Does Hollywood have an Issue with Natural Hair?

Does Hollywood have an Issue with Natural Hair?

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely can have a love/hate relationship with my natural hair. Some days, my curls make every diva in my radius want to drop dead, and some days, I can hear the creamy crack (perm/relaxer) calling me back to him.

Gladly, I’ve resisted every time, and so has other Sistas who have decided to be a part of the Natural Hair Movement.  It can be quite the journey going from straight to curly.  Families and friends can be your biggest supporters, or even worse, your biggest haters.

1335283306_giuliana-rancic-402 If being the real you wasn’t complicated enough, just try to build a career in corporate America, and you will really be blown away of how narrow-minded people really are about natural Black hair, especially if you are in the entertainment industry.

There are a number of shows/movies that are starring Black women. I have proudly tuned in to these shows during their weekly premieres and have even paid my $12.50 at Loews Cinema to support them. I love to hear side conversations of colleagues discussing the shows and agreeing with the decisions they made.

Yet, once again headlines prove that Hollywood is inclined to the Black woman, but does not really fancy her natural hair.

So when the Twitter fans dragged Giuliana Rancic’s for saying Zendaya Coleman’s faux locs “looks like they smell like Patchouli oil and weed”, I realized that this opinion of Afro-centric styled hair is not an uncommon one.

zc Straight, flowing hair that blows in the wind, has always been the standard of beauty which all women are measured by. Any hair pattern that has a tighter curl is viewed as course, and is considered messy and unattractive.

It is thoughtless to not think of the racial intonations these ideas of hair carry. Repeatedly women of color have been ridiculed for choosing to rock natural looks.

The backlash Beyonce has received for not straightening or perming her daughter, Blue Ivy’s hair shows that these ideas of beauty and discontent iawith natural Black hair shows no one is exempt.  While many consider her daughter’s hair as unkempt, magazines and blogs will deem countless white celebrities as edgy or fashion forward for rocking cornrows and other ethnic hair styles.

Hollywood has to start appreciating every part of the colored girl. There is nothing wrong with choosing to where extensions/relaxing your hair, yet there is nothing right about being slandered for wearing your natural curls. I think it is admirable of women like Teyonah Parris and Viola Davis who wear their natural tresses on the red carpet. Zendaya Coleman looked beautiful at the Oscars and hopefully she inspires the rest of Black Hollywood to lay down their wigs and weaves and embrace their waves and curls.

Advertisements

DON’T FORGET THE 276

10256548_219313264946381_4018707118291454893_n (1)It has been one month, I have been waiting. I have been waiting to post a message of victory, that they have been found. But, they are still lost. Punished. They are being punished for the one thing that many of us take for granted, education.

One month ago a couple hundred girls in Chibok, Nigeria were awakened in the night and were told they were boarding a bus for safety. They have not been seen since. The bus of safety was actually a bus for capture holding these girls hostage.

While there are numerous explanations for while these women were kidnapped, as the news spread to my side of the world, to my horror I was disdained to find out that one of the greater reasons behind such terror, was because these girls were being educated.

It brought me to a sad reality that the fight for women to be educated is not over.

Until recently, women of all races and economic backgrounds have been excluded from education. In the United States, many of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities were established in the 1600s, yet the first college to admit women did not do so for another 200 years. And women of color were not admitted into colleges and universities until the mid-20th century.

Bring-Back-our-Girls-protest-in-Abuja-on-Wednesday-30-April-2014So if this is the case, than one can’t help but ask what makes intelligent girls so scary? Why has it been the desire for centuries to keep women unlearned and uneducated?

Well, if you look back at history, smart girls start Revolutions.

Women like, Prophetess Deborah, Esther, Queen Candace, Elizabeth I, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Yaa Asantewaa, Harriet Tubman, Nanny of the Maroons, Rosa Parks, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, Leymah Gbowee and Malala Yousafzai to name a few, started revolutions in their countries and it began when they became educated.

 Beyoncé put it best when she said, “My persuasion can build a nation.”

Education is such a powerful force that every time people receive knowledge societies are transformed. These women should not be harmed for wanting to transform themselves, their families and their country.

