“If You Think You Are Better Than Your Man, Your Relationship is Done”.

 

 

      ” I don’t know. I just feel like he isn’t doing anything with himself. He smokes weed, he still works at the same job. He can’t seem to save any money. But he is so smart, and talented and sweet. He is good to me. He is a good man.”

“Do you think you are better than him?”
 ”Excuse me?”
 ”Do you think you are better than your  man? Because if you do, your relationship is done”.

Our male friend shrugged his shoulders after dropping this fact and went back to his plate of chicken wings. Antoinette and I looked at each other. She smiled a wide Cheshire cat smile. I looked back at her with furrowed eyebrows. I smiled uneasily. She knew. I knew. I thought that I was better than my man. Underneath the soft sheaths of laughter, intimacy and comfort of our relationship was a bubbling brew of contempt, hope and mistrust.

Will he ever get his act together? Maybe if he sees that I am nervous about our future he will try to do something different. Am I wrong for wanting something more? But he is so sweet. He is so intrinsically good. I can help him. Wait hold up, fuck I got to be the one to help him for?

It had never dawned on me that this sense of superiority was in fact unhealthy and detrimental to my relationship. The illness was not so much that he was unmotivated but that I thought that I was in fact more progressive. Lies. I am far from perfect. I procrastinate, I underachieve and I doubt myself but my boyfriend at that time thought I might as well have been Oprah. He thought I was hot shit. He adored me as an unrealistic projection of myself. I focused on solely his weaknesses and he was blind to mine. We remained timid crabs scurrying left and right after one another yet incapable of moving forward.

I see this same dilemma in many relationships. I know amazingly talented, intelligent women linked to the dead weight of an underachieving man. As a result these women become inflated with a false sense of productivity and they are never really properly fueled, critiqued and pushed off of their plateaus of comfort. No one really helps each other further in life. They remain stagnant in their incompatibility.

Love can be such a desperate thing. Everyone wants it. Everyone NEEDS it. Once we find someone who is nice, not a complete degenerate, makes us laugh, hits it right and at least has a job we ignore the finer details but we should want more than that from our partners, our potential life mates, husbands, wives and co-parents. We should want to be pushed to discomfort, encouraged, directed, critiqued, supported and inspired. We should feel the security of a loved one who always has your back, pushing you forwards whether you like it or not.

Have You Ever Been In A Stagnant Relationship?
What Made You Realize It Had To End?

YGB – Ryan Powell Photography

I sit back and watch people a lot. I have been watching the genius of photographer Ryan Powell for a year now. I see the pictures he posts on FB and Tumblr and they literally take my breath away. I sometimes doubt the kid’s genius and think that he is posting other professional’s work. He is just too damn good! And too damn young! I see a bright, bright future ahead of him. Keep up the hard work!

He is amazing right? To view more of Ryan’s spectacular work and book a shoot follow his Tumblr

friedgoldzero.tumblr.com

Coming Back to America

A lot of you already suspected my return back to the States but I wanted to officially make it known that I am back in the USA. My time in Guatemala was very short but it was enough time for me to feel confident in my decision to come back to Philly.

It took a lot to uproot my life, my daughter and leave a life of comfort and support but I am a typical Sagittarius. The thought of change, travel, independence and challenge made the decision some what easy. I let go and let live.

I had lived in Guatemala once before as an even more carefree (is that even possible) 21 year old. I had so much fun drinking, dancing, sleeping, flirting, studying and traveling on my first trip that I thought somehow as a 27 year old mother things would still be as exciting. Chile’ please.

My cousin, her two children and my bunny)

Don’t get me wrong, it is always exciting to go towards the unknown. It was awesome to watch my baby girl walk barefoot on a coffee farm pointing to banana’s hanging 10 feet from her reaching arms. It was awesome to be surrounded by Spanish speaking Guatemalans. I loved seeing my family. The prospect of teaching made me feel capable of anything. The journey of learning Spanish made me feel like my world was slightly cracking open as my understanding developed. I loved the warm, damp mornings, the hot afternoons and the cool, calm of the nights but I was unhappy. I wanted to jump out of my skin with the discomfort and irritation of my intuition. “Go home Shanti”.

