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Quote 17.

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Sheldon: I made tea.
Leonard: I don’t want tea.
Sheldon: I didn’t make tea for you. This is my tea.
Leonard: Then why are you telling me?
Sheldon: It’s a conversation starter.
Leonard: That’s a lousy conversation starter.
Sheldon: Oh, is it? We’re conversing. Checkmate.

-Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, The Big Bang Theory

natural hair, big hair, black hair, fro

A Phrase I Hate: “My Natural Hair.”

Yes, I probably said what you think I said: that I hate the saying/phrase/wording/whatever, “natural hair.” Do I hate naturals? No. I am one. But, saying it like that has always bothered me. I mean, think about how ridiculous that really sounds–I am wearing my natural hair. For perspective, I would never say: Ooh girl, I’m wearing my natural Black skin from now on. Like, what?

 

     fro, natural hair, dyed hair, big hairfro, natural hair, dyed hair, big hair  fro, natural hair, dyed hair, big hair

My hair has been in its natural state for 4 years now, as of June 19th. I’ve cut it on several different occasions, dyed it once, and braided it up time upon time again. I love it and I would never, ever in life relax it again! But, I have always thought that having to state that I “went natural” or “am natural” was kind of silly–no one else has to say that about their hair or anything else. 

big chop, natural hair, fade, black hair

(One week after I cut my hair in 2010)

        natural hair, twa, black hair, big chop

(One day after I chopped it all off again in 2012 because an experimental haircut didn’t go as planned! –Yes that is Nick Jonas on my door and I was def. in college. Judge all you want! Nick, knows what’s up. Lol)

When I first cut my hair, it was such a huge ordeal. Not necessarily for me, but for everyone around me. But, that’s another story for another post (if you’d like to know about the screaming, crying, yelling, and all out affair that involved me “having permission” to cut it at the age of 19, feel free to let me know! 🙂 ) Unlike a lot of naturals, I didn’t transition at all. I went straight for the BC (big chop). I cut it all by myself–and every other time to follow. People would say, Omg I didn’t know you were going natural! or What made you decide to go natural? or Omg I love your hair like that! & to that, I simply say thank you because I absolutely appreciate it. But what’s interesting is that when I got a relaxer in the 6th grade I said it once and it was never mentioned again.  

black hair, relaxed hair

(I’m thinking this was after a fresh relaxer in the 9th grade? Not entirely sure, though)

Those who have relaxed hair never have to say so. No one ever says, I love your relaxed hair (or permed hair as some say, which isn’t actually correct), or What made you get a relaxer every four weeks?, or Oh no, I’ve actually been relaxed for 7 years now! If anything, shouldn’t that be the thing that’s announced? Having my hair in its natural state is like having the brown skin on my body. It’s what I am and what I was born with, so why must I announce it as such? And you know what really trips me out? When people say:

Them: “Omg how did you get your hair like that?”

Me: “Well ,I just put water in it today, I didn’t really do anything.

Them: But noooo, how’d you get it to curl like that?

Me: Oh I didn’t do anything, I just wet it this morning. This is what it looks like. *cue nervous laughter*

Them: Oh come on girl, you had to put something in it, huh?

Me: No ma’am, this is just water. I use a few things sometimes, but I didn’t have time today and I haven’t done it in like a week. *backs away from this awkward conversation*

Like, I can’t have naturally curly hair? I have to be using Kinky Curly or something? Chill, ma’am.

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(My hair when I actually do something to it. Twists–which are worn for at least 2 weeks–and the twist out)

And lastly, my biggest pet peeve of all: “NATURAL HAIR ISN’T FOR EVERYBODY.” If I was as rude as the people who say this, I’d politely tell them to go eff themselves. How dare you? What the heck does that even mean–the hair that grows out of my hair isn’t for me? When God made me, he somehow managed to assign me the wrong hair type? Okay, thanks for that.

No! You are absolutely incorrect. My hair is mine and you have no right to say that it’s not for everybody. Personally, I’ve never been told that it didn’t work for me, but I have had people say that they wished other people’s looked like mine or that they “rocked it the way that I do,” because it isn’t for everyone. I’ve even heard women who wear their hair in its natural state say it. Shame on you, ma’am. Shame. On. You. No one tells women with straight hair that it’s not for them. Or women with weave, or dyes. Or women of other races that their hair isn’t cool. Why the freak should I be concerned about wearing my hair? IT’S MINE! & I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO ANNOUNCE IT!

