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[This post discusses topics such as suicide and sexual assault. We can all help prevent suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone.]

I’m sitting here and my hands are shaking.

I am outraged.

Honestly, this may be the first time I am at a loss for words. Well, maybe the opposite…

I just finished watching the second season of 13 Reasons Why. And I have SO MANY THOUGHTS. 

I wrote about the show when the first season came out last year, and the title of that outspoken piece was called, “The Negligence of 13 Reasons Why” if that gives you any inkling of my position on the show. And I highly encourage you to read it before you go on.

But basically, as a refresher, it was a Netflix series, produced by Selena Gomez, geared towards teens, that all but glorified suicide. It told the story of a teenage girl, Hannah, who took her own life, and left behind these 13 cassette tapes that blamed 13 people as to why they contributed to her decision to take her life.

It was incredibly controversial, not only for the subject matter, but for the disturbingly graphic scene that showed her committing suicide. And then, after it s release, the tragic result of “copycat” suicides that occurred.

They claimed that they were setting out to start a conversation. I call BS, and shake my head at the sheer negligence and irresponsible decision making skills on the part of Netflix, as well as Selena Gomez.

So why, then, did I watch Season 2?

Because I wanted to be part of the dialogue. This show is having an incredible impact on teens and touches on a mental health topic matter that is akin to eating disorders, and so I wanted to know what is influencing our culture.

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I’m going to just go out and say what needs to be said.

Do not watch Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.

Don’t let your mailman watch it. Don’t let your dog watch it. But especially, don’t let your kids watch it. Do not expose them to the dark and disturbing images that this negligent show is impressing upon the viewers.

It is rated TV-MA for a reason.

I have just so many thoughts. So many thoughts. My brain is going a mile a minute, so I apologize in advance, this may not be as well put together as I would like.

First and foremost: The absolute most harmful aspect, in my opinion, about Season 2, was Hannah, the Spirit

Yes, you read that correctly. Hannah – the main character who took her life in Season 1 – comes back in Season 2 from the afterlife and “interacts” with her love interest, Clay, to the point where they almost kiss.

Source: PopBuzz

This is just so problematic.

First, a little set up. The entire storyline of season 2 is the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide. The whole show is centered around a trial: her parents have filed a lawsuit against Hannah’s school, trying to hold them accountable for her death. So as a result, every kid/adult/teacher etc, on the tapes has to testify in this widely publicized trial. The news is covering it, people are writing blogs about it, the kids keep talking about her, and reliving the past, and obsessing about the details of her suicide.

Source: The Mighty

Interesting story line, right?

WRONG.

This is just awful. Awful. This is hammering the harmful perception of “celebrity” or “notoriety” that can be so devastatingly influential to kids at risk of suicide. Season 1 was bad enough – that after her death, the entire school was still fixated with her death because of the cassette tapes. Now in season 2, they’ve included the whole city and internet, captivated by her death.

Couple that with the fact that Hannah keeps appearing to Clay, and having him profess his love for her, and conversing with her in his mind — it erases the lethality and finality of suicide.

When a person commits suicide, they are no longer alive. Period. There is no “Romeo and Juliet” love story that can occur between them and their crush. There is no more communication with friends. There is no more connection or physical touch. They are gone.

And this show – it is infuriating how carelessly and just blatantly negligent it is to portray the victim of a suicide, still communicating and having relations with their loved ones.

And then with the world – and media – revolving around her and the intricate details of that time before her death – it is making Hannah into the cover model of People Magazine, or the headline of Page 6, rather than AN OBITUARY WHERE SHE SHOULD BE.

I just can’t. I am so angry I need to get up and take a walk for a minute. Excuse me.

OK, I’m back.

This season felt like they were trying to tackle, head on, every single major issue facing teens today, in the most graphic and in-you-face, get-people-talking way possible.

There was drug abuse and addiction; rape; sexual assault; homophobic assault; teens “coming out” for the first time;  gun violence; self-harm; homelessness; bullying; cyber bullying; vandalism; teen pregnancy; hazing; suicide; school shooting; heroin detox.

