After our program students state feeling more compassion for people struggling with mental health issues.
You’ve heard of and maybe have experienced the effects of eating disorders, poor body image and obesity, but have you ever heard of a practical solution for prevention? Well, now you have- Rewrite Beautiful. Rewrite Beautiful programs are based on the seldom know fact that eating disorders are both a mental illness and a social issue. Utilizing school programs, campus clubs and street art workshops, Rewrite Beautiful educates students about eating disorder prevention while introducing a creative alternative in seeing their beauty as actions of creativity, kindness and strength.This Giving Tuesday, help us to continue rewriting beautiful with a donation HERE.
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,
"For real?! I like you even more now!”
“Really? Girlfriend, you’re a survivor! Can I hug you?!”
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.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th and this year there is no better way to tell yo’ mama she’s beautiful than with www.StepheneMay.com! Stephene May is a collection of unique jewelry collected from all around the world! Starting today, Wednesday, May 1st through Wednesday, May 8th, 20% of all Stephene May proceeds will go to Rewrite Beautiful. So hurry up and go SHOP HERE: www.StepheneMay.com and change how girls see beauty in themselves through Rewrite Beautiful!
Interested in donating to Rewrite Beautiful with your brand or product?
Email Donating@RewriteBeautiful.org to get started!
The Dove Real Beauty Sketches video on YouTube has received some serious traction and debate this week. As I type it has over 7 million views, over 49,000 “Likes” and a little over 800 “Dislikes” AKA from the west coast I can hear the bottles of east coast Dom Perignon being popped in the Dove Marketing Department. The premise of the Dove Beauty Sketches video is a forensic artist who asks women to describe themselves aesthetically – from their descriptions he draws a sketch of their face. Then someone meets this woman – the person describes the woman to the forensic artists. What do you know; people describe the woman as more “attractive” than the way the woman originally described herself.
I will tell you what I like about this video. I like the amount of times people have emailed, facebooked and texted this video to me. I am truly flattered that I am thought of when it comes to discussions of societal beauty, philosophy and the media. I am honored to be thought of in such a positive light. Thank you! I dig you and will hug you for 20 seconds longer than appropriate the next time I see you! Watch out!
I also like that Dove who is a major manufacturer of beauty products has taken a stance to discuss the perception of beauty in their advertising. This video shows that “Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.” What one person calls a “bony chin” is someone else’s “gorgeous bone structure.” The verdict on beauty is definitely still out. Thank you Dove for reminding us all of that.
What I dislike AKA the reason you clicked on this post, is that this video is communicating, “Women have a hard time seeing themselves accurately. If women saw how attractive they are they would be much happier. Therefore you should try to see yourself as PHYSICALLY ATRRACTIVE.” Here is where I plant my face into the palm of my hand and say, “So close Dove, so close.”
Ya see, Dove and I are on the same team. We want people to know they are beautiful, to be confident and have sound mental health. We know how rough life can be when a person doesn’t know they are beautiful (i.e. eating disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety, yada, yada, brown banana) but our game plans on this team are completely different and this is where we start blogging about each other.
Here’s why, Dove's message communicates the importance of feeling beautiful in your physcial aesthetic. On the flip I spend my time and energy communicating that attention needs to be taken AWAY from the physical aesthetic and instead our value needs to be placed on our actions; what we can DO with our body parts not what they LOOK like. If I sat down and described myself to the forensic artist I would say, “I’m a babe! I have big green eyes that allow me to see so much into people’s pain and struggle that it makes me cry. I have dark brown hair that is sometimes straight, but naturally curly – the way I wear it depends on my variety of mood’s that benefit and hinder me relationally, physically and emotionally. Sometimes there are bags under my eyes from so much work and sometimes I am rested from spending time with strong and courageous people who inspire me and make me laugh until my cheeks hurt. Some days my skin is breaking out from stress and sometimes I am glowing from the realization that I am living an incredible life that once upon a time I did not want to live. Mostly I look like a survivor, a risk taker, a woman of faith, compassion with so much to say that it’s hard to think straight so I end up cussing and pissing off my mom – please draw that - that’s what I look like.”
