Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

Haters Gonna Hate

November 22, 2016


A Facebook friend from my childhood posted what she thought was an innocuous yet extemely deragatory comment about Michelle Obama’s current Vogue cover. It incited a dialogue that was both bitter, and frightening at the same time. Those that agreed added their two cents in the same defamatory way, and those that disagreed practically ripped her head off. As I read the comments, the small voice in my head kept repeating,” don’t engage, don’t engage.” Yet, regardless of your political bent, she made a comment that was demeaning, rude and wrong on so many levels…about another woman who didn’t do anything to invite this vitriol.
I silently followed the thread throughout the evening, and picked it up again early in the morning. A few people commented to say goodbye, as they unfollowed her forever. A few encourged her. The only thing that was consistent was the hatred. This was not about reasoning, or objecting; this was two factions that were so fed up with one another, that they said exactly what they thought, without sugar coating a thing. I finally caved and simply stated my mantra that Michelle herself instilled in me a few months ago: “When they go low, we go high.”

Minutes later, the post was deleted.

I think of myself as open minded and reasonable. I am liberal, and believe in the rights of all people, regardless of race, color, religion or sexual orientation. I believe in being a good person, and doing the right thing wherever possible. I want to accept that others have opinions different from my own. Yet, all of this hate is getting to me. It’s giving me a stomach ache that won’t go away. It’s causing feelings to well up inside me that are full of fear, and frustration. And finally, as each racist, homophobic, xenophobic and misogynistic cabinet appointment is revealed, those feelings inside me are starting to resemble hatred. And that frightens me even more.

Yes, I do hate that we have just set ourselves up to be a white supremacist society that has no filter in how we deal with others. Even our new first lady to be, who has decided to stay in New York, seems to want no part of this sh*t show. Yes, I do hate that you supported this behavior and are doing nothing to stop it, as it spirals out of control before your guy even takes office. Yes, I do hate that suddenly you are smug and spewing rude comments as if it’s ok because our future president does it too. It’s not ok.

I am sorry Michelle. I don’t know how much longer I can continue to go high, when so many around me on both sides are going so very, very low.

Each day, I take a deep breath, and try to remind myself of the good things in life, and to live in the moment, because as the Jews in Nazi Germany can attest to, it can change for the worst in heartbeat. And all indications are that we could easily be headed in that direction.

I believe in free speech, but not in hateful, hurtful speech. Please take a minute to think, before you speak or post a comment that might inspire hateful rhetoric, and demand it from others. If we all did that, it would be the first step in coming together to keep America great.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Everything Is Coming Up Rose Gold

October 24, 2016

Suddenly, rose gold is everywhere. It came into fashion for jewelry and hardware several seasons ago, when everyone including  Apple, Beats and Nike introduced it into their collections of technology. The color, which occurs when a small amount of copper is added to gold, giving it a pinkish tinge, lent a fashionable edge to smartphones and computors. Since pink is thought to inspire calm and peacefullness, the color couldn’t have hit it’s peak at a more crucial time.
Today, rose gold is showing up in clothing, technology, accessories and even hair color, as the trend reaches a fever pitch.

Apple offers it’s Macbooks and iPhones in rose gold.


Beats makes wireless headphones in the tone.


Rose gold tinged hair is fast replacing ombre as the “it” hair color trend.



Michelle Obama SLAYED in a rose gold dress from Atelier Versace at the final State Dinner of the Obama Presidency.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk to North Portico at the White House to greet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini, for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The first lady is wearing a floor length, rose gold chainmail gown designed by Atelier Versace. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Tiffany currently offers over 500 items in rose gold, including this Elsa Perretti bracelet, valued at $15,000.


Tiffany + Co.

Neiman Marcus is offering a rose gold airplane in their Christmas catalogue, for a mere $1,500,000! You know you’ve made it when you can afford a trendy private plane that might look dated next season!


Neiman Marcus

Givenchy is just one of the designers using the hue for metallic leather handbags and shoes.

Givenchy at Saks

Givenchy at Saks

And yes, real guys do wear rose gold!



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Taking The High Road

August 1, 2016


Lately, it seems like people are going out of their way to use their notoriety to hurt others. Celebrity feuds on social media are so prevalent right now, with everyone publicly airing one another’s dirty laundry. It only takes 140 characters to assasinate one’s character these days.

We are also in an election cycle, so the nasty-grams seem to be magnified tenfold right now.

