Street Unicorns

I checked this new 2022 book out of the library.

Yes–one of the Bold Expressionists of Style(tm) wears a pink pant suit.

My fashion motto is: Dress like you give a frock.

To wit per author photographer Robbie Quinn:

“An individual needs real vulnerability to put themselves out there.”

One of the Bold Expressionists said they dressed in color because they had anxiety and depression.

In my life I find that everything I want to achieve first starts with changing how I dress.

In August two Salvation Army truck drivers carted off 4 donation bags of clothes.

Goodbye to the dull gray and brown items that sapped my energy wearing them. The colors you wear can impact how you feel.

Which must be why the Bold Expressionists often wear loud-and-proud colorful clothing items.

Since I donated the 4 bags I’ve broken my vow not to buy anything new. Adding a pair of silver boots and a pair of combat boots to my collection of shoes.

The older I’ve gotten I’ve become more obsessed with dressing up in clothes that make a statement.

In the 1980s I was a disc jockey on FM radio. Then I dressed in weird clothes and swiped on shocking makeup.

Browsing for unusual digs in Kiss Kiss Kill Kill the punk rock clothing emporium on Bay Street on Staten Island.

Do you readers ever think of the person you used to be when you were young? Or maybe some of you are young.

Nearing the cusp of 60 [in three years!] I find myself on a kick to reinvent how I dress in clothes.

Viewing the Bold Expressionists of Style(tm) in the book Street Unicorns brings joy to my heart.

No one should be afraid to dress to express their authentic self.

Even if for some of us that style is ordinary and not outrageous.

There’s no need to judge how a person looks–or looks in their clothes.

Dressing in clothes is a celebration of life.

The day you become who you are is the real birthday.

My cake has plenty of candles to blow out today.

How old are you? Whatever your age you should not give up on yourself.

My motto for how a person should approach living in their fifties is:

“There’s nothing I won’t wear, and I’ll try anything once.”

Attaining fashion freedom often unshackles us in other areas of our life.

I’ll end here by saying that the Street Unicorns emboldened me to live outside the box. I haven’t met a box I liked having to fit in.

23&Me

At first I thought DNA testing amounted to a parlor trick. Then I changed my mind. Sprung for a 23&Me DNA kit.

My intent in doing this was to connect with others. Be a citizen of the world.

My DNA composition:

95.2% Italian – Sicily + 9 other regions.

Western Asian and North African 4.5%

Northern West Asian 4.3%

Iranian Caucasian Mesopotamian 2.6%

Cypriot 1.4%

Broadly Northern West Asian 0.3%

Broadly Western Asian & Northern African 0.2%

Trace Ancestry: 0.2%

Unassigned: 0.1%

The weird facts section of the report was amusing:

45% chance of slightly wavy hair.

Yes I was born with wavy hair.

Think this percentage should’ve been higher given how unruly my curly “summer hair” is.

Coming into October my “winter hair” will be in effect–straight all day when I blow dry it.

Fear of public speaking:

Less likely to have a fear of public speaking.

Hello–I perform on stage at poetry readings. I do motivational speaking in front of audiences in rooms.

I recommend springing for this DNA testing. It’s a fun amusement more than anything.

The 23&Me DNA kit costs $99. Or $89 if like me a friend who used it gives you a discount code.

The Power of Plus

I checked this book out of the library.

At the same time I’ve been studying the topic of microaggressions too.

One common comment is “You’d be so pretty if_______.”

I don’t want to trigger followers by typing in the rest of the sentence.

Who in their right mind would think this is a kind and caring thing to say?

Why would they think only thin people are pretty?

In my view I don’t think most people need to lose weight. Some of us carry more weight on our frames.

The author of the Power of Plus is Gianluca Russo an Italian freelance journalist. He exposes the folly of the thin white-centric ideal of beauty that designers foist on fashion models and consumers.

Russo ends the book on a positive note quoting powerful ladies.

To get readers to buy the book or at least check it out of the library I will quote one section toward the end.

Per Russo:

“I never knew what it meant to live authentically until I entered the fashion industry…That is what the plus-size community has taught me: true self-expression is perhaps the strongest power to exist on earth.”

Right said Russo.

If you ask me followers it all comes down to self-expression being the pathway to success.

In 2015 when I published my memoir I was the first woman writing about mental health who talked about how self-expression via dressing in fashion helped her recover.

I knew this then and I know it now: individuality is what makes a person beautiful.

Why should any of us feel the need to conform to what’s viewed as normal or acceptable?

True self-expression is irresistible to others.

Become who you are. Regardless of whether people like this

Shrinking ourselves to make others feel better is no way to live.

Shine on fabulous ladies.

Love Welcomes Mat

The photo is of the welcome mat woven by a woman in the Love Welcomes collective of refugees in Greece.

