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Beauty and Self Perception: A review of Dove Real Beauty Sketches Campaign

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With social media and the blogosphere brimming with vast and drastically contrasting views on this recent phenomenon, I felt that I had a few things to share. Thoughts, personal opinions….all up for debate.

It might be only me, but my first reaction to the video was that it is much more about self-perception than about beauty. There is not much meaning in saying someone is more beautiful than she thinks, as it is entirely a matter of perception. The idea therefore is about a more positive image of oneself. The message did not even strike me as being gender specific before I read the several critiques of it. Beauty seemed only incidental, the concept of the video could apply to any of the various traits in ourselves that we judge (often too harshly) and which contribute to our overall self image.

It did not surprise me that the strangers in the video described the women in a more positive light than they did themselves. After all don’t most of us grow up learning that it is mean and socially inappropriate to say negative things about another person’s appearance? At the same time aren’t we also made to believe that praising your own beauty makes us come across as haughty and vain?  While I do think a lot of the comments the participants in the video made about themselves were indeed driven by a genuine sense of insecurity, it seemed only natural that a nice and polite stranger (as described in http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682823/the-story-behind-doves-mega-viral-real-beauty-sketches-campaign) who met them for the first time would be more generous in describing them than they themselves, just going by codes of good social conduct. So the point being made was that we could look at ourselves in a more positive light if we chose to, just as these strangers did (which might be driven by what they considered socially appropriate behaviour). It’s after all, all in the mind! And that, is a powerful message!

However, I do see some of the points made by the myriad articles and posts criticizing the video. One consistent and fundamental objection against it has been that it reinforces the cultural stereotype of valuing external appearance as an asset, and that too, as per a narrow definition of beauty set forth by socio-cultural conditioning  as a measure of self worth. True, in an ideal world people’s notion of self worth should not be tied to physical beauty. Definitely not to the extent of affecting career choices, choice of friends and passing on inferiority complex to the next generation. In an ideal world it should be ok to not look good. But the truth is we do not live in an ideal world.

A lot of people blame media and beauty product brands for promoting the aspirational value of beauty. While they certainly play a role, I think the issue is more inherent, not to mention, far more timeless. It probably started at time immemorial with all the ballads and poetry extolling feminine beauty. But that’s besides the point.

This is an intuition (somewhat validated by a quick glance at Psychology papers), but I believe that to be able to like how one sees oneself is an important contributor to happiness.  The idea of aesthetics is intrinsically tied to our sensibilities, and so is the desire to be perceived well by others. I am not altogether sure if it is possible to completely separate one’s own perceived beauty from one’s overall self image and confidence, although, no doubt that would be ideal. At least, not easily.  Because it operates at a sub-conscious level. To not like what one sees in the mirror and yet be perfectly at ease with it is indeed difficult to achieve, maybe something that can potentially be altered by several years of conditioning.

What can change more easily, and yes, media plays a huge role here, is the definition of what constitutes beauty. To make it broad enough so that everyone finds something appealing in themselves. To try and break out of stereotypical narrow definitions of what is attractive. To reinforce the idea that everyone is beautiful for different reasons. The Dove campaign is a step in that direction. Though as some of the detractors aptly said, it does use some stereotypical indicators of beauty (e.g. thin, blue eyes, etc.) in its descriptions. But then again, it is not a scripted video. It is real people talking and there is only so much control over the exact details. And it never seemed that the underlying message has anything to do with the specifics.

Interaction designer by profession, writer and singer by hobby. Currently based out of New York, love to share ideas, get into interesting conversations, explore, brainstorm and get to know more...would appreciate your views on my blog posts so do leave a comment if anything stirs your thoughts :)

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The Subtle Nuances That Count: 5 Factors That Could Have an Effect on Your Car Accident Settlement

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One of the most common questions you hear from those filing accident claims is how much their case is worth. Ascertaining the final amount for your settlement will often depend on a myriad of factors. Coming up with the final settlement can be an intricate process because so much is usually involved in the calculation. Some of the factors which affect your payout include the location of the accident, proof of medical treatments and bills, among others. Apart from that, there needs to be proof of liability on the part of the defendant and how much fault you, the plaintiff or victim, had in the accident. To further understand the aspects that could have an impact on your car accident settlements, here is what you need to know.

