Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Posts Tagged ‘women’

Beauty Expert Guest: Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

In Beauty, Blogging, Contributors, Lifestyle, News, wellness on June 24, 2016 at 08:20

As told to Laura Sgroi 

whitefield-madrano-official-author-pic

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

My name is Autumn Whitefield-Madrano and I am a beauty blogger. I try to make it clear from the start that I am not a beauty blogger who writes about makeup tips—I am a beauty blogger who looks at why we are invested in beauty as women and the role that it plays in our lives. I started The-Beheld.com when I was 34, therefore I had some sense of what I wanted out of life in terms of who I was, and that enabled me to start this blog in the first place.

When I was a kid, my mother didn’t wear makeup at all—maybe mascara but nothing else. But whenever I would visit my grandmother I would sit at her makeup table and I would play for hours. I just loved trying on the different lipsticks and the different eye shadows, it was just this world of fantasy that I loved engaging in but I didn’t know how to do it because I didn’t learn firsthand from my mom. So when I started working in women’s magazines in my early twenties, even though I wasn’t in the beauty department, my heart was there—I always loved the beauty pages, and loved talking to beauty editors. Beauty is literally the face that we present to the world. I am more surprised when people are not interested in beauty. You are interested in beauty in some way even if you don’t ever wear makeup. It’s what you are showing the world, and that says so much about who we are. That is how I got attracted to the subject of beauty, and I’ve engaged with it as long as I can remember.

Most women become more comfortable with who they are as they get older and that shows in the way that they present themselves. The way they do their makeup or the way they don’t do makeup, the way that they style their hair or the clothes that they choose. When I was younger I was a lot more experimental. I wouldn’t even leave the house wearing wild eye shadow or other things, I was playing around. But there wasn’t the sense of joy about it, it was almost a searching of identity: Who am I? Am I someone who wears bright red lipstick? Am I someone who has short hair? Do I have long hair? Do I have highlights? I was trying to put my identity on who I was physically and we all do that. What happens as we get older is that we understand the variety of identities that any of us have, so instead of searching for “Oh! That’s our one identity!” you understand that sometimes you want to wear your natural curls flowing and other times you are going to want to have your hair sleek, and I am the same way. I go through phases when I want to wear my hair long, and luxurious and puffed out—and other times, like during the summer, I just twist it up with a pencil and that’s it. I understand that there are different faces that I am showing to the world. I’m not looking for my identity, I am presenting various sides of myself.

My approach became a little narrower in a certain sense now that I know what works for me, and that is something I didn’t know fifteen years ago. I didn’t understand what my features were, I didn’t understand what my strong points were, what you should be emphasizing and that is something that you just learn with time. Some ladies have a knack for it when they’re younger but I was certainly not one of those. I also have become more comfortable with what I do have to offer and learned to trust those things that are worth showing off and that was something I had to learn with time. I never thought like that when I was a teenager, I knew that I had nice big hazel eyes but I was afraid to show them off because I thought it might be seen like, “Oh, she thinks she’s all that” if I tried to emphasize them with eyeliner. As I get older I tell myself: Everyone has these things about themselves that they know are beautiful and they should show them. That is something I became more comfortable with as I got older.

I also spent so much time when I was a teenager thinking I had bad skin because of some pimples, I thought bad skin, bad skin…Yes, I had some pimples but I had elastic, smooth skin, except for those occasional pimples, and I wished I had been able to recognize that for myself as good skin instead of always saying “bad skin,” because it was just teenage girl skin—it was in general pretty nice.

Something that helped me in my early thirties was looking at some old pictures of myself and I saw how nice I looked. I was never one of those stunningly beautiful women, but I looked at pictures of myself in college and I saw that I just had this glow, I saw that my hair was shining and bouncy and healthy and I saw this vibrancy that I had. I also saw that I didn’t know how to dress myself and other things that were “wrong”, but I saw all these gifts that I had that I didn’t let myself believe when I was younger and it dawned on me: That means there are still things within myself that I don’t know, there’s still something lovely, there’s always going to be something lovely there even if I don’t recognize it; I have to trust that is there. I try to remember that when I have a day I don’t feel so great. I try to think that whatever I saw yesterday that I liked is still there, and in ten years I’m going to look back at a picture of myself now and wonder why I didn’t see some quality.

One of the biggest things that helped me make peace and make friends with my image was understanding that when I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t seeing what I looked like—I was seeing what I felt like. Once I understood that, I didn’t take the mirror as the final truth about how I looked. I still sometimes wake up and my skin is puffy or my hair just isn’t working, but as long as we are taking care of ourselves and getting enough rest, we look the same most of the time. The biggest problem I see with women in our age, who are a little more comfortable with ourselves than we might have been in our twenties, isn’t so much that they don’t like what they see or that they think they are hideous—it’s that their self-esteem fluctuates a lot. One day they might feel “Hello, I’m Miss Thing” and the next day they feel terrible. I would like to see more women be able to do instead is have trust in those days when you look at the mirror and you feel like you got it going on or you don’t even need to look at the mirror at all, you just have that feeling, have a certain faith that that is what you are showing the world. On those days that we see something we don’t like, more often than not, it’s about mood or something internal—it’s not about “Oh, my eyes looks smaller today than usual” because your eyes do not get smaller, I promise.

