Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my friendships from the past and present. I have struggled with maintaining friendships like most of us, and I have always wondered why… Of course we all have those friends that are in it until death do us part, but others have not sustained but they have taught me something about myself… Continue reading “National “Best” Friends Day”
I can be anything, or do anything I put my effort into….
I am motivated!
I can go to school, go to work, and take care of my home….
I am a scholar!
I can admit when I am wrong…
I am flawlessly imperfect!
I can smile, even when I am hurting…
I am rock solid!
I can walk a mile in 6 inch heels…
I am poised!
I can go 24 hours without wearing any make-up…
I am beautiful!
I can cry when I watch a Disney movie…
I am strong!
I can take care of myself and everyone else I love…
I am reliable!
I can fight for love…
I am patient!
I can reach my goals and dream, even with doubters all around me…
I am persistent!
I can give birth to a life…
I am the real Superwoman!
Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io
In high school, I spent so much time in the mirror.
I thought that I was vain, but honestly, I was more insecure of my appearance, abilities, and worth. High school is the time where we are beginning to determine who we are; our beliefs, values, our essence and purpose begin in high school.
We are born into a material world, surrounded by images of women who we consider to be prettier, more beautiful or gorgeous than we are. #defythestandardofbeauty
The College Girl Dating Rulebook
Rule #6: If he asks you to “come over and watch a movie” at 10PM or later, DO NOT GO!
I never thought I could be so gullible…
When he asked me to come over to watch a movie, I was so excited because I thought he had asked me out on a mini-date.
As defined by Merriam-Webster,
noun la·dy·hood \ˈlādēˌhu̇d\
Definition of ladyhood
the state of being a lady : quality or nature of a lady <the changing status of woman from ladyhood to the position of political citizen — Amy Loveman>
ladies <representative of the ladyhood of her day>
It is my goal to become the founder and creator of the LADYHOOD journey brand.
I believe that LADYHOOD is not biological; just because you were born female, this does not make you a lady…
The definition of LADYHOOD is an opinion, but it is a lifestyle; a representation of what is considered being a true lady as opposed to womanhood or being female.
As women, we know the barriers we face in this world, because we are female… for transgender women and girls, that challenge is even greater.
Breaking down barriers, supporting one another, and accepting our differences is what LADYHOOD is all about.
We realize that it is a constant goal that we seek to maintain.
We are individuals that are strong, liberal & conservative; confident, and leaders. We seek to empower all women to be the best version of themselves…
Being a lady is not about your hips, thighs, breasts, and booty. It is about your mind and creativity; your voice, standards, and the emotional burden that we carry as women in this world.
LADYHOOD is fighting against the stereotypical norms of womanhood in our society. We are determined to become more than just a woman (as stated by the great Aaliyah herself in the song “More Than a Woman”).
We can make money, advance in the work place, and be just as powerful as men without selling our bodies.
Join the journey to be the best version of yourself!
You are woman!
Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io
University College of the World
College 101 for Freshman Females
Fall-Spring 2016-2017, LIFE 12345, 67890
Instructor: Ms. Pinkspen, MSW
Office Hours: M/T/W/Th/F/S/Sun 12:00a-11:59p
Welcome & Introduction:
Welcome to College 101 for Freshman Females. I am your instructor, Pinkspen. We will begin this course together where we will work together to prevent the most common mistakes that freshman females make when it comes to various forms of relationships on a college campus. This class is for freshman girls in college, “upper-classwomen” (Pinkspen), and high school girls who will someday graduate and be shipped off to a world that I wish someone prepared me for. Enroll in this course today!
“I need to be in a relationship.”
Every time someone says these words, it just shows that “a relationship” is the last thing they need… (don’t get mad, just listen)
In 2007, I graduated high school. I was in a relationship that was slowly falling apart. I remember being at a welcome event on campus in the gymnasium with my friends. We were seated in the middle of about 60 rows of seats. I turned around, and there was this guy walking in late at the back of the room and I honestly just stared at him. Later on that day, there was a meet-and-greet for the Black Student Union on campus, and I saw him sitting outside in the quad with another freshman female. They were sitting really close together, so I assumed they were involved in some way. I continued to mingle and get to know students on campus at the event. Somehow, he ended up standing next to me as I stood in a group of friends, talking, so of course I said hello. We exchanged pleasantries, and after talking and laughing for a bit, I could tell he was interested but I didn’t forget that he was just all “booed up” with another girl a few minutes ago and I was in a relationship. Over the course of the next few weeks, I continued to see him. He would be outside of the Student Union on campus, at the gas station; I would see him driving his car, walking down the street, at the gym; he was everywhere. My boyfriend and I were not in a good place. I was young, and I needed a drama free life, so our relationship ended. Now that I was single for the first time on a college campus I wanted to enjoy that life. I went out with my girls and went to every house party I could. One night, while at a party, as I danced in a circle with my girls, I saw him standing in the corner with his boys and I got super bold and walked over to him and we conversed for a while. The party ended with the police shutting it down, and of course, there he was to save my life. He drove me back to my dorm and we exchanged numbers. I had never expected a relationship of any kind, because I was trying to be single, but overtime, in my first year of college, I was in another relationship within a month.
