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Venus Discusses Indian Wells Return....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on March 2, 2016 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Former No.1 Venus Williams published her thoughts on returning to the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in 15 years for the Players Tribune....

One month after she officially announced her intent to return to the BNP Paribas Open for the first time since 2001, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams wrote at length about her decision and close bond with her sister, World No.1 Serena Williams, in the Players Tribune.


"Being the big sister," she said, "I didn't take that responsibility lightly. I knew what she was going through - debuting as a professional tennis player, growing up in front of a camera, entering public life as a young black teenager - and I knew how hard that could be. And I knew how much I would have loved to have had a big sister on tour during my first year, and how much pride I took in the knowledge that my little sister had me. Serena always has me."


Venus and Serena had stayed away from Indian Wells for nearly 15 years following an ugly incident that left both sisters, who were still in the nascent stages of their careers at the time, feeling profoundly unwelcome in a sport they loved.

"I remember the pain of my knee injury, and how badly I wanted to play in the semis against Serena - before finally accepting that I wouldn't be able to. I remember the accusations toward me and my sister and our father. I remember the crowd's reaction, as I walked to my seat, during Serena's match in the final. And I remember how I couldn't understand why thousands of people would be acting this way - to a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, trying their best.


"There are certain things where, if you go through them at a certain age, you simply don't forget them."


Serena's decision to come back last year led Venus, who has long fought against injustice - as evidenced by her work in engineering equal prize money at Wimbledon - to do some soul-searching of her own, inspired by her younger sister's choice to not only forgive, but to return to a place that had caused them both such pain.


"It was in that moment, seeing Serena welcomed with open arms last year at Indian Wells, that I think I fully and truly realized what being the big sister means. It means that, for all of the things I did first, and all of the times when I paved the way for Serena, the thing I can be most proud of is this time -- When Serena paved the way for me."

By : David Kane

(WTA Insider)

Teen Shocked Everyone With Her Make-A-Wish Request...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 2, 2016 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Sheradia Linton, left, her mom, Rayminda, center and sister, Zephanhia, display hena artwork that students from the Save Our Sisters class asked to do for them

(Photo: Linton Family)

AVRE, Montana -- A Havre teen who went to work at an orphanage for special-needs children in India as part of her Make-A-Wish request is back home and feeling the glow of her trip.


Sheradia Linton, 15, visited the Save the Children India School in Mumbai along with her 13-year-old sister, Zephanhia, and parents, Scott and Rayminda. They left Nov. 28 and returned Dec. 8, surviving a 20-hour plane ride each way.


“It was really fun. It was awesome,” she said of her trip, adding the family was able to interact with children at the school. “It was really cool seeing how the school did and what it did for the kids and how the teachers worked with them.”


She said it was also nice getting to know some of the teachers and the students.


The school visits were in the morning. Afternoons were spent sightseeing.

The family didn’t only visit, they brought school supplies, including modeling clay, and gave the school nearly $3,000 that they had raised.

“They were very appreciative of that,” Sheradia said.


Rayminda Linton describes the trip as “life-changing.”


As part of the visit, the family got to meet with Save Our Sisters girls, who had been rescued from sex trafficking.

She noted in an email that the girls were ages 14-18 and many had children. They were learning how to raise those kids and survive on their own.


“That impacted me the most,” Rayminda said.


The trip was arranged through Make-A-Wish Montana, which fulfills wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, while including the family in their request.


Sheradia has Burkitt lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in which cancer starts in immune cells.

It’s the fastest-growing human tumor that doubles in size within 24 hours, Rayminda said. However, Sheradia has been told she can have a normal life.


Sheradia said the family spent much of their time in India in the school’s art room.


Students would come in and the Lintons would do an art project with them.


A highlight of the week was a sports day for all the special-needs students, which was like a smaller Special Olympics, with running, throwing, track and field, Sheradia said.


She described Indian food a “pretty different,” with some of it spicy.

On trips around the area she said she often saw goats and cattle on the side of the road.


Another highlight of the trip remains seeing “the kids’ faces and hanging out with them,” Sheradia said.


Among the items the family brought back to Havre are things made at the school such as bookmarks, washcloths and jewelry.


Since her return home, Sheradia said people have asked her about her trip and what the family did over there.


She said she tells them about the school, what she did over there and about the sports day.


“It was a lot of fun and a really cool experience,” she said. “I really liked it.”


The Havre High School sophomore said she plans to keep in touch. And she’d like to return some day.


“I always wanted to go, and it was an amazing experience, and I really enjoyed it,” she said.

