Category Archives: Guilty (but forgivable) Pleasures

Oh OSCAR!!!!

Before I get in to the whole fashion body image side of this event, let me just say that this was the first Oscars that I have actually watched. Most of the time I check in here or there, but there is a rabid online culture (I’m not a tweeter but a facebooker it’s a bit more contained) that makes it interesting (also that 160 characters is difficult, like writing a haiku- to limiting) But I did watch, mainly because there were so many people that I liked, and movies that I actually saw– and there are the people and movies that irritate me so… here is my breakdown:

As I watched the red carpet arrivals the first thing I though was that these women have not eaten in a MONTH (or so). Everyone was so thin, like thinner then the usual thin. In the dance world we say Snatched, but these ladies were SUCKED! IT was kind of scary because you know that the “worked” to be that thin- meaning by any means necessary (not eating/ or not eating certain things or portions to working out to whatever…) some I think – like the nominees have probably dropped some pounds just form the hectic schedule of the award season, but it was startling…

Before that I would like to say that it was so nice to see ABC’s Robin Roberts looked DIVINE, it was so nice to see her back on to work and looking so beautiful on the read carpet

Now Let’s take a look at some of the actresses from last night, now there were no horrific  fashion moments (unfortunately – that means that everyone was really safe). The thing that was slightly annoying and shows that this sort of tried concept of “being on trend” is making everything cookie cutter boring, was the presence of the ubiquitous side swept Veronica Lake wave! every second woman was wearing that style… that’s what you get for being on trend…. but there were some REALLY Great moments:

Jessica Chastain in Armani Privé: A+ and her body looks wonderful  and I love that her hair looks wavy but flowy

Ann(e) Hathaway in Prada: B+ (but I have to say I am not a fan of her at all) the darts made it look like her nipples were are attention, she looked painfully thin to me
Charlize Theron in Dior: PuuurFection!!! she always gets it right, she looked sucked, but the tailoring on this dress was perfect it looked like a mold on her torso! her hair looks great and her dance performance during the opening showed her ballet training and she has a beautiful port de bras, (and her feet are just sick if you have ever seen them hooks!)
Naomi Watts in Armani Privé: A- I like because it was a bit edgy she was singular and original on this night, she helped to design it. And she looks healthy.
Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen:B and I will tell you why, this was made for her I like it is very understated (not the issue) the issue is that the neckline gaped a bit and it was ill fitting I think someone should have caught that… And she looks HUNGRY! she is a girl that usually carries a bit of a curve, she was very “svelte” last night… she’s eating right now!
Halle Berry in Versace: A+ she has this made for her she wanted to look like a Bond Girl (because they we honoring the franchise) and it worked it was lovely love the Art Deco design and the shoulders! She is another one that always get’s it right
Catherine Zeta-Jones in a Zuhair Murad: B+ It’s like yeeehhhh, it’s safe. Her hair is wonderful, but here is the thing. Now CZJ is a boxy girl- meaning she has a short torso and, her shoulders, waist, and hips are basically the same width. now she doesn’t look terribly thin here, (her structure belies that fact that) she has not eaten in weeks! We know this because when she performed she was SUCKED honey SUCKED!!!
LOOK! she’s saying “I’M HUNGRY!!!!!!!!”
Kerry Washington in Mui Mui: A- now I love Miz Oliva Pope but she was so thin she looked like a Bobble head! let’s get real, we just saw her on Scandal in the pool with an overhead shot and there was a bit of booty… butt [sic] not on this night. she looked great I love that dress. Not a fan of the hair but she looked great. She needs a sandwich though…
Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture: A+ She looked wonderful I loved the way it worked her curves! (ok but that dress nearly took her out, she didn’t look like she starved herself either… but wait the after party dress was over look

jennifer lawrence oscars party vanity fair calvin kleinIt’s major! It’s Calvin Klein! I had to throw that in there.

Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli: A- I love this look, and her  body is looking great, I love that she has stabilized (not too small not to big, like Goldielocks, just right) what does not work for me is the wig… she pulled out the wrong one, some waves would have been nice. But this dress stood out because it was so unlike what the rest of the ladies wore, like Naomi.


Octavia Spencer in a Tadashi Shoji: A+ I loved this! He knows how to create for her, and I loved that he went away from that gathered, ruched waistline I loved the soft classic elegance…. and she is on that Stevia, she has lost 40 pounds, and she looks wonderful.
Melissa McCarthy in David Meister:C- Melissa needs to get Tadashi’s card! what is this! I don’t understand, she has a beautiful waistline, but whoever is dressing her is afraid of it or doesn’t know how to deal with it. This is just not flattering
Adele in a Jenny Packham- A – here’s the thing, people gave her grief for her Grammy dress (which I loved) but I love this too. I think she always gets it right and her make-up is always flawless!!!– She has a G.O (Grammy/Oscar) she might be playing the Award Scrabble game she needs an E and a T (an Emmy/Tony) to spell EGOT!
StacyKeibler (w/ Le Clooney) in n a Naeem Khan: A+ I LOVE THIS DRESS!!!!!! (go Brad Goreski – I know Rachel Zoe is going Ba-nan-nas) she looks great I don’t like the shape of the hair so much but the dress is OVER!
 AND the Grand Diva of the NIGHT RED CARPET MOMENT!
Madame Jane Fonda! in Versace – Gradeless! she  was flawless. At 75!! in Canary Yellow!

What do your Clothes say about You? Nun’s Speak about their Uniforms

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this interesting video of a group of Nuns discussing what their uniforms mean to them and how they make them feel. I found it so interesting. I have always found Nuns to be so very mysterious and interesting, with there dark dresses, habits, and that ubiquitous cross dangling around their necks.


To me they always looked so otherworldly (now I unlike my brothers and sisters did not go to Catholic school, I am sure their ideas about Nuns are quite different). I think the fact that their uniform represents a job, or profession but a way of life, a belief, and most profoundly a commitment to God is what is so intriguing. The fact that it is such a visible sign makes it in a way courageous and valiant. That couples with the fact that by wearing it I know you are not having sex… (To me I always go there, sorry) I know I am romanticizing what it really must be, but I think that when we see people like Nuns, or Tibetan Monks in the their brown and saffron robes, it has that effect.

It got me thinking about the “uniforms” that we wear in life, and the how they make us feel to wear them, and the perceptions that others have of us in them. As a New Yorker, rush hour is a mish mosh of people in their (let’s call them) “Life Uniforms” from the students’ (private, Catholic and even public school) dress code, to hospital workers, security guards, postal, Fed Ex, or UPS men and women. There are the various less official uniform uniforms in the various types of business and office dress. The office attire of the the lawyer, broker, real estate agent, and banker differ from that of the bank teller, or office manager, not just in the quality and cut of the suit, skirt, jacket and accessories but in the styling. There is so much that our clothing and comportment tell about us all without saying a word. Our personal style and choices of adornment are identifiers whether we are aware of it our not. It tells if we go with the crowd, or prefer to be more of an individual, sometimes it shows that “Who we are” is not necessarily connected to “What we wear” and that, in and of it self can say a great deal.

Actor and Drag Personality RuPaul said:

“We are born naked the rest is drag”


