girls. In this TED talk, she speaks about the lack of complex female characters being portrayed in entertainment, and the complexity of being a “feminist.”


i’m a feminist because

Going under the name SoundlyAwake on his youtube channel, this man explains why he’s a feminist in response to people asking him why he has a beauty channel “if he is a boy.” He examines gender roles and questions why more people aren’t upset about gender stereotypes.

Why do boys call other boys ‘girls’ when maybe they’re not as strong or when they do something ‘feminine?’ Why is that even an insult? Does being a girl make someone less of a person? Are girls just inferior jokes? And it’s not just boys - girls use it, too. Stop! Stop perpetuating your own discrimination! Would you let your son play with dolls? Or your daughter play with toy trucks? Would you let your son wear a pink shirt if he wanted to? Or get your daughter a football? If you said no, why not? Because kids at school might make fun of them? Because they’re not adhering to societal gender roles? Maybe as parents, we should start educating our children otherwise. - SoundlyAwake, I’m a feminist because

“I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” - Iggy Pop

Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 11, 2011, millions of Egyptian women from every social class, profession and creed took part in mass demonstrations against the Egyptian government. The Egyptian Revolution stands near unprecedented in the nation’s history, but the female role within the struggle even more so. Beyond participating, women took an active role in organizing, demonstrating, and supporting the successful revolutionary movement. Egyptian women have a rich history of political activism and participation. Political activism has helped Egyptian women win basic freedoms, such as the right to unilateral divorce, suffrage, quota-protected representation in parliament, and the criminalization of female genital mutilation. The protests in 2011 nonetheless represent a new depth, breadth, and blending of participation. As Deena Kahlil, Cairo resident and participant in the protests told the HPR, “Women’s activism in Egypt is nothing new. What wasn’t expected, though, was that you didn’t see the same faces that you see at every protest. Instead, you saw a much wider spectrum of women. You saw young girls and mothers, of all socio-economic classes.” - Caitria O’Neill, Harvard Politics

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” - Gloria Steinem

a girl should be 2 things: 1. WHO SHE IS 2. WHAT SHE WANTS

ALEEAH GOULD it’s not a just a “boy’s sport” This is the story of Aleeah Gould, a 14 year old female wrestler. We were really pleased to speak with Aleeah and her mother, Mindy, to talk about Aleeah’s wrestling career, gender stereotypes and the strength it takes to stay on top in a male-dominated sport. It all started at age 6 - when Aleeah’s father (an assistant high school wrestling coach) had brought her 4 year old brother into the kids’ club to get him started in wrestling. My husband and I had long debated girls wrestling. I knew he didn’t plan to have her wrestle, but I knew my daughter’s feisty side so I said we would go as a family to sign her up. When we were there, she said, “Daddy, why can’t I wrestle?” That was all it took.

She went on to wrestle in the California Age Group Wresting Association (CAGWA) from age 6 to 9. She loved wrestling even though she didn’t always win. She always fought hard, she rarely was pinned but she didn’t win that often. In all her time in CAGWA, she only wrestled a girl once toward the end. The majority of the time there were only boys on the team and at her events. A match that stands out in my mind is the one time a boy pulled her hair - she was so mad, she pinned him! From then on I would tell others to pull her hair! When she wrestled girls, she usually did very well but back then, there were only two girls’ meets in California per year and rarely were there girls her age/size to wrestle.

Aleeah stretching with her wrestling team, who have been extremely supportive.

Accomplishments: - 2nd CAUSA Folkstyle State Wrestling Tournament Brazilian Jui Jitsu: - 1st in No Gi NAGA West Coast Championship, Las Vegas (2012) - 1st in Gi NAGA West Coast Championship, Las Vegas (2012) Wrestling: - 3rd Girl’s State Middle School (2012) - 4th in California World Challenge 55lb. Midget 9-10yo; Clovis West High School, Fresno (2006) (only girl!) - 1st in Southern California Girls’ Wrestling Championships (2006) - 4th in Girl’s State, San Jose (2005) - 5th in California World Challenge, Clovis West High School (2005) (only girl!)

Her dad was always positive and encouraging. However, he eventually suggested she try another sport. He convinced her she wouldn’t be able to beat the boys in upper body strength in the future. About a year ago, Aleeah started training in Brazilian Jui Jitsu (BJJ) at Riverside Submission. When she started thinking about classes in high school, I suggested she try wrestling at least her freshman year as it was the best time for her to enter a sport. She had wanted to but there was a lot of back and forth about whether it was best for her. Her first tournament was 8th grade girls’ state and there were really tough competitors there. These girls had been wrestling for a while. Rather than getting down, she was encouraged to be as strong or better. She started training and during her high school season, she won more matches (mostly against boys) than she lost. I believe her BJJ training gave her that aggressive piece she needed. Aleeah was very inspired by this - and so was her dad! She gets a lot of compliments on how

aggressive she is and often other coaches will tell her dad they can’t believe she is only a freshman. I can’t wait to see her have a few years under her belt so we can really see what she can do. We wondered how well she would be doing today if she hadn’t had the opportunity to train since she was six. At that point we purchased wrestling shoes for her little sister, who is six now. As her mom, I pulled her out of a club when she was little because the coach would tell the boys (in front of her) that they wrestled like girls. I thought it sent her the wrong message. The biggest changes I see in her sport are the numbers of girls wrestling. There are a lot of really tough girls out there and I am excited to see her getting back into her sport. To me, Aleeah is a hero because she never was afraid to stand up and be different, even with TONS of opposition. I am so proud of her paving the way for her little sister and other girls. All of the female wrestlers at this point should be commended for it. They have to deal with a lot. Luckily, Aleeah is pretty good about blocking out any of the negative stereotypes.

“I work to get better and improve myself. It is always me that I am competing against. When I wrestle some boys, they may be stronger so I have to have more technique and wrestle smarter. In wrestling, gender is always an issue. There have been certain wrestling clubs I wasn’t allowed to go to because I was a girl. Some boys are more aggressive because they are worried about being beaten by a girl. Some will laugh before a match or spend more time pulling off my hair cover than wrestling me. However, I have had much more support and more positive than negative this year wrestling. I struggle with juggling a lot of activities. I am currently Freshman ASB class president, have a 4.11 GPA in 7 classes, and participate in multiple sports. I have to be very organized so I get my schoolwork done and have time for all of my practices. Unfortunately, getting hurt this year mid season was my biggest challenge. I really struggled with not being able to train and I was frustrated having to wait for healing time. I just want to have fun and do well in my sport.” - Aleeah As her mother, I feel encouraging her to do a sport she loves in spite of outside criticism is the most important thing. Aleeah has always loved wrestling and fought to do it. This year when she wrestled a boy at a tournament, she came off the mat and said, “Mom, he called me a bitch.” This was postmatch when they were shaking hands. She had not only pinned him, but let him up a few times to practice takedowns. I told her, that was the ultimate compliment. She smiled and was satisfied. We have always taught her to be graceful and proud and she handled it fine. When she saw a wrestler throwing a fit and crying over a match, Aleeah was appalled. We’ve taught her that she has to come in even tougher. They want to judge you for being a girl don’t give them that! When she was little, there were a few matches that she cried out of frustration. Her dad always scooped her up and took her out of the

gym to talk to her and make her feel better. He never wanted to give them that, either. Today, she is strong. After a match she lost, she had a massive asthma attack and was in tears because it scared her. Her coach thought she was upset over the loss. She was irate and wanted to be sure he knew what had happened. I really don’t think I need to encourage her anymore, she can handle herself. Our job as parents is just to step back and let her enjoy herself and do what she loves.

