Living with Less

The red cover of the captioned book belies the standard white barren aesthetic of mainstream minimalism.

Christine Platt received 4.8 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon for this Avant Garde rendering of Living with Less.

The book is only 207 pages.

Everyone should read it when you want to attain a minimalist lifestyle. In the face of temptation to bow into consumer culture and spend spend spend.

I’m impressed with Platt who is an Advocate and Storyteller for her peers in the African diaspora.

Proud of my Italian heritage I get empowered by Platt’s adoration of her culture. To advocate for what I called in here and use as a blog Category Conscious Chic.

At the same time I read the Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less I watched a Suze Orman retirement planning TV show on Channel 13.

Orman told her audience to cut down spending today to be able to live on less money after you retire.

This advice to live on less right now resonated with me.

As hard as it is to do this I’m going to nix buying a fab cashmere sweater that’s on sale.

Christine Platt copped to owning 53 pairs of jeans.

Reading that she had 53 pairs of jeans put my own clothes collection in perspective.

I have 6 pairs of jeans. Two of them I wear in the summer. The others I wear year-round.

What I do have in bulk are warm sweaters. New York City is cold for 8 months of the year. One sweater I’m donating to charity. Another I’ll pitch in the garbage because it has a permanent stain.

Unlike the white influencer minimalists who champion a barren aesthetic of (costly!) furniture in neutral colors Platt endorses living with less in terms of having an Authentic and Intentional life ethic.

Her wardrobe palette is colorful and reflects her African roots.

Go on the Afrominimalist website for more details.

Hair Artistry

This is a photo of Bozo the Clown.

When I was 7 years old my mother and friend took us kids to see Bozo in person.

I was terrified of Bozo and wouldn’t sit in the audience. I stayed behind the curtain backstage in tears.

The reality is that when I or other women look in the mirror we can magnify what we think of our appearance into a distorted image.

Seeing this Bozo the Clown hairstyle convinces me that my hair is perfectly fine the way it is. It should cure all of us from looking in the mirror and hating our hair.

Nobody has to like our hair. Only do you like me worry what other people think of your hair?

I want to tell everyone reading my blog to love your hair even if no one else does.

When your hair is gorgeous and it’s a work of art and your crowning masterpiece no one’s fingers should go near it.

You don’t ogle a Van Gogh from 5 inches away in a museum. The same goes for hair.

A couple of years ago in here I wrote about my hair. I was born with curly hair. My natural hair is curly.

In humid or rainy weather it frizzes up and curls in unruly directions. The hair on my head doesn’t curl the same way twice in the summer.

It’s like I get 50 “hairstyles” for the cost of one haircut.

Simply by scrunching up my hair when I’m drying it (without using any product) presto I have curly hair.

Finally October is here and it’s (hopefully) goodbye to the humidity.

You can predict the weather by watching my hair. Frizzy and curly and it’s rainy. Straight and sleek and it’s sunny.

Dreadlocks–a derogatory term–are called locs today. I think locs are hair artistry at its finest.

Natural Black hair is beautiful.

A person whose hair can’t be touched has a power no one else does.

An OKCupid question asks: Would you like your hair pulled during sex?

Cupid, my hair’s too short to pull. If like me you answer No that’s a liability.

This is another “algorithm” that is biased. Like typing “images of beauty” in a search bar.

I prefer to have short hair. I don’t like the feeling of long hair against the nape of my neck. Odd yet true.

Today I go to a trendy salon where the haircut costs $65. I spring for the cost because I’m afraid of getting a bad haircut again like at the old salon.

At the end of the day loving your hair gives you power.

If you’re riding the New York City subway and your hair looks like Bozo the Clown’s no one will mess with you.

Something to think about when you’re having a bad hair day.

Laughter is the Best Cosmetic

In the October Allure magazine Ariana Grande is quoted on the cover:

“You can never have enough music or makeup.”

The superstar vocalist is bringing out her own beauty line.

In truth music and makeup have been healing modes of expression for me.

First in the 1980s when I was a disc jockey on FM radio.

Throughout my life listening to music even today.

Fugees are on the Post Modern Music Box channel with “No Woman No Cry” as I type this blog entry.

I recommend going on Audacy to listen to 100s of music stations.

