Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dear Arisce


I want to acknowledge the fact that you have rightfully pointed out problems in the fashion industry and how the industry is making choices that undermine the hard work of models. This is not new. While it is acceptable to vent about drawbacks of the industry you love, I would like to point out that picking on Kendall Jenner is a bad move. You would know how it feels to have people say you're not good enough. I understand that this seems different because you feel like she didn't have to work as hard to get to where she is. Who is to say that she wouldn't have gotten to this point on her own if she didn't have her reality TV fame?




While many may feel inclined to feel jealous towards a girl that supposedly got to the top without hard work, let's remember such is life. Get over it. Kendall Jenner may have had fame handed to her but don't forget that she had to and still has to carry around some social stigma caused by a few members of her family. Try and applaud her for using the opportunity to better her life and follow her dreams instead of wasting away in booze and drugs like most rich brats are doing. We do not choose the family we are born into. Some people are born into poverty and violence and they act the way they were raised, believing that that's the only way for them. Only a few dare to extract themselves from their unfortunate circumstance. I'm not calling Kendall's family are an "unfortunate circumstance" because we can truly never know them because media portrayal of people are never accurate. Based on her publicized life, it seems that she is reasonable. So Arisce, keep working hard for yourself and don't pick on someone for their privileged life. At least when you make it, you can brag loudly from a roof top that you worked hard for it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Looking Good Naomi



A friend of mine forwarded this photo collage of the beautiful Naomi Campbell to me with the caption, "I hope I look as good in twenty years." While this photo makes us hope for this kind good bud in years to come, let us not stress and create this exact standard for ourselves. It comes with a certain lifestyle. I'm not saying it's impossible to achieve this svelte figure in decades to come. I'm just saying that we all have different looks, body types, and live different lifestyles that influence our body development. Granted I will advocate for healthy eating and exercise but we should realize that a glam team that makes this look possible. She is also being paid to look great and also not having children plays a role to her advantage here. Okay you might say Heidi Klum has children, yes, but don't forget that she has her beauty team too. While it nice to set "look" goals for ourselves, let us not get carried away by what we are made to see. No one will share regular bloated photos of themselves when they have good looking ones like this. While you're beating yourself for the five pounds you gained or the five you will gain after Thanksgiving, just remember that she didn't wake up looking like that. She has dedicated herself to a routine that works for her and made compromises that has gotten her here. Set your own "look goals" and work hard to get there so that you can flaunt it whichever way you want.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Couldn't Help Myself



So the gorgeous Solange wedded recently. She looked so beautiful from head to toe that most news outlets couldn't stop gushing about her unique wedding style. I was so impressed with her natural hairstyle and even though some people had unpleasant comments about it, it didn't matter because she clearly enjoyed her day. Then I came across a stream of hateful messages under the photo with Solange and the Blue Ivy. I am not one to comment but I felt compelled to defend them. I still wonder why people think they have the right to bring down someone for something as natural as hair texture. I almost exploded when I saw the photos of ninety percent of the individuals making the hateful comment. These commenters were black. They certainly have the same or similar hair textures. So why do they think they have the right to make comments like that when underneath their wigs and weaves they have the same hair?   

"Shame on you for judging on black natural hair. You know better. Why pretend that you do not know how painful coarse hair is to maintain? Every individual has different pain thresholds and don't forget that black hair has different textures. Some people are blessed with softer easy-to-comb textures while some are blessed with hard break-the-comb texture. It is hard for any adult with natural hair, let alone a child, to go through the combing process regardless of hair products in it. Some mothers can't stand to watch their child in pain and they decide to let them be instead. While some mothers can take in the screams and comb the darn thing till it behaves. This is a kid's hair for crying out loud. There are more important things to worry about like, if the child is starved or violently beaten. Those recommending texturizers and relaxers, I'm going to refrain from calling you names because you know better; the child's scalp, the burns; you should know better. Take care of your own kid the way you want and leave Beyonce to take care of hers."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Plus Size...For Real?

This is Calvin Klein's definition of plus size. 

Myla Dalbesio

Size 10
 










It's no secret that "Plus Size" in the fashion industry means fat, even though you keep healthy. Unfortunately, being large-boned is not an excuse. Now size 10s would have to deal with fat-shaming. What's this world turning into? Go back in time and see how size 10s where much appreciated for their womanly shapes. I hope this size labeling changes for the better for women because this news sizes are highly unrealistic.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Outlander


Caitriona Balfe in her Outlander Wedding Dress

I'm a massive fan of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" book series. I used the word "massive" because of the speed I went through her dictionary-sized books. It's no news that I love to read books but I noticed I don't just read Gabaldon's books, I study them. The sizes can scare people but when they make the "mistake" of picking up the first book, they get hooked! I'm not writing a review of her books because I don't think I can describe how I feel, in words, about her books. I still can't imagine how someone can write books with numerous characters and build and connect them so well. One can picture all these characters perfectly because they have personalities that are individual to themselves. I don't even want to get into the historical story aspect of the books. I'm not even going to get into the accuracy of the times she wrote about. I guess what I'm going to get into is the fashion aspect.

