The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received

This week marks the start of my relationship advice column for The Good Men Project. I can’t tell you all how stoked I am for the opportunity. If you’re new to GMP, a diverse community of thought leaders who explore men’s evolving roles in modern times, I hope you’ll check them out. To read my first weekly segment, answering a question on finding bliss and “the one,” visit this link.

To celebrate, I thought I’d share some of the worst advice I’ve ever received. Most has been well-intended, some I had the wherewithal to ignore and some came from the person closest to me: myself.

authenticity quote

1. Darken your eyebrows.

When I was a teen and first entering the modeling world, I took advice from all industry pros to heart. Much of it was good (don’t pay anyone to model, don’t sign anything your agent hasn’t read and approved), darkening my eyebrows with brownish pencil made me look like I had furry worms crawling on my forehead.

Lesson learned: Don’t wear makeup 50+ shades darker than your face, and anything that makes you look like a creepy-crawler magnet. Aim to look like you.

2. Die your hair platinum blonde.

See explanation #1. When a stylist remarked, “You’d make a great platinum blonde,” I raced off to a salon and left two hours later with Barbie-esque hair. For about two weeks I loved it, relishing the attention. (People stare at you when your head glows.) But then roots appeared, making my naturally light hair appear dishwater-brown by comparison. Meanwhile, I felt like a faker. The frantic upkeep made me and my bank account crazy.

Lesson learned: Don’t color your hair vastly different colors than your natural shade, unless want to rock hot pink or rainbow stripes.

3. Don’t break up with a guy until after Valentine’s Day (or other holidays).

Strategic, right? *quivers* I gave this to myself and took it, multiple times, in my early twenties. Not keen on hurting a guy I planned to break up with more than necessary, I also wanted to make sure I had a date for those holidays. *moment of silence to commemorate personal growth* (If any of you guys are reading this, I’m so so sorry.)

Lesson learned: Staying in a wrong-for-you relationship is lonely, especially on holidays. Pretending you’re invested in a relationship hurts everyone.

4. Create fake identities to have conversations with yourself on others’ blog.

Eek! I’m so glad I didn’t take this. An acquaintance/internet genius suggested I do this when only my parents and 1.5 strangers read my blog. In doing so, he claimed, I’d intrigue people into clicking my (actual) name and visiting my blog.

Lesson learned: Being an industry professional doesn’t make someone an expert on you or your work. Also? Authenticity is everything.

5. Don’t quit.

I’ve heard this many times from well-intended folks—including when I’d decided to leave my first marriage, to trade financial stability in Miami for countless unknowns in LA, and to stop working on a novel to focus on non-fiction. In all of these cases, my instincts told me to leap. With one minor delay (clinging on to the novel for a bit), I did so. These leaps were some of my most empowering and important.

Lesson learned: There’s a big difference between giving up and moving forward. Staying in a relationship or venture because it seems safest or right to others can mean saying NO to our dreams—including those we haven’t yet conjured.

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I now realize this list could’ve gone on and on, as could the list of awesome advice I’ve received. For now, I’ll leave you with these five and open the floor to you. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received? Did you take it? Do you relate to any of mine? I love hearing from you! ♥

10 Ways to Look and Feel As Lovely As You Are #BOAW2015

OMG, it’s blog-fest day! Woo hoo! Can anyone else feel the sparkles in the air?

The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV is taking place at this link from 8am today through March 1. Head over there to read incredible posts from many talented writers, and for chances to win some awesome prizes!

Our grand prize sponsor, Rayne, and I created a little video gift for you all. We hope you enjoy it!

10 Ways to Look and Feel As Lovely As You Are

 

For practical, entertaining style tips delivered to your email box each week, make sure to sign up for Rayne’s mailing list. Do so this week, as part of the #BOAW2015 raffle, and you’ll also gain four chances to win a prize! We’re giving away incredible prizes this year, including a personal style consult, swimsuit and perfume from Rayne, original artwork, professional manuscript analysis, a filmmaking consult, intimacy products and more.

Which tip was your favorite? What would you add to our list? We’d love to hear from you! ♥ 

#GirlBoner Beauty Tips Part I: Sexiness From the Inside Out!

