My natural hair care journey began in March of 2014. I transitioned my hair for about 2 months, and by May of 2014, I did the infamous Big Chop!! I felt very liberated once I stopped using chemical relaxers, and my hair felt free from all of the stress I put it through in order to achieve long and silky tresses. I knew that going from chemically processed hair to relaxer free hair would be a journey, but what I didn't realize is that there was an entire overwhelming selection of products to choose from.
Lost and confused, I decided to seek the advice of a trusted friend who had just transitioned to natural prior to me doing so. She introduced me to the L.O.C. method (which turned out to be an epic fail and all around bad idea for my hair), and she also referred me to various natural hair care products to try while exploring my hair's natural texture; however, this was no easy task. During my journey I discovered that I knew absolutely nothing about my natural hair!! I had no idea what I was supposed to do with hair which resembles that of a sponge. And like many women who have decided to crossover into natural, I had to learn my hair and what works all over again.
Products like Shea Moisture and Eden were among a few of the natural paraben and sulfate free products that I tried. The smell of these products are great and the texture of my hair felt extremely soft. I fell in love with the natural hair care products so much that I squeezed them into my budget to make a purchase at least once a month. I would splurge on products whenever I could; that is until about year ago. I went into a beauty supply store in search for my usual products and something clicked. I got tired of spending so much on products and I was in desperate need of finding an alternative. To tell the truth, my hair wasn't looking that great anyway. It lacked shine and definition. I felt that my hair needed something more. I'm not sure if it was the lack of parabens and sulfates, or maybe I was just too inexperienced with this type of hair care that I was missing some steps that needed to be taken. But whatever it was, wasn't working for me. That's when I went back to my childhood shampoos and cholesterol conditioners, raw shea butters and organic coconut oils, right along with alcohol free hair gels; I was able to figure out my curl pattern immediately. And yes I did sort of abandon the black hair care market, and if you keep reading you'll find out why.
Many customers have come into the store to either re-up on their favorite product, or to try out a product they were referred to. I always talk to the women that come in for black hair products because I want to know the different struggles the ladies are having, and the methods used to either prevent struggles or maintain what they have. Surprisingly, not many women have come in to purchase Manetabolism pills. We sell them, but the door isn't being torn down to get to them. Being the "Curious George" that I am, I decided to go home and do a little research on this particular product, and if you view the video above, you will find one of the reasons.
The YouTube video above was uploaded by Empressive in an attempt to share her experience with using this brand of hair growth pills. According to her, the terrible side-effect of teen acne was the result of her trial and error. She stated that she has seen hair growth, but unfortunately the acne grows right along with the hair. Other users have stated that it contains a high amount of biotin in it, and excessive amounts of this will cause abnormal or unwanted results in some areas, while achieving success in another. I'm all for supplements, and even medication when needed, but let's be honest with ourselves, the same things found in this "miracle hair growth pills" you can get from foods. There is no "miracle super growth" product out there, despite the claims. Empressive says that her hair grew inches within 3 months, but honestly, that's about the average growth for hair that is properly cared for by trimming split ends, minimizing heat and other stressors.
1. Salmon~Omega-3, Vitamin B-12, Iron
2. Dark green veggies~Spinach, Broccoli (Vitamin A&C)
3. Kidney Beans & Lentils~Zinc, Iron, Bitotin
4. Nuts~Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Pecans, Almonds (Omega-3 & Zinc)
5. Rosemary Oil
Is the Black Hair Care Industry Truly Invested in the Black Community???
Now after I watched the ad, my first thought was "what in the hell?!?!" Like seriously!! White women having hair struggles....really??? Since when?!?!? Let's be all the way honest here...white women have TWO....not one but TWO aisles of hair shampoo and conditioner and gel in Wal-Mart dedicated to their hair. They have all of the Pantene Pro-V and Tresemme and Garnier they need to get that bouncy volume and silkiness they desire. And it's been that way for years!! What in the heck makes them think that they can just waltz their way into the black hair care industry too?! But then again, it's all about the dollar at the end of the day. And when "black" manufacturers chase the dollar, it's very hard to not have the white man's hand in it.
