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Reasons to be the Summe!r issue



explore your true beauty




Model: Yulia Belova Hairstylist: Noush Marcarian Makeup Artist: Jade Truscott Photographer: Ranya Alsabti


You buy it, we design it. Reach thousands of Readers .with your business today Contact


Y meet the editor


easons to Be Beautiful magazine has currently gone through an enormous transformation – one that has led us searching for more within ourselves as editors to bring you the best, and ultimate, sense of satisfaction from reading. It has taken us months to understand how to bring a captivating and innovative magazine to the already dozens of interesting reads out there. We have touched all social networking grounds – Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Polyvore – and we have even allowed readers to interact with us through our Gaia Online forum. It has finally come the time to unleash our summer issue, jam-packed with exclusive interviews from inspiring individuals whose only way to go is up. We consider ourselves to be an eco-friendly, feminist, and captivating magazine that allows our readers to love who they truly are. As our summer issue’s theme is “true beauty” we hope to capture the beauty within our unphotoshopped models and interesting entrepreneurs. There is a little bit of everything for every single type of individual. I hope you explore your true beauty within these pages and allow yourself to be free from society’s restraints.

YAlissa Medina Drop me a line! I’d love to chat!



meet the cover photographer ranya alsabti

Name:Ranya Alsabti Age: 20 years old Country,Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Favorite Dessert: Chocolate cake Favorite Quote: “Dream within measure” – By Ranya, herself Most Prized Possession:My journals and camera Hobbies: Writing, drawing/sketching, walking, collecting currency from all around the world, photography, and listening to music . I aspire to be: a teacher and hopefully someday a History professor. I got into photography… when I first purchased my Canon G7 at the age of 14. I started with still life photography which is photographing random, inanimate objects. I slowly started to experiment with portraiture and that is where my creativity began to shine. I draw my inspiration from… everything around me. I believe that this world is full of beauty and I tend to be the “glass is half full” sort of person. I have an eye for details. I will be walking around in the neighborhood and will get inspired by kids playing on the sidewalk, or flowers in a neighbours garden, an old couple sitting on a bench or a bird singing in the trees. Nature is my greatest inspiration and I love to showcase that in my photos. I am also heavily inspired by music specially classical and alternative. Ranya’s photography advice on how to: Find models: Finding models in this day and age has been made quite easy through the World Wide Web. There are several websites that photographers, makeup artists and models alike are registered on and are able to collaborate through with regards to projects. The most successful is Model Mayhem, which allows the photographer to have a profile and search for local models as well as being able to view their portfolio, which is extremely important and thus allows the photographer to be able to determine which model is fit for the project.

read t the rees! onlin

What is beautiful? Y

A list of all things beautiful inside & out


By Stephanie Watson, Co-EIC

Images by Emma Perry

What is beautiful? well, firstly, what is beauty? Can it be defined, as the oxford dictionary suggests, as a combination of qualities such as shape; color; or form that pleases the aesthetic senses? Would it be more fitting to define it by the manner that philosopher Francis Hutchenson suggested back in the 18Th Century in his book An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, where beauty and virtue go hand in hand, showing that beauty is all things moral? Or could we look to modern women such as Milla Jovovich who suggested in Who Magazine that “beauty is linked directly to a woman’s strength and confidence.”? I personally believe that there is no single definition of beauty, or rather, I believe that all of the definitions out there contribute to understanding what beauty is all about. Keeping this in mind...what is beautiful? Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, all themes and emotions but every beautiful object, person and place has one thing in common: it makes us feel. In my opinion, without the ability to make someone feel, an entity cannot be beautiful. There are so many beautiful entities out there that I could tell you about, so I have chosen just a few to prove that there is beauty in nearly everything, you just have to look for it.


Eyes that Dazzle

“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” — Bob Dylan Back in 1985, National Geographic Magazine presented a cover image that stunned the hearts of many; photographer Steve McCurry captured the portrait of a 17 year old refugee girl in Afghanistan. Her eyes caught the camera with a hauntingly mesmerising shine that stuck with the photographer and NG readers alike for nearly two decades. For years no-one knew who the girl was or where she could be found again, however in 2002 McCurry made it his mission to find the Afghan girl with the beautiful eyes and capture her again on film. Eventually, he found her back in Afghanistan, her youth had faded and her life had been touched


A Magical Family

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” — Helen Keller

The Harry Potter saga was born in 1997 and is still getting more popular by the day despite the conclusion of the books in 2007 and the finale of with hardships but her eyes shined gloriously as they once did; their pierc- the movies in 2011. I am not saying it is beautiful because it is brilliantly ing gaze still penetrated the camera with sharp beauty that now showed written - as frankly there are quite a few plot holes within each story - and I even more experience and emotion. The image of the girl, Sharbat Gula, am not saying it is beautiful because it contains beautiful imagery - which it stands as National Geographic’s most famous cover image and can be does - but I am saying it is beautiful because author J.K Rowling has created seen on their website, Cathy Newman explores something far more beautiful than anything that even appears in the stoSteve McCurry’s journey to find those dazzling eyes again in her article A ries: She has created a family. Children, teenagers and adults from around the world have joined up in appreciating these magical stories, discussing Life Revealed. the twists and turns of the plot in school, work places and over the Internet More beautiful eyes: Many people out there have dazzling eyes that we and even planning themed parties in honour of their fandom. Not only that find it difficult to look away from; actor Cillian Murphey with his pale blues, but for the children who are bullied or suffer from an illness or disability proffesional chef Giada De Laurentiis with her lovely hazels, and model & that has taken their spirits from them, Harry Potter acts as a magical world that they can confide in whenever they wish. At the premier of Harry Potactress Aishwarya Rai with her glorious greys.

ter & The Deathly Hollows, Rowling gave a speech on what Harry Potter has meant to her and those around her since it all began; with a lump in her throat and a tear in her eye she softly concluded that despite the fact that the story had come to an end “whether you come by the page or the big screen, Hogwarts will aways be there to welcome you home.” showing that the love that has been put into creating and experience the saga for the author, filmmakers and the fans, is truly the most beautiful part of the whole story. More beautiful families: Some fan bases stick together like a real family, such as Josh Groban fans who call themselves the Grobanites, 30 Seconds To Mars fans otherwise known as the Echelon, and probably most famously Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters.


A Fair Lady

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed.” — Audrey Hepburn Voted the most beautiful woman of all time by OK! Magazine in 2010, Audrey Hepburn’s face can still not only be seen on the silver screen but also on handbags, purses and even pendants as her iconic features are practically worshiped by the modern and vintage woman. Her classically delicate physique made men and women alike coo and wish to look as classy as she, however it was not only her

whenever one is in the city. Within the 60600 square meters of the museum there stands nearly 35,000 pieces of art; certainly not a gander you could take in just one day! Forgetting the existence of museums and galleries for a moment, Paris is home to art wherever you turn, though the Louvre is spectacular in many ways it is possible to find art just by looking at the city itself - in it’s architecture and atmosphere - just as the artists who have immortalised Paris in their paintings did all those years ago; their ticket to their pieces being immortalised in the Louvre! The Louvre is full of beautiful artistic pieces, and within the building sits the lovely Café Richelieu who sell coffee that I, and deem to have some of the tastiest coffees in all of France. For you art lovers, it is a home away from home!

More beautiful places: Though not a country, one of the nicest places you can find cultures of many kinds is EPCOT in Disney-world Florida; travel around the world in under a day! Or if you’d also like to visit the real countries, cities such as Berlin; Edinburgh and Oslo are jam packed with historical and artistic buildings and events to visit.

On The Road To Love


“I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence?” — George Carlin

After years of negotiations from those who want gay marriage and those who oppose the idea, New York has become the sixth state in

looks that define her as a timeless beauthe U.S.A to legalize same-sex marty. Also known as a humanitarian, Hepriage, thousands of gay and straight burn dedicated a great deal of her life individuals alike sang a song of joy to helping the poverty stricken civilians and relief on the 24th July when the in Africa, Asia and South America. As a beautiful news was announced. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Hepburn People such as Ross Levi from the was a loving stranger to third world chilChristian Science Monitor saw this dren who needed a warm hug. She was change as another step towards full also a collaborator with the government equality, as the newly passed bill for immunisations and clean water supwill “certainly have a ripple effect plies. There are many men and women out there who are beautiful inside across the nation.” and out, though I believe it is impossible for the majority of the world not to Marriage is a beautiful custom, and what is more beautiful is the fact that know who Audrey Hepburn is, or forget her everlasting beauty. someday - hopefully not too far away - everyone, regardless of gender, will be able to experience it if bills like these continue to be passed. More Beautiful Role Models: Reese Witherspoon; who is on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund not to mention very pretty and talented, Ewan More beautiful marriages: Actor James Garner and Lois Clarke were marMcGregor; a handsome actor who has time to work with UNICEF and the ried 55 years (before Garner’s death in 2007) which really suggests that Go Campaign, and First Lady Michelle Obama the current U.S President’s if he were still alive they’d still be living happily ever after! Country singers elegant wife who has headed many social and political movements such as Faith Hill and Tim McGraw who have sold millions of records have stuck for women’s rights and healthy eating programmes. together for 15 years whilst dedicating their lives to both music and Philan-


Paris et le Louvre

thropy, this sounds like a match made in heaven!

Keep good company - that is, go to the Louvre. - Paul Cezanne My dear RTBB readers, this list could go on forever so I will leave the search The Louvre, located in the heart of Paris, has been a tourist and artist for beautiful things up to you, oh but I do have one last beautiful entity I gathering point for so long now that it is almost an implied area of visit want to mention: You!

New trends to make you feel great about yourself

By Madel Tham, Culture Editor

[ Connect With Others ]

When I say connect, I’m not talking about the person you got to know on Skype or the Facebook friend you added from a MMORPG. I’m talking about actual activities that you do with your girlfriends and boyfriends: hit the streets and pamper yourselves with a well-deserved break by going to the spa or just window shopping; catch the latest movie in town followed by a nice scrumptious dinner; hit the pubs or club for a girls’ night out to have some fun once in a while. Cultivating relationships makes you happier, healthier and less likely to fall into depression, which is a top ten killer in the United States. Having supportive relationships allow you to share your problems and work together to find solutions. Know that you are not alone and that there will be someone willing to help you when in need. It is found out that the average American has at least 5 groups of friends. If you find it hard to make friends, let’s start small. Join volunteer groups or interests group in your communities to find people with similar interest. Who knows, but you might actually foster strong relationship with people before you know it!

[ Love Yourself A Little More With Each Passing Day ]

It’s not narcissistic to love yourself: in fact, loving yourself would enable you to respect and accept who you are. Everyone is not perfect, but we all have something that makes us unique. Find out your strengths and play on it, and learn your weakness and see how you can do about to change for the better. Every day, before you sleep, do some reflection. It can be only 5 minutes, but end it off by saying a confidence booster. ‘Tomorrow will be better’ or ‘I did something good today’. You can also choose to keep a journal of some sort. There are many online journal websites like Livejournal and Tumblr, so for all of you ITsavvy girls, you might want to try keeping an electronic journal.

[ The Fashion Statement]

Like any lady (or man, for that matter) out there, we feel good when we look good. So what else better to start off than fashion? I’ve taken looked at various trend forecasting companies’ color selection this fall, and below are my picks for the upcoming season. # Bold and Daring: Bright colors are still in season, but you don’t have to go neon. Play around with different shades and texture of yellow, orange and red. Remember though, don’t mix the three together and you might end up in a mess. One can play safe by mixing shades, and matching them with the contrasting colors. You can look at the opposite ends of your color pencils to find out potential color contrast that makes you stand out, and not for the wrong reasons. # Cool and Gentle: If bright colors are not your style, why not go for soft colors. Look natural and fresh with Lavender, baby blue, milk caramel; in fact, Pantone has listed orchid hush and quarry as part of their top ten colors this fall. # Midnight Blue: This is a common theme in most of the trend forecasting companies. This color is stylish, chic and could be worn any time of the year. You would play it up by matching shades, or having patterns. Having uneven cuts and different textures would make your simple midnight blue outfit an added edge. # The greens: Green isn’t a color palette that many would want to try. It’s not easy to look not like a Christmas tree, or the bush outside your apartment. However, this fall, try some olive, cedar or apple green, and you might get some surprising effects. Match it with shades of bronze-gold to give it dynamics.

[ Whip Up a Healthy Meal ]

Many girls diet to achieve their ‘ideal’ weight. Readers who have read the article ‘The “ideal weight” is not a number, it’s a lifestyle’ written by RTBB writer Megan Hennessey would have knew more about the importance of nutritional meals. Achieving a fit and healthy status enquires more than just the weight factor. Eating enough and eating healthy is the key to a great day! Minimize take-outs or microwavable products. I suggest whipping up your own meals to get your worth of calorie intake; you can searching online for various recipes that suit your taste. It’s easy, fun and free!

[ Break Into Sweat ]

Have a balance of sweat-intensive workout and calmer breathing exercises like yoga or meditation. The former would train your stamina and keep you physically fit and able. The latter helps to clear your mind and stress and strengthen your emotional support. Both are equally as important, and I recommend that one have a good mix of the two in the week. For example, you could probably go for a 30 minutes jog around the neighborhood every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and stay at home for some yoga or just spend 20 minutes a day doing nothing but clearing your mind on Tuesday and Thursday. If you don’t like running, there are many other activities that allows you to have a workout while having fun. You can hit the gym or grab your friends for a basketball night. Likewise, you can trade yoga for something creative like painting or writing.

lifestyle Image by Louise Corcoran


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“Healthy is the new Naughty”

Chocolate Covered Katie Interview by Megan Hennessey/Pictures courtesy of Katie


e are constantly surrounded by so many different diet crazes telling us to give up the foods we love most for the sake of our health. However, 24 year old Katie, author of the dessert blog Chocolate Covered Katie, refutes the myth that healthy food can not be mouthwatering and delicious. Her blog is centered on healthy, yet tasty chocolate vegan desserts that are simple to make. Katie’s blog has over 2000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, and is gradually becoming more popular as she dives into the chocolate madness of her diet with her devoted fans. Being a fan myself, I recently had the honor of talking to Katie about her journey from vegetarian, to vegan, to an upcoming chef and blog entrepreneur.

