Life or Something like it



Aug 30 Reblogged

Aug 01

So it begins…. but when will it end?

I have four beautiful nieces and I honestly do not need kids of my own because they are handful enough. I love watching them (and giving them back :) and now that they are old enough we can hang out and talk and I can get them interested in science and soccer and other fun stuff. 

As a feminist I do watch myself around them and try to watch the environment they are in.The oldest is more like me, a bookworm, into science and getting into sports. The youngest is not even two so she has some time. However issues usually arise with the middle two. They both love pink and are stereo-typically girly, hate getting dirty, love princesses. 

I do not force things on them but I do try to persuade them to see the world differently. My sisters let them play with makeup, which is fine but I always tell them they are prettier without it. Here is where I am starting to have trouble. Normally they are allowed left over eye shadows and lipsticks or like the little kid kits, you know cheap play stuff, no big deal. 

But last night sitting around with Niece #3 I look over and see that she is wearing not only eye shadow, but mascara and foundation…..FOUNDATION!!! And it is on thick.

I know for me personally I hate putting on foundation and powder, I have sensitive skin and have never really wear makeup unless for special occasions. I was sporty and I work hard and I sweat like crazy so I feel certain types of makeup are just a waste of time and money because unless I am in an air conditioned car to get to an air conditioned location where I am going to be sitting or standing still most of the time, it is not going to last long. 

So seeing my gorgeous 6 year old niece with makeup literally caked on her face I was just appalled. Her skin is flawless, she hasn’t even had chicken pox yet, no scars, nothing. She has the skin they make you wish you had in the commercials and shes just ruining it with all this gunk on her face. My mom and I tried to tell her that putting it on, and leaving it on over night, will make her look old and ruin her skin, (all that stuff moms tell you) and she didnt budge. 

So in the morning I told her no makeup today. It’s is going to be hot and rainy so what’s the point and to let her skin breathe. And in true kid spirit she defied me and caked it on anyways. You can imagine how mad I was but I just told her she would have to take it off. Fought me on it for a bit too but I just sat her down, grabbed some lotion and wiped it off her face, the towel I had at hand was not exactly soft, so it was not comfortable for her, which I was a little happy about.  (not hurting her just making her see she should have listened to me in the first place.) 

She kept fighting me and after getting it off she kept screaming and crying that you could see the bags under her eyes and that she was now ugly. That threw me for a loop, because I know her mom is not like that at all. None of us really are, so where in the hell is she getting it from?? They don’t have cable or anything, the most a Roku with Netflix and Hulu at grandma’s house. 

I have been wondering how they hell she could have picked this all up. 

Now my old room at home is the kids when I am not in town and I come home and see ads cut out of O magazine on the walls. Oprah with her really big hair and then Charlize Theron from a Diore ad. Not bad but it might be the start to finding out where she is getting these awful ideas. Or even friends at school, something else she is watching, again I am not home to see them that often. But honestly it just might be walking around the store getting groceries. All the magazines and tabloids thrown in her face at her eye level waiting in line with her mom. 

I am not saying wearing makeup is bad, recently I met a makeup artist who did a Tedx talk about what women say in her chair, very fascinating. 

It is the fact that she is so young and already there seems to be irreversible damage done that she believes she is ugly without caking her face. She is only in kindergarten. In our society that we over sexualize children so young with beauty pageants and padded bras and g-string underwear for pre-teens in stores like Target, Walmart and Justice. Honestly did the world learn nothing from JonBenet Ramsey?? Facebook, and other social media, cell phones, tablets, terrible shows that show girls backstabbing and fighting and Mean Girls. These aren’t just being seeing by teenagers, who have it bad enough, but it is trickling down the ages to the youngest and who should be free of these issues. Hell I didn’t even know what the middle finger meant till 5th grade! 

How can I even begin to undo this damage, especially from afar and not in constant contact with her. How can I use my Women’s Studies education, all the collective knowledge of the beautiful strong independent women, that I have met, befriended and even read about to help her understand that she does not NEED makeup. That she is beautiful without it and that she doesn’t have these bags under her eyes and is “ugly”. I fear that the battle will never end and I know it will only get worse as she gets older. I had just hoped I had about another 10 years before it got this bad. 

