Archive for June, 2008

23
Jun
08

Making Waves?

For those who know me well, and even a few who don’t, the fact that I am even aware of this may come as a shock. After all, I care nothing about fashion of any kind unless it comes from a thrift store or is a pair of converses. But I must say when this came up on my news feed I just couldn’t help myself. Apparently Vogue Italia’s July issueis a special one. It features Black women only, and issues related to Black women. (Side note: I haven’t read the issue, ergo, I have no clue what said issues are. I am always suspicious of blanket statements such as this one, but I am only the messenger). I never know what to think when confronted with things like this. But I  must say, the editor of Vogue Italia really surprised me with some of the interviews I have been reading. For instance:

I thought, it’s ridiculous, this discrimination,” said Mr. Meisel, speaking by phone from his home in Los Angeles. “It’s so crazy to live in such a narrow, narrow place. Age, weight, sexuality, race — every kind of prejudice.”

…Mr. Meisel has his own theories about why black models, save for the token few, have disappeared from runways. “Perhaps the designers, perhaps the magazine editors,” he said. “They are the powerful people. And the advertisers. I have asked my advertising clients so many times, ‘Can we use a black girl?’ They say no.” The concern is that consumers will resist the product, he said. “It all comes down to money.”

Basically, Meisel (a fashion photographer) has decided to tackle every issue of racial and size discrimination in the fashion industry in one neat little issue. Apparently, it’s just that simple. Put an issue with black women and a spread with Tocarra (America’s Next Top Model’s original plus size poster child) and all is right with the world. I suppose having an all-black issue fudges the stats in terms of how diverse Vogue Italia might be, but dedicating a specialized issue in this way regardless of the statement it makes still leaves black women or plus size models in the margins. This is something that frustrates me, especially with fat women who statistically make up the majority.

Ok. Here’s my thing. I am all for exposing discrimination and fostering dialogue about potential prejudices, whatever they maybe. But one aspect of the fashion industry that really burns me up is the fact that designers, magazine editors and models are all willing to criticize an industry while participating it all at the same time. So it seems almost hypocritical to me for this editor to vent frustrations with the lack of black models and the refusal of advertisers to use black models. It seems hypocritical when you think about how much money this person makes by participating in this system.

I do think it’s important to criticize our own communities and change things from the inside out. But it’s awfully pretentious to climb on that high horse and act like you have not contributed in some way.

But what is really frustrating to me is the fact that I can’t decide for myself the best way to go about this. I do think it’s important to change the mainstream ideology but can that be done from the inside? I want to say yes but I just don’t buy into this all the way. Is it possible to be a part of the system and criticize it or does it always have to come from the outside? Which way os more effective? I wish I had answers.

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19
Jun
08

Makeup and Me Part 2: Beauty Swag!

Since I gave y’all my makeup wearing background and asked about y’alls favorite makeup lines and products, I figured, why not share mine? This post is gonna be chock full of gorgeous swag AND coupon codes so y’all can grab some wonderful beauty products too. I’m all about saving a dollar when I can.

Now, in case y’all hadn’t realized it, I love to shop. One would think I have much more money than I have considering the amount of shopping I do. Not so. I believe in coupons and such, so whenever I find a company I love, I sign up for emails and whatever rewards program they have.

So, first up is Sephora. I love grabbing their bath and body line, and a while ago I discovered the Whipped Body Delights. They’re super moisturising, and they smell so delicious. I grabbed this set:

Mmm...fruity!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Sorbet Set. It comes with four scents: Pink Grapefruit, Grapeseed, White Peach, and Lemon Drop. I loved all but the pink grapefruit. There was nothing bad about it; I’m just not a fan of grapefruit in any form (the actual fruit, juice, scents…yeah. ew.) But my mother absolutely loves it. There is also an Ice Cream Set available (that’s getting ordered next week). It has Coffee & Cream, Peppermint Mocha, Marshmallow, and Vanilla Frosting in the set. Don’t want to commit to four at once? Well, they also sell some individually (but many of the scents I mentioned only come in the sets). What I would do is order the sets, pick my favorites, and give away the rest. The sets will run you $20 apiece, and the individual ones run from $4 to $8 depending on the scent.

Now, this is the thing about Sephora. If you want their deals, you’re totally gonna have to sign up for their emails. Also, join their Beauty Insider club! It’s free! They send emails with special codes to deluxe(read: bigger sized) samples, and when you spend $100, you get a special super deluxe sample with your next order. I’m up to 90 points. Yeah. Oh, and if you want their sale stuff? Type “sale” in their search bar, and it’ll take you to the sale section. Some stuff is up to 70% off!

