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Spotlight on Website: New Moon Girls June 30, 2013

This is a rather different spotlight than we’ve had previously, but it goes with the theme of inner beauty from my previous post. New Moon is a fun, feminist website where girls pre-teen+ can safely connect and have fun, all while boosting their confidence and sharing their creativity. New Moon also presents a bimonthly magazine  with articles by girls and featuring their artwork and writing. It’s fun, but best of all, it’s activism- New Moon has worked extensively on changing Barbie’s unrealistic figure, which helps promote eating disorders, and de-color-coding Target’s sexist, stereotypical blue-and-pink toy aisles. The website, newmoon.com, requires a paid subscription, but it’s definitely worth it for girls. They’ll make friends, learn to promote feminism and equality, and show their creative side doing it. Plus, there’s nothing better to boost your confidence and happiness than having your work published in the magazine. The message boards have sections for debates, roleplays, condolences for those grieving, and there’s even two whole message boards dedicated to changing the world, which is awesome! New Moon is great and helps promote inner beauty. I’m a member of the Girls Editorial Board (I work on the magazine), and I love the whole thing. If you are a teenage girl, join New Moon today! If you’re not, tell the young females you know. :3

 

Ceej

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3 Ways You Might Body-Shame Without Realizing It June 24, 2013

When you leave the safety of your house and its wondrous wifi, you’ll see a multitude of people in different shapes and sizes. Some of them will be your friends, and that’s awesome. Some of them you may not know or like. I bet, however, you and a friend have discussed your bodies at some point, or you know somebody who has recently  lost weight. You probably haven’t noticed it, but you may have been insulting their body type when you were trying to compliment them. How?

1) Congratulating someone for losing weight

You may feel like you’re giving them a compliment, but when you say ‘congrats’ about their new size, it has implications that they’re better than they were before, and if they were larger for a long time, they may feel like you didn’t accept their body until now. In most cases, people gain back the weight they lost, which will make your earlier praise feel like an insult now that they’ve grown it back. It doesn’t matter what they look like, so tell them how happy you are that they’ve accomplished a goal rather than how happy you are with their new weight.

2) Mentally adjusting someone’s looks

I’m talking about saying things like, “She would be so pretty if…” and filling in the blank. Noooooo. She is pretty just the way she is. If she changes for what you think she’d look better, that person will no longer be the person they once were. They’ll be a fake. Don’t tell someone what’s wrong with them, because they don’t need to change.

3) Telling people what they ‘need’ to do

I hear people saying sometimes that thin people need to eat more, or looking at someone across the street and commenting that they could stand to lose a few pounds. This goes with Number 2- they don’t need to fit your cultural stereotype. As long as they don’t have a disorder or anything potentially harmful, then they don’t need to change. If they want to exercise, good for them. If they want to stay the weight they are, good for them.

The bottom line? As long as their weight isn’t a dangerous problem, they’re  beautiful. This goes for men and women. Let them be themselves, and they’ll appreciate that you are yourself as well.

Ceej

 

Accept and Conquer: Stop the Bullies April 17, 2013

BULLYING: PRESENT PARTICIPLE OF BULLY. VERB: To use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

BULLY: NOUN: 1. A person who uses strength or power to intimidate those who are weaker. 2. Corned beef. 

I think we’re all aware of what bullying is. Bullying is picking on that kid who’s different than everyone else. Bullying is whispering behind the loser’s back. Bullying is making someone hurt inside. Bullying is causing someone to cry themselves to sleep every night. And most of all — bullying is mean. Wrong. Terrible. There is a whole mound of adjectives I could use to describe bullying. And let’s face reality: bullying exists. Bullying may always exist, and it probably always has existed. But the thing is, bullying isn’t okay. Just because a lot of people do it will never make it okay.

Why Do Bullies Bully People?

Only bullies can really, truly answer this. Guidance counselors throw around things like, “They feel alone, or they feel terrible, and they need to get their feelings out.” That’s probably true. People aren’t born mean (unless your name is Tom Riddle), and they don’t wake up every morning only thinking about all the people they could torture and how many people they’re going to force to give them whatever they want (again, this is only true if your name is Tom Riddle). They might wake up feeling terrible, and they might need to take that terrible feeling out on somebody who they wish they could be, or who they’re jealous of, or who they genuinely don’t like because they annoy them. The latter is the worst reason, and you should just ignore them or try to show them who you really are because if they can’t see that you’re amazing just the way you are (to quote Bruno Mars), they need glasses or contacts.

What are Some Types/Forms of Bullying?

I think we all know a lot of the types of bullying — we’ve been hearing about them all of our lives. There are name-callers, weight-teasers, sexual-orientation-make-fun-of-ers, cyberbullies, family-bullies, disability-meanies, and the like. But it really all comes down to this: all the different people in the world (which is weird because nobody is exactly the same as everybody else) will experience some kind of bullying. Forms of bullying can include hitting and kicking (physical), name-calling and teasing (verbal), in a note (written), or on the internet (cyber).

 

Why do People Get Bullied?

Well, I guess I kind of already touched on that in the last heading, because I talk a lot and sometimes the things that I say don’t sound right all next to each other. So, anyway, why do people get bullied?  Well, like I said, people get bullied because they’re different. They get bullied because their hair is a different color or their humor is a little different or their voice is too high or too low or their religion is different or uncommon or their sexual preference is difference or their weigh too much or too little. People get bullied because who they are is not widely accepted by society, because they are part of the minority in some way. This is not okay, because, as you may know, people in the minorities tend to be quite awesome because they have a different perspective on life or they have experienced different things that not everybody has that makes them a better person.

