A.S.I.A. [Allah School In Atlantis] is a global institution founded in Niagara Falls, NY. Atlantis School promotes educational programs, creative arts, cultural initiatives, audiovisual projects and commerce that supports the positive growth and development of families. This website features a bi-monthly blog that highlights the social commentary, current events and creative insights of author, youth advocate, creative artist and A.S.I.A. founder, Saladin Allah.
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Buffie The Body Waist-To-Hip Ratios
~The Circumference of the Planet Earth~
In Western Society the aesthetic standard of female beauty has always been blond hair blue eyes. Over the years that has somewhat changed -with women of color and ethnically ambiguous prototypes being marginally promoted as the new face of beauty. What has not changed much is the idea of body type beauty.
For over two decades Caucasian scientists have been formally trying to quantify a standard of body type beauty and came up with a waist-to-hip ratio standard to justify it. I say "formally" because Caucasians have informally entertained this idea body type beauty for many years prior to the research done by evolutionary psychologist Devendra Singh in 1993. One of their most notable fixations being Hottentot Venus [Saartjie Baartman] -the archetype of Europe's crinoline, bustle, corset and girdle fashion eras. This is also where the notion of 36-24-36 body type measurement's come from.
It was discovered via Singh's research that the ideal waist-hip ratio [WHR] for attractive females was a 0.7 WHR. In other words, if you measure your waist, and divide it by the measurement of your hips, that will tell you your WHR. This research was conducted on male populations from different cultural backgrounds and it was discovered that there has a consistent affinity for female's with a curvy figure where the waist is significantly narrower than the hips. According to the Journal of Biological Psychology Waist "Hip size indicates pelvic size and the amount of additional fat storage that can be used as a source of energy. Waist size conveys information such as current reproductive status or health status in westernized societies with no risk of seasonal lack of food, the waist, conveying information about fecundity and health status, will be more important than hip size for assessing a female's attractiveness."
This is one of the reasons you also see some models contorting their bodies in magazine spreads, photo shoots, music videos or exaggeratedly swaying their hips as they walk the runway. They're not simply posing. They're 0.7 WHR posers -giving you the illusion that they're more attractive than what they naturally are. And in this technological age, females get Photoshopped to reshape/redefine their waistline all the time. That, my friends, is one of the subtle sciences of catfishing.
In addition to the blond hair blue eye prototype, the "woman with curves" standard of female beauty is also changing. Not simply because of a male's desire for a different aesthetic but the changing roles of female's within society and the hormone shift that has come along with it. Androgens, hormones that includes testosterone and is the precursor to estrogen, increase WHR ratios in a female by increasing abdominal fat. Excessive levels of Androgens cause a variety of symptoms including acne, weight gain, excessive hair growth, menstrual dysfunction and infertility. Cortisol, a hormone that helps the body deal with stress and regulate metabolism also increases fat around the waist. What this means can be summarized by Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah:
"Waist-to-hip ratio may indeed be a useful signal to men, then, but whether men prefer a [waist-to-hip ratio] associated with lower or higher androgen/estrogen ratios (or value them equally) should depend on the degree to which they want their mates to be strong, tough, economically successful and politically competitive."
In other words, a combination of diet, roles females have begun to take on within Western society and the accompanying stressors has begun to increase their production of Androgens, change Cortisol levels and ultimately reshape/redefine their WHR. On one hand this has increased the strength, stamina, aggression and competitiveness for females to meet the many socioeconomic changes within society -as female headed households, mompreneursand corporate women have become common. At the same time and on the negative side, when this increase becomes a hormonal imbalance, it translates into one of the leading causes of poor fertility.
