Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Project Runway Showcases Mr. Jesse LeNoir

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, NYC, television on February 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Jesse LeNoir, fashion designer and reality show star. Jesse is an Ohio native who has made it from the Midwest to season seven of Project Runway. As fashion week in New York comes to a close, he gives us an inside look at Project Runway and what it’s like being a fashion designer.

Equal4all: Why did you decide to audition for Project Runway?

Jesse LeNoir: I knew as a designer who hasn’t attended design school, it is really tough to have any credibility or ability to show people what you do; so, I figured that the platform that Project Runway provides was perfect for getting into the industry.

E4A: What do you think Project Runway will do for your career as a fashion designer? 

JL: It is something that I’m hoping will open doors for me to work in the industry under someone I admire, like Tom Ford, or Thom Browne.  And also give me some recognition when I start my own fashion line.

E4A: What is your favorite article of clothing to design and why? 

JL: I love jackets and coats.  I think there’s just so much to them and they really can be the statement piece for an entire look.  I love doing cute dresses, but I think it’s something that I’m good at but so are many other designers.

E4A: If there was something you could change about your performance on the show, what would it be and why? 

JL: My confidence – I think I didn’t sell my work to the judges the way I should have.  I’m finding more and more that I need to just be unapologetic about my work and stand by it and defend it wholeheartedly because I love it completely so nobody can take that away from me.

E4A: What was competing on the show like in comparison to what you thought it was going to be? 

JL: Pretty close to what I expected, except for the talent level I was competing against.  I think the talent in the room was something that was so much stronger than I expected … it was terrifying sometimes.

E4A: What fashion designers do you admire most? Why? 

JL: I love Tom Ford’s work from what he’s done with Gucci, his own line, and now even directing for film – I think he’s truly a visionary and I would love the opportunity to work alongside him and learn from him.

E4A: How do you describe your design style? 

JL: Clean, tailored, and sophisticated.

E4A: Besides you, who do you think was most deserving to win? 

JL: It’s so very hard to pick one person.  I think we all really won being there because we were mostly small designers needing the exposure … so winning the show overall is just icing on the cake.

E4A: Any gossip about the other contestants or the show that you can spill? 

JL: I can’t gossip about other people, that’s just rude … ha ha.  I think the most salacious material will appear on the show so don’t worry.

E4A: Detail what goes through your mind when you are about to be critiqued. 

JL: There’s a certain amount of terror and also just that sort of feeling of having too much to say and not enough time to say it.  I found that I wanted to explain every detail about the design process that I went through and couldn’t so I had to fight to arrange my thoughts to be the most clear and concise.   The adrenaline doesn’t help that thought process either!

E4A: Do you ever feel at a disadvantage because you’re a man and are less familiar with a woman’s shape? 

JL: I think that being a man doesn’t hinder me really.  I think that because when I design, there isn’t any self body image that I’m evaluating the clothes by, so I can really stay focused on the shape of who I’m dressing.  Also, being a straight man I think helps me because I know what I find appealing on a woman and I try to create that.

E4A: How do you feel about the stereotype that all male fashion designers are gay? 

JL: I think there’s definitely a lot of truth to it, but like every rule or stereotype, it’s never 100% accurate.  I think I’m surely a novelty in this industry but there are others and really it doesn’t matter either way.  It’s about the work; an engineer isn’t any better or worse because of his/her sexual orientation so why should this be any different?

E4A: How do you compare yourself to the past Project Runway winners? 

JL: Eh?  I’m doing my own thing for sure.  I think Jeffrey is someone that people would compare me to, but my style is totally different.

E4A: When it came time for you to choose a model, what were you looking for? 

JL: Something interesting in their face that inspired ideas in me.

E4A: What was the best compliment a judge gave you? 

JL:  “I love this look!”

E4A: Who was your favorite celebrity judge? Why? 

JL: Past seasons?  Natalie Portman.  She is someone I would love to dress.  My season?  Probably Georgina Chapman – she was stunning and I like her work.

E4A: Given what you know now, would you compete on Project Runway again? Why? 

JL: Probably; I would definitely be more efficient at it too!  There’s a learning curve for sure.  It’s been a surreal experience overall and something that is an amazing story and novelty in life.

