Posts in New York
Be Yourself
Estimated reading time: 1'

Estimated reading time: 1'

I met Gitele in my friend's house in the Hamptons. Which turned out to be a swingers house... But that's a story for another day.

She was stunningly beautiful and extrovert.

She kept observing and analyzing me, wanting me to get out of my shell in social environments.

"I was born and raised in NYC, but my origins are Russian, she said.

At home, my parents always made a point to preserve our culture so we'd speak, eate and breath Russian.

When I was small, my mum would pack my lunch bag for school with traditional Russian food such as Borscht or Golubtsy, but since all my schoolmates were American, they used to make fun of me and tease me for eating differently than them.

So after a while, I'd throw my food away on my way to school and at the cafeteria and because I had no other food, I'd sneak under the table and pick up the fries that had fallen down to the floor. My brother used to do the same thing and we quickly ended up getting caught.

I realized that I couldn't go on like that and slowly learnt to embrace my uniqueness, despite my crave for fitting in.

I am a major Kardashian fan and yes, when I go out, I do like to wear extensions, colored lenses and a lot of makeup.

But during daytime, you'll see we with savage hair, glasses on and a jumpsuit. And that's okay.

I know some girls who'd workout or go to the pool with a plastered face and for me that's a sign of insecurity.

It used to be me too, though. I worked hard on building my self-confidence. I am proud of saying that I am Russian, and I am more confident in my personality. I am slowly starting to express my artistic side through painting and sculpting and already have a 5 figure bid for one picture.

I am convinced that if you let your true self shine and 100% BELIEVE in yourself, you will achieve success. if you pretend to be someone else, are your friends really your friends? If I ask you what your greatest skill is and your answer hesitantly, would anyone invest in you?" 

Speak Up!
cat calls of New York

There are few guerrilla street art projects that can catch your attention and trigger emotions in you like Catcalls of NYC does. Just imagine walking down the street and reading the sentence "come blow me" or "I deserve to touch that ass"  in rainbow colors under your feet... Impossible to remain impassive.

Sophie Sandberg started chalking pavements in New York shortly after puberty, when realizing that not only men were catcalling her on a regular basis despite her young age, 15, but that passersby weren't paying attention to it.

She decided to dedicate her studies and past time learning about gender equity and raising awareness on sexual harassment, in the hope of empowering both victims and witnesses to speak up.

Listen to her inspiring story and share your experience of sexual harassment in the comments below.

Find your way in the episode:

1:00: How the project started

2:00: Compliments or harassment?

4:00: Feeling powerful by making someone feel uncomfortable

4:50: The #metoo movement

6:00 Tips to learn to speak up

8:00: Why women should be empowered