Okay. Let's talk about yesterday's outfit; as it's my take on my new favorite style/subculture. Seapunk. Seaaaaaapuuuuunk. Sea. Punk. Seapunk! Yes, it's basically exactly what it sounds like, but we're gonna dig into it in this post.

I first became aware of Seapunk while reading Lumberjanes #17, which features a bunch of badass punk rock mer-people.

You should definitely be reading Lumberjanes if you're not already, btw.

I felt just like April in that last panel. Mermaids? Punk rock? Two of favorite things were meeting??  I was honestly surprised it had never crossed my mind to mash them up. Mermaids are pretty badass to begin with; if you really think about it. Women who lure men to their death with song? How more badass  riot grrrl punk rock does it get? I finished the issue and googled punk rock mermaids. I needed more. And low and behold, I stumbled upon seapunk. 

Seapunk originated on Tumblr in 2011. Seapunk is an aquatic-themed style of fashion, 3Dnet art iconography, and 1990s pop culture allusions. It's basically a lifestyle aesthetic that is all things oceanic and of the sea. (Fun sidenote; earlier this year a group of environmentalist seapunk activists protested against British Petroleum's sponsorship of a sunken cities exhibition at the British Museum in London, and calling themselves a "splash mob," dressed as mermaids and pirates in iridescent metallic blue and green clothing, sang sea shanties, and put on a theatrical performance with a black and neon green Kraken puppet).

Musically; seapunk "constitutes a tiny music subgenre" that has elements of witch house, chiptune, drum and bass and southern rap. The only seapunk artist I can really think of is that i would say is 100% about that life is Grimes, however Kreayshawn, Nicki Minaj, Soulja Boy, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Azealia Banks, Rihanna, and Frank Ocean have used the aesthetic.

Fashion; seapunks often wear bright green, blue, turquoise, cyan or aquamarine clothing, featuring nautical themes such as mermaids or dolphins, plastic Ray Ban wayfarers, shell jewelry, feathers, tartan overshirts associated with the surfer subculture, baseball caps, tie dye, transparent plastic jackets, and skipper caps. Symbols such as yin-yangs, smiley faces and references to the 1990s are also a part of the style. 

Hair and makeup; seapunks often dye their hair, and sometimes facial hair, with varying shades of turquoise, lilac, and sea blue.

Take a deep breath, and say it with me; seapunk. We're doing it. We're buying into it. We love it.

My seapunk look today consisted of; 

Rob Zombie Great American Nightmare T-Shirt (That I modified by cutting off the collar and might distress further - I haven't made up my mind.)

Mermaid Scale Leggings

Iron First Velvet Batwing Boots (Sans wings)

And a denim jacket that I've had for ages, so I can't link directly to it; but I found a nice one by Levi's.

I took it simple today and paired the outfit with a few of my "staple" accesories; a basic ring, choker, necklace - but I didn't do really festive pieces, because I wanted my leggings to shine. It's also why I paired it with this Zombie tee - there's a lot of green in the graphic to match the leggings and I definitely think Zombie would get behind the idea of badass killer punk rock mermaids. 

I've also got the following pieces in my closet that are definitely going to contribute to future looks; 

Tuk Metallic Boots

Silver Mermaid Bikini (I can wear it as is to the beach, or pair each piece separately for a fun festival look)

Little Mermaid Damask Crop Top (Duh, of course you can use Ariel in your seapunk looks.

On my seapunk wishlist; 

TopShop Sequin Jeans (I would never buy these for that price. I'm actually going to make a pair of my own for way beneath that price - keep your eyes on this space for a tutorial)

Little Mermaid Stockings

H&M Gold Booties

H&M Leggings

Iron Fist Bone Deep Maxi Dress

Valfre Bomber Jacket

Jade London Mermaid Body S

Mermaid Scale Sneakers

Valfre Mermaid Disco Skirt

Isolated Heroes Bomber Jacket

Sugarbaby Seadream Gladiator Platforms

Mermaid Skeleton Patch

As you can probably tell, my personal take on seapunk relies heavily on a dark mermaid vibe; I stress the punk part of the name; maybe I'm more sea-emo or seagoth. Whatever. Make it your own. If you're more into pastels than by all means do the pastel mermaid thing. Make it your own, kids! That's why fashion is fun. 


