Actress LisaRaye Set To Make Directorial Debut With Controversy “Skinned” Film

skinned-lisa-raye-bleaching-thatgrapejuice-600x772LisaRaye, best known for her roles in the film, “The Players Club,” and the TV show, All Of Us, and The Real McCoy, will be directing film that shines light on the recent outbreak of skin bleaching and lightening creams used throughout the world.

According to reports from The Black Enterprise and The University of Cape Town, skin bleaching has reached a record high of $10 billion dollars despite the unknown effects of its cause on the skin. From reports by Black Enterprise, 35 percent of South African women bleach their skin and 77% of Nigerian women bleach their skin.

When asked why should she as a light skinned woman direct this film that she said was a dark skinned project, she stated,” Controversy now sells and I wanted to have all eyes on this epidemic, because not only is it happening in African and our Caribbean nations but here in America too.

During her interview with Roland Martin, she mentions how Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson have both bleached their skin. Skinned debuts this Saturday evening at 8pmET on TV One.

I honestly don’t see the need to continuously make these films. Instead of making films with women not accepting their beauty perhaps make films that shows how women an learn how to love themselves the way they are. The standards of beauty in society is disgusting and need to  be thrown out the window. I am so sick of seeing these films about light vs dark. We are black! We need to love ourselves and stop this division between skin complexions.

Fashion Friday: Clothing versus Impressions

Is clothing important upon one’s first impression? Let us get them both in the ring and we’ll see which one wins.

Round 1: Defining Who You Are

Imagine you have a date with someone. The person in question tells you where to be and when. Excited, you rush to your closet to find a feasible outfit. You pull out damn near every top you own and place them on your bed. You mix and match them with your pants, skirts, and whatever. “No, that one’s too fancy. They’re not ready for that,” you say. You whip up another combination and try to imagine yourself walking to the location, where he/she will first lay their eyes upon you. Your date turns to face you and their brief smile turns into a confused look. The horror is more than enough to take you aback to reality. You take that outfit and throw it on the floor, “Definitely not that one!” you think, “I actually would like to have a second date. Thank you very much.” Hours fly by and you’re running about of time. You’ve gone through just about every possibility in your closet. You need something real. You need something spectacular and jaw-dropping. You want to walk into the room and have all eyes on you and with good reason. You have a burning need to make a good, no, great first impression.

However, in doing so you have managed to scatter all your clothes all over your bedroom and when you finally have the idea for such a ground-shattering ensemble, you have to play “Where’s Waldo” to find it. This makes you twenty minutes late for your date. You enter the room. All eyes are on you. All eyes are on you because you sprinted into the restaurant in hopes of your date still being there. You see them in back, checking their watch for what was probably the fourth time. In an effort to not look desperate or thirty you make a hard stop meters before you’re in range. “I don’t want them to see me all sweaty and nasty,” you think to yourself. Suddenly, you are on your back looking up at the ceiling. Why? Because in your effort to stop running you ran into a waiter who was holding soap bowls of all types of sauces of all the colors of the rainbow. Now, like you, he is on the ground on top of you. Not to mention that the soups, along with the laws of physics and gravity itself, have taken the liberty to paint themselves all over your outfit of magic. You pull yourself out from under the waiter and jump up. Your heart is racing from the sudden turmoil. Trying to calm yourself down, you take deep breaths and try to dust of the shame. “They didn’t see that,” you try to convince yourself, “They had to have been too far away to notice.” You feel calm and ready to make the most of your first impression. You turn to face your destiny and have met the eyes of your date. That was your first impression.

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I speak for all soup-lovers in attendance today when I say that first impressions have nothing to do with the clothes you were but the person behind the clothes. After all, the clothes themselves wouldn’t be there to begin with if it wasn’t for the person who bought them and are wearing them. That’s like blaming a bad five-course meal on the ingredients instead of the chef. The ingredients were just that. Ingredients just hanging out until the chef mixed them all together.

Results: Clothing-0, Impressions-1

first impression

Beauty is a Beast

ethnicbeautyWe all have at least one thing we want to change; a thinner waist, smaller nose, fuller lips, thicker hair, bigger breasts, etc…However, when does a healthy inventory of ourselves turn into an unhealthy self image? Where do these desires to perfect one self stem from, and how far would you be willing to go to achieve your ideal self?