I found myself researching about clan colors, kilts, and dresses that were native to those lands in that century. It was fascinating. I still remember the discomfort I felt when I saw a seventeenth century corseted dress. All I saw was a picture and I couldn't imagine wearing something that squished my boobs and my waist, basically obstructing my breathing and digestive functions. Still, I was fascinated.

Then came the Television series and It took me to heaven. The casting was stellar by the way. I got to see first hand, the various pieces of clothing and accessories a woman wore in the seventeenth century to get the shape and posture of the style. I noticed that even though they covered up, they still showed skin mostly at the top, depending on the occasion. I'm still learning about the outfits as I secretly rejoice that ladies do not have to go through the torture of corsets in this century. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Going Back To Roots



A few years ago I had visited Nigeria and wanted my hair done. The lady was shocked to see that I had thick, kinky natural hair and asked if I wanted it relaxed. "Nope, I just want braids," I responded. But it's going to be hard and too thick, she responded. I turned, and looked at her. She was quiet and made my hair the way I wanted it to be. This truly surprised me. In a land where people are born with hair like mine, now it's becoming unacceptable to have? Well, it did not end there. Some people thought I had an Afro wig on when they saw my natural hair as if there was no way I would dare to have my hair like that.


But you know what? I'm really happy that these days, there is a wide spread of acceptance of black/ African natural kinky hair. I see more people going back to their roots, literally. It's refreshing and beautiful. Some people leave them puffy and some make them dreadlocks. What I'm hoping for the future is a wide acceptance of this hair texture at work places. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On Modeling: I Turned My Back and Never Looked Back



 I rarely write about myself on my blog but I have decided to explain the main reason why I didn't pursue modeling as a career to the disappointment of most people. Here goes:

Some girls have dreams of being models especially if they fulfill the fashion industry's requirements. I was told time without number to delve into modeling full time and that I might make it. Yes, there was that possibility. Then after one specific trial, I turned my back on that so called dream. I had bigger things to do with my time and energy and I couldn't work in a narrow minded industry that had specific beliefs that I constantly disagreed with.



I walked into an agency and walked out more confused than I've ever been. Who decides what the acceptable standards should be? A friend told me that I gave up too soon but I was only too happy to respond that I wasn't going to subject myself to a standard that made me less than the happy person I should be. It's not news that the modeling industry is now embracing several nationalities and accepting diversity but what I didn't expect was the discrimination within a certain ethnicity. I, of course, identified myself as an African. It should be no surprise to anyone who works internationally that Africans can have different appearances. But what I found out shocked me. Apparently, there is a kind of "African" that was easily embraced in the modeling industry. It wasn't enough to be tall, and lanky. "Caramel," like I was called, was not what they were looking for. It took me a moment to realize that they meant my skin color. The African in me bursted out with a loud hiss and a catwalk out of their presence. The follow up call I got that tried to mend the situation said they were looking in terms of you know, the "Wek" look; sweet dark chocolate like I call her. It didn't end there, apparently my full head of hair was a problem too. 
 
I know if I persisted, I would have gotten what I wanted but I also know deep down that I didn't want that life. It was never going to be a full time kind of thing for me so why make half of a commitment? I just hope that this divide that the fashion industry is causing by defining "African Beauty" a certain way will stop. Are they aware of the diverse cultures of different countries in Africa? Are they aware that there are Africans that are whiter than some Europeans? Are they aware that there are Africans with blue eyes? Open your minds everyone and accept the differences around. That's what makes the world an interesting place.


(ukoemem - Author; Ola Y - Editor)

Monday, September 22, 2014

No Boundary With Street Styles

Fashion evolves. What was once horrible is probably now cool; what was once cool is probably now dull. Here are all-round cool looks I love for this season.




























Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fashion Week: Who Are The Models?


Naomi Campbell
Kate Moss

I'm enjoying this crazy fashion week that has started in New York; admiring fabulous upcoming collections for Spring/Summer 2015 from big names, industry favorites, and new designers such as BCBG MAXAZRIA, Rebecca Minkoff, Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, Zang Toi, Michael Kors, Christian Siriano etc. New York fashion week set up a show that started on the 4th and will continue till the 11th of September, and then will move on to London, Milan, and Paris. It's thrilling to watch and see all the models in action in these new designs. I have seen the super-models prepare and talk about what they're looking forward to during  fashion week and which name brand they'll be walking for. It's been exciting to fashion lovers like me but I started to think differently about the whole thing when I watched an interview with Shaun Ross, best known as the first male albino fashion model. 

