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MAY 2012

SCARS, STRETCH MARKS AND OTHER LIFE-GIVING BEAUTY MARKS. P26 SUMMER 2012

By: Iman Woods 1


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

auty Edited Photograph

Unretouched Photograph

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This issue is about changing how we see things. No matter your opinions, sometimes all it takes to understand one another is perspective. The way we view ourselves and others is strongly based on our mood and point of view at the time. When I set out to master Photoshop, I hungrily searched for photographs that were retouched and listed their changes so that I could uncover the secrets of retouching. Before and after shots were only found in tutorials, with step-by-step instructions. As I learned more advanced techniques, I was able to recognize the amount of work done on photographs. As a plastic surgeon can recognize work done by another surgeon, photographers and retouch artists can also see the telltale signs. However, while the masses of people walking by magazine covers can tell that the women look perfect, they don't have the necessary information to judge the image as an artistic ideal versus reality. Ten years ago, I saw a need: for women to FEEL beautiful. For years I've watched women struggle to embrace their beauty. Today, we are on the cusp of a self-esteem revolution. We are ready to see unretouched photographs and appreciate them for their beauty. We are ready to appreciate scars and stretch marks as life-giving badges of honor. We're ready. Read on to see with your own eyes beautiful women of all ages, sizes, colors as beautiful completely unretouched. (p26) Change your perception of scars, stretch marks and body types. (p22) Learn about cyber bullying and the young legislation that will need your vote. (p6) Learn about choosing friends that boost your self-image and esteem. (p32) Mahatma Ghandi said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.�


CONTENTS SUMMER 2012

Cyber bullying and how it follows you home | p6

The devastating effects of bullying and how to combat it

The woman behind Think Humanity | p8

Fueling change in Uganda, one life at a time

y Photo by Iman Woods Model: Germaine Lopez Hair by Germaine Lopez Makeup by Angel Garcia

Inside infertility | p12

A look at life in the throes of infertility

My wife’s closeup; from a husband’s point of view | p16

Showing a woman the beauty her husband sees everyday

Rocky Start | p18

Young girls confront body image

Two women rocking their life-giving imperfections | p22 Two women rocking their life-giving imperfections

UNretouched fashion and beauty photography | p26

Moms, sisters, daughters, and friends rock a photo shoot SANS airbrushing

A Beautiful Friendship | p32

How friendships are tied to positive self-image

Daddy Dearest | p36

Helping daughters grow self-esteem

When your dreams come true and you still feel empty | p37 The day I revealed my true self

Vera Clark handmade mommyhood jewelry Q and A | p41 An interview between Stark Beauty and Vera Clark

www.facebook.com/starkbeautymag

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STAFF SUMMER 2012

iman woods

editor-in-chief

aimee heckel

associate editor

jason cliffy haag lindsey heckel pisto rish strong pr and multimedia gretchen yetzbacher-yoder

designer and layout designer and advertising public relations marketing

annie brokaw

writer

brittany anas

writer

desiree galvez

writer

lindsay kuhns

writer

renu gupta

writer

ranee marie david linh e sellers kristy seidow-thompson

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editor and writer

maternity trends community outreach illustration

gretchen white

essayist

angela dailey

wellness

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by Jason L. Haag | Writer

Cyber bullying Victim shares story of what it’s like to be ‘attacked’ online

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s a seventh grader in Colorado Springs, Colo., Destiney Hall was going through a rough patch in both her personal life and at school – something teenagers often experience as they transition from children to young adults. Unbeknownst to her, those personal struggles were being used at make fun of her in YouTube videos available to anybody with an Internet connection. Destiney, now 17, finally discovered the videos after somebody sent her a link to them, and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “I watched every single video, and it

was two girls who I thought were my friends,” said Destiney, who now lives in Papillion, Neb. “They were making fun of me, and bringing up some of my personal problems in the video -– for the entire world to see.” The two girls had posted six videos and named them Destiney 1, Destiney 2, etc. In the videos, they were pretending to be Destiney, starting each one by saying “My name is Destiney.” They included calling her names and making up lies about her activities. What Destiney was experiencing was a form of bullying known as cyberbulling. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, Cyberbullying can be defined as willful

Illustration by Kristi Seidlow-Thompson 6

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and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Destiney said the YouTube videos started other forms or harassing behavior. “I’ve also had hate blogs made about me and horrible messages sent to me, back when MySpace was popular,” she said. “I never really did anything about it. I remember when the videos came into play – I just sat in my room crying – until my mom came in and saw what was going on.” When she discovered the videos, Destiney’s mother, Danielle Hall, 38, was appalled at the behavior of the girls in the videos.


“I was horrified when I saw the videos. I was angry at these girls and their parents. I wondered where these girls’ parents were when this was happening,” Hall said. “I was sad for my daughter that she had to go through this and had to suffer through so much hatred.  I also felt completely helpless because even if I could get the videos down, how could I ever fix this emotionally for my daughter?” According to one Colorado law enforcement officer, many students who participate in cyberbullying often don’t realize the consequences of what they might perceive as innocent fun. “They just don’t understand the

continue to expand. “This isn’t a fad. We know that social media is going to be around for some time,” he said. “We know the digital forum is something that’s here to stay.” Better defining cyberbullying in criminal statutes is an important step to give law enforcement officials and prosecutors more hard guidance in pursuing and prosecuting these acts, according to San Agustin. “I think there has to be some criminal statute attached to it, because if not, it’s going to be that one gray area. At some point, you’ve got to be able to say there is a punishment for that type of crime, and I don’t think you have that right

the school and let them know what is going on and that you expect your child to feel safe at school. Even though the cyberbullying happened online, they still have to see these kids at school every day,” said Danielle Hall. “Finally don’t be afraid to go to the police. Cyberbullying laws aren’t going to catch up with technology if we don’t report it when it happens.” San Agustin said that instances of cyber-harassment can usually be dealt with at the school level. “You need to address it with a teacher or counselor, then through the school’s chain of command, such as the principal and superintendent. Then as a

