Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Día To Remember - Día De Los Muertos And Its Massive Influence

I love soundtracks, but this will get all your senses firing for what lies ahead:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm preparing for the biggest move of my life,
so from now until New Year's (since I'm flying out on Xmas Eve),
I'll be taking some time to reload between rounds.
I'm renewing my license and passport (more on that later), getting my dog a puppy passport,
and liquidating almost all of my earthly possessions.
After all, you can't take it with you, can you?

On that note, I hope your hunger has been satiated with enough Halloween Eye-candy for now,
because I want to move on to a traditional holiday that's just as fun and festive,
with just enough frightening and freaky:

Photo and Info @ El Candil De Los Pensamientos

Día De Los Muertos

This holiday has been largely misunderstood as being a cult celebration of death, but the beautiful juxtaposition is that it's the celebration of the life of the people who have crossed over to the other side, and a day when they are honored by the living, who decorate their graves with marigolds, their favorite foods, and other gifts to the dead.

No matter how you look at it, the visual spectacle is undeniably vivacious!

One important point to take note of: Día De Los Muertos is not Mexican Halloween.
That would be el Día De Los Brujas, which you can check out too.
Día De Los Muertos is a traditional Aztec Holiday which was celebrated 
3000 years before the conquistadors invaded and tried to eradicate the holiday completely.
But the old Aztec spirits die hard, 
or hardly at all. 

This Holiday's scenes and symbolism have infiltrated the hearts of millions,
and it's no longer solely celebrated in Mexico, but within many states in the US, 
and its art is receiving worldwide recognition.
There are similar celebrations that have been observed in countries and continents
such as Spain and Brazil, and similarly themed celebrations take place in 
Asia, Europe and Africa as well.

Honoring the deceased is not so esoteric after all!
However, the symbolism of Mexico's Day of the Dead is as 
unique and individualized as it gets.
Not to mention indisputably colorful and fantastical!
For more info on the traditions and festivities, visit these sites:

The Sugar Skull

Arguably the most recognizable symbol of the Holiday is the Sugar Skull. In ancient times, the aztecs kept skulls as trophies to symbolize death and rebirth.
The modern sugar skull is a mild and almost endearing representation of this ancient practice,
without the repercussions that would ensue in modern day society.
The skulls are a tremendous part of the tradition, with the name of the deceased inscribed on the forehead. 
They are then 
eaten by the 
 Rebirth indeed, 
in the form 
of a sugar high.

True artisan sugar skull makers use 50 year-old molds for the competition at the Feria de Alfinique in Metepec, Mexico. These sugar sculptors have been making artisanal sugar skulls for generations.
It's common to find sculptures all over that can be displayed at home year round.
And why not? As a reminder that death isn't always gory or scary, it can be colorful and decorative, too.

Shingo Shimizu
Shepard Fairey
 Modern artists have been inspired by these cute and creepy curios for quite some time. 
To the left, the notorious:
Shepard Fairey
To the Right, the incredible
graphic designer and illustrator:
Shingo Shimizu

"The Lady of the Dead" aka The Catrina

Another common visual that you will see in sculptures, painting and prayer flags is the Lady of the Dead, now known as the Catrina.
In the original Aztec ceremonies, which lasted for a month (not just November 1 and 2)
this was the Goddess Mictecacihuatl for whom the festival was dedicated. Also know as "Guardian of the Bones, "her role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead, and is said to be the spirit of a girl who was sacrificed as an infant. She is believed to preside over the ceremony to this day.
The Catrina has become the modern interpretation of the The Lady of the Dead,
and has become a subject of infatuation among many painters dating back to the turn of the 20th century to the present.

Jose Guadelupe Posada

One such artist is Jose Guadelupe Posada. His images dating back to the early 1900's have been engrained into the minds of many.
"La Catrina," the illustration of the high society woman is one of Posada's most highly regarded pieces. It's also one of the most recognizable image of the Día de los Muertos celebration.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/articles/dead-history3.html#ixzz2AphVeqeW

Posada's best known works are his calaveras, which often assume various costumes, such as the Calavera de la Catrina, the "Calavera of the Female Dandy," which was meant to satirize the life of the upper classes during the reign of Porfirio Díaz. Most of his imagery was meant to make a religious or satirical point. Since his death, however, his images have become associated with the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, the "Day of the Dead".

Modern Artists

I'm a bit biased by this next "phenome" of paintings: One of my favorite artists has payed the Catrina quite the compliment with her enthralling masterpieces. 
Introducing the one and only: 

and her many Catrinas.
This influential and talented temptress of art lovers everywhere has become world renowned for her masterful depictions of the Catrina, among other macabre masterpieces.
A word to the wise, here-in lies some killer makeup inspiration.