For more information, please go to http://houseofkilroy.com/ or http://jesselenoir.com/

Lindsay Dahlstrom

*Project Runway images provided by of lifetimepress.com*

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

Dougall Fraser: E4A’s Top Psychic

In Art, Being Gay, Dating, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay Weddings, Hollywood, Literature, Night Out, Relationships, religions, sex on February 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Dougall Fraser is a professional psychic and has recently looked into the future for some of the women on The Real Housewives of Orange County. In this interview, he details how he decided to become a professional psychic, talks about the housewives, and tries to see into his own future.

Equal4all: You recently made an appearance on The Real Housewives of Orange County. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with the women? Which housewife can you foresee having the most drama in her life in the near future?

Dougall Fraser: When I was invited to appear on RHOC, I honestly thought it would be the easiest job in the world.  I figured that as a gay man, I wouldn’t be threatening to the women and it would be a fun night to connect with them.  Not the case.  The 6 or 7 min segment that aired was a flash of what really was close to two hours.  Most of the women were a bit cold to me with the exception of Tamra and Alexis.  In the end, I think the women were afraid of what I was going to reveal – and in fairness to them, they really had no idea that I was coming.

As far as drama is concerned it’s safe to say that we will see the most drama coming from Gretchens’ life.

E4A: Please tell us a little bit about how you got into the business of being a professional psychic and how you have grown from your career choice:

DF: I don’t think any kid dreams of becoming a professional gypsy.  As the fat, chubby kid on the playground, I was dealing with some intense emotions.  My parents were on the verge of divorce, my sister had leukemia, and I was pretty sure I was gay.  In an effort to avoid my problems, I looked to things like meditation, channeling, crystals, and anything to get out of my head.  I quickly learned that a really fun way to avoid my own problems is to talk about the problems of other people.  This became a little bit of an obsession, something I thought was a hobby.  After years of practice, it coincidentally became my career.  At the age of 20 I came out of the closet, lost a ton of weight, and started taking care of myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I had been reading part time when people asked, and making my living as a massage therapist.  Randomly I was selected the best psychic in Dallas and had an article written about me.  When that publication came out, I went from five readings a month to several readings a day with a three-month waiting list.  For me, this was a huge sign that this work was my destiny.

I feel so lucky to take a peek into peoples lives every day.  My clients are my teachers – I learn from their mistakes.  I share in their joy and their pain.  I get to see such a cross section of people.  It has given me the tools to achieve my goals and to help others achieve theirs.

E4A: In the past, have you been able to foresee important events of your own life? How has being a psychic set you apart from others?

DF: I believe we all have intuition; the only thing that separates me from others is the fact that I listen to it.  The moment I met my husband I heard the words in my head, “You will marry him.”  My second thought was, “God, I must be drunk.”  I wish I could tell you that every day I wake up and have coffee with my spirit guides and they tell me exactly what is going to happen … not the case.  What makes me different is that I pay close attention to my first gut reaction.  I trust what my intuition is saying and keep it in mind.  For example, when I had the psychic impression of who I was to marry, I didn’t blurt it out.  It’s not like the next day I said “Well, I see us getting married.  You should move in!”  Can you imagine?  We dated like normal people and I didn’t tell him for a year that I had that vision.

E4A: How did you realize you were psychic? Did you have a vision when you were younger or is it a family business you just came into?

DF: My family’s business is real estate.  My parents used to say that by the time I was standing in the crib I would talk about colors around people and hearing voices.  Like any good mother, she was positive that I was special.  Like any rational father, I was quickly sent to therapy.  In short, seeing auras, or the energy that surrounds every living thing, has just been as common to me as being left-handed.  I’ve spent years studying energy, color, and light work to define and understand what I was seeing.

E4A: Do you feel that being a psychic and also being gay, that you fit into a certain kind of stereotypical box?

DF: That’s a good question.  I don’t know if I fit into a box – however, I do think society gives permission to women and gay men to be more intuitive.  Feelings, emotions, energy, these are all seen as feminine traits – we always hear about women’s intuition.  I also think that many gay people look outside of traditional religion to find their spirituality.  In the New Age community, all are welcome.

E4A: On your facebook page, it says you are married and he looks like quite the catch. Please tell us how you met your Prince Charming and what married life is like.

DF: OK, moment of truth … David and I met seven years ago in the middle of the night.  It was supposed to be an Internet hookup.  What?  I’m only human.  Anyway, turned out he is the love of my life.

We had our wedding on June 10, 2007 at Bedell Vineyard on Long Island.  We are also one of the 18,000 legally married couples in Los Angeles.

