We'll admit we don't get why and where popular media chooses to focus its - and our - attention, sometimes.
Sometimes we're outraged by the abscence of outrage in our society. Let's all talk about Lady Gaga's weight, Amy Poehler's divorce, or Amanda Bynes' troubles , but not these #s, and the massive, epidemic crisis of confidence affecting girls. The status quo just isn't acceptable anymore.
7 out of 10 girls 8-17 believe they aren't good enough or don't measure up in some way (We're wondering good enough for what and measure up to what or whom?)
62% of all girls feel insecure about themselves (this is a massive crisis of confidence that does and will have serious ripple effects)
57% have a mother who criticizes her own looks (hey mom, think what you will - but stop hating on yourself in front of the kids)
What do you think? Surprised by any? What can we do to put the focus where it needs to be (and not on Ryan's abs), and why aren't we talking about this more?.
( data from Real Girls Real Pressure, a National Report on the State ...
(OOC via psychologytoday.com)This getting older thing can be funny. Seems few of us want to do it, and our milestone birthdays often seem like millstones around the necks of our happy (or maybe it's just our longevity). It's stranger still when you consider, as this reasearch did , that it's those over 60 who are the happiest amongst us. Or at least they're the happiest amongst the Brits, where the research was conducted. From the psychologytoday article: "Research on the happiness of different age groups in the UK has found - surprisingly, it might seem at first - that it's actually the over 60s. This research showed that happiness levels are quite high in the 20s, then dip through the 30s and reach their lowest point in the mid-forties. But after 50, they start to rise, and continue rising through the 60s, when they become even higher than young people's. Similarly, a recent world wide survey found that, so long as they are in fairly good health, 70 year ...
(by OOC via bigthink.com)
Can happiness possibly have a downside? In a word, so it seems (get it, that's not 1 word).
According to this article, having too much of a good thing, even happiness, can turn out badly...When it comes to income levels, life expectancy, education and being attentive to risks, too much happiness can drag you down. "Psychologists have documented a set of cognitive deficits, dangerous in some contexts, that come with the warm wash of feeling that all is right with the world...contemporary psychology reminds us that happiness is the byproduct of certain ways of behavior. It is not an end that can be achieved by pursuing bliss directly. That, they say, is a recipe for unhappiness."
Forget what the cognitive psychologists think...what do you think? Have you ever had too much of a good thing? What was it? What about happiness - is it possible to be too happy?
(OOC via FastCompany)
Say what? Work:Life Balance is a myth?! Knock-us over with a feather.
That;s right, from the files of things we already know, "work-life balance is a myth."
According to the fastCompany story, this myth is "compels many of us to view an ideal life as a set of perfectly level scales. On the tray on one side is your personal life. On the other side is your work life. With heroic efforts, you can keep both trays exactly level. If one starts to tip too far, you make some kind of nifty move that balances them again. In reality, that perfect balance almost never occurs, except for those rare, fleeting moments when the trays pass each other on the way up or down--and we’re too frazzled to appreciate that brief moment of self-actualization anyway."
We don't mean to be all cyncial but um, yea. Live it, got it. The article does continue to say that what we really want is control, and thatwe tend to confuse a want for control with a want for balance, and that makes sense.
What would you rather have ...
(OOC via Time)
New research finds that the happiest year of our lives is 33. How's that for specificity?
A British study found 70% of respondents over the age of 40 saying they weren't "truly happy" until they got to the magical double 3s.
“The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naiveté and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth,” psychologist Donna Dawson said in the survey’s findings. “By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a ‘can do’ spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities.”
Interestingly, just 16% of the respondents pined for their grade school years, and only 6% said they were happiest when in college.
Digging a little deeper, happiness at 33 was a result of a nice mixture of doing well professionally and having a support system made up of family and friends. "Not surprisingly, 36% said they were happiest when they had children" which suggests to us that 64% didn't say that (we're good at ...
