Review: Complete Review of “The Last Airbender Movie

Well, seeing as this is suppose to be some kind of portfolio/ outlet for my literary work, how about some op-ed review like articles?

The following are links to a three-part note that I originally wrote on Facebook about “The Last Airbender” Movie, directed by M. Night Shamalan. I thoroughly investigated for this piece because it was about the re-make of an AWESOME cartoon and it really interested me. ANYHOW- it got some movement on facebook, sparking a little conversation between my commentators and so now maybe it’ll capture your attention.

Hopefully if people still care out there, I can drop a review from time to time. I actually wanted to write a piece on the bizarre way people think of my borough, my thoughts on Rihanna’s new role as the “potty mouth sex pot” and a list of movies I want to see…but I’ll do that some other time…as right now…*yawn* I’m sleepy.


The Last Airbender- PART ONE
The Last Airbender- PART TWO
The Last Airbender- PART THREE

Girls Life Mag: New Article Co-Written by Moi!

How to be the life of the party

Some girls are just natural attention seekers—making their way through life in the teen scene by being the life of the party or the belle of the ball. Making friends, talking to others and snagging BFs come so naturally that they seem never have to worry about feeling shy or embarrassed or awkward.

On the other side of the room, though, there are the quiet girls who have their own social circles, but keep quiet at group gatherings. If this is your M.O., then these helpful hints will help you transform from a wallflower into a social butterfly!
It sounds hard but it really isn’t. Got any friends who may know a few people that you don’t? Stick to them, meet their buds and make ‘em your own. Fab it up! Volunteer to pass the tray of cupcakes at your BFFs next bash. It’ll give you a reason to go up to people, introduce yourself and offer up a sweet smile (and a treat they won’t refuse).
Get chatty 
Striking up a conversation doesn’t have to be scary. If you’re nervous, listen in on a convo your friend is having and chime in with your opinion or a witty joke when you feel comfortable. Fab it up! Conversation topics are everywhere, you just have to get past your “I don’t know what to say!” brain block. Talk about the last episode of Dancing with the Stars, your latest HW assignment, a funky bracelet you found at a thrift store, the new book you’re reading—anything!
Find common interests 
Still think you have nothing to say? Ask a good friend if they know anyone who plays soccer, cheerleads or rides horses. Tell her you’d love to meet this person, and when you’re introduced, a quick, “OMG, Sara told me you totally whipped the guys at tennis last weekend!” will get the convo rolling in no time flat. Fab it up! Don’t make your chat into an interrogation. Offer up info about you, too, and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Think: “You’re trying out for All State this year? I was picked for that last year. Wanna practice together?”

Be adventurous 
Do you always pick truth instead of dare or opt to ref the game of capture the flag instead of joining in? It’s time to get your game on, girl! Join in party games enthusiastically and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. People will love that you’re game, and they’ll wanna spend more time hangin’ with the cool girl that wore an I heart Barney shirt to school on Monday on a dare. Fab it up! Don’t just go along grudgingly—own your actions! When you get the “I heart Barney” dare, on the back of the tee, screen print a pic of Barney Rubble from The Flintstones and write, “Blonds are sooo my type.” Snap!
What are your social butterfly secrets, sweeties? 

Girls Life Mag: One of my most touching interviews

An awe-inspiring prom for teen patients

This spring, 15-year-old Delaney Goodner is going to her second prom. While prom is everything to some teens, for this young woman, it’s a gift she treasures, a break from the medicines and treatment she endures thanks to her cancer diagnosis.

