Saturday, 29 March 2014

Vanessa - OOTN

I attended a baby shower on the weekend and wanted to wear something bright and fun. I didn't have time to buy an outfit, so I mixed and matched whatever I had in my wardrobe and paired it with new shoes I had bought. Always the easiest way to make a new outfit, and save them dollars ! 

TOP: Queen Justine Vintage (
DRESS: Lipsy dress worn as skirt (
SHOES: Bought from small boutique in Sydney 

-Posted by Vanessa 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

#Rapecultureiswhen - A powerful Twitter discussion

Rape culture is a term used to describe the normalizing, condoning and excusing of rape and sexual violence in society. It describes a culture that does not teach people how NOT to rape, but instead teaches people how to NOT GET raped.

Zerlina Maxwell wrote this brilliant article for Ebony, entitled "5 Ways We Can Teach Men Not to Rape" which changes the conversation and calls for the rejection of violence rather than an acceptance of it.

Shortly after but not in response to Zerlina's article, TIME posted this article entitled "It’s Time to End ‘Rape Culture’ Hysteria", which totally rejected the idea of a "rape culture", claiming "Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm."

Then Twitter went crazy! Zerlina tweeted the following... and the #Rapecultureiswhen topic began.


The hashtag #Rapecultureiswhen gained just under 50, 000 mentions within 48 hours on Twitter and was, in my opinion, an extremely powerful way for victims to connect with each other. I am sick and tired of women being told how to present themselves or how to act in situations to protect themselves. I am sick of people excusing sexual crimes with "she was asking for it by being drunk/dressing slutty/walking alone/hanging out with older men, etc etc." We have this narrative in our minds that women get raped by some stranger in the street and so we teach them ways to protect themselves, when more often than not, women are raped by people that they actually know or sometimes people that they are related to. I believe that rape culture is a real thing and this conversation further enhanced my want to make children and young people know that they should never feel burdened by "how not to get raped" or have to ever feel at blame if they happen to be a victim of sexual violence.
I am extremely happy that Zerlina and others are turning this conversation around and discussing why our culture condones sexual violence and attacks victims rather than perpetrators. Below are some of the highlights from Twitter, including a few of my own.

- Posted by Olympia

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Top 3 bright/bold lip colours: For black girls

I feel like black girls (at least SOME of the ones I know) are scared to wear bold colours, and often just stick to the safe red lippy (nothing wrong with this either). I suppose they think it will be too bright on their skin, and are scared to branch out to new colours in fear of looking like a hot mess. Since my love for lipsticks has grown, you will hardly find me without any on for a night out. It honestly makes an outfit ! Especially when you don't feel like wearing too much eye-makeup, a bold lip is sometimes all you need. This gave me the idea to post myself, wearing my top 3 bright/bold lip colours at the moment. Being an example that no matter the shade of our beautiful black skin, we can also rock any lip colour. Another handy trick: use lip liners, sometimes even eye liner as lipstick. This gives a wider range in colour choices to play with, not to mention, saves you loads. Colour in your whole lip with the desired colour, adding a little bit of gloss or paw paw ointment to complete the look ! 
Pink lip liner used as lipstick, and added gloss. (Drugstore brand- Nabi 'Soft Pink')

Dark Orange lipstick (Drugstore brand- L.A Colors ''Clipm 234')

Dark Purple lipstick (By Kat Von D- 'Homegirl') 

-Posted by Vanessa 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spotlight on African Talent - K' Naan

If you are anything like me and have extreme African pride, you will understand my weird obsession with exploring and promoting raw and underrated African talent. I feel an instant, deeper connection to hustling artists of all rights who are from the motherland. It's almost like a sense of an invisible family bond, as they become my sister or brother who I need to support during their rising movement. It's crazy to think that a household name in Africa has probably never been heard of by many living abroad, simply because they only see what is put in front of them. Nonetheless, I want to put spotlight on a lyrically gifted Somali rapper, K'Naan Warsame.

K'Naan is a Somalian-born, Canadian-based artist. For me, what sets him apart from other rappers is his ability to bring awareness to REAL issues with his unique flow like no other. Anyone that takes the time to listen to his songs will appreciate not only his struggle (fleeing Mogadishu at the height of the Somali Cilvil War)  but also the 'internal wars' he talks about that we as humans face on an emotional level. K'Naan's standout talent reached a new height when Coca-Cola used the remixed version of his smash hit "Wavin' Flag" as the theme song for the 2010 World Cup. This amazing opportunity allowed K'Naan to receive the recognition he deserves, especially grabbing the attention of world-known artists. The success of "Wavin' Flag" is reflected in the caliber of artists K'naan has been able to work with, including Nas, Nelly Furtado, Bono, Will.I.Am and B.O.B, just to name a few.

He has been known to use his celebrity status to be an advocate for sending aid to Somalia and other African countries. K'naan's positive impact is set to takeover Africa and beyond. This is confirmed by being ranked the 25th most powerful celebrity in Africa by Forbes in 2011. K'naan is definitely one artist to keep our eye on in the near future.

Enjoy some of my favourite songs/clips from the man himself !

-Posted by Vanessa 

Monday, 3 March 2014


Almost every day, I drive past this loan office that has neon light advertising in the windows. I thought it would be a cool place to shoot some pictures and since I just got this jacket in the mail (and am obsessed), I figured it would be a good opportunity. It's about to be Spring here so I'm enjoying the last few weeks of being able to wear beanies and big jackets, although definitely ready for it to be warm!

Beanie: Diamond Supply Co
Jumpsuit: American Apparel
Jacket: Alpha Industries
Shoes: Nike Roshe Run

- Posted by Olympia