Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chemo, you can take my puff, but you can't take my JOY!

This past weekend, I made the "mistake" of getting a blowout and the flatiron treatment. I say mistake because it's June, and my hair is defenseless again anything over 48% humidity (yes, I check). Anywho, of course my hair stayed straight for about a day before starting its journey toward cotton candy-like puffiness. In the earlier stages of this transition, I actually got compliments on my thick, puffy hair from colleagues who weren't used to seeing me with anything other than a tightly coiled 'fro. 

Obviously I appreciated the compliments, but the kind words also made me reflect on a time a few years ago when the chemotherapy I needed to treat my Hodgkins lymphoma took my puff away. 
I compensated with hats, wigs and heavier makeup. What a difference three years makes. I don't need hats or wigs, and my hair drives me nuts just like it did before The Big C. Today I'm exceedingly grateful to God to be healthy and in my right mind, puffy hair and all. 

#ButGod WontHeDoIt #Survivor #TeamNatural #IamNotMyHair #Grateful #EffCancer

Stay random, and don't let anything take your joy, including cancer and chemotherapy,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Think Like A Man Too: How ESSENCE Got it Right and Some of Y'all Negroes Got it Wrong

Sorry for taking such a long break, but life happens. Anywho, let's  get into the latest foolishness, shall we?

I'm looking forward to seeing Think Like a Man Too, but I'm seriously considering giving up reading anything about the movie on social media because the more I'm online, the more I'm starting to realize why we as Black folks can't advance as a people. Case in point: A lot of Black people are mad about Black people being on the cover of ESSENCE. Yes, I'm serious.

Let me explain. So I'm scrolling through Instagram when I see pics of ESSENCE's July double cover featuring the cast of Think Like a Man Too.

Lovely covers, right? Well, apparently a lot of people, most of them Black, were in their feelings about the exclusion of non-Black cast members Gary Owen and Jerry Ferrara and vented about it on ESSENCE's Intstagram account. Here's sampling of what I consider to be bewildering comments:

iamtyrenee @zonia0087you're grossly misguided! So if Vanity Fair or some other mainstream "white" magazine featured a movie with a diverse cast on the cover but EXCLUDED all the black people, would you be okay with that? Segregation is a two way street and Essence who constantly preaches "inclusion" should be called out for this huge omission....

 kbranche This cover needs to be done over to include @jerrycferrara and @garyowencomedy. Shameful!

aakeynnsnillocshow @essencemag that's made shade for excluding the whites

I saw similar comments on another entertainment blog. Um, to the folks that actually have an issue with the cover featuring the fellas: You do realize that ESSENCE is a magazine that caters to BLACK women, right? God forbid a Black magazine highlights Black people on the cover, like it does EVERY MONTH. This isn't Entertainment Weekly or People. ESSENCE is not obligated to highlight every non-Black cast member in a movie, TV show, etc., given it's purpose and audience.

Mainstream media outlets do an outstanding job of excluding us on the regular, so the fact that we have magazines, blogs and other outlets that highlight our beauty and accomplishments is something to celebrated, not the other way around. Criticize the content of Black mags? Sure, but getting upset because they didn't include a white person you like in a movie on the cover? Nah, bruh. That ish does not compute. I wish Ebony, ESSENCE, Uptown, etc. would put some white folks on their covers. I would be tight and if you had a sense of history and understood the power of media imagery, you would be too. 

I seriously doubt that media outlets geared toward other people of color worry about highlighting anyone else other then their own. Maybe I'm reaching, but these seemingly unimportant comments on Instagram bother me because it reveals a deep-seated need for white approval and validation. In other words, some of us want white approval so bad that we'll fight and fuss for white inclusion in "our stuff" in the name of diversity when we aren't extended the same courtesy. Seriously, what world are some of y'all living in? That post-racial one? You do realize that world doesn't exist, right? If you don't, then you haven't been paying attention.  

I really hope ESSENCE doesn't address this foolishness and doesn't change the way they use their covers to highlight beautiful BLACK people. As for the rest of you, quit worrying about white people. They will be OK and don't need you to fight their "battles." TRUST.

Ironically, I got the ESSENCE cover with the TLAM2 ladies today in the mail. I would have preferred the version with the guys.

Stay random,