Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Naughty or Nice: How to Define "You" in an Era of Doing

I have been thinking a lot about identity lately.

With the Christmas hubbub all around me, there have been many people who have asked me how I am going to broach the topic of Santa with my son when the time comes. Since he is only 3 months old this year, I have some time to really consider my options.

First, have you ever really thought about the whole naughty or nice thing? It really does make for bad parenting. If you're nice to me, then Santa will get you loads of toys. If you're not nice, then you will get coal. Talk about a conditional love. This will teach my son from a very early age that whatever he does defines what he gets- but this isn't an uncommon teaching at all. No matter our age we all can get caught up in the doing of things to get on the nice list of life.

Secondly, I have found that instead of wondering if I will tell him that Santa is real or not, I have been completely enthralled by the simple fact that what people believe of someone can dictate what is true or not. Santa's identity in my son's life is totally defined by what I tell him. The power of my words will be how he views the man in red during his childhood. This isn't just the case with Santa, this is the case with all of us.

What you say or believe about a person has the power to tarnish or polish one's perspective on those whom you directly influence in your life.

This is a power that many abuse without thinking about their actions. From time to time, I have had the wrong impression of someone and used that misconception as my barometer of that person's identity. This isn't a nice way to behave nor is it an accurate way to judge a person. What we think isn't always the truth.

Have you ever had someone judge you unfairly? Have you even heard someone's opinion of you and winced at the ugly picture they have painted?

Identity is a huge factor in determining our self worth, and where that worth lies can establish a healthy or unhealthy view of ourselves.

However, the catch-22 is that taking inventory of ourselves is a near impossibility- especially if you rely heavily on others opinions to define who you are.

I had a class once that had us practice an exercise in identity. We were told to write down who we were without using things that were extensions of self- such as job, credentials, place of origin, or relationship status.

I was staring at the blank page for twenty minutes. I would write down that I was a good student. However, that didn't define who I was, that was just something I was good at. I then wrote that I was a daughter. And while I am a daughter, that doesn't mean that I am nothing but someone's child. I then wrote that I was a human. And while that seemed to be one thing I could keep on the list, it certainly didn't make me different than anyone else.

I quickly began to realize that the exercise wasn't going to tell me who I was, it instead began opening my eyes to realize that what we do isn't who we are.

That is a big idea folks.

What we do, isn't who we are.

I was listening to a favorite speaker of mine, Mark Driscoll, and he said, "who we are determines what we do, not what we do determines who we are."

He went on to say that in both religion and society "activity" can quickly become identity. But when you truly discover who you are and who you were made to be- for me I find that in my Christian walk- then I receive an identity and out of that comes activity.

It is easy for us to get caught up in the "doing" of life. It is also easy to believe what others say about us.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

For those of us who have ever failed at something- you are not a failure.

For those of us who have ever lost something they loved- you are not a loser.

For those of us who have ever been beaten down- you are not beat.

For those of us who have ever been heartbroken- you are not without heart.

And for those of us who have simply been cut by the callous words of insensitive people- you are not alone.

The next time you find yourself wondering who you are in this world of constant doing, remember you are more than activity. You are a being unlike any other in this time and place. The simple solace found in having a soul makes you more than a resume or an outpouring of what others believe to be true about you.

As for Santa, since I've never met the guy I think I am just going to go with telling my son that the best gifts we can give each other don't come from the North Pole.

So watch your tongue over the holidays this year- and give the gift of a strong sense of self to those you share your life with.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Does where you live affect how nice you are?

In my book, Bitch, Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World, I have an entire chapter dedicated to how manners have been replaced with moxie in modern day culture. Do you ever find yourself surprised when sales people are friendly or when a random stranger holds open the door? It seems that common courtesy is no longer that common.

Most often, I am gripping my purse nervously while I attempt to ask for directions from a random person. I hate it when my questions are met with an annoyed eyebrow raise and clenched teeth. No wonder I would rather drive around in circles pretending like I'm not lost.

Since when has needing help become a handicap? Since when have we built walls so high around ourselves that we roll our eyes when someone asks for a little direction or even a simple, "where did you get that amazing looking danish?"

Letting the elderly go first, saying "please" and "thank you" over the age of 6, and not cussing someone out over parking a little too close are antiquated ways to associate with strangers in today's world.

However, I think that demographics play into this quite a lot. And while I am not a researcher, I have done my own little self-study by living in different parts of the country and here is what I've concluded:

West Coasters are cold. East Coasters are busy. And Southerners have it right.

