One more thing to add to your resume

Did you know you already have a job, yes you heard that right and you didn’t even need a degree!

We are all Journalists.

There is no doubt society is becoming more interlinked and communication networks have become more sophisticated and complex. The unique vantage of these developments not only encourage participation but also; freedom of speech, gives the reader a unique insight into the perspectives of the writer and it also empowers those to break away from oppression and have their voices heard like we saw during the Egyptian revolution.

Image courtesy of: http://chrismenning.tumblr.com/post/3105713832
Image courtesy of: http://chrismenning.tumblr.com/post/3105713832

Internet access, networking and social media have allowed us to gain several insights from several angles on any issue, permitting us to instantaneously gain and develop a holistic understanding on a specific matter or situation.

This is Monica Grace and you have just been graced by Monica!

Winter wonderland

*This blog post was not sponsored*

I hope you read this while sipping a hot chocolate or a warm cup of coffee. Yum !

When I think of winter beauty, I think of the three L’s; Lips, Lashes and Liner. No one knows how to work it better than our bad girl Rihanna!

dark

simple eyes

Here are a few beauty must haves for this winter.

Deep red, purple, wine or plum lips colours have the ability to amplify a look in an instant or as Drake would say ‘0 to 100 real quick’. Here are a few of my current favourites.

Shanghai Suzy Matte lipstick in "miss kitty Black plum" FYI this smells soo good !
Shanghai Suzy Matte lipstick in “miss kitty Black plum” FYI this smells soo good !
Mac lipstick in "smoked purple"
Mac lipstick in “smoked purple”
Mac lipstick in 'Sin'
Mac lipstick in ‘Sin’
Revlon super lustrous lips in "va va violet" 663
Revlon super lustrous lips in “va va violet” 663

Now to ensure that you don’t look washed out when rocking a dark lippy, bronzer will become your best friend! Not only will it illuminate and bring warmth to your face but it also adds definition. These are hands down my absolute favourite bronzers!

Benefits 'Hoola' bronzer
Benefits ‘Hoola’ bronzer
The balm "Betty-Lou Manizer"
The balm “Betty-Lou Manizer”                                                      

Eye makeup should be kept simple and clean. For a crisp, clean and precise line use a felt tip pen liner. This will give you more control over the thickness and style of the liner.

Kat Von d "tattoo" liner
Kat Von d “tattoo” liner
Cover girls "line exact" liquid liner .
Cover girls “line exact” liquid liner .

And to top off the look and your winter makeup bag coat your lashes in some of my current favourite mascaras !

Benefit "they're real" mascara.
Benefit “they’re real” mascara.
Two faced "better than sex" mascara
Two faced “better than sex” mascara (yes you read that right !)

These two mascaras amplify the length of your lashes and add thickness, depending on how many coats you apply.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! If you try or have tried any of these products let me know what you think in the comment section below.

This is Monica grace and you have just been Graced by Monica!

*These images do not belong to me*

Did curiosity really kill the cat ?

Media Mythbusting: Television Makes You Fat

Did curiosity kill the cat?

Image courtesy of: http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/65944562 "Curiosity killed the cat" by Gouacheman
Image courtesy of: http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/65944562 “Curiosity killed the cat” by Gouacheman

We are a selfish, self-obsessed, narcissistic, superficial society!

Well at least that’s how the media reflects civilisation and although this statement is exceedingly ambiguous, there is some truth behind it.

These bizarre traits stem from our innate need to be morbidly curious. The Oxford dictionary defines curiosity as “a strong desire to know or learn something”, “an unusual or interesting fact”. The media plays on our instinctive desires for vile content, our enthralment with the macabre and our deep infatuation for anything ominous. “We are paradoxically drawn to some pretty repulsive things; car accidents, fights, celebrity scandal, drama, disfiguration, true crime, war and gore” as Michael from Vsause explains. The media plays on these psychological tendencies and anxieties by feeding our compulsions, sensationalising abhorrent scenarios and further adding to the allure of our curiosity.

