After our school program students can name local eating disorder recovery resources.
The cost for today's program at Girls Inc. of Orange County was completely covered by our supporter, Danise Otis. Last year Danise organized her own fundraiser in order to support our eating disorder prevention work. A great reminder that it doesn't matter if you are young, old, rich or poor, a little creativity goes a long way!
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!
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!"