For the last six years, therapeutic child life specialist Tommi McHugh has been coordinating a prom in conjunction with the Teen and Young Adults (TaYA) group at the Children’s Hospital of Denver for the past six years. For the guests, guys ‘n’ girls ages 13 and up who battle cancer and blood disorders, it’s the opportunity to be normal for a night.
It’s not unusual for the hospital’s younger patients to miss out on typical teen activities because they don’t feel well enough. Half a dozen years ago, Tommi heard that one patient was going to miss his prom because of his illness. She wasn’t about to let that happen. With parents lending a helping hand, Tommi put together a small prom in only two weeks.
That year, only ten kids attended, wearing whatever made them feel comfortable, but they had a blast. The following year, Tommi was determined to make it bigger and better. When local businesses heard about what she was doing, they began sponsoring the decorations, food, transportation, venue, even the girls’ hair and nail appointments.
“You get to dress up and have a good time,” Delaney says. “It gives you a moment to take your mind off the fact that you’ve got cancer,” says Delaney.
Last year was Delaney’s first as a prom guest. She and a friend got their make-up, nails and hair done in a luxe hotel suite before donning gowns funded by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Though she didn’t dance much, she remembers the delish food and the totally fab door prizes.
This year, the kids are drafting letters to celebrities that they would love to attend. Among the list are Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber. Delaney would like to  boogie with Taylor Swift. “I really like her,” she says.
The annual prom has become a bonding experience for the hospital’s patients, Tommi explains. They aren’t wallflowers any more. They mingle in the halls. One year, a young girl whose treatment left her bald triumphantly removed her wig and danced the night away. “It’s so moving,” says Tommi.
 “You can’t help but want to make it better every year,” she adds. “[The Prom] inspires them to remember there is life after and during cancer (and other blood disorders) and they can get out there and do the stuff they love.”
Want to make a difference? Call up a local hospital and ask if they’re planning any events for which they need volunteers. Go for it, girls!
Pictured above: Top – Delaney at prom with her friend Rosie. Bottom – Delaney having her nails done before the dance.

Girls Life Mag: What’s beautiful? A peek at girls around the globe

What’s beautiful? A peek at girls around the globe

So, you’re 13 and in complete hysterics about how you have to go about “beautifying” yourself to get that cute guy in your Bio class to notice you. You’re dabbling with makeup, wondering if your outfits are cute and tottering around in heels. Have you ever stopped to wonder if your idea of beauty is the same as other girls’ across the globe? In some parts of the world stretching your neck, chiseling your teeth or even tattooing your lips is what makes you the apple of some guy’s eye.

In Mauritania, West Africa, having plump arms, thick ankles and a big booty is what gets the fellas going. In villages here, being plus size is what is considered beautiful. The bigger the girl, the more guys like her. Though it does have its health risks, girls continue to pack on the pounds to meet their soul-mates.
In China, women bound their feet for centuries. Can you imagine having all the bones in your feet broken when you’re 12, then wrapped and re-shaped? Centuries ago, having itty-bitty feet was considered the highest standard of female beauty. Girls would undergo this process to achieve the coveted three-inch foot length. This practice continued into the early 20th century, but has since died out.
Think lip piercings are cute? Near the Amazon River in South America, women have their lips pierced to insert a disc, often made of wood. This act stretches a young girl’s lips and she continues to wear them until she reaches her desired “beautiful” length. Afterwards, the discs are only worn on special occasions.
A long neck has long been a sign of woman’s gracefulness. In subcultures of African and Asian societies, brass neck rings are used to give girls and women the appearance of long necks. Most notably are the Kayan women who reside between Thailand and Burma. At a young age, girls have rings placed on their necks and as they grow older, more rings are added. Now that’s what you call having weight on your shoulders! The weight displaces the collarbone and rib cage, giving the appearance of a longer neck. If the rings were removed, the neck wouldn’t be able to sustain the weight of the woman’s head. Can you imagine?
While we still value an hourglass figure today, our appreciation of a teensy tiny waist doesn’t have anything on 16th-century Europe. Back then, girls had to go through something called “tight-lacing” to achieve the ultimate waist. Their corsets were tied tighter and tighter until they got really small waists, much like America’s Next Top Model winner Anne Ward. Some women still wear corsets and even remove ribs to achieve this extreme look.
But that’s not all. The Karo women of Southern Ethiopia cut themselves along their stomachs, leaving scars that attract men in their community. In some cultures in Indonesia, girls have their teeth sharpened to align their spirits and make them more beautiful. New Zealand’s indigenous Maori women tattoo their lips and chin in blue ink to attract their guys. They believe that a woman with full blue lips is the most desirable woman of them all.

