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Ketchup. Catch-up. Catsup.

Before I get to the real point of this post, as I was writing the title, I was thinking I would write it as “Catch-up and Ketchup,” for really no reason at all except that the words sound the same. But it reminded me of when I was a little girl, I would always read my mom’s grocery lists and smile at all of her abbreviations for the things she bought all the time. One that always stuck out to me was “catsup.” And I would giggle to my all-knowing 10-year old self that my teacher-mother didn’t know how to spell ketchup.

But, little did I know, it’s actually how you spell it! http://www.diffen.com/difference/Catsup_vs_Ketchup

Learn something new every day.


I wanted to catch everyone up on a few of my latest blog posts over at Woman’s Hospital. I’ve been steadily writing [and reading] along with other mothers in Baton Rouge about all the joys, highs, lows, messes of motherhood.

Looking ahead to all the new things and new worlds opening up to Audrey.

First Time For Everything
How we made it through the first sickness + Tylenol love.

Surviving. How Do You Do It?
Is there a secret manual somewhere?

To A New Year
My wishes for a new year.

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Writing Update!

So, this is it. The mama-jamma, monster, reason for being, super-gargantuan piece of writing that gave me a Master’s degree. MY THESIS.

An Analysis of Femininity: How Popular Female Characters In the Media Portray Contemporary Womanhood.

That’s a super fancy way of saying “how do girls on TV influence girls in the real world.”

This was truly a labor of love, and a rather fun project to work on. As you’ve noticed, my research field while in graduate school was primarily young women and how the media affects our cohort. All of my research during those two years culminated in this document. Hope you find it interesting!

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Writing Update!

As I’m closing down my time here in graduate school, I’ve posted a few more of my master research papers in the Writing section.

Check them out here.

Both papers were written last semester and focus on women in the media and how adolescents connect with media characters, and how that might impact their construction of identity. Hope you enjoy!

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Writing Update!

As you’ve seen here, one of my research interests is the representation of women in the media. This past semester I conducted an original research project to examine how popular feminist discourses are used throughout teen or tween media. It was a fascinating study, and one I hope to expand further. But, for now, the original introduction to the paper has been added to my writing page! This is a very relevant and important topic to today’s media landscape, and I hope research like this can help improve the media texts offered to women and young girls. Enjoy!


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Typeface for Tennessee: Writing Update!

A new update to my Writing page!

Sometimes, the most creative and innovative projects can come from the most unlikely of places. This is the case with Chattanooga, Tennessee. Most often known for its outdoor activities and railroads, Chattanooga has experienced revitalization in the last few years of its business sector and cultural footprint. Capitalizing on this new growth, two artists have sparked national interest in Chattanooga’s economic development plan because of one customized design element: a typeface. This case study explores how this story binds together economic development, marketing, good visual communication and the power of a community.

Check out the case study here: https://tuliptea.wordpress.com/writing/

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Writing Update!

I’ve posted a new selection on my Writing page! It’s an article review from an integrated marketing communication project I worked on. You may not be able to read the full, original article, but my review is a summary of its key takeaways.

It helps explain a little bit more about the process of integrated communication and the need for a marketing mix. Enjoy!


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Reviving Ophelia: A Review

“Adolescence is a border between childhood and adulthood. Like life on all borders, it’s teeming with energy and fraight with danger. Growth requires courage and hard work on the part of the individual, and it requires the protection and nurturing of the environment.” — Mary Pipher, Reviving Ophelia


I’ve often written about women and women in the media on this blog. It’s a research interest of mine, and a personal labor of love. As a woman, I often find myself wondering “why” and questioning what makes femininity and “whole” womanhood so hard to obtain. Additionally, being a Christian woman in the media business carries its own challenges as well.

I heard about Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia many times before, but recently got the chance to read it. And wow. What a great journey.

This book recounts those tender years of adolescence. The “crashing and burning in a ‘developmental Bermuda Triangle'” as Pipher calls it, or as I like to call it….purgatory. From my own experience, you feel stuck in a body you don’t get–but are starting to like, peers are ruthless and balancing it all gets heavier and heavier each day. Pipher noticed in her psychology practice that pre-teen girls were “coming of age in a media-staruated culture preoccupied with unrealistic ideals of beauty and images of dehumanized sex.”

The book weaves a pragmatic, yet emotional tale of different girls Pipher encountered through counseling. Some good. Some not so good. And some bad. She examines different themes of sexual promiscuity, loneliness, mother/father relationships and friendships that delicately shape a pre-teen’s world. The upside-down nature of adolescence is carefully explained by Pipher and she is able to skillfully decode how a girl feels, thinks, acts and behaves.

What struck me is she doesn’t focus on the scientific changes, but the experiential, or meaning-focused, changes that make girls feel so alien. “Early adolescence is a time of physical and psychological change, self-absorption, preoccupation with peer approval and identity formation. It’s a time when girls focus inward on their own fascinating changes.”

So what this means is, I wasn’t crazy. And neither were you, and neither is your daughter, niece, sister, neighbor, etc.

When after the summer of 7th grade, and I showed up to school with new contacts (no more goggle glasses), no braces and boobs, I wasn’t crazy to realize something had changed. And when I cried sobbed uncontrollably when I was picked on about making the cheerleading squad, I wasn’t alone in the fact that being accepted by “the popular girls” was of utmost importance. And I am considered normal because I got quieter, disconnected from family and favored my own issues above anyone else. What’s lucky for me is I had a solid foundation and a loving, supportive family to carry me through.

The book does go into deeper detail about specific stories and more serious issues than my own obsession with *NSYNC, and how I can now consider that normal because it was part of my “identity formation…” right? Pipher expands on experiences with sexual assault, depression, divorce and all the waves of emotion that can befall a daughter if she has no stronghold to surround her.

I strongly recommend this book to any woman (or interested man). If not only for catharsis (or a reminder that you’re not crazy for obsessing over that one look that one cute guy gave you in 2nd period), but to better understand the daughters around you. I was lucky to have a family and a group of friends that let me breathe and provided discipline when necessary to make sure I understood they were there when I needed them. But not all girls are so lucky. And I think it is critical we are aware and able to fight for these girls. Fight for their right to grow up in a safe environment. To have space, but also security blankets.

As Pipher eloquently puts it “Utopia for teenage girls would be a place in which they are safe and free, able to grow and develop in an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity and protected by adults who have their best interest at heart.”