The Expectation of Female Perfection

Society is never easy on its people. There are stereotypes and expectations being placed on us from the moment we take our first breath. Some are based on the color of our skin. Others, on our body parts. Where there is an opportunity, there will be those who try to force beliefs and lifestyles onto anyone willing to listen. No one is safe from the judgment of social norms and social expectations. Still, some groups and individuals face worse and more persistent ridicule. The female body is a great example of this vicious cycle of expectation. We live in a society with the expectation of female perfection.

One of the biggest expectations of American society isn’t for a career or a good education. It’s for beauty. Obsession is something of an understatement concerning beauty standards in today’s society. Especially the last few years. Go on any social media platform and you will be immediately slammed with a plethora of make-up tutorials and beauty advice, some of which alter your appearance entirely.

The makeup and styles that were often reserved for an older, more mature – more adult – group, are taking over girls of a much younger age. Its completely disconcerting to confuse a thirteen-year-old for a 25-year-old. More so when those pre-teens are getting lip injections and spending hours on hair and makeup.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about female body and beauty positivity. It’s your body, you do what you want with it. These observations are not shaming the decisions of our young generations. Rather, they to criticize and question the negative role society plays in the lives of our youth.

One of the largest concerns is that the younger generations are so affected by what they see in magazines, and movies and on TV that it becomes their reality. It’s a new kind of American Dream: one of physical perfection.

Take popular trilogy, “The Hunger Games,” for example. In the book, Katniss’s character is described as unhealthily skinny. Essentially her family is starving- often going without food due to their poor and underprivileged status in their district. It is meant to portray the devastation that is caused by hierarchies and segregation. Unfortunately, some readers focused all of their attention on that more physical aspect of Katniss’s character, rather than the reason behind it.

When the star, Jennifer Lawrence, came out on screen for her big debut as “Katniss,” there was harsh and immediate criticism. Some viewers suggested that Jennifer Lawrence’s healthy body was too fat to fit the part.

Now, Lawrence is, by no means, fat. Sure, she wasn’t the walking skeleton that Katniss represented in the books, but how could they expect that unhealthy of a physical state from any potential actress? True fans and a number of well-known actresses rushed to Lawrence’s defense. But, it didn’t change the immediate response of many: to judge based on weight or bristly standards of Hollywood.

The portrayal of Katniss is a potential game changer. Young, impressionable readers and future viewers would look to their new favorite character as their idol. Katniss and Lawrence would be there real model – their inspiration. Like so many other celebrities, she would represent beauty standards especially western months.

So, what kind of message are we sending to girls if an underweight, malnourished actress feeds into this? It doesn’t matter why she looks how she doesn’t in the novels. From the moment Katniss or any female character is brought to life on screen, she becomes the #Goals of the entire generations. Lawrence isn’t the first bodyslammed, and she is not the last. With the stakes of everyday beauty running high, there will be those extremes and we have to wonder, how? How did we let it get this far? When did childhood become more about a better body and a better highlight than who has the best hiding spot for kick the can? When how many followers we have become more important than what we want to do when we grow up?

The Internet is just another door to disaster. More so for people already fighting uphill battles like eating disorders. It gives access to dangerous knowledge and the criticism of a society safely hidden behind the screen of their technology.

Eating disorders are still something of a taboo topic in today’s culture. It is becoming a more talked about the issue, but, as a result, the issue itself is becoming more hushed and better hidden from prying eyes. The Internet is only providing an outlet for the victims of the disorders. “Pro-Ana” sites are a particularly horrifying concept.

On these sites, sufferers of eating disorders come together to encourage each others’ disorders and shame those unsuccessful. Some even share tips on how to be more successful in their unhealthy habits. It’s self-destructive and as much as it as communally destructive. If you sensitize is a normalizes potential he deadly disorder. Eating disorder survivors from Australian have been working towards banning these “pro-Ana” sites to make a positive change. It is a small step in cutting the metaphorical umbilical cord to encouraged self-destruction and slavery to societal expectations.

How can we truly cut ties with the beauty standards of society, though? In many ways, it’s an impossible task. The impressions and presumptions are becoming a part of us- an in breakable habit, of sorts. Will the fascination with beauty, despite going against our morals, ever fade?

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Habits You Need to Break for the Holiday Season

The holiday season has arrived. Its a time of love, joy and the spirit of giving….

