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Articles on this Page
- 07/24/18--06:55: _Tell It Tuesday: Te...
- 07/24/18--07:16: _R. Kelly Admitted H...
- 07/25/18--06:12: _Knowing This About ...
- 07/25/18--07:37: _Laugh Your Ass Off ...
- 07/25/18--07:52: _Why Saying Goodbye ...
- 07/26/18--08:44: _Cool Off This Summe...
- 07/26/18--09:10: _Grammy Winner Mýa C...
- 07/26/18--09:30: _"Code Switching" Is...
- 07/27/18--07:20: _Naturally Glam Yhan...
- 07/27/18--07:55: _Cheating Is Nothing...
- 07/27/18--07:58: _Queen Sugar Got Us ...
- 07/30/18--08:26: _50 And Floyd: When ...
- 07/30/18--08:39: _Meet the Police Off...
- 07/30/18--08:40: _Is the "Most Beauti...
- 07/31/18--05:56: _Rising Comedian Adr...
- 07/31/18--06:10: _Admit It or Not We'...
- 07/31/18--08:45: _Tell It Tuesday: He...
- 08/01/18--05:51: _Be the Boss of Your...
- 08/01/18--05:52: _6 Tips for Ending a...
- 08/01/18--05:53: _Feeling Unpretty? T...
- 07/24/18--07:16: R. Kelly Admitted He Did It in New Song...Now What?
- 07/25/18--06:12: Knowing This About Toxins Could Save Your Life
- 07/25/18--07:52: Why Saying Goodbye to Lawrence of Insecure is Actually a Good Thing
- 07/26/18--08:44: Cool Off This Summer With a Delicious Mojito Popsicle Recipe
- 07/27/18--07:20: Naturally Glam Yhanni is a Stand for Creative Moms Everywhere!
- 07/27/18--07:55: Cheating Is Nothing New. But is it Worse When Women Do It?
- 07/30/18--08:26: 50 And Floyd: When Two Petty Personalities Split
- 07/30/18--08:40: Is the "Most Beautiful Girl in the World" Doing Too Much?
- 07/31/18--06:10: Admit It or Not We've all Dated a Stevie J.
- 08/01/18--05:51: Be the Boss of Your Finances With These Easy Breezy Apps
- 08/01/18--05:52: 6 Tips for Ending a Friendship Gracefully
- 08/01/18--05:53: Feeling Unpretty? Take a Moment to Sit & Focus #BeHerNow
|Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert|
Remember back in the days when Grandma used to say, “Don't go putting your business out in the streets”? Well, Grandma would be surprised to find that too much information has become WAY TOO MUCH information as the line between people’s personal and private lives have virtually been removed. This isn't just the case with regular folks, celebrities are doing it too. And in spite of having so much to lose and less to gain, they are handing us a VIP pass to stuff many of us neither want, need or deserve to know. The days of Hollywood mystique are gone and fans expect more transparency from the people they somehow have the power to make or break. But if a celebrity voluntarily spills their own beans, is it fair for them to shoot our opinions down?
Teyana Taylor is everything that's good about the hood. If LL would’ve saved his hit Round The Way Girl for 2018, Teyana would've been its poster child. She's got killer abs the world hasn't seen since Janet Jackson showed off hers and if the Spice Girls came back urban style, she’d make a better Sporty Spice than Mel B.
Is it fair game to get dragged on social media about stuff you should keep to yourself? Yes. All of us who have ever spent at least five minutes online knows full well that everything you say is under scrutiny and there are consequences to oversharing and millions of opportunities for you to regret all you put out there. So come on Teyana, don't get mad, maybe keep it to yourself next time?
The comments that stuck out to me the most used the Bible to support open marriage and how it doesn't hurt anyone. But honestly, that is far from the truth and here's the reason why. God’s marriage blueprint was designed for two and all those stories about more were against His will. They were all recorded for history’s sake, NOT to suggest that God condoned it. God warned both King David and King Solomon about their reckless sex lives. They refused to stop, so sorrow and anguish consumed them both as a direct result.
God promised Abraham a baby boy, in spite of his being over the hill (Genesis Ch.15-21). Sarah, his wife was even older than that and she laughed hysterically at the news. Instead of Abe believing the miracle was gonna come, He gave ear to his wife’s stupid suggestion. She thought God needed help or that perhaps He got things mixed up. So, she consented for Abe to hook up with her maid Hagar, the biggest mistake ever to be made.
The day it happened, Hagar came out that room like she owned the place! Jealousy took hold of Sarah and month’s later, she had to watch her own husband with the former help and their newborn son just kickin’ it. But God kept His promise, in spite of the mess, and to Sarah Isaac was born. But the competition was on as both women warred over whose boy was considered the best. Sarah came up with an evil scheme to make her husband banish his own child and his baby mama from the land. So Abraham punked out and told them, “Y’all gotta go.” They did, never to be seen again. But you know all that fighting going on over in Israel right now? It's because of these two half brothers! God promised both of them a legacy and land, and their descendants have been feuding ever since.
So, we can't really say our decisions affect no one else, because, good or bad, they most certainly do. Luckily our choices won't cause wars in far off countries, but they can certainly cause war against our mind, body and soul. Our bodies were designed for the deepest love and loyal commitment from the ONE person who has the key to unlock all the wonderful beauty and pleasure that can be released through sex, but only when experienced under God's covering of marriage. Of course we can do whatever we want, but we can’t stop the war we may get started.
Oh, he is feeling himself.
But, before I delve into why none of this matters, I want to address a more serious and unfortunate incident he references in the song, which is that according to him, he was molested until the age of 14.