Taking it to the streets and straight to the public, marvel at the mural of Beth Emmerich:

As permanent and public as this gorgeous street statement may seem,
there are other people destined to take their magnificent manifesto all the way to the grave:

Catrina Aztec Tattoo

Lock and Key Sugar Skull Tattoo
Sugar Skull Diamond Tattoos

By Adam @ Zulu Tattoo

Día De Los Muertos Body Tattoo

If you're not into "'Til death do us part" with your art,
some less permanent ways to display your creativity will still 
rock the boat over the River Styx:

Amy Feelings Makeup Design

Día De Los Muertos @ Juxtapost
A La Maquina

Idea from Pinterest
Purple Lady Makeup Design

This is still in-your-face, literally. But as bold as these transformations are, 
they can be easily
removed after 
the festivities.

 Want a step-by-step demonstration? Your last wish is granted:

and for los hombres, or the girl who has the cojones:

Enjoy yourself! 

For my last will and testament, if your listening, Spirits, please guide this gorgeous garb into my life:

Tatted Sugar Skull Mask
Diamante Skull Heels

Handmade Sugar Skull Party Dress

 However, making yourself the center of the celebration
is kinda missing the point. While playing the part is fashionably fabulous,
don't be frivolous. 
In light of the spiritual context of this holiday, remember to reminisce on the ones you've
loved and lost.
Included below are some amusing and appreciative ways to pay homage to your 
nearest and dearest deceased.
Regardless of communion and creed, a simple (or ornate) altar is a universal visual
representation of meaningful recognition.
Here are a few tips:

From the most simple to the most elaborate, these images will give you the basic gist. But check out the sites below 
for a full how-to:

And remember: There's always room for creativity, so make it your own manifestation of ethereal memories.

And if you speak Spanish, this will explain every last detail.
Even if you don't, it still stands as an inspirational view:

Now, as Luis Prima once sang,
"Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink.
The years go by, as quickly as a wink,
so enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It's later than you think." 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Holla' For The Hooters! - Think Pink Day

If that title grabbed your Attention, Good!
We've got an important topic to discuss, Wo-mano a Wo-mano:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
and on the 1st I posted some amusing and fashion-forward finds to get you into the
spirit of contribution.
Think Pink Day is still going off worldwide,
so if you haven't missed the date in your area, it's time to Think Pinker!

I'm going with the facts today! The Research is coming at'cha!!

So just pretend that this pink ribbon is your face, 
so I can put the facts right at front and center:
(Don't worry! Your quest for Knowledge will be rewarded in the end,
but you better read this first!)

This info is straight from BreastCancer.org, and gives you an idea
should the question come up,"What are the odds?"
  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • About 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990 — especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
  • From 1999 to 2005, breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. decreased by about 2% per year.
  • In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
As you can see the vast efforts are paying off. It's getting better all the time!
But the risks still exist, so make sure you know what precautions you need to take.

Ever played an long Game of Telephone?? Well, you might be feeling like you have been the whole time when you let these demystified myths clear the blurb.
Just because your best friend, your mama, or your mama's mama says so,
Doesn't mean it's True.

For a broader reality check, go to PinkRibbon.org, but here a few to chew in the meantime...

Myth 1 — Having a risk factor for breast cancer means you'll develop the disease.

No risk factor either alone or in combination with others means you'll definitely get breast cancer. There are various factors that may increase your risk of developing the disease. Some of these appear to increase your risk only slightly.

Myth 2 — If there is no breast cancer in your family, then you're not at risk for the disease.

Every woman is at risk for breast cancer. So are some men!
About 85 percent of women who develop the disease don't have a family history. That's why it's important for all women to get screened regularly.

Myth 3 — Breast cancer is passed only from your mother, not your father.

We now know that breast cancer genes can be inherited from your dad's side of the family. So ask relatives about cases on both sides and in both men and women.

Myth 4 — No matter what your risk factors are, you really don't have to worry about breast cancer until you're through menopause.

The odds of getting the disease do increase as you age. But breast cancer can occur at any age. That's why all women need to be vigilant. Though experts recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40, your doctor may suggest that you start even earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer at a young age.

Myth 5 — Wearing a bra or using antiperspirants and deodorants increases your risk of breast cancer.

These are two Internet rumors that never seem to quit.

Myth 6 — If you have small breasts, you're much less likely to get breast cancer.

Size doesn't matter. Anyone with
breasts can get it.

And we thought we were off the hook, right? Well, I hope you take
at least one thing away from this:
While feeling yourself up may seem kinda weird to some,
it could just be the thing that saves your life!