If you think reading that list was exhausting, imagine watching – in graphic depiction – those topics.

The most disturbing scene in the season was when this outcast boy was ganged up on in the boy’s bathroom at school. And this is a highly graphic description, so please be warned. The four jocks repeatedly slammed his head into the sink, and then dragged his nearly unconscious body to a bathroom stall where they kicked and beat on him while flushing his head down the toilet 5 or six times. And then finally, sexually assaulted him by repeatedly ramming a broom handle up his rectum. This scene lasted for two minutes. And it ended with him naked, buttocks exposed, lifeless over the toilet, with the top 12 inches of the broom handle covered in blood.

This boy would then go on to bring a rapid-fire assault rifle to the school dance.

I’m sorry for that description. But that is what this show was. It was horrific to watch.

And what made it so sickening to me, was that it was being targeted to teens.

It just makes me sick.

Selena Gomez is a producer of the show. Kids and teens worship her. They idolize her every move. They buy what she’s wearing, listen to her music, and watch what she slaps her name on.

No “TV-MA” rating is going to keep them from doing so.

Next, the other thing about it was that the show made it seem like this heinous behavior was normal. They were portraying that, every kid is excessively sexually active in high school. Making it seem that heroine addiction is a common occurrence, and bullying to the point of anal penetration with a janitorial tool is what happens at every school. Oh yeah – and that kids have unlimited access to guns and assault rifles.

They were depicting a desolate reality that frankly is not the norm. And making is seem like it is is SO IRRESPONSIBLE.

It makes kids think, “Oh, well, there must be something wrong with me if I’m not sleeping with 2 or 3 different partners in one night as a sixteen year old kid.” Or that they’re a loser for not drinking or doing drugs like the “cool kids” are doing in the series.

Source: ign

This is not what we should be putting out there for our kids to watch and mull over and think and talk about. 

Sure, it starts a conversation, but it completely destroys them and their innocence in the process.

And yeah, kids aren’t naive. I’m not dumb. But it is just so disgustingly ironic – the behaviors and patterns that they are trying to prevent, are the exact same behaviors and patterns that they are perpetuating by glorifying them on their show!!

It is just so counterproductive. And harmful.

I turned off the show, and all I could think about was this one very specific thing:

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things.” Philippians 4:8

When I was in high school, I had this beautiful mosaic mirror in my bedroom, and on it was written that verse.

And after watching such highly disturbing material on TV for the last several hours, it was as though God was reminding me that I need to be filling my mind with pure, good things that point to Him, not the garbage and filth this world is producing.

That’s the thing. God was excluded from the dialogue. Hannah’s parents in the show were openly “untrusting” of the church and made that clear when they were planning her memorial service.

If 13RW really want to start a productive dialogue about those horrible things, why not include the one thing – the One Person – who can truly turn things around?

Arrogantly shoving God out of the storyline in 13RW does such a horrible disservice to anyone truly needing help from suicidal thoughts, bullying, self harm, rape, etc.

And the only other mention of God was by the student body president who claimed to be a Christian, but ended up literally having the word “HYPOCRITE” spray painted on the back of his car, after he lied about the rape.

Source: Wherever I Look

God is not the enemy.

And perhaps, if we were to put true, admirable, pure, excellent material out into the world for teens to watch and emulate, the world might be a better place.

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BeautyBeyondBones by Beautybeyondbones - 5d ago

Well, it’s Wednesday morning, and I’m just sitting in the terminal at JFK waiting to fly home to Ohio. I’m only going to be there for 48 hours…I booked a job, and the photo shoot is tomorrow!

So that’s exciting.

And since you all know my intimate travel secrets, I feel like you have a pretty good mental image of my current state!

So, in case you’re living under a rock, the royal wedding is this weekend. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. And I joke about living under a rock, but truthfully I had no idea it was this week until just yesterday. Haha

But people are obsessed with the Royal wedding. And rightfully so. I mean you’ve got an American television “star” marrying the ginger “bad boy” prince. Definitely headline news – “The New American Princess.” But gosh, you can’t pass a checkout line at the grocery store without seeing their faces on every magazine cover. Oh well, at least it’s giving us a break from the Kardashians.

