Pandemic Winter Book Review: The Cobbler

I recently finished The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell From Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever by Steve Madden. I ran across this book on a library shelf. I was familiar with the brand and owned some of the product but I had never thought of Steve Madden as a person. This book is Steve Madden’s life story. For the most part it is an interesting read and I would recommend it.

First off, I enjoyed the conversational tone of the book. The language was very direct and blunt. Madden is from New York and this book was written the way New Yorkers tend to talk. The author did not try to be deep, woke or intellectual. Reading this story was like talking to a person in a bar.

The Cobbler is fairly short but it touches on a few different subjects. I’ll start with what the book is not. The book is not primarily about fashion, design and trends. Those things are discussed but it’s not the focus of the book so if that’s what you’re looking for this book isn’t for you.

This book touches on family ties, addiction, business, a possible personality disorder the stock market, marriage, divorce, parenthood, incarceration and social injustices. There is a lot going on which can probably be said for all of our lives.

Steve Madden’s story starts in Long Island, NY with his mother, father and two brothers. He talks a bit about his family dynamic and childhood. In his teen years he begins his career as a retail sales person in, you guessed it. A shoe store. He expanded his career in the shoe business as a young adult as a designer, manufacturer and sales representative in New York City.

Steve started his shoe company with $1,100 in 1990. The company did relatively well but he knew the company couldn’t grow without additional cash flow. Steve had a childhood friend named Danny that lent him money to to take his company private. It was a part of a scheme to flip stocks.

Danny worked with a man named Jordan who inflated and sold stocks. The deal was that Steve had to sell his stocks after they were inflated. This deal was depicted in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Wolves of Wall Street. Steve served about two and a half years for stock manipulation, money laundering and securities fraud.

Steve Madden’s incarceration is the most interesting part of the book. If you enjoy programs like Lockup or Locked Up Abroad you may enjoy The Cobbler. Steve describes prison life and some of the characters he might while locked up. Incarceration gave Steve an understanding of inequities in society and how racist and inhumane the American prison system is.

Steve employed several people that he met while he was incarcerated. He knew that he was fortunate to have a business to return to while other inmates had no opportunities. I really appreciate the author did not get sappy and all kumbaya (which is getting on my nerves) while discussing these matters. He was very matter of fact. Steve Madden supports a non profit organization that helps ex prisoners and homeless people.

Steve got engaged in prison which was cute. He married one of his employees that was with him since the early days of his company once he was released. After his incarceration Steve Madden returned to work and his company grew and became a global juggernaut.

This is an interesting book and inspiration can be gained from it in many different ways. It’s a short read and a little slow in parts but it picks up in the middle. There are heartwarming parts of the book as well as some laugh out loud moments. Overall, would recommend it if you have the time.

Stop Taking Make Up Advice From Men

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/style/story/jojo-siwa-full-makeover-beauty-influencer-james-charles-72567998

Teenaged millionaire business woman Jo Jo Siwa got a makeover from make up guru James Charles. It was absolutely dreadful. He made seventeen year old Jo Jo look like she was a thirty six year old, divorced single mom getting a makeover because she’s ready to start dating again. I don’t know how you mess Jo Jo Siwa up but James Charles managed.

Jo Jo is a bubbly, sweet, blonde, girl that most of us met while she was a young girl on dance moms. She’s tall and would be a stunning modeling at her height of 5’9″. It would be great to see her with a new, mature style. But James Charles made her up to look harsh and artificial like him.

Women need to stop taking dating advice from the likes of James Charles and Jeffree Starr. These guys have a lot of women looking manufactured these days. You’re already beautiful, fresh, fun, feminine. Have fun with your make up and simply enhance what you’ve been given. There’s no need for the exaggerated femininity. You’ve got this ladies.

Quarantine QT – SNL – YouTube

I’ve gotten great fashion advice from men before. An eye for fashion isn’t gender specific and there’s nothing wrong with listening to style wisdom. But this current crop of make up gurus ain’t it. Woof! No make up is better than make up by James Charles unless it’s Halloween.

Letitia Wright’s Controversy

Letitia Wright is the young British actress that earned her place in the spotlight as Shuri in the 2018 film “Black Panther” where she played the precocious and tech savvy little sister of the title character. I am very impressed with Miss Wright as an individual and I think she’s one of the brightest stars of young Hollywood.

