Thanks, everyone, for participating. It was a blast.
I recently watched Jean Kilborne’s video called “Killing Us Softly 4”. In this short video, Jean says that she has been talking about this problem for 40 years and things just keep getting worse. She mentions that ads sell images, products, concepts of love, success, and sexuality, and most importantly, the image of flawlessness as a normalcy. Women in ads are airbrushed and photo-shopped, creating the perfect body that has no stretch marks, no cellulite, and the perfect face that is absent of blemishes, pores, wrinkles, fine lines, and so on. These ads create an enormous amount of pressure for women in society to look like women in those ads, and it works! Women spend their time and energy, and mostly, money to simulate the look they see in those ads. These ads radiate flawlessness and perfection, which is unachievable. However, in today’s world, women are so blind to that, and keep spending their money on: that stylish new handbag, that hot red shade of lipstick they saw in Vogue magazine, the anti-wrinkle cream that all the celebrities are using, on those diet pills that make you lose 20 pounds for the summertime, and so forth. Jean gives examples of Hollywood stars that everyone thinks are so perfect, but in reality, they too are computer edited or perfected.
Through ads, commercials, magazines, and social media, America indirectly “tells” and shows women what they should look like. It is all about having the perfect measurements, perfect breasts and butt, perfect skin, perfect everything! We live in a society that people look at you differently if you do not own that new name-brand handbag. There exists so much bullying as a result of someone’s imperfections and their absence of some popular product. The reason why I think that Jean says that this sexualization and ideal image of a women has gotten worse is with the Internet and social media. When I was growing up, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were not popular. Nowadays, young girls entering adolescence and women in general are punched in the face with the ideal image of a woman. For example, Instagram promotes girls posting bikini pictures and exposing their bodies because all the top models and celebrities are doing it. If you go to Publix, all you see on magazine ads is how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, tips on how to look more beautiful, etc. It is sickening. I know that I certainly do not want to raise a child, especially a little girl, in our society today.
Retail profiling is the practice by businesses, including their sales and security staffs, of treating consumers differently because of their race. Common complaints upon this issue were uncourteous service or being ignored by sales associates, different check cashing /return policies, refusal of service, and false accusations of shoplifting. As a former retail sales associate I often became the guard of clothing from people whom my managers believed were suspicious. To my unfortunate findings, most of the people I reluctantly followed around the store were either African-American or Hispanic. This is a problem because without knowing it they are being discriminated upon from the moment they’ve stepped foot into the store. Half the time they left angry and retaliated against the following because they felt uncomfortable. Sadly, some would even leave calling my coworkers or me vulgar names because we were doing what was ordered. This retail profiling has got to stop because it is a form of discrimination. Just because someone looks different in skin color does not mean that they automatically have to be stereotyped upon. I cannot deny that people do steal, but that does not give retail to the right to assume and to hover over customers. Even worse it is not okay to not stop a customer who is not African-American or Hispanic when they beep at the door. Yet, if either one of those races where to beep at the door from experience we’d search the bags and embarrass them by making them go through our sensors. On another hand, card frauds are often too but just because one person commit the audacity to use a fake card doesn’t mean all will. For example, I was persuaded to use an ID and have witnessed other stores do it as well. If someone from a different race buys a large amount it would have to be verified by a manager. Yet, when a person not of those two races bought a lot it was assumed they had money to spend and were treated more nicely. Retail stores do not provide the same accommodations or kindness they do to most people if someone doesn’t fit the ideal American. If we want to find a solution for shoplifting or fraud in retail people must focus on behavior rather than race. To avoid conflict at a register post the policies of checking/cashing, return, and card usage where they are visible. Provide diversity within the workers that are hired to better communicate with the customers. This can be fixed and can stop the close crossing of racial profiling and discrimination within a store.
“The Affordable Care Act put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that have improved access, affordability, and quality in health care for Americans.”
ObamaCare has given Americans the opportunity to get health insurance. However, not all Americans are benefitting. There is a gray area. A single parent applying for coverage with two dependents does not qualify for affordable healthcare. If the parent’s salary is low enough, the children are covered by welfare. But, the parent is not covered by welfare because any salary is too high to qualify for welfare benefits. However, the parent is able to purchase health insurance, but not at an affordable rate. The rate ranges from $200 and up a month.
(by E. Cobian)
Gun control has always been a topic of controversy and probably always will be as long as people continue to abuse the usage of a gun. As a current concealed weapons permit holder, I of course, do not agree with the idea of gun control. Taking away guns from the good people does not also take them away from the bad people. The people who possessed guns illegally will continue to do that same thing. Also, as a president who is surrounded by a minimum of twenty men with guns at all times to protect his or her family, how can you say guns are a problem and need to bed taken away? What’s going to protect you then? If we see weapon ownership as what it really is; being able to protect one’s self responsibly, even for hunting and providing for one’s family or just to have for sport and that guns do not just get up and kill people, then maybe those for the idea of gun control and taking away citizens’ rights to bear arms will realize it is not a solution. It is the intent and responsibility of the owner. And I know my capabilities and trust myself while concealing my weapon to keep myself and those around me safe. In many cases of mass shootings and recent terrorist attacks, one person with a concealed weapon could have ended what turned into a massacre just by exercising their rights.
