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FORWARD culture,faith, and purposeful living

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MODERN SLAVERY CONFESSIONS OF AN INTROVERT

CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT BEAUTY


FORWARD

culture, faith, and purposeful living

ART, PRODUCTION, ADVERTISING, DESIGN & EDITORIAL Christine Bennett

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sacheen Harding

PRINTING Xerox DP700 80# Gloss Text paper All photography, artwork, and writing is designed and created by Christine Bennett unless otherwise noted.

Christine Bennett christineb@gus.pittstate.edu

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CONFESSIONS OF AN INTROVERT By Sacheen Harding Namphuong Van

Chances are, you probably know an introvert, or you are one. Here’s one account of an introvert to help you better understand yourself or the introverted person in your life.

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I AM NOT ALWAYS SHY.

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MY HEAD IS NEVER AS QUIET AS IT MAY SEEM.

In new environments and around a bunch of strangers, I am riddled with anxiety. I have been known to hide in a bathroom to avoid introducing myself to a roomful of strangers. But get me in a room with a handful of people I know and am comfortable around, you would never know that I am shy. Once I have known someone long enough to bypass the small talk, I carry my side of the conversation and then some. In certain friendships, you might even mistake me for an extrovert.

Just because I am not talking doesn’t mean my mind is not spinning out of control. My thoughts are often like a raging storm beating at the walls of my skull trying to escape. I keep so many thoughts in for fear of overwhelming everyone with my unending stream of ideas. Sometimes I am afraid that if I start talking I won’t be able to stop.

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I ACTUALLY ENJOY EXTROVERTS.

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SMALL TALK IS NEVER SMALL TALK TO ME.

Just because I am an introvert, it does not mean I don’t get along with extroverts. I enjoy hanging out in small groups, but some of my closest friends are extroverts. Their energy often helps draw me out of my own head. Their noise often fills the silence I create on a regular basis. At times I am a bit jealous of the extroverts in my life. Socializing seems to come so easy to them.

As much as I wish I could carry on conversations for any length of time about small, menial things, it just doesn’t work. I get real deep real quick. Even if you are trying to keep the conversation surface level, my brain is already asking deeper questions. Small talk is pure torture. I like deep conversations about deep things.


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SOCIALIZING IS EXHAUSTING.

Meeting new people and making small talk is exhausting. I can spend 30 minutes meeting new people and be more worn out than a whole day with a friend. It just takes so much out of me to try and carry a conversation with people I don’t know. I worry about everything coming out of my mouth and I dissect everything coming out of theirs. Do I sound stupid? Do they think I sound stupid? Was that comment a veiled attempt to tell me their life story?

Understanding others around us is important because it helps us to show love more effectively, and maybe even make life a little easier. Even though these are just a few thoughts about being an introvert, I hope it will get you thinking about how you can understand yourself or those around you - introvert and extrovert alike.

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MIR ROR MIR ROR Why we need to change the way we think about beauty

Dominik Martin 7

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By Sacheen Harding

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hat if I told you that the key to being viewed as attractive was to tightly bind your feet with cloth, starting around 12 years old, preventing them from growing? This process would make walking awkward and even painful. What if I said the key to being attractive was to fit stacked brass rings around your neck, distorting your bones to make your neck appear longer? What if I said it was to wear such a tight fitting top that it compressed your waist and chest causing breathing and digestion problems? All of those methods have been used throughout history and even today to define beauty and attractiveness. Unrealistic? Definitely. Impractical? Possibly, but no more so than the standards of beauty we face in the current culture of our country. Only 5% of the female population meets the standard of thinness represented by fashion models. That standard seems as impractical as the ancient Chinese practice of foot binding. Yet we still comparing ourselves to those unrealistic expectations. Our perception of beauty is heavily influenced by culture. We are bombarded from birth by images on television, in magazines and on billboards telling us what beauty should look like. Am I tall enough? Is blond hair more attractive? How muscular should I be? We diet, dye our hair and buy colored contacts all in an effort to shape ourselves into this concept of beauty. Our inability to embody society’s perception of attractiveness can lead to poor self esteem and more destructive behavior such as eating disorders.

