Saturday, January 21, 2017

Facebook's Anti-Sex Advertising Rules

Facebook has some new guidelines for for people who want to use their ad services. I found this out the hard way a couple of days ago. I tried to promote a post on my page that would link to my website, and it was turned down. I was shocked and confused, but then after reading their guidelines, it became startlingly clear to me that Facebook is becoming way too conservative for my taste. In particular, they have taken a stance that is very anti-sex.




I could understand if they didn't want to link to straight-up pornography sites. But they wouldn't link to my website because some of my book covers have cleavage on them. Not nudity - cleavage. And it doesn't stop there! Check out some of the things that Facebook doesn't allow, as far as paid ads go, in regards to sex, the human body, and sex products:


- No nudity or implied nudity, even if artistic or educational in nature

- No excessive visual skin or cleavage, even if not explicitly sexual in nature

- No images focused on individual body parts such as abs, buttocks or chest, even if not explicitly sexual in nature

- No content portraying excessive nudity or alluding to sexual activity


And when it comes to condoms and sex toys, you can only talk about their uses for protection, not pleasure. So advertising for sex toys is not allowed. Here are some examples of prohibited verbage:


- "Condoms to enhance your pleasure"

- "Buy our sex toys for your adult pleasure"


This made me really angry. I've already been irritated with Facebook for a number of reasons. They've blocked posts of mine in the past, some of which had zero nudity or sexual content (for example, a lesbian couple on a swing together). Those of us who use them to market our products all know that they now limit a page's reach drastically, making posts invisible even to people who have Liked the page, unless you pay for the posts to be promoted. So last year I begrudgingly bought a few ads just to get my stuff visible. But now, I can't even buy an ad because my books are sexy and they have cleavage and allude to sexual activity. It's like Facebook doesn't want people to think about sex.

I am not okay with that.

I grew up with this kind of censorship with my mother. She wouldn't allow clothing that showed cleavage. She wouldn't allow Rated R movies in the house. If a film had nudity, or even too much cleavage in it, she'd throw it out. I grew up with some serious hang-ups about sex and as a result, feared sex, and didn't even lose my virginity until I was in my mid-twenties. It's this kind of thinking that causes people to grow up with psychological issues about something that should be considered healthy and natural.

I got so mad that I deleted my Facebook account because I don't want to support them if they aren't going to allow me, as an adult, to market my sensual and erotic romantic fiction to other adults. I will simply find other ways to market.

What do you think about these new advertising rules? Please share your opinions below!


XoXo

Scarlett


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pinterest and Porno

Who else loves Pinterest? Pinterest is one of my favorite websites. When other social media sites get too political or petty, I love visiting my Pinterest account to get my daily dose of visual inspiration.

But today I got a rather surprising email from Pinterest saying that one of the pins on one of my boards was removed because it was pornography.

Here's the image:





And here's the email:



*****

Hi Scarlett,
We recently removed one of your Pins because it went against our policies on sexually explicit or pornographic content.
The Pin was from your "art" board and it originally came from http://www.juxtapoz.com/media/k2/items/cache/028bc3fd8be6b2f23fd8ebbebccffa90_L.jpg?t=1446509428.
We don't allow images that are inappropriate for the general public, like sexually explicit Pins, anywhere on Pinterest. This includes Pins on secret boards because they can be made public with the click of a button.
We recommend taking some time to go through your Pins and remove any others that may conflict with our policies.
Thanks for your help,
The Pinterest Team

*****


I get that one man's art is another man's porno, and I feel like this is the case here. I viewed this image as erotic art. To me, there's a difference between that and, say, going to any old free porno site on the web and clicking on a sex video. 

This picture was also pinned from a reputable art magazine that I really like called Juxtapoz, which sells print magazines in Barnes and Noble, and they aren't sealed up with plastic or anything like Penthouse or Hustler would be.

But this opens up the age-old debate over whether something like this is "erotic" or something is "pornographic." Some people think there's a difference. Some people (like my mother) think anything involving nudity is porno. 

What do you think?


-SK

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Why Guys Shouldn't Be Afraid to Go Glam



You've gotta love Iggy Pop. He's never been one to conform to societal norms. And in the above quote, he makes a really good point. It does seem like we have a double standard when it comes to wearing whatever you want. It reminds me of the intro of this Madonna song: 





Evan Rachel Wood proved Madonna's point at this year's Golden Globes by wearing a suit instead of a dress. It didn't cause any sort of outrage. She even got praised for it. And she did look great!




