Ordinary

It was an ordinary day. On an ordinary street. In an ordinary house. In that house sat three ordinary girls. They were laughing and playing and giggling like the 13 year old girls they were. They talked about boys, dreams and their parents.

They discussed how they hated some of their teachers and school was so boring. They dreamed of summer vacations and new clothes. It was almost over. Summer was almost here and they vowed to make this an extraordinary summer.

Savannah logged into her laptop. She quickly logged into a website and started chatting up her new friend. He was an older boy. He was 18. She liked him. They had been chatting on-line for a few weeks now.

She sent him pictures of herself and he always told her that she was beautiful. She liked that. She never thought of herself as beautiful. Cute and ordinary. However, Paul (that was his name) always made her believe that she was beautiful.

He told her she could be a model. Paul asked her to face time him with her friends around. She did. They giggled and smiled and posed as Paul said that they were beautiful and could all be models.

Paul asked them to meet them in the parking lot at the local mall. They agreed. They told their parents that they were going to the mall and would be back in a couple of hours. They were careful. Nothing would happen to the three of them.

They were taught that you always travel together. So, they did. It was nothing special. A bus took them to the mall and they waited in the parking lot by the local Macy’s. They laughed with the fact that one of them had a boyfriend. They giggled.

They weren’t able to date yet.

Across the parking lot, Paul approached them. He was so sexy. He had on nice clothes and shoes and the biggest smile. His teeth were straight. Wow! He was gorgeous.

They were so busy pointing and smiling at Paul that they didn’t see the van pull up behind them and the men grab them and stuff them in the truck. An ordinary black van filled with men holding them down as they struggled and screamed and then went limp.

Ordinary girls are sold into sex-trafficking every day. We need to do something about this. No more silence please.

 

 

This post is part of the Daily post. The word of the day was ordinary.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/

10 Good Questions

Yay! Thanks Grace for completing the questions. I love your answers. Especially about riding an elephant and visiting your Moo Moo. Check out Grace’s page: Grow With Me.

Grow with me

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers 2

I’ve been nominated by the wonderful Tikeetha. Please check her out here. I love reading her blog!!! Honestly, I usually do not like being “nominated” for anything because it requires work. (I know, I’m terrible). But these questions are awesome!!! Therefore, I have decided to answer them. I hope you enjoy my responses as well!

EGYPT’S QUESTIONS FOR HER QUEEN SISTERS: 

1. You have all the resources needed to change ONE thing in the world with a snap of your fingers —what are you changing for the better? 
I would end poverty for all. At least, everyone will have a better chance at life. 

2. What is the most attractive feature or trait a woman can possess [physical, mental, spiritual]? 
Honestly, I think it’s self-confidence. A woman who believes and sees value in herself. 

3. What is your next big self/life/career-improvement project?
I’m not sure. But I know what…

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Who Runs The World? Girls

I was nominated by the beautiful, Egypt, over at Egypt English for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Ya’ll know that I love awards, but I don’t have the time to respond to as many as I get nominated for. This was my 3rd nomination and I wanted to take on this one because she asked some awesome questions and I wanted to share my answers with you.

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EGYPT’S QUESTIONS FOR HER QUEEN SISTERS: 