There was a rumor going around that 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital acquired a “minority stake” in Shea Moisture in 2015. Now I understand the need to acquire more money and gain great profits for your business because that is the ultimate goal for most business owners. But when you find yourself catering to an entirely different demographic than your original plan, then it is time to rethink your business goals. And usually when this happens, the market that this business was established for gets thrown to the side in order to grow profits even larger. Now don't get me wrong, anyone can use any hair product they see fit; but don't cater to a certain demographic and then sell us out for profit. Black folks are quick to do that to their own people, just look how quick we were sold by our own ancestors as slaves on the shores of Africa, but that's another story. On a another note, we really have to know that when and if we are making that commitment to buy black, it is our responsibility to ensure that our profits are truly 100% black owned. That little story on the bottle of every single Shea Moisture product is a good one, but is it really?
Mielle Organics is a fairly new product to hit the hair care market. I would say that this is a product that works pretty well. It is a little out of my budget but working at Sally's Beauty part-time, I get access to new products to try in order to give the best advice to customers that enter the store inquiring about solutions to their hair struggles.
"Follow your dreams and your passion. Don’t start out chasing money, chase your vision and the money will follow. Don’t ever compare your journey to someone else’s because you never know what that person encountered on their journey and it’s easy to get caught up comparing in the social media world, but it’s important to find your unique gift and niche, stay in that lane and focus on what makes you special and stand out."
~ Monique Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Mielle Organics
Founder and CEO of Monique Rodriguez has a vision in mind, and that is to cater to the black community and to keep her interest vested in that without white-washing the goal to healthy kinks and curls. I will say from my experience, her products are well worth the cost and are more effective to my hair as opposed to the Shea Moisture brand, but then again, as evidence shows, Shea Moisture is pretty white-washed anyway. The issue here is NOT about white women using these products, but when you stress being black owned and "for the people," you miss us when ads are advertised using white women with straight hair or women with extremely lose and bouncy curls with minimal shrinkage. It is insulting and a huge slap in the face. I appreciate Mielle and her product line. Although not always in my budget, but with that good ole' Sally's discount, I think I can squeeze in a conditioner or two from time to time. Check out Mielle's vision below.
I also wanted to put a list of products that I regularly use which are really inexpensive and worth every tiny penny. I use these products on my hair and on my two daughters and son's hair, as we are all natural. These products work very well for us and is my go-to whenever I am low on products. But like I stated before, I plan to use Mielle more frequently in addition to my typical product line because I respect Monique Rodriguez vision and I hope she does not alter this in an attempt to seek more profit.
Here's my typical product list......
I did not come here to give a hair tutorial or tell you what you should put on your hair. I'm not a YouTube sensation or trying to sell certain products in an attempt to seek residuals or anything like that. I am only spreading common knowledge to the black hair community and bring awareness to not only the cost effectiveness of the product, but to also talk about who is genuinely about the business of the black community. This is for the fellas too! I see a lot of curly haired black men walking into Sally's picking up products for their curls, kinks, and locks. I will dedicate my next hair care article to the men. Don't think I forgot you.
"I want to see our black brands grow in a way that doesn't resulting alienating us as a consumer base; it's something we've seen before." ~Patrice Grell Yursik; Creator of Black Beauty
Visit the links below and be sure to comment for discussion. Be Blessed!!
By now we all have come to know the importance of healthy eating and a well-balanced diet right? I mean it's all over the news, television shows, commercials, even former First Lady Michelle Obama based her entire campaign on the importance of a nutritious meal in schools, which then resulted in nutrition facts being posted on menus and food packaging at restaurants. However, somewhere along the way, certain demographics did not fully get the message. Coincidentally, healthy eating campaigns did not reach far enough into black communities who need to get the message the most.
