The R&B song and dance queen dropped a new video for her single, Thinking Bout You. Thus showing us how to ‘Level Up’ with her epic dance moves and killer body. This video is a playful video as she is playing around the room while she waits on a date that arrives at the end of the video. Although we don’t see who the mystery man is. We are sure we all know that Mr. Russell Wilson may be the guy. The cutest part is hearing Issa Rae call and tease Cici about her date. Take a look at the video below!
LisaRaye, best known for her roles in the film, “The Players Club,” and the TV show, All Of Us, and The Real McCoy, will be directing film that shines light on the recent outbreak of skin bleaching and lightening creams used throughout the world.
According to reports from The Black Enterprise and The University of Cape Town, skin bleaching has reached a record high of $10 billion dollars despite the unknown effects of its cause on the skin. From reports by Black Enterprise, 35 percent of South African women bleach their skin and 77% of Nigerian women bleach their skin.
When asked why should she as a light skinned woman direct this film that she said was a dark skinned project, she stated,” Controversy now sells and I wanted to have all eyes on this epidemic, because not only is it happening in African and our Caribbean nations but here in America too.
During her interview with Roland Martin, she mentions how Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson have both bleached their skin. Skinned debuts this Saturday evening at 8pmET on TV One.
I honestly don’t see the need to continuously make these films. Instead of making films with women not accepting their beauty perhaps make films that shows how women an learn how to love themselves the way they are. The standards of beauty in society is disgusting and need to be thrown out the window. I am so sick of seeing these films about light vs dark. We are black! We need to love ourselves and stop this division between skin complexions.
On June 30, 2015, Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African American woman to be appointed principal dancer by the American Ballet Theatre Company.
Misty didn’t start dancing until she was 13 years-old, which for ballet is considered a late start, by taking a free ballet class at a local Boys and Girls Club. However, some have titled her a ‘prodigy’ in the ballet sense because she was already winning dancing awards and gaining recognition by age 15. She then went on to accept a couple full scholarships for some intensive programs, one of which was for ABT. Among 150 dancers, Misty was one of 6 girls chosen to join ABT’s Studio Company. She then went on to be chosen as soloist for Swan Lake with the company and was promoted to principal dancer after that.
There are many things that set Misty apart from your ‘average’ ballerina. For one, her late start to ballet and her ability to quickly learn the techniques. Another is what some have said to be her ‘unusually muscular and curvy’ body (for a ballerina). Also that she is African American and a ballerina, two descriptions that don’t find themselves paired too often. In a company of 80 dancers, Misty was the only African American ballerina at ABT for the first 10 years of her career. If this was not enough, Misty Copeland has also been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine this year. Misty’s ad with Under Armour showcases her amazing dancing and has more than 8 million views on YouTube. She has danced along side Prince while he performed and accompanied a couple of his tours. She also has co-authored a children’s book, ‘Firebird’ and written a 2014 memoir, ‘Life in Motion; An Unlikely Ballerina’, which has been optioned for a movie.
Misty throws herself into every opportunity that comes her way, blurring the lines of pop-culture which can be: short lived spurts of what is the newest and hottest trends, with a classic art form such as ballet: described by Misty herself in a PBS interview; ‘(the ballet world), I don’t think is an art form that’s quick to change or to adjust and evolve’.
Misty’s next prospect is making her Broadway debut as Ivy Smith in ‘On the Town’, which includes, not only dancing but, singing as well. She hopes this new challenge will further her in her ballet career.
Her Twitter page is freckled with congratulations after the news broke about her becoming principal dancer. With tweets from Star Jones, Taye Diggs, pics of the Under Armour team delivering a truck literally FULL of flowers to her, and even tweets from Oprah!
She doesn’t let any of this go to her head however. When interviewed on CBS following the announcement of becoming principal dancer in a July 6th interview, Misty humbly stated, ‘…I’m just standing on the shoulders of so many who have set this path for me, and they may not be seen or recognized or have been given an opportunity to have a voice but I’m here representing all of those dancers…’
An interviewer then asked, ‘You know what I love about your story is, you really owned this moment. You didn’t just say I’m a ballerina who happens to be an African American. You understood the symbolism of the moment. What do you want people to see when they see you?’ to which Misty replied, ‘I wanted to set an example for what the future of dance holds. I think ABT is setting that standard now for classical ballet. You can dream big. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from, what your background is…that’s the example I want to set and what I want to leave behind.’ She went on to say, ‘I think this is just the start. It doesn’t mean that the work is going to end. It doesn’t mean it’s going to get easier for the next generation…that it’s going to be a walk in the park. But I think it’s going to open up those doors for people….’