(Jo in the garden)

I felt like although that path was beautiful and full of golden opportunities, it was not for me. I am happy I have returned. I am grateful for my experience away but so much more for my home – Philly. It is important for me now to focus on contributing to this city. Onwards and upwards….

(Artwork done by my talented Aunt)

Shanti’s Short Hair 2 Month Check In

So as you can see, my hair is coming back slowly but surely since my last cut. I am enjoying each stage and always feel grateful for the get up and go convenience of it all. My hair regimen has not changed much.

I am still using Kinky Curly Knot Today as Leave in.

Rotating Between Shemoisture Curl Smoothie and Jane Carter  for Curl Hold

Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste

Josie Maran Argan Oil

I will be posting a video with my daily process.
My only concern right now is maintaining a shape. Due to the length and my needs (just a shape up and fade in the back) I don’t think I will be going to any salons. I am in need of a good barber. I am thinking of The Duke Barber Co. in Northern Liberties in Phila. Anyone familiar?

See you in two months with another progress report! Feel free to ask any questions!

Around The Way Curl Priscilla

priscilla around the way curls natural hair

1.How long has it taken for you to “master” the care of your hair? Who/what helped you gain mastery?

I wouldn’t call myself a “master” of my hair, per say, as I think there is always something one can definitely learn. I myself learn something new about my hair all the time!

 I would say my hair ITSELF helped me gain mastery. By that I mean really, truly listening to my hair and what it needs, likes, and doesn’t like. I think it’s important to take notes from the regimens of others, but not all the while ignoring what your own personal hair might like. Besides really listening to my hair, I would say other natural friends, natural blogs, and naturals on Instagram helped me through!

2. What is your cleansing hair regime (how often do you shampoo, condition, deep condition and with what products)?

 I cowash with As I Am’s Coconut Cowash once a week, and maybe once every two months (or whenever my hair tells me I need to) I shampoo with Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo. I am a RELIGIOUS deep conditioner – it’s my number one thing in my hair regime and what I credit my health to! I deep condition once a week after every cowash (or shampoo) with either MyHoneyChild’s Olive You, Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque, or Camille Rose Naturals’ Algae Renew. I always sit under my Huetiful Hair Steamer when deep conditioning.

3.What is your de-tangling process?

I always detangle in the same way. After cowashing (or shampooing), I section my hair into 4 sections and then start by splitting one of those 4 sections into 2. I apply my deep conditioner thoroughly throughout that small section and then finger detangle by combing my fingers through, starting at the bottom. I work my way up to the root until completely detangled and then start on the next section until complete. One great thing about my method of detangling is that it ensures my deep conditioner is very thoroughly applied to every single strand versus just slapping some on.

4. How do you achieve your daily hair style (try to be detailed being as though others are gaining inspiration and DIRECTION from your process)

I tend to alternate just between 3 styles – a wash and go, a twist out (done on dry and very stretched hair), or medium-small twists (my version of mini twists, lol!).

 For a wash and go, I do my usual cowashing, deep conditioning/detangling, and steaming. I then rinse out my DC and dry it with a t-shirt for 3 minutes. I don’t t-shirt as long as some as my hair dries somewhat on the quicker side and also because I like it to be pretty wet when styling a wash and go. I then split my hair in half and apply Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In to each section, followed by either castor oil or coconut oil on top. I then make my part and split my hair into 5-6 sections. I apply a mix of Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Kinky Curly Curling Custard to each section with the “praying hands” technique followed by finger combing through each section maybe twice. Then I just air dry and don’t disturb my curls! I’ve actually never diffused my hair and I have no idea how it would turn out, lol!

For a twist out, I almost always do it on dry and stretched hair. I just prefer the look and I don’t have to deal with drying time as well. My hair is pretty fine, so doing it dry also allows me more volume. After I’ve washed and deep conditioned, I split my hair into 8 sections and use the banding method to stretch my hair until dry, usually just overnight. That next day I’ll usually wear it in a bun or some sort of up-do which even further stretches my hair. Then that night (or maybe a few days later, after more buns, depending on how I feel) I create about 6-7 chunky twists using Oyin Handmade’s Hair Dew (a fav of mine!!!). I don’t fully saturate my hair with the Hair Dew as I don’t want it to revert and all my stretching go to waste. I then release in the morning for a soft wavy twist out that’s super stretched as my tight curl typically has a lot of shrinkage.