Sheradia Linton works with a student from an orphanage in India on an art project. (Photo: Linton Family)


Rayminda said it has been in her daughter’s heart for a while to go to India.

“I thought she didn’t know what she is getting into,” she said. “But no, in fact it made it stronger.”


Rayminda said she found the trip to be physically and mentally draining.


She said to some people in the Indian culture thinks, the deaf and mute children are diseased.

“Just thinking about that is emotionally draining because you feel for these kids,” she said.

Rayminda said both of her daughters have returned to Havre more mature, having experienced a different culture.


“They both want to go back,” she said.


Douglas Koester, chief executive officer for Make-A-Wish Montana, said he is looking forward to hearing about Sheradia’s trip.


“Her’s was really unique,” he said. “She’s been through a lot in her life and her need to give back is so impressive.”


Koester said plans for wishes by other children are moving forward.


“It’s all the donors in Montana who made what Sheradia did possible,” he said. “The gifts to Make A Wish is what makes this happen.”

By : Phil Drake (Great Falls Tribune)

NOTE : Photos by Linton Family

Modern Family's Reid Ewing Opens Up About Plastic Surgery Addiction...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on November 21, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Modern Family star Reid Ewing wrote about his struggle with body dysmorphia and plastic surgery addiction in a blog on the Huffington Post....

Reid Ewing, who played Sarah Hyland's boyfriend Dylan on Modern Family for six years, is opening up about his battle with body dysmorphia and addiction to plastic surgery in a painfully honest blog on Huffington Post.


The 27-year-old detailed his first surgery — large cheek implants in 2008 — in the post published on Thursday, Nov. 19.


"I genuinely believed if I had one procedure I would suddenly look like Brad Pitt," he admitted.

But after having to wear a full facial mask and take painkillers for two weeks, the change "was nothing like I had expected," Ewing wrote. "The results were horrendous."


When the first doctor refused to operate on him for another six months, the then 19-year-old found another surgeon, who suggested he get a chin implant.


"Only a few days passed when I noticed I could move the chin implant under my skin, easily moving it from one side of my face to another," he revealed. "I rushed back to the surgeon, and acknowledging he had made a mistake, he operated on me again."

"For the next couple of years, I would get several more procedures with two other doctors. Each procedure would cause a new problem that I would have to fix with another procedure," Ewing wrote, explaining that he paid for the surgeries with money he made from acting and borrowing money from his parents and grandmother "when I was most desperate."

"Much of this was going on during the same time period I was shooting Modern Family," he admitted. "Most of the times I was on camera were when I'd had the numerous implants removed and was experimenting with less-noticeable changes to my face, like injectable fillers and fat transfers. None of them last very long or are worth the money."


In 2012, Ewing vowed that he would never get plastic surgery again, but he remained insecure about his looks. "It took me about six months before I was comfortable with people even looking at me."

The actor explained that he suffers from body dysmorphic disorder, which he described as "a mental illness in which a person obsesses over the way he or she looks."

Ewing said that he decided to speak out after seeing his first doctor offering cosmetic surgery tips in a magazine.


"Before seeking to change your face, you should question whether it is your mind that needs fixing," he wrote. "Of the four doctors who worked on me, not one had mental health screenings in place for their patients, except for asking if I had a history of depression, which I said I did, and that was that. My history with eating disorders and the cases of obsessive compulsive disorder in my family never came up. None of the doctors suggested I consult a psychologist for what was clearly a psychological issue rather than a cosmetic one or warn me about the potential for addiction."

While Ewing agrees that plastic surgery "is not always a bad thing" and can help people who actually need it for serious cases, "it's a horrible hobby."

"I wish I could go back and undo all the surgeries," he wrote. "Now I can see that I was fine to begin with and didn't need the surgeries after all."

By : Kathy Campbell

7 Dangerous Myths About Depression In Men...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 14, 2015 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

There were over 41,000 deaths from completed suicide in 2013 with males accounting for nearly 80 percent of fatalities. In addition to the individual loss of life, the emotional and psychological costs to family members, friends and entire communities are enormous. Despite the apparent need for mental health services aimed at men and boys, psychological services remain under-utilized by males.


One reason men and boys do not seek professional help for a psychological struggle is the stigma of mental illness among this population. Stigmas largely exist because mental illness remains misunderstood and at times sensationally stereotyped.  Depression is often seen as the precursor to suicidal ideation and behavior so let's take a look at some dangerous myths about men and depression.