The concept of morbid curiosity cannot be taken at face value. These natural impulses date back from the beginning of human history, “Philosophers and psychoanalysts have long debated the lure of the morbid” (Burkeman, 2012)(Now bear with me for a minute, this part of the post gets really sciencey).There are neurological foundations that explain this phenomenon. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in our brain that is released when we experience some form of pleasure such as consuming food. They are also released in conjunction with other chemicals when a person is in threat of danger, triggering the fight or flight response, “Physically and mentally preparing us to take on a threat or successfully escape from it”(Vsauce, 2015). These euphoric and ecstasy-like feelings encourage us to continually seek out these activities. As a result addiction is made possible, it is described as “a self-destructive human tendency”. The media in-turn uncover such ‘addictive’ content knowing full well that, we the audience thrive off such stories.

The media must constantly re-invent itself and its content as the audience may become bored, unfazed and desensitised. A study by Gene-Jack Wang on obese patients found that the “dopamine sensation levels dilute” as food is no longer fulfilling, resulting in little or no sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. We the audience can take a liking to the obese patients being fed ungratifying content as our receptors dilute and become obsolete. Communication between the media and the audience gives a clear indication into what content has become redundant and what information is wanted and sort after.

The media understands these changes and anxieties through the strong feedback offered by the public in response to the broadcasted content. This can in-turn increase the accuracy of the message from the media (Leavitt, Mueller, 1951). The infamous ‘red barn murder case’ was increasingly popular due to its obscure nature which was increasingly dramatised and heightened by the media. This case would forever change the way the media investigates and produces content. The hype and popularity surrounding the case made breaches of privacy by the media more justifiable and to some extent more acceptable, we the audience /public essentially dictate what the media produces and how the message is delivered.

Ultimately maybe it’s our need to belong and connect that drives us to do what we do, “our attraction to the macabre is, on some level, a desire to experience someone else’s suffering.” We yearn to empathise – a yearning that is, incidentally, perfectly compatible with the evolutionary argument, since empathy helps us forge close bonds, which are essential for survival” (Burkeman, 2012).I would even go far as to say that the media is an “extension of ourselves” and our psyche (McLuhan, 1964).

Oh and if you’re still wondering,

The answer is no, curiosity did not kill the cat…

It killed itself.

This is Monica grace and you have just been Graced by Monica.

References:

David and Aurelio, DS, AG, (2003). Dopamine transport currents are promoted from curiosity to physiology. Trends in neurosciences, vol.26 issue 4, pp173-176.

This column will change your life: morbid curiosity | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian. 2015. This column will change your life: morbid curiosity | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jul/27/morbid-curiosity-change-life-burkeman

Why Are We Morbidly Curious? – YouTube. 2015. Why Are We Morbidly Curious? – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbdMMI6ty0o.

Your DNA loves horror movies | ScienceNordic. 2015. Your DNA loves horror movies | ScienceNordic. [ONLINE] Available at:http://sciencenordic.com/your-dna-loves-horror-movies.

Addiction: Pay Attention | Psychology Today. 2015. Addiction: Pay Attention | Psychology Today. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200411/addiction-pay-attention.

BCM110 lectures

Raising Monobrows

Raising Monobrows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hwMlUHC4b8

(Click the link before you start reading!)

Did you just see that?

Umm-okay, let’s all just take a moment to breathe…

*I’m in too much shock to breathe*

Not only am I confused but I’m also very much horrified. Where do I even begin??

Eyebrows, their should be more than one of them, hence why there is an ‘s’ at the end of the word. It’s plural for a reason!

Eyebrows are the quintessential feature on the human face. Eyebrows are the momentous arches that extenuate and enhance the eyes. Eyebrows “are a powerful tool used to better verbal and non verbal communication” (Tuttle, 2011).“Eyebrows are like punctuation marks to your emotions”(Tuttle, 2011). In other words, eyebrows are meant to be on fleek.

