login  |  create an account

All Amplify Blog Posts

      
Share This Article
images

Do you have those friendships that you can pinpoint the exact moment you began to drift apart?  I can pinpoint the exact moment two friends of mine shifted from the most influential people in my life to acquaintances I only speak to once a year.  My friends and I met in our advanced placement classes in middle school.  We went to church together every Sunday, and bible study every Wednesday.  Every weekend we were having a sleepover at one another’s homes. We were inseparable. Then I moved to a new city, which placed a slight strain on our friendship, but we were still speaking every day.  I was in high school and had just moved from one school to another.  I had yet to find my place in the school.  I had a few potential new friends, but no friendships as meaningful as my friends at my old school.

I had never done anything sexual in my life at that time, and I was not looking for anyone to date and definitely nothing more than that. But one day I performed oral sex on another person.  I did not find it to be a serious matter. In fact, I was excited that I had experienced a first, and like any teenager that experiences a first I wanted to share with my friends.  My friends did not see it as a good thing, though.  They were angry at me for “throwing away my future.”  As they told me that, I just wanted to take back my words.  I wanted to run to my room, hide under my comforter, and just read a good book pretending that I had done nothing wrong.  Then the anger came.  I wanted to point out to them how hypocritical I found it that they spent a large portion of their time reading stories about people having casual sex.  However, in that moment all I could do was turn off my computer and feel ashamed for doing something so simple.  I realized in that moment that I was alone in handling this, and I just had to let the feelings of shame and regret that were not there an hour previously pour over me.

I reflected on how my friend could put me in such a terrible situation, and then it hit me.  We had spent years judging girls we went to school with for just kissing too many guys. I was a part of the problem when it came to slut-shaming.  Even now, I catch myself making snide comments about my peers. A passage on Urban Dictionary defines slut-shaming as “an unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity.”  Slut-shaming occurs everywhere.  Women and young girls experience the brunt of slut-shaming because there is a double-standard placed on a women’s sexuality compared to men.  Women are expected to be pure and innocent, but still remain sexy.  Shaming women for their sexuality can be damaging because it can create emotional distress and depression, which may lead to making poor sexual health choices, and may even lead to suicide if the shaming is relentless.

Growing up in the south, we are surrounded by a culture where everyone has something to say about someone else.  While this is not a phenomenon isolated to the south, it is more part of our culture.  While I know that it is going to be a long time before anything changes, I have to hold myself accountable for what I say.  I cannot be part of the problem if I want things to change, and I hope you all will join me in not shaming a women’s sexuality.

Categories: Body Image
Share This Article

We would not dare judge someone for going to the gym to work out to maintain a healthy body. We would not dare judge someone for taking vitamins every day. We would not dare judge someone for ordering a salad. But the same does not go for those that seek condoms and birth control. Why do we commend those who exercise, eat right, and take care of their bodies but shame those who use birth control and condoms? They are all the same thing because the use of condoms and birth control betters our health.

I get it. Condoms and birth control are not considered normal by many people, especially in the conservative South where I come from. Despite this stigma, 96 percent of sexually experienced females have used condoms at least once and 56 percent have used the birth control pill. We see that the use of various contraceptive methods are not uncommon among young women, and they only benefit from having access to such protection. However, I have friends who are denied birth control pills from their parents because they believe their children are supposedly too young to have sex. I know boys who cannot go into our local Walgreens to buy condoms because they are made to feel ashamed by store workers and adults in the store. By attaching stigma to young people seeking contraceptives, we are doing a disservice to the health of our youth.

We need to wake up and realize that sex is something that is natural and going to happen for the vast majority of people at some point in their life. Many teens are going to do it, if they aren’t already sexually active. It is inevitable. As people begin to cope with teenagers having sex, we also need to understand that if we do not want unplanned teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, then contraceptives need to be seen as normal and acceptable. If we want people to make healthy decisions, then going to buy condoms and using birth control should be viewed as a smart decision and something that is commendable. If people do not start seeing the use of contraceptives as normal, then we will never get rid of unintended pregnancies and STDs running throughout our communities. The use of birth control and condoms needs to be seen as normal as going to the gym, eating a salad, or taking daily vitamins. After all, once someone has chosen to be sexually active, the use of contraceptives is, indeed, a healthy choice.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

There is a dress code at most jobs and at school. For boys/men, the dress code is dress shoes/closed toed shoes, belt, polo shirt etc. For girls/women, skirts over knee length, no spaghetti straps and no showing skin of any kind….um???

