Listen to Your Voice

So, tonight we have The Voice on TV, and it’s making me think, “Listen to your own voice”. In the vocal world, you have to listen to yourself to stay true to the sound you want.  How come that can’t be said of day to day life?  Each of these artists have made it this far by not compromising their own voice, and staying true to that style.  Here’s a recap of my favorite artists, in no particular order (top 10 only)

Melanie Martinez – Team Adam

Melanie Martinez:  Girl, you are only 17 years old and have the voice of 1,000 souls.  Never lose that level of depth, you amaze me!  Don’t change who you are for the industry, your voice is so unique, but bringing out that push, that fire, know that THAT was one of those goosebump moments.

Terry McDermott – Team Blake

Terry McDermott: Not only are you an amazing singer, you’re Scottish, on the off chance you didn’t notice that.  You are totally true to your rock self, and make no excuses for it.  You make me think of Bon Jovi, Meatloaf and Bryan Adams all rolled into one amazing bundle of Scottish pride.

Cody Belew – Team Ceelo

Cody Belew: Honey, I do not know who is deep down inside of you, but you define originality.  I’ve been told that a woman can’t sing a man’s song, and visa versa, but you broke that rule, and sounded amazing doing it!

Bryan Keith – Team Adam

Bryan Keith:  You have such an amazing heritage, but I love that you aren’t resting on your laurels and the coat tails of your dad.  You are striking out on your own, making YOUR name be something recognized in every American household.  Thank you for staying true to YOU and making your own way.

Amanda Brown – Team Adam

Amanda Brown: Woman, I bow to your lungs!  You can sing it all, I just want to make sure I know who YOU are, because I’m sure the rest of the country will agree!

Nicholas David – Team Ceelo

Nicholas David: AKA “Jesus” , you’ve made it this far without giving in to change, you keep your own appearance, your own style, your own personality.  For that, I applaud you, and you should never need to Lean On anyone, but if you do, America is here for you!

Trevin Hunte – Team Ceelo

Trevin Hunte: You went your own direction this week, and I pray it pays off for you.  You sang Usher’s “Scream” and it was great to see you having a younger energy and enthusiasm.  As an 18 year old, it’s important for you to live life to the fullest!

Cassadee Pope – Team Blake

Cassadee Pope: Hands down, my favorite performance of the night.  The song was bittersweet and I’m sure many can appreciate the message behind it.  You showed a softer, more emotional side and that was so gratifying to see.

Tonight was so great for me, seeing all these great emerging artists being true to their selves. It’s a reminder that when you do what your gut says, it can take you so far. Be true to who you are, whether it is slender, curvaceous or bountiful, and remember to listen to your voice.

Vote for your favorite team member until 10:00AM EST 11/20/2012 here.

Have Your (Hostess) Cake and Eat it Too

So, last week it was announced that Hostess is going bankrupt.  What does that tell you about the economy when a bakery that is 80, yes 80 years old and survived the FIRST great depression, is now having to close its doors?

18,500 people are going to be one job shorter if the bankruptcy goes through, the blame falling firmly on the shoulders of the Baker’s Union.  BCTGM (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union) went on strike shortly before, during a time when the company was already crippled with debt.  Ironically, this is not a first occurrence for our cake-roll-folks, nope, this happened once in 2004.  At that time, Hostess (Interstate Bakery at the time) was bailed out by General Electric Capital and GE Capital Markets as well as others, with liens and loans helping it limp out of its bankruptcy.

What was the big push at the time?  My thought is that it could have had something to do with the Mexican baking company that wanted to buy Interstate Bakery.  After restructuring and getting new Executives, Hostess emerged from the rubble, giving us our Twinkies, Cupcakes, and Wonderbread (yes, Wonderbread is a Hostess product).

While Little Debbie must be dancing in her shoes, I, and probably a few other carb lovers, am crying a little on the inside.  I was a Hostess Cupcake kid, eating the white drawn-on embellishment followed by the chocolate icing off the top.  Next was eating as much of the chocolate cake as I could before getting to the ooey gooey center fluff (which I’m pretty sure was a mix of hydrogenated oil and sugar).  Those were the good ol’ days, yes they were.

