Tag Archives: women

DANCE STUDIO HOLDS MODELING WORKHOP TO ENCOURANGE HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

28 Oct

DANCE STUDIO HOLDS MODELING WORKSHOP TO  ENCOURAGE HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

 

Professional dancer and model, Karla Garcia, owner of Sol Dance Center in Astoria, Queens is holding a modeling workshop for teen girls and women in order to promote and encourage healthy body image. This workshop, the “Solettes Modeling Academy”, will stress the importance of feeling confident with one’s body as well as being healthy rather than fitting the size 2 model “look”.

 

This workshop is a 4-week intensive program in which the students will learn how to walk the runway, pose for pictures, explore their look, build their character and more. The workshop will culminate with a professionally done photoshoot so that the students can take home what they learned during their time at Sol.

 

“No one should feel like they have to look a certain way,”  says Karla. “Feel free, love yourself!”

 

The workshop is affordable and for women of all ages. Come join Karla and the rest of her team starting Sunday, November 10th at 2PM for this wonderful opportunity to express yourself through modeling. For more information and to reserve your spot, call Sol Dance Center at (347) 935-3955 or drop by anytime at 30-16 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 11103.

Here is a clip of Karla modeling/dancing – Hope y’all enjoy and take time to spread the word about  this amazing event! 

 

Press Contact:

Ashley Kervabon

email: awriterkervabon@gmail.com

cell: (347) 684-1489

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Bad Bitches and Ladies, by Vanessa Rene

21 Oct

Lupe Fiasco has, for a while now, been one of my favorite rappers. I’ve loved his impressive wordplay and his clever lyrics, his amazing storytelling and sick flow. And for a little bit, I considered myself a Lupe stan. He could do no wrong in my eyes. Food & Liquor is a masterpiece. The Cool is probably my favorite album of all time. I pretend that Lasers (an album that was released, ultimately to appease his record label…he distances himself from that record every chance he gets…) never happened. And I, like the rest of the Lupe stans out there, anxiously waited for the announcement of when he would be releasing his next album,Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album.

I came across the lead single from the new release off his Facebook page.

The song, “Bitch Bad” is definitely a conversation starter: Lupe tells the story of how two young individuals define the phrase “bad bitch.” A young man heard his mother use it while rapping along to a song. He loves his mother; she takes care of him, and raises him well, so he associates “bad bitch” with women who are like his mother.

A young woman comes across the phrase while watching uncensored rap videos online without parental supervision. To her, being a “bad bitch” is to be like the women seen in those ‘raunchy’ rap music videos: they’re beautiful women who have caught the attention of powerful men in the music industry. She sees the video vixens as role models because of all they were able to achieve, and begins to call herself a “bad bitch,” in hopes of aspiring to their success.

The two eventually meet, and don’t particularly hit it off. They both have two different meanings of the phrase.

The chorus is where the cognitive dissonance starts for me. I can’t enjoy the song as much as I’d like to, nor can I hop onto the message that Lupe attempts to expose because he raps:

“ ‘Bitch’ bad, ‘woman’ good
‘Lady’ better, they misunderstood…”

And in the last verse, he even goes so far as to say, “…greatest: ‘motherhood’.”

While the discourse could be interesting (I can identify with his praise of motherhood, while still acknowledging how problematic it is to suggest that all women aspire to become mothers), especially considering the political climate with regards to Black womanhood, his assertion goes hand in hand with the larger “virgin-whore” dichotomy that is so pervasive in our society. Black women are particularly under such scrutiny.

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Please Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful – How I Feel

8 Sep

“I understand that we live in a culture where “beautiful” and “female” have a long and complicated relationship. I know that women want to comfort each other through the hurt of living in an air-brushed, surgically-enhanced, Top Model, Cover Girl society. I also know that the word “beautiful” can be used to describe the inner person and not just their looks. But I have to wonder if we’re really doing ourselves more harm than good when we insist on giving beauty such a dominant space in the sphere of women’s lives and conversations. Even in “acceptance” movements, beauty is a central theme.

Why is not okay to be un-beautiful? Why is it so painful to admit a lack of objective beauty where it may not, in any objective sense, exist?”  “

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“Why does the matriarchy feel so drawn to steeping itself in assurances of beauty? Not that I’m using men as a role model, but they don’t tip-toe around the subject of physical attractiveness, stopping to console each other that their beer bellies, balding heads and scarred faces are really, truly beautiful. They don’t insist on denying their realities or the realities of other men by promoting the concept that all men are “handsome” in their own way. Instead, they have come to take for granted a patriarchy where “handsome” may be a gift, but unattractiveness is really not that big of a deal.

I wish we’d get there. I suspect that when women quit focusing so much on beauty, theirs and other women’s — whether physical or in the broad sense of personality — that we will be able to change our real-world consequences. We will be more truthful, more realistic, more effective and therefore more tangibly helpful to one another.”

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“We’re never going to make it okay to not be physically beautiful if we don’t get off this beauty kick we’ve been on for so long. We’re not going to change our futures and those of other women as long as “beautiful” remains a priority. We’re not going to change the culture that places such an inordinately high premium on female attractiveness as long we keep promoting beauty myths through the lies we tell ourselves and each other.” 

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These are all quotes from Jane Devin’s Please Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

Usually I am the first one to say that every woman is beautiful, even if society says they aren’t. Devin however, gives a different take on the situation. I don’t think she’s wrong at all. Maybe the American culture isn’t wrong, maybe it’s just us women who take it too seriously. 

It takes a strong woman to know what she is and what she isn’t. It takes a strong woman to know what she can and cannot do (because most of us think that we’re Superwoman). And lastly, it takes a strong woman to know what she deserves and when she deserves better whether it be in love, career, and just life in general. 