Myth #1 - Men do not become depressed:-


According to the National Institute of Mental Health depression strikes more than six million men a year in the United States. The number is thought to be much higher as this illness is underreported. Bottom line: No matter how isolated you feel, if you are struggling with depression, you are not alone.

Myth # 2 - Depression is the same for everyone:-


Males may not present with symptoms traditionally associated with depression. For example, males may be less likely to report frequent crying while more apt to reveal anger or irritability. Additionally, males are more likely to engage in high risk behaviors such as physical violence, substance abuse and hyper sexual behavior, all of which may mask depression.


Myth # 3 - Being depressed is a sign of weakness:-


Depression has nothing to do with being weak; it is an illness which can be fatal if left untreated. Individuals who acknowledge their struggles and seek mental health assistance are standing up for themselves and their loved ones. Reaching out for help when experiencing significant stress is courageous; especially considering societal stigmas towards mental health issues.

Myth # 4 - A Real Man would simply "solider on":-


Experiencing depression can happen to anyone and the origin of onset also varies from person to person. One of the worst things to do is ignore or avoid addressing mental health struggles. The symptoms often do not disappear as a result of avoidance, they can intensify. The best course of action is following up with a mental health practitioner for assessment and treatment.


Myth # 5 - You just have to manage your emotions:-


Emotions are absolutely part of depression, but this disorder has physical implications as well. Brain chemistry, body hormones, new and/or existing medical illnesses are all impacted by depression. Furthermore, social and occupational impairment can result from this illness.


Myth # 6 - I can't be depressed, my life is going great:-


Gainfully employed males in happy romantic relationships with robust social lives can experience depression. As psychologist John Grohol explained "Some people mistakenly believe that a person can only be justified in their depression if there's a cause or reason for them to be depressed. But for the vast majority of people who suffer depression, it is not something that's voluntary or something that one can just 'snap out of' or 'stop being depressed.'"


It cannot be stressed enough that anyone can experience depression and this illness can strike at anytime for seemingly no reason at all. More importantly, being diagnosed with this illness is not an indictment of you; there are genetic and physiological components to the disease which do not conform to your current life situation.


Myth # 7 - There is no treatment for depression:-


The good news is there is help. Counseling and psychiatric intervention has consistently been effective in treating depression. According to the website depression and bipolar support alliance up to 80 percent of individuals treated for depression with psychotherapy and medication show improvement in symptoms. Additional protective factors against depression include becoming more involved in a church or social organization, improving sleeping and eating patterns, increased physical activity and talking with a mentor, community leader, or loved one.


By : Bill Johnson II

*He is a Psychologist & Author of:

"Intimate Partner Violence: A Culturally Competent Model for Treatment and Training."

Waitress's Kind Gesture Toward Grieving Parents....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 9, 2015 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Waitress Kayla Lane, right, picked up the tab for regular customers Shaun and Debbie Riddle, after finding out that the couple lost their 9-week-old baby....

A couple grieving the loss of their 9-week-old daughter got an unexpected surprise when the waitress serving them picked up their tab.

Debbie Davis Riddle and her husband, Shaun Riddle, are regulars at the West Side Café in Fort Worth, Texas. The last time they were at the restaurant, the couple brought with them their newborn daughter, Glory. “They were in the back room and I had to go see her and congratulate them on their baby,” Kayla Lane, a waitress at West Side Café, tells Yahoo Parenting.

When they arrived at the restaurant on Thursday, Lane noticed Glory wasn’t with them. “I said, ‘Didn’t y’all have a baby with you last time?’ And they looked at each other and were quiet, and then Shaun looked at me and said, ‘She passed away four weeks ago,’” Lane says. “I didn’t know what to say. I just said, ‘Oh my gosh, I am so sorry and I know you are hearing “sorry” so much that it’s just another word, but I really am terribly sorry.’ There’s nothing anyone can say to make that better, especially someone like me who has never had a child or lost a child. So I just served them with the best service I could.”

But that’s not all Lane did — at the end of the meal, she decided to cover the couple’s tab. Instead of giving them a bill, she gave them a note that read: “Your ticket has been paid for. We are terribly sorry for your loss. God bless. —The West Side.”

That evening, Debbie Riddle shared a photo of the bill on her Facebook page, with a note. “We eat at West Side Café on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth quite a lot and last month sometime we took our new baby, Glory. Well, we just went there this afternoon and our waitress Kayla remembered us and asked where our baby was. Sadly, we had to tell her baby Glory passed away and is with God now. She felt so horrible for asking but she was so sweet,” she wrote. “When it was time for us to pay our bill, Kayla brings over our receipt. She didn’t even want us to tip her because she said the company took care of her tip as well. We hear so much negativity on the news and so that is why I felt led to share this story in hope that Kayla and this restaurant will get some good recognition.”

