stories of empowered girls and women |
Meet two men who work hard so you can play safe
Diary of a Tech Startup Gal
Are single + happy mutually exclusive? Get inspired in 140 characters or less
10 ways to say â€œI love youâ€? - to YOU
A legal and constitutional analysis of non-traditional marriage
Big heroes come in small packages
In This Issue
pg 3 - Dodging Cupid’s arrow: Living single and happy
pg 6 - Teens inspiring millions in 140 characters or less
pg 14 - Big time heroes: kids changing the world
pg 18 - Ask, listen, respect: two men lead the charge for consent
pg 8 - 10 Ways To Say I Love You - To YOU: Our tips for taking good care of yourself pg 11 - Shara Krogh gives us a Heads Up on non-traditional marriage & the law/constitution pg 16 - Diary of a Tech Startup Gal: A programmer turned entrepreneur faces her fear pg 20 - Viralize This: Inspirintg ideas worth sharing far & wide pg 22 - A+ Ads: Praise for Positive Marketing from The Body Shop and Dove pg 25 - The Goods: Our roundup of good stuff to inspire and empower girls and women pg 27 - Ciao, Bella: “An Open Letter To Society” by Julie Kaelin Back Cover Artwork - by Heinz Guth
Contributors “Heads Up: Politics” Columnist Shara Krogh is an attorney and mother of two young children. Born in New York, Shara attended law school in Los Angeles and served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. She is also a former prosecutor in Sex Crimes Special Victims. “Diary of a Tech Startup Gal” Columnist Monica Birdsong is a software developer turning into an entrepreneur. She’s written software for several Fortune 500 companies and dot coms. She recently left the corporate world to pursue her dream of being an internet entrepreneur. She loves her family, friends, traveling, and food. She also loves that her internet businesses give her the freedom of working from home or wherever her and her laptop land.
Linda Spinelli-Lewis is Editorial Advisor, friend and mother to Lori. Born and raised in Manhattan, migrated to Brooklyn and eventually Staten Island, NY. Loves to read and dabble in writing while holding an addiction to television, theater and movies. Presently retired and loving it.
Editorial Advisor Melissa Algaze is a native Angelino with deep family roots in NY (which is why she and Lori get along like a house on fire). After graduating from Syracuse University, she moved back to sunny LA and works in Advertising and Publishing fields. Her life motto is “when the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object” and she is vastly inspired by Lori’s vision and dedication to See Magazine. pg 1 | www.seemagazine.org
I hope that 2012 is an amazing and wonderful year for all of you so far! This year began for me with a sense of hope and joy as we launched See Magazine last month. That trend has continued with See having been extremely well received. Our first issue had nearly 1,100 readers and generated over 12,000 pageviews, which exceeded our expectations in many ways. Since then, groundwork has been laid to bring you even more new features and voices in the near future. I am SO excited to see and share what the future of See Magazine holds! The month was not without its challenges - not the least of which was the painful realization that things would be so much easier if I could clone myself - but those challenges provide the framework to innovate and create opportunities for others - and in the end that’s part of the fun of working on a project like this. Another partner on this journey has been a bit of fear: would people like See? Would the finished product do justice to the vision and the mission? Could I re-create and improve on what we published in January? I think the answer to all of those questions is “yes”, yet that fear still lingers. Overcoming fear is par for the course with any new venture - an idea which new See columnist Monica Birdsong explores in her first installment of “Diary of a Tech Startup Gal”. This month - for Valentine’s Day - we also take a look at how single folks are often ostracized in a society that is seemingly obsessed with coupling and marriage; we offer up our list of “Ten Ways To Say I Love You - To YOU”; and columnist Shara Krogh shares what current law and the constitution have to say about nontraditional marriage - independent of partisan politics and subjective morality. We also explore how teens are using Twitter to reach massive audiences with supportive and empowering messages; how one young girl’s idea for a website has helped hundreds of kids see the heroes in themselves and positively impacted countless lives; and how two men have made it their mission to minimize violence and sexual assault and make dating and sex safe for everyone. Those topics, along with monthly columns old and new (“A+ Ads”, “The Goods”, and our new monthly, “Viralize This”) and a surprise or two plucked from my own past comprise the February issue, which we lovingly present as our Valentine to you. I hope you’ll enjoy it, that it will serve you well and that you’ll share it far and wide and help us spread our message of love and appreciation for yourself. To love yourself is the least you can do for you, and the most you can do for the world - it opens you up to freely and truly share yourself and your gifts - and once everyone can do that, we’ll change the world. With love always,
Lori Lewis Founder/Editor, See Magazine
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If You’re Single and You’re Happy,
Clap Your Hands
by Lori Lewis
You, for one, are happy the holidays are over. All that family time - which is wonderful, except when your family’s version of “The Bachelorette” breaks out during the meal’s second course and well-intentioned family and friends start trying to unravel the mystery that is your single status. You know how it goes: You wholeheartedly insist that your life is just the way you want it - you’re perfectly happy: you go out, have friends, hobbies, causes you support, and if and when you want to date, you’ve no shortage of options. They look at you as if they’re counting the number of heads on your shoulders. You’re not alone - there are most certainly countless other single people out there who are still smarting over that awkward moment when their love life (or seeming lack thereof) was the hot topic of conversation at the holiday dinner table. Add to that the looming day of dread for so many singles - Valentine’s Day - and even the most content single could be in for a bit of a struggle; particularly since as a culture, other people are a lot more fixated on matching them up with the love of their life than those who are happily single would ever be themselves.
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Even with a startling decrease in marriage rates, many singles can still claim at least one seemingly well-meaning friend or relative whose life mission seems to be to get them coupled up. The fact that they’re perfectly happy being single that they actually prefer it - appears to be unfathomable even to those who are close witness to just how great, fun and fulfilling their solo life is. Yes, folks, it’s true. There really are people out there that prefer being single. They relish their independence, their freedom to date whoever they want (or, to not date at all). Their ability to come and go as they please, the latitude to sleep in until 2pm or get up and do Zumba at 5am - those kinds of things. They live a drama-free life on their own terms, and that’s just the way they like it. Recent research even debunks the myths that singles are significantly less happy and healthy than those who are married: this study by Jamila Bookwala and Erin Fekete, which compares people who were 40+ and never married to those in the same age group who were currently married, confirms that those who haven’t married are just as well off in key areas like psychological resources as are their married counterparts. Some of the findings of this study are examined by researcher and author Bella DePaulo in
her article, “Men and Women Who Have Always Been Single Are Doing Fine”.
singles feel from being stereotyped and discriminated against.
