Quotes and Inspiration

HOW 100 VULVAS CHANGED ME

I did a crazy thing this year. I painted 100 Vulva artworks. Wrapped up in this little thing called the 100-day project, I took a leap into a place that changed my trajectory for 2018.  It started with some traps.  The short story is that I had been seeing some creatives on Instagram murmuring about a mysterious 100-day project. They were brainstorming their projects. As I let my imagination take over and fit me into this project I came up with my own ideas. My gut and brain—in simpatico—jumped to “vaginas, I should make vagina art for 100 days.” Of course, as I tried to weigh my options and brainstorm other ideas, I didn’t feel that spark. So as if it were fate, that’s how this began.   However, it wasn’t fate.   The long story is that about a year before I started this project I wa...

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH A DISABILITY

Traveling with a disability caused by chronic illness can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. In my experience of traveling with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), doing the right type of research and proactive planning in advance can help create a comfortable, enjoyable and memorable trip. Some of the simplest outings–a date, night on the town or happy hour–can pose major problems when it comes to moving about freely with a disability. I’ve had too many experiences to not learn how to make sure the venue and overall trip will be as comfortable as possible. There are a few suggestions I want to share with those who may be unsure of how to prepare for going out for a night or overnight while living with a disability of any type or cause. Here’s my best advice: Do your research! The f...

THE JOURNEY TO THE STAGE– AN ESSAY BY RACHEL WISE

I sing without thinking. It comes as naturally to me as the sun rising. Using my voice to make music is a part of who I am, and I feel as though I was born to sing. I’ve had a dream to be a professional singer since I could remember that was actually a thing. The first time I remember ever singing in public is when I was two years old at my grandparents church in Ashland, Mississippi. As a child, I was naturally an outgoing person and enjoyed singing in choirs and church bands, but as I got older, the plague of stage fright became worse;  The shaking hands, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and cracking voice happened any time I was assigned to sing a solo. Let me tell you, that only goes away with practice, and thankfully my love of singing outweighed my fear of mistakes and what...

I AM NOT DEFINED BY WHO I LOVE

When I was a young girl, I was provided with these standards and guidelines on the woman that I was supposed to become. I was told my aspirations in life were to fall in love with a man, be a mother and live in a white picket fence home providing for my husband and children. I was so young that I believed that was the path all young girls were supposed to follow. Once I was around seventeen, I discovered that the love I was supposed to feel for a man, I felt for women. The moment I discovered that realization, I was hit with a flood of negative emotions because I was not the woman that society wanted me to be. I believe that women are faced with that pressure everyday. When I came out to my parents, they began defining me by who I loved rather than who I was as an individual. Suddenly my a...

AUGUST SUPERWOMAN: CHELSEA FUNK, FOUNDER OF PIT AND PUG ADAPTIVE

Every day, we get dressed: pull on our jeans, button our shirts, tie our shoes. For some of us, it’s not something we think about very deeply, but for others, the daily task of putting clothes on presents challenges that are unique to them. Chelsea Funk of Columbus, Ohio seeks to bring inclusive fashion to differently-abled kids through Pit and Pug Adaptive, and it’s a project that is changing lives. Chelsea knows what it’s like to feel like clothes never really fit right; she was born with amniotic band syndrome and is without part of her left arm. She specifically recalled having a hard time finding winter clothes that fit. However, this simply inspired Chelsea. She knew she wanted to help people full-time, and she had learned to sew from a mentor. Thus, she decided to give fashion a try...

WHY MAKING MISTAKES ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING

I was recently reminded that I can be impulsive, indecisive, and at times, chaotic. Generally, these are not great adjectives for a business owner — or anyone — to have. But I am who I am, and despite others’ opinions, I am okay with that. In fact, I admit that I have never been more proud of myself than I am today. Over the past few months, working for myself has provided me with a lot of time to think and reflect back on all the decisions I made that led me to where I am now. Some of them were fairly impulsive, some of them were risky, but I don’t regret any of them. While they technically were mistakes, I am glad I made them when I did. So, I want to use this example from my own life to teach you — or remind those of you who knew but have forgotten — why making mistakes isn&...

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A STRONG WOMAN?

