Brava, Gaga!

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga 

I don’t get it: Lady Gaga was body-shamed after her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime show? First of all, I can’t imagine anything to criticize. And shaming? Why? But it was Lady Gaga’s response that warmed my heart, with her positivity and empowering message. And by the way, the fashion show was amazing. Those sculptural shoulder pads from the opening number (fully-beaded futuristic costume designed by Atelier Versace) – accentuated by a bright, red lip? To die for!

Good for her – Brava, Gaga!

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Body Shaming in a Dressing Room

Photo Courtesy of Refinery29

Photo Courtesy of Refinery29

“Sincerely, Mother of a Beautiful Girl” is how a Kansas mother signed a powerful letter to the sales associate who body shamed her teenage daughter in a dressing room earlier this month while she tried on a dress to wear for an upcoming formal. This associate at  Dillard’s Department Store told the customer shopping with her mom that she would need Spanx in order to wear this particular dress. When the mom told the associate that she wouldn’t need Spanx the associate argued with her. Mother and daughter then left the store and soon after the mother, Megan Naramore Harris, fired back with an open letter to the associate on her own Facebook page. In the letter, Megan said: “I wish I had told you how many girls suffer from poor self image and telling them they need something to make them perfect can be very damaging. Girls of all ages, shapes and sizes are perfect because that is how God made them. If they feel good in a dress, that is all that should matter.”

In less than a week, the story has garnered over 330,000 likes and been shared over 56,000 times (including Dillard’s Facebook page, who thanked Ms. Harris for bringing it to their attention). I am glad that this conversation is gaining momentum. Our words are more powerful than we know and body shaming is extremely harmful, especially to a vulnerable teen. Especially in a dressing room – where we already feel exposed. Hopefully, everyone can feel just a bit more empowered by this strong and supportive mother.

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Child’s Pose in the Sunlight

Photography by Michal Efron

“Child’s Pose” Photography by Michal Efron

The clothes I wear to meditate and exercise are most meaningful to me. They lead me to the light, the understanding, the relaxation, and the power to be my best and most pure self. I realized recently that what you wear to exercise is important; when you choose comfort and fit and quality it says that you matter. At the very moment when I chose to select the proper clothes, I gave myself permission to practice with authority. Clothing does that. Namaste.

Outift – T for Talbots; Photographed at MONDO Summit

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“I Feel Confident as a Woman and as a Carpenter,” says Nina

Nina MacLaughlin Photo Credit: Jonah James Fontela

Nina MacLaughlin Photo Credit: Jonah James Fontela

Nina MacLaughlin’s story is unexpected and inspiring. When Nina quit her job as a journalist, she had no idea what she would do next. A job on Craigslist as a carpenter’s assistant with the tagline: ‘women strongly encouraged to apply’ peaked her interest. With no formal training, Nina did apply and got the job! Since then Nina has been perfecting the trade and working as a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now, coming full circle as a carpenter and as a writer, Nina has chronicled her experience in her new memoir, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter. Nina is busy with the launch of her book, but took time to speak with me about her life-changing experience and why mascara is her new friend …

MKG: How long have you been working as a carpenter? Do you love it?

NINA: I’ve been working as a carpenter for the last six years. I’ve found that the satisfaction that results from building a deck, for example, or a set of bookshelves, is one of the deepest I’ve experienced. Carpentry is consistently challenging, and there is so much left to learn. Some days I love it. Some days are sweaty and dirty and boring. Like any job, there are stretches when it’s incredible, and stretches when it’s tedious. I’m grateful to have the combination of writing and carpentry in my life; for me, the two compliment each other very well.

MKG: What surprised you most about being a carpenter?

NINA: I didn’t anticipate how powerful the satisfaction of building would be. That continues to boggle my mind. I had a sense it would be rewarding, but had no idea how much so. Continue reading

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Nico Guilis Finds Her California, And Ours Too …

Find Your California, launches

Find Your California, launches: Photo Credit, Nico Guilis

I lived in Southern California for just a few years in the early 70s, but the memories of my life there, run deep. There is a huge part of me who will always be a California girl. So when I read the Harper’s Bazaar interview with artist and photographer Nico Guilis, about the November 3 launch of her new website, Find Your California, I had come home. Nico grew up in Malibu, California: a self-described, “hippy, surfer, artist chick … Find Your California was a mark of independence for me and something that I created on my own that quickly became an inspiration to other girls who are like-minded. I call it the stoke. Sharing the stoke about life. It circles back to a point to happiness,” says Nico. Find Your California will be a collection of travel diaries and beauty stories, all female, with inspiration and positive, empowering messages for girls everywhere.

Love this! Nico, you are gnarly. I am stoked. And I am buying it … For sure!


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Chaz Dean

Chaz Dean: photo credit - Richard Guaty

Chaz Dean: photo credit – Richard Guaty

I, like many of us, am very sensitive about my hair. If I am having a bad hair day it is hard for me to think of anything else. And so a few years ago when I discovered WEN cleansing conditioner for my hair created by Chaz Dean, I started to view my hair in a whole new light. My hair began to feel softer and as my hair became bouncier, I felt lighter and better about myself. It’s as if I turned back the clock and gave myself the gift of younger-looking hair. I know I’m not alone. Many people are waking up to the joy of WEN hair care. Chaz has a vision to help more people feel like me by creating chemical-free, healthy products for our hair. Here is Chaz …

MKG: What has been the driving force behind creating WEN?

CD: I believe everyone has the ability to have beautiful, healthy, shiny hair and with WEN everyone can attain their best hair. Giving everyone the hair they have always dreamed of is one of the reasons I created WEN and continue to do so.

MKG: Why is our hair so important to us?

CD: Hair and skin are really important to how a person feels about him/herself. It is how others see you and how you present yourself to others. Having beautiful, healthy hair and skin is a confidence booster and helps build positive self esteem.

MKG: What happens when someone uses WEN for the first time?

CD: The first thing that most people notice the first time they use WEN is how soft and shiny their hair is. With continuous use they say their hair has never been more manageable, healthy, soft and shiny. It just gets better and better.

MKG: What is your vision for the future of WEN?

CD: My vision for WEN is to keep educating, motivating, and empowering people by enhancing their natural beauty.

MKG: What is something about you that most of us wouldn’t know?

CD: Most people know I travel a lot; what they don’t know is that I bring my own blanket and “My Pillow.” ~ Chaz Dean

Chaz Dean is dedicated to helping each of us feel and look our best. I think I’m lucky we met

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