Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hip Hip Hooray.

I was scrolling through my Facebook photos (dating back some 7-8 years ago) this afternoon, laughing, awwwing, and enjoying an array of throwback pictures displayed there for the world to see. And I came across this particular photograph, this one that triggers a pretty potent memory.

Mexico, 2009. I was fourteen years old, just going through puberty. I remember clearly because away went my skinny straight frame and in came my hips. We're moving in! they shouted as my body started to grow into its womanly form.

This is the photo:

And I remember, as clear as day, that I truly and honestly believed I was fat. My dad had posted the photo on Facebook saying something about his beautiful children (that's my brother), and I remember being so ashamed because I thought I was chubby.

Holy hot dang, what was I thinking? Looking back now, I see this good looking fourteen year old with a killer hourglass shape and somehow I thought I was fat?!

Of course, since then, I've grown up quite a bit, figure-atively and literally. It was during that time that I was trying to get into modeling, and where I was once considered by the top agencies such as Elite Model Management (I was twelve), I was just as quickly shoved into a category of "you don't really fit in."

But of course, when one door shuts, another opens. For me, I simply carved my own door and thus a new passion has sprung forth- my desire to edit my own magazine promoting healthy body image, self-love, and empowerment. You see, I look back now and see that everything happened for a reason. I can't imagine being a model now, size 11 feet being shoved into too-small Prada's, restricting myself of the joys in life, coffee and carbs, and constantly struggling in an industry that is so image obsessed.

Looking at this photo reminds me of a lot of things. One: you are not fat. You have fat. You also have fingernails, but you are not fingernails. Two, life is far too precious to spend it being consumed over how you look, especially where your body is pertained. Live a healthy life and it shall treat you in return.

And most important, I thank those gosh darn hips for moving in and teaching me that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Power to the She.

In lieu of one of my recent favorite tunes You Don't Own Me by Grace (which also served as a throwback to when I sang it onstage during the performances of the 1960's musical soap opera "SUDS"), as well as my recent discovery of my entrepreneurial passion, today's post is for all those women out there.

There are a couple classes in which I've started to see a pattern. In my Marketing Communications class, our "product" we are to promote all quarter is in fact, a presidential candidate. And I'm learning about what each candidate stands for and so on, and through that, I'm learning things about women. Specifically, the fact that we get paid 79% on the dollar of what men get paid, and for doing the same job. Talk about inequality there.

Then there's my history class. We're in the midst of WWII and how women stood up to take on the man's world while they were off to war. And I'm thinking, man what bosses we were! and then just as suddenly, when the 1950's comes around, we're back to being housewives while the men go off and work.

Finally, my entrepreneurship class. Here, I get to tie in all of my passions and what gets me fired up (like the inequality pay between men and women) and actually put it to use.

It's unbelievable that we are in the 21st century and there are still gobs of problems that we thought we "fixed." How there is still this stereotype of a woman being the obedient housewife while the man goes off and makes the dough. Granted, I find nothing wrong with it if that is what a woman choses but we are not all the same out there, and what gets me is that we still don't have our ultimate freedom of choice. We are living in country founded on freedom and equality, and yet women are still being treated as inferior.

I don't exactly have the power to go to the Senate and enact laws, but I can promote awareness and I can take what I'm passionate about and use it for my magazine.

Ladies, stand up and be aware. It may be a man's world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl.

What I wore: vintage blue earrings (antique store), black Tom Ford sunglasses (consignment), baby blue Maggy London sheer topped dress (Neiman Marcus Last Call), nude Kate Spade bow belt (consignment), and nude t-strap Miz Mooz pumps (consignment).

Girl power, all day e'ry day.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday- To Travel is to Live.

It hit me while I was eating fried chicken and green bean casserole at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Looking down at my accompanying corn and mashed potatoes, then looking up at the people surrounding me, I realized something. Although you would never catch me in San Francisco sitting down to fried chicken and its Midwestern counterparts (I would probably be sipping a nice pinot gris next to some braised lamb with roasted root vegetables), I was four states over and, even though I was technically still in the U.S., I was experiencing a culture so unlike my own.
This, my friends, is why I love traveling. I know that you all at some point have said "I want to travel the world," when you were little and the teacher asked what your dreams and aspirations were. I never said this, because to me, it was already going to happen. I don't want to travel the world. I will travel the world.
My mom and I just came back from a road trip.

San Francisco, CA to Placerville, CA to Reno, NV to Salt Lake City, UT to Lusk, WY to Custer, SD to Vermillion, SD, and of course, all of the itty-bitty towns and rest stops in between. It was just us two in Tall 1 (my baby blue 2013 Fiat), and we drove the length, sharing adventures (including blizzards in Wyoming), stopping for multiple cups of coffee along the way (I think four was the record in one day) and experiencing life outside of the box.

First of all, it opens your mind. Every time I take that step onto the plane (or the boat, or the taxi, or whatever means of transportation), my mind erases judgmental thoughts and I'm immersed with new eyes, looking at the world differently. It really makes you appreciate things–what you have, what you don't have, maybe what you wish you had. I remember when I was in Paris and, if you don't know, public restrooms are basically nonexistent there, and I had to use the toilet. When I did happen to find one, either I had to wait in an extremely long line, or I had to pay (or go to a cafĂ© and buy an espresso, which was obviously my preferred choice). But that is something I certainly took for granted back in the U.S., where there's never been a worry of finding a bathroom. See, it opens your mind!

