Girl Talk: Loving Those Who are in Love

JD-art-teenlove-20121229175333558035-300x0Valentine’s Day is far away, yes, but let’s take some time to talk about couples and the growing habit of people’s negativity against couples. Some people will groan, gag, or poke fun when a gooey-eyed girl talks about how her boyfriend gave her flowers, or at other romantic stories like that. Admit it, we all know someone who does this, or maybe we are one of them ourselves — someone who can’t sit through a romantic movie without making a snide comment or who maybe makes comments like how wrapped people get when they’re in a relationship.

The Negative Approach

Though, granted, these cynics (“cynic” is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a person who has negative opinions about other people and about the things people do”) have their reasons. Maybe they just went through a hard relationship, maybe they got their heart broken, and maybe they’re scared. Maybe they’ve just never gotten to experience true love for themselves. And while these are valid reasons, there should still be more open-mindedness and encouragement of love.When did we stop celebrating love? When did we stop realizing how gorgeous and how sweet it is to see a girl swoon over flowers, an elderly couple walking hand-in-hand, or a man singing with a goofy smile on his face because he got engaged. This may sound cheesy and cliché, but love really is great.

Mackenzie Henson, 16, talks about love, saying, “Every time you think about that person, you smile and always want to hang out with them, you want what’s best for them and it just feels…wonderful.”

Loving those who are in love can give you hope, not jealousy

Even if you’ve never been in love, you should still feel happy for those who are. Love those who are in love, don’t be cynical towards them. Of course, as stated earlier, there are reasons for being cynical. We tend to make fun of others as a sort of self-defense against maybe feeling hurt, feeling lonely, or against showing vulnerability — after all, it is easier to look down on others than to feel down yourself.

As Lydia Strickland, 16, says, “Watching people in love is like sitting outside a pen of puppies. They frolic and play, have fun and love, while you watch on the outside of the iron bars thinking to yourself.”

For those who share the same thoughts as Lydia, keep in mind that watching others in love is not cause for jealousy, for self-pity, or for loneliness. Shouldn’t it be something of hope? Your time will come; one day you’ll stumble upon that kind of happy, glowing love, so there is no need to rush or torture yourself with self-pity.

Tai Goodwin, a speaker, coach, and brilliant catalyst, writes in an article in the Huffington Post,“When you see another person’s win as a loss for you, you pave the way for discouragement and resentment to set in. Instead allow other people’s success to ignite hope for the success coming in your time of harvest.”

Sharing is caring—and loving

Rather than ride the negativity train, share in your friends’ happiness! Realize the importance of love—the visible, engulfing kind of love that leaves people grinning goofily for days, the kind of love that makes others glow.

Hannah Young, 15, says she “realized that it’s actually cute and nice to see people in love.”

“I don’t feel bad for myself anymore. I try not to let myself get jealous either, because I know that love make you happy and everyone deserves that,” says Hannah.

When your friend talks happily about her date for the 100th time, you should listen just as attentively as you did the first time. When you see a couple kiss (though it might be overdone), smile! Because it really is sweet.

“When I first went out with my boyfriend, I wouldn’t stop talking about it with my friends,” says Mariana de Caro, 18.

“I bet it must have gotten annoying, but I needed to tell someone and I really appreciated it when my friends (I’m thinking of one specific friend, but I won’t say her name!) took the time to listen to my ramblings. They were attentive and supporting, and it made me all the happier,” adds Mariana.

You should remember that while you certainly don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy, you should still strive to smile for the happiness of those who are in one. It may not always be easy, but love shouldn’t be underestimated—enjoy it!

Avoid the Boy Drama

Boyfriend - LatinitasThere’s a really dreamy guy who you and your friend just “ooh” and “ahh” over. Everyone thinks he is just the best guy in the whole wide world, a total cutie.

One day your wish comes true: He talks to you and thinks you are pretty awesome. But, the hard part, what about your friend who likes him just as much as you do? Or reverse it, he talks to your friend and thinks she is the best girl ever. How would that make you feel? Would you still want to be friends with her? What would you two do?

Well, here is the best answer: drop him! No real girlfriends should ever, ever fight over a guy! University of the Incarnate Word freshmen, Brigitte Prunty, says it’s important NOT to fight over a guy because “you never know if he’s worth it. Your friends are way more important.” Your friends have been with you during your ups and downs and truly love you for the great girl you are, and a guy shouldn’t stand in the way of a friendship.

