The Gypsy Stylings of Inara

I’m not much of a fashionista, and I definitely don’t regularly blog about fashion.

But as I re-watch the Firefly series, that space Western from a decade or so ago, and I can’t help but envy Inara’s costumes.  Morena Baccarin plays Inara, an exotic looking beauty who has contracted a shuttle on the Serenity to carry out her business as a “companion.”  (In the scope of this show, a companion is like an Oiran, or courtesan of sorts.  Although she sells her company and body to men, the position of companion is considered an occupation and carries a certain amount of prestige.

As such, Inara is always lavishly clothed, her skin and make-up fairly flawless.  Likewise, her chambers are draped in rich colored swaths of fabric, candle lit and inviting.  While her outfits range from exotic to Victorian-looking, her look and style can best be described as “Gypsy,*” or belly dancer.  Many of her outfits are midriff bearing and elaborately beaded or otherwise embellished, and whether they are simple or ornate, they are always gorgeous.

img-thing

Inara2

morena_baccarin-inara-firefly

images (1)

There’s one I’d particularly like to get my hands on, although… I have no idea where I’d wear it.  Especially the head piece and veil.

Inara_Serra_with_the_lassiter

51366_original

ITnavyside

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to look like her either. 😉

*(I use the term “Gypsy,” rather than the preferred term, Romani, because I can’t speak for the amount of ethnic authenticity versus stereotype.  Besides, as this series is set in the 26th century, where Earth no longer exists, both terms would be obsolete.)

Advertisements

Miss America the Beautiful…and Dumb

When I stepped next door to talk to the neighbor for a moment last night, I happened to catch a few minutes of what I can only assume was the swim suit portion of the Miss America competition.  A few minutes was all I needed.  Aside from frustrating me on a personal level, I was rather disgusted to note that aside from hair color and skin color, every contestant looked the same to me.  Not only is this the standard of “beauty” to which our women are being held, apparently there is only one type of beautiful woman.  Tall, slender, young, with long hair.

There is no room for curvy women, athletic women, women over 30, women with visible tattoos or stretch marks from having children, or women with short hair.

Now before you ardent pageant supporters and perfect tens protest and peg me as another bitter, overweight housewife, or something else you all deem equally unappealing, I know you all want to act like the Miss America is about “tradition” and “integrity” and all those other glorious phrases. The very first line on the Miss America website under “Miss America History” is this:

“Miss America represents the highest ideals. She is a real combination of beauty, grace, and intelligence, artistic and refined. She is a type which the American Girl might well emulate.”

But let’s call a spade a spade.  This is…a joke.

I mean, let me get this straight.  These young women, whose age and body type represent but a small fraction of the women living in America, are supposed to be my role models?

They could be a quiz on alllooksame.com.

They could be a quiz on alllooksame.com…  except, does Miss America even allow Asians, or is that a little too much diversity? EAT A DAMN SANDWICH!

~sigh~ But let’s get real.  This won’t change anytime soon, because despite their claims to elevated global and intellectual awareness, the Miss America pageants are nothing but beauty pageant masquerading as an American tradition.  I confess myself disappointed.

2013-miss-america-pageant-contestants

As to the claims that this competition is a combination of ideals of “beauty, grace, and intelligence,” I leave you with some of the dumbest things contestants have ever said:

Response to why 1/5 Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a map: “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as in, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.”

At Miss World American 1992: “We are truly the land of the great. From the rock shores of… Hawaii… to the beautiful sandy beaches of… Hawaii… America is our home.”

Question: Would you rather be more smart, or more beautiful? “Well, I’d rather choose to be beautiful, um because, to be beautiful it’s natural. But being smart you can learn… you can learn, um a lot of things… a lot of things from the experience… you can learn from a lot of things being smart.” *You’ll note on the above quote that even the question is stupid…

Should the U.S. have universal health care as a right of citizenship? “I think this is an issue of integrity regardless of which end of the political spectrum that I stand on. I was raised in a family to know right from wrong and politics, whether or not you fall in the middle, the left or the right its an issue of integrity, no matter what your opinion is, and I say that with the utmost conviction.”  *Spoken like a true politician…

Explain the Confucius quote “Learning without thought is labor lost”:“Good evening, Panama. Confucius was one of whom invented confusion and that’s why, uhh… One of the most ancient, he was one of the Chinese…. Japanese who were one of the most ancient. Thank you.” *Oh, sweet bleeding Jesus…I mean, sweet Confuscius!

I rest my case.

Be Thankful: Finding Beauty in Your Surroundings

I live in a suburban town in KY.  A short drive will take you past a great many fields, some expansive, and most featuring dilapidated but somehow charmingly antiquated barns and farmhouses.   Tobacco fields in the summer.  Cows, horses, and deer.

And of course, there are trailers, and yards littered with children’s toys, one or many broken down and rusted out cars.   A great many of the yards are what you might typically expect of the hillbilly stereotype.

Despite the trashy look of some of the yards, there is much beauty to be seen in the farmers’ fields, shady wooded areas, creeks and rocks.  But when things become commonplace, when we are used to seeing them day in and day out, we forget how amazing some of the little things in our world are.

I admit to being dismayed when I drive through a beautiful area and a hulking industrial structure the nature of which I couldn’t even begin to guess mars the beautiful landscape.  I wish the skeletal looking scaffolds and dirty looking pipes would disappear, and I have to remind myself that it may be ugly, but it probably helps create a service or product most people including me use everyday, and is (or was, if it is no longer in use) a necessary evil, so to speak.

As I said before, I live in a sort of suburban area, still twenty or thirty miles from an actual “city,” but not quite in the middle of nowhere.  I live in an apartment complex, and my front door faces a shopping center.

But as I stood outside enjoying an ill-advised cigarette, I took a moment to enjoy the mild temperature, the look of the wet flora around the small patch of ground that constitutes my “yard.”

Last night I laid in bed thinking about how things are going in my life, and just being thankful.  I have a great husband and kid.  I get to stay at home with my child and write, and this blog, which I started a year ago, is garnering more views everyday.   Maybe it’s not the novel I wanted to have published, but it’s more than I had last year at this time.  My bills are paid up and I have a few bucks left over this week.  I’m looking into classes for something I’ve been thinking about for a while, something that would give me the skills to start the next chapter in my career life.

So I guess the point of this long-winded post is the cliche’d “appreciate the little things.”  Is it still a cliche’ if it’s true?

IMG_2983

IMG_2984

IMG_2981

IMG_2986

Magic Potion~Rosewater and Glycerin

WHY was I not informed of this sooner?  The answer was so simple– literally!  I could have started using this years ago and reaping the benefits, if only someone had told me… Rosewater and Glycerin.   Continue reading