Coffee Rhetoric: Beauty
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

April 26, 2009

Sunday Afternoon...

... Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings playing in my ear and washing the gunk out of my hair. Can't get enough of those Spa Days.

March 27, 2009

I Wish EVERYDAY Was a Spa Day!

... Rhassoul. I love this stuff. Washing my hair is a 10-step process, always and forever because I want to make sure it's baby soft. I was exhausted, but didn't fall asleep with conditioner and a towel resting on my head. I mixed Rhassoul clay with cholesterol conditioner and applied. I left it on for 30 minutes so it'd harden a little... loves it. I followed up (as always) by saturating my natural hair with melted coconut oil. Then rinsed again. Love how soft it makes my hair feel. The fatigue was worth it!

I use Rhassoul on my face and body to suck out the toxins as well.

Detoxifying and exfoliating always makes me feel so much better! A mud that cleanses... imagine that. Something about bathing... scrubbing away layers of dead skin, and oiling up after the fact soothes my soul. It's almost like I'm sloughing away layers of stress and baggage, and reveling in brand new skin. It's akin to how a snake must feel after shedding its skin. I've always been intrigued by primitive, or exotic rather, beauty rituals... whether they be hammams, hair removal, moisturizing with scented oils, etc. Pampering the skin excites me. Yes... this is how I spend much of my free time... reveling in self-absorbency. Bathing, exfoliating, oiling, mosturzing, plucking, shaving, tweezing... etc. etc. etc. ...

May 14, 2008

Sensual Seduction

Tyra Banks's best and most rational lace front wig had a major pow-wow with her, and this time she finally listened... for Whitney Thompson, deemed the 'plus size' model contender for cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model, not only made it abroad (to Rome, Italy during the competition's final round), but she clawed and argued her way to the top three (in all her annoying glory), eventually becoming one of the final two before being crowned this year's winner by the model competition franchise.
While Whitney wasn't my favorite personality on the show this season, she has definitely set a precedent in a culture seemingly afraid and dismayed by a little extra flesh and sexy softness. The thickness prevailed.
It took 10 seasons, but voluptuosity finally triumphed. Most of the aspiring contenders of sensual body, seem to never make it to the top five let alone become one of the contenders that eventually get to travel to an exotic locale, let alone to the final two. The prelude to Whitney's triumphant moment included her sashaying down the runway, in a dress designed by Donatella VERSACE (unheard of!), putting her skinny, stiff competitor with the robotronic gait and thick Hawaiian pidgeon accent, to shame.
Is the world ready for a voluptuous woman to be America's NEXT top model? Probably not considering any frame that's above a size 6 is considered obese and unhealthy. I assure you however, that there's certainly nothing wrong with a shapely, healthy, active, and Fellini-esque frame bouncing its way into the psyche and hearts of a diet-conscious American public. It definitely encourages this cult of personality to open up its notion of what it considers as beautiful and sexy. While encouraging and inspiring young girls, hating themselves for not having Paris Hilton's flat pancake ass, Victoria Beckham's barely there silhouette, or Thandie Newton's prominent collar bone. The young girls living on 300 calories a day, killing themselves to look trollish and emaciated in order to fit into a pair of skinny jeans.
Whitney's winning moment dictates that it's okay (despite this latest study)- to be fleshy, sensual, and YES, active and healthy! That accepting and appreciating a comely frame is NOT advocating an unhealthy lifestyle full of saturated and trans fat and fast foods, as some people may suggest or are being led to believe. Because a healthy, fit, and sound body comes in a variety of forms. And, psst... a skinny body is not always the picture of perfect health. After Whitney's glorious moment, Tyra exclaimed, "The correct term is FULL FIGURED model, not PLUS SIZE" to which former model and panel judge, Paulina Poriskova answered, "It's not full figured or plus size. It's just beautiful!" And kiddies, it's not just THE FACE, but the whole package in its entirety. Because as Whitney opined, I too, also know the annoyance of a backhanded but well meaning comment ... "Oh you have such a pretty/striking face..." Now let's hope Whitney doesn't somehow, find herself on a season of Celebrity Fit Club, screaming hungrily and angrily at the judges when they chastise her for not meeting her weight goal.

