Thursday, March 31, 2011

Follow Your Dreams.

This sounds rather simple, and the truth: IT IS.  Today we all are running around at nine million miles an hour constantly doing things we think are SO important and meaningful, when in reality if we stopped, slowed down and focused on one thing at a time we would be able to see the bigger picture.

"The essence of leadership is being able to see the ice burg before it hits the Titanic." Huffington says in this talk.

She's right!  By constantly pushing our bodies to the brink every day we begin to literally walk around like the living dead.  Being a zombi gets you nowhere accept blown apart by Bruce Campbell's Boom-stick.

Not to mention dreams.  Living in constant reality does not give the body time dream and dreams are extremely important.  Through dreams humans are able to grasp beyond everyday  life and imagine the unimaginable.  People learn what they are to live for, what they want to strive for and most importantly they learn who they want to become.  I believe Arianna Huffington merely scratched the surface with this issue.  It is only through our dreams that we are able to conceptualize what we want our world to become.

I feel there is no better way to end my 30 days than on a note about dreams.  I have so many for this blog, and for my own future.  Without a doubt this challenge has enriched my experiences and given me entirely new perspectives on things I never would have heard about otherwise.  I am proud to say that I have completed this challenge and look forward to passing the blog off to the next student.

Best wishes! And don't forget to Dream big!

Chelsey L. Hughes

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ladies, We've Come a Long Way

Ladies, today we may complain about the way the media portrays us, but I want you to look at how far we have actually come.  Today honestly people do recognize that while super-models out there do exists, in all actuality the "real woman" is the celebrated one.

Not so in the 1950's

Yes... this is an actual ad for "Eat, Eat, Eating" TAPEWORMS to be thin... ummm I'll take the diet pills any day!  (Just kidding).  But seriously, part of the text reads, "Friends for the fair form."

Next up...

Spousal abuse.  ... just for "not store testing the coffee".

Yes part of this actually reads, "A man marries a woman because he loves her.  So instead of blaming him if married love begins to cool, she should question herself."... ladies... seriously.  I we have come a LONG way.

So this is where that cliche' comes from.

hilarious vintage sexist womens health ads

and last but not least

Yes... thank you women's rights movement for giving me the chance to do something other than make a sandwich.  Seriously though, before today I never realized how differently women have been portrayed in the media over the past 60 years.  I realize there are still problems today and there may always be, but again at least I'm not being told to eat a tape worm :D

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Color Purple's Alice Walker

Considering there are only a few days left in March and we are yet honor just one truly fantastic woman, I feel now is the perfect time.   Her name is Alice Walker, and she is most notably known for writing the novel The Color Purple.

[Produced into a movie by Steven Spielberg in 1985, staring Danny Glover, Whoppi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to name a few, then later created into a Tony Award winning Broadway hit also produced by Oprah Winfrey, which will be playing at the Huntington Keith-Albee Theatre this Friday April 1, 8:00 PM in case you haven't seen this masterpiece].  

 Alice Walker accomplished much more than writing Pulitzer prize winning novels and having them be turned into plays.  According to's bibliography: "She was the eighth child of Georgia sharecroppers.  After a childhood accident blinded her in one eye she went on to become valedictorian of her local school, and attend Spelman College and Sarah Lawrence College on scholarships, graduating in 1965.  

Alice Walker volunteered in the voter registration drives of the 1960s in Georgia, and went to work after college in the Welfare Department in New York City.

Alice Walker married in 1967 (and divorced in 1976). Her first book of poems came out in 1968 and her first novel just after her daughter's birth in 1970.

Alice Walker's early poems, novels and short stories dealt with themes familiar to readers of her later works: rape, violence, isolation, troubled relationships, multi-generational perspectives, sexism and racism.

When The Color Purple came out in 1982, Walker became known to an even wider audience. Her Pulitzer Prize and the movie by Steven Spielberg brought both fame and controversy. She was widely criticized for negative portrayals of men in The Color Purple, though many critics admitted that the movie presented more simplistic negative pictures than the book's more nuanced portrayals.
Walker also published a biography of the poet, Langston Hughes, and worked to recover and
publicize the nearly-lost works of writer Zora Neale Hurston. She's credited with introducing the word "womanist" for African American feminism.

