As a child, I was a huge fan of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I seriously have seen every single episode more than once. I would race home after school to watch the re-runs.
His actions flicks were my favorite summer blockbusters.
I even tolerated his PG-13 rap music while I was in high school.
But lately, I just can't stand the guy. No, wait, it goes beyond dislike. Just thinking about him gives me heartburn.
I'm just tired of him forcing his mediocre children on us.
It has significantly reduced his cool factor with me. (And that's even after the whole Scientology debacle).
While most Hollywood parents try everything they can to shield the limelight away from their children, Will Smith has been drowning his offspring in it. And at such a young age.
Remember those performances his son, Jaden, would do with Justin Bieber? Gag.
And his daughter? She recently released a photo of herself sporting a tongue ring. She's ELEVEN. When the press got wind of it yesterday, Willow tried to brush it off by saying it was fake.
In my opinion, Will's kids are not that talented. At least not enough to be famous right now. I find them annoying. There's no avoiding them either. I turn on an awards show, there they are. I click on a news website, there they are. I can't even google "karate kid" without being victimized.
And I'm irritated that Will Smith has turned into this crazy stage dad who is marketing his kids as a cool product, rather than merely appreciating them as his family. By turning Jaden and Willow into child stars, he's asking for disaster.
There is a reason so many child stars end up on drugs or go crazy.
When you're incredibly successful as a little kid and you're always told how awesome you are, your ego consumes you. As a child, everything naturally seems bigger. Imagine having that fame and fortune so young, when the world seems so magical. You believe you have a never-ending supply of millions. You think everyone in the world absolutely adores you. You can't help but feel you are so much better than everyone else. What else are you supposed to feel?
You think you are the most special person in the entire world. And you haven't even reached puberty yet.
And when reality hits, there is nowhere else to go but down.
I don't care how down-to-earth his children might claim to be. I don't care that Will is watching their every move to make sure they don't fall into bad hands. I don't care if Jaden and Willow are model children.
None of that stuff will matter when his kids one day realize the height of their careers happened before they even had time to dream.
When I first met Latisha, I was sitting in front of the student center, studying for a calculus exam and waiting for the bus.
I was a freshman in college.
"Are you waiting for the bus?" asked a tall black girl, who was wearing an oversized Tweety Bird hoodie.
"Are you Indian?" she asked.
I nodded again.
"I thought so," she said. "Our kinds got to stick together. We got to fight against the white people!"
I stared at her, confused.
"What tribe do you belong to?" she asked, as the bus arrived.
"Oh, I'm not that kind of Indian--" I tried to correct her, before hopping on the bus.
"See you later, Pocahontas!" she hollered back at me.
As the semesters went by, I got used to seeing Latisha around. We were both majoring in journalism, so we had a lot of the same classes. She wore that hideous Tweety Bird sweatshirt every single day.
From the moment we had our first class together, I realized Latisha genuinely believed everyone was out to get her.
A teacher would tell her to stop talking during a test.
"You're only saying that because I'm black!" Latisha would snap back.
A sorority girl would try to hand her a flyer in the hallway.
"You only want me at your party because I'm black!" Latisha would sneer.
A Mexican girl in class said she liked Latisha's Tweety Bird sweatshirt.
"You only like it because I'm black!"
And so forth.
But Latisha was never mean to me. She liked me. She would go out of her way to sit next to me in class. She waved at me in the hallways, with a cheerful smile. The greeting "Hey, Pocahontas!" became a familiar part of my college life.
She made our classes interesting by randomly going into long monologues about how everyone was against black people, no matter what the subject.
My favorite was when she used that argument to explain why the vending machines no longer sold Dr. Pepper. "Because they hate black people!" she wailed.
When senior year came, Latisha had spun out of control.
In our Interactive Media class, Latisha went on a rampage about how our professor (who was also black) hated blacks. To end her argument, she ran around the room screaming. The paramedics had to be called because our poor professor started having chest pains.
As an editor of the school newspaper, I had to assign a writer to cover another Latisha moment: she had brought former Black Panther members to our university and was trying to resurrect the organization on campus. It was causing quite a ruckus.
