The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ November 2017

Comfort In Chaos

Brilliant Star 7: I am able to find comfort in any storm. In my Self-Portrait, I drew myself in a nuclear apocalypse. If you look closely at my eyes, I’m not showing any signs of fear or discomfort. I believe if we make the choice, we can find tranquility even in chaos.

I love music of all genres. In my portrait, I’m listening to music; it makes things easier to process and to relax.

Que sera sera.

What will be will be.

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

Comfort In Chaos – MissFifty "Page"

The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ October 2017

Unfinished

Brilliant Star 6: I’m not an artist but I wanted to try the self-portrait project. Although I am showing up to do the work, I am finding it hard to do this project.

It’s pretty dark in my head most days. I want it to be different: maybe not so dark all the time. But I am determined and I hope to turn things around one day.

I guess this makes me honest. And my self-respect begins with my honesty.

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

Unfinished – MissFifty "Page"

The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ September 2017

Behind The Eyes

Brilliant Star 5: Some say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Most people know what it feels like when you want to die, but no one talks about it in detail. Yes, it’s a sensitive subject but people need to be aware. In my self-portrait, the colours are subdued: that’s because when you get clinically depressed the world just loses its colour.

The eyes show that she is blind; people are blind to see how somebody feels on the inside. The noose around her neck will obviously raise concern to the viewer. It shows that I don’t feel like being alive. The emotional sinking of depression is suggested without having to step off a chair for it to tighten.

I liked doing this project quite a lot. I’ve never done a self-portrait before, so it was fun to try. Throughout this process I was feeling extremely down, like I do most days. So I showed how I feel on the inside.

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

Behind The Eyes – MissFifty "Page"

The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ August 2017

Mindful Release

Brilliant Star 4: The character: ME is locked up and chained which represents being closed in and alone. But CREATIVITY in the mind grants him a key that symbolizes escape or freedom from the binding chain holding him back.

The character is still not responding to creativity because he cannot be “different”. His own imposed limitations are keeping him imprisoned.

Good and bad ideas are being released from his mind. Yet one of the weirdest of ideas: his FREE WILL is granting him the freedom.

Will he honour his free will?

Will he be TRUE to himself?

Will he use the key?

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

Mindful Release – MissFifty "Page"

The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ July 2017

Shed That Radical Gnard

Brilliant Star 3: My self-portrait represents my happy places. The ocean waves reflecting in my eyes, is when I feel the calmest. Surfing and being in the ocean is one of the things I like to do best. I just want to be a little Hawaiian baby swimming in the Pacific.

I’m wearing a bun in my portrait: it’s my signature hairstyle. My naturally long eyelashes are a physical feature I like about myself. And my big smile! (Which looks really creepy, in this artwork, just like the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland !)

I am in LOVE with the Hawaiian Islands: When I travelled there, it changed me. My dream is to own a chicken farm on the Island of Kauai.

I used my hand to make a print on my art: I love hand painting: It makes me feel like I’m five again, when I knew the world as only good. The smoke on the right of my face represents my sadness: the dark times in my life. I can’t always see the rainbow.

My face is upside down: it represents my personality: Hanging Loose.

I’m pretty proud of my portrait.

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

Shed That Radical Gnard – MissFifty "Page"

The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ June 2017

Seedling

Brilliant Star 2: My self-portrait is what I sense I am. It is a mixture of what I feel and what is most important to me.

The purple-blue background is my attempt at recreating the colour of the Chicory flower. It is my mom’s favourite flower and I wanted to include it because she is pretty much the most important person to me, and I love her a lot.

The white flowers are Queen Anne’s Lace and they are also very special to me. The little blue flowers on “my” cheek are Forget-Me-Nots: they as well hold much meaning to me.

My green hair in the painting really represents my love and connection to nature. Even now, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I walk in the forest. If there is one place I really belong: it is in nature.

