Saturday, June 30, 2018
Some of you have been asking me how to create a skincare regimen. But before we do that, let's talk some basics:
First, consult a dermatologist for your own individual skin needs. I am not a dermatologist, but a humble blogger who has tried a bunch of different things. 'Nuff said.
Determine what your skin type is. As I transitioned from my twenties to my thirties, my skin has gone from dry all over to combination, and I have had to adjust my routine accordingly.
Good skin only comes from a good diet. Taking care of your body shows in your skin first. So make sure you are drinking your water, eating quality produce, and limiting the amount of junk food. Your skin will indeed thank you.
To start your skincare routine, you're going to need a few things:
Cleanser: I have been using Black Soap for a few years now on my face and it has blessed me. Black soap fades discoloration and has antibacterial properties that help it in the fight against acne. I also use Neutrogena's Deep Clean once in a while to get that tingly dream clean.
Toner: I love rose water as a toner. I typically spray a few sprays on after washing my face. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce irritated skin, fight acne, eczema, and dermatitis. If you're adventurous, you can always make your own rose water.
Serum: The serum you need should be based upon your skin's own individual needs. I really like Peter Thomas Roth's Potent C Power serum. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties (ascorbic acid) and plays a vital role in collagen synthesis. Another great Vitamin C serum is the Derma E Concentrated C serum that will still give you the benefits of pricier Vitamin C serums but for pennies.
A moisturizer: Nobody wants a dull dry looking face. So you're going to need a quality moisturizer. I like the beauty classic, CeraVe. I also like Kiehl's Ultra Face Cream. Just a tiny bit and my skin is nice and dewy for the day. I also love Chuda healing and hydration cream. During the colder, dryer months, this cream kept my dry leaning face in lovely shape and is also great for dry spots, skin injuries, and sunburns.
Speaking of sunburns...
SPF: You. Must. Protect. Your. Skin! Therefore, SPF! If you're using a moisturizer that already has SPF, you are on the right track. A good example of this is Chuda's sheer hydrating lotion SPF. I also like Derma E's Sun Protection Mineral Powder. It's light and easy to apply.
Some other honorable mentions:
A jade roller: I have already told you all the wonders of jade rolling. Originating in ancient China as a beauty tool for aristocracy, stone rollers, the most popular being the Jade roller, comes with supposed huge benefits. These rollers, used for a cool (as in temperature) facial massage, and are said to help "sculpt" your features by encouraging facial drainage (by encouraging your lymphatic system’s natural detoxification process), “brightening” your face (by increasing circulation and blood flow beneath your skin, creating a very visible glow), depuffing, and even toning slackening muscles.
A good mask: After a long week, why not pamper your pretty face with a mask. Right now, I am loving Aveda's Wedding Overnight eye and face mask. Sheet masks are also awesome and I really am liking the YesTo Sheet masks that come in a pack of six.
Micellar water: There is a lot of debate going on about the usefulness of micellar water, but I am here to confirm that my skin loves it. Micelles, the things that make up micellar water, draw out dirt and oil without drying out the skin. In essence, this makes micellar water effective as a makeup remover, a face wash, and a moisturizer all in one. My favorites right now are the Derma E Micellar Water and the Caudalie Micellar.
Scrubs: I love a good scrub. Exfoliation is key for healthy skin. I try to do a weekly gentle scrub of my face, typically with St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Cannot go wrong with a classic.
Things I haven't tried yet:
Peels: I haven't tried these because the videos of these look horrifying. The idea of peeling something off of my face frightens me, to say the least, but I would be willing to give it a go once.
Essences: I have been hearing about the benefits of essences, but I haven't had the chance to really try any. (Amore Pacific just sent me their Vintage Extract essence that I will be playing with so I will keep you updated on that.)
Some things worth noting:
Prepare seasonal specific skin care. Skin needs different things in different seasons. In winter, it's all about moisturizing; in the summer, it's all about protection. Be willing to try different things at different seasons.
Everything doesn't work for everybody. Be willing to find the products that woke best for you.
