Tag Archives: color

The Cornucopia List

Here are this week’s list of five things for which I’m grateful. In the future I imagine I will repeat some things as it will be that which makes me grateful that week, but for now there will be larger items, like life and chocolate. ūüôā

  1. Thunderstorms–They’re not as frequent here in Vancouver as they were in Calgary where you could get super hot days and super cold rains. When a thunderstorm was imminent my mother would unplug all the electrical appliances, a very smart thing before power surge protectors when a lightning strike could travel into your appliance and kill it or start a fire. We would then all go down to basement and hang out, without the lights on, just in case of an electrical surge there. The sky would be vein with white light and the loud tumultuous clash of gray, broiling clouds. It was magnetic, dramatic, exciting! I remember one, while still living in Calgary down by the river. My boyfriend and I were watching the thunder and lightning outside our balcony window when there was an electrifying flash and smashing crash of sound that vibrated the building. Instinctively we had both run away from the window and were halfway across the apartment by the time we realized what we had down. That lightning strike hit on the hill not a mile behind our building. Today they warn that we could have a thunderstorm in Vancouver. I hope so.
  2. Turquoise–this is my absolutely most favorite color though I do like the whole range of greens (except for maybe puke green). Turquoise can be blue-green or green-blue, called peacock as well. I tend to like my turquoise on the slightly greenish side of blue, and I love it. I can’t explain but it is almost a visceral hunger to swallow, touch and taste this color. Contrary to what you might believe I don’t swathe myself only in this color though I tend to have more green clothing than anything else and one wall in my bedroom is turquoise.
  3. Cats–besides giving us an excuse to talk out loud without looking crazy for talking to ourselves, cats are lovely companions. They fill a space with energy and fur, they purr and express love for you, even if it is only cupboard love. They warm your feet and make you part of their family. And they certainly have unique personalities. From my first cat Beko, through Ming, Tiger, Banshee, Mango, Figgy and now Venus, they’ve all given certain traits and opinions. They can be a big pain in the ass, getting underfoot, knocking things over, scratching the wrong thing, howling to get in, in fights with other cats, clawing your leg on accident or purpose, demanding food, but hey, humans do much the same (except maybe clawing your leg). So yes, I am extremely grateful for the companionship of cats especially when I’ve been down. Venus, pictured above, is the epitome of a love cat, with people at least.
  4. Being female–Yeah, we have little choice with this unless we want to go through and expensive operation and face ostracization and social isolation. It’s very hard on people who feel they are the wrong sex in a body. And there are women supposedly who experience “penis envy” though I think that was more of a Freudian era than real, though there are women who feel they must act/dress like men to be respected or get a certain job. And unfortunately there are men who feel women are chattel, property to be dictated to, owned and wrapped and hidden away except for their own viewing. And of course, the Catholic church has long blamed women for leading men astray because gosh, I guess men can’t think for themselves. But still, I like being a woman and I feel that I am pretty empowered. If I chose I could give birth and I get to wear a way larger range of clothes. No wonder some men, who are truly heterosexual like to wear women’s clothing once in a while. I’m grateful I’m a woman comfortable in my body most of the time, with all my bumps and curves.
  5. Shoes–yes shoes. That I can afford them, that I have more than one pair (even though I do have foot issues) and that they come in such funky styles from stiletto with pointy toes, to round toes and wide heels, to flat shoes, to platforms, to straps, to slip-ons, to buckles and ties. A myriad of colors and materials of designs and patterns, and even of comfort, but I like them. I had a boyfriend once long ago who really liked shoes and maybe it was a shoe fetish but I developed a love of shoe styles through him, and they can completely ruin an outfit if not right. I have runners (tennis shoes or whatever they’re called in the US) but I only wear those for working out or hiking. They’re not for every day. But yeah, I’m grateful for shoes.

And there we go, from nature to fashion, my Cornucopia List for this week.

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A Fascination of Colors

Who can say why we like a certain color or not? It’s as much a whim as a default for some. But there are certain factors that will affect people’s choices for favorite color. The biggest would be cultural. If we were a society where we’d always worn pink and there was no emasculation to pink then men might be listing it as their favorite color. Our cultural fads will affect certain predilections to color.

In North America, sleek and sophisticated¬†is represented¬†by black and silver. Techy or electronic is black or grey. Pink is considered¬†a feminine color. That old adage¬†of blue for boys and pink for girls is annoying and who gives a hoot what color your baby is dressed¬†in? They certainly don’t care and categorizing children isn’t really needed. Thankfully it’s dying out.

Wavelengths of the actual color can affect how it appeals to people as well. In paintings (and tarot cards) in the middle ages to the renaissance, you would see a lot of white, red and blue, especially if there were religious images. Red is the color of our blood and therefore vibrant and representing life. It is a bright color and very active. Blue is a soothing, cool color, and is shown in our water and our sky. It was used in many paintings to represent the passive and the spiritual to the earthy and active red.