But it’s funny because I feel like, just in the last 3 years or so, “princesses” have come under attack.

The Belles and Cinderellas of yore are now seen as antiquated, anti-feminist figures of yesterday that “glorify” tired and backwards storylines of women needing rescuing, or giving everything up for the man of her dreams.

And no surprise here, the current rejection of classic Disney makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Princesses aren’t bad for little girls! Heck. Would you rather your daughter look up to Belle? Or say, Kylie Jenner? There’s no competition.

But it’s an interesting phenomenon, this royal wedding. Especially the women – people are living for it. I have friends who are legit throwing viewing parties at 5:00 am on Saturday morning so they can watch it live.

Five o’clock in the morning!

But I think the reason we’re all so captivated by this wedding, is because, at least for us women, whether we like to admit it or not, there’s a small part in our heart that longs to be a princess. Some more than others. Clearly. But there’s a deep, inherent desire to be fought for, and chosen, and delighted in for our honor and beauty.

And that’s not wrong.

In fact, I believe that desire – that inherent nature – was placed in us by God.

Because as daughters of God – we are, by our birth, princesses. (And men, princes.)

But we watch as Meghan Markle wears the most exquisite wedding gown with the white gloves and veil, and the long train. It is magnificent. And the world holds its breath as her prince kisses her hand and promises to love and honor her forever.

It’s how every little girl dreams of being loved.

She dreams of being fought for. Being protected. Being one-of-a-kind.

But along the way, we lose that wonder. We feel undeserving of such splendor and celebration. We’ve messed up, failed, fallen short, compromised on so many things. We feel we no longer deserve that royal treatment.

But the fact is, that is what God wants for us. When He sees us, He doesn’t see our mistakes or failures. He sees a precious daughter that deserved to be celebrated in splendor – just like Meghan Markle.

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I think it’s so important not to lose that idealistic and romantic longing in our heart. Sure, it’s important to be realistic. No man is Prince Charming, and in the world of Bumble, romance can seem all but dead.

But in a world where women fiercely compete to dominate the top spots on the corporate ladder, I think it’s important to never let that sacred spot in our hearts that knows we’re the King’s daughter become bogged down in the rat race. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with being a boss and having a kick-butt job – that’s also to be celebrated. But there’s a light and a hope that we – especially us women – carry with us when we live from the truth that we deserve that honor and royal dignity.

Because with it comes a responsibility. What is it about the royal princesses? I mean look at Kate – she carries herself with an inherent joy and regal presence. She gives of her time. Serves the people.

She knows that, from her position, she has the responsibility to share the blessings she has received from her relation to the King.

So to with us. As His sons and daughters, we are the earthly extension of our loving and gracious Father in Heaven. And everything we do – the things we say, the ways in which we treat others and how we act – they’re a direct reflection of Whose we are.

So Saturday, as we sip tea and eat crumpets before the sun rises, cheering on the new American princess, I invite you to just remember that you and I are just as worthy and deserving of the pomp and circumstance. To a heavenly degree.

Just as we are. He takes us. He claims us. He fought for us and rescued us.

We’re living the fairy tale and we don’t even know it.

This post was made possible by my wonderful sponsor, Audible. Listening to audiobooks is literally my new favorite thing. I can grow my brain while I cook, run errands, take a walk, am on my commute. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!! 

And if you need an audio book recco, I went to my mom’s book club yesterday, and all the women were raving about The Nightingale! (Plus it’s being made into a movie soon:) )

Quick sponsor shoutout…Did you see my FabFitFun unboxing video!? I am *loving* the spring box! It was valued at over $354.99! It’s a quarterly box of beauty, fashion, home and fitness products for only 39.99? YES. PLEASE. You can get $10 off when you use my code BLOOM10 at check out too  

***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“*** CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY! ________________________________________________________________
STAY CONNECTED!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

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Twitter

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A big thank you to my sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))

For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible

***NEW!! For outfit details, you can check out my LIKE.TO.KNOW.IT page or follow me in the Liketoknow.it App!

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BeautyBeyondBones by Beautybeyondbones - 6d ago

Behold.