 The post received more than 14,000 likes and more than 9,000 shares.

Lane says that she didn’t want any recognition for picking up the tab, which is why she said the restaurant covered it. She was outed to the local CBS news by a manager, who confirmed that Lane paid for the couple’s meal herself. It’s a gesture she has performed before — usually for military service members, police officers, or firefighters, she says. “Normally I pick up the check for people who are underappreciated,” she says. “Knowing that I can do some small thing — it might just be a $15 meal, but to them it’s ‘Oh my gosh, someone paid for my meal.’ I feel like I am putting it out there that society is still OK, the world is OK, there are still plenty of good people out there.”

The 21-year-old waitress, who has worked at the West Side Café for four years, says she wanted to cover the Riddles’ check because she admired their strength. “I wanted them to know that even people who don’t know them feel for them and support them,” she says. “I didn’t do it because I felt guilty for bringing it up or even because I felt bad for them. I did it because it was amazing to see their strength through it all — they still prayed before their meal and everything.”


After they realized their check had been paid for, Lane says the couple shared stories and pictures of their daughter — who, at 9 weeks old, never woke up from a nap for reasons that are still unknown, according to CBS. “They are amazing people,” Lane says.

Shaun Riddle says he and his wife were especially moved by the gesture because they consider themselves people of service. “We love to serve others, and this reminded us that there are many other servants in the world, and that the word ‘servant’ is a good thing,” Riddle tells Yahoo Parenting. “We want many to know that love, service, kindness, selflessness, and the love of God is alive and well. It’s not going anywhere.”


Lane says she doesn’t know why this small gesture has gotten so much attention. “This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and all the servers at the West Side have,” she says. “We take care of our customers.”

According to commenters on Riddle’s Facebook post, the restaurant’s customers agree. “West Side Café earned my undying support a few years ago because of the way they treated my father-in-law,” wrote Brandon Jones. “He was a pretty regular customer. Not matter how busy they were, they wouldn’t rush him out to clear the table. They took the time to get to know him. They were always kind. When he passed, they even went to his funeral.” And Cassy Tatarian Kavanaugh said, “I’m so sorry for your loss. My bill was also paid for by the owner at West Side Café once. I was a really young mother and my baby was crying so I took him to the waiting area so that we didn’t disturb anyone else. I guess the owner noticed that I didn’t get to enjoy my meal and paid for our entire table.”

But Lane says that she and the restaurant aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. As she says, “It’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Instead of delivering the Riddles a bill, Lane brought them this note, assuring them their meal was paid for....

By : Rachel Bertsche

Transgender Teen's Suicide Note: 'My Death Needs To Mean Something...'

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 31, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The suicide of a transgender teen is catching national attention in part because of a suicide note she left behind online.

Leelah Alcorn, 17, of Kings Mills, Ohio, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-71 about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to local media

Posthumous posts started to appear on her Tumblr page, titled “Lazer Princess,” including her suicide note and a post apologizing to her closest friends.

“My death needs to mean something,” she wrote. “My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s f---ed up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please.”

Alcorn's note explains that she has felt like a girl trapped in a boy’s body ever since she was 4. Then she cried tears of joy when she learned what transgender meant at 14.

“After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was,” the suicide note reads. “I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong.”

After her death, Alcorn’s mother was harshly criticized for referring to her child by her given name — “Joshua Ryan Alcorn” — and using male pronouns.

"My sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn went home to heaven this morning. He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck,” the mother wrote.

Alcorn requested that all of her belongings and savings be donated to transgender civil rights movements and support groups.

Many people took to Twitter to mourn her death using #LeelahAlcorn and criticize the continued injustice facing transgender people today.

Similarly, members of the LGBT community and their allies have already started to organize candlelight vigils for Alcorn. One such event, called #StandUp4Leelah, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

“This will be a short vigil but one that we feel must take place and one that will take a moment to educate, inform, and bring our community together to work towards a dream of one life. We may not have an instant fix but it's time to make it better,” the organizer wrote on the event's Facebook page.

Suicide rates in the transgender community are exceptionally high, with more than 50 percent of transgender teens reporting at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday, according to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program.

By : Michael Walsh

PLEASE NOTE : - Transgender people who need someone to talk to can call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

New Year Fact : Did You Know...?

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 31, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Courageous Teen Risks His Life To Save Drowning Baby Deer....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 23, 2014 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

This is pretty incredible.


