Friday, May 31, 2013

Dress Modestly... But Why?

I just read an article on wearing bikinis to the beach. Click here to read it.

So, if you read it, basically the author talks about the sacrifices of dressing modestly. Totally agreeable. I mean, I have wanted to wear so many things that I knew would display me in a way that's less than favorable. One guy even said to me, "For someone who's not a slut, those shorts are really slutty." I was highly offended, angry even, because I usually cover up and the ONE day I wear shorts a little higher than mid-thigh, I am told that. When I wear yoga pants and black jeans every other day. I was like, geez. The other girls at school wear denim underwear and I can't just wear what I want to? It was frustrating.

I get nervous just by wearing tank tops or low-cut shirts. Keep in mind, I have no cleavage to show anyway. However, I like wearing them because it actually makes it look like I do have a slightly bigger bust. Also, they're slimming and they show off most of my back. So why did I say I get nervous about wearing them? It makes me feel like I just need to put a hoodie on. I don't have issues with other people wearing them because it doesn't bother me. So why don't I?

Everyone has a different standard of modesty, and for the most part, that's okay. I don't like to wear bathing suits (don't get me started on that black one from the end of seventh grade... twelve years old and already having to buy from the women's section? I should have been wearing cutesy ones with pink bows!), but I'm not gonna start a rally and tell my friends not to wear them. That's their choice! What they want to wear is their deal, eh?

Another thing about modesty (probably the most important thing): Why should you be modest? Who are you doing it for? Some say, "so that guys won't be tempted." I guess that's a valid reason, and most of the reason behind the aforementioned article. My issue?

It goes both ways. Yes, men are more visual. Yes, they can be tempted. But last I checked, girls can be as well. But I don't know, maybe I don't know enough about my own gender. However, I gotta be honest about something.

If lust is on both sides of the pizza roll (I've been obsessed with them lately...), then why does 95% of the school dress code only apply to girls? None of the guys at my school would wear a spaghetti strap tank top. They wouldn't wear tight spandex shorts (some are bikers, but that's justifiable). The only thing they can't do is wear a hat... and they probably can't walk in shirtless, either.

But outside of school, they and girls alike are free to wear whatever they want. I cannot wear the cute dress I wanted (wearing it around the house is useless, some people don't understand that) but the hot guy across the street mowing his lawn, with muscles and everything, is not tempting at all. AT ALL. Nope.

And trust me, as a girl, I must say that it is definitely on both sides of the spectrum. But it's not all about how much clothing you're wearing. Sometimes people's thoughts go there anyway.

So, I wouldn't say that I dress modestly to help guys out. I think that for one, they're gonna stare or imagine anyway (just like females). I also think that they have enough self-control to be mature and either look the other way or... I don't know, RESPECT THE GIRL.


This does NOT grant permission to walk around looking like you tried to squeeze into a toddler's skirt. Have some decency. To me, having your boobs hang out is not attractive at all. It makes me wanna give you my beloved hoodie. I don't give that hoodie to just anyone. Either you're having a wardrobe malfunction (and this is a serious wardrobe malfunction) or you just don't get it. Congratulations. You are a poor unfortunate soul.

If you have a Tumblr account (changed my URL to princessababwa), or even just on the Internet often, you've probably seen images of half-naked girls with signs saying "Still not asking for it." Yesterday, I even saw one of a girl wearing one of those pale-skin-colored tops (so basically showing ALMOST everything on her torso) and saying, "Still not asking for it!"

I don't even know where to begin about these. I know they are talking about rape. Don't get me wrong: RAPE IS WRONG AND THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR IT. But... just because you can dress revealing almost everything, doesn't mean you should. This is where dressing modestly for men kinda comes in. I know I am contradicting myself.

Just like my thing about the hot guy across the street (who is imaginary). He may not be asking for it, but I'm like, "Ooh. That's my babaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!" So, ladies. Let's make a scenario.

You walk in the club that does not have strippers with all your girls. Well, if you wanna imagine strippers, you can, but I don't wanna be held responsible for that. Y'all are wearing some interesting clothes. SO interesting, you are nearly mistaken to be a stripper. You notice men staring at you. You know why. They say...

