Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coco Rocha on being "too fat" for runway

Here it is word for word:

There has been quite the commotion over the recent articles about me in the New York Times and The New York Daily News. As only a few select statements of mine were printed I find it necessary to properly express my point of view, without outside editing.

I'm a 21 year old model, 6 inches taller and 10 sizes smaller than the average American woman. Yet in another parallel universe I'm considered "fat"… This was the subject of major discussion this week and the story that was spun was: "Coco Rocha is too fat for the runway".

Is that the case? No. I am still used and in demand as a model. In fact I find myself busier than ever. In the past few years I have not gained an extreme amount of weight, only an inch here and there as any young woman coming out of her teenage years would.

But this issue of model's weight is, and always has been, of concern to me. There are certain moral decisions which seem like no brainers to us. For example, not employing children in sweatshops, and not increasing the addictiveness of cigarettes. When designers, stylists or agents push children to take measures that lead to anorexia or other health problems in order to remain in the business, they are asking the public to ignore their moral conscience in favor of the art.

Surely, we all see how morally wrong it is for an adult to convince an already thin 15 year old that she is actually too fat. It is unforgivable that an adult should demand that the girl unnaturally lose the weight vital to keep her body functioning properly. How can any person justify an aesthetic that reduces a woman or child to an emaciated skeleton? Is it art? Surely fashion's aesthetic should enhance and beautify the human form, not destroy it.

There is division in the industry in this regard. Although there are those who don't consider a model's wellbeing, I have had the honor and privilege to work with some of the greatest designers, editors, stylists, photographers and agents who respect both new and well established models alike. I know there are many others out there who I haven't worked with who also agree with me on the stance on this issue.

The CFDA has tried so very hard to correct these matters. As of a few days ago at their annual meeting they found everyone in the room in agreement on changing the sample size as well as booking models over the age of 16. It's great to see how many people's hearts are in the right place because we must make these changes for the next generation of girls.

As a grown woman I can make decisions for myself. I can decide that I won't allow myself to be degraded at a casting - marching in my underwear with a group of young girls, poked, prodded and examined like cattle. I'm able to walk away from that treatment because I am established as a model and I'm an adult… but what about the young, struggling and aspiring models?

We need changes. I'd prefer that there would be no girl working under the age of 16, but if that has to be the case then I'd love to see teens escorted by a guardian to castings, shows, and shoots. The CFDA has set codes in place for their members and I'd love to see the entire industry follow. Society legislates a lot of things - no steroid use in sports is one example - its only reasonable that there be rules of conduct to keep the fashion industry healthy.

In the past, models have spoken out on this issue, only to be accused of saying something because their careers were on the brink of extinction. This is not so in my case. I actually first spoke out about this two years ago at the peak of what a model would consider the ideal career and there was a reaction - those who were the worst offenders suddenly asked me to work for them! This was a public relations ploy and I wasn't prepared to fall for that. I said "No, lets go a few seasons, lets see if you change, then I will work with you". They didn't change. I haven't worked for them.

Of my generation of models I'm exactly where I need to be in my career and I'm grateful to use my position to actively speak out against this with the support of the CFDA and Vogue. My sincere hope is that through our efforts young models will one day be spared the humiliation, the risky weight loss, the depression that comes along with anorexia and the misery of abandonment by an industry ashamed to see them turn into actual women.

There are natural human standards in how we treat one another and how we treat children. There are those who continue to trample on these standards but there are also champions of a better way. I hope that the continued efforts of the CFDA and all those who hold these values in regard will bolster the opinion of those on the opposing side of the industry to ensure a true change for the better.

Read more: Coco Rocha Speaks Out About Her Weight

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Embarrassing Wardrobe

I was studying for my Social Psychology exam when I discovered that there's a certain phenomenon. The phenomenon studies how people seem to believe that there is an audience and are more likely to be embarrassed over wearing a tacky t-shirt when only 33% of people even noticed.
Well, I'm that 33% that notices.
Today I saw a young lady wearing jeans with about knee-length boots. In coordinating outfits, it's important that when wearing a black jacket and boots, that your jeans are a dark blue hue instead of a light blue hue. This will give you an overall slimming effect.
Next I want to touch up on wearing capris with boots. Don't do it. It's not summer and capris have not been cycled back into the fashion realm. Especially if you're not sure if the lines of your capri pants will show over the boots.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Proper Etiquette: Is it okay to put on your make-up in public?

I was walking through the an eating area at my university and I thought I saw a familiar face applying make-up for all to see. My immediate (and extremely honest) thought was 'She's putting on make-up in public and in a place everyone eats. I'm so glad that we're not friends anymore'. I know that this may come across as shallow but there are so many young (and older) woman (or girls) that just do not seem to know proper etiquette when to other people it's just common courtesy. Let me explain.

Let us analyze the situation I had presented earlier. This unknowing girl was putting on make-up in a public place. This was the first faux-pas. The second, was that she was applying her make-up in an eating area. Despite the casual atmosphere of an university, it should be common knowledge that applying make-up in a dining place is generally considered rude. Julie Rottenburg puts it quite plainly, "You’re still in a public place, and there’s something unseemly about having to watch someone else tend to personal hygienic business that should be done in the privacy of one’s bathroom." This girl (let's call her Amy**) should have realized that the application of make-up is considered a hygienic procedure. To put it quite simply: it is a personal practice that should be done in private.

