Don’t judge a book by its cover

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

I have loved fashion since I was young, from the time I realized it was a thing.

Watching my sweet Mamma glamming up for our ritual house parties in the 80s, while she likely wished she was more of an Alexis Colby Carrington because she was a fierce and career-oriented woman a that happen to be a fashionista rather than a Kristle Carrington from Dynasty, our favorite show, was a joy for me.

I was in awe of all of her stilettos, pearls necklaces, giant gemstone rings, and dresses. I couldn’t wait to play with them. I wasn’t the only one in that situation.

My mom worked a 9 to 5 job in a clothing manufacture earning a hourly wages while going back to school to have a better career for herself in the 80’s.

She worked so hard during the day. She wasn’t a lawyer, a journalist, a doctor, or a scientist, but she did her best to provide us with the essentials. And yes, fashion was part of that.

I never took my mom less seriously because she loved to have fun with her style and enjoy it. It was the  contrary. I admired her more for not taking herself too seriously and she encouraged me to have the same disposition.

In the 80s, everyone had fun with fashion. From executives (those shoulders pads – uh uh!) to the neon leggings seen on fitness enthusiasts.

Women like Oprah, Jane Fonda, the girls from Salt’N’Pepa and Madonna, even my gym professor and elementary school principal (I loved Mrs. Nantel’s red suit) were having fun with fashion.

In the 90s, Grunge and the streetstyle of Hip-Hop were in full bloom. It was the decade of my ultimate fashion mentor’s style!

I’m still into it today, dressing like her, it is so me now.

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy! The minimalist goddess of all time.

Did we judge her like we crucify some women today for their wardrobe?

No!

So why do we do it in 2018? I read article that said, for example, you are a prominent human rights barrister, you cannot enjoy being creative with your outfit without being judged for not taking your role seriously.

What the heck?!

I find it ridiculous. People must have nothing better to do.

My clothes shouldn’t speak to my accomplishments but actually, my accomplishments should speak for themselves.

For an example, Diana, Princess of Wales had fun with her wardrobe, but it didn’t stop her from being considered the Peoples’ Princess.

I remember a few years ago, at a convention, I had my Gucci eyewear mixed with a Club Monaco T-shirt and a black pencil skirt. Simple, classic. I was given the look: “OMG you are so materialistic for showcasing your sunglasses”.

Someone actually came up to me and commented.

I wasn’t happy about it at all. I was thinking, I’m not judging anyone, why they are doing it to me?

After that, did I stop wearing my eyewear? Or, if I wanted to wear nice clothes, did I think twice?

Hell no!

We are so lucky to have the opportunity to have fun with fashion. Yes, some things can be pricey and some people may think we are pretentious. But, maybe try to take the time to learn about someone personally and then, maybe you won’t say or write such stupid things.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s not be those cynical, sad people that have nothing better to do than judge a book by its cover without reading it.

Let it be.

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Things that make you go hmm Part II

By Sabine Démosthènes

During last night’s game between the Cavs and the Knicks, you may have heard noises that were not exactly cheers for a particular player.

Instead, the fans were booing Travis Thompson. It was pretty obvious.

For some that may not know, Mr. Thompson is dating one of the Ms. Kardashians.

To make the situation a little more awkward, Khloé Kardashian is pregnant and Travis Thompson was being a little bit too touchy-feely with a woman that is not the mother of his child.

You can guess that his philandering nature and his indiscretions were plastered all over the web.

First thing is first. Everything that has a connection to the Kardashian’s brand will get major coverage.

Whether we like it or not, it is fact.

I’m not a fan of this Kardashian culture at all, but I do feel bad for Khloé and her having to deal with this issue before giving birth to their baby girl (Congrats!).

Oh wait, this family has the reputation of being fame-hungry… Maybe they aren’t very upset about it since they are being mentioned everywhere.

I take back what I just said, I don’t feel bad.

Mister Whisky doesn’t feel bad either

My question is should we boo players for the life they are living as civilians when they are playing?

My opinion on this matter would be no.

When you come to see a game, you come to actually see the game. You don’t go to see a game for some player’s personal life, but we were programmed (myself included) to admire and glorify these athletes. They should be good role models.

In fact, I do adhere to that thinking.

Alright, you probably think that I’m contradicting myself. You might be right, but I will explain my point.

If I don’t respect an athlete or someone else, I won’t boo them, but I will stay silent. I think being silent and indifferent has more weight than being noisy and trashy.

Throwing some garbage in a court, a ring, a soccer field is an act of disrespect. Disrespect to the other players and to the game.

Let’s be more like the Japanese in this matter: calm, collected, cheerful and respectful.

But I got a brain freeze when I realized wait a minute, they are booing because he is cheating on a Kardashian! Morally though, this family is not as white as the big snow we will be receiving this weekend in Montreal…

It’s like a double-standard type situation.

People are complaining about this family and their values and then, booing and slamming the boyfriend because of his dishonesty and fraternizing actions. But still, this family got famous because of a sex tape!