DePaulo is the nation’s expert on singles and single life. In her work she has examined and profiled countless data about all types of singles, including those whose preference is not to marry at all. She explains, “I think some people are ‘single at heart.’ Single life suits them. They are not single because they have ‘issues,’ or because
What is it that compels so many people to point out to a single person how badly they need to pair up? Dr. DePaulo has a theory: “People who are themselves coupled like to think that their choices are the best ones – so if you don’t live like they do, they think you need to get with the program.” She continues, “If you are a single person who is living your life fully and happily, that can be threatening to people who are coupled, and who like to believe that you can only be happy and fulfilled if you are coupled.” Even if others’ preoccupation with your single status is rooted in the best of intentions, it can still be painful for a single to endure this unwanted attention, though they are a perfectly happy “single at heart.” Dr. DePaulo’s advice: “Recognize the possibility that their concerns say more about them than about you.”
they are unlucky in love, or any of the other stereotypes. Single is who they really are.” In her book, “Singled Out”, DePaulo examines the way singles are marginalized by a couple-obsessed society which often times unknowingly perpetrates “singlism” a term she defines as “the stereotyping of singles and discrimination against them.” She continues, “Because the same-sex marriage debate has generated so much media attention, many people are aware of the fact that more than 1,000 federal laws benefit and protect only those who are legally married. Same-sex marriage advocates make the argument that you should not have to be a certain kind of couple to be fully benefited and protected. My argument is more sweeping – you should not have to be any kind of couple at all.” That kind of tolerance seems to be a tall order for a culture whose preference for people pairing up and marrying seems unabated - even in the face of vast reductions in number of marriages across nearly every demographic. In fact, our love affair with romantic marriage proposals, engagement parties, lavish weddings and couples - a phenomenon Dr. DePaulo calls “matrimania”, adds a layer of insult to the injury many
She goes on to say, “It can be hard to be single in a culture that worships couples, but the strength to be who you really are, to embrace your life and live it fully and unapologetically, is awesome.” That isn’t to say that everyone who’s single is happy with their single status - many people genuinely want to be in a relationship, for the right reasons - a desire to deeply share their life and bond with someone, as opposed to feeling pressure from external sources or a sense of diminished self-worth stemming from being alone. However, our society goes too far in stereotyping singles - particularly women 30 and up - as being desperate, bitter, unhappy, or unfulfilled, sitting home alone on date nights with only the company of several cats, a pint of ice cream, a chick flick and copious amounts of wine to soothe their breaking hearts. While many singles are open to a relationship with the right person, many others are perfectly happy, fulfilled, and living joyful lives on their own. Part of the backlash against singlism is a growing movement against commercialized romanticism, like Valentine’s Day. One of the more recent and interesting examples of this is the Occupy Valentine’s Day blog, which was started by “Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining www.seemagazine.org | pg 4
Your Love Live” author Samhita Mukhopadhyay. “I felt there needed to be an alternative to all the enormous amounts of Valentine’s day garbage that was going to get pushed our way in the mainstream media for the next month. I wanted to create a place where people could do something creative with their frustrations and anxieties about Valentine’s Day, “ she says. “I simply hope to raise awareness about the narrow ways we think about romance. We are at a time where we can redefine the ways we live our lives romantically yet we keep rubbing up against tradition. In order for anything to change, we have to change the culture and my hope is that both this tumblr and my book--will support in that type of culture shift.” The content that visitors has been uploading to the Zerlina Maxwell, a writer for Feministing.com, chimes in on blog is affirming, often hilarious, sometimes poignant, the Occupy Valentine’s Day movement. This post was one of and always affirming of Mukhopadhyay’s sense of our favorites! our cultural frustration over the exclusionary nature of the Valentine’s Day holiday and of society at large toward single people. “I think that singles get a lot of pressure to either be 100% ok with being single or should always be trying to find someone to be with,” she states. “I think the best thing single women can do for themselves is continually practice self love and recognize that they are not the problem. Most of my advice is for how couples can be less exclusionary because I think that is the root of a lot of the problem.” She continues with some sage advice to mitigate our societal obsession with marital status: “Dating, married, single, divorced--all of these identities are things we will flow in and out of in our lives so we should get used to living in all those spaces. And each way is ripe with difficulty and happiness--so it’s better to just keep yourself open to possibility rather then limited by convention.” So listen up, would-be cupids, matchmakers and concerned friends and family - there’s a good chance that your single loved one is just fine with being single - particularly if they say they are! If that’s the case - take them at their word. Appreciate them for all the wonderful things they are - all on their own. If you want them to have a life filled with love, making your own love for them unconditional - regardless of who is or isn’t on their arm - is a better way to contribute to that than is trying to set them up on yet another unwanted blind date. And happy singles-at-heart, remember that as long as you’re truly joyful in the living of your life - you’re doing it right! No apologies, no excuses, no explanation needed. No matter how well-meaning people are, you know what’s best for you in your life - so keep on rocking it. • • For further reading on single life, check out Bella DePaulo’s website. • Learn more about Samhita Mukhopadhyay’s work around race, politics, technology, sexuality, and feminism.
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by Lori Lewis
For one 17-year-old, inspiring others via Twitter is a hobby, a business and a passion. Many of us see Twitter as little more than the platform from which so many celebrities and other public figures spring into hot water: from Anthony Weiner’s infamous naughty tweet to Charlie Sheen’s accidental Tweet of his cell phone number to over 6 million followers, the micromedia outlet gets more than its share of scandalrelated buzz.
