Posts Tagged ‘Women’

Barbie…Then and Now

In Personal Self Esteem, Women's Issues on October 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Barbie Doll Museum at Bloomingdale's

Image by aloha orangeneko via Flickr

Somewhere around the 3rd grade my mother nicely informed me I was getting too big to play with dolls. I remember thinking, I was not going to PLAY with this doll, I wanted a Barbie doll. You didn’t just play with Barbie, you escaped into her world where everything from sports cars to her house was bigger, better and more exciting than just a doll. Well, I never got a Barbie…ever, and I wonder how many other little girls thought Barbie’s world was an inspiration and discovered just how far Barbie lived from the truth.

Recently in an article on SHINE a model indicated what type of surgery she would need to have to even begin to look like Barbie and let’s face it, if a model would need to have surgery the picture is less than positive for the rest of us, at any age. Then I began to wonder if Barbie might not have made a more positive impact on girls if she “aged gracefully” and really let us peek into where her life was headed.

For example, Barbie would have a  little more flab after a few children and a little more fatigue from endlessly running to doctor’s appointments, sports activities, meetings with teachers, not to mention the job she might have to take on if Ken was downsized. Their exquisite “dream house” might have to be sold and they might need to live in a rental until Ken could find employment. Barbie would spend a lot more time in sweats and with significantly more “bad hair days” while trying to juggle her job, toilet training the youngest and making ends meet at the grocery store especially with the one kid who had significant allergies to any food with preservatives.

Maybe Ken would get so despondent that he would simply “check out” of married life and Barbie would be looking at years of waiting for the support check to be on time while still trying to be the “perfect mom”. Barbie would trade in her bikini for pajamas which she would want to wear constantly because she would never be able to get enough sleep between kids, and her job and now trying to put herself back to school for a degree so she could actually consider sending the kids to college someday and save some money for her own retirement.

Barbie Doll Museum at Bloomingdale's

Image by aloha orangeneko via Flickr

Gradually Barbie would get her degree in business although it might take her 6-7 years part time. Especially when she lost a year to take care of her mom who could no longer live by herself and to home school one child who wasn’t able to make academic gains in a traditional education program. Barbie now had her degree and was sending her children off to college but not in the fancy sports car  but in the clunker she had been driving for some 11 yea. She hoped to purchase another used vehicle for herself once she got the job offer she believed she now had qualifications for. But Barbie discovered few people wanted to hire a middle aged woman who had no experience in her field regardless of how much experience she had in life. Employers weren’t paying for life experience and Barbie found herself looking into the mirror after 6 months with no offers and thinking, “Maybe I do need a face lift,” when she realized that she not only located one but many grey hairs in that pretty blonde head of hers and wondered what was next.

Barbie looks at her own mother and realizes the next “doll” she becomes will be 20 pounds heavier just because Mother Nature says so and will no longer be able to fit into any size that isn’t double digits no matter what she does. She also realizes she is about to morph into a doll that comes complete with  fashion accessories that include a handicap accessible sticker, walker, and reading glasses.

Yes, Barbie has arrived just not quite at the place she thought she was headed more than 50 years ago. Welcome to the real world, Barbie.

I think dolls are wonderful. I still have several of my own packed away, but again not a Barbie.  Obviously a Barbie who ages realistically over time would be a dud for sales but what I hope every little girl understands who enjoys dolls, even Barbies, is that in the real world we don’t look perfect or have perfect relationships or even perfect lives and that is perfectly okay because there are no Barbies in the real world, only people who think they can be one. In the real world,  Barbie  has to grow up and be a woman we can all be proud of and relate to and she needs to “put her big girl pants on and deal with it” even if they are now marked large instead of extra small.

Barbie dolls are almost exclusively considered...

Image via Wikipedia

And of course, in the real world, she would have a ton of her female supporters who know just how she feels and would let her cry on their shoulders, eat chocolate with her and rally around her no matter what is spilled on her shirt, how long it has been since she shampooed her hair and even if she is wearing mom jeans.

Give it up, Barbie and live real.

Posted by  Kathy


I Have Had Enough…Have you?

In Uncategorized, Women's Issues on February 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

From pre-teens to grandmothers, we women seem to have a knack for beating ourselves up, reminding ourselves on a regular basis that we lack something because we are not “enough.”

Young girls think they are not pretty enough or popular enough to compete with peers. As they move through young adult hood,they worry about whether they are sexy enough, attractive enough, smart enough,competitive enough, or have just enough of what it takes to get into whatever group, association, career choice or relationship they want.  Having children only adds to the dilemma, when both new and mature mothers worry whether they are present enough in their children s’ lives if they must share in being the bread winner, capable enough in their employer’s eyes if they have family demanding their attention or even “worthy” enough in the eyes of their peers, especially those who seem to have it together in some magical way.

Women go through life questioning whether they have been enough of a wife, mother, daughter or even lover to people who matter to them and even to those who never will.  Society dictates that a “woman’s work is never done.” so it must also seem that women will never reach “enough”, sensing that falling short of  our goals must demonstrate we are not committed enough. Getting older sometimes only adds to the pressure, with both time and experience questioning if we are aging gracefully enough, have been involved enough and will leave enough of a legacy to really have contributed. From botox to breastfeeding, volunteering to Victoria’s Secret, glass ceilings to glass slippers, women have constantly been reminded that we can be and do more better if we were just rich, smart, popular, sensitive, well read, well bred, classy, thin, youthful, playful and both strong and helpless enough.

