Category Archives: Style & Fashion

Lupita Nyong’o & the Shade of Beauty

I watched the Oscars last night (I know, what?) and was blown away by the poise and energy of the best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong’o and her role in Twelve Years a Slave. She gave a moving acceptance speech with the line, “No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”

She’s got quite a story, from nabbing an Oscar on her first film out (check IMDB, Twelve Years a Slave is her movie debut) to the incredible support from her brother Peter (he was her date for the Oscars, landing himself and his enviable hair in Ellen’s famous selfie). She even rocked the Oscar red carpet with that Cinderella dress.

But this wonderful speech she gave at the Black Woman in Hollywood Luncheon hosted by Essence is probably even better. The reality of how skin tone effects young women is something most of us never think about. Lupita’s dark skin plagued her own self worth and perception of beauty, but that perception was something she could rise above and embrace her true beauty:

“You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What actually sustains us, what is fundamentally beautiful, is compassion, for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master. But it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit, even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so, I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey, that you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty.”

I Salute You, Mustache Men

Today is the last day of November, which means it’s the end of the Movember charity drive, an event where men agreed to go clean-shaven and then grow mustaches for the month of November in order to raise money for men’s health. Movember specifically fights prostate and testicular cancer and donations go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Since its inception in 2003, Movember has raised more than $47 million for men’s health. That’s a lot of money for mustaches.

I first heard about this event when I saw my old friend Kyle and my brother Rick participating this year. I really wanted to join them, but my wife said I wouldn’t get kissed for a month if I grew a mustache. That’s a long time to go without getting kissed by your wife, so instead of participating I’ll have to make do with supporting them. Cancer is one of those things that inevitably impacts everyone. My grandpa is a prostate cancer survivor—and it’s through efforts like these that hopefully there can be more survivors.

Despite my wife’s distaste for the mustache fashion statement, I have to say that I love these kinds of charity events. As a culture I think we place entirely too much importance on personal appearance, and anything we can do to thumb our nose at the status quo while supporting a charity is just awesome. (This coming from the guy whose only haircut in the past two years has been shaving his head for a cause.) Maybe next year I’ll forsake getting kissed for a good cause (but don’t bet on it).

So even though I couldn’t join my mustachioed brethren, I salute your Movember efforts and the mighty hair spreading across your upper lip. Every mustache makes a difference. You can support Kyle or Rick by making a donation on their respective pages.

And what’s a post about mustaches without an homage to them in song from none other than the Tick? We could all use a little mustache feelin’:

If This Were a Craft Blog

Patched JeansA few weeks ago I realized that every single pair of jeans I own had ripped knees. And I’m not talking about the cool, threadbare spot at the knee that’s soft, comfortable and somehow stylish. I’m talking about gashes that stretch across the knee and rip even farther every time you bend down to tie your shoe.

Since I’m a cheapskate, buying new jeans wasn’t an option (yet). I decided it was time to patch my jeans.

So I did. I went through my wife’s pile of scraps and found a fun pattern. A little flowery, but still cool and manly. I slapped it on my jeans, did my best Frankenstein stitching, and voila! My jeans are ready to go another six months.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. My jeans are good to go and contrary to popular belief my manliness is still mostly intact.

Shaving My Head

I'm Bald!A few months ago I sent out letters challenging people that if we could raise $2,000 by June 15 I’d shave my head. As of today we’ve raised $3,935. So I’m bald.

A total of 38 families donated to the effort (some ear-marked their funds for the shaving of my facial hair). So on the eve of my 29th birthday I’m now balder than my dad.

A big thanks to everyone who supported us, including the many who donated outside the baldness campaign and those who have supported us in the many non-financial ways, which is just as important (if not more so).

You can also check out photos of the entire process. Or just watch the video.

Technicolor Newspapers and a 1934 ‘Monkini’ Swimsuit

2007_08_18swimwear.jpgThis is one of my favorite discoveries from my odd little stash of 1930s newspapers. There are several pages of poorly colored photos, like a Technicolor version of the newspaper. I scanned two full pages from a 1934 issue, one covering Hollywood and one seeming to cover news and social updates. It’s just bizarre.

I think my favorite has to be this bathing beauty to the right:

Billie Seward, Columbia PIctures’ latest discovery, displays the newest thing in California bathing suits.

Apparently the newest thing was stolen from Buck Rogers. At least we now know where the term waterwings came from. Though ironically, the ‘monokini’ is among the hottest trends in swim wear this year (no word on the wings–but I predict big things for ’08).

It’s also interesting to note that Seward didn’t last long with Columbia. They dumped her in 1935. I blame the swimsuit.

Church Marketing Sucks T-shirts!

Church Marketing Sucks T-shirts: That's How We've Always Done It!Ever since I started working on Church Marketing Sucks I thought it would be so cool to have CMS T-shirts.

Well, that day has arrived.

We’re selling Church Marketing Sucks T-shirts. There are five unique designs (I love the dinosaur), but we’re only taking orders until December 4 (so act quickly, after that it’s too bad for you). All the profits go to support the Center for Church Communication and the work we do on sites like CMS, so even if you scoff at the $18 price tag, know that it’s helping a good cause–helping churches not suck.

Now you know what to get your pastor for Christmas.

My Shoes are Keen!

Keen hybrid shoe sandalsOn a fun note, my shoes are Keen! I blew a big chunk of my birthday money on these shoe-sandal hybrid things, the green Newport H2. They’re open and airy like sandals, but they have the traction and closed toe of a shoe. Very handy for active summer wear since you don’t need socks and your feet still get the nice cool breezes.

I’d been looking for some comfier sandals (my old pair were a from a going out of business sale in college and hurt my feet if I wore them for any extended period) and I actually tried two different pairs of Chacos. Tried as in bought them, took them home and wore them for a day or two before realizing how much I disliked them. Thanks to REI’s generous return policy, I was able to keep trying until I found a pair I liked. Because when you’re spending real money on footwear, not just going out of business money, they need to feel good.

The Keens look kind of goofy, but the more I wear them the more I like them. I don’t think I’ve ever been much of a sandal guy (that pair I bought in college was probably the only pair I’ve ever worn regularly–I don’t even remember owning sandals in high school), which is probably why the Chacos didn’t seem right. But my feet seem to like this hybrid deal.

Ah, every now and then you need a good everyday blog entry.