The Great.

Potato.

Youuuuu guyssss. This is by far one of the most insanely delicious things ever. Literally, ever.

Have you ever had one of those days where you’d like fast forward through dinner and just go straight to dessert? Or rather, have dessert for dinner?

Like everyday? Okay yeah, me too

Well this recipe is the best of both worlds. You get dinner and dessert in one! How? Because it’s so friggin tasty, and deceptively healthy!

I’d call that a #win!

Real quick, just want to shout out this post’s sponsor:

This post was made possible by my wonderful sponsor, Audible. While I was whipping this up, I had my earbuds in and was listening to an audiobook – Adnan’s Story. It’s my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. This is a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!! 

OK, back to the spuds.

For this recipe, I used a Japanese Sweet Potato. There are all different types of tubers — sweet potatoes, yams, Japanese sweet potatoes, etc. But I chose the Japanese variety because I like the texture of it. The flesh is actually white, not orange, like we’re used to at Thanksgiving. But the texture is almost gummy, and creates this beautifully thick, paste-like consistency that I found really enjoyable. ((It doesn’t sound that appetizing from that description, but believe me, it was splendid…Think cookie dough!))

Also — to “up” the nutrition factor, and intensify the color, I added steamed carrots to the flesh. Aren’t I tricky

Here’s what you need:  (Serves one — although, I guesssss you could split it)

1 massive Japanese sweet potato, baked
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped and steamed
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp honey
pinch of salt

Drizzle:
3 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Garnish:
Pecans, roasted and chopped

Tools:
Food Processor
Baking Sheet
Frying Pan
Good Chef’s Knife (This is the one I use and love)
Steamer basket or Pyrex measuring cup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork. Rub the skin with a little bit of oil – I used grapeseed. Bake for about 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes with an oven mitt. (I placed a cookie sheet underneath the potato to catch any sugary drippings that might ooze out of the spud).

While your potato is baking, steam the carrots either on the stove, or in the microwave. I just used the microwave and a Pyrex measuring cup.

Also while the potato is baking, I made my almond butter drizzle. In the food processor, I mixed the almond butter, honey, and cinnamon until it was nice and smooth and drizzly. If the consistency is too thick, you can add either a splash of water, or a little bit of oil. I used a touch of almond oil, but another flavorless oil would be fine too.

Transfer the drizzle to another bowl, and try to refrain from eating all of it. ((I made a quadruple batch to keep on hand for yogurts, cereal, smoothie additions, fruit dip, etc.))

*You don’t have to clean the food processorfood processor just yet. Any remaining sauce left on the sides/blade will just mix nicely in with the flesh.

Lastly, toast some pecans in a skillet over low heat until fragrant. This doesn’t take very long – about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. But watch them, because they can burn quickly!

Once the potato is finished baking, cut a slit in it lengthwise, but not all the way through. Then, carefully (with oven mitts because it’s hot!) push the two ends together,

Then, spoon out the flesh of the potato and place into your food processor along with the carrots and a pinch of salt. Don’t scrape all of the flesh out of the potato — you still need the potato to be sturdy and able to stand on its own.

While the flesh of the potato and the carrots are still hot, process them until combined and smooth. (The steam given off helps facilitate this). I also added about a Tbsp of almond butter, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 pinch of salt, and 1/8 tsp cinnamon to the food processor to be mixed in.

TO assemble, generously spoon the potato/carrot mixture back into the skin and pile it high! Then, liberally smother that baby with your almond butter and honey drizzle. Garnish with pecans if desired.

DIG. IN.

Was this bigger than my fave? Yes. Did it weigh roughly the same as a large cat? Yes. Was it one of the most delicious things in the entire world? Abso-friggin-lutely!

Ladies and gentlemen, this potato. This potato. This potato. THIS POTATO! I kid you not…it was nirvana. And I use that word because Webster told me that it meant utter bliss. Ecstasy. Pure joy. … Yep, that about sums it up.