“Both friends need to get over him. If both are genuine friends, they wouldn’t break a friendship over some guy. They would get over him and move on with their lives with each other in it. That’s what matters most,” says Leia Hill, a junior at University of the Incarnate Word.

Advice from One Girl to Another

Both Leia and Brigitte agree that a boy is not worth losing a friend. Brigitte also knows how it is to be in this sticky, tough situation, since she has unfortunately experienced boy drama with a friend.A really close friend of Brigitte liked this one guy a lot. Even though Brigitte thought he was really cute, she wasn’t him into him that much, especially since she knew her friend was so into him. But, that didn’t keep this guy from liking Brigitte. After Brigitte’s friend found out this guy liked Brigitte and not her, Brigitte says, ”My situation was not fun at all.”

Of course, this caused Brigitte’s friend to become angry, and somewhat jealous. Brigitte apologized and insisted she did not want this at all. After giving her friend some space and time to think, Brigitte’s friend came around and they made up! Brigitte says, “Do the best you always can as being a good friend. Don’t give up on the situation– there is always a solution.”

“Every single relationship needs its ups and downs to be able to grow and prosper into the best, strongest relationship it can be. Which is why it is okay to have a rut happen in the relationship, just as long as both friends are smart enough to pass this rut,” Leia says.

In a situation like this, make sure to set boundaries. Any guy your friend may be interested in and you’re not into, is only a friend  and that you’re not into him. Simple. It is totally natural for your friend to get her feelings hurt and be upset if a guy she likes ends up liking you. Give her space and keep reassuring her; she will come around!

Just as you and your friends cherish each other so much, thinking the guy you’re into will  replace your friends may not work out the way you expect it to. There could be a day where you are feeling really sad and just need to talk and cry it out, and you go to him for emotional support. But, he sees you crying and thinks to himself: “this is not what I signed up for.” Always remember if this guy is a good guy, he wouldn’t dare break a friendship between two close girlfriends.The cute guy you thought was the love of your life may not stick around, but a true friend always will.

Friendships include arguments and hard work in order to sustain the wonderful bonds they have.Girlfriends are valuable treasures and the genuine treasures last a lifetime!

“After both friends have moved on with their lives and forgotten the crazy circumstances they were in, when they look back in their time together, they will laugh with each other and remember the (now little) arguments, and can both say ’we got over this.’ It made them the friends they are today,” says Leia.

It’s always exciting when you like a new guy, but it isn’t exciting when you lose a friend because of a guy. Make it fair for the both of you and just remember a friendship comes before a dating relationship. You and your gal pal need to always have good communication when you feel like something may hurt your friendship. If both of you like him, avoid competing for his attentions. It’s not healthy for you or your friendship. Talk with your friend about what’s fair for both of you, and for both of you to find someone else to crush on.

Me, Myself, and I

girl on computerWe live in a very social world, constantly surrounded by people. Even when we’re at home and no one’s around we can still communicate through e-mail and texting and social media, so even then we’re not “alone.” We’re always told that when someone is alone they must be sad or have no friends, when in reality the person may simply enjoy being alone. There is a social bias against solitude. People link solitude with people who are lonely, sad, or with antisocial tendencies. Solitude has been, sadly, underestimated. And it’s actually quite healthy!

“I like hanging out with friends just as much as the next person,” says Hannah Young, 15, from Westlake High School. “But I sometimes go away from all that and just spend time by myself. It’s nice and really relaxing.”

Increases Your Focus

Like Hannah said, being alone is therapeutic. Disconnecting from the complex, wired world by being alone gives your brain time to unwind. Constantly being around others can be distracting, so when you’re alone you get a chance to clear your mind, to focus, and to think. And by having a clearer mind and less distractions, you’ll be able to concentrate better on any work to be done. After all, it’s hard to study for that big test when you’re surrounded by a lot of people talking.

Not only can solitude refocus your mind and make you more productive, but it also provides time for you to think deeply. It seems hard to think about anything when the world is constantly buzzing, but when you’re alone and without distractions you can meditate and mull over things. Why do you think many great ideas come during showers or late at night? It’s because you were alone!We’ve all had those “eureka!” moments while going to sleep, and sometimes you can feel like philosopher when taking long showers. It’s all because we let ourselves be alone.