Whether we choose to buy into our culture’s definition of beauty is still our decision. We often question whether we think we are beautiful and if others think we are beautiful. Dove has used ads to challenge how we, as a society, define beauty. Their most recent ad is a video called Real Beauty Sketches. In this video, a forensic sketch artist first draws woman solely based on their descriptions of themselves. Then he draws each woman as described by someone they were paired with to talk to before the sketches. Each woman was then presented with the two sketches of themselves side by side, the one based on their own description and the one based on the strangers description. Repeatedly you could see how much more attractive the sketch based on the strangers description was compared to the sketch based on their own description. Time and time again, the pictures highlighted how critical we are of own appearance. It showcased how we often highlight negative qualities that we are preoccupied with, that other people rarely notice. It raised a good question. Do we see ourselves accurately or are we so biased by how we think that we don’t really see what is reflected. Is what we see in the mirror just a distorted version of our reflection? Although it is good for us to realize that we allow

MAYBE OUR PERCEPTION IS SO SKEWED BECAUSE WE ARE FLAWED IN OUR BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT BEAUTY IS.

ONLY 5% OF THE FEMALE POPULATION MEETS THE STANDARD OF THINNESS REPRESENTED BY FASHION MODELS. FORWARD

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our opinions of ourselves to shape how we perceive our reflection, maybe we are still looking at this from the wrong angle. Maybe our perception is so skewed because we are flawed in our basic understanding of what beauty is. We have allowed our society to shape this standard regardless of how well it lines up with our personal beliefs about beauty. Instead of merely questioning how others see us, we need to start seeing ourselves through the eyes of the one who created us. Just as through the eyes of a stranger we may be seen as more attractive than we see ourselves, how are we seen through the eyes of the creator, Our Father? We need to realign our definition beauty to match what God says is beautiful. “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7. Beauty is more than the shape of someone’s body and the color of their eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should ignore the exterior and only focus on what is inside. I am just challenging you to teach yourself to see beauty where before you may have overlooked it. Song of Solomon goes to great length praising the physical beauty of the one he loves. He didn’t dismiss exterior beauty as unimportant and only focus on her personality. What if he saw so much beauty on the outside because of his definition of beauty? In 10th and 11th century China, bound feet were considered highly attractive, a sign of wealth and privilege.

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This was a concept of beauty that was taught in that culture. Just as they defined beauty, so do we. We have unconscioulsy given up control of how we should see ourselves and others. Allowing mainstream media to set this standard for us. We need to redefine these standards so that our view of beauty is shaped by more than the cover of a magazine. The challenge is to start looking for the beauty in others. Psalm 139:13-16 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Yet we frequently disregard this when we look in the mirror or even when we look at others and critique them. We see flaws and imperfections instead of unique creations that are meant to stand out, not fit into a mold of perfection. We don’t feel like a treasured creation. Instead of looking at others through a filter of criticism we need to see how their face lights up when they talk about things they are passionate about. We need to notice the unique color of their iris’ or the joy in the crow’s feet at the corner of their eyes. Then we need to speak this beauty aloud. We need to encourage one another by pointing out this beauty, by sharing this insight with those around us. We need to teach our children to see beauty in not only the

WE SEE FLAWS AND IMPERFECTIONS INSTEAD OF UNIQUE CREATIONS THAT ARE MEANT TO STAND OUT, NOT FIT INTO A MOLD OF PERFECTION.


young vibrant face but also in the lined weathered face of a grandparent, to identify how the beauty within flows out onto our countenance. The goal is not to ignore the outside appearance or neglect the heart. We are not just separate pieces but part of a whole person. The goal is to see ourselves through the eyes of Our Creator, to redefine beauty by His standards. The more we do this, the easier it will be to see beauty where we once might have seen only ugliness.

THE GOAL IS TO SEE OURSELVES THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR CREATOR, TO REDEFINE BEAUTY BY HIS STANDARDS.

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MODERN SLAVERY There are more people in slavery today than ever in human history.

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By Sacheen Harding

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ith the recent 2013 release of the movie “12 Years a Slave”, the issue of slavery again becomes a shockingly relevant topic internationally as well as in America. Although we may not be surprised that human trafficking and slavery occurs in foreign countries, most Americans are shocked and sometimes in denial that it occurs down the street in their own hometown. The US Department of State considers “trafficking in persons to include all of the criminal conduct involved in forced labor and sex trafficking, essentially the conduct involved in reducing or holding someone in compelled service.” Most slavery is in the form of forced labor and sex trafficking, from forced domestic labor to a young girl being pimped out for sex on a busy street corner. The average age of a human trafficking victim is 12 years old and according to UNICEF, approximately two million children are being used for prostitution worldwide.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE U.S. These statistics may be shocking but what is more alarming is how unaware most Americans are to the fact that human trafficking and slavery occurs right here in the United States. Between 14,500 and 17, 500 people are trafficked into

the United States each year. According to the Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation, the US is home to approximately 60,000 modern versions of slaves. Some of these individuals are illegal immigrants who are at high risk for victimization. When they are in the U.S. illegally, don’t speak English well or at all and have to rely on under the table jobs for income, it makes it easier for someone to take advantage of them. Oftentimes these victims are afraid of authority figures, such as the police,

