Jenkins, A. [Artemus Jenkins]. (2013, September, 11). Color Outside the Lines. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsmmjfI6cpM In “Color Outside the Lines” is a tattoo documentary about the history and struggles of the world’s top Black tattoo artists. The film highlights the history of Black tattoo culture, its beginnings in the heavily segregated south, signature styles and influences, media influences on tattooing trends, different types of artists, and personal struggles associated with being a Black tattoo artist.
The documentary states that there seems to be a division between whites and blacks in the tattooing words. Zulu, owner of Zulu Tattoo in Los Angeles, artist had to gain knowledge and practice. Slowly a shift started to become present in the industry, a black woman by the name of Jacci Gresham was making her presence known and shops that employed black artist were starting to open up. A shop in Atlanta, Georgia, West End Tattoo, was one of the first shops in Atlanta to hire black tattoo artist. There were four stipulations to working at West End; the person has to be black, they had to know how to draw, they had to be drug free, and had to want a job.
The documentary takes a surprising turn when the setting moves to Asheville, North Carolina where an artist named Miya Bailey, who started off as a scratcher but moved to Atlanta to find an apprenticeship. A scratcher is a person who gives tattoos in their house, typically done with a homemade tattoo gun or a sewing needle. Scratchers are seen as the lowest on the totem pole because they can cause damage to a person’s body, such scarring or infection. Miya got into trouble as a teen and drawing was a way for him to release his stress and try to stay focus. Tattooing kept him from going down a dark and troublesome road. The documentary also discussed how a tattoo artist should tattoo dark skin and what a person with dark skin should look for when getting a tattoo. Letters should be spaced out and large so they can be seen from a far, and images should be slightly enlarged and simplified when it comes to details. Also a person should make sure their artist is familiar with tattooing dark skin.
The documentary Color Outside the Lines is so relevant today it also gives the audience a look into a world that some were not knowledgeable about. I like how the documentary talks about the black tattoo culture, and how it seeks to educate and destroy stigmas against black tattoo artists. Blacks have always had to earn their spot in any White-dominated field, and tattooing is no different. Many of them speak on paying dues and becoming true artist. There’s a great deal of respect viewers will walk away with after watching so many people show why they deserve the pay and prestige in the tattoo industry.
Jones, G. (2008). Blonde and blue‐eyed? Globalizing beauty, c. 1945–c. 19801. The Economic History Review, 61(1), 125-154.  pp. In the article Blonde and Blue-Eyed by Geoffrey Jones explores the globalization of the beauty industry between the timeframe of 1945 to 1980. They argue that beauty was globalized at a fast pace beginning in 1945 after World War II and provide a historical background. The authors also examine the business side of this event. The policies used by businesses to smoothly overcome globalization problems, and the results were the main sections they studied in this segment of the article.
This author informs that until halfway through the nineteenth century, hygiene was not something taken into consideration due to the plague disease. Nonetheless, it began symbolizing “moral, social, and racial superiority” (pg. 127). With this becoming a norm throughout middle-class homes, soap manufacturers began skyrocketing. Soap, toothpaste, and perfume were some examples given. People, especially females, began by selling products door to door before taking it to the next level with factories and distribution centers. The top three firms in America to expand and create mass revenue were those that could be utilized by mass marketing and production such as large consumer product companies like P&G’s soap bars. The second was through pharmaceutical companies that sold such things as dental products and cosmetics. Thirdly, firms specializing in skin and hair care and cosmetics such as Maybelline and Max Factor.
The author concludes by stating that the tactics used by beauty corporate businesses played a major role in the trimming down of beauty around the world while creating products that made consumers conform to this ideal of beauty. Jones was able to share and explain graphs to support his arguments in a clear and concise manner. This article provided advanced information by being unbiased and providing information from all sides of the beauty globalization.
Koreena, C. [CocoKoreena]. (2012, July, 11). Evolution-What Darwin Never Knew-NOVA PBS Documentary [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYBRbCLI4zU
In the PBS NOVA documentary, What Darwin Never Knew explores the revolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin on the evolution of species from their very beginnings, to the publication of his on The Origin of Species (1859) and all the way up to our present day understanding.
