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Beware of Pyramid Schemes in Disguise

I'll tell you a story, but first, the familiar questions: Do you want to be financially secure? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you ...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wrong Bullying Target, Sis!

What do you do when someone takes their sweet time and sends you a direct message that your photo is ugly and you should do yourself a favor and use Photoshop? Yes, I got that message from a person I do not know, have never met, and will never give the satisfaction in the world by replying. In fact, I started to laugh because I thought it was funny. This "child" is not even a memorable follower on Instagram and I can perceive her desperate cry for attention. I'm just trying to figure out a way to educate her to advocate for real photos to be used when representing one's self instead of filtered and Photoshop images that make people look less than who they are. Yes, less not more because take for instance, the models and celebs in magazines who are made to believe that they need work done because they don't look good enough. Therefore, their photos need tweaking and retouching. There should be a level of understanding among younger people who still look at magazines and wish to be like people on those magazines that the images have been altered in one way or another. So these young people, instead, should look for ways to improve themselves in whatever ways they strive to be. It could be, learning to be a good person and not a bully for a start. It could be, discovering and mastering a hidden talent of theirs. It could also be, pushing to exceed physical limits or pushing beyond a life goal. There is so much to this life than spending valuable time to prey on a person's self esteem.

I upload photos for different reasons. The photos always have a message, which are geared towards poking fun, giving encouragement, reminiscing about a moment, or just for the sake of having it available. There is a line that I cannot cross when it comes to photos that I post. I occasionally apply filters to some photos because of my love for the art of colors, lights, and aesthetics of my photo page. I prefer not to post professional pictures of mine that have been altered beyond recognition because I'm not the "doll" that is portrayed. I appreciate the lines, shadows, scars, structures, bones, flesh, varying complexions of the skin, and many more qualities that makes us human. Don't get me wrong, I'd choose to post the loveliest photo of the selection that I have and I'm sure to some people, my choice might be the worst of all. In the end, I'm not trying to please anyone.

My sixteen year old self would have cried at a corner when she read the comment but my present self just shook her head and wondered when she became so important that a person cared enough to "DM" those words. I've never been bullied based on my looks so this is new and the writer in me said she'll have to document it and share. I love fashion and have commented on people's looks. I focus on the fit of the clothing and style and know better not to condemn anyone on their sizes and features. What rights do I have to do such? We never know the stories behind anybody's lifestyle so we have no right to condemn them because they're fat or thin. I know people who eat a 100% better than I do but they struggle with weight gain. I also know people who are gluttons but they're thin like twigs. It's easy to judge when we see these two groups but we end up being dead wrong in our judgments. Unless a person cries for help, in words or actions, then we can intervene for their sakes. If not, keep your da*n comments to yourself.

To my bully, I won't block you from Instagram and I won't post altered photos for your benefit. Feel free to "unfollow" and go back to your ignorant hole or start loving yourself and appreciating that people are meant to be different because it's the uniqueness of us all that makes everything special in this world. 

(ukoemem - Author; Ola Y - Editor)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Outlander's Darkest Episode Yet

I watch too many TV shows and would need to make it my full time job to write recaps or thoughts on them. I always have thoughts about every episode of TV shows I watch but sometimes keep those thoughts to myself or chat with friends who share the same interests or tweet about them. This time is different. You all know I'm a big fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and you all have either read my blog post about my excitement for the TV series and my moaning when I had to wait so long for the series to return because of the break it took (aka droughtlander), after its eighth episode. In short, am definitely a fan of Outlander, the book and TV series, for the same reasons that anyone who loves great books and superb acting would have. Writing about the show was inevitable after watching episode 15 of this season (season 1) titled, "Wentworth Prison." If you are anywhere near any type of media, I'm sure you must have picked up something about Outlander and this particular episode.