Eating healthy, Stigmas w/ Mental Health, Capitalism, Lack of POC Characters in Childrens Books & More (See full conversation in HERE, part of the Strolling Series by Cecile Emeke).
This quote was taken from the Strolling Series by Cecile Emeke, a YouTube video that I will post at the end of this article. But reflecting on this statement, it really says a lot about the status and wellness of the average American citizen. These pressures are taught at an early age, and the socioeconomic gap is extreme in America, from the over-educated to the under-educated, the misunderstood to the misguided. All of these things are embedded in us at birth. The problem with this is that many of us are products of our environment. No matter what we are taught, our surroundings often drowns out the sounds of sustaining positive wellbeing in order to promote growth in various ways.
When you pack people into an environment with little to no resources and then expect them to fend for themselves, the outcome can be quite detrimental. Blacks and Latinos typically live in neighborhoods where healthy options are limited; thus leading to problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. Fast food and junk food is very prominent in poorer areas. Even soul food restaurants that offer “comfort food” tend to be over-saturated with sodium and fats. Don’t get me wrong, soul food is good!! Damn good actually. Unfortunately, it’s not good for us, in addition to all of the sodas, chips and candy shoved in our faces every time we go to pump gas. And I won’t even mention the alcohol and tobacco available for purchase on every corner.
Imagine what would happen if all of the fast food restaurants and take-out spots were removed from minority neighborhoods and replaced with healthy franchises such as Kale Me Crazy or Sweet Tomatoes, the entire health dynamic of the urban market would change. Obesity and other health related issues would decrease, physical activity would increase, and most importantly, mental health issues would improve. Families would become familiar with healthier eating options simply because, well, there aren't many other options to chose from. But honestly, all of this is pretty far fetched. The lack of healthy choices is not the only issue in inner-city neighborhoods. When it comes to finances, jobs, and other resources, the black community is still suffering, which in return leads to overexertion, low-wages or no wages, and lack of parental guidance and family involvement. All of which creates a recipe for unhealthy food choices. When you combine these symptoms and then you have no real solution, the problem only gets worst and a cure becomes almost nonexistent.
Now we have to think about the fact that organic fruits and vegetables are extremely high in cost. Compare a bag of organic apples at $5.99 to Wendy's 4 for $4 value meal. When your stomach is growling, the last thing you would chose to walk into a store to purchase is a bunch of apples, therefore, choices are very limited on a low-income. Lean, grass-fed organic beef averages around $3.99/lb., now compare that to pork at around $1.99/lb., further limiting healthy options. While I understand that it may cost agriculture farmers a lot more to raise animals and crop fruits and vegetables organically, but in what way does this benefit the consumers? Healthy eating is constantly shoved in our faces, but what do you do when you simply cannot afford that lifestyle, or when that lifestyle isn't even offered at all?
Living in both inner-city and suburban areas, I will tell you that the white community eats out just as much as the black community, if not more. Their purchase of canned foods and frozen dinners are through the roof!! Working with white women, I have seen them bring a frozen Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers for lunch and call that a healthy balanced meal; until I had to remind them of how much sodium is in one of those bad boys just to preserve the flavor and shelf life. They are quicker to pop open a can of Chef Boyardee or boxed Mac-n-Cheese with canned string beans on the side and call it a meal. Their excuse is just that, an excuse. "The kids had soccer", "I had to work late", or "traffic was horrible" are the typical excuses I would hear. It's not that they couldn't afford it, they just didn't have time to make a healthy choice. Unfortunately, not having time is a common phrase used in western society, and it is bearing down on our physical and mental health. While a busy lifestyle affects white families, it hits black families 10x harder! And not because of time on the black man's watch, but again, because of resources and money, therefore, whites are more likely to go out to dinner for the sake of saving time.
