Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hawaiian millenial offers advice to end age-appropriate clothing stereotypes

Wearing one of those sunny dresses without underpinnings on a sunny day with husband in tow
In a small dress shop in Waianae, Hawaii I browsed through a rack of dresses; and as I did so, a much-younger woman handed me a sun dress that can be worn with or without underpinnings and with a skirt an inch or so above the knee.  As I looked surprised the woman said, "I tell my grandmother you don't have to dress a certain age and not let people put her down because she's older."

This quietly honest and open statement about the prejudices surrounding age and how we dress reflects the view of the new youth who put aside age-related stereotypes while others hold onto them, often in fear-filled ways that make change difficult as women age.

Hawaii's multicultural patterns lend themselves to erasing many of the stereotypes that lock women of a certain age into a certain pattern of dress or demeanor that are only numbers related and not reflective of one's stature, form or physical ability.  At the same time the social customs in business and interaction almost everywhere cast the older woman as beyond the age of sexuality, beauty, brains or talent.

But a youthful Samoan woman, baby in tow, looked beyond what she perceived foolish thinking and simply thought, then said, "If you got it, baby, take over," and the added remark, "I tell my grandma you aren't old until you think you are."By saying this, she reminded me how stereotypes objectify older women as individuals who have lost their beauty and are no longer sexually desirable, so they must hide those signs of aging that women fear and that it is often maintained men abhor.  Her advice said to me that she refuses to be led by others about what she should or should not wear and offers to older women the opportunity to see themselves as youthful and still desirable.

Carol Costello on CNN's Newsroom made a similar statement, of the woman safe in her own skin, enough to share with others her view about women and choices, "I'm 53.  I'll wear short shorts if I want to," with an examination of how people make judgments about others randomly, therefore reinforcing certain stereotypes or prejudices that are unnecessary and often insulting.
Costello says, "So please, fashion mags, clothing stores and Hollywood, stop with the "how to dress in your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond" nonsense.  J. Crew is the latest to inform me, that at my advanced age, short shorts are not for me.  (And I thought legs were the last to go.)
A tip of the baseball cap that covers my blonde-over-graying head (so no one but my hairdresser knows for sure its color) to a bold and caring stranger who reminded me what at age 74 (which I will be in less than two weeks)that I I should know by now: To be truly young is an attitude, and no one can change mine but me.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Love's lesson from Hawaii: Earth one country, mankind its citizens

St. Rita's Church in Waianae, Hawaii
Visitors to the United States are often perplexed when they see American flags draped in the windows of ordinary people or in the yards with political signs mixed with messages about Jesus.  This can be confusing to many, with ideas that seem to detract from the principles espoused by people of faith as well as those from countries outside the United States.

It is often that people in the U.S. provide a set of interwoven messages that express certain values that can conflict with those of others, even for those born and raised in the Americas.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ebola epidemic increases susceptibility to measles

Ebola cycle
Experts from John Hopkins have found the Ebola epidemic has increased susceptibility to measles, with the rate of increase seen to potentially double in the wake of the problems related to the virus that continues to spread in parts of Africa.

The principal problem related to the Ebola virus is the disruption in the health care system, according to the experts.  Much of the public health focus in areas of Africa is on Ebola, so that fewer people are being vaccinated against measles.  This problem may increase the rate of measles as a consequence of resources having been diverted to the greater problem faced by Ebola.  But measles also has the potential to disable and to cause death, so health authorities are particularly concerned about the problem.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Leeward 'watering hole' offers Hawaii's best of aloha

Spinners cafe on the Waianae Coast
"Come on and sit down and join us here.  We have plenty of food to share after you have picked up your plate.  Lots of people to meet, and just sit and watch the ocean with the rest of us."
The friendly greeting from the group echoes through the small cafe, the Waianae 'watering hole' that is the best kept secret of new and old visitors, in the traditions of many places around the world.

The sun streams through the windows, with its diamond-like spears coming in with its warmth even as it touches the ocean in the near distance, as strangers and friends gather around a table, sharing what is called "empty your refrigerator" time, as a prelude to friendly chatter and great food.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hawaiian ethics leads to understanding the nature of human love

Gardens at Waianae Comprehensive, a healing center with the Hawaiian touch found in the essence of love
"She probably did not have much when she was a kid.  Women her age were raised to have babies and be quiet.  And she is poor, and her kids don't take good care of her either.  So we need to understand."

Michelle Perez is Hawaiian and then some.  The "then some" are those mixes with various cultural groups that make up most of the Hawaiian population in modern times.  Her philosophy represents the best of Hawaiian ethics, which means to look at all people with the eyes of ohana, or family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

'That Liquor Ain't Good for You'

Carol Forsloff--While some music performers use their talents to denigrate specific politicians in a toxic way, as does Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, others find ways to elevate one's thinking by examining social issues and elevating the ideas about what matters most in life, as is done often by Gene O'Neill.

O'Neill has the skills of guitar, vocal performance and writing that fuse ideas into songs that entertain while giving us that something good that makes us feel like we have learned, expanded our hearts and minds.  We soar with O'Neill on the wings of the good, looking at man with eyes that see the story and the whole of us, the very heart and soul of us as well, while using a variety of musical techniques and themes as the mechanism for the flight.