Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin announced as McCain's running mate

As many of you have probably heard by now, this morning John McCain announced that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin will be his vice-presidential running mate. A surprising and unexpected choice, Palin is now officially the first female vice-presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

Between Hilary Clinton and now Palin, it’s great to see strong, opinionated women finally becoming major players in politics this election season for both main parties. The two women have very different political views, and it’s interesting to consider how this will affect support for Palin since Hilary had such a strong female backing, especially among older women.

Given Palin and Clinton’s different political views, do you think that Palin will be able to gain any of the female support that Clinton had based purely on her gender despite their different political views? What do you know about Sarah Palin? How do you feel about McCain's choice?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interview with Harmony Susalla of Harmony Art Organic Design

Interview with Harmony Susalla of Harmony Art Organic Design
by our former intern, Elizabeth!

Have you ever stopped to think that it’s someone’s job to design the fabric in everything from clothes to comforters to couches? For Harmony Susalla, founder of Harmony Art Organic Design , it only truly sank in as she browsed her closet’s contents after her first class at the California School of Professional Fabric Design []. “It felt like coming home,” she says. Eleven years later, Harmony now runs her own organic fabric design business. Sustainable textiles production is a fast-growing field, and Harmony is at the forefront with her gorgeous graphics. Last November, she was kind enough to answer some our questions about what life is like in the organic fabric design world. Read below for our interview with her.

New Moon: I loved reading the history of your company on your website. What was it like to first discover your passion for fabric design?

Harmony Susalla: It felt like coming home. I had just been going through life doing what came to me, and when I discovered textile design, it was just like, “Oh yeah, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” There was that knowledge and confidence that I had found what I was meant to do. What’s amazing about it is how everything has unfolded along the way, reinforcing that. I have in my [online] history that I graduated on a Wednesday, and on a Thursday I got a call. And without them knowing that I had [just graduated]. It’s been like that. It’s been like magic.

Where do your greatest inspirations for designs come from?

Nature. Almost exclusively. [In other design jobs] we’d end up being told to go trend shopping and see what’s out there on the market, and I always found that not my favorite part of the job. I don’t really like to shop. I’m kind of the anti-shopper. And I always felt like I should be enjoying it—I mean, how many women would love to be paid to go shopping? I always [disliked] those days. But now I go hiking instead, and I love it absolutely. Like I just did a design last night, or I’m working on one right now, that’s based on a houseplant I have. I definitely find an unlimited source of inspiration [in nature]. It’s so grounding to be outside and realize there’s more to life than the computer screen and the telephone. Look there’s the ocean and the tree that’s been around for, you know 800 years.

Where do you see the sustainable fabric movement going?

It’s exploding, it really is. There are a lot of times when I laugh, because I am in the right place at the right time. Six years ago would have been too early. Six years from now would be getting in late. I’m really at the forefront, and obviously it’s not just me. There are a lot of pioneers who have been at it the last twenty years and sticking with it, and it’s finally beginning to catch on. And there’s some fear, people get concerned that it’s going to get watered down or that it will be somehow corrupted by the masses, but I personally think it’s going to take the masses to change it. I’m less hesitant. I think it’s a good thing that the Wal-Marts and the Williams-Sonomas and the Gaps and the Levis and all of them are hopping on board…

Do you have any advice for girls?

I want to say something about enjoying life and that all the silly stuff that gets in the way is going to disappear. I remember that part of the teen years, too, you know, friends, drama, and it all seemed so important at the time, and in the long run it was so unimportant. So I guess sticking with the people that you have fun with and that fun is based on a place of genuineness. You know, it’s easy to get into judgment and that’s not fun, so I would avoid that like the plague. Just stick to fun and things that bring you joy. Genuine joy.

Part of the exciting thing in life is watching the different puzzle pieces, and you wonder, “Why did I do that?” and “How did I end up doing that?” and suddenly you get a vision of each individual puzzle piece together, and that’s really exciting. So your moment will come.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fall Intern: Kristen!

Hey everyone! I'm Kristen, the new web intern here at New Moon. Since I'll be working with the blog and writing entries this fall, I thought I'd introduce myself! I'm a junior at Cornell University majoring in Communication, with dreams of working at a magazine after I graduate (editorial? online? I don't know what area yet!). I actually spent this past summer interning at a magazine in Manhattan, which was such an amazing experience. I was an editorial intern, meaning I got to do a little bit of everything, from picking up garments from showrooms for fashion shoots to researching ideas for stories. I loved every minute!

Manhattan is a great city--especially for three of my main interests-dance, fashion, and art. I had a great time taking dance classes from some of the best dancers out there, indulging in great window shopping (I was an intern after all) and fashion-spotting on the street, and attending gallery openings and visiting art museums.

Some of my interests include environmental conservation and sustainability (I started out as a Natural Resources major!), and also women's place in the business world. We need more female CEOs!

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail anytime and let me know if you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see on here-you can reach me at Having already navigated my way through middle school and high school into college, I've acquired a bit of knowledge that hopefully I can occasionally lend out here!

Going on 13 documentary

Hey, girls. Recently, I had the privilege of creating a study guide to accompany the new documentary, Going on 13, which follows four girls from ages 9 - 13. I loved this film because it showed REAL GIRLS. I could watch the film again and again (and I did!) because the girls in it became very dear to me. They reminded me of girls I know: of my younger sister, my cousins, and the many amazing girls I've had the opportunity to work with through New Moon. It was so refreshing to see girls who spoke for themselves onscreen; it made me realize anew just how incredibly limited a portrayal the media usually gives girls.

