Lately I’ve been surrounded by people freaking out about their age. I guess it’s natural, my circle has all been reaching that 30 year mark and with it comes this idea that our sh*t needs to be all together. Now, I’m not saying I’m above my little freak-outs here and there, but I’m learning to cope with it as best I can. Staying inspired is one way I do this and one woman who definitely got me feeling encouraged about life is Greta Pontarelli.
Greta Pontarelli is 62 and get this, she pole dances. While I don’t think 61 is that old, after all my parents are around that age and they look like they’re in their 40s. My dad and mom stay active so I can’t say it’s her staying fit that really grabs my attention. It’s the fact she’s pole dancing. That is a talent for anyone. What also makes her incredible is her will to continue going, regardless of what cards have been dealt to her.
Diagnosed with osteoporosis at 59, a condition that weakens bones and increases the risk of them breaking. To combat the condition effectively, she had to partake in strenuous exercise, the kind that involves lifting weights. However she found lifting weights to be boring , understandable so. Instead she found herself attracted to the idea of dancing with a pylon (vertical pole). This type of exercise provided just the kind of exercise she needed, working with weights, but in this case her own.
Having no previous experience, aside from her gymnast days in her 20s, she started from scratch. At first she couldn’t do much, but she made it a competition with herself and set small goals. Very smart since setting small goals don’t seem as overwhelming. She kept at it until she got it and she was featured in Elle magazine just this year! Go head Greta!
Oddly, I feel like in my older age I’ll have finally calmed down. In my 20s and even my 30s I feel a certain pressure to reach specific milestones. Yet, past a certain point it seems like we can all just finally give in and just live. Now, I’m already trying to build this practice into my life at the moment, but overall if you take care of yourself, once you’re in the elder years it seems like it can be really liberating. This is why Greta is important, not only is she an artist, now a renewed dancer, but she encourages people to continue to dream well after they hit 40 or 45.
Connect with Greta on her Facebook page here!
Not only did I spend a few days in Barcelona, but I also went to the beach town Sitges. I have to say, it is wildly recommended. It’s this adorable little beach town that is easy to find, with a little bit of a google search. I had already been to Barcelona once in the past, knowing a little bit about it I wanted to discover someplace new, cool, and close enough that it would feel like a day trip.
Sitges is beautiful. You can sense that it is old and has a lot of history, but at the same time it is very fun. Modern in the sense of its free spirit and openness to the Gay community. So free, they even have a nude beach catered to the LGBTQ crowd and a lot of bars and nightclubs that are geared in that direction, however not necessarily exclusive to it. I recall even seeing a drag queen hosting a lunch and entertaining the crowd at some point, I did love the purple hair, but missed out on a photo, my bad.
Lastly the place was beautiful. Amazing beach with an incredible view. I stood at the top of these steps and was blown away. Being a beach girl myself, I could not help but feel right at home. However, the Mediterranean sea is very different from the Atlantic ocean, which I am used to.
Forever scouring the “interwebs” looking for inspiration, I’m particularly on the lookout for artists doing the damn thing. I love hearing stories of creatives who managed to make their passion into their life work. Recently I found out about Martine Ali. She caught my interest initially because she has designed jewelry for Kendrick Lamar, however she stocks her creations at Opening Ceremony among others. I’ll get more into that after the jump!
So why is Martine Ali cool? Well for starters, she decided to take her career in her own hands and quit her cushy full-time job at DKNY to do so. As she explained to Coveteur magazine, “I was wearing my own jewelry around the office and the fashion editor saw it, loved it, and then I started doing jewelry for the runway. I did it for a couple of seasons, and then I was like, ‘I’m going to do this for myself.” Although DKNY did help her gain her confidence in going solo. Some of her designs even made it to the runway!
After a few years of steady work and trying to get her name out there, her jewelry landed on the cover of Teen Vogue’s August 2014 issue via singer Kesha’s wrists. Soon after her pieces caught the attention of one of the more outspoken fashionistas, singer Lady Gaga. Such huge exposure got her noticed by the hyper cool retailer Opening Ceremony. Since then her popularity amongst stockiest have grown and as if the floodgates have opened, she now places collections at Sneakerhead Ronnie Fieg’s shop Kith and trendy, minimalist boutique Assembly L.A. and N.Y.
Stylistically teetering the line of goth, minimalist, tomboy and hip-hop, I most certainly dig her pieces. They straddle that aesthetic and I see why people are interested. So interested, that she can add another medal of honor to her list. Since his DAMN project released, Ms. Ali has been blessing rapper Kendrick Lamar with her awesome jewelry pieces and he is making sure they get good ware. I mean, calm girl, you are on a roll. As with everything, her hard work has paid off and her only request as of now is to one day get songstress Rihanna wearing a piece or two.
Can’t get enough of Martine Ali, catch her at the following:
Website – www.martineali.com
Instagram – @martineali
Twitter – @martineali
Anyone that knows me, knows I adore Frank Ocean. He won me over ever since his little mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra back in 2011. The boy is bad and I simply adore his creativity. Ever since he’s come out, literally and figuratively on the scene he has been nothing but authentic. Authenticity is key as an artist and I think Mr. Ocean embodies this. Recently he wore a shirt that caught a lot of attention. I love t-shirts, I mean I should since I design my own (more about them later in future posts). Back to Frank, his shirt read “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?” Such a direct message that gets the point across and touched a lot of people.
The words were originally a tweet made by 18 year old Brandon Male back in 2015. Yet he’s not the one who made the iconic tweet into a shirt, it was 18 year old Kayla Robinson. Concerning the whole issue with her taking his tweet and making money off of it should be left for another day. What’s important is the message. Male’s tweet was retweeted 30,000 times since he wrote it, wow! Final word: One of the few politically charged shirts that actually makes the reader feel something more than lame.