Nicki Minaj On Faith and Lifestyle

Onika Tanya Maraj grew up in Queens, New York City, after moving from Trinidad, where she was born in 1982. She was 5 yrs old at the time, and was not yet known as Nicki Minaj, the songwriter, singer, rapper and performer.

In August of 2009, after the release of three successful mixtapes, Minaj was signed to Young Money Entertainment which is owned by Lil Wayne. Her debut album titled Pink Friday, was released in November of 2010, and was quickly recognized as a commercial success. It was certified Platinum, selling well one over one million units in one month after being released, and peaked at number one the U.S. Billboard 200 charts.

Along with recognition as a recording artist and performer, Nicki Minaj has also become involved with endorsing several products. She has contracts signed with a variety of corporations that include soft drinks manufacturers, Doll makers, clothing brands and cosmetics.

She appears to have been influenced by a wide range of personalities, including Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, Jada Pinkett Smith, Britney Spears and Madonna, with whom she performed a number at the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.

Not only recognized for her music, Nicki is recognized for her personae, that includes costume and make up that may be considered as outlandish. She may also receive attention for some of her quotes on various aspects of life and faith

Minaj is transparent on her faith as a Christian, and on December 25, in 2011, she sent a biblical passage to millions of followers on the social network Twitter. She openly states that her heroes are God and her mother. She also revealed some personal details about her dad, who changed his life after attending rehab and started going to church.

In many of her songs and during many interviews, there appears to be an implication of sexual ambiguity, or that she does not date. During an interview with Vibe magazine, she states “I just embrace all people of all lifestyles and I don’t tell them they are bad people. And I say girls are beautiful and girls are sexy and they need to be told that, and if they don’t have anyone to tell them that and mean it, I’m gonna tell them that. But I feel like people always want to define me and I don’t want to be defined.”

Although she accepts the fact that she may be considered as a role model by many, Minaj seems to dislike being labelled and further states that “The point is, everyone is not black and white. There are so many shades in the middle, and you’ve got to let people feel comfortable with saying what they want to say when they want to say it.”

Cosmetic Surgery a Solution for Bullying Among Children?

Would You Let Your Child Have Plastic Surgery?

I have an eleven year old brother, we’ll call Jared. Born in a family with three older girls, with the youngest girl already thirteen years older than him, my brother grew up being able to connect with older adults. With the exception of a few friends he had in the neighborhood, he mainly hung out with his sisters all day. When it came time for him to enter kindergarten we thought he’d be ready, although he was small and quiet we thought his adorable charm would make him many friends. Time could only tell but he did make a few very close friends and also one or two bullies. Jared would come home to us crying; even some days I would pick him up for school ready to dive into some pizza only to find out his lunch pail had been stolen by said bully. There was no winning for the little guy and I would have done anything to stop his crying.

Growing up is the same for many children if not all; children want to be just like their friends. However, when one child is different from the others, they get made fun of because of those differences. No matter how hard we try to teach them that differences are what makes everyone unique and that those differences are not bad at all, ever, they still get teased and that sticks. Decades ago, it was a little easier. No one knew about cosmetic surgery and cosmetic surgery for children wasn’t even given a thought. Girls and boys just knew they’d have to grow out the acne-phase. Girls knew to use socks for their bras and boys learned how to semi-successfully hide their cracking voices. Now even parents are opting in for cosmetic surgery on their children just to save them from the anguish and embarrassment their children will inevitably receive from their peers. Albeit, parents are behaving based on their children’s behalf, they’re being parents, but is cosmetic surgery a viable solution for bullying?

Bullying 101

Let’s look at some statistics to see how cosmetic surgery for children under the age of 18 has risen and then continue to dive deeper into some personal stories of childhood bullying and cosmetic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, children under the age of 18 accounted for just over one percent of the total plastic surgeries in 2012, undergoing 130,502 procedures. According to Solutionsforbullying.com, bullypolice.org, safeyouth.gov, and bullying.org, every 7 minutes a child is bullied; 85% of the time, there is no intervention of any kind. About 47 teens are bullied every five minutes while there are about 282,000 students who are reportedly attacked in high school each month. 71% of students report bullying as an ongoing problem and the leading cause of death among children under the age 14 is suicide. 43% of middle school children avoid the bathroom and locker rooms at all costs due to certainty of being bullied. When polled 98% of students indicated that they want teachers to intervene. Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shooting reviews by the US Secret Service. Bullying is obviously a huge problem for the nation’s children; would you consider bullying an issue concerning enough for parents to use cosmetic surgery as a solution? Is there an exception if the parents and child know that their physical feature is the number one reason he/she is being bullied? Let’s read on and do a semi-case study on a few examples of recent children in the news for their cosmetic surgeries based on bullying.