Politically speaking, I am not interested in hearing why I shouldn’t vote for your opponent. Don’t fill my newsfeed with reasons why they aren’t the right choice. Instead, tell me why you are the better option. Tell me about your skills, your passion and compassion, and your brilliant ideas to make the world a better place. We are bombarded with slanderous comments, onerous fact checking, and then dispute over those facts if they don’t suit our personal viewpoint.

All this comes on the heels of Kim Kardashian posting an authorized recording of Taylor Swift telling Kanye West that the lyrics he wrote about her in his then yet released song “Famous” are fine to use, after she publicly took offense to them when the song was released. Since, the Twitter-verse has explosively taken sides, even starting a hashtag inviting readers to the #taylorswiftisoverparty. Why would we, or anyone else for that matter, want to celebrate someone else’s demise?

Even a week later, the war rages on, with other celebs joining the fray and continuing to perpetuate the onslaught. Perhaps Ms. Swift did give her ok for Kanye to proclaim “ I made that bitch famous,” or perhaps she didn’t. It still doesn’t make it acceptable to drag her through the mud and make her walk on hot coals for the rest of her life. The joy people are taking in seeing someone with a flawless track record fall from grace is appalling. We no longer think about her talent, her music or her quiet philanthropy. Yet we dwell on her failed relationships and on a conversation recorded without consent (illegal in the state of California BTW,) that we have no right to be hearing at all.

When did we become a society whose personal value is based on the inferiority of others? When did someone else’s pain become a key source of our pleasure? Have we come to a place where we can’t accept culpability for our actions, and need to take down others to boost ourselves up?
I am quickly losing respect for politicians, celebrities and anyone else who needs to publicly bash others in a childish plea for attention.

As someone for whom I hold great respect recently said, “ When they go low, we go high.

Let’s take that advice to heart, and try to take the high road in our interactions for awhile and see how that goes. Who’s with me?

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Spoons Across America

June 22, 2016


Lately, I have been wondering what will happen to the wonderful work our current First Lady, Michelle Obama has been doing surrounding children’s nutrition when her husband leaves office. Sure, they can hire someone to oversee her beloved garden, and certain of her initiatives have become self sufficient enough to survive.

It is highly unlikely that the future First Person will take an interest in nutrition. Bill Clinton already has a foundation and will likely continue his work should his wife become President. Mrs. Trump has not shown interest in any philanthropic or charitable initiatives as yet, and childhood obesity isn’t likely to be an appealing subject for her.


My concerns were quickly abated this week, when I was asked to volunteer with a wonderful organization called Spoons Across America, which offers programs dedicated to educating children, teachers and families about healthy nutrition through the culinary arts.

My first assignment was to work with a group of fifth graders in PS 1, a public elementary school on the east side of Chinatown in New York City.

After working in the classroom for several weeks discussing nutrition and where our food comes from, the program culminated in an event where the kids cooked and served dinner to their families, with the help of a team from Spoons Across America.


Studies have shown that kids who have a hands-on experience preparing and sourcing new and nutritious foods, are more likely to develop healthy eating habits. There are also findings that show that sharing family meals have both psycological and developmental benefits for children. There are significant indications that teens who regularly have dinner with their families are less likely to use drugs, alcohol, tobacco or exhibit violent tendancies. These facts hold true for all income levels and for families with single or dual parents.

With these values in mind, we set out to assist the kids in The Dinner Party Project. Throughout the afternoon, small groups of students rotated through various stations, chopping, peeling, blending and mixing to create a healthy, delicous meal to be enjoyed later that evening.


The menu consisted of chickpea hummus, served with raw vegetables and pita bread, followed by a cold pureed zucchini and cucumber soup, topped with yogurt and a sprig of watercress. The main course was a choice of chicken or tofu, roasted with garlic and fresh herbs,buttermilk biscuits, and a side of tomato and mozzarella salad, or greens with corn, and a honey mustard vinaigrette. The grand finale was a parfait with fresh berries and yogurt, topped with a drizzle of honey and a mint leaf.  The food was attractively presented, and proudly served by the young chefs themselves.

The kids were eager workers, and despite the heat in the small, un-airconditioned kitchen with multiple commericial ovens going, they took to their tasks with enthusiasm and a thirst for learning.
My teams made the chicken, and we touched on concepts, such as how to peel garlic, strip the leaves off fresh herbs, and handle raw chicken safely without cross contamination.