 For my medium-small twists – my version of mini twists, lol – I don’t really have an interesting method. The same way I stretch by banding for my twist-outs, I do the same for my mini twists. I’ll split my hair into a few sections and just start twisting to whatever size I deem appropriate with shea butter and Eco Styler Gel (Krystal or Olive). There usually ends up being about 40-50 twists. I usually wear them for about 10 days and then release for a super stretched twist out. I hardly wear my twists down as my hair is fine and I just think it looks too scalpy, but I do cute ponytails and top knot buns with them.

5 Now that you are relaxer free, how do you perceive others that still have relaxed hair?

I mean this in the nicest way possible and I believe every woman should be able to choose how they want to wear their hair – but, in my head I always want to shout, JUST GO NATURAL ALREADY!!! Not out of judgment, but just because I’m truly an advocate of natural hair and I believe every woman’s natural hair is beautiful! It always takes me back to my relaxed days, and in comparison I just personally now feel much more free and much more “me” than ever. This is not to say that any woman with a relaxer isn’t herself too!

6.How did/do battle the internal voice that may speak words of doubt about the beauty and worthiness of your natural beauty?

 It’s really a simple answer for me – this is how the Creator made me!

7. What hair product can’t you live without?

I have to cheat and choose more than one! * covers face, lol * Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In and Coconut oil. Moisture and a sealant – what more can my curls need?

8. Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the masses about natural hair?

Natural hair is not just a “fad” as some may think! How can us embracing our natural selves, be a fad?? – what a contradiction. It’s also about having FUN with it and more importantly, empowering one’s own self with it. ☺

9. And lastly, what makes you an Around The Way Curl.

Exercising my freedom to simply just be me. ☺

priscilla around the way curls natural hair

priscilla around the way curls natural hair

priscilla around the way curls natural hair

priscilla around the way curls natural hair

Thanks for all you do, Antoinette & Shanti!!! You really empower women in every which way, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this outlet you’ve created! Also, I love Instagram, ladies find me @ P___Q (that’s 3 underscores) ☺

 

99 Problems: Hair Care Q&A

 

We get a lot of emails from very disgruntled, urgently desperate readers. If you are one of them don’t feel bad. I remember when I started my journey on having  healthy hair and I wrote Curly Nikki. It was along the lines of “My hair is so dry, I don’t know what to do. How do I get it to look like yours? Please help me as fast as you can. Thank you and have a nice day”. Swear to God, I di that. She never responded to my stalkin’ ass but now I understand that she has bigger fish to fry like accepting NAACP awards. (GO GIRL!!!!)
Anyway, because we do have some time on our hands, I figured we could do some published Q&A to hopefully help others that are experiencing the same things.

1. Q: Hey! I attend a university in a predominantly white city in CA. I went natural 2 years ago. It’s still a challenge to wear my hair in its naturally big state. 95% of the time I wear my hair in a bun bc I don’t know how to do any other styles with my hair! What’s been an even bigger challenge is having the urge to flat iron my hair when it comes to my job. I want to know if you or other women have a fear of standing out bc of their hair & how to deal w/ this as women of color. Thanks!

I had this same fear when I started wearing my natural, unadulterated curls out. I was coming off of the flat iron dependency. Many people were not used to seeing my natural curls. Shoot, I wasn’t even used to seeing them. I had not fully mastered my hair care. Some days I was really proud of my curls while other days my curls were dry, frizzy, uncontrollable tufts. But regardless of what my hair was doing, I was scheduled to work. I was terrified of what others would think.  I experienced some negative comments here and there but I wanted to learn to love my hair and I knew in my heart that the illusions and conditioning of hating my kinky hair were not based on reality. 
I say STOP straightening your hair and focus on straightening your mind. Mind over matter. Allow yourself to be afraid walking into work with your natural hair but walk into work with your natural hair anyway! The more you manage your natural hair and stay away from the flat iron, the sooner you will learn how to care for and style it and in return the more confident you will become. Soon you wont be concerned with what others think and you will be surprised by how many people will actually like it!

 

2Can u give me some methods to loosen up my curls? They’re so tight & it makes me look like a child.

Well, aside from chemically altering your hair, you are going to have to go the traditional route of 1. Waiting until your hair grows a bit longer so that it can be stretched 2. Try braid outs, twist outs and bantu knots. On the first day of a “braid or twist out” your hair may be tightly coiled but if you maintain them well enough by re-twisting and using only a little bit of water (think a spritz or two from a spray bottle or a small handful of H2O in your palm), you can have looser, fuller curls by the 2nd to 3rd day. Please research “how to stretch natural hair” on Youtube.

3. Q:Before you throw tomatoes at me and yell newbie just know that all I ask for is help. I have 3b hair (3c hair in the very back of my head and 2b hair on my bangs due to my reckless straightening ways in middle school). Im 16 and I feel like my hair can NEVER be healthy or dead nor look decent. I cannot put my self toward the CG no-poo method (let alone do I understand it), and I tend to be lazy when it comes to my curly hair routine. Ive used the Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair Moisture Renewal conditioner followed up by a normal shampoo(non- curly hair based and also by Pantene) and recently I have used the Aussie Moist Condition, which may I say I HATE. Anyways lets get to the dirt. For I don’t even know how long, Ive had extremely dead dry fine curly hair. Ive been to the salon with about 3-5 inches of visible dead hair waiting to be chopped off. I also deal with a lot of hair loss, I can latterly finger comb my hair when its dry and a clump of hair will easily fall out. My dilemma is how do I get my fine limp easily damageable hair to be healthy strong and moisturized. I would tell you my porosity level but when I did it 1/4 of the strand floated to the top, some to the middle and the rest to the bottom. Wanna throw those tomatoes yet? I don’t know what to do and as much as I hate to say it, because of my current hair conditions, I hate my curly hair, but all I seek for is hope. So curlies will you help?

First and foremost relax darling. Everything is gonna be alright. I am going to do my best to address some keys points. First and foremost – It does not pay to be a “lazy” curly girl. In the beginning of your journey towards healthy hair you must be diligent and conscientous. Once you get used to your hairs needs, you can surely fall back a bit.
From the pictures you gave, your hair looks very similar in texture to Antoinette’s hair so you should take a cue from her regimen and products. It seems that all of the products you are using are laden with chemicals. You should probably go a more natural, simple route in terms of ingredients. Here are the recommended products that you should begin to put into your hair rotation.
1. Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave in Conditioner
2. Curls “Cashmere Curls Jelly” or Curls “Goddess Curls Gelle”
3. ALOE VERA JUICE (make sure it is juice and not gel)
You can use these products in the order they are listed. You can consider air drying or diffusing your hair. Antoinette struggles with limp curls and uses an afro pick at the roots of her hair to add volume.
Check out this awesome link HERE to learn more about fine haired hair care.
Hoped this helps!
If you have any advice or recommendations for these curious, concerned cur lies share in the comments below! 

Lupita Nyong’o Reveals Her Struggle Embracing Black Beauty

Lupita Nyong’o

Via Necolebitchie

Last night, the stunning actress was honored at Essence’s 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon in Hollywood, where she delivered a powerful speech on her quest to accept the skin she was born in. Like most young children growing up, her perception of beauty came from what she saw celebrated on her television screen, and it wasn’t until she saw a model that looked like her, walking the runways that she began to embrace her beauty. She also revealed that she spent years praying that she would wake up a lighter complexion, but she learned over time that beauty is so much more than the external. Beauty is compassion for yourself, and those around you. You can’t just consume it, it’s something you have to be.

She said:

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

She continued:

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before.

[...]

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in black beauty.

 

A Father’s Letter To His Daughter That All Of Us Could Stand To Read

Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,

Infallible,

Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,

Age defying,

Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house—a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your glovesoff. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom, and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you—the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,

Daddy

Source: DrKellyFlanagan.com / Connect with Dr. Flanagan on Facebook and visit his blog! He has some great advice the world deserves to see.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...