And you say, "I know what you were imagining!" You are surprised at their impressive quoting (though he didn't get it quite right... it doesn't say "pretty little neck," says something else) of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, your favorite Disney film (from the Renaissance, anyway). However, you refuse to stoop down to their level. "Let's go, Fifi" you say to one of your girls. "Lacey, Renee, Tiana, Lilo, Elphie--- let's go. These men have NO respect for a woman's body."

Now, I'm not saying we (yes, we. I'm invited to this girl's night out, right? It was my idea!) were asking for it but... either way, these men have absolutely no respect for us. And why, exactly? We didn't do anything wrong! We just came here to get some virgin pina coladas and this happened.

Now, this is a tricky scenario. I guess both are at fault. Men: respect women. Women: respect yourselves. I know a lot of guys (pretty much all the guys I know) that would not date a girl who didn't respect her own body and cover it up. Nobody wants to see that... well, I guess some people wanna see that, but if they're worth keeping, they probably won't want to (or try to control the fact that they want to).

However, do not get me wrong. When it comes to rape, there is NO excuse. I am not saying that it is anyone's fault for being sexually assaulted, because people should have enough self-control to ignore the temptation. No matter what the gender.

But my opinion on immodest attire? I think it's kinda important to show that you're not that easy to get. That even if you get desperate for someone, you will not make yourself a giant display of sex. If you respect your body, more and more people will as well. And believe me, it's worth it.

I have had no boyfriends. No guys have liked me. As an incoming sophomore, most of the people in my grade have dated at least one person. But I will never get so desperate for a boyfriend that I will have to turn to making guys lust after me. Sure, if I get a crush on a guy I might dress up a little, but still keeping modesty in mind (for the most part). I want to be seen as someone with high standards, not a girl who will take any apple that falls from the tree. After all, some apples have worms. I'll take discoloration, I'll take dents, though.

Everyone has a different view of what's modest. Some people have more things to cover up, some have less. A lesson everyone can learn is, this is a two-way thing. Not just girls, not just guys.

We're all in this together.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


"I'm standing where the lightening strikes; I know this doesn't happen twice."
-Landon Austin

It has been like, the whole school year, but I finally finished this book. Waterbrook Multnomah staff, y'all have been through high school; you know how time consuming it is. However I am very sorry that it has taken me this long to review this book you gave me. I hear my sophomore year should be easier and my summer won't be too busy, aside from the fact that I have a two-week summer camp for theatre and a new modeling job.


To begin, I must say that this was a pleasant read. Very good way of killing time at Fine Arts this year. Didn't make it to Nationals and while everyone else was blabbering about a possible trip to Disney World (which is heartbreaking for a Disnerd that didn't qualify) I read more than 100 pages in half an hour. So I finished this book in like, one weekend.

Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren is the love story of Reyne Oldre and Logan McCabe (and book 6 in the Full Circle series), two people from two worlds (I'm sorry but I really had to use that Tarzan reference) who come together in Elk Horn Valley, Montana. They are both firefighters trying to get funding from the same people on different projects, and believe me, it is not love at first sight. After getting to know each other, the two begin to fall into a firestorm of love. Can Reyne face the past and battle the storm going on inside of her?

I had a feeling I would like this story but I knew it wouldn't be anything crazy good. There was nothing about the back-page blurb that really excited me. This book met my expectations, but easily could have been modified.

I recommend this book to young adults interested in Christian romantic fiction. I'm not a big fan of romance and maybe that's why I didn't like it. Who says every hopeless romantic has to like reading it? Well, maybe I do like reading romance, but not Christian romance. As bad as it may sound.

On the plus side, this book did have me a little attached. It started getting real good toward the climax. It made me smile, it made me cry, it made me think about my own life. Isn't that what a book is supposed to do? I could also relate to the book's protagonist, Reyne, very well. The whole time I was connecting her to Megara from Hercules in my mind: "No chance, no way, I won't say it, no, no!... At least out loud, I won't say I'm in love." I think she and Meg would be a great pair, bonding over being in denial even though both of their guys fell for them at pretty much first sight.

I do have a few complaints, since I think it is obvious "I won't say I'm in love" with this book. These are mainly little things. Let me start with the author's bio.

"Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than fourteen titles, including the novel The Bridge and the children's book God Gave Us You. She divides her time between writing, reading, praying, tending to her two small daughters, hanging out with friends, and finding moments to romance her husband, Tim."


Okay, maybe that's only 'cause I'm a teenager and maybe it's my fault that I was thinking that way. However, could you not, like... phrase that differently? That just sounds kind of... I don't know. Most authors would have just written "lives with her husband in Someplace, Somewhere" but hey, whatever floats your boat.

I felt like the characters weren't very diverse. They all seemed to have different versions of the same personality (with the exception of Reyne) in a way. All the girls sounded the same, all the guys seemed the same. It seemed like if they were all put in the same situation, they would all react the same way. They were all... and warning, this is gonna make me sound really bad, and believe me, I mean REALLY bad. They seemed... too Christian-y.

Now, before everyone starts thinking I've switched religions or something, I should probably explain myself. What I mean is... wow, this is so hard to explain without sounding like a heathen. So, let me just say it straight out. They prayed A LOT. It seemed like every other paragraph. Which, don't get me wrong, if you actually pray that often, that's great! However, it seemed they were all like praying over every little... maybe it would have been better if I hadn't even started writing that complaint. Now I sound like I hate prayer or something. It just seemed a little unrealistic. Like they almost always knew the answers to their prayers the minute they prayed them. And for most people---well, I really can only speak for myself---that's not the case. The answers aren't always clear-cut right then and there.

Another problem I had (a much less awkward one) is that there was like, no one who wasn't a Christian. I'm proud to be one, don't get me wrong, but I would have loved to see someone convert or something. Maybe that happened in the past five books, but I highly doubt it. I would have loved to see someone struggling in their faith a little more than these characters. It would have made it a little more real to me.

I also thought Reyne was a little predictable. Was it me, or was she almost always crying or something? The child's been through a rough time, I'm sure that's just me and my lack of compassion for fictional characters (hence putting my own through Mordor).

I will have to give this one three-and-a-half stars because that is still a passing grade. I give it a low score, but the reason it is high enough to pass (I have a teacher's mindset...) is because it actually is something I would read again and I would even let others borrow it. I liked it, it's just not in my list of favorites.

336 pages, including a novella, Sandcastles.
WaterBrook Press.

P.S. Thank you, Waterbrook, for lending this book to me and not tracking me down because it has taken me forever to finish.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Because I Knew You...

If you are a Broadway fan, your mind probably sang, "I have been changed for good."
In this song, a few lines really stand out to me.

"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn 
And we are led to those who help us most to grow 
If we let them 
And we help them in return. 
Well I don't know if I believe that's true, but I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.
Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
So much of me is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end,
I know you have re-written mine by being my friend.
I do believe I have been changed for the better
And because I knew you,
Because I knew you,
Because I knew you,
I have been changed
For good."

Okay, so when I said a "few" lines I basically meant the majority of the song. I'm in a really kinda depressed mood right now.

So, it is nearing the end of May, and what does that mean? GRADUATION! At my school, our first graduating class already had their last day. This year, and even last year, and next year are very life-changing graduation-party seasons for me.

Last year, my oldest sister graduated high school. It was so weird. She didn't exactly leave, so it didn't have as big of an effect on me, but it was like... she's growing up. It was also a year of change for me--- I had just become a teenager in late 2011 and I was entering high school that next year. It made me think, four years and this is me!

This year, some of my friends are graduating and next year my other sister will be. And it has me thinking about how they have impacted my life. Graduation isn't a far-off thought anymore. And each year, I draw closer to my own, which is pretty scary. I am basically a sophomore in high school now. Along with this, there comes changes.

People come into our lives for a reason, right? It seems like I learn more from them every day. Some have helped me learn patience. Some have helped me gain confidence. Some have helped me grow in my faith. Some have helped me learn that I need to just stop and let God take control. Some have helped me learn to be grateful. Some of these people have hurt me, or I've even hurt them, but something positive has always been learned. I would like to take some time to talk about experiences and what I have learned.