Be careful which products you use together! Some products do not work well with others so be mindful as you experiment.
Have fun! Skincare is fun. Watching the benefits of different products is fun and creating your own custom skin routine is very exciting. Have fun with it!
Friday, June 29, 2018
Man Repeller: How to keep your bedroom completely decluttered
BuzzFeed: 32 4th recipes for your 4th of July wedding
The Cut: The goodies on sale at Dermastore right now
Refinery29: Best 4th of July Sephora sale
WhoWhatWear: 13 affordable finds to copy from bloggers
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Well, you will be glad to know that you are not alone in your money struggles. Social media is full of folks who have some serious advice and accidents when it comes to money. Here are some hilarious, smart, and inspiring money tips straight from Twitter:
:) #taxes #personalfinance #moneytips RT @mcpheeceo— Selena Maranjian (@SelenaMaranjian) June 28, 2018
The IRS won't confirm it but I heard if you do your taxes dressed as an eagle you'll never be audited.
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. #MoneyTips— Donna Alfonso (@akodonna) June 27, 2018
You cant go wrong with a direct deposit. #savemoney #moneytips https://t.co/rUESzgrooh pic.twitter.com/wDtZEyNyZh— Boyd J Campbell (@boydjcampbell) June 28, 2018
If you can’t fight the spending temptation, try unsubscribing from marketing emails. The temptation will be gone allowing you to focus on saving💰💰💰 #MoneyTips #ItsAllInYourHands #money #spending #marketing #unsubscribe #emails #temptation #saving pic.twitter.com/WQWVWIvgcC— Ella Rivkin (@EllaRivkin_) June 27, 2018
If you make a purchase, big or small, and you’re feeling guilty about it, return it. There is no use in feeling guilt over a purchase #ERPS #MoneyTips 💰#return #guilt #badpurchase #moneyback #money #savingtips #shopping #shoppingtips pic.twitter.com/SjKY8vEtRv— ERPS Group (@erps_group) June 27, 2018
For someone with no money, I sure spend a lot of it. #broke #takeawaymydebtcard pic.twitter.com/ufIVbLBSQh— Kate (@kateneumann123) June 27, 2018
RT @NationalRelief_: You don't need to get yourself into debt this summer to have a great time! Follow these tips to make awesome memories and keep your budget intact. #FrugalLiving #Summer #MoneyTips pic.twitter.com/CgZgFfUnly— Carol A Lawson Esq (@ClwtrBkAtty) June 26, 2018
Money-saving Tip #426: If your kid asks to go to McDonald's for dinner, take them home and feed them a salad. Pretty soon, they stop asking. #saveyourcashforlater— Finances with Family (@financeswithfam) June 26, 2018
Do you struggle sticking to your monthly budget? Use these tips to help you succeed!#Budgeting #BudgetingTips #MoneyManagement #MoneyTips pic.twitter.com/mxR2sXzj1T— 4 Pillars Burlington (@4PBurlington) June 26, 2018
Don’t online shop when you’re stressed... #broke— Maria Grund (@maria_grund1) June 25, 2018
Okay so now I actually have to live on a budget ! This is going to be tough. #broke pic.twitter.com/S2jl5WPCgi— Malika 🇸🇪🏴 (@MalikaShake) June 27, 2018
it has come to a point in my life when I realize how broke I am due to the fact that I’m frantically running around the house looking for extra change so that I can pay for gas. #brokelife #broke— Alexis MaeAnn Jay (@lexi_mae_ann) June 26, 2018
Today's Readables feature why your favorite 'Sex & The City' character was $1 Million in debt, how millennials are actually better at managing money than most think, the trait that determines if you are good money, why you might want to consider a 'micro' wedding, 5 of the best investing apps.
BuzzFeed: Your favorite 'Sex & The City' character was $1 Million in debt
Relevant Mag: Millennials are actually better at managing money than most think
The Cut: The trait that determines if you are good money
Refinery29: Why you might want to consider a 'micro' wedding
My Domaine: 5 of the best investing apps
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Sunnies are one of my favorite accessories. For me, they complete the look, add a little extra flair, and a drop of cool to whatever I am wearing.
