Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Women + food = misery

So as I was licking cheesecake off of my fingers, this thought occurred to me - why do women have such torturous relationships with food?

I must admit the thought did not come unbidden. I had just had a conversation with one of my workmates offering her a bit of said cheesecake and she recoiled as if I had offered her arsenic.

"Oh nonononononono ... I'm not eating cheese!" she said, shaking her head vigourously.

A little while earlier I had been having a conversation with an older (but still female) workmate who was discussing meal options to have if "you don't want to feel too stuffed". It included salad.

Which is apparently the holy grail of meals these days. Gone are the days when salad was something to go on the side - now it's purporting to be the whole meal - with a little white meat or fish on the side. Rice and peas, macaroni, even a humble yam or breadfruit are all taboo things among women eaters in this post-Atkins world.

Can't women and food just get along? Men don't seem to have quite such a complicated relationship with food (though this is changing - I was in a car with 3 guys the other day and suggested going for sub sandwiches, only to be told that they were all 'fyah bunning carbs').

You can't gather more than 3 women these days without them anxiously dissecting their diet and exercise plans. A girl can't enjoy a chocolate bar or piece of cake without being subjected to wistful or reproachful (or often both) looks from other women who either long to be so carefree or abhor such scandalous behaviour.

And of course every few months, everyone is swept away in passion by the latest diet trend - be it the lemonade diet or the Zone diet or whatever.

I understand wanting to be fit. I even understand going on a diet. But I don't understand how and why we got to the point that we feel our default reaction to basic food items like bread and cheese should be shame, horror or wariness. When it get so?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wet Fete Fashion 2008 ScoreCard

As is the case every year Caribbean Wet Fete was the place where most ladies chose to display their er assets in ways that ranged from the sublime to the sub-par.

This islandista was delicious in her animal print jumpsuit and aviators, managing her technology with style I'd say.  
Grade: A

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These two ladies  revamped the bubble and drawstring trend with softer colours and oversized paparazzi -repellant sunglasses

Grade: A

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 Although she does have a cracking figure and I did kinda like this suit I'd say that it fits better on ladies with a smaller cup size. Bandeau tops are designed to make a small bust look a little bigger BUT if there is any hint of a sag it will exaggerate it. She has a perfectly lovely bust line but the choice of suit emphasises the negatives not the positives.

Grade: B-

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Fabulous! just utterly fabulous!...  for last month's Sex and the City premier. The one time when a little black dress (LBD) isn't appropriate. The utter deliciousness of that LBD and those shoes make me drool just a little but she's going to have to get a failing grade for failing to read the dress code.

Grade:F (for Fabulousness of course!)

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Yum yum yummy! This sorbet colured confection makes me hungry... for her wardrobe! Love the contrast of yellow and aqua with a sneak peak of fuchsia,


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Pulling together two hot trends, tie-dye and brights these two ladies still managed to look fantastic late in the day even after a torrential downpour and a rain dance.

Grade: A

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Hmmm, I remember these shorts from my secondary school PE class, I didn't like them then and I can conjure no love for them now. 1985 was not a good year, I'd like to forget it thank you very much.

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This outfit just makes me want to quote Tyler Perry's Madea "...when you put on your shortest dress please leave some mystery in it. That's the difference between a miniskirt and a ho-skirt. A ho-skirt shows your Frisbee. A miniskirt shows just enough to cause some mystery. What these young women lack is mystery." nuff said!


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The strut, the stride, the 'take no prisoners" attitude, the pure sexiliciousness of these two makes me positively green with envy. I'm not going to pretend, I wanted to be her and every heterosexual man within range wanted to be with her. Kudos to her for rocking the dreaded silver lamé and somehow managing the feat that even Ms Keys cannot, she made it sexy, she made it cool, she rocked the shit out of that outfit and that kind of pride and confidence deserves top marks.

Grade: A+

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Moth balls, very handy for preventing giant insects from chewing through your favourite silver lamé jumpsuits. I'm just sayin'

Grade: F-

does F come in negatives?

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Walk good, Esmin Green

Today, Esmin Green was buried in her homeland of Jamaica at a service at the Duxes Seventh-Day Adventist Church in St. Catherine. The Jamaica Observer summed it up well, with a headline reading 'Esmin Green will not be ignored today'.