“THE AVERAGE AGE OF A HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM IS 12 YEARS OLD...” for fear of being imprisoned or deported. This fear combined with difficulties communicating due to a language barrier, further increases their isolation from people and resources that could help them. In 2003, The Palm Beach Post in Palm Beach, Florida did a multi article expose about human trafficking in the area where they highlighted 4 cases of different slavery situations. The first situation described two Mexican brothers who were caught while trying to escape their overseer at a local tomato farm. They reported being locked up at night in a roach infested trailer that housed over 20 workers and being forced to work long hours with little pay. The overseer charged outrageous prices for room and board and took large portions of their wages to

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go towards the cost of smuggling them into the country. In the second story, a Fort Pierce labor contractor recruited workers from local homeless shelters, forced them to pick crops, paid them in drugs and alcohol, and beat them when they tried to leave. The third story told of a 15-yearold girl who escaped after being held prisoner just outside of West Palm Beach. The man who held her would take her around to local immigrant trailer parks and force her to have sex

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with the workers that lived there. She would get paid $3 per sex act and was told she had to work off over $2,000 in smuggling fees. The last example given was a Guatemalan woman who had been brought to the country by a couple who were naturalized American citizens. They had immigrated from the same town in Guatemala. They used her for domestic labor, sex and income from her second job as a migrant farm worker. The husband threatened to kill the woman’s father, back in Guatemala, if she did not comply with demands they made. Even though some of the

“IT OUGHT TO CONCERN EVERY PERSON, BECAUSE IT IS A DEBASEMENT OF OUR COMMON HUMANITY.” individuals involved in these cases have since been arrested and put in prison, there are still tens of thousands of individuals being victimized. These stories shocked many Floridians when they realized slavery was occurring in their own backyard. This issue is gaining more attention nationwide as we realize that


the United States is vulnerable to slavery and human trafficking. This is not just a problem that only occurs on other continents or in other countries, it happens here. On the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Barack Obama spoke out about modern day slavery. He stated, “It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name – Modern Slavery.“

HOW YOU CAN HELP Many people would like to help in the efforts of fighting slavery and human trafficking, but we often don’t know where to start. We either don’t recognize where it is happening or wouldn’t know what to do even if we did. The first step is education. We need to become educated on the topic and learn to identify it in our communities. We need to speak up about this atrocity and educate others. The second step is to get involved. There are agencies fighting against slavery that will take any help you are able to give. Supporting these agencies with your time and resources can save a life. Educating the public, donating your time and giving financial donations are all ways to stand up and make a difference in the fight against modern slavery.

ORGANIZATIONS FIGHTING AGAINST MODERN SLAVERY: NOT FOR SALE notforsale.com INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION ijm.com END IT: SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY enditmovement.com THE A21 CAMPAIGN thea21campaign.org RAPHA HOUSE raphahouse.org

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AMERICAN RED CROSS This agency has many different avenues to help out in your community, from donating blood to assisting families after natural disasters.

www.redcross.org

LOCAL OPPOR TUNITIES TO MAKE A DIFFER ENCE

BIG BROTHERS, BIG SISTERS Donate your time by mentoring a child that needs a big brother or big sister in their life.

www.bbbs.org

MEALS ON WHEELS Reach out to home bound individuals by delivering meals to their residence.

www.mowaa.org

SALVATION ARMY Opportunities to serve go far beyond ringing a bell at a red bucket during the holidays. Go by their nearest location and volunteer to help sort donations and work in the thrift store.

www.salvationarmy.org

YMCA Volunteer to help out with activities being sponsored by your local YMCA. Financial assistance is available to any family in need so that everyone can participate in their programs. Volunteers make this possible.

www.ymca.com

Volunteering can be a powerful way to positively impact the world you live in. Here are a few organizations that you could get involved in to start making a difference. 17

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GET CREATIVE! Don’t limit yourself to only volunteering with nationwide agencies. Contact your local library about reading to children at story time or assisting with tutoring programs frequently offered free of charge. Look into being a volunteer firefighter. Training is provided by fire departments that are staffed primarily by volunteers. Local schools are also often in need of volunteers.

