Rewrite Beautiful Blog

No joke, on Monday morning, before Robin Williams suicide was announced, I was watering the plants on my patio and thinking about the movie Good Will Hunting #Seriously. I was remembering this line in the movie when Robin Williams character, Sean, tells the character Will about his wife, 

“Those are the things I miss the most Will- the little idiosyncrasies that only I knew about, that’s what made her my wife. She had the goods on me too, she knew all of my little peccadillo’s. People call these things imperfections- they’re not, they’re the good stuff… Your’e not perfect sport and let me save you the suspense, this girl you met, she’s not perfect either. “ 

True that, right?

Oddly enough, suicidal thoughts are the Mac Daddy “idiosyncrasies”, “peccadillos” and “imperfections” that we do not share with anyone. Our culture doesn’t make it easy either when our co-worker makes a joke about needing therapy and when pop-stars poke fun about bipolar disorder. Personally, when I hear someone laugh about mental health, it just sounds like projection. Remember, one in four Americans struggle with depression #JustSayin #ISeeYou.

In my own struggle with depression and an eating disorder, I have learned to share my story and to "get comfortable making people uncomfortable.” Despite the fear of being exposed, I know the end goal of someones life being saved far exceeds my discomfort for a few moments. I try to candidly share my own battles in order to remove the tabooness of it. In the beginning it wasn’t easy, and since I do it on such a public level in the Rewrite Beautiful school programs, it’s really hard to turn off the dialogue. Yet, I keep sharing. Why? Because I know that unless more people start sharing their struggles and stories of survival the people in the thick of that depression are not going to know that there TRULY IS a light at the end of that very dark tunnel. 

The tragedy of suicidal thoughts is that the thought that runs rampant over and over in the person says, “This pain…this struggle…it’s ALWAYS going to be this way. NOTHING can change this.” … And when you’re in it, you believe it. I know this to be true because I’ve experienced it. 

While I went through that very dark time I held on to the stories of those who made it through - I held on for dear LIFE. This is why I tell my story, so that the Adam Lanza’s, the boy who took a gun through the streets of Santa Barbra, the young woman in my young professionals networking circle and the Robin Williams among us stop taking their lives and the lives of others. So that they have some hope to hold on to. 

They say, “No amount of darkness can diminish the smallest amount of light.” The story of how another person got through the pain of depression is the light at the end of that dark tunnel for a person struggling. If you have thrown punches with depression, an eating disorder or any other mental battle, please speak up for Robin and all the other people trapped in pain - PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORY. Don’t shy away from that dark chapter. Someone else needs to know that their own dark chapter isn’t the end of the book. You wouldn't be ashamed of surviving cancer. Equally don't be ashamed of surviving a mental illness. I think we can all agree that they are both equal to rockstar status. 

When you feel the whisper to share, BE STRONG - bring it up in conversations, tell your friends what it was like and the resources you used to get through it. You have no idea who might be struggling. For me, It seems that the moment to share arises more often than not. The last three times I shared was on the beach, at a dinner party and in a yoga studio- that was just in the past two weeks. And you know what, none of the people I told asked to switch their seats. In fact, you’d be shocked how many people scooted closer to me and said, 

"Me too." 

"For real?! I like you even more now!”

“Really? Girlfriend, you’re a survivor! Can I hug you?!”

#KeepItReal #SaveLives

Ya know what else? Sharing our stories WORKS. There are people who I have spoken to through Rewrite Beautiful school programs who recognized that their struggle was lethal and then sought help because of it. When I met these people they were depressed, sick and dying. They are now thriving and pursuing their dreams. Your story too can save a life. 

If you loved Robin Williams art, if you're saddened by the loss of him, if depression, mental illness or eating disorders are apart of your own story, use that story to turn a light on at the end of the tunnel for someone. Those idiosyncrasies, those peccadillos, your imperfections those are the things that make you relatable, bring you deeper connection and prove that you're a strong human being. PLEASE SPEAK UP FOR ROBIN. When you do, you will turn on a LIGHT for countless other people. 

