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BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore 2015 : Elite Eight's Draw Ceremony Dresses...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 23, 2015 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Flavia Pennetta

Garbiñe Muguruza

Maria Sharapova

Petra Kvitova

Agnieszka Radwanska

Angelique Kerber

Lucie Safarova

Simona Halep

P.S. Courtesy of Getty Images

Ana Ivanovic's Bold New Look In Paris....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 21, 2015 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

PARIS, France - Roland Garros is the stage for some of the best tennis fashions of the year, with WTA stars turning heads with bold, pioneering and confident statements - and this year will be no different, with former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic set to dazzle in the adidas Roland Garros Y-3 Collection.

Together with adidas we created something that did not exist before and completely projected the future," said Yojhi Yamamoto, who helped create the collection. "My desire was, and is, to make sportswear elegant and chic. adidas is a very personal inspiration to me - it enriches my creative life."

The summer flower print was painted by hand in Japan for the main Y-3 collection in Spring Summer 2015. Yamamoto's spirit and love for Paris, the history of Roland Garros and the functional sporting expertise of adidas all fit together to make this the right project to introduce Y-3 to the tennis court.

And Ivanovic embodies all the qualities of the adidas Y-3 Roland Garros Collection: she's bold, with one of the biggest forehands on the tour and an incredible fighting spirit; pioneering, as the first player representing Serbia to win a Grand Slam title and reach No.1 in the world; and confident, especially at Roland Garros, where she captured that first Grand Slam title in 2008 and subsequently rose to No.1.

Source:- WTA Tennis

Caroline Wozniacki Graces 2015 SI Swimsuit Athletes Edition....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 10, 2015 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Wozniacki headed to Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico last fall for the photo shoot, and the magazine just hit newsstands this week

This isn't the first time a WTA player has posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition - a number of other World No.1s have posed for the magazine, namely Steffi Graf (1997), Serena Williams (2003), Venus Williams (2005), Maria Sharapova (2006) and most recently before this Ana Ivanovic (2010).


Former world no. 1 Wozniacki's career has turned around since golfer Rory McIlroy abruptly ended their engagement in May 2014. Wozniacki, who seemed to have lost direction in her tennis, revived and broke back into the top 10, reaching a second Grand Slam final at the US Open in 2014. She returned to the top five for the first time since May 2012 earlier this month.

NOTE : To see more of the shots from the photoshoot, visit :

Source:-  WTA Tennis &

Plus-Size Model Tess Holliday Encourages Women To #EffYourBeautyStandards....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 28, 2015 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Like most successful models, Tess Holliday, formerly Tess Munster, follows a regimented fitness and nutrition program. She works out with a personal trainer four times a week and enjoys walking, swimming, and hiking in her free time. She avoids soda and drinks a lot of water. She cooks healthy and indulges in moderation like any healthy person would.

Unlike most successful models, Munster is 5’5” tall and a UK size 24 (a US size 20). In an industry where the standard for plus size models is between UK sizes 10 and 18 (US size 6 to 14) and taller than 5’8”— waifish Kate Moss is considered short at 5’7”—Holliday is an extreme anomaly. She spoke exclusively with Yahoo Beauty about how she’s been leading a viral social media movement.

The 29-year-old Los Angeles-based model, born and raised in Mississippi, created the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards as an exercise in celebrating all body types and giving the one finger salute to unrealistic beauty standards that make people feel like they are never good enough. Women—and men—who don’t fall into conventional ideals of beauty are encouraged to share their photos and stories tagged with the hashtag, encouraging us to celebrate themselves and each other—instead of hiding themselves in shame.

One Twitter user, Andie Lang, wrote, “I’m no longer going to feel ashamed of my body and hide it, it’s time [sic] flaunt my curves! #effyourbeautystandards.” In just a few days, the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards has over 495,000 posts on Instagram.

"I’m thrilled—it’s really humbling to see so many women support me and what I’m doing,” Holliday told Yahoo Beauty. “I know other women relate to where I’ve been and the feelings of not quite being good enough. I hope through all of this that they realize they are good enough and beautiful no matter what size color or shape they are.”

Holliday was bullied as a child, getting shamed for her size and for not being “normal.” After leaving school and the South at 17, she became more outspoken about positive body image. As a blogger for The Huffington Post in 2013, she wrote, “Our bodies tell a story and everyone’s journey is different, everybody is different, unique, exquisite. The only problem is that not everyone respects that or comprehends that we don’t have to all look like a cookie cutter or perfect picture of ‘health.’” Holliday told Yahoo Beauty that she is the proud mother of a son that she has raised to be both feminist and respectful of all women and bodies.

With so many hurtful terms slung around, it’s important to remember that normal does not always mean skinny and skinny does not always mean healthy. In her memoir, Hungry, plus-size supermodel Crystal Renn—who also grew up in Mississippi—wrote, “[L]ife doesn’t have to wait until you’re skinny.” Before she achieved success in the plus size industry and learned about body acceptance and love, Renn suffered from eating disorders and went to two gyms every day because she didn’t want either gym to know she was working out so much. She mused, “I wonder whether today’s mania for super-thin, wide-eyes, less power-looking girls is tied to fear of female strength. Today’s girls take up less space, literally and metaphorically.”

#EffYourBeautyStandards, with its strong devotion to sharing body-positive images and speaking out against body prejudices, is combating the silence that women are supposed to take in submitting their bodies to strict beauty standards. They are strong, proud, supportive, confident—and very capable of sparking a new social media movement.

By : Noël Duan

Tsonga Models For GQ France....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 14, 2014 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

In the latest edition of GQ France, World No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a far cry from the tennis court as he models the best of winter coats and jackets in a 10-page spread.


