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Drinking in the New Year over at Ilina’s

January 1, 2010 | 2010,BlogHer,Holidays,Norway

I got to meet Ilina in Chicago last summer. She’s always cooking up something tasty and tempting, and she celebrates 5:00 every Friday with a cocktail. And guess what? She let me kick off the new year with a guest post. Thanks, Ilina! Raising my glass and wishing you a happy New Year!

Posted by Becky @ 5:15 pm | Comments  

She’s right here behind the glass, and you’re gonna like her ’cause she’s got class

November 2, 2009 | Advertising,BlogHer,Ethics,Parenting

“Your Dove purchase helps build self-esteem,” says the Dove ad on BlogHer‘s site.

No, it doesn’t.

“My Dove purchase” helps build Dove’s profits. Period. Dove (or its parent company, multinational corporation Unilever) doesn’t care about little girls. It’s a corporation. It’s incapable of having feelings. Its sole purpose is to earn a profit.

Have you seen Unilever’s Bom Chicka Wah Wahs and V.I.X.E.N.S. (Very Interactive Xtremely Entertaining Naughty Supermodels)?

No matter what else I see from Unilever, I can’t get the Axe women out of my head. Unilever portrays women like that on one hand and professes to care about girls’ self-esteem on the other. It’s hypocritical and impossible to take seriously.

“Cause” marketing works profitable wonders for corporations. For example, Campbell’s Soup turns its cans pink “for breast cancer awareness” in October, doubling its sales. While it earns millions from its pink cans, it sends a mere $250,000 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Unilever earns millions through its Dove self-esteem “cause” marketing campaign. It sends $500,000 to an IRS-qualified non-profit organization, and it gets to claim that amount and all associated costs as deductible advertising expenses.

Instead of entering a UPC code to get Dove to send $1 to Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs or Girls Inc., if 500,000 people (Dove’s donation limit is $500,000, total) each sent a $5 check directly to each of the organizations, that would add up to $2.5 million for each, a total of $7.5 million — way more than Unilever/Dove would ever claim as a tax writeoff “donate.”

As much as I try to see good in a “positive message” that tells girls they’re beautiful, I can’t help but consider the source. I can’t erase the Axe women from my brain.

That freshly scrubbed, apple-cheeked beautiful redhead in the “viral” video about the beauty industry?

This one.

In five or 10 years, Unilever wouldn’t even blink. It would offer her money to don spiked heels and lingerie to gyrate her excessively thin body on screen … to sell deodorant.

Tell me I’m wrong.

Related posts
Dove’s “real beauty”
Unilever’s “research”

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 5 Comments  

Valerie Jarrett reaches out to (a few) BlogHers

August 27, 2009 | Barack Obama,BlogHer,Politics,Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett, a White House senior adviser, wanted to “reach out to bloggers” during the BlogHer conference in Chicago in July. So she met with 17 of them.

She held a private meeting with an exclusive group of bloggers at a conference with about 1,500 attendees. Why not the whole group? It’s not as if she didn’t have large groups on her schedule.

She was the keynote speaker at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, which had about 2,000 attendees in August. She even brought along two other Obama administration officials.

She was also the keynote speaker at the Netroots Nation Convention, where she took questions from some of the 2,000 attendees.

Why the exclusion at BlogHer? Is it because BlogHer isn’t supposed to be political? (Even though founder Lisa Stone asked Jarrett, “What should we do?” in terms of advocacy.) Or does the administration not take BlogHer attendees seriously? Or something else?

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 3 Comments  

Thanks for the memory of things I can’t forget

July 31, 2009 | BlogHer

I'm Going to BlogHer '09

I went to my first BlogHer conference in Chicago.

I need this sign at home. It was on the back of a Time Out Chicago van.

Thanks to Anne-Marie Nichols (@amnichols) of The Write Spot, I caught a ride with a GM carpool groupthat included Anne-Marie, Amy Peck (@fruitlady) of Inherent Passionand Jenna Goodwin (@MommyJenna) of For the Love of Baby! That Crazy Tattooed Mommy. Anne-Marie and Amy started in Denver and picked up Jenna and me in Iowa.