From websites walking you through step-by-step how to become a bulimic or an anorexic, to waist training rituals, and celebrities that lose unimaginable amounts of weight in short periods of time, and the quadruple M threat: magazines, models, movies and media. These messages that we need to be younger, thinner and prettier are all around us.

This isn’t a new phenomenon however. The Greeks and Romans used to take crocodile dung baths with the belief that it would tone the body and held anti-aging properties (http://mom.me/mind-body/7471-weirdest-beauty-rituals-throughout-history/item/tapeworm-diet/ K.Thor Jensen, Mar. 2015). They would also ship in human urine from Portugal and use it as mouthwash as it was believed to be a potent cleaning agent. During the 1800’s in England, people would take tape worm larvae in pill form in order to lose weight. Dating as early as the 19th Century, women in China would bind their feet to the point of not being able to walk in order to achieve the desired ‘lotus flower foot’ (a 3 inch foot was the goal). This was a sign of wealth and status because if your feet were so tiny that you couldn’t walk, that demonstrated that you were too wealthy to have to work. This practice would start on girls as young as 4 years old and began by breaking all their toes except their big toe and binding them so they couldn’t grow. Another example from this era is people taking arsenic in small doses because it was said to give you a ‘healthy glow’.

These practices may seem shocking, but are they really any different than some of the practices we do today? One example is injecting Botox, a toxin, into your face. Another is elective plastic surgery which seems to almost be the norm at this point. Specifically, plastic surgery done on adolescent girls whose bodies aren’t even done developing yet. Diet pills and supplements with the promise to help you lose weight, some of which aren’t approved by the FDA. Waist training trends, despite the potential health risks and that the benefits are unproven. Crash diets, such as the baby food diet or liquid-only cleanses. We put our bodies through so much abuse, and for what? To be desired by men and women alike? Because ‘sex is power’? But…power over what? Obviously not ourselves if we’re letting these messages control our actions.

We’re fed these messages from an early age, in children’s toys and TV programs. So it’s no wonder that statistically, adolescent girls are targeted and affected the most by these messages, due to their desire to fit in with their peers, their thirst for the newest and latest trends and media targeting this group the hardest knowing their susceptibility. This vulnerability can easily manifest unhealthy images and negative behavior patterns in these girls, which then go on to develop body dissatisfaction, low self esteem, eating disorders, and many other issues that further feed into these skewed beauty ideals.

These warped messages of what we need to do in order to feel ‘beautiful’ are going to be accessible no matter what. I’m not going to attempt to argue that we need to change society and the media, as it can’t be done overnight, and might not ever happen for that matter. The fight needs to start within ourselves. We need to change the way that we see ourselves and stop obsessing over unattainable ideals of beauty. We need to love ourselves daily, look in the mirror and tell ourselves things that we like and wouldn’t change. We need to surround ourselves with other healthy, positive people and stop comparing ourselves to one another as there is no comparison. We are each individual. We are each beautiful. As women, we have so much more to offer society than a pretty face or a slim figure. We are smart, powerful, creative, innovative, loving and healthy. I believe we can teach ourselves to take in the parts of the messages that are healthy, such as getting a new haircut or wearing the latest trends, but filter out the parts of the messages that make you feel badly about yourself or tell you that you need to change who you are from the inside out and take on unhealthy trends or ideals. Let’s let a healthy self image be the newest and latest trend!

A Shower A Day Keeps The Doctor On Call

Cleanliness. It is the distinction between echelons; the mark of prosperity. It is what compels me to pay an overpriced pet groomer.
We devote ourselves over-zealously to its cause because society commands us to, like it commands us to like Beyonce. Despite what we think, smelling like kiwi-mango is not the mark of overall health.

Recent studies have found that too frequent bathing can have a negative effect on our health. The majority of people bath on an average of once a day, some even two to three times a day.
This is far too much, according to health professionals, who now suggest bathing every other day, depending on a person’s lifestyle.