In the documentary the narrator gives us a brief introduction about Charles Darwin interest in the surrounding world since childhood. The young Charles Darwin liked to traipse around the outdoors. He loved to collect beetles and things. He was an ordinary child, but he didn’t like school. He was such a poor student that his father, a successful physician, was worried about Darwin’s direction in life. His father sent him off to Edinburgh, the finest medical school in Europe, to become a doctor. But Charles was just too squeamish. Next his father sent him to Cambridge to study for the clergy. He didn’t succeed at that either, but he did find his direction in life, reviving his childhood interest in nature. He becomes serious about some subjects, particularly natural history; and he learns a lot more about botany, and about geology. His reputation as a naturalist gained him a spectacular invitation to the British Navy ship, the H.M.S Beagle, whose mission was to survey the waters around the South America. And so, Darwin sets off on fateful voyage which nearly took five years. But one port of call on Darwin’s voyage proved more important than all the others was the Galapagos which was located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean. In the Galapagos Island is where Darwin studied ecology, including giant tortoises, penguins and marine iguanas. Instead Darwin turned his attention to birds. The islands were full of what seemed to be a familiar assortment of species. He stuffed his collecting bag with what he thought were types of finches, grosbeaks, wrens and blackbirds. Then, after five weeks in the Galapagos, Darwin and the Beagle went to other ports in the Pacific, and finally set sail for home. When he returned to Britain he began with a startling revelation. All the different birds he had collected actually were variations of a single type. He learns that those birds he had collected on the Galapagos actually represented 13 different species of finch. What Darwin now realized was that somehow, for some reason, species change.
Further in the documentary, it is discussed that Darwin developed the theory of Natural Selection to help explain differences in species. Species that survived the environment were fit and the weaker died, thus the fitter species bred, creating species with the same surviving genes. For example, the different types of beaks on the finches depended on how they ate for survival and if they did not have the correct beaks to eat what was on the certain island then their chance of survival was low. A further example is a pointy slim beak to help eat pollen from flowers or a short powerful beak to crack seeds on another island.
I found the documentary to be highly educational and fascinating. What I found so interesting was how much Charles Darwin got so much right. His ideas largely stay essential today. But Darwin acknowledged that there were missing pieces in his theory. He didn't actually know how it worked or what was happening inside a creature's body that makes it change? But then now, at last, modern science is providing the answers, through a hidden mechanism that Darwin knew nothing about. One thing that really took me away was how HOX genes give orders to developing embryos t activate genes/switches. They determine the physical form of the organism such as where the front, back, top and bottom of the animal are supposed to be and where the head/legs go and how the researchers discovered that the human gene is radically different than chimps due to large series of mutations. If Darwin were alive today he may be stunned, delighted, moved, blown away, and satisfied with current scientific evidence and support of his theory of evolution.
Mendel, G. [GregorMendel]. (2012, July, 3) Evolution-Why Sex? PBS Documentary [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wns5OQR74OQ In the PBS documentary Why Sex? narrated by Liam Neeson takes a look at the endless variety of sexual expression and the powerful hold sex exerts over almost all living things, and it tries to explain why, in evolutionary terms, and how the need on our genes has shaped our own bodies, mind, and lives and it also discusses about how all living things are programmed to transmit their genes to the next generation from an evolutionary perspective, and how is sex is more important than life. The need is pass on our genes has shaped that the entire spectrum of the human culture may be the ultimate result of our sexual drives. The documentary compares and contrasts the sexual behavior of different species, from the way in which peacocks select their mates to the violence of chimpanzee society in which infanticide is common.
The narrator explains that he "hopes to find clues to the enduring mystery Why sex?" by studying a species of fish that includes both sexual and asexual reproducers. According to Vrijenhoek, the sexually reproducing fish are more resistant to infestation with parasites. His hypothesis is that this is due to the greater genetic variability that comes from exchanging genes with other members of the population. Sexual reproduction, he believes, leads to new combinations of genes that confer protection against parasites.
Further in the documentary it states that most organisms on Earth reproduce sexually, in spite of the time and effort involved in finding a suitable mate. Sexual selection is the root cause behind much of the extravagance seen in nature, particularly with birds, and may even have played a role in the development of certain aspects of human behavior.