Some people think that if they are unhappy they need to mask it somehow and maybe put in a little more effort those days. I don’t think that is the best way that beauty can relate to happiness in our lives. First of all, there is no evidence that beautiful people are happier. There are also statistics about how the conventionally attractive ones earn more money—more so for men than for women, but that is another story. They might be seen as more competent or more likable but there is no evidence that they are happier. Science has shown that as we get older we do get happier, which is contrary to what some people think but when they look at their lives that is what they see. I’d like to see us applying the same thinking to beauty, recognizing that most people look how they feel on a day-to-day basis, and they do feel better at this age and possibly even more as they continue to age so they will also look better. I would like to see women trust their instincts more and draw on their real life experience instead of looking at what the media and advertising are telling you with all these messages about youth being something that we need to cling to. Our real lived experience shows the genuine connection between our own form of beauty and our own happiness as well.

Women learn to trust more what they have to offer just on a pure physical level—the more that they learn to highlight that, the better they feel. Maybe sometimes you do mask, because some days putting on lipstick transforms the way that you look at yourself and that can be an important tool towards shifting your mindset. I remember talking to an Iraqi war veteran not long ago, and she said that in the Army you learn how to apply camouflage makeup, and that after doing hers, making her face blend into the background, when she looked in the mirror she saw herself as a soldier. It changed the way that she view herself and she now applies that to the way she wears makeup in her daily life. When we put on our face, our “war paint”, it transforms the way that we see ourselves, and that could be something joyous there for women to draw on.

The concept of mature beauty in women around the world and from many different paths of life is interesting. For example, I haven’t interviewed women from France yet but from what I understand from just talking with French women and women from some other European countries is that the age range in which women in the media are considered beautiful is much larger. There is a scene in “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, where she goes to Italy in her late thirties and she is surprised that men aren’t chasing her down the street like they did when she was 20. And another character says something like, “It’s not like France, where they dig the old babes.” You look at French movies and mature women play the leads and they are seen as beautiful and sensuous. That is happening more in America but we have a ways to go still. Other cultures have a stronger holistic view of beauty. Many Asian cultures revere the elderly—for them it is a given that you would take in your parents and/or your grandparents as they age, there is an understanding of the respect that accumulated years of life give you. We don’t understand that yet in our culture; we understand it intellectually but we don’t value aging that way; at least our generation doesn’t.

In the past twenty years there has been a change of our roles in our society, which is wonderful for women for the most part. Our grandmothers could only be housewives and mothers, maybe career women but they couldn’t have children, or they had to choose. Women from our generation have so many more options, which is wonderful, but that can also be overwhelming. In America, we are looking to beauty as “here’s a role that we can fill”—certainly it’s the role that women are told to fill. What I would like to see happen is, as America and the West in general become more comfortable with the variety of roles that women can play now, that we can opt-in and opt-out of, that beauty will become one of many roles we will begin to see in a more holistic sense. I’m not trying to say that Asian cultures are doing that already but there is more understanding that a 65-year-old woman has a lot to offer to the world and to the younger and maybe more active members of society, and I don’t think we get that fact yet. Once we get closer to that, it will help us understand a holistic concept of beauty.

We are the first generation that has had the opportunity to see women we considered starlets in our twenties, grow in to be who they are now. Julia Roberts, is still on magazine covers after her mid forties, Helen Hunt is in her fifties. Julianne Moore, who is a mature woman who is still seen beautiful, is 52, the same age that Rue McClanahan was when she was cast in the Golden Girls. When you think of that—McClanahan was a beautiful woman but she was seen as a senior citizen, she was an “old woman”, while Julianne Moore is a sex symbol! But there is a counterargument to be made: At what age can women stop trying to be seen as beautiful? That’s another discussion; as far as understanding that women over 25 are sexual creatures, that’s a positive move for us to be seeing, we’re lucky that we get to see that now in our lives.

There is no secret or magic bullet. If you eat healthfully, exercise, get enough sleep, drink a lot water, don’t smoke and don’t drink much alcohol, that will show up in the way that you look. You can dye your hair if it starts to go gray but there is no way to fake that natural glow that comes from taking care of yourself, and I certainly did not understand that in my twenties, not at all. I thought advice telling us to take care of ourselves was a trick to get us to do the healthy things—I felt fine no matter what I did in my twenties. Now, the difference is amazing—if I’m in a heavy work schedule and I can’t get to the gym for a few weeks, I can tell in my energy, I can tell in my face. It’s not that I look ugly is that I don’t have that natural glow that you get when you do everything you should be doing. Women in our age understand that a lot more.