Follow Aleeah’s wrestling page on facebook for more updates!


By Hayley Miller, MS, RD, LDN

As a therapist you meet all kinds of people and learn about their experiences. The problems I see with women are very similar to those that I see with men. The only difference is the ways the different genders deal with those problems. I don’t want this article to include stereotypes of women, so I will simply describe my experience of working with women with mental health and drug problems. I choose to work with people of all ages with anxiety, depression, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, psychosis, drug addiction, eating disorders, intermittent explosive disorder, and ADHD. I have the most compassion for individuals struggling with these problems, which makes me effective with them as their therapist. Other therapists will choose different diagnoses to work with so their populations of people will present very differently. I am letting you know this first so that you can see where I am coming from in this discussion of women.

“We have a bad habit of asking women to only be one thing whether that’s the good girl or the bad girl, the life of the party or the bookworm - and we can’t deal with women who straddle those divides or ask us to think differently about what a woman should be. We find only certain types of femininity acceptable

The diagnoses I choose to work with are seen in both genders equally but there are different ways that women tend to deal with these issues when compared/contrasted with men. In general, the women I see most often present with issues managing their emotions and experience trauma in much higher percentages than men. Trauma refers to any type of abuse - either physical, emotional, or sexual. Many of the women I work with present in therapy as a result of being a victim of trauma. They learn to deal with their lives by restricting their emotions, which causes the emotions to come out in their behaviors because they can’t keep them secret anymore. Women also experience issues with self-esteem in higher rates than men in my experience. Women seem to follow their emotions more than men in making decisions. Women seem to put higher stock in how they look to the public and their weight. Women are objectified more than men, and women report lower self-esteem in my experience. Women with low self-esteem in therapy don’t have much confidence that they will reach recovery. The positives that I see in women in therapy are their abilities to discuss problems and come up with solutions. Women are more open to discuss their problems, and some are less guarded than men.

and marginalize identities that we feel are regressive, un-feminist or ‘fake.’ It’s not enough that a woman is strong, beautiful or successful; she has to be the right kind of those things, or she’s dismissed. There is no one way to be female.” - Nico Lang, Thought Catalog

“If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” - Bell Hooks Women are better at taking care of their children and are more focused on family issues than the men I see in therapy. Women seem to have a resiliency that I do not see as often in the men I work with. Some women I see have been through terrible trauma and abuse but they are still willing to seek help and look foward to a positive future. My thoughts for women to keep in mind include looking at the positives we possess. We are the caretakers traditionally; we can multitask, work fulltime and raise children. We can bear incredible pain and still carry on. We can use our emotions to listen to others and help them. We as women have been disadvantaged since the very beginning of time but we have brought life into the world and raised future generations. We have made mistakes and been in bad situations, but we still live to tell our stories. Women are blessed that we can describe emotions and learn to deal with the most difficult ones such as anger and sadness. The women I see in therapy are so brave to tell me their stories, and I thank them for that. Even though so many people in their lives have told them that their concerns don’t mean anything, they still strive to recover and move on from their traumas.

We as women have thought our voices weren’t important for so long, but brave women from this past century have fought for our rights. We need to continue their work and teach the future women of the world that we are not going to stand for anything less than equal. We need to fight against the stereotypes of women and remember all of the positives we do have. There are so many things we are more skilled at but we don’t see it. We don’t need to be protected; we need to be treated as equals. This starts with us seeing ourselves as equals. We can do anything men can, and we aren’t much different from them. We were given great gifts and talents; we just need to think we are worthy to share them with the world. Resiliency is something that is in all of us, and we just need to nurture it and allow it to grow. Hayley Miller, MS, RD, LDN is a psychotherapist and registered dietitian working for Rehab After School and Seeds of Hope programs. She runs intensive outpatient programs for adults with eating disorders and adolescents with drug addictions in the northeast section of Philadelphia. If you or someone you know lives in the Philadelphia area and is looking for an eating disorder or drug addiction outpatient program, please visit Seeds of Hope or Rehab After Work.

tatyana fazlalizadeh “Stop Telling Women to Smile” is a street art project by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh that addresses gender-based street harassment. Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women worldwide. This project attempts to take women’s voices, and faces, and put them in the street - creating a presence for women in an environment where women are often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe. The project is saying that street harassment is not okay. That feeling entitled to treat and speak to women any type of way, is not okay. That demanding a woman’s attention is not okay. That intruding on a woman’s space and thoughts is not okay. That requesting for a woman to “smile for you” is not okay - because women are not outside on the street for the purpose of entertaining and pleasing men. That it’s quite possible women are wonderful, happy, intelligent human beings that simply want to move throughout the world comfortably and safely while wearing their face however the hell they want to.

“All women deserve to live free from fear.” - Barack Obama



By Lizabeth Wesely-Casella I don’t have a sister but I consider myself to be part of a larger sisterhood. I consider it my obligation to treat you like that sister and tell you honestly, shame is not your friend, it is not your shadow and it will never let you be happy. I consider it my privilege to tell you, you deserve to be happy and you were born perfect. There are 2 kinds of shame - shame that protects you and shame that belittles you - so it’s not necessarily correct to say that all shame is bad. Shame feels bad, but certainly one type of shame is far more destructive than the other. For example, if you’ve hurt someone purposefully, shame is a healthy response. If you look at your body, your clothes, the behaviors you struggle in silence against and you feel shame; that is destructive and must be quieted. Let me repeat, the shaming voice that says you are inadequate, you are not good enough, that you don’t deserve to be happy and that nobody understands you; it can be quieted. It MUST be before you can be happy with yourself. If I had a sister I would want her to know that tidbit, not only in her head but in the root of her being. Every time she stands in front of the mirror, texts that partner that treats her badly or pulls out her credit card to buy that pair of jeans or shoes or makeup just to feel better about herself, I’d want her to know the distinction between the two types of shame and to know that she doesn’t deserve either kind. The first type does not apply and the second is manufactured toxicity. If I had a sister I would want her to know too that when the episodes of self loathing, binge eating,

binge shopping, binge behavior of any kind, when those episodes were over and the shame and isolation come in to crush her, that she doesn’t have to cycle any longer. Also that maybe, in order to change the behaviors that make her ashamed, she would be better served by finding an outlet to quiet the voice that tells her she’s shameful. There’s no doubt in my mind that if I had a sister we’d have this conversation at some point. The statistics of shame-based behaviors are stacked against us. • More women report battling Binge Eating Disorder (BED) than men by a wide margin • About 6% of the American population suffers from binge shopping (also known as compulsive shopping and overshopping), and women report this at a rate slightly higher than men • Binge Drinking studies show that women report slightly less for overall episodes but comprise the segment “Drunkarexia” (drinking rather than eating for nourishment) almost exclusively • Trichotillomania, the act of compulsive hair pulling, affects nearly 5% of the population with the vast majority of sufferers being women.


Considering that these impulse control problems deal heavily in the realm of mental health, the likelihood that my sister would suffer from only one of these behaviors is less likely than the probability she would suffer from a few of these behaviors combined. Comorbidity, as stigmatizing as that term is, is the rule and not the exception.

where members can feel understood and where nobody diminishes the feeling of being out of control or in despair. It is a forum to discuss, learn and share experiences with others in groups or in private. There are no advertisements, no weight control program pop-ups, and no beer ads. It’s a safe and supportive website for information-sharing and community.

