Sometimes I let my mind roam and explore and take me places that allow me to think deeper. I was riding home from work and I was listening to I Wanna Be Like You by Ibeyi. I was listening to the lyrics and the power in these women’s voice and I was captivated instantly. I started to listen deeper to get a better understanding of what the song was about. I started to think about the complex of age and how when we’re younger we wish to be older and when we’re older we wish we were younger. I realize how unappreciative we are as humans naturally. We are never content with what we are given. The innocence and freeness of a child is something I wish I still had. The joy of a child that I didn’t think to embrace and hold onto as long as I could have when I was younger. It’s deeper than just not having any bills or no responsibilities. It’s the freeness I miss most. Little person in a big world of unknowns without any sort of presumptions or knowing of what is coming next. Your mind can’t even process what is next in a lot of situations. As an adult, we base what we do next based off a prior experience. Doesn’t matter how optimistic we may seem there’s a sense of pessimism in us when it comes to certain situations due to a prior experience and there’s nothing wrong with that. But imagine if we lived our lives like adult sized kids who just were full of questions and unknowns and we didn’t let these unknowns scare us we kind of just went with them and moved forward accordingly. Imagine us taking in the wisdom and seeing the light and positivity in all things and embraced the wisdom that is being brought forth from whatever situation at hand. We need to learn to let go more. Just let it go. We’ve been holding on to these presumptions and ideas and ideologies for way to long and it’s holding us up from our next step. We have to break away from our own insecurities and fears and understand they will always be an insecurity and a fear but those insecurities and fears can’t hold us back from experiencing life and practicing our human right to mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally evolve. We must protect our energy, secure our happiness and love from our hearts. We must start love with ourselves and get back to that kid who was in the unknown who allowed life to teach them what they need to grow into their destiny. Sometimes I let my mind roam and explore and take me places that allow me to think deeper…
Naturalist and myself have been telling you all for a while that these companies really do not care about anyone, especially those us of color. The recent noise with Dove is their new ad that basically said “Black skin is dirty and white skin is clean and in order to get have perfect, white clean skin use Dove”. Now lets be clear, this isn’t the first time a company has displayed darker skin as dirty or evil or less than and I guarantee this won’t be the last.
Dove is apart of Unilever, a company who claims to be sustainable and blah blah blah. Granted they may have lessened their carbon foot print by recycling and other things which is great but like Dove and many other products there is a long list of toxic chemicals in these products that literally can cause major issues to your body including cancer. I’m not being extra here. These companies only care about ONE thing and that is making money. Everyone is going natural simply because no one wants to fear that their soap or shampoo is going to alter their DNA is some way, shape or form and eventually have major health effects. It’s kind of ridiculous.
I tell people all the time to buy black as much as possible. Buying black not only keeps the black dollar circulating but you know what is in your products, their natural ingredients and you see and know who is making your products. Theres an ease about knowing that legal drug lords aren’t making your soap and other household products. And since we’re on the topic of buying black and supporting black businesses let me say this. Black people LOVE to call out the customer service of black owned businesses but NEVER complain about the Asian owned nail shop who literally are talking about you in your face. Or the Middle Eastern gas station who literally tell people to get the fuck out. YET we complain about a black owned business simply because we’re judging them 10 times harder because… well…because it’s black owned. All businesses need to focus on customer service and just like I’ve received horrible service at a major department store I’ve also received amazing service at a major department store. I’ve also had amazing service at a black owned business- actually I have experienced more good than bad at a black owned business. So stop ostracizing black owned businesses only and lets start holding everyone to same caliber for customer service. Thanks in advance.
Read your labels people!
Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).
DOES ANY OF THAT SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BE BATHING WITH!!! FYI- thats all the ingredients in the basic white Dove bar soap. Not good for anyone of any race. I prefer to be able to pronounce the things I use and be able to identify with them. These products are not for us so why support them? There are over 1000 natural brands owned by people of color and you can check them out at WeBuyBlack. Don’t ever say I didnt do anything for you.
