Giuliana Responds to Zendaya With An Apology. Do We Care?

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E’s television host Giuliana Rancic recently made offensive remarks about  the young Disney actress Zendaya’s hair. Zendaya who usually rocks straight hair styles recently went for something different at the Oscar Award show. She wore a head of faux locs styled elegantly and reaching past her shoulders. 

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As a critique of the young actresse’s style choice for the evening,  Guiliana implied that the hair style did not fit Zendaya’s small frame and that she preferred the “little hair”.

She then went on to say that “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed! Yeah, maybe weed?”

 

Zendaya took to Instagram to defend herself and admonish the words of Guiliana.

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Recently Giuliana used her television show to air a public apology to Zendaya and everyone else who may have been offended.

Do We Care?

Things That Interest the Around The Way Girl – Part Tres

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1. SaintHeron.com

Antoinette and I have a running joke. We always stop and  ask one another “Shit, how can we learn to be cool?” Well I got the answer! Troll Solange’s website “Saint Heron” and learn what’s what in fashion, music, arts culture, events  and everyday cool shit. I bet the really cool girls are rolling their eyes thinking “Ugh, we been knew about this. It’s been up for like 2 years.” Welp, my corny, motherly, trying to hold on for dear life to the vestiges of her youth ass just discovered it!

The site as well as the label Saint Records is committed to ” feature, highlight and align a new movement of contemporary, genre-defying R&B visionaries, which will serve as a segue into the diverse evolution of these independent artists as they share their voices and words as only they can – through pure, unadulterated music.”

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2. Ibeyi

20 year old Parisian twins with Afro-Cuban roots (father was a member of the Buena Vista Social Club), haunting vocals with percussion, piano and a mean beat from production! What?!  I give you my most recent music obsession – Ibeyi. I am not quite sure how to pronounce the group’s name, I don’t know what they are saying when they sing in Yoruba but I love them anyways. They make me feel things and I love feeling things. Plus they are aesthetically beautiful. One twin has long wavy, straight hair while the other rocks a mane of kinks and curls. Take a listen here in their video “River”

3. The Poetry of Nayyirah Waheed 

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Her poetry again, makes me feel things. Things that sit deep down in the heat of my stomach or are fluttering to escape wedged between my lungs and heart. She makes me feel emotions I never knew I had until only after 3 sentences I find myself weeping or I feel just a little less worried, or anxious or sad or angry. She makes me feel as if she knows me. She is me and I am her. She is an incredible writer. One that I admire so much. You have probably seen her quotes shared on social media. Her two published books of poetry are “salt” and “Nejma” both available on Amazon. Inspiration station right there.

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4. Beyonce Untouched

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God, is that you God? Are you trying to let us all know that nobody is perfect by leaking these photos personally? Are you trying to let us know that Beyonce isn’t your chosen one and that we can all start focusing on more important things rather than being obsessed with Beyonce and making ourselves “perfect” by going to the gym and getting a lace front or nah? Nah? Oh, okay.

Whats New Ladies? Anything New that Interests You These days?

Black Beauty on White Skin

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Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack with my lipstick unbothered and not a scratch on my crown.

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I’m no model and I don’t pretend to be but I have a pair of soup coolers on me that love a good lipstick so when the The Lip Bar asked me to model for their campaign I was all the way down. To think, I was once one of those girls that was too scared to rock a lip. I feared they would draw too much attention, throw my face off balance or even worse… make my lips look bigger. Gasp.  So, growing up I would apply some clear blistex and call it day. I was intimidated by my very own mouth. My mouth! WTF!  How wack? How sick?  How cowardly of me… If I only knew then what I know now… cause these lips right here? They’re magic. You betta ask somebody. 

Just look at little Kylie Jenner. Girlfriend spent all kinds of money to have a pout like mine (ours), not that her surgery in any way validates me (us), but I certainly think it helps put some things into perspective. (Oh and if we are being honest I think her pumped up injected lips looked bangin… but I digress).

It’s interesting though, often the things that come natural to women of color, the things we are most self conscious about, are the very things that end up being bought, praised and coveted i.e. warm skin tones, full lips, wide hips, full butts and the ability to flip it, toss it, and throw it back like a boss. It seems that those things are most often admired and praised when they are adorned by women not of color. What a mind fuck! What a setup for self hate. You mean to tell me we (and I use the term ‘we’ loosely because I’m well aware that my light skin and fine curly hair put me in the ‘exotic’ category in which I reap the benefits of daily) can’t get any love? Aside from King Bey who despite my unyielding love for, is two seconds from looking like a full blown white woman (just sayin). And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the way our King Bey looks. I’m simply saying we have to peep the pattern and move in this world accordingly.

