After our program students say that mental health does not seem as taboo of a topic as it did prior.
Happy Friday Rewriter’s!
Did you know that being an artist takes a lot of bloody courage? Every artist has to face the fear of taking their emotions and opinions and putting them on display for all to see. They also have to live with the potential critiques and ridicule that come with creating. However, BEAUTIFUL Girls like Sarah are brave and create no matter if someone thinks their creations are awesome or not. Which is why she is our Beautiful Girl of the Week!
Not only is Sarah a brave and talented artist, she is also contributing her artistic gifting by being one of the 17 artists creating art for the Rewrite Beautiful Art Show in July! This isn’t the first time Sarah has created for charity. Last November she created art for the da:lit Art Show that supported the work of Harvest India.
Like all of our Beautiful Girl’s, Sarah’s cares deeply about using her time to have a positive impact on her community. When she puts her paintbrush down, she is doing another brave thing: ADOPTING! And not from just anywhere, she is adopting from Ghana. Word on the blogosphere is that adopting ain’t as easy as pickin’ out frozen yogurt. It is a emotional, physical, psychological and financially challenging journey to adopt a child. However, Sarah and her family are ready to take on the challenge and give an orphan a home. Describing this kind of action with the word KIND seems painfully obvious. Maybe that’s what kindness really is though? Maybe kindness is looking for where there is an obvious need, looking at ourselves and what we have to offer and offering it even if it is uncomfortable. All new things are uncomfortable until they’re done right? But the satisfaction of completing something that your soul has asked you to do is a monumentus feeling that makes the reason for humanity understandable.
Whether it’s being a brave artist or a courageous adopting parent, Sarah is strong and shows it in her actions. Rewrite Beautiful is proud to know this remarkable girl. We hope you were inspired by her beauty today!
P.S. Sarah and her family are raising funds for the adoption of their child from Ghana. In creatively awesome style they have debuted some children’s T-Shirts that are for sale to assist in fundraising for the adoption. If you would like to play a part in giving an orphan a home and seeing a kiddo you know rock this adorable T then please visit the link below.
Keepin’ it Beautiful,
Rewrite Beautiful would like to say congrats to our Board Secretary, Lindsey Teichman who got accepted to Grad School last week! Lindsey will be studying Global Public Health at Boston University this Fall 2011! Boston is blessed to have this beautiful girl on their turf because not only is Lindsey a smart cookie, but she is one of the kindest people I know.
Lindsey’s road to Grad School began when she visited Uganda “On a hot day in June” ;) (Inside joke). She saw the way the people lived, that their lack of the basic water, food and 25 cent band-aids was devastating their country. She loved the peoples optimism and faith that things would change, but she knew she couldn’t just leave them, she needed to return and do something impact their lives in a strategic way. After doing some research Lindsey discovered that she could help in a big way. Her degree in Public Health will allow her the opportunity to help the people in Africa to help themselves by developing systems with their own resources (in other words to be self-sustaining.)
Lindsey has played a huge part in Rewrite Beautiful. She has helped sculpt the vision, plan events and has even stepped up to be the on-call counselor when things get sticky. We’re so blessed to have this beautiful girl on our team and now Boston is too!
Keepin’ it Beautiful,
We’re doing a little zig-zag action! Last week The Beautiful Girls of the Week were from the East Coast, Rachael and Elena from New Jersey! Now we’re headed back West to Cali..Northern Cali that is to spotlight our next Beautiful Girl of the Week: MISTY! I love Misty! And by the end of this post you will love this BEAUTIFUL girl too! Misty is beautiful because she is CREATIVE and participating in the Vagina Monologues next week in San Francisco! The Vagina Monologues is a play which include scenes that highlight current issues affecting women around the world. Thousands of local benefit productions are staged around the world to raise funds for local groups, shelters, crisis centers working to end violence against women. Awesome right? Well our very own beautiful Misty will performing her monologue in front of the coolest hipsters in the world - The Bay Area Hipsters. We’re so proud of this creative chick!
Not only is Misty creative, but she is KIND. Every time I see Misty she is chatting about literature or sharing a laugh that usually ends in a Misty snort! She brings intellect, class and good vibes with her wherever she goes.
But, Misty wouldn’t be completely beautiful if she wasn’t also STRONG and strong she is. Misty has no qualms about speaking up and sharing her opinions even when others don’t agree. And according to her boyfriend her stellar communication skills are quite sexy even if they include crying right before bed about missing her family and friends down in So Cal. Sensitivity seems to be quite Beautiful to the man folk. Thank’s for BEING BEAUTIFUL Misty! You inspire me!
