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Where Cosmo got it wrong…2015 Trends that need to R.I.P

Where Cosmo got it wrong…2015 Trends that need to R.I.P

Twitter has erupted with the new discovery of Cosmopolitan’s “21 Beauty Trends That Need to Die in 2015”  due to the fact that all the black women included in the article are featured in the “R.I.P.” category or  trends that need to go.  Such categorization has some publicly encouraging the boycotting of the magazine, while others have taken to the social media site with hashtags like #whatitsliketobeablackgirl. Yet my problem isn’t with the topic of categorization but why it exists to begin with, so in response to Cosmopolitan and all those crying wolf over this “problem” here’s my list of Attitudes That Need to Die in 2015.

1. Playing the victim: While racism in this world does still exist, it is important to know how to choose your battles. Sure there are 4 women in this article who are black, and all of them are in the “R.I.P.” category, but what about the remaining 17 who are either White or Hispanic who are also in this category? They aren’t taking to social media and hashtagging their lives away because it doesn’t matter. Sure as a community we have been dealt some dirty hands, but does this article really compare to the Trayvon Martins of this world? I think not. I mean sure Cosmopolitan has apologized, wonderful, but what about the apologies for all the deaths and injustice? Hmmm…crickets. So take a step back, reevaluate the seriousness of situations, and wonder why you’re worrying about the opinions of shrimp if you consider yourself a shark.

2. Discounting people because of race, features, etc.: One important thing I noticed about the Huffington Post article– which brought my attention to this outrage in the first place– is that they continually discount Nicole Richie’s inclusion in the Cosmo list because she is mixed. The same thing occurred when President Obama first took office as the world continually referred to his Hawaiian/White descent and began to discount him as a black man. However this isn’t just a problem in the media but also in our everyday lives. Just look on social media and you’ll see team light skins and team dark skins, team relaxed, natural, texlaxed, Hatian, Jamaican and everything in between. The constant segregation of our community from the inside needs to stop, and we need to learn to embrace and learn from each others strengths and weaknesses.

3. Instigating: Along with those who play the victim every time a horn sounds are those who add flame to the fire by supporting the ignorance whether knowledgeable or not. Take for instance all those who have retweeted others post on the Cosmo article, and of all those retweets all the incorrect information that was spread. Think of all the individuals who may not have taken the time to view the article themselves, but still tweeted about it just because it was trending.

4. Boxing: Now I don’t mean boxing as in self-defense. By all means if you feel the need to learn to protect yourself, as I feel we all should, do so and have fun while doing it. Feel empowered by doing it, but when you’re boxing people into a stereotype, look or any other aspect of someone’s life just because you think it’s not okay I have to stop you. The whole article is based on styles that some secluded group of people says is out of style. Changing my hair color from ombre to some fancy new dying trick should not be something I’m told needs to “R.I.P.” and it definitely shouldn’t be something I’m put down for. Last time I checked, my capability to shave one side of my head did not become more difficult just because a new year rolled around. Therefore I’d appreciate it if Cosmo and everyone other “fashion magazine” could learn that they have no right to tell me how to dress or do my hair. I understand that it’s all a part of the game, but if that’s the case then change the rules because you have a big enough audience to do so. If you refuse to change the rules, then stop acting like you’re trying to help empower women when every other season you’re telling them that they’re doing “it” wrong: from hair, to love, to smiling, to friending, to posting, to moisturizing, to sex, to family…how is you discounting my judgment suppose to empower me? It’s simply going to conform and destroy me.

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Posted by on April 5, 2015 in Be Pensive

 

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Finding Me

Finding Me

Since beginning college I’ve learned a lot about myself. How I act, what I like, who I like, why I act the way I do, etc. These realizations have helped me become a better person towards others and myself, and I’ve grown tremendously. But as of late I haven’t been feeling that such growth has translated into my wardrobe. I have some tunics, a lot of heels, some dresses, skirts and such but nothing that yells “THIS IS ME!”

Now I’m changing that one step at a time. I recently took part in Hollister’s $25 Jeans Sale to expand my “wearable” jeans collection from four to six. (In reality I currently have 10 pairs of jeans from eight, but like all women I have my faves. These Hollister jeans have just joined the pack.) I also brought a new pair of heels and flats to match them and some flats to match my older heels from Charlotte Russe. Target and Ross are also particularly close, so I’ve brought a skirt or two and some blouses from them, but before this closet conquest began I had to plan.

