Filed under: Chapter Next, Fly and Fabulous | Tags: Natural Hair, Short Hair, Solange Knowles
You’ve probably heard the news on Solange’s new do, and I have to admit I was more than elated to see her new style. Not because it’s cool and hip, and not even because cutting your hair off is the best way to start fresh and move forward (on a lot of fronts). I’m digging this because it says a lot about Black women (especially in mainstream entertainment) and how much farther we have come. After seeing the amount of shallow minded negativity and judgemental opinions of others on the change, it’s only fitting that I offer my opinion on this particualr issue regarding Black women and our hair.
Some of you may remember when I cut all of my hair off and started over last year. I’m proud to say that I’m still a natural gal despite my own personal bitch fits with thine kinky roots. It wasn’t easy sticking to it! Why? Because it’s a given that the wide majority of our generation is so heavily influenced by pop culture, entertainment and media that we tend to unconsciously deem long flowing hair or Anglo Saxon looking crops to be better than kinky hair or none at all. To no direct fault of our own…it’s just a given fact. In a sense we’ve allowed others to paint the picture of what’s acceptable for us vs. deciding what’s best from an individual standpoint. I hate to say it but a lot of Black women and young girls are left with the impression that longer and straighter is better – and even “Hawaiian” curly will do, so long as you can still run your fingers through it. The cause extends far beyond the times of you and I, and over the years we’ve adapted to the adopted stance that, “The more we look like them the better off we’ll be.”
In an ideal world, Black women would be able to wear the hairstyles they want and get the same appreciation and attention as they would with no hair or natural hair, but this is simply not the case. India Arie wrote “I am not my hair” for a reason. One of those being that far too many women get caught up in the hair issue when we should really be focusing more on what’s inside by avoiding the temptation to adopt the judgmental attitudes taken toward the outward appearance of ourselves and others. I was that girl who knew every kind of sew in and could master the look of a wig and pull it off as my own in a heartbeat. Not because I necessarily enjoyed setting my scalp on fire, cutting it off from oxygen or searing my hair with a beveling iron or curlers, but because it was what I was always taught and had become accustomed to…straight is more manageable while “nappy” hair is NOT the business. I am not saying that straightening our hair or extending its length is a bad thing, I’m only saying that we should be more accepting of women that choose to rock what they’ve been given naturally…and let me tell you why.
After cutting my hair and growing it natural for about a year now, I can confirm through experience which type of hair is deemed more “acceptable” by society and even a lot of men. In order to stick with my stance I really had to get my mind right and understand that my sense of value in appearance did not come from the quality of my mane. Thankfully I’m not a bad looking chick, but when I did chop it off while simultaneously boycotting the perm, I was faced with the issue of being able to hide behind absolutely nothing but the woman that I truly was. You know how you feel when you get that fresh weave or new silky straight style. It’s a confidence booster and you know that if nothing else is working right on that day, your hair is in perfect place and bangin’ . But what happens when you take away that element and confidence booster? You are faced with yourself and forced to realize that perhaps it was that same hair (or another enhancement of outward appearance) that kept you away from your natural self on the inside. It wasn’t until I removed that element that I realized what was really important and how much I’d been hiding behind hair that wasn’t 100% my own. I’d been shortchanging the non-tangible contributions that I could make to the world by spending too much time on the things that don’t carry as much weight at the end of the day. It was a real reality check. By letting go of the mainstream and adopting something that I felt was right for me I began attracting different kinds of people into my life that for the most part had one key characteristic in common: DEPTH. I think this is because my choice to live naturally was an outward statement of my ability to think independently and rock my personal style even its not what’s hot on that day. When you see a woman like Solange (especially in the business) above, you know that she carries the ever so important trait as an independent thinker and someone that is so sure of herself that she can assume any role – regardless of what others deem acceptable or are naturally attracted to. Unlike other celebs who have shaved their heads due to a southbound career, I honestly believe that for Solange this was a personal choice (even if temporary) and for no other reason than to do her. So the next time you see a Black woman with a natural style or no hair all, you’d probably want to introduce yourself because there is typically more than meets the eye.
If you consider your current hair style to be a matter of preference, ask yourself why. Are the reasons good enough? If you do need a little boost in finding out who you TRULY are, cut it all off and refuse to perm it for no other reason than just doing you.
Filed under: WTF?
When a little girl turns one year old, what does she typically want? Usually a baby doll right? And that’s exactly what we planned to do over the weekend…head to the toy store to select a perfect, beautiful baby doll for my cousin Sophi’s first birthday.
So we head into the toy store charging straight toward everything girly, but upon reaching the isle I was mortified by the hundreds of UGLY a$$ baby dolls (like the one above) staring right at me! The first thing I thought to myself was, “What the!?” followed by the second thought of, “Who wants to play with creepy dolls with crazy looking eyes?” No wonder little girls are more interested in Gucci, music videos, boys and mani/pedi’s. Who wants to pretend that something so ugly is your own pretend baby? I just don’t remember baby dolls being this horrific when I was growing up so I had to post this, lol. And if they were, the things I got into as a kid suddenly make a lot more sense.