In the black community, men and women are suffering with mental health issues that tends to go unnoticed or untreated all together. Not knowing our issues, or simply not understanding how to address them is what leads to poor eating choices and eventually down an unhealthy road of illnesses, including eating disorders. This is a condition in the black community that is commonly reserved for "white's only." In other words, eating disorders are not "black people problems." But I beg to differ. Over the past few years, I have come across dozens of black women with nice figures who claim to be "fat." They starve themselves or go on diets that consists of eating practically nothing because they have a desire to slim their waist when there is no waist there to begin with. And with the Waist Trainer trend bursting onto the scene, many women tortured themselves to have their waist "snatched," including myself. On the contrary, I know even more black women that refuse to go on a diet of any kind because they don't want to lose their "booty and thighs." From one extreme to another, black women are suffering with the need to look a certain way in order to win the approval of society.
Instagram models flooding the social media with their excessive body enhancements and photoshop is not making it any easier on black women, and the pressure to keep an ideal physique is causing unhealthy diet choices to be made, especially when we lack the funds to surgically alter our flaws. Some women even claim to be thick, when they are actually overweight. While there is nothing wrong with a curvy woman and being body conscious, but when is the red flag raised on losing weight for the sake of your health? Black men have praised a big butt for years (shout-out to Bel Biv Devoe and Sir Mix-a-Lot). Black women have been known for their curves since the beginning of time, however, I’ve come across women claiming to over eat just to increase the size of their butts. We as black women have to create ways to be body positive and work around those mental issues that prevent us from being our healthiest. I personally have felt pressure in the past to put on extra pounds; being a small framed girl from the hood, I got teased a lot. I was called skinny, bony, and any other name you can think of that relates to not being curvaceous. As a teenager, I developed a complex about my body. I became one of those girls that ate and ate and ate until I weighed 160 pounds, and at 5 feet tall, I was considered overweight and placed on high blood pressure medicine with my pressure reading at 210/180!!!! Yikes!!!! All at the cost of having a “booty.” Now at 35-years-old, I look pretty good and everything fell into place for me. But not only did my physical appearance fall into place, my mental health is now in a state of embrace.
I know I hit various targets with this topic, but I have to be honest, there is no one answer to this particular issue; however, there are ways that we can get around this health battle. If we as black people could work together and put effort into bettering our community, we would see much progress and great success. I am confident that if we were to place more healthy choices in black neighborhoods, and have the right people in place to promote healthy efforts into our communities, people would gravitate towards it because they have that option. The biggest problem is exposure and it is hard to accept something that you are unfamiliar with. If I had the money and the resources, even a platform with social power to stand on, I would do this in a heart beat. I know far too well what it's like to live under the pressures of society in a socially oppressed area. Without motivation and exposure, situations tend to remain stagnant. I commend those that have taken the choice to step up and make changes in their community, while I continue to search for ways to uplift and encourage our black men and women.
I hope you take the time to study the chart above and watch the video. This article went in several different directions, but that is just the dynamics that makeup the black community. Dynamics where change needs to be enforced by people that genuinely share a concern for the well-being of black neighborhoods. Please click the links down below and start a discussion in the comments section as you see fit. Be Blessed!
Yoga, yoga, yoga. We all know that dreaded four-letter word right? Whenever I see or hear the word YOGA, my honest first thought is tall slim white women with cleavage coming from their fitness bras, pelvic bones protruding from their Lululemon pants, and long blonde hair in a messy bun. I know, I know....that was a very stereotypical comment to make, but let's be honest, that's the westernized trend in yoga. Grab a couple of shirts with phrases like "Stay Calm and Yoga" and you're ready for class. Don't believe me, just Google "yoga" and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Yoga began in India thousands of years ago; it is related to Hinduism and has been a common practice of meditation in eastern civilization. But like all things that make it's way to western civilization, it loses it's purpose, becoming less of a lifestyle and more of a trend. The westernized practice of yoga has somewhat deterred me from joining any yoga classes because it just didn't appeal to the black community. Mainstream yoga practice simply doesn't focus on individuals in black neighborhoods. Most yoga classes are held in trendy upscale areas where black girls from the hood, like myself, just don't fit in. Let alone the fact that we don't even understand half of it. But like most things in America, it is up to the black community to raise awareness on things that are beneficial to us, despite how little it is talked about.