For Tsonga, who has always been interested in fashion, it was an exciting chance to work with the creative team at GQ and an opportunity he relished.

"For me, it's something positive," said Tsonga during the photo shoot in Paris in October. "I'm really happy to do that and be on the other side as a man. Sometimes I'm able to buy magazines like GQ.


"I like to dress fashionably, it's great. I think GQ is the best magazine for me in terms of fashion for men. It's very cool and I'm very happy to do some photos for them."


The 29-year-old Tsonga compiled a 36-19 match record in 2014, highlighted by winning his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Toronto, beating Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer in succession.


He also finished runner-up in Marseille (l. to Gulbis) in February and recorded his 300th match win during the Internationali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

View Tsonga's GQ Photo Shoot :

Source:- ATP Tennis

Robyn Lawley Recreates Sports Illustrated Cover....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 1, 2014 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Bottom Picture : Jada Sezer (left), Robyn Lawley (center), and Shareefa J (right)

International model Robyn Lawley has recreated the iconic Sports Illustrated cover made famous by Victorias Secret Angels Lily Aldridge, Nina Adgal and Chrissy Teigan.


The curvaceous model posed alongside Jada Sezer and Shareefa J, in a shoot for the brand Swimsuits For All, which prides itself on producing fashionable swimwear for all sizes.


"Each year, the world waits with bated breath for iconic sexy swim images from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but Swimsuits For All knows that sexy curves bends beyond a size four," said a spokesperson for the brand.

Fashion blogger Gabi Gregg, who also appears in the editorial, says she took part in the Swimsuits For All initiative to promote a more positive body image.

"I think it's sad that the representatives of women in mainstream culture are usually so small because we have such a diversity of sizes in the real world," she said.


"What I think that happens is that so many women see those girls and they think they have to look like them and I know that plus-size models and bloggers like myself are really helping change that."


Meanwhile, Robyn Lawley hit back at critics recently who called her "fat" on social media "because her thigh gap wasn't big enough".


"You sit behind a computer screen objectifying my body, judging it and insulting it, without even knowing it," Lawley wrote.

But the criticism seems to have made the model more determined to convey a healthy body image and act as role model for young girls.


"I want my thighs to be bigger and stronger," commented Lawley. "I want to run faster and swim longer. I suppose we all just want different things, but women have enough pressure as it is without the added burden of achieving a thigh gap."


Lawley said it "blew her mind" how many Instagram accounts, blogs and Facebook pages were dedicated to the thigh gap," and said she'd never change her frame 'just to achieve something that seems so trivial.'"


"The last thing I would want for my future daughter would be to starve herself because she thought a thigh gap was necessary to be deemed attractive," Lawley said.

Source:- marie claire

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 :

Federer: Portrait Of An Artist ....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 16, 2014 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Roger Federer is auctioning a one-of-a-kind portrait for charity....

Roger Federer has been the subject of countless pictures, but a new portrait captures the Swiss in a rare and different light.

“It helped me a lot, in more ways than one, to portray Roger Federer as a person - an amicable man in his early thirties, instead of the well-documented tennis god,” Zurich-based Dutch artist Pascal Möhlmann told

The artwork is currently up for auction, with proceeds to benefit the Roger Federer Foundation, and also graces the cover of Swiss lifestyle magazine, ‘annabelle’. Möhlmann, who does half his portraits through live sittings and half based on photos taken himself, spent time with Federer during his interview session with the magazine and came away with the highest regard for the five-time year-end World No. 1. 

“His relaxed and uncomplicated way left an impression, he said. “Sitting at the table with him, he himself was just very much fun to talk with and listen to. I remember certain teenage memories were talked about and he didn’t seem to be in a hurry at all.

“When I got to take my many photos, he started posing in a way too professional fashion for my taste as a portrait painter. So I suggested to him to make a few stupid faces to loosen up the facial muscles and start fresh and to my surprise he did this without any hesitation or embarrassment.”

Möhlmann crafted the piece from his Zurich studio over the course of a month, and remarked that Federer’s strong features, including his dark eyebrows, deep eye-positioning and masculine chin, made him an interesting subject.

“It was very fulfilling painting Roger Federer,” he said. “His appearance, his face in particular, is so inviting for a portraitist to be made-again in oil on canvas.”

Source:- ATP Tennis

PLEASE NOTE : The pre-bid phase for the portrait runs online through 17 May, when it will be live auctioned at the Auktionshaus Ineichen Zürich.  View Auction

Quick Five: Asin - Qualitative Visibility....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

In the Capital recently as cosmetic giant Avon’s first-ever Indian brand ambassador, Asin talks about working in three different Indian film industries, her fascination with languages, being the first Indian actress to have completed a decade with a soft drink endorsement and more!

You have worked in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi films and have done fairly well for yourself in all of them. How has your comparative experience been in all three film fraternities?

My experience in all three industries has been very good, actually. And this is first and foremost because the people whom I’ve worked with have been really good to me. On my part, I’m quite adaptable and flexible. I like Indian cinema as a whole and I like to know about the different kinds of cultures that feed into it. Wherever I shoot, I like to go and explore new places, talk to people and imbibe as many new things from them as possible. And I do think this attitude of mine has always helped me in my work and has enhanced my experience in the three industries regardless of which of them I’m working with at any given point of time.

You dub in your own voice for all your films. Does language never become a cause for hindrance in your work?

I thankfully pick up languages pretty fast, actually. I love learning new languages and I’m always fascinated by language in itself. It is an interest I have always had at a personal level and now it has ended up helping me in my professional space as well. I used to always try and speak to people around me in the respective language of the industry where I was working at any given point of time. This helped me get a conversational feel to whatever I would say when the camera would roll. A good performance is not just about the visual you see on screen, there is also voice modulation and tone that builds a character in totality. My interest in languages and my wanting that the work I do should be complete, has always made me want to give my 200 per cent to any role I take up.

