It's a New Year. Are you ready to go to the next level?

It’s been a pretty good year for improving my self-presentation.  I’ve lost 16 pounds, found a fabulous eyebrow threader and developed a habit of not leaving the house without my (very natural) makeup.

I’ve bought some clothes (to shrink down into) and I can get into the clothing I couldn’t wear last year. YAY! (Alhamdulillah)

This year’s goals:

1. Keep a basic mani/pedi

2. Lose the last of the weight

3. Develop my “look”.  I’ve given this alot of thought and am most of the way there.

4. Buy/make my basic pieces/accessories.

5. Keep up on accessory maintenance (shoes/bags polished, knowing where my earrings are!)

6. Try tumeric for fading dark spots.

7. Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit and flatter, unless it’s for scrubbing the house/gardening

8. Put another few inches on my hair length.

9. Keep up on Mr. Foreverloyal’s shoe/belt polishing

10. Iron shirts/skirts/pants weekly in one session to make it easier to get out the door looking pulled together.

What about you? How did you do last year and what are your goals for this year?

Have you decided to go forth and be gorgeous?

I Love me!

“When it comes to other adults, I refuse to be more invested in an issue than the people who are directly affected by it. So, in your case, if you don’t value your health, I don’t care about your health either. It’s your party, you can unnecessarily die an early death if you want to. Your free and voluntary choice to set yourself up for unnecessary health problems does not trouble me. To the tune of the Isley Brothers: {“it’s your thang, do what you wanna do…”}”  –Khadija of The Sojourner’s Passport blog, http://sojournerspassport.com/

What does the world see when they look at you? 

A woman who holds herself in high esteem, or one who doesn’t necessarily think she’s worth a whole heck of alot?

And how does that influence how you are treated?

I was going to do a longer post, and maybe I”ll flesh it out a bit later.  But, in sum:

If you keep yourself at a healthy weight, step out always with neat hair, groomed nails, makeup, and flattering clothing, you are telling the world that YOU MATTER.  After all, you put in the effort to take care of yourself.

If you are significantly overweight and disheveled, you are telling the world that you don’t hold yourself in high regard and can’t be bothered to treat yourself well.

Don’t be surprised if you are treated with a little more or less regard, accordingly.

Decide you are worth it, and

Go forth and be gorgeous.

Let's party!

This holiday season, I’m challenging all the readers of these blogs who believe in Black Women’s Empowerment to literally put their money where their mouth is.  I think there’s something in the air because shortly after I said as much over on Khadija’s blog, Faith put out this post:  http://actsoffaithblog.com/call-for-links-shout-outs-love-to-each-other  .  I hope everyone will chip in with their BWE gift ideas by emailing Faith for her future post.

Now, I’m sure neither of us is suggesting that you forgo the mall altogether.  Personally, I think everyone should set as a minimum three gifts/activities.  That can be going to see a positive play about bw, buying a gift from a bw vendor on etsy, or giving a book from Roslyn, Khadija, Evia etc. as a gift for a black woman/girl in your life. (Well, I wouldn’t give a teenager a Roslyn book.  Her mama might bless you out).

I’ll be posting my efforts, and I hope you’ll be sharing yours.

Waiting for Superman

November 9, 2010

Yeah, he's fine. But he ain't real.

“If I’m gonna date a white guy, I’m not getting Opie.  He has to be fine.”

“He has to really care about racial justice.  I’m talking a Tim Wise type.”

“He has to have some kind of swagger.”

I have heard variations on the above from black women when talking about the sort of white man they could be persuaded to date and/or marry.  Sometimes, they want all of that in one man (plus education, a fitness model body, etc.etc.)  I’m going to ignore #1 and #3, as Evia and others have more than adequately addressed those.

When I read that, I kind of laughed.  Think about it.  Who makes up 75-90% of the footsoldiers in  IBA (Indigenous Black Americans, yeah I just made that up, feel free to use it) civil rights/racial justice associations?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a black man who spends a great deal of time writing articles/organizing protests/giving lectures on racial justice to seriously date. (Statistically speaking)  Listing that as a requirement for a white man effectively eliminates them as an option.  See how neatly she did that?