Sophie got a Teddy Bear instead.
Music: Money // Boa
On Wednesday I took a break away from the office early to run a few errands. My first stop was the doctor’s office to pay for copies of my own records (SMH). I didn’t put up a fight when she hit me with the $35 bucks because I was convinced I’d made the right decision to switch anyway. Primary note to self: Any dental office that employs a receptionist with horribly stained and crooked chomps probably isn’t as reputable as they claim, even if they are in Buckhead. Like really, what the hell? It didn’t add up which is why I ultimately took my ish and ran.
While fumbling through my bag for a wallet at the front desk, a woman sitting in the chair was chatting with another patient while waiting to be seen. All of a sudden she comments, “You have such nice legs!” my natural response was, “thank you!” Wondering in the back of my mind if she was just being nice or actually hitting on me. There was this look in here eye that I couldn’t quite interpret. Nevertheless, I was flattered but instantly reminded of something while I was dropping the money on the counter. My lovely legs may just have to find another mode of workout since I’m probably gonna get rid of my gym membership among other things.
Just the night before I was squabbling to Jules about money (and men), trying to think of ways I can make what I currently have work a little better for me. I’m not down and out financially but the way things are looking with the economy as a whole, I don’t want to be one of the ones that suffers for getting too caught up in consumer spending. That kinda stuff puts you in a position that nobody wants to be in, so I think its always good to re-evaluate your finances to see where you could cut back until things look a little more stable.
My bright idea to ditch the $40 monthly gym membership and redirect the cash to 401K is only one action toward the cause. I’m sure there’s more (or less) I could probably be doing to make my nest-egg fatter. I’m not going to lie though, I’m spoiled and I like what I want when I want it! So the fact that I can’t go to the gym and workout may crab me out initially even though I’m willing to make the sacrifice if it means living below my means. A sensible mind would say, “Black Girl, no big deal. Why don’t you just run up and down Peachtree like all of the other fanatics?” Well what if I start running and just keep going and never come back? Seriously though. I know what running does to your knees/feet and I’m all about preserving the only sets that I have.
I spoke to a couple of girlfriends about my mission and they’ve agreed to give something up too. Elaina will put next month’s breast enhancement on hold. So now (and by the grace of God) she will not look like lil Kim come Christmas. I personally don’t think she wanted to drop that kind of money on boobs anyway because she wasn’t that hard to talk out of it. Jada committed to doing her own manicures for the next six months. Whether or not Karlin will give up her expensive wines still remains a mystery because I swear every time I go to her house she’s always warm and bubbly, lol. I’m extending the challenge for others to do the same so all of my other homies who are reading this get ready! I’ll be calling you this weekend.
So my questions to you is this. Have you checked up on your financial health lately? Are there things you’re probably blowing your money on that you could do without for a short or longer period of time? Whether you’re rich, broke, with a job or without, now is the time to re-evaluate your finances and cut back where you can. Even if it’s setting $5 aside in a jar twice a week, we cannot allow ourselves to be put in the vulnerable position of being caught out there for focusing on the wrong things.
Filed under: ATL'S FINEST!, MUSIC, Music is My Life | Tags: atlanta, mary J. blige, Music Video, Remember Me, T.I.
Music: Day Keeper // Foreign Exchange
Music: Brown Skin Lady // Mos Def
Alright, so you’re probably wondering how that date went. Well…it was perfect. Can you believe it? I have not one complaint, issue, gripe or worry to recount to you. In fact, it was quite the opposite of the date from hell and was something more like old friends getting together after a long time apart. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or self-conscious around him as if I’d need to ensure that every hair and article of clothing remain in perfect composure the entire time. The positive energy was definitely there as I imagined it would be, and it didn’t hurt that he was more than a little easy on the eyes.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’re probably familiar with what I’ve often referred to as my self-defeating habit of “holding out” for the right kind of man. I say self-defeating because I can be incredibly stubborn when it comes to certain things – like men. With a lifetime of not so good decisions and miscalculated turns under my belt, I thought it best to work on respecting and upgrading myself by treating Black Girl like the woman that she truly is. I decided that I would not give anyone the time of day who was not willing to play by what I felt were respectful courtship rules. But just as I was beginning to come to terms with those realizations, here comes someone willing to bring a breath of fresh air to my somewhat lopsided social regime.
