Hollywood Fashion Industry – Fall Trends

The American Hollywood fashion industry during 1950s’ largely made use of celebrities to market the innovative trends and some of the world renowned fashion icons of this period were Marilyn Monroe, Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley. Costume design in Hollywood fashion industry is one of the most important categories nowadays for different awards like the Academy Awards. It takes creativity and patience to work with a whole Fashion Shopping wardrobe and fashion sense for a film.

It established an identification point between the actors and the public. Among these the biggest influence on men and women alike were Hollywood stars and who are inspired from Hollywood fashion industry. Fashion industry use bright baggy clothes and use of make-up. We all love Fashion Shopping to shop for clothes and accessories. Going into those casually stores and browsing through a many of beautiful clothes is a treat for the eyes and the soul Hollywood fashion industry. These days there is a huge variety of clothes and apparels available in other words there is something for everybody for Fashion Shopping. Hence whether you are thin or fat, young or old, fair or dark; you will get a wide variety of choices in styles and clothes. Models in the 21st Century are more a part of the Fashion Shopping.

The Hollywood film The Devil Wears Prada starring Meryl Streep, has brought a lot of attention to the world of Hollywood fashion industry. More information about Prada Versace Gianni Versace became interested in fashion shopping working in his mother’s small dress shop. By 1978 he had become a design leader of women’s and men’s fashions. So when you are linked to a line or a designer it raises your profile and puts you more in demand. And the exposure Hollywood fashion industry models receive is now greater than ever. Ford’s path to fashion legend began when he moved to the New York as a teenager, and enrolled at the NYU in Art History. In 1986 Ford started his career with famous American designer Cathy Hardwick as a part of her creative staff; two years later, he became the Design Director for Perry Ellis. In 1985, they took part in a fashion show featuring “New Talent”, and the following year they presented their first independent women’s ready-to-wear show. There are plenty of places online where you can buy good quality fashion shopping on discount comforter sets by named brands. These stores don’t have such high overheads as your local stores and can take advantage of volume of clothes to offer you the best possible prices for your choice.

Clean Technology: Tomorrow’s Technology

The popularity of clean technology is rapidly growing: people are realizing that by being eco-friendly and applying these principles to their companies, they are able to deliver quality products and services, while promoting the protection of the planet, its natural resources and the importance behind these efforts. As technology continues to evolve and adapt to our needs, many agree that green technology is tomorrow’s technology.

Clean technology is defined as the different products, services and procedures that aim at providing top performance at affordable costs, while conserving the natural environment and promoting the productive and balanced use of the planet’s natural resources.

The concept of this technology was first presented by the Cleantech Group (founded in San Francisco, California, USA in 2002), a company that provides support to corporations, investors and smaller companies in the form of market research and assessment on how to incorporate this technology to their products and services, and how to market them. That makes this technology a very appealing option to most companies and their target audiences.

Popular ways of using this technology in our daily lives is through recycling (processing used materials to create new ones), renewable energy (energy obtained from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, water and geothermal heat), sustainable or green transport (walking, cycling, green vehicles, carpooling, public transportation), green or sustainable chemistry (designing products that contain little or no hazardous substances to the planet), using energy-saving light bulbs and greywater (wastewater generated from activities such as laundry, dishwashing or bathing. It differs from sewage or blackwater, as it doesn’t contain human waste).

As there is a growing interest in clean technology and its benefits, there has also been a growing demand for careers or courses focused on the topic, such as Environmental Engineering or Environmental Systems (a form of civil engineering, where professionals are able to create structures or the right landscape that can perfectly blend in or protect the environment), Environmental chemistry, sustainable chemistry or environmental chemical engineering (courses help the student understand the positive and negative effects chemicals can have in the environment), and Environmental technology courses (that focus on producing electrical or electro technology-oriented graduates, that are able to develop tools and equipment aimed at monitoring, calculating, shaping and controlling the impact on the environment or discovering new technologies that can be used to create or recycle energy.

The need to minimize pollution (as it affects not only the environment, but our health) and use more clean technology to prevent and reduce it, this initiative has led country leaders to come together and create strict obligations to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in industrialized countries.