My favorites are the Punk Party channel and the Post Modern Music Box channel. There’s also a channel for The Cure and for New Arrivals.

The link to Audacy will be at the bottom of this blog entry.

Elsewhere what brightened my day was cashing in my 1000 points in the Sephora Rewards Bazaar.

My Benefit brand gift was a water bottle inscribed with We Dream in Pink that changes color. A white tote bag with pink letters chiming: Laughter is the Best Cosmetic. A tube of They’re Real! Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara.

In the October Allure there was a review of the They’re Real! Magnet Mascara.

Smitten I was with this lash-defining product. So I will keep using it.

Music and Makeup.

I find myself listening to music at all hours of the day and night.

Lining my eyes with black eyeliner. Or using silvery-white eyeshadow.

Going through a struggle I feel good when I make others feel good. There’s a lot that’s not right in the world. So injecting humor and hope into everyone’s lives is called for.

Sephora now sells a haircare line by Tracee Ellis Ross called Pattern. Definitely worth checking out and the packaging is gorgeous too.

Here is the link to the Audacy website.

9/11 Pandemic Insight

This tee shirt I bought at a street fair in the West Village 12 years ago.

It was my chosen outfit with black jeans to wear to the dentist on 9/11. Using clothing to protest or make a statement is my preferred way of getting a message across.

Though I was afraid to have a cavity or need a terrible scraping of my teeth I was in luck. The cleaning was quicker than usual.

Before opening my mouth wide I told the dentist that I have no energy at all. That in the evening I haven’t been brushing my teeth.

“Everyone has no energy. They’re under stress. The coronavirus is no joke. Some people have it together. Others lost it altogether,” he cut to the chase.

The pandemic has been a game changer in this regard. My dentist was right about everyone being stressed out.

There should be more openness and willingness to talk about mental health issues. No one’s immune from cracks and fissures in the mind these days.

If human beings cannot be honest with each other then we’re living a lie. Game over.

We cannot go back to the way things were before.

It was hard for a lot of us to not resort to snacking on potato chips and pretzels or drinking vodka and gin while holed up in our living rooms.

None of us should feel guilty and ashamed.

Not about our bodies our health our sexuality. Nothing.

Everyone’s doing the best we can with what we were given.

To coexist. That is the only way to live.

To have compassion for each other. Even better.

Weight a Minute

Yes–I get it that OKCupid is set up to attract romantic partners.

Everyone should have my kind of dilemma:

I’m resigned to the fact that I’m a tiny person. As in a woman who would be called “thin.” Only 5’0″ I fit into a size 2 Petite.

So–I removed the words “fit and active” to describe myself in my profile essay.

I don’t want to attract men who are fixated on my figure.

You can check off “prefer not to say” as an option when it asks you to click how much you weigh.

Only why be coy? I’ve decided as a rule to not lie and live in hiding.

So–I reluctantly checked off “thin.”

You should not be afraid to check off “full-figured.” Yet go right ahead and click “Prefer not to say” if you want.

IRL you won’t fool anyone about your weight. Why not own up to your beautiful body in whatever size or shape it is?

If this gorgeous earth we live on is round why can’t a female body be round?

I’m not naturally thin by the way. I got this way because I’m muscular. For over 10 years I’ve engaged in intense weight-lifting routines.

Plus I don’t eat meat. Only (mostly organic) chicken, seafood, vegetables and salads.

My father had Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver. The cancer killed him.

It’s because of this that I exercise and eat well as consistently as possible.

Being “thin” is not something to covet or be proud of. Whether a woman is skinny or voluptuous no one should be commenting on her body either way.

Oh–I suppose I could’ve clicked “Prefer not to say.” Why not? Only no one should feel guilty or ashamed because of their body and how they look.

In fact you might be able to not answer this question at all and leave it blank.

The double bind is: why should there be a need on OKCupid for the website to ask this question in the first place?

Dressing Up for Dating

The photo above I used as a match photo on a dating website.

Red is a color that attracts men. So you’re supposed to wear red if you want to boost your luck.

Seems innocent enough right? Yet it poses a dilemma. I received 55 “likes” and I wasn’t interested in any of them.

They click “like” after seeing only my match photo. I read a guy’s profile before clicking that I “like” him.

This is the conundrum: attracting men I’m not interested in.

