“The problem with labels is that they lead to stereotypes and stereotypes lead to generalizations and generalizations lead to assumptions and assumptions lead back to stereotypes. It’s a vicious cycle, and after you go around and around a bunch of times you end up believing that all vegans only eat cabbage and all gay people love musicals.”—Ellen Degeneres
One of my most vivid memories took place when I was in the fourth grade. I was getting ready for a school talent show, and wanted to get my hair just right. Now, before this moment, I really didn’t care how I looked or what people thought of my appearance. But I looked in my bathroom mirror and ripped my hair out if its braid and brushed it and brushed it. I put it up in a ponytail. Nope. I tried a headband. No. I let my hair fall naturally. No way.
Eventually, I got so fed up that I started sobbing.
Probably one of my weakest moments. I was a nine year old who didn’t feel pretty enough, curled up in fetal position on the white tiles of my bathroom floor, sobbing.
Now when I have those moments getting ready where I don’t feel good enough, I revert back to that moment in time. In my mind, I pick that young girl up off of the floor and wipe her tears. I tell her that she is beautiful and wonderful. And then I look back in the mirror, take a deep breath, and keep moving on.
Long time no speak, but I had an interesting thought today. I realized that quite often, we are able to sense whether people are okay or not. We get a “vibe” telling us whether the person is happy or sad or angry. But just as often, we don’t act on these vibes.
My challenge to you: The next time you get a sad vibe from someone, walk up and sincerely ask, “Are you okay? I just wanted you to know that I’m here for you.” If you’re too shy to do this, replace the question with a compliment. Even something like “Your hair looks great today!” will put them in a better mood.
We are given both the joy and the responsibility that come with being in community with one another. Use your voice.
“Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.”—Anne Sullivan
“I’ve always loved intelligent girls, no matter how they look, to be able to hold a conversation with someone is so important. The moment someone acts dumb, I lose interest. I think about the subtext and layers of a person when I design. I design for someone who has interest in the space around her, who is aware of her relationship with the world, someone a little evolved, a little concerned. I think putting more women in power will help solve a lot of problems in the world. It troubles me that the media celebrate women acting like bimbos on TV — it’s not cute, it’s ridiculous. I call it ‘Paris Hilton Syndrome’; there’s a place for that superficiality — but it must neutralized by an equally powerful, intelligent counterforce in culture. I don’t want to perpetuate the wrong ideal.”—-Prabal Gurung. (via editor-in-chic)