The crown of clouds around my head represents how much I daydream: I literally have my head in the clouds.

Lastly, the headphones are for listening to the music I love. Like daydreaming, I use it to block out the real world.

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

Seedling – MissFifty "Page"

The Chrysalis + Instinct Amulet Art Project: Self-Portrait© is based on the premise that our IDENTITY serves as our best protection: It helps us to stay in the LIGHT: A true WARRIOR advances toward POSITIVE results and DEFENDS the GOOD in his/her LIFE.

The Self-Portrait Art objective is developed on three guiding goals: Self-Realization * Self-Value * Self-Respect * With an end goal: Self-Worth*

Thirteen grade 9 students signed up and attended after school in a room (with lots of windows) offered by the Principal. I brought the art supplies: the young artists created the ART. Truly EDUCATIONAL for everyone involved, whilst honouring community service + spirit.

Each Self-Portrait work BEGINS the: A Brilliant Star We Are: Self-Portrait Art Gallery©.

Brilliant Stars
Be Free. Live Truth.
Thank You!

 

New Moon ~ May 2017

The Two Me’s

Brilliant Star 1: I’m hyperactive, I know I have two sides to my personality. My self-portrait explains it. I can be really quiet and do my own thing but, actually, I can be really wild and crazy. These two sides, in my art, creates “my person”.

I know I have the ability to find the positive in each person, or things. Each time I say something negative about someone or something, my mom asks me to say good things about it. For example: I used to be in a hard period of my life and I didn’t stop trying to denigrate myself. So for each negative word I said, my mom asked me to name three qualities that I owned.

My painting didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but I’m finding the good things in it. Maybe, one day, I’ll find all the good reasons!?

On the colourful side of my work, it describes my calm side and things that I like. On the darkness side, it has some weird shapes that represents the “crazy” me. The two sides make me think about all my qualities: determined, organized, effective, creative, sensitive etc…

All good things possible always…

Self-Portrait Gallery

The Two Me’s – MissFifty "Page"

Each of us comes here with a star, may we be guided to let it shine with all the pure light wishes our heart makes ~ Miss Fifty

New Moon ~ April 2017

New Beginnings

Miss Fifty began as a passion of my heart project. When life redirected my path out of the classroom and away from my students, I was meant to understand that SAVING my own life had to come first.

My career as a teacher was cut short due to many years of mental health and physical health challenges: eating disorders; anorexia; bulimia. So I made the choice to LIVE and reclaim ME.

After years of piecing my life back together, I found myself in a healthy body, with a functioning healthy mind, and a heart full of passion. So I made my way back to my work with young people: ONLY this time, it would be out of the classroom.

Miss Fifty’s fieldwork is ALL about giving back by providing the opportunity for YOUTH to voice their impressions of the world around them, and their place in it, through the Conversation Series and Self-Portrait Art.

Youth Mental Health Statistics are in, and they are painting a very grim picture of our Youth’s overall health. Our Modern Culture is a factor to these statistics, amongst other contributing factors. We each have a responsibility to these numbers. Each number represents a young person’s life.

I believe that when we come into service, in our own community to those who are the most vulnerable, an incredible change takes place within our own life: We find our way back to who we are meant to be.   

All good things possible always…

New Beginnings – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ March 2017

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Conversation Series I:

So the VERDICT is in: Yes, Pop Culture mainstream media images and messages affect Self-Esteem. As answered in Conversation Series I, with twelve Youth: 6 Female/6 Male.

So my turn now: Yes! I believe on many levels it affects me, profoundly. It has an intricately layered effect psychologically, emotionally and physically. Pop Culture has the power to wire my brain negatively, so talking about it helps me to express how I feel about things. It makes me think about the words that will give my voice the power, to turn something negative into a positive. If I’m rewiring my brain into a positive force, then I’m helping myself navigate through life, with the best version of: Me.

On the flip side: Pop Culture is ART in many forms and it can be beautiful when it serves as a CONSTRUCTIVE force. Music, film, fashion, books etc…if it’s constructive: I’m in.

Words are powerful. Conversation is ART. My brain is off limits to the breeding ground of negativity. If I practice conversation in a creative way to express emotion, then I am reclaiming my voice in a world so determined to silence me. I want my ideas and impressions to nourish my psyche. If my psyche is healthy, then my outlook on life will be too.

On the Scales of Justice: I want my voice to count for something positive. I want my voice to mean something good. Even if the negative surrounds me, I want to know that my words can create positive where there is none. I have to believe that when my words lead to positive action, no matter how much I’m weighed down by the negative, I can still measure up with the power of the spoken word. My word is my Self-Respect and I’m in charge of that 24/7.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ February 2017

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Conversations ~Youth (Female) #6:

Pop culture has been affecting my self-esteem, for as long as I can remember. These pictures and ads calling in young people, making them feel that they need to look, act, and become a different person are real. The messages are clear: you have to be thin, rich and pretty, to be in this group. Or you need this phone and this haircut, to be this person. And it’s not just the ads that you see and different messages being portrayed, but the people around you who get sucked into the whole scene.

When you surround yourself with people who are obsessed with their image, popularity, and the idea of some superhuman perfectionism it’s going to affect you: much sooner than later.

Comparing yourself in mirrors to celebrities and models (whose images are airbrushed and reshaped) does affect you. And when you don’t follow the standard of pop culture, or you don’t have the means to, that’s when the problems start. People make fun of you for trying to fit in.

As youth, we try to live up to these expectations that have been outlined for us. We beg our parents for whatever newest product that this celebrity is promoting, or that “something” that costs a crazy amount of money. All because we are being conditioned to think that we need whatever it is they’re selling. Because that “thing” we buy is somehow going to make our life better.

In actuality, I tried to be that person. I thought having the coolest “trend” and hanging out with people, I thought were cool, would make me cool.

I would be online looking up tips on how to get skinny quick, and tricks to be the most attractive. I was underage and I was drinking and smoking cigarettes. Somehow, we would always end up talking some older guy into buying the alcohol and cigarettes for us. It was becoming a way of life. I stopped focusing on school and things that really were important and started focusing on things that weren’t: clothes, pop stars, my popularity, and meaningless friendships. After hitting my version of rock bottom, I realized something: I was trying to be someone else and this was becoming very tiring. I was wearing a mask for the outside world.

So it made me think:
1) I didn’t have to fit in
2) I was worth so much more.
3) And it’s okay to be different.

Lastly I realized that it was better to learn to love myself for my flaws and blemishes than to try to fit into to the “mold” that society wants for me.

Self-Esteem is something I believe is extremely important, it goes with self-love. Learning to love who you really are is the first step.
Learning to embrace yourself, by voicing your opinions positively is also the right step. Building yourself up on good things can only help you strive to keep your life positive. And it helps a lot with confidence.

By loving and wearing that dress/shirt, even though it’s not what everyone else is wearing is a choice. By listening to a band because you actually like their music, even if they didn’t win any awards, is also another choice. All these choices help you to live true. You are allowed to have differences because everyone is different for a reason. And you are allowed to THINK for yourself.

Once you truly believe and love yourself, that’s when you know you have changed. You have created your path out of stars and dreams that you love, not out of things someone tells you to love.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ January 2017

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Conversations ~Youth (Male) #6:

I see a lot of images like ads on billboards, when I’m driving with my mom or dad and that’s fine with me. I know they are trying to sell things. And sometimes when I see something I want, like: running shoes or skateboards or let’s say technological devices, I ask for them as presents for my birthday or Christmas. I’m still really young though and if I get what I ask for or not, I still have the BEST parents. So I guess the ads do affect me because it makes me want to buy things.

I have a social media account. And I do go on the Internet.