Her case will not be ignored for a long time as more heartbreaking details of her last moments on earth keep being unearthed.

According to the medical examiner's report, Esmin Green died of deep vein thrombosis - blood clots induced by a long period of physical inactivity. In other words, the 24 HOURS she had been sitting waiting on a chair in the emergency to get a room and be attended to. Good lord ...

She fell to the floor and thrashed for 30 MINUTES before she fell still and died. It was another 30 minutes by the time anyone checked her.

I don't know what to say. I have no words for such inhumanity.  It reminds me of the Kitty Genovese or bystander syndrome - the diffusion of responsibility or the indifference of good men.

All I have to offer is this - 'walk good' Ms. Green ... as people would say back a yaad. May light eternal shine upon you.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Like we said...

We told you we could go on and on cos the full has never been told ... looka look what was in the Barbados Nation today ...
Mya fails to show

by Kishmar Shepherd

IT WAS ADVERTISED as a "star-studded" event last Saturday night, hosted by international R&B singer Mya with several National Basketball Association (NBA) stars present.

It started on schedule but neither Mya nor the ballers showed up, much to the disappointment
of those who turned out at Club NXS in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.

Mya was also scheduled to conduct a motivational presentation for young Barbadian women at the Barbados Community College, also on Saturday. However, she did not show up there either.

Corporate communications consultant for the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) Chay Davis confirmed that the BTA did sponsor Mya's airfare and accommodation in Barbados, but was in no way involved with the celebrity party.

Davis added that the BTA sourced airline tickets and accommodation for a group of former NBA basketball players including Rafer Alson of the Houston Rockets, Kenny Anderson, former NBA player and coach of the CBA Atlanta Krunk, and Wali Jones, former player for the Miami Heat basketball team, as part
of generating awareness and diversifying the menu of activities for its sports tourism camp programme for 2009.

Davis said he contacted Craig Skilling of Skill Entertainment Group (SEG), a Florida-based entertainment company which had approached the BTA about bringing in Mya.

He added that Skill Entertainment Group were the organisers of the events and when he contacted him by telephone, Skilling apologised for Mya's

Skilling said the no-show was caused by a flight delay, which resulted in the cancellation of the proceedings. However, he explained that an alternative arrangement was made by SEG to have the young women meet Mya in her hotel lobby.

Responding to the no-show at the nightclub, Skilling stressed there was no obligation for Mya to attend the nightclub party.

"It would have been appreciated by the locals and myself if Mya had attended to simply celebrate with the group, but that was not the case and she was never obligated to attend,"
he said.

However, Antony Nadur, a director of Club NXS, said he was contacted by Skilling and asked to be the location of the Celebrity Party but he did not know why Mya did not show up.

Look ... real talk now that everything is out in the open? Some little birdies told us that when the Mya thing was being shopped around, no club or promoter was willing to pay the fee being asked ... what with her having little to no career and what have you. The BTA was clearly willing to pay for her to get here (ye, we're puzzled too) but as far as appearances go, she was basically being given a bligh. Pong would have stirred more interest.

Other folks involved in the celebrity weekend made some rounds. The baller (singular) held a session at the Community college and some press came out of that. Casely decided that it benefited his career to take advantage of the appearance opportunity offered and performed - and was great from all accounts.

But apparently Mya was above that. Folks have been chit-chatting about 'why should she appear if she was not paid' as if up and coming artistes or those looking to restart their careers don't do that all the time. Still, the BTA did pay for her to come here and I don't think they paid for her to come hang out at the hotel and on the beach.

So the question should be, why should the BTA have paid for her trip to Barbados when all she did was hang out at the hotel and on the beach? And did nothing to publicise or promote Barbados?

Friday, July 11, 2008


Well, well, well ... look what we found in our comments queue this morning:
I would advice you at this time to cease and desist your comments until you know the facts.  This is now  becoming a legal matter between the promoter and the Barbados Authorities and for your information Mya was not paid a dime to attend any event in Barbados and the events that she did attend were done solely from the kindness of her heart for the welfare of the children of Barbados.  Any forward comments direct them to me and I will forward to legal.

