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JACKSONIAN SYD CURRY
efore 2008, hairstylist Syd Curry had not set foot in the state of Mississippi in decades. Although his family is from the state, it was a place that he never in his wildest dreams imagined living. Curry’s parents left the South for a job in California and stayed there; Curry was born in Santa Monica, Calif., and raised in Los Angeles. Curry became known in L.A. for an impressive list of celebrity clients. Mariah Carey was his first huge superstar client; after working with her on the “Dreamlover” video, Curry styled Carey for six years. “I saw the world with her,” he says “We went all over the world together.” Curry also worked with Cindy Crawford, President Bill Clinton and Lady Gaga, on her “Bad Romance” video. At a young age, Curry was surrounded by the profession he grew to love. “My mom’s best friends were hairdressers; they would do things, and it would make sense to me,” Curry says. “My parents made a deal with me that if I graduated high school they would send me to beauty school.” “It’s a glamorous job and a great opportunity, but when it comes down to it, it’s a job. They’re just people who happen to be famous,” Curry says. In 2008, Curry returned to Mississip-
pi with his mother so she could be closer to her family. “I had felt like I didn’t have anything in common with my family. Until I got here, until I walked in the door, and they all hugged and kissed me, and they realized it’s the same person they grew up with,” he says. Curry is finally embracing the South and the new sense of family. “I just feel like I’ve been on a plane for 58 years. I need to be in one place for a minute,” Curry says. “There’s kind of nothing about this place that I’m not in love with right now.” The stylist recently moved from his home in Aberdeen to Jackson to work at SMoak Salon, where he cuts, colors and styles hair. The only thing Curry says he’ll miss about L.A., other than friends, is the inspiration that flourishes among a creative team. “I don’t get to collaborate with my stylist, makeup and photography friends,” Curry says. “But now I’ll be able to do it in a different way here. Hopefully, they will teach me a couple of things.” Curry says he won’t miss the airplanes or the L.A. traffic but will continue to work freelance from time to time in order to keep up his creativity. As for Jackson, Curry is excited to be living in the city. “I smile all the time here.” —Victoria Sherwood
Cover illustration by Kathleen M. Mitchell and Trip Burns
10 Boot Straps and Shoestrings
“Everybody thinks that schools drive this, but it is not just the schools. The children have to come to school prepared to learn, and that involves early childhood education. It requires parents and caring adults around them who read to them and help them build their vocabulary. I think they’re all necessary.” —Alma Powell, “Transforming Jackson from the Kids Up”
35 Southern Comfort
Whipping up a quick and easy compound butter adds gourmet flair to traditional comfort food, perfect for chilly weather.
31 True Passion
Drawing on some intense personal experiences, Passion Pit’s newest album reflects a more ripe and mature sound.
4 ..............................EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 11 ...... BEST OF JACKSON BALLOT 12 .................................. BUSINESS 14 .................................. EDITORIAL 14 ................. EDITORIAL CARTOON 15 .................................... OPINION 17 ............................ COVER STORY 25 .............................. DIVERSIONS 26 .......................................... FILM 28 ....................................... 8 DAYS 29 ............................... JFP EVENTS 31 ....................................... MUSIC 32 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 33 ..................................... SPORTS 35 ......................................... FOOD 39 ................................. ORGANICS 40 ................... GIRL ABOUT TOWN 41 .............................. ASTROLOGY 42 ...................................... FLY DIY
COURTESY PASSION PIT : SPENCER NESSEL: COURTESY OPERATION SHOESTRING
NOVEMBER 7 13 , 2012 | VOL. 11 NO. 9
by Kathleen M. Mitchell, Features Editor
Fighting for Beautiful
elf-confidence isn’t something that I am naturally blessed with. Growing up, I was very self-conscious. My childhood best friend was one of those naturally attractive, great-bone-structure and perfect-skin types. When I hit my pre-teen and teenage years, I became hyperaware of how my nose, my hair, my acne-prone skin fared compared to her, even as we grew apart. My insecurities could range from mild to crippling depending on the day. It’s not that I was bullied, necessarily, but people I knew and loved were, and that affected me. It made me worry and hope that I was good enough—attractive enough—to escape that fate. I wish I could say I have blossomed into a confident, strong woman who leaves the house ready to take on the world each day. But even today, those same demons often haunt me. You probably wouldn’t know this if we met casually. You wouldn’t see the anxiety and insecurity that bubbles under the surface. You wouldn’t think that I “should” be self-conscious. And maybe I shouldn’t. I did all right in the looks lottery of life: average-to-tall height, no skin deformities or birthmarks, a dress size on the lower end of the spectrum … with makeup and a little work on the hair, I can turn it out pretty well. Hell, on a good week, I can even fit into a pair of jeans I wore in high school. I am clearly a lucky woman. A wonderful and very attractive man married me and tells me I am beautiful. So why is it so hard to believe him sometimes? Why do so many women find it hard to believe they are beautiful? Of course, the simple answer is the influence of the media: Look at the magazine covers Photoshopped to unrecognizable
levels, the celebrity endorsements of product upon product upon product meant to turn your “grotesque” attributes into something a person might actually find appealing, or the fact that 90 percent of the lead characters on television shows and in movies are insanely good-looking. There are shows and blogs and websites devoted to picking women apart: their looks, size or fashion sense.