I need a drink!

I mean this kind of drink…

Humbolt is on our mind

During the whole weekend, every hour, every minute and every second, I was thinking about the pain of the family members and friends must be living at this exact moment wondering if their son, their brother, their friend, their father are among the victims of the horrific accident that happened Friday late in the afternoon in Saskatchewan.

My heart is broken but when I saw this picture, my spirit regain some faith.

Brothers Broncos

The strong power of brotherhood.

They were all brothers. And that bond will never be broken.

Humboldt Broncos

https://www.gofundme.com/darcy-haugan-humboldt-broncos

https://ca.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos

Advice for the young at heart

Dear Beyoncé fans,

Yes, you guys, even other celebrities.

I would like to address my concerns about your sanity.

Fan mania

Back in the day, we were amazed when Michael Jackson moonwalked his way across the stage at every concert. We were the generation that wanted to be the epitome of cool. We were a Wu-Tang Nation, a Tribe Called Quest Squad. The Brandy and Monica drama was our lunchtime discussion, no hashtags required. Whitney and Mariah were the Diva Queens, but we were reminded that they too were human and flawed. Not the goddesses of planet Earth.

Today, it seems Beyoncé is the only being a walking supreme Mother Earth mother and everything she does is worshipped like she was the Messiah.

Bey

There are some problems guys…

Did she find a cure for any disease? Did she create a new technology with the purpose to give people a better life? Did she fight the good fight, to relentlessly bring justice to the less fortunate?

No.

She is an entertainer, a good one. I do respect her dedication to entertaining us mortals, but that’s it. I respected her more when she was keeping her life more private. Now, all I see is a brand, not a human being.

Madonna, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Cindy Lauper, Joan Jett, Reba McEntire, Bonnie Raitt, Salt’n’Pepa, MC Lite and Lauryn Hill were the ultimate warrior women in the music industry. Yes, they were admired for the passion they brought to their art and that was pretty much it.

I’m tired of reading about or listening to people that put Beyoncé on a pedestal like she was the next best thing after the creation of Nutella (I love Nutella – my life depends on it). I feel even worse when I read about other celebrities acting like total stupid groupies.

Come on, have some self-respect.

Fans crying

To the Beyhive crazy crowd, please chill out. I mean it.

She is not a God. She is an entertainer, one that may take herself a little too seriously (remember the pregnancy pictures of her twins, last year’s Grammy performance with the Mother Mary theme, her Lemonade video clip, and many other examples, unfortunately).

Beyoncé Mother Mary

I still believe she could be a really cool person to hang out with, but you guys are not obligated to be fanatics and idolize her. Admiring her accomplishments as an entertainer, ok, but being a crazy-ass fanatic, hell no!

Beyoncé is a human being, like the rest of us. She is not perfect. I want to see a bit more authenticity from her through sharing less of her private life. By not making a grand spectacle of her every outing with the crazy outfits and the entourage.

Damn, could she be more like Tina Turner?

Tina Turner

Be the big diva on stage and give everything you got, but after, please just be human.

Beyonce 2

So Beyhave’s army, you may want to send me some hateful emails and I guess you will put my name on your blacklist, but please, consider my advice to you, the young at heart.

Just breathe.

Fan Mania

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Legacies are never lost

Do you ever get this feeling?

Sometimes, a certain movie gives you this sense of empowerment and you feel invincible because of one particular actor?

Brandon Lee was this actor in my youth. At home, when I was just a little tomboy, we watched a wrestling show and a Kung-Fu movie every Saturday. It was a serious ritual in our household. Bruce Lee was, in a way, a big part of our family. At that time in the 80s, Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was starting to make some waves as an actor.

Brandon

He was gorgeous and in my five-year-old mind, I was convinced that I would marry him and we would fight the bad guys together (I wasn’t aware that movies are typically fictional… anyhow). He was my Romeo.

Brandon drawing

As I grew older and more aware, I became addicted to Entertainment Tonight. I remember looking forward to seeing the movie that would later be one of my favorites but was symbolic of my life at the time.

Brandon the Romantic

The Crow perfectly represented my state of mind during that period. So badly, I wanted to find a hero that would inspire me to be invincible. Despite being a feisty and sporty kid, I was facing some bullying at the time. Brandon was my hero.

His interview on the set was inspiring for me. He was so calm and philosophical.

Brandon Lee last interview video

I was looking forward to the movie, daydreaming about the script and everything. I felt I just needed wings to fly freely without fear.

Drawing by Eric Draven

In 2018, when you watch Brandon’s interviews, his poetic way of telling us a story and explaining the meaning of life is actually a beautiful legacy that he left for us.

The beauty of legacy is that it can go on and on, from generation to generation.

Brandon’s sister is one of the people that is making sure the legacy of her family will still go on. Like me, Shannon is the baby sister to her big brother.

Lee Family

She was close to him and probably got teased by him, as is the main criterion of having a big brother. We know the expression ”Brotherly love” but Bro and Sisterly love are the best one.