According to 1in6.org, research suggests that 75% or more of those who commit acts of sexual or physical abuse against others were themselves abused as children. Why? There are several contributing factors, but the main one being abuse is the normal condition of life for those who have experienced it. It is a familiarity from their own childhood that causes them to be abusive, or in many cases, continue the cycle of being abused in adult relationships.
If R. Kelly were in fact molested, it’s sad. It also gives insight into the personal turmoil he has projected onto others and what appears to be an extreme and abnormal sexual nature. Outside of the few gospel songs he has performed, his catalogue of music screams sex….addict.
I 100% believe the idea that “hurt people, hurt people. What I will not do however is excuse the almost three decades of abuse he needs to be held accountable for. More importantly, I refuse to let his team and his fans off the hook for allowing this to go on for longer than I have been alive, or any other enabler of such behavior outside of someone in the public eye. If R. Kelly were a garbage man who had family and friends aware of his sick ways, they too would be on my shit list.
The audacity of him to try and gain sympathy by throwing in tidbits of his supposed treacherous childhood in the song - including his lack of education (or the fact that he dropped out of school) and his illiteracy. All of which has been long documented. So we should feel sorry for him? As Kandi Burruss would scream, THE LIES!
At a certain point in ones adult life, they have a level of discernment. Meaning at any time Robert, who had the resources and access, could have easily continued his education and better yet, sought therapy for these issues. And despite the fact that there are continuous hanger-ons who benefit from his success and fail to confront his menacing ways, there have been others who have spoken out and had the moral compass to step to him correctly over the years, which was covered extensively throughout this secret documentary, but he ignored their advances.
The question now is, where do we go from here? We have the #MuteRKelly movement that I assessed in a previous piece. But even still, the pied piper is selling out shows. No, we cannot erase the musical genius and legend that his fans and peers claim him as, but what we can do is change what is acceptable. From what this new song exudes, Robert feels that the minimal consequences brought upon him are unwarranted. And I don’t blame him for feeling that way.
Has his record label dropped him, ever? No! The music industry as a whole has overlooked the alleged abuse. Aside from the few shows that have been cancelled and the response from streaming services, thousands of tickets were still sold prior and fans were outraged and voiced their pisstivity when refunds were given. Artists are still requesting productions and features and his inner circle remains mum and/or protective. Not to mention, his song blasted from the radio while I sat and enjoyed a refreshing fruit juice at an NYC coffee shop just this past weekend, which means his music is still in rotation spawning profits. So we are now shocked that a 50-something year old man who has been acquitted of multiple charges of slinging his tunes by way of any high school girl’s locker room since the early 90s is now singing boldly about his confusion in regards to why people who once praised him are now “turning on him.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the face and voice of a narcissist. But, this monster was created. It’s been a collective project. But when a blind eye is turned for as long as it has been, what else is expected?
If Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and any other sicko can be taken down, then protesting R. Kelly isn’t enough. Where’s the dream team legal crew that’s going to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what the world already knows? I mean, there’s a tape that shows it.
Furthermore, when will my people get it together? Because despite the fact that R. Kelly is a disgrace of a human being, even after the court dates, sex tapes and explosive accounts were revealed from those who knew him most and witnessed such behaviors, one thing R. Kelly is truthful about is the fact that parents eager to have their beautiful daughters names in bright lights one day, practically handed their young and impressionable girls over to him on a silver platter.
In 2016, my seemingly normal 2-year-old son regressed and lost all speech. Within the same year, my aunt was diagnosed with a brain tumor. At first, I thought there was no commonality between these two occurrences. However, after embarking upon preliminary research in efforts to help my son I soon discovered there was a common thread between my son’s regression and my aunt’s brain tumor diagnosis.
In addition to doing research of my own, I also sought the help of physicians of various specialties. Yet, no one could provide a viable explanation for what had happened to my little boy. Nonetheless, I was advised to get him therapy as early as possible, in hopes of increasing the chances of a more favorable outcome for him in the future. A lot of forthcoming advice from the experts, yet there was no forthcoming answer to my WHY? I needed an answer because if I could figure out the ‘WHY’ then I could possibly figure out the ‘HOW’ to get my son healed and one hundred percent recovered.
The conclusions based on my research was quite disturbing in my opinion. Repeatedly in article after article one word kept resurfacing as the possible cause for both my son’s and my aunt’s complications: TOXINS. According to numerous scientists, the combination of toxins and our genetics are creating a ‘perfect storm.’ We currently live in an incredibly toxic world and our children are bearing the brunt of it. This is evidenced by the staggering amount of various types of toxins present in cord blood.
A newborn born today has over 200 toxic chemicals present in the cord blood. Mothers are unknowingly and certainly unintentionally, passing these toxins onto our babies. After birth, we continue to add to the toxic burdening of our kids by the synthetic and toxin containing products we allow into our homes. Then we wonder why we are experiencing a seemingly unexplainable Autism epidemic?
Case in point, the average American woman applies over 300 different chemicals before 8 am. The types of chemicals the American regulating bodies allow in our products is pretty disgusting. Whilst other countries, such as Canada, Japan and most of Europe have banned over 1,000 ingredients for use in personal care products here in the U.S. the number stands at a paltry 8. I have also noted that products which are marketed for use by African American women are among the most toxic.
So why are these ingredients so dangerous? These ingredients can mimic estrogen in the system leading to hormonal issues. There have also been links to toxins and other illnesses, for example; diabetes, infertility and thyroid issues. Do I have any takers? Some of the ingredients in hair care products are known neurotoxins. Likewise, toxins have been linked to the development of other types of cancers, as well as respiratory issues. Statistics related to the number of persons with respiratory complications (such as childhood asthma) are on the rise.