The documentary was very intriguing to watch and informative, I liked how the evolutionary geneticist Vrijenhoek states that sex generates variability among offspring. And when you take that away from a sexual reproducer by inbreeding them, cloning them, you've lost the very benefit of sex.
Miller, D. (2010). Anthropology in blue jeans. American Ethnologist, 37(3), 415-428.  pp. In the article Anthropology in Blue Jeans by Daniel Miller examines the practice and meaning of wearing blue jeans in London and around the world. He writes about the way social normativity impacts individuals – such as the mass global clothing of the “jean” (pants, skirts, jackets.) In London, where this study takes place, many immigrants wear jeans as a way to transcend identity. “Only when jeans achieve this post semiotic status do they become a tool available to immigrants who wish to transcend identity.”
There were a few cases that immigrants informed Miller that they felt social pressure to wear jeans as a way to fit into society. But for the most part, individuals enjoyed wearing jeans. Comfort was an important feature attributed to jeans. They provide but social and physical comfort. “I think they’re really comfortable. And easy? – Yeah. And they’re quite fashionable. And everybody wears them.
The article was a great one to start thinking about why we wear certain clothing. I wear jeans regularly. They are certainly my “go-to” choice for bottoms. Interestingly, they are just about 70% of the world’s “go-to” as well. Over all, this article was a bit long for what it covered. Is that just the nature of anthropology? So many little details? I like it in one sense because it paints such a clear and detailed picture. But it sometimes feels like a long winded paper that needs editing.
Power, C. (2010). Cosmetics, identity and consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17(7), 73. 73-94  pp. In the article Cosmetics, Identity, and Consciousness by Camila Power examines the way human culture adorns itself. Different individuals, in different times and places do differently, but according to Power, its for a similar thing: reproduction rights and sexual competition. Humanity does this differently than animals. While male animals are often adorned with flashy colors and bold shapes, humans add things like cosmetics, tattoos and other modifications in able to increase sex appeal.
Power breaks down the article in three parts. First she focuses on how she considers cosmetic as being the basis of cosmology and how the decorated body becomes both art object and organizing subject in kinship-based, self-organizing societies. Secondly, she aligns arguments by cognitive psychologists Tomasello and Rakoczy on the ontogeny of uniquely human cognition. Third, she outlines how the archeology of the earliest beauty magic, and the documentation of cosmetics usage which provides evidence of symbolically organized human culture. Within the article, Power states that humans are seen as art objects and the reason why they decorate themselves, as stated in by Strathern, is so narratives about them can be shared. An examples is given about the Hagan people in this article. Cosmetics can be used to show the alliance between humans of both sexes. If an individual dances and develops sexual advantage, there is peace between the clans. He reaches sexual advantage if he is decorated well and can dance well while showing that he is healthy and has morals. Reading the article, I found it to be quite confusing. In the introduction it is explained how ornamentation can possibly be useless, but throughout the article, especially in the Cosmetics section, she explains how ornamentation can play a big role in sexual choice. However, I did learn how cosmetics is a major component in identity and how it can bring together alliances between the clans discussed in the article. Rush, J. A. (2005). Spiritual tattoo: a cultural history of tattooing, piercing, scarification, branding, and implants. Frog Books. 1-244  pp. In the book Spiritual Tattoo, the cultural anthropologist John Rush outlines the processes and procedures of radical physical alterations such as tattooing, scarification, branding, and implants. He also explores deliberately inflicted pain and self-cutting as a spiritual and psychological exercise in purging sin and guilt and the use of pain for spiritual purposes, such as purging sin and guilt, and examines the phenomenon of accidental cuts and punctures as individual events with sometimes profound implications for group survival.
According to Rush every person with a tattoo is a link in a chain of body modification that goes back to the dawn of human history. Tattooing may have been the first art: Researchers have found sharpened pieces of manganese dioxide—black crayons, really that Neanderthals may have used to color animal skins as well as their own.
The author Rush raises some interesting points on body modification as it relates to universal human experiences. However, further in the future he’s able to stand on more solid ground, with plenty of evidence and illustrations that draw a firm line from spiritual and other life-shaping experiences to body modification. He also intelligently discusses the modern use of body modifications, particularly in postindustrial societies. Rather than painting every modern person who gets a tattoo, non-ear piercing, or other modification as an immature rebel or otherwise maladjusted individual, he instead gets to the heart of the reasons why people have these things done, even in a culture where it’s still often frowned upon.
