Why I Cried During Wonder Woman

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Now let me be clear about something, I am not the most emotional person known to mankind. I shy away from movies that feel that heavy, I steer more towards action and science fiction. You’ll never catch me curled up on the couch watching The Notebook with a glass of wine. I’m just not that kind of gal.

That being said, as I sat with my daughter in my lap in the theaters of the Wonder Woman movie, a strange feeling came over me. An unexpected feeling I really still cannot describe, it gave me the chills. I was fighting back tears. These weren’t tears of sadness though. Nope, I was fighting back tears, feeling quite ridiculous, during the fight scenes of this movie.  The scenes that I typically live for.

My five year old was fixated in awe at this strong, commanding woman while she clutched her Wonder Woman action figure tightly. She whispered in my ear, “I think Wonder Woman is the strongest ever.” I softly replied, “she is baby, isn’t she wonderful?”

I began looking around at all the other little Wonder Woman’s dressed in their hero’s costume gazing with their full hearts of joy and admiration. Then the scene of no man’s land begun. Aloof or perhaps unaware to the shock of men around her that desired to protect her and couldn’t imagine a woman wishing to be within the heart of the battle. When Diana enters into the heart of the battle alone, taking all of the gunfire without hesitation, she just commands so much power in that scene, charging towards enemy forces.  She fought every stereotype that women can’t be heroic, selfless, strong, fearless and commanding. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t dainty or sexy, it was everything it needed to be. It was powerful. Goosebumps shot up my body as tears welled up in my eyes.

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When I think back to my personal hero’s as a young girl, I don’t think I can even remember one. That isn’t to say there haven’t been many, many that should have been but there’s something magical about a mythical hero such as Diana Prince.

She didn’t “run like a girl” or “hit like a girl” like many of us were taught. She was selfless but not egotistic, just matter of fact.

Perhaps, my daughter and many others will grow up believing that we aren’t such fickle, modest and weak creatures. I’d love to see that day.

I realized that this woman is exactly what we all needed, like a sigh of relief…finally!

Finally, there’s a character that portrays women fairly amongst all other superheros.

If you think superheros are just not that important to children, think again. Ask any child that wishes to be a firefighter or a police officer, what it is that their chosen profession entails. What they’ll describe to you is a gripping tale of fighting bad guys and saving innocents, much like what they see in the movies with their heroes. It matters.

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So thank you Gal Gadot for being the woman we all needed to see. For being a part of a movie that little girls can truly relate to. When my daughter runs around the yard with her shield and sword fighting invisible bad guys instead of dressing up dollies, I know you had a little part of that.

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On a side note:

What makes Gal Gadot such an amazing fit for this role also comes from her own combat experience. She was a combat instructor in the Israeli army.  She also studied at law school and is a mother of two daughters. Not to mention her grandparents are Holocaust survivors, which if you watch the movie, is also relevant to her character.  Now how much do you love her more? You go girl, you really are Wonder Woman!

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10 Things I Will Teach my Daughter

This is a little off topic from what I normally talk about but I recently read an article and it touched home for me. What was even more unsettling than the actual story were the majority of the comments on the post. It lead me to realize that nothing much is going to change until we teach our youth otherwise.

The story was about one particular school’s regulations for Prom dresses. The school’s administration decided that all female students were to bring a picture of their chosen prom dress for approval prior to the dance. The regulations were tight on this. Even a dress that looked sheer but actually wasn’t, was unacceptable. No cleavage of any kind was allowed and the dresses had to be long.

The comments of this post included many saying: “if you don’t like it, don’t go to Prom,” “good, glad they are taking measures to teach these girls what’s appropriate, it’s a school dance, not a whorefest.”

This isn’t something new, we continue to teach our young ladies that our natural bodies are taboo. That what happens to us on a monthly basis is taboo and undesirable. That if we dress a certain way, we are welcoming male attention. Well I just do not agree with that.

♥ 1. You’re body is not an object – Let no man or woman tell you otherwise. Your body is beautiful and it belongs to you, no one else. It is not a sexual object.

♥ 2. You’re not a whore – Whore is a word that people throw around way too much. You’re a whore if you have had too many partners, you’re a whore if you love your body, you’re a whore to someone who doesn’t like you, you’re a whore if you dress provocatively. Well, I’m here to tell you, you aren’t. None of those things make you a whore.

♥ 3. Never place value on yourself based on your appearance – This is something that takes many women years to understand. Much like men are not judged on their natural looks in the world, neither should you.

♥ 4. Never compare yourself to other women – This one is difficult to do sometimes. When you see a woman that you believe is beautiful, it’s ok to admire that about her, not compete with her.

♥ 5. Getting older is not the end – As women, sometimes we believe that as we get older, we become less attractive. This can sometimes lead us to believe that we are less valuable to our men. Aging is natural, things will not always be so perky (if you know what I mean 😉 ) This doesn’t mean that you are less beautiful in any way.

♥ 6. You’re not a bitch for voicing your opinion –  Sometimes people mistaken honesty with hostility. Just remember that your voice is just as important as anyone else’s.

♥ 7. Don’t play with double standards – If you want to be treated equally to everyone else, you need to play the part. You need to work hard, be diligent and never settle. Likewise, never let your man tell you that something isn’t acceptable for you, when it clearly is for them.

♥ 8. Don’t be so quick to judge – When you see a woman breastfeeding her child and you might think it’s gross, just remember that she is feeding her baby and it’s a pain to be stuck at home all the time. Likewise, she might be feeling uncomfortable about it as well, you don’t need to encourage this. When I was younger, I remember seeing a prostitute and thinking that she was disgusting, not because she wasn’t well kept, but because of what she does. Don’t judge another woman, you’ve never walked in those shoes.