The need for further research and documentation has resulted in the creation of non-profit organizations worldwide. The fast and effective communication through the internet, and proper ecological education in schools, and the development of careers focused on creating sustainable development and clean technology, has helped people all over the world understand the problem and educate themselves, and the new generations to favor this technology, and make the lifestyle changes necessary to make it tomorrow’s technology.

Beauty Reboot

After years of working from the outside/in I currently believe that “true beauty starts from within” and my purpose in life is assisting women with developing their own internal beauty awareness. When you tap into the inner core essence of you, your true beauty will emerge effortlessly.

The next time you sit down at the vanity take a moment and turn within. Life is meant to be lived from the inside/out & know that whatever you see on the outside mirrors what’s going on inside. I’m sure when I say Beauty Reboot™ you might think I’m going to ask you to restyle your hair, freshen up your makeup & add some pizzazz to your wardrobe. Not that those things aren’t important but I’d like you to really delve into what beauty truly means. You see…beauty applies to all areas of one’s life. Beauty is not just about cosmetics, what you see when you look in the mirror or how another person defines your physical make. Beauty encompasses all areas of our lives. To think of beauty exclusively from a vanity prospective is an injustice. Beauty is involved in your daily tasks & is everywhere in the world around you. You must open your eyes & open your mind to experience it all.

Uncomfortable + Growth X Progress = Transformation

The most dangerous place for a woman to be…nestled in her comfort zone…

If you make a conscious decision to stay there you will never be who you were meant to be which in my opinion is drop dead ugly. Why not make a conscious effort to bring the beauty back in your life. No matter what it takes to push forward. No matter how hard it may have been in the past. Now is the time to move out of your comfort zone.

What do you think has been holding you back? This might be hard to hear but you have to get over your own limiting thoughts, insecurities & fears. Not thinking big enough? STOP…You have to instill a new way of thinking & a new way of seeing yourself in your mind, body & total being to Live Full Out…

I am not talking about an Extreme Make Over but a Beauty Reboot™. You have the right to be what you’ve always wanted to be. Do you remember when you were a little you believed you could have it all. I think it’s a great idea for all of us to tap into that little girl that wanted to conquer the world.

The grown up in you may feel it’s a fantasy or a dream that can’t come true but I’m here to tell you, it can if you stop hiding and playing small. Step up and declare “I deserve all the beauty life has to offer”

If you don’t think you’re beautiful it’s time to let that go & focus on your assets. It you feel your life would be different if you knew you were beautiful then start filling your head with beautiful thoughts. A great affirmation is “I am beautiful in mind, body & soul”. Over time you will start to know yourself as beautiful, and consequentially you will see that that your life can be beautiful & you will be focused to bring all the beauty to fruition. It’s not to say you want have to deal with any ugly stuff. That’s part of life but you’ll be better equipped once you reboot.

You will take your imperfections, shortcomings, mistakes, obstacles, flaws & allow them to further propel you in ways you never imagined. When you give yourself a Beauty Reboot™ you are going to give way to a better mind, a better body & a better life…You will be living your best life now because you refused to settle for the ugly stuff!

Be A Conscientious Solo Traveler

To a greater extent, more people prefer to spend their holiday vacations in discovering new destinations abroad. Recently, there have been trends in going alone for a holiday vacation. Solo travel can be a lot of fun contrary to what most people think of as a boring set-up. Traveling alone can actually be very exciting and rewarding. There are certain times that we want to spend some time away from the thoroughness of our daily busy lives.

Planning out a solo travel tour could stress you out, particularly if you are unfamiliar about your travel destination and how to find the best single travel deals. Here are guidelines that will help you enjoy a pleasurable and soothing vacation while keeping yourself safe at the same time.

-Be conscientious in making travel arrangements and don’t forget the basics. Have a duplicate copy of your important documents such as IDs, passport, and itineraries. Inform your family and friends of your vacation plan and when you will be leaving and returning.

-Travel around by means of a travel company; they usually have travel operators who plan vacations for single tourists. Since you travel on your own, it is likely that you will meet new people and make new friends within your tour group. Going out on a solo travel tour with a small group of people and a travel guide will help you stay out of harm’s way.

