This Blog features Melanic Tees, articles associated to Melanin, spotlights & conversationals.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Garment Industry

Conscious shopper

Cute trendy outfits and girl clothes styles don't have to come with an expensive price tag. Clothing styles for girls can be cute and bought within budget if you shop with a different state of mind. New outfits can be purchased at very low cost if you shop smart. The trick to shopping smart is to shop not like you are the customer but shop as if you were in the production of the clothes you are purchasing. Shopping this way will give you a new insight to never shop the old way again.

First, a little bit about the material. Clothing comes from fiber plants like cotton and hemp, plastic polyester and hair of wool or animal skins. Clothes can be made from hand with intensive labor of cutting, stitching, sewing buttons, basting pants, shaping pockets, measurements, sewing machines, etc. This is all done by garment workers bare hands and garment workers who earn pennies, compared to the Designers earnings and the many Americans who spend a weeks pay for them on one outfit. Clothes, which is made usually in the garment industry, often called sweatshops, is a big trillion dollar business yet, the designers of these clothes aren't spending near the amount they are making from the clothes they are selling.


Working conditions of sweatshops are horrific and sometimes even, inhumane. There has been stories that some plants will lock doors so workers won't get out if the production isn't adequate and many third world sweatshops involve child labor. One should be disgusted to know that when you spend $15-$50 dollars on one piece of garment, you are supporting this industry of forced child labor. Sweatshop working conditions usually have maximum micromanagement creating an intense and uncomfortable work environment and some may withhold bathroom breaks and/or lunches until the amount needed is fulfilled. Some designers and retail stores accused of having sweatshops are Forever 21, DKNY, Dickies, Nikes, Chanel, Gap, Polo, Walmart, Liz Clairborne, Levis, Apple and maybe just about all these filthy rich white designers who live a lavish lifestyle over the labor of the brown people.

The Garment Industry

Sustainability in the fashion industry is due to the labor workers in these sweatshops. When you spend, splurge and think its cute to spend a lot of money on clothes, you are only supporting this vengeance that the poor people of color endure. Most people who work in sweatshops for fashion and fashion industry segments are mainly people of color in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Fashion is a trend but at what expense? The fashion industry economy is only a blooming one because of the maker of the clothing. Fashion editor and fashion central are the outcome of the work done by those in the background who really set the forefront to the designers and models who walk the runways in fashion shows and in print catalogs, etc.

Become a better person by having better shopping habits. This will create an overall better shopping experience. Clothes are cute, yes, but knowing who makes your clothes and where they come from should play an important part too, for the amount you spend.

Tips when going shopping

  • Shop Sale or Clearance Items. 
 Cute clothes are on the sale or clearance rack! When you shop, you want to spend as close to what the garment workers are getting paid. You want to give to the one who is putting the clothes on your back, not the ones who are coming up with the designs of it.

  •      Shop Seasonal. 

When you go shopping, buy your summer clothes in the winter and your winter clothes in the fall. This guarantees less expensive, yet, still, cute clothing. (Ain't nobody going to know that that cute oversize sweater was last years trend in the winter). Trends, styles and patterns always make their rounds again, every season for the rest of the seasons to come.

    Shoes bought at a Resale shop
  •  Shop at Resale Shops. 
Places like Plato's Closet or Buffalo Exchange,  Jet Rag, RagoRama. These places sometimes have new items with tags that will cost about half the fraction you would pay on a new department store top or bottom.

  • Shop at Thrift shops and other second hand stores like Salvation Army. 
Second hand stores always have special color or tag days where you can get stuff 50% off or at a certain percentage off.

  • Shop Online
When you shop online, you will usually find a tab for sale items and/or other special price mark downs. Retail stores may have that very same thing at the store but only selling it at full price. Check online to see if you can get it at a lesser cost. 

    • Shop with a conscious budget. 

    If you ideally only want to spend $20. Spend only $20! If you like a shirt that cost $15, don't get it. Challenge yourself to find a full outfit, top and bottom or shoes and a top for that amount.

    Leather skirt

    • If you have to splurge....
    We always just gotta have something right?! I am guilty of this too. If there is an item that is a must (like this leather high waste skirt I had to splurge $10 on) get it! Don't deprive yourself, but limit yourself to only this one thing for x amount of time. Don't always buy something because you are telling yourself its a must. Discipline yourself to look cute but shop smart.

    You may not know this but by doing this, you are doing far more greater good all while still looking cute.

    Monday, April 27, 2015

    Media Influence on Girls | Marilyn Monroe No Make Up

    Image of self esteem

    Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926. She legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in 1956. It is reported the first time she signed an autograph as Marilyn Monroe, she didn't know how to spell Marilyn.