So, what are some of the signs of body toxicity? Allergies, unexplained rashes, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, and weight gain are just a few. Unfortunately, these symptoms have been normalized by many modern-day perspectives. How many babies do you know that have eczema, acid reflux or GERD? How many people do you know have asthma, diabetes, cancer or thyroid issues? Even though they are experiencing symptoms of body toxicity, when told their symptoms may be related to toxic chemicals in products they are using, sadly most people say, ‘Well I feel fine so I’m not going to stop using it because it makes my hair look good, makes me smell good, etc’.
The problem may not be the chemicals in that one product but one needs to consider the bioaccumulation process which all humans are vulnerable to. Think of your body as a cup in which you are constantly placing toxin containing substances. Over time your body cannot use or release the toxins, then toxic waste is stored within and builds up. Consider for a moment, that each time you use your lotion or conditioner, a ‘toxin containing drip’ gets left behind in your body. When your cup (body) is full, that’s when disease manifest.
Therefore, based on my toxin awakening the first priority was to adopt necessary measures to reduce my son’s toxic load. This included alternative measures aimed toward healing his gut issues and within a matter of months, my son began to improve. My son has since regained his speech and currently, he asks ‘what’ and ‘why’ types of questions. This is assuredly a huge improvement compared to when he regressed.
Not only did I make changes to reduce my son’s toxic burden, but I did the same for myself. As a result of this, I began to have pain free menstrual cycles. A huge change for a woman that used to pop pills like crazy every month. More specifically, I attribute this positive change to the fact that I stopped introducing synthetic estrogen into my ‘cup’ via body fragrances. I certainly would not wish a similar journey to the one I have traversed on anyone. However, I often say that my son's challenges which might I add, he bravely overcame, has probably saved my life. Ever since my awakening regarding the link between toxins and how they contribute to illness, I am evermore diligent about the produce and products I allow into my home and around my boys. Unfortunately, my aunt passed away in January of 2017 but I am determined to honor her memory by teaching as many women as I can to check their products. Start reading the labels on your personal care and cleaning products before deciding to purchase them. Don't just read food labels. Weigh the possibility of becoming ill with what the toxin containing product promises to achieve without guarantee, then decide if it is worth the risk to our health. The onus is upon us as parents to take on the responsibility. In closing, my hope is that we all begin to police our products as if our lives depend on it, because the reality is the quality of our lives, without a doubt is dependent on how well we achieve this.
|Desus & Mero|
While going through my Facebook a few months back, I started to see clips of Desus and Mero on my wall. I didn’t know who they were, but they were hilarious and I loved their commentary on everything from the news, to internet videos, to black media. Desus and Mero covered it all and I immediately got drawn in.
Then when I was looking for a new podcast to listen to, Desus and Mero came up again with their Podcast “Bodega Boys.” Now listen, when it comes to podcasts, I’m on a ton of them. Some are thought provoking, some are educational, but Bodega Boys is where I come to laugh my ass off and unwind.
|Desus & Mero phoro via GQ|
And so does everyone else. Their success from Bodega Boys has brought with it a tour of live shows. They even had a show on Viceland up until very recently when Showtime offered them a glow-up offer they couldn’t refuse.
Their special guests included Estelle, Terry Crews, Hannibal Burress and Tracee Ellis Ross to name a few.
Interestingly enough, the thing that gets me the most about them is their ability to constantly check themselves. Whenever I hear about a show typically hosted by men, I have to brace myself against the inevitable misogyny, but Desus and Mero constantly call themselves out on being problematic in a funny way (To quote Desus, “God is working on all of us.”) Better than being called out? They correct themselves in a way that’s not forced while giving nods to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re growing and their brand is strong. Here’s a few of my favorites.
Mero is Dominican. He won’t let you forget. When it comes to Dominican Independence Day though? Mero comes ready to celebrate, and so will you.
There’s also the time that Mero almost caught Amanda Seales’ hands from an old Tweet.
I’m always here for a good, strong read. Desus is usually the more contained part of the duo, but watching him pop off on DJ Envy makes me giggle. Sometimes, living through someone else getting deep in their feelings is therapeutic to the soul.
And of course, it’s not Desus and Mero unless the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish gets brought up at least once per season.
|Issa Rae and Jay Ellis|
Fans are excited about the return of Insecure but we are split on how we feel about our beloved Lawrence being written off of the show. Last season ended with Issa and Lawrence having a final heart to heart about the demise of their relationship and brought some closure to both characters. With that in mind, the storytellers behind the scenes felt it was time to close that chapter in Issa’s life.
After the trailer was released that featured an absent Lawrence, Issa explained why:
“We want to stay as true to life as possible. They had a great conversation at the end of season two and it was just about like, hey, she’s moving on, sometimes we have those conversations. You never see the exes again. And it’s okay! You gotta explore life without Lawrence.”Showrunner Prentice Penny added:
“We were in the writers room and we were initially talking about, Okay, well what is he doing?… Well, he’s not in her life right now. It was hard to make stories around that. We just said, well, if he’s not around, he’s not around.”When Jay Ellis appeared on The Angie Martinez Show a few months ago and revealed that he had not yet filmed any scenes for the upcoming season, I thought he was bluffing, at most. At least, he would surely be called at some point and make his return. Because after all, we’ve grown invested in both Issa and Lawrence.
But, the writers room had a different plan. And, after certain cast members started causing buzz outside of the show, I knew for sure the role of Lawrence would be reprised.
With the news that Dominique Perry and co-star Sarunas Jackson went half on a baby in real life, I was praying the real plot twist would be Tasha’s pregnancy as a storyline with Lawrence as the baby-zaddy and Issa trying to navigate her new single life with that turn of events. So much for wishful thinking!
