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Monday, April 09, 2007

Poverty is never fashionable

By Theresa Shadrix
The Anniston Star
04-08-2007

There is nothing fashionable about poverty. Poverty doesn't look good on anyone and is never in style.

Seriously, I have never heard a financially challenged individual, the monetarily disenfranchised or a plain ol' poor person say, “Wow, I am so glad that being poor is All the Rage this year, cause, ya know, being able to pay my bills and buy groceries is so yesterday.”

The Bible tells us the poor will be with us always.

But, how do we know who they are and what do poor folks look like?

Most people, when asked, will probably tell you the face of the poor is a welfare mama with several kids by different daddies who sits around at home watching Maury on TV, being supported with money from hard-working taxpayers.

The Alabama poverty Project disagrees with this myth by providing numbers that encourage us not to be so quick to judge.

Among their statistics, poverty in Calhoun County is children zero to 17, female-headed households and those too old or too young to work. I guess you could say the faces of poverty in our community are young'uns, old folks and single moms.

So, what does one do to help?

How about when you clean out your closet, don't give away the T-shirt you spilled coffee on three years ago or the pants you ripped when you ate too much Sunday casserole.

If it's something you wouldn't wear, then why do you think someone else will want it?

It is not like poor folks really love wearing hand-me-downs so much that they will say things like, “Man, that coffee stain on that T-shirt is gonna bring out the brown in my eyes.”

Jim Davis, the Baptist Service Center director for the Calhoun Baptist Association, told me volunteers waste many hours sorting through the good and bad stuff that is donated. And I know it is the truth because Jim took my former position at the CBA.

For six years, I smiled and thanked people when they donated clothes and goods from their home, then smiled again when I gave them a receipt. Then, volunteers sighed and shook their heads when they threw out old diapers (no kidding), soiled clothes, old underwear and such.

In our community, there are five organizations that provide clothing for free to those in need. The people are screened through Family Services and referred to them.

If you have clothing that is not suitable for wear, you can donate it to the Salvation Army for recycling. Just make sure to let them know your donation is not for the thrift store.

So, when you are spring-cleaning and you want to donate items to the less-fortunate in our community, just be respectful.

Where you can go to donate:

All Saints Interfaith Center of Concern
1029 W. 15th St., Anniston
Director: Sister Mary Roy
Phone: 236-7793
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday-Friday

Baptist Service Center South
806 Stewart St., Oxford
Director: Jim Davis
Phone: 831-4691
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday-Friday

Baptist Service Center Northwest
259 Halls Chapel Road, Alexandria
Director: Jim Davis
Phone: 846-3525
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Community Enabler Developer
1411 Gurnee Ave., Anniston
Director: Maudine Holloway
Phone: 237-6144
Hours of operation: 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center
206 Francis St. W., Jacksonville
Directors: Mary Agnes Hester and Chalcy Evans
Phone: 435-1891
Hours of operation: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Salvation Army — Recycled Clothes
420 Noble St., Anniston
Phone: 236-5764

If you are in an individual or family in need of clothes, then you must be screened through Family Services Center of Calhoun County, 15 E. 11th St., Anniston. Call 231-2240 for intake hours and more information.

Visit the Alabama Poverty Project online at www.alabamapoverty.org.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The personality of prom

The Anniston Star
By Theresa Shadrix
03-18-2007

Leah and Lauren Sparks share the same birthday, are involved in similar clubs at Oxford High School and complete each other's sentences, but the 16-year-old twins are total opposites.

Leah is an athlete with state championship trophies in track and field, while Lauren is a class beauty who has modeled locally and likes to watch America's Next Top Model.

Selecting a prom dress was as different as their personalities.

“Lauren was out there in the store, looking at herself in front of the mirror and twirling around,” Shawn Jones, the girl's mother said. “Leah wouldn't even come out of the dressing room.”

Leah recently placed fourth in the 100-meter dash at a track meet, plays volleyball, is a guard on the basketball team and was selected as Most Talented in Who's Who by her classmates. She rarely wears make-up and admits shopping is not her forté.

“I tried on long dresses, but I couldn't move in them. But I can in this one. I am ready to dance,” she said about her mini gown with long, layered ruffles.

Both girls selected playful, colorful gowns, but while Leah's is short, Lauren's is long and straight. “I think it looks glamorous,” Lauren's mom said about her dress.

