Boy Buh-Bye to Love & Hip Hop Hollywood


Well, well, what can I say…If you’ve watched part 2 of Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, you’ve seen the messiness and the tea. If not, well let me spill it for you. 

We open with a few of the cast on the couch. The host ask if Mr. Ray could be cordial with Zell. (This is Love and Hip hop no one is just cordial). Well, Mr. Ray said, “I don’t want to be cordial with him.” Well that must have sparked something off in Zell because instead of giving Mr. Ray a hug like he looked like he was attempting to do, he sneaks a couple punches in and is escorted off the set and into a car. He doesn’t return to the set. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Ray is backstage crying and trying to understand why he was punched; why he’s bleeding. A1 tries to sympathize with him and once Mr. Ray comes back on stage all of the case has pretty much taken up for Mr. Ray and said Zell was wrong for hitting him the way he did. Although, they themselves have been doing the same thing all damn season.

Alexis was caught laughing at Mr. Ray although she denies it. 

Later, Ms. Nikki Baby and Masika get into it for some comments she made that weren’t even directed towards Masika. But Nikki this time wins as the clap back queen when she said to Masika, “You live like you’re in a struggle and you look like one too.,”,and “My heels are higher than your whole self esteem.”

A none bothered Masika lies on the floor, taunting Nikki to come swing at her. Of course nothing happens, they break for commercial and all is well with the cast. 

Keyshia Cole was the perfect example of unbothered. We finally get to the love triangle of Brooke, Bridget and Booby. Keyshia not here for the drama gets off the couch and joins the rest of the cast near the audience. Clearly, Brooke never really wanted Booby and was clearly using him to make Marcus jealous. Booby, on the other hand may have been feeling her but not so much he brought Bridget on the trip to Catalina island with him. Bridget was left looking like a used up rag as usual. Her ex stating that he felt he dodged a bullet. But when Keyshia performed, her latest song, Incapable, you could see the love or perhaps some form of feelings or expression there for Keyshia. Perhaps, he’s still in love?!?

Later, we get to see Tearia discuss her alcoholism and the intervention that took place and lead her to rehab. Tearia calls out Cisco for playing her and of course he denies it but later apologizes for it. 

Lyrica, the orange hair queen who’s been dipping her nose in everyone’s business all season discusses why she was so upset her husband A1 would even consider working with other female artists that aren’t her because she’s so talented and the women aren’t even on her level.  Later, A1 says he does it all so there’s no need for his wife to work with other producers. Um, there was no point of y’all being on the show but yeah ok.

We close the show out by watching Safaree get emotional because he’s leaving Cali and going back home to New York. Hmm, just in time for the New York season to start. Chasing a paycheck suppose? This wouldn’t be the first time a Love and Hip Hop cast mate has jumped ship to another state for the show. 


Well anyway, another season is dead and gone so let us get ready for Yandy, Remy Ma, MariahLynn, and joining the cast is Superwoman, Lil Mo’ for season 8 of Love and Hip Hop New York. Get ready for more ratchetness to begin next Monday, same place, same time. Vh1 at 8pm. Get your popcorn ready!

Role Models

By Sonsie Zamora

mlkdreamEveryone can benefit by having someone to look up to and goals to strive toward. Do you have a role model?

When I say ‘role model’, I don’t mean Beyonce because she’s amazing or Jennifer Lawrence because she’s famous. I mean on a deeper level; really study what they stand/stood for and how they got to where they are/were. Choose someone whose life and goals are something that you hope to be in sync with. As young people, we feel like we have all the time in the world to achieve everything we want to but the reality is that there is a small window of opportunity where we can really shape and decide who we are and who we want to become. Choices we make now will follow us forever and influence other choices we make later in life. Nobody wants to look back on their life 50 years from now and wish they would have done more. Now is the time!

Maybe you have a lot of people motivating you in life, or maybe you have no one. But I want to make sure to tell you that you truly can be anything and anybody you want to be in life. Don’t let your surroundings or people decide for you. Find someone that motivates you in life, if you don’t have someone already, and make a clear path to the goals you want to achieve and stay focused. A role model can be a source of constant motivation when you need that boost. They can keep you on track when friends, or life, try to steer you in another direction.

There are many people and qualities that inspire me but one example of someone I strive to be like is JK Rowling. She believed in the stories she had to tell so much so that she continued to persevere despite many set backs. It took her 7 years to write the first Harry Potter book and during the same time period she got a divorce, became a single mother and lost her own mother. She stayed motivated however despite all of this and kept writing. In the span of 5 years following that period, she went from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status. That is amazing and her current success is astronomical and something out of a fairy tale, to me.