What should have Amy done instead? Now if Amy wanted to be wearing make-up she should have (1) had done her make-up at home or (2) found a restroom or dressing room and applied her make-up there or (3) gone without any make-up at all. It is as simple as that.

On the other hand...

Several beauty experts seem to agree on a few certain exceptions. These exceptions include the simple task of touching up lipstick or lipgloss. This is probably because lipstick tends to wear off easily and can be quickly applied without the need of a mirror.

If you find yourself in a bind, and you see a cute guy across the room and you are certain that you look disheveled, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Many guys seem to like the more casual look, they feel like they are seeing the "real" you. If you must put on some make-up, try for a tinted gloss. A clear gloss would feel too subtle, lipstick would look too much, but a gloss with color can definitely pull the look together in a casual Blake Lively type of way.

**Not her real name

*Click on the picture to view the picture from the original site*

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two Poems I Wrote!

I am a Bird

I keep running and you can't stop me
I jump,
I scream,
I touch the air;
So don't you judge me.
I speak your language and I speak in tongues,
You won't ignore me.
I can fly,
I can escape,
I can sing and I can pray,
You can't tie me down.
I am yellow, red, white, and black,
All shades and hues,
All lighter and darker than you,
So why don't you love me?

Dangled Necklace

The light glimmers softly on your token of love
-but it's my token of love, too.
It shimmers, it dances, it skips, and disappears
Over a row of diamonds.
Heavy upon my chest I feel your heart upon my heart
My cold self that is made feverish
Against your hot flesh
My shell was orchestrated from metal and precious stones,
You barely feel me, but I notice all of you
-the color & intonation of your skin over your collarbones
I marvel anew over my simplicity
and the complexity of you.
How cruel is it that I would never leave you,
Even if I could
I pray that I would never be broken
For I know you would.

Dangled Necklace is a poem in coincidence with Dangled Earrings, which used to be featured on I will post it up here sometime to show the similarities in writing styles and technique.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Psychology Behind Smoking

So I had quit smoking in April this year, I was an unwilling participant but I am nonetheless, still proud of my accomplishment. Some things have changed a little in my personality so I want to uncover aspects of quitting smoking (besides the obvious health benefits).
I am going to try to undercover some changes in my moods and food cravings by dissecting a certain aspect of my life. I am going to see if quitting smoking had anything to do with my moods. I will discuss (1) the reasons why I started smoking and (2) why I continued smoking then going into (3) what got me to quit and (4) the ultimate consequences.

I remember right before turning 17, I was at one of my first parties (ever), I was a junior in high school, and desperate to fit in. After drinking, I remember that in between drinking and running around being obnoxiously drunk, I was with various girls smoking cigarettes on and off. It didn't seem to even matter to anyone. It was just something to do. Even as I turned 18 and started going out to bars and clubs. Since I wasn't old enough to drink, a way to kill time until some guy bought me a drink was to smoke cigarettes with my best friend.

In fact, it seemed like I made most of my friend by smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is an extremely social activity. I can go outside of my dorm, sit at a bench, smoke a cigarette, and more than likely, I'll end up talking to a fellow smoker. In fact, within my dormitory, there was a sense of camaraderie between the cigarette smokers. We were always in each others company, since we were always outside at random intervals smoking a cigarette. Especially on a beautiful day on any given moment.
There was no reason for me to quit. All my friends smoked, we always hung out, we were such an eclectic group that we molded well together. In fact, this cycle happened two years in row, starting over with a new school year and a new dorm. My freshman year, I had a group of friends that always hung out at the tables or at the "Zoolah" (it was engraved in the cement so the name stuck) and my second year of college we hung out at the "trap tables" and called ourselves the "LCGC crew". My roommate even jokingly commented, "you make all your friends from smoking. If you didn't smoke, you wouldn't have any friends".
The problem with being a social smoker in college was that it also made other forms of substance abuse acceptable. Although most college students enjoy drinking and going out and experimenting with marijuana, it seemed to me that the students I identified with as cigarette smokers are also more likely to try other drugs, most popular of them was, acid, ecstasy, shrooms, adderall, and of course, weed. Occasionally, some tried cocaine. That is usually kept really quiet among a tight knit group.
However, it should be noted that many cigarette smokers start off as marijuana smokers first, then resorting to cigarettes (because of the social aspect and weed being unavailable).
I realize that on top of being physically addicted to cigarettes, I wasn't ready to give up the social aspect of smoking either.

