A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Shirley Chisholm

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Shirley Chisholm

Inspiration Of Style: Ending on a Grace Note

Inspiration Of Style: Ending on a Grace Note

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Moms Whose Lives Revolve Around Baby Suffer

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Moms Whose Lives Revolve Around Baby Suffer

Women’s Health: Breast Cancer Risk Might Be Tied To Breast Size, Study Says

Women’s Health: Breast Cancer Risk Might Be Tied To Breast Size, Study Says

A Message From The Creator

“More than anything else, I believe it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.”

-Tony Robbins


Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Shirley Chisholm

Born in New York City in 1924, Shirley Chisholm became the first black congresswoman and for seven terms represented New York State in the House. She ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972. Throughout her political career Chisholm fought for education opportunities and social justice. She left congress in 1983 to teach and lecture. She died in 2005.


US representative and social activist. Born Shirley St. Hill on November 30, 1924 in New York City. Chisholm spent part of her childhood in Barbados with her grandmother and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1946. She began her career as a teacher and earned a Master’s degree in elementary education from Columbia University. She served as director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center from 1953 to 1959 as an educational consultant to New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959 to 1964.

Chisholm became the first African American woman to make a bid to be President of the United States when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972. A champion of minority education and employment opportunities throughout her tenure in Congress, Chisholm was also a vocal opponent of the draft. After leaving Congress in 1983, she taught at Mount Holyoke College and was popular on the lecture circuit.

Chisholm was married to Conrad Chisholm from 1949 to 1977. She wed Arthur Hardwick, Jr. in 1986. She is the author of two books,Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973).


Inspiration Of Style: Ending on a Grace Note


PARIS — A Renaissance Madonna, a medieval princess, an Art Deco beauty — all those references were on the backstage billboard at Valentino. Seen through the eyes of historic painters but transferred to today, the Roman house helped the winter 2012 couture collections to end on a grace note.

For all the flesh still flashed on the red carpet, there is a change of mood on the runways. And even if Jean Paul Gaultier still showed sexy pieces in a chaotic collection of his greatest hits, even Elie Saab, famous for his fancy gowns, opted for a more discreet style.

Perhaps the change can best be seen in the long-sleeved dresses with hemlines at shoe level that have taken over for the once-prevalent winter bare-the- body look.

A typical gesture at Valentino from the designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli was to cocoon a model in a tight egg-shaped cloak, perhaps decorated with the tree of life, which was one of the designers’ symbols of the season.

“Like a Madonna of the 14th century — and we like a regal look,” said Mr. Piccioli, explaining how they wanted to absorb the culture, as well as the craftsmanship, of master painting in Italy.

But the art of modernity lies in turning those historical references and ancient crafts into something as vibrant as a gilded unicorn embroidery on a jump suit, which the program notes listed as having 900 hours of handwork. The duo also had to balance the rich prints and appliquéd patterns of thistles or flowers with the simplicity of ink blue tones.

Front row were not just the usual young Valentino clients but also high-octane celebrities, from the model Jessica Stam, Nicky Hilton with her mother, Kathy, and Kim Kardashian with her beau Kanye West — all dressed in Valentino. They will have plenty of choice for future appearances: from the innocent modesty of the long-sleeved, floor-sweeping tree of life gown, through a sophisticated black lace dress, a sports jacket smothered with gold embroidery, rivulets of rose pink ruffles and that famous Valentino red as a cascade of frills.

Despite their long service absorbing the spirit of the founder, Ms. Chiuri and Mr. Piccioli may not get everything perfect. Their clothes may sometimes seem too prim and covered up for the modern world. But there is nothing that sticks out as disrespect to the founder — nor a slavish attention to what he did. Their focus on craft and Rome is paying off, according to Stefano Sassi, the brand’s chief executive, who said that couture orders are back to — and even surpassing — the volume in 2008 when Valentino Garavani retired.

What was the Jean Paul Gaultier message, and was it so vital that it required a one and a half hour wait, whipping the audience into a frenzy of excitement or rage?

