Remembering the heroes, the victims of the Aurora Shooting

Friday, July 27, 2012

This is not a typical blog post as Tickle Me Chic is fashion oriented but, in the wake of the Colorado theater shooting, I wanted to do something to hep, to educate people and let the victims know, we as a country, support them and send them healing thoughts and a wave of love.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A week ago today, an unthinkable crime was committed, threatening and destroying the lives of children, brothers, sisters, mothers, grandparents, etc. Like most media, I will not be talking about the suspect as he does not deserve the attention. This post and every write up out there should be about the victims and what people are doing to help them. And as we remember the victims and lost loved ones, remember to spread love and strength to those around you because you never know when the last time you will see them will be. 

I read an article about Caleb Medley, who is in ICU after an eye injury from the shooting. Him and his wife, Katie, were having one last night out before the arrival of their first son. Now as the new parents sit in the same hospital but different units, hospital bills are piling on, much like the rest of the victims. Family and friends have come together to help raise money for the new parents, and while Caleb still sits in ICU unable to hold his son, donors from all around are helping raise the money needed. "All the money that is donated is going straight to Caleb, Katie and Hugo to help them with medical bills, getting back on their feet, help with the baby items," friend Michael West said in an article from ABC. "Anything and everything that they need."
Caleb and Katie, photo from the Support Caleb Facebook page.
That's just one of the many victims hurt by the shooting. As the community and the country come together in a time of tragedy, we are reminded of the good souls out there.

After trying to deal with personal tragedy, Greg Zanis of Aurora, Illinois now builds crosses for others who have lost loved ones. "It is overwhelming to think about all the crosses I have put up," Zanis said in an article from CNN. "I am doing it for the victims, but this is a public grieving. This allows the public a place to go to and have that big cry."  After being requested for the Columbine shooting victims, he was called upon once more for crosses as a memorial and tribute to the Aurora shooting victims. Zanis doesn't charge for the crosses, nor will he take donations. It's something he does as an outlet to help others heal, after needing something to help him heal.  
photo cred: abclocal.go
While I am 2,000+ miles away from Colorado it still hit home closer than I would have expected. My mom had a home in Aurora for over 30 years and she just recently sold it in January 2012. My family lives out in Colorado and one of my best friends, who lives in Denver, was across the street just hours before the shooting. Waking up last friday, I received the news of the devestating massacre. Immediately, I reached for my phone texting her to see if she was ok, and thank God she was. "It's tragic. So far I know of two friends of friends or family that were there. One is okay and the other is in critical condition. Life is so fragile and we must learn to realize that what truly matters most in life, is life itself," she said. As the day went on, we text back and forth finding out more information about her friends that had planned on going to that tragic showing. Luckily, everyone was safe. But that still leaves all the wounded and lost. As the weekend proceeded, I just couldn't shake the sadness, wondering how is this even possible for someone to do?
Me and Maggie, my best friend in Denver

Tuesday morning one of my Denver friends, who was planning on going to that midnight showing, posted a status from News 9, it was an essay from State Senator Michael Johnston about the shooting. It talked about love and how everyone came together in such a dark time. How strangers helped others and how love always wins.
 Love saved fifty-nine lives. Policemen on the scene in minutes, strangers carrying strangers, nurses and doctors activated all over the city. But we didn't stop there. 
Love saved the 700 other people who walked out of the Aurora movie theater unhurt. But we didn't stop there. Love saved the 5,000 who went to see Batman all over Colorado, and the 1.2 million who saw it all over the country, who walked in and out safely with their friends, arm in arm. But we didn't stop there. Love claimed the four million other Coloradans who went to bed peacefully last night, ad who woke up this morning committed to loving each other a little deeper. The awe of last night is not that a man full of hate can take twelve people's lives; it is that a nation full of love can save 300 million lives every day. 
And when people wonder how they fight back? He said, "The answer is we love back. We live back. We deepen our commitments to all the unnumbered acts of kindness that make America an unrendable fabric. We respond by showing that we will play harder, and longer. We will serve more meals, play more games, eat more food, listen to more jazz, go to more movies, give more hugs, and say more "thank yous" and "I love yous" than ever before."
photos from The Denver Post & News 9, collage made by me
As much heartache as I have for the victims, it's heartwarming to see people come together. As stories leaked out about the heroes of the shooting, it brought tears to my eyes. Learning that three men risked their lives for the one they loved, an incredibly brave 13-year-old baby sitter trying to help a 6-year-old girl she babysat for, a nineteen-year-old man helping a woman save her young kids while he was shot in the leg... all of these people are heroes. They are the ones we need to focus on and give strength to move forward. And while some of them are gone, they will never be forgotten, always known as the superheroes of that night.