P.S. If you are going to be in the Bay Area on March 24th 2011 or March 25th 2011, check out Misty’s performance in The Vagina Monologues. More details by clicking right over…not there…not there…HERE!
Keepin’ it Beautiful,
I like cops. Their brave and courageous peeps! In times of danger and damsels in distress they help when everyone else is wiggin' out. But, when I see them giving the local skateboarding teens a hassle it makes me want to pay the local barber to put the words “Kick Me!’ into their buzz cut. I mean for 1.) Skateboarders aren’t doing drugs, drinking alcohol or vandalizing anything 2.) They are not killing brain cells and souls by playing video games and looking at porn online 3.) They are getting adequate exercise and plenty of Vitamin D from the sun. I know some people over the age of 30 who can't compete with those numbers. I think that if anything the city should host an annual parade saluting all of the local skateboarders in the area for being such upstanding teenage citizens and give us all free slurpees from the local 7 11.
As usual the city doesn’t see things my way. They see the skateboarders as a hindrance to public property and a danger to themselves. When their skateboards glide of railings, benches and ricochet off the side of curbs they cause some property damage. Never the less they cause a lot of trips to the ER with their risky and talented aerodynamic thrills. So now, anyone who resembles a skateboarder in my area, meaning a teenager, skinny jeans, Vans and a hair cut that resembles the boys from the Brady Brunch are deemed hooligans. They get hassled by the cops on the street, in coffee shops and anywhere else in sight. As if wearing a pair of Vans deems you a property damaging scum bag.
I thought this typecasting by the cops in my area was messed up until a couple of weeks ago when I was visiting a friend in Downtown Los Angeles. I’m a big fan of L.A. there are amazing galleries, museums, shopping, good eats and culture. I love the feel of a big congested city and even welcome the traffic. However there are some shady parts that one needs to be aware of. So I’m driving in downtown L.A. and listening to my navigation system and driving. My brain synapses went like this…
Notice graffiti in the neighborhood…awesome!
Notice homeless people pushing carts….sad..but awesome!
Notice a homeless man playing with his “junk” on the sidewalk …. gross....but awesome!
Notice I just passed a Greyhound Bus stop…. Uh oh…I think I’m in a baaaaaaad neighborhood.
I realize my thought process and laugh at myself. I find it funny that a man fondling himself in daylight doesn’t alarm me but a Greyhound bus stop does? I’ve rode a Greyhound bus in my past so I can say that one trip on it is an “education” in and of itself. But, I then thought about who rides Greyhound busses. In my experience it is largely ethnic minorities. I start to wonder how the symbol of a Greyhound bus makes me assume things about it's occupants. I wonder if maybe my assumptions about people who ride Greyhound buses are like the assumptions of the cops in my neighborhood around skateboarders? Maybe I’m a little bit (or a lot) like the cops in my neighborhood? I wonder if sometimes when I'm not even aware of it I just lump people together and assume I know everything about them without getting to know them first?
I hate to say it, but it is very true that in the past it has made me uncomfortable to be around people who are poor, who don’t speak my language, who have different intrerests and come from a very different walk of life, who like different music and styles of clothes. I know that at times these differences are challenging to relate to and sometimes I would simply rather not deal with them. But, then I have to ask myself, "Are these the actions of a BEAUTIFUL person? Of a KIND person?"
I think being kind isn’t just being kind to yourself and people you love, sometimes it’s being kind to people who are different. People who make you uncomfortable and maybe even annoy you. It could be someone who is racially different, religiously different, sexually orientated differently or maybe even alot younger or alot older.
You don’t have to start being best friends with these people, but I would suggest that you start to ask yourself some questions:
1.) What makes me uncomfortable about people who are different?
2.) What would it be like if they thought of me the way I thought of them?
3.) What do I like about people who are different?
4.) What would the world be like if we were all the same?
Keepin’ it Beautiful!