    She was found naked and died from an apparent drug overdose at age 36 in 1962. She was married 3 times, first married at 16 years old. She was unable to give birth, had miscarriages and ectopic pregnancy. In her adulthood was in and out of psychiatric institutions up to her death, even was committed to a psychiatric ward 2 years before her passing. Her friends described her life as a lonely one and in several interviews you can see this was the truth. In her diary, she often wrote about feeling alone and saying she needs help and feels like life is coming closer to where all she wanted to do was to die.

    She grew up with a mentally ill, divorced mother who worked at a film production company which still remains as one of the oldest operating studios first founded in 1929. Marilyn Monroe childhood she recalls, growing up in a tragic childhood, being abandoned by her mother and sent to live in foster homes.

    But the Marilyn Monroe we know as the Superstar today wasn't always that sex symbol. She was reinvented to be the glamorous Blonde Bombshell. She went under psychoanalysis, had plastic surgery, her natural hair was red and curly and not into the late 1940's she bleached her hair blonde to start swimsuit modeling. She wore glasses and she never had a beauty mark or mole.

    Marilyn Monroe as a teen

    Today, Marilyn Monroe is seen as a striking beauty on Tee shirts, in media but Marilyn Monroe was molded to become this way. Hollywood turned her into a woman who may look pretty on the outside but inside she couldn't help but to feel any lonelier. Marilyn Monroe looks like Brittney Spears with no make up on, remember, with a little make up, you can look like a Superstar too.

    Marilyn Monroe no make up

    The Influence of media on students, girls and self-esteem is a disturbing one. Media glamorize women like her and others but behind all the make up, is a normal girl like you that faces her own challenges. When you look up to people like Marilyn Monroe, you are going to feel less self confident because you are in your natural stage, while women in the media have a whole make up team, making them up into this deceptive appearance.

    The impact of social media on this illusion is a disruptive one. Everyday girls and women don't have a make up artist or hair team keeping up with their appearance. The image of self-esteem is not women that are on TV.

    Self esteem and culture stems from within. Do not look in celebrities to fill the self-esteem mind. The negative impact of social networking and media is this hype.

    Hollywood is a fairy land of all made up people like Marilyn Monroe. She had everything to the outsiders when in her own mind she was facing her own demons. Don't inspire to look like any celebrity. Do not wish to look like this person or that person because what is negative self esteem is this. Media influence on girls is a misleading impression of reality. If you have something physically wrong with you or that you are unhappy with, change it naturally from  within. Do not become a beautiful appearance outside when all the challenges you face linger in.

    FACTS about Marilyn Monroe:  

    Converted to Judaism for one of her husbands and offered to convert to Catholicism in order to marry her 2nd husband.

    When her home sold, it was discovered by its new owners that her complete house was wired tapped.It is said that they had to spend over 100,000 dollars to remove all the tapping device in the home.

    Hollywood Night Club Mocambo, wouldn't book Ella Fitzgerald because she was Black. Marilyn Monroe personally called the owner to have Ella booked and said she would be there every night front table row if they did, and they did.

    She was related to Richard Nixon, George Bush and Franklin Roosevelt to name a few through her father bloodline.

    Sunday, April 5, 2015

    Cesar Chavez Accomplishments (Too many to mention)

    Cesar Estrada Chavez accomplishments are one too many to mention. Yes, we know him as a Farm Worker, Cotton Picker turned Civil Rights Activist, Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association but Cesar to Brown people was worth more than any Political Accomplishment. Cesar was & still is a household name that many Latinos couldn't be more prouder to call him a Mexican. He was born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927 and lived a life attempting to liberate his people.He tried to liberate our people from confinement not from the Agricultural way of life but from the growers who cared more about profiting then the condition of the land or it's people. His movement wasn't just a movement for farm workers. It was a movement for dignity and basic human rights that were being violated under inequality. Amazing what one man can do to Unite.
    Cesar Chavez is not to be confused with Julio Cesar Chavez the Boxer. They are 40 years apart and the boxer is still living. When is Cesar Chavez Day? Although not a Federal Holiday, President Barrack Obama in 2008 proclaimed March 31, Cesar E Chavez Holiday.

    My greatest Cesar Chavez Quotes:
    • "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people". 
    • "Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures". 
    • "There is no such things as defeat in non-violence. In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence". 
    • "It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life". 

    Cesar Chavez Family 
    Cesar was only married once to his wife Helena for over 40 years. They had 8 children together. He had 4 brothers and sisters, 2 brothers, 2 sisters and was really close to his sister in law, Dolores Huerta who is a Civil Rights Activist and continues to this day the fight against struggle for the people. Huerta once suffered broken bones and ribs after protesting Prescott Bush endorsing $1000 plate fundraiser that was being held for Sen. Barry Goldwater Campaign in 1964.

