Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Learning Curve presents a preview of V Magazine's Size Issue. The magazine shows various full figured women and emphasizes their beauty. I'm skinny but those who know me know that I like to promote healthy body images. I think people look fine with a little extra and any size can be gorgeous.

[Click Here for the Full Photo Spread]

Also, check out photographer Terry Richardson's Editorial One Size Fits All, also for this same issue of V Magazine.

[Click Here for One Size Fits All]

The V Magazine Size Issue will hit stands on January 14, 2010.

DJ Earworm's 2009 Pop Mashup

DJ Earworm
United States of Pop (Blame it on the Pop)

This is an incredible mashup of the Top 25 Hits of 2009, according to Billboard. I love it how he spliced the songs together and used the similar phrases to make it seem like a one continuous song.

Paris Je t'aime

Models Alex G, Jeneil, Jullien Herrera, Jonathan Marquez
for Contributing Editor
Editorial: Paris Je t'aime
Fashion Editor: Andreas Kokkino
Photography: Jeffrey Cohen


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Love Fake

Model Harvey Haydon
for I Love Fake Magazine
December 2009

The Daily Tea: Are You in a Bad Romance?

Question: You have one person who is nice to you and financially stable. They are what you always wanted in those ways but you just aren't into them. And you have another person who you are passionate about. You love them physically and they make you feel like no one else does. Yet they are flaky and not that dependable. Who do you choose?

Long before Lady Gaga's hit, many of us found ourselves in a bad romance. It's human nature. Men like a woman that has a spunk and sass about her and sexual prowess. Yet they want her to behave like a lady otherwise. Woman love a bad boy. They love the guy that drives their parents crazy and provides that good love that feels right but is wrong for them. Why do we always want the one that is wrong for us? Society sets us up to believe that nice guys finish last. If you have morals and are straight laced, you are deemed boring. However, isn't the good guy/girl the one that we should seek out?

Love. Profanity aside, there is no other four letter word that is more polarizing and complicated than the word love. It has been studied by psychologists, tried by generations, documented by poets, and denounced by those scorned.
Can love conquer all?
A friend and I have been involved in a discussion about love for some time now. The topic centers around love for life- marriage, civil unions, long term partners. Why do people get married? For love? Could it be possible that people marry only for stability, whether it's financial or social stability? Of course. The question lies in which is more important. Think about your love history. There is always that one person who makes your heart go wild. They stir up every shred of passion that you never even knew was there. They strike fire in your loins, they warm your heart, and they evoke the biggest smile possible. Yet, they are otherwise horrible for you. We all fall in love with what isn't best for us. I know from experience that the one person that had the most impact on me emotionally and physically is also the absolute worst person I could ever be involved with.
What about the other person who we encounter?
They are nice, dependable, and may be stable financially. They are everything that your mother wants for you. However, something is missing.

I asked a few friends and most claimed that they would not choose the one that they had lukewarm feelings for. They would rather give the one that they have strong feelings for a chance, even if it meant waiting on them to change.
Of course, most people that I asked are rather free in thinking and we all admitted that a more conservative person would choose someone based on stability rather than love.

Long term love may not be about love at all. It's about a decision.
Most people have to choose what they can live with. We rarely find someone who we are both passionate about and also have the utmost faith in to take care of us.
What is the correct way of thinking? Do you go for your heart or do you do the practical thing? There are instances in which both choices lead to the same person but that's rare. We reach an age when knowing you can count on someone begins to overshadow how much they drive you crazy. It can be compared to working for money or working for what you love to do. Some people spend their life preparing for that six figure job that they may hate but it allows them to achieve a certain comfort and standing in society. Others would rather take pay cuts to be able to do something that they love. With love, which do you choose? Would you rather be with someone that you could learn to love but doesn't fulfill your heart's desires? Or would you rather be with the person that you are passionate about and take the chance that they will change? I heard a woman recently say that marriage was not about who you love but who you could get used to. That may seem extreme but happens all of the time. No one is going to possess everything that you need in a mate. Some come close.