Nothing much really. To Bette Midler, a loyal Gaultier client seeing her first show, it might have been exciting to view all those old Gaultier tricks: the mincing male models in fancy pants and top hats and stylish jackets curving at the hips; or the women in some familiar corset cage. There were a few lovely moments, like the chiffon dress tattooed in blue and worn with a jacket that was a meld of pastel fur.

In fact, there was a theme. Mr. Gaultier said backstage that his stint on the jury at this spring’s Cannes Film Festival introduced him to the movie of the French author Alfred de Musset’s “Confessions of a Child of the Century.” Its protagonists, Charlotte Gainsbourg and the wide- and wild-eyed singer Pete Doherty, were his inspiration — along with the century’s progress. (Hence, graphically beaded Art Deco dresses.)

The quirky versions of the tuxedo that gave the show an all-black opening were superbly cut and elegantly done. Throughout, those masterpieces would pop up and then disappear in a welter of fancy boleros, obi motifs, kimono bathrobes and toreador pants.

Mr. Gaultier is a man of many talents. But the audience does not need to see all of them — especially after so long a wait.

The Elie Saab show opened with a black lace coverall caftan, followed by long-hemmed and long-sleeved dresses, showing how the new art of grace has affected even a designer wedded to the red carpet.

Of course lace has its own peekaboo quality and there were flashes of bared leg and curvy views at the rear. Yet the effect for long or short dresses was still relatively sober, a feeling underscored by braids worn around the top of the head.

The designer’s inspiration was from the Ottoman Empire, and that gilded glory on the Bosporus might be a good fit with international clients, invited to enter the grand location by one door, while the press was herded in a different direction.

But everyone got a view of the collection which, without much variety, showed the designer’s looks: long and slim, long and full skirted and ditto for shorter dresses. There were still plenty of trains, either for the awards ceremonies or perhaps to turn into the wedding gowns for which Mr. Saab’s clients clamor.

The change was in color, as blushed pink, blue and finally a deep turquoise were all set off by gilded and silver embellishment right down to the shoes.

The brief winter 2012 couture season in Paris has definitely shown a change of pace, and the arrival of Raf Simons at Dior, with his architectural view of fashion, has taken some of the froth out of high fashion — revealing a draft of purer luxury.

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Moms Whose Lives Revolve Around Baby Suffer

By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer

Whether parenthood makes a person happy or not may depend on their attitude toward proper childrearing, new research suggests.

Moms who take an “intensive” approach, marked by the belief that mothers are the most important people in baby’s life and that parents should always put their child’s needs first, are less likely to be satisfied with their lives and more likely to be stressed than more laid-back moms.

“There’s something very appealing about these intensive parenting ideologies,” said study researcherMiriam Liss, a psychologist at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. “[These attitudes] seem like they are how we should be feeling toward our children. But they may be more problematic than we think.”

Philosophies of intensive parents

Intensive parenting is a style with three main philosophies: That mothers are the best possible people to care for their children, that mothering should center around the child’s needs, and that children should be considered delightful and wholly fulfilling for parents.

Plenty of interview-based studies have found that many parents hold these attitudes, Liss toldLiveScience, but there is a lack of hard data on the mental health effects. She and her colleagues recruited 181 moms of kids under age 5 to complete a series of online questionnaires about theirparenting attitudes, family support, life satisfaction and mental health.

The researchers asked the moms how strongly they agreed with the beliefs within the philosophies of intensive parents: That moms are primary, that kids are entirely fulfilling, that children need lots of stimulation, that parenting is very challenging and that parents’ lives should revolve around their children. [10 Scientific Tips for Raising Happy Kids]

Parenting and happiness

The results revealed that three of the five pinnacles of intensive parenting are linked with nasty mental health effects. Though relatively few women held the belief that mothers are more important than anyone else in a child’s life, even fathers, those who did hold the attitude were less satisfied with life, more stressed and felt less family support than other moms in the study.

 The belief that parenting is a great challenge was also linked less life satisfaction, as well as more depression and stress.

“That one is a strongly held belief,” Liss said. “Parenting being really, really hard is a commonly held belief that seems to be really bad for women.”

Women who believed that parenting should be child-centered also had reduced life satisfaction, Liss and her colleagues reported online June 30 in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. That link disappeared when the researchers controlled for perceptions of family support, however.