I have to agree. Now in all fairness rush hour is not the best time of day to judge who people are from what they are wearing, as most people work in places where there is a dress code of sorts, hence what they are wearing is not necessarily indicative of their personal style. However there are other times when you can discern the personal uniforms of people. There is the cool teen drag (a la Gossip girl) the Emo teen, the Pseudo fashionistas (the woman that works hard to be on trend on a budget) the true fashionistas (often not on the subway) the model (skinny jeans, either a slouchy sweater or a flannel shirt, ankle boots rocker style, maybe folded down, a short jacket, and maybe a funky hat hippy hair or messy bun, and a cool leather messenger or hobo bag, with a her book) there is always the Japanese hipster who always makes you wonder, “Where the hell did she get that?”. There are the urban brown girls and boys (either African American or Latina- both in North Face jackets, Tims, boys in slouchy over-sized jeans and sweatshirts, the girls in skinny jeans that are a bit too tight, with a shirt that is a bit too small, and the nails are done and for the black girls there is always a wig or weave that is slightly in need of attention, the Latina girls tend to feature the wet look curls or the super slick side weep, or ponytail). There are the workout people, in LuluLemon and sneakers, there are the Upper west side moms with strollers and snacks in baggies, the Dad’s with their sons who are dressed as their mini me’s, there are the college students with a hodgepodge of styles that don’t really match but that is the “look” they have a backpack loaded with books. There are musicians with instruments in various sized case, and nondescript professionals that are in a more artistic or liberal field exhibited by either a funky haircut or unconventional style of dressing. It’s all drag….

There is one thing that I have discovered that is a part of almost everyone’s uniform these days and that is headphones and either a phone, Ipad, or gaming system…

I take Bikram yoga, and in the dialogue Bikram refers what you are wearing for class as “your costume”. When I first heard it I thought that is was funny. Since Bikram is Indian I thought that it was an issue of meaning skewed in translation, and perhaps it was but; I find it ironically truthful. The things we wear are in fact a type of costume. We dress in a manner that we think represents who we are and what we are about, or in a manner that seeks to create a certain perception from the onlooker. We clothe ourselves to identify with a clan or tribe and separate us form others. To dress modestly, or provocatively, on trend, or to pay not mind, these in ways are statements to who we are and how we feel about ourselves, and aspects of our society.

Often our actual bodies (not just what we shroud them in) are also a statement, not just on who we are, but how we feel, and participate in our lives. Often how we care for our bodies, what we not only put on them, but also in them, say a great deal. The first thing that comes to mind is the idea of what we eat and if we exercise. I know that I instantly have a feeling about someone carrying a yoga mat, or in workout clothes with a bottle of water, or people dressed fro going for a run. However the way our bodies respond to food and exercise don’t always have a uniform result or a uniform look. I mean we think we know what health looks like (thin, fit etc.) but that is not always the case. I think things like hairstyles, piercings and tattoos are more exemplary of a chosen image of our bodies representing us. Using one’s skin to tell stories, create memorials, express beliefs, or convictions is also in a way type of Tribism. There is a very specific and extensive community linked to both tattooing and piercing. Oddly when it comes to more cosmetic forms of body augmentation such as breast, butt, or facial implants there is less of a communal feeling. I have seldom seen women with implants (of any kind) enthusiastically and openly discuss their procedures the way that people with tattoos do! It is taboo to say to a woman, “Wow, do you get Botox? I get it too… I love your Restylane job!” I’m sure it happens in a certain context, perhaps more on the down low, probably something like the Masons… However plastic surgery has also become a uniform of sorts. The puffy lipped, bulbous cheek implants, breast and buttocks implants and Botoxed foreheads have become a certain status symbol. The faker you look the richer you look. The “look” implies upkeep, expensive up keep. In some affluent communities the waxy, plumped up plastic non-moving facial features along with the Louboutin red-soled shoes are identifiers that you are a part of the “Haves”. All uniforms. Looking too natural is frowned upon (well not actually because they can’t move their faces!)

Personally my uniform has me ever ready for a funeral or a robbery, I generally were all black, love a boot and I am seldom seen without my weekender Coach Tote (the best most versatile bag ever!) and sunglasses. For me I feel I can always look put together, black always looks chic, and is quite indistinct at the same time. You can wear pieces multiple times and no one ever knows (I can’t tell how many times I have been asked if something in my wardrobe is new!) It goes from day to evening with out thought, and is slimming! And when I am out of “uniform” it’s surprising to most people, it’s like a little holiday. It’s my Science!

What does your uniform say about you?

Dove’s Ad Makeover (video)

This is exactly what we needed. Too many times we open a magazine, pass a billboard or a something pops up on our computer screen that make us feel inadequate and broken and in need of what ever it is that they are selling to make us better, complete, whole. Well Dove has figured out a way to combat that!! Check it out.

When Trends go Bad: A Rant on the Colored Jean (VIDEO)

They are every where and the season has just broken! Geesh. I loved the idea but everybody and their mama is rocking a colored jean- too much is too much. Hear how I REALLY feel.


I think it’s a skinny girl trend. We might have to leave it to the thin of thigh, maybe we thick thigh chicks can find ways of getting color about the leg that might be more flattering…

Ok so I guess you can do them in a wide leg, (not the same though tell the truth)

One of the Raw Food Benefits… Great Skin!

Ok so I don’t have “bad” skin generally but what I do get as a woman of color is blotchy. I tend to get a darkening around my mouth (I have been told that that can be hormonal) and I do experience hyper-pigmentation. If I get a blemish and I pick it then it leaves a dark spot. about 3 weeks ago I was using a concealer and a minerals base in an effort to even out my complexion. I went to Sephora and got some samples of Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic  Acid Hydrating gel and Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum to try to lighten and even out my skin. It did work, but the quality of my skin was the same.

I have noticed that after 2 weeks of eating raw the texture of my skin has morphed, it looks hydrated, and is clearer (I think that is a product of both what I am putting on my skin and what I am putting in my body) it looks smooth and dewy. Here is the other thing that it AMAZING and SUPER INEXPENSIVE:

The at home mini facial:

I saturated some Cotton  pads in Apple Cider Vinegar (diluted) and place them on my nose, cheeks and chin and let it sit for a while. When I removed them, all of the sebum had risen so I heated a face cloth and extracted them. It’s just what they do when you get a facial, you have to be gentle and not squeeze too hard, if you don’t feel like you can do it with out damaging your skin you can just exfoliate after you take the pads off. After that a little toner, I use rosewater mixed with Cucumber Witch Hazel and moisturize. All I have on in these photos is mascara, eyeliner and lipstick! You can be like 2 weeks from virtually flawless skin!

Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonder of nature, more on that later!!! really it does EVERYTHING , I’m surprised they haven’t thought to use it as an alternative for fuel!

Plastic Surgeon, Does Daughter’s Boob Job (WATCH)

This could be a follow up on my piece Creating Body Image: When Parents are the Problem. In “The Cutting Edge,” a new episode of “20/20” set to air Friday, 10 p.m. EST. Babara Walters takes a look at the world of plastic surgery, the procedures and the patient of all ages, from the 83 year old woman who decided to have her breasts enhanced to the 18 year old who’s father did her breast surgery.
Now here is the thing, Dr.Michael Niccole has 2 adopted daughter (both 23) and her regularly performed various procedures on both of them, from belly button reconstruction (an Charm at 10 years of age) Rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, lip injections, and Botox for both the armpits to stop sweating (understandable) to facial which for me at the tender age of 23 is just ridiculous. It’s a very strange dynamic, in the clip we see his daughters and a gaggle of their girlfriends in the Niccole’s office as they all wait to be tinkered with. WTF?!

One of Niccole’s daughters Brittany 23, had her breast done (by her father) at 18 to “Build her “self esteem” yes to build her self esteem and she said it with a straight face. Let me say this, TRUE self esteem is not built through a bra cup size! in my opinion for a person with low self esteem it only gives them the assets to create situations and relationships that might end up being more damaging to a fledgling self esteem because it is an artificial sense of empowerment. It’s akin to the “power suit” sure it makes you feel strong when you have it on but when you take it off you are still you. True empowerment is built from doing the internal, personal work, not “having work done” it is not something you implant, or put on, it is something that you cultivate and develop through experience. Just sayin’

In a later portion of the clip, as Niccole’s other daughter Charm settles into her father’s chair putting protective goggles on (preparing for a laser treatment of some sort) she asks coquettishly “Dad how do I look?” and he replies “Sexy” really. I don’t know about you but that’s a bit creepy. Remember when Joe Simpson make the remark about his daughter Jessica Simpson’s double D’s?