Media is always look for its next big story and if we don’t continue to make #BringBackOurGirls a revolutionary cause and support these girls who were displaced from home, the lives of these colored girls will be forgotten along with other irreplaceable stories. So please remember, please write, please demonstrate, and please don’t forget the 276.

Even though they are still loss, I am waiting to post a message of progress and victory. I am not hopeless, and since knowledge is power, I will share their story and I hope you will too.

How we can help:

*Please share any upcoming events for #BringBackOurGirls with readers in the comments also visit: http://bit.ly/RGBW55 and http://bit.ly/1nSPOVl

Lupita Nyong’o named PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful Person, Why is that important?

lupita nyongoEvery year PEOPLE Magazine releases its list of the top 50 most beautiful people, and this year sister friend, colored girl Lupita Nyong’o was named #1.

When I read the CNN headline some might find it surprising that I was at a loss for words. For the first time in a long time someone who looks like me is considered the most beautiful woman in the world.

Now don’t get me wrong, us brown girls have always been attractive, but I admit it feels nice that the rest of the world is finally honoring the beauty that has always been there.

You don’t need anyone to tell you are appealing. You don’t need anyone to tell you are smart, yet it’s a beautiful thing when everyone recognizes the same truth. And the truth is that regardless of how light or dark your skin may be you’re beautiful, because every human being is made in God’s image.

I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now saying, “It’s just a magazine, you’re getting to deep!” But I’m not. The issue of Colorism is alive and well and if you read or hear any of Lupita’s interviews, you would know that PEOPLE Magazine’s most beautiful woman of 2014 struggled with complexion confidence just as many of us do.

At the Black Women in Hollywood luncheon Lupita shared, “I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful,” she said. “I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin.”

She only equated beauty to what the world shows as beauty, “Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” she says. “Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.”

And even though we possess, beauty, intelligence, boldness and faith we allow others to tell us what we are and what we can become. Even if you have a positive view of yourself, most of us are still going off the positivity that someone else is giving us instead of believing for yourself.

Lupita said that her mother, “always said I was beautiful, and I finally believed her at some point.”

And I finally believed her at some point means that Lupita eventually realized for herself that she was no mistake. Her design is as it was always meant to be, and so is yours.

God did not forget to paint our canvases and left us dark. We are living art displaying the magnificence of when light decides to kiss your skin. And it’s imperative every day that you breathe you realize this for yourself.

I find Lupita Nyong’o named PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful Person, inspiring and hopefully it inspires you to recognize your beauty and worth helping you to embrace light more as you continue life’s journey.

Here Lupita’s thought on her being People’s Most Beautiful Person below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNzNZ9PDLW0#t=96

Do You Know About Colored Girls and Suicide?

It is 3 a.m. and I cannot sleep. Although I am not contemplating suicide, the idea is on mind.

No need for anyone to pick up his or her phone right now to call or text me. No need for you to pull your travel size bible out your purse to pass on a prayer. And don’t even think about filling my email with a list of scriptures, because they aren’t needed.

So as you are starting to wonder, “Why on earth are you thinking about suicide, if you are not contemplating suicide?” Consider the headline below:

Karyn Washington: For Brown Girls Creator Reportedly Commits Suicide

Karyn Washington

The report was fact.

I have not been 23, for an entire month yet, and this giant for empowerment completed suicide at the age of 22. My heart hurts. It bleeds for Karyn. Like me she heeded the call to be a writer with purpose. She used her writing to celebrate the beauty of dark skin while promoting self-love to combat colorism. Her goal was to get girls like you and me to embrace the skin we are in, and she succeeded.

As a fellow colored girl, I know the burden of carrying the complexities she tried to free women from through her movement, but ultimately, Karyn struggled with inspiring the most important person in the world, herself. I am not writing this to make you feel bad or even really ponder suicide, because the word weighs heavy.

What I want you to understand is that she is not the only one.

