Sunday, 14 May 2017

The 10 Most Stylish TV And Film Characters Of The 1990s...

It's actually embarrassing how many half finished lists like this that I have in my drafts, some have been here for well over a year quite some time, welp!! Perhaps I should look into hypnosis for getting organised, haha.


I was reminded about the existence of this lil post when I read 10 Models With Afros For Kendrick Lamar's Casting Call early in April, this is obviously not as fun or relevant as that lovely list (which you should definitely check out if you're an afro lover like me) but if you're a fan of 1990s fashion you might enjoy a lil trip down nostalgia lane with me...


Let me prefix this by saying that I came up with it off the top of my head and looking at the completed list now I've realised it's completely US-centric, with only one non-American title on the list. My bad. Would love to hear of suggestions from around the world if you have any!


The list isn't in any particular order but i'll get the most obvious ones out of the way first-





1) Hilary Banks- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-96) No one has ever made skirt suits and matching hats look quite as good as Hilary Banks and she's the obvious no-brainer for this list! Hillary was also queen of the bodycon mini dress and amazing accessories...





2.) Denise Huxtable- The Cosby Show (1984-1992) This one is a bit of a cheat as it obviously fits better in a 1980s list, but any chance I get to share photos of Denise Huxtable, I will! I was never a fan of The Cosby Show, always seemed kinda boring to me and now Bill Cosby's character seems so sinister, ugh... But Lisa Bonnet served bold look after bold look, a true chameleon...





3) Original Aunt Viv- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-96) Note the 'original' part because it's very important that you know that i'm only including the Aunt Viv of series 1-3, as gloriously depicted by Janet Hubert... Partly cos i'm petty and her replacement Daphne Maxwell-Reid played a docile, homebound travesty of a Viv. Original Aunt Viv was a force of nature, imposter Aunt Viv was just so... Meh! Everything that was great about the character left with Janet, including the level of faaaaaaabulous, regal fashions!






4.)Dionne- Clueless (1995) Who didn't love Dionne's daring fashion choices and those signature braids and creative accessories?!?!?







5.) Audrey Horne- Twin Peaks (1990-91) This femme fatalé's Twin Peaks closet is actually rather demure, One Eyed Jack's attire aside. There are a few Twin Peaks characters (Josie Packard, Donna Hayward) whose styles I also enjoy, but with her beautiful bob, red lips and lots of autumnal coloured clothing, Audrey Horne takes the crown for best dressed Twin Peaks character!





6.) Justice- Poetic Justice (1993) Braids so iconic that thick box braids are often referred to simply as 'Poetic Justice Braids'. Despite dusty, irrelevant ass French Montana's ignorant comments, everyone knows this equates with hair perfection! Janet Jackson looked fabulous in this 1993 classic. Even though her styling wasn't as busy as most of the ladies on this list, it was signature, laid back '90s cool.







7). Cassandra- Wayne's World (1992) Actress Tia Carrere radiates beauty and her bold Wayne's World closet was the perfect accompaniment to her confident, sexy character.








8). Strangé- Boomerang (1992) Grace Jones is living art and although i've never met her she's probably my favourite person (sorry family and friends). Stunning and uncompromising artistic in life and film, Grace serves up some seriously memorable haute couture looks as eccentric fashion extrordinaire Strangé...






9). Swell- Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead (1991) A friend at work recommended this film to me a few years ago and Swell's wardrobe did not disappoint! From youthful eclectic looks to early '90s office attire with a twist, Swell pulls it all off effortlessly.






10). Mathilda- Léon The Professional (1994) A young Natalie Portman makes her impressive film debut in this French thriller and her wardrobe is truly on point! Mathilda's signature black choker with a silver sun charm strings together a host of cool denim shorts and crop tops combos. To really appreciate her look, keep in mind that this is the real 1990s and not a modern day hipster lol...







BONUS 11).  Amber Clueless (1995) 10 in a title sounds better than 11... But I couldn't bring myself to publish this list without including Amber, the unsung fashion hero of Clueless. So much bolder in her wardrobe choices than Cher, her iconic red dollar sign hat alone earns her a place on the list!