Gabriela de Caro, a sixth grader at Regents School of Austin, says, “I like being on my bed staring at my ceiling at night. I actually get a lot of cool ideas. Like one time I was stuck on a play we had to do at school, and after thinking a bit I figured out which part fit me the best!”

Helps Find Your Own Voice

Solitude gives you an opportunity to find your own voice. Psychology Today writes that “When you’re a part of a group, you’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which isn’t always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.” And in finding your own voice, you discover more about yourself.

Rachel Prichett, 16, says “everyone has a ‘mind palace,’ and being alone helps me explore my own…it’s funny because I learned a lot more about myself than I ever knew before.”

Every person has an inner world full of creativity. Take time to disconnect by turning off the phone, the Internet and the TV. Give yourself some time to just be alone. Whether it happens early in the morning, at night, at lunch, or any other time, you decide. You’ll be surprised by just how rewarding solitude actually is!

Advice to My 13 Year-Old Self

Photo Credit: AAUW

Photo Credit: AAUW

Latinitas celebrated Women’s History Month by hosting a blog-a-thon. Members of the MyLatinitas.com community shared heartfelt advice they wish they were told when they were 13 years old.

Popularity is a big one. When I was thirteen I tried hard to be an extrovert, and I thought being ‘shy’ was a weakness. Whenever someone ignored me or was rude, I figured it was my fault. I thought I wasn’t interesting or cool enough. Then I realized that ignoring people and being rude was a bad trait, and that it wasn’t me who had to change anything about myself, but rather the other person. Trying to be popular through fake behavior, modifying our physique and being hard on ourselves can be stressful.

I’m not sure if hearing someone say this to me at 13 would’ve worked or made much sense as it does now. But the truth is that beautiful and genuinely kind girls eventually blossom into respectable women, especially if they remain honest with who they are. So it’s important to endure through those hard and confusing times, not letting anyone change who we really are.” – Giselle

“When I was 13 years old, I didn’t know how to put on makeup yet and my biggest concern in life was that there must be something wrong with me because all my friends had a boyfriend but I didn’t. I had to start thinking about where I’d go to high school and even college. I was really insecure at the time and constantly put myself down. I always felt like was never good enough for some reason.

I wish that someone had told me not to give into too many of your emotions. So often I make decisions on what I feel rather then what is logically correct and I wish someone told me to follow my head instead of my heart. I needed to hear that I need to put myself before anyone else and become the best person I could possibly be. And most importantly, I wish someone said to spend time with family. It’s so important because you sometimes often get so busy with growing up that you forget your parents also grow old too. I wish someone told me all of this but even if I heard it at 13 years old, I may have been too stubborn to actually follow this advice, but it still would have been nice anyway. ” – Claudia

All I can say is that I grew up ‘too soon’ in a sense that I [didn't have] a childhood, and my teenage years were controlled and spent at home playing video games (sometimes up to 12 hours a day)… You are still young, 13, you still have a lot of time to spend with the family! It is your decision to stay with the family or not, whether you are 13, 18, already in your mid-20′s with your own kids, it doesn’t matter; age is a number and [spending time with your family is a must]. [It's] not a choice.” – Irena

Changing for a Guy, Right or Wrong?

Thinking you found the perfect man is one of the best feelings in the world; suddenly your world has turned upside down, and your eyes shine every time you think about him, talk about him, or just look at him. First love or finding love at any age could make a girl, or woman, change herself, but sometimes change can go too far.

Love-Hearts-Sweets-Its-Love-Real-Love_art

Of course all girls say that they wouldn’t alter their personality for a guy, but it turns out to be completely different when these girls find love. Yet the question remains, is changing who you are to fit your boyfriend’s ideal girl worth it? Or is change something we do without even realizing it? Most of us say that you should be just the way you are to find love, and that you do not need to pretend to be someone else. If he falls for you then there is a chance he might be the “one.” If he falls for the lie, a time will come when pretending to be someone else gets exhausting, and you’ll both be living a lie. But sometimes changing your personality for a guy might be a good thing.

