Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is Outer Beauty the New Universal Sign of Acceptance?

Hannah and Marnie from HBO series “Girls”

Lena Dunham, the writer and producer for the HBO hit series “Girls,” detailing the lives of four New York ladies navigating through their mid-twenties would beg to differ concerning the question of outer beauty as the sign of universal acceptance. Seeing that her socially awkward and frumpy character Hannah, seems to lure in some of the most attractive suitors on the show. Most recent being Joshua, a middle aged doctor played by the insatiably handsome Patrick Wilson. Many would argue that “Girls” is only a TV show. My reply would be yes it is, but one that mocks the life experiences of a coterie of females so fucking well that no matter how staged the scenario, reality is wedged in there somewhere. With that being said, if we were only exploring Hannah’s character, outer beauty could not be a form of universal acceptance, but because of her attractive bff Marnie, it just might be, or is it?

Why do I ask?
I was the epitomy of an or rather African girl, throughout grade school. Far from the posh queen of cool, I occasionally mingled with the go-to girls to bask in their ambiance in hopes of adopting their glow. It royally sucked, but in hindsight was necessary to my development [#longlivetheuncool]. What I envied most about these now women was the universal acceptance that seemed to come with their looks. It appeared nothing was withheld from them. Were they actually the chosen people? As I’ve gotten older, and graciously grown into my looks I’ve realized, not so. This could be because I’m not yet an official member of the ‘pyt’ club, or that outward beauty only gets you in the door, but not beyond the lobby.

Marnie and her egotistical art fling, Booth Johnson
What Would Lena Say?
Hannah’s best friend Marnie has the looks thing down: she’s skinny, fair skinned, has polished hair, and did I mention skinny? Basically all the things that society has etched out in its code of attraction handbook. Despite her looks, Marnie has landed in some super sketchy situations in man-candy land. After dumping her last lover for having a bad case of the boring boyfriend syndrome, the serial dater goes on to sleep with Hannah’s gay roommate, mutual friend, and ex boyfriend Elijah while cleaning up after a house party. While venting to Marnie about his alcoholic boyfriend, Elijah briefly alludes to his confused sexuality. I’m sure he was struck by the ambiance of her fresh perfume, soft skin and supple breasts and fell face first in her cleavage. So much so that he socially accepted her as a desirable mate despite being with a man. After his hasty test drive, he comes to his senses to marvel in disgust at what he’s allowed to take place. In this case it would appear that outward beauty is a universal sign of social acceptance, not only for the attractive individual but both parties involved, the party being Elijah.

Marnie’s next love affair is with the egotistical artist, better known as Booth Johnson, who audaciously proclaims he’ll sleep with her within minutes of meeting her - flattery gets you anywhere. Yes, she sleeps with him, only after realizing she did so because of the socially accepted idea of his profession and looks. In this case Marnie approaches his success as a universal sign of acceptance.

Hannah, on the other hand is short, chubby, tatted, and quite tackless. But attracts men just the same, two of which, her ex boyfriend Adam and latest fling Joshua, fall for her witty personality, honesty, and satirical confidence. But in both cases, as with Marnie’s interactions, it only gets her so far. While with Adam, Hannah quickly realizes how clinically insane and co-dependent he really is, after accepting his mountaineering charm and brawniness as socially cool, and pushing herself upon him until he’s forced to ignore her looks, and by default fall for her charm. Same backwards story with Joshua. The successful doctor is completely smitten with Hannah’s sociable wit when he first meets her, but after two days is turned off when she proves how outwardly insecure she really is.

Based on Marnie and Hannah’s circumstances we can conclude that both outer and inner beauty are universal signs of acceptance, but on their own are incapable of taking you the full distance – and the point in any relationship and or venture in life is to go the distance, right?
Hannah and her middle-aged doctor fling, Joshua
Where Do We Go From Here?
So, outward beauty is a universal sign of acceptance, but it only takes you so far if you’re battling insecurity on the inside, and inner beauty gets you no where if you’re not equally confident on the outside. Meaning, the total package thing is kind of necessary, and despite what you’ve heard, is very obtainable. “Girls” is a modern day interpretation of young women looking to complete their package. Although it can be difficult with the media constantly vomiting up new trends to follow, new weight loss goals to try, and new lash extensions to buy, it makes the picture of perfection seem surreal. Much is the case when you spend too much time idolizing someone else’s idea perfection, as I did as a young adult, instead of discovering your own. But if it’s our perfection we’re after, I doubt it’ll be difficult to obtain seeing that it belongs to us. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Learn Your Daily Calorie Intake Just In Time For Spring

So we all want to look and feel our absolute best, right? The 1st step to ensuring that doesn’t necessarily involve surrendering to extreme levels of diet and exercise, that would be the 2nd step, depending on your fitness goals. Instead, 1st become aware of your suggested calorie intake so you can identify the appropriate amount of calories needed to achieve your fitness goals. I say this after years of being physically active, and only truly seeing the beginning results of the body I've dreamt of in the last several months, after discovering my daily calorie intake. I'm telling ya, without those numbers you mights as well be shooting arrows in the dark. #wompwomp 

All you have to do is set a start date, the finish line will meet you!
Suggested Calorie Intake for Men and Women

If you want to discover your magic calorie number, you have to understand that a persons calorie intake rests on several factors: including age, height, size, sex, and lifestyle. For example, an extremely active middle aged woman will have a different calorie intake number than a woman of the same age and height who is sedentary or inactive. According to the National Health Service, UK the average male adult needs to intake 2,500 calories per day to keep his weight constant, while the average adult woman needs 2,000. US authorities suggest 2,700 calories a day for men and 2,200 for women, so let’s just say the average adult woman should be taking in a little over 2000 calories per day to keep her weight constant and or steady.