In Austrailia, I'm loving these Think Pink-ees!

This is going on my bumper, by the way.
If you're down under, check them out for ways to get involved with
saving what's up above the belt!

However, The Netherlands wins when it comes to the
Most Badass Think Pink Campaigning
imaginable thanks to calligraffitti artist, Niels Shoe Meulman!

Oh Lord, Won'tcha Buy Me THIS Mercedes Benz?!!
Hundreds of womens' names were painted onto this luxury automobile,
and it was featured in Pink Ribbon Magazine.
For full detail, go to The Inspiration Room
or view the artist's site here:

So, how are you going to provide your boobies with the
extra support your bra will never give you?
Tomorrow is National Mammography Day!
Not the most flashy title, but it gets the point across.
Visit PinkRibbon.org, and get helpful tips about exams and prevention.
At the very least, Check YoSelf!

And keep on rockin' the pink this month and share the real news with your girlfriends.
Sisterly love is important, people!

Et moi?


Well, you best bet your breeches that
I'm Letting My Pink-Freak Flag Fly!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

You're Makin' Me Hungry - Costumes - Round 5

While these items in their original form do not hold their weight on a nutritional scale,
as clothing they certainly provide plenty of sustenance for one major sense:
The Eyes!!
These decadent and delicious delights will make mouths water 
when you dish them out this Halloween.
But as with most cravings, herein lies the dilemma:
Are you craving salty or sweet?
Let the food fight begin! The Battle Royal is between
the Savory, the Sugary, and the Smorgasbord!!
No telling which direction your taste will lead you on this bonbon voyage.

The Savory

This dress doesn't beg the question, "Do you want fries with that Shake?"You've clearly got it covered, no need for assistance. And talk bout Hot Diggty Dog, that's exactly what they named this dress!

Don't forget the condiments!
Fast Food Earrings by Bottled Wonders

 This should satisfy a ravenous appetite
with a substantial ration of fashion!
Hamburger Dress by Joy Kampia

Extra Pickles, Please. Two to be exact. And I'll take a mini meal for the road as well.

And good for you for adding
some fresh greens!
Fahrenheit Zara Pumps @ Lulu's

The happiest meal ever :) They're just
asking to be eaten.
Kawaii Fast Food Charms by Pink in Ink

Did you leave room for dessert? I hope so...

The Sugary

Pink Gingham Cupcake Set
by Purrfect Pineapples

Cupcake Cap @ Fred Flare
Wanna take a trip to 
Candy Land?
Only the most bold and brazen broad would dare to wear this itty bitty ensemble in the public eye. But if you do, you're bound to be dubbed the Cupcake Queen. 

And if you need a crown to make your status shine throughout the land, this should do you justice!

Candy Stripe Mini Dress
 by ShhhCoutureLatex

Or join the Latex Lollypop Guild in this spiral of sexy stripes!
The bow may just be for prettying up the package, but it does add another level of YUM!

 And delicious doesn't begin to explain the level of lusciousness presented in these delectable Pumps. A side effect of the desire to acquire these beauties may include some involuntary drooling.

Add some precious pastries to your 
countenance for the perfect presentation
with every detail accounted for!

Magenta Glitter Heels @ Ami Clubwear

The Atlantis by Haus of Price

Footwear must be Fit for the Queen of the Candy Palace. Here are some more options for opulence:
Qupid Mariam @ Lulu's

Kawaii nails may not be necessary, but they are a prefect cherry on top of 
your sundae of swank!

Then again, you can make sweetness as silly as a six year old
on a Sugar High!

The Smorgasbord

 Then there's the girl who's got to have it all!
If having your cake and eating it too still doesn't define
 your indeterminate yet adept palette,
feast your eyes upon a delight in gourmet couture 
that will assuredly cause you pangs of desire!

A little salty, a little sweet. Snack Time is on at level 10!
Good Enough to Eat Mini Dress by Lady Horse Power
Accessorize your apparel with an array of accoutrements to flaunt your personal flavor and this grande buffet of vogue won't become one to be shared. However, others may be inclined to feast their eyes upon your fabulous taste. Bon appetit!

On the other Hand, maybe the idea of others 
eye-balling you like you're going to be their next meal
 just doesn't sync with your personality.
This should turn the tables a full 180 and have them thinking they may just 
lose a hand if they pull any of shenanigans on you:

A carnivorous creation such as this may be the only mouth ferocious enough
to take on all of the above singlehandedly! 

If this has gotten you worked up into a frenzy for a big ol' burger 
and a hot fudge sundae,
This stuff is for wearing, not for eating.
Now Go Eat Your Veggies!!

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The Pretty Pink Arsenal by Lauryn Otten is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.