Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Today little things that usually make me raise an eyebrow began to come to mind and I thought I’d share some of them with your guys.

Wouldn’t it be nice…

if more of us stopped for those “brave” people asking for signatures for starving children, abortions and gay rights. There was a  man with model good looks who stopped me yesterday and regrettably I gave him the brush off. You fine sir are the inspiration for this post:)

if extremely fat people didn’t squeeze into seats. Sorry but when you’re in between two people and weigh 300+, three’s a crowd

if women bought less and donated more

if people didn’t treat animals better than other human beings

if more orphaned and  impoverished children in America were adopted

if Jay Z would stop rapping about drug dealing and hood life when he’s filthy rich

….

Yearning To Be Bridezillla?

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I recently read the article “Single Bridezillas” in the February issue of Marie Claire about women planning their weddings far in advance from their actual wedding dates. The catch to this story is that these women are not engaged and many are not even in relationships.

Arguably most women have dreams about their wedding day, hubby, dress, venue and cake. But the women mentioned in this article are on a mission to make these dreams a reality without a vital component: an engagement. They’re hiring wedding planners, purchasing dresses and even buying fake engagement rings.

Delusional was the first word that popped into my head. But on second thought maybe they just want to take their destiny into their own hands and believe their planning will pay off. The bombardment of various wedding shows on television can’t possibly help either. Even I become a bit starry-eyed watching shows like “My Fair Wedding” and “Platinum Weddings.”

But there is that saying “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

These women seem to be the result of a combination of the “me generation” and the “microwave syndrome” believing the world revolves around them and seeing instant gratification as a way of life. Can’t wait on your engagement, why not just plan your wedding in the meantime, right?

Photo from Google Images

For Colored Girls

Last night I saw “For Colored Girls,”  Tyler Perry‘s adaptation of  Ntozake Shange‘s book For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. The theater was extremely crowded since it was opening night and there were even Nielsen surveys to fill out about the film. It made going to see the film seem like an “event,”  but it was a but much. I have to mention that I have not yet read the poems, but I give the movie an overall grade of a B. I enjoyed all the characters  but the acting was often melodramatic. Still, I applaud Tyler Perry for taking on this challenge and offering a space for so many talented black actresses to showcase their talent. I saw the movie with my sister and I recommend seeing it with your female friends or relatives. Here’s a bit about the film and characters:

CrystalKimberly Elise:

Kimberly Elise is a highly underrated actress and pours her heart into roles. In this film she grapples with domestic violence. Her acting gets a B+ and her crying scenes are intense and believable.

Tangie– Thandie Newton:

Tangie is a tramp with a bad attitude in the film. Yet despite her rough demeanor, she shows vulnerability and her character has a past that offers some explanation for her lewd behavior. Newton does an excellent job of portraying Tangie as a multilayered character.

For Colored Girls

Nyla– Tessa Thonpson:

Thompson is the youngest leading lady and I was surprised at how well she performed. She plays a young dancer who is confused about how to handle a common teen problem. Unfortunately, she does not have many women to turn to for help. Her poetry recitations are executed nicely and I think this actress will get a lot more work in the coming months.

AliceWhoopi Goldberg:

Alice is a strange character. Whoopi Goldberg plays a religious fanatic who has dysfunctional relationships with her daughters Tangie (Newton) and Nyla (Thomas). Her character comes off as a bit comical rather than serious in many scenes. But I’m glad Alice was included in the roster. Like her, many people may turn to religion as a means of redemption/escape and become obsessive in the process.

JuanitaLoretta Devine:

Juanita was the most entertaining character to watch. Some people may be put off by Loretta Devine’s sugary sweet “down-home” accent, but I think it’s great. It’s her trademark and it serves her well in this movie. Her monologues are crowd pleasers and her acting outshines many other characters. Juanita’s dilemma is an unfaithful boyfriend.

KellyKerry Washington:

Kelly is a case worker for child services and is initially connected to Kimberly Elise’s character Crystal. Kerry Washington is a talented actress but she only does an okay job in this movie in my opinion. Unfortunately, she is not as compelling as some of the other actresses.

For Colored Girls

JoJanet Jackson:

Janet Jackson’s acting in general is mediocre but in this movie she does a pretty good job. Jo’s character was added for the film and was not in the book. She is an editor-in-chief of a magazine who is anal and cold to her employees and husband. We learn that her marriage may be the cause for her cold temperament. Jo is also definitely the most fashionable of all the characters. She wears some killer heals and outfits in the film.

YasmineAnika Noni Rose:

Yasmine is Nyla’s (Thompson) dance teacher and is bubbly and artistic. This character seems the most happy of all the women in the beginning of the movie. She epitomizes a ray of sunlight and represents the color yellow.  In the film her light is slightly dulled after a traumatic incident.

GildaPhylicia Rashad:

Gilda is one of my favorite characters. She is Crystal (Elise) and Tangie’s (Newton) nosey neighbor, but instead of being a stereotypical annoying neighbor, Gilda is the voice of reason in the film and a mentor to the younger women in the apartment building. Her poetry recitations, like Thompson’s, are compelling and add to the movie’s depth.

All Photos Courtesy of Google Images

 

French Fallacy-Is the grass greener for French women?

When I think of France one word comes to mind: romance.  The positive thoughts continue with…

cheese,  kisses, Chanel, Bridget Bardot, bread, and even my name. My mother liked the French tennis player Yannick Noah

Photos from Google Images

(She got a bit creative with the spelling to feminize the name and poof-Yannique!)

Of all the thoughts that came to mind, inequality was not one of them. The New York Times, however, recently published an article about gender inequalities and sexism French women face. The story highlighted that they are discriminated against because of gender, absent in political positions, and pregnant women are often passed over by supervisors for promotions.

These women’s gripes are valid but, from an American point of view they don’t have it so bad. France seems to value motherhood and French women’s multiple month maternity leave is enviable compared to the sparse few weeks many American women are offered.  The newspaper also mentioned that women/families are given governmental child allowances (approximately a little more than 50 euros per month, per child). Even more foreign to American ears is that these allotments are provided for both the rich and poor.  This legislation was created immediately after WWI to raise the population but now women are essentially paid for having children.  In terms of the sexism complaint, sexism is not a laughing matter but it’s not unique to French culture and sadly may always be around to some degree similar to racism and many other isms.

I understand why the French women profiled are disappointed in a society where there are still many inequalities despite their generous social welfare system and equal rights legislation. It is hypocritical but perhaps time (sooner than later) will help cure some of these ills.  Still, my answer to the title of this post is that although French women don’t have it completely better than their American counterparts, their grass is still very lush. It’s likely that many women from different parts of the world (including this side of the Atlantic) would gladly switch places with the majority of French women… at least for a day.

Here’s the video link: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/10/11/world/europe/1248069166590/female-factor.html

Thanks for reading my first post!