She added to this thought in another interview with E! stating that ‘Barrack Obama being president of the United States doesn’t mean racism has disappeared’. She explains how she and all of us have more work to do.
‘Being a black ballerina, definitely, is everything. My life and my path as a ballerina would be completely different if I wasn’t an African American woman. It has provided more obstacles, I think, than I knew when I discovered ballet at 13 years-old but at the same time it has made me want to persevere even more and I think it has made me a stronger person because of it. There’s so many more obstacles to overcome, but I absolutely love classical ballet’.
All retrieved on July 13, 2015:
Is clothing important upon one’s first impression? Let us get them both in the ring and we’ll see which one wins.
Round 1: Defining Who You Are
Imagine you have a date with someone. The person in question tells you where to be and when. Excited, you rush to your closet to find a feasible outfit. You pull out damn near every top you own and place them on your bed. You mix and match them with your pants, skirts, and whatever. “No, that one’s too fancy. They’re not ready for that,” you say. You whip up another combination and try to imagine yourself walking to the location, where he/she will first lay their eyes upon you. Your date turns to face you and their brief smile turns into a confused look. The horror is more than enough to take you aback to reality. You take that outfit and throw it on the floor, “Definitely not that one!” you think, “I actually would like to have a second date. Thank you very much.” Hours fly by and you’re running about of time. You’ve gone through just about every possibility in your closet. You need something real. You need something spectacular and jaw-dropping. You want to walk into the room and have all eyes on you and with good reason. You have a burning need to make a good, no, great first impression.
However, in doing so you have managed to scatter all your clothes all over your bedroom and when you finally have the idea for such a ground-shattering ensemble, you have to play “Where’s Waldo” to find it. This makes you twenty minutes late for your date. You enter the room. All eyes are on you. All eyes are on you because you sprinted into the restaurant in hopes of your date still being there. You see them in back, checking their watch for what was probably the fourth time. In an effort to not look desperate or thirty you make a hard stop meters before you’re in range. “I don’t want them to see me all sweaty and nasty,” you think to yourself. Suddenly, you are on your back looking up at the ceiling. Why? Because in your effort to stop running you ran into a waiter who was holding soap bowls of all types of sauces of all the colors of the rainbow. Now, like you, he is on the ground on top of you. Not to mention that the soups, along with the laws of physics and gravity itself, have taken the liberty to paint themselves all over your outfit of magic. You pull yourself out from under the waiter and jump up. Your heart is racing from the sudden turmoil. Trying to calm yourself down, you take deep breaths and try to dust of the shame. “They didn’t see that,” you try to convince yourself, “They had to have been too far away to notice.” You feel calm and ready to make the most of your first impression. You turn to face your destiny and have met the eyes of your date. That was your first impression.
I speak for all soup-lovers in attendance today when I say that first impressions have nothing to do with the clothes you were but the person behind the clothes. After all, the clothes themselves wouldn’t be there to begin with if it wasn’t for the person who bought them and are wearing them. That’s like blaming a bad five-course meal on the ingredients instead of the chef. The ingredients were just that. Ingredients just hanging out until the chef mixed them all together.
Results: Clothing-0, Impressions-1
Prom. It’s what every girl has dreamed of since she took her first steps on a high school campus. Planning for the magical event begins almost immediately. Any decision had the potential to put you on the map and give you bonus points in terms of hierarchy. In one night, you had the potential to go from invisible to everyone knowing your name—good or bad. Therefore, these decisions felt as if each had its own selection of life-long consequences. Everything from your earrings to your timing of arrival matters. Everything had to be perfect. One of the most important choices it seems (second only to getting your boyfriend to grow four inches so that when you take the portrait, you don’t have to break your spine to get down to his level in the heels that go perfectly with your dress) is the dress itself. Prom-goers say that the dress plays a critical role on the atmosphere of the one’s night. In the right dress, you can dance all night long and look even more pretty as people wait in line to compliment you. With the wrong dress, however, things may not go just as great.