When I was younger, my idea of a “strong woman” meant a lady who could kick-ass. Literally. I had a very specific mental image: a girl clad in black ripped jeans, black leather jacket, mouth smeared with vibrant red lipstick and killer high heels adorning her feet. She would walk through hallways with a charm and ferocity that would make every guy in the vicinity quake with fear. And to whichever poor guy who dared challenge her? Whew, good luck to you. My little self aspired to be like her – needed to be like her. Because if I wasn’t anything like my mental image, then I couldn’t be a “strong woman.” Right? Wrong. As I grew up, I realised that my mind-set was incredibly wrong and toxic. Over the past two decades, I had the luxury of coming into contact with many amazing woman – strong wom...

SEE THE LIGHT

It’s like a dream where you know only the middle and not the beginning. I don’t remember how all of it started. I have spent half of my childhood believing that I can’t have it all or more like I didn’t deserve it. The reason was me being a dark-skinned Indian girl. From the very beginning, this terrible thought was etched into my soul that I was not good enough. My eight-year-old self used to believe that only fair-skinned and vibrant girls were allowed to be happy. On television and in theatre, I saw all these pretty fair-skinned girls and somewhere, somehow I began to believe that they were the only species of girls who were admired by everyone, who got to do pretty amazing stuff, fall in love and have a perfect fairytale ending. All those movies made me believe that nobody would fall i...

JULY SUPERWOMAN: STEPHANIE SHELDON, FOUNDER OF THE CLEVELAND FLEA

Cleveland: a city essentially built by the Rockefeller empire, but a city that fell victim to Rustbelt politics. It’s a city known for worshipping LeBron James and “inventing” stadium mustard; a place that loyally supports a chronically terrible football team and houses the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What Cleveland isn’t really known for is artistry, crafting and showcasing an entrepreneurial spirit. Enter the Cleveland Flea. The Cleveland Flea is a massive gathering of creative people from the area who are pursuing their craft as entrepreneurial endeavor. Thousands of people attend, giving the vendors exposure and sales, while giving the shoppers unique pieces and inspiration to do something that fuels their artistic fire. Let’s not forget the food trucks, dogs and local flair galore. St...

A FACE FULL OF POESY

My face is full of poesy.   I have a fascination for faces, I have sketch many facial portrait, always of women because I am a woman and I know what it is to carry a feminine face rather than a masculine one.   Yet, my face has been carrying many poems. Those of love when my eyes shines, My cheeks get colored pink. This was true love. “Was” because I don’t know if this love is one to be admired from far or to be lived. It hurts as much at heals and gives life.   My face also painted grey or blue, full of tears of dark khôl running down those cheeks once painted pink. This is heartbreak. “Is” because my heart has not been mended for the past two years.   My face with its curves and lines has a strong layer of skin, under a thin layer of fleur bleu feeling, Lines sp...

WOMEN THAT ROCK + HARNESS MAG – JULY ARTIST FEATURES

WOMEN THAT ROCK + HARNESS MAG – JULY ARTIST FEATURES Angela Page Angela Page is the blue-haired, cool-girl front woman of Florida punk band the Young Dead. She can be found laying it all out onstage during her electrifying performances, and head-banging front row in the pit at a Distillers show, where the team at Women That Rock first discovered her. As the front woman of the Young Dead, Angela plays rhythm guitar, sings, and pens the band’s lyrics. The band’s debut EP ‘Righteous Violence’ was released earlier this year, and highlight’s Page’s voice as the centerpiece for the album’s visceral rage and vulnerability. Formed by Page in 2012, she has called Young Dead her “first love.” As if being a punk rock princess isn’t enough, Page is also the Founder of Love Your...

LOST AND FOUND

Almost every summer my family makes the trip out to North Carolina for a weeklong vacation. We’ve been doing this practically every year since I was two or so, yet every year is filled with its own unique sense of adventure. When I was around the age of fifteen, I was sitting on a the pier closest to where we were staying and I had just taken a break from drawing in the little notebook I carried with me everywhere I went. As I was just watching the waves and the people on the shore and the seagulls flying overhead, not really thinking about anything in particular, a fisherman looked over at me and asked if I was alright. “I’m sorry?” I asked in return. “Darlin’, you look like a lost soul if I’ve ever seen one.” I think I just kind of smiled and assured the man I was alright, just enjoying ...

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