Inner Beauty Mirror UnContest

You know that beauty is not just about makeup and fashion. But how often do you think to yourself, “I’m beautiful.” Lots of girls and women think more negatively than we want to. The best news is that we can change that with the Inner Beauty Mirror Uncontest.

Here is an easy way for you to celebrate what makes you beautiful -you will even be entered in a drawing for great prizes! To enter the uncontest all you need to do is create your own Inner Beauty Mirror.

When we look in a regular mirror we just see our outward appearance –it isn’t anywhere near all of who we are as people.

In this uncontest we challenge you to create a different mirror, the Inner Beauty Mirror. This mirror reminds you who you are and shows all the things you care about, all the things you are proud of, and all the things you do.

This is an Uncontest because no one is going to be judged. There won’t be votes to choose a winner. We are all uniquely beautiful and we all win when we can see our own true beauty and enjoy it without comparing ourselves to someone else. All entries will be checked for completeness. Then the completed entries will be entered into a prize drawing.  Names will be randomly chosen and prizes given.

List of Prizes: iTouch with the Beauty Mirror For Girls Application, 1 year subscription to New Moon Girls, and more prizes to come!

Who can participate? Girls of all ages.

Entry Rules:

Here’s what you do:

Write 7 short statements that describe your inner beauty, all of the things that make you uniquely beautiful. You can write about your characteristics, your accomplishments, things that make you happy, helpful things you do, how you believe in yourself and take care of yourself, your heritage, all the things that make you great. You want to write statements that light you up inside when you read them and they make you feel good about yourself.

The 7 statements are your personal inner beauty mirror. Now you can create a short video of yourself reading the statements and watch it every day. Or you can make yourself a nice card or poster of your statements that you can read every day.

The next step is to watch or read your Inner Beauty Mirror everyday for ten days; you may want to keep a personal journal to write in each day. At the end of the ten days you will write a short story about you the experience. Below are more details on the uncontest.

And remember, you are beautiful.

Video Participants:

1. Create your 7 statements/ sentences.

2. Turn the statements into a 2-4 minute video, be creative and artistic! You can be in the video or not, you can use art, music, objects, etc. Just make sure to say or write out all of your 7 statements in the video. Safety reminder: the videos will be posted on NewMoonGirls.com so you can’t say your last name or any information about your school or where you live. If you do, the video isn’t able to be in the Uncontest.

3. Watch your video Every Day for ten days!

4. Then write a 250 to 500 word story about the Inner Beauty Mirror: what you did, what you learned, how it made you feel, what you liked, didn’t like, what was difficult, if you plan to watch the video in the future, if the Inner Beauty Mirror may help you not say judging things about yourself or others.

5. The Inner Beauty Mirror UnContest is from April 1-30 2011, please submit your entry here www.newmoon.com

Card/Poster Participants:

1. Create your 7 statements / sentences

2. Make a card or poster with the 7 statements written out, you can decorate your card or poster however you like. You can use the Beauty Mirror iPhone App to create 7 beauty slides, and review them daily on your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch.

3. Read the card/ poster Every Day for ten days!

4. Then write a 250 to 500 word story about the Inner Beauty Mirror: what you did, what you learned, how it made you feel, what you liked, didn’t like, what was difficult, if you plan to watch the video in the future, if the Inner Beauty Mirror may help you not say judging things about yourself or others.

5. The Inner Beauty Mirror UnContest is from April 1-30 2011, please submit your entry here www.newmoon.com

The Inner Beauty Mirror Uncontest is the result of a collaboration by New Moon Girls and Beauty Mirror iPhone App.  It is our goal to work together in supporting girls to see how beautiful and powerful they are.

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Thank you for reading! You are Beautiful!

This blog was set up to encourage women to tell themselves there are beautiful everyday for 10 days.  I created an iPhone application Beauty Mirror and during September posted thought provoking pieces by amazing women who write their own beautiful blogs.  I encourage you to look through the Beauty Message Blog and find other active blogs that you can follow.

I am now working on a Inner Beauty Uncontest for girls that will launch in April 2011.  When that ends I hope to post pieces written by the girls who participate.  Until then this blog will be inactive.  Thank you for reading and I hope to have more to share in a few months.

