Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why it's best to be on the "Worst Dressed" list

I always wanted to be the girl at the ball who walks down the staircase in a beautiful gown that brings people to a stand still, mouths wide open, eyes held open in shock and awe. There are some people who dream of their wedding day but that was more fear based anxiety inducing thoughts as opposed to a dream. As a makeup artist, I will confess that there are some brides who make me so green with envy that I stop and think for a minute but it soon vanishes once I pack up and go to my next venue.
lena dunhamIt's interesting to me that Lena Dunham chose to wear this ensemble to a highly watched, televised event. I have photos of the time Bjork wore a swan suit to an award ceremony but I thought it would not be her if she wore an Oscar de la Renta, or high profile designer ensemble to the event.  Back to Lena. What she did was brilliant. Granted, I have never been a fan of her based on the interviews I have observed; however, it seems that she keeps a close eye on things written about her and voices her concerns. If the news channel is correct, her hair colour was thought to be a wig, she addressed it quite well.
I was watching a video on Huffington, and my initial reaction was to ask why this group felt they had the ultimate authority on style? I'm sure if we gave each of them a once over, we could find something *cough weight, hair cough* about them that would qualify them for less than stellar feedback from critics but their job is to report so that we can feel better about ourselves if someone with something we don't have can have flaws.
Ironically, what this does is brings people to the forefront who are usually out shined by Lopez, Aniston, Jolie, etc. Following? Okay, prior to the show the wall of shamed celebrities were not familiar to me other than Lena. The reason she is familiar is due to the Chescalocs issue. I don't have cable but the discuss was on my social media feed.
I saw the women on several covers in the queue at the chemist and listened to a tall older woman with a thick German accent talking to a young woman about the red carpet. She looked in my direction and seemed embarrassed but apologised for her inability to decide which glossy to take. I smiled back and told her I wasn't in a rush. Hell, if it brings her a bit of happiness to chat about dresses, who am I to judge?
When I left it dawned on me that although people were speaking about their supposed "poor choice" in wardrobe, people were talking about them more than they were Beyonce's performance the prior evening. They say there's no such thing as bad press, and I didn't agree with that. Anything that was negative with a person attached to it surely can't be good. I was obviously wrong. Here stood a diverse set of women in the queue talking about people we do not know on a personal level rather than about who won. A week on, and I still don't know who won. But, I did look at some of the people who others took umbrage in their style choice.
Genius! All those attendees who starved, spent extra time getting fit in the gym, hired trainers, chefs, makeup artists, hair stylists, nail technicians, and so on may have gotten a nod for their effort, but I think if one spent zero time in the preliminary stage trying to get in shape, select the perfect designer who presented the right ensemble, with the hair, jewellery, etc. and just threw on a tent, there would be a lot less stress, but they would still get publicity. What's more, when you raise the bar, you set yourself up. When you start from the top, you set your expectation so high that anytime you are less than your best, all you get is criticism.
I call it self preservation or deflection. If I own my flaws and put them out there first, you can't hold the power. If I've acknowledged or am seen as a hot mess, anytime I clean up, I'll be commended as opposed to those, "Oh my she usually looks so smart, what happened?"
I think when we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, we give the impression that our lives are as picture perfect as our well preened appearance.
I'm thick, but today's lesson was proof to me that no matter what we do to impress others, even when it's good and we get it right, there will be those days where we display our human side. The side that is just like everyone else. We can't set a standard that is so unrealistic and expect to remain on that pedestal. I reckon that's why so many people criticise themselves. When we know what we have achieved, we expect to always do so. That's not possible. We age, gain or lose weight and our bodies don't do work at 60 the way it did at 40 or even, 20 which is why we have to give ourselves a break.


Monday, August 18, 2014

When things fall apart...