This week our Beautiful Girls of the Week are Elena Baxter & Rachael Lechliter. We consider these two sisters from New Jersey BEAUTIFUL because they are CREATIVE, KIND and STRONG in many ways! First of all they are CREATIVE by being the revolutionary founders of Lifestyle & Charity Magazine. They created the magazine to inspire other to create a culture of giving no matter what industry they are in. They are KIND in that LC Magazine organizes mixers, events and features articles and products about giving back to charity. They are STRONG for using their gifts and talents in order to benefit others. The magazine business is a tough one. They could have gone several other routes, but they chose a route that benefits others as well. I know them personally because they brought me on to write a True Beauty column for LC Magazine and I have loved every minute of it! They not only let me write about topics that are near and dear to my heart, they are supportive of the Rewrite Beautiful mission. According to Rewrite Beautiful Elena and Rachael are pretty smokin’ Beautiful!
Keepin’ it Beautiful,
Once upon a time, in a land a $350 plane ticket away from here was big, loud and beautiful New York City. In that city lived a talented Street Artist named Color Me Katie.
Katie was known for making funny Street Art that left every observer either giggling or smiling.
Eventually people started to ask Katie, “What inspires you to make such fun and happy art?” Katie’s answer, “Actually, I make happy art because a lot of people in my family suffer from depression. I know a lot of people here in New York feel really alone too. I just wanted to make something that would make people smile and happy.”
Meanwhile on the Left Coast of Route 66 was a rule breaking and loud Art Teacher who got in trouble more often than her students. One day after being kindly reprimanded for using the word “fornicate” around her students and using some special Project Runway skills on her work shirt that were against company code, she was looking for some art to lift her rebellious spirit. When she Googled upon Color Me Katie’s blog.
When the Art Teacher read why Katie created her art she thought about her own students who have trouble making art unless they are personally connected to it. The teacher thought it was silly to teach her students how to draw flowers if they didn’t even like flowers. So the teacher thought, “If Katies makes awesome art because she cares about people who are depressed, I wonder what my students care about?”
The teacher gathered all her students, told them about Color Me Katie. Why Katie made her art, the message she is trying to send to people and about Street Artists being people who try to send a powerful message through their art. The teacher then asked her students. “What message do you want to tell people through your art?”
The students had a lot to say and create:
Now before the students create anything they think about what they love, the message they are trying to send and THEN they create. Now they are connected to their art and enjoy the creating process a whole lot more. Kate is still making awesome Street Art in New York City. The Art Teacher is no longer an Art Teacher, she’s now a writer, laptops don’t have anything against the word “fornicate” they just ask that you spell it correctly.
The Artsy End.
1.) What do you love?
2.) What message do you want to share with others?
3.) How could you share that message?
4.) Do you the guts to make some Street Art? (The correct answer is YES!)
Having been a girl for a couple decades now I have come to realize that we are a fascinating, captivating, blood sucking breed, especially when it comes to female friendships. One minute we are coordinating identical outfits to wear to school the next we are shamelessly trash talking behind each others backs, stealing boyfriends and beating each other up and uploading it on You Tube. Reeeeeeeeal classy! Damn! Right? It's rough out there in the land of pink and lace these days. My Barbie may have done some questionable things with Ken, but she never beat up Skipper and she sure didn't upload it to YouTube. But, back then the Barbie Dream House didn't come with WiFi so maybe I'm just lucky. Anyway, this phenomenon of “precious turned vicious” female backstabbing has become theatrical satire these days seen in Mean Girls staring old school Lindsay Lohan and the movement of the Kind Campaign, a documentary and movement about girl bullying.
As I have seen the books about the Mean Girl epidemic line up on the best seller table of Barnes & Noble I have thought about the time my besties and I decided we were all going to “Out” one of the girls in our clique. I believe the tactic we chose was hanging up on her mid sentence in a phone call and then when she called back telling her, "I was bored of you." I'm still doing Hail Mary's for that one. Then my stomach turned when I remembered the day I was “Outed”. One doesn’t forget being called, “Irvostitue the Prostitute” over night. Laugh all you want. Its okay, I only sleep with 2 stuffed animals and shout the following disclaimer to anyone who will listen, “I was a cheerleader for 4 years and in therapy for 8.”
Anyway, my personal philosophy is that when there is a problem, one shouldn’t put a bandage on it, they should find root of it and address the problem head on. So, because I write the blog here, THAT’S what we’re gonna, do! So, as I reflected I came up with 3 possible causes of the Mean Girl problem:
A.) RABBITS - Girls actually have a defective gene much like rabbits who eat their young when they fear it’s in danger. Girls love each other, but when they notice that their friend might cause a threat to their status and social climbing she gets the axe and her rabbit’s foot is left as a comical reminder.