Jun 09 Reblogged

Jun 02

Decisions decisions….

A friend from the cruise ship I used to work on let me know that they are EXTREMELY short staffed, as in 4 people for the whole ship!! EEEK!! It is a rough gig when you have a full staff of 8-12, but FOUR??!! That is just madness. 

I left the ship  for many reasons, the top ones being:  1. Stress of my position, took on management way too early. 2. My health, when it comes down to take care of yourself and job suffers  or do the job right and loose a kidney (yes I am being serious)  3. My relationship, did I leave the ship just for him, No, but he was a major factor in it. 4. My family, even though they drive me nuts, I had only met my youngest niece once. I wanted her to know me. 

So now with a chance that I could possibly very easily go back if they have me, because well they are desperate, its a meh situation. 

1. I would NOT be going back to the lab, where my health issues began 2. Its been over a year and my boyfriend and I just cant make it work to where we can move in together. He has really good things going on out where he lives in Virginia but here in Indiana, it’s a very different story. 3. Yup the family is driving me crazy. Living at home at THIRTY sucks, but hey I was traveling around quite a bit for the past two years and really didnt need a stable address. I just stopped by every so often. 4. All my amazing doctors that I had when I was sick are back out there, which with the (still better be there) health insurance makes it a lot easier to stay healthy. 

Oh did I mention the job is in HAWAII!!!! I must tell you that is the main reason I am considering going back. Not for the job or just to get away, just because it is HAWAII!! I MISS IT SO MUCH!! I’m not sure if I love it so much because I could leave it every 5 months for 5-10 weeks or just because it is so amazing and growing up in the mid-west is just so lack-luster.

Now as I sit here aggravated with my current job, not stressful itself but just the damn drama of working in a hospital, no matter your job there, it really does suck. Well I guess if you are in an office or a doctor you are fine but dealing with everyone else just blows. Sigh…….

I do not necessarily want to go back but I have been itching to get on a plane and travel. I have the bug after the first time I went out there. I must travel to be satisfy. Being stuck in the same damn place for a little over a year now is literally draining the life out of me. 

If I could get my boyfriend to go back with me it would be perfection, but again he has better things going for him and he HATED the ship. 

I wouldn’t be able to go back till the beginning of July, because of prior commitments but if I send the email now, it might be possible. I am already trained, have all the necessary credentials, and all I need is the uniform and I am good to go. And I know what to pack this time. Not two mega-huge suitcases filled with items I will never use.

People I have talked to about this are say  ”Are you crazy just do it!” But I know the truth of the ship and what it actually entails. I know the long hours, i know the stress (which from what I have been told is much worse than it was before). I know that being ONE hour time difference currently with my boyfriend is hard and if I turn that into 5-6 hours, will we survive it?Will I get back there and after a day SNAP as if no time at all has passed? Or will I just be able to jump back into the swing of things with out a problem?

I know I will never know until I try and hell they may not even want me back. I really hated them when I left. And they did have to pay out quite a chunk of money for my health expenses when I got sick. 

I feel it is a damned if I do damned if I don’t situation, but still in the back of my head, ALOHA!!!

Jun 01 Reblogged

punk-otter:

forever reblog

(Source: sugarbone)

Jun 01 Reblogged

laughingsquid:

Fantastic Coral Reef Sculptures Made out of Household Objects

That is extremely creative!! And HAHA made out of sponges!

laughingsquid:

Fantastic Coral Reef Sculptures Made out of Household Objects

That is extremely creative!! And HAHA made out of sponges!

May 26

To loose it all…..In a good way

So this morning at midnight my coworkers and I started our version of the Biggest Loser. There is no grand prize at the end, just using each other as a support network. The only time and place we see each other is at work. We all live in different towns, two of us pretty far from each other and everyone else. So starting at 180 lbs, my goal is to loose 30 in 90 days. Completely doable, however it is difficult.

We all work the midnight shift together and though we have our plan to walk during the bulk of our lunch hour and to bring food from home, to both save money and eat a bit healthier, work can be exhausting and we do move around quite a bit. We are housekeepers and so we walk and bend and lift heavy bags  of rags. You would think with me juicing, avoiding sodium and working at least 5 days a week.