  1. You have all the resources needed to change ONE thing in the world with a snap of your fingers —what are you changing for the better? I’m ending poverty. There are too many people that go hungry each day and food security issues are one of the things that I am a champion of. I remember going to bed hungry as a child and I can’t imagine the countless children that go to bed each night without a meal. 
  2. What is the most attractive feature or trait a woman can possess [physical, mental, spiritual]? I would say her faith. It’s more spiritual than physical or mental and since your inner faith is the voice that guides the choices you make you are more attractive when you know who and whose you are.
  3. What is your next big self/life/career-improvement project? There are two right now that I want to share. The first is that I want to enroll in grad school and go and get my MBA. The second…well, I’m moving home to save and buy a house for me and my son. That’s a major shift in my life and one that I was upset at thinking of making but the support from people around me about how they wish they could go home, save and buy a house has been wonderful. I am reducing debt and saving for a home.
  4. What dream location is at the top of your Next 5-year Bucket List and why? Gran Canaria in Spain is a place I want to visit. It’s absolutely beautiful and I love the beach.
  5. To be . . . or not to be . . .? [Pick one, and complete the phrase] To be true to yourself is the greatest gift you can give. Never deny the real you to make someone else feel better. You’re absolutely wonderful just the way you are.
  6. Who are 3 woman/sisters in your life you could not made it to this point in life without? Umm, great question…There have been many women in my life that have come in and out and have taught me great things. I am honored to have met them, interacted and grown with them. Some relationships lasted and others ended but it was as it should be.  I would say at this point, my best friend Nikki, my grandmother and my mom. 
  7. What is your favorite movie? Purple Rain
  8. You are an explorer of the sublime: what is your fancy?—outer space, the bottom of the sea, Mt. Everest? Outer space. I’m a sci-fi geek and I would love to travel to other planets because I believe there is life outside of Earth.
  9. Three things you love about you and/or your life? Three things…being a mother, being a sister and being a friend. All these roles inspire me to be better than I am and challenge me to keep reaching for my dreams.
  10. Reflect on your life’s experiences and lessons . . . Then think of a young woman, or girl who is roughly 10 years younger than you. . . What is the most important lesson you have learned to date you would like to share with Her? Know yourself truly before getting married. Don’t rush it. Stop wishing for a husband when you don’t know who you are and what you want. Don’t dream of the wedding, dream of the marriage. Speak life into your man and watch his dreams manifest in front of you. We can be wicked with our tongue and you should remember that you can’t take back things once said. I know. I did. I had to learn that marriage wouldn’t make me happy, I needed to be happy. I needed to know who I was. Your life is not written in stone and no matter how many times you may fall, get back up little sister and keep going on. I’ve survived it all and I am happier than I’ve ever been. The end is sometimes your beginning.

Now, I nominate all my fellow women bloggers to take Egypt’s questions and respond because I’m nominating you. These are great questions and since it is Women’s History Month, let’s encourage each other. Who runs the world? Girls!

I’m About that Pageant Life

No, really I was.

Okay, let me explain. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to judge the Miss Greenbelt Pageant and I actually had a ball. Yes, me! Gasp! It was an awesome weekend and I felt like I really got to know the contestants and I wanted them to all win.

The girls were beautiful, poised and energetic. The talent was amazing. I actually had a great time. My favorite part was definitely the on stage questions. This was the first time that we got to hear from the younger children. The older girls for the Miss Greenbelt Pageant were interviewed the day before so I got to get a little insight into who they were as young women. My top 3 picks were solidified after the evening gown competition and on stage questions and I’m happy to say that my first choice was the winner. I love being a part of the democratic process here some photos.

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I Said Yes

I said yes to being a panel judge for a pageant geared towards young women. Can you believe it? I’m a feminist. Isn’t it a contradiction to want to judge young ladies on the way they dress, speak and walk? Am I sending a wrong message? Ugh, I struggled with the question when asked and then I realized that I’m not.

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Why? Because feminism is about equality for women. I am not going stop being who I am and let’s be real…aren’t we all judged everyday? So, I decided to research the pageant before committing. I mean, I didn’t want to set my gender back by judging a swimsuit competition.

Here’s what I discovered:

 

Pageant Evolution

The Pageant began in 1955, only one year after the annual Labor Day Festival originated. The first Pageant was open to women between the ages of 15 and 50. It was a fundraiser for the construction of the Youth Center building. Votes were cast by turning in pennies in collection jars set out at various businesses, and children helped collect penny votes. The woman with the most pennies to her credit won the title. The first winner was married and had three children when she won at the age of 30!

In 1956, the rules were modified slightly. Entrants had to be single and between the ages of 16 and 25. The contest was called the “Popularity Crown” or “Popularity Contest.” Once the Youth Center was a reality, the theme evolved to “Unity Through Community Involvement.” Over the years, the Pageant has been modified, streamlined, and organized under various directors, becoming what is known today as the Pageant System. In 1982, the swimsuit competition was removed. The Little Miss and Junior Miss contests were added in the 1980s. In 1992 the Pageant began to emphasize the importance of education, and gave scholarships to the title winners.