January 01, 2008

Sensual Seduction

For the past couple of weeks, I've been watching marathons on the Travel Channel. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Both shows are pretty much parallel to each other but, I've always been a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain, since the publication of his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Anthony Bourdain is brash and unapologetic with his gastronomic opinions about cooking, vegetarianism, and celebrity (faux) chefs. Moreover, his approach to food, ciggies, and drink seems almost hedonistic. Shamelessly hedonistic. No Reservations makes me a fan of his all over again. Last night I watched Anthony navigate the epicurean and multicultural splendor of Sao Paolo, Brazil. He and two Brazilian companions dipped in and out of the frenzied rehearsals of Carnivale, visited decadent food stands that touted the wonders of pork with all the fixings and various other kabobed meats. They chugged caipirinhas one after the other during their food-hops. But one segment in particular stirred weird emotions inside of me. Anthony, his crew, and his two Paolista friends visitied an Afro Brazilian woman's home. Apparently, this woman opens up her small, modest home to weary travelers (many of whom pay her a small fee) filling them up with a home cooked Brazilian meal (with roots born from Brazil's African slaves), wonderful company, and drink. I watched everyone... the production crew included... appear rapturous and hynotized by this woman's hospitality. Cheeks flushed, eyes glazed from the effects of good food and drink. She had full on seduced them. The scene that played out during that particular segment seduced me. It made me tear (or it could've been the pinot noir I was sipping, but who knows). I felt an overwhelming sense of wanderlust. And a strong desire to be in that particular mix... dancing, eating, my brow covered in a sheen of sweat as a side effect. It made me yearn to be abroad once more. Because that is the exact feeling I had when I frolicked, drank, and ate with abandon, whilst in Palermo, Sicily. I felt nostalgic and emotional because I was once caught up in the rapture of an exotic locale with people who relished and appreciated food and used it as a way to congregate and engage one another... as opposed to our (Americans) unhealthy relationship with food, eating, and feeling regretful afterward. Perhaps I felt a little emotional because 2008 for me, will present a new career opportunity that, if all goes well, may just allow me to experience that high once again. This past year was tumultuous. Not just with me, but universally. Hopefully '08 will offer a slight reprieve, if only for a moment!

October 01, 2007

Where I Converse with Myself

Dear Self,
You drink massive amounts of coffee and water. And you have somewhat of an overactive bladder, particularly during those pre-menstrual days where ten times on the hour, every hour seems pretty typical. Par for the course, especially this past week and then today. You are aware of this, self. So why? WHY did you think it was a wise idea to wear your black, pin-striped high-waisted, nautical pants?? 12-plus buttons to fiddle with. Self, your fingers seem awkward and big, when you're making that mad dash into the loo, to get to the bog pan in time to avoid an embarrassing situation that'd send you home early. Fingers don't seem to want to cooperate and you're tempted to just yank down the flap of your trousers, sacrificing all 12 plus buttons. But you clench those kegels-- along with all the other muscles south of the border tightly, to keep from regressing back to your years as a toddler. Sometimes it just isn't practical for one to enslave her (or his) to fashion.

September 29, 2007

Chocolate Desire

I tout the splendiferous wonders of chocolate as often as I can. In all its various forms (except for white), its richness has the capacity to make knees buckle. It's comparable to sex, if not slightly better, depending on the season-- (but thats debatable). In any event, I always joke that if it weren't so messy, I'd bathe in chocolate. I actually would. Much to my enjoyment, I've recently found a way to indulge my weird fetish for the stuff. It comes in the form of a decadent bar of soap called: Ivorian Cocoa Butter Soap made by the black owned distributor, Nubian Heritage-- (they have a great line of naturally made products by the way, and can be picked up at most beauty supply stores). This soap has a lot of wonderful moisturizing properties, the more important ones or ONE however, are/is milk chocolate and shaved hazelnuts (for exfoliating purposes). I can't begin to describe how sexy it is to bathe with this bar. In the mornings, the warm steam emanating from the shower smells of hot chocolate or warm chocolate milk. I'll just let my chocolaty post-bath water illustrate a telling portrait. Gives new meaning to a man daring to drink some woman's bath water to prove his devotion, no? Has any man actually done that? Contact me if you have! ;-)

September 26, 2007

Slip into Something More Comfortable

*sigh* Ladeeeeeez.
I am well aware of the fact that many of us prefer to wear skirts and pretty figure flattering dresses, but nothing makes a dress more figure flattering then wearing a slip underneath. Oh yes. The concept of wearing a slip seems to be lost on many women these days. It should be as natural as slipping on a pair of panties or a bra-- but unfortunately it's not. Women of various ages will wear thin dresses and flimsy skirts sans lining and stand directly in the sunlight, putting their delicates, curds, and whey on display for all to see. Wearing a pair of red undies under your light colored broom skirt? Guess what? I can see that you are, and so can the rest of the general populace within eye-shot. I don't care what a woman's shape is or how fit (or unfit) she may be... watching ample amounts of fabric gather in the crack of some lady's butt-crack is not couth. Slips are pretty undergarments. They're delicate, they flatter every figure, and come in a wide variety of fabrics... You have sexy stretch slips that shape the body, and would mold your body to look killer under a wrap dress. You have the chemise, you have lacy slips, vintage slips, satin slips-- they span a wide spectrum. Not to mention they provide the female form with a nice silhouette and more importantly, allows the skirt to fall and move freely with the body without clinging and gathering in every nook and cranny. A slip is a novel concept. Plus they're dead sexy. Imagine sitting at home with a glass of red, lounging to some Thelonious Monk... luxuriating in a black number... the sex, no? Anyway, try one. Give the crack of your ass a break.

