These Pin-Up Photos From ‘Shameless Photography’ Show That Every Body Is Gorgeous by Nina Bahadur

Loving the body positive message of this article and the campaign. Yes, woman do not appreciate and accept their bodies (I am one of them). This fact is unfortunate; I often find myself wondering what it would feel like if I really loved myself. This is a great read!

Anyone can be a gorgeous, glamorous pin-up model.

That’s the idea behind Shameless Photography, started by photographer Sophie Spinelle in 2009. Spinelle, alongside fellow photographers Carey Lynne and Maxine Nienow, aims to help clients feel beautiful and confident in their bodies during their photoshoots. The result is sexy, feminist, body-positive images.

(Some images below may be considered NSFW.)

shameless photography

As well as providing commercial photoshoots, Shameless hosts a yearly “Love Your Body” competition, inviting women to write love letters to their bodies for the chance to win a photoshoot with the Shameless team. More importantly, according to Spinelle, the letters create a sense of online community, and spread the message of body love.

“We get hundreds of amazing letters from around the world,” Spinelle told The Huffington Post. “People with cancer, rape survivors, mothers of seven, trans women, pole dancers — you name it. We post a selection of the letters and invite people to read them and share them.”

shameless photography

“Doing this work has transformed my life,” Spinelle told The Huffington Post. “I’ve met the most amazing people, and they’ve been brave enough to share their fears and dreams with me, and to have that become part of the photographs. I’ve learned how rare confidence really is, and how precious. You’d be amazed how many truly beautiful people have no idea that they’re beautiful, and it has a huge affect on what they feel is possible for their lives.”

shameless photography

Spinelle hopes that clients and strangers alike will be inspired by the images and learn to love their bodies.

“The most important audience for the Shameless pinups series is the models themselves,” Spinelle told HuffPost. “I hope that when they look at these images, they can see how truly powerful, inspiring, and soul-deep beautiful they really are.”

See more incredible photographs from Shameless Photography below.

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shameless photography

shameless photography

shameless photography

shameless photography

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This Girl Can by Giovannah Philippeaux

So this went viral and rightly so.

I am loving the diversity of color, age, body, and ability shown in this video; all women are represented. This video is not about the male gaze, it is not about making grown full-figured women look like little girls or perpetual teens. It is about embracing the curve and the strength of the full-figured female form. A call to action, encouraging woman to take of themselves FOR themselves and not for others. Loving the message and every inch of this video. It is exciting to see this come out and get as much attention as it has; I hope this leads to major change regarding how we see women and what we expect of women. I know it has already changed me. Exciting!

Spicy Tibet – A Zesty Asian Cuisine Experience in Jackson Heights, Queens by Natasia DaSilva

As a native of Queens, I usually love trying different kinds of food. One of my favorites places to go do this is in Jackson Heights, which is right around the Roosevelt Avenue train station. You can take the M, R, E, F or 7 trains to this very convenient and eclectic neighborhood. From great Spanish cuisine to spicy Indian food, this up and coming neighborhood has a lot to offer in terms of great cuisine options.

In the last couple years, I’ve seen Tibetan restaurants opening up shop around Roosevelt Avenue. Tibetan food has South Asian as well as Chinese influences. Spicy Tibet is a great little spot that I found on 75th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Formerly a small pizza joint, the space is small and the decor is pretty plain. However, I have always found the food there  to be quite flavorful and well-made. I highly recommend a plate of momo dumplings or momo dumpling soup. Usually, momo has ground up beef or chicken,cooked unions and spinach inside. I found their momo to be very tasty, especially with the orange spicy sauce they serve along with it. It creates a great contrast with the more plain-tasting dumplings.  Their menu also has many different options besides momo; you can enjoy other things like a plate of Chinese-inspired chop suey or ground beef soup.

Overall, I would say that this is the perfect place to eat on a cold winter’s day, especially with their great selection of soups. I always stop by when I’m in the area. I recommend Spicy Tibet if you are looking for a new takeout place or you just want to try something new.

Image of Tibetan Flag

For Homeless Women, Getting Their Period Is One Of The Most Difficult Challenges by Eleanor Goldberg

Here is a very interesting article about the struggles of being female and homeless. These issues are rarely discussed in relation to each other but this piece offers great insight into some of the additional challenges of being a woman living on the streets.


