Tag Archive: sex


By Esperanza D.

Esperanza

A big thanks to Corve DaCosta who gave me the opportunity, through a blog contest, to be a guest blogger for a day.  I entered the contest with the hope of using it as a platform to creating just a little change, for the better, in this world.

As some of you may know from the HmmSweetSplendidWisdom blog I’m both a Social Work graduate student and a Social Justice activist.  Through my field practicum for school, I am working on HIV prevention and education, as well as HIV testing and counseling. I enjoy it a lot and plan on attending a conference this summer in New York that talks about issues surround HIV and women, in particular women of color.

I’m really excited about this, as my own passion is working with, and empowering women.  In addition, my interest in HIV prevention and education began when my uncle passed away from AIDS and I saw, firsthand, the stigma attached to it. I then knew that it wasn’t ok to treat others as anything less than equal.

Well, I came across a really needed website the other day I want to share with you. It’s called the “Pepsi Refresh Project” that gives $$ to grassroots projects led by real people and community members, like yourselves. Anyone is able to submit an idea that deals with giving back to the community in a way they find most productive or creative. In turn, it is posted online to be voted on by the public and the winner receives a lot of cash for their project. How cool is that? Here is the link if you wish to vote on current projects and find the sign up link to submit your own for the next round.http://www.refresheverything.com/index

What I plan to do is attend the HIV and Women Conference this summer and use my creative talents to come up with a great project proposal for the Pepsi Refresh Project. When this happens, I hope you will support my efforts through your vote. In turn, I hope you feel inspired to come up with a project of your own to submit to the site. Think about what communities or populations could use your support and where you feel your passion can make the most impact.

Advertisements are a form of communication that is used to persuade consumers to purchase a product. Advertisements form part of every marketing plan of a product or service and takes on different forms as technology increases. The costs vary and while some may be expensive, companies invest a lot of energy and monies in getting them right the first time. Most large businesses do not develop advertisements on their own but contract agencies to perform that aspect of the job. We cannot deny the immense power advertisements have on a potential market and will not underestimate the powers they may have over a particular group of people.

As marketers, we have to be very careful with the messages we send with an advert. In that, when you create an advertisement you have to ensure that are not violating rights and also not discriminating against any group among others while at the same time accomplish other objectives. Advertising executives with their creative teams must ensure that these advertisements do not offend a group and that to me is the most important factor to be considered when creating advertisements.

The Jamaican market is not an educated one and that is no excuse to produce adverts that are not fashionable, full of taste and ones that are refined. Recently, over a year there have been advertising campaigns promoting energy drinks. Of course in a sexualized country like Jamaica, sex doesn’t only sell it is embedded in everything we hear and see. This is not to say that this does not exist in other markets and are with other products or services but it exist in a raunchy way.

In this post I have decided to analyze two advertisements that promote a similar product. Both are energy drinks but the company has decided to highlight the feature where it assumes to help someone’s sexual drive. Nothing is wrong with that, some people need the help and are grateful for such but it shouldn’t be done in a distasteful way that offends groups especially when the ad is booked to be seen by children.

The first video below is the product called Magnum. They released this video maybe over a year ago and had the tag line “a mus di magnum inna him” which translates in English to mean “It’s the magnum in him”.  The advertisement depicts a couple in a bedroom. The woman slips in the bathroom to take a break apparently from the hot sexual experience. Overall the advertisement although sexy is tame to some extent not giving much away, leaving much to your imagination. Watch below.

The other product called Mandingo is another energy drink which promises to assist you with your sexual abilities in the bedroom. On the streets Jamaicans combine this product with beers to make a stronger drink which even heightens your ability in the bedroom – so they say! This advert however, is very trashy, offending and is distasteful in every way. This advertisement should not have been approved with the extreme and over the top sexiness. This advertisement is shown when families sit to watch television on any given evening. In posting the videos I have decided to post the first Mandingo commercial.