Because I have reputation in staying clear of all trends that only call for one color scheme (I have a three color scheme minimum.) I figured that I’d keep you guys guessing, travel to the other side of the spectrum and observe some prom dress trends for the purposes of research. I was curious to know what these teen gal’s are doing for this uber special event nowadays. I’m sure there’s some scientific and mathematical way to go about it. However, in this day and age where people post everything on social media anyway, I don’t see the point of going past that. So, I did what any other girl with no presence on social media would do, I used someone else’s page. Despite my lack of social interaction-on and offline-in essentially all things relating to people my age, my brother is quite the social butterfly. That in itself fascinates me. How two siblings can grow up in the same household and be polar opposites I wonder? Anyway, that’s another topic for another time. The point is that I got to observe these high school girls in their natural habitat and I got the—uh, how do they say it? The scoop.
Ah, ombre. I love it. It reminds me of an artist with the right amount of temper and inability to make a decision. “I’m going to pain the ocean,” he says, “I have to use all these blues. But which one do I use first?” Twenty-two seconds later, “Dammit! This one’s darker than the rest of them! I have to start all over now!” Then he smears the blues together in one fell swoop out of frustration instead of taking two days to gradually blend them together like any artist struggling with perfectionism and boredom would have done. And that children was how ombre was born.
Ombre is awesome because the possibilities and boundaries are limitless. Want to use more than one color? Wonderful. Want to make the transitions diagonal instead of horizontal? Even better. Ombre can easily be tailored to any specific event, taste, or idea. Ombre has many freedoms and freedom is something I could get behind.
Based on how much this generation is dependent on technology, it doesn’t surprise me at all that we have begun to take that inspiration to our fashion world. Inspiration is what you experience. Therefore, if you are experiencing texting your girlfriends every 2.3 seconds about Jeremy and the rest of your free time is spent staring at your phone waiting for Jeremy to text you back, it was only a matter of time before you adopted the color scheme of your Apple iPhone. Whether you’re doing it subconsciously or on purpose, I’m still going to talk about it because I find it interesting.
With that said, the verdict is in and so are metallic-looking fabrics and colors. Who wants to shine like a diamond when you could easily shine like a brand-new nickel. Silver is much more suited to my undertone than blinding-strangers-for-no-reason anyhow. Just add some smokey eyes and you too can be a life-size Samsung Galaxy!
Sequins (Pronounced see-quansss)
Speaking of blinding strangers for no reason at all, sequins are making a come back also. If you ask me, I didn’t know that sequins ever went out of style. But then again, nobody ever asks me anyway. Maybe that was why I was never asked?
When I think of sequins, I think of baby disco balls. With nurturing love and care, they too can grow up big and strong to be those humongous disco balls in the movies. All I’m saying to the people who are going this route, treat them with care. Give those baby groovy angels the respect that they deserve and keep the hazardous behavior to a minimum. When’s the last time you met a four year old that wasn’t traumatized from being dragged into a place with loud music, tight space, and witnessed people basically having sex with clothes on, if that? If you have, that child is not a child but a grown man with Benjamin Button disease. You should have known something wasn’t right when he offered you candy from his van outback.
With these in mind, I hope that you don’t just follow these ongoing trends. Rather use them as a basis for discovering and defining your own personalstyle. To the gals out there scrambling to find the perfect dress that you think people would like to see you in, bump those people. Wear what you want to. If anyone else tells you otherwise, give me their address so I can TP their house. In all seriousness, like what I tell everyone whether you’re the mind behind Gucci or some random stranger waiting patiently to cross the street alongside me, fashion is freedom. Don’t just wear anything, wear you.
And don’t forget to have a fantastical prom! If you’ve already experienced prom, may there be a time machine in your future.
I was chatting it up with my godmother a few weeks ago and she brought up an interesting notion about my clothing style. We were discussing the proper attire for going to interviews and being at the work place. She gave me many tips like wearing neutral colors and that you could only wear one pattern and everything else should be solid. Just the thought of that makes me feel heavy inside.
I’d wager that I am unaware of most style do’s and do not’s. The ones I do know I can count on one hand.
- No plaid on plaid.
- Umm…come back later maybe?
Outside of what my god mom told me, that’s all I got. Most of what she told me I don’t remember anyway. (Contrary to what most people believe, I am human.) With that said, I do wear plaid on plaid whenever I feel like it.
My clothing style wasn’t always what it is now. It has changed over time like I’m sure it has for many people as well. I started out with whatever my mom would put together as a child to whatever I thought she would have put together for me when I got older. From there it morphed into basketball shorts and a shirt that I may or may not have worn the day before. After all, when you play sports does it really matter since you’re going to get all the shirts sweaty and nasty anyway? On top of that, it was the easiest thing to assemble and there was little to no effort to put into it on my part. Fast forward to now and my current style can be described as many things. Some people have called it the byproduct of a rainbow and a WTF cloud. Others have described it as a cry for help. I prefer to think of it as a mindset. Every day when I wake up, I ask myself, “What day do I want to have?” Every day I have the same answer, “a colorful one.” I dress accordingly.