the only one who’s experiencing these kinds of things.” She continues, “I basically tweet about everything; life, friendship, love, girls, boys, etc.” The content Clara Tweets varies from general encouragement and inspiration - “Don’t let life change your goals. Because achieving your goals can change your life” - to mentions of universally relate-able moments - “Pressing a toy that says ‘TRY ME’ at the store and it wont stop, So you But as millions can attest, Twitter is also a great way just awkwardly walk away like nothing happened.” - to to stay connected with family and friends, causes you soothing sayings for sore hearts - “Sometimes, things care about, brands you love, celebrities, sports figures, aren’t meant to last. They just take a place in your heart politicians, or, thanks to extensive lists from sites like and make you smarter next time” - and more. Clara SeriousEats.com, even your favorite food truck. tweets a mix of popular quotes and her own material. “For me, writing is a passion. Inspiring people through All good stuff, but there’s an even brighter spot in my writings makes me feel better.” the Twitisphere: quote accounts. A cadre of young, smartphone-toting Twitizens are relating to, cheering By all evidence, she’s succeeding at her goal. Sending up, commiserating with and inspiring millions of people approximately 40 tweets per day, Clara can’t keep up - in 140 characters or less. with or keep track of the amount of replies she gets each day from her ever-growing audience of 883,000 A great number of these are run by and targeted to teens, in particular, girl One young blogger waxes poetic about Twitter quote accounts in this blog entry. It’s a fascinating and growing trend in social media: teens creating and engaging with enormous audiences with a goal of uplifting and connecting with others. And, with follower counts ranging from 100,000 to 1.2 million people and more - as well as regularly scheduled sponsored tweets (designated by a “-spon” notation), and merch shops (selling branded t-shirts, coffee mugs, mousepads, etc) - they’re making money as well as connections. Clara Quiambao started Tweeting three years ago, when she was 14 years old. “I noticed that it was fun to 17-year-old Clara Quiambao Tweets dozens of inspiring tweet quotes...it just came out of boredom and I wanted messages daily to her growing audience of over 883,000 a lot of people to think that they’re not alone. They’re not followers. www.seemagazine.org | pg 6
followers. “I often see positive comments how I affect and help them in their different life situations which makes me feel good, because I can prove that I help them even in just simple ways.” While there is no shortage of inspirational or relatable
sponsored ads (weight loss programs, for example) on many of these Twitter accounts – but the vast majority of the content is affirmative, relatable and inspirational. It’s a heartening thing to see happen, and to see this space seemingly dominated by girls specifically is exciting as well. So, if you’d like to inject some inspiration into your day, search “quotes” on Twitter. You’ll have no shortage of options to relate to, commiserate life’s ups and downs with or be inspired by. •
You can connect with Clara through any of these channels: • @ohteenquotes on Twitter • Official Oh Teen Quotes on Twitter Facebook Page • Ohteenquotes website
content out there, it does come with good dose of promotional tweets to go along with it. Many teenfocused Twitter quote accounts engage in a great deal of cross promoting with other Tweeters. While those types of tweets can sometimes clutter up your timeline, they’re also a further reflection of the altruistic core of these accounts. Although technically competitors in a business capacity by virtue of broadcasting sponsored quotes from sites like MyLikes.com, quote account owners simply exchange cross-promotional tweets to help each other grow their follower lists, which helps them all earn more money through greater reach of their sponsored tweets. Not a bad business for a teenager. Even more impressive than the entrepreneurial aspect of these quote accounts is a young person’s ability to organically build a massive audience coupled with a desire to use that loud digital voice to support and inspire other people. It’s not perfect – we’ve spied less than empowering tweets and
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10 Ways To Say To YOU
by Lori Lewis
This Valentine’s Day, no matter what your marital status, make sure you do something to say, “I love you!” to the most important person in your life: YOU. 1. Forgive
Buddha said “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” You can’t change the past, and releasing your anger about bad things that have happened or been done to you does not mean you condone them. In her recent Lifeclass, Oprah Winfrey said, “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. And when I got that, it really took me to the next level of being a better person....it’s letting go, so the past does not hold you prisoner...” By making a decision to release negative feelings toward someone else, you are freeing yourself and your energy up to move forward and enjoy new experiences without the burden of anger creeping in from your past.
We all have this little voice inside our heads that plays a running narrative to our lives. For too many of us, that voice is negative, bitingly critical and driven by fear rather than truth. Think for a moment about the negative things you say to and about yourself in your mind - the really bad ones. Then, forget them. Wipe the slate of your mind clean and vow to meet any self-sabotaging thought that tries to scribble onto your clean slate with a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, we are all adept at comforting our friends when they engage in unfounded negative dialogue about themselves - so why can’t we do that for ourselves?
Fear paralyzes and diminishes us in so many ways. An effective way to get past your fear is to think about what you’re afraid of, and answer this question: what’s the very worst that can happen? Most likely, if you really think about it, the “worst” that can happen is something you could live with. Now - what’s the best that can happen? Chances are, the good in that answer will dwarf the “worst”. If so, thank your fear for that lesson, embrace your fear, and then push it aside and GO for it. Working with instead of shrinking from your fear will give you the freedom to charge on unencumbered, and the confidence in knowing that you’ve thought things through before you leapt.
The idea of splurging tends to conjure up images of extravagance - spa days, that designer handbag you’ve been eyeing, etc. Nowadays, with busier schedules than ever and for many, a much tighter budget, the idea of splurging may seem out of reach. Still, it’s possible to pamper yourself even in the smallest of ways. For me, some days this means lingering in the hot shower for an extra two minutes, even though I’m already five minutes late to leave for work. While the taskmaster in me says I can’t afford to take the time, my spirit says I can’t afford NOT to, so I’m going to splurge and honor my spirit. Next time you’re feeling frantic or out of sorts- stop and take a few minutes to quietly center yourself. Listen to a favorite song. Google a favorite painter and soak up some culture and beauty. Just stop and do something good for YOU. www.seemagazine.org | pg 8
How exactly does helping someone else translate to giving yourself love? For one, it’s a tremendous confidence builder to be able to witness the gift of your efforts, time, and energy reflected back to you in the gratitude in someone else’s eyes. It helps you forget your own problems for a while and feel good about making a positive difference for someone else. These acts of helping others can be as small as sending someone a card to lift their spirits or as big as pitching in on a Habitat For Humanity project in your community. Drawing a blank on how or where you can help? Check out a site like volunteermatch.com. When you’re done, you’ll feel GREAT - and that’s the kind of feeling about youself you can store away and call upon when you need it. What a great gift for you as well as those you help.
We all get into ruts sometimes, and the act of grinding our gears to get out can be such a draining experience. Sometimes all that’s needed is a change of scenery - seeking out and exploring a new place, or creative activity, or checking out some new music. Expand your horizons, even in the smallest of ways, and watch what happens. Experiencing new things - even if it’s just to rule them out as something you don’t enjoy, can be a lovely little gift and can allow you to get back on track and moving forward.
So many of us have at least a touch of the “pleaser” dynamic going on - or maybe it’s just that we truly have countless things we want to do in the coming weeks, months, etc. Bottom line is, there are only so many hours in the day - so something’s got to give - and it shouldn’t be your own well being. Sometimes, you’ve got to simply say “I’m sorry, but I can’t make it”, or do it, or bake it, or buy it - whatever it may be. Or, if you feel compelled to give of your time, money, talents, etc. do so in a smaller way that won’t leave you drained. But remember, if an opportunity presents itself to you and the strain of fitting it in and getting it done is far too great, it’s OK to simply say no. Chances are, more opportunities to be helpful and supportive will present themselves in the future. Love yourself enough to ensure you don’t spread yourself too thin.
The truth is, we really can do most anything we set our minds to, if we have three things: a dream, the willingness to work hard to achieve it and the determination to never give up on it - or ourselves. If you’ve been holding back in examining your life to determine what it is you really want to do, be or achieve - stop. Get a piece of paper and a pen, and write the answer to this question: If I could be, do or have anything - what would that look like? What do I want most for myself? Scribble it out - therein lies your dream. Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Identify your dream, steep in it like a teabag in hot water - feel what it would feel like, really let your mind go wild. That will give you the energy to take the next and every other step in the journey of achieving and living that dream.
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Revel in your victories, whether big or small. It can be as simple as stopping and giving yourself a mental pat on the back and a "you go, girl!" to jumping up and doing a happy dance, or calling your best friend to share in your joy. Whenever you have accomplished something - anything: getting over your fear of flying, finishing up that tough work project ahead of schedule, diving into a new art form and creating something that makes you smile, achieving your goal of improving your running speed, whatever it may be - acknowledge and celebrate it. Give yourself the credit you deserve for achieving your goal or exceeding your own expectations. You deserve it!
