Monday, July 6, 2009

The influence of the media on body image

Women and the Media
How advertising and the media affects girls body image.
Melissa Chambers
Miss North Carolina International

The average person in the United States sees approximately 3,000 ads in magazines, billboards, and television every day. With that said, advertising in teen magazines and on television typically glamorizes under weight models. This representation of women is false when comparing women portrayed in the media and the average sized woman. In fact, today's models generally weight 23% less then the average woman.

The average height and weight for a model is 5'10" and 110 lbs, and the height and weight for the average woman is 5'4" and 145 lbs, it's easy to see why this creates a tremendous health risk for young girls. Girls are seeing what the media says is the “perfect” woman or the “perfect” weight and girls are striving to fit into what our culture tells us is beautiful. Many of these girls strive to look like the women they see in the media but become discouraged when even after starving themselves, obsessive workouts and obsessing over our cultures “ideal” they find themselves still falling short of physical perfection. For many girls this ideal of beauty is unattainable and no matter how hard they try you can’t change your genes.
I am a firm believer in staying healthy through exercise and healthy eating. I believe that taking care of ones physical body is part of the loving yourself process and I advocate a healthy weight that is right for the individual girl. A problem that many girls face is wanting to fit into the standards that are impressed upon them through our media. I tell girls the key to physical perfection is to love the so-called imperfections, even those things about your body that you may not see as perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect woman. Even the most beautiful women in the world are being air brushed in pictures. If you look closely the women in the magazine have amazingly smooth skin, toned tanned bodies and blinding white teeth. You’ll find that these women also don’t have pores, what we are seeing is a computer image that was put together using some magic on a computer. The result is that girls are trying to look like something that isn’t even real. I would like to see models shown just as they are, show casing and accepting every freckle and beauty mark. What I find to be beautiful is not this fake image of the perfect woman instead a woman who is confident and loves herself for all the so-called imperfections she may have. Real women have pores, blemishes and fine lines they also contain real beauty that has nothing to do with physical appearance or the number on the scale. Why are we letting the advertising world and our media tell us how we should look. Their motive is to tell us our freckles aren’t pretty you should cover them up with this foundation, or your lips need to be fuller so buy this gloss to make them bigger. The list goes on and on and the motive behind the message is consumerism. Through their advertising they are attacking girls self esteem so they will feel as if they need to get something or do something to make them better. I am going against the grain and speaking against the pressures of perfection. I hope to change how women see themselves. Real women have real beauty, real curves and real so-called imperfection. Those “imperfections” are what makes every woman unique and beautiful in her own way. We need to stop seeing ourselves as something to always be perfected. My dream is for every girl to see herself as beautiful from the inside out.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What will you do with your moments?

What will you do with your moments?
Melissa Chambers
Miss North Carolina International 2008

Life is composed of many moments. Precious times that we must utilize to make our dreams, hopes and aspirations come into existence. Many of you have heard the saying “Live every moment to the fullest”. I take this quote to mean live your life with purpose. Life is a journey and you are continually finding out who you are along the way. There are ups and downs but to look at your life as a gift and an opportunity gives life a new perspective. Take the good and the bad, learning from every situation.
Every moment that passes is one that you will never get back. What will you do with your moments?

I have many personal hopes and dreams for my life and as Miss North Caorlina International 2008 I have been given the opportunity to inspire others to believe in their dreams as well as themselves. "Dare to Dream" is my platform in which I speak to many people. Motivating others to live their best and chase after their true passions is something I am doing with my moments.

What will you do with your moments? We all have specific pieces of time and what truly makes us different in this world is how we use the pieces we’re given. Will you just be a dreamer or will you make the dream a reality? I personally would say I am a dream believer. I believe in my dreams and not just in the goal of achieving it. The journey toward your goal is composed of many moments that create joy and purpose. I motivate others to chase their ambitions. I am a dream advocator. What is your dream and will you chase it?
What lies behind that question is how much passion is within you. Those who achieve their ambitions actively pursue their goals and they are people who believe in their dreams but also in themselves. Behind that pursuit is passion and perseverance. There is never a dream that is to big just as long as you have the passion to back it up. It does not matter what goal you are pursuing in life just always to remember to be grateful for the journey.