  • I have learned that I do not need to change anything about myself to please others. I may or may not have mentioned this (probably not... I hadn't really thought about this until recently), but back when I was still fairly new to Ohio, I was a really shy little kid. Geeky, too. I was obsessed with getting good grades in science, crazy good at math, and all I wanted to do was read in my spare time. You know... one of those kids that just WOULD NOT accept a B. Or even an A minus. Times have changed, from 4.0 to 3.25. But anyways. Back to the point. I'm sorry, but by now you should know I am not one to be on-topic 100% of the time. So basically a little boy laughed at me and told me I sounded like a boy when I was just trying to be like the other kids and play with them. I went back to my shell and when I came out of it, I literally worked on expanding my vocal range so I would speak in a higher pitch so that no one would say that to me again. Now, I naturally speak in that voice, and only with people I'm comfortable with can I speak with my real one. I don't know why I felt the need to change myself because of him, but I will never do that again for anyone. 
  • I have learned that when I take matters into my own hands... crap happens. Especially when it comes to dating and guys and... ugh. When I was little I actually kissed a guy, the first one I liked, and it ended BADLY. And then the last guy... well... he was actually a keeper if you ask me. He hasn't dated anyone, doesn't want to date anyone, and will not until after high school. He is also a Christian and takes pride in it (did I mention, about to become an Eagle Scout?). I was like, "Oh my gosh. It's him. I just know it (this was before I knew about his not being into anyone thing). God, let me know if this is Your will and if not then I don't really wanna know but just let me know even though I probably won't listen to You." That's me for you. That's actually every major prayer I've prayed right there. The typical, "Hey, God. Um... You've done so much for me and I feel bad that I usually only pray to You when I want something and I really am trying to get closer to You but... alright, here's what I want." Or, there's my let's-put-in-some-effort prayer. "God, I don't know where to go from here. I need You to take this matter into Your hands. And when I say that, I mean... you have 75% of my issue but I need control of the remaining 25%." God is probably like, "Okay. This is not a business deal. Unless you offer all of yourself to Me, how do you expect Me to work wonders in your life? When will you realize that I can handle this? This isn't a group project. Hand it completely over to Me. Notice, every time you try to handle it something goes wrong?" And I think He wants me to stay single and proud for awhile. But did I listen? No! And that's my problem. Control. Which other peoples' actions are confirmation that I should've listened, like a voice in my head saying, "I told you so!"
  • I have learned that I have absolutely no patience whatsoever. I don't like people. Very much. I tend to be introverted, always keeping a lot to myself. But that's the thing about life--- people tend to be in it. And you have to learn to tolerate them, faults and all. I have learned that there is always something to like about everyone.
  • My friends stand with me and have helped me gain confidence. If you know me in real life, then you know I am famous for the following sayings: "I'm gonna drop out of high school!" "I'll fail at life." "I will NEVER bring honor to my family!" "Guys don't like me because I'm dumb and ugly and blah blah blah." People have been like, "Girl. Get yourself some confidence." Some people have actually helped me improve it rather than tell me I need it.
  • I have learned to be thankful. I never realized how lucky I am. I know people who can't stand being at home. Who have parents who are divorced/separated. Who have bad grades. Who have no friends outside school. Who have been bullied. Who cut themselves. Who have been in bad relationships. And me? I have a loving family, consisting of my mom and dad who are both crazy in love (and my girls), I have good grades (at my lunch table today, a girl was like, "I'm only failing two classes." When I said I wasn't failing any, I was told to shut up), and I have both a Disney Ohana and a church family. I truly am blessed. I learned from a friend a few days ago not to complain about something that may disappoint me (a B in Physics that ended up being a mistake... now it's a 100%) because it can bother others.
Of all this, what have I learned? These people I may never see again after graduation in three years. They have shown me so much and because I know them, I can say I have been changed for the better. It is important that they know that, so I will make sure I tell them. Sometimes I wonder, what if something happened different in my life? Do you ever think that?

If my family decided to move to Cleveland instead of where we are. If my parents kept me in homeschooling. If we had picked a different church. If I had never gotten a Tumblr account. All these people I would have never met that have helped me by being my friends, or even not friends.

This post goes out to those I meet in life. We'll laugh, cry, and enjoy it until the last day. And remember: Nothing is forever. It'll all come to an end, but how do you know if it was worth it? I'll tell you how I know.

"I know I'm who I am today because I knew you."

-"For Good" from the Broadway musical Wicked