Spiritual Tattoo finds a fantastic consistency in body modifications from primitive tribes to advanced civilizations, suggesting the universal importance of the body as sacred geography. Spiritual growth, the desire to belong, and the attempt to transcend the limits of one's own body are prevailing reasons for body modifications.
This book is highly interesting, it covers the history of tattooing very well, and discusses the cultural significance and evolution of tattooing and piercing. He examines the specific practices e.g. why paint the lips red, why get breast implants or as some men do now, calves implants, as well as the purpose the behavior serves and other methods used to achieve similar purposes. For example, he compares the use of psychotherapy for healing (e.g. cancer survivor groups), athletic accomplishments such as a survivor running a marathon, to the use of tattooing. It is an interesting topic. I would highly recommend this book for those who want an accurate account of the evolution of tattoos.
Sanders, C. R. (1989). Introduction: Body Alteration, Artistic Production, and the Social World of Tattooing. Customizing the Body, 1-35.  pp. In the article Introduction: Body Alteration, Artistic Production, and Social World of Tattooing by Clinton R. Sanders is an ethnographic exploration of tattooing and the art world surrounding it covers the history, anthropology, and sociology of body modification practices; the occupational experience of the tattooist; the process and social consequences of becoming a tattooed person; and the prospects of "serious" tattooing becoming an accepted art form. In the beginning of the article the author Sanders states his argument with the theory of self. He started off the book with a firm grounding using the social scientist Cooley’s observation that people use the appearance of others to help coordinate social activities (Sanders, 1989). The introduction looks at non-permanent body alterations (paint and hair-cutting) and permanent forms (body sculpture, piercing, scarification and tattooing). There is a concise look at where tattooing has been throughout cultures and tribes. For example, like the men and women of Tahiti who paint their bodies. They inject a back color under their skin, leaving a permanent mark. Now, modern tattoo machines use electromagnetic coils to move an armature bar up and down. Connected to the armature bar is a barred needle grouping that pushes ink into the skin. Sanders
Sander states that "Tattoo changes how the person experiences his or herself and, in turn, how he or she will be defined and treated by others". Overall, tattoos are an ongoing mark of alienation from the mainstream, but they also have an affiliate effect, identifying one as a member of a select group. Curiously, despite the greater prevalence of tattoos and body modification in today's society, there is still a stigma of deviance associated with people who get or ink tattoos.
The article was informative yet intriguing to read. I was very impressed how Sanders interviews and observations reveal the ways in which artists are drawn into the work, their concerns in building their careers, and the nature of commercial exchange in tattoo studios. He compares an institutional view of art with the work done by highly skilled tattoo artists who are dedicated to erasing the negative stereotypes of their production and earning recognition for this marginally accepted form of body decoration.
Soccrim (2011, January, 20). Miss Representation [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.veoh.com/watch/v39771873Amj6RRWb
In the film, Miss Representation written and directed by Jennifer Newsom, exposes how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. Miss Representation focuses on the way in which women are portrayed in movies, television and music. The film also focuses on the effects on women who are out under pressure by media and culture to be a certain weight, dress a certain style, act a certain way and take on certain gender-based roles.
In the film, it stated that 78% of girls hate their bodies by the age of 15. 65% have an eating disorder. 17% cut themselves, and the number of cosmetic surgeries quadrupled on women ages 17 from 1997 and 2007 and have increased six fold since. Woman are 56% of the population, yet only 17% of Congress, 3% of Fortune 500 CEO’s, hold only 3% of clout positions in media and in a staggering unreal statistic, only 1 woman is on the board of Fox News out of 15) and are 7% of directors and 13% of the film writers. These are all statistics quoted in Miss Representation and yet the predominant message we hear over and over, is that women have broken through the glass ceiling, that feminism isn’t necessary and above all, that empowerment for women is by having control of a sexualized, “good” body.
The importance of this documentary is in helping us recognize that there is a problem in the way women are portrayed, and therefore in the development of our image of who women are. I think it can help people view the media that we are fed with a critical eye, rather than allowing our sexuality to be bought and sold on television or the Internet.
