The Curious Case of the Naked Celebrity

The Curious Case of the Naked Celebrity

This past week I had an in depth conversation with a friend about being naked. It wasn’t about us being naked or people we know personally being naked, or even nudity in general…it was about the celebrity nakedness epidemic that seems to be plaguing Hollywood as of late. Once upon a time, creating a hit record, making amazing films, even winning a Superbowl or something constituted and solidified your fame. Now in order keep your celebrity or even to just become a celeb one must take drastic measures, including “leaking” nude photos or starring in a homemade porn film with your boyfriend.

By now we’ve seen, or at the very least heard, about Cassie’s spread eagle photo shoot and Rihanna’s tittie flicks dedicated to her very own Ike Turner, but in my mind the real phenomenon and break out star is Kim Kardashian.When I started writing this, it took me a second to actually put it all together. I’ve got to admit, although I have absolutely NO IDEA why she’s as famous as she is, I know her first step to celebrity started with her sex tape with Ray J. Before that she was a stylist to his sister Brandy, a job that doesn’t garner much attention camera wise (unless your Rachel Zoe) and is often overlooked and ignored. Seemingly overnight Kim Kardashian’s face was everywhere; in tabloids, on television, in music videos, on the covers of magazines, befriending legit celebrities, beside Reggie Bush…EVERYWHERE. She is the poster child of Public Relations, how to take a “oops” situation and turn it into an empire. And to think, it all started with a scandal…and some tits. I guess it really ain’t trickin’ if you got it. Or is it?

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Artwork by David Garibaldi

Artwork by David Garibaldi

Disclaimer: This article was written for online magazine M.I.S.S. Omni Media. All images and words are property of that magazine. If you would like to see the original, please view it via the M.I.S.S. website HERE.

Michael Jackson was an entertainment icon of international status. His fan base spans the world, so it makes complete sense in my mind that his untimely death shook not only the United States, where he found a cultivated his fame, but also every corner of the globe where he was considered by many a legend.

Over the past week, there has been extensive media coverage of the King of Pop’s sudden death, so much in fact that coverage has become redundant. You see the same memorials and tributes remixed and done over several times, the same questions regarding the guardianship of his children being asked and analyzed, and personally I’ve also noticed the ever prevalence of his past troubles somewhat overshadowing his positive contributions to society.

After a week of tribute specials, magazine covers, and documentaries about Jackson’s life, fans and foes from around the globe tuned in to a final farewell in the form of the Michael Jackson Memorial which took place in California this past Tuesday. Coverage of the event was extensive, probably one of the biggest covered events I’ve seen in my entire life, with colleagues, friends and admirers of Jackson all paying their last respects to a man Barry Gordy called “the greatest entertainer of all time”.
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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Highsnobiety produced this small video in anticipation for the big release of the Louis Vuitton x Kanye West collaboration this month that sneaker heads all over the world have been drooling on. Living up to the LV standard of luxury, I have to admit the design of the shoe is pretty cool, especially the high tops. Though I’m pretty sure the average American consumer probably won’t be able to even think of affording this luxury sneaker, it makes me wonder what the standard of ‘cool’ is. Sneaker Freaker recently did a feature that I had the opportunity to write about for M.I.S.S. Omni Media, questioning if Luxury sneakers was equivalent to the how cool it use to be to have a Nike Air Force 1 or a Nike Dunk.

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Respect Your Roots.

June 18, 2009

kelis-06I know that there are a lot of Rihanna fans all over the world. I happen to be one of them. I love her style (or whoever dresses her), her hair, and the confidence she exudes whenever we see her in the public eye. Even though I love love LOVE to look and see what RiRi wears everyday, I have the sense to know that she didn’t get that style all by her lonesome.

In a recent New York Post blog, someone made the ignorant assumption that Kelis was jacking Rihanna’s hair style. WRONG! If the author had paid attention to past pop culture, one would notice that Rihanna’s entire style is derived from Kelis in many ways.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with mimicking someones style and making it your own. I think Rihanna has made rock n roll high fashion. But it makes me angry when people don’t recognize where her inspiration comes from. People like Kelis, Grace Jones, Madonna, Courtney Love, and even Fefe Dobson have paved the way for Rihanna to dress the way she dresses and for it to be acceptable in the public eye.

One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t get angry when people steal an original idea. If it’s original you’ll have to ram it down their throat…” Well Rihanna is not an original idea. She’s a nice one, but not an original one. Kelis had to ram it down our throats, and Rihanna is obviously benefiting from that.

The Award Tour.

June 5, 2009

The Award Tour by Phillip T. Annand

The Award Tour by Phillip T. Annand

There are many people that inspire me. Most of the time these individuals share only one similar quality amongst them, that being their unapologetic and constant pursuit of their dreams and the goals they make for themselves. Some are young, some are old, but one thing always remains the same: their grind.

It should be relatively known to everyone that meets me that I’m pretty much addicted to all things creative. I love sharing the discoveries I find and try my damnedest to educate the people that want to learn. Well here is someone we all should know and aspire to be like.

His name is Phillip T. Annand, and he is a college student attending New Jersey based Rutgers University. He’s not one of those college students just going to class, keg parties, and procrastinating with studying, no, what makes Phil (can I call him that?) special is that he’s basically running his own clothing line called The Award Tour straight out of his dorm room.


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Adidas Fall/Winter 2009

Adidas Fall/Winter 2009

Adidas has dropped pictures to preview their Fall/Winter collection, and I have to say they’ve got some great shiz in store for us. Over the last year or so Adidas and has stepped their game up and made it evident why their shoes are classics.

For the upcoming Fall/Winter season the sneakers for Adidas feature a variety of materials with vibrant and subdued colorways. I’m excited to get more information on when these shoes are going to drop, but my guess is sometimes at the beginning of September. We shall see!

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Note: This post was written for and published by online women’s lifestyle magazine M.I.S.S. Crew. You can view the original post HERE.

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to have been born in a country where my rights as a woman have been fought for and upheld through my entire lifetime. Sometimes I take for granted the fact that I’m able to do whatever I want with my body, work where ever I want, have children when and if I please, and the fact that in the eyes of my government my worth is equal to that of a man. But then I read articles about women all over the world that do not have the same rights as I have and I am reminded once again how lucky I am.

Afghani President Hamid Karzai is being accused of trying to win votes in Afghanistan’s presidential election by supporting and pushing a law that the UN says legalizes rape within marriage and apparently bans women from even stepping outside their homes without the permission of their husbands. This said law was signed earlier in March despite it being heavily protested against by human rights activists and Afghan women alike.

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I need a moment…

April 14, 2009

I got a nice little surprise today on Twitter from Cassie ‘Diddy’s Ball Tickler’ Ventura (that was mean, but I couldn’t help it. so bite me.). Unless you think your eyes are playing nasty tricks on you, as you can see that is indeed her half bald head in the picture above. She took a stand and dared to be different by cutting off a portion of her hair. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to do something drastic and changing your image, but something tells me that this just wasn’t for her…this shit smells like a gimmick.

Lets all be honest, the music industry (especially predominately urban markets of Hip Hop and R&B) is in a very shitty state now a days.  The lack of real talent is obvious so artists, producers, and record companies alike have taken to following a different path to get their art recognized and their records sold. We as fans have now been to watching these said ‘celebrities’ being reduced to putting on shows for paparazzi by parading who their sleeping with, drastically changing their outward appearance, and finally by making shitty ass music and passing it off as ‘art’.

Do not get me wrong. I’m all for change, being your own person, and not giving a flying fuck what everyone else thinks of your life. But I find it hard to shut the hell up when something doesn’t sit right with me. I hate being played for a fool and as a lover of all things artistic (ESPECIALLY MUSIC), I cannot sit by any longer while people that are placed in positions to do amazing things DON’T. Its disgusting, and it’s sad.

I think Cassie’s new hair cut is Ok. It’s not a haircut I would have imagined on her, but she’s doing what she wants and I have to respect that. It’s just really hard for me actually trust and believe that this wasn’t a stunt to sell records or for her to become more popular and get a little exposure. I’ve seen it happen too many times before. The examples of this fuckery are endless.

Christina Milliblonde and The Nightmare The Dream
Mariah Carey and Deacon Nick Cannon,
The Rick ‘Tittie Gravy’ Ross and 50 Cent brawl
THE ENTIRE CHRIS BROWN/RHIANNA DEBACLE

Just to name a few…

I’m just wondering when we’re going to allow the art to speak for itself. I’m getting tired of the media deciding who should be famous. I don’t give a shit about who you’re fucking, what your hair looks like or who’s ass you beat. If your music speaks to me, thats really all I care about…

Please excuse the curse words. I was mad…=)

Disturbia?!

April 14, 2009

Disturbia?

Disturbia?

“Art is what you can get away with…” -Andy Warhol

I’m a big fan of Andy Warhol and the pop art phenomenon he helped usher in to popular culture, but this is just weird. L.A. based pop artist Sham Ibrahim created the master piece above with his inspiration being non other than the now infamous photo of Rihanna taken directly after the alleged attack on her by Chris Brown.

Normally if I don’t get something I seek out answers to my questions until I understand. This situation is no different. I sought out answers as to why someone would create a piece of art that depicts an event so horrifying to some. I remember gagging a little when I saw that mug shot of Rihanna. So I found my answer, and it was pretty sad. Here’s what the artist had to say:

“I thought the bruises in the police photo were interesting shapes to draw,” artist Sham told E! Online, about his Andy Warhol-esque painting of Rihanna’s now infamous police photo. “And it was cool to color them pink and blue. Those are two of my favorite colors. There is no message to any of my art,” he says of his work, Disturbia. “It’s meant to look cool hanging on your wall and that’s it! I’m not into deep meanings.”

You thought the shape of the bruises were cool? Really? Like I said. Straight sad…

In Hindsight.

March 19, 2009

Whoever said that hindsight is 20/20 should be given a gold metal. Like forreal…

I’m thinking about the last year of my life, how things have drastically changed, and how that change has effected my entire world. This time last year, I was a lost cause, living a life I didn’t want and had no idea how to change. Today I’m still that lost cause, but with a little more direction and a dream I’m holding firmly onto. It feels good to have clarity, a voice that people listen too, some meaning and perspective. It feels good to be out of the darkness and looking at a new light.

Last year I was heart broken. Devastated by the trauma of my first real heartbreak, I had no idea how to make it through. It was like I was stuck in some sort of maze with no real exit. In hindsight I knew exactly where the exit was, but didn’t want to take it. Now that I’ve forced myself to take that exit route I’m a lot more at peace with myself. I have my moments, my days, and even weeks when I dwell and wonder if he misses me half as much as I do him, but then my altar ego Pride swoops in and plants my feet right back on reality road, and I don’t think of him anymore.

Although my life isn’t where I thought it would be, and I’m not in the places I’d dreamed, I’ve always got tomorrow. I just hope that when I look back at this post in another year, I’ll be 10 steps closer to my goal. Whatever that may be…

D.