Click, Click, Click . . . FLASH!: My Photoshoot Story

I call this concept The Broken Doll. Cute, huh?

I call this concept The Broken Doll. Cute, huh? Because that’s how I felt. Like a broken doll.


Lights, camera, ACTION! Isn’t that the usual order followed whilst on the set of a professional shoot? There were lights. Very bright lights. There was a camera. But there wasn’t a whole lot of action coming from me during my first official photoshoot months ago somewhere in the heart of downtown Birmingham. In my case it was more like, “Lights, camera, . . . don’t just stand there. Start posing! Do something, woman!”
As I stood before the lens of the camera, white lights beaming blindly in my sensitive eyes, I relied on the photographer to guide me (an amateur “model” at least, a stiff mannequin at best) in what I was supposed to do next. The time had come to put to test if I was as photogenic as people politely claimed me to be; to challenge those who would always tell me I should become a model. I’m quick to tell those people who advise me to become a model that I am, in fact, not a model neither do I try to be or want to be.

I’ve never been the type who likes the focus of attention on any level, because it gives me an uncomfortable feeling of being self-conscious of everything from my hair to my body language; it’s because of this feeling that I’m opposed to taking too many selfies (that, and I just think they are the quintessence of the word vanity. Besides, who has the patience to take 20 shots just to get that perfect one? It’s so aggravating!). After months of ironing out the concept with the photographer–who by the way is one of my confidants–discussing the direction I was aiming for, the time had finally come to test out my painfully lacking skills.IMG_20140831_230735

Originally I had every intent on recording part of the session as a look behind the scenes for “Skinny Girl . . .” but I was afraid my incoordination and ineptitude would produce a major case of secondhand embarrassment to my viewers. If I ever do another one, I’ll try my best to not be too camera shy long enough for me to be recorded. Maybe.

 With Adrianne Morrison Hogan, the woman who gave me the awesome henna tattoo.

With Adrianne Morrison Hogan, the woman who gave me the awesome henna tattoo.

Watching my friend, D. Jerome Smedley, work gave me a new respect for photographers in their profession. Being the inquisitive person I am, there were moments I asked him about the equipment he used and their functions. In the end I did have fun thanks to him (and my Mom who was present, God bless her). Dancing to Michael Jackson and Prince songs on Pandora helped loosen me up, too. They both laughed at my dancing, but I don’t care. They were just jealous of my moves, that’s all.

Would I do it again? I’m not opposed to it. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine nearby and the right kind of music to help keep me from looking like a stiff mannequin who lacks expression next time.

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And now for a shameless plug. Please be kind and visit D. Jerome Smedley’s website at http://www.djeromesmedley.com for contact information.

Of course I had to pose with the photographer!

Of course I had to pose with the photographer!

*k*

Photo Credit(s): http://www.djeromesmedley.com
Styling: Elegantly Chic

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Crush Groovin’: The Series Finale

Oh my goodness! Has it really been a year since I’ve jumped into the blogasphere? It’s hard to believe I started Skinny Girl in a Curvy World last April! I’m surprised myself for committing to blogging for this long.

Here’s the thing: I dedicate most of my writing time to completing a story I’ve been working on for almost a year now that I don’t have time to write about thought-provoking topics. My thinking cap is too occupied with an imaginative world where people I create actually live. But blogging does have its perks even if it’s not my preferable thing to do as far as writing goes. (My strength and comfort zone is in writing fiction.) Ah, who am I kidding? Enough with the excuses. Let’s get on with the final entry for Crush Groovin’.

In the past, I’ve praised women who I thought were sexy and/or talented beyond measure. Women I thought possessed the qualities men want and the physical beauty that most women desire to have. Women like:

1. Esperanza Spalding: the talented jazz musician
2. DJ Havana Brown: the stylish Aussie D.J.
3. BoA: the Korean queen of K-Pop
4. Tracee Ellis Ross: the risible actress (with a home-grown derrière worth mentioning here)
5. Aaliyah: the beautiful angel gone too soon.
6. Tami Chynn: the Jamaican dance-hall prima donna
7. Tessanne: the powerhouse voice who actually won “The Voice”
8. Chrisette Michele: the spiritually gifted singer
9. Sarah Jessica Parker: the cute humanitarian actress
10. Sabi: Cali’s own beautiful songstress
11. Erykah Badu: the eccentric soul goddess
12.

