Sunday, July 10, 2011

Girls’ Night Out Sponsored by Hewitt’s Women’s Health Awareness Club

With pink décor surrounding the Hewitt gymnasium, the room was filled with proud and supportive women only. Three wonderful speakers stood in front of the podium sharing their background, passions, and stories with the extended Hewitt community.

The first speaker was Geralyn Lucas, breast cancer survivor and Hewitt mother. Diagnosed at twenty-seven, Geralyn Lucas moved the audience to tears as she told her story. Lucas did not have any family history of the disease; in fact, she discovered the cancerous tumor herself. While being treated, Lucas wrote her memoir, Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, which was later made into a movie. Although the title appears humorous, Lucas explained that the deeper meaning to the title. “As the doctor looked over at me,” Lucas recalled, “I wanted him to think of that first kiss he had as a boy… As the nurse stood above me I wanted her to think, ‘Man, she looks good’.” After seven hours, Lucas said, “The nurse said to me, ‘Girl you have been wearing that red lipstick for seven hours, and it is still perfect. What is the brand?’” Despite the seeming silliness of it all, the red lipstick symbolized the confidence that Lucas felt inside, despite her illness.

Next, Lucas showed a self-made YouTube video showing the various ways that women inflict pain on themselves for “beauty.” Whether it is waxing, tattoos, or strutting in gorgeous but deadly heels, we do submit ourselves to torture every single day. The irony, Lucas pointed out, is that when it comes to getting a mammogram, women simply shy away because of the five seconds of pain, even though the pain of a mammogram could save her life.
One of the biggest points that Lucas stressed during her speech was the importance of new testing and being aware of your body. Because of Lucas’ lack of family history with the disease, Lucas has taken a special interest in tests that can find the gene, the chance of having the gene, and several other factors that can make women more aware of their chance of contracting breast cancer.
The second speaker was Dawn Lerman, a nutritionist who shared some scary truths about the foods 

which we eat every day. Sugar, thought be one of the most deadly foods on the market, was also recently tackled in an April issue of The New York Times Magazine. The amount of sugar that we ingest during a meal is simply shocking, and the article describes how it tortures our bodies. Lerman also provided an interesting rule of thumb: if the label gives detail about the amount of fiber, low calories, or lack of fat, it most likely is not healthy. Foods should not have to advertise their health benefits.
Lerman’s fascination for advising people on the appropriate foods to eat came from her father. As she grew up with a dad who constantly battled obesity, Lerman learned the hardships of living an overweight life. You can follow Dawn Lerman on her food discoveries, recommendations, and more at her blog.

The final speaker was a representative from Planned Parenthood, the most controversial speaker due to the potential budget cuts in her program advocated by abortion opponents in Congress. The representative discussed the importance of talking about what teenagers considered to be the most 

difficult subject with parents: S-E-X. Furthermore, she discussed a prominent drug on the market to prevent unwanted pregnancy; this drug has been labeled “Plan B.” It is imperative to know that this is not a common alternative to using protection, but instead a last resort as it can result in an increase in hormonal levels. The representative added that there are several other clinics including Planned Parenthood that offer free consultations. The most shocking thing that the representative told us is that while someone 21 years or older can buy alcohol for another who is younger than 21, a person 17 years or older can buy Plan B for someone younger than 17.

Nicole Axelowitz `12, one of the leaders in planning this wonderful event, stated, “A year ago, Sunny Rovitz, Madeleine Mogul, and I came up with the idea of starting a women’s health and awareness club. Because we attend an all-girls school, we felt it was vital to have a club that focuses on educating women about women. Our goal for Girls’ Night Out was to bring together daughters and their mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and other women who are significant to them, for a night of revitalization and education. We look forward to more of these opportunities in the future!”

The night ended with a raffle of amazing prizes, such as hair products, yoga materials, and many more goodies. Plus, gift bags abounded, filled with items ranging from beauty products to important pamphlets about “the conversation.” Congratulations to the Hewitt’s Women’s Health Awareness Club for planning such a fabulous event!