Randomness

 

The only thing sweeter than sweets made with love are sweets made with love by TWINS! Hillary and Heidi are the women behind Twinfully Sweet, an adorable dessert catering company! Whether you need a cake, cake pops, cupcakes, mustache cookies or an entire dessert table of goodies, Twinfully Sweet knows their sweet stuff! We are so excited to bite into some of their goodies at our upcoming art show PEITHO! Thank you for your KIND donation Hillary and Heidi! We are so thankful that you are sharing your creativity with us! 

Posted: Nov 19, 2012
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We would like to thank The Victorian, eating disorder treatment of Newport Beach, CA for sponsoring our 2nd annual art show – PEITHO on November 29th at Lord Windsor in Long Beach, CA. Although Rewrite Beautiful is focused on prevention, we realize that there are still those who are struggling with an eating disorder. The Victorians professional staff and residential facility provides their clients with a “real-life experiential environment with the support and caring of an entire community.” If you or someone you know is currently struggling with an eating disorder we encourage you to inquire more HERE

 

Posted: Nov 19, 2012
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We had so much fun at Art Walk Laguna Beach! On the 1st Thursday of each month Laguna Beach gives the public an opportunity to parouse their art galleries and see the work of local OC artists. Local boutiques and restaurants stay open later also to welcome the public.

One of our new favorite stores, TAIM Boutique recently opened in the heart of Laguna Beach and donated 10% of the Grand Opening proceeds to Rewrite Beautiful. TAIM offers a variety of  clothing and accessories created for women ages 30 and up! In the words of TAIM, “Define yourself, refine your style!” For more information on our new friend check out this link HERE!  

 

Posted: Oct 5, 2012
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“To God, be humble.

To your family, loving.

To your friends, forgiving.

To your community, serviceable.

To thine own self, be true.”

It all started with these pictures:

I was doing some research for Rewrite Beautiful’s upcoming Street Art Workshops titled, “Mirrored.”  My original idea was to explore our view of our own reflection and see if we can change how we perceive it. I searched, “Mirror” into Instagram.  I was expecting to find pictures of …I don’t know… actual mirrors, as in framed pieces of reflective glass. Instead, I found thousands of pictures of girls and guys taking pictures in front of mirrors with their phones. My mouth dropped and my heart followed. What shocked me was that none of these people were doing anything exceptional in these pictures. They were simply snapping a picture of their reflection for the sake of having a picture of themselves. But, then they took it to the next level: they posted the picture onto Instagram for people to see and inevitably “Like” and “Comment” on.  Something about this made my stomach hurt. I then asked myself, Does posting pictures of ourselves online encourage us to be better humans or simply better “looking” humans?

Eventually this thought demanded that I look at myself and see where I personally am participating in this need for physical affirmation and how that might be effecting my day to day perception of myself and others.

I analyzed a few of my Facebook pictures and found this:

In early July 2012, I posted this picture of my mother and I from a family wedding.

 

Likes – 23, Comments – 7.  Five people used the word “beautiful”.

However, a few weeks prior, Rewrite Beautiful tagged me in a picture where I was helping host a Rewrite Beautiful Birthday Party.

Likes – 2, Comments – Zero.  

All of my “Friends” saw the same two pictures, but had dramatically different responses. To you this may be no big deal.  Yes, there could be multiple variables, such as date and time for the “Likes” and “Comments” being so different. However, if you’ve used Facebook for more than a month you know that pictures of women in tight dresses tend to get a lot more “Likes” and “Comments” than the average picture.  To me this is a VERY big deal because it says something I don’t “Like.” It says to me that my “friends” on Facebook and Instagram pay more attention and praise to my looks than my actions.  I’m not cool with this. Rewrite Beautiful believes beauty IS an ACTION. In the second picture I am helping a little girl see what individual talents and gifts she has that make her beautiful as a human being. Why does a picture of my mom and I enjoying a wedding get more praise and attention than volunteering my time?

As the founder of Rewrite Beautiful, I have to be more careful than most on the way I portray myself. Our mission at Rewrite Beautiful is to change how we see beauty into ACTIONS of creativity, kindness, and strength. I’m not sure if a picture of me in a sexy dress or posing with my friends at a birthday party for my Facebook and Instagram “friends” to see is creative, kind, or strong. Thus, I am going to experiment with taking all of the personal pictures of myself off of my personal Facebook and Instagram accounts for one year. The hard thing is this might be detrimental to my career as a writer.

