Tag Archives: self-esteem

Dove Digs Beyond Skin Deep

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real-beauty-redone
Yeah. I know. I’ve been absentee for a while. But, I’ll be back soon with hair and fitness updates. However, the reason I’m popping on here really quickly is because I just had to share this powerful ad by Dove. We’ve heard it said time and time again that we as women are often our worst critics. This Dove experiment put that statement to the test.

Powerful, huh?

Click here to see more of the sketches.

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Call Me Silly?!?!

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laffy-taffyby Weusi

I have been called many names. Some were nicknames. Names like … Why, Way, Biscuit, Lil Bill, Knowledge Knot, Boss, Schoolboy, Usi and Shy. Some were titles. Some were aliases. No, I’m not telling you those (I was using an alias for a reason!). Sometimes it was people mispronouncing my actual name. Some were adjectives. Some I embraced and accepted. Some I shunned and/or rebelled against. There are a few that I’ve done both with. One of those words is: SILLY.

As one that came up in a house where I took pride in being smart, the idea of being silly was awkward. But, since I also come from a perspective of creativity (Kuumba) and self empowerment (kujichagulia), I have reinterpreted the idea of what some may call silly as my blessing to be able to easily access the youthful energy that rests within me. SO …

This morning I picked up an old Laffy Taffy wrapper. I found one that I had tucked away in my sock drawer. What? Yes … Sometimes I save them because I like to see if I was just excited to get some candy or if it’s really funny. So …

How do you get water in the watermelon?
Plant it in the spring!
David L. from Glencoe, IL

Chuckle-Chuckle … but that wasn’t even the good one …

Why was the boy covered in gift wrap?
His mom told him to “live in the present.”
Jerome B. Norfolk, VA

HaHaHa … that was funny to me!

Ok … not laugh out loud funny, but … I liked the joke.

I know you are saying, “What does Laffy Taffy have to do with the cost of Shea butter in Ghana?” … Well … I am glad that you asked …

Ok, call me sensitive, an over-thinker or whatever you want, but honestly, the joke spoke to something deeper in me. I liked the fact that a corny joke reminded me to stay in the moment and sparked the idea that if we stay in the moment, we are the gifts. I am not sure if this was the original intent for Jerome B from Norfolk, VA, but I thank him for it. It felt like this was a reminder that these vessels, called bodies, that hold our spirits are the presents that we share with the world … while simultaneously our bodies are a gift that the universe has shared with us.

NOW, with that said …

Be you. Love you. Enjoy who you are. And by that I mean the gift that is the all natural you. The you that has been blessed with the gift of creativity and the choice to make changes. To bun or braid. To stay natural or relax. To rock with a curl or straight. None of it really matter on the outside unless it is a reflection/expression of your true spirit self on the inside. The truly natural you. So … do you … and do what you do …

SHiNE

Thank you Laffy Taffy wisdom … aka … I think too much … aka sometimes I make it deeper than it really is.

Natural Hair and the Media

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source: BoutiqueDeBandeaux (Etsy)

Last week, I shared an Infiniti commercial that featured a natural bride, because it really struck me and made me smile (see the commercial here). Someone wrote an insightful comment on the post that ended with, “[I]s it really necessary for a commercial to validate the beauty of natural hair?”

This reply prompted me to explain a little more about why this particular commercial struck me and my thoughts on the media as it relates to natural hair:

I’ve kind of always been a person who dances to the beat of her own drummer. So, I don’t need it to validate the beauty of natural hair. I just think that it’s nice to see, especially for children and young women who may internalize the images of beauty that they see promulgated by the media. I think the more we see diversity in all things, the more people are able to recognize their own beauty. So, again, although I don’t find it personally necessary for me, I don’t discount the influence of media nor the role it plays in the self-esteem of the impressionable.

