Poem: My Ode to Thee

My Ode to Thee

My ideal reader will search for meaning, with every aspect or angle set to be analyzed. He will hover over my words, like the twisting of a whirlwind. She will see herself in every single character I create. He will live and dream of every setting I construct. She will sink into every frame I fix for her to face. He will hold my words to his heart, hoping for his truth to harvest. She will sleep with my sheets scattered inside the racking of her skin, soul, and skull. He will hum sweet nothings at the haunting familiarity of my tales. She will trick herself into a fantasy of fantastic freedom, for my words have set her free. All my readers will see themselves, for the mysteries that they be.

–Tatiana Noelle Oquendo

Poem: Time

Time

Time is precious. Time is endless. Time is transient.

Take the time,

To let time go.

Yearn for more…

Feel to know.

Surrender your ties.

Free your soul.

Let your life live love,

With passion and flow.

–Tatiana Noelle Oquendo

 

A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders

Series: “Accepting Our Appearance”

A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders

 

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LET’S THINK…

WHAT DETERMINES OR THREATENS OUR SELF‑IMAGE?

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Gender differences create socially‑accepted gender norms. The Barbie and Ken type of beauty, with men being fit and muscular and women being pretty and skinny, is prevalent in Westernized culture.

In fulfilling certain models of beauty, both men and women are at risk of living by the standards of their appearance. Men can develop manorexia, as they desire to resemble model mannequins or they can develop bigorexia, where they’re obsessed with their muscles and lifting weights because they are never satisfied with how “big” or “ripped” they are. Women tend to be preoccupied with being skinny, which highlights the notoriety of anorexia or bulimia.

When we become obsessed with our bodies, we control our appearance by either minimizing our weight or by overcompensating for what we feel is lacking. Of course, we should be aware of what we consume, how we treat our bodies, and what motivates our self‑image; however, if our body‑image becomes our self‑image, gauging how we see and value life, then there’s a problem.

The documentary Thin is filmed in a Florida clinic and follows women diagnosed with eating disorders.

The documentary Baby Faced Body Builders is filmed in the United Kingdom and follows three teenagers who live to bulk up their muscles.

Both of these documentaries present a behind‑the‑scenes look into the reality of disordered logic and restrictive habits. Many of the films’ participants confess what made their appearance a central part of their lives, along with why or why not they see their lifestyle as dysfunctional.

We have the right to live as we choose, but it’s important to note how maladaptive thinking and behaviors affect our quality of life.

We are all unique. We deserve to be appreciated for our differences. Our self‑image should not be valued by how well we can replicate imposed archetypes of perfection.

We must be honest and learn to look out for ourselves. If we know we’re doing something wrong, we should do what we can to restore order. When we face our fears, we can conquer our weaknesses.

Don’t be a victim of vanity. Value who you are.

Your life is in your hands…be kind and take care of yourself.

best friend

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Book Review: Wasted

Series: “Accepting Our Appearance”

Book Review: Wasted

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LET’S THINK…

IF YOU COULD CREATE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE’S STORY, WHAT KIND OF BOOK WOULD IT BE? DO YOU THINK YOUR BOOK COULD HELP PEOPLE?

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Self‑development begins with the desire to better ourselves. We must monitor our behavior, check out thoughts, forgive ourselves, and seek enlightenment.

 The quest for self acceptance is life long: the journey can be bitter and full of decay or a practice of patience and compassion.

 Wasted book

 Image Credit

The memoir Wasted is written by Marya Hornbacher. The book documents a period from adolescence into early adulthood. Marya details her affliction with hunger, drugs, sex, and body‑image. She describes multiple bouts of intensive therapy, along with her being hospitalized and institutionalized.

The story is disturbingly truthful and raw; it permits an inside look of being plagued by dysfunctional thinking. Marya’s self‑destructive lifestyle pushes her to neglect the world, for the sake of her appearance; her familial, social, and occupational ties are severely affected, causing her to lose touch with reality. Through artistically crafted prose, Wasted exemplifies the complexity of deprivation, discipline, and conditioning.   The story recognizes how limitations and failure create an insatiable dissatisfaction of the self. Similarly, the book touches on the hazards of perfectionism, the perils of an overly‑competitive mindset, and the plight of manipulation.