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Starting out Early Katie changed her life at age fourteen by eliminating all meat products from her diet – a decision that was soon followed by the choice to give up dairy products. Without missing small, high calorie foods like ice cream and cake, Katie learned how rewarding the life of a vegan can be. Megan Hennessey: You became a vegetarian at fourteen. That is a pretty big leap! How did people around you respond to that? Chocolate Covered Katie: Well, actually, I’ve always been an animal lover. When I was eight, I became a vegetarian—my mom said I could do it, but she wouldn’t cook different dishes for me, so that lasted about a week (laughs). At fourteen, mom said, “Research it, make sure you know what you’re doing.” MH: When did you become a vegan? Were there any useful websites you can recommend that helped you? CCK: About a year and a half after that. I was living in China, and they never ate ice cream, cheese, or milk. Then I found this board online,

where people can post different things for vegans, ‘Vegsource’, and they really helped me. MH: Why China? What type of foods did you eat there? CCK: My dad’s job. My family always ate healthily. We were eating whole foods, no processed foods. If we wanted processed foods, we would have to go the American stores and buy it, which would be really expensive. A box of Cheerios cost $11 a box! MH: Where there any big challenges at first when you switched to your newly found vegandom? CCK: There were challenges a long time ago. Now, if you’re craving ice cream, there are twenty different kinds. There is vegan everything. MH: When did you start writing your blog? CCK: Technically 2006. I started it while I was at Bryn Mawr, to keep in touch with friends from back home. I started it on a Zenga site, which was big back then, from the perspective of my dog (laughs). It was not the nutrition site that I have now.

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My friends would comment on what I wrote—it was for cake batter milkshakes, so I had to figure out a lot of fun. At the end of ’07, when I was at SMU how to make them. (Southern Methodist University), I found vegan recipes online and thought, “Well this is cool.” After MH: I actually tried your white bean brownies. that, I started posting my own healthy recipes. My friends were so shocked that I used garbanzo beans in a dessert! CCK: (Laughs) I don’t know why it’s so shocking. Getting “Chocolate Covered” The Chinese use beans all the time! Red bean this, By browsing through Katie’s blog, you will be able red bean that. Even in all the processed foods, to find many delicious and interesting recipes, such there’s hydrogenated soybean oil! as“Naughty Girl Fudge”, “Raw Chocolate Fudge Cake”, and “Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal.” Many of these recipes are low on sugar – or contain none at all – some may even only contain a handful of flour. However, they are chockablock with ingredients such as bananas and applesauce that act as a healthy alternative to processed sweeteners. In addition to these tasty recipes on the blog, Katie hands out gallons of advice and personal words of wisdom to other food lovers out there on how to stay healthy, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise.

MH: When I was looking through your site, I saw your post to the anonymous bloggers who said that you are too skinny and unhealthy. Can you tell us a little about this? CCK: I know some blog readers have eating disorders, and they were using the internet to come after me. I don’t want to trigger anything. As a big blogger, I have to watch what I write. I can’t censor everything, but I’m not going to post pictures about everything either. I know people coming to my website are trying to lose weight, but at first, I didn’t post calories. Now it’s on another page, so if you’re looking for it, it’s there. I really try to show them you don’t have to starve yourself; you can eat real food and live a much healthier life. Some of them tell me, “You don’t even eat sugar!” Yes I do. If I want cake, I’ll eat cake! What I want them to understand is that it’s not about obsessing. If you’re craving a Twinkie, eat a Twinkie!

MH: Where do you get your recipes from? CCK: Pretty much from my own head—like my White Bean Blondies. I remember Black Bean Brownies were a really big deal, and I thought, “Everyone has already done them.” So I thought about how to make white bean brownies. My kitchen is always a mess. When I did brownies, I had 20 pans of brownies. People will ask, “Can I try this recipe with agave?” And I wouldn’t know—so MH: Though on your site, you stick to all-natural I have to try it. I also get ideas from other blog- recipes. gers’ comments. For my milkshakes, people asked CCK: If you use all-natural ingredients, it makes

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it healthier when it tastes just as good as the processed foods. For my recipes, I don’t want to people to say, “This is good, for a health food.” I want them to say, “This is good. Period.” MH: Do you always test your recipes before posting them on your blog? CCK: Always. I mean, the average American eats sweets all the time. I remember I gave a dessert to my mom and dad, at different times, and he said, “This is too sweet!” while she said, “This isn’t sweet enough!” So I include disclaimers for sweetness in my recipes.

try veganism a few times a week.

MH: Any suggested readings? CCK: ‘Food Revolution’, by John Robbins. MH: John Robbins! CCK: (Laughs) He’s amazing! This book may not make you a vegetarian, but it will help you understand vegetarianism. All his research about Alzhimer’s, then mad cow disease—all because of the meat and dairy industries. Another book I

“You don’t have to starve yourself; you can eat real food and live a much healthier life.”

MH: Do you have a set group of guinea pigs to try out your recipes? CCK: Nah, it’s whoever’s around. If it’s my friends that are around, the kids I baby-sit for, my sister, my parents.

Tips and Tricks from the Master Whether you are a college student, a parent, or a workaholic, Katie shares some tips and stories about how she stayed vegan. Rule number one: make sure to keep your pantry full! MH: Did you have any dietary challenges when you were at school? CCK: I never had to eat at the dining hall. At Bryn Mawr, I needed a meal plan, so I took fruit and bread back to the dorms. They called me “food pantry girl!” And Bryn Mawr is, or it used to be, one of the 10 most vegan friendly dining halls. When I was at SMU, I lived off campus. I did a lot of home cooking. MH: Do you have any general tips for vegetarians and would-be vegans? CCK: I do, actually. I posted an article on my blog “Omnivores and Veganism.” Instead of telling people about veganism every time, I tell them to go here. My first tip is always, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” Go vegetarian first, and then

would suggest is The Vegetarian Way by Virginia Messina and Mark Messina. They have a chapter all about vitamins, about where to get your nutrients. It really helped me. Also, get one or two cookbooks—not too many, since there are so many recipes online. MH: Where do you see Chocolate Covered Katie going from here? CCK: I’m really excited about it. I’m looking at making it my career. My mom first suggested it to me and I said, “Eh, I don’t know, it’s on the Internet.” But now, I’m working on my own cookbook, and I’m doing what I love! It’s scary, because I have no idea what I’m getting into, but I can’t wait. MH: Any final words for our readers? CCK: (Laughs) Eat more chocolate!

Stay tuned for more news and delicious recipes on Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog, online at

li f estyle --------------------------------------------------The “ideal weight” is not a number, it’s a lifestyle

End the war on hating yourself... today. By Megan Hennessey

“What do you think my ideal weight is?” I asked my doctor a little over two years ago. My doctor — a lithe young woman — raised her eyebrows and thought for a moment. “Probably around one hundred and fifty pounds.” That January 1st, I made a vow to lose the thirty pounds necessary to reach the “ideal” weight for my size. Six months later, I reached my goal. A year after that, I became obsessively compulsive with my weight. When I gained an extra five pounds, I believed I was a failure.

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ow could I have known that this downward spiral was normal? More and more evidence shows that the barometers we use to gauge an “ideal” weight, and the methods we use to maintain it, do not work. On the Weight Watchers’ website, they sell a diet in order to help individuals with their struggle for “weight management.” Sell being the key word. Weight Watchers is one of the many companies that makes up the diet industry, which according to Judy Matz in “Diets and Our Demons” in Psychotherapy Networker, is part of a $60 billion-a-year industry. Like many of us, Weight Watchers endorses the belief that being thinner means being healthier. Turn to the medical community and you will hear choruses of agreement. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using the Body Mass Index (BMI) to see if you are “Normal Weight”, “Overweight”, or “Obese”. When I checked mine, I found that I was “overweight.” How is that possible? After the dieting and the intense exercising, how could one hundred and fifty five pounds be overweight? Eric Oliver, in his speech “Big Fat Politics”, openly rejects the BMI as a true measure of health. “While we know being obese puts you at risk for these diseases [heart disease and Type 2 diabetes], we don’t know that having more adipose tissue actually causes these diseases.” BMI only takes into account height and weight. It leaves other important lifestyle details, like diet, exercise, genetic predisposition, and difference of sex, at the door. In fact, Dr, Abel Romero-Corral, in his article “Association of Body Weight with Total Mortality”, scans over forty studies and finds that slightly overweight individuals “had the lowest risk for total mortality[…]compared with those people with a normal BMI.” After reading that, I was baffled. If my ideal weight was not a number, then what was it? In my interview with Dr. Linda Caley R.D., she simply says, “Don’t use a weight chart. When you have someone who’s eating normally, when you can eat without feeling you’re restricting, that’s where your ideal weight is.” She doesn’t trust scales either. “It’s a piece of metal, it’s a false idol[…]I don’t put much weight on scale, literally.” she laughs. She recommends paying attention to your body when it’s hungry and when it’s full. Individuals on a diet lose this ability. In Matz’s article, she cites Janet Poliny and Peter Herman’s study from the University of Toronto. They create a group of non-dieters and dieters. In both groups, participants drink zero, one, or two milkshakes. Afterwards, they eat as much ice cream as they want. “The results revealed that [of the] non-dieters…those

who hadn’t consumed any milkshakes ate the most ice cream, those who’d consumed one milkshake ate less ice cream, and those who’d consumed two milkshakes ate the least.” It’s the opposite for the dieting group. “Those who were offered no milkshakes ate the least, those who drank one shake ate more ice cream, and those who’d consumed two milkshakes ate the most ice cream!” These dieters deprive themselves of these creamy treats, so at the first chance they get, they gulp down as much as they can. Dr. Caley lists off other negative results of dieting. She told me about studies that had been done that showed that individuals who thought about being on a diet increased their cortisol levels, which made them gain more weight. Matz includes negative psychological side effects; she cites a study from the 1940’s where thirty-six men were put on a restrictive diet. They became “lethargic, irritable, depressed, and apathetic” and showed signs of being “obsessed with food.” When they released the restrictions, these men regained all the weight they lost and more. Dr. Caley calls this the “diet mentality.” People who diet tell themselves, ‘Okay, I’m going to be good’, and refuse to ingest anything over fifteen calories. After two weeks, they’re offered a cookie—and it’s all downhill from there. The mental math and the pressure of keeping your “ideal weight” is tiresome. After months of rigorously writing every calorie down and beating myself up over one pound, I wore my body out. I didn’t want to do it anymore. With a few false starts, I started eating real food and paying attention to nutrients, not calories. I’m not alone in this. A new health movement is afoot. Started by Dr. Linda Bacon, PhD, Health at Every Size, wants to help people get back in touch with their bodies. On her website, she posts her “Health at Every Size Manifesto,” where she lists the steps to “end the war on fat.” She tells us to “Accept your Size, Trust Yourself for Signals of hunger, fullness, and appetite.” and “Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits.” As it turns out, the “ideal weight” is not a number: it’s a lifestyle. You have to choose to love your body and feed it what it needs. If you feel healthy and you have meals that are full of nutrition – and flavor! – you have reached your ideal weight. We need to silence all the voices telling us what we should look like; it is fueling negative body image and self-hate. Love yourself. You need to before anyone else can.

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more online! We all have secrets that hold us down or make us feel special for holding in. Regardless of what they are or what they represent, sometimes we need to release them even if unleashing them does not change anything. So here, for the beautiful readers who sent them to us, Reasons To Be Beautiful presents the official ventilation of your secrets: My biggest secret is not my own, someone I know is in love with someone else and he made me promise not to tell, so I’m never going to tell but hopefully someday he’ll tell him how he feels because I know they’ll make the perfect couple. In my freshmen year, I’ve burnt myself, played with knifes, chewed straws until my gums bled, and every single painful way that will not kill myself. Because I was confused, lost, and angry at myself. Since I returned to online game that I used played for few years, I didn’t burn myself, played with knives and everything I listed above anymore. Now, I just started again. Because of my own best friend. She’s not my true friend because she copied me, threw me away, called me copy-cat ****, geek, idiot, dumb, and harmful words that she knew. I’ve turned my back and I’m getting little better by day to just playing online game and chat with people who actually love me for who I am. I’m sorry Jessica, but you are changed person now and I don’t want to be your friend anymore... Ever since my friend TJ flipped out and said he was sick of us, I keep thinking in the back of my head that my other friends are next whenever

they say they can’t hang out. I just find it hard to trust people now. I don’t mean to distrust my other friends. I’m sorry guys, if you’re reading this, and I love you all. I still use colouring books! They’re awesome. I don’t really like hanging out with my friends at school anymore. Ever since my “Dramatic break-up” I haven’t felt that I exactly belong there anymore. I feel like I need more then a change of looks but a whole change of scenario. I used to steal my mom’s cash and blame it on my little sister, nowadays my sis actually believes she used to steal things, I feel awful but I feel as if too much time has passed to come clean about it. On my last birthday I made a wish on my birthday candles, since I’m not sharing my name here I guess my wish still counts if I tell everyone: I’m going to apply to America’s Got Talent when the next season is due, well I wished I’d get an audition! I was teased by my friends about being a virgin, so I lied and said I had sex when I was 16. In truth, I was a virgin until I was 20 and only my ex boyfriend who is still my friend to this day and the only guy I have ever slept with knows that I lied to them, to get them to stop bothering me. I still play with play-doh even though I’m in my twenties now, I don’t care, it smells really nice.