Why do so many women find it hard to believe they are beautiful? We are increasingly growing up in a world that insists on little girls being “gorgeous” rather than cute, where 8-year-olds suffer from anorexia, and teenagers resort to plastic surgery before they are even out of high school. The media have changed our perception of health and beauty. These days, “healthy” means a size 0, 2 or 4—regardless of the damaging steps many girls take to achieve that dress tag. “Beautiful” has come to suggest utterly flawless skin, hair, face—even though most of the population isn’t born that way. It’s a lot of pressure, and it’s no wonder more and more women are developing eating disorders and workout obsessions (and worse) to keep up. But the complicated answer is that it’s complicated. It’s not just the media—it’s us.
Women constantly feel judged because they are—and not just by men or the fashion police. Far too many females instinctively critique one another. Studies show that the majority of women internally assess, size up and criticize other females upon first meeting them—even if they don’t mean to. Not that we need studies to tell us that—how many times have you made a snap judgment or felt judged within two minutes of meeting someone? I’ll be the first to admit, I love a good snarky website on celebrity fashion, and I’ve been known to talk trash about a Kardashian or five. And if I am truly honest, in my darkest places, I have found myself mentally cutting down the stranger in front of me, despite my best intentions. I’m not proud of that, but it’s evidence of the larger problem. It isn’t a solely female issue, of course. Men suffer from insecurity, judgment and media pressure to reach unobtainable physical goals. Men can be hard on each other, and GI Joe is just as poor of an “ideal” for kids as Barbie is. And these issues get even stickier when less straight-forward (pun intended) ideas of gender and sexuality come into the picture. But women are uniquely targeted, bombarded with the idea of physical perfection to the point that we may surround ourselves with things that are subconsciously damaging without even realizing it. It’s ingrained in us. These insecurities can be a weird thing to talk about, to write about. People often brush off others’ feelings, saying they “shouldn’t” or “don’t deserve” to feel selfconscious because other people have it worse off. But, truthfully, although I know there are plenty of people out there genuinely suffering (from not only real health problems like obesity, but poverty, injustice and more), it doesn’t make my zit feel any
less giant and attention-grabbing. Then there is the advice out there— focus on your positive attributes, learn to laugh at yourself, etc.—which tends to amount to, “Well, just feel good about yourself, already.” But it’s not that simple. There are days I feel stunning. But there are days where I struggle to keep from comparing my own attributes to those so blessed with preternatural beauty—the ones with perfect figures, lustrous hair and a face that needs no makeup. I’m not knocking makeup by any means. I feel most lovely with red lipstick on. And concealer is, in many ways, mankind’s greatest invention. There is an element of luxury associated with a good haircut and quality makeup that makes me feel good. Being active and healthy is obviously important no matter who—or what size—you are. But makeup and exercise should be things that enhance and that celebrate your features, rather than things to be shackled to in the hopes of covering up or hiding yourself. That size 2 over there? She might be hoping her clothes cover up a scar she’s embarrassed of. That woman with the gorgeous head of hair? She might be worried about how big her butt looks in her jeans. That man in the expensive suit? He could be wondering if his date tonight will think he looks old. We’re all going through stuff. Today, tell someone they are radiant. Be specific. Today, look in the mirror and find something you like. Slap some concealer on that blemish and go out into the world knowing that most people won’t even notice it, because they will be so busy hoping you don’t see theirs. Throw that trashy magazine with the headline about “So-and-so’s Magic Diet!” in the garbage. All women should feel beautiful. All people should feel amazing. Let’s start today.
November 7 - 13, 2012
Tam Curley loves telling about her move from liberal California to begin a new life with her hubby and daughter in conservative Mississippi. She is an Arkansas native and enjoys time with her two lab puppies. She wrote for the cover package.
Editorial intern Victoria Sherwood studies communications at Millsaps College. She enjoys watching soccer and one day hopes to own an orange cat. Victoria wrote the Jacksonian.
Eddie Outlaw is co-owner of the William Wallace Salon in Fondren and spends most of his time trying not to embarrass his sweet Delta mother on eddieoutlaw.com. Eddie wrote for the cover package.
Julie is a recovering lawyer now working in development. She lives, works, and plays in downtown Jackson. She hopes to learn to cook one day, but mostly thinks of the kitchen as additional closet space. She wrote for the cover package.
Deputy Editor Briana Robinson’s hobbies include photography, ballet and ballroom dancing. She is a junior at Millsaps College. She wrote a music piece.
Freelance writer Spencer Nessel is a born and raised Jacksonian. A recent Millsaps graduate, he majored in English and spends his free time eating, lounging, and leading a life of gluttony. He wrote a food feature.
Scott Prather is a Jackson native who co-founded indie label Esperanza Plantation. He recently returned home after doctoral work in ethics and theology. His interests include everything that matters. He wrote a music feature.
Tait Kellogg fell in love with Mississippi, despite its flaws, while at Millsaps College. She then tried life as a Manhattanite for several years. Now, she’s back in the South working for Education Services Foundation. She wrote the DIY feature.
COURTESY JOHN INGRAM
[YOU & JFP]
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