Binge Watching Is Associated With a 12 Percent Increased Risk of Inflammatory-Related Death

I’m sure that you hesitated before choosing to read this article, as most of us have been sucked into a binge watching marathon on more than one occasion (myself included). While it may seem like we’re buckling down to give ourselves a break, we may actually be hurting ourselves far more than we realize. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has proven to be harmful to our bodies, especially for adults over 50, and when you match lounging with television, you create a deadly combo.

In an Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers examined more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death, and those who spent more than four hours a day watching TV were at an even higher risk. This includes  diabetes, respiratory, cognitive, and kidney diseases. (source)

In general, watching television has proven to negatively impact mental health; it alters your brain, lowers your attention span, and has the potential to make you more aggressive. You don’t need to experience the “trance-like” state television can put us in, but I’m sure you’ve witnessed it before. This trance occurs roughly 30 seconds after you start watching TV. Your brain begins by producing alpha waves, leading to a light hypnotic state that makes the viewer less aware of their environment and more open to subtle messages — aka programming.

In the 1990s. Dr. Teresa Belton, a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia, studied the effects that television has on the imagination of 10-12 year old children, ultimately concluding that television negatively impacts their development: “The ubiquity and ease of access to television and videos perhaps robs today’s children of the need to pursue their own thoughts and devise their own occupations, distracting them from inner processes and constantly demanding responses to external agendas, and suggests that this may have implications for the development of imaginative capacity.”

And these physical affects are becoming increasingly apparent. Not only does it eventually lead to immobility as you age, but with the risk of creating inflammation in the body, you are susceptible to a host of diseases including kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.

Dr. Megan Grace is the lead investigator at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Between 1999 and 2000, her team quizzed adult participants about their viewing habits via a questionnaire. Again, this was before we had access to popular streaming websites like Netflix. The participants were separated into three groups based on their TV viewing habits: less than two hours per day, greater than two hours but less than four hours, and more than four hours.

“TV time was associated with increased risk of inflammatory-related mortality. This is consistent with the hypothesis that high TV viewing may be associated with a chronic inflammatory state,” the authors wrote.

They followed up with their participants 12 years later and found, of 909 deaths, 130 were inflammatory-related. Of the inflammatory-related deaths, 21 were from diseases of the respiratory system and 18 of the nervous system, and those who watched between two to four hours of TV a day showed a 54% higher risk of inflammatory-related death. Additionally, people who watched more than four hours of TV a day doubled their risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared to those who watched two hours.

In addition to cutting down the amount of time you spend sitting in front of the TV and sitting or lying down, you can help combat inflammation with a number of foods like avocados, berries, sweet potato, onions, and watermelon, and herbs like, cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric.

Pictures Showing How The Advertising Industry Exploits Women

In recent years, the world of fashion and advertising has distastefully blurred the lines between right and wrong, creating a pronounced grey area of supposedly acceptable imagery which includes everything from BDSM and rape to abuse, aggression, and underage perversion. And this phenomenon can’t simply be narrowed down to ‘artistry’ when the symbolism is so blatantly sexist and even morbid.

I mean, is it appropriate for 4-year olds to have a lingerie line, never mind to be photographed in them? I have a 2-year old niece and while I think it’s adorable for her to have cute bathing suits, I would never allow her to wear something provocative in any way. It’s heavily insinuated that Americans are just uptight when it comes to sex, and in many respects this is true, but there is a line that must be drawn when it comes to children that culture cannot influence.

So while Luis Paredes, the publisher of The Lingerie Journal, may blithely assert that “while Americans may be shocked, the line of clothing wouldn’t cause a ripple in Europe,” the reality is that we are looking at the exploitation of children. We may have antiquated views about breastfeeding and sex, to be sure, but sexualized images of children are in a whole different ballpark, and considering the UK’s current heavy investigation into pedophile rings being attended by high government officials, maybe these ads should be causing some ripples.

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Kylie Jenner, an heiress of the Kardashian clan, has received heavy media attention over her recent lip injection (to each their own), but it was this particular photo shoot that brought her under major scrutiny. The cover image for Interview magazine features Kylie in a wheelchair. Why?

Kylie-Jenner

Shot by Steven Klein, the shoot is supposed to be reminiscent of work produced by Allen Jones, a British pop artist famous for his controversial sculptures of half-naked women on all fours and in other submissive positions being used as human furniture. Quite objectifying. (You can view the full gallery here.)