What does all of this mean? That there's much science to back the notion that we are in the age of true Warrior Queens; women of color and ethnically ambiguous prototypes that don't look like Marilyn Monroe and don't fit into one of her archetypal body casts. As I type this there still remains a white supremacist fight to hold her aesthetic standard of beauty on a pedestal. Just recently Vogue Paris featured its first black woman on a cover in five years. That says alot -in light of the historical/classical love affair the French have always had with women of color. It's important for us to reinforce the idea that our women shouldn't covet white skin and another woman's 0.7 WHR to be attractive. They, without that complexion and/or body type, are the true standard of normalcy and beauty around the world. Not because males have aesthetically declared it, but because the stability and destiny of our human family needs it. Our women must be reminded that they are absolutely fine the way that they are and their health, cultural contributions and commitment to our families and community is what our world needs more than ever before.
June 6, 1967 black athletes show public solidarity with Muhammad Ali for rejecting the U.S. military draft.
Quest For Fire
When I was was in the second grade my teacher Mrs. Smith asked our class what we wanted to be when we grew up. Some said football players, others said doctors and still others said a lawyer. Of all things I could be I said, "I want to be a Zoologist!" At that age, and even today, I've been an animal lover and nature enthusiast. There wasn't a nature program or animal show I didn't watch and I would memorize their facts like some of my peers would do baseball stats. I longed to travel the world, study nature and narrate documentaries like Jacques Cousteau, Carl Sagan, Donald Johanson, George Page, Marty Stouffer and Sir David Attenborough. Later on I became a big fan of the late Steve Irwin. I credit my Ole Dad with orientating me this way because he sat down and watched all of these shows with some of my siblings and I. We also invested a lot of time on the Tuscarora Reservation in our area and through this socialization I became much more aware of my relationship to the planet. Besides the Cryptozoology, the study of hidden/mythical animals like big foot, loch-ness monster and etc. that many youth find fascinating, the core aspect of any animal study is animal sexuality, mating habits and their family dynamics. Have you ever seen leopard slugs mate?
Within that study of animal sexuality, mating habits and family dynamics exist the roles of being dominant or recessive -regardless if animals roam in packs, herds or live solitary. In other words, sexual prowess, the right to mate and ability to sire/birth offspring depends upon that animal's status, genetically, physiologically and socially. Those who are most dominant and hold the rank to do so are known as Alpha Males/Females. Those who are recessive and don't hold that rank are known as Beta Males/Females. Sometimes certain animals are born Alpha or Beta Males/Females and that is their fixed destiny. In some cases that isn't true. Take an orangutan for example. All orangutan's don't have pie faces with those big meaty cheeks called a flange. Only "king orangutan's" do -which is caused by a massive testosterone growth spurt similar to that of Dr. Bruce Banner changing into the Hulk. So in this sense, an orangutan that appears to be a Beta Male can transform into a mammoth Alpha in a matter of months. On the female side, a mating queen bee is dominant in a colony based upon her ability to reproduce -and there's always virgin queens killing off their sisters and waiting in the wings to run the Bey Hive. In this regard, we as humans are not much different, or better, than animals.
This brings me to the discussion about Alpha vs. Beta human behavior, particularly among males. There are a host of websites that categorize the qualities and characteristics of males as either Alpha or Beta, dominant or recessive, masculine or feminine. The truth is ALL males possess Alpha and Beta male qualities -some more than others. ALL males have a little Alpha Tony Starks [Iron Man] and Beta Peter Parker [Spider Man] in him. I think the problem arises when we as males fail to recognize which qualities are the most appropriate to express in a certain situation. For example, known for being more aggressive, domineering, assertive, hot headed, primal and etc., an Alpha Male mentality may not be the best way to resolve some conflicts. In the same sense, the laid back, quiet, sensitive, peaceful and etc. Beta Male mindset may also not be the best approach to deal with some confrontations. Either of these approaches/dispositions may be right and exact today, yet totally wrong tomorrow; wisdom allows us to differentiate this. In a western society steeped in misogyny, male chauvinism and sexism, the John Wayne, James Bond, 50 Cent image of Alpha Males often takes precedence over the application of wisdom. Even worst, you have Beta and even Omega Males fronting, posturing, posing and aspiring to these non-contextualized western ideas. I see these males every day, or on social media, trying to convince people that they're #1 [Alpha]. This pissing contest competitiveness does nothing but perpetuate the low/vacant esteem and inferiority complexes these males are really dealing with. In the quest to be number #1, most males don't consider the fact that they already are, respectively, as the original man. This is one of the main reasons why some of my male peers find it difficult to "advocate a society of men or group of men for one common cause." This lacking is also what proceeds our inability to be equal, in everything, with each other. Some of us are so worried about thinking others are outdoing us, or trying to outdo each other, that we're not doing anything of real substance to uplift each other.
