“Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on, and everybody’s smiling.”
Paolo Nutini’s lyrics sum up just what it’s like to strap on a new pair of shoes. Despite his Y chromosome, Nutini nails the feeling of confidence that seems to well up from new kicks. For women, though, the right shoes not only ignite feelings of confidence, but also a sense of simply “feeling pretty.”
Ateba Crocker, shoe lover and founder of the women’s online boutique Shoe Revolt, knows all too well how girls want to feel confident and beautiful in the clothes and shoes they wear. Her abusive father, however, robbed her of that feeling at an early age.
“My mother bought me this dress,” Crocker reminisces. “When I did a spin, it made this hoop thing – like in ‘Little House on the Prairie.’ He said that I looked like a prostitute. At that moment, I remember my heart just shattering because I thought I looked really pretty.”
Just like that twirling dress, Crocker’s life soon spun out of control, and her father’s words would eventually ring true. After becoming pregnant as a teenager, she joined an escorting agency to support her son Maleek.
“My body was already broken as a little girl, but it got worse,” she explains. Feeling broken both on the outside and inside, it took a few words from her young son to spark a trip to a local church. While riding in the car one day, Maleek said, “Mommy, mommy, I want to be a meacher.” By “meacher,” Maleek meant “preacher.” Crocker questioned how Maleek could possibly do this if she was a prostitute.
At a church service soon afterwards, she heard the story of Lazarus, a man Jesus raised from the dead. “That was my life,” she says. “I was dead emotionally. I was dead on the inside. My heart was hardened. I wanted to become alive.”
And she did. Crocker decided to follow Christ that day, and he took her on a journey out of a world of prostitution, bondage and addiction.
“I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to work through addictions, your childhood abuse, your pain, to go through all that counseling, and then to go to school to get your degree so you can become someone in society,” she says. “It was because of God and because of my tenacity and that I didn’t give up.”
After receiving her master’s degree, working for the Nike Corporation, establishing a family of her own and teaching at a university, Crocker decided it was time to step out and help other girls and women who have fallen victim to sexual abuse, human trafficking and prostitution. She now assumes the full-time role of heading up Shoe Revolt
Crocker explains how she channeled her anger at the commercial sex industry by starting this revolt: “I love shoes, and I figured other women love shoes. I wanted to ignite that energy and that power and get women fired up and feisty.” She adds, “God loves us, and he values us so much. Men and women are exploiting girls, and it makes me mad, and I want other women to get mad and fight with me.”
And what a fun way to fight – by buying a pair of shoes! Phase Two of the revolt will launch Aug. 1, when the boutique will open its online store. For now, Shoe Revolt is seeking donations for used shoes in excellent condition or new shoes that people or corporations are willing to donate. The goal is to have 5,000 shoes by July, but Shoe Revolt’s ultimate goal is to create a multi-billion dollar industry to kick human trafficking to the curb.
Since the commercial sex business is also a multi-billion dollar industry, Crocker says the best way to fight these exploiters is with money. “We have to have something to establish us financially so that we can compete with them.”
Shoe Revolt’s profits will be donated to Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), as well as other organizations seeking to provide assistance and transitional housing for girls victimized by trafficking and prostitution. Shoe Revolt will also help create scholarships for victims.
“Victim” is a word that means a lot to Crocker. “We are not criminals; we’re victims,” she asserts. Shoe Revolt will also work to reestablish society’s view of prostitution. “For many girls, freedom is being taken away from them. I want them to know that it’s not their fault. I want society to know it’s not the girls’ fault.”
Crocker wants to encourage girls to find life on the other side of prostitution. “I know there are girls out there who are being enslaved into this lifestyle. It’s not impossible for them to come back. They have an opportunity to really change their life.”
Shoe lovers, or “shoeistas,” as Crocker likes to call them, have the opportunity to help change lives by simply donating a pair of boots, heels, wedges, flats or sandals – or making a purchase when the store opens in August.
As Crocker works to assemble the shoeistas, she knows there’s a big fight ahead.