I suppose there is a time and place for everything, but I feel as if schools/work take it a bit too far.

Since when should a woman/girl, be told to wear something “appropriate” so men/boys don’t get “distracted”. And why is it okay to say “They’re men”, “They’re boys” whenever they harass women/girls for what they’re wearing? Being one gender does not mean it is okay or make any exceptions to opress the opposite gender.

Women and girls should be able to wear what they want without it being a “distraction”. Younger girls will then grow up feeling obligated to dress according to society’s views upon them. We should teach people and the younger generation to be open-minded about this situation.

Society has always played a big role in gender stereotype. Especially way back then in history, Men were ALWAYS supposed to be “superior” to women no matter what skin color. Women had to be “Classy”, long dresses, no showing of any skin, stay home and do what a “Woman should do” and let the Men take care of bills and work.

It started way back then, and although we as woman have came a long way, we are still facing many of the same troubles today and this is definitely one of them!

There are many women/girls out there who are too afraid to speak up but it only takes one to make a difference.

Share This Article

National Black HIV/AIDS awareness day is necessary in addressing HIV/AIDS in the black community because the conversation about HIV/AIDS is more often than not led by white folk telling us how “the epidemic in the U.S is most common in the African American communities” without going further into context on why that is or giving viable solutions for our particular situations. We need more black folk talking to other black folk about destigmatization and treatments. And in talking about destigmatization, we need to discuss the reasons why our community has “the highest rate” (structural classism, lack of resources, etc.) instead of simply blaming us for having HIV/AIDS. This day is important because we need black people to lift up other black people and raise awareness about those in our community living with AIDS/HIV, so that we can strategize on how to live as healthily as possible, together.

Categories: HIV, Youth of Color
Share This Article

When I was five I realized that it’s impossible for a stork to fly down and leave a baby at my parent’s doorstep, or babies come out of mother’s bellybuttons. I was a curious child, always asking a million questions about everything. So when the topic came of where my little sister “came from” my mother told me these common unrealistic stories. She has told me she only did this for two main reasons, the fact I was so young, and also my “maturity level” at the time. She believed telling me how babies were made and the idea of sex, Id look at my vagina and be terrified. I probably would be terrified at the time, but I soon later found out on my own and eventually had the talk with my parents. But what happens to the kids who don’t have the sex talk with their parents and have no sex education in school?

Teens will have sex eventually in life, whether they wait till marriage or not. The consequence of not discussing such an integral part of life often has the opposite of the intended effect. According to the poll Let’s talk: Are Parents Tackling Crucial conversations about Sex? 57% of parents are uncomfortable having discussions about sex and the topics surrounding it with their kids. 94% of parents feel they have the power to influence their teen’s sexual choices, so why are so many parents reluctant to have these important conversations?

Most schools have some kind of sex education whether it is an absence only program, or comprehensive sex education, parents still should not rely on the school system to teach sex education. Many parents leave it to the school system because they’re just uncomfortable talking about sex. Some parents and their parents may have not have had the sex talk. Mostly because society in previous generations has not been as open with the sex talk compared to now. The main problem is how can teens be expected to talk with their parents about sex, or even to trust their parents with sensitive information, if parents make it clear that they are not comfortable discussing sex? Discussing sex is a part of starting an open communication with your child from a young age, and having a parent to talk with about sex and birth control in your teen years can eliminates many dangers, such as false or harmful information gleaned from peers, neglect of protective measures, and attempting to solve serious problems alone such as an unwanted pregnancy or an STD.

Parents’ providing their child with what THEY want them to know about sex is very important, rather than depending on someone else who could be giving them misleading and inaccurate information. Talking openly and honestly, answers your child’s questions, and seizes opportunities to help them make smart decisions about their relationships and behavior can help your child out dramatically. You have some parents who encourage their children to wait until marriage; others tell their children that they can make their own decisions as long as they are safe, and the some who never talk to their kids at all. Yet at the end of the day parents all want the same things for their children when it comes to sex; for them to be safe, happy, and protected.

Share This Article

Advice on setting boundaries in your relationships if you just want to be friends:

 

 

Having friends of a different gender than you is one of the best experiences that life has to offer and I highly recommend the practice. Unfortunately, as is true for many occurrences, the relationship can become complicated if it is not properly cared for and boundaries and expectations for the friendship are not established. So, here are a few tried and true steps to ensure a wonderfully platonic relationship between your friends of different genders.