Regardless of how hard it is for me to let go, I appreciate the show’s commitment of art imitating life. Because, the reality is when a relationship is over, unless there’s a baby or business in the middle, you move on. Add in the fact that Issa and Lawrence didn’t have an entangled life that included close mutual friends - there’s nowhere to go from there.
It’s actually a good lesson to apply in your personal life. Often times, we hold ourselves back by refusing to let go of people and situations that no longer serve purpose. How many of us can attest to the breakup to makeup, cat and mouse Chase we play in the name of love? All the while, our destiny is right in front of us but we are too fearful to take what appears to be a risk.
So while the #LawrenceHive may be a little salty about him missing in action, fans have a lot of fuckery to look forward to. Because, as we have witnessed before, Issa and her crew are a walking trainwreck, like most women in their late 20’s and early 30’s, despite what our social media pages lead our followers to believe.
Will Issa and Daniel become a “thing” and give their mutual attraction a chance? I’d prefer to not see the same games played in the upcoming episodes as in the past. I’d instead rather Issa be 100% single and delve into an eat, pray love type of excursion.
More importantly, what will become of Issa’s career? The past two seasons she’s been on a rollercoaster ride with her job, allowing her personal life to take precedence. You’re in your 30s now girl, it’s time to lay down a foundation.
The trailer also hints that this season will delve more into the relationships and storylines Issa shares with her good girlfriends. This, I am here for. As I’ve learned as I’ve grown, sistafriends are probably the most important relationships a woman has throughout her life.
|Insecure’s Molly, Issa, Tiffany and Kelly (from left to right)|
Tiffany will remain the bourgeois housewife with a bundle of joy on the way. But, if there’s anything we can take from last year, her picture perfect life appears to have some blurry negatives in the print. I suspect that this season will expose the facade that Tiffany puts on isn’t all that it seems.
And with my favorite Kelly, the down to earth friend and comic relief, she’ll keep the group centered and thrive the most both personally and professionally. I anticipate Kelly to be the breakout star this time around as she’s proven she can hold her own and shines when the camera is turned on her.
In spite of my disappointment, along with every other Insecure stan about Lawrence getting the axe, I’m excited for what’s to come. I’m looking forward to the glow-up potential this season has in store for its central characters. Hopefully, they go from Insecure girls to confident women and end season 3 with a bang! And who knows, maybe he’ll make a resurgence in season 4!
|Poptail Mojito recipe|
Poptails, a combination of ‘popsicles’ and ‘cocktails.’ An alcoholic ice pop.
There were pages upon pages of recipes for turning everyone’s cocktail favorites into popsicles. Pina coladas, margaritas, the choices are endless. Since my roommate’s birthday just passed I asked if he had a preference and he suggested mojitos which happened to be my favorite too. So I decided to figure out, were these poptails really everything they were cracked up to be? Time to experiment…
2 cups of water
½ cup of white sugar
3 stalks and half the leaves of three mint sprigs
Finely grated zest and juice of four limes
A few reserved mint leaves
3 oz white rum
Heat your water until the sugar dissolves. Once it does, take it off the heat and add your mint, and your lime zest and juice.
Now listen, I zested about two limes before my arm got tired and y’all I was TRYING. I put my elbow into it and barely any zest came off. I gave up after I zested two limes, but I added what I had and the juice of one decently sized lime. The mixture tasted fine. Really. Unless you want to make it super citrusy. It’s a matter of preference though.
Anyway, let those flavors steep and your mixture cool before you strain it and get all that stuff out. Then pour in your white rum. Woop woop!
Grab some popsicle molds and fill them not quite to the top. Top it with those mint leaves you saved, stick those bad boys in the freezer and have patience.
The popsicle molds I picked up were from Bed, Bath and Beyond for $4.99. It was the only thing I could find in store, but I’m sure there are more online. The straw feature turned out to be handy af though because as the pop started melting it just became a mojito, so everyone wins!
BUT HOW’S IT TASTE?!
Delicious! My only complaint was the consistency. It was a bit like frozen slush. It held together nicely but they don’t get rock hard because of the alcohol, so just be careful when you go for the first taste. I broke off a quarter of the pop in one bite.
But do you get a buzz though?!
Listen, I’m a terrible person to judge lit-ness by. I’m a lightweight. A cheap date. My friends laugh at me. But after one popsicle I felt toasty in a pleasant way. I’m sure two would make you feel REALLY nice, but if nothing else it’s good to get the party started.
I would definitely do something like this again because it’s a fun novelty for the summer. There are millions of recipes to choose from so you’ll never get bored with flavors. Plus, you’ll look crafty and a little bourgie bringing these to your next get together. Save it for a small group of people you love. They’ll thank you later.
We were introduced to songbird Mýa in 1998 as a young 18-year-old when her platinum self-titled debut album hit the scene. She established herself as a triple threat with her beautiful voice, killer dance moves and acting chops. Over the years, we have seen Mýa on both the big and small screen in In Too Deep, Shall We Dance, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Chicago and Dancing With The Stars where she came in second. Longevity is not easy to come by in this music business and Mya has managed to stay the course and release 9 studio albums, including her latest, T.K.O. (The Knock Out), in celebration of her 20th year in the industry.