Once a month – on the last Friday of every month – Reasons to be Beautiful will be posting a new article with many of your shared secrets on our website, if you want to set your secrets free to email them to rtbb.yourbeautifulsecrets@ and we will post your secret anonymously.

Image by Louise Corcoran

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Self-discovery through the power of your pen

By Sarah Longridge / Image by Louise Corcoran

“Dear Diary,”

How many of us start sentences with this two-word cliché, pledging to jot down our deepest, darkest secrets for the pages of the addressee only? And how have we upheld this scrawled covenant, hopelessly loyal to our chicken-scratch handwriting and heartdotted i’s hoping to keep the remnants of our lives in tact and on paper? You may be surprised to discover just how many people keep and sustain some sort of diary or journal. Some use old-school pen and paper, little books with tiny locks and keys, whereas others do it online — recording their lives through blogs and other social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook status updates. It can be done countless ways by video, email, voice recording. Jotting down the remnant of your day is an excellent way to vent your emotions, document daily activities and occurrences, and nowadays, to share the minutiae of your existence.

Studies have shown that keeping one may even improve your health. Marilyn Elias, in her article for USA Today ‘You’ve Got Trauma, But Writing Can Help’ wrote, “Evidence has mounted in the past 15 years that writing in longhand about traumas — from rape to family deaths — leads to better mental and physical health. Now it looks as though laptop diaries or e-mails can work, too.” The article states many of the health benefits writers have experienced, such as decreased blood pressure and higher immunity. In one of Elias’s test, the results were even so drastic as lessened arthritis pain and easier breathing for those with asthma. However writing has not only physical as Elias claims, but mental and emotional advantages as well. Reflective writing can be therapeutic, benefiting the author on a deeper level than even he or she may understand. Elias notes that writers “who moved on from ‘vent-

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ing’ to new insight and perspective” showed the greatest health improvements in certain studies. One study was co-authored by psychologist Erin Brown, who conducted the survey on her peers while studying at Texas A&M. She and Brad Sheese Ph.D., a current professor of psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University, worked with William Graziano, Brown’s professor at the time. Marilyn explains that the students were asked to write email diaries and fill out health surveys for five weeks. Some were required to discuss deeply personal issues, while others only had to write about neutral topics. The writers who not only catalogued their emotions, but began to analyze them, provided the most interesting and healthy results. In doing so, they were embarking on some small journey of self-discovery through the power of the pen. Studies on the benefits of diary keeping are plentiful, and its methodical use in psychoanalytical therapy is rampant. It is not just day-to-day cataloging either. In the academic publication Journal of Systematic Therapies, an Barbara Schneider’s article entitled ‘Writing to Wellness: Using an Open Journal in Narrative Therapy,’ Schneider describes various methods used by psychologists that utilize written composition. One sect specifically encourages creative writing, focusing on imagination’s role in emotional restoration. Schneider quotes practicing psychologist and poet Gillie Bolton, who claims, “Writing can lead to a greater understanding and greater respect for the diverse aspects of myself, and an increased ability to listen attentively and fruitfully to them.” Bolton is not alone in this belief either. Stephen King, renowned author of over fifty bestsellers – such as the psychological thrillers ‘The Shining’, ‘Misery’ & ‘Duma Key’ – echoes these ideals in his memoir, ‘On Writing’. In the book, he details a horrific accident in which he was hit by an oncoming truck. He describes the mental and physi-

cal anguish that he endured, and the role his writing played in helping him get back on his feet. He states quite dramatically at the end of the memoir that writing is “about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over.” There is a notebook that I personally use and love, manufactured by Compendium Incorporated. Inside the front cover, there is this phrase: “This is a space for dream words, love words, made up words, flying words, fall down and get up words. Get to know the sound of your own inner voice. Be creative. Be generous. Be bold.” This phrase captures the essence of the liberation of writing in a journal and how it can affect us in our daily lives.

Having a creative outlet such as writing can help you get to know yourself. Your own type, scribble or spoken word provides a unique insight into the way your brain works, the nature of your own mental language. When we write, we harness something within us; that intensive drive to create and develop the fruit of our own imagination, to make it palpable and real. Writing whether it is creative, reflective, or merely enumerated, will lead to a deeper understanding of the self. Everyone needs some sort of creative outlet, and self-reflection is imperative to the growth and development of self-confidence. It will benefit you mentally, physically and emotionally. To be frank, writing is just plain good for you! In the words of Stephen King, “Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”

“This is a space for dream words, love words, made up words, flying words, fall down and get up words. Get to know the sound of your own inner voice. Be creative. Be generous. Be bold.”

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The Rise Of T

By Sarah Longridge


hey’re everywhere. On countless websites and services, covering everything from Travel to Stay-athome Parenting, Baking to Dieting, Advice on Dating and how to be Single. They are versatile, widespread, and often quite insightful.“The Blog.”Millions of people have and maintain blogs. They post often -- if not everyday -- on whatever they want. Some of them have themes; others keep theirs like a diary or journal. These bloggers are sharing their lives with us, their experiences, their thoughts, their photos and videos, and quite often their own unique advice. I discussed the world of blogging with Alli Walker, writer of the blog Sardonic Dating Advice, to find out her views on how and why blogging has become so prominent. Walker runs a dating advice blog through the popular blogging website Tumblr. With it, she posts regular dating tips and answers questions from her followers. Sarah Longridge: “When did you start your blog? And what gave you the idea to do it?” Alli Walker: “I started my blog in January of this year. I got the idea because a friend told me that I should write a dating book because I gave funny yet insightful advice. I thought it was a joke and actually started the blog as a joke, but now I love giving people advice.” SL: How much time would you say you spend blogging in a day?

AW: Normally it takes me a few minutes to write a tip but about a half hour for longer posts. I don’t spend too long blogging each day. I basically write a daily tip and answer questions in less than 20 minutes. If it is so easy to maintain a blog, no wonder so many people have hopped on the bandwagon. A news article by Heather Green from Businessweek reported 15.5 million active blogs in 2007 with the number still growing. Robin Wauters, a writer for, notes Tumblr’s statistics, claiming, “Tumblr is currently seeing 2 million Tumblr bloggers publish about 40 million new posts per month. About 10,000 new people sign up for Tumblr every day on average.” And there are several other websites, such as Wordpress and Blogspot, which also provide blog-hosting services.The simple fact that there are so many different ways to blog may be the cause of all this popularity.Jennifer Balderama, in her article for The Washington Post states, “Free Web-based software has made it so easy to publish a blog that even the code-phobic can thrive in a world once dominated by HTML wizards.” and she’s not wrong. Blogging is easy and very accessible -- not to mention fun! SL: What has been your favorite part about your experience with blogging? AW: My favorite part has been seeing how many people read my blog and ask for advice. It’s always nice to see my follower count increase after a post. SL: Do you think you will ever stop blogging? AW: I’m not sure if I will ever stop blogging. I might slow down a bit if I feel I have nothing to say on dating at the time, but it’s kept me busy and interested thus far so I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Apparently, neither does Geraldine DeRuiter, author of The Everywhereist. Her unique travel blog was featured first in Time magazine’s list of 2011’s 25 Best Blogs. I interviewed her as well to see what she had to say about the blogging craze. Like Alli, her inspiration to blog also came from outside influences. When asked about why she started blogging, she had this to say: Geraldine DeRuiter: It was mostly my husband Rand’s idea. I had been a copywriter before I got laid off, and I loved to write, so he (and a few friends of mine) were constantly suggesting I try blogging. They nagged me every time I sent them an email or told them a story about a trip (“That’s great,” they’d say. “So when are you going to start a travel blog?”) They finally wore me down, and in 2009, I started

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The Blog(gers) The Everywhereist. And I’m eternally grateful to them for it. Geraldine travels all around the world with her husband, who is required to do so because of his job. She started travelling with him after she got laid off from her own job and, as she states on her About The Everywhereist page, “It might have been the best thing that ever happened to me.” Now, she has plenty of time to devote to her blog: SL: How long does it take you to compose a post on your blog? GD: It varies so much! There are days when I do nothing but sit at my computer and write, cranking out three or four posts. Other days I really and truly can’t bring myself to type two words. I’d say the average is about 2 hours a post, but some entries (like my 10 photo posts) take less time. Of course, if I get really into a post, I don’t care how long it takes me. I spent a whole day adding speech bubbles to photos when I created the post about Rand and my uncle in Rome. But I was giggling the whole time, so it was worth it.

The Everywhereist r

SL: When you started, did you ever think your blog would become so popular? GD: Not even remotely. For the longest time, the only people who read my blog were Rand and my friend Philip. It still amazes me that it’s caught on. Really, I have trouble imagining why anyone would want to read what I blather on about. But I’m so truly happy that they do. SL: What do you get most out of your blog? GD: The feeling that I’m not alone. I may find myself in a foreign city while Rand is wrapped up in his work, but it’s never lonely, because I can share it with so many people. On a blog, there is always someone to talk to. Plus, The Everywhereist still fulfills its original purpose, which is to remind my husband (whose memory is TERRIBLE) of all the places we’ve seen and visited. SL: Would you recommend blogging to others? Do you think it’s something that everyone should try? GD: Blogging is such a great exercise- it forces you to bring

something from concept to creation to publication in a very short amount of time. I’d recommend it to any writer who is trying to discover their voice and hone their skills. Plus, you can try things that are outside of your comfort zone (I’ve experimented with all sorts of blog posts: first-person ramblings, minute-by-minute accounts of my adventures, even hand-drawn infographics). And if you don’t like your final creation, it’s not a big deal- it is, after all, just a blog. SL: Do you think you’ll ever stop blogging? GD: I truly hope not. I never stick with anything but blogging is addictive, and I enjoy it so much. I suspect that I might blog less frequently in the future (I currently put up a new post every Monday through Friday), so if I want to dedicate more time to travel or another creative endeavor, I might scale back to three or four posts a week, but right now I don’t have any plans to do that. It seems that the blogging craze is more of a blogging addiction, one that is endorsed by people everywhere and is ridiculously amusing to follow. However, this is one obsession that has proven to be incredibly beneficial, providing an outlet for creative voices everywhere. There are thousands of blogs out there, on equally as many topics. They are often fun to search and more than easy to find, not to mention a great way to connect with people. This social tool is the perfect method to share your life with the world, whether you do it anonymously or not. It’s a great way to express your opinions and get your ideas out there -- provided you’re willing to share.

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Get what YOU want in the Bedroom By Letitia Pfinder

According to a Daily Mail Reporter in May 2010, most couples rate their sex lives as being a six out of ten, with 25 per cent claiming their sex life is more automatic and mechanical than what they desire. Let’s face it: even when we are feeling pretty good with our sex lives there is always room for improvement. Discomfort is natural in the sack whether it be insecurities about appearance, sexual performance or lack thereof. Everyone should be comfortable, confident, be able to have fun and get what they want in the bedroom. Reasons to be Beautiful Magazine wants you to make the best of your time in the bedroom. Here’s how:

1. Hey there Mr. Fire Fighter, you’re looking HOT!

ing whatever it is that they are doing; explore one another and verbally tell them if you like it. If they are doing something that you do not like, instead of saying “no” try moving their hand or yourself in a way that you do like it and encourage them with a “yes”, a moan, or a big smile. If you are interested in a more subtle approach you can always give off hints -- such as moans -- when your partner does something you adore.

3. Who says you need a bed anyway?

Spice things up! This probably the most fun way to experiment with your partner! Having sex in different places around the house and being spontaneous is a great way to liven things up and try some new positions. Readers suggested sturdy kitchen counters and dining room tables, a couch, in the shower, -- though, we suggest you be careful with this one, we do not want anyone getting hurt now!-- on computer desk chairs, and anywhere on the floor! We also suggest you close the curtains!

Fantasies are a normal part of everyone’s life; whether it is day dreaming about your cute professor in class or using your thoughts as a “personal time” aid. Take charge of them! Just because it is a fantasy does not mean that you would (or should) act it out of you had the chance. Fantasies allow you to get and stay creative in the bed room and out. They are also fun to discuss with your partner. Maybe you will even have one in common that you both would like to try out. Let your imagination run free! Change up the automatic and mechanical sex for some fun and games. Novelty sexual games can be purchased online or at specialty stores. There is a wide variety to choose from- everyJust how everyone is different, everyone has different things they thing from dice that tell you ‘what to do to which of your partlike during sex. Just because your ex loved it when you nibbled ner’s body parts...’ and ‘where to...’ board games that allow you on his/her ear, does not mean that your current lover will feel to try some different sexual activities! While you are at it take the same way. Getting to know your partner’s body and what a look around at the rest of the store for other things that may feels good to them will certainly improve your experience in interest you and your partner. Whether you are in to edible unbed. Sure, it is fun to explore your sweetheart’s body -- and it is derwear, body candy or hard core toys you can find some fun certainly encouraged -- but it is all just a guessing game until you things to keep you both interested! Lingerie is also a fun way to take charge. Tell your partner what you like while they are do- spice things up and it is certainly fun to shop for.