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is cultivating a deep appreciation for everything that is RIGHT about your life. Maybe you’re struggling financially, maybe you are unhappy at work and feeling unfulfilled, maybe your body doesn’t look exactly how you’d like. But - if you woke up feeling healthy today, got out of a warm bed in a safe place and had something to eat, and you have a job to go to - you’re already so much more fortunate than the vast majority of the rest of the world. •
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Heads Up: Politics
A Legal Review of Non-Traditional Marriage...Just In Time for Valentine’s Day by Shara Krogh With Valentine’s Day approaching and thoughts of “love” and “relationships” so prevalent, it seems like an appropriate time to analyze the issue of non-traditional marriage. This article will present a nonpartisan legal review, taking into account existing Supreme Court precedent and Congressional legislation relating to marriage. The goal is to promote understanding and assist individuals with developing rational opinions in the context of federal law, precedent and the United States Constitution. Many people view the issue of non-traditional marriage in terms of “morality” and they attempt to make judgments about whether the underlying behavior is “right” or “wrong.” However, there is existing legal precedent that may supersede morality arguments on both sides. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates the powers of our federal government, some of which include: the power to lay and collect taxes, to borrow money, to regulate commerce, to declare war and to raise and support Armies. All other power and authority is left to the States, pursuant to our 10th Amendment: “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since regulating “marriage” was never an enumerated federal power, it was traditionally left to the states to regulate as they saw fit...until 1967. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling that created a “fundamental right” where none had existed before. The case was Loving v. Virginia and the issue was the validity of Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statutes, which prohibited a Caucasian person from marrying a person of another race (click here for a summary of the case). The case eventually made it up to the United States Supreme Court, where the Virginia statutes were deemed unconstitutional. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court stated that marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival, and that “under our Constitution, the freedom to marry a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed on by the State.” Although the Court acknowledged that marriage was a “social relation subject to the State’s police power,” it went on to point out that state powers to regulate marriage are not “unlimited, notwithstanding the 14th Amendment.” This meant that states could continue to regulate marriages, so long as such regulations did not violate the 14th Amendment. How exactly did Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statutes violate the 14th Amendment? In the Loving case, the Supreme Court found that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statutes deprived interracial couples of liberty without “due process” of law and that “restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications” violated the “central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.” The Court further stated that the “freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit pg 11 | www.seemagazine.org
of happiness by free men.” Pursuant to the Court’s ruling, the Virginia anti-miscegenation statutes were invalidated. The Supreme Court further declared that marriage is a fundamental right and that states can only regulate it insofar as such regulations do not infringe on due process and equal protection rights. Since marriage was never before a “fundamental right” delineated in the text of our Constitution, the Supreme Court essentially “legislated” from the bench by declaring it to be so. In this sense, the Court created a right that was not previously recognized. Nonetheless, the decision in Loving v. Virginia was unanimous and the case has not been overturned. Hence, the precedent is binding. Today the critical question is: do sexual orientation based restrictions infringe on 14th Amendment constitutional rights? In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under DOMA, no state is required to recognize a same-sex relationship, even if the relationship is valid in another state. Since DOMA, many states have passed similar legislation, while others have handled the matter differently. A handful of states have created civil unions, which are parallel systems whereby same-sex couples are afforded virtually all the benefits and protections that heterosexual married couples possess. Currently there are 6 states that allow same-sex marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire and New York, in addition to the District of Columbia. More than 40 states have banned it by defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. Based on these facts, it appears that most Americans do not wish to extend the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, though many support civil unions. The case that will likely be heard by the United States Supreme Court is Perry v. Schwarzenegger (aka Perry v Brown), rising up from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry. Shortly thereafter, in November 2008, CA voters amended the state Constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. The measure was called Proposition 8 and it effectively banned gay marriage in the state of CA. Subsequently, a federal lawsuit was filed, challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8. In Aug 2010, District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. In his decision, Judge Walker cited Loving v. Virginia (1967) and drew parallels between racial discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination. He concluded that CA had no “legitimate reason” or “rational basis” in denying marriage licenses to homosexuals. His ruling is currently pending appeal. If the U.S. Supreme Court hears this case, it will be a landmark decision in the area of non-traditional marriage. When analyzing any Constitutional issue, the strongest arguments are based in Constitutional text and Supreme Court precedent, as opposed to partisanship or subjective morality. Loving v. Virginia (1967), which we outlined above, provides the strongest precedent in support of non-traditional marriage. Today, the central question is whether restricting marriage on the basis of sexual orientation similarly violates the 14th Amendment? This is the key inquiry that will be addressed by the U. S. Supreme Court, should they hear the appeal in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. There are multiple possible outcomes, depending on how the Justices view current legislative restrictions on marriage. The Supreme Court need not revisit the issue of whether marriage is a fundamental right because neither side has disputed this point. Nonetheless, the Court could find that same-sex couples are seeking to create a new right, separate and apart from the www.seemagazine.org | pg 12
established heterosexual right to marry. If that is their finding, the Justices may deny recognition for same-sex relationships. The Court could also find that a gender-based restriction on marriage advances a compelling state interest and is therefore constitutional. In that case, DOMA, as well as all state restrictions limiting marriage to one man and one woman would likely be upheld. This would be a victory for those who are opposed to same-sex marriage. Alternatively, the Court might agree with Judge Walker and find that no legitimate state interest exists in restricting marriage based on sexual orientation. In that case, DOMA, as well as all sexual orientation based restrictions would be deemed unconstitutional. This would be a victory for those who support non-traditional marriage.
IN OTHER NEWS FBI Changes Definition of Rape After years of pressure from women’s right groups and gay advocacy groups, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has changed its official definition of rape to include men. The definition was also expanded to include oral and anal penetration, victims who are unable to give consent and victims who are violated with objects. This is the first change to the FBI definition since 1927 and it could help states allocate funds and resources in a more efficient way. The FBI provides Congress with information relating to crimes. Such information may influence state legislators when they create policies for crime prevention and victim assistance.
The hope is that this new change will allow the FBI to collect more accurate data, and in turn, provide Congress with more precise statistics about rape nationwide. This change does not affect federal or state law, or federal or state prosecutions of rape. Fortunately, federal and state definitions of rape have No matter what your position on this topic, it is important to take already been widened to include nonthe time to understand the Constitution and existing Supreme gender specific terms. However, this new Court precedent. Together they form the basis for American law FBI definition could foster a more accurate and should be heeded without regard to partisanship or subjective assessment of the volume and degree of rape morality. • in America. Old FBI Definition (established in 1927): “Carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and Next month’s article will analyze upcoming legal arguments against her will.” regarding the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), which will be heard in the United States Supreme New FBI Definition (announced this week Court in March 2012. by the U.S. Department of Justice): “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or the anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” •
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Big Impact by Lori Lewis
What happens when you take a 9 year old’s passion for helping animals, a father’s love for his only child and desire to help others, and Sir Richard Branson, and mix them all together?
