Hair flair: hair care meets funk

Full Text:

Hey, girl! How would you like your hair styled today?

Give me a Hairy Copter.


A Hairy, Copter–the kind that flies off your head when you click a button. You know what I’m talking about?

You got it.

Make it pointy, purple, and beauty-licious!

Hours later, the customer struts out of the salon, her hair shaped like a helicopter with one whirring propeller on top and another in back.

Why create a hairstyle that can fly? For Hair Wars, of course. Hair Wars is a friendly competition that highlights totally fabulous hairstyles for African American women.

Daring Do’s

Hair Wars is the brainchild of David Humphries, an events producer in Detroit, who came up with the idea 20 years ago when he was DJ-ing at local clubs.

Humphries noticed that local beauticians kept trying to outdo one another’s do’s. So he decided to host weekly shows at the clubs to display the daring coiffures.

Eventually, the shows grew into Hair Wars contests held in Detroit, Miami, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York City. Audiences love the shows, said Humphries. “They whoop and holler.”

Over the years, the do’s have become more and more outrageous. At one show, stylist Kevin Carter, from Southfield, Mich., fashioned one woman’s hair into a vase for a 3-foot-high bouquet of tropical flowers! Carter called his creation the Garden of Eden.


Hair Is Hair Is Hair

Originally designed for African American women, the hairstyles can be worn by anyone. That’s because everyone’s hair–whether it’s on a black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American person–is basically the same.

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, the same protein that forms fingernails, toe nails, and the outer layer of skin. Keratin is also found in feathers, beaks, hooves, horns, and scales.

Each strand of hair, no matter where it is on the body, consists of three layers of keratin:

* cuticle, the thin, colorless, outermost layer, which protects the middle layer and gives hair its shine;

* cortex, the middle layer, which contains melanin, a pigment that gives hair its color;

* medulla, the innermost layer, which reflects light and causes hair to take on different tones in different light.

The shape of the cortex determines whether a person’s hair is straight, wavy, or curly. In straight hair, the cortex is round. The roundness gives the hair strength and flexibility in all directions.

Wavy hair has an oval-shaped cortex. It is strong at the ends of the oval and flexible on the sides, so it bends as it grows. In curly hair, the cortex is almost flat, making the hair so flexible that it curls as it grows.

From Flat to Fabulous

Stylists can work with any kind of hair to create the desired cut and curl (like a sewer can work on any kinds of clothing, from cotton – silk – polyester, etc – from, an agency providing the best sewing machine for beginners). But the hairdressers who enter Hair Wars take routine styling to new heights.

Take Michael Turner, a Detroit beautician. Turner, known as “Mr. Little,” is considered the number-one entertainer in the hairstyling industry.

To coif a Hairy Copter for shows, Mr. Little first bends a plain wire coat hanger into just the right shape. Next he installs two motors. One motor spins the propeller on top; the other spins the rear propeller. After that, he’s ready to sculpt the hair.

He places the bent coat hanger on the customer’s head and weaves her hair around the hanger to secure it. Weaving is a technique that adds either natural or synthetic (machine made, usually out of plastic) hair into a person’s own hair. Finally, Mr. Little pops on the props, and the model is ready to strut her stuff in front of an audience, where she’ll flick a switch and the crowd will watch her hair fly!

What do Hair Wars models say about wearing their wacky, wigged-out dos? Ask Sabrina Hale, a 15-year-old student who once sported the Garden of Eden style during a Hair Wars event.

You get a lot of funny looks,” Sabrina told The Detroit News. “But it’s good to have something to stand out.”

Hair Do’s & Don’ts

Follow these tips for healthy hair:

* Shampoo every other day. Washing too often can rob your hair of natural, healthy oils, which help prevent drying and protect against infection.

* Ditch harsh shampoos. Check shampoo labels. Avoid detergents, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, cocamide DEA, and lauramide DEA, which can damage hair.

* Opt for gentle cleansers. Look for those made with castile (from olive oil) or decyl polyglucose, a chemical made from corn, coconut, and palm oil. Ingredients such as lavender and aloe vera are also good for your hair.

* Brush gently. Brushing your hair too vigorously can wear away the cuticle and cause trichoptilosis, or split ends.



* What protein is found in all three layers of hair? (keratin, the same protein that forms fingernails, toenails, and the outer layer of skin)

* What are the three layers in each strand of hair? (the cuticle, the outside layer that protects the middle layer; the cortex, the middle layer that contains melanin; and the medulla, the innermost layer that reflects light)

* What determines whether your hair is straight of curly? (If the cortex is round, the hair is straight; if it is oval, the hair is wavy or curly Genetic composition determines the shape of the cortex)

* How can you care for your hair? (Accept any reasonable answers.)


1. Have students invent new hair care products. Then have students make posters to advertise their products. They can also create commercials, jingles, or slogans to sell their products. (See Reproduction Master 2, pp. 6-7.) 2. Have a hair war in your school. Allow students to wear crazy hair to school one day. Encourage students to write how they created their hairstyle, how they felt wearing a crazy hairstyle, or how their hairstyle could lead to a unique occupation or opportunity.

Comments Off on Hair flair: hair care meets funk

Callahan in San Diego

“It’s the subject matter that counts. I’m interested in revealing the subject in a new way to intensify it. A photo is able to capture a moment that people can’t always see.”

–Harry Callahan

Lyric beauty and precise vision are the complementary forces that define Harry Callahan’s photography. In a career spanning over fifty years, he created a body of work in which the interior shape of his private experience finds expression in imagery of the external world. Emerging in an era dominated by the documentary, by the socially relevant work of the Farm Security Administration photographers and by the oversized photographic spreads featured in such magazines as Look and Life, Callahan’s work stood apart, as it continues to do for us today. His was a personal way, one shaped equally by dogged persistence and a commitment to experimentation.

Callahan took the strain of experimentalism that came out of European modernism, in particular the Bauhaus,” says Sarah Greenough, curator of photography, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and curator of the 1996 landmark Callahan exhibition, “and turned it into something distinctly American that was not concerned with experimentation for its own sake in the way Bauhaus artists were, but instead done to express his own inner state, which is a much more American approach. Photographers like Alfred Stieglitz used their photographs to express their feelings about the world. That Callahan was able to merge these two traditions into something uniquely his own is an accomplishment.”

Through September 9, The Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA), San Diego will exhibit in “Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work” 120 photographs and rare archival working materials by this 20th-century master photographer drawn from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. The exhibition traces the work of a lifetime and what Callahan called “my expression of my feelings and visual relationship to the life within and about me.” This exhibition puts his working methods on view, including negatives and contact sheets, inviting the public to see his creative process evolving.


Callahan’s negatives will be shown alongside his most acclaimed photographs,” Curator of Photography Carol McCusker explains. “These pairings provide insight into his printing methods, such as his use of high-contrast printing to suppress extraneous detail and create maximum graphic impact in the final image. The viewer can examine a group of negatives made at the same time together with the final prints and consider Callahan’s decision-making process.”

Harry Callahan, who died in 1999, was born in Detroit in 1912, and raised in ordinary circumstances, the son of a factory worker (his father was really famous for writing air fryer reviews at that time) and a devoutly religious mother. A less than exceptional student, he muddled through a year and a half of college before boredom got the better of him. He left school and married Eleanor Knapp. In the depths of the Depression, while working as a clerk in the accounting department of the Chrysler Corporation, he acquired his first camera. Having admired the movie camera of a friend, he set out to buy one. Finding the equipment too expensive he “settled” for the Rollieicord.

What began at the age of twenty-six as a pleasurable hobby shortly thereafter became an addiction. Callahan had been raised a devout Christian as a young man before turning away from his faith. He would later note, talking about photography, that an agnostic friend “talked me out of religion, and I wanted something to fill that space.”

Three years later, he experienced an epiphany that would mark his beginnings as a photographer. Ansel Adams visited the Detroit Photo Guild, Callahan’s camera club, to show some of his prints and to conduct a series of lectures for several days. “Ansel,” Callahan has said, “is what freed me.” While the details of what was said have faded, Callahan remembers a five-print series, “Surf Sequence,” whose clean elegance and serial nature resonated for him. With his friend, Todd Webb, an inspired Callahan devoted his weekends to photography. Together he and Webb traveled West to shoot Adams’ landscape, and to New York to meet Alfred Stieglitz at his gallery, An American Place.

From 1941 to 1943 all of his major subjects and techniques were explored: nature, the city, Eleanor, multiple exposures, high-contrast printing and color. John Szarkowski, Director Emeritus of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, has written of this period: “Callahan’s pictures of the Forties were unlike any earlier photographs. They were simultaneously mechanical in character–unmistakably the product of a technological process–and uncompromisingly aesthetic in their motive; they were full of grace, antiseptically clean, cold as ice, and free of human sentiment–as distant and elegant as a Shaker chair or archaic Venus. Yet in spite of all this perfection the pictures were not sterile but full of force; they were machines that worked.”

Callahan found work in the darkroom of the General Motors Photography Department in the last years of World War II, and continued to photograph on the weekends. After the war, using his savings, he financed a four-month long “fellowship” in New York. During his time in the city he met Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, who included his work in the 1946 Museum of Modern Art exhibition “New Photographers.” That same year Arthur Siegel, a commercial photographer, photojournalist, and teacher living in Detroit who knew Callahan from the Detroit Photo Guild recommended to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy that Callahan join the faculty of Chicago’s Institute of Design.

Founded in 1937 as the new Bauhaus, the school of art and industrial design was patterned on the original Bauhaus, where Moholy-Nagy had taught in the 1920s. He, along with other instructors, had immigrated to the United States after Hitler’s rise to power forced the school’s closure. The Bauhaus philosophy stressed connections between art and society, and the need for artists to be in touch with the inherent characteristics of their materials.