Of course, it's a grey and dreary day here in Philly, but we have a whole lot of summer to rock our faves.
Today the shades featured are by Quay Australia. I like Quay. Their shades are high quality like more popular high-end brands but without the high-end price (which is great if you're like me and tend to misplace your pairs from time to time.) Also, Quay has a wide variety of shades for every face and taste, so trend loves and classic cravers can have both your appetites satisfied.
Here are my top picks from Quay:
|Quay If Only Sunglasses|
|Quay Maximus Sunglasses|
|Quay Outside Squad Shades|
|Quay Hollywood Nights|
|Quay Capricorn Sunglasses|
|Quay Playa Sunglasses|
|Quay OTLII Sunglasses|
|Quay It's My Way Sunglasses|
Happy Wednesday, y'all!
This week's #WomanCrushWednesday features 'Self' Mag talks health and body positivity, Rashida Jones just made a PSA about workplace harassment we all need, the 28-year-old at the center of one of the most exciting primaries, before Rihanna and Teyana, there was Anita, and how 1 woman's self-taught braiding is now her big business.
Fashionista: 'Self' Mag talks health and body positivity
Refinery29: Before Rihanna and Teyana, there was Anita, how 1 woman's self-taught braiding is now her big business
BuzzFeed: Rashida Jones just made a PSA about workplace harassment we all need
The Cut: The 28-year-old at the center of one of the most exciting primaries
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
I think it goes without saying that the current political climate has indeed awakened and shaken the populous.
As a culture, we used to make fun of the person who was "woke" often clad with a vintage protest tee, a printed kufi and was the perpetual buzz kill of any party, bbq, or social gathering. But the last few years has changed that dynamic, and now being woke is something to espouse to. We have seen this shift in our conversations, on social media, hell, most of our cool tees and the popularization of pin and patch culture, all bearing some politically charged message, show the shift of the culture; that even our fashion speaks for us.
To be honest, there are enough issues for every person of the woke ilk to chose one and support it. But there is a social selfishness that pervades even our wokeness. We only support or speak on issues that directly affect our own communities. And while communal advocacy is vital, indeed essential, for that communities survival, there is something even more powerful when we can bring similar passion to conversations that have little or nothing to do directly with our own communities.
We need to care about each other. But in doing so, we also need to be responsible in that caring. Part of that responsibility is understanding the differences between being a savior and being an ally.
A savior is defined as "a person who saves, rescues, or delivers." The "savior" can be seen as the person who goes to underprivileged communities to "help" and are trying to "save" the people there. It is the Michelle Pfeiffers in Dangerous Minds, the Kevin Costners of Dances With Wolves, the Tom Cruises of The Last Samurai, the Hilary Swanks of Freedom Writers.
These people, who happen to be somehow connected to the oppressing community, seeking out the chance to save those who are oppressed, usually without knowing, understanding, or belonging to that community. In addition, these are the folks who place themselves in the center of the narrative. These are people who somehow seek to dominate those whom they are supposed to be helping. They typically do not ask those whom they are helping anything about their communities, their needs, or even themselves. In this, they render themselves unneeded and unwanted.
To be honest, the only savior I have ever needed is Jesus Christ.
An ally is defined as "a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose; a person who associates or cooperates with another; supporter." This is the straight, cisgender person who goes to the LGBTQIA+ marches and rallies, the White people financially supporting Black Live Matter, the man who talks to his friends about street harassment and why its wrong. These are people who have deliberately placed themselves in a position of support, rather than in the position of savior. Allies seek to understand the struggles and look for ways they can add their voice to the dialogue, rather than dominate it.