Okay I think you get my point.

Having two eyebrows is so last season! With the likes of Cara Delevingne, Brooke Shields, Audrey Hepburn and the ever-evolving influence of high fashion and avant-garde the monobrow can be considered somewhat normal, striking and beautiful. The repercussion of such influences have catapulted and granted permission for such extremities to be classified as “beautiful”. In some sense I highly respect the notion of breaking the rules of fashion, as Alexander McQueen the king of Avant-garde once explained, “You have to know the rules to break them”.

This specific trend has elevated the perpetual and ever changing nature of eyebrow trends “Models in Milan, Paris and London fashion week have show cased these new beauty trends” (Bianca, 2015). The monobrow remains by most “highly unorthodox” and a rebellious style against its predecessors.

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2979311/Panda-eyes-kinked-quiffs-MONOBROWS-quirky-fashion-week-beauty-trends-rocking-come-autumn.html
Photo Courtesy of: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2979311/Panda-eyes-kinked-quiffs-MONOBROWS-quirky-fashion-week-beauty-trends-rocking-come-autumn.html

Personally, I like having two eyebrows, but non-the less for those who love experimenting and trying new things I say go for it! You also save money by not getting your eyebrows tamed and besides the idea of what is considered beautiful is constantly changing, I look forward the next big craze.

P.s Thank heavens that the NYX unibrow gel was just an april fools joke !

This is Monica grace and you have just been Graced by Monica!

References:

Tuttle, CT, 2011. Raising Eyebrows. 1st ed. San Francisco: chronicle books

Panda eyes, kinked quiffs and MONOBROWS: The quirky fashion week beauty trends we will all be rocking come autumn | Daily Mail Online. 2015.Panda eyes, kinked quiffs and MONOBROWS: The quirky fashion week beauty trends we will all be rocking come autumn | Daily Mail Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2979311/Panda-eyes-kinked-quiffs-MONOBROWS-quirky-fashion-week-beauty-trends-rocking-come-autumn.html

NYX Unibrow – YouTube. 2015. NYX Unibrow – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hwMlUHC4b8.

Frankenstein’s bird

Week 2: The medium is the message: trajectories of convergence

Twitter! Need I say more….

Well actually I do.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think ‘the medium is the message’ is twitter! It has all the elements of a “mutated existing medium” (Mitew, 2015). You’re probably staring at the screen thinking I’ve lost the plot and have no idea what I’m saying, but hear me out. There are three founding behaviours that twitter has which constitute this notion of mutation and that is; scale, pace and pattern. These factors “indicate the presence of new change” (Mitew, 2015). The twitter phenomenon has allowed consumers to become active participants in sharing everything from news to the latest fashion trends, in a nifty one hundred and forty characters or less setup. This allows the content/ message to be shared quickly, instantaneously and internationally, thus providing an effective and efficient means of exchanging information/ content. The friendly and sophisticated format swiftly manages the flow of content encouraging conversation and the spread of news. In other words you can call twitter the mutated offspring of the world wide web. What do you think? Is twitters setup a message in itself?

This is Monica grace and you have just been graced by Monica!

Is a picture really worth 1000 words?

Media Myth-busting 1: The image cannot lie

Is a picture really worth 1000 words?

*This article may contain distressing images, viewer discretion is advised*

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words but we both know that’s a lie. One thousand words is an overtly righteous understatement!

Can we even put a number on it?

My point being, an image cannot be restricted or limited to a number of words as each and every person will have a varied interpretation; depending on factors such as personal context, level of noise surrounding them and the communication method used to view the sign or image.