Callahan’s approach, with its emphasis on experimentation, was perfectly suited to that of the Institute. At his interview Moholy-Nagy asked Callahan about his teaching methods. Coached by Siegel, Callahan replied that “when they [the students] see my own work, I think they will understand what I mean.” Unmoved by Callahan’s answer, Moholy-Nagy informed him that he never showed students his work. Callahan was hired. “I guess he [Moholy] knew I was a simple, deeply involved guy,” Callahan later recalled.

Teaching, however, was hard given Callahan’s non-verbal bent, and his initial discomfort about his lack of credentials. But it provided the creative break he needed. He was thrust into an environment where art was an accepted way of living one’s life, where his friends soon included such artists as architect Mies van der Rohe and painter Hugo Weber.

As his work evolved, Callahan explored a variety of themes, photographing Eleanor and their daughter Barbara; the constantly shifting theater of the street; and buildings, the expressive exoskeleton of the city itself. “Callahan would focus as long as two months or as little as two weeks at a time on a particular subject,” explains McCusker. “He frequently talks about his exploration of a certain subject running dry. He would change techniques, experiment with multiple exposures, collage, or extreme contrast, or switch subjects altogether. He was methodically working out all the possibilities of a given motif.”

The dramatic images he made in 1950, on Chicago’s State Street, of people’s heads shot in raking light, for example, were all made within a short period of time, at most a few months. His experiments with those images come out again in other subjects. The architecture shot during the same time becomes less impersonal. He was interested to show the reflection of man within the urban environment and how it was being altered to express his individuality. That same concern with individuality was seen on the street in his focus on the minute details of hair and makeup.

Of those images shot on the street Callahan said, “First I shot recognizable action, people talking to each other, laughing together. This had a literal value which has never been satisfying to me.” He later realized he wanted to show people not with any obvious expression, but lost in thought, much in the way Walker Evans captured people with their guard down in the “Subway” series. Callahan went further, isolating the individual face from the context of the place. The problem in executing his idea was not only one of concept but of craft. He coupled experiments with focus, film exposure and over development with intuitive and instantaneous decisions about when to shoot. He made among hundreds of exposures several score of successful images.

The methods for teaching studio photography which Callahan developed with Aaron Siskind at the Chicago Institute of Design and later at the Rhode Island School of Design filtered to many American universities, first through Callahan’s own students, many of whom are still working, and subsequently through their students. There were courses in the technique and practice of photography, in learning how to physically make photographs, in studying how light manipulates objects. And there were the basic assignments: how to shoot architecture, people on the street, how to do advertising.


As Callahan had once explained to Moholy-Nagy, he taught best through the example of his own work. In his teaching, he conveyed his persistence, his ability to learn through action and experiment, and his discovery of the new in very familiar things. John McWilliams, a student of Callahan’s in the mid-1960s, recalls his studies: “The two most important things Harry did for me [were] to make me aware of the importance of the process and to create an environment in which to grow. I remember late one night Harry gave us insight into this process. Before this, my experience with Harry, the photographer, was through finished prints already on the wall … “We had all shown our work. After much talk, Harry took out a large stack of 5X7 proofs of city shots he had recently taken. We all sifted through the stack of hundreds and saw good pictures, bad pictures, dumb pictures, and pictures that seemed to have a life of their own. I saw confusion, indecision, and recognition. I saw the process of ideas evolving through the act of photographing. I saw that the photograph was not easily come by, even by someone of Callahan’s stature. It was not so much different from my struggles. I saw the need to photograph, to be out looking, to cycle my ideas and experiences through photography. I saw that if one persevered, ideas would evolve through discoveries or so-called mistakes. Rather than lecturing as to the need for discipline, Callahan simply showed us the means to an end.”

Callahan first did color work in 1942 after acquiring a 35mm camera. Kodachrome slide film, introduced in 1936, had become popular with the public despite its low speed, but it was shunned by most creative photographers. Beyond what was perceived as its garish qualities, there was the problem of presentation. Simple processes produced prints with unremarkable results and questionable life; the more durable and chromatically saturated dye transfer process was prohibitively expensive. After two decades of color experimentation and little critical acceptance Callahan abandoned the medium.

In the late 1970s, prompted by new advances in color print production with “type-C” prints from color negatives, and increased earnings from his existing black-and-white prints in the 1970s photography boom, Callahan began to work exclusively in color. He has often stated that his interest in color was stimulated by its pervasive presence in the media. Color also offered the opportunity to see familiar subjects anew. Streets photographed through the years in black-and-white took on a new liveliness. Color asserted itself as his new subject, with chromatic relationships becoming as important as graphic elements.

This creative move coincided with Callahan’s retirement from teaching. Throughout images made in Morocco, Mexico, Portugal, and his home of Atlanta where he lived after 1983 the pulse of his earlier black-and-white work can be felt: the rhythm of the street and the self-absorption of people, the expressive potential of the architectural facade, the simple spare compositions and the omniscient eye of the wide-angle lens are all there. In Callahan’s photographs, even the most exotic of locales retains a sense of the familiar, the ordinary. The photographs portray, as Callahan always has through the common denominator of simple human existence, a monumental sense of the real.

Judith Bell Turner-Yamamoto is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Virginia.

Warm up to spring’s soft, sheer makeup palette

Knowing New England weather, we still might be trudging over snow mounds at the end of the month. But at least we can pretend spring is here, or nudge it along, by indulging in a make-up spree. The trend for the sunnier season:bright pastels with shimmer.

“What I’ve found is that spring makeup is all about the glow of the skin,” said Sara Papousek, Stila’s resident makeup artist at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. “I see a lot of sheer and everything is very soft. It makes your skin look healthy. The biggest thing is getting a nice pop of blush and getting your skin glowing,” she said.

With bohemian styles hitting the stores for spring, makeup is light to complement, not compete with the playful clothing.

“To have a lot of color on the body and then a lot of color on the eyes I don’t think it will match. Try a faint color,” Papousek said. “I see a lot of the light plummy color and a seafoam-y green and light pinks. It’s a faint bohemian look – just really fresh,” she said.

Here are some of the products that can help you put your best spring face forward:

– Becca’s colors are bright in the containers but soft on the skin. The Creme Blush in Frangipani, $25, and Glossy Lip Tints in Coconut Ice and Flirtini, $19.


– Remember playing with Mom’s makeup? The people at Molton Brown sure do. Their Elegancia Collection for this spring includes Wonder Lips Brilliance, $25, in colors Mischevious (an icy pink with hints of rose), Audacious (a rusty orange with golden accents) and Artful (a burgundy wine with silver and green hues). The lip glosses have lip plumping Maxi-lip to stimulate collagen synthesis with repeated use and mango butter to condition your kisser. Molton Brown’s Face Shimmer, $32, is a translucent, light-reflecting and iridescent powder with a specially designed delivery system. The powder goes directly into the brush and can be applied without additional brushes or fingers.

– Condition and bedazzle your skin with Glo La from Lola, $450 at Sephora stores, a shimmering dry body oil with a sweet magnolia scent (Well, it’s also my favorite brand, in spite of its cut-throat price, even one-and-a-half more expensive than the best acoustic guitar I’ve bought so far). In Bronzed Goddess, Diva Gold or Pink Bling (shown), it’s like jewelry for the skin with bigger benefits of Vitamin E, Sweet Almond Oil and Green Tea.

– Supernatural Luscious Lip Palette from Philosophy, $35, comes in Supercool with four different lip shades to wear separately or in combination with each other. Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas from Philosophy, $35, in natural, finishes the look with an airbrushed effect and has SPF15 for sun protection.


– Mini Lip Gloss Pack from Bloom, $28 at select Sephora stores, has four shades, Melon, Cutie Pie, Girlie and Sweet Pea (left to right) to match any look. As the glosses condition with vanilla and mandarin oils your smackers will shine.

– Goldie Face has lip, cheek and eye color in Rosie, $28, and Goldie Lip Kit, in Pinkie, contains products to exfoliate, hydrate, plump, treat, stain and gloss, $22. You’ll be set for the night with these small packages. Also shown are Nail Lacquers, $9, and Lip Gloss in Doll, $14. Goldie products are available at select Bath and Body Works.

– Sephora Cheek Stain, $12, and a double-sided Stain and Shine for your lips, $12, are available.

– Urban Decay EYESHADOWs in Baked, Gush and Half Baked, $15, and Lip Gunk in Cherry create a bronzed-goddess look, $13.

– Limited Edition Spring Compact from Stila in Mystic Pearl, $32, has a pale ivory shimmer, a muted lilac and a soft charcoal for your eyes plus a sheer perfect pink to sweep across your cheeks. Stila’s Convertible Color, $20, in 10 shades, brightens lips and cheeks with creamy translucent color (shown in Peony) and Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15, $28, also in 10 shades, gives you even-looking skin. For a punch of color try Shadow Pots, $20, available in 13 colors, lightweight mousses that combine the lightness of powder with the ease of cream shimmers.

– Be Coming Gloss Over in Magnetic and Sassy, $12, is lip-plumping color that adds shine and size.

– Joey New York SoBe Smudgies for eyes in Nightlife, $15.

– Jouer All Over in Peony, $18, and Jouer Lips in Coral, $18, use spring’s hottest colors to brighten your face.

– Christian Breton Lollipop Lipstick in Lip Synch, $18, available at Henri Bendel in New York or by calling 800-848-6835, gives you a shimmery and sexy look.

– Cargo New Limited Edition Eye Shadow Palettes, $28, in Milan with soft golds, sands and a splash of hot pink, or Eye Shadow Duo, $20, in Pasadena, with a soft cocoa and robin’s egg blue, paired with the Jumbo Tin, $19, of lip gloss in Kalamazoo is glamorous and gorgeous.

– Flirt! Big Deal Lip & Cheek Tint in Hoola Hoop and Tini Bikini, $10 each at Kohl’s stores, were inspired by the girly silhouettes that strutted the spring ’05 fashion runways. Dap a little on for a dewy glow.