It came from Hajjii Harrison, who is apparently Mya's dad.

Unfortunately, one of our number panicked and deleted the post and it can't be recovered :( However, having mulled it over we have decided to post this - after all, Mr. Harrison wanted it to be seen.

And let us just state for the record. Islandista is well aware of the facts and to quote Buju ... we could go on and on  - the full has never been told.

We said that her flight was paid for by the BTA -that has not been denied. We never stated that she was paid by any promoter in Barbados.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whither thou Alicia

I love Alicia Keys, love her voice, LOVED the last album but Dear Lord in Heaven woman could you give it some breathing room!  Islandista Alicia has been looking a little constrained of late as if her pride in her sexilicious curves has overridden her good taste and her need to pee without the help of her entourage.


Tugging down this too tight confection before appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman



On Tour in London...


In Madrid


And then come the spandex SILVER ... what are these anyway? jeans? tights? latex dominatrix pants with a 1970's beaded curtain top?

You get my drift Alicia honey, you've gained some weight, I love it on you, I'm sure all my Caribbean brothers love it on you but for the sake of my eyeballs please upsize those jeans!


Note: not much loving the corset top either


this just makes me want to insert you into a wind tunnel or something so I can test my wind shear deflector theory.

edited to include the BET Awards performance outfit:

Look at the tweeny belt, poor thing, I feel as if there were some raw red places when Ms Keys got undressed after this one. Ouch!


Can we go back to this Alicia, she's hot and doesn't look like she is about to pass out from denim induced asphyxia




See how pretty, how soft, how free. Well you can see it if you can get past Whitney's tacky Christmas-tree-decoration-as-a-ball-gown outfit and her crazy "see I don't do no crack" smile... but back to you see how pretty, how soft, I'm even loving the flat-ironed hair



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Esmin Green's family to sue hospital

Just a quick update on the Esmin Green tragedy. Her family is planning to sue Kings County Hospital for US$25 million.

Green's oldest daughter and family spokesperson Tecia Harrison was even more devastated upon actually seeing the security footage of her mother's dying moments.

From Carib World News via Caribbean 360:
Green`s eldest daughter, Tecia Harrison, who lives in Jamaica along with the rest of Green`s family, came to New York to attend her mother`s memorial service on Sunday and take her body back to Jamaica for burial.

After resisting, she finally watched the security camera footage for the first time.

"I wish I didn`t see it. I can't sleep," she said, sobbing at a press conference announcing the lawsuit. "The image of my mom lying on that floor and dying..."

Green's sister Brenda James added: "We don't treat animals like that. It's not to say she was in an isolated place. People were there and nobody reached out to help her."

"It's heartbreaking that my mother died in the way she died," added Harrison. "Not only did they allow her to die but they tried to cover it up. And what my brothers and sisters and I want is that the persons responsible should be behind bars."

Damn ... heartbreaking does not even begin to describe this situation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The importance of the UWI experience

I noticed these comments by Barbadian writer George Lamming a few days ago - pardon my delinquence in only just getting to them.
Lamming made some spot-on observations about the state of the University of the West Indies last week when receiving the Order of the Caribbean Community at the Heads of Government meeting in Antigua and Barbuda last week.
Lamming noted that with the increasing decentralisation of UWI, our regional education institution is losing the Caribbean diversity that is so essential to its character. Specifically he said:

The university, therefore, has been suffering a gradual erosion of its regional character, and we must be very careful that we may not be left with the chain of insular politics, held together by a very fragile medium…

UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris agreed with it and traced it back to 1984 when the decision was made to decentralise the university according to campus. So it has come to pass that students, if they are Jamaican, Trinidadian or Barbadian (which is most) don't have to leave their home territory in order to study unless they are doing one of the few subjects that are still specific to a particular campus like law (Cave Hill), mass communications, geology, international relations (Mona) agriculture or engineering (St. Augustine).
Speaking to the Antigua Sun, Harris said that 'regionality is an essential part of UWI's five year plan (2007-12). An excerpt:

Within the context of the new 2007-2012 plan, regionality is important,” he said.
One method being looked at is increasing cross-campus linkages, so that even students from the campus territories are encouraged to conduct some portion of their studies in another territory.
“These campuses now have somewhere around 15,000 or 16,000 students, of whom say in Jamaica, 14,000 are Jamaican students. It would be very difficult to move them, but what we are doing is working to ensure that there is cross campus collaboration…. We are encouraging as much movement as we can of students across the campuses,” he said.

