Monday, November 21, 2011

Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try

So what's fashionable about exercise/fitness equipment you ask?  Well, some of it is interesting and some of it isn't.  Of course, the workout clothing can be boring or it can be cute.  But today we're talking equipment - the stuff you use to get fit.  Getting fit and in shape is fashion forward because it's what allows you to wear some of those awesome designer clothing as it seems most designers believe in the opposite of vanity sizing.  Example, if you wear a traditional size 6 (USA size 6) well the designer's size would equate to a size 8 or 10.  Especially for those Italian designers.  Why?  Who knows.

But if you're already thinking about your New Year's resolution (like me) then you almost always come to thinking about your health and body shape.  I am determined for 2012 to get FIT - doesn't mean I'm going to diet and try to be stick thin, just means, I am going to think more and work harder on what I do and don't put into my body as well as try to get in shape - meaning tighten and tone rather than worry about the number on the scale (I don't own a scale by the way) or what size I am.

Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try

Want to trade in your tried and true dumbbells for something a little more fun? These 7 kooky fitness contraptions are worth their salt
By Emily G. W. Chau for Fitbie

Between dumbbell phones and six-pack hula chairs it can be hard to figure out which fitness equipment is worth your time and money and what’s merely an exercise in creative marketing. (Shake Weight, we’re looking at you.) So we asked Chris Poirier, general manager of Perform Better, a functional training and rehabilitation equipment provider, to weigh in on what’s cutting edge and what’s plain silly. See which fitness equipment made the cut.
Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // man with the TRX c Dylan Coulter
Image: Dylan Coulter

1.  Battling Ropes

Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // training ropes c Dylan Coulter
Image: Dylan Coulter

This isn’t your daughter’s jump rope. These 2-inch wide ropes are similar to those you’d see in a fish yard, and are a fun and different way to get in some cardio. Rising in popularity over the past 3 years, battling ropes can be found in many gyms or you can buy your own, says Poirier. Anchor the ropes to a tire or pole. Then grab hold of one end in each hand and get the ropes undulating up and down quickly. Your arms are waving the ropes, but since you have to lunge and generate power from your core, battling ropes work your entire body.

Bored by the same old routine? Try these 21 ways to make fitness fun!

2.  Kangoo Jumps

Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // Kangoo jumps c Kangoo
Image: Kangoo
No, they’re not moon boots. Strap on these low-impact rebound shoes and bounce around for a heart-pumping cardio workout. Run in place, leap side-to-side, or perform jumping jacks. It’s literally like having springs on your feet. “Kangoo Jumps let you do plyometrics in a fun way,” says Poirier. “It’s like a trampoline, but you might get tired after jumping around for a few minutes.”

3.  Pullup Revolution
Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // pullup revolution c Lifeline USA

4.  Bodyblade
Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // Bodyblade c Bodyblade

5.  X-iser
 Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // X-iser c X-iser

6.  Weighted Sleds
Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // Weighted sled c GoFit

7.  TRX
Weird Fitness Equipment You Should Try // TRX c Mitch Mandel
Image: Mitch Mandel

Given their widespread popularity, suspension systems like the TRX and Jungle Gym might not qualify as weird anymore, but they’re still worth a mention. Lightweight and portable, these nylon resistance training straps can bring your workout almost anywhere there’s a place to anchor them. Grab hold of the straps for squats and inverted row alternatives or rest your feet in them for suspended pushups and more. This single piece of equipment can pack a total-body workout. Plus you can change the degree of difficulty simply by changing your angle and where your feet are planted, says Poirier.

Start your workout anywhere with this dynamic warmup.
Image: GoFit
Weighted sleds (also called power sleds) look a lot like traditional snow sleds, only they have an extra set of handlebars on one end and a center dowel to anchor Olympic weights. Combining cardio with strength training, sleds are great tools for interval training and increasing the explosive power of your legs. You’re not limited to just pushing and pulling them, either: Sleds can be used for squat rows and shoulder presses, too.

Image: X-iser

Think of the X-iser as a Stairmaster on steroids. Used to train everyone from the Navy Seals to the NFL, the X-iser is a portable, high-grade mini-stepper designed for sprint training. Instead of running stadiums outside, step onto an X-iser and start pumping your legs for a great cardiovascular workout. It can elevate your high-intensity training regimen while improving your balance and coordination. An added bonus: The X-iser isn’t just for running in place. Place your hands on the pedals for pushups or lie down and use it for hip raises.