It was like eating pumpkin pie flavored cookie dough. It was sweet and nutty and had a kiss of warm cinnamon.

And the texture was marvelous. Like I mentioned, Japanese Sweet Potatoes have a tacky and thick texture that makes it so you almost have to chew it. It was so good.

But the drizzle. OH THE DRIZZLE! In the words of Uncle Jesse…

Seriously though, it should be illegal. It is so rich and nutty and sweet and combined with the sweet potato and carrot mash, it is just out of this world.

Lastly, the color is just outrageous. That orange color is not enhanced, nor from a can, my friends. No filter here! It’s all from some good ol’ beta carotene found in Bugs Bunny’s favorite veggie. Not only do carrots intensify the color, but they also up the nutrition factor too!

This was a ten. Nay — an eleven. If you feel like giving yourself a hug through your stomach, make this dish.

It’s Din-sert. It’s healthy dessert for dinner. It’s Potato Nirvana.

PS: You can thank me later.

For more recipes, you can get my e-cookbook here, or visit my food blog, GlutenFreeHappyTummy!

Lastly: Amazon has this amazing service called Amazon Prime NOW where they literally deliver you groceries IN TWO HOURS. I’ve been doing so much traveling back and for to Ohio – and the greatest thing is that I can land in NYC, order my groceries from the runway when we land. And literally, by the time my cab pulls up from JFK, I have my groceries waiting at my door. And Amazon Prime is a sponsor, so they’ve offered my readers a Free 30-Day Trial!!! So honestly, I don’t know what you’re waiting for…Free 2 hour grocery delivery (plus full access to Prime Video & Prime Music) ? The future is now, my friends. (And thank you, because it’s a great way to support this blog )

***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“*** CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY! ________________________________________________________________
STAY CONNECTED!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

A big thank you to my sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))

For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible

***NEW!! For outfit details, you can check out my LIKE.TO.KNOW.IT page or follow me in the Liketoknow.it App!

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One of the perks of living in NYC is that I’m literally in the cultural hub of the world. And I’m not saying that arrogantly, or with any snooty tone. It’s frankly, a fact. People look to Gotham for the latest in news, entertainment, literature, architecture and design, and fashion.

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In case you were snoozing on your pop culture research, the MET gala was last weekend. It’s known as “Celebrity Prom” because every spring, everyone from Beyonce, to Tom Brady, to Kim Kardashian, to Sarah Jessica Parker gets dressed up in one-of-a-kind designer gowns and costumes worth thousands upon thousands of dollars, all based on a theme. Past themes include Fashion in the age of Technology; Punk: Chaos to Courture, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy; Goddess: the Classical Mode, etc. etc. But the theme is always in conjunction with the new, spring exhibit opening up at the MET, and the MET gala is their star-studded fundraiser.

Now typically, aside from scrolling through Buzzfeed’s “who wore what” articles the following day, I typically don’t take too much interest in the whole extravagant affair. But this year, my ears perked up a bit.

For this year’s theme was: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the “Catholic Imagination.”

And wouldn’t you know, that on the opening weekend of Heavenly Bodies at the MET, my mother was in town. And as two very Catholic women, (heck we even carve out time to go to Daily Mass when she’s in town)…we decided to go and check it out.

Now, I should have done my homework. That was mistake number one. But I heard the theme, and read up about how they had flown in actual Papal vestments from the Vatican, and that Cardinal Timothy Dolan gave a beautiful press conference, opening up the exhibit…I thought this would be a lovely afternoon full of reverence and pride in our Christian faith.

Oh, how wrong I was.

It was…how can I put this…it was mockery disguised in feigned reverence.

I was always a little unsure about the theme. I knew going into it, it could either be incredibly offensive, or a colorful celebration of the beauty and exquisite traditions and relics of our faith.

Because that’s the thing…the Catholic mass is truly a visually stunning worship experience. And the reason for such ornate and magnificent vestments and chalices, and Eucharistic tabernacles – it is all because of Who we are worshiping, and the why behind it.