After my divorce earlier this year, I suffered a complete mental breakdown. I turned off any and everything society had to offer. I stopped watching the news, I deleted all of my social media accounts, I got rid of anything and anyone that brought negativity into my life. Eventually, I received the help of a therapists, got rid of my anxiety, started reading motivational books to help with my low self-esteem, and I even tied in the practice of aromatherapy to help uplift my mind. But I still felt as though something was missing in my life. My mind felt calm, but I could still feel tension in my body so I knew that I had more work to do. I began researching ways to relax both my mind and body, and honestly yoga still hadn't crossed my mind. At least until I came across the word "holistic." I've heard of the word before, but where I'm from, this word was often tied to people that didn't believe in God and the power of prayer. This is another stigma that is spread throughout the black community which hinders us from reaching mental and spiritual growth. While I do believe in God and the power of prayer, I have learned throughout my spiritual journey that inner peace comes in multiple forms, and exercising the mind and body together is the only way to be at full peace within yourself.
Women like Jessamyn Stanley (pictured above), have created paths for not only black women, but also curvy women to find their inner yogi. This is extremely beneficial to the black community because it knocks down the typical barriers of yoga. Let's be honest here, not too many black people in general practice yoga because we don't fully understand the benefits of it. Most black people think of yoga as a group of people getting together, sitting with their legs crossed on a floor mat with their middle fingers touching their thumbs while humming. Well this is only the physical aspect of practice and it does have meaning. Yoga is a time for you to connect your mind and body by being at peace and letting go. The feeling of lying down or sitting upright and releasing negativity from your mind and body is a life changing experience. You are encouraged to stretch your tensions out and clear your mind. There is no pressure of an instructor yelling at you to pick up your feet or physically release your tensions in some form of aggression or another; you just calmly sit, lay, and stretch with no pressure or military-style shaming.
With the stress that the black community is constantly faced with, yoga is a beneficial cure to sustaining inner peace and creating a sense of harmony within our families and households. As black people, we have become accustomed to aggression and anger. We often take out our frustrations on one another without actually addressing our issues and working out the kinks individually, let alone as a community. Let's face it, there are not a lot of yoga classes being offered in the black community, if any at all. And to be brutally honest, most black people like myself have not yet elevated to a new level of thinking. I am now learning how to flush out negativity and channel in positive energy and peace. If only more of us would find harmonious peace within ourselves and void the stigma placed on the black community, we would discover the ability to change the dynamic of the black family.
Yoga instructors like Brandon Copeland, have introduced this practice to the black community in a more familiar way; combining trap music and yoga together. I have watched his videos on YouTube and it is a unique way to introduce both male and females to yoga, erasing the common misconception of awkward silence or nature sounds in yoga that can sometimes be a distraction if you are not used to calm. However, the music is played low enough that it is barely heard which still allows you time to focus and process positive mental energy.
It is refreshing to see black men take part in something that renews or restores positive energy to the mind. The black male is the product of many stress factors in white America, therefore, I encourage black men to seek out this practice with other males or even a female companion in addition to any physical fitness that you may be active in. The black community looks to the black male for guidance in our homes and families and the mental stability of the black male is extremely important in our households. And like any king and queen, the mental strength of the head of the family is the key to it's families success.
The black community is suffering from a lack of knowledge on the various health benefits society has to offer. We have been programmed to attend a church service to pray about things, without getting to the root of our problems. The mind and body works together; therefore in order to seek change, we must create change in more ways than one. This change starts within ourselves and it is difficult to accomplish with a set state of mind. But just as we promote music and fashion trends in our community, we can promote the need for peace and tranquility. We need more people to step up and offer beneficial programs that are centered around the mental wellness of the black community. Time has to be dedicated to the inner strength and peace of our own families in order to break the cycle of poor mental health and low self-esteem.