According to FitnessPal ( l love this app!!) in a average night of work I burn 2500 calories, and had maybe a 1500 cal intake. I DIDNT LOOSE A SINGLE POUND!!! That is definetly a WTF moment. I did however loose 10lbs when I started the fruit infused waters and the so called “fat flush” recipe of lemons, limes and cucumbers, Quite tasty if I put enough cucumbers in. It seemed to be working I lost 10 lbs but I actually just chalk that up to increased water intake and it clearing out my digestive system. I haven’t drank any lately with the lime crisis at hand. 

So hopefully if I get back on original plan, of NOT DIETING, but healthy living. Eating more fruits and veggies, (the Vegetable for Vitality cookbook IS AMAZING!!!) trying to go half gluten free, and just working out more. I hope to reach my goal of 10lbs in 30 days. 

At the end of it I plan to go out to a Brazilian steakhouse with my amazing boyfriend and wear this amazing Marilyn Monroe inspired red dress I got as my ending prize.

Thats just the beginning for loosing it all, I also plan to donate my hair at the end of it. I have been growing my hair out for two years now and my hair length seems to plateau at a certain length and never seems to be very healthy when it gets to that point.

But after my last trim I got a few tips from the stylist.Like stop using rubber bands, something wider and softer like a scrunchy is better, to help avoid dead ends. And on my own I have been using coconut oil (organic) as a conditioner, I just use the Selsum blue and then every other day I put in coconut oil in my hair from the base of my skull down, leave it in till my next shower. It only makes it look wet, and does not feel greasy. I wear it in an octopus clip now and use soft wide headbands to keep my hair back instead of metal clips. 

So far with the small changes my hair is much healthier and I hope to donate at least 10 inches when I have reached my goal weight. I have always wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love but its never been healthy or long enough to do so. But after a dear friend of mine lost his younger sister to cancer at the age of 20 (two battles and two different cancers) I am determined to get my hair to their requirements. 

Here is the dress and the new hair style I am hoping to get. I really do want the purple, I have wanted purple hair forever but my job never lets me. Oh and the hair will come after the dinner with the dress. I just feel that that dress needs long wavy, curly hair. 

May 08

What Feminism means to….

Oh the joys of looking at Facebook and finding yet another young actress who can portray a strong female character but not understand Feminism and realize that it is not hating men. 

The article, which is posted for your viewing, makes a valid point. We do NOT educate the newer generations on what Feminism is. Hell I didn’t even really know what it was until my sophomore year of college when my crazy pink and Hello Kitty obsessed, Japanese major roommate told me about one of her Women’s Studies classes and how amazing her professor was. It sounded interesting and I picked up a few classes the next semester.

I WAS HOOKED!!

Intelligent women and men discussing issues we faced in the past, present and what the future might hold. Not always calmly but no men bashing, and yes most of them men were STRAIGHT! 

I had found this whole new world of what really happened in history, how men and women perceived the same events, how Hitler used fashion as propaganda, so many wonderful and daring things that women did THAT I NEVER LEARNED ABOUT IN SCHOOL. One small blurb for one day about women getting the right to vote. Nothing on the women’s movement, feminism, Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or anyone else for that matter. We only learned about Rosa Parks because of Black History month, and even after that one month a year we never learned about anyone that wasn’t a WHITE MAN.

I never knew these fantastically courageous people existed until college!! What a shame that is. Could  you imagine the changes in the world that would happen in just a few decades if we actually taught everyone, yes EVERYONE the same full fledged education that only the entitled 1% get? How dangerous? They know this, this is why the government makes so many cuts in education because the cure to diseases that they make money off treatments for, that a sustainable renewable energy source is locked away in the mind of a lower income minority child who’s only hope is to survive their neighborhood.

Would it be so terrible if we evened the playing field?

Going off tangent, that’s a topic for another day. Back to feminism and me and what I am doing about it personally with those closest to me.

Again, it is all about education. We keep cutting it more and more making the new generations drones and the majority of parents refuse to teach them any different because they themselves do not know any better. They refuse to OPEN their minds and look beyond the aisles of pink and blue and let their kids choose their own toys or give them something creative to do outside of an iPad/iPhone.

