Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Bikini- turns our swimming into sinking

Hey there friends,

If you haven't seen the video below yet, I would strongly encourage you to watch it. It is about the evolution of the swim suit and the psychological effects it has had on our culture. It is extremely interesting and worth watching.

For those who don't have 10 minutes, a brief summary but PLEASE, just watch the video and then read below the video:

A study was conducted on a group of guys from Princeton.  The purpose was to determine a man's psychological response to seeing people dressed in different amounts of clothes. When shown women dressed scantily or immodestly, their reaction involved two major things:  

1. The same part of the brain that reacts to tools and hammers and things lit up.  Aka- the girls were automatically being viewed as objects. In some men, the part of the brain that thinks beyond the physical and wonders about the actual person, thoughts, and intentions of that person did not light up at all  which is apparently extremely rare. "They are responding to the photos as if they are objects, not people," says Jessica.

2. In a separate study, when shown photos of women in bikinis, the men's brains associated the women with first person action verbs such as:  "I grab",  "I push" and "I handle".  When they saw women dressed modestly, they associated them with third person action verbs such as "she pushes" or "she grabs."

The very first bikinis were worn as a cry for power, equality  and control amongst women.  Little did they know, that instead of giving themselves power as a person, they were giving the men power to view them as an object- something which to be handled.

Does this ring a bell to anyone? A time in history when women strived for equality and power all to their very own demise.

I am thinking of one incident in particular...

I think the girl's name was...oh what was it? Evelyn, Evie, Evangaline....OH!... Eve!! That's what it is.  And she was tempted with an apple in a garden and caused the downfall of, oh ya know, MAN.


Well girls, wouldn't you say it's about time we wake up and start thinking before we act?

In all seriousness, if you watched the video, the facts behind this video are worth contemplating and  it is time that we, women, stop striving for so much stinking power and equality, and rather take a real look at ourselves and think about who we are and what we are about because frankly, you are kidding yourself if you think our generation and those that follow are heading down a good path towards power and equality.

I hate to sound dramatic but it doesn't take a genius to look where we are now and see this. Unfortunately, now-a-days, we live in a world where a bikini is the least of our worries.  We are seeing soft porn on the streets, tv, and movies. It is in our conversations as though we are talking about the weather. Women are less equal than ever before because the majority of us are no longer remember how to act as an actual women.

In the video, Jessica's observations of a man's mental reaction after seeing women in bikinis/revealing clothes can be summed up into two basics. 1. Girls become objects. 2. They are to be controlled or handled.

I don't mean to sound harsh girls, but what don't we get? Pre-apple/Garden of Eden AND pre-bikini we had all the power we needed.  Honestly, we held more power then than we probably ever will because we held pride and dignity in who we were. We presented ourselves as put together and strong.  We were special. Every girl used to be mysteriously beautiful because there were parts of themselves left a mystery. We maybe did shine like diamonds at one point, Rihanna but now we have covered ourselves with filth and dirt as we have naively made ourselves into mere objects.

As I have sat here for the past 24 hours wondering what to do about it,  I came to a really sad/scary conclusion:  I think due to one little thing that our culture has deemed crucial for self-worth,  a large portion of girls wouldn't even be bothered by this reality of being viewed as an object.  This one little thing is called:


It is more evident with each new day.  My generation and those that follow are literally starving for attention and it is a constant competition between us 24/7. We look for attention and it doesn't even matter if it is POSITIVE or NEGATIVE. (Hence, the reason why despite the fact we are viewed as objects, bikinis will never go away.)

If you ask a girl if they would ever consider themselves an object to be handled, they would hopefully answer "No."  However, and I am saying this out of personal experience, when a guy looks at you like you are the prettiest thing he has ever seen, there is the internal satisfaction of the feeling of being wanted that has the power to deceives us into feeling as though maybe being an object just isn't so bad because that desire to be wanted us been fulfilled. So we let the guy view as an object, because we have told ourselves that the one thing worse than being an object, is the fear of being a girl who nobody wants.

However, what Jessica is saying in this video and what we need to start understanding is that by letting ourselves be viewed as objects for the temporary attention and by throwing away our dignity and self worth, all we are doing is generating a FALSE power inside of us that ultimately destroys us. Let me repeat that:  We are creating a FALSE power (false as in fleeting, unreal, not factual, not realistic, far from truth) inside of us that ultimately destroys us.  The end result goes against the very thing we were divinely designed to desire: to be loved, to be cherished, and to be valued for who we are as human being.

Whether you chose to believe it or not, you are a human that was intricately created and designed.  You are NOT an object. That desire to be wanted, loved and cherished is not a bad thing.  It is a beautiful thing and it is designed to be fulfilled.  But how can you expect other's and in this case, men,  to genuinely fulfill those desires when you by your very own actions are stripping that away.

This doesn't mean you need to go buy one pieces and never wear a two piece again but this should challenge your reasoning.  This should challenge your character, your self-perception, your decisions and most of all, your actions.

If you want to be valued, wanted and truly loved, you need to value yourself. If that means a one piece suit, great. If that means changing your perspective, do it.  If that means accepting that you are beautiful and immediate approval from others isn't necessary to feel good about yourself, then do that.
Just remember this: you have the power to determine how others perceive you and how others treat you.  What may initially seem like no big deal or instantly gratifying, can have a much great affect than you know.

