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Archive for July, 2008

Lighter Skin Gets the Guy

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

One of my favorite things to do when I have time to kill is "randomly surf the web".  I start at yahoo.com, usually click on a news story, that might lead me to a website link, which might lead me to someone's interesting blog.  I always find thought-provoking and intriguing content when I do this, and it can kill hours of time.

Sometimes, instead of finding content and information that I enjoy, I find some that bothers me - riles me up, so to speak.  This morning, when I came upon the article Is white skin more "beautiful?" on Shine's Fashion + Beauty section, I felt that discomforting anger rising to the surface.

Whenever I see women being told that to be "this" or be "that" will then make them "beautiful", I get upset.  Where are the ads promoting beauty as is?  Where are the commercials telling young women that their unique "imperfections" and different physical appearance are what make them beautiful and special?

I have heard of the phenomenon in Japan and India of women yearning for lighter skin...to be more "white".  It astounds me, as I believe darkened skin - of any shade - is simply beautiful.  White women spend great amounts of money and time to darken their skin through tanning and products.  I suppose it's the age-old struggle of wanting what you don't have.  Lighter skin people wish they were darker; darker skinned people wish they were lighter.

However, I still am bothered by the Ponds 5-part commercial series that implies the man only went back to his first and true love after she lightened her skin; becoming more light-skinned than the glamorous starlet he was dating.  Ponds obviously has a market for its Flawless White product line, but should they really be playing into women's insecurities this way?

I know that all beauty products, and the media used to promote them, play up a woman's perceived "flaw" with promises to cure and fix it; it's the nature of the beast.  Still, there is just something a little more disturbing here - perhaps its, as the original article stated, ...when it comes to altering the color of one's skin, when does aesthetic become racism?

Aesthetic racism - now there's a term, and I suppose, in a way, that is what you might call it.  It's not that those desiring lighter skin are necessarily racists, but isn't telling them that they will be more desirable and worthy if they change their skin tone so?

Perhaps it's all a big hoax.  I don't know - the whole thing just leaves me feeling uncomfortable - I keep waiting for someone to say, "It's a joke!  Ponds doesn't really have any such product - it's all a big hoax!"  It has that kind of feel about it.

Regardless, though, it draws attention to the fact that people still - to this day - feel inferior because of the pigment of their skin, and that saddens me.

Just How Stupid Can Someone Be?

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I'll preface this newsworthy-bit of stupidty with a quick explanation, for those not in the know...

A Fuelman card is one used by companies that have field personnel, delivery people, fleet drivers, or the like on roadways for gas purchases.  The gas card allows companies to keep up with employees' fueling and gives them a way to pay a set monthly fee for gas usage.

That being said, let me introduce you to a local man by the name of James Cotton.  I'm unaware how long Mr. Cotton, aged forty-three years, has been an employee of Mockler Beverage but what is apparent is that somewhere in the past couple of weeks, he believed he had stumbled upon a sure proof way to garner some extra cash-on-the-side for himself.

Being the resourceful man he obviously is, and realizing the hurt the high gas prices are having on people's pocketbooks, Mr. Cotton realized he was in a position to help ease the locals' gas woes while padding his own pocketbook.

By now, I'd imagine, you do realize where this is going.

Yes, for reasons unknown to the more sensible members of the population, Mr. Cotton seemed unaware that his employer could or would keep tabs on his gas-spending purchases.  Though it seems hard to fathom that even such an astute individual as Mr. Cotton has proven himself to be here could not have had an inkling that the company's accountants might notice $7,000 in charges to his company-issued Fuelman card; even moreso considering those charges were accrued within only a two week period.

Mr. Cotton, it seems, was selling gas to other people - on the company's dollar.  Perhaps he thought the Fuelman card was simply a "free gas" card?  Perhaps he believed it was not monitored?  Perhaps he didn't think at all.

Something tells me the latter may be the correct answer.

Original article: Man arrested for allegedly misuing company fuel card, WAFB Channel 9, Baton Rouge.

Sorry, Mom – I Tried

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

You guys are going to hate me.  Seriously.

I tried - for my Mom's sake I think more than anything.  No, no; that sounds like I'm putting it on her and it was fully my decision.  I was trying to "clean up" the blog - less cursing, more positive crap, and all of that (I thought) coincided with a more sophisticated and "pretty" blog layout and domain name/blog title.  I was wrong.  I have tried - oh gods I have tried - to fall in love with this layout and this name (La Vie Sans Limites); I cannot.

Don't get me wrong; this is a gorgeous layout; one of the prettiest I've ever seen or used.  And the name - which is French for "A Life Without Limits" - describes me and "works" in it's own way.  True, too, it got rid of that rather juvenile name "Sunshine and Farts" (which, in case you haven't figured out, my mother hated).  I was really trying to branch out and embrace a new, more positive, less cynical worldview and writing style.

Yet the more I looked at La Vie Sans Limites, the more I longed for Sunshine and Farts, and the more I gazed upon the lovely Forever Autumn layout theme, the more I pined for my carefully customized Sweetness theme.

When I bitch and gripe on the pretty blog with the sophisticated name, I feel...sort of malapropos.  It doesn't feel right.

Another point to bring up.  What's a more memorable blog title?  La Vie Sans Limites or Sunshine & Farts; come on, it's no contest.  My sister told me she has to keep laviesanslimites.com bookmarked to get to it - whereas she could always just type in sunshineandfarts.com; she remembered that.  And isn't that the goal of every blogger - to have a memorable name/domain name so that people can easily find and remember you?  Touche.

So here it is...I'm back.  I'm sorry, Mom; I did try.  But let's face it - I'm more a Sunshine and Farty kind of gal than a ooh-la-la Frenchy one.  To me, Sunshine & Farts sort of represtend my entire life - it's ups and downs, its stinky moments and its laughable ones; the joys and the sorrows, the highs and lows.  I realize that's a lot of emphasis to put on such a phrase, but there it is.

It's also a quote directly from one of the absolutely most amazing shows on television today; one that pinballs from being devishly cleverly cynical to embracing brilliantly hilarious buffoonery - Family Guy.  I'm not ashamed to admit I own every single season on DVD, as well as Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, and the special edition DVD-set of Blue Harvest.

The quote comes from Stewie Griffin in a scene where he is being interviewed by Bill Cosby for a spin-off on Kids Say the Darndest Things.

Bill Cosby: Stewie, what do you think candy is made out of?
Stewie Griffin: Sunshine and farts! What the hell kind of question is that?!

I laughed my ass off when I heard it and, later, thought it was just a hilarious and fun name that - as I said above - sort of represented me and this wild, wacky, often uconventional blog.

So there it is.  Hopefully this is the last change.  sunshineandfarts.com still works, always has - so you may resort back to that when ready.  The lavissanlimites.com will work 'til it expires sometime next year.

I apologize, but it had to be done.