My Marilyn Moment

Isn't it funny that we make icons out of the youthful dead? Yet there exists this idea, that the icons we put in frames, left this world to avoid just that. Their lives were fragile, with only a glass pane to separate themselves from their everlasting audience. I for one, would love to have been an icon. The very idea of paparazzi intrugues me to no end. To have people follow you about, and make art out of your every movement?  I could handle that for a month...but probably not for a lifetime.

Perhaps in a past life I was an icon, but I don't believe the legendary souls get recycled. In which case I hope this is my first and last trip here.  I like to think that they're all up there lounging about and drinking the champagne of fame. Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly one of them. She stands away from the scattered spotlights, and right where the shadows are cast she resides. There in the ever-elusive shade she can breathe a little easier knowing she can use her lungs and not her breasts. 

Since I was a child, Marilyn has been hanging up on my wall. And how could she not?  To a young blonde girl whose curves pronounced themselves without invitation, Marilyn illustrated the grace and effortless beauty that I craved.  So it is of no surprise to anyone that I am beyond excited for her new film, My Week With Marilyn to debut. The actress depicting the legend was interestingly enough once linked to a youthful deceased herself. I can imagine Michelle Williams' intrigue on what it is like to leave on one's own accord. To flee a world whose love crushes you from the inside out.

In the October edition of Vogue, Michelle does a spread of her new character's poignant poises and executes them quite perfectly. My top two can be seen below, the first Marlilyn (nee Michelle) can be seen reading. Reading or running away? Reading for the purpose of education or for the appeal of being edcuated? Makes you wonder. What went on in the mind of Marilyn?

The next photo is my most favorite. It is the only reflective image of the all american dinner party. Alone, beautiful, and not able to eat. Why? Well the appetite can't be satisfied with silver and gold forever and even the famous crave the warm harvests of a home. The hotel vagabond is always left waning....or so she has us believe.

I wish I could have my own week with Marilyn and ask her what it all was like. Compare my experiences to her own and ask what ignited the courage within her to change her name and begin all anew.  I wonder tonight what Norma would tell us about love, marriage, work, and a life invested in trying to be leisurely. The song follow you into the dark comes on my playlist and I watch the rain brush upon against the window pane. Maybe we're not so different from Marilyn, maybe the difference is what happens after you walk into the shadows. Either someone turns on a light for you, or you rest for a lifetime in the dimness of a life not lived. As for me, I don't care how badly my body gets scorched. I'd take a life over an existence any day. Life just sounds more beautiful. And isn't that what we're all after during our time here? We're all after a little something beautiful.




All Hail the High School Fashionista

I am attempting to start a Fashion Club at my former high school.

Now a few of you may and already have asked me... Why KB?


I feel that as a high schooler you have three options:

1. Join an athletic team
2. Be a member of Swing Choir.
3. Be an Honors Student.

or... as I like to see it...

1. ESPN Addiction.
2. Cult member.
3. Nerd.

At the risk of getting a ridiculous amount of hate mail from all the Swing Choir kiddos I'm facebook friends with, don't be offended, I fell into Group #3. Because after all, it's all about your "group" in high school. It's just a matter of finding out what that is, or realizing there really isn't one that's just the right fit.

In high school it's easy to get lost in the shuffle, especially for those blessed with the sparkle of a creative nature. With websites like Tumblr, Polyvore, CollegeFashionista, and LookBook taking over our mac book bookmarks, what are high schools offering to the teen Fashionistas/Fashionistos?

Although at times one can draw parallels between The Devil Wears Prada and the fashion world that is my own, I have never had my boss request 25 Hermes scarves.  Members of fashion's future family need an organization to explore their options, while pursuing their passions at the same time.

This is the beginning of a huge undertaking...and the making of a dream.

Style, I've always preached from my high heels is a right, not a privilege. The fashion world's doors are intimidating, but one can easily pick the lock on its media-made exclusivity.  I want to offer my younger fellow fashion friends an outlet in which they can explore the industry of bright lights and color, while doing so from the comfort of their classroom desks. The lofty goals of this club will include the following:

1. Introducing members to Fashion Industry 101
-here we will answer questions like:
what is styling? what is buying? do i want to pursue merchandising? how can i get involved right now?
 ...and many MORE.

2. Trips to the City
-in fashion we get dirty. fashionistas do everything and anything and get the job done well. in taking trips to events like StyleMax, AKIRA fashion shows, and exploring the world where fashion meets maker (aka retail), fashion club members will get a hands on experience and begin their fashion journeys during their teens and be years ahead of those just beginning in college.

3. Developing a High School Fashionista Website
-An online blog for each High School in the Northwest Suburbs. In working for CollegeFashionista, I've learned the power of sharing your style saviness with your peers. What better way to do this than to look around your own high school and report on the trends?
High school is the foundation for each individual's fashion greatness...where the stitches of style are sewn.

4. Fashion Show of [your] own.
-Putting on a grand show to illustrate the trends of today's teen queens and kings.  After all, not everyone shops at American Eagle.