September 07, 2007

A Wrinkle in Time

I have a confession to make. While I am glad to have made it to 30 (and it was a tumultuous ride to say the least), I've become a bit obsessed with the aesthetic of aging. I've upped the ante on my skin regimen and want to kick myself if I fall asleep without having washed off my eye makeup and the environmental elements. It's maddening when I do that. I must also admit that seeing a woman with a heavily weathered, acned, or wrinkled visage makes me feel a bit, well, uncomfortable. My mind starts fast forwarding to the future. Wondering if my face will look like an old moccasin or a greasy pizza. Of course I fret over such matters when the rest of the world is asleep and I'm alone. I start checking for crow's feet, laugh lines, hormonal related acne. Or any other normal signs of aging. I wonder if I'm the only one who can see my pores or if I'm just giving in to my neuroses once again. I turn around around to and fro in the mirror, checking the span of my hips (which have gotten a bit wider), and bottom. I look to see if there is any additional dimpling in the backs of my thighs. Perhaps it's just me and my crazy idiosyncratic behavior, but I never expect age to make me ever more neurotic and nit picky about myself. Confidence and self-acceptance aside, I have to struggle not to agonize over my own, bothersome vanity. My growing narcissism has become the bane of my existence. These thoughts creep and crawl under and around more pertinent concerns. They snake and coil their way around more relevant matters. Prompting me to moisturize and exfoliate my way to comfort. When I let such thoughts have their way, I catch myself because I begin to feel guilty and foolish. ...

July 28, 2007

Good "Bad" Hair Day

I'm having a particularly good "afro puff" day this afternoon (must be the new hair bands I bought a couple of weeks ago), so I figured I'd commemorate it with a scene from one of my FAVORITE movies. This film, School Daze written and directed by Spike Lee, and this scene in particular serves as an excellent illustration of Colorism which occurs most often in African-American communities (refer to rap and R&B music videos as one contemporary example), Latin-American communities, and especially abroad in countries such as Nigeria, Brazil, India, the Caribbean, and in Spanish speaking countries. Black sororities and fraternities at historically black colleges were once notorious for this form of inter-discrimination.
**Read: Don't Play in the Sun authored by Marita Golden.**
P.S. Don't call anybody a jiggaboo, unless you want to get dough-blowed in the neck.
Have a great weekend.

June 21, 2007

All So Quiet

The time between 5AM-6:30AM is very comforting. There is this soothing placidity... a sudden stillness, as if the city is suspended between space and time. The cars that drive by are few and far between. The wailing sirens, trucks rumbling past, the train's whistle, and obnoxious motorcycle engines are nowhere to be heard... offering me a much needed reprieve, if only for an hour and 1/2. The only sound I hear is the slight breeze tickling the leaves on the trees and well kept brush, outside my window. I look across, at windows adjacent to mine and don't spy any early risers or room lights that've been flicked on. I feel as if I am the only one awake and that I have the city of downtown Hartford (CT) all to myself. Suddenly life's trials and tribulations don't seem so overwhelming. The whirring of my fan contributes to the calm before the impending chaos (garbage trucks, honking horns, garbage pails being dragged across the asphalt, etc)- and I use this time to hurriedly take a match to the tip of a tea light candle and meditate. But not before cursing myself for sleeping in until the last minute on those lazy mornings (which are often), I kept pushing the SNOOZE button over and over again, every 9 minutes... missing this golden opportunity to center myself and enjoy this solitary moment! I know last night was restless, due to the incessant motorcycle sounds, literally every 10 seconds... each one more guttural than the last... I got this annoying feeling in my gut... like indigestion, my annoyance ran so deep. I finally had to dig for some earplugs and shove them in my ear sockets, just to be able to fall asleep. I don't want to live in a rural area. I love urban living despite all its shortcomings and noise pollution. Perhaps this is why quiet times like these mean such a great deal to me. ...
**Note to self: Stop hitting the SNOOZE button, and drag your lazy hulk out of bed, to relish more of these moments**

November 17, 2006

I'm Out of Control... Plus a funny newsbit

This morning- (Or was it yesterday evening? I don't remember as days, hours, and minutes tend to bleed together as of late)- I was watching Tyra Banks administer makeovers to frumpy women, on her talk show. She also gave helpful tips such as, how to pluck your eyebrows the proper way- (they should gradually thin out towards the end... there should never be a "bubble" at the front and thinner towards the end, creating a "tadpole effect. That's wrong)- In any event, for whatever reason, I started crying, as I watched these women and their loved ones react to bouncy, shiny newly coiffed hair, trendy attire, impeccable make-up, and new teeth. Why was I crying? I don't know. Perhaps due to PMS. Anyway, I came across a funny newsbit, on Metro Plus Online, about a "career bum." I found it amusing enough to share. Apparently being unemployed in France, is quite lucrative. What was I thinking, with this damn troublesome work ethic of mine? I could've been living high off the hog, milking the French government of all their wonderful resources.
“Thierry F.” recently outed himself as a professional welfare bum, bragging in his brand-new autobiography that he has lived very well off the French government for most of the last 24 years and that, even after his unemployment benefits expired, he found a second unemployment program to leech from. The latest one pays almost all of his monthly home loan, according to an October dispatch from Paris in The Times of London, and provides free medical care plus a “Christmas bonus,” leaving an equivalent of $214 per month for what the delighted Thierry calls his “leisure activities.”