Ironically, number 12 recently had a birthday this month (as in April, not May–depending on when I can get this published. Edit: it was published in May). It would’ve been nice if I would have had this entry written up by then, but of course . . . my timing is always lacking in perfection.

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Who gets the honor of being named my ultimate girl crush? She is by far the first woman I was ever inspired by when it comes to fashion even before she was globally recognized as a fashion icon and way before she made her mark as a fashion designer. She’s funny, attractive, fashionable, and British! She’s Victoria Caroline Adams Beckham Posh Spice, and yes, I want to be best friends For.Eh.Ver with her.

I’ve been staning this woman since 1997 when the Spice Girls first hit the international scene. The other girls were brash and in-your-face while the quiet one with the pout, dressed in “the little black Gucci dress,” was the one who really commanded your attention. I attribute my interest in fashion completely to her. Victoria somehow manages to make everything she wears look good, not the opposite. (I wish I could say the same for me. I’m just now learning how to really wear clothes.)

Victoria Beckham: My ultimate girl crush of all time. And here are the photos to prove it . . .

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Quote: "You're allowed to take the piss out of being thin. You're not allowed to say anything about people being fat.

You’re allowed to take the piss out of being thin. You’re not allowed to say anything about people being fat. -Victoria Beckham

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Her first official album. Thanks to Amazon, I ordered it as an import. One of my top 5 Pop albums on constant rotation to date.

Her first official album. Thanks to Amazon, I ordered it as an import. One of my top 5 Pop albums on constant rotation to date.

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I don't follow fashion and I don't follow trends. I just follow my instincts and think  what do I want to wear? What am I feeling for next season?

I don’t follow fashion and I don’t follow trends. I just follow my instincts and think what do I want to wear? What am I feeling for next season? -Victoria Beckham

Exactly my style! How elegantly chic!

Exactly my style! How elegantly chic!

Fun Fact: It wasn’t their catchy pop debut song Wannabe that pulled me into the fandom of the Spice Girls. 2 Become 1 earned my love for them. Traveling back to 1997, seeing the sassy energetic quintet in a time-lapsed video of New York City (the city I love) is when it all began. I used to watch Vh1 all day just to catch this on “Pop-Up Video.”

About Crush Groovin’:
Understand that this was my way of paying homage to twelve women . . . whom I can’t help but to fangirl over whenever I see them; that’s the best way I can word it. They are laudable women I relate to. They are women I would find attractive if I were a man. But since I’m not a man nor do I want to be, they are women I wish I could call up and maybe attend fashion week in Paris with or something. Or maybe we could trade beauty secrets! There are a few honorable mentions like Jill Scott, Shakira, Naomie Harris, Minzy and CL, Gwen Stefani, Kat Graham, and Iman. But listing twelve was my limit. Thus, this concludes Crush Groovin’. Thanks for reading. For additional eye candy, be sure to check out the others I’ve listed.

*k*

Crush Groovin’: Sabi

I’m not too late, am I? Yaaaay, I’m not late!

Wow. I feel like I haven’t posted anything since last year! I’m currently in the process of redesigning Skinny Girl in a Curvy World, complete with photos and new blog entries pertaining to more than just music and girl crushes. Hopefully, I can kick it off really soon! Nevertheless, it’s the last day of January, which means I can’t miss posting about my girl crush of the month.

Now introducing . . .

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If you don’t know who this beauty is, you’re about to now. Her name is Sabi (real name Jenice Dena Portlock), and I think she is hawt! If she wasn’t she wouldn’t be anywhere near my list. Maybe you know her from Cobra Starships’s fun song (one wtdtaof my favorite dance tunes, just to let you know); maybe you don’t. But that’s how I know her, and that one song led me to others she released on her own and more collaborations she has done with other artists like Britney Spears, Tyga, and Diplo, to name a few.

By the way, is it me or does the Inglewood, California-born vixen resemble August’s girl crush? Either way, she’s a beauty in her own right. I wish her all the best in finding her place in the overpopulated world of music. But I’d rather her not become a mainstream puppet. (Nevermind what I want. Those are just my selfish feels talking.)