 

  1. You have to be honest with them and demand the same respect and courtesy. If you are attracted to them from the get go or build an attraction and would like to date them, have sex with them, or hold their hand with a more than friendly purpose, then you cannot approach the relationship with dishonest intent.
  2. Don’t pretend to be their friend then be surprised when they return the sentiment. The idea of the “friend-zone” is misleading and insulting. There is value in the relationship between friends that significant others cannot experience. Platonic friends are confidants and close to each other without the entanglements of romantic drama. Both people in the relationship should value that.
  3. If you are on the receiving end of unwanted feelings, you have to set your friend straight sooner rather than later, and not in a round about ask-a-mutual-friend-to-drop-hints-that-you’re-not-interested kind of way. Have a private conversation with them, without an audience, that reinforces the value that you place on the friendship.
  4. Don’t play games. Don’t play games. Don’t play games.
  5. If your friend continues to give advances, talk to them again. I cannot emphasize communication enough. If you have already talked to them multiple times, try to be more direct. Tell them point blank that you love them as your friend and you want to keep it that way.
  6. Then, if no other methods or interventions work, there is always the nuclear option. If your friend is clearly not respecting the wants and needs that you have taken the time to express, then it is entirely possible that they are not your friend. Coming to this realization can be painful and take time, but if they don’t respect your feelings, then they don’t respect you. Respect is the most important aspect of any relationship between two people. Period.

 

Your feelings have just as much validity as the feelings of the people whom you choose to surround yourself with. So, don’t let yourself get railroaded into a relationship that you don’t want. That would neither be healthy nor fair.

Categories: Young People
Share This Article

My parents and I have a weird family dynamic. There is a “don’t tell us what you’re doing, but we know what you’re doing, but we’re not going to tell you we know,” type thing we have going on. So me talking to my parents about getting birth control because I’m sexually active is not going to fly with them. So one day, I came up with the best lie I could think of about why I want to get on birth control (but it’s technically a truth, I think): “Mom, birth control will make my cycle easier to bare and make my skin pretty.” She believed it. That was a huge relief on my part. You know, as a daughter, it’s easier telling your mom about birth control than your dad. Waaaaay easier.

 

Let’s fast forward a few weeks after this conversation with my mom. I made a trip to my local health department. I waited my turn like everyone else there seeking care. Then I had to take the trip of courage to ask for birth control. I felt the butterflies coming. C’mon, it’s like buying condoms, I thought to myself. There is so much stigma behind seeking birth control for young persons; half of us would rather not take that trip. But, I sucked it up and put my big girl panties on. I walked to counter. “Yes?” The lady asked me as if she had had a long day (it was only 11 AM). “Ma’am, I would like to get tested and receive birth control.” She looked like all the blood rushed from her face. She whispered, “Birth control? Okay, we don’t have time to test today but we do it all in one setting.” So she had me fill out a form. It asked the common stuff: name, date of birth, phone number, etc. I didn’t want my dad to find out I’m going for birth control, so I just put mine and my mom’s information on the form and scheduled an appointment.

 

Let’s fast forward another 2 weeks. 3 days before my appointment, my dad says to me, “I’m tired of getting texts from the health department.” My ears started to burn. So I try to play it off. “Sir?” And my dad says to me, “Better not be any babies in there.” I can’t believe my dad got a text message from the health department, who had told them about my upcoming appointment. My dad and I talked – it went better than I expected. But really, isn’t that illegal for health departments to contact parents of young persons that seek family planning services? (Yes, yes it is.)

 

I went to my appointment at the health department. Overall, it ended up being an easier experience than I expected. But it didn’t start out well because I had to wait in the waiting room for 2 hours before they finally called for me; and the waiting room smelled odd.

 

After waiting for a couple hours, they finally took me back in the room. The nurse asked me some questions: “What’s your height?” “Do you or any family members have a history of health issues?” The normal health history stuff. Then the nurse handed me a cup – I think we all know what happens with the cup. After my rather frustrating event with the cup in the bathroom, I had to wait again to see another nurse. Then she popped up out of nowhere and called my name. “Triuna?” After I quickly corrected her on my name (it’s pronounced ‘tree-ana’), I ran to the back. She started to ask me the deeper sexual health-related questions I thought I was the only person that needed to know the answer to.  All the questions made me rack brain for things I barely think about now and could barely remember. “When was your first period?” “When was your first time having sex?” It was actually smooth sailing as the nurse wasn’t judgmental with my answers. After the questions she hit me with something I’m scared of – a needle to draw blood. My God I hate needles. I think when I screamed the whole health department heard me. But you know, honestly, that was a hardest part of the appointment for me.