Please sit still!
This has been one of those time to dial 1-800-NOW-WHAT ? I've been working on a film with two directors that are extreme perfectionists and Type A to a T.
I really don't understand film sets. I haven't seen a movie since Moby Dick was a minnow. So, the faces look the same to me. "Newsflash" I don't have a Jay Z, Beyonce, etc. album. I listen to my own playlist because I don't like hearing the same song 10 times in the span of an hour.  Not because my taste in music is so elite; rather, I can listen to trance and want old school right after.
So, I usually have my headphones on, and get yelled at and bossed around. I told them to their face they need to treat me better. Now that I am still, I need to treat me better. We  teach people how to treat us. When this director went on about how educated, connected, and how many films she helped write and box office hits, in my head she's


editing whatever she's saying which I only see her mouth move and a frustrated looking expression.  Today was bad. I have been working 14 hours and my work is done in a routine. I am very precise in what I do. But after everyone has their face done, they talk, the lights are very hot, and you can see your reflection on their forehead, and the lipstick is absent because they talk so much. As we called it, equipment guys were leaving, people were going there separate ways, or to some place for "drinks" <~ yeah right! When I told them I had a flight cross country, she wished me well, but....
 IT HAPPENED !!!!!!!
She called me, "whatshername" I will work for you, deal with your mood swings, listen to your stories, keep your secrets, but don't. ever. call. me. that.  That's a deal breaker and I didn't turn around, but I felt so small.
I didn't go to the wrap party, I'm not going to the premier, and all of the emails that post production sends, which is A LOT, asking if our name is spelled correctly, and if we've submitted our contracts. So, being a baby, I stated my name was, in fact, wrong. I stated my real name is "whatshername." Later, I wrote her an amendment and told her that for this show, I'm three months on, maybe a break and then it's go, go, go and since we spend so much time together, it would be nice to know my first name. Maybe she was tired, or too many things on her mind, but trust and believe she knows my name, and face quite well.
We teach people how to treat us from the moment we interact. It's difficult and uncomfortable, but one must always feel they are equal to not less than. You don't have to believe it, but in time, you keep saying that you deserve better, it will radiate and that's the energy you will put out in the universe.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Natural Hair Coach

I would call that my dream job. Why do I fit in that position? Because people who are transitioning from relaxed to natural need all the support they can get. Sadly, where can you find someone on call to walk you through your detangling, co-washing, stretching, protective styles, product addition, hair typing, apl, bsl, and all the frustration, determination and dedication required to stop lye-ing to your hair? Exactly!
I realised I have a knack for this yesterday whilst assisting a group of women and their daughters during a meetup. As they went round the room expressing their issues I realised they spoke things I had chronicled on my journey. It got to the point where, I who's very demure and reserved, seemed to be offering all the information.
I am not better, nor do I have the answers, but I have been there. I dealt with the breakage, the shedding, the twist out gone wrong, the products that didn't deliver, the hair crushes. In fact, yesterday I looked at the spoils of my trip for hair ingredients and it looked like I was making various salad dressings and vegan trays. The oils: tea tree, olive, garlic, almond, jojoba, vitamin E, and Amla. I had the butters: Shea, Cocoa, Almond, Coconut, and Honey. The produce: avocado, banana, garlic clove, ginger, organic cinnamon, and blueberries.
I use these to make products for girls at the foster home. It's far less expensive to make than purchase, and we have a time to bond and talk about things. Also, since they are freshly made with no preservatives or chemicals, they must be used within a strict time frame. I'm thinking about getting fragrance oils for scent, but I'm concerned about the impact on future endeavors.
Seriously, when I was in line, there was a pretty young lady who had an unfortunate wig on and it was due to her going back to relaxing and had a weave sewn in and her hair was damaged when it was removed. The hair dresser washed her hair prior to removing the weave, therefore causing it to mat and resulting in breakage. She had to cut her hair to an inch all around and still doesn't think she can "do natural" because of the "work" so...
It's not really work if you think about it. When you first start exercising, you don't see results, but you are exerting yourself and working hard. It's the same concept. You don't see immediate results because you are training your body to work differently. It takes time. When you have learned to manipulate your hair for 20, 30, 40 or more years, you can't figure out what your chemical free hair likes. You didn't have to listen to your hair because the lye allowed you a "crutch" to keep from working with it in its natural state. Make friends with your hair. Learn what it likes, but don't pressure yourself. Don't compare your journey to anyone else's. It's one thing to learn or share experience with products, techniques, etc. but you can't expect your hair to respond the same. Also, don't expect the many rules to be hard and fast. Some people grow hair faster but genetics, diet, hydration, etc. are all factors. Go easy on yourself and your hair!