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An Example of what is wrong in the World~Sephora Selling Lipstick in the Shade ‘Underage Red’

If it wasn’t hard enough to turn a blind eye to young girls posting provocative pic on social media emulating their favorite fauxlebrities, now we have make-up being  marketed to them in a less then appropriate manner. Famous tattoo artist Kat Von D has a line of make-up that is quite good, in fact we featured her Tattoo Eyeliner in our “Your Best Face for 72¢ a day” with our new Make-Up Consultant Andie Laguer. However a new shade of lipstick she is releasing has Sephora in hot water, why? Because it”s called, wait for it.. Underage Red”. What are people thinking. The idea of a young girl being…attractive (to an older man) is not a new concept, Vladimir Nabokov‘s 1955 salacious Lolita is clear evidence of that however in a world where the lines of consent have been miserably blurred this is just not right….I wonder if this is the shade that Kylie Jenner rocks when she is “hanging out with” Rapper Tyga? (that was shade) check this out!

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Sephora has made its share of missteps. First, the company stopped selling Demeter products, making it impossible for me to smell like Ginger Ale or a Blueberry Muffin whenever I wanted, and then they started marketing Kat Von D’s makeup again, a move that’s brought controversy to the brand with Von D’s new shade of lipstick.

Sephora Taking Heat for Selling Lipstick in the Shade 'Underage Red'

Entitled “Underage Red,” Kat Von D’s latest baby (which was released in 2014) is a bright red shimmer that is either meant to identify the wearers as underage girls (that seems like a really difficult code, though), to remind women over 18 how exciting it was to be a teen ogled by older men or to breed controversy. (Note that this is not an entirely new marketing scheme for a beauty brand to use.) Either would be plausible considering the creator, but it’s really no surprise that the woman behind 2012’s controversial “Celebutard” lip smear came up with another distasteful name. Celebutard was later dropped by Sephora for being disrespectufl to the disabled. [Update: Contrary to Business Insider’s (and this post’s) orginal assertion that the entire range of Kat Von D products had been dropped in 2012, commenters have pointed out that only the “Celebutard” shade was discontinued. While several outlets have reported that the entire line had been dropped, it appears that it is the case that only the color was discontinued]. It’s surprising, therefore, that the wholesome Sephora brand, instead of bringing back Demeter products in all of its stores so that I can one again smell like a combination of a waffle cone and sugar cookie, has returned to promoting the tattoo artist and “musician” who has already brought them more than their share of bad press.

According to Business Insider’s Caroline Moss, Von D’s makeup line is her most successful merchandising property and while the former star of L.A. Ink seems pretty flippant about pissing people off (she tweeted a fuck you when shoppers were mad about “Celubutard” in 2012), she might want to take notice of how angry social media is getting about the current shade of red she’s pushing, especially considering the fact that she also sells a shade called “Lolita,” prompting tweeters to ask whether she’s “selling a complete sex offender line.”

Kathy Griffin Quits Fashion Police, Could this mark the END?


So  E’s Fashion Police seems to be the Titanic of Shows. Things have gone from bad to worse in less than 2 weeks. First there was Guiliana Rancic’s tasteless comment about Zendaya’s hair at the Oscars, the result of which caused such a dust up from talk show hosts, other stars and the internet that Rancic had to issue a taped apology (Paula Dean style) to subdue the fury. Her fellow co-host Kelly Osbourne wasn’t having it either, she apparently repeatedly warned against the comment aimed at her friend (but was ignored) later that week she up and quit. Now not even a week later Kathy Griffin, the replacement to Joan Rivers has given up the ghost, stating that she thinks that the show is “to mean” and bashes people out of “context”.

Where I will give a hooray (albeit a short one) for her stance, I have to say, “Did you not watch the show before you signed on?” The premise for Fashion Police from the onset was a seated version of E’s2000-2003 red carpet show  Joan Rivers (toting along Melissa) . Then their critiques were caustic, mean spirited and hurtful. Who can forget the glib comment Rivers made about a floppy hat then VeeJay Karen Duff. Duff wore the hat because her hair had begun to fall due to a rare disease called sarcoidosis. An overstep that at the time caused backlash such that at the time many celebrities worked to avoid them on the carpet. Fashion Police became the re-imagined version, they took to the studio and used footage and pics to have at their prey. There are two things the has always struck me as peculiar about this set up, the first is that Rancid has always done red carpet coverage, and has fawned and cooed over celebrities their outfits, nails, jewels and bodies, now she was required to oh and ah to their faces and then retreat back to a studio where she could from a safe distance rip them to shreds.