A Spanish artist by the name of Luis Quiles has formulated art works that have been described as “empathetic portrayals of reality” (Art Fido, 2014). He has combined his passion for art and illustrations with his growing trepidations and forebodings for this sex and media crazed society. Earth porm, an online forum goes on to describe Quiles’ work as “Raw and blunt”, these words are quite accurate portrayals of his work if you ask me! His artworks mirror the “undiscussed truths” of a disturbed and anxious filled society. Similarly He parallels this notion of the underlying threats of the advances in technology just like in the 18th century with the introduction of gothic horror by writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Anna ward Radcliff in response to the industrial revolutions and technological advancements. These objectives add to the allure of what is being signified or rather what is being “evoked in the minds”(Turnbull, 2015) of the audience.

BCM110 image
Artwork “I-phonekkake”:courtesy of {http://gunsmithcat.deviantart.com/}

A sign and/or image consist of two main components the denotation (what is actually there) and the connotation (what it means)” (Turnbull, 2015). At first glance this artwork shows a wide-eyed young lady surrounded by men pressing their mobile devices up against the young ladies face who seems unfazed by their actions. One blogger comments and says “the images appear innocent, until you look a little closer and see what’s really going on”(Earth porm, 2014). Literally what I was thinking! Clearly there is deeper meaning than what is portrayed.

Through his work Quiles has had the ability to heighten viewers emotions by sparking feelings of disgust, horror, terror and anguish. These images represent a genuine issue as he explains, “We should seriously ask ourselves if we are controlling technology or technology is controlling us. Sometimes we look like a piece of flesh engaged to a phone”. The image has been further described as “not so far fetched” as we are all aware of the issue but choose to ignore it. Prolonged exposure to sexual content and other graphic images have consequently desensitised society as our tolerance levels have increased (ASAP science 2013). The stimulating nature of the provocative collection of images provide a grotesque interpretation of the effects of social media or rather how WE have articulated, constituted and allowed the media to show such content.

The image is riddled with subliminal messages and embodies the likes of a pornographic movie. The title of the artwork “i-phonekkake ” comes from the merging of two words ‘iPhone’ and ‘Bukkake” (I had to Google what Bukkake meant also it’s not a good idea to click on images before Knowing what it is!!; It originated in Japan in the 1980’s and it is a “sex act portrayed in pornographic films where several men ejaculate on a woman”) Quiles goes on to say “I have chosen the image of a Bukkake because it comes from a nature of punishment and submission”. That’s right you’ve just been hit with another 50 shades of grey reference!

A favourite subject of Quiles artworks are his references to Japanese pop culture, the young girls attire exemplifies these ideas. The wide-eyes represent the “feminised, vulnerable and child-like audience” (Turnbull 2015) that the media has thought about its audience for centuries. This notion of youthfulness is further characterised by the colour of her blouse “white is a colour of absolute transparency and transcendence”(Gabrielle Chanel) a colour pure in nature.

Japanese pop culture is notorious for its obsession with social media and technological advances. The connotations of instantaneous and constant bombardment of social media manifests through the use of dominating white males that represent the creators of these social media platforms. These subtle sexist references elevate our morbid curiosity and “shed light on topics that society has dismissed” overtime.

All in all, I think I’ve proven my point; all images and signs are complex in nature and thus can have infinite definitions and interpretations!

This is Monica grace and you have just been graced by Monica!

References:

http://gunsmithcat.deviantart.com/art/The-I-Phonekkake-464824981

Artist Creates Controversial Illustrations That Mirror the Ugly Side of Society | artFido’s Blog. 2015. Artist Creates Controversial Illustrations That Mirror the Ugly Side of Society | artFido’s Blog. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.artfido.com/blog/artist-creates-controversial-illustrations-that-mirror-the-ugly-side-of-society/.

Spanish Artist Reveals The Ugly Side Of Society In Controversial Illustrations. 2015. Spanish Artist Reveals The Ugly Side Of Society In Controversial Illustrations. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.earthporm.com/spanish-artist-reveals-ugly-side-society-controversial-illustrations/.

The Science of Pornography Addiction (SFW) – YouTube. 2015. The Science of Pornography Addiction (SFW) – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ya67aLaaCc.

BCM110 lectures