-Travel companies typically cater to people in pairs. Solo tourists frequently get the shaft of it and more likely they have to pay additional charges for the tour when they avail single travel deals alone. Thus, it will be worthy if you look for a single travel deals with the least fee.

-Finding out and learning as much as you can about the culture of people in your travel destination is one of the most excellent ways to keep yourself safe. In that manner, you do not give idea to the locals that you are a tourist. The World Wide Web is at your disposal in keeping yourself informed with the latest guide books about how the locals act and speak, what they wear, and where they eat. Make sure also to acquaint yourself with the local bylaws and customs. It is likely that you will become a prospect for theft if you act like the locals do.

-Mingle and make friends with other travelers. Solo travel can be lonesome but it can also be fun; that depends on how you deal with the circumstance. When you get into a solo travel tour, it is good to make new friends with your fellow tourists within the tour group, the travel guide,

Planning on travel alone and booking single travel deals do have intrinsic risks. The aforementioned guidelines will be able to keep you out of repressive situations out of the country. If you have smoothened out all the essential details about your trip abroad, you’ll do just fine on your solo expedition.

Save Cash With the Right Home Improvements

It may be the dog days of summer, but some of us are still thinking about unlocking our inner Bob Vila and fixing up our homes. Whether it’s building a new deck, remodeling our bathrooms, or just replacing some old windows, did you know you can save money when you make home improvements through tax deductions or tax credits?

Tax deductions reduce your taxable income, meaning you’re taxed at a lower income than you might have been taxed otherwise. It is subtracted “off-the-top” from the amount of money you made throughout the year, your gross income. Tax credits, on the other hand, directly reduce the tax you pay. They are dollar-for-dollar reductions which are subtracted from your tax liability. Both are widely used by eligible homeowners to save money on their home improvements.

If you’re wondering which improvements make you eligible for tax deductions or tax credits, it’s good to know how they are determined. If your improvements match any of these criteria, it’s a good bet they’re tax deductible or make you eligible for a home improvement tax credit.

Does it make your home more energy efficient?

There are a number of improvements that could fall under this category. These include energy-efficient exterior doors and windows, skylights, insulation, central air and heating, main air circulating fans, solar panels, solar-powered water heaters, and fuel cells. Look for ENERGY STAR-approved products, as many of them make you eligible for a home improvement tax credit.

Does it add value to your home?

Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is the most common tax-deductible home improvement project. Other projects that add value to your home include finishing or re-modeling your basement, adding an addition, replacing the entire roof, paving the driveway, and major rewiring. Be aware that painting a room, replacing carpet, and fixing leaks or walls do not qualify for a tax deduction and do not add value to your home.

Does it enable your home to accommodate new uses?

Wheel chair ramps for the disabled, bathroom railings for those who need the support, elevators, and lowering light switches are all tax deductible. These improvements add function and make your home friendly to those who have a disability.

Remember, keeping the receipts and an accurate spending record of each improvement you have made will help reduce the potential taxable gain when selling your home. This will ensure that you are well prepared to defend your records in case of an audit. While it’s important to do research on your home improvement project, you should always consult a professional tax advisor for details.

Women’s Health & Beauty

This majestic Ebook “MUST KNOW Answers, Secrets & Tips on Women’s Health & Beauty” gives opportunity for our lovely wives, daughters, mothers & Grandmothers discover health and beauty secrets.

Hormones-Beauty-Health is the leading provider of informational articles regarding beauty advice, beauty tips, cosmetics, health, natural skin care, anti-aging skin care, and serious skin care products.

This site is available to help women discover health and beauty secrets. We also help women take an inventory of their health and their bodies.

This book is a collection of essays and articles written for Hormone- Beauty-Health. All Articles are organized around the three big topics:

• Hormones
• Beauty

Health Hormones-Beauty-Health has its origins in providing useful information and contacts to the aging population of women experiencing menopause symptoms. Hormone Replacement Therapy is one of the most controversial topics in healthcare today.