If most would choose the flaky lover, what does this mean? We all want someone who is dependable but we have instincts that lead us to someone who isn't good for us. I feel like I'm ultimately a good guy. I don't live recklessly but I fall for the wrong ones. Does this mean that good people are doomed and suffer from a fate inflicted upon them by their own logic?

I'm not in this dilemma now but it has always been something I thought about. Most issues with love center around this choice.
Who would you choose? And is there a correct choice?

Jon Kortajarena: Model of the Year

Spanish Model Jon Kortajarena has been named Model of the Year by GQ Magazine.
One of my favorites, the Wilhelmina model has had a busy year with numerous editorial experiences and serving as Tom Ford's muse. Jon also appears in a small role in Ford's new critically acclaimed film A Single Man.
Below is a video compilation to commemorate his honor as model of the year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Daily Tea: Merry Christmas!

"Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life...Life brings us joy with the promise of happiness.
No one is shut out from the joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing."
-Pope St. Leo the Great, Nativity Sermon, 5th Century

During the holiday season, it can be easy for adults to be reminded of what they lack. Once the childhood luster wears off, we notice that we don't have as much money as we need, we don't have as much family around as we need, we may be single, and our friends may be far away. The holiday season is a time to rejoice. Whether we are rich in worldly possessions or not, we are rich in love. Someone somewhere loves you. If you feel alone, remember the ultimate gift was given those many years ago. That gift is the reason we celebrate. We all share that gift. We all share that love.
Merry Christmas to all!
George Arnett :-)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Carrie and the Girls Return

Official Sex and the City
Sequel Trailer

Top Music of the Year

It was another busy year in the music business. Divas such as Mariah and Whitney dropped albums, neither of which lived up to the hype. Pop machines such as Britney and Madonna released greatest hit albums and Trey and Robin gave us a lot of sex therapy. Gaga ruled the charts and Chrisette and Maxwell gave us hints that real R&B is making a return.
Here are my favorite albums of the year. The list is not necessarily based on sales, but it's based on the actual cohesiveness of the albums, the vocal performances, and the artistic growth.

Coming in at number one is Chrisette Michele with Album of the Year.

1. Chrisette Michele, Epiphany
Breaking up never sounded as good as it does with Chrisette singing about it on her sophomore LP. Songs such as Notebook and Epiphany show a mature yet fresh take on life and love while the soulful Fragile shows her voice as anything but what the song's title implies. The Ne-Yo assisted What You Do is a call to action to lovers who don't practice what they preach and Playing Our Song takes it back to the 90s with its slick production and vocals. However, it was the gut wrenching Blame it On Me that best shows the album's pure emotion. When ending a relationship, Chrisette offers to take the blame and all of the responsibility as long as that means she can get out of the situation. An honest track that is even more powerful coming from a woman, it shows why Chrisette is the truth.

2. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon: The End of Day
3. MIKA, The Boy Who Knew Too Much
4. Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
5. Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
6. Jay-Z, Blueprint 3
7. Trey Songz, Ready
8. John Mayer, Battle Studies
9. Rihanna, Rated R
10. The-Dream, Love VS Money

For Records of the Year, I chose the ten tracks that I felt gave the party a boost. Drake took the number one spot with his smash hit Best I Ever Had. Without even releasing a full album this year, he still managed to become rap's it boy and snag the top spot on my list.

1. Drake, Best I Ever Had
from So Far Gone
2. Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain, Blame It
from Intuition
3. Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind
from Blueprint 3
4. Wale ft. Lady Gaga, Chillin
from Attention Deficit
5. Black Eyed Peas, I Got a Feeling
from The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)
6. David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland, When Love Takes Over
from One Love
7. Ciara ft. Missy Elliot, Work
from Fantasy Ride
8. Kid Cudi, Day N Nite
from Man on the Moon: The End of Day
9. Rihanna ft. Young Jeezy, Hard
from Rated R
10. The-Dream ft. Kanye West, Walking on the Moon
from Love VS Money

Songs of the Year were chosen based on the songwriting and vocal performance. These are the songs that emotionally connected the most for me. With his Grammy nominated comeback single, Maxwell took the top spot on this one.