The mat features upcycled fabric with strips of the life vest they wore to escape their home country.

It cost $65.50 total which is a fair price. I’m gearing up to make a donation to Thistle Farms the nonprofit that sells the welcome mats and other products on their website.

Today I’m tuned in more to what’s going on in America and around the world. Every day in my inbox I get social justice emails.

Just being aware of the injustice is the start. Then we must act together to defy the status quo and do what we can to change things.

I was born in 1965—the first year of Generation X. The older I’ve gotten I’m more committed to seeking justice.

I’m 57 and a child of the 1980s. Like the famous Mr. T in that long-ago TV show “I Pity the Fool” who would mess with me after they found out my story.

The quote is that we can’t just seek to change the story. We must change the storyteller.

Giving column space to unique voices and the original perspectives of often-silenced individuals is called for.

My time on OKCupid having crashed and ended I’ve decided to turn my sights on my Advocate work instead.

One thing I’ve done is to publish a second book a career guide for peers. It was my attempt to seek economic justice for people with mental health issues traditionally shut out of employment.

The goal as I see it is to get to the point in society where Activists can go out of business because there’s no more suffering in the world.

As I’ve always said in here one person reaching out to help another person is the way to go.

I have my eye on a pair of earrings on the Thistle Farms website.

Coming up a review of a biting and brilliant book on the fashion industry and the size inclusion revolution.

Thistle Farms

I check out of the library business books shelved in the 658s. At the end of Story Dash the author recommended readers check out Thistle Farms.

Located in Nashville, TN in America the non-profit was founded to give women survivors of human trafficking and addiction housing and employment.

There’s a free 2-year residence for recovery in Nashville. Thistle Farms also sells goods that women around the world handcraft.

The home decor and apparel and jewelry items are sold on the Thistle Farms website. I’ll link to Thistle Farms at the end of this blog entry.

There you can buy a beaded bracelet as cheap as $10. I have my eye on a welcome mat that refugees craft in Greece using strips from their life jackets.

A great find is a black leather tote bag for $99. It’s the kind of pocketbook that stands out. Why order a handbag from Nordstrom online when it will be a mass-produced item that everyone will be carrying everywhere.

The goods sold on the Thistle Farms website give fair trade employment to women living in countries throughout the world.

There are so many great finds on the website that I might break my vow not to spend money. I’m tempted to throw caution to the wind and buy something to support Thistle Farms.

Check out Thistle Farms today.

Brittany Ramos DeBarros

Yes–I promise I will talk soon about the way to do good and make a difference that I discovered last week.

For now I have the urge to preempt my regularly scheduled programming. With a startling thing that happened.

I tune in to the Post-Modern Music Box channel on audacy.com. I’m stuck in this time warp listening to the alternative music of my youth (1980s/1990s).

You can imagine the shock I was in when an 11th District candidate for Congress advertised herself between songs as an “anti-war combat veteran.”

This was uncanny marketing on the part of Afro-Latina Brittany Ramos DeBarros who lives on Staten Island and served in Afghanistan.

How did a political candidate know that an anti-war person like me would be listening to the Music Box channel? That’s a brilliant plotting for votes.

I’ve always thought these American invasions were unjustified. Upwards of $1.4 trillion is being given to the Pentagon.

This money would be better served to give every U.S. citizen 18 and older a $1,000 monthly Universal Basic Income– a remedy to help end poverty here.

Every night as I listen to 1990s alternative music Brittany Ramos DeBarros invades my ears. I’ve gone on her website and her platform is legit.

Nicole CacaCola–the nickname I’ve given to Nicole Malliotakis the current 11th District person–responded to an anti-war email I sent her after she was sworn in. She told me it’s OK for the U.S. to engage in war in Syria and Yemen. That it’s perfectly fine to sell arms to Saudi Arabia.

OK then–what is the U.S. government using this money for after we get it?

CacaCola voted NO to giving American workers national paid sick leave.

A book at the library attacked the U.S. for starting these allegedly “humanitarian” wars that only serve to ravage the citizens and natural resources in other countries.

I can’t say LL Cool Joe–my nickname for Joe Biden–has been any better. He’s allowed the U.S. collusion in these wars to continue.

In one week I’m going to vote for Brittany Ramos DeBarros. I’ll be stunned if she wins. Hardly anyone I vote for wins an election.

Coming up:

The method I discovered for doing good that helps women in America and around the world recover from human trafficking and addiction.

Dress Code

The 2022 book shown above should be required reading.

The author is the Fashion Features Director at Elle magazine.

It’s a biting, incisive critique of the fashion industry, the Instagram Influencer trend, and the obsession with self-care.

I was born in the first year of Generation X. I have zero interest in engaging in the white-women influencer self-care practices or in buying the products they’re hawking.