In a majority of the Hindi films you have done so far, you seem to have picked roles that have you fade in the shadow of the star hero. What made you take them up?

A little while ago I’ve taken a conscious decision that I will not do any more roles just for the sake of being part of a big project or for visibility. I’m past that, I think, and am now at a stage where I can afford to be choosy. So now I will only be doing films where there are well written characters and better fleshed out roles. That’s also why you don’t see me as much nowadays. I want to have qualitative visibility now rather than quantitative visibility.

And you have carried your bubbly image to your endorsements as seen in commercials of Mirinda, with whom you have recently renewed your association, making you the only actress to have ever completed ten years with a particular soft drink endorsement.

Oh! It has really been such a pleasure working with them for such a long time. The Mirinda team are like family to me now, honestly. We all come up with these crazy ideas which are so much fun to execute. I get to do something different from my film roles and it is a lot of fun to get creative and then visually be part of what is created. I also feel very happy that a multinational like Pepsi has had enough faith in me to take their brand forward for such a long period of time. I feel very proud and blessed.

You are now also the first brand ambassador in India for US-based beauty care products giant Avon. How did this association come about?

What attracted me the most to signing with them were two things: first, that aside from being an iconic beauty care brand they also do a lot of charitable work for women all over the world which is something I’m really looking forward to. Second, I really like their philosophy which says: ‘You make it beautiful’ and speaks of a woman’s beauty as simply being enhanced by their products rather than being created by them. It’s all about the woman and isn’t superficial. It is about herself, her confidence and Avon enhancing what she already has.

By: Nandini D. Tripathy

Bartoli Meets Usain Bolt & Yohan Blake....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 20, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

MONTEGO BAY & KINGSTON, Jamaica - Since retiring last summer, Marion Bartoli has kept very busy indeed. One of the biggest things keeping her busy is her new brand, Marion B, which includes products like Wings - the shoe accessory you may have seen worn by many of the WTA players lately.

But Bartoli took a quick break recently - and at the same time met two of the quickest men alive.

"A friend took me on a small break," Bartoli said. "We went to discover Jamaica and to meet Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake - they both expressed the desire to meet me, which is obviously a massive honor!"

Bolt is the world record holder for the 100 meters (9.58 seconds) and 200 meters (19.19 seconds). And Blake isn't far behind - he is tied for second-fastest time ever in the 100 meters with Tyson Gay (9.69 seconds) and has the standalone second-fastest time ever in the 200 meters (19.26 seconds).

"It was beyond exciting to meet them," Bartoli said. "To meet a sport legend like Usain Bolt, I was like a kid, I even played some tennis balls with him - I was trying so hard, because it was hard to focus on the ball! And Yohan is so sweet as a person, he's amazing, and he's obviously a big champion too.

"I can't wait to see them both again in a race - that's going to be amazing."

But Bartoli is always thinking about her work, too - and those who will benefit from it.

"I've been very busy building my brand - it's a lot of work, but it's so exciting at the same time," the Frenchwoman described. "I feel like I'm starting from zero, like I am a baby in tennis and need to learn so much - but I really have the desire, and the fire is inside me, just like it always was in tennis.

"The difference this time is that I'm using this to help others through charity - every time someone buys one of my products, they're supporting a great cause because some of the money goes to charity."

Bartoli brought some of her products to Jamaica - and her new friends got a taste of it all.

"So far we are still building everything, but Usain loved the 'lights' I made him - that will be the Lightista collection. And Yohan also appreciated his 'wings' - he became a Wingista in a way!"

And where is the reigning Wimbledon champion off to next?

"Everywhere my work, charity and tennis commentary takes me!"

- See more at:

Pop Stars Aren't Immune To Cyber Bullying; Just Ask Ariana Grande....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 31, 2014 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Ariana Grande was driven to tears on the Grammys® red carpet by social media criticism of her dress and hair...That's the short story!

The longer story is that this is a very famous young woman who is also active on social media. In fact, she's apparently subjected to such intense criticism that she just made a post on Instagram solely to address the reason why her hairstyle might be boring to her fans, and to ask their forgiveness.

This gorgeous young lady asked her fans to forgive her for her boring hair. I just keep needing to let that sink in.

"Since people give me such a hard time about my hair I thought I'd take the time to explain the whole situation to everybody. I had to bleach my hair and dye it red every other week for the first 4 years of playing Cat…as one would assume, that completely destroyed my hair."

She explains further that she is now wearing a wig on the show, but her "real hair" is "broken" and "ratchet," so she is wearing extensions and a ponytail as it grows out.

Okay, seems reasonable, and certainly nothing a girl would have to apologize for, right? Wrong.

So as annoying as it is for y'all to have to look at the same hair style all the time, it's the one that works for now. And trust me, it's even more difficult for me to have to wait forever for my natural hair to grow back and to have to wear more fake hair than every drag queen on earth combined. So PLEASE gimme a break about the hair (or just don't look at me lol). IT'S JUST HAIR AFTER ALL.

My first reaction to this, as an adult person, is to think that this is ridiculous. Why should a person - no matter how famous - have to make a statement explaining why they are doing anything they happen to be doing with their hair? Why do they owe anyone an explanation?

Then I remember the flood of adults making critical comments about every single performer and presenter on the Grammys®, with a few nice ones thrown in. I remember that teenagers - the digital natives, the millennials - are forming their social relationships and solidifying self-concepts in a time when their lives are almost obsessively documented in real time, and interactively. I remember my own insecurities - the ones I have now, and a memory of how tough things were as a teenager. I remember that even my most physically beautiful friends, whatever that means, had them then, and have them now.