If you don’t have a role model off the top of your head, start by thinking about what qualities you would appreciate in a role model; someone that is hard working? Someone that is brave and stays positive no matter what? Someone that is accomplished and successful? Someone that makes a difference in the world? Someone that overcame a huge obstacle or tragedy in life? Someone athletic? Someone that dedicated their lives to others? Think of any and all qualities that you wish to be or that motivate you and list them. If this doesn’t make you think of any one person that inspires you, that’s ok. There can be many, many people that inspire you or sometimes it’s certain qualities about people that keep us in awe. The point is to never stop being motivated and inspired by others and to never stop dreaming as big as you possibly can.

natural hair style

Are Black Women Beautiful?

 

In today’s modern world, society will have you second guessing everything about yourself, from your looks to your personality. With the current trends of what is considered sexy through the media, you’ll be thinking reality TV stars and video vixens are the ideal beauty to aim for to get a man’s attention. But what kind of attention are we truly seeking? Are we getting him to respect us? First,  are we even respecting ourselves as young ladies? The current “twerking” fad has women dancing like crazed strippers in just about anywhere. Have we gotten so desperate for love that we will showcase all of our assets to the man before the first date. But yet wonder why he won’t commit to marriage? Perhaps we are sharing too much of ourselves before we can really say this is the right one for us.

As a culture that got robbed of it’s heritage and roots we surely are quick to put another nationality’s hair in our head. Now I’m not talking down about weave. I’m sure as women we’ve all worn our fair share of it. What I am saying is if you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror without your “Beauty Supply” hair and truly love what is staring back at you, then you’ve completely lost yourself in society’s vision of “beautiful.” The person you are inside is hurting and is in dire need of emotional repair.  Even the women who are braving the butt injections or bleaching their skin. We all have some things we want to work on but when it comes down to mutilating your own body and distorting your image, the vision that God had when He created you. Then yes, things have gotten out of control.

Beyoncé has a song entitled, “Pretty Hurts,” where we see Beyoncé going through great lengths to become the star, the top beauty queen.  We also even see another female swallowing cotton balls. Beyoncé paints this picture that she is happy but yet in the inside she is suffering from bulimia and clearly isn’t satisfied with herself.

beyonce-pretty-hurts-ss

The lyrics, “Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worse. Perfection is the disease of the nation…it’s the soul that needs the surgery,” weighs deeply.

We as women should truly take the time to love and pamper ourselves. We are strong, we carry the life of the next generation. We hold the household down when things become a bit challenging. We must fight ten times harder than a man to be successful in the workplace, but I can assure you we’re just as qualified if not better. It’s time we let our light shine bright, lift our head up high and realize that we are the prize. Once the princess and now a queen, have him show you how he needs you. Not the other way around. Men, that get it easy, usually leave just as easy.

quote to live by

So take out the weave sometimes, the make-up, the “I don’t care about the world” attitude. Do a true self-reflection. Ask yourself. Are you really happy with what you see? Are you loving what’s inside of me? Time to take off the mask that is beginning to cast this dark shadow of keeping us women from truly admiring our natural beauty.

The De-Feminization of the Black Woman

YUV Contributor Jenene
YUV Contributor Jenene

 

Within the past week I’ve seen CNN report on two separate instances where a male law enforcement officer has been caught on video beating a Black woman. I’m not talking about a light slapping or shoving, even though that would also be inappropriate; I’m talking about a man wrestling, punching, and manhandling a woman in something similar to an MMA or UFC cage fight. The words “difficult” and “horrifying” don’t even begin to describe how tough it was nor the emotions that I felt watching both videos. It was shocking to say the least.

What was more shocking, however, was, both, the justification given for this violence and the seeming lack of outrage over these incidents. Ironically, both incidents involved pedestrian jaywalking. Pause, and let that marinate in your mind for a moment. Yes, I said jaywalking, not murder, drugs, or any act of violence or terrorism, but jaywalking is the crime that prompted such a violent response from the White male law enforcement officers. I make a distinction, here, because I believe that it is relevant. In both cases, the law enforcement officer held a distinct size advantage over the woman, besides the fact that the officers were male and both citizens were females.

In both cases, the person introducing the news story warned viewers of the horrific nature of the videos before airing them. It is immediately clear from the videos that both cases involved the use of excessive force, yet the anchors and the organizations responsible for the officers both maintained a falsely objective stance when discussing the actions of the officer(s). They even seemed to side with the officers in speaking of each case in its totality, thus prompting my use of the term “falsely objective.”