We all have dreams and ideas of how we want our future to be but why keep talking about the future? We should make our dreams exist today. Our present is reality but why keep living in the future or the past? Make right now your future and chase your dreams and goals. Say yes to a positive and fulfilling now…in this moment.

So what will you do with your moments?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Relay For Life

Melissa Chambers, the former Miss North Carolina International, will be speaking at the Relay For Life event in Weaverville, NC on May 15, 2009. Melissa has been an advocate for cancer research speaking at many events throughout North Carolina. Melissa is an enthusiastic motivational speaker and has touched many lives through her platform “Dare to Dream”. We are likely to hear a more emotionally charged delivery from Melissa at this event seeing as her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

What is Relay For Life?
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. The relay is an overnight event where people will continue to walk for 24 hours. The event will be raising much-needed funds to fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment. The funds raised at Relay save lives by funding cutting-edge cancer research, early detection and prevention education, advocacy efforts, and life-affirming patient services. It is because of the involvement that lives are saved, people are supported, and those affected are empowered.

Relay For Life brings together more than 3.5 million people to:
• Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.
• Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.
• Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Relay is a moving celebration of cancer survivorship. The event begins with a Survivors Lap in which cancer survivors take a victory lap around the track. A candlelight ceremony is held later in the evening to honor cancer survivors and remember those who we’ve lost to this disease.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Appearance in Waynesville NC for Grand Opening

Melissa Chambers will be in Waynesville NC on Friday April 17. The former Miss North Carolina International will be signing autographs at the Grand Opening of the Waynesville Carolina Furniture Concepts Store. Melissa has been a spokes model and filmed seven commercials for the company. She has also done several interviews by local stations at the Arden Fletcher location. Melissa will be joined by Congressman Heath Shuler and several other dignitaries.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Capture Carolina Interview with Miss NC Int. 08 Melissa Chambers

photo by: Donald Latham
Interview by Will Hardison

It’s like rocket science to me.
Let me just set the stage for you. I know as much about beauty pageants as I do landing a space shuttle on the moon, and my equivalent expertise to aerospace engineering stops at building a homemade rocket in fifth grade. Mine was the one that blew up. So needless to say I was a bit nervous to learn that Melissa was excited about our phone conversation.

For those whose rockets also blew up, let me fill you in on the different pageant types. The Miss America system is based on talent. Contestants are heavily judged and critiqued on a talent or skill such as singing or dancing. Miss USA, Donald Trump’s grandiose idea, is based on physical beauty. Contestants are more model-like, tall, super-thin, and overall striking and are judged according to their physical appearance. Miss International is based on the contestant’s platform. No, not something the contestant stands on, but what the contestant stands for. A large portion of the judging is based on the contestant’s interview and how well she actually supports what she stands for – her “platform”. We learn something new everyday, and today it was my day to learn about pageants. So, now that we are on the same page, let’s get rolling.

Who is Melissa Chambers? (You’d better be taking notes, guys)
Melissa Chambers, a 20-year-old junior at NC State, is the 2008 and current Miss North Carolina International. I could tell from the first couple of seconds on the phone with her that I had nothing to be nervous about. Melissa immediately made me feel comfortable as I scrambled to tell her I knew nothing about women and, more specifically, pageants.

Melissa isn’t your normal grew-up-doing-beauty-pageants-because-mom-had-something-to-prove-to-her-knitting-club contestant. She started competing just two years ago due to a suggestion from a fellow friend and competitor, Miss Asheville. Starting out, Melissa competed for fun and for the chance to win extra tuition money for college. But, her motives quickly changed when she began to see the difference she could make in the lives of young people, especially young girls. Chambers thrives on her passion for young ones and their ability to dream. Her platform is actually two-fold: Dare to Dream and Inner Beauty.