Here is Amanda Seales with an interesting (and of course hilarious take on the Savior/ Ally narrative as in pertains to White and Black People:
Recognizing that we are all in the same family. Interestingly enough, the term ally also carries a biological definition: "a plant, animal, or other organism bearing an evolutionary relationship to another, often as a member of the same family." Meditate on that "...bearing an evolutionary relationship to another, often as a member of the same family." Being an ally is to see the relatedness of us all, the interconnectivity of us all and operating therein.
Recognizing when to shut up and listen. The main difference between allyship and savior-ship is that allies arrive to the conversation while saviors seek to control it. Allies come and listen while saviors come to talk. Allies come to participate, saviors come to dominate. To be an ally, you have to know when to shut your mouth and open your ears.
Recognizing the power of your own voice in a fight that is not yours. Every one of us has a voice. And our voices are powerful, but especially when we are speaking up for others. A man telling another bro "naw, it's not cool for you to talk to women out here like that.", a Christian standing up and saying that a Muslim ban is wrong, citizens defending those who are seeking asylum at our borders, are all powerful moments where allyship is exemplified.
Recognizing your own privilege and wielding it well. We all have privilege. I am a cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, employed, Christian with a platform. All of those are forms of privilege that if we had more time, I could prove are privileges simply by flipping the script on each and showing you the opposite. In each of those, I can enter rooms and conversations that those who are not those things cannot, and affect change there, not to be their savior, but to lead to their already collective voice, and express their needs in a way that has been expressed to me by my involvement with them.
In short, Jesus is the only one who saves. Don't be a savior, be an ally.
This week's #TuesdayShoesDay feature 20 pairs of white canvas sneakers for summer, 31 head-turning pairs, 14 of the top women's sneakers, the $10 sandals that look super expensive, and the $10 Amazon blister miracle.
WhoWhatWear: 20 pairs of white canvas sneakers, the $10 Amazon blister miracle
BuzzFeed: 31 head-turning pairs, the $10 sandals that look super expensive
The Cut: 14 of the top women's sneakers
Monday, June 25, 2018
We were having a great Sunday. Earl had just led our church in worship for the first time and to stay that I am proud of him is a major understatement. We decided to skip out on our normal, post-church haunts and try something new. He took me to an airy, plant-filled healthy fast food place. The food was good, the sun was shining. The birds were chirping. Life was really feeling good.
Things I learned:
I expect the worst and that I need to stop that.
BuzzFeed: 28 satisfying summer recipes that happen to be vegan, 15 incredible banned books
As/Is: 11 life-changing beauty products to try
Career Girl Daily: 6 Monday morning rituals to help you feel more successful
My Domaine: 3 breathing exercises for anxiety to help keep you calm
Friday, June 22, 2018
BuzzFeed: 9 affordable summer style tips and looks
The EveryGirl: 7 most versatile summer pieces that you probably already own
The Cut: The rise of plus-size minimalism
Refinery29: The lipstick that is helping reunite families at the border
Man Repeller: Here is how to help detained families
Thursday, June 21, 2018
"Gimme my check. Put some respeck on my check. Or pay me in equity, pay me in equity, and watch me reverse out of debt." Beyoncé has been trying to tell her people how they can enter into a world or not just the rich, but the wealthy.
She, a patron saint (see what I did there) of equal pay (she did write an entire op-ed on the subject that is totally worth the read) upgrades us by littering her own songs with money references. Beyoncé is after all, the one who told us in "Formation" lyric "always stay gracious, best revenge is you paper."
However, the above lyric has caused some stir of disagreement. Recently, Refinery29 released a piece saying that you do not want to be paid in equity, saying;
When asking Forbes writer William Baldwin about equity, he explains how equity works for us normal people; "Say [your option award] is for 10,000 shares. You are entitled to nothing if you quit (or get axed) within 12 months. You get 2,500 options at the one-year anniversary and further amounts monthly or quarterly. The fact that people job-hop makes options less valuable than they appear to be."
While I (and you know, actual financial experts) will tell you that equity alone is not the way to build wealth or to make big bucks right now, it is a smart money move for the future. Playing smart and for the long term is the key.