Letitia Wright is well spoken, lady like and fashionable. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. I use to follow her on Instagram and she often shared thoughts about her Christian faith. I think she is great and it’s wonderful to see a young Black woman, especially one that looks like she has two Black parents and four Black grandparents prosper.

Last week Twitter got upset with Letitia because she shared a video with an anti vaccine message. I didn’t watch the video but it sounds pretty wacky and scatterbrained. I don’t know why people are wanting to cancel Letitia Wright because a lot of people seem to be apprehensive about the COVID 19 vaccine.

This is yet another example of the narrow margin society gives Black women to exist within. The world doesn’t want to see Black women move with autonomy. We are expected to have our actions and opinions dictated to us so we can be used as tools that service others.

Letitia Wright didn’t stick to the script given to Black women and she was heavily criticized for it. I’m not in favor of what seem to be her views but Letitia is entitled to her view point. She didn’t deserve to be belittled, called stupid and threatened with the end of her career.

Letitia apologized for posting the controversial video and deactivated her Twitter account. It’s amazing how much grace some are shown while Black women are shown very little. The more visible African ancestry a Black woman has the less grace she is given.

Marvel Actor Letitia Wright Apologises After Sharing Vaccine Doubter Video (tyla.com)

I wasn’t a huge Black Panther fan but I admire Letitia Wright a great deal. She is a breath of fresh air in Hollywood. It’s great to see a young Black woman present herself with pride, maturity and modesty as opposed to being a loud mouthed bimbo fabricated by a surgeon.

Despite Letitia Wright’s gifts she’s still being silenced for having an opinion on a controversial matter. I guess it would be easier for the public to accept her if she was dating Future, rapping about selling her body for cash and gifts or discussing her wet ass pussy.

I would support Letitia if she expressed herself in a sexual way as well. Black women are entitled to be individuals with personalities that guide their own opinions and actions. We should not require permission to express ourselves. Black women should be given the same amount of grace and room for growth that others receive.

Lockdown Reviews: A Father First, How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball

During the COVID 19 Lockdown I read the biography A Father First, How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball by retired NBA star Dwyane Wade.  The book was published in 2012.  It tells the story of Dwyane’s life while focussing on his relationship with his boys.  He is the father of two sons and he also raised his nephew who needed a home.

For the most part I enjoyed A Father First.  The book is a bit slow moving in parts but it was interesting and touching at other times.  I am an NBA fan and I followed Dwyane’s career for year but I didn’t know much about him personally.  Dwyane lived with his three sisters, two of which were from his mother’s previous relationships, his mom and his dad.  He was the baby of the family.

Wade stated that his family was far from wealthy but when his parents were together his life had stability and the family had what they needed even thought their lives were modest.  His parents, Dwyane and Jolinda, divorced when Wade was a young boy.  His mother admitted that the split was due to her controlling ways.  Everything changed for Dwyane and his sisters after the break up.

Dwyane didn’t see his father often.  His two older sister went to live with friends or other relatives.  Dwyane and his younger sister remained with his mother who developed a serious drug habit.  She had abusive relationships with men after her divorce.  His mother’s boyfriends were involved with drug trafficking and Chicago PD raided his home.  Young Dwyane Wade often went hungry.  His childhood trials made him decide as a young boy that if he became a father that he would be devoted, responsible and loyal.

Dwyane’s grandmother was the matriarch of his large extended family.  Dwyane had a lot of respect for his grandmother and she was always available to offer help.  He and his sister didn’t always seek her help because they didn’t want anyone to know about their mother’s struggle.

Wade went to live with his father, stepmother and brothers when he was in upper elementary school and his life improved.  His sister who he was closest with was not taken in by the dad.  His father and stepmother had another baby, a girl.  While living with his dad sports became a big part of Dwyane’s life.  His dad was his first coach and his brothers were his competitors.

He had a growth spurt in high school and it got the attention of coaches and recruiters.  Dwyane later went to Marquette University.  While he was a student he married his high school sweetheart and became a first time father.  He and his wife had a rocky marriage and later a terribly dramatic divorce after being drafted into the NBA by the Miami Heat and having another baby.

Jolinda had a religious epiphany while she was a fugitive of the law.  She turned herself in to serve her time.  While she was in prison she became free of her drug habit and studied her Bible.  She started a storefront church once she was a free woman and her son later bought her a church with his NBA fortune.  The other details of the book were about his college and NBA career.  I skimmed through those pages because neither were very interesting to me.