According to UNICEF, as many as two million children could be sexually exploited each year. The Polaris Project sites this number at one million and also reports that an estimated 244,000 children in the United States are at risk for sexual exploitation. To add to the problem, many of the children who come out of sexual trafficking and slavery have no long-term treatment options. A recent article in The Los Angeles Times reported findings of a study by the Department of Health and Human Services; only four rehabilitation centers exist in the United States for children exploited through prostitution.
Statistics like these are driving Crocker to fight and to encourage others to do the same.
Nutini’s lyrics now take on a much deeper meaning: “Hey, I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right.” The fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of girls may not end suddenly, but women around the globe can help make things right – one pair of shoes at a time.
For more information on how you can donate shoes, visit www.shoerevolt.com.
You can also join Shoe Revolt’s Facebook fan page and follow Ateba Crocker on Twitter @ShoeRevolt.
Prior to the advent of Coco Chanel, women wore floor-length gowns that practically screamed opulence and over-the-top decadence. Women’s bodies were draped in fabrics ranging from chiffon to velvet taffeta, and padded with cloth, girdles, and corsets that all but suffocated their wearers to death. With the arrival of Coco Chanel, however, all of this changed. Chanel’s clothes liberated the female body, allowing women to wear clothes that were chic; flawlessly tailored, yet deceptively simple.
Over the course of her lifetime, Chanel inspired a wealth of trends, ranging from faux pearl necklaces to tweed jackets to jersey sweaters. She singlehandedly changed the face of women’s fashion, all while courting some of the most illustrious men in history. Her fearlessness, inner strength, and confidence, however, are what has made her legacy one of the most fascinating stories in the world. Karen Karbo highlights this point repeatedly in her book, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel.
Karen Karbo’s writing radiates energy, wit, and humor, and readers would be hard-pressed to find even one section in the book that does not reflect her personal enthusiasm for the legend that is Chanel. The structure of the novel is quite simple. Karbo divides her book into chapters that each tell a story from Chanel’s life, while offering advice to readers on what they can take away from each account.
For instance, in chapter 7 of the book, Karbo retells the story of Chanel’s rivalry with Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli, the inventor of such creations as the Lobster Dress (a white silk evening gown featuring a large red hand-painted lobster) and the Shoe Hat (literally an upside down women’s shoe with the heel pointing upward), essentially stole all of Chanel’s customers at the height of her influence. According to Karbo, Chanel never once publicly recognized the rivalry. Instead, the French designer quietly closed down the House of Chanel, lying in wait for Schiaparelli’s ridiculous designs to go out of style before she made her comeback.
The lesson to be learned from Chanel’s actions? Karbo cites one of Chanel’s most well known quotes in an effort to make her point. She writes, “All the best Chanel maxims are slightly opaque, koan-like. Perhaps her most famous one is ‘Elegance is refusal,’ which can mean any number of things, from refusing melted butter on your popcorn to refusing to pay too much attention – or any attention – to your rival.”
Karbo’s book gives readers the chance to learn not only from Chanel’s triumphs but from her mistakes as well. Among the many affairs that Chanel had, one of her more unfortunate relationships was allegedly with Nazi officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage. During the Nazi occupation in France, Chanel was rumored to have come to an understanding with the Germans, a scandal that would soil both her career and reputation as a designer. Following the liberation of France, Chanel was arrested and brought to trial, though she was released shortly afterwards when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill intervened on her behalf. Even after she was let go, Chanel knew her life was still in danger, so she fled for years to Switzerland and returned to France in 1953, at the time when Christian Dior debuted what he called “The New Look.”
Even though Karbo does not say this explicitly, I believe the lesson to be learned from Chanel’s departure for Switzerland is knowing what to do when one is beaten. Chanel may not have publicly admitted her mistake, but her actions spoke for themselves. As in the case of Elsa Schiaparelli, Chanel knew that timing is everything and that her patience would be rewarded. In Switzerland, Chanel amused herself with fashion magazines and lived knowing that her legacy survived on a single perfume bottle: No. 5.
Interwoven into the text of Chanel’s life and success is Karbo’s own journey: to buy a genuine piece of Chanel couture. Her endeavors take her from eBay to Paris, France, where she comes to the rather illuminating conclusion that she does not have to buy Chanel in order to wear Chanel. Karbo then sets off to create her own Chanel jacket, an attempt that certainly bears witness to her love of Chanel’s self-made success and fearlessness.