This topic can create three different stories; in one story the girl changes her awful- bipolar personality after meeting the sweetest guy ever. In another story the nice, smart girl meets the cool, bad guy, and ends up getting hurt and changing some of her personality. Then unexpectedly, she ends up falling for her boy best friend who has always been there for her. The last story, and the one that most of the girls fall for, is the one where the bad boy falls for the nice girl, and he changes who he is for her.  This story is often common, but does it always happen? Chicas, this is a big NO.

Should we change our personality for another person?

According to a blogger named Ali Hale, changing who you are is not always the best thing. If you feel like changing, it should be into something positive, but her main point is that you are who you are no matter what. She also explains that people should change at their own will. Lip Gloss Culture, a lifestyle blog, explains that women tend to change in a relationship for the simple fact that change is part of our nature. Yet, there comes a time when a girl or woman already put too much effort in the relationship, while the boyfriend doesn’t dare to do the same. Meaning, that you’ve cooked him dinner, ditched your girlfriends several times to be with him, and stopped talking to your male friends to make him happy. If he cannot do a simple thing for you then you should step back from the relationship. Lip Gloss Culture also explains that it is fine to change in a relationship, it’s part of learning through experience and committing; but girls need to see who is giving up more of themselves. You can have a relationship and still be yourself, remember that a guy is supposed to like you for who you are.

Young ladies that are already in college look back at their previous relationships and experiences and say that in fact you do change, without even noticing! These young ladies also state that even though they did change for their boyfriends, a part of them never died. Somehow girls, or women, tend to be more committed and attentive, but at the same time they are still the girl who loves to have a girls night out. Why not take a little break from the boyfriend, and see your best friend? Because you probably need it.

Some girls admit that they had given too much for a certain boyfriend because they were in love, and love itself blinded them. Looking back at those memories most girls state their boyfriends took advantage of it, but they did it to make them happy. When they finally realized what they had become, they took a stand and said enough is enough. One girl took a stand when she found out that her boyfriend cheated on her. Eventually they fixed their problems and came back together once again.

You could be the type of girlfriend who doesn’t care if your boyfriend goes out with the guys, as long as you are able to go out with your friends. It is recommended to never to forget about your friends when you have found the “one,” you will need them for a break or for support.You do not need to change completely for a guy. Remember, you can still be into classic movies, and date a guy who is all about technology and sports.

Sleek Straight to Brittle Hair

The sleek straight hair is still as popular as ever. Society’s standards have managed to focus on curly hair as being less tidy or perhaps the less than ideal counterpart. Straight hair dominates as the “perfect” predecessor to girl’s night out and weekend dates.

One must wonder, how does society play a role in the style of our hair?

Jane Diaz, 20, recalls her youth, “I used to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to mirror my friends stick straight hair. I spent so much time trying my hardest to achieve total perfection.”

After a total of 7 hours, her hair was often as curly as it was before the use of the iron. Constantly straightening hair, if not nourished, often leads to brittle or dry hair– the price that is paid for beauty.

Mia Tapia, 17, recalls the anxiety from being obsessed with having straight hair. She says, “I would come to realize that the look was a tiresome process of having to continue to use and reuse dry conditioner, gloss, and volume spray to achieve my naturally healthy curly hair back.”

Dangers of Hair Abuse

Treatments like hair straighteners are the cause for hair follicles becoming limp and frail after 40 minutes of heat induction. Most hair treatments go beyond and hour, which damages the hair in the long run. Depending on how much one is willing to pay, beauticians leave women with dry straw-like hair. Ever wonder why they insist on getting a customer to buy moisturizers? It is a situation where one gets a desired look at the price of a large bill.

Many people place hair as the epitome of beauty. If your gorgeous hair is not flowing then society is quick to label you unfit. As most people age, hair becomes thinner and soon loses its resilient ability to stay alive under the pressure of curling irons. Society may be looking past the ramifications of health for an “ideal” beauty type.

Tapia says, “If I had as much time now as I did [at 12] then, to straighten out my hair, then I would have less time to study. I would rather be smart than worry about looks.”

Perhaps society places straight hair as the only standard of beauty. One musical artist that breaks away from the straight hair phenomenon is Regina Spektor. Her hair is a massive pile of sheer bounce, but she is entirely known for her music alone. Or the wavy haired Spanish rock star, Julieta Venegas. Despite recent fashion innovations her hair does not define her music ability. So although many attend her concerts in hopes of hearing her, pure vanity is never an issue.