Currently, I am writing a book. It’s called How To: Rewrite Beautiful. It’s a series of essays, the book talks about my days of being a hot mess and a guide for exploring creativity in unexpected ways, why you can’t be kind to anyone unless you are first and foremost kind to yourself, and how to cultivate your own inner strength. I have been advised by marketing professionals to share more of my personal day-to-day life with people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Their theory is, if you connect with me as a person, you’ll more likely purchase my book. Thus, over the past couple months I have been posting more pictures of myself in my personal life than I usually would. The difficult thing about this is I am writing a book on how to be an authentic human, yet I feel that these pictures do not have my usual good authentic motives. The truth is, I wouldn’t be posting a lot of these updates and pictures unless I wanted you to buy my book. These are my motives, what are yours? Do you post pictures for affirmation? To prove you’re keeping up with the Joneses? To cultivate an image of your life for others?

I studied photo journalism in college. I was taught by my professors to look for the angle that triggers the most emotion and will inevitably tell the best story. The problem with photography is the picture is not the story, the article in the paper is. I often feel that my pictures on Facebook and Instagram are telling a story that pulls people in, but they may not be getting the whole story on who I am and what I stand for. I recently discussed this concept with a friend (actually we were texting, but I guess today we could call this a discussion.) We were joking about Googling ourselves. This is a new friend and I told him not to Google me because I think the summary of what Google has documented on me isn’t exactly the whole picture of who I am. If you Google my name you’ll find my resume, articles about me starting a non-profit, receiving awards and also hear testimonials from other people saying how great of a woman I am. This is all true (thank you very much). However, this is not the whole story of Irvina.  The thing is, when you Google me you won’t see the depths of the pain I experienced that fueled me to start a non-profit to prevent eating disorders. You won’t see the number of times I cried to my mentors saying I wasn’t fit to run a company. You also won’t see me falling short of being a good woman and how those experiences led me to finding the woman I am proud to be today. The saying goes, “A picture can say 1000 words.” But, the truth is, not every word a picture says is necessarily true. The truth is my pictures often times don’t tell you what a hot mess I have been and I think that’s a very important part of the story of me. Likewise I think YOUR story is important. I want to know the whole story of YOU, but I have found that sometimes the images get in the way of knowing the real you.

My dearest friends will tell you that I can be uberly sensitive (Source: Jessica) and dramatic (Source: Jeannette) My friends are good, honest people and they do not lie. Yes, I am uberly sensitive and dramatic. However, the world needs some sensitive and dramatic people to shake things up. My first and foremost goal as a human is for people to know me for my actions, not my looks, my friends, my family, my house, my travel or my money. So, the plan is for the next year I’m going to conduct an experiment. Starting September 1st 2012 I am going to delete all my former pictures of myself including my face and body from Facebook and Instagram. I’ll still post pictures of art, snap shots of experiences, and things that inspire me, but I will no longer be featuring images of my physical body. Not because there is anything shameful about my face or body, but because I want to make a serious effort to challenge people to really know me outside of who I hang out with and what I wear. I’ll be transferring my favorite photos to a private blog of mine that I, along with my close friends and family will get to enjoy anytime we want to relive the extraordinary experiences we’ve had together. All will not be lost. One year from now, September 1st 2013 I will reflect on the past year and revisit the idea of posting pictures of myself. We’ll see what I learn in the meantime.

Rewrite Beautiful will still maintain pictures of me doing Rewrite Beautiful work. However, I will not be tagged in these pictures on my own personal Facebook account. I’m comfortable with this, because the work Rewrite Beautiful does is what I believe in - people being recognized for beauty in their ACTIONS. I think this will be a powerful experience for me. Without using the tool of images of myself I will have to be creative in the ways I allow you to get to know me. I believe it is detrimental for us to pay more attention and affirmation to people’s appearance over their actions. I want to change this and if Rewrite Beautiful has taught me anything in the past 3 years it has been that if you want to change something you have to start with changing yourself.

What do you think about me erasing my Facebook and Instagram pictures of myself?

Am I being dramatic?

Do I think too much?

Or am I onto something?