This is something I am absolutely passionate about. I am a huge regionalist (ahem ... hence this blog) and I consider myself lucky that I attended UWI in another territory besides my native island. Sure UWI had its drama (I think that is just attendant with putting a set of young people with raging hormones together anywhere) but I would not trade my UWI experience for anything ... and I say that having also gone to university in the north subsequently. UWI tops it for sure.
The thing is, with the way UWI is now, unless you live on campus or make a concerted effort, you could end up bypassing the whole experience of regionality. I have always felt a bit sorry for the off-campus students from the campus territories who never really got the full experience and for whom university was basically an extension of their secondary school experience. Because they were not pushed out of their comfort zone, they hung out with the same people they did in school and hardly got to broaden their range of friends or their knowledge of the Caribbean.
Whereas, having lived on-campus for my whole time at UWI, I have friends from just about every territory. I can pick up tomorrow and visit nearly anywhere in the Caribbean and I know I will find someone who will be glad to see me and put me up. This makes my island-hopping and carnival-going much cheaper- LOL!
But more than that, I learned. My world was widened. I got to really understand in more depth the outlooks, idiosyncrasies and backgrounds of different Caribbean countries. I got to understand the dry, limer-talk wit of Trinis and the hype and 'extra-ness' of Jamaicans. I got to understand the cadence of Bahamian accents and realise there is a world of difference between that and an American accent (which it can sound like at first).
I experienced food from different islands, shared in the news and gossip from other Caribbean countries and loved and lost and was courted by men from different Caribbean countries.
I can certainly understand the economic necessity that would inspire most people to stay close to home. Obviously, it makes far more sense to just take a bus or taxi to get to university rather than a plane. You can live at home with your parents and that saves a hell of a lot of money too - my student loan certainly attests to one of the drawbacks of going to another island - imagine if I had to pay school fees on top of my living expenses!
But ... it's so boring. That's what I tend to think when I hear about the UWI experiences of my friends who went in their own island, with the same old friends they always had and went to the same old fetes they always had.
To me ... that's not UWI. I think the university and the governments should try to do something to encourage most students to study in other islands. For one, make it easier for students to transfer and study their same subject in another territory. In my three years, I only knew two students who were able to do that.
I think, given the chance, students would take the opportunity to experience another territory. I still think that regionality has some allure. Or maybe I'm just one of those UWI idealists ... what says you islandistas?

Beenie and D'Angel to reunite?

Rumblings out of Jamaica are that Beenie Man and his now ex-wife D'Angel may be getting back together. Yardflex dropped hints about it twice in the last week or so.

I think the whole Caribbean and its diaspora knows the whole tale of Beenie and D'Angel's drama-filled relationship by now, from stealing way his arch-rival's woman to the big wedding (and the rifts that caused in the Alliance) to the nasty, nasty divorce, complete with furniture being tossed out, allegations of unfaithfulness and demands of paternity tests.

So could it be that these two are the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the Caribbean? Can't live with each other, can't live without each other? What a t'ing! And where does this leave Barbee, who up to a few weeks ago was denying rumours that she is with child for Beenie?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Outrage: Jamaican mother of 6 left to die on NY hospital floor

By now, I am sure news-savvy islandistas have heard or read of the tragic story of Esmin Green's emergency-room death at Kings Country Hospital in Brooklyn.

While others, including patients and a security guard looked on, Green who had been waiting 24 hours for a hospital bed, fell out of her chair to the floor. There, she thrashed about a bit, obviously in distress and even attempted to get on to her side to get herself back up. Then she fell still.

No-one came to her aid for over an hour. Security footage of the incident, released by lawyers who are suing KCH on an unrelated matter, showed a doctor passing by and peeking in at her and then going on about his business nonchalantly. A security guard also takes a look at her lying face down on the floor and a nurse who comes in prods her with her foot. Still no-one does anything - for an hour until a second nurse comes in and realises Ms. Green is dead. Esmin Green was left to die on the floor, worse than an animal.