 

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Thoughts on Being A “Pretty Fat Girl”

I just discovered a great blog, Own Your Beauty on BlogHer.  The piece below is by mmarzipan, please check out her blog Medicinal Marzipan.  What I love about this piece is how she really shows us that seeing ourselves as beautiful is a choice.  I can see the comfort that she has in her beauty in the second photo.  I also know I have some growing to do in my size 4 figure to be able to on a deep level see myself as beautiful in the way she does.

Own Your Beauty

is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one’s self and influence the lives of those around us – our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.

So the other day I was having a conversation with someone about their body image an feelings of self worth –- feel free to imagine me doing this all day everyday, as that is basically accurate.

The conversation went kind of like this:

“I just feel bad about myself all the time. I am fat and ugly and no one wants to date me. I’m getting to the point where I just don’t know what to do.” [Her]

“I know EXACTLY what you mean, I used to feel like that every single day and it led me to make all manner of terrible decisions because I was constantly on the prowl for external validation to fill the deep dark hole of my self loathing.” [Me]

“No –- You don’t understand, because you’ve always at least been beautiful.” [Her, emphasis mine]

Huh. Now, this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me. The “but you’ve got such a pretty face” write-off. As if my face discounts the size of my body, or my life-long struggle with weight. As if we are existing in some sort of hierarchy of fatness, where pretty faces sit at the top and everyone else has more of a right to hate their bodies than, let’s say, I do.

Is there a hierarchy of fatness?

Now, as I’ve mentioned, many, many times before -– actually body size has little to no impact on your mental processes of self-worth and body image. The insidious and dangerous thing about having a negative self image is that it can happen to ANYONE and is very rarely connected with actual size. Instead, size is relative. Someone could very likely feel just as badly about their body at a size two as I have at a size eighteen -– and the emotional patterns are the same.

It is almost unbelievable. But it’s true.

And those feelings of diminished self-worth, the ones that dig down really deep and get caught up around your heart, threatening to take up permanent residence there if you don’t actively seek to starve them out -– those feelings can happen to anyone. Those feeling are the ones that will get you. They are the ones that breed in shame and secrecy and will bring down even the bravest person, should they be allowed any sort of acknowledgement or authority.

Sometimes, you have to dig down deep to scratch away at the layers and layers of hurt that you have accumulated throughout your life. And sometimes, even when you think you are entirely done eradicating all of the built up layers of shame and trauma, something will trigger you and you will realize just how much work is left to do.

Now, when I was younger. And fatter. And entirely consumed with self-loathing, people would frequently address me in a pitying tone about my looks, say, but you have such a pretty face, and meaning, it’s too bad you are wasting all of that beauty in that fat body.So needless to say, this conversation was a bit of a gut-puncher for me. I relived, in typical dizzying flashback panic attack format, a slide show of mean-spirited people who had said that to me during my life.

And what I wanted to say was [please insert 14-year-old whine] -– but I was still FAT! No one wanted to be my BOYFRIEND (or girlfriend or WHATEVER)! No one wanted to even be associated with me because I was so repulsive! I hated my body JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO NOW.

But what I did say is -– the actual mass of your body or your proximity to ideal beauty standards or your fashion sense or anything else –- pales in comparison to how you view yourself. When I felt ugly, I was ugly, because I allowed myself to live under the thundercloud of my self doubt and anxiety. Once I decided [because, yes, it was a choice] to be beautiful –- I started to be more appealing to people, and NOT because my physical looks had changed, but because my attitude about myself had changed.

You need an example, don’t you? I thought so …

Now. This is what I looked like in 2002. The point of this exercise is not that I was ugly. But I don’t really look like I like myself all that much, do I? This picture actually hurts me to look at, because it brings me right back to a time in my life where I hated myself very, very deeply, and where I was causing myself harm due to the lengths I was willing to go for validation and “security.”

This photo was taken a month ago, at one of my friend’s wedding. I am at least 20 pounds heavier in this photo. HOWEVER -– I look better, right? This is the difference that loving your body regardless of its size makes.

People will be attracted to you if you love yourself. That is a fact. And it often has very little to do with your actual weight. Because when you love yourself: You stand differently, you smile like you mean it, you extend kindness and warmth because you can see outside of your little shell of pain, and you dress in a way that is both comfortable and flattering instead of trying to hide your body away or make it something that it’s not.

