Thursday, September 30, 2010


On the most recent episode of "Glee" - where Britney Spears made a cameo appearance - Lea Michele did her own little rendition of Brit's infamous debut hit "(Hit Me) Baby One More Time."

While I commend producers for choosing Brit - and this song - to cover an episode (I loved the Madonna one too; I sung my way through, and I can belt out each legendary artists' tunes on-key and word-by-word), Lea Michele doesn't mesh well with the song's upbeat tone. Lea sounds too pretty and high-pitched in accordance with Britney's intended raspy, sexy voice and the song's bubblegum pop rhythm. Speaking of sexy, while both Britney and Lea look good (and similar) in their respective music videos, Lea's imitations of Britney's pouty facial expressions, lazy eye contact, and sensual choreography just weren't convincing.

Sorry, Glee! You can't just replace an original with a copy :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sex in the City: An Inside Look at Prostitution in Toronto and the GTA

Once upon a time - in the late 1970s - Toronto attempted to “clean up Yonge St,” by eliminating its many body-rub or “massage” parlours. Little did they know this would actually push prostitutes onto the untamed, dangerous streets. And those are just some of the same streets – more commonly known as “red light districts” - that make Downtown TO famous for the sex trade, and the Greater Toronto Area’s suburbs - such as Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Mississauga - look that much safer…or so we think.

In early January 2008, a young Eastern European woman arrived at a downtown Toronto police station, claiming she had replied to an advertisement to “model” in Canada. Little did she know she would soon be thrown into sexual slavery by a team of Russian males, on her arrival. Moral of the story: Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. In other words, this woman – or anyone of us – did not see this coming, until it was too late. Unlike with Downtown TO’s flashy strip clubs and other outdoor “entertainment,” we don’t immediately see the massage parlours and escort services hidden in the GTA’s suburbs. After all, it took three months for York Regional Police to handcuff eight Ontario residents from Vaughan’s Hands from Heaven Spa.

So not only do we fail to spot these sneaky “spas” in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, or Scarborough, but the police do as well. Since the police simply lack the resources to investigate every advertised massage parlour, the GTA’s suburbs have become the location for much of the illegal sex trade. Ironically enough, though, since these parlours are disguised under unassuming names – such as the Hands from Heaven Spa - or are located in quiet, suburban plazas, we do not realize that the suburbs are not as safe, as their image leads us to believe.

These parlours are hard to find not only because they hide under innocuous names, but also because human traffickers tend to advertise these services within their own ethnic communities, so they don’t attract the attention of police. For example, traditional Russian and other new immigrant criminal organizations mostly dominate the overall GTA, while Asian crime groups specifically control a part of the GTA known as York Region. Saying that, there is a lot of illegal sex going on that even the police themselves won’t notice, and, thereby, cannot stop.

And what about the “pimps” that lure young girls into working in the suburbs’ escort services and massage parlours? Even the York Region’s vice cops say that they are noticing more and more young adolescents being “invited” to sell themselves in the region’s services. Police also reveal that these girls and their “pimps” come from across Ontario, just to work in York Region. These sex trade workers know the suburbs have a reputation for being safe, safer than they really are. In fact, these “employees” of the trade, in turn, contribute to making the suburbs unsafe. Because of these escort agencies and massage parlours, there are more pimps and more opportunities for these pimps to abuse prostitutes, behind closed doors. Also, prostitutes on the streets (i.e. of Downtown Toronto) can work - and keep their money - without giving pimps their share. But, the prostitutes who work in agencies and parlours (of the GTA’s suburbs) can’t do that, because their pimps can closely track all their calls – and earnings - from the comfort of their own offices.

Since these services are often advertised online, pimps can control prostitutes even more. Many of these parlours and agencies advertise their services on the internet, all too often coincidentally creeping away from the police’s hindsight. And since many of these parlours are in the GTA’s suburbs, this means that potential rapists or murderers - who see these parlours on the internet - are literally circulating the suburbs, which makes the GTA’s suburbs even more unsafe…

But, a world with the internet still comes with an advantage: the police can catch these pimps red-handed…and with just the click of a button, too! Then again, just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. What about those services that aren’t advertised? If a bawdy house isn’t advertised and can only be seen as a home, then police can never really eliminate it, as a form of prostitution.

But, as someone who is not a police officer, I do not know all the incidents the GTA’s suburbia has planned for us. As far as I’m concerned, there is only so much that these police officers can do. So, the future of the GTA’s sex trade industry is bleak. We can only predict the future from the facts: reality is that hundreds of women either have gone missing or been murdered. The reality is that because laws against “bawdy houses” and “living off the avails of prostitution” push prostitutes onto the streets, there are more prostitutes that don’t have security and support staff, like massage parlours or escort services do. Reality is that if all prostitutes went on the streets, these massage parlours, escort services, and bawdy houses wouldn’t exist…and then maybe the GTA suburbs wouldn’t have a reputation anymore. But, if these laws persist, more prostitutes will open themselves to more abductors or murderers on the streets. If these laws persist, the GTA will have no future.

Because of their massage parlours, ethnic crime groups, and cyberspace, the GTA suburbs are not actually as safe, as their image suggests. It is easy to see how “safe” Downtown TO is, with its strip clubs and red light districts. But, within the suburbs, it is all lurking in the shadows. While it’s true that what we don’t see may still be there, it is also true that what we don’t see is what we don’t know: and what we don’t know is how unsafe these suburbs actually are. The suburban sex trade is a mystery to us, unless we are victims of its cause.

Monday, September 27, 2010


If you haven't heard of Tracy Nova, you must've seen her. With dark, exotic half-Filipina/half-white facial features and a petite but ample 5'1 and 94-lb physique, she's hard to miss in her appearances on UWC, Hollywood Poker, PASMag, FHM, American Curves, Playboy, Importfest, and, let's not forget, a memorable parody - the "Junk in the Trunk" commercial. But, now, I'm giving this vision a voice. Here, I talk to Tracy about everything from sexy Vegas careers to sick rides to her "adult" website - and back. Check it out:

V.B. Where did you grow up exactly, and how did it empower you to take on modelling?