Speaking to Mýa is nothing short of delightful. She drops gems and you just want to write them down so you can revisit them later when you need to feel empowered. Here are 6 facts I learned about Mýa that you should know.
|Mya via her IG|
Mýa joined vocal powerhouses Christina Aguilera, Pink and rapper Lil Kim on the Missy Elliot female-empowerment song Lady Marmalade which won the grammy for pop collaboration with vocals in 2002. Mýa was previously nominated for a grammy in 1999 for her collab with Pras on Ghetto Superstar. She was nominated for a grammy for her independent 2017 album Smoove Jones, and says, “To still be recognized for my music by the Grammys was already amazing, but to be an independent artist and knowing how much work it takes to deliver this music, and running the ship the way I want and having my ideas and work recognized, was a very proud moment for me.”
|Screenshot via Refinery 29 IG Video|
“I need to find something for my hair to lay my edges down before this TV interview tomorrow. I cannot be on camera with fuzzy edges,” I say to my aunt, who looked at me in shock before she proceeded to preach about my edges and camera time being unrelated. She then scolded me about what I felt was a need to appear "presentable," considering I donned faux locs, a hairstyle that many consider the opposite of societal norms. And, I never opt to tame my edges any other time. Surely, in her eyes, that was contradictory. To her, not only was my intelligence enough to handle the interview, but I was beautiful regardless of how rough I thought my edges looked.
Even still, I felt edge control would help with my overall look….and make me more comfortable. So, I borrowed some of her gel and went on to slay the interview. I was even complimented on my hair by the talk show host who also praised my poise, knowledge of the topic, and over-all look. Unbeknownst to her just two hours before, I spent 20 minutes in a mirror manipulating my naturally coarse hair with gel, a toothbrush and silk scarf.
All of this was confirmation of what I already knew but had a hard time explaining to my aunt the day prior…..that I have to be a chameleon of sorts in certain environments to be seen and heard. I’ve come to understand that this is the art of code switching.
Code switching is defined as “the modifying of one's behavior, appearance, etc., to adapt to different sociocultural norms.” Although in this case, it was a combination of my appearance in conjunction with an expanded vocabulary and tone of voice, the further I go in my career, the more I am aware of that switch button. And after speaking to a few friends, they too were able to identify the times they were called to transform into a different version of themselves, and for various reasons.
We often think that code switching is for professional reasons only. We have an interview voice, a way in which we speak or act when we are at work and more. But it’s more expansive than that now. Take a look at how we present ourselves on all of social media profiles. I bet you that most people’s IG timelines are a lot different than their LinkedIn or Facebook posts. IG may be filled with bikini shots featuring henny in a red cup; while your FB and LinkedIn display your professional and familial accomplishments. And as ridiculous as it might sound, it’s necessary. There’s a time and a place for everything.
While our Caucasian friends don’t have to worry about how they are perceived in the same ways that we do, it’s imbedded in the black experience, a survival tool of sorts. We can’t be our free “black girl magic” selves to the tenth power laughing out loud, clapping our hands and rolling our necks at all times. I sometimes wish I could give a “yasssss girl” and a snap when my fellow sis kills a presentation at an-all staff meeting, but a collective clap with the rest of the team will do it justice. Wouldn’t it be nice to go off on a colleague in all capital letters with words bolded, italicized and underlined with some obscenities mixed in with a good gif or two when they send accusatory emails claiming you missed a deadline? But instead, you respond with the greatest professional black woman comeback via a “Per my previous email, the report was submitted in the time frame allotted. See email chain below” (that really irks them by the way).
Daniel, an NYC Publicist, who is half-Asian and half-Jamaican, explains that he uses code switching to his advantage.
“Being multi-racial and growing up in a predominantly white suburban community, I’ve been “code switching” my entire life. Now working in media and communications, I’ve learned it's a huge advantage in being able to relate and connect with anyone across any background. It works in our favor. It shows that we can adapt.”And Daniel is right. We are the most adaptable across social, political, educational and employee circles. And we’ve been doing it since birth!
“We are taught to code switch in order to not be seen as a threat in the eyes of white people and other non-black people of color. After a while you become so accustomed to it, that it’s second nature. If you walk into a room where you are the majority, there’s an almost instant adjustment on your posture, voice and gestures. We have to go above and beyond to “fit in."What makes it all the more interesting is that other racial groups lack that skill, mainly because they haven’t had to apply it, but they should. Because if I have to hear one more “last night was fucking awesome” in a place of business from a non-black peer and no one deems that inappropriate, I’ll scream. And according to Dion, a Philadelphia Human Resources Manager, he’s over it too.
“It’s all about playing the field, more of a finesse. And when you get what you want, then the ball is in your court and joke’s on them. But my Caucasian counterparts do not abide by the same practices. My black friends and I are annoyed by general lack of professionalism or respect in public places, regardless of your skin color. But we aren’t given a pass.”We aren’t complaining though, we actually joke about it. Just take this Refinery 29 video for example. So kudos to us for being able to thrive in all settings!
"You talk white""She sounds ghetto"— We need to change the way we view voices (I mean, have you seen @sorry2botheryou?!). Why is there a "white voice" and a "Black voice"? Why is the value placed upon "white voices" higher than the way a Black person sounds? _ Please 💭 sound off in the comments and tell us what you think about #codeswitching? And tap the link in bio to unpack this concept more. Video: @sojournerelleby, @badfatblackgirl, @ryenraquel, @theeeempress, @bordeauxpapi
|Yhanni & tribe via IG|
|Yhanni & son Judah via IG|
|Photo courtesy of Yhanni|
|Photo via Yhanni's IG|
By Veronica Wells
The following is a true story. There was a Black woman married to an Italian man. Although we never really know what’s going on in someone’s marriage, by all accounts, this was a happy one. The man wasn’t a model but he was kind to her, provided for her and her children, they were taking vacations together. Still, she recruited men from Craigslist for sex. She was very sneaky with it. She would meet them during her lunch hour, while both she and her husband were at work. And judging by the way she told the story and the way she executed her plan, her husband became nothing but a sweet sucker.