“I’ve also had hate blogs made about me and horrible messages sent to me, back when MySpace was popular. I never really did anything about it. I remember when the videos came into play – I just sat in my room crying – until my mom came in and saw what was going on.” - Destiney Hall forum on which they’re venting this stuff is no longer on a chalkboard or on the playground. It’s now in a forum where the potential is for hundreds, if not thousands of people to see the problem,” said John San Agustin, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division inspector. As of February, 48 states have bullying laws, but only 14 of those states include cyberbullying language in their laws, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center. Six states currently have proposed laws or changes to current laws that would define and/or outlaw cyberbullying. “There’s no legislation in place in Colorado as it pertains to cyberbullying,” said San Agustin. “The only real statute we can hang our hat on is harassment. If you annoy somebody, it falls under harassment, but as with any crime, we have to look at the intent.” The inspector does believe statutes involving cyberbullying need to be explored because social media will

now,” San Agustin said. Even for those who live in a place where cyberbullying laws are in place, it’s important for parents to keep a constant eye on their children’s online activities and behavior patterns. “It’s like anything else; you have to be vigilant about your kid’s activities. Are they on the computer a lot, or are they not?” San Agustin said. “Are they somebody who used to use it a lot and now they’re avoiding it – because if they’re avoiding it now, that’s a red flag. Why are they avoiding it now? “If you see they’re acting weird and you see they’re down and out, you need to be doing a little more investigating as to what’s going on in their life,” the inspector said. If you suspect your child is a victim of cyberbullying, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it, notify school officials and, depending on the seriousness of the situation, contact law enforcement officials. “Talk to your kids immediately – don’t assume that they are OK. Go to

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last resort, law enforcement should get involved,” he said. For Destiney, she’s been able to move past and grow from the incident. “I’ve learned you shouldn’t let what someone says over the Internet bother you. I mean, for one, they’re hiding behind a computer screen,” Destiney said. “That says a lot about them right there and shows you’re much better than they are.”

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by Lindsay Kuhns | Writer

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Photos by Iman Woods

The Woman Behind Think Humanity Beth Heckel and her mission to help 8

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t takes a person with true compassion to devote significant amounts of time, effort and money to help others who are less fortunate than themselves. Beth Heckel happens to be just such a person. Heckel, who lives in Loveland, Colo., has more than 20 years of experience and service in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Think Humanity. Think Humanity’s mission is to provide health care, clean water, education and socio-economic development for refugees and underdeveloped communities in Uganda. This small, grassroots nonprofit has had a major impact on the lives of some of the neediest people in the world -proof that even one person can make huge strides in improving the world. “In the clinic, we have helped more than 2,500 people, birthing kits have helped 2,000 and we have distributed more than 20,000 mosquito nets, which more than one child or person can sleep under, so it is probably double or triple that,” Heckel said. That’s at least 24,500 lives potentially saved -- or as many as 65,000. Not to mention the less tangible benefits. About 200 children have received an education through the hostel, the orphanage (which eventually became a school for preschoolthrough fourth-graders) and individual sponsorships. Also, 150 women have also been given the opportunity to learn a trade and a living by making jewelry, baskets and sling bags, which Think Humanity purchases from them, sells and then returns 100 percent of the proceeds back to them. Think Humanity was formed in 2007 after Heckel became aware of the devastating living conditions of refugees, following a trip her daughter took as a journalist in 2006.


“My life before Think Humanity was without hope, full of hardships and so painful, living life with no hope for tomorrow.” -Emmanuel Ntamwete “You just didn’t know about the children and families, and once you learn about it, you can’t turn your back on it. You can’t not help,” Heckel said. So Heckel sought out to help raise money for the refugees, mostly orphans and women, in desolate refugee camps and poor rural communities who were displaced from their homes due to wars. “We began with donating mosquito nets treated with insecticide because malaria was a huge problem,” Heckel said. “One child was dying every 30 seconds from malaria [in this region] because no one had given them nets and many of them live along a lake on the Ugandan border.” Mosquitoes, which carry the deadly and completely preventable and treatable disease, can be prevalent near water. Through education and use of the nets, the death toll has been effectively reduced up to 94 percent in one camp and 84 percent in another. On average, across the many locations helped, the rate of improvement is about 87 percent. “The results depend a lot on how close together the people are living and also, through our education, they might be cutting down bush around their huts, filling in water holes, things that cause mosquitoes to breed,” Heckel said. “All of that together really has reduced the cases of malaria.”

firsthand not only the impact of the nets, but also of the nonprofit’s other areas of help. Think Humanity first touched his life in the form of a sponsorship that helped him get a quality education, which he would have never been able to afford otherwise. From there he went on to help distribute mosquito nets and then after a couple years of hard work, he became the health care director. “As a health care director, I plan for all health care programs, both curative and preventative, purchase nets, organize distribution of nets, and identify the right beneficiaries and volunteers to help in the distribution to the local communities,” Emmanuel said. He also said that he does planning,

recruiting of medical workers and purchases drugs and medical equipments for the health center. Before Think Humanity came into his life, he felt there was little hope for his future or for his people -- hope that he feels Think Humanity has helped restore. “My life before Think Humanity was without hope, full of hardships and so painful, living life with no hope for tomorrow,” he said. Emmanuel was only 8 years old when he and his family fled the Congo to escape war back in 1996. Children like Emmanuel were forced to watch as their villages were pillaged and burned, women and girls were raped, and friends and family members were murdered.

Photos by Iman Woods

One life touched Emmanuel Ntamwete, health care director for Think Humanity, knows

Photos by Iman Woods

Photos by Iman Woods

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Upon fleeing to Uganda, he spent his days working in the sun, digging and earning less than a dollar a day for food, medication and school fees -- all things that were changed with the help of Think Humanity. “Think Humanity laid a very strong foundation for my life and for many in Uganda and Africa at large. Think Humanity restored the hope for many, and mine, too,” he said. Think Humanity continues to help spread hope, reach out to more camps and buy more land to build clinics closer to the people who are suffering the most. They continue to work on ways to improve and grow, and the local board of directors and African administrators take time every year to work on an extended plan and create goals. Twice a year, they travel to Africa to help with and check on the projects. All work is done in collaboration with the refugees, who run the programs that Think Humanity funds and helps support. “We now have … nurses 24/7 to provide medication, birthing kits and we help women with sexually

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How to Help 1) Donate $10 for a mosquito net or birthing kit at Thinkhumanity.org. 2) Buy a sling bag, jewelry or basket at: etsy.com/shop/ThinkHumanity 3) Volunteer at one of the many fundraising events, such as Jewelry for Jenipher held in the holiday season every year, which helps raise money for teen girls for education and health care. transmitted disease [including HIV/ AIDS], as a result of rapes that occurred during the war. We have put wells in that have made getting clean water easier, preventing more people from getting typhoid,” Heckel said,