Let’s be real, though…the holidays, to most, are about gifts, good food, good company and time off of work. The next couple of months are packed with family gatherings and home-cooked comfort food, late night parties and last minute shopping. In short, the holidays are stressful. We buy things we can’t afford for people we barely see. We buy things for ourselves, we know we shouldn’t (but we can’t resist). We spend more time at the mall or bar than we do at the gym. Our activity bar drops to how far a walk we have to the kitchen and our beds. To make things worse, the holidays are a near-guarantee for weight gain.

It’s no surprise and who’s to judge? Between unending errands and the general stress of the holidays, it’s to be expected. We tell ourselves we’ll cheat a bit, then get back in line for New Years. Sometimes we do…sometimes we don’t. Our pennies are scraped and spent, and the family/friends/lover drama begins.

For those of you who have been dreading the upcoming holidays, your significant other (or lack thereof), your empty wallet and your hibernation body, there are a few tips you can follow leading up to and after your holidays celebrations. If you can make these adjustments a habit, they’ll be easier to keep up and, before long, it’ll be second nature to you.

1. Don’t Starve Yourself

I know you’ve got your eye on the prize. You’re waiting for the large meal with the anticipation of fasting to make more room for seconds, thirds and fourths. Or, you’re trying to erase some of the guilt ahead of time. No matter what the circumstances, trying to forgo food altogether is a recipe for disaster. When your body goes into starvation mode it holds onto as much of your body fat as possible. It’s an instinct of survival that you can’t teach your body not to do. If you go long enough without eating, once you start again, a similar issue occurs. Your body doesn’t take into account what you ‘want’ it acts on what you ‘need.’ Healthy eating and activity is a longer process, yes. But, in the long run it’ll have better, long-lasting results.

2. Don’t Snack TOO much…

Snacking is good for your body. Smaller, more frequent portions of food is better  than eating a couple huge meals a day. You’ll be satisfied more often and it’ll keep up your metabolism, BUT that doesn’t mean you should snack excessively. Eating three or fours snacks between each meal isn’t an ideal habit to get into. Balance is key!

 

3. Don’t Bypass Breakfast

This is lot more important than you think. Not only does breakfast jump start your body with some much needed fuel, it also jump starts your metabolism. When lunch or snack time rolls around, you won’t be ready to stuff your face and your will have an easier time digesting your remaining meals.

4. Smoking

The percentage of smokers has significantly decreased in the last few years. The most drastic of those decreases was in  the teenage population. Its a good start, but there is always room for improvement. As corny as it sounds, quitting a habit like smoking can change you life. Sure, when the going gets rough, all you want to do is get that lighter igniting. In our most stressful times, smoking is a saving grace. The power they hold over us makes it easy to forget the disastrous list of side effects. Quit while you can. Learn to cope without. You’ll be doing your body and your mind a favor.

5. Avoid Alcohol

We aren’t saying to avoid it completely. That’d be ridiculous. Most of us are going to need all the help we can to survive these coming weeks. Alcohol included. Just moderate your drinking. You don’t want to spend money you could be using on gifts. And you definitely don’t want to be that poor, passed-out soul that ends up in everyone’s shaming selfies.

6. Being Ungrateful

We spend way to much time worrying about what we don’t have over the holidays. If you’re reading this, you’ve got more than a lot of others. Stop wasting your time whining over the unfairness of the world. Think about the things you do have- the things that should make you grateful. It doesn’t have to be material items. Family, friends, a roof over your head, that is more than enough.

7. Ignoring Your Lack of Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping it could be more serious than you think. A few all-nighters for school is one thing, but constantly struggling to get a good night’s rest is like flicking the first domino to a whole line of them. Not making an effort to improve your sleep? Well than don’t say you didn’t expect them all to be crashed to the ground.

8. Getting Hung Up on the Past

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We make stupid decisions sometimes. We can’t go back in time and change it, but we can choose to move forward and learn from those mistakes. Other times, people make stupid decisions that effect us. We wish we could, but we can’t change others. Stop allowing the past to be apart of your present and your future. Leave it where it belongs and move forward.

9. Stop Trying to Be Like Others

You are your best when you are yourself. Its okay to admire someone- to look up to them or aspire to be more like them. Ultimately, though, we can only find happiness when we are true to ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others is only a set-up for heartbreak, for ourselves AND for others. Don’t be that person. Be your person.

10. Don’t Wait for the World to Come to You

It won’t. If you haven’t figured it out yet, opportunity isn’t served to everyone on a silver platter. It takes time, effort and courage. Don’t be scared to make daring jumps towards your desires. The only way to fail, is to try. If you don’t try you can’t fail, but you definitely won’t succeed. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you. Go looking for it. You may find more than you could have imagined.

