Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Spotlight - Ellen Degeneres

So maybe spotlighting a celebrity is a little unconventional here on LCH. I tend to stick with lesser-known people to highlight but when Hope asked me if I'd like to elaborate on just why I thought Ellen DeGeneres was the Most Iconic Woman of the Decade, I couldn't say no! Many of you have agreed with me thus far that Ellen is a great role model for people, and a big inspiration to you. But what is it about her that just makes her so magnetizing? My answer: Because she's simple.

Give someone an arena filled with millions of people daily, throw in a corporate high-dollar budget, and sprinkle in some other big-name celebrities and sure, you can make a difference. You can give away cars and trips and scholarships. While Ellen does all of these things, she reaches more people using only her personality. She has an undeniably upbeat spirit that you can't help but catch. Her positivity is magical and contagious.

I think there comes a time when we all feel dwarfed by major motion pictures, reality tv shows, and even the humanitarian efforts of other people. The amazing thing about humans is how resilient we are. We bounce back. We know how to pick ourselves up, dust off, and get back on the horse. However it's sometimes easier with a friend. To me, Ellen always appears to be your friend. She's hilarious and can make you laugh. She's heartfelt and can make you cry. She's strong, unabashed, and determined. Thus making you feel empowered. She's the kind of woman who shows up and says "Here I am. Take it or leave it."

I wrote about Giving Away Happiness and practicing random (and not so random) acts of kindness last month. We all talked about how easy it is to just pay someone a compliment or smile when you walk by. I'm a firm believer in it being the "little things" that really make a difference. I guess that is why Ellen is such an inspiration. This blog has been a journey for me. Bouncing back from a failed 3 year relationship, battling an insane amount of personal pessimism, and just trying to find myself again. That's when I decided to make the change. I was going to think positively, act positively, and live positively. That's not to say that I haven't had my ups and downs and I don't battle with my "bad days" because I do. But when you make the conscious effort to live a more optimistic life, you give others the power to do the same. The most amazing part of writing this blog has been seeing, reading, and receiving emails and messages from girls who say that they want to love their bodies, their minds, and their lives... no matter what the situation may be. You never need to be ashamed of who you are, where you come from or what you look like. Ellen is a great example of someone who is proud of who she is, even though there are plenty of people who would love to see her fall.

She's also a great "girl's girl." I just wrote about International Women's Day and banishing "lady hate." She empowers women to be strong and brave. She fosters the creativity of kids through her record label and celebrity. She gives back those who are deserving and in need. To put it simply: She's just awesome.

Ellen Shapes What's To Come every single day, and you can, too! You don't need never-ending resources to make your mark and help change the way society views women (and how we view ourselves!).  Check out these great ways to do something in your community!

  • Grab a pack of Post-It Notes and leave encouraging messages on random mirrors, fitting rooms, and clothing tags! (i.e.: Operation Beautiful)
  • Snag a pack of the You Are Beautiful stickers and leave them all over town or on the back of receipts. (i.e.: what I did in Wilmington!)
  • Become a mentor or Big Sister for girls in your neighborhood. Help foster their positive attitude and self image from the very beginning! (i.e.: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America)
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or rescue mission! (i.e.: Nashville Rescue Mission)
  • or just go out on your own, volunteering your time and energy where it may be needed at that time. There are so many things that you can do as an individual or with your friends and family as a group. 

Keep the female empowerment strong! And always remember that passion, positivity, and happiness are contagious. Those are the things we need to focus on spreading!

I really loved reading about your Most Iconic Woman of the Decade submissions! They were truly heartfelt and original! We should continue to treat all of the amazing women in our life like the Most Iconic, because they truly are! Every single of them (and every single one of us, too!). Thanks for letting me blab about why I think Ellen is such a rockstar! xo

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