Next up: Clinique. Now, Clinique is absolutely not cheap. I know, I know. But you can still get great deals from their website. Join Club Clinique (again, it’s free!) or join the email list…or do both like me. Every week I get a new code towards getting extra swag with my order or free shipping…or both. For example, this week, you can get a free travel-size Superbalm Moisturising Gloss and free shipping with any purchase by entering CONCERNS at checkout. BUT! You gotta be a Club Clinique member to redeem. So go do that. Now. Go. Because the code’s only good till June 23.

Ok, Ok. I keep showing y’all places with the not so cheap swag. Let me make it up (ha! puns! I’m so funny.) to you. Welcome to Eyes Lips Face. Y’all, the first time I met this website I was AMAZED. Just about everything there (excluding the mineral makeup and the bath and body stuff) is just $1. No, seriously. I spent about $25 dollars that first visit and got a BOATLOAD of swag. Now typically, I’m not an advocate of the $1 makeup, because I feel one should pay for quality. Y’all, this makeup is the awesome, even for that $1, and I did a mini shopping spree not to long ago. I spent maybe $15 total (shipping and all folks) and got some great stuff. My favorite pieces to grab? The brightening eye color, the liquid eyeliner, and the Super Glossy Lip Shine. With deals this good, who needs offer codes? YOU DO, because even with these prices, they still send out codes, tips, and looks in their emails. So go sign up for that. Oh, and you get a gift for your birthday.

Still want some cheapie looks? Well, head on over to Ulta! They have a mix of the bargains (you can get your CoverGirl, Revlon, Almay, and such here) and the luxe (Urban Decay, Too Faced, Lorac, Smashbox) so you can decide how much of a treat you want to give yourself. They also have great bath and body items…seriously, y’all, Ulta has everything. Including a rewards program (Ulta Beauty Rewards), which helps you earn points towards free swag, and awesome gifts with purchase. Sign up for the emails, and every week, you get a new coupon code to put towards your online purchases (get the rewards card, and you’ll get coupons in the mail you can take to the stores!) So, to get you started, use promo code 93849 to get $3.50 off a $10 or more purchase. If you decide to scoop some BareMinerals, do so from here, because you can get it shipped to you free when you enter code SHIPBAREFREE at checkout. AND if you spend $40 or more you get a free Rose Radiance All Over Face color too…while supplies last. Hop on this one now, folks, ’cause BareMinerals goes fast. These promotions end June 28, 2008, so you have a little time to fully click about the site and decide what you want. For more special offers, click here to go to a listing.

And finally, I wanted to show you some swag I scooped from Urban Decay. I’m pretty new to the brand, but they have the bold, eye-popping colors I absolutely love. I signed up for email updates the other day, and I was excited to get an email with a code to get a free mini lipgloss set. I’d give y’all the code…but it expired (sorry, y’all. but next code I’ll share, I promise!) Here’s the lipgloss set:

Tingly, sparkly goodness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the XXX Shine Stash. It’s a set of mini forms of their XXX Shine Gloss. It has peppermint oil, so it gives you a bit of a tingle when you put it on, and the colors are very blendable (even the red isn’t too harsh) so you can layer it over lipstick or just wear it alone for a sheer hit of color. Yours for $25.

I also scooped some Flavored Body Powder:

Delicious Glittery Goodness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a pic of the Cocoa, but it also comes in Caramel, Marshmallow, and Honey. I have the Caramel. It leaves a beautiful shimmer, and if your date/significant other/puppy gets friendly, they get a burst of flavor with each kiss…or puppy kiss. Yours for $15 to $26, depending on the flavor.

And to round out my first Urban Decay order, I scooped some eyeshadow. I picked Midnight Cowgirl, a gorgeous sparkly pale gold color.

Now, if y’all are looking for brands/stores that don’t do animal testing? Urban Decay (and it’s sister site, Hard Candy), Too Faced, Eyes Lips Face cosmetics, Clinique, Almay, and many others (these are my favorites) don’t. If you aren’t sure, go to the product’s website and look. Often, they’ll have a section where they’ll state if they do. Can’t find it? More than likely they do, or you’ll have to go to the corporate website to find out. Such is the case of many drugstore brands (like CoverGirl, you’d have to go to Proctor and Gamble’s website to find out.)

And so ends the beauty swag post. Did I leave out any deals y’all know about? Didn’t mention your favorite cosmetic store or brand? Leave them in the comments! And y’all have a glamorous day!

16
Jun
08

Makeup and Me

This piece was inspired by this post over at Nudemuse. Confound me for leaving it in my idea journal so long! I promise I’m gonna get better about putting my posts on the actual blog in a timely manner, really I am!

I remember a conversation I had with my lil’ bro when I was sixteen (this would make him ten). We were getting ready for dinner, my family and I, and mom and I were getting all dolled up with the make-up.

Him: *intently watching me line my eyes* “Why do y’all put all that stuff on your face?”