The competition is designed to teach girls poise and self confidence, how to be at ease with themselves and others, and how to have fun in a team effort toward a common goal.

All contestants receive special recognition in the Pageant System because everyone is viewed as a winner!

NICE, FRANCE - DECEMBER 05: Miss Normandie Malika Menard (L) receives the crown from 2009  Miss France Chloe Mortaud (R) during the 2010 Miss France Beauty pageant at Palais Nikaia on December 5, 2009 in Nice, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Malika Menard;Chloe Mortaud

Yeah! I liked the pageant evolution and decided that I would love to be a judge because of these three things:

  1. There is no swimsuit competition and that it was removed 33 years ago. No exploitation of young women’s bodies. I liked that.
  2. They are teaching girls poise, self confidence and how to be at ease with themselves. This is awesome. You don’t learn this until later in life and a competition that focuses on that is something I am interested in being a part of. Empowering our girls is awesome!
  3. There is scholarship money to college. I believe in education and with the rising costs of education in this country, this is a great way to gain life skills and earn money towards your tuition.

I had to stop and smell the roses. I wasn’t selling out my gender by participating as a judge in a pageant. I was empowering young women to see the beauty in who they are and be a part of an organization that believes that they are all winners.

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Now, back to the movement!

Contributing Writer

Hey loves,

I wanted to share some good news…A colleague of mine is writing a book that she hopes to publish this summer about motivation, encouragement and empowerment to young women and she’s asked me to be a contributing writer in her book. Yeah!

I was honored and of course I said yes. I just submitted my piece and I’m excited to be sharing my story and telling my testimony.  I promise to share the information when the book is published and I hope you’ll read it.

I’m flying on cloud 9 right now.

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Until next time.

Curvy Girl Shopping

Okay so this year one of the things that I’m trying to do is show you me. All of me. Be more transparent in my writing. I think I’m pretty transparent, but there are some things that I still hold back on. One of the things is simply…me.

I don’t like putting my body out in cyberspace. Not that I’m embarrassed. No, I just don’t want the attention. Good or bad, I’m really private like that. Well, in my published piece last year I talked about owning my attitude about how I feel and look and being comfortable in my skin. I wanted to stop hiding and start loving.

Yeah, I love me. However, not on cyberspace. I am withdrawn and shy. As I started approaching 40, my best friend encouraged me to buy some new jeans. She said, “You’re losing weight and all your jeans hang off your waist and it’s not flattering.” I was shocked. One that she noticed my weight loss and two that it was bothering someone. I know it may seem small to some of you, but a curvy girl hates to be told she looks drab. Especially by someone you love and admire.

So, with that piece of advice, I bought my first pair of skinny jeans. Yep, at 40. It was hard ya’ll. I hated drawing attention to my waist and backside. But, I had to admit that it did flatter my shape in a positive way. Great advice bestie!

This weekend I accompanied my bestie shopping because she is going out-of-town and needed some cute clothes. Let me tell you that my bestie is a curvy girl too and if she does shop, she needs to try on clothes in the store. I’ve not tried on clothes in a store in years because I hate undressing in public spaces. I always wonder if they are secretly recording you. LOL!

So, I decided it would be a good idea to get another pair of skinny jeans and try on some clothes for moral support. Now, I’ve been losing weight and I find that I’m in between sizes. I hate that. I was originally in a size 26 jean and now I’m in a size 20 because a 22 is too big. I can’t believe I shared that, but I am owning my size and loving the skin that I’m in.

Now, back to the clothes. Ashley Stewart had their spring collection out and I was loving it. I was gravitating towards the bright colors because I could use some enhancements in the color department for my wardrobe.  Why? Because, I tend to gravitate towards darker colors. I found this beautiful fuchsia peplum trench jacket because a girl can never have too much pink in her wardrobe and this green trench with gold detail.

I’ve never been a fan of green, but let me tell you that I loved it. I loved the fit, the cut and the color was so eye-popping sexy that I had to buy it. I didn’t really try on any clothes outside of a pair of jeans and a lightweight sweater. I told you that I hated trying on clothes. But, I wanted to share the photos with you.

Let me know what you think.

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