Whether we want to admit it or not, our bodies change as we become older. The key to these changes seem to be that dreaded word “hormones.” This chapter features several articles about hormones and changes to your hormones as you age. We have essays about life before menopause, the transition stage referred to as perimenopause, and menopause. Our goal in these articles is to show you how you can embrace your life at all these stages and how you can enjoy good health. These articles answer your questions about how your hormones change in each stage, and give you examples and suggestions of things you can do to ease this transitional stage. We’ll discuss health issues that result from hormone changes, symptoms of hormone changes, and how you can help or alleviate some of these symptoms.

We can all lead happy, healthful lives by monitoring our diet, exercise and sleep. The articles in this section give you insights into your body, your hormones, and how those hormonal ranges change over time. Throughout this chapter, you’ll find hints, tips and suggestions of living a healthy life at all hormonal levels and ages. For your convenience, we’ve added all our tips to the “Hot Tips” section at the end of the book.

There’s no doubt that hormones can be something that causes a bit of a roller-coaster in our lives. Fortunately, all the changes we go through are completely natural. There’s no reason why we can’t embrace our hormones as our bodies change. With simple nourishment, organic treatments, vitamins and supplements, we can easily overcome any problem our hormones through at us.

Beauty Introduction

Women spend millions of dollars every year in the United States on beauty products. We are all interested in finding that fountain of youth, the perfect beauty serum, the right diet, the secret exercise, or the perfect hair care products. We think beauty care is fascinating too. That’s why we are always on the lookout for interesting articles on beauty – specifically skin care, diet, hair and nail care. In this book you’ll find lots of information about incorporating natural products to help your appearance. We’ve taken the informative and interesting articles and essays for this beauty section. Have fun exploring our articles on maintaining your natural beauty – because beauty really does start on the inside.

There’s nothing more fun than playing with make-up, lotions, and potions. Our beauty articles help you explore healthy and natural options for beauty problems. We love bringing you articles about solving beauty problems and helpful tips for beauty care. In the last section, you’ll find a collection of our most popular tips and recipes.

The Definition of Beauty

The definition of beauty is taken from both individual and social perspectives. Some people define beauty as characteristics related to outer beauty such as complexion, health, youthful appearance and facial symmetry. Beauty however is a mixture of both inner and outer aspects of beauty. Characteristics of a person, such as their personality, their politeness, their integrity, their elegance, their charisma, their intelligence and their grace can be considered as aspects of inner beauty. These aspects define what inner beauty is, and are factors that can be felt and sensed when the person is around, and not just perceived by the eyes alone.

Culture also dictates the standards of beauty and is constantly changing. The concept of beauty has changed from curvaceous women in the past to the skinny ones of today. Regardless of this, it is still up to the individual person to define and judge what is beautiful. The adage “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” rings true in that what is beautiful for you is not necessarily beautiful for another, it is akin to the saying “one man’s drink is another man’s poison”.

The inner attributes of a person must be of high quality for the person to be considered truly beautiful. The person’s ability to warm anothers heart, place a smile on someone’s face definitely shows the characteristics of one who has inner beauty. The criteria therefore to judge a person’s inner beauty is his or her level of sensitivity, compassion, tenderness, intelligence and creativity. These qualities of inner beauty are indeed powerful for they can exceed the person’s outer features.

Nonetheless, how to achieve beauty in both inner and outer beauty is very important to a person. Therefore even though one is kind, true and loyal, it is still important to know how one looks physically. It is not just how pretty you dress up to be beautiful, but you also need to have a healthy lifestyle since sickness can affect you sooner or later. One should also prepare one’s overall appearance before socializing in the world, for people that we have never met will always judge us on a first impression on our physical appearance.

In summary, put on your best smile and comb your hair and iron your clothes. Wear something dignified that makes you feel comfortable at the same time. You have to love yourself for who you are before anyone else can love you. You must be attracted to yourself before you can attract attraction. Knowing this you must also accessorize your new beauty with kindness, and tenderness, integrity and compassion.

