Essays

The Divine Sisterhood That Saved Me

“Keep Your Head Up, Keep Your Head Up. Whenever this life gets tough, you gotta fight with your homegirls standing your left and your right. True blue and tight like glue.”

Living Single is probably my favorite sitcom ever. If you’re unfamiliar with the iconic sitcom, it’s based around four black women and their two male housemates, living together in their Brooklyn brownstone. Successful, black and living in a non gentrified Brooklyn, the women were inspirational to me. They were black women who had fruitful careers, real conversations with each other and a friendship that could not be broken, no matter the circumstances the world threw at them. They were grown but they were still just figuring it all out with the help of their friends (albeit sometimes unwarranted). Just as their creator, Yvette Lee Bowser, had intended, the foursome’s interpersonal dynamics was real, intense, frank and funny. My sophomore year of college, I almost planned my entire schedule around its showings on TVOne. That’s how much I love Living Single.

But despite my exhaustive efforts, it seemed that I could not recreate those same relationships in real life. In terms of friends, I was mostly alone. I had friends but I found myself profoundly detached from them, no matter how close I believed they should be. I was infamous for falling out with best friends. Truth be told, I didn’t think I needed them when it was all said and done. I rationalized, “I came into this world alone and caskets don’t have bunk beds.” Their presence was never a given so I learned how to be alone. I supposed I wasn’t as invested as I thought but either way, it didn’t really matter to me. It wasn’t until I found myself truly alone that I changed my mind. Continue reading

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five 4.28

Dream

Don’t Play | Louis York

I’ve been somewhat of a recluse lately. There are various reasons why but in the interest of saving time, I’ll spare you. However, during my little hermit time, I was listening/watching BET Soul (which I’m convinced used to be VH1 Soul but feel free to correct me) when this little jam played. It was so enchanting to me, at the time, I even waited four more hours to catch the name. I can’t tell if it’s the lyrics, the piano or the beat which have infatuated me but overall, it feels like it was made to dance on a club couch. It single-handedly made me want to get up, do up my hair and my Rooch lipstick from Karreuche’s ColourPop collection and put on my sequin skirt to dance the night away. I’ve already come up with video treatments in my head for the IG slide thing to this song! P.S. Karreuche’s ColourPop collab is back– I personally recommend Rooch and Glo Up but I hear Saigon is really pretty on darker skin tones as well.

Nail Art

(Images not ours– click through to source)

Growing up, I had a camp counselor whose nails of the week were downright… incredible. They were longer than anyone really had use for, some would be twisted into loops and they were decked out in Swarovski crystals and dollar bills. It was gaudy but nails ARE a well known artistic expression in the hood. It’s my personal opinion nail art is one of the purest forms of femme artistic expression. While I admired my camp counselor for her boldness in nail design, I could never do the same because my life is spent at a computer. But these contemporary nail artists are far more accommodating to my style and nail length. Now, I don’t have acrylic nails and I would hate to ruin my beautiful nail beds by getting some but I wouldn’t mind some decorated press ons. Artists shown here: KitOffKilter, NinaNailedIt, Madeline Poole, Primping Ain’t Easy Continue reading

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Essays

Dark Skinned Girls Don’t Get Married

(Photo via Pinterest)

Like every other little girl, I used to dream about getting married. And when I dream, I dream big. I’m talking 3.5, vs1, pear shaped, near colourless brilliant cut diamond on a 14K white gold band married. Cupcakes with initials married. Three tier cake, flower canopy, a peonies, calla lilies & roses bouquet with a dessert bar and me in a long, dramatic white dress with a train and a cathedral veil in front of all my friends and family with candles and fireworks married. My husband– who in my head looks like something like Trevante Rhodes– in a white tuxedo and a calla lily boutonniere bawling from my beauty married. I have dreamt about being married. (OK, I didn’t dream all that– Pinterest filled in some details.)

And it would be lit, a dream, truly. But the reality is… I’m too dark skinned to get married.

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Essays

Cardi B. : A Bronx Shero

Photo via FashionBombDaily

It’s strange who we, as women, are told to idolize. While we have the ability to discern, we almost always sold women who are unlike most women. They are perfect, in each and every way and thus, impossible to replicate. Whether they are bombshells or bookworms, we as women are expected to choose our empowerment from what seems like two piles. If we do get a woman that is more complex with a more checkered past, there is often a scrubbing of that past in an attempt to further remove her from the everyday woman. That is until recently. The ubiquity and easy access of internet made it possible to find facts and allowed women (past and present) to be more open about their lives. Legends and newcomers alike were open to show the reality of what being a woman meant. It expanded horizons and allowed women to be more openly multidimensional. Our heros or sheros were more… like us… But even now there is a stigma around who women herald.

When you think shero, who do you think of? Femmes who defy the odds? Activists? Businesswomen, perhaps? Well, I want to nominate someone for consideration. She’s funny, intelligent, resilient and probably already clawed her way into your heart. People on Tumblr have already given her title of a great sociologist, able to see and assess the world accurately and concisely. Only 24, she’s already staked her claim and gone after it. That’s right, I’m talking about Belicalis Almanzar of the Bronx, NY, AKA, the one and only Cardi B. My shero.

Here’s a disclaimer before we continue. I am not saying Cardi is perfect, far from. In fact, I think she has a lot to unlearn, in the same way I did. But I can critique and admire her at the same time.

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Moodboards

Fall Moodboard: Dream

Hey, y’all, long time, no see. But the leaves are finally dropping here (which I know because of the amount of raking I’ve had to do). So we figure we should drop our fall moodboards.

Dream, here. Still here… In Atlanta. And still hella homesick. My fall inspo is supposed to be a homage to the girl I am inside, that is, just a girl from Uptown trying not to get stuck at E 180th for 40 minutes waiting to transfer trains. I would like to call it Uptown Betty.

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Row One: Crystallized Bloodstone, Harlem’s Apollo Theatre, Willow Smith

Row Two: Jean of The Joneses, Vertigo, Jean of the Joneses

Row Three: Leaves, Cher Horowitz, Tracee Ellis Ross

Row Four: Dej Loaf, Rihanna, Laquan Smith

Therefore, my inspiration board reeks of a carefree, classic New York girl vibe, channeling a hood Cher Horowitz. An eccentric uptown socialite (I mean the real uptown, like Harlem & The Bronx, not the Upper East/West Side, if you catch my drift.) Basically, Teyana Taylor with a free spirit. Azealia Banks with prep. Junglepussy if she came from Uptown. As in twin sets worn with Timbs, bombers and berets worn with bamboo earrings. (I didn’t get to wear my bamboos all summer so please, let me have this.) Mary Jane shoes that walked her all the way to Champion Jamaican Bakery and corset belts and harnesses that parallel W 125 itself. Insert a little black boho edge, this inspiration comes with a bit of fall breeze, echoed in the embroidery and fringe.

I hope this board captures the essence of  the girl who effortlessly flows from both museums to underground concerts to Kennedy Chicken orrrr Red Rooster (or Amy Ruth’s– my personal fave) alike. From bottomless brunches to the classic weekday bacon egg and cheese. The intermediary of a new and old classic. Essentially, it’s the best of both of my worlds.

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If you’re more of an auditory person, here’s a playlist to help me illustrate my flow.

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