Darling You Can’t Do Both [Book Thoughts]

Book Reviews, Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands


I flipped through Darling You Can’t Do Both by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk — the two creative geniuses behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. I call this post [Book Thoughts] and not [Book Review] because for the first time in a very long time I read the titles of the chapters and chose which parts I thought would be relevant to me.

I am not a busy married woman working my way to the top, in fact, I have yet to find somewhere to start working (at the bottom or otherwise), so I couldn’t exactly relate to some of the stories. However, I think many young and older women can. What I found most interesting was their advice on facing gender biases at work and how business is still a man’s world. I liked the way they approached the issue and discussed how to combat it, I liked their advice on how to juggle everything, I loved how they harped on the idea that you don’t have to be a workhorse (working 7 am to midnight) to succeed in the office.

I took to heart when they ask the reader to figure out what they want — to write a list of everything they want their life to include and to remember that list when they’re in the workforce. MY LIST: fitness, books, travel, writing, dinners with my family, playtime with my niece, coffee nights with my best friends, and date nights with my boyfriend.

I loved reading about their personal experiences, their trials, and how long it took to get things right. I admire and feel inspired by their BREAK THE RULES ATTITUDE. One of my favourite chapters is entitled Rule to be Broken: Nice girls don’t get in your face. In this chapter they tell the reader that she needs to speak up in order to get what she wants at work and in life. This is something I have always struggled with, no matter who I’ve worked for it seems like when I need to say something important or ask for time off or anything that might be a little bit uncomfortable, I freeze. I know, I know MY PEN IS MY VOICE and all that. I’ve mastered finding my voice on the page, it’s going from page to mouth that’s proven a little difficult.

‘My advice to any woman who feels like she’s been judged for talking too much is to keep talking, and to encourage her female colleagues to do so as well – it’s the only way that things are going to change.’

 — Jean Hannah Edelstein (The Daily Mail)

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Women, Self-Esteem, and Dove

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

Yesterday I attended Dove’s Women Who Should be Famous event.

I went with the lovely Lina Franci, thanks to an invite from Amanda DiPasquale (Not A Model Blog) and finally got to meet her! It was a great event for young women to be exposed to different kinds of role models and women who should be famous. From mountain climber and scientist Arlene Blum to musical ambassador, educator, and artist Toni Blackman – it was amazing to see how far determined women can really go.

Although it would have been nice to hear from Mandy Moore herself, about her self-esteem issues or how she got to where she is today, I’m glad most of the focus was on the four women who would make great role models for any young girl out there. I found it interesting that body image was almost a secondary topic, since I still struggle with feeling comfortable in my own body but maybe it’s better that the focus was on achieving your goals rather than body image. I also think that an event like this would be much more effective if it were done in grade 8 and grade 9 classes as some kind of a workshop for women, but I’m still thankful that I got something out of it.

My favourite line of the event came from Toni Blackman – although I’m paraphrasing a little, it went something like this,

“Your dreams will be with you your entire life. You can either look at them, chase them, or live them.”

Truthfully, I find that everyday I am chasing my dreams, working hard to make them a reality, working hard so that one day I can LIVE them. This event made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, as well as determined and confident – I can do anything and so can you.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo


P.s. In hopes to do some personal marketing, I wonder if you’d like to check out my book –  My Pen, My Voice. I published most of my diary (filled with poetry and prose) from ages 12-21 in hopes that I could help young women feel better about themselves. I struggled and still struggle with body image and self-esteem, so I write about it. I hope you can pass it on to a young lady in your life who needs someone to relate to.