Although we think brown girls are Flawless as Beyonce so eloquently puts it, we are not. Alicia Keys says we are Super Woman, but I am telling you today, that we are not. And because we are so determined to accomplish everything (something that has been engrained in us to do at an early age), we take on too much. As little girls we are taught to always take care of our families, to receive the highest education possible, work the best job that you can and be promoted, be the best friend that you can be to everyone around, while being beautiful and skinny; and the list goes on…

It is not bad to aspire for better, in fact I welcome the challenge, but “the superwoman” mentality ingrained in minority women is wearing on us. This is not the only headline of recent sharing how a woman of color has decided to take her life.

So I began to research. How many of us really have done this?

I found that there is not much data out there about women of color concerning mental illness. There exist a variety of ethnic groups, but the only racial groups I could find data on were included African American, Hispanic/Latina and Asian American women . The articles found on these women, shared that studies were being conducted, some completed, and were currently being published or yet to be published.

The information I found I will share with you:

  • A growing epidemic of suicide is happening with these women ages 9 – 29.
  • In all of the minority racial groups recently studied, women were more likely to attempt suicide than males.
  • Of the three minority groups above, suicide is either the first or the third leading cause of death amongst women.
  • Although Caucasian youth are twice as likely as Minority American youth to complete suicide, since 2003 the rate of suicide increased dramatically among Minority American youth than among Caucasian youth.

I know that there are many factors that play into suicide and for women of darker shades, colorism and the world epidemic to be lighter and thinner can have a tremendous effect. I know this post is not as empowering as most, if anything it is quite unsettling, but I want it to be.

I want you to wrestle with the fact that, brown girls commit suicide too.

But all hope is not lost, we can continue to help one another by removing the stigma and myths that suicide contradicts gender and cultural role expectations including the idea that minority women are always strong and resilient and never crack under pressure; becoming aware of the cultural differences in the expression of suicidal behavior; developing liaisons and relationships with faith communities; and recognizing warning signs and helping family or friends get professional assistance.

Okay yall, I am going to sleep now. Don’t give up, and don’t give in as I challenge you as I challenge myself daily to be brave, bold, and beautiful since God so graciously chose you to be kissed by the sun.

My Coming out to Corporate America

semene woman blog“It was by God’s grace that I got this job and I wasn’t going to let this hair He gave me mess it up.”

It’s funny because I have shared my natural hair journey with you before: I sawed off every permed hair in my head and began wearing my natural locks. It was a story of liberation. I was finally being “the me” I always envisioned, and my hair was the outer expression of what happened to me on the inside.

I was free.

Free from all the generational curses, societal norms and stereotypes that had been placed on me. I was graduating from college in a year and I would be taking on the world with my new hair and empowered attitude.

Then I graduated.

After looking and landing my first corporate job I realized, maybe I am not as free as I thought I was. Around the time of my interview I really needed to take my braids down. I had worn braids for 2 months and taking them down was overdue. I wore them to the interview anyway. What I then equated to lavish laziness, I later recognized as fear.

          ” I did not know what corporate America would think of my unrestrained curls.”

College was over, and all those thoughtful hippies and Sister Souljah types were no longer around to feed my ego. There was no one around me saying how cool and beautiful my curls are. India Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair” was no longer my imagination’s theme song.

All I could remember was how other Colored girls with natural hair who said they wore their hair straight for months, because when you’re the only person of color you have enough stereotypes in the office to battle.

I was so busy feeding into what everyone else said, there was no room to add what I thought on the plate. Bottom line, I was a mess; I was too scared to wear a twist out let alone an Afro puff.  My natural tresses were supposed to enact freedom; instead I was more oppressed than ever.

So you’re probably wondering, how I got over it? I wish I had this triumphant epiphany to share, or a jubilant tale of a great voice coming from heaven, telling me, “Baby your gonna’ be alright”, but I don’t.

It was purely accidental.

One night my mom was too busy to braid my hair, so I went home and tried to curl my hair. The style turned out nice, but when I woke up the next morning, the curls went wrong. My hair was a disaster. Usually I was capable of fixing it but nothing seemed to work. I would need to start over to fix my hair. I hopped in the tub and washed my hair in the shower.

When I was finished, I looked in the mirror at my tight curly fro. With less than an hour to report to work, I had no choice but to wear an Afro. I looked in the closest for the most professional dress and heels I possessed because if I was going to wear my hair “like this” and keep my confidence, I was going to have to own it!

