Over the summer, I joined a group on Facebook for makeup tips, and one of the geniuses there alerted the group to the existence of makeup apps, specifically ModiFace and Perfect365. The apps are meant to apply makeup to your pictures so that when you post them on social media you don’t look like a hermit. Theoretically, these apps were perfect for this particular group of people, because we were all writers and freelancers and other creative types who work from home and therefore have very little impetus to put a lot of thought into our appearance. We could have made them work for their intended purposes, to make us more presentable in our photos. Instead, we chose to make art.
So, first, you have to take a photo of yourself. You can do it with flattering photos, but why would you? Keep reading »
All four of the women in my immediate family have had plastic surgery. One of us had a breast augmentation, one of us had a breast reduction. Two of us had our eyelids lifted. One of us had body contouring done, one of us had a necklift, one of us had surgery under her eyes, and one of us had fat injected into her hands. One of us gets Botox injections, and one of us has had tattoos removed. Hell, one of us worked in a plastic surgeon’s office for a decade.
So imagine my dismay whenever my boyfriend tells me that Nicki Minaj’s ass is weird or doesn’t look right because it’s “fake,” or that breast implants are gross. It’s not a big enough deal for me to get in a fight about it, but it rankles a little whenever men tell me — I can’t think of very many women I know who have never considered the possibility of plastic surgery — that there’s something inferior about a woman’s body because it’s been surgically “enhanced.” Guys, you’re talking about my family. We’re all beautiful. If I never said anything about it, you’d never know — but even if the surgery was obvious, it wouldn’t change the fact that it’s our right to self-determine how we look. Keep reading »
1. I’m 15 and for the first time in my life, a teacher calls me out on sleeping in class when I’ve been awake the whole time. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened earlier, because kids have made fun of my eyes since preschool. Times are a-changing I guess. I’m the only Asian in my class, one of three in my entire high school, and people bring it up all the time for the rest of the year. I get it. It’s funny, that time our old, kinda-racist teacher thought I was sleeping because my eyes are small. My eyes aren’t even that small!
2. I’m 12 and my mom is teaching me how to smile so that my eyes don’t disappear. No one likes a squint. I’m 0 percent invested, so I don’t learn. I do know that the word for squint in Mandarin is mī, and it forms your mouth in a squint when you pronounce it, like a lyrical “me,” lips tight for the ‘m’ and barely parted for the ‘ī’. I don’t read much into that. It’s just a happy coincidence, like how “groovy” ends on a smile.
3. I’m 20 and sometimes my friend points out that my eyes disappear when I smile really hard. I think — I know — I think she doesn’t mean it in a shitty way (“I always forget that you’re Asian,” she’s also said), but every time I hear it, it burns red hot in my brain for the rest of the day. I’ve learned enough to know that when I was 15 and people said, “It’s funny because your eyes aren’t even that small,” they were also saying, “You don’t look that Asian.” I suspect this is the same kind of thing. Then I suspect that I’m doing a lot of introspection for a hang sesh with my friends. Keep reading »
Saturday evening on her Instagram profile, R&B singer Ciara debuted a new hairstyle: waist-skimming loc extensions. The style, a temporary version of the loc-ed hair many Black people of all genders sport, sparked discussion both among fans and style outlets.
One in particular, People magazine’s StyleWatch section, posted a story Tuesday about Ciara’s newest mane and stirred a dialogue about far more than trendy summer hair colors. Associate Style Editor Brittany Talarico noted that Ciara is set to wed fiancé Future in a “very elegant affair,” then said immediately afterward in parentheses that the wedding was “another reason [People thinks] she’ll ditch the dreads.”
While the phrase has since been removed, the undertones of Talarico’s words were not lost on some Black readers. YouTube comedienne, natural hair guru and Upworthy curator Franchesca Ramsey pointed out People’s words on her blog shortly after the article was posted. A Black woman with dreadlocks herself, Ramsey noted that the article suggests Ciara could not possibly want to keep her loc extensions for an “elegant” wedding—meaning the locs extensions themselves cannot be elegant. Keep reading »
When American journalist Esther Honig sent her un-retouched photo to over 40 Photoshop artists around the world, she received a vastly different virtual makeover from each. “With a cost ranging from five to thirty dollars, and the hope that each designer will pull from their personal and cultural constructs of beauty to enhance my unaltered image, all I request is that they ‘make me beautiful’,” Honig writes on her website.
Each designer did make her beautiful — by their own nation’s standards, which illuminated just how different each culture’s version of female attractiveness is. Honig’s project, called “Before & After,” was inspired by the many freelancers offering Photoshop skills that she came across on Fiverr. Some of her photos were sent to experts, others to amateurs [Uh, ya think? -- Amelia], but each came back with an enlightening lesson about how we define beauty — and no two cultures’ images were exactly alike. Even though she expected to see drastic results, Honig herself was still unprepared for the shock she felt at seeing some of the retouched photos. Keep reading »
American Apparel’s latest lingerie model is gorgeous, standing at six-feet tall with long hair and beautiful full lips.
She is also 62.
Jacky O’Shaughnessey is modeling once again for American Apparel, only this time she stripped down for their lingerie line. The tagline on Jacky’s beautiful image reads, “Sexy has no expiration date.”
Damn you, American Apparel, for all the conflicting feelings you inspire in us! Keep reading »