I am new to this journey myself, but I felt compelled to share with you how therapeutic studies have raised my mental and physical awareness. I feel positive, anxiety-free, and most importantly, in control of my emotions. My five senses have come alive and I am able to tap into all of them at once through the practice of yoga. I encourage all of you to tap into the various forms of therapy and examine how this can change your life. You can subscribe to a yoga channel such as The Mat Project on YouTube for no cost, pick up self-help books from your local library, and invest just a small amount of money into some form of aromatherapy, whether it is incense, candles, or essential oils. Take small steps into inner peace and tranquility and watch your life transform into something greater than just coexistence. I promise you will find yourself at peace with yourself sooner than you think. It is a lifestyle change nevertheless, but a change long overdue in the black community.
Please enjoy this video by The Mat Project. Subscribe to her on YouTube and make it a habit to practice this at least once a day for about 20 to 30 minutes and embrace the calmness you will feel. Click on the links provided to get more information on the benefits of yoga. Peace and blessings!
Ever wonder why McDonald's commercials feature so many black people? Finally....black people in commercials and getting airtime to entertain America while waiting on their show to come back on. Sounds good right? Now stop and think about all of the commercials blacks are featured in.
McDonald's has taken black culture and absorbed it to the max. Jingles include hip-hop type beats with the voice over of a black male or female talking about how you can just take a bite into a juicy burger, or "slam dunk" your nuggets into a container of sauce. Don't get me wrong, I'm a burger fan, but I tend to make healthier choices when I go out for burgers; therefore I usually bypass McDonald's. But have you ever noticed how a lot of "burger joints" set up shop in the suburbs or tourists areas? It's as if they assume blacks wouldn't appreciate a quality burger, so don't try to tell me that black people would not gravitate towards a cool burger joint if one were to open up in a predominately black neighborhood. So why aren't black people given the same options as those living in suburban areas?
Remember a few years back when YouTuber DeBunker Sam posted a video on the state of McDonald's food after 10 weeks of sitting untouched? Let's just say the food looked just as it did prior to the experiment taking place.
"Without moisture, mold can’t grow, and McDonald’s french fries are soaked in hydrogenated oil — saturated fat which increases shelf life and maintains flavor. As the french fries cool, they’re essentially sealed by the hardening saturated fat, which in turn seals off moisture."
~Kelly Tatera, The Science Explorer
First off, just look at the process of preserving food at McDonald's restaurants. Fries being soaked in hydrogenated oil just to save flavor and shelf life is a killer in itself. We all know in the black community that saturated fats only raises "bad" cholesterol and puts you at risk for heart disease. These two combinations are proven to be detrimental to the black community because heart disease simply raises high blood pressure, puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke, as well as diabetes. This brings me to my next question; why is there so much junk food in the black community??
If you sit back and think about the last time you rode through the hood. And if you live in the hood, think about what's in your area. I can promise you there is no Whole Foods around. Probably not even a credible grocery store (large chain market) with a wide selection of food options to choose from. Notice how you can easily find tons of convenience stores loaded with junk. Chips, cookies, honey buns, sodas, and let's not forget cigarettes and beer advertisements plastered on the windows and doors. Sodas are cheaper than a bottle of juice, averaging about 99 cent for a 2 Liter, while a bottle of juice could run you about $3 to $4. Compare that cost to someone barely making ends meet, but in need of liquids to drink. Kool-Aid packages are less than $1, a bag of chips are cheaper than a bag of apples, and organic foods are almost non-existent in the black community if you can find any at all. So what's the alternative? Simply put...nothing! "Just be happy you have some food to eat" seems to be the message the USDA is silently sending to black communities across the country.