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adding that so far, volunteers have built six clean-water wells and repaired a borehole. “We are helping young girls get an education by getting them into a hostel where they can stay.” How to help Think Humanity is also always looking for more volunteers committed to making a difference. “There are so many ways to donate other than just money,” Heckel said. “Volunteers can make a trip to Africa, help raise awareness, fund raise or hold a fun event or help sell jewelry.” Ways to donate include purchasing mosquito nets or birthing kits which are $10 each or school supplies and basic, inexpensive sanitary items for the girls in the hostel. People can host parties to sell the jewelry, baskets and sling bags that the Ugandan women make, and there is always need for volunteers to work various fundraising events. Heckel believes that people are on this earth to help each other, and her passion and enthusiasm for this cause radiates as she shares the positive impact Think Humanity has not only See Humanity on page 47


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By Brittany Anas | Writer

Inside Infertility A look at life in the throes of infertility As a girl, Rachel Crossman Raymond used her imagination to plan her future family. Along with her friends, she’d dangle a pin and needle above her wrist, an old wives’ tale used to predict a future baby’s gender: Circular motions = girl and back-and forthmovements = boy. Raymond dreamed up baby names, writing them down and saying them aloud to assure they coordinated well both on paper and to the ear. Self-assured, she determined that she would have three girls and two boys. All born 18 to 24 months apart. And, they’d alternate gender, starting with a baby girl. She had her post-high school life perfectly choreographed: She’d marry, quickly become pregnant and raise a large family. Shortly after college, Raymond’s neighbor set her up on a date with the man she’d end up marrying. They’ve been together for 12 years. Married for seven. And, trying for a baby for six. “It all changed,” Raymond said. “Now, I’d be happy with just one child.” She started a blog – www.theknockeduphopeful. wordpress.com – to chronicle her struggle with infertility and help raise money for the treatment as she and her husband have decided to consider In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF. It’s a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body and is considered a major treatment for infertility when other methods have failed. It can cost up to $15,000 for one cycle of treatment. Now, she and her husband are selling books, movies, jewelry. Even her wedding dress. She wants to share her story and advice with other women – as she can empathize with feelings of fear, anger, resentment and shame caused 12

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“I’m going through the murkiest part of my life right now and hoping that something beautiful – even if it’s not a baby – can come from this. It’s just a symbol. But when I look at it, I have hope.” - Rachel Raymond

Model: Rachel Raymond Hair and Makeup by Jessica Licata Photos by Iman Woods

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by infertility. “It’s hard on your body,” she said. “And, it’s hard on your relationship. And, it’s hard on your emotional state.” She defines “family” as a group who comes together because two people fall in love. One in eight American couples will experience infertility, and 1.1 million women will undergo treatment this year, according to the National Foundation for Fertility Research. “This is an emotionally impactful diagnosis,” said Barbara Collura, executive director with Resolve: The National Infertility Association. “It carries a stigma. It’s about sex and it’s deeply personal.” Collura said that couples struggling with infertility will oftentimes participate in advocacy days at the nation’s capitol, publicly lobbying for medical treatments to be more 14

affordable yet they are too ashamed to talk with their own families about their troubles conceiving. Pressures from parents and inlaws to give them grandchildren can be draining, she said. Collura also said that infertility can also place a tremendous strain on relationships, with women oftentimes wanting to spend every dime in their savings account on fertility treatments, while men are more reserved and cautious. Guidelines state that women should seek the advice of a fertility specialist if they are under 35 and have had unprotected sex for a year without pregnancy, according to Resolve. Those over the age of 35 should only wait six months before seeking advice from a specialist. During the first year of trying to conceive, Raymond said she became obsessed with taking pregnancy tests,

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“No one told me it was going to cost thousands of dollars. No one told me that I was going to resent people who get pregnant – not because I want to. I would never wish this on anyone.” - Rachel Raymond sometimes secretly taking two a month. But, she felt disappointed when the plastic sticks didn’t register double pink lines or blue smiley faces. Her concerns about infertility grew more serious and she began meeting


KEEPING UP WITH RACHEL Visit Rachel Cross Raymond's blog, which chronicles her struggle with infertility at theknockeduphopeful.wordpress.com.

Model: Brittany Wippel Hair and Makeup by Jessica Licata Photography by Iman Woods

Model: Brittany Wippel

with doctors and fertility specialists. She’s tried intrauterine insemination, acupuncture and had even had her right fallopian tube surgically removed because it had twisted and broke into two, and it was filling with a fluid that would poison any eggs that became implanted. She took medication to stimulate ovary production. She’s read books about infertility and tried a diet, eliminating dairy and wheat, a change that it is intended to help with her type of infertility. With each treatment and fertilization method, she remained optimistic. But, it felt as though her body was betraying her with each menstrual cycle. She said she wanted to conceive as naturally as possible, as medical treatments feel like they take the love out of baby making. Recently, Raymond and her husband were told by a new doctor that the only way they could achieve a viable pregnancy would be through IVF,

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which hadn’t been brought up by her previous reproductive endocrinologist . The doctor’s news shocked Raymond: How could she and her husband afford up to $15,000 for the one cycle? Were her numbers really that bad? “No one told me it was going to be this hard,” she said. “No one told me it was going to cost thousands of dollars. No one told me that I was going to resent people who get pregnant – not because I want to. I would never wish this on anyone.” As a symbol of hope, she got a vibrant lotus flower tattooed on her leg a few years ago. The pure, beautiful pink flower, she explains, blossoms from murky pond water. “I’m going through the murkiest part of my life right now and hoping that something beautiful – even if it’s not a baby – can come from this. It’s just a symbol. But when I look at it, I have hope.” 15


by Jason L. Haag | Writer

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My Wife’s Close-up Showing a woman the beauty her husband sees every day 16

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adies, I’m going to fill you in on a little secret. Your husbands tend to get nervous when you say, “Honey, I have a surprise for you.” While you think what you have in store is a great thing, men generally think the worst: “Did she buy opera tickets? Are the in-laws on their way for a onemonth visit?” While I must admit every “surprise” my wife Josie has ever hit me with has been a good thing, I still have an unsettling feeling when I hear those words. So, imagine my delight when the latest surprise turned out to be an Iman Woods Creative pin-up premiere featuring photos of my wife like I’ve never seen her before. OK, I’ll admit it; her record of great surprises remains perfect, but somebody please remind me of that the next time I hear her say the word “surprise.” An Iman pin-up premiere can be a bit overwhelming for a husband or significant other. First of all, to get to my “surprise,” we had to drive 95 miles from our home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to Iman’s home studio in Erie, Colo. I honestly had no idea where we were headed or what might be in store for me – and I had an hour and 45 minutes in the car to think about it. The only information I got was that she had bought me something, but we needed to go pick it up. In doing some research for this piece, I found out I was not the only man who got that line. Billy Charters, whose wife Ashley surprised him with a premiere in June of 2011, also experienced the same drive of uncertainty. “She told me that we were going to pick up something that she had bought me for our anniversary and then she drove me 50 miles to Iman’s house,” said Billy. Before the day of the premiere, I had seen some pin-up photos that our good