Marriage is so much more than I thought it would be.  It’s very powerful having a co-pilot or equal to share my life with.  We work very hard at inspiring each other to be the best we can possibly be.  In short, I am still smitten with the man – he’s the best.

E4A: If you had the chance to do it all over again, what career path would you choose for yourself?

DF: No regrets … I wouldn’t change a thing.

E4A: How is being a psychic different than taking part in other groups that believe in witchcraft and the occult? Have you ever gotten negative feedback for what you do?

DF: Witchcraft or Paganism is more of a religion and way of life; I haven’t really studied that world very much.  I tend to lean more toward Tibetan Buddhism.  In short, Witchcraft is a Goddess or Earth-based philosophy.  Most of my work deals with the spirit world.

E4A: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

DF: My career goals are to write my second book, and host a daytime talk show.  I would love to inspire people to look beyond the physical, to see their true selves and find their happiness within.  My personal goals are to continue putting down roots and building a happy life in Los Angeles.

E4A: Please give our readers advice on how to stay true to themselves as members of the GLBT community:

DF: Simply put, be who you are!  I follow a basic metaphysical guideline that energy follows thought and thought directs energy.  So be proud, be powerful, and emit a light from within that says “I am who am I am, and I love myself.”

Dougall Fraser is the author of the memoir: But You Knew That Already: What a Psychic Can Teach You About Life

For more information, please go to: DougallFraser.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/dougallfraser

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DougallFraser

J. Federico

-Television appearance and book cover images of Mr. Fraser provided by Guttman PR-

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Love: What is it?

In Being Gay, Dating, Gay Weddings, Relationships on February 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm

What is love?

Hadaway sure felt like they had it right from their song, but one must ponder exactly, what is love? I myself believe love is what you make of it, how you feel. For many, Valentine ’s Day is the one day of the year people can go all out and spend lots of money on items their significant other may or may not need. Even though the recession might ‘technically’ be over, most people are certainly on a budget. Here are some great gift ideas that don’t require you to spend too much money to impress your significant other.

  • Make something- One of the most obvious gifts that you can do is make something for your significant other. Make them a card or create something that involves something in their life, (hobby, work, etc). I can assure you that they’ll appreciate it, and if you can find all of the stuff you need to build your gift at your house, you don’t have to spend a dime.
  • Although cliché, flowers are an excellent idea for a valentine’s day gift. Don’t be boring and just go to a grocery store and grab a bouquet of flowers that looks nice, make it unique with your own spice and flare and own it! Make those flowers special from you and maybe even add a little card for that added touch.
  • Make your loved one dinner. You don’t have to be a fancy chef to be able to have a nice dinner with the person you love. Just by making the only meal you know how to make will show that you really care about the person, and that you want to make your valentine’s day special. Maybe light a few candles and put on romantic music!
  • Something out of the box that your loved one might appreciate immensely is a Star. I know what you’re thinking, a star? But available for purchase are stars in the night sky that you are able to name after your loved one, and you even get a certificate of authenticity. Two website that you can look into for that is starnamer.com and nameastarlive.com.
  • Perhaps one of the most special gifts to impress a loved one is a mixed tape. Although it was originally brought into the picture in the 80s, it has transformed from mix tape to mix CD, where a person puts songs significant to both parties in the relationship and meaningful, loving songs that might remind you of your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is a cute gift and it’s pretty economical. Just buy blank CDs from the store and rip 20 songs on that bad boy and call it a day!

These are some fun and out of the box ideas for gifts for your loved one this Valentine ’s Day! If you’re on a budget, these are definitely things to consider. They’re fun, thoughtful, and definitely something that your significant other will appreciate and cherish for many years to come… well, maybe all but the flowers!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and good luck with gifts!

Mick Schulz

Photo Source

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

In Being Gay, concerts, Dating, decor, Gay Weddings, holidays, Music, Night Out, Relationships, sex on February 13, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Every year when Valentine’s Day comes around, there’s always that feeling that you need to do something more than just dinner and a movie. This year, Equal4All has compiled a list of simple, different dates so you and your valentine can make the most out of it.

10 things to do together on Valentine’s Day:

Watch the sun rise together. It’s a romantic way to start off the day. Bring your date some of their favorite morning beverages or even breakfast in bed and snuggle together as you watch the sunrise.