So who is Esmin Green? My islandistas, she is one of us. A Caribbean woman - like us, striving to make a way for herself and her children and do better - just like us, or our mothers or aunts or grandmothers. She could have been anyone's Caribbean auntie or granny or sister that was living 'over in away' and sent back remittances to help those at home. She could have been anyone of us.

According to CaribWorld News, the 49 year old Ms. Green...
Was a cheerful resident of St. Catherine, Jamaica who served for a while as a teacher while raising six children. ... Eight years ago, in amove for greener pastures, Green migrated to the US alone. She became an integral part of a Canarsie, Brooklyn church community with many coming to know her simply as 'Sister Green'. And she worked hard as a housekeeper and a day-care worker to send money back to Jamaica to take care of her children.

Two years ago, she apparently suffered a nervous breakdown and it is this condition that led her to KCH, where she was admitted involuntarily, suffering from agitation and psychosis.

Her children, including one who is just 14 years old, are devastated. Her eldest daughter Tecia Harrison was quoted as saying: "Not even a dog is treated that way."

Making an already horrific situation worse, the second nurse who eventually called for help and too-late resuscitation efforts, falsified the records, saying she got up around 6 a.m. to use the bathroom when she actually collapsed at about 5:30 - half hour earlier. It goes on to say that she was "sitting quietly in the waiting area" at 6:20 a.m. - when the surveillance video shows her already sprawled on the floor.

Islandistas, I am heartsick. And afraid. We all know that there are more Caribbean people living outside of the region than in. We all know them - they are our family. They go to make better for themselves. And look at this. This woman was well-trained enough to be a teacher but ended up as a housekeeper in the US. And then in her dying moments she was just treated with a callousness and indifference that is shocking. They prodded her with their foot... like a dead animal in the road.

Bob said it best:

Man to man is so unjust...

You don't know who to trust.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Caribbean Fashion Week 2008

(photo credit: David X Prutting/Patrick McMullan via NY Times The Moment)

Models backstage at CFW 08 in Heather Jones designs

Alright, alright I know I'm a liiikkle late but fear not, I was never going to forget the full-on islandista fabulosity that is Caribbean Fashion Week every year.

As usual Kingsley Cooper and the Pulse crew did it how we only do it. There was an array of gorgeous models in various hues of brown, with bodies that look like them nyam some food rather than the anorexic Eastern Euro-chic of every other catwalk- this is no doubt the only Fashion Week in the world where black models have no problem getting a bligh.

No less than the NY Times' The Moment blog noted the difference between CFW and the rest:
C.F.W. is a rarity in that it shows no signs of androgyny. Yanking up their bold Yardmanstyle t-shirts, the Jamaican male models flashed physiques that caused mass hysteria in the audience. And the heavenly bodies of the vari-hued Nubian catwalk beauties appeared to be silicone-free.

The androgyny-freeness was not just evident in the models but in the collections. The designs and colours were so distinctively Caribbean and yet not in a cliched way. There was rich, lush colour evocative of and appropriate to a true flamboyant tree-blooming, mango-filled Caribbean summer as seen in Heather Jones' designs up above and in the juicy orange skirts of Claudia Pegus dresses seen below.

 There were edgy, sexy rudegal-influenced designs from Born As Ragamuffin as seen below at right.

 There were celebs in the front row from islandista actress Nia Long and fellow actress Vanessa Williams and rapper Eve who also showcased her Fetish clothing line.

Clearly an event for islandistas! More pics of our picks below.

I love, love, love this fluffy, beribboned confection from Zadd & Eastman. Ribbons (ribboning?) were a theme in several of their designs as seen in this column dress below worn by fast-rising Barbadian model Tenille Stoute.

(photo credit: Ryan Lue-Clarke via Popstyle Jamaica)

Gorgeous splashes of colour came from one of Trinidad's grand dames of fashion, Meiling, as seen above.

For more photos check out Popstyle Jamaica which has tons of photos and coverage from CFW 08.