.:[Double Click To][Close]:.

Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino Passes Away

Former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, an icon of democracy around the world and leader of people power in the Philippines, passed away at 3:18 a.m. Saturday.

According to her son, Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the official cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest.

The 76-year-old former president was diagnosed with colon cancer in March of 2008 and was treated with chemotherapy. Last May, she underwent surgery to remove parts of her colon and was brought to the Makati Medical Center in June due to loss of appetite.

"She would have wanted us to thank each and everyone of you for all your continued love and support. It was her wish for all of us to pray for one another and for our country," Senator Aquino said.

Watch Senator Noynoy talks about her mother's death:

Kareena Kapoor

Marie Antoinette, Big Hair and moi (Part I)

I’ve never particularly liked my hair. It is fine and of a dark reddish-brassy color. I can fix the color (as I do often) but I can only do so much with the lack of thickness. Root boost, thickening spray, Velcro rollers and backcombing helps, but only for a few hours. It ultimately grows weary and limp. The only lift I have is an enormous cowlick on the right side of my forehead. That area sticks straight up with no help at all. And it won’t lie down either – despite wind, rain, snow, humidity or even a bucket of water dumped on my head.

In grade school my mom would often put my long hair in two braids. Because my hair was so fine, I would always lose one of my ponytail holders by the end of the day. Somewhere on the play ground, or on the floor of a classroom or in the gymnasium was one of my lone plastic and elastic hair bobbles. It would just slip out and fall away. I would ask the teacher for some scotch-tape to hold my loose braid together.

After the original Star Wars movie came out in 1977, I desperately wanted to go as Princess Leia for Halloween. I wore my Dad’s white dress shirt which fell past my knees and tied a thick rope around my waist. I had my mom do my usual two braids, but then wrap each one around and around pinning them to the sides of my head. But my braids weren’t anything like the big, fat cinnamon buns like Princess Leia had. I had two dinky little nuts on either side of my head. I was embarrassed for myself and mad at my Mom for not making them look thick like Carrie Fisher’s. No one knew who I was that night as I rang doorbells for candy.

I’ve always wanted thick hair. I’ve mixed packages of gelatin with water and slurped it down, washed my hair with horse shampoo, and coated my thin, straight strands with all sorts of thickening sprays and creams. The only thing I have not tried is crimping it with an iron. A crimping iron makes me think back to 1989, torn Levi’s, Woo Woo shots and a particular ‘Guns ‘n Roses’ song... all with quite a bit of distaste. It also makes me think of more recent times wondering if Kelly Wearstler was trying to bring it back when she appeared on Top Design. I couldn’t crimp then and I still can’t now. So when I’ve read stories about characters -- real people or in fables -- with thick, glorious hair I’ve gotten… a little envious.

Most of us know about Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793). And we’ve heard about her penchant for big hairdos. Many of us can’t understand why she went to such measures to create tall and enormous dos. Though we may desire to have big bouncin’ and behavin’ hair, to go to the great lengths as the women of the court in the eighteenth century did is hard to understand. But we need to put this in historical context. Marie Antoinette's came to the spectacular and glitzy court created by the "Sun King" Louis XIV who had rebuilt Paris and Versailles as THE style centers earlier in the century. Under his reign, "couturière" was born. Women seamstresses were taken seriously and under the protection of a guild, they were allowed to create their own dreamiest of gowns. Some of these women were specifically sought out and recognized in Paris and became the first celebrity designers. Hairdressers as well. The Sun King encouraged luxury goods, fancy furnishings and the latest fashions, and this was to entrance Marie Antoinette.

Court of Versailles was always crowded with hairdressers, dressmakers, and milliners (much like stylists today), who exercised more influence than the King's Councilors. Big hair wasn’t anything new before Marie Antoinette discovered it. Although the Sun King was only about 5’-7” tall, he towered over six feet tall sporting with his high 6” heels and his tall coiffeur. Hairstyles in the early eighteenth century were big and high, so much so that Duc de Saint-Simon who resided for many years at Versailles complained that women's faces were now "in the middle of their bodies."

From very humble beginnings, came a dress designer and stylist named Rose Bertin. According to legend, when Rose was a small girl she would sneak food to a woman in prison who was a fortune teller. She told Rose that one day she would be very successful in life. After apprenticing as a milliner in Paris to Mademoiselle Pagelle, things quickly moved ahead for her, and she eventually became Pagelle's partner. In 1770, Rose opened a shop in Paris called The Grand Mogol filling it with all sorts of grand and gilded displays. Customers walked through the door and felt they were in a jewelry box. She quickly had customers, many among them were influential noble women at Versailles, who included many ladies in waiting to the new Dauphine, Marie Antoinette.

Rose’s style wasn’t limited to clothing; she worked with the court’s leading hairdresser, Monsieur Leonard, developing le pouf – the latest hairstyle. In 1774, when Rose Bertin was presented to Marie Antoinette by the Duchesse of Chartres, that is when the vogue for the big hair began.

(Top image from The Brat Pack Blog...)

Jennifer Lopez