Take a trip. Valentine’s Day is part of the weekend this year, and for some it might be longer because of President’s Day, so why don’t you go somewhere for the long weekend? It doesn’t need to be anywhere far or glamorous, just a nice chance to escape the normal everyday routine and be together.

Cook dinner together. Though it might seem more romantic to cook your partner a surprise dinner, it might actually be better if you cook it together. Pick out the menu together, go shopping for it, come back, open a bottle of wine and start cooking. You’ll both have fun while you’re cooking, and even if the meal isn’t the best thing you’ve ever eaten, the fun you had making it will make up for it.

Plan a picnic. If you would still rather surprise your date with a meal, consider turning it into a picnic. Pack it all up with a bottle of wine and a blanket and find somewhere cozy and romantic. If it’s cold where you are, consider setting-up an indoor picnic. You can dim the lights, light some candles, and put on some soft music.

Go see a concert. Seeing a nice show, in a small intimate setting where you can cuddle up listening to music can be very romantic.

Recreate your favorite date. There’s always one date that stands out in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship, you’ve probably had one, so go out and recreate it as a surprise. I’m sure remembering that special day will touch your partner.

Create a spa day. You can either go to the spa and get all the treatments that will relax you and put you in the mood, or you can create a spa day at home. At home, you can give each other manicures, pedicures and massages; just make sure to dim the lights and play soft music so that you get the whole experience.

Scavenger hunt. Leave little notes around the house or town with cute messages for one another that have clues to find the next note. At the end of the scavenger hunt you can be waiting for them with dinner or a gift.

Volunteer together. It may not be the most romantic thing in the world, but Valentine’s Day is about love and sharing your love with others less fortunate is a great thing and will probably draw the two of you closer.

Drive-in movie. Let’s face it, dinner and a movie is a standard date night, and they can get pretty dull. Going to a drive-in is a better alternative. You can bring blankets, pillows, a dinner, and just snuggle up together in privacy – much better than sitting in a crowded theatre with a $7.00 bucket of popcorn.

How will you be spending your day of love?

Lindsay Dahlstrom

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4

Nutrition: You are what you Eat and Finding the Inner you through Food

In Being Gay, recipes, reviews on February 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm


You are what you eat. This notion has been around for many decades; yet as people we have not grabbed hold of this idea and carry it out in our lives. Quite literally, this quote means that what you put in your body will directly or indirectly affect your being. From a less literal state, you are what you eat is describing the effect of the quality of food we eat on our mental and physical health.

In 1923, the Bridgeport Telegraph produced an article titled “United Meet Markets,” written by Dr. Victor Hugo Lindlahr. This article is the first instance of the line “you are what you eat,” in modern times. “Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”  The fact that this information was available and mainstream over 80 years ago is mind-blowing. People knew the harm of consuming lower quality foods, yet convenience fueled the rise of frozen meals and fast food in the American diet. I strongly believe that this quote is so much more than 5 simple words strung together.

Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are at their highest rates ever and are among of the leading causes of death for Americans.  So here’s the deal, let’s stop this food epidemic before it can possibly get any worse. Let’s go back to our roots and eat homegrown food using simple techniques and conditioning our palates and our bodies.

Change all starts with you. Reading into what you eat at this point in your life will help you realize who you are. If you can appreciate the quality of food that you put into your body, you will be appreciating your body and ultimately be able to respect yourself more.

Balancing your life will be the key to success in leading a new healthy lifestyle. Dieting is the enemy. There is a reason why dieting contains the word DIE: depriving your body and mind will only set yourself up for failure. The key to a new healthy lifestyle is understanding your limitations and how food reacts with your body.  If you need to lose weight, you need to start with realistic weight loss goals. Depending on your weight and the amount of exercise you are willing to do, you should plan on a 1-2 pound weight loss per week.

If you are going to take this thought seriously, you need to sit down and examine what you eat and how you exercise. Are you eating nutritionally rounded meals? Are you exercising at least 30 minutes a day? Are you performing the right routines? Sitting down, making a list, and organizing will definitely help you in the long run. If you can wrap your mind around the idea of changing your diet and fitting a workout routine into your weekly schedule, you will be able to realize your goal and be more likely to stick to it. Take it one day at a time, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

Find the inner you through food. Whether you have a passion for cooking or for eating, loving food is in our nature. What we need to learn is to respect the food we eat – not move towards fast or convenient but for health conscious and delicious. YES! Healthy food can be delicious. Stepping outside the box and trying different foods will greatly help you with your healthy lifestyle upgrade. Try healthy takes on classic dishes. Expand your shopping list! Go to the local market and pick out several fruits and vegetables you have never eaten or that you would never purchase.