– American Beauty Luminous Liquid All Over Face Glow in Pink Glow, $15 at Kohl’s stores, adds shimmer without too much sparkle.

– Vincent Longo Wet Pearl Lipstick, $23, comes in 10 shades (Tonic Rose and Honey Suckle are shown here) and has reflective pearls to add volume. The luscious lip color also has caffeine to stimulate circulation and soothing agents such as safflower seed oil, aloe vera extract, cucumber fruit extract, vitamin E and Chamomile extract. Beauty Sin Day/Play Duo Highlighter, $38.50, is a combo of Rose Gold and Peachy Pink powder with an balance of sheer color and subtle pearl shimmer.

– Tarte 24.7 Lip Sheer, $14, in Teatime and Happy Hour, is budgeproof, and moisturizing Lip Gloss, $21, is double-sided for variety and spontaneity. Clean Slate, $27, fills in fine lines for a fresh start, Social Butterfly, $42, has eight eye shadows that are perfect for taking your day look into the nighttime, and Cheek Stain, $28, in Tipsy, looks dramatic but goes on sheer for a rosy punch of color.

– Shu Uemura Spring Color Reveries Palette at select Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York

By Kerry Purcell


Related Articles: The lipstick effect: Can makeup make you a new man?


Well, that day is likely to be sooner than you think, because spas are rapidly proliferating all over the United States and Canada, as the therapeutic benefits of spending a health, fitness, or beauty-care oriented week (or more) gains advocates. According to Edward Safdie, a successful U. S. spa developer (the Sonoma Mission Inn, the Greenhouse, Monte Carlo, etc.), and author of the super- successful Spa Cuisine cookbook, more than five million people in North America sign up for an annual spa session.

Safdie estimates that those numbers will rise to at least 30 million within the next five to 10 years. Names such as La Costa, Cal-A-Vie, Canyon Ranch, Palm Aire, Rancho La Puerta, the Ashram, or the Golden Door are becoming increasingly familiar.


Of course, while North America is jumping on the spa bandwagon with a vengeance, Europeans have, for centuries, made spas an integral part of their lifestyles. Even the early Romans had their favorite spas (the baths of Caracalla, for example), and historic locales such as Bath, Baden- Baden, Ischia or Albano have long been celebrated in literature and art. Today, visitors still flock to long- established Montecatini, Quiberon, Wiesbaden, Bad Tolz and the like for rehabilitation, rest and relaxation, often on doctors’ orders and at the state’s expense, since most European countries accept the medicinal and psychological benefits of a spa cure under their health-care systems.

There is usually, however, a vast philosophical difference between European and North American spas. In Europe, spas tend to fall into two categories – the thermal or medicinal, and the social and hedonistic. The medicinal variety may well be spartan in decor and amenities, and populated by by the genuinely ill or infirm. Such spas are likely to treat respiratory, rheumatic, or arthritic ailments under carefully programmed medical supervision. At the social or chic variety, the emphasis is decidedly on pampering, and your most arduous activity may well be changing your clothes or deliberating over your dinner menu. Inevitably, the price tag comes high. Europe also offers a number of lesser-known “cure” stations such as La Prairie in Montreux, Switzerland, or the Wiedemann Clinic in Germany’s Bavarian Alps, where guests undertake a rigorously programmed series of injections of serums derived from animal embryos, whose intent is catalytic, said to stimulate, or jolt the system into accelerated (and rejuvenating) activity.

Long-term, the jury is still out, but aficionados (and those who have the substantial wherewithal) often swear by the treatment.

In contrast, today’s new North American spas tend to be almost entirely fitness-oriented, emphasizing exercise, weight reduction, nutrition, and behavior modificiation, while throwing in a few of the more sybaritic options such as massages, facials and herbal wraps as rewards.


Today’s spa client is most likely to be your middle-aged executive man or woman. Men now account for more than 25 per cent of the spa-going population and couples and families are not at all unusual. Most U. S. spas, if they are not fully co-ed, now offer special couples’ and men’s weeks. The Golden Door, in Escondido, Calif., for example, which accommodates a maximum of only 40 guests a week to maintain its cushy three- to-one staff to guest ratio, offers nine men’s weeks a year, which have an enviable six-to-nine- month waiting list.

Why are so many people flocking to spas and spending anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 a week for the privilege of pre- dawn hikes, endless hard exercise and a spartan diet? Certainly, the “fitness revolution” we’ve witnessed during the past decade has resulted in vastly increased health consciousness and almost universal pressure to maintain a fit, trim figure. Today, the overweight man or woman is likely to feel more social stigma than ever before. As the median age increases, and the inevitable erosion of middle age becomes increasingly apparent, most of us are eventually drawn to combat those visible signs of sag, expansion, and decreasing muscle tone; and it is unquestionably far easier to acquire personal discipline at a spa where it is relentlessly enforced than on your own.

For many harried business people, stress is not just a word, it is a daily reality, and the old Greek adage of “mens sana in corpore sano” makes excellent sense. At most spas, you are totally removed from anything resembling your day-to-day existence, and absolved of virtually all decision-making – in itself immensely soothing.

Then, too, attitudes have radically changed. Time was, spending an entire week devoted to one’s personal care and well- being might have seemed self- indulgent, even narcissistic. Nowadays, it’s far more likely to seem like a necessity, and other people’s reactions are more likely to be respectful than disapproving. The notion of exercising control over one’s mind and body has increasingly wide appeal.

As well, a lot more people today can afford the time and money a spa session requires. While some guests still go primarily for weight reduction, increasing numbers of apparently already fit devotees, many of whom already follow regular exercise regimens, go for increased motivation, for maintenance or fine-tuning, and for some of the corollary benefits – stress relief and the camaraderie of shared activities. Some even go for the cerebral stimulus of special spa programs such as the Golden Door’s “inner door,” available to only nine guests a week, which director Annharriet Buck describes as applied creative thinking, essentially learning and behavioral techniques to alter and maximize time and motivation management.

But for most people, there is great appeal and increased self respect in the feeling of personal renewal and self improvement that a stay at a spa delivers. Distancing yourself, even briefly, from your day-to-day life, and making an effort to search for an improved, a fitter and probably leaner self is undoubtedly an intelligent investment.



More information about beauty care: Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women

The New Face Savers

Small cosmetics companies, which have adopted the back-to-basics and naturals approach for their products, are giving the big names some serious competition. PENELOPE DEBELLE reports. ALOW-TECH, low-cost, back-to-nature revolution is shaking the foundations of Australia’s multi-million-dollar beauty industry. The snob cosmetic companies can no longer count on the faithful custom of a bemused but trusting audience that, for years, had nowhere else to go.

No one suggests that elite, technologically based beauty care is on the way out _ a stroll along the cosmetics counters of Myer, David Jones or Daimaru dispels that. But the big names that, for so long, have had the market to themselves are being thrown a serious challenge from some rank outsiders to the beauty-care business. These newcomers can be anything from idealistic Byron Bay hippies marketing their own line of beauty products (Sanctum) to the politically correct Body Shop, which has 45 Australian stores and is still growing, or its cheaper Australian rival, Red Earth. What they have in common is low cost, save-the-environment-while-you-save- yourself appeal, and, importantly, a streamlined approach to face and body care.


The significance of this demystification of the process of skincare should not be underrated. This is more than a passing wave of interest in products that smell like fruit and contain organically grown wonder herbs or plant extracts that will sink with barely a trace. (Remember aloe vera?) It is a signal that there is a limit to how much faith the market wants to place in high-tech, high-cost science-defying liposomes, or lifting-firming serums and silicon-based creams that encourage cell regeneration in the lower layers of the epidermis.

The spirit of scepticism that is flowering in the 1990s is causing an explosion of interest in products that are more realistically pitched in price and performance and that are often based on natural or folk approaches to beauty care. “I think people are more informed,” said Greg Parker, a co-founder with Richard Owen of Microcosmos, a customised skincare house that makes personalised creams and lotions. “I also think the more extravagant claims are coming under scrutiny by clients.” And it’s not just the privileged rich who have felt the need to splash money about on high-priced beauty care. “They’re not necessarily the women who have a lot of money to spend,” Parker said. “In fact, it’s been my experience that the wealthy women are more informed and a little bit more cynical about it.” Australian women are not alone in feeling the need to simplify their beauty choices.

In America, the huge shift of interest towards cheaper, simpler, more environmentally sympathetic products has persuaded some of the big companies to bring out alternative lines. Among these is Plenitude, made by L’Oreal for around $25 a pot compared with Lancome, also owned by L’Oreal, selling at more than $100. The recent relaunch of Lancaster in Australia is a sign of the new times. It’s back-to-basics range, with one day and night moisturiser and generous bottle sizes, is winning a market that it failed to tap into when it was first tested here around five years ago. “It’s very user-friendly,” said spokeswoman Fiona Coogan. “People are looking for something that’s effective which represents good value.” In America, Estee Lauder’s Origins, a completely new all-natural line based on aromatherapy, is very popular. Lauder has set up a host of free-standing Origins stores that sell a range of back-to-nature accessories like unbleached cotton T-shirts, herbal remedies and scented candles.

The company cannot say when it plans to launch Origins here but it is going into Britain this year and Australia is likely to be next. An Estee Lauder spokeswoman said the company believes Australia is ripe for the product. “The average person here is so well educated about things like aromatherapy,” said Lauder’s Gail Davidson. “I think we’ve picked it up from England, which has always had a history of interest in it.” The best Australian-grown example of the new trend is the unheralded Jurlique, one of the few genuinely natural, organic beauty-care regimes that is made from plants and herbs grown in the Adelaide Hills.

Jurlique’s quality range of low-priced ($20 to $50) skin and hair care, aromatherapy and herbal medicine sells through health food stores and healing centres, many of which were at first reluctant to stock and display it. The company began selling in 1985 with no formal product launch, no promotion and no mainstream beauty advertising. Last year, Jurlique sold around $20 million of its products to 13 different countries and the company is cited in the business press as an example of how to succeed in a recession. Its secret seems to be the simplicity of its offering _ there is just the one face cream for night and day, face and neck _ and the total absence of hype used in its selling.