This was a big mistake. Of course I learned a lot during this relationship; about love, life, and myself, but I jumped into this relationship way to quickly!
Companionship is a natural desire, but it is not what you need.
You may want a relationship, but what you need is much more important.
I have never found a quality relationship when I was looking for one. You know why? Because, being single is about taking care yourself not focusing on trying to find a man…It is about loving yourself; growing and becoming a stronger you.
How can you love someone else, if you do not love yourself?
The most important relationship next to your relationship with your greater power, is the one with yourself.
If you come into a relationship, broken, then you will break the other person. Hurt people, hurt people…and when someone you love hurts, you hurt too.
Although I am in a completely new and stronger relationship now, it happened when I was not searching…
If you have been single for a long time, and you are wondering why, you are on the right track. Asking yourself ‘why’ is essential to your personal growth.
Of course being single can be difficult, but so is being in a relationship…
Find a mentor or a counselor. Stop talking to your friends and family, their biases will steer you in the wrong direction because they love you…
So let go and let God! And don’t pray and worry…he will come when you are truly ready for him.
If you want a relationship, focus on yourself. Stop saying that you want a boyfriend, a girlfriend or a significant other. That special someone will come as soon as you stop searching…that is how it always happens!
Falling in Love is always accidental…
I had someone tell me to add my personal experiences to this post, so I did. We can all learn from one another…this is part of my story. I’m sure everyone has more than one story of how they met someone thay they fell in love with. LADYHOOD is a journey that never ends. Let’s support, empower, challenge, and learn from one another.
Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io
Quote Source: Google
“Do me one better!” That’s what my mother would say.
As a new parent, I understand the desire to do better for your children. You want to give them more than you had growing up and you want them to desire more for themselves as well.
Outside of the material fancies of the world, I believe parents also want their children to be everything that they were not when they were at their worst and to reverse all of their mistakes through their children, especially when it comes to intimate relationships.
The term smother as defined in the Urban Dictionary is, “a mother or overbearing girlfriend that smothers their adult child/boyfriend with too much love…”
We all know those mothers who live vicariously through their daughters’ relationships, education, career choices, and social status. Daughters with smothers are bombarded with overprotective, judgmental, and extremely pushy behaviors when it comes to their life choices concerning love and relationships.
A smother feels that her daughters mate must looks, dress, behave, and maintain a certain social status, based on her standards, not her daughters.
I have friends with smothers, and often times, it causes them to seek an unhealthy perfection in men. It seems to also cause resentment toward their mother if they feel like they can’t meet a certain standard or expectation.
I believe that this behavior goes beyond the basic desire for a daughter to be better than her mother. The mother that is considered to be a smother, is given this title due to her deepest fear, herself.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson, from her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles.
This was a quote that my mother had framed for all three of her daughters, and I make sure that it is hanging up in my house.
When a woman becomes a mom, often times, she immediately becomes her best self, because she wants to be the best parent she can be.
Every family has generational curses, and if there is a history of infidelity, teenage pregnancy, or single-parenting in your family, it is only natural to fear that your daughter will struggle with these concerns as well. A mother wants her child to emulate her best behaviors, not her worst.
This may cause mothers to place high expectations and standards onto their daughters, and when the expectation is not met, a mother is faced with her deepest fear, seeing her true self in her daughter. Those mothers who have not forgiven themselves can become smothers and are projecting their own personal fears onto their daughters.
As a mother of a two month old baby girl, I find myself thinking about all the bad choices and decisions I have made in my journey towards LADYHOOD…
I think it is a realistic feeling to have fears that my daughter will make the same mistakes with men that I made. But, before I was a mother, I was a daughter, and it is important for me to remember who I was before I became a parent. Even though my mother taught me to always do her one better, I am certain that I made some of the bad choices she made, and more.
As a daughter, with a daughter, it is important for me to teach her about the mistakes I made in my relationships but to also understand that she may make similar mistakes as she gets older.