I am not amazed with the production of some advertisements in Jamaica. I know people who create advertisements for major international companies here and they have no experience in marketing only a connection and network. It is sad because they give others in the field a bad name because of their poor reputation. My favourite video above is the first one – I must say. The female talent in the advertisement is very convincing, and she does a great job by not being over the top – just safe. However, the female talent in the second video who is a popular porn star is very raunchy, sick and unappealing. The second Mandingo commercial is so in your face and it makes it blah. Nothing to aspire to be or anything left to the viewer’s imagination. Anyway, that’s Jamaica advertising for you. Don’t get me wrong we have great ads too.

We couldn’t end on a bad note, so I decided to post an advertisement from Japan. It is an energy drink and just watch how sexual abilities doesn’t play a role in the advert. We know Japanese to be hardworking and ambitious people-they accomplished just that in the advertisement.

Grip on that Self Esteem

What is self esteem? Self Esteem reflects a person’s overall evaluation of appraisal of his or her own worth.

This article was birthed out of a discussion I had with someone. They approached me with a question that I did not see coming. The person asked: “Am I attractive?” This question was never asked to seal the individual’s convictions of his/her level of attractiveness. Instead it was asked because I think this individual was insecure about it.

What was intriguing about this situation was that the individual who asked the question personally, I thought they were crazy. Because they are attractive, not even average – above it. The person has attractive skin tone, quality hair, great features, and a wonderful personality to go with all of that. If you are looking someone to settle down with they would be on your list because they lead a balanced life and is incredibly smart. One can imagine my shock. After the conversation ended I thought deeply that there is a bigger issue here. Many times we hear of young girls and boys being insecure, more so girls. Many times as well the media, internet, advertising and magazines are blamed for glamorizing images that are not Main Street.

People who find that they are insecure about anything; it typically becomes a major issue hindering emotional growth among other things.

Improving your self worth is no easy feat especially when you have reached certain levels. However, I believe with certain steps, tips, guidelines whatever a therapist may call it, they can be helped.

  1. Find things to love about yourself

This is critical because if we do not find something to love and adore within ourselves someone will point out one and it may not be all that good. As young people we are embedded in the latest gadgets, technology, and media that we forget the human side of our lives. We need to take time out from all those phones, televisions and internet to have personal time for ourselves. We may not see the importance but can we start looking in the mirror and loving what we see. Be in awe. The fact is, the celebrities who we think have a perfect life and who we look up to also find themselves being insecure about many things.

  1. Surround yourself with positive thinking people.

I think this one is mostly underestimated because we think sometimes we can combat negative people. Newsflash, most times we can’t! If you surround yourself with people who watch their calories to the tee, always pointing out other people’s faults, always degrading others, finding imperfections on their body etc. you might want to change your circle of friends. Surround yourself with people who appreciate and celebrate their lives, people who in a moment will encourage you than fight or tear you down.

  1. Challenge yourself

This will be a task. If you are like me, then you do not have a huge following of friends. J Nothing wrong with that, just treasure the ones you have today. I would tell you to challenge yourself. Test your abilities to find and appreciate things that you will begin to love about yourself. For example: if you hate your weight, get out there and do something about it. Do not try quick fixes; buying tighter fitting clothing to make you look smaller or liposuction. That will not work. Sign up for a gym or work out at home. Yes! Bring the gym home. You do not need a personal trainer. Be cost effective and find videos on Youtube that will challenge you to fight your weight.

  1. Celebrate you!

To overcome your insecurities you must begin to celebrate what have kept you down. I am sure you have seen those public service advertisements on television that have expressed people living under $1 a day, or something to that effect. We have homes to live in, access to the internet, clean air to breathe, food to eat and all these things. To be burdened down with our insecurities are not worth our time. Get out there and celebrate your uniqueness and change what you can change naturally. We have one life to live and living it sad, insecure and bewildered is not an option.