I remember walking into my office and feeling somewhat of a spectacle. I got a few look and stares, but I also received a few “I love its” and “Your gorgeous’”. I sat in my office and looked in the mirror close by and thought how good I looked and wondered why I took so long to do this. I was still professional and was probably earning a promotion since no one had to look at those two month old braids any longer!

I am still a work in progress. I don’t always overflow in confidence every day I rock my natural tresses. But now I know for sure that I wear my hair for me instead of basing my look on what others think.  Corporate America is doing just fine with my unrestrained curls and so am I.

So I challenged you as I challenge myself daily to be brave, bold, and beautiful since God so graciously chose you to be kissed by the sun.

Image

Rocking my afro at Casual Friday in the office #Freedom

Women of Color Wars! Light vs. Dark skin

Growing up many people told me, “your pretty for a dark skin girl.” When I had more confidence in myself I began to respond, “Wait, so dark skin girls aren’t beautiful?” What made these discussions even more disturbing was the fact that a lot of these comments came from other African Americans.

courtesy of wikimediacommons

courtesy of wikimediacommons

Historically, African Americans have faced many color complexities because the lighter slave was treated better. The lighter slaves worked in the house, while the darker slaves worked the fields. American slavery has been over two hundred years ago, but the effects of it has forever divided the African American community.

It is sad that skin color remains a major factor in societies today. The issue of light and dark expands beyond the United States. People all over the world have discussed who is lighter or doctor culturally in one form or another.

Eric Benet recently released a song called, “ Red-bone Girl”. He faced harsh criticism accusing him of supporting the privilege and superior beauty of lighter people.  Benet responded by pointing out that he wrote a song called “Chocolate Legs”, which talked about the dark skin woman.

courtesy of wikimediacommons

courtesy of wikimediacommons

In spite of his justification his defense was overruled.

Akiba Solomon, gender blogger for colorlines .com said it best when she explained the issue of light and dark skin:

“There’s a clear premium on light skin and on straight hair, whether it grows out of your head or not,” she said. “I’m not a big fan of songs that fetishize dark skin either. But you could argue that [the ‘dark-skin’ devoted songs] offer some sort of resistance to the prevailing beauty standards. He’s attempting to be provocative. He’s pretending that he’s never heard about light skin preferences. Let’s not pretend that it doesn’t exist.”

A lot of people feel there is a double standard. Dark beauty can always be publicly glorified but the lighter skinned are frowned upon. Oh the plight of the light skin woman and woe is the frustration of the darker woman.

When fighting an issue and standard that has transcended centuries, every part of the community must be united. Every woman of color should feel and know there worth from every part of the community.

This will not be a quick fix. It took hundreds of years to plant the seed and it will take many more to uproot it. Attached to this video is the link to Demystifying the Dark vs. Light skin Culture (a documentary about women of color.  https://vimeo.com/24155797

The black woman:What are people so scared of and why are people so intimidated?

I attended a forum on interracial dating at my college for a school wide race awareness week.  Shockingly this discussion on interracial dating took a turn when a question was asked to the panelist. An audience member asked a Caucasian woman dating a black man about the response she received from black women.  The woman answered the question and within a blink of the eye (it was longer than that), the words black, women, and intimidating hit my sound system. Fortunately, there were many black women in the room but surprisingly no one addressed the claim.

Who seemed intimidated to you?

I along with the other entire black woman sat in the audience silent. My silence was different. I felt that the forum was on interracial dating and my response would have totally changed the discussion. I believe other black women’s silence was for their own reasons as well.

After the meeting I discussed what happened with a few sisters. Some of them were tired of always having to defend themselves. Others didn’t want to come off as combative so they let it go. While some were confused how they could even appear intimidating. Some didn’t know why this was a problem, should we apologize for our confidence?

Often times I have heard from various people on campus that myself and other black women were intimidating but there reasons for why seemed unsatisfactory. “You don’t smile”, they say. I am walking to class, maybe I have a test, and maybe I am focused about my work. Of course we smile; I don’t think anyone has to walk around cheesing everywhere they go.