The second thing I find odd is that you here you have three women who all have been highly criticized for their looks, Joan before surgery was always thought to be unattractive which prompted her obsession with plastic surgery which we can all agree (as she would) went a bit too far, Kelly Osbourne was the fat girl who masked not being attractive with wild hair and make up until she lost weight and started to fit in, and then began dressing in couture, and Rancic whose weight or lack there of has always placed her under scrutiny. It is a popular belief that she has some struggles with a possible eating disorder/ or disordered eating. The topic was highlighted when she and her husband did their reality series and she was traumatized when the doctor told her that in order to increase her chances of having a child she would have to gain weight. despite wanting a child she was torn about gaining weight her husband even asked if she was going be able to do it… So there they would sit like jackals at one end of the high school hallway and talk trash about people, mostly women who by all accounts were close to the worlds concept of “Ideal”. It was clear that the concept of the show was a glammed up Mean Girls (Cue Tina Fey in the Gym).

So forgive me if my applause for Griffin is short lived, one has to ask, “What did you think was going to happen when they said action?”. I can see where her comedic integrity was being compromised. Her comedy is about context, she can take the piss out of the Kardashians because they make it easy and there are so many contradictions they present. In her act she has never gone after Oprah for her physical weight, but more her weight of power and influence, so I can see where reading someone for the color or cut of a dress not flattering them or wearing the wrong eye make-up might send up a flag, but still, you had to know…

I hope that this marks the end of the show or at least a restructuring of it. Perhaps they will enlist actual experts…that would be a change! Perhaps a designer a make-artist and a hair stylist, at least then we as viewers could respect their opinions and learn a thing or two.

All in all I am still hoping that one day will move away from the senseless judging of women, their bodies and their personal style, (or that of their professional stylists). Perhaps we can move to a place where women are not reduced to being object that exist to please others with their appearance alone. With the I have to say I am not holding out hope, after all it’s still Hollywood.

Four-year-old Siahj Chase Schools a boy who called her Ugly….She’s my Body Hero

“Your UGLY” one of the most wounding things you can say to a women (beside calling her a whore) not just because women want to be pretty but because we know that with beauty comes privilege. But this little on set one boy  at school straight. Check it out!

“What happened in school today?” her mom, Sonya, asks in the video. “A little boy said I looked … ugly,” Cici responded.

“And what did you say?” Cici’s mom asked.

“I said ‘I didn’t come here to make a fashion statement. I came here to learn — not look pretty,'”

Cici replied, adding,

“The little boy said I looked ‘bad,’ and I said, ‘Did you look in a mirror lately? Bye bye, see you later, you’re making me mad.'”



I wish some women could be this confident and self assured! “I go to work to get the job done not to make a fashion statement!!!”

What are Your Adjectives?

We form our perception of self from various places. As children we look at our parents, and siblings and see how we are like them and different.  In a effort to get a grasp on where things fit into our world (then later the world in general) we  instinctively we being to compare.  We can see that we are “shorter”, “taller”, “thinner”, “heavier” then our siblings. We see that we have our mother’s nose, our father’s eyes, and a combination of  their personality traits. All this is quite normal and natural. As our circle expands and we begin to go to school, we have teachers, and schoolmates to take in and size up. We start to see who we through the categorization of the characteristics of others, and of our own. We learn that certain children in school are “unruly” which makes them “bad” some are “smart” some are “funny” some are “pretty” some “sweet” some “annoying”.

Adjectives as they stand alone are just words. However it is in the way people respond to and react to these words, that give them power.

It has been shown through scientific study that people who are considered to be “Pretty” get preferential treatment. Dr. Gordon Patzer, dean of the College of Business Administration at Roosevelt University has studied what is called  the Physical Attractiveness Phenomenon (PAP) for over 30 years. In writing about physical attractiveness he states:

“People are valued more who are higher in physical attractiveness. As distasteful at that might be, that’s the reality.”