Green is another earth color for us. Leaves and grass are green and it holds the hues of blue.¬† I found the following study on the internet which puts blue as the most popular color. It was far more popular for men than women but green remained at about 14% for everyone. Orange and yellow are not favorites but reversed from men to women. And women like purple while men don’t, though most people equated it with bravery and nobility (cultural conventions again). The problem with the study is that it was a relatively small group (232 people) from the internet and mostly North American. I’m sure we’d see other colors depending on the country.¬† http://www.joehallock.com/edu/COM498/preferences.html

The study also looked at pure colors: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, black, grey, white, brown. My sister’s favorite color is pink, hot deep pink. Mine is turquoise, a combination of¬†blue and green but definitely on the green side of turquoise. Turquoise is also known as teal or peacock though they can be a little more blue.

I have always loved turquoise to the point where I just would love to eat it. It’s a deep visceral feeling and gives me an almost full feeling looking at it. Weird, isn’t it. Some people like a color or wear a color because it looks good on them. The best colors on me are purple and red but I love turquoise so I wear that too. But I do love bright colors. Why? I have no idea. Alberta didn’t have peacocks running around and I wasn’t near any teal colored lakes. There were no giant hunks of the stone laying about (which, by the way, can range from blue to green, and the greener the turquoise the older the stone). I just love turquoise.

So yes, I have clothes that are turquoise but not all of them and I have jewellery but not the majority. If I had to be¬†immersed in an environment of one color, it’s turquoise I’d choose. Orange is my least favorite color, and yellow, which follows the survey’s trend, but I do have a wall by my entry way in a deep burnt orange. I just don’t wear it much. But why? Maybe deep in my psyche is an event or an emotion that correlates to my first turquoise introduction. But I suspect that like most of us, I’ll never know why I choose that color above all others.

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Sexy Cartoons: the Cutesifying of Society

In one of the many online apps that I check (Facebook, Google, Yahoo Groups, various independent websites, Wiki) there are ads. We’re all used to them and probably don’t notice most of them by now. They may be for dating or specific to what you’re looking at, or little gadget ads to lure you in so they can slap a cookie and spyware onto you. There are wallpaper and screensaver gadgets, little emoticons you can use and various avatars you can create.

There has been one, obviously geared toward girls and women where you can create an avatar/toon of yourself. Now I was pretty much like any other little girl and used to love paper dolls and plastic dolls and changing their clothes. What can I say? I still love clothes and maybe that was just the early interest manifesting. Women, generally, love color and pattern and whether it is clothing or decorating your home or painting a picture, this may come out in various ways. But over all humans are attracted to color and pattern; it’s just that men have been told they have to be more “manly.” Tell the men of the Baroque era, in their lace cravats and cuffs, brocades, powdered wigs, facial patches and high heeled shoes that they weren’t men. They were; they were just in fashion for their period.

So, back to these various ads. The one that caught my eye is this one:

cutesy

Not that there aren’t other similar ads out there but this one isn’t just taking some generic avatar. You seem to be able to supply a photo of yourself and then form a little Barbie/manga doll image. Why you need a toon version of yourself, who knows? Probably just because it’s cute and different. Let’s compare the toon to the person. It’s a little hard to tell in this picture (and I didn’t want to be spammed so I didn’t click on the icon) but under the “Draw Me” tab you can see that toon girl’s waist is smaller than real girl’s. And I’m gonna just guess that toon girl will have a bigger bust too. And skinnier arms.

Now both images are of the same height but the proportions are different. Toon girl has a head longer and wider than real girl. This fits with certain styles of cartooning but not all. She also has a cupid bow mouth that is about one quarter of the size of real girl’s. But the eyes take up nearly a third of her face. And her brows are arched high. They’re very cartoony and done in a style known as manga, or Japanese comic art, where artists have given these cutesy wide open, innocent eyes on little-girl-proportioned bodies but with the breasts of women (and often in schoolgirl outfits–you figure it out).

So what we have is a cartoon of ourselves. Harmless over all. Cartoons are¬†done for numerous reasons–political satire, caricatures, fantasy stories, etc. However, I see some of these cartoon avatars as an indication of what society fashionistas seem to want. I¬† admit to a certain prejudice but we have oversexed our society in the wrong ways and objectified women as well. (Booth babes, cheerleaders, pin-ups–some are fine for admiring the art of the human body but it’s gone overboard, and often that’s all people seem to want in women.)

The image of large eyes and a cute little mouth, big breasts and a tiny waist is what men hope they’ll get. What do the Barbie doll, cosmetically enhanced, botox¬†crowd go for? Big breasts, tiny waists, large, overly full lips (one difference from this cartoon), big eyes, long necks, arched brows. It may not be everyone’s ideal of beauty but it’s what the fashion media push, to the extreme. Surgical manipulation of the body is a big business.

What we as human beings need to keep in mind is that we are human, of flesh that changes, with birthmarks and uneven coloring. We are not all built the same, and looking at too many altered stars, cartoon images, and airbrushed and anorexic models gives a false ideal of beauty.¬† What is truly beautiful is our diversity, the unique combination of eyes, nose, mouth, hair color, height, movement and personality. We shouldn’t be trying to iron ourselves into sameness, nor thinking that a caricature of human proportions is what we all want to be. If people, as individuals, don’t keep a good perspective, then’ we’re closer to being Stepford wives than we thought.

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