Monthly Archives: July 2015

Silence is Violence

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Jeepers: Corset Training

Yes. They’re back. And have been for a while.

And yes, this is what they can do:

corset

After giving birth to her second child, Jessica Alba decided to “get back in shape” by using the corset training method. Does that sounds as scary as it is? Personally, yes.

In a nutshell, ladies are training their waists with steel ribbed cages i.e. corsets, as a means of shedding pounds and achieving that perfect, womanly, hour-glass figure 8. It’s becoming very popular and more girls and women are jumping on the corset train today. I first came across it on Instagram – a former classmate of mine is a huge believer.

Curious. I thought we were done with the terror of corsets back in the 1800s. Also, wasn’t this a horrible imposition on women of that time? I mean, can you imagine how awful it would have been to have restricted movements and internal damage caused by the squishing and smooshing of your organs? Let’s not forget the worst of it: corsets caused women’s abdominal muscles to atrophy. What does that mean? Weelll let’s just say that when women took it off when they got pregnant, a lot of them died in childbirth because they had no abdominal muscles left to push out the baby.

Considering that, I personally believe that some things should stay in the past. I would much rather corsets remain in the pages of our history books under the section of unusual pursuits of beauty, with other terrors like foot-binding and lead face makeup.

Anyway, does this actually work? I guess it did for Jessica Alba.

But what does it say about our cultural obsession for thinness? What does it say about the pressure on new moms to lose their baby weight immediately so they can look hot again? And what does it say about our equating of thinness with health? Everyday we are force-fed idealized concepts of health and beauty, so much so that both women and men do terrible things to their bodies on their quest for thinness, including women whose bodies have just been through the toughest challenge of all – giving birth.

Anyway, these are concepts I want to expand on so stay tuned for more in-depth examinations. For this post, I’ll end it with the opinion that waist training, diet fads and other trends in attaining body perfection are mostly smoke and mirrors. They’re illusions and harmful ones at that. The only magic bullet out there is doing real physical work and accepting your body and finding it beautiful no matter what size it is. Re-learn what it means to be healthy and teach women and men, as well as new mothers, that strength, ability, stamina, and health are far more valuable investments than spending three months locked into a steel cage. Corsets should stay in the past. Like the word “jeepers”.

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Are You Though?

“I’m just being honest”

How many people do we know say that right before they say something pretty hurtful? I can think of a few. I’m pretty sure I’m a culprit of doing this myself.

While being honest is an excellent quality to have as part of your repertoire, we can’t neglect that it can sometimes stem from a desire to cause someone pain, thus cloaking its true nature under the intent of being truthful. Of course, the truth does hurt sometimes, and often times the truth needs to be heard. But we can control how that truth is packaged. Words can cut like knives and you can very easily bury your relationship with the verbal cuts of a “truthful” tongue.

So are you being honest or are you using it as a platform to gleefully throw knives at someone from behind the force-field of “honesty”? Here’s how to distinguish between the two: If you want to be an asshole the wrong kind of honest, then go ahead and stomp on that person you’re trying to hurt while pretending you’re doing them a favor by being honest. But if you want to be the right kind of honest, then evaluate the situation and balance your desire to be direct with the other person’s right to be treated with respect.

There is no need for the truth to be delivered in an overly harsh manner and certainly not at the expense of someone’s feelings. Whether you are masking your own insecurity by putting someone else down or lashing out in anger, the way in which you choose to package and deliver your words in the heat of a storm says more about you than your claims of taking the moral high ground. Sure, it feels good to expunge your negative energy under the veil of honesty, but know that you’re not inherently trying to benefit the other person and that you may very well pay a terrible price for this temporary satisfaction.

Ask yourself the three things you must always ask yourself before you say anything:
1) “Does this need to be said?”
2) “Does this need to be said by me?
3) “Does this need to be said by me now?

Consider whether what you intend to say or do will be helpful and constructive to the other person and your relationship or not. If you’re speaking out of a place of anger, then you’re single-handedly tearing out the roots of that relationship. But if you’re speaking from the most vulnerable part of your emotional core that isn’t tainted by hurt, anger or sadness, then you’re turning conflict into connection, and fostering a relationship based on the right kind of honesty.

honesty


“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.”

— Richard Bach

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