Celebrating Inspirational Women: Jade Beall and her Beautiful Body Project

By: Michael Garcia Davila, Operations Manager @ Our Hands For Hope
Featuring: Jade Beall’s Beautiful Body Project Volume 1:Mothers

Just because it isn't the 1800's doesn't mean I can't be a bathing beauty

Just because it isn’t the 1800’s doesn’t mean I can’t be a bathing beauty

Growing up I remember watching my sisters fuss with outfits, makeup, hair and more outfits, before leaving the house. It was because of this long production of getting ready to just go to the video rental store to pick a movie to watch at home, that I decided to hang out with the boys, more so than girls.

When I was much younger I loved girlie things; like cutting my hair, painting my face, singing to the flowers, as if my life were a Disney musical.

As I neared sixth grade I began to realize it was ok to have a  bad hair day and wear clothes that I was comfortable in.

I was still self-conscious about my appearance. I had Napoleon Complex and when time came I even lied about my height on my driver’s license to make the 5′ mark. I was well aware of the perception others imposed about wearing certain items for certain body types, but I was rarely one to think that way.

I wasn’t immune to bad wardrobe blunders and hairstyles that were unattractive to my face shape, but I was glad to experiment and made it a rule to not stand in front of a mirror for more than a minute.

As an adult this has not changed. Society, media, and even some people I hung out with were constantly telling me I needed to lose weight, hang out in certain circles or go after certain jobs. Eventually, those people came and went, I stopped listening to the media, and I went after jobs that were interesting to me.

I’ve dealt with severe depression over the years but have used it as my  journey to rediscovering my own self-worth. So whenever I hear women like Jennifer Lawrence telling young girls to love their bodies, or Ellen DeGenres pointing out how photoshoping models has gone too far, I can’t help but smile and feel better about who I am as a woman.

photo: Jade Beall

photo: Jade Beall

When I came across Jade Beall’s work I got goose bumps and couldn’t help but be happy. I felt the same exhilaration when I jumped out a plane for the first time; l felt liberated. It was the approval and appreciation for my own journey as a woman. My genetics were no longer something to be ashamed of, but celebrated. I believe men and women, need to feel that same liberation and know that their journey is worth being acknowledged. Our bodies are not problems to be fixed with diet pills and unrealistic surgeries. It is because of this that I would like to recognize Jade Beall and all of her models as #InspirationalWomen.

Many women from all backgrounds joined Jade Beall’s movement to create a stunning book of photographs and life stories acknowledging and celebrating the journey of: motherhood, aging, cancer, still-births, miscarriages, weight-gain, weight-loss, dysmorphia, and more. Jade hasn’t stopped there; her next project features “Wise Women Over 50”.

You can buy a copy of the Beautiful Body Project, Volume 1: Mothers by clicking here

Please visit her site www.abeautifulbodyproject.com to see what other amazing projects she has planned for subsequent volumes and how you can be a part of her movement.

 

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Celebrating Inspirational Women

By: Terisa Brooks-Huddleston, Founder/Owner @ Our Hands For Hope

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April showers bring May flowers and just in time for Mother’s Day. As we move into this season of honoring our mothers, at Our Hands For Hope we will be celebrating inspirational women in our lives by showcasing the strength, dignity, wisdom, support, love, comfort and creativity that defines women.

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We all hold images and memories of humorous, sentimental, empowering, and introspective moments we’ve had with women who inspire us. Throughout the month of May we will be celebrating women of all types, mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces and friends.

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We’ll be posting ways we applaud womanhood, from artistic expressions of female artists, humorous tales of fond memories, to the stories about changed lives and new adventures.

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We want you to share your memories and moments with us as well. Send us a blurb or a brief story about a woman you would like to honor, we would love a picture to attach to it too! Share your ideas, art, quotes and stories about the women in your life, so we can all celebrate together.

 

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We will be having two giveaway gift drawings for those of you who participate.

One will be announced on May 10th and the other on May 31st, 2014.

So get those notes sent….we are so excited to honor WOMANHOOD with you!

How to send us your story:
Email us at: info@OurHandsForHope.com
Please keep your story to around 300 words or less.
You’re welcome to post directly onto our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/OurHandsForHope
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ourhandsforhope @ourhandsforhope
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ourhandsforhope @ourhandsforhope
Hashtag: #InspirationalWomen

 

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Style!