First I needed to figure out where I was going– like I do before I take on any major task. I looked at my lifestyle and decided what I wanted my wardrobe to look like. Now part one is a bit harder on revamping your wardrobe because you discover a lot of new styles, and you want them all. The key here is to be practical. Take a good look at your life and be honest– if you don’t go to an abundance of weddings or the likes and you prefer your time with your children, than you probably don’t need an abundance of dresses. Believe me it’s hard when you see all the “A-line this” and “pencil that’s” that would look terrific for that one time you had to go to that one thing, but take it from me it’s a waste of money. I had already started a board on Pinterest with styles and full outfits I admired on other ladies, so when I reviewed those I just looked for what style filled the majority of my board. (If you don’t own a Pinterest 1) get one because it’ll change your life and 2) don’t fret because you can easily use magazines and blogs to find styles you like.) I found that the majority of my board consisted of everything pencil dress/skirt related for work/formal attire and a simple jean, top and shoes look for my more casual lifestyle. My board also included quite a bit of gowns and A-line vintage dresses, but again we have to remember to be practical when revamping our closets, so those won’t be on the purchase list just yet.

Once I had settled on what I wanted my closet to look like I began purchasing the required items for said project. I started at Ross, Charlotte Russe and of course Victoria Secret– you can’t revive your wardrobe and leave your undies out to dry…they needed a makeover too. I chose Ross because it’s really easy to find cute tops for really cheap and as a college student this is a must. However, everything that glitters ain’t gold, so Charlotte Russe was my store for the more naturally fragile things like scarfs and heels because quality ALWAYS beats quantity. Victoria Secret has been my go to for all things “unmentionable” for a while now, I just hadn’t acquired the amount of undergarments I’d like (i.e. my bra game needed some help.) I went to other stores too like JustFab, Amazon and Target; but those were my staple stores.

Now I found that the best way to shop is in pairs, that is in outfits. When I was younger I would go into a store and pick a top from here, a bottom from there, those cute shoes over there, or maybe that sweater/hoodie there and be on my way. (Mind you none of these things matched, and I often had to go home and play the memory game with my closet to make outfits out of new and “gently used” clothes.) This fiasco went on for a while until my friend’s mom sat us down to chat about shopping:

“When you buy clothes, always pay for what you get. If you buy cheap and get bad quality it’s your own fault… Always buy outfits together. Get the top, the bottom and the shoes together– if you don’t already have something at home– that way you know what you can wear it with.”

This tidbit of information stuck with me all these years, so when it was time to shop I brought outfits just how she had taught me. It would seem like a simple resolve to buy whole outfits instead of just pieces, but common sense isn’t so common.

My wardrobe is now slowly coming together– I have a minor shopping problem, so maybe slowly isn’t the word– but I’m starting to wake up and put together fabulous outfits with little to no effort. I just received three packages today; one with shoes, one with a jacket and another with a DVD. (That last one is for my midterm I promise.) The heels are cobalt blue and the flats are blue, blush and a hot pink. I’ve been waiting for them for a week, so I’m really excited to finally be able to wear them. It’s kind of hard to explain, but there’s this exhilarating feeling I get from turning my purchases into fab outfits that scream “THIS IS ME!”

 

Note: Some blogs I’ve read say that you also need to find your color scheme. That means that you choose a family, or families, of colors and purchase according to that group. I’m all for having the staple nude colors, but I don’t know if I’d say I have go to colors. I have a lot of corals and blues, but not on purpose, and I barely wear either of them. I just buy what I like when I see it. I feel that if you’re purchasing individual items, than having a color scheme for your closet is good so you know that you have something at home to match it. However, if you have an abundance of neutral clothes and/or you buy your clothes as outfits (and not individual pieces) you should have no problem. 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Be Yourself

 

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Shape Up or Ship Out: How Christina Walsh Survived College

One of the hardest things to do in college is stay grounded; there are parties, relationships, classes and all of the university events to worry about in addition to keeping your sanity. It can be overwhelming for anyone — whether you’re a freshman or a super senior. So how do you tackle all the worries without all the drama? Simple … you ask alumni. I’ve asked Christina Walsh to give me a little insight on how to get through college.

Like many of us, Walsh didn’t come to Florida Gulf Coast University with the ideas of balance and organization. Originally, she was the typical student who thought that her high school study habits were going to fly in college, but when she found out she wasn’t meeting her expectations she resolved to reflect on her regular day to day activities and go from there. This is how she balanced her academic and social life: she looked at when most of her socializing took place and designated the opposite time to study. So let’s say you like to go out at night, then you’d wake up either in the afternoon or in the morning to study. It may take a while to get use to, but by setting a routine for your social life and academic life, you’ll allow both to coexist without the fear of self-destruction.