(OOC via Marketwatch.com)
According to this article, folks who get their lipos-suctioned and their tummy's tucked "report significant improvements in self-esteem and quality of life." How bout that?!
So a few things. One, we here @OOC are neither for nor against plastic surgery - we're totally for happiness and against feeling bad about yourself. Our attitude, do what makes you feel good (and don;t do what makes you feel bad). Two, it kind of makes sense that patients who chose elective surgery would, on balance, feel good about their choice (though we're not sure these same #s hold when it comes to breast augmentation). Three, this survey was done by a group with an interest in the outcome, which seems worth noting. All this aside...
Have you ever had elective surgery? Would you? If you have, did it make you feel better about you? (We hope so.) Plastic surgery, let's #discuss.
So Kim Kardashian get hit with a flour-bomb last night at the launch of her new perfume? Does Katy really have a new guy?
Doesn't it sometimes seem like popular culture is focusing on things that maybe just don't matter all that much (and, we like gossip as much as anyone) and on those things that affect one or two of us but not that many of us? Does it ever seem that maybe we should spend more time talking about things like this...
- 50% of children 8-10 years old report being "unhappy" with their bodies?
- More than 81% of 10-year-olds said they are terrified of "getting fat."
- 80% of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad?
We could go on - and on. We won't though. But we will invite you to keep joining us - and so many others fighting this fight day to day - to try and make a difference. We'll ask you to use your voice to ask "WTF" is going on and question how we begin to change it ...
(submitted by OOC)
According to this NYT article 39% of college women reported feeling overwhelmed versus only 18% of men. Yup, 2x as many women. Why?
It hasn't been all that long since some of us here at OOC were in college, and while there were certainly pressures in those years, we'd have had a hard time believing that nearly 40% our peers were feeling 'overwhelmed.' What gives? Is it really the economy hating on our happy? Or is it bigger than that? Let's #discuss.
(by OOC via DailyMail)
'Mo money may mean 'mo money, but does it mean more happiness? This isn't the first time we've broached the topic of money and happiness here @OOC, and it won't be the last, no doubt.
According to this research coming out of the U.K. (where they are on a happiness-making binge at 10 Downing Street), money - at least to a certain extent - can make you happier. Surprised?
From the article: "it provides a cushion against rising living costs and can pay for treats to lift the mood such as holidays, good food – and lipstick...58% of those earning more than £50,000 (call it $90,000 USD) are satisfied with life, compared to 43% of those with an income of less than roughly £15,000 (call it $25,000 USD). The details emerged in a study of happiness and income, which identified a huge divide between rich and poor."
Call us cynics, but the stresses on those - especially if they're a family - making $25,000 ...
(by OOC via technologyreview.com)
Just what makes us happy? According to this research of U.S. attitudes the answers are:
Statistically speaking, the healthy amongst us are 20% happier than those in ill health (us, we're surprised that the spread's not greater); marriage adds 10% to one's happiness quotient (us, we're suprised it's that high - not because we're in a bad marriage or mariage opposed, oh no, but because of the divorce rate ); and income adds 3.5% (frankly, despite knowing that money doesn't buy happiness, it does reduce a few stresses, so we're equally surprised this isin't a bit higher.)
Kids? Now that's where it gets interesting. Apparently and statistically, each child actually reduces happiness by 0.25%. What then accounts for the continuance of the species and the warm fuzzies we get every time we see our children? The research doesn't say. For a full read, go here.
How would you rank these 4 (health, marriage, income, and kids) in contributing to your happiness, what you'd expect would make you happy, or what doesn't make you happy now? We know a lot of brilliant, kind, ...
(by OOC via Men's Health)
Oh, great. As if our friends, family, colleagues and culture couldn't hate on our happy all by themselves - now we find that strangers can lower our self-esteem just by not looking at us. I mean, we're strangers...aren't we supposed to not look at each other (Can you tell I grew up in NYC?)