In the animal world, males typically demonstrate various forms of physiological pageantry to "show-off" their so-called dominance to each other and onlooking females. Whether it's flashing bright colors like golden-headed lion tamarins, butting heads like big horn sheep or singing sophisticated songs like a lyre bird, male animals, obviously in their primal state, thrive on competition. The same can be said for male humans -who have not evolved beyond our primal reptilian brain function. Cognitively speaking, there is no difference between a raging bull elephant during musth or a raging male talking bull at a parliament. Both are in the throws of passion and both are unreasonable. Aside from all of our pageantry and pheromones we give off to communicate our -genetic- profile, the most essential clue we share about that profile is our legacy. In other words, one of the main qualities a female looks for in a mate is security and all the showboating and Pherazone cologne in the world won't attract a female if we're insecure and we haven't secured a legacy.
Nowadays, as in our past, Ujima [collective work and responsibility] is one of the guiding principles of any group desiring freedom, justice and equality for and among its members. In order to carry this out successfully males in particular must be willing and able to cooperate. Cooperation is impossible if we're competing 'against' each other. I emphasis 'against' because I think competing 'with' each other is healthy -like we did in high school when our track team faced an opponent during a meet. If three of us were running the 100 meters, our goal was get first, second and third place for our team. There is no silver bullet when it comes to all of this yet the bullion consists of males being more honest with ourselves about where we're at, what we actually have and our commitment to brotherhood, family and community. One of the main reasons I have been and continue to be successful in my undertakings is because I'm not afraid to say I need assistance. I am also not afraid to not be the center of attention, top dog or quietly or loudly support a brother who is best qualified to represent a project, program or initiative. Some of us have a problem with that and it's this kind of pride that continues to come before our misfortune and destruction. We can act like we're money team members, take pictures with our chin up to look taller, thumb thug on social media or have sex with a different female every day of the week yet none of these things demonstrate manhood. Nor can we use any of that as practical tools to help propagate a family, communities or a nation.
For those of you who didn't know, I facilitate a
youth mentor program called STYA which is an acronym for Successfully
Transitioning Youth to Adolescence. My demographic are nine to twelve year
old's and we do everything from critically analyze cartoons, arts & crafts,
cooking classes and etc. to encourage them to expand their consciousness, build
self esteem and discover their purpose in life as they transition into their
teenage years. What I love most about working with youth, which I've done with
various programs and initiatives for over a decade, is learning ideas,
attitudes and behavior adults have in their infancy. In other words, I see nine
year old girls learning to play the "make a boy jealous" game that
eventually becomes a fully functioning operating system I see thirty something
year old's use every day. Some things don't change, people just get older and
continue doing the same thing. And the same way jealousy games may not change among females, some male's level of sophistication to appropriately respond to these
games doesn't change either. I can't tell you how many times I've had to talk a ten
year old boy down from an emotional ledge because some little girl was playing
with his emotions. His reaction is no different than seeing emotionally unstable men
committing social media seppuku because of what some female is, or isn't,
posting on Facebook. Some of us simply never matured intellectually or
emotionally; we're just older versions of the same child.