By: Cinthya Rubio, Marketing and Communications Director at Our Hands For Hope

St. Patrick’s is not all about sweet treats saturated with green food coloring, leprechauns, pinching kids, green beer, or kissing the lucky Irish… well at least not for all. For those of you who don’t know, Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated annually on March 17th which is the date the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, historically died on. Celebrations often involve public parades and festivals, and yes, wearing green clothing or shamrocks is legit. Christians attend church services and lent restrictions (religious observance that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday) on food and drink are lifted for the day, hence the obnoxious levels of beer consumed on this holiday!

Personally I enjoy St. Patrick’s day because I myself am a beer fan, so the opportunity to drink the ohh so waited green beer is like a pre Christmas present for me!

The only thing I don’t appreciate all that much is the tacky outfits people choose to wear… the “Kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirt is getting old people! So I have put together a St. Patrick’s Day outfit to inspire those who are enthusiastic about this day as much as I am. 

green dress, alpaca shawl, nude michael kors  watch, nude accessories

No need for cheesy t-shirts here!
Lucky Green dress, Liliana Our Hands For Hope Wrap,
nude accessories.

Want to know more about St. Patrick’s Day? Here is an awesome infographic courtesy of http://www.history.com

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A Very Fair Holiday Season

 

by Alicia Fischer, Communications @ Our Hands For Hope

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Many of us feel that the holidays should be a time of giving. Sometimes, we can lose sight of that among the wrapping paper and doorbuster deals featured in every storefront window. For those that need some help taking a step back and refocusing on what matters during the holidays, here are some companies that make great gifts while supporting an even greater cause. They are all fair trade businesses (or feature fair trade products), so they are sure to continue giving throughout the year, even after the holiday lights are stowed for next year.

Take a look at some items to make for a very fair holiday season.

For the Indulgent

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TCHO New American Chocolates is a fair trade chocolate company based out of San Francisco, California. Their business is fueled by TCHOSource – their practice of working directly with cacao farmers in Ghana, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Peru to create the best, sustainable chocolate out there. While they specialize in the natural flavors of dark chocolate, they also sell milk chocolates and their newest addition, TCHOPairings.

For the Caffeinated

For those that like a little pep in their step, two tea makers – Numi Teas and David’s Tea – have some great options no matter what flavors you’re looking for.

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Numi Tea is based out of Oakland, California and features 100% organic, no GMO, and (of course) fairly traded teas. They have a wide range of flavors, from your typical holiday chai and green teas to some savory options like Broccoli Cilantro and Carrott Curry.

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David’s Tea is a company originating in Vancouver, but has grown to open up their unique tea shops in many major cities across the US and Canada. While not all of their teas are fair trade, they do distinguish which ones are and even sell a fair trade tea gift box including some of their most popular fair trade creations.

For the Relaxed

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There is a company based out of Southern California called Heritage Link Brands. What do they do? They’ve made it their mission to product sustainable, socially responsible wines from vintners throughout Africa and bring them to the rest of the world. So here you have the best of both worlds: the ability to support some of the most ethical and socially responsible vintners of Africa, and some amazing wine to boot.

For the Fresh & Clean

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One company wanted to do more to help the world and created a product that helps in more ways that one. Hand in Hand Sustainable Soap provides soap and one month of clean water for every bar of their sustainable soap purchased. Their soaps come in a wide range of scents and are 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable, and fairly traded. It is definitely one gift to give and feel good about.

For the Bold & Glamorous

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Similar to Our Hands for Hope, 31Bits is a fair trade fashion business helping women help themselves. Their efforts are focused in Uganda, and the women there are making some truly fantastic pieces of jewelry from the simple and classic to bold statement pieces. Perfect for the person on your list who stands out from the rest!

For the Urbanite

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For those who don’t want to forgot style but just don’t want to feel girly, make sure you introduce them to Oaklandish. A local Oakland, California retail shop, this company doesn’t only put out trendy t-shirts and hoodies but also gives back to their local community, donating 10% of proceeds to artists and other nonprofits who are doing pioneering work within the community. Check out a list of where the proceeds go here.

For the Fashionista

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You didn’t think we’d forget us, did you? For some incredibly soft, trendy, effortless pieces to wear year-round, check out some of the latest styles in knitwear from Our Hands for Hope.

Happy Holidays!

Stay Warm!

by Cinthya Rubio, Marketing and Communications Director

With love from Our Hands For Hope

so when you are cold from the inside out, and don't know what to do, remember love and friendship, and warmth will come to you.

It’s #CinplySaturday