The only form of self-care I’ve adopted is eating well, walking everywhere, and exercising 2x per week for 30 minutes as often as possible.

In 2011 when I turned 46 I decided that I had to start doing strength training. Before that I hadn’t lifted one 5-pound weight.

In January 2014 three years later I could dead lift 205 pounds at the gym.

No–I didn’t start “lifting” to lose weight. I didn’t do this to attract a man.

In February 2011 I was in a pizzeria having a slice. I could only eat half the slice, and threw the rest away.

I had the sense that something terrible had happened and this was verified that night.

I decided right then that I must start strength training. When women are going through a hard time I doubt most of us in an instant think that the solution is to lift weights.

I’ve failed at performing other acts of self-care. What struck me about Dress Code is the idea that self-care has become an impossible standard to live up to.

I don’t light candles (I’m a firefighter’s daughter afraid my apartment would go up in flames).

Nor am I keen to buy a product like Glossier lip liner in an attempt to feel good.

“Shopping in my closet” to create new outfits doesn’t cost a dime. Listening to music on audacy.com is free too. Checking books out of the library saves money as well.

What upsets me (why?) is the reference to how other women’s ugly bodies are not displayed and fawned over in the fashion media and Instagram accounts.

First: Everyone living on earth is beautiful. There are no ugly bodies in my view.

Why do critics persist in using the term ugly to describe bodies that don’t fit the fashion norm the critics rail against?

Too often women internalize shame about our bodies.

Do you want to know the only reason I exercise and eat well?

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

My great-aunt, grandfather, and 57-year old cousin were in comas at the end of their lives.

My mother had breast cancer. One other aunt had cancer.

With that track record in my family history I won’t take chances by sitting on the couch watching TV all night.

In the epilogue to Dress Code author Hyland gives the rosy view that things appear to be changing and will get ever better in terms of the representation of women on social media.

Do you want to feel good? Then do good. I found a way to do this that I’ll talk about in a coming blog entry.

The OKCupid Scammer

There’s a scammer on OKCupid. He strings you along with vague messages. Then insists you continue on WhatsApp because he’s not online on OKCupid often.

There is most likely legal wording that prevents me from publicly disclosing the details of the scammer’s name and what he wrote in his profile.

You can watch the Tinder Swindler on Netflix to see how one cunning man left multiple women on the hook for hundreds of thousands in debt. Conning them into giving him money.

The women the Tinder Swindler seduced started to get paranoid. One checked herself into a psychiatric hospital if I remember right.

It’s possible that there are female scammers too. The Tinder Swindler was not charged with any crimes. He too used WhatsApp to correspond with women.

Say it isn’t so. I wish it wasn’t.

Serendipitous Motivational Tool

Getting COVID for two weeks I was lucky to be able watch Netflix shows on my home computer.

Binge-watching Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo I was inspired to tidy up my desktop.

Placing a small wooden box in a donation bag. It had been hanging out atop my desk for 11 years. My business cards were suffocated housed in the box.

Storing the business cards out in the open in a silver mesh tray in a desk drawer was the solution. Easy access to take a few cards to give out when I meet people.

Mixed in with the business cards I found this blue card with white letters proclaiming: You have cool hair.

The blue card I discovered was the perfect motivational tool. This card I placed on my newly bare desktop. To remind me that my hair was lovely.

Yes–I urge everyone to get vaccinated and boosted.

Andrew Giuliani the angry white man who ran for New York governor on the Republican ticket refused to get vaccinated. His claim was the vaccines don’t prevent illness.

Giuliani didn’t win the primary. We didn’t need this science-denier making decisions that effect the citizens of New York.

The regular flu vaccine–as well as the COVID vaccine–all vaccines have the goal of preventing death.

I’m grateful I had a mild form of COVID. Had I gotten ill before I was vaccinated I could’ve needed to use a ventilator. Or worse I could’ve died.

This is not the get-out-of-jail (work) Monopoly card I would’ve liked. Prefer I would to be able to take a month off in the form of a sabbatical to do anything I wanted.

Chancing to find the blue business card was a bright spot in my recovery from COVID.

I hope seeing the photo of the card inspires you to love your hair too.

My Pink Pant Suit Epiphany

Living an authentic life is what matters most.

There can be no shame in celebrating yourself (and by extension others) every day of your life.

I say wear that pink pant suit.

Fear not that the Twinkie mobile will come after you because you’re different.

If you feel like yourself–powerful and radiant in a pink pant suit–go out the door in this color you adore.

I learned this life lesson courtesy of having gotten infected with COVID this week.

Though a mild form it was a terrible ordeal. One that got me thinking that persisting despite having self-doubt is the remedy.

COVID taught me that confidence is overrated. Nothing succeeds like persistence.

In the words of a quote magnet:

When You’re Going through Hell Keep Going.