Friday, February 17, 2012

Mainstream Media's Disease

In today’s increasingly globalized and technological society, there is a serious lack of diversity within the mainstream media and it remains an elusive goal for civil rights advocates.

The world is not “black” and “white,” yet that is predominantly what you see within the mainstream media. Media outlets have attempted to become more diverse by including talent such as (Indian-American actor) Maulik Pancholy on NBC’s television-series “Whitney,” and (Colombian actress) Sofia Vergara of ABC’s “Modern Family.” Though most portrayals of “minorities” are often stereotypical—if not demeaning.

Monopoly mobsters,” or those who control the demographics of mainstream media, show us a world where Richard Dryer (an English academic, specializing in cinema) describes, “white people create the dominant images of the world, and don’t quite see that they thus construct the world in their image.”

Many traditionally marginalized groups are never properly portrayed within the mainstream media, if at all, thus creating a lack of knowledge and understanding of various races and cultures.

One such instance is the Afro-Latinos—Latin Americans with African ancestry. These individuals grew up speaking Spanish as a first language and English as a second language within their household, but aren’t portrayed within the mainstream media.

Many ethnicities, such as Latinos, Africans, Middle-Easterners and South Asians, have a range of characteristics from white skin tones to darker skin tones. However, the mainstream media skews our reality of the diversity within many nations by portraying “stereotypes” alone. Most Latin Americans in the mainstream media are portrayed as pretty, skinny, fair-skinned, or “Mexican.” (Cuban-American actress) Joanna Garcia is a prime example of this.

Afro-Latinos don’t feel they fit-in with the "African-American" or "Latino" segments. Culturally, Afro-Latinos differ from African-Americans; their heritage is both African and Latin American. Both, African-Americans and Afro-Latinos, came from Africa as slaves, but the situations differ based on who colonized what country. In America, we’re taught about the African-American history, however only 5% of African slaves were brought to North America (U.S.A. and Canada), while 95% of African slaves were colonized by Spaniards and taken to Latin America; hence “Afro-Latinos.”

We learned in History class about the "mestizos," those of mixed ancestry (African cultures with Spanish, Portuguese, French and indigenous cultures); Afro-Latinos are the descendants of mestizos. These mixed ancestries formed new languages, religions, music, dance, arts and social classes.

You can learn more about Afro-Latinos, or Afro-Latin Americans, through AfroLatinos.TV—a documentary series created by executive producer, Renzo Devia. Be sure to also check out, a daily-news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today’s racial justice issues.

Further reading: Miami Herald, Florida Courier, and WBUR (Boston's NPR news station).


I believe this topic is apt for Black History Month, or just to gain knowledge in general.

I would like to personally thank Mila Arzu (owner of Milad Bridal)--a fellow American and Afro-Latino--for inspiring me to educate myself on this topic that I was previously [not completely] aware of.

In my opinion, it doesn't matter where you're from or the color of your skin, what matters is the content of your character! I believe the media and society like to divide us (as a humanity) into various categories, but we as people should welcome and appreciate diversity! I think (British singer/model) VV Brown, said it best with her song titled "Everybody."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feminine Feel in TOCCA's Lingerie Collection

Valentine's Day shouldn’t be the only day of the year when you take the time to wear “special” underpinnings.

A true lady is stylish from head to toe, and this even goes for her lingerie. As Elle MacPherson once quoted, "If you're wearing lingerie that makes you feel glamorous, you're halfway thereto turning heads."

We all want comfort and versatility, but adding the perfect amount of flirtiness comes easily with TOCCA’s collection of delightful delicates--yes, the same TOCCA that brings you lovely fragrances and beauty products.

Go soft and sensual with this silk and cotton mesh bra and matching panties--available in both polka dot and blush. TOCCA-designer Emma Fletcher’s creations are perfect for layering under a cozy sweater or showing off beneath a perfectly chic silk blouse.

Price: Point Bra ($95) and matching Point Panty ($75).

Both available at the TOCCA Boutique: 605 Hudson Street, in New York's West Village (212-255-3801), and soon to be available on their online store. You can also search for TOCCA products through the website's store locator.

