Culture 27 December 2017
As we descend into the latter end of December, everything revolves around our holiday parties and what we'll wear or how we'll style. With the cold weather drying our hair out and making it more difficult to maintain, we inevitably look to professionals for tips on how best to conduct our locks this party season. For fun, we spoke with one stylist each from high-end New York salons who work on either end of the city, in order to gain an uptown -vs- downtown perspective.
As a "Color Icon," Beth Minardi is a fierce advocate for women, having left corporate America to become a pioneering force in the beauty business. Currently, in residence at The Samuel Shriqui Salon on NYC's Upper East Side, she was eager to share with us her essential tricks for the perfect holiday do. We also chatted with Joanna Trumino of Arrojo’s Soho location. Trumino graduated from Arrojo Cosmetology School and has worked at Arrojo for two and a half years. Given this, she has a comprehensive understanding of the modern creative philosophy behind the salon, and gave us the low down on her favorite style hacks, products, and seasonal colors.
One of our most pressing issues this time of year is what do we do when our hair dries out from the winter cold? We asked both style experts for their advice on what do for these chilly months. “I use a deep conditioner like Arrojo Whipped Treatment a couple of times a week,“ Trumino tells us. Minardi says her ‘can’t live without product’ for this time of year is her Minardi fortifying pre-wash therapy, a crème oil that keeps hair silky and shiny between salon visits. “Especially helpful over the Holidays as more parties mean more blowouts, and that leads to dry, brittle hair unless it's properly nourished.”
Both women agree that the Holidays are the time to go big and bold. “I tell my clients Holiday is not the time to go low-key, says Minardi. “Don't step it down, step it up. Be bold! Move out of your safety zone. Re-energize your look; it’s time to make a statement that turns heads. What will capture attention at Holiday parties will be brilliant, illuminated shades. Blondes will have shimmering strands of snow white or ivory intermingled with pale walnut. Reds will be dramatic, strong copper tones, even hints of crimson. Brunettes will be glamorous, shades of cappuccino or café au lait will glow around the face.”
“I also try not to wash my hair constantly. Your hair needs those natural oils to keep your hair moisturized and healthy. Washing often creates excess dryness,” says Trumino.
Getting ready on the go is tough, especially when you have that last minute holiday party. We asked the downtown resident stylist for advice on how to get ready last minute. “Curling iron or wand is always your best bet," says Trumino. "You don't even need to blow dry your hair first. A rough dry and some curls thrown in from the iron could make for a sexy, bedhead look with a purpose. To do, rough, dry hair, using hands to toss around the hair, which will help create natural texture and volume. Next, use Arrojo Protective Thickening Lotion to shield from heat damage while giving light hold and great shine. Now curl the face frame, sides and back in opposite directions with a curling wand (curling wands are easier to use than curling irons as they are clip-less, which makes them easier to maneuver); curling in opposite directions will give you your most natural-looking, shapely curl. To finish with sexy oomph, once hair is curled, spritz in some ReFINISH dry shampoo to add an instant boost of texture and volume.”
The color expert, Minardi, has a few suggestions on go-to looks for all the holiday parties. “Our feelings about color evolve as the Holidays approach. Clothing and makeup tones signal that something new is in the air. Since hair color has become the makeup we never take off, there is always the opportunity to keep re-inventing, so I am always about finding ways to have color stay exciting, flattering and party-ready for the festive season. There is no one look that is right for everyone.” The professional advises us. “I guide my clients in maintaining both a color level and a tone that is the best fit for them. Part of my work centers around creating that perfect shade that accents an individual’s own personal palette: Skin depth and tone, eye color and natural hair color and texture, as well as personality, all provide signals that I use to keep my color clients ‘color perfect’."
“I honestly love a classic, big-haired, voluptuous blowout. Go big, or go home!” - Joanna Trumino.
Wondering what to do with your hair for the New Year? Trumino told us her perfect look for the ball drop. “Blowout! Up-dos are beautiful, but blowouts are less work for the client to worry about falling apart throughout the night.” The uptown stylist gave us the inside scoop on how to style your hair for 2018. “Take charge of your look for the new year,” Minardi says. “Be a bolder, more dynamic version of yourself; it’s time rev up the glamour quotient, don’t stick with the same old, same old. It’s your chance, to make a fresh start, to get in the game in an exciting new way. Jump start your life with a bold new look and fresh new direction in how you present yourself.”
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.