Yet another point that Karbo makes in her book is worth remembering, or at the very least considering. This lesson, however controversial, is one that she backs up with evidence from Chanel’s life; no one, not even Coco Chanel, can have it all. Chanel might have experienced love in her life, but she never married or had children. Chanel knew what she wanted most from life, and she knew how to make it her priority. She chose to turn down countless marriage proposals from rich and famous men who offered her a world of wealth and comfort, and in doing so, she refused to trade her passion and independence for a domestic life she knew she could not lead. When asked why she had rejected the Duke of Westminster’s proposal, Chanel simply replied, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”
In today’s society, many brands and labels are doing their part in getting out awareness about life changing issues. For example, the Red brand, that raises money and awareness for aids, can be seen in many product types, ranging from shoes to coffee. Also, a pink ribbon has become the symbol for breast cancer, and events and products are sold raising money to find a cure. Charities and awareness organizations are becoming more personal, making their mark on everyday items.
A new line of clothing, Tee and Tee, has recently joined these brands in sending out a message. What is different about Tee and Tee’s objective is that it is not about a disease or physical illness, but about emotional troubles. The line of t-shirts is a voice for young people whose parents are in the process of or have divorced. In the words of the brand, it is “A voice for children of divorce and separation.”
Tee and Tee Clothing was founded by Tamu Simien. She and her husband Teddy both have a passion for offering hope to children suffering from the effects of their parents’ divorce. Both Tamu and Teddy have gone through divorce. Now, after being married for 9 years, they are working together to help the youth of America. They have 10 children between them, and Tamu comments that, “The children wear our product with joy and pride knowing there is a healthier way to get through divorce or separation. The children have noticed that wearing the shirts start conversations that comfort many who are going through similar issues”. What makes the shirts inspirational and conversation starters is their unique design. Each shirt has a stick figure graphic of a situation that kids go through when their parents are in the process of or are divorced. There is also a Bible verse on it that connects to the photo, offering kids comfort from God’s word.
Tamu and Teddy both know firsthand how important comfort and understanding is when your parents are divorced. Both Tamu and Teddy’s parents split, and Tamu comments that, “Divorce was very hard on me as a child.” It can be confusing and exhausting being in the middle of your parents’ mess. One moment one is happy and the other feels like the world is coming to an end. It can be draining on kids, teens, or even adults. One of the main reasons divorce is so unsettling to children is that there is no peace. Children need comfort and peace from your parents, and when that is taken away or absent it can lead to disaster and hurt down the road. Tamu remembers how hard it was when her own parents got divorced, and when she herself divorced. After seeing the harmful effects it had on herself and her children, she felt the desire to come up with a way to comfort other young people going through the same thing. Not only does the Tee and Tee line offer comfort, but it brings up issues that many parents do not realize. The brand is a verbal and visual message of what people do not realize the children are going through, and what God has to say about certain issues.
Tamu urges girls to remember that it is not their fault that their parents divorced. As a son or daughter, there is nothing you can do but pray and be there for both your parents. You should not feel obligated to choose one parent’s side, but instead be there for both of them, and love them unconditionally. The people who either buy something from Tee and Tee Clothing will where their shirts with confidence, knowing that they are spreading a much needed message. The t-shirts’ messages are not watered down, but instead they evoke emotion on tough issues. They serve to have people think, and hopefully pray.
There are many options if you want to order from Tee and Tee Clothing. Not only are there t-shirts, but hats, a cinch bag, hoodies, and onesies for little children. You can go to their website, www.teeandtee.com, and pick out which message/situation you want. Some might hit right to home, and will be very understanding to you. For example, there is one t-shirt called Shout. It is a stick figure picture of parents arguing while a child witnesses holding their ears. The Bible verse on it is 1 John 3:18, which says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth”. When it gets hard, many children will find comfort in the brand, and know that things can be dealt with differently.
By Lucie Rutter
Working at one of the UK’s leading fashion brands has given me an insight in to all the up and coming trends and styles and one of my favourites has a collection of clothes that everyone can wear, no matter what shape or size.
