Archive for August, 2008


August 27, 2008

Hey Everyone!

We wanted to share with you a letter that beamed us all back to those tough days in high school and how hard it can be to be the new kid on the block.  We thought this topic of discussion was the perfect way to launch our new, (but temporary until the site launches) GBD forum…BUT unfortunately it is still in the works :)…tee hee!  But we felt this topic could not wait!  Check out the letter below;
Dear Kristin and Kendra,
Hi! I’m 16 years old, entering 11th grade/Year 12.  My family and I moved to Shanghai nearly 3 years ago, and next week I’m going to be starting at a new school.  I’m a foreigner in China, so I go to an international school.  I’m really nervous.
I know this probably sounds very small and trivial, but one of the things that worry me most is the whole “lunch table” drama.  About 15 minutes ago, I started Googling “teen lunch table problem seating advice” and when like NO useful advice came up I suddenly remembered, hey, maybe Girls By Design can help me!  So, here I am.  🙂
My new school is really big, I don’t know anyone there, and everyone else will have their own group to sit with at lunch.  Do I just sit by myself for a week or two, until I get to know people better and get a better feel of my environment?  Or do I just pick a table and ask to sit with them?  But if I did that would people find it intrusive?  It’s just all so intimidating…I don’t know what I should do.  Could you please give me some advice?  Thanks!  😀

Well Ladies can you we give this gal some ideas? or Share your stories 🙂



August 26, 2008

This Tuesday is a special News Day! The below is not only a very interesting topic to discuss, but the article is written by a GBD member! Yippi! Now as much as I would love to tell you who this gal is, she would like to remain incognito 🙂 Oooo the mystery!

Have any of you heard of the Father-Daughter Purity Ball? It’s a ceremony for which fathers and daughters get dressed up to go dancing, and during which the fathers promise “to protect their daughters’ virtue until marriage.” The following article from Time Magazine describes one particular Father-Daughter Purity Ball, and goes into some of the history behind and the controversy surrounding these types of events. It also asks a bunch of questions, and all of us would LOVE to hear what your thoughts are on any of those, or any of these;

· What does “Teen Girl Purity” mean to YOU? Is it just about virginity or is there more to it than that?

· Do you think purity balls are a good idea? Would you attend one?

· When it comes to parenting teenage girls, how do you think the role of the father differs from that of the mother, or is there a difference at all?

· In your culture or environment, do you think teenage girls need more protection or more freedom in order to become the best people they can be?

…or any other rumblings going on in those fascinating brains of yours! Rant! Rave! Ponder the meaning of it all! But keep it clean ladies. 🙂

Excerpt from the article:

So [Robert and Lisa Wilson] came up with a ceremony; they wrote a vow for fathers to recite, a promise “before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the areas of purity,” to practice fidelity, shun pornography and walk with honor through a “culture of chaos” and by so doing guide their daughters as well. That was in 1998, the year the President was charged with lying about his sex life, Viagra became the fastest-selling new drug in history, and movies, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, reflected “a surge in the worldwide relaxation of sexual taboos.”

Link to the article:,9171,1823930,00.html?xid=newsletter-weekly

Link to some photos of the ball:,29307,1822906,00.html?iid=redirect-purity


Movie Madness Mondays: Mean Girls

August 25, 2008

Mean Girls

“Women would rule the world if they didn’t hate each other” – Chris Rock

Be it the truth or not, that’s exactly how Mean Girls plays out; and that’s what Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) learns when her family relocates from Africa to the United States. She now has to learn a whole new set of rules in order to survive high school. How to behave, how to dress, how to diminish her own body in front of a mirror. Who would’ve thought there could be so many flaws with someone, and what’s even more intriguing: that her own negative self image would help her fit in. Now why do we find that it’s better to look down on ourselves rather than focus on the positive?

I haven’t read “Queen Bees and Wannabes” yet, but Tina Fey (who plays quirky teacher Ms. Norbury) did a marvelous job with turning the source material into a screenplay. And of course, where Tina Fey writes, hilarity ensues. Great one-liners strung together will keep you laughing throughout the entire movie. Smart, socially aware satire will make issues that are important to the everyday teenage girl, flow smoothly.

The movie just doesn’t focus on Cady and her own personal issues though; Mean Girls also focuses on a variety of other social issues such as lunch table drama: where to sit, and who to sit with. “Should I pretend to be dumb in order to get a boy to like me? Should I pretend to be someone I’m not so I can fit in?” And that’s exactly what Cady does. It begins as a scheme so she could learn what goes on in the lives of the most popular girls in school, but soon she loses herself and no longer knows where Cady begins and “Plastic” Cady ends. Caught up in lies, and a whole new persona she doesn’t know when to stop. And she doesn’t, until it all backfires.