These next few images highlight the absurdity of advertisements today, switching the sex of the subject (or should I say object) in the ad to underscore how ridiculous and demeaning their roles truly are. Thanks to Lauren Wade from Take Part for creating these images.

Sisley ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2006

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen sexual abuse in advertisements and it definitely isn’t less upsetting when a guy takes her place. The disturbing tone of this ad is hardly surprising considering it was shot by the infamous Terry Richardson, who carries a string of sexual misconduct allegations with models under his belt. I mean the guy himself said, “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing.”

Tom Ford for Men ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2007

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Well we certainly know that sex sells, but why is this appropriate as an advertisement, yet women are still being shunned into bathroom stalls to breastfeed their babies? It’s easy to see how much less appealing this is with men’s breasts instead.

American Apparel ad, 2010

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Wondering what the purpose of this ad is? You’re not alone, since this is a product that is clearly marketed to women. But these images really come as no surprise. American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was unceremoniously dismissed from his position in December of 2014 because of the A.A. board’s “ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct”  — which includes (but is not limited to): holding an employee as a personal sex slave for eight months, sexually harassing multiple models and employees, assaulting a store manager, using ethnic and racist slurs with staff, and masturbating in front of a reporter in a 2004 Jane magazine article.

American Apparel ad, 2007

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If this really is an ad marketed to women, what kind of message is it supposed to send? This image is pretty standard for the company though, considering they once featured then-CEO Dov Charney in bed with models in one ad and having his crotch licked in another. How did it get this far to publication? Even with a male on display it’s pretty disturbing, but at least brings some humour. Interesting that one is sexy and the other comical.

Marc Jacobs ad, photographed by Juergen Teller, 2008

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What do you think this ad is trying to illustrate? Why would a brand use a wrinkled bag to market their products?

These images only provide a glimpse at broad the spectrum of degradation toward women present in advertising and if you think the images itself are enough to make you ponder, imagine what goes on at these shoots or even at the castings.

Charlotte Waters was a 19-year-old art student when she contacted Terry Richardson for a shoot, having only heard he was a good connection to make and work with. “He had me unbutton his pants, and he took his penis out, and it was all completely downhill from there.” She said in an interview with Vocativ. He even went as far as ejaculating on her face. 

Sara Ziff, founder of advocacy group Model Alliance, was also 19 when her agency sent her to Richardson. “It was supposed to be for a mainstream fashion magazine, but when I arrived, he unexpectedly asked me to pose topless,” she says. “I felt pressured to comply because my agent had told me to make a good impression because he was an important photographer who shot for all the major magazines and brands.” On HuffPost Live, Ziff exclaimed, “[Richardson] will ask you to take your clothes off at the casting, and in some cases, give him sexual favors.”

Model Alliance is Sara Ziff’s effort to establish fair labor standards for models working in the American fashion industry. She hopes to protect working models from exploitation, especially from sexual abuse, and to improve the lot of its members in terms of pay and working conditions. It has drawn up a “Models’ Bill of Rights.”

Model Alliance was inspired by Sara’s time working on the documentary Picture Me

Sara had this to say about the documentary in an interview with Fashionista:

[“Picture Me”] was on the festival circuit in 2009, and it was really at Q&A discussions for the film that we started talking about the need for a union, like the equivalent of the Screen Actors’ Guild, which is now SAG-AFTRA, for models. Models would come to these screenings and get really emotional talking about bad experiences they’ve had, and the film became this organizing tool to raise awareness publicly, but also within the industry. We wanted an existing union to extend membership to models, but when it became clear that that wasn’t possible, I was crazy enough to take it upon myself and start up from scratch, which people warned me not to do, but I also was studying labor and organizing in college.

The majority of models start their careers before the age 16, with most working unchaperoned and far from home. This creates an unconscionable environment of coercion, where the incentive to get hired (and remain employed) is enough to keep most girls quiet. Sara Ziff talks about her own experience with this firsthand at the age of 14:

When I entered the business as a 14-year-old schoolgirl, I was routinely asked to do topless shoots and pose seductively. To this day, in an industry dominated by minors, there is no policy of informed consent for jobs involving full or partial nudity. A recent survey shows that 86.8% of models have been asked to pose nude at a casting or job without advance notice.

Girl Model is another documentary exposing the terrifyingly young age at which some models start working. The film follows 13-year-old Siberian-born model Nadya Vall on her quest to become a model, accompanied most of the time by Ashley Arbaugh, the American modeling scout (and former model) who discovers her.

