Special Sunglasses that Help You See Past the Advertisement

Imagine if you could wear a pair of glasses that would let you see secret messages within ads! Well now they exist! Just kidding they don’t. However that idea comes from a movie, called, “They Live” which came out in 1988 directed by John Carpenter. It explores how media is used by people in power to slowly control people into buying, obeying and staying asleep. However, it gets even crazier by also revealing that people in power are all aliens!

If we had those glasses that would let us see all the manipulation in everyday media, imagine how much more we would learn about the world around us. It is an eye opening exercise if we sat down and wondered what we would see. For example, in from of the dieting books section in the books stores I could see the message “Become Nothing” written on top of them. In front of reality shows I would see the message “Judge and Obey” since it makes you judge other people and feel good about yourself for being “civilized.” In front of fast food places I can see the messages “Binge” since they use hunger inducing colors and accumulated specials, that for only a few cents more you can make your small meal into a big one!

What messages would you see?

But since we will never get sunglasses that can conveniently do that for us, we simply have to do it the hard way. Doing nothing is what they refer to as “staying asleep.” Within all that junk, we need to find and discern information so that we will become aware between what is healthy and beneficial and what are lies and harmful to other people. Practice thinking for yourself, form opinions, and learn different view points.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

 

Bob Ross, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Cesar Millan: Gentle People Can Have Strong Presences Too

I am not a loud and charismatic person. I am not witty, or make a lot of jokes.  I need to have some time alone, or with one other person to rest. If I do not get that, I get exhausted and anxious, so I only like to have a small group of close friends. I felt that people like me are usually in the background, not really exciting to be around or watch even less have a strong presence. How can people like me be leaders? But after watching the way that Bob Ross, Fred Rogers and Cesar Millan  taught and carried themselves, and how much I admire and liked to watch their programs, I was encouraged by the fact that quiet and calm people also carry a strong presence.

Ross's Landscape Painting

 

You do not have to be a painter to appreciate what Bob Ross had to say. Bob Ross was a very talented artist who was aired in PBS who would amaze people by how almost effortlessly he would paint gorgeous landscapes. He advocated finding and following your own passion, an outlet. If you don’t have one, it will only fill up inside of you and can turn into something negative, like depression, emptiness, and lack of purpose. It is not about finding something “cool and exciting” it is about finding something that you believe in, and find fulfilling. If it is important to you, then it is important.  He would say, “There are not such things as mistakes, just happy accidents.” He would talk while painting, and he was so soft spoken and gentle, yet his talent and his confidence made him someone that you wanted to be like.

Mr. RogersFred Rogers, known for his children program “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” was also a quiet, calm and assertive person. He was not just an actor that hosted the program, he fought for the program to air on television, wrote the script and composed all the songs. Rogers believed that children needed a place to learn about the world in a healthy environment, not what you see in places like Cartoon Network or other shows that are just for entertainment and create over the top characters. Fred Rogers wanted children to know how to deal with their everyday challenges, such as being scared of getting a haircut or to how to deal with family arguments . He stressed the need for respect for children. Mr. Rogers defended children’s television in front of the U.S. Senate when their proposed grant of $20 million dollars was going to get cut in half to $10 million. To put things into perspective, $6,000 only pays for 6 minutes of airtime on television. He gave the U.S. senate “goosebumps” while he was calmly explaining why his show is important to children and read one song outloud for him. Talk about a strong presence!

Lastly, the show, “Dog Whisperer” by Cesar Millan, shows what a powerful effect being calm and assertive can do on a dog. Dogs are pack animals who feed on the feelings and body language that their owners reflect. If the owner is nervous, the dog will become nervous and want to protect their owners. If the owner is feeling calm and assertive, the dog will retreat and follow the owner. I love “Dog Whisperer” because it teaches people how to carry themselves, not just in front of dogs, but other people. It teaches you how to build trust with a dog so that it can relax and let you be the “pack leader”. It gets you back to the basics of how to communicate, starting with boundaries, exercise and discipline and then love. Millan never says to overpower you dog, or show him who is “the boss,” he constantly repeats, even after commercial breaks, “Stay calm and assertive.”

He knows how to walk this many dogs because he stays calm and assertive

Fred Rogers, Bob Ross and Cesar Millan show how power does not always come from being loud, overbearing or aggressive, it more effectively comes from being constant, gentle, and assertive.

 

Getting Over It: Make-Up Does Not Change Your Life

I had my two years where I thought make-up was the most amazing thing in the world.

When I discovered concealer and blush, I found a way to trick my parents that I was not overly exhausted and malnourished because of all the finals I was studying for, while eating ramen and sugary boba milk teas. Which also explained to me why all the skinny underweight girls looked so healthy, because they could hide pale cheeks with blush, and dark circles with concealer.

I was amazed at the quality and finish of make-up. How it just melted on the skin, how beautiful duo-chromes looked on my eyelids, and how beautiful and different I felt wearing make-up that I actually knew how to apply.

Before my discovery, I wore no make-up, and sometimes just eyeliner. I used to get stressed out when we would have parties, because I had no clue how to do myself up, and walking into a Sephora make-up store was overwhelming. I did not know the difference between a foundation and a concealer. However, once I started watching Youtube sensations like Michelle Phan and Elle and Blair, I learned how to do my own make-up and I just ran with it.

However, the more make-up I owned, the longer it would take me to get ready in the morning, and choosing eyeshadows to put on turned to be longer than choosing what to wear. I would feel sick in my stomach when I would see how much make-up beauty gurus had, and how many of the same thing they owned. I started searching youtube for “See my make-up” videos just to be surprised at HOW MUCH MAKE-UP some girls had. Not all of it was all bad, some gurus that had a lot of make-up reviewed products so we did not have to spend money on bad products, or since they had so much make-up they had tried, they could say with experience what they thought was the best, but not everyone was beauty gurus. Watching other girls was so depressing… simply because of the high opportunity cost. They could have invested in something, saved up, donated it, travelled, but it went to fancied out talc powder and cheap quality creams with high labels. That was when I started getting over make-up as a novelty.