What’s the lesson to be learned here, ladies? Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors of the rainbow. While more global communities enhance their idea of womanly beauty in superficial ways—with rings or ink or surgery or scarring—we like to think the world is coming to accept a girl’s natural beauty as being the best of all. Cast your vote for natural beauty by accepting yourselves, sweethearts, and embracing your gorgeous body (and totally brilliant brains).

THINK YOU’VE GOT A BODY BLUNDER? CLICK HERE to submit your own problem to be answered on Girl Talk!   

BY AFIYA AUGUSTINE ON 5/9/2011 12:00:00 PM              

Girls Life Mag: Breaking Up With Friends

Girl Talk

How to survive a best friend break up

It’s tough. You and your best friend had a huge fight and you think there’s no way to come back from it. This has happened to many of us, me included, but I’ve learned that although it may be a long winding road, you can come out of a situation like this feeling better than ever.

Step 1: Clear the negative energy
The number-one thing you need to do after a BBF break-up is to take some time to calm down. Only when you’ve gained some clarity can you truly begin to move on. Go for a walk or a jog, pick up a novel or belt out your fave tunes. Do whatever you need to get some breathing room.
Step 2: Assess the situation
Now that you’re calm and ready to focus, look back at the fight and how it all played out. Was this a spat that your friendship could bounce back from, or did somebody cross a line? If whatever happened now cause you to look at your friend in a different light, you really need to think hard before making any decisions.
Step 3: Making choices
Sometimes we want to keep bad friends in our lives because they’re been there forever and it’s all we really know. You need to decide if this is a person that you want to keep in your circle. Try making a pros and cons list of how your BFF has treated you for the entire time you’ve known her. Once you’ve considered every happy and horrid thing in your relationship closet, it’s time to ask yourself if you want to patch things up. Remember, this isn’t a choice between being besties or breaking up. You can downgrade her from numero uno confidant to just a friend.
Step 3: Cutting ties
If you’ve decided it’s time to say ta-ta, understand, first, that there’s no turning back. Ready? Okay, girlie, here’s what you need to do: Distance yourself. Don’t initiate convos, don’t invite her to hang out. If she wants to chat, be civil, but don’t go blabbing all yours secrets like everything is back to normal.
Step 4: Dealing with confrontation
Sometimes, friends mutually split up by simply going off in their separate ways. Other times, one friend fights to regain the relationship. If your ex-BFF wants to know why you’ve been distant, be calm and lay out the sitch. Explain that you think it’s best if the two of you hang out with other people, that your relationship has changed and you’re ready to move on. If she gets upset, choose to walk away. Don’t start hollering in the halls, okay hunnie?
What’s your next move?
Your next move is to clear the air between any of your mutual friends. Let them know the current state of things between you and the ex-BFF. Don’t be bitter about it or demand that your buddies pick sides. There’s no reason you have to find a whole new group just ‘cause you don’t along with one chica anymore.
One more thing…
Don’t think about it. Stick to your decision and focus on the elimination of unwanted drama when things get rough. Talk to other friends—those who aren’t besties with your ex—and your parents. Feeling lonely? Spend more time with other friends, and join new activities to meet fresh faces. Invite girls over for a sleepover or out shopping. And if you happen to cross paths with your former friend? Be cordial and act like a lady. She’ll take her cues from you.
Tell us, babes: How do you deal with BFF break-ups?
BY AFIYA AUGUSTINE ON 5/3/2011 5:31:00 PM
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