The icing on the cake came during our last semester of college when our Advanced Reporting professor asked Latisha why she hadn't turned in her assignment. Latisha's face twisted into a menacing scowl. She picked up her desk and threw it across the room. Everyone in class screamed, terrified. Fortunately, nobody got hurt. Campus police came and took Latisha away.
Astoundingly, she was still allowed to graduate a few months later and because of our last names, we walked down the outdoor stage right next to each other.
"You were the nicest girl I ever met, Pocahontas," Latisha told me, after we had been handed our diplomas. "Thank you for being my friend."
I felt bad when she said it. After four years, I still barely knew her. I think I had been too wary to even try.
The one thing I regret the most is that I never bothered to find out her story. What made Latisha hate the world so much? Why did she think everyone was out to get her? These are questions that now, as a news reporter, I cannot get out of my head.
It was rare to see Selena Quintanilla-Perez without a glowing smile. Her laughter was contagious. Her music was heartbreakingly magical.
At 23, the Texas beauty was murdered by the president of her own fan club.
The last word she heard before she collapsed to her death was "bitch."
Nothing is fair.
I had a very boring childhood because I never had the opportunity to associate with anybody my own age due to my career.
Although my Spanish is a little weak I feel that I am Mexican. I'm very proud of my roots and ever since I was little we played English music and country music aside from Tejano. It was something very natural for us.
I only dance with people I know. I don't dance with strangers unless they ask my dad for permission. I also enjoy seeing other people dance. Then I go backstage and practice the steps I saw.
The life of an artist isn't all glamorous. It's a lot of work. A lot of people think it's very easy. They think you always stay in good hotels, you buy good things, but it's not like that. You have to work hard like everybody else.
Really and truly, I can't imagine myself having an everyday job and going into an office. I love business. I have my own business aside from singing, but I can't picture myself going to the same place everyday. I don't know, it would be kind of a drag to me, I guess. I have gotten so used to traveling now.
I think I'm very a kindhearted person. I don't like to hurt people's feelings. If I do, it's not intentionally. I'm sincere and very honest. And I feel that nowadays a lot of people have lost that, but I think that starts in the home. My parents have taught me that. Being fair with people.
The reason I'm so appreciative of everything that's going on around me is cause I never expected it. Never dreamed...never in my wildest dreams thought I would come this far and I plan to keep that attitude.
What I do on stage, you won't catch me doing off stage. I mean, I think deep down I'm still kind of, like, timid and modest about a lot of things. But on stage, I release all that; I let it go.
So you can imagine how I felt when they called out my name. I cried in the back. It was just a great feeling.
If you have a dream, don't let anyone take it away.
When April Ashley was 25, she was on top of the world.
The jaw-dropping beauty was a top London fashion model, with an editorial in Vogue. She had just filmed her first role in a major film. She had a string of enviable affairs with handsome movie stars like Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole. Her captivated admirers included Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
But in 1961, her world came crashing down.
A story, told by a former friend, revealed that April had been born a boy. She had received a sex change operation in Casablanca when she was 24.
The scandal shocked the entire world. Sex change operations were practically unheard of at the time. April had been the first British person to get one.
The backlash towards the promising young model was severe. Bookings were cancelled overnight. Her film credit was taken away. She received threatening phone calls. She was told her career was over, before it had even taken off.
April was heartbroken. After getting her sex change operation in 1960, she thought she had been set free.
But her struggles were only just beginning.
Born as George Jamieson in Liverpool to a working class family, April had always known she was different. She had under-developed genitalia. She was not growing normal, sexually. She looked and felt feminine. But it didnt' make any difference. She was born technically male. And if you were born male in the 1930s, you were male in the eyes of society.
At 14, she joined the Navy to grasp at some masculinity, but she encountered merciless bullying and was so unhappy with her identity crisis, she attempted suicide. She was put in a mental institution and given electro-shock therapy. After being released, she tried to lead a normal life as a man, but found it difficult. She was even raped by her roommate, which left her severely injured.
She eventually moved to Paris under a new name and became a drag queen at a prominent hot spot frequented by Ernest Hemingway and Bob Hope.
In 1960, she was introduced to a Moroccan surgeon who had successfully performed eight sex change operations. After becoming his ninth, she moved to London where her undeniable beauty immediately earned her a modeling contract.
When the scandal broke out, April didn't allow it to ruin her life. She kept her head held high.
In 1963, she fell in love with Arthur Corbett, a wealthy aristocratic married father of four who had a secret obsession with cross-dressing. He left his wife for April and they became the toast of high society.
But the marriage dissolved quickly and Arthur annulled the marriage on the grounds that it had never been legal to begin with, since April had been born male. The identity crisis came crashing down on April yet again.
In the next few decades, April put aside her unhappiness and embraced her difference. She wrote a heartfelt autobiography. She met the love of her life. She gave talks educating the masses on transsexualism. She advocated heavily for others like her.
Due to her hard work, she was recently awarded the MBE in the Queen's birthday honors for services to transgender equality.
Not bad for a girl who thought her life was over, right?
The other week, I had so much fun with those Barbie posts, I decided to go hang out with my old dolls.
I spent an hour in my parents' attic reacquainting myself with my former friends.
Let me introduce you to them:
This is Barbie, of course. When I first met Barbie, she was a flight attendant. But she has since lost her plane, making her job quite useless in Jennyland. So, for the past 20 years, she has mostly spent her time shopping with her besties and marrying her boyfriend over and over again.
These are Barbie's close friends, riding in front of her Dream House in their vintage 1989 pink convertible. Hope, on the left, was a hip-hop musician from NYC when we first met in 1991. Bridget, on the right, was a cheerleader when we met the same year.
This is Barbie's cousin, Malibu. When we first met in 1989, Malibu was an aspiring swimsuit model. But these days, she's a fashion blogger.
Do you like her outfit shot?
And here is Barbie's best friend, Jasmine. Isn't she gorgeous with her long shiny hair?! When we first met in 1993, Jasmine was a spoiled Arabian princess. She still acts like one.
Last but not least, here is Barbie with her boyfriend, Ken. He was a lifeguard when we met in 1990, and even though he has since retired from the career, he still spends most of his time lounging around the pool.
Holy slutballs! I turn my back for one minute and Jasmine is already letting Ken whisper sweet nothings in her ear! How could she do this to her best friend?!
And when Barbie catches them in the act, Jasmine still can't keep the smirk off her face. That dirty bitch! This friendship is OVER.
Without hesitation, Barbie kicks Jasmine to the ground and stomps on her, barefoot. That's what happens when you're a backstabbing, boyfriend-stealing hoe-bag!
Jasmine is so wrought with guilt, she seeks comfort in the arms of a priest, who is more than willing to oblige.
I'm sorry I have been MIA for the past several days.
Not only have I been swamped with work, but I need to take a short break from the researched posts I've been doing lately. It seems every time I get a free minute to blog, I stare at my list of blogspiration and ideas I've jotted down in my journal, and quite frankly, I'm too exhausted to work on any of them. That shit takes time!
I even thought of conjuring up a quick outfit post for you guys, but I'm currently wearing pink sweatpants and a powder blue Portland souvenir t-shirt. Somehow I don't think that outfit would stack up against the jaw-dropping fierceness of Da Paura, the colorful, playful style of Amber's Mouthwash, or the effortless bohemian chic of Vintage Vixen.
Speaking of fashion blogs and outfit posts, am I the only girl here who could care less about the glossy, high-fashion, over-rated ad rags that are bragged about in all the magazines? I think you know which blogs I'm talking about.
I don't find inspiration from rich model wanna-be's who have 500 pairs of Prada pumps and a closet filled with couture. That's boring. If I wanted to see the latest designer dress, I'd just skim through the pages of Elle to see a real model wearing it better.
My inspiration comes from the girls who boast unique style, which embodies their personality and lifestyle.
I have found myself becoming a more critical thrift store junkie by keeping up with Ashley at Milk Teeths. I have literally scoured Forever 21 for similar modern-Audrey inspired dresses I've seen on Imogen over at Tia Cherie. My Converse sneakers have seen the light of day again thanks to Sherin at Hi Fashion.