Take a look at this clip it looks like this will be an interesting program, Walters is also talking to the Queen of plastic herself Joan Rivers! Take a look.

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Crazy Beauty Secrets from the Stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age

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Did you know that Rita Hayworth felt so uncomfortable about her low hairline she had it raised, then dyed her black hair that famous shade of red? Elsewhere, both Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe shaved their faces to get rid of unwanted peach fuzz. And Marlene Dietrich apparently had her upper molars removed to create shadows underneath her cheekbones, which looked even more dramatic with the contrast of the black and white film of the time. Admittedly, I’ve made my share of questionable beauty decisions: I nearly burned my face off with a shall-not-be-mentioned face exfoliant, all in the name of luminous skin. This subsequently seemed counter-productive since I walked around with my hand over my face for the next five days.

Carole Lombard, 1933
The wife of Clark Gable was so self-conscious of a crook in her nose that she drew a thin white line down it before she applied makeup, she believed this created the illusion of a straight nose.
Elizabeth Taylor, 1944
Taylor was born with hypertrichosis, an excessive body hair condition. She was covered with dark hair all over her body, including her ears and nose. Though it eventually fell off, the actress was known to shave her face to create a smooth, hairless effect.


Rita Hayworth, 1950
The flame-haired actress, who was actually born with black hair, had her hairline raised a full inch with electrolysis. Also, her hair grew so quickly that she had to dye it every three days to conceal her dark roots.
Wanna see the rest? Check it hot here!

Fashion Chic Speak- A Guide To the Fashion Terms 2012

I thought that this was absolutely high-larious! and apropos this time of year when everyone is promoting and predicting the fashion trends of the upcoming year. Enjoy it I did

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Struggle to decipher the difference Dior’s New Look and your local New Look store? No problemo. Just chuck a few of these into your lexicon and you’ll have the fash-pack hanging onto your every word. No need to thank us.

fashion-speak-guidePhoto: Getty

…, no?
As in “I look very chic, no?” – confusingly the correct answer to this question is actually yes. Replying with the word “no” will lead to perpetual banishment from all things fashion.

‘Ironic’ abbreviations
To Sho (Topshop), Gooch (Gucci) Channel (Chanel) – so as to indicate that you’re so au fait with the brands you can hilariously mispronounce them. Ironic, no?

The use of the singular
The lip, the pant, the platform, the singular. The little people wear a pair of shoes, trousers and have red lips. But on planet fashion, the use of the singular denotes that you truly understand the wider style implications of what you are wearing – not, as might be assumed by a little person, that the wearer only has one lip, foot or trouser leg. (long before this I always used a pronoun for people-  i.e. The April (my bff) but I could “rock” the singular)

Very Edie
On one level Grey Gardens was a documentary about two abandoned, eccentric and really quite batty women, Big Edie and Little Edie, who lead their lives in the Hamptons. There is cat and racoon poo all over the house, they eat liver pate from a tin and there are massive great holes in their clothes. But to the fashionable mind this is a stinky pool of style inspiration. Hence anything vaguely bohemian/mismatched/layered is Very Edie, as in Little Edie. (I LOVE this one and I hadn’t heard it before but personally when I saw the movie I thought Little Edie was fabulous as well I will definitely be dropping this term, as I wear a turban made out of a sweater)

Really means ‘rip off’ or ‘copy’. ( Beyonce if VERY fond of the Homage)