Enticing ads of black families eating a meal at McDonald's, feeding a family of four for a minimum amount of money is insulting and disrespectful. The lack of healthy food present in the black community goes against everything that heart.org stands for. Foods that are full of nutritious value and meant to promote a healthy lifestyle are overpriced, with sugar drinks and fatty meats costing little to nothing. The black community is suffering at the hands corporate greed and insufficient healthy options.
I love the hood. I lived there most of my life and it taught me a lot about life at an early age. I'm all for hot wings and fried fish on a Friday night, and I wouldn't take those beautiful aspects about the hood away from it because that's what makes it; however, in addition to McDonald's, Wendy's and Popeye's, it would be nice to see a few more healthy options in between. Mainstream media should stop using black people to advertise things that research has proven to kill us, and let's educate one another on the importance of healthy eating because we can't count on the government to do it.
Follow the links below for more insight and leave a comment for open discussion. Be Blessed!
Ever feel left out in the world of hair and beauty? Commercial advertisements generally feature women with long silky hair and little to no melanin in their skin. Anti-aging and long lasting-color are the main focus of beauty commercials and advertisements in mainstream media. So where do women of color fit in? The answer is simple...we don't!! I guess there just isn't enough women of color to advertise beauty products too; well we all know that is false. The only time I see hair care products geared towards black women is on BET and TVOne.
Skin care products for black women are not represented well in television advertisements, corporate retailer or mainstream media. The truth is, black women, along with other women of color have excellent pigmentation with a natural glow that is hard to find in many Caucasian women. Black women age extremely well and that is no secret. But white America does not want to hear, nor do they care about our beauty regimen because if they did, they would feature products specifically for us. I have to go to a local herbal shop or beauty supply store to stock up on my African Black Soap and Shea Butter.
When I was younger, I was unfamiliar about using raw and organic products for black people, and honestly, I wasn't even sure if it was widely available in the 90s. I ran out and purchased Noxema or Neutrogena because I saw it was advertised on TV. But there was never a product that was made specifically for women of color. Almost 20 years later, we still lack representation in mainstream media. Sure they feature women like Queen Latifah and Janelle Monae in Cover Girl commercials, and yes products like Cover Girl and L'Oreal carry shades for women with darker skin, but let's be honest, it still isn't designed for us. What about products such as Milani being put out in the media? There just isn't enough beauty coverage for black women.
If we could get more representation on a larger platform, that would be a game changer. Part of me wants to throw in the towel and say forget it. I mean seriously, with all that's going on, why would they represent us mainstream? We have to look to black television networks and websites to get beauty tips and guidance. Thankfully YouTube has opened that door to allow black women the opportunity to showcase beauty products and advice meant specifically for us. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't use Olay or any of the other products found in major retail outlets, but it would be nice if we could find some of our products being advertised and promoted just like the rest of them. Just another example of how unfair America is. I guess we're still in a state of denial.
Follow the links below for more insight. Be Blessed!!
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that big tobacco and liquor advertisements are plastered all over billboards in the hood. Newport, Kool, Hennessy, Ciroc, you name it and you can find it in any hood across America. I used to smoke cigarettes myself (thank God for deliverance; to each his own), and every other gas station or convenience store in the hood sold individual cigarettes for 25 cents a stick! You don't see that too often in the burbs.
I've been fortunate enough to have grown up in the hood, and reside as an adult in the suburbs, so I have experienced the best of both worlds. But what I notice is liquor stores are more prominent in the hood, while white suburban areas have a few package stores here and there. Living in the northern suburbs of Atlanta the last 10 years or so, there has been a number of liquor stores and beauty supply stores to set up shop, typically because there has been a large number of blacks moving into the area, which in return is a result of gentrification in the inner city of Atlanta, in addition to the higher population of blacks than whites in the area. The recent influx of tobacco and liquor, along with beauty supply stores is a sign of retailers adjusting to the shift in population from majority white to quite a few blacks.