When we see children/people who are considered cute or beautiful doted on (and we are not ) it makes us feel a certain way about them but more importantly about ourselves.

As we grow “Adjectives” are attached to each and every one of us. It starts at home, if you have siblings almost immediately “The Ones” start, the “smart” one, the “rebellious” one, the “focused” one, the “irresponsible” one. The way that our family members  react to us and treat us relative to those adjectives, informs us as to who we are and what our worth is. These labels become an integral part of the bedrock of our foundation and who we become.  Whether the adjective is deemed positive or negative there is something within us that instinctively wants to live up to it, partially because people hold us in that place and we are boxed and sense the  limitations (or conversely the expansion) of then by them.

The T’ruth of the Matter is that we don’t have to be defined by the negative or limiting Adjectives assigned to us, even if they are true, even if we earned them ,or we feel they are a true representation of who we are.

We have the power of self definition within us. We have the power tell people who we are, and not merely accept who they think us to be.

We can take the power of these labels away by reverting them back to their original forms, we can turn them BACK into Words. We can then choose new adjectives ones that better describe who we are,  (not just what the world sees) or better yet, we can choose adjectives that represent who we would like to be  and then prove ourselves right by transforming ourselves. We can go from “The irresponsible one” to “responsible” by challenging ourselves be present in our lives and do what is necessary to manage our lives. We have the power we just have to learn to use it.

My first “Issue” Where did your issues come from?








By Theresa Ruth Howard

I am the baby of nine, six girls three boys. I grew up in a flurry of girdles, bras, sweat shields, tampons and sanitary napkins along with belts that held them back in the day. Although there was no real “talk” my mother had with me, I was acutely aware of what would be happening to my body as I developed into a woman. I recall in 6th or 7th grade health class we had the “Menstruation” lesson that came along with a booklet. In the back there was a mail in slip for a kit you could buy complete with pads and a carrier case and some other nonsense that you were to put in the back of your closet in preparation for the grand arrival! I cut the order form out, found an envelope and a stamp and asked my mother for a check. Without much discussion she wrote it out and that was that. My package arrived I put in the back of my closet and waited. I was thirteen at home sick with the flu when my period came. I went to the bathroom and wiped only to come up with bloody tissue to which I responded “shit” then went to retrieve my “Prep” Kit. You see I was banking on what the books said about being active as a girl; the two things that playing sports or dancing might get you were a late starting period and a perforated hymen. Hence the “Shit” response, I was hoping my “womanhood” would show up around 17.

My “Monthly” was never what marked womanhood for me. It was the idea of having breasts. I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. Had I known who Elizabeth Taylor was at the time I would have thought my mother more glamorous than she. My mother was somehow (with nine kids) always flawlessly put together, with matching bags and shoes. She wore gold rings on her fingers and had white, perfectly oblong fingernails. My mother did not have pierced ears and only wore one pair of gold clip on earrings her jeweler made for her. I remember the Lord and Taylor, and Brooks Brothers bags and boxes that her clothes came in. To me she was “woman”. One of the things I loved to do as a little girl was to watch her get dressed. She would take her bath and come back into her bedroom where she would moisturize her body. Taking handfuls of lotion and slathering it on her feet, up her legs, arms, over her belly marked from childbirth and then her breasts. She would go up the undersides of her breasts first and then down the tops of them. She would do this all quite mindlessly, having no idea that in this post ablutionary ritual my concept of what it meant physically to be a woman was being formed. To me this action (the lotioning of the breasts) represented “Woman” I wanted breast to lotion so that I could be a full-fledged bra-wearing member of the clan that dominated my house. Unfortunately I am still wanting for breasts to lotion. Though being physically active as a young girl did little to abate my menstrual cycle (we’ll leave my hymen out of this) it may have played a part in dwarfing my breast development.