The ‘Parisian’ trend is huge this season; it is cute and feminine whilst also being stylish and classy. The trend involves polka dots, stripes, ditsy prints and pearls. Pattern is huge this season and this wonderful trend explores all the ways you can mix pattern without looking like you got dressed in the dark.
Taking classic Chanel inspired elements and mixing them with modern, fresh new styles makes this trend unique and will certainly make you stand out in a crowd. You now have the chance to dig out your old stripe t-shirts and mix them with bright, floaty skirts and ballet pumps.
Navy is a huge colour this season, navy nails, navy bags and most importantly navy clothes! A plain navy skirt goes wonderfully with a polka dot top and a knitted cardigan. The whole trend is about mix and match, so you can just throw things together, take something you haven’t worn for years and pair it with a new piece.
Girlie girls can relish in the fact that the new trend, currently taking over every store and catwalk, is filled with beautiful dresses, cute skirts and pretty shirts and the more laid back girls can enjoy the idea that the trend mixes lace, ruffles and floral with strong shouldered pieces, slouchy shorts and chunky boots.
A key piece in your spring wardrobe has got to be a white dress, accessorize with a belt, leather jacket, trophy jacket or a bright cardigan to complete the look!
By Arriel Ginter
Couture is a term that has been thrown loosely around in the fashion industry almost since its creation. Short for Haute Couture, the French phrase describes clothing or pieces that are custom, detailed, and hand sewn for clientele. Little known, Haute Couture is actually a legal status held exclusively by the members of Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris.
Hand crafted designs take a lot of time and financing. The recession has resonated throughout all of the business worlds, especially in the fashion industry. Haute Couture is no exception. One of the most famous Fashion Houses, Christian Lacroix, took a serious hit in 2009; the designer himself had to finance his last line.
In January, the Spring 2010 Couture lines made their debut in Paris. Ten designers showed their collection, to say that I was not impressed is an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion for what it is. I believe it is a personal statement and branch of creativity. But these collections, except for the special few, seemed to lack innovation and a je ne sais quoi. One show in particular, Valentino, left me extremely disappointed. The collection to me was not a proper interpretation of the brand or the reputation it had built in the world of style. The new creative directors may have been trying to entice a younger consumer group, but I felt cheated.
Past the negative thoughts, there were three shows in particular I loved. Chanel, Elie Saab, and Christian Dior lived up to my expectations of the artistry of Haute Couture.
Chanel. Amazing like always, Karl Lagerfeld produced a flawless production holding up to the standards Ms. Coco established. I loved the amazing variety from the signature short suit to the over top wedding gown. What always astounds me is the exquisite attention to detail. The embellishments may be hard to see from a distance, but are breath taking. Remembering that they are hand crafted makes them even more precious.
Elie Saab is famous for his ability to craft gowns that make beautiful women like Halle Berry absolutely glow. To be able to wear one of his gowns on the red carpet is an honor for any actress. This season though, he seemed to take a break from the high glamour Hollywood look and stepped into the feel of the season. I felt like Rachel Zoe, viewing the clothing and picturing which star would look fabulous in what for the upcoming award shows. A muted color pallet was my only complaint. I would have loved to see something more dramatic and less beige. All in all though, he stayed true to his talent and created gorgeous gowns with a natural feminine feel.
Christian Dior stole my Haute Couture heart this season. The show began with horses in the background streaming into Sade’s “Soldier of Love”, setting the perfect mood for the equestrian inspired clothing. The fabrics chosen with the styling exuded finesse. The jackets, full skirts, cocktail dresses, and ball gowns allured with their tailored, cinched, and superb construction. I fell in love with the ball gowns each more dramatic than the last. The models, mix of music and clothing provided the most stimulating show, each piece left me wanting more Dior!