Images are becoming more and more important. Folks are all about the visual. We don’t even buy music based on the sound anymore, we buy based on the video. Just look at Instagram. We spend hours scrolling, staring, screen-shoting and sharing selfies. So be mindful of what you consume and celebrate. Images are beautiful things but they can also be used as psychological warfare. Be sure some of the images you see are of and in tune with your own reflection.

I’ll leave you with this, a dear friend of mine Kristin Braswell, once wrote the following Facebook status after Kim K released her cover of Paper Magazine where she was mimicking the iconic Grace Jones and attempting to #breaktheinternet

“What frustrates me is not Kim Kardashian herself, but the idea that this whiteness and otherness in non-Black women deserves countless think pieces and celebration. As our neighborhoods, slang, culture, music and even bodies are being co-opted, I am reminded of how important it is that we continue to uphold and celebrate whatever reinforces the truth that we as black women have always been enough”. 

May we always remember that we are indeed, enough. Thank you to The Lip Bar for having and celebrating me.

I luh ya.

Alex Elle in Philly

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Recently, I went to go see writer and social media personality Alex Elle in Philadelphia. For some reason, I entered the venue feeling a little nervous because I was all alone. There was no side kick to keep me enveloped in the “no new friends” zone. Instead, I was given the choice of remaining open and friendly or quiet and guarded. I teetered on both spectrums by smiling at strangers but never really striking up any conversation.

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Yusuf Yuie on the left and Curran on the right

Shortly after the audience filled in, promoters Yusuf  Yuie and Curran Swift Yusuf stood and introduced both the moderator and Alex Elle.

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Alex came out unto the stage confident and calm. She was everything she seems to be via social media and her writing. She was poised, sweet, present and ready to share.  The audience was very quiet, so quiet that Alex’s first sentence addressed to us was, ” Ya’ll look scared.”  I suppose we were all nervous. We were a room full of young twenty-somethings wanting to understand how to get just a smidgeon of what she  appears to smear on everything she touches  - success and happiness.

The moderator probed Alex with questions about love, work, motherhood, sex and writing. All of her answers were the same, no different than the affirmations she shares through her writing. In order to find success in love and life, you must go inward. You must work on yourself gently and consistently. 

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When it came time for questions, I was amused by the inquiries. It was very telling of who we are and what we want. Everyone wanted to know about Alex’s hard times; drama with her child’s father and single mother hood. I suppose that’s how we connect with one another. I must admit that I felt so encouraged when I learned that Alex was also a young mother, estranged from the child’s father and yet she still found love.  It’s more comforting to know someone’s pain and struggle versus happiness and “success”.  To understand the struggle from which one came, makes other’s feel like their own destinies aren’t so bleak. They too can rise up, push past the pain and be happy. 

Alex Elle for me, through her writing and existence  is a reminder that the human potential for change and creativity is real and in all of us. The potential for success is not only alloted to prodigy, white people, college educated and childless folk but it extends to us all even if we are brown, women, single mothers, ridden with daddy issues and have no idea how we are going to make it. We are all entitled to happiness and the fruition of our personal successes.

Thank you Alex for the reminder.

Jazmine Sullivan Talks Overcoming Abusive Relationship via Necolebitchie

 
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Halloween 2014

If you follow us on Instagram you know that it’s no secret that Jaz is one of our best friends. She is a brave woman. A strong woman. A relentless woman. We are proud and fortunate enough to call her a friend and sister. Publicly, she is a ladies anthem, multi grammy nominated singer/song writer. Privately, she is a woman, friend, sister, aunt, Godmother, daughter, lover and human. She has accepted and endured with grace, dignity, truth and faith. She has fought for everything that she has…her music, her independence and her happiness. We are glad to see her coming out on top more confident and more beautiful than ever. For those of you hurting, let her story comfort and inspire you. Let her story be the one that shows you, you are stronger than you think.

“In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. if someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly.” -Miguel Ruiz

Love You Jaz

When Are We Truly ‘At Our Best’

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There was a time when I would have never posted this picture anywhere. There was a time I would have never been caught video chatting without a complete beat face. Even as recently as last year, had FaceTime rang with me still sweaty from the gym, I would have declined the call or strategically placed the camera so that I had a chance to ‘put myself together’ before anyone could see me. But then I have to ask myself would I had even gone to the gym without at least foundation on? I think not.

Now, I know that we all say there is nothing wrong with trying to look ‘our best’. But lately, I have struggled with what that means and all the weight and pressure that comes with that. It’s a mind f*ck really. So tell me, am I not at my best like this? I had a good day, prayed, went to yoga, walked, drank a mean green smoothie for dinner, cleaned my room and approached the day with gratitude. But even after all that, I still need to look outside of myself in order to be my best? It’s really quite confusing and the implications that come along with statements like ‘you’re best’ can be daunting.