Ethnic/Global traveller chic
The paranoid fashion writer’s politically correct code for anything nodding to places other than Western Europe or North America. And in using such a generic tone, is actually quite offensive. (It’s like when people say they are from Africa – not the country in Africa, mainly because they feel like most Americans who know where the hell they are talking about  anyway- or what Black folk (‘scuse me African Americans) say “Down South” like it’s one place or on “The Job” like there is only one– Well  nowadays  there might only BE one! The lumping must stop let’s be clear and specific)

Read the rest here

Meet Celebrity Stylist and HAIR RULES Salon Owner- Anthony Dickey (Video)

Both women and men alike have an obsession with HAIR! It can make or break a look make you feel like a sex symbol or a hot mess! Hair has always been a woman’s (and sometimes a man’s) greatest accessory. From short and sassy to long a lush women have long used their locks (and some other people’s) to jush up their look, from the days of the French and the Italian courts of the Renaissance, to Beyonce’s front lace wind blown mane, Katy Perry newly pink do, or Gwen Stefani flawlessly platinum locks. Whether in the form of hair “support” (weaves), to full wigs women today enjoy such great diversity. But the question is are we hiding? Are we using our hair to accentuate what we have or are we trying to be something or someone else.

In the African American community hair (texture and length) as well as skin color (complexion) have long been the definers of beauty. Having “good” hair (soft, wavy to straight) is often preferred over kinky or nappy hair. As a community we can be very hard on those who are “too” dark or don’t have long hair. There are phrases like “Get the peas out of your kitchen” (peas are what we call the hair that coils up at the nape of the neck) or smooth your “Edges” (hairline). A young girl can me ridiculed harshly for her hair, or her color, this can inform her sense if self, and image for her whole life. There is a great deal of pain and shame that African American women experience in regards to their hair. I have long wanted to do a series that addressed the idea of beauty as it pertains to hair, racially, culturally, and texturally.

Personally I have had my own struggles with hair and my identity, from having relaxed hair through my teens and going “natural” in my mid-twenties, I now struggle with wanting to have the option of going straight, without having it chemically altered, and also feeling like myself with straight hair. There are times I want to “whip my hair back and forth” and have a swing that my Afro does not afford, but I also love the volume of my kinky halo. Recently I tried a texturizer in an effort to get closer to having the best of both worlds but it damaged it. What is a girl to do?

About a year ago I was introduced to the Hair Rules products as a possible answer to making my natural hair more manageable. When I went into the Salon in New York City I met business manager Jasmine Green, and after speaking with her and learning not only about the products but also about the philosophy behind them and the salon, I knew that this was something I wanted to bring to my readers. When I met the force behind the salon Anthony Dickey, his passion and dedication to not just giving people the hair they want and deserve, but his desire to have that confidence in their hair extend into way they feel about themselves over all.

I recently sat down with Dickey as he is affectionately known and talked about everything from, hair texture, products, the beauty industry, culture, race, wigs, weaves and how men REALLY see women!!

Dickey talks about his own self image, having a German mother, and African American father and being raised by his father’s side of the family. He shares how being light skinned with red hair in an African American family a looking NOTHING like anyone else helps him speak to the shame (of texture) that some women feel about themselves and their hair.

Learn More about Hair Rules Salon and products

Nicole Richie got her “girls” Rehauled!!!

Apparently Nicole Richie got her breasts done.










Rumor had it that she had always wanted a lift and she wanted to improve her bustline for hubby Joel Madden, 32. “The pregnancies took a toll. She said breast-feeding killed what boobs she did have!” –Us Magazine

I have to say that they look great. I have had friends who have breastfeed and some of them their breasts are unscathed while others are left deflated (all for a great cause but still) so I get it, I always said that if I had a child and breastfeed and my girls were left looking a bit weepy, then I would totally be in line for a breast job. I think that what she got was tasteful and realistic, they look like her own just fluffier!