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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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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Why Megan Fox is a Role Model

As with any young starlet, Meghan Fox has her fair share of uncomplimentary rumors and harsh criticism. She’s not the type to act coy and sweet for the camera. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she’s “all-that.” Frankly, I don’t know her personally, and, until recently, I didn’t care much for her acting. But the moment I  laid eyes on a few candid photos of Fox and her sons, my attitude is changed!

Often we forget that celebrities are people, too. It sounds awful, but it’s true. You compare them to their red carpet looks when they’re out on an off day. We are expecting them to be like the people they play on T.V., in movies, on stage, etc. They do it so well that, people forget to differentiate the person from the character. It’s the sad truth of being in the limelight.

Then there are the moments when those differences become part of our appreciation. It only takes one bold show of their character and we forget who they were in that blockbuster or that music video.

In Fox’s case, her unspoken statement could not be clearer or more awe-inspiring.

This picture doesn’t speak a thousand words. It’s somewhere closer to a million. It’s the much-needed balm to our aching hearts during a very stressful time.

It may seem simple enough. A mom out with her kid- he’s wearing what he wants and she doesn’t appear to mind in the slightest, right?

Wrong.

It is a big deal. In a world where gender stereotypes and expectations are near-impossible, I escape, Fox gives her sons the freedom to express themselves.

Gender role expectations are a relatively well-known concept. Except, not, at the same time. We know they exist. Some of us speak out and act out against them. Still, there are the persistent foundations of social norms that are hard to shake.

What’s more, now when people choose not to conform to these expectations, they’re out into a category of “other”. Begrudgingly accepted (though not by everyone) but still kept at a distance.

Well, Fox isn’t having it.

She isn’t the first celebrity to publicly allow her children the freedom to express themselves however they smile. Brad and Angelina Jolie are two advocates for safe and free expression from their children .

It’s this type of publicity that not only adds dimensions and a “self” to the celebs, but it also normalizes and even glamorizes something that is normally frowned upon.

Megan Fox deserves a big pay on the back for showing people how it’s done.

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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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Songs You Didn’t Know Were About Sex

Everybody has their own interpretation of their favorite songs. As fans, we pick up on the most relatable or immediately satisfying aspects of songs. Usually our interpretations are not what the musician or writer originally intended. Imagine all the songs that had us swaying and singing along. The lyrics themselves and the subtext of them is irrelevant to most. Does that stop us from jumping headfirst into blissful ignorance? Of course not. So, here are the songs that most of us were blissfully unaware were about sex. Surprise!

1. “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfield.

On the surface, it’s a song about loving yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. Think ‘loving yourself’ a little deeper and a little more physically. “When I get chills at night/ I feel it deep inside without you, yeah/ Know how to satisfy/ Keeping that tempo right without you, yeah.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out.

2. “You Outta Know,” by Alanis Morisette.

She’s the ground you girl we all know and love. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, that’s for sure. Not even want to comes to sex, apparently. You all to know, that this song is it what you thought it was. Does she go down on you want to feed her? Your conscience probably skipped over that little bit while you were screaming the chorus in front of the mirror or on a whim blowing car ride but now you know.

3. “Crash Into Me,” by Dave Matthews Band.

That song you thought was poetically spelling words of love and adoration? It’s actually the secret peeping-tom anthem. “Oh I watch you through the window/and I stare at you/ you wear nothing but you wear it so well.”

4. “This Love,” by Maroon 5.

“I tried to best to feed her appetite, keep her coming every night.” I lost count of the amount of times I sang the song in front of my parents. Truth be told I’d have been OK remaining in the dark about this one. Once upon a time, this was the desperation of a man showing his love and effort to keep his girl around. Now, well now it’s a matter of fear of abandonment for lack of sexual satisfaction.

5. “White Houses,” by Vanessa Carlton.

 

“My first time, hard to explain – rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain – on a cloudy day.” It all makes sense now, right? When you aren’t just singing the misunderstood words with no direction, when they’re smacking you in the face with their sudden obviousness. Makes you really think about the words that you sang with such conviction… Such ignorance. I guess it’s true, ignorance really is bliss.

6. “Little Red Corvette,” by Prince

“I guess I must be dumb/ because you had a pocket full of horses/ Trojan and some of them use/ but it was Saturday night/ I guess that makes it all right.” I guess I must be dumb for not putting two-and-two together. Let’s just blame this one on the childhood innocence. One thing is for sure, Prince was just like the rest of us – looking for love but settling for Saturday night booty call and possibly with a lady of the night.

7. “If You Seek Amy,” by Brittany Spears.

This one requires little explanation. In the simplest terms possible – I had no idea the song wasn’t about a girl named “Amy”. Kudos, Britney, for your less–than-subtle, but successfully clever, ways.

8. “Here’s to the Night,” by Eve 6

The words you focused on: “Here’s to the night we felt alive…tomorrow’s gonna come too soon.” It’s a sentimental song that resonates with audiences of all ages. Reminiscent adults reliving their past, check. Angsty teenagers soaking up the sadness of the confusing lyrics. Double check. We all had it pegged as a reminder to live in the now. Except, it’s not a headbanging high school graduation tune, it’s about a one night stand, ‘hit-it and quit-it’. Call it what you will. Once you see it – it cannot be unseen.

9. “MMMBop” by Hanson.


You probably thought that because these boys were so young that they were immune to the perversions of a male dominated industry. You thought wrong. Hanson, you can’t fool us with you pubescent pale hair and innocent smiles. Maybe it’s better to leave this stone unturned.

10. “Dancing with Myself,” by Billy Idol

I saved the best for last, of course. This real meaning of this song redirected the memory of my childhood dreams- tainting what was once a fun, guilty pleasure and twisting it into something only my adult mind could comprehend. We danced to the literal interpretation of these lyrics. We would dance without a care, without anyone. Dancing, don’t always mean dancing, though. Who knew? Not me?

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