 

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7 DIY Treatments to Revive Your Hair

Winter is coming. And, for most of us, that means putting our hair through all kinds of chaos. Which also means desperately trying to find successful hair treatments. The heater at home does enough drying out, in itself. To make matters worse,  most of us face a huge drop in temperature during the cold season. That means more hot showers and using heat-powered products on our hair.

It doesn’t always seem like a big deal.A quick hair-dry here and there when we’re running late and don’t want our hair to freeze. It won’t kill us, right? True, but it is killing our hair and draining out all of the moisture. Trying to fix the problem once the damage is done can be a long and hopeless process. Not to mention, an expensive one.

While you can’t always quit while your ahead, you can at least take some precautions and add on a few treatments to improve the life of your hair through coming cold. Even better, you can do it all with common household products and avoid emptying your bank account.

1.Beer

Yeah, it seems weird, right? But a beer mask can do wonders for your hair and help you avoid using volumizing products that tangle your hair and dry out your scalp. The recipe requires ½ cup of flat beer (let it sit for a few hours), 1 tsp. of sunflower or canola oil and one raw egg. One you’ve got the mix down, how you apply it is up to you. Some may opt for the less-messy path of using a spray bottle. If you want to get a good soak on your hair though, dipping it back into a bowl of your beer mask will do just as well.

2. Honey

To prevent or revive dry hair, honey is one of the best natural ingredients to go for. No matter the cause: be it sun damage, curling irons, flat irons or just one too many shampoos, honey masks are nothing short of miraculous. The consistency is thick and hard to handle, so consider adding an oil of your choice to ease the application process. Make sure your hair is damp when you start the process and don’t forget to massage. Massaging is a vital step in any hair care treatment. It helps open up your pores and let the mask soak deep into your roots.

3. Avocado

Its not just a delicious ingredient that we love to see on our plates. The benefits and uses of avocados are countless. Frizz hair, is just one of many things the green superfood works wonders on. It isn’t the cheapest produce you can buy, but the mask will show results for up to two weeks. Arguably one of the easiest masks to master, all you do is mash up, smear on and let sit for fifteen minutes.

4. Egg

Raw egg is a holy grail of beauty regimes. It reveres some of the worst damage to your skin and hair. While some products or treatments meant to target one problem can cause another (dry hair treatments making your hair look oily and visa-versa) raw egg treats both. The fat and protein in egg is what moisturizes while the whites of the egg remove unwanted oil. Talk about versatility.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

I first came across this product when I had some severe sun poising due to my sensitive skin and acne treatment. I did three-parts water and 1-part apple cider vinegar and it put my raw aloe to shame. Nothing took the burn out of my skin like ACV did. Of course, how astounded was I to discover that its usefulness surpassed pain relief and stretched out into beauty. It doesn’t smell great but its amazing, trust me. A handful of beauty gurus swear by the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Some claim its a cure all. It improves skin and hair from a number of issues- acne, dullness or dryness. All it needs a little red cape and an orchestrated theme song.

6. Yogurt

It tastes good. Its good for your body. Its good for your health, so why wouldn’t yogurt be good for your hair? Greek yogurt, especially, is perfect for very brittle hair. If you dye your hair or style it often, yogurt masks can make return a lot of life lost. The fattier the better and you can do it as often as you want. Apply it to dry or wet hair before shampooing and the effects will be immediate.

7. Coconut Oil

We had to save the best for last, of course. Coconut oil is, and always will be, one of the most influential and universal beauty products. You can use it as a moisturizer, a make-up remover, chap-stick, nail treatment. The possibilities of coconut oil treatments are endless. It is one of those grocery store buys that puts the most expensive, top of the line, products to shame.

We aren’t perfect. We do shitty things to our hair that only adds to the damage of our environment, the sun and the climate we live in. But, it doesn’t have to be a hassle taking care of your hair. These simple DIY treatments deserve to be put to good use. So, even if the heat is on blast, we took a hot, shampooing shower everyday instead of every other, and we’re dying it for the second time this month, it doesn’t have to end in the funeral of our hair.

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How to De-Stress- Part One

Hello to all my Glamorous and beautiful people! How are you guys today? With the 2016 presidential elections finally past us (whoopee.), the holiday season coming up, and all the complexities of life coming at us like bullets, it’s no wonder a majority of us are burnt out. We all feel it at some point. Quoting Michelle Phan, “We’re kind of like mobile devices- we’re always working and running for hours on end, constantly keeping up-to-date with society and balancing between different stages of our lives.” But like these devices, we can’t run on forever. Even devices shut off when it’s overworking itself. So as humans, why shouldn’t we do the same? Taking the time to wind down and relax can really help your mental and physical state. Which, in the long run, can help in better performance in your career and personal life. In this article, I’ll show you a few tips on how to start to put de-stressing time into your daily routine.

