The holidays are approaching fast and if you’re like us, you’re scouring stores and retail sites to find the best gifts for special people in your life. This month we’re going to feature gift guides to help you with your shopping lists. In Holiday Gift Guide #1 we’re featuring gifts for your loved ones. Whether for your mom, dad, friend, sibling or significant other, these items are sure to please.
Gifts for Her
1. Wending Gloves, Anthropologie: These soft angora, wool and nylon gloves are elegantly detailed with coiled buds. And, like everything else in Anthropologie, they’ll make any girl feel more girlie.
2. Tarte Crown Jewels Lipgloss Multi-gift Set, Sephora: How great is this! This gift set from Sephora has three sets of five Tarte lip glosses. So not only can you give a couple away as gifts, you can also keep one for yourself! And did we mention it’s only $39?
3. Satin Jewelry Traveler, J Crew: This jewelry traveler is so elegant that it looks like a purse. With three zipper compartments, two removable straps and a deep pocket there is more than enough room to keep jewelry in tact while traveling.
Gifts for Him
4. Vizio 42″ TV LCD HDTV, Target: Every guy loves a big TV. If size or budget is a big concern, this 42″ is large enough to show a crisp, high-def picture without breaking the bank too much.
5. Cashmere V-Neck Sweater, Martin + Osa: A staple in any guy’s closet, the v-neck is always a good pick. Made in cashmere, it will not only be soft, but it will also be war.m without being too bulky.
6. Cuff Link Display Case, Red Envelope: Does that special guy in your life have more than a few snazzy cuff links without a special place of their own? This classy Cuff Link Display Case is a great place to put them. You can even get it engraved with his initials.
Gifts for Anyone
7. Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder, Best Buy: Flip video cameras make it fast and easy to capture and upload videos. Its small size and sleek design make them easy to carry around too. This particular flip captures up to 60 minutes of high definition video and costs right under $200.
8. Kindle, Amazon: If you’re buying a gift for an avid reader who doesn’t already have a, e-reader, then this is definitely the gift to buy. It’s lightweight, holds up to 1,500 books, and since it uses 3G wireless technology, books can be downloaded wirelessly in less than a minute.
9. Breville Ikon Panini Press, Williams-Sonoma: Give the gift of making scrumptious panini at home with this panini press. To make it even better, its adjustable heat settings make it easy to also make grilled meat and veggies.
The Vyne TV with Keesha and Kailei
Women all over the world have fallen in love with the idea of leading a fulfilling life. A life that is no longer all work and no play. Instead, women want to lead a life that combines their love of style, beauty, family, entertaining and travel with their interests in being environmentally responsible, healthy, culturally enriched and career driven. Yet, you rarely, if ever get to see these women on TV. Women like YOU! We at The Vyne believe the world is ready for a show that captures the cutting edge of everything smart, current, sensible and chic. A show that takes a fun, informative and engaging look at all things culture and lifestyle. A show that features the sophisticated, classy, intelligent woman of color who sets the trends, knows what she wants, is active in her community and has a social life to die for! Are you ready to finally see YOU on TV? Click here to see the trailer for The Vyne TV (or watch below) and let us know what topics you would like to see addressed on a show like this.
Tonight CNN premiered Black in America 2 (2nd half airs Thursday, July 23), featuring stories including underprivileged Brooklyn teens’ exposure to and service in South Africa, a young affluent black male’s experience in a predominantly white private university, and the Management Leadership of Tomorrow MBA prep program. After last year’s first installment of the Black in America series, many criticized, with some feeling like CNN did not depict an accurate portrayal of “blacks in America.” Others were excited that CNN spent the time and resources to shed light on the unique experience of being a black person in this country.
Tell us what you think. Do you think Black in America 2 did justice to the Black American experience?
If you have not seen it yet, BET has a new show as a partnership with Procter & Gamble called “My Black is Beautiful,” under the same name as a site P&G launched to celebrate the “beauty of every African-American woman.” Hosted by actress Tasha Smith, the show covers topics related to black women’s beauty including Michelle Obama’s influence on black beauty, colors to complement black women’s skin tones, hair trends, positive body image and self esteem. I must say, I was excited to see such positive programming on BET. I went to their website to see what additional content and information they had related to the subject matter and was surprised at what I discovered. The show’s homepage on BET.com includes an image linked to the latest episode (OK, makes sense). Underneath that was a section on “More on Skincare” (Great! Maybe I can learn something). Also in this section was an image of Meagan Good with the caption, “Avoid these hair and make up faux pas”. I clicked on the image and discovered that these were not tips on what not to do but rather harsh commentary reminiscent of the “Fashion Police” cartoons I used to see in the back of hair magazines back in the day. Statements like “Wake up Golden [Brooks]! Put on a little mascara already!” and “What is that on Mel B’s head? Is it a hat, a honey bun or a turtle?” Though I am guilty of occasionally checking out gossip blogs that certainly have made statements more severe, my disappointment came primarily from the placement of this content. Here they are celebrating “Black beauty,” but in the same breath, on the same page, blatantly criticizing the same beautiful black women. Is tearing each other down so commonplace and “normal” that we can’t even have one Web page of positive images and content about black women?