By Sarah Buzzelli
Alexander McQueen was creative, imaginative, ambitious, innovative, and unique. His designs were bold, distinctive, and beyond words. McQueen was an individual. His designs weren’t high end interpretations of trends, but trendsetting. Beyond a great a designer, he was a showman. His runway shows were magical, interpretational, different, and sometimes disturbing. McQueen was never afraid to go wear other designers hadn’t. He made his own path in the world of fashion, and became a fashion legend during his unfortunately short life. Alexander McQueen, the king of prints and shows, died on February 11, 2010. Sadly, his death was suicide. The designer was dealing with much grief and it unfortunately brought him to his end. Many were stunned by his death, which was just prior to New York, London, Milan, and the Paris fashion weeks, and are still grieving. I myself am a lover of fashion. I believe that it is a form of art and a way to express oneself. He did just that during his life, he expressed himself. From his beginnings to his artistic and cinematic approach to fashion, this is a tribute to the amazing fashion designer, Alexander McQueen.
Alexander McQueen, born Lee Alexander McQueen, was born on March 17 1960 in the fashionable city of London. He was the youngest of 6 children, and they all lived in East London. When he was sixteen, he dropped out of school and braved the working and ambitious fashion world. His humble beginnings started with an apprenticeship at the Savile Row tailors Anderson and Shepherd and then at Gieves and Hawkes, and learned much from both experiences. From there he went on to costumiers Angels and Bermands, and then to employment by designer Koji Tatsuno. His next step was becoming Romeo Gigli’s design assistant. McQueen also attained his Masters in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martin’s (one of six colleges of the University of the Arts London). His graduation collection was received wonderfully, and Isabella Blow bought it all. He began to receive attention from the media, and was on his way to becoming one of their regular focuses.
McQueen put the “show” in runway show. Besides being a clever and outstanding designer, he was also an outstanding showman. McQueen even said that, “I like blowing people’s minds. It’s a buzz. Like a fix, for 20 minutes. I like the spontaneity of doing it there and then. We broke the mold by not using the fashion-show-production people. I found Sam Gainsbury, who’d been doing pop video. So it became more cinematic.” Cinematic is definitely the best word to use when describing McQueen’s shows. There was never anything average about them. He always transformed the catwalk and the mood of the show into something spectacular. Ice, live butterflies, fire, dungeons, and wolves are just a few of the extraordinary elements he incorporated into his shows.
The theme of the shows and the inspiration were unlike any other designer’s. In 1996 McQueen did a collection that was inspired by the Highland clearances (his Highland Rape collection), and as one would assume, it caused much controversy. Another memorable show was when he had ice skaters perform a routine. He was known for the many props he used in his shows. It’s not common that a designer uses a wind machine to blow out snow, and that’s what made him unique. At another show he had the models act as chess pieces on a life size chess board. Another time he made the attendees of his show sit in a mirrored box for an hour before the show. Obviously they had no choice but to look at themselves. One of the most interesting shows was when he had the model and her dress be spray-painted by robots. That one definitely got the audience excited. McQueen was full of so many ideas. Some of them were magical and others disturbing. One of his shows was set up as a mental-hospital holding cell. The models even acted as demented girls. Some might say that he is strange or creepy, but he said, “There is something sinister, something quite biographical about what I do, but that part is for me. It’s my personal business. I think there is a lot of romance, melancholy. There’s a sadness to it, but there’s romance in sadness. I suppose I am a very melancholy person.” McQueen will always be remembered for his shows, and the emotions they evoked.
McQueen’s designs have and are loved by many fashion critics, models, fashion editors, and fashionistas, and he was awarded numerous times for his work. He achieved the British Designer of the Year Award four times. His sense of style and unique designs appealed to many, and in 1996 he became the Chief Designer at the French Haute couture House Givenchy (he worked there through March of 2001). McQueen’s work with the famed Givenchy had its rough patches. He didn’t see the importance with ongoing the work of Hubert de Givenchy (the deceased Givenchy founder). Because of this, the first collection McQueen presented for Givenchy was not taken well. This didn’t hold him back though. He decided to leave Givenchy (this was because Gucci paid to control more of McQueen’s line then Givenchy owned), and became the Creative Director for Gucci.
Alexander McQueen had gotten numerous awards that many designers only dream of. In 2003 he won the International Award that was given to him by The Council of Fashion Designers of America. Even the Queen honored him with A Most Excellent Commander of The British Empire’. Another honor came his way when he was awarded GQ Menswear Designer of the Year in 2007. All these prestigious awards go to show the impact he made on the fashion industry. His designs were seen in magazines, the internet, red carpets, parties, and of course his boutiques. Even though he is gone now, his work will live on. Many will never forget his amazing designs, shows, and contribution to the fashion industry. Alexander McQueen is no doubt one of the world’s greatest fashion designers, and he will be remembered forever by those who loved his work and him.