 

After going back into the waiting room, I waited for the part everyone told me was hard – the dreaded PAP SMEAR!!! (DUN DUN DUN!) For those that don’t know, a Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer in which they scrap and examine cells from the opening of the cervix. I did the breathing exercises that helps calm over-dramatic people like myself. That didn’t help much. The nurse told me to get naked and get a paper wrap type thingy and put it on. So, after I get my wrap, I climbed on the table and took a deep breath. She tried to talk to me during the procedure to distract me. “I’m checking for any abnormalities or tenderness.” It was a lot of pressure. It didn’t hurt at all, though. She told me I was too young for a Pap smear, but they gave me one because of my health history.

 

Anyway, after that, they told me I was healthy and they handed me my birth control – I got the pills. I then went about my day like nothing happened. Spending a few hours at the health department was not how I wanted to spend my Friday. But, overall, it wasn’t that bad, and it was definitely worth it.

 

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

Just this past year, in May of 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) put out an alert confirming the first confirmed case of the Zika Virus in Brazil. The Zika Virus is spread by mosquitos and has been shown to cause major birth defects when pregnant women are infected. One of the most common and major birth complications is that of microcephaly, is a congenital condition that causes abnormal smallness of the head as well as incomplete brain development in babies. The recent outbreak mainly isolated to areas in Central and South America has started a panic around the world. Recently a travel warning has been put in place warning pregnant women not to travel to countries such as Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in order to prevent potential negative outcomes of becoming infected with Zika (Center for Disease Control). But what does this mean for the women that live in these countries and already are pregnant or may become pregnant in the midst of this dangerous virus?

For many of the women who live in Central and South America, not only have they most likely grown up in a culture where abortion is highly stigmatized and illegal-they also often lack the necessary sexual health education and access to contraceptives in order to prevent or delay pregnancy. Brazil did recently announce that any woman infected with the Zika Virus would be permitted to have an abortion because it falls under the category of “special circumstance”. But in other countries like El Salvador that has advised women to delay pregnancy until 2018. But in a country whose current cultural climate is so anti-choice that women are reported to the authorities and imprisoned even for involuntary miscarriage how do they think this is feasible? Even in the face of a public health crisis that could cause thousands to hundreds of thousands of women to unwillingly give birth to babies that will require extensive healthcare in many countries where about 35% of the population live under the poverty line, women are being denied their reproductive rights. But sadly this type of hypocrisy doesn’t surprise me.

Everyday here in the United States we hear Republicans preach about people who “leach off the system” and “use” their numerous children to qualify for welfare benefits “that they do nothing to work for”. Disregarding the obvious inaccuracies and problematic myths mentioned, these same people who claim to fight for “individual liberty” and reducing “wasteful government assistance programs” work just as hard to strip women of their reproductive rights and little to no access to contraceptives and making their own decisions about when or when not to have a baby. Leaving them with no other option but do use the programs available to them to support their families. Hypocrisy is alive and well in all spheres of public health and government around the world especially when it comes to the blatant disregard of reproductive justice and health. Perhaps the Zika Virus is the “wake-up call” that Latin America has needed to reevaluate their stances on abortion.

