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.

Style Therapy

I bought the book Style Therapy: 30 Days to Your Signature Style by Lauren Messiah.

So far I’m in Week 3 of the challenge to alter your wardrobe so that you can get what you want in life.

Messiah crafted her career as a personal stylist after hitting her own roadblocks in life.

Now she’s a million-dollar entrepreneur.

The memoir aspect of Style Therapy is the part that inspires me the most. At the end of this blog entry I’ll link to Messiah’s website.

She used to be a Hollywood stylist. Her life turned around when she decided to go into business for herself helping ordinary women.

In Week 2 of the 30-day challenge you confront other people’s opinions of who you are and what your body looks like.

Messiah confessed that after a hurtful comment about her thighs looking fat in shorts she didn’t wear a pair of shorts until she turned 36.

Her defiance to rock short shorts inspired me to get over my own gaga about my thighs. To buy and wear a pair of shorts too.

Like Messiah I think being open and honest is the way to go.

My literary agent told me that maybe I should archive this blog and focus on other things.

Counter-intuitively I decided to keep posting blog entries here that tell the truth.

Messiah links rocking your authentic style to achieving your goals in life.

While working on the exercises in Week 3 I was empowered to reach for the stars.

Later in life I find myself becoming only more ambitious not less motivated.

See the Lauren Messiah website to download a free e-book.

Reading the emails she sends me is one of the highlights in my inbox.

Even Better Book

I checked this book out of the library.

It would be a great book to buy to have on hand.

The guide gives inspiration via checklists and interviews with other women.

The author lives in Brooklyn. She has two kids.

I think natural Black hair is beautiful.

In a coming blog entry I will talk about my own natural hair.

For further words of beauty you can read the LaTonya Yvette blog

Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Finding beauty in a broken world can be a tonic for the hard time you’re going through.

Smearing on a new shade of lipstick won’t bring about world peace.

Yet I find myself wearing lipstick on Zoom meetings. This makes all the difference in how I feel.

Now that 3 bags of clothes are gone (I can see my bedroom rug again!) I feel like my load has been lightened.

Fashion is where you find it. I take inspiration from books.

My latest haul from a trip to Barnes & Noble were two books: Anatomy
of Style
and How To Not Wear Black.

The first book features famous models and actresses and talks about their
style preferences. With photos of the women in their standard outfits.

My favorite models featured were Kate Moss and Liya Kebede.

I find this book to be like taffy: sweet candy yet hard to chew. Your
confidence could nosedive seeing the photos of these attractive women.

Too for inspiration I recommend the first book by Scott Schuman The
Sartorialist
. In the book he features photos taken on the street of often
ordinary people dressed in distinctive digs.

This book was published circa 12 years ago. It stands up to the test of time.

I own easily over 15 clothes and style and makeup books. You need to have a
hobby to cheer you up when your city has gone into lockdown. Reading the books gives me joy.

Being able to find beauty in this broken world is nothing to be ashamed of.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Define beauty.

I’m happiest wearing my world indigo hoodie black trainer pants and sneakers
to make a run to the deli.

“You look adorable” the woman behind the counter tells me.

I’ll take adorable over sexy.

I’ll take blogging to the beat of a different drum.

We can’t all have Liya Kebede’s cheekbones.

Yet we can take inspiration from how she dresses and from her humanitarian business ethic.

National Clean Out Your Closet Week

The third week in March is National Clean Out Your Closet Week.

Every year I write about this theme in the blog. The Salvation Army truck driver took off my hands 3 bursting donation bags full of belts, clothes, and pocketbooks.

It is strange to be in the position of having size 2 Petite summer pants become so loose that they no longer fit.

When other size 2 Petite pants are so tight not even a snake could fit into them.

Oh–the perils of the sizing system in the U.S.

That’s why a lot of American women run out of a department store dressing room in tears.

It’s not unusual to have pants and jeans of four different sizes in your wadrobe.

2, 4, 6, 8–no one appreciates the guessing game as to which item will fit when you order online and the box arrives at your door.

On the other hand it is not odd to suddenly fall out of love with the clothes you used to wear.

Goodbye, khakis. Hello, black jeans.

To stay young at heart you should refresh your wardrobe every so often.

The older I get the more obsessed with clothes and dressing up that I’ve gotten.

As a Generation X girl I don’t want to fade into the woodwork.

Millennials can have their avocado toast as they’re so famously accused of coveting.

I’ll take a good coat and boots in this NYC chill that doesn’t warm up until early June.

Fashion is where you find it–and you can find joy in the clothes hanging in your closet.

Donate the items that no longer suit you. Get rid of the pants that no longer fit. Say farewell to the colors that make you look ill.