I remember the first time I was waiting for an elevator in a building downtown Nashville. Two men in suits with briefcases were standing in front of me. Both appearing to me to be very important, they were chatting cordially with one another. The doors opened and instead of rushing ahead, punching their buttons and continuing their conversation as if I didn't exist- they stepped aside, held the elevator door open for me, and asked which floor I was going to so they could push the button for me.

My jaw dropped, and I turned red from the attention.

Aren't you supposed to look anywhere but at those who share the cramped elevator space with you? Don't they know that on the West Coast, we urgently pull out our cell phones and pretend to check emails to avoid interaction?

It's shameful. In the South men will not enter a building, a coffee shop, or a car before a woman- no matter her age, appearance or status. They may even let you go first in line at Starbucks if you show up at the same time.

Now, I have to be honest. As any born and raised Seattlite, I do have to say that I enjoy the space. Sometimes, a cheerful, "How are you this morning, ma'am?" makes me want to roll my eyes and stick my tongue out. I'm doing awful! I'm tired, sick of this job, and want to go back to bed.

But sometimes when you're nice when you don't want to be no matter where you live or where your from, well... that's all it takes to change your mood entirely, not to mention your day!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Buzz for Bitch, Please!

My first book, Bitch, Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World is coming out in March 2011- but advance reading copies are out-and-about, gaining some early buzz.

I am very proud of this book and of the job that my publicist is doing at Turner Publishing, so I thought I would post a few of the reviews we have gotten back so far. Very exciting!

“Nice girls have self-esteem – more self-esteem, one might dare say, than the bitchy girl; this book will remind you of what you already know you’re worth, and that genuine kindness and self-control will get you much further than profanity, pushiness, and aggression.”
-Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick, Founder of Weiss Words and frequent contributor to SheKnows.com

"This is a must read book for any woman that has ever been put down, belittled, made to feel less than they are or inferior by another woman."
- Heather Sands, The Book Reading Gals

"A more than inspirational must-read! After you laugh out loud you will find yourself thinking, "Finally, a thought provoking book exclusively for all the nice girls of the world."
- Danica Stewart, actress & model, regular series lead on the Daytime Emmy nominated show Passions

"Even though "Bitch, Please!" is predominantly a book for women, most of the themes throughout are basic rules for everyone and I caught myself wanting to be a better person."
- Michael Britt, guitarist and songwriter with the multi-platinum recording artist Lonestar

“Megan Munroe states her case well for why being nice can get you more—if you learn how to handle yourself properly. With examples of people in the spotlight and the types of bitchy women that are commonly encountered in all areas of our lives, you’ll learn how to use nice as an advantage. This book is fun, informative and will make you want to stoke your Nice Girl mojo to beat the bitches at their own game.”
- Daylle Deanna Schwartz, author of Nice Girls Can Finish First

"Megan Munroe has written the road map to bitches, along with tools for surviving their conniving. Bitch, Please! explains how to recognize and avoid the bitch bombs while maintaining your niceness. This one's for the girls, and you're going to love it!"
- Alicia King, Songwriter and author of Healing: The Essential Guide to Helping Others Overcome Grief and Loss

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Follow "Nice Girl" Ellen Pompeo's Lead and Support "Every Little Bottom"

Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo is joining forced with Huggies to make sure that moms who can't afford diapers for their babies can get them. It's a small way that she is giving back, but as any new mom knows- it's heartbreaking when you can't give your child the essentials that you know they need and deserve.

The next time you pick up some Huggies, look for specially marked boxes which will help Ellen and Huggies reach their goal of 22.5 million diapers for every child.

No bottom left behind!

Donate Baby Diapers Now

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Nice Girl" Anne Hathaway Gets Nude in New Flick...How Nice is She Really?

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal have been everywhere lately promoting their new movie, Love and Other Drugs. However, what is getting more buzz than the dramatic romance is the many scenes that this power couple shot in the buff. I dare you to try to find an interview where they don't ask about the sex scenes- and namely Anne's decision to go nude and what her boundaries were during filming.

In my soon-to-be released book, Bitch Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World, I use Anne Hathaway as an example of how a nice girl can get ahead in Hollywood without having to resort to posing nude in Playboy or having a sex tape emerge from her past.

So in light of her new movie, Love and Other Drugs, the question begs to be asked. Can a nice girl do nudity tastefully? Or should her nice girl crown be revoked?

Well, first of all- Anne told NPR in a recent interview that all of the scenes were first screened by her and Jake before they made the big screen. According to their contract there were no nudity clauses just a disclaimer that gave them the power to edit and approve the way the scenes were shot and shown.