Langston Hughes Fest Exhibit
From left: The ninth President of The City College of New York, Bernard Harleston; Dennis Brutus, Paule Marshall, and Alice Walker at the 1988 Langston Hughes Festival at CCNY. Source: The City College of New York Archives. 

In 1989 and 1992, in two books, The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy, Walker took on the issue of female circumcision in Africa, which brought further controversy: was Walker a cultural imperialist to criticize a different culture?

Her works are known for their portrayals of the African American woman's life. She depicts vividly the sexism, racism and poverty that make that life often a struggle. But she also portrays as part of that life, the strengths of family, community, self-worth, and spirituality.

Many of her novels depict women in other periods of history than our own. Just as with non-fiction women's history writing, such portrayals give a sense of the differences and similarities of women's condition today and in that other time.

Alice Walker continues not only to write, but to be active in environmental, feminist/womanist causes, and issues of economic justice."

Again thanks to for the bio.  

Looking for more by Alice Walker:

Alice Walker Bibliography:

  • In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women. Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1974 (reprint).
  • I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...& Then Again When I Am Looking Mean & Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader. Zora Neale Hurston; Alice Walker, editor. Trade Paperback, 1979.
  • The Color Purple: Alice Walker. Trade Paperback, 1998 (originally 1982).
  • In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1984 (originally 1983).
  • Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll See You in the Morning: Poems: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1984.
  • Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful: Poems: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1986.
  • Living by the Word: Selected Writings, 1973-1987: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1989 (originally 1988).
  • The Temple of My Familiar: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1997 (originally 1989).
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy: Alice Walker (editor: Bill Grose), Paperback, 1993 (originally 1992).
  • Alice Walker & Zora Neale Hurston: The Common Bond: Lillie P. Howard, Contributions in Afro-American & African Series #163 (1993)
  • Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems, 1965-1990 Complete: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1993.
  • Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult: A Meditation on Life, Spirit, Art & the Making of the Film, The Color Purple, Ten Years Later: Alice Walker, 1997 (originally 1996).
  • Alice Walker Banned: The Banned Works: Alice Walker, edited and with commentary by Patricia Holt, Hardcover, 1996. Includes Walker's short stories "Roselily" and "Am I Blue?", plus the opening of The Color Purple, and raises questions of censorship.
  • Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism: Essays, Speeches, Statements and Letters. Alice Walker, Hardcover, 1997. Also Paperback.
  • By the Light of My Father's Smile: A Novel: Alice Walker, Trade Paperback, 1999.
  • Alice Walker: An Annotated Bibliography: Erma D. Banks and Keith Byerman, Hardcover, 1989.
  • Alice Walker: Harold Bloom, editor. Library Binding, January 1990. Critical essays on The Color Purple and other works by Alice Walker.
  • Alice Walker Bibliographies on the Web

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Bargain Hunt.

After much searching today all across the interwebs I finally found a fun ad worth sharing that fits the stipulations of this blog. [Reminder to those of you who forgot, the 30 Day Marshall Mass Communications Challenge is not a 30 day Feminist rant.  March is Women's History month and thus both the journalism website as well as this blog are honoring that celebration.  Next month will be something completely different and run by an entirely new student. I for one am looking forward to seeing where else this blog can really go :D.  The sky's the limet]


The copy reads "Three Crazy Days, Starts Thursday 2 October".

Advertising Agency: Selmore, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Creative Directors: Bas Korsten, Michael Jansen
Art Director: Esin Cittone
Copywriter: Dom Nash
Photographer: Jonathan Barkat
Account: Rina Verweij, Wencke van Lankveld
I think these ads do a great job of pulling concept across.  The whole idea of having a literal hunt for fashion is SO how I know at least I feel like when I'm going out on a day like Black Friday or something.  In fact how fun would this be to run it through the ages? Have pirate women taking back their booty even...too far?  Maybe.  But seriously, what about modern gangsters / bounty hunting after their shoes, purses, tops and accessories?  Or even showing desperate housewives repelling from roofs and setting crazy traps for the animated products they covet so intensely. 
The photography is here good.  I like the bright images.  If you make them too dark and vogue wedding photography I feel it will not keep the fun feel to the experience a woman is about to have.  But you have to admit there's nothing like walking into a store and knowing you're on safari?  (ladies? you know this to be true.)  Men, let me try to relate... Call of Duty, video games... how much effort do you put into getting that new release.  The hunt to a acquire and conquer is born into you.  These ads strike that a connection and a concept on that primal level that we as advertisers don't always think about.  I dig this.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sexy Sucker Punch

"From the very first frames of the film, "Sucker Punch" rejects reality," says film reviewer Drew McWeeny. The opening literally allows the audience to walk on to Director Zack Snyders stage and into the life of Baby Doll (Emily Browning's) worst day ever.  In a movie about freeing yourself from the chains of your own personal misfortune never have I enjoyed a ride more.  