Too many people place hair as the standard for beauty. It is time people openly sport their natural hair and show off their fabulous locks.

Our SHEroes

Although they don’t always get as much attention as males, many inspiring notable women have made an impact throughout history. Our history books are often packed with many male heroes, but we still have a huge lack of ‘Sheroes’ stories in our history books. We asked Latinitas to write about a woman in history that they admire.

OUR SHEROES

This is what our girls had to say:

 

I admire Rosa Parks because she was brave and sat in the front of the bus when it wasn’t permitted for black women.
- Joanna

 

Rosa Parks inspires me because she stood up for women’s rights. She sat in a seat and stayed in her seat even if a white man asked her to move out of her seat. Even if all white people including the bus driver told her to move, she didn’t care and she stayed sitting on her seat. She was sent to jail but still she was a good example to the black women everywhere. This is why Rosa Parks inspires me.
-Ashlyn Rene

 

Selena Quintanilla was a big role model for women in history because of her advances in music. She won many awards and was one of the few women in her style of music.  There are many other important women in our history, but she is my main one because she loved music just as much as I do.
- Alexis

 

Susan. B. Anthony is remembered for fighting for women’s rights. She helped women gain women’s right to vote.
- Mariana

 

Frida Kahlo is a Mexican painter who is historical because of her political views and her arts. She helped spread Mexican Traditions and Woman’s rights with messages through her arts. I admire her because she says the truth, all women are beautiful the way they are, natural.

 

 

Michelle Obama is the first lady of America. She helps kids and a she makes school right. She is married to the President and is the first African-American first lady in our country. She helps kids all around the world. She is a good person.
-Halia Capers

 

Dolores Huerta era una ayudante por los trabajadores. Ella trato cosas para que las personas no se enfermaran. Ella alludo a mucha gente y la se lo seguimos agradeciendo. Alludo a mucha gente para que no se enfermaran.

 

Girl Talk: I Was Bullied

When I was in the third grade, I always did my class work and finished it quickly. I had just started my first year in my school’s gifted and talented program, which put a target, invisible to me, on my back. I wasn’t aware that people didn’t like me when I was in third grade. How could I have been? I had a group of close-knit friends and all the teachers liked me. As far as I knew, everyone liked me. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case.

One day during recess, I was cornered by three of my classmates, two girls and one boy, who were known for causing trouble and each Hispanic. Somehow we got out of the teacher’s eyesight. Suddenly, the girls were on either side of me, one holding my right arm and one holding my left. The next thing I knew, the boy punched me in the stomach. As quickly as I was cornered was how quickly it ended.

Although it lasted for only a moment, harming someone in any way because you don’t like something about him or her is bullying. Recently there has been a rise in Hispanic students bullying other Hispanic students. With Hispanic girls having the highest rate of attempted suicide, one has to think this rate might be directly connected to the rise in bullying.

So what’s the definition of bullying? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, bullying someone means to treat someone abusively or to affect by means of force or coercion. According to Stopbullying,gov, bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” There are several different types of bullying such as physical, verbal, spreading rumors, excluding someone, intimidation and cyberbullying.

Why are kids being bullied? Appearance and social status are two of the main reasons people are bullied. Bullies pick on the people they think are different for some reason or do not fit in. Being able to identify who the bullies are is also a critical step in stopping bullying. Most bullies share some common characteristics. They like to dominate others and generally only care about themselves. They often have poor social skills and poor social judgment. Sometimes they are actually jealous of the person they are bullying or want to act out because they were once hurt by a bully them selves. Bullies put down others in order to feel more interesting and powerful. Today, bullying is on the rise within the Hispanic community. Sometimes young Hispanics who are second or third generation Americans are bullying others who are first generation Americans and those who aren’t citizens.

What can you do if you are being bullied or if you see someone else being bullied? I think girls need to know what bullying is so they can easily recognize bullies. They should also know what to do when they’re bullied or witness another being bullied.First, tell either your parents or a trusted adult at school. Don’t be afraid that telling on the bully will get you in trouble. Adults can often devise a way to get you or others out of the bullying situation. This can be done without the bully ever knowing how they found out about it in the first place. Also, if you or your friends are worried about the bullying escalating to violence, avoid being alone.

