Friday, May 29, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
I’m 100% sure that if we change ourselves, we have the ability to change the world. Why am I so bold to say change the world? Here’s my train of thought:
- black woman changes/reinstates her true standards=
- black man has no choice but to (eventually) oblige=
- black family gets stronger, and is more prevalent
- black family=strong values, morals, goals, pride, REAL education=
- less fatherless children= less black juvenile delinquents, teen pregnancies
- black family= important= less foolishness (b/c more to live for) =less (adult black male) jailbirds
- once the black family in in tact...there is NO stopping us!=
- then comes the stronger black community...again there is NO stopping us!=
- more black owned/supported businesses
- then we’re taking over!
The rest of this may not be cohesive because I am emphatically overzealous about this topic so here it goes. MMMAAAAAY sound like a rant, THAAAAT’S because it is....
We first need to respect ourselves, our sisters AND our brothers.
Just the rudiments of self-respect will change your world, and the world around us. I promise. You won’t take ish from anyone, because you respect yourself enough not to. You won’t let people walk all over you, because they obviously don’t respect you, and you KNOW the respect you deserve. You’ll have a different outlook on life. Surround yourself with respectful people. No more drama. You’ll have a new strut a new walk. You’ll attract a-whole-nother breed of people in your life. Your light will shine brighter than ever before.
But first let’s discuss a few factors...How do we get this self-respect?
- how we dress
- your body is NOT the only thing you have to offer men. REALLY, it’s not. You’re soooo much more sis. TRUST!!! Nor do/should you need that male attention to validate you. AGAIN, you’re soo much more than that. Think about it, if that’s the attention you seek, exactly WHAT kind of man do you think you’ll reel in slinging THAT bait? The one who wants to objectify and use you, that’s who.
- how we speak to/about each other
- cursing is NEVER ladylike. try to keep it at a minimum.
- when’s the last time when a sister walked into a room, you greeted her with a smile instead of checking her out and assessing how much of the threat she may be in the inter-room dating pool
- How we act
- can we GET anymore divisive?
- respect is a verb, not just a noun.
- cursing people out in public, is not an option. be civil. get your point across eloquently as effectively without the added drama. realize that people WANT to see you act a fool. People pray on your downfall. All you’re doing is giving them the pleasure of getting under your skin. Recognize that’s ALL it is. Scoff. And move on.
- how we dance in the club....like, seriously!
- “chivalry is dead” ...the hell if it is. WE allowed it to vanish. WE allowed men to get comfortable NOT opening doors for us (store doors, restaurant doors, car doors etc)
- if we’d just stand outside the place until he opens it, he’ll damn sure come around and open it.
- I MEAN EVERY WOMAN....EVERYWHERE
- if we ALL wait for a door to be opened, I GUARANTEE a man will open it
- yeah we might be standing outside of a few places, or loosing relationships along the way but it’s for the greater good. I look at it like sit-ins.
- There was an inequality that was going on. One person/group of people refused to move until they were served. They might not have been served that day but these demonstrations were for their and generations to come to be able to reap the benefits of their tenacity.
All it takes is one person at a time to realize their role in the grander scheme of things. And once we’re all on the same page, at the same time, there’s no limit to what can come of it.
Call it over-ambitious, call it being true to my piscean ways, call it whatever you want. But until I see it tried and failed, this is what I will believe until the day I die. And will be a living example. I challenge you to join me.
Monday, May 18, 2009
There are two types of chemical straighteners that dominate the hair market today. Sodium Hydroxide “Lye” perms and Guanidine hydroxide (also known as Lithium Hydroxide “No Lye” perms. With pH (potential hydrogen) levels between 12%-14%, sodium hydroxide is an extremely corrosive alkali chemical. Anything with a pH level higher that 7% is alkaline and anything below is acid- the lowest being 1% and highest being 14%. The FDA banned the use of more than 10% sodium hydroxide in it’s household cleaner liquids.
Guanidine hydroxide or “no lye” relaxers doesn’t imply that there aren’t any strong chemicals used or that chemicals used are somehow less potentially damaging. There is really no difference between the two. A lower pH level is only replaced by more acid causing the same damages to both the hair and scalp.
BOTH SH and GH have extremely high pH levels. BOTH immediately strip the hair of all it’s moisture, due to the fact that any retention of moisture would reduce the effectiveness of the relaxer.
..::put your thinking caps on::..
when you get your relaxer...ever notice:
-your stylist has to wear GLOVES in order to apply the relaxer;
-you can’t keep it in more than 5 minutes, otherwise it will burn AND scar;
-if your stylist is pregnant, she must wear a MASK to apply the relaxer;
-as the instructions state, you have to NEUTRALIZE your hair directly after washing it out
There are specific scientific reasons for ALL of the instructions.