Nadia- 14

14-year-old Nadia Ilse has been teased and bullied about her larger ears since she was just 7 years old. Nadia found school a classic nightmare where her classmates tormented her and she could bare to look at herself in the mirror. According to Nadia, she even thought about suicide, but being the intelligent young woman she is, decided it was obviously not the right solution. However, the teasing and bullying escalated to where she missed many days of school claiming her stomach hurt or she had awful migraines. Nadia was afraid to tell her mother, Lynda, as she had recently been laid off word and her 9-year-old brother, Joshua was battling cerebral palsy. Nadia couldn’t bear to add to her family’s struggles however horrible her own struggles were. When she was finally able to tell her mother, with tears running down her face, Lynda was devastated and heartbroken but knew she had to do something about it. It was obvious that the small family couldn’t afford it so she turned to the Little Baby Face Foundation, a Manhattan-based organization that provides free surgery for children with facial deformities who have a financial need. Nadia had the $40,000 operation on her ears, also called an otoplasty. Nadia says she feels like a new, beautiful girl and no longer has a problem looking at herself in the mirror. Asked about how she felt about the bullies who tormenter her, she said: “I forgive, but I don’t forget.”

Samantha- 7

In April, people around the world expressed their opinions and outrage when 7-year-old Samantha Shaw had her ears surgically pinned back to escape name calling and harassment. Also through the Little Baby Face Foundation, Samantha had a similar otoplasty as Nadia to pin back her cup ears and fix a fold on her right ear. However, having ear surgery on a 7-year old girl was quite a shocker to the public. Samantha had not experienced or acknowledged that she had been bullied, her mother finding the worst coming from grown adults, quoting one woman who went up to Samantha and said “Oh my God, what happened to your ears?” Samantha’s mother did not want her daughter to become a bullying statistic; she instead chose preventative cosmetic surgery for her daughter’s ears. Samantha’s only hopes were to wear her hair like the other girls in her class do and to get her ears pierced.

Otoplasty is the most common cosmetic operation done on children. In addition to cleft lip or cleft palate surgery, it’s the only cosmetic procedure acceptable for young children. Otoplasty is acceptable for young children because at the age of six, the ear is 90% of adult size, allowing for easy operation and the child is old enough to understand why the operation is important. Rhinoplasty is the most requested surgical procedure by teens. It can be performed when the nose has completed 90% of its growth which can occur as early as 13-14 in girls and 15-16 in boys.

So what would you do as a parent? Would you find a solution to bullying in plastic surgery? Are there exceptions? What does this type of solution say to your children? Feel free to comment and discuss as you please.

Cosmetic Regulations For Personal Care Products

Cosmetic regulation is a misnomer. The FDA (Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) was created in 1938 and is the designated government agency that should control the Cosmetic Industry as well as the Food and Drug Industries. However, although it does a fair job in food and drugs, it virtually has turned its back on cosmetics and allows it to govern itself.

Cosmetics have a very rich history and from the time of the Egyptians to current day the obsession for fair, beautiful skin has helped this industry to grow and prosper to over 50 billion dollars annually. The Cosmetic Industry, in all countries, is controlled by government bodies and agencies. These agencies presumably are in place for the purpose of keeping a tab on the quality of cosmetic products that are being produced. Cosmetic regulation of personal care products that are produced is the primary responsibility of these bodies. Therefore, in theory at best, US cosmetic regulations for personal care products rests with the FDA.

The question becomes is the FDA truly regulating or governing the Cosmetic Industry?.

The regulations framed under the FDA are quite similar to other countries but there are certain unique features. Though one of the FDA’s functions is to regulate the Cosmetic Industry, it gives more emphasis on the regulation of food and drugs. For drugs that are manufactured in the US, prior to their release into the market, they will require the necessary certification from the FDA. However, because personal care products are not considered to be food or drugs, they require no prior certification by the FDA or any other governing body before they are introduced into the marketplace. In fact, the FDA relies solely on the discretion of the cosmetic companies to determine the safety of products marketed to consumers. If the cosmetic company says their new product is safe, it is allowed to go to market without any pre-market testing. Therefore, in effect, cosmetic regulation is left up to the cosmetic companies and thus, is a self-regulating industry.