The body was never discussed in our home. There were times when my sisters gained weight and there were remarks and jokes made about the ham hock like size of a thigh but as a child I can’t recall anyone ever really “Dieting”. My mother after having nine children wore a size 8 (that’s a 1980’s size eight) when I was 13. I had sisters in every size, weight and color. It was never an issue or a problem. The first time I recall weight – my weight ever being discussed was when I was nine years old and my ballet teacher Yvonne Patterson from Pennsylvania Ballet poked me in the stomach and told my father I was getting “Porky” That one stuck with me because my Father had to recount the story to my Mother and siblings and that became my handle, “Porky”. Where it should have bounced off of me like the ham hocks jokes leveled at my sisters this one landed and stuck mainly because it did not come from my family who though dysfunctional and inappropriate at times I knew loved me and saw such things not as flaws but merely as a truth at the moment. There jibs were never a real judgment of something being “wrong” with me but merely and observation. With Miss Patterson, though it was probably a thoughtless comment made in passing, she did not “love” I doubt if she even thought of me enough to like me. Since our relationship was in the context of ballet class where physical mastery and perfection is the goal, and comparisons both physical and technical are inevitable, it meant more than my stupid brother saying it over the dinner table. It was the first time I ever thought of being or getting fat.

Classical Ballet brought the idea of having to “look” a certain way into my sphere of consciousness and into that of my father (I had a ballet father not mother) It was in his effort to support me in what I wanted that he began to make certain that I was not getting too “porky”. Not so much as in restricting my food or changing my diet but just in making sure that I was aware that the possibility of the “Pork” was dangerously near.
In my home, I have always been the thin one, the fit one; they like to say the one with a models figure. I come from women who are shorter and more zaftig then I am. They could never understand my weight obsession. However there were the girls in my school whose mother’s encouraged and sometimes enforced diets and restrictions on their dancing daughters. Who always took note of a dress size going up, or remarking on hoping their daughter’s breasts don’t get too big or that they didn’t take after “The women on your Father’s side”. My mother was far removed from my dancing and had little to say about my weight unless I was looking too thin, at which time she would try to force food on me, which earned her the title “Food Pusher”.

Slowly I stopped looking towards my mother and sisters as the forms to emulate and started looking at dancers. I was about 11 or 12 when I first learned how to have an eating disorder. And yes I say learned because there are lesson on it given in dressing rooms of dance schools. What to eat, what not to eat, how to restrict your diet without anyone taking notice, (a common one was to become a vegetarian) and how to purge. None of this came from within my household. As I got older I saw that the thinner girls got more attention, often times just for getting – or being thin. Thinner meant better, it meant beautiful. Since I began dancing at the age of three and by eight I had already decided that this was what I was going to do with the rest of my life, at 12 I danced with my first company I hardly noticed that my role models for femininity and body image had been transferred from the women in my family onto women who where the furthest thing from me. The lack of understanding towards my newly adopted aesthetic at home was isolating.

The strangest thing is that in my desire to be a ballet dancer it never occurred to me that I was aspiring to look like something that was the furthest from me – a petite, emaciated white woman. It also never occurred to me that as much as I tried, as thin as I got, I would never look like that. The “that” I refer to is not just a weight thing it’s an aesthetic, it’s the thing that says “ballerina”. I could always dance- My talent and facility as a dancer were never obstacles for me, rather it was when the reality of my Blackness, coupled with my height and musculature clicked that I could no longer see myself as “Ballerina” that was when a little bit of the dream died. I can clearly recall learning the classical variation from Don Quixote and though I was executing it technically proficiently, as I did the final sequence of hops en Pointe I looked at my 5’7, brown, muscular self in the mirror and said “I look ridiculous”. It just looked wrong. I was too big, to strong, not elegant… It was a case of being completely wrong for the thing that in a way I was completely right for.

I find it interesting that I have never really thought about how I created my personal criteria for beauty or the body. I merely moved through the world and collected information and ideas from my experiences, I suppose much the way we all do. However in the process of becoming a teacher and not wanting to perpetuate some of the negative experiences I had onto my students it has made me think very carefully, not only in choosing my words but my teaching tools. In therapy it is said that anything that is wrong with you can be blamed on your parents, well it’s nice to know that both my mother and father are clear on this one!!!! Though in my youth a discussion about body image relative to the field I had chosen might well have been in order, it was the 80’s, we weren’t as sensitive, and analytical as we are now about such things. The question is would it have helped? I ask the question because I am gearing up for our mothers and daughters roundtable discussion this weekend and what we uncover I am certain will be interesting!

