Hyphenate it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New artwork from Rocket Garage

Just the other day, I saw a casting for a print ad that was specifically looking for a model who also had a another profession.  Clients often want someone who is well-rounded and has a life outside of the industry.  They want personality.  Someone who has life experiences is far more interesting than a cute girl without any aspirations. 
Every successful person is a hyphenate whether it's actor-director-philanthopist or singer-songwriter-fashion designer.  It's an important part of making yourself marketable.  You don't want to sound like an overachiever, but you don't want to be boring.
My hyphenate fluctuates somewhere between model-blogger-image creator and writer-blogger-brand consultant.  Either way, I still do the exact same thing as always. I'm always creating words, images, and sounds.  It's innate.  

Taking care of business

I'm trying to do a better job of letting people know what I'm capable of.  That's why I finally ordered some business cards.  I don't want to be like those characters from American Psycho that pull out their fancy business cards to compare the card stock and the typeface.  But I understand that such tools are necessary to get the word out there. 
I want people to know that I am more than just a freckled face.  I am a woman with knowledge, dreams, and spunk.  I like that the agencies that represent me actually get me.  I can be whoever you want me to be, but in the end, I'm really just... quirky, complex, beautiful... Me.


Stereotyping: African American Women in Ads

Monday, October 24, 2011

How it is.  From Kiss My Black Ads.
Role: African American Woman 18-25. Quirky, fun, attractive, interesting, natural, fresh face, but unique, hip, cool style.
This is taken from a collection of different print and commercial castings I've gone on in the past few years.  The role and look is always the same, but only the name of the product changes.  Why is that?
Somewhere inside an office on Madison Avenue in the magical land of advertising, a character was born.  I like to call her the"aspirational African American woman" also known as the "token".  She is brown skinned to light skinned with shoulder length curly or wavy hair.  She is funny and approachable.  She is urban, yet also suburban. She is your every black girl. 
I know you've seen her smile.  She's been on your tv screen and all over magazines selling everything from healthy cereals to feminine products to alcohol.  She's the sister of the "aspirational Black male" and cousin to Token Morning-News Anchor/Meteorologist.  Although each aspirational AA woman is "unique", they really are all the same.  She and others like her are interchangeable. 
Advertisers created this woman as an attempt to satisfy diversity, while also not alienating the non-minority consumer. The problem is that she has become a standard not only in mainstream advertising, but in Black ads too.  I've gone to a casting for a black haircare product and the role was specifically worded as "aspirational female". 

How it should be

The African American woman comes in all shades and sizes, so I don't understand why ads limit us to this one look.  It's not encouraging and very misleading. (Side note: A large percentage of the African American women in advertising have had their hair manipulated to look naturally curly.  Why fake the funk?)
I want to see ads with a variety of Black women with different hues, hairstyles, and backgrounds.  I want to see women that have looks that are inspiring and still achievable.  I want ads that are actually meant for me and not some advertisers idea of who I am.
Time to sound off. Do you think advertisers really have the minority consumer in mind when they create campaigns? 



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I like to get dirty.  I've been covered in dirt, mud, and now paint.  Actually it's just highly pigmented powder used commonly used in Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors.  Add water and you get a really cool effect. 
It was invigorating.  The colored dust unleashed something inside of me.  A warrior, maybe.  I felt an energy that I had not felt in a long time, and I liked it. 
Check out the rest of the Color Bomb collection shot by photographer Fernanda De Sa Schwartz


Sweet Treats

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Every few months, I get that itch to go shopping and stock up on the season's must-haves.  I have a weakness for luxury and comfort, but I can't always afford those things.  Like many of you, I'm a chick on a budget. So, when I want something, I'll find a way to get it without breaking my piggy bank.
It all started with online window shopping.  I went to The Gap company website to look for some good deals, and what did I find? A site wide sale! 30% off! The shopping fever took hold of me. I quickly loaded up my shopping cart with sweaters, shoes, and jeans.
I'd already picked out what I wanted from Old Navy when a light bulb went off.  What if I just went to the actual store to see if I can get a better deal?  It was a risk, but it was a risk I was willing to take.
The next day I skipped on over to not just an Old Navy, but an outlet. To my pleasant surprise, there was the entire store was 40% off!  I tried on a lot of really cute things, but finally settled on two striped shirts, a pair of grey jeans, and black ankle boots.  I like to keep it simple.