According to the original article, researchers found that "failing to draw eye contact can trigger feelings of social isolation and low self-esteem...curious to see how small social interactions, or lack thereof, could influence a person’s feelings of connectedness... the experimenters were instructed to walk past random students and make eye contact, smile, or purposely look through the student as if he didn’t exist. Immediately afterward, another experimenter asked the student how disconnected he felt on a scale of 1 to 5.
As it turns out, a cold eye may be more painful than a cold shoulder: The students that were made to feel invisible reported feeling 25 percent more disconnected from others."
Yowza, right? So do a stranger a favor and make eye-contact today. ...
(by OOC via FastCompany.com)
Some of you may recall that there was a time when life was less quantifiable. But today, we can count how many friends, fans, followers, comments, replies, likes, links, and how much Klout we all have. Talk about the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.
From the original FastCompany article we quote..."While it’s human nature to be social and want to help others, we also have a natural tendency to be competitive, envious, and jealous of others. It is our nature to evaluate our own lives in relative terms. I’m happier when things improve for me relative to how they used to be, but I’m also happier when things seem better for me than for my neighbor. And social media platforms now allow me to make much more direct comparisons."
Not surprisingly, their article was business focused, but the truth of the comparative and relative nature of so much of our lives holds personally as well. We've always compared ourselves to others - for good and ill. But now, well, there's just so much more to compare ourselves and others too, and we wonder ...
(submitted by OOC via Blisstree.com)
Here's a bit of gender equality that can't make anyone happy - even if misery does love company. Men are increasingly and rapidly becoming ever more dissatisfied with their own bodies and body image. The original article points to this most recent data out of the U.K. based on a survey of 400 men:80.7% of men use language that promotes anxiety about their body image (i.e. referring to physical flaws), compared with 75% of women. 38% of men would sacrifice at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body. 80.7% talked about their own or others’ appearance in ways that draw attention to weight, lack of hair or slim frame. 23% said concerns about their appearance had deterred them from going to the gym.
The author of the Blistree.com piece (read it here) offers the following thoughts: "the study is fairly narrow, so to be honest, I wouldn’t take most of those numbers at face value. But the study just confirms something we’ve known for awhile: That both men and women are increasingly unhappy with their bodies, in part because, well, everyone’s getting ...
(story by OOC via Huffington Post)
Frankly, we're not sure of internet standards re how much of an article you can/should reproduce. Begging the forgiveness of Arianna, Tim and the author (Colleen Perry), we're printing this one in its' entirety. Only 2 words to add: Effing Horrifying. Here it is:
As early exposure to themes of sex becomes the norm, children of younger ages are expressing discontent with their physical appearance. Results from a recent survey suggest that children rank body image among the highest of their concerns, above both self-confidence and social life. Recent research also suggests that nearly 50 percent of females between ages 11 and 16 would consider cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance.
These findings have striking implications about the factors comprising young children's self-image and esteem. Eating disorders are now presenting in children as young as 6 years old, with dieting becoming more common among those under the age of 10.
Such ardent focus on physical appearance also comes in response to overly-sexualized messages from the media. Stars considered favorites among youth (i.e. Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens) have received much press for exploiting their bodies on stage ...
(submitted by OOC via teenvogue.com)
Stress sucks and it seems to be on the rise. And according to a recent article in teenvogue and a new study: The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010...Super-stressed is just status-quo for today's teens...Among the more than 200,000 incoming college freshmen who participated in the study, emotion health is at its lowest point in over 20 years."
Teens, like many of us, are being driven to achieve and succeed (to say nothing of get into college) from before they stop pooping in their diapers. What do you thinnk happens when stressed out teens become adults...does all the stress disappear magically, or are we creating a nation of the highly stressed and emotionally unhealthy? Teen or not, what about you and stress? Is your emotional health at a high or low? Tell us what's stressing you (and/or your kids) out...you'll feel better if you get it off your chest.