Equity, in essence is ownership in the company. When a company offers its employees equity, they are giving stock options to the employees that grant them the ability to purchase shares in the company they work for at a discounted price.
I think that this article understands what Beyoncé is telling us subliminally; ownership is the key. I don't think Beyoncé is telling you or I to only accept stock options. I think she is saying that if you are getting a check, respect your check and get some options as well. We don't big up ownership and diverse portfolios enough. Think about the benefits of ownership; future stock options and ultimately, partial ownership in the company you're working for.
If you are planning to be at your company for longer than a year, it might be beneficial to take on some equity. Yes, it's risky, in the same way cooking bacon on a stove is risky for grease burns (it happens, but if you are paying attention, are patient, and are careful, the end result is a tasty breakfast.) And while you, as a normal person, should still be collecting your checks, ownership and options are not a bad thing, like this article expresses.
What it boils down to is paying attention, being smart, and trusting your judgement.
I mean, if we are going to take financial advice from an entertainer, why wouldn't it be Beyoncé? After all, she did say, "My great-great grand children already rich. That's a lot of brown chil'ren on your Forbes list."
Happy First Day of Summer, loves! Ready for another financial focused Readable?
Today's Readables feature what people with unconventional careers are tired of hearing, 10 women who have successful careers that have noting to do with their degrees, unexpected savings tips, the astounding amount of money you can save by cooking at home, and 20 cents more for clothes could make a living wage for factory workers.
The Cut: 20 cents more for clothes could make a living wage for factory workers
My Domaine: The astounding amount of money you can save by cooking at home
The EveryGirl: What people with unconventional careers are tired of hearing
Refinery29: 10 women who have successful careers that have noting to do with their degrees, unexpected savings tips
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
It’s been obvious for some time now. The specific body enhancement of her backside and the constant appropriation of African hairstyles supports the theory. Not too long ago, Vogue published the article by Patricia Garcia “The Dawn of the Butt”, which has caused some major issues between communities of color and the publication. ( side note: if you want a good laugh, go on Twitter and type in #voguearticles…amazing.)
But even before that, CNN correspondent Dr. Anthony Youn stated back in February of 2013 that “Kim Kardashian is still the poster child for a large and shapely backside.”
Now, put this along side of the hundreds of years of criticism against Black Woman's bodies, it makes things even more ironic. Even Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” song begins with one White women grossly disgusted at the size and shape of a passing by Black black woman’s physique, ending with her tirade to Becky saying “She’s so…BLACK!”
We see tangible examples of this simultaneous fascination and disgust over Black physiques in history. In the early 19th century, a kidnapped and enslaved woman by the name Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman was purchased as part of a circus sideshow. Born to a Khoisan family in South Africa, Saartjie had a genetic medical condition called steatopygia, a condition caused by concentrated amounts of fat in the buttocks and sometimes extends to the front of the thighs and knees, a genetic characteristic in the Khoisan and Bantu tribes of South Africa.
Sarrtjie was convinced in 1810 by a British doctor to travel to London, England where should become very wealthy due to her extravagant looks. She instead was paraded around as a freak show oddity, usually naked.
This humiliation lasted until public attention wore thin. She then went into prostitution which, it is said, led to her dying of syphilis in December of 1815.
Her exhibition continued even in death. Instead of being given a proper burial, Saartjie’s body was dissected, then put on display for over 150 years. Museum goers could view her brain, skeleton, and even her genitals before her remains were laid to rest. Interestingly enough, during this time, White Women had begun wearing “bustles” a device that mimicked a large, round backside. How ironic that the White Women who were going to see Sarrtijie’s “gross characteristics” would have been wearing a device to mimic them.
For years, black girls were told that big butts were unsightly on one end, but on the other end there were entire albums throughout the decades dedicated to the derrière (and the ability to rhythmically bounce it). Now all of the sudden, because of Kim K and an Iggy Azelia song, it’s the “year of the booty”?
