Friday, October 21, 2016

For Middle Aged Women Like Me

My heroes are often everyday people who do something extraordinary, in my humble opinion.  Extraordinary by definition means very unusual or remarkable.  Such is the case with Annick Rbsn from Canada.  I do love the Canadians and I am so glad we are neighbors. : )
If you are a middle aged women like me, I will be 45 in February, then you will very likely love Annick response to a salesperson selling some products guaranteed to make her look 'younger'.

Read and enjoy her Facebook post regarding this encounter:

So. I was kind of a brat yesterday. And I don't regret it one bit.
I was in the hallway at the airport, headed to my gate, when a man from a spa suckered me into a conversation by handing me a free bar of natural soap. NOTHING IS FREE PEOPLE! At least, not in airports, am I right?
This is basically how the conversation went, although I admit, this is not verbatim.
Man: "your skin is so natural looking, you aren't wearing any make-up, right?"
Me: "Um, nooooo?"
Man: "Let me guess your age..." Proceeds to pull out a number 12 years younger than I am.
Me: "I look my age and that's ok actually."
Man: unsure how to handle that.. "let me show you our face serum, because if you aren't careful to maintain your skin now, these wrinkles on your face will get much deeper, by 45, creams won't help anymore."
Me: "what's wrong with a woman looking 40?"
Man: "Well let's talk about the bags under your eyes, and smile lines, my eye cream could improve those in 15-minutes."
Me: "What's wrong with my eyes? I have a miracle baby at home and haven't slept in 2 years, so if I have bags I am grateful to have them, and my husband and I laugh a lot. Those are his fault. He loves how I look... I don't think I need your cream."
Man: (nervously) "They may be manageable now, but by 50, it's too late to correct sagging skin and deep wrinkles, unless you act now, only surgery can correct those."
Me: "what's wrong again with a woman aging? You know, my husband and I can't wait to grow old together, we talk about it all the time, how we'll be this funny wrinkled old couple. My husband is going to age too, we all are. It's kind of how life works."
Man: glancing nervously at other customers in the store who are listening in... "Wait, if it's the price that's an issue, I can offer you our special this week, all three creams for $199 - that's cheaper than Botox!"
Me: "I look fine now, and when I'm 45 I will look fine, and when I'm 50 I will look fine, because there is nothing wrong with a woman aging. Old age is a privilege denied to many, and I don't appreciate you marketing youth instead of your products, and denigrating aging women as a sales tactic. Thank you, but I don't want or need your cream."
I was so horrified by the normalcy of his sales pitch, and the sales ringing up at his cash register, that I took a picture of that wrinkled baggy face he was selling to, right on the spot.
This is the face my children and my husband love. I think I'll keep it.

UPDATE *************
I am shocked that this post has been shared upward of 12k times to date. I was really excited for a couple of minutes (that was my ego talking) until I realized what that meant. It means that in 2016, refusing to accept self-loathing as a beauty standard is a radical concept. And that is just depressing on a whole other level.
I have been reading some of the comments and wanted to clarify that this wasn't a post about natural beauty over those who wear make-up, its not about being insulted by a salesman. Its not even about the salesman, who I am sure is very good at his job and following a script. Its about a billion dollar industry that depends on women hating themselves.
And its not about how pretty or not I am. According to whose standards can we decide what is beautiful anyway?
I could have been a supermodel, but I still would have been told there was something terribly wrong with my face. And odds are, I would have believed it. Its hard-wired into us from the cradle that our main value as a woman is beauty, and a standard of beauty that we can never actually attain. Even our supermodels get photo shopped.
Let's start a movement peeps, let's end predatory marketing practices that sell self-loathing to women from cradle to grave. Women have more important things to do in 2016 than spend a single other minute worried about our wrinkles or the acceptability of our thighs.
Flip the script when you hear it. Every time. Until it loses its power. The next generation needs you to change the game.
There is nothing more powerful than how you spend your money, way more powerful than FB views and shares.
Let's start a movement that says no to brands that require you to hate yourself in order to sell their products. Don't give them another one of your dollars.
*And for those of you worried I was too hard on the salesman, don't worry, tone doesn't translate well, but I'm Canadian after all. I was very, very polite. ;)
Extraordinary.  My hero.  Women, we need to flip the script.  Today, I'm starting with myself.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

DaBrickaNate YouTube Channel

Nathan has started a YouTube Channel, DaBrickaNate, reviewing Lego sets.
We have now posted 2 videos and he's already planning to review some custom builds.
He is so cute, I can't even handle it. And I'm partial to the user name he used; DaBrickaNate is a variation of DaBrickaShaw, which is what we called him before giving him the name Nathan. I love it but the challenge will be keeping up with his videos and getting them posted!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Why VidAngel has my Support.