Mothers, do not fear seeing yourself in your daughter! You will, because she is a part of you. The more you smother her, the more difficult it will be to break those generational curses.
I desire so much for my daughter. I want her to see her value in life; to know that she is beautiful, talented, intelligent, and imperfect just like all of humankind. I want her to see me constantly trying to reach my goals so that she will see that she can obtain her own. I want her to embrace when she makes a mistake and when she succeeds. All lessons, are lessons learned, and even if she hits a barrier, I want her to be confident enough to create new ones.
When it comes to relationships, I want my daughter to know that she is worth the wait, and that no man is worth compromising her morals and values.
Even in my mistakes, my mother always uplifted me; a mother is always there to support her child. I always felt inspired and empowered by her, and this is the kind of mother that I want to be, not a smother. Forgiving myself for the mistakes that I made with men was the difficult part in my journey toward LADYHOOD. When it comes to motherhood, I know that I am not perfect; we all fall short, make mistakes, and struggle in our imperfections, and my daughter will to.
Just like my mother, I will be there to support my daughter along her LADYHOOD journey as well.
Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io
This post may seem to bash women, but it is just an honest depiction of my feelings about women in America. We as women have allowed the American pop culture, including the prominent or famous, fashion, and the media to affect the way we dress and what we consider to be modest.
Although being modest and immodest are subjective, it seems our level of freedom in this country has allowed us to think that as independent women, we can wear whatever we want, whenever we want.
What we do not consider is the message this sends to young women…
…the message that this sends to men…
No matter what you take away from this blog, be honest with yourself about your attire and why you wear certain things….
My mother always taught me to dress modestly. When I was in middle school, my mother created a group for 6th-12th grade girls called Sistah’s Keepers. Each week, we would come together to discuss some of the various topics, including our relationship with God, boys, sex, school, family and friendships.
When it came to teaching us about modesty, my mother made sure to discuss what to wear when we are at certain events and how boys may view us when we wear certain attire. I remember her saying, “Men are visual. You have to be aware of their temptations to be aware of yourself.” My mother made sure that we as young women, were conscience of a man’s weakness for the female body and it is our responsibility as young women in be aware of this. During these discussions on modesty, I remember a lot of the girls saying that when they put on clothes, they dressed for themselves, not for boys.
As I got older, I realized that, the clothes we put on, can make us feel attractive or sexy, and no matter the level of confidence we have, overall our attire is based on the responses that we get from others, especially men.
When I was in college and my friends and I were going to a house party or to the bar, we would call one another and ask what the other is wearing. Why would we do this if we were not seeking the approval of others?
Here are two main reasons, first, we don’t want to be left out or not match the group. If all of my friends were getting really dressed up for the party, I wouldn’t want to be the only girl in a simple outfit. Basically, most girls will wear heels if all their friends decided to wear heels. If another girl looks better, we immediately begin to judge ourselves to the point that we want to run back home to change our clothing… I can’t count how many times I changed outfits by borrowing a friends clothing.
Secondly, we want to look just as good to guys at the party as our friends. When your girls compliment your outfit and say that your butt looks good in those jeans or your boobs and cleavage look good in the shirt, we know that guys would feel the same way. We as women desire men just like men desire us. In knowing this, we may be using this knowledge against men in our attire.
It may seem like we dress in certain things because we like the style; we like the way we look in a certain thing, but in reality, if you put on the best outfit you own; the one that accents your curves; your butt and boobs, and no guys tried to talk to you and you didn’t get one compliment from your friends, it might make you second guess if you do look as good as you thought.
When I would go to parties, clubs, and bars, the girls that wore the skimpiest outfits got the most attention from guys. I noticed that when I started dressing in more revealing clothing, I got more attention from guys too. The feeling you get from guys when they want to dance with you, buy you drinks and be in your company, feels like you are on your own reality TV show. I have never seen a girl at a night club or a bar get that kind of attention unless she was wearing a tight dress or some form of a revealing outfit that accented her butt, her boobs or both. It is easy to find yourself in stripper attire, trying to fit into that culture of hook ups and one night stands; twerking, and heavy alcohol consumption. But, is this being immodest even though we are dressing in the attire of what everyone wears to nightclubs and bars?
Author and blogger, Tim Challies, wrote an article, Modesty Matters: The Heart of Modesty, which discusses what modesty is and how to define it. Challies, views modesty as an issue within the individual before it is a visual issue; modesty is situational and about culture.