I thank my stars every day that Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook didn't exist when I was in any of my school years through the end of college. It was difficult enough to become a person without them. I cannot imagine the extra layer of social pressure it puts on kids to have their peers - the ones they know and engage with every day in school and community, plus the countless invisible others who exist all over the world on the other side of a computer screen - able to observe and comment on their every word and image.  I am a college counselor and professor, and my freshmen share stories with me of Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and Kik ("Facebook is so done, Professor White. We aren't there anymore, but our moms are.") and what goes on there. Some of what I hear isn't pretty - so much that I have added "digital identity" discussions to my first-year seminar course, where we talk about what the opinions of peers mean and how to communicate effectively in words and pictures online. Hint: I discourage popularity ratings with numbers on Instagram pictures and the sending of questionable photos to anyone, whether they're rumored to disappear in ten seconds or not.

I've scrolled through Ariana's Instagram comments, or tried to. It's tough to do because there are thousands and the "load more comments" option doesn't always cooperate. One picture has more than 16,000 comments, another has more than 17,000. It's impossible to keep up with the stream and easy to be amazed by the level and velocity of engagement with her. I didn't see a lot of negative comments, but I did see many from young girls and boys telling her that she's beautiful and to "ignore the haters:"

I love your hair and I'm not just saying that! People need to Remember that your human too and you have feelings too! People on twitter and Instagram who comment negatively about your hair or anything they need to get a reality check and grow up. Don't let these people phase you. Damaged or not HAIR IS HAIR and everyone needs to remember it's not important. And at the Grammys you looked beautiful and I'm super proud that you decided to keep your head up high and walk down the red carpet. Your a unbelievable kind of beauty and don't ever forget that.

So there. It's healthy and smart to focus on those nice things, but I know how easy it is to focus on the negative instead. I think of how 16,000 people could say positive things to me, and how one person could say a critical thing and that is the one I would remember.  This was especially true when I was an awkward adolescent with very little confidence. I still remember particular slights and insults from those days, even thought they no longer directly affect my self-concept. I can't say they never did, though.

So PLEASE gimme a break about the hair (or just don't look at me lol). IT'S JUST HAIR AFTER ALL.

Right? It's just hair. I have to admit that I appreciate Ariana's approach to her "haters." It's straightforward. It's personal. It directly addresses the issue. It puts a very human touch on a famous person's struggle with external appearance, which is very real in her industry. But it still hurts my heart that any young girl has to make any kind of excuse for what she looks like, and I do pay close attention to what young people are experiencing now in our very public, highly interactive, not-always-in-person public sphere. If Hollywood stories tell us anything, it's that the beautiful and famous are not immune to pain from criticism, and sometimes, the younger they are, the harder they fall. I like seeing the many, many teenagers in her feeds popping up with support, for her and for each other. It's my hope for her that she'll hear the positive voices as well as the negative, and that maybe at some point those will get even louder.

--By Laurie White

Robyn Lawley: Why The Dangerous "Thigh Gap" Trend Makes Me Mad....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 30, 2014 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A disturbing trend online encourages girls to be so thin they can see a gap between their thighs. 

“Thinspiration” has always been a scary subject online -- when unhealty images and messages proliferated on social networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram are used to encourage users to be unhealthily thin.

There is now a disturbing breed of thinspiration that pressures women and girls to pursue a “thigh gap,” which is defined as the space between one's thighs. Everywhere online, users are posting aspirational pictures of thigh gaps, used as inspiration for weight loss and dieting. “I want the thigh gap. Right now, I could start a fire b/t my thighs,” one user laments on Pinterest. “No goal was ever achieved without thigh gap.

The sad reality is that I’ve known about the “thigh gap” since I was 12—and there is nothing about this trend that’s new to me. Watching countless fashion shows as a teenager, I was unfortunately inundated with images of women and girls who had pronounced space between their thighs. The models’ legs would never come close to touching, even as they stomped down the runway. Staring down at my own thighs, I can safely say that has never been the case for me. I’m now classified as a “plus size” model in the fashion industry.

You can image my surprise when, a year ago, I was featured on a pro “thigh gap” Facebook page. The page displayed an un-retouched photo of me in lingerie. From the photograph, there appeared to be a gap between my thighs. Degrading and humiliating comments followed. I was called too “hefty” to be featured. The word “PIG” was often used to describe my appearance and my thigh gap was said to be not big enough. In the end I couldn’t keep silent, and after 900 or so comments about my body, I decided to chime in.

After thanking those who defended my curves, I addressed those who thought it was OK to comment negatively on a girl in her lingerie. I wrote: “You sit behind a computer screen objectifying my body, judging it and insulting it, without even knowing it.” Fortunately for me, thousands of people respect my body, which means I get to travel the world advancing the ideal that healthy is beautiful and true acceptance comes from within, not from comments on a Facebook page. 

The truth is I couldn’t care less about needing a supposed “thigh gap.” It’s just another tool of manipulation that other people are trying to use to keep me from loving my body. Why would I want to starve and weaken my natural body size? I’m not saying women who have it naturally are unattractive. But I would have to change my entire frame just to achieve something that seems so trivial.

I’ve been trying to do just the opposite: I want my thighs to be bigger and stronger. I want to run faster and swim longer. I suppose we all just want different things, but women have enough pressure as it is without the added burden of achieving a “thigh gap.” The last thing I would want for my future daughter would be to starve herself because she thought a “thigh gap” was necessary to be deemed attractive.

We have the power to change perceptions about body image—and we have the power to stop harmful trends like the “thigh gap.”