1. Maxwell, Pretty Wings
from BLACKsummers'night
2. Chrisette Michele, Blame it On Me
from Epiphany
3. India.Arie, Long Goodbye
from Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics
4. Trey Songz, Yo Side of the Bed
from Ready
5. Beyoncé, Sweet Dreams Medley
from I Am...Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas
6. Alicia Keys, Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)
from The Element of Freedom
7. MIKA ft. Imogen Heap, By the Time
from The Boy Who Knew Too Much
8. John Mayer, Perfectly Lonely
from Battle Studies
9. Adam Lambert, Whataya Want From Me
from For Your Entertainment
10. Lady Gaga, Speechless
from The Fame Monster

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Icons: King of Queen

Icon: Freddie Mercury, British Rock legend

"A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It's a theatrical event.
I have fun with my clothes onstage; it's not a concert you're seeing, it's a fashion show."
-Freddie Mercury

Born Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was best known as the front man for the legendary band Queen. Responsible for writing many of the band's hits, Mercury was known for his brash and flamboyant performance styles. He later forged a solo career and remained successful although he was a misunderstood and mysterious figure. He claimed on different occasions to be gay and bisexual and died of complications of AIDS only one day after announcing that he even had the disease. The act of concealing his disease caused controversy. Many thought that he could have attracted more awareness and funds for researching the disease by admitting it sooner.
In April 1992, the remaining members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust and organized The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness.

We Will Rock You

Interview with the Star

Ten Most Captivating Figures of 2009

Whitney staged a comeback, Glenn Beck stepped on toes, and we lost legends such as Ted Kennedy, Patrick Swayze, and Farrah Fawcett. Elin Woods wielded a golf club to tame the wandering Tiger and the word "tweet" was emblazoned in our minds. In the year of the Kanye outburst, there were plenty of captivating moments as well as people. Last year, my list included two fierce sisters, that Alaskan governor, Jeremiah Wright, the Obamas, Carrie and her girls, people who offered unique viewpoints, and rising fashion stars. Here is this year's list of the people that captivated me most. They drew fame, criticism, controversy, and made a mark in 2009.


His death shocked and rattled the world. The tragic end to this incredible story brought people together to remember a man who defined generations, shaped music and pop culture, flooded the tabloids, and influenced fashion. Most of all, Jackson promoted images of love and charity. Though his image was tarnished by controversy, he will go down in history as the greatest entertainer to ever live.


Though she is far from an overnight success, few people knew who Lady Gaga was before the start of the year. Record breaking consecutive number one singles, hair-raising outfits, and a performance style that trumps any other star out there right now, the native New Yorker took the world by storm. Going from playing bars and clubs to meeting the Queen of England in less than two years is no easy feat. If she keeps this momentum, she will reach supernova star status. Let's see if she can keep up the pace. With her catchy pop confections and a knack for alliteration (p-p-p-poker face, m-m-m-monster), the girl is a monster.


Susan Boyle shares something with many other stars in today's music world. She garnered much of her attention due to her looks. Of course, in her case, it was the lack thereof that catapulted her into stardom. Never judge a book by its cover. That's what we learned from this Brit sensation. She managed to shatter records for debut sales by a female artist and with sales that show no signs of slowing down, she has pushed aside pop vixens half her age and dress size. Who says outer beauty is important?


The photo of a battered and bruised pop princess will forever be etched in our minds. A rising pop superstar and his equally famous girlfriend made waves on the eve of the Grammy Awards this year when it was announced that he physically attacked her, leaving her severely injured. Months later, after court dates, lost endorsements, and blame games, the smoke has cleared. Nevertheless, both of the stars released albums that were overshadowed by the controversy. Their music failed to outshine polarizing interviews and botched PR campaigns. Will they ever fully recover and put the incident behind them? We will see...