Will Hostess be able to quell the uprising?  With the union recognize that 18,500 people suddenly being without jobs would be a bad thing?  Especially when the Executives are still getting bonuses?  I’ll admit, that seems fishy to me.  If you can’t manage the money of a company and it goes bankrupt, you get a bonus?  What the hell is that all about?  OK, rant on that topic done.

I know we don’t want to indulge in our carb cravings, but somehow I hope this all turns out OK, because I want Hostess here to stay!

No really…I am a size 8…Vanity Sizing and Fashion

This week, WebMD had a great article come out all about Vanity Sizing and how it affects how we shop.

Now, if you’re a man, there’s not as much vanity sizing happening in your world, but if you are a woman, you know what I mean.  I’m a size 14, 12 and 10 depending on what brand I shop in (yay Vera Wang at Kohl’s for size 10!).  At the end of the day, it’s hard to say what size you or I “really” are.  So, don’t look at the pantsize and take it to heart, rather, try on multiple sizes of various brands, and know that if one brand says you’re a 16, that it is just a number, and that another brand may knock your size down to a 12.

Here are a couple quotes from the article that really stuck out to me, and I can’t lie, I’m seriously considering applying some of these to my daily life.

“Focus on fit by shopping for clothes without looking at the tag size. Rather, look at the actual size and shape of the garment, and cut out the size tag after purchasing the item,” ~ Jennifer Baumgartner, PsyD, author of You Are What You Wear

It’s like bra burning, but better!  Cut the size tag out of your pants, it’s like “out of sight, out of mind”.  Do you ever go to your closet/dresser, look inside at the pants you wished you fit into comfortably, and then proceeded to grab the size you know fits, look at the tag, and finally berate yourself for being the size you are, rather than the size you want to be?  Cut out that little 1″x1″ square of cloth, and cut out its power over your life (at least somewhat).

A University of Michigan study found that when a woman thinks she wears a smaller size, she buys more clothing.  “What designers and manufacturers started doing was taking what was once their measurements for their size 8, for example, and putting a size 6 label on it instead, knowing that a woman would be more likely to make a purchase,” Raes says.

“The problem with this method is that, while it can be psychologically encouraging for the shopper, stores have had to introduce smaller sizes to fit petite women. It’s why we’re now seeing size XXS.”

Talk about unintended consequences.  I had never thought about women who were already significantly smaller than me, who 30 years ago would have been a size 6, and are now size 0’s and don’t want the stigma of being “too thin”.  Most of the time, I saw them and thought “I hate that you’re thin, it’s not fair that I’m not, because I know you don’t have to do any work for it.” (It’s significantly harder to think hateful thoughts about the people I see running and working out every day).

Has anyone noticed that vanity sizing has appeared to extend to underwear?  I swear to God, it’s like Victoria Secret knows we want to be thin, so they knock off a size, while Shopko leaves it all out there in the open.  I mean, let’s face it, who wouldn’t be like “Large”…”Great, I have a large ass”…and not end up with some kind of complex around it?  The companies who introduced sizes that were numbered, rather than Small/Medium/Large/XL etc. have it right in my opinion.

Better yet, do what Europeans do for pant sizes etc. and size everything by width/length, fewer questions that way for sure.  Men get this luxury, and so do we (if we shop in the “right” stores that have tags starting around $60 for a pair of jeans, and go up from there).

All I know, is that seeing a certain number on a pair of pants that fits me (my magic number is 14) is devastating when I see a size 12 right next to it in my dresser.  Some days I’ll fit in the 12, some days I won’t, and on the days that I don’t, that 14 is just staring me in the face.  Would I buy pants that say they are 10’s but fit like 14’s?  Absolutely.  Would I keep buying the same brand when I got down to say, a 4?  Probably not.

What would you do?