My social media account is private, and when I’m using it: my parents supervise me. As for the Internet: I’m always looking for hockey videos. I like watching the plays. I want to be a better hockey player, so I watch and then practice the moves on the ice. That’s really all I look at on the Internet. Again, my parents supervise while I’m on the computer. I have the BEST parents because they care what I’m exposed to.

I watch age appropriate movies. But sometimes there is violence, and I don’t like it. You know, at school there are fights on the playground. There’s this one kid who starts a lot of the fights, but I think he has issues at home. And maybe the school doesn’t really know how to deal with him. So I try my best to defend myself, if he starts a fight with me. I don’t like violence at all. And it’s all around us. Even at school. So watching it on television or in the movies wouldn’t make me feel good.

I’m young and I can see the world as: Not the worst place, but it’s also not the best place either. I think it’s good to know about what’s going on in the world. Maybe I can make it a better place by being a good person. I’m learning that from my mom and dad. It’s probably why I can look in the mirror and smile at myself. I like what I see. And I like who I am. So I guess a have a pretty positive self-esteem.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ December 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Conversations ~Youth (Female) #5:

Yes. I think it definitely does. It sets up a sort of expectation that I feel like I should reach.

I continuously compare myself to celebrities and feel like: if I don’t meet a certain standard of body weight, height or general appearance, I won’t be pretty.

I think that the media portrays women in a certain way and if you don’t conform to their ideal of beauty, you aren’t beautiful.

I try to deal with this by surrounding myself with people who are not too self-conscious and who are more positive. My best friend (for example) has helped me a lot with my self-esteem, over the years. It’s hard to deal with self-esteem issues because no matter what anyone else says (in your favour) you’ll never believe them. But I feel that as I grow older, I’m having less and less problems.

I think that self-esteem issues are forever going to be present, because I will always compare myself to other girls. But I think: these challenges are also connected with identity issues. So as I understand who I am better, I’ll start to accept myself more.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ November 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Male) #5:

It doesn’t affect me really. I’ve always been the odd one out and, over time, I’ve learned to not let this bother me. I’ve built positive self-esteem by being resistant. By being the odd one out.

It also helps that I’m not on social media.

I have my group of friends: We’re about thirteen in all and we look out for one another. I also have many acquaintances that I like, but I don’t consider them my friends.

When I think about self-esteem and how mine could be compromised, I can say this: I am affected by the injustice in situations. Particularly, when people hurt others.

Also, my self-esteem would definitely be compromised if: I did something wrong that made my family and friends think less of me. I do not want to hurt the people who love and care for me.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ October 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Female) #4:

I do believe that pop culture influences my life. As a young person, I am subjected to a multitude of ever changing expectations of how I should live. With regard to media: it can be entertaining and serve as a good source of information, but it also has a dark side. It lays every one of us out on the table and if you’re not “pretty”, “thin”, or “rich” enough, you aren’t as important or “liked”. But who is to decide? We make ourselves believe these ratings truly define us as a person, they don’t. We fight this battle of just trying to be ourselves when media is showing us that we should want more, more, and more. This leads to a personal push and pull inside your head slowly shaping you, making you more cynical, critical, and sometimes depressed, while you try and try to depict this image of yourself that other people will enjoy. But do YOU enjoy it?

Are we losing ourselves in this unobtainable imagery?

Sometimes when I get caught up with these people who are famous and publicly loved, I have to stop and tell myself, “There are thirty other people we don’t see who designed that photo with touch-ups, air brushing etc… to make MONEY”. These photos are only of their ‘good side’ and models are posed and dressed to appear taller, thinner, and sexier than an average person. Companies only choose these beautiful men and women because that is where their profit comes from.

Gender: As women we are told we should always be dressed well, hair and makeup done, hold the house, and have dinner ready. Realistically, most families require the men and women to work equal amounts, yet women still feel they’re not doing enough to please and keep someone.