So, with this in mind, what else would I want my sister to know? I would want her to know that there are a wide variety of options for her to find relief from the voice of shame. There are professional resources to help her to manage the behaviors and there are both online and offline resources to give her a place to feel accepted by others who battle similar shame-based behaviors. Clearly, more women battle these ‘secret flaws’ than is readily apparent, so there truly is a culture of understanding to be tapped into.

This is an interactive community offering member-tomember support, forums, profile areas and behavioral charting tools to help members track their episodes. Also featured are professional Q&As with leading experts working with impulse control and binge disorders, member-written articles, human interest series and a blog. Members can discuss whatever binge or impulse control issues they have either privately within their profiles, or in a group setting in the forums. is a place to replace feelings of shame and frustration with a sense of community, shared knowledge and empowerment.

Next, what I’d want my sister to know is that I built a place for her and other women like her. To share what needs to be shared in the moment of crisis. To share moments of triumph and tools for battle. To come together to support and gain strength from each other anytime they need to. I would want her to know that I built that for us. I have experience with 3 of the 4 behaviors listed and I would want to share that with my sister as well.

I’ve built an online support network for people who experience binge episodes and battle impulse control problems. I did it because I couldn’t find the peerto-peer level support when I needed it. The website is - a social network created to support people who struggle with bingeing and impulse control disorders, specifically binge eating, binge drinking and binge shopping. It is a place

I hope you find peace on your journey and beauty every time you think of who you are.

Lizabeth Wesely-Casella is an advocate for people with binge and impulse control disorders. She is the Founder of; she writes guest posts and speaks about the value of online community support, as well as her experiences with binge eating, binge drinking and Trichotillomania. Follow her blog at Blog and join the forums community. You can follow her on Twitter (@BingeBehavior), Facebook, LinkedIn, or email her at!

“In this cult of female martyrdom, where caring for our own well being is always last on our to-do list, it is easy to feel selfish when we do care for ourselves. But being kind to yourself, banishing negative body-talk, taking necessary time away from work, feeding your body with food that makes it happy, taking a morning for spiritual growth, doing one activity you enjoy just because you enjoy it - these things are not selfish! For so long, women have been socialized around the idea of ‘guilty pleasures.’ Female pleasure - whether it is related to sex, food, or even an activity - must be categorized into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories. We are taught to feel ‘guilty’ for ‘indulging,’ but often these indulgences are normal, healthy expressions of desire. Common guilty pleasures include: food seen as ‘bad,’ like cake, french fries, or chocolate; reading an erotic romance novel; skipping the gym to watch Netflix in bed; taking a bubble bath to decompress rather than tackling your mountain of homework. These guilty pleasures are fairly normal activities. For women, things that we enjoy doing are labeled ‘indulgence,’ and we chastise ourselves for being ‘bad’ if we do them. Indulgence sounds dirty, but most of our ‘guilty pleasure indulgences’ are simply acts of self-care. Self-care is not bad. Self-care is not selfish. Our lives do not have to follow the script of obedience. - Brenna McCaffrey, On The Radical Act Of Self-Care


By Bernadette Colli, LMT

Are you the type of person that is constantly doing favors for other people and never get the time to really do something for yourself? Sure, there are people out there that need a helping hand but don’t let anyone fool you. Some people will notice and take advantage of what a giving person you are and use it against you. This compromises your time and energy, leaving you drained and stressed. In these cases, it’s ok to say “no” - and it’s a skill worth learning! You have to set some time for yourself and your wellbeing. You deserve it! Whether you’re a working woman, full-time mommy, or even both, you need some time for your interests and the activities that make you feel relaxed. Spend time with friends. Read a book. Make a day of pampering. Get your hair, manicure, and pedicure done, then finish off with a massage! Massage therapy is a GREAT way to start caring for yourself, and as a Licensed Massage Therapist, I have seen the results firsthand in my clients. Massage therapy is not only a great way to really get “you time” - it also releases stress, makes you feel cared for, and is great for your wellbeing! Here are some of the benefits: • Alleviates low-back pain and improves range of motion • Assists with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shortens maternity hospital stays

• Improves the condition of the body’s largest organ - the skin • Increases joint flexibility • Lessens depression and anxiety • Promotes tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks • Pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation • Reduces post-surgery adhesions and swelling • Reduces spasms and cramping • Relaxes and softens injured, tired, and overused muscles • Releases endorphins - amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller • Relieves migraine pain. Just remember, you wake up every day with yourself and go to bed every night with yourself. You need to make your happiness and health a priority. So start taking control, be happy, and most importantly - love yourself! You will soon find out who appreciates your help and who takes advantage of your kindness. We only live once. Start eliminating the negativity and surround yourself with positivity!

• Eases medication dependence • Enhances immunity by stimulating lymph flow the body’s natural defense system • Exercises and stretches weak, tight, or atrophied muscles • Helps athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts

Bernadette Colli is a Licensed Massage Therapist in New York, graduate of New York College of Health Professionals. Currently working at Massage Envy. Contact her!

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” - Sophia Loren

“how society shapes us” by m.k. This is how society shapes us

put makeup on in the bathroom

green eyes

you if you looked perfect, like them

There once was a young girl with who wore her soft blonde hair in braided pigtails

and discuss how boys would only like next day she arrived with red lips,

short shorts and no braided pigtails.

At the age of seven,

At the age of fourteen,

stand in front of the mirror before school

for the first time

she watched her older sister and pinch her stomach with a disgusted face

neither of them at breakfast that morning At the age of nine,

she watched her older brother

she watched her father hit her mother her mother cried when she saw her standing in the doorway

and told her daddy didn’t mean it

the next year, she told herself that

her boyfriend didn’t mean it, either

make fun of a girl with glasses

At the age of sixteen,

she went home and hid all her

with straight blonde hair, red lips,

for reading on the bus books in the attic

At the age of twelve,

she watched the older girls at school with straight hair and short skirts

she was paper thin and empty

purple flesh and lifeless green eyes while staring at her reflection in the bathroom mirror

she thought to herself, “at least I’m normal.”

ACCEPTING MY PERFECTION By Lauren Johnson, Beutiful

Like most women, I’ve always struggled with my weight. When I was younger I was always the bigger kid. By the time I hit my teens, I was a size 16 and insecure. I always wore black and loose fitting clothing to hide my body. I felt ashamed and completely disgusted with myself. I had zero confidence. I convinced myself, through the words of others, that no one would ever love me the way I was. I missed out on life experiences because I was so convinced that any guy who paid me any attention was just doing it to humiliate me. I took diet pills and drank diet shakes to help me lose weight but in the end it never worked. I looked at my curves as a curse and my breasts as an enemy. I hated my chest, I always tried to hide it. I didn’t just wake up one day and think, “I hate the way I look.” It was burned into my head from the time I was a child. Having family members that always make you feel like you’re not good enough because you look a certain way is a horrible feeling to carry through life. Even now, I still can’t have a fulfilled relationship with the person who influenced me to hate myself so much. However, I was lucky compared to so many young people who get relentlessly tortured every day about their sexual orientation, self expression, or physical make up. I became my own bully and worst enemy. My most deep-seated self-hate turned into self-harm. Any time I would feel ashamed or emotional, I would cut myself. It became an addiction for me. Eventually my mother found out and sent me to a therapist. Therapy didn’t work for me - I had convinced myself too much that I knew how to take care of my emotions through physical pain. I continued to self-harm all the way up until my second year of college. That was when things began to change for me. There was this guy in my college classes who would always compliment me and be attentive. He eventually confessed his feelings for me and I told him I felt the same way he did. I was completely filled with joy when we became a couple. Unfortunately at the same time I was filled with fear that this goodlooking, fit guy was just doing this to humiliate me in front of the class. I reluctantly went to school the following day and nothing happened. This guy openly displayed his affection and made his feelings know to everyone. I was finally allowing myself to