Lauren can't wait to get dressed up for prom but said she is also excited for her sister. “Leah doesn't wear make-up or wear dresses or heels, and I can't wait for people to see her in this dress. It is like a total make-over!”

“OK, so I will wear make-up to prom,” Leah laughs. “Enough already.”

It is rare for Lauren to leave the house without make-up, and when she does it doesn't go unnoticed, but the duo will get help from their big sister, Lyndsey. “I don't want to look like I have on a mask,” said Leah. “I trust her.”

Noticing things like make-up, personality and style is one way to help girl's select prom gowns said JoAnne Kirby, manager of Prom Headquarters in Jacksonville.

“I let the girls pick out a few dresses and try them on and then I help them select the best one for their individuality. I just notice how they look and what they like.”

With the charm of a grandmother, Kirby said she encourages girls towards dresses that fit their uniqueness, body type and trends.

“The A-line dress is perfect for girls with an hour glass figure or bigger hips,” she said. “Brown is also the color this year for prom, but we have seen bright colors. It really just depends on the girl with what color they pick.”

Kirby has noticed gowns like the brown and aqua Lauren is wearing are popular but so are full ball gowns.

Tammie Tuck, sales clerk at the Quality Shoppe in Jacksonville, agrees.

“This is the year of full dresses,” she said. “We have had girls come in and they don't want poofy, but the mom talks her into trying one on and she walks out with one.”

Tuck observed both the brown and bright color trend too. “We have sold a lot of chocolate brown, and they are normally straight dresses,” she said. “The poofy, full gowns have been bright colors. Aqua, orange, raspberry, yellow…they are bright and fun.”

The most popular prom gown for Alexander's Bridal Shop in Oxford is a chocolate brown, full length gown said owner Mike Alexander. He has also seen there is no one trend and the character of the girl is what matters most.

“We have about 1,000 dresses, and they make them to fit all personalities.”

Alexander points out a full length, black and white polka dotted gown with a large red sash and bow. “This one has been popular.” Then he directs his attention to a simple, straight aqua gown decorated with a stream of Swarovski crystals. “Oh, but this one is also popular too.”

Alexander points out that prom is not just for girls and some guys are taking note of fashion for the social gathering of year.

“This year we had a few girls that told us they had to match their gown to the guy's vest.”

Admitting it is rare for girls to select gowns around their dates, he said sometimes boys do take just as much time selecting a tuxedo as girls do with dresses.

“Guys no longer wear cummerbunds. There are no bow ties and no button covers,” he said. “Now it is brown tuxes, long ties with matching vest and longer coats. They want to look good too.”

Lauren and Leah's prom dates matched their tuxedos to their dresses and both say the like what was selected.

“He is wearing a brown tux, brown vest and an aqua tie,” said Lauren, speaking about her date Taylor Clark. “I don't think he is too excited about it but he is wearing it.”

Leah said her date, Devin Futral, is wearing all white. “His is a white tuxedo, white vest and white tie.”

Now that they have their dresses and their dates have their tuxedos, the only thing on their to do list for their March 30 prom is picking up their shoes and waiting to get ready the day of the dance.

“We have to make a hair appointment, get our nails done, our eyebrows waxed and get our tan,” said Lauren. Leah is excited about dressing up for the prom, but she just wants to have fun.

“It is going to be so much fun. It is a time to let loose and dance. But I will probably take off my shoes and go barefoot.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Miss Alabama searches for her Hollywood-glamour side


By Theresa Shadrix
Star Staff Writer
01-14-2007

Miss Alabama Melinda Toole knows — for sure — only one thing about what she'll wear to Gov. Bob Riley's inauguration ball Monday: It will be glamorous.

“I love the old Hollywood look, and people have told me for years that I have the look,” says Toole, who early last week had not settled on a design. She only knew that it would be a custom-made design by Ann Northington, the official dress sponsor of the Miss Alabama Scholarship Pageant.

And, since Toole is preparing to leave for the Miss America pageant on Friday, she had a lot of gowns to choose from.

“Ann has created some amazing gowns for me this year. To me, all of her gowns have that old Hollywood look to them.”

Northington said the gowns she created for Toole this year are her best work yet. When Miss Alabama Deidre Downs won the Miss America pageant in 2005, the two-piece white gown was a Northington design.