Because my Ole Earth was a Psychologist/Sociologist I've been orientated to analyze human behavior my
entire life, literally. Normal family outings were going to places just to
people watch; my Ole Earth would find a public place to sit with some of my siblings
and I and we would discuss what we see in people's body language, style of
dress and etc. One of the games she would also play with us was the book of
questions -which I discovered later in life was a psychology book, not a game
at all. This kind of investment into my growth and development as a child,
coupled with the cultural contributions of my Ole Dad, has helped in my
successful transition from boy to man. Some males never had a mother invested in
them in this way nor did they have a father around to teach him what it means
to be a man. Because of this, some of us have manufactured our idea of manhood 'a la carte' and the emotions and intellect surrounding this lacking remain raw, immature and
underdeveloped. This is not an excuse, it's an assessment of what I've witnessed in its infancy and what it has the potential to become when it's not responsibly addressed as an adult. Ladies,
young boys may destroy toys when they don't get their way. The same boy who doesn't get his way as a grown male, will destroy you. There's a lot of truth in what Drake says about these days.
Like with any group or society of people, some of
its members are going to be emotionally and intellectual immature. One of the
challenges I've dealt with over the years are these same boys/girls, not yet
men/women, referring to themselves as Gods/Earths. Thankfully this doesn't
reflect the overall consciousness of Five Percenters I know, yet there are some
of us who are like that -sometimes for reasons only known to them. This is the
reason I wrote the book Explorations of God/Earth Mental Health; to empower my peers to
recognize and address it. Because one of our cultural motto's is
"Peace" or Positive Education Always Corrects Errors, we've always
encouraged each other to grow and develop beyond whatever circumstance we've
come from or are presently in. For any of us who are sincerely striving to
elevate their consciousness and condition, it's a journey that involves
removing the negative residue that comes along with seeing and believing
ourselves to be inferior. All of us who have taken this step to gain KOS
[Knowledge of Self] started out emotionally and intellectually immature. On
many levels we're rewiring ourselves emotionally and intellectually and that
takes work, sometimes a lifetime. Nothing happens over night, except the night -especially not the growth and development process.
In closing, I want to reiterate the importance of
us men getting ourselves together. This is not to minimize the responsibility
of grown females who need to grow up either. There are women I know who are
successfully speaking from this perspective. As men, we can start getting
ourselves together by being more vulnerable with one another by speaking
honestly about our upbringing and emotions. I'm not talking about ranting, posturing or posting inappropriate stuff on
social media under the guise of "keeping sh#t real"; that's immature and messy. I'm talking about investing the time to really examine the
who, what, when, where, how and why we think/behave the way we do with each
other and the opposite sex. That is one of the most integral parts of KOS. Females share and are vulnerable with each other all the time. That female-to-female Educator and Student
relationship directly, or indirectly, has remained pretty much intact since
we've been in this country. Males are the one's usually holding stuff in and back from
one another. Some of us males were grown up before we had an open conversation with men about hurt, lost, frustration, insecurities, inadequacies, embarrassing situations
and etc. Even though some of us aren't sharing these things with each other in
a healthy way, it always come out in the most unhealthy of ways -whether
that's throwing tantrums or shade, being abusive, gossiping, broadcasting how
great we are, taking serial selfies, being a whore or etc. Additionally,
there are some things we've experienced as boys that we decided to take with us
to our grave. Part of the emotional frustration or indifference you see us express is us trying to live with that lifelong decision. So ladies, when
some grown males tell you, "It's not you, it's me", believe it! Also believe the likelihood that they haven't said or done anything about it for over twenty
something years and don't plan on saying or doing anything about it after telling you that. We got work to do in order to help get our families/communities back in order and emotional instability and intellectual immaturity
won't get us there. As civilized men who advocate righteousness, as Five
Percenters and definitely as Gods, we must expect more from ourselves, and each
other, to get that job done. Peace, Saladin
You can catch the God I-Born on Live 95 RadioSaturdays at 12pm on the #ThePressPassShow, Saturday nights at the Buffalo Supper Club, spinning at The District Nightclub and The Home Invasion House Mix on www.blackmartiniradio.com 2pm-4pm.