My nieces are probably some of the only kids that DO NOT have iPads or any other electronic that is not appropriate for their age. They play outside, they get dirty, they play baseball, soccer, ride and DRIVE a dune buggy, oh yes my girls drive. They watch Dr. Who (when grandma isn’t watching :) and learned at ages 6,7, &9 that WWII actually happened!! (They asked if Doctor Who was real and well that was a sad conversation, to tell them it wasn’t but many of the events in it were)

I teach them science, we do fun experiments, I get them involved in musicals, they really want to see “the Wicked”(yes i know its just Wicked but my niece is really cute when she says “the wicked”)

I refuse to buy them any more dolls, I buy them books about girls and women who forged new paths and princesses that fight dragons and wear full body armor. By me not having kids and traveling I have inspired them to travel, to get out of this one tiny piece of the planet and go see something new.

My mom told me when I was younger if I ever wanted to go out and do things to never get married and never have kids. I thought I wanted those things, until I started Women’s studies. I thought I would marry my college boyfriend by age 25, met at 20, and have kids and have a life. But it all changed. We broke up, I fell into a deep depression and that crazy pink loving roller blade-ing roommate of mine, jumped on my bed every day, (not kidding) got my ass to class and saved my life. 

So now when I watch Frozen with my nieces and (spoilers) Hans turns into the bad guy, I always ask my nieces what the lesson is. “never marry someone you just met” GOOD! I tell them the same thing my mom told me, if you want to travel no boyfriends and no babies. You can’t do anything if you something tying you down.

I make sure to tell them they are not bad things but that they should live their own lives before they settle down. I would not have met my loving and wonderfully supportive boyfriend if I had been stuck with a baby, We met in Hawaii on a cruise ship we worked on. How’s that for a story. 

So now my mission in life is to make sure they are not drones, they need to know what Woodley obviously doesn’t, that feminism is not hating men but respecting yourself enough to not let closed minded people hold you down and tell you you cant because “you’re a girl” 

May 08

Shailene Woodley is Why Feminists Need to Take Over School Boards

Apr 24

Getting back in the game

It has been FOREVER since I have posted anything without it being a re-post. I started this blog to keep in contact with family and friends while I was working on a cruise ship and it didn’t last long. Considering the lies they tell you about easy internet access that eats up the majority of your paycheck. But I have been off the ship for almost a year, my anniversary coming up in just over a week on May 5. 

Sigh, its been a crazy year getting back to civilian life, I understand I wasn’t in the military but it was definitely a change of lifestyle. Like getting a car, worrying about the daily things like food, rent, COMMUTES!! UGH that last one was hard, I was used to walking less than a hundred yards to work. And well changing scenery from paradise to well Northwest Indiana during one of the harshest winters on record you can see while I am constantly saying I want to go back. To Hawaii not necessarily the ship life. I have applied for other ships but my schedule doesn’t agree with them sadly. 

So here I am a year post paradise, working out of my field, but somewhat less stressful. I worked for a yearbook photography company out of Wisconsin last summer/fall and it was wonderful but sadly only seasonal, which I well knew and met some very amazing people in the process. During Christmas I worked at Marshalls and gotta tell you I didn’t go in there much before but now I realize they are amazing, damn good prices, not as good as Ross in Maui but better than some places. And now I currently work at a hospital in the area as a housekeeper and though Marshalls was hard to leave, very little stress but not enough pay. The hospital a bit more because of well, GERMS!!! I practically boiled my hands multiple times a day working on the ship and dealing with the dreaded GI bug but now I pretty much boil off my skin on my whole body coming back from work, If any of you know the healthcare industry you know I can not talk about things because of HIPPA, if you don’t know look it up, its damn serious and I am not going to be messing with it. So no shop talk on that end. 

But I am going to make a conscious effort to blog everyday, if possible, and not mundane blah blah blah work was boring blah blah blah, but find a topic I am passionate about, as most of you can tell I am a big feminist and re-post a lot of what atrocities affect women today of all ages, shapes, and nationalities. I’m not big on politics except when it affects women because well I am one and most men even my wonderfully understanding boyfriend of 18 months doesn’t always get why I get upset over certain things. Like the blue/pink aisles in stores for kids toys, absolutely infuriates me. 