I’m just going to go ahead and say it so we can all move on from here: BIG BUTTS WERE GREAT LONG BEFORE WHITE PEOPLE DECIDED THEY WERE. And just because popular culture has decided they are ok really doesn’t affect how we currently feel about our booties. Booties will be great long after the fad of them wears off in popular culture. Before Kim K paid for hers or Iggy made everyone comfortable with the idea of the big butt, they were more than ok in the black community and they will continue to be. As far as many are concerned, every year could be the year of the booty.
Butts have been have been big for years. Curvy girls have been owning it for longer than these popular yet somewhat pretentious publications have even been around.
Beyond the booty, Kim has frequently, despite all types of backlash and outrage, continued to appropriate hairstyles from Black culture.
It seems almost ironic that as type these words, Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair begins playing on my shuffled music.
The lyrics, “Don’t touch my hair, when it’s the feelings I wear. Don’t touch my soul, when it’s the rhythm I know. Don’t touch my crown. They say the vision I’ve found. Don’t touch what’s there, when it’s the feelings I wear. They don’t understand what it means to me, where we chose to go, where we’ve been to know. You know this hair is my shit, rolled the rod, I gave it time
But this here is mine.” are the perfect backdrop for our discussion today on Kim K and her recent appropriation.
That’s right. Another week, another Kardashian/ Jenner Black appropriation story. (I feel like since I have been writing publicly, my posts have seen more than its share of culture-vulturing from this clan, and it’s beyond enough.)
I find myself in a difficult place with Kim K. On one hand, I don’t like her because I find her problematic from a feminism stance, and from an authenticity space because I find her fake at times.
To be honest, it would be easy for me not to like her. Given the fact that I feel that she personally responsible for the demise of one of the culture’s most prolific musicians to ever rap (shout out to Kanye’s College Drop Out and Late Registration days) and sent him straight to the sunken place.
Then there are times when I am legitimately rooting for her. When she took the time to educate her followers on the Armenian genocide and donates to positive causes, how she lobbied for Alice Johnson to get out of prison, those are the times I want Kim to win.
As of this week, I don’t particularly care for her.
Earlier this year, she posted this pic of her, barely clad, as we have come to expect her in all of her exhibitionism, with a head full of cornrows and beads, calling them “Bo Derek Braids”.
Insert eye-roll of all the eyeballs here.
First and foremost, those braids are called Fulani braids, or at the minimum, cornrows. They are a hairstyle popularized by the Fula people of Western Africa. They are an ancient hairstyle imbedded with meaning and identity that have been around for hundreds of years.
They certainly didn’t start in 1979 and certainly not by Bo Derek’s appropriating behind either.
Secondly, (Spoiler Alert) it’s not just a hairstyle we are talking about. Its part of African culture that children of the diaspora have been frantically reclaiming, a culture that was all but erased from us during slavery.
For Black People, it’s not just a hairstyle. This goes beyond mere aesthetics down to the cultural oppression and refusal to acknowledge privilege.
For years, Black Women were subjected to hatred due to our hair styles, being told it was messy, unkempt, and the like by popular culture. There were even laws directed at Black Women to control how we maintain our hair styles. All of that only to now have it appropriated by the same culture that deemed it all the adjectives for bad you could think of.
Black women were once forced by law to wrap their hair to “keep order”. Locs were once called dirty, and now Becky and Brittany be rocking them beneath flower crowns at Coachella. Slicked “baby hair”, once considered “ghetto” is now walking down the runways of Marc Jacobs’ shows (Like almost every season now, by the way).
Now…Bo Derek braids…
And influencers, such as Kardashian, stealing from a culture that is not their own is only fueling the cultural theft. She is a troublingly frequently and flippant cultural appropriator and, worse of all, refuses to acknowledge it as a problem ever.
Being married to a Black Man and having what the world will consider Black Children does not make you entitled to Black Culture. It will always be problematic, no matter what she does or when she does it, especially given her flippant, “deal with it” attitude.
It has become so frequent, Kardashian has become a joke to most of us.
So no, Kim. Just because Bo Derek wore them in the 70’s doesn’t mean the style can or should be attributed to her.