T.N. I mainly grew up in Orlando, Florida, and I started modeling by random people coming up to me saying that I should model. I took that into consideration, and everything blew up from there.

V.B. Now, you work in Las Vegas? What kinds of opportunities have been available to you working there? How many crazy, sexy jobs are there really? What really goes down in Las Vegas :)

T.N. Actually, I work everywhere - Las Vegas, California, Seattle, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta, Toronto, NYC, Montreal, and so much more! Even went to Sydney for work too! But, I do know a few things about Las Vegas. And yes, there are lots of sexy jobs - anything from casino dealers, cocktail waitresses, dancers, performers, modeling, bartenders, etc. The list goes on!

V.B. How did you get to where you are now? What small gigs did you accept that led to the bigger part of the industry?

T.N. I did lots and lots of networking! Making great connections and friends - I just kept stepping forward.

V.B. You've appeared in Importfest (here in Toronto) and on the cover of Super Street Magazine various times. How much do you know about cars OR what new car would you say is your favourite or best choice, and why?

T.N. I don't know too much about cars, but I try and learn from all my friends that works in that industry. My favorite cars are Nissan 240 s14 (Silvia), Nissan Skyline GTR, and the NSX.

V.B. You were also a UWC Ring Card girl and a Hollywood Poker girl. Other than poker, etc., is there anything else entailed with those two jobs that most people aren't aware of?

T.N. When I was a ring card girl for UWC, we would do many appearances, events, photo shoots, promos, and, of course, workout! And when I was a model for Hollywood Poker, we did shoots for the website, calendars, and promo material. We also played online against other players and fans too. That was a lot of fun!

V.B. Speaking of cars and what not, you also had a speaking part in the "Junk in the Trunk" commercial. Apparently, at one point, this was a very popular product/advertisement. If you can remind us, was there any backlash in response to this commercial, and would you say it helped you advance in your modelling career even more?

T.N. There was no backlash. It was a fun and silly infomercial. If you watch it, you can clearly see it's all jokes and entertainment. It helped my career by adding more experience in the TV/Film area.

V.B. Your exotic look has been indulged in men's publications, like PASMag, American Curves, Playboy, and FHM. Are you mixed? How do you incorporate your culture into your everyday life?

T.N. Yes, I am mixed. I am half Filipino and half Caucasian. I am very culturally diverse. I actually listen to lots of Korean pop, Japanese rock, and Chinese pop. I watch lots of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese movies, and also Anime. I eat all kinds of food, but mainly Asian and seafood.

V.B. You also have a members website, but you don't accept any adult work. How do you draw the line on your website or in any other mediums that challenges the definition of what is considered "adult," and why? In other words, what will you do or not do specifically?

T.N. I consider my website to still be "adult," but it doesn't cross the line of exploiting myself too much. On my website, it's mainly implied to topless. Very classy and tasteful, but still very sexy, artsy, and provocative.
I will only accept work that is implied only. My website will be the only one that goes topless!

V.B. You're very petite (at 5'1 and 98 lbs), yet you have successfully achieved various types of modelling, such as being a runway model at the Ed Hardy Harajuku Lovers Fashion Show and being a model in a bridal commercial. How do you market yourself in such a competitive industry that relies mostly on women over 5'7/5'8? How do you feel about the media's "attempt" to include women of different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities?

T.N. It's hard in this industry! I'm not going to lie! But, the thing that I love about it is that there are many different categories that anyone can fall into: lifestyle, commercial, glamour, runway, fashion, bikini, fitness, lingerie, nude, fetish, business, plus-size, etc.

V.B. Am I missing anything that you would like to discuss? What's coming up for you in the nearby future, or what would you like to do (in terms of your career or personal life)?

T.N. It feels like only bigger things are going to start happening - from this point on! So, look out for it! Don't forget to check out my website. of course - - and I'd like to thank all my friends, family, and fans! ♥

Saturday, September 25, 2010


When people think of independent musicians, stereotypical images of dark bands playing a monotone collection of notes usually come to mind. But, if you're apart of a blonde twin duo and rock out to bubbly pop rhythms instead, you just might become the exception to this rule.

We have seen Carmen and Camille grow from cute - as youngsters with their own "rec-room band" (which have built a pathway for their performances on MTV'S Total Request Live) - to sexy, being featured in women's fashion magazine ELLE and men's premier technology publication Stuff Mag - "for different reasons."

Of course, it's also because majority of the songs on their first album "Two" were listened to on the mass-producing reality show "The Hills" (another MTV venture), and their most recent hit "Shine 4 U" just snagged the Chum Emerging Artist Initiative award, which has connected them to Canuck radio airplay and their video acquiring another type of airplay on MuchMusic.

With another possible album in the works - as well as a reality TV show - we can foreshadow that Carmen and Camille won't be leaving MTV anytime soon. Here's my as-adorable-as-hell Q&A with the ladies.

V.B. You guys are twins :) Any funny twin stories? Is there a good or bad twin? Do you guys ever switch places or share a special interest that only you two do together?

C&C We tried switching places a couple times in high school, but it always backfired. Camille ended up having to take a test for me, so finally, we had to admit to the teacher we had switched places. It just never ended up being that funny to trick people. We have had a couple of different boyfriends confuse us over the phone or even in person (laughs), but it's pretty rare. We look less alike than we used to. We definitely have a very strong bond though. I don't know if it's a "twin" thing or just the fact we have spent most of our lives together, but we know each other inside and out. We feel very lucky to have a partner in this crazy music business we are in.

V.B. You guys had a "rec-room band" as kids, which led onto MTV's Total Request Live? How exactly did that work?

C&C We were forming bands from a very young age with friends. We started The Clashers in elementary school with our best friend. We would get her little sister to tape interviews with us, and we would pretend she was interviewing us - like Oprah. As we got older, we kept doing music and, over the past several years, have been able to do some awesome things - like play on TRL.

V.B. You guys have musical influences that range from the likes of Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin to Sheryl Crow to No Doubt. Would you say these influences are evident in your music, lyrics, or image?