friend Maria Aranda had done, so as soon as we walked through Iman’s front door I knew why we were there – but I’m sure I still must have appeared like I had just walked into a surprise party. “Husbands are always happy, but it makes my day when they’re effusive about it,” Iman said. “Jason giggled and smiled and hugged Josie tight. It was awesome to show her what he sees.” After the initial shock wore off, we began the premiere and while I was completely taken with the photos, I couldn’t help be captivated with Josie’s reaction to her photos. You see, I always see her as the most confident and sexy woman on this planet but trying to convince her of that is not always easy. During the premiere, her reaction to the images on the screen told me she was seeing the beauty and confidence I’ve always seen – and that was priceless. Billy agreed. “Watching my wife’s premiere was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. She looked gorgeous, amazing and happy,” he said. “I’ve got goose bumps right now thinking about it. “Those pictures gave Ashley a chance to see herself the way that I always see her. She’s a beautiful woman, and Iman made her feel like one,” Billy continued. After we left the studio, I couldn’t help but think about how good Josie must have felt, not only during her photo shoot, but now that she had been able to give me this great gift. She was beaming because she had made me so happy, while I was beaming because she had just seen the powerful, confident and beautiful

woman I see every day. Having his wife see herself as he does is probably the most difficult thing for a man to do. I guess that’s why Iman is so good at it – she’s not a man. For more information about scheduling an Iman Woods Creative photo session, visit www.imanwoods.com or call her at 303-834-0645.

Photos of Josie Haag Hair and makeup by Angel Garcia Photos by Iman Woods

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303-431-2728 SUMMER 2012

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by Gretchen White | Writer

Photos of Beatrix White by Iman Woods

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A Rocky Start

Young Girls Confront Body Image

o, thanks. Sugar will make me fat,” my 5-year-old daughter said, refusing a small cup of lemonade. I assured her it would be OK. She was thirsty, and it was yummy. I offered again. “Oh, ok. I'll have a little." We sat and ate our lunch. I looked at her: so healthy, bright, vibrant, sweet, innocent. How dare the fear of being fat invade her self-worth? She sipped and put the cup on the table. "I feel like I'm going to get fat,” she said, mournfully, 18

near tears. I asked where she heard that she would get fat from eating or drinking sugar. “School." Was it another girl sharing her pearls of wisdom on the playground? She said it wasn't. It was the teacher and a video she showed during their unit on health. I knew it was part of the curriculum, shared with the best intentions. But now, I have a kindergarten girl who is terrified of getting fat. She questions everything I feed her. Does the cereal have sugar and fat? Does the apple have sugar and fat? These are important questions to ask and I'm glad she is

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learning about healthy food choices -but it's making her consider her body as the enemy of food, locked in a battle at age 5. She is not alone. Children of all ages from diverse backgrounds are increasingly expressing negative body image. In fact, anorexia is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents, according to national statistics compiled by the South Carolina Department of Health. Additionally, the department reports 50 percent of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 consider themselves overweight.


So who is to blame? And more importantly, what can parents do about it? Angela Dailey, a licensed mental health counselor who has practiced in Florida for 10 years, notes the blame can easily be placed. "Their families, poor diet, being overweight, poor health care, abuse, other children, media. If a family chooses not to live a healthy lifestyle this can and very often be the root of body image issues which is followed up with society and the media," Dailey says. Because of a heightened awareness regarding body image, many of today's moms do their best to be mindful with how they approach their own body issues in front of their children. Melissa Taylor, a Denver mom of two girls ages 9 and 7, has a strategy she uses to prevent negative body issues. "I am conscious of never weighing myself in front of my kids, never talking about myself in terms of my weight -- fat, thin, chubby -- and never, ever saying I'm dieting," Taylor says. Despite these best intentions, many

SIGNS OF A DISORDER According to licensed mental health counselor Angela Daily, negative body issues and eating disorders are a danger at any age. Here are signs for parents to look out for, shared at Psychology Today by Harriet Brown, author of the book “Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia:” parents are up against pervasive, powerful influences in the media and in their children's friends. Susan Wells of Lakewood, Colo., has observed her 10-year-old daughter confront these forces. "I'm hoping she has learned about body image from me. But she has learned from her friends and Hollywood,” Wells says. “When she was in first grade, several girls in her class obsessed about being fat. Many

• Weight stagnation and loss • Anxiety • Unusual food behaviors • A sudden interest in cooking, but not in eating those foods • Compulsive exercise or other compulsive behaviors

See Rocky on page 39

one of a kind hats & accessories for those who demand the spotlight

photo and layout by: SUMMER 2012

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by Iman Woods | Writer

ImPERFECT PERFECTion

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Two women rock their life-giving imperfections

s self-aware humans, some of us spend our lives trying to fit an external mold created by expectations and experience. We carry internal scars that affect our thoughts and values, but how do external scars shape selfesteem? Two brave women posed for unretouched photos -- baring their

Germaine Lopez

scars -- to offer us a firsthand look at healthy body image. For both of them, making peace with their bodies is as much about their personal journey as it is about looking in the mirror with unconditional love and acceptance for the paths their lives have taken. Germaine Lopez, 32, of Denver, Colo., was only 21 with a 1-yearold baby when she found out that her father, Faustin Lopez, had liver cancer. He waited on a donor list for seven months before doctors told him he had 22

only two or three months to live. With only 17 percent of his liver functioning, he was seriously ill and required a special diet with extra care by family members. Against Faustin’s wishes -- he didn’t even want to know whether his daughter was a match because he couldn’t bear her feeling pressured to donate her organ to him -- Germaine was tested. She was a possible match.