I doubt such women who are so very concerned with this issue would even consider making that a “must-have” in a black man.

So why would she be so insistent on this behavior from a white man?  My theory is that this is another part of the “Keeping it Real” trickbag.  By insisting that any white man she dates be a “Tim Wise”, she can deflect any accusations that she has “sold out” by dating/marrying white, “forgot where she came from” and all the other nonsensical foolishness sometimes hurled at IR married black women.

Like I said above, it also shrinks her possible pool of white potential mates to teaspoon size.  By throwing up ridiculous obstacles, she can justify never taking the risk of trying “something new.”  She can use the excuse that she is “waiting for Superman,” who as we all know, doesn’t exist.  But, as a source which I can’t find yet once said,

“To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

I Have Something to Say

November 5, 2010

With all the BWE blogs on fire lately, I’ve just been sitting back and reading.  But new posts are coming soon insha’allah.

Pursue Your Dreams

June 9, 2010

You go Monica!

What were your dreams as a child and young adult? 

How many of them did you even try to pursue?

Monica Mingo (Rantings of a Creole Princess, see blogroll) has been invited to screen her short film at the American Black Film Festival  in Miami this year.  Though she’s had a head full of ideas for decades now, she just started actively pursuing her dream of working in film in 2007.  That’s three years ago, folks. 

Dust off an old dream and get started on it today.  Who knows where you could be in three years?

I’m taking my own advice, and I’ve started work on a project or two.  Still in the researching phase to make sure I execute properly.  This news of Monica’s success came at just the right time.  Seeing her achieve success is so inspiring, and I’m practically jumping up and down in anticipation of viewing her work.  I’m excited to see where I’ll be with my dreams in three years. 

Monica Mingo, for the courage and vision to follow your dreams with vigor and determination, you are this week’s “Work it Wednesday” feature.  I won’t make it to Miami for the festival, but let me know when your work comes out on DVD.

If you think you have it bad with black men, step outside of the community and see if you have it any better. The fact of the matter is, youre only a woman in the black community. Once you step outside that community, you can proclaim you are a woman all you want but you are black first.  –Ranter who shall not be named

I read that little rant and had to laugh, because it is so pathetic.

Pathetic because that was the best the guy could do.

His argument that black women should stay with/support black men is that even though they are bad, other people are worse?

Really though?

If that’s his whole argument, what he’s really doing is pleading the case for why black women should bounce and not look back.

Why not list all the benefits that the “black community” provides?

Black men and women who want to scare black women into staying, physically and mentally, trapped in a black construct always use that same tired threat:  Those other people don’t really care about you.  Those other people will hurt you.  You’re only safe here.  Don’t come crying back to us for help when (fill in the blank horrible thing) happens to you!  Well here’s a newsflash for all those who think like this:  horrible things are happening to black women NOW, where people like YOU hold sway.  Don’t bother threatening that you won’t help me if I leave, because you are useless right now.

Honestly this argument is very reminiscent of the one domestic abusers use on their victims.  “I’m the only one that loves you, you’re so ugly no one else would put up with you, you will only ever have me.”

The black husbands of many of the black women I know personally would not need to say “Other men are worse than me”.  These women look happy and low-stress everytime I see them, largely because their husbands are doing their part.  A man of worth does not need to spew threats and foolishness to get you to stay.  He knows that he has been doing well in providing, protecting, listening, cherishing, and loving.

 Only the scared and insecure need make threats instead of making a case based on reality.  And only the scared, insecure, and uninformed will fall for such nonsense.

 

I went to get some maintenance done on my face at the salon the other day.

A basic face takes only 5 minutes. And you're worth it

I didn’t wear makeup there, and once done, I would ordinarily run my one or two post-salon errands makeup-free as well.

But, in the interests of looking polished at all times, I implemented a new policy.

After I was all done, I went in the salon’s restroom and took 5 minutes to do my everyday routine.  As Khadija said, we should strive to always step out looking our best.  Or, as Miss Monica Mingo puts it, “Be more vain!”

The Tide is Turning

April 29, 2010

I’m seeing the BW’s empowerment message being embraced (at least in part) on a number of BW’s blogs that had previously been dead-set against the idea.