But if, for instance, Ryan Gosling had shown up in a gown, or even in make-up, a wig, or jewelry, it would have been all over the news. Why is that? In nature, the males of many different species are typically the most flashy of the sexes. Take peacocks for example.




So why can't homo sapiens do the same without making a huge fuss over it? Who made these rules anyway?

I'm not saying that everyone needs to wear makeup. I say do what you want. If you don't like wearing makeup, you shouldn't have to wear it, even if you're a woman. Alicia Keys has stopped wearing makeup, and good for her! It's a personal choice, and she still looks lovely.




I prefer to wear makeup, but it's more of an artistic thing and probably related to my love of theatre and performing. I like the way I look in makeup, both soft and daring. I also like wigs! I like the option of choosing different looks for myself based on my mood, but again it's a personal choice that shouldn't be limited to one person or the other.






Also, guys who want to wear makeup don't necessarily need to go full-on drag queen, unless they want to of course! There are lots of examples of celebrities who have gone glam and have also kept it mixed with traditional masculine wear. For example, Adam Lambert.




Sexy! 

Another example of make-up looking fantastic on a man and manages to keep it masculine is America's Got Talent contestant, juggler Viktor Kee. Doesn't he look fantastic?




I love it. So guys, if you want to stick with your makeup-free faces, and your suits and your t-shirts and jeans, be my guest. But you really shouldn't be ashamed to go glam if you want to. Who knows? It might catch on. Personally, I'd love to see more men "peacocking" on the Red Carpet and in real life. But that's just my preference. You are certainly allowed to have yours. Just remember the advice that Dr. Frank N Furter gave us in The Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Don't dream it; be it!"





XoXo

Scarlett


Friday, January 6, 2017

Queen of Swords Tarot Art

Whether you believe Tarot cards are the divinely guided tools of psychics or nothing but pure entertainment, there's no denying that many decks out there are works of art. I have collected decks over the years, some purely because I loved the art on them.

One of my favorite cards, and one I currently identify with, is the Queen of Swords. Here are seven gorgeous Queen of Swords cards from different decks. (The following card meaning is quoted directly from www.biddytarot.com.)


Universal Fantasy Tarot


"The Queen of Swords represents the sternness of a mature intellect which is devoid of emotion. In mythology, the feminine is associated with emotion, yet in this card the woman is stern and composed, and without much feeling. This card therefore represents the intellect’s ability to judge and discern impartially, without the influence of emotion or sentimentality."


Art Nouveau Tarot


"She likes to know the how, what, why, where, when and who of everything to help her make sense of her environment and to better understand others. It is not that she does not care about others but she connects to other people through an intellectual understanding rather than an emotional understanding."


Love and Mystery Tarot


"The Queen of Swords is a sign that you need to be independent in thought and in judgement. You must use your unbiased intelligence in order to make a judgement of a particular situation, drawing upon every piece of information and fact that you have gathered along the way."


Manga Tarot


"Empathy or compassion towards others may distract you from the task at hand, so it is important that you think with your head and not with your heart at this particular time. Do not let emotion get in the way. Rather, use fact and logic to make your decisions."


Secret Tarot


"The Queen of Swords also has an innate ability to tell it like it is. She is a quick thinker and highly perceptive, and as such, she can cut through the noise and confusion to get straight to the point."


Paulina Tarot


"There is certainly no ‘beating about the bush’, or ‘softening’ of her comments, opinions and thoughts. She is upfront and honest about her opinions, and expects the same from others. The best way to interact with the Queen of Swords, therefore, is to remain as impartial as possible, and to present your thoughts and opinions concisely and honestly."


Yoshitaka Amano Tarot



Okay, Scarlett speaking again. I think we all reach times in our lives when we're at a crossroads. We can either continue down the path we've been going on, or we can pay attention to all the red flags and spotlights on what's wrong and choose a new route.

There are some things in my life that need to change, and over the years I've been inching toward them, not quite ready, but getting closer, and closer. This year, I'm ready. I'm thinking logically and cutting through the BS excuses I've made for myself. It is the only way I'm going to implement and stick with those changes.