There are certain things that you can do like using retinoid creams, which are the only thing that has been proved to work on fine lines and wrinkles. They’re a little expensive but they last for months and with that I’ve seen a difference in my skin. I can’t recommend them enough, they work wonderful. I wasn’t great at eating a lot of vegetables before—eating a salad takes a long time and I just don’t have the time to sit there and eat twelve ounces of greens, so almost every day I have a green smoothie and I get all my vegetables for the day. I get other vegetables throughout the day as well, but if I don’t have a chance, it falls under one smoothie. That’s my biggest trick: the green smoothie. As far as muscle loss, I’ve been going to the gym regularly for ten years, but I only started seriously strength training a few years ago and I feel amazing, I can tell the difference in my body. I don’t want to say I look younger because I don’t, but I look better than I did five years ago, even though I look five years older, so I can’t recommend strength training enough. I see a lot of women in the gym just spending all this time in the treadmill, running is good for you but only until certain point; if you want to keep your metabolism up you have to strength train and you will feel and see the difference in your body. It’s been a wonderful journey for me. I wish more women weren’t afraid to pick up heavy weights—you are not going to get big and bulky. I lift the heaviest weights I can and I got some muscle there but I’m not the Hulk or anything, so you are not going to get too big.

Understand what your features are. If you are insecure about that or you are not genuinely sure, there are makeup artists that can help you identify your best attributes, like “you have these amazing lips let’s play them up by doing this”. Most women in this age know what their gifts are, we all have times that we look in the mirror and we feel amazing. I see this more and more as we age, and I just want more women to be able to embrace what is striking, unusual, or just sexy about them. This sounds cliché but is true: Confidence is attractive, confidence is sexy, and there are no shortcuts to that. Those times that you just don’t feel it, meditation helps bringing up a sense of calm that accompanies confidence. I can’t say that it directly translates, that when I’m doing a good job at meditating every day, or as often as I can, I’m more beautiful—it doesn’t work like that. But we live incredibly stressful lives and stress does show up in our faces and our bodies, therefore doing whatever you can to find some center is very helpful. In my personal case, exercise, meditation, and recognizing my need for alone time are key. I am friendly but essentially I am very introverted and I know I need a lot of time to myself. I wish I recognized that when I was younger; I spent a lot of energy putting that outward. A lot of these things come naturally to women, as they get older.

No one is going to think that you are more beautiful than you at your best believe that you are, there is a truth to that. Of course everyone looks at us and sees something different and we have no way of controlling that, but as long as there is some part of you somewhere in there that believes that you have something special to offer, people will see and respond to that. You don’t always have to feel it, but learning how to access that can be a great gift.

I was at a baby shower a few years ago where I was one of the mother-to-be’s oldest friends, and she was the oldest of her friends. It was interesting to be there with a group of twenty-three year olds. We were talking about age and I mentioned my age—I was thirty-seven then— and these women turned around and said: “You’re thirty-seven? But you look so good!” And I was like: “Thank you!” But I don’t look any better or any younger than any of my friends who are in the same age group; we know that you have to take care of yourself. When you are young you have this notion of what being thirty-something or forty-something looks like and that’s an outdated idea. Those twenty-three-year-old will see in fifteen years, that being thirty-seven doesn’t mean that you are writing yourself off, it’s the beginning in a lot of ways.

I want those twenty-three -year-old women to be reading this. I want them to see what we have done with our lives and that there is so much to be looking forward to. That sentiment is out there and growing but you still hear women who think thirty is old…Oh Gosh, not thirty! When I was twenty-three, I couldn’t wait to be in my thirties, I was so excited to turn thirty, and whenever I hear women say the same, I smile and think: Right on!

About Autumn Whitefield-Madrano: 

face_value_cover

Author of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Her writing has appeared in Marie Claire, Glamour, Salon, Jezebel, The Guardian, and more. She created The Beheld, a blog examining questions behind personal appearance. Her work on the ways beauty shapes women’s lives has been covered by The New York Times and the Today show. She lives in Astoria, Queens, and will tell you her beauty secrets if you tell her yours. 

Author’s Photo Credit: Siouxsie Suarez

_________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

Choosing between career, motherhood is unnecessary

In Career, Entrepreneurs, Family, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Lifestyle, News on November 23, 2015 at 09:00

By Shelby Bradford

bizmom

As a woman pursuing a college degree, I am keenly aware of the disadvantages and choices I face. However, I do not believe that I, nor young girls should be told that they have to choose between having a career and pursuing motherhood.

To this end, I strongly disagree with the statements made by Vivienne Durham, the former headmistress of an all-girls boarding school, in a recent article from the United Kingdom. In the article, she claimed telling girls they can handle having both a family and a career is “lying” to them about the reality of the glass ceiling, which states women and minorities face barriers in advancing in their careers.

I do not believe we have to force young girls to choose one over the other in order to explain societal inequalities to them, and I certainly don’t believe that saying “feminism” perpetuates the notion that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist.