Love your life today and live your best life now! Go!

Growing up too slow or too fast!

My parents constantly reminds me of their childhood experiences reminiscing how wonderful, peaceful and meek it was. Many children played and some are still playing with dolls. There are many lessons however that can be learnt from playing with dolls. Technology has advanced tremendously. Dolls are not only soft baby-like toys they have taken on other roles. We have seen dolls talk, show emotions and respond to the children that use them. But are we ready for children to breastfeed these toys?

It is a sad day in our history when inventors can develop a doll that has the ability to respond to breastfeeding by small children. Nothing in the world can justify this kind of technology. The Spanish manufacturer Berjuan must pull this product from the market immediately and people especially parents must begin to stand up and make their voices heard. We cannot allow a profit making entity who does not care about the future of their own society misguide the rest of us. We must allow our children to enjoy their childhood. They are being robbed daily of their childhoods by what we allow them to watch on television, the music that is so widespread and degrading. We have robbed them of their innocence, abusing their bodies and now we want to teach them to act like adults. It is not right. I hope countries like globally will never accept this product in their markets. We blame so many other people and factors for how our children are behaving and when we see the real reason pointing back at us, we appear to be blind.

I do not have a problem with our children playing with dolls, I endorse it. I believe there are so many lessons that our young ones can learn by embracing a doll. They learn that they are not alone in this world and people need love and affection and they learn how to communicate; some even love teaching from playing with dolls. I do not believe young kids think of having sex when they play with dolls. They don’t. They think of being kind to others and ensuring the dolls are safe by protecting it.

What lessons do we really want our children to get? Do we want them to grow up fast and add to the myriad of problems the adults have caused? Can you imagine a young child breastfeeding a doll? That child’s psychology immediately changes and they begin to think and feel like they are adults. I do believe that these are some of the things we have forced on our kids and have caused us not able to really control them. I have worked with children on projects before and some feel they can speak and behave anyway in public disrespecting leaders and undermining those in charge. These kids who will play with ‘Bebe Gloton’ or ‘greedy baby’ will be affected in some way negatively. We have sexualised this world so much that young kids today are engaging more in sexual activities and we are divided on how to solve these problems which we created. We have forced them to act like adults in a child’s body and it confuses them so much.

There should be a ban on this product now. When will this cycle end? I can’t wait till a business develops a doll that will have sexual intercourse with the female doll. Would our eyes be opened then? Oh I hear the defence already….They need to know!

Have you ever been in an enclosed area and smell the fumes from someone smoking? Doesn’t it annoy you? It must be weird being annoyed by a smell. I am upset, agitated, and infuriated when I smell a smoker and the smoke from their activities. I cannot fathom why someone would smoke their way to their death beds. We have heard of the many side-effects and ramifications for smoking cigarettes. For crying out loud go far far away and kill yourself with the fumes. Why make the rest of the world suffer in your unhealthy agony? I cannot imagine what goes on in the lungs and inside the body as they inject those crazy chemicals in.

Obama the Savior

Obama the Savior

My heart goes out though to all of the many addicts to smoking. I really blame them for their conditions and addiction to cigarettes and wish that they would change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Many families are being separated by those family members who smoke for a lifetime and end up dying from complications. There are however, solutions and many alternatives smokers can make to live their lives better.

In America alone 46 million people light a cigar. We have heard many times of the disadvantages for smoking but the information does not move smokers to stop killing themselves silently. They are addicted and so drawn and warped into smoking that they cannot and sometimes find it hard to end a life addicted to its contents. One would think businesses would stop making cigarettes so harmful to the body. No. They are manufactured and marketed to entice the innocent. Many young people are becoming addicted to smoking and the trend must be stopped. How many young people should die because of this addictive substance? Worldwide between 80,000 and 100,000 kids will start smoking everyday. No public service announcement can save those kids. Parents should become involved in parenting once again and ensure that their young children are not being killed early.

