Tuesday, April 14, 2009

THE BODY SHOP AND MTV’S STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION SAY “YES, YES, YES” TO SAFE SEX



OFFICIAL LAUNCH WITH SPOKESWOMAN ARTIST/MUSICIAN SOLANGE KNOWLES

MEET AT THE APARTMENT, 101 Crosby Street, NYC
APRIL 14th, 2009

Words, and Event Images- Judith Ecochard


Perhaps more sobering- in a not good way- than filing one’s taxes is the statistic that over 3000 new HIV infections are a daily reality among young adults ages 15-24. (IMHO an underestimate on a global basis!)

At the official launch for The Body Shop’s unisex moisturizing Tantalizing Lip Butter balm ($8)---in collaboration with MTV----of the “Yes, Yes, Yes to Safe Sex” campaign, we were lucky enough to meet the smart, articulate…and yes, stunning Solange Knowles, this year’s face, voice, heart and soul--- for the beneficiary ($5 per/sale), Staying Alive Foundation.

IMAGE FROM THE STAYING ALIVE WEBSITE

The morning began with safe sex tips from the ebullient Sex Expert Dr. Shari Locker, author of “The Complete Idiots Guide To Sex” ---which kinda relaxed attendees that skewed under 35 yrs old, but who were weirdly static (or lacking sufficient caffeine?).

A congenial spokesperson for the Staying Alive Foundation---a name we didn’t catch (Danny?)…opened his remarks with a funny quip along the lines of how“…great (it is) to talk about condoms at 10:30 in the morning.” Then he introduced this year's spokesperson for this 501 (c)3.

And from behind a previously closed curtain, an appropriate vignette was revealed---a red bed accessorized with pillows sporting slogans---that served as a backdrop for a group of gals and the headliner, the very talented Solange Knowles’ delivering her prepared remarks and answering questions.

Poised beyond her years (22!)…the singer, sister of Beyoncé …commented how important it is for her “…to erase the cultural stigma of talking about safe sex.”
“I’m excited about the campaign,” she added...and am “happy to serve and have a voice.”

Yup, those aforementioned stats got to the young performer too. Knowles also acknowledged that although there are many campaigns out there that preach either abstinence or safe sex…the reality is that more needs to be done to reach out to young people about safe sex practices, and “…I like what the Staying Alive Campaign is about.”

Responding to a question about her upbringing, Knowles informed us that “my parents gave the real deal to me to make decisions…because the reality is young people have sex.” (Yes, they do in Alaska and the lower 48.)

Knowles also answered our question on support from Obama and his administration …and her thoughtful answer touched on how inspiring our new President is. And impactful…”reaching out to us to feel the importance of serving.”

Lastly Knowles commented on artistry as an “outlook of expression” versus the pressures of being role models. For her, she sees a return to the activism of 60’s musicians like Bob Dylan and Marvin Gaye---singer/songwriters who crafted/snag songs that “reached out on specific issues.”

And how.

“It’s coming back around,” Knowles added, “…but to be an advocate or poster child …is tough.”

“Still, artists should stand for something.”

And we were totally wowed.



INFO: STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION

THE BODY SHOP

SOLANGE KNOWLES OFFICIAL SITE

MTV