Like the guy wearing only swim trunks and no shirt whose breasts were as big as mine.

Sorry–though I lift weights I’m not attracted to bodybuilders with bulging bodies as big as boulders.

The tee shirt is my oldest item of clothing. It’s a Product(RED) offering that went on sale the first month Bono created this campaign.

Proceeds from Product(RED) items go to support men women and children living with AIDS in Africa.

Years ago I also bought a Product(RED) red-rubber spatula.

I wish a guy who was hip to this sales campaign would send me a message referring to the tee shirt. Only that would be an impossible stretch.

My computer crashed 2 years ago. The files documents and photos on it disappeared. There were no photos on my cell phone either that showed “lovely legs” like a ZZ Top song.

I even dared upload a recent photo where I’m wearing a purple bandanna, lavender marled sweater, black coated skinny jeans, and black boots.

Men who expect me to wear stilettos are not in my target market.

On my end I don’t go by how a person looks. I read their profile essay first.

Coming up: More Fun in the New (Dating) World? Not exactly.

Rebel Love Book

Beauty lies in having radical self-acceptance. In owning your terrific soul. In honoring and trying to heal the broken parts and loving all of the pieces of you.

I believe in the beauty of everyone’s true self-expression. Not to feel guilty or ashamed for being who you are.

The book shown above by Dr. Chris Donaghue, PhD is revolutionary. It’s sad that what he’s talking about isn’t accepted as the norm.

I’ll quote from the last sentence on the last page to get readers to go out and buy this guide:

“Being the truest, most authentic version of yourself is ultimately what will transform you and your relationships–and eventually, maybe even the world.”

Dr. Chris asserts that in countries where there is a sex-positive tone and permissive view of sexuality there are fewer rapes, sexual assaults, and teen pregnancies.

On Being 56 Not 35

Today I feel at 56 how I felt at 35–I’m aware my body is changing.

Thirty-five was the first time I was aware of this subtle shift in the physical.

The 40-and-over women’s makeover books focus on the outside. As if the only kind of makeover should involve makeup.

In the 1990s magazine Jane if I remember there was a makeunder photo shoot.

My way to go will be eyeliner foundation and lipstick. Eyeshadow added for an event.

In other areas of our lives post-40 a makeunder could be just the rocket booster for our confidence.

For the second time this year I’m filling donation bags to cart to the Salvation Army.

The older I’ve gotten the need to discard and minimize hit me like sand in the face.

Fifty and beyond is the time for editing and weeding out what no longer works.

One day I woke up and realized the MAC Studio Fix powder foundation suddenly made my face look cakey. After five years where it was stunning.

What about those friends that you realize out of the blue have reduced you to tears?

A makeunder? Count me in. Who needs 22 tubes of lipstick?

Who needs mental emotional and material clutter taking up space in our lives?

Motivational Millionaire Book

I’ve checked a lot of personal finance books out of the library.

Too often the books require you to follow the author’s investing strategy to the Letter. Or the book is too dense and difficult to read through.

Even though I have a Masters degree in library science I’ll stop reading any book that doesn’t hook me.

My all-time favorite finance book is Simple Money by Tim Maurer. It’s short and detailed and not a read you’ll have to plod through.

The Rachel Rodgers book above is impressive too. Her life experiences that she talks about are what pulled me into reading her guide.

Coming from a family that had to count every cent Rodgers saved up $33 in quarters and rolled them up.

As a teen she was going outlet shopping with well-off friends. After they had left one store she went to the register on her own. Plunked down her $33 in quarter rolls to buy a wallet.

Rodgers today is a financial empowerment Activist. How telling that her first solo hard-earned purchase was a wallet.

Anyone who becomes well off should help others who are less fortunate.

Engaging in acts of conscious charity that empower others to have a better life should not be seen as “giving handouts.”

I was given a handout until I no longer needed to rely on outside income.

For others having a job isn’t possible. My motto in life is: “No Judgments.”

It’s so inspiring to read Rachel Rodgers finance-and-memoir book rolled into one.

I understand the benefit of having characters in books and authors that represent a person like you.

When browsing the personal finance section I’m keen to see if women authors are on these shelves.

Right away I grabbed onto the book Rachel Rodgers wrote.

We should all be millionaires is a great finance guide. I’m going to install it on my iPad.