    Cesar Chavez marching with a cane to help the pain of walking
    Cesar Chavez Bio Chavez, a dark skinned Mexican. "Dark and poor, had to be more Mexican". That's how some spoke of him. "These [farmer] workers are all black and brown workers that want our union. They don't want to be led by white men who don't understand". This is him explaining why the NFWA needed to become established. Cesar believed love generated power and spirit. He was a vegetarian and ate Matzo, a bread traditionally eating by Jews, before and during fast. He wore a mezuzah, A kosher parchment scroll inscribed with Hebrew verses of the Torah. He had Martin Luther King and Gandhi photographs on his walls and followed many of Gandhi traditions. Gandhi was the leader of the Indian Independence movement during The British rule India.

    He was also inspired by Gandhi to fast after he read that Gandhi would fast before a battle or march. He visited New England before and went to the fall foliage of Autumns there. He was on the Today's Show boycotting California grapes and the chemicals used on the fruit & the exposure to the farm workers. He believed that the struggle wasn't ones on but all. Cesar was in the Navy in his younger days and served as a pallbearer at Robert's Kennedy funeral. Joe Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy also served as pallbearer for Cesar Chavez and Jesse Jackson was also there marching behind the coffin that carried Cesar Chavez.

    Mexican Students in 1970 walked out of Huelga Delano HS fed up with being treated as Second Class Citizens. One of his daughters was denied the right to graduate because she was picketing her school teachers for Racism against her people. She was standing up against Local business owners who also worked for the school administration calling Mexican kids Beaners.

    On 3/10/68 after a 28 day fast he broke his fasting with Senator Robert Kennedy by sharing a piece of bread.

    Cesar Chavez and Robert Kennedy
    Robert Kennedy and Cesar Chavez

    At 61, he went on a 5 day fast and usually did for preparation. He once gave an interview in bed with pajamas on due to him fasting and being weak. He died at 66. He was buried in a pine coffin that was built by his brother Richard. Richard built his brothers coffin in 38 hours.He died resting on his back and was found with a native American book on his lap, April 23, 1993.I read there was a plot to assassinate Chavez, from a grower who offered to pay $2500 to have him killed. He was buried in La Paz, the Place of Peace, next to his dogs.

    Gilbert Padilla

    Chavez listening to the concerns of the Farm Workers

    Chavez: "Jails were made for men who fight for their rights. They can jail us but never the cause". 

    Picketing Growers at Farms who were violating their farm workers
    Huelga NFWA
    The Giumarra Growers won a temporary restraining order banning the pickets from using bullhorns. This company along with The Bud Antle Co. used Dow chemicals that were also used on napalm bombs and being sprayed on farms. He was ordered to ten days in jail for 3 counts of violating the order to Antle Boycott.He declined special treatment in jail and stored items in locker 216

    Coretta Scott King, addressed the protesters outside a jail where Chavez was being held, on a flatbed: "You can not keep truth in jail'.

    She visited him in jail and Rev. Ralph Abernathy send his wishes. More than 5000 people marched for Nagi Moshin Dai Fullah, a Yemen student of medicine who worked as a farmer and was killed by police. Chavez fasted for 3 days to honor him. I learned that within 2 months Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were both assassinated.Cesar mom died at 99 on 12/14/91.

    Chavez: "Gain economic independence without becoming materialistic". Notable Dedications to Chavez: Cesar Chavez Park Cesar Chavez Middle School National Chavez Center

    VIVA! Si Se Puede! 

    Cesar Chavez Victory

    Bratz Dolls getting a Remix

    When I was growing up, I played with barbie dolls. I played with long blonde hair barbies with coke shape bottles and a full face of make up on. I didn't understand or know any better. I was just handed the doll & had something to play with. When I got older, I asked my mom for some dolls that weren't white because whether they were my barbies or porcelain dolls, these dolls were usually the opposite of me & had either blonde hair or blue eyes or both. I knew in some conscious way, this would cause a self esteem issue in the long run when I asked for other choices of dolls to play with (I was like 8).

    Watching lil' girls now playing with these full grown women dolls market to them, I don't see how their parents these days seem to not know any better. Dolls like Bratz dolls send a message to lil' girls. The message, it looks like they are sending to them, is "when you can, beat your face with a gang of make up".

    I was watching this video called, "Tree Change Dolls", If I had a daughter, she would absolutely play with dolls that resemble what someone her age should be playing with.Clean face, no make up on, realistic clothes on. 

    Tree Change Doll

    Tree change dolls represent the youth, a child is that, a child & parents should stop by dolls to their daughters that promote lil' hoes. There is a drastic change between dolls in the market now and Tree change dolls. Look at the differences & share with any lil' girl you know, not responsible for her current fate.