A wildlife photographer visiting Noakhali, Bangladesh, was able to witness -- and document -- an amazingly courageous teen risk his own life to save a drowning fawn, Caters News Service reports.


The boy waded into the fast current of a surging, swollen river in Noakhali, holding the deer above his head, even as he, himself, disappeared beneath the water at times.

Photographer Hasib Wahab said onlookers were worried the boy might drown in the dramatic attempt.


"My friend was even ready to jump into the river to save the boy," Wahab said, according to Grind TV. "But he made it, and when he returned, we thanked the boy. There were only five to seven people observe this situation but it was a phenomenal sight."


This is not the first time a deer has gotten itself into trouble. In the midst of the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County, Colo., last summer, a firefighter was spotted rescuing a baby deer from the oncoming flames.


In a similar situation, Jeff Slygh, of Canyon, Minn., saved a deer that had crashed through the ice of a nearby lake. He dragged it to safety in a canoe.


The Radwanskas: Helping Those In Need....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 17, 2014 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Agnieszka Radwanska and Urszula Radwanska took part in the charitable Noble Box project for the sixth year in a row - this year they helped two families in need...

Agnieszka Radwanska and Urszula Radwanska kept a charitable December tradition going recently, taking part in Szlachetna Paczka - or Noble Box - for the sixth year in a row.


Every year through the Noble Box project, volunteers go door to door throughout the year compiling a database of families in need, asking them what would help ease the pressures of the holidays. Then, for a three week period in November and December, donors are given a list to take with them to the supermarket, where they fill a shopping cart with the food, clothing and more to donate to them.


This year the Radwanskas helped two families from Krakow. The first one was a family with five kids under a desperate financial situation - their seven-year-old son is autistic and needs expensive treatment and therapy, and the father recently lost his job because he was driving him around to hospitals. Additionally, the mother recently had an accident that has been limiting her mobility.


The second family is a single mother and her seven-year-old son. The mother divorced her husband because he was abusing her - they recently moved out of the center for abused mothers into their own tiny apartment, and she's been working as a cleaner, but she's also still fighting depression.


Needless to say, the Radwanska sisters' help was in need - and they were happy to come through.


"We join the Noble Box project every year to help people who really are in need," Agnieszka Radwanska commented. "We believe that the Noble Box project can change people's lives, and it's really nice to be a part of it. It's a great joy to make others feel happy, at least for a little while."


The former World No.2 and Wimbledon finalist also enjoys shopping with her sister.


"I always try to buy gifts with my sister Ula," she said. "Two heads are better than one."

Source:- WTATennis

Power Of Kindness....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 14, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Sharapova Meets Cancer-Surviving Fan....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on November 27, 2014 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

BRADENTON, FL, USA - Maria Sharapova had a magical moment with one of her toughest fans recently, surprising 10-year-old cancer survivor Sunny Logan with a hit at the IMG Academy.

Logan, who began playing tennis at age five and started competing at age eight, had been diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymphatic system. With the help of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, she overcame the disease, and began hitting the courts again - and she was surprised with a dream trip to hit at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

What came next for Logan, who had already overcome the unthinkable, was, well, another unthinkable.

"We had been talking about her all day - she was on the hall of fame board, and they had pictures of her everywhere," Logan told The Today Show, referring to her favorite tennis player, Sharapova.

"I was hitting some serves and then I turn around, and there she is. And I was just speechless.

"I did not know what to do."

"Is this Sunny?" Sharapova said when Logan saw her. "I heard there's this incredible tennis player playing on center court here. I'm Maria. It's very nice to meet you. Can I get a hug?"

Sharapova then stepped it up. "So do you want to hit some balls with me?" she said.

Watch Sharapova and Logan hit - and Logan's interview with The Today Show - at the top of this story.

Source:- WTATennis

Halloween : Good Girls Go Bad, For A Day....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 31, 2014 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

IN her thigh-highs and ruby miniskirt, Little Red Riding Hood does not appear to be en route to her grandmother’s house. And Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed. There is a witch wearing little more than a Laker Girl uniform, a fairy who appears to shop at Victoria’s Secret and a cowgirl with a skirt the size of a tea towel.

Anyone who has watched the evolution of women’s Halloween costumes in the last several years will not be surprised that these images — culled from the Web sites of some of the largest Halloween costume retailers — are more strip club than storybook. Or that these and other costumes of questionable taste will be barely covering thousands of women who consider them escapist, harmless fun on Halloween.


“It’s a night when even a nice girl can dress like a dominatrix and still hold her head up the next morning,” said Linda M. Scott, the author of “Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism” (Palgrave Macmillan) and a professor of marketing at the University of Oxford in England.