Why is the chalice so intricately engraved and enhanced, and a work of incredible artistry? Because the Blood of Christ is so incomprehensibly precious that is deserves the absolute best that this earthy place has to offer.

Why do we get all dressed up in our “Sunday best” to go to church? It’s because we’re going to be meeting Jesus. Worshiping Him. Being in His presence. It’s the why. The Who.

So little naive me, believing the best in all situations, believed that this had the opportunity to bring that honor and reverence and beauty of our faith to life.

 

I’d like to pause here. Shift your attention to another headline for just a quick moment. Just this exact same week, a picture went around Twitter that “broke” the internet for the evening. It was the photo below: a senior in high school, Keziah Daum, wore this traditional Chinese dress – a qipao – to her prom. She found it in a vintage store, and appreciated that it was a “beautiful, modest gown” and wore it to the dance. Well she was dragged through the mud by the Internet for cultural appropriation. Literally, hundreds of thousands of comments and retweets, all bashing this girl for disrespecting Chinese people, their traditions, culture and religion.

Here’s an example of just one of the hundreds of thousands of comments of backlash:

This was literally headline news. The #1 trending topic on Buzzfeed and Twitter.

Question: how is this prom situation any different from say…this?!

Listen. I love Rihanna. So much. Her music is the soundtrack of my life. But this is beyond disrespectful.

These two situations happened in the same exact week — days apart. And yet, because the Catholic Church is at the butt end of the joke, no one even bats an eyelash.

(But then that’s the point, right? We’ve got to make one of the only institutions left with a moral compass irrelevant. That’s the agenda, right?)

But that was the thing about the whole event…there was just blatant mockery going on. Donning a cheap, stereotyped version of a sacred vestment to be edgy or ironic. Women wearing priest collars. Madonna – the outspoken queen of sacrilege – was dressed as the freaking gothic version of the Virgin Mary, complete with rosaries all along her cleavage.

Or how about Jared Leto wearing a golden Crown of Thorns-esq head wreath? I mean, wow. Just. No.

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BeautyBeyondBones by Beautybeyondbones - 1w ago

Warning: Tonight, I’m going to be writing about the four-letter “P-Word” that makes everyone squirm.

Porn.

I read a really scary statistic today. It said that for just one porn site, 81 million people visit it per day. Per DAY! 81 million people! And that’s for just one of the thousands of websites out there. That’s close to 30 billion visits per year.

Does that shock anyone else?

I heard it and nearly fell out of my chair.

I’m going to share something with you that may be surprising.

I’ve never actually seen porn.

Sure, I’ve had those spammy pop up ads aggressively attack my computer screen, but I’ve been so startled that I just click out and try not to burn my retinas.

But just because I don’t watch it, doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions about it.

And spoiler alert…I have a lot of them.

But first, I want to start out by saying that, just because I don’t struggle with porn addiction doesn’t make me a saint. You know my history – during my anorexia I lied, manipulated, lashed out and deceived like a veritable deviant. So just because my browser history is clean doesn’t mean my past record is. So please don’t read this from a “holier than thou” standpoint. I am in no way judging what is a very real struggle for a lot of people.

We’re in a sad sad state of reality these days. Yes, that statistic was jarring, but let’s be honest…was anyone really *that* surprised?

Because frankly, I wasn’t.

Being a twenty-something single in the dating scene, it’s pretty much a well-known fact that every guy watches porn. Not just sometimes. On a regular basis.

That, is the heart-sinking state of our generation.

And the worst part? Is that it’s not even considered sad or even taboo. Porn is not something that people are even blinking an eye at anymore…it’s considered normal. Heck, what’s abnormal, or even something to be ashamed of, is if you’re a single guy and NOT looking at porn.

Now, I want to pause and say that I know that porn addiction is definitely something that women struggle with too. And I don’t want to diminish that either.

But this is simply from the perspective of a single young woman, navigating the dating pool of young men, most of whom regularly consume pornographic material.

I am a virgin. You know this. I’m not ashamed of it. In truth, I celebrate the fact that I will be able to give that gift to my husband one day.

And even though I feel incredibly mocked and laughed at and judged by society for that decision, I completely respect other people’s decisions when it comes to their love life. To each his own. No judgement here.

