Behind Blue Eyes: Racism in the Boy Scouts

This blog is primarily a blog about beauty, so for anyone who chooses to skip this post, no hard feelings.  However, today I witnessed something that was definitely not beautiful, and I wanted to take the time to address it.

I have two children who are active members of the Boy Scouts of America, and my elder child today had a banquet recognizing his upward progression from a Bear Cub Scout to a Webelos.  This was a pack-wide banquet, so there were many scouts moving from Tiger to Wolf, Wolf to Bear et al.  And everything was going just fine. Until we get to time for the Webelos Crossover Ceremony.

The Emcee for the day announced that we’ll be calling the Akela in for the Arrow of Light presentation, and I jokingly turned to my husband and said “Please tell me they are not going to bring in a den leader dressed up as an Indian”.  Surely not, right? Right?

Well, sort of.  No, instead of us chanting and bringing in our PackMaster or some such other adult from the Pack, no no, we passed the racism on to our newer generation.  In walked a solemn teenager, dressed as a Native American, complete with feather headdress, beads, and blue eyes.

295-1

Sadly, only my husband’s and my own eyebrows raised.

They went through a little rehearsed presentation of the Webelos being asked a “secret question”, being deemed “worthy”, the Scouts lighting their candle and all the parents of the Scouts coming up to present their arrow.  Surely, you’re thinking, the worst of it is over right?

302You’d be wrong.  We now have four white teenage boys dressed in what appears to be the Party City version of Native American dress (Faces have been obstructed by fuzzy black bars because I’m pretty sure they are under 18, and I don’t have parental consent to show their faces because I have no idea who these kids are).

I’m going to be honest,  I have no idea what happened at this point because I was taking my personal upset over all this to the internet.  I know the Teenage Chiefs conferred together,  showed the Webelos how to walk over a bridge, the Webelos got their new pins from some other Boy Scouts and it ended with the Chiefs squaring off with arms around each others shoulders and chanting something, and walking out of the auditorium to the beat of a drum provided by an old bald white man in his den leader shirt.

sigh.

Where do I start?

I suppose I should start by addressing the fact that many people might well be going “So, what’s wrong with this”?

A lot, actually.

Firstly we have the blatant cultural appropriation. We have four white boys, dressed not even in an accurate representation of time-period Native clothes, but in home-ec beaded vests and shirts and pants that bear a very strong resemblance to Native American costumes that you would find on ebay. Or that your great aunt made for you out of sheets and pillow cases as a costume for a Thanksgiving play.  And what is wrong with some kids dressed up as “Indians”, some might ask. Why is that cultural appropriation?

Lets consider what most of the kids in this audience know about Native American culture.  I asked my sons if they knew what a reservation was.  Nope.  I asked my sons what the Chief’s job is.  I got a parroted reply that they were the ones who protected the people.  I asked them if they knew who the Great Spirit was or what a Spirit Animal was. Only one knew that the Great Spirit was God.  Worst of all, when asked about land and the fighting amongst settlers and Natives, my oldest thought that “both sides won”.

Now, my sons are in lower grade school.  Most of the children there were under Fourth Grade. I’m willing to put money down that less than 5 children there could have explained the Trail of Tears to me, none of them could have explained the intricacies of a chiefs’ job nor of the religious beliefs among ONE tribe, let alone the subtle or major differences of religion amongst all the American Tribes.  I would wager than none of them could have listed more than 5 nations of Natives, or the languages they spoke.  Most of the children present learned much of their knowledge of Native culture by watching Disney’s version of Pocahontas.

Why is this important? Well, have you ever had something that was yours culturally, and had it twisted and turned into something that basically becomes a joke?  How often do Irish-Americans have to endure the “Kiss me I’m Irish” “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” scenario? How many Americans think St Patrick’s Day is just an excuse to drink themselves into oblivion.  How often do Catholics have to try to educate people that Mardi Gras is not about topless co-eds in the French Quarter, but the marking of the last day before the preparation of getting spiritually ready for the coming of Christ at the Easter celebration?