The trend is so pervasive it has been written about by college students in campus newspapers, and Carlos Mencia, the comedian, jokes that Halloween should now be called Dress-Like-a-Whore Day.


But the abundance of risqué costumes that will be shrink-wrapped around legions of women come Oct. 31 prompts a larger question: Why have so many girls grown up to trade in Wonder Woman costumes for little more than Wonderbras?


“Decades after the second wave of the women’s movement, you would expect more of a gender-neutral range of costumes,” said Adie Nelson, the author of “The Pink Dragon Is Female: Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers,” an analysis of 469 children’s costumes and how they reinforce traditional gender messages that was published in The Psychology of Women Quarterly in 2000.


Dr. Nelson, a professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said the trend toward overtly sexualized costumes actually begins with little girls. “Heroic figures for women or considered icons of femininity are very much anchored in the femme fatale imagery,” she said, adding that those include an assortment of Disney heroines, witches, cocktail waitresses, French maids and an “interchangeable variety of beauty queens.”


While researching “Pink Dragon,” Dr. Nelson found that even costumes for little girls were gendered. Boys got to be computers while the girls were cupcakes. Today, there are bride costumes for little girls but one is hard pressed to find groom costumes for little boys. Additionally, Dr. Nelson said, the girls’ costumes are designed in ways that create the semblance of a bust where there is none. “Once they’re older women it’s just a continuation of that same gender trend,” she said.


Men’s costumes are generally goofy or grotesque ensembles with “Animal House”-inspired names like Atomic Wedgie and Chug-A-Lug Beer Can. And when they dress up as police officers, firefighters and soldiers, they actually look like people in those professions. The same costumes for women are so tight and low-cut they are better suited for popping out of a cake than outlasting an emergency.


Obviously, however, many women see nothing wrong with making Halloween less about Snickers bars and SweeTarts and more about eye candy.


Rebecca Colby, 28, a library clerk in Milwaukee, said the appeal of sexy costumes lies in escaping the workaday, ho-hum dress code.


“I’m not normally going to wear a corset to go out,” said Ms. Colby, who has masqueraded as a Gothic witch with a low-cut bodice, a minidress-wearing bumblebee, a flapper and, this year, most likely, a “vixen pirate.”


“Even though you’re in a costume when you go out to a party in a bar or something, you still want to look cute and sexy and feminine,” she said.


Indeed, many women think that showing off their bodies “is a mark of independence and security and confidence,” said Pat Gill, the interim director of the Institute of Communications Research and a professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


It is a wonder gyms do not have “get in shape for Halloween” specials.


In her book “Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality” (Harvard University Press), Deborah Tolman, the director of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University and a professor of human sexuality studies there, found that some 30 teenage girls she studied understood being sexy as “being sexy for someone else, not for themselves,” she said.

When the girls were asked what makes them feel sexy, they had difficulty answering, Dr. Tolman said, adding that they heard the question as “What makes you look sexy?”


Many women’s costumes, with their frilly baby-doll dresses and high-heeled Mary Janes, also evoke male Lolita fantasies and reinforce the larger cultural message that younger is hotter.


“It’s not a good long-term strategy for women,” Dr. Tolman said.


But does that mean women should not use Halloween as an excuse to shed a few inhibitions?


“I think it depends on the spirit in which you’re doing it,” Dr. Tolman said. “I’m not going to go and say this is bad for all women.”


Perhaps, say some scholars, it could even be good. Donning one of the many girlish costumes that sexualize classic characters from books, including “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Cinderella” and “The Wizard of Oz,” can be campy, female sartorial humor, said Professor Gill. It can be a way to embrace the fictional characters women loved as children while simultaneously taking a swipe at them, she said. “The humor gives you a sense of power and confidence that just being sexy doesn’t,” she said.


Dr. Tolman added that it is possible some women are using Halloween as a “safe space,” a time to play with sexuality. By taking it over the top, she said, they “make fun of this bill of goods that’s being sold to them.”


“Hey, if we can claim Halloween as a safe space to question these images being sold to us, I think that’s a great idea,” Dr. Tolman said.


But it may be only an idea. Or, more fittingly in this case, a fantasy.


“I love to imagine that there’s some real social message, that it’s sort of the female equivalent of doing drag,” Dr. Nelson said. “But I don’t think it’s necessarily so well thought out.”