Homeless women typically know where to find a safe place to sleep or a hot meal to eat. But when it comes to taking care of their feminine hygiene needs, they often have nowhere to turn.

Tampons and sanitary pads usually top the list of needs at shelters, since they’re pricey and supporters don’t often donate them, social workers told Al Jazeera. Compounding the issue is the fact that clean showers are also scarce, and not washing during menstruation can lead to infections.

It’s a desperate situation that many homeless women feel resigned to accept.

“I’ll never be clean,” a young woman living on the streets of San Francisco once told Doniece Sandoval, the entrepreneur behind Lava Mae, a mobile shower program, according to Nation Swell.

Maribel Guillet, 36, is all too familiar with that despondent feeling.

Guillet, who lives in a Bronx, New York, homeless shelter, typically menstruates for about 10 days and experiences heavy bleeding, she told Al Jazeera. But because of the shelter’s strict restrictions, she can’t always use the restroom as often as she needs to.

The fact that menstruation is a taboo topic to begin with, means that people who are able help, often aren’t even aware that such a vast need exists.

While donating clothes to a homeless day center in Camden, New Jersey, back in 2009, Joanie Balderstone and her partner, Rebecca McIntire, asked the women there what else they really needed.

The overwhelming consensus was pads and tampons, the couple wrote on their organization’s website.

That interaction is what spurred the pair to found Distributing Dignity, a nonprofit that donates bras and feminine hygiene products to women in need.

A few months later, they hosted their first “Mardi Bra” party, according to
Guests donated 80 new bras and hundreds of feminine products that the founders distributed to shelters in Camden.

They’ve since expanded to help shelters throughout South Jersey and Philadelphia.

Gaining access to such an everyday item has proved to be invaluable to the women Distributing Dignity helps.

When residents at Camden County Women’s Center, which supports survivors of domestic abuse, recently got shipment of sanitary napkins, they were thrilled to see that the box contained pads of varying sizes.

“It sounds silly,” Jeen Moncayo, a case worker at the center, told“but the choice is empowering.”

See how you can help at Distributing Dignity.

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BB by Naeemah

What happened? Standing over a body that’s flat out on the ground, I can’t feel anything.

Not sure what’s happening. Is it mine or someone else’s? Whose body is it? Who does it belong to? I don’t know. I try to look for help, scream, but no one is listening to me. No one sees me, no one sees the body on the ground. At my feet.

People are walking by, not even paying attention to what’s on the ground, who’s on the ground. I scream again, but no one hears me, no one is listening. I try to turn the body over, to see who it could be, but my hands go right through. What is happening? My hands go right through the body again and again and again and again.

That shirt looks familiar to me. I look down at myself and realize that I’m wearing the same clothes as the person on the ground.

We are the same. I can’t breathe. I’m not breathing.

I look around in confusion, hoping someone can help me, help us. Help. No one is there. No one is even looking at me, at us. I crouch down, trying to protect myself from the outside, as I finally see the blood leaking from underneath the body. The blood that’s pooled underneath my body. I’m dead. I’ve died. I crouch down for hours. No one looks at me, no one looks at us. Tears run down my ghostly face, as I slowly lay down on the hard cold cement next to myself. There’s no one else that will care for us, we are alone. Always alone. No one else is here. No one will ever be.

TOM FORD LIPS and BOYS: The Full Feature by Giovannah Philippeaux

A very interesting find…

I am in love with this video. It is sexy, powerful, well composed, the music is awesome….and the women are in command. There is nothing more amazing than a woman in charge of herself, her body, and her sexuality.

What makes this video even better is that it features the extraordinary model Erika Linder. Self described as “I have too much imagination to just be one gender,” Lander is an inspiration to anyone and everyone who has ever felt greater than a label.



Introducing Our Newest Writer Naeemah!!!

A warm and exciting welcome to Naeemah, our newest writer!!

As a UPenn graduate and a social thinker, Naeemah will be sharing her unique life perspective. With an interest in creative storytelling and film, Naeemah is excited to use media as a tool for education. We look forward to her contributions!

Naeemah is a creative, dedicated thinker who is looking for the opportunity to improve the world using writing, media, and outside-the-box ideas. With a major in English and Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, she is always looking for ways to share her short stories, ideas, and film critiques with others.

Update – Great News!!!

Minus The Box is changing its name!!!

Moving forward Minus The Box will be known as Live Your Life Inspired. This name change is reflective of our new direction and hope for the future.