Aside from the effects to the hair, these chemicals are absorbed through the skin into the tissues, cells and bloodstream. Just as there are drugs that absorb through the skin ie. niccotine patches, birth control etc, the relaxer is no exception. Relaxers aren’t drugs but the skin definitely absorbs everything. There are not only short term, but also long term harmful effects to the hair, skin, circulatory system.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
As I come into my naturaldom, I've notice an unwritten, nonverbal tension between women who straighten their hair versus those who wear their hair naturally. If I wasn’t interested in going natural, I don’t think I would have noticed this tension. My contention is that the “straighteners” think the “naturals” are lacking in beauty or the concern with it. Meanwhile the “naturals” are thinking the “straighteners” are lacking in knowledge/love of self. Please correct me if I’m wrong. This is merely my hypothesis. The next piece is taken from a lovely web entry I stumbled across- which sites information from Willie Morrow’s book “400 Hundred Years Without a Comb”- intertwined with my personal thoughts as well.
We come from a continent where our hair was maintained, styled, and adorned based on the customs and traditions of our ancestors. The comb was considered a work of art. Through the designs of the combs, one would be able to tell the owners tribe, his/her rank in the tribe, wealth, history and culture. In fact, grooming and the art of haircare found unique expression in the African society. When forcibly brought over to America, our ancestors had their hand-carved wood combs confiscated because they were seen as potential weapons. To replace this, they were given the fine-toothed European combs that proved useless for their naturally thicker, curlier hair.
Even though our ancestors were violently forced to submit to their new environment, their hair refused to co-operate and didn’t relinquish it’s unique characteristic. In my opinion, this is one of our eternal ties to our ancestors, who we truly are, and who we are destined to become.
In addition to being denied the tool for grooming, under the slavery regime there wasn’t exactly much time allotted for hygiene and beauty.
As a result, our ancestors were condemned to constant scalp diseases and unhealthy hair that fell out in clumps. Female slaves took to wearing a head rag, usually made from discarded grain or feed sacks to cover up head sores and bald spots. They also used the rag to protect their exposed scalps from hovering flies.
At the beginning of the 19th century, slave masters began to allow more time for personal grooming, in order to improve the market value of their “property.” Slaves were given old combs and dull scissors for their hair instead of animal shears. The house slaves were given strict rules for their appearance; men were forced to keep their hair cut extremely short and the women had to keep their hair covered if it was braided, or straightened with a hot iron. When slaves were finally permitted to groom, the goal was to make it long and straight, emulating their “masters.”
Friday, May 15, 2009
I feel a hair-volution in the air. And the hair-volution will not be televised.
The next few entries will be a series for “embrace your hairitage.” This topic has been on my mind for the past few months. With the stories in the media about Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama, Oprah and the recent Tyra show episode, I felt compelled to share my research and opinions for this “good hair vs. bad hair/ straightened vs. natural debate.” Let me just say that I am NO expert on this topic but I have been doing research since I started my journey into “naturaldom.” In my heart of hearts I knew I was making the right decision to go natural but I wanted all the scientific evidence to back me up so it wouldn’t just be a phase, but rather a definitive, informed decision such that I’d only be the ULTIMATE hypocrite to go back. PS: I’m doing the “BC” (big chop) this June, as it the optimal time in this year’s lunar/ solstice schedule.
..::lesson learned::.. If you seek knowledge on any particular topic, there is nothing to stop you from getting it; no matter what it is!
Some of the information I share will be from websites, books, or blogs etc. I will also have a list of references/hyperlinks so that you too can seek this type of information if you so choose.
Come on this journey with me...
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
I was in a store recently and a woman said I looked great and she’d love to be my size. I never know how to respond to comments like this. All I could say to the sista was “you should embrace yours.” (in the most un-pretentious way possible- sounded like sweetie should've been attached at the end). I know we can be our own worst critics but comparison takes it to a deeper low. I wish we would all just love the bodies that we were given. The good the bad and the (seemingly) ugly. WHY do you think _______ is ugly? Who says it’s ugly? And do they REALLY matter? REALLY?
More often than not, you feel worse about yourself once you compare yourself to other women. Why even do it? I think it’s becoming instantaneous to compare. We need to catch ourselves if we find ourselves comparing. We should just stop at the “admiration” stage of this thought process and simply compliment the sista on whatever it is we appreciate about her look. ...OH and comparing to make yourself feel better is just mean-spirited. I won’t even address that type of energy. I don’t think you’d be reading this blog if that’s your nature.
..::fade to black::..
OK! Mini-experiment: Try NOT watching music videos and consuming celebrity gossip media for a week (or even a month-yes I said a month!) and see if/how your confidence increases. At the same time, get to know “the mirror you” especially the “naked mirror you.” Check her out, every facet. Greet her everyday with a positive message. “You are beautiful, Queen” “Have I told you how gorgeous you are today?” “I am strong, beautiful, independent and a good person” ...etc. The list can go on, get creative.
Who said self-esteem only had exterior elements? I honestly think beauty glows from within. Self-esteem starts from within. We have to have the inner confidence in order for the beauty to show on the outside- NO MATTER how “gorgeous” you think you are, or people say you are. Real beauty is effortless. Beauty doesn’t need expensive clothes, shoes, jewelry, cars, etc. Those are all, arguably, signs of the lack of inner beauty from within. I love to see a sista with a GLOW. No frills, just a glow that silently speaks volumes. Those are the people with whom I like to surround myself.
When you glow...you shine.
PostQuote...well PostPoem: By the illustrious Maya Angelou
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009