“Five-year-old Kainoa Niehaus travelled to the 4 Paws For Ability centre in Ohio from Japan after two years of waiting for an animal to become available. His mum Shanna shared a photo of her son resting his head on Tornado.’
“This picture captures the face of a mother who saw her child, who she can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely lay on his new service dog of his own free will, with a purposeful, unspoken attachment.”
“4 Paws For Ability is a non-profit global organisation which provides service dogs to disabled children and veterans who’ve lost the use of limbs or their hearing.”
I would love to spin a technicolor homage to Latin Heritage, the likes of which would conjure the kind of imagery reminiscent of old MGM musicals. After all, we can do pageantry and parades in our sleep. But I can’t, because it wasn’t pageantry that got my parents through language barriers, racist employers and cold New York winters.
They left a pre-Castro Cuba, because they saw a future in a country they believed in, never expecting the door would be slammed shut behind them for more than two decades. And so it was. They worked hard and sacrificed and thrived! They pieced together family, created their own and passed on their customs, language, history and of course, that precious blood, in which there is all the stuff you won’t find in a book.
A lot has happened in the 34 years since my first visit to Cuba. I lost my mother to cancer, the Soviet Union collapsed, the Berlin Wall came down, and I grew up and left that magnificent Cuban cocoon of my parents’ making — and became an actress (my father still doesn’t know where he went wrong). Nevertheless, I happily became a willing participant in an industry that has a really hard time seeing me as a Latina woman. This Business of Show that has an incredibly unapologetic history of eradicating ethnicity, changing names and hairlines and, well… history.
Sunday: Last week, my brother had been worrying about a huge physics test that he had taken. Today, he texted me exuberantly that his grade had been posted and he did really well. It made me smile.
Monday: Erinn brought cookies for the office. It made me smile.
Tuesday: Baseball is finally back! I mean, it has been back for a few weeks, but tonight was the first night I had a chance to sit down and watch a full game, and the Phillies won! It made me smile. I can’t wait for summer.
Wednesday: Sarah and I recently had a photo shoot for an upcoming article. The studio we were using was located in an old art museum that has been in our town for about a million years. I hadn’t been there since childhood (when I took a charcoal drawing class), and the feelings of nostalgia when I walked in made me smile.
Thursday: I went shopping this evening for some new speaking engagement outfits and I found so many shirts in my size (a rare occurrence since I basically wear baby sized clothing). It made me smile.
Friday: Sarah helped me pee for the first time in her life today. I think I speak for both of us when I say it was the best moment of her life. Afterwards, she said, “Gonna go shower myself in fire now.” It made me smile.
Saturday: I sat in the glorious sunshine all day. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather this weekend, but the sun woke me up and made me feel alive. It made me smile.
From Instagirl to YouTuber, Karlie Kloss controls the message
By Sarah Kaufman July 29, 2015
Model Karlie Kloss, center, in April. Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg
Beauty vloggers, PewDiePie: Make room. Supermodel Karlie Kloss is now a YouTuber, and if her 2.9 million Instagram followers are any indication, Klossy–as her channel is called–could launch a new video star.
Kloss, the blonde 6-foot-1 runway model and former Victoria’s Secret Angel, seems to have boundless energy and even more ideas. She is featured in glossy print campaigns for Kate Spade, Versace and L’Oreal, among others, and the impressive look and drive of her Spinnerific body in motion is the subject of a rhapsodic article and photo spread in the August issue of Self magazine.
But she’s clearly got more than fashion and fitness on her mind. The 22-year-old also recently started Karlie’s Kookies, a vegan cookie-baking business for charity. She’ll attend New York University in the fall. And she’s become so fascinated with computer coding that she launched a “Kode with Karlie” summer scholarship to get more young women to study coding.
Clearly, Kloss is a model with a voice. Now she’s taking it to a global platform. Last week, she launched her YouTube channel with a brief, punchy trailer:
You might recognize the moving-scrapbook style of filmmaker and video artist Casey Neistat, who’s been advising her. Kloss, known for her disarmingly friendly personality, has a knack for high-powered friendships. (Her BFF Taylor Swift tops the list.) Neistat is a hero of the video-sharing world, having shot to fame in 2003, early in online-video history, with his three-minute “iPod’s Dirty Secret” film. In it he skewered Apple for not using replaceable batteries. He has gone on to HBO series, films, and his own popular YouTube channel.
Neistat met Kloss at a movie screening “and we became fast friends,” he said in a recent phone interview. For her YouTube channel, Kloss is also working with two young filmmakers, Annalora von Pentz and Ruby Honerkamp. “My role is giving creative oversight and lending my understanding of online video to their creation,” Neistat said.
In the YouTube community, “there’s an understood trust between the content creator and the viewer,” he said. Teenage viewers are attracted to the unfiltered approachability and authenticity of YouTube stars, and have little interest in micromanaged Hollywood-style slickness. The most important advice Neistat had for Kloss is: “Be yourself and be honest. Online viewers have a real nose for anything that feels artificial and contrived.” Honesty on video comes naturally to Kloss, he added, one benefit of living so much of her life in front of the camera.
So far Kloss has posted two more videos on her channel. The most recent landed Tuesday afternoon, in which she settles in on her sofa in a comfy T-shirt, looking gorgeous but not very glamorous, and chummily answers questions from her Twitter followers (#QuestionsForKarlie). She’s obsessed with “House of Cards,” we learn; she loves cheese and listens to Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” while working out. (You were expecting something by Swift? Maybe for her cool-down…)
She’s fun to hang out with. That’s the real secret. Kloss comes across as open, real and welcoming. There’s a graciousness to her approach that you can feel. More than the glimpses of fashion shoots and the witty filmmaking, it’s that warm and inviting quality that she has–her grace–that draws you in. She understands that her fans don’t want glitzy scenarios or a perfected presentation. They want connection. That’s what Kloss offers, whether she’s walking the runway or speaking to the videocamera: She is fully present and aware, taking it all in, and she’s at ease. In her video, when a flub happens, if she bungles a word or sends her ring flying across the room, she laughs it off without embarrassment. She conveys a refreshing, honest enthusiasm for the moment.
Also in this video, she says she hopes to have “many more” careers. Finding her voice on YouTube may be just a stepping stone. There’s no reason to think Kloss will stop here.