I worry sometimes that this blog adds to that confusion because we are in a way a beauty blog. But my hope is that we aren’t your average beauty blog. My hope is that we keep it real enough to keep your minds at ease. My hope is that no claims of perfection are made here. My hope is that Shanti and I document our own personal journeys that folks can relate to it but not strive towards it. My hope is that we inspire.

In summary, I’m at a point in my life that when it comes to beauty, I no longer feel the need to strive towards perfection and I think it is because I have defined for myself what “at my best” is. I think it’s important that we all do that. It’s vital that we have and live by our definitions and refine them when need be.  Otherwise, we are at risk of living up to standards made with a broad brush.

So, I am at my best when…

-I eat healthy

-I exercise

-I’m in love

-I take care of my skin

-I use my favorite sweet smelling shea butter after I shave

-I use lip liner with my lipstick

-I wear my new black leather jacket with a bright red lip, aviator sun glasses and slick my hair back in a tight bun

-I have that black long line bra on

-I get my eyebrows done and handle any random weird hairs on my face/chin/mustache (smh)

-I drink tons of water

-I’m organized

-I get to see him

-I think positive

-I trust the journey

-I smile

-I stretch

-I’m social and not behind this computer

-I watch/listen/love Beyonce

-I’m around kids

-I get a pedicure

-I sing

-I leave my hair alone until it is completely dry.

When are you at your best ladies?

Our Daily Prayer

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God, make me brave for life:

Oh, braver than this

Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain

  Shining and lovely again

God, make me brave for life; 

much braver than this.

As the blown grass lifts,

let me rise from sorrow with quiet eyes,

knowing thy way is wise.

God make me brave,

life brings such blinding things.

Help me to keep my sight;

Help me to see aright

That out of darkens comes light.

-Anonymous Author

Rest In Peace Mike Brown

Help A Curl Out

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I met Anette, mother of three and wife to a loving husband a couple years ago when she attended one of our events in NYC. It was nice to finally put a face to the name that was always popping up in our comments section and various news feeds. She was a true blue around the way girl. There, dancing with her husband she was and still is full of life, love and happiness. As they held hands, smiling and kissing, I remember envying their relationship. 

A few months ago, I saw that Anette had big chopped. I mean, the homey was straight rocking a baldy and killing it. I thought to myself, “Damn, she took a damn blade straight to her scalp and killed it”.  I commented on how beautiful she looked and went on scrolling through my timeline. It wasn’t until recently, thanks to instagram, I realized Anette was battling Leukemia. Her posts were always so upbeat and  inspiring that the thought never crossed my mind. Cancer? Anette? Wha? 

I don’t know anything about battling cancer. But I do know that this woman needs some help. I spent less than 24 hours in the hospital this month and am haunted by that ER bill. I cannot imagine the type of financial burden Anette is dealing with, all while taking care of her children and trying to survive. At this time, she is in need of a transplant. This transplant is her hope at survival. So, if you have a dollar, two, maybe even 20 please send it her way. It really doesn’t take much because together, five dollars here and there will add up. It takes a village y’all. 

See her GOFundMe Campaign Below…

“First, I just want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read this. My name is Anette Tillman. I am 24 year old stay at home mom of 3 amazing boys, Rondell Jr, Jayven, and Ivan. They are the light of my life and what keep me the most hopeful in this difficult time. My life drastically changed in January of this year. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It took as all by surprise. I never expected to be 24yrs young and to be fighting against cancer. This hasn’t been easy on myself and my family. The financial burden is becoming a bit difficult to bare with. Even with medical insurance, bills seem to still pile up. I have an amazing husband that carries the world on his shoulders. He works a full time job and cares for our sons by himself while I am away. I just wish I could do more to help him. As you can imagine my medical bills have become a financial burden for us and each day we are struggling to make ends meet. I have a bone marrow transplant coming up soon. This transplant is my only shot at survival, I need this not just for myself but for my sons and husband as well. They need me and I need them. I just want to help my husband take care of us and take some of this burden away from him. I’m trusting in God and remaining hopeful always. Psalm 34:15, 17 The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. I know that God places people in your life to be a blessing in trying situations. Prayers and financial blessings are greatly appreciated. Again Thank you all and God Bless”.

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To donate click the link http://www.gofundme.com/c7dd7w

Be grateful y’all.

Hair Rules Review

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Recently, Shanti and I went to critically acclaimed curly girl salon, Hair Rules in NYC. We went with the high hopes of complete color transformation and new do’s. We left humbled and educated. Watch the video below for details on our sobering experience. 

Shanti’s Sun Kissed Summer Color

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Antoinette’s Color Fix.

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Was it worth it? What y’all think? 

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