Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Beauty of a Song...

Singer, Laurnea
Profile of a Songstress, Laurnea, By Editor,
Xina Sy

"Beauty is a lot of things! Butterflies, baby's eyes, a day in the sun, loving someone..."

...This taken directly from the lyrics of one of her songs, is an accurate depiction of Singer, songwriter, Laurnea. Her personal & professional style is gently consistent with the entertainment & personal brand of who she really is. She is beauty! Her natural, low hair cut, which she wears proudly, defines her ethnicity & cultural heritage. Her small, petite frame is an inadequate representation of the big, bold, powerful presence she exudes. The silky, sultry sound of her voice, with its melodic message, opens your heart & mind & relaxes your being & leaves you wanting more!

She is currently working on her 6th CD & allotted some time to The BBB! to talk about music, beauty, & positive body & self image...

The BBB: How did you get started singing?
Laurnea: I started singing in church like a lot of black folks did. At the age of 10 was my first solo and every Sunday after that some time during the service the pastor would say, "I just wanna hear that little Laurnea sing LORD KEEP ME DAY BY DAY!"
The BBB: How do you feel music soothes the soul & plays into positive body & self image?
Laurnea: Music is universal and understood by many all over the world!  I am hoping my music is for healing or to make someone feel better about life. I try to write songs that make you think and feel that life is positive and that you can accomplish what ever it is you go after!  I live without fear of anything!
The BBB: How do you define real beauty?
Laurnea:Beauty is a lot of things!  A quote from one of my songs says, "...butterflies , baby's  eyes, a day  in the sun, loving someone... kind words, sweet harmonic tunes, the smell of your clothes, on the beach, singing a song, honesty of what you feel, that little dress when I was 3, Mommas chest( when she is no longer around to hug),.. Being able to live here and love here is beauty!"

The BBB: What are your thoughts on positive body image?
Laurnea: I think it is most important to keep yourself healthy a fit and eat well in order for your natural inner beauty to shine. I have been a Vegan for 30 years and  believe whole heartily,  "...You are what you eat and think,  so be so very careful what you put in your mouth and what you feed your mind!"

The BBB: What are you currently working on & where are you going next?
Laurnea: I AM WORKING ON MY 6TH CD WHICH WILL BE FINISHED IN A FEW WEEKS!!! It is a house /dance CD that I am really excited about! Then in a few months, after that project, I will release another project ( neo soul genre) and I'm just gonna hit um hard! I think I am well overdue for a new project here in the states. My next stop is overseas to Germany to do a musical in July, but I am also working in film and T.V.
The BBB: What impact do you want your music to have as a whole?
Laurnea:  Just to spread love through song for healing and make someone happy. Just like in my song Happy: it says... "THE REASON WHY I SING IS CAUSE I FEELING HAPPY. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL..."

For more info on Laurnea & her musicology, visit: www.reverbnation.com/laurnea, or check her out on www.myspace,com/laurnea. 
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Such a Lovely Girl...

Singer, Ivy Love
An Interview with Singer & Bizness Womyn, Ivy Love
By Editor Xina Sy

"Sexy is the way you feel & the energy you exude when you are comfortable with yourself. I'm just comfortable with ME!"

Singer, reality-tv star, & bizness woman, Ivy Love does not consider her Self to be unconventional by any means! She believes she is just as natural as the next girl; just a little more FREE!  "I like to walk around naked. I like my skin to breathe. I am a nudist," proclaims the free-spirited singer-songwriter. "I also host swinger parties because I want others to feel free too," says Love about her chosen lifestyle as a Free Love Queen. 

My dialog with the very sizzling hot chica is as laid back as she is. Her vibe relaxes you & puts you at ease even through the pages of emails & instant messaging. Her answers to questions are straight forward & unassuming & you get the idea pretty quickly that there is absolutely nothing pretentious about this Sensual Diva. Ivy Love is as real as it gets & so are her philosophies on love, sex, bizness, & being body positive. What else would she be? She loves herself easily & effortlessly & without reservation...& she exudes that love through her music, her clothing line created by Mouth Watering Apparel, & through her very public persona; all unashamedly. You might not agree with her values...but somehow you just gotta love her!