VidAngel | Watch Movies However The BLEEP You Want

SURVEY: Would you have watched Avengers: Age of Ultron without a filter?


COMMENTS: The ability to filter out profanity and sexual content is the only reason I allowed my 9 yr old son to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron. He's a Marvel fan but I haven't felt comfortable letting him watch many of the Marvel movies until now. After watching this movie with my son, VidAngel alleviated all my concerns. This is the solution we have needed. We now plan on watching all the Marvel movies and my son is ecstatic. Thank you so very much for this service, thank you for the ease & usability of customizing the filters and thank you for the affordability to make movies family-friendly. I'll be certain to share my positive experience with family, friends and across social media to make others aware of the superb service you have provided.

Thank you again,
Julia Hull

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Unify Phoenix Women's Conference, Oct 21-22

Tonight, I met with a group of 4 women in preparation for a women’s conference taking place in Phoenix next month. We come from 4 different churches in the area & in preparing for this panel, we shared our stories. The idea is afterwards, women will break into smaller groups and share their own stories with each other. I was incredibly moved by the personal depth that was shared by each woman. We talked about real life, real pain, real tragedies. There was no masking, no covering up, no hiding behind shiny smiles. Each person brought her darkest and worst into the light. Timidly and carefully though. These were not badges of honor or stories of valor being shared. These were stories filled with deep pain, much shame and the kind of despair that changes the course of life. Then how God has restored, redeemed and renewed our lives. That part is super easy for me to talk about.

I drove away completely humbled. Is there another word that bypasses humbled because that is how I felt. I was asked the question “How is God using your story today?” My honest answer was “I see that it serves a purpose with the Mending the Soul groups at my church but I really don’t know, I don’t have any idea, mainly because I feel totally awkward when I’m sharing my story.” Then she told me to go first and she was going to video tape it. Cue Awkward Self.

I don’t even know how I was sitting in that room sharing my story with these women. I didn’t seek this out. What I do know & what has become crystal clear to me, is that it keeps happening. Sharing my story. And every single time, I feel totally and completely awkward. Afterwards, I mentally grade myself and try to measure “was I off the chart awkward? Or was I just minimally awkward?” Greg says I have to stop doing this and just let God use whatever words come from me and leave it to God. I think Greg is right. So I think the right thing to do is to just tell everyone I know about my social-story-telling-awkwardness as a means to bringing it all out in the light. If everyone knows, then there is no secret about my Awkward Self and I can be free to be awkward.


Unify PHX from Neue Thing on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Psalm of Julia

Thank you God that I am no longer who I used to be.
Thank you God that I am not who others said I was.
Thank you God that I was not left alone & forgotten.
Thank you God that you restored my heart and made it whole.
Thank you God for a life that is worth living.
Thank you God for more goodness than I ever deserved.
Thank you God.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Picture Perfectness is a Myth.

Some days, this is the reality of my 44 year old self: a mom's ponytail, no makeup and a compression stocking for varicose veins. This is how I look today.

I share this because I don't want to perpetuate this socially driven lie that life is just picture perfect all the time, every day. It's not.

We never hesitate to share pictures of our good hair days or fun-filled days or proud milestones. We are quick to display those moments and there's no judgement regarding that. However, we are less inclined to share moments that picture honest-behind the scenes-real life.

Listen friends; Life happens. And its not picture-perfect all the time, every day. If you believe the lie that everything has to be perfect to be good, it will set you up for an unrealistic expectation followed by crushing disappointment. When you look across social media and compare your tough, ugly moments with someone else's 'perfect' moments, you are setting yourself up for a dose of loneliness. Especially when you are struggling or barely managing life or just coping. Comparison is the thief of Joy, so stop doing that.

Let's stop perpetuating the lie of perfectness. Life doesn't have to be perfect to be good. Lets share that message more because that's the truth.

I'm personally committed to live in truth, so here I am pictured with a compression stocking for varicose veins that hurt! Who knew? I didn't...cause who talks about these things?!
Agreed? Disagree? Agree to disagree?


Sunday, July 24, 2016

17th Wedding Anniversary

17 Years from Julia Hull on Vimeo.

The gift that didn't cost any money but cost a considerable amount of time!