Make your workout more efficient with this fat blasting 2-in-1 training plan.
Image: Bodyblade
Flapping a thin piece of metal might look silly compared to benching a loaded barbell, but the Bodyblade delivers a solid total-body workout without heavy weights. The outer blades oscillate up and down, creating resistance and working your muscles as your body counteracts the vibrations. While the Bodyblade targets your core, it’s probably better for shoulder rehabilitation, says Poirier. Once you get it going, the Bodyblade creates quick, short fluctuations that can get movement back into your shoulder without a lot of strain.

Don't have weights handy? Try these muscle defining bodyweight exercises.
Image: Lifeline USA
Pullups are one of the best upper-body exercises you can do, but a lot of people avoid doing them because they can’t,” says Poirier. “The Pullup Revolution lets you do suspended pullups, so you don’t have to lift your full body weight.” Attach the device to your pullup bar, put your foot into the stirrup, and you’re ready to go. In addition to making traditional pullups easier, it also allows you to perform tons of more complicated variations.

Working your way to a true pullup? Try this easier version.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Study: Makeup makes women look competent, trustworthy

Study: Makeup makes women look competent, trustworthy

Study: Makeup makes women look competent, trustworthy

Models without makeup and with natural, professional and glamorous makeup, as shown in a recent study.

In beauty, less is often more.

It turns out a little makeup goes a long way in how the public perceives you, but piling on the products does you no favors. Researchers found that makeup makes women more attractive, competent and trustworthy as opposed to their bare-faced peers, according to a new study, funded by cosmetics giant Procter & Gamble and carried out by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The study’s participants were given just 250 milliseconds to look at several photos of women in various degrees of makeup – no makeup, “natural”, “professional”, and “glamorous” – with the ratings increasing with the amount of beauty product used. “We found that when faces were shown very quickly, all ratings went up with cosmetics in all different looks," lead author Nancy Etcoff, associate researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, told ABC News.

That should be no surprise, as many a study has confirmed that attractive people are often deemed more likeable and are “expected to do better on the job, in school and in life,” the study says. “This phenomenon is present from birth,” Tiffany Field, a research professor at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine told ABC. “Even newborns and young infants have a preference for attractive faces.”

But before you get carried away at vanity table, there’s a limit: Positive perception declines as makeup gets heavier.

When those same participants were given time to study the images for a lengthier amount of time, the ratings changed. Instead, for the dramatic makeup looks, “people saw them as equally likable and much more attractive and competent, but less trustworthy," Etcoff told ABC.

Is the “Housewives” look less desirable? “Too much makeup can appear as a shield, something you’re trying to either hide behind, or use to change who you are,” TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas said.

While the findings seem plausible, some are a tad wary the study, in part because it was funded by Procter & Gamble, which owns CoverGirl cosmetics. “Any time a study is funded by a corporation with an interest in its outcome, you have to take the results with a grain of salt,” Jamie Peck, contributing editor at The Gloss, told “However, I do not find it that hard to believe that people would subconsciously penalize women for failing to conform to a normative concept of gender (of which makeup is a part).”

Of course, makeup can help empower and express a sense of self-worth, said Thomas, but it’s not the guiding factor in a woman’s image. “It comes down to a fine line between confidence and fear or insecurity.”

What do you think? Do you agree?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Clean vs Messy House - Be Fabulously Fashionable - FAKE IT!

We all love a clean house but not all of us can keep up with it all the time.  Especially if we have kids and work a lot too.  It's hard.  I know, I am there right now.  I'm so busy right now with my day job, taking care of the kids, and trying to get the daycare up and running (trying to recruit more kids/parents) that my eBay has been on hold for the past 2 months (when items ended, I just didn't relist them).  Not to mention that by the time I get home, it's just enough time to make a late dinner, eat, bath Damian and sit with him for a few to read or play before he goes to bed.  Then I tend to fall asleep with him either on the couch (about 90% of the time is on the couch) or we are in my bed and we just fall asleep.  Yes, I know, he's 19 months and should be sleeping in his own bed... just I'm so tired we never make it there except for nap time on the weekends.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand:  clean house vs. dirty house... better yet let's fake a clean house for the time we need to have it appear "clean"... LOL.

