The other day I was walking down the street behind a beautifully brown skinned woman wearing gorgeous cream-colored pants, looking wonderful in them even after Labor Day, and as I often wonder when I see people in white – my next thought jumped to, “What underwear does she wear with that?”
For me, a (very) ivory-skinned lady of Polish descent, the question would be pretty straight forward. I could choose white, or a range of pinky-yellow skin tones in the shade so frequently called “nude.” But that nude, while perfectly suited for my naked skin simply does not match or even start to come close to reflecting the rainbow of skin tones I see even on my subway ride to work in the morning. While there’s been some progress in creating a rainbow of foundation colors, and broadening our bandaid tones, doesn’t everyone deserve to have underthings that match their complexion sans clothes? The same right to bra straps and thongs that seamlessly disappear?
Now ladies of color won’t have as big of a struggle with not-so-nude tones, thanks to Nubian Skin. While finding the right panties to go with your white pants might seem like a small-time problem, it’s actually a big step towards saying our flesh tone represents everyone. Pinky-yellow isn’t everyone’s ideal. There’s a broader spectrum of items for people to choose from, and I’m happy to see another sector of the fashion industry taking notice and making an effort to fix it.
First it was my magazines. They sported pages of content that looked like an article on the prettiest makeup products for fall. Then I noticed they were all the same brand, and a few font differences made it stand out from the other pages. Turns out it was really an advertisement styled like the magazine to trick readers into noticing before flipping the page. Then sponsored images started showing up in my Instagram feeds, and before I knew it I was reading ads for Royal Caribbean, wondering all the while which one of my gal pals was on a tropical vacation. Then I saw the sponsored “articles” on Slate, which straight up look like an editorial. While these advertorials as they’re now called had done their job – they snagged my attention, where I usually ignore them – I felt duped, annoyed, and (slightly) less likely to buy their products.
And it turns out I’m not the only one who’s annoyed! People tend to distrust sponsored content, and even the site that’s posting it. I expect the content I read to be (mostly) unbiased on my favorite sites, and the whole point of ads is to steer you in the direction of their products. When these impartial posts pose as true journalism, it can mislead consumers into thinking their information is coming from an unbiased source. The word advertisement or commercial clues readers in to the fact that the company selling it is trying to grab their business, but those communities are the ones who are the most interested in blending in, shrugging off labels to make their merchandise more appealing. Even the FTC is in on the debate, wondering how much should be done to protect consumers from being duped. While, frankly, it gets on my nerves, and I’d rather not see it I have to tip my hat to the people that came up with it. In an industry driven by grabbing the most impressions and pageview, they definitely succeeded in making me take a second look.
A lot of people have asked me my opinion on the tragedy in Ferguson, MO. I studied Sociology. I live in a major city. They’re curious. Sometimes I try to avoid having political discussions in public, or at parties to keep the peace, but on this topic, I just had too much to explain.
I bored my relatives with talks of how racial colorblindness doesn’t work, even though many see it as politically correct. I calmly explained that no, I can’t know how a built up lifetime of frustration that could make someone riot because I have carried around my white privilege with me my entire life, but can I try to image how that might feel? Definitely.
Then yesterday I saw the post on Gothamist highlighting The Daily Show clip, and Jon Stewart’s reaction to the conservative coverage. It is so hilarious, and so on the mark. I am happy that someone has put it out there better than I ever could.
If I have a few spare minutes on the internet, and I’ve read all the sites I usually frequent, there’s nothing I like better than taking a little quiz. It started way back when I read Seventeen and YM. Then there was the heyday of personality quiz sites. And now there is Buzzfeed answering every question we ever have about which Disney character we are, and where to get dinner. Even the NY Public Library is getting in on it with “What children’s book character are you?” (I got The Little Prince).
My second guilty pleasure is online sweepstakes. It’s like those scratch-off lottery tickets. You win a sampler of mascara and eye shadow primer once, and it keeps you coming back for more.
Now there’s a site that combines these two things. It’s called Poshly, and for each quiz you fill out you gain an entry into a sweepstakes of your choice. It connects beauty consumers with beauty producers through data. The more questions you answer, the more relevant they become to your personal beauty lifestyle. It was love at first click for me, but winning this Rouge Louboutin Nail Polish after a few tries made this what I’m sure will be a lasting relationship.
I’ve seen a lot of anti-smoking ads, and learned a lot of reasons smoking is bad for you, but this video really drives the message home. It’s a vine that shows a healthy lung inflating, followed by a smoker’s lung inflating. While you may hear that tar can change the lung black, and make breathing like sucking through a straw. In this case, after reading this post on Flash by Self, seeing really is believing. Even if it’s not 100% medically accurate, at least it gets the message across that smoking sucks, right? Right.
A recent study in BioEssays, that I read about on Women’s Health, found that the microbes that live in your stomach prefer fat, and others prefer sugar. If you have more of one kind or the other, they could send signals to your immune, endocrine, and nervous systems. Those messages can influence you to pick a piece of chocolate cake over a bag of chips. The microbes manipulate you, and certain kinds can cause cancer, obesity, or diabetes. But luckily, the microbiome is influenced by what you eat, and can turn over within 24 hours of changing your diet or taking probiotics. At least now you know that it’s not totally your will power abandoning you, but tons of tiny things in your stomach undermining it.
Jessica Matthews visited family in Nigeria many years ago, and was shocked by regular power outages that left residents hopeless. She was so impacted by the trip that several years later, she developed Soccket, a soccer ball that harnesses energy when you kick it around. Only 30 minutes of play creates 2.7 hours of electricity that people could use to power anything from lamps to cell phone chargers. Her goal was to provide an off the grid energy source, and so far she has succeeded. Her company, Uncharted Play, is currently giving out Socckets at the World Cup, where the spotlight is on soccer, and has delivered over 2,500 of the soccer balls and 100 of it’s newly developed energy generating jump rope in locations across the United States, Mexico, and Nigeria.
The national birth rate in Denmark has swooped down to a 27-year low of only 1.7 births per woman, alarming demographics experts that the country will not be able to sustain it’s population. So, Spies Travel, a company based in Copenhagen has taken it upon itself to help remedy the problem by encouraging Danes to have vacation sex and conceive. The enterprising company has established the Do it for Demark program complete with special discounts to romantic destinations if the couple travels while the female half is ovulating, and it promises that if they conceive on the vacation they will be gifted three years’ worth of baby supplies and a kid-friendly vacation post-birth. By the time I read about it in the July issue of Marie Claire, over 300 couples had enrolled in the program, and Spies claims that even if the mission isn’t successful at least a lot of people will have fun trying.
I don’t have a knack for interior decorating. I try to pick the pictures that best fit the size of the wall in my apartment and leave it at that. But lately I have been taking a kickboxing class, and the studio had a great decorating idea, theme walls.
First, you take an image that inspires you, the center of your theme. Then you surround it by pictures with a similar background color, and the same color frame of various shapes and sizes. For the studio, Bruce Lee is the star of the show, and all around him are quotes from other famous fighters with motivational words. For your wall, you could start with a garden, and surround it with images of flowers, butterflies, and birds. The result is a collage effect that can decorate a whole wall. I plan on trying it out next time I redecorate!
Hi Friends! As you read this, I will be traversing the Northeast for a weekend at the seaside sitting on the beach, eating lobster rolls, and relaxing. I hope you’re all enjoying summer too! Here’s what I’ve been reading this week.
Yes, 1,000x yes. If everyone makes these 10 food choices, we’ll have our global movement.