I question everything and that gets me in a lot of sticky situations. You would think by now I would’ve learned to shut the fuck up but no, that’s not in my character. I refuse to sit around and just let things happen without an explanation or some sort of conversation taking place. As of late, a lot of people have been discussing gender norms and what is and what isn’t appropriate for a man and woman to do. Now, just a brief reminder for those who aren’t aware- I’m a womanist. A womanist is someone who believes equality for all women no matter their color, religion or birth assigned gender. And that’s the short version. Now that thats out of the way, how the hell can you tell a man or woman what they’re supposed to do? Who made these rules? Where’s this law? And why are men so damn sensitive?
Us men have this idea in our heads that it’s a mans world and that we’re supposed to be superior to women which is why we shiver at the thought of a woman in power. Women in charge catch hell by both men and women because she is deemed as the weaker specimen, the nurturer, blah blah blah. Granted, men are physically built to be the provider and what not and a women are naturally nurturing and what not but, let’s be clear, anything a man can do a woman can do and more than likely do better. And that’s that ladies and gentlemen. This has been proven on numerous occasions yet women still have to deal with the ego of a man.
One thing I absolutely do not cater to the ego of a man. I have had conversations with some of my male friends and literally I just stare at them and go “What the entire fuck is wrong with you?” Some of their expectations of women are absurd and in no way make any sense. I have come across men who literally ain’t shit who expect women to go to the moon and back for them while they sit around and do nothing. How exactly does that work? What happened to men being providers and taking care of their women? Or what’s wrong with the woman being the bread winner and putting you on some new shit and upgrading your life and helping you as you help her boss up? Is that not a thing? Did I make that up? Are men supposed to sit on their made up throne as women cater to their every need? That’s dumb. Just because the woman is bossing up doesn’t mean you are any less of a man. If anything you should be bossing up to. Equally yoked is what it’s called. If I got it, you got it. We shine together. Learn from women because I guarantee you she’s learning from you whether it’s good or bad, sis is learning.
Okay I feel like I’m missing the point.( sike I know y’all fucking feel me) But gender norms, let’s redefine them ladies and gentleman. Society and religion and all these other factors that I rather not name at this time have told people that their feelings and wants aren’t deemed appropriate due to their gender. It affects so many factors in our lives that cause us to be hyper aware of our every move and unction instead of just flowing and living in your truth. No one can tell you what is appropriate for you simply because they are not living your life. Do what works for you and that’s that. Be a good person and live your damn life. My girl, if you want to speak up and boss up and wear a damn pant suit and not shave your legs or whatever else you want to do, do it. Fuck societies definition of a lady. You define who you are as a woman. My guy, don’t let your ego get you fucked up. Don’t miss opportunities to be experience life because you’re to concerned about what people will say about you and your masculinity. A man is going to be a man regardless. You define what a man is to you. Operate in truth, stand your ground, love everyone and just be a good person. If you want to wear pink or floral prints and get a manicure, do it! I promise you, you’ll be fine. Being a well groomed, well dressed man does not make you gay or metrosexual( is that still a thing? Did I just date myself? Am I getting old? Dammit…) it just makes you a well kept MAN. And I promise you, the ladies love that shit! At the end of the day Beany Babies, live your life how you want and fuck what anyone has to say. If anyone has a issue tell them come see me so we can talk. I got your back 😉
I like to make traditions for myself like running the Peachtree Road Race every year ( I missed it this year), or like buying myself a really expensive pair of shoes for Christmas as a treat yourself gift even though you don’t celebrate the holiday. Another tradition I have is going to Afropunk. I went for the first time last year and it was amazing! So many beautiful people and great music and just an overall good time. Originally, I wanted to go to Afropunk Paris but life happens and things don’t go as planned so I was determined to make to Afropunk Brooklyn.
This year my best pal Alyssa came with me and we drove from Atlanta all the way to Brooklyn, New York. It was a interested ride, learned a lot about one another- it was cool. Once we finally reached New York, I couldn’t hold in my excitement. As soon as you get out of the Holland Tunnel, theres this rush of excitement that takes over your body and all of a sudden your mood changes, your energy shifts, its that New York rush that I fucking live for. If you don’t know, I used to live in New York and if I could afford it I would move back in a heart beat, I love everything about the city. I could do what I want when I want and not have to worry about anyone. New York is where I feel at home.