The findings could hint at why research has come up with contradictory results about whether parenthood makes people happier or not. Some studies have found that parenting increases stress and decreases well-being, while others have found no effect or a positive influence on happiness.

“Maybe it’s not having a child versus not having a child,” Liss said. “Maybe there are certain ways of parenting, like this intensive style of parenting, that is more negative for parents’ mental health.”

Pressures of parenting

The researchers can’t say for sure whether the parenting causes the mental health problems, though many of the links make little sense the other way around, Liss noted.

There’s little long-term data on whether intensive parenting is good or bad for kids, but plenty of research has shown that having a stressed or depressed mom is tough on children, Liss said.

“We can say that anything that causes more maternal depression is not good for kids,” she said.

Some of the ideologies of intensive parents, such as the idea that only mom can make her kids thrive, are appealing on their surface, Liss said. But the flip side seems to be a strain on parents that helps no one.

“This is part of the culture of pressure that moms and dads, but mostly moms, find themselves living under,” Liss said. “And we as a culture should probably ease up a little bit on some of the pressure to be these intensive, child-centered parents.”

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas or LiveScience @livescience

Women’s Health: Breast Cancer Risk Might Be Tied To Breast Size, Study Says


Catherine Pearson


Researchers at a commercial DNA testing service say they have found a handful of genes that help determine whether a woman spends her life as an A cup or a D.

Those genes might also be tied, they say, to a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

“There are surprising connections between some of the genes involved in determining breast size and the genes involved in breast cancer,” lead author Nick Eriksson, a researcher with the California-based personal genomics company 23andMe, told The Huffington Post.

In a study published in the journal BMC Medical Genetics, Eriksson and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 16,000 female customers who had previously had their genetic makeup examined. The researchers were looking for single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, which are variations in DNA that occur when a single nucleotide in a sequence is altered. Some SNPs have no impact on cell function; others can predispose people to certain traits or illnesses.

After comparing the women’s genetic data with information they provided about their bra size, researchers identified seven SNPs as “significantly associated” with breast size, three of which have been previously linked to breast cancer risk.

The findings suggest that a woman’s cup size and her risk for developing breast cancer could be connected. However, even the researchers are quick to admit that the connection should be regarded as preliminary at best.

“It’s fair to say that the link is a bit uncertain, and based on current knowledge, it’s not a strong risk factor,” said Eriksson. He suggested that one possible, albeit oversimplified, explanation for the findings could be that larger breast size means more cells that could become cancerous.

But, he added, “part of the complication is that obesity also plays a complicated part in breast cancer risk.”

Indeed, breast cancer specialist Dr. Edith Perez, deputy director at large at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (who was not involved in the 23andMe research), said that a major limitation of the new study is that researchers did not have complete information about the participants’ weight, which in many cases can directly influence a woman’s breast size. Obesity has also been shown to increase breast cancer risk, particularly after menopause.

In addition, Perez said, the researchers did not control for other factors that can increase risk, such as alcohol use and breast density. The latter trait is largely inherited and has been much more definitively linked to cancer risk than breast size has. Studies have suggested that women with dense breasts are up to five times more likely to develop breast cancer, for reasons that are not yet fully understood.

“The way I look at it is that it’s an interesting finding, but I do not think it will have a big impact on the way we stratify for risk for breast cancer,” said Perez, adding that the fact this is a commercial company’s study (as opposed to an independent data analysis) should be taken into consideration. She said she hoped future research would look at factors that women might be able to change or influence in order to cut their risk for breast cancer, which is currently the second-most common cancer among women in the United States. (Skin cancer is the first.)

Eriksson echoed that the new findings may have more implications for researchers interested in the possible connection between breast size and cancer risk than for women directly. For now, breast size is not a “major factor,” he explained, and certainly nowhere near as significant as obesity or breast density.

The biggest takeaway from the new study may be that when it comes to cup size, a lot depends on the genes.

“Breast size is definitely heritable,” Eriksson said. “But unlike height, where you can look at both parents and get some idea how tall you will be, you have much less data for breast size. A young woman can look at her mom. However, she won’t get the same insights by looking at her dad for his genetic contribution.”

%d bloggers like this: