Monday, September 28, 2009

The New New: Laced Nails

Lacie nails is a new, up and coming trend that is actually kind of cute. The lace is applied on the nail with a brush-on adhesive and then sealed with that same adhesive. According to Glamour magazine, the nails are then sprayed with a quick-dry glue, filed, then encased in gels and finally, cuticles are moisturized.

Can a Mixed-Race Contestant Become a Chinese Idol?

In many ways, Lou Jing is a typical young woman from Shanghai. Pretty and confident, she speaks Mandarin heavily accented with the lilting tones of the Shanghai dialect and browses the malls of this huge city for the latest fashions.

But there is one thing that distinguishes this 20-year-old from her peers, something that has made her the unwitting focus of an intense public debate about what exactly it means to be Chinese: the color of her skin. Born to a Chinese mother and an African-American father whom she has never met, the theater student rocketed into the public consciousness last month when she took part in an American Idol–esque TV show, Go! Oriental Angel.

The marketing gurus for the series could hardly have dreamed of a better promotional gimmick when they started to investigate the backgrounds of the dozens of pop-star wannabes to root out the competitors' mushy stories of triumph over adversity that are a well-worn staple of the genre. Here was a tale guaranteed to attract eyeballs: a girl of mixed race, brought up by a single Chinese mother, struggling to gain acceptance in a deeply conservative, some would say racist, society.

The strategy worked — perhaps too well. In August, Lou's appearance on the show not only boosted viewer numbers but also sparked an intense nationwide debate about the essential meaning of being Chinese. Over the past month on Internet chat rooms, where modern China's sensitive issues are thrashed out by netizens long before they reach the heavily censored mainstream media, Lou's ethnicity has been the subject of a relentless barrage of criticism, some of it crudely racist.

Many think she should not have been allowed to compete on a Chinese show, or at least not selected to represent Shanghai in the national competition. She doesn't have fair skin, which is one of the most important factors for Chinese beauty. What's more, her mother and her biological father were never married; morally, the argument goes, this kind of behavior shouldn't be publicized, so she shouldn't have been put on TV as a young "idol."

These kinds of posts on the most popular chat rooms have attracted thousands of comments. A few have been supportive of Lou, but the rest range from expressions of fear and ignorance to outright racism. One of the most popular posts about Lou Jing on the KDS Life forum asked in mock seriousness, "Is it possible that she is Obama's daughter?"

Another poster said, "I can't believe she's so shameless that she would go on TV." Most of the critics are agreed on one point: that this black woman cannot be regarded as a "real" Chinese.

As recently as the 1970s, foreigners were largely barred from living in China, let alone marrying a local. China does not easily accept mixed-race children as true-blooded Chinese: as soon as a child is born, the parents are required to register with the authorities as to which of the 56 government-approved ethnic groups their child belongs; there are no mixed-race categories. Lou feels she is very much Chinese. "When I meet somebody for the first time, they'd often ask me how I can speak Chinese so well, and I tell them, 'Because I'm a Chinese — of course I can speak my mother tongue well,' " Lou says defiantly. "I don't like to be treated differently."

As for Lou, she found the whole experience more than a little disturbing. She did well in the show, ranking in the top 30 contestants before she was eliminated. Now she's back to her normal life as a college junior — with a little new insight into her home. "Through this competition, it's really scary to find out how the color of my skin can cause such a big controversy."

Read the entire article here:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Outfit of the Week

Black Large Patent Orb Tote by Vivienne Westwood Accessories, Zip back latex legging, Mega Glitz Bangle, Dolce & Gabbana - The One Eau De Parfum Spray 30ml/1oz, Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Pure Shine Sheer Lipstick No. 05 Blazing Brown, Proenza Schouler Paillette embellished top, KG Studded Strappy Sandals, Marc by Marc Jacobs Logo Band Ring,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All-black model line-up hits London Fashion Week

It seems that so far London Fashion Week has been more about the controversial model casting than the clothes. PPQ cast the first ever all-black show in the capital.

"During our castings for this show one gorgeous black girl after the other turned up and they just looked so amazing, we decided to snap up all of the best black girls for the show," Amy Molyneaux said.

"All the models today have been so great, calm, no tantrums, no hissy fits, it's been totally chilled." Percy Parker concurred. "It’s not something we really considered. We just wanted to find the most beautiful models and those were the best ones."

But if the design duo didn’t think it was a big deal, the watching crowd certainly did. There were those that thought the casting was anything other than nonchalant and just a chance for PPQ to get a few extra column inches and those that celebrated the diversity. Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, perched on the front row, was one of the latter.

"I don’t want to turn this into a race issue but I know this is what people are going to talk about. And it’s great that it’s happened here. I thought they were really regal."

New Movie: Ciara stars in 'Mama I Want to Sing'

Presented by BET Networks, the musical, 'Mama, I Want To Sing' starring singer Ciara and actress Lynn Whitfield will screen on Sept. 26. According to AOL BLACK VOICES, the movie isn’t completely finished but will still screen during the Film Festival. Peep the trailer above.

Life in Prison at 16

When Sara met G.G., the 31-year-old man who would become her pimp, she was 11. Sara's mom struggled with drug addiction, so when G.G. would drive Sara and her friends to the roller skating rink or the mall, it felt like having a real parent around. He gave Sara presents and told her she was special- so special, that she should never give sex away for free. He convinced her she was a product.

G.G. groomed Sara like this for two years before he raped her. By then, his control was complete and he forced her into prostitution. Sara and the other girls who G.G. exploited were out on the streets from 6pm to 6am, every night. Twelve hours a night, seven days a week, for three years, Sara was raped by strangers so G.G. could profit. After three years, she snapped, and she killed him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wanna smell like Beyonce?

Beyonce is set to launch her own brand of perfume next year under Coty Inc.:

“For me, fragrance reflects a woman’s attitude and unique sense of style,” said Beyonce. “While I love various perfumes, I haven’t found a scent that truly personifies me as a woman. Working with Coty, I was able to turn my ideal fragrance into a reality by creating an alluring and sophisticated fragrance; one that’s reflective of my inner power. It’s a true privilege to be working with Coty and I can’t wait to share this personal side of me with fans all across the world.”