The company regards skincare as a maintenance question, not a vain attempt to regenerate or repair. “It’s so simple it seems complicated,” says biochemist and naturopath Dr Jurgen Klein, who created Jurlique with his wife Ulrike, a botanist. “People have been spoiled by all the theories.” The company’s healthy turnover, nudged along by the recession that turned the spotlight on customer value, has made inroads into the traditional beauty-care market. “When you buy an $80 bottle from one of the companies and they promise eternal youth and no wrinkles any more, everyone knows it’s a game, it’s not true,” said Dr Klein, who located his business near Adelaide because of the purity of its soil. “You have about 20 cents worth of actual value in the bottle.

That is something people are waking up to now.” Jurlique is also exceptional because it sells outside the main beauty- care bazaar, the department stores. But industry analysts believe this may not continue. Unless health-food stores seize the moment and start meeting the demands of the natural beauty-care movement, they will surrender the market to the big stores. Leslie Corbett, who has worked on the marketing of Jurlique, said health-food shops are poised now at the point where pharmacies were 15 years ago when they sold Band Aids and pills instead of walls of beauty care. “Health shops have believed in the past that skin care doesn’t work for them,” she says. “But it’s because they don’t know how to merchandise and present it properly”.

If they don’t lift their game around the marketing thing, they will lose out.’ Meanwhile, back in the deparment stores, room is already being made for the newcomers. At Myer, the recent introduction of Red Earth concept bars signals the new mood. “We still have customers who want the technologically based product,” a Myer spokeswoman said. “But we felt we were missing out on the contemporary customer who stopped off at the Body Shop.” Daimaru, too, is moving with the times. They have a section of their cosmetics floor devoted to natural products, which includes Emeiz (by Melbourne hairdresser Dennis Paphatis) and the new Byron Bay Sanctum range. Sanctum is typical of the new beauty-care aesthetic with its plant-derived ingredients (all listed on the side), clear packaging, no color or fragrance and simple approach. “Our market is a state of mind,” says Judy Chapman, who worked with a chemist in Byron Bay to create the range. “It’s not an age thing. People respond to the look of it.” New products are springing up like flowers after rain, all with their own claim to a piece of the new action.

There’s Hanna Laya, the brainchild of Russian emigre Rosa Burgen who has built a natural-based product range around recipes used by a Russian beautician at the turn of the century. The products, sold direct to salons or through the party plan system, have the unique attraction of being sold fresh, less than a week old. Concept stores selling new ranges of products are opening up all over town, the most recent being four Pure Zone stores, which stock a politically correct range of homeware and body care. Also new in town is Aveda aroma-therapeutic skin and body care, already at Australia on Collins and soon to open in Melbourne Central.

Set up by George Jilly, who worked for some time with Jurlique, it includes an enticing range of single note perfumes called “purefumes” based on a range of pure flower and plant essences like rose, jasmine and sandalwood. This new mood partly reflects the emerging demands of a younger, less affluent generation of women who have grown up concerned about the kind of world they live in. This social change is bringing with it a significant shift in emphasis within the existing cosmetics market. But, of course, it will never replace the service provided by the high-tech, feel-good, luxury skin and beauty-care houses. In fact, Chanel, the epitome of the snob cosmetic, is riding a boom and has done throughout the crippling recession. Its products _ which are more to do with the joys of pampering than a mere dollars and cents transaction _ will be desired, no matter what.

They are not immune to change; Chanel concedes customers in the 1990s have become more discerning and is making subtle changes to their marketing to respond to this. But they will shun anything vulgar that could undermine Chanel’s gloriously elitist image. “We have protected our name,” said Chanel’s Australian marketing manager Jenny Miller. “We don’t diminish the integrity of our product by ever discounting or having gifts with purchase, that sort of thing. Customers start to question that kind of strategy. We choose to travel a different road.”

Dress you up

Full Text:

SOME holidays cast their spirit over many months. Ebenezer Scrooge told the last ghost that he would honor Christmas in his heart and try to keep it all the year. For 30 years after Appomattox, America kept one long Decoration Day. Our endless holiday is the one we just celebrated, Halloween.

The Halloweens of my childhood are preserved in the Kodaks of memory: tiny people in odd bits of costume, much of it homemade (sheets for ghosts), wandering among the short trees of suburbs with paper bags and UNICEF boxes. That still goes on, with more expensive costumes and among taller trees, but modern Halloween has grown up.

One half of the holiday still comes round only when the leaves fall: the corpses, skeletons, eyeballs, brain goo, and gross-out paraphernalia of slasher films, evoking death and destruction. The year’s end in temperate zones makes us think of our own. Mexicans and their Day of the Dead have nothing on us; our seasonal maniacs and their victims are authentically homegrown, descendants of Poe, and of that angry God and the sinners in His hands. But Halloween has another, milder face, which only heightens the way we behave year-round. I refer to the costuming of desire.


There is a chain of cosmetics stores in New York (their website lists 24 stores in Manhattan, with a dozen more in Brooklyn, the suburbs, and Florida). I noticed the first one a few years ago, and now there are two within a five-minute walk of my apartment. At this rate they will become as common as Duane Reades. They sell makeup and haircare products which are also major items in drugstores these days. But they do a flourishing business in accessories and what can only be called props–the little add-ons that can turn a look into a mask.

As Halloween approaches, the stores go to town. Guys are wooed with the Jack Sparrow look–plumed hats, eye-patches, hand-hooks, cutlasses. But most of the outfits are for the ladies, and all of them are revealing. The mannequins in the windows of these stores always show a lot of leg, but at Halloween they offer to show it in dozens of different ways. Same legs, many settings. It’s like an old season of Star Trek in which, by some coincidence, bare midriffs were fashionable across the galaxy. The common mood of all the costumes is naughty. Naughty nurses, naughty Marie Antoinettes, naughty referees, naughty bumblebees. There are even naughty border-guard uniforms (they come with badge and binoculars); somebody buy one for John McCain. Text explicates the less obvious personae. One jumpsuit declares, REHAB REJECT, then on the seat, INTERVENTION MY A**. A low-cut black outfit intends to make you think of a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR. “We seem to be dealing with a woman here, Watson.” “And why do you think so?” “The decolletage.” These are not costumes for retirees, but they are not (thank God) costumes for children either. This is how the urban young adult (and the teenager who aspires to be that person) chooses to dress up.

Skin is no news. The miniskirt came in before I hit puberty, the bikini before I was born. But such outfits revealed you. These outfits seem to be revealing a person who is not quite you. The desire to disguise persists even after the naughty maid has been hung in the closet for the year. The ordinary makeup that these stores sell is electric and declamatory: women’s wigs as phony-looking as bad toupees; hair dye the color of a chemical spill. Cosmetics, and other tools of fashion, have always concealed and redistributed the bodies of those who used them. But the beauty aids themselves were often concealed; a woman wearing false eyelashes or a girdle was creating a better her. A woman wearing an obvious costume is presenting a different her.

Holmes would want to assign a motive. Disguise facilitates desire by speeding up the process. It makes it easier to get down to business, and to go home afterwards. An arresting mask is a quicker come-on than a conversation about your summer vacation or your goals in life, and, once the encounter is over, you can leave (you think) with your dignity intact since it was never exposed in the first place. Oh long-dead hippie-chick days. There was a time when the sexual revolution said it was about nature, and skinny-dipping in the swimming-holes of innocence and experience. Wrong. It’s about dressing up to party.


One downside to the aesthetic of disguise is that if you miss out on longueurs and embarrassment, what are you finding exactly? If you wear a maid outfit to a party, haven’t you sent your maid to the party in your place? But it is as futile to advise as it is unseemly to rail. People will do what they do, and they often have their reasons. After 30 years of hypersexuality, purveyed by fashion magazines as thick as the Yellow Pages, and an Internet that can whisk Moldovan sex slaves to your iPod, the pressures on the typical biped must be unendurable. To recapture the experience of a world so recently lost as Mayberry, you would have to flee to the mountains with an ingot and an assault rifle, and that would not be Mayberry at all but insanity. If you are in the middle of the stampede, maybe it is necessary–certainly it must feel better–to dress up.

Might there not be side benefits? Russell Kirk was always accused of wanting to go back to Louis XIV. Well, what about it? Could Manhattan use a few people with four-foot staves, and buckles on their shoes? The bluesman asked his listeners to put a twenty-dollar gold piece on his watch chain, so the boys would know he died standing pat. Why wait? That would mean finding such a thing as a watch chain, to say nothing of a twenty-dollar gold piece. Beats casual Friday.

Personal perks


Many people now who travel a great deal still want to have the conveniences they are used to when they are at home, especially concerning their communications capabilities. A number of new gadgets and equipment designed to meet these needs are described.

Full Text:

Smart travelers have always carried gadgets to enhance their comfort; and to make doing business on the road easier. The number of these stress-reducing personal perks increases every year. But not everyone’s plugged in; every now and then you can walk down a plane aisle and see a pair of business types playing Pass the Pigs. If you haven’t played, then opt for Milton Bradley’s set of minature pigs, which are hand-thrown to a variety of compromising positions. At least, finally, pigs can fly.

Compute Me, You Fool

Road warriors and mere mortals alike swear by their personal organizers, laptops and a new breed of pocket-sized computers.

Sharp’s newest entry: Zaurus[TM]–meant to compete with small computers — has 1MB of memory with PC compatibility, sends faxes and E-mail and combines pen note taking with keyboard word processing for about $500.

Wizard fans can choose from a host of new models and assorted features geared to specific needs — from the pen-based Graphic Wizard at $400 to the OZ-6500 at under $300, which has no pen but has computer connectivity and built-in software for sending faxes, to Sharp’s newest baby, the 5500 series which includes a financial tracking system created specifically for the first-time user who may not be a gadget guru.