This film is a perfect lesson to artists and designers everywhere.  It seems to be that ever shot, every costume, every cheesed up slogan and run down insane asylum room was specifically chosen.  Often I would wonder... "Did they go too far?  What's the point? I mean a dragon?  A pink bunny?"  Then I realized "Hell.  No."  This movie is the very definition of "Bad Ass".  Everything used in this film DOES have a purpose.  Looks, sounds, emotions all tie in together to create climax and pitfalls at ever turn.  Most reviews of this film have been poor and I am starting to wonder... did they even watch it?  This film is about breaking all the rules thus with that choice, making completely new ones. From naming the brunet "Blondie" to the opening number with Echo's version of Cher's "Sweet Dreams" ever frame that is shown hits like a perfectly timed music video. 

The characters in this film do have lots of lose ends, but that's part of their charm.  I don't know who walks into a facility for the mentally insane and thinks they're going to be able to understand the intricacies of those who are found there.  Like the two sisters "Rocket" and "Sweet Pea" who somehow end up behind the walls after Rocket ran away from home.  Also, in the image to the left Rocket is standing among a toy train set with a needle (which I have no clue what that's alluding to) along with her outfit.  It's the not knowing that makes this film.  I also love the lack of actual names given to the characters, it's nice to see something different. The film feels so much like a graphic novel that just sprung off the page but the story was never written previously (unlike Snyder's previous films "300" and "Watchmen").  

Another aspect in this movie: sexuality.  It's everywhere.  The costumes especially, but these chicks are just down right hot, independent women who know how to get the job done.  Ladies you're crazy if you wouldn't want to be them, men you're lying if you say you don't want them.   

Yes, this movie does take some effort to watch.  Rolling along the lines of Christopher Nolan's Inception by allowing the "theatre of the mind" to take over.  The story line dwells within three different realities.  The best part: realities within realities leaves the story open for so much interpretation.  Does death ever really even happen? How do you know when you're actually alive? 

No matter what you think of this film, get it or not you can not deny it is hands down a feast for the senses.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Washing Machine, Best Invention EVER!

This is a change to learn something.  The washing machine used so heavily by your mother, your grandmother and the women before them is quite possibly the greatest invention to come from the industrial revolution, or at least that's how Hans Rosling feels.  The cool thing I liked about this talk was how interactive the washing machine was.  By placing a human inside and having them hand out things the machine honestly came to life on stage.  This talk is something that should be seen as a great way subtly implement drama into public speaking.  Among all Rosling's good points were hidden gems of surprise and captivation through live movement.

Note:  I find it interesting that this TedTalk is found under TedWomen... A man speaks for this talk and yet for some reason... only women do laundry?  I don't know how I feel about this.  I feel men are perfectly capable of handling laundering and although I almost always love everything that comes from TED this was questionable on basis of being sexist?  Or was it?  Hmmm I'm not sure.  Either way Rosling does make a good point and the drama behind his plea is worth watching.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paris, Prison, Puppies

Advertising Agency: DDB, New Zealand
Copywriter: Martin Brown, Bridget Short
Art Director: Darran Wong Kam, Pete Thompson

Ok, yes Paris Hilton may not be role model of the year, nor anything about her something worth following, BUT...look at this ad.  Old new yes, but I'd never see this before.  I find it amazingly well done.  For a broadcast story to have an image like this selling I believe is very powerful.

Take a look at this photo, Paris isn't really even in it.  Sure, she looks terrified in her reflection, but the who thing driving the eye in the ad is the look on the little dog's face.  I believe using the dog and the set up of this entire image gives a slightly fun feel to a seriously not so fun situation that one of America's royals (like it or not) found herself in.  By putting the image in first person audiences, even if for a brief second are allowed to be in Paris' shoes, but again the little puppy allows them to see that, well none of it can be too terrible.

Case it point.  This ad totally sells to the story. Thoughts?