Whatever it is, just do something different because the direction we are headed is not good.  I wonder if they first women to step up and wear bikinis would do the same today.  If it really was about power and equality for them, I have a hard time believing they would do it after seeing what it really does. Girls, it's time to step it up and class it up for the sake of who you are and what you are about, because YOU ARE NOT an object to be handled.

It is time to you stop letting the world think that.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

For those without their earthly dads.

As everyone knows, today is Father's Day. A day to celebrate and honor one of the greatest gifts on this earth: Dads.

But as I sit and think about how blessed I am to have my dad, I can't help but feel a sting in my heart for all those who don't have the "so claimed perfect" dad every time, I hear the words "Happy Father's Day" or see another post on Facebook about who has the best dad ever.

I know I don't know what that is like and I know I cannot fathom how different life would be without a dad or fatherly figure in my life, but I do know that it would be hard.  It would be hard to enjoy Father's Day and it would be even harder to feel happy for your friends who seem to all have those perfects kinds of fathers.

On one hand, I want to say I am sorry.  I am sorry for the way it makes you feel and I am sorry for the loss and absence of that figure in your life.  I am sorry for the pain that may have come with it and I am sorry for days you wonder if you are not worthy or good enough. I am sorry for the emptiness you feel and I am sorry for the anger or bitterness or hurt it may have scarred you with. I am sorry for the confusion and I am sorry for the brokenness.

On the other hand, I want to encourage you.  I want to say that I have so much respect and honor for women who have grown up to be beautiful, strong women despite their circumstances.  I want to say thank you for being brave. Thank you for being strong.  I know God has a special plan for those girls without their dads.  He knows you and he knows what will make you beautiful in His eyes. He has purpose behind each hardship, trial, and journey He has and will continue to send you down.

I don't know about other girls, but I do know that you are all stronger than I am.  You are all braver than I am and you are more courageous, bold and faithful. I hope you see yourself this way. I hope you see yourself as a girl, specially chosen by a King, to go down a path many girls would not be able to handle.  And I hope that you are using the journey for good. To strengthen the character, faith, and love of yourself and of others. You are worthy. You are beautiful and you are incredibly capable of so much good, influence and love in ways most people are not.

I hope that on Father's Day you grasp and cling to the love of the most important man, our Heavenly Father and that you know realize and accept that without a doubt you are in His hands.  There is no safer or radiant or better place to be.

Written in honor of a dear friend. The photos above are of her on her wedding day, walking down the aisle on her own.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.  (Photo Credit: Lauren Ashley Photography)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Did I do that?

Today, I had a conversation that went like this:

Friend: How's your week going?

Me: Oh pretty good but definitely ready for the weekend. I'm not focused at all today.

Friend: Why not?

Me: No idea. Maybe because I have other stuff I want to get done that's more fun than work.

Friend:  Such as?

Me: um...working out, cooking a new recipe I found, finding paint colors for hallway/painting...and the list could go on.

Friend: makes sense

Me: damnit.  I just said I wanted to be a housewife, didn't I?

Friend: You did...just embrace it Monnahan.

well crap. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A new day.

It's amazing how instantaneously everything about your day will change 
the moment you remember that one little thought...

"It's not about me."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gossip Girl Obsession

In case you don't know who those girls are, 
that is Blair Waldorf and Serena Vanderwoodsen, the fictional characters of Gossip Girl.

And as of late, Kathrine and I have developed a slight obsession with Gossip Girl.
And by slight, I mean we think about it all day, 
compare everything in our lives to it, and 
rotate our whole schedules around how many episodes we can fit in.

In one episode in particular, Blair and Serena, who are eternal best friends despite their frequent dramatized arguments, find themselves gossiping about the latest Gossip Girl news.  In the scene, they are both wearing beautiful silk pajamas and look way too pretty to be sitting in bed talking. While watching the episode, Kathrine and I simultaneously paused, looked at each other, and said "why don't we have fancy pajamas?" A comment which is followed by an outburst of pathetic and self-ashamed laughter. 

As you can surely suspect, everything about the lives that Serena and Blair lead are completely and utterly unrealistic. But still, even at 23, the thought of living the lives of Serena Vanderwoodsen and Blair Waldorf is so completely captivating and enchanting that on a Wednesday night, two girls in Little Rock, AR find themselves at Target buying fancy pajamas 
 and martini glasses before continue the watch party just because we want and that's what S. and B. would do.
True story.

I know, I know. Pretty pathetic.  
But as Kat says "never apologize for partying" and this obsession is something
 I will not be sorry about because

a. the show is good. I promise. 
b. it is a good deployment distraction.
c. it is something fun to do that doesn't equal an over consumption of liquid or solid calories or a depletion of the bank accounts.  (Unless of course we eat a gallon of rocky road ice cream within four days.  Another true story.) 
d. I will always welcome living vicariously through the drama of fictional lives
as long as it not realistic in mine. 

So there was really no point to this blog, other than talking about my new obsession   I guess the take-away could be, don't be ashamed about the things that you love. 
 Do things that make you happy and do things that although pathetic, dumb, embarrassing, or child-like, keep you young, awesome, and exciting about life. 
Honestly, a year ago I probably would have kept this obsession a shameful secret, but at some point I learned to stop caring. Life gets a lot easier.  

Just be who you want to be. 

Gossip Girl...
eerrrr... I mean...Jordan. 

(PS- I still will judge whoever for watching the Bachelorette. :) ) 

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