Psion, on the other hand, is trying to push its top-of-the-line model, the 2MB Series 3a pocket-sized computer ($600-$700). Because Psion is actually a palm-sized computer, it offers a range of upgrade cards and options, including PsiWin ($100), which allows the user, to download information from a PC to any Psion 3a series portable computer.


For those traveling with laptop computers, Samsonite has just introduced the Guardian[TM] Series, a dozen different carry cases created specifically to protect laptops with a full half-inch of foam built into the perimeter ($50-$180).

Paging Mr. Benny

For parents and kids, personal pagers have become a way to keep in touch. For business travelers, paging is a little more complicated. Enter Skytelo, with international paging in 16 countries around the world. Skytel is a two-way system that uses a computer and modem rather than satellite; it provides up to 30 days of use with a single battery and has a silent vibrating mode for those who don’t want to be beeped in meetings or on airplanes. Service is priced by the month and the amount of use.

Voice Over

The Voice It Personal Note Recorder (Hammacher Schlemmer; 800-892-1063) makes talking to yourself the latest in good sense. No need to make notes when you can talk into this tiny battery-operated device which is actually an electronic recorder. Once you’ve left yourself a message, the unit flashes a red light to remind you to replay it. Prices vary with the number of messages and length of tape; beginning at $45.

Another voice memo gizmo is KeyNotes,[TM] a keychain-cum-voice- recorder that allows you to talk while driving; a recorded noise-reduction device brings in clear sound. It costs $29.95 from Attitudes; 800-525-2468.

Just the Facts

Get the facts, ma’am just the facts… by fax from “Fodor’s WorldView” — which offers a personalized, up-to-the-minute fax travel information service created specifically for you and your destinations, with emphasis on special interests. City summaries cost $10 for the first city and $7 for each subsequent city; over 130 cities are available. WorldView is also available on the Internet; 800-799-9609.

Lost In Space

Tripmate is an electronic travel device with maps and highway information services such as the nearest gas stations and emergency services; $59.95 from The Edge Company (8007732-9976). Hertz offers its rental cars with the “Never Lost” onboard navigational system which provides turn-by-turn driving instructions from a video screen that is mounted on the dashboard; now available in nine cities. Avis offers the similar “Satellite Guidance System” in 12 cities, while National is testing a device in two cities.

Up Close and Personal

Combine the idea of a disposable camera with binoculars and you’ve got BNOX — binoculars with high-precision optics in a small, lightweight plastic case. Choose model by the amount of magnification needed, $20 (800-545-BNOX).

Say Cheese,

If disposable cardboard cameras seem cheesy, fret no more — Kodak has just launched its latest one-use cameras in recyclable plastic cases so they have a more substantial feel. Named the Fun Saver, the camera comes with a black plastic wraparound shell and contoured grip.

If you think one use cameras are child’s play, you’ll be interested in Sharp’s new video printer, which turns video footage into photographs, stick-on labels or postcards, and will even print right onto paper. The GZ-P15U video printer connects to video equipment, televisions and VCR units; approximately $1,000.


Sole Brothers

Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced gel-filled insoles that fit inside men’s or women’s shoes (can be trimmed to size) to offer an all-day massage for those who do a lot of walking or standing. The high impact, non-toxic gel absorbs pressure while releasing a pulsating feeling to your tired tootsies; $25.

Aromatherapy & Beauty Buffers

Origins offers a total aromatherapy line, many items geared to hamper jetlag and pamper travelers. Aside from Stress Buffer[R] (available in gel or oil format), there’s Energy Boost[R], Sleep Time[R] and Jump Start[R].

Kiehl’s (800-543-4571), the 150-year-old New York pharmacy with its own line of health and beauty aids, has now achieved international cult status, and has begun to make its products in handy travel sizes. A few of its most essential items for airplane travel include moisturizers with sunscreen (geared to your skin type), lip balm, muscle balm, and a light body moisturizer.

Travel-sized products seem to be the rage. John Frieda, the London hairdresser who markets the famed Frizz-Eease[TM] line, has several different types of just introduced travel packs; and Barielle has a travel-sized nail kit created specifically for women on the road. Thus proving it’s a small world after all.

>>> View more: STYLE NOTES Singing about M.A.C. hair-care products

The heart of one-ness: the art of Christi Belcourt

Full Text:

A little over a year ago, I attended a conference in Saskatoon called “The Metis in the 21st Century.” As part of the celebration a banquet was held, and the walls of the hall displayed several Metis artists’ work. I was captivated by the work of Christi Belcourt, and subsequently bought a large piece, entitled “Not One of Us the Same.”

Fantastic flowers evocative of prairie flora, several different kinds on a single plant, emerge from common origins, roots with beads of life flowing along them, to the abundance above. Perfectly balanced but not symmetrically identical, it speaks to me of the health and beauty of the fusion of origins into what has become Metis. It is the focal point of my home: it invites wonder and introspection and delight.

Belcourt’s art is superficially about flower and bead design, but scratch the surface, and it’s really about identity, diversity, fluidity and authenticity. And in her art, these are complex but beautiful subjects; they are personal, public and political. As Belcourt writes: “‘Who am I?’ is the fundamental question that lies at the heart of my artistic practice and indeed my very existence.”


But Belcourt is not confined to a single stereotypical niche.

I don’t believe it is the obligation of Metis artists to represent the Metis Nation or to do anything other than live up to their own potential as artists. A Metis artist produces Metis art whether or not they choose to create art that is in its sound or appearance Metis.” In Belcourt’s world, a Metis artist can create about whatsoever moves her, and be always authentically Metis. Metis identity, then, is capacious rather than restrictive; negotiated rather than dictated; contemporary as well as historical.

Why invoke the past in art; why construct it as signifier of politics and history and culture? Belcourt writes: “I suppose that the use of historical references in Metis artists’ work is done partly as a reclaiming of one’s own personal history and an expression of the individual identity of each artist. But … it’s all adding up to a reclaiming of our collective history. Metis artists are calling for past wrongs to be made right. Metis artists are calling for the settling of outstanding claims. Metis artists are calling for justice. We are saying don’t ask us to forget the past when we have so much unfinished business.”

Much of Belcourt’s work draws upon floral motifs, rendered in designs inspired by old beadwork patterns. Why flowers? According to Belcourt, “I want to offer a counter-balance to the overwhelming negative forces of destruction, despair, violence and death we are exposed to on a daily basis. Author Fred Bodsworth says ‘nature is an antidote.’ And nature has indeed become the antidote to the overwhelming sorrow I experience when I witness the havoc human beings are capable of…. Flowers are also obvious in their overtones to femininity and to women…. Further, I use my paintings to assert that life is beautiful. There is an incomprehensible complexity found in a simple, single blossom, stem or bud…. My paintings are manifestations of my prayers for everything in life to be in balance and harmony.”

Still, despite her consciousness of being Metis, and of creating Metis art with political meaning, Belcourt knows that ultimately we, and art, are transitory and that the goals and values that make life meaningful must surrender to the limits of the mortal coil. Beyond that, what can motivate us, and what insight and inspiration can art bring? Belcourt, again:

“My worldly identity is that of a proud Metis woman until I consider non existence of ‘self.’ My inner identity, and the one which will outweigh the worldly one in the final outcome of my life, is that of a soul who must reckon with the loss of identity. Herein lays the paradox. When my Metis self must relinquish not only my outer body, but my inner most thoughts and memories as well as all the things that define me as a human being here on earth including my Metis identity. When I die, as we all must, I will cease to be a Metis person. I must relinquish all concepts of self, of identity, and know that I am one with all life, with all things seen and unseen.”

It is this one-ness that lies at the heart of Belcourt’s work, that invokes the fundamental basis of nature in our lives.



Five of Belcourt’s works appear in the following four-page supplement:

1. The Conversation

The Conversation’s dotted floral pattern on a black background symbolizes nineteenth-century Metis beadwork on black velvet. The colours chosen for the piece are colours found within traditional Anishnaabe beadwork patterns in honour of Belcourt’s friend and mentor, the late Yvonne McRae. (detail this page)

2. Not One of Us The Same

Painted as an attempt to relay her admiration for the uniqueness and variation of plants, Belcourt’s variation within the work echoes the complex relationships plants have to the ecosystems in which they exist. Woven within the meaning, as the title denotes, is an attempt to question our relationship to each other as human beings and our interconnectedness to our surrounding environment.

3. Even My Garden Knows What Peace Is

Painted during the month-long American invasion of Iraq, the title is a tongue-in-cheek comment on the ugliness and waste of war–Belcourt suggests peace is so simple that all of nature gets it.

4. Remembering Batoche

Painted to commemorate the Metis soldiers who fought and died for the protection of Metis lands. As Belcourt suggests, the Battle of Batoche was not the one-sided view presented to Canadians. Metis people were not rebels. As she states, “we were honest, hardworking mothers and fathers who had created settlements and found our land being stolen and our rights as citizens ignored.”

5. We Are Not Alone

Prominent within the image is the Pitcher’s Thistle. Listed in Canada and the USA as an endangered species, the Pitcher’s Thistle is a plant found around the Great Lakes area that blooms and seeds only once in its lifetime. A major reason for species loss is the destruction of habitat. By highlighting this plant, Belcourt draws attention to the state we have reached in the Earth’s history, when under the guise of development, we threaten another’s existence.

Christi Belcourt is a Metis woman whose ancestry is from the community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. She resides in Whitefish Falls, Ontario. Her work appears on the following pages. More may be viewed at

Joyce Green is with the Political Science Department and the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Regina. She is a member of CD’s Editorial Collective.

Comments Off on The heart of one-ness: the art of Christi Belcourt

March 22, 2017: pool report White House Press Corps

Full Text:

06:30 President Jenner enters the White House gym for her usual calisthenics ritual. Your pool reporter witnessed a strenuous treadmill workout followed by a set of kettlebell swings. President Jenner wrapped up her workout with two sets of Kegel exercises. She reported being slightly sore.