4. I spy with my little eye… something sexy!

2. I love it when you…



The Quick Pick Contraception Guide

With so many different types of contraceptives on the market, how do you pick the one that is right for you? By Letitia Pfinder


here are various things to consider when picking the right kind of contraceptive for you: what do you need it for? Regular sexual activity? Preventing STI’s? Preventing Pregnancy? Occasional use?Or other benefits like regulating your period?- How much are you willing/ can you spend on it? What method are you most comfortable with? –Barrior, hormone, shots, patches, IUD’s. Contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) during sexual intercourse and oral stimulation. There are quite a few different contraceptives on the market today. Some of these include: - Condoms (known as the Barrier method) must be used every time you have sex to prevent pregnancy. A condom is the only contraceptive method that prevents pregnancy and STI’s by stopping sperm from entering the women’s vagina. Condoms are a popular barrier method and are easily bought at a local drug store. There are both male and female condoms available. How is it used? A male condom is placed over the penis and a female condom is placed in the vagina (though it is still partially outside the body and cannot get lost so it is easy to take out when you are finished). Do not use more than one condom at once, it increases the chances of breakage. Male condoms also come in different flavors for oral sex. Please note that condoms are the only method that protect against STI’s and can be used with other contraceptives such as birth control pills, patches, shots, etc. - The Pill is a hormonal method of birth control that must be prescribed by a doctor. Hormonal birth control pills need to be taken daily in order for them to work and they work by releasing hormones in to your body that prevent ovulation according to While you are on birth control pills, you still have a period every month. You can either take the non-hormone pills for a week or you can get pill packs that do not contain the non-hormone pills in which you just do not take any pills for a week in between your

monthly pill packs. The pill does not protect against STI’s and may come with some side effects; always bring up your concerns or questions with your doctor. Birth control pills may also be prescribed for regulating periods and helping with Premenstrual Syndrome. - Patches are also a hormonal method of birth control. A patch works similarly to the birth control pills. You put on a thin patch once a week for three weeks, then, once those weeks are up you do not wear a patch in order to have your period. Side effects are also similar to those of the pill but you may also have irritated skin where the patch is placed. These do not protect against STI’s. - Vaginal Rings are another form of hormonal birth control. You place a flexible ring in your vagina for three weeks, then take it out in order to have your period. The ring may be taken out for up to three hours but should not stay longer than that in your vagina. Some women find the ring to be a little uncomfortable, especially during intercourse. The ring does not protect against STI’s. More contraceptive methods are available at your local doctor’s office or drug store. You should discuss the best method for you with your doctor for your safety. Make sure you are honest with yourself on why you are using a contraceptive and know that what you use and how you protect yourself is entirely up to you. Protecting yourself against STI’s and unplanned pregnancies are always a good choice; keep yourself educated, informed, and safe!


--------------------------------------------------By Letitia Pfinder

Ask Bliss

In this special issue of Ask Bliss, Bliss answers readers’ questions on couples going off to different colleges, turning friends into romantic partners, and anniversary presents. Ask Bliss is a monthly advice column for questions on love, relationships, sex, and romance by Dating Editor, Letitia Pfinder. Please send your questions to Do not forget to sign your question with your name, state whether you wish to remain anonymous or post your name. Please take into consideration that some questions are edited in moderation and may not be posted due to offensive material.

“I’ve been with my boyfriend now for two years and we are both going to college in the fall. He is staying behind to go to a local college and I am going a few hours away to university. I am afraid that we won’t make it because of the distance. Should I tell him how I feel about it? I do really love him and want this to work. Thanks you so much, * Sarah”

friends; I think it would be worth it to go for it. You obviously enjoyed the kiss, the romance, his company, and the idea of being with him romantically.

“I really love my girlfriend, she means everything to me. We have been together for 4 years next month and I want to do something that makes her feel really special about herself. She is always really down about the way she looks but she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. There isn’t one thing I would change about her. I want to do or give her something that makes her see how beautiful I think she is so that she will see it too. She is so amazing and special. She is so nice and kind and generous, she deserves something really great. Please help me, what can I do to show her how much I love her and how beautiful she really is. Hoping you can help, *Troy”

Hey *Sarah, Moving away from your partner is a huge change and your fears are very normal and understandable for someone in this position. I think that you should communicate your fears with your boyfriend. I always say that good communication is the key to any relationship and I think that once you do go off to school you will realize this. So, yes, I say let him know how you are feeling about your situation; let him know how much you love him and care about him and maybe you two can come up with a visiting plan, phone/web cam dates, and some solutions that will make you both feel better during this conversation. Dear *Troy, is really nice that you want to do that for your girlfriend! I am “I have this friend, we can call him W. W and I have Itsure she will love anything you give her. I am not sure how much been friends since we were 10, we are now 18. We you plan on spending on a gift or taking her out but I suggest have both had feelings for one another on and off but doing something would really mean something to her about we always decided that we were better off as friends the both of you. that Getting something she would love like a piece because we didn’t want to ruin our friendship and we of jewelry engraved with the date you two started dating is alnever really felt the same ways about each other at the ways cute or a cute quote about how wonderful or beautiful she same time (a lot of the time one of us would be dat- is would be really nice too. Writing her a letter telling her how ing someone else already when those feelings came you feel about her is always a great idea as well, it doesn’t cost up). This summer we have gotten really close and the anything and lets her know just how you feel. It is special beother day we even kissed for the first time. It’s been a cause it is something you spent time on and is incredibly cute and great fun summer romance. I really like him now and sweet. Taking her out on a romantic date is always great on an I am hoping that he feels the same way. Should I go anniversary. Anniversaries are definitely the date night that you for it? I am really nervous about it. want to go all out with some really cute and romantic things – I really hope you answer this question! break out the candle light dinner, walk on the beach, whispering Sincerely, sweet nothings, and all that good stuff! Make it a day to really *Anna” celebrate your love! Well, *Anna, you got your wish! Honestly, I think that you should think about what you want to do The opinions shared in the answers are just that: opinions. It is for a while, possibly even write down the pros and cons; make always best to do what you feel comfortable with and what you sure you are sure of what you feel about him and being with think is right. If you feel as though you might need some profeshim before you go for it. You do only live once and it sounds as sional help or are in danger then please contact the appropriate though you both have romantic feelings for one another and it is professionals. Ask Bliss does not reflect the opinions and concerns a pain to always wonder “what if”. Maybe you two can go on of the rest of the Reasons to Be Beautiful staff. a nice date night and see what is really there between you two If you are concerned about your relationship, it is best to seek and possibly have a discussion about it. I say you should go for professional help. Susie Kroll, the magazine’s teen violence datit and see how it goes. Either way you both know you have had ing expert may also answer your questions at Dating@Reasonfeelings for each other before and you have been able to stay


--------------------------------------------------s U f o t u o ” I “ e h t g n i k a t n o s p e t s Easy Meditation- this is great to do alone. You can sit in a quiet place outside (or indoors) and just relax. Use guided meditations that help you focus and work on different things -- maybe you are particularly stressed with something that day and would like to work on it; you can turn on a guided meditation that can help you through it. - Yoga- this is a very relaxing way to exercise and free your mind and balance your spirit. This can also be done with a partner. - Walking – another free and relaxing activity that also happens to give you some exercise. Fine a nice trail, park, or just go for a walk around your block. You can do this by yourself or with a partner. This is a great opportunity to relieve some stress with your loved one.

r e d n fi P a i t i t e By L We have all heard the line ‘It’s not you, it’s me’. There is some truth to this line, no matter how loosely it is used -- we all need time for ourselves. You do not have to restrain from being in a relationship or leave your current one in order to work on yourself. A loved one is a great resource for practicing helpful techniques that also help you work on yourself. A mindfulness approach in your relationship can help not only your communication lines with your partner (which in turns strengthens all your relationships) but also allows you to strengthen yourself through your mind. Meditation rewires the brain for better relationships, states Marsha Lucas, Ph.D in “Nine Ways that a Meditating Brain Creates Better Relationships”. Meditation is a large part of being of sound mind and many people all over the world use it to relax and calm their selves and minds. Meditation is just one relaxing, free, healthy, and interesting way to work on yourself with a mindful approach -- and the greatest thing is, you can adapt this approach to just about anything. The main thing to focus on is your health, mind, and body. Here are some suggested activities for both yourself alone and with your partner:

Journaling- this can be anything from the “Dear Diary” to writing a short, fictional story from your imagination. Perhaps you journal about your amazing experience while meditating, the beautiful thing you saw on your walk that night, the wonderful talk you had with your partner now that your lines of communication are really open, or your great progress with the foundations of mindfulness. General conversation with your partnerlearning how to empathize can be difficult but it is a great way to really work things through with your partner. Listen to what your partner has to say, ask some open ended questions to get to the bottom of how they are really feeling, and do not assume you know how they feel. You can never really know how someone has perceived an experience. True beauty comes from within, so, make sure that you take care of yourself so that all your beauty can shine through. Whether you are taking 15 minutes a day to meditate before bed or spending the day at a spa to relax; remember that you always need some personal time to work on yourself because it is a constant learning experience and need. So, Beautiful Reader, do something good for yourself and for your relationship and try something new! Use mindfulness techniques in any way that you feel that can help you or your relationship and remember that you can adapt them anyway you see fit as long as you feel that they will benefit you.



Q&A with

Susie Kroll has worked in various trainings, seminars, and keynotes to provide teens with an understanding of what dating abuse really is. A report conducted by Teenage Unlimited claimed that “57 percent of teens know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship.” Kroll’s mission is to spread awareness by answering your deepest questions on teen related violence. Reader *Diane asked, “Where can I go to get help if I was in a dating violence relationship?” Susie Kroll: Abuse is a pattern of behavior where one person tries to control the thoughts, beliefs, or conduct of a lover, friend, or any other person close to them. It can include a cycle of violence in the forms of physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, spiritual, and/or economic abuse.

someone you know school counselors and nurses are a great place start. I think it is important to talk to someone that knows about teen dating violence and that can find you the help that you need. It is hard enough for a victim to come forward and talk about dating violence just to have someone that isn’t an expert in the field be at a loss to help or where to direct you. These hotlines and websites are great resources and they know what to say and how to find you the help that you need.

*Diane also asked, “Is it a good idea to go to the police?”

Susie Kroll: If you feel that your life is in danger and/or you fear for your safety then by all means, call the police. Worrying about if you are doing the right thing by going to the police or not pales Abuse, also called battering, domestic violence, in comparison to saving your life. and/or dating violence happens in straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, and Going to the police is scary and a serious step. It transgendered relationships. It crosses all social, may or may not be the right thing for you to do. ethnic, racial, and socio-economic lines. An indi- Learning about all your options is the best way vidual’s size, strength, politics, and/or personality to for you to make an educated decision about DOES NOT determine whether he or she could be what you want to do. The police can document an abuser or a victim. the abuse you are experiencing by writing a police report, especially if there are physical injuries All of these resources are available to those cur- such as bruises, scratches, cuts, or black eyes. Then rently in a dating violence relationship or out of the victim will have the documentation necessary one. If you have questions about dating violence, to talk to a judge about whether or not to have an if you are a victim of it, and what to do to get out, order of protection granted. you can always call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474. Another great re- An Order of Protection is a document from a court source is They have online to help protect you from abuse or harassment. In chat available for questions and discussions with an Order of Protection a judge says there are their peer advocates. If talking isn’t your speed things that the person who hurt or threatened you then their website offers many options and tons of must or must not do. A judge can: information about dating violence and what you can do. If you are seeking help locally, then www. Order your boyfriend or girlfriend to stop is another great resource where you ing you can find information on dating violence, sexual vio- Order your boyfriend or girlfriend to stay away lence, stalking, and getting victim assistance. They from your home, work, school or family have local listings for aid by state and county. If Order your boyfriend or girlfriend not to talk with this all seems too huge and you want to talk to you or see you (no mail, phone, email, messages



Susie Kroll Teen Dating Violence Expert

through other people) Let your boyfriend or girlfriend talk with or see you but not threaten or harass you or hurt your body An Order of Protection is an order from a judge. It is not an agreement between you or your boyfriend or girlfriend. The judge is the only person who can change or end an Order of Protection. If your boyfriend or girlfriend violates the Order Of Protection, or does something that the order says he or she is not supposed to do, you should call the police. If the Order of Protection says that your boyfriend or girlfriend must stay away from you and he or she comes to your house or calls, you should call the police and report each event or encounter. An Order of Protection may or may not completely protect you but does create more documentation for any necessary legal or criminal action that may occur in the future. This may sound very serious and a bit scary but even if you are in the early stages of what you believe may be dating abuse, knowing all your options is how you can make the best decision for yourself and your safety. Calling the National Dating Abuse Helpline is also a way for you to learn more about whether or not your specific situation warrants a call to the police. The helpline number is 1-866-331-9474.

site. Calling the National Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474 is another. Finally, is another website that lists resources by state and county. Your school guidance counselors, nurses, and in-house safety officers (if your school has them) are also great options. You can also reach out to advocates such as myself and we can help you find the resources that you need.