C&C We grew up listening to rock bands like U2, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin... Our first concert our parents took us to was Robert Plant actually, so we have always had a soft spot for a good guitar riff and rock'n'roll. I'm sure that's why it's important to us to have guitars in our music - we play them live. And Gwen Stefani has always been an inspiration, musically and image-wise. She's just so cool, and she's a great performer live.

V.B. You have two albums - Don't Play Me Out and Two. How do the two albums differ from eachother? Where did you intend to place the sense of growth as an artist in one or both albums?

C&C Two was our first album and was years in the making - in a sense - because it was songs from our entire lives up to that point. We made a conscious decision to try something a bit different after Two, which had been a very pop-rock album. With Don't Play Me Out, we wanted to have more of an indie sound. We worked with Howard Redekopp who has worked with bands - like Mother Mother and Tegan and Sara. We got to be very hands-on both albums actually, which was cool. The music we are writing now has a bit more dance elements to it, but it's still in the pop/rock vein. We like trying different things; we're Gemini's :)

V.B. Your most recent hit "Shine4U" is playing all over radio stations in Canada, with its music video playing all over MuchMusic. How was it making the video? How did you come up with the concept?

C&C The whole process of making "Shine 4U" was a highlight of this year for sure. We worked with Aaron A from The Field on the concept. We wanted it to be fun and shiny, because the song is fun and shiny and also has some live aspects to it. We are proud of that video; they did a great job. We shot it in Toronto, which we always love to visit. Shine 4U was produced and co-written with Ryan Stewart and had a crazy number of remixes - over 300 around the world.

V.B. You guys were/still are "independent music artists." What is your advice for independent artists wanting to become as successful as you are?

C&C Well, first of all, "believe in yourself." As cliche as it sounds, it's true. And having a team of people around you that are dedicated to the project is invaluable. We're lucky to have people behind the scenes that help in so many ways.

V.B. You have acquired great promotion in Elle, Stuff, and Toro. How did you find the exposure? What were the differences in being written in men's, technology, women's, or fashion publications?

C&C (Laughs) Good question. Well, men's magazines tend to focus on the fact that we are twins for some reason ;) But, we have had some fun interviews and photo shoots over the years. Toro was a fun day of interviews and photos; we did the shoot at a Ferrari and Masarati dealership. At the very end, Drake came in to the store. The angles are always different in each format, but hopefully, the common theme is raising awareness about 'Carmen and Camille' and letting people know more about us.

V.B. You guys have set stage in cities internationally across the Globe, including London, Vancouver, Boston, New York, Dubai, LA, Austin, and more. Would you say any or a few of these cities' lifestyles are so distinct from that of Toronto's? Anything specific or fascinating you have learnt or experienced while travelling across the world?

C&C Traveling is one of our favorite things; you really do hope to take something away from each place you go to. Europe has always been a highlight. I could see myself living in London; we love our tea and have some great friends over there. And the audiences were very supportive when we played over there. And getting to play for the troops in Dubai, Egypt, Greece... those are moments we will never forget. These people are far away from home, sometimes for a really long time, and you could see that you were bringing a bit of home to them. It was an honor. But one thing I have noticed is how much I appreciate Vancouver, the more time I spend away from it. It was a great place to grow up; I think my heart will always be in that city, no matter where I live or travel to.

V.BYou had your songs on The Hills. Did you meet any of the celebrities? You also have a television show in the works. Will it be anything like "The Hills" - with all that reality show drama? 

C&C We have met some of the Hills cast over the years in LA. It's crazy that there is no more Hills anymore; we loved having our songs on the show. There are definitely some cool things ahead we will be doing with acting...

V.B. Do you have any particular goals (singing or non-singing) for the future?

C&C Well, first and foremost, we want to win a Grammy. That is a dream that we have written on post-it notes on our mirror for years. Positive projection! And it is a dream to do a full-on world tour. And it would be really cool to be on Broadway! And on a personal level, just to be good people that spread love and music and contribute in a positive way in this world.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Neon-glam fabric, crazy glitter make-up, screaming crowds, sassy lyrics, booming dancey bubblegum pop, and a Toronto night venue. These items comprise the list of a typical KaraMel performance. It's no wonder KaraMel has called themselves - just that - living up to its candy-coated spin of two names. Kara plays under the same name as herself - a former regular gig at gay and rock venues - while Mel represents the alter ego of Cassie Steele, whose name and face you might recognize as 10 year veteran/character "Manny" on Degrassi: The Next Generation. In November 2009, Kara and Mel travelled to - and revolutionized the music industry in - Scotland, where their single "I Turn Me On (Kiss Myself)" was played on Top 40 radio station, Clyde 1 Radio. They expended this newfound energy and victory in music festivals for crowds that exceeded 10,000 people, and continued to rock the Scottish club scene with their eye-catching shows. With a YouTube channel that has reached as high as #10 in Canada's "Most Viewed" section, and a recently-released debut video "Underwear" by prestigious director Aaron A (who has worked with Nelly Furtado and Down with Webster), KaraMel can believably top the charts with their upcoming debut album or otherwise repeatedly with their future musical endeavours. Check out our Q&A here:

V.B. Your "candy pop" ish sound and image have received rave reviews in Scotland and Canada. When - and how - did you discover your passion for music?

Kara: The passion for music feels like something I was born with. I can show you the old home videos of 4- year-old Kara, performing as Sandy from Grease! My mom and aunt are both professional impersonators; they do Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. So, I was raised in a very musical home. My upbringing was odd! Last year, I actually got offered a job with an agency to be a Miley Cyrus impersonator. The money was great, but I passed to focus on KaraMel!

Mel: I was bit by the bug early, too. I've been writing forever and touring, since I was barely a teenager. Saying I have a "passion" for music is an understatement; it's part of my being.

V.B. (Cassie), you were on Degrassi; (Kara), you were performing at gay bars and rock venues downtown. How did you guys merge together to create the idea of KaraMel?

Kara: I was in L.A. with my manager Chris writing some new songs. My old pop band was kind of falling apart.