I agree with what you say about the actresses too and sometimes think it’s just the sheer numbers. As more women become natural, more actresses auditioning for roles are natural. I think it’s partly just those mathematics. If it used to be that 1 in every 10 women who auditioned for a role was natural/curly and now it’s 5 in every 10 (just making up numbers, not saying that this is the reality), the chances increase that the actress cast will be natural.

But yeah, this one excited me … again, I think because she was a bride and even some natural women still seem to struggle with the idea of wearing their hair in natural styles for their wedding, because there is this residual idea that natural hair isn’t sleek or elegant enough for “special occasions.” I love that we have options and if someone wants to wear their hair straight because it’s a way to switch it up for the day and make it a little different from their daily look, or there is this particular style that they want, I’m all for it. I just don’t like the idea that someone might not wear their natural hair for a special occasion because it’s not “special” or elegant enough. So, I just liked the image of the bride, because, again, I do believe the media can influence self-image and public perception.

Okay, I’ve rambled and said my spiel!! LOL!! Just wanted to clarify why this particular commercial struck me:).”

Yeah … I know … that’s a mouthful ;).

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All that being said, what are your thoughts on natural hair and the media?

Eye Opening

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So, the other day, I was thinking about this pic of Jada testifying in Washington that I shared on my FB Page a couple of months ago. I went searching for it to save in my Style Inspiration folder for the next time I get a haircut with Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses. When I found it, I realized something … ummmm, yeah, that’s pretty much the cut that Tameeka gave me and my hair doesn’t look too much different. LOL!!! Do you ever do that?!? Think, “OMGOSH, her hair is AMAZING” and never realize that your own hair looks a lot like the hair you are lusting after?? We can be so myopic sometimes, not recognizing our own beauty.

#justsomethingtothinkabout

Margret’s Mane: A Book Review

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by Michelle

A co-worker of mine shared a book with me that her friend’s niece, Aprill Hogue, wrote and illustrated.

via Lulu.com

Margret’s Mane

“This is the tale of a curly-haired girl named Margret, who did not fit in her own little world … Poor Margret hated her hair, and she thought that her world was quite unfair. Why must she be so different from everyone else, with hair so strange–she doubted herself. Join Margret as she soon learns to see, that she is unique, and quite special indeed.”

It’s independently published and I ordered it from the website. Shipping was quick and I ordered it in Chloe’s name. When it arrived in the mail, I told Chloe she had a package. She said, “From who Mama?” I told her I didn’t know. When she opened it, saw a brown girl with wild hair and read the title, “Margret’s Mane,”she exclaimed, “Ms. Shelli sent this to me!” I just laughed and said ok.

A little background as to why this book is special to me and my child. Chloe was born with a head full of almost black hair and it just grew and grew and curled and curled.

Her hair always drew attention from others, especially when she wore it out. People would stop me to want to touch her hair (hell no). They wanted to know what I used on her hair, was she mixed and on and on!

It wasn’t until Chloe started public school that she began to pay attention to the differences in all of the kids. Three years ago, we moved to a diverse community and she has friends from all ethnicities. One of her closest friends is Emily, who has straight blonde hair with a bang. One day, Chloe came home asking for a bang … what? Cutting a female’s hair in the AA community is like a bridge from little girl to big girl – like middle school! Shoot, I was in the 9th grade before I got my first style with a cut! Her dad wasn’t cool with the idea. He wanted his little girl to stay a little girl as long as possible. Even though I wasn’t comfortable with it, I did accept and had to explain to him that other ethnic groups cut their little girls’ hair early (little bobs and bangs) and Chloe was just asking for what seems to be the norm to her. Even with this acceptance … she wasn’t getting a bang *lol*.

I talked to her during one of our hair sessions and I explained to her that God gave her curly hair and her curly hair did not want to be made to do the same thing day in and day out. If she got a bang, it would end up being a big bushy mustache on her forehead and wouldn’t look like Emily’s bang, because she had curly hair that wanted to curl, not be straight. She thought about it and then bust out laughing and said, “Ok Mama … A mustache … bwahaaa!”