This article I read reminded me of what I have done in the past.... just funny.  I've always known I wasn't the only one BUT it's nice to see it in black and white as proof that I'm not the odd ball.  I've done my share of faking a clean house in the past when I was really really strapped for time with unexpected last minute guests that call and say hey I'm around the corner or I'm on my way to see you.  What the heck?!!!  Seriously?!!!  Luckily I always had a spare closet or spare room to throw everything into so my house appeared clean by the time they arrived.  Seriously lifesaving the good clean fake can be.

How to Fake a Clean House
By Kathleen Squires

When you’re short on time, here's how to give your living spaces the illusion of cleanliness.

Woman cleaning living room 
Tim Evan Cook
The Living Room
  • Reserve one side of sofa cushions to be shown to guests. Before company arrives, flip over the cushions to reveal good-as-new fabric. When guests are gone, flip them back.
  • Rid the sofa of pet hair by wetting the fingertips of rubber gloves and gliding your hand over the sofa. The hair will stick to the rubber.
  • Stack books, catalogs, and magazines in neat piles on the floor or arrange them in a deep decorative basket.
  • To disguise windows in need of washing, pull curtain panels closed.
  • Fold a clean blanket neatly and drape it over a stained sofa. Strategically placed throw pillows can also camouflage soiled upholstery.
The Kitchen
  • When the dishwasher is full and the sink is overflowing, stow dirty dishes and silverware in a stockpot and pull them out later to be cleaned.
  • Cover up the lingering aroma of last night’s supper by boiling nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon and orange peels in a sauce-pan on the stove.
  • Declutter the refrigerator by taking down notes, drawings, and magnets and throwing them in a plastic bag. Sort through it later.
  • Fold hand towels to hide stains. Two tips: Hang the clean side over the oven handle (with the stains in the back), or roll towels in neat spirals and stack them pyramid-style next to the sink.
The Bathroom
  • Glide a sticky lint roller over the bath mat to pick up hair.
  • Light a candle. Everything looks better (and cleaner) by candlelight.
  • Hang a fluffy bathrobe on top of damp towels dangling from the hooks on the back of the door.
  • Store a rattan or canvas basket on top of the toilet and throw in stray cosmetic brushes.
  • Hang fresh guest towels. The humidity in this room makes textiles look droopy, even after a recent machine washing.
  • Mound cosmetics and hairstyling products in a container underneath the sink. In a pinch, pile them in the tub and close the shower curtain. Cross your fingers that guests don’t snoop.
The Home Office
  • Stash stray office supplies, like pencils and pens, in decorative stationery boxes or filing containers on your desk.
  • Take down calendars and notes from bulletin boards and file them in folders. Or align them so that the tops are all in horizontal lines.
  • Rearrange crooked books so that all spines are facing the same direction and the titles all read from top to bottom.
  • Stow the keyboard and the mouse in a drawer so only the computer monitor tops the desk.
  • Temporarily hide wayward Post-it notes and to-do lists underneath the keyboard.
The Kids' Room
  • Stash scattered puzzle pieces in a drawer; stack the boards on a shelf.
  • Stow pajamas under the pillow. This way, they’re off the floor and ready for later.
  • Put blocks in a handled shopping bag and hang it on a hanger or a doorknob inside the closet.
  • Put homeless stuffed animals in extra pillowcases. Or prop them up behind shams.
  • If your kids have a play tent, hide toys and clothes inside it.
  • Pile books neatly on the floor, largest to smallest, next to a chair or a desk.
  • Spritz a deodorizer spray around the diaper pail to eliminate odors.
The Laundry Room
  • Fold clean towels neatly on the drying rack. Rope lingerie items on hangers, then place them in the bedroom closet, away from prying eyes.
  • Drape a scorched ironing board with a clean white sheet, tuck in the edges to fashion a make-shift cover, and place the board in the far corner of the room or behind the door.
  • Pile any laundry that needs to be folded in baskets or storage containers and lay them on the washing machine to be sorted through later.
  • As for dirty clothes awaiting washing, simply toss them in the washer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Where Children Sleep by James Mollison

A good friend brought the following story to my attention this morning.  The piece is wonderfully done, the book I want to buy now to review and show my own boys and perhaps buy a few extra for my daycare/preschool, Little Sprouts Day School, to show the older children.