Mel: She came to visit me at my place in L.A and was talking about how her band was in trouble. I would need a new member, and she totally wasn't expecting me to want to join.

Kara: She had always been so rock'n' roll. I didn't think she'd be interested in joining KaraMel.

Mel: But the second we started singing and performing together, it just worked!

Kara: Her rock 'n' roll influence actually makes the music and the show a lot more interesting. The fans can really see the differences between us. She's harder; I'm sweeter. The contrast makes the combination really special.

V.B. You guys have a diversity of musical influences present in your music. How do they affect you in the process of thinking of certain songs to sing or certain ways to dress, etc.?

Our inspiration comes from the strangest things - lots of old cartoons, like Sailor Moon, Powerpuff Girls, or old Disney movies. There's some great imagery there. The KaraMel show is basically a cartoon movie, come to life. In terms of music, our inspirations can be surprisingly dramatic- like Evanescence and Marilyn Manson. We love music that really makes you feel. Even though KaraMel's music is very fun, the ultimate goal is still to make people feel something strong - whatever that may be.

V.B. Speaking of the emotional context of your music/career, the titles of some of your songs i.e. "I Turn Me On (Kiss Myself)" and "Underwear" can seem to spark some controversy. Do you use these songs to send an important message to your fans, reflect personal experience - or are they just all in good fun?

We write our own songs, so they do, of course, derive from personal experience.

Kara: I still remember the night "Underwear" was written - like it was yesterday - and there is a very specific boy who it's about. I never got to see him in his underwear :)

Mel: Our song titles and themes will always be uber quirky; that's who we are. We're not boring chicks; we're not gonna write generic break up songs or "I'm so in love" songs. There's always going to be a twist that reflects how crazy we are. Even though we sing about sex and partying, the ultimate message is very positive - stay happy, enjoy life, be bold enough to chase your dreams, and keep the world a loving place.

V.B. You have a YouTube channel that was rated as high as #10 on Canada's "Most Viewed" section. Would you say you guys pull certain certain stunts or unique performances to draw extra exposure?

We'll do anything! We sometimes start singing randomly on streetcars or in burger joints, just so people get to hear our songs and know we are. We've performed in the weirdest places; we're not above anything!

V.B. Your debut music video for "Underwear" was produced by the same guy behind The Stereos' and Nelly Furtado's videos. How was that whole experience? Can you hint us into how the video turns out?

It was great. Aaron A is an awesome director, and we expect to work with him again in the future. It was our first video, so we learned a lot. The second video will definitely be a lot crazier and reflect our stage show more. You can see the underwear video at

V.B. What do you hope to pursue exactly - with your music and acting careers? Are there any certain types of films, TV shows, genres, etc. you'd like to experiment with?

We're both very focused on KaraMel right now. We're not thinking about anything else, until we've taken over the world. We need to get the whole planet dancing in their underwear.

V.B. What lessons do you think you've learnt from observing certain musicians in the media, or anyone in your life (in general)?

Kara: Lady GaGa has really shown me the importance of hard work and practicing constantly to perfect your craft.

V.B. What specific advice can you offer to aspiring artists, dancers, or singers - like yourself?
Mel: We ourselves are still aspiring for so many things, but to anyone out there, the only advice I can give is to be yourself and work you ass off! If you're not passionate enough about your art that you find yourself crying over it every day, then you aren't passionate enough yet! You've got to want it so bad that there are tears.


In March 2010, Lindsay Lohan sued Internet financial company E*Trade for mentioning her first name in a commercial for a "milkaholic" baby. Yesterday, both defendants resolved the $100 million lawsuit.

The details regarding the settlement will remain private, but according to Dina Lohan (Lindsay's mother), she is "very happy" with what came out of this, including Lindsay's abundant moola gain.

I'm not sure as to what's more disturbing here...the fact that a commercial would exploit an innocent infant into mocking a serious alcoholic addiction or that there is such thing as a baby becoming reliant on drugs, if his or her mother consumed some while the baby were still in her womb. Either way, the parent of this baby shouldn't have let him or her be apart of this media charades, even if the baby was hypothetically addicted to her "milk." Sigh...what companies will do to separate their milk from the rest :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We all do it. Facebook almost programs us to be newly connotated "creepers." With newsfeeds and public/private profiles, you can view as much about a Facebook user's life - through their pictures, status updates, and information sections - to track down who they are and where they are this VERY second. Of course, users choose to make this information public, but thanks to hacking systems and so-called "applications" (as well as some individuals' desperation and obsession with certain ex-boyfriends or BFFs), anyone has the ability to take the game of Facebook too far.

So, what are you? Are you the "creep all you want but don't do anything about it," the "I don't give a rat's behind," or "I will be my own private investigator and GPS my boyfriend's whereabouts?" type? Take this quiz and find out.

1. Whether it'd be your only or third time today, your typical Facebook-creeping routine consists of:
a) checking your messages, writing on your friends' walls, and scrolling down your newsfeed
b) loitering the profiles of your friends, frenemies, and "lovers" to see what they've REALLY been up to
c) Bing-ing/Facebook-ing your latest infatuation/conquest to make sure he doesn't have a criminal record, girl toy - ya know, the usual.

2. You hear your best friend is talking smack about you through Facebook private messaging with other friends. You:
a) Facebook message her, informing her directly about what you've heard and asking for an explanation.
b) "rape" her wall with implicit messages that imitate what things she has reportedly said about you, like "oh, everyone knows what an attention whore I am" or "yes, I always touch other girls' boyfriends' shoulders while laughing at their jokes."
c) "hack" (or use passwords that have been shared with you) into your "best friend" or other friends' Facebook accounts to retrieve these conversations and check whether your friend really was talking behind your back. If it's true, you print out a record of the conversations and show them to her.