This photograph of Lawley inspired bullying on a Facebook page


Doutzen Kroes (Victoria's Secret Model), Says She's No Size Zero....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 9, 2013 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

She may be contractually required by Victoria's Secret to remain "bikini ready" 365 days a year, but Dutch model Doutzen Kroes says she has the body of a real woman.

The mother of a 2-year-old boy, Phyllon, with her husband, DJ Sunnery James, told the Telegraph U.K. that she doesn't fit into sample sizes and doesn't expect to: "I'm 28 and I've had a baby. I have a woman's body, and once in a while you run into the fact that things are not fitting the way they should be. But I joke about it and say, 'What 13-year-old girl was wearing this?'"

Kroes, who is one of the world's most highly paid models, grew up in the Dutch countryside with little awareness of the fashion industry. "I never even thought about my looks. We didn't have social media, so we couldn't look at other girls and pictures from magazines," she said. Her mother grew vegetables for family meals, and her father chopped wood to heat their home. Both parents were successful competitive speed skaters in the 1970s and encouraged Kroes and her younger sister, Ren, to be healthy. "I biked to school every day, about 25 km [15.5 miles] there and back," she said. "My mum would say, if you go on your bike it will make you stronger. I think it did. I see a lot of Dutch women on their bikes with their kids and their groceries and it makes me happy to see that it's how we are, and how I was raised."

Today, Kroes works out with former boxer Michael Olajide and also Mary Helen Bowers, the founder of Ballet Beautiful, which she describes as extreme ballet with a little boxing thrown in. "Ballet is amazing for a woman's body — you work on the little muscles." To keep fit for the runway, Kroes says that physical training is important, but careful eating is key. "Diet is 70 percent of what your body looks like." She doesn't drink alcohol for a month before a show and sticks with what she calls "very basic and happy food" — fish with green vegetables, and a potato. She also avoids sugar.

Kroes uses her Instagram to share the super-healthy meals she makes for herself and her son, such as ginger-marinated tofu, with her 670,000 followers. She acknowledges that most people aren't looking up pictures of a Victoria's Secret Angel to see nutritious recipes for kids and is concerned about the impact that the modeling industry has on young women's self-esteem.

 "I feel I'm such a big part of that insecurity that some girls might have because of my job, that girls think they have to be that picture," she said. "And even boys, they think that...that picture exists, and it's so frustrating because I don't look like that picture — I wake up not looking like that picture."

While the fashion industry still has a long way to go to embrace different body types, Kroes is one of the growing number of top models who are, at a minimum, aware of their role and influence. Some are even using their popularity as a platform for directly addressing issues like extreme dieting and body image.

Plus-size model Jennie Runk, in particular, has leveraged her visibility to advocate for teenage girls. Her spring H&M swimsuit campaign gained widespread attention because it didn't make a distinction between plus- and smaller-sized beachwear, which is surprisingly rare for a mainstream retailer. Runk wrote an essay for the BBC describing her own difficult adolescence and encouraging girls: "You will grow out of this awkwardness fabulously. Just focus on being the best possible version of yourself and quit worrying about your thighs, there's nothing wrong with them." She also called for an end to the body wars. "There's no need to glamorize one body type and slam another," she wrote. "We need to stop this absurd hatred towards bodies for being different sizes. It doesn't help anyone and it's getting old."

By: Sarah B. Weir

Newly Crowned Miss Iowa Hopes To Advocate For People With Disabilities....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 11, 2013 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Nicole Kelly, the newly crowned Miss Iowa, plans to use her title to help advocate for people with disabilities, reports the DesMoines Register.

Kelly, 23, was born without her left forearm, according to her biography at (note: site has been intermittently down). Photos can be viewed at the Miss Iowa Facebook page.

After winning the title, Kelly spoke with CBS-4 News. "It was shocking and overwhelming—just like that your life changes," she said.

"As I grew up I learned to counterbalance the initial stares I received from people with an outgoing personality that would not give into 'no,'" Kelly wrote on the pageant site. "This means that I tried everything. From baseball, to dance, to diving—there's nothing I would not try. I found my passion within a world where I was giving people permission to stare: the stage."

According to Kelly's biography, she's currently studying directing and theater management at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She hopes to work on Broadway.

"If you would have told me a year ago that 'pageant queen' was in my future I would have laughed," she wrote. "Giving voice to a platform is a great honor and I am excited to continue my adventure of speaking out and touching lives."

Kelly will compete in the Miss America pageant on Sept. 15 in Atlantic City, N.J.

By: Mike Krumboltz

H&M's CEO Admits Past Models Were Too Skinny....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 1, 2013 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

H&M models are too thin. That’s what Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of the clothing giant, said about his company’s advertising campaigns, in an interview with the newspaper Metro this week.

“We have a huge responsibility here. We’re a large company, many people see us, and we advertise a lot. I don’t think we’ve always been good. Some of the models we’ve had have been too skinny. That’s something we think a lot about and are working on. We want to show diversity in our advertising and not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. By and large, I think we’ve succeeded: We’ve many different kinds of models from different ethnic backgrounds."

Persson specifically called out some recent examples, including plus-size model Jennie Runk and the company's current superstar spokesperson Beyoncé. 

"In our last campaign we had a somewhat more buxom model, and now we’re having Beyoncé, who’s a bit curvier as well...But I have to be honest and say that some of our models have been too skinny. That’s not OK.”

Persson didn't specify which ads in the past sent unhealthy body image messages. The company has had a range of celebrity supermodels including everyone from Pamela Anderson and Gisele Bundchen, to Cindy Crawford and even actor Tim Roth. But it's the lesser-known H&M models who have faced scrutiny for their size.  In 2011, the company was criticized for using what it admitted were "completely virtual" images of one unidentified slim female body reproduced and pasted with different models' heads. In March of last year, H&M again came under fire for featuring what some described as a "corpse-like" superskinny model on the verge of "collapse" in its campaign for a collaboration with the label Marni. After complaints from customers, the company told the Daily Mail, it was "regrettable that some of our customers interpret our Marni at H&M PR images as unethical, and feel that the model is underweight." 