It’s been amusing to watch the online “conversation comfort zone” in which several rabid and known “Ikettes” operate get smaller and smaller.

What the “Ikettes” and their Internet Ike Turner-puppetmasters don’t realize is that AA men’s ongoing failures and DBR behavior is the greatest and the most successful “recruiting sergeant” ever for spreading the BWE message.

Damaged Beyond Repair AA males are inadvertently proving the truth of the BWE analysis of AA women’s situation by their behavior!

And by their ongoing refusal to protect and provide for BW and children, AA men in general are burning their bridges with ever-increasing numbers of AA women. [Including the BW who previously felt politically obligated to support them.]

From what you said earlier, your conversation last summer with some educated, professional, on-the-surface-only-“good BM” DBR AA males was the final straw that fully yanked the scales off your eyes.

I had a similar experience a few years ago. It was the series of deeply selfish, DBR-type comments from so-called “conscious brothers” at a “Black Love/Black Unity” blog that ultimately pushed me all the way OUT of Black Nationalist ideology. [And I had previously believed in that ideology since college.]

The things these so-called “conscious brothers” said on that and other “Black love” blogs shocked me into the realization that the masses of AA males will NEVER protect and provide for BW and children—BW are on their own, and need to act accordingly!

So, whether the partially-aware and still indoctrinated AA women like it or not, there’s NO going back to sleep after one’s eyelids come even partially open.

–Khadija Nassif, commenting at http://actsoffaithblog.com/

 I’ve been pleasantly surprised over this last year.  A number of black women I have “e-known” for a number of years have begun to catch on the fact that yes, we are women, yes, people too and that GASP! –perhaps we should consider what people are doing for us when deciding whether to run ourselves ragged, rushing around to do for them.

As Khadijah said, all one need do is simply pay attention to what is going on. The unfortunate truth is right there.

And when the most ardent believers in a near-future of a happy, stable, and functioning black community…

The most eloquent preachers of “black conscious thought”….

The most strident deriders of the idea of AA women doing whats best for them individually, even if that means marrying out…

When those women snap out of it and direct that same energy, passion, and eloquence to the cause of Black Women Empowerment, watch out.

I was witness to the conversation that, in Khadija’s words, “snapped her out of her black nationalist trance.”  I remember feeling her escalating agitation as it became clear that the “conscious brothers” on that blog were more than happy for a sister who had come there for advice to remain unmarried and childless. Against her heart’s desire.  Because to them, that was better than her being involved with a white man.  When she finally let them have it, it was a “Whoa!” moment. 

And then, then my friends!  She gave us http://www.muslimbushido.blogspot.com .  The blog was wildly popular, and a book soon followed.  http://www.amazon.com/Sojourners-Passport-Womans-Having-Deserve/dp/1432751891/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264427281&sr=1-1  As Evia has often said, more black women should start blogs and comment because their different ways of seeing and presenting ideas may be effective with some black women where she has not been. 

It seems another black woman blogger is having a similar awakening:  http://blackconsciousthought.blogspot.com/2010/04/black-menblack-women-you-are-black.html

It can be a rough an painful process, but dealing with life as it is, rather than as you wish it were, is always the better choice.

Time to put on the cap and go sit in the cornerA followed a link from CreoleinDC’s blog to a discussion about an article on black women and romance/dating recently published by The Washington Post http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2009/12/man-speak.html.  The blog author, who goes by SBM (Single Black Male, though the S could well stand for other things) did the usual song and dance about undateable professional black women and how they need to tone it down and settle.

The lovely Mrs. Mingo was kind enough to offer her perspective, and a differing opinion.

Of course, then she was accused by the blog host and one of the other male commenters of being angry.  One even posted a picture of a dog. (How gentlemanly!)

Um, newsflash.  A black woman disagreeing with you doesn’t make her angry.  It makes her a person who disagrees.  An immediate attempt to invalidate her views by suggestion she is operating on emotion is a lame attempt to deflect attention from your inability to intelligently defend your position.  Suggesting she is a canine of the female variety provides further proof that she needn’t waste her time engaging you at all.