My culture is not a costume, it’s not a trend. It is who I am, who my people are, and it’s bigger than aesthetics.
This post was originally shared on Medium.
Happy Wednesday, beauts and beaus.
This week's #WomanCrushWednesday features how you can help immigrant families being separated while seeking asylum, the beautiful Black woman who taught us to be beautiful, 15 mom shorts outfits, Beyoncé's rudest lines on Everything Is Love, and Beyoncé and Jay Z's new video shows Black bodies as beautiful and in control.
WhoWhatWear: 15 mom shorts outfits
Refinery29: The beautiful Black women who taught us to be beautiful
The Cut: The power lawyer who believes in power dressing, Beyoncé's rudest lines on Everything Is Love
Racked: Beyoncé and Jay Z's new video shows Black bodies as beautiful and in control
My Domaine: How you can help immigrant families being separated while seeking asylum
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Juneteeth is the celebration of people of African descent when emancipation finally reached Texas on June 19th, 1865. It is essentially the U.S. second Independence Day despite never being made an officially national holiday. It is, however, a state recognized holiday, the first state to recognize it being ironically Texas on 1979. While it is largely celebrated with parades and festivals by people of color, Juneteeth is beginning to pick up in popularity across the nation.
And I think its great, although I am wary of it going the St. Patricks Day/ Cinco De Mayo/ any other culturally celebrated holiday popular culture gets its hands on and twists for its own amusement, wringing out all of its relevance
But, like Frederick Douglass asked "What is July 4th to the slave?" I would like to ask "What is Juneteeth in Trump's America?"
When acts of racism have skyrocketed in the last 2 years.
When police brutality is on every screen.
When justice seems so far from people of color.
When immigrant children are being torn from their parents and thrown in camps in the desert.
How can we, as Black People, turn a blind eye when there are others who are suffering when we too know that suffering? We shouldn't. We cannot be apathetic in these critical times. We would dishonor our own ancestors, our own heritage, our own legacy.
And we, my people, are better than that.
This Juneteenth, I encourage each of us, children of slaves and slave owners, children of immigrants both willing and forced, children of former asylum seekers that have crowded beneath a star spangled and blood spattered banner of our tattered union, to find the thing that will help someone else be free.
Man Repeller: The best summer sandals
Refinery29: The summer shoe trends that still reign supreme
Well+Good: 10 of the most comfy and stylish sandals
Career Girl Daily: 20 summer proof work shoes
WhoWhatWear: 15 pairs of all white summer sneakers, 15 blister proof summer shoes
Monday, June 18, 2018
This weekend, The Carters dropped their long promised collaborative album, Everything is Love. They announced this drop with the visuals for their song, Apes**t, seen above.
The couple literally shut down the Louvre, populated it with dancers of color and filled its halls with trap beats. The visual feast that is this video is a very black triumph in a traditionally white space.