But the question is, why the hood has more liquor and tobacco advertisements as opposed to any other neighborhood in any given city? They even use hip-hop artists such as Ludacris, Diddy, and Rick Ross to name a few, in order to promote their liquor, which simply entices buyers and supporters. You go into white suburban liquor stores and they have a tinted window store front with minimal advertisements. And I'm not saying that white people don't drink because believe me...they do, but how come it isn't shoved in their faces like it is for blacks? Let's be honest, Hennessy is easier to find in the hood than an organic apple. I had a conversation with a supermarket manager on the west side about the lack of organics available in urban supermarkets. That's another topic I won't get into now but that lecture is coming.
Long story short, I'm not looking for an easy answer to the question of big tobacco and alcohol advertisements being so strongly announced in the hood, however, any insight that you can give, whether fact or opinion, I want you to express that in the comments section. And as always, click the links for more insight. Be blessed!!
Marijuana a.k.a. weed, dank, purp, ganja, Mary Jane, trees, cabbage, broccoli, whatever you want to call it, this is one of the oldest healers of the land. So why is it so controversial? Over the past few years, politicians have been discussing whether or not to end marijuana prohibition. It's an unsettling topic for a lot of conservatives who think marijuana is the end all, but yet these Bible belters sip bourbon and scotch, guzzle whiskey, gulp beer until they're flat on their face, while still holding onto the belief that marijuana is evil.
I remember a few years back, I was with a friend who had introduced to me to one of her friends, who then told me that people who smoke weed are "disgusting." While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I find this offensive when the person saying this is downing a cup of Hennessy as if it's a bottle of Dasani...gross!! Now why I don't have a problem with drinking, I do find it interesting that the biggest drunks are so quick to criticize those who choose to inhale natural herbs. In school we were all taught not to drink, say no to drugs, drugs fry your brain, people who smoke weed are lazy, yada yada yada; but how many of us were ever really told the truth? Let's be honest here, some of the best artists smoke weed. They are beautifully creative in a sense that marijuana evokes creativity in those who would somewhat lack vision. Marijuana does not make you lazy, if anything it makes you stop and think for a second without the over worry and stress daily life can bring. You drive slower on the road and are more prone to making complete stops at 4-way stop signs. Now compare that to all of the drunk driving incidents you see on the news.
In case you haven't realized what is happening, the government like always, is trying to convince people that marijuana is evil without fully disclosing it's healing capabilities. And like many people, they refuse to do their own research and just base it off of what they have been told. There is nothing more irritating to me than a person who bashes weed but will buy out the bar on a Friday night. I have been watching the Cannabis Channel (a streaming channel on Roku) that discusses the various benefits of marijuana including pain reduction, anxiety and stress relief, sleep aid, appetite increases, etc. I knew all of this before stumbling across this channel, but feel the need to share because what the pharmaceutical companies want is to continue making money. Could you imagine what would happen to these companies if marijuana were legal across all 50 states and outlying territories? I smell a decrease in revenue; hints the reason why prohibition isn't likely to end any time soon.
Groups like NORML, whom I am a member of, is trying to get the word out and educate those that still seem to lack knowledge and understanding of the roadblocks this country has set in place . Pharmaceutical companies put these death defying drugs on the market to sell hope. You've seen the commercials....Xanax, Lunesta, Zorelto, and any other oddly worded medicine which is usually followed by side effects including heart burn, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, stroke, heart attack and possibly death!! Who on earth would want to take something that knowingly might kill you!?! But yet marijuana has killed a total of ZERO people and counting. My question is what's wrong with stressing less? What's wrong with resting more? What's wrong with being happy? I'll tell you what's wrong...it's not normal! People are supposed to stress and stay up all night and have high blood pressure so that they can keep going to the doctor for another dose. Once again, another part of the governments plot to keep us trapped in this vicious cycle of bullshit!! And out of all the precautions put in place to stop the distribution and sale of marijuana in states, it's still happening as our tax dollars are being wasted on the prevention of it getting into the hands of a potential dealer, when the real drug dealers are pharmaceutical companies.
Please follow these links for more information and insight: