Skin Bleaching: Beauty Guru Takes On The Topic

Video of YouTube Influencer Jackie Aina sharing her thoughts on Skin Bleaching and the latest product marketed to darker skinned consumers. 
(Courtesy of YouTube and Jackie Aina’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/lilpumpkinpie05

I would like to start this post off by saying that I was more than elated that Ms. Jackie Aina, one of Youtube’s biggest and brightest makeup and beauty influencers decided to create a video dialogue concerning a topic that has reached far beyond America.  As a fellow millennial, I was  fangirling throughout this entire video.” The topic of Skin Bleaching alone is a very touchy and soar topic for many people because of the ramifications and implications that usually follow beyond someone that chooses to bleach their skin.

Now, of course, we are aware that skin bleaching has been marketed to everyday consumers around the world alike. And you even have to note that there are some people that do not abuse the bleaching products and use them for spotted discoloration temporarily. However, without proper education on the products and also have a system that consistently tells young girls and young men that if they are darker than fair they are not deemed beautiful, it is easy to fall prey to abusing bleaching products for the sake of “feeling better” about your appearance. What’s worse is that thousands of companies and entrepunuers around the globe profit off darker complected people without ever having any intention of stating that use of their products can cause serious health side effects and or death.

Personally, I have been following Ms. AIna’s Youtube Channel for almost two years and I am proud to be a fan of her work and her overall platform. She’s made every effort to make women around the world accept their beauty and realize that they are beautiful both inside and out by showcasing unique and inspiring videos each week. This video is just a small sample of her spirit and her wits about her platform for women around the world. At the time of this article, her latest video was under 500,000 views.

I hope that many of the viewers that tune in each week to view her makeup tips and playful banter give this video a chance. Everyone is entitled their own opinion regarding the matter, but like with everything else in life, everyone deserves the right to stand up for those that may not have a voice or may have had their opinions silenced  in the past.  I look forward to more conversation on this matter as it’s a problem that has been pushed under the radar for far too long in the melaninated communities. 


Night School: The Hilariously Funny Lesson About Life

Night School Article Cover

This past weekend, the movie Night School hit theaters nationwide and it was without question going to be a successful beginning of the Fall movie season. With an opening weekend of about $28 million, Night School shot up past the other movie contenders to take the number 1 spot in American film.

The biggest thing about the movie, besides the top-grossing comedians in entertainment right now, was the lesson that was craftily woven between the movie’s overarching plot. If you haven’t seen Night School then I would suggest stopping right here. But if you have seen the comedy, then you realize that the biggest lesson that movie sold was the lesson of taking advantage of second opportunities.

Many times in life, opportunities and chances come around once. If you’re wise, then you will take notice of the opportunity and it’s relevance and do the best you can humanly do. But sadly, there are times in life when a person’s youth, inexperience and poor judgment outweigh those experiences and you find yourself wishing and hoping for a second chance in hindsight.

With the help of a caring and highly passionate teacher played by Tiffany Haddish, a group of unlikely friends, and the unlikely motivation from an old high school rival, Teddy, portrayed by Kevin Hart, finds himself on the emotional and self-discovery journey of a lifetime. Over the course of the journey, Teddy finds himself facing life’s uncomfortable truths and in the end, he celebrates with success.

In all, despite the movie’s hilarious moments and laughable scenes, I appreciate Night School for its lesson and self-reflective themes. Laughing at comedy is one thing but learning lessons while laughing is a perfect nod to classic cinema and to learning to live and thrive among life’s twists and turns. I even think it would be apropos to state that class is officially dismissed.

Netflix’s Show Dear White People Vol 2: Welcome Back

Dear White People VOL. 2

From the subject dialogue of cyberbullying to dealing with differences from political lines and relationships goals, Dear White People had moments this season that will make the viewing audience self-reflective towards either their own actions or to the actions of those around them.

In regard to the overall flow of the storyline this season, I was pleasantly surprised to see the versatility of Logan Browning’s character Samantha’s personality and the development of Lionel who is portrayed by DeRon Horton. I even enjoyed the storyline that incorporated the historical reference between the campus’ past students and the racial tensions they faced while in the end showcasing an actor in my opinion that represents classic college days Giancarlo Esposito also known as Julian from School Daze, a 1988 Spike Lee film. But I felt the other characters storylines were mildly advanced. I guess in order to remain light-hearted while still showcasing serious and often triggering subject matter, the show’s creator decided to take the break out experiences of the previous season to carefully highlight and craft his character development and advancement around this season. Perhaps we will see the other characters that were mildly advanced this season be showcased in Season 3.