But, anyway. I understand that it’s a more complicated and in-depth discussion than that. I know that everything ties back to slavery, and segregation, and changing not just your hair, but maybe even your identity to simply be accepted. I understand that it’s a “natural hair movement” because women are regaining the confidence to be who they are. I get it and I understand.

All I’m saying is that I don’t like it. Having to announce what I am is dumb. I don’t do it for anything else and I shouldn’t have to do it for this. But that’s just me.

xoxo

Lynella!

the 1975, settle down

The 1975 – Settle Down (Young Ruffian Remix)

I haven’t done a musical post in a while, so here’s what I’ve listened to on repeat for the past couple of days. I am absolutely in love with this song, particularly the remixed version. I live on YouTube and am obsessed with some of the well renown YouTubers; but due to copyright issues they can’t play mainstreamed music, so I’m always learning of new artists–especially bands from the UK.

Fun fact: I like all things British 🙂

I heard the remixed version of Settle Down the other day on Marcus Butler’s channel & fell in love. It has great sound and such a chill vibe. The 1975 is an indie rock band from Manchester and I hadn’t heard of them before this. I really like the original version as well–which is more upbeat and sounds like something from the 80s, maybe? –so I plan to check out more of their music.

Be sure to listen to both versions; if you don’t like one, you may like the other. You can buy the original on iTunes, and the remix is also available for free on Soundcloud. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Blackish: “Yo, ABC just got kinda bold with these, no?”

The above question was the beginning of a private message that I was going to send to my sisters on Facebook, after reading this post. I started to write about my surprise and confusion and then realized that maybe I should just do a blog post about it. Duh. So here’s what I was going to say to my sisters in response to ABC’s new upcoming shows “Blackish,” “Cristela,” “Fresh Off The Boat” and “American Crime.” *disclaimer: I really only talked about “Blackish” as it is the one that I relate to the most. So, here goes!

black-ish, blackish, abc, tv

Interestingly enough, the show “Blackish” didn’t seem that intriguing to me at first glance. It could be the content or that I don’t really care for Anthony Anderson- nothing against the guy, I just don’t find him funny. But if I’m being honest, I think it has more to do with the show’s content- a show about Black people who don’t fit into stereotypical Black society, aka my life. I’m not sure I like the message or, maybe I don’t understand it- which could make sense seeing as I haven’t yet watched it.

I know that some people would respond by saying: you say you want to see more Black people on TV, but when they appear you’re still not satisfied. Blah, Blah, Blah. I actually don’t have a huge problem with the number of Black people on television. Sure, there could always be more, and more representation of successful and/or leading Black actors/actresses on a hit television series would be awesome, but it usually doesn’t bother me that much. If television should represent  reality, it’s pretty accurate.

Donna-Rachel-Jessica-Suits-USA, suits, blackish

For example, I love the show Suits, and although Gina Torres (multiracial Cuban decent) and Meghan Markle (African American and Dutch & Irish decent) are the only main characters of color, it’s fine by me- Gina kicks butt & I love every minute of both her and Meghan’s appearances. Having only two is realistic. I don’t know this to be fact, but I am quite certain that the top law firms in New York City don’t have very many people of color, or women for that matter. Is that a problem? Sure! But, it doesn’t make it any less true. Plus, even if every show on television was able to portray an ideal world with the perfect number of racial minorities represented, they would still be just that: in the minority. Sometimes I think people want to see 50/50, White and Black, or 1/4 each of Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Whites- just to name a few. But that will never happen because the population is not evenly distributed. Which is fine.