I would recommend the book if you’re an NBA fan.  The book can be a bit dry but it kind of mirrors Dwyane’s personality.  He’s never come across as very dramatic or talkative.  Jolinda’s story is inspiring even though I resented her for the way her children suffered due to her shortcoming.  Dwyane’s decision to be a committed family man at a young age is also inspirational.  It’s a good read if you have the time.

The Feminist Nonsense Continues: Lizzo at the Lakers Game

I’m not even sure where to start with this.  In case you haven’t heard I’ll recap the insanity.  Pop star Lizzo went to a Lakers game in a loose T shirt dress with a cut out at the behind which exposed her bare cheeks and black thong.  During the game Lizzo was put on the jumbotron and she did a little dance.  It was cute but then she turned around so the camera can get a look at her bare butt cheeks and thong while she continued to dance.

I was appalled by it but there’s a lot of shocking things going on in the world today.  I was prepared to file this away and move forward.  But then Lizzo and her dress with the butt cut out became a trending topic and Lizzo went on a rant on IG.  And here is where the problem starts for me.  Lizzo is quoted as saying “if you don’t like my a$$ you can kiss it”.  We weren’t thinking about her a$$ until she showed it to us.

The so called #bodypositive rant is what made this incident a feminist and “woke” talking point on You Tube this week.  Lizzo is a #bodypositivity ambassador and the body positivity movement rubs me the wrong way.  I’ve seen #bodypositivity posts all over Instagram and they come across as a manipulative scam.

#bodypositivity is a way to get women out of their clothes.  #bodyposi convinces women that they have to take off their clothes in order to prove that they love their bodies and are confident women.  The #bodyposi community believes that bearing it all is a way to conquer insecurities.

The #bodypositivity movement really has very little to do with confidence and being happy with yourself.  It has more to do with seeking attention and validation.  I have more respect for #thirsttrapthursday posts.  At least they are completely honest in their intentions and they aren’t fake woke.

The #bodypositivity and modern feminist movement is telling women that they should seek to be lusted after.  Modern feminism and #bodypositivity are not seeking to have women valued as a human beings and individuals.  The focus on a woman’s body and not anything else she can offer the world.

Lizzo is beautiful, talented, energetic and charismatic.  I wouldn’t have noticed that she is heavy without her pointing it out.   Her size and feminist activism is part of her brand despite the fact that she is a well trained classical flutist and rapper (what a combination) with a great stage presence.  Lizzo has a great deal to offer the world but instead she chooses to focus on a$$.

She is selling herself short and the image that she puts out of herself is cartoonish.  I feel like she is living up to stereotypes about larger women, particularly large Black women.  Lizzo claims to be standing up for women that don’t have slim bodies but she presents full figure in unflattering ways when it would be very easy for her to project a stylish image.  She has the goods and resources to do so.

I’m curious about what Lizzo was expecting when she turned her bare backside to the jumbotron camera.  Was she expecting a round of applause?  She received criticism from showing her thonged behind in public (shocker) and then she went into victim mode and told everyone that they were criticizing her because she is big and Black.  She didn’t take into consideration that her actions would be seen as uncouth to some if not most people.

But Lizzo isn’t the biggest problem.  The biggest problem are the social media feminists.  They say that the world was trying to police her body because she is a Black with a lot of meat.  She could have worn almost anything without criticism but she chose something that she knew would be controversial.  Those of us that find her taste and behavior to be questionable are now being made out to be bigots and chauvinists.  This is emotional blackmail.

It’s not our job to validate every person when they do things for shock value or out of desperation.  And we don’t have to give positive reinforcement to Hollyweird and rich n word culture.  This Lizzo situation is almost a real life version of The Emperor’s New Clothes.  

Lizzo could do a lot to represent full figured women by just being the talented and beautiful woman that she is but she’s wasting this opportunity with her shenanigans.  I do not think that the activism that she is becoming known for will sustain her career as a musician.  If no one’s told Lizzo this, you’re pretty and talented.  You don’t need to pull childish pranks.

 

Miss Universe 2019: The Also Competed(s)

Congratulations to Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, the new Miss Universe.  I follow a lot of pageant pages on IG and I knew she was a contender the entire time.  Miss South Africa looked different from the other contestants.  Women in pageants tend to all look alike regardless of race but Zozibini had a look that made her stand out.