Judgment: It makes me sad that when we look at another person we jump to judge them, and compare ourselves to try and feel better about what we have. Most people don’t even realize they’re doing it, myself included.

Social Media: It pains me to see the negative comments rolling down posts on social media, the negative people seem to band together. Those things don’t stay with the ones who say them, but I know they stay with the person they’re being said to.

In a society where there are no more closed doors, it is hard to keep your head above water. I want others to see the silver lining in the images that taint our views subconsciously. Instead of buying into it, just feel good about yourself and feel good about others, because it’s a big world and there’s so much we don’t see. Keep telling yourself you are smart and beautiful. And we will be strong. One can’t change society, but many can.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ September 30th, 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Male) #4:

I believe that the NEW pop culture ABSOLUTELY affects and influences today’s modern youth.  Our new society is creating unrealistic stereotypes and NEW norms that should not be.

Pop Culture can push you to the limit!

Look at the lip challenge put out by a “certain” female celebrity, last year, on how to get her “puffy” lips!  This crazy NEW trend, in which teens attempted to get lips like her, sent many young people to the hospital! The teens that took on her challenge placed their lips in small glasses and sucked. The results were savage: bleeding lips, facial bruising, burst blood vessels and PERMANENT painful disfigurement of the lips. All this because of the act of one EGO driven celebrity!

We should always try our best to not be influenced by things that we see or read, in pop culture. We should always try and form our own point of view.  We should, also, as much as we can, remain neutral in the face of pop culture’s challenges and trends. We should not act without thinking of the potential harm and consequences.

Even if some aspects of pop culture bring us joy and happiness, it can just as easily create unrealistic standards, points of view, and ideas.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ September 1st, 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Female) #3:

Pop culture definitely affects youth self-esteem. Although, I think that people often think that the effects are always bad, but this is not always the case! For example: If I’m looking through a fashion magazine and I see a shirt or a pair of jeans I own, then I most probably will feel ahead of the “trends”. And this may give me a boost of self-esteem, rather than lower it.

Now, I realize that NOT all effects of pop culture are good for self-esteem. Ads, magazines, television shows, social media and countless other popular trends, are presented with Photoshop selling brand name clothing and products through UNREALISTIC images. This creates a FAKE image that leads people to believe they want better looks, bigger houses, more money, etc.

When I think of myself, in terms of popular culture, I FEEL that I have really been swept into it. I have never been into fashion trends and if I don’t I like something, no one can convince me to like it. Yet, the more I think of it, the more I realize I AM affected.

When I FEEL I need whiter teeth, after watching a tooth paste commercial, or I FEEL I need a better body after watching a summer movie, I am being AFFECTED.

I am affected without REALIZING that I am being affected. I downgrade myself without even acknowledging that I am doing it. I know I am NOT the only person who does it, and this is where it becomes an ISSUE. We need to see that pop culture is MADE–UP and that it’s NOT real. Instead, we need to understand that we are all INDIVIDUALS and we are all DIFFERENT –and this is an AMAZING thing!

YES popular culture affects YOUTH SELF-ESTEEM and YES it affects me.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ August 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Male) #3:

Yes, I believe what the media projects is harmful to a young teen’s self-esteem –especially on the Internet. Even something like looking up sports scores, or to read an article, you’ll see ads for weight loss: “Do you want to lose 80 lbs?” And when I read this: I feel self-doubt about my own body.

Social Media is especially bad for this as well.

I like to use the Internet and Social Media to share information and positive ideas but there is the “dark side” too. The Internet always seems to herd the negative or “internet bullies” together and this creates a negative atmosphere. I’ve noticed a real negative change in the past couple of years. Even an innocent question like asking for the name of a song: people will call you names for not knowing that song.

It’s hard to see people behave like this on the Internet/Social Media sites because maybe they’d never call you names to your face, but they think it’s okay to be negative and hateful behind their computer screens.

