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Debbie Lechtman

More by Debbie Lechtman

Her Story: I Was Molested at Age 14


I have always been better with written words than with spoken ones. As a young gymnast, I never confided in my coaches when I felt scared or uncomfortable with a new, risky skill, and instead always performed it exactly as I had been instructed for fear of disappointing them. At age seven, when my mother chose not to attend my first gymnastics competition, I did not say a peep, even though I was a little upset because all the other girls had brought their mothers along.

I may not have said much -- or anything at all, really -- but I wrote and wrote and wrote. I have a stack of journals filled with nearly incomprehensible scribbles to prove it.

And so naturally, when my mother’s physical therapist and friend molested me at age 14, I did not utter a word -- or the right ones, at least. I tried to tell my dad; I truly did. But can a 14-year-old really make an adult -- her father, of all people -- comprehend the incomprehensible?

So I never said much, but this time was different. What had happened to me was so unfathomable, so utterly terrifying and confusing, that I never even wrote about it until last year -- not even in my private journals. I was too ashamed to tell my friends.

The thing is, when you have trouble expressing that you have been sexually abused, it is hard for the people around you to understand that something truly terrible has happened to you. And personally, I have never found anything more alienating than this.

But I am writing about it now, and it all went something like this:

Permanent hair straightening techniques


No matter how many times we are told that beachy hair is in for the summer, for some of us curly gals, styling beach-like waves - that still look chic - can be a nightmare. Unfortunately, straightening our hair won’t do this season - the humidity outside can ruin an hour-long straightening job in just under three seconds! If nothing sounds better to you than jumping out of the shower and - gasp! - letting your hair air dry, it is important to know that there are some more permanent straightening options. However, these treatments will not necessarily be kind to your hair, so you must seriously do your research before choosing a treatment that is right for you.

Relaxer:A relaxer is great because it does not completely straighten your hair but softens the texture and reduces the frizz. Therefore, your hair retains most of its natural movement and look but becomes much easier to handle. The downside, of course, is that a relaxer is a treatment that involves chemicals. These chemicals fade over time, so you might want to get your hair treated again in a few months.

Japanese hair straightening (also known as thermal reconditioning):This method is great if you are looking for sleek, perfectly straight strands, much like naturally Asian hair. The treatment is expensive (around $600) but it does last a long time. Your already existing hair will remain straight forever, but the new hair growing at the roots will come out in its original texture, requiring a retouch of the roots every six months or so. Unfortunately, the chemicals involved in procedure are quite strong and could seriously damage your hair. Be sure to talk to your hairdresser to see if this treatment is right for you, and if you do get it done - ask what shampoo you should wash your hair with afterward!

Color Blocked Nails


Colorblocking is everywhere this season. From runway shows to department store window displays, the trend is loud, proud and here to stay. Nevertheless, it is true that rocking a brightly colorblocked outfit can be a little overwhelming if you are not looking to attract too much attention. For those of you not quite brave enough to tread the waters of colorblocking, there is still a subtle - but super trendy - solution: colorblocked nails. Luckily, sometimes the smallest gestures can make the boldest statements. Pair the following styles with a neutral outfit and get ready to turn heads - subtly, of course.

French tip with a twist: Choose two contrasting nail polishes, such as bright blue and yellow or green and pink. Paint them as if you were giving yourself a French manicure, using the cooler color - blue or green, in this case - as the tip. Voilà! You will look super classy but still young and fun.

Two-tone nails: For an original spin on colorblocking, choose two nail polishes in the same color but in very different shades (e.g. baby blue and navy blue). Paint the first nail in one of the two shades and the next one in the other, alternating until you have painted all of them. The fun thing about this style is that most people will not be able to tell it is colorblocked until they get a closer look. It also creates a cool shadow effect.  

Want Cheaper Textbooks? Check Out Bookbyte!


This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% ours.
You know what I really hate about back-to-school shopping? Spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on boring textbooks that the professor may or may not use.
The people that work at my school’s bookstore always tell me that I can sell them back at the end of the semester, but that’s not quite true, is it? For one thing, there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually take them back. And if they do, they’ll give you - what? - $10 for a book that you paid $300 for? Ridiculous.
If you’re like me and hate to spend nearly a thousand dollars on textbooks that will just collect dust in your dorm room throughout the course of the semester, then you should check Bookbyte out. Not only do they sell college textbooks for a much more reasonable price, but you are also guaranteed to sell yours back !

Recently, Bookbyte announced its new Guaranteed Buyback program, which not only offers textbooks for 50% less than the price of buying used textbooks (!!!), but it also rewards students with a 10% cash rebate when they sell their books back at the end of the term! That's pretty sweet! 
The following are a few more perks about using Bookbyte, from their website:
"Top 5 Reasons To Buy with Bookbyte
1. Buying used textbooks saves you money
2. Bookbyte has a huge inventory of used textbooks - we receive thousands more daily
3. You can buy all your books in one easy transaction
4. You choose the shipping method
5. We have a generous 14-day purchase price return policy, for any reason

Exciting iPhone News!


I love my iPhone.

