State of the Union: Economic Edition

In lieu of tonight’s State of the Union address, I am wondering: Will President Obama touch on the gendered aspect of the wage gap?  This address is to touch on the economic inequality of this nation, but I haven’t heard any tidbits relating to this issue as of yet.  Sure, this is a bit premature, but I continue anyway.  

Thus far, I have heard people touch on minimum wage increase, class separation/gaps, etc. etc., but nothing on gender.  It isn’t news that women in this country make less than men.  There is plenty of evidence and research out there.  So, will the president himself make this issue known, or will it be swept under the rug?  It won’t be the first time.  

You’ll know the answer as soon as I do if you tune in tonight at 9 p.m.  The SOTU will be broadcast on most major networks and also online at the White House social media sites.  It will also be aired on NPR and websites such as PolicyMic.  

“Selfie”

Is there more depth to this superficial craze, than meets the eye?

As this fad has grown and grown over recent years, my opinion on the matter has been torn.  Are selfies superficial, empowering, or both?  Honestly, I can’t say that I have a valid answer, as it’s a rather subjective phenomenon.  It’s become so wide spread, that the term has been officially added to the dictionary.  Because I haven’t read the technical definition yet, I’m going to look it up and toss it on in here.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, a selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”  Interesting.  Alright – moving forward.

I chose today to explore this subject, as Dove has released a new campaign titled, you guessed it – “Selfie.”  This short explores the idea of beauty and how it is conveyed in the eyes of mother/daughter duos.  The young women are relatively high school aged and their mothers vary.  Take a look:

After viewing this latest short, I continue to be torn.  I have been a fan of Dove’s previous campaigns and do still appreciate this one.  However, I feel that there are things missing.  Understandably, this is a short and not a media research analysis.  With that in mind, I looked to the people.  I listened for their words, for their stories, for their reasons.

For example, around minute mark 6:40, one mother states: “I think that my daughters have taught me that social media is widening the definition of what beauty is.”

Ok.  So.  Here is my paradox.  If social media is widening the definition of what beauty is, who is right?  Would this be a good thing, or a bad thing?  One common thread in the short is the idea of women basing their appearance off of celebrities in movies, TV, mags, etc.  So, why is that so different from social media?  Thread sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and others regurgitate the idolizing of celebs and airbrushed models.  As it were, the young women in this short admit that they frame themselves just so, when taking a shot.  If they are perpetuating these standards in their own pictures, doesn’t that just beat around the bush?

Understandably, the point of this campaign was to throw water on the situation and wake everyone up.  Did it work?  Will it continue to work?  The message is there and the purpose is positive, but I’m not convinced.  This particular community shared a wonderful event and I wish them well in continuing this renewed mindset.  As for the rest of us, what’s next?

There are many other points that I wish to touch on in this post, but I want to think a little bit more.  I’ve been reminded of other mediated messages from the past and may just have a little series up my sleeve.  Stay tuned, if you so wish.

In the meantime, what do you think?

New Year, New Me : Cliché or Not

2013 was an interesting year and I’m sure 2014 will have it’s own bunch of surprises.  It’s true, I’m not exactly where I thought I would be right now.  I just decided to put my graduate degree on hold, as the program I was in did not meet my expectations.  Although it was a hard decision to make, I know that it was the correct one for me.  I can’t be a part of a program that hinders my perspective and passion.  What’s the point in that?  Where’s the support?  So, back to the drawing board I go.

Of course, I do have a degree and do plan to pursue a more direct career here asap.  In the meantime, I’m not going to put myself on the back burner.  After working my butt off, juggling classes and a job for the past few years, I am drained.  Sure, I wake up for work before the sun everyday and don’t skip a beat, but my true being is exhausted.  I’ve been so focused on my education and work for so long, that I have been ignoring my own needs.  I am composed of more than one compartment; my spirit is hungry – my soul is thirsty.

I want that to change.  I need that to change.

I want to read for fun.  I want to pursue random interests and have new hobbies.  I want to create.  I want to explore.  I want to express again.  I want to be selfish, to better myself.  Really though, is it selfish to want to be a better, happier, healthier person?  NOPE.

Because of all of this, rather than make a New Year’s resolution, I have made a 2014 bucket list of sorts.  I composed a list of things that are realistic and attainable for me.  By utilizing this list, I hope to reach my goals and take myself to a better place spiritually and physically.  Art, music, writing, health, cookbook – so many things to work on and improve.

I honestly don’t have a whole lot of things to complain about in my life right now.  Sure, some situations could be more ideal, but I’m here.  I have a job.  I found a love for the history books, so what could possibly stand in my way?  I am the only one that can get in the way of being a better me.

Why would I ever want to stop improving?

So, here’s to a new year and a refreshed soul.  My ambition is vamped and ready to go.

Return of the Blogger

Hello there!  Allow me to dust off the microphone and do a quick sound check for any of you still in the audience.

It has been quite some time since I last wrote and much has changed.  Don’t get me wrong, my passions remain firm in their foundation and the blog will continue to follow the same basic theme.  However, I may be making some changes in the near future.  Not only do I plan to write more frequently, I may make a slight title change and overall direction.  The issues surrounding health and gender are still very important to me, but I may expand a wee bit.  Rather than starting a whole new blog and maintaining two, I may just streamline the one.  We shall see.

In the meantime, enjoy whatever posts are made and feel free to comment as you wish.  It is my goal to post at least once a week.  That doesn’t conceptually seem difficult at all, but things do come up.

Thank you again for reading!  Welcome to anyone new.