You can be as natural, beachy, and ethereal OR as dramatic as you'd like when it comes to a seapunk makeup look. I would highly recommend Urban Decay eyeshadow in Lounge; it's a red/green pigmented shadow that changes color depending on how the light hits it. MERMAID or what?

Urban Decay Lounge

Also, don't forget your highlighter. You want to look like you just came to shore and the sun kissed the water droplets on your face and make you sparkle like a diamond. 


I prefer my seapunk hair red. Like Ariel. Duh. I added a crown braid with a soft wave today, because what's more mermaid than wavy hair and random braids? 


I made a mini-playlist, because duh. This is me we're talking about. Everything needs a soundtrack. 

Until next time.


pretty girls don't know the things that i know

I started writing about this topic two years ago; it was for a project of personal essays I'm slowly collecting to form into a book (years from now; when people will actually give a shit about what I have to say). The original incarnation of this piece was so powerful it shook me to my foundation and forced me to change. Then my goddamn fucking iPad ate it, and I cried and yelled at Apple Support over the phone until they got me on the phone with engineering, who couldn't recover it, despite a valiant effort. I gave up on it. I felt that maybe I had written it just for me. I was the only one who needed it. It’s job was done, and it’s disappearance into the ether didn’t matter. I was driving the other day (most of my life for the past six weeks has been driving) and thinking about how much has changed, and decided to revisit this topic. I will always think the first one was better, but whatever.

I suffered from low self-esteem for twenty years. Twenty fucking years of hating myself and being unhappy with the face and body I saw in the mirror. What a waste of time. What a sickness. I don't particularly remember when it started, why it started. I just know it is something I've lived with for a long time.

I didn't care about what I looked like as a child. I looked like my mom. My mom was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in real life; her and Jeri Haliburton ( a woman who went to our church and wore fabulous hats). I thought I'd grow up to be pretty like them, but I didn't care. I wanted to run barefoot in the sand, until the bottoms of my feet were black. I wanted to play with my Barbies, and host elaborate games of make believe. The only thing I wanted back then was a ballgown and hair down to my knees, and bed sheets and towels were fine substitutes. I loved my body back then. It could dance and jump and swing higher than any other kid at the park.

I remember my brothers teasing me. That's what older brothers do. My nose was big. My nose looked just like theirs. We have our mom's nose. Her whole family has it. I had a big butt. Every female in our family does. We make the Kardashians look like jokes, even post implants. I didn’t like it when they made fun of me. I usually started crying. But, I was still me and I didn’t notice anything different when I looked in the mirror, except an awesome girl who dressed like Blossom and wanted to be a rock star and a ballerina and veterinarian and a secretary when she grew up.

My first kindergarten crush didn’t like me. I gave him one of my class pictures. He threw it back in my face and said, “Girls are gross!”. I didn’t take this as a personal offense. I just thought he was dumb, and didn’t realize how awesome girls, particularly, me, actually were. My third grade crush called me a poser and said he’d never like a girl like me. I was crushed. When my brother and I were walking home, he said, what he thought was, sage and comforting advice. “You’re pretty for a black girl, but you’re not the kind of girls boys like”. I ruminated over his advice as much an 8 year old could. I didn’t know these phrases were phrases that reappear over my life, and ultimately, fuck me up and make me hate myself.

I remember the first time shame about my body set it. I was 9. A family friend had bought me a new bathing suit. It was navy blue with yellow sunflowers. I thought it was the cutest thing and could not wait to wear it. It wasn't until I tried it on at home and the giggles about my big backside made me question it. Question myself. I wore a t-shirt over it on my class trip the beach. My mom asked why when she had my photos developed. I told her the truth. Her eyes narrowed and she said, "I'm going to talk to those boys." But, it was too late.

The damage was done. By middle school when puberty hit, acne set in, weight settled in new places, and I could not make a school uniform stylish or cute, I was done. I was not one of the pretty girls. I was, just barely, part of an in crowd. In fact, a lot of my friends were mean girls. I don't blame them, we didn't know any better. We were victims of a societal conditioning. I just took it to heart. I was about thirteen when I really stopped thinking I was pretty. This is also when I remember feeling depressed for the first time in my life. I don't think there's a causation here, I do think there's a correlation.