I bet the forensic artist would pull back the sheet between and say, “Who are you and who let you in here?” And then I would say, “I represent Rewrite Beautiful, an organization and a revolution. We creatively change how girls see beauty in themselves for eating disorder prevention through education. We say that BEAUTY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY THAT YOU LOOK. BEAUTY HAS TO DO WITH THE WAY THAT YOU ACT. Think about it, sure you see a girl or a guy that you’re attracted to. You have a conversation, you go on a couple dates, whether or not that person becomes your boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend has very little to do with what they look like. Ya know what has 95% to with it? The way that person ACTS. I know for myself that when I start talking to a new person I start gathering information,
- Is this person creative? Can they teach me something new?
- Is this person kind? Can they think outside of themselves with empathy for others?
- Is this person strong? Do they mean what they say and say what they mean?
I want creative, kind and strong people around me. What they look has very little to do with whether or not that person gets to be a part of my life.”
I would also say, “BTW: Sometimes people can’t control the way they see beauty. Sometimes people have mental disorder like an eating disorder which prevents them from seeing themselves accurately. Yes, 1 in 4 girls have a mental illness called an eating disorder that gets in the way of them seeing reality. That person will need a team of medical doctors, counseling and community support in order to restore their health. Us telling them that they are ‘actually really pretty’ will not fix the problem.”
I applaud Dove for their efforts to talk about society’s perception of beauty. This is a mental and social issue which we all need to talk about. Thank you Dove for making this video and for igniting these conversations. Next time you go to make a video hit me up, I have a vision for a video that communicates all of the creative, kind and strong things women can do with their able and well moisturized body parts. I can be reached at Irvina@rewritebeautiful.org and take meetings on Thursdays.
What was your reaction to the Dove Beauty Sketches?
Was it a hit or a miss?
Chit chat, thats where its at!
Happy Holiday's Beautiful's! We did some MAJOR rewriting this year – 1,117 people to be exact! Since Rewrite Beautiful is all about educating on what eating disorders are and cultivating creative, kind and strong young women, we thought we’d let our girls speak for themselves on what they learned about being beautiful through our programs:
Awesome right?!?! In 2013 we want to continue educating girls through Rewrite Beautiful campus clubs! Our plan is to train and equip 12 Rewrite Beautiful clubs throughout the USA!
Why now huh? Our school programs and workshops are absolutely radtastic, but if we really want to CHANGE how a girl thinks about herself we have to give her the Rewrite Beautiful message on a weekly basis through a club. The need for campus clubs are more urgent than ever, as seen through the shooting in Connecticut last week…
"1 in 4 Americans live with a diagnosable mental health disorder like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress every single day. And we need to start talking about it because 100 people in our country every day feel so hopeless and helpless that they take their own lives, leaving families and communities in anguish."
– Alison Malmon, via Huffington Post
On top of those statistics, 1 in 4 women struggle with disordered eating. The HOPE is we know our programs work!
"Rewrite Beautiful gave me more knowledge on why people put their bodies through eating disorder and how I can help a friend if I see signs."
– McKenzie Soldin, Sophomore Student at Costa Mesa High School
“You are making a definite difference, you are equipping me to speak out to the younger generation and truly Rewrite Beautiful in our world.”
– Mia, Aunt in eating disorder recovery
Will you support Rewrite Beautiful's work in 2013? Our budget for next year is short by $5,900. Any amount you can give would be greatly, uberly, fanatically appreciated and as you know go to an incredible cause! If you feel compelled to give you can:
Send a payment through our PayPal link HERE.
or support us through a purchase from OUR SHOP.
*All donations must be made before December 31st, 2012 for a tax-deduction in 2012.
As always we are so thankful for your support, love and prayers throughout the year! You are truly helping us to change the future of our world!