Health Care Reform Made Simple

My name is John Ross and I have spent my entire 40 + year career in health care. Specifically, my background and experience is in developing and managing evidence planning, reimbursement applications, and health economics strategies for a number of fortune 500 health care technology businesses. In short, my job was to help the companies that I worked for to understand the health care market place from three important perspectives. The first was to answer the question; “What can we expect to be paid for the medical technologies we are developing and planning to market? The second question; “will the results and/or lower costs associated with the use of these medical technologies justify the payment level we think they deserve? Finally, what product development, marketing and sales strategies do we need to employ to insure that our future medical technologies are quickly accepted by hospitals, physicians, payers and patients? Obviously with such a focus I had to deal with Medicare (health insurance for folks over age 65 and the disabled), Medicaid (state-run insurance programs for the less fortunate) and commercial health insurance companies (the companies that insure and administer employer-based health insurance plans). I also spent a lot of time assessing the needs of physicians, hospitals and large integrated health care delivery networks that purchase and use a wide array of medical technologies.

From a funding standpoint I have seen America’s health care system go from almost “anything goes” to today’s increasing focus on cost and outcomes. Outcomes, is just another way of asking the question; “for the dollars we are spending nationally or on a particular patient’s disease or injury are we getting a good value in return? In other words, is the price of the drug, medical device, procedure, diagnostic or surgical intervention worth the cost in terms of better results and lower costs compared to how we would traditionally manage this patient’s condition?

This blog is a forum for talking “honestly” about:

1. Where health care in America is going?

2. Why it is going there?

3. What can we expect from tomorrow’s health care system compared to what we have become used to?

4. What we can do to the best of our ability to use less of it (think preventive health strategies)?

5. How we should think about and help those unfortunate individuals, young and old, who need more of it than we do?

6. How can we help to make sure those who need health care get access to good health care when they need it?

7. What can we do to increase the chances that state of the art health care will be there when we need it and at a price we can afford?

I will also provide education as to how the health care system works from the various perspectives of the stakeholders. It is vital that we understand these perspectives, what drives them and the many conflicts that exist. Areas to cover will be:

1. What is happening to hospitals and physicians in this changing health care landscape?

2. What is happening to the development of innovative future medical technologies and pharmaceuticals?

3. Where is Medicare policy going with regard to payments to physicians and hospitals and other care settings?

4. What is the future of employer-sponsored health insurance plans?

5. Where is changing with regard to private health care insurance companies?

6. What will happen to patient costs?

7. What can I do to avoid premature, unnecessary or unproven health care interventions?

8. What role will “evidence and data” play in the future in giving us more information from which to make personal or family member health care decisions?

I would like this to be the place that you can visit when you hear politicians or anyone else for that matter promising something from health care that just doesn’t make sense. We all know the feeling we get when we hear an “it’s too good to be true” story. When we hear such fantastic promises, we better check it out and this will be a place where you can do that. So, bring your concerns and questions and I will do my best to help you to check them out!

Have you heard this one; “under my health plan, you need not to worry. Your costs will remain reasonable, you can keep your doctor and you will have access to state of the art health care”. Or, “it is every ones right to access the very best in health care, young and old, rich and poor no matter your ability to pay.” This would be nice but it is simply not reality and it is time that we talk about these things and deal with them with our rose-colored glasses removed. So, no matter what your point of view on this subject I encourage you to visit ask and comment. We need a grass-roots effort aimed at understanding health care and in particular we need to talk about its funding limits and what we can do to assure that those who need it – get it, and at a level of quality and at a manageable cost such that we can afford it as a nation. If we don’t do this it is highly likely that health care as we have known it America will not be available when we face our own or a family members serious and costly illness.

The fundamental flaw in our individual approach to health care is the notion that we have no responsibility for it except to expect it to be there, with no delay, and at state of the art levels of care. And that for the most part it should be paid for by someone else. Most politicians right now are not leveling with us. They don’t want to address the areas that I have addressed even in this my first edition health care blog. Well, I think that we are better than that! I think with the right information we can manage through the changes that are coming. We want to do the right thing but to do so we have to be informed as to how stretched the health care system is and what we can do to unburden this precious resource.