It really is disheartening to see but you have to stay true to yourself and say: “It’s the people that make the change, it doesn’t just happen.” So I try my best not to get involved with fights on the Internet.

I think a positive way to make Internet/Social Media sites less harmful, is through the use of moderators that can limit negativity like: prejudice.

My advice to young people: Honestly, all you can do is not listen to it. You have to trust your own judgment: this is okay; this isn’t okay. And don’t band with or talk with the negative people. But the BEST protection you can get is staying off the Internet for as long as you can each day.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ July 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Female) #2:

I agree that mainstream popular culture has influenced my self-esteem, yet this is nothing new to youth growing up in any particular era. Young minds have always been exposed to the “desired norm”. The only difference, now, is that it comes at you faster, with a higher volume of content.

In the 50s we had the image of the typical American housewife who was slim, well-kept, and always had dinner on the table for her husband. The 70s are categorized by hippies and the popularization of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and acid. Grunge met the 90s, where “heroin chic” evolved. Throughout the 00s women’s clothing got less and less and men embraced layers of baggy tracksuits. I didn’t have to Google these transitions because, as a Millennial, they are engrained in my brain.

Our brains encode information from external stimuli, which is how we are able to translate images and messages into knowledge that is either stored in our long-term or short-term memory. I like to think of our brain as an assembly line – information is packaged, coded, and given a destination. We control the reception of stimuli through a brain tool called “perception”, in which we ask ourselves “is this useful or not?” If we deem the information useful, it will be processed on our assembly line – if not, it will be discarded. This innate system of functioning has survival at its core. We need to know what’s useful, at a fast rate.

If our brains accepted every element, from our environment, as useful information, we would become completely over-stimulated and our assembly line would potentially shut down in ways that could lead us to back away from learning, as it would be too much for us to absorb and truly comprehend. Thankfully, our brain has filters. While there are more technical terms to our classification systems, for this purpose, let’s call one category “The Self.” The Self stores the information that shapes our feelings, opinions, and, ultimately, engages our personality. A lot of information that we are exposed to by the media gets shipped to this area of the brain because it is directed at our opinions; thus, it can influence The Self and, eventually, our behaviour.

Marketers capitalize on this fact by identifying segments in the population and the best way to reach them. Product positioning is a key facet to good marketing, as this is how you distinguish WHY one product is better from another – the WHY is the deciding factor in getting the public to change their behaviour. Normally, this is accomplished by showing the consumer how much better their life will be with the product. However, many individuals have caught on to the fact that material goods don’t satisfy our need for the validation that our life is awesome. If you look closely enough, what exists today is a society that is changing to become inclusive, not exclusive, and seeks to improve our singular marketing tactics and shift them toward something that promotes social good for communities.

We shouldn’t feel ashamed for wanting to buy a product in a magazine that we think is nice or feel guilty for sharing a picture of our food in an Instagram post because we’re excited to try a trendy restaurant – this is the world we live in and we should be a part of it. Social media was invented to share – in the same way that I made the decision to write this post. I am releasing my thoughts on an important issue into the world, using a platform that can reach and, hopefully, open the minds of a lot of people.
When you break it down, the mainstream culture is not all negative. Although I would be lying if I said beauty standards did not make me feel “pretty enough” or “skinny enough” or simply “good enough” in general, but by reading and taking the time to explore deeper into what is being projected, I have to realize that food plans, personal trainers, and graphic experts make these models and actresses look the way they do in a picture.

We need to talk about pop culture AND self-esteem to deconstruct how the two forces interact and influence each other, in order to change the conversation. In this way, we become self-aware and acknowledge the truth. Instead of just pointing the finger at marketing companies for “creating a society based on superficial qualities”, let’s get UNCOMFORTABLE by encouraging our youth to not be afraid to ask questions. Life is NOT comfortable and, the reality is, we are not always going to feel good about ourselves. By shifting our perspective, we can learn to ask WHAT in the environment makes them feel bad and WHY. From there, we address HOW they can change this. Let’s learn more about WHERE these campaigns are being developed and by WHOM. So much information is literally at our fingertips but, oftentimes, the facts are hidden beneath a very weak façade.