Tell us about your volunteer experience at FORWARDMAGAZINE.COM


PROTECT YOUR

PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA

College students are one of the biggest targets of identity thieves. HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION PRIVATE: Select a different strong password for every account

Save passwords for your eyes only

Choose carefully what information you share online

Update anti-virus software regularly

Find more information at stopthinkconnect.org


MID-LIFE BUCKET LIST By Sacheen Harding

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Before you reach your middle-age years, there are a few things you should make a point to do. Here’s five ideas we think should make it on your own list.

FACE YOUR FEARS Identify an activity that you are really scared of and find a way to confront it. If you’re afraid of heights, go tandem skydiving. If you’re afraid of singing in front of others, take the stage at a Karaoke bar. Face that fear. You might just be surprised at what you are capable of.

VISIT A FOREIGN COUNTRY Save up enough money to visit a country that you have never been to before. Immerse yourself in the culture. Eat the local culinary delights, visit the places the locals hang out at and wander off the touristy path to experience the country in an authentic manner.

APPLY FOR YOUR DREAM JOB Silence the voice in your head that says you aren’t qualified enough and apply for your dream job. Step out and go after the position you have longed for in your life. You may not get it, but you have very little hope of being offered job if you never actually apply.

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PARTICIPATE IN A MISSION OR HUMANITARIAN ACTIVITY

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TAKE AN EXTENDED ROAD TRIP

In our self-centered society, we need to learn to give back. Whether you spend time in a third world country or in your own hometown, find a project where you can donate your talents and time. These experiences can have a life-long impact on not only the people you help, but on you as well.

Load your car up with camping gear and a good friend or two and take off across the country on a road trip. Wander off the interstates, see the cheesy tourist attractions and have long talks about philosophy, society, religion and love. It’s about the destination as much as it is about the journey.


One for One

TOMS TOM

One for One


Some common ideas about dating debunked.

5 MYTHS OF DATING By Sacheen Harding Matt Gruber 21

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veryone enters into dating with preconceived ideas of how things should go. Unfortunately, many of these ideas are inaccurate and may be hurting your chances of having a healthy dating relationship. Eliminating these misconceptions increases your chances of finding someone compatible. Here are 5 common dating myths.

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ALL MEN ARE INTIMIDATED BY INTELLIGENT AND CONFIDENT WOMEN.

Some men are intimidated by a woman who comes across as confident, strong and smart. That is probably not the guy for you if you are a confident and intelligent woman. Not all men respond this way. Some men want a woman who is secure and in charge of life. Women, you aren’t trying to get every guy to like you so it’s okay if not every guy does. Wait for someone who is not intimidated by your personality. The problem is that some women who are like this come across as not having room in their life for a man. Regardless of whether you are a self-assured individual, let the person you are interested in know that they are important and you will make room in your life to get to know them.

A WOMAN WHO EATS ONLY VEGGIES AND SALADS ON A DATE COMES ACROSS AS HEALTHY AND ATTRACTIVE.

Woman often think that men only want thin women who only eat rabbit food. Studies have shown that men prefer woman who eat average meals. Men want women who feel comfortable around them and are not pretending.

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THE MORE YOU DATE THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES ARE AT FINDING SOMEONE.

Quantity is not always quality and this definitely applies with dating. It is not a bad thing to get out there and take some chances but you don’t have to date every unattached person you meet. It’s okay to be a little selective in who you go out with. If you aren’t sure if you want to date someone, try being friends first until you get to

A first date is probably not the best time to gorge yourself but when a woman nibbles on her food it sends a message that she isn’t being authentic.

know them better.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE ALWAYS CORRECT.

There are definitely some things you can tell about a person right off but that isn’t true with everyone and everything. Some people are more reserved and shy. They take time to warm up and are more guarded when they don’t know someone. This doesn’t mean you might not be compatible but it may take a little more time. Some people are really good at faking who they really are. They come across as kind and caring. Only for you to find out they are self-centered and critical. Take your time getting to know someone.

LOVE CONQUERS ALL

Love is an amazingly powerful emotion but we often believe that if we love someone, everything will work out. Love can help motivate you to stick it out when things are hard but love is not an excuse to stay in a destructive and unhealthy relationship. Love also doesn’t eliminate problems that arise from differences in shared goals, morals and religious beliefs. Some of these differences can be worked out but not all. These fundamental convictions are foundations that support a relationship and if the foundation is unstable, the house will have problems. Walls will crack, floors will slope and it could all even come crashing down. It is important to be realistic about what differences your relationship can handle.

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