While some of the photographs are sad, the photography is just amazing.  This book was an undertaking for a charity for needy children but Mr. Mollison didn't want to show the same stereotypical photos you see on tv or magazines.  I think this book is a marvelously novel way to showcase the different cultures that engulf our children around the world.  Where Children Sleep

Without further adue... here is the New York Times' story - don't forget to click on the link to see the wonderful photography.


August 4, 2011, 5:00 am

‘Where Children Sleep’

It was a small room, at the top of the house. For a time, it was home to tropical fish. Later, two pet mice slept there, in a home made of fruit crates. The walls of the room were covered with posters of Madonna and Duran Duran. Then it was the Rolling Stones. Then Jimi Hendrix.

This was the childhood bedroom in Oxford, England, of James Mollison, 37, a documentary photographer who was born in Kenya and now lives in Venice. He had the luxury as a boy of adapting his bedroom to reflect his changing interests.

“As a child, that’s your little space within the house,” Mr. Mollison said.

James Mollison Kaya, 4, lives with her parents in a small Tokyo apartment.  Kaya’s bedroom.
Mr. Mollison’s new book, “Where Children Sleep,” had its origins in a project undertaken for a children’s charity several years ago. As he considered how to represent needy children around the world, he wanted to avoid the common devices: pleading eyes, toothless smiles. When he visualized his own childhood, he realized that his bedroom said a lot about what sort of life he led. So he set out to find others.

His subjects came from Boy Scout troops and sumo wrestling clubs. They were introduced through friends of friends. Mr. Mollison posed his young subjects — more than 200 of them — in front of blank white backgrounds for their portraits, leaving their bedrooms to do the talking. More than 50 pairings are in the book, which has a glow-in-the-dark cover (a nod to the glow-in-the-dark stars on so many childhood ceilings).

As much as the project is about the quirkiness of childhood, it is, more strikingly, a commentary on class and on poverty. But the diversity also provides a sense of togetherness.
Everybody sleeps. And eventually, everybody grows up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Missoni + Target = OMG OMG OMG !!!!

Okay, I've not posted much in forever and promised you I would come back to start posting on a somewhat regular basis... so today I am posting and it's an OMG one (at least for me it is... LOL).

What do you get when you cross Target with Missoni?  You get amazingly fashion forward clothing, accessories, children's (you know I'm getting Damian any baby/toddler boy stuff and Corey, my oldest son, any of the men's stuff), linens, luggage, etc.  that are budget friendly $7.99 to $199.99.

I already set my Outlook Calendar and my cell phone's calendar for 12:01 am on September 13, 2011.  Yes, I know I will be awake doing paperwork for the daycare, Little Sprouts Day School and Tel's Closet.

Now some may say these are a little retro, a little 70-ish, or whatever ... I say WHO CARES!! It's FREAKING MISSONI + TARGET.... I mean come on - Target occassionally has a designer who brings something in that I might find worthy to look at but this time Target knocked it out of the park, so to speak, with being able to land Mission - Freaking - Missoni.  I guess you can tell by now that I'm a Missoni fan (not that I actually own any of their pieces - just only bought for my mom before).

From the Huffington Post news article:

The first ad for Missoni's upcoming collaboration with Target has surfaced, in the form of a picture Tweeted by @MarilynAgencyNY.

In it, zigzag-clad Margherita Missoni pulls her zigzag-printed luggage and walks alongside a zigzag-clad young man, pulling his own zigzag-printed suitcase.

The collection -- slated to hit stores September 13 and priced between $7.99 and $199.99 -- was first announced in May by It's said to include 400-plus items, from clothing "to bed sheets, to enough dinnerware to set the table for colazione, pranzo, and cena," Mark Holgate wrote.

Missoni for Target


Back in June we’ve got a sneak peek of the highly anticipated Missoni for Target collaboration while Margherita Missoni and Carolina Crescentini were shooting the ad campaign in Milan. I’m can’t wait till you guys see the full collection, I was dying at the press preview.
There are over 400-pieces in the collection featuring apparel (women’s, men’s, kids’), bed sheets, dinnerware, luggage and bikes. Mark your calendars for the release on September 13 through October 22 to shop the collection at Target stores and of the highly anticipated Missoni for Target collaboration while Margherita Missoni and Carolina Crescentini were shooting the ad campaign in Milan. I’m can’t wait till you guys see the full collection, I was dying at the press preview. In the meantime here’s the first official ad campaign image along with scans from magazines and still life photos. Do you like?

EDITED AUGUST 12, 2011...

I just have to add more photos of the Missoni+Target!!!!!!  These kid items are too precious!!

For Home



Seriously, this is definitely something you don't want to miss, if you've ever wanted Missoni but could not afford it.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Sprouts Day School Vestavia, AL - Please Vote

I opened my daycare on July 19, 2011.  It's been a slow start but we are fortunate to have approximately 8 to 12 kids.

Here is the gist... the space I rented was previously a daycare.  My son attended there almost a year.  I didn't like the previous owners, the place was dirty and they didn't give anything hardly for the money charged - even the food was bad that most of the kids rather just go hungry than eat.

We left and months later discovered there were all sorts of issues going on - financially, business wise as well as fire system not up-to-date (not working at all), etc.  Then the previous owners were served with eviction papers and default documents.  It's not like they didn't know this was happening, just refused to acknowledge the issues from what I understand.

Well the day the old daycare owners were served, they decided to be mean and throw all the children's belongings into the street - literally.  The news came out and showed all the kids stuff sitting out on the sidewalk.  No notice to the staff or parents.  Just we are closed don't bother returning.

Well I got with the leasing manager and got in touch with the former staff and asked if they would be interested in work IF I could open the center back up.  They were able to reach some of the parents and after 6 weeks of working on licensing, cleaning the place from top to bottom, painting the center, finding and purchasing new equipment - I was able to open on July 19, 2011.  Woo Hoo.

Now I need YOUR HELP to get the word out that I'm open and to help me win some MONEY to add to the little bit of working capital I have left.  So please spread the word and get your friends to vote for me - please.

I know I've been MIA for awhile

but that is because I have been so busy in real life that it's been CRAZY to say the least.  I have had to finalize accounts as I am going part-time at work (with my day job); had to put my online retail selling on hold as I was busy trying to get documents finalized to get my daycare open.

Yes, I've been super busy but hopefully by Mid-August, I should be back blogging away with new ideas, hot new fashions, weird fashions and other fashion related news.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

This is a great article written by a guy about parents allowing their little girls (pre-teen and younger) dress like some of the musicians and young actresses on tv.  I mean come on - what's wrong with little girls dressing like little girls and the same for little boys?  What is up with all the hoochie, slutty clothing out for little girls?  If I had little girls, this crap wouldn't even come within arms reach of my child.

A friend of mine and I had a similar discussion some years back.  He was going through a similar issue regarding clothing choices of what he thought was appropriate and what his little daughter wanted to wear.  He was all deadset against buying any of the Juicy Couture items for his daughter that had words written across the backside.  At the time we had this conversation - Juicy Couture had just launched their new line of items with "Juicy" and such words across the butt of their velour and terry cloth track pants.  His pre-teen daughter wanted a pair and he was adament she was not getting them.  Really what little girl (or big girl/woman for that matter) needs the words "Juicy" across their butt to draw even more attention from closet pedophiles that plague society today?

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
April 19, 2011 8:52 a.m. EDT
Editor's note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and, he has contributed to ESPN's "Sports Center," "Outside the Lines" and "First Take." He is a 2011 and 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) -- I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.

Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie "10" (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her "Xtina" phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.

You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word "Juicy" was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. ... I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the "Ashley," a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they're pedophiles?

Push-up bikini controversy Video

What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?

That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer's breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don't have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they're potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.

We've been here with Abercrombie before -- if you recall, about 10 years ago they sold thongs for 10-year-olds -- but they're hardly alone in pitching inappropriate clothing to young girls. Four years ago the popular "Bratz" franchise introduced padded bras called "bralettes" for girls as young as six. That was also around the time the good folks at Wal-Mart rolled out a pair of pink panties in its junior department with the phrase "Who Needs Credit Cards" printed on the front.

I guess I've been out-of-the-loop and didn't realize there's been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.

What's that you say? Ten-year-olds can't drive? They don't have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?

Their parents?

Noooo, couldn't be.

What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, "She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top."

And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we've all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.

And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the "Ashley", the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergarteners if they didn't think people would buy it.