In my opinion, to be successful and thrive in the fashion industry, you need to have a sound idea of who you are as an individual and what you stand for, and unfortunately, most girls who are recruited at 14 or younger are still discovering who they are and what their place is in the world. This makes it easier for agents and scouts to shape them into who they think they should be, almost inevitably promoting a mental instability and dependency on those around them.

This article can only provide for you a different perspective on the reality that certain individuals in the fashion industry must face. Like with all things in life, there are great things about this industry and there are terrible, but it just seems that most of the ‘bad’ has been swept under the rug, with little to no attention being paid to the bigger fallacies presented by advertising companies.

Images like these allow us to see the toxic leaks that are trickling into our society, helping us to be more critical about what we are ingesting visually and more proactive in learning more about a massive money making machine that bombards us with a skewed view of the world from all sides.

Stay critical and stay aware, it helps to shift perspectives and ultimately the industry.

Sources

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/07/09/what-if-fashion-objectified-males-same-scary-way-it-does-females

http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/sex/oh-god-whats-happening-close-personal-terry-richardson-model/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/fashion-ads-treated-men-and-women-same_n_5589243.html

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2012/feb/01/sara-ziff-models-workers-rights-group

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/06/terry-richardson-interview.html

30-Year Study Finds Weekly Use Of Disinfectants Greatly Increases Your Chances Of Lung Disease

One of the most versatile cleaning supplies in the home, bleach disinfects anything it comes into contact with and can not only clean every surface but remove stains from fabrics, too. Despite its cleaning power, we’ve also long heard of the effects such chemicals can have on our health and wellbeing. The labels on such products make some of these clear, explaining they are corrosive and can irritate  eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, often through simple inhalation. Despite these warnings signs, people continue to buy into this corporate propaganda.

As previously stated in an article of ours from 2013:

It is important to note that there is no FDA-type organization that regulates the cleaning products that are brought into your home. Instead groups such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) make warnings of the use of Chlorine Bleach publicly available. Under the assumption that consumers will continue to use Chlorine Bleach within their households, the following safety precautions are widely recommended:

  • Dilute the chlorine bleach with water. The lower concentration poses a potentially lesser risk of unwanted exposure.
  • Wear a safety mask and rubber gloves when working with bleach as a preventative measure.
  • Only use chlorine bleach in a well ventilated area to allow for sufficient air flow and to prevent the unwanted gasses from remaining stationary in the working space.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with any other household cleaners.

It’s unlikely people exercise these precautions when dealing with this chemical, and it’s also interesting to note that even more studies have come forward since then confirming these risks.


A new study has found that people who use disinfectants just once a week have a 22-32% increased chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 11 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have the disease without even knowing it. COPD causes serious long-term disability and early death. At this time there is no cure, and the number of people dying from COPD is growing,” according to the American Lung Association.

The 30-year study was conducted by Harvard University and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. This new study could potentially link COPD to specific cleaning chemicals, as two other studies in European populations showed that “working as a cleaner was associated with a higher risk of COPD,” according to Orianne Dumas, a researcher at Inserm. Dumas goes on to say, “Earlier studies have found a link between asthma and exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants at home, such as bleach and sprays, so it is important to investigate this further.”

In 1989, the Harvard researchers found 55,185 working female nurses in the U.S. who did not have COPD, then analyzed those who were still working in 2009 over the next eight years. Participants were given a questionnaire to determine which disinfectants they used most frequently and why they used them. The disinfectants included glutaraldehyde (a strong disinfectant used for medical instruments), bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds (known as “quats”). In addition to the questionnaire, they took into account factors such as age, weight and ethnicity.

During this period they found that 663 were diagnosed with the condition. “In our study population, 37% of nurses used disinfectants to clean surfaces on a weekly basis and 19% used disinfectants to clean medical instruments on a weekly basis,” says Dumas.

The study aims to highlight the lack of health guidelines when it comes to cleaning and disinfectants, especially in healthcare settings, and researchers hope their results will prompt further investigation and better safety precautions.

There are many substantial alternatives to bleach like vinegar or essential oils, and if you’d like to further rid your home of harsh chemicals, check out this article (click here).

We need more people like these researchers, who dedicate their time to ensuring our safety when it comes to items we have incorporated into our lifestyle and assume are safe, doing this kind of work. This information isn’t meant to scare anyone, especially those of us who actively use these materials, but rather to bring more awareness so that we can educate ourselves and make healthier choices. There are countless healthy and safe alternatives when it comes to what we clean with, what we wear, and what we eat. You have to play the role of researcher in your own life if you expect to make positive change, and by having an open mind, you allow yourself to accept opportunities that can further your growth, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Brazilian Artist Upcycles Tires & Turns Them Into Beds For Animals!