Make-up has been known for being addicting. There are make-up junkies, like Hilary Kosofsky, who got $14,00 in debt for buying so much make-up. They are wrapped like candy, sold as “must-haves,” and advertised to make our lives more exciting. Make-up can be so addicting because a product is never quite perfect, and we love watching transformation videos and learning about make-up application tips. Make-up companies know that and advertise make-up that is slightly better than the last expensive item. I remember my mom just having a lipstick in her purse to get her through the day, now its women carrying a whole bunch of other things in their purse. I started wondering how much I was buying into the advertisements, and started feeling guilty over spending $14 on one color eyeshadow. I knew I was not spending my money wisely.

I wanted to be out the door as soon as I put a shirt and jeans on. I wanted to sleep more, and I loved how it felt to have my clean face get some sun without feeling nervous someone might see me. It really does feel different when you are used to wearing make-up. I did not want to get more eyeshadow palettes when they practically never run out! They last forever, so why get more? On your eyes, other people don’t really notice if you are wearing regular pink, or pink coral. Also, it expires, so it is not really something you want to collect if you are not using it. Lastly, having more make-up, especially more eyeshadow colors, does not really make your day more exciting. I would imagine how cool I would be getting an “cool” color with some scandalous sexy name, but when I would actually wear it was still an okay day. You forget you are wearing it, and if you have double eyelids, you can’t even see it when your eyes open.

I am not saying don’t wear make-up, because I would be a hypocrite since I wear make-up and I really like the Urban Decay Naked Palette for example. I just do not put as much importance about wearing make-up everyday, and I don’t mind if my friends and family see me without make-up anymore. I’ve gone to work with no make-up on some days. I want girls to see all ways: light make-up, skilled make-up and no make-up as all being good things, but enjoying more often not wearing make-up since that is your beautiful natural face. Just stick with what you already own. You are losing your money, and don’t realize the opportunity cost until you find yourself not being able to afford something truly important.

 

Humility Reminds Us that We Need Each Other to Survive

ImageHumility. I notice that you will not find values with substance in mainstream entertainment media, and self help books can often time discourage a person from being their best self. It is overwhelming to set a list of goals on how to become a better person, and has not been very effective in making a person better, but more self conscious of their weaknesses. Even Benjamin Franklin tried to set a list of things he could improve on, but when he would focus on one thing, he would fail at another, and came to the conclusion that no one is perfect. 

So what can we do? We cannot become entirely self sufficient or have absolute perfect judgement to make good decisions every time. I think it is time we stop thinking about our individual selves, and start focusing outside ourselves. How do I help other people feel better about themselves? How do I show kindness and respect to the other? Instead of focusing on my weaknesses, how about I focus on the strengths of someone I admire and learn from them? We are relational living things, and we are made to communicate. Humility reminds us that we need each other to survive. 

Learn by teaching, receive love from loving others, and uplift yourself by encouraging others. 

 

Frozen – The cold never bothered me anyway! Disney’s princess’ go feminist. (Film Review)

beautiful:

Overall I didn’t like “Frozen,” but I absolutely loved one of the characters, and disappointingly she was not the main character. Elsa is my favorite character, and this post highlights why she is such a fascinating character, and why the rest of the film sucked.

Originally posted on Lisa Thatcher:

Please note there are spoilers in this review.

disney-frozen_elsa-wide

Frozen is purportedly based on the Hans Christian Anderson children’s story, ‘The Snow Queen‘, but it actually seems more like Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Shane Morris had a moment of inspiration when they heard “Let It Go” written by the wife and husband team of Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez (who worked with Disney on Winnie the Pooh) and decided to build a story out of that song – or were commissioned. The Hans Christian Anderson ‘Snow Queen’, first published in 1845, attracted Disney, but the story was too problematic and it got shelved, but to be honest seems far more like the Edmund, Lucy and White Witch story of the ‘Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ which was first published in 1950, even down to the “frozen” figurines the young Gerda finds scattered around the palace of…

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Learning From the Regrets of the Dying

My goal for this new year is letting myself be happier and stop analyzing things so much. I was reading the top five regrets of the dying as observed by Bronnie Ware, an Australina nurse that worked in palliative care. Ware noticed through the years that there were common themes in the regrets that people had before they died:

1. They wished they would have let themselves been happier.

2. They wished they would have lived a life truer to themselves and not defined by definitions of others.

3. They wished they had the courage to express their feelings.

4. They wished they would have kept in touch with their family friends

5. They wished they had not worked so hard.

These regrets are not about having more money, more sex or even about owning the best clothes or cars, it has to do more with the condition of your heart. Taking care of your heart is very important, even the Bible says to take care of your heart because it is the wellspring of life. The regrets mentioned above are not new to us, I know I feel them already, but its about addressing them so that once we reach the end of our lives, we feel fulfilled. I have to admit that this is exactly the way I felt when I left college. When the five years that felt so long in the process ended, I felt like I missed some of the most important parts of college.  I realized when I left that it is not just about studying to go to master’s school, (which I never really wanted to go to anyways) but about character development and taking advantage of getting to know so many different wonderful people. I could have done more than what I did. 

I can never gain those days back, but I can learn and act on them. I have my beautiful family and friends that I want to get closer to. I also don’t want to waste energy in my heart feeling shy about not being in the best job right after college, not having enough money or feeling awkward about things I should not feel embarrassed about. I just want to accept and be grateful where I am now, and be happy that I have my family, my health and so much more to live.