Both modesty and immodesty display something about the heart. Again, modesty is an issue of the heart before it is an issue of dress…What is modest in one situation may well be immodest in another. We all know we can dress modestly on the beach, but if we were to wear that very same thing to church it would be terribly immodest…What is modest in one culture may be immodest in another. One year ago I was in India and it became clear that the way even a modest woman dresses for church in Toronto may well be considered immodest in India.
So, what is immodest in American culture?
Are we so free that we can openly wear whatever we want with no regard to those who admire and look up to us? To agree with Challies, modesty is cultural, and being aware of different cultures and respecting their attire is important. This statement shows that what we consider modest, is opinion, but what if the culture is made up of multiple cultures?
Due to the media; movies, television shows, accessing social media on our smartphones, tablets and computers, we as women are constantly bombarded with images of what women wear in American culture.
Women and young girls are surrounded with strong, powerful, and talented women who accept and normalize this club wear on reality TV shows, award shows, and music videos.
This standard of beauty portrayed in the media shows young girls that it is okay to dress in revealing clothing because their favorite singer is wearing a leather leotard that accents her new fake butt, as she rolls around on the floor of her penthouse suite in her latest music video.
The reality is that these young viewers grow up… as young adults, they sit in a classroom wearing crop tops in front of their college professor.
In every culture, there is modest and immodest attire.
I believe that if a female is wearing a tight or form fitting dress; a mini skirt or shorts that show the bottom of her butt or wearing a crop top with her belly ring showing while she is walking through the Student Union on a college campus, attending a church service, or she is dancing at the bar, all are considered immodest.
When I see a girl in club attire during the day, it does look worse than if she was at the bar, but even at the bar, I feel we shouldn’t have to wear revealing clothing to get attention from men.
As a woman, I am aware of the stereotypes that we deal with when we put on certain clothing and look a certain way. The woman wearing glasses is smart; if a woman dresses more manly, she is a lesbian. So what is the woman with her belly ring showing, stereotypically? What should we consider the woman who is wearing a skin tight dress with cleavage down to her belly button? Would women intentionally want to be considered easy to get with or fast, when they dress in this type of clothing?
Of course there are levels to modesty… showing an inch of cleavage compared to having your butt cheeks hanging out, are not on the same level of immodesty.
Overall, I believe that it is naïve to act like we don’t dress for others, and as women, we must take responsibility for what wear and when we wear it.
When we put on certain clothing it sends a message, and it is our responsibility to know what message that is, regardless of the intent.
Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io
Challies, Tim (2013). Modesty Matters: The Heart of Modesty. http://www.challies.com/articles/modesty-matters-the-heart-of-modesty
I always thought, compared to some of these other girls, I was a lady.
I use to compare myself; how I acted, my character, and the way I dressed; these were all categories that I felt made me a lady, by comparison.
Looking back on my life, I realized that I was, in fact, not being a lady in every aspect of my behaviors.
This was my opinion, and I am sure that others feel the same about themselves. The way I view what a lady is, is deep.
The word lady is subjective, yes, so this is my opinion; itdepends on the speaker to determine what a lady is.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the full definition of the word lady (plural ladies), is
1 a : a woman having proprietary rights or authority especially as a feudal superior
b : a woman receiving the homage or devotion of a knight or lover
capitalized : virgin mary —usually used with Our
3 a : a woman of superior social position
b : a woman of refinement and gentle manners
4 a : wife
5 a : any of various titled women in Great Britain —used as the customary title of (1) a marchioness, countess, viscountess, or baroness or (2) the wife of a knight, baronet, member of the peerage, or one having the courtesy title of lord and used as a courtesy title for the daughter of a duke, marquess, or earl
b : a woman who is a member of an order of knighthood — compare dame
Definition 3b of the definition states, a woman of refinement and gentle manners. This provides two main descriptions or qualities of what a lady is:
refinement and of gentle manners.
The full definition of refinement is
1 : the action or process of refining
3 a : a refined feature or method
b : a highly refined distinction : subtlety
c : a contrivance or device intended to improve or perfect
The key word in 3c, is to perfect yourself.
Perfection is unattainable for any human to obtain every aspect of life.
As humans, we are imperfect, but seeking to obtain perfection, even if it is unattainable is what makes a lady. So what are manners?
The full definition of manner(s):
b plural : social conduct or rules of conduct as shown in the prevalent customs <Victorian manners>
c : characteristic or distinctive bearing, air, or deportment <his poised gracious manner>
e : a distinguished or stylish air
When looking at definition 1b, having manners involves the social conduct of what we, as a society, consider good manners.
