AKG

Posts Tagged ‘time’

On Being Comfortable

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On the Self on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Soumya Parker inspires me to be comfortable, not only in my skin and being, but in my life and with myself. When asked about the staples in her closet, she says,

“Kurta, jeans (black and blue), T- shirt, Stoles/dupattas, one great pair of indian footwear and one pair of good black heels. And I can’t live without my earrings! Also pajamas man! What is life without comfortable pajamas?”

I couldn’t agree more. People, asked about their ideal days, will give you a laundry list of things that will happen. And that’s perfectly fine, because rarely to do people admit that a day of peaceful me-time is just what they need. Miss Parker’s ideal day is “[lounging] alone with a good book and nibbling on an unending supply of good food.” Such simplicity and lack of duplicity is rare. I honestly can’t define what an ideal day for me will be, but I’m encouraged to openly embrace and admit whatever I find that may be.

Notice this around you – people look the way they feel, even with the makeup. When I think back to the NIFT years, it’s apparent to me that Soumya has always been effortless. She never apologizes for who she is and moves with grace even when she is behaving like a monkey in the courtyard. Soumya is confident, and has always been able to move with poise. I recognize this more now, as I have become more comfortable in my own skin as I’ve grown into it.

There are actually a few stages here – there is the uncomfortable, neutral, and the comfortable. To be clear, saying “I’m not uncomfortable” is not the same as “being comfortable”. It’s okay wherever you may be in that, but let’s make an active decision to become entirely comfortable in our skins.

1) Be good to yourself, and to other people. Start to focus on what you absolutely love about yourself. Instead of seeing the zit or blemish when you look in the mirror, look for the best in you.

2) Give that woman in the mirror some support. Get your best friends together – and instead of lamenting about how “fat” you are or how scragly your hair looks, raise a toast to what’s fabulous about each of you. No more bashing.

3) Image matters. No matter how much we claim otherwise, there is a definite “feel-good” quality to looking in the mirror and liking what you see. So, find fashions, and hairstyles, and makeup that fit you. Don’t try to fit into styles – find the one that works best for you.

4) #3 actually doesn’t just apply to fashion; it applies to anything in life if you want to excel. Find out what’s a good fit for you. As Debbie Ford often says, “Anything that you can’t embrace about yourself gets to use you. Any part of you that you deny, hide, or suppress will come back to use you or haunt you. You can’t get rid of it completely – ever. Either you’re going to use it, or it’s going to use you. […] There is a reason you are the way you are. In order to deliver the gift that you’re meant to deliver to the world, [to your family, to whomever or wherever] – you must be at peace with yourself.

5) Work through your mistakes – trust me, I make the most mistakes in my family. I recognize that it’s not always easy, but the goal is to learn from your mistakes and move forward. You WILL feel better about yourself, having done this. And then, with your family and loved ones, feel free enough to be honest about your shortcomings and your talents. They will love you no matter what.

6) Get to know yourself. Use a journal to log your thoughts, freely. Or whatever helps you become one in your thoughts and actions. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities you have. That’s right. Do the SWOT analysis for yourself, or your style, or anything. Whatever works.

7) Move your body. Dance, cycle, run, walk, swim, jump rope, or do yoga. Do whatever it is that you enjoy doing to use your body constructively. Not only will you feel more comfortable in it, you will also grow/age gracefully.

8) Prioritize yourself – Love yourself – Treat yourself. Take a bubble bath, or treat yourself to a massage and steam room. Buy lotion in a scent you love. Eat dark chocolate, or whatever makes you feel good inside. Take time for yourself – it will do wonders. Create a personal space and time for “me time”. Everyone needs time for themselves – it’s not a luxury, but a necessity. To feel at home in your own skin, taking time and space for yourself (however that may be), is important.

9) Always always – drink lots of water. It has healing powers that we will never truly be able to recognize.

10) As my father always taught me, laugh loudly. And as mother always says, stop slouching and make eye contact!

AKG

On the Bullet Bra

In On Entertainment, On Fashion, On Fashion History on February 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I always thought that the conical bra came from Jean Paul Gaultier and Madonna of the 80s. I was intrigued when I found that he was inspired by the “Bullet” bra – a highly structured conically pointed bra that was popular back in the 1940s. Also known as the “Torpedo” bra, it was designed for maximum projection – it was used for the ‘Sweater Girl’ image, the image of a busty, voluminous, ‘girl next door’ whose clothes accentuated her enhanced curves. The outer and under wires were prominent in these clothes – this bra actually has history.

It had all started during World War II, when there was this idea that bras and girdles were protective, and companies often strictly enforced that workers wear bras for 3 main reasons: good taste, anatomical support, and morale. Lizabeth Scott, an actress of the 40s and 50s, remembered also for her sultry voice, was the pinnacle of the lovely Sweater girl – the camera loved her. She had a unique quality – the audience would know what her character is thinking of feeling just be seeing her – no words necessary. Of course, the conical bra became more and more wearable and was featured through many ads. Late 40s/Early 50s fashion. The postwar boom in the economy thereafter obviously saw changes in fabric, padding, colors, and more – fashions changed, and the conical bra was left behind for more comfort and a natural look.

bullet bra - 50s

Bullet Bra, as seen in the 40s and 50s

In the 80s, Madonna brought the conical bra back – and since then, there have been many interpretations of this fashion style. Featured below is the series of sketches of the costumes that Jean Paul Gaultier designed for Madonna for her Blonde Ambition Tour  in 1990 – all with the trademark of the conical bra.