I’ve been looking at the media coverage and social media buzz about the new Miss Universe but I cringe at the notion that she isn’t a conventional beauty.  She definitely is.  She’s tall, slender, feminine, delicate and has a soft but determined spirit.  She just styled herself with straightening her hair or wearing prosthetic hair.  She bet on herself as a purely natural African woman and won.  Good for her.

miss universe

But this post is about my favorite contestants that competed but did not win first, second or third place.  These are in no particular order.

Miss Zambia

miss zambia

Miss Zambia showed up late to the Miss Universe pageant and was not able to compete in the pageant.  I was watching other contestants go through registrations and she completely missed the process.  A fan said on her IG that she had visa and financial problems.  But Miss Zambia herself did not confirm or deny that statement.  She never gave an explanation as to why she was late.

Her predicament must have been heartbreaking and humiliating but she took it in stride.  She decided to stick around and support the other contestants anyway.  She seemed very happy to be in Atlanta.  I would have privately melted down and my IG would have gone dark.  Other fans said that she can compete next year.  Miss Zambia didn’t confirm or deny that either.  She just continued taking pictures of her vacation.  It looks like she had a nice time.

Miss France

Miss France 2

Miss France is another trooper.  She fell during the swimsuit competition in the preliminaries.  It wasn’t her fault that she fell because she was one of about five contestants that couldn’t stay on their feet on that stage.  But Miss France took the tumble like a champ.  The way she reacted to the situation endeared her to my heart and I wanted to see her succeed in the pageant.  Even before the fall she was one of my favorites.  I love red hair and I like her hair cut.

 

Miss Portugal

Miss Portugal

Miss Portugal was in the top twenty of the pageant and I wasn’t aware of her until I saw her interview after the first cut.  She has a smile that lights up a room and an effervescent personality.  She seems simple and uncomplicated and I love it.  She doesn’t come across as “woke” at all and it was refreshing.  She’s twenty, sweet and pretty and that was enough to make her a finalist in the Miss Universe contest.  That’s how life works and I appreciate her contribution to the pageant.  She looked like she was having the time of her life.

Miss Japan

miss japan

My impression of Miss Japan is the polar opposite of my impression of Miss Portugal.  Miss Japan seems dark and mysterious.  There are a lot of pictures of her not smiling on her IG.  I don’t think a beauty queen has to be Little Miss Sunshine all the time.  She doesn’t have the typical pageant look at all.  Miss Japan had the most high fashion look in the entire pageant.  I love her long straight hair and blunt bangs.  She also looks like she enjoys expensive things and places.  I think she’s a great role model for women globally.  Take a look at her Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/missuniversejapan/?hl=en

 

Miss Uruguay

Uruguay

I honestly just like the haircut.  I love a good bob and this hairstyle has a lot of volume.  My formative years were spent in the 1980s and this is borderline 80s hair.  This bob definitely made her stand out.  Miss Uruguay has my support.

Miss Haiti

Haiti

I can’t put my finger on it but there is something quirky about Miss Haiti.  I love quirky Black women.  There was a time when quirky Black girls were a presence in popular culture and the world was a better place then.  I need to make a blog post about it but I digress.  She has a interesting personality, great hair and her Carnivale themed national costume was beautiful.  Contestants from the Caribbean usually knock the national costume competition out of the box.

Congratulations to all the young ladies that competed in Miss Universe 2019 particularly Miss South Africa  Zozibini Tunzi.  They are a diverse group of inspirational women and they are all fantastic.

 

TI’s Hymen Test is Indicative of the way the World Seeks to Control Black Female Sexuality

Recently rapper TI remarked on a podcast that he took his daughter to a gynecologist yearly and had the doctor check to ensure her hymen was still intact.  This is supposed to prove that the eighteen year old girl has never had sex.  All families operate differently and what is peculiar to one family may be acceptable in another.

I found TI’s admission to be a bit Taliban like and I was shocked that he was so comfortable telling the world about this daddy daughter tradition.  But TI has shot his mouth off several times in 2019.  As far as I’m concerned his daughter has joined a list of people and entities to whom TI owes an apology.