Did I miss anyone important? xx

** Please note all pictures used are for commentary purposes only, if you own any of the photos and wish to have them removed from the post please e-mail me and I will take it/them down**

(Lyrics of the day = Amy Winehouse 'Halftime' vibes- 'Halftime, time to think it through, consider the change, seek it from a different view')

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Kendrick Lamar's 'Humble' and the Erasure of Black Women's Bodies and Voices

I wasn't initially planning to write anything about this as the video i'm going to comment on was released 5 whole days ago (which is almost a year in internet time), but as someone who likes to stay up on these blogs, after all the drivel i've read over the last few days, I feel like I need to stick my twopence in, so ludicrously one sided has the debate become. Warning- I don't have anything particularly deep or insightful to say, i'm tryna take it back to basics here as that is something that seems to have been lost, so you can slide on by to the next if you're looking for a juicy think piece lol.


I was made aware of the video for Kendrick Lamar's latest release 'Humble' through a Facebook post I saw that caught my interest, it sparked a lot of interesting conversations in the comments, the kind you could sit and read with a box of popcorn. Watching the video you can't help but get caught up in the simple catchy beat and the super sleek visuals, but the hoo-ha has been caused by one of the very questionable choices made in the visual translation of these lyrics.


The offending line is 'I'm so fucking sick and tired of the photoshop / Show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor / Show me something natural like ass with some stretch marks'.To accompany the first lyrics we see a model on a split screen. She transforms from filtered and fully made up with slick hair in a bun, wearing a glamorous top and jewellery to >> make-up free with minor blemishes, her lovely long, natural hair out and wearing men's enduring favourite- a plain white tank top. As you can see, she looks beautiful in both.








In the next scene the visual is of the 'ass with some stretch marks' in black underwear. The praise for the latter came in thick and fast, with many celebrating both the lyrics and rare media representation of a woman's stretch marks.




But it's mainly the Richard Pryor line that has divided opinion.
For those of you unfamiliar with him, here is a photo of Richard Pryor with his trademark afro (pretty much the exact same length that my hair is right now weirdly).




It didn't take long for observers to point out that the model was not representative of the lyrics and for some reason Kendrick's cohort, media outlets included, felt the need to go really hard in response to this basic truth in defence of the bizarre choice, deriding those who found it problematic as angry black feminist detractors... Like forreal, we're really doing this again?! It seems like this label gets thrown at Black women any time we disagree with anything, tis getting reallllll old!


On the one hand the word 'feminism' is being banded about in this context as a smear to try and delegitimise a very plain observation that actually has little to do with feminism, simply having eyes is enough to see why the model is the wrong choice for this scene, no feminist lens necessary. On the other hand, feminist praise is being thrown by the sackful by Vogue and other other outlets hailing the embracement of natural beauty and stretch marks as some massive feminist triumph. Woah there, y'all need to calm down, you're doing too much! 


One of the main arguments i've read in the shabby defence of the model's casting is that the lyrics are being taken 'too literally', as if we angry black feminists were all expecting Richard Pryor's lookalike to appear. Bloop. The other angle has been the predictable cries of 'she's just not Black enough for you', a narrative that even the model herself has unfortunately engaged in. 





While I disagree with the original tweeters incorrect assumption about the models hair (that it's a wig, a rather anti-black assumption in itself), her summary of the Richard Pryor lyrics as 'show me that kinky TWA girl' are pretty spot on...


To imply that Black women are being bigoted and bitter because the model 'isn't Black enough' is just another poor attempt to shut down reasonable debate and frame rightly disgruntled people as divisive 'haters' (Bossip has been especially awful for this), which also serves to shift this back to the old faithful light skin vs. Dark skin debate. After a quick look through the model's Instagram I found out that the beauty is Black and Korean. Cool, whatever. But the problem remains- SHE DOESN'T HAVE AN AFRO FOR GOODNESS SAKE... For a line that directly references short afro hair, why on earth would you use a biracial, light skinned model with long loose curls? And why are people being insulted and branded 'mad' for pointing out this glaringly obvious discrepancy? Nah, i'm not mad, i'm just bored to tears of this kind of fuckery. This scene would still have been a mess if they had used a dark skinned woman with long curly hair because the woman featured should have had an afro. That is the crux of the argument. Were there no afro sporting women available to shoot that day? Were they all on vacation? Do we need to put missing signs up yet?- 'Black women with afros, last seen on 29/03/17, the day before Humble was released, please urgently contact Kendrick Lamar if you have any information'... Like am I living in the twilight zone? Unfortunately not, this is just business as usual.


