BLACK LIVES MATTER

2338003_1412871924.5382Today while silently reflecting and in my feelings I found something that I wrote a couple of years ago.  While it may not speak to the Mike Brown and Ferguson situation, It does speak to what is real.  We have issues in our community that need to be addressed. There is so much room for growth internally as well as a greater understanding and respect for one another.

Many times others see us as less because of our own actions.  They don’t see the value of black lives because at time we don’t exhibit that. Many of our own don’t value one another, black on black crime is proof of that.  Boys and men with their pants sagging under their butts, girls and women half naked and glorifying labels like thug, thot and nigga.  However, you wonder why society look at us as less…..

Now Darren Wilson was not indicted for Mike Brown’s murder and you choose to destroy your own community instead of playing it smart.  You say it is for Mike Brown and his family yet they are calling for a peaceful protest.  So who and what are you really looting for and most importantly, who are you hurting?

As a mother of a black boy who I am grooming(with the help of his father) for manhood, the state of our country is disturbing.  Which is why I tell my son that respect begins with him.  I want him to know that presentation is EVERYTHING because that is what is first seen.  I make sure I teach both of my children these things because I don’t want to bury them.  I want them to know that black lives matter and they should treat them as such FIRST!!!!

Below, You will find the old article; “The Black Man”

The black man has been torn down throughout history.  The reactions of all this pain and suffering are the things that we experience from them now.    These things are so much bigger than the here and now; this is a generational curse that our men are wrapped up in and Only God has the strength to bring them out.

 

It also doesn’t help that some women destroy good men and men who put forth an honest effort.  Men deal with the same issues that we do, just in a different manner.  Just because they are not emotional and running around crying and acting bipolar doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting.  Society has made women feel that these men that came from kings are no longer heirs to the throne.  Society paints a picture that is less appealing then the truth about the black man and the years of hardship they have had to endure.  At some point we are going to have to learn to embrace our brothers and give them same benefit of the doubt that we want and deserve.

 

Have you ever thought about the history of black men?  Have you ever imagined the pain that is associated with being a black man?  What if you were highly respected, strong and powerful, then all of a sudden that changed?  What if you went from being and having everything you could imagine to being property and being treated like the lowest form of life? Can you imagine watching your wife, mother and/or daughter being raped and beat but not being about to do anything about it?  Well this is one small part of the painful existence of the black man.  Being broke down and reduced to nothing when you once felt as though you had everything.  This was the beginning of the decline of the black man.  These things set the stage for many of things to come.  Forced to be fathers to children that you know belonged to the master.  Not being allowed to acknowledge your family and be the husband and father that God created you to be.

 

Even after slavery, all the way till now black men are still treated unfairly and oppressed by society. Young boys and men placed in jail and then released to society with no resources.  Put in situations where they feel obligated to do illegal things simply because they want to provide for your family.  These are the stories of so many black men.  Now please don’t get me wrong, men are not innocent by any means but what i am saying is there are factors that contribute to much of the negative press black men get.  In 2011 we are still dealing with some of the same issues.  Our country made history with the election of the first African American president.  However, he is historically the most disrespected president too….. Why, because he is black!!!  There have been other less capable presidents that didn’t get the treatment that president Obama receives.  This is proof that there is a lack of respect for the black man.

 

Women, we are no better!!! A lot of us tear black men down instead of building them up.  We fall in line with what society wants us to do and believe.  However, when you tear down the black man, you are also tearing down the African American family unit.  It is time for us to get it right.  Our children need their fathers just as much as they need their mothers.

 

Many times women serve as a crutch for men and this is not at all what I am suggesting.  It is good to be supportive but you can’t take control and take on the role of the man.  Men by nature are supposed to be strong; God wanted them to be the head of the family. You should be motivating any man in your life to tap into his greatness and pushing him to climb mountains and tear down walls.  Even if you are unable to maintain a relationship with a man, never stop him from being a father to his children in any capacity.  He may be a horrible boyfriend but a great father.  You can’t make your children suffer for the pain that he may have caused you.  Children love their parents regardless to their flaws…..  I know that many times we feel that the father has no right to the children if they aren’t providing for them financially but this hurts the child more than anything.  Some battles aren’t yours, they are the Lord’s so let him handle it……….  Women we have to get it together and help our brothers get it right.  So that our sons can break the generational curse a walk in the greatness of the kings that came before them……….