As mentioned Dear White People currently airs on Netflix where you can catch up on Season 1 and 2 before the third season begins. On June 21st, actor Giancarlo Esposito, who was aforementioned above mysteriously announced that Dear White People had been renewed for Season 3. So, I advise you to catch up on Season 1 and 2 and be prepared for what new adventures the show will take us on in Season 3. Check the video and the article in regards to the Season 3 teaser here.

Featured Article Source: Variety.com

Written By: Danielle Turchiano

Video Courtesy of youtube.com

Grown-ish: To Be Young, Wild and Free

Grownish Season 1
Oh, to be young, wild and free is the theme that I gathered from the FreeForm hit show Grown-ish this season. Featuring a cast of young actors from the ABC hit show and spinoff originator Blackish, Grown-ish set out to tackle what current college students face in the path of pursuing higher education, better opportunities and just plain old growing pains in early adulthood.
After surprising fans of the show and critics with the real to life issues and dialogue that the show contained, Grown-ish was quickly renewed for another season with the start date currently listed as TBA. As far as the premise of the show goes, the lead character, Zoey, who is portrayed by Yara Shahidi, faces typical transitions from being the most popular girl in school to being one in a thousand new college freshman on the campus with their own views on life, politics, and love.
She quickly surrounds herself with a group of quirky other college students that are all currently trying to find their way as well. From the hometown, favorite track stars to the strong political activist, Zoey and the other cast of characters learn from each other and their experiences over the course of the Fall and Spring semester or in television terms, thirteen comedically and satirically driven episodes.
Some of the best-featured storylines that I enjoyed watching from Grow-ish this season were the plotlines involving political and cultural differences and the relationship/friendship/situationship that occurred between Zoey, Luca (fashion model and photographer, Luka Sabbat) and Aaron (actor Trevor Jackson). The season finale ended on a bit of cliff note so I’m happy that we are definitely getting a season two. That is probably one of my biggest pet peeves when following a television serial and the show gets canceled and never renewed or developed in another platform.
I certainly hope that Grown-ish continues to take on the issues of politics in its second season considering the millennial generation and the Generation Z are currently under attack for having polarizing views on both sides of the political lines that are vastly more diverse than the generations before. I also hope that Grown-ish will continue to march the beat of its show’s drum by staying original and creatively edgy.

Ocean’s 8 Review (Quick Highlight)

OCEAN'S8
If Beyonce’s song Run The World were personified in a feature-length film, Oceans 8 would be the perfect fit. Featuring a host of celebrities and entertainers well known and revered in the fashion world and high-profile acting from Sandra Bullock to international pop star Rihanna, Oceans 8 delivered the perfect all-girls ensemble heist film for summer 2018.
Based on the popular franchise series that featured the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Oceans 8 picks up with Debbie Ocean seeking revenge for being put behind bars for a little over five years. With a risky masterplan of robbing the most extravagant fashion event of the year, The Met Ball, Bullock devises an almost foolproof team of women that can masterfully and successfully accomplish the mission. Throughout the film, Debbie’s motivation for committing the heist changes between carrying on her brother’s legacy and gaining revenge on the person that got her sent away.
Since the film’s release, the movie has amassed more than $100 million at the box office both domestically and internationally. Overall, the movie is a wonderful summer film to go watch and enjoy a movie date. Due to the nature of the film’s subject matter and some of the language featured in the film, I would not recommend taking the family to see this film.

A Reflection on “This is America” Video by Childish Gambino

This is America Video Reflection Graphic(1)

Approximately two weeks ago, the artist known as Childish Gambino released a music video that had the world talking. From memes to in-depth analysis, his video and song entitled This Is America captured the attention of everyone willing to partake in this conceptualize idea and prism that we call America. Now, it’s easy to say that This is America is not a video that can just be consumed entirely in one viewing. If you set aside the graphic nature of the video, the very essence of what Childish Gambino also known as Donald Glover is attempting to do is widely apparent.

This is America attracts you, with its melancholy picture and it’s infectious melodies and beats. The video even forces you to separate the personas that encapsulate one man and the people around him. The individual persona that represents the artist Childish Gambino finds and correlates with the persona that represents Mr. Glover himself. And throughout the video, each side is juxtaposed by varying experiences and emotions. As the video opens and you find yourself intrigued by what you think is going to be a typical music video, you are given a jolting shock. But psychologically, this jolting shock does not deter you from turning your eyes and ears away. Mr. Glover’s This is America has succeeded its first goal in grabbing the viewers attention by showing blatant violence in the careless death of a black man but also by putting no emphasis on his life or by now if you haven’t subconsciously noticed, your desensitized feelings.