have all the life experiences I had missed out on. He accepted me for the way I was and showered me with compliments about the way I looked. I had never been told so many amazing things. He made me feel as if I was the only woman in the world. I just couldn’t believe that he wanted to be with me. The early years of our relationship were wonderful and at times strained. I always kept in the back of my head that he would leave me because of the way I looked. I was convinced he wanted to be with a “smaller” woman. But he stood by me and kept telling me how much he adored me the way I was. I started to believe all the things he told me. I WAS perfect. I DID look great in clothes because of my curves and my breasts weren’t something to be ashamed of. Confidence started to build within me and the feeling of not being good enough subsided. I started to discover myself and find the person I had been trying to hide. Sharing my story isn’t about telling anyone that you need a man/woman to feel validated. I think for me it was that men in my life had put negativity into my head and by hearing that I was good enough from one made me think differently. Confidence isn’t something we are born with or get overnight; it’s something we all have to work at. It comes with age. The older you get the less you care about what people think about you. Anything and everything can influence you to feel empowered and beautiful. If one woman from every size walked around with confidence, they would influence a million others. Any time I see a beautiful curvy woman rock an outfit I would never think to wear, it encourages me to be just as fabulous as they are. Instead of bringing each other down, we should build each other up to be the amazing, strong, powerful women we are born to be. Lauren Johnson lives on Long Island, New York. She graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a BA in Graphic Design. Part of the Beutiful team, Lauren also creates artwork and freelances. You can see her work at! You can also read more about Lauren here!

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.� - Steve Maraboli

aya kamikawa Aya Kamikawa (born January 25th, 1968) is the only openly transgender person to currently hold official office in Japan. She was elected as municipal official to Tokyo in 2003. When submitting her election application papers it is noted that she left a blank space for “sex.� Despite the Japanese government announcing that they would continue to see her officially as male, Kamikawa stated she would work as a woman. She was re-elected in 2007 for a second four-year-term seat. She used her official position to improve rights for women, children, the elderly, handicapped and LGBT people.

HEARTS + FARTS a zine by Stephanie Simonetti Having participated in the last two issues of the “Hearts + Farts” zine, we wanted to catch up with the woman behind the bodypositive and inspiring work of art! Meet Stephanie Simonetti! What led you to create Hearts + Farts? I got the idea for Hearts + Farts during the summer of last year (2012), because I was becoming increasingly proud and comfortable with my body but was still having hard days. I wanted something that would remind myself (and others) to practice self-love, even on rough days. I want people to be able to look to Hearts + Farts for comfort, and to know that they are beautiful. I also want it to be a way for people to express themselves through art or writing by contributing their own personal struggles and revelations about their body. What inspires you? I spend most of my time with my boyfriend, my dog and my wonderful friends who have contributed much of their art, essays, and time to the zine. Some of my favorite hobbies are writing, photography, reading, music, clothes, Lush, and just laying in bed. I’m currently going to school in NYC for journalism and photography. Working with my hands is really motivating to me, whether its writing, working in the darkroom, or making the zine - I think making actual things with your hands and seeing the results of what you’ve done is really rewarding. My ultimate goal is to inspire and motivate people to just be themselves, do what they want and give them reasons to have self worth.

Tell us about your own experience and journey with self-love and acceptance. Like many people, I’ve struggled with my body image since I became aware I was fat (around age five). I was made fun of at school and harassed at home - it definitely negatively impacted my confidence. I became more shy and withdrawn at school, hoping that if I was nice and quiet no one would notice I was fat and make fun of me. By the time I got to high school I started to feel more comfortable with myself. I knew some of my “friends” would make jokes about me behind my back, and mock my size but I started to feel bad for them instead of myself. They were so insecure with themselves they couldn’t accept the fact that I kind of liked myself and didn’t want to drastically change my appearance. Over the last five years I’ve just been getting more and more comfortable. I like to dress “well,” which makes me feel more accepting of my body. There are some days I feel more self-conscious than others, but they are becoming less frequent.

If you want to submit to the zine you can email or message Hearts + Farts on Facebook with your submission and credit information (name, website, etc.). Hearts + Farts also has a tumblr - check it out!

If you could give women a piece of advice, what would it be? It would have to be that throughout your whole life, you will only have one body. You can change it around and dress it up, but it will still be your only body, so why waste time and energy hating it? When you accept yourself and learn to love yourself, there is literally nothing anyone can say about your appearance that can make you feel bad. Don’t give other people the power to make you feel that way. How can women get involved in Hearts + Farts? Hearts + Farts comes out every few months. The next issue will most likely be out early summer, May/June! Hearts + Farts takes submissions! Basically anything body-related: essays and poems about dealing with body image, art, illustrations, and photos depicting your body in a positive way, your tips for self-love, style entries, food/recipes. Anything you want to submit that is about treating yourself well and loving your body!

During the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing medical speciality. During the past five years, consumer spending doubled, pornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined, and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal. More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off. Recent research consistently shows that inside the majority of the West’s controlled, attractive, successful working women, there is a secret ‘underlife’ poisoning our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, it is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsessions, terror of ageing, and dread of lost control. The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behavior and not appearance. Competition between women has been made part of the myth so that women will be divided from one another. Youth and (until recently) virginity have been ‘beautiful’ in women since they stand for experiential and sexual ignorance. Ageing in women is ‘unbeautiful’ since women grow more powerful with time, and since the links between generations of women must always be newly broken: Older women fear young ones, young women fear old, and the beauty myth truncates for all the female life span. Most urgently, women’s identity must be premised upon our ‘beauty’ so that we will remain vulnerable to outside approval, carrying the vital sensitive organ of self-esteem exposed to the air. - Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women, Pages 10 + 14

“I love my birthmark’s spectrum of color. When I’m warm it’s a kind of redpurple, like the color of some plums and when I’m cold it’s a vivid, almost neon blue. I also like how it’s a kind of protective barrier protecting me against nonaccepting and unthoughtful people.” - Patience Hodgson, lead singer of the Australian band The Grates


My name is Jenn Lawlor of The Best Body Ever. I’m 39 years old and this is me with 1/2 my face covered in makeup + 1/2 naked (no makeup). Although I don’t typically wear much makeup, I learned quite a bit: 1. Putting the naked + makeup sides of my face next to each other instantly sent me into comparison mode. My naked side was judged as “less attractive” (blotchy and imperfect). This made me think about how we are constantly feeling less adequate because we’re comparing ourselves to unnatural images in the media. 2. My makeup side felt like I was wearing a mask. 3. Fear arose when I considered posting my naked face to the public. Somehow, wearing a mask that presents a more “perfect” me felt safer.

Patricia Colli, I’m 26 years old and I’m the creator of Beutiful.

Lauren, 27 year old Beutiful contributor!

So here I am, one side of my face with makeup and the other side completely naked for all of you to see! On a daily basis, I rarely wear any makeup because it makes me feel as if I am “hiding.” When I do wear makeup, it’s only on my eyes and lips because foundation feels heavy on my skin.

I finally feel like I don’t need makeup to look my best. I used to feel wearing makeup was so important, that it helped hide the flaws and improved my features.

However, when I was a teenager I was really insecure about my appearance so I PILED makeup on. Finally, when I was 15, I started to ease off little by little. This journey took a few years but I eventually came to like my face without makeup. It was truly liberating (and saved me tons of time and money)!