What do Richard and Mayumi Heene, Jon and Kate Gosselin, & Nadya Suleman have in common? They are all parents who exploited their kids for fifteen minutes of fame. The people behind the balloon boy hoax, Jon & Kate Plus 8, and the Octomom phenomenon each put their children in the forefront to gain attention. Though the world criticized them, we couldn't manage to keep our eyes off of them. Riches, gained and lost, came for them but what they should be most prepared for is the much needed therapy their children will need. Maybe they will one day act in the best interests of their offspring.


The first nominee to the Supreme Court of Hispanic descent caused a lot of waves with her "wise Latina woman" comment. Face it. We don't know much about her these days but much like Obama, she helped to open up a conversation of about the tender topic of race relations in politics and everyday life. She was confirmed and brought some spice and estrogen to the bench. A wise choice indeed.


It isn't everyday that a rising pop star confesses homosexuality at the start of his career. Not since disco's Sylvester has a star been so brazen and unapologetic about his homosexuality. Many stars flaunt sexuality but Lambert and his AMA performance brought a taboo to the light. Is there a double standard when it comes to gay public figures and self expression? Maybe it's all a ploy for attention for Lambert. After all, who can even hum the tune of a Kris Allen song? Either way, Lambert actually possesses creativity and talent. David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, and Grace Jones would be proud.


The laureate of the black gay man experience passed away this year. He wasn't exactly a household name but no other author spoke to the demographic's flair as well as insecurities. Helping to shape the growth of many young men and women by exposing the secret and tumultuous lives of black gay men, Harris wrote novels that entertained as well as informed. Invisible Life gave an empathetic approach to the DL concept that affects our young men and women even more. We will always remember Raymond Winston Tyler, Jr's pain, passion, and joy.


The world is obsessed with blood. Shows like True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have been a fixture in the minds TV fans. With Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner around, no one seems to care about Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe anymore. With vampires, scary has been exchanged for sexy. Teen fans swoon and fantasize about the teeth baring stars of the Twilight saga. Not since Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt's roles in Ann Rice's Interview With a Vampire, has so much appeal been brought to the normally shadowy mythological figures. With action sequences, and love stories between these vampire and wolf characters, the undead never seemed so alive.


America's Best Dance Crew brought us the glittery force that was affectionately called Vogue Evolution. The dancing quintet brought vogue to the forefront again with spectacular routines and showstopping drops to the floor. With a transgendered woman at the helm, they also brought a taboo issue to the normally straight stage of ABDC. They didn't win the competition, but they left a mark. The animated and fame hungry group of young people were already underground phenomenons. They just gave America a taste of what ball attendees are accustomed to.

So, the list was pretty queer this year. haha. It also included two people that were listed posthumously. I'm sure some will agree with a couple of the choices and disagree with others. These are the people that I most remembered from the year of 2009. The decade came with a big close. Gaga oo-la-laaaaa. Let's get ready for 2010.

[Check out Last Year's List HERE]

New Video: Trey Songz "One Love"

Trey Songz
One Love [Video Premiere]

Trey Songz is has released his Up Close & Ready Live EP. The video for One Love is included with the new album which was released exclusively to iTunes. The EP includes live settings of One Love, Can't Help But Wait, Last Time, I Need A Girl, & Gotta Go.
In other Trey Songz news, his single I Invented Sex has surpassed Usher's Papers to give Trey his first #1 single.
Below are pics from the set of the One Love video.

New Video: Jay-Z ft. Mr. Hudson "Young Forever"

Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson
Young Forever [Video Premiere]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lieberman Holds Health Care Hostage

Produced by Laura Dawn for & Adam Pierce for Charged

The video pokes fun at the fact that Joe Lieberman is pretty much holding health care reform hostage, gutting it in the process. I think it's silly how he is seemingly able to dictate so much about the bill. His vote was important but I wish this administration had more guts.
The video was a good laugh.
"I'd like my name inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance." haha

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Video: Juelz and Breezy

Juelz Santana featuring Chris Brown
Back to the Crib [Video Premiere]

Beauté Noir

Model Ibrahim Baaith
Photography: Michael Epps

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rupaul Returns for Drag Racing

Last year, Rupaul posed as the Obamas as promo for his show Drag Race. He returns this year as Sarah Palin to promote the second season which premiers on February 1st on Logo.
Get ready to "lip-sync for your life!!"

