Saturday, November 19, 2011

When friends think of you....

....they post wonderful things like this and this on your Facebook wall.  I'm a stickler for unique and artsy jewelry pieces.  I mean, what true fashionista isn't? Cameos are timeless and remind me of my mom and how amazing this that Tatted Sugar Skull Mask?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Love Your Body, Rock Your Body

Hello, my wonderful readers! Do you ever come across a subject that is so controversial that it ruffles your feathers? It happens all the time, right? Well, last week my feathers were heavily ruffled into an unruly mess and I wanted to write about it today.  The subject pertains to this photo.

As many of you may know, this photo has been circulating the Interwebs promoting positivity towards body image.  This photo was accompanied by a whale/mermaid story, which to me sounded so ridiculous it was if it was written by a 5-year-old girl.  If you don't know of the story, let me briefly explain.  A woman wrote in response to a gym ad stating, "would you rather be a whale or a mermaid?" Her response was that she would rather be a whale because they sing and are recorded by humans, are sexually active and raise children with tenderness. What the hell? It was if she was saying that skinny people didn't do any of those things.   All these other facts about whales sounded so far from the real issue. She proceeded to say that mermaids do not exist, but that if they did they would smell fishy, have no sex life and not bear children.  Whaaa??   I know she was trying to make a point, but hot damn, the woman could have come up with so much better than that. 

Regardless of the woman's silly response, I happily shared the photo on Facebook because like a Dove commercial, I think it's important to promote beauty in all sizes.  Skinny or fat, there is beauty in every being. 

But what truly ruffled my feathers wasn't the poor use of language that the woman used to accompany the beautiful photo of French model, Tara Lynn.  What upset me the most was that a long-time friend (who is about the same size as me) posted how sick she was of people promoting fat as being good.  A very opinionated person and Facebook newbie, she has grown accustom to standing on her soap box and preaching her beliefs. 

Her exact words were as follows:  

"The average size in the US for Woman is size 12. You know what else is the average in the US? Being FAT! This whole Mermaid and Whale thing needs to stop. I want to be a Mermaid! I know only one Woman who is happy and comfortable being heavy (she was probably talking about me). Thats it 1! Being heavy is unhealthy and the average Woman isn't happy that way, so stop trying to convince yourself that you are."

This struck an array of responses from both sides. Many thinking she was beautiful, but the majority were negatives. Comments such as "fat is wack" and "nothing tastes as good as being thin" appeared as responses and also struck my other friend to extend some research, finding that 1 in 20 women would rather lose a limb than be fat (according to Obesity magazine).   WHAT THE FUCK?!! You mean, people would rather not have a leg or arm than be 30 lbs overweight?

As everyone is entitled to their opinion, I respected what my friend did and tried not to step too much on her toes, but I could not keep silent and definitely had to fight back.  To a degree, I side with her and think that being obesity is not healthy.  However, I believe that our food industry has a big part in why America is fat and that it's not just because Americans are lazy.  Most of our food now lacks nutrition and is calorie-rich, convincing our stomachs that we are not fully satisfied and thus making us eat more. There is so much more to this, I know. I will not digress but I know that although obesity is unhealthy, that it is possible for thin people to be unhealthy as well.  Thin people have heart attacks all the time.  Being skinny does not always equate to being healthy.

Well, I thought it important to respond to her and tell her that it's not so easy (and she should know since she has struggled with her weight even when she was much thinner in high school) to be skinny  and that it is very hard work to control diet and exercise.  And in light of that, she and we all should love ourselves no matter a size 0 or 22.

While we all should strive to be the healthiest we can be, we should also love ourselves and our bodies at any size.  For me, I know it's hard to lose the weight.  I eat right and exercise as much as I can, but know that I can do so much more.  We can all do so much more.  But in my struggle with weight, I never at one point hated my body.  Perhaps I inherited confidence and self-esteem from my unbelievably confident mother, but I always found a way to make myself feel beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.  To my friend, the thought of this is unbelievable and is a lie.  That I'm lying to myself.  Oh, how silly she is.  And perhaps, how naive am I?

Obviously, my friends thoughts stemmed from her own insecurities. And she did say that most everyone would probably want to be skinny (which may be true).  But the way she brought it up was just rude and mean, especially from someone who is fat herself.  

What I did learn from all this is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. America and most countries find skinny to be beautiful, more aesthetically pleasing. But some cultures believe fat is beautiful.  To my friend, inspiration about positive body image only came from thin images of women.  To me, beauty is found in both.  Skinny or fat (like the women in the old Ruben's paintings- which people in the old days found to be beautiful), women are beautiful in a whole array of sizes.  And I think my friend missed the point. That the photo was not promoting fat or that fat is right, but about promoting loving yourself in any way. 

On that note, here are some photos of myself showing some skin (showin' off my chub chub) as a mild response to my friend and her negative thoughts on fat. 

DIY Demin vest (a recurring item on this blog) made by an old Old Navy Jacket
Black Peplum skirt from Mode Plus
Brown boots by Frye's
I was wearing very little as I knew it would be a fun, hot night out dancing at Zanzibar in Santa Monica.  Kudos to KCRW'S DJ Anthony Valadez for your always seemless and impeccable spinning skills. If you're from LA and you don't know about Anthony, now you know! Check him out every Tuesday morning on 89.9FM from midnight to 3am. Cheers to someone who really knows how to spread the love!

I hope you enjoy my chub and I more than hope you enjoy yours too.  Or lack there of.  Whatever your size, Love Your Body and Rock Your Body!

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boogie Night: Gettin' Down with the Funky Bunch

Two weeks ago, I got down with the funky bunch and dressed up for a friend's themed birthday party.  70s/80s was the name of the game and like any fashionista I was happy to play dress-up, especially since the 70s is my favorite fashion decade. Theme parties, including ones that require a big poofy afro, are always a hit in my book.  Check out my digs. 

Rocked some purple eyeshadow and false lashes.
"Keep on dancin, whoo!" 

Top- Vintage from my mom's closet
Shorts- Mode Plus
Shoes- Gold Seychelles (5 years ago)

I wanted to wear a leather coat that I own that has fur trim. A lovely shade of 70s autumn brown,  it was the perfect vintage piece for this party but it was too hot, so I opted for the disco top and high-wasted shorts instead.  Not the most 70s looking outfit, but it worked when I topped it with my afro and gold shoes.

Speaking of dressing up, I don't think I'm gonna do anything other than wear some funky eyelashes for Halloween. I've got a wedding to take part in, and won't have any time to make a good costume. Any of you guys dressing up? What as? My inquiring mind wants to know! 

Hope you are all fine and dandy. :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fellow photogs!!! Check it out!

Just wanted to share with you that I love Tom Anderson.  Not only for being a pioneer in the virtual world but also for introducing me to cinemagraphs.  I just subscribed to him using Facebook's new feature and he promoted this new trend in photography.  I haven't seen .gifs of this caliber ever and what I'm about to show you is just plain jaw-dropping. If you love photography and digital animation, check THIS out!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sally, That Girl!

Have you ever heard that old skool hip sop song called Sally (That Girl) by 2 Live Crew, the creators of the 80s hit "Me So Horny?"

Hit play and take a listen.

A couple of years back, during one epic excursion to a group camping trip in Morrow Bay, CA, my friend, E, introduced me to this jam.  For shame that I had not heard it until then because once it passed through my ears, I wondered how this great hip hop classic did not yet cross my musical path.

So, during the ride after much hip hop talk, E said to me:"You haven't heard of Sally, that girl?!!!!"
Me (very shyly): "No."
E: "Joy, you don't even know.  If you know a girl named Sally, you MUST introduce me to her.  Cuz I gotta meet a gal named Sally. I just gotta. "

I didn't quite get it at the time but 8 jello shots, a couple of beers and some car-ride shenanigans later, the song could not be more any more than a hit to me and a pivotal part of me and E's friendship. It's a bit crude, but a good song. Especially if you dig old skool jams. We haven't met a real Sally yet.  But E and I began calling each other Sally (who's a total slut, btw, and in no way indicative of who we really are - or so we think) and the nicknames just stuck.