“I make only pageant dresses and have been proud of my previous work, but I think this year is very special,” Northington said.

Toole said Northington creates a signature style that fits each Miss Alabama, and she feels very good in all of the gowns created for her. After she makes up her mind which gown to wear for the inaugural ball, she said getting ready will not be that different than for a pageant. Except she will not have to worry about wearing a swimsuit or being interviewed by a panel of judges and entertainment at the ball will be left up to country music singer Sara Evans.

As Miss Alabama she said she is excited about attending the ball to celebrate Riley's next term and then representing the state at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas.

“I know the ball will just be a very glamorous night.”



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If you want to get a glamorous look of your own, Miss Alabama Melinda Toole has some tips:

Try on as many dresses in various colors and styles as you can. Don't go for the first thing you try on. Take a friend with you. If you plan on shopping at two different stores, have a friend take a picture of you in gowns that you really.

Choose something that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. But make sure it is the right fit for your body type.

The day of the event, plan a pampering day and get your hair and nails done.

Make good use of make-up artists at department stores. For Monday's inaugural ball, Toole will have her make-up done at Gus Meyer in Birmingham.

“It is always fun to play with make-up,” she said. It also takes the guess work out of finding the right look for your skin type and coloring.

Choose accessories wisely. Don't over-do the look with too much jewelry in an embellished gown.

Don't forget to wear comfortable dancing shoes.

The Miss America pageant airs live on CMT, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.






Solving the mystery of the ball gown

By Theresa Shadrix
The Anniston Star Staff Writer
01-14-2007

Patsy Riley does not design and tell.

So when the red carpet rolls out at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex tomorrow at 8 for Gov. Bob Riley's inaugural ball, all eyes will be on his wife. After all, she is not only the First Lady of Alabama; she will be the belle of the ball in a couture gown she designed.

“I like secrets, and I don't usually tell too much,” she said when asked what she will wear. Wanting to keep the details of the dress design a secret, because, “every girl should have an element of surprise,” she said she just hopes the governor likes it as much as she does.

She did fess up that it will be a vintage-styled gown she designed with a little help from some friends. Inspired by her childhood fashion icons, it will be a 1950s and '60s-inspired ball gown.

“When I was a teen, I admired Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Debbie Reynolds in the movies,” Riley said. “They were my role models. So my dress has a little bit of Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and a dash of Debbie Reynolds.”

It was Liz Stearns of Susan Lee Boutique in Atlanta on whom she called to help dress her for the ball.

“I described what I wanted, and she had it made,” Riley said. Stearns also helped dress Riley for President Bush's inauguration and was excited when she received her call.

“I was just beside myself that she remembered me after two years,” Stearns said.

Riley brought a picture of what she wanted, and Stearns said she knew a designer, Saul Kapilivsky of Rose Taft, who could make the dress a reality. Stearns said Riley knows what she wants and what looks good on her, and it makes dressing her for an event easy.

One thing Riley admits is that she is not sure how to do her eye make-up for the ball. She will do her own hair, foundation and blush but asked her cousin, Hayley Mauldin Daniel, a make-up artist at Gates of Pearls in Birmingham, to glam her up for the night by “painting her eyes.”

With Sara Evans headlining as the entertainment at the ball, Riley said she can't wait to dance with the governor and celebrate his second term. He will wear one of his favorite tuxedos and his trademark black cowboy boots.

“Ya know, a man never looks as handsome as when he is in a tuxedo, she said in her distinct Clay County accent.

For the inaugural swearing-in ceremony, Monday at noon on the Capitol steps, the governor will most likely wear a favorite red tie with a dark suit. The First Lady jokes that she is not like her mother's generation in which the wife often laid clothes on the bed and selected the husband's outfit for the day.

“I used to think that was so funny. Now, I love to buy his ties, but he does dress himself,” she insists.

Standing by her husband as he takes his oath as the 53rd governor of Alabama, the First Lady will wear a custom made suit by Sue Tang of Sue Tang Designs in Montgomery and a hat by Melanie McLaughlin of Mobile. McLaughlin designed the hat Riley wore to the first inaugural swearing in ceremony and she knew she wanted her to do another one.

“I'm going to reinvent the hat,” she jokes.