Factors include the regularity of public transportation rides and exercise habits. They also qualify this suggestion by recommending a daily, gentle cleanse of specific areas that require special attention like the face and privates.4026956760_2c4bbec768_z
Giving skin a recess between washings allows it to replenish itself, natural oils, bacteria and all. The skin produces its own natural oils which, despite the negative connotation of the word, are actually incredibly beneficial to the organ.

Oils works to seal out bad bacteria and to moisturize the skin. That’s right, that expensive product you’ve been paying big bucks for is, in a sense, being produced for free by your own body. Even those of us with already oily skin will benefit. Every time oil is striped from the skin, our bodies produce more oil to replenish the skin; so the less we wash the less oil we produce.

This also gives the dead layer of skin on our bodies the chance to fall off naturally. Scrubbing our epidermis every day with a loofah or washcloth is like picking at a scab, it just aggravates it. Everyone knows to let the scab fall off when it is good and ready, so why not do that with dead skin.

There is a stigma against oily skin and oily hair. We’ll never see Taylor Swift or Jimmy Fallon with intentionally oily skin. It is considered bad hygiene, when in reality it is a sign of ideal hygiene. We need to erase the stigma and bath with the repetition that is healthiest for our own individual bodies.

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Kinky Small Talk with Bessie

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By Destiny Bryant

Oh, small talk. Probably invented by the same bastard that also created the appetizer. Why go straight to the good when we can create an awkward transition to it? I hate, dislike, no extremely dislike small talk. It’s like a closed caste system with near every topic discussed is so repetitive and dull it’s a forced routine. Perhaps small talk is just an art I have yet to master. Or I manage to get the short stick every time I partake in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for meeting new people and exchanging information, but small talk really seems to to slow that down when it comes to developing relationships.

Developing Relationships

Relationships are built on memories, time spent together and the like. So, surprisingly there is little if not nothing to say of the first encounter with someone because there is no foundation for you to work with. The foundation is being built. But humans are social creatures and every relationship was once just a pair of strangers. They had to start somewhere. Someone had to make that awkward first move and get the ball rolling. And what’s the quickest and most effective way to do that? Get the other person to talk about themselves.

With that in mind people usually start off with the physical basics. In my case, that’s usually my afro (I named it Bessie.) Most people especially upon their first encounter with me are very curious about Bessie and how she goes about life. They can’t help but ask in wonder.

Bessie

WP_20140827_007 (1)Bessie’s been through a lot. She’s traveled from sector to sector throughout the hair empire. From braids to extensions relaxers, she’s seen it, done it, and has quite a few nightmares stories to share about it. One day, I was so fed up and thought, “Why don’t I let Bessie do what she was going to do anyway?” Fast forward five years and Bessie has been doing just that. Chilling on top of my head following the destiny assigned to her by good ol’ biology. Newcomers want to know of Bessie’s travels. They think they hide it well but over years I’ve learned to see the signs. They ask the same questions.

“How long is your hair when straight?”

Maybe because the hair standard is straight so they need to know as a means of conversion? Like going from the standard to the metric system? Either way, I don’t wear my hair straight so this question comes off as pointless to me. However, I ballpark it for them because I know the answer will keep them up at night otherwise.

“No way! It’s not that long!”

Usually a response to the question above, the curious bystander suddenly becomes the all-natural hair extraordinaire in all of sixty seconds. (They do have a master’s degree in the subject you know.) Their knowledge, experience, and depth in the matter spread so far and wide that they are more than qualified to answer the question their damn selves and only asked you because they wanted to see if you knew. You failed and now they are giving you the correct answer for future reference. After all, how could you know that about your own hair? It’s not like it’s your hair that you’ve had your whole life to become familiar with it while they only known your Bessie for three minutes tops. Tisk, Tisk. You should’ve studied. Thank goodness this fine specimen of person has a master’s degree and the means is here to give you the answer. Whatever would we do without their guidance? Be lost in space and time that’s what.

I’d imagine that I come off as some self-righteous dodo bird who takes things too seriously. I have a habit of making a terrible first impression on people. In all seriousness though, I come in peace and I’m sure those on the other side do as well. It’s just that the ideologist in me can’t help but wonder and fascinated by the impact culture has on even the smallest bits of conversation.