So, millions of kudos and besos to my dear friend for introducing that song to me.  Sally, aka E, just happened to be my latest model for a recent photo/fashion editorial type shoot I conjured up. I, myself, have modeled for amateur shots before, but wanted to focus on being behind the camera so I decided to just shoot E alone. You can check out my first ever solo-shoot as model here.  Come on, you know you wanna. :)

E's session yielded some killer shots. I played a little with the editing in post, so it may not look altogether cohesive and her skin tone changes from pic to pic. But they still turned out pretty decent and I'm happy with the results.

And although a bit nervous at first, E did a great job modeling.  How could she not with all that beauty?! (E, don't hate me for blowin' ya up).

Check em' out! I hope you dig em' as much as I enjoyed shooting them.


The work is indeed basic. I am still an amateur and lack Photoshop. But they turned out pretty good considering I used iPhoto. Plus, I had such a stunning model, so I didn't have to do much.

Also, many kudos to one of my oldest and best friends, Jessi, for letting me use her adorable house.  She spent the whole day cleaning her beautiful home and garden and I didn't get to utilize much of the space. Believe me, her home is much more than what's shown in the pics. Littered with bright color, vintage pieces and homemade art, Jessi's apartment is the one of most awesomely decorated spaces in any of the slums on the Westside. :(  Next time, I will have to use more of her space.  We just were running very late, so we kept the shoot very simple.

I hope you guys enjoy the pics.  E did her own make-up using killer lashes from Sephora (she's a pro make-up artist AND scuba instructor).  And me, E and Jessi all collaborated on styling her outfits.

E's Wardrobe: Leotard underneath mesh by American Apparel
                       Mesh dress by Lulu's
                       Black shoes by Aldo
                       Top Part of Tutu by Torrid


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Squarepants has had a lot of negative press lately.

What's up with that?
First, his show was shown to yield short-attention spans in 4-year-old children (they study only tested  sixty kids for the case) and now hoodrat girls are just tryin' beat him up. Poor Spongebob. 
And just as I posted of cute little picture of him in my last post, too.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Things Gals Say That Bug Me by Chelsea Fagan

I recently ranted about how many of us on the Internet and also in real life shorten so many words. It makes us look like valley girls. And not the cool kind from Clueless (although they are more appropriately Beverly Hills girls), but the lame kind from the 80s that features a semi-hot Nicholas Cage (I can't believe I just said that).

Well, one of my new favorite daily reads is called Thought Catalog. And today, an article called 5 Things Gals Say That Bug Me was published talking about a little more than the same subject. Writer Chelsea Fagan lists her 5 all-time worst word peeves with good ol' satire and it just reaffirms my views on our generation's butchering of a language. Isn't English so effed up already? Well, we've effed it up even more and some of us (the smart ones) are annoyed with it. I'll admit, I've been a repeat offender to some of these crimes (like using virtual hearts all the time) but some of these crimes are just plain unacceptable. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amy!

                                          We all miss you and your incredibly sultry voice.

Here's a Valerie cover I did last night with my Uke.  Thanks to my sister for being such a great videographer. :) Ignore my ridiculously cheesy, yet somehow hideously scary face in the very beginning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is fat the new black???

I think so! America, slowly but surely, has come along way and is now more than ever accepting of certain civil liberties. Maybe not as much as some of us would like, but blacks, gays and now fatties have come along way. Luckily for many of us, companies like ASOS and The Limited have extended their lines to the plus-sized market. The newest to join this fat venture is American Apparel and today I read a wonderful article by lovely ladybird and witty writer, Nancy Upton, who recently turned in some fabulous photos to American Apparel's "The Next Big Thing" campaign as a spoof, by taking seductive but crude photographs of herself stuffing her face like a pig. In true AA fashion, her photos made the cute, making her a front runner.  Though AA has offended much of the plus-size market, I think her shots were satirically genius photographs.

Finding it derogatory, many people have been turned off American Apparel's campaign.  But people have also been rubbed the wrong way by her lowbrow approach to it. Nancy even got some hate-mail from a real plus model, who took her work very seriously and thought that Nancy was actually giving the plus model world a bad name.  Tomato. To-mah-to.

