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Reflections: Blings the Thing!

Blings the Thing!
By William L. Bulla
Weekly Contributing Writer

Blings the thing in today's world! Or so it seems to be. I visited several stores recently to discover bling on apparel for male and female, young and old. In fact, the use of it goes beyond apparel to all types of products.
Bling (or bling bling) is a Jamaican slang term popularized in hip-hop culture, referring to flashy, ostentatious, or elaborate jewelry and ornamented accessories that are worn or carried by a person. The term bling bling refers to the imaginary sound suggestive of the glitter that is produced from light reflected by silver, platinum, or diamonds. The term reached mainstream popularity when the song "Bling Bling" by rap artist B.G. and the Cash Money Millionaires hit the Top 40 for the year 1999. It has now spread beyond hip-hop culture and into mass culture.
It now refers to expensive, flashy, gaudy jewelry, clothing or other possessions. It expresses the flaunting of such possessions and material wealth, or the flashy lifestyle associated with it. To dress or adorn one's attire in a flashy way is expressed "bling up your wardrobe".
But it has gone beyond wardrobe - "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling!" Bling is now expressed in many other ways. We find women making a sparkling statement and creating dazzling 3-D fingernail and toenail art effects with easy-to-use appliques creating a range of textured bling effects. There are bling treatments for the hair. Jeweled strands of hair, as well as special bling-treated locks of contrasting color that may be used for accent. Some prefer using glitter sprayed throughout their hair that sparkles in the light with their every movement.
Shimmering dusting powder accentuates the skin with bling effects. It is used to highlight eyes and cheekbones for added dimension. Many women mix it with clear lip-gloss for added sparkle. I have found that some men wear with a few sparkles as well.
Even the very small have bling - it is available on baby pacifiers, baby shoes, and baby strollers.
For the older girl, in addition to their bling apparel, we find a doll that drips in faux diamonds and faux jewel-encrusted clothing from head to toe. I'm referring to the Bling Bling Barbie Doll. Each doll comes with a hot outfit, a glamorous side fashion, and many bling-themed pieces like a purse, cell phone, and make-up. Each doll comes with a sparkly bling ring for the girl!
Yes, this Christmas, Santa and his sleigh will be loaded with sparkly gifts
So, bling it on, Santa!

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.

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