I also will probably bring up my weight because since leaving the ship I have gain quite a bit back. I was down to 140 on the ship but since I didn’t eat much and worked 70-80hr weeks it wasn’t hard to keep off. Now that I am a main lander again living in a state that does not off many healthy food shopping options and a family that is not very supportive and make it increasingly difficult to maintain such a healthy lifestyle, it has crept back on with a vengeance. I am currently at 180lbs at 5’3” I do not wear it well. I feel lethargic and I constantly ache, I am also 30, legit not like 35 and hiding it, I am 30, just turned this January. So I know the task at hand is going to be harder than it was say 5 years ago, but I have lost this 40-50 lbs before and I swear to do it again and stop yo-yoing the rest of my life.

I spent a week with my boyfriend (we are long distance since we met on the ship and coming back to reality has separated us for now.) in Virginia and he took me to the Virginia Aquarium ( i love aquariums) and we took the tourist photo because well we used to be that person and we know how it feels, I don’t always buy the photo but hey just taking it helps them out. And one of our first dates was to an aquarium and we got the photo there and looking at that photo 18 months ago and the one we took at the VA aquarium, there is a BIG difference which you can tell in my face. Now I have always been a chunky girl, I am not built small, I have a fairly larger frame for someone my height and my weight goes straight to my stomach and does not give me curves just makes me look like a frumpy ball. 

Then:

Now:

I am a grown up now, for the most part, in enough that I know my body. I know what weight is HEALTHY for me and it doesn’t necessarily go with what the books say. I am not going to try and get to my high school weight of 130 because well I don’t play soccer year round like I used too and well yes I am, “cough” older. I have no kids and well that might be nice for that one mom that caused a ruckus with her “what’s your excuse” photo kuddos to her but I gotta work jobs I don’t like and need to sleep every bit I can. We all have our stories, not all of them are excuses. And even though I have tried juicing, gluten free, mirco nutrient diets, fruit infused waters, etc etc, I have not been able to loose more than 10 lbs in 5(FIVE) MONTHS!! Its extremely frustrating. I had a medical problem last January where I was hospitalized for 11 days because of a UTI that abscessed in my kidney. Since then it has been increasingly harder to loose that weight. Exercise, is not what it should be I do yoga, well will be doing yoga more often and some other workout dvds I have as well as getting on the elliptical my mom has. 

So I will actively try to not make this a all weight loss blog but it just put in the highs, lows and only some in betweens. 

I am also hoping that getting into blogging regularly will help me maintain focus on something other than work and the blahs of daily life. I have two online courses I have been trying to finish for almost a year now and I want to desperately complete them so I can prove to myself I can go back to school for a career change. I bought a few groupons for the TESOL course and one for web-design, both would be beneficial after completion. Especially the TESOL one I just had a friend get back from China after teaching there just from completing this course. 

I now have the travel bug and standing still for the past year has been killing me but bills bills bills, damn you sallie mae, lol just like a meme i saw the other day Sallie Mae, the only college friend you have for life. Ain’t it the truth. But anyways here is to letting it all go ( you started singing that song in your head now didn’t you:) moving forward.

Wish me luck!!

Apr 08 Reblogged

kateoplis:

