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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Fashion Pick of the Week: Flannels

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Hello to of my Glamorous People! It’s the start of the weekend ahead, and everyone’s basically last work day of the week- so it’s no surprise a majority of us would rather spend the day having fun or save it for the evening after hours. Usually, it’s always the time to either dress up your look or play it up! For me, when Fridays roll around is where I usually like to play up my look with a casual flannel, a.k.a Flannel Friday.

Flannels are best in the game and everyone’s go-to fashion item when one feels like they have nothing else to wear for the day. They come in all different colors and stripped-dimensions to choose from. The possibility is almost endless. The best thing about it is that they are comfortable, looks good on everyone, and they can be worn for all four seasons of the year. Here’s simple ways to dress and play up your flannel game for the day.

By Itself

#NSALE IS PUBLIC @roressclothes closet ideas #women fashion outfit #clothing style apparel:    Image result for flannel outfits   Image result for flannel dress outfits

The easiest and fastest way to pick an outfit, be out of the door for the day, AND still look good! To style this look, just put on a pair of jeans, some sneakers or boots, and some minimalist accessories like a watch  or a scarf. Boom! You are good to go for the day. You can even wear it as a dress if the flannel is long enough! Tip: When wearing a flannel as a dress, pair it with over-the-knee style boots or short, ankle boots with the thick heel to make the outfit chicer. Or simply throw on some leggings (black’s usually the safest way to go) and throw on some pair of sneakers.

As a Throw-Over Cardigan

Image result for flannel outfits   pinterest | mylittlejourney ☼ ☾♡:

This is another easy and fast look to add a little more casualness to the outfit. It’s almost as flawless as dressing the flannel by itself. As an undershirt, you can stick with any color that correlates with the flannel. However, I suggest sticking with a neutral color such as white, black, or beige is always a safe way to go. For more of a rebel/punk feel, throw on a graphic tee! Too many options to pair with? Go with your favorite pair of jeans, sneakers/boots, and needed accessories to complete the look.

Around the Waist

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What happens when the weather gets too hot to wear these long-sleeved plaids? Of course, you might want to take the flannel off…but where can you put your flannel if you don’t want to carry it all day? Easy- just the good ‘ole fashioned wrap-around-the-waist trick. A flannel can be used as an accessory, not just as a clothing necessity. It adds a twist to your outfit and is one of the trendiest ways to wear it!

With a Vest

Want this flannel/vest combo.:      Image result for flannel with vest outfit   Image result for flannel with vest outfit

Pairing a vest can add a bit more of a fall and winter look to your outfit. It also looks really comfy as well as keeping you warm! Tip: try opting for a puffy looking vest like the one shown above- it will really set the mood for the upcoming cold season.

With a Sweater or Jacket

Image result for flannel with sweaters   Image result for flannel with sweaters   Image result for flannel with sweaters

Speaking of the cold season, layering a flannel under a sweater or jacket is another option for adding more flair to your look. Layering flannels and sweaters will also keep you warm throughout the day. To add a bit of a school prep look, wear loafers and some classic jewelry. Just be sure to choose sweaters or jackets that match well with your already-distinct flannel.

To all my Glamorous folks- how often do you wear your flannels and how do you like to wear them? Leave a comment down below! Or tweet a picture of your favorite flannel selfie to us @GlamorousPaper! Let us see how you’re rockin’ it this season!

 

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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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Fighting Back Against Mike Pence

They say you can’t fight fire with fire. That’s true…usually. But, a small dose of shame and frustration can wane the strongest of flames. Whoever said revenge is a dish best served cold? They were wrong. Let the dish be served hot- let it marinade in the flavor of unexpected retribution. Let your victim enjoy it, then tell them the contents afterward. Or, in this case, let the prey bask in his triumph as you patiently watch their unavoidable defeat. This is how you take revenge on a man who is fighting to take away a woman’s control over her own body. This is how you take revenge on Mike Pence.

"Vladimir Putin is a great leader...but we have to confront Russia's barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo. If that doesn't make to you

Nobody knows shame and frustration like Mike Pence right now. As Donald Trump’s running mate, its comes as no surprise that the politician is against Planed Parenthood.

Since 2011, when Pence was an Indiana congressman, he made his stance on the health care provider quite clear.  His efforts were put into taking away all of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. The anti-abortion bill that Pence signed was one of the most invasive and constrictive of its kind. It barred abortion in Indiana based on the gender, potential disabilities and the race of the embryo.

Seems unreal, right? It isn’t.  And it looks like this is could be a topic that we’re forced to face on the regular, now. That doesn’t mean we have to take it lying down, though.

The election results only fueled the anger of thousands when it became obvious that our leader, and his right-hand man, were willing to take away rights that women fought very hard for. So, in response to the end of the election, a frenzy of donations began. Donations made to Planned Parenthood, and, incidentally, donations bearing the name “Mike Pence.”

 

Even worse (for Pence), certificates of acknowledgment for these donations were sent to…

Drum roll, please…

You probably guessed it: Mike Pence, himself.

So how many of these donations could possibly be in Pence’s name? According to NBC News, over 20,000 of the 128,000 donations to Planned Parenthood are courtesy of newly elected vice-president.

Now, if that isn’t a large pill to swallow without a drop of water, I don’t know what is.

Whats more, the spike in donations to Planned Parenthood have also shown a number of those contributions in Hilary Clinton’s name. Though, as a candidate who expressed her firm belief in women’s rights and their access to health care providers like Planned Parenthood, these donations appeared to be a show of support, rather than an insult. In a way, its an expression of people’s displeasure for the election’s results and a creative one, at that!

Many celebrities have been joining the ‘revenge-trend’ and encouraging it through social media. And, with the help of influential stars and Trump’s wiggling stand on punishment for abortion, the donations probably won’t be ending anytime soon.

What is important to remember, even if you’re pro-life (because it is okay to have your own opinion) is that Planned Parenthood isn’t just about abortion. On the surface, it’s an aspect that they are most well-known for. Unfortunately, it is this uninformed assumption that causes so much confusion when the funds of the healthcare provider are brought into question. But, it is deeper than some care to know…

“We deliver comprehensive sex education that empowers all people to make informed choices and lead healthy lives. Planned Parenthood is proud of its vital role in providing young people with honest sexuality and relationship information in classrooms and online to help reduce our nation’s alarmingly high rates of unintended teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs and outreach to 1.5 million young people and adults every year.”

Regardless, everyone has a right to their beliefs. And, in the same sense, everyone should have a right to their own body. This movement isn’t just about the equality of gender, race, disability or orientation. It is also about the equality for an individual. What might be right for one person is not necessarily the best for another? So why try to make everything black and white when we live in a world decorated with color?

Restrictions of the body, culture or mind are like trying to fit 120 crayons into a box meant for 24. You’re doing more harm than good. Maybe some of the crayons will survive, but how can you justify breaking the majority of them just to have them all together?

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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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