Would you ever erase the photos you have of yourself?

 Why or why not?

Join The Conversation Below!

Posted: Aug 27, 2012
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One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is the creative, friendly, girly, trend setter, 4 year old Ever. In just 4 years of life Ever has not only inspired the Rewrite Beautiful vision, but she also has inspired her parents to start ever/after. ever/after is a clothing line that gives 25% of each garment to the charity of your choice. If homegirl is doing this much at 4, who knows what she’s going to do at 14, 24 or 34, right?

That’s why her mom Christy and I decided to get this little empire builder on the right track of knowing what being beautiful is really about! Just from meeting new kids Ever has heard the clique message that being beautiful is being pretty, wearing your hair down, blah, blah, blah …So we decided the most fun, coolest way to teach her and her friends that beauty is really in your actions of creativity, kindness and strength was to give her a Rewrite Beautiful Birthday Party!

What I did was model the birthday party off of our Street Art Workshops. I brought some examples of what makes Cinderella beautiful. Yeah, Cinderella has great taste in shoes and chokers, but what make us love Cinderella is she was strong, kind, patient, faithful and a good sister!

I then pulled out a poster board of paper and had Ever sit on it.

I asked the kids, “If being strong makes Cinderella beautiful what makes Ever beautiful?

The kids all shouted out what made her beautiful,

“Ever is a good friend! “

“Ever shares!”

“Ever is funny!”

“Ever is good at art!”

I then wrote everything the kids said made Ever beautiful on her poster in oil pastel.

We had all the kids do this process and get the opportunity to hear what actions make each of them beautiful

(or in the boys cases, strong.)

Afterward we brought out the water color paint and encouraged the kids to get creative with their posters.

It is the sweetest thing to see kids for the first time grasp the concept of what truly makes us beautiful as people.

If you would like to host a Rewrite Beautiful Birthday Party for your child, we have some more fun ideas HERE! Be sure to email us pics of your party! As we love to hear how our message is spreading!

Have your kids already been given the wrong message of what makes them beautiful?

What are your methods to rewrite beautiful in your home?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Jun 25, 2012
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Wedding season is officially here beautiful peeps! My two favorite things about weddings are:

  1. Watching friends who’ve been through epically bad dates, heart ache and drama finally find partners who bring out the best in them!  
  2. The dancing! I take pride starting conga lines at weddings! So if you see me at one, grab my hips and hold on! However, the newest wedding trend I have seen over the years is the change to the Money Dance! Traditionally the Money Dance was a dance where wedding guests “Paid” the bride or groom for a dance. The money is supposed to go to spending money for the newlyweds honeymoon. But, a new trend is on the block and that is announcing to your guests:

“Guests! Instead of doing the traditional Money Dance we have decided to instead do a Charity Dance. If you would like to pay for a dance with us the money we collect will be going to our favorite charity, Rewrite Beautiful.”

The coolest thing is one couple has already done it! Steve Baker and Robyn Baker a Rewrite Beautiful Board Member and Eating Disorder Activist made this same announcement at her own wedding and donated over $250 to Rewrite Beautiful afterward.

I love this creative twist to tradition! Not only does it allow the couple to tell their friends and family about their favorite charity (Rewrite Beautiful of course) but, it also allows their marriage to start out in the posture of being community minded.  Well done Steve and Robyn! You’ve started a beautiful trend!

If you would like to make a donation to Rewrite Beautiful please visit our DONATE page HERE.

What creative ways have you thought to highlight a charity at your wedding?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Jun 25, 2012
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Thanks to our generous donor Tobias McGuire, we held a rad school program with the kids at MIKA Community Development Center! We are always so encouraged by the support of our community with these programs. We couldn't have pulled off this program with out the help of our donors, volunteers, photographers and now, even a clothing line - Element Eden! Element Eden is a rad So Cal clothing company that highlights Eden Advocates. Women who are visionary, whose stories exude creativity, passion and social awareness. From artists, to musicians, humanitarians and social activists. They were kind enough to tell their fans and readers about Rewrite Beautiful on their blog, Facebook and Twitter feed! They even sent me over this fun, creative, Element Eden dress! I rocked it at the MIKA school program. Thanks for keeping me clothed Element Eden! I'm glad to know you have the Rewrite Beautiful back (figuratively and literally ;)