General Motors provided nine Chevys for carpools to and from BlogHer09. Our group had a 2010 Traverse, which was equipped with OnStar.

Our Chevy Traverse.

Anne-Marie drives and Jenna helps navigate.

For those bathroom emergencies.

Jenna and Anne-Marie at the Great Sauk Trail rest area.

Thanks to Erin Groh (@ErinRoseGroh) of BlogHerfor organizing everything with carpoolers and companies. Thanks to Lesley Hettinger(@lesleyhettinger) and Connie Burke (@connieburke) of GM Communications, Kameya Shows (@kamkam) of OnStar Communications, Robyn Henderson (@robnh) of Design Communications for setting everything up and for treating us to food and drink (I had margaritas, thank you very much) once we got to Chicago. Here are some pictures from that party. You know, before I lost my camera.

Amy Peck (@fruitlady) of Inherent Passion, Shannanb (@Shannanb) of Mommy Bits, Lucrecer Braxton (@lucrecerb) of Art Slamand Kameya Shows (@kamkam) of OnStar Communications.

Deb (@DebMomOf3) of Mom of 3 Girls, Lisa (@blm03) of My Thoughts, Ideas and Ramblings, Shannanb (@Shannanb) of Mommy Bits, Elizabeth (@Table4Five) of Table for Fiveand Amy Peck (@fruitlady) of Inherent Passion. I can’t remember what Amy and I were talking about, but it must have been a hoot.

Thank you so much to my roommates, Devra Renner (@ParentopiaDevra) and Aviva Pflock (@ParentopiaAviva) of Parentopia. I met Aviva for the first time in Chicago, but it feels as if I’ve known her forever.

For those of you who liked my round business card, Deborah at Candice n Katie’s Art made them for me.

Posted by Becky @ 5:16 pm | 6 Comments  

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

July 30, 2009 | BlogHer


We are the leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden.

~ Jean Baptiste Henri Lacordaire

Remember how I said the first lily that bloomed in my back yard was on my camera? Here it is. For Kelly. Thank you!

Posted by Becky @ 5:47 pm | 3 Comments  

I love to take a photograph, so, mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

July 27, 2009 | BlogHer

I went to BlogHer09 in Chicago and lost my camera.

OK. So much more than that happened, but I’ll write about all that later. For now, here’s why I’m lost without my camera. Without it, the only camera I have is on my cell phone. Pictures from my cell phone? Suck.


Here’s Carson Kressley showing everyone in the Expo Hall “how to look good naked.”

Here’s Michele Lepe, Nina of Nina and Star on Sprout’s The Good Night Show. She autographed a photo for the kids, and they hung it on their bedroom door. They think I met a superstar. I think so too. She was very nice.

Here’s Elizabeth of Table for Five. We were at the Shutter Suite and I think PunditMom snapped our picture with my phone. Or was it someone else? Elizabeth, do you remember?

I’m sad. Those are the only images I have from BlogHer09. I also don’t have the images that were on my camera: the first lily that bloomed in our back yard, my carpool buddies, the Chicago skyline and pictures I took of some of the first people I met at BlogHer … until I put it down at either the People’s Party or the Room 704 Party on Thursday night. I had so many straps on my arms (purse, tote, camera bag, swag bags) that I didn’t notice the camera strap wasn’t one of them. So … maybe my camera ended up in someone else’s bag. Do me a favor? Could you check when you’re unpacking at home? It’s a Konica Minolta DiMage and looks something like this.

UPDATE: The most awesome Mocha Momma has my camera!

Someone found it and recognized Kelly from the night I was asking around about my camera. (They had been sitting on the same sofa.) She didn’t know how to find me, but she ran into Kelly, who said she would return the camera to me. Thank you, Kelly! I’d love to figure out who “this woman” is so I can thank her as well.

Posted by Becky @ 10:43 am | 17 Comments  

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