Our earth is marvellously abundant and provides its dwellers with the necessities to survive such as food, shelter, and water, but what it also contains is an excessive amount of trash. The exact number to date is unknown, but when we consider that 1.3 billion tons of household waste is generated per year and only about 258-368 million tons of trash end up in one of the 50 largest dumpsites… one begins to wonder, where is the rest of it?

We are already very aware of The Great Garbage Patch in the ocean, which is infested with plastic, and another one was recently discovered floating in the Caribbean off the coast of an island near Honduras. This information is obviously distressing, but there is some good news: People are working tirelessly (no pun intended) to amend this issue. With The Great Garbage Patch, we have Boyan Slat who invented a device to clean up the ocean, and on land we have a new hero: 23 year-old Brazilian artist, Amarildo Silva Filho.

Two years ago, Amarildo encountered a pile of old tires in his neighbourhood and became inspired to combine two things he loves most: upcycling and his love of animals. What he came up with was unique, highly useful, and comfortable! Amarildo created beds from the tires for local strays, animals in shelters, and even pets. Below you will find images of how Amarildo creates these funky beds. He cuts and washes the tires that are either donated or found on the streets, and then he paints, decorates and sometimes customizes the pieces, and finishes them off by adding straps to help carry them and a mattress that he sews himself.

Amarildo has since created over 6,000 tire beds for animals and is continuing to create more as he’s received a lot of requests from pet-owners who are environmentally conscious and want to support his mission. If you’d like to learn more about Amarildo’s company,  Caominhas Pets, or even order a bed for your fur baby, check out his Facebook Page or Instagram.

 

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Olha a cara de satisfação desse cãozinho gente…

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“The only way to do a great job is to love what you do.”
– Amarildo Silva Filho

 

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Não deixe que digam que vc não vai conseguir só porque elas não conseguiram.

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Some Cities Now Threatening Jail Time & Fines For Kids Over 12 Who Go Trick-Or-Treating

Halloween has adapted over the ages from once being an ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain (marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year) to being ‘Christianized’ in the west as a time that begins the three day observance of All Saints’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, that dates between October 31st to November 2nd. This trifecta is a time intended to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.

Of course today, most in society have strayed far from the intended traditional sense of the day to a more commercialized, fun having approach.

We now choose to participate in Halloween as a family friendly time, dressing up and going door-to-door in our neighbourhood and accepting candy, otherwise known as trick or treating. Aside from the chemicals laden in the candies that are dished out, this time of the year can be pretty harmless for a child, given they are accompanied by an adult and not trotting around in a dangerous area.

Times, Laws, & Guidelines For Halloween in Hampton Roads Virginia

HrScrene is a website considered to be a hub for the people who reside in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia that keeps residents up to date on any happenings in local cities or important information news and even information. Earlier this month, hrScene notified Virginia of the local guidelines that residents are expected to abide by on the night of Halloween.

Each of the nine city’s guidelines explicitly state that no child above the age of 12 is allowed to participate in trick or treating and that no child can trick-or-treat after 8pm. A child of 13 years of age is allowed to accompany a ‘younger child’ but cannot participate in anything remotely similar to trick or treating, including dressing up if you’re living in Newport News,

Sec. 28-5. – Prohibited trick-or-treat activities.

(a) If any person beyond the seventh grade of school or over twelve (12) years of age shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any parent, guardian or other responsible person having lawfully in his custody a child twelve (12) years old or younger, from accompanying such child who is playing “trick or treat” for the purpose of caring for, looking after or protecting such child. However, no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type.

In Portsmouth, if any child under the age of 12 is out trick-or-treating after 8pm, they can be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor, a fine of not more than $500, while most of the other city’s will delve out a class 4 misdemeanor, a fine of no more than $250.

(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

In the City of Hampton, on the night of October 31st, if you’re under the age of 18 it is considered unlawful to be out past 10pm an in some cases 11pm.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of fourteen (14) years to be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park or other public place in the city, or in any vehicle operating or parked thereon, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by his/her parent or guardian or unless such minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his parent or guardian or is engaged in a lawful employment or going directly to the place of such employment or returning directly to his place of residence from the place of such employment.