What does she stand for?
Turning her focus more toward inner beauty, Chambers travels across the state of North Carolina speaking, mentoring, and coaching young girls on the ability to love themselves for who they are on the inside versus what they look like on the outside. Chambers uses facts and statistics on graphical touch-ups in magazines and popular ads to help show young girls that the “beauty” they see on TV, in movies, and on magazine racks is media-driven and fake – Photoshopped, to be exact.

Where does she go?
Melissa has done a wide variety of appearances from schools, athletic events, grand openings, hospitals, and much more. In fact she has done 75 appearances while wearing the crown. Her favorite appearance to date has been the VA Hospital. I told her they probably haven’t seen a girl that young and pretty in decades. Guys, don’t worry. She loves throwing the first pitch at a baseball game. No, you cannot get her number. Sorry.

If you’re reading this, Melissa approved this piece of the article. So, thank you, Melissa, for allowing me to tell everyone that, yes, you are single. But, before readers flood me with requests to ask her out, know that she is 100% happy and content with being single. When she is not out doing appearances and mentoring young girls, she is hitting the books, cheering on the Wolf Pack, and spending time with family. When do you think she would have time for you anyway? This girl has more ambition and dreams than the Little Engine That Could. You’ve got to respect her for knowing what she wants and where her priorities lie.

Post crown?
Unfortunately, but fortunately at the same time, Melissa crowns the 2009 Miss North Carolina International at the end of February. Why do I say both unfortunately and fortunately? Well, it does mean her reign is up. But, it also means that Melissa has been fortunate enough to go through the experience of being Miss North Carolina 2008. I found it to be extremely refreshing when she was more thankful for the opportunity to represent the state and mentor young girls than to be giving up the crown. “No one can take this experience away from me. The crown doesn’t make the person, the person makes the crown,” stated Chambers. Her only hope is that she crowns someone who will support and develop the title with as much passion as she did.

Post crown, and post graduation?
I’m sure Melissa is somewhat looking forward to free weekends, a normal college life, and time for a social life. But, something tells me she’ll continue to mentor young girls on inner beauty and the idea that it is ok to dream. Her post graduation plans include working on becoming a spokes model of some sort. I would assume for a good cause. Maybe the official spokes model for Capture Carolina? Who knows?

That’s a wrap.
From our 45-minute phone conversation I can tell you that Melissa is something special. She isn’t your average, 20-year-old college girl who hits the bar every weekend. Believe me. I know what those girls are like. I went to ECU. She’s different in a positive way. She keeps her dreams within reach, her family close, and she firmly believes in what she stands for. Not too many 20-year-olds in college are put together like Melissa. She even taught me something about myself during the interview. My advice: the next time you see a pretty girl with a crown and sash don’t assume she’s just a Barbie doll who charmed the judges, but tell yourself that, if she’s an international contestant, you better believe she stands for something.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Melissa Chambers the Model Herself

Melissa's Photographer was Roxy Taylor of Taylor Miller Photograpy. This photo was taken in Black Mountain North Carolina. Here, the beautiful model Melissa Chambers is modeling a simple tan top with some earthtoned beading. Melissa can mix several make up and hair styles during one photo shoot, use several different styles of clothing, blend them all together... and make everyone look simply wonderful. Melissa can be that perfect model and spokesperson you are looking for in your business realm.

Modeling by Melissa Chambers, Miss North Carolina 2008 - 2009

Photographer Donald Latham (Donald is the official photographer for the North Carolina International System. He is also the personal high fashion photographer for Model Melissa Chambers. Here Melissa is modeling a turquoise cocktail dress by Niki Livas in Charlotte North Carolina.

Melissa is currently building a strong portfolio to become the "face" of key designers, products, and style shops. If you have a business that you would like Melissa to profile and shoot video and photos in, please contact us for an appointment. As the former Miss North Carolina, Melissa has and continues to build a strong fan base in North Carolina and around the World. G Social Media is assisting her with several networking opportunities. Weaverville North Carolina is where Melissa Chambers calls home and she could arrange travel when and where needed.