How YOU can help:
Caleb Medley
Petra Anderson
Micayla Medak
Farrah Soudani
Yousef Gharbi
Giving First: The page was created with 11 nonprofits for people to give donations
Matt McQuinn: Helping to raise money for the funeral of Matt McQuinn
Rebbca Wingo: Helping to raise money for her family, whom she left behind
Jessica Ghawi:  Helping to raise funds to launch the Jessica Redfield Sports Broadcasting Scholarship.

Take Back The Movies: From the blog: "Tonight, the movie's on us. Go, enjoy. This isn't a fundraiser, it's not a memorial service. Some jerk tried to steal a night of fun from all of us. Tonight, we're giving it back." 

For continued cover go to 9 News Denver or The Denver Post.

Here's a video essay from News 9.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Edited by: Taylor Davies
Despite the new look and slight changes to our forums on the new IFB site, there was no shortage of selections for this week’s Links a la Mode round up! From easy summer style to bridal trends and even some chatter over the latest Olympic drama with Ralph Lauren as well as teens and photoshopping in magazines, we had a lot to cover! Check out this week’s links and if yours has been chosen, be sure to check back later today for the code so you can post the links on your blog. Happy clicking!


Real Girls Making a REAL Difference

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The photoshop epidemic is under attack once again and it's the readers of magazines like Seventeen and Teen Vogue that are taking action.

Photoshopping has become an epedemic in magazines and other digital media. As girls read these magazines, they long to look like "the girls in the magazines." Well not anymore!

A group of teen girls have teamed up with SPARK a Movement, which is a movement "to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media," to show magazines and other media outlets that readers want to see REAL girls in the pages of magazines, with real body issues, no photoshopping or digital enhancements. 
 “I want teen girls to be shown how they are in magazines so that girls in real life won’t have to feel bad about their bodies when they shouldn’t,” member Britney Franco, 13, said in an interview. 

Seventeen Magazine petition
With the crusades of SPARK and the teen members voices, Seventeen Magazine's editor-in-chief, Ann Shoket, recently agreed to stop digitally altering models in any spreads of the teen mag. With the recent victory, the organization moved on to the fashion power house, Teen Vogue. SPARK created a petition to ask Teen Vogue to publicly state they will no longer digitally alter the face or body of any models who appear in the magazine. If you want to sign the petition and have your voice heard, check out for more information. 

Yesterday, the ambitious teens staged a mock fashion show outside of Conde Nast headquarters in Times Square. They wanted to demonstrate what real girls look like, how girls are affected by photoshopping and what readers want to see in the pages of these magazines.

“We’re really trying to do the runway show to show what we want to see in these fashion magazines and it starts with us, the reader... Being a young woman of color and dealing with body issues and having naturally curly hair, I’ve always struggled finding a role model in these magazines.” -Carina Cruz, 16 years-old, SPARK member

While the movement might not have had as much of a positive influence on the teen fashion mag, with the meeting only lasting about five minutes according to the SPARK website, it's not stopping the girl-power movement. Franco writes an update of what happened at yesterday's meeting with Teen Vogue. "They gave Emma and Carina copies of Teen Vogue and told them to use it to “learn about the magazine,” as though we didn’t already know about it–I’m a Teen Vogue subscriber!.... This was obviously disappointing to us, but we will still continue on our mission to get Teen Vogue to stop altering the appearances of the girls in their magazine. Teen Vogue has an incredibly large readership that supports them immensely, and now it’s time for the magazine to do the same for their readership."