"[W]hen Lacy auditioned for the Oakland Raiderettes a year ago, she made the squad. And the Raiderettes quickly set to work remaking her in their image. She would be known exclusively by her first name and last initial — a tradition across the NFL, ostensibly designed to protect its sideline stars from prying fans. The squad director handed Lacy, now 28, a sparkling pirate-inspired crop top, a copy of the team’s top-secret “bible” — which guides Raiderettes in everything from folding a dinner napkin correctly to spurning the advances of a married Raiders player — and specific instructions for maintaining a head-to-toe Raiderettes look. The team presented Lacy with a photograph of herself next to a shot of actress Rachel McAdams, who would serve as Lacy’s “celebrity hairstyle look-alike.” Lacy was mandated to expertly mimic McAdams’ light reddish-brown shade and 11/2-inch-diameter curls, starting with a $150 dye job at a squad-approved salon. Her fingers and toes were to be french-manicured at all times. Her skin was to maintain an artificial sun-kissed hue into the winter months. Her thighs would always be covered in dancing tights, and false lashes would be perpetually glued to her eyelids. Periodically, she’d have to step on a scale to prove that her weight had not inched more than 4 pounds above her 103-pound baseline.
Long before Lacy’s boots ever hit the gridiron grass, “I was just hustling,” she says. “Very early on, I was spending money like crazy.” The salon visits, the makeup, the eyelashes, the tights were almost exclusively paid out of her own pocket. The finishing touch of the Raiderettes’ onboarding process was a contract requiring Lacy to attend thrice-weekly practices, dozens of public appearances, photo shoots, fittings and nine-hour shifts at Raiders home games, all in return for a lump sum of $1,250 at the conclusion of the season. (A few days before she filed suit, the team increased her pay to $2,780.) All rights to Lacy’s image were surrendered to the Raiders. With fines for everything from forgetting pompoms to gaining weight, the handbook warned that it was entirely possible to “find yourself with no salary at all at the end of the season.”
Like hundreds of women who have cheered for the Raiders since 1961, Lacy signed the contract. Unlike the rest of them, she also showed it to a lawyer.
ON JAN. 22, Lacy T.’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court alleging that the Raiders fail to pay their cheerleaders minimum wage for all hours worked, withhold pay until the end of the season, require cheerleaders to cover their own business expenses, don’t provide lunch breaks and impose fines for minor infractions — all of which, according to the suit, constitute violations of the California Labor Code.
The provocation was unprecedented. When pro football’s first cheerleaders took the field in the 1920s, rah-rahing on the sidelines was a volunteer position, usually occupied by local high school and college cheerleaders interested in performing on a bigger stage. But as TV began to outpace radio, more and more teams stocked their sidelines with flashier — although still unpaid — performers. In 1972, Cowboys GM Tex Schramm upped the game. He’d seen Bubbles Cash, an artificially augmented local stripper, make the news after cameras caught her shimmying in the stands with a stick of cotton candy, and he wanted similar assets at his games. So he replaced his cheer director — a local high school teacher — with a Broadway choreographer, dismissed his squad of coed teenagers to make way for a team of (barely) legal women in stomach-baring tops and began paying them a meager salary. By 1976, they’d become a trademark part of a franchise. That year, Super Bowl X marked not only the end of the Cowboys’ season but the beginning of modern professional cheerleading: 73 million viewers watched as one cheerleader turned to the camera and winked, launching the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as bankable stars of team-approved posters, calendars, public appearances and reality TV. These weren’t just cheerleaders; they were what Schramm called “atmosphere producers.”
But even as collective bargaining has caused players’ salaries to skyrocket, cheerleaders are still treated with the expendability of borrowed college students. Of the 26 teams that employ cheerleaders, only Seattle publicly advertises that it pays its squad an hourly minimum wage. The tenuous position of NFL cheerleaders is exacerbated by the fact that six teams don’t fork out any cash for squads. The Packers occasionally employ the services of a local collegiate squad. Other teams, such as the Lions, Browns and Giants, rely on unofficial squads willing to finance themselves through public appearances and calendar shoots for the opportunity to dance in a high-profile setting.”
Read on: Just Cheer, Baby | ESPN

kateoplis:

"[W]hen Lacy auditioned for the Oakland Raiderettes a year ago, she made the squad. And the Raiderettes quickly set to work remaking her in their image. She would be known exclusively by her first name and last initial — a tradition across the NFL, ostensibly designed to protect its sideline stars from prying fans. The squad director handed Lacy, now 28, a sparkling pirate-inspired crop top, a copy of the team’s top-secret “bible” — which guides Raiderettes in everything from folding a dinner napkin correctly to spurning the advances of a married Raiders player — and specific instructions for maintaining a head-to-toe Raiderettes look. The team presented Lacy with a photograph of herself next to a shot of actress Rachel McAdams, who would serve as Lacy’s “celebrity hairstyle look-alike.” Lacy was mandated to expertly mimic McAdams’ light reddish-brown shade and 11/2-inch-diameter curls, starting with a $150 dye job at a squad-approved salon. Her fingers and toes were to be french-manicured at all times. Her skin was to maintain an artificial sun-kissed hue into the winter months. Her thighs would always be covered in dancing tights, and false lashes would be perpetually glued to her eyelids. Periodically, she’d have to step on a scale to prove that her weight had not inched more than 4 pounds above her 103-pound baseline.