Unplug and unwind

That’s the first step everyone should do. This means turning off any electronic devices such as computers, television, cell phones, tablets- anything that would distract you from going back down to earth. This is the time to settle down and take focus upon yourself and no one else. If you have a lot of friends that like to talk to you on a daily basis, give them a heads up that you will take off an hour or two for self-reflection, and will inform them when you will be back online. Take this time to do a complete digital detox. By simply unplugging, you are taking the initiative to be able to unwind be able to start on your journey of self-reflection and recovery.

Warm Water Therapy

This is one of the more common therapies used within the home because biologically we are geared towards water or liquids for hydration. There are so many ways in which someone can utilize different forms of water therapy. Taking a hot bath with added minerals, salts, and even Lush’s famous bath bombs into the tub can instantly boost up the calm aura. This will help you relax all the muscles in your body. Drinking hot teas, hot chocolate, and soup can help relax your body and sweat out all the toxins. Remember to take your time with your beverages- there’s no need to rush.

Music

Another therapy soothing to the ear. Take a break from all the Top 40 on KISSFM, and listen to more soothing music, such as classical music, new classical music, nature sounds, meditation sounds, etc. Take this time to meditate and release all thoughts of negativity and stress from your life. This will help you solely focus on the music and the rhythm of your breathing. If classical music or meditation isn’t your style, go for some acoustics or soft indie music. This might sound similar to the songs played at your local Starbucks coffee shop. Other activities you can do while listening to soothing background music is to either read your favorite book, drawing, or writing.

What are ways do you wind down you, Glamorous People? Leave a comment down below, or tweet it at us at @GlamorousPaper!

 

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Cosmetic Brand Spotlight: Bésame

Hello, all you glamorous and fabulous people! This week, I was introduced by one of my friends to an interesting makeup brand that I’m sure most of you makeup-nistas would love to try and get your hands on! Thanks to the power of the Internet, Bésame is a trending topic among the beauty division. It is also in the most notable fashion magazines such as Elle, Vogue, and Marie Claire! Here’s the catch, most of their cosmetics available only through Sephora or exclusively online purchases.

Image result for besame cosmetics   Image result for besame cosmetics   

Bésame is a cosmetics line that specializes in classic and vintage makeup, representing the elegance, femininity, and strength of all women. This cosmetic brand’s purpose is to bring out the confidence in women everywhere. Founder of Bésame, Gabriela Hernandez, created this line in remembrance of her cherished times with her grandmother. Hernandez has always looked to her grandmother’s collection of vintage and classic makeup as inspiration. With the idea of bringing the classic romantic age back, Hernandez created the brand to remind women exactly how beautiful they are, regardless of time.

Bésame cosmetics is focused upon on the beauty of vintage makeup inspired by the time eras of the early 1920s-1950s. The color schemes and the packaging of each cosmetic are made accustomed to fit the style of the certain time period. In most of their products, red and gold are accented as part of their main color schemes.

Recently, Buzzfeed released a video that introduced classic makeup products and trends for the staff to try out, featuring all of the popular bestsellers of the brand, including their cake mascara, Delicate Rouge blush, and classic color lipsticks.

One of their most interesting products, in my opinion, would have to be their cake mascara. Presenting with a black block of mascara, cake mascara was one of the first forms of applying the product. Provided with a brush, users can apply the mascara on their eyelashes, eyebrows, and can even use it as eyeliner.

Delicate Rough blush features pigmented pink, red and orange colors that bring out the dramatic glow to the face, just like the style back over 90 years ago.

Who doesn’t love a good classic lipstick? It’s definitely a must-have in every woman’s cosmetic collection. Bésame’s classic color lipsticks are popular for not only its classic red tones (which has a variety of gorgeous colors) but for its buttery, textured finish and its fun, history fact of the time era that color was trending in.

Check out all the amazing products Bésame has to offer at https://besamecosmetics.com/. Or you can check out other exclusive products at Sephora’s website at http://www.sephora.com/search/search.jsp?keyword=besame.

Also, check out their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/BesameGirl/featured on anything of the Bésame products and application.

So to all my glamorous people, this makeup is perfect for you. It basically screams out the kind of people we aspire to be, or who we already are. Which one of these Bésame products would you like to try? Let us know in the comments below! Or tweet it at @GlamorousPaper on what other classic trends and vintage makeup you would like to try!

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