To listen to Episode 7 -Musicology Vol 2 click here:
Have you ever considered that Confederate Flag waving may be more of a symbol of reconciliation than succession? Or that many southerners, and their northern kinfolk, still feel perpetually slighted by the United States Government? Well consider the fact that in the 1860's, after the Civil War, Congress enacted legislation that authorized the President to purchase "cemetery grounds" to be used as national cemeteries for soldiers who died in the service of the country. By "soldiers" it meant Union soldiers, not Confederate soldiers. Confederate soldiers could not be buried in national cemeteries, nor were they afforded any benefits from the United States Government. So those aren't Confederate soldier names engraved on Veteran's Memorials or Confederate soldiers being memorialized on Veteran's Day -a National Holiday. When the remains of Confederate soldiers were found on the battlefield lying near those of Union soldiers, the Union soldiers were removed, buried with honor and they'd leave the Confederates’ bodies rotting in field. It was only because of the fear of disease spreading were their bodies put in temporary shallow graves and marked with wooden headboards for identification. And it wasn't until private women organizations, such as the Wake County Ladies Memorial Association in North Carolina, assumed the initial financial responsibility to remove these Confederates' and bury them in southern cemeteries. Keep in mind that because the Federal Government administrated this construction of these National Cemeteries, former Confederate States also paid for this. Between 1898 and 1968, the government added sections to the national cemetery to accommodate the graves of veterans from the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The cemetery’s annex is located due north of the historic original 17-acre property. Today, more than 6,000 veterans lay at rest in the national cemetery and there are almost 4 million people, "non-Confederate" Veterans of every war and conflict, buried with honor in 147 national cemeteries on about 20,000 acres of land.
So here it is, after the Civil War ended, the United States Government buried and memorialized their own, symbolically spit on the unmarked graves of their southern kinfolk, and then made them financially responsible for a large part of constructing national cemeteries they could not be buried in. And to add further insult to injury, black veterans earned a place in the ground and name on these same memorial monuments. Some present day American patriots would simply say, "That's what rebels get!" Yeah, well do you really think that's fair and what about the noble idea of being charitable to the opposition? It's not like every Confederate soldier was a slaver and genetically unrelated to anyone up north; the Civil War was like the Hatfields and McCoy's. The McCoy's won and made the Hatfields pay for a large part of the clean-up, an elaborate cemetery and monuments for the McCoy veterans for generations. Rescue me if I'm wrong but that doesn't seem like the best way to heal open wounds and every year during Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and etc. this history is indirectly, or maybe directly, thrown in people's faces. But hey, what do I know -my name is Saladin and I know nothing about conflict resolution.
In this respect, one of the reasons historical wounds remain open in America is its perpetual disrespect and lack of acknowledge for the dead. From those who have died from the genocide of our Indigenous People, Blacks who were brought here and enslaved [Maafa], Interment Camps of the Japanese, southern Americans after the Civil War, Immigrants in the 1900's and of course present day Middle Easterners/Muslims and Southeast Asians. I recently attended a viewing/discussion of the documentary Fire in the Heartland at Niagara University by its BSU. Fire in the Heartland is about the National Guard's murder/wounding of Kent State students [May 4 Massacre] and the history of student protests in America. One of the most reprehensible parts of this story was how Kent State and United State Government disrespectfully handling the deaths of the fours students and nine who were wounded -one who suffered permanent paralysis. President Nixon issued a statement which read in part, "This should remind us all once again that when dissent turns to violence it invites tragedy." The problem with his statement was that the protest on that day on May 4th was peaceful and there are images and file footage to prove that. It took nearly twenty years, the 1990's, to even erect some sort of Kent State Memorial in remembrance of this horrible incident and even then there was controversy. This, including the Jackson State Murders; where two students were shot and twelve wounded by the police as they peacefully protested the Vietnam War and United States invasion of Cambodia reflect a systemic attitude in America about death. The death of those who are not viewed as Americans. Fast forward to the incidents