3. A random "Facebook friend" has been sending you anonymous messages in your Honesty Box. This user knows the address to your new house (and your address isn't listed). They have also seen what outfit you're wearing (and it's new). You fear that this person is actually stalking you and may try to attack you. You:
a) vent about your situation on your Facebook status to make all of your "friends" aware, so you can create a help and "safety" net. Any of your 250-pound male friends should scare your "secret admirer" off!
b) attempt to crack the mystery by yourself. You have read all of your stalker's messages yourself and can identify potential suspects - with the style of writing and information they have given you - through narrowing down your extensive friends list.
c) try and stalk them back! (Get a friend or) look at what's behind you (everytime you walk) or look outside your window (everytime you get dressed). Everytime you see a shadow of a lurking individual outside, follow them strategically to their desired location, even if it's to the men's washroom! Reply to their messages with threats and then - for the grand finale - call the police, so they can track the computer IP address down and arrest the SOB! That'll teach him!

4. You think your boyfriend is cheating on you. You suspect this, because apparently, he has another Facebook account that he won't add you on, and mutual friends are warning you that he always has women "flirting" with him on their wall post conversations. You:
a) physically go on the computer - with your boyfriend beside you - and locate for him this other Facebook account he has, so he knows you know that something's up.
b) teach him a little lesson - a little reverse psychology, if you will. You go on a consented guy friend's account and flirt with him (or create another account and flirt with random guys) to teach your boyfriend what it feels like for your partner to flirt with other people - in public, on a popular social networking website. So embarrassing.
c) Create a fake account as a gorgeous, sexy model-type who describes herself as "adventurous and open-minded" (translation: is the village bicycle; everyone gets a ride) and tempt him into meeting or cyber-sexting you, which will eventually lead to an intimate encounter presenting your real identity instead of the slutty supermodel or printing out your conversation and then showing it to your unfaithful boyfriend.

5. You didn't get the job of your dreams. You worked so hard and believed you excelled at the interview, but it's not your fault your possible boss is such an arrogant, presumptuous...(fill-in-the-blank). You want revenge, even though getting it wouldn't make you look too professional. But, you've also heard rumours that your could've-been-future employer is a child molester. You assume no charges have been made against him and no one you have talked to has actually seen him with children, but he does have an awful lot of 10-year-old girls on his Facebook. If he is a pedophile, the police have the right to know and protect the community's children. You:
a) consider that these 10-year-old female Facebook friends are most likely friends of his daughters or his relatives, but add him under a changed name - just to make sure he's not having regular and/or arguably suggestive conversations with any children on his Facebook wall. 
b) Contact police directly to see what they can do about it.
c) The police won't do anything with no evidence, so you pose as a child on Facebook and try to lure him into meeting you or talking to you on MSN (hey, undercover cops do it), or since you know where he works, you try following him to his office and to his home - and everywhere in between.


You don't constantly refer to Facebook to solve your problems or conduct "important" research. If you think a best friend is betraying your trust or a boyfriend's cheating on you, you just confront them face-to-face to judge their reactions and then take it from there. You don't prefer to assess relationships based on virtual modes of communication. You believe that seeing something for yourself - in person and not hiding behind a computer screen or deceitful words and images - shows the REAL truth. But, sometimes, you have to do a little digging to save your ass or a relationship. But, police shouldn't be slamming a restraining order on you anytime soon. Good job.

You implement extensive resources i.e. a Facebook friends list to solve a who-done-it?, without disrupting other people immediately with a lack of information. You may also take the time to play a prank on a frenemy or a boyfriend to reveal to them that you know that they have betrayed your trust. You don't believe in making a big freakin' deal out of everything before you have all the info with you, but you do think that making the investigative process fun - laughing at your "friend," while slipping jokes about gossip she's been spreading about you - or doing your research independently i.e. viewing friends' profiles and lists to eliminate vague suspects or suspicious data is alot more enjoyable than getting upset and jumping to conclusions. There are grey areas to what's considered "stalking" now on public, accessible online social networking websites, but you ensure that you draw the line at a reasonable place. 

You should either consider joining the RCMP forces (if you reside in Canada) or turning yourself in to the RCMP. You know a little bit too much - and will risk your life i.e. posing as a child to seduce perverts - to know that much. Leave it to the pros, please.        

Friday, September 17, 2010


The Situation must be happy.

Jenni Farley aka J-Woww from MTV's Jersey Shore will soon strike a pose for Playboy!

She was allegedly just offered between $200,000 - $300,000 by the publication to appear completely nude in one of the upcoming Winter issues.

Looks like J-Woww will put her breast(s) implant(s) to good use. The girls are usually popping out anyway, so what's the difference in exposing them for a magazine that has been on the market for almost 60 years - and getting some moola in return?

Lookin' good, Jenni!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Apparently, this year, sheer and sparkle are back in and ready to excite - ahem, I mean entice - the fashion and media world. Here are my verdicts:

The Hills alum Audrina Patridge is the one of the few who can pull off this diamond shine-and-colour minidress number. She doesn't pair it with too flashy accessories, so it's not too much sparkle, and the colours all match in a subtle way. It hugs her taut and toned silhouette just right, along with a belt wrapped around her waist - like a bow on top of a gift. Can you say Christmas?

As crazy as the feather and sheer combo is, I actually really like Ciara's get-up. It drapes off her buff arms and shoulders, while still feminizing her slight bust and hips, thereby eluding a more hourglass frame. The feather-edness is positioned correctly - near the bottom and revealing just the right amount of leg, so it's more red carpet and not so saloon girl.    

Kesha's mohawk is still so tamed for someone with such a wild image. It blends in with her skanky spandex, pleathery, martian-like look - whatever that is. Wouldn't wear it myself, yet somehow she pulls it off, because, after all, she is - Kesha. 