After hearing other reasons similar to this, I realized why so many people are often intimidated. They cannot handle the woman of color’s presence, especially in an academic setting. When I and my other black female classmates walk on campus are strength is felt. We are serious, professional and confident.

Why is this problem? Are we not nearly reflecting what any healthy young woman should be?

photo courtesy of  blackcelebrity giving.com

photo courtesy of blackcelebrity giving.com

There are black women all over the world. Every one of them has a story and challenge that they have had to bear in their perspective cultures and societies.

Black woman in America are the daughters of slaves and their strength has been established since the beginning of time. So the pain, sweat, tears, and drive run through are veins.

So I ask you again, should we apologize for this?

Hair Obsession

Image

me at age 4

If you looked at pictures of me from age 1 to 5 years old you would see a little black girl with 2 puff balls on each side of her head. My hair was thick. I remember sitting at the dinner table watching my mother, tears streaming down her face, crying to my aunt (who was also a hair dresser) on the phone begging her to perm my hair. My long, thick hair was quite challenging for my mother and she needed help. The last thing she said to my aunt before she finally conceded was, “either you perm it or I will.”

Image

me before the big chop

Unwilling to let my mother ruin my hair, my aunt permed it. From that day on the creamy crack touched my roots about every seven weeks until I was 21 years old. I am not one of those women who can blame the perm for damaging their hair or who can make a perm the reason for why their hair has not met their shoulders because for me it’s not true.

Truth is my hair continued to stay thick and long. It was damaged over the years because of the perm but when I decided to go all natural and cut all my hair off, my hair was the longest it had ever been. I decided to go natural because I had finally reached a point of liberation and finally took control over my hair, my face and my image of myself.

Society has always been obsessed with black women and their hair. Don Imus was not the first man to demoralize black women and their hair. Scientist of the 1850s, North American Peter A. Browne, said that African slave’s hair was like wool so they must be of a different species. This history of the black race’s hair is not in just North America. It is not uncommon for the women of the Caribbean islands to deny their African ancestry and genetic influence, which is part of many countries’ past to be punished for physical evidence (such as hair) of African descent. With all the natural hair styles worn by all women of color, it is easy for one to think that this issue.  But the recent uproar about Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas’ hair shows that the dated issue remains prevalent in today’s society.

What makes this complexity of hair even more heart breaking is that society has convinced women of color these obscenities about their hair is true. They no longer have to criticize us about our self-image because we criticize one another.

Image

Me after the big chop

I remember listening to India Arie’s song I am not my Hair, and wishing so badly that I felt that way. I always admired women with natural hair and the various ways they styled their hair. I always kept my hair straight and desired for it to touch my waist in length. After my junior year of college I felt the urge to cut it and be natural after dating someone who had done a lot for my self-image. I have never looked back.

I am not saying every woman of color wearing their hair in its natural state is the answer to societal acceptance, but sadly embracing our hair is one of the many hurdles woman of color have to go through to be comfortable with ourselves.

Mysteriously, your hair and every other piece of you is part of accepting your uniqueness and calling to show God’s genius of multiplicity.

Source: http://www.pasocsociety.org/bellinger.pdf

How it Feels to be Colored Me

A friend once told me a story about how her best friend was a little blond girl when she was in elementary school. They sat next to one another in class, shared lunch and played together during every recess.

One day while playing together, another group of girls suggested they all play the rainbow game. She was nervous about how the game was played so one of the girls explained it.Every person playing would stand next to the person that was the same color as her and the leader would shout out a color and that pair of kids would have to tag everyone else.

My friend said she was the only African-American. She knew the girls did not mean any harm. They were only trying to play something new, but she said that was the first time she became aware of her race.

It was as early as middle school that she was aware of her race. For some people of color, it’s a lot sooner and for others it’s later.

I was a freshman at a predominately white college when I first became aware of my race. There were not too many people who I could racially identify with. There was a large group of people who looked like me but they were born in various African countries. Even though we looked the same, we were very different.

For the first time I was so confused. I didn’t feel fully American because for me, at that time, “American” meant white. But I was not African either. That part of me is so far removed that only Henry Louis Gates could bring me close.