The following are direct quotes from the FDA website:

“Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA pre-market approval authority, with the exception of color additives.”

“Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing.”

According to the FDA there are specific definitions for cosmetics and drugs and one must first go through them to understand the fine difference that exists. Cosmetics are the articles that are sprinkled, poured, applied or rubbed on the body to clean, promote, beautify or even alter one’s appearance. Some of the products that fall under this category are perfumes, hair colors, toothpastes, lipsticks, eye and facial makeup, shampoos, fingernail polishes, skin moisturizers, permanent waves, and deodorants. This even includes the ingredients that may be used as a component to manufacture the cosmetic products.

Regarding these ingredients used in the manufacture of personal care products, there is another act known as The Substances Control Act of 1976. This act grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals in existence up to 1976. Of all new chemicals submitted for approval, their record indicates that over 80% are approved within three weeks and only five chemicals are known to have been restricted or banned. It should also be made known that no pre-testing on animals and/or humans is required before submitting a chemical for approval. Meanwhile, in Europe, the European Union has banned over 1100 toxic ingredients used in the manufacture of cosmetic products. Now, with this in mind, let’s apply this knowledge to the FDA and its control, or the lack thereof, relative to the Cosmetic Industry.

We know that the FDA allows the Cosmetic Industry to police itself. In fact, if cosmetic companies do not even have to register with the FDA, and if these companies are not required to get approval by the FDA of new products to market, and if these companies do not have to identify the ingredients used in the manufacture of their personal care products, and if these ingredients can be approved by The Substance Control Act of 1976 within three weeks without any pre-testing, then it is safe to say the only conclusion to arrive at is, the Cosmetic Industry is out of control. After all, if no one is in control of cosmetic companies, it only stands to reason, that the industry is out of control. It’s interests lie in sales and profits and not in the well bring of their consumers. Cosmetic regulation is virtually non-existent and, therefore, places the burden of safety directly on the shoulders of consumers. The toxic ingredients in cosmetic products has been discussed in depth in some of my previous articles. The consumer must read labels and research ingredients themselves to insure the safety of the product and not rely on any government agency for the regulation of personal care products.

Natural Makeup For Natural Beauty

Usually when we think of natural beauty we think of someone without makeup. Did you know that your natural beauty can be enhanced by using natural beauty products? That is: makeup and cosmetic products that are 100% natural and organic. Unfortunately most of the makeup that women wear is full of harmful toxins and chemicals. Makeup products and skincare products containing these actually can do more to harm the skin than enhance natural beauty.

You have probably heard it said that “…if looks could kill…”. For many years women have been led to believe that in order to look beautiful they have to wear makeup. Most large cosmetic companies market their products so that you feel that you can’t live without them. Who of us hasn’t seen a commercial and thought: “I would like to look like that”. This leads many women to put beauty first rather than health. Of course we all want to fit in and be accepted – but at what cost. Just think how much the makeup industry affects our thinking: How many films have you seen when the actress awakes in the morning without any makeup on? Probably not very many. So women start thinking that they have to look like this. Then their partners also start thinking the same. Then there is the other extreme. The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ still have a stigma attached to them, and so many think that buying natural organic makeup products is only something for hippies.

Beauty though is all relative. You could say that it is skin-deep. Fashions also change. For example, what was fashionable in the 80’s would look pretty ridiculous in today. It used to be the fashion that women would have white skin – this showed that they were rich and didn’t have to spend a lot of time outdoors. Now the fashion is to have a tanned skin, which is to show the same – we’ve got a lot of money for recreation and exotic holidays. We have been led to believe that a tanned skin is a healthy skin. Actually that could not be further from the truth. A tanned skin is actually a damaged skin.

Culture also plays a part in what is acceptable and what is not. Coco Channel is quoted as saying: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” For example in Burma is desirable for women to wear neck rings to elongate their necks. It is also reported that tourism is to blame for this because they are a popular attraction for tourists. In China feet biding used to be popular. (This is a practice whereby children’s feet are bound to prevent further growth). The results were deformed feet. So we have to ask ourselves – how much of our thinking is being dictated by the media, culture and our peers? If you lived in China in the late 1800’s would you have had your children feet bound? Even if it meant you being different and being rejected as a ‘poor person’ or someone of a ‘lower social class’?