First, we can stretch health care dollars and resources by taking better care of ourselves. The goal is to do what “we” can do in terms of learning about and practicing preventive disease strategies, thereby reducing the amount and cost of health care interventions we need. By behaving this way we free up our local health care systems funding and limited physical capacity to treat those who are truly in need. Every one of us that invests in preventive disease strategies will find that the beneficiary is you, your family, and your finances. Pretty tangible benefits wouldn’t you say? Perhaps bigger than that is what this behavior and better health for yourself and the avoidance of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, pulmonary (breathing) conditions, diabetes and a host of other conditions can do to unburden the nation’s health care system. We need to preserve it, both in terms of resources and dollars, for those who are less fortunate and have to access the system for serious health problems. How good would that feel?

Some would say that America is a scary place to be these days. The events of 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, continued threats from terrorism, the housing and subsequent financial meltdowns, the political infighting that gets us nowhere, and yes the health care crisis. These all create the tendency to make us want to “wring our hands” instead of “wringing the necks of politicians” that refuse to provide the leadership that we need.

I have come to a conclusion. I have seen enough to know that the leadership we need has to come from us, the individuals who make up the electorate. Waiting around for politicians to act means we don’t understand the world of politics. Politicians only move in one direction or another when an exercised and voting electorate (that’s us) frames the issues and leads the way to a solution. It is almost never the other way around.

Bringing it back to health care and the question of what one individual can do to improve things, it starts with one individual and another until we have millions pulling in the same direction. If we manage our health to the best of our ability (and I want to emphasize, truly to the best of our ability) and access the health care system only when we need it, paying a little more out-of-pocket for the incidental and non-life threatening ills and spills we all experience, the system could accommodate us all when we really need it.

So there it is in a nut shell – I have spelled out what I believe is our responsibility; that if we all pulled in the same direction as described above (think of disease prevention and what this can do for you and those who do need to access the health care system) we would dramatically and permanently free up this precious and finite resource and it would be there for others in need and, when we need it and in most cases at far less cost. We are all in this together folks, rich and poor, the older among us and the younger and if we just act responsibly and for the good of others in this matter, we would solve the problem. And then, we could work on the next challenge and the next one after that until we see clearly the power of teamwork – “all for one and one for all”. That kind of thinking and behavior can work wonders. We all know it deep down – so let’s just do it!

Look for a weekly newsletter and articles that will deal with everything about health care in America. Look for weekly newsletters that discuss changes coming to employer sponsored health care benefits, changes coming to Medicare and Medicaid plans, new technologies that should be of interest, and articles and commentary with regard to state and national healthcare policies as they develop in the months and years to come. Any kind of question you have about health care I can help to point you to resources that will answer these questions. The specifics about your employer sponsored insurance plan, Medicare, Medicaid and how you can incorporate disease prevention strategies into your life with their big benefits. Ask away and if I don’t know or can’t find the answer, maybe one of this blogs participant’s will know. We are all in this together and as long as we believe that and look out for each other – everything will be alright!

Home Improvement Remodeling

There are always little changes that can be made to your home. In fact, home improvement remodeling is quite popular in this day and age. Especially with all of the DIY shows on television all the time. More and more men and women are taking it upon themselves to make their homes look great. This makes a great deal of sense when you think about it. After all, it will increase the value of your humble abode, which is always a wonderful thing. The key is to do a simple walk-through of your house. This way you can observe and determine what your house needs here and there. Make a list of the home improvement remodeling projects that need to get done.

In reality, the options are endless when it comes to home improvement remodeling projects. If you have one in mind for your residential house, then why put it off. If you are willing to tackle the project on your own, or as a family, you can save a lot of money. Possibly even more than half of what contractor would charge you. It is true! There are so many people tackling DIY home improvement remodeling tasks as time moves forward. The cost for labor is atrocious, and often jacked up. There are simple and convenient home improvement stores at your disposal that can assist you with this.

Some of the places you should consider for home improvement remodeling tasks and projects are Lowes, Home Depot, BidClerk.com, and FixMiHouse.webs.com. You can find all of these businesses online with ease. If you are seeking out a contractor in your area to assist you with home improvement or remodeling projects, then you need to make certain you get several bids prior to accepting any jobs. This is always wise because some contractor professionals will charge you a great deal more for their services. It is imperative to compare their rates, and the length of time it will take them to complete a job. Never pay them fully up front, because they may decide not to complete your home improvement remodeling project.