The problem with all of those scenarios is that an entire population’s culture gets lost into a homogenized celebration of something that has only the barest trace of the original meaning.

How many Cub Scouts even know why Native Ceremonial war bonnets were worn?  Or even that war bonnets were almost solely exclusive to a minority of tribes, a handful of tribes at best. The problem is that the entire cultural identity of an entire population of peoples becomes a commodity that can be bought and sold at any generic party supply store as a costume, when that costume is something that means something to another person.  A headdress becomes something that gets thrown into the back of a closet and crushed after it was used, rather than revered as a piece of heritage that deserves to be respected.  If most of us wouldn’t even consider going out in blackface, how is it appropriate to dress up and “play Indian” for a Cub Scouts ceremony.  There were plenty of ways that the bridge could have been crossed, without bringing in fake Natives.

Considering that fact that we live a very short distance from an actual Native Reservation an opportunity was missed to bridge the gap and teach our children about the actual way of Native life.  A trip to the reservation, or a possible partnership WITH the reservation where some of the Tribe worked with our leaders could have taught our children so much more, and made a far more meaningful ceremony if we had invited them into it.

Sadly, our pack and many other packs from the looks of my google search, choose to simply use a racially insensitive farce for a ceremony, instead of opting to educate our younger generation more fully.

I, for one, am disgusted by the everyday racism, and believe me when I tell you I will be monitoring further activities much more closely. I’m unsure if this means the end of Scouting for my family, but I do know for damn sure it means I’ll be taking a more proactive role in education my own children about the history of a people that likes to get swept under a rug.  And for the Masters of Ceremony of our den, shame on y’all, you should know better.

OPI Fashion Plate

Hey y’all.  Its me again. So, I had these swatches done for Opening Day the other day, and then I just didn’t get them posted.  Then yesterday was April Fools’ Day and uh no, not posting on a day of jokes, so here we are today.

I have zero Press info on these, since I’m not a “real” blogger anymore.  In fact, I didn’t even know about these until I showed up last Saturday at my supplyhouse and these puppies were sitting next to the register. Only one of the orange was left, so I didn’t get to grab it for the seester.  In this town, if you aren’t there when they unpack something orange, you’re basically SOL.

Anyway, I’m sure you all want me to shut my cakehole and post some pictures.

044This one is Girls Love Diamonds.  Gah! Glassflecks! yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss, precioussssssssssssssssssssssssss.

046 047Orange you going to the game?  AKA the most difficult orange to capture on camera since my last neon orange.  This orange is somewhere in between the two photos.  Lighting really plays havoc with this color for some reason.

0487th inning strrretch.  The other frost of the collection.  Take note, everyone else.  THIS is how you do frost. Minimal brushstrokes.  I love it, even if it *is* similar to Light My Sapphire, or one of those Sapphire named OPIs.

060Love Athletes in Cleats.  Love this polish.

050Umpires Come Out At Night.  This name y’all. THIS. NAME.   Standard Blue creme, but ohhhh that name.

057Short-Stop!  056Its a gorgeous red creme. Kinda dusty but kinda vibrant.

 

Overall, my thoughts on this collection are OPI knocked it outta the park with the formula.  I love all the colors they chose.  However, my one complaint is its super heavy on the red/blue and they left out some other team colors I would have liked to see. I mean, with all these

bf437293870b4ea55fdeab23777fb355                                                                                                              source

ALL those color choices, and we get primarily red and blue.  Just sayin’.

On Wednesdays, We Wear Black…

I keep saying I’m going to post more, but the truth is, I’m a pretty shitty blogger. Its one of the reasons I no longer run a large-ish site like I used to. The other truth is, depression makes it kind of a bitch to post regularly, especially when you are feeling uninspired. Another contributing factor to why my original blog is now kaput. Wow. Grammar. I has it.^^^

I have recently realized that this year is the 10th anniversary of Mean Girls. Those kind of things slip by me often. I’m not technically in the “Mean Girls” generation. Sure, I can throw out some quotes and all, but my heart has always, and will always, remain faithful to Clueless. There is a generation gap amongst many of my fellow bloggers in this genre and myself. Quite a few of you were still in high school, even middle school, when Mean Girls came out. At the time of the MG premier, I was a few months away from squirting out a kid. Generation Gap.