The second goal is immediately accomplished by distracting the viewers with both Mr. Glover’s appearance and the drum beat and lackadaisical rap energy, that is found in most popular urban radio hits today.

While the video carries forth, the terror and mayhem in the background gets lost behind the conscious reasoning and is upstaged be Mr. Glover dancing around almost minstrel style in the foreground. Void a shirt and simply donning plants that strongly resemble the attire of enslaved people, Mr. Glover then joins a group of kids by emulating the current dance crazes and drawing more attention to his materialistic and self-serving lyrics.

But it is the moment that we also see the artist Childish Gambino resurface in his artistic genius. During the scenes between him dancing and jigging to the syncopated beat, we as an audience are distracted by the realities of his parading around. Society has become blinded by both the tragedies and the violence of the world because we are busy seeking materialistic devices.

As the video pushes towards a close, Mr. Glover reminds us of a sobering reality that continues to haunt our society. That reality is the blatant disregard for the rights of human life specifically towards people of color. With the painful reminder of the 9 innocent souls that were snatched away from this world to the grips of hate to the praise of gun usage and the sheer terror welled up within him in the end as he runs for his life, This Is America ends as an unfinished conversation would. The discussion about gun control, mental illness, and social justice are just a few of the topics that need to be discussed more openly and inclusively. But it’s going to take more artists and people of higher influence to keep providing us with the raw, ugly reminders that we systematically have become desensitized to.

In closing my reflection and thoughts on this video, I would like to discuss some of the most potent lyrics from This is America.

“We just wanna party, Party just for you, We just want the money, Money just for you.”- I picked this as a powerful line because it showcases and insinuates the fact that most people of color, specifically Blacks and African Americans are always supposed to be jovial and portrayed as people that always looking to please others for the personal satisfaction and mocking of the majority.

“This is America (Skrrt, Skrrt, Woo) Don’t catch you slippin up (ayy), Look at how I’m livin now, Police be trippin now, Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy) Guns in my area (word, my area) I got the strap (ayy, ayy) I gotta carry ’em.”- I picked these bars because it showcases the present state of the society when it comes to talks about Police and Community relations and the world of concealing and carry issues in this country. So far the state of these issues has been left out of many conversations because of reasons that are wildly perceived as unfair or unsupportive of the present laws and actions in place for gun owners. The adlibs also serve as a disguise towards the lyrics as it centers on the representation of party and pop music standards found in songs today.

“You just a black man in this world, You just a barcode, ayy.”- And finally, I picked this line because this line defines the attitude that many involved in consumerism perceive about the African American community. It is statistically known that African Americans spend over a billion dollars in retail goods each year and the amount continues to grow each year exponentially despite the community being among the poorest in resources of retail products in urban and rural communities. This line also represents the fragility of the African American male image as for as ego, intelligence and being in American society and by stereotypical standards.

Mr. Glover’s also known as Childish Gambino This is America has started the discussion for many more avenues of exploration of this subject and many more issues affecting the minority communities in America. I highly recommend that you view the video if you haven’t already and decide, learn and research the historical references of the video and also process your own personal reflections and thoughts about how the footage either represents you or represents your perception of the world around you.

What I Hear When You Say | PBS

What I Hear When You Say

Source: http://www.pbs.org/whatihear/home/?elqTrackId=cba6f463040b4a6691bc0db3e2ba1978&elq=7042f96fed6c441d8284bfdcbe4a0b9c&elqaid=3146&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=1630

The link added above is from a new documentary-type series that features issues that currently affect our society in terms of diversity and the aspects of our culture that makes us uniquely diverse. The PBS series is helmed by veteran News Anchor/Analyst/Documentary filmmaker Soledad O’Brien. Mrs. O’Brien is no stranger to producing content that focuses on issues of race and popular culture.

Some of the content she has produced and directed in the 2008 series “Black in America” 2009 CNN series “Latino in America” and the 2012 Documentary “The Muslims are Coming.” Within in the series the following topics are discussed: Feminism, What Are You?, Model Minority, Cultural Appropriation, White Pride, Gentrification, When Did You Become Gay?, Welfare, Race Card, and Code Words. Check them out at the link above and check back here as I plan to give my review and thoughts on the series specials!