This isn't about holding Kendrick to some higher standard than other rappers, as has been suggested in many of the articles and tweets I've read, (if we did that then, as pointed out by people on social media, the conversation goes much deeper, centring on the use of women's bodies as props and the unnecessary commentary on them by men, as demonstrated in the lyrics of this song). As an artist who uses black women of different shades in his videos, he doesn't just get some woke pass that entitles him to release anything he likes, free from critical engagement. Showcasing some stretch marks is a nice little gesture I suppose, but it's not revolutionary feminism. He shouldn't have praise heaped on him simply for not being as bad as others in his genre.  He wrote lyrics challenging the prevailing beauty standards and then used a moment where he could and should have visually represented that in a powerful way, using a Black model with thick, kinky afro hair like the person he described and instead hypocritically chose to uphold the existing light skin, long looser hair, ambiguous features image that has been championed in hip hop for years and become synonymous with what it means to be a natural hair beauty as a Black woman. 


Put simply, if you're gonna speak about it, be about it! Black people are incredibly diverse, with a huge pool of features, textures and tones and all of these deserve to be spotlighted and celebrated, but it's insincere to act like the erasure of Black women with afro hair and/or dark skin isn't a huge recurring issue that damages our community just because we don't want to criticise our favourite artists. Representation matters. This has been proven time and time again. The playing field isn't equal. Black women shouldn't be shouted down for expressing this or expected to be grateful for the crumbs occasionally thrown at us. For once it would be nice if instead of chucking us under the bus and dismissing our critiques as petty and bitter, people actually really listened and engaged. Perhaps then a mainstream challenge to the anti-Black status quo that set these beauty standards might finally arise! xx

You can watch the video for Humble here


(P.S. Lyrics of the day = 'I get way too petty once you let me do the extras, pull up on your block then break it down- we playing Tetris' Humble, Kendrick Lamar)


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Black Marley Braids On Short Afro Hair

A day or two after I tried the protein method (see last post) I set to work installing my Marley Braids....
It's taken me a minute to get used to the extra volume that comes with this hair but these are definitely my favourite type of braids! Light as a feather and they blend well with my natural texture so the style looks neater for longer.
I used about 5 1/2 packs of Noir kanekalon hair from the Janet Collection, in colour 1B. 
Marley braiding hair from the Janet Collection always kinda bums me out because there is so little of it in each pack, but I really like the quality of it so it's worth the extra few quid...







I would love some nice gold braid cuffs as I think they would compliment this style perfectly but I can't seem to find any that are both nice and affordable... Any suggestions would be very welcome! 

You can reblog this photoset on Tumblr here xx

(Lyrics of the day = 'Let me cover your shit in glitter I can make it gold', Consideration, Rihanna)

Saturday, 25 February 2017

How To Grow Your Hair Overnight!!! (Protein, oil and Scalp Massage Method)

I'm absolutely kicking myself for not taking proper photographs and documenting this process as well as I could have- might have to write a do over post some time, i'll see how I feel.

Anyway, the title isn't clickbait, I really did see significant hair growth overnight using a protein, oil and scalp massage method i'd seen on Youtube!

Naturalista Youtubers have been boasting of overnight hair growth of up to an inch for the last few years now using the method i'm going to lay out for you step by step. I'm veeeeeery sceptical about the claim that any method could grow an inch of hair overnight and a lot of the videos use very iffy methods of checking the growth (which i'm not here to bitch about so I won't go into all that- if you're interested just search 'grow your hair overnight' videos on Youtube). But still, with such positive reviews i've definitely been curious to try it for a while now- even 1mm in one night would be good after all and even with no noticeble new growth this is still a good treatment for your hair.