As we all know, just about whatever Oprah touches turns to gold. CNBC’s special, The Oprah Effect digs into the blessing and curse of the “Million Dollar Touch” of Oprah Winfrey.
A few years ago, I visited a high end jewelry store in the Houston Galleria mall with the intention of purchasing a necklace for my mother. When I went in, there were very few customers but yet the people working there saw me, but continued to speak to one another rather than help. When I asked for assistance, one of the clerks seemed annoyed and was so blatantly unfriendly that I left the store and bought the necklace elsewhere.
I thought about this incident and many others experienced by my friends and family when I watched this episode of ABC’s show, “What Would You Do?” During the experiment, a black shopper was harassed by a store clerk and security guard in a SoHo boutique. Out of 100 shoppers who witnessed this, less than 20 intervened.
One of the statistics mentioned in the clip was that 60% of blacks say they have experienced “shopping while black.” What about you? Have you witnessed or personally experienced racial discrimination in a store?
By Guest Contributor, Bethany Pinnick
Some of you may have heard by now of Susan Boyle, the Scottish woman who performed on the British version of American Idol. Performance seems like a weak word to describe what Ms. Boyle did- in the Black community, we might say that Susan Boyle sang on that show, bringing the audience to their feet just a few lines into her song, and utterly wowing Simon Cowell. But what really stood out about Ms. Boyle is that she is not a conventionally attractive woman – she’s not slim, or young, or stylish, or even particularly graceful in the way that some heavy-set women can be. When she marched across the stage to begin her song, it was apparent from the audience’s and judges’ expressions that that their expectations for Susan Boyle’s performance are very low. But Susan’s singing isn’t just good, it’s fantastically good- and she leaves no doubt that her ability is on par with any other top singer. What really strikes me about this situation, however, is why we should all be so surprised about Ms. Boyle’s talent. Should someone have to look a certain way or have a certain stature to be an amazing singer? Have we gotten so used to the packaged, stylized, and constructed vocalists of our time that we have forgotten that talent and image are not interdependent? It shouldn’t be surprising that Susan Boyle has a remarkable gift; it’s remarkable that we somehow expected her voice to match her image, restricted by our own lack of imagination. So, in considering Susan Boyle, I found the true gift of her performance to not only be hearing her incredible voice, but also the reminder to not let others or even ourselves limit us to the small confines of outward beauty.
Photo courtesy of mirror.co.uk
She’s been No. 1 on the Soul/R&B charts and beginning on March 29 at 8pm EST, Jill Scott will be starring in the new HBO series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. A native of Philadelphia, Jill was known around town for her captivating spoken word performances. It wasn’t long before fellow Philadelphian,Questlove of the Roots , heard of her talent and invited her to join the band in the studio. The collaboration resulted in her first co-writing credit and Grammy for the song “You Got Me”.
Raised by her mother and grandmother, Jill’s first career endeavor was to become a high school English teacher. But after studying secondary education at Temple University for three years, she made the choice to leave school and pursue her creative talents.
Jill’s soul stirring, lyrically honest, passionate prose set to music is what made everyone stand up and notice. And as if that weren’t enough, her performance in Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” showcased yet another dynamic extension of Jill’s talent. So we were excited to see that HBO is spotlighting Jill in the lead role for their new series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Based on the book by Alexander McCall Smith, the series is the first major film/TV project to be shot entirely in Bostwana. Also starring in the cast is Tony Award winner, Anika Noni Rose. So make sure you tune in!
If you followed the TV entertainment headlines last week, you may have noticed the announcement that two, rather controversial, comedic pseudo news programs have been given the proverbial boot from primetime. Both “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News” (CNN) and David Allen Grier’s “Chocolate News” (Comedy Central) were handed their pink slips after only one season. Reviews for both shows have been mixed, with the worst of the criticism aimed at D.L. Hughley’s show. Both shows pushed, and at times erased, the boundary between racially controversial and flat out minstrel show. Not long ago “Chapelle’s Show“, a racially controversial sketch comedy show, was riding high while bringing in extraordinary ratings for Comedy Central. It too pushed and erased boundaries. So what’s changed? This may be a leap but, we have a new President…who happens to be a Black American. Begging us to ask the question, is there room for comic buffoonery of this type in the age of President Obama? Are we finally forcing ourselves and networks to be responsible in their portrayal of Black Americans? Or are we taking ourselves too seriously? You could make a case either way, but given the seemingly endless “court jester” portrayals of Black Americans in media, a change just might do us some good. What do you think?
A couple weeks ago BET launched Harlem Heights, its new reality series featuring attractive, upwardly-mobile 20-somethings living in Harlem. With a huge product integration deal from J&J and lots of shots of local hot spots, Harlem Heights has often been compared to MTV’s The Hills.
Now that it has been on for a couple weeks, we want to know what you think about BET’s attempt at showing the “young black elite.” Do you think Harlem Heights is win for BET? Do you think it is a positive portrayal of Black America? Let us know your thoughts!