One Twitter user broke the video completely down by significance to the art pieces featured:
Y’all this #Apeshit video has me losing my shit. This moment right here is the fulfillment of my art history degree. Beyoncé’s vision and talent is unmatched. Stay tuned for some thoughts. #Beyoncé #EverythingIsLove pic.twitter.com/IMrVlyl6wf— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
1) The visual and lyrical message of #Apeshit is that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have MADE IT. They own the motherfucking Louvre which has been and still is a white-centric space with a history deeply rooted in colonialism. Thus, centering black bodies in this space is radical. pic.twitter.com/lLafST2Urd— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
2) The first shot of the duo is in front of the Mona Lisa, the most recognizable portrait in the museum. People from around then world flock to the Mona Lisa to take their picture with her (i.e. next image). Beyoncé (and Jay-Z I guess) is visually asserting herself as Mona Lisa. pic.twitter.com/smpysAEDyy— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
4) Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace, an Ancient Greek statue of the goddess of Victory. Beyoncé’s costuming mimics the folds of the statues drapery and positions her as Victory. She is clothed in white, imitating the statue’s current bleached state. pic.twitter.com/7tvexxCBbf— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
5) Here, Beyoncé once again models herself as a Greek statue, this time the Venus de Milo. However, in this shot she wears a nude bodysuit with wrapped hair, reframing both goddesses of beauty and victory as a black woman. This dismantles white-centric ideals of beauty. pic.twitter.com/W8vRT9hoNo— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
6) Most of the art featured in this video is from the Neoclassical period, meaning the Napoleonic era. Reminder, Napoleon was the worst and went around colonizing much of Egypt, Syria, etc. This painting is The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques Louis David. pic.twitter.com/tagQgqouz0— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
10) This can be extrapolated as an allusion to historical white violence against black bodies, specifically sexual violence against black female bodies which are centered in #Apeshit as beautiful and powerful. pic.twitter.com/9GLNzmHifN— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
11) Next we see a celebration of black love in addition to black beauty. Subtext of this image is death (stab wound on chest), specifically the endemic murder of black men due to police brutality and the consistent devaluation of black lives. pic.twitter.com/d8vbMdpKrq— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
11) Next we see a celebration of black love in addition to black beauty. Subtext of this image is death (stab wound on chest), specifically the endemic murder of black men due to police brutality and the consistent devaluation of black lives. pic.twitter.com/d8vbMdpKrq— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
12) This is a portrait of Juliette Récamier by David. She hosted one of the most popular salons in the city and was a brilliant intellectual. However, the styling of these two women is much more similar to Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of a Black Woman. pic.twitter.com/89VRMsGxiS— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
13) Benoist’s Portrait of a Black Woman is one of the only portraits of black women in the history of Western art until the 20th century or so. It was completed by a female artist, possibly in support of the abolition movement. Now we have a female creator + black independence. pic.twitter.com/QB9c09y2W2— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
14) This is The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault which was a political painting that criticized the incompetence of the Bourbon Monarchy (allusion to Trump?) but also features a black man at the apex of the image as the bearer of hope for those trapped on the raft. pic.twitter.com/cFkjzAMf86— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
15) It is also thought that this image is critical of slavery. Jay-Z is obviously juxtaposing himself with the man in Gericault’s painting in addition to other clearly problematic portrayals of black men from the nineteenth century which depict them as exotic or animalistic. pic.twitter.com/xsdaduibcB— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
18) Essentially, #Apeshit is not only a brilliant celebration of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s success but a self-aware acknowledgment of their success in the face of historical/current oppression as well as an expression of gratitude to their predecessors who are too often forgotten. pic.twitter.com/fUDae55N5w— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
Or as another Twitter user so eloquently points out.
This bitch took over the Louvre, filled it with trap beats and beautiful black bodies and then released it on her OWN streaming platform on Juneteenth. Beyoncè trolls on a different level. Your Calabasas shoe merchant could never.— Camilla Blackett (@camillard) June 17, 2018
What do you think about the new Carters video? Drop a comment below!
This week's #MindfulMonday features how to show more gratitude in your relationships, how to unwind at the end of the day, the most discrete sex toys, 10 healthy snacks that are not granola bars (but are healthier for you), and Sephora gets serious on serious on clean beauty.
The EveryGirl: How to show more gratitude in your relationships, the most discrete sex toys
Career Girl Daily: How to unwind at the end of the day
My Domaine: 10 healthy snacks that are way better for you than granola bars
Well+Good: Sephora gets serious on serious on clean beauty
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Galatians 5:14 says "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”"
So no, Mr. Sessions.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Happy Friday beauties and beaus!
Today's Readables feature Ikea and Solange announce a collaboration, Sephora is planning its own beauty con, how to dress for humid weather, 9 amazing natural deodorants, and 22 women on the best advice from their dads.
Apartment Therapy: Ikea and Solange announce a collaboration
The Cut: Sephora is planning its own beauty con
WhoWhatWear: How to dress for humid weather
Well+Good: 9 amazing natural deodorants
Refinery29: 22 women on the best advice from their dads