Travel humbles me. It brings me down from my preferred five-course meals, white sheets and comfortable, safe home, and it allows me to experience the world and learn. And there's a lot to learn.
I have the opportunity of living in London this fall as a study abroad student. I'm going all by myself and, while it scares me (just a tad), I'm thrilled at the prospect of living in a different country. Imagine me, alone at the pub, having a pint! But I just know that it's another page in my book, for the world is a book and those who don't travel read only one, safe page.

There's too much to experience out there, too many sights to see and too many things to learn. Heck, I didn't even travel out of country this last week and yet I have learned so much already.
And maybe you go out and have a couple rough experiences, or maybe it just wasn't what you anticipated. The good thing is that you can come home and laugh about them with thicker skin and a lesson learned.

Also, I must admit: it was probably the best friend chicken I've ever had... so far.

Road trip stop night #1: Placerville, CA.

Cookies for late night road snacks and fresh coffee and homemade scones the next morning? Boy were we spoiled.

Time spent in Placerville was short and so Mom and I did what we enjoy best: went wine tasting. When you're in wine country (and not that touristy expensive Napa Valley country), you go wine tasting. It's just common courtesy.

It's true. Tinder matched me with Port. Or was it Red W.?

Wine tasting requires picnics. It's only smart to eat alongside wine consumption...

My date..

I mean "dates"..

The morning of departure brought along some well wishing deer..

Let's start this thing!

Driving through the Midwest is... long. And at times, rather boring.

As mentioned previous, we got stuck in Lusk, Wyoming during a blizzard. Not the most fun at the time, but looking back now, we appreciated the adventure.

It's also not a spring break road trip without being stuck in a snowstorm clutching a mini ice scraper, am I right?

The next morning, we rolled into South Dakota with sunny skies..

In Custer, we spent a few days with Grandma, enjoying that signature Midwest meal..

...At Crazy Horse Memorial.

Multiple miles later, Mom and I rolled into Vermillion, SD, where Tall 1 (my car) was given to my sister for the next year.

She's as beautiful as ever.

Twenties ----> Today.

I have been blessed my last quarter with a history class. I didn't actually realize how much I missed taking history until facts of the past rolled around the room and I found myself perked up and sitting at the edge of my seat, intent, engaged, and contributive.

Find a class that does that to you and enjoy every minute of it!

To start off our quarter of Political and Economic History, we began with the Roaring Twenties, a favorite decade of mine. Parties, , jazz, flappers, booze (illegal, but not really), spending, stock market engagement, art, you name it.

Course then it all came crashing into the Great Depression, a time in history when things went downhill, and fast. Unemployment, lack of consumer spending, banks closing, distrust with the government, and the introduction of one of our greatest presidents: FDR.

This is all interesting and engaging to me, but what really got me hooked in this class was an assignment in which involved creating or writing about an individual's life before and after the stock market crash of '29.

I chose to examine a real person, a relative, in fact. I never had the pleasure of meeting my great grandmother Elsie Serino and great grandfather Jerry Serino.

Not only was it incredibly interesting to learn about my family interest, but I found that my grandpa and grandma were thrilled that I was interested in something like family history. It's thrilling!

It's important to learn about history, but it's especially important to learn about family history, because without history to pass down, it becomes lost.

This particular class has also sparked back my love of fashion as it relates to fashion history. Today's look was inspired by a certain 1920's look...

Can't wait to have an occasion to dress up in vintage! Not that you need an occasion...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Shady Ladies.

Day two at FIDM has my friend Angelina and I up to some shady business.

For some reason, we're always on the same outfit brainwave because every time we meet up, we're matching! Today, it was black and white with pops of green and pops of red.

Anyhow, 'twas during my second class of the day today (Entrepreneurship) that I became incredibly inspired. Easily, it's one of my favorite classes this quarter and it's only been the first week. But with my magazine passion, today's lesson really clicked.

We were introducing ourselves, talking about what we wanted to do when we grew up. And the teacher talked about how a lot of people have jobs and are in some sort of industry, but they don't know the why besides the obvious: money.

Money, security, it's all the rewards that people seek. But what about the why? What about the thing that fires you up and that get's you up in the morning without groaning and without questioning the love you have for your work? Because, after all, if you're doing what you love, it wouldn't be considered work, am I right?

What you do proves what you believe. If you are only doing something for the benefit of the end result (the paycheck, the fame, the glory), then you are a product of a life not worth living. After all, living your life with purpose and with passion is what will ultimately make you successful, and happy.

So how does this tie into being an entrepreneur? Well, we were taught that there are leaders, and then there are those who lead. Those who lead do business by way of communicating a product by what it is. Those who lead (Steve Jobs, MLKJ) do business by way of communicating a product by why they're doing what they're doing.

You see, people don't buy what you do, but why you do it. And people will want to do business with you because they'll believe what you believe. How do you do that? By leading with purpose, and sharing a dream not for what it is, but why you're doing it.

Why are Angelina and I posed as such? Well, why not?