Hit the play button here and below to see why she’s the pick for January’s crush groovin’. Any chick who can rock this deserves to be on the list, don’t you agree?

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*k*

“Champagne” (This is one of those songs that always makes me want to kick it with my girls and dance the night away.)

Crush Groovin: Sarah Jessica Parker

SJP closing out 2013.

SJP closing out 2013.

When you think of Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP as adoring fans so affectionately call her) a picture of Carrie Bradshaw wearing the most ridiculous outfit anyone has ever seen will always come to mind. No surprises there. The tiny actress did bring life to the fashionista so many women came to love for her puns and unapologetic fashion sense and hate for her moodiness and indecisiveness over Big and Aidan.

During my college era, I remember watching episodes of the series, Sex and the City . . . mainly for the trendy clothes and relationship drama–but mostly for the clothes. It was during the stint of the HBO series that I blossomed into a real fashionista myself after watching four women strut down the streets of New York City in stilettos and wear bright-colored suits and dresses paired with unforgettable jewelry, accessories. (Who can forget the Carrie necklace and the gargantuan flowers?)

I will shamefully admit how I (initially) did not think of SJP as being an attractive woman with looks to kill for. Frankly, I had a very hard time understanding how she landed a role which obviously called for great sex appeal. But somehow, episode after episode, the actress eased her way onto my girl crush list. Before I knew it, I found myself admitting to how adorably cute she was and how much chemistry she had with her female co-stars and her main squeezes, Big (Chris Noth) and Aidan (John Corbett).

I love this look.

I love this look.

Now, SJP is one of my all-time favorite actresses. The reasons? Besides her representing for us skinny girls? Why, it’s because she has successfully gone through her entire career without ever comprising herself for nude scenes (she managed to play on a show about love and sex without showing any hint of nudity), she can wear something that looks like a potted plant on her head with great confidence while everyone else question her [fashion] sanity, and she’s a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador and a philanthropist. Overall SJP is just a fascinating woman, and she is, legit, an entertaining actress.

0f050414b9c52bb29d403bb0ca995dc1Sarah Jessica Parker is the girl next door. No matter what negative, vile comments people spew about her looks, they fail to see her true beauty. Her inner beauty is what makes her one of the most beautiful women in this world of plastic and counterfeits.

Yes, I used to be one of those negative people. But her internal/external beauty–her charisma was what won me over. And it’s why she has a secured spot on my list of girl crushes.

So fly.

So fly.

I Am Not My Hair . . . Am I?

Long hair don’t care . . . until someone assumes it’s not yours.

Natural Hair

This week sometime, I was talking to a male friend of mine who is from and lives in Korea. We had our general conversation: the typical “Hey, how are you? How’s work going?,” and as usual, talk about our cultural differences. Somewhere in between banal and “respect of customs” talk, he gave me a compliment about my curly, wavy hair. It went something like this:

Him: Where did you get that hair? Looks nice!
Me: That’s my hair! All of it! *laughs*
Him: Oh, really?
Me: Yessss. O_O
Him: I don’t know if it’s true or not.
Me: O_O Then I will show you someday.
Him: But I heard black people can’t have long hair.
Me: That’s not true.
Him: And I saw some Beyonce’s pic.
Me: O_-
Him: She doesn’t have hair but fake hair, haha.
Me: *laughs*

Yes, that conversation did happen. I further explained to him that black women were capable of growing their hair to long lengths like women from other ethnicities. I also made sure he understood that caucasian women (or whatever PC name my white sisters prefer to be called) were guilty of wearing extensions just as much as black women were.

Was I offended by his inaccurate assumption about my hair not being real? Not. At. All. I understand that because of the homogeneous society where he is from and where he lives, he hasn’t had much exposure to women who look like me. The only exposure he has is to what he sees on television and in the media (i.e., Beyonce, which leads me to another topic I’m not quite ready to dive into just yet but will eventually ).

Actress, Viola Davis

Actress, Viola Davis


Had it come from someone else, it would’ve sounded like a backhanded compliment. I was able to accept the compliment for what it was and not pop off at him for saying something that otherwise could have been offensive had I’d chosen to be offended. But as we continued to talk about other things, one thing nagged me a bit: why do we–black women–feel the need to add hair to our beautiful tresses?

I haven’t worn any in a while, but people know me for wearing wigs and phony ponytails. Fake hair is fake hair, regardless. I don’t need to wear any, but I like the convenience of changing my hairstyles and color whenever I feel that the outfit I’m wearing requires for me to. And when I’m ready to go back to my own head full of hair, I can on any day. But why do we prefer to wear longer hair past our shoulders down to our waistlines?

Janelle Monáe

Singer, Janelle Monáe

I desperately wanted to sing praises of the black woman to my Korean friend–to expound on so many things that the Beyonce’s, Gabriel Union’s , Zoe Saldana’s, Lauryn Hill’s, Alicia Keys’, Halle Berry’s, and Tyra Banks’ do not portray. (Seriously, those are all of the women he finds attractive.) I wanted to tell him that as black women, we have the most versatile hair that can do things when we want it to and when we don’t want it to.
Yaya DaCosta

Model/Actress, Yaya DaCosta

(Humidity and rain will NEVER be our hair’s ally.) I couldn’t go into detail about it all, though. After all, night for me is day for him and he was working. I did, however, tell him that “long hair is thought to be better, so blacks add more hair.” (Note: Because of the language barrier between us, we often have to talk in a way for us to understand each other.) After I said it, I cringed a little. I couldn’t help but to ponder the why question. Why is long hair considered to be more beautiful? Furthermore, why do we as women believe such B. S.? Why can’t we love the hair we have without adding to it, be it weaves or chemicals? Has society screwed our mindset that much? My goodness!

I wear my hair in its natural state, meaning no chemicals and definitely no weaves. Of course it’s high-maintenance, believe it or not, but I do love it even if it has a mind of its own and doesn’t always obey what I command it to do.

Cindy Blackman

Drummer, Cindy Blackman


One other thing: I’m happy to know that other men from other racial backgrounds are taking notice of how beautiful our crowns are.

. . . I just wish we would believe it more for ourselves. And not become so easily offended when people express a curious interest about our unique hair.

*k*

Crush Groovin’: Tracee Ellis Ross

I wish I could get my hair to look this great.

I wish I could get my hair to look this great.

Move over, ladies! Tracee Ellis Ross is joining you as the girl crush of July!

What more could I possibly say that the pictures on this page cannot convey? Yes, she is the daughter of one of the greatest [supreme] divas the world of music has ever been blessed to hear. I have to highlight that fact, but T.E.R. has secured her own spot as one of the most beautiful divas the world of entertainment has been blessed to have.

I honestly don’t know one, single person who does not find this woman attractive. What is it about Tracee Ellis Ross that men and women tend to crush on? Is it her penetrating eyes? Is it her near perfect skin? Is it her curly tresses that so gracefully fall from her crown? Her humorous personality? Or is it that voluptuous rump that gets to follow her everywhere she goes? How about it’s a combination of all of the above? Tracee is sexy for so many reasons that could fill this entire page, but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, I will say this much: Bu Thiam is one lucky brother to have this arm candy:

Unaltered, natural beauty.

Unaltered, natural beauty.


So, why is T.E.R. considered as one of my girl crushes? Look at the woman. Just look at her!
Then again, this photo says more, yes.

Then again, this photo says more, yes.


TER is too dope. Nuff said.

TER is too dope. Nuff said.

And really, is it necessary for me to explain why she’s even on my list? There’s something about her character that seems ingenuous unlike so many celebrities who are blessed with physical features most women would covet to have. I believe with Miss Tracee Ellis Ross, what you see is what you get. My goodness, she just comes off as one of those people you want to become b.f.f.’s with! (I personally would love to raid her wardobe and jewelry armoire. She even has that tricky, lazy eye thing going on like I do whenever I smile for a flashing camera. That’s reason enough why she and I should be friends! I’m joking . . . sort of.)

Tracee Ellis Ross has a bright spirit that captures people’s attention (clearly, she got it from her mama)–the type of woman who could be seen wearing a pair of Air Jordans one day, Christian Louboutins the next. Now, that’s my kind of girl crush.

She doesn't even need makeup! Flawless, honty! Flaw-less!

She doesn’t even need makeup! Flawless, honty! Flaw-less!

*k*