08:00 Call with National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre about fighting pending legislation in several states that would limit or curtail the sale of firearms. President Jenner pledged her total support.

08:15 Coffee and national-security briefing with NSC staff and National Intelligence advisers. Vice President Cruz in attendance. President Jenner asked for a more detailed assessment of threats against domestic targets. Vice President Cruz was mostly silent and was observed doodling angrily.


09:30 Photo opportunity with EMILY’s List leaders. Pool reporter witnessed some awkward and uncomfortable moments as EMILY’s List leaders referred to President Brianna Jenner as the “first almost totally female president of the United States.” Pool reporter was rebuffed by Representative Nancy Pelosi when asking her about the weirdness of the first male-to-female transgender president being a Republican. “What’s weird,” she said, “is that the failed policies of the past are now back. It’s Ronald Reagan in drag.”

10:00 Meeting with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus about next year’s midterm elections. Priebus thanked President Jenner for her “tireless efforts” in fundraising and noted her soaring popularity with female voters.

10:45 Signing ceremony for the 2017 Tax Reduction and Elimination Act. During photo op, President Jenner reminded her advisers that she won the 2016 presidential election primarily on an economic and “opportunity” platform and demanded that they “move quickly to undo the stifling regulatory state implemented by my predecessor.”

12:30 Slow-carb lunch with Representative Paul Ryan followed by light afternoon workout. During press availability, President Jenner strongly pushed back against criticisms that her recent crushing victory in the Republican Women’s Annual Golf Tournament was somehow unfair.

14:30 President Jenner meets with Pentagon officials to push for a faster military buildup. No photo op.

15:00 President Jenner meets with energy officials, executives, and entrepreneurs as they celebrate the rapid construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. No press avail.

15:45 Formal signing ceremony with chief of staff Mitt Romney and Vice President Cruz. President Brianna Jenner signed the executive order formally pardoning former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for her conviction for accounting fraud, fundraising illegalities, influence peddling, racketeering, tax evasion, evidence tampering, and violations of the Trading with the Enemy Act. “It’s not easy being a woman in politics,” the president said as she signed the pardon.

16:15 Hospital visit with ABC News personality Diane Sawyer. Photo op with Sawyer and her neurological team. Sawyer has been in what doctors described as an “irreversible coma” following a massive aneurysm the night of the landslide victory of President Jenner in November 2016. President Jenner noted that she seems more animated than ever and, despite assurances that Sawyer can’t hear anything, told her immobile body that she was pushing through with her campaign promises of a flat tax, rapid military buildup, the total dismantling of Obamacare, and the abolition of the Department of Education. Doctors reported strange brain activity following the visit consistent with another aneurysm.

17:30 Photo session with Vanity Fair photographer Annie Leibovitz for an upcoming Vanity Fair cover. President Jenner was given a selection of outfits to try on, and ended up choosing an Alexander Wang evening sheath in size 24. While the outfit was being tailored and adjusted to President Jenner’s specific requirements–pool reporter has no confirmed details on what those adjustments were or where they were required on the garment–the president was directed to hair and makeup before the shoot could begin.

19:30 After two hours of hair and makeup–and what White House sources described to the pool reporter as a “hot-towel shave”–President Jenner was photographed in three separate outfits: the Alexander Wang sheath, a simple pantsuit, and weekend gardening-type blue jeans with a bright gingham shirt. Sources tell pool reporter that President Jenner refused to wear a replica of the running shorts she wore when she won the men’s decathlon gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

20:30 State dinner. President Jenner escorted to the dinner by California governor Gary Sinise.

23:00 President Jenner watches the tearful apology of Representative Nancy Pelosi on CNN for her “insensitive and hateful remarks toward transgender Americans” at the earlier EMILY’s List event, and her use of “drag” as a pejorative. She calls the congresswoman and accepts her apology while at the same time asking for her vote next week on the Social Security Privatization Act of 2017.

23:30 The president retires for the evening after applying an all-night moisturizing masque.

Comments Off on March 22, 2017: pool report White House Press Corps

Faces of beauty

Most people may not categorize plastic surgery as art but Dr. Ramtin Kassir presents an exhibition aiming to redefine plastic surgery. Dr. Kassir is a triple board certified plastic surgeon who has been in practice since 1997. On September 9th, Faces of Beauty was held at One Art Space gallery in New York City’s hip TriBeCa neighborhood. This exhibition showcased Dr. Kassir’s talent and skills as a Park Avenue plastic surgeon. Servicing clients from over 30 different countries, Dr. Kassir specializes in retaining the ethnic look of an individual while improving their overall appearance. With this exhibition, he wants to erase the stigma attached to plastic surgery.


Plastic surgery is an art and science; Dr Kassir states he doesn’t want people looking like Michael Jackson or every other celebrity. But rather their own self, a better version of themselves and still have their heritage intact with their looks. He says some people here, attending this event, have been out of surgery as early as two weeks, yet you cannot tell. There are people here you can not even tell they have had plastic surgery, he claims. Despite his claims, looking around one can tell a number of these patrons had work done.

Dr. Kassir explains the scientific component behind rearranging a person’s appearance and how the science aspect of it is associated with the left part of your brain. By understanding this he achieves the best results for his patients. “Your DNA is made up from the Golden Ratio. It is what determines the proportion from your head to your toes, your nipples and everything in between,” he says.

He is inspired by baroque art. At the exhibition he illustrates this with 3 models’ and their bare upper bodies spray painted of famous works such as Starry Night and the Mona Lisa. He says he applies this to people all over the world. “That’s the trend that we are displaying this year,” he states. The international group of people there ranged from Zimbabwe to California. He speaks about the combination of living art and that is what plastic surgery is to him. He is the sculptor and the bodies are the artwork. He says, “One of my passions is multi-cultural travel. Jamie’s (one of his clients) heritage is from the UK, then we have Cuba, Columbia, then we have Germany … Countries from all over the world. My patients are wonderful; they are my inspiration.”

The evening itself was classy and delightful. However, it does not succeed in erasing the stigmas attached to plastic surgery and the negative connotations around it, as was the surgeon’s goal. One can say the living bodies here are treated as objectified art. The surgeon speaks of his clients as international bodies of art that, in his eyes, he has perfected. He points out to them, calling them by countries.

Wine was served throughout the night, along with bite size snacks topped with herbs among a variety of tasty Hors d’oeuvre treats. After the presentation at 8 PM, in which the doctor spoke, champagne was given out. There was a celebratory toasting to the artist and his exhibition. Event goers included members of the press, along with clients of Dr. Kassir. A lively band provided live jazz music and Dr. Kassir’s publicist, Tyrice Johnson, made sure everything ran smoothly, as well as introducing the event and the doctor during the presentation. The surgeon was very welcoming and enthusiastic about his artwork. He says instead of having people come into his office inquiring about the procedures, this is a better way of presenting his work.


Last year he had a fashion show during fashion week in which models whom had work done walked down the runway. That received negative feedback from the fashion community. According to the New York Daily News, a fashion industry executive and designer stated separately that fashion and plastic surgery should not be associated, especially as an example for young women. Fashion week is supposed to be purely about fashion designs and expressing oneself through apparel, not about showcasing what to change about your body. This year Dr. Kassir decided to forgo that show and held an exclusive exhibition instead that still coincided with fashion week, as plastic surgery is artwork in this self-proclaimed artist’s mind. It is his “Fusion of Art, Fashion and Plastic Surgery“.

Maria Du is a World & I writer based in New York City. She moved to the Big Apple from Washington, D.C. four years ago to pursue fashion, food and culture. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and works in the fashion industry as an analyst when she isn’t writing, blogging, traveling, dining and exploring. She specializes in food, wine and travels.

-> Read more:

STYLE NOTES Singing about M.A.C. hair-care products



The Globe and Mail MEMORIES that remain from Glady Knight’s appearance at Roy Thomson hall last Friday night are of: a superb performance, recognized by four standing ovations; an uplifting experience (“Tonight we’re singing about love“); and a great haircut. And not the least of these is the hair, for, now, in addition to continuing her career as a singer, Knight, in partnership with Canadian manufacturers M.A.C. cosmetics has launched a range of hair-care products, now available in salons across the United States and Canada.


>>>View more:

So it was that members of the fashion press were invited to a post- concert reception where Knight turned out to be as engaging and professional as she had been in her show.

Knight, who is determined that the line not be just another case of endorsement, said, “I hope that you all get a chance to try it out. And I think once you do it won’t be about Gladys Knight anymore. It will be about what’s in the tubes and bottles. . . . I want people to know that I’m serious. That was what I was most worried about, that people would just say, ‘Sing, girl.’ You know what I mean?”

Knight had other worries five months ago when she decided to crop her hair: “I was concerned about it, because when you go to a real short style, if it doesn’t work, you’re stuck with it. . . . Even if you’re going to do extensions, you need something to put them on.”

An interest in hair is nothing new for Knight. In 1978, she enrolled in the Academy of Hair Design in Las Vegas. “I was kind of bored at first, because they start you out with this piece of paper, and it has a picture of the skull on it. First, you got to learn bones. I never got to hair the first few months. I was so upset. I said, ‘When we gonna do some hair?‘” Knight never completed the course, though she says she might go back to it. Meanwhile she and M.A.C. are planning cosmetics and skin care products to come out next year.

Roger Saul , founder of the Mulberry Company, headquartered in the English county of Somerset, was in town last week for the opening of the Mulberry concession at the Holt Renfrew store on Bloor Street.

Started in 1971, Mulberry is a British fashion success story, reporting for 1988 a turnover of 6.8-million. With stores and stores-within-stores round the world, the firm specializes in the style anglais expressed in lines of clothes for men and women as well as more than a thousand products such as the belts, luggage, handbags, men’s toiletries, pens, wallets and pewter giftware that make up the Mulberry stock at Holt Renfrew.