OMG, where do I start? Lady Gaga has two spots on my fashion dos-and-don'ts list. If you're flabbergasted by this outfit, you haven't seen anything yet! This is more flapper than Ciara's, complete with a corresponding headpiece and what-did-you-do-to-afford-that? jewellery. Of course, she can answer that rhetorical question with "Oh, I took off my clothes and danced for millions," and if she wasn't Lady Gaga, we would take that hypothetical response in an entirely different way - as well as that Chinese New Year red tablecloth she's sporting :)

Spoke too soon. Lady Gaga is a repeat offender (or creative genius, to some) in this not-as-controversial-as-a-meat-bikini painting of a Church stained glass window and fan headwear. Sure she didn't incorporate her also kinda Chinese New Year fan headpiece into the wrong outfit? Maybe not. It seems as if she's so into interior design - or non-furniture house decoration :) 

Love Snooki (my fave Jersey Shore gal) and her somewhat cut-out blue patterned minidress. Of course, with the long, dark bangs and her diminutive size, Snooki could be confused for an also too-cute Nicki Minaj. Snooki poses for the camera, flattering her full curves by angling her body to the side and putting her hand on one hip. I think I'll try that next time I'm caught by a snap-happy club photographer.

Sofia Vergara looks ab-solutely gorgeous with her luscious dark waves gracefully falling around glistening dangling earrings and on top of a curve-hugging, glittery LBD. In my opinion, no one shined like Sofia did that night. Enough said. Bravo. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010


If you haven't heard of them, Everything That's Fly is a band that meshes a variety of genres into their music, including rhythm, blues, rock and roll, hip hop, funk, and "everything in between." Producer/DJ ear2ear, lead-singer Pearl, and songwriter/guitar player Pig are Toronto, Ontario residents and old high school friends who have a special talent and dream in common: creating and performing music. In 2005, they established Everything That's Fly, distributing their debut self-titled EP just a year later. With attitude-filled or parodical  songs like "Turn Off Your Phone" and "Maury," it's no wonder that it only took three years for the band to make it big in Toronto. They hold regular gigs around the GTA in places the El Mocambo for different events, which consists of the Indie Music Week festival. Their connection with fans has extended and swirled around the globe - from England to Zambia to Korea. Recently, ETF joined forces with urban Toronto artists Via Linez and Eye+Eye, Von Pea of New York's Tanya Morgan and the Netherland's Nicolay of the Foreign Exchange.

Check out the video they submitted in response to my questions HERE!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I'm a firm believer in the idea that all shapes, sizes, and colours are beautiful. And while some may - or may not - criticize a certain consistency in a racial group's physical characteristics, many may only view a particular group of individuals (from a certain race or heritage) as attractive - even to the point where they become a fetish.

Now, there's no harm in having a favourite colour or chocolate bar - and the same should go for having a favourite "type" of man or woman - as long as it doesn't go so far that you pine ONLY for those type of women or men and hurt those people for just being themselves in the process, or hurt yourself because you just lowered your chances of finding a mate or spouse with only - say - "Latinas" or "Asians."

In a recent (well, 2009 study) on (a dating website where solely "beautiful people" are permitted to join), Britians are overall considered the least attractive people on the globe (despite, hello, Robert Pattinson and Ed Chestwick).  Less than about 12ish % of British males and 15% of females who have registered to be on have been accepted. Swedish men have rendered to being deemed the sexiest, with 65 percent being condoned on the website, while Norwegian women are classified as the most gorgeous with 76 percent let in. Britains don't put in as much effort grooming, primping, or pumping the iron, according to Beautiful People managing director Greg Hodge. (Hey, isn't Greg British? Is he self-deprecating his own roots and acting hypocritically, or does he just better understand and witness his own family?) "Next to Brazilian and Scandinavian beauties, British people just aren't as toned or glamorous," Greg continues to say. Only the male Russian and Polish applicants were rated lower than British men, although Russian women achieved a 44 percent acceptance rate.  German applicants were cut for distributing unflattering pictures, which may have sabotaged their overall acceptance rates at 15 percent for males and 13 percent for females.

While this study was released almost a year ago, it got me thinking. I always hear random acquaintances talk about how they really love "Latina" or "Asian" girls, which isn't bad, but then it made me wonder. Was it because of their culture, their physical appeal, or sexual openness? Several Tyra episodes have revealed stereotypes and anecdotes about Asian women being sexually submissive to their boyfriends' desires and Latina women being specifically "spicy" with their choice in attire and touchy salsa choreography.

Well, it may be the culture, but we don't necessarily look solely different or similar, because of our ethnicities or races. We possess certain physical characteristics directly due to our relatives or mostly our parents' DNA. But, our relatives and ancestors at least partially share the same race and background, which explains the pattern of similar physical traits in humans of the same ethnicity. So, there is some truth to the reason why people can guess whether you're apart of a certain ethnicity, while, as I learned in my Anthro class, there is more of a difference within humans of a certain ethnicity than humans over a wider range of ethnicities combined. This supports the notion why people also may confuse you for being apart of a different ethnicity - because many diverse ethnicities hold similar physical, biological characteristics to eachother, especially if they are located closely together in terms of geography i.e. Italy and Greece are both in Europe. But, various races can be recognized more significantly, because skin colours and complexions are easier to concentrate on than an entire bevy of facial aspects. If someone's black, they may be dark or light-skinned - different shades of black - but you can still tell that they're black, unless they're mixed. Not everyone is comprised of just one ethnicity, which complicates previous arguments addressed even more.

Another reason why people prefer mates of specific ethnicities, especially their own ethnicities? They're used to it, especially if they live in a certain country or ethnic culture that admires women or men of only their own race/ethnicity. They use the pride for their own to set their standards as beautiful. So even in a Western society where seemingly (for some time) tall, dark, muscular men and thin, blond, busty women are admired, other cultures still hold conviction that their men and women are good-looking too.

But besides the Playboy bunnies and Abercrombie and Fitch shirtless guy models, women and men of other ethnicities - and their consistent features - were glorified in the fashion and modelling industries, often labelled as "exotic." But, a mixed or other model from a certain culture may not represent her ethnicity's biologically conventional or usual characteristics. Let's take a look at some celebrities as well as the unique features of several races/ethnicities and assess if these stars depict their cultures "accurately."

