Media Literacy & Modern Day Slavery.

TaraTHer name is Tara Teng. She is a young woman who is a gift to our family, who encourages me to carry on fighting for what I believe in. Tara is an abolitionist. She is also Miss World Canada. But most importantly, she knows who she is and what God has called her to do on this planet, and she literally, on the front lines, helps rescue those who have been enslaved in human trafficking. She is one of my friends, but also one of my heroes.

I have always had a passion for changing the mainstream view of women in media. In fact, its one of the main reasons I am in the music industry. I want to be a different kind of entertainer/performer/CEO. For the most part ( and there are numerous professionals giving global talks on the subject ) women have constantly been thrown into sexualization in media and subjected as objects for the sake of selling something, usually a product. You don’t need to go far to realize that. The subject is deep, as well as far reaching, and it is in EVERYONE’s everyday lives – even if we don’t consciously know it. The challenge is, it is YOU & I as the consumer that are constantly encouraging it. From the magazines we buy, to the television shows we watch, to the music we listen to – or even the clothes we buy our children. We continue to grow up in a world where the sexualization of women has not only become more than acceptable, it has created an ever increasing demand for men and women to think that a subject like human trafficking is ok. IT IS NOT OK. Nor is it OK to watch our young women grow up in the music industry and completely lose themselves and destroy themselves for the sake of a paycheque and fame. I have also consistently seen how the entertainment and advertising culture have become a catalyst for which many men and women form their beliefs of human beings. But the REAL TRUTH of our IDENTITY needs to be coming out louder than ever before. Our girls and our boys are suffering because of it, and so are we. We need to be aware, VALUE OURSELVES so that we can VALUE OTHERS.

Last night I got to hear a documentary on media literacy by Jean Kilbourne (Killing Me Softly 4) in a talk that another friend and hero of mine Monica was presenting. Monica is a professional personal trainer, and she speaks on identity, grace and the truth and how it relates to our health and the ideologies that society puts on us. Monica will soon have a website up and I’ll be linking her so you can find her too ( Monika-ka wink wink haha ) ( I’m trying to help her with her site, and it’s coming soon! ) but it was just the kick in the butt I needed to get my heart going all over again to how important this issue is. When I was moping the day before in my blog, I really realized that my issues were very small compared to what’s going on in the lives of women and girls globally. The wednesday talk was timely, and so was the topic.

I know why I am where I am. It could be a slow going fight, but I’m in it for the long haul. Always have been, always will be. I am just blessed that I have some new companions to fight with! I encourage you to be an educated consumer. The world is full of junk, but I am hopeful that there are more people that desire to take a stand for the generations all over the world, to bring LIFE and not death. HOPE and HEALING, and not violence, pain and slavery.


Photo Credit: Annette Biggers

When people ask me what I do…

RED DRESS 2I’ve been out and about these last couple of days, purposely putting myself into the hands of complete strangers. I’m talking about the spa. I have a love-hate relationship with the spa. I end up loving the conversations I have there, but when I initially arrive, I dread having to talk to these strangers who I will be with for the duration of the next 1 -2 hours. I just want to walk in there, be unknown, and just get my stuff done lol. What I do is so unique, and to be honest, it’s difficult explaining it all. I do a lot of things. A lot of great things, but I guess instead of asking me what I do, I feel that the question I’d like to hear is  ” So Marika, tell me what you are about! “

That’s a WAY better question, and one that I am getting used to asking when I meet someone for the first time. I DO many things, but what is it that I am about? Well!

I am about LIFE. I am about madly loving my husband daily and making memories of a life well lived with him. I am about ridiculously loving my children and raising world changers confident in who they are! I am about seeking justice and walking humbly with my awesome God. I am about empowering artists in to their dreams, and my friends in to their goals. I am about laughing, having fun, going on adventures, and sometimes, I am about reading a good book and having a cup of tea by my fireplace. I am about loving others, celebrating others, valuing EVERYONE, as well as reaching out and standing up for those that don’t have a voice. I am about LOVE.

A friend of mine asks all his clients to make sure they can answer one simple phrase, and I have adopted this as challenge when I am in conversation : Answer this : ” My name is… ” and ” My life is about… ”

44387630046It’s not what I do that defines me, but who I am. Perhaps even more importantly WHOSE I am. I think if strangers asked me that, I’d be way less introverted and a whole lot more excited to talk to them. Telling them about Living LIFE, as opposed to, ” well I run a record label, Im an artist and a songwriter, had a couple number 1’s, blah blah blah. I know – it can be exciting – but what happens when I don’t have all the glam and stats – which I am finding I’m low in that department in some of those right now. Those successes or lack thereof, never change who I am. Im so grateful for that even in the hard ” I’m nobody special, and my success is shrinking days ” ( yes i have those haha). Regardless, I know who I am, and that above all, I am LOVED.

~ M

Photo credit: Annette Biggers & Disneyland 2013