I began to ask myself many questions. Even with the knowledge of where I derived, could I truly embody that people and culture? And what about my African-American heritage? Although we are an undefined people our influence on music and sports, our courage and strength, is clearly known.

These questions of my identity have been haunting me since I began college, but they hit me in the face when I took an African-American literature course. I read Zora Neal Hurston’s How it Feels to be Colored Me. This profound essay shares her account of when she first became aware of her race. It was funny how similar her story was to mine, but it was these words she left towards the end that truly inspired me.

At certain times I have no race, I am me . When I set my hat at a certain angle and saunter down Seventh Avenue, Harlem City, feeling as snooty as the lions in front of the Forty-Second Street Library, for instance. So far as my feelings are concerned, Peggy Hopkins Joyce on the Boule Mich with her gorgeous raiment, stately carriage, knees knocking together in a most aristocratic manner, has nothing on me. The cosmic Zora emerges. I belong to no race nor time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads.


I still don’t know exactly how my identity totally shapes or forms me and what I stand for; but in some indescribable way, that passage teaches me something different about myself every time I read it. I am sure one of these days I’ll get it and you will too.

How does it feel to be Colored You?

The Importance of You

 

Have you ever wondered about the importance of you? Out of all the people in the world what makes me so different? Being “special” is something that is preached to us as individuals all the time, but it is hard to see your uniqueness clearly, when others have clouded your perception of who you are.

Throughout elementary and middle school I would get teased by my classmates. I was teased for many reasons but I think what affected me most was when I began puberty at the age of 9. In the fourth grade I began to develop and it seemed like in minutes, I was bigger and shapelier than my classmates. As a result of that, I was teased about my weight, my bodily changes, and everything else under the sun.

As the teasing continued, I became self-conscious and would beg my mother to let me stay home. Being the woman of faith that she is, I was given this verse.

Psalms 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

The part she really encouraged me to concentrate on is I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

There is so much that a woman of color has to endure, but this scripture gives us insight into our own uniqueness and what makes each and every one of us as well as the rest of humanity special.

You were created, each part of you in your mother’s womb. No one else, no matter how much people say how you and someone may look-alike or even act alike, no one was created like you. On the day you were formed God made you so precisely seamless, that he wouldn’t dare imitate your likeness again.

Your strength is uncanny, your intelligence is non-negotiable, your black is beautiful, and the fact that you’ve been kissed by the sun is, God’s physical display of his favor upon you.

Reality Shows: Do they affect society’s opinion of minority women?

photographed by yourblackworld.net

photographed by yourblackworld.net

Reality shows have taken over television. People are fascinated by the lives and routines of their favorite entertainers. Some shows even follow the average joes’ of the world. Whether anticipated or not, racial portrayal has become an important factor to consider in reality TV.

With the emergence of major networks, the media has consistently portrayed women of color in a negative light. Most of the women on the shows are seen fighting, attacking people for silly reasons and portraying themselves negatively. The portrayal of women in the media has always been an issue but not that woman of color are the face of this negativity many are calling these shows into question.

Who should be blamed? American media has institutionalized the way minorities in this country have been portrayed for decades. On the other hand leaders have questioned why people of color have not used these opportunities to show women of color in a positive light.

Women like Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Dolores Huerta, and Muna Lee fought to change the media’s perception of minority women in the U.S. These women organized conferences, protested and spoke all over the country to counter how society treated and viewed minority women. It is unfortunate that a new type of entertainment is damaging the foundation that was set for minority women.

For every negative image portrayed, there are many more examples of women of color who are the opposite of the image portrayed on television. However the negative images portrayed always travel faster.

When I studied in the U.K., I met some women of color who I became good friends with. I was upset the first time one of them did an impression of how they thought African-American girls behaved. My anger turned into sadness because where did these ideas come from? There reenactments came from what they saw on television. Unfortunately the way minority women act on television affects all minority women because people will believe we all act the same.

In a society where people are encouraged to not care what other’s think of them, women of color should be worried. It sounds empowering to think that we shouldn’t care about the way minority women are betrayed in the media, but it is not. I don’t know the answer to this issue, but I believe recognizing that these portrayals are problematic is a step in the right direction.

