Blog | style
- Posted on 09/24/2010 by Mary
TWO WEEKS 'TIL NEW DEGRASSI!! Eeeeeee!
Which means it's time to gear up and get in a Degrassi frame of mind. How 'bout a cast interview?
During Degrassi: The Boiling Point this summer, I did a post about Chantay. And in the comments, people said some really nasty things about her hair -- and some positive things! But the negative things upset me, 'cause I had recently watched the Chris Rock documentary Good Hair, about the pressure African American women feel to straighten their hair, and the expensive, painful hassle they go through to do so.
So I wanted to talk to Jajube Mandiela (who plays Chantay) about why she likes her hair just the way it is. Here's our interview:
OK, so, what's your personal hair history?
Basically, since I was 4, my mom started dreadlocking my hair. So my hair has been in dreadlocks 'til last December . It was pretty long; in all previous seasons that I was in Degrassi, those were dreadlocks, those were all my real hair. 'Cause some people think those were extensions but that's all me!
And then I had it for so long, I was like, 'wait, if I don't ever change... if I don't do it now, while I'm still young, if I wait 'til I'm older I might be too scared to change!' I was curious what my hair was like un-dreadlocked, so I decided to cut it. And I cut it myself! One by one, which was awkward, but fun! And then I was left with all of my natural hair, very short. And since then, I'm just growing it out to see what that's like to do!
...More than anything, I love the lower maintenance of this hair. Because the dreadlocks are awesome, but I would be kind of finicky and I always wanted them to look really good, so I would put a lot of maintenance into them and be like "oh, I'm so tired now!"
That's awesome that your mom dreaded your hair from a really young age... so you never had pressure to relax it?
Yeah, I actually don't know what that would be like! I think I would probably freak out like, "What are you doing? Why is this happening?"
Because my understanding is that it's a painful and expensive process, but that women go through it because it's just the norm -- in America especially.
Yeah... because a lot of people feel like when they have natural hair, that they look weird. Since it's not part of the beauty aesthetic of North America, it just makes them stick out. And I think a lot of people don't like to stick out, they like to just blend in.
[My friends who do relax their hair], they're like "it's a hassle..." but then still, they're afraid to NOT do it. It's like their comfort.
Which then becomes a cycle, because people aren't used to seeing unprocessed hair... so then it becomes 'not the norm.'
Exactly. Which makes me so sad! Because actually, when I was considering cutting my hair, I was spending a lot of time watching TV and looking at different ads, because I need to know as an actor what I can do with my hair. And I wanted to see if anyone already has natural hair -- especially short hair. And I was so disappointed! Not only actors but like singers, dancers, everyone processes their hair -- even if it was short it was still processed.
I even went even more in depth because at first I was only watching people of African descent's hair. But then I started watching everybody and I was like 'Oh my God, even Caucasian girls -- if they have curly hair, it's straightened.' Like Nina Dobrev, her hair is so curly and so beautiful, but it's constantly straightened on Vampire Diaries. I realized just in general, curly hair is straightened on everyone.
It really disappointed me that all media were promoting to get rid of your curl, and if you did have a curl for it to be super, super controlled.
Have you ever gotten any pushback from agents or casting people -- has anyone encouraged you to do anything different with it?
No, not really. I've been really lucky and people just haven't commented.
I haven't seen any Internet comments because I try to refrain -- I think I'd go crazy. I would have expected more bad comments [back when I had] the dreadlocks, because I know people have negative associations with it.
I think some of the comments were just coming from people who don't understand African hair. They were just saying things like "why doesn't her hair look like Beyoncé's?" and stuff like that.
No way! That's so funny... that makes me totally happy that I can help the dialogue start, for them to realize that it's because this is my hair, and that's her fake hair -- that she loves! But that it's not real hair. That makes me really happy that I'm able to challenge people's perception of what black people's hair is, and for them to actually even realize... this happened actually with a friend of mine a few months ago. I was talking to her about my hair and she realized, 'so you mean black people, they can never have straight hair naturally?' And I was like 'No!' And I realized so many people don't know that it's always processed when it's straight, unless they're mixed with other backgrounds, obviously.
And so I love that I can make awareness about that -- that yes, this is how most black people's hair looks. It's all different [from person to person], the textures. But it's not dead straight.
- Posted on 09/10/2010 by Mary
We asked to see your back to school outfits... here's a couple!
ParTimeLvr says: "u cant see my whole outfit... but i wore a blue tank top, a blue striped knee length sweater and ripped jeans."
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about... those drapey long sweaters. Something about those looks so snuggly... like wearing a security blanket. But a clean security blanket, without holes, that's actually cute.
And check out Hello Deary's adorable skirt... "I picked it because it's super colorful, comfy, & cuteeee. Once I saw it, I was in love. lol, jk. But I lovedddd the skirt!"
Cute but comfy seems to be a theme with school gear, dunnit? 'Cause who wants a tight waistband digging into your guts after lunch, I guess. And waking up early is bad enough as it is.
What's your personal strategy for managing the task of staying comfy but still looking cute? Do you have a favorite item of clothing that's comfy without being pajamas-y?
This post sponsored by Macy's Style Lab
- Posted on 09/07/2010 by Mary
What did you wear the first day back? (Or what are you planning to wear? If you're one of those lucky ducks still sitting on the last few days of a summer vacation.)
Post a pic on your profile, and let me know it's there by posting in the comments with a little info about why and how you decided on that outfit. I'll put a few selections in the blog and maybe we can all marvel at your fashion genius!
This post sponsored by Macy's Style Lab
- Posted on 08/30/2010 by Mary
If you watch enough TV you'd think everyone wears four-inch heels to school... but the realities of getting from class to class mean they're much rarer in real life. Some girls like the height and look of them; and some girls aren't even allowed to wear them to school.