What did I wear? I initally planned to wear a dress but changed my mind at the last minute opting for a pair of cute Rock & Republic jeans and a sleeveless purple silk blouse that gathered at the neck. Dangly earrings and light makeup, carried a small clutch bag to hold my cell phone, gloss and keys. My jeans weren’t hemmed so I had to find the tallest heels I had so they wouldn’t scrape the ground and even then I had second thoughts, lol. The only thing that I was required to do was give him my home address and look pretty. He was on the dot knocking on my front door at 8pm sharp. I was certain he’d call me from the car to tell me he’d arrived, upon which I’d come running out to hop in the whip and roll. He did the opposite though, so I was a little startled rushing out of the front door to greet him only wearing one shoe! “Cute toes” he laughed, and alas the ice had been broken.
The entire night I never had to open a door, pull out a chair or even speak directly to the waiter when ordering. Dinner and a live band at a wine bar afterward was just enough to feel this guy out and note that we had quite a lot in common. We concluded with a late night stroll around the neighborhood and he had me home by midnight. Escorted me right back to my front door where he’d retrieved me hours before. He didn’t try to shove his tongue down my throat or force his horny a*** inside of my place to “use the bathroom” either lol. He simply gave me a long hug and polite goodnight dismissing himself at the end. It was so funny because as soon as I got on the other side of the front door I wanted to melt to my knees. If we never went another date I’d be satisfied. He reminded me that the anatomy of a true gentlemen doesn’t have to take backseat to good looks and education, and that there are still men out there that can and do exhibit well-rounded qualities.
And now, to all of the lazy losers who have been claiming publicly that chivalry is an ineffective notion, let me be the one to tell you that it’s something women want and if you skip it, you’re not looking for anything substantial. It’s not about waiting on us hand and foot or even playing the game of chase. Being a gentleman is about being appreciative enough of the female species to show high regard for her through courteous action (regardless of who she is). It’s about being the aggressor by showing interest and asserting your position as a leader in your community pursuant of exactly what you want, including that woman. At the same time though, I have to mention that we as women also need to give men an opportunity to be that even if we are capable of doing it for ourselves, brown skin and all.
Filed under: Chapter Next
Music: We Fight, We Love (Remix) // Q-Tip
I’ve got a date happening soon and I’m not quite sure what to wear. Say what? Black Girl is actually preparing in advance to see a cat? Absolutely. He’s cute and I’m interested. Besides, I am always willing to give a brown newbie a chance despite my love/hate relationship with the male species.
The thing I like about this guy is his approach. Casual, clean and respectful. He took on the male role, pursued and showed me that he was interested in seeing more about me. Oh, and yes he did ask to hang OUT vs. throwing up an offer for a trip to his crib as a first-time connect – under the pretense of wine and weed, lol. It’s funny because we’ve lived in the same area for years. At the time I was without a whip; commuting back and forth to work every day for a full year until I had enough cash for a decent car. During those commutes I’d always see this same chill, chocolate brown brother on the 8:00am bus every morning. The thing I noticed first was that he was ok with being a regular dude, no rings or bling needed. He had an inner confidence as though there were mounds of wisdom within the confinements of his mind, but these things lay dormant until revelation was an absolute necessity. Only after watching him for a while was I able to pick up on this though. But when I did see it, my interest was somewhat peaked.
Each day we’d follow the droned out commuter crowds, funneling like school fish down into the tunnels and dispersing to the trains for another day’s dollar. He would take the Southbound as I, but rarely did I get on the same car. From there he always disappeared and I was never pressed because I knew I’d most likely see him again.
Over a year’s time I never approached him because I didn’t feel that it was the right time. The most I ever said to him was, “Hello,” before burying my head back into the magazine or book that I tried to make seem more interesting than he. Eventually I got a car and it was no more busing or training it. I thought about brown brown and the fact that I may not see him again. Kinda kicked myself for not being on my carpe diem shit but it is what it is, right? Little did I know that I’d pass him several times while driving to work. He was always either waiting at the same bus stop or walking up the road or into the same community nearby. Even then something inside me wanted to stop and offer a friendly ride but shhhhhheeeeeiii, I didn’t know this cat from Adam?! And who’s to say that he wouldn’t have been like ,”Yo WTF Y0?” in response to misinterpreted eagerness as if I picked up dudes for a living, lol.
So I’d see him (or should I say pass him by) a few more times after and then he vanished. A year and half later I’m attending a party with friends. I walk in, take a few steps, greet a few folks…and there HE is. Despite the inner fear of him thinking I was some sort of stalker, I immediately went and introduced myself telling him I used to see him all of the time. Oddly enough he remembered exactly who I was and we both laughed at the irony while exchanging contact info. Finally parallel paths cross and I so happened to be wearing sexy heels that night.
And now it’s our first time hanging out and I’m not certain on what style to choose. My own, regular me is jeans and a white t-shirt, lol, but I probably want to have my ante up for this one. Who knows, he could be another jerk or he could be a brand new lover – but what’s most important is that I’m open to whatever’s new and cool for my life and if it’s meant to fly, we’ll fly.