It didn’t - it just became a chore putting on so much, primer then foundation, concealer. I put on some gloss and mascara, that was it. That’s still all I wear unless I have a date night with my fiancé or it’s a holiday, then it’s nice to spend the extra time getting glammed up. But even then, it’s very minimal...and that’s how my fiancé likes me!

This month, we launched the “Half-Naked” project. This album is dedicated to showing women (and men) in their natural, unedited states versus how they present themselves to the world. We’re exploring what makeup and grooming means to us and how it affects how we feel about ourselves.

My name is Meftihe, I am 24 years old, and a Beutiful contributor. The main reason I wear makeup is to hide the acne scarring on my forehead. Once it hits summer and the sun hides those spots, I move my foundation to the bottom of the drawer. But I still regularly apply eyeliner, brow liner and mascara. The only times I go bare-faced to work is if I want to be sent home early - everyone agrees I look “not myself.” Sad but true. I actually hate the feel of makeup on my face. It feels heavy, makes my skin more oily, and because my shades are darker and I unconsciously touch my face a lot, I often leave little smudges on everything I touch. I basically trade one insecurity for another...I spend the day trying to reprogram myself not to touch my face lest anyone see my shameful makeup habit! Because I want to look perfect but I want it to appear natural.

My name is Tanina! I’m 26 and I’m the owner of Bella Capelli Designs.

My name is Michelle Meola, I’m 25 years old and a mother of a beautiful baby girl.

I decided to do my night makeup on the unnatural side because my day routine only consists of concealer with SPF on my nose, chapstick, and eyeliner.

I grew up always feeling that makeup was necessary. I was bullied and picked on constantly in my younger years and felt that makeup would make me look more acceptable and give me a way to “fit in.”

People notice when I don’t have makeup on and comment “Are you sick?” or “You look tired.” I always do my “night” makeup when I’m working because I’m in the beauty enhancement business and people are more likely to trust you and feel you do better work if you look done up. It would be nice if people based your talent on your actual talent! I would be lying if I said I don’t like getting dolled up. I am definitely more social when my “face” is on. But I am not defined by it and working on my “naked” confidence thanks to Beutiful!

I’ve learned over the years though, especially now that I’m a mother, that makeup is fun to play with, but it isn’t necessary to make me beautiful. I’ve learned to love myself for who I am, not what society wants me to be and I want to pass that on to my daughter. She deserves to grow up with confidence, knowing that she’s beautiful just the way she is!

Submit a photo!

My name is Veronica and this is my face half-naked. My “made up” face feels more natural to me than going without makeup. My daily routine consists of foundation, bronzer, eye primer, eye shadow, eye liner, lash curler, mascara, blush, and lip stain. I don’t feel like myself without makeup on, I use it to enhance my natural features and don’t think I am as attractive without it. The few occasions I have gone to school or work with a natural face, it was a constant barrage of inquiries about the illness I was so obviously suffering from. I’ve recently turned 21 and as I enter this next step into adulthood, I’d really like to gain more confidence in myself and be able to hold my head up equally as high with or without makeup.


My name is Hayley. I don’t wear makeup to work anymore because as my confidence has grown, I have felt better “going naked.” I wear makeup to highlight my features instead of covering up. I like to try new looks with color but don’t want to change my appearance. I choose bare minerals powder for my face because it covers my redness but allows my freckles to show through. I go without makeup often to be proud of the skin I have and show others that women don’t have to change their appearance to love themselves!

My name is Helen and I’m the owner of Helen’s Homemade. I don’t wear makeup 90% of the time. The only time I usually wear makeup is when I am going out somewhere where I am dressing up or when my rosacea flares up and I feel insecure about it. Even when I do wear makeup it’s very little foundation, maybe some eye shadow and light blush. When I do wear it, it feels so heavy on my skin that I usually wipe it off without even trying.

If you’re interested in participating in the “Half-Naked” project, it’s easy! You can submit a photo by messaging us on facebook, submitting on tumblr, or emailing us at submissions@ and including a few sentences about how you feel with and without makeup or grooming!

My name is Tony, I’ll be 25 years old in May and I’m the owner of Gentle Giant Home Health Care. It’s happened before, ungroomed I kinda felt less of a man. Mainly because unshaven is frowned upon in the professional setting. Walking into a place like a bank where many women generally work, looking ungroomed just doesn’t work! When I’m groomed, I feel like the most handsome and sexy man produced - my confidence soars.

My name is Kelly Plunkett, I’m 24. I can definitely relate when women say they feel more comfortable and relate more easily to their “made up” side. I find my insecurities can be crippling. There have been times that I won’t leave the house if I’m not wearing makeup. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who are so loving and nurturing. My family has always told me they prefer me without makeup. And I recognise that I’m really lucky, in the fact that I naturally have clear skin. But even then, I feel the need to cover up in layers of makeup. In the last couple of months I’ve started leaving the house more without makeup; and while I avoid interaction and making eye contact, it’s definitely progress.

My name is Lauren, and I’m 25 years old. I don’t wear much makeup because I like to show off my freckles. I wear eye shadow, mascara and sometimes eye liner. I want to embrace my natural beauty.

BEAUTY TO THE CORE kaitlyn wozniak is making a difference in the body image world

Kaitlyn grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Washington, DC in 2009 to attend college at American University. While in DC, she found herself. Not only did Kaitlyn reach full recovery from her eating disorder, but she also became an eating disorder awareness activist, began indoor cycling and found her passion for nutrition and fitness. She has also held two titles as Maryland Miss 2011 and Miss DC US International 2012. And we were lucky enough to catch up with her for this interview! What makes you so passionate about eating disorders, nutrition and body image issues? I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when I was 14 and a sophomore in high school. It started as a simple “diet” to lose a little weight but, due to a genetic predisposition, it spiraled out of control and I couldn’t tolerate food or the thought of weight gain. Before I knew it I was skipping nearly every meal, passing out at school, getting terrible pains in my joints, losing hair and I was unable to participate in the sports I once loved. I entered inpatient treatment twice and went through many years of outpatient therapy before stabilizing my weight. Coming to American University was a huge step for me in my recovery. I started volunteering with the Wellness Center, got involved with NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) and started lobbying on Capitol Hill with the Eating Disorder Coalition. Pretty soon I found that it was mental health awareness, and eating disorders in particular, that really fueled my life. Conversely, nutrition and fitness found me. I was invited to a ZenGo Fitness indoor cycling class in November of 2011 and by January 2012 I was working at the studio! By May I was certified as an instructor because I really fell in love with what the activity did for me, mentally and physically. This allowed me to see that fitness was just as much mental as it is physical and that any physical activity should be FUN! But most importantly, your body is

your most valuable possession and it deserves to be treated with respect, which includes not only feeding it well, but moving it also. What steps did you take to become healthier? Well first and foremost, coming to college was a huge factor for me. I always wanted to be independent and I knew that if I was unwell, I would not be able to go away for school. I came to realize early on that I needed to find it within myself to be strong and fight for my independence and health. I had been face to face with death and never wanted to walk that path again. By being alone in DC, I saw that life had so much to offer and that I had so much more to learn. I had to fight my disordered thoughts every day. There were plenty of times that I stopped myself from going to the gym because I knew it was becoming compulsive instead of healthy. I also had to separate myself from the people who had skewed perceptions of health and beauty and began surrounding myself with people who were truly healthy and respected and supported my recovery. While being at American, I realized there were so many ways to be involved in the field. I became a Body Image Peer Educator, a NEDA Walk coordinator, a Body Image Awareness Week coordinator, ED Coalition lobbyist, public speaker, intern with Rock Recovery, and also a mentor to

many women with eating disorders. And as Miss DC, I use my title as a platform to share my personal story and spread awareness about eating disorders, to promote positive body image and healthy self-esteem in women and girls of all ages. These things all remind me of why I stay strong and healthy. I would never feel comfortable preaching this message if I didn’t practice it myself. What was the NEDA affiliated Eating Disorder Awareness Walk and what was the outcome? Prior to my involvement with the American University Wellness Center, the program hosted a Body Image Awareness Walk on campus. The walk raised a couple hundred dollars and hosted a few dozen walkers. When I came on board I purchased the NEDA Walk Toolkit and took it to Alan Duffy, who was the Eating Disorder specialist at AU at the time, and asked if we could partner with NEDA to take the walk to a new level. Together we worked to bring a couple hundred walkers to AU in 2010 and we raised thousands of dollars! Today, the walk is run by Leah Siskin, previously our lead fundraiser, and is held on the National Mall in DC, raises over $35,000, and hosts hundreds of walkers! It blows my mind at how far it has come and I’m truly proud of, and grateful to, everyone who has been part of the success of the DC NEDA Walk.

as a mentor, I intern with Rock Recovery doing community outreach and education, I coordinate several eating disorder awareness events and I also do public speaking events to share my personal story. And until May, I will continue serving DC as Miss DC U.S. International while promoting eating disorder awareness and self-esteem building! I love what I do, and I have no plans to stop. I hope to keep shedding light on these highly stigmatized and misunderstood illnesses so that the millions of people struggling can find peace, and so that future generations will avoid the feelings of unworthiness pushed on them by society. What is one piece of advice you could give to women? Oh wow, that’s tough… If I can only pick one, I’d have to say: Ladies, remember that you are so much more than a number; you are a body, a mind AND a soul that has potential to change the world, regardless of what you look like. So make sure your inner beauty shines brighter than your outer beauty, because that is what will leave a lasting impression when you leave this Earth.

Tell us about “Beauty to the Core” and your future plans for it! Beauty to the Core came to me one night as I was laying in bed thinking about new ways to spread my message of healthy, confident, dynamic living for women of all ages. I love women, I love helping them feel sexy, beautiful, confident and successful in all capacities and somehow God brought this idea to me and I knew I should run with it. Beauty to the Core is all about empowering women to feel those things; it is about spreading positive and healthy messages to women about everything to do with wellness. Right now it is really just a work in progress while I am still in school, but my hope is that it will take off and really reach a wider audience once I graduate and can focus more on it. I would love to see it reach a nation-wide audience so that more and more of my sisters can hear a positive message about being a strong, powerful woman who isn’t afraid to feel beautiful. What kind of work are you doing now to promote women’s health? Currently I am pursuing my degree in Psychology and am applying to graduate programs to get my masters in Clinical Psychology. My ultimate goal is to open a private practice and specialize in eating disorder therapy. Aside from school, I am working

You can follow Kaitlyn Wozniak on Twitter (@ kaitlyndinneh) and on facebook. And don’t forget to check out the Beauty to the Core website and twitter page (@beautytothecore)!

BODY IMAGE REPRESENTATION the barbie: a new low in plastic surgery CLICK FOR MORE

Labiaplasty - the procedure that clips off portions of a woman’s labia minora (the inner lips of her vulva) so that she looks more like a pristine porn star - is the most common “vaginal rejuvenation” surgery. One Southern California doctor says his most popular procedure is “The Barbie,” which whacks out the entire labia minora so that only the outer labia are visible, as smooth as plastic. Where did we go wrong?

the most beautiful vagina ever: yours! CLICK FOR MORE

Labiaplasty (the surgical altering of the labia minora) is more popular than ever. This is mostly due to the manipulated images that women see in films, porn and magazines. In this post, we talk about the documentary “The Perfect Vagina,” the vagina photography book “I’ll Show You Mine,” and share a video of Eve Ensler, creator of “The Vagina Monologues” to examine why women are insecure about their vaginas, and why they should not be!

one black model is “enough”


Chanel Iman is a young, beautiful, and successful model, you’ve probably seen her on magazine covers or the Victoria Secret runway. Unfortunately, she still faces some racial setbacks in her career. Recently in an interview she admitted that designers haven’t hired her because they already had “one of her kind” on the runway. It’s not too hard to believe, with the recent fashion week runways being labeled as “white outs” and Iman herself only being the third African American model to appear on the cover of American Vogue - racial discrimination seems to be more common than we think.

patricia alvarado: i thought you said you liked long hair


Patricia Alvarado is a Chicago-born photographer who forces the observer to think about societal norms and the culture we live in through her work. She uses her talent to question and make points on what attracts us versus repulses and shames us. Patricia also uses her work to investigate standards upheld for women within a patriarchal society, visually exploring the differences between natural and unnatural. So to the countless men who have told Patricia that they prefer women with long hair, she is giving you what you asked for.

disabled woman sparks sexual revolution CLICK FOR MORE

Jocelyn Woods, unable to stand or walk and requiring attendant care for daily living, is receiving global support and acknowledgement for declaring an unprecedented sexual revolution. Carl Barbarotto, author from Washington D.C., remarks “[Ecstasy of a Cripple] is mystic truth with those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.” Woods poses nude and semi-nude to document orgasmic raptures.

brown, black, asian: one word can’t define a woman of color CLICK FOR MORE

Black, white, brown, yellow, red. These are more than colors. They are indicators of race. In America, they are indicators of where you stand in a racially divided world. This may sound controversial but who can deny it? America is still largely controlled by racial divisions. Why is that? Isn’t race nothing but a political concept created to divide and weaken people? Isn’t it a concept that erases rich cultural traditions and creates generalizations?



orgasm: the cure for hunger in the western woman

internet calls a girl “fat” and her response is...perfect

Nicole Daedone is a sought-after speaker, author, and educator focusing on the intersection between orgasm, intimacy, and life. In this TED talk, she aims to foster a new conversation about orgasm - one that’s real, relevant, and intelligent.

From the youtube channel of Meghan Tonjes, THIS is how you deal with Internet trolls. Jump to :48 to find out her secret and to 2:36 to watch her totally own it.

The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental. I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified…We provide pictures of girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars. It is ornamental. Women’s magazines do the same thing. - Alex Blimes, UK Editor of Esquire

“The nudity I think scares the nation as a whole because we are taught that nudity is a bad thing. But what I really learned was that when it was packaged the way I was, with no high heeled shoes or long hair or spinning around a pole or popping it, people have a hard time processing it when it’s not packaged for the consumption of male entertainment. They don’t know what to do with it or how to place it or what to say because surely a woman can’t be intelligent enough to be making a point. It has to be for publicity or for sale.” - Erykah Badu

“No one is more vulnerable than an uneducated girl.� - Freida Pinto

malala yousafzai Malala Yousafzai is a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head on the way home from school by the Taliban. Her only crime was criticizing the Taliban’s strict rules against female education and standing up for her right to go to school. Inspired by her activist father, Malala was involved in social justice from a young age. She publicly spoke against the Taliban’s ruling that banned girls from attending school. On October 9th, 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban because Malala was “the symbol of the infidels and obscenity.” Luckily, Malala received medical attention and was released from the hospital. Malala has recently been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest person in history to receive the honor.