A Global Look at School Lunches…Where does the USA fall?

These are examples of what Shady Sadie the Cafeteria Lady MIGHT serving in 4 different countries, Italy,  France,  Finland, and the US.

SweetGreen on Tumblr via Huffington Post, posted pictures to illustrate  how school lunches in the U.S. compare with those served in countries around the world. From Brazil to Finland to France and South Korea.  HOWEVER THESE ARE NOT ACTUAL LUNCHES!!!
The Jab campaign directed at Michelle Obama’s attempt to revamp school lunches #ThanksMichelleObama where kids posted pictures of there less than desirable school lunches might have spawned healthy salad chain SweetGreens illustration of what Lunches around the world MIGHT look like.
Even though they are not authentic, it does say something about our diets as Americans….

What stands out to me in the protein source in each selection. We see Fish, Shrimp, Beef (is Italy serving Chicken or is that a Salmon steak?) but what are those on the American platter, Mystery Nugget….

The other countries seem to opt for a whole grain bread, where we have a mashed potato, which if we can all be honest probably was a dried powder before preparation….

The others have a fruit in it’s original state, where it looks like it would be Apple Sauce the US if featuring….

I don’t know about you but the 3 other Lunches look like MEALS, like real food, that might come out of a restaurant.

Ok presently I am sitting with my Italian Daughter Bianca Delli Priscolli from Salerno (which is near Naples) I just asked her if this representation looked like what she was served in school, and she said no…”It was just Pasta” when I asked about a vegetable she said “Depends”…

Click on any of the links to get a broader sense of this debate.


Accepting Your Genetic Destiny


Robert Tornambe, M.D. NYC Plastic Surgeon and author of “The Beauty Quotient Formula” wrote this beautiful article. I so love this for the truth held within it . There is nothing I find more beautiful and fascinating then DNA, to see little people holding the hand of the big people they come from and see the biological continuation. To see that a child hold the mother’s features in the shape of their father’s face, or their mannerisms are so telling that you can (without laying eyes upon them) see a mother’s gestures and body language in her daughter. It is something we should marvel and respect. This article is wonderful

Click here

When a Bad Body Image and Low Self-Esteem can be DEADLY


Paige Winslow known as “The Black Madame”  is standing trial in Philadelphia for the death of a woman who came to her for butt injections. Winslow (who is not a licensed doctor) Injected the woman in a hotel bathroom in a South Philadelphia hotel. She claimed to be helping women who suffer from low self esteem. She calls herself “The Fairy God Mother”

She claim that Kanye West brought his then girl friend Amber Rose to her for injections which put her on the celebrity scene. She also claims that Nikki Minaj was going to come in for a “correction”.

I have to ask, is it worth it? not just the low end (and clearly deadly) two grand, but the risking of one’s life to have a bigger booty? I take the stance of not judging those who decide to undergo such procedures but if you are, then make certain that you are going to a licensed doctor, and someone who does not use CRAZY GLUE as sutures!! Also a clue that your doctor is a hack…or not a doctor at all, having a procedure in a hotel room, and seeing things like cement mix and fix-a flat in their black bag.

Ladies,  like the saying goes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste so is a life, a healthy body and a future. A bigger butt, breast, lips or flatter tummy is not worth your life!! Learning to love yourself might take a bit longer to master, but it is healthier, lasts longer and only has positive side effects!!

In this case the Black Madame was more a Black Widow….

Dance Class Etiquette Essentials from!

The Basics of Dance Class Etiquette(Common Sense)1)Dress appropriately and come prepared.