I think her spoof has given well-needed exposure to plus-size markets. We will always have someone to hate what we are doing and have someone make fun of our size.  But we'll just have to roll with the punches and occasionally knock someone out with a good response like Nancy's, even if it is to mock our own selves. I happen to LOVE what she has done (albeit a spoof gone right) and think she looks beautiful and sexy in the photos.  Her cherry pie-eating/foodie concepts are totally indicative of American Apparel's edgy/unrefined/stripped style. And I am just plain old happy that companies like AA are extending their lines. Women like Nancy and "XLent" (as coined by AA) gals like us have been squeezing our fat asses into their clothes for years and it's about time they show a beautiful fatty, in all her glory, fat rolls and all, in their ads. Ya, they have ignored our market for years and probably were hesitant about what sort of image they would portray to their target skinny consumers, but it's about time they have made room for us chub chubs...even if only for extended revenue and profit reasoning.

So, with all that in mind, I give a double kudos to ladybird Nancy! Though you made it a joke, you have proved once again that fatties can be sexy too...even with a whole rotisserie chicken stuffed in your face, and a pie covering up your cookie! We deserve clothes from any major label in our size!

One of my fave concepts.

All photos of Nancy were taken by her photographer friend, Shannon Skloss, who did a killer job shooting this kickass editorial.  To read Nancy's article, click here.

How do you feel about Nancy's spoof shoot? I'd love to hear from you.

Peace, love and muscle-powered cars,


Always Remember....

Couldn't figure out the photographer's name that took this photo, but it is just beautiful.

I can't believe it's already been a decade.  But remembering today reminds me to have faith and pride in my community, in my country and in human beings in general. That in mind, I hope I'm not the only one that thinks this is a good idea. I encourage everyone to take the time to know your community. In good and bad, it is so amazing to know that people who don't even know each other can bond together become a strong force. Hence, we should all celebrate each other with love, compassion, hard work, vigilance, the sharing of knowledge and wisdom within each other as a community no matter what our differences are.

Anyone with me? And do you remember where you were that day?

Friday, September 9, 2011

It may be just me...

...but I hate the shortening of certain words. These days, every sort of word or phrase is shortened. As we live in this technological age, it is apparent that our vocabulary and knowledge is not only filled to the brim with too much information but includes strong shots of indolence. As a result, we can't help but LOL, BTW, STFU and EGBDF (bet you can't figure that acronym out).

But more recently, we have strayed away from using letters as statements and have now just shamelessly butchered words into smaller versions of themselves. As a writer and self-proclaimed "vocalizer," I will say that using the term "adorbs" to replace the word "adorable" and "obvs" to replace "obviously" and even "hilar" to replace "hilarious" is ridiculously sickening. It's almost as revolting as Lindsay Lohan's role in Herbie the VW bug movie, or when Heidi Montag decided that her boobs should be a size H....for Heidi.

Anyway, for my sanity (since that's all that matters), please stop minimizing our words to the lowest level. :( We are smarter that that! At least make up a word. Add to Oxford Beyonce and the word, "bootylicious." Don't cut words so short...they do, in the long run, have great meaning.

<3 Hope you all are in good spirits.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm obsessed.

Pick-up lines.  Gotta love 'em.  I don't hear them a lot from my long line of suiters (heavy sarcasm). But when I'm presented with a good one, I can't help but chuckle. 

As you may now have figured out due to my latest posts, I've become mildly obsessed with the show Mad Men.  That in mind, I found this excellent vid featuring all the wonderful pick-up lines used in the show.  Yes, it's super chauvinist but quite genius and (I assume) pretty indicative of the times. :)

One of my fave quotes----
Woman: "What are we drinkin'?
Ken Cosgrove: "More of whatever's makin' you the way you are."

Oh, and in case you have not seen the Mad Men SNL skit, here's Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women. Oh so good!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Old Fashioneds, Vintage Threads and a Couple of Mad Men.

I came across some photos from the Mad Men party that I talked about in my last post, and totally stole them. So glad that I did as you guys know how bummed I was for not bringing my camera.


Are you a Mad Men fan? Tell me what you enjoy about the show. :)