But obviously, there is a lot about sex that I don’t know. Not only from lack of experience, (duh!) but also – I am not well versed in “porn.” And honestly, thank God for that.

But I think that’s how a lot of kids get into porn. A curiosity of the “how to,” logistical aspect of sex leads them into the dark world of porn, where they’re exposed to aggressive sexual behavior and twisted fetishes and down the rabbit hole it goes. Couple that with an obsession with the behavior one typically partakes in while watching porn, it’s no wonder that so many people struggle with a true addiction to it.

I’m going to be honest: knowing that my future husband will have most likely watched porn, it terrifies me. Not from a judgement standpoint. Or from a fearing-for-the-state-of-his-soul standpoint. But honestly…from the state of an insecure girl, fearing that I will never be “enough” for him.

Sex is a beautiful thing. I mean, the very first commandment God gave Adam and Eve was to “Be fruitful and multiply.” And he wasn’t talking about tending the Garden of Eden, either.

It is the most intimate expression of love. And the thing about porn, is that it has taken that good and beautiful thing, and stripped it of its dignity and purpose (love and procreation), and deduces it to a brash tool to be used for selfish gain.

It literally objectifies women, and perverts a sacred union between man and woman, in order to satiate the lustful appetite the porn industry, and society, are pandering to at a younger and younger age.

This isn’t some book report on the harmful effects of porn. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that, Yeah, if guys watch super sexually aggressive porn, they’re more likely to act out aggressively. Or that, Hey, if guys spend hours and hours in front of porn, that they’re not going to perform as well in person. Or that, Yeah – the porn industry is one of the leading perpetrators of human trafficking. Those are sadly common sense. And I’m not here to bore you with stats and figures.

This is about me damnit.

Just kidding.

Shop this look!

But how is a girl supposed to compete with that?

How is a virgin supposed to compete with the fake boobed, fake lipped, butt implanted, false eyelashed, oiled up, plastically reconstructed, porn stars?

Not that I want to, but it just…I’m going to feel like a cloistered nun taking off her chastity belt and screwing in a long-sleeved, turtle neck night gown. Not exactly the look you’re going for on your wedding night.

Porn is killing love.

But more than that, it is killing our dignity as children of God.

Because that’s the thing: we were created to love and be loved. God is love. And has placed in us the incredible desire to be seen fully, and loved fully. We were made to be cherished, as a refection of His beauty, and expression of His craftsmanship. And as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to respect one another and protect and defend the dignity we all possess as children of God. That is what love is: wanting the best for someone else. Porn does the exact opposite of all those things: exploiting one another for our own pleasure.

In my research for this post, I found out about an incredible resource for those struggling with porn addiction. It’s called Covenant Eyes. It was recommended by Fr. Mike Schmitz. Basically it’s an accountability software that, once or twice a week, emails your browser history to a trusted friend in your life: your accountability partner.

One thing I learned in my recovery from another type of addiction: anorexia, is that addiction thrives in secrecy. But it cannot exist in the light. So I pray that if you or a loved one is struggling with porn addiction, that you a) know that God loves you no matter what, and wants to help you break this cycle of addiction. And b) you can shine a big ol’ spotlight on this darkness, and root it out once and for all.

Because we were created by love, for love.

Let’s not let porn kill love.

This post was made possible by my wonderful sponsor, Audible. Listening to audiobooks is literally my new favorite thing. I can grow my brain while I cook, run errands, take a walk, am on my commute. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. This is a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!! 

And if you’re looking for more resources on this topic, why not listen to the Audible audiobook, The Porn Myth by Matt Fradd. It’s an incredible resource, written by a faithful man, presenting a non-religious argument debunking the myths we believe about porn. I listened to a bunch of his podcasts in prep for this post and they are so powerful! (And all the proceeds of his book go to the charity, Children of the Immaculate Heart, which helps support survivors of human trafficking).