Long before Lacy’s boots ever hit the gridiron grass, “I was just hustling,” she says. “Very early on, I was spending money like crazy.” The salon visits, the makeup, the eyelashes, the tights were almost exclusively paid out of her own pocket. The finishing touch of the Raiderettes’ onboarding process was a contract requiring Lacy to attend thrice-weekly practices, dozens of public appearances, photo shoots, fittings and nine-hour shifts at Raiders home games, all in return for a lump sum of $1,250 at the conclusion of the season. (A few days before she filed suit, the team increased her pay to $2,780.) All rights to Lacy’s image were surrendered to the Raiders. With fines for everything from forgetting pompoms to gaining weight, the handbook warned that it was entirely possible to “find yourself with no salary at all at the end of the season.”

Like hundreds of women who have cheered for the Raiders since 1961, Lacy signed the contract. Unlike the rest of them, she also showed it to a lawyer.

ON JAN. 22, Lacy T.’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court alleging that the Raiders fail to pay their cheerleaders minimum wage for all hours worked, withhold pay until the end of the season, require cheerleaders to cover their own business expenses, don’t provide lunch breaks and impose fines for minor infractions — all of which, according to the suit, constitute violations of the California Labor Code.

The provocation was unprecedented. When pro football’s first cheerleaders took the field in the 1920s, rah-rahing on the sidelines was a volunteer position, usually occupied by local high school and college cheerleaders interested in performing on a bigger stage. But as TV began to outpace radio, more and more teams stocked their sidelines with flashier — although still unpaid — performers. In 1972, Cowboys GM Tex Schramm upped the game. He’d seen Bubbles Cash, an artificially augmented local stripper, make the news after cameras caught her shimmying in the stands with a stick of cotton candy, and he wanted similar assets at his games. So he replaced his cheer director — a local high school teacher — with a Broadway choreographer, dismissed his squad of coed teenagers to make way for a team of (barely) legal women in stomach-baring tops and began paying them a meager salary. By 1976, they’d become a trademark part of a franchise. That year, Super Bowl X marked not only the end of the Cowboys’ season but the beginning of modern professional cheerleading: 73 million viewers watched as one cheerleader turned to the camera and winked, launching the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as bankable stars of team-approved posters, calendars, public appearances and reality TV. These weren’t just cheerleaders; they were what Schramm called “atmosphere producers.”

But even as collective bargaining has caused players’ salaries to skyrocket, cheerleaders are still treated with the expendability of borrowed college students. Of the 26 teams that employ cheerleaders, only Seattle publicly advertises that it pays its squad an hourly minimum wage. The tenuous position of NFL cheerleaders is exacerbated by the fact that six teams don’t fork out any cash for squads. The Packers occasionally employ the services of a local collegiate squad. Other teams, such as the Lions, Browns and Giants, rely on unofficial squads willing to finance themselves through public appearances and calendar shoots for the opportunity to dance in a high-profile setting.”

Read on: Just Cheer, Baby | ESPN

Apr 08 Reblogged

smartgirlsattheparty:

"When I started playing Detective Olivia Benson, I began to get a lot of letters from viewers. I had gotten fan mail before, but these letters were different. They were coming from individuals who were disclosing histories of violence and abuse - a lot of them for the first time. I knew I had to do something, so I trained to become a rape crisis counselor, I joined Boards, I got involved. I was proud to be on a show that was brave enough to go into territory that no one was talking about, but I also knew I wanted to do more and play a larger role to help survivors heal and reclaim their lives. In 2004 I created the Joyful Heart Foundation with the mission to heal, educate, and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, and to shed light on the darkness surrounding these issues. I’m very proud to report that since we began, we’ve provided direct services to over 5,400 people, and that we’re determined to change the conversation about violence and abuse.”

- Mariska Hargitay (original post & gifset by oliviasbenson.tumblr.com)

(Source: mulders)

Apr 08 Reblogged

Apr 08 Reblogged

kateoplis:

NPR covers all 2,428 miles of the US-Mexico border, so you don’t have to.

The results are beautiful.

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