Find Your calorie Intake 

The Harris-Benedict equation is the most popular way to calculate your calorie needs and thus, the calorie number desired for weight loss. The equation is pretty simple; just input your information where it applies.

Harris-Benedict Equation for Women (

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) = 655+(4.35 x weight in pounds)+(4.7 x height in inches)-(4.7 x age in years)

The number you get is basically the total number of calories you need to exist or your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Because we’re obviously moving and shaking throughout our day, we’ll burn more calories then this number shows. To estimate how many calories you burn while doing your activities use the chart below, compliments of!

- - Sedentary: minimal movement [chilling] = 1.4

- - Light Activity: office work [from the desk to the copy machine] = 1.5

- - Moderate Activity: light physical/manual labor [out and about] = 1.6

- - Very Active: active, athletic [yoga, turbo fire, hauling ass] = 1.9
Now multiply your activity number above, by your BMR. Your new number is your total “caloric needs” or the amount of calories needed each day to maintain your weight. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should be eating less than this. That’s where the diet and exercise comes in! Now that you know your daily calorie intake needed to maintain your current weight, you can begin to properly assess how many more or less calories you need to digest to reach your desired fitness goals, and the foods that will get you there. Happy fresh eating and calorie computing!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Amaluna Seattle

They came, we saw, they conquered! The critically acclaimed Cirque du Soleil, Amaluna show set up shop here in the Emerald City, Redmond’s Marymoor Park to be exact, and I had the lovely pleasure of witnessing the show with my familia Saturday the 23rd. The performance was so moving I just about shed a tear. I was already emotional from the mushy dinner I experienced prior to the show with my sister and mum; add a cocktail or 2, hypnotic body contortionists, cello seduced melodies, and you’re just asking for the droplets to join in.

Seafood Penne at Kirkland’s Top Shelf Broiler

What to Expect

Broadway mastermind and Tony-award winning, Diane Paulus is the genius behind the Cirque du SoleilAmaluna” show. It combines several Shakespearean favorites, like “The Tempest,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to tell the story of 2 lovers torn apart by disagreeing family backgrounds. Lover 1, and soon to be Queen Miranda falls in love with the incredibly chiseled young sailor, Romeo – lover 2, who is ironically stranded on Miranda’s home island after her mother, Queen Propsera summons a mighty storm. Now Miranda is no ordinary Princess, chick appeared to be a double jointed gymnast capable of performing the most majestic tricks in a glass water bowl, while her Romeo, eager to rescue her from her overly uptight family, effortlessly glided up an aerial rope using only his 2 arms and some insane upper body strength. Of course there were other magical performances, like that of the incandescent Moon Queen who worked the hell out of a suspended hula hoop, the Amazon gymnasts and their Amazonian boyfriends, the twirlers, cyclists, dancers, and uuuuhhhh, you just have to go see it, my lack of Cirque du Soleil type verbage is not doing me justice! It’ll be playing until March 24th. If your sense of imagination has likened itself to a dull blade, I highly suggest seeing the show for a nice sharpening.

Vintage Rhinestone Necklace 

Pulling off Casual Elegance
Because I was indeed attending a “circus” of sorts, I wanted to dress comfortably yet elegant. Casual and comfort are 2 of my favorite words when it comes to style, and I wanted my wardrobe for the show to be as unfettered as possible. That meant one of 2 things: jersey knit fabric and no heels. I opted for both. If ever you want to appear elegant and casual, pair a fitted maxi skirt or pencil skirt with a super casual top: like a t-shirt, button down, or even a fitted crewneck. Use your jewelry to hype up the glamour. I'm talking chunky bijoux bling - the Man Repeller's Leandra Medine best epitomizes this. I sported this lovely vintage, double strand pink rhinestone necklace and equally blingy earrings to up the elegance. If you choose a maxi, try flats, kitten heels, or sandals with the look instead of heels; I threw on my cowboy boots, they never fail me.

Beloved Versace Handbag 

Steak Dinner at Kirkland’s Top Shelf Broiler   

Steak Lovers Delight

As stated earlier, my sister, mum, and I had dinner prior to the show at Top Shelf Broiler in downtown Kirkland. It has 2 separate entrances, 1 for their lounge which houses a live DJ Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after 10pm, and 1 for their dining room. We randomly discovered the spot while cruising through Kirkland for a restaurant that had “that something different” feel. There was a special party being held next door at the restaurant's lounge, so we were the only ones in the dining room which was nice. We watched the sun set off the Kirkland beach from our window while being serenaded by a pianist specializing in Louie Armstrong hits. Although seafood seems to be their specialty, they do serve other dishes, including the most succulent steaks. I ordered the Seafood Penne and my sister, the steak. Despite being incredibly delicious, my penne was no match to her steak and annoyance quickly ensued after I requested a 3rd bite. All and all great find. Warm ambiance and service, and good eats.

Happy new day. Meow.