A large issue with the claims made in the article is that Durham’s definition of feminism is flawed. She claimed she is not a feminist because, by her interpretation, being a feminist means you do not tell girls the glass ceiling exists. This is simply not true.

To many, feminism is about acknowledging the social disadvantages in place and challenging them. It is about not wanting to settle with the way things currently are because you know they are unfair and should be changed. By Durham telling girls they have to make a choice between having children and having a career, she is perpetuating that inequality and therefore stopping her students from achieving their full potential before they even have the chance to try.

The next problem in her statement was there was no happy medium in having a career and having children. She implied women who did choose to pursue both were either “juggling” them or were pushed back several years in one or the other, such as either postponing having children or not accepting a promotion in order to have them.

I acknowledge I personally have not taken on a child, but I know a number of professors and faculty at this University, as well as in my personal life, who have had children at the end of their collegiate career or the start of their professional one. They do not seem to be struggling to balance the two or were negatively impacted by their decision to wait the extra years to have children. This is something I felt Durham also skewed out of proportion.

To say that women who wait to have children so they can finish their education and start a career are ignoring a “biological clock” is ludicrous. Most professionals complete lengthy studies in their late twenties to early thirties, which leaves plenty of time to start both a career and a family.

While science has confirmed there is heightened risk of pregnancy complications as women get older, this doesn’t become a concern until 35 or 40. Therefore, women in their early and even mid-30s should not be concerned about conceiving, and if they are concerned, a chat with the doctor should clarify any issues.

There is no denying that women face unfair stigmas and biases in areas like education and employment. Despite the recent advancements in gender equality, we still live in an age where women receive unequal treatment to men. Women are paid less on average than an equivalently experienced male coworker, and they are given fewer opportunities for promotion than men.

To me, this isn’t an excuse to tell young girls that they can’t be mothers if they want careers. This is a cause worth fighting for, not a means to simply accept the blatantly unfair standards set in place for decades.

If we want today’s young girls to succeed, then we should bolster a sense of pride in their abilities. Yes, we must be honest about the negative reality that persists, but we shouldn’t lead them to believe that obtaining the life they want is impossible in the same breath. This is where Vivienne Durham missed the mark in inspiring her students’ success.

Credits:

Link to Original Article

Photo: metro.co.uk

P.S. Know any women debating between career and motherhood? Show them your support forwarding this post to your family, friends, and colleagues!

_______________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The 6 Biggest Health Mistakes Women Make in Their 30s

In Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle, News, wellness on August 29, 2015 at 10:00

By Joan Raymond | TODAY Show

For many women, turning 30 marks the real beginning of adulthood. You’re established in a career, and maybe in a relationship. You might be thinking about starting a family. You feel pretty good about yourself, and all the health indiscretions of your 20s — remember those all-night parties and how you still managed to make it into work the next day? — haven’t taken much of a health toll.

Let’s face it, ages 30 to 39 are prime time. “All in all, the thirties are a very positive time for health, but it’s also the time you have to start developing excellent habits as an investment in the future,” says Dr. Debra DeJoseph, medical director of The Women’s Health Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

In other words, the healthy lifestyle habits you ignore now could set the stage for a less than healthy life in your 40s and beyond.

Here are the six biggest health mistakes to avoid in your 30s.

1. You don’t think about your muscle mass.

muscle-mass-lifting-weights-today-stock-tease-150814_681d6eb76c92415a2a3e5008b6c2b9ae.today-inline-large

Getty Images Stock

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Although aerobic exercise is “arguably the single best thing you can do for your cardiovascular health,” and some studies show it may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and some forms of cancer, women in their thirties should make time for strength training, too, says internist Dr. Holly Phillips, author of “The Exhaustion Breakthrough; Unmask the Hidden Reasons You’re Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good.”

At about age 30 — even if you’re active — humans begin losing muscle mass. If you’re a compete couch potato, you can lose as much as 5 percent of muscle mass every decade after age 30.

To help keep your muscles strong and functioning well, women should incorporate strength training into their exercise regimens. “Strength training creates microscopic tears in muscle tissues,” which then triggers the muscles to rebuild and strengthen, says Phillips.

2. You ignore a metabolism slowdown.

metabolism-burger-health-mistakes-30s-today-stock-150814_998ca0ebeaa150f3bef82c22f135f33f.today-inline-large

Shutterstock

An extra bonus of strength training is burning calories, which increases your metabolism, says Phillips. It seems that as we age, metabolism does slow down for various reasons, including genetics, hormones, and diet, to name a few. Add into the mix the fact that body fat increases incrementally after age 30, with fat accumulating around the middle, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although the metabolic slow-down in your thirties isn’t huge, if you don’t take steps to rev it up, you could potentially pack on double-digit pounds as you age.

Keep your metabolism peppy with strength training. “It (strength training) not only burns calories, but it increases the percentage of muscle mass in your body which boosts your metabolism in the long-term,” says Phillips, who suggests cutting out as many processed foods as possible during this decade filling up on lean proteins and omega-3s like fish and nuts. Also, make fruits and vegetables about 70 percent of your diet, she suggests.