Let’s embrace all of our feelings, good or bad, so we know how to COPE with them. Face your environment, head on, to discover yourself. Shutting out the world will not protect your self-esteem and it will not shield you from negativity. Frankly, no change has ever been affected through ignorance. Find out what works best for you to question popular culture AND question yourself because knowledge is power, but knowledge about you is POWERFUL.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ June 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Male) #2:

Yes, the mainstream media and popular culture do affect my self-esteem.
Mainstream Media has become an increasingly influential entity in our daily lives. More than ever, we are subject to the harassment of the Internet and other technological mediums’ overflow of information. As an individual, I must stay true to myself, without warping my image to suit popular culture’s ideals. This itself is a challenge. Choosing not to abide by the stranglehold of the media can make you become an outcast. This makes balancing the use of media resources essential to good self- esteem.

I have come to terms with the fact that the Internet can be an output of helpful information. But, the moment you change your ideals just to suit society’s norms because of someone else’s opinions online, without serious consideration, you have not been true to yourself. This is where I have witnessed a negative impact on individuals, time and time, again. People, who are so subjected to needless information on a daily basis, can lose themselves. Their image of themselves is not only damaged by the media’s unrealistic ideals, but it can also become obscured. People lose touch with who they really are. It is unfortunate that people do this, because eventually their image comes crashing down altogether. They have catered to the needs of society to maintain an image with excessive effort, and left themselves neglected and destitute.

How is someone supposed to know their self-worth, if they don’t know who they are?

Media outlets, such as magazines, set lofty expectations of appearance. And Social Media creates an egocentric mentality, obsessed with increasing popularity through likes, followers and “friends“.

How are you supposed to measure up? Life is not a pissing contest. Do yourself a favor and, to put it blatantly, stop giving a f*** about such petty things. At the end of the day, social media is not a place to live your life. Scrolling through mindless newsfeeds of who likes what, or what others find amusing, lacks substance. Let’s focus on the things that matter: friends, family and our passions. Why not be present in the lives of those that matter. Technology is a distracting and addicting thing, and it does not fulfill our lives the way the important things of life do.

I think we should set down the phone, put away the laptop, turn off the TV, and use that magazine with the photo shopped model as a coaster because these are distractions. The simple things that made you happy as a kid are still important. I want to be happy and reach for my goals. Social Media can wait because it looks like it will be here forever. The people I love, however, will not be here forever – neither will I. Cherish life and your place in it, instead. Anyone can try to fit society’s ideals, but only you can be yourself.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"

Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.

12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female

New Moon ~ May 2016

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM

Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?

Youth (Female) #1:

Yes –it does affect my self-esteem, in all ways possible. Whether it’s about my career or my looks or who I am and choose to be as a mother, young woman, as a friend or lover.

We are trained to think that we need to fit a certain mold of some sort. A big one for me is: I must be skinny. Hearing this makes me feel guilty not because it’s bad for my health, but because it makes me feel fat. And it makes me believe that I must not jiggle or have stretch marks, I must be tanned and feel good in a bikini.

Pop Culture media creates a false reality. We are trained to desire. Even when I look at photos of plus size models, I compare myself and still feel inadequate because the photo is touched up. When a plus size model became super popular a couple of years ago, many girls figured if I can’t be skinny, I will be big and beautiful so they started not caring about their health by eating poorly etc… The model had to tell the girls to just be themselves, and that they don’t need to be skinny or big, just be you.

We need to stay strong VS pop culture media –it can cause big damage to our self-esteem. Everyone is unique and beautiful. We must find our happiness within us, not try to be happy the way pop culture tells us to.

All good things possible always…

POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM – MissFifty "Page"