We must be courageous enough to tell our own story…our lives can help others, just as others can help our lives.

be yourself

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Series: “Accepting Our Appearance”

Series: “Accepting Our Appearance”

Series Introduction

I will be issuing a series of posts, with the focus on “Accepting Our Appearance”.

Everyday, we must do our best to combat our insecurities and doubts. I want us to gain awareness as to how we see ourselves, along with identifying the roots of our uncertainties.

Learning to accept ourselves is essential to being content with life. In order to progress, we must be satisfied with our present state of being.

If the importance of appearance exceeds our ability to enjoy life, extreme consequences can surface. Unfortunately, frustration with one’s appearance risk acquiring an obsession with “fixing” their perceived flaws; this is how body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and mood disorders can develop. I will use an interview, the book Wasted, in addition to the documentaries Baby Faced Body Builders and Thin, to assist in exhibiting some precarious cases, related to our discussion.

All in all, I want us to create a balance within ourselves, attain healthy perspectives regarding self‑improvement, and come to accept and love who we are.

Let the enlightenment begin!

Table of Link Contents

1.Degrading the Details

2.Be Powerful

3.How to Appreciate Ourselves

4.The Interview: A Voice to be Heard

5.Book Review: Wasted

6.A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders

7.Challenge Yourself!

Watching The Bridge

Series: “The Self and Suicide”

Watching The Bridge

WATCH: The documentary The Bridge .

Take note of the following:

  • Characters: If you were to commit suicide, would a public bridge be your first choice? Do you believe suicidal people have a subconscious draw into one mode of suicide, over another?
  • Situation: Do you think you could detect whether or not someone is about to kill themselves? Do you feel, if you were in the same area as the person, you would suspect his/her intentions?
  • Reaction: Upon encountering a suicidal individual, would you try and interfere, get someone else to help, or observe from a distance? If the person goes through with the suicide, how would his/her death affect you? Would you feel blameless, guilty, sad, haunted, angry…?
  • Mood: If you saw someone kill themselves, would you feel better or worse about your current circumstances? Would you be grateful or hateful, regarding your own life?
  • Setting: People kill themselves in many places: jumping off buildings, throwing themselves into traffic or train tracks, hanging in a closet…sadly, the list goes on. What difference do you think it makes, that those in The Bridge, chose this location for their ultimate escape?
  • Society: Do you feel the people around you have the power to make a difference? If you were suicidal, would you go to a public place, with the hope that someone will reach out and help you? Would you commit the act in private, protecting others from having to deal with you?
  • The Aftermath: Depending on how and where someone commits suicide, there will be something left behind. If you came across a dead body, of someone you love, how would that make you feel? If you decided to commit suicide, would you want people to find you or would you do it in a place, where you’ll be washed away, like The Bridge? What do you think this line of thinking says about you, as a person?

The Bridge

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Suicide is an epidemic. We must be conscious and try to make a difference.

When we acknowledge others, and make an effort to be kind, we can help create connections. Little by little, we can help strengthen the unity and wellness of humanity.

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Watching The Virgin Suicides

Series: “The Self and Suicide”

Watching The Virgin Suicides

WATCH: The movie The Virgin Suicides

Take note of the following:

  • Characters: Who do you identify with? Who do you feel is highly susceptible to suicide?
  • Mood: Are there any points, in time and essence, you feel you can relate to? When do you feel sudden rushes of emotion?
  • Setting: Do you feel trapped by your circumstances? How much do your immediate surroundings affect you?
  • Personal Response: If you knew the Lisbon sisters, how would you react to them? Would you befriend them or ostracize them?
  • Role Play: If you lost a sibling or parent to suicide, what would you do?
  • Emotions: If someone kills themselves, is it wrong to make it known? With suicide being a sensitive subject, should you address those affected by the aftermath or is it best to let them come to you?
  • Society: What part do the townspeople play in what happens to the Lisbon sisters?

All Five Libson Sisters

Image Credit

The Lisbon sisters are notorious, young and attractive; to the town, they are mysterious and intriguing. We can’t always judge people by how they appear to be…the secrets held within, determine our true identity.

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