 

Can We Stop Bullying?

Some people say, no, we can’t stop bullying. Bullies are everywhere. There are bullies in the workplace, bullies in the senior center, bullies in the daycare, bullies on the internet, bullies at school, bullies at stores and restaurants, and bullies everywhere else. They say human nature will not change, and that nothing, no prevention, nothing, can stop bullies. But did you know that 1 in 12 teens attempt suicide? Did you know that depression rates have tripled in people 12-15 years old? Don’t you think that that’s terrible? Don’t you think that that can be, if not totally stopped, at least lessened a little? If bullying has always been here, than why did depression rates triple, why are suicidal attempts so high? Bullying is serious.

 

How do We Stop Bullying?

Raise awareness. Support people. Don’t bully. Use bystander power. Go to adults. Stand up for yourself. Help pass laws against bullying. Think about what you say before you say it. Whatever you can think of, do it! And if you’re being bullied and are contemplating suicide or self-harm or anything like that, tell someone. Tell someone. Don’t let it slide. Don’t let yourself slide into depression. Call a suicide hotline. Go to a support group. Tell your parents or a teacher. Stand up for yourself. Do something.

 

I recently watched a movie called Cyberbully in my Computers class at school, and it was touching and sad. You can read about it in the Wikipedia article supplied by the link. It does contain minor spoilers, but it is such a sad movie that I cried. I, the person who barely ever cries, cried. It also raises some good points about cyberbullying. If you haven’t watched it, I would strongly recommend it.

 

~Mary, author at Bonsai

 

Finding What Healthy Means to You March 11, 2013

Filed under: Health,Inner Beauty,Lifestyle — mochi @ 6:12 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Healthy is always viewed as a good thing. But surpassing a good thing and really getting into it… what does it mean to you? The dictionary definition of health is the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor- free of disease or ailment. For some people, however, healthy is equivalent to happy. And then there is the other end of the spectrum: having a “hot” body and being super skinny. Healthy, to me, is being strong in the muscles and free of conditions that cause harm or pain to your body. I tend to be a grammatical person and abide by the dictionary, so by no means do I urge you to use my definition of healthy. I want you to find your own.

First, think: what do you do to be healthy? Spring break started and I have composed a workout schedule that I plan to do every day. I don’t eat very well, so I’m asking my family to find flexitarian food options for me to nom on- I’m a really picky eater. Whatever you do to keep yourself in good health, start with that. Sometimes, finding what healthy means to you can be hard. Here are some ways you can stay healthy without over exerting yourself or doing diets that can be harmful. You should be happy about your body and have the strength to defend yourself and do the things you want!
Eggs

Eat Food with Protein- for energy and strength
Instead of just eating carbs all day, (like I do… sigh) eat food that packs protein so you can have energy throughout the day! Eat eggs- the yolk has the most protein. You can boil, scramble, fry, or do whatever you want to them to make them tasty, as long as you don’t use too much extra fat like tons of salt or a vat of oil. That would completely undermine the purpose. Meat, like chicken, pork, and steak, are also great sources of protein. I hate all of them- I’m a flexitarian, which means I allow myself to eat white meat (fish and poultry) but I rarely do. However, if you are a meat eater, these foods are great! Dairy, and nuts, like peanuts, almonds, and cashews (yummy!) also build protein, which helps you gain muscle and become strong! *flexes skimpy muscles* Well, no worries, I will keep eating protein to have energy.

Don’t Eat Before Bed- prevent fat buildup!
If you eat right before bed, you won’t have time to burn off the calories collected from your last meal. This is bad because when you arise the next morning, you’ll feel sluggish and blah. Usual dinner hours are 5-7 for my family, because we usually don’t eat at the same time every night. Find what works best for you so that you can walk around and get a bit of moving in before you catch those much-needed zzzzzz’s.

Feel Good About Your Food- keep those nutrients
Did you know that berating yourself for your food choices can actually stop the nutrients in a meal from using their full potential? For a week, I tried a “no-wheat” diet to find out what was giving me stomach aches. During one of the days, people were having a bake sale at school, and I went insane- bread is my main food source and I hadn’t had any in 24 hours. I bought baked goods, and later I felt absolutely awful. I still feel the regret now! The stress and self-deprication that I felt all during lunch stopped whatever teensy shred of nutrients in those blondies from getting to where they needed to go: and when I think about it later, that makes me feel even more awful, actually. But I know it’s okay because I’m back on wheat and feeling so much better about my food choices.

HealthyTrust Yourself!
You know when you are hungry and when you’re not. Even if something tastes really good, if you’re full, you should stop eating. Generally, when you think you’re 80% full, you’re actually 100% full. Just think of how full you’d be if you thought you were 100%… and then you just ate a little more. Pretty full, right? Definitely! So make sure you listen to your body so it can tell you how much your really want. Also, the most important thing is to feel confident. If you know you will only feel confident once you have enough strength to play that sport you love, then go for it and build muscle. But there are some kinds of confident that are bad for your body. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are not healthy at all, and they if you have one, you should tell a doctor immediately. Aim for good taste in your foods- it will help you collect more antioxidants and iron.

Most importantly, being healthy means being happy with your body and your choices. You need to feel like something’s right with yourself, and then reach for your goals. Find out what you want to do to be healthy, and do it. Here at Bonsai, we are dedicated to you living better so you can become a leader of the future working to make the world a better place, and you can start by making your own personal world a healthier one. 🙂

(Facts about taste and food regret affecting nutrients come from New Moon Girls Magazine.)

Ceej, Vice President of Bonsai

 

 
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