B.) MATH- Girls must just suck at math. They don’t realize that there are 3 billion men in the world. They think there are only 3. Their dad, their brother and the one boy that she likes at school. She thinks other girls are competition to take that one boy away and therefore she must pulverize the competition.
C.) KINDERGARTEN- You know how they say, you learn all the basics of life in kindergarten? We’ll they forgot how to teach girls how to be KIND to themselves. And if you first and foremost don’t know how to be kind to yourself how can you be kind to your friends. Simple – You don’t.
I don’t know your theories, but I don't think girls have a defective gene like rabbits and I know alot of girls who are pretty dang sharp at math. My favorite math tutors have been girls actually. So, I’m gonna go with C. I don’t think the majority of girls know how to KIND to ourselves. Think about it, when was the last time you…
- Gave yourself a compliment?
- Appreciated your talents?
- Said, “Hey you’re a pretty awesome friend” to yourself?
- Said, “Man you’re friggin’ smart!” to yourself?
- Said, "Wow I love your eyes! You are beautiful!"
- Said, “Jeez your parents are pretty crazy! but you’re really hangin’ in there!”
It’s my hypothesis that if we want to be beautiful, meaning CREATIVE + KIND + STRONG, being kind has to start with being kind to ourselves. It’s kind of like a baby with a dirty diaper. Babies are little friggin’ pains in the arse when they have a dirty diaper. They scream, they cry, they smell and they end up looking like a little red raisin that oozes tears. No thank you! Because that baby doesn’t “feel good” it can’t do its job of being a baby, being sweet, cute and bringing joy to everyone who interacts with them. You’re the same way. If you aren’t talking to yourself kindly you’re going to end up pretty miserable, depressed and looking like a baby with a dirty diaper. The world will also suffer because BEAUTIFUL you is in an UGLY mood re-branding Barbie into Little Miss Massacre.
So get outta that diaper already. Ask yourself the following KIND questions:
What do I rock at?
- Creativity: Music, drawing, dancing, singing…
- Including others
- Being sensitive
- Being strong
- Being awesome
What is something KIND I do for myself daily?
- Listen to music
- Eat well
Daily remind yourself of the things you rock at. Treat yourself kindly everyday. And dude, say nice things to yourself! Yes, I just told you to talk to yourself. I'll have you know that talking to yourself is a very cool thing to do. It's up there with Street Art, coffee, documentary's and www.RewriteBeautiful.org That's what the little voice in my head tell me anyway, by the way the voice wanted me to tell you that they say "Hello! And thanks for hangin' out with Rewrite Beautiful today. Girls are amazing, sensitive and nurturing creatures. The only reason they ever "suck blood" from other girls is because...well they think they that they suck themselves. Show your blood sucking friends how to be KIND to themselves and others. Now that's BEAUTIFUL! Have an awesome and KIND day!"
Most people get through college and achieve their bachelor’s degree in 4 years. Serotonin challenged individuals like myself take 6. During those 6 years I accumulated more academic units than the average keg-standing college kid. Being a creative and Academic Advisor ignoring girl that I was, I choose to take tons of classes on Cinema, Music; ‘From Bach to Rock”, Photography and Art History Classes. Something I found oddly common was that there was always a great emphasis in all of these classes on the masters and founders of each art form. I have a great respect for history makers, but I found it surprising that in an environment that was supposed to encourage creativity, there was a lot of "This is how you do it." Nevertheless, I enjoyed learning about the renowned names like William Randolph Hurst, Charlie Chaplin, Beethoven, Ansel Adams and Van Gogh were the center of our study and discussions.
Being the yuppie, upper middle-class college kid I was I got the opportunity to go to Europe during college. I was privileged to be able to see and breathe in presence of the work created by the masters I studied. Something not everyone is fortunate enough to do. Ironically, upon returning home from my voyages, I have discovered one funny thing about the work of DaVinci, Goya, Gaudi and Picasso; though they are prodigies in their field none of their work floors me like the art of creating a baby.
Now, I can assure you I DO NOT HAVE BABY FEVER. I have held enough runny nosed toddlers and stained my favorite skirt with organic-low-sodium-high-fiber-mashed-chicken-soup to keep my hormones well stocked with birth control into my late 30’s. But, still, babies absolutely blow me away! Whether it be my friends baby or the girl checking out at Trader Joe’s, jaw dropped I always manage to say, “Seriously?! You friggin’ made that thing!” I mean for a second lets take into perspective, someone made a nice big painting on a ceiling, well done, but these people made A PERSON. Like with a heart and a brain and good lord an intestinal track that spans 6 feet! How did they do that?! (That’s another blog; I like to call….Dirty Dancing. We’ll get there.)