By Sarah Buzzelli
If you have ever gone into a mall or opened a magazine, then you have probably heard of Forever 21. Even more likely, you have a stash of their clothes in your closet, or at least you wish you did. What many do not know is that Forever 21 was started by a Christian couple, Do-Won Chang and Jin Sook. This Korean-American couple has come a long way since founding their first store in Los Angeles in 1984. Now, Forever 21 is located in many countries and is a fashionista’s it store.
Every day, girls and guys walk out of Forever 21 with its yellow shopping bags holding their fashionable finds. What most shoppers don’t know is that on the bottom of the bag the Bible reference John 3:16 is printed. By doing this, the owners are showing their faith, but it has caused some controversy. In 2006, Deborah Kolben wrote an article on the matter in New York’s The Sun. She remarked on how they’re selling “in-modest” clothing while putting a Bible verse on their shopping bags. While there may be some mixed feelings about the bags and some of their clothes being inappropriate, you have got to give the owners credit for showing their faith in a very worldly industry.
Forever 21 has grown in to quite the fashion empire. The Forever 21 retail inc. now offers many store formats. Their Forever 21 Twist Tres Paris is very chic. It is only available for a limited time, so shoppers will have to hurry if they want to score its adorable pieces. The Tres Paris line was inspired by none other than Paris, one of the fashion capitals of the world. Think knit tees, cardigans with cute prints on them (like cosmetics and the Eiffel tower), boudoir, and trench coats. Also, the line primarily sports the colors red, black, and white. The chic line is definitely a fashionista’s heaven!
Forever 21 has done a lot of expanding since its humble start. The store now offers a magazine that comes with a purchase of $40 or more, or it can be viewed online. The Forever 21 Magazine’s pages are filled with the season’s fashion trends and Forever 21’s stylish clothes and accessories. Also on the horizon for Forever 21 are plans to open a 90,000 square feet store in Times Square. Don-Won Chang and Jin Sook have most definitely made their mark in the fashion industry all while giving a Christian influence.
By Michelle Golden
It’s no surprise that magazines, advertisers, and marketers use the “art” of airbrushing photographs to alter what reality looks like and to convey a certain type of image. Covers of magazines show flawless actors, actresses, singers, and models. We’re all aware of this as consumers. We know these models don’t really look the way they are portrayed on the glossy pages, but for some reason we’re okay with it. We still go ahead and buy the products being advertised or the clothes being modeled. Then we get upset when the bathroom cabinet piles up with a collection of face washes that never really worked, cover –ups that advertise miracles and provide none and mascara that claims to never clump and does so after the first use. Still surprised that Vanessa Hudgens appears to have no zits as she advertises for Neutrogena’s skin clearing cleansers? Don’t be. Two words: Adobe Photoshop.
Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media world concerning the evils of airbrushing, a photo editing technique that is used in the mentioned and infamous Adobe Photoshop, providing a means of shaving off any imperfection. The messages behind many advertisements have been increasingly misleading.
The question major companies have been faced with is when have we taken airbrushing too far?
On September 29 an advertisement that appeared only in Japan, by fashion clothing line Ralph Lauren, featured model Filippa Hamilton who appeared to have a waist smaller than her actual head. Airbrushing images already illustrates an unnatural appearance, but as viewers, we still accept it, because although the models look perfect, oddly enough, we still think this beauty is realistic. However, Ralph Lauren, in this advertisement, showed the world exactly how distorted some perceptions of beauty can be.
Looking at the ad and of this poor model whose body was obviously not accepted for what it was, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow. She doesn’t even look simply skinny. She looks sick.”
After reading follow-up articles, I was astonished and rather revolted at the fact that Ralph Lauren actually had fired this model just a few months before they used her image for the advertisement. Hamilton, who had worked with Ralph Lauren since 2002, said in a New York Daily News article, published October 14, that she was fired because she weighed too much and could no longer fit in the company’s clothes.
Yet, Ralph Lauren still used her face and her body… well, only a sliver. The rest was edited away.