If they didn't think parents would buy it, which begs the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?
It's easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what's appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.

I get it, Rihanna's really popular. But that's a pretty weak reason for someone to dress their little girl like her.

I don't care how popular Lil' Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn't always makes me popular -- and the house does get tense from time to time -- but I'm his father, not his friend.

Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, "No, and that's the end of it."

The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he'll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn't allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.

Maybe I'm a Tiger Dad.

Maybe I should mind my own business.

Or maybe I'm just a concerned parent worried about little girls like the one I saw at the airport.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There's nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?

A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don't know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

US Department of Labor Issues a Health Hazard Alert for Brazilian Straightners

Brazilian Hair Straightening Is Making Waves Again: US Department of Labor Issues a Health Hazard Alert

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011 / 12:30 PM

Brazilian blowouts–otherwise known as keratin straightening treatments–are in the news again, this time prompting the US Department of Labor to release a Hazard Alert about the dangers of formaldehyde-containing straightening formulas. The Department of Labor used the information gleaned from the various state and federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) investigations to formulate its report.

The salient points in the alert:

-In addition to the Brazilian Blowout (GIB LLC’s brand that started the whole investigation in the first place), other brands were found to contain or release formaldehyde even when listed as “formaldehyde free” or not mentioning formaldehyde on the label.

-Formaldehyde poses the following health risks: allergic symptoms, nose/eye irritation, breathing problems, blindness (if splashed in the eyes), nose and lung cancer.

-Formaldehyde is also called methylene glycol, formalin, methylene oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxomethane, oxymethylene, or CAS Number 50-00-0. If any of these are listed as ingredients, salons must take the proper precautions to protect workers.

-Products have to list formaldehyde as an ingredient if it is greater than 0.1% and provide Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to salons. It’s a salon’s responsibility to determine formaldehyde content if they’re purchasing solutions from abroad.

-If salons decide to still use the formulas, they have to provide air ventilation systems, use lower heat settings on flat irons, give workers the choice to wear a respirator and other personal protective equipment (like gloves), educate workers on the MSDS, post signs in salon about presence of formaldehyde, and train workers properly.

-If formaldehyde is present in the air at a level of 0.5 ppm during an 8-hour work shift or 2 ppm during any 15-minute period, then the employer must get workers the right medical attention and test the air periodically to make sure that formaldehyde levels are below OSHA’s limits.
-Salons will have to keep records of air testing.

In related news, WWD reports that a hearing is scheduled for May 2 to determine whether GIB LLC, the company that makes the Brazilian Blowout, will have to acknowledge that its products contain formaldehyde and provide all the appropriate documentation to salons. Additionally the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an independent, not-for-profit watchdog group, just released a very comprehensive summary of the risks of hair straightening treatments.

So is this the first death knell for keratin straightening treatments? Salons are going to have to pay to upgrade ventilation systems, provide protective garments, and do air testing. Hair straightening is huge business for a lot of salons, and is a big money-maker, but it may not be worth it anymore for smaller, independent salons. And will salon workers start refusing to do the treatments? A hair stylist just told us yesterday that he does hundreds of these procedures in the summer months alone. It doesn’t look like the FDA is going to ban these products like Canada has–yet. But if more complaints are filed or salons don’t comply, that may be the future of keratin straightening.
Better fire up your flat irons.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing High Heel Shoes

I snagged these from Kobi Levi's blog - they are way too School for Cool to not be shared with you all!!

The narrative is from Basil's blog -
Israeli footwear designer Kobi Levi takes a playful, unique approach to his designs, treating them as sculptures. Clearly more for humor than high fashion, Levi takes everyday objects and incorporates them into a creative pair of high heels."In my artistic footwear design, the shoe is my canvas," says Levi, a graduate from the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem. "The trigger to create a new piece comes when an idea, a concept and/or an image comes to mind. The piece is a wearable sculpture. It is alive. Most of the inspirations are out of the 'shoe-world,' and give the footwear an extreme transformation. The result is usually humoristic with a unique point of view about footwear."

Slide 2010

Miao 2010

Mallard Duck 2011

Chewing Gum 2009

Swan 2011

Dog 2010

The Olive Oyl 2011

Toucan 2011

Banana Slip-On 2010

Blow 2010

Blond Ambition 2011

Sling-Shot 2010