For years my social media feed was a stream of nothing more than pic after pic of me screaming, "I'm pretty look at me and click like." It occurred to me today when I was looking at my female cousins' feeds that this is the same for almost all of them. I asked myself, "Why are we so consumed with having random people in the cyber sphere validate our beauty?"

All of my life I've taken great pleasure in being "a pretty girl." I light up every time someone says to me, "You look good." And, I dedicate a great deal of my time every day to making sure I look good. I have a beauty regimen that takes no less than an hour at night and an hour in the morning. The morning regimen can take as much as two hours depending on what I decided to do with my hair. I work out religiously (dedicating about 2 hours per work out, 5 days a week) and feel like crap when I fall off the wagon. I monitor every drop of food that goes into my body and truth be told it really is more about how I look than my health.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think our bodies are important and maintaining it is vital to being our best selves. However, why we do what we do is equally important. So the question I find myself asking is, "Are we women striving to be pretty because we think we are obligated to be?"

I stumbled upon this short film by accident while I was looking for another online. However, I must say that it struck a cord with me that I think many people who find that they don't quite fit into any box can easily identify with. It starts out by showing a young girl, dressed rather tom-boyishly, practicing her skateboard tricks in the garage. She looks sad, lost, unsure of herself but she also looks like she's searching for something. She has her mom drop her off in a random skateboard park, full of boys who feel the need to make he painfully aware that her presence is not wanted. As she lies on the ground dazed and bruised (physically and emotionally), a group of skater girls come to her aid. They pick her up and come to her defense before skating off to do their own thing. She seems confused to see other girls on skateboards but curious as to who these girls are, she eagerly follows behind them and ends up in another skate park. However, this park there are only girls.

Over the last 13 years, DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenplay Competition has grown from an idea to one of the largest short film festivals on the East Coast with its programming stretching from Washington to the UK and recognition all around the world as a top-tiered festival. Named the “Coolest Short Film Festival” by MovieMaker Magazine, “Best Film Fest” by Washington City Paper five times, DC Shorts has made DC proud for over a decade.

Particular anticipation surrounds this year’s 13th annual festival due to a new programming team that promises exciting, new programming with the same heart and soul as years past. For the first time since the festival’s founding, Jon Gann (DC Shorts Film Festival Founder and former Program Director) has passed the programming baton on to new leadership. Joe Bilancio (Rehoboth Beach Independent, The Los Angeles International Gay and Lesbian, OUTFEST Film Festivals) and Derek Horne (Sundance, Newport, Newport Beach, Sarasota, Santa Fe, and Hot Springs Film Festivals) have stepped up with gusto, thrilled to bring their eclectic film industry backgrounds to Washington audiences.

Recently, I presented on this topic at the inaugural Ladies, Luggage and Lipstick conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a phenomenal experience! I was shocked by the number of attendees who had an interest in my specific topic.  Normally, I'm presenting on topics like strategic planning, personal branding, monitoring and evaluation, or some other rather heavy topic.  However, this conference was geared at preparing women of color who might be thinking about traveling abroad to take the plunge. I've been stuck one too many times having to carry my luggage all by myself great distances and up and down flights of stairs. There have been times when I've had to turn down last minute treks because I had too many things to carry. There have also been times when I didn't have the right items in my luggage. Either, I had too much of the wrong things or not enough of the right things.  Over the years, I have visited and worked in 15 countries and I learned the hard way how important it is to make sure you travel right and you travel light. Although this wasn't the most serious of topics, I knew it was one that was vitally important. Although, I was a bit worried that the attendees wouldn't think so. But, boy was I wrong! It really warmed my heart to know that so many women understood the value of the lesson of my session and I'm pleased to say that it was standing room only! 

Here are some tips I've learned along the way for traveling light, while still having all the things I need to look and feel my best.


You can have fun and earn great money on your own schedule. Being a Brand Ambassador is a great way to introduce products and services you love to others and enjoy an income of $100 per hour and up. Teamwork makes the dream work! 

Just need a ride, use my FREE $50 #lyftpromocode (DGSPEAKS).

I'm so tired of people saying things like "the world is coming to an end" and "these are the last days", saying how "they want to go back to nature" and oh how they want to "reclaim the gods of their ancestors." All these things people chant in ignorance of the world around them and the history of humanity.

We live in a world where people live longer than ever, stronger than ever, where war is actually less prevalent globally then ever. People have been predicting Armageddon since the beginning of recorded history and time after time they've been wrong.





Light radiates from you,
filling me with joy.
You are power,
strong and bold,
consuming my thoughts.
Take me into you,
into your heart.
For you desire overwhelms.
Longing to taste your wine,
to touch your softness,
to bring passion to quake


You can also find the slides from this presentation at http://ow.ly/XJe7G.

Are you new to the world of Social Media?

Do you find yourself lost in the land mine of choices?

Is it hard to decide:

What to post?
When to post it?
And Where to post it?
If you answered yes,

You will learn:

What the difference is between the social media channels.
Which audience uses which channel the most.
How to best decide which to use depending on what you are posting.
What are the best days and best times to post.
And, much, much more!
There is absolutely no force more powerful than the market to drive goods, services, and information. If we didn't have a strong market-based system, there would be little to no incentive for people to continuously come up with innovative solutions to solve our human needs. When I work at promotional events, I am always amazed at the creative concepts that people come up with to showcase what's new. Brands are always scrambling to be on top and to make sure that they can ride the tides of taste change without being swept under by up and coming rivals. The solutions might seem simple to the average consumer but there is a pain-staking process that goes into deciphering the right balance to grab the consumers attention, leave a positive lasting impression, and to build a relationship driven by loyalty, based on trust.  
Being a part of the process is both exciting and informative. You get to see first hand what people like and why. You get to learn about the current trends and see the direction of various industries from the ground up. It gives you a direct window into the mind of the consumer. You are the one who they first interact with when discovering something new on the market and it is you who are the most influential in determining whether the company you are representing will have a new customer or not. Sure, they have to make a great product but great products go unnoticed all the time. It's all about the marketing! Can you make the product you are representing stand out? Can you grab the consumers attention? Even in the face of many others just like you also vying for their attention? Promotion takes a specific type of personality. Can you be personable, even after standing in one spot for five hours and saying the same thing over and over again? Can you maintain your stamina even when being psychically uncomfortable for long hours? After all the show must go on! Are you a fast learner and can you articulate product knowledge as an expert on the fly? These are the types of questions you have to ask yourself. If your answers are yes, then a host of opportunities await you in the world of marketing. It's true that keeping fit and maintaining a well-groomed image is important but your personality is number one.

I love marketing for all the reasons I stated above but also because it keeps me on my toes. It keeps me energized and excited to see what new and interesting things the next day will present. What will I be doing? Where will I be working? Who will I meet? What great product or service will I discover? It's a challenging career and one that can be very rewarding. If you like adventure, meeting people, and learning new things, this is definitely something you should look into.