Tanda Word, 26, a graduate student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, who wrote a satirical article about the trend for The Daily Toreador, agreed. “I think it’s damaging because it’s not just one night a year,” she said. “If it’s all the costume manufacturers make, I think it says something bigger about the culture as a whole.”


Salacious costumes — the most visible reminder that Halloween is no longer the sole domain of children — have been around longer than plastic Grim Reaper scythes. But there has been an emergence of “ultrasexy” costumes in the last couple of years, according to Christa Getz, the purchasing director for, which sells outfits with names like Little Bo “Peep Show” and Miss Foul Play.


“Probably over 90 to 95 percent of our female costumes have a flirty edge to them,” Ms. Getz said, adding that sexy costumes are so popular the company had to break its “sexy” category into three subdivisions this year.


Heather Siegel, the vice president of, said her company’s sexy category is among its most popular. (The two best-selling women’s costumes are a low-cut skin-tight referee uniform and a pinup-girl-inspired prisoner outfit called Jail Bait).


“Almost everybody gets dressed up really, really sexy for it,” said Carrie Jean Bodner, a senior at Cornell University in Ithaca who wrote about the abundance of skimpy Halloween garb for The Cornell Daily Sun last year. “Even the girls who wouldn’t dream of going to class without their pearls and pullovers.”


Last year Ms. Bodner, 21, dressed up as a sexy pinch-hitter for an imaginary baseball team. This year she and her friends are considering being va-voom Girl Scouts.


Ms. Getz of said far more women are buying revealing costumes than firing off indignant e-mail messages asking, “Why are all of your costumes so sexy?” (though some do).


Still, women may be buying racy outfits because that is all that is available. Ms. Getz said she wished there were more sexy men’s costumes on the market and that the lack of them is but further evidence of the gender double standard. “It’s just not as socially acceptable,” she said, adding that men feel comfortable expressing themselves with Halloween costumes that are “either crude or outrageous or obnoxious.”


Ms. Siegel of said the costume industry is merely mirroring the fashion industry, where women have more variety in their wardrobes. Besides, she said, men are less interested in accessorizing. “They’re happy grabbing a mask and a robe and being done,” she said.


At least they get a robe. Ms. Bodner of Cornell estimated that it will be about 30 degrees in Ithaca on Oct. 31.


“We’re not just risking our dignity here,” she said. “We’re risking frostbite.”

By: Stephanie Rosenbloom

Stop Animal Cruelty : "Dog Culls..."

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 26, 2014 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Acid Attack Survivors Pose For Photo Shoot : Shows Us What 'Beautiful Really Means...'

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on August 27, 2014 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

They may not bear the features of typical models, but their beauty is undeniable.


Five Indian acid attack survivors boldly posed before the camera recently to shed light on their plight and to help fulfill their dreams.


Rahul Saharan, 24, a photographer who has long been involved with Stop Acid Attacks, a group that gives medical and legal help to victims, decided to take on the project in order to give the women a powerful platform to tell their stories, he told HuffPost via email.

Rupa, one of the models, was attacked when she was 15, while she was asleep in her village in Uttar Pradesh, according to a video on her fundraising page. Her stepmother brought four men into her room who threw acid on her face.


The teen was left severely disfigured, and it took six hours for her uncle to arrive and get medical attention for her. She’s had 11 surgeries and is due to have more.


The now 22-year-old campaigns for justice for acid attack survivors, but that’s not the only passion she’s pursuing.


Rupa has always dreamed of becoming a designer. She learned to sew and now hopes to open up her own shop where she can sell her designs. To date, she’s raised more than $15,000.

She plans on using the money she makes to help pay for her rehabilitation and to assist in supporting her family, Saharan told HuffPost.


Every year, about 1,500 women globally are subjected to acid attacks, the Wall Street Journal's India Real Time blog reported last year.


These attacks disfigure victims’ appearances, and their muscles and internal organs are often affected as well. Their future prospects are also impaired.


They often struggle to find work, and many are driven to suicide, according to the State Department.

But some progress has been made in terms of working to curb acid attacks.


Laxmi, another survivor involved in the photo shoot, collected 27,000 signatures for a petition to reduce acid sales -- an initiative that eventually made its way to the Indian Supreme Court, according to the State Department.


The court ordered the Indian central and state governments to better regulate the sale of acid, and the parliament to make prosecutions of acid attacks easier to pursue.


Still, advocates say, the laws are not being strictly implemented, CNN reported.


"Yes, the law is on paper, but you can find acid easily in local markets," Alok Dixit, founder of Stop Acid Attacks, told CNN.


While these advocates say there’s much more work for them to do to prevent these attacks and bring justice to survivors, they’ve already succeeded in bringing the face of this horrific crime to the public eye.