2) Don’t chew gum or bring food and drinks (a closed water bottle is okay) into the studio.
3)    Never wear dance shoes outside the studio or wear street shoes in the studio.
Don’t wear dangling or sharp-edged jewelry.
4) Come to class showered with brushed teeth or freshened breath.
5) Leave your stuff in a dressing room or locker (unless one is not available). Put any sanctioned personal belongings at the back or sides of unused studio walls (never the front).
6) Don’t come late and if you do, enter very quietly.
7)  Don’t leave early. If it is a must, talk to the teacher before class. If you need to exit in an emergency (it better be good), exit as quickly and discreetly as possible.
8) Don’t talk while the teacher is talking. Not even whispering to the person next to you.
9) Completely silence and stow your cell phone. Even vibration is often audible.
10) Listen first, then ask relevant questions.
11) Respect the personal space of others.
12) Watch your language, even when you mess up!
13) Don’t “hang” or slouch on the barre or anywhere else, for that matter. Be attentive at all times, especially when waiting for your turn. And never sit down unless you are asked to.Dance Etiquette Next Steps(Habit for Most Dancers)

1) If you are late, don’t apologize until after class. Just wait for the okay from your teacher to enter the dance floor.

Once permission is granted, find an easily accessible or inconspicuous place to warm up or participate.
2) If you are sitting, or sitting out, sit tall. Never lie down.
3) Develop spatial awareness and demonstrate it.
4) Give the instructor space, but not too much space.
5) Avoid the front unless you really know the combination.
6)  Refrain from correcting others (that’s the teacher’s job).
7) Don’t quit in the middle… of the room, of the combination, or of the class. Go with the flow if you’re lost or confused. Never stop traffic.
8) Part like the Red Sea when exiting. Don’t cross center or the paths of other dancers.
9) It’s okay to mark combinations while you wait for your turn if you are out of the way.
10) Do not repeatedly leave and then come back in without permission.
11) If you find you have too many questions about something, save them for after class.
12) At the end of class, applaud or thank the instructor and musician (as part of the group)
13 )Don’t visibly yawn or show boredom. You may get away with it in a lecture hall, but not dance class.Etiquette “Deep Cuts” for Dancers(Good to know)

1) Bring a towel to wipe your sweat and germs off the floor or barre.

2) Don’t take a class way above your skill level. If this mistake is already made, do your best, but stay out of the way of other dancers.
3) Never walk out of a class or go sit down because it’s too hard or you feel frustrated. This is considered rude and you are branding yourself as a quitter. I can’t is not in your vocabulary.
4) Applaud for demonstrators.
5) Once you’ve claimed a space in the center or in a group, it’s generally yours for better or worse. But don’t be pushy or try to reclaim a spot if yours gets taken.
6)  At the end of class, it’s especially courteous to say thanks to the instructor and musician (one to one).
7) Restrain movement in a crowded class until broken into groups. If you bump into someone, quietly apologize. Don’t make it a big deal.
8) Never give your 2¢ on choreography to a teacher or choreographer unless your opinions have been requested.
9) If you want help with something that will take more than a minute or two, do some research on your own and/or schedule a private lesson with your teacher.
10) Don’t record or photograph anything without permission.
For more great info go to!!

My Sound off about the Guiliana Rancic Controversy…


Here is the comment that started the bruhaha:

Here is Zendaya’s response:




Whoopi Goldberg’s response Day1:

Whoopi’s response Day 2:

Here is Zendaya’s beautifully eloquent, mature and thoughtful response to Rancic’s apology:
“Studies have shown that even though we try to act without prejudice, sometimes it’s just hidden inside us due to our past or surroundings. That hidden prejudice is often influential in our actions. It’s our job to spot these issues within others and ourselves and destroy them before they become hurtful. I have so many people looking up to me, that I couldn’t be scared, wait it out, nor could I just stand up for me; I had to do it for WE. It is important in this journey to remember that just because someone has inflicted hurt upon us, it does not give us the right to do the same. Body shaming and other hurtful tactics will never get the job done. As hard as it was to stop MYSELF from being ignorant and from posting the first mean words that came to my mind because I was hurt, I had to think about the bigger picture. Instead I sat for two hours on my phone, doing my research and formulating an educated response. Giuliana, I appreciate your apology and I’m glad it was a learning experience for you and for the network. I hope that others negatively affected by her words can also find it in their hearts to accept her apology as well. From a quote we all know by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘Darkness cannot drive our darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ Let’s be that light and spread that love. — Zendaya Coleman”