♥ 9. Sometimes, it is your fault – When you’re arguing with someone and you are dead-set that you are not to blame, just remember, sometimes you are. It’s ok to admit that.

♥ 10. Nothing about you’re body is disgusting or shameful – Whenever women are on their periods, we feel a natural urge to keep this information incredibly private. We don’t want anyone to think we are “icky.” Well stop, the earth is populated because of a woman’s fertility.

Once you have children, your body will change. It’s inevitable, your skin will sag around your stomach, things will stretch and leave you with nice “tiger stripes.” This isn’t shameful, it’s life. Life is beautiful.

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Curious what information about you is out there? You may be surprised!

10 Funny Toddler Moments

I think most parent’s could write a book titled, “Toddler Logic,” and it would be a best seller every time. I have no doubt that many of you have some moments that you are dying to tell the world about. If you do, please comment them and I will make another “Toddler Moments” post.

Here are just a few moments that we can all relate to, directly from the mouth of my own daughter and friend’s children:

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1. When they repeat your parenting rebuttals

Parent: “Why not?”

Child: “Because I said so, that how that work.”

2. Their eccentric view of the world

Child, speaking to cashier: “You have a funny face”

Child, paints picture of a man and then states: “This is my man, he poops a lot.”

3. Their wise and profound, yet confusing statements

Child: “That’s enough kisses mommy!”

Parent: “When can I give you more kisses?”

Child: “When the wind blows”

4. Their lack of empathy for other’s feelings

Child: “I need my own house. I love you when you’re at your house, but not at my house.”

5. Their unwavering self esteem

Child: “Mommy, you look pretty but I more pretty…see!”

Child: “I am so beautiful, I look like a beautiful flower” (whilst admiring herself in the mirror)

6. Their excellent work ethic

When asked to demonstrate what “working” looks like; child picks up cell phone, curls up on the couch and flips through News Feed.

7. Their complete honesty

Child: “This is my song, you can’t sing like Princess Sophia”

8. Their lack of Modesty

Parent: “Child, get your wiener off the window!”

9. Their excellent negotiation skills

Child: “It’s my birthday, I need this cookie.”

Parent: “It’s not your birthday, you birthday was in August.”

Child: “Ok…I’ll eat one green bean.”

10: Their excellent care

Whilst using a plastic “pretend” stethoscope…

Child: “Mommy, your heart is dead.”

Share this if you got a laugh out of it and be sure to comment with any other funny moments!

Curious what information about you is out there? You may be surprised!

Does Sunscreen Block Vitamin D?

When every mom I knew was slathering their children in thick pasty sunscreen for a two hour visit at the park, all I remember was my mom telling me, too much sunscreen would block their Vitamin D absorption.

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Realistically though, parent’s nowadays are more informed about the effects of the sun, unlike our parent’s were. But do some parent’s take unnecessary precautions against the devastating sun’s rays? Is it possible that the media has hyped up the effects of exposure to the sun?

To investigate this, I turned to the National Institute of Health to get some answers. In a study where individuals of good health were asked to use different thickness’ of sunscreen periodically throughout the day over a 2-3 day period, their Vitamin D production was measured at the end of each day. Their levels were also tested 3 days after the experiment.

The results found that Vitamin D production increased dramatically with the individuals who used thinner layers of sunscreen. According to the US National Library of Health and Medicine,

“When the amount of sunscreen and SPF advised by the World Health Organization are used, vitamin D production may be abolished.”

Now I’m not saying that everyone should go throw out their sunscreen, clearly SPF helps to reduce and prevent skin cancer. But Vitamin D promotes healthy calcium absorption, it contributes to cell regeneration and can help to reduce inflammation. It can also help to improve mood and a variety of other health benefits.

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So what can we do to get the healthy balance between getting our recommended Vitamin D intake and avoiding premature aging and skin cancer? According to Harvard Medical School, there are a lot more factors contributing to Vitamin D deficiency than just sun exposure. Factors like; the latitude on which you live, air pollution, the color of your skin, the temperature of your skin, your weight, age and even the health of your kidneys.  This study also goes onto to indicate that many people actually do not use enough sunscreen to actually create a dramatic difference with their Vitamin D production.

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According to a study done in Spain by Professor Antony Young, applying sunscreen in SPF 15+ or greater is recommended for adults. He conducted a similar study to National Institute’s, except he asked the participants to use SPF 15. He concluded that using SPF 15 or greater and reapplying every few hours based on how quickly you burn, is the best method of decreasing risk of skin cancer whilst still allowing Vitamin D production.

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The point of sunscreen is to block UVB rays but not the necessarily to block UVA rays which can have positive qualities. Although, even that is controversial.

The bottom line is; when protecting children from the sun, always check with your pediatrician. But; just remember, using sunscreen is always recommended but perhaps talk to your doctor before globing SPF 90 sunscreen every day. Also, don’t buy into every news story you hear on the subject. Go straight for the facts.

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Citations

Bakke, B. (2012, August 16). The relation between sunscreen layer thickness and vitamin D production after ultraviolet B exposure: A randomized clinical trial. Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22512875

Teen, J. (2013, July 19). Does sunscreen block vitamin D? Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/does-sunscreen-block-vitamin-d-20130618-2odov.html

Simon, M.D., H. (2011, August 30). 9 things that can undermine your vitamin D level – Harvard Health. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/9-things-that-can-undermine-your-vitamin-d-level

Curious what information about you is out there? You may be surprised!