Shaun, like any other model, was excited about fashion week but the point he made that stuck with me was how models of these days are not known and how they do not represent anything. They are not made muses or shown any importance by the fashion industry. We don't know most of their names or give them fair identities. "They are just like blank canvases" and I agree with that. I have written about models once and I thought that they were treated like 'walking hangers.' It's all about what they have on and nothing else.
 
It feels as though the days when models were recognized, like the days of Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Kate Moss, and Tyson Beckford, are over. I think models should be regarded highly; I'm not saying they should be worshiped. These people are clothed in anything and try to make those things seen while they disappear in the background. Can you imagine that nerve-wracking moment when they know they're supposed to strut in front of a crowd and hope not to fall? It's hard enough for a person to walk normally in the center of a gathering. While I applaud the designers for creating amazing fashion, I mostly applaud the models for presenting it to the masses. Also, the fashion industry should remember that models are humans and the size drop is alarmingly sad. Sometimes, I wonder how these people are able to walk, but that's another topic for another day. Happy fashion week! 

Jourdan Dunn


(ukoemem  - Author; Ola Y - Editor)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's Not a Bird Nest



On this fateful day, I planned on joining the ranks of those who styled their hair themselves. I've always had an excuse when it came to that and my excuses have always been valid. My hair is too full and thick; I don't have eyes at the back of my head to correctly style the whole hair; and my hands are not built for it. Valid excuses, right? But I have seen many people accomplish styling their hair perfectly. Why not me?

So I set out this particular morning with the intent of giving myself curls. My hair is "natural," which is another word for kinky African hair. It has a tight curly texture and it takes a village to maintain. I finished with the double strand twist style and I was pretty happy with it. I let it air dry for hours. When I was satisfied with how dry it was, I proceeded to carefully uncurl it and separate the curls in order to get fuller smaller curls. For a first-timer I was pretty impressed with the outcome. In fact I took my selfies as proof. 

Hours later, when it was time to go out, I looked at the mirror and almost screamed. "Where did my curls go?" I was pretty sure I didn't touch my hair the whole day. "What happened?" "What did I do differently?" "Didn't I put enough hair product?" All these questions went through my head because I didn't understand how the style could easily vanish in a few hours.

Then someone explained the reason why I lost those awesome curls and gave me wonderful advice. "Humidity was the cause and next time I should keep the twist for a few more days longer and make it tighter and it will last longer." Lesson learned. Earlier when I lost the curls, I was tempted to say I'll leave the hair-making to the professionals but I think I'll like to try again.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's How You Wear It

Same outfits worn with a slight difference and my demeanor changes dramatically. These photos definitely explain the saying, "It's not what you wear; It's how you wear it."  



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Favorite Quotes of the Month



Appreciation

 Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today.― Steve Maraboli

Love

 Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.― Ann Landers

Forgiveness

The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed.― Gordon B. Hinckley 


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Emmys 2014: Red Carpet Fashion Highlight

I was so impressed with most of the looks on the 2014 Emmy Awards red carpet that it took me a while to select my best ten looks of the evening. Here they are:

10)
Aubrey Anderson-Emmons

9)
Alexandra Daddario

8)
Vanessa Williams

7)
Viola Davis

6)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus

5)
Octavia Spencer

4)
Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey

3)
Sarah Hyland

2)
Halle Berry

1)
Sofia Vergara


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Daring Looks of VMAs 2014

There were many "What Were They Thinking Looks" at the VMAs this year but I'm going to select three of my least favorite looks and three of my best looks.

Least Favorites

3)
She showed up at the wrong club!

2)
Don't ask me to raise up my hands

1)
Umm????


Best Looks

3)

2)

1)



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ASAP54







What is ASAP54 some of you may ask? I'll answer that question in a moment. Have you ever seen someone on the street or at work or a party, and wondered where they bought their clothes? But then you can't approach them and ask them because you are either shy or you think it's rude. Well, I happen to be a very observant person when it comes to fashion and I see so many outfits on a daily basis that I would like to find. Approaching people to ask them where they got what they're wearing is not easy. Sometimes it's the wrong place to ask about their outfit and other times it's just the group they're with. Coming home and trying to search on Google never works because guess what, typing "grey sweater with red flowers on the right shoulder," doesn't narrow things enough. Then you give up eventually. Now this is where ASAP54 comes in. A genius thought, "what if I created an app that can visually recognize a clothing and find where you can purchase it or purchase something similar?" And there you have it. That genius by the way is Sao Paulo born and raised Daniela Cecilio. Check out the website for more cool functions of ASAP54.

https://www.asap54.com/