First, it’s important to commend everyone that has a hand in making this TV series. It is rare to satisfy a "fandom" by casting actors that please us and then writing episodes and executing them to our satisfaction. Thank you for that! I read Outlander years ago and finished the last of the series this year. I wanted to get back to the first one before watching the TV series but after the first episode, I dropped my plan. I'll still revisit the book but also want to wait till the season ends on May 30th. Outlander never shies away from the reality of things as one would have imagined of the years that Diana Gabaldon wrote about. The people, their living situations and circumstances, the politics, and even the meaning of love and family. I embraced every moment in the book when I read it. Then watching the actors express what I had in my head, made me feel like I had won the lottery.

Up until episode 15 of season 1, the controversial episode was episode 9, which was dubbed "the episode with the spanking scene." Everyone had their opinion on it, from the spanking act being degrading to women to Jamie being a sadist. Now that the episode with Captain Jonathan Randall aka Black Jack and Jamie at Wentworth prison has aired, the spanking scene seems like a little pimple that healed within hours. I knew about Jamie's unfortunate encounter with Black Jack at Wentworth and thought it was going to be portrayed mildly for TV. Who was I kidding? I should have remembered that Starz network doesn't have tight censoring rules. I should also have remembered that the TV series had excellent writers, directors, producers, and actors, who would hands-down deliver the fans with great content and some ‘cherry on top.’

Truthfully, I watched the episode with some sort of difficulty. I kept telling myself that I didn't remember feeling like ants were crawling on me when I read the book and maybe I should have refreshed my memory before watching the TV series. I remember bile at the back of my throat when I read the book though. Then, realized that the reason for the seeming difference between the show and the book is that the content of the show was enhanced because we get to see more of what was not in the book. The first meeting between Jamie and Black Jack in his cell at Wentworth when Black Jack inflicted the injury on Jamie's hand was an example. I went through several emotions while I watched this episode. I paused it; said some bad words; scratched my hair; said a lot of "ew!" and screamed at the screen, telling Black Jack to leave Jamie alone or else. It was a wonderful episode and cannot imagine how Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, and Caitriona Balfe kept their cool after filming this episode and the much more dreaded one that is to come, episode 16, the season finale episode. 

It wasn't pleasant to watch because of how good and convincing the physical, emotional, and psychological torture inflicted on Jamie by Black Jack was portrayed. Tobias Menzies successfully tapped into the dark mind of this character, Black Jack, and showed how his actions revealed his disturbing personality. Sam Heughan was phenomenal in this episode because of the acting skills he displayed. There were several unfortunate circumstances that unfolded and Sam had to demonstrate different levels of acting. He played the role of a strong man, both physically and mentally, who kept fighting until he had that noose on his neck. Then he was also a man crippled by pain but still willing to stand his ground. Then came the sacrifice of doing what he clearly didn't want but he chose to do it for the sake of love. It takes a highly skilled actor to deliver such versatility in one episode. Caitriona Balfe's portrayal of Claire is so refreshing and works perfectly because she has made me believe that Claire, her character, is deeply in love with Jamie. My stomach clenched with sadness when she held the box that contained Jamie's belongings, which were stripped from him before he was locked up (chained). When she walked out of Wentworth Prison gate and couldn't contain her emotions, I blurted out a "wow" because that alone made me realize how weak and hopeless anyone would feel if they heard that their husband had come close to hanging himself that day and would still be hanged later. I was blown away by her portrayal of Claire's will to continue to fight to save her husband even when it seemed impossible to achieve. Caitriona's display of female strength is welcomed to my TV.

I hope Outlander casts and the whole team win many awards because they surely deserve them.

(ukoemem - Author; Ola Y - Editor)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Beauty and the Bizarre - MET Gala 2015

Did you know that the MET Gala is an annual fundraising event to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City? I found that out a couple of years ago. Before then, I thought it was just an event with celebs wearing over-the-top fashion and I couldn't wait to see how they had out-done their outfits of previous years. There is a theme each year, which celebrates the exhibition and the guests choose fashion to match the theme of the exhibit. This year's theme is "China: Though the Looking Glass" and I'm not sure if the guests stayed true to the theme. You can be the judge of that and here are some styles of the night.

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