The truly remarkable thing about Kids Are Heroes is that rather than enlisting help for a specific cause, it encourages children to explore their own passions. This helps plant a seed of philanthropy and activism that will grow and endure throughout the child’s life. Kids Are Kids become heroes, that’s what. Heroes provides developmental support for their Heroes’ efforts in the form of website and marketing services, One day, Gabe O’Neill saw this Charlie Rose interview assistance in creating a non-profit organization, social with Sir Richard Branson and learned about “social media marketing consulting and networking events so entrepreneurship”, where technology and ideas are kids can form collaborations with other Heroes. applied to solving social problems, as opposed to just monetary donations. Just the thing to light a spark in a What happens when you instill a child with a passion for man whose vast technical skills and burning desire for philanthropy, an environment where they can discover positive change in the world dwarfed his bank account. and develop skills and confidence and the power to rally for support in making a positive change in the world One of the many characteristics Gabe shares with his around them? daughter, MaryMargaret, is that strong altruistic nature. So, when she came to him and asked him to build her Magic! Wonderful, world-changing magic. a website so she could help animals, his response was “Why stop at animals? We can help people and the “Kids are indeed heroes and each one has the power environment, too.” to change the world,” says Gabe. “Our goal is to create a generational shift worldwide where volunteering And so the kindhearted tech guru and his daughter, becomes a natural part of child development.” He - who had recently made a donation to Defenders of continues, “All visionaries begin their journey as Wildlife in lieu of receiving a 9th birthday present - children. Ours are just getting started.” decided to help other generous children they’d heard about in their community who were also going good The heroes are as varied deeds for others with no concern for personal gain. as the causes they put And KidsAreHeroes.org was born. their efforts behind. Here are a couple of our Within three years, with countless “business” meetings favorite stories: between rather and daughter, local support from their mall in the form of an annual “Kids Are Heroes Day” Sukhi’s Story event - along with regional media coverage and an active Sukhi, pictured at right, and growing social media presence – Kids Are Heroes gave up her entire has encouraged and supported 268 heroes under the savings, (which would age of 18 in 9 countries as of this printing. have helped her buy her first car) so that she and www.seemagazine.org | pg 14
her brother could start their non-profit, Senior Net llc. Sukhi feels very strongly that many senior citizens tend to be neglected in this age of technology and that their choices are facing limitations because their access to information is limited. Sukhi’s mission is to empower seniors, to make them more informed and protected consumers and also build stronger relationships for them with their families by keeping updated through computers and the internet. Ella’s Story
Click the image above to see Ella’s video about her 100 for Water project
After learning that nearly a billion people don’t have access to clean water, Ella Salerno gave up her 8th birthday for charity: water. She asked friends and family to donate $8 to her birthday campaign instead of giving her gifts. She had a bake sale, convinced a local toy store to donate 10% of sales every Sunday in March to her cause, and even got Groupon to advertise her campaign during World Water Week. With the amazing support of her community, Ella surpassed her $5000 goal and fully funded a well for 250 people. For her next project, Ella has created a group campaign for kids called 100 for Water. The goal is to get 100 kids to raise $100 for charity: water.
You can read more about Sukhi, Ella, and all of the KAH Heroes on their website. It’s been over three years since MaryMargaret turned to her Dad for help with her idea to help animals, which has turned into so much more. In 2009, thanks to the support of their loyal social media followers, Kids Are Heroes won Sir Richard Branson’s PitchTV contest. Mashable named them one of the Top 4 Must-Follow Non-Profits for 2010. The creativity, passion and positivity the Heroes bring to their missions is inspirational, second only to that of MaryMargaret and her father’s dedication to the Kids Are Heroes organization. Last fall, MaryMargaret and Gabe traveled to the #DSRPT11 Conference in Richmond, Virginia to speak in front of 500 entrepreneurs - including Sir Richard Branson, who provided the spark of inspiration that along with MaryMargaret’s idea and desire to help others helped MaryMargaret O’Neill, Sir Richard Branson and give birth to Kids Are Heroes. Gabe and Mary Margaret Gabe O’Neill got to meet Sir Richard that day: “We did a ‘meet and greet’ that night and were also invited to a brunch with him the next morning.” Gabe shares in his blog. “I finally got to give him the acknowledgment I’ve always wanted to about how his words helped us start the organization. Talk about a surreal experience.” The future holds many exciting things for Kids Are Heroes and the people whose lives they touch with their mission of compassion, service and leadership. • • Want to be a hero? Learn more here or if you’re a parent, find out how to get your children involved or make a donation. • Connect with Kids Are Heroes on: Twitter (@KidsAreHeroes) and Facebook pg 15 | www.seemagazine.org
Diary of a Tech Startup Gal
by Monica Birdsong
A few days ago, I was sitting in the movie theatre watching Tom Cruise dangle from the tallest building in the world and his technology fails, putting him in danger. I can’t shake the feeling that my two week old technology is failing as well. So, I excuse myself to go to the ladies room, phone in hand. I pull up the brand new website and it loads. I check out a few more things and all seems to be ok. I breathe a small sigh of relief but still have that “something is wrong” feeling. I head back to the movie to watch Tom save the world, the whole time my mind occupied by thoughts of my new website failing. The site launched a little over two weeks ago and I haven’t slept or been able to relax when away from a computer since. The fear of something going wrong and my not being able to fix it is tremendous. That feeling I had watching the movie turned out to be true. When I got home, there was a message telling me about a small problem from my business partner (a marketing genius, but not a techie). A problem only I can fix. I am the sole technology person and if anything goes wrong, I am the only one that can fix it. And it’s not like I created a blog or something that only affects my income if it breaks. If the site fails, I’ve messed up other people’s incomes. The site, Mooshpay, is a platform that helps people sell their digital products. It also has an affiliate system, where someone can request to sell other people’s products and get paid for it. Right now a man, let’s call him Joe, is in the middle of using the site to sell his product. This is the second time he’s used our system. The first time his product selling was a total failure. There was a scenario that I didn’t anticipate and the code was wrong. No one was getting the product they just bought. Affiliates weren’t getting paid. FAIL! Big time. I fixed it within an hour, and my biz partner did damage control, but Joe had already switched to a competitor. I don’t blame him, I would have done the
same. At that moment, my fear became reality and it knocked me out for a few hours. I was in a haze, feeling terrible for ruining his faith in the site, his product launch, and the affiliates not making money. Thankfully, because of Joe’s solid relationship with my business partner, he gave Moosh another chance and we’re in the middle of his second selling now. I feel like I’m about to explode. I don’t want to break Joe’s launch a second time. I tear up about every 5 minutes. I’m so emotional! Every time my phone or Skype beeps, I jump and pray that it isn’t a problem and hold my breath until I read it. My breath holding must be working because all is going well. This time, there’s a small glitch that is easily fixed. However, I won’t upload the fix to the site until the sale dies down for fear of accidentally
breaking something else (which I’ve done twice but not during someone’s product selling). This is the fourth time someone has sold their product through the site. Each time there has been a problem to fix. They get smaller every time but there hasn’t been a problem free day yet. People are starting to talk about Mooshpay in a good way. Buzz is starting. Yay! Now my lovely fear monster peeps in with “if more people use it, more things will go wrong.” Ugh. That monster is right. I start to stress again and then I remember what happened last night in the wee hours of the morning. As usual, I couldn’t sleep and I kept thinking something was wrong with the site. I got up to check it and all looked good. I still couldn’t shake the feeling something wasn’t right but I didn’t know what yet. So, www.seemagazine.org | pg 16