Next go an aisle over and pick up a package of lean meat such as pork or chicken. Now continue on through the market and pick out some starches: brown rice, pearl barley, and quinoa are some great examples of whole grain alternatives to your normal starch accompaniments. With a little patience and a positive attitude you can make changes in your lifestyle that will greatly affect your overall quality of life.

Food for thought:

  • Evaluate your diet! Get a journal: write daily entries about what you are eating, and you will be able to recognize what needs to change and what you can improve upon. Forcing yourself to write everything down will keep you accountable for your own actions, and if you aren’t eating well, you’ll have no one else to blame but yourself.
  • Calculating your caloric intake. It only takes a small amount of time, and it’s crucial to changing your eating habits. If you can figure out the amount of calories you should be eating daily, you can learn to change these numbers to work for the amount of exercise you are doing and the amount of weight you want to lose.

  • Proper hydration! Properly hydrating you body is a very important step to personal nutrition.  You should be drinking 64 ounces of water a day. This seems like a lot, but it’s only 8 glasses a day! Spacing the consumption throughout the day will help with sticking to it.

Be conscious of what you are doing to your body!

Easy Healthy Recipes…

Here are some really simple, but healthy recipes. Using flavorful ingredients will keep things interesting while still eating well.

Pan-seared Chicken Breast with Pico De Gallo and Red Rice

Spiced Chicken:

4 boneless chicken breast
1 ½  T cumin
2 T chili powder
1 T cayenne
2 T olive oil

  1. Measure out your spices and cover your chicken breasts with them. Massage the spices into the meat with a T of salt and ½ t of pepper. Heat a sauté pan and add 1 T of oil to the pan. Once the pan is very hot, add your chicken breasts and sear them on both sides. Move them to the oven to finish either on a sheet pan or in your sauté pan if it is oven-safe.

Pico De Gallo:

1 ea white onion
6 ea plum tomatoes
1 ea jalapeno
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, juiced
2 T cilantro, chopped finely

  1. Small dice your onion and tomatoes. Mince your jalapeno and your garlic cloves.  Juice your lime and finely chop your cilantro. Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.

Red Rice:

2 cups brown rice
1 chipotle, minced
1 onion, minced
5 cups chicken stock

  1. Mince your onion and add it to a saucepot with 1 T of oil. Cook until translucent. Add your rice and let it parch in the oil. After about a minute add your minced chipotle and your stock. Next add 2 T of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes.
  •  This recipe is great because it’s high on flavor but is also balanced with a protein, whole grain, and vegetable component.

 Vegetable Curry with Quinoa and Cacik


1 cup Greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
1 T olive oil
1 small cucumber, seeded
1 clove garlic
1 T cumin
1 T salt
½ T pepper

  1. Take your cucumber and seed it, next small dice it. Mince your garlic and add all ingredients to a bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine. Serve on the side as a cooling accompaniment.

Vegetable Curry:

1 large eggplant
1 red bell pepper
2 yellow onions
6 cloves garlic
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 cubenelle peppers
2 T tomato paste
4 T Garam Masala, good quality or prepared yourself
2 T olive oil

  1. Dice the eggplant, peppers, squash, and onions and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic till tender. Remove and set aside. Turn heat to high and brown eggplant and squash. Stir quickly as not to burn.  Add tomato paste and stir around to combine, add garam masala and all vegetables back to pot and turn to low. Add a ½ cup of water and stir to combine, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper.


2 cups quinoa
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable stock

  1. Mince your onion and garlic and add it to a saucepot with 1 T of oil. Cook for 2 minutes on low heat. Add your vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once at a rapid boil add your quinoa. Once the liquid comes back to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Check the quinoa closer to the end of it’s cooking time, if it needs to go longer let it. Once it’s finished cooking it should be tender and springy. Fluff with a fork and serve like rice.
  2. Serve your vegetable curry on top of your quinoa with your cacik on the side. This dish is impressive and simple. Filled with vegetables, whole grains, and healthy bacteria from the yogurt; this dish is also very healthy.

Hopefully I have been able to inspire you to move towards a healthy lifestyle. If you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, email me at Equal4allchef@yahoo.com! I’d love to answer your questions.