But I have digressed. Back to “Black-ish.”

blackish, abc, anthony anderson

I guess the show is not sitting well with me because I haven’t quite grasped what they’re going for. Showing a wealthy Black family is great, and insight into what it’s like to struggle with fitting in and self-identity is also great. But what’s the end goal? In the show, Anthony Anderson’s character is not entirely comfortable with his son wanting to play field hockey or his decision to nickname himself Andy- his real name is André. And if that doesn’t shake things up enough, the kid then decides that he wants to have a bat mitzvah- they’re not Jewish- so his dad throws him a “Black version” of that, a hip-hop bro-mitzvah. If you ask me, I don’t think his son is necessarily trying to be less Black, but instead trying to fit into the community that he is a part of– which happens to be White kids having bat mitzvahs. When my little sister got a Range Rover for her sixteenth birthday it didn’t mean that she was less Black, but rather that my parents were a bit wealthier. It just so happens that most of the other people who drive Range Rovers also happen to be White.

blackish, anthony anderson, abc

A couple of years ago I wrote a post entitled “Am I Black or White?” because throughout my entire life it’s apparently been up for discussion. Usually pairing my Blackness with anything positive, like wealth and/or intelligence, automatically made me more White. Or less Black, whichever floats your boat. I absolutely hated hearing that because it’s bullsh*t. Why does success automatically =White. My response to those who would’ve questioned me earlier is that you say you want more successful Black people but when they become successful you disown them. Sure, I may be more articulate, but it’s because my education and surroundings gave me the tools to do so. How is that my fault?

georgia tech, iamtoo, colleges, black studentsgeorgia tech, iamtoo, colleges, black studentsgeorgia tech, iamtoo, colleges, black students(*These pictures were taken by Hopeton Wellington for the #ITOOAMGATECH project & the 3rd picture is my little sister! :))

Anyway, the show could definitely be a hit; insight into anything is sure to result in a discussion of some sort and I’m sure that’s the point. I guess I’ll be able to make a more well-informed opinion once it airs. Tracee Ellis is funny and the kids are also going to bring some laughs. I already have a favorite quote that was shown in the trailer: “If I’m not really Black, then could somebody please tell my hair and my ass!” Tracee Ellis Ross everyone, hilarious!tracee ellis ross, blackish

The creators of these shows also chose some interesting names like, Black-ish &Fresh Off The Boat? Fresh off The Boat, really?!  I don’t know how I feel about that. I guess it’s supposed to be a play on words and a bit of comedic relief, yea? It should be interesting to see how long they last. Cristela def. looks funny and American Crime is something to look forward to. I know one thing, ABC definitely decided to come out guns a-blazing and I guess we should commend them for that. And if it brings their ratings up, I am certain there will be no complaints. Feel free to check out any of the links above to see the shows’ trailers & watch the trailer for “Blackish” below to let me know what you think.

magic rude

MAGIC! :Rude

Man, oh man am I jammin’ right now! Thanks to iTunes’ radio Pop playlist, I just discovered the group MAGIC! and their song “Rude” and I’m in love. The song has a really cool vibe–being a reggae pop song and all–great vocals, and I enjoyed the music video as well.

Not to mention, the lead singer and song writer Nasri Atweh–as well as the other members–is easy on the eyes and has some major dance moves. I love to dance, watch others dance, and particularly watch people genuinely vibe to music with no intention of being noticed. Mr. Atweh has gotten my attention, hiiii 🙂 Lol. If you want to hear the acoustic version you can click here.

But this song also made me wonder: what do you do if your parent(s) don’t approve of the person you’re dating? I mean, if you’re a teenager and/or are still living in their house then I can see why you don’t really have a choice–their house, their rules. But if you’re an adult and they still don’t like them, what do you do? I assume most people don’t care and “marry [them] anyway!” Personally, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I value my parents’ opinion too much, and I’m sure if they didn’t approve there would be a valid reason. The dad in this video seems to think that the boyfriend is a bit of a rebel, and therefore not good enough for his daughter. Granted, the dad could also be a pretentious a-hole. Who knows?

Anyway, it is an interesting thought. What do you guys think? Would you get married anyway or cut your losses?

If you guys want to check out the band you can find them on Youtube and Twitter.

Age Old Question: Sleep

sleepyI’m sure there’s a study or two floating around somewhere that answers this question, and maybe I’ll look it up later. But, I’d love to know why we (humans, and maybe other animals) fight sleep? I mean, if you’re sleepy go to sleep. Is it a fear that we’d be missing out on something? Is it an instinctive, protective response; something innate that knows that if you’re asleep you’re more susceptible to danger? Why am I currently overly exhausted, yet taking the time to do everything but sleep? -No activity of which is pressing or mandatory, work related or even slightly important. Hmmm. I wonder.