Posted: Jun 22, 2012
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Over the past year my inbox on Facebook, Twitter and Email has piled up with questions from girls all over the world (World meaning, United Kingdom , Australia and Brazil wink ) Half of them want to start their own business, non-profit, magazine, writing career and want some advice from none other than Cest Moi! I’m flattered. But, often times I have found myself answering the same questions over and over again, so cue Lightbulb Moment!enlightened I decided to start a blog series called, Beautiful Courage about what it takes to have a beautiful vision and execute it. Debuting in the next couple weeks (here or procrastination there. )

The other half of girls who reach out to me are struggling. They are battling an eating disorder, depression, low self-esteem and sometimes are suicidal – never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the suicide hotline on speed dial next to my best friends. These girls are at their wits end going to therapists, counselors, acupuncturists and God, yet they’re still in pain. They don’t know what to do, so they reach out to me, the crazy Street Artist lady – Might as well give it a shot right? This weekend, I received one message through Facebook that I have seen many times before; a girl who didn’t feel beautiful and was in severe pain. With her permission she has allowed me to share our convo with you, in the hopes that maybe you can benefit from it and understand why Beauty Does Not Always Feel Beautiful. Our Facebook messages to each other are below:

Hi sweet Irvina,

This might sound weird but I need to share my truth with someone. And you were the only person that comes to my mind. I’m extremely sad and have a really low self-esteem. I feel ugly and not good enough for my boyfriend. I love him and no one’s perfect but he has said a lot of things to put me down. I feel terrible. I’m focusing so hard on trying to make myself feel beautiful that I think I’ve forgotten what it means to be and feel beautiful. Help! I f eel sad and want to be happy again. I guess this is my way of reaching out!  I don’t feel good enough period.

Love,

Anonymous

 

Hello Beautiful Girl,

Let me start with first off saying thank you so much for reaching out to me.  I know it takes a whole lot of courage to speak up when we’re not feeling so hot. It inspires me when I see girls like you being brave enough to seek a healthy way out of pain- so many girls don’t. Sadly, over the past couple years I have received several messages like yours. A lot of girls are struggling in the same way-You’re not alone in your thinking, but the problem IS in your thinking.

The more I reflected on how I would reply to you, I kept thinking about this marriage series by Tim Keller that I’ve been listening to (nope, not even close to marriage, homegirl  just has issues ;) ) The thing that made me think of you is when he said,

“We marry people because we like the FEELING of being in love. We like how they make us FEEL. But, the funny things is nowhere in the marriage vows does it talk about even being in love with the other person. The marriage vows are all about promises that say,

I PROMISE to be faithful,

I PROMISE to be there when you’re healthy and sick,

I PROMISE to be there in the good and bad times,

I PROMISE to be there in your joy and your sorrow

I PROMISE to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

These marriage vows are promising to do these acts of love even when the person DOESN’T feel loving.“

This reminds me so much of beauty because a lot of the time I don’t feel beautiful either. I’m lucky because, I actually don’t need to FEEL beautiful because I KNOW I am beautiful. Feeling and knowing are two different things. I disregard how I feel about beauty, because I get the benefit of falling back on the FACT that I KNOW I’m beautiful. How do I know?

Here’s the thing, I know I didn’t get to choose how I got on this planet. I didn’t get to choose who my parents are, the country I live in, the color of my eyes or the size of my shoes. Just like the colors in a piece of art, the circumstances and the body parts I was born into are completely out of my control and in the hands of some crazy painter. I stand under the belief that the chances that I have an eating disorder, divorced parents, a loud voice, a flare for writing and was born a brunette with green eyes, in Orange County, California are all paint strokes on a canvas that go together for a reason. I didn’t get to choose which paint strokes put me together, but I’m here and I have faith that all the parts that put me together ARE BEAUTIFUL, therefore I AM BEAUTIFUL. I understand that the dark parts of my life are just as significant as the bright parts. I appreciate that all of me is a work of art and I wouldn’t change any of it. When you can embrace your weaknesses and your strengths you can see your beauty and eventually KNOW it.

You don’t feel beautiful, because feelings are so fickle ( I love that word! Rhymes with pickle!) feelings don’t last. Just like how a marriage won’t last if two people base their relationship on how they feel. You can’t base your beauty on how you feel or you’ll be at the mercy of the weather.

