The Eighth Deadly Sin

Self

Ignorance. The root of all evils is fueled by the negligence to open up to the world around you and understand what makes society the way it is today. Living in the 21st century, technology has globalized ideas rapidly, making us all a more united population. It is our duty to seek information and knowledge to help us explore what kinds of people walk amongst us, their beliefs, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. If we continue to stereotype and fail to escape the minuscule narrow cardboard box of a mind, then this world will never develop. Wars occur throughout countries based off of misunderstandings that no one thought to clear up. Innocent lives are lost, friendships die out, and bonds are already broken between you and people who you never even had the courage to speak to. Speak nothing about those who you do not understand. If one person from a particular faith does something outrageous, don’t assume. Dig deeper, search further… for the truth. Don’t rely on a rumor or a common assumed ideology. Ignorance kills. You can save us.

Today’s post was inspired by The Daily Prompt: The Eighth Sin. “Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?” If it were up to you to pick an eighth deadly sin, what would it be and why? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Life in Plastic, It’s Fantastic!

Fashion, Thoughts

Who has a perfect jawline, flawless beige complexion, eternal eyebrows on fleek, and can’t bend her knees? You guessed it! It’s your childhood Barbie doll. However, things are about to change this year. Just like society has been enhancing in terms of accepting the beauty of all body types, so has the the toy industry. Mattel has unveiled three new bodies: tall, curvy, and petite along with the original model. This was Barbie’s most dramatic body transformation in its 57 year history. With shifting demographics in the 21st century and controversy on the unrealistic proportions of the original model, it was high time that change was implemented.  

Click here to watch Ken Speaks: ‘I Will Always Love Barbie, No Matter Her Size’

In 2015, Mattel added different combinations of hair colors and skin tones. Additionally, with the new body types introduced this year, we can finally say that Barbie represents at least 70% of the American population. We all know that Ken will love Barbie just as much regardless of her shape, size, and color. It’s the beauty inside that matters more.

Click here to watch Barbie’s 57-Year Evolution in 37 Seconds

The latest dolls have unique outfits, hair colors, and shoes to represent that each woman has her own individuality and ways to express herself. The dolls even have the option of wearing flat shoes for those who don’t wear heels every moment of their daily lives. Can I get a “Hallelujah”? For the average American woman, heels are restricted to photos. Camera turns off, and she whips out her ballet flats.

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The new body shapes will be sold online beginning January 28th at Barbie.com and will appear in retail stores later in 2016. Hopefully, the sales for the Barbie doll will take off after a four year slump. Children can now approach their local Target and look for a doll who looks just like them, unique and beautiful in her own way. They deserve it.

 

FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: MATTEL/GRAPHIC BY DYLAN PETROHILOS

 

Who Wants to Attend the 2016 Oscars?

Thoughts

America, the land of opportunity and so called “equality” has not yet reached the point at which all races are equally represented. Even the famous 88th Academy Awards having approximately 36.6 million viewers, has deteriorated in terms of diversifying nominations throughout the years. But not to worry, the stars will not cease to shine. They are taking action.

It was announced that no actors of color were chosen for any of the 20 major Academy Award nominations, marking the second year in a row that every single acting nominee was white. This prompted the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to start trending on Twitter. As a result of the outrage, several celebrities have declared that they will be boycotting the 2016 Oscars or simply not watching. Jada Pinkett Smith proposed the boycott in a tweet, creating a ripple effect among other celebrities who decided to join such as Reese Witherspoon, Snoop Dogg, Mark Ruffalo, Will Smith, George Clooney, Donald Trump, and many more.

Amid controversy, the Academy decided to make some changes. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced that the Academy plans to double female and minority membership by 2020.

Different celebrities have varied opinions that segregation was a problem even before the Academy Awards, boycotting the ceremony will help mitigate the problem, the nominations had nothing to do with skin color but quality of performance, and that we must integrate rather than segregate by putting an end to targeted television channels such as BET (Black Entertainment Television). What do you think?

Would you go to the Oscars this year? Let me know in the comments below.

Around the World and Under the Stars

Photography, Self

Joy. Ecstasy. Happiness. Glee. What is this delicate emotion that several words have been coined to describe? Happiness is a not just a state of mind, but a way of life.

“I don’t fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.”

Louise L. Hay

Happiness comes hand in hand with not only appreciating the little things, but also trying different things. Take out 15 minutes from your day and just take a stroll outside your home or go for a relaxing drive. Go somewhere you haven’t been before, like a community event or a festival. Involving yourself can really make you perceive beauty in a different light. I did it and I will be forever grateful.

Recently, I came across an advertisement for the Magical Winter Lights festival in Houston, Texas. I googled it and with one look at their promotional video, I was astonished. Apparently it is the largest lantern festival in the nation. I HAD TO GO.