It shall be unlawful for any person over the age of thirteen (13) years but under the age of eighteen (18) years to be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park or other public place in the city, or in any vehicle operating or parked thereon, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by his/her parent or guardian or unless such minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his parent or guardian or is engaged in a lawful employment or going directly to the place of such employment or returning directly to his place of residence from the place of such employment.

Perhaps one of the worst city codes is that of Chesapeake, if you’re over 12 years old and/or 12 years old and still trick or treating after 8pm, you can potentially be confined in jail for up to six months.

Sec. 46-8. – Trick-or-treat activities.
(a) If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.

(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than 30 days or both.

If you’d like to read the full list, click here.

Will This Actually Be Implemented?

Naturally, this information has a lot of parents and other young adults rearing in confusion. Since when was a 13 year old not considered a child, or even a 16 year old for that matter? Who decided that it was unacceptable for young people to participate in the most known Halloween tradition of trick or treating?

In my first year of college, a friend and I decided that instead of going to a party the night of Halloween, that we could instead go trick or treating. We threw together some form of a costume and trotted from door to door and were always met with happiness. We assumed this was because we were adults, not a likely sight to see on a doorstep reciting, “trick or treat!”

In none of the codes does it include what would happen in a scenario where a teenager with an intellectual or developmental disability went trick or treating. It also doesn’t mention whether a minor is expected to have a form of ID on them. Does this put children at risk of being interrogated and being fearful of law enforcement rather than allowing for a child to get a sense of community by witnessing their town coming together to celebrate Halloween?

Law enforcement of York County assured a mother who recently moved to the area that they will not be arresting anyone the night of Halloween, further confirming the lunacy of these laws.

I decided to question why these laws would be implemented to begin with. Virginia does fall into the ‘Bible Belt’ an “informal region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a strong role in society and politics. Christian church attendance across these denominations are generally higher than the nation’s average,” according to Wikipedia’s definition. Christians seem to be divided when it comes to whether or not they should celebrate Halloween,  but Thessalonians explicitly states,

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

And then I thought to myself, well, perhaps these areas are considered ‘unsafe’ and known for teenagers wreaking havoc on the night of October 31st.

According to the article These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Virginia For 2019, published October 11th 2018, 3 of the 9 cities enforcing these laws (Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News) are considered ‘dangerous’. The basis of criteria they used to determine which city was most dangerous was violent crimes per capita and property crimes per capita.

Portsmouth made the top of the list by being number 1 with property crimes and number 2 with violent crimes. But when it comes to the night of Halloween, the worst they’ll give out to a child trick treating after 8pm or one trick or treating over the age of 12 is a class 3 misdemeanour.

The worst penalty, in my opinion, is that of the city of Chesapeake. The law suggests a child could actually go to jail if they don’t abide by the codes being enforced which would lead me to assume it’s probably not a safe place to live except that this article, Is Chesapeake Virginia A Safe Place To Live? actually uses the word ‘boring’ to describe the nature of the town, or more so, fighting that notion.

The Takeaway

The issue isn’t so much about these ordinances but rather what route our youth are being led to. Media today is exposing our children to a world that is hyper-sexualized and overtly emotional. The internet often pokes fun at millennials with memes giving examples of how awkward they were when they were 12 or 14, and how today’s youth is skipping that stage and going right into adulthood.

We don’t have to look hard to see how the innocence of a child is being hijacked by societal ‘norms.’ These codes being enforced is alarming because it’s exposing how obvious this governmental objective truly is. Should we have to fight for children to be children? Halloween is just the beginning and it’s up to us on whether not we’d like to participate in the robbing of our children’s innocence.

11 Years Later Woman Receives A Touching Letter From The Little Girl She Used To Babysit

 When a child is given the encouragement and positive reinforcement they deserve, they are more likely to grow into a confident adult.

I truly applaud the women and men who dedicate their lives to ensuring that every child on this planet is afforded not only their basic needs, but also the love and attention that they should naturally receive. Among these heroes are surely, babysitters.

The role of a babysitter may initially seem unimportant. You don’t hire a babysitter so your child has a friend to play with, but rather, because you need someone to care for them while you are out of the house. But care can take many forms, and we may not realize that in these moments of one-on-one time, the babysitter has a choice: Do they simply stand by and watch over as they are required to do, or do they engage further, ignite your child’s curiosity, teach them, or even take them on adventures?