I have not felt the urge to smoke, never. I wonder what would prompt someone to light a cigar then. Of course, we can blame society, the culture and all the other factors that motivate our actions. I think our culture has a lot to do with this nasty trend. In Jamaica and many other parts of the world it is acceptable if a teen smokes in public. He/She is seen as unique, special, cool, fun, exciting the list goes on. What if we had generated a culture where we speak out against killing our hearts and our bodies? The price we pay to provide health care to these lunatics who are walking dead bodies waiting to happen must end now.

Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

  • Tobacco contributes to many cancers.
  • Smoking causes heart disease.
  • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which lead to heart attack.
  • Smoking is a slow way to die.
  • Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes.
  • Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
  • Causes impotence in men.

The list goes on but I decided just to highlight those.

I want people to realize the dangers of smoking and their lives. We are having a heated discussion on health care reform in the US. The fact is people must take personal responsibility for their lives and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle. In 1998 alone, USA spent $72.7 billion on people with health care problems associated with smoking. We are in 2009 that cost would never be decreased but increased. We are setting up ourselves for a huge problem with heart issues and strokes hitting younger people if we create a culture where smoking is accepted. I agree when any government that comes down hard on smokers. They must be taxed to the point where they cannot afford the product. Then we will see this horrendous habit by millions changed.

Can someone tell Obama to make this a teachable moment? He is for crying out loud, spewing fumes into the White house on a regular basis. He must be confronted and a team used to stop his addiction to smoking. If he doesn’t……..Oh my God!

Blackberry Etiquette

Everywhere you go today people are constantly on blackberries, I-phones and all these top gadgets. You just cannot miss them! It is this new craze that is taking on traction in society. No longer is it that holders of blackberries would be corporate employees. Please. Any and everyone today appear to be walking with one, except me of course. I guess the time will come when something else has taken off. In marketing they call us laggards.

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In a bid to be constantly communicating, these gadgets fill this gap. It allows users to be always connected and always accessible. I cannot bear to see blackberry users ignore protocol and disturb the environment. To this end, users of these high gadgets think it is a right to use their phones anytime. It is not a right. There is no way you should be using your phone in a meeting for personal entertainment. I can understand that at some point along the way you will be needed urgently by someone. However, it is the constant deliberate attempt to undermine those leading and other factors. Normally you would think that if you’re going to disturb a meeting hide and do it, secretly. No, users of blackberries must be seen and heard. It is sickening. Until they are in leadership roles and need that attention and feedback in a discussion that they will understand that it is really not cool to be using the phone in certain settings.

Clearly, this distracts you from the real purpose at hand and does not allow you to be productive, contributing to the tasks at hand. I have a friend who has a blackberry and he made the comment that until I have a blackberry then I will understand why users are constantly on them, even becoming distracted. I appreciate technology and the ability to communicate. I do not welcome people disrespecting others in a professional setting with the excuse of a cell-phone. Those that are trying to reach you most times are secondary, they won’t die, the economy won’t crash, and the world will still orbit the sun. Show some respect and know when to be on that cellular technology.

Some tips.

  1. Ensure phone is set to Silent/Vibrate before entering a meeting.
  2. If your phone happens to ring, allow the person to leave a message and record the person’s name and number so you can return their call AFTER the meeting NOT during.
  3. If your phone happens to rings aloud, apologize and tell the person on the line you will get back to them.
  4. Develop a habit of placing phone on silent/vibration. You are going to enter a meeting with others who are sacrificing time, be respectful for their time.

Drugged Athletes

Becoming an Olympian is the ultimate reward for any athlete. By Michael Diamond

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

We all have our favourite professional athletes and we all have our favourite sporting activities. For many, fans idolize these athletes where they become role models and inspiration for most people. But what happens when these athletes are accused of taking banned substances? Are the different sporting areas affected, and how can we erase or decrease athletes taking these substances that not only put a stain on their careers but also the sports they participated in?