Remember, Valentine's Day is a day of "love," a day to love yourself and those around you, so treat yourself with something simple, delicate and blissful. Happy hearts!

*Images courtesy of Corey Contrino of LEXAMEDIA PR!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rent The Runway's Pop-Up Shop

If you're in the Los Angeles area, Rent The Runway (RTR) invites you to their first ever pop-up shop at Andaz West Hollywood this weekend, from Saturday, February 11, 2012 to Monday, February 13, 2012.

You get to try on dresses and accessories from your favorite designers in order to walk out with the perfect look for Valentine's Day or Girls' Night Out. Plus, receive a complimentary Lancôme makeup touch-up with your dress rental.

Stop by, at your leisure: Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 12-7pm; Sunday, February 12, 2012 from 12-7pm, and Monday, February 13, 2012 from 2-8pm. Purchase tickets ($5) for the event at the following link: and tweet the hashtag #RTRPopUp, once you're there!

For those of you who are unaware of Rent The Runway (RTR), the fashion/shopping site offers access to your dream wardrobe for all of life's special occasions, by bringing fashionistas glamorous dresses and luxurious accessories. You can browse from over 100 of the hottest designer brands for your next wedding, black-tie benefit, birthday, or night out, at a fraction of the cost.

Founded by co-founders Jennifer Hyman (Jenn) and Jennifer Fleiss (Jenny), who met as section-mates at Harvard Business School, the idea of RTR is to buy or rent apparel and/or accessories by reserving the merchandise online (select a rental start date 1-2 days before an event). Returns to RTR are free, and if the dress doesn't fit then you don't have to pay (they issue a full-merchandise credit, less the cost of shipping). Also, whatever merchandise you love (heart), you can save online to your RTR account for future reference. Plus, end of season they usually have a major blowout sale where you can buy designer dresses and accessories for a definite steal (in comparison to the original price of the merchandise)!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Condé Nast's "Domino" Revival

Condé Nast publications will publish a Domino Magazine special edition entitled "Quick Fixes," which will be available on national newsstands from April 17 through July 16, 2012, for $10.99. A second special edition is scheduled for the fall, according to Holly Becker (editor and interior-design consultant of decor8) and Advertising Age.

Like most newsstand specials, "Domino Quick Fixes" will carry fewer ad pages than a regular monthly magazine would. Also, like many newsstand specials, "Domino Quick Fixes" will comprise of a mixture of new and previously-published content. The Condé Nast Media Group will soon pitch advertisers on the issue and according to Curbed, Domino may make a comeback!

Domino Magazine, which was published from 2005-2009, bid adieu in January of 2009 as Condé Nast closed the magazine and its website due to lack of advertising revenues that couldn't keep up with the magazine's expenses. With the magazine and website gone, fans of the magazine flocked together to remember images of Domino's content, in hopes of collecting as many as possible in one place. Others, like myself, have kept a few of the back issues of Domino that they owned in remembrance of the lovely interior-decor magazine.

Domino's official tag line was "the guide to living with style," and indeed Domino always delivered just that!

Condé Nast launched the magazine in 2005. In its first year, Domino was honored with every media award for the best new magazine, including The Hot List Startup of the Year by AdWeek, Top Launch of the Year by Media Industry Newsletter and The A-List 10 under 50 by Advertising Age. In its third year, the magazine grew to a rate base of 800,000. It received two National Magazine Award nominations from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME).

In October 2008, Domino released its first book, "Domino: The Book of Decorating," published by Simon & Schuster. It was the first book created by the Domino staff and was a style manual that brought together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and the best tips from the industry's insiders. If you've ever looked at the book--you can see that going from room to room, the editors illustrate how great interiors come together, tapping ideas from Domino, and revealing insights from their own experiences. There was a special feature (within the book) called “The Domino Effect,” where editors and contributors revealed the stories behind how their own rooms came into being. With an eye to making design accessible and exciting, the book aimed to demystify the decorating process. If you haven't already bought the book, it can be found at Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, and, among other places.

Follow updates on Domino's Facebook and Twitter page to keep yourself abreast with current news.

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