update + wtf (zombie boy)?

I’VE BEEN MIA AND FOR THAT I AM SORRY!

The real reason I haven’t been blogging since the new year is because when I moved into my new place, I decided not to get home Internet service because: a) I have a 1GB data plan on my smartphone that covers my immediate e-mail/social networking needs b) I knew that I was moving out in less than 12 months, and didn’t want to pay cancellation fees c) I have unlimited WIFI service on campus.

So, that just translated into me not always having access to WordPress when inspiration struck.  I know they have an iPhone app, but it has mediocre ratings, and I don’t like cluttering up my phone with mediocre apps.

Also, I’ve been incredibly busy with finishing up my thesis, so….that’s happening.  Let’s not get into it right now (read: STRESS!!)

But the real reason I’ve decided to pause my thesis-ing and update my blog is because I was browsing one of my favourite sites, SmartCanucks, and came across this entry.  I had never heard of Rick Genest, a.k.a. Zombie Boy, before, but it intrigued me because he’s from Montreal and I love seeing a unique, local homie receive recognition for just being himself.

But then, I looked at the entry title again and it bothered me so much. “Zombie Boy: Art or Just Plain Creepy?” (emphasis added)?!  Not only is it rude to suggest that someone’s body art is creepy, but to even ask if he is one or the other is just SO small-minded and essentializing.  It’s like asking “Homosexuals: Flamboyant Queens or Just Plain Godforsaken Humans?”  OK – that’s an extreme example. But what I’m trying to illustrate is that you can’t pinpoint an aspect of a human’s identity as just being ONE thing out of TWO choices, and we all know that homosexuality is not “either/or” of any of the stereotypes that abound about living a homosexual lifestyle – humans have a multitude of traits (whether it be regarding personality, physical, cultural, etc.) that cannot be reduced to extreme ends of a spectrum.

No doubt that Genest has taken on “Zombie Boy” as a large part of his identity, and to reductively suggest that his body art/identity is artistic or “just plain creepy” just seems so wrong to me, and it spawns such negative or flaccid responses.   Responses such as: “Icky!” or “He probably did it to get noticed.” or “What will he do when he has children?” or “He’s going to regret it when he’s older.” or “What does his mom think of this?”

WHAT THE FUCK?!  Does anybody see the problem of assumption in these responses, and the lack of self-awareness and self-indictment?

  1. First of all, “icky” is just an immature response, lacking any veritable clarity of thought to back it up and make a valid opinion.
  2. Don’t we ALL do things to get noticed? We put on makeup, get our hair styled, put on nice outfits, wear perfume, paint our nails, wash our cars, blog, change our phone ring tones, etc.  The list doesn’t end.  So who in the world has the right to accuse someone of doing something to get noticed, as if it’s “WRONG”?
  3. Why are we assuming that he doesn’t have children?  Also, why are we assuming that he plans on having children?  Why are we assuming that he is fertile and not sterile?  Why are we assuming that children are frightened by nature?  Fear (of difference) is taught, remember?
  4. It’s so rude to think that people who commit to getting tattooed are not cognizant of the fact that tattoos, for the most part (and especially at this extent and grandiose-ness), ARE PERMANENT.  Of COURSE it’s going to be there when we are lucky enough to grow old.  When people commit to a partner, do they know how their partner is going to look when they get old and wrinkly, and assume that they’re going to regret their commitment because they just don’t look “good” anymore (again, extreme example, but just trying to illustrate!)? On another level of analyzing that comment: do people’s love and passion for art and desire for self-expression really die off when they age?  Why even commit to full body art if it’s not a true passion?
  5. Finally, what does it matter to us what Genest’s mother thinks of his art? Again: does he know/have a relationship with his mother? Is his mother alive?  The user’s comment/question assumes (via implication) that his mother disapproves.  What kind of mother abandons their love for their child just because of an image decision?

So in response to the post, I submitted this comment:

The question that’s being asked by the blogger is all wrong.

I think it’s incredibly diminutive to consider one’s self-expression as “just plain creepy” (said in a fairly derogatory manner); even to ask it is questionable as it immediately attaches a label. It’s fair to consider a horror film that is intended to evoke fear and the heebie-jeebies as creepy, and perhaps Zombie Boy’s intention is to disarm and surprise people (his Facebook page does not have any detailed info or an “about” page, so I can’t say for sure), but to say he is one or the other is so essentializing.

I understand the desire to evoke discussion and debate. It’s an important way to spark public discourse. However, it shouldn’t be initiated in such a manner that is so black and white, especially when considering the matter of human expression.

Despite it being there for a couple of hours and many others’ comments (similar to the ones I sampled above) being approved after I had submitted mine, my comment is still “awaiting moderation.”

Not surprised.

UPDATE: My comment is no longer awaiting moderation.  It has been duly moderated and deemed unsuitable for the site – it has been deleted.

For more info on Rick Genest/Zombie Boy, check out his Facebook page.  Also, check him out in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video or keep an eye out for the recent Thierry Mugler ad campaign starring Genest.

elle approved

The December issue of Elle Canada features my Bedo dress as a favourite party dress for the holidays. The only thing is that they call it a “bronze” dress, when clearly, it’s a sequined dress wherein each sequin is black on one side and gold on the other. Also, they list it as $189, but I bought it for $169 CDN (+SPC discount).  Seriously – who is their fact checker?

Click to enlarge!

I won’t be wearing this dress anytime during the holidays, as it’s currently stashed in storage as I move apartments, but it’ll make a reappearance soon.  Holla.

why did it take me so long to find this man?

I never browse the YouTube homepage for featured videos, because I like to stick to the channels I’ve subscribed to, but once in a while, I’ll get bored and see what’s new and trendy.

Today, under the “Music” section was an a capella cover of Rihanna’s “Only Girl”, and I LOVE boys that can sing a capella and look good while doing it. It’s unbelievably sexy.

I’m talking about Mike Tompkins, a music producer from London, Ontario. He’s super talented not only at beat boxing and singing, but being able to identify and interpret elements of a song and perform them with his vocals and mouth. It doesn’t hurt that he’s incredibly gorgeous. Too bad he’s married! Well, even Scarjo couldn’t keep Ryan Reynolds around, so I think it’s fair to say that I can keep hoping.

I really love his dorky dancing the most.

watermarking

This may seem like such a silly question to ask, but should I be watermarking my images? I’ve noticed recently that many of my visitors click on my photos, and that makes me wonder whether anyone has been using them for whatever purpose.

I’m not offended by people using my photos, I think I should just be able to claim them as my images…?

I never thought that my blog would yield any sort of high traffic, so I guess that’s why I never even thought about it previously.

my yellow fever’s flare-ing up

I don’t know how or why, but I got the December issue of FLARE magazine in the mail yesterday (I didn’t subscribe to it, obviously).

Not really in the mood to sit down and read the magazine, I just flipped through it to see what kind of editorials they had.  And then something caught my eye that made me ask myself, “Who is this gorgeous girl?”

It was precisely this photo that kind of took my breath away:

It’s not very often that you see an Asian model in mainstream magazines.  And I understand that the genetic propensity of Asians is that we are short, so I get that there are less working Asian models out there.  What makes me so impressed with this girl is that, usually, when an Asian model is featured in an editorial, she’s often exploited for her “harsh” facial features and “exotic” look (they often have bowl cuts or a very strong bang, etc.)

But this girl….wow.  She deserves this 8-page spread.

The entire editorial is her striking fierce poses in hot dresses and flying tresses.  I am just in love with her.  Her proportions are great and she isn’t dead in the face or look angry (a.k.a. trying to be fierce).

I really think she could rival some of the top models out there.

If anyone can tell me who she is, I’d love to know!  I want to see what else she’s done.

EDIT: Silly me.  In all the excitement of seeing and then immediately scanning the editorial pages, I neglected to look at the fine print, where it has all the info of everyone involved in the shoot (duh).  The model’s name is Shiya Zhao from Sutherland Models.  Check out her online portfolio here!

Here’s the rest of the editorial.  Click to enlarge!

i wanna know…

Well actually, Cougar Boots (not me) wants to know what you think about their products, especially after reading my post about their rainboots.

If you fill out THIS SURVEY a $2 donation to the Red Cross will be made!  Even if you didn’t have much of an opinion of the boots, at least fill out the survey and consider it your good deed of the morning (I say “morning” because 1 good deed/day is a little paltry, no?)

It will literally take you 60 seconds to fill it out.  The Red Cross could use your help, especially with the cholera outbreak in Haiti and the continuing struggles of hundreds of communities around the world.

Thanks everyone!

splish splash

If you follow me on Twitter, you would know that last week, I received a package filled with goodies from Cougar Boots, a Canadian shoe company. They’ve recently completely re-branded themselves into a cool, hip boot brand.  If you think you haven’t heard of them before, you really probably have.  Their old logo is instantly recognizable (and unfortunately, in my head, completely associated with all-too-functional-sans-fashionable winter footwear).

Old Cougar Boots logo

New Cougar Boots logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

The revamp of their brand included a serious upgrade to the style factor of their shoes.

Anyway, when I got the package I was SUPER excited!  All I had to do was wait until it finally rained and/or snowed in Montreal!  That took quite some time.

However, today, it finally rained, and I was ready to boot up.

The model of rainboots I received is called Tibet, and I chose the fire-engine red colour, because I think I have enough black boots.  Besides, who ever said that rainboots were for serious outfits?  Rainboots in general are a lot more fun than your average footwear.

My only concern was that I would look a little bit like a clown wearing these shoes.  Luckily, they aren’t super clown-ish because of the narrow width of the shoe, but the rounded toe does look deceptively clowny.

For example, this is what went down when I asked my friend what he honestly thought of my boots.

“They’re nice,” he replied.

I asked, “You don’t think they make me look like I have clown feet?”

*pause* “Well, now that you mention it…”

I got a small smattering of compliments throughout the day wearing these, but what stood out the most to me was a this comment: “They look good on you.”

I’m not saying that everything looks amazing on me, but what I’m trying to emphasize is that these boots are not for everyone.  The woven “sock” overlap gives it a little bit of an urban hipster look – a style that not everyone is keen to mimic.  Fortunately, this is a look that fits in perfectly amongst the milieu of young people in Montreal.  In short, I would wear these to class, but never to work.

Throw on a pair of leggings, and these are perfect for a rainy fall or spring day.  I would only suggest wearing these with leggings or skinny jeans.  The short length of the boot neck doesn’t allow for a clean tuck of a bootleg cut pant.

I had a lot of mixed feelings about the quality of the boots.

They are incredibly well made with respect to keeping one’s feet dry, warm and comfy throughout the day.  The company’s claim is that these boots are guaranteed waterproof under normal wear for up to 6 months.  In addition, they claim that these boots will keep you warm and comfy up to -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit).

The rubber is super sturdy yet pliable, so it doesn’t hurt when you bend your ankle, and the soles will take a long time to wear down.  Plus, they aren’t heavy (one thing that I HATE about cheap rain boots).  And although it hasn’t dipped down to 0 degrees yet here in Montreal, the boots kept me warm but not overheated, even though I was indoors most of the time (read: no sweaty feet – SCORE).

But when you look closely at the shoes, it becomes obvious that Cougar Boots kinda glazed over the details.

 

The left boot form has been cut entirely differently from the right.

In the above photo, you can see that the left boot has been cut to have a sharp point on the toe, whereas the right boot looks like it was cut by a right-handed person using a pair of left-hand scissors.  It doesn’t affect the waterproof/warmth performance of the boots, but it does look really sloppy and kinda like the boots fell off the back of a truck.  My sister just asked me whether these boots were made in China, just from this picture.

What you see when you roll up the woven "sock".

Underneath the woven “sock”, the boot neck has obviously been cut by hand.  Rather sloppily at that.  The black markings from the factory remain on the red rubber, and the neck wasn’t cut into a perfectly straight edge.  I should also add that the “sock” on my left boot already has an unraveling thread.

So I’m kind of at an impasse with these boots.  They make a big statement when I wear them, so I have to plan my outfits accordingly which is a little bit fussy for a pair of rubber rainboots.  But at the same time, they’re so comfortable.

Are they worth the $75 CDN?  Maybe.  If you’re ready to commit to hipster-style red rubber boots.

For more awesome styles (that I would have loved to try out) from Cougar and to find out where you can buy a pair, check out their fun hipster-friendly website!