When Raquel was 12 years old she used to babysit a little girl who loved to draw. Raquel took to her Tumblr to share with others her story:

when i was 12 i babysat this girl for a few years and she would come to me and show me her art, drag me by my wrists and point at the pieces she’d made during the week. and she’d be like “do the voice” and i’d put on a sports-announcer olympics-style voice and be like “such form! this level of coloring! why i haven’t seen such perfection in crayola in a long time. and what is this? why jeff, now this is a true risk… it seems she’s made … a monochrome pink canvas…. i haven’t seen this attempted since winter 1932… and i gotta say, jeff, it’s absolutely splendid”  and she’d fall back giggling. at the end of every night she’d check with me: “did you really like it?” and i’d say yes and talk about something i noticed and tucked her in.

she was just accepted into 3 major art schools. she wrote me a letter. inside was a picture from when she was younger. monochrome pink.

“thank you,” it said, “to somebody who saw the best in me.”

It’s moments like these that children will never forget. We have the amazing ability and opportunity to help any beautiful young mind believe that they can achieve anything they imagine. Positive reinforcement like this is what brings a child to better understand and accept that their abilities and talents are worthy of being seen.

Thank you xo

Graphic Adds Depicting What Some Would Consider Borderline Child Abuse, Would You?

Most mothers know just how hard it is to resist cravings during pregnancy, and while it’s okay to give in every now and then (I mean seriously, chocolate chip cookies are awesome), it’s important to consider the health of your little one.

While you should increase your food intake during pregnancy to ensure both you and the baby are getting the nutrients you need, this does not mean you should eat whatever you want.

One woman on Baby Center begged for advice on how to limit her junk food intake. One member said:

My first pregnancy I also craved junk food the entire time! Very not healthy and I ended up with edema and other problems causing me to have to be in the hospital for weeks and to deliver a month early. I would recommend that when you get a craving satisfy it in small doses. If you feel like pizza eat a slice or two, not the whole pie. If you are craving a burger or those yummy fast food fries get a small order not a supersize one. Everything’s okay in moderation so don’t beat up on yourself. I’m 6 wks pg now and I keep healthy snacks around and eat them before I get real hungry. So far that’s helped stave off the cravings. I’m also less tempted to hit the drive thrus when my kitchen is stocked at home. Just remember it will be over eventually…

This is great advice, but from reading further I realized that most mothers were inquiring because they were concerned about weight gain, not the effects these foods have on their baby.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “you are what you eat,” but have you ever thought of it this way — “Your child is what you eat“?

The campaign, created for the Brazilian Pediatric Society of Rio Grande, SPRS, was made to highlight how a woman’s nutrition during pregnancy can have lasting effects on her child’s health.

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In a report published in the journal Genome Biology, researchers searched the genome to determine how outside influences such as diet, nutrition, and environmental exposures affect a developing fetus.

By focusing on a specific variant in a gene involved in suppressing tumours, asssociate professor of pediatrics and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Robert Waterland and his team found that healthy diets of pregnant mothers can result in babies developing a gene variant that protects against cancer.

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Each advert states:

“Your habits in the first thousand days of gestation can prevent your child from developing serious diseases.”

“At least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, including fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruit and vegetables, and no more than one 150ml glass of 100% unsweetened juice,” suggest NHS.

Another study published in The FASEB Journal, led by Bev Mühlhäusler and completed by the University of Adelaide, suggests that “moms-to-be who eat junk food during their pregnancies have already programmed their babies to be addicted to a high fat, high sugar diet by the time they are weaned.” They found “from laboratory studies that a junk food diet during pregnancy and lactation desensitized the normal reward system fueled by these highly palatable foods.”

Bev Mühlhäusler reminds mothers and mothers-to-be that this information isn’t meant to scare those who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding but to inform them of the possibly dangerous outcomes junk food has on their bodies and the bodies of their babies:

The take-home message for women is that eating large amounts of junk food during pregnancy and while breastfeeding will have long-term consequences for their child’s preference for these foods, which will ultimately have negative effects on their health.

It’s important to monitor the state of your child while breastfeeding. You may find that certain foods cause a reaction, or that when you are pregnant, you can’t seem to keep down the same foods you always craved and enjoyed.

Pregnancy can be a miraculous phase in a woman’s life and offers many opportunities for self improvement. It demands that you become more self-aware and more considerate, because your decisions are no longer just about you — they are about your little loved one, too.

“Love and affection are vital, but it is important to educate and inform mothers about the procedures necessary for proper nutrition and baby care.”

– From the SPRS website discussing the first thousand days of a baby’s life.