To start the year off right, Walsh advises to choose the gym over Netflix — and not just so she could look good. She found that by squeezing in a couple squats and laying down the clicker she had more energy to get back to work and finish studying. She also suggests making a checklist and rewarding yourself when you accomplish a goal with either a movie night, a nail day/night, or whatever floats your boat.

Now we all know that academics are only half of the college experience, and your social life is another 25 percent, but what about the remaining quarter? They consist of the catfights, peer pressures and self-esteem roller coasters. During the first two years of college, Walsh struggled with her confidence. Instead of focusing on how pretty other women looked she decided to combat low self-esteem by looking in the mirror to find things she liked about herself. “I like my eyes, my hair, and my smile.”

Walsh is a 21-year-old FGCU graduate from Sarasota, Florida. She is attending Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Tampa. Her hobbies include watching Netflix and more Netflix.  While attending FGCU she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and worked hard to balance her social life with her academics.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Articles

 

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#BringBackOurGirls

Trying to save these girls from NIGERIA, but what about the ones back home? Ted Bundy slid knives into his aunt’s bed, and they left him alone. This new guy killed women cause he couldn’t get none, and they listened to his words like lyrics to a song. Like round and round she go, and these hoes aint loyal. Forgive me if I’m on my own, if I seem weird or a little bit snobby because I think I was made for more: to love Him and praise Him, and one day raise him, the son that He leaves at my door. See I’m not saying we shouldn’t save them, but let’s speak the truth. We’re killing the darlings at our feet. Watching them curse, and abuse, be tormented and misused, all while shaking their bones to be seen. See there’s a past, and a present, and maybe even a future, so please go live your lives. But remember that one day all these paths will meet to give an account of who you are deep inside. So when you’re done over there, rescuing and saving those girls tragically taken from their homes, come back over here and maybe together we can show these young girls their not alone. That they’re not queens yet, but they’re certainly not vendors: selling their mind and body to the streets. Continuing an endless cycle, and it’s gone viral, cause it’s spreading to the churches and even P.E. So let’s raise them up, and dust them off, because— yes— they’ve been stolen too; from our hearts and homes; and they didn’t leave alone, but once they’re gone they can’t be brought back to you

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Be Pensive

 

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1 out of 100

1 out of 100

 

I’m a WOMAN! It’s something I’ve been waiting for since I was 15– you know that stage were you only have 3 years until you’re “grown”, you know everything, and bugs still make you squeal. Yep. I’d been waiting for it, and now that I’m turning 21 I’m ready to hit the pause button and embrace womanhood. Now with great titles come great responsibility, and I’ve taken them on willingly.

As a woman I have the right to pay bills, vote, be equally employed, laugh, shed tears, go crazy, go to war, stay at home, raise a family, get a degree, argue, and eat chocolate– my favorite. This new age of adulthood comes with a lot of rights, including the one to love myself and sometimes not even want to look at myself, and as a woman I’m accepting that more with each fleeting day.  And I find that as I accept I won’t always like what reflects in the mirror, my days get easier and my love grows stronger.

The CIA says there’s about 107 men to every 100 women. That means that seven lucky men are going to have to make that sacrifice and take on an extra wife– and I think my boyfriend got the luck of the draw. (Now I’m neither for or against polygamy… my stance is whatever makes you happy. Just don’t ask me to share. So I’m not saying he has a second girlfriend, but with my new found right he may feel like he does. )

From day to day I wake up thinking about who I want to be.  For as many faces and colors are in that photo, I wake up in the mood of each one. Some days I’m silly, others I’m philosophical. Some days I’m Aubrey, and others I’m Pink. (My boyfriend’s right is to figure out which I am from second to hour and act accordingly.)  I use to think there was a problem with my flip  in characters; like by some divine law I was restricted to one personality for the rest of my life– and some of that may have been because of the all the movies I watch. Aside from Miss Congeniality not many movies/shows I grew up with portrayed that a girl could be glamorous and adventurous. So when I found myself changing out of jeans and a tee with hopes of embracing the mascara and sandals the next day, I thought I just didn’t know who I was.

Now six years later… I see that I always have, and that a lot of people like it. Gone are the days where I look to my glamour girls and sigh because their makeup is intrusive and I’m not even sure what it’s called. Gone are the days where the dawn of a new school year brings about the decision to either be girly or athletic. I’m going to be comfortable! And that’s the only decision that truly matters. As long as you’re comfortable in what you wear, look presentable, and use all hygienic measures you’re good to go.