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Prabal Gurung and M.A.C Collaboration

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M.A.C Cosmetics has always been known for it’s amazing products, but over the years the cosmetics giant has become known for it’s celebrity collaborations also.  M.A.C has an list of all-star alumni under it’s  belt which include the entertainment industry’s elite.  From Marilyn Monroe to Marge Simpson, RuPaul and many more in between; have been a part of M.A.C growing celebrity collaborations. Now designer Prabal Gurung can be added to the rooster.

Prabal Gurung began his design career in New Delhi but moved to New York to finish his studies at Parsons The New School for Design. Upon graduating, Gurung spent two years with Cynthia Rowley’s design and production teams. Soon after, he was appointed design director at the iconic Bill Blass, a post he held for five years until launching his own collection, PRABAL GURUNG. His focus on quality and innovation has placed Gurung at the forefront of American fashion with designs worn by leading ladies including First Lady Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, to name a few. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award. In 2011 Gurung was honored as one of USA Network’s Character Approved Award recipients, named goodwill ambassador of Maiti Nepal, a finalist of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award and was the recipient of the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear. Prabal Gurung was the official 2013 designer collaborator for Target and in November 2014 will launch a product collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. Most recently, Gurung launched footwear on the Spring 2015 runway.

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Prabal Gurung x MAC Cosmetics is one of the most glamorous and expensive collaborations the beauty giant has ever done. A bronzing powder, a cream color base and a brush will sell for $70, eye shadow duos come in at $40 and lipsticks and Lipglasses retail for $30, while pencils are a more standard $20. The collection consist of 14 pieces what Gurung calls, “that something different”

 “My goal was to create truly beautiful packaging—that even when it’s done you don’t want to throw it away,”

Gurung says of his brushed-gilded approach to the casing, featuring a caged, interlocked pattern inspired by artists Damien Hirst and Sylvie Fleury.

The Prabal Gurung x MAC Cosmetics collection will launch Nov. 26 in MAC stores in North America and in December internationally.

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MAC Cosmetics teams up with Giambattista Valli

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MAC Cosmetics has announced a collaborative lipstick collection with Italian fashion brand Giambattista Valli for spring/summer 2015. Further details will be announced next year.

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Giambattista Valli, refers to them as a small clutch of need-it-now lipsticks in the most feminine, face-flattering shades imaginable. 

Caring For Your Natural Hair After You B.C(Big Chop)

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Plus size African American woman with an afro standing next to the PHAT girl fresh sign.
After kicking Cancer’s ass, I was left with several scars (mostly emotional ) and a big ass head with little to no hair. For nearly a year, I used weaves and wigs to hide the fact that I was practically bald. I can honestly say that this was done out of insecurity because I thought that I needed hair to help define me.  In April 2012 I decided to Big Chop what was left of my hair. I cannot say that in that moment I embraced my new look but it did grow on me over time. However, now that I am happily nappy, there is no turning back.
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Big Chop is the quickest way to go natural and extremely unlike the alternative of gradually transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. It’s not only different in physical approach, but it’s also different mentally. To big chop you have to emotionally detach yourself from your hair. You can not be one of those people who is obsessed with length or the thoughts of others. You have to have that India Arie moment where you say to yourself, “I AM NOT MY HAIR”.IMG_1151209321787071_wm

For those of you who decide to take the plunge and big chop, know that it is still vital to care for your hair properly. Many time people assure that going natural or big chopping mean that you no longer have to care for your hair, WRONG!!!!! In order to maintain healthy hair and promote growth, you must find a routine that works for you.  Below you will find  what was most beneficial to me after I big chopped my hair and still is today as I continue my natural hair journey.

 

 

 

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  • Vitamins: there are several vitamins out there that can help you with your journey to grow out your hair. While I used Biotin (increase water intake), Omega 3 supplements and vitamin d are also hailed as excellent for growing out your mane.  However, it is always wise to consult a doctor before implementing any medication into your daily routine.

 

  • Natural oils:  Coconut oil, Olive oil, carrot oil, Jojoba oil and Jamaican Black Castor oil are great when it come to adding moisture and promoting your hair’s growth.  I simply created a mixture of these oils and placed a little on my scalp and edges daily.

 

 

  •  Hawaiian Silky:  Two products that were vital parts of my curl maintenance and  styling regimen are Hawaiian Silky’s  Miracle Worker 14 in 1 and Dry Look Gel Activator.HawaiianSilky14in1_8oz hawaiian-silky-dry-look-gel-activator-16

“God said, NOT YET GWEN”…….

