Introducing: Strong, Sexy & Stylish

A little over a year ago, I met Karen. She is full of energy and big ideas and an unquenchable lust for life. She is also a true body image warrior, and we bonded immediately over our desire to help women find their own paths to self-love. Soon, she was nudging me to collaborate, but we weren’t sure how to make that work.

Then, back in October, she decided to introduce me to her sex educator sister-in-law, Laura, who she viewed as another natural-born body image warrior. So we met. And we schemed. And we hatched a plan to pool our diverse resources to work toward our common goal: Teach women to love themselves.

And that’s what Strong, Sexy & Stylish is all about.

Strong, Sexy & Stylish is comprised of Wellness Coach Karen Kraus, Sex Educator Laura Rad, and Style and Body Image Writer Sally McGraw (that’s me!). Karen, Laura, and I plan to do as much speaking, teaching, and writing as we can here in the Twin Cities and beyond. We want to show women that focusing energy toward wellness, sexuality, and style can help them unlock self-love and build confidence. And we want to show how these three topic areas overlap and interrelate.

PODCAST

For starters, we’ve launched the Strong, Sexy & Stylish podcast! This twice-monthly, half hour podcast will cover a wide variety of topics, from finding exercise that you actually enjoy, to improving your health through orgasms, to understanding the impact of body-snarking. Our first episode went live yesterday, and you can listen to it on the Strong, Sexy & Stylish blog, or subscribe via iTunes. We’ve had so much fun working on our first few episodes, and it shows! I know you’ll enjoy this engaging and informative podcast.

EVENTS

Coming up next for us is a series of classes, starting with our very first in St. Paul later this month. We’re just thrilled to be collaborating with the Lowry Lab Theater for this event, and hope that all of you locals will join us! Here are the details:

Strong, Sexy & Stylish Presents: 9 Steps to a Happier You
January 25, 2012
7 p.m.
Lowry Lab Theater, downtown St. Paul
$10 in advance, $15 at the door

In this hour-long class, we’ll explain how focusing on our three areas of expertise can improve self-esteem and body image. In addition to illustrating the links between our topics and positive self-image:

  • Karen will offer three easy tips for utilizing fitness to improve body image.
  • Laura will explore three ideas for using sexuality to transform body image.
  • Sally will describe three simple ways that style can help bolster body image.

There will be time toward the end of the session for Q&A, so bring your questions. We’ll also have gift bags for all attendees with goodies and coupons from vendors including Smitten Kitten, the Elixery, and many others as well as a raffle for some fun items from Lole fitness wear.

Click here to purchase your tickets!

SOCIAL MEDIA

The Strong, Sexy & Stylish blog will be the main source for news about events and will include new posts whenever podcasts go live. You can also find our contact information there, and we’ll occasionally post about our individual projects as well. We’ve also launched Facebook and Twitter for SS&S, and would love your support!

We three couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration. We couldn’t. We tried and we all got headaches. But seriously, we’re thrilled to be working together toward such an important common goal, and hope that we can reach women all over the globe to help nudge them onto the path of self-acceptance and healthy body image. We hope you’ll support us in this new endeavor, listen in and contribute to the podcast, and let us know if you’ve got questions or topics you’d like to see addressed!

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  • Genevieve

    You all look so excited and bright eyed and gorgeous in those pics!

    Here’s an idea. The Unitarian Universalist church collaborated with the United Church of Christ in the 90s(?) to create a really great comprehensive sex ed program called Our Whole Lives(OWL). It gets high reviews. Very comprehensive. Very egalitarian and open to many different sexual practices and lifestyles. Your sex educator partner might want to check it out, but also, the OWL program is taught each year in UCC and UU churches. You might see if those places would be interested in having your group speak/teach in conjunction with the program. There are curricula for students aged 6 to 106 but the main focus is on students aged 13-17. The youth at our church who’ve gone through it showed signs by the end of their multiple weekend meetings that they’d be thrilled to talk about other topics along with sex. They were a bit tired of all the sex talk. I imagine they’d love to add a little bit of fashion and fitness to the mix. Also as a longtime UU I’m in love with my crunchy community of intellectuals and hippies but talk of fashion rarely enters into the mix. It could be really refreshing!

    Best of luck to you! This is good work!

    • Jennifer Pierce

      I agree! I go to First Universalist in Uptown, and we have a great OWL program. I know our program does look for speakers. http://firstuniv.org/

  • Genevieve

    Oops – here’s the link to the OWL program.
    http://www.uua.org/re/owl/

  • Anonymous

    So excited for you, Sal!
    I love your blog and look forward to checking out Strong, Sexy & Stylish.

  • Yay! What a cool new project! Sad I can’t see you in person, so it’s good to hear there will be podcasts! 🙂

  • A.