Live Your Life Inspired is a place where you can discover inspirational and motivational content from around the world. This will continue to be a safe and supportive community for people who wish to learn, grow, evolve, and live a wholehearted lifestyle.

Our core will remain the same but at Live Your Life Inspired we look forward to renewed growth.

Welcome to Live Your Life Inspired!!

Introducing Our Newest Writer Natasia DaSilva!!

A warm and glorious welcome to Natasia DaSilva!! A New York native, Natasia will be sharing her love of travel, food, and adventure. We look forward to her contributions!

Natasia DaSilva is a graduate from Queens College with an English major and a Business minor. Currently, she tutors people in English privately and for the Queens College’s Writing Center. She has aspirations to go to law school hopefully in 2016 to study either Housing or Immigration law.
In her spare time, Natasia enjoys reading, writing poetry, working out, and watching action movies.

Oh I Love It Love It!!! by Giovannah Philippeaux

Oh I love it love it, oh I love it love it…

I will be singing that for the rest of the day but what I really love is this video and Dove’s campaign to embrace beauty of all shapes, sizes, and textures.

I have curly hair and everyone in my family has curly hair so I am intimately aware of the strange and challenging relationship between a woman and her locks. Yes the struggle with perm, press, and rollers is real; all in attempt to straighten hair that really only wants to be free.

After noticing the damage processing (perm, press, blow outs, etc.) causes I decided to go natural. Best decision ever! Gradually other women in my family followed suite and collectively our hair is healthier and happier.

What pains me though is the ridicule, bullying, and lack of self-love that girls and woman with naturally curly hair experience. As you will see in this video, all of the little girls dislike their hair; a crucial part of how we define ourselves. So it begs the question if they hate their hair, how do they feel about themselves?

Personally, I know that hating one part of yourself can inevitably lead to you disliking a lot more of yourself; and we all know that this story ends in low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.

So if you have a curly haired beauty in your life, remind her that she is awesome, because their are plenty of people telling her that she is not.

I love it, love it!

From Rob Candelino, VP of marketing for Unilever haircare:

“Straight and sleek hair has often been considered the beauty ideal, but we were overwhelmed by just how many women in the US have curly hair and then, we began to see how emotionally charged the relationship with one’s curly hair can be,” Rob Candelino, VP of marketing for Unilever haircare, told Yahoo Beauty. “As Dove Hair, we have a responsibility to drive positive social change and The Love Your Curls campaign is intended to inspire all women to join us in making a difference. If women show the world just how much they love their curls, they will positively impact the next generation to do the same.” Link

This quote is amazing. It shows the care and insight one company has for it’s customers. Basic human values at work at a large multi-national, billion dollar organization is refreshing and hopeful.


The Theory of Relativity by Ren Martinez

Is returning home the same as starting a new journey? Or is it a well-known verse on repeat?

The idea of going home has the gut-punch feel of falling backwards and the nostalgic charm of homecoming. It smells like failure and tastes like Mom’s cooking. It’s hard to tell what direction you’re going when you’re playing Chutes & Ladders; it all feels like falling eventually when you can’t see which way is up. Am I escaping from or running towards? Am I yearning for the familiar or excited for something new?

Einstein said that time is relative. Maybe this journey is happening at the same time, layered upon each other, and thus all of this is true. In a million different ways, we are all leaving and returning every time we approach a door. It’s knowledge rarely spoken and yet truer because it is lived. You may know the earth is round, but the road feels flat beneath your feet with every step you take.

Maybe that’s all that matters, in the end. Taking the next step.

What Is The Meaning Of Life? by Giovannah Philippeaux

We start the New Year with a very important question, what is the meaning of life? Oh god if I knew! But Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to have a clue, and a very good one at that.

After being asked the question by an amazing little boy, Dr. Tyson goes on to explain that meaning is created not found. The meaning of life is not something you happen upon, or work to discover, but rather it is something that you create with time, effort, and curiosity. By learning as much as you can, staying curious, and staying connected to nature, we can create our own life’s purpose and meaning.

This definition returns the power of determination and destiny back to the individual. Life is no longer an external search for meaning but an internal process of creation. Loving this amazing insight offered by Dr. Tyson…Thank You!

I say this little boy is off to a great life start…youtube star, Dr. Tyson fan, and youthful philosopher.