The greatest joy was in seeing the kids so excited about sharing the food they prepared, and the smiles on their faces as they brought back empty platters to be refilled.

It was an exhausting, yet gratifying day, and I hope to be able to work with this wonderful organzation again on other projects. In the meantime, it’s good to know that people have taken up the cause and are doing great work in the world of children’s culinary and nutrition education.

Don’t worry Michelle, we got this!

To learn more about Spoons Across America, click here.

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We Are Hungry

September 27, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama has done considerable work to help fight the battle of childhood obesity and instill the concept of healthy eating in young people across the country. As a result of this, school lunches have been limited to 850 calories, and kids across America are complaining it’s not enough.

Shockingly, others are agreeing.

According to various university researchers, teenage boys require between 1,800 and 3,200 calories per day. Girls need 1,600-2,400 calories per day. This range is contingent on body composition and activity levels.

It seems that the issue is not really calorie restriction. It is the quality of the food being served.

It is important to note that most fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, fish, poultry and lean cuts of meat are relatively low in calories. An 850-calorie lunch, consisting of fresh, healthy food would likely be more than most growing kids would be able to consume in any given meal.

A group of high school students in Kansas have put together a protest video, set to the tune of “We Are Young” by F.U.N. and retitled it “We Are Hungry.” The video claims that the lunches are not sufficient to provide the energy needed to participate in sports.  It shows kids sneaking off to fill up on fast foods and processed snacks to give them more sustenance to get through the day.

Once again, the point has been missed. Any athlete will tell you that high calorie, high fat, high sugar, processed foods are not the key to performance, and often make people feel sluggish after eating them. Providing fresh and healthy “real foods” are the key to controlling weight and energy levels. Educating youth on proper nutrition, and giving them the right foods to help make healthy choices is a better idea.

House of Mouse Launches a Healthy Marketing Initiative

June 7, 2012

Today, Disney announced a new initiative that would impose strict guidelines on the foods that are advertised on their TV shows, radio stations and sold in their amusement parks.

With First Lady Michelle Obama by his side, Robert Iger, Chairman of the Walt Disney Company unveiled plans to ensure that all food advertised, sponsored or promoted through its media outlets meet federal dietary guidelines and encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, limit portion sizes and calories, and have a reduced sugar, saturated fat and sodium content. The plan will be fully implemented by 2015.

Iger also announced the new graphic symbol called a “Mickey Check”, which will appear on all branded food items sold at parks, resorts and grocery stores which feature Disney characters on the package. These foods currently include fresh fruit, dairy items and drinks. The “Mickey Check” features the tag line. “ Good for you – fun too!” and will serve to assure parents that the food they are purchasing is healthy.

The Disney announcement fully supports Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for children. Having Disney’s iconic characters helping fight the battle of childhood obesity is a pivotal change in how we market to children.

Fashion From the Inside Out

July 18, 2009

Picture 7source: Museum at FIT

Fashion designer Isabel Toledo has been getting a lot of press these days, stemming from the lemongrass brocade coat and dress that Michelle Obama wore to her husband’s inauguration. But her greatest triumphs as a designer are relatively unknown to the general public.

In her latest exhibition at the Museum at FIT in New York City, “Fashion From the Inside Out”, Ms. Toledo shares a retrospective of her work dating back to the mid ‘80’s.

The show is organized around specific themes:

“Origami” features garments that began as simple shapes and were then folded to create a sculptural effect. “Suspension” highlights jersey and taffeta dresses that are suspended from thin cords of fabric. “Shadow” is a grouping of items that focus on the play of transparent and opaque fabrics. “Liquid Architecture” features jersey dresses that drape effortlessly into soft folds, and “Shape” exemplifies the sculptural qualities that are so prevalent in Toledo’s work. “Manipulated Surfaces” examines complex constructions, and “Organic Geometry” highlights Toledo’s geometric forms.

Ms. Toledo’s clothing, are true works of art, and have a unique yet timeless quality to them. Her exquisite fabric manipulations and sculptural qualities make these pieces extraordinary.

In a world where designers are playing it safe, and retailers are void of originality, Isabel Toledo’s perspective is refreshing and inspiring.


photo: William Palmer, William Palmer, Karen L. Willis

Isabel Toledo

“Fashion From the Inside Out”

June 17- September 26 2009

The Museum at FIT

Seventh Avenue and 27th Street

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