Let's start off with Adriana Lima, a Victoria Secret supermodel who perfectly symbolizes the most exotic and stunning Brazilian. Adriana flaunts vibrant eyes, full lips, warm olive skin, and a long, lean, "toned and glamourous" body. But, what she doesn't convey about a typical Brazilian is the need for their country's cheap plastic surgery - and the women who inject fat into their buns and thighs. Of course, this would create a more pear-shaped, rap video vixen look - as opposed to Adriana's straighter, lankier model-type physique. While Adriana is undeniably exquisite, to some of Brazil, she may need to eat a cheeseburger - or five.

Then, we have Europeans - well the Roman Mediterranean ones, anyway. I'm talking about the Greeks and Italians, especially. We can use Sophia Loren, Valerie Bertenelli, and Nia Vardolos as our examples. They all have brown hair, olive skin, prominent noses, and (well, at one point) more voluptuous figures. If you look at the Mona Lisa or the statues or paintings that Michael Angelo and others have created, the women in their pictures were all full, cherubic, hourglass - with evident busts, smaller waists, wider hips, and shapelier thighs. The Romans would've probably adored these ladies' abundant bodies - filled out with food and curves a woman should embrace. However, if you look at other Italians you know, they may be more apple-shaped and perhaps overweight - not paying attention to the amount of carby pizzas and pastas they consume, or the late, large lunches and dinners they abide to - or they may be thin to average-sized and buxom (think the Jersey Shore ladies). This just goes to show that not all Italian or Greek women resemble the ladies in the portraits by our many great artists.

But, some Armenian or Persian women may appear to emulate the image of Greek or Italian women. Kim Kardashian rests my case. She's a proud owner of a distinct nose, long brown locks, darker skin, and sexilicious curves that prove to women that you don't have to be super skinny to be attractive or healthy - and make men water. Kim has also said that "Armenian women tend to be naturally curvaceous," and she definitely fits into that hot epidemic!

And if you think I'm done naming multicultural, big-bootied women, you're wrong! Like those who are European or Middle Eastern, Latinas tend to have that darker hair, darker skin, and - yes - more hourglass or pear-shaped bodies. Take Puerto Rican celeb Jennifer Lopez who has a derriere worth at least over a million dollars, along with her famous name - not to mention Salma Hayek, Selena (R.I.P.), and a few others. Then, there are ladies - like Jessica Alba and Christian Serratos - who have been categorized as "sexy" by a line of faithful men's magazines and viewers, but aren't as curvaceous. Latinas reportably have a higher chance of acquiring heart disease or other related illnesses (due to their body types), but perhaps, metabolism is mostly genetic - not ethnic.

As for Asians, I can't really name too many knowns, other than Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh. We can also add in Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars who may be mixed with Spanish, Phillipina, and Irish roots, but radiates a mostly Asian look. You can usually identify an Asian; they have naturally black hair, smaller eyes, flatter or more narrow noses, yellow undertones, and a more straight, tall, or even athletic body. These ladies seem to adhere to those characteristics, but if I had a penny for every time I saw an Asian model with larger breasts and buns spread across a men's magazine, I would be rich. Perhaps their buxom areas aren't real or man-made, but if not, I again agree that not everyone with the same ethnicity looks the same.

As for African Americans - like Beyonce - bigger may be better. Beyonce is defs not a big girl, but she has a round booty, thick thighs, and fleshy hips - in other words, dangerous curves that stop traffic! And she's proud of it. I see - like many rap video vixens - many black women who are more padded and utilize a more pear-shaped physique. Even if they are small, they hold bigger thighs, hips, and butts in contrast. On an episode of Jessica Simpson's show "The Price of Beauty," they travel to Africa to see what African women envision as beautiful. Apparently, those African women spent a few months in fattening huts to gain tremendous weight for their weddings. There, African men believe extremely full figures are a sign of fertility and good health. Yet, there are African American models who are tall and thin to the extent where they may be suffering from eating disorders. Talk about a range of extremes!

Then, there are Indians who are very petite (shorter and skinnier) and Ukrainian, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Russian, or Canadian/American women who have fair to medium skin, blond to light brown hair, blue or green eyes, and mostly slender bodies.

I'm not sure about which types of men and women were involved in the survey, but men and women - whether of the same or different ethnicity - are attracted to people of different shapes, sizes, colours, facial characteristics - whatever. It's ok to like Latina or Asian or European women, but to only select women of a different ethnicity can potentially shape you into a borderline racist. And it is that same type of thinking that allows people to discriminate, employ, or hurt others because of their race, ethnicity, looks, gender, or sexual orientation. Thank you.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


With a cute scrunchied afro, radiant ebony skin, and neon patterned attire that would even make Madonna blush, Lark Voorhies was hard to miss casted as lovable party girl "Lisa" on Saved by the Bell. Growing up in Pasadena, California, the 36-year-old was destined to become the next Hollywood starlet. And what better way to turn your silent, sweet shyness into a talent and acting career that boasts a resume of arguably one of the best teen shows - playing Lisa, the infatuation of Screech - portrayed by an actor (Dustin Diamond) who also exposed alleged anonymous sex and partying scandals behind "The Bell" (not to mention a raunchy sex tape that involved the use of feces)? But, there's more to Lark than her exquisite beauty and comic teen sidekick "Screech." She can also thank Saved by the Bell for guiding her to lead gigs in daytime dramas, like Bold & The Beautiful and Days of Our Lives, then films like How High and The Next Hit. Lark took the time out of her busy schedule to jot down almost poetic responses to my go-there questions - like if she would ever do a sex scene, where she believes the gossip about a false drug problem was born, and whether that Saved by the Bell offscreen teen drama was real. Lark Voorhies is back and better than ever! Check it out!

V.B. As a child, you took lessons for various types of dance genres (jazz, ballet, dance, hip hop) and singing lessons. You were also 2, when you started acting. What was your first gig like? Do you remember (or can a relative, etc. recall) when you first wanted to start performing? How did you know, and how did you go about pursuing it?

L.V. Yes, I indulged in both ballet and gymnastics. These days, it's the bar, work, karate, and yoga. They're all fun!
V.B. You/your mother chose to delay your acting career until about the age of 11, because of your shyness. Was this shyness, because of your age or any other insecurities you'd like to share with aspiring youth actors? Do you have any special tips on how to battle stage fright?