You’re Beautiful, 

Irvina

Irvina Kanarek is the Founder and Rewriter-In-Chief of Rewrite Beautiful, a non-profit organization that creatively changes how girls see beauty in themselves, for eating disorder prevention through education. Irvina is also the author of How To: Rewrite Beautiful- You Can Be A Hot Mess Today And A World Changer Tomorrow. She is a writer on mental health and addiction for CRC Health Care where she previously worked as a support staff counselor in a women’s rehab. You can find Irvina making up hashtag's on Instagram @IrvinaKanarek

 
Posted: Aug 12, 2014
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We will be at the Women's Journey Conference this Saturday at UC Irvine with Nia Vardalos!

Come find our booth and say, "Hey beautiful!"

Posted: May 8, 2014
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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2014 starts this Sunday!

This year Rewrite Beautiful is fundraising for eating disorder PREVENTION through our fundraiser:

Namaste for NEDA Week!

The following yoga and Pilates studios will be donating proceeds from the following classes to Rewrite Beautiful:

Classes: 
Sun, Feb 23rd at Defy Gravity Studio- Invite: http://ow.ly/tNI5t 
Wed, Feb 26th at University High School - Invite: http://ow.ly/tNIf7
Wed, Feb 26th at Ra Yoga Studio - Invite: http://ow.ly/tNIkw

See you on the mat! 

Posted: Feb 20, 2014
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The Rewrite Beautiful Board of Directors is currently seeking a volunteer Public Relations / Special Events Manager! If you or anyone you know is savvy with P.R., marketing, and special events, please let them know about this opportunity! Thanks beautiful! 

DESCRIPTION

The Public Relations (PR) / Special Events manager provides strategic press opportunities and community involvement in order to spread the Rewrite Beautiful message to a wider audience across the USA and beyond. The Public Relations / Special Events Manager will have a leaderships role in spreading the message and services of Rewrite Beautiful. This person will manage fundraising committee’s, PR Representatives and the Sponsorship Chair. The PR/ Special Events Manager will serve as a consultant to all departments of the organization. The PR/ Special Events Manager will join the Board of Directors as a key part of the leadership team and report directly to the Executive Director. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • LEAD the production of marketing programs and special events; including planning, logistics, and execution.
  • LEAD the production of direct marketing campaigns, client communications, advertising, sales tools, presentations, signage and development.
  • CREATE and/or update product marketing materials.
  • MANAGE marketing and client databases and mailing lists.
  • ATTEND networking events on behalf of Rewrite Beautiful. 
  • CREATE, MANAGE AND GROW professional presence across social media platforms, including, but not limited to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
  • CREATE COPY for social media platforms. 
  • PREPARE marketing reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing sales data.
  • MANAGE promotional materials by coordinating with graphics department; inventorying stock; placing orders; verifying receipt.
  • BUILD partnerships with other brands and organizations. 
  • MEASURE brand awareness and recognition.                     
  • MANAGE Sponsorship Chair and PR Representative. 
  • ABIDE by the Rewrite Beautiful Code of Conduct and Ethics.
  • RESPONDING to Rewrite Beautiful correspondences including email, phone and texts promptly within 7 days of the sent date.

REQUIREMENTS

  • COMMITMENT of two years of service. 
  • ATTEND bi-monthly board meetings.
  • ATTEND Rewrite Beautiful school program and art show.
  • HAVE AN INTEREST in for-purpose organizations, women empowerment and or mental health. 
  • BUDGET one to eight hours per week for Rewrite Beautiful related projects. 

QUALIFICATION

  • EDUCATION of a Bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field. 
  • EXCELLENT analytical, quantitative, and problem-solving skills.
  • CLEARLY COMMUNICATE information; including, but not limited to oral and written communications and presentation skills.
  • STRONG project management skills.
  • SELF MOTIVATED to work well independently. 
  • GOOD ATTITUDE of a flexible, team-player.
  • EXCELLENT computer skills.
  • COMMITMENT to being a creative, kind and strong representative of Rewrite Beautiful. ** IF THERE IS HISTORY OF AN EATING DISORDER- two years of consistent eating disorder recovery ** COMMITMENT to maintain recovery / abstinence from eating disorder.