  1. The severity of Your Injuries

Undoubtedly, the more injuries you sustain as a result of an accident, the higher will be your accident payout. A traumatic brain injury or a catastrophic injury of any nature will require more medical expenses in addition to other factors such as pain and suffering as opposed to a soft-tissue injury or just a broken finger. In fact, to bring a lawsuit of pain and suffering, it is required that your injuries surpass a certain threshold. For that to happen, you must have undergone a permanent disfigurement or a serious body impairment which renders you useless in any way. If your injuries do not meet the threshold outlined in your state, you will not be in a position to file a lawsuit for your pain and suffering. However, the good thing is that you may still recover other benefits such as lost wages and medical expenses if you don’t pass the threshold for pain and suffering.

  1. Reasonable and Necessary Medical Costs

Don’t always assume that the adjuster will agree with the amount you want to be reimbursed for your medical expenses. In most cases, insurance firms do not like paying out for procedures or treatment which they believe is excessive or unnecessary.  Areas of contention include acupuncture or chiropractic treatments. Although you believe these professionals helped you to recover, the opinion of the insurance adjuster will always be different. In any case, insurance firms will be more willing payout only what they believe is necessary and reasonable when it comes to the aspect of medical cost. For instance, if you suffered multiple injuries on your soft-tissue and visited an acupuncturist and a chiropractor and paid a total of $4,800, the adjuster may feel that only $3,000 of your bill was necessary and reasonable. By that, it means that you’ll be personally responsible for the excess of $1,800, and this is something you’ll most certainly want to avoid. For that reason, make sure you seek treatment from reputable medical professionals to avoid this kind of confusion.

  1. Your Actions After the Accident

How you act after the accident will go a long way in establishing consistency and proving that the injuries sustained have had an impact on you in a great way. If the insurance firm believes you did not take the correct measures that minimize the severity of your injuries, they may end up reducing the value of your claim if not deny it altogether. As a result of that, you are always advised to seek medical assistance after a crash. The insurance firm may take your hesitation to seek medical attention as a sign of negligence on your part or a sign that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.

It’s also imperative that you stick to the treatment plan prescribed by the medical professionals so the insurer can know you didn’t ignore any medical advice and that you took all the necessary step to improve your condition after the accident. In addition to that, if you are not in a position to work as a result of the injuries, you shouldn’t perform any physically demanding tasks to avoid worsening your injuries.

  1. Your Version of Events

Once you have provided a statement after a car accident has occurred, it’s imperative to stick to your facts of what actually transpired during the crash. Your presented statement should match the statement you presented to the police officers at the scene of the accident and your healthcare provider. If there are any inconsistencies in your version of events, you could raise some question marks regarding the validity of your claim or the credibility of your statement. To prevent this from happening, state the facts as they are and do not change anything to fit your story.

Apart from that, it may be in your interest to consult a legal professional so they can let you know what your accident claim might be worth and what steps to take to ensure you get what you deserve. Your lawyer understands the importance of offering factual statement and how that will help you to get your deserved compensation.

  1. Accident Location

A lot of people who are involved in an accident are not aware of this but the location of the crash has something to do with the amount of compensation a person will likely get. This may sound unfair, but that’s simply how things are. Verdicts for auto accident lawsuits usually vary significantly from country to country and city to city. For instance, verdicts in Detroit or Wayne County are much higher on average as opposed to verdicts on smaller counties or rural town. This can mainly be attributed to the level of income. For instance, income in larger metropolitan areas are often higher and as a result, jurors tend to give out high compensation during their awarding.  What’s more, the average out-of-court settlement in many regions usually depicts historical awards by jury in those areas.

If you looking for a general idea of what your case may be worth, you need to consider the accident locations along with the historical case records of similar patterns. Although this is not an accurate measure of compensation, it will give you an idea of what is to be expected.

Final Word

The above are some of the factors that could impact your car accident claim. In addition to knowing these factors, you need to make sure you seek the services of an attorney to guide you through the compensation process.

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Medical Retirement for U.S. Federal Workers: The World Of Yesterday

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Medical Retirement

The word “yesterday” has been always a complex one. It means our memories and it surrounds all what we remember, a anworld impossible to forget. Yesterday is the reason of our conversations and the reason why we see things the way we see them. It determines our thoughts, our reality and our decisions in the future. The past is our engine, our power to talk and to be right. So as hard as it may sound, it is now when we are in the need to accept that medical condition has made its introduction and realise its existence, its future impacts and its chronic appearance.

Medical Retirement is changing, Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition are experiencing the consequences. In The World Of Yesterday, anyone with it could be disguised, tolerated or even be ignored. Nowadays the medical condition are not letting the U.S. Postal workers or Federal employees perform the vital tasks of these jobs.

We need to keep in mind the fact of preparing and filing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application is a real need nowadays. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management archives this application for the employee in order to be under CSRS, CSRS Offset or FERS.