Reader *Lauren asked, “What should I do if no one believes that I am being abused” Susie Kroll: Victims are faced with this issue every day. It may be because the person they are telling isn’t educated about dating abuse or maybe they just don’t want to believe that something that awful could be happening to someone they know. The best advice I can give you is to keep telling someone you trust until they help you. It might take a few tries but someone will help eventually. If you don’t want to take that risk then I would advise you to seek out a resource that is educated in dating abuse and knows what resources are available for you. is a great web-

Reasons to Be Beautiful Magazine features questions from our readers in a “Q&A From a Teen Dating Violence Expert” column every week. Please send all questions to If you wish to remain anonymous, please tell us in your e-mail. You may ask as many questions as you desire. *Names changed to protect our readers who wish to remain anonymous. Visit Susie Kroll’s Facebook page and her blog at



Simple Ways to Show Your Love


By Letitia Pfinder

ho says that you have to save all your love and affection for a couple “special” days in the year? Not Reasons to Be Beautiful Magazine. Here are some cute and fun ways to show your sweetheart you care all year long. 1. Date Nights. Spend the night or a day doing something that you two would have done when you first started dating. This gesture is a cute way to bring some fun and romance back into your relationship. Go back to the first place you had dinner, or go on a simple dinner and a movie date. Each are relaxing and fun things to do with your sweetheart. If a thrilling event is in town that you have been hampering to do, go for it whether it is a play, concert, or a fair. 2. Go on a walk. You certainly do not have to spend money to have a good time. Take your partner for a nice long walk on the beach or park. You can spend hours joking around, getting exercise and enter deep conversation with this quick work out. Go for a hike to spend fun, quality time together. Pick some safe trails and gear up with your sweetie!

3. Have a Picnic. Take a half an hour to make some sandwiches, wash some fruit, and grab some drinks, a blanket and head down to a park. This is a great way to spend some quality time talking and joking around with your partner (you can bring some playing cards with you as well!) If you are really in the mood to put a lot off effort into this and be really thoughtful, take some extra time to prepare his or hers favourite food to pack. During the cooler months, surprise them with a homemade dinner or lunch. If an indoor picnic is not your idea of a good time, you could always surprise him/her with a romantic candle light dinner for two! 4. Something Sweet. Surprise your sweetheart with something cute and sweet. Whether you pick up flowers on your way home from work for no apparent occasion or went out of your way to buy him or her something they really adore, this gesture is a wonderful way to keep the romance alive. Something as simple as a “Thank You” card is a nice way to show your appreciation and love. 5. Spice Things Up. This can be anything from trying something new in the bedroom to trying something new and exciting on a date. Coupons


--------------------------------------------------are a really fun way to do this. They can be found in stores,online or can even be made from scratch! These coupons can be redeemed at any time and can be filled out with everything from one hundred kisses to a chore-free day. The more daring you get, the more variety you give.

are really uncomfortable singing, try whispering sweet nothings in their ear instead.

9. Help him/her relax. Everyone has stressful days. Take some time to help your cutie relieve some stress! Run a hot bath with oils or give your hands a work out with a nice massage. You could 6. Send a Love Note. It is always nice to know also give your sweetie a chore free day and ofhow someone feels about you and it is especially fer to cook and clean up after dinner! nice to be told how much you are loved. Take the time to sit down and write out a letter to your 10. Take Interest in their Hobbies. Whether your love and let them know how you feel. You can sweetheart likes to work out or take art courses, send this via mail or hand it right to them. If writ- join in or suggest a similar activity you two could ing is not your forte, you can always send tiny do together. If you really are not interested in texts of love throughout the day. something they like to do and cannot bare to do it with them, try to snuggle up and watch their fa7. Something Made by You. Homemade gifts are vorite show or movie. always up there on people’s “awe” gift ideas. Surprise your honey with a homemade card or If you feel as though your relationship is being various other note cards. Surprise them with some faced with too much pressure or that your special home made cookies, candy, or something sweet if someone is not paying enough attention to you, arts and crafts are out of your boundaries. This is take the initiative to do some of the simple ways the easiest way to be sweet and creative! If you to show your love listed above! Let them know do have some artistic talent, make some jewelry what you are doing and why. Communication is or sketch a picture of the two of you together. the staple of every relationship but it is not the only thing that holds two people strong. 8. Sing your heart out, literally. You do not have to be a talented or wonderful singer to do this, Make it your goal to do one or two of these you do not even have to be loud and boisterous. things a month . Your special someone will cerCuddle up with your partner and quietly sing a tainly appreciate it and it will definitely help song you specially wrote to them or their favor- relieve a lot of tension and stress. Bring the roite love song that will have them blushing. If you mance back in to your relationship!

Image by Emma Perry




The Epic Conclusion of the Harry Potter Series:

Satisfying or Disappointing By Brittany Mulligan


ince 2001, the Harry Potter series has cast us under its spell. Millions of people worldwide are happy to say that the books have been their childhood memories; many have stuck with Harry “to the very end”. According to Ok magazine in four days Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 grossed a worldwide total of $542.5 million, beating the record for the Twilight series and The Dark Knight opening weekend.

In Deathly Hallows Part 2, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) must search and destroy the remaining three Horcruxes (magical objects containing a part of your soul). Destroying these remaining Horcruxes would allow him to finally kill Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). However Harry is unaware of a seventh Horcrux (but not to worry because he will find out what it is). The Battle at Hogwarts soon takes place as students and teachers duel it out with the Death Eaters and giants. Death takes place as Harry and his friends lose loved ones. The long-awaited epic duel between Harry and Lord Voldemort finally is here and only one can survive. Image by Heidi Hastings As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I had very high expectations for this final film. Here is the series and the last chance to leave us all spellbound and in awe of the magic we were under since the first movie. For those who have read the books countless times like me, Deathly Hallows Part 2 needed to be perfect. Was it? No — but it came pretty close. As usual, the cinematography was excellent. From the burning of the Hogwarts castle to the lifelike structures of the statues that came to life under Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith)’s spell, the special effects were spell-bounding. You know the special effects were made exceedingly well when you can not tell them a part from reality and fantasy. The movie felt so real — it was like being transported to the Wizarding World. You could almost feel the heat of the fire against your skin or the ruffle of your hair as a spell narrowly misses you.

The actors have shown how much they have grown with their impressive acting. The three main characters Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) have been working on this since the very beginning, transforming from an inexperienced child who face difficulties performing to actors that manage to let the audience step into their shoes. Their acting have matured; Harry is no longer a little boy anymore. One interesting performance was by Ralph Fiennes who portrayed Lord Voldemort. His acting was on par but there was one minor detail that had the theater laughing but for others like me, upset. In one particular scene Lord Voldemort hugs Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). Though it is unusual for Lord Voldemort to hug, it was meant to be taken as a sign that he will accept anyone into his new regime. While the hug was awkward it wasn’t a sign of human emotions like affection or happiness, it was a show of his promise to accept anyone who willingly wants to join him. The hug aimed to mock the weakness of Harry’s supporters after his ‘death’, and was a show of his egoist attitude. Above all, the most incredible performance that stole the attention of the audience was Alan Rickman who portrayed the ‘unpopular’ Professor Snape. His performance was worthy of an Academy Award. Through the first six movies, Professor Snape has been portrayed as an antagonist, one who was most detested because of how he picks on other students. However, Professor Snape redeems himself completely in this last installment as he put the whole theater in tears during his scenes when he revealed his true identity. The ending however was a bit unsatisfying. Anyone who has read the epilogue in the book could tell you that. It was cut short — simple as that. A redeeming factor would be the incredible way that makeup artists made Harry and friends look realistically older. It was truly amazing to see the transformation of Harry from a young adult to an adult bringing his kids to school in a flash. Overall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 did not disappoint. Take the suspenseful action flying everywhere with the spells being cast, the pressure Harry faces to find the remaining Horcruxes and add it with amazing performances like that of Alan Rickman’s and you will get one amazing movie. If you haven’t taken the time to watch the conclusion to the Harry Potter series, then you are missing out on one of the most celebrated movies of the decade.



aNight Market In Taiwan

Travel with Culture Editor, Madel Tham ddddd


ith the tempting aroma of local delicacies. the cute small little items you just want to bring them home, and the variety of clothes you can get, the night market culture in Taiwan is a thrill. The best part? It’s all at an affordable rate! aFinger-licking good; local delights! Excuse my lack of vocabulary and adjectives that force me to use KFC’s trademark quote – it’s the closest motto I can think of for local delights. The variety is endless; from finger food like fried squid and smelly tofu, to sit-in meals at the various stalls that sell food like Hot Pot, noodles and broth. At the end of the day, do not forget to top it all off with a dessert like Mango Ice, or a delicious crepe. Personally, I try not to eat a full meal when beginning my food-tasting frenzy. You can choose to have a small bowl of noodles just in case you think you won’t feel satisfied with those finger foods, but otherwise use the ‘eat-as-you-walk’ method. The variety you get is amazing — try everything you can. Most of the time you do find duplicate stalls or several stalls selling the same thing. Generally, one of the stalls will have an overwhelming response; if you don’t mind the queue, it is likely because of it the good service and long history in the area. Trust the locals, they know better! However, if you don’t want to queue (sometimes these queues can take up to half-an-hour or more) you can try the taste at other stalls; it won’t be too far off. You can always google to find out which stalls are popular hits before you go to the actual area. These roadside stalls at the night market not only sell food,

but a range of accessories, such as earrings and necklaces. There is also handphone straps, bags and other little items. Take your time choosing these accessories; each stall have unique styles and prices that sell handmade items. Do not buy in huge bulk at one stall; take a trip down the lane for a first look, or you can opt to buy one to two that intrigue you at a stall. The prices are fairly affordable even for the locals, and if you ever think that it isn’t, haggle a price with the stall owner; they generally would give you a discount! It is important to note that haggling is only allowed for roadside stalls. Most of the time the shops along the road do not accept haggling. aOur favorites: Clothes, and shoes! With a plethora of styles for you to choose from: vintage, boyfriend, prep, classy, Lolita, casual, and more, you are bound to find something that you like. Note however, Taiwan is a seasonal country; If you go there during winter, it’s hard to find summer clothing, and vice versa. Do take note of this, especially if you live in non-seasonal places. And how can we forget about the shoes? Taiwanese love boots, especially those styled from places like Japan or Korea. If you ever go there during the fall/winter season, be sure to get a pair back home as a victory purchase! Pictured are boy-ish boots that were recently a hit in Taiwan. aAt the end of the day Night markets are a must-visit to anyone who is going Taiwan for a trip; it’s a booming culture over there, with large support from the locals themselves. It’s a truely fun experience, whether you’re there with your family or friends.

Image by Emma Perry




Blissful i Tips for First Time Travelers Image from David Cox/iStock


raveling to a foreign land should be not so much a chore as an art. You should have the best time possible, see as much as you can, and at the same time be diligent about keeping yourself — and your valuables! — in one piece. As many methods of travel are offered today for the excited traveler, I thought I would offer some tips I keep in mind when I embark on my own travels. I like to take a backpack when I travel to throw in an umbrella, a few bottles of water, snacks, sun block, and even a small poncho — just to be safe. This served me faithfully throughout my spring trip to Greece, a city prone to sporadic rain showers and cool temperatures in its winter season. Though rain is unlikely for July in Italy since this is when the Mediterranean becomes a huge baking oven for tourists. My backpack then turned into an uncomfortable layer of ‘this is really hot, please get it off me’ accessory. It all depends on what you prefer: the ultra prepared backpacker or the lackadaisical tourist out for a spin. If you want to blend in with the crowds and lose the backpack, try a purse that can fit under your arm. Pickpockets are the main problem in most European countries. If you are planning on carrying your valuables in a little bag make sure you can zip up, button up, and sling that bag in front of you at all times to prevent some sticky fingers finding their way inside. Personally, I prefer to leave most of my essiental valuables in a hotel safe that can be found in your room or at the front desk. Passports are especially important because they are super valuable as a stolen item, let alone as your main mode of identification in foreign countries. Make sure to bring a lesser form of ID with you, just in case you run in to trouble. This includes that lovely photo of you on your state license, though an equally ravishing photo of you on a campus ID card will work in a tough spot — that card may also get you a student discount as well, so double bonus! For the backpackers, what method of clothing supply you choose is entirely up to you, but I definitely recommend the ‘layer technique’ as my dad –an intrepid traveler for business and pleasure — has dubbed. To be prepared for all types of weather bring clothes that you can layer: a hoodie that is big enough for you to wear a sweater underneath and t-shirts that you can layer on top of one another. My favorite layering device is my super-duper raincoat! It is really thin, but large enough that I can slip my leather jacket underneath (also nice to protect the jacket on rainy days), it is water proof (obviously), and conveniently folds into a small packet which fits right in that fabulous day-pack I mentioned.

In any case, be sure to be prepared for any type of weather: hot or cold, wet or dry, especially if you are going to be traversing several countries with just one backpack. Always check the annual weather expectations before you visit the area, but still pack in case of surprises. Are you country or continent hopping? Get maps and little phrase books beforehand. You can get these maps online or in airport bookstores, and even check out your local travel agency to see if they keep any in stock. Phrase books in the language of the country you are visiting can be found at any bookstore at the ‘travel’ or ‘international’ section and are invaluable for asking for that emergency bathroom you find yourself needing in an overcrowded public area you are bound to wander into. It is also useful when you are ordering food, unless you would love to add that surprises to your day. I nearly ordered calf brain sausage my first night in Germany if not for a friend who speaks German (having one of those is nearly as useful as a phrasebook though perhaps more likely to prank you). Trust me: both the map and the book (though having friends is better!) will definitely make your journey much more enjoyable. Of course, you can probably do without those: for me it is becoming a hobby. Make sure all your modes of transportation are taken care of before heading out from home: are you going by train, plane, or vehicle? Double check whether you have all your tickets and reservation confirmations tucked inside that handy-dandy backpack. This also includes your travels by foot. Planning on hoofing it or hiking as many mountain trails as you can? Get the best footwear and break it in before you start hiking all those miles. I favor gel pads even in my most comfortable sneakers because just a little more cushioning between your bunions and the pavement will make a world of difference at the end of a very long day (the walk from Notre Dame to the L’Arc De Triomphe in Paris is a killer even with those lovely park benches). Also make sure all of your forms of ID and cash are safely tucked away before you go. Checklists are going to save you a lot of stress, so make one up as you are planning out your adventure even if it is just to a resort’s poolside. Finally, do a little research. Yes, I see you yawning, but I’m serious! You may not even be a huge history geek — like me — but knowing a little more about a place where you travel will make everything you see have more context and even double the fun of finding special monuments or places that you find interesting. For instance, did you know that the city of Dresden, Germany was totally leveled in WWII? Or that the Place de la Concorde was originally where the guillotine stood that Marie Antoinette lost her head to during the French Revolution? And the obelisk that stands there now is over 3,000 years old and took 4 years to travel to Paris from Egypt by barge? That is what I mean! So get out there, get some walking shoes, grab a bag, and find out what the world has to offer while you have a fantastic–and safe– time exploring and learning and growing. I wish you all the best!



in Berlin By Megan Cramer

more online!