Kendra Landrey

“I didn’t even have to think twice about it,” Germaine says. Despite the long uphill battle she would face, it was never an option in her mind to lose her father. Eleven years ago, liver transplants were still a relatively new operation, and the long-term risks were unknown. Germaine and Faustin were the 1,000th pair to have this procedure. Yet Germaine agreed unflinchingly to scheduled the high-risk, seven-and-ahalf hour surgery. Her father received

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“It made me realize once again how powerful God made women and how resilient he made our bodies.” - Kendra Landrey the liver. It was a match. He would live. But the fight was just beginning for his daughter. Germaine spent 11 days in the intensive care unit. She said it was more grueling than childbirth and postpartum. She had to wait several months before she was able to pick up her daughter again. A massive scar snaked across her torso from her bust line to the right side of her pelvis, a constant reminder of both pain and seflessness. Germaine says she got through it by sharing the burden of recovery with her father. “Experiencing it together, it’s like you’re not doing it alone,” she says. Today Faustin, is a healthy and active part of Germaine’s life and his grand daughter’s. Because of the enormous gift she selflessly gave, the man once given three months left to live has thrived for 11 years. But Germaine doesn’t deny that having an extremely large scar has affected her self-esteem. “The whole process was very painful and draining,” she says. She feared that no one would find her beautiful again. “A lot of people see scars as very


Photos of Kendra Landrey Hair and Makeup by Kendra Landrey

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ugly. Especially on women, it’s kind of taboo,” she says. But Germaine’s friend, Angel Garcia, sees Germaine differently. “To me, everything about Germaine is perfect,” Angel says. “Every curve of her body is feminine and perfect. She is the definition of strength, beauty, courage, light and love.” Germaine reflects that it’s been a long journey. “It took a very long time to build up confidence again,” she admits. Whenever she has moments of insecurity, now it doesn’t take long to remind herself why she did it. “My dad is an amazing guy who has helped so many people. I wanted to help him,” she says. It’s been a process, but she’s learning to embrace her body. She knows that the people who love her will see the mark as not a scar, but a testimony of love. “I’ve grown to accept it and love it and just know that it symbolizes survival,” she says. The scar is a symbol to Faustin, too. “It signifies the love from my daughter, the Grace of God,” he says. “A second chance at life.” *** Kendra Landrey, 39, of Castle Rock, Colo., had her own four children when she decided to have someone else’s. She found an office in Denver. She would become a surrogate mother, and carry the child for a woman who could not. This would require a great amount of sacrifice and work. Before being accepted by an agency, Kendra -- and her husband -- needed to pass home visits, psych evaluations and a myriad of medical tests. Once through that process, Kendra was able to describe what her ideal experience would look like. She knew she wanted the couple to be local. “I wanted them to get to experience 24

possible that during the thawing process, the frozen embryo will die. Unfortunately, the first transfer failed. The intended mother, who had already been through a decade of infertility, was not ready to try again for several months. The second transfer, with the couple’s last three embryos, resulted in a pregnancy -of twins. Kendra recalls the moment she got the call. She was at her son’s track meet. “I was freaking out, ‘I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant!’ which was weird for a high school boy to have his mom screaming in the parking lot,” she says with a laugh. Kendra and her husband were more conscious of this pregnancy than her previous four. She knew how precious these tiny babies were to their Photos of Germaine Lopez: parents. Her husband and family Hair by Germaine Lopez, Makeup by Angel Garcia supported her throughout. Kendra had chosen a local this as closely as if she was pregnant family so that they could be as present herself,” Kendra says. “ I wanted her to feel the baby kick in my stomach.” Agencies then try to match surrogates with intended parents. Still, the match is far from pregnancy. “Once you meet your match, you start all the medications to prepare your body for pregnancy,” she says. High amounts of estrogen and -Germaine Lopez progesterone prepare the uterus to accept an embryo, as self-injections of as possible throughout the process. Lupron stop ovulation. “They had to basically trick my She wanted the intended parents to see body into being prepared to accept this ultrasounds, hear heartbeats and watch them grow. The day of delivery was transfer,” Kendra says. The big “day of transfer” was filled emotional, but Landrey never wavered with medical tests to make sure Kendra’s in wanting to gift these children to their body was ready. She says she intensely parents. Kendra posed for photos with Iman felt pressure to want her body to be able to accept a five-day old embryo, a child Woods only six week postpartum of that had already been conceived. Many delivering twins. She says she was couples struggling with infertility have content with her body. “When I saw the picture of me, I few remaining embryos by the time surrogacy is considered. And it’s quite See Perfection on page 38

“I’ve grown to accept it and love it and just know that it symbolizes survival.”

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by Brittany Anas | Writer

UNretouched fashion...

Photo of Ashley Charters Hair and Makeup by Angel Garcia and Jessica Licata

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...and beauty photography Moms, sisters, daughters and friends rock a photo shoot SANS airbrushing

Photo of Ranee David Hair and Makeup by Angel Garcia and Jessica Licata

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Deidre Alires and Denise Gonzales

K

im Frazier, 51, tanned on North Carolina’s beaches during her youth – greasing up with baby oil and iodine, subscribing to the belief that the “best tans wins.” It was a tough competition for an Irish girl, she now concedes. And, a part of her likes for her photos to be retouched to conceal the sun damage. But, the other, more dominant part of her, feels that her photos should be an honest reflection of what she looks 28

Melanie Piek

like. She’s a health and wellness coach for women, working oftentimes with those over the age of 40, and remaining genuine is important to her and central to her business ethics. Frazier’s commitment to what’s real and beautiful is why she agreed to participate in photographer Iman Wood’s experiment – which called on women to show up in jeans, plain T-shirts and the willingness to be “unretouched” models. That means no eye brightening, no blemish fixing, no airbrushing.

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Instead, the women’s imperfections help illustrate their essence. For Frazier, her skin elasticity symbolizes accomplishing a weight loss goal of 50 pounds and her blemishes hint that she’s enjoyed hiking, skiing and bathing in the sun. Modest edits, like exposure fixes and cropping, are allowed for the unretouched photos. “I loved the idea and was thrilled to get on board,” Frazier said. “At the same time, I was terrified to be completely un-retouched. But, ultimately, I trust


Victoria Alice

Linh Sellers

“I loved the idea and was thrilled to get on board, At the same time, I was terrified to be completely un-retouched.” - Kim Frazier

Iman and have faith in her.” The February morning photo shoot in Woods’ Erie studio pre-dated the release of the March issue “Intelligent Life,” a lifestyle magazine that is part of “The Economist,” in which actress Cate Blanchett was featured boldly on the cover un-retouched, with exposed wrinkles underneath her eyes and smile lines framing her lips. Woods said she wanted to conduct the experiment to prove that it’s possible to shoot stunning, professional photos of women – all of varying ages and sizes –

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without applying excessive retouches. At the shoot, she showed them flattering poses while shooting them with a high-definition camera. “We have this pre-disposition to think we need retouching,” Woods said. “But, I’m thrilled how these photos turned out. I think each woman looks fantastic, beautiful and glowing. The women were incredibly brave to trust me.” The models showed up in basic clothes so not to detract from their beauty and they donned bare faces and 29