It’s time to realize that the bar for what “enough” is constantly changes,hearing that 40 is the new 30 can be exhilarating  but women need to realize  they need not hide every flaw, failure, mistake, or inadequacy that makes us come up short. We need to recognize the value of self worth; first being happy with who we are in our own eyes before we think we can let anyone else tell us what would make us better. We need to know that the pressure we often feel to be more than we are at the moment, is often just society’s way of selling us more products, programs, paraphernalia and propaganda.  Being “enough” of anything doesn’t mean you are any more fulfilled or capable than the next person. Often it is like the half empty glass: what one person sees as partly missing, the other perceives as half way there.

Get out of your own way and recognize the little subliminal messages you get telling you that you are not “enough”. Seriously, It’s time to tell those voices in your head that you have had “ENOUGH”

posted by Kathy

Judge not the Wife

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2010 at 12:06 am

Tis the season to be Jolly… Fa la la la la, la la la la.

 We know that this can be a very depressing time for many, especially for a wife. 

She is a Women In Fight for her very Existence. 

Stats support that 1 out of every 4 women are victims of domestic abuse.  Her identity is hidden by her deadly silence because she knows that the moment she shares her secret she will be belittled.  I am going to call her Jaine because she deserves to be known, understood, acknowledged, heard and properly identified. 

Usually when Jaine is discussed the first comments made by others sounds something like this…..”I won’t let any man put his hands on me….that would be the last time”….or “why doesn’t she  just leave”….or “What did she do to provoke that man to mistreat her”….or simply “she must like it”.

Jaine missed the warning signs.  The Red flags were subtle at first.  He got serious too quickly, he was too possessive, jealous, self-centered.  Nothing was ever his fault, he constantly checked up on Jaine.  He was disrespectful and held negative attitudes toward women.

Jaine is in a relationship were there is no such thing as fair play.  She is in an intimate relationship or marriage where her partner dominates the relationship by using fear, guilt, isolation, threats, denial, blame, shame and intimidation to wear her down and gain complete control.   

Jaine hopes for the ideal relationship and that her partner becomes committed to the vows of marriage. Jaine blames herself for the problems in the relationship. It may take a very long time for her to realize that she is not the blame for the abuse.

Next time you talk to Jaine, or you meet Jaine, or you read about Jaine or see her story in the news, instead of judging her why don’t you pray for her?  If you have the opportunity to talk to Jaine….just listen…don’t judge.  Let her know that you are concerned, ask Jaine what she would like to do and if there is anything you can do for her.  Give her the domestic violence hotline number at 800-799-SAFE.

Realize that Jaine is a Woman IFight for her very  Existence. 

Happy Holdiays Jaine….you are not alone….we hear you and we are not judging you.

My Christmas wish is Peace on Earth …Goodwill to Jaine!

 Darlene Sheardon


Live Your Life by Design

Seminars and Workshops to Undo the Damage of Domestic Abuse


In Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Woman cleaning toilets.

Image via Wikipedia

I know what you are thinking.  “I wish I could have the life of the trophy wife; every whim fulfilled, every wish granted.” No, that’s not the real trophy wife.  That’s more like replica of a life that screams, “It’s all about me or at least it should be.” That is not really a trophy wife as much as a symbol of a conquest that is over but still is a conversation piece, much like a mounted deer on a wall, “Yeah, I bagged it while hunting caribou in the Northwest territory.” and then the conversation goes on to more pertinent things.

I know some real trophy wives. They are prizes few people deserve. These are the women that raise children much like single women while their husbands travel or spend the better portion of their days building a career. These are the women that pack lunch after lunch for years to save a few dollars. They may be taking care of a handicapped child, or an aged parent. They may forfeit their free time to make sure there is dinner on the stove, homework attended to and clean underwear in the drawer. These are the women that deserve a trophy for their dedication to running a household  as though it were a small business, making it productive regardless of what little resources there might be to work with.

Housewife in the Kitchen of Her Mobile Home in...
Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

I know some trophy wives who have sacrificed to help a struggling child succeed or who have opened up their homes to take care of not only their own children, but those of relatives or friends who have fallen on hard times.  I know trophy wives who are watching a parent, their own or their spouse’s diminish daily because of dementia. These women provide companionship, encouragement and a lifeline to individuals who don’t even recognize who they are.

I know trophy wives who juggle nighttime feedings and daytime staff, who read briefs during the day and Dr.Seuss at night. I know ones who drive themselves to chemo before the grocery store. I know trophy wives who pray for their husbands success and their children’s well being while dealing with difficult in-laws. I know women who should easily get a trophy for all they do as a wife, mother, sister, grandmother and.

I am proud to know these trophy women.  I am humbled by the way they handle whatever life throws on their doorstep. Chances are you know some trophy women too.  Society may have its own definition for what constitutes a trophy wife, but anyone who watches these women in action, know the real title should go to every woman who has lifted her family up and dedicated herself to helping others reach their potential.

Ladies…you know who you are. You have performed admirably  in your roles. You have out-shined the competition. You deserve a trophy…and a day off!

A white-tailed deer mount at Jessie's parents'...

Image via Wikipedia

published by Kathy