So, often times anymore, I feel like the old hag trying to be a cool mom among all of you.
winegif
source

This winter was particularly rough. Weather and health-wise. It was undoubtedly the shittiest winter I’ve had since moving here almost a decade ago. When I get bummed out I tend to get a little Regina George-y. Ok, a LOT Regina George-y. I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel right before vacation, even though I’d had a rough few weeks personally. We got to our little vacay island and BOOM, I thought I was healed. I was getting up at 6:30 every day like a normal person. I wasn’t bumming (except for one day of drama-rama), but 99.99% of vacation I was happy as all get out. Then, we left South Florida and came home. Yesterday, it effing snowed in South Appalachia. At the end of March. Not cool, Mother Nature. Not. Cool.

So today, I’m rocking MAC Haute Core, which my fabulous co-blogger Fernando scored on ebay at *counter price*. UN-heard-of! LE MAC lipstick on ebay for counter price? HELLLLLLZ YEAH. 677

This is sooooooooooooooooo not me, but yet, I love it. The thought of wearing it out anywhere is kind of terrifying. So, I’m going to sit in my house, drink coffee wearing this, and be the ultimate poseur.  Because now,

blackwednesday

All we need is just a little patience…

It’s been a month(?) since I posted the last time and nothing has changed other than me having a severe case of the blues this time of year. Thanks, Winter.  I’m still trying to grow my nails out and it is not an easy road. They grow out some. They rip off. Lather, rinse, repeat. To be quite honest with you, I miss my acrylics. I don’t miss filling them every two weeks and doing a new set the first of each month but I miss them.  That said, I am still not putting those things back on. I will continue to be patient because like seester says, “you can’t undo over twenty years of wearing acrylics in a few months.” She’s right.  Mostly, I am rocking whatever treatment I am using at the moment but sometimes I will get a bug up my butt and put on a little color so here are just a few of the manicures that didn’t look THAT bad on my recovering nubs.

Apologies for the cellphone pics. I’ve not unpacked all my photography supplies yet. First up is OPI Taylor Blue with a little Pure as an accent. If you don’t have this blue, GET IT. Perfect little jelly!

IMG_20131201_131057_resized

Next up is some DIfferent Dimensions from indie polish maker, Missi Barry. She is just….a genius. I have been stalking her polishes for months but I’d always miss her restocks until one afternoon her holiday polishes came up. I snagged this little number called I Only Have Ice For You and my goodness, it is the prettiest thing ever. Here it is over China Glaze Sexagon and it is the sex. Totally in love with that polish and I wish I’d gotten a back up.

IMG_20131126_143219_resized

 

And now for the polish that made me stalk Different Dimensions in the first place…NESSIE’S REVENGE. GRASS GREEN HOLO! You all know green is one of my favorite colors but to add linear holo to it? I am in heaven. My nubs don’t even do this justice but the love I have in my heart for this polish is so pure that I can’t even stand it.

20131208_010301_resized

Totally in love with that polish and it is so much prettier in person and looks amazing on anybody. I hope seester posts her swatches so that you all can see because my nubs do it no justice. Anyway, I am still here. I’m still being patient. Laters.

I’m late, these were my Thanksgiving nails

A week late isn’t too bad, right?

All over the interwebz we were inundated with Turkey Nails, brown nail polish, fall color water marbles, and so much glitter I kind of wanted to cry.  My IG feed was half turkey nails I’d almost swear it.  I went the absolute opposite way and wore a screamingly spring/summer pink.

IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0019Rescue Beauty Lounge Smile.

My way of giving the finger to “seasonally appropriate” manicures.

RBL Fire Queen

Its been a minute since I had bought anything from Rescue Beauty Lounge but I had been eyeballing RBL Fire Queen since I saw the first swatches.  Everyone who has followed me in the past 4 years knows of my love of jellies, my love of pastel greens, and my tendency to hoard things in quantities of three.