I tried to fight it in high school. I was unsuccessful. I monitored the things I ate with an unhealthy amount of zeal. Just five pounds, and I thought I would transform like Cinderella. It didn't work that way. It didn't matter what color box braids I installed, how black my clothing was, how dramatic my eye make up was. I could emulate Gwen Stefani, Brody Dalle, Ronnie Spektor, and Prince until my lips turned blue, it didn't silence the conversation in my head. This conversation was reinforced by outside influences. Despite being a good and passionate dancer, I never made the dance team. It didn't stop me from auditioning every spring, it didn't stop me from taking beginning dance multiple times. It, did, however, wreck my brain. I did not look like the girls who made the team, and that's why I didn't make the team.

And then there was that phrase. “You’re pretty for a black girl, but you’re not the kind of girls boys like”. My first love told me, "pretty", but not "hot". He meant to tell me that I was attractive, but not slutty. Which eventually meant he'd hook up with someone else in front of me, but whatevs. I was lead to continue to believe that I was not desireable, so I was not pretty at all. I was smart, I was funny, I was talented, but boys don't like those things. I was not the kind of girl that boys like. I was pretty for a black girl, but that alone implies that black girls are so low on the sliding scale, I shouldn't even bother.

I literally cried when the proofs for my senior pictures came home. I can remember the day they were taken vividly. I had box braids my whole high school career, but neither my mom or I wanted them in my senior picture. She took them down, and blew out my hair, it reached the middle of my back. She did my make up dramatic Amy Winehouse cat eye. I went to school and two boys gawked at me, "Is she new?" They couldn't believe I was the same girl who sat in the back of their math class drawing on her sneakers. The photographer said I looked like Halle Berry. I was flattered by her kindness, but I didn't believe her. The pictures came in a few weeks later. My mom and my brother kept talking about how beautiful I looked. I sobbed and begged them to stop lying to me. I wasn't beautiful. I didn't want my mom to order the pictures, they were hideous, I was hideous.

The brain is a funny place. Outside influences were what first convinced me that I was ugly, but they weren't enough to unconvince me of that fact. A freshman boy my senior year took to calling me "Storm", because to him, I looked like Storm from the X-Men, and he begged our shared English teacher to introduce him. My English teacher told me about it and laughed it off. "You're hot, you know that right?" He wasn't creepy, he knew I was in pain and couldn't see myself. My third grade crush asked me for a dance at our senior prom and I shrugged.

Being pretty had never been my currecy. It wasn't something I didn't know how to trade in. I had instead created other currency. Intelligence, talent, kindness, spunk, attitude, taste. I went to college with these tools, pledged a sorority, and thought the struggles were behind me. They weren't. I was just starting to unravel the ball of twine that was my self-esteem.

Theatre, something I had always been passionate about, what I decided to major in, was my first lifeline. I was in The Vagina Monologues my freshman year, on what was basically a whim. "My Short Skirt" by Eve Ensler, made me realize how valuable my appearance was and how little it had to do with anyone else. My sophomore year I enrolled in a class called "Theatre and Community"; we had to research an issue affecting our community and write and perform a piece of theater about it for our final. I wrote about low self-esteem in college aged females. I interviewed my friends, my family, my professors. I read books by bell hooks, and debated the finer points with the head of the Gender Studies department. I broke open during our performance and started crying. There was an energy in that room I've never experienced since. I was learning.

College was great in other ways. There were boys everywhere. And boys who didn't think I was pretty could easily be replaced with ones who did. My freshman year crush disappeared for a few semesters, reappeared my Junior year, and made out with me under a stairwell. I saw myself through his eyes; curvy and fun, a good dancer, good taste in music, full lips and dark eyes. I was beginning to own myself.

My post college boyfriends made were also a help in undoing that ball of twine. The nameless ex who broke me apart was really responsible for holding me together for a long time. I will always be in his debt for allowing me to realize that a man could love me unconditionally. I didn't know that before him. The love of men had always come with strings attached, been based on something I couldn't qualify or measure up to. He allowed me to learn that I was enough. Skinny, fat, happy, sad, I was enough. I started to lose that after our parting. I dyed my hair fire engine red, lost five dress sizes, and started wearing colored contacts. One of my friends said he liked he changes but wanted to know why, I told him the truth. My breakup was fucking with my head, he told me I was enough. Of course, I started dating him months later.