Tips for you/others about surviving bullying:
1. Ignore the bully and walk away: Don’t be bothered by them and eventually they’ll give up. Getting angry or physical is exactly what the bully wants.
2. Take charge of your life: Join an extracurricular activity, club, or class. These places are the best places to make friends and gain the confidence you can use to avoid bullies.
3. Talk about it: Talking to someone about what you are going through is sometimes the best therapy. Confide in someone and you’ll feel better.4
4. The best thing to do to stop bullying is to tell someone when you get bullied and don’t be afraid to speak out on someone’s behalf if they are being bullied. Speaking against a bully sometimes isn’t the easiest thing to do, but realize that many of your classmates probably feel uncomfortable when they witness someone getting bullied.

A quote from Abraham Joshua Heschel can be applied to bullying. He said, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” Though you may not be guilty of being a bully, it is your responsibility to do the right thing by helping those being bullied in whatever way you can. If you stand by and do nothing, you are responsible in part for that person’s pain.

Girl Talk: What is Beautiful?

Young Latinas are taking a stand against digital photo altering in magazines for teens and women to redefine what is beautiful. Many fashion magazines feature pictures that are “perfected” with the help of technology tools like Photoshop.  Digital altering can completely change the image of model from hair color to waistline and blemishes to weight. How does that affect girls? Many young girls are going on diets and even getting eating disorders in an attempt to keep up with these false standards of beauty. These Latinitas sound off sharing their frustration in seeing unrealistic images of girls in media and their thoughts on real beauty.

  • “Dear Teen Magazine Editor, Please stop using Photoshop because it is damaging women’s self-esteem.” -Jenna Aguilar, age 12
  • “Dear Teen Vogue, Don’t  put Photoshop pictures because girls are hurting themselves.Every one is different and people can’t relate to this. If you may, please no more Photoshopped pictures.” – Katrina Estrada, age 13
  • “Dear 17 Magazine Editor, Do you know what it’s like to be charged with murder? Many girls, teens, and women take there life every single day. Why? Because they can’t “fit in.” Sure Photoshoping may not seem like a big deal but in reality, it’s bigger that it can ever seem.  It would be better if you stop but even if you don’t, maybe cutting down on Photoshop might help. Take it into consideration please!”- Sincerely, Maria.
  • “Stop changing people’s look because it is causing kids to feel bad and get surgery. Please stop Photoshopping.”- Yoselin Martinez, age 13
  • “Dear Teen Vogue, Can you please stop Photoshopping? It is making girls insecure because they want to be or look exactly like the models and have gone through Anorexia or Bulemia just to look like them. Can please stop? Thanks.” -Frida, age 13
  • “Dear 17 magazine, Why would you change someone else’s body? They are perfect the way they are! If you don’t think so then you should be fired! Stop Photoshop!”-  Faith, age 11
  • “Dear 17 magazine, Please stop changing the girls because I want to see who they really are. No more photoshop!”- Ashley, age 10
  • “Please stop using Photoshop pictures, it makes girls want to look like models.” – Kimberly
  • “I think you shouldn’t edit because it’s fake and when you see a famous person it looks totally different and they disappoint people.” -Cynthia
  • “Dear  Teen Vogue Editor, Please stop using Photoshopped images in your magazines it is very harmful to girls and their bodies.” Sincerely, Natalina Acosta.
  • “Dear Editor, I think that you should stop Photoshop. I think people will love them (models) even if you don’t edit it. They look fake when people see them in real life! Everybody can tell and people will notice. Just saying!” -Sincerely, Delilah.
  • “Dear Editor, I think Photoshop is a bad example to little kids and they get the wrong idea of how girls should be.They want to be like the celebrities on TV and magazines.” -Deseree Martinez
  • “Dear Designers, I think you should cut down on  Photoshopping, that way girls and women can stop trying to be like the women on TV that are not real. I think little girls start to get that in their head and when they get older they do the same and then don’t look as pretty as they already are.”  - Desiree Tarango
  • “Dear 17 Magazine Editors, I think you should stop using Photoshop because it makes us all feel bad about our bodies.”
  • “Dear Editors, Please stop using Photoshop it discriminates women.There are 8 year olds who want to use Botox just to be like the girls on magazines who are fake. Please Stop.”-   Maria G. C.
  • “Dear Teen Vogue, Photoshop is stupid it makes girls feel insecure. It’s not about the looks its about what they feel inside.”-  Sincerely, Lauren
  • “Dear Editor, Hi my name is Jessica and I’m 12 years old.I wish you could really stop using Photoshop in most of the photos. I think it’s really hurting girls my age. Please! I would really appreciate it.”   -Jessica Ceballos
  • “Dear 17 Magazine, Please stop using Photoshopped images in your magazine. Those pictures have negative effects on girls like me.” -Deliah age 13
  • “Dear Teen Vogue, Can you please stop using Photoshop because 5th graders worry about their weight and feel really bad. It’s only hurting girls.” -Katherine Vazquez, age 11
  • “Dear 17 magazine, Please stop using Photoshopped pictures in your magazines, they make young girls feel bad about their bodies.”-  Miranda Galindo, age 11
  • “Dear 17 Magazine, Please stop using Photoshop pictures in your magazine, they make young girls feel bad about their bodies.”  Desiree Ramirez, age 12
  • “Dear 17 Magazine, Please stop the Photoshoping.”- EMM