And something about the thought of a woman doing it was terrifying, something he couldn’t shake no matter how many years had passed, and how many men he’d seen cheat since that particular incident. Maybe it was the clandestine way she did it. The fact that she had a good man or it really could have boiled down to the fact that as a woman she simply wasn’t expected to cheat. After he told me the story, he asked if i was socialized or conditioned to believe that women cheating on men was somehow worse than men cheating on women.
Like most women, having witnessed the aftermath of infidelity on a woman’s psyche, there is no distinction in my mind about the hurt cheating causes a person. With the exception of machismo and toxic masculinity not being able to accept something like this, the hurt is the same. A man and a woman who cheat are equally terrible in terms of the relationship.
Still, I had to agree that I did think women cheating was worse because a woman cheating likely meant that her heart was no longer in it. The older you get, you realize that men can have sex with zero emotional attachment. He can love his wife and his family and still be out here sleeping with randoms. And there are women who can do that too. Still, if she’s stepping out on a marriage, I was conditioned and I still believe that there is a higher likelihood that she checked out emotionally a long time ago. So a woman cheating, while it might cause equal hurt and pain, likely signifies more in terms of the relationship being over. Not only because she was disconnected but also for the millions of examples we have of a woman returning to a cheating man, there are fewer public portrayals—realistic or fiction—of a man doing the same.
And I think the reason for that is two-fold. One, I mentioned before about the male ego and the way we’ve conditioned men to believe a woman and her worth are ruined if she shares her vagina with more than one person. But also the fact that men are not socialized to believe women will do this. They don’t see cheating women return to their husbands, by in large, in the movies. When celebrity couples break up, the woman is rarely the guilty party if infidelity is involved. And if there’s a family history of women cheating, it will likely go with them to the grave. Mothers don’t warn their sons of this possibility from women. But little girls hear and witness the evils of men from puberty—if not before.
Whether it’s because we don’t talk about it or because it doesn’t happen as often, when a man finds himself confronted with this reality, there’s very little programming telling him how to proceed. And the messaging that does exist out there is one that instructs men to leave women who they still love, women who may never do again simply because this is what society said is the proper punishment. I don’t have to tell y’all women rarely receive this message. We’ve seen women go back—for better or worse. There is the expectation that we’ll forgive and work it out and we can sit on the porch with kids and grandkids celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary, with few people privy about how we made it over.
Love prevailing and love overcoming struggle and strife is beautiful. It would just be nice if we saw more men extend and display that type of forgiveness.
|Nova & Charley of Queen Sugar|
|Charley & Remy|
|Nova & Remy|
|Charley & Remy|
|50 and Floyd during happier times|
Former BFF’s Floyd Mayweather and 50 Cent’s beef doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon. They’ve been exposing each other’s skeletons on Instagram for weeks. So far, they’ve thrown shots at Floyd’s illiteracy, 50 as an absentee father, Floyd as a woman beater, 50’s a rat, neither of them having any street cred and they are both broke. And that's the PG-13 version.
|50 posted a police statement of Floyd’s son account of witnessing alleged abuse against his mom at the hand of Floyd, via IG|
They fell out in 2012 over a money dispute and according to 50, Floyd acted brand new after being released from prison and no longer needed 50’s help.
|Floyd alleges 50 is an informant via IG|
None of their antics are surprising. This is how they operate. Did Floyd not expose his ex Ms. Jackson’s abortion to his millions of Facebook followers when she finally left him and found comfort in the arms of Nelly after years of alleged abuse. And 50 is worse than a bitter wife fighting for alimony and full custody of the kids in a nasty divorce. He goes to great lengths to destroy whomever he feels has wronged him. Vivica Fox, Ja- Rule and as recent as Papoose are just a few he’s taunted online.
I get it gentlemen, a friendship ending is a horrible death, and it’s hard to mourn the loss of someone who is still alive. But you gotta move on my G’s, and not like this.
As when any other relationship ends, you should take a step back and analyze why. Were there warning signs? Did this friend have major character flaws? How did they treat their other friends? There are normally tons of red flags.
I recently experienced a breakup with a friendship, and the signs were always there. This individual didn’t have any other solid friendships outside of me. It wasn’t until after we parted ways that I analyzed the way in which they treated others, and the sole theme was that they always attached themselves to those who could benefit them. Our relationship was no different.
It was a non-reciprocal relationship in which they got more from me than I got from them. I was met with many requests that I fulfilled and when I needed something, I got nothing. All of my other friends warned me that I was being used but I didn’t see it. I’m not one to take inventory of what I do for others, which is a blessings and a curse, so I ignored their pleas to either end the friendship or confront the “issue.” Furthermore, I’m not one to take things personally as quickly as others. “Oh, they are just going through a rough time,” I’d say. But deep down inside, I knew it was an imbalanced relationship.
Oddly enough, this friend stopped speaking to me after they assumed I was upset over a professional favor I requested. Guilty conscious maybe? After reaching out to them on two separate occasions to try and have a conversation and come to a resolution, I gladly let them go.
Considering the caliber of a friend I am, I’m always shocked when others aren’t the same. I helped this friend emotionally, financially, professionally and even as far as extending the same to their family - so it stung when things went south and I was easily dismissed as I was. But, as tempting as it was to air this person’s dirty laundry, I took the high road. After all, you teach people how to treat you and they only do what’s allowed.
In a digital world, to refrain from social media wars, I use the “out of sight, out of mind” approach. You’re unfollowed, blocked, numbers are deleted, pictures are erased and whatever else is necessary for me to cleanse myself of you. Because, the moment I see something online that even appears to be directed towards me, it’s human nature to want to respond. I’d rather take the drastic steps necessary to disengage before allowing anything to fester and eventually explode. Nothing or no one should be worth my peace of mind or have me act out of character.
