By: Melinda Cochrane - Contributing Writer
“In the past 5 years, female violent crime has risen by 12 percent, four times the rate among men…” The Independent UK.
The words we use can be a catalyst for our healing or they can act to counter-act any positives. Positive words create a positive force around us. Often as women, we are bombarded by words that are all too often negating our experiences. Media has used and manipulated popular derogatory words to make us either feel ashamed of our bodies or to make us defensive, which acts to divide rather than heal gender relationships.
A word can build a woman up or it can break us down and too often as I turn on music these days and television- the words I hear do nothing but make me feel as if young women out there are being manipulated to act in ways they are both unsure of and uncomfortable with. The manipulation has now extended into what I will call the Violent girl syndrome- an encouraged behavior for young women to be violent.
The first time I noted this was when I turned on the television, just to catch a show and a woman was pouring hot water over a male character- a comedy. It left me feeling shocked and made me wonder if the use of negative words and images like this in the media was also creating a confusion in young women in how to treat the opposite sex and as a result themselves spiritually.
Young women should be independent and confident but we should not use them to hurt young men. The feminist trend that is occurring is a positive one but at the same time a scary one for men. We all know good men and perhaps we should keep this steadfast in our minds as the media overflows with negative male examples. Our words could also create a violent attitude toward men- we should be conscious of this as well. True equality comes when all people respect one another. Young women and men are perhaps being wrongly told that they should be aggressive but in reality, we want them to be assertive. Assertive females are not violent and they do not act verbally or physically violent toward males. We must keep the rules for women as the same.
Records are also showing that violence among young women has increased. Feminism in its positive has given us our ability to do anything we want. The world has increasingly become kinder to females- although the recent harassment cases would suggest otherwise. These cases are important and shedding light on it is very important. But equally important is to shed light on what the media does toward women as well. How the repeated use of negative messages, the continued body shaming words and all those things that go with being females are also the direct results of a society that is determined to further divide male from female. We need to move toward healing so that our genders can act in unity. We must show young women that to be strong means also to think first before acting in a negative way as well.
As we fight for awareness as women with the Me Too movement, perhaps we should also give males the room to speak about what is called the disposable male trend. A trend where men no longer feel wanted or cared for in society. As more and more young men join fundamentalist groups, we must realize as feminist that to change things- we need to make males who are good and caring feel valued as well. We must change the vocabulary for women so they do not feel they need to be violent in approach or attitude toward men while at the same time we give men the space to say, “ I am not like this. All men are not alike. I feel disposed of and unneeded.” By giving males this space too we end any violent trend that occurring subconsciously toward males. We can start by changing the words we use to heal.
Changing the language words we use in media, in music and in our everyday interactions with one another will create a more positive trend and may close the divide that is occurring and move us toward healing. Freedom of speech is important but we must also use our words to heal us all.
By Melinda Cochrane - For more about the author - melindacochraneinternationalbooks.com
By Melinda Cochrane - Contributing Writer
“The beauty sector is expected to rise from $80 billion today to $90 billion by 2020. Assuming the forecast hits its mark, that represents a nearly 45% gain over 10 years.”
Women are using products more than ever but are we paying close attention to the product labels. The reasons women find comfort in beauty products vary- we are not all made the same. Ancient Egyptians used copper and lead ore to make the first cosmetics- a need to enhance our looks is not a new thing. The sharp rise to 45 percent may, however, have a lot to do with the increasing influence of media and now social media to get the message out there that to look good - we must enhance our natural beauty. Youtube anything from adding mascara to the foundation and you are going to find the answer- as well as what products to buy. However, in all this advice- we are seldom told to go organic. Have you ever heard any commercial for beauty products say, " now check the label- make sure you don't damage your skin." We as female consumers are not paying attention to product ingredients and for years we have taken it for granted that our best interest was being monitored by these industries.
Recently, after being diagnosed with cancer, I spent months researching the beauty industry. Something nagging in me told me to dig a little deeper. Now, of course, I am not saying that there is a correlation between me getting cancer and the use of beauty products, however, can we assume that the big corporations producing products en masse put our best interests at heart. The answer is they have no real legal obligation to watch any ingredients they add to products. They are not prohibited from using known carcinogens in their product lines such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasing preservatives.
Where does this leave the female consumer? If we cannot trust many of the product lines to be vigilant in their product ingredients- where do we go as women for the luxury of enhancement. Personally, I do not use a great deal of makeup, but I do use some. Prior to getting cancer, I didn’t think much about what was going on my skin or hair. I thought more about what was going in my body as far as food and exercise.
After researching the wide use of carcinogens in beauty products I wore no makeup at all nor any chemicals. I also no longer use perfumes that are not naturally formed- essential oils can provide a beautiful scent with no harsh chemicals if you use them sparingly. For makeup- it was a little more difficult and it took some time to narrow down some product lines. I am almost 50, I love to wear makeup when going out- and the no makeup thing didn’t seem to leave me feeling radiant. I began to look for makeup lines that were organic.
Here are a few I found - Burt’s Bees, Sephora offers many natural makeup brands such as Antonym, Physicians formula organic makeup, and Ecco Bella seemed to be the best brands. My personal choice was Physicians formula which was affordable and labeling was very clear. But, please do not take this as a product plug- I am simply offering brands that I found accessible and affordable. I didn’t want to spend hours shopping for makeup- a few simple trips to the pharmacy and mall- and I found what I was looking for. You can find many organic brands online- so choose what works for you.
The important thing here isn’t the organic line when choosing any product. It is to read the labels very carefully for the following ingredients: formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol, phenacetin, coal tar, benzene, untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium and its compounds, arsenic and crystalline silica (or quartz).
Do not use products that contain these ingredients. Now, some of you may say, oh I’ve been using these products for years. However, think of this, if that has been put on your skin day after day for years- how can it not have absorbed into your body and bloodstream.
We want to look beautiful- but the cost of can be huge- don’t take anything for granted- if in doubt call the company- read the ingredient list- and if you have any within the above list- throw it out.
Be beautiful but carcinogen free. As a cancer survivor - my vigilance may continue to prolong my life- and sharing this research with you may make you more aware of what it means to truly be beautiful but carcinogen free.
By Melinda Cochrane
For more about Melinda Cochrane go to http://www.melindacochraneinternationalbooks.com/
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