I used to hide away my yearning for color and dress like everyone else. I figured that giving them one less thing to tease me about would do me some good. Nope! That spot was filled with something else about in me in a millisecond. After that one day I woke up and it hit me, “Who are these people?”
Seriously, who are these people to tell me what I can and cannot wear and what is and isn’t in style? These restrictions are just basic observations of what everyone else is wearing. Since I’m not like everyone else I have no business dressing like them. Besides, these trends are changing every second Tuesday and Friday anyway. So what’s the big deal? Are the Fashion Police going to declare me guilty of first degree assault and battery of the color wheel?
For lack of a simpler way to describe it and since I name practically anything that I come across on a regular basis (Bessie, anyone?), of course I had to name my clothing style. Its name is IDGAF. Do you like it? It’s Latin for “Bump the Fashion Police!” I’m going to wear whatever colors that I what when I want. If I want to wear blue pants and red tartan top, guess what? I will. If a fashion policemen tells me that I cannot pair up a shirt with green and yellow polka dots with a blue and white striped skirt or whatever guess what? I will not because I want to not because I have to. I may abide the fashion rules every now and again since I am a rebel first which means that I have rebel against my rebellious style and switch things up. It won’t go past that. I’ll wear a tank top on top of a long sleeve shirt or tee because I’m a rebel like that. Who is that person of interest wearing a green plaid vest and plaid Michael Jackson pants? Oh, that’s me! Hi me! I’ll throw on all the colors of the rainbow so that way people can be in the presence of a rainbow that the can actually touch. I’m all about compassion here people.
I suppose this is when I ought to advocate the beginning of a new trend. A trend where you wear what you want when you want, yes? I will not be doing that. Trends are temporary. I say that we take on a new mindset or style. The IDGAF (pronounced i-dee-gaf) style is for all shapes and sizes. Wear what lets you feel great and be inspired. There are no boundaries besides dress like the day you want to have (if you can even call that a boundary). When the boundaries are endless, so are the possibilities.
Bump the Fashion Police!
We all have at least one thing we want to change; a thinner waist, smaller nose, fuller lips, thicker hair, bigger breasts, etc…However, when does a healthy inventory of ourselves turn into an unhealthy self image? Where do these desires to perfect one self stem from, and how far would you be willing to go to achieve your ideal self?
From websites walking you through step-by-step how to become a bulimic or an anorexic, to waist training rituals, and celebrities that lose unimaginable amounts of weight in short periods of time, and the quadruple M threat: magazines, models, movies and media. These messages that we need to be younger, thinner and prettier are all around us.
This isn’t a new phenomenon however. The Greeks and Romans used to take crocodile dung baths with the belief that it would tone the body and held anti-aging properties (http://mom.me/mind-body/7471-weirdest-beauty-rituals-throughout-history/item/tapeworm-diet/ K.Thor Jensen, Mar. 2015). They would also ship in human urine from Portugal and use it as mouthwash as it was believed to be a potent cleaning agent. During the 1800’s in England, people would take tape worm larvae in pill form in order to lose weight. Dating as early as the 19th Century, women in China would bind their feet to the point of not being able to walk in order to achieve the desired ‘lotus flower foot’ (a 3 inch foot was the goal). This was a sign of wealth and status because if your feet were so tiny that you couldn’t walk, that demonstrated that you were too wealthy to have to work. This practice would start on girls as young as 4 years old and began by breaking all their toes except their big toe and binding them so they couldn’t grow. Another example from this era is people taking arsenic in small doses because it was said to give you a ‘healthy glow’.
These practices may seem shocking, but are they really any different than some of the practices we do today? One example is injecting Botox, a toxin, into your face. Another is elective plastic surgery which seems to almost be the norm at this point. Specifically, plastic surgery done on adolescent girls whose bodies aren’t even done developing yet. Diet pills and supplements with the promise to help you lose weight, some of which aren’t approved by the FDA. Waist training trends, despite the potential health risks and that the benefits are unproven. Crash diets, such as the baby food diet or liquid-only cleanses. We put our bodies through so much abuse, and for what? To be desired by men and women alike? Because ‘sex is power’? But…power over what? Obviously not ourselves if we’re letting these messages control our actions.