By Madeline Colli



In today’s age, it’s great to be a woman. I consider it an honor. So many have dedicated their time and struggled to overcome the challenges of a male-dominated world. And for that I consider women to be blessed. To have the ability to be whatever I want is sweet bliss. Growing up without a mom was hard. Well, I didn’t necessarily grow up without one. My mother passed away in what would be the most critical years of my life. My freshman year of high school I was without my best friend. Leukemia had chosen to take her. But I cannot be mad at this even though sometimes I feel I should.

When school dances such as Homecoming, Junior prom, and Senior prom came along the one person I wanted to be there shopping with me the most was my mom. It seemed like all the other girls were shopping with their mothers. Things happen in life for a reason, though. Yes, I’ve had to overcome special “mother-daughter” moments in life.

She had always influenced me “to do what you love” which has inspired me to pursue my dreams and major in English. I have always loved writing and hopefully one day, you will come across my name on a shelf in a bookstore. Or on your “tablet” screen in the future.

To be honest, every day is a struggle. My entire will for my major revolves around the encouragement from my mother. It’s so difficult not having that role model right in front of you. People come and go in your life, whether it’s on purpose or not. My mother has shown me that she is always with me. I may not be able to see her as I graduate from college, obtain my Masters, walk down the aisle, have children, and so many more of life’s adventures. But I know she will be there in spirit. Best friends back then and always.

My mom has always been my role model and even though she’s gone, I still consider it my goal to impress her with my accomplishments. During high school, you deal with many challenges and changes. I was a late bloomer so puberty was great. It was hard without my mom. I had my sisters, grandma, and friends to lean on during those changes but it would have been a lot easier with my mom. I remember when everything started happening and I just wanted to cry because my best friend, my mother, was not there in person to help me.

“Having more women journalists means women’s perspectives on policy and other issues are represented more fully and women’s concerns are reflected on the front pages, not relegated

Madeline Colli is currently attending college on Long Island, New York, majoring in English. Madeline is also the creator of Project SELF (Self Encouragement Love Faith), a facebook group that has turned into a facebook page. The basis of the page is to encourage self-love and provide inspiration to all.

to the ‘lighter’ sections of the newspaper.” - Sheila S. Coronel, Director of Columbia’s Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism

It’s the world’s highest glass ceiling. Of the 3,755 climbers who have scaled Mount Everest, more than half are Nepalese but only 21 of those locals are women. Aiming to change the all-male image of mountaineering in their country, a group of Nepalese women have embarked on a mission to shatter that barrier by climbing the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents. “The main goal of our mission is to encourage women in education, empowerment and environment,” Shailee Basnet, the 29-year-old team leader, said before leaving for Africa. Women in this Himalayan nation rarely got the chance to climb because they were confined to their homes while their husbands led expeditions or carried equipment for Western climbers, Basnet said. The team plans to speak to students while in Africa to spread their theme, “You can climb your own Everest,” to encourage girls to stay in school.

“Let’s help normalize breastfeeding and fight against the objectification of women’s breasts. Of course, your number one priority as a mama is your baby. Do whatever you and your baby need. Then consider your own role in this important conversation, and decide how you can help. My breasts are an amazingly designed part of my body. They give nourishment and comfort to my babies. If that seems weird, obscene, or gross to you, then I feel sincerely sorry for you. Breastfeeding in public - uncovered and unashamed - is not only my personal right. It is my responsibility. There are exceptions, of course, and I’m not saying that a distractible baby needs to be uncovered for the sake of making a statement, or someone who feels very shy because of their own body issues and upbringing, etc. should breastfeed uncovered for the sake of society at large. I do think though, that this is an issue that concerns us all. A topic very much worth discussing. And it is a conversation that I dare you to have more often.” - Beth,

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness-raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.


she is completely right.

Whenever I talk about my cancer, my sevenyear-old Lily chimes in with how she saved mommy’s life. It’s completely true, but people are always in disbelief at the idea that a child saved an adult’s life. She also says it in such a matter-of-fact way that it’s like she’s saying she wants lunch or that she’s tired. I always smile and explain the reason why

My husband Cameron and I waited for a while before choosing to have kids. We wanted to be ready, and I needed some time before I wanted to have a baby. Finally it became time, and I was ready to take the plunge. Three pregnancy tests later, I was pregnant and on my way to motherhood. I was so excited. Every day, I had a thousand different questions. I

didn’t know what kind of mother I wanted to be or who the baby would look like - but even though I was nervous, I was just ecstatic to start becoming a mommy. The pregnancy went very well. In fact, there weren’t any hiccups until it was time for her to come out and meet the world. Lily was a breech baby. I had to have a C-section. It didn’t bother me beyond that terrifying moment, which soon gave way to absolute bliss holding her in my arms. I looked into her angelic face and just swooned. There was something so perfect about that moment that I think I’ll never experience that same feeling again. I didn’t know it, but all of this was in preparation for some truly devastating news. About three and a half months later, I went to the doctor’s office with Cameron. During this time, he was the rock that I needed to get through everything. As we sat together, I learned that I had malignant pleural mesothelioma. It was one of the deadlier types of cancer. I was in total shock. I couldn’t understand how I was going to get through this and do everything I needed to do for Lily. I was supposed to be there for her whole life, until I was very old. Cameron was listening to the doctor as I went into my own panic. I didn’t know what to say when I was faced with treatment options, but Cameron helped me. We needed to see a specialist known for his success with mesothelioma patients in Boston. I was going to need surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. It wasn’t going to be easy. However, I went through with it. I only had 15 months to live according to the doctor. The surgery was life-threatening. I had to have one of my lungs removed in addition to part of my chest lining, heart lining and diaphragm. I spent 18 days in the hospital followed by another two months recovering from the surgery before I began radiation and chemotherapy treatments. I spent those 2 months at my parent’s house in South Dakota, where Lily was being taken care of. As any mother would feel, I knew that what I was really sacrificing was time with my baby girl

during her formative months. Was she going to know me when this was over? It was the hardest thing that I had to deal with, but through everything, I remembered that I had to be there for her. She gave me the courage to get through the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Whenever I go back to that period in my life, I think about how the mesothelioma diagnosis changed everything but also that Lily was given to me at a time that couldn’t have been more perfect. If I didn’t have Lily when I did, I wouldn’t have had her giving me the strength I needed through all of the pain and suffering of those moments after treatment. It was a very long time before I started to feel normal again, but eventually I was able to recover and start rebuilding myself. When I held Lily again after treatment, it was like the first time all over again, only it felt like a lifetime since I had seen her last. Most people don’t survive mesothelioma. About 95 percent of people are taken from the cancer. I didn’t know some days whether I was going to make it, but all I had to do was remember the dreams that I had in

the beginning of my pregnancy. I knew that Lily was going to need me and that meant pulling through. There were others who helped during this time. My parents were there for me and provided financial assistance when things were extremely tough. Friends and co-workers, even people we didn’t know, who reached out and helped with kind words. Still, the one thing that I always go back to is my reason to push for a better tomorrow. So when Lily says she saved my life, I just have to agree.

Today, Heather Von St. James is a seven year mesothelioma cancer survivor and continues to provide unending inspiration to mesothelioma victims around the globe. She carries out her mission to be a beacon of hope for those afflicted with mesothelioma by sharing her story of faith, love and courage both as a keynote speaker at conferences and through social media forums. Click here to read more about her!

