Monday, March 17, 2014


The women’s liberation movement. I was there! I remember being a kid in the car and driving past a woman and my mother saying to my father “she’s not wearing a bra,” as if it were newsworthy. There were women on TV burning their bras. I saw it happen. Women were sick of the confines and restrictions. They rejected the old ways. Things changed. I grew up in a braless world. My experience was that women’s bodies were casual real free normal human.
When did it all change back? When did not wearing a bra become a big deal again? When did women’s bodies become obscene if not perfect and  slim and hoisted and girded and hairless. Yikes.
Wear a bra if you want and don’t if you don’t. This is a much bigger issue. I am just saying… thank you to all of the female artists out there who are changing the world, showing images of women that look different from the status quo, allowing humanness to be seen and heard, portraying women of all shapes and colors and sizes dressed and undressed as just the way it is, because IT IS JUST THE WAY IT IS. Thank you to all of the women out in the world who are just being them selves. Do your thing. Be yourself. Love yourself. Change the world.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fire Horse.

Chinese astrology says that once every sixty years the year of the horse aligns with the element of fire and the fire horses are born. Woman born under the fire horse sign are doomed, as this particular marking was thought to be ruinous. The truth is that many parents killed their fire horse daughters rather than see them set up to live a doomed life or allow them to wreck the family. Women born under the fire horse sign have been persecuted throughout history. I think part of the doom was that they were unmarriable, but also that they were rebellious and would bring about the destruction of their family.
I was a fire horse, a woman with a ruinous birth date. I loved having that marking. I embrace my cursed qualities of being hot, alive, wild, and free. I understood being the scapegoat, being abandoned, bearing the cross. I carried the baggage of my birth proud and strong, fiercely, with attitude. I dare you to get in my way, or even come near, bla bla bla.
Then I found out that the Chinese New Year starts on the 25th of January and I was born on the 7th. I am not a fire horse after all. Everything else about me was still the same and true, but I was no longer doomed because of my birth date. Oh.
Which reminds me of what a fortuneteller once told me as she read the lines on my hands at 28. “Oh, you have a rare line. I forget what that means... let me look it up. Oh yes, success after 40.” I could not bare it, could not tolerate the sentence, which oddly enough came true. But the really cool thing she said was that even the lines on your hand are not set in stone. If you change, use your hands differently than you always have, new lines will form, old lines will fade. In the end I am not a big believer in astrology or hand readings, it is all interesting, but none of it is running my life. The bigger idea here is that it is all changeable. Our histories are transformable, our stories are not the be all end all. It ain't where you're from, its where you're at. Everything is in our power to manifest. All transformation is possible. Happy travels, my friends.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


This is an embarrassingly funny one. Hopefully tragedy plus time equals comedy
Back in the early 90’s when riot grrrr and grunge and all that stuff were all the rage, my band FUR was in the limelight and we would get all kinds of attention and publicity. We did not have a manager or a publicist, but all kinds of invitations would come in. We were reviewed in AP and we were photographed for and profiled in Interview magazine. Paper Magazine sent Terry Richardson to photograph us; we were his first photo shoot for Paper. We even got called to be in a famous designer’s fashion show. It was a glamorous fun time.
The funny thing about the fashion show was that I had been in cool underground fashion shows before, so it was nothing new to be called by the daughter of a famous designer who invited us down to be “poleroided” for a fashion show. We went.
A week or so later we found out that the show had happened and had included other bands and we had never even been contacted. I was horrified at the rejection and proceeded to call up the famous person’s daughter and angrily demanded to know why we were asked to get out of bed and come down to her office and then not put in  the show.  I had a point but the poor thing did not know what hit her and  stutteringly explained that that was how the business worked, that models came to casting calls and were chosen or not. I explained to her that if she were going to call non-models in their homes that she needed to make it clear that they were being invited to audition. I added that I would never have gotten out of bed for in the first place had I known, which was true, but I added it to make sure to get my rejection of her on record. She apologized and got off the phone real quick.
The truth is that the famous designer's daughter did need to communicate better but also that they didn’t want my brand of cool in their show, they wanted girls in bands who looked like models. I did not like the set up- to not even know I was auditioning, and then to be rejected, for something I did not even want. And I also did not like the rejection. Rejection never feels good, no matter what the details.
It reminded me of this one time I was with this guy after a Greendoor party. We met in the swimming pool when we were having the parties on 1st street (NYC). I had little interest in him, he was just a guy at the party to have some fun with, and he probably knew it. When we parted ways, he   gave me a weird break up speech, saying that he was new in town and did not want a commitment. As if!!!! I was horrified by his assumption and yet I still felt the pinch of his rejection. Alas, to be young...
Things change. What I have learned in this long life of mine that rejection is never never personal and always always for the best. As they say Rejection is God’s protection. Keep your chin up, Holly Ramos. Thank you world.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lupita and Marlon Brando

Lupita Nyong’o is a princess. She is the walking definition is grace. I am in awe of her presence. She is so eloquent and intelligent and compassionate and human. Woweee talk about a role model. Her Oscar speech was lovely. Her Essence Awards speech is even better, as it shows who she is to an even greater degree. I am thrilled that she exists as she is an inspiration for me. Her beautiful presence in film and at the Oscars and in life in general is so strong and needed. Bravo.
I remember hearing about Marlon Brando’s rejection of the Oscar back in the day and hearing it dismissed and laughed off. I just watched an interview with him from that time period about his decision and he was so cool. His reasoning, you probably know but incase you don’t, was that Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans was unacceptable and it hurt people, particularly children, who need to see themselves mirrored. The only mirroring Native children were seeing in the media was negative and he spoke of the damage that that does. Having a star of such magnitude bring awareness to that issue was amazing, yet many people, in the industry and not, mocked him.
We all need to see ourselves mirrored in a positive light. Thank you to everyone who fights that fight in their large and small ways, thank you to everyone who manifests their value in big and beautiful ways in the media, and those who support the positive portrayal of the under represented. Lupita ended her Oscar speech by saying that everyone’s dreams are valid. And to further that idea…everyone is valid: gay straight trans white black asian latin female male old young large small everyone-i-did-not- mention all . Let us listen to each other, hear and see each other, welcome and allow each other, embrace and celebrate each other. I fail at these simple tasks all the time but people like Lupita inspire me to reach to be better, to do my best and grow. How beautiful is that.