3. You miscalculate fertility.

fertility-health-mistakes-30s-today-stock-150814_059ea494ce61796e7a246331aa77f670.today-inline-large

Alliance / Shutterstock

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Very simply, age is a factor when it comes to fertility. The older you are, the tougher it is to conceive, and there is a “gradual decline” in fertility for women, starting at about age 32, which takes a sharper drop when a woman reaches about age 37, explains OB/GYN Dr. Judith Volkar of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “In general, women don’t understand the decline in fertility and they put off child bearing thinking they have plenty of time,” she says. “But peak fertility for women is when they’re in their twenties. It can be a difficult conversation when a woman in her thirties or older is trying to get pregnant and can’t.”

To be clear, pregnancy is “absolutely not impossible” in the 30s, and many women will get pregnant, says Volkar, citing stats showing a woman’s chance of conceiving within a year in her earlier 30s is about 75 percent, dropping to about 65 percent in the late 30s. “Education is really important, and I don’t want to alarm women, since putting off childbearing until the 30s makes a lot of sense for many women,” says Volkar. “I just want women in their 30s to be mindful of fertility.”

4. You don’t make time to see the doctor.

doctor-visit-health-mistakes-30s-today-150814_681d6eb76c92415a2a3e5008b6c2b9ae.today-inline-large

Getty Images Stock

                                                                                           

We know you’re busy, but it’s important to make time for screening for a variety of problems that are “silent” like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Ideally, women should start being screened in their 20s. But if you don’t know your cholesterol numbers by now, make the time to schedule a lipid panel screening, which includes total cholesterol, LDL levels (the so-called “bad” cholesterol), HDL or “good” cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. If all is good, you don’t have to have another test for about five years. But if your numbers aren’t stellar, you and your doctor can work out a plan that includes diet, exercise, weight loss, and sometimes, medication, says DeJoseph.

Regardless of your age, get a blood pressure screening every one to two years. And, of course, don’t put off PAP testing, Starting at age 30 (through age 64), get a PAP test and HPV (human papillomavirus) test together every five years — or a PAP test alone every three years. You may have to have more frequent PAPs if abnormal results are found.

5. You treat your skin like you’re still a teenager.

sunburn-today-stock-150716-tease_2b18ee0e4db0eb13d844df3a98dc8f5f.today-inline-large

Shutterstock

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Adult acne is an issue for women in their thirties. “It’s almost epidemic and it might be caused by stress, diet and hormones,” explains New York City dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. The biggest mistake women in their thirties make is treating their acne with “. . . harsh chemicals designed for teenage skin,” she says. Instead, she recommends choosing gentle cleaners that don’t strip the skin of natural oils. Look to retinoid creams or lotions that can help with breakouts as well as reduce wrinkles — even though you may not have many yet. And if that doesn’t work, see a dermatologist who can provide a customized treatment plan.

And, of course, don’t forget about sunscreen — ever. Sun damage, wrinkles, and dullness may not show up until your forties, but “anti-aging skin care products and lasers aren’t magic,” says Krant, adding that “every day counts in reducing cumulative ultraviolet radiation damage to cells and connective tissue.” Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck and chest, too.

Don’t think you’re too young for skin cancer. Familiarize yourself with skin cancer symptoms, and see your doctor if you notice suspicious moles or skin changes.

6. You light up.

smoking-in-your-30s-today-stock-150814_e81482c3a6b916fb1b6961b4217f9969.today-inline-large

Shutterstock

Although smoking cigarettes is no longer socially acceptable, many women still light up, whether it’s to reduce stress or try to maintain weight. Although women are not as likely to smoke as men, about 18 percent of women ages 25 to 44 are smoking, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Smoking affects everything from your ability to conceive, the health of a fetus and, of course, your health even if you don’t want to get pregnant,’ says OB/GYN Volkar. “The earlier you quit, the better your health.”

Those aren’t empty words. A 2012 study of some one million women published in The Lancet showed that quitting smoking before age 40, “avoids more than 90% of the excess mortality caused by continuing smoking,” according to the authors. So, if you’re still smoking, it seems that right now — today — is a great time to quit. There are many programs and medications available to help you kick the habit for good.

Source: HealthNewsDigest.com

_______________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Is a woman “middle-aged” at 30? 40? 50? Japanese men and women give different answers in poll

In Great Articles Found Doing Research, Lifestyle, News on July 3, 2015 at 10:38

SoraNews24

You may have heard that Japan is obsessed with youth, which is ironic for a country with an ageing population , this is ironic. In fact, Japan is purported to have the highest proportion of elderly citizens compared to all other countries. With so many older folks making up a vast percentage of the population, why is Japan’s society still often casually ageist, particularly towards women?

A recent poll asked “at what age does a woman become middle-aged?” and the results are extremely telling.

