Monday, July 27, 2009

Did You Remember to Shower this Morning?

Although summer is technically about halfway over, it's finally made an apprearance in New England. For the next week it's going to be very humid, and we all know that humidity = sweating profusely. All that sweat can come together with bacteria and produce some very unpleasant smells. The absolute worst place to be when the weather is like this is on public transportation. The subway is usually really bad because half the time the A/C isn't working and people are packed into the cars like sardines. I take a commuter train to work, and that can be pretty bad, too. This morning a guy sat down beside me and, Lord have mercy, was he ever funky! And I don't mean he had smooth dance moves. He smelled as if he had gone jogging for 2 days in a row and forgot to shower. Seeing as we're pretty much programmed to bathe ourselves from the time that we understand what it means to do so, I highly doubt that he forgot. I can't even begin to hazard a guess as to why he smelled that way. It wasn't even BO, it was straight up stale sweatiness. Regardless, when you know you're going to be in an enclosed space with strangers, it pays to shower before you leave the house. You can do whatever you want if all you're going to do is sit at home all day, but if there's that chance that I might have to sit next to you on a train, I don't want to have to feel like I'm in a gym locker room or in the presence of someone with poor hygiene. I've seen medical shows about people who smell no matter how often they shower. If this is you, then go to your doctor and see if you can get it taken care of. For those of you who just aren't showering, do the world a favor and lather up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Do Your Feet Say about You?

Although I'm no expert on beauty or fashion, I'm taking on a request from a friend to do a segment on feet. This is the time when we all turn out our toes and wear cute little strappy sandals, or go casual with a pair of flip flops. No matter how you choose to show off your tootsies, one thing is absolutely essential, they should look presentable. There is many an office here in Boston that doesn't allow the wearing of open-toe shoes, and I can guess why. No one wants to see feet that have raggedy toenails and cracked, crusty heels. I know that money is tight, so I'm not saying that everyone should run out to some chi-chi spa and get a pedicure. I also don't advocate the lower-end places that use those chairs to soak your feet in because those aren't cleaned very well. I'm sure you're asking yourself "What's a girl to do?" Well there's always the home pedicure. Lots of fashion magazines tell you all about how to do it and I'm sure you could find info online. There are lots of nice foot products from Freeman and Dr. Scholl's that'll get the job done for you. Also, don't forget to buy one of those foot spas to soak your feet in. After a hard day's work, those babies are nice and they're relatively cheap. If you don't feel like buying a foot spa and a bunch of foot care products, you can get one of those plastic dish pans, add some body wash and soak your feet in that. To get rid of dead skin you can use a Ped Egg (I know you've seen them on TV), or the Revlon or Dr. Scholl's version. A moisturizing lotion will take care of keeping your feet and toes nice and smooth. Whether or not you choose to paint your toenails is up to you. Just make sure that your toenails are neatly trimmed. If you have a problem with cracked heels, there are lots of heel balms and creams on the market. While your heels are healing, you can still get in the summer spirit with a nice pair of shoes with a peep-toe. Taking a little time and a little pride in your appreance will go a long way in making you feel confident and powerful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fun with Muffin Tops

Many people say that the top is the best part of the muffin, but when it comes to getting dressed, the top of the muffin is the worst part. My last entry was about fashion footwear, and since it's technically summer (but not really in New England), we'll talk about another style, no-no, the Muffin Top. Although they can often be seen year-round, they are particularly prevalent during warm weather. For those of you who may not know the terminology, a Muffin Top occurs when a woman puts on a pair of pants, particularly jeans, that are too tight in the waist and cause spillage. Muffin Top is usually accompanied by the too short t-shirt. Fashion has devolved quite a bit since I was a teenager. During that time, there's no way in hell that anyone would've considered showing a hint of belly flab. They say if you've got it, flaunt it. Well the converse is also true; if you ain't got it, keep it covered up. I'm all for loving your body, but in doing so, you need to take pride in your appearance. A bulging belly spilling out of the top of your pants is nothing to be proud of, but a body dressed in clothes that fit is always a winner, no matter what your size.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Are You a "Do" or a "Don't"?

I'm sure most of you know that Glamour magazine has a "Do's and Don't's" section every month. As much as we'd love to, we can't all be a "Do" all the time. Sometimes we veer into "Don't" territory, and it ain't pretty! I am by no means a fashion plate, but I try to get it right, because I know what goes through my mind when I see someone who has gone horribly wrong. During the summer, we tend to think we can let it all hang out. It's hotter outside and dress codes at work become a little more relaxed. One thing I've learned is that the right footwear can turn a so-so outfit into a nice one, or a fabulous outfit into a hideous one. One of the top fashion killers is pantyhose with an open-toed shoe. That's almost as bad as walking around in a housedress with your knee highs rolled down a la Vickie Lawrence in Mama's Family. I know it's been a chilly summer in New England, but if you're going for the open toe, rock it hardcore. If your legs are cold under that skirt or dress put on leggings or footless tights.