When everybody learns about Cady’s lies and all of the mean things that were said about every single girl in school, all hell breaks loose. They are forced to face not only who they are, but who they’ve been towards other girls, and as Cady concluded (and I’m paraphrasing here): “calling a girl fat won’t make me any skinnier”.

Mean Girls is a story about a teenager trying to navigate through high school but at the same time, trying to retain a bit of who she is. But the moral is something that all of us can take, at any age: be true to yourself, and try not to step on anybody on your way there 😉


PS. next week’s movie will be selected and written about by the first person to post and say they want to (as long as it’s not r rated!)!!

Next week’s movie will be “Stepmom” and it will be reviewed by Alicia!


August 24, 2008

So I didn’t weight myself today, I’ve been busy and was happier doing what I’m doing right now than to stop and weigh in. But I learned something interesting about myself. I was talking with a friend and mentor the other day about a totally unrelated concept. When I was little my mom used to tell me that I was book smart, but would never be street smart. This really effected the way I choose to live my life from then on out. One of the effects of that was that I decided that I had to then trade off any sort of activity that I deemed as “street smart” in order to protect my “book smart” trait, because its all that I had anyway. The result of this was that I became studious, learned, and knowledge-laden but refrained from doing any sort of physical activity or “doing” activity. The result of not doing any “doing” activity was not really getting any sort of knowledge or skill within those activities. So, when I am going to start doing those types activities, I feel a lot of fear because I’ve either never done them before or don’t believe that I SHOULD be doing them, because I’m “book smart.”

How does that relate to my weight? Well… you decide!

Genes are Fun! no… really

August 21, 2008

A few weeks ago I FedEx’ed a sample of my saliva to a bunch of people I do not know. And I am sooo excited to hear back. As some of you may know, I am one of the lucky folks who checks the “other” box when filling out documents asking what my ethnicity is. In basic terms my ancestors come from Holland, Indonesia, China and Jamaica. I am pretty sure my whitey side is all Dutch but I am slightly fuzzy about my mother’s peeps. Coming from this diverse genetic pool has always fascinated me… In Bio class in high school, whenever we did the Mendel shtuff I would get so excited (Nerd! Nerd!). So when I read that normal civilian-types could pay to get their genome, I was like, woot!woot! When it’s done I will share some of my discoveries and give you gals all the details about the company and how it’s all done! To tide you over, I am embedding a video from my beloved TED. Hope you all enjoy!



Newsdays Tuesdays: Television Starts to Court the Young Voter

August 19, 2008

Difficult to pick a news piece this week with the Olympics, the situation in Georgia, and with Pervez Musharraf stepping down in Pakistan… Thought that this article from the New York Times was especially pertinent to young folks like ourselves. Taking into account that we are not all American, what are your thoughts??

“Television networks are assigning reporters to a new beat this election year: people who don’t watch the evening news.

With polls showing a surge in primary-season ballots cast by voters under 30, media outlets are out to convert the newly energized voters into viewers. On cable news, CNN promotes a “League of First Time Voters” and the Fox News Channel is covering what it calls the Y Factor with a full-time correspondent. On broadcast, NBC has assigned Luke Russert, the son of the late anchor Tim Russert, to the youth vote beat and ABC, CBS and PBS are all running stories by student journalists.”

The link darlings…

AND… If you want to select a news piece for next Tuesday and do a write-up to be featured on the Blog let us know!


Movie Madness Mondays: Amelie

August 18, 2008

Ummm… I love this movie. Like, a lot. I love the color, the quirky-ness of the story, the way Jeunet introduces each of his characters, I love her, I love the little gnome (I gave one of those to my dad after I did “Snow White”–they are so bloody fantastic), I freaking LOVE Paris, the music is so beautiful… I will refrain from making a complete list as I think that would be a wee bit tedious for all of you. The point is: I love this movie.

When I first saw Amelie I was in a period of great change in my life. In Amelie I saw a lot of myself: her enjoyment of “little things”, her imagination as well as her struggle to connect with people. To me this is a beautiful story of blossoming. What does it take for a person to decide to overcome a fear? What does it take for a person to open up and to live more fully, with more presence?