View original post 574 more words

Stats Show Women Using Abortion More Often as Birth Control to Save Their Careers

In Career, Family, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on June 23, 2015 at 09:22

By Sarah Zagorski

In the United Kingdom, women in their early thirties are now more likely to have abortions than teenagers, according to a new report from the Department of Health. These women are usually unmarried and aborting because they want to “save” their careers.

The Daily Mail reports that there were 184,571 abortions in England and Wales last year and of these, half were performed on women who already have children. Another commentator, Jill Kirby, said, “It is disturbing that abortion is so high among women who are not just making mistakes or having one-night stands. There are many women who want to have children but then for financial or relationship reasons decide not to.”

However, Ann Furedi from the pro-abortion British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), said, “Given that women are fertile for more than 30 years, it is unsurprising that women may experience an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy they cannot carry to term on more than one occasion. No form of contraception is 100 per cent effective, and women will always need straightforward access to abortion services as a back-up if they are to plan their lives and families in the way they see fit. Having done so much to improve contraceptive services for younger women, we must also ensure the needs of older women are met.”

Click here to sign up for daily pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com

The BPAS added that 51% of all abortions in the United Kingdom are medical abortions, which are abortions that use mifepristone (Abortion Pill, RU-486) and misoprostol drugs to induce miscarriage. Unfortunately, it seems like older women in the United Kingdom are using abortion like a “back-up” form of birth control even though preventing a pregnancy and killing a unique human life are two very different things. These women really need to be informed of the risks associated with abortion, especially as it relates to the dangerous RU-486 abortion regimen.

As LifeNews previously reported, since 2001, 12 women worldwide have been documented to have died from fatal bacterial infections involving toxic shock syndrome, sepsis and gas gangrene after medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol. In fact, there have been so many problems with the deadly drug that the makers of RU-386 and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have acknowledged that it poses serious health risks for women.

In 2011, Paul Tully, the general secretary for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in the U.K., said the following about RU486: “Use of RU486/misoprostol may cause any of the following: hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion, severe pain requiring strong pain killers, incomplete abortion, rupture of the uterus, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, flushing, chills, backache, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, palpitations, rise in temperature and fall in blood pressure,” He added, “The number and diverse nature of the side effects of RU486/ misoprostol point to the fact that these are powerful chemicals.”

INTERNATIONAL   SARAH ZAGORSKI   JUN 10, 2015   |   2:54PM    LONDON, ENGLAND

Link to Source: Stats Show Women Using Abortion More Often as Birth Control to Save Their Careers.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Casting Notice in Miami: Telemundo is looking for women 35+ for a makeover segment!

In Beauty, Career, En Español, Family, Lifestyle, News, wellness on June 17, 2015 at 11:21

2000px-Telemundo_logo_2012.svg I love helping brands that want to connect with our community!

Attention Miami:

Telemundo is looking for Spanish-speaking women over 35 with compelling stories of why they need/deserve a makeover. Are they single moms? Are they always putting themselves last? Are they hard working and need a little help to feel empowered? Hair is key for these segments, so please include what hair conditions they currently have. Whomever is selected must be willing to travel to Los Angeles, CA in October (more details will follow). Please contact me or email directly at: katherine.Soffia@nbcuni.com and/or lissette.Mejia@nbcuni.com

Thank you for your attention and please feel free to pass on!

Your fan,

Laura

________________________________________________________________________________________________

¡Me encanta ayudar a las marcas que quieren conectar con nuestra comunidad!

Atención Miami:

Telemundo está buscando a mujeres mayores de 35 años que hablen español con historias convincentes de por qué necesitan/merecen un cambio de imagen. ¿Son madres solteras? ¿Se dan siempre el último lugar? ¿Están trabajando muy duro y necesitan un poco de ayuda para sentirse empoderada? El cabello es clave para estos segmentos, así que por favor incluyan la condición actual de su cabello. La aplicante seleccionada debe estar dispuesta a viajar a Los Ángeles, California, en octubre (más detalles próximamente). Por favor contáctenme o escriban directamente a: katherine.soffia@nbcuni.com y / o lissette.mejia@nbcuni.com

¡Gracias por su atención y por favor siéntanse libre de compartir esta invitación!

Su admiradora,

Laura

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Is there a baby in your future? What women need to know

In Family, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on June 6, 2015 at 10:03
Many women don’t think about getting pregnant until their 30s. Photograph by: Milan Markovic , milanmarkovic78 - Fotolia

Many women don’t think about getting pregnant until their 30s. Photograph by: Milan Markovic, milanmarkovic78 – Fotolia

Last week marked Canadian Infertility Awareness Week, a time to acknowledge the one in six couples affected by infertility.

Most women begin their reproductive life learning how to prevent pregnancy, but equally important is knowing how to increase their chances of pregnancy should becoming pregnant be something they hope for in their future.

It seems unfair, yet it remains a biological fact that female fertility declines dramatically after age 35. Statistics Canada shows us that in the 1970s the average age for a woman to have her first child was 24. From a biological perspective, this was ideal for maximizing fertility in women. Today, many women are not even thinking about getting pregnant until their 30s.