Two types of shoes that are the bain of my existence are Ugg boots and Crocs. Ugg boots have actually been dead on the fashion scene for a while. I know they're all cozy and warm, and during a New England winter, I might be able to excuse wearing them to work, but why wear them all day? Do you enjoy having feet that look like a sasquatch's? FYI, Uggs jumped the shark quite a few years ago when Marlon Brando was spotted leaving the hospital in a wheel chair, wearing a pair. Think about it. That was a long time ago because Marlon Brando has been dead for 5 years, but the Ugg parade marches on.

Now on to Crocs, those misshapen hunks of rubber that turn your feet into brightly colored blobs. Now I know you're not spending all day gardening, so why would you wear something that's roughly the equivalent of a gardening clog? Those babies are wide-open and have holes so if you're just randomly walking in dirt, your feet or socks are gonna get filthy. Speaking of filthy, I saw a girl walking barefoot in Downtown Boston because her flip flop had broken.. I love Boston, but damn girl, you're gonna need a tetanus shot when you get home! For the love of God, stop by Payless and get some $5.00 flips flops! There was a Payless nearby, btw, that's why I mentioned it. Anyway, back to Crocs. As time has gone by they've tried to spice things up by creating different styles. That doesn't change the fact that it's a rubber shoe that will make your feet sweat and therefore, stink to high heaven! Word has come down the pike that the Crocs folks are bankrupt and I can't say that I'm sorry to hear that. Even with bankruptcy those monstrosities could hang around for a long, long time.

That's enough from me for now. Here's my official disclaimer that this is all in good fun, so that Ugg and Crocs worshippers don't send me hate mail ;-).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

International Gavin DeGraw T-Shirt Day

It's time for me to promote my favorite recording artist again. Just can't help but love that man ;-)! August 15th is International Gavin DeGraw T-Shirt Day. The details are as follows:

August 15th is International Gavin DeGraw T-Shirt Day. Show your support by sporting a t-shirt on that day. We'll have a special Flickr group set up where you can upload your photos to show off to the world. There will be contests with cool prizes, as well as a few surprises on that day.
Need a t-shirt? Visit the
Merch Shop.
GDG Fan Club members get 10% off on all purchases. GDG Web Team members can earn shirts and get points for buying a shirt.
Tell the world. It's coming: August 15th: International Gavin DeGraw T-Shirt Day!

Although he's a very underrated artist, he's puts on one of the best live shows. His fanbase is solid, but his music is so good that it needs to be heard by more people. If you don't know who he is, check him out on YouTube. Watching and listening to him brings back memories of the days when rock and roll was young, and musicians could really sing. He loves to perform and it shows. He also likes interacting with his fans, so I've met him quite a few times. I'm not asking everyone who reads this to rock a GDG t-shirt on August 15th, but at least check him out. He's the real deal and genuinely has a love for music.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why Does Bill O'Reilly Feel Like He Can Speak for Black America?

I just read an article on regarding comments that Bill O'Reilly made to the effect that Michael Jackson is not a Black icon. You can read the article here:

He touches on the fact that Michael changed his skin color and is not the biological father of his children. Anyone with eyes in their head knew that before there were ever any DNA tests. Bleaching one's skin doesn't change their genes. If you're Black, you're Black and if you have children with someone who's not, then some part of your genetics is going to show up. Those kids are white. So what? That's no concern of mine.

O'Reilly also sees Michael's need to change his skin color as Michael turning his back on the Black community. I feel like Michael's choice had nothing to do with any kind of dissatisfaction with the Black community. I think it had more to do with his dissatisfaction with himself and maybe with the man who raised him. There are horror stories about the way that Joe treated Michael. Joe has also proven himself to be someone that the public should have no sympathy for as evidenced by his appearance at the BET awards and his "need" to promote his new record label and its artists during a time when he should be mourning his youngest son.

Michael Jackson surrounded himself with people of all races. While I really wish that he hadn't decided to have all of that plastic surgery and change his skin color, I don't see it as him trying to break away from being Black. I see it as him trying to break away from his childhood as Michael Joseph Jackson, a child who some could say was exploited for his own father's personal gain. His change in looks is the farthest he could get from that. I feel that his decision goes deeper than race. As a Black person, I feel that I can speak on it with much more insight than someone like Bill O'Reilly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yield's Millions from One Campaign

I'm a big fan of doing what you can to help others, but I know in these tough economic times this can be hard to do. Even when times aren't that tough, I still don't have a lot of extra money, so I'm always happy when I find a cause that asks little but does a lot. Recently I came across a campaign by Yield Clothing to provide clean drinking water for the most needy all over the world. They sell bracelets for $10 and 50% of the money from the bracelets goes toward building water wells. They have other programs going on, but I was most impressed by this one, because clean drinking water is a basic necessity of life. Many times we wonder if we're really doing any good in this world, but by participating in this program, we can do our little part to make the world a little bit better for those who really need it. Check this campaign out at