Food is our essential source of energy and a necessity to sustain living. But our source of energy has turned into whatever is convenient. Thus fast food restaurants came about and the quality of what we ingest fell drastically. Chemicals are being pumped into our food sources in order to preserve and modify tastes. There are so many different and new cancers that have come about in recent years that it could only lead to one answer; what we are eating has everything to do with our health. Of course. So why do we allow this to continue? Knowingly eating foods that have been tampered with and have harsh chemicals in them. Because it is convenient for us. We’re always on the go needing something quick and easy to suffice us. But the truth is, it’s killing us. A goal of mine in the near future would be to start producing my own food as far as fruits and vegetables go and shopping local farmers markets for dairy and meat products. It’s not an unattainable goal by any means. It just has a little more preparation and planning to be put into in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Public school expectations should be raised, specially in the state of Florida. Since I recently graduated high school, I can say that in my opinion the standards assigned for graduates were too low. I say this because by my third year of high school I had almost met all the requirements for graduation just like many of my classmates. This is only one example of how education is falling behind. Compared to other states, Florida is in the lower half in the rankings of public education. Education has always been linked and affected by the amount resources and the financial needs of students. Since it has been shown that money has a direct relation with education, more money should be invested in public education.
Many people confuse the term of being political correct with honesty. The quality of honesty is always a positive asset, and freely expressing yourself should never become a fear. However, I believe as human beings we have the responsibility to respect one another. There is a line of respect that should never be crossed. Once someone loses respect from another person, they stopped caring about that other person’s opinions and feeling. In a community of such amazing diversity, we should be responsible to be inclusive. This does not mean that one must pretend to like, and agree with everyone, because we obviously do not live in a perfect world, but what should be expected in our society is respect and acceptance. I believe being political correctness is not such a crazy thing to ask for because at the end all is expected from it is respect.
Electronic cigarettes, E-cigarettes, are widely known to help you quit smoking. But what if they are not good for you…at all!! According to The Dangers of Electronic Cigarettes – New Research, it states the following:
“What they found may substantially increase concerns about the safety of vaping. The propylene glycol, which is in the pre-vaping liquid, breaks down, over time, into formaldehyde. The reaction between the electronic aerosolizer, propylene glycol, glycerol and formaldehyde creates a “formaldehyde releasing agent,” called formaldehyde hemiacetals, which are known as industrial biocides. Not good, even at the small levels within an EC aerosol.
Formaldehyde itself, in small amounts, is not dangerous. One’s own body creates formaldehyde as a byproduct of numerous biochemical reactions. Many foods contain lots of formaldehyde. But at those levels, it’s far below the dose implicated in any health risk.
But at higher levels, formaldehyde is strongly associated with certain cancers. It is considered a Group 1 compound, carcinogenic to humans, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (pdf), making it one of the 114 compounds that are known carcinogens. And remember, this formaldehyde is heading to one of the most environmentally sensitive organs in the body, the lungs, mouth, throat, etc.
The researchers found that an e-cigarette user vaping at a rate of 3 ml per day (an average) would inhale 14.4±3.3 mg of formaldehyde per day in formaldehyde-releasing agents. In toxicology, it’s not the presence of something like formaldehyde that matters, it’s the actual dose. And this is where it gets interesting.
So, what does 14.4 mg mean to one’s health. Well, an average pack of tobacco cigarettes (20 of them) would deliver 3 mg of formaldehyde to the smoker. In effect, the EC smoker is inhaling nearly 5 packs of cigarettes worth of formaldehyde” and “based on the level of 14.4 mg of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, it would be estimated that inhaling 3 ml of electronic cigarette liquid in aerosol form would lead to a lifetime risk of cancer 4200 out of a million, nearly 5X larger risk than smoking cigarettes. The cancer risk might be substantially higher because of the type and nature of the form of formaldehyde created by the vaping process.”
In reality, e-cigarettes are really not good for you. It’s actually worse than smoking a cigarette altogether. What can you do? Quit. For your own health’s sake.
You see someone walk in the room with a whole tattoo on their sleeve. What comes to mind when you see it? “Oh they must be a druggie,” “they’re probably a criminal”, or you think that’s beautiful piece of art on them. My claim on this argument is that tattoos should be viewed as pieces of art not stereotyped. I don’t have a single tattoo on my body but as an artist and an individual, I admire it as a way of art and one’s self-expression. Also, I grew up most of my childhood when my father was running his tattoo business and looked at the Flash work and other pieces that he has done on his customers. According to the History of Tattoos from the Tattoo Collection.com, it states:
“Skin was the first canvas for art. Sticks and other pointy objects were the first paintbrushes. Tattooing was first a form of scarification. This involved wounding oneself and packing dirt or ashes into the scrape or cut to discolor it permanently. It is believed that prehistoric man cut holes in his skin, charred sticks in the fire, let them cool and then applied the black substance to the wound to create tribal markings.
As tattooing involved pain, blood and fire, primitive man believed the process released sacred life forces. The letting of blood was also associated with a sacrifice to the Gods. The symbol or animal form of the tattoo was thought to bring one protection from attack from that very same animal.
Tattoos were also used to bring one’s soul in alignment with God’s purpose, increase virility and fertility, ensure the preservation of the body after the death and delineate hierarchies and roles within tribes. For instance, a tribal chieftain would have a very different tattoo than the individual in the tribe who was thought to bring them all bad luck.
As skin does not preserve that well there is very archeological evidence that prehistoric people engaged in tattooing, although a few Paleolithic artifacts that have been discovered seem to suggest that the art of tattooing is as old as mankind.”
But it seems like in this modern day and age, society frowns upon it because somebody might be a criminal or a “druggie.” Believe it or not, tattoos represent as a of symbolic meaning for protection, charms, good luck, health, and so much more. “Tattooing is recognized by government agencies as both an art form and a profession. As tattoo-related artwork is considered to be fine art, tattoo designs are the subject of museum and gallery art shows across the United States, Canada and Europe.” And on a lighter note, according to Different Views on Tattoos by Living Canvas “tattoos have gained a wider social acceptance and more people, men and woman alike, are getting them. People with tattoos work in a vast variety of industries and hold entry-level jobs.”
The next time you see someone walk by you with tattoos, take a look at the artistry of it, not stereotype the individual.