More often than not, people react off of impulse. If I once considered someone a friend, what justice does it do if I lay all of their shit bare? What does that reveal about me? I’m more of a let go and let God type of chick. I’m not blocking any blessings to come my way by seeking to destroy someone else because the older I get and the more attention I pay to the way the universe works, it’s evident that karma handles people and situations in its own time.
50 and Floyd - just stop. And if you read this, don’t come for me beloved. I’d rather you both win.
Norman's IG Page
Davey (top left), Officer Norman and wife Rosayln (top right)
Tina (bottom left), Aaron (bottom middle), Carol (bottom right)
|Officer Norman ain't new to this! He was named Officer of the Year in 2000.|
|Photo of Jare Ijalana by Bamuyiwa|
By now many of you have seen the now viral photo of beautiful 5 year-old Nigerian girl, Jare Ijalana, recently anointed, 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.' To see her sweet, angelic face is to instantly fall in love. To see the wig and full-on makeup on a girl so young has many asking, is it too much though?
It's a valid question.
The image has been causing quite a stir since it appeared online last week. If you've seen these "most beautiful girl in the world" posts, you know that they usually feature a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girl from some part of the world. So to see a black girl is a first and cause to pause. To see such a beautiful black girl is another reason to stop clicking for a moment of silence, so it's no wonder the photo has gone viral. However, there are a few problematic issues with the photo that can't be ignored that go beyond being happy to see a black girl's beauty being celebrated on such a wide scale. And frankly, many of us celebrate black beauty everyday, and don't need a 'panel' of God knows who- someone white undoubtedly- telling us who is the most beautiful.
That said, there's a real question about the use of a Beyonce wig on a 5 year-old, as well as the full-on makeup job. Images have power and an image like this sends the message that girls, black ones in particular, need enhancements when they don't. Even as adults, many of us are just now realizing that less is more, so celebrating images of children as IG models feels like a step back. Like we're putting a pressure on girls to be beautiful younger and younger, and where does it end? Meanwhile, boys get to be boys, climb trees, and get judged based on their actions. How about we start a most intelligent girl in the world post, and we pick many girls from all across the globe?
It seems that Bamuyiwa, the photographer who took the photo of Jare, knows that her brand of child photography might not be for everyone because she posted this on her IG Page.
J A R E @the_j3_sisters CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM HEAVEN. I’m pretty excited and elated about my new style of child portraiture . Before I thought of Photographing the @the_j3_sisters , I have had frivolous ideas of how I can make artsy portraits of kids And do away from the norm . The opportunity came and I had to take a bold step to express my ideas of how I want to take portraits of kids. I want to portray the interception between her childhood and adulthood so both stay timeless ! We continue to the next post TEAM Make up by Dammy of @iposhlooks Creative style direction @mofebamuyiwa Hair by @totalshopwigs Hair styled by @hairkarved Styled by @styledbyseun Assisted by @adebimpe_aj @ernest_chuxx @official_bigjosh #bmbstudio #bmbphotography #mofebamuyiwa #kids #kidsphotography #artsy #love #light #childphotographer #familyphotography
Capturing the Art of innocence and the sides of JOMI in one body. J O M I of the @the_j3_sisters The elder sister of J A R E When I was a child I always wanted to wear my Mum’s shoes , cloths and do all she did as a woman . I wasn’t afraid of being that woman , though I wasn’t aware , nothing scared me of the cost it would take to be a woman . “I WAS FEARLESS AS A CHILD “ I’m sure every girl has gone through this stage and can totally relate . Meeting Jomi of the @the_j3_sisters Was more inspiring . Asides that she is bright and beautiful , she is very coordinated and every pose directed , she did better than I told her to do . She definitely has buttressed and given me more proof that every little girl dreams of being a woman . I guess was looking for a platform to showcase her inner woman !!! Photography is my little way of expressing my thoughts than in words and so I am not the best curator of my work .
It's starting to become too much to unpack here, and begins to border on creepy. Little girls don't need to live out fantasies of looking like an adult on camera for the world to see. Furthermore, it doesn't need to be exploited by a photographer, parent and makeup team.
HOWEVER, if you're wondering what Jare looks like with less, see this beautiful photo of her and her sister Jomi taken by M12Photography.
|Photo by M12Photography|
|Photo of Jare, Joba and Jomi by M12Photography|
What hair products or accessories do you use?
|Photo via Adrienne's IG|
|Photo via Hollywood Life|
Like many music lovers, I have been waiting not so patiently for real R&B to make a comeback. Last week my wish kind of came true; however, nobody told me it would come through the seemingly drunk in love nuptials of Faith Evans and Stevie J... Let us pray.
|Faith in 'Missing You' video|
True indeed, Faith has had her own questionable affairs, but this new union has thrown everyone for a loop. But we have to remember that celebrities are still people at the end of the day, and having lots of money and fame doesn't equate to the ability to make sound decisions all the time. In fact, the more outlandish their behavior, the more they remain relevant, which is why "Stebie" is a household name today, courtesy of his toxic love triangle with Joseline Hernandez and Mimi Faust on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.
Even though we're looking at Faith sideways for getting involved with him, we also need to look in the mirror. Haven't we all dated a guy whose reputation was Grade-A trash despite the petitions, cries, screenshots, prophetic dreams and shade-throwing of family and friends? Maybe you were blindsided and had no clue of his prior offenses in relationships. That was my dilemma once upon a time, but once I gathered receipts and stories from his family that he was indeed lazy, crazy, and overly entitled, I served him an eviction notice--literally!
