celebrating inclusive beauty since 2009

Thursday, April 28, 2011

love for the loc

just a little love for the loced ladies.  the hair is gorgeous of course, but the real beauty is in choosing to be your natural self despite people's negative stereotypes. 

besos jenna pearle*

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

best dress

a few dresses from asos that i'd do some petty crime for (kidding).  love this site for shopping.  update: the royal blue pants i bought from them are too big.  (good news and bad).  thank goodness for the easy return policy.  or maybe i'll just head to a tailor for altering.  besos jenna pearle*

Sunday, April 24, 2011

a poem for thought-tupac shakur

this is the last post celebrating national poetry month.  the poet i chose to feature, as you can see, is a tad bit more modern.  the talented tupac amaru shakur.  many are unaware of his other gifts besides acting and rapping.  poetry was yet another passion of his.  here are two of my favorites from him:

the rose that grew from concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

liberty needs glasses
excuse me but lady liberty needs glasses
and so does mrs justice by her side
both the broads r blind as bats
stumbling thru the system
justice bumbed into mutulu and
trippin on geronimo pratt
but stepped right over oliver
and his crooked partner ronnie
justice stubbed her big toe on mandela
and liberty was misquoted by the indians
slavery was a learning phase
forgotten with out a verdict
while justice is on a rampage
4 endangered surviving black males
i mean really if anyone really valued life
and cared about the masses
theyd take em both 2 pen optical
and get 2 pair of glasses

besos jenna pearle*

Saturday, April 23, 2011


a damp photo for a washout of a day (at least here in new york).  i guess kate proves you can still look fierce, even in the mud. 

besos jenna pearle*

a poem for thought-sonia sanchez

fellow virgo, sonia sanchez

I gather up,
each sound,
you left behind,
and stretch them,
on our bed.
each nite,
I breathe you,
and become high

a pic of vonetta mcgee to illustrate the poem

besos jenna pearle*

Friday, April 22, 2011

a poem for thought-langston hughes

if i had a choice of what time period i could go back and take part in, it would be a stiff competition between the rebellious sixties and the roaring twenties harlem renaissance era.  but for this post, lets go with the latter.  and if i had the choice of who i would want to hang out with during the harlem r., it would be zora neale hurston, madam c.j. walker and langston hughes.  langston was the cool cat of the times.  he made being black en vogue.  in fact, these talented trendsetters made harlem THE place to be.  i can see myself now, dressed to the nines in my flapper dress, cute hat, and fingerwaved bob, pontificating on race relations in america across the table from mr. hughes in his spiffy suit at a blues set.  later, we'd head over to one of those rent parties to dance and eat. 
ok... i got a little carried away with my dream sequence.  the point is langston hughes was one of our greatest and most respected poet/writers.  and he went to my alma mater.  #lincoln love  enjoy one of his most celebrated works "mother to son."

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

                                                                    besos jenna pearle*

not easy being green

courtesy of blackgirlsrock.tumblr.com

pic courtesy of inthedaysofmyyouth.tumblr.com
confession: i'm not that big on going green.  i mean, well i'm no huge stickler for recycling, i don't  have a recycle bag when i buy my groceries (although i do reuse the plastic bags at home), i'm not obsessive about organic this and that.  i do my best and try not to be wasteful.  honestly, i think there are only so many causes one can take on and saving the ozone didn't reach my top ten list yet.  however, i am very appreciative of my surroundings.  we live in such a beautiful world and i love to take it all in.  so while you probably won't catch me camping, you might find me reading a book in the park, watching the snow fall in bewildered amazement or listening to the sounds of nature in my mom's backyard.  that's my way of saying "happy earth day!!"
                                                           besos jenna pearle*

bad-u to the bone

pic courtesy of morethanalright.tumblr.com
 here's ms. badu in action.  honestly, i think the title of the post says it all; don't you?
besos jenna pearle*

Thursday, April 21, 2011

a poem for thought-maya angelou

maya angelou is a legend.  her poems were the soundtrack for my rebellious teenage angst.  quite frankly, there is little in life that madam angelou hasn't experienced.  being a confidante to some of our great civil rights leaders and artists (baldwin, macolm, martin), reciting poems for millions at president clinton's inauguration, having a movie written around your work, breaking rules and records on new york times best sellers list...these are just a few accomplishments.  (oh, did i mention that she is the go to person for our resident go to person, oprah?)  i rest my case.  maya IS a phenomenal woman...and she knows it.  read poem for more:

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

besos jenna pearle*

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

video voyeur-Raphael Saadiq - Good Man

in love with the seventies retro vibe of this video.  the style  and ambiance is just to die for.  yaya (of america's next top model fame) brings the crazy beauty quite well.  and the song itself just takes you back.  very raphael!  the only thing is...beware!  when yaya hits her head on the bathroom sink...well, its just too difficult for me to watch.  if you are squeamish like me, LOOK AWAY(around the 1:45 mark)! 

besos jenna pearle*

war of the roses

in the spirit of my heavy metal celebration, here's another tribute.  feast your eyes on axl!
besos jenna pearle*

a poem for thought-nikki giovanni

well, its national poetry month.  i really meant to address that earlier but oh well.  with the remaining days of april, i thought i would highlight some of my favorite poets.  the one featured on this post is my absolute favorite female poet.  she is nikki giovanni.  i actually got a chance to meet her and get her to sign one of my books.  nikki is just the absolute coolest.  an older person who appreciates and has empathy for the young is rare these days.  anyway, find out more about her when you can.  in the meantime, enjoy a poem from her catalog. 
By Nikki Giovanni

childhood remembrances are always a drag   
if you’re Black
you always remember things like living in Woodlawn   
with no inside toilet
and if you become famous or something
they never talk about how happy you were to have   
your mother
all to yourself and
how good the water felt when you got your bath   
from one of those
big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in   
and somehow when you talk about home   
it never gets across how much you
understood their feelings
as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale
and even though you remember
your biographers never understand
your father’s pain as he sells his stock   
and another dream goes
And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that
concerns you
and though they fought a lot
it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference   
but only that everybody is together and you
and your sister have happy birthdays and very good   
and I really hope no white person ever has cause   
to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy

besos jenna pearle*

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

baby phat

cute pic from thebeautykimmy.tumblr.com
this is a candid pic of the fashion mogul kimora simmons and her baby boy kenzo.  this is too much adorability (made up word, i know) in one photo.  love it!

besos jenna pearle*

cutie patootie

can't recall where i found this lovely pic
 ok...try and tell me she isn't the most adorable thing you've ever seen.  what a cutie pie!!!

besos jenna pearle*

our lady of fatima

found a great article (jonesmag.com) on antm alum fatima.  this girl is so gorgeous, it hurts.  and she can model her ass off as well.  anyhoo read this to see and learn more :Model Spotlight: Fatima Siad

besos jenna pearle*

Monday, April 18, 2011

slash-ion statement (inspiration)

one of axl rose
i remember fifth grade vividly.  i had just moved from brooklyn to the suburbs of new jersey.  it was like i had moved to mars.  everything was SO different.  not surprisingly, i stuck out like a sore thumb (what does that phrase mean anyway?) 
although my musical taste was already pretty diverse, i had not been exposed to heavy metal quite yet.  (that was not on the radar in flatbush, sorry).  my rock consisted of bon jovi.  in jersey, however, heavy metal was reigning supreme...and it showed.  the big hairsprayed hair, extra tight pants, excess of socks...this was the current look if you weren't a skateboarder or nerd.  most of the music, at the time, was beyond my palette.  the screeching, the violent guitar riffs, the heavily made up men was not appealing to me whatsoever.  but then i came across a band called guns n roses.  their song "patience" quickly became one of my favorites.  i was happy to hear that they were considered a heavy metal band.  finally, some common ground!!!  one of the things that i liked best about guns n roses was their style.  axl rocked white tees, bandanas and leather.  slash (pictured above) was the ultimate cool guy with his top hats and baseball caps, ashy grey jeans and concert tee shirts.  and that hair...that glorious hair!  like all the other heavy metal artists, it was BIG.  but i could tell this hair was not manufactured.  it was an authentically, curly, kinky gift from God (and his african american roots).  although i moved away from jersey before the end of the school year, i continued to love the band (who doesn't like "sweet child o mine" or "welcome to the jungle"?).  
i credit slash and axl for the rock influence that's evident in my personal style.  and i thank them for giving me a trinket that would allow me to relate to the cool jersey girls.   