 I just can’t stand my phone service.
I hate to say it, but AT&T drops calls like hot potatoes!
(Don’t believe me? Check this article out)
At first I could laugh about it, but now it’s just downright aggravating. It’s fine if the calls drop when I’m in the middle of a conversation with a friend, although it’s still annoying (not to mention, I’m sure to receive a text that says, “Thanks for hanging up on me, jerk” or something along those lines, usually involving a little profanity).
But what if I’m in the middle of a phone interview!?
Or, say my apartment is burning down. I call 9-11 and then - click! - the call drops. And then it’s too late.
It’s just not very convenient, you see.
Everyone and her mother (and step-brother and grandmother and hairstylist and hookup buddy) have heard rumors about Verizon and the iPhone. Personally, I never really believed them. Too much talk and too little action, you see?
I’ll believe it when I see it.
Well, guess what? I might be seeing it pretty soon.
As we speak, Verizon is reportedly announcing the iPhone at a press conference. Check out this and this article at The Huffington Post. The details (like prices or what model they’ll be selling) are yet to be released.
Only 351 days until my AT&T contract is done.

Behind-The-Scenes At Kim Kardashian's Glamour Cover!


Ever wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes at your favorite magazine's photoshoots? I know I do! 

Check out the video below to see what happened when Kim Kardashian posed for the February cover of Glamour! Not only do we get to see her hair and makeup, but she also answers a few burning questions about what makes her feel sexy and her beauty must-haves!

No Better Time To Volunteer Abroad Than The Present!


I want to contribute something to the world. I want to give back. I want people - and myself - to believe that my life and work has been worthwhile. Sure, someday I’ll be an editor at NYLON or Teen Vogue (hey, a girl can dream, right?), but how much will that help the world’s needy (you know, other than teaching them about the fabulous ways of fashion and style)?
The truth is that there is no better time to volunteer (there are so many ways to volunteer!) than college. Obviously, you can’t afford to start your own great non-profit organization yet, but all it takes is a little research and motivation and you’ll be well on your way to making the world a better place.
One of my favorite volunteer websites is Projects Abroad (not that you can’t volunteer at home, too!) because it just offers a crazy amount of options. From more “traditional” projects like teaching like teaching in Africa to journalism internships abroad to alternative spring break trips, there must be something on this website that is right for you (in fact, I’m looking into a project right now that I’m getting pretty excited about)!

Project Abroad has projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America (and you can even combine countries!) in over ten different professions. These projects range from two weeks to four months so you can choose to do whatever (and whenever!) suits you best. Project Abroad can also book your flights for you. That’s pretty sweet, isn’t it?
If Project Abroad is not for you, here’s some other websites you can check out so you can make sure to leave your own mark in the world!
International Volunteer HQ

Study Abroad...At Sea?


Having trouble deciding where to study abroad? Sure, London and Madrid sound fabulous, but how about somewhere a little more exotic, like Morocco or Kenya? Decisions, decisions!

 But wait - you might actually not have to choose at all. Have you heard of Semester at Sea? If you’re interested in studying abroad and haven’t heard of it, you should definitely check it out. While it’s not for everyone (think seasickness or claustrophobia), some people absolutely love it.
Basically, Semester at Sea is just what it sounds like. You get on a ship, you take classes (for credit! Just remember to make sure they’re transferable to your home college) and you stop and visit a bunch of different countries. You don’t take any classes when you’re on dry land, according to Frances, a Syracuse University senior, who went on Semester at Sea this past summer.

Apparently, dumped women are more attractive


I just came across an article on Marie Claire that totally surprised me. It turns out that the results of a study at the University of Michigan indicate that straight men are more attracted to women who’ve recently been dumped! How weird is that? To make things even more interesting, they are less attracted to women who do the dumping. Maybe they’re afraid of assertive women? Who knows!
On the other hand, women tend to be more attracted to men who do the dumping, but I don’t find that surprising at all. Maybe women are more attracted to men who show some power and dominance, and maybe some are simply attracted to jerks (what else is new, right?)! 
Read the article here!

Regardless of who does the dumping, I think this article reflects a larger issue: how "the past" affects so many relationships, when it shouldn't! Whether someone is getting jealous over an ex or constantly bringing up his or her partner's less than perfect past, the truth is that what happened before two people got together usually has no relevance to the relationship and won't help it move in a positive direction! I can't tell you how many times I've seen a couple get into a fight over something that happened a million years ago - something that simply does not matter anymore.

What do you think? Are you hotter with the dumper or the dumpee? Did you find the Marie Claire article surprising at all? Do you tend to bring up the past in relationships?


My Favorite Fashion Blogs


I think fashion is one of my absolute favorite things in the entire world. One of my guilty pleasures is spending hours upon hours perusing fashion blogs all over the Internet - everything from profitable, well-known blogs to a few more obscure ones! For those of you inner fashionistas, here is a list of my five favorite fashion blogs that you might want to check out and perhaps get some inspiration from (even though sometimes they wear some outrageous stuff!).
1. The Sartorialist
This one is a classic, and I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of it! Do you love people watching - and do you notice those who dress in trendy, unusual or fashion-forward clothes (I do!)? If you do, you might want to check this one out! Scott Schuman, who started this blog in 2005 after having worked in the fashion industry for 15 years, goes around major cities and photographs those with amazing style. He’s absolutely revolutionized fashion photography, and some of the people he’s captured wear interesting things, to say the least!
2. Go Fug Yourself
This one’s just hilarious. Even celebrities have their off days, and it’s all documented on this blog! GFY is like a blog version of What Not To Wear.
3. Cupcakes and Cashmere
I’m kind of obsessed with this blog. Not only does Emily share her amazing (I mean AMAZING) sense of style with us, but she shares recipes for yummy desserts, too (I have a gigantic sweet tooth)! Let’s just say I’ve based more than one of my outfits off the stuff Emily wears!