If we look at our society, the word manners when describing women, would look like individuals interrupting one another, a vast amount of insults or talking bad, selfishness, back stabbing, and a lack of modesty.
One of my guilty pleasures, is watching any season of Love & Hip Hop on VH1. Every episode has a combination of these poor mannerisms.
The theme of the show are the relationships attained in the Hip Hop world and how the women deal with their rapper, singer, or producer, in the industry. In some cases, both are in the music business.
While watching these relationships unfold, the viewer sees women who allow themselves to be taken advantage of, disrespected in their relationships, and take advantage of.
In every season of Love & Hip Hop (New York, Atlanta, and Hollywood), there are various episodes where women are disrespected and they often times disrespect themselves and the other women on the show.
There are wedding rings thrown into bushes, men and women calling women bitches, and men making women feel like they would be worthless without them.
There are men constantly going to strip clubs and having secret parties away from their women, even though she literally looks and dresses just like a stripper.
On almost every episode, there are two girls who get into a fight over a man, whether arguing or coming to blows. Meanwhile, he is sleeping with both of them, and he stands there without a scratch while they boost his ego by fighting over his cheating a**.
Love Triangles with an ex-girlfriend/baby mom, who was cheated on by her baby daddy with his new girlfriend turned wife/new baby mom, and the ex-girlfriend continues to sleep with him….. #wtf
Stevie J., alone, is a mastermind of deception. He feels that because he has taken a woman from the strip club and helped her with her career, she owes him her life, love, and her body.
Even though Stevie J. is an absolute masognistic fool, his behaviors are not supported alone, because he does not have a lady on his arm.
When we, as women, argue and fight over a man or when we allow ourselves to be emotionally and physically wrapped up in a man, we are devaluing who we are.
Although, this seems to be the typical behavior for women in todays society, this is not what a lady is or should be.
Patrick D. Bennett wrote a research report entitled Love, Drama, and Tears: Hip Hop Feminism, Blackness, and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta where he analyzes the “negative stereotypes of the Black community,” (Bennett, 2014) and relationships. Bennett speaks about Love & Hip Hop, and breaks down the relationship between Stevie J. and Joseline:
The relationship between Stevie J and Joseline is characterized by sexual, physical, and emotional control which is reminiscent of Jackson’s (2006) description of the pimp-whore complex. The pimp-whore complex refers to Black males controlling Black females’ minds and bodies for economical gain (Jackson, 2006). Exemplifying this complex, Stevie J mentions that he will take Joseline back to where he found her in reference to a strip club (Bennett, 2014).
When a woman has low self-esteem; when she has been abused in her youth or told she would never amount to anything, there is a higher likelihood that she will do anything to have the idea of a love relationship with a man. We all have insecurities, most caused by our environments, which begins with the way we were raised by our parents or guardians. For example, if a girl is told by her mother that she is ugly, it is likely that when she becomes a woman, she will feel that she is not pretty or attractive. In our vain society, where looks mean more to people than saving money for a house, it is likely that this woman will be insecure and seek affection from men by exploiting herself physically. When we allow men to use our insecurities against us, and as emotional creatures, we seek attention, affection, and love in destructive ways; we devalue your own self-worth, and it ultimately hinders all women because men use manipulation of feelings to get want they want.
So why do I watch Love & Hip Hop? Well, it is a guilty pleasure, but there are positive moments. Women help support one another’s businesses; men are fathers to their children, and women demand respect from other women and from men.
I am inspired by women like Rasheeda @rasheedadabosschick, (who I follow on Instagram). She has her own businesses in fashion and make-up; she is a female rapper, and she is a loyal wife and mother. Even when she and her husband Kirk had a rough patch in their marriage, where he was disloyal to her, she did not stoop to his level; she demanded to be treated like a lady and made her husband fight for her love.
This, to me, is what a lady is and how she should handle her relationship, not by sleeping with someone to get even.
In the overall, when I watch Love & Hip Hop, I learn what not to do in certain situations. Some of the women on the show have showed strength on continued seasons, where they demand respect, loyalty and learn from their mistakes. Alternatively, there is a continued foundation of disrespect towards women, from themselves and men, and a continued lack of modesty that will cause any man to treat a woman like a stripper instead of the lady she could be.
LADYHOOD is a journey. I am a woman, but do not feel that I have reached my true potential as a lady, but I will continue to strive to be that lady, and I want all women to do the same.
Bennett, Patrick D., “Love, Drama, and Tears: Hip Hop Feminism, Blackness, and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” (2014).Research Papers. Paper 530. http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/gs_rp/530