In the first case, which involved a doctoral-level university professor who was jaywalking as she walked home from the university after teaching her evening class, the university stood behind the officer, even going as far as to issue a statement on the officer’s behalf. Both the officer and the professor were both employees of the university, but no such support was given to the university professor even though a video clip of the officer literally slamming the 5’2″ woman into the ground was visible proof of his aggression.

The second incident, occurring on a California highway, was so similar to the first that it looked like a copycat case. Again, a Black woman was accused of jaywalking and approached by an officer. Again, the officer slammed the woman into the ground without being physically provoked. This time, however, the officer went a step further, punching the woman in the face and also repeatedly slamming her head onto the concrete. Again, the organization in charge of the officer issues a statement in support of the officer in the face of visible evidence that suggests otherwise.

This doesn’t end the similarities between both cases. Additionally, both cases failed to even address the severity with which the officers defended a somewhat minor traffic violation. Now, I want to be clear; I do believe in following the law. In fact, I’m often teased by those who know me because I am a staunch rule-follower and am often annoyed when people don’t follow the rules. I do, however, believe that the punishment for violating said rules should fit the crime, and in both cases, such was not the case. Getting caught jaywalking by an officer should never result in getting the living day lights beaten out of you. There’s no justification for that, especially if there was no violence to or endangerment of the officer during the initial confrontation.

In the interest of objective journalism, I will also share that the university professor did kick the officer that punched her and slammed her on the ground AFTER she was restrained and placed in handcuffs, which was also after he had repeatedly beaten her. There was, however, NO VIOLENCE from her (nor the other woman in the second incident) BEFORE being physically assaulted by the officer. This prompts me to ask the question that no one seems to want to address, the proverbial elephant in the room. Why do these law enforcement officials believe it’s ok to use such brute force on Black women for such minor infractions?

I ask this question out of sincerity and not out of a desire to be a shock jock. I have seen, throughout my life, a huge disparity in the way that Black women are treated in American society, as opposed to other women. I wrote an article earlier about Black beauty and Eurocentric standards where I addressed some of these same concerns. In essence, because Afrocentric features and cultural practices are almost the polar opposite of Eurocentric features and cultural practices, Black women aren’t valued on the same scale as others in American society.

This valuation system pervades every area in society.   For example, in terms of beauty, Black women aren’t celebrated as beautiful to the extent that White women or non-White women who possess European features are because of Eurocentric standards of beauty in America. This belief also affects how the American psyche views Black femininity.

Again, because Black women are seen as the polar opposite of that which is beautiful, that which is European, Black women are often assigned a harder, de-feminized, and pseudo-masculine role in American society. In short, America has created an image of the Black woman that is hard, harsh, and manly, while women that have European descent and/or features are preserved as soft, delicate, and in need of protection.

This is not to say that women should be seen as weak and defenseless. It is, however, a statement about the injustice and discrimination that Black women must face within a society that has characterized Black women as less than women, as brute and evil monsters who deserved to be attacked for even the smallest indiscretions. In watching these news programs, I had to ask myself, “Would the response from the officer had been the same if the citizen would have been a White woman?” Sadly, my answer was a firm and honest, “No.” Why…because the American psyche sees White women as soft and delicate, as a prize needing to be treasured and protected. This is not to say that White women don’t experience discrimination, but it is not the kind of discrimination that would result in over-aggressively violent responses by an officer for jaywalking.

Black women in America, however, are not seen in this delicate light. Black women in the collective American conscience are seen as slightly (if at all) above animals. If you think that I’m spouting conspiracy theories, look at how the media characterizes First Lady Michelle Obama. Even though she has been tapped as a fashion icon, the media repeatedly attempts to paint her as an angry, almost animalistic figure. She is almost never characterized as soft and feminine even though she is the first First Lady since Jackie O, decades earlier, to be painted as a notable fashion icon. Why…because that does not fit into the role played by Black women in the American narrative. It is this same narrative that allows Black women to be beaten, unjustly and unmercifully, without the collective outcry of her fellow countrymen. Why…because she is not viewed as a woman and thus not afforded the same sympathy and protection of her counterparts.

It is truly sad that near the time when America celebrates its independence, it still holds some of its earliest inhabitants captive. I guess American society is less like utopia and more like Animal Farm.   All Americans are free, but some are more free than others.

Jenene