Persson's new statement, which seems to hold more promise, came only weeks after H&M unveiled their new swimsuit line prominently featuring plus-size model Runk, who is reportedly six fee -tall and size 14-16.

The Internet celebrated the photos of Runk hanging out on the beach wearing both one-pieces and bikinis  and praised the company, which has a history of featuring classically skinny models. Runk was immediately thrust into the spotlight—her Facebook page garnered 2,000 new likes in 24 hours—and wrote in an essay for the BBC, “I had no idea that my H&M beachwear campaign would receive so much publicity. I'm the quiet type who reads books, plays video games, and might be a little too obsessed with her cat.

"So, suddenly having a large amount of publicity was an awkward surprise at first. I found it strange that people made such a fuss about how my body looks in a bikini, since I don't usually give it much thought.

"When my Facebook fan page gained about 2,000 new likes in 24 hours, I decided to use the attention as an opportunity to make the world a little nicer by promoting confidence. I've since been receiving lots of messages from fans, expressing gratitude.”

Persson’s sentiment couldn’t come at a better time. Over the past month, there’s been a public  celebration of a curvy body type—from the mass support given to Oklahoma City Thunder cheerleader Kelsey Williams after a CBS Sports Radio 610 blogger called her "chunky," to a global protest when a 2006 interview with Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries resurfaced during which he said, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

If Abercrombie (and perhaps, H&M) have taught us anything, it's that excluding shoppers doesn't help sell clothes.

By: Elise Solé

Maria Sharapova: Defending In Style....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Maria Sharapova will defend her French Open title in style with her new Nike Premier Maria Dress and personally customized shoes. Learn more about what she will be wearing in Paris here.

PARIS, France - Maria Sharapova will defend her French Open title in style with her new custom Nike Tennis outfit and footwear - the Nike Premier Maria Dress and Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour iD shoes.

With its Dri-FIT technology, Sharapova's dress will keep her cool and dry no matter the conditions in Paris. She personally customized her shoes using NIKEiD - their design will not only complement her dress, but it was inspired by global street style. Her chosen colorway is a palette of sophisticated neutrals, with a pop of color on the Swoosh — a nod to the effortless chic of Parisian women.

"When you're out there competing, you want to feel cool as much as you can," Sharapova said of the dress design. "The material in the dress makes it very breathable and easy to move around in."

And on her personally customized Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour iD shoes shoes? "I travel around the world and I'm always inspired by the way women from different countries carry themselves and put together an outfit," she said. "Paris is such a unique city... beautiful, with so much attitude and style."

For more info, go to:

Source:- WTA Tennis

Please Note: Visit the VIDEOS section to see Maria talking about the attire she will be wearing in the coming French Open!

H&M Plus Size Model Jennie Runk Puts Unexpected Fame to Good Use....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 16, 2013 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Plus-size fashion model Jennie Runk isn't just sitting pretty—she's using her fame to promote positive body image in an essay she penned Wednesday for the BBC News. In the editorial, she urges women to stop worrying about their thighs and feel comfortable in their skin no matter what type of body they have, touching on her own awkward teenage years.

Runk rose to prominence in early May when she was selected by clothing retailer H&M to model their new swimsuit line on the company homepage. For the campaign, the 24-year-old 5'10 beauty, who wears a dress size 14-16, traipsed on a beach wearing bikinis and one-piece swimsuits. The seemingly innocent photo series sent shockwaves around the Internet. First, H&M has a history of featuring toned models (Gisele is the company’s latest cover girl, replacing a bikini-clad Beyonce) so selecting Runk, of normal, healthy proportions, to model their new line was a refreshing departure. And second, unlike many companies who bury plus-size selections deep within their websites, H&M never once mentioned the word “plus-size” on the same page as the images of Runk (you have to click on the clothing samples to land in the plus-size section). The company message was clear: “Our model isn’t stick thin—so what?”

Runk concurs, writing, “I had no idea that my H&M beachwear campaign would receive so much publicity. I'm the quiet type who reads books, plays video games, and might be a little too obsessed with her cat.

"So, suddenly having a large amount of publicity was an awkward surprise at first. I found it strange that people made such a fuss about how my body looks in a bikini, since I don't usually give it much thought.

"When my Facebook fan page gained about 2,000 new likes in 24 hours, I decided to use the attention as an opportunity to make the world a little nicer by promoting confidence. I've since been receiving lots of messages from fans, expressing gratitude.”

Runk, who could not be reached for comment,  recalled “nightmare” gym classes filled with girls wearing cute shorts while she stuck out in bulky sweatpants as a self-described clumsy girl with thick, curly hair, braces, and glasses. She also spoke to that awkward period in every girl’s life when bodies start to develop differently, yet pressure mounts to achieve one body type. “This is an impossible goal to achieve and I wish I had known that when I was 13. At 5ft, 9in and a US size eight (usually either a UK 10 or 12), I envied the girls whose boyfriends could pick them up and carry them on their shoulders.”

On Wednesday, Runk excitedly tweeted, “My lifelong dream came true—published writer over here!” She has since been feeling the love for her essay. @marenabobino tweeted, “I am so obsessed with @jennierunk. Like I'm 10x more ok with me today because of her. Most gorgeous model EVER!” @lorenferguson wrote, “What a real woman looks like? Not only is she a beautiful model but also a role model for young girls.”