In my opinion there is more power for women in modest dress and morals.  But if a woman decides differently for herself I am no one to tell her differently.  An adult person has the right to choose what to do with their body.  I certainly don’t blame a parent for advising a young adult child to abstain from sex.  I would do the same if I was the parent of an eighteen year old son or daughter.

But to try an enforce abstinence with an iron fist implies that you are uncomfortable with that person’s sexuality.  It’s as if the enforcer sees sex as an inherently unclean and harmful act.  And here is the bottom line.  Overall, Black Americans and the world at large view Black female sexuality as nefarious and dirty.  Most people do not have a healthy view of Black female sexuality.  That even includes Black women and men.  Many Black men of Generation X and younger may have negative views of Black women and sexuality.  Being a hip hop star doesn’t make one exempt.

Just look at the music that many Black artists, particularly rappers such as TI have produced over the last thirty years or so.  Much of it is based on cheap sex, where the woman is not valued and the men seem resent the women.  R & B as a genre has slowly been phased out of popular music so it’s rare to hear songs about sweet romances and healthy sexual experiences anymore.  What we are left with are tunes based on casual sexual experiences and the bitterness and anger that often accompanies them.

Black Americans are heavily influenced by mainstream American culture which always seeks to affirm White righteousness.  These attitudes do nothing to benefit Black people but many of us absorb and admire the dominant culture around us.  Many of us are desperately trying to assimilate to a culture that makes us the butt of jokes and places us at a disadvantage.

It is pretty unusual for Hollywood to cast a Black woman as a romantic lead or to address Black female sexuality and romantic relationships at all.  Black women are typically presented as matronly, undesirable and asexual by Hollywood.  Image makers know what they are doing when they place certain consistent messages before their audience.  Hollywood and the media seeks to neuter Black women.

I’ll point out that when the entertainment business does address Black, female heterosexuality the Black woman is usually presented as desperate and her desperation or failure at relationships is comic relief or fuel for a story line about her suffering.  It is very rare to see a Black woman, that looks like a woman with two Black parents in a loving, stable relationship in the media.

Black women, particularly those with dark skin and kinky hair are fed a steady stream of negativity about what they look like through the media and often personal interactions.  I believe that this is a deliberate attempt to control Black female heterosexual activity.  It’s the ultimate c—block.  There are many within the Black community that are in on the act.

Undoubtedly, TI has taken advantage of and abused (I don’t mean criminally.  I have a broader definition of abuse.  What many call normal sexual behavior in the modern era I think of as abusive.) numerous women.  Because of his own behavior he now has an unhealthy view of female sexuality.  TI doesn’t even seem to have a respectful relationship with his own wife.

TI and daughter

He doesn’t want his daughter to be taken for granted, abused, used and discarded.  He doesn’t want his daughter to be treated like a human blow up doll.  He doesn’t want his daughter to be thought of as a piece of flesh that exists for a man’s pleasure.  He doesn’t want his daughter manipulated, mislead or lied to in order for a man to gain access to her body.  TI has probably engaged in all of this type of reckless behavior which has given him a negative view of female sexuality.

Safety, comfort, acceptance and trust are what set the mood for a woman to have a healthy sexual relationship with a man.  These conditions are what give women the freedom to express themselves sexually.  Unfortunately, Black women are not offered these conditions and this freedom as often as women of other communities.  So sex as it relates to Black women often comes with negative connotations instead of romantic, pleasurable, affirming ones.

People seek to control acts that they see as nefarious and vile.  Black, female, heterosexual behavior is seen as unwholesome and dirty under the global system of White supremacy.  Therefore, it is seen as something that needs to be monitored and controlled with no thought to the well being of Black women.

Jeana Turner: ANTM Cycle 24

 

 

Recently Jeana Turner of ANTM Cycle 24 made a video discussing her experience as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model.  Her complaints are similar to complaints of reality TV show contestants since Real World I.  Jeana says she was edited in a way that portrayed unfairly.  She also said that producers created an environment that would create dramatic situations.  And like many other ANTM contestants Jeana says the show hurt her career more than it helped.

I watched Jeana’s season and she was portrayed as a villain.  She wasn’t my favorite that season but I didn’t dislike her.  I just thought that she was competitive, driven and not particularly warm and friendly towards the other girls.  I don’t think she owed them that.  I respected Jeana during her season.