Jenna Thieler

unstyled hair so that they could be made up by stylists Jessica Licata and Angel Garcia. “Styling these women was easy as ever because they’re all gorgeous,” said Garcia, owner of Pin-Up Pretty. “I didn’t use any different products based on the fact that they were untouched photos. I simply used techniques that highlighted their best features. I wanted their beauty to shine through in these photos. I didn’t want to cover them up with a ton of make-up. I kept it natural and beautiful – just like them.” The models had not seen their photos prior to them being published in this issue of Stark Beauty. Sidney White, 42, was among the women participating in the shoot – putting aside her concerns that she wasn’t the “perfect size.” In the past, White didn’t like taking photos, ducking aside if a camera was pulled out when she was out with her girlfriends or if she was on vacation. She decided to treat herself to a pin-up shoot for her 40th birthday in Woods’ studio. White said she felt exceptionally comfortable during the photo shoot wearing a black robe, see-through chemise and peep-toe heels. Her reservations melted away and turned into excitement. Her pin-up photos, she said, took her breath away. So, she came back for a family shoot with her godchildren – and the photos are on her “wall-of-fame” studio shots in her Broomfield home. Slowly, she had warmed up to the camera. White agreed to show up to participate in the un-retouched shoot because her curiosity outweighed her anxiety. Now, she’s excited to see how the photos turned out. “It was very liberating,” White said.

Sara Roper

Danielle Jimenez

Photographs by Iman Woods Hair and Makeup by Angel Garcia and Jessica Licata

Kim Frazier 30

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“It was very liberating.” -Sindey White

Sindey White

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by Lindsay Kuhns | Writer

A Beautiful Friendship How friendships are tied to positive image Photography by Iman Woods

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Danielle Roper, Nikki Lackovic and Brittany Wippel

Aimee Markwardt and Reba Sparrow

Casey Lynn Blatchford and Brittany Wippel

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t took a painful loss for Danielle Roper to truly understand how great an impact friendship can have on your life. Roper, of Denver, Colo., lost her best friend, her “lady soul mate,” three years ago. “We could always count on each other whenever we needed each other, and she made me feel like we were friends unconditionally.” Roper said. She remembers walking into her friend Trish’s house in jeans and a T-shirt and feeling beautiful, regardless

of what she was wearing. “She would always find something to compliment and something to make you feel great about,” Roper said. She learned from Trish that making people feel beautiful just for being themselves is a confidence-booster that all friends should provide for one another, and that finding even the smallest things to compliment a friend on can make her feel special and loved. Flattering and admiring our friends happens to be one of the four factors See Friends on page 35

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“We could always count on each other whenever we needed each other, and she made me feel like we were friends unconditionally.” -Danielle Roper 33


by Annie Brokaw | Writer

When Your Dreams Come True and You Still Feel Empty

Model: Casey Lynn Blatchford Hair and Makeup: by Jessica Licata Photography: by Iman Woods

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W

hat happens when you get the one thing you’ve wanted for most of your life and it’s a disappointment? Faith Knowles, 38, of Longmont, knows exactly what it feels like to strive so hard for something, only to have the reality of that something leave her feeling alienated and bewildered. Three years ago, Knowles finally won the battle of the bulge. A battle she had been waging since being put on her first diet at 10 years old. In retrospect, Knowles knows that she wasn’t overweight at 10. She says her parents put her on a diet to further her young modeling and acting career. Three years ago Knowles, upon reaching approximately 260 pounds after the birth of her third child, decided to give up on dieting. It was then that she finally lost the weight, close to 100 pounds, and assumed everything would click into place and her life would finally be all she dreamed of. That didn’t happen. “You thought that you would be happy and this was all it was going to take and all of your other problems were going to go away,” says Knowles. “I would take gaining weight over some of the other problems I have in a heartbeat.” On top of now facing problems that had been overshadowed by her weight, Knowles says she feels unable to identify with her new body. “I’m still not happy with myself; 130 pounds sounded like heaven. Now I don’t know what it would take for me to really be happy with myself,” she says. Marcie Goldman, a Boulder based nutritionist and health counselor, has seen this with some of her clients. During her five-week courses called Mojo Mastery, Goldman works with clients on all aspects of gaining health and losing weight. She says that by week three, when all vices and numbing agents are gone, people start questioning other areas of their lives.

Model Casey Lynn Blatchford

“It exposes what’s really going on in the undercurrent – a discomfort they have in their life,” Goldman says. “They have to look at it and they can’t be hiding anymore and that’s uncomfortable.” Goldman takes a holistic approach to health and weight loss looking at it from all angles. “I talk a lot about ‘Why do you want to be thin? What do you think you’ll have once your thin?’ It’s the ‘I’ll-behappy-when’ syndrome. That’s a deadend and it never works,” she says. Goldman also believes we have a false sense of what it means to be thin. “If you’re thin you’re this, you’re that and it’s just a story and the story isn’t matching up with the reality. All thin means is that you have less fat. That’s it,” she says. For Knowles, who lost the weight by giving up on dieting, eating healthfully, and beating the bulimia that had plagued her for years, she says she can definitely appreciate the benefits of being lighter, despite her unease in her

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new body. “I know that I like the way it feels to move; it’s so much easier to get around, but I know that I think I like myself more when I’m heavier,” she says. Knowles says she feels like she’s prettier and friendlier as a heavier person. She also feels less vulnerable and weak. Knowles likes herself so much more when she’s heavier that she intentionally gained back 30 pounds last fall. Goldman applauds Knowles’ dietless approach to weight loss and encourages her clients to focus on their health, and not being thin, saying that once they do, their natural, ideal weight will reveal itself. “The whole premise is that you have to be healthy in order to lose weight. We’ve been doing it backward – trying to lose weight to get healthy,” she says. Both women agree that women are most beautiful when they’re confident, joyful and present in their bodies, no matter the size of those bodies. For Knowles, who at first glance seems unsure of what happiness as a thin person means, she does know exactly what the key to happiness is for her. “It’s health and feeling vital and feeling alive. I don’t feel that way when I starve myself and when I don’t move. It’s family – my kids. It’s love. There have been times when I’ve been fat and don’t feel loved and times when I’m skinny and don’t feel loved,” she says. “Happiness is feeling loved.”

Mojo Mastery For more information about Goldman and her Mojo Mastery courses, please visit marciegoldman.com or friend her on Facebook at www.facebook. com/marciegoldman.