Common courtesies to adhere to in Germany k


t is wonderful to travel, experience new things and meet new people. Connecting with other cultures may enlarge your universe and make you “a better citizen of the world” as Rick Steves says. That being said, keep an open mind and try your best to try new things; this includes a new set of manners– even if you do not speak the local language. Europeans are especially concerned about their manners. Here are some tips I learned while living overseas. Most major European cities such as Berlin, Paris, London, Frankfurt and others have large and complex subway systems. These are used by most of the population and tourists, meaning you. Think twice before trying to get on the London Tube around 5 o’clock; it is like being fitted into a sweltering sardine can – they are dead quiet. Europeans do not have the propensity for loud conversations so keep it to a whisper if you actually want to talk to the person next to you (Please, sir, would you perhaps move your hand from that location? Thank you so much). In fact, most public venues – unless they’re populated by tourists – have little ambient noise, so if you suddenly shriek about a weird-looking-thing in your soup, everyone is going to hear you. In Germany, if you are ducking in and out of shops it is considered good manners to acknowledge the clerk with a “Halo” (haa-low) when you enter and a “Tschüs” (sh-ooz, “Bye”) as you leave. You can add on a “Danke schön” (daan-ka sh-uun, “Thank you”) if you think the clerk is cute – or if the old woman is glaring at you (do not worry, I get scared too) – and you did not happen to buy anything which might gain you the resultant glare. Some adhere to a strict honor system – you will see kiosks unguarded and strands outside shops unwatched. Do not be too alarmed when you see them – and make sure to go inside and pay for that scarf, it’s the nice thing to do. The honor system is supposed to apply to drivers and bicyclers as well, as you are expected to stringently follow all the rules. There are quite a few rules, mind you, and pretty elaborate as well: bikes are expected to behave like cars and obey the same signs. In this case, you’ll be playing Try-Not-To-Get-Creamed-By-Bicyclists as you walk along sidewalks and pedestrian zones where cars are unwelcome but bikes will sneak up behind you and try to play chicken; it’s not a fun

game, trust me. Try not to get too irritated though: if you flip someone the bird in Germany you can be arrested and fined up to 1000 Euros for “assaulting a person’s honor” with that seemingly “innocent” hand gesture. At fests, an “Entschuldigung“, (en-shuul-dee-gung, ‘Excuse me‘), will get you by in crowded, accidental groping situations; in department stores or restaurants a polite “Bitte”, (bit-uh, “Please”), will get you some attention if the attendants/waiters are politely ignoring your browsing/ conversation. Long lunches are expected in most of Europe and waiters are paid from the included service portions of your “rechnung”, (recknung, “bill”), and so will be in no hurry to shove you out to make room for more customers – though this doesn’t always bode well for you if you are looking for a restaurant on Friday evening and all the tables are taken. You will not want to wait. Tipping is considered a compliment and not a necessity depending on your tipping philosophy; however tipping the bathroom attendant is considered something you should do– especially if it is a machine, they’ll give you some nasty looks as well as not let you through the turn-style, period. At German street fests, carnivals, and sidewalk cafés they are very fastidious about their garbage, so much that on most bottles you will find a Pfand, (faa-nd, “Deposit”) label, meaning that if you turn it in to a shop or a recycling machine you can get some m o n e y back for the bottle itself. This is to discourage littering and encourage recycling your trash. You may turn this bottle back in to the café counter or the kiosk from which you got it and might even get half of the drink’s cost back, or you can dump it into any one of the many recycling receptacles found in public places out of the goodness of your heart. You will also get a start to realize that dogs are allowed almost everywhere in Germany and are taken extremely good care of by their owners, either passing you in the mall on a leash or a bit of moving fuzzy underneath a table at a restaurant. They are remarkably well trained. So when in Germany, remember your Danke schön ’s and your Schön abend ’s (sh-uun aa-bend, ‘Have a nice evening’), try not to stare while passing by naked sunbathers in the parks, watch out for those bicyclists, and enjoy the flourishing countryside of this beautiful nation and its incredible diversity in people, pets, and proper manners.

Curious about traveling to Germany? Explore your wanderlust.

Image by Emma Perry

Image by Emma Perry

culture --------------------------------------------------Luke Lukess from My Future Lies


Check out the band’s latest album!

Reasons To Be Beautiful magazine managed to snag an interview with Luke Lukess, front man (guitarist and lyrist) of one of the largest unsigned bands in Australia, My Future Lies. A life-long musician as well as a motor racing enthusiast (who organizes bi-yearly charity drives in Australia, the next being Australia Down for Depression in 2012), look no further as Writer and Editor, Madel Tham, interviews Lukess about his music careerand shares his inspirational experiences to aspiring musicians.




--------------------------------------------------Madel Tham: Your band name is really interesting; how did you come up with this name? What prompted the change of the band’s name from ‘Acid Eyeliner’ to ‘My Future Lies’? Luke Lukess: When the band formed in 2006, we were playing a lot of punk rock and the name Acid Eyeliner seemed to fit with the genre we thought we’d best fit into. After a while it was apparent that we were heading down a more pop rock style of writing and the name just didn’t work with the softer style of music we produced. Often we’d get billed with hardcore bands because of the name alone.

cians and bring out the abilities we’ve all worked on over the years.

MT: Who influences/inspires your music? LL: My lyrics come from personal experience; Love, Life, Family and Hurt. I find it easy to write about those things as it is therapy for me and also helps others relate to their problems and see that we’re all just human after all.

MT: If given a chance, is there anyone you would like to collaborate with? MT: So Luke, I’ve read in your bio that you’ve started perLL: I’d love to work with people that have the same passion forming at the age of 12! What did people around you think as me. I have no time for working with people that are only of your music career when you first started out? influenced by fame and money. LL: I’d always perform with older musicians, including my brother and his friends at school. We had a lot of people at MT: The album cover for your 2010 album Chasing the Moon, the start who were supportive of what we did, encouraged is very intriguing. Is there a special meaning behind it? us to perform and I guess inevitably gave me the inspiration LL: The album cover was actually designed by Tony Melov, to make it a full time career when I left school. who is an amazing artist. We wanted a piece of art that was a little mysterious. We let Tony loose on the design and MT: What first got you interested in music; what made you he came up with something that drew attention to the album, decide that you were going to pursue a career in the music and made people ponder the meaning. industry? LL: The movie ‘Back to the Future’ Part 1, the 50’s scene MT: Do you take part of the creation of your album packwhere MJFox plays Johnny B Good at the school dance. age? If so, which were your favorite album-covers? When I saw that movie, I knew I wanted to play guitar and LL: I did all the designs on the early AE & MFL covers. It was be a performer. I even sticky taped an extension cord to my great to sit back and watch a professional do Chasing the first acoustic and convinced my friends at school it was an Moon. Of course the band and management had input and electric guitar. we had many versions of the final cover. We’d bounce back and forth via email till everyone was happy. MT: From a guitarist, to a singer and forming your band, you’ve had quite a number of years of experiences under MT: Out of everything you’ve recorded, which are your fayour belt. During this decade long – and running – career, vorite songs and why? have you ever thought of giving up? LL: The two albums we’ve released are so different. The first LL: I’ve thought about giving up more times than you can captures a lot of feelings from when I was a kid, first love imagine. Over the years it has been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve etc. “Kissing you in the Driveway” is a prime example of this never been signed to a label and that has meant the major- and talks about my first girlfriend, first love and the humor of ity of the early days was funded by myself and relying on being caught out by her dad in her driveway. The first alfans to buy our releases to fund the next release and so on. bum also had an angry side of me: the bitter side of broken Sometimes I’d play gigs and only have enough money to get hearts and failed love. home. Many times we’d tour interstate, praying that people “Chasing the Moon” however takes a different tone. The would come to the shows or else we’d be stranded without song is about me realizing that life goes on; it’s a journey fuel money to get home. of me heading home to find myself and sort out my probThe key to keeping going has been the fans that constantly lems. “Hand to Hold” talks about near death experiences, support us by buying merch and releases and a more than the lowest of lows and a desire to help out others that feel supportive manager who came on board with us late 2009. depressed and need comfort. “Rocket Fuel” is by far my Without his support our second album would never have hap- favorite song so far. It captures a lot of emotion and let me pened. The support of management and family has been a release my piano skills for the first time on a recording. key aspect of me keeping at it. MT: There must have been many interesting (and sometimes MT: What genre would you classify your style of music as? horrifying) incidents when you go on your tour. What was LL: Pop Rock and the music I’m currently writing could be con- your most unforgettable moment during the tour? sidered alternate rock. LL: Probably my old van would go down as a tour fav. It would constantly break down, fall apart and twice left MT: What general direction are you advancing towards? us stranded out of fuel on the side of the road in subzero LL: One of the key things with writing new music as we head weather. Those moments make you stronger and we cherish towards our third album is forgetting about all the rules them. regarding radio airplay. I’m no longer writing songs with that 3:30 time length and I’d like to add more instrumental MT: Where have you performed so far and where will some sections to songs that really showcase our ability as musiof your upcoming shows be? Is there a particular place that


--------------------------------------------------formed the band? LL: It has matured a lot. I think at the start we were trying to fit in, trying to suit the genre / scene. Now we’re 100% set on just being our own band, doing what we love and if people like it, great, if not, who cares!!

you’d really like to perform at? LL: We’ve been everywhere in Australia. We’d love to do more rural shows and get our music to the little country towns that really crave live music. We’ve found over the years the big cities, while amazing to play, are also spoilt with constant streams of music. We want everyone to have a chance to MT: What are some of your favourite and least favourite hear our songs and let’s hope one day we can take it overaspects of being in the music industry? seas! LL: Being broke sucks!! But at the same time, we get to do what we love and when you see a person relate and get afMT: I noticed that you guys have a Facebook page as well as fected by your songs, it makes all the hard times worthwhile. a Twitter account. How often do you use these social networking medium to get in touch with your fans? MT: Do you have any advice for other young people who LL: All the time!! Especially as an unsigned band, I’ve always want to start a band? considered our fans part of the band. Without them we’re LL: Work really hard and writing honest songs and connect nothing. There hasn’t been a day since the band started that with your fans. Don’t rely on your friends because they will I’ve not logged onto Facebook and twitter to answer fans move on. You need to build new friendships around the music questions. They know it is me and not a record label reprethat will last forever. sentative which makes it even more special for them. MT: There are now many singers and bands singing the OST MT: I think this is one question that many new bands would for movies. Is there any movie that you would love to sing love to ask: how do you promote your music in general? for? LL: We’ve mainly used online, social networking because it is LL: I’d love to be involved in any movie and even write orfree. Especially in the early days when Myspace was hapchestrations for movies. It is something I’m already working pening, we achieved a lot of success through that medium. at. MT: What are the differences (in regards to promotion, music genre, environment etc) before and after signing on with a management? LL: Our music, ethics and direction didn’t change when signing with management. However. I instantly felt secure in having someone trustworthy to discuss decisions with and our management was able to open some amazing doors for us which really helped us in the lead up to doing our album. Our only hope is that we can take our band to the next level and reward him and our fans for all their hard work and commitment.

MT: Fun-Fact time! Tell us some interesting bits about yourselves and about the band in general; someone who has a weird habit, pet peeves etc. LL: We’re all normal guys which might sound a little boring but at the risk of sounding gross, I really, really dislike public toilets.

MT: Now let’s hear some Juicy Details: Your ideal types? LL: Girls? I think as I’ve gotten older so I’m not so attracted to the pretty-blinking-eyed girls and have more ventured out on a journey to find a girl that has heart, character and will be there for many years to come. Also a girl that understands MT: Could you briefly walk us through the process of creating what I do, lets me be involved with what she does and can a song? commit to a life of substance together. That would be wonLL: I write a lot of my songs while driving, usually late at derful. night. Chasing the moon for example was written on the highway between Sydney and Bowral. I came up with the hook MT: Sneak peek: I read on the website that the band is planfor the chorus, recorded that into my i-phone memo and then ning to release a new single “Now With You, Not With Anycompleted the song when I got home. Most songs are done one” as soon as August! Can you tell us what can we expect this way. It is the modern way of writing songs. I like to wait in the release? Share with us some of your future plans and till lyrics pop out, rather than force them. things to look out for the next few months as well! LL: This song is kickass!! It starts with a huge guitar riff and is MT: From what I’ve gathered, Luke is the song writer for My very upbeat. It doesn’t sound like old MFL and will hopefully Future Lies. Is there a common theme throughout most of your kick off our fans into the next phase of the band. We’re so songs/album? Do the members create their own compositions excited about this. for the band as well? LL: So far I’ve done all the writing but Pete came up with the MT: Last but not least, any last words? bass riff in Rocket Fuel which was amazing. Hopefully that LL: I hope people take time to listen to the songs, and not just was the start of more input from the rest of the band as we one. Sometimes you might only find one song on an album head towards the 3rd album. When singing and relaying the that changes your life. I can’t pick which one it will be for message of the song, I find it hard to sing about other peoyou, but i’d love you to listen to them all and see for yourself. ple’s experiences unless I really can relate. This makes singing Also check out my acoustic release “oakdene road” for those my own music really important to me. after more laid back music. MT: How do you think your music has grown since you first

culture --------------------------------------------------Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Relationships writer Anne Brooke

the full version

Reasons to Be Beautiful magazine has managed to interview chocolate-lover and travel enthusiast Anne Brooke – the author from Surrey, UK, well-known for her GLBT (Gay-Lesbian-BisexualTranssexual) romance comedy ‘The Hit List’ and the psychological thriller ‘A Dangerous Man’. Brooke has been married “nearly 18 years to the most long-suffering man in the world.” She infamously lives by her own “personal strapline”, that states that she is “no worse than any other writer, but better than some.” “I’ve been writing poetry for about twenty-five years and fiction for over ten, but am sure I get no better at either,” she claims. Writer and Editor Madel Tham interviews Brooke to find out more about herself, her writings, and the secrets to beating writer’s block.

very exciting one, and sometimes quite dangerous too.

