I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”
My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purplewere to me.
I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames 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 the 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 to that beauty.There may be small errors in this transcript.
Reblogged from concreteandsun
Only lovers left alive (2013)
“He said: I want to make a film about love. About a man and a woman who love each other so deeply and accept each other for who they are, and they are poetic and creative and delicate and endangered, and he’s very dark and she’s more optimistic, they’re yin and yang, they’re sun and moon – by the way, they are vampires.”
(Tom Hiddleston a.k.a. Adam, from here)
The movie addresses all the thoughts about vampires I’ve ever had. How they go on. How they manage to keep themselves from suicide of endless boredom. How they keep living, how they see the changing world, how they adapt to the present, how they can predict the future. How they keep the richness of ages and the unbelievable knowledge and experience inside themselves. How they travel through night-clad cities filled with decay and nostalgia and potential.
Jarmusch said in one of the interviews that he dislikes how vampires are often made into monsters from horror movies while they are in fact human. They are hurt, transformed humans. He also calls the movie a character study; this is why many people say the movie is boring; it’s rich in so many other ways though.
New generation of climbers.
Reblogged from solsticeretouch
Around the World
17 Countries. 343 Days. 6237 Photographs. One incredible journey.
After I quit my job last year, I packed a bag, grabbed my camera and bought a one way ticket to London. 17 countries later, I put together this time lapse video of the many amazing places I came across.
To follow the journey and learn more about each scene visit kienlam.net/around-the-world and kienlam.net
This is a journey that would redefine your entire life.
“I was in the winter of my life…and the men I met along the road were my homely summer. At night I fell asleep with visions of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three years down the line of being on an endless road toward and my memories of them were the only things that sustained me…and my only real happy times. I was a singer…not a very popular one; I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet. But a plan and a series of unfortunate events saw those dreams dash and divide like a million stars in the night sky, that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken. But I didn’t really mind it because I knew that, that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it, to know what true freedom is. And when the people I used to know found out what I’d been doing, how I’d been living…they asked me why, but there’s no use in talking to people who have a home. They have no idea what it’s like to seek safety in other people…for a home to be wherever you lie your head. I was always an unusual girl. My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality. Just a hint of indecisiveness that was just as wide and wavering as the ocean. And if I said I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way, I’d be lying…because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one, who belonged to everyone. Who had nothing, who wanted everything. With a fire for every experience, and an obsession for freedom, that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about it. And pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me.
Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people. And finally I did, on the open road. We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore. Except to make our lives into a work of art. Live fast…die young…be wild and have fun. I believe in the country America used to be. I’ll believe in the person I want to become. I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever. I believe in the kindness in strangers. And when I’m at war with myself, I ride. I just ride. Who are you? Are in touch with all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself, where you can experience them? I have. I am fucking crazy. But I am free.”
For a free mp3 download of this message please visit:
For a transcription of the audio, please visit:
Quick links to video collaborators’ websites:
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For more information on how to contact Brad Oliphant and to view his extensive portfolio of his work:
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* you may download a free mp3 from Dan’s website (available from January 3rd)
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Peace and Love to all.
Last fall, from October 26-30, 2011, more than 600 climbers gathered with our team for Petzl RocTrip China. All participants discovered and enjoyed more than 250 brand new pitches on unbelievable limestone especially prepared for the event.
Among the highlights of the film, watch Dani Andrada’s first ascent of the extremely difficult 7-pitch Corazon de Ensueno (8c/5.14b), a route he put up in 2010 over the course of two trips to the area to prepare for the RocTrip. For this outstanding feat, Dani was awarded Climbing Magazine’s prestigious Golden Piton.
Other sequences include Steph Bodet and Arnaud Petit sending their project, Lost in Translation (8a+/5.13c), Gabriele Moroni’s first ascent of Coup de Bambou (9a/5.14d), as well as other images of spectacular climbs up and down the valley.
More infos, pictures, guidebook and wallpapers to download onhttp://www.petzl.com
The MIDWAY media project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.
Cuddy revealed that we can actually change feelings we have about our own status through the physical positions we take with our bodies. Her research participants had higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol after only two minutes in a “power pose”. Cuddy asked if such findings can have wider implications for empowerment training.