“As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” — Pablo Neruda

The moon over the sunset

Have you ever met a woman whose mere presence sets a room aglow? Everything about her, from the way she carries herself to her positive energy, oozes with empowerment and authenticity. Palpable and contagious, her most prominent beauty has little to do with her age, shape or size. And all you know when the server comes is that you’ll take 700 cups of whatever she’s having.

Though it doesn’t materialize quickly, I believe we’re all capable of that kind of beauty. It radiates from within, all cliches aside, and while it’s not the first goal most people set when pondering appearance, I feel it’s the most powerful and important. Here at Girl Boner Center, we believe that embracing our sexuality and sensuality are key parts of such beauty. One of the loveliest things about that? Such embracement makes way for beauty of all kinds.

6 Ways to Look & Feel Sexy From the Inside Out

1. Cultivate happiness. While numerous studies show that people deemed physically attractive tend to have higher levels of happiness, sociologists and psychologists have determined that the near opposite is also true: Happiness makes us feel and appear more attractive to ourselves and others, regardless of aesthetics.

“When you’re happy your skin will appear healthier and your hair and nails can actually grow faster,” says Richard Fried, MD, PhD. a dermatologist in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Happiness also promotes strong immune function, protecting us from acne flareups, water retention and the blahs related to illness and staves off stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain.

So how do we obtain happiness? There’s no one or magical pathway, but making happiness is priority is a great place to start, say many experts. Focusing on gratitude, moving past emotional baggage and pursuing our passions are also proven means.

2. Watch your language. I don’t recall the last time I sat down with a group of girlfriends for any length of time without hearing at least one body-shaming remark. It’s easy to do in today’s culture, but voicing negative thoughts gives them power and inspires similar thoughts and comments from others. The old “If you can’t say anything nice….” adage should apply here. Stating only positive remarks about our bodies, or focusing on more important matters, has the opposite impact; it empowers us and our pals.

3. Steer clear of negative influences. Also not easy. But people, magazines and other media that emphasize harsh “beauty” ideals can make us feel and even appear unattractive. (When we’re self-conscious, we’re likely to slouch, frown and emit overall negative energy.) Spend time with folks who build you up, rather than push you down. And when you feel that inner nudge of self-consciousness inside while reading or watching TV, you may want to choose another publication or program.

4. Masturbate with GUSTO! LOL Well THAT painted an interesting picture. 😉 I’m not suggesting we all masturbate like Red Bull-loaded bunnies (though if that floats your GB, have at it!). What I mean is, having shame about masturbating rather defeats the purpose. When we embrace it, we also embrace ourselves. It becomes a beautifying practice that boosts our sexual confidence and body image while making way for more satisfying sex with our partners—if or when we engage.  (Psst! Masturbation can also be a wonderful shared experience. Just ask Kitt Crescendo.)

5. Prioritize sex and orgasm. Couple sex and climax provide many of the same benefits of masturbation. The release of feel-good brain chemicals during climax minimizes physical and emotional stress, promoting for greater comfort and confidence with ourselves. Deep intimacy and connectedness with another can do the same. A healthy sex life also helps us better metabolize nutrients, which supports everything from healthy skin and hair to positive energy levels and moods. That’s right! Routine, satisfying sex is practically a beauty makeover.

6. Act as-if. Did you know that Botox has been shown to decrease happy moods in women who aren’t as able to freely smile? Smiling, even if we force it, sends the brain signals that make us feel more positive, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a researcher who specializes in happiness at the University of California, Riverside. Acting more self-assured than we are can have similar effects. Notice how you feel around others when you stand up taller and smile brighter, and while pretending that you feel and appear as beautiful as you’d like. Apply similar techniques in the bedroom if you feel self-conscious naked. Over time, you’ll likely be able to drop the act.

7. Create your own definition of sexy! One reason so many of us struggle to feel attractive as we is because the world around us presents unrealistic and damaging ideals. Make a conscious decision to refute them. What does a sexy, beautiful woman possess, in your opinion? Do you uphold yourself to those standards or society’s?

Girl Boner feel sexy

*****SPECIAL OFFER: Interested in defining sexiness on your blog? Do so and link your post to mine for a FREE Girl Boner magnet! (Food + sex + empowerment = YUM!) Feel free to use the above graphic.

What makes you feel beautiful and sexy? Which of the tips struck you most? Which are you working on? I love hearing your thoughts! ♥