instead of searching for something I didn’t know if I could find, I prayed. Then I listened and heard: “Yes, there is something wrong with Mooshpay. It’s software, there will always be something wrong. Someone will always have a problem.” And you know what? It’s true. The business is only two weeks old. There will be problems to work out. Things will break. People will use the system in ways I could never anticipate. That’s why we’re in ‘Beta’ (a phase of software development where you let brave early adopters use your site and work out the kinks). I realize can’t control what the users will do but I can control how I react to the problems as they come. It calms me down but doesn’t stop the fear. There are other fears as well, the biggest one being money. I don’t know if I’m going to have any income in February. All businesses need time to build and start generating profit and Mooshpay is no exception. I’m not sure if my partner and I have enough money to outlast this period so I’ll be building smaller websites that I hope can generate cash quickly. They may fail as well. I’m terrified that I’m going to screw up someone’s income. I’m terrified that the system will fail. I’m terrified that I will break more things. I’m just terrified of a ton of things. But I’m excited too. Excited about what the business can do for others. Excited about
owning my own business. Excited about taking care of customers that trust the business. Excited about building a community of people making money online and fulfilling their dreams. This month I’ve learned fear is going to be in my startup. Every day. It’s always there in the backseat trying to weasel its way into the driver’s seat. It’s my job is to not let it. •
Monica Birdsong is a software developer turning into an entrepreneur. She’s written software for several Fortune 500 companies and dot coms. She recently left the corporate world to pursue her dream of being an internet entrepreneur. She loves her family, friends, traveling, and food. She also loves that her internet businesses give her the freedom of working from home or wherever her and her laptop land. This is the first installment of a yearlong journey with Monica as she works to become an entrepreneur.
Affordable advertising for a dozen female-owned/operated brands or causes each month email email@example.com for rates
Two spots per month will be gifted to a deserving cause! Follow us on Twitter & Tweet us at @See_Magazine to nominate your favorite non-profit; be sure to include hashtag #iwannasee pg 17 | www.seemagazine.org
You The Man! ‘Tis the season to be dating, and February is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, so this month we’re spotlighting two men whose missions are to make dating and sex safer for everyone by promoting messages of consent to schools, universities and other organizations across the United States. Mike Domitrz has been working on fostering a culture of respect and safety among young people for over twenty years. After his sister was raped in 1989, he was amazed at the degree to which college students simply did not consider matters of consent around sexual activity. He found himself and drawn toward work which would foster a safer dating experience for young people as well as provide much needed support to survivors of sexual violence. In the early 1990’s, Mike began performing a one-person comedy show entitled “Can I Kiss You?” which aimed to connect with youth on these important issues in an engaging way. For the next decade, Mike balanced working full time as a high school coach and periodically traveling the country spreading his message. His program caught the attention of a group of educational experts who began to spread the word about his work, creating a heightened demand for the “Can I Kiss You?” program. In response, Mike founded his organization, The Date Safe Project, in 2003. He currently travels extensively, speaking at universities, military schools and conferences all over the country presenting his innovative curriculum around dating safely and respectfully, securing consent prior to sexual activity, dealing with sexual assault and honoring survivors of sexual violence. He has written and contributed to several books and created an innovative resource kit for parents called “Help! My Teen Is Dating” .
Spotlighting men who stand up for women by Lori Lewis
Young Ben Privot is newer to the field of sex and consent education but has already made huge impact with his work and emerged has a highly influential figure in this movement. Hailing from Washington, DC, Ben has a history of being civic-minded and studied Women and Gender Studies. After receiving his degree in that field he launched the program which has grown into a movement called The Consensual Project, which he founded just over a year ago. Focusing on colleges, which provide the ability to reach young people where they both learn and socialize, The Consensual Project promotes workshops, interactive banners which help create a customized conversation around the language of consent, and Consent Dance Parties (including a fun Consensual Mixtape to help get the party started in a sexy but thoughtful way. These fresh new ideas create an engaging environment where young people can explore improving their “game”, or sexual communication skills. The Consensual Project website also features an informative blog, talking points, exercises and ideas for not only navigating the often tricky terrain around communicating sexual desires and preferences, but making asking for and establishing consent sexy as well. Ben’s project is off to a very exciting start so far. We’re looking forward to seeing what else he comes up with in the future to communicate this critical messages to young people, and help them take charge of their sexual experiences and create a positive framework for mutual enjoyment with their partners. While these two men came to this work through very different paths, their goals are similar: to provide young people with the tools to understand and secure consent in their sexual activities, creating a positive experience for both partners. This contributes to a larger goal of reducing sexual violence, which is significant in today’s “rape culture”, wherein rape and www.seemagazine.org | pg 18
sexual violence are not only accepted but condoned and even glorified by media and other reflective facets of society. Traditionally, efforts around sexual violence prevention have focused on women as the victims of rape, but these programs are evenly targeted to both genders, which is another one of their great strengths. The FBI recently expanded its definition of rape to include unwanted acts of sexual aggression against men, which is a very important inclusion. This change may result in a statistical rise in rape-related crimes in the years to come despite more work being done by organizations like Mike’s and Ben’s, it’s a critical and positive change in terms of ensuring that preventative measures account for all possible violence scenarios and that all survivors of sexual violence receive the support and resources they need, regardless of their gender. We applaud Mike and Ben for their work to empower young people to positively embrace and share their sexuality. These efforts are part of a critical movement for increased responsibility and positivity in intimate relationships, and if properly adopted can help make an impact toward stemming the tide of sexual violence in our culture. • Visit the Date Safe Project Website for:
• “Voices of Courage” ebook / audiobook (free download) • Mike’s blog
Visit the Consensual Project website for: • Workshop resources • Consent communication tips • Interactive Consent banners • Consent Dance Party & Mixtape • Ben’s blog
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Resources for Parents, including the “Help! My Teen Is Dating” Kit
Tools for Schools & Universities and the Military to encourage a culture of consent
“Ask First, Respect The Answer” wristbands
Posters promoting consent
Inspired Ideas Worth Sharing Far & Wide
by Lori Lewis
One of the beautiful things about the Internet and social media is the way it empowers people to create a platform and become agents of positive change. To celebrate that, each month we’ll share videos, images and stories we feel should be seen by as many people as possible. We hope you’ll use your own social circles to share and help others see anything that moves you. Click on the images to view the videos. How To Be Alone Musician & Poet Tanya Davis is featured in this lovely, lyrical short film (directed by Andrea Dorfman) on the virtues of time spent alone. In a society all too obsessed with coupling, some singles feel pressure to find a mate to the extent that they are no longer able to enjoy their time alone. This is a sweet reminder of all that can be gained by flying solo.