Madel Tham: What does the label “writer” mean to you?

MT: What prompted you to write GLBT fiction? The genre seems to be commonly labelled as ‘taboo’.

Anne Brooke: It’s a way to create something I can’t do in my normal life, and also a way of being in charge – it’s quite powerful to create your own personal universe and dictate what happens there, though to be honest my characters have far too much influence over me for that to be strictly true. I also like finding out what happens next and the only way to do that (as I don’t plan) is to write it down. It makes the universe I’m trying to create a

AB: Most of the voices in my head are male and I feel more comfortable writing them than I do the female ones. Goodness knows what that says about me! Also I think the male voice, even in this day and age, is a very powerful one, and I find that for me writing a male character is a way of expressing my own beliefs and opinions that I personally feel I probably can’t as a middle-aged, middle-class woman living in the UK.


--------------------------------------------------MT: Are there certain subjects that you would not feel comfortable writing on?

AB: I don’t think I could write a horror story as the subject makes me feel uncomfortable. I certainly wouldn’t want to write about hardcore abuse, although a couple of my novels, including A Dangerous Man (GLBT crime novel), touch on the subject in terms of its effects on the characters. I think I’d probably be uncomfortable with anti-religious themes too, although, as a Christian, I’m a strong believer in questioning everything – that’s what faith is for! That said, I did include a very religious character in The Bones of Summer (GLBT crime novel), whose actions cause havoc and great pain for my characters there, so I think there’s considerable danger in very strict views, although of course many people hold them.

suit the people you’re writing about.

MT: Do you write with an intended target audience in mind? AB: Yes. I write fiction I’d like to read – that way I can enjoy writing it! That said, if a story is popular, then I’m happy to write a sequel if the audience is there, but it’s best if I’m going to enjoy it too, and also if I feel there’s more to say. There’s nothing worse than writers resurrecting “dead stories” that have no more energy left in them and should be allowed to rest. Once you reach an actual ending, then I’d say stay there and trust it. MT: Where does your inspiration and drive for writing come from? What are some of your favorite writers and novel that have inspired and motivated you?

MT: You’ve written Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy and Science Fiction novels; AB: Inspiration often comes in dreams – I dream scenes, then wake up and what other genres are you looking into as a means for exploration? write them and see where they go from there. Weirdly, when I was younger AB: I’m currently writing a GLBT fantasy novella, and I’m considering writing (and even occasionally now), I dreamt in episodes so dreams carried on both a follow-up to A Dangerous Man, and also a more literary novel, so their storylines night after night – that could be fun! Also things people say and news items can spark stories off, so it’s good to keep open to what’s that’s the next five years spoken for! going on around you. MT: Do you do some form of research before you get down to the writing, MT: While visiting various online writing communities, one of the most comor let imagination take the lead instead? mon problems aspiring writers faced were the loss of motivation, as well as AB: No, I jump in first and start writing. The research happens as I go along, writer’s block. Have you encountered such situations, and how did you push and any larger chunks of research are left to the end. I think if I did the yourself through? research first then I’d kill the idea completely. It’s a process of discovery for me.

AB: During my mid twenties, I had quite a difficult year and stopped writing poetry entirely. After I’d moaned about it too many times, my mother (bless MT: In A Lonely Place, you left the story open-ended. Given a chance, her!) got cross and told me just to write prose instead. So I did and then would you have added an additional ending? In fact, if you would have didn’t stop – that turned out, eventually, to be The Hit List (GLBT romantic had the chance to revisit your work, are there any stories you would have comedy). The poetry came back in the end too, thank goodness. So I think loss of motivation or Writers’ Block can actually be your “muse” telling you changed the ending of? to take much-needed time off or to try something new. Writing should be an AB: For that story, yes, I do actually think there’s more there between those adventure, not a drudge (though adventure is of course always hard work!) two characters, and I shall definitely revisit that one day – thanks for the and sometimes we just need to think laterally and try a different field, if reminder! I can’t instantly think of any other stories/novels where I’d like to whatever we’re doing isn’t working. If you can’t write one thing, have a cup change the ending now they’ve been published, though sometimes, such as of coffee and write another. And don’t forget, there isn’t actually a rule that in The Delaneys series (GLBT erotic romance) when I get to the end, I feel says you have to write every day – after all, Vermeer could only manage there’s more to come, so start writing it. Strangely, when actually writing, I about one brush stroke every month (or similar!) but nobody says he’s not do tend to get the first draft of an ending down fairly early on and then, an artist[ ...] most times, change it – sometimes quite substantially – when I eventually get MT: Some writers find it difficult to write short stories, vice versa. Having there. I think that just goes to show how much I like to work to a goal. written both short stories and novels, which do you find it harder/more enMT: What do you think of the sex scene stereotype that assumingly claims joyable to write? that romance novels are just another “erotic book”? What role do sex AB: They’re both difficult - and exciting! - in their own way. For me, short stories are easier because the end is more clearly in view, but in a novel, scenes play in your fiction? you can really get to grips with a character and explore them in a far AB: Yes, it is annoying. Not all GLBT fiction is erotic or has any sex scenes at deeper way, which is also very exciting. I think the length is also something all. I think it’s a false literary marker and the story/novel in question should the story and characters dictate, and it’s wisest to listen to them, and your be understood within its actual genre – eg romance, historical, fantasy, writing instincts. crime etc – whether or not it’s GLBT or straight. I also think, in terms of the role sex plays in my fiction, that it depends entirely on the nature of the character you’re writing about. For instance, Liam in The Delaneys series is open-hearted, funny, and very “out there” so he talks about sex with his two partners in detail and in a way that suits him; whereas in my fantasy novel, The Gifting, my main character, Simon, is far more cautious and so doesn’t describe sex in that way at all. He’d be horrified if someone actually asked him to talk about the physical acts and you wouldn’t see his heels for dust! How it affects him, and his partner, is what he sees as more important. MT: Personally, I think that sex scenes are sometimes unavoidable to show the progression between the characters, but there are some authors who write sex scenes just to entertain the readers, and there is little to no necessity of the scene at all. When do you recommend new writers to add in the sex scenes, and when should they try to avoid it?

MT: For new readers, recommend them a book from your collection to start off with. AB: It depends on what readers like! For romantic comedy, try The Hit List, or Pink Champagne and Apple Juice. For crime, try A Dangerous Man, or The Bones of Summer. For fantasy, try The Gifting. For GLBT erotic short stories, try The Delaneys and Me, or the upcoming For One Night Only (due out 17 July). For literary short stories, try A Woman Like The Sea, or Dancing with Lions. For poetry, try Sunday Haiku. And don’t forget to let me know what you think!

MT: I’ve read in some of your other interviews that you started with writing poetry. Have you ever written poetry within your chapters? AB: Actually, I’ve never written poetry in my chapters, though perhaps I should one day - there’s an idea! It does feel strange though, like putting two parts of my life together - but maybe it would be brave to try. People AB: I think that you should actually only add a sex scene if there’s abso- do say that my more literary fiction is poetic though, and sometimes the polutely no other way of describing a character’s development at that par- etry can be part of the story - such as in A Dangerous Man, which is probticular moment. Sex scenes aren’t actually about sex at all – or shouldn’t be ably the most poetic fiction I’ll ever write, really. Here’s a sample: – they’re about showing the reader the inner workings of a character and “Joe had twisted the afternoon into something cruel and I no longer wanted to how their emotions and decisions are affected by what they’re involved in. be inside with the two of them. I slammed the door behind me and swung down And you don’t even have to describe the scene in any detail if that doesn’t the garden tarmac into the open street. At once I felt lighter, as if the walls and


--------------------------------------------------roof of the flat, the spices in the kitchen had been weighing me down, forcing me into a shape I didn’t recognise. Few people were about, only a couple of tramps and a scattering of whip-thin boys, too young for my liking. Three of them tried to hustle me but I pushed right through the cage they’d made with their bodies, spitting something wild into the night air, and they drew away, laughing. The tramps I ignored, I had nothing they would want. I strode on, past the litter and broken railings, the wiry straggle of parkland and the promise of gardens. The heavy smell of London splintered into strands of human flesh, brick, tile, dying grass and abandoned dogs. All of them demanding a response I was unable to give. Because the only thing in my head was Joe’s comment and what it might mean. Why was I only “good”? Why couldn’t I be the best? How could I get better? Drawing was what I breathed for; it was the only need that drove me from my bed in the mornings. Every day, I was always looking. Looking for snippets of vision, something quirky at the corner of a building or in the way some men held their smiles. Looking so I could memorise what I thought I saw and commit it to the precious paper afterwards. It was a release and an abandonment. But how could I improve enough to make the people who mattered see its quality? Heading south, my head full of desire, I passed orange street lights casting monstrous shadows onto faces, old warehouses which would never be used for anything but drugs now, and always more and more people with the poverty or desperation they wore. London. It smelt of failure, something I couldn’t stomach. Until today, so much in my life had been wrong, or less than right, that I couldn’t see how I could bear it any longer. I had to make a change. Striding past a bus waiting at traffic lights, I turned at the last moment and squeezed on, the aisle packed with people heading to the centre for clubbing or for sex. And so for a while we careered round the streets, leaving behind our lives, and seeing lights and gangs and theatres and always people, so many people sparked once in my sight and then gone. The nearer the heart of the city came, of course, the slower the journey. I knew by now where I was heading. Just past Tottenham Court Road, I waited for the bus driver to change down a gear and then jumped; a sensation of flying through dirty air, and then landing on my arse on wet pavement. Behind me came the raucous jeering of the bodies left on the bus, trapped like animals until their destination. I took no notice. Picking myself up, I brushed my jeans, checking for rips, but found none. Then pushing through the curious stares of more tramps and drunks, I hunched my shoulders and hoped that the end of my journey might take the sweat off my skin for a while. Or add to it, maybe. Ten minutes of walking and letting the air dry my jeans brought me to the narrow entrance of The Two Ravens. An ugly building, with its crumbling brickwork and crooked, rain-beaten sign, but still something about the way the lines edged into each other as if stumbling their way home made me feel alive. It was one of the places I most enjoyed drawing, though I showed no-one the results.” MT: Tell us a ‘pet peeve’ of yours when writing. AB: Getting a word I like and then using it over and over again - I only notice after a while and it’s so annoying! One of my editors told me that if I used the word “shimmer” one more time, she could not be held responsible for her actions. She was right too! I try never to use that word now, but it sometimes slips in ... I also have trouble remembering hair and eye-colour so I now write it down somewhere so I don’t have to spend too long checking. I also get in a rut of using lots of short sentences together - that’s annoying too. Oh, and I once, to my unending shame, changed the sex of a minor character without realising, which caused a lot of raucous comment in the magazine publishing that particular story. Thank goodness for editors! MT: Are you good at time management? How do you plan your schedule to incorporate writing, work and family? AB: I’m fairly good at managing time - but I’m helped a lot by (a) a secretarial/admin job which has definitely taught me timemanagement; (b) my very patient husband; and (c) not having any children (our lifestyle choice). I tend to try to write about 3,000

words a week, on Thursdays and Fridays (when I’m not at the university where I work part-time ...) and over the weekend. I also try to concentrate on short stories in the evenings earlier in the week, but it doesn’t always work out that way - especially as we’ve recently moved to temporary accommodation while we house-hunt, so routine is a distant memory right now! MT: How was your experience on finding a publisher, and any words of advice to aspiring writers looking towards handing their first work to a publisher? AB: It’s hugely difficult and, especially at the beginning, a very frustrating experience. I think it’s taken me about 9 or 10 years to find some publishers that like my work and are willing to look at it. I’d advise anyone to research their submissions and make sure the publisher you’re sending it to actually publishes works in your genre. It’s also helpful (and fun too!) to expand your circle of writing friends as far as possible as people are usually willing to give tips about who’s accepting what and where might be a good place to try. I’ve had a couple of books published that way, and I hope I’ve been able to do the same for other people too. The other thing is - never give up! And keep on improving and getting better and better at the writing business. It’s a craft you can develop, not a “gift from the gods” that you can’t. MT: Is there any book of yours that you think would do great on the big screen? AB: I think The Gifting would be great on the big screen, especially with the current focus on fantasy. I’d have Ioan Gruffudd as my main character, Simon, (though he’d have to dye his hair!). Then Ralph (Simon’s lover and enemy) would be Richard Armitage, the evil Duncan Gelahn would just have to be Alan Rickman,, and the feisty Annyeke could be Alex Kingston. That’s my dream anyway! MT: Besides writing, what are some of the activities you do to relax and just have some fun? AB: I love going to the theatre, and my husband and I are friends of both our local theatres. There’s nothing better than live performance. I also play very bad golf with a friend of mine every week, but we enjoy it! I also love reading (of course!) and attempting to solve crossword puzzles - as long as they’re not too hard... MT: Before we end, how about a ‘sneak preview’: can you tell us something about you next piece of work? My next novella (see above ...) is a GLBT fantasy set in a steampunk-type city ruined by war. It concerns an escaped prisoner and his love/hate relationship with one of the city’s leaders. It’s called The Taming of the Hawk, and I’m having a lot of fun writing it :)) MT: Finally, any words to say to your readers? AB: Thank you very much! I’m always very grateful to anyone who gives my work a chance, and I hope you enjoy it. All comments - good and bad (yes, honestly!) - are always welcome. And thank you very much, Madel, for asking such pertinent questions and really making me think.