Maybe, we should start caring less about what our “culture” is, and start taking ourselves more seriously.

Thoughts? 

“Hey Shawty”

1 Sep

If there is something I hate more than creeps undressing me with their eyes on the subway, it’s creeps that feel the need to “holla” as I’m walking past them. 

I don’t get why they never get the hint and they generally catch me at the worst times. I’m usually rushing to class or work. As if that’s not stressful enough, they have to get real close and say something ridiculous like “I like the way you hold that pole.”

Katie J.M. Baker just posted something on Jezebel with her most hated cat-calls. Here’s a snippet: 

5. Baby

“Baby” may be the most annoying pet name in the minds of Siteopia’s survey-takers, but I think it’s the least annoying catcall because it’s so inoffensively banal. “Baby” is like the vanilla of catcalling. It feels almost half-assed. If you’re going to try and assert your masculinity over me in a public space, can’t you try and be a little more original?

Alternatives: Babe, Baby Doll

4. Sexy

It’s gross whenever a stranger yells “SexXxXy!!” at you — particularly when you’re not trying to look sexy for anyone, like when you’re wearing sweats and a T-shirt with stains on it en route to get your allergy prescription — but at least it’s straightforward. A “sexy” is so obvious that you don’t feel the creepy pseudo-intimacy that comes along with other names further down the list…

Alternatives: Sexy Legs/Lips/Insert Body Part here, Sexy Mama

3. Princess

PSA: You should never call any girl a “princess,” but you should definitely never call anyone over the age of nine a princess. Unless she is actually a princess. Which, unless you hang out near Buckingham Palace, she is probably not.

2. Sweetie

“Sweetie” is a few notches ickier than “sexy,” because it’s not just your looks that are being ogled: it’s your personality. A “sweetie” said in a lecherous tone sends (the wrong kind of) chills down my spine because it infantilizing, patronizing, and connotes little-girl subservience. The worst part is that people sometimes think you’re weird for being offended by a “sweetie,” because it’s, well, sweet. So the catcaller gets to be all butt-hurt and think you’re a bitch if you don’t respond well to his “nice” sentiment.

Note: I have friends from the Midwest who don’t get offended when they’re called “sweetie,” because they say it’s more commonplace there. Maybe it’s a coastal thing? Few strangers say “sweetie” to adult women in California (where I’m from) without iffy motives.

Alternatives: Sweet Thing, Sweetie Pie, Honey

1. Whistling/Kissing Sounds

THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN THIS because it makes you feel like you’re not even a woman, just a barnyard animal, or maybe a piece of furniture. Maybe even worse: that teeth sucking sound.

Extra Credit: “Smile!” NO I WILL NOT. 

I especially love the extra credit.

And you know, as much as I want to blame these creeps for making poor choices in their pick-up lines…it may not be their fault. The #2 song on the charts this week may explain it all. 

“can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby”. 

Gotta love Flo Rida. 

If I Can’t Touch Me, Why Can You?

7 Aug

I’ve been feeling a little risqué lately, so instead of putting on some daring red lipstick ( ‘cause lord knows I don’t own any) or trying a new dare devil-once-in-a-lifetime- extreme bucket list activity, let’s flesh it out here. Let’s talk about the unspoken pleasure, an event I’m sure we’ve all taken part in, but are waaaay to “lady-like” to admit it…a lovely term we all know as masturbation. I know, I know it’s gross to even read it on the page, but why is that? A deed that is as natural to us as breathing? Why do we soo quickly negatively judge the safest sexual activity (speaking in likeliness if STI’s) there is?

Throughout the course of history, women have been lead into developing certain kinds of relationships, very distant relationships, with themselves and with their bodies, uncomfortable ones at best unsatisfying ones at worst. For as long as there has been an America there has been a strict and rigid format women had always been expected to follow. In America’s early years, recreational sex was never an accepted “code of conduct” for women. Those who deviated from it were women who were no longer “ladies”; women who were open about sex and pleasure techniques even till this day are criticized and condemned to an extent.

The only time I’ve ever seen female masturbation being glorified is when it is done for the sake of a partner watching. This reinforces the ostracizing of women from their own beings because the only time it is deemed ok to make YOU feel good, is for SOMEONE ELSE. If doing this is supposed to be for your own pleasure why does someone else have an agency over your body that really is only entitled to you?? Now, I am a feminist at heart and of course a lot of my sentiment and drive lies within the unjust effects our society has on the mind of us as women,but I do think it is also important to look at the stigmatization of masturbation for men as well. They have it rough. This may be one of the ONLY categories that men may be more distressed and misunderstood in than us ladies. You want to know why? It’s gross. Plain and simply put, it is nasty. Or at least that’s how mainstream media portrays it. The man who does that is usually a perv who is incapable of getting laid. At least for us, it has an appeal of being sexy to an audience. There are not many cases that I’ve witnessed or heard of where it’s attractive to see a man “taking care of himself”.

It’s immediately associated with derogatory images and events. First ones that come to mind for me are cheating, getting caught watching porn, and Pee Wee Herman, you remember him. The guy publicly jacked off inside a movie theatre? It all barrels down to very embarrassing conclusions: he’s desperate, he’s a sex addict, he has no “game”…. It’s looked at as an insult in a lot of situations. Why the hell is that? Funny how the male sexual desires are acknowledged but yet in the physicality of it, masturbation is every bit as shunned for men as it for women.

A proposal for it? Hmm, I really wish I had one. Why is America, a place where sex and masturbation in all its kinky forms raids and lives within its media and the minds of its public audiences so offended and disgusted by something so seemingly minute as this?

By the always clever and entertaining Sam Hogan.