Busting the Media Hyped Myth about Beauty

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"MissRepresentation": Women are the Solution

The screening of “MissRepresentation” on Wednesday night was a success.  We had approximately 30 or so in attendance and everyone was moved by the powerful message of the film. 

At the end of the film there was anger but at the same time hope because we can change how the media represents women.  One of the attendees asked how we change media representation of women as well as take a stand against the oppression of women.  The answer is women are the solution.  Now, we must have men on board of course.  You cannot have a conversation about 51% of the population without including the other half of the population.  Also, for oppression to stop all parties must be involved.

One of the scenes that affected me powerfully this time (my second viewing) was the teen-age Latina girl sharing through her tears about the pain of watching her younger sister self-mutilate because the kids at school make fun of her because of her weight.  Girls and and women are so hard on one another.  We MUST stop this insanity and love ourselves and one another.

What can you and I do to carry this message forward?  When you see the woman with her kids loaded in the car at the store and she needs to return the cart, PLEASE return the cart for her!  Stop criticizing our female leaders, daughters, mothers about their clothes, their hair, their body type.  Don’t kneel at the alter of media hyped beauty.  Mentor the girls coming up behind you, hell, get your own mentor!  Dream big.  Don’t use your sexuality, your beauty as an object to manipulate men or to get what you want.  Don’t allow yourself and your fellow sisters to be objectified. Give the women in your life smiles, love and helping hand. Educate yourself; take a class, learn a new skill, take martial arts, learn to fly a plane, become a political activist… the list of the ways in which we can uplift ourselves is endless. 

Women — don’t contribute to the problem BE THE SOLUTION!


This project is part of the Ultimate Black Belt Test and undertaking of the One Hundred, Mindful Martial Artists and Martial Arts Academy of Jenks, Ok.

Filed under MissRepresentation women sexism criticize mentor powerful educate learn grow hope women are the solution

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MissRepresentation “When Is It Going To Be Enough?”

When is it going to be enough? Asks a young woman in the film “MissRepresentation.”

As a woman I ask myself the same question.  When is it going to be about how intelligent I am?  About my power, creativity, experience, generosity, compassion, leadership, courage, love, integrity, valor?  When is the media going to represent girls and women in a powerful and meaningful way?  When is it going to stop being about our bodies? Our sexuality? Our “eternal” youth? When?

When we stand and say we have had enough.  It starts with our voice and I stand today and say, 

Enough!  Who am I? How do I want to be REPRESENTED?  I am wisdom, strength, courage, a leader…

In my home I am a strength, passion and energy.  I manage the daily crazy schedules, getting appointments made, bills paid, grocery shopping done, meals prepared, laundry done among many other things.  I am the center!

In the dojang I am the wisdom of the ages.  I am not just a kick, a punch, a kihap, a black belt on the front row.  I am courage, compassion, perseverance, integrity, I wipe the tears from a child’s eye, I hug the young one who thinks they suck, I push with compassion, love and caring.  I bring my life experience and my own personal caring touch to my students and peers.

I am more than the media represents.  I am more than an object for the media to project its idea of false beauty upon.  

When is it enough?  It is enough when I/we say it’s enough.  It is enough when we DEMAND that women be portrayed and represented in a meaningful and powerful way.

MissRepresentation Trailer


Please join me for a powerful evening. We are screening MissRepresentation:

     Wednesday, January 18th at the NSU-BA Auditorium

     http://www.nsuok.edu/CampusMap/BrokenArrow.aspx  (Map and directions)

     Doors Open 6:30 p.m.  $5.00 admission

     Board Breaking Demonstration at 6:45 pm

     Film at 7:00 pm, Q&A immediately fo

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"Miss Representation" and the Martial Artist

Martial arts has deeply affected my life.  I don’t say that I “practice martial arts” because I AM a martial artist.  To me the difference between the two is night and day.  In the last year and a half martial arts has altered my life in a way that is difficult to articulate in a meaningful way.  As a martial artist I have discovered and deepened my understanding of what it means to train but that is simply the framework.  The muscle is leading and helping others in a meaningful way — a martial artist is or should be an agent of change in our own lives and the lives of those that we influence.  And that influence ripples far beyond our limited vision.