Moving Forward and Doing Things Right for the Future

There are tons of people in our same situation that never do anything and don’t look forward or fight for their own rights, especially Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have problems with their medical retirement nowadays. Because, there is a clear lack of empathy in the government, and it is causing all these issues. But it is a fact that people get older. As years pass by we will all need a doctor no matter how our medical condition be in that moment.

We are accustomed to focusing on past events instead of focusing on what’s yet to come. And sometimes past don’t let us move forward. But complaining about life’s unfairness is so insignificant, because it only makes us lose energy, happiness, and the sense of now. An easy way to move on is by closing stages by ourselves and looking for our calmness and peace. How to get that? The first step is to think about what is in our hands to close this period. Then we just have to go ahead and do what we gotta do. Sitting back and doing nothing at all won’t change anything, it won’t make you feel better.

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ISO 9001, the QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM that will boost your company’s benefits

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Many organizations establish their Quality Management System (QMS) based on the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015. The benefits and advantages of implementing ISO 9001 extend to several areas of the business. Of course, visibility and expansion in the market are among the most mentioned. In this article, we look at why ISO 9001 can be a big boost to any business and best way to ensure continual improvement.

What is ISO 9001?

iso 9001

ISO 9001 is a system that is designed to make business owners and managers feel more in control of their businesses through a series of efficient systems and processes. It is a way to align the objectives of the company and the ideas of the employees in favour of the organization. By implementing the standard, the organization shows the employee that they should think about the future, that the market is changing and that suggestions are always required that lead to improvement.

ISO 9001 is systematic and process driven approach to managing your businesses’ day to day activities.  It is designed to support your business in ensuring that you meet the needs of your customers, whilst delivering a consistent level of quality and satisfaction. The areas that are covered within ISO 9001 include customer satisfaction, training records for staff, preferred supplier lists, contract reviews, quality objectives, management Review meetings, evidence of Monitoring and Measuring and non-conformance register.

Who is ISO 9001 for?

ISO 9001 is a certification that can be achieved by any business, of any size, in any sector.  Traditionally ISO 9001 has been seen as a quality management standard for the manufacturing sector.  However, ISO Quality Services Limited have helped implement ISO 9001 into many other sectors including:

  •     Business services sector, including accountants, solicitors and business consultancies;
  •     Waste and cleaning companies;
  •     IT and creative businesses;
  •     Charities and care homes;
  •     Construction companies;
  •     Automotive and transport companies; and
  •     The hospitality and retail sector.

If you run a business in any of these fields and improvement is high on your agenda for 2018, but you are not sure how to get started, there are consulting companies which offer trainings on the topic such as the Mexican firm SPC Consulting Group.

What are ISO 9001 benefits?

Thanks to the improvement in quality management, the ISO 9001 certification, brings a new image to the market. This shows that the organization cares about the way it is seen by its clients. The certification shows them that quality is what your business aims to, that the company wants to keep improving and that you are open to new opportunities and partnerships.

Of course, the main players in the markets are more receptive to the business that have the certification –in certain industries, it may even prevent those who do not have it from even participating, indeed.

Long and short term benefits

In the short term, obtaining ISO 9001 certification provides improvements in internal business processes by reducing rework and waste and increasing the quality of products. The savings generated can be invested in the development of new products, staff training, structural reforms of the facilities, etc.

In the long term, it is common to check the increase in income of the organization, as customers become loyal and satisfied, which leads to the arrival of new business partners. This is one of the main benefits and advantages of implementing ISO 9001. The organization stops focusing its attention on the product and orientates it towards the client. Therefore, the first step is to know in depth what motivates them, what are their values, their expectations, their lifestyle, their behaviour, their opinions, and so on. With this information, we can understand our customer as a whole and seek their satisfaction, and how to create value for them.

General benefits

In addition to all of that, there are a number of benefits that the ISO 9001 QMS standard has on offer to an organisation.  First of all, ISO 9001 means and improvement in an organisations business performance with better cost management, which results in a rise in productivity a revenue –as a result of Integration and alignment of an organisations internal processes. A reduction in costs and shorter cycle times through an effective use of available resources will enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, meaning an increased possibility of repeat business, and it will also provide a confidence to possible interested parties/customers as to the effectiveness, consistency and efficiency of the organisation. And all of this will lead to an improvement in an organisations planning, communications & administration processes; an increase in an organisations credibility & competitiveness within its market; and finally, an Increase in revenue & market share on the back of fast responses to market opportunities.

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