So what has changed? Today’s women find themselves placed in a social pressure cooker. There’s pressure to pursue and be successful in a career, which can require years of education and financial costs. This then pushes the opportunity to find a life partner and to have children further into the future for many women. Reproductively speaking, education and career goals are not often reached at a biologically optimum time in a woman’s life.

The obstacle of human biology

Women are well educated on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how to reduce the effects of aging. However, the effects of age on fertility cannot be controlled. Trying to have a baby later in life remains a challenge regardless of how good a woman looks or feels.

Human physiology has not caught up to our present way of life. Fertility decreases drastically once a woman enters her mid-thirties. We are born with between 1-2 million eggs, and by puberty that number has decreased to 300-400 thousand. By 37, most women have around 35,000 left. These remaining eggs are also aging. This leads to an increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs and an increase in the number of miscarriages in this age group.

While age is a common factor, there are other medical conditions that impact a woman’s fertility. These include obstruction of the Fallopian tubes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis and a male partner with low or abnormal sperm.

How science can help

Education about the impact of age on fertility can help women with their family planning. If having a biological child of your own is in your life plan, it is important to start trying when you feel ready. However, if the opportunity isn’t there to pursue that dream until your mid to late thirties, there are options.

Technology such as egg freezing has revolutionized female fertility preservation and is providing women with greater choice. However, it is not a guarantee. The quality of eggs frozen affects the outcome, which is why it’s better to freeze eggs when you’re younger.

It is important to understand the process used to freeze eggs, the success rates and experience of the fertility clinic. Egg freezing is much more delicate than other in vitro fertilization (IVF)-related procedures, and choosing the right medical partner is important. At Genesis Fertility Centre we are proud to have a post-thaw egg survival rate and fertilization rate of 95%.

Seek help early

While medical intervention increases the odds, there is no method or technology that guarantees a pregnancy. Many underlying fertility issues remain undiagnosed until you begin to try for a child. The earlier you seek help, the more options there are if you run into challenges. Consult with a physician if you suspect underlying fertility issues. You should also consult a physician if you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without success if you are under 35 or six months if you are over 35.

For more information visit genesis-fertility.com

This story was provided by Genesis Fertility Centre for commercial purposes. Postmedia/Laura Sgroi had no involvement in the creation of this content.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

International Life Day

In Career, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Quotes on March 8, 2015 at 00:01

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 1.57.36 PM

Since I was a little girl, I have always been a fan of calendars and all the special days marked on them. I love birthdays and anniversaries and I observe most holidays with respect.

I say “most” because for some reason that I attribute to how aging is benefiting my judgment, now I don’t feel the automatic urge to stand up and celebrate all holidays without at least reviewing their history and asking myself what I think about that topic in the present day.

March 8th is International Women’s Day. I will be forever grateful for the courage and sacrifices that women leaders have made to guarantee that I could have the choice to study, vote, and work among other fair rights. I know these are privileges that most women did not have until not long ago and that millions of not only women, but also men don’t have yet today due to social, political and economical reasons.

I thank those that demanded better conditions for my gender and it is inspiring to celebrate their achievements. However, I can’t forget that some women have been discriminated and oppressed, at some point those same women, even myself included, might have been oppressors and might have also discriminated against someone else for being less educated, poorer, darker, younger, foreign or another irrelevant fact such as being shorter or slower.

In this current world of quotas, consumerism and TV specials we celebrate at least three New Year’s days, human rights, historic moments of victories and losses, the birth and death of heroes, martyrs, saints or simply loved ones. Ironically enough, this year we even have Tax Day in the middle of Holy Week. The Earth has its own day, what about all its inhabitants?

It looks to me like we have plenty of days marked to celebrate our differences but none to celebrate what unites all of us without exception: LIFE. Being alive here and now along with all the other existing creatures.

I am not a Star Wars fan either; but, Life Day as a holiday was not a bad idea at all. Let’s celebrate life today and every single day remembering Socrates when he said: “It is not living that matters, but living rightly”.

What do you think?

Do you celebrate International Women’s Day?

What holidays do you celebrate?

Do you have mixed feelings about any holidays in particular?

I would love to read your comments!

Cheers from your Life Enthusiast*,

Laura

 *Borrowed from the most authentic Life Enthusiast, my friend Matt Hehn.

________________________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Making the Best Out Of the Worst

In Career, Lifestyle, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on October 16, 2014 at 09:18

Remember that post where I told you everything about my 32nd birthday?

It’s been almost two months. A lot has happened since then. 

Some great moments: I enjoyed the enriching and humbling experience of volunteering at TEDxManagua. After a long work hiatus, four exciting projects with brands that I love came my way. Had a quiet but nice celebration for our 5th year anniversary. I reblogged a beautiful and touching post by Edna Medina. Thanks to a dear friend, I managed to sell my ticket to the Oprah Life You Want Tour to a person that will benefit from it a lot more than me, therefore I am now 100% guilt-free to attend my cousin’s wedding abroad next week.