XS: How do you define beauty?
LOVE: Beauty comes from within. Eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle enhances your beauty and the longevity of your beautiful life! I don't even wear make up, unless its for events or for a show because I feel make up is for the stage. What you see is what you get with me! I like being natural.
XS: You seem pretty comfortable with your body! What are your thoughts on being body-positive?
LOVE: Everyone in this world is made differently and that is what makes us unique and special. I believe when you are healthy and live a healthy lifestyle your body will look great. At any size! I will have models of varying sizes in my fashion shows, because I feel all women should be able to wear lingerie and feel comfortable and sexy. True beauty comes from the inside and radiates outward, regardless of size. Read more on Love under pic -->

Ivy Love's Clothing Designs Released Under Mouth Watering Apparel
XS: How did you get the idea to start your clothing line with Mouth Watering Apparel?
LOVE: First of all Mouthwatering Apparel came to me after seeing my music video and asked me if they could make me some Ivy Love gear. They said, "Nothing is more mouthwatering than Ivy love!" Thank you very much!! They claimed they could custom design anything that I wanted to wear and make it for my people to wear! I first asked them to make shirts for my guys that said "Ballin w\ Ivy Love"  because my main following is males from 18-34. The rest just evolved into a line.
XS: How did the lingerie line come into play?
LOVE: I am a nudist and enjoy being free. But I also like clothes that make me feel sexy. So, I was then able to go in to the shop and custom design my own lingerie line with the designer. I wanted to make lingerie that is comfortable to wear and something you can wear in the privacy of your home and also out and about if you like... I only have two of the designs from them as of now!! But is will be out soon!

XS: What about your music? How did you get started? 
LOVE:   I first started singing when I was a little girl with a deodorant  stick in front of the mirror when I was 3 years old. A great teacher of mine made me learn opera in highschool and I also learned to sing in German, French and Italian. I have been making Ivy Love Music for 2 years and I love it. I am a performer and have an excellent message to give to the world. What motivates my music is the power to be able to influence the masses through song... with a great message of peace, love, and acceptance...

For more information on Ivy Love, her music, & her clothing line, be sure to log onto: www.ivylovemusic.com & www.mouthwateringapparel.com hit her up on twitter at www.twitter.com/ivyloves . Click link to check out her latest video, for her latest single, Meeting of The Minds.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hippy & Healthy

Model, Teslyn Butler
Continued Dialog with Model Teslyn Butler & Editor Xina Sy

Hippy & Healthy is her motto, but its more than that & it is obvious in her style & in her own life. Model, Teslyn Butler is doing more than talking about health & empowerment for women & young girls; she is living it! In her work as a model, through working with The Girl Scouts, & through her own organization; her life theme is beauty & wellness. I had the opportunity to chat it up with her recently as we shared on everything from the pros and cons of the plus size modeling industry to love & relationships. This is part two of that dialog...

XS: So, tell us more about your .com Hippy & Healthy?
TB: Hippy & Healthy is about helping women & girls feel good about the bodies they have! It is about improved self-esteem, but its also about being healthy. Vibrant beauty only comes from good health & good health happens when we really love ourselves.
XS: What types of projects or programs does Hippy & Healthy offer?
TB: We address self esteem issues through multi-media efforts by providing reading materials, web videos, & radio segments; all offering information & advice on health & beauty related topics that concern women & girls.
XS: We have talked a lot about your work! What about your personal life? How do you feel positive body image effects & impacts love & relationships?
TB: I believe that you've got to be secure in who you are to be fully available to be involved with someone else! Confidence is the most attractive thing to me. My current Love Interest loves my confidence, but sometimes I feel my beauty is taken for granted! Don't get me wrong! I don't need anybody to boost my ego...but I also enjoy hearing, "You're beautiful." I think because of the industry that I'm in, men sometimes take for granted that I hear that all the time. Yes, but its nice to hear it from the one you love too!

"I believe that you've got to be secure in who you are to be fully available to be involved with someone else! Confidence is the most attractive thing to me." 

XS: Teslyn, what's next for you? What's on the horizon of your career? Personal goals?
TB: Wow! There are so many wonderful opportunities available to me right now! My career is going well. I have really been blessed in this industry. I have met so many great people & been given a lot of good work! What's next? All the goodness that comes with being truly happy with where you are in life! I am Hippy & Healthy & truly Happy!