Categories: Abortion
Share This Article

Choisir les bonnes extensions de cheveux Remy peut sembler une tâche ardue en particulier parce que vous voulez que vos extensions de cheveux à l’air naturel et non démarquer de vos cheveux naturels. Pour ce que ça vaut, extensions de cheveux sont le moyen idéal d’ajouter volume et un couple de pouces à vos cheveux. Cependant, il ya plusieurs sortes de Remy extensions de cheveux à choisir de sorte que vous devez être sûr que vous choisissez les bonnes extensions pour répondre à vos cheveux. Voici quelques conseils pro qui vous aideront à passer à travers le processus:
Couleur
Vous ne voulez pas vous retrouver avec des extensions de cheveux qui ont l’air tout à fait contre nature en raison de la couleur. Assurez-vous que la couleur de votre extension de cheveux correspond à la couleur de vos cheveux naturels aussi étroitement que possible. Vous trouverez une variété de différentes nuances de la même couleur de cheveux, de sorte que si vous visez un look spectaculaire, il est préférable de choisir une couleur de cheveux qui ressemble à vos cheveux naturels.
Qualité
Si vous avez l’intention de porter vos extensions de cheveux pendant une longue période cheveux crepus, il est important que vous investissez votre argent à bon escient. Virgin Indian Remy extensions de cheveux sont considérés comme les meilleurs extensions de cheveux disponibles sur le marché. Ces extensions sont fabriqués à partir de l’état brut Remy Hair qui n’a pas été modifié chimiquement afin que les racines et les pointes des cheveux courent toujours dans la même direction. Extensions de cheveux de haute qualité sont non seulement faciles à maintenir, mais sont confortables à porter de sorte qu’ils sont l’option parfaite pour vous si vous souhaitez acheter des extensions que vous pouvez utiliser pendant un certain temps à venir.
Texture
Remy extensions de cheveux sont disponibles dans une variété de textures et de couleurs. Prendre en compte si vous avez les cheveux bouclés, raides ou ondulés. Pour un look naturel, éviter de porter des cheveux bouclés si vous avez les cheveux naturellement lisses et soyeux. Ne pas tenir compte de la texture de vos cheveux tout en ramassant des extensions de cheveux peut conduire à des résultats désastreux.
Longueur
Les extensions de cheveux vous offrent la possibilité d’expérimenter avec la longueur de vos cheveux. Vous pouvez prendre votre niveau de confort en compte dans celui-ci. Si vous êtes habitué à avoir les cheveux courts, vous pouvez choisir la longueur de vos extensions de cheveux en conséquence, mais si vous voulez essayer quelque chose de différent et que vous voulez expérimenter avec vos regards, vous pouvez opter pour les cheveux longs. Il est important que vous preniez vos caractéristiques physiques en compte. Ce qui pourrait sembler bon sur quelqu’un d’autre pourrait ne pas nécessairement l’air bien sur vous.

Categories: Child Marriage
Share This Article

Pourquoi voudrait-on une perruque? Eh bien, vous voulez une perruque pour plusieurs raisons différentes. Perruques de cheveux humains ont été portés par les hommes et les femmes à travers l’histoire. Ils ont été portés à dissimuler sa perte de cheveux ou d’améliorer son apparence personnelle. Ils sont devenus un élément très apprécié parce qu’ils ont été utilisés quotidiennement. Un perruquier qualifiée pourrait passer d’innombrables heures sur un seul type de perruque produit et ont été considérés comme un commerce très prestigieux. Beaucoup de perruques créés par perruquiers experts avaient des conceptions très complexes tissage naturel bouclé, mais pas sans inconvénients. Malheureusement, perruques faites pendant cette période étaient encore très lourd à porter et très inconfortable. Aujourd’hui, l’industrie de la perruque continue à évoluer.
Aujourd’hui Wigsfr, les perruques vient pas seulement dans une variété de couleurs, mais ils viennent aussi dans de nombreux styles et longueurs différentes. Il sert encore un article de mode utilisé quotidiennement ou occasionnellement cependant, la raison la plus populaire pour porter un perruques de cheveux humains de l’UA serait pour plus de commodité. Bon nombre des utilisations de perruques reste le même comme il a fait à travers l’histoire. Perruques sont principalement utilisés par ceux qui éprouvent la perte de cheveux ou de chimiothérapie. En Grande-Bretagne et à Hong Kong, les perruques sont encore portés par des responsables gouvernementaux et des juges et sont considérés comme un signe de prestige.
Le nouveau plafond de monofilament améliore l’aspect naturel, le confort et la ventilation dans toute perruque que vous pouvez trouver. Perruques peuvent non seulement être trouvé dans toutes les couleurs et le style, mais la plupart des magasins de fournitures de beauté portent des quantités infinies de marques. Les perruques faites sur mesure seront très probablement être faite par un professionnel. Toujours garder à l’esprit que lors de l’achat d’une perruque à la recherche pour le type le plus cher sera signifie pas nécessairement qu’ils seront de meilleure qualité.
Comme tout le reste traitant de cheveux. Il existe deux types disponibles, perruques de cheveux humains et perruques synthétiques. Les perruques synthétiques sont très simples à entretenir et sans entretien ou traitement qu’ils vont commencer à regarder usés et emmêlés avant leur bon moment.
Obtenez le meilleur de l’artisanat et de la qualité en choisissant à travers la sélection de cheveux remy de droit de l’intimité de votre propre maison. Wigsway.com offre une grande sélection de deux perruques HAIF et pleines perruques dans une large gamme de couleurs.

Categories: Child Marriage