During the last few years many studies have been carried out which show that most of the commercially available makeup products on the market contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals and other irritants. Just take a look at the ingredients of any makeup or skincare product. How much of is sounds natural and how much of sound like you need a degree in chemistry to understand it? Even if you could understand everything that is listed under ingredients the cosmetic industry still hide toxic ingredients behind innocent sounding labels. For example: ‘scent’. Seems harmless enough, but the ‘scent’ could contain hundreds of different chemical combinations. Sometimes you have to wonder if the makeup products have been produced for putting on your skin or cleaning your car engine.

It’s also worth noting that many of the commercially available makeup products actually cause skin irritations and allergies. Even some of the so-called cures for eczema or acne actually aggravate the skin and can make it worse.

Natural organic products are manufactured in such a way that they do not cause harm to humans or animals. They are biodegradable these organic and natural products are great for the environment as well.

By using natural organic makeup you will enhance your appearance and at the same time actually care for the health of your body and skin. In the long term, using natural organic makeup and skin care products will maintain a healthy balance in your body thereby improving your natural beauty and reducing the need for using too much cosmetics.

How is this so? Let’s examine one example. Did you know that drinking enough water moisturizes your skin? It also has many other ‘side-effects’, it keeps us healthier, improves metabolism, reduces headaches, and if we talk about makeup products, reduces the need to use so much moisturizer. All from something that comes free out the faucet. Think about this: whatever we put on our skin is absorbed by our body. Did you ever wonder where the skin cream went after you applied it? Yes, into our body and some of it is even metabolizes by the internal organs. If you use only products that are organic and contain natural ingredients you will help to keep your skin healthy.

Natural beauty will help you look beautiful naturally. Don’t risk your health for the sake of fashion. It’s been done in the past and many women are still paying the price. What will be the cost of using makeup products that are full of toxic chemicals? Already studies are showing that some of these chemicals are turning up in different cancers. While a definite link has to be proved, it is alarming that cancers seem to be on the rise the more we are using chemicals.

Natural makeup products are widely available and by using them you will not have ‘looks to die for’. They are just as effective as their toxic counterparts – but without the health risks. Remember also to care for you health by what you eat. You naturally look more beautiful when you are in good health and natural makeup product will enhance your natural beauty.

You Are In A Beauty Contest Every Day of Your Life

Looking beautiful resides in the realms of every woman’s dreams but unfortunately, women have confined it to the outer world. Our women forget that looking gorgeous to one’s own self is even more necessary than to shine out to others. Their nothing a surprise than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others but a woman, who makes a home out of a house, and makes everything given to her greater and beautiful. Thus, she needs to treat herself like a queen, as she is supreme.

It is remarkable how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness, but beauty is incomplete without cosmetics. It is 2017 now and a vast variety of fancy cosmetics that are readily accessible to women of all ages and domains of life. Looking beautiful in the everyday life is as much essential as it is when you are out for work or some party. In fact, it is much more imperative than the former. If you look beautiful all the time, you will have a confidence boost and you will spread more love. Routine chores can be exhausting and after a tiring day, facing the mirror should just enlighten you. Using good cosmetics is a treat in itself.

So just, go ahead and look around for good beauty care stocks around. Self-pampering is invaluable, it is like a present from you to you. Take care of yourself and let the beauty radiate from inside your heart to the outside world. Build love for all things hair, skin, nails, hands, feet and powder & paint. A healthy skin is vital for appearing young and beautiful. Good cosmetics might be expensive, but genuine products are a one-time investment, that can bring home a healthy glowing skin.

Spend every day of your life as if you are in a beauty contest. Boost your self-esteem levels. Look beautiful, feel beautiful inside out. Take care of yourself, drink lots of water, exercise daily, spread love and pamper yourself by using quality cosmetics that can prolong the aging of your skin. Yves Saint-Laurent quoted “The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” Beauty is in the skin, protect it, take good care of it, oil it, clean it, and scrub it. An appropriately administered skin makes you look young and beautiful. Devote a few hours of your life each day to learn to look beautiful, like you are a celebrity. They say women who love themselves are threatening, so buck up, love yourself; it is time to allow the world. Keep smiling, life is short!