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“God said, NOT YET GWEN…….he made a way and when he does that, I listen.”

Those are the words of The Mogul Diva, Gwen DeVoe, creator and executive producer of Full Figured Fashion Week®, as she spoke of her announcement that the event would be returning for a seventh year.  This came as a total surprise to most since this year was the finale of the ground breaking event, but it is a great surprise for the plus size industry.

There are those conspiracy theorist who claim that they knew this was going to happen or that it was all planned to get attention , but Gwen responds to that with one question….. “how did you know when I didn’t?”  However, my question is, what does it matter?  Full Figured Fashion Week® is a staple in the plus size community that has changed the lives of many.  It has connected businesses, brands, bloggers, models, designers and other professionals and given them a platform that they otherwise may not have had.  Full Figured Fashion Week has shown women and girls that curvy confidence really is a plus and that they can dream and live large. If there is a person in the industry that can find fault in that, I feel sorry for them.   10457895_10152542542843179_3791711393950247311_n

The “rebirth” of Full Figured Fashion Week® has created a huge buzz that will continue to grow as information is released.  However, per the information provided in the press release, we know that the traditional greatness of the past six years will merge with new and exciting surprises.

“The seventh year of Full Figured Fashion Week® is a rebirth. Attendees can look forward to a new presenting sponsor and an extra day of festivities, which will include more fashion shows, updated versions of signature events, an increased focus on entrepreneurship and the business of fashion, and the addition of a competition for young designers to encourage and develop students of fashion design as they grow into the industry. Gwen DeVoe seeks to “empower women in all aspects of fashion. The 2015 event will focus more on providing increased educational opportunities for businesses and creating positions off the runway for models and upcoming designers.”

1601184_10152899655028179_4847721421839314419_nModels, get ready because the Full Figured Fashion Week® casting time will be coming to a city near you very soon.  The casting tour will kick off January 10,2015 in New Orleans, LA, and will travel to the following cities:

  • January 10, 2015 – New Orleans, LA

  • January 24, 2015 – Atlanta, GA

  • January 31, 2015 – Miami, FL

  • February 7, 2015 – Houston, TX

  • February 21, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA

  • February 28, 2015 – Toronto, Canada

  • March 7, 2015 – Nashville, TN

  • March 21, 2015 – New York City, NY

***Visit www.fffweek.com for additional details on casting locations and times.

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact sponsors@fffweek.com

For designer inquiries, please contact designers@fffweek.com

About Full Figured Fashion Week® (www.fffweek.com)

 

Solange Knowles Is A Married Woman!!!! (again)

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solange-3-435Well it is no secret that Solange is my favorite celebrity baby sister. Honestly for a while, I liked her a little more than Beyonce. Well anywho, that is neither here nor there (in my Gary with da Tea voice). The great news is that Solange got married.

Yes, my girl Solange Knowles tied the knot with long time boo, video director Alan Ferguson in New Orleans on Sunday in front of about 200 family and friends, PEOPLE confirms.

The happy couple said “I do” at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans. Around 2 p.m., the pair arrived via white-painted vintage bicycles, and it was all about the details: The bride’s basket held flowers!10425511_10154914927595595_6906739499306876192_n

Solange rocked a cream pantsuit with a cape and plunging V-neck by Stéphane Rolland, along with her signature fro and popping red lip. Alan matched his bride in a white suit and tie.  Not to mention the all white fashion rocked by all of the well wisher.  I must shout out Tina Knowles because Solange and Bey definatly get it from their mama.  Saying they looking amazing is a total understatement.10423702_10154914927945595_345181982200807783_n

Although many people have frowned on their relationship due to their age difference, Solange just turned 28 and Alan is 51 years young, they always seem very happy. I think that people need to remember that love has no limits, color, age and religion all cease to exist in it’s presence. So, I wish them well as they start this new chapter together.

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Vision Fueled Faith

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Yesterday I woke up in pain. I went about my entire Saturday in pain, even as a took to social media and joked about the Aaliyah movie, I was in pain. Last night (early this morning), I went to sleep in pain and when I got up this morning…. (you guessed it) I was still in PAIN.

Many of my friends, family and following know bits and pieces about my medical issues, as I speak of them occasionally. One being that I survived breast cancer and the other being that I have a condition that effects my eyes called uveitis.

Uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. The uvea provides most of the blood supply to the retina. Uveitis can effect one or oth eyes and in my case it effects both. It causes sever pain can cause partial or full permanent loss of sight.

I am not a person that runs to the world with my problems nor do I want a pity party. I speak of it because it is my reality and I pride myself on being a woman of truth. I also know that my truth may be what another woman needs to find her way out of depression,  despair or the Devils grasp.  My reality is that my sight is poor and may one day leave, but my truth is that my vision is GREAT!

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Despite this or any other situation, I will always be able to see God; that is vision. I will never doubt or question His greatness and His ability to show up and show out in my life. I have been living with this now for three years and honestly I have never lost faith in God. Even when I sleep and wake in pain, I remain faithful.  If I wake up and can’t see at all I will not forget that God has the ability to transform my situation.

I love to read and write, I think that it is my gift to the world among other things. One might think; since I have issues with my sight, I need to find another way to contribute to others. A blogger with poor sight….. That is not the move!!! However,  I think of it as encouragement and content. It is a display of my how my vision fuels my faith.  

This is another reason why I encourage women to live outside of their situations. You have to get up and greet each day with a smile dispute what you know may awaits you. Everyday,  I wake up at 5 a.m. and I tell God that I love Him and trust Him no matter what, then I ask Him to cover my children, love ones and the loved ones of my children and loved ones. I never ask Him to heal me because He knows my heart and I know His will is greater than my desires. I just ask Him to allow the world to see Less of me and more of Him. And then is start my day filled with FAITH!

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Miley Cyrus, The New Face Of M.A.C Viva Glam

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Rihanna, Elton John, RuPaul, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga all have one thing in common with Miley Cyrus other than being a celebrity and it isn’t twerking.  They are an elite group of celebrity alumni who devoted their time, face and star status to M.A.C Cosmetics Viva Glam which  supports AIDS research and awareness. 

In 1994 the founders of the company, Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan, banded together with the M·A·C artists to create the M·A·C AIDS fund, Viva Glam.  It was grass roots effort to make a difference in the world with a community outreach for HIV/AIDS. Since it’s beginning,  the campaign has raised millions of dollars with 100% of the proceeds going directly to HIV/AIDS.

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M•A•C Cosmetics is thrilled to announce that it’s newest Viva  Glam spokesperson is none other than the Disney star turned booty popping “wrecking ball” singer; Miley Cyrus.  The collection will be available  January 2015 and will include a hot pink with sparkling pearl (amplified) lipstick and lipglass.

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M.A.C + NASTY GAL

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I can’t speak for my other M.A.C Girls but I have been waiting on this since the rumors begin to swirl.  M.A.C partners with Nasty Gal

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Nasty Gal is the home of stylish risk-takers and tastemakers.  Sophia Amoruso  started the company in 2006 as Nasty Gal Vintage.  The online fashion company was  a one-woman eBay operation selling unique vintage clothes she found through Goodwill, the Salvation Army and her dumpster-diving expeditions. Fast forward eight years later, It was most recently reported that Nasty Gal brought in $100 million in revenue a year. Amoruso recently wrote a book called #GIRLBOSS , in which she shares hard-won experience and advice with her “bad-ass” fans and future CEOs.

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The high-intensity collection of shades is just as bold and out of the box as the GIRLBOSS herself, Sophia Amoruso. Deep purple, bombshell red and rich burgundy lipsticks along with a fiery Nail Lacquer. This season, Style will have major attitude, and so should you.

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The collection will be available December 4 online and in stores. The lipsticks will retail for $16,and the nail polish will be $12. I am wondering(as I am sure many of my M.A.C Girls are), will the M.A.C Pro discount apply?  However, either way, the lippies are a must have.

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M•A•Cnificent Me

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From November 17th and December 12th, M.A.C. Cosmetics is holding  a contest to find the inspiring people who are most M•A•Cnificent of all, inside and out. The winners will be flown to New York City where a prestigious fashion photographer will shoot them for the M•A•C Fall 2015 colour collection campaign.

The criteria, is very simple; Style, heart and soul. Simply, tell your story and show your face to win your chance to be at the centre of the M•A•Cnificent Me! Sign up for the campaign at http://macnificentme.com/.

What does it take to be M•A•Cnificent? It means being creative, being confident, having fun and most of all, being your true self.