I’m not particularly sympathetic to Jeana about the way she was portrayed because many reality TV contestants have talked about their experiences once their show is over.  It wouldn’t be difficult to research what it is like to be on a reality TV show.  Contestants are not held hostage in their living quarters.  They have the choice to leave if they find the circumstances to be unbearable.

The intriguing thing about this video isn’t Jeana’s complaints against the producers of ANTM.  The most compelling statement in this video comes just before the thirty minute mark.  Jeana posed for Playboy when she was eighteen and she says that she felt judged by Tyra for posing nude.  She says of Tyra “You say sex sells but how did that work out for my career?”.  Young women have been given a bad bill of sale.  Women are being groomed from a young age to be used sexually while getting nothing in return.

I do agree with Jeana that Tyra is a hypocrite.  I’ve watched her for years and her producers have cast women that have no romantic or sexual history with men and then asks them to pose nude with male models on ANTM.  When the model feels uncomfortable or awkward with the male model they are admonished by the judges panel and told they need to sacrifice to give the photographer a good shot.

On her old talk show she had girls on that were sexually active at young ages and she admonished them for that behavior.  So where does Tyra really stand?  Does she want to encourage casual sex or protect innocence and purity?  I think she just wants to sell a TV show.  So I’m with Jeana on that point.

Jeana said that she listened to Tyra’s mantra of sex sells.  She was having a difficult time establishing a modeling career so when she got an opportunity to be in Playboy she took it.  She later regretted it when her idol that gained fame from modeling underwear and bikinis looked down on her for posing nude.

Other than Anna Nicole Smith I’m not sure that posing for Playboy has lead to anyone’s success in high fashion.  But Anna Nicole Smith was one of a kind.  Jeana was groomed by feminist teachings that taught her that putting her body on display is empowering for women.  Jeana listened to Tyra who became a powerful woman in fashion and television by showing skin.

 

 

Jeana must not have been completely comfortable with baring it all because she regrets it now.  I’ve never heard Pamela Anderson Lee express regret for posing for Playboy and she’s made several appearances in the magazine.  But Pamela became a successful actress by making herself a sex symbol.  It was a part of her brand and it suited her personality.  I don’t think a compromise was made.

But Pamela Anderson Lee was an exception.  She was comfortable with posing nude and was around twenty three the first time she posed for Playboy.  Jeana was only eighteen.  I think the entertainment industry will make an example of women like Pamela Anderson Lee and Anna Nicole Smith as paradigms of what can happen if you push your boundaries and take a chance.  There’s that, and Pamela and Anna Nicole were never really taken seriously.  They didn’t even take take themselves seriously.

Here is another example of how new aged morality and feminist thinking is not telling women and girls the entire truth about putting your body on display and modesty.  There is a cost that goes along with it and most women are not prepared to pay that price.

Jeana was lied to by a culture that celebrates women selling themselves cheaply for the short term pleasure of men in exchange for validation or favors.  Women need to understand that they can choose to pose nude if they want but make sure it’s a strategic move that is a part of your brand that will help you meet your goals.  If you want to be taken seriously it’s probably better to remain fully clothed.

Women need to stop selling ourselves short.  Jeana has a very unique look and is photogenic. She is driven and passionate about her career.  She didn’t need Playboy for recognition in high fashion or acting.  She already had what she needs for success.  Posing nude did more for Playboy readers than it did for her.  I think that’s the idea behind the deceptive teachings of feminism and new aged morality .

 

Hot Girl Summer: “Perfect is Boring”

Summer 2019 is behind us and you know what, I didn’t do a darn thing. I didn’t visit one beach, pool or amusement park this year. My “Hot Girl Summer” consisted of going to work, going to church going to brunch a few times. All of my adventures and drama came from reading. That’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Ice could have been covering the ground and it would not have made much of a difference to me. I’m going to share and review what I read this summer.

Perfect is Boring

perfect is boring

I read Perfect is Boring this summer by Tyra Banks and her Mama Carolyn London.  I didn’t really like this book.  I just read it because I’m a Tyra fan.  Carolyn’s contributions are better more interesting than Tyra’s.  If you’ve followed Tyra’s career there is nothing new here.  Tyra gets on the same self righteous, slightly misguided soap boxes in this book as she did on her talk show and as she does on America’s Next Top Model.

This book follows along the same vein as Girl Wash Your Face in that a woman that doesn’t have any real challenges is telling you how to deal with challenges.  In Girl Wash Your Face an attractive woman with a successful career and happy home life is telling you how to deal with insecurities.