Compose Yourself: Kid Cudi's Disorderly Conduct

It isn't news that Kid Cudi punched a fan in Vancouver while playing his set which opened for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour. The incident stemmed from a fan throwing a wallet on stage. The rising rap star thought that it was being thrown at him and eventually went into the crowd to punch the assailant. It has also been reported that the wrong fan was punched.

Kid Cudi has now been relieved of duty on Gaga's tour and will not be appearing on any further dates. – Kid Cudi — the guy who sings that “Day ‘N Nite” song — has been officially dropped from the Lady Gaga tour in the wake of a brutal fan-punching incident.

Sources at Interscope Records confirm the rapper is “no longer” with the tour — but wouldn’t say if the decision had anything to do with YouTube footage showing Cudi punching fans in the front row of a concert in Vancouver this past weekend.

We’re told Jason Derulo — the guy who sings “Whatcha Say” — will move up from his spot as Gaga’s opening act to fill Cudi’s spot … no word on who will fill-in Derulo’s.

This pisses me off. Why can't these cats behave? First Kanye ruined the first prospective tour with his Taylor Swift outburst. Now Kid Cudi, his protegé, has been removed from this tour. When will rappers learn to chill out? Even if the guy was wrong for throwing something on stage, why couldn't bodyguards or security handle it? Was it necessary for Kid Cudi to interrupt his set to handle it and basically put his own career in jeopardy? I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the Kanye tree. Kid Cudi, step back and compose yourself.

Basic Training

Hard featuring Young Jeezy [Video Premiere]
Director: Melina Matsoukas
You know I'm hard on Rihanna but this is a spectacular clip to accompany the swagger heavy track. The styling is on point and her body is sick. I like the concept of the video. Upon reading the comments under this video posted on other blogs I was left wondering the same thing as when I read album reviews of Rihanna and Chris Brown. Is anyone paying attention to their music rather than their situation? A common theme in the comments was "if she were so hard, she could have stood up to Chris". That is way out of line. I guess I'm happy that Rihanna has stuck to her guns [no pun intended] when promoting this new material and image. She has consistently delivered when branding the new Rihanna. Similar to Madonna style reinvention, she has chosen a theme to go with and committed to it. She's a brown girl who has done r&b but she is not afraid to do different things that may alienate some people. For that alone, I respect her.
This video goes hard.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Daily Tea: Know Thyself

"If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion."
Aldous Huxley, from The Perennial Philosophy

Facing ourselves can be one of the most difficult tasks in life. It's easy to offer advice and examine others but how well are we at following that advice for ourselves? How well do we see ourselves for what we are rather than what we want to be or what we want to be perceived as?
People like to live in fantasies. To truly know yourself means facing your demons and coming to terms with things. What if what you think that you want isn't what you want at all? What if the morals that you project don't reflect your actions or your desires?
It's often said that to know oneself is the catalyst for truly understanding others.
We can't run from our present any more than we can run from our past.
Look in the mirror. Stare at it. Look deep into yourself and accept yourself. Be who you are meant to be rather than the mask you wish you show to the world. Duplicity has its place, but it rarely leads to pleasant outcomes. Lying to oneself is as bad as lying to others, if not worse.