It was after he and I fizzled that I started writing this the first time. My therapist and I were having a very long conversation about my relationships with men and my self-esteem and how they intersected. I gave the easy answer; my father abandoned me, I was another daddy issued cliche. It was a surface scratcher. I kept thinking about her questions as I drove home and started writing when I got there. I don't have the first version, so I don't know how it differs from this one. I just know the first time I wrote this, I began to heal for real for real this time. I reopened an old wound and cleaned out of all the dirt and debris. That was almost two years ago.

Am I perfect now? No, not by any means. I put on quite a few pounds this winter, and I had a really rough time with it. But, instead of living in a hateful place, I live in a loving place. I have bought into myself. I have bought into the body positivity movement. I have bought into the rampant celebration of black women and #blackgirlmagic on the internet. It has taken me 20 years, but when someone calls me pretty, I can simply reply thank you. I get hella Tinder matches. I have healthy relationships with men. I take selfies because I enjoy looking at my own face, when a few years ago I reacted to mirrors the way vampires do.

I don't know how to wrap this up with a bow and end it. I don't know what someone else is going to get from this. Maybe, I just needed to have this conversation with myself again. So, here it is.

Until next time xo

Oh hey look, it's baby Jordan.

ETA (a few weeks later): There's something I'd like to address ... I didn't gain a true appreciation for my body until I realized the amazing things it was capable of. When I started using my body differently; swimming, biking, weight lifting, it was then that I became impressed with fabulous machine of mine.


Fall 2015 Recipe

I've been having a very distinct internal struggle the past few months. How do I keep one foot firmly rotted in my present and make good decisions for me today, while also remaining focused on my future and planning for that? I haven't come up with a good answer. I feel like I am very close to becoming the woman I've always wanted to be, and yet I'm still not her and am various versions of my messy younger self. The moment I feel like I might have my ducks in a row, one of them up and wanders off. 

I am very focused on my future plans. Any decision made for today that feels like a sidestep or detour on that journey is intensely frustrating. However, I'm aware that the process has to be trusted and I think back on all of the times in my life that seemed random as they started and were highly significant as they ended. I often think of all of the cliche motivational quotes I was surrounded with in school; "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" and "Just because it's not happening right now, doesn't mean it never will". I keep"May the space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me" and "Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods" close to my heart. However, as I muse about my goals, plans, and how to go about my journey a small, voice nags at me, "think about your real life". Which causes me to roll my eyes in both confusion and annoyance. At this point, which is my real life? My day to day drudgery; or my Pinterest board future? I don't have an answer. 

What I do know is that I can be my best self everyday and manifest goodness and fulfillment into my everyday life until my future becomes my present. I'm currently figuring out what that looks like Fall 2015. You know, Fall. Only my favorite season and all I've been able to talk about since the first week of August. I've been rooting around online trying to figure out what's going to be "trendy" and what I'll want to incorporate into my going ons. I want to take things that will help bridge the gap between this version of me, and that version of me. It looks to be a very promising season (as long as the weather in LA can get with the program). Let's take a look together...

Fashion Apparently bohemian inspired fashion is going be back in a big way. Expect to see flared pants, bold dark floral prints, patchwork, and fringes. Grey, metallics, and pastels are supposedly going to be big in the color pallet. Silhouettes are going to emphasize the waist or leave one shoulder exposed. 

I'm basically not on board with any of this. I hate pastels, I don't like patchwork, and fringes never went out of style to me so how can they be back? I'm down with dark florals, metallics, and possibly flared pants. Also, let me get back on my gym regimen before we talk about emphasizing my waist.

Things I always feel are in style for fall; plaids, beanies, wide brim hats, layering, ankle booties, and scarves. 

Make Up Things that ruled the runway; red lips, crazy smudgy black liner, blush instead of contouring, metallics, dark almost black lips, bold eyeshadow, and crazy false lashes. 

I have mixed feelings about this. First of all, runway makeup always just looks like a mess. Secondly, I (again), don't think any of these things ever went out of style, it just varies by personal taste. Makeup is one of those things that you have to tailor to your individual tastes. I, usually, won't leave the house without a really dark lip and enough eyeliner to make Gerard Way feel underdressed, but that's just my taste. 

Hair Again off of the runway; texture, side swept styles, platinum blonde, copper, bayalage, grey, rose gold, pastel hair. 

I can get on board with all of this. I am probably going to do something very drastic to my hair, very soon. I just can't decide what, because everything sounds so enticing! 