Me: “What stuff? My eyeshadow?”

Him: “All of that stuff. It makes you look fake. Are you hiding something?”

Me: *quietly shoves him out of the doorway and shuts door*

My Mom: “I’m gonna have to learn that boy some tact.” (No, she seriously said it like that. I cracked up and nearly poked my eye out with the mascara.)

At the time, I had no idea how to really answer the question about why I wear makeup. I just liked the stuff. I fancy myself a bit of an artist, and for me, my face was just another place to wear extravagant colors or try different color combinations. Granted, I typically did my makeup oddly in those days. I never put shadow in the creases or browbones. I only shadowed the lid and lined my eyes, and wore plenty of mascara. And I don’t know if this applies to anyone else (I mean, I could see everyone else’s lids when I stared directly into their faces), but it’s like my lids disappear when you look directly in my face, so all one really saw was my liner and lashes. Great if that’s all I wanted to show…but it wasn’t. But I digress.

As I became more adept with the shadow, I found myself pairing yellow shadow with orange and black (I looked like some type of tropical bird, y’all. Real talk.) and the question my lil bro asked arose in my head again…”Why do you wear that stuff?” Well, I could wax poetic about how I’m enhancing my natural beauty and further encouraging myself to step from the shadows into the light, but seriously, y’all?

I wear it because I like it. Nothing to hide, as 10 year old lil bro assumed. In fact, I made my first foray into makeup when I was in my tomboy phase my freshman year of high school. I used clothes to hide away. It drove my mom absolutely nuts. So, to make my mom feel better (she worked at a cosmetics company at the time) I would wear super shiny gloss, then graduated to brown glosses (she took what she could get, ’cause I wasn’t gonna wear pink). The rest was history. Essentially, I just think makeup is pretty.

Interestingly enough, I went slightly dramatic with the eyes when I went to lil godsis’ graduation. I had false lashes, pretty black liner, hair yanked up so you could see the full effect (I also had on a FIERCE spagetti-strapped dress), the whole nine. My mom peeked her head in my room as I was admiring my work, and she says: “Wow. That’s pretty. It’s the most makeup I’ve ever seen you wear.”

Me: “Wait. Is it too much?” (I love color, but I tend not to be heavy with it.)

Her: “No, it looks great. It’s just..I’ve never seen you wear that much. I didn’t know you could do that. It’s amazing.”

Me: *smile*

Heh. Well, maybe I also wear makeup for compliments on styling–at least, every once in a while. I’m a bit conceited, I guess. 🙂

So, what makeup do y’all wear? Do you have a favorite feature you like to play up? Do you go wild with lipsticks and gloss? Or are you all about the eyes, like me? Are you all natural, like IntellectualFeminist? Oh, and what are y’alls favorite lines? I just got some great beauty swag I’ll be sharing with y’all soon, but I’m always on the lookout for new lines to try.

 

12
Jun
08

My Beautiful Mommy?

The other day in class, one of the students, who also teaches women’s studies at another university, said that she honestly believes that the way we as a feminist community will able to change society is by teaching our daughters. I would take that one step further and say we should teach our sons as well, but I really think she is on to something. The next day, I excitedly read my new issue of Bitch magazine. In it, I found a review of this book written for children with mothers preparing to have plastic surgery.

I am positive that this is not what my classmate was talking about.

I was in such disbelief about this ridiculous piece of literature, that I went to my local bookstore and read it for myself. What a waste of paper this was. The author should have marketed a series of refridgerator magnets that read “Feeling like shit about yourself is totally fine. Just have surgery.”

Seriously, when the mom explains to the kid why she is having surgery she says something to the effect of: when you get old you get wrinkly, things sag, and you gotta have surgery to make yourself pretty again.

What the fuck?

I want to make something painfully clear here. This book is being marketed to children between the ages of 4 and 9. What kind of message are we sending children so young? Children that young have enough to worry about. Why add a fear of getting old and an anxiety about their bodies?

And besides, when did something like going under the knife become fairy tale material. I read the book and I can tell you there was not one page dedicated to the fact that mommy could die from surgery. Or what happens when you read your kid the book and then something goes terribly wrong and you don’t come out “prettier”? What the fuck do you do then?

I am so sick and tired of the nonchalant way in which society at large deals with the problem of hating one’s body. People treat it like getting your period. It’s as though it’s just a part of life that you have no control over. This is why I love the fatosphere. It’s a community in every way, teaching young women (and old) how to love themselves and that they have more control over this process than they think.

So, in light of this new information I decided something. If the powers that be decided to render all birth control methods incapable of working on me (which is my worst nightmare but altogether possible) and I have a daughter I am going to write a little book of my own, since it’s seems to be trendy these days. The title of this book will be: Don’t Believe Anything You See on TV, and the Things You Read Are Probably Bullshit Too! So there you have it. 