Related CE Article: A Pregnant Woman Eating Organic VS. Eating Conventional – It’s Time To Think About Your Baby


These Pictures Offer Incredible Insight Into How The Advertising Industry Exploits Women

In recent years, the world of fashion and advertising has distastefully blurred the lines between right and wrong, creating a pronounced grey area of supposedly acceptable imagery which includes everything from BDSM and rape to abuse, aggression, and underage perversion. And this phenomenon can’t simply be narrowed down to ‘artistry’ when the symbolism is so blatantly sexist and even morbid.

I mean, is it appropriate for 4-year olds to have a lingerie line, never mind to be photographed in them? I have a 2-year old niece and while I think it’s adorable for her to have cute bathing suits, I would never allow her to wear something provocative in any way. It’s heavily insinuated that Americans are just uptight when it comes to sex, and in many respects this is true, but there is a line that must be drawn when it comes to children that culture cannot influence.

So while Luis Paredes, the publisher of The Lingerie Journal, may blithely assert that “while Americans may be shocked, the line of clothing wouldn’t cause a ripple in Europe,” the reality is that we are looking at the exploitation of children. We may have antiquated views about breastfeeding and sex, to be sure, but sexualized images of children are in a whole different ballpark, and considering the UK’s current heavy investigation into pedophile rings being attended by high government officials, maybe these ads should be causing some ripples.

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Kylie Jenner, an heiress of the Kardashian clan, has received heavy media attention over her recent lip injection (to each their own), but it was this particular photo shoot that brought her under major scrutiny. The cover image for Interview magazine features Kylie in a wheelchair. Why?

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Shot by Steven Klein, the shoot is supposed to be reminiscent of work produced by Allen Jones, a British pop artist famous for his controversial sculptures of half-naked women on all fours and in other submissive positions being used as human furniture. Quite objectifying. (You can view the full gallery here.)

These next few images highlight the absurdity of advertisements today, switching the sex of the subject (or should I say object) in the ad to underscore how ridiculous and demeaning their roles truly are. Thanks to Lauren Wade from Take Part for creating these images.

Sisley ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2006

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen sexual abuse in advertisements and it definitely isn’t less upsetting when a guy takes her place. The disturbing tone of this ad is hardly surprising considering it was shot by the infamous Terry Richardson, who carries a string of sexual misconduct allegations with models under his belt. I mean the guy himself said, “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing.”

Tom Ford for Men ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2007

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Well we certainly know that sex sells, but why is this appropriate as an advertisement, yet women are still being shunned into bathroom stalls to breastfeed their babies? It’s easy to see how much less appealing this is with men’s breasts instead.

American Apparel ad, 2010

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Wondering what the purpose of this ad is? You’re not alone, since this is a product that is clearly marketed to women. But these images really come as no surprise. American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was unceremoniously dismissed from his position in December of 2014 because of the A.A. board’s “ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct”  — which includes (but is not limited to): holding an employee as a personal sex slave for eight months, sexually harassing multiple models and employees, assaulting a store manager, using ethnic and racist slurs with staff, and masturbating in front of a reporter in a 2004 Jane magazine article.

American Apparel ad, 2007

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If this really is an ad marketed to women, what kind of message is it supposed to send? This image is pretty standard for the company though, considering they once featured then-CEO Dov Charney in bed with models in one ad and having his crotch licked in another. How did it get this far to publication? Even with a male on display it’s pretty disturbing, but at least brings some humour. Interesting that one is sexy and the other comical.

Marc Jacobs ad, photographed by Juergen Teller, 2008

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What do you think this ad is trying to illustrate? Why would a brand use a wrinkled bag to market their products?

These images only provide a glimpse at broad the spectrum of degradation toward women present in advertising and if you think the images itself are enough to make you ponder, imagine what goes on at these shoots or even at the castings.

Charlotte Waters was a 19-year-old art student when she contacted Terry Richardson for a shoot, having only heard he was a good connection to make and work with. “He had me unbutton his pants, and he took his penis out, and it was all completely downhill from there.” She said in an interview with Vocativ. He even went as far as ejaculating on her face. 

Sara Ziff, founder of advocacy group Model Alliance, was also 19 when her agency sent her to Richardson. “It was supposed to be for a mainstream fashion magazine, but when I arrived, he unexpectedly asked me to pose topless,” she says. “I felt pressured to comply because my agent had told me to make a good impression because he was an important photographer who shot for all the major magazines and brands.” On HuffPost Live, Ziff exclaimed, “[Richardson] will ask you to take your clothes off at the casting, and in some cases, give him sexual favors.”