of violence by local/state/federal law enforcement agencies against protesters and the handling of the dead surrounding the Occupy Wall Street, Ferguson and etc. and you'll see this clear pattern. All of this begs the questions we can only answer for ourselves: When there is clear disrespect for the dead, how can there be respect for the living? If our ancestors are not buried [resting] in peace, how can we live in peace? All of us have family and friends who have passed away. Some of us may still be grieving behind their passing and how their burial was handled. Healing those wounds and bringing closure may require us to invest in a reintermentprocess; beginning with openly talking about that grief or feelings of disrespect, and working together to strive to reconcile those issues. Peace, Saladin
Regardless how well intended and proficient doctors may be, they are in the sick business. If they healed patients we would rarely need doctors so they "treat" them instead -and the pharmaceutical companies aren't mad about it. The same can be said about lawyers; they are in the crime, personal injury and family dysfunction business. If it weren't for drugs, violence, accidents, divorces and etc., we would rarely need them too. I'm sure my barber is glad indestructible haircuts don't exist yet because he would be out of business too. Whether we are mechanics, school teachers, dentists, politicians, pastors or etc., there's a certain degree of job security that comes along with fixing things or even striving to insure that things remain broke, as in "poor."
Here in New York, according to the 2014-2017 Community Health Assessment Niagara County Department of Health released in 2013, "23% of the people in our live below the poverty line and 44% of the population—almost one in two—is either in poverty or struggling financially and at risk." In the city of Niagara Falls, approximately 60% of our residents receive public assistance such as food stamps, welfare, unemployment insurance and Medicaid. According to 2009 data, 67% of the families in poverty are female headed households with no husband present, and 70% who are poor are unemployed. Another important statistic is that foreign-born residents are 94% above the poverty line.
When it comes to statistics, people can manipulate them to serve whatever political agenda they want. For example, in regards to 67% of the families in poverty being female headed households with no husband present, some people may simply say it's because they're not marriage material. Some people believe that the 70% who are poor, unemployed, are just lazy. The 94% foreign-born residents who are above the poverty line? Some may say they all work harder. Whatever statistics say there's always an angle of what can be said, which is oftentimes inaccurate or disingenuous.
One of the misconceptions people in my area tend to have about welfare [public assistance] is that their taxes pay for it. In part, they do. All of us who work allocate a certain portion of our taxes towards supporting our public assistance program. The reality is my county receives financial support from [New York] state and the federal government to fund our public assistance program. Because of the statistics related to poverty, and accompanying socioeconomic factors such as teenage pregnancy, poor education and etc., my city [Niagara Falls] receives a larger portion of that state and federal support. In other words, if the city were a person named Nia G. Falls, they would be living below the poverty line, receiving public assistance and parenting thousands of children.
Another misconception is that the face of welfare is "Lazy La'Shaniqua" who has 7 children by four baby daddies living in public housing. Actually, the largest portion of state and federal support any impoverished county and city receives for public assistance goes towards contracts, personnel, employee benefits and administrative services, not a welfare check. So the real face of welfare or those benefiting most from our city's poverty have more common names than La'Shaniqua. They are most likely home owners with a two income household that don't live in inner city zip codes. Do you get that picture?
Now you're probably wondering who we can blame for this. Well I'm not in the blame game business. We need more hands working, less finger pointing and the sober realization that fixing the things that are broke about our cities requires a multifaceted approach; collective work and responsibility. In the process, we also can't be naive to believe that there aren't people invested in things remaining broke [poor]. There are people like that, and they don't look like the broken.
Like with any family going through a financial hardship, we are not alone. On the other side of Canada lives Nia G. Falls’ poor cousin Dee Troit -who has also fallen on tough financial times. Maybe we, and cities like us, need to consider what strategies Dee is using to change their financial situation. That insight, may be priceless.
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