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by Desiree Galvez | Writer

Daddy

Featuring: Joe Piek, Ryan Piek and Desirae Holliday. Photography by Iman Woods

Dearest

Why being daddy’s little (or not so little) princess is more important than ever

M

ost fathers have no problem bonding with their daughters when they are tiny enough to hold in their arms, but as girls trade in their Barbies for lip gloss and cell phones, fathers have a harder time finding a common ground. Studies from the book “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” (Ballantine Books) by doctor Meg Meeker, one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teen and children's health. Meeker has complied the data for her book from her patients having counseled girls for over 20 years. Meeker suggest that women’s selfesteem is directly and hugely impacted by the 36

relationship she has with her father, and that women with healthy relationships with their dads often have healthier relationships with their boyfriends, husbands and even male colleagues. The “daddy effect” has even shown up in infants as young as six months. Babies with active fathers scored higher on mental developmental tests than babies whose fathers weren’t present. Of course, plenty of powerful women have blossomed without a strong male role model from the love, and hard work of countless single moms, so it’s not to say that you or your daughter is doomed if daddy has checked out either physically or emotionally. However, what many of these men are failing to see

is how critical their role is in raising a healthy daughter. In fact, a good father may be one important key in shaping how his daughter sees the world. Another study from Meeker’s book shows that teenage girls with active fathers are less likely to become sexually active at a young age and twice as likely to finish high school than girls whose fathers aren’t present. Meeker uses her clinical expertise to prove that the most important factor in a girl growing up into a well rounded, confident woman is an active father figure with strong values. As daunting as it might seem for some men to think about, Meeker’s book talks about how girls learn how to interact with all other men from their

SUMMER 2012

fathers. A daughter naturally views her father as a leader, watching him closely and observing how he treats and views the women around him. Simple things, like whether he helps his wife with a task or opens the door for women, sets an example for how his daughter thinks she is supposed to be treated. Doug Moldawsky, of Boulder, the senior media editor for Gaiam, has a 13-year-old daughter. He says even though they don’t share any hobbies, “I support her in all of her activities and endeavors, I help her sell Girls Scout cookies every year, and attend all of her extracurricular and school activities. She also knows I am always there to listen to her.” Author Meeker suggests See Daddy on page 42


by Allyson Spellman | Writer

I Can Bare It

I

The day I revealed my true self

have always been fascinated with all things pin-up. It has something to do with that signature look, the sensual innocence, the pure beauty and that slight suggestive expression that makes you do a double take. The pin-up girl doesn’t blatantly give it all away. She leaves just enough to keep you wondering. Now that’s my kind of girl! In fact, I wanted to be that kind of girl -- even if it was for just one day. Little did I know that day would come when I was putting together the pieces of a very complicated puzzle: my life. I had spent years trying to be what others wanted me to be or what society expected that I was utterly confused as to what I wanted or who I was in the first place. My true self was never fully heard because it was drowned out with loud bells and whistles. The bottom line was I did not think I was enough so I kept adding or taking things away

Miracles happen when you just let go, engage in the moment and pause the tape in your head that says you are not enough. - Allyson Spellman to be “more x, y or z.” Now I make my living as a writer, speaker and women’s empowerment coach. I have coached hundreds of women to stop settling for less, but at the time of my first pin-up photo shoot I was just beginning to allow my authentic self to come out of hiding. Looking back on my life, I have always had a love/hate relationship

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with my body. It would be my best friend or my worst enemy, depending on the day or should I say depending on my weight. I didn’t know it was what I chose to believe about my body that set the stage of that relationship. I was praying the day of my shoot that we were on good terms. We already started out on shaky ground as I ran through my memorized mental list of all the parts of my body that were less than perfect. Now I was going to show them off? Ha! Who was I kidding? Instead of being a pin-up, I thought I was going to be a pin-downer. Then something magical happened during the clicks of the camera. When I got out of my head and in the moment, the more my fears and self-judgment melted away. Instead of focusing on what was wrong with me, I focused on how I felt in the moment: beautiful, confident, bold and unapologetic of how I looked. I finally felt the freedom

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of embracing my true self, and no bells or whistles were needed this time. The make-up, the hair and the outfits only enhanced what was shining from within: the glow of believing I was enough, just as I am. Miracles happen when you just let go, engage in the moment and pause the tape in your head that says you are not enough. You can finally breathe and “just be.” That experience was life changing for me. If I could keep capturing what I felt during the time of my shoot, then how much would it change my life? Well, it has. I have made it my mission to help women everywhere embrace their authentic self. I started a community for women to share their voices and embrace their worth (www.unleashedvoices.com). But on a personal note, when my limiting beliefs come on, I remember I need to be in the moment and embrace who I am. Self-worth is something we don’t have to work for, it is something that we already have within us. We just have to let go and surrender to it.

Perfection from page 24

looked at it and saw my stretch marks as a true blessing of what I’ve been able to experience because of them,” she says. “Motherhood and the ability to help another woman. My stretch marks 38

are a gift. Not every woman is able to carry children. I was. I am grateful for that.” Kendra’s friend, Jennifer Bauman, 40, of Castle Rock, joined her at the photo shoot for moral support. “Kendra is one of my most precious

SUMMER 2012

treasures,” Jennifer says. “Seeing her be so transparent and willing to show her amazing body just six weeks after giving birth to twins made me so emotional. It made me realize once again how powerful God made women and how resilient he made our bodies.”


Friends from page 31

that psychologist Michael Argyle of Oxford University believed has a positive affect on self-esteem. According to Saul Mcleod in the article “Self Concept in Psychology,” as published in “Simply Psychology” in 2008, Argyle believed the way we compare ourselves to others, the social role or jobs we have and the way we are identified by others in these roles can all have an impact on how we positively or negatively view ourselves. Melinda Riina, of Taylor, Ariz., agrees with the concept that a good friend can make you feel beautiful, even in times when you are not looking or feeling your best, and can also give you the inspiration to want to be a better person. “My friend Kathy is so fun to hang out with and is the kind of friend who makes me want to be a better wife and mom,” Riina said. “On a bad day, I can call her and we can remind each other

Rocky from page 19

refused cookies or sugary treats. It scared me that they were so young." Dailey confirms there is no point in childhood where kids are safe from having negative body image. "There is not one age that is not affected. It starts as a baby and carries on until the day we die," she says. Parents expect their tweens and teens to confront body issues as they go through puberty and have more freedom. This is why it's especially alarming when very young girls express their own doubts. An Arvada, Colo., mom of three, Daria Giron, remembers when her daughter, now 10, began. "Jade was very aware of her figure when she was littler and it's continued from about age 4 to today,” Giron says. “She isn't as vocal about it anymore, but I think it's not because she's not thinking about it -- but rather knows it's not acceptable to be negative about her

of what we have and how great it is . We renew each other.” In Riina’s opinion, friendships are about love, acceptance and empowering each other. To really see each other for the beauty that is inside and then try to draw this beauty out. Sometimes, though, it seems in certain friendships this is easier said than done. Sometimes, the gesture does not feel reciprocated, or a person may seem to do the exact opposite of make you feel good about yourself. It is important to realize when a friendship is lowering rather than boosting your self-esteem. According to psychologist M. Farouk Radwan of the online psychology site 2knowmyself, not all friends are capable of being a positive influence in your life. He believes that people with low self-esteem often have trouble seeing anything other than flaws in the people around them and when around people who are more ambitious than themselves, they will try to bring them

down and get them to think on their own negative level of thinking. He believes the key to avoiding toxic people like this is to realize that their low self-esteem may be the cause behind their attempts to bring you down, and then let them know how it affects you. Understanding and deciding what to do with a friend like this can be difficult, but Jamie Price, of Aurora, Colo., believes that not all friendships will work out, and sometimes it is OK to let harmful friendships go. “Cherish the good things and if someone is having a bad spot then give them time to come around. Dwell on the good ones and let the other ones go, because not everyone is going to like you,” Price said. The intricate ins and outs of our individual friendships may not be identical, but the qualities which make a good friendship seem to resonate as ones that are genuine and positive, bring out the best in us, raise our self-esteem, and make us feel more beautiful.