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The festival consisted of grandeur lantern displays of famous landmarks, with a section for each continent (except Antarctica, obviously). It has been a dream of mine to travel the world someday. Someday. Seeing the lantern monuments illuminated in the night sky under the constellations was absolutely enthralling.Photographs and words don’t do justice to the beauty of it all. For those of you who want to go, it is open till January 10, 2016 so hurry! Check out some shots I took and see for yourselves: 

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Confessions of a Photographer: I Cheated on My Phone With My Camera

Photography, Self

Dear Diary,

Two. Two days of pure ecstasy. I packed my bag, threw on my shades, plopped into the front seat of my car and drove off into the distance, enveloped by a palette of orange hues in the sky. The clouds formed transient animal silhouettes that seemed to ridicule my intentions of the journey. Where was I going?  The beautiful Pensacola Beach : Home to romantic getaways and clear waters.

*cue record scratch sound effect*

Okay, I may have stretched the truth a little. First off, I am not about that life of impromptu escapes from reality. Secondly, I went on a well-planned trip to Florida with my family, consisting of my parents and younger sister. Last weekend we drove 8 hours from Houston to Pensacola Beach just to cleanse our souls from worldly stress and the distractions of technology. During this trip, we lived by the motto “Just close your eyes and relax. Focus on the beauty that the world offers.” For two days I put aside my cell phone, forgot about social media, and picked up a tool that allows me to freeze specific moments in life, my camera.

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On the first day, I went to check out the beach with my familyOh how wonderful the scenery was. Never before have I seen such clear ocean water. The tides rose and fell so elegantly that I wished to immerse myself in them and discover the places it would take me. I almost forgot that I deeply fear large bodies of water. The mere thought of a world existing beneath the surface of water whose mysteries I am unaware of, mortifies me.

thumb_IMG_1857_1024The skies so ethereal as if the heavens are opening up to claim our souls

The sand was a soft, pristine white, untouched from the wrath of pollution that seems to have diminished the beauty of nature back home. Myriad seashells lay by the shore— all unique in shape, form, and size. Just like humans. My sister and I hunted down pretty sea shells and ended up collecting a few dead sand dollars along the way. We freshened up and tried the Hemingway’s Island Grill. The lobster bisque was to die for; I slept like a swaddled baby that night.

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Day two started with us waking up for a healthy breakfast buffet in the hotel lobby, after which we were all energized to check out the pier and explore the town. Most of the visitors on the pier came equipped with fishing gear to catch the fish we had been raving about last night. Fishing has been on my parents’ bucket list for a while so we were disappointed that we lacked the training and time to complete the task. Consequently, we resorted to experiencing fishing vicariously by talking to some of the visitors and observing them practice their skill. We ended the night with a mouth watering meal at Flounders Chowder House, and a good night’s sleep for the journey in the morning. All in all, it was a cathartic and much needed weekend getaway. A great way to kick off the new year!

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The sea swallows anything it deems trivial

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I don’t know why but I just find this so artistic.

 

If the World Gives You Beauty, Immortalize It With Words

Self

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Hello World! My name is Rafa Farihah, your neighborhood noob blogger. Just kidding, I have no idea where any of you live. I reside in the one and only Houston. I am a freshman at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. And no, we do NOT ride horses to college.

As I created this blog, I signed up for a workshop called Blogging 101 which hopefully molds my amateur blogging skills into something much more appealing to myself and others. Moreover, I began blogging as an attempt to share my passion of fashion , photography, and writing. Blogging is a wonderful mode of communicating with people across the globe, all unique in their backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints.

I would like to share with you how I observe the world through my pupils and hopefully inspire someone, somewhere, somehow. Since my childhood, I have moved from New Jersey, to India, to Texas, providing me ample entertaining stories to tell you, my lovely readers. Traveling is another hobby of mine, which has sort of stemmed off of my frequent moves every few years, which I shall explain in a future entry. Anyways, traveling… what about traveling do I enjoy? Food, nature, relaxation, and even just the thrill of what each subsequent moment will bring. Where will I go, what will I see next, and what kinds of people will I meet? Stay tuned to keep up with my adventures both near and far.

Another goal of mine is to not only update you on my personal life/thoughts, but also create an environment where you can be informed about life beyond the internet. I intend to post pop culture opinionated pieces, fun listicles, health and beauty entries, stress-buster videos, and motivational videos to keep you going through the week.

More than any of these goals, I want to hear back from my readers, have you share your thoughts and experiences with me so we can live through them vicariously. We live only once, so might as well immortalize our stories by putting them into words so someone else can learn from them.

I hope Blogging 101 helps me take off as a writer in the blogosphere, make connections and gain more readers. I plan to post several times a week to keep my readers well-rounded, entertained and inspired. If any of these interest you, keep checking for the latest scoop and make sure to follow morescoopplease!