And that’s a title Runk will wear proudly. After being  discovered in 2000 while volunteering at PetSmart, she was given the option to either drop to a size 4 or gain weight to maintain a size 10 and become a plus-size model. “I knew my body was never meant to be a size four, so I went with plus,” she wrote.

And it’s a path she’s clearly thrilled to have taken, writing: “Some even told me that my confidence has inspired them to try on a bikini for the first time in years. This is exactly the kind of thing I've always wanted to accomplish, showing women that it's OK to be confident even if you're not the popular notion of 'perfect,'" and that having survived her childhood she feels “compelled to show girls who are going through the same thing that it's acceptable to be different. You will grow out of this awkwardness fabulously. Just focus on being the best possible version of yourself and quit worrying about your thighs, there's nothing wrong with them.”

One of Runk’s missions is to disassociate the word “fat” with plus-size, pointing out that women deemed plus-size actually reflect the American national average (a U.S. size 12/14), and she defends the idea of brands separating women into certain size categories. “Clothing companies do this in order to offer their customers exactly what they're looking for, making it easier for people of all sizes to find clothes that fit their bodies as well as their own unique stylistic expression,” she wrote. And she calls for people to stop labeling thin women “gangly or bony.”

“There's no need to glamorize one body type and slam another. We need to stop this absurd hatred towards bodies for being different sizes. It doesn't help anyone and it's getting old.”

By: Elise Solé

Former Vogue Editor Exposes Fashion's Dark Side.....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on April 9, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

When former Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Kirstie Clements got unexpectedly, unceremoniously fired last year, she was offered a book deal to tell her story the very next day. Now the new memoir, “The Vogue Factor,” has folks buzzing about her decision to blow the lid off all kinds of backstage fashion-mag drama—particularly the kind relating to anorexic models. But Clements insists she was simply telling the truth.

“I’m not spilling,” she told Yahoo! Shine in an email exchange. “They are honest observations. Anyone in the industry would have heard the same things.” Things like models being barely strong enough to stand for shoots, spending more time on drips than ingesting food and eating tissues to stave off hunger.

"Apparently they swelled in your stomach," she explained about the tissue trick to Entertainment Tonight.


Clements also wrote about editors altering photos of models in unexpected ways, such as to "get rid of bones," in an attempt to make them look less emaciated. “Most people accuse editors of [airbrushing] images for the girls to look slimmer, on occasion we had to do it the other way around,” she told ET.


One time the former editor spent a three-day gig with a model, and never saw her consume a single meal. On the third day, the woman could barely hold herself up or keep her eyes open. In another instance, she writes, a Russian model said that her "fit model" roommate (meaning extremely thin) spent frequent time on hospital drips.


“When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast in the overseas shows ... the Vogue fashion office would say she’d become ‘Paris thin,'" she writes.“Eating disorders exist. The problem is that they are hidden," Clements told Shine. "You can’t be sure. That’s why they are so insidious.”

“They relate to a small percentage of models, not all,” she continued. “But all the industry is complicit in varying degrees. It’s up to each person to make a judgment and call it as they see it, over the areas they have control over. Editors don’t control everything.”


As for her decision to write the book in the first place, she insisted it was not about exacting revenge. “I just wanted to capture my recollections, with honesty, and then move on,” she said


Yahoo! Shine invited Vogue Australia to respond to the memoir, and current editor-in-chief Edwina McCann emailed the following: "I can only talk from the perspective of Vogue Australia as it is today. Almost a year ago the international editors of Vogue signed a global health initiative. I take Vogue Australia’s commitment to the initiative very seriously and we are vocal ambassadors for the message of healthy body image both in the magazine and outside. We actively encourage designers and editors to favour models who resonate best with our readers."


Clements’ ascension at Vogue began in 1985—following her phase of punked-out, pink-haired Sydney-nightclub scenester—when the magazine hired her as a receptionist. She rose quickly through the ranks, becoming an editor’s assistant, beauty editor, Paris correspondent and then editor-in-chief, a position she held for 13 years, until a “regime change,” as she calls it in her book, brought about many layoffs, including her own. She was dismissed by HR, not permitted to talk to her staff before leaving the building, and swiftly replaced by McCann, of Harpers Bazaar Australia. 


“I was shocked, a bit numb and a bit relieved,” Clements told Shine about her firing, which she details in chapter one of her memoir. “Eight CEOs is probably enough for anyone.”


Now, she added, though she doesn’t miss working at Vogue per se, “I just miss my wonderful team.”


She’ll no doubt yearn a bit for the fabulousness of her Vogue tenure—a highlight of which, “in terms of amazing,” she noted, was Ralph Lauren's 40th anniversary in Central Park, an A-list 2007 bash that featured an over-the-top runway show of his creations. Among her favorite icons to spend time with, she told Australia's Rescu, were Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. “He’s extraordinary…and actually quite down to earth…and kind of naughty,” she said of Lagerfeld. “I met so many famous people, it just became part of the job.”


Her social life, though, shows no signs of stopping. “Modern marriage: I ran into my husband in a nightclub last night,” she tweeted in late March, referring to husband Mourat Ayat, with long career ties to the world of nightlife.


For now Clements plans to focus on consulting and writing gigs (she’s been contributing to a blog for the Australian clothing brand Sportscraft, she told the Sydney Morning Herald, adding, “No, it’s not Chanel, but I don’t have that snobbery about labels.” She’ll also presumably have some more time for her twin sons Joe and Sam—though, at 17, they might not have much time for her.


“My sons are fashionable in a ‘I don’t know that style, clearly it’s some new cool cat hybrid I’ve been excluded from’ [kind of way],” she said. “As things should be when your children are 17.”