As a martial artist change in myself and in my circle of influence and community is integral to my vision.  The impact of “Miss Representation” on my vision as a martial artist and change agent has been profound.  As a woman and martial artist I feel it is imperative to get girls and women completely shatter the media myth (lie) that our value is only in our physical beauty, sexuality and the misguided notion of “permanent youth.”

We are SO much more!  Our beauty is in our physical and mental strength, our compassion, our spirit of giving, the way we nurture our loved ones, the power of our intellect and vision, our (much untapped) gift for peace building, the glory of our soul; our beauty is INSIDE and we must learn to let that beauty shine like the sun.

We are 51%, YES, 51% of the population yet we are represented in a meaningful way in the media.  And that impacts everything we do.  As a woman my vision is to champion our voice, our abilities, our gifts.  My dream is to see training halls full of female martial artists, women as change agents in the martial arts industry and in their own communities. 

"Miss Representation" has lifted the silence from my voice.  I am moved to do so much more to reach out and lift up the women in my life and community.  I am ready to speak out and demand what is rightfully mine.  A world without sexism, ageism and a responsible and fair media.

Don’t miss this important documentary.  “Miss Representation”, Wednesday, January 18th, NSU-BA auditorium.  $5.00 admission.  Doors open at 6:30, there will be a board breaking demonstration at 6:45 p.m., film starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. concluding with a Q&A led by our wonderful host Dr. Kendra Zoellner.


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What “MissRepresents” Women?

     Media that focuses solely on our appearance.  The idea that we are only as valuable as our beauty and sexuality.  Defining women by limiting and stereotypical roles.  Being treated like I don’t have a brain.  Being treated differently than men when I do the same work and sometimes better work.  Living in a culture that doesn’t appreciate that I am better now that I am older.  Working and training in an environment that doesn’t recognize the value of my wisdom, passion and commitment.  I may not sprint like an ultra-athlete but I have the staying power of the seasoned warrior.

     What miss represents women?  Anything that diminishes and negates who we are and what we contribute.  For me that includes the daily experience of sexism and ageism.  But, I am learning to take charge and take a stand.  I have traveled a long road to arrive here.  Where is here?  Here is — I am sick and tired of it!  What am I doing?  Educating myself and learning to speak out in an articulate and informed way.  I am learning to channel my emotions appropriately so that I can speak to these issues in my life and community.

     “Miss Representation” affected me powerfully because it spoke to my lack of voice.  I have been silent only because I have allowed my voice to be silenced.  The time for silence has passed and the time for me to speak and speak loudly has arrived.

     Join us at NSU-BA campus auditorium on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.  Admission is only $5.00.  There will be a board breaking demonstration at 6:45 pm, film. at 7:00 pm and discussion immediately following the film.  We are being hosted by the brilliant and funny Dr. Kendra Zoellner.

Filed under MissRepresentation sexism ageism take charge speak out silence speak loudly articulate emotions

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What does “MissRepresentation” mean to me?

The film “Miss Representation” made me angry and inspired me at the same time.  As a woman I identified with the women in the film.  I listened to their stories and found myself thinking “that’s me”, “that has happened to me” or “that pisses me off!”  The film has been a powerful motivator for me.

One of the the most thought provoking scenes in the film was a young woman who stated “it has become about the body and not about the mind.” What a valid and potent statement.  As I stand in line at the supermarket and look at the so called “journals” that are “in my face” they are plastered with images of women dressed and made up to “perfection”  (perfection in whose eyes remains to be seen!). As my gaze travels across the “array of beauty” I find myself beginning to think, “I’m not that beautiful”, “I am so fat”, “my hair isn’t that long, short…” (or whatever) or “I am so ugly/frumpy/tacky”.  I gaze at those images and feel so inadequate.  However, thankfully my SANE mind kicks in and I recognize that is my media “trained” mind speaking to me and I shut it up!  We are so acculturated to the lies about beauty that it takes time to recognize when we aren’t thinking for ourselves.  At least that’s how it is for me. 

Just think about barrage of “reality” television that many of us subject ourselves and children to nightly; “The Kardashian’s,” “The REAL (?) Housewives of…,” “Jersey Shore,” well, it’s just an endless list of distraction for the masses (as a friend of mine likes to say).  I can’t even begin to name all of the shows that are empty on content and full of lies about women and beauty.  And we wonder why so many girls don’t feel good about themselves or their bodies.