And it’s really not about having a pretty face. It’s about having a compassionate and loving heart and teaching yourself to accept your perceived flaws and make the absolute best out of every moment.

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You don’t have to apologize for your size

This piece is from Elizabeth Patch’s More to Love website.  Along with regular posts such as the one we are sharing today she has beautiful drawings that she calls: Positive art for the plus size majority.  In this piece she makes a great point about monitoring how we talk about ourselves.  I like the thigh and eye connection and am going to see if I can correct myself by saying ” I have beautiful eyes and thighs.”

No Apologies
I don’t apologize
for the color of my eyes.
I open them wide and see rainbows.

I don’t apologize
for the curve of my thighs.
I kick up my heels and go dancing!

from More to Love,
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved


Think about your eyes.

Have you ever whined about your eyes
while shopping for a new outfit?
Been depressed because your eyes are bigger
than eyes in fashion magazines?
Avoided an intimate relationship because you didn’t want
someone looking at your naked eyes?

Probably not…

But what about those thighs of yours?
Let’s substitute “thighs” for “eyes” in the questions above:
Have you ever whined about your thighs while shopping for a new outfit?
Been depressed because your thighs are bigger than thighs in fashion magazines?
Avoided an intimate relationship because you didn’t want someone looking at your naked thighs?

Oh yeah…

Think about this:
Isn’t it a just a tiny bit ridiculous to apologize for any part of your body?

Let’s stop apologizing, and put those amazing thighs to use:
Go Dancing! (or whatever else our one-of-a-kind bodies can do!)

Is there something about yourself that you automatically apologize for?
Your body, your hair, your weight, your clothes?
Start to notice if it pops up in conversation.
See if you can change the way you talk about yourself.
And gently remind a girlfriend that she doesn’t have to apologize for herself either!

BTW: The phrase “You don’t have to apologize for your size” is the subtitle for a great book on size acceptance
by Marilyn Wann, “Fat!So?”

speaking of eyes: human eye colors We really do come in all shapes, sizes & colors!


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Show your daughter how to eat without guilt over the holidays

Very timely tips on how we can be loving towards our bodies during the holidays.  This piece was written by a woman who has dedicated her life to supporting girls, Nancy Gruver, it was originally posted on her blog Parent Girls.

Remember when your daughter was a toddler and went straight for the sweets at any sort of holiday gathering? At the time, it was probably sort of cute and funny.

As she gets older, keeping a balance with all of the amazing holiday foods can be a challenge for everyone. It’s really a no-brainer that neither over-indulging nor depriving yourself during the holidays is celebratory.

But just because it’s a no-brainer doesn’t mean that our brains will follow the logical path. Bombarded with unrealistic, “perfect” images in movies, TV and advertising, almost every girl and woman has serious trouble feeling good, or even okay, about her body. And during the holidays with so many different and attractive foods around, we feel a lot of conflicting feelings. We want to enjoy the food but we also feel guilty, afraid of fat; even ashamed if we don’t have

“willpower” to deny ourselves some treat.

As parents we’re vulnerable to our own food and eating “demons.” And we have the added fear that we might not be guiding our daughter in the best way as she develops her food and eating habits and beliefs.

With all that in mind, here are some tips to help ourselves and show her how to fully enjoy special foods during the holidays without feeling guilty, ashamed, or out of control.

  1. Don’t talk about “all the weight I’m gaining” this season. When someone else starts that of conversation, firmly change the topic. Resist the stampede of body hatred conversations. Get rid of the scale in your house.
  2. In normal conversations include positive, respectful comments about YOUR body (not just her body) and what it does. “My kickboxing class is so much fun!” “I think I need a walk to clear my thoughts.”
  3. Be Mindful. At holiday gatherings really pay attention to what you most want. What I really want is to feel close to loved ones and feel warm and secure. Food is part of those feelings but it’s not all of them.!
  4. Look forward to the meal or event and talk about it in positive terms. “I wonder if grandpa is bringing homemade bread again? I hope so!” If you have a bite of something you don’t like, you don’t have to finish it. Focus on enjoying the sensation of each bite and flavor. Show your joy and compliment the cook.
  5. Remember that our daughters will “do what we do, not what we say.” Eat normally before the big meals or events. Don’t deprive yourself earlier in the illusion that it will then “be okay” if you overeat later.
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Finding your inner sexy

This blog looks at how we can feel more beautiful about who we are and ways we can support our daughters in building self confidence.  Being sexy or feeling sexy is something I am not too comfortable with.  I have become very comfortable with saying “I am beautiful” but I do not even know if I want to say “I am sexy” it is different – it is about my body and how I move it.  I like the idea of building more confidence in how I move my body.  In stretching myself to be sexy for me I have decided to post the following piece written by Catherine Solmes. I am going to dance to music all alone like she suggests.  I want to note that being beautiful is for all ages but I do not support girls looking or acting sexy, this article is not suggested for tweens or teens as I believe they need to enjoy their youth.