Queen of Hearts

Lady Gaga
Live on Royal Variety Performance 2009

I love this song. When many say that Gaga is all about theatrics and big beats to hide behind, I love how stripped down this song is. Just her and a piano with minimal strings. And well...a Victorian style red dress with a massive train and glittery eye ornamentation. haha
This song was inspired by her father and the sweeping late 70s style ballad is one of my favorites from her. The performance was haunting and beautiful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top Ten Music Videos of 2009

The closing year of the decade brought us some amazing video images and some of the most sensually suggestive tracks in recent memory. Gaga took us on a wild ride, Ciara worked, hip hop was brought back to its roots, and there was plenty of sex. Pop received a revitalization. It's no surprise that during the year of the death of Michael Jackson, the greatest music video artist ever, these artists stepped their game up. Also, it's safe to say that Anthony Mandler was the music video director of the year.

Lady Gaga

Bad Romance
Director: Francis Lawrence

The undisputed queen of pop for 2009 served up the hottest video of the year, topping even her best that could have easily filled this year. Coming in at number one Lady Gaga's Bad Romance drew references from Russian sex trafficking and delivered the strongest music video imagery in years. Bear skin rug coats, fiery bras, and monster claws may make you think she's out of this world. However, that's the intention. The world has entered into a whirlwind romance with this New York native.

Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake

Love, Sex, and Magic
Director: Diane Martel

Licking, groping, skimpy outfits, and tantalizing choreography...
Between Justin and Ciara, I'm not sure if there was any love but there was plenty of simulated sex resulting in one of the most magical videos of the year. Though bordering along the lines of misogyny, the duo grabbed our attention and created a hit in the process.

Trey Songz

I Invented Sex
Director: Yolande Geralds

Once your video gets flagged on youtube for being too much for those under 18, you know that you've created something racy. The song's title lends itself to a typical run of the mill love video but Trey Songz took it to the next level with a little ice, very little clothing, and not much left to the imagination.


Russian Roulette
Director: Anthony Mandler

Dark? You bet it is. Underwater gunshots and toying with the idea of suicide, Rihanna's controversial video is a sure sign that she's no longer Little Miss Sunshine. With a video full of drama and void of choreography, she captured the tone of the song and looked stunning.

Chris Brown feat. Swizz Beatz & Lil Wayne

I Can Transform Ya
Director: Joseph Kahn

Chris Brown's Swizz Beatz and Wayne assisted leading track from his new album was accompanied by an exhilarating special effects heavy video. Open shirts, leather, martial arts, and shape shifting shows Chris transform into an artist far from the giddy feelings of Forever.

Jay-Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna

Run This Town
Director: Anthony Mandler

Some say that Jay-Z dabbles with the occult. Deals with dark forces could offer an explanation for his record shattering chart topping albums. This dark clip evokes memories of Tupac's California Love and it's gritty images show that the self proclaimed god of rap indeed runs this town.

Kid Cudi featuring MGMT & Ratatat

Pursuit of Happiness
Director: Brody Baker

Along with Drake and Wale, Kid Cudi is breathing life into hip hop and returning to the roots of the genre. With less talk of firearms, Kid Cudi helps to bring a fresh take to rap. The video shows Kid Cudi moving in real time while the rest moves in slow motion. A former sales associate for BAPE clothing, this kid from Cleveland is an emerging star in rap.


Blame it on the Girls
Director: Nez Khammal

UK's most colorful boy toy, Mika brings a vibrant energy with his music. Not conforming to the constraints of many male artists, he has a creative flair that stands out among the others. This clip for Blame it on the Girls is quirky, fun, and imaginative. It represents everything which is the core of this brilliant artist.

Shakira feat. Lil Wayne

Give it Up to Me
Director: Sophie Muller

Ok, we know that her hips don't lie. Apparently, neither does the rest of her pelvis. The way she thrusts in her choreography keeps your eyes on her nether regions. This she wolf enlists the help of Lil Wayne for this strangely sexy clip.


Bad Habits
Director: Anthony Mandler

After a long hiatus, Maxwell returned to show us why we loved him in the first place. This track is frank and honest while still managing to be smooth and alluring. The 2009 secret lovers song gives us enough reasoning to resist breaking the habit of keeping Maxwell's albums in heavy rotation.