The directors of Going on 13 would love to see you at one of their upcoming screenings. I'd also love to post your thoughts about the movie on this blog if you do get to see it! (There is some profanity in the film and some mature subject matter, so make sure to talk to your parents about whether it's OK for you to see it.)

The next screenings are:
1) LA Latino Film Festival Sept 13
2) SF Documentary Film Festival some time in Oct 17-30
3) South Asian Film Festival (NYC) Nov?
4) Leeds (UK) Youth Film Festival April 2009

And here's the trailer:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Guest Blogger Lacey poses a Women in Politics Friday Story Idea

Today, we have Lacey guest blogging for us. Lacey, busy managing the orb28 blog and, took the time today to write a beautiful post about the passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubb Jones. Lacey says:

I learned this morning that Congresswoman Stephanie Tubb Jones passed away Wednesday evening. Although I never personally met Stephanie, I can't help but be inspired by her ten years of political service in Washington and the way she rose from a career in social work and law to her seat in the House of Representatives. And because only 16% of our Congress is comprised of women, I have the utmost respect for each of them that represents us. I'm sorry that there's one less woman in Washington today.

If you have personal memories about Stephanie, Senator Hillary Clinton is collecting them at her website. I wrote about what a pleasure it was to work with Stephanie when she gave us an interview for our Letter to Congress website. Her passing makes the interview even more precious.

In honor of Stephanie Tubb Jones, I'd like to pose women in politics as a Friday story idea. Are there any women in politics that you particularly admire? How do you feel about the comparatively low participation of women in politics? What political issues get you fired up? Is it important to you that women be involved in politics? Why or why not?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Send us your comments and blog entries!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pretty Face Vs Pretty Voice at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Hey New Moon Girls!

How many of you have been watching the Olympics!? Well if you watched the Opening Ceremony you may have noticed a cute Chinese girl in a red dress singing "Ode to the Motherland."

However, did you know that the girl, Lin Miaoke (pictured on right), was actually lipsynching?

As it turns out another young girl, Yang Peyi (pictured on left), was chosen for her voice and it was the voice used for the song. However, they picked Lin Miaoke to "sing" in the ceremony because she was the prettier of the two.

The musical director of the show, Chen Qigang, said that "After several tests, we decided to put Lin Miaoke on the live picture, while using Yang Peiyi's voice." "The reason for this is that we must put our country's interest first," he added.

He also said ,"the girl appearing on the picture must be flawless in terms of her facial expression and the great feeling she can give to people."

I don't know about you girls, but I find it very upsetting that China would do something like this. The girl with the best voice should have been the one to sing in the ceremony. I don't think it's fair for Yang Peiyi to have a supposedly "prettier" girl use her voice.
In the Olympics if you're the lead gymnast, volleyball player, or runner you're still going to be shown and be recognized for your talent no matter what you look like. Shouldn't the same rules apply to these Chinese girls? What are your thoughts on this? Should China have let Yang Peiyi sing instead?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sony's New Video Game-"Fat Princess!?"

Hey New Moon Girls!
Do any of you like video games? I know I do once in a while, but I find this new one created by Sony too be very offensive.
The game sounds intriguing enough- you and your teammates battle another team in what’s meant to be a comic medieval battle. The goal is to rescue a princess from a dungeon and bring her back safely. Each of the two teams has a princess on either side that needs rescuing. However your enemy, has been stuffing her with pastries, so she gains weight and it’s harder for your army to carry her back across the battlefield. You can do this to your enemy’s princess as well. The princess can grow to be at least twice her usual size (pictured above), and this is why the game is called “Fat Princess.”

Being overweight is unhealthy and can lead to a number of health problems. I feel like Sony is making a joke out of overeating and obesity by creating a game where the object on one side of the team is to force a girl to gain weight and be “too fat” so your opponent will lose. It’s supposed to be “comical” how enlarged the princess can become, yet I don’t think overeating or weight problems is a laughing matter.
Many feminists are upset over the game claiming it “furthers inappropriate gender stereotypes” and continues a culture of ridicule that many obese people have to endure.

James Green, the lead art director for “Fat Princess” asks “Does it make it better or worse that the concept artist (who designed the look, characters, everything) is a girl?”

I feel like it shouldn’t matter whether or not the game was created by a man or a woman, it is still an offensive game either way. Just because a woman created it doesn’t undermine the feminist critiques of it.
What do you girls think about this game? Do you find it offensive? Would you still play it?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Celebrities Defend Their Body Types!

Hey Girl Bloggers!
Did you know that so many photos you see of celebrities and models have been digitally altered by their photographers? Men are shown with larger than life muscles, and women’s breasts are enhanced by a cup or more and thighs and stomachs are trimmed down. Most of the time models and celebrities accept this as the norm and even expect it.

That’s why I found this story very inspirational.

Actress Keira Knightley star of “Atonement” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” has refused to have her breasts digitally enhanced in publicity photos for her new film “Duchess.” She claims she doesn’t need the added cleavage to feel sexy.

In previous movies like 2004’s “King Arthur,” Knightley’s A-cup breasts were enhanced into C-cup breasts, and Knightley admitted the photos had been altered. She still went along with the campaign, but this time four years later she is stepping up! Courtney Martin author of “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters” thinks, “that's incredibly brave and could have a huge impact on young women."

Martin also claims that "Keira Knightly is essentially giving young women permission to stand up in their communities and their schools and their families and say, 'Look, this is the way I look and it is OK."

Actress Kate Winslet has also spoken out about photo alteration after she appeared on GQ looking much thinner than usual. She openly criticized the picture claiming the size of her thighs were cut down by a third.

Go Kate and Keira for stepping up and defending your bodies!