For those who enter professional sport arena they have a huge responsibility. They are charged with the duties to remain clean – drug free, role models, and also to enhance the appeal of the sport by performing excellently. However, over the years many athletes have secretly used banned substances to cheat the sporting officials and the world by exceeding expectations. With these drugs injected and taken orally they (athletes) are able to perform above normal athletes who would not have been on drugs. The cases of drugged athletes are not contained to one sport, its spread across the board.

Personally, I have a problem with drugged athletes. Professional sporting bodies have formed boards and bodies to combat the use of drugs in sports. However, athletes seem to elude the officials and people set to investigate these occurrences. They put a taint not only on their successful careers but also the credibility of the sport itself. Promoters get millions of dollars for each meet, game, championship with years later hearing that the race, game you watched and adored will become null and void. The perception of having a clean drug free sport seems to be a fantasy idea today.

To remedy the situation the official bodies set to oversee this process have developed punishments. What is more surprising though is that in track and field there is a grading for banned substances. One would like to think that once a drug can advance or increase your abilities to exceed performance it would have the same rating like other dangerous drugs. This is the confused signal that the boards send and will motivate athletes to take drugs since all you will get is a slap on the wrist. Recently, five professional athletes in Jamaica was tested positive for taking banned substances. However, since the drugs taken have a Grade B rating all the athletes will get is a warning. Most argue that the athletes’ careers are tainted and get most of the slack. To this end, actually the sport gets most of the slack for not ensuring that the athletes are drug free and that the credibility of the race, game or championship is withheld.

If the boards set up to catch the perpetrators are doing so late then it makes sense to legalize banned drugs. It might seem ludicrous but when millions of fans take time out of their schedules to participate in events and then hear their favourite race, record set, game was scared by drugged athletes it doesn’t add up, it’s a failure. If sport administrators pledge to fans of their credibility, drug free athletes then they should be able to deliver on that target set. More must be done to ensure that athletes who participate do so drug free not damaging a sport’s reputation. These druggists must be stopped. They (athletes and coaches) know the rules and know which drugs are in products. They deliberately take drugs to outperform other legal athletes and get all the glory (awards, media coverage); which lasts only for a moment until what was done in the dark comes to the light of the world.

If they cannot guarantee drug free athletes to their millions of fans then they (administrators) should legalize banned substances. Whether it is Tour de France, Track and Field, Baseball, Tennis, Swimming, Horse racing you name it, they have a duty to ensure they live up to their set standards. I want to know that when I have watched a race, game, championship that the thought of an athlete being on drug is ludicrous, a non-issue, a dead story. It should be irrelevant. I should be able to trust the results and not think what I saw was a blatant lie.

Sweet Communism

Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English” – George Bernard Shaw

Communism according to Wikipedia is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.

We have come to know some countries that still practice communism in today’s world. Most democratic countries look down upon regions in the world that still practice this form of government. People’s Republic of China, Republic of Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Lao Peoples Democratic Republic all practice communism. What is interesting about these countries is that they all have good attributes those developing and first world countries all envy. There are so many lessons democratic countries can learn from communist countries.

China

China’s ability to manufacture products globally has made the country profitable with many countries owing them millions in trade. Trading is critical for the success and growth of any country. China is able to do this because of the low wages they remunerate staff with. First world countries refer to their ability to sustain large number of employment with cheap labour. China is also advancing with huge developments in technology. Most technological firms are based there. This drives their innovativeness which the western countries gravitate. China was on show for the Olympics in 2008. They used the opportunity to host the world at this event. Most people will never forget the Opening Ceremony at the summer games, as the country went all out to display the very best. A clip will follow this paragraph of the article showing my favourite piece from the performance. The clip will only show a snap shot of what took place in Beijing, China. I have never seen anything like that done before and a point to note; I do not know if London can outperform China in 2012. It’s a wait and see game right now.