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. The primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy have helped to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis. Although this cancer is much more common in men over the age of 60 (largely attributed to the industrial exposures within male-dominated industries), mesothelioma in women and children has been described as well. Mesothelioma causes for diagnosis in women and children are mainly attributed to secondary exposure to asbestos, as it was not uncommon for men to bring asbestos back into the home on their body or clothing if proper cleaning facilities were not available on site.

dr. hawa abdi Hawa Abdi was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1947. Born to a wealthy family, she got an education, received a full scholarship to study medicine and became one of her country’s first female OB/Gyns. In 1983, Hawa opened up a one-room free clinic for women and children on her family’s farmland offering healthcare to poor families. Soon, Hawa was seeing hundreds of patients a day. That number increased exponentially after the country exploded into civil war in 1991. Dr. Hawa didn’t blink - she liquidated her assets and sold parts of her land. She spent the next 29 years providing refuge - turning her tiny clinic into a 400-bed hospital, and her 1,300-acre farm into a refugee camp where 90,000 displaced Somalis received free food, clean water, free healthcare, and a clean place for women to give birth. She built a school that educates 850 children between the ages of 7 and 18. She negotiated for fishing boats and farmland so her people could grow and fish for their food. She spent 84 hours/week delivering babies, treating gunshot wounds, and setting up IV lines for malnourished children - all through donations and her own personal funds.

Despite Hawa’s goodwill, over the last 20 years several local warlords have tried to shut her operation down at gunpoint. In the early 2000s, when an International Red Cross aid truck was blocked by local militia, Dr. Hawa stood between the militia and the Red Cross trucks, and told the militia she would personally take the food to her people - if they wanted to stop her, they were going to have to put a bullet in her. When the sun set, not only had the militia troops allowed the aid to come through, but they personally gave Hawa’s supply convoy a full military escort to the hospital. One of the biggest threats to Hawa’s camp came in May of 2010, when a band of 750 Somali pirates demanded that Dr. Hawa surrender the hospital. Hawa Abdi, 63, unarmed, walked out to meet them. She invited their leaders to dinner and while they were considering the offer, she told the women in the hospital to sneak out - a move that saved many lives. At dinner, the leaders of the militia told Hawa that since she was a woman, she had no business running anything. She told them, “I’ve been working for the country for the past 20 years. What have you done?”

This didn’t go over well. The militia terrorists opened fire with machine guns, destroyed all generators and medical equipment. They took all patients prisoner. Dr. Hawa was barricaded in her room by armed guards. They told her to sign the papers and hand over her hospital. She refused. She got a cell phone and gave interviews to anyone who would listen. Between the international media, a national outcry among Somali people, Dr. Hawa’s own outcry, and a revolt among Dr. Hawa’s imprisoned people, the militia started to lose their nerve. They told Hawa they’d leave if she signed the papers. Again, she refused. Then they said they’d let her keep the hospital, if she’d just get it running so that the militia troops would stop being harassed. Hawa told them she’d only re-open if she got a public written apology from the militia leader, a man who has been on almost every NSA terrorist watch list of the last decade. She got it. The militia left, she rebuilt the place and went to work saving lives once again. Since 2010 she’s fought off another rebel attack on her hospital, and is currently battling an attempt to seize her land. She’s just been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

“phenomenal woman” by maya angelou Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

What they see in me.

But when I start to tell them,

But they can’t touch

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size They think I’m telling lies. I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips,

The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

They try so much

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can’t see. I say,

It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

And to a man,

Now you understand

Fall down on their knees.

I don’t shout or jump about

The fellows stand or

Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Men themselves have wondered

Just why my head’s not bowed. Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud. I say,

It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care, ‘Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

OUR IMAGE COLLECTION use the “+” to share the image on facebook!

All artwork was created by Lauren Johnson (

sasha gusov In 2003, photographer Alexander Gusov visited Namibia on assignment. His wife, Sasha, accompanied him on the trip. While Alex was shooting a native tribe, Sasha decided she felt a bit excluded and that she would put everyone at ease, by removing her blouse to be equal with her female counterparts. Photographer Gusov was, of course, stocked with digital film! And at some point Sasha realized that for a good, warm, funny dialogue it is not necessary to know the language.

Q & A:

What do you love about being a woman?

“Being independent...not depending on anyone for well as being a mommy.” - Carol Barzilay

“The inner and outer strength we are capable of that allows us to carry ourselves through the happiest and lowest moments in our lives.” - Tanina Buglino

“I love being able to wear anything from an evening gown and heels to blue jeans and cowboy boots, in every color of the rainbow! Men just don’t get to have nearly as much fun as we do!” - Flattery Style Guide

A woman raises her finger in the air at a gathering of the “One Billion Rising” campaign in Belgrade. “One Billion Rising” is a global campaign to end violence against women.

u u


This is our third year of celebrating Women’s History Month, and our first year doing it by way of a digital magazine - an endeavour we began just one month ago (you may have seen our Black History Month and Body Acceptance issues)! WHM is an event we look forward to every year. Putting together this issue in particular was very inspiring, and not just because we were immersed in info about girl power. The real inspiration came from the amazing people that have supported and continue to support Beutiful. Since we started creating digital magazines, we’ve gotten messages from several people about submissions, contributions, and volunteering. That’s what The Women’s Issue is about, and what Beutiful is about. It’s about coming together to honor the victories of the past, being active in the present, and setting the stage for the future. It is the act of deciding that together, we are going to build upon previous accomplishments and push harder and further for equality of all people. We want to thank all of our contributors, submission participants, social media fans and supporters. It would not be possible without you.


u u

It’s time to accept your body


NEDAwareness Week 2013


The Body Acceptance Issue A mini-mag for NEDAwareness Week 2013. Beautiful imagery, stats, resources and facts in the name of body acceptance.


The Black History Issue During Black History Month, we took the opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that fighting racism and promoting equality has had on our world.

your support means the world to us! “I am honored to have been reblogged by this blog. One of the most inspiring tumblrs I’ve ever seen.” - Midnightbeliever “Your blog is absolutely perfect. I love it. Beautiful, inspiring, amazing. And I feel so very privileged to be a part of it (you reblogged a pic of me). Just wanted to let you know.” - Bbwsubmissive

“Omg I just started following you and your blog is AMAZING! This is exactly what I need right now when I’m dealing with my ED. Thank you!” - Piscesandfreedom “Thank you for this site. It is so inspiring. We have to continue to blossom in this world and help one another in this - humanity overcomes chaos and never lose hope.” - Sara-Loretta Hardin

“I love this blog so much! It’s really helped me in boosting my body image and helped me to love myself more. So I just wanted to say thank you :) Much love!” - Blue-skies-0verhead “You’re the best!” - Ourgoldenh0ur

RESOURCES women’s rights info

some great sites and blogs Body image/Eating disorders:


“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” - Virginia Woolf who we are It’s time to undefine ourselves. Time to embrace the unique, individual beauty of being a raw, evolving human unwilling to “fit” into a society-imposed box.

Come out of hiding. Stop trying to collect material items, airbrush reality away, and hide behind a mask. Open up to limitless equality, acceptance, peace and vitality

by learning to appreciate who you are and the life you live. Our goal is to help you forget what perfection looks like…until you can just Be U.


contribute If you’re interested in getting involved with Beutiful, give us a shout through email!



We accept ads on our website and future digital magazine issues. If you’re interested in getting your ad in, email us!

If you’re not already on our mailing list, get on it! This will ensure that you get all of our issues and stay up to date!

donate We are an organization dedicated to doing good. Any gifted amount helps!

In making a donation, you’ll be helping us expand our services and resources, support more causes, create campaigns and get our message further.

u u


Beutiful - The Women's Issue