But there is another category of women who will blissfully walk into a situation knowing all the man's jacked up background and still try to turn a clown into a husband. Maybe you were desperate for love, money, or a place to stay and thought you could make it work for the greater good. Or maybe, you're the type who goes against the grain to prove that you can "fix" a man because you're "better" than his ex-girlfriends, only to discover that you're not qualified to play Iyanla
And let's be clear about what a Stevie J. consists of. Your Stevie doesn't literally have to have beaucoup kids and make promises of turning strippers into the next one hit wonder. You know good and well what disrespect and manipulation looks like on television and in your own life. Real love awaits you, but you have to put on your "faith coat" until it shows up.
So let's not go too hard on Faith Evans and her decision to become Mrs. Steven Jordan. Hopefully, she and Stevie can have a great marriage... but if it doesn't work out, we look forward to her writing some bomb songs about love and pain. You just never know how this will play out, but in any event, we'll be watching.
|Charlamagne & wife|
Charlamagne tha God has become widely known as the brash and in your face host of the syndicated radio show, The Breakfast Club. While notorious for rubbing many of his on-air guests the wrong way (like when Birdman said, “Put some RESPECK on my name!”), it's some disturbing information from a few years back that now has everybody up in arms.
Social media is fueling with outrage and petitions for Charlemagne's job are being formed. But here’s where the story gets twisted
...Because she ended up marrying this fool (oh yes she did), what does it now all mean? Some who initially said rape are now claiming that it's not. But when a man beats a woman (for example), calling it domestic violence isn't based on whether she presses charges or not, right? And if she ends up marrying him, like so many victims do, that doesn't mean the abuse never took place. See, the sad truth is that some women accept abuse all the time and some don't even realize it ever happened.
Case in point, my friend realized her ex-boyfriend raped her 20 years after the fact. She said they had a bad relationship for years, but every time they broke up, they got back together again. One day she got the strength to leave for good and she never went back. Late one night, she heard him yelling at her window. She could tell he was drunk and figured he just needed a place to crash. She didn't hesitate to let him in, because, after all, she knew the guy. But when she left him on the couch and headed back to her room, he yells, “I heard what you did!”
Turns out my friend had been having “relations” with a guy her ex kinda knew, but technically they weren't friends. So when she turned around to set him straight, he grabbed her by her neck. Because she suddenly feared for her life, she just flowed with what she knew was coming next.
When I carefully asked her why she didn't know it was rape, she explained that her brain went into protective mode. She said she subconsciously reframed the rape in a way that she could live with; she told herself that since they had been on-again-off-again so many times before, maybe he thought they were on again. Or that maybe he thought it was all cool, since she didn't exactly fight him off. The excuses for her perpetrator were endless and the way she blamed herself was pretty sad. Plus, she'd never heard of a rapist being someone you know, so she was kind of confused about that too.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
By Kira Sparkles
In the digital age, a lot of us don’t carry cash, but we do carry cell phones that have amazing apps to help keep us focused on our goals. I wanted to share some of my personal favorites that I hope can help you too.
Mint is my personal favorite because it gives a visual breakdown of where your money’s going through charts. It even shows if you spend more or less than the national average in food, clothing, etc. You can make a budget through Mint and it’ll tell you if you’re on task or going just a bit over. Mint’s also amazing for setting goals to go on vacation, or save up for a spa day, or whatever your heart desires. It’s even great at tracking your bills and making notes on when they’re due.
You Need A Budget
Doesn’t seem like Pinterest would make the list for this, but listen. I love Pinterest. I know people typically use it as a recipe and craft go-to, but it’s excellent for financial resources too. The bulk of people writing articles on Pinterest are moms. If anyone can save your budget and your life? It’s a mother. There are so many tips and tricks that I’m confident you’ll find something that resonates with you.
Every journey begins with the first step, and with these apps you’ll be set on the path to wealth.
1. Get clear on whyBefore officially putting friendships to rest, it is important to understand why the relationship is ending. This might be a solo journey for both the breaker and the broken. The why will determine whether there is hope for the future and how best to end the relationship.
If you’re a person who finds yourself in a season of losing friends, take a moment to reflect. Are you in an emotionally needy place? Has your friend circle reached critical mass and is causing you to be neglectful? Figuring this out might be a solo journey because old friends don’t owe you an explanation for the breakup.
Whenever you feel unpretty, "You must focus on the presence inside of you. Take a moment and sit still. Focus on feeling the life presence inside you. As you focus on the presence within, it will begin to reveal itself to you. It is a feeling of pure love and bliss, and it is perfection. That presence is the perfection of you. That presence is the real YOU. As you focus on that presence, as you feel love, and praise that presence, you will feel yourself fully, quite possibly for the first time in your life.
"Any time you look at yourself with critical eyes, switch your focus immediately to the presence within, and its perfection will reveal itself to you. As you do this, all imperfections that have manifested in your life will dissolve, because imperfections cannot exist in the light of this presence." - Rhonda Byrne
"The absolute truth is that the 'I' is perfect and complete; the real 'I' is spiritual and can therefore never be less than perfect; it can never have any lack, limitation, or disease.” -Charles HaanelSo, which ‘I’ are you identified with? The one who stares back at you in the mirror, or the One that is aware of (1) the mirror, (2) the body you call ‘me,’ standing before the mirror, (3) that body’s reflection, (4) the thoughts about the reflection, (5) the corresponding sensations, (6) the sink, (7) the hand soap, (8) the room, etc... You are this loving space, this faceless, formless Awareness that all of these things are happening in. Right now this global Awareness that you truly are, appears to be tangled up with the body you think you are. It’s not, tho. See this and be free. See this to #BeHerNow