And then, the inevitable hurt showed up without the request of its presence. My entire life has been shaken. Some of my wildest nightmares have given me a taste of how it would feel if they ever come true. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” became my mantra. Contemplating my fears, choosing love while fighting the impulse to make decisions based on conventional wisdom, pride or the wrong fantasies.

Would you like to know the best part?

It’s been all worth it. 

I am grateful for having the mindfulness, self-awareness, imagination, will, and strength to look for and pick the right tools to deal with pain.

I am thankful for the love and support that come from the cherished usual suspects and thankful to find the same as well in the least expected hearts.

I am amazed to confirm the healing powers of giving back. Even in our saddest moments, we can make somebody happy and that itself will make us happy back. God is in the details.

I realize that I have received so much love in my life that I only have love to give. And that makes me humble and better, vulnerable and strong, at the same time.

Quoting one of my wisest friends: 

recite-27085-393588819-o5gy9u

Thank God for everything.

Always blessed,

Laura

P.S.:  Do you relate to any of these feelings? Have you ever felt like this? Opening up your heart and sharing what’s inside helps wonders too. I would love to hear from you, just comment below and encourage your friends to do the same!

Also, please share this post and invite others to subscribe to our blog! Just send them to http://www.laurasgroi.com, where they can enter their email address on our home page. 

Please feel free to forward our posts, but please forward in its entirety. Thank you so much!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

2014: Midyear Recap

In Career, Family, Lifestyle, News on July 1, 2014 at 09:00
DSC05473

Looking back…grateful!

The first half of the year is getting close to its end. As we start preparing for a summer filled with fun and activities, I would like to look back and share with you a quick mid-year recap. In some aspects it has been a slow year, valuable work projects have been cancelled or postponed, but I have learned my lessons and made important progress in different areas of my life. Keeping an eye on quality over quantity, it’s been a positive year.

What have I done so far in 2014?

-January:

As I mentioned on “Back for Good”, 2014 started with a contrasting mix of productivity and lethargy. Excited about being devoted to an amazing professional project indeed, even strength training every day. Mid-January, fun came in all different forms: family and friends joined us for a special corporate extravaganza: My husband’s company anniversary and annual beach week. Perfect dose of excitement and exhaustion!

-February:

My “creative” year started in February. After a long break, I started blogging and writing again and through them, found love in  everything around as you can read on “Love Now”.

Salami hearts

Looking back…grateful!

I also went away for a production gig and celebrated my dear Dominican Republic posting our National Poem on February 27th, our Independence Day.

-March:

Without planning it, March was a great month for reflection.  I started “Learning From Those Younger Than Us” sharing with you the short film  “NICA”  about a mid-20s young man who trades in his dismal 9-5 lifestyle in an urban metropolis for a “simpler life” thousands of miles away. On March 8th, I invited you to celebrate what unites all of us without exception: LIFE with “International Life Day”. And the highlight of the month was the wonderful experience I had working an awards show in my country. I am proud to realize how much we have learned and how eager we are to keep learning!

-April:

I was planning for an uneventful month. No traveling, which occasionally sounds more exciting than the opposite. House hunting got in the way, and there I was visiting, emailing, calling, texting, harassing landlords and real estate agentsjust to move to the first place we saw! But that didn’t happen until June 1st; therefore you need to keep reading! Then the unexpected happened: My husband surprised me with tickets to Little Corn Island! Beautiful piece of land off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea. To arrive, we drove one hour, flew one hour and sailed for one hour but then we were pedestrians for four days! Neither cars nor roads on the island!

Little Corn Island Collage

Looking back…grateful!

Everything was worth it! We had a wonderful getaway, ate delicious food, enjoyed nature, relaxedcan’t wait to go back!

-May:

May was fun! It started with the wedding of one of my best male friends. I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun before that night! What a blast!

DSC05703

Looking back…grateful!

The middle of the second quarter of the year was also a great opportunity to refocus on what matters most and regain the passion to pursue our goals. I shared my empirical exercise on how I do that on “Six Steps to Achieve Your Goals”. While spending much needed quality time with family and friends, they convinced me to open an Instagram account that you can follow here @Laura.Sgroi.

-June:

On Sunday, June 1st, we moved to our new house.

Our house

Looking back…grateful!

A beautiful colonial residence that feels like home since the first day we stepped in. Here I started P90X for the 90th time, wrote that application for that dream project that I am dying to tell you about, but that I’ll keep a secret until I have the results;), celebrated my husband and my friend Malena’s birthday and started writing again while cheering for the World Cup matches.

This is my 2014 so far. What about yours?

How were the first six months of the year for you?

Hope you are having a great year!

Please share your mid-year recap and stay tuned for our next post about our Plans for the Second Half of 2014!

Thanks for stopping by!

Yours all year round,

Laura

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: