To be docile, demure and alluring. There's often focus on the soft aspects of women, but why not celebrate the aggressive side of female sexuality? I've started this series using collage elements from clothing catalogs. I looked for the least threatening part of the model's anatomy. Arms resting on a beach towel, arms hung to the side, or hands stuffed in a pocket. Sexuality has power. Not just to be the object of attainment, but to actively pursue with confidence.
The question, “Have you been back?” used to bother me much more than the question “Where do you come from?” because it stabbed me with a pang of guilt. It was this self-created guilt that I had not yet made the pilgrimage that so many of my fellow Filipino-Americans had already made, some multiple times. While most Filipinos do emigrate to the United States to create a better life for themselves economically, many of them visit frequently and end up retiring back in the Philippines since the cost of living there is comparatively low. I heard “Have you been back?”so much, I was tempted at times just to lie, to claim that I had been there so I could get out of having to explain why I hadn’t made the journey. Eventually the question only strengthened my resolve. I knew I would go to the Philippines at least once in my life before I became too old to appreciate its natural wonders and to see the places where my parents were raised before deciding to embark on the American dream they bequeathed to my sister, brother and me.
Nona. To a platoon of us Americanized cousins that included my little brother and me our maternal grandmother was always Nona. "Nona" is not a common term for grandmother in Latino families. Abuelita is much more widely used, especially in Mexican families, but my grandmother trained a whole wave of her first- and second-generation immigrant grandchildren to use "Nona." You see, we “americanos,” as Nona described those of our generation (even if technically we had been born in our original home country of Peru), spoke utterly broken Spanish.
Only a handful of artists have truly made an enduring mark on popular culture in the past century; Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley, Audrey Hepburn, the Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson, to name a few. These are people whose images and work are recognized almost everywhere. They displayed talent, hard work and dedication, and what they created inspired people all over the world. They also gained their fame and popularity long before the age of “new media.” Perhaps it's not coincidence then, that of all the faces featured in current celebrity-focused magazines and websites, none stand out as potential Beatles or Madonnas. I’m convinced none ever will because with the rise of 24-hour news, internet tabloids and social networking sites, our concept of fame and our ability to recognize and bestow it has been utterly altered.
Two hundred years ago, a young Austrian medical student found himself with the same question. He was struggling in school, and he was jealous of those among his class who so easily excelled at memorization. In interminable lectures he watched these men trying to figure out what made them different from him, why it was so easy for them to remember and so difficult for him.
It was the eyes, he decided. They all seemed to have larger eyes.
The Red Shirt character is a colloquial reference among fans of a 1960s era television science fiction program. In Star Trek’s opening scenes, two or three of the lead characters (often wearing yellow or blue uniforms) would land on a planet, accompanied by one or two characters wearing red uniforms. Within the first ten minutes of the show, generally someone wearing a red uniform died, and her or his demise introduced the central conflict of the episode’s plot. So, at the beginning of the episode, if someone appeared in a red shirt, you knew that this person, no matter how likeable, competent, or regardless of how much this character connected for the moment with the yellow and blue uniformed lead characters (often the stars of the show), this Red Shirt was toast.