Jean Paul Gaultier's sketches for Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour

Jean Paul Gaultier's sketches for Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour

Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour 1990 - feat. the conical bra

Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour 1990 - feat. the conical bra

Rihanna by Zac Posen - Grammy Awards 2008

Rihanna by Zac Posen - Grammy Awards 2008 - reinterpretation of the conical bra

While Zac Posen for Rihanna at 2008 Grammy Awards wasn’t nearly as severe as Jean Paul Gaultier for Madonna at the Blonde Ambition Tour, it makes it more obvious that the ‘bullet’ bra is certainly inspiring, and here to stay. It’ll be interesting to see how stylists and style icons reintrepret and recreate the ‘bullet bra’ in the future. Perhaps, this may be an idea for your Halloween costume this year, or maybe this style will be seen in more street fashion? Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this piece of history as much as I did.

AKG

On everyone’s current favorite scapegoat, Facebook

In On Technology on December 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

These days, “facebook” has become fashionable. Everyone’s doing it. The “cool kids” have the most friends, and the coolest posts get the most likes, so on and so forth.

I dislike when people blame objects for their own failings, unless it’s traffic – but even then, my father explained to me that I can technically plan for traffic as well.

But anyway – you know when people say – “It was that TV show! If that hadn’t been on, I would’ve gotten my work done.” Or, “it was that ad. I wouldn’t have bought that dress otherwise.”

Um, hello? Who forced you to watch it? Who said you had to buy it? Whatever happened to the concept of self-control?

A recent post by Daniel Gulati on the Harvard Business Review made me think about how people just needed something new to blame. First internet, then email, and now Facebook.

Facebook is making us miserable by Daniel Gulati

Did the person who Mr. Daniel Gulati interviewed who almost got run over by a car ever consider that maybe it wasn’t Facebook’s fault that he was facebooking while crossing the street?

Really, people.

Did the interviewees who cannot produce quality output ever consider that maybe it was their own fault that they couldn’t focus on their tasks, and were instead Facebooking? I wonder if Mr. Gulati considered interviewing the people who use Facebook and email for positive marketing results before writing this incredibly uninformed and biased article.

I would like to ask the people who decided to Facebook chat instead of meeting up if Facebook was physically keeping them from leaving the house. I would like to point out that people around the world still communicate by snail-mail regularly. That didn’t die because of Facebook. People just find it easier and quicker to communicate via email and and Facebook.

I think that facebookers, such as myself, should accept blame for not being able to be productive human beings who interact in real-time with people instead of just meeting them virtually – if that is the case.

As for the people who are unhappy because they compare themselves to other people and feel unhappy when others are getting married, promoted, or just happier – that unhappiness is not created by Facebook. It just makes this inherent quality of jealousy in those people obvious.

I would also like to point out that if someone’s unhappy because you’re happy – they’re not really your friend – so your Facebook friend list needs reconsideration perhaps?

I will admit that increase in virtual communication adds to stress because of the proportional decrease in real time human interaction. But that is not the fault of email or Facebook. It is partially the fault of the user, and mostly the fault of our globalized world.

But I would like to stress that it is ultimately up to the user to use the technology in whichever way he or she pleases. Facebook is not the root cause of any of the problems that people face today. None. Neither is the internet, and nor is email.

I don’t understand how people fail to realize the ridiculousness of their blame. It’s like a drug addict blaming the drug’s existence for his or her addiction. Or if I started to blame the existence of shoes for my shoe collection. I await the day that people will recognize this.

Trust me. Facebook is not what makes you miserable.

AKG

On Nonsense in the Name of ‘Fashion’

In On Entertainment on November 20, 2011 at 4:06 am

Is it just me, or has entertainment gotten more risqué with time?

I feel that in searching for clothes (or lack thereof), effects, and moves to ‘thrill’ the audience, entertainers have forgotten that there are boundaries. In this world where there is very little boundary, Lady Gaga, whilst only half dressed, holds children at a promotional event at Best Buy, and Rihanna appears naked on Esquire (nothing new for Esquire covers) covered in seaweed. Since when is being covered in seaweed sexy?!


^ (Btw, this is the happier video where Rihanna’s actually more woman than object.)

I understand that ‘being yourself’ is important, and that freedom is the goal. But how much is too much? I can’t find it in myself to blame the entertainers while on stage, because they want to sell to a tough audience. But I do feel there is a problem with the “anything to garner audience attention” approach.

And the problem is the effect that this kind of media is having on the generation. The Olsen twins used to make news, and we thought “look what too much fame and money do at a young age”. But they made news for eating disorders! Not for nudity and inappropriate gestures on stage. The Olsen twins didn’t even always go shopping for their own clothes (even for their nights on the red carpets) until they were 16 or 17. They sometimes used to wear the same thing in different colors. They’ve actually become successful now. And rightly so…

Need I mention the current “teen sensations” and their public appearances?

Miley Cyrus was dancing with a pole wearing leather barely-somethings and gracing the covers of magazines seemingly only draped in a sheet. Taylor Momsen is wearing black leather garters and holding guns. Selena Gomez, who is the most decent of them all, is also performing wearing the barely minimal and seen wrapped around the Bieber at the beach.

These are our teen icons?

Where is the differentiation between teenagers and adults?! What happened to that boundary? Has it disappeared also, in the name of ‘fashion’? Does anyone even want to fathom what these teens might do in future performances and appearances?

But you know…It’s become acceptable, because it’s “fashionable”. Read: It’s what all the cool kids are doing. It’s become “fashionable” for kids to wear heels and use iPads before they can walk. It’s become “fashionable” for 18-month-old boys to recite Lady Gaga song lyrics before they can read. It’s become “fashionable” for people to do many things that I can with certainty say are not healthy.

And the most troublesome fact is: It is what it is, and there is only so much you can do about it.

AKG

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