Tang said Riley designed the suit, and she wanted something feminine and patriotic.

“The suit is full of life and is very feminine. She has a flowing skirt, and I think she looks very good,” Tang said. Tang said it is important for any outfit to fit a person's personality and the first lady's suit is no exception.

“She is very outgoing, warm to people and we wanted to make her suit warm, with a happy color with a celebration look.

Stearns said Riley makes the process of dressing her fun and relaxing.

“She looks like a million dollars,” Stearns said. “I can't wait. Alabama will really be proud.”

Riley said when she is announced at the ball with her husband, she hopes southern young ladies will appreciate her style. More than anything she hopes Alabamians will see they are normal folks.

“We are just like everyone else but we so want to always put our best face and best attitude for the people. Ya know, they deserve it.”

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Florence fashion designer closes doors

By Theresa Shadrix
The Anniston Star
10-01-2006

Natalie Chanin has been on a six-year journey that has inspired her beyond measure. So on Friday, when she and partner Enrico Marone-Cinzano closed the doors of Project Alabama, it was not easy.
“It was a financial decision,” says Chanin, who was born in Florence. “I am extremely proud of the work that we have accomplished over the last six years.”

Chanin and Marone-Cinzano started Project Alabama, a fashion design company, in 2000 and based it in Florence. But Project Alabama was more than a fashion design company. As its name signifies, the founders wanted to involve the local community while also making clothes.

At one time, it employed 150 local seamstresses who sewed one-of-a-kind garments made by hand. A week before the closing, it was down to 15.

Chanin did more than provide a job to locals in the rural town of 36,000 and create buzz in the trendy fashion metropolis. She taught the seamstresses how to take a piece of material and create beauty. Project Alabama fashions were on runways in New York and displayed in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Town & Country, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar. Her designs hung in more than 50 stores in 10 countries.

While most fashion designers dream of New York, Milan and Paris, Chanin drew positive attention from the fashion world by staying true to her Southern roots, offering Southern flair with big-city motif. They were creations the couture world could marvel about and the everyday woman could appreciate.

She also had what most women only dream about — a career where she worked from home, was a part of the couture fashion world and was surrounded by family and friends.

Today, with the closing of Project Alabama, it is friends and family that she remembers.

“(Project Alabama) has been a beautiful path filled with friends, family, stories, laughter, love, frustration, tears, joy, incredibly talented artisans, great food, a supportive audience, and, in essence, just amazingly good people,” she says.

For now, Chanin says she will take some time to let the closing of Project Alabama sink in before planning her next move.

And Alabama will wait with anticipation.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Churches should offer members training in foundational doctrines, George says

By Theresa Shadrix
The Alabama Baptist
September 14, 2006

With the passing of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Christians are reminded of the importance of understanding Islam.

Despite the contemporary significance, history is where it all begins, according to Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, an executive editor of Christianity Today and author of more than 20 books, including “Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?”.

George said Christianity, Islam and Judaism are historical religions, with each relying on a book — versions of the Bible for Christians and Jews and the Quran for Muslims — and they are missionary religions.

He stressed the importance of churches training members to stand firm in doctrinal beliefs in order to be effective witnesses to Muslims.

“We need to come back to the fundamental basics of the faith,” George said. “We know a little about confessions and almost nothing about catechisms, but yet the very first things ever published by the (Baptist) Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) were about catechisms. We need to go back to these historical documents and reconnect.”

George said he is a strong believer in Discipleship Training but it needs to be more organized. “We do doctrine studies but these are declining and we need to reconnect with heritage,” he said. “I would encourage pastors to teach doctrinal sermons.”

One reason George sees Discipleship Training as a needed program in churches is the growth of Muslim Student Association groups on college campuses. These groups’ primary focus is to evangelize Christian students, and he thinks doctrinal teachings from pastors and churches need to start at a young age to prepare Christians for this type of interaction.

George said Christians need to know that only 15 percent of Muslims live in the Middle East. Islam is the fastest-growing religion not just in the world but also in the United States, where an estimated 6 million, or one out of every six people, are Muslim, he said.

Christians can respond to Islam with knowledge of their faith, as well as living as Jesus Christ lived, and George said open dialogue is the best approach.

“Become a friend with a Muslim,” he said. “Stress and recognize the common humanity as Jesus did. Their children get sick and they are interested in the same things.”