Recently returned from the opening of a shop in Milan, Saul appeared in Toronto dressed head-to-toe in Mulberry: eyeglasses, polo shirt, cravat, Glen check suit, belt, cotton socks and suede loafers. But he was not embarrassed; rather, his feeling he said was one of frustration, for he designs everything himself.

Saul began in the late sixties, making leather choker necklaces and belts that were sold in stores such as Biba. The English country airs that now characterize the company’s products didn’t blow up until the mid- seventies when Saul, travelling with his wife who was modelling at fairs across England, was hanging around and taking notice of traditional British design.

As for designers from other countries, Saul says he admires Ralph Lauren greatly for the way he has established his image, adding, however, that he does not rank Lauren anywhere near Giorgio Armani as a creator.

Saul also holds a high opinion of Margaret Thatcher. “She frustrates me enormously, but she’s done an enormous amount for England.”

At the same time, Saul acknowledges that the British fashion industry now suffers from a deep “malaise,” attributable in part, he thinks, to jealous manufacturers and arrogant designers. Once chairman of the London Designer Collections, Saul now says, “I can do more for England by making a success out of Mulberry.” Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier, and Tiffany’s have all done it. And now the French jewellers, Boucheron, have entered the perfume market. Launched last year in Paris and New York, the Boucheron fragrance, that comes in a container that is like a big ring, was introduced to Canada at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, hosted by Gerard Angiolini, vice president of Parfums Boucheron, Gaston Gregoire, president of Sopar Cosmetics, the Canadian distributors, and John Craig Eaton, chairman of the board of Eaton’s where the line will be available exclusively.

One magazine beauty editor who was present spoke for many when, jaded by the non-stop proliferation of fine scents on the planet, she said, “After you’ve written about the ylang-ylang, the jasmine, the sandalwood for the 10th time, what do you say?

Comments Off on STYLE NOTES Singing about M.A.C. hair-care products

Pate: a conservative manifesto

Pate, to be appreciated, must be prepared from the best ingredients. Excellent cuisine and politically conservative principles have a great deal in common when it comes to standards and values.


>>>read more here:

FRENCH pate, in any proper household, is served on a serving dish. Everyone helped himself, perhaps several times. At the Stephensons’, the other night, Christine had cut each person a mean and equal slice and put it on the plate. George, who eats like a horse, got the same size piece as Pat, who hardly eats at all. Why does Christine operate this coercive egalitarianism? Why indeed this “command economy,” with her dishing out the shares?

Each piece of pate she surrounded with two leaves from one of those dreadful tasteless iceberg lettuces, a slice of cucumber contorted like a Russian gymnast, and a raspberry. The French would serve none of these. You might, there, find a bowl of olives or possibly the odd tiny gherkin. They would serve good bread (white, not lesbians’ bread with straw in). Christine served cheese biscuits immediately from a packet and more distantly from a factory. Does she imagine she knows better than the Frogs what to serve with pate? Perhaps she subscribes to that increasingly widespread and repellent cultural relativism which says that any culture is as good as any other, you know, black Africans had a Renaissance which outshone the West’s, it’s just that the West has obliterated it with colonialism. Does Christine think she knows better than French tradition?


It doesn’t much matter about the mean portions anyway since her pate was horrid, or rather boring. It was the same pate we’dhad at the Wrights last week, presumably because she went to the same shop to buy it. Frogs can find an enormous variety of pates in local charcuteries: the British and Americans can’t. Therefore, if they care about high standards and are well mannered enough not to invite guests to boring food, they make their own pate.

No, I’m not going to give you a recipe. Any one of a hundred standard cookery books has one. That is not the reason Christine did not bother to make her own. She and her kind have lots of cookery books–most with colorful pictures of castles, peasants, media chefs, and markets with bright purple eggsplants–though from the clean state of them, most are unused. You can tell used cookery books: they have blood on the corners of the pages, brilliant saffron stains on the cover, and fish scales stuck in the spine, and the binding is falling off where it got soaked in sauce soubise.

However, it is relevant to point out that making pate is not the difficult. Leaving aside the ones with grand ingredients (goose liver or truffles) and the ones en croute, it’s simply equal parts of lean meat–pork, duck, rabbit, hare, etc.–and of pork fat (some back fat, some soft fat), both chopped or ground up, mixed with garlic herbs, eggs, and alcohol, then cooked in a dish in another dish of water (a bain-marie) for an hour or two till it’s done. the variations come by changing the meats, using different alcohols (brandy, eau-de-vie de prunes, Madeira, red wine, etc.), and chopping the meats more or less fine. Once you have practiced, it’s a half hour’s chopping and mixing. so the reason Christine has not provided her guests with a decent pate is simply that she is too lazy to spend to trouble buying the ingredients and begrudges the half hour’s work.

Perhaps she prefers to do something else, indulging herself rather than serving the best interests of her guests. If we are gracious, we must own that perhaps she is nervous. But then practice and habit can vanquish novelty and nerves, so all that means is she is too lazy to practice. Anyway, Christine is no spring chicken. At 45 she’s had years to practice. Any woman who is not turning out a range of good pates by the time she is 25 should ask herself whether she was serious about her marriage vows.


Do you begin to get the point? Not quite? Then let me tell you that Christine and Bill Stephenson are a respectable and charming conservative couple. He is a pillar of the business community. They have two well educated girls. They believe in patriotism, personal responsibility, manners, excellence, tradition, good habits–until they get in the kitchen. Somehow there they think you can get away with second best, you can put your own ideas ahead of the great traditions, you can conceal the inadequate by dressing it up, you can do things without practice and commitment. You may legitimately inflict on your guests boring pate with raspberries.

It is not so. The effect of laziness, sloppy standards, cultural relativism, and the other garbage of “progress” is as damaging in the kitchen as in business or national life. This “progressive” cooking is also the work of most cookery writers who collude in the subversion of standards by telling their readers how they can get away with the least effort, how they can substitute this ingredient for that if they fell like it, how they can construct meals which will leave them free to gossip with guests rather those most enjoyable for the guests. But it is time for the counter-revolution. This column will be about cooking to conservative principles.

Mr. Anderson is a food columnist for The Spectator (London), and the author of The Spectator Book of Imperative Cooking.

Comments Off on Pate: a conservative manifesto

Training for perfection: olympic athletes train to be the best in the world. Here’s how the olympic spirit can help you be your best. (focus)

Tara Lipinski makes the triple toe loop look easy. Starting with a turn, Tara “toes in” by jamming her left skate toe hard against the ice. “You take off backwards and do three rotations with legs and arms crossed, and you land on the right foot,” says Tara. “Everything has to be pretty precise.”

In 1998 Tara’s precision, poise, and persistence paid off. At age 15, Tara became the youngest figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal.

>>> View more:

Ever since she was little, Tara thought, “I’m going to be at the Olympics some day. I’m going to do what I need to do.” And she did. “Your dreams are so important,” says Tara. Having confidence and faith that you can accomplish them gets you going in the right direction.

The 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City are just around the corner. Current Health 2 talked with some Olympic hopefuls about how they train for success. Catch the Olympic spirit and improve your life.



Kelly Hilliman wants to win an Olympic medal in aerial skiing. Along the way, Kelly sets many goals. These include improved skills for different areas, accomplishments during summer training, and target scores and results for winter competitions. “To me, goal setting is key not only in sports, but also in life,” says Kelly. “This helps keep me focused and on track to becoming a champion.”

I set achievable goals for myself,” agrees fellow aerial skier Corey Hacker. “If they come easily, I adjust them to push myself a bit. If they seem out of reach, I simplify them and set smaller goals to reach the big picture.”


Dreams don’t come true overnight. They take time and commitment. For Tara Lipinski, that meant moving to a different city. It meant training five to six hours a day.

If you really want to be the best at what you’re doing, it’s going to take a lot of extra time, a lot of work, and a lot of hard training,” says speedskater Joey Cheek. Joey trains between four and eight hours a day. Sessions include warm-ups, stretching, and weight training, plus lots of drills and laps. Often the team does a 50-mile bike ride too. “There are definitely mornings when you wake up and don’t want to get out of bed,” admits Joey, “but the benefits far outweigh any extra hardships.”

Nineteen-year-old Carolyn Treacy hopes to win the biathlon–a long cross-country ski race with target shooting. Carolyn starts each morning with a warm-up jog and stretching. Next come muscle-strengthening exercises and more stretching. Then Carolyn skis or roller-skis for up to four hours. After lunch and rest, Carolyn practices “dry firing”–going through the motions of target shooting. Another exercise session follows. “After dinner, you can be normal for a while,” says Carolyn. But, she adds, “You have to go to bed early enough so that you’re not tired the next day.”


Most teens don’t have time for such intense training. Yet physical fitness can be part of everyone’s life. Exercise keeps the heart and lungs healthy and builds muscle. It strengthens bones and joints, and it helps keep weight at a healthy level.

Exercise provides mental benefits too. It perks you up when you’re sleepy. It helps you to sleep soundly at night. Plus, exercise relieves stress and frustration. And when you feel good, you look good.

Need help getting started? Try the buddy system. “If you want to start lifting weights, do it with a friend,” suggests luge athlete Brenna Margol. “That support of someone else is very helpful.”

Teamwork can help fine tune your technique. “Some of us are better on straightaways and some of us are better on the turns,” notes Joey Cheek. “You can learn from one another that way.”

Elite athletes include different types of training in their routine. Follow their example in your own exercise routine.

First, stretch. Stretching builds flexibility and keeps you limber. Always start and end exercise sessions with stretching. (Remember: Never bounce on a stretched muscle!)

Next, sustained aerobic exercise builds endurance to keep you gong. Increase activities gradually. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, most days a week. Push yourself farther at least once a week.


Careful weight exercises build muscle tone and strength. Learn how to tone muscles, and practice on alternate days.