Sean Gallagher

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Valentine’s Day for Singles

In Art, Being Gay, Clubs, Dating, decor, holidays, Hollywood, Literature, Music, Night Out, Relationships, sex on February 12, 2010 at 3:59 am

I’ve only ever been in two relationships in my life, and only was one of those was my high-school girlfriend during the Valentine’s Day hullaballoo. So as one may have guessed, Valentine’s Day is not one of my favorite holidays.

This particular holiday isn’t just for the love birds out there, however. All us single ladies can still have a good time, if not better than all the couples. There is plenty is of stuff to do, for even the broken-hearted “miz-pots,” as my grandmother would call them. Let’s see what all us non-bequeathed can do on this day of sappy emotions and unyielding amount of paper hearts.

#1: MOVIE! They are not just for the couples on Valentine’s Day. If you decide to go it alone, there are plenty of movies out there for all kinds. If you go with a group of friends, I suggest going and seeing something fun – might I suggest Avatar or Tooth Fairy. The romantic comedies will have a fair amount of couples in the theatre, along with horrors and apocalypse movies.

#2: Singles party. And this is not what you are thinking it is. I mean that it’s a party of single guys and/or girls out there. Having a small group of people, nothing bigger than I’d say 5 or 6, over to your apartment with some nice hors d’oeuvres, a nice bottle of wine, or soda for the younger set can mean a nice time for all involved. Hit up your local video store or Netflix if you have the time, and get something that is either predetermined by the group, or you want to surprise people with. If you don’t think that you want love to be your theme, then simply don’t get decorations or a romance-inducing movie.

#3: The Club! Plenty of clubs are having holiday themed parties and specials this weekend, and a lot of them should also be doing Mardi Gras themed parties too. For your local gay bar or club, consult Google.

#4: Go see a show. There are plenty of shows fit for all on Broadway and being put on at thousands of venues throughout the country. If musicals aren’t your thing, there are what we in the industry call straight plays, which there are many out for all to enjoy.

So as you can see, there are so many things that anyone can do on Valentine’s Day. Whether it be throwing a party for you and your friends, or going to the movies, most everyone who is single can still pass the day without being alone.

What will YOU be doing this Valentine’s Day?

Stephen Papallo

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

Mardi Gras 2010

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, decor, holidays, Hollywood, Music, Night Out, recipes, religions on February 11, 2010 at 5:09 am

When you think of Mardi Gras, most times the first thing that comes to mind is a crazy party where drunk girls flash themselves in order to attain beads … seems like a far departure from its Catholic origins. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” which was originally a holiday put in place before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday kick-starts a period of fasting and Fat Tuesday was established as a feasting day where everyone would sit, eat, and drink all day to prepare themselves for the fast.

In the late 1800s, the celebration started to become the Mardi Gras that we know today. They had parades, costumes, masks, and even adopted the official colors; purple, green, and gold (representing justice, faith, and power). Then finally in the 1960s, we started to see the craziness that’s familiar to us today.

My memories of Mardi Gras are probably a little different from the average college girl. I took French growing up in school and every year we would have a Mardi Gras party and plan it for weeks. What I remember most was our homework assignments to create our Mardi Gras masks that we would wear to the party. Mine always ended up being paper mache, painted the Mardi Gras colors, covered in glitter and feathers (fantastic, no?). Then in class, we would all put our masks on, dance around while we listened to French music, eat some cake, and finally crown someone King of the day. Not a bad way to spend a school day.

Throwing a last minute Mardi Gras party? Here are some quick tips:

Decorations—Luckily you’ll probably be able to get everything you need at a party store. If you stick with purple, green, and gold you should be good to go. I’d suggest getting a bunch of beads, feathers and streamers.

Dress—Stick with casual attire that’s comfortable for dancing and partying. You might also want to wear a mask because they’re part of the fun of Mardi Gras.

Food and Drink—A bunch of easy appetizers are probably best, that way you can just put the food out instead of trying to get everyone to sit down at one time, it’s easier on you too. As for a drink, I’d suggest something fruity and fun, but if you’d rather drink something else, go for it.

Music—Whatever music you like is fine to play, but if you want to get into the spirit of things, I’d suggest you put on something fun and light, maybe some Jamaican music.

So what are your thoughts on Mardi Gras?

Lindsay Dahlstrom

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4