Promoting an unrealistic body image hurts the average teenager in more ways than just one. Do we really want to further encourage eating disorders or other unhealthy lifestyles? No. So how can we, as the voices of the next few generations, and the new faces in the social media world, alter this distorted so-called-ideal perception of beauty? How can we bring the natural back in beautiful?
One of the causes sponsored by JChoice, the new social network engaging Jewish youth in creative ways to make charitable contributions to diverse and meaningful causes of their choice, inspires teens to look beyond appearance. The Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA) offers programs to guide teens to make healthy choices that will positively influence their self-esteem individually and those around them. Since food plays such a huge role in our society, family, and different cultures, eating disorders is a horrible aspect of reality that is coupled with the concept of food. Specifically among Jewish preteens and teens, eating disorders have been a prevalent concern. As mentioned on the JChoice website, a study conducted by the Jewish Women International site, has found that three in four Jewish girls between the ages of twelve and fifteen, have engaged in unhealthy eating and weight lifestyles. The mission of MEDA is to reach out to these preteens and teens in Jewish communities and to continuously raise awareness. MEDA reaches out to their targeted communities by creating different projects to remind our youth the importance of staying healthy and loving one’s body. One example of such a project is where interested members design a mirror with affirmations. These mirrors are then delivered to young teens that have been hospitalized for their eating disorders. In my opinion, such a project really emphasizes on the importance of loving the body you’re in. It encourages the power of the mirror as a reflection of one’s self and how essential it is to treat it with the utmost care, because, the body is probably one of the more fragile things in life.
What makes MEDA different from perhaps other health-related organizations is that the actual organization itself is comprised of six members who have recovered from an eating disorder. By being able to relate on such a personal level, these members can truly engage in helping both Jewish and Non-Jewish teens from many different communities recover from the dangers of eating disorders. MEDA partners with other eating disorder treatment facilities nationally. Founded by Rebecca Manley in 1994, MEDA was envisioned upon the idea that it would act as a safe haven for those individuals struggling with an eating disorder and a place where family members and friends of such patients can learn more about the illness and how to support their loved ones.
Through educational presentations, workshops, and speakers, MEDA reaches out to many diverse audiences to explain the causes of the illness and the emotional and physical effects. Together with organizations such as MEDA, we can work towards editing away eating disorders from society and providing a new, healthy model and face for all those magazines creating their own false and dangerous idea of beauty. Together recovery IS possible.
By Arriel Ginter
What an exciting season Spring is. Being the starting point of the New Year it’s the designers chance to influence all of the fashions to come. The collections debuted for 2010 left me amazed.
It also presented John Galliano’s genius once again. He has held the title of Creative Director for the fabulous Couture Fashion House, Christian Dior, for fourteen years now. Chic beauty comes to mind as the word Dior rolls off your tongue. Galliano translates that essence into each collection. For Spring’s 2010 Ready-to-Wear line it invoked that with sophisticated, romantic, glamour.
With the forties and lingerie as inspirations, flawless pieces came out. The silhouettes were all tailored to show the splendor of a woman’s figure. Even the trench coats tied at the waist to complement the red lipped models shapes. Lace and silk were used to capture the lingerie feel without being too overt. Sequins detailed several pieces for exquisite embellishments. And we can’t forget the shoes. The platform peep toe pumps came in a color pallet coinciding with the collection. Each outfit captured the old Hollywood feel with a risqué classy touch.
I adored the whole collection and it’s in my favorites for the season. It was such a breath of fresh air from the rough Fall/Winter look. Now instead of being glamazons taking on the world in our gladiator, studded, ripped ensembles were going back to the light dainty feminine look. I can’t wait to see it transform from runway to fashionistas wardrobes.
This “black face” is nothing close to art. It is simply put: INSULTING. No one has the right to label this an artistic vision. For no rhyme or reason should this model have been painted black. Black face is one of the racist representation of black people.in their October issue. It has stuck in my mind since I saw the photos.
So my question: why not use a woman of color? There are so many models of color trying to make it into the industry, why not? Why not avoid the controversy and hurt to your readers French Vogue? Was Naomi ornot good enough? I guess, I’ll never know.