The southern belle...born in Monticello, Arkansas booked her first modeling gig on her own at the tender age of 13.  Teslyn is currently signed with Status Model Management and has appeared on NBC, WCIU, and Sylistic Hair & Beauty TV just to name a few.  
Teslyn is a passionate, driven, and ambitious plus model, with an extraordinary zeal for her craft. But, she's not only a pretty face,Teslyn has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology she will continue her education by pursuing her doctoral degree, while still modeling. Teslyn will use her education to specialize in body image and eating disorders. For more info on her work & her career visit: www.hippyandhealthy.com & www.teslynbutler.com

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When Beauty Is A Plus+

A Dialog on Real Beauty Between Plus Size Model,
Teslyn Butler & Editor, Xina Sy

"The plus size industry in particular has impacted body image in both a positive & negative way."

Thus began my dialog with model & bizness woman, Teslyn Butler! I happened upon her & her vision, Hippy and Healthy.com, purely by accident! But, I believe in fate! I was researching the plus-size modeling industry & was looking for someone to talk about the real deal & what's really going on in an industry that claims to be promoting & representing REAL women, but seemingly continues to contribute to the overall concept of surface, shallow images of women in the media.

During my dialog with this beautiful-inside-&-out sister, I was amazed to learn that, even within the plus size modeling industry women are discriminated against. The industry actually considers sizes 8, 10, & 12 to be plus size and models sizes 14 & 16 work more, while models sizes 18 & above are harder to book for jobs! Teslyn shared openly about dieting to get down from a size 18 to a solid 16 so that she could find work. "It was frustrating, but I just wasn't getting the jobs," shared Butler during our interview. "I love modeling & I love this industry, but there are somethings that can really wear on you!" Read Part I of our dialog below the pic-->

Since the average woman in America is now a size 16, it would seem that an industry set up to target those women would depict itself in a more real way in an effort to reflect real women. One might think. But, one would be wrong! Even within the "plus size" market-- the contradiction of messages about real beauty still prevails & perplexes us all!

XS: How did you get into modeling?
TB: Actually, my first experience in the modeling industry was a scam! My parents took me to an open call in Dallas and they just wanted money! But, it peaked my interest in the industry and so I decided to get serious about it and really pursue it.
XS: Were you always a "plus sized model?"
TB: Yes! I always remember being fuller-figured. I haven't been small since I was 8 years old! I've always been a 'big girl,' (it) runs in my family.
XS: You have been getting a lot of work in your field and have been a part of some really great commercial projects! What has your overall experience been within the modeling industry?
TB: I have to say that my general experience has been mostly positive! I have been really blessed! I work quite a bit and I have been really successful. But, it has also been frustrating when I have to deal with agencies that claim there just isn't a need for plus size models! It's discriminatory.
XS: Most models talk about the need to diet & stay slim, but I would think for fuller-figured models, that dieting would not be an issue. Is that the case?
TB: Absolutely not! I went through a period where I had to diet to get to a solid size 16 because I was not being booked while my size was just an 18. But, I also understand that I am a walking advertisement, so I have to always take care of myself so that I am a true representative of real beauty.
XS: But, don't you feel that within an exceptional category there should be some different guidelines as it pertains to size?
TB: Yes & no. If you understand the industry & understand that the average model is a size 0, 2, or 4 & that size 6 models are trying to lose weight--then you understand that a size 12 is considered pretty large. Its all just kind of relative.
XS: Does it feel fully representative of real beauty to you?
TB: Well, the modeling industry is just another part of the media & the media isn't a real medium. But, I do feel that I, personally, represent real women & am sending a message of beauty & empowerment to young women...which is really important to me!
XS: This message is why you created your organization, Hippy and Healthy?
TB: The message for young girls is exactly why I created the organization. It also fits with my work with the Girl Scouts and The Dove Campaign collaborative for real beauty & self esteem. So, my whole life is about empowering young women to feel good about themselves! I want to assist women & young girls in knowing that they are beautiful just as they are & also provide resources that help to get to the root causes of low self esteem; to deal with insecurities.
XS: Do you have insecurities?
TB: (Laughing) I use to be insecure about my butt! But, not anymore! I am really at a place where I just feel good about all of who I am!

Please check back Thursday for Part II of my dialog with plus size model Teslyn Butler, when she shares more on her work with women & girls, her philosophy on love & relationships, & what's next on the horizon for this emerging beauty...Feel free to leave a comment below! & Register as a Follower-->