For decades Tyra has been telling women to embrace what they perceive to be physical imperfections meanwhile she has made millions because she is aesthetically pleasing.  It’s not her place to speak because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Tyra is well meaning but watching her tell women on ANTM to embrace their “flaws” is counter productive.  It’s always bothered me that on all but perhaps the first few seasons of ANTM  there has been a so called plus sized model that is perhaps a size eight.

antm

The latter cycles of ANTM have focused on the fashion model hopefuls and their insecurities.  So here we have women that had what it takes to be on a TV show about modeling being coached to be confident by an international super model.  Tyra thinks she’s being relatable but she’s nauseating.

I really am a fan though and I’ve watched every of ANTM and I watched her talk show daily when it came on.  Tyra is weird and kind of annoying but I love her and I’ve hung on her every word since the mid 90s.  But this book was still disappointing.

I was hoping for a celebrity tell all.  I wanted her to spill the beans on why she broke up with her baby daddy.  What happened between her and Chris Webber?  What went wrong between her and that Indian technology mogul.  I wanted her to admit that she is jealous of Naomi Campbell and absolutely obsessed with her. 

The book did give a bit of the behind the scenes information about America’s Next Top Model.  Tyra talked a bit about the legendary scene where she snapped on the young girl and yelled “- — ——- — —!  — —- — ——- — —!”  Some of you know what I’m talking about but if you don’t:

None of that happened in this book.  She just wrote about self esteem and self respect.  I found it to be pretty dull but if someone got something out of it that’s great.  Tyra’s mom Carolyn briefly told her life story in the book.  I’m familiar with Carolyn because she’s made appearances on ANTM.  Her story is truly inspirational.

tyra's mom

Carolyn was a young naive mother of two children.  She is a hard worker but most of all she is smart with good instincts.  Carolyn’s smarts and artistic talents are what got Tyra to where she is today.  She is a very talented photographer with an eye for fashion and style.  And she was good at strategizing.  Carolyn is a woman that got ahead by being smart and putting well thought out plans into action.  I think she could be an inspiration to a lot of women.

Fun fact.  A few years ago I read about a woman giving her young daughter a period party when she started menstruating.  She probably stole that from Carolyn.  Carolyn did that for Tyra when she began her lady’s time and she wrote about it in Perfect is Boring  Carolyn said that she was very naive about sex even after becoming pregnant and she wanted her daughter to be informed and have a good understanding of her body.

I can’t say that I would recommend this book even if you are in middle school.  I’m sure there are better literary choices you can make.  But if you do decided to read it save time and skim past Tyra’s parts and jump to Carolyn’s passages.  If you’re a die hard Tyra fan you may enjoy this book.  It’s kind of like calling an old friend.

 

White People’s News: Christian McCaffrey and Olivia Culpo a Case Study

 

Today I will discuss some pertinent White people news.  No, this is not about Trump nor any of his flunkies in Congress.  No, this isn’t about unemployment in rural America.  This is about two of the best looking White people on the planet:  Christian McCaffrey and Olive Culpo.  I will be discussing and analyzing their budding relationship or perhaps showmance.  This piece is being fueled by irrational jealousy and a distrust of mainstream and social media.

First, let me tell you a bit about my relationship with Christian McCaffrey that exists in my mind.  He’s the star running back for Brown America’s Team, the Carolina Panthers.  He was my man Cam’s right hand last season.  The first time I ever saw him was in a Playoff during Christian’s rookie season against the Saints.

I turned to the game just as Christian was trucking it across the field on his way to the end zone for a Panther’s touchdown.  I was stunned.  I had never seen a White man move that way.  And I still haven’t forgotten it.  I refer to Christian as Barry Sanders Jr.  In an instant I was struck with an old lady crush.  I could easily have a child this man’s age.  Easily.

 

 

Christian McCaffrey seems to be a very nice person.  He helped save an old man’s life last year while he was hiking with his brothers.  He has no tattoos, he seems to love the Lord and he is a renaissance man.  He’s an amateur musician and has a classic taste in clothing.  His fashion sense has a hint of an edge at times.  I will credit that to spending a lot of time around Cam Newton.  His dad is a Superbowl Champ that played for the Denver Broncos.  Christian McCaffrey is a dream boat.

olivia and christian 4

Side note:  What’s going on with the Carolina Panthers?  They are fine as hell.  They don’t even look like a real football team.  It’s like they are a movie about a football team.  Cam is one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen.  Luke Keuchly is a looker.  Christian is gorgeous and carries himself with sophistication at a young age.  Coach Rivera gives all kinds of mature, sexy Latin vibes.  It’s like they were cast by a Hollywood agent.