Shannon is proud of her father’s and brother’s legacies and of her own.

Shannon Lee 2

Shannon Lee Ted Talk Be An Action Hero video

Shannon is creative, dynamic and special. She is a very proud sister.

What is next for Shannon?

Shannon Lee

Actually, you should check out her podcast: The Bruce Lee Podcast. It’s insightful and really well-made.

https://nerdist.com/bruce-lee-podcast-91-brandon-lee/

When Brandon died, I felt lost. I would no longer experience his way of explaining something as he did in that interview with such grace.

But, years later, I read this quote from Brandon somewhere and it’s been one of my mantras ever since:

”Immortality is to live your life doing good things and leaving your mark behind”

 Brandon Lee quote

Legacies are never lost.

Brandon Lee Chronicle Collage

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://www.brucelee.com

 

Hoops

Monday, March 26th, 2018; I got back into elementary school mode. I grabbed my backpack and instead of textbooks, I filled it up with camera gear. As I walked down the elementary school hallway, I realized how small the locker seemed compared to 26 years earlier. I was all excited like I was 5 years old again.

March 26th 2018 Westmount Park Elementary School

When I opened the gym door, I saw the 15th woman to become a player on one of the oldest basketball team of all time shooting hoops.

As I sat on the bench preparing my stuff, Brianna “Hoops” Green gave me a quick “Wassup!” as we exchange some funny comments on Instagram.

Hoops and The Chronicle

She is, no doubt, an influencer with 90.7 K followers on Instagram alone!

In Westmount Park Elementary School, she was greeted like a rock star. I saw the stars in some of the students’ eyes. I remember that reaction perfectly as a long time ago, I was one of those kids.

Hoops Green and the Westmount Park kids

“Hoops”, as we call her, is a Harlem Globetrotters player. She is living her dream, doing the thing she liked the most since she was four years old. On top of that, she is an inspiration, putting smiles on those sweet little faces from all around the world.

Briana ''Hoops'' Green

Since I am becoming older and not necessarily wiser, I have a preconception that young men and women in their late teens and early twenties all have this “Kardashian” attitude and selfishness.

 

Yes, I may encounter an of few of them, but I’m realizing that there is an army of inspiring young men and women that have the desire to give back to society by being a good person. Some are hoping for and working toward a better future.

One that is not about the best selfie and how many likes they get on social media, but about compassion, kindness, and hard work.

Hope Green is certainly one of them!

Westmount Park Elementary School with Brianna Green
Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Briana Green on Instagram

http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/hoops

A prayer for Darfur

I’m asking myself this question:

Why am I complaining about winter and worrying about other superficial things when I am living in a war-free country, while there could be a woman, just like me, wondering if she will breathe her last breath within the next five minutes, in somewhere like Darfur.

By asking myself this question, I am ashamed that I sometimes worry about the stupidest little things; but at the same time, I’m asking myself what can I do about it?

First of all, when I turn on my television scroll through my Facebook feed or some news outlet app, why aren’t the atrocities that are happening all over the world the first things I see?

In Montreal, I don’t hear much about the fact that hundreds of people are losing their homes, not in a hurricane, but because of their government and its greediness.

But instead of focusing on why, I said I have a platform to talk about it. Not as an expert, because I’m not, but as a human being who hopes to one day live in a peaceful world where everyone is equal. (I hear you guys saying keep dreaming girl!)

Sudanese Children

When two journalists have been assaulted a few weeks ago, they did mention it on the news, for what? 10 seconds? There weren’t any follow ups or more questions asked by the news reporter. I wasn’t mad, but I was disappointed.

Are we so obsessed with this man, representing America and his rallies, that we are oblivious to the suffering of human beings in a vulnerable place?

I guess we must ask ourselves this question and be honest with ourselves.

When you are not an expert on a subject, the right thing to do is to reach out to an organization that wants to point out the atrocity and clears it up.

The Enough Project is my go-to resource.

Enough

I am reading more about what is going on through John Prendergast’s essay, I am still not an expert on the subject, but I feel better informed.

It is a foundation whose main focus is to end genocide and crimes against humanity in conflicted areas of Africa.

John Prendergast is the driving force behind this beautiful project he co-founded with Gayle Smith in 2007.

John Prendergast

Enough Project has several active campaigns to raise awareness of the violence and injustice going on in the countries that the News outlets here do not spend much time on.

https://enoughproject.org/op-eds/u-s-news-world-report-op-ed-dont-remove-sudan-terrorism-list

I still won’t be the most politics-savvy person on this planet, but I do think if we talk about it, point out the bad guys and what they are doing, and continue hoping that kindness may one day conquer the world, maybe we can start something.

Maybe we don’t need the big news outlets such as CNN, BBC, RDI, CNBC, Fox News (oh lord, don’t get me started about Fox News!) and others to get the word out.

Maybe we will be the ones that will get the word out that Enough is enough!

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/central-african-republic/2018-03-14/key-making-peace-africa

John Prendergast Africa

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://enoughproject.org