Sexy is a way of thinking. The following tips will help to increase your self-awareness and self-confidence and make feeling sexy a way of life!

When it comes to feeling sexy it’s not just about what you wear, it’s all about self-awareness. There are subtle, everyday things you can use to increase your self-awareness and discover your inner hedonist.

Use the following tips everyday to focus on your body and learn how sexy feels!

Walking with Confidence

The next time you’re walking down the street – slow your pace and take notice of how your body moves. Most notably, take notice of the movement of your hips. If they’re not already, let them sway slightly.

Check your posture. Standing up straight makes you look slimmer and allows your clothes to drape on your body the way they were meant to. Try this trick: imagine someone is holding an ice cube just above the top of your spine and a droplet of icy water is sliding between your shoulder blades down to the base of your spine. Did that make your shoulders pull back and your spine lengthen? Now raise your chin and lift your torso. Walk slowly and with purpose.

No matter what you’re wearing, you’ll emit an aura of poise and confidence!

Dance, Move & Stretch

There’s nothing like slow movement to help you appreciate the strength of your body. Try strength-building, movement-focused exercise like yoga or pilates to learn how to focus on how powerful small, simple movements can be. It’s an added bonus that these are also excellent ways to burn calories and relax your body and mind! Taking pride in the strength and agility of your body as it moves is key to improving your self-awareness.

No matter how co-ordinated you are, or what kind of music you listen to, try dancing. Make sure you’re alone, turn up your stereo or put on headphones and start moving your body to the music – classical, country, hip hop, folk, dance, whatever you like. Start with tapping your foot, swaying your torso or bouncing in place. Let your mind go blank, grin as big as you can and let the music move you. Take note of how your body moves naturally to the beat and try pushing it a little bit further. Try dancing as small as possible, as big as possible and then try dancing sensually. Sing along to the lyrics if there are any – pretend you’re the performer. Who cares how you look because it’s all about letting go and enjoying yourself!

Your Skin Have you ever paid attention to how different textures feel against it? Experiment with textures and seek out clothing that not only looks good on you, but feels good to wear. Buy a shirt or scarf made with cashmere and notice how soft and warm it feels against your skin. Or the cool smoothness of a pair of silk or satin pajamas. Even the stiff, thick comforting feel of denim against your skin is an experience you may never have been aware of before.

And try 100% cotton bedsheets or, for a more sensual experience, silk or satin sheets.

Just once, sleep completely naked. Put on some of that luxurious moisturizer and slip between those cotton or satin bedsheets. You’ll feel unbelievably luxurious and just a little bit naughty!

And finally, try these little tricks to put a little sensuality into your everyday:

  • Find a moisturizer with a scent that you like. Take the time to apply it immediately after each shower and TAKE YOUR TIME doing it. Massage it in well. You’ll love the attention you’re paying to your skin and you’ll feel luxurious all day having done it.
  • Accentuate the positive. Play up your attributes by dressing in a way that accentuates them. If you have nice skin, show more of it. Try open necklines, sleeveless tops, skirts and dresses. Wear your hair up to play up a long, lovely neck. An hourglass figure? Try a fitted, feminine jacket. Do you have good hair? Wear it down. Whatever you do, show off what you’re proud of about yourself!
  • Smile. Smile at strangers, at co-workers and at yourself in the mirror. It does wonders to project a sense of confidence and improves your mood. Notice how people respond to you when you smile at them.
  • Wear sexy underwear. Whatever you wear now, bump it up a notch. Buy something sexy and extravagant you’d never consider wearing and wear it under your everyday clothes. No-one has to know but you and you’ll feel super-sexy keeping the secret!