Imperfect is the New Perfect Warning: those with eating disorders may consider some of the content in this video to be triggering. All the same, we LOVE this class project by Shelby Mitchell. The video features Caitlin Crosby’s song “Imperfect is the New Perfect” as well as footage from two of Dove’s viral videos (Evolution and Onslaught). Our favorite part of all was the affirming messages the kids in the video were sending themselves and others with the “I love my....” signs. It’s a touch on the long side but definitely worth watching with your children & sharing.
Kaitlin Brand’s “my secrets” video Filmed just weeks after she found her mother’s lifeless body hanging in the woods near their Michigan home, 15-year-old Kaitlin Brand’s suicide prevention and tribute video has had over 600,000 views on Youtube and has reportedly saved dozens of people from taking their own lives. It’s incredibly moving in its sweetness and its message, and is definitely worth a watch and a share (though you might want to grab a tissue first...) www.seemagazine.org | pg 20
Astrorice: “weight issues caused by media” video It’s a little long and there are some audio/video syncing issues - but this is such a gem on so many levels: the message, the sass, spirit and delightful sarcasm with which it’s delivered, her confidence and poise - what a great kid! Though she’s more famous for her excellent recent viral video against slut-shaming, the weight / media video has potential for spreading a positive bodymessage to other young women and girls and is definitely worth sharing.
Ni Shi (You Are): campaign to empower Chinese women
What started as a mock ad has turned into a real mission; Ni Shi aims to unite empowered Chinese women using a common and accessible visual metaphor for their value and their solidarity - red lipstick, worn on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2012). This video is inspirational in terms of how a simple idea can have big impact, even in a more oppressive culture - and the stats on the lives of Chinese women are staggering (e.g., one Chinese woman aged 15 - 34 takes her own life every four minutes). We think it would be amazing of American women donned red lipstick this March 8th in support of our sisters in China - spread the word!
Muffinlicious LOVE this Mom’s spunky spirit and the way she proudly rocks her muffin top! You GO, girl! •
More next month but for now - go forth, watch, enjoy, smile and share! Want to suggest a video for Viralize This? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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shortly after seeing her featured on the news. It was really delightful to see the full-figured plastic diva striking poses on mock magazine covers and ads as part of skin and body care product manufacturer The Body Shop’s ad campaign, encouraging us to “know your mind, love your body” and affirming to us that “there are three billion women who don’t look like supermodels, and only eight who do.”
A+ Ads Praise For Positive Marketing by Lori Lewis As a major part of media, advertising also plays a role in helping formulate public opinions around beauty and in doing so, body image and self-esteem among the general public - particularly young girls and women. It’s vital to highlight and encourage those who choose to market their product in a responsible and uplifting way relative to the self-image of their audience. This month we’ll take a look back at a fun, groundbreaking campaign from The Body Shop (remember “Ruby”?!) as well as Dove’s attempts to redefine beauty with their “Real Beauty” campaign. Meet Ruby . . . . .
Click the image above to view it full size One of the great things about The Body Shop is that in addition to engaging in positive advertising, their business fuels everything from fair trade to environmentalism to animal and human rights activism. Add that to amazing products that encourage you to love and pamper yourself and a visionary founder Anita Roddick (who sold the company to L’Oreal a year before her 2007 death) and it was an easy brand to get behind at the time. Click the image above to view it full size
Sadly, Ruby’s reign as the pint-sized queen of diversity I remember seeing Ruby in a magazine back in 1998, in beauty was short lived; toy giant Mattel successfully www.seemagazine.org | pg 22
nude, they cover up their privates with more grace and success than many bikinis on our TV airwaves all times of the day and night.) Conceived and launched for Dove in 2004 by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the Campaign For Real Beauty featured print and television ads that illustrated a broad range of beauty across shape, size, ethnicity and age. Some of my favorite print ads are shown on the links below, along with Dove’s Pro-Age
commercial, which was ultimately banned because of nudity. Though the models are nude, they cover up their privates with more grace and success than many bikinis that grace our TV airways all times of the day and night.
Click the image above to view it full size secured a cease-and-desist against The Body Shop for making Barbie “look bad”, thus hurting their sales. However, as explained in this interesting blog post, “The Curious Case of Ruby - the Anti-Barbie”, Ruby resurfaces and makes the rounds online on an nearly annual basis proving that her impact on advertising and female body image/self esteem is most certainly not forgotten. Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty Dove is a fascinating case, and despite arguably valid points about how a beauty brand with “fix-it” oriented products such as skin firmer and age creams is part of the problem around a beauty-obsessed culture, the ad campaign has cast a strong light on the benefits of a more diverse approach to representing beauty in advertising. Conceived and launched for Dove in 2004 by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the Campaign For Real Beauty featured print and television ads that illustrated a broad range of beauty across shape, size, ethnicity and age. Some of my favorite print ads are shown on the links below, along with Dove’s Pro-Age commercial, which was banned because of nudity. (Though the models are pg 23 | www.seemagazine.org
Click the image above to view it full size
Click the images below to view them full size
Dove “Evolution” video
Dove “Onslaught” video
Click the images below to view videos
Really positive ads! However - at least in my own view, the crown jewels of the campaign are the powerful and impactful viral videos, “Evolution” and its followup, “Onslaught”. Both of these videos have made the rounds (several times) and secured their spot in the annals of viral video history. If you have not already seen them, these two videos are well worth a view - and a share:
While neither of these companies are perfect, their ad campaigns go a long way toward creating a more diverse and inclusive standard of beauty - and that should be recognized, acknowledged and praised - particularly if we want to see more advertisers choose empowerment over belittlement as their sales strategies in the future. •
Got a favorite positive ad you’d like to see featured? Email us at email@example.com.
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The Goods by Lori Lewis
Feel-Good Treasures From the Bounty of the World Wide Web by Lori Lewis
Here’s some good stuff we’ve found online to inform, inspire, motivate and delight you.
• “See” Your Beauty This month’s power play is about being able to recognize and feel the power of your beauty. • Beauty Redefined by Jules Morrow This is a lovely, catchy song being sold to raise funds to support the website BeautyRedefined.com, a very affirmative site around building a positive body image that’s definitely worth a closer look.