George also believes Christians should work on community projects with Muslims to build relationships and be positive, constructive Christian witnesses. Most of all, he said, Christians need to pray.

“Pray God will open hearts of Muslims for missionaries serving in places where their lives are in jeopardy. Pray God will use us in this country and be uncompromised.”

George said the biggest misconception for Christians to understand about Muslims is their teachings on Jesus Christ.

He said they cannot believe that the Word was made flesh and this main difference is recognized in the phrase written in Arabic on Muslims’ third most holy site, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It states, “God has no son.” The Quran also teaches that Jesus Christ wasn’t crucified and instead someone else, possibly Judas, took His place on the cross.

“They admit there was a crucifixion on Good Friday and meant for Jesus Christ, but God lifted Him into heaven, and He didn’t have to face humiliation and shame,” George said.

He said the Dome of the Rock faces the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which stands on the site where Jesus’ crucifixion is believed to have occurred.

“One building says, ‘God has no son;’ one says, ‘He died,’” George said. “Everything that needs to be said is here.”

Copyright 2005© The Alabama Baptist. All Rights Reserved. Contact The Alabama Baptist.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Botox or Restylane? Don’t get worry lines choosing between them

by Theresa Shadrix
LongLeaf Style
September 2006

If crow’s feet and laugh lines are mocking you in the mirror, it might be time to consider the secret weapons of the cosmetic elite — Botox and Restylane.

Not new to controversy, Botox has been a hot topic among spa gossipers since its debut 15 years ago because its active ingredient is the toxic food bacterium that causes botulism. But the chatter erupted in July when The Islamist National Fatwa Council advised the Malaysian government to ban Botox for cosmetic use because it contains prohibited substances from pigs, which Islam considers unclean.

Cathy DiRamio, public relations manager for Botox manufacturer Allergan Inc., dismissed the concern, saying the final Botox product does not contain any porcine elements. The manufacturing process uses an enzyme derived from pig’s milk to grow the Clostridium botulinum bacteria which give Botox its activity, but the enzyme is removed during the purification process.

Botox has been approved in more than 40 other countries worldwide “for aesthetic use for temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines (the vertical ‘frown lines’ between the brows),” DiRamio said.

Dr. Shelley Ray, an Anniston dermatologist, said she has injected men and women, ages 18 to 65, purely for cosmetic purposes, and her patients are willing to spend at least $150 per treatment every three months. Repeated treatments are necessary, she said, “because Botox weakens muscles by preventing transmission to the nerve, and since it is a protein, the body tears it down.”

Ray insists Botox injection is a safe and painless procedure. “It is a very small needle, more like a pressure discomfort. It is very low on the pain scale,” she said.

While Botox is a muscle relaxer, Restylane is an entirely different cosmetic approach to wrinkles, serving as a filler in the furrows of the skin. Botox is best suited for the upper face, whereas Restylane is injected into the lower facial extremities.

“It plumps up the folds and corrects facial wrinkles, such as laugh lines around the mouth. The cost of Restylane is $450 per syringe. A syringe usually contains more than one treatment and a single injection typically lasts six months, Ray said. When you buy a syringe the doctor will keep it for you, and subsequent treatments will come from that same syringe until it is empty, Ray said. The number of treatments in a syringe depends on the individual patient.

Before injecting Restylane, Ray cautions patients that they may feel some pain. “It is a thick product, so [injection can be] painful,” she said. However, she administers a topical anesthetic about 30 minutes before the procedure to numb the area. “You don’t feel anything,” she said.

Since Restylane is the new kid on the cosmetic block, with FDA approval in 2003 and its first shipment to physicians in January 2004, procedure numbers were not available.

Ray warns that while the injections are non-surgical, both Botox and Restyland are to be administered by qualified professionals, which include ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists and dermatologists.

Those seeking a youthful appearance may be confused about which product is best suited for them, but Ray said she injects Botox and Restylane at the same time, and it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

“We do consultations all the time where a patient simply comes in and asks what I can do to help them.” If in doubt about your laugh lines, crow’s feet and facial wrinkles, she said, all you have to do is ask.

Longleaf Style managing editor Theresa Shadrix is not yet a candidate for Botox or Restylane — which means she can spend more on shoes.