Are you a heel-in-high school person, or do you save them for special occasions? Which, if any, of these heels would you (or could you) consider wearing to school?
Straight up high heels are only for the brave and dedicated. The cushiony wedge on these (A) leopard print espadrilles might make them kinder on your feet if you have a lot of walking to do. And the (B) cobalt blue patent pumps would definitely get you noticed. Would you feel self-conscious in either of these? Confident? Comfortable? Would you save them for the day you're asking your crush out, or just bust 'em out any ol' day?
Since a boot lends more stability, a lot of people who feel awkward walking in pumps find them more manageable. Could you see yourself strutting the hallways in these (C) suede military booties? Or too much? And these (D) cowgirlish boots offer the same height-enhancement as many of the higher heels featured here, but don't seem so... high-heely. Think you could you swing 'em?
These gentler heels offer a little height, and less of a threat to your ankles -- and possibly your school's dress code. The wedginess of them also makes walking in them slightly less harsh on your constitution. Would anyone look at you cross-eyed for rocking these (E) mod, silvery slingbacks or (F) gladiator wedges?
This post sponsored by Macy's Style Lab
- Posted on 07/09/2010 by Mary
Hey all! So, good times with Ray and Charlotte (aka Sav and Holly J) in NY yesterday -- I still have a lot to transcribe and you'll see it all eventually but I wanted to drop two of their answers to your questions on them asap. 'Cause we're TEN DAYS from the Boiling Point y'all! That's like, an official countdown!
Facultybob asks: "Can you give me some shocking hints about what happens in Season 10? Is someone going to die? I'm really excited and can't wait."
Charlotte: Ok, what I'm most passionate about in all the story lines is sort of the gender identity situation which, we can't give too much away cause it's gonna unfold the way it will. But that topic I was really excited that they tackled.
There's also some other completely... like, even the most recent scripts we read, some of the areas they go to with Eli's character? I had no idea what was going on with Eli's character when I read the script. I was like, "Oh my god, this is something they sooo haven't tackled before."
And then just in general, everything has really been stepped up. Like right from the first episode -- Fiona's going through some really rough stuff. There's a lot of tension... I mean, that's why it's called the Boiling Point; there's tension building underneath the surface of every character. And it all comes to a head...
Charlotte: Cataclysmic is right.
Ray:: I like that word.
Chao asks: "Should I get a Mohawk?"
Charlotte (without hesitation): Yes.
Ray: Get what this... what is this called?
(Ray likes my haircut. We talked about it in Toronto. I have really asymmetrical hair, shaved and weird on one side and long on the other -- not totally unlike my avi hair -- which, Ray said earlier that as soon as they're done shooting this season he's going to do pretty much the same. - Mary)
Ray: I like it. Get that. If anybody's getting anything, get that.
Charlotte: Yeah, I like mohawks a lot. Is it a boy or a girl? Whether it's a boy or a girl, I think mohawks are really sexy so, go for it.
- Posted on 06/26/2010 by Lisa
"Blow Outs are so rad. They actually inhale and exhale as you walk. And if I don't get these I'm going to be a total geek." That's D.J. from Full House, describing a pair of sneakers she's dying to own. (It happens in the "Working Girl" episode, which airs on TeenNick tonight @ 9pm.) I feel her pain, because I've been known to get a bit shoe-obsessed, too.
I get shoe-crushes on pretty much every pair that Irregular Choice makes, because I love bright-colored shoes that really stand out. I wish I owned them ALL... but that'd be pricey, and I'd need a bigger closet. I also have an adorable pair of ruffly pink Payless flats that I wear all the time. Colorful shoes just make me happy.
Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Did you obsess for a while before you bought them?
- Posted on 06/15/2010 by Mary
Your T-shirt drawer is probably so crammed with crap T-shirts you never wear anymore. And there are all these new Degrassi shirts at Hot Topic, just waiting to be lovingly folded into your collection. It's unjust I say. UNJUST!
Unlame T-shirts, too, I swear! There's a Degrassi Panthers shirt, and even better there are RETRO Degrassi shirts, like this one. Yay life.
- Posted on 06/05/2010 by Mary
I am just not a thonger. I only own one thong anymore, a pair of Manowar buttfloss that my old boss bought me (not like that. It was a joke).
I have thought about thongs, I have sampled thongs, I have friends who swear by thongs... but I do not thong.
Do you have any?
Do you actually wear the ones you have? If yes, why?
And if yes, do you constantly want to pick a wedge?
Please, share with me your deepest most innermost thoughts about thongs.
- Posted on 05/20/2010 by Lisa
After Mary posted about Declan's wardrobe awhile back, great1zero wrote in with a question about Declan's striped hoodie:
"I have been trying to identify the designer of it for awhile now but haven' t had any luck and was hoping you could help out. Declan wears a lot of cool clothes and I never seem to see any name brands on any of them."
I checked in with Steve Wright, the wardrobe supervisor on Degrassi. He says, "The hoodies in question are from Montreal, Canada. Point Zero is the brand." Steve also mentioned that Declan wears a lot of Armani Exchange and that "you can find great stuff at the outlet store for cheap."
So there you go! YAY, now we can all dress like Declan.
- Posted on 05/08/2010 by Mary
So... couldn't help but notice Jordin's epic nails -- operating some sort of touchscreen, no less -- in the "S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)" video. (It was on Obsess This this morning; you can see it in our Video Hub now or on Obsess This Sunday at noon et). Let's discuss:
1) Like or dislike? Just as a concept ?
2) Would/Could you wear them yourself?