For the last month or so there have been rumors in the White gossip media outlets about Christian and Olivia dating.  It all started when they started following each other on IG and he liked one of her pictures.  Someone please explain to me whose job it is to monitor which celebrity unfollows who and likes what.  What a job.  After that gossip media news outlets said that “sources” say that the attractive pair was spending time together and enjoying each other’s company.

I have been through phases when I watched TMZ religiously and I pored over grocery store gossip magazines like US Weekly.  After a while I came to the conclusion that it is all baloney.  The celebrities themselves are the “sources” that vague articles cite in articles.  And I’m sure that they tip off TMZ crews on when they are going to dinner at a trendy LA eatery with a new, high profile companion.  TMZ stakes out in a very small area in LA.  So people that hang out in that area are trying to be seen.

I question a lot of these so called celebrity relationships because a lot of the speculation is based on one meeting or dinner date.  Imagine  having someone write about you every time you had a good time on a dance floor with someone or each time you went out to dinner or a movie with a new friend.  One flirtation or evening out does not make a relationship.

But I think the gossip media outlets and the celebrities take advantage of it all and give people something to talk about.  Showmances seem like an easy and mutually beneficial way to get your name out to the public.  I suspect that a lot of the Kardashian relationships and some of the marriages have been showmances.  I have watched reports on TMZ of some of the Kardashian so called romantic relationships.  I’ve seen these women supposedly caught by surprise by the paparazzi out on a date or making a red carpet appearance and they had ZERO chemistry with the man in their company.

It was like two strangers just happened to be walking side by side on a busy sidewalk.  Or they were out with an employee or business associate.  But they wanted us to buy that we were witnessing the beginning of a hot new romance.  I’m sorry but I kind of suspect the same thing might be going on with Christian and Olivia.

christian and olivia

These pictures prove that they’ve met but that’s about it.  Are these really the best image this photographer could have produced?  I don’t see any chemistry.  I would make a better paparazzi than this person.  That is if there was really anything to photograph.  And they’re not that famous.  I know them because I follow sports and pageants.  I don’t think that these two have the kind of clout to be recognized overseas and draw much attention.  It wouldn’t be that hard to surreptitiously stalk and photograph them.

olivia and christian 2

Who knows this could be a sweet new romance.  It could also be someone holding their drunk friend’s hand so they don’t get lost.  That’s sweet too.  We don’t really know what’s going on here and neither of them are saying anything.  They are Vaguebooking.

Olivia’s friend made an IG story about her time in Mexico with Olivia and Christian.  I’ve never heard of her nor her male companion.  So how exactly did TMZ and the other gossip peddlers find this so fast?  They were tipped off that’s how.

Once again we saw no chemistry or spark whatsoever.  You know how social media works.  Some people get a tiny bit of a boyfriend or girlfriend and then they make dozens of posts about their new soul mate and everything they do together.  This isn’t happening here at all.  Or they don’t post about their love life at all and suddenly announce that they are now married.  Neither is happening here so I think they are just looking for attention which surprises me from Christian.  He doesn’t seem thirst like that.  Her yes, him no.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.  Olivia seems like a nice enough lady.  And I loved her Miss Universe dress more than any other contest winner I can remember.

miss universe

But this woman is media trained and I believe that she is driven and calculating.  Evidently she posts a bunch of stuff about going to band camp when she was a kid and getting made fun of for her eyebrows.  Girl, bye!  Even if it’s true.

She’s dated many well known men in the past.  A man that plays for the Detroit Lions had a breakdown on IG over his break up with her a few months ago.  And in between his breakdown and the beginning the Christian rumors that she probably started it was said that she dated a famous DJ.  This girl is something else.

Anyway I wish them the best.  And by that I mean that I hope Christian will be OK regardless of how this pans out.  I won’t say that I hope this is real because it’s here nor there to me aside from them both being very nice looking people.  I just think the things people do for notoriety and attention are very interesting.