Monday, September 04, 2006

That’s right — wear white now


Various shades of white — combined with splashes of gold and camel — combine for a fashionable ensemble fit for wearing into fall and winter. Photo Illustration By Trent Penny and Theresa Shadrix

By Theresa Shadrix
The Anniston Star
09-03-2006

Ask any good Southern girl why she packs away her white wardrobe, including shoes, purses and pants, on Labor Day and it usually has something to do with her mother.
Labor Day celebrates the American worker and marks the beginning of the unofficial ‘no white’ period for Southern women.

Boxes are packed, closets are cleaned and everything white is stored away during the winter months.

Ending on Memorial Day or Easter, the No White Period is a seven-month hiatus of all things white — or is it?

“For me Labor Day is the end of summer, and when summer ends, the sandal-wearing ends also,” says Delana Gilmore, publications secretary for The Calhoun Baptist Association.

One of the many Southern women who learned the No-White rule from her mother, Gilmore contends that she is not sure if keeping to the Labor Day fashion rule is owed to the voice of Mom in her head or to lessons learned at Judson College, an all female Baptist University.

She does know that wearing white in winter is sure to get a Southern girl a few discourteous stares.

“If I do wear bright white shoes in November or December, I will be so uncomfortable and self-conscious about it that I probably try to hide my feet,” she jokes. “I know that it’s not a don’t any more. However, the ideas that I grew up on are what I govern my life by.

“They might not be for everybody, but those ideas are what make me ME.”

Like many other women in the South, Gilmore is not alone in following the advice of her foremothers.

Eula Tatman, grants manager for the Calhoun County Community Foundation, grew up in Kansas and says her mother planted the White Rule in regard to shoes in her psyche every Easter.

“Mom rarely bought white shoes for Easter (I have five sisters). She bought black patent leather shoes,” she says. “She wanted us to be able to wear our Easter shoes year round.

Therefore, I guess as a child, it was instilled in us that white shoes were not to be worn all year round.”

Tatman says she adheres to the No White Shoes rule due to fashion peer pressure.

“As an adult or college-age (girl), you would get a stare from your girlfriends who’d threaten to call the Fashion Police, unless of course it’s winter white.”

White Plains Elementary School Title I aide Patsy Cronan also recalls learning the white shoe rule on Easter.

“I can remember getting white sandals and I couldn’t wear them until Easter and I could wear them until Labor Day,” she says with a grin.

Another good Southern girl, Cronan would never go against the Shoe Rule but wonders about her white pants.

“I wore these (white) pants today and knew that I had to put them away next week,” she adds. “If you find out that we can wear them, you let me know.”

A native of England now residing in Atlanta, Ga., Lynne Marks is president of the London Image Institute and is one of only six Certified Image Masters worldwide.

She believes the rules are American, observed mainly in the South and white can be worn year-round. And yes, that includes pants.

“White is a summer and a winter color, but for winter it would be in wool and called winter white, which is ivory.”

She says that black and white were described as the new look this year, but they are always in style for midsummer.

Debra Lindquist, a certified image professional and president of Color Profiles/ The Total Look in Denver, Colo., says the root of the No White rule really pertains to shoes.

“Years ago, we did not have as many shoe color options as currently exist in 2006. There were black shoes, brown shoes and white shoes. The idea was that people needed white shoes for summer,” she says.

Today, Lindquist explains that certain rules still apply when wearing white, regardless of the season.

“Wearing white shoes is only appropriate when white is worn as a color in the rest of the outfit,” she says. “Putting on a print dress that contained no white in the print or in the print background would give the wearer an Edith Bunker type of look.”

Robbie Boggs, instructor of merchandising at Jacksonville State University, agrees the old rule was to wear a lighter colored shoe than the pants, dress or skirt but now it’s the overall look that matters in fashion.

“Bottom line, does it look good?” she asks. “Fashion rules are now obsolete and rules are broken. We are becoming a lax society and even manners are going out. Get some style and dress out of the box is what the message for fall is all about.”

But in the South, tradition in fashion is like the roots of the longleaf pine – embedded deep in the red clay and resistant to outside disturbances.

“According to folklore, most likely the rules of wearing white originated in the South — south of the Mason-Dixon line,” says Boggs.