08
Jun
08

What Do You Say

…to a good friend that’s having a bad-body day? For those unfamiliar, a Bad-Body Day is one of those days where one’s life or perception is so out of control, one feels all they can do to improve it is to turn that frustration and anger on their bodies.

My trigger is stress. When I look at my life sometimes, I wonder what the hell I did wrong to keep me from being where I wanted to be by this time. I should be in law school, with my own apartment, a nice little gig in a law firm to make some extra cash, stuff like that. Instead, I’m living with my mom, working two jobs (and one, since it’s temporary, will be ending in a couple weeks or so), school is but a semi-distant dream right now, my mom–while she’s on the mend–rarely tells me what’s going on with her financially, so I worry about being able to help out more, and my jobs don’t pay enough for me to do much. But I do what I can. And all of that frustration, all of that self-disappointment, all that anger, gets turned towards my body. When I wrote that convo between Dr. Jekyll and myself, I was having a bad day already, then I read some unsavory literature, and all that in my head equalled DIET.  I can’t fix shit else in my life right now, but if I skip a couple of meals, work out about 3 hours a day, I can fix this body! Which is absolutely irrational, I know. But I go there on occasion. I pulled myself back, but what can one say to a friend who hasn’t come far enough in her acceptance journey yet to pull herself back as easily?

My friend lives in one of the most aesthetic driven cities on Earth. She texted me today, telling me how she found herself wanting to be thin like her coworkers.  So I asked why she wanted to be thin, because it’s been my experience that thin=fixing all things bad in life. She responded that many of her coworkers are younger than her (she’s 25), thin (she’s an inbetweenie), and married (yep, she’s single). So then she caught herself and asked if maybe she was equating married with skinny. I told her probably so, but we all have those moments, and allowing yourself to think about it sometimes will help you work through it so you can reject it the next time it comes up.

And the convo progressed from there. I’m doing what I can to make it better, but she and I are so much alike, I know that it’s something she has to work out in her own head, much like I do. But I know the positive words go a long way to help too. At least, I hope what I’m saying helps.

So, I open the floor to y’all. What do y’all do when faced with a Bad-Body Day? Do you write, read a good book, or watch a funny movie? Do you take a walk and appreciate nature? What do you say to try to uplift a friend in the middle of a Bad-Body Day?

04
Jun
08

On The Democratic Primaries

I am a Black Female Democrat. And I’ve been watching the Democratic primaries with avid interest. When it was confirmed that Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were actively seeking the nomination, my response was IT IS ABOUT FUCKING TIME.

Seriously. In a melting pot such as this, in a supposedly progressive country as this, why the hell did it take so long for there to be two viable candidates that were female or Black? I think I danced around my room a bit when the news was confirmed.

But then, I did a bit of research…and while the women that we know of that ran either for the Presidency or on a ticket (Shirley Chisholm and Carol Mosley Braun, to name a couple) were relatively famous, there were actually 35 other women that have run. Yeah. For real. Jump over here and check out twelve other women who wanted to join the big dance. And no, Senator Obama isn’t the first Black man to run. Jesse Jackson, Alan Keyes, and Al Sharpton all ran. So then, what makes this election so historical?

This year, a woman and a Black man actually had a CHANCE.

Now, I don’t mean chance as in them having the time or that discrimination prevented it (at least, not this time). I mean that America finally has the mindset to rally against the White male archetypal president. We could also be sick of the president we currently have (FN Rant: My CAR KEYS would make a better president than we have now. And I don’t have a car. End rant.) and want some relief from the foolishness the current administration has lavished upon the American people since Bush first stole the election. Yeah. I said it. And I meant it. (/bitter Former Floridian) And while I am a cynic and die-hard conspiracy theorist, I am excited to be able to witness the time where a woman and a Black man can not only just run, but be real viable candidates for president.

When I was a little girl, I used to tell people I want to go to law school, become a lawyer, open my own practice, and be the first Black woman president. Folks would smile and tell me to aim for the stars. And while that dream hasn’t died, I am excited and hopeful that by the time I’m old enough to run for President (I’m 23 now), that the first Black woman president title will be taken. In fact, my hope would be that by the time I’m able to run, we won’t have to worry about breaking gender or racial boundaries. It’ll simply be another election. That will be when we know we’ve made true progress in America.

And as for the Democratic Primaries dragging out for so long? While I am an Obama supporter, I would genuinely been happy with either senator. But I wanted there to be a daggone nominee already! So, once I saw the results of last night’s primaries, this song popped in my head:

I just want it to be over. This presidency…I just want it to be over. And with the quality of these candidates…we’ll have something wonderful to look forward to.

ETA: If the video up there isn’t working, click here so you can see it. It’s Keyshia Cole’s “I Just Want It To Be Over.”

 




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