L.V. Oh - just simple, shy butterflies. My advice to aspiring talent is to seize the moment. Decide to fly!

V.B. You're most famous for your role as "Lisa" on "Saved by the Bell." Would you say you grew up with your character, in a way that you could relate to her? How were you and Lisa alike (well, at least, as teenagers)?

L.V. I say my alignment with Lisa would be our insatiability, tangibility, and ambition. Our motto would probably be something like "Caption the debut. Seek and staminate the horizon."

V.B. Dustin Diamond spilled a ton of controversial behind-the-scenes mysteries about Saved by the Bell in his tell-all book. Can you confirm if any of those stories are true?

L.V. That's an interesting angle, to which I will answer "No."

V.B. You've been featured in principle roles in many soap operas, including Days of Our Lives and Bold and the Beautiful. What was it like portraying single mom Wendy Reardon on Days of Our Lives?

L.V. It was a beautiful thing - (especially) to work with Dedre Hall.

V.B. You played intern fashion designer Jasmine Malone on B&B, until they wanted you to star in sex scenes - because of your religious beliefs. Would you ever consider doing a sex scene today? What's your take on the sexualization in the media now vs. 20/30 years ago?

L.V. The forbidden (like this sexualization) has always been - and still is - the maximus to our own ascension and discovery. I feel this ascension and discovery should introduce the right place and right time (for sex scenes and sexualization). (Basically, sex should be used appropriately, but ALL the time. I agree :).)

V.B. You made guest appearances on "Family Matters" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," mostly playing love interests of the main characters. Being a black woman, how do you view the depictions of certain racial stereotypes or characters in conventional African American family sitcoms?

L.V. I feel they (the sitcoms/characters) are a necessary right of passage into mainstream celebration and proper and/or appropriate, societal, incorporations/introductions.

V.B. You have been a background performer in music videos, alongside Boys II Men, Montell Jordan, and Dru Hill. How do you feel about the illustration of the woman's body in the media - or, say, music videos?

L.V. Throughout history, women have certainly satisfied the muse for many of, our musical heroes. I have not been at disadvantage to be included amongst this rare society - music, or otherwise.

V.B. You were a main character in "How High," a film released in 2001. There seems to be alot of drug and relationship issues involved in that plot. How comfortable were you in that character/storyline?

L.V. Well, I'm not uncomfortable to express the accurate. Certainly, if I have contributed to making safety and awareness a vogue, then I have done my job as a spokesperson. And I'm proud.

V.B. In 1994, you were in a music group initially called the X-Girls or Geneva - with Stacee and Yashi Brown (the daughters of oldest Jackson family member Rebe Jackson). Where were you, when you heard the news about Michael?

L.V. This is true, yes. I'll never forget the pressing news. The inflood of insight and all of the questions - it was all a complexity of overwhelm. I still wish the family an incredible future.

V.B. Your most recent film project - at one point - was a movie version of the book "The Black Man's Guide to Understanding Black Women." Do you see any differences between heterosexual relationships in different races? How's your love life, at the moment?

L.V. I see it all as the common thread of amore. The Greeks themselves have provided multiple avenues of Agapacle explore. Indeed, its modern-day filter does inspire the elite sing of divine.

V.B. In 2006, you filed a lawsuit against National Enquirer for alleging you had a drug problem. Where do you think those rumours derived from?

L.V. Only desperate sources seeking improper vein.

V.B. What's coming up for you now? I heard you were going to debut your new album this year!

L.V. I had the debut film: "The Next Hit" (in 2008). And I am, indeed, introducing my vocal talent!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Ooohh, is Justin Bieber finally showing us his "bad boy" side, ala the male version of a Disney princess who is all innocent in the beginning but once turns 17/18, is all "I'm posing for Maxim/Playboy, and I can't be tamed" (Ahem, Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan)? This just from a series of behaviours starting from yesterday and before frolicking with a much older Kim Kardashian and responding to nude fans at his concerts with an "I don't hate it" (mimics George Lopez accent).

But, when you're on a roll, why stop? Justin Bieber just doesn't know when to stop being everywhere and seems to be some sort of business genius, because he knows how everyone's gunna react to THIS.

And, yes, Justin, you might be feeding me - plus the rest of the media - all this, but remember: we benefit too, especially when the evidence is recorded on Twitter - like the message you sent to all your loving fans:

"Just talk to me. Ask me how I'm doing. Introduce yourself instead of yelling, 'Justin! Justin! Justin! Can I have a picture?' And don't come up to me while I'm eating. How would you like it if I came into your house and started taking pictures of you while you were eating? I hate that. It's still amazing to see people wearing my shirts, but I feel like I can't get away from myself. Like, I go to Walmart and I just want to go get some boxers and socks, but there are posters of me everywhere. Or my song comes on the radio, and it's like, 'Aah!'."

Good cop, bad cop. Good Justin, oh sooo naughty Justin :) Please, take a cue from Eminem, and would the real Justin Bieber please stand up?

Monday, September 6, 2010


How's my favourite Canadian cutie patootie?

Someone's jealous! Being a hunky heartthrob to millions of girls for over a year now, Justin Bieber must know that you're gunna have lovers and haters making noise about you, which isn't all bad - because HATERS make you famous!

However, Justin Bieber decided to drop his always-sweet-and-forgiving smile and stand up (well, virtually, anyway) yesterday night to a "hater" on YouTube!!

Someone made a counterfeit account and wrote some nasty comments on Justin's "Baby" music video, so the REAL Justin, being the mature child he is, replied (obviously with his verified account):

"@JBISFAGGOT u really made a youtube channel just to hate on me? Who is the dumbass now? How does it feel living in your mother's basement the rest of your life? Enjoy. HI HATERZ :) ok. no more responding. but seriously... GET A LIFE!"

Despite the fact that this guy is a bit (understatement of the year) overrated, I think Justin Bieber is adorable and talented - and, thereby, shouldn't be cyberbullied relentlessly by an anonymous - or possibly dangerous - "fan."