Or, how about listening to “reporters” (you can’t really call them journalists) or “celebrity shows” trash Hillary Clinton because she is having a so called bad hair day.  Really?  A Yale graduate, Secretary of State and one of the most powerful women in the country and we are worried about her hair.  Really?  Or label Condeleeza Rice a “dominatrix” because she wears a black dress and black boots.

Why do we accept this “counterfit” marketing?  The women on the pages of the slick magazines have been photo-shopped to perfection (necks made longer, eyes set further apart, waists made more narrow…), many of them are far too thin, have hair extensions, are professionally made up…the list is endless.  It isn’t reality for me and then I have to ask myself “do I even WANT this to be my reality?”  Hell no!

Now, let me tell you it is very difficult to resist the inertia of what the media defines as beauty. As an adult woman I struggle with challenges like: should I put some make up on before I go to the store or go to train?  Really?  That is just ONE question in a long list of questions I put to the test daily.  If it is a challenge for me as an ADULT imagine the unrelenting pressure our girls feel to measure up to this unrealistic standard?

How has this film impacted me?  “Miss Representation” has reminded me that I have the responsibility of ensuring that the young women and girls that are coming behind me are living and working in a world that allows them to be exactly who they are and not fall into the trap of media-hyped beauty.  I am charged with forging my unique path AND ensuring that my fellow sisters are free to do the same. Our girls and young women should be encouraged to explore all avenues, to be comfortable in their own skin and place value on their intellect, spirit and courage.  They should be charged to become change agents in their local and global community.

Each of us is unique and beautiful because our MINDS and SPIRITS make us that way.  A beautiful quote from Alanis Morrisette says it all "My body is an instrument not an ornament." To me true beauty is about not setting any boundaries at all about what is or is not beauty.  Beauty is like a woman — different from face to face!

Let’s help ourselves and our girls to cast aside the media-hyped ideal of beauty and empower ourselves/themselves through education, physical fitness, community action, leadership, mentoring…

Don’t miss our screening of “Miss Respresentation” on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at the NSU-BA Campus.  Doors open  at 6:30 p.m. there is a $5.00 admission.  There is a board breaking demonstration at 6:45 pm.


Filed under MissRepresentation women girls beauty strength intellect counterfit marketing reality beautiful screening motivating powerful


Women are…

Women are tireless, Women are transformative, Women are peace-builders, Women are powerful, Women are contemplative, Women are warriors.

Women are…

What do you say we are?

"MissRepresentation", January 18 2012, 6:30 pm, NSU-BA campus auditorium.  Self-defense and board-breaking demonstration, screening of the documentary and Q&A with Dr. Kendra Zoellner.

Empowering, inspiring, thought-porovoking!

Filed under women transform strong warriors contemplative powerful MissRepresentation demonostration board breaking self-defense

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"Miss Representation" Give the Gift of Empowerment

"Miss Representation", January 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm at the auditorium at the NSU-BA campus.  Dr. Kendra Zoellner is our host and guide for this informative and powerful evening.  She is an engaging and gifted woman who is an excellent role model.  Dr. Zoellner has a doctorate in social work and her primary research focus is Intimate Partner Violence, Dating Violence, Family Violence, and Sexism and Violence Against Women. 

Give yourself and the women and girls in your life a wonderful gift in 2012.  Join us for and exciting and inspirational evening.  We are honored to screen "MissRepresentation" in our community in January 2012. 

This is going to be an exciting “Women’s Empowerment Evening!”  The doors open at 6:30 pm and the admission is only $5.00.  Promptly at 6:45 pm there will be a powerful self-defense and board breaking demonstration.

"Miss Representation" will begin promptly at 7:00 pm.  Be prepared to be angry, sad and in the end motivated and inspired to enter into the national conversation about how we can change the role of women and girls in the media.  Dr. Zoellner will lead a Q&A immediately following the film.

Please click on this link to see a trailer of the film and learn more about how you can make a difference:  http://missrepresentation.org/the-film/

Mark you calendar, save the date and bring your daughters, sisters, mothers, husbands and friends.

More to come…

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.
~ Diane Mariechild ~