“Don’t Touch That Trash Can”

“Don’t Touch That Trash Can, You Lil’ Nigga”-Anonymous

The above quote may seem harmless in a sense– seeing as the most offensive word used has become common terminology to many and accepted by most. But, maybe when I explain the way it was used and why it bothered me so much, you’ll choose reevaluate the statement.

I am going to try to make this short and sweet, so here goes:

The other day my sister, younger cousin and I were over at my grandmother’s and as we prepared to leave, my cousin’s nephew– who is 11 months old– rolled around in the kitchen in his bouncy chair. As he bounced around he moved closer to the trash can and, seeing as any and everything attracts the eye of an infant, began to touch it. Well, obviously you don’t want children touching anything containing garbage, so his aunt, my younger cousin, told him to stop. But what she said specifically was: “Stop! Don’t touch that trash can you lil’ nigga,” and began to laugh.

Now, no offense to my cousin, I love her very much, but that was one of the most ridiculous things I’d ever heard in my life. My sister and I could not believe that she just called an 11 month old a “lil nigga.” I mean, who does that? Immediately we began to tell her that she shouldn’t say things like that to him. Statements like those are exactly why my relatives are so screwed up today; it’s why people feel unloved, lost and hopeless. Sure, there’s more that contributed to their current situations, I’m not that naïve, but it would also be very naïve to think that it didn’t start with someone calling someone a little nigger.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did my usage of the word nigger offend you? Is that word not appropriate? I do apologize, but I should remind you that nigger and nigga are the same word, one of them is just slang. Now, let me quickly make my point before I get lost in the debate of word reappropriation.

Following that incident, there was another discussion about the situation and, again, I heard another outrageous comment –my cousin mentioned it, the person didn’t actually say it in my presence. Obviously I have a lot of respect for this person, but what he said has to be one of the most idiotic statements ever. It was something like: I am going to call my sons niggas to prepare them for what’s coming– that’s an obvious misquote, but you get the point. My response: no. no, no, no, no, NO. Firstly, it’s very presumptuous to assume that someone in his lifetime will use the term in a derogatory way, which I’m going to assume is coming from someone of another race, maybe? And that’s the reason for the tough love deal. Secondly, it’s important to note that if/when he does get called a nigga, it will more that likely be by someone of his own race. So, yeah. You’re preparing him for what, the names that we call ourselves?

Here’s the deal: I am not a nigga. I am not a nigger. I am an African-American female. Bam, boom, done, end of story. Nigger was and still is a derogatory term. B*tch was and still is a derogatory term. If you wouldn’t say to your daughter, “don’t touch that trash can you lil’ b*tch” then you shouldn’t say things of equal value to your son. If any woman gets called a c**t and her solution is to take ownership of the word and start calling all women c**ts, then lord do help us all. Heck, we’ve basically already done that with the B word; women answer to it, they call themselves Bs and hoes, and there are songs dedicated to such. That’s stupid. Sorry, not sorry.

If you haven’t read the “Willie Lynch Letter” then maybe you should. Regardless of if it’s fabricated or not– you never know these days– its context remains true: “Keep the body take the mind…Pay little attention to the generation of original breaking, but concentrate on future generations” (Finalcall.com News), and that is exactly what has been done. Someone, somewhere along the lines of history made people think it was okay to use the very terms that were meant to degrade them. Sure, some people use the term nigga to mean “homie” but when they’re upset, guess what? They use it in its original demeaning form. E.g.

“whaddup up my nigga?” aka “what’s up homie?”

or

“you aint nothing but a nigga, just like every other nigga!” aka “you are an ignorant, incompetent human being and I can’t stand you!”

That doesn’t look like much reappropriation to me.

In my opinion, some terms are not meant to be reclaimed, they’re meant to die. Most of us are guilty of using it at some point, myself included, but maybe we’d like to stop. And even more so, maybe we’d like to not impress such terms and ideologies on the young minds of our children. Just a thought.

*disclaimer* I am not implying that rap music makes people use the N word, or is in any way responsible for other behavior; but as with any and everything else, I’m sure it’s a contributor. I just like the pic and it makes a point. Thanks.

(Picture source: http://weheartit.com/gypsyone | via Tumblr)

via Tumblr http://personallyc.tumblr.com/post/71658068492/dont-touch-that-trash-can-you-lil-nigga

You’re All About the Hype.