Children’s Television Workshop: Sesame Street: Change The World Having not watched Sesame Street since a single-digit age, we weren’t expecting to stumble on this video but we love it! It’s adorable, and what a great message wrapped in a catchy tune - who wouldn’t love to hear their little girl singing a song like this? Worth a watch with your daughter. The Goddess Film Project
Visual Creatures: The Girl Effect
This powerful video quickly went viral with its seemingly simple answer to changing the world (educate a girl, give her a financial loan to buy a cow, this will lead to local improvements and empowerment for women in her village). A lovely idea, but this video from the The Equality Effect comes along as something of a reality check, asserting that until women are seen and protected as equal to men under local law and custom, an education and a cow won’t do anyone much good. pg 25 | www.seemagazine.org
We love the passion and mission behind this idea to cross the United States, seeking out and sharing stories of empowered everyday women - it’s very much in line with our own vision for See Magazine. Although the Kickstarter campaign expires the day before this issue publishes (and fortunately they have met their funding goal!) we encourage you to check them out and support their fundraising efforts if you’re moved to do so. -Get the scoop on the new releases of the latest women’s films on BinsideTV
Reproductive Freedom This is an important article detailing the war quietly being waged on women’s reproductive rights and health. Healing With Hurt Feelings Interesting piece on why hurt feelings are good for us and how they can be successfully used to heal when hurtful things happen.
Love Your Body
Weightess blog Having featured one of the Margarita Tartakovsky’s blogs last month (10 Things To Do Tomorrow Morning To Boost Your Body Image) we explored even more of her “Weightless” blog and found a wealth if information and inspiration to help keep your body image as healthy as it should be. This post is the blog’s most viewed content from 2011 and is a great place to start off a deep dive into this great blog. xo Jane Real Belly Project
Beautiful and empowering images along with sobering (though some argue, troublesome) statistics make for a compelling argument for a more diverse view of beauty from a size perspective. Check out the entire article in Plus Sized Model Magazine.
This makes us so happy - a parade of bellies, some pudgy, some slim, some in between - all beautiful, none photoshopped. Really good reminder about the depth of diversity in beauty. Body hate apocalypse 2012 This site is so uplifting, and this article’s idea and tips are helpful and inspirational ways to get into a better frame of mind about our bodies this year - and help others do the same.
“Am I Really Fat?” We LOVE this article wherein the author looks back on her 25 year old self, and finally sees just how beautiful she really was (and is!). Some great videos linked from this article as well, including “Muffinlicious” which we feature this month in “Viralize This”. • Got some good stuff you’d like to see us feature? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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by Lori Lewis
Back in the late 90’s, I launched an online magazine called Bella, promoting self and size acceptance. The project lasted a year and was incredibly gratifying and healing for me, and, to my delight, for others as well (I still keep the emails I received praising Bella, and read them all before I jumped in and started See Magazine!). From time to time, we’ll reprint one of our old favorite’s from Bella’s pages. The piece below is especially poignant, as reading it made me realize that while we’ve made some strides in certain areas, not much has changed in the nearly thirteen years since it was originally published. There is still much to do in the area of promoting diversity and a more comprehensive definition of what beauty really is. While that’s a daunting thing to realize, we’re excited to be part of that larger mission to benefit all girls and women by helping them see the beauty in who they are.
An Open Letter To Society by Julie Kaelin Reprinted from the August, 1999 Issue of Bella Online Magazine
Dear Society, It has come to my attention that the standards you have set for me are unachievable. Beginning today, I refuse. I refuse to spend another minute torturing myself over whether or not to eat some of grandma’s apple cobbler. I refuse to continue killing myself to obtain a weight that would leave me comatose. I refuse to be considered chunky, chubby, tubby, overweight or even plus sized. We plus sizes are actually the average size. Ask any manufacturer of S-XL clothing which size sells out first. I refuse to allow anyone to tell me how pretty I would be if only... I refuse to believe I’m just lucky I’ve got a pretty face, and I refuse to let you stand in the way of my goals. No this is not female attitude, this is female pride, which includes women of all ages, sizes and races. It includes me, and it includes your mother, your wife, possibly even you. So sit back and listen to all of my demands, which I am confident will be met in time. To begin with, little girls are losing their souls as we speak. Those who once raised their hands every time the teacher asked a question are now bowing down, not wanting to call attention to themselves. Those who turned to sports on weekends are now too busy wondering how they should fix their hair. The girls who once enjoyed hot dogs at the ballpark with their dad are now at home counting calories. As a result of these incidents, their grades are falling. Their self-esteem is at an all time low, and you can literally watch the sparkle fall from their eyes. On their fifth birthday they were climbing trees. One year later they think they are too fat to wear a bikini. Gone are the days when it was okay to have hips. And third graders everywhere know it.
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These little girls will one day grow up to be an integral part of our world, and will be armed with the concept that they can never be good enough.When your daughter comes to you crying because everyone has told her she is fat and ugly, how will you reply? What if it’s not just baby fat? What if your genes have handed her an irreversible life sentence that no diet or exercise can completely reverse? Please begin by helping her redefine the standards of beauty in this country. Comfort her and, like me, refuse to let her participate in the epidemic sweeping our citizens. Let her raise her hand in class freely, let her eat her hot dog without guilt, and let her eyes continue to sparkle. This is one huge battle in the war against ourselves, but one that can easily be a victory. Another battle we must wage is that against the media and corporations who perpetuate the images that kill our souls. I should have more than one choice when it comes to where I’ll buy my clothes. My friend who starves herself into a size 12 should not be considered “extra-large.” Write to these companies and explain to them the reality of women’s bodies. If they could let go of their ideal size 6 their profits would increase dramatically. Write also to the magazines who portray 5’11” and 110 pounds as the average woman. Maybe if the images we saw every day actually reflected reality we could stop fooling ourselves. The final battle we must wage will be the hardest, for it is the battle with ourselves. The battle within is the most difficult of all. Stand up for yourself when others tell you how you should look. If someone comments on a weight gain ask them if it honestly affects the way they feel about you. If it does, perhaps they need to be evaluating themselves instead. Be bold. There is no room for fear in this war. Don’t shy away from criticism, which spans all aspects of your life from those closest to home to the offensive billboard you pass on your way to work. But most of all, tell yourself that you are beautiful. You are worthwhile. You are a contribution to the world we live in without which many lives would be affected. Keep striving for your goals, whatever they may be, and don’t doubt yourself for even a second. If you could conceive them you can achieve them. Empower yourself with knowledge, creativity, compassion, and confidence. If you don’t believe what I’ve said, open your eyes. I, too, once disbelieved that you could be at fault, Society. Because once I blamed you I had to blame myself for buying into it. Now the blame lies with all of us. No one is untouched my what some refer to as sizism, but which I believe is more like imagism. Imagine for a moment what our country would be like if we focused less on beauty and more on life. Isn’t that what it really boils down to, after all?
Signed, A proud member of you. •
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â€œSitting Modelâ€? by Heinz Guth
This painting was my favorite from the contemporary art gallery on Bella Online Magazine, which I founded and ran in 1999 to empower plus sized women. I hope you love it as much as I always have, and that it helps you see that beauty comes in more than one size. Love,