She is not sure if wearing white had to do with the hot temperatures in the South, with white reflecting the heat of summer, or a social class issue.

“As the emerging, new middle class began growing with the industrialization of America in the 1800’s, rules of dress were applied,” she explains. “Again there was a technological boom in the 1950’s with more of society moving to the middle class.”

With the newly established middle class, Boggs says strict fashion etiquette guidelines were made and passed down through the generations.

Regardless of the fashion rules and Southern heritage, in 2006 it is all about individuality.

“If you want to put a white boot with a black skirt, just go for it,” says Boggs.

Just pray the Fashion Police are not giving out citations.

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Rules for wearing white
• To avoid the Fashion Police, the No-White period for shoes is after Labor Day and before Memorial Day or Easter.

• It is not against the rule to wear a white shirt or pants in winter but winter white is best.

• White adds pounds. When wearing white pants, try a pair with pinstripes for a slimming look.

• Debra Lindquist offers a solution for those who are not sure of the when to wear white shoes. “White shoes are available but are not a must have in every wardrobe. Metallic shoes are an option that go with many colors of clothing and have replaced white.”

• Lynne Marks says whites should be washable and bleached otherwise they will go yellow with age. So, washable cottons are best, not polyester.

• It is also important to avoid lines from undergarments when wearing white. Marks suggests flesh-colored foundation garments with white. “NO panty line!” she says. Bras in gossamer flesh-colored nylon and panties without a strong leg elastic, or even thongs are essential. Marks says you can dye white underwear in a solution of warm water and tea bags to get it to the right color to match your skin.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Summer skin...If you value yours, resist the temptation to soak up the sun.

by Theresa Shadrix
LongLeaf Style
June 2006

The influence of the sun is legendary, mythical and powerful. For thousands of years the sun has been the object of worship, whether by agrarians praying for perfect light or by the faithful seeking favor from their supreme deity. The Greeks built the sixth wonder of the world, the Colossus of Rhodes, in honor of Helios, mythological god of the sun, and held Olympic Games in Rhodes to pay homage to him. In ancient Egypt, Ra, the sun-god, was considered the first king, and his son, pharaoh, was the god’s representative on earth.

Chae Mi Madden knows the signs of the modern-day sun worshipper, but not by cipher of a spiritual message or dedication to doctrine. She believes the face tells no lies, and with one look she can identify a follower who seeks not gold-lined streets but a golden skin.

“I just don’t understand it,” says Madden, a master cosmetologist for six years and owner of Monet Day Spa in Anniston. “I have seen many women come in for facials after too much sun, and it damages it.” Why risk premature wrinkles, leathery skin, age spots and melanoma in pursuit of a tan, she wonders, when “the natural skin is so beautiful.”

Madden has made a career of converting sun worshippers to sunscreen believers while repairing wounded skin. “There is no such thing as a good tan [from the sun],” she says. “The sun dehydrates the skin. I can do healing facials to recover it, but it takes time. You will never fully recover from sun damage.”

Madden uses treatments such as microderm abrasion and hydro- and healing facials. She employs a device called the LaFleur Repairer, which she says stimulates damaged skin and decreases wrinkles with electromagnetic energy. She does not perform medical treatments for damage from ultraviolet rays. Instead, she urges men and women to seek the advice of their doctor or a dermatologist if they have suspicious spots on their faces or bodies.

Of Asian decent, Madden spends much of her day mothering women, mostly Caucasian, about the dangers of neglecting to wear sunscreen and of using tanning beds. Although her spa has one tanning bed, she prefers to see clients come in for a spray-on tan or apply a “tan-in-a-bottle.” She advises them all to use sunscreen daily to protect their skin.

Although Madden sees sun-damaged skin nearly every day, the danger hit close to home when she learned that Monet employee Anel Petroff had a skin lesion removed from her face four years ago. Says Petroff, “I don’t leave the house in the morning without sunscreen now.” Petroff glows from her most recent facial and grins proudly at the mention of the lack of a scar, which she attributes to the skills of her dermatologist and surgeon and to her own kindness to her skin.

Petroff, a hair stylist, extends sun protection to hair as well. “I often see hair damaged from the sun,” she says. “I encourage people to apply conditioner or cover the hair with a hat. I know it doesn’t look glamorous, but it is worth it.”