I can’t pinpoint when I made this realization. I know being in a sorority where there are a variety of girly athletes and glamour girls has helped, but most of it I would say was accepting and maturing. Accepting that maybe  Whitney was on to something when she sang “I’m Every Woman”, and maturing into my own skin without over comparing myself to my peers. My mom tells everyone I love wearing pants– but that doesn’t mean I can’t own a couple hundred dresses.

Caitlin Moran said it best:

“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Be Yourself

 

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I knew I could

I work out twice a year: once for Thanksgiving and once for Christmas— unless you count catching the Black Friday sales as a workout. I’m a girlie-girl. I love pink, shopping, dating, and hanging out with my girlfriends— but that’s not the extent of who I am. Like every other human being I’m complex, but my father didn’t see it that way. As a misogynist—a person who hates, mistrusts, or mistreats women— my father made it clear that I had only one role in life. To do whatever a man tells me.

If it didn’t involve getting married, preparing for marriage, or doing what he wanted there was no point in the activity. So when I stated that I wanted to learn how to ice skate at the age of six his reply was simple. “You’re not ready. You’re not mentally disciplined.” In layman’s terms “You’re not smart enough.”

I saw athletes as superior beings. They were pretty, strong, accomplished, they were above the influence of others, and I wanted to be one of them. However once my dad left his ideas stayed with me through freshmen year of college, so I never asked to play a sport again. But I stayed adventurous and goal-oriented, so when a women’s rugby player invited me to practice I agreed.

Arriving in boot cut jeans, a V-neck pink shirt and a black purse I walked towards where the team was gathered. (I must mention that my Big, my big sister in my sorority, had come along for safety reasons—she thought I’d get crushed or something.) I had no intentions of playing that night. I simply wanted to see what rugby was, and go from there. The player who invited me was happy to see me, but having to practice left me in the hands of an injured player, Alyssa, who attempted to explain what was happening on the field. When I finally began to understand the simple things, like throwing and running, she went a bit deeper. “Do you have running shorts?” she asked. “I have yoga shorts. I can run in those, right?” She showed a bit of amusement— I took that as a no. Here I was a girl who had never even touched cleats, and preferred yoga shorts over running shorts because they had that cute fold over band. I wanted to break free of the stereotypes shared by sorority and girlie-girls, but I hadn’t even broke free from the influence of my father.

I arrived to the following practice in Nike Air sneakers, a pair of sky blue running shorts, zebra spanks and an old middle school shirt. My whole ensemble, minus the shirt, belonged to my friends.

We began stretching and the team chatted for a bit before getting into practice. Once the stretches were over the coached walked towards me and we exchanged some military-like banter.

“What’s your name?”

“Hannah.”

“What sports have you played?”

“None.”

“What team?” She hadn’t heard me.

“Never.”

“Perfect.”

She turned away and walked back to the field of uncertainty. If I was nervous before, I was very well peeing my friend’s spanks now. Was she being sarcastic? Did she like the fact that I was fresh from the concrete? Was I in over my head?

She called for the girls to gather round and gave instructions for a drill. I began to follow the slimmer girls to their designated area— “You stand over there with Alyssa,” coach says.

She’s scared for me to.

Over the course of the next few weeks I asks questions during practices and try to get to know the girls— who giggle and chat during breaks but will knock you to the grown on the field. They try to be as helpful as they can—the coach still isn’t letting me play—but I decide that I can do this.

Now that I’ve decided to completely join the team, my first—and most important—order of business is to get my outfit together for practice. My cleats, gym bag, and shorts have to be perfect. I start my online search by opening tabs for Target, Walmart, Dick’s and Amazon. After a few hours of browsing I order my cleats and rugby shorts and am pretty satisfied with how little I spent. However I still don’t have a gym bag, so I take to the magazines. I look at the best styles and brands to see what I like, and I settle for a bright pink and gray Champion Gym bag—which I also got for a steal. I even brought a flavored mouth guard. (Fruit Punch— they were out of bubble gum.) When my cleats and shorts arrived I was beyond excited—well not so much for the shorts. They had an elastic waistband with a drawstring—a big no-no for fashion.