Credit: PBS.org

She’s Gotta Have It: The Revival of a Cinema Classic

She's Gotta Have It (Website Graphic)

She’s Gotta Have It (2017) is the perfect example of renewing a classic tale and bringing it into this decade as new. From the portrayals of the characters to the musical stylings selected to move the storyline of each show along, Spike Lee and Netflix have captured a cinema and television gold.

Taking place in the original location set in the 1986 film of Brooklyn, New York, Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) and her friends and associates, find themselves trying to figure out this thing called life in a host of relatable, traumatizing and triumphant experiences. The show still reflects the intentions of the original film of showcasing a young woman that has her own views on sexuality and her art. But it has been rejuvenated with the current issues of art, a broken economy, millennial generation issues and pressures and the battle of having self-esteem in a room and world of models and full-figured beauties.

I recently binge-watched the entire first season in all its ten-episode glory, and I must say that I was presently surprised with the modern day spin and attention that was given to current political issues that affect the world over. With issues of gentrification taking away the culture of historically black and brown neighgborhoods, the present shift in politics in America and the issues within the Black community, She’s Gotta Have It encompasses all of the possible emotions that can be felt for a young, minority in America in 2017/2018.

I definitely recommend checking out the series if you haven’t. It’s currently showing on Netflix and it was recently announced at the top of the year, that She’s Gotta Have It has been renewed for a second season. I won’t spoil any of the episodes for you but I recommend catching up very soon because one thing for sure, this show series is an experience to watch. It will be interesting to see what new challenges and self-growth we get the opportunity to witness in the upcoming season, as we watch Nola Darling and her friends explore the world of She’s Gotta Have It while trying to capture all the world offers.

GIANTS Equals Millennial Trials and Triumphs Personified

GIANTS (Webpage Graphic)

There have been many articles, research papers and media reports done on various aspects of the millennial generation. Some of them have been praising of our diverseness in both mindset and ethnicity while others have been critical of perceived characteristics that most feel are befitting of an entire generation that does not paint a positive picture or outcome of our lives.

So many media platforms have focused on the millennial generation that it wasn’t until this year, that the millennial age was group was finally defined as persons born between 1980-1996. But despite the love/hate relationship that many feel about the millennials in and out of their lives, there’s no denying the millennial influence. Millennials have bared witness to some of the world’s most tragic moments to the most triumphant. And for those labeled in society as minorities,  GIANTS exceptionally portrays that influence, undying passion and the all too accurate story of the millennial existence in today’s world.

There are several reasons why I absolutely adore this program aside from its beautifully written and portrayed storylines. GIANTS is one of the newer programs that directly reach the millennial audience. Since millennials around the nation have decided that they no longer wanted to be slaves to the unrelenting cable television bills of the world, GIANTS is the series for you if you are apart of the cord cutting millennial trend. So in essence, you feel like you are the hippest person at the water cooler by knowing about a YouTube-based series that’s becoming more recognized by the day.

GIANTS also has expanded its time format to that of a regular television series. After the premiere season in 2017, GIANTS, backed by the support of Issa Rae, Jussie Smollett (Empire) and the audience funding option for more show content like GIANTS, it has essentially become a 30-minute special request to its loyal viewers. Often in traditional television series, the audience doesn’t have that much visual influence on the show. But for GIANTS you see and experience it immediately.

Each week on Wednesdays, the audience is engaged in various topics affecting not just millennials but everyone, such as dealing with job loss to sexuality. The three main characters in the series take us through their journey from living in a tiny apartment together to their personal triumphs and failures. Ade, Journee, and Malachi face many obstacles that are often substantial enough to take them under for good. But they have managed to persevere.

Each week and seasons, we not only see the characters evolve but we also see the characters struggle with hard spiritual decisions. Malachi keeps trying to run from the true calling on his life, Journee consistently tries to escape the mental trappings of having an emotional disorder and how it’s currently affecting her life and Ade doesn’t want to fully embrace his feelings of being gay and openly free among his friends and loved ones.

The GIANTS series is truly gripping and I don’t want to give too much away. So instead, check them out on YouTube under the Issa Rae Presents: GIANTS videos. After all, what other reasons do you need to watch it? The show is extremely good and is being highly regarded as such due to the accolades the cast and crew have received as well as the fact that the cast just recently celebrated 2 million views on YouTube. So go ahead and follow the video posted below. I was nice enough to take out the search for it for you!