P.W.P. (Playing While Pretty)

P.W.P.

“Makeup (check), hair (check), oh and don’t forget to grab your lip gloss and throw it to the managers before warmups. You should probably bring your mouth guard too.”

Ladies, let’s be honest, we’ve all had a moment like this before. Female locker rooms aren’t solely a place to change, they are a place for you to prep to look your best, especially on game days. In my team’s locker room we are 100% about our business (winning games) and 75% about looking presentable while doing it (bare with me, I know these percentages don’t make sense but I’m sure you understand).

Now that I am a part of a college basketball team, I have realized just how hard it is to look “pretty”/presentable while playing my sport, and these days there is a lot of pressure too. Too often female athletes are idealized not because of their skill but because of their looks.

In my opinion, athletics is the one time females should not have to worry about how they look and yet we, as a society, have turned female athletics into another beauty contest. I mean think about it. You are running down the court, dive for a ball, and the first thing you think about when you get up is, “Does my hair still look okay?”

One of my teammates who is a Women and Gender Studies major always talks about apologetic behavior in female sports. An example of apologetic behavior in sports is when women wear makeup or very feminine accessories (sparkly headbands, ribbons, etc.) to make up for the fact that they are exhibiting aggression and power rather than passivity and submissiveness.

I myself, have exhibited apologetic behavior at times and if you think about it, you know at least one female who has too. Yes, girls want to be noticed for their skill, but not at the expense of their looks, and vise versa.

Growing up I watched Candace Parker, Elena Delle Donne and most recently, Skylar Diggins. These women, in my opinion, have mastered the idea of looking presentable and playing well. But the reason I write this post is not to highlight them. Instead it is to talk more about the women that find themselves in the middle.

At the end of the day, we all want to look presentable and play to the best of our abilities but we must keep things in perspective. Who are we really trying to look good for? Probably that person in your Chemistry class that you’ve been dying to talk to all semester but never do.

If they don’t like you when you look less than your best, then he/she does not deserve you at your best. So ladies, I challenge you! I’m not saying don’t put on lip gloss before games because I know I will, but don’t let your looks be one of the main things vying for your attention when you’re about to go to war in your sport. Just enjoy what you do; they say happy girls are the prettiest anyways!

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Body Image

Body Image

Have you ever realized that the one thing you want to change most about yourself is the one thing that makes you unique?

Recently I have had many conversations with people about body image. Whether it was covering eating disorders and how they can be sparked by irrational thoughts about body image in my “Counseling Student Athletes” class, or talking to some of my friends about how they view their bodies, many of my conversations have touched on this topic.

It’s hard not to think about how we look these days. Just open up any magazine and pictures of the “perfect body” smack you in the face with every turn of the page. But who is to say that is the only way we should look? Who said that the pictures we see are the standard? They are not even the reality!

If every magazine was required to state whether they photoshop, retouch, or change any aspect of their photos, I feel that we would have a different view on what the media tells us is perfect.

We must realize that perfection comes in many shapes and sizes. We are all made in the image of God, so if that is not perfection I don’t know what is. To not love and embrace what He has given us is to reject Him and all of His glory.

Not everyone has the same body type. Not everyone has the same strengths and weaknesses, but together we all bring something new and unique to the table. When it comes to our bodies, especially in sports, what one person’s body can do sets them apart from the rest.

You have to start looking at yourself as an asset and believing that God made you this way for a reason; your build was not a mistake. Some people will never be size zero, myself included, but with that being said, my size has allowed me to excel on the basketball court as a forward. I can’t say that would be the case if I was shaped differently.

To say the least, I do not appreciate the media for idealizing body types and make people feel inferior for not achieving a look that even their own models cannot achieve. But I do think that as a person who loves myself for who I am and how God made me, I can inspire others to do the same.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. – Psalm 139:14

Be blessed!

To the Broke College Students

Broke College Students

While this blog post is directed towards college students, don’t be fooled, being broke does not discriminate. This is just a list of things that I have experienced while being broke and in college, but I’m sure this frequently happens to people of all ages.

There is nothing like being broke and in college. It is where you find yourself, it is where you realize what you are truly made of, or at least when you realize that mom and dad really made life at home 10x easier than the real world. When it’s all said and done you always find yourself reaching for the emergency $20 that your mother repeatedly told you to keep in your wallet, and wondering if your current situation constitutes an emergency.

1. Toilet Paper: Who knew toilet paper and paper towels cost money? I’m being sarcastic of course, but when I was living at home we never seemed to run out of those things, so naturally I never had to think about buying them or fitting them into a budget. That all changed when I got to college. Unfortunately you cannot say, “I’ll pass on using the bathroom today”, so I quickly learned that these items are a must on my monthly grocery list.

2. Wardrobe: Not every social event requires a new outfit, but you couldn’t convince me of that my first year. For every event I found myself in the mall spending the “extra money” that I thought I had. Word to the wise, “extra money” should just go to your savings. I promise you, you’ll thank yourself later.

3. Fun is Expensive: I didn’t realize this until I had a weekend to myself and only $3 to my name. Everything costs money! Yes, occasionally you will run into an event that is free but how are you going to get there? Do you have a car? Do you have gas? Well, you can always catch an Uber, but wait, that cost money too. Even catching up with a friend over coffee is pricey. The last time I checked, the only thing Starbucks gives out for free is hot water, so knock yourself out with that.

4. Food: Well, if you’re a picky eater being broke can be your newest diet plan or your introduction to your meal plan. Personally, I have become a pro at making use of my meal plan. Who new that dinning hall food can be so good when you’re broke and starving?

All in all, being broke in college is tough, but nothing short of hilarious when you look back on it. You never realize how much you have until it’s gone, or at least I didn’t until I came to college. It’s crazy to think that one day I’ll be making money and paying taxes. Really, what are taxes!? I hope this article gave you a couple good laughs to start off your week. Be blessed!

Seasons

Seasons

There are different seasons, and no I’m not talking about winter, spring, summer and fall, I’m talking about seasons in your life.

For example, different seasons in your life can be when you move from, middle school to high school or high school to college. It could be getting your first job, it could be the start or end to a relationship. It could be a lot of things, but a new season in your life signifies change.This change is usually sparked by people.

The crazy thing about people is that sometimes when they leave your life it’s not because of you. You are beautiful,  smart, fabulous, strong, etc. They leave your life because their stint in your life was never supposed to be a forever thing. They were simply there for a season. They taught you the lessons you needed to learn and helped you move from one part of your life to another.

One thing that I have realized is that we can decide to make changes in our own lives, but because we are creatures of habit we often opt not too.

I’m sure most of us have experienced the friendship that didn’t last or the mentor that became distant. While at the time you felt these bonds would last forever. In reality these people filled a need in your life for that moment and without them and the experience,  emotions and memories they brought with them along the way, you would not be the person you are today. But once that need was met and your season or current situation began to evolve they fell off, because you didn’t need them anymore. You could be strong without them.

An example in my life are some of the friendship I have lost. Many of those people I still know today and interact with regularly,  but I have always been taught to surround myself with people who are moving in the direction I want to go. At the time of our friendships they were,  but as we grew older and our visions for our futures became clear; I became distant from my “friends” because they were not moving in the direction I was trying to go.

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” If someone is not helping you, they are most likely hurting you. Be wise about who you choose to hang around in your lifetime or even just for a season.