So why did I even quit?
I went to another country, South Korea actually, and I am not as familiar with the language to venture off anywhere on my own comfortably. So, I went everywhere with my mom. My mom had been trying to get me to quit, unsuccessfully, since I would just start smoking when I was away from her. While in Korea, she made it her personal goal to help me to quit, although she didn't know the extent of how much I smoked a day (I used to smoke about half a pack - 10 cigarettes- to 15 cigarettes). My mother is a determined woman and extremely strict and she made my life miserable for three weeks. It was so difficult going into a convenient store and seeing that cigarettes were for sale at about $2 USD, especially with taxes on cigarettes in Florida had recently upped the price of cigarettes from $3.50 to about $6-$7. I never wanted to buy cigarettes so badly before.
Note: Cigarette companies in America realized that the heavy taxes on cigarettes and bad publicity (TRUTH commercials) is going to reduce their revenue, so in order to make up for the loss, have exported their goods overseas, targeting a bountiful overseas market in other countries.
I don't think quitting smoking was really all that effective on me since when I quit smoking I picked up another addiction, caffeine. Coffee was at a large abundance in Korea with coffee makers in every single restaurant and it was free. So I ended up substituting one addiction for another. By the time I left Korea, I went from having practically no coffee to needing 3 to 4 cups day. I feel that might have substituted caffeine with sugar, but that's up in the air.

So now finally, I am tobacco and nicotine free but I'm wondering... at what cost?

Without nicotine or caffeine in my system, my body is trying to compensate for the dip in sugar levels by having one crave sweet foods. Because of the dip in my sugar levels, I started craving sweet foods and also might have been the reason why I felt nauseous for most of my trip in Korea (my mother was so concerned for me and suspected that I might possibly be pregnant). In fact, one's metabolism is increased by smoking, so quitting smoking meant that I would put on an average of 4-10 pounds. I was told by a friend that smokin burned about 200 calories a day. Eating is a substitute for smoking, since it involves the hands and the mouth. I noted that I started to bite my nails and hangnails more after I quit smoking.

Other symptoms that can affect quitters is:
-Mild depression & sadness
-Anxiety (this one's a maybe)
-Boredom & loneliness
-Anger & short-temper (this one I'm sure of)

Now, me being the vain creature that I am, knows that quitting smoking does a great deal of good towards improving your appearance (mostly since it improves your blood circulation), so it would lessen my chances of getting wrinkles earlier, and most people know that quitting smoking reduces health risks, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. You save money, since the habit is quite expensive. Besides, cigarette smoking has been linked to over 400,000 deaths in the U.S. per year. Why take that risk? In fact, why even start in the first place if quitting is just as difficult and tumultuous?

I guess what I have come to in conclusion is don't start smoking.

Except maybe if you're at a bar and you can't get drinks and you're bored. Because I still do that and can keep in control. Just be really careful, because even that small step is a gamble.

-View the sources for this blog: HERE

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My First Attempt

True to my word, I am STILL writing about all my firsts. Today I conducted my first interview for the school newspaper. I had been so busy with all the events going on this past weekend that I hurriedly scheduled a meeting with the student government congressman responsible for the act. The act that Will (the congressman) wanted to pass has to do with allowing organizations and clubs affiliated with the school more financial freedom. Right now, organizations are only given the right to use their tax deductible money towards educational purposes only. If this act gets passed, then they can use their funds towards wherever they need it. So far, this benefits greek organizations the most but it does benefit other groups as well.

Do you see any flaws in this kind of act passing?
In a few days, I'll have my first published journalistic piece! I'll post it right here to read. Another first to write about soon.
I have more to talk about, hopefully I can get around to writing about my labor day weekend.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fashion Forward: Urban Outfitters

I was perusing an Urban Outfitters catalog and decided to highlight my favorite outfits. I will also be picking out different accessories with each outfit, mostly from different sites since most people don't usually just shop at one store.

Look One:
For a great spring and daytime look, I loved this dress/jumper. I would recommend very light and natural make-up for this look.

As a matching cover up, I feel that this cardigan from Forever 21 helps complete the look.

Of course, I would suggest wearing it unbuttoned to show off the jumper-dress from Urban Outfitters. This would look great with any of the offered colors except perhaps the yellow. If you opt for the yellow jumper, I would simply go without a cover up.
As for shoes, I was thrilled when I found these flats since they are the sweetest doll-like pair I've found so far. They're from DSW Shoes and available in black and creme!

Look Two:
I wanted to go a whole different direction then the first outfit I chose since it was sweet and pretty and a daytime look. The second look is more of a rocker-glam look that you usually would wear for going out. I would recommend black winged eyeliner (such as what you normally see on Angelina Jolie, except more dramatic) with pink lipstick and plenty of lip gloss and mascara! This dress from Urban Outfitters just grabbed my attention.

Now the dress looks rather plain in the front but it's the back detailing that makes this a winning dress. The rather unique placement of the zipper had me absolutely drooling all over this dress. If you aren't a fan of the gray, it's also available in black and purple.

My biggest concern with a dress like this will be the goof-offs that might try to unzip you out of your dress in a very public place so a dress like this needs the perfect cover-up, which is why I loved Urban Outfitters Zip Trim Jacket.

p.s. any really cool black leather jacket will do the trick too!

These shoes from Jimmy Choos that I found will do just the trick in bringing the whole look together:

I have no doubt in my mind that you'll be able to find accessories such as earrings and necklaces that will go with the outfits. Never forget, make sure you have the right handbag for each.