Monday, April 15, 2013

The glorification of bad characters on Television


Have you watched television recently? Or plug in your tablet, computer, smart phone to catch up on shows? Then like me you must have noticed the latest trend: glamorized bad characters.  Yes the new black on TV is not to kill leading roles anymore, but it is to portray bad characters. A few examples to support my statement:
 House, a doctor who will go to any means necessary to diagnose and treat his patients. Admirable you say, except that this doctor is popping pills he steals from the hospital, does not hesitate to lie and cheat but also treats any other human beings around him (colleagues, interns and patients) poorly to say the least.

Then comes Dexter who murders criminals. He seems to be some kind of an avenger but isn't he just another sociopath serial killer.

In a more superficial world, we have Serena Van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf of Gossip girls who schemes to get their way in the Upper East side.

My personal favorite is Olivia Pope, the talented problem fixer who will go to any length to save his clients from scandals and such. She would be lovely except from the fact that she often breaks the law to help her clients, that she helped rigged the votes that got the president elected, that the later is her on again off again lover,  that she will sabotage the lives of people around her particularly those who are unstable just to protect her secret.

I could go on and on presenting examples after examples of bad characters on television that we secretly or openly admire and love. But there is no need because you get my point.

TV used to be about good guys and bad guys. At the end of the show, a bad guy was apprehended, put in jail or just avenged. Like the little stories we study at school, or read before bedtime, there was a lesson to be learned at the end of the plot: if you are bad, you loose. Now, the lesson is that if you are bad, you are a winner.

What scares me the most about this new trend is that it is not about to die down. And it is our fault, us viewers. We barely seek fairy tales and happy endings. We want hard core, mind blowing dramas on TV. We start to watch those characters and deep down we think: "My GOD, how can they do that?" But soon enough we are hooked on them so much that we stalk the future episodes and create chat rooms to discuss their behavior. We are in epic withdrawal if we miss an episode or two.

One of the reasons why we are so into those characters is that even if they are rotten to the core, they are appealing to us because the writers of the show make them vulnerable. They are not only bad, the also have a heart. They have someone they love, and someone who loves them no matter what. They may lie and steal and kill to gain power but they seek companionship, romance. They are just like us, other human beings (at least that is what writers of the shows want us to believe.) Who can resist the torn, lost, passionate yet sad look on Olivia Pope's face when she sees the President. Her eyes convey so much love and yearning that we cannot help but fall in love with this sinner. We know that what she is doing is wrong but isn't everything fair in love and war.

There is also another interesting fact: watching those characters go down that route makes us feel better about ourselves. We look at them and think: I will never do that. Or we think how pathetic they are. How many times have you watch Real Housewives or Basketball wives and laughed at, pitted those women for their lack of class. There is something fascinating in watching a wreck as it is happening. It makes us feel happier about our drama free lives.

But there is a danger in letting this trend take its course. If it was only for pure entertainment, it would have been interesting. Unfortunately many people are started to be influenced by those TV characters. I am referring to the younger generation who see the cast of Jersey Shore or Blair as role models. What are they going to learn about the world: that it is okay to be bad as long as we are having fun or gaining power. What will happen to values then? Will we all live in a world where human decency has disappeared? You may think that I am exaggerating but if you see what my country had become after cable TV arrived and we got introduced to all kinds of American TV shows (combined with economic problems and structural reforms), you would understand. Let us just say that my neighborhood was never the same after Beverly Hills 90210.

It is true that we cannot only blame TV. Once again, actors are no role models. We have to take actions and limit the amount of garbage the children are exposed to on TV. As parents, we also have to educate our kids by giving them values and make them understand that being bad is not the way to go even if it seems cool on TV. It all starts at home they say. So parents, if you want your children to have a good and solid tomorrow, turn off the TV now (at least until they are off to bed).

Friday, April 12, 2013

Back to the Basics: Undergarments

This is supposed to be the last post (or maybe not) for the series Back to the Basics where I explore all the essentials missing in my wardrobe. So far I explored cardigans, little dresses, pants and outerwear. Today is all about undergarment; this is the basics of the basics, the foundations of every great outfit. All of us have more than once seen a beautiful lady wearing a great outfit but as soon as she turns around, we see her panty line and shake our heads. We may even have been that lady. This is a big no no. Any outfit will look blah or just ill fitted without the right undergarments. And here is a list of what I think every girl (starting with me) needs:

Tank tops:
People wear tanks tops at the beach or around town come Summer. Me, I just use them as undergarments. I like to wear tank tops underneath sheer or super light tops. I am super conscious about my bra showing or leaving a mark so I always wear tank tops. I like the type that does not roll up. And if you cannot find those, bodysuits are also great if you can bear the discomfort down there and know how to pee in them.

Basic tees:
I live in basic tees during winter. They are the foundations of my wardrobe. I wear a basic long sleeves tees and build up my outfit from there. I really like the cotton ones Hanes make. In Japan, they make special tees that are super thin but will use your body heat to keep you warm. They call it Body heaters or Heattech. But you can find good ones practically anywhere. My dream is to get one in every color of the rainbow (and more).



Heattech body warming tees available at Uniqlo 

Slips:
I love slips. I find them super sexy and so grown up. And they also get the job done underneath dresses or skirts. It is something that every grown up woman should have in her underwear drawer..that and a corset (but that is another story)

Hosiery:
I am not really into hosiery expect for leggings that I find super practical. But it is recommended to have a good pair of hosiery. I prefer to stay away from the funky ones with all the designed stars and what not, and also the fishnet type (prostitute anyone?). If you must wear one, try the opaque in black or nude. And If you must go the color route, stick to one that you can easily be styled and is flattering on you.

Extra support:
For girls with a little meat on the bones or for any other girl with a different body type to what the norm is (whatever that is???), it can be hard to find the right undergarment. But never fear, there is a new industry of all kind of shapewear designed to make you feel better about your body. I am not even talking about Spanx (although I hear they perform miracles) but all kinds of tummy tucking, or curves creating shapewear. I have recently tried the trend and some of them do make you look like a million bucks. You just need to find what is right for you.



Assets Fantastic Firmers High waist mid thigh shaper at Spanx.com

The perfect Bra:
I do not possess the perfect bra. I have looked everywhere within my means but apparently it is not out there yet. I am just kidding. The perfect bra do exists. It is a bra that you should be comfortable with. For myself, it is a bra that will not make my breast look like cones or bazookas. I do not need a push up bra or a bra with wires that dig through my skin. I need a bra that is super soft yet gives me full support. And I am not really into the lacy flowery type. Just give me something in basic color like black, white and nude. (Leave the lace or extra for the bedroom please). Plus if the bra does not pop through my shirt, that would be great.



The Showstopper Full Coverage Bra by Victoria's secret 

The perfect panties:
Victoria's secret and its friends have invented all kinds of panties meant to make us feel better about ourselves, (and let us face it our men happy). I am not fussy when it comes to panties (reason why I am using the sames one after 4 years..shame on me!!!). But I know I like them in all colors. I also favor the granny panties and boy cut panties because I have a lot of junk in the trunk and need coverage. Recently (5 years ago), I have been into super soft seamless panties, that do not leave a mark when you wear them with pants.

Seamless Bikini Panties from Forever 21

It is hard finding the right undergarment. Therefore do not hesitate to ask for help. The first step is knowing your size and your body type. And a store clerk at any lingerie shop may be able to help you with that. You will see that with the right fit, and right type, you will feel better and your clothes will thank you for that...So shop on! I know I will.

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