Why Justin Bieber Is Lucky

Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, with his boyish charm, has made girls around the world swoon in stadiums everywhere. Since his discovery in 2008, he has topped the Billboard charts with his hits such as “Baby” and “Boyfriend,” been on the cover of nearly every magazine and has even been featured on the big screen with his documentary “Never Say Never.” Many may call him lucky, but it isn’t his good looks, fame, or fortune that make him lucky. Let’s face it, it’s his lady by this side, Selena Gomez.

Let’s start off with the fact that she’s Latina and proud of it. She was born in Grand Prairie, Texas in 1992 to Italian mother, Amanda Dawn Teefy, and Mexican father, Ricardo Joel Gomez. Named after the famous Latina artist, Selena Quintanilla, Selena Gomez has shown from the get-go that she really embraces her culture as a young Latina. In her interview with Elle Magazine, she comments, “Growing up, [teen idols] were all blond, with light-colored eyes. I wanted to be that. I didn’t realize how important it was to represent my background and my culture until parents of Latin descent started coming up to me. Then it clicked. I can represent a different generation and a different culture.” Aware of the few Latinas in the entertainment business, Selena strives to represent a positive figure for the number of young Latinas in the U.S and the world. Many would say that she’s been a great role model for Latinas, surely Justin would agree.

Not only is she proud of her roots, she also works to empower Latinos and others who are less fortunate, and she encourages Justin to do so as well.  A project that highlights her desire and motivation for the cause to empower the Latino population in particular, is the program she participated in called “Programa Puente.” It is a movement in Chile that seeks to end poverty, prevent violence within the home and empower people through education.  Since she’s been with Justin, he’s gotten involved, too! The couple raised over $200,000 earlier this year at the second annual benefit concert in Los Angeles for UNICEF. You see, Justin? Just because you’re young doesn’t mean that you can’t get involved!

Justin would probably be the first to say that creative expression is important, but there are other ways to let the world know who you are and what you represent other than music. Launched in 2009, Selena Gomez expressed her personal sense of style and individuality by starting her fashion line Dream Out Loud. Not only is it a way for her to express herself in a positive way, but also a means to send out a message. An inspirational message is attached to the clothing tag, promoting positive messages to girls who buy her clothing! A girl who can motivate people through fashion, Justin’s has a creative girl on his hands, huh?

More than just a creative girlfriend, Selena is a good friend. She’s extremely supportive and encouraging. She was the first to be notified when long-time Disney friend Demi Lovato decided to check herself into rehab for an eating disorder. She was a huge support for her friend and publicly made all kinds of statements offering positive messages and encouraging words to her friend while she was in recovery. Fellow Latina Demi Lovato comments, “…the people that are really there for me are the people that were there for me when I went into treatment.” Guess who? Selena, of course. Supporting her friends in times of need is something that is clearly important to her. What’s really admirable is her ability to balance a busy schedule, a boyfriend, and maintain strong friendships. She’s quite the catch, Justin.

We all see the Biebs on the television, hear him on the radio and even in the news and we think, “Oh, he’s so great!” We never stop to think about why he’s so great, so lucky. Not only does he walk hand-in-hand with a beautiful girl, but he also has the support of a strong and independent woman. She’s a role model, generous, creative, a great friend and she’s Latina. What more could you want, Biebs?

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