BENEFITS 

  • INVESTING directly into your campus by preventing eating disorders 
  • LEARNING about team collaboration, leadership and fundraising 
  • LEADERSHIP ROLE for resume 
  • VOLUNTEER position *unpaid*

To apply: Email Robyn at beautifulaction@RewriteBeautiful.org for an application. 

Posted: Jan 8, 2014
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Julia and I first met at ROCKHARBOR a few years ago. Back then I knew her as an incredibly sweet, down to earth college student with a passion for dance. When I saw her name on the list of applicants interested in interning with Rewrite Beautiful I was stoked none the less. Though I’m supposed to be a “teacher” of sorts during an internship, Julia taught (and retaught) me a lot this season. Some of my favorites were about dedication, humility and bravery. You’ll see more in our interview below:  

Irvina: Why do you care about changing how girls see beauty in themselves?

Julia: There are too many incredible girls in the world who hate themselves because of the pressure to look a certain way. I want all girls to know that beauty is in their actions!

Irvina: Rad! You are in college right now. What are you majoring in?

Julia: Dance at Chapman University. 

Irvina: Nice major! What would you like to do after college?

Julia: I would like to become a dance movement therapist and audition for professional dance companies.

Irvina: Yeah-yuuuuuh! I think you’d make an amazing dance movement therapist and of course an excellent dancer! What do you do for fun when you’re not studying or at your internship?

Julia: Dance! I spend a lot of time taking class and choreographing. I also love surfing and doing anything at the beach!

Irvina: Name one cool thing you learned from your Rewrite Beautiful internship?  

Julia: I learned the importance of speaking up. When I was able to help out at the Girltopia School Program, I saw how passionate the girls were when they had the chance to speak of their knowledge and experience in eating disorders. I think this is what society needs, passionate people who aren’t afraid to speak.

Irvina: Well said! What is your favorite quote?  

Julia: “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind” –C.S Lewis

Irvina: Beautiful!

Julia was actually interviewed by the Daily Pilot for a story on Rewrite Beautiful and the work we do.

Learn more about Julia and Rewrite Beautiful in the article HERE!

Posted: Dec 18, 2013
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When I got the idea for Rewrite Beautiful the whole thing flashed before my eyes. The name, the mirror imaged t-shirts and the knowing that we would NEVER BASH THE MEDIA. Here’s why – it’s this person we all have to deal with called, “Me.”  Since, I’m the big, bad gal who came up with this idea to Rewrite Beautiful, everything in our mission, vision and values has to come out of my brain- and my brain is not a big fan of media bashing or media literacy campaigns.

What are media literacy campaigns? They are campaigns to educate people on what the media does to distort our perception of the human body as well as the repercussions on our society. A few popular videos in this genre are:

Dove Evolution, Beauty Pressure, Dove Real Beauty Sketches, Body Evolution Before and After PhotoShop, and most recently, What The Media Actually Does to Women

At the heart, these campaigns and videos have good intentions. I myself have learned from them. However, I am not the average viewer. This is a subject I study and my knowledge surpasses a once-every-few-months-viewer. Here’s my beef, these videos are directed at the average viewer who doesn’t study this subject. The vids do a great job at addressing the problem but none of them spend time addressing a SOLUTION and that is harmful. So what ends up happening is we have millions of people watching and sharing these videos all over the web. The viewing of them creates:

  • Disdain for the media.
  • A false sense of knowledge about body image, eating disorders and marketing which are all incredibly complex subjects that need more than five minutes to dissect.
  • Fosters a misconception that eating disorders are solely caused by the media, which they are not. In fact there are three main causes for an eating disorder; genetics, stress and environment (environment can be the media, but not solely.)