For me, at that point in my life, it was a recognition while I was traveling in Nepal that I was not living my life the way I wanted… I was so fearful of simply expressing myself and connecting deeply with others. And while I watched the Nepali people (especially the children), and while expelling whatever little bug had made it’s way into my system during my trek on the Annapurna circuit, I was like, “Dude… really? You’re really going to be afraid your whole life?” And I went home and I started to go out and build friendships, I began the process of understanding that my focus on helping others was also a distraction from my self, I began a relationship, started to buy clothes other than fleece and jeans and changed some of the way I had been. Obviously it was only the inspiration to change things, I can continue to choose to evolve myself or not. To overcome fears takes effort. I really see all of this in Amelie and her journey to herself.

Another thing I love about the film is the illustration of how a person, as a child, can set beliefs that run well into adulthood. Jeunet illustrates this very simply at the beginning of the movie by showing how Amelie’s feeling of being close with a person (the whole heartbeat increase when touched) is bad and could kill her. Do any of you have experiences like that?

Okey dokey… What did you think? So very excited to hear your thoughts!!!!



PS This weeks movie has been picked and will be reviewed by the fabulous Mari Hunter, “Mean Girls”

If you too would like to pick a movie and do a review email us an you could be chosen next 🙂

Baby: HypnoBirthing

August 17, 2008

My first mistake was searching online for birth videos and coming across some very scary examples!…I found myself watching these videos and crying my eyes out in fear of when the time would come for me to push a basketball out a hole the size of a quarter. Videos featured cutting, ripping, stretching, forceps and green masked people hovering over women screaming in pain.

Yes…women give birth everyday…BUT, have you ever REALLY seen it?.

Honestly, I was genuinely terrified, these videos are raw, real and probably the best form of birth control out there. So maybe teens should see these videos…or maybe not, I don’t believe in the fear factor, just reality. (hahaha does that comment even make sense?)…lol.

However that being said, I couldn’t believe this was the only way. This in not the kind of birth I wanted to experience, nor do I want my baby to experience!

Is what you see in movies true to the human experience? This thought was horrifying to me…There had to be another way, was it really all about pain, drugs, c-sections and fear, ripping the arm off your husband?

Then a dear friend of mine who recently had her first baby shared her experience of HypnoBirthing with me.

Hypno What? ya HypnoBirthing…have you heard about this…HypnoBirthing thing? This was a first for me too.

It sounds amazing, you and your partner learn together as a team. Your partner, as your supporter, is there to help you find a very deep state of relaxation, through positive thinking, breathing and visualization during the birth of the baby.

You are sooo deeply relaxed that you literally breathe the baby down the birth canal and gently into the world, quietly peacefully and lovingly…NO SCREAMING, NO PANIC, NO DRUGS, NO PAIN!…Yup sign me up!

Skeptical? Ummmm….ya…of course…who wouldn’t be? Painless childbirth? Is there such thing? Well, we are going to find out together ladies!…I am going to remain open minded and open hearted to this new experience and share with you what I find out. Think of me as the detective or guinea pig whichever you find most amusing ☺

It seems to me that childbirth is not an event to be feared; it is a natural expression of life that women have been experiencing since the beginning of time.

It makes sense to me that the Mongan Method says, “that when we release the fear, a fear that is keeping the body tense and closed, we will experience gentle birth”.

If you want more info…please check out

Here is a very gentle animated video showing how a baby naturally moves down the birth canal and into the world. Animated Child Birth.

Let me know what you ladies think, I would love to hear your thoughts:)


Health Journey: Pants!

August 15, 2008

Wow, my results this week were far greater than I even thought they were going to be! I set my goal small on purpose because I wasn’t sure what my days would look like this week and if I’d be able make healthy choices with food. I was able to, however, and have done really well with my weight loss!

This is getting so exciting! I just bought a pair of pants (and yes, we’re forgoing having Kristin measure them because we were never intending to send a message about her weight being superior…. we just thought it was a funny picture) and the pants are already too loose on me! My belt, which I bought about two months ago, is suddenly at the 4th belt hole thingy! It’s really a great feeling for me to see all of these amazing results. I feel much more comfortable in my body and I’m feeling really proud of myself for making the food related decisions that I do.

Now, if I could JUST start exercising more regularly without any additional incentive… how do I go about making that a high priority for myself?

Anyway! Here’s my Journal Log of Weight Loss now that I’m at 215 pounds.

News Day Tuesdays Once Banned, Women Now Center Stage at Games

August 12, 2008

In the spirit of the Beijing Olympics check out this amazing article from The New York Times, written by JERÉ LONGMAN, and suggested to GBD by Kathy Chang. THANKS KATHY!

“Not until 1984 were women permitted to run the Olympic marathon, in reefer-madness fear that they might grow old too soon with such exertion; or worse, they might grow a mustache. Or their uterus would fall out, as if it were a transmission.”

Follow the link to check out the article and let us know you thoughts. ☺