When the day finally arrived, I laced up my cleats for practice. I imagined learning how to run in them would be like learning how to walk in pumps, so I didn’t want to wait until my first game. I was finally allowed to join the ranks and go through some drills. We did some passing of the ball. I tried to focus more on getting it to the other girl than making it spin—the other girls had no problem doing both. The coach wouldn’t let me participate in tackle drills because I hadn’t taken my concussion test, so I passed the ball back and forth for several weeks.

Then the glorious day arrived. I wasn’t sure how to tackle correctly, and although I knew I could pack a punch the girls on the team were a lot bigger and meaner than me—and I had begun to feel like some had a strong dislike for me.

“If I have to explain it to you one more time I’m gonna slap you.” Suddenly this 100 pound girl—whose hair was kept in a long-flowing ponytail and whose voice sounded as sweet and harmless as can be—became a menacing tiger because I wasn’t sure where to go on the field.

To top it all off, in the course of my month worth of practices three girls had been injured—for a girl whose never broken a bone the thought of doing so was terrifying—I hadn’t told my mother I was on the team, and I had no insurance. Yet when the time came for myself and another player to tango I was more than ready.

I wanted to show them what this girlie-girl could do.

So when the whistle blew, signaling for us to start, I sprinted to the goal watching my opponent charge toward me with every intention of taking me down. Her hair was pulled back, sweat dripped down her face— but she didn’t bother to wipe it away—she wore Under Armor tops and bottoms to every practice—the stuff made for the best of athletes—she was dedicated, and she was strong. She had been on the team for about a year and was known to have a passion for the sport, but in my head she was just another player. She grabbed me around the waist and tried to pull me down. I did my best to keep moving, but after a few steps I was pulled to the grass. It was amazing. I got back up and got in line to do it again.

Once practice had ended, and we were all ready to go home I couldn’t help but smile. I had walked the forbidden fields of freedom, and— although I hadn’t completely overcome my dad’s voice in the background— I had managed to survive it.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Be Encouraged

 

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She’s growing up

“Hannah your mom brought you that?”

“No. I brought it.”

“Hannah you brought that with your money?”

“Yes.”

“You have a job?”

“Yes.”

Her name is Alexia, and I’ve known her for seven years. When we met she was about four. She was smart and she was driven. She was driven to be like myself and every other girl older than her. So every time I came to church with something new she came with the same questions.  (And she still does.)

Now she’s using lip gloss and body spray, and she’s learned to roll her eyes.  (Wonderful.) She’s growing up into beautiful young lady, but she has some challenges to face and that’s where I come in.  Just the other day I noticed Alexia getting excited because her dress is getting shorter. My first reaction was anger. (She’s too young to want to show off the little goods she does have. I’m still trying to figure out how to handle mine, and she’s ready to flaunt hers? No, just no.) But then I remembered how I felt at her age when my favorite skirt started getting shorter. I was excited too, and that’s when I realized that she wasn’t wrong for feeling that way. We were wrong for teaching it to her.

Short dresses and tight clothes seem to be the staple item in women clothing.  So Alexia’s first sign that she’s growing up is her short dress. She isn’t excited cause she wants to show off anything. She’s excited because she’s growing up. She realizes that she’s not a little girl anymore and, though that may bother her at times, it’s exciting.  So instead of getting mad at her, I sit her down and tell her that there’s more to growing up than getting attention and showing body parts. (I, of course, give her the rated G version of the convo.) I make sure she know it’s her brains that make her a young lady and not how she looks or what she wears.  I tell her that it’s how she carries herself that makes her beautiful, but she needs more. So I show her in the way I live. (After all she does look up to me, so she’s watching what I do. ) I hold off on a boyfriend because I want her to know that a man doesn’t make you a woman, but an education does. She knows I have guy friends, but she also knows that I’m involved back at my college, and I study hard.  I avoid dressing too provocative because I want her to know that showing skin doesn’t make you a woman. (Sometimes I’ll even wear a floral pattern or a graphic tee, so she understands that we’re not so different after all.)

Watching her grow, I’ve noticed that sometimes being upset and disappointed doesn’t do anything but break her spirit. My grandpa always said that “Those that know better do better.” (I think he was on to something.) Therefore, I can’t be mad with the way she acts sometimes because she doesn’t know any better. It’s my job– as the big sister because she refuses to call me anything else– to teach her better. She listens too. Sure I may have to remind her, but she gets what I’m saying. She’s growing up, but she’ll always be my princess. However now I’m not just her playmate, but also a confidante and an advisor. She’ll always be my princess, but she’s becoming a queen– and it’s my job to help her get her crown.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Be Encouraged

 

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