    This is the coolest thing ever! Congrats on the new venture. The class sounds awesome – and its affordable. Good for you three!

  • Jude

    Y’all should work on creating a curriculum geared towards girls 10-14, and offer it to local school districts and home school programs. Poor body image is a HUGE problem for girls in this age group and imho, a subject barely touched on in the educational system.

  • What a great idea!! Congratulations to all three of you — really looking forward to seeing what you have in store.

  • I almost just passed out from this awesomeness of this. Congrats!!

  • Wow, what an exciting new chapter in your life, Sal! Congratulations, I’m sure you will be awesome at this as well. 🙂

  • Becky

    What a fabulous idea! I loved the first podcast and can’t wait to hear more. Congratulations!

  • LisaZ

    I’m so excited about this collaboration! Thanks for introducing us to these other awesome women. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

  • Ditto the OWL project – I was raised a UU and went through their pre-OWL sex ed course in middle school. I wish my friends had such an experience, I think they would have had better self esteem and would have respected their bodies more as impressionable teens.

    I LOVE this Sal, and this is such a perfect collaboration for you! Best of luck with this! 🙂

  • Congrats, lady!!

    I like that everyone is wearing primary colors in the photo. After all the work you’ve put into this project, I’m sure that was the one thing you hoped people would notice. 😉

  • Sal, you never cease to amaze me. You are such an incredible woman!

  • Anat

    I love it! What a great idea!! Listening to the podcast already.

  • Oh. My. God.

    I’m a sex educator, a fashion fiend and a runner!

    I am squee-ing with delight at the prospect of podcasts while simultaneously lamenting the prohibitive distance to St. Paul where your class is!

  • Rachel

    I’m excited to see what you ladies have planned. My New Year’s resolution was to focus more on the whole and not the parts (ie: my fat arms) so this is something that sounds very beneficial.

  • Wow!! Thanks to everyone that has left such great comments for us. We really appreciate it! Thanks so much for your support and inspiration!
    -Karen (Strong)

  • Lisa

    I knew Laura back when my knitting group used to meet at the Smitten Kitten! What a great collaboration; I’m very excited to hear the podcasts.

  • Christine

    This is so fantastic :D! Congrats on all the work the 3 of you have done so far, I’ll def. be following the blog & checking the podcasts!

  • Cool! I’ll add the podcast to my downloads — I love smart things to listen to whilst sewing.

  • Molly

    I like this so much. There need to be more people like you in my life.

  • Congratulations on the new project. Wonderful.

  • JI

    Sal, will there be a measurement tool? I think that if you administer the Rosenberg Self-Assessment Tool (http://www.wwnorton.com/college/psych/psychsci/media/rosenberg.htm) or another recognized tool,before the program begins, and then again when it is over, you can actually measure the success of your program.
    Evidence based research, Sal. Why not go for it?

  • KLynn

    This is excellent! I listened to your first podcast and couldn’t be more excited for those to follow. With this “terrific trifecta,” we can all be our best selves in 2012. Your objectives with this new venture support many of my new year’s resolutions perfectly!

  • I subscribed!

  • Congratulations on what sounds like a great new project and collaboration – the world needs more women like you girls!

    Perhaps this is a good place (or not?) to ask if you could bring the subject of migraine up – this trio seems like a good starting platform for information and your readers always have great and helpful comments: my daughter is 21 and her life and importantly, education, are being ruined and cut short by migraine (since she was 17) mainly because of attendance rules and a lack of understanding from staff. She is happily married and tries to make the most of life, but with some migraines lasting up to 2mths at a time… it’s hard. She has seen endless doctors and neurologists, had several MRIs and so on, but so far, nothing helps. I know a lot of women suffer migraines – how do they manage to attend school, get qualifications and so on and what are some alternative solutions that could work?

    • Sal

      MelD, I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about your daughter’s migraines. A friend’s son has similarly severe migraines and I’ve watched the family struggle for years. If anyone else has input perhaps they’ll speak up, but I’m afraid I don’t have any advice myself. Maybe try a forum like this one: http://forums.healthcentral.com/discussion/migraine/forums

  • This is really exciting, congratulations! I’m subscribing to your podcast, from your description it’s something I think I need in my life 🙂

  • Nomi

    Tour to the DC area, pleeeeeZ!

  • LG

    Listened to the podcast and I love it! Looking forward to them!

  • Kay

    yayyy! Congratulations!! And good luck for your new venture, Sal!

  • Kay

    Sal, Can you share how to subscribe to the posts to your new blog, so that it will land on my email inbox?

    • Sal

      Oh! Completely forgot to add that feature! Just added – it’s in the right rail, “Follow by email.” Thanks for the reminder, Kay!

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