***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“*** CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY! ________________________________________________________________
STAY CONNECTED!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

A big thank you to my sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))

For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible

***NEW!! For outfit details, you can check out my LIKE.TO.KNOW.IT page or follow me in the Liketoknow.it App!

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BeautyBeyondBones by Beautybeyondbones - 1w ago

Hey y’all!

I am still sick. This sinus/upper respiratory illness is rocking. my. world.

I have not left my bed since Saturday. And let me tell you…the stir-crazy struggle is *real.* I am climbing the walls.

All I have to say is thank the Good Lord (literally) for grocery delivery.

Amazon has this amazing service called Amazon Prime NOW where they literally deliver you groceries IN TWO HOURS. And thank goodness for that, because I’ve been a housebound sickie, and yet MY FRIDGE IS STILL STOCKED. I’ve been able to cook all the healthy and healing foods my body needs right now, and all I have to do is get up to answer the door. And Amazon Prime is a sponsor, so they’ve offered my readers a Free 30-Day Trial!!! So honestly, I don’t know what you’re waiting for…Free 2 hour grocery delivery (plus full access to Prime Video & Prime Music) ? The future is now, my friends. (And thank you, because it’s a great way to support this blog )

ANYWHO

I think at this point, I’m about thisclose to hacking up a lung, so needless to say, my throat was raw. And all I could dream of was a frozen treat to sooth the fiery sandpaper currently occupying my air pipe.

Enter: My Strawberry FroYo.

FroYo = “frozen yogurt.” And it’s one of the trendiest foods right now. I swear, you can’t walk 2 blocks in NYC without passing at least three different FroYo shops! Pinkberry, Red Mango, Sweet Frog, 16 Handles, TCBY – it is all the rage. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I secretly long for FroYo. Because, sadly, dairy (and sugar!) is not on the Specific Carb Diet.

But not to worry. Because my healthy version of FroYo will rival any commercial version you can buy at the food court.

Plus, you can feel really good about eating it.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here’s what you need: (Serves 2)

6 dates
8 whole frozen strawberries
1/4 cup cashews
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut butter
Optional: 12 drops of alcohol free stevia, or 1 tsp honey/agave

1/4 cup cashews, chopped (for garnish)

Tools:
Food Processor (This is the one I use and love)
Good Chef’s knife (Here’s a good one I use!)

This recipe couldn’t be simpler! Put your cashews into the food processor, and process until it resembles sand. Then, throw everything else into the food processor and process until thick, creamy and smooth! Freeze for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cashews.

Oh my gosh, where to begin with this amazingness!? First of all, the flavor was magnificent. It was sweet and fresh and just bursting with strawberry flavor. But it wasn’t just “strawberry” like you imagine an artificial strawberry ice cream…This was a complex strawberry. The coconut butter, combined with the dates gave the strawberries a deep sweetness that had some weight to it. Sounds strange, but just try it and you’ll know what I’m talking about!

And then the texture was marvelous! It was super creamy and rich. And the coldness was so refreshing and soothing on my poor throat. I also loved the crushed cashews on top too. They gave a slight crunch that went perfectly with the luxurious and thick ice cream.

This was such a treat. And I am so excited to share it with you guys. Hopefully you can enjoy some this weekend!

And what was I listening to in my earbuds, while I made this? I was listening to Andi Dorfman’s book, “It’s Not Okay” with my free trial membership of Audible. You can try it too, and get 2 Free Audiobooks!

For more recipes, you can get my e-cookbook here, or visit my food blog, GlutenFreeHappyTummy!

Quick sponsor shoutout…Did you see my FabFitFun unboxing video!? I am *loving* the spring box! It was valued at over $354.99! It’s a quarterly box of beauty, fashion, home and fitness products for only 39.99? YES. PLEASE. You can get $10 off when you use my code BLOOM10 at check out too

***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“*** CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY! ________________________________________________________________
STAY CONNECTED!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

A big thank you to my sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))

My favorite item someone purchased last week was a Three-Toed Sloth Stuffed Animal! So if that was you…THANK YOU!

For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! You make this blog possible

***NEW!! For outfit details, you can check out my LIKE.TO.KNOW.IT page or follow me in the Liketoknow.it App!

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