So fingers crossed & more to come...can't wait to see where this new venture goes! If any of you have any ideas or would like to contribute please get in contact with me!




12 on 22... September Eleventh Revisited.

10 years and 6 days ago...I sat in my classroom and learned about Algebra. I was in 7th grade and my mind was centered on whether a blonde boy named Kyle would take me to the dance that Friday. I still had frizzy hair back then, and my curls reigned supreme, springing randomly from the makeshift bun that had attempted to contain them after gym class. My best friend Alyssa was in a different class and so, as not to miss a thing about eachother's days, we would write notes back and forth, exchanging them at each passing period. My note was centered on Kyle and a list of reasons why I think he would/would not ask. It was a Tuesday and I felt confident that the next four days were all I needed to gain his attention. The next weekend was my Uncle's wedding and all the talk about love had me in a rush to snag me a boyfriend. What can I say? At twelve your priorities are different.  I was in love with Sean from Boy Meets World, and Kyle could've been his twin. In my pre teen bliss, my chipped polished finger nails scribbled our names together and united the two with an encompassing heart.  After folding the note in the latest note folding trend (this week was a complex triangle), I admired my handy work with pride. For, back during middle school how you folded your notes was just as important as the color of your new Adidas sneakers. For example...mine were striped with pink.

The bell rang and I hurried to meet Alyssa at our usual spot, which happened to be her locker. Today though, Alyssa came running up to me with our group of girlfriends in tow. All of their faces were pointedly somber and I felt my heart sink.

Kyle must have told them he wasn't going to ask me to the dance. 

Alyssa grabbed my arm and our eyes met...something had happened in the city she said, and the World Trade Center had just been hit by a plane...or so she had heard. I blinked a few times not comprending what this meant..."the Twin Towers?" I asked for clarification and in response she nodded, her eyes welling up with tears, not initially from sadness, but from the confusion of being young and confused. Our group huddled around until the bell rang and we were forced to disband and hurry to our classes. Sitting in my class I looked around at everyone.  Michelle was smacking her gum and gossiping about her twin sister, Grant was reading Harry Potter, and Cindy had squealed with glee when I sat down next to her and had begun to inform me that Kyle planned on asking me during recess.

Nothing that bad could have happened in the world, I reasoned on repeat in my head. Look, I said to myself, look at how normal everything is...

Mrs. Cealey got up from her desk and began our history lesson. Ironic I think now, that as I learned about history, it was being made 40 minutes away from my school desk.  A half hour or so into class the school called an emergency assembly and in finding my group of friends, we hud together to hear what the hell was going on. The principle took the microphone and assured us we were safe and that a terrorist attack had occurred in my beloved New York City. Two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, one had hit the Pentagon, and the other into a field. I sat there, amongst my friends and felt an overwhelming sense of time. The minute before her chapped lips opened, my young life had been untouched by global tragedy...all of ours had. Only 96 minutes ago had I been writing about my girlhood crush on Kyle and how nice Kristin Cealey would sound one day down the road when he would undoubtedly propose. And now...now I looked around at my peers and friends with no words to offer.  For as we sat there, A good half of the student body's parents were dying in a collapsing tower. Our family members were running into those burning buildings, trying in vain to save their mothers and fathers.

And we were just sitting in a middle school gym toying with our gel pens and trying to talk like adults. There was nothing we could do as we were all dismissed to recess and one by one my friends' names were called over the intercom that a parent or guardian had come to pick them up.

That day when I got home from school, I watched my mother and father cry at the sight before them on the television. I sat next to them on the couch and cried as well, knowing that our community was largely made up of firefighter's and police officer's children.  My uncles were on the Search & Rescue efforts and I thanked God more times than I can remember that my father had not been traveling. Alyssa and I talked on the phone later that night and two twelve year old girls talked about how the world had just changed.

The next morning was filled with American flags, Bush speeches, and empty eyes. School was a wasteland as many kids were preparing for funerals instead of studying for exams.  We leaned on each other the next couple days, and not one teacher mentioned the words 9/11. Instead we talked about history, numbers, and stories...anything that could offer us an escape from the present.

I remember the following weekend my Uncle's wedding went on as scheduled with a firm New Yorker mentality. Driving over the Queensboro bridge, I could see the smoke still floating up into the sky, soiling the heavens with remnants of terror. I offered up my prayers to my loved ones and my allegiance to my country. For, as a twelve year old girl, that's all I had to give.

I remember asking my Dad what he thought would happen next. He replied, "Tomorrow will happen and then the day after that."  The word still has never been so pure and satisfying...tomorrow, I thought, the day after today, the moment after right now, and the future that guides this heartbreaking present.

9/11 is not just a day to me, it's a lesson in tomorrows. The lesson being that tomorrows aren't just pre-existing. Rather, they are given to you. Given to you by the hardships of yesterday and the courage of today. My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone who can remember where they were 10 years ago when the world changed, and I hope you extend your prayers out into the world as well. Because from a decade of growth, comes the challenge to continue in doing so. And from the eyes of this twenty-two year old woman I hope we as a nation, continue to do just that.