The film Miss Representation is an inspiring film which features an impressive array of influential voices of diverse group of women, ranging from actresses to politicians to CEO’s to directors, women of color, queer women, activist’s and media critic's. For one, it brings together women who have succeeded in the media, including Katie Couric, Pat Mitchell, Geena Davis, Jane Fonda, Margaret Cho, Lisa Ling, and Rachel Maddow. For two, it brings together an impressive grouping of women in politics, such as Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, and Dianne Feinstein. For three, it features a range of scholars and experts, including Jennifer L. Pozner, M. Gigi Durham, Martha Lauzen, Jehmu Greene, Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem.
Shukla, P. (2015). The grace of four moons: Dress, adornment, and the art of the body in modern India. Indiana University Press. 3-498  pp.
In the book, The Grace of Four Moons by Pravina Shukla is aims to document the clothing decisions made by ordinary people in their everyday lives. Based on fieldwork conducted primarily in the city of Banaras, India, Pravina Shukla conceptualizes and realizes a total model for the study of body art understood as all aesthetic modifications and supplementations to the body. Shukla discusses the study of the entire process of body art, from the assembly of raw materials and the manufacture of objects, through their sale and the interactions between merchants and consumers, to the consumer's use of objects in creating personal decoration. She focuses on individuals as markers, sellers, buyers, and, wears within the middle-class urban society of Banaras, the god Shiva’s sacred birthplace, renowned for the quality and variation of the textiles and other adornments worn by its residents. Emphasis is on the individuals as “ordinary” people (although certainly some of the markers would surpass tis adjective through the quality of their crafts); separate chapters on their specific living situations and clothing/adornment choices underscore the wide range of aesthetic modifications possible while still having as “ordinary” within the particulars of their social and cultural groups.
Shukla postulates a fairly consistently-held aesthetic regarding female beauty. Not, surprisingly, given the importance of religion on all aspects of daily life, this aesthetic is inextricably linked to the identities, attributes, and even perceived personalities of their deities. Gazing upon images of the gods is believed to bring good fortune, and as devotees display their ornamented selves to the gods they are similarly conscious of the secular gaze of other viewers: people dress within generally understood parameters that provide an unspoken characterization similar to that used to identify the gods. In other words, the decisions one makes on a daily basis about the kind and degree of ornamentation, the neutrality or brightness of textile colors and styles, and how it is all assembled are undertaken knowing that one will be seen and judged by an audience that is privy to the signs and symbols that each of these choices reveal. A continual process of self-assessment, reacting to this "audience" response, helps each woman creatively fine-tune the specifics of her body art in order to communicate specifics about herself. Assembling adornment layers is seen as each woman’s primary daily creative act. This is particularly significant given the "backstory" of these objects of adornment: each was generally made lay male artisans, sold to male shopkeepers, who, based on their visual appraisal of their female customer as well as verbal inquiry as to the purpose of the desired object, select a small number of objects from which each woman would then choose. It is also intriguing that many of the artisans are Muslim, designing objects for Hindi women. The cycle of influence among these male designers, male producers, male shopkeepers, and their ultimate female end user functions due to the general shared aesthetic regarding the limitation of possibilities that are bounded by tradition, technology, and creativity.
The challenge for each woman as well as for each of the individual men in the series of designers, producers, and merchants that provide her with the materials which she personally assembles is to balance individual predilections for beauty and practicality within the social and traditional parameters that are, locally, well-known and well-understood. Age, gender, marital status, and economic-related constraints are indicated by these choices, and close the circle of creation, communication, and consumption that is the foundation of all material culture studies.
My biggest disappointment with this book is that there are few photographs, and within the exception of sixteen pages of plates in the introduction, the rest are in black and white. The emphasis that Shukla places on specific description and context of each component of her study leaves the reader wanting immediate visualization with glorious color photos to match each discussion within the text. Too, there is a certain amount of repetition of concepts and details, suggesting a need for more rigorous copy-editing. Overall, Shukla proposes a range of issues and considerations for the future studies; detailed endnotes and bibliography help to steer the interested reader to additional studies. The book was well-researched and well-produced.