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You know what I’m waiting for? The day the industry finally reveals that they’ve been doing one big experiment this whole time; they’ve been progressively releasing terrible music to see how long it would take before artists’ fans say enough is enough. Yet, they also know that as people we love to follow trends, so you’ll accept their crappy music no matter how bad it gets. I can [almost] state as a fact that Gaga, Bieber, Beyoncé, and Rihanna fans (to name a few) will never stop supporting them.

I haven’t previewed Beyonce’s album yet and I won’t for a while because I hate doing things just for the hype of it. I’ve also been off the Bey train for a while now–since right before the Super Bowl–so I’m not that excited to hear it. BUT I will say that it should be interesting to see what it sounds like. Is it actually going to be good or will people just say it’s good because it’s Beyonce and they’ve been waiting for it?

The world we live in.
via Tumblr http://personallyc.tumblr.com/post/69864672660/youre-all-about-the-hype

Changes

Note: This post is from June 24th, 2013. An update is coming soon and you will find it here.

Fast Food

This. This is the food of America. We are a fast food nation, we are unhealthy, and we are dying.

Well, I’m tired of being another statistic. I am 22 and overweight. I am on the road to, God forbid, diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colon cancer, and several other health problems. Why would I confess such things, you say? I’m not. I have no intention on allowing any of these things to happen to me–I pray health over my body always. But, I can’t believe for a healthy body and 120 great years of life while shoving McDoubles, Asiago Ranch Chicken Sandwiches, Chalupas, 3-meat Pizzas, Fries, Dipping Sauces, Cony Dogs, 3-Piece Chicken Tenders, Sodas, Candy, and other endless crap down my throat–yes, do go ahead and play the ‘name that restaurant’ game with some of those things listed above…it was specific on purpose.

I am not only at risk because of my weight, but because these things run in my family. Good ol’ genetics. But, sometimes we make our genetics become what they are, and I’m just not trying to have that.

22. 194ish lbs. 5’4.5″. That. Is. A. Problem. I’m almost 200lbs!! Technically speaking, according to the BMI calculator, I am obese. “Take Action: This measurement indicates an “apple” body shape. Excess fat stored in the stomach area increases your risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer” (www.webmd.com).

Wah-freaking-lah.

Yes, people come in all shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful. But, there is a difference in being curvy, and just being–I’m sorry, because I dislike this term–fat. Big girls can “back it up,” sure, but they need to hit the gym too. Being unhealthy and sloppy is not appealing; and being healthy has nothing to do with the stereotypical, and quite unrealistic–though not always–supermodel/celebrity look. I don’t care about that. I’m referring to being and looking as healthy as possible for your age, height and sex. No 4-year-old child, standing 3-4 feet tall should be 300lbs, that’s deadly. Same goes for adults.

For my height, age and sex I should be approx. 117-155llbs. That’s a nice range, and it shows that people don’t have to look the same to be healthy–variation exists. So, don’t accuse me or anyone else of saying that I’m trying to look like some fame-named person. Granted, regardless of what anyone says, society has presented an image of beauty before the masses; and avoiding it entirely is nearly impossible. But I think the two go hand-in-hand. Yeah, television made having a gut look less sexy, but so did the doctor.

I was 143-146 lbs. in 7th-9th grade, and I know most people would ask: why would you wanna look or be the same size that you were between the ages of 12 and 15? But if anyone knows me, they’d know that fast food probably changed my hormones, and I’ve looked quite “mature” for quite some time– when I was 12, I didn’t look it! Back then, I was a dancer and super fit. But once I got to high school, my only activity was PE, which wasn’t much–we went bowling and played pool for 1/4 of the semester. By junior year, physical ed. was no longer a requirement and that’s when the weight came. I hit 150 lbs. and thought:  “whoo, I’m so big!” Then, 160 came and the doctor told me that I was over the mark but it was okay–just don’t gain anymore. Now, I’m going into grad school at about 194 and I need to make a change.

So, today the journey begins. Today, I become a healthier me. Sure, I’ve said it before & I’ve tried several times, but this is the time that I go for the goal and push all the way through. I’m ready to start anew. I’m moving to NYC in August, starting my Master’s program in social work, moving out of my parent’s home and stepping on the pavements of reality. There’s no better time than the present.

So wish me luck! & feel free to join me on the road to new health and new beginnings 🙂