So we can assume that Anne cared about how she was portrayed in this film, and even said, ""I cut probably a total of about 5 seconds out of the nude scenes. Maybe it was just me being sensitive, but for whatever reason, I thought the camera lingered a little bit, and Ed had no problems just taking them out."

Sometimes when it comes to art, I think a nice girl has to take into consideration believability and comfortableness. It seems to me that Hathaway put thought and consideration into shooting these scenes.

Now, would I do it? No. But then again I don't think that I have the same stresses and opportunities as Anne Hathaway.

If Edward Zwick, Love and Other Drugs producer best known for Legends of the Fall called me up and asked if I wanted to shoot a big budget film with him about a woman who has early on-set Parkinson's disease opposite of Jake Gyllenhaal for half a million dollars- but the only hitch was I had to flash my breasts, I am not going to say I wouldn't entertain the idea. It is so easy to judge others, especially when they live a life so different from yours.

Also, let's keep in mind that Hathaway is acting. While it can be gray area, because those of us who don't act for a living don't understand how you can shoot a fake sex scene with someone and not be "cheating" or "easy", it really is a different world. Every "sex scene" is staged- with an entire cast and crew of folks- upwards of 50 people can be on a set at a time. Not too romantic.

However, nudity and sex acts in Playboy, Penthouse, Porno or online is not fake.

My feeling is this: doing nudity in a film as opposed to posing naked in a porn magazine are two different types of exposure in my book. One is gratuitous and the other can be warranted.

But don't take my word for it- go see the move and decide for yourself, however I firmly stand by my belief that Hathaway is and will continue to be a "nice girl" in real life.

Source: NPR.com
Video: You Tube

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kat Von D on New Day Northwest...Is She a Nice Girl or Not?

Kat Von D appeared on New Day Northwest this morning promoting her new book, The Tattoo Chronicles. After confirming that "yes" she is dating Sandra Bullock's ex- Jesse James, she says that she is "always happy" when asked if the relationship was going well. Aside from her choice in men, she wasn't on the show to talk love, clearly, but instead to promote her book which is part tell-all, part art book.

But when asked by an audience member what is one message that she would like to convey as a "role model", her answer was, "I guess that I would like to convey, especially with girls, that you know, its just so important to love yourself. And that we are conditioned by this world to complete with each other and try to maintain this weird level of perfection. And to me, I think we are all perfect in our own way. And I don't know, I find beauty in everybody."

In my book, Bitch Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World, I talk directly about this "conditioning" Kat Von D references. If you are a woman you have been exposed to unhealthy competitiveness, it is an unfortunate part of being a woman in this day and age.

I agree with Kat completely that we all try and maintain a level of perfection that doesn't exist. From glossy magazines to television shows, its hard for a modern day girl to avoid feeling ordinary. But, the refreshing twist here is that Kat Von D isn't a traditional beauty- in fact I think she is quite the opposite of what is usually portrayed in the media as beautiful. She says that she can find beauty in everyone, and that we are all perfect in our own way.

Can any of us claim to be perfect in our own way? And can this level of self-love ever backfire to the point of self-obsession or even be used as an excuse for bad behavior? I believe it can.

Can Kat Von D qualify as a nice girl?

Do her words match her actions?

How would we know? The hard part when looking to those in Hollywood to define integrity, is that we don't know their secret lives. We don't know what they are really like and can only develop opinions based upon the public persona we are shown.

From this interview, I have to say that Kat seems refreshingly awkward and honest. Watch it for yourself to formulate your own opinion.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NW Nice Girls Listen Up! Seattle's Goodwill Glitter Gala Next Weekend

Manolo Blahnik shoes
Excerpted from Alison Brownrigg and the NW Source

"If it’s November, it must be time for the Seattle Goodwill Glitter Sale. This year, on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., is the sale’s 27th annual event, where vintage and designer clothing and accessories are for sale for a song.

All items in the sale were donated to Goodwill throughout the previous year and all the proceeds from the sale benefit Seattle Goodwill’s free job training and education programs.

“Last year we sold $140,000 worth of merchandise,” says event organizer Tracy Schneider. “This year I’m seeing an astounding selection of shoes, from brand-new beaded Manolo Blahniks to vintage Roger Vivier,” Schneider continues, revealing that a pair of Beth Levine shoes is also for sale, for an astonishing $39. Levine, as you may recall from the retrospective at the Bellevue Arts Museum earlier this year, was a visionary female shoe designer from the 1940s to the 1990s. Her designs were sold at Nordstrom and she designed Nancy Sinatra’s famous white go-go boots."