“Writing should be an adventure, not a drudge[...] If you can’t write one thing, have a cup of coffee and write another.”

Image by Emma Perry

true beauty

Image by Emma Perry

Image by Emma Perry

Image by Louise Corcoran

Image by Louise Corcoran

Image by Louise Corcoran

Image by Louise Corcoran

Image by Louise Corcoran

explore learn wonder interact love yourself have faith and be beautiful in your own way at reasons to be beautiful dot com

beauty --------------------------------------------------The Do’s and Don’ts of Fighting your Acne

By Muneba Rehan

Fighting acne is a difficult process. It is not an easy one step, one day procedure. It can take days, or even months, to cure and clear certain acne problems. With proper care and dedication, positive results can be achieved.

problems if your using benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help clear your acne. Wear proper sunscreen if heading out and cover your face as much as possible to avoid direct sunlight. Take a daily Multivitamin. These are necessary to help boost your immune system. Vitamins can help you notice a difference with your acne breakouts. Try taking them once a day for added benefits to reach your acne fighting goals.

The Don’ts

As individuals, we experience acne because of various of reasons. It can be because of hormonal changes our body goes through, bad skin care routine, or simply because we do not take care of our skin at all. Dirt, oil, and bacteria can only aggravate acne-genic skin types, thus causing more pimples and a crash to Do not touch your face. Try to prevent yourself from touching our self esteem. It is important we look good on the outside to your face. We bring lots of germs and bacteria to our hands daily. Keeping our hands away from our face will prevent any feel good on the inside as well. bacteria from getting onto our skin, thus helping to minimize acne Reasons to Be Beautiful will discuss some “Do’s and Dont’s” for breakouts. preventing Acne and Fighting Blemishes or post acne marks. Do not pop your pimples. We might really feel the need to do this, but it will only cause more trouble in the long run. Why? Popping pimples can leave permanent scars on your face. Pock marks, as they are called, can be anywhere from little visibility to incredibly visible. These can be prevented by healing your popped pimple (if you do pop) with Neosporin or adding a band-aid directly. To prevent acne marks, try using an moisturIf you suffer from acne, use an acne fighting care system. There izer with green tea or Vitamin C to help lighten them. Another are many three-step systems available in the market, some of great option is to get ‘Glycolic Acid Peels’ to reveal newer skin. which are also great for everyday use and formulated for sensitive skin as well. Products from brands such an ACNE-FREE, Do not use acne products for too long. Another thing I suggest is PROACTIV, CLEAN AND CLEAR, will help you achieve your acne to switch over to a more regular skin care routine. Acne fighting fighting goals in a matter of days. Tell yourself to stick to the ingredients in three step systems can be aggravating and dry out your skin if used for a very long period of time. Once you program and you will receive great results. feel you have cleared up nicely, switch over to another skin care Drink plenty of water and keep on an healthy diet. This might system where you have, at least, one product that has a acne sound too good to be true — well, that is because it is. How our fighting ingredient. Let the rest of the products help recover your body reacts to certain foods can sometimes, unfortunately, show skin. A good example would be: up on our skin. Keep away from foods with too much spices or oil. Keep a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies and drink Neutrogena Deep Clean- contains salicylic acid six to eight glasses of water daily to help cleanse your system. Olay daily moisturizer with SPF – vitamins and antioxidants with sunscreen protection You will surely notice a difference right away. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream – vitamins and antioxiFor Makeup Wearers: Buy oil-free or water-based makeup prod- dants your skin needs to heal ucts to prevent breakouts. Makeup contains harsh chemicals that Do not sit around and wait for a miracle. To help your acne to can aggravate acne prone skin and so, you should stay away clear, you have to stand up and do something about it. Acne will from heavy and oily makeup. For example, mineral makeup is not clear itself, regardless if have passed your puberty stage. If best for acne prone skin. I suggest Bare Essentials or any makeup your acne is mild, try doing the steps mentioned above. If your acne is severe, go to your dermatologist right away. You might from CoverFX. need prescription medication for severe cases. If you do someAvoiding Direct Sunlight. Staying in the sun for too long can cause thing now, you will see results that will benefit your skin in the future, and possibly now.

The Do’s


The woman behind the world’s most wanted organic skincare products, Pai Skincare

Sarah Brown By Muneba Rehan


until the verdict is out on these ingredients. Skincare can be a daily struggle for readers with highly sensitive, allergy-prone skin. Organic But we do know that natural ingredients are better metabolised by the body, have a closer affinity with the skin and can be just skincare has become a trend for those with skin as effective (I’d argue more!) as synthetic alternatives without problems such as eczema, adult acne, and other the associated risk. irritations. Sarah Brown, founder of Pai skincare, Another certain is that skincare products made from organic ingredients are better for the environment. As they are grown created such a line for all those in mind that without contamination to soil (through fertilisers and pesticides) struggle to keep their skin healthy with harsh in- and are fully biodegradable when they eventually work their way back into ecosystems. gredients from beauty products. After suffering from allergy prone skin herself, RTBB: What was your major goal behind the creBrown quit her job to work on creating a natuation of Pai Skin Care? ral plant-based skincare line. She founded Pai SB: Having had healthy skin all my life, I suddenly developed in 2007 by manufacturing products in West Lon- the skin allergy urticaria in my mid-20s. Identifying its triggers don; now Brown sells Pai in over 40 countries. was a slow and frustrating process, but I eventually deduced that there were a number of chemicals in my skincare causing The growing success and thousands of satisfied my flare-ups. customers (Natalie Portman- to name one!) has I turned to organics for help, but couldn’t find anything that made Pai gain celebrity in the beauty product worked on my hyper-sensitive skin market today. Pai skincare is free from all harsh The creams I tried just weren’t organic and still contained a whole raft of synthetics that my skin couldn’t tolerate. The oringredients (i.e alcohols, parabens, fragrances) ganic balms I turned to were too much for my combination skin other brands tend to use, which for many leave and brought me out in spots. the skin irritated. Reasons to Be Beautiful Maga- In Pai I set about creating an organic skincare range that spezine interviews Brown on her skincare regime and cifically catered to sensitive skin without compromising on the luxury we love in our beauty products. her wonderful products line.

Reasons to Be Beautiful: What makes organic skincare different from using skincare products that claim to be oil-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, or free from any hard chemicals?

RTBB: What is your all-time favourite Pai Skincare Product, and which specific items do you use?

SB: Our cult product is our Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream, which I’m pretty proud of. Sarah Brown: A product claiming to be ‘oil-free’ or ‘parabenThe soothing formula calms, heals and regenerates sensitive free’ does not mean synthetic-free. It just means they’re missskin, restoring its natural health and luminosity. It’s also Natalie ing that single ingredient the manufacturer has chosen to shout Portman’s moisturiser of choice, so we must be doing something about. right! Organic products however are made from all-natural ingrediI personally have combination skin, so I use the Geranium & ents, so have all synthetic baddies left out rather than just one Thistle Combination Skin Cream every morning, and the Rosehip or two. This makes them far kinder on the skin. BioRegenerate Oil and Echium Eye Cream 2-3 nights a week. We always urge customers to check ingredient lists as a lot of Our Rosehip is a great at-home conditioning treatment, and my companies’ natural marketing claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. skin always looks noticeably clearer, brighter and more evenAt Pai we are all about sensitive skin. The best way to mantoned the next morning. age reactive, sensitive skin is two-fold. The first step is to avoid To cleanse I use our Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanscontact with irritants such as harsh chemicals, detergents and er – my skin is very sensitive to detergent based cleansers, so alcohol. The second is to heal, strengthen and condition the skin this is a dream to use and doesn’t leave any of the tightness with clean, therapeutic plant extracts. you often get with foaming face washes.

RTBB: Do you believe organic skincare products will benefit women in the long run?

SB: Firstly let’s define ‘organic’. In a beauty industry with no restrictions controlling the terms ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, only certified organic products are guaranteed to be free from synthetics. Always look out for the Soil Association or USDA organic kitemark on the box or bottle to be sure of a product’s true organic credentials. I do believe that clean, green products will benefit women in the long run. The long term health implications of applying synthetics, e.g. Parabens and Propylene Glycol, to your skin are not yet fully known, so I think a precautionary ‘leave out’ approach is best

RTBB: In a prior interview, you claimed you were revamping and relaunching your Serenity Set. Can you give readers any exclusive scoop on what exciting new bath and body collections you have in store?

SB: Well the Serenity Set has really just been given a facelift, albeit a very beautiful one! It will contain the same products (Himalayan & Dead Sea Therapeutic Bath Salts and Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream) but in striking new packaging which will be unveiled in late September. It is also going to be launched alongside a new sister Tranquil-


ity Set, an aromatic bath & body collection ideal for those searching for a little bath-time treat.

is absorbed into the body – you would never dream of ingesting the common chemicals in beauty products, so why put them on your skin? 3. Better for the environment. The Soil Association rules that all our organic ingredients must be grown without pesticides, extracted without solvents and grown from sustainable crops.

RTBB: For how many years did you have to pop pills to tame your skin, and what advice can you give to readers who get allergic reactions to skin RTBB: Buying organic beauty products can be care products? expensive, do you believe that making more afSB: I took high strength anti-histamine tablets on a daily basis fordable prices will help beauty enthusiasts get for about three years before I finally decided to take control and get to the bottom of my skin allergy. more involved with organic skincare? If you react to a skin care product my advice would be to make a note of its ingredients. Be methodical and don’t miss any off the list. Every product you react to, do the same, until you start to see common ingredients that could be your trigger. It’s a painstaking process but an important one to embark on as it will ultimately enable you to shop with confidence and save yourself a lot of money and skin frustration in the long run. On that point my other piece of advice would be to return any product you have a reaction to and ask for your money back. We don’t think any customer should be stuck with a product their skin can’t tolerate which is why we offer a 30 day money back guarantee. Not a lot of companies do this, which doesn’t show a lot of faith in their products!

RTBB: How can young women begin treating their skin at an early age? Any tips and tricks to prevent heartache later on?

SB: As annoying as it is, with wrinkles, prevention is far easier than cure. Keeping skin soft, supple and hydrated is key – the more elastic the skin, the less likely lines are to form and the longer it will remain plump and youthful. Avoid products that contain alcohol or harsh detergents, as these dry out and weaken the skin. Instead opt for products rich in Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9 (the building blocks of strong, healthy skin) and nourishing oils and extracts such as Rosehip, Echium and Camellia. Diet is also incredibly important – oily fish, seeds and nuts are all omega-rich, but if your diet is lacking in these foods then taking a supplement such as Hemp oil will help to condition the skin from the inside out. Vitamin C meanwhile stimulates the production of Collagen, which is what keeps skin firm and linefree.

RTBB: Organic Skincare seems to be taking the beauty world by storm. What are 3 good reasons anyone should switch over to organic skincare over drugstore brands, or even higher brands?

SB: It’s so satisfying to see organics finally dusting off their hackneyed ‘hippie’ image and really competing with the megabrands. There are endless reasons to go green, but to sum up organics are: 1. Better for your skin. Certified organic products are free from chemical detergents, harsh preservatives and artificial fragrances that dry out, irritate and prematurely age the skin. 2. Better for your health. Up to 60% of what we put on our skin

SB: Organic products can sometimes be pricier than high street brands, but they are an investment in your skin health, and are often no more expensive than beauty counter offerings. If the price does put you off, then why not go for a highly concentrated product that will last you a long time. Our Rosehip BioRegenerate oil, for example, only needs applying 2-3 times a week, a couple of drops at a time and is packed full of antioxidants and Omegas 3, 6 & 9. A 30ml bottle will set you back $35, but if used as instructed will last up to six months. 10. Lastly, what are some future goals for Pai Skincare? What can beauty fanatics expect to see in the future? Pai is fairly unique in having our own in-house formulation team and manufacturing facility, which means we can constantly refine our existing products but also formulate amazing new ones! This investment in new product development will see us extending the Pai range considerably over the next 12-18 months. Some of the new products we are currently working on really break the mould and will help to take the natural sector to a whole new level. Watch this space! ———Don’t forget to check out the wonderful product lineup at and give your skin the real, organic treatment it deserves. Free yourself from chemicals and let your skin breathe!

“In a beauty industry with no restrictions controlling the terms ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, only certified organic products are guaranteed to be free from synthetics.”

Reasons to Be Beautiful Magazine Issue 3  
Reasons to Be Beautiful Magazine Issue 3  

Reasons to be Beautiful is an online magazine and blog revealing the true depths of a woman’s heart. The objective of this site is to make y...