As far as how she balanced her demanding editor-in-chief role with raising the boys, she told Shine, “Life is all about balance and change. Sometimes you’re the best mum in the world sometimes you’re not. Don’t beat yourself up.” Also, as she she told Rescu, “I was lucky enough to have a house husband.”

By: Beth Greenfield



Sharapova Hits The Oscars ......

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Maria Sharapova, a legend on the court and a megastar off of it, stepped out and shone at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - For Maria Sharapova, the time between Premier-level tournaments in Doha and Indian Wells is taken up by hard-hitting practice sessions on the court, intense fitness work off the court and, of course, stepping out at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Los Angeles.

Sharapova, a legend on the court and a megastar off of it, turned heads in her Amanda Wakeley dress, which was complemented by Isharaya earrings, an Alexander McQueen bag, Manolo Blahnik shoes and Katherine Sultan cuffs. From her sleek, modern, chic hair to her young, classic make-up, the four-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 was shining very brightly in the City Of Angels.

"The inspiration for last night's look was very sleek and modern," Sharapova said. "I wanted to go with a classically stunning dress that has a surprise ornamentation of back jewelry. Perfect for a perfect LA evening at the Oscars. The glamour of the Oscars is like nothing else. The Vanity Fair Oscar Party is such a star-studded celebration that I love seeing the stunning fashions on the red carpet."

Source: WTA Tennis


Buy Less: Take The Fear & Compulsion Out Of Shopping ....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 7, 2012 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

“Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.”


Around the holidays we tend to talk more about consumerism. Especially knowing that Black Friday started even earlier than usual this year (on Thursday night), a lot of us feel that our consumption has gotten out of hand.

Many people I know have suggested we should curb our impulse to buy and only purchase necessities, but I can’t help but wonder if perhaps the solution is less about extremism and more about moderation.

Making a drastic change can seem appealing when we’re frustrated or overwhelmed with the way things are, but going from one extreme to another rarely provides a viable long-term solution.

The problem isn’t that we buy things we don’t need; it’s that we buy lots of things we don’t need to fill our assorted emotional voids.

Does anyone need a piece of jewelry? Or a painting? Or an app?

No—but good, talented people create these things. So long as we don’t mistakenly attach our happiness to them, we can both support those people and enjoy the fruits of their labor by purchasing their creations, when we’re financially able.

No one goes into debt for occasionally treating themselves to something they would appreciate wearing, displaying, or using. We only run into issues when we spend compulsively and beyond our means.

And buying gifts for other people—this can provide a lot of joy for the buyer and the giver, if we don’t pressure ourselves to spend extravagantly.

Every year, each of my family members spend five dollars on stocking stuffers for the other four, so that we each end up with twenty dollars of stuff. None of us need the gum, combs, and magazines we get, but it’s fun and easily doable.

The problem isn’t that we live in a consumer culture. It’s that we’re not always mindful of how and why we each consume.

In much the same way, advertising itself isn’t fundamentally bad; everyone who supports themselves sells something, whether it’s a product, a course, or a service; that requires them to promote it.

What’s dangerous is psychologically manipulative advertising that plays off our fears and creates new ones.

I remember when I lived in New York and earned $350 weekly as a part-time telemarketer.

I didn’t own a TV then, so I rarely saw a commercial, but I spent a lot of time in the Internet Café, where pop-up ads reminded me daily that happiness was a shoe, face cream, or gadget away.

Piled on top of my loneliness, professional dissatisfaction, and overall sense of despondency, that influence made it awfully compelling to pull out my credit card—which only created more problems and more reasons to feel overwhelmed by life.

I’ve since learned that I have a say in what I internalize. As frustrating as it may be that advertising often targets our fears, we each need to be responsible for what we think, believe, and do.

For the most part I now take the middle path with spending, allowing myself occasional splurges without falling into compulsive behavior—or draining my bank account.

If you’re also trying to buy less, you may find it helpful to ask yourself these questions when considering a purchase:

*Am I trying to fill some type of emotional void?

*Is there something I can do to proactively address whatever it is I’m feeling?

*Is this an impulse purchase that I’ll later regret?

*Am I buying this because of psychologically manipulative advertising that makes me feel that I somehow need this to be happy?

*Which action or choice would actually increase my happiness?

*Could using this item help me increase my happiness in a meaningful way?

*Is there something else I could do with this money that I would enjoy more?

*Will the value I receive (in enjoyment, in number of uses) justify the cost?

*Will buying this impact my ability to meet my financial responsibilities?

And now, some questions, holiday-style:

*Am I pressuring myself to spend more than I can on a gift because I don’t want the receiver to think I don’t care?

*Could I show them I care through a thoughtful gesture instead of spending more than I reasonably should?

*Do I feel like I have to spend as much as the otherperson does?

*Can I drop that pressure and focus instead on giving them something meaningful that they’ll enjoy?

*Is my ego getting in the way, making it seem like spending more makes me look better?

*Can I focus on doing something good with my intentions, instead of trying to look good through my financial generosity?

*How can I provide value to a person, regardless of the financial value of my gift?

*If money is an issue, is there something I can create that they would appreciate?

*Can I get more value for my dollar by financing a shared experience (creating more joy and connection) instead of a physical product?

*Do I really think the people who love me will change their opinion of me based on how much I spend on a gift?

These are just a handful of questions that can help us develop awareness of how and when we buy so that we can find the path of moderation—in everyday life and during the holiday season.

It may be hard at times to answer some of these, particularly because certain advertisers will continue to employ fear tactics in their pursuit of ever-increasing profits.

But knowledge is power—and if we question what’s going on internally, we can learn to change our external choices. We can learn to spend responsibly and mindfully, supporting each other as we’re financially able, and enjoying each other’s creations.

By: Lori Deschene.