“The more flexibility, strength, and endurance you have, the more likely you are to outlast your competitor,” says skier Kelly Hilliman. “Most importantly, they all help to prevent injury.”

Good physical fitness promotes a faster recovery. Just four months after a liver transplant in 2000, Chris Klug was snowboarding again. And Tara Lipinski has had an amazing recovery from hip surgery. “Without having trained so hard for so many years and being so mentally strong, I would never have gotten back as quickly as I did,” says Tara.



During summer training in Chile, snowboarder Chris Klug has on-snow training sessions, video analysis, dry-land strength and endurance activities, and fun team activities. He also packs equipment care and physical therapy sessions into his busy day. “The rest of the time I’m eating everything I can get my hands on,” says Chris. “You burn a lot of calories at 10,000 feet.”

In a normal day I may eat 5,000 to 6,000 calories,” says Joey Cheek. “Just because you’re training so much, you expend so much energy. Then you want to keep or add muscle mass.”

Your calorie requirements are probably less than these athletes’. But your body still needs fuel for its activities. It’s not just calories that count, either. Smart food choices make a huge difference.

My main focus is to get as many high quality calories as possible,” says Joey. “It’s lots of carbohydrates, lots of proteins, and low-fat food, for the most part.”

The Food Guide Pyramid is a good basis for eating,” says Dr. Robert Dimeff of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Aim for 6 to 11 daily servings of whole-grain carbohydrates such as breads, cereals, and rice. Include 5 to 9 servings of vegetables and fruits. Eat 1 to 2 servings of protein. Get in 3 to 4 servings of dairy or other calcium-rich foods. Use fats and sweets sparingly.


Tara Lipinski strongly supports the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “When you’re on the ice, sports stamina is so important, and smoking would just make it 10 times harder,” she says.

Tara’s grandfather smoked for decades and recently died from emphysema. “A lot of kids think, `Oh, it won’t affect me years from now,’ but it does,” says Tara. “My grandfather is one to show for it.” Smoking also causes other lung diseases, heart disease, and cancer.

Alcohol and other drugs also prevent peak performance–both in sports and otherwise. “Anything a person may be taking may have a role in performance,” warns Dr. Dimeff.

Alcohol and other depressants, for example, slow nervous system functions. They impair coordination and concentration and increase the risk of injury.

Stimulants are also dangerous. They may provide a boost of energy, but they make users jittery, nervous, and unfocused. And both stimulants and depressants present a host of long- and short-term health problems, including addiction.


Elite athletes don’t just rely on their bodies for success; they also use their minds. “To stay focused I visualize my jumps in my mind over and over the perfect way,” says Kelly Hilliman. “I stay positive and ready for whatever comes my way.”

Staying calm helps. Olympic hopefuls keep cool in competition. “When I’m taking my first run, I’m not thinking about my second run,” says Brenna Margol. Rather, she stays focused on the task at hand. And if one run doesn’t go well, she puts it behind her and focuses on doing her best the next time.

You could miss all your targets the first time you shoot,” notes biathlete Carolyn Treacy. “But you just can’t give out during the race.” After all, her competitors could miss too, and Carolyn wants to make the most of every opportunity.


“My sport is like a roller coaster. Sometimes you’re on top and other times you’re way down on the bottom,” says skier Corey Hacker. “You must be dedicated and disciplined to work through the valleys.”

Find something you like, but realize that it’s not going to be fun all the time,” advises Carolyn. “And it won’t be fun unless you put some work into it, because most kids want to improve and get better.”

There’s always frustration,” admits Tara Lipinski. “The next day always seems a little bit better.”

These athletes’ advice applies to everything in life. Focus on goals and be persistent. Maintain a positive outlook, even when success doesn’t come easily. Do all the right preparation and learn from every experience. Then you can be proud of yourself, whatever you try.

“I feel so lucky to be able to test myself like this, to be able to go out and try to push the envelope at every turn,” says snowboarder Chris Klug. “It’s more fun winning, but it makes it even sweeter in the end if you’ve lost a few and bounced back.”



Let the Olympics inspire you to try a new sport this winter. Is there a downhill ski area near your home? Take a ski lesson and first try an easy hill.

No hills around? Try cross-country skiing. It’s a great way to work out while enjoying nature.

Find out if any areas offer sledding or tobogganing. Even carrying those sleds can be quite a workout.

Don’t rule out running and walking, either. Get shoes or boots that allow good traction. Then dress in layers and brave the elements. Fresh air feels great!

Even if you live in a warmer climate, you can still enjoy winter fun. Indoor ice rinks around the country provide opportunities for figure skating or speed skating. Or, perhaps you’d enjoy hockey.

Whatever you choose, learn and follow all safety rules. “Safety is number one. Don’t try anything you know you’re not capable of,” stresses aerial skier Corey Hacker. “Always wear the appropriate padding and safety equipment, no matter how funny you think it looks.”


Gold medallists get the most media attention. But most Olympic
athletes won't win medals. Rather than dwelling on frustration,
great athletes assess themselves realistically.

For example, the United States senior women's luge team is the
youngest on the circuit. But Courtney Zablocki and Brenna Margol
aren't down about it.

"You have to learn how to set realistic goals," says Brenna.
"Realistically, right now, we're setting goals of top 10, top 8." With
time and experience, the women plan to shift their goals higher.
"We have a lot to look forward to, just because we are so young,"
says Courtney.

List three goals you want to accomplish during the coming year.
Pick things that are challenging, but achievable.

1. --

2. --

3. --

Training can be tiring. "If you just keep working through your
tiredness, you get a lot of pride out of knowing that you finished
and you didn't give up," says Courtney.

Describe a situation in which you are often tempted to quit when
you get tired. Write down two ways to encourage yourself to keep
going the next time.

1. --

2. --

"One of my favorite quotes is, `Whenever you fall, pick something
up,'" says Brenna. "Basically, learn from every mistake you

List two mistakes you made recently. Note what each experience
has taught you for the future.

1. --

2. --


There are days when I absolutely do not feel like getting up and getting out there and training,” says Sarah Will. “Yet once I decide to do it and get done with the workout, I just feel so much better.”

Sarah could have made many excuses not to exercise. A 1988 skiing accident left her paralyzed from the hips down. But, says Sarah, “Sitting around didn’t suit me.” Within a year she started learning to monoski.

Sarah certainly hasn’t sat around. She’s won gold medals in the Paralympics and other competitions for disabled alpine skiers. She also enjoys mountain climbing and mountain biking.

“So much of what I do physically, whether recreationally or being in a gym, makes my life easier,” says Sarah. “The stronger you are, the easier it is to carry yourself around–and that’s true for anybody. The more you do, the better you feel.”

In competitions, Sarah zooms down hills at 60 miles an hour or more. “It’s not that I’m fearless,” she says. “It’s that I’ve learned to manage my fear, and that’s all you can do.”

Often I learn more from my failures than my successes,” reflects Sarah. She’s learned not to make the same mistakes again. Experience also develops better problem-solving skills. And it teaches Sarah about herself.

Really, it’s all about knowing your limits, and pushing yourself to face your limitations,” says Sarah. “And once you get to a certain point, you can go beyond what you thought you were capable of.”

I would hope that everybody could see a little bit of themselves in me,” adds Sarah. “You know, we all have inconveniences in our lives. And everything is there for us. We just have to know how to reach our goals.”

Sarah Will, Skier



Some athletes and trainers try to win by “doping”– using banned drugs. However, doping causes serious physical and psychological side effects.

The International Olympic Committee Medical Commission bans more than seven dozen chemical substances. They include:

* Anabolic steroids. Based on the male hormone testosterone, anabolic steroids promote muscle bulk. Women’s side effects include facial hair, bulking up, and other masculine traits. Males experience decreased sexual drive, sterility, and smaller testicle size. Both genders risk liver disease and psychological problems like “‘roid rage.”

* Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Athletes taking HGH want higher testosterone production so they can bulk up more. The drug also promotes longer bones. Side effects include diabetes, hepatitis, and pituitary gland disorders.

* Stimulants. Amphetamines and other stimulants make users feel temporarily energized. However, many stimulants are addictive. Other side effects include irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and possible heart failure.

* Erythropoietin (EPO). Users take EPO to stimulate red blood cell production so blood can carry more oxygen. But thicker blood can lead to clots, strokes, heart attacks, and even death.

Beyond all these risks, doping denigrates the integrity of sports. It also destroys an athlete’s self-respect. “Basically, you’re not winning because you’ve put all your effort into it. You’re winning because of something else,” explains luge athlete Courtney Zablocki. “If you were taking steroids and you won, it wouldn’t be the same. You’re lying to yourself.”

Besides, athletes undergo testing. “If you use a banned substance, you’re going to get caught,” says Courtney. “And I don’t think that’s worth it at all.”


1. How can setting goals in athletics–and in life–help a person to succeed? (Setting achievable yet challenging goals for yourself can help you stay focused and moving in the right direction.)

2. Identify some of the things that some world-class athletes have to do to be able to meet their commitment to their sport–besides long hours of practice. (move to a different city to train, endure prolonged rehabilitation and training after surgery, bear unexpected expenses, etc.)

3. How can a buddy help you in the process of working toward your fitness goals? (provide support, help with motivation, teach techniques)


* Assign students to prepare a biography of a contemporary athlete, focusing on evidence of that person’s commitment to excel in his or her particular sport. (See tips in News You Can Use.)

* Assign students to investigate one of the several dozen banned substances in Olympic competition. One way to do this is to go to the Web site of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an independent foundation built on the idea of promoting fair play in athletics worldwide. The site (www. includes a complete list of banned substances and explanatory letters.

* A possible topic for debate is given on the home page of the WADA site: “Cannabinoids (marijuana and hashish) are currently tested in the Olympics. Should an athlete be punished for doping offense, if tested positive?” Have the students break into teams and debate the issue.

Comments Off on Training for perfection: olympic athletes train to be the best in the world. Here’s how the olympic spirit can help you be your best. (focus)