me in slash mode (coney island)

 besos jenna pearle*

Sunday, April 17, 2011

harlem church lady

martine barrat harlem 1940
i thought this photo was fitting for a sunday morning.  i have no idea if the subject is headed to church or not.  in fact, it looks pretty late at night or maybe early morning.  in my vivid imagination, martine is a dedicated church lady on her way to worship.  amen!       

besos jenna pearle*

Saturday, April 16, 2011

kahlo kraze

apparently, i'm not the only one obsessed with the fabulous frida kahlo.  since i last posted about her the other day, i've come across other odes to frida.  the first one is amy winehouse, of course, paying tribute to the other rebellious talent.  the second is a pic from a spread in mexican vogue where the magazine honors their native artist.  the third is a pic of frida herself.  i recall that i posted another nod to frida several months ago done by the models jaslene (antm winner) and victoria brita.  check it out here (artistic fri-dom).   

besos jenna pearle*

i call bull ish (mr. d. rose)

i want to hate this guy so much.  he may be the reason why my boys don't get their deserved title back.  but alas, derrick rose is just way too likable and talented.  he played such a phenomenal game in the first game of the playoffs, he practically won the game on his own.  and unlike so many chest beating egomaniac b-ballers, his explanations are quite humble and eloquent (even after playing four quarters of basketball).  to top it all off, it appears he has a great sense of style.  how can you resist this man?!  its a lost cause.  besos jenna pearle*

rocking my knickers (amare and rachel roy)

thanks to my new best blogger friend made to travel (jamillah), i heard some interesting news.  it seems rachel roy and ny knick amare stoudemire are collaborating on a sporty line of clothing.  rachel says this line is for the girl/woman who attends sporting events and needs something appropriate to wear.  what giselle or kate moss might don to watch football or basketball... are rachel and amare both tired of seeing ladies in six inch heels and tight, uncomfortable clothing at the stadiums?  i am!  rachel has such a classy, sophisticated style that can only enhance amare's quirky but magnetic signature look.  i'm eager to see what the duo comes up with...go ny, go ny, go ny, go!!!!!

besos jenna pearle*

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

the magnificent moss

pic courtesy of terrysdiary.tumblr.com (the photographer)

simply magnificent!

besos jenna pearle*


frida kahlo is on the illustrious list of my favorite artists.  her work is the kind that has charisma, depth and an ugly beauty.  plus, frida was a tough broad who survived some of the biggest obstacles.  back in the beginning of my blogging days, i wrote about her and how you might achieve a sliver of her style.  if you didn't read it (or need a reminder) be sure to click frida frenzy for more.  if you ever get a chance, go see her work when it comes to your town.  in the meantime...besos jenna pearle*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ms. trina

pic courtesy of thebeautykimmy.tumblr.com
guess i'm on a female emcee kick...i just couldn't resist this pretty pic of the baddest bitch, trina.  obviously, she looks absolutely gorgeous here (make-up and hair are def. flawless).  what keeps my interest, however, is the lighting.  talk about sexy and mysterious. love, love, love!  

 besos jenna pearle*

Monday, April 11, 2011

catching grenades for bruno mars

its been quite a while since i've been inspired by a man and his wardrobe.  but then came bruno mars.  his retro yet relaxed look has taken the entertainment world by storm.  the elvis do and 50's doo wop sense of style has definitely won me (and not to mention a million others) over.  of course, those boyish good looks, truckload of talent and never ending charm don't hurt.  safe to say there are a number of ladies who would  gladly catch a grenade for him.  wanna rock the retro look bruno style (ladies, you too!)?  read on...

becoming bruno...the 7 essentials
  • the perfect fedora
  • great white tees
  • a massive collection of skinny ties
  • leather jacket with a fab fit
  • plenty of plaid button downs
  • good pair of shades
  • a bad ass pompadour

besos jenna pearle*
the posh brown boutique

Sunday, April 10, 2011

THE gossip girl, wendy williams

so, it turns out wendy williams can't do it all.  she was booted from the hit show dancing with the stars in second to last place.  hey, at least she tried!  anyhow, she has been blessed with a more prestigious honor (in my opinion).  she is the new cover girl on the may issue of essence magazine.  and, she looks fantastic!!
like all of the greats in history, she  has evolved over the time. from the infamous shock dee-jay you could count on for all the gritty, inside gossip to the respectable princess of morning tv talk, wendy has transitioned into a hero.  how u doing, wendy?!