When I got home, I had another surprise. Shari from Bon Bon Vie sent me a little care package with a few t-shirts. I didn't even tell her what I had my eye on, but she knew what I'd like. I love them! Thanks, girl.
For more cool shirts from Bon Bon Vie, click here. And be on the look out for some of these new pieces popping up in my stylish ensembles.
Shopping can be so much fun, even when you're frugal. Remember, there's nothing wrong with treating yourself. 
"Welcome to the Good Life."



Give Me a "V"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aaaah yes.  The Deep-V.  It's an item of clothing that haunts my daydreams.  I love how men think this t-shirt is perfectly fine to wear, but it's really not.  
I know guys that rock this look, and I'm not hating on them.  They've got great bodies. But when I see them exposing themselves like this, I treat these dudes like a piece of meat.  I'm drooling, cat-calling and trying to cop a feel.  
Guys, while I love your pecks and your man cleavage, I don't need to see it quite in this fashion.  And if I can also check out your abs in the process, that's a "No".  I'd rather see an attractive man in a nice button-down than in this.  
Saturday Night Live did a great skit over the weekend about this fashion faux pas featuring Ben Stiller and Andy Samberg. Gentleman, pay close attention to the hilarity of the V-neck.

Let's not take this V too far.  Keep it lowercase. Keep it classy. 


Color Crush: Orange

Friday, October 7, 2011

 I think I'm in love with... a color.  It's name is Orange.  I used to shy away from it because it seemed too bold and brash.  Now Orange is my infatuation.


A few weeks ago, I went window shopping with some friends at Third Street Promenade.  We walked into J.Crew, and I was drawn to the blazers and jackets hiding in the back of the store.  That's when I saw it hanging in the corner and calling my name.  At first I resisted and instead tried on a the striped School Boy Blazer.  Y'all know how much I love stripes.  But this orange Hacking Jacket kept taunting me.  Finally, I gave in and put it on.  

The rush that came over me was orgasmic.  I started looking for accessories for my new jacket, and paired it with a gorgeous teal statement necklace.  Sweet perfection!
Even though I walked out empty handed,  the jacket and necklace are on my wish list.  And orange, I've got my eye on you. Wink-wink. 


Inspiration Board

Can you tell what colors I'm feeling this season?


Dear Fairy-Model Mother: Modeling in the Military

Hello, butterflies.  Ever wondered if you can pursue your dreams of modeling and be in the armed forces.  Your Fairy-Model Mother is here to help. Check out this week's column on K is for Kinky


Let Go

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Photo By Todd Cooper Barnes

Dear Readers,
 I know I've been a stranger lately, and I'm sorry about that. You see, I haven't been feeling too well.  I want to be honest with you.  Whether it's been self-inflicted or brought on by other people, I've been pretty stressed. 
I work in an industry that is unpredictable and a little psychotic.  Friends often ask me what upcoming projects am I working on, and I have nothing to say to them.  I have no idea when I'll get an audition or actually work.  It all just happens on a whim. 
In the past month, I have been on "avail" for three different jobs.  All of them have been great paying gigs with reputable clients.  Being on "avail" is something that I'm all too familiar with.  The photographer or client really likes you, but they haven't made their decision yet.  You're waiting on the edge of your seat for that phone call saying "You booked it!"  But sometimes that call never comes. 
That's what I've been experiencing.  Having to deal with back-to-back heartache like that has really been weighing me down.  I admit, yes, I got my hopes up even when I told myself to play it cool. 
I couldn't focus on my writing after all that. I tried to post little things here and there, but I didn't have the heart to do much more.  I didn't want you to experience my pessimistic, cynical voice.  I want you to enjoy Model Liberation and look forward to coming back.  
I did an interview a while ago that has recently been posted on That Good Good Blog. It's funny how reading your own words can be great therapy. 

"I used to think that a good life was about perfection, but I know better now. A good life is a happy life that still has its moments of anguish and strife to help you appreciate the brighter moments.  I think I'm living that. "

Right on time.  I needed to be reminded of why I'm here and why I do what I do.  Even though I often feel alone and think that no one else is going through what I'm going through, I know that's not true.  I can't let fear of success, failure, or anything else control my life.  Instead of covering myself in a blanket of insecurities, I've got to shed all that and... let go.

With love,