Though men do offer quite a bit of ‘help’ in the baby creating process, women are the prime producers in getting their art form ‘out’ into the world. I think that for a woman, creating a child is both an honor and privilege. What bums me out is how many women don’t give much thought to being ‘creative.’ Time and time again I hear so many women say with a sigh of defeat, “I’m not very creative.” Thank you Charlie Brown, but not true! Historically women are the one’s who created rituals, holidays, food and oh yes, little people. Whether you believe it or not simply owning a vagina makes you creative. I think some of us just don’t know how to recognize it (the creativity that is.)
Take my friend Marie for instance. She’s an accountant and a very linear thinker. One who I roll my eyes at for saying, “I just wasn’t given the creative gene.” What I would like to point out to her and you is that being creative doesn’t simply consist of stretching canvas, rhyming words or knowing a color wheel by heart. Creativity consists of giving the world a little something that wasn’t there before you came along. So, back to Marie; in my eyes Marie is actually a VERY creative person. I have never known someone who not only emotionally cares for people, but also physically cares for them. She creates personal, intimate relationships with people. She instigates my close group of friends to open our eyes and remember to care for people in our community who might feel neglected or left out. She is always willing to volunteer and lend a hand wherever needed whether it is at work, within her family, at church or in our community. Marie is one of the most creative people I know.
One of the core values of the key components to being beautiful is BELIEVING that you are creative. Knowing that wherever you go you have something beautiful and creative to offer of yourself makes you feel like rock star status! The awesome thing is that the world is diverse and though 2 people may be painters, whatever they create will always be a new unique creation because someone different made it. No matter what you create, whether it is relationships, art or people your creative contribution is shaping our world.
This past Christmas I was talking to my family about some of the current tragedy’s in the world. Just to keep it real I turned to my mom who has had 5 children and with a straight face I asked, “What’s the point in having children? Like what’s the purpose.” She gave me my favorite look that my family gives me the, “For God sakes, why do you have to be so weird!” look. Being the cool cat she is she said, “Well, that’s a pretty deep question. If I had to simply answer it I would say, ‘Hope’. Each new birth reminds us that there is hope for a new world.” I don’t agree with my mother very often, but on this one she definitely has me puttin’ a Franklin down on her bet. Cause if you asked me, hope is definitely why I create.
I create Street Art because I believe that women are a valuable part of society. My hope is that the people in the Street Art and those that see it will learn to see the valuable influence women have on our culture and how important it is that we use that influence to make our communities a better place. I may not be considered one of the master’s of the Street Art community, but, I have guts to create and share hope with others and I think that alone makes me happier than being noted in a history book or college lecture hall. So "How do you create creativity?" You have to start with: Hope.
So! Here's the fun part I have some questions for ya....
What do you have hope for? What do you care about?
(For examples: Africa, animals, eating disorders, the environment, fashion, human trafficking….)
In what ways would you like to CREATE so people hear about what you care about?
What do you hope people get from seeing what you create?
(For example: They will purchase free trade coffee, they will donate money to protecting animals, they won’t use plastic bag, they will learn how to help someone who is suicidal)
Chit chat, talk and be Beautiful!
“The pleasure of love is in loving. We are happier in the passion we feel than in that we arouse.”
– Duc de la Rochefoucauld
Happy Valentines Day Beautifuls! This one is for all of you CREATIVE girls out there who are being BEAUTIFUL today with your creativity. My friend Carolyn made love for everyone in our office today (not like that pervert) she made a little Valentine goodie bag full of cheesecake, macaroons, chocolate and love quotes. The place was filled with ooohs, ahhs, sugar highs and good juju. My favorite part was the back of the bags that said, “Handcrafted with love by Carolyn.” Even though everyone in our office loved the goodies Carolyn made I think she loved giving them out just as much. There is something profound that happens when we genuinely give to others. Not out of of obligation, but simply out of , "Hey I think you're cool! I had some time and wanted to be creative so here you go! Happy Valentine's Day! I love ya!" Knowing that you made people feel love just by being yourself, always makes me feel pretty smokin' beautiful! Whether it be with a hug, a smile, a phone call cookies or chocolate I hope you participate in creating and being BEAUTIFUL today! xoxo