The spring is here in one week. Having hope is called for.

Editing the contents of our closets can spark joy.

Who wants to spend the morning agonizing because your closet is bursting with items you don’t wear?

Keep the items you love.

Call the Salvation Army truck to take away good-condition clothes that could bring joy to a person in need.

This is a win-win.

The Power of Identity

A review of this book showed up on another blog this week.

I take inspiration from people with their own identities.

Thinking about this more it’s why I decided not to list (she/her) as my preferred personal pronouns after my name in my work email.

I would rather list Christina Bruni (Chris/Christina) which I’m considering doing.

The focus on gender as a defining factor in who a person is is what I don’t like.

Of course this is where the term non-binary comes into play.

Yet even with that can’t a person choose to identify in another way?

Why can’t a person write in their email Jane Doe (Artist/Activist)?

The point is that I’m impressed with anyone who has the courage or confidence or chutzpah to choose their identity.

Rather than conforming to a traditional role that they’re told is the only acceptable one.

I think it’s time to focus on the passion and personality that each of us brings to the table breaking bread together.

A quote from the Queer Advantage book that should be required reading:

“I genuinely believe that life only works, and success only works, if you’re being authentically yourself…. [The] only way to achieve success is by sticking to what is authentically true to you.” 

Adam Eli, Activist

Feck Perfuction

James Victore the author of this book is a designer who failed at one art school and was kicked out of another.

His work hung in the Museum of Modern Art. He taught at the School of Visual Arts for 20 years.

He bought an apartment in SoHo and a house in the country.

The morale of this story is for everyone–artists and non-artists alike.

James Victore gives readers permission to be weird.

Reading Feck Perfuction gave me a shot in the arm of confidence to dare to be my unusual self.

I recommend you read this short book too.

The morale is in the moral of this story: there’s no one right way to live.

There’s no right time to do something.

The only way to live is to be yourself. The only time to do something is now.

Feck Perfuction is an unlikely font of self-help.

You might be able to check it out of a library like I did.

My thoughts got jangled like a mad wind chime after I read this book.

What Victore has to say is unsettling because he’s throwing down a dare.

Go on–be your glorious Self. There is no one else you have to be.

Love, Lashes, and Lipstick

Alas this book is out of print and that’s sad. I would buy a used copy in good condition. Or you can try to check it out of the library.

Mally Roncal’s life story is inspirational.

Her a.m. and p.m. beauty ritual gave me a shot in the arm of confidence to try what she recommended.

Proof that inspiration can be found in a book or a bottle of foundation.

The pandemic has been going on for almost 9 months. The length of time to birth a baby an idea a plan a new You.

After reading Love, Lashes, and Lipstick I set off to set a new goal or two.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about one book that made all the difference to me in achieving my goals.

It can be debilitating sheltering indoors. The outbreak is rising in a second wave. More ammunition for taking joy in simple things.

Like washing your face at night. Moisturizing your face in the morning.

Being grateful for what you have instead of being envious of others who have what you don’t have.

Serve up an extra helping of gratitude to yourself this Thanksgiving.

The colonists plundered the nation from indigenous people. We should not be celebrating the myth that Thanksgiving was a harmonious lovefest between pilgrims and Native Americans.

Only I say why not reclaim the truth that we are all here because of a benevolent Creator who wanted us to be here?

The spirit of counting your blessings on Thanksgiving might just be the remedy for total despair while living through the pandemic.

I’m grateful for every ray of sunshine that comes into my life:

The sun through the mini-blinds and the sunny personality of Mally Roncal lighting up the pages of her memoir.

Inspirational Reading

I checked this memoir out of the library. It’s sadly out of print so I bought a copy listed as being in new condition for $17.

Though it can seem Mally Roncal has had a dream life I was impressed and inspired while reading this book.

Roncal is barely 5 feet 2. She rocks big hair platform boots and false eyelashes.

She recounts early in her makeup artist career when she was told to tone down her own makeup and ebullient mood.

Instead she realized that she had to be true to herself.

According to Roncal who I’ll quote because this book should be required reading:

“Own who you are. Forget the haters. Don’t let them dull your shine. What may not be right for them could be right for you.

Be you, and you win every time.”

I’ve started to follow Roncal’s a.m. and p.m. skincare routine.

She was the makeup artist for the women featured in the Isaac Mizrahi book How to Have Style. I bought this book years ago in great condition when it was out of print too.

Jealousy serves no purpose except to keep a person stuck. Mally Roncal’s success only motivates me to reach for the stars.

In the book she also features different makeup techniques you can replicate with your own products or use the Mally Beauty makeup for.

This is going to be my Christmas gift to myself. I recommend readers consider buying this buoyant book too.

A Merry Season to You!