If you only watch one video watch this one. This girl has the most relaxing voice you will ever hear in your life and the video is good too!

What's really great about this method is that you'll probably have most, if not all, the things you need to try it in your home already. Unfortunately this version isn't suitable for vegans but I bet there is a protein substitute you could use instead!


Right let's get to it...

For stage one you will need:

  • 1 x bowl
  • 2 x eggs
  • 4 x tablespoons of oil of your choice, I used extra virgin olive oil, a lot of the Youtbers used grapeseed oil
  • A whisk or fork
  • A roll of cellophane (saran wrap)
  • A towel



1.) Whisk the eggs and oil together in a bowl. If your hair is very long you might wanna think about adding more oil. 




2.) Apply this nasty ass mixture to your hair, trying to achieve as much coverage as you can. If you can use something to apply it with, do! Plunging my hands into this phlegmy mess was the low point of my day.



3.) Wrap your hair with cellophane (seran wrap) and leave it to do it's thing for an hour. This ish drip, drip, drips- so annoying! So wrap a towel around your neck and try to busy yourself with something that will take your mind off all the oozing.




4.) Unwrap your hair and thoroughly wash out the mixture. Use cool- lukewarm water so it doesn't start to cook, making it harder to rinse out.



For stage 2 you will need 

  • Coconut oil
  • A dish or pan to heat it up with
  • Sellophane
  • hair wrap- satin scarf, do-rag etc
  • A scalp massaging brush (not essential)


5.) Heat 4 tablespoons of coconut oil just enough so that it turns to liquid. You may need to adjust this amount depending on the length and density of your hair. I used 4 tablespoons but I definitely could've just used 3.




6.) Apply the liquid oil to your damp hair. Make sure you apply it evenly, getting as much coverage as possible from root to tip. When all of the oil is on your head start massaging your scalp all over with deep circular motions. If you have a massaging brush, use this. Keep this massage up for 6 minutes. This is a very important step as encouraging blood circulation stimulates hair growth. This all gets very messy so you might want to position your head over a bucket or outside.





7.) Wrap your hair in cellophane and then wrap your head for the night, I opted for a do-rag as I thought it would keep things the most secure! Sleeping with a load of oil and cellophane on your head is surprisingly comfortable.




8.) Try to keep your head incubated for at least 8 hours. I left the oil wrap on for nearly 12 hours.
Remove the wrap and cellophane and thoroughly wash your hair. That's it... Method done!





My Results

Many Youtubers reported that their hair felt silky soft after washing out the coconut oil... That wasn't the case for me at all, my hair felt a bit crispy and when it had sufficiently dried out I applied a healthy dose of shea butter to get it feeling closer to its usual softness. 
That last photo is after I had towel pat dried my hair after washing it. As you can see the shrinkage was realllllllll!!

Because it was late when I started and I really didn't think there would be noticeable growth, I hurried through the photograph taking process and didn't do length check before and after photos. I did however take very careful before and after measurements from the middle of my forehead, crown, my sideburn area and the back of my neck. I didn't measure any noticeable growth around the sideburns or crown but to my absolute shock I measured 4-5mm growth in the middle of my forehead and at the neck. HALF A CENTIMETRE IN ONE NIGHT!! Amazing. I also noticed a fair few new hairs have sprung up around my crown, really thickening out the appearance of my hairline, lovely!


Notes 

  • If you decide to try this method try not to go into it with an expectation that your hair will grow as there's no guarantee this will work for you. Remember, patience is the key ingredient to growing hair!
  • If you find the method helpful and decide to incorporate it into your hair routine, make sure not to do it more than once a month. This is a protein treatment and overloading your hair with protein could have detrimental effects.
  • After trying this method I noticed that my head was quite tender for about a day so be cautious when massaging your scalp and check for signs of protein allergy
Definitely gonna give the inversion method a go next time I take my braids out! xx




Lyrics of the day = 'If the lighting's good you have to get your phone out, bare skin, teeth when we pose for the photos, some girl are braided some girl are in cornrows but still gwan dread if we have to' taken from my current jam 'Skwod' by Nadia Rose... And yes I know i'm late... But i'm always late!