This card is sort of working like a symbol for me, reminding me of what I need to do to take myself to the next level of growth and success, both with my writing and personally, with my mental and physical health. The road may be rocky at times, but I have my sights set on a clear goal.

I hope that everyone can meet their goals this year, and if not meet them at least get closer to them, and that 2017 proves to be a year of good things for everybody, no matter what that definition is for you.

Much love!

XoXo

Scarlett


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Judi Dench as Titania

I started writing this post a couple of days ago when suddenly the news let us know about Carrie Fisher's passing. And then, not 48 hours later, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, went to be with her daughter. I put this post on hold to write a tribute to Carrie, but now I'm returning to this one for Throwback Thursday.

One fine celebrity I am so glad the world hasn't lost yet is Judi Dench!

When I think of Dame Judi Dench, the role that tends to come to mind is her role as M in James Bond.




So it took me a few minutes to recognize her in the 1968 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I was watching on TV.




These pictures are black and white, but in the film she's an earthy shade of green, which fits her role of Titania.




It was her unique voice that I recognized first. Then I started noting her appearance, and after looking it up, sure enough, this is a young, gorgeous Judi!




She was such a pretty young woman who became a beautiful older woman. Sweet, talented Judi, I hope we still have you for years to come! <3


XoXo

SK

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher - More than Princess Leia

Today I have been tremendously sad about Carrie Fisher's passing. As a massive Star Wars fan, it feels like I've lost a family member since she's been a part of my happy imaginative world away from reality ever since I was a child. And I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

But as I got older, I discovered there was more to Carrie than just being Princess Leia in Star Wars. She was also a hell of a writer and one of the funniest women on the planet. Several years ago, I read her book Wishful Drinking, and found it to be a truly hilarious and brutally honest biography in which she tells some wonderfully candid tales about working on Star Wars and also gives us a peek into who she really was as a person. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's one of the best books I've ever read, really, both in the bio and comedy categories.




After getting a peek at the woman behind the gold bikini, I checked out the movie Postcards from the Edge, which is based off another book of hers, also biographical, this one going more into her life as an addict and an actress, and also about her dysfunctional but still loving relationship between her and her mother. Meryl Streep plays the main character in the film, and I found it to be one of the best, and funniest movies I've ever seen.




So as we mourn yet another beloved celebrity death, I hope you'll take the opportunity, if you haven't read Wishful Drinking or seen or read Postcards from the Edge to do so, in honor of Carrie's passing. They're well worth your time and will help you understand more of who she really was, which was much more than just Princess Leia. They'll also make you smile and laugh, both of which are desperately needed during sad times like these.


-SK

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Movie and TV Show Picks for 2016

Hi, there. Well, this crazy year is wrapping up, and I've been looking back on what movies and shows I've watched, and I wanted to recommend a few of my favorite picks.

We live in a time of sequels and remakes, so anything fresh and new (of quality) really grabs my attention. There are three films and one TV show that I highly recommend, and although the TV show is technically a remake, it's original enough that it stands as something new.

My favorite action/comedy film of 2016 is Deadpool. It's edgy, hilarious, and takes the viewer along on a non-stop action ride. Ryan Reynolds was born to play this part. Loved it!




My favorite drama of the year is Hell or High Water. This movie has a couple of my favorite actors in it, Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. It's labeled as a "Neo Western," which means it's a Western set in modern times. In short, it's a great film all around. The script is particularly good; some of the dialogue left me in awe of the superb writing. I have to admit the film especially appealed to me nostalgically because I've lived in some of those teenie tiny Texas towns that appear in the story-line. It's worth checking out, especially if you like stories that involve siblings.




My favorite sci-fi film of the year, hands-down, is Arrival. This mysterious story about a linguist who gets recruited to try to communicate with aliens is sci-fi at its finest. It goes much deeper than your traditional shoot-em-up alien fare. It's for thinkers, more speculative story than action film. It also has some fascinating twists, which left me thinking about the movie for days. The acting and special effects are superb.




Finally, I must recommend HBO's heady "remake" of Westworld. I put "remake" in quotes because it isn't much of a remake of the older movie with Yul Brynner, as much as it is a re-imagining. The special effects are out of this world, the existential plot is gripping and mysterious, the acting is top-notch, and the list goes on and on. I don't normally get into TV shows, but this one gets nothing but praise from me.





What were your favorite films and TV shows of 2016? Please feel free to leave a comment!



XoXo

Scarlett