Good News for Dolphins and Orcas

"Living in captivity and being forced to perform shows for the public has been proven totake a terrible toll on the physical and psychological health of marine mammals. When confined in a space that severely lacks stimulation, dolphins and orcas grow frustrated and become aggressive – something that never happens in their natural habitat. The onlydocumented instances of orcas attacking humans have happened in captivity. Additionally, dolphins often start to display zoochotic behaviors similar to symptoms of prison neurosis when left in a tank that prohibits them from exercising their intellect and social skills. Extremely stressed animals are known to engage in acts of self-mutilation, like throwing themselves against the walls of their tanks. Those and other symptoms even lead to feeding captive marine animals pharmaceuticals – SeaWorld has admitted to medicating their orcas withpsychoactive drugs similar to valium." OneGreenPlant

This is the French version of How to Speak Dolphin. I'm thrilled that the French have taken steps to end the terrible lives we have submitted these intelligent mammals to.

Lolita, 45 years in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium

Lolita, 45 years in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium

Lolita's prison for 45 years

Lolita's prison for 45 years

Empowering Girls by Maxine Rose Schur

After strolling through the unrelenting pink princess aisles for girls at Toys R Us, seeing toy after toy with images of skinny, impossibly pretty royalty and the overwhelming emphasis on “prettiness,” I’ve come up with a new toy mirror for girls.  Princess Lily’s Enchanted Mirror™ is a plastic hand mirror, large but light to hold. When a young girl lifts the mirror, the technology is activated: soft music plays, clouds swirl and in a moment the child sees, as if arriving from faraway, a 3-dimensional fairy godmother type figure coming closer.  This is Princess Lily. The music stops and Princess Lily’s face now fills nearly the whole mirror surface. She speaks to the girl from the world of the mirror. She tells the child, a fun bit of poetry, sings a short song, provides an affirmation or empowering suggestion. What Princess Lily says is unpredictable: sometimes playful, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always supportive. After she speaks her words to the child, she vanishes within clouds so the mirror becomes once again simply a mirror in which the child sees herself, but perhaps in a different, more positive way because of the reassuring words just imparted to her. 

I posted the idea on a site called JazWings and if I can get 100 people to vote for it--- which means they like the idea-no money involved, then the parent toy company, JazWares will consider it. I’m asking everyone concerned about empowering girls from an early age to please vote and to provide feedback for improvement.  This is very important but it’s easy. Here’s how:
Access the site through Facebook or through

NOTE from Ginny: Try this link first. I may take you directly to the VOTE page.

Otherwise Go to Community

Sign up (register) (takes no more than a minute) and no, you won’t be spammed.

Click on Discover and scroll down to Princess Lily's Enchanted Mirror.

Give it one to five stars then press the Vote button.  If you do it right, you'll get a message "Thanks for voting."  

If it's confusing or difficult, I'm happy to call you and walk you through it. It should take just a minute or two at the most! My email

There is no money or any kind of obligation with it, it's just a vote.

Thank you in advance for your support and feedback. I very much appreciate it.

Maxine Rose Schur (

To understand why I’ve created this toy idea, read on:

Since the 1995 publication of the landmark book Reviving Ophelia* there has been greater awareness of the importance of a strong self-image for young girls to counter the “beauty-perfect” images that pervade the media through television, movies, video games, toys and advertising.  The book and subsequent research have brought to light the insidious impact the popular media and societal pressure have on the self-image of young girls who learn at a very early age that being pretty and attractive to boys is a measure of self-worth and social success.  The research revealed that even the self-esteem of strong, confident girls diminishes dramatically from the age of seven as they become more exposed to mass culture.

Because children are learning new behaviors and “wiring their brain,” affirmations can be particularly effective with them. Research shows that positive self-belief developed in childhood stays throughout life. When children hear words of praise and encouragement, they learn to praise, and respect themselves. Once affirmations are learned, they work by coming to mind when that belief is challenged.  Alsothe more an affirmation is repeated, the stronger it becomes.

Also of importance, affirmations are believed to be the most powerful when said or heard while looking into a mirror. Young girls introduced to this concept may feel more comfortable and self-assured looking at themselves in the mirror as they mature.

Because the mirror is programmed with hundreds of words of encouragement and because they take a varied form: rhymes, riddles, charming, unexpected thoughts, serious affirmations and questions, the toy does not present as didactic, nor can it quickly become predictable as are the current crop of toy mirrors. Rather Princess Lily’s Enchanted Mirror continues with each use to be unpredictable—surprising, fresh and above all, more fun.

Princess Lily’s Enchanted Mirror is accompanied by a small storybook that tells the story of Princess Lily and her three empowering sisters, the enchanted land in which they live and how the mirror came to be “enchanted.”  It also includes a guide for parents in giving positive affirmations and modeling and encouraging the self-awareness of feelings.

Princess Lily’s Enchanted Mirror reflects to the child not merely her external appearance, but her inner strength and beauty.  The mirror anticipates the child’s age-appropriate anxieties, concerns and doubts and gently and creatively suggests behaviors and thoughts to challenge them. In this way, Princess Lily’s Enchanted Mirror functions as both a toy and a psychological tool.