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Christians debate, weigh intelligent design for validity as scientific theory

By Theresa Shadrix
The Alabama Baptist
March 16, 2006

Most Christians have solid opinions on issues like the display of the Ten Commandments and prayer in schools, but many are not finding clarity in their opinion about the theory of intelligent design (ID).

With roots in astronomy, physics, chemistry and biology, the modern-day ID theory began to take form in 1802 with William Paley’s watchmaker analogy in “Natural Theology.”

According to Paley, if a watch is found in a field, then the complexity of the watch offers evidence that it is the product of intelligence, and thus the natural world provides evidence of a worldmaker. This preceded the theory of evolution, introduced in Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” in 1859.

In 1984, Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley and Roger Olson presented a critique of the theory of evolution in the publication “The Mystery of Life’s Origin.” Michael Denton followed with his analysis, “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,” two years later. These publications laid a foundation and gave way to the present-day ID movement and future books on the subject, including William Dembski’s “The Design Inference” in 1998.

Until recently, ID was mainly a topic among the scientific community, which largely does not support the ID theory.

However, the Kitzmiller vs. Dover (Pa.) Area School District trial, in which U.S. District Judge John E. Jones ruled that inserting ID into the school science curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state, brought the topic into mainstream conversations.

A spokesman for an ID think tank contends media attention given to such trials merges ID and creation science — a form of creationism — into one theory, when in actuality ID is a separate theory based not on religion but biology.

Rob Crowther, director of media and public relations for the Discovery Institute Center for Science & Culture, said he believes an agenda to distort ID is a purposeful act. “It is designed by the Darwinians. They like to confuse the lines between (ID and creation science),” he said. That is why Crowther believes there must be education on the three distinct definitions related to life: creation science, evolution and ID.

He said evolution has three definitions. One holds that change occurs over time. A second contends common ancestry and all forms of life evolved from a single original life form. And a third asserts that natural science, acting on random mutation, is the primary mechanism by which life forms have evolved.

“ID scientists do not have a problem with definition No. 1. There is some debate over definition No. 2, but it is not incompatible with ID,” Crowther said. “Definition No. 3, commonly referred to as Darwinian evolution, is a specific part of evolution that ID challenges and is the heart of Darwin’s theory.”

Crowther said the scientific theory of intelligent design holds that instead of evidence for mutation “there are clear indicators of design in nature and that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause.”

Unlike creation science, however, which presupposes that God created the universe, ID does not promote an answer for who that designer might be. “Intelligent design theory does not claim that science can determine the identity of the intelligent cause,” he said. “All it proposes is that science can identify whether certain features of the natural world are the products of intelligence.”

Dembski, the Carl F.H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology and director of the Center for Science and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Ky., said he best defines ID as “the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence.”

A mathematician, philosopher, theologian and one of the leading proponents in the ID movement, Dembski agrees its most controversial area of application is biology. “If patterns in biological systems exist that signify intelligence, then this intelligence would have to be an unevolved intelligence, which is utterly counter to conventional evolutionary theory.”

According to him, while creation science is in the first instance a doctrine about the source of being of the world, like questioning where everything comes from, ID does not ask where nature or the world ultimately comes from.

“Creationism goes further than creation and takes a particular view of creation, typically a particular interpretation of the Genesis account of creation, and then seeks to harmonize it with science,” he said. “ID, by contrast, is not part of the Bible-science controversy.”

Dembski said because the ID community includes evangelical Christians, who believe that ultimately the designer is the Christian God, it is easy to see how the lines between creationism and ID are blurred. Nevertheless he said Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists understand the intelligence behind the design in nature in terms compatible with their religious faith.

“ID is not vague about the designer,” Dembski said. “It simply says that from strictly the data of nature, there’s not much we can say about the identity of the designer, and to say more about the designer, we need to look to philosophy and theology.”

Although ID has no stake in trying to harmonize religious texts with scientific data, he said it is much more friendly and compatible with Christian theism.

“Evolutionary theory, by contrast, is hard to square with Christian theism because it views nature unguided by any intelligence as sufficient to bring about biological complexity and diversity,” Dembski said.

“When evolutionists talk about evolution, they are not thinking of an intelligently planned process exhibiting clear goals or purposes. They are thinking of an accidental process that from our vantage happened to do interesting things.”


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