After the fashion show, outside of Conde Nast
The SPARK movement is very dedicated to what they do and the girls who represent it are speaking out on behalf of the --according to their website-- 75% of girls, who feel depressed after minutes of reading magazines. And even though Teen Vogue wasn't very receptive to the idea, SPARK is determined to make a change in the way girls and women are portrayed. "They have the choice to be the heroes in this story; help them make that decision," Franco wrote.

***Photos are from SPARK Summit's facebook.

Bullies of Online Fashion Media

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The fashion industry is under constant criticism for the way women are perceived and while most now strive to create better body images, unfortunately, it's sites like Skinny Gossip that continue to create this scrutiny.

Kate Upton got a lot of praise after her Sports Illustrated cover, but she also got some bashing. As the "Rookie of the Year" in 2011, the 19-year-old blond, all-American bombshell, landed the February cover, showing off her curves in a string bikini. The model's figure created quite a stir in the fashion world, but Upton doesn't seem to let it bother her. "I love my curves. You know, I'm healthy and I think that's what Sports Illustrated represents: healthy, confident women who love their bodies," Upton said in an interview.  
Photo from Huffington Post
After reading a tweet from Independent Fashion Bloggers last night, "Bloggers gone bad - Anyone who calls @KateUpton thick, vulgur and pornographic is clearly insane:,"  I was beyond curious to see what it was all about. I clicked the link and read the Elle write up. The woman in me was disgusted that anyone could write such hateful, horrible things, but the journalist in me said it's time to start writing.

I've always tried to write about hard-hitting stories in the fashion industry since I went to school for journalism and focused many of my pieces on fashion. It's the industry I love working for but, people need to know the good, the bad and the ugly in any industry. I knew this write up was a perfect example of why girls and women all around the world have such insecurities about their looks let alone themselves as individuals. I've always kept up with the body image issue vs fashion industry because every girl I know, including myself has had self-esteem issues.  
So, I went straight to the source: Skinny Gossip, Kate Upton Is Well-Marbled. The post started off comparing humans to cows and then insinuating that Kate Upton is one... Did you know that humans are 80% genetically identical to cows? Well, allow me to prove it to you…  The blogger goes on to joke about Upton "lumbering up a runway like there’s a buffet at the end of it," and that's just the first couple sentences.....  
Photo from Skinny Gossip
Not only does SG bash Upton's weight, the blogger bully tears Kate down about her style and class saying, "She looks like she would work in the back of a motorcycle shop in Nashville and give (bad) blow jobs for $25."

Photo from Huffington Post
Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but it's people like the blogger of Skinny Gossip and Maura Kelly, who create this constant bullying for others when they know they have at least a national audience. What good does it do to ramble on about how others looks, weight, ect, and bash them? It only shows that YOU, the bully, have deep issues that you need to battle yourself. 

Anytime someone bullies another it's because that person doesn't want to face reality and deal with their inner problems/demons. The writer of Skinny Gossip needs to take a look into what's really causing the attack on Kate Upton. Writing things like, "This girl belongs deep in the gutter of American commercialism – so don’t get any crazy ideas about her being a fashion model, OK?" only shows the world that you have deeper problems than you lead on. 

Two years ago, I wrote a piece about the Maura Kelly rant, a Marie Claire blogger wrote about the show Mike & Molly, attacking the show and people a like. Kelly compared overweight people to alcoholics and heroin addicts but as you read on, she apologizes and opens up about her struggle with anorexia. While it wasn't a valid excuse at all for the down right horrible things she said, it did show she had her own struggles that maybe caused her to not be fully happy with herself. 

There are some people out there that are taking the same steps as the Skinny Gossip blogger, sending SG hate mail and death threats, but what does that do? While yes, SG did something horribly wrong, and should not have shared the hateful rant with the world, I sit here writing this not to bash back but to make people aware of what's going on in the world around them.

So with that said, take a moment and think about what you write, text, post or say. You never know what someone is dealing with, everyone has their own battles to fight. And while celebrities are supposed to have "tough skin" and deal with haters all the time, remember....

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