figure." Parents aren't alone in fighting against the forces of poor body image. Dailey notes there are several ways parents can help their kids develop a healthier approach to their growing bodies. "Parents can start as a healthy example. Take their children with them to the gym, teach them healthy ways of eating, not McDonald’s, offer positive reinforcements for making good choices, talk to the child about why they feel certain ways, don't discredit their feelings or opinions," Dailey says. The most powerful tool we have begins at home. Keeping dialogue open is critically important as well. Societal pressures, unbalanced school lessons and the demands of friendship can undermine even the youngest children's outlook on food, exercise and their bodies. Biancha, a Denver mom of one daughter, shares her wise strategy for helping her daughter navigate these

rocky waters: "The trick to having those talks is to keep the focus not on what you are doing wrong and instead on what you are doing right."

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Photos of Beatrix White

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by Aimee Heckel | Writer

Trial, Error and the Company of Crazy Ladies

O

An Interview with Vera Clark

ne of the most creative ways to celebrate beauty and motherhood is through jewelry -especially when it’s made by hand with love and an eye for honoring each unique family. Vera Clark of Erie, Colo., is a jewelry artist who exemplifies this spirit. She combines metal disks with beads and charms and handstamps significant words and names to create layers of personalization. In the $30 range, each necklace is a custom order and as unique as each wearer. Clark has been making jewelry for a year and a half and has maintained her Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/UneeklyU) for a year. She also sells her work at various bike races, triathlons and marathons throughout Colorado, Idaho and Utah. Stark Beauty Magazine chatted with her to learn what inspired her to turn her love of family and friends into a thriving business.

worked alongside him. I love gardening, quilting, sewing, crocheting, painting, redecorating and my new love: metal and jewelry-making. I love the outdoors, mountains and sunshine.

Tell us a little about yourself: where you live, family, work, other hobbies and interests.

Why did you decide to make jewelry for mothers?

I am a wife of 35 years and a mother of three children and seven grandchildren. I’m located in Erie and have lived in the area for 30 years. I have been fortunate to stay home and raise my children, but have always kept myself busy and involved in so many different things. I come from a family of nine children, of which seven are sisters. We have always fed off each others’ creativity and have grown from the knowledge of each other. I have been involved in the pouring, firing and teaching of ceramics. My grandmother and aunt started us out in that when we were very young. My aunt still teaches classes at 74. I love working with wood. Everything from cutting out small things, to paint and sell, to refinishing furniture. My father was a carpenter, and we often

40

How did you learn to make jewelry? I actually started making jewelry on our annual sister trip. I currently have two other sisters in two different states who make them, as well. I learned by trial and error and the company of crazy ladies. How long does it take to make a piece of jewelry for a customer? Depends on the design. Some are more challenging the others. I usually give myself at least a week. Depends on the time of year.

I had always known we provide strength, love, comfort and peace. What inspires you? I would have to say family. They are the core of my being. My desire to stay home through the years and for now to be available for my grandchildren and to participate in their lives. Over the past year and half, I have met so many amazing people and the necklaces that I have been honored to make for them motivate me. I love to see the smiles on their faces when they receive it, or to get e-mails that say it’s just what they wanted warms my heart. I can make hundreds of necklaces and hammer them out all the same,

MAY ISSUE


Photos by Iman Woods

MAY ISSUE

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“I love to see the smiles on their faces when they receive it, or to get emails that say it’s just what they wanted warms my heart.” -Vera Clark

but the ones I love to make are those that have meaning and reason. What was the most complicated piece you’ve done? I have several that were a challenge, but last fall, a school wanted me to make necklaces for all their teachers for appreciation day, and they told me just to make them all the same so it would be easier. I just couldn’t do it. I made over 30 teacher necklaces and they were all different. Who wants to wear the same necklace as their coworker, right? Then I have to say that some of the most rewarding are those that take a lot of thought on my part. I want it to be exactly what my customer needs it to be. Sometimes it’s for motivation or for a struggling loved one or a lost pet. My goal for that piece is for mothers to celebrate it.

Daddy from page 36

the biggest mistake a father makes is withdrawing from his daughters life too early. Joe Piek, of Longmont, a senior heating specialist with two daughters, spends four afternoons a week, one-on-one with his 4-year-

42

Photos by Iman Woods

old daughter at their local recreation center. He agrees that it can be challenging to find ways to bond with your teenage daughter. “I found it tricky connecting with my now 19-year-old from ages 13 to 17, but I used things like

helping her find a job and saving money, and then how to invest in a car, as a common ground to bond on,” Piek says. Meeker says it’s also important to express your love. That’s why Piek says he always makes sure to tell

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his girls how much he loves them. As for Moldawsky, he says, “I kiss her on the top of her head, whether she wants me to or not, and I hug her often. This will continue even when she thinks that she is too old for it.”


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Humanity from page 10

on the refugees, but those who help. “It’s changed my life so much. I feel like I have gained so much knowledge about the rest of the world and you see everything with totally different eyes,” Heckel said. “For the people in the refugee camps, before there was no hope, and we have given them hope. Hope is contagious.” Emmanuel agrees that helping others is a life changing experience that Think Humanity has provided him the chance to be a part of. “Being with Think Humanity and helping others has changed my life,” Emmanuel said. “I feel so happy with peace in my mind and soul, and I have hope for myself and even for many people Think Humanity is helping through me. I feel so honored and feel blessed for helping save lives of many people.” Visit the Think Humanity website at Thinkhumanity.org to learn more.

Photos by Iman Woods

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Stark Beauty Magazine Summer 2012  

The magazine for empowering change! With beautiful photographs, unretouched beauty and fashion, articles about everything from parenting to...

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