This was originally posted on How to Feel Sexy Everyday: Seven Tips to Build Your Self-Awareness and Confidence http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to-feel-sexy-a39119#ixzz1814TsT5F

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Being A Size 0 Does NOT Make You Beautiful.

Here is another insightful piece by Alisha Thomas, her first post The Swan Who Thinks Like an Ugly Duckling is one of my favorites.  You can read more of her articles on her blog.

So, last night, amidst dealing with my poopy schmoopy lack-o-Christmas spirit attitude, this Fruit of the Loom commercial comes on and my mind is thrown in an entirely new direction. I found myself focused more on society and our poor opinion of what it takes to be beautiful.

Before I talk about that, though, there are a few other things I need to say: let me start by mentioning that I’ve been noticing a plethora of comments on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Facebook and Twitter as of late. Comments which mostly touch on how beautiful all of the girls looked, which is perfectly fine–they are beautiful women, hence the reason people hired them to become V.S. Angels. What’s bothersome to me is the fact that every single one of them looked the same…and no one pays attention to that creepy detail. Okay, maybe they weren’t wearing the same outfits and their hair/skin-tones/ethnicities differed, but in regards to their shape? All. The. Same. Newsflash: In the real world, most people do not look the same. There are countless shapes and sizes…all of which are beautiful in their own way.

(The woman at the end of the video even admits that “ordinary women can’t fit into these clothes -surely she counters her statement by saying that the show is stunning and blah blah blah, out when a superstar admits the same thing you’re thinking, you know something’s up!)

That being said, when the new Fruit of the Loom commercial came on last night, displaying women of EVERY body type, I was incredibly pleased. I wish I could find the commercial so I could share it on here, but it hasn’t been posted yet. Let me just say that it was fabulous. It started out with a girl who looked like your typical model, then moved onto a woman with a more realistic body-type (a few more curves), continued on with another curvier body type, and ended with a wonderfully plump and confident gal. It showed every body type and it made each of those women look that much more beautiful! Good job Fruit of the Loom, good job.

So my question is: what’s the big deal with society thinking that everyone has to be a size 00 to be beautiful? Do you have any idea what those Victoria’s Secret girls do to keep in shape? Have you any idea how many times a day they probably go through with hearing that they need to stay on top of their weight in order to remain in the business? I am in no way shape or form a V.S. model, but as someone who has had some experience with modeling, I can tell you firsthand that I have been told the very same thing. “Your hips are getting a little big, so you might want to join a gym”–those are the exact words I heard and I’ll never forget them. This isn’t exactly something I’ve ever really said to anyone outside of my family but in order for this post to really take it’s toll, I find it’s necessary to share. It literally makes me cringe when I think back to that day. I had an amazing shoot and I was feeling more confident than I ever remember feeling throughout much of my life, and then BAM. Hearing those 15 words was all it took for me to lose all self-confidence and lapse into feeling absolutely horrible about myself for quite some time. I didn’t show it…but inside I was heartbroken. I started putting serious thought behind my 6′ size 9 body and I felt like a cow. I knew it was stupid because I’m tall and I probably wouldn’t look right if I was 120lbs and wearing a size 3, but that didn’t matter. All I knew was I was closer to being a plus-size model than anything else. Or, at least, that’s how I felt. So, for something as minuscule as a 15-word comment directed toward an innocent girl who had little-to-no modeling experience…I can’t even imagine what the professionals are forced to hear. It’s sad.

So, ladies, STOP believing that you need to be a size 00 in order to be beautiful because you are absolutely wrong. I will admit that there was a time when I did believe that (hence my believing that wearing a size 9 made me a plus-size model). I had somehow convinced myself that if I was able to get skinny enough I would become beautiful. However, with a little self-assurance and confidence, I was able to accept that I am beautiful just the way I am. Curves and all! When I took a step-back and looked at my body I came to find that, thanks to a little weight gain, I was actually comfortable with my appearance. I’m no longer a flat and twig-like figure (seriously, I was referred to as “Tree” in high school) filled with low self-esteem and negative thoughts toward how I look. Now I’m a slightly curvacious and boobified gal who is learning that it’s okay to proud of that! YOU should feel the same way about yourself: regardless of whether you’re a size 20 or a size 2, it’s important to remember that the only time you’re ever going to feel truly beautiful is when you stop feeling like you need to look like someone else and you start to feel comfortable in your own skin.

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