Theres so much I can discuss about our trip as a whole like, the amazing food we ate! Oh my goodness! We spent so much damn money on food it was ridiculous! But lets focus on the topic at hand, Afropunk. Afropunk is a safe place for people of color to be who they really are. There are no boundaries to creation and thats the beautiful thing that keeps me coming. Theres every shade of brown there and every hair texture that you could possibly think of and everyone feels safe. Not only are there incredible fashions and styles but the music was literally amazing. We had the voice of the modern 20 something year old Sza, then MOTHA of goals Solange, the full bodied goddess Nao, the oh so funky and divine Macy Gray( A-FUCKING-MAZING BY THE FUCKING WAY), the hope for the future Willow Smith, Mr. Smooth & cool Anderson Pak and all kinds of other amazing performers that represented us as a whole. They empowered us with their music and allowed us to forget about all that is going on in the world for two days.
Afropunk is a tradition that I am happy that I added to my life. It allows me to escape for a few days to enjoy myself and enjoy everyone around me. Even when we were pushing and shoving one another to get to the front to feel the full impact of Sza’s performance, there was still love in the air. Since we are on the topic of shoving, moving forward, I am only doing VIP for festivals. I have reached a point in my life where I can’t deal with the pushing and shoving and the lines and all the foolishness. I don’t think the people who set up Afropunk were prepared for the massive growth of the festival. There were so many people there and yes it was a beautiful sight to see but being in the mix of all the excitement was a lot to deal with at my old age.
I’m glad that Afropunk caters to all people especially us of color. It doesn’t matter what you are into, you are allowed to be that at Afropunk. This year they had a stage dedicated to our black rockers, and thats love. As a fellow man of color who enjoys a good head banging rock song every now and then, it was pleasant to see others come together to bang heads as one. And thats what makes being black so fucking amazing. There is no typical black person because literally we come in so many different forms. We create our own image, we just do our thing. Its a great time to be black no matter what society is trying to do to us. We are lit. Everything about us is lit. And if you need a reminder of that, and this blog doesn’t do enough reminding for you just attend an Afropunk event, you’ll see how lit we really are.
I never thought the day would come where I look at old pictures of myself and go “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I WEARING?!” Literally I was looking at pictures from my freshman year of college and I was just like, who the fuck did I think I was? And that’s what I think I was trying to figure out. College is a weird time for everyone. You’re trying to figure yourself out, figure out where you fit and just trying to figure out what life is about. When I got to Clark Atlanta University, I saw all these beautiful pro black professionals who looked all nice and here I was in my thirfted clothes and Vans- thinking I was doing something. I mean granted I was in trend but that didn’t even matter on campus. So I tried the whole afro-centric look with the kufi’s and what not. That rocked for a while. Then I got into the suit game and oh my goodness, I’ve come a long way. But that was a very interesting time. Figuring out my style and what worked for me. I had so many people in my ear telling me what to do and what not to do but I never stopped and asked myself, what works for me?
I personally think I’ve always had a great sense of style. But I was trying to fit this mold that wasn’t meant for me to fit. I had to create my own look that worked for me. I’m still figuring that out up to this day. And it’s fun. I try things, I like them sometimes and other times I don’t. I think we need to stop telling people what they should look like and let them figure out what works for them. Dress for where you want to go in life and dress so that you’re comfortable. I used to hate suits, so I thought. It wasn’t the suits I hated, it was the suits that didn’t fit me and the stupid tie. I hate ties! But that’s what I thought was the thing to do. Not my thing so I cut that short.
There’s rules in fashion that are complete bullshit. At the end of the day, style can’t be taught but it can be created by each individual person. I like the clean look but I like to be edgy and Afro-centricesque. I’m not going to be wearing a dashiki and a leather jacket anytime soon because that’s just not me. My look is for me and it works for me. It changes every season. Who am I kidding, every month. But that’s fine. It’s fun. Everyone no matter their gender or age should be able to explore style and fashion in order to find what works for them. Do you, be you and wear what the fuck you want.
P.S Have you noticed my new logo? Check out my good friend ACE .