Laxmi, who was attacked when she was 16 by her brother’s friend because she had denied his advances, has already garnered a number of prestigious honors. Last March she was one of 10 women to receive the U.S. Department of State’s International Women of Courage Award.


Just by refusing to hide their faces, even if that's what society prefers, they are changing perceptions.


From his experience with the photo shoot, Saharan said he learned from these five women about deep struggle, humanity and what "beautiful really means."

By : Eleanor Goldberg

Please Note :- If you'd like to help Rupa fulfill her dream of opening up her own clothing boutique, find out more about her project and how you can get involved at :

The Ice Bucket Challenge: What Is It Really About?

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on August 22, 2014 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We’ve all seen the countless videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. of people pouring buckets of ice cold water over their heads and then challenging their friends, or enemies, to do the same. This is all great and fun, but the issue is, many of these people who are taking on this challenge are failing to explain what it is all about. This leads to many people who are a bit confused and, honestly, a bit annoyed by all of the videos of people pouring buckets of water over themselves. So we are here to help you out. Here is what the Ice Bucket challenge is all about!


So, What is the Ice Bucket Challenge About?


The Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t as crazy as it looks. It is actually a creative way to raise awareness for a great cause. It is an effort to raise awareness for ALS, which is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease of the nerve cells that are in the spinal cord and the brain that have control over the muscle movement that is voluntary. Now you will understand why all of these people online and throwing buckets of ice water over their heads. They aren’t just crazy, they are doing it for a great cause!

How Does the Ice Bucket Challenge Work?


So, once again, it is to raise awareness for the terrible disease known as ALS. Those who participate in the challenge have to pour a bucket of ice cold water over their heads, or have a friend do it for them, and then they have to challenge other people to do the same. Those who participate donate $10, or more if they are financially able, and those who either cannot participate or do not want to, donate $100 to the ALS association.

How did the Ice Bucket Challenge Begin?


The Ice Bucket Challenge, which raises awareness for ALS, had its start on social media. A baseball player from the U.S. and a guy named Pete Frates, who is an ALS patient, had the idea to make up a challenge on a video that was posted on social media. They challenged people to pour an ice cold bucket of water over their heads and to also donate money to the cause. The rest is history!

How Big Has the Challenge Become?


The turnout for the challenge made by the baseball player and the ALS patient has been huge. Since the beginning of June, more than 1.3 million videos of people doing the Ice Bucket challenge were shared on Facebook alone. Also, since July, there have been over 2.2 million mentions of the challenge on Twitter and it has been trending for months. If you do not have a Twitter or are not involved on social media, we apologize for all of the social media slang. In normal words, the challenge has become huge!

Explain ALS in More Detail


Some articles have come out since the challenge from families that have family members who have ALS. These families are not at all upset about the challenge. They think it is a great thing! However, they do want to make sure that people understand exactly what ALS is. Yes, it is a terrible disease, but they want them to understand exactly what ALS patients suffer from. The article says to imagine what it would be pike to pick up a 10 pound weight and use it as a fork, this is what ALS patients feel when they try to eat. Also, ALS patients have to have their family members or close friends help them get dressed every day, help them shower, and help them brush their teeth. These are just a few things that can help you understand exactly what it is like to suffer from ALS.


The Ice Bucket Challenge is a great thing for a great cause! It is a great idea to participate in it and to donate to ALS, but it is also a great thing to know exactly what you are donating to! Now you know, so carry on and have fun throwing that bucket of water over your head, just don’t forget to donate as well!


Power Of Kindness....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 26, 2014 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Federer Returns To Bethel Children's Hospital....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 9, 2014 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Roger Federer took time out from his preparations for the Gerry Weber Open, where he is a six-time champion, to visit the Bethel children's hospital in nearby Bielefeld on Monday morning.


Federer, who had a living room named after him at the hospital last year, told, “I am happy to be back here one year later and to see how things are developing for the children. It is really important to me, as helping children is also a major part of my foundation work.


“I think that is great that the tournament is involved in such an activity for the long term.”


The Gerry Weber Open, a recipient of an ATP ACES For Charity grant in 2012, donated € 10,000 for a kitchen to be built in the ‘Roger Federer Living Room’.


The children's cancer clinic has four other treatment rooms named after Michael Kohlmann, Alexander Waske, Mischa Zverev and Marco Chiudinelli, who also made visits in recent years.


More About Halle's Charities & Causes :


Donate To ATP ACES For Charity :

Source:- ATP Tennis