Founder/ Creative Director
Rewrite Beautiful has some pretty awesome friends who have used their CREATIVE entrepreneur spirit and combined it with KINDNESS! All of the companies below either give a percentage back to non-profits or provide jobs and education for people in developing nations. Here are some of our favorite creative and kind companies that give back this holiday season:
Ever/after Clothing: ever/after is known as the cool, relaxed, hipster, James Perse esque clothing line that gives back! For every purchase, ever/after clothing donates 25% of the proceeds to the charity of your choice! www.everafterclothing.com
Epic Time Pieces: For every Epic timepiece that you purchase, Epic will provide clean water to someone in Haiti for an entire year! Epic gift! Just sayin’! www.epictimepieces.com
The Monument of our Hearts: A clothing company dedicated to helping people see that their beauty and worth come from within! Hey, that sounds familiar! We love TMOOH! www.tmooh.com
International Princess Project: Based in Southern India. This company restores women who were formerly enslaved by prostitution by teaching them a trade – to sew. Their new skill allows them to not only make a living and support their families, but also empowers them to know that they have creativity and skills they can use in our world. The women make adorable Punjammie pants! Help them to restore their lives here: www.intlprincess.org
Collaborative World – Our friends from Collaborative World create awesome T-Shirts and bags that give 50% (yes, you heard that right – 50%) of their profits to local non-profits doing great work! Give is the Brand. Check them out: www.thecwmovement.com
31 Bits – 31 Bits jewelry is all the rage in OC! Not only was this company started by three creative, kind and strong college girls, but their business model rocks! They employ women in Uganda to make their jewelry out of recycled paper and teach the women how live sustainably, provide for their families and eventually start their own business. 31 Bits uses fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty!
Get yo’ bits here: 31bits.com
Toms: Here at the Rewrite Beautiful headquarters, Tom wedges are all the rage! For every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need! www.toms.com
CMNTY Clothing: Did you know Rewrite Beautiful is located in Southern California? The Pacific Ocean is a source for a lot of our creative reflection. Which is why we love CMNTY! CMNTY will donate 15% of each purchase to organizations and research companies devoted to helping and restoring our oceans! Restore our oceans here: cmntyclothing.com
Love Shop Give: 20% of what you spend at Love Shop Give will be donated to the charity of your choice! www.loveshopgive.com
Krochet Kids: Krochet Kids hats keep our heads toasty warm and uber stylish over the winter! Krochet Kids creates sustainable economic development programs that support holistic growth of individuals and communities within Uganda and Peru! Support the Kids here: www.krochetkids.org
Rewrite Beautiful – If our friends just didn’t put the marshmallows on your cocoa than you can always support us! Rewrite Beautiful offers art, t-shirts, dresses and wristbands in our shop. All of the proceeds go towards our eating disorder prevention programs including our school programs, street art workshops and supporting beautiful action clubs in schools. Prevent eating disorders through your favorite non-profit here: www.rewritebeautiful.org/our-shop
Everyone at Rewrite Beautiful wishes you a creative, kind and strong Holiday season! Thank you for supporting our friends and us this holiday!
On behalf of the 1,117 people we have shared the Rewrite Beautiful message with this year, we would like to say, we are so thankful for YOU! Check out this thank you video and update on what YOU made happen this year!
Rewrite Beautiful is friends with Element Eden, a rad So Cal clothing company that highlights Eden Advocates; women who are visionary, whose stories exude creativity, passion and social awareness. Check out the Eden Advocates HERE and tell us one advocate that inspires you most! Post your answer on the Rewrite Beautiful Facebook page HERE! We will randomly pick a winner at the end of today to win the Element Eden Estonia sweater to wear to our art show -PEITHO on November 29th.
One of our favorite things to do in OC is visit with friends at coffee shops. Lord Windsor is our new favorite spot! Not only does the place rip out some amazing coffee and have an uber relaxing, chill coffee house, but they are also the host of this years art show, PEITHO! Head over to Lord Windsor at 6pm for a coffee tasting!
Be sure to say hi to Wade and Lindsay, they are the creative, kind and strong owners of Lord Windsor.They have donated their space to us for the art show! The Windsors are definitely a couple to be seen in BEautiful action!