Archive | 8:36 pm

What IS the Price of Beauty?

20 Apr

Have any of you seen the show “Price of Beauty” with Jessica Simpson?

I must say that I really enjoy it.

I always love learning about the everyday social norms of other cultures, and it is really interesting to see what other cultures traditionally consider beautiful. I’m always open-minded and try not to judge, and I am fully aware that I shouldn’t base my concepts of what is beautiful on a magazine cover.

However, being a young woman in the United States, it is very difficult not to do so.

It is refreshing to journey to other countries with Jessica Simpson and company, and to see other cultures’ perceptions of what is beautiful vs. what is not – both inside and out, and to explore both current and historical beauty regimens.

In one country in Africa, the bigger you are, the more beautiful you are. “Fat” is not a derogatory word. “Skinny” women are frowned upon. In Japan, the eyes that many consider beautiful and exotic are a burden for some of the women there, who have cosmetic surgery to have their eyes made to appear more rounded and bigger, like a “doll.” Also in Japan, there are two very different cultures of women: the Harajuku girls who are very modern and whimsical in their clothing choices, and then also the very ultra-traditional Geisha, and everything in-between. In a Middle-Eastern country, Jessica gets scolded for showing too much leg, as the woman doing the scolding was showing quite a bit of cleavage. But who are we to judge? To each his (or her) own.

One common theme throughout the show is not about the rituals (some of which are crazy – fish that eat fungi off of your feet, laying buried in sand for 2 hours, mud baths, grape jacuzzis, and more) – but a theme of finding inner peace, loving yourself, and thus, radiating beautiful from the inside out.

The concept of this show could become cliche and contrived. However, as corny as it gets at times, Jessica and her friends give it the perfect dose of comedy and humor mixed with an honest vulnerability and a true desire to learn what, exactly, true beauty really is.

I love it, and I think that Jessica has become stronger because of it. Let’s face it – the girl has been a target of tabloids and “fans” alike. I think she’s great and I applaud her! (read my recent blog about Jessica’s recent “no-makeup” Marie Claire shoot, here.)

Celebrate Art, Celebrate Life! Persad Center Patron Party and Art Auction

20 Apr

Pittsburgh, do you know about the Persad Center?

The Persad Center is our nation’s 2nd oldest licensed counseling center for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community, and Pittsburgh is lucky enough to have them right here in our community.

Aside from the cause that they support, they host wonderful events in Pittsburgh for the entire community to enjoy!

If you’re an art lover, you surely won’t want to miss their initiative, Celebrate Art, Celebrate Life!

This past Saturday, April 17th, the Persad Center hosted the Patron Party at the brand-new August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The Patron Party, was a reception for approximately 500 artists and special contributors. Sponsors and special guests were lucky enough to be able to preview  a selection of artwork and enjoy dinner and cocktails at this distinctive event.  This event attracted a diverse crowd including business and community leaders, regional artists, and professionals of all ages. The Persad Center hopes that the May 10th  “Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art” 2010 Auction and Benefit will do the same.

Stay tuned to learn more about the May event – for now, enjoy photos from the Persad Patron Party, here:

Follow Persad on Twitter @PersadCenter

Follow Persad on Facebook here.

Whoopi is my Twitter BFF (kind of.)

20 Apr

Ok, so I wouldn’t go as far as to say we are “BFF’s” … Ok, well…not by any means…..

BUT… I *am* pretty excited to say that, since Saturday, I’ve gotten a tweet or two – even 3 or 4 – per day, from the one, the only, Ms. Whoopi Goldberg!

Formerly very anti-Twitter, the Whoopster herself has been very sweet and chatty with me on my personal Twitter account, even calling me her trademark pet names, “gurl”, “chica”, and “baby.”

A woman I’ve always admired as being strong and inspiring, Whoopi is known for her intelligent, level-headed – and pretty darn funny – opinions on “The View” (along with her perfect lead-ins and outtros, I must say!) and, of course, her stellar and acclaimed acting and standup comedy career. (Today, she may have been known for calling Kate Gosselin an “angry bitch” but, that’s neither here nor there, and made me giggle, regardless.)

She’s also a published author, including the recently published children’s book “Perfectly Prima” which is the third in a series called Sugar Plum Ballerinas. (Very cute!)

Goldberg also happens to be involved in a fabulous website (which I’ve also blogged for) entitled Women on the Web, or, According to the site, “wowOwow is an online community created, owned & run for women by women.”

She may have only spoken to me a handful of times, 140 characters or less, but that just goes to show that she’s a pretty stand-up lady. Sure, I’ve talked to Justin Timberlake, Sherri Shepherd, Dane Cook, and a handful of other celebrities online, but Whoopi has actually been kind enough to take the time to tell me to have a nice day, and to say she’ll check out my blogs.

Whoopi, if you’re reading this, a sincere THANK YOU goes out to you! Truly. I’ve been having some rough times lately, and just the simple fact that someone like you took the time to say hello to me, no matter how small that may seem, was pretty cool to me, and admittedly kinda made my day!   *blush*

– BuellaMarie (or, as the world “in-real-life” knows me, Ashley Boynes)