A Penny Smelled

via Elle Blog, Success in a Bottle: Will This Money-Scented Fragrance Make You Rich?

Looking for a way to get ahead financially in the new year? Look no further. Introducing what we’re pretty sure is the first fragrance to promise financial success. The fragrances, called Her Money and His Money (so creative), literally smell like cash, the Daily Mail reports. The manufacturers of Money claim the scent of it can actually motivate one to succeed at work. According to the British paper, a recent Japanese study showed that the smell did make employees more efficient[…]

I bet I am not the only one that would try to reassemble the bills in the packaging.

How Reading Picture Books Can Help You Deal With the Cosmetics Industry

I volunteer at a local elementary school. A couple of days a week I go in and some of the low readers in a class sit and read out loud to me. It helps their reading comprehension and familiarity with words to read out loud. One of the little boys often reads picture books and comic books with me, and he usually takes the time every page to look at the illustrations. This is different from the other kids who read with me–if they’re reading picture or comic books, they focus solely on the words and pay little to no attention to the images. One day, he was reading Parts by Tedd Arnold, taking his usual time to look at the pictures. Occasionally, he’d point out a toy dinosaur who was doing something funny in the background.

When we got to the end of the book, he went back to the beginning of  and paged through each page again. On every page, he found the dinosaur and an action figure that were in every picture, participating in the scene. After reading the book for the words, he went through and had a completely separate experience with the book–“reading” it for the pictures. The dinosaur and the action figure were never once mentioned in the text, but they were in every image; they were engaged in what the main character was doing, and they had their own little story going on in the background.

This is what visual literacy is about–it’s seeing the story in the images that surround us. It’s understanding the story told by cosmetic advertising that only shows “beautiful”, tall, skinny, clear-skinned, women. That story is one that is helping to terrorize women’s body image and self worth. But if you take the time to look and think, it doesn’t take long to realize that fashion shoots, billboards and magazine ads are all an artistic creation–using a combination of excellent photographers, good lighting, and Photoshop–instead of an actual reflection of real life. You realize that they’re privileging a certain type of beauty. And not only are they privileging it but they’re trying to get you to believe in this type of beauty so fully that you’ll buy their products to make yourself look that way. You may also begin to realize that no matter how much you want it and how much money you spend on products, that you’ll probably never be able to attain that type of beauty. And even more insidiously, even if you do attain it, you may well find that it doesn’t actually make you happy. But understanding these things about the images surrounding you gives you something–it gives you the power to begin turning away from this constructed story, and to stop believing it so fully. But if you never take the time to really look at the images, and to think about the story that those images are telling you, you’ll never be able to break away from the rhetoric that they’re trying to tie you down to. 

Reading picture books and taking the time to see the story unfolded not only in words, but also in images uses the same skills as looking at advertising and other forms of visual media to see the story that we are being told visually. It’s important to be able to parse out what is being told to us not just with words, but also with the images that accompany them.

One of my earliest posts was about visual literacy, and why it’s so important to be able to look at the bombardment of images around you with a critical eye. I later followed up by talking about picture books, and why I think they’re important to children even though they’re evidently being less and less privileged and read in our society’s rampage to make our children The Smartest and Best (because, clearly, pictures don’t make people smart–only words do that).

Dollar & A Dream

I’m on the hunt for a job..wait not just any job but a place where I can begin my career! I visited the FB page of an old high school friend last night. I’ve been inspired. She moved to New York to follow her dreams. I truly believe that she will make it.

Now I am inspired to reach for my dreams. I don’t want to settle. I’ve never been the one to do so. Once again I am going to step out of my comfort zone and take a risk. You only live once right! Years from now I dont want to be stuck wondering what if…First things first, re-review my resume and submit it to all of the Cosmetic/Beauty/Make-up Companies that I am dieing to work for.

I got a dollar and a dream….
Nigeria key to Africa beauty industry boom

Sub-Saharan Africa currently accounts for 3 percent of global beauty products sales but that share is expected to grow at double the rate of the market.

Nigeria has emerged as the investment destinations of choice to international firms aiming to capture the beauty and personal care market in the continent.

Research indicates Nigeria’s cosmetics industry is values at $3,4 billion.

Nigeria is also the most populous with over 184 million people.

Her Imports, the United States hair extensions company, has recently expanded to the West African country, where it has set base in Lgos, and plans to enhance its reach before the end of the year.

Its products have been used by and received accolades from celebrity hair  stylists for Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Kerry Washington.

Patrick Terry, Chief Executive Officer of Her Imports, said the response had been phenomenal from the local markets.

“The decision to open the store in Lagos was data driven. We actually receive more hits on our Her Imports website from Lagos, Africa than we do in Atlanta,” said Terry.

“Her Imports products are performing sensationally in Africa. There are no established providers of high-end hair extensions, so we aren’t seeing any competition. Our lace front closures are performing particularly well with notable fashionista, Linda Ikeji.”

Mini-worldbuilding: Make up/beauty standard of Zaun

      I imagine Make-up is not as common in Zaun as it might be elsewhere. Part of this is because of the dangerous chemicals that is surely in cheap make up that most people try to avoid, as well as how expensive it likely becomes to purchase higher end make up. 

      There is likely also quite the high appreciation placed on natural and more ‘basic’ beauty. While regular make-up looks and glam looks are appreciated as well, there is likely a stronger chance people seek out the more natural look, as it would show they are un-marred by Zaun, and that they are healthy. This means cover-up is seldom worn, or put on sheer to minimise how much they are hiding, so more money is put into the hygiene side of the cosmetic industry than the make up. 

      Yes, people still go for the make-up produced natural look to hide scars and nicks, but the true value is seen in a completely natural face with the likely exception of hair grooming and what not. Clear, warm-toned skin, with bright, un-sunken eyes is highly sought after, and seen, as well, as a sign of health. 

      There is a profound charm, in Zaun, to the natural look. A person without any marks on their skin, or damage from the toxic-rain or the area in general means they have lived a fortunate, and healthy life. Even skin pigmentation, no acne scaring, bright eyes and warm skin are highly sought after. Some likely go through medical procedures to achieve this in extreme cases, however that slowly defeats the natural prospect of it. 

Slightly unpopular opinion, but I really do think girls are more attractive with no makeup?

Like, I know about all those blog posts and comics, about people who usually say that are referring to “natural looking makeup”, and how those same people will say girls with no makeup look tired or sick, but i really don’t care.

And of course people should wear whatever they want, but there is also obviously a very large cosmetic industry that makes its profits off of women’s insecurities which should be discussed.

I guess my point is don’t be a dick to women (stuff like “take her swimming on the first date so you see what she really looks like”) but I do think we need to be critical of the makeup industry and the idea of compulsory makeup.

No one should feel like they have to apply a product in order to be presentable.