This is a perfect time for Nice Girls in the Northwest to go shopping for a great cause! Be sure to check it out!

For Complete Details Visit: Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala Webpage

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Nice Girl" Katie Holmes Supports the Dizzy Feet Foundation

Nice Girl Katie Holmes is a proud sponsor and partner of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which was also founded by Dancing with the Stars' judges Nigel, Adam, and Carrie Ann.

The foundation is in the business of dream building, which was created, "to help underprivileged young people realize their dream of becoming professional dancers and to support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States."

Mrs. Cruise has always been a well-known actress, but you may not know that she took dance when she was little and is an advocate for helping those who have just as big of dreams for excelling in the arts.

Check out the website to see how you can help!

Friday, October 15, 2010

October is National Bullying Prevention Month!

The Pacer Center whose website is the home for The National Center for Bullying Prevention has declared October the month to get involved in order to protect those who can't protect themselves.

The PACER Center's goal (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is to create "opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents."

According to their website, This year marks the fifth anniversary of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month. "Traditionally held the first week in October, the event has been expanded to include activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month.

During the event—and throughout the year—you are encouraged to use the creative resources (found here) to engage, educate, and inspire others to join the movement."

Taken from Pacer.org check out these inspiring ways to get involved in this wonderful cause:

Innovative Ideas to Change the Face of Bullying

Raising awareness will change attitudes!

Nice girls unite!

Image Source: Easter Seals

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My First Book! "Bitch, Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World" March 2011

I have some exciting news for nice girls everywhere! Come March 2011, I will become a published author. A book that I have been working on for the last ten years, has been picked up by Turner Publishing and is in the process of being printed as we speak.

Here is the premise:

NICE GIRLS DO FINISH FIRST: From reality shows that glorify the gruesome exploits of raw female aggression to magazine articles revealing how to cultivate your inner bitch, there is an undeniable trend of "bitchism" flooding our culture, affecting women from Hollywood to housewife. What about those of us who don't want to be bitches? Megan Munroe's Bitch, Please delivers a saucy communiqué empowering nice girls worldwide to kick passivity to the curb and instead use the strength of inward kindness to shake the foundation of the bitch's empire.

Becoming an author has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I am so blessed to have been given the chance to write Bitch, Please!

Stay tuned!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Nice Girl" Anne Hathaway Plus Many Other Hollywood Stars Put out PSA Against Bullying

Anne Hathaway among other stars all joined forces to film a PSA against bullying on the heels of the recent rise in teenage suicides across America- which includes the most recent college student suicide, Trevor Clementi, which happened last week.

Hathaway stated, "It gets better. If you or a friend are feeling lost and lonely there's someone who can help. There is hope and there is help. Call The Trevor Project."

Bullying is not just a nuisance it can be deadly. For those who are being targeted by the bully in your class or the bitch in the next cubicle you don't have to suffer alone. There are healthy ways to deal with aggression in your life.

First things first, talk to someone you trust and someone who loves you. It just takes one person to offer you a kind word of encouragement to help keep negative influences at bay. And remember, you are valued. Your life is of great worth, so don't let anyone tell you any different.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Attention book worms! Oprah encourages nice girls everywhere to donate used books

If you are a book-a-holic like me, I can bet that you have stacks and stacks of books lying around gathering dust. Perhaps you have a ton of unused resources and you don't even realize it. If you have some left over books from those psychology classes you took in college, or that personal training home study kit that you never actually finished, I encourage you to donate them. Visit Oprah's official page for more information: Oprah.com

Or visit BooksForAfrica.org directly. There is nothing better than giving knowledge to those who are yearning to learn.

A nice girl loves to give back, so if that pile next to your bed is getting out of control, or you are constantly buying shelves to accomdate for all of your texts, consider donating. Not only is it a great way to cut down on clutter, but you can also be a key partner in the education of underpriveleged kids and adults.

Keep in mind that the books should be less than 10 years old- antiquated information is no good.

Book it to BooksForAfrica.org today!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Follow "Nice Girl" Ellen Pompeo's Lead and Support "Every Little Bottom"

Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo is joining forced with Huggies to make sure that moms who can't afford diapers for their babies can get them. It's a small way that she is giving back, but as any new mom knows- it's heartbreaking when you can't give your child the essentials that you know they need and deserve.

The next time you pick up some Huggies, look for specially marked boxes which will help Ellen and Huggies reach their goal of 22.5 million diapers for every child.

No bottom left behind!

Donate Baby Diapers Now