Sunday, 29 July 2012

In Review: Isis Magazine Issue One

I've got some wonderful news to share; a new magazine called ISIS Magazine was recently released and I'm one of their bloggers too! 

I received Issue One about a week ago, I paid £2.90 for it (which is the price of the magazine). I ordered it through the Isis Magazine website

I was impressed (dare I say very surprised)! The magazine has a glossy cover and pages and it's completely high quality. That is very impressive for a first issue. You can definitely tell that a lot of time and effort was put into the quality of the paper of the magazine.

Advert and acknowledgements page
The first/second page contains the acknowledgments page which was really kind and humble.

At the bottom of the page it says:
 Dedicated To: Every female who's ever struggled with their Afro hair...
Very thoughtful dedication and also shows the magazine was started in good faith and with the aim to make the lives of black women and men (in regards to afro hair etc.) much more easier.

The uber gorgeous editor-in-chief Linda Graham on the left and table of contents on the right.

This page is an opening letter from editor-in-chief Linda Graham. She wrote about this magazine's issue and also referred to the pages where you can find the relevant information (allows for easy navigation; thumbs up!).

The table of contents show that there's a lot to read in this magazine (something I didn't expect because it is a fairly new magazine).

This page shows a diverse range of women of African descent. Different types of Afro textured hair,  featured in different styles. I like the diversity and they didn't leave out the sisters with locs! 

On this page I've learned quite a bit. For example, I never knew that the word Kingly was used to describe afro textured hair. The definition is very positive, I like!
In the 60s, amongst ourselves we described our hair as Kingly because of the tall and proud way stood. When our natural hair has grown to a certain point, it appears circular almost like a crown or halo and therefore appears Kingly.
This description of natural hair is so positive, I may start using it. The definition also explains why a lot of people compare natural hair to a crown.

I'm on the fence about hair type but this page does tell you the importance of knowing hair types. It also quite clearly says that people can have hair types in between.

This page breaks down the hair types and shows examples of the hair types. The text also offers examples of well-known people with the different hair types.

Protective style tips
Why you should protective style.
Great information about different protective styles, why you should protective style and when. There are also tips offered on maintenance of protective styles.

Short to the point but informative reviews. The review is accompanied with a product label picture so there's no confusion.

All about sheabutter!

I've learned new things about shea butter! There's a lot of really good facts about shea butter and a few common questions that I have seen people ask, are answered on this page.

I personally love this page because I'm terrible when it comes to my own skin care. Skin types are broken down into different categories and explained.
A skin care mask recipe. 
Here's a recipe for an oily skin mask to tighten pores but there wasn't any tips on masks for the other skin types. I assume it will be talked about in future issues. 

Detox... I'm thirsty just looking at this.
I personally love this page. I'm sorta a health freak and the tips on the two pages are really helpful. Dare I say I was inspired to start detoxing?

This page is one of my favourites too. I love tea. I am always drinking tea. This page, again, offers great information on different types of tea and how they are beneficial to your health.

Interview with Nerissa Irving
The beautiful model Nerissa shares her secrets on her physique. I liked the interview and I didn't expect this for the 1st issue. She gave gave great eating and exercise tips and says that unhealthy spirits and unhealthy minds lead to an unhealthy body. This is very true indeed.

Interview with Pablo Imani, a Yoga teacher
This interview was particularly interesting because I learned about Afrikan Yoga (I never knew this even existed). The yoga that I know about is Indian Yoga, but Pablo explains that the difference between Indian and African Yoga is in the posture and the language. His journey to revitalise Afrikan Yoga  across Africa is also inspiring. 

What do men really think?
Of course the men here don't represent all men but the ocmments were interesting. The guys seemed to like girls who are natural; no weaves/wigs and minimal to no make up. A good personality is emphasised as well.

ISIS Magazine didn't leave out the boys! I personally enjoyed this part of the magazine. Ola the comedian had a really funny interview (I can see why he's a comedian). Adonis the model appears to be sensitive but I love his way with words. Emile the director wants to make people think through the films he makes.

Interview with Aziza Edwards, owner of Aziza Natural Beauty
Beautiful Aziza creates natural skin and hair products. She also offers information on the benefits of particular oils and remedies for dry hair.

Interview with Fran Bacelar, owner of Stardream Cakes
Fran's story shows that you can turn a hobby into a business! I admire what she does (I'm a cake lover). Her cakes look great too!

Interview with fashion designer Connie Uwineza
 Connie creates unique designs tailored to each individual. I personally like that she does that because we're not all build the same way.

Satin N Silk look on the left. On the right, African inspired cat suit.

On the left; long pleated dress. On the right; a beaded corset.

On the left; marine blue and red mini dress. On the right; African inspired cat suit.
I love the clothes; especially because of how African-inspired they are. Connie is clearly talented and has a great vision.
Natural hair confessions!
Girls in different stages of their natural hair journey share why/how they became natural. The girls either have a short cut, a small afro or locs! Definitely diverse, which I think is important because the natural hair world is diverse.
ISIS: The True Story
ISIS Magazine has taught me some things that I did not know before. I'm impressed by how professional it is. A lot of thought has been put into the quality of the magazine, as well as the pictures and the font etc. What I loved the most is just how colourful and visual the magazine is. There are pictures on almost every single page and the diversity of black people has been shown again and again. 

The content has been quite good. While ISIS Magazine did discuss hair types and product reviews, ISIS Magazine made it quite clear that 1) people can have hair types in between the four different hair types and 2) different things work for different people.

I like how the magazine talks about hair, beauty and healthy living and promotes talented black businesses/talents. The magazine is diverse in the range of topics and can appeal to a lot of different people.

The models featured in the magazine are beautiful and modelled the clothing quite well. The models are also normal sized. Not size zero. There's no airbrushing (if there was any). The magazine presents the people in their realest forms. There's no deception about how someone looks. I don't feel insecure flicking through the magazine. In fact I feel inspired and uplifted to maintain my own natural beauty.

Things this magazine can improve on; Spelling, grammar, punctuation... all that English class stuff. It's not something I had a big problem with because it's the first issue. It's also something that can be easily  improved for the next issue.

This issue is completely on point when it comes to content. The content served has also surprised me, as well as the amount of research that went into the content (which was also referenced and sourced properly (something I find extremely important)).

ISIS Magazine (as far as I know) is the first magazine of its kind. While other magazines may have content about natural hair, they didn't have that content years ago and are just adding that in response to the increased number of people going natural. I can't wait for Issue Two and counting... I wonder what ISIS Magazine will have in store for its readers!

Twitter: @ISISMag
Facebook: ISISMagazine

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Bey. Blue. & Braids.

Hello lovely readers today we yes WE : Sieta of Moderne Meid and Vongai (musicbutterfly) of The Music Cocoon are coming to you with a co-authored article.

If you’ve been stuck in a hole for the past two days then shame on you! If not then you will be aware of the fact that the social media world went crazy this week because Beyonce is wearing braids.


That’s right Beyonce was recently spotted shopping around New York with her daughter Blue Ivy (who has the cutest chubby cheeks FYI) looking a little different. Beyonce’s rocking some blonde braids.


The Internet is a buzz from beauty bloggers to Beyonce stans to haters and their mamas talking about these braids. All the Facebook posts, reblogs and retweets got us to talk a lot about all the hype these ordinary braids have caused.
 Comments have been along the lines that Beyonce has followed in the footsteps of her younger sister Solange (who coincidentally was spotted rocking some butt length braids the previous day) and that the hairstyle is a great new look for her. Whilst Hello Magazine claims ‘Busy mum Beyonce brings back braids’.

These comments just didn’t sit well with us.

Vongai asserts :
Why would Beyonce want to follow Solange? She’s her own person! Even though Solange has stated it’s mere coincidence does that even matter? Whether the two sister both rock braids. Urm anyone remember the Williams sisters playing together both wearing braids. Anyone ever speak about that? Mhm I thought so.

Moderne Meid comments :
I personally like this style on Beyonce, but are people going too far by saying that Solange inspired/motivated her etc? It seems that the two can’t ever be separated and given credit where it’s due! Both girls are adults and can make their own decisions about what to do and what to wear. Is it copying if you decide to get braids? A style that most people have worn since birth?
It’s not the first time that Beyonce has worn braids before, but because it has been such a long time since she’s worn them, people are getting a bit excited… I guess.

Introducing Beyonce’s history with braids: 
Destiny’s Child Writing’s on the Wall cover and Say My Name music video
 Micros in Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2002)
 Twists in The Fighting Temptations (2003)

Beyonce’s sister Solange is known for her braids too (years ago)…:
Feeling you music video 
Solange looks great with her braids! 

But what is this sudden obsession with Beyonce wearing braids?

If Hello Magazine (and other outlets that claims that Beyonce is bringing back braids) looked a little closer online, they would know that braids have always been around, since… before the existence of cameras. Box braids and other types of braids are nothing new… however, I do admit that they have seemed to become more popular. 

But some of us are kind of getting tired with inundated images of Bey’s braids because it’s… something she’s always worn, since her Destiny’s Child days and even before that.
And if we’re going to talk about celebrities wearing braids then these are some others we shouldn’t leave it out:
Jada Pinkett
 Christina Aguilera
·      Alicia Keys
·     Janet Jackson’s Poetic Justice braids (the original ‘Solange braids’)

Moderne Meid says, ‘Is this hype occurring because we don’t see many people in the public eye wear braids anymore? Most probably. But if Bey wearing braids inspires the next stan to wear the braids too then that is awesome!’. While Vongai says, ”I’m not sure where this hype about braids came from these last few years. Growing up the only hairstyles I rocked were braids and even while I was getting relaxers. In the 90s and early 2000s we were all rocking braids (black, white, ska punk) heck maybe it was me who started the trend!!”.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Taren916 The Ugly Truth About YouTube & Business.

The video I agree with is below. MelsharyA pretty much summed up my view on Taren's video. I agreed with Taren, just not entirely.

If you believe your blog/vlog is worth something, then set the standards. Demand the commission etc. Remember, the companies can go elsewhere to get their products reviewed for free. There are many people on YouTube and in the internet world with more or similar influence power and some would probably do these reviews for free.

Don't knock a company for not offering commission! To me the product itself is a reward. I've never made a YouTube video before so I don't know the amount of time and energy that goes into making videos. What I do know though is that writing blog posts can be quite time consuming for me because I attempt to get all my facts accurate and I strive to make my writing as coherent as possible.

If you believe you're worth something, demand it. I do not knock YouTuber's hustle at all! Review the products and get the money! But don't blame companies like it is their responsibility to offer commission. Draw up an agreement with them, the responsibility lies with the blogger/vlogger and the company.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Yes! Lucy Liu to star as Dr Watson in Sherlock Holmes

Lucy Liu will play Dr Joan Watson in a new adaptation of Sherlock Holmes known as Elementary.

I personally loved Lucy Liu in Kill Bill. I mean who didn't?

Pics from Tumblr:


Looking fabulous! I've always thought she was really beautiful. Her freckles make her look unique.

Congrats to her playing the female Dr Watson but also for being the first woman of another race to play this role!

But this hasn't come without its complaints though. To some people it's a problem that she's a female... but to others it's also because she's Asian. 

Dr John Watson is a friend, assistant and roommate of Sherlock Holmes. I suppose it's 'bromance'. I gathered that people like the fact that (traditionally) Holmes and Watson are both males and are able to be friends without sexual tension or anything like that (which I suspect may occur in Elementary because Dr Watson is now a female...). In this case I could completely understand why people would be uncomfortable with Liu playing Dr Watson.

However, this series is a modern adaptation. It's loosely based on the original story. Elements of the series have been changed to make it more relevant to the 21st century. There have been many different originals of Sherlock Holmes, as well as many different adaptations. If you don't like this particular one, you can still watch the other ones!

I believe that Liu can successfully execute her role as Dr Watson. She's always played sexy, tenacious characters... the good guys or the bad guys. She's played in Charlie's Angels so there is no doubt that she can play the role of a good guy.

I know there will be some awkward moments between her and Holmes (as expected) but Dr Watson and Mr Holmes will remain professional!

About Joan Watson being Asian..

I'm under the impression that white America is sometimes not ready for people of colour playing particular movie roles. I've already discussed this in this post. Racism in fandom is nothing new so I won't go over that. It shouldn't be an issue that an Asian is playing Joan Watson. It's a modern adaptation after all. 

I believe that Hollywood needs to become more diverse and remain that way. Hollywood needs to reflect the diversity of the U.S. and the Western world in general. I'm not insinuating that Hollywood isn't diverse, but they could make some improvements when it comes to bigger movie/television roles. 

There were other instances where people of other races should have been portrayed rather than white people (this is my personal opinion). There is nothing wrong with white people getting big movie roles, I just wish though that people of other races would be given the chance as well.

Archaeologists have discovered that Cleopatra's mother is African. This makes Cleopatra of mixed-ancestry. Despite this, Angelina Jolie is portraying Cleopatra in the new Cleopatra movie. 

Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor portrayed Cleopatra in 1963.
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963
Both women are unequivocally beautiful, but the roles are clearly not for them (physical appearance-wise). 

In another movie, a Scandinavian biracial actress, Jacqueline Fleming, portrayed Harriet Tubman in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.   

Jaqueline Fleming

Harriet Tubman

Uploaded on Jaqueline Fleming's Twitter.


Of course it's impossible to get an actress/actor to portray someone to the tee but I was hoping for a more realistic portrayal. The directors must have thought 'let them be black but not too black'. This is all too real and it's nothing new.

There are more instances:
I know, I know... the creators aren't Asian but I was hoping that they'd cast someone East Asian in one of the main roles. They've allowed Dev Patel to play Zuko. I think that's fine, but what about the other characters?

Cast of The Last Airbender

This one takes the cake (I've always thought of Goku as Japanese...)

Dragonball Evolution

Goku from Dragonball Z

Anime characters tend to be drawn racially ambiguous, but that shouldn't be a reason to portray almost everyone in a movie as white. I suppose the director/producer of Dragonball Evolution covered their back by casting some Asian women in the movie.

Don't give me that 'they want to portray actors/actresses that we know', I have never heard of Justin Chatwin (Goku in Dragonball Evolution) before. I doubt he's still (if he ever was) relevant.

Back to Elementary... I will watch it (as long as I don't get too caught up in school work). I'm excited to see how this will play out. It really shouldn't be too different from the original Sherlock Holmes series but I think an element of interest has been added by having a Dr Joan Watson, rather than a Dr John Watson. Here is the trailer:

Will you tune into Elementary?