I believe it’s important to realize that the journey is not over, and any negative can hinder progress for those who have beenkissedbythesun.

What do you think?

Here is a link to an HLN discussion on reality tv and race: http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/04/25/real-deal-reality-tv?clusterId=62#videoplayer

Thoughts and opinions are welcomed.

Five pieces of art that make you proud of being Kissedbythesun

 

Harlem Heat By Gary Kelley

Harlem Heat By Gary Kelley

The title and name say it all. The beauty of this woman at night makes the mind ponder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women of Color by Grace J. Errea

Women of Color by Grace J. Errea

This quilt is not for bed, but a piece of art meant to capture the essence of woman of color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-is-black-female from the Houston Black Ladies Art Society

Black-is-black-female from the Houston Black Ladies Art Society

Showing the many shades of black, embodies what this blog is and the message all woman of color should send to one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A call for Healing for Transgender women of color by Audre Lorde

A call for Healing for Transgender women of color by Audre Lorde

A painting created to exemplify a healing community for transgender woman of color displays all women of color’s beauty regardless of their sexual orientation.

 

 

 

 

 

African-woman-with-yellow-necklace-by Janna-vsevolodovna-ali-

African-woman-with-yellow-necklace-by Janna-vsevolodovna-ali-

A painting that will make every woman of color proud of her ancestry.

 

 

Why the BMI doesn’t fit Women of Color

photo from Wikimediacommons

photo from Wikimediacommons

Over half of the american population is considered overweight. The vast majority of that half is women, and several of those women, are minorities. 4 out 5 African American women are overweight according to the Center for Disease Control.

All these figures are reported from the BMI charts or the body mass index standards. Even though the figures of obesity amongst minority communities, particularly women are serious and must be taken into consideration to prevent diseases like diabetes and cancer, it the BMI really fair and accurate enough for minorities.

The BMI was developed to define obesity based off of Caucasian populations because there wasn’t enough accurate data on ethnic minorities. As a result of this the scale is faulty for people of color.

Different ethnic groups are built different genetically. For instance women of color have less body fat than white woman.  On the flip side, women of color have more body muscle than white woman. Because these percentages of mass and weight are different, how can we be measured by the same scale?

I am not condoning obesity in any form. Every woman needs to be healthy. My concern is how can a woman of color know if she is medically overweight or obese if the BMI was not created with her in mind?

With this being said it is still important to maintain a normal diet and exercise routine. Minority women are praised for their full figures. This is not a bad thing, but being overweight should not be apart of the culture.

Everything is in moderation. Because the BMI doesn’t fit us, we as woman of color have a greater responsibility of making sure we maintain our health.

Do You Know about Woman of Color and Eating Disorders

All people, women of color especially like to believe they are clothed in humility. Yet hegemony, reigns high in every society. This sense of superiority can lead people to believe they are exempt from things. The Did You Know series will educate woman of color on issues they did not know affected us.

photograph by Madamenoire

photograph by Madamenoire

Eating disorders were once only a problem for middle and upper class white woman.  Now all sexes, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic classes are acknowledged for experiencing eating disorders.

Recent research suggest that eating disorders are represented differently amongst various ethnic and racial backgrounds,  a result of this have caused physicians to miss opportunities to detect and treat disorders in women of color.

Women of color, particularly African American and Latina women were considered immune to eating disorders because in the past those communities resisted such practices. But current trends are showing minorities engaging in eating disorders because of the cultural pressures to be thin.

Studies are being done on these black ethnic groups; because there is no past evidence of eating disorders amongst these groups it is difficult to make claims about the trends.  A 2007 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows that Latinos who have spent more than 70% of their lives in the United States, had higher rates of eating disorders. This study also found that blacks with high levels of stress suffer greater risk of body image.

I am interested in hearing about more evidence of trend changes.  Most minorities have a health stigma. Reports of mental diseases and disorders are not typically reported and people do not seek help. I know there is still a huge population of woman of color and minorities who are not affected by eating disorders, but I do believe that more people are affected by it.  Be aware of the people around you and don’t think that just because they are black, nothing is wrong with them.