Food No food "trends" so to speak, but I'm really going to attempt to stuff my face with every single pumpkin, maple, and sweet potato flavored thing I can find between now and January. Starbucks, for the first time in four years, has introduced a new fall drink. I haven't tried it (yet), but keep an eye on my Twitter, because I'm sure it will happen within the next few days. 

Shows Oh man. Oh, man. There are some gooooooooood bands passing through Los Angeles between now and the end of the year. Taste of Chaos (a throwback to my teen years) is happening for the first time in AGES with a primarily old school line up (THE USED, JIMMY EAT WORLD AND TAKING BACK SUNDAY). I'm so excited. 

Hozier, Florence + The Machine, Chvrches, Marilyn Manson, Black Veil Brides, Sleeping with Sirens, Tiger Army, Falling In Reverse, Jhene Aiki, Evanescence, Frank Iero, New Found Glory/Yellowcard, Gogol Bordello, Mooseblood, The Weeknd/Banks/Halsey, Lights, Our Last Night, and The Academy Is... will all hopefully have spots on my dance card. Those are just the shows I marked on my calendar, there are waaaaaaay more happening that I couldn't squeeze in. Do yourself a favor and go see some live music this fall. Not only are a lot of really good bands on tour, but it's a sure fire way to break up the monotony of the cooler evenings that are usually spent at home. 

Haunts and Halloween-esque Activities So, one of the things that I love about fall (and one of the reasons it's my favorite) is Halloween. I really love creepy stuff and horror movies and monsters and weird things. So, Halloween and horror themed entertainment usually rule my October weekends. 

This year I'm looking forward to, but probably won't have enough time to do all of the following;

  • The Experiment; A Rocky Horror/Hedwig and the Angry Inch Mashup Play Sept 11-Oct 31
  • Universal Halloween Horror Nights Weekends Sept. 18 - Nov. 1
  • Mickey's Halloween Party @ Disneyland 
  • Ghoulmaster Haunted Playhouse (a spooky play!) Sept 25-Oct. 31 
  • Haunted Hayride Weekends Oct 2-Oct. 31
  • Queen Mary Haunted Harbor Weekends Oct. 1 - Oct. 31 
  • Knotts Scary Farm Weekends Oct 3 - 31 
  • Rise of the Pumpkins - A Pumpkin Carving ExhibitionWeekends Oct 2-Oct. 31
  • Haunted Stadium in Lake Elsinore 
  • Coffin Creek 5 Haunted Attractions and a Market Place 
  • The Hollows Market (Spooky Flea Market) Sat Oct. 24th (Santa Anita Racetrack) 

Horror movies! Fall is the best time to crawl under the covers with a bag of chips and a horror movie. The less sunlight there is, the more time there are for creeps to haunt our dreams. My favorite horror series of all time is Scream. I would also recommend Halloween, Rob Zombie's Halloween, The Cabin In The Woods, and Psycho for home viewing this year. I’m looking forward to seeing The Final Girls, Knock Knock, Victor Frankenstein and The Krampus in theaters. 

New Televison/Movies/Music I won’t be reviewing television and movies here that often (because reasons…you’ll all find out soon enough), but I am excited about the following shows; Once Upon a Time, Blood and Oil, Gotham, The Muppets, Scream Queens, Empire, and the entire TGIT on ABC lineup. Movies on my radar include; The Martian, Goosebumps, Crimson Peak, Room, The Hunger Games: MockingJay Pt. 2, The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie, By The Sea, Creed, Sisters, The Hateful 8, and STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 THE FORCE AWAKENS (yes, caps were necessary).

Spending Time With Friends and Family From mid September to Mid February is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it; but particularly the attention spent to being with those that you love. My friend structure is changing. I think that’s a side effect of your life entering a new phase. I am very thankful for my current support system. I can’t wait to display my gratitude with squashes and hand turkeys. 

I'm still trying to figure things out...Maybe I always will be and that's part of life. Did you see Matthew McConaughey's Academy Award acceptance speech? He basically said he always wanted to be inspired by his future self, that he always wanted to have a dream to chase. I feel that.

Until next time.



Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Happy #FirstDayOfFall! Here's a recipe for the ULTIMATE pumpkin spice latte.

Posted by Above Average on Wednesday, September 23, 2015