Cuba

While most are wildly debating health care reform in America those in Cuba are relishing in one of the best health care system in the world. History will always remind us of the economic sanctions that Cuba has; but with all these factors against the country they are able to provide the best health care system. Cuba is not only able to provide a quality health care system but they are able to provide an education system that rivals many countries with huge investments. Cuba presently exports more than 20,000 doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil. The country is set to become the premiere destination to study medicine.

North Korea

I love seeing the army on display in North Korea. The precision, unity, timing and power they show when they march is enviable. Countries aim to defend themselves in times of wars; investing in resources that will defend the country when the moment arises, which they never can tell. World powers like the US always have a problem when countries go the limit to defend themselves. One example of this is North Korea using nuclear weapons. The potential danger and threat that this can cause can be devastating. I am in no way sanctioning what North Korea does but the investments made to secure the country are admirable.

I want a country that has all these qualities. Wouldn’t you? A country with the best health care system, quality standards in education and a security system that will always protect from forces outside. There is a flip side to a country practicing this form of government though. The freedom of speech we have come to respect and enjoy will all go away. The government will own everything, all the businesses and properties. The government even decides on what the people can have, rather than what they want. It can be sad transitioning from a democratic state to a communist one.

However, there is one lesson that I will always take from a communist state. There are certainly some things in life we think we can’t live without but in the end, we definitely can.

I have been to many weddings in my lifetime but I haven’t seen any like this. This bridal party entry was over the top and it worked. It worked because the bridal party was not goofy. They all could dance and have fun with it. It is true that when you are having fun doing something that energy is transferred to your audience. Viewers who sit and enjoy this video will love it because the dancers are. The entrance is pretty unique done to one of Chris Brown’s hit.

I have been in charge of music for wedding before and if I had brought this song I am definitely positive it would not have been approved. What was amazing to find out is that the church gave the approval for the song. Well, the churches I know would be not be so liberal.

The bride and groom rocked the church. The bride’s entrance was lovely giving her all the attention. I wonder what happened to the parents though. It would have been lovely to see them getting in on the action.

Watch the video and enjoy. Could this be a new trend? Good bye traditional wedding.

You’re on the Internet

angelina_jolieAs an individual who is on the internet everyday, I can’t seem to ignore the fact that most people nowadays are determined in their life to be popular. We are obsessed with how celebrities live, being popular, always having eyes on us. This constant crave has caused the popularity of websites such as www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com to skyrocket. The desire to constantly have people around the world following us and keeping a tab on our lives is attractive to some. Thus, making some people popular without a real purpose or background.

The growth of technological gadgets has also taken off with everyone having a recorder or the ability to take pictures. These are on the many gadgets we use on a daily basis. Whether it is on our phones, or by itself we are constantly recording our lives. Although recording events may not be a bad thing, having moments recorded can come back to haunt us in the future. We have seen this on many occasions where persons record private moments in relationships or even solo. To make this worse somehow these moments never remain in the dark they always come to light. Nothing is wrong with recording these moments, some people believe in having a record but being very careful is very critical. Sometimes people enter relationships and things happen we record the intimate moments and then in the future it comes to light with some embarrassing a partner.TerrellCarter-01-big

The next time you check your inbox, you may get an email from someone sending a link to a story of someone being disgraced on the internet. The world is very open with persons internationally able to see what you might not want them to see. This is such a risk. I am sure you have ‘googled’ yourself.

Things will forever advance, next year this time www.twitter.com or even the top social networking sites will be history; something new will come along and grab our attention. Can we ever ignore higher technologies or stop recording ourselves. The constant love of being in the spotlight may not end this drive to be in a still image or being video taped.

The internet is a good tool, very educational, very entertaining but it could also be our biggest nightmare when something hits the internet that we really didn’t intend to. The next time you take a picture or even record yourself, are you thinking of the risks?

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