Something I have found to be very effective in helping me to KNOW my beauty has been through my actions. Rewrite Beautiful says beauty is an action of creativity, kindness and strength. I’ll tell you when I am creative; I write, I get to know my beauty. When I am kind; help one of the girls I mentor, I get to know my beauty. When I am strong; tell people when they have hurt my feelings; I get to know my beauty. You said that you have really low self-esteem right now. I used to have low self-esteem too. A really wise and amazing women named Jenny J. once told me, “If you want self-esteem you have to do estimable things.” I can promise you that if you do estimable things like acting out one creative, kind and strong thing a day your self-esteem will rise. I guarantee it.

One STRONG thing you could start with is by sticking up for yourself and  telling your boyfriend that he has hurt your feelings. I’m guessing you haven’t told him that he’s hurting your feelings because most guys I know would stop if they knew they were hurting me. Sometimes we’re too scared to tell them though. You might try saying, “When you say X,Y,Z. I feel hurt and sad.” See how he responds. In my experience, most guys want to be good to their girlfriend, help her, protect her, but if we don’t show them how to help and protect us they’re left in the dark.”

I think you would benefit from our next Street Art Workshop on Sunday, May 6th from Noon to 2pm. It’s free and has lunch provided. We’ll be helping people find their own creativity, kindness and strength and then giving them the opportunity to share that message with others. You can sign-up HERE: http://www.rewritebeautiful.org/get-involved

In the meantime, remember the marriage vows. Even though two people don’t feel in love, they know they have to act in love. It doesn’t matter if you feel beautiful, remember what you know makes you beautiful. I challenge you to find your creativity, kindness and strength this week, those are the things that make you beautiful. Let me know how it goes. BTW: I’m thinking of sharing this email with you on the Rewrite Beautiful blog ( I would keep your name anonymous of course.) Your pain and willingness to be vulnerable right now could actually help a lot of girls going through the same thing. 

You’re BEautiful,

Irvina

What do you think?

Do you understand why beauty can’t be a FEELING? What do you KNOW makes you beautiful?

Join the conversation below.

Posted: Apr 23, 2012
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Hey Beautiful friends!

Here’s a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause, Rewrite Beautiful!  Starting Monday, April 30th Rewrite Beautiful is going to be partnering with DealGooder.com to raise much needed funds.  If you haven’t heard of Dealgooder yet, you need to get up on it peeps! It’s a new website that features incredible daily discounts on fun things to do in Orange County like restaurants, spas, etc. (And it was founded by a Newport Harbor High graduate like me! Go Sailors!) The best part is that on top of offering really great deals, they give HALF of their profits back to local nonprofits. 

Please sign-up with this referral code:www.dealgooder.com/ref/rewritebeautiful We get $2 for each sign-up! (Dude, I don’t even care if you decide to unsubscribe after the week is over. I just REALLY want you to check out the deals the week of April 30th to help out Rewrite Beautiful!)

Thank you so much for your support!

You’re BEautiful!

Irvina

Posted: Apr 20, 2012
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I’m on the 3rd drafts of my book How To: Rewrite Beautiful. It’s a series of essays on how to be Creative, Kind and Strong on a daily basis. It’s a preventative and restorative book for young women.

The book is preventative in that it will be used as the curriculum in our Beautiful Action Clubs in High School’s and Colleges. It’s restorative in that it’s also an inspiring read for any woman in her 20’s and 30’s. We’re talking about issues like self talk, following your dreams, success in life, sex and relationships....the youngin's will love it because we're talking about topics that parents and teachers feel a tad awkward talking about. It's the inside real deal, in Irvina-fashion all political correctness has been thown out! For us 20 somethings it's stuff that seems to never get old chatting about and I'm a pretty funny writer wink

This project has been a ton of work and so fun! I am stoked to be working with the amazing writing coach and editor Jeannette Encinias. Not only is Jeannette push me to do my best and kick my butt into gear on my grammar, but she’s an uber fabulous inspirational person to be coaching me through this book! Jeannette is a big follower of her dreams and has definitely done her work rewriting beauty for herself in our world. Check out her site www.jeannetteencinias.com and have a BEautiufl day!

You’re Beautiful,

Irvina

Posted: Apr 9, 2012
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