Model Alliance is Sara Ziff’s effort to establish fair labor standards for models working in the American fashion industry. She hopes to protect working models from exploitation, especially from sexual abuse, and to improve the lot of its members in terms of pay and working conditions. It has drawn up a “Models’ Bill of Rights.”

Model Alliance was inspired by Sara’s time working on the documentary Picture Me

Sara had this to say about the documentary in an interview with Fashionista:

[“Picture Me”] was on the festival circuit in 2009, and it was really at Q&A discussions for the film that we started talking about the need for a union, like the equivalent of the Screen Actors’ Guild, which is now SAG-AFTRA, for models. Models would come to these screenings and get really emotional talking about bad experiences they’ve had, and the film became this organizing tool to raise awareness publicly, but also within the industry. We wanted an existing union to extend membership to models, but when it became clear that that wasn’t possible, I was crazy enough to take it upon myself and start up from scratch, which people warned me not to do, but I also was studying labor and organizing in college.

The majority of models start their careers before the age 16, with most working unchaperoned and far from home. This creates an unconscionable environment of coercion, where the incentive to get hired (and remain employed) is enough to keep most girls quiet. Sara Ziff talks about her own experience with this firsthand at the age of 14:

When I entered the business as a 14-year-old schoolgirl, I was routinely asked to do topless shoots and pose seductively. To this day, in an industry dominated by minors, there is no policy of informed consent for jobs involving full or partial nudity. A recent survey shows that 86.8% of models have been asked to pose nude at a casting or job without advance notice.

Girl Model is another documentary exposing the terrifyingly young age at which some models start working. The film follows 13-year-old Siberian-born model Nadya Vall on her quest to become a model, accompanied most of the time by Ashley Arbaugh, the American modeling scout (and former model) who discovers her.

In my opinion, to be successful and thrive in the fashion industry, you need to have a sound idea of who you are as an individual and what you stand for, and unfortunately, most girls who are recruited at 14 or younger are still discovering who they are and what their place is in the world. This makes it easier for agents and scouts to shape them into who they think they should be, almost inevitably promoting a mental instability and dependency on those around them.

This article can only provide for you a different perspective on the reality that certain individuals in the fashion industry must face. Like with all things in life, there are great things about this industry and there are terrible, but it just seems that most of the ‘bad’ has been swept under the rug, with little to no attention being paid to the bigger fallacies presented by advertising companies.

Images like these allow us to see the toxic leaks that are trickling into our society, helping us to be more critical about what we are ingesting visually and more proactive in learning more about a massive money making machine that bombards us with a skewed view of the world from all sides.

Stay critical and stay aware, it helps to shift perspectives and ultimately the industry.

Sources

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/07/09/what-if-fashion-objectified-males-same-scary-way-it-does-females

http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/sex/oh-god-whats-happening-close-personal-terry-richardson-model/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/fashion-ads-treated-men-and-women-same_n_5589243.html

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2012/feb/01/sara-ziff-models-workers-rights-group

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/06/terry-richardson-interview.html

Artist Organizes Natural Objects Into Elaborate Mandalas For You To Find

James Brunt is an artist known for bringing attention back to the finer details that nature has to offer us. While natural landscapes are often breathtaking on their own, imagine stumbling across one of his creations. James uses natural materials and objects he finds around his home in Yorkshire, England and creates his art in places like beaches, forests and parks. He is very mindful of not disturbing the land and has created his own code of ethics,  “I am very conscious of the environment around me and take into consideration many things when deciding to make a piece of work. This code that I work to now has developed over time as my understanding of my surroundings grows. It wasn’t always the case, but it is now.”

His array of materials aren’t limited when working with an abundant natural setting. He has access to many natural materials and creates his works of art from things such as rocks, twigs, leaves and even berries if he comes across some. Once he’s collected the appropriate amount of materials, he arranges them in mandala-like spirals and concentric circles. His pieces often involve detailed patterns, textures, and shapes and achieves this look from using multiples of one kind of material.

James will often welcome his fans to join him as he works but if they can’t join in on the live action fun, he shares his photographs online, which are also available for purchase. Working with the environment can also be tricky, so James has to make sure that he photographs his finished work before nature plays its role.

You can check out James art on his  Facebook where he frequently shares and updates, along with his Twitter. You can also purchase his prints on his Etsy Shop.

Enjoy!