Archive for March 30, 2015

Freckles: beauty or beast?

Freckles

I got my first freckle when I was almost nine; I had noticed it on the left side of my chin. My first case of denial was born; I didn’t want freckles. I wanted to have clear skin like the numerous models I had seen in make-up commercials.

Since I was still a kid, I had never paid attention to the fact that everyone in my family was covered in freckles. Especially their arms. When I finally did notice, I was terrified. I couldn’t tell you a specific reason why freckles scared me, but I knew I didn’t want them.

Skip ahead to when I was thirteen: the dreaded puberty began, and so did the agglomeration of freckles. My arms were targeted first and then my face. For a long tome I had a bridge of freckles that traveled from one cheek, across my nose, and to the other. It sure wasn’t the way to make me feel pretty. I hated them, and I hated when people would point them out and call them cute. What was cute about freckles? The way they made people stare? No.

When I first started experimenting with make-up about a year later, I discovered concealer, but to my dismay it refused to work for freckles. Still, I was determined to make them disappear. I wanted my skin to appear smooth and free from any sort of discoloration.

But what I didn’t know then was that I was doomed from the start. They just kept appearing, and eventually I started to lose track of how often new ones would pop up. Before I knew it, I was covered from head to toe.

Yes, they are even on my feet. Weird, I know.

And my upper lip. I literally have a freckle mustache.

The strange part about it all? I started to be okay with it. I suppose once you’re forced to deal with something for so long, you learn to accept it. And the thing is, no one really cared that I had freckles. It was just me. And now, at almost twenty-one, I wouldn’t want to look any other way.

I love my freckles. To be honest, they make me feel pretty. I think they draw out the better things about my face, and without them I  wouldn’t recognize myself. They have become an integral part of my identity. I smile when I see them, and while it took me a good amount of time to get to this point, I can honestly say I’m happy to be here.

Embrace the freckles.

Brittany Eldridge

Shailene Woodley’s carpe diem approach to life

Shailene Woodley

Have you ever wanted to meet someone who lived by “seizing the day”? I have, and the person I want to meet who does this is Shailene Woodley.

I’d be thrilled if I could sit down for ten minutes to pick her brain about living a natural life, enjoying every moment, and—more controversially—rejecting feminism. Yes, rejecting feminism.

When she was asked in an interview by Time magazine about whether she considered herself a feminist, this was Woodley’s initial answer:

No, because I love men, and I think the idea of “raise women to power, take the men away from the power” is never going to work out because you need balance.

Woodley goes on to talk more about the need for balance and how she sees herself as 50% feminine and masculineI think balance is an ideal that permeates her life. But part of me also wonders whether or not she’s familiar with all that feminism entails.

A lot of people wrongly think feminism is based on the idea of women hating men (maybe because of the name) or wanting to “rise above” men as Woodley says. But, in truth, feminism is about equality between the genders. And hate doesn’t even fit into that equation.

Despite her misunderstanding of feminism, there are plenty of reasons to admire Woodley. She’s chosen to live a natural lifestyle in which she claims to be completely “in tune” with her body. She’s learned what her body needs and considers herself a part of the Earth, as it’s a part of her.

I’m amazed by Woodley’s commitment to and passion for healthy living. Woodley told Natural Health magazine that she relies a good deal on herbalism, which is defined as the study or use of medicinal properties in plants. She says:

I started learning about all the wild plants in my area, as well as all of the wild medicines that I could gather and create for myself. I was in control of my body, and I could feel what was happening. It was eye-opening.

Woodley also says an herb that is a part of her regimen is called stinging nettle (stinging? yikes!), which she seals in a jar with boiling water and then strains it before drinking, something she does this before every menstrual cycle. She claims stinging nettle is full of natural vitamins and minerals that women require and she would much rather do that as a tea-like infusion that take pills.

In addition, Woodley doesn’t seem to worry about body weight or her looks. She claims to shop at thrift stores and only buys clothes she can wear multiple times. Woodley also claims that, in order to be healthy, she doesn’t stress or worry about what could happen:

Living in a state of fear makes no sense…If I have X number of days to live, I am not going to live them in fear. Where’s the laughter in it? Where’s the joy?

I think we should all take a page from Shailene’s book of life. A healthy way to live is a happy way to live.

Brittany Eldridge

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