But NO SOLUTION. NEWS FLASH I’m a solution girl. I didn’t start a non-profit because I was bored, I did it because I wanted to see CHANGE. I’ll share with you a little secret I have learned about change, you need to ASK for it. So this is me asking you to help us change. These campaigns just need a little Rewrite Beautiful ACTION to have a real impact. This is what I need you to do:

  1. When you see a media literacy campaign video going viral like the ones above, feel free to watch them.
  2. As you watch the video take into consideration that the subject matter of beauty, body image and marketing is complex. There is not one bad guy in this scenario. In actuality there are several factors that over time created this problem. 
  3. Ask yourself, “What is one small thing I can do to change this?”
  4. If you feel compelled to share this video via techno-communication don’t just share the link but, state one thing you’re going to do about the problem. For example, if I was to post one of the above videos on my own Facebook page I would say,
  • I just watched What the Media Actually Does to Women and I’m inspired to make an effort to stop purchasing clothes from companies that portray human beings as objects. I know my purchasing power is a statement. Starting today, I’m going to try to purchase from companies that do marketing that inspires, empower people in their business structure and gives back, like ever/after clothing.
  • “This video, What the Media Actually Does to Women is shocking. I am so thankful there are magazines I can enjoy like Verily; a fashion magazine that features women of all sizes and have a no air-brushing policy. You should check them out!”
  • “This video of What the Media Actually Does to Women makes me think that the world is going to hell in a Louis Vuitton hand bag. However, it makes me feel better knowing Rewrite Beautiful is out there. This organization teaches girls that their beauty lies in their creativity, kindness and strength. Check out their school programs, their inspiring! Better yet, book one for your local school!

Your voice and your purchases make a HUGE difference in the way the world works. A little thought and effort is what results in CHANGE. I can’t wait to see what ya’ll post! I’ll be watching you ;)

Now here’s the kicker- I’ve been asked to be a panelist at Body Image Problems: Look Beyond the Mirror hosted by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals - OC. What do you know, there will be a screening of Killing Us Softly 4 right before the panel. Did they pick a black sheep to participate on this panel or what?! At least the panel will be diverse in opinions, which I always love! If you want to join us tomorrow, Saturday December 7th you can get a ticket HERE

What will you do in order to focus these videos more on the solution? 

Posted: Dec 6, 2013
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Happy Black Friday!

Our featuerd sale is for our art show, TRANSFORMATION!

Early birds who purchase their tickets to the Rewrite Beautiful TRANSFORMATION Art Show will save $10 on their tickets!

Come and see how seven OC and LA artists have taken the Rewrite Beautiful mission and created art with the theme, TRANSFORMATION:

“How Rewrite Beautiful transforms how girls see beauty in themselves – the journey to wholeness and abundance”

 Make sure you purchase early, and make sure you RSVP!

Tickets HERE!

Posted: Nov 29, 2013
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You know that feeling you get when you know your friend has your back?

You walk a little bit taller and you feel like a baller! We are proud to announce that our friends from

The Island Hotel

Huntington Beach Ford

The Victorian Newport Beach

support out mission to change how girls see beauty and prevent eating disorders by being our sponsors for the evening of this years art show, TRANSFORMATION

A creative, fun and fabulous night it will be thanks to these generous companies! 

Get your pre-sale tickets for our art show, TRANSFORMATION on Saturday, November 30th– HERE!  

Posted: Nov 26, 2013
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Did you see Rewrite Beautiful in the Daily Pilot today?! We are so honored! 

Rhea Mahbubani wrote a story about the work we are doing to prevent eating disorders and our upcoming art show, TRANSFORMATION at The Island Hotel!

Read all about it HERE

Want to support the work of Rewrite Beautiful? Donation opportunities HERE

Posted: Nov 25, 2013
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We are so excited for our upcoming art show, TRANSFORMATION on November 30th! This year’s art show is right before the Holiday’s so we decided to add a little more sparkle and make it a semi-formal event! After all, it is the season to give with glam! Speaking of glam, have you seen the new 31 Bits Holiday Collection?

They have some of the sparkliest and radiant accessories of the season!

Also, 31Bits jewelry will be featured in our raffle at the show! Come ready to shop for some fabulous holiday gifts and support Rewrite Beautiful in the process!

Get your glitter-tastic 31Bits HERE and pre-sale tickets for our art show, TRANSFORMATION HERE!  

Posted: Nov 23, 2013
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