Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beauty is in the eye of the STANDARD

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder STANDARD
Let's face it. Our society has standards of beauty. Women strive to reach those standards no matter the cost - financial, emotional, or physical. This idea is not exclusive to America, however. Every society has their own definition of beauty. It's fascinating to see how it changes across cultures and what women go through to achieve that standard.
(Warning: Some of the following pictures and descriptions are a bit graphic)

The Place: Northern Thailand
The Standard: Long Necks
The Cost:  Women get brass coils placed around their necks as early as 5 years old. The heavy coils press down on the clavicle (collar bone) until there is space for more coils. They experience discomfort and a weakened neck, which means that it would be difficult for their neck to support their head if the coils are ever removed.

The Place: China
The Standard: Small Feet
The Cost: This process starts between the ages of 2 and 5, before the young girls' arch fully develops. The toes are curled under and pressed down until they are broken. Then, the arch is also forcibly broken. Cotton bandages are then applied very tightly. This results in lifelong disabilities and discomfort for some women.

The Place: Ethiopia (Karo Tribe)
The Standard: Scarring
The Cost: Women wear scars on their stomachs. The process begins in childhood and continues. When the scarring process is finished, this signifies that the woman is ready to get married and have children.

The Place: Mauritania (North west Africa)
The Standard: Obesity
The Cost: Young girls are force fed. Some are even sent to "Fat farms" to ensure that they reach a desirable weight by the time they are ready to get married. (This standard has begun to die out because the people of Mauritania are becoming aware of the health risks associated with obesity)

The Place: United States of America
The Standard: Where do I even begin?
The Cost: Plastic surgery, excessive exercise, eating disorders, body manipulation, and low self esteem (to name a FEW).


America: Observation

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

China Here I Come! 中国,我来了!

#9  on my 25 before 25 bucket list is to travel outside of the country. I've officially made plans to spend a month in BEIJING!  AAAHHHH! I can't wait.

Questions I've gotten after announcing my upcoming trip:

Do you know anyone in China? NO
Are you going with anyone?  NO
Do you speak any Mandarin? NO
Giirrrl, Are you crazy? YES...wait, what?

I LOVE to travel. Furthermore, I LOVE a good challenge. Being in a place where I don't know the language or too much about the culture will definitely be challenging. But the experience will be worthwhile. As always, I'm going in with an open-mind and a free spirit. No expectations- except to have fun and learn something new. 

All this China talk reminds me of Chris Brown's AWESOME performance of his new song, Fine China at the Billboard Awards....lookin like a young MJ!  I LOVE this song!

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