I was lamenting on IG how I wanted Fire Queen, but was waffling even though I didn’t want to miss it like I did with RBL Liberty when my good buddy Gonzo told me if I wanted it I had better grab it before its gone, since word is there won’t be more BiB events in the near future.  That was all the prodding I needed, and I loaded up my cart with 3. *Sigh*

IMG_0013 IMG_0017 IMG_0014I don’t even feel guilty for hoarding because it is perfect.  I wore it for 6 days which is unheard of for me, and you can tell by these pictures this was on the last day.  Halfway through the week I decided to spice it up and try some of those saran wrap nails.  One of the main reasons I got this polish is how much it reminded me of an antique sofa I saw years ago and have been obsessed with the print/color scheme of.  I tried to recreate it over Fire Queen saran-wrapping with China Glaze Mingle with Kringle (another polish I’m hoarding bottles of right now, thanks to Steph).

I love how this turned out, and I was really sad to take it off, but my pile of untrieds has become a desk drawer of untrieds again so when it finally chipped I had to say good-bye.  You might notice a difference in my photos now.  I finally got around to digging out a lightbox, and I’m experimenting with getting my photo quality back to what it used to be in the old days.  I also went out on Black Friday and replaced my OTT light after putting it off for way too long. Its going to take some adjustment time because for the past couple years I’ve been just using sunlight for swatches, and I’m trying to remember how I had my old setup.  Please be patient and bear with some potentially weirdly positioned hands as I refigure this stuff out.

Hey y’all, remember me?

So. Wow. We’ve neglected this blog a bit, eh?

I could give you a million excuses. My kid broke both his arms. The holidays are so busy. Blah Blah.  The truth of the matter is, I just have been very wore down and unmotivated.  Its hard going from being two well known blogs to being one tiny blog that is pretty much unheard of.  This time of year always gets my depression kicking to life, and this blog has suffered.  I apologize.

Now, enough of that. Onto the pretty stuff.  I have a bad habit of going a-spendin’ when I fall into a slump, and this time is no different.  I hit the RBL sale pretty hard (though not as hard as that photo Ji posted to IG). I’ve also been ever so slowly (then all of a sudden) getting sucked into the world of Indie Polish.  I’ve got three packages on the way that I ordered in the past couple days and god help me, I still want to order about 5000 dollars more in Indies.

A couple months ago, I Love Nail Polish brand released the first of her UltraChromes.  I had to have them all.  Also, for those of you new to the Indie leagues like myself, let me HIGHLY recommend Barbara of ILNP.  Amazing customer service.  Our order was accidentally packed with two of the same color and missing one of the others, and Barbara got it corrected and taken care of within a couple hours.  As I said, amazing CS.

Most of you have been beaten to death with the swatches of these UltraChromes, and there was a release afterwards with holo multichromes in November, and now the Holiday Collection, which is unavailable at the moment because pre-order ended yesterday (I got mine, don’t worry).   Since you’ve all been bombarded with the full swatches, I’m just going to show you my peacock watermarble that I did with the UltraChromes.

001 005 003 009 010

This watermarble totally freaked out my camera, and these pictures do it no justice, but I still had to show you because uh WOW.

My nails are super nubbinized in this picture.  I was a month ago, and I had a really bad break the day after Halloween.  I grew out some pointy almond claws for the holiday, and they rebelled the day after.  At least they waited til the day after, right?

It took me quite a few tries to get multichromes to watermarble.  Your best bet is to use a dark base (in these photos I used Lippmann Edge of Glory, a super pigmented black creme) and use very cold water in your marbling cup.  I’m not sure what it is about the pigments, but I could only get them to watermarble in very cold water.

If you have Instagram or Twitter and you have or are going to watermarble with the multichromes, we’d love to see the results!  You can send it to my mentions via @hillbillyheaux or tag me in your IG picture. My instagram user is theformerscandalousange.