As stated before, many people are tacking home improvement jobs on their own. Now, the key to doing this correctly is learning the right tips beforehand. For instance, if you are going to replace the flooring in your home, then you need to understand this process first. If you have carpet, find out how to remove it and dispose of it. At this point you need to know how to properly install the hardwood, tile or new carpet you are putting down. Although it does not take much to learn how to do it, the process can be challenging.

Black Beauty Standards

The black is beautiful movement has gone a long way towards reminding us that black beauty standards are as worthy of being respected and loved as any other skin color. And here’s a deep Truth (and by deep Truth I mean a truth that holds true for all cultures, for all people through all periods of time, in other words it doesn’t change according to some or other societal whim) – we are all beautiful Sacred Beings regardless of our body size or shape or it’s exterior color. Now those beauty standards are ones I can buy into!

Black beauty standards in rural Africa

I grew up, a White small country girl, in apartheid South Africa – a place where by far the majority of the population is Black. One vacation I came home from boarding school to be greated by Violet who wrapped me in her big black arms, and chortled with delight, “Utyebile kakulu ngoku!” In English she was telling me that I was very fat now. I was devastated – after all, I had gained weight but I desperately wanted to be thin. It would take me years to realize that Violet was complimenting me – her black beauty standards were very different to mine.

Part of the beauty standards in Violet’s rural Xhosa culture of the 1970’s when she passed this comment, is that ‘fat is beautiful.’ To be large in her culture was considered desirable and beautiful. It meant: you were healthy, you didn’t have AIDS. It meant you were fertile, sexy and womanly enough to attract a good husband – one who is wealthy enough to provide well. It meant you were wealthy enough to eat well.

The media and black beauty standards

What I remember most about Violet (and the other Black women who I came into daily contact with) was that they never questioned that black is beautiful – they weren’t immersed in a mainstream Western media that seems to rank skin colors and body sizes as supposedly more valued and worthy the whiter and skinnier you are.

How can any one skin color, or one body size or shape determine a person’s worth? Why would our great Creator create any one race or culture to be more Sacred than another? That’s all just nonsensical beauty standards made up by misguided humans.

Violet was my black beauty standard

I can still clearly see Violet’s ebony skin – it had a glow to it that was almost iridescent. And when she smiled (which was often) she had this row of startling white teeth all without the latest teeth whiteners. They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder – I loved Violet’s blackness. White wouldn’t have suited her. I loved the way she walked, tall and proud. She could balance a bucket of water on her head and walk as gracefully as a dancer.

And she made me laugh – like the one time she came across me sun-tanning and teased me about how I liked black so much that I was trying to get the sun to help me. And when I started perming my hair and she asked me why I wanted curly hair like hers.

Here’s what I think is so sensible about rural Black African women. Firstly, they don’t have scales they hop on and off of and that determine their mood for the day. They don’t swarm to shops bursting at the seams with the latest one-0-size-fits-all fashions. They don’t have mirrors that lie telling they are fat and ugly. They don’t spend hours on magazines and tv that continually bombards them with the message that only a certain shape of thin is beautiful. Their beauty standards are far more realistic.

Beauty standards can determine our stress levels

Instead they live in tune with the rhythms of the seasons and their bodies. Violet didn’t have the ongoing emotional stress of living in a large body which was continually insulted, stigmatized, hated or rejected either by themselves or others. This means her parasympathetic nervous system wasn’t constantly releasing stress chemicals (like noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol) into their bloodstream which would raise their health risks.

And interestingly enough, the Royal College of Physicians official medical report of 1983 found that rural Black South African women might well have a high prevalence of obesity but that it comes without the apparently inevitable poor morbidity and mortality. Makes you think about the value of living in sync with natural rhythms, rather than stressing about being skinny – doesn’t it?

Because they are immersed in their big is beautiful black beauty standards, they feel good living in their bodies. They’re thus continually flooding their biolological system with life-supporting molecules of emotion (like endorphics) that enhance their immune systems, and enhance their health.