11 articles
This New Photo App Turned Me Into A White Woman

This New Photo App Turned Me Into A White Woman

Have you guys heard about this new photo app, FaceTune?  My girl Tricia Lee (of Brooklyn’s venerable boutique nail salon, Polish Bar), put me on to it — with understandable horror.  Why?  Because you can literally change your entire body and face. Your features. Your skintone.  And I’m not talking about enhancing your situation with a touch of Valencia.  You guys, this app?  I had to name it the Racial Eraser.  It comes with a zillion little picture modifiers that can turn even the most awkward iPhone photographers into an undercover badass photoshopper. Before filters even come into question, FaceTune gives you the option to whiten your teeth; refine fine lines (and moles, and freckles, and any semblance of personality); erase dark shadows; tweak your features or your body; make your hair bigger or smaller.  It’s the “reshape” function that’s the weirdest — you can basically perform the visual version of ass shots, breast implants, restalyne injections, and skin-bleaching. Can you imagine the ripple effect of this?  No one will look like themselves on social media. Everyone will resemble a RHOBH castmember, no matter your ethnicity. Online daters will be catfished into oblivion. You’ll get really into your deeply modified avatar, and start to loathe the real version you see in the mirror. It’s beauty bedlam.


Yeah, so clearly I had to try it. I gave my cheekbones more definition, lightened my streaks in the “details” section, MJ’ed my skin, erased the veins on my neck, brightened my eyes — and most dramatically, I inflated my lips. Aaaand…I look fucking creepy. I’m so much better as the real me, with 38-year-old fine lines and undereye circles. And by the way, if it were five months ago, I would’ve also had zit scars. I broke out something terrible and was left with brown dots all over. Since August, I’ve been chained to M. Steves RHSO Power-Packed Reviving Exfoliator, a glamorous-smelling mask loaded with rose hip seed oil, enzymes, and hyperpigmentation-fighting glycolic acid. If you swipe in on three times a week, you’ll have supernaturally even skin in a flash. A smoothing/brightening/refining slice of heaven.

M. Steves RHSO Power-Packed Reviving Exfoliator

But what are your thoughts on this app? Is it #TheEnd?



It Bears Repeating…

It Bears Repeating…

Like you, I’ve spent the past two weeks flitting about from holiday party to holiday party, nibbling on rubbery crab cake hors d’orvoures, mainlining rum-soaked egg nog, and freezing in high-waisted sequin short-shorts and sheer tights while waiting for a cab (inside the taxi, I pick tinsel out of my hair and idly rummage through gift bags, hoping some generous PR girl thought to include chocolate). One party runs into the next, and after having the same conversations with eleven different people, the only thing that starts to stand out are the outfits. The sparkly little body-con numbers in candy-bright hues, the disco-era rompers pulled together with a festive gold belt. Silky tops, strapless satin cocktail confections. I’ve spent the past two weeks watching the chicest girls in the city dazzle in their holiday party best – and I couldn’t help but notice, yet again, that everyone was sleeveless. It’s really such a moment!

Suffice it to say, I felt super-on trend wearing Dove’s go sleeveless Soothing Chamomile Deodorant all holiday season (silky-smooth underarms in just five days, hello!). In Jamaica, go sleeveless allowed me to rock my eensiest bikini with ultra-confidence — I felt so fab knowing that I got 48 hours of protection, and smooth, even-toned skin, that I had to shout it from the mountaintops (yet again!). Cheers to all the fabulous sleeveless fashions this season, and to Dove, who made us all look hotter while wearing them! Check out www.facebook.com/Dove for more info :)

The Game Done Changed

The Game Done Changed

So one of my oldest and dearest friends (we met in 1949 as wee assistants at Elle – me, beauty; her, fashion) has a bright, hilarious, precocious like you wouldn’t believe  7-year old daughter.   Let’s call her…hmm…Topaz.  I could rhapsodize about Topaz’s slightly wild, pre-Raphaelite waves and early-Blair Waldorf style choices, but I hate to focus on looks when describing a little girl (as my mom always says when folks tell Bobina she’s gorgeous: “…yes, and she has a gorgeous MIND as well, don’t you, beautiful?”).  Topaz is also white.  Half Italian-American, half Sephardic Jew.  Not waspy-white, but no one would mistake her for ethnic.  And yet…

She is obsessed with blackness and always has been.  Since before she even understood what she was talking about (she barely does now!).  She thinks there’s nothing, nothing, more aspirational and glamorous than blackness.

[Key background info:  We live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a ripe-for-SNL-sketch little utopia of privileged, mixed-race families in every combination.  Exhibit A: at Lina’s birthday party last year, Topaz was the only one that wasn’t light brown with curls as a result of Black/Ecuadorian or Indian/Japanese or Jamaican/Irish parentage.  Everyone’s an artist or a writer or something cool.  In my hood, if you’re a non-organic Republican, I fear for your safety.  Long story short, we live in an ultra liberal, post-racial, super-gay environment that doesn’t at all represent the rest of the country.]

Cecile, Topaz’s beloved American Girl doll

Topaz is exclusively interested in black dolls.  When the New Orleans Creole American Girl doll came out last fall, Topaz’s mom already knew she was expected to be first in line at the Fifth Avenue storefront, day of.  Her best friend at school is white/Middle Eastern, but Topaz insists she’s black.  She was recently asked to draw a self-portrait at school, and sketched a girl resembling Rudy Huxtable.  One time, Topaz’s mom was brushing one of her black dolls’ hair, and Topaz freaked.  “You’re doing it wrong!  Ask Tia Tia, you can’t brush black hair the same as white hair!  Black hair is special.”

Wait…whaaat?  I mean, when we were growing up, anyone of color in America was secretly (or not so secretly) coveting whiteness.  It’s just our country’s history.  I mean, we all remember Whoopi’s ’80s stand-up sketch of the little black girl rocking the sheet on her head, aching to be white with long, blonde hair.  We’ve all read The Bluest Eye.  Pretty is white.  Smart is white.  Power is white.  Black is ghetto, ugly, animalistic, base and unsexy.  The fact that this privileged little girl — who, bee tee dub, goes to an ultra-white prep school — feels the opposite is kinda dope.  It baffled me, until I really thought about it.

Eleganza in like fifteen languages.

Topaz’s president is black.  Topaz’s first lady is a fucking fashion monster.  Oprah owns us all.  Topaz’s mom’s two best friends are glamorous black women (*hair toss*).  I repeat, TOPAZ’S PRESIDENT IS BLACK.   The most important family in this country is black, mothafuckas.  Growing up knowing that, seeing first-hand what we’re capable of – of course she thinks we’re the shit.  This is all she knows.  I’m loving experiencing the beginnings of this cultural turnaround.  Again, I realize that we live in a rarefied place – but it’s a start.  This little white girl thinks black is all things classy and powerful!  Here’s hoping we start believing this, too.

And here’s hoping Topaz never stumbles upon Worldstar Hip Hop or Basketball Wives.