We’re fed these messages from an early age, in children’s toys and TV programs. So it’s no wonder that statistically, adolescent girls are targeted and affected the most by these messages, due to their desire to fit in with their peers, their thirst for the newest and latest trends and media targeting this group the hardest knowing their susceptibility. This vulnerability can easily manifest unhealthy images and negative behavior patterns in these girls, which then go on to develop body dissatisfaction, low self esteem, eating disorders, and many other issues that further feed into these skewed beauty ideals.
These warped messages of what we need to do in order to feel ‘beautiful’ are going to be accessible no matter what. I’m not going to attempt to argue that we need to change society and the media, as it can’t be done overnight, and might not ever happen for that matter. The fight needs to start within ourselves. We need to change the way that we see ourselves and stop obsessing over unattainable ideals of beauty. We need to love ourselves daily, look in the mirror and tell ourselves things that we like and wouldn’t change. We need to surround ourselves with other healthy, positive people and stop comparing ourselves to one another as there is no comparison. We are each individual. We are each beautiful. As women, we have so much more to offer society than a pretty face or a slim figure. We are smart, powerful, creative, innovative, loving and healthy. I believe we can teach ourselves to take in the parts of the messages that are healthy, such as getting a new haircut or wearing the latest trends, but filter out the parts of the messages that make you feel badly about yourself or tell you that you need to change who you are from the inside out and take on unhealthy trends or ideals. Let’s let a healthy self image be the newest and latest trend!
By Destiny Bryant
Oh, small talk. Probably invented by the same bastard that also created the appetizer. Why go straight to the good when we can create an awkward transition to it? I hate, dislike, no extremely dislike small talk. It’s like a closed caste system with near every topic discussed is so repetitive and dull it’s a forced routine. Perhaps small talk is just an art I have yet to master. Or I manage to get the short stick every time I partake in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for meeting new people and exchanging information, but small talk really seems to to slow that down when it comes to developing relationships.
Relationships are built on memories, time spent together and the like. So, surprisingly there is little if not nothing to say of the first encounter with someone because there is no foundation for you to work with. The foundation is being built. But humans are social creatures and every relationship was once just a pair of strangers. They had to start somewhere. Someone had to make that awkward first move and get the ball rolling. And what’s the quickest and most effective way to do that? Get the other person to talk about themselves.
With that in mind people usually start off with the physical basics. In my case, that’s usually my afro (I named it Bessie.) Most people especially upon their first encounter with me are very curious about Bessie and how she goes about life. They can’t help but ask in wonder.
Bessie’s been through a lot. She’s traveled from sector to sector throughout the hair empire. From braids to extensions relaxers, she’s seen it, done it, and has quite a few nightmares stories to share about it. One day, I was so fed up and thought, “Why don’t I let Bessie do what she was going to do anyway?” Fast forward five years and Bessie has been doing just that. Chilling on top of my head following the destiny assigned to her by good ol’ biology. Newcomers want to know of Bessie’s travels. They think they hide it well but over years I’ve learned to see the signs. They ask the same questions.
“How long is your hair when straight?”
Maybe because the hair standard is straight so they need to know as a means of conversion? Like going from the standard to the metric system? Either way, I don’t wear my hair straight so this question comes off as pointless to me. However, I ballpark it for them because I know the answer will keep them up at night otherwise.
“No way! It’s not that long!”
Usually a response to the question above, the curious bystander suddenly becomes the all-natural hair extraordinaire in all of sixty seconds. (They do have a master’s degree in the subject you know.) Their knowledge, experience, and depth in the matter spread so far and wide that they are more than qualified to answer the question their damn selves and only asked you because they wanted to see if you knew. You failed and now they are giving you the correct answer for future reference. After all, how could you know that about your own hair? It’s not like it’s your hair that you’ve had your whole life to become familiar with it while they only known your Bessie for three minutes tops. Tisk, Tisk. You should’ve studied. Thank goodness this fine specimen of person has a master’s degree and the means is here to give you the answer. Whatever would we do without their guidance? Be lost in space and time that’s what.
I’d imagine that I come off as some self-righteous dodo bird who takes things too seriously. I have a habit of making a terrible first impression on people. In all seriousness though, I come in peace and I’m sure those on the other side do as well. It’s just that the ideologist in me can’t help but wonder and fascinated by the impact culture has on even the smallest bits of conversation.
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.
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.
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.
Beyonce tells a story of how women will go to extreme measures to be thin, to be pretty and to be accepted. Good message!
“Perfection Is A Disease”