Chloe first read Margret’s Mane at her after-care program with one of her teachers who is white and likes to “fix” Chloe’s hair in the evening. Oh, and Chloe brushes and styles her hair as well … lol. She was so excited, she said, “Mama, Margret has wild hair just like mine and it makes her unique like me!”

Chloe’s favorite page.

She went on to tell me all about the book and how her friends were nicer than Margret’s friends because her friends never teased her. The kids in her classroom (mostly the boys), smell her hair to see what scent it is … Organix Coconut Milk, BeeMine Island Mango, or Karen’s Body Beautiful Vanilla Latte!! *lol*

Long review short, if you want to add a book for curly kids that speaks to the uniqueness of their curls, then order Margret’s Mane by April Hogue at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/adh_books.

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Awwwwww!! Michelle, how you gonna let Chloe think I sent that?? Now I have to really send her something;)!!
Would/Have you purchased a book like this for your little naturalista? What has your child’s experience been like with her/his natural hair? Has it been positive or negative? How do/would you address hair and esteem with your little one?

Perfect Imperfection

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Hi guys!! Have you seen Curly Nikki’s interview with Tracee Ellis-Ross?!?!? If not, get yourself over there right now and check it out here!! What a great interview!!

Anyway, the reason I’m pointing it out is something struck me about the above picture, which was the lead for the interview. After sharing M’s guest post this morning about Hair and Self-Acceptance … and then going to the interview and seeing this pic again … I wrote in the comments:

“You know what I love about that first pic and want to point out? Look at the irregularity of Tracee’s hair pattern. There are kind of straight pieces on the left and bottom right, it’s coarser on the top with a less definitive curl …. and we LOVE it! I think we are often too hard on our own hair, looking microscopically, dissecting every single curl, expecting perfectly uniform perfection. But Tracee’s curls aren’t like this and she is the hair idol of many a natural. At the end of the day, we need to look at our hair, our selves as a whole and appreciate the beauty of imperfection. #justsayin 😉

#thatisall”

Looks like I’m having my very own Self-Concept Thursday!! Sorry for jacking your steelo Nik!! It just happened that way;)!

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Do you embrace YOUR perfectly perfect imperfection?

Be Weird. Be Random. Be Who You Are.

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I love this. I believe in being oneself … no holds barred … unapologetically. The whole idea of putting on a facade so others will like you or find you “acceptable” or “normal” is bizarre to me. I mean, they are going to know who you are eventually, right? So you better get them to like you for who that is … the authentic you … from the get-go. I mean, why would I even want someone as a friend or partner who didn’t appreciate my uniqueness, my quirks, my idiosyncrasies? Someone who would judge me harshly for those things or find me lacking in some way because of them? That would mean that they don’t value the true me and would either be disappointed, disgusted or dismayed when they discovered her … that, or I would have to live a lie the rest of my life.

That’s why I’ve never had the slightest compunction about revealing my love and excitement for all things cartoons and comics (see here, here, here and/or here) … and it’s why I proudly claim that I’m a nerd … it’s why I don’t hesitate or feel the slightest embarrassment about sharing childhood pics of me looking a mess (check out this post if you missed my Wave Nouveau tragedy ;)) … or feel any compulsion to expend lots of effort to always be/look perfect (for evidence of that, see here). And, it’s probably why I didn’t think twice about chopping off all of my hair 12 years ago to wear my hair in its natural state, regardless of what anyone else might say or think. ‘Cuz, you know, other than wanting to lose a few pounds every now and again, I’ve always been pretty comfortable in my own skin.

This is me. It’s always been me. Love me or leave me alone.

Embrace your weirdness. Revel in your random. Go out there and be EXACTLY who you are. Because not one person, but many, will love you for exactly who that is.

That is all.

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Who is the weird and random you?