Quotes from the Shea Moisture COMMERCIAL:
SPECIAL NOTE: PLEASE WATCH THE COMMERCIAL BEFORE READING.
Hair is a beautiful thing and a captivating aspect of the beauty world! So captivating, that it’s a subject matter that we all should be talking about. The quoted words above that captivated my attention during the best ever, BET Awards had every bit to do with acknowledging that ALL hair is beautiful! These words literally resonated with me as I've traveled down these same retail store aisles in search of the most effective products for my hair only to be directed to a small section within an aisle of "beauty products" entitled ethnic. Shea Moisture’s first ever commercial made me come to the realization that I don't really have a presence on the shelf and in so many other arenas, a seat at the table to stake my claim.
I've always lived in a world where my hair has been questioned by all ethnicities of women, not just women of color. Therefore, the curiosity of my hair has never really sparked an uncomfortable flair. As the words above state, I've internalized "hair talk." When going to certain events or interviews, I've changed (straightened) my hair to fit the appropriate mold - (hair that doesn't cause too much attention). I've not voiced my thoughts on hair, positively or negatively. White women have told me, "Oh I love your hair, how does it do that?" I just respond with an explanation of how I got it that way whether wearing weave or my natural curls. My African American peers have asked me the same questions as well. The different perspectives of inquiry from both ethnicities have been interesting and definitely a result of the emphatic expectations that we've placed on all women in the beauty division. There is no reason why the girl with the curly fro or the dredlocks should feel as though she's on some lonely island in retail stores or in a sea of women who don't look like her. Here's a tip: Help her feel beautiful by being inclusive!
Beauty has been so dictated that we all have these questions as to what hair is "right" when in fact; there is no right hair. There's just hair. I guess this is why I've not allowed hair inquisitiveness to be presumed in the wrong way. Due to the beauty standards before us, some of us simply can't help our naivety. I'll spare you of some of the mindless questions I've received about my hair due to nescience. I'll spare you of some of the painful testimonies I've shared with my African American friends. However, Shea Moisture brings a major topic to the table... We all belong in the beauty aisle. Beauty should be accessible to all rather silky straight, weave, curls, relaxed, thick, thin, or whatever. Moreover, the inclusion of ethnic hair should be accepted as a beacon of beauty just like blondes, red heads, and more.
I've always done whatever I wanted to do with my hair- mostly, styles for convenience. It wasn't until I saw this commercial by Shea Moisture that I realized, in order to exemplify the hair styles that I love, I do, in fact, have to go to the ethnic aisle in major retail stores. In most cases of hair shopping for proper conditioners, extensions and supplies, and more, I usually visit "the hair store". Ironically, people of Asian descent own most of those. I've done this throughout the years of my relaxed hair, braided hair, and weaved hair and curls. I've done this without little thought at all to the many aisles of products labeled "beauty" and not designed to accommodate the textures and styles that I embody. The visuals of the Shea Moisture commercial helped me to realize the truth of ethnic hair's role in the midst of tons of products not made for ethnic hair.
So this is my call to action for all of us with certain beauty standards. We are all beautiful. Let go of the standards and depictions of what beauty is supposed to embrace and join the Shea Moisture conversation of #BreakingTheWalls. Let's adapt this mentality, "We're Shea Moisture and we can be found in the beauty aisle where we all belong." Better, yet, let's be found in various esteemed positions all over the world because we belong there too irregardless of any physical assets!
Ladies, stop mentally and physically manipulating your body into shapes and sizes it was not meant to take. There’s a phenomenon going on that everyone should have hips, a butt, and breast and no waist at all… Whereas, the legendary body type phenomenon excluded three of those requirements: no hips, no butt, or no breast. These are just the shoulder down stipulations. There’s also a movement to reshape faces: enlarging lips and more, but I’m here to tell you, your face and your body are a movement in and of themselves, fit for an awesome woman like yourself to be DIFFERENT.
I sat at a table with my sorority sisters recently, and we really delved into the things we wish we could change about our bodies. This incident of body-shaming is just one of many occurrences that I've sat in on with multiple women. I've heard it all:
"I don't like to look in the mirror."
"I want smaller boobs."
"I don't want to be fat."
"I wish I didn't have cellulite."
"I wish I didn't have stretch marks."
I've heard it all, but rarely do I hear, "I love this body, and I just want to be healthy." If we were all scientists, we'd probably feel pretty good about the fact that our bodies do more unimaginable, impeccable things for us than just look good, or mentally play tricks on us. Here's a list to name a few: Create Life, Make Food (MILK), Survive. Fancy yourself with more here!
Lady reading this blog, you are beautiful inside and out. Add a positive outlook that equation and you are the perfect solution to any scenario.
Break Stereotypes and be who you are in the body you have. Check out this story about Jessamyn, a curvy girl transcending body image stereotypes in the Yoga world:
We need to stop comparing ourselves to things and people incomparable.
So, today is the day to celebrate bodies! The next time you find yourself having a body image breakdown, remind yourself that you are DIFFERENT, and everything about that is okay!
P.S. there will be more body image post to follow! If you'd like to share your story or your journey, I'd love to feature you on my blog! Double P.S. this is not a post to shame any woman who has altered your body through plastic surgery. Consider yourself blessed as well! You are no less of a woman!
Social Media is a place where we vaguely, yet immensely get to know our friends, families and acquaintances thoughts and opinions. Now, is not the time for cyber bullying. Nor has it ever been. The entire human race has just witnessed and been affected by a massacre this past weekend. In reality, many of us are hit with fatality or strife every day: losing loved ones various ways, hurting from our own misfortunes and so much more. Social Media is not the place where we should tear each other down. There's a common term for this that many of us aren't even classifying our behaviors as. It's called cyber bullying. It doesn't just happen to teenage boys and girls. It happens to everyone especially when we're all looking for someone to blame. It's true what they say, "hurt people, hurt people. “
How do we counteract this? Yes, it is so hard to mask your feelings when you feel rightfully justified. However, in times of tragedy, try to find love and empathy in your darkness. Hold on to these qualities like it's your last dollar in the bank. You'll be surprised how you can pay it forward.
Most of us are praying for the days when we no longer have to experience the unjust. Keep praying. Goodness and mercy come from higher places. There's a peace that transcends you when you let go. It's an indescribable occurrence that you have to let happen in your life.
As stated before, hurt people, hurt people. We've all witnessed the argumentative, distasteful, unaware comment streams on our Social Media timelines. Newsflash, there is an antidote. It's learning how to talk about the tragedy in a positive and productive way. I just read an article on CNN entitled, "How to talk your Kids About Tragic Events." Perhaps, we should all relearn how to talk to each other about tragic events.
The article pointed out the following techniques for kids that I'm sharing with you, as an adult, to heed:
1. Limit your exposure. If you can't handle all the news updates, the imagery, the soundbites, get away from it. According to the CNN article, "Studies that found that children who had repeated and prolonged exposure to media images had more difficulty with anxiety than kids with less exposure..." Perhaps, this may be true of adults too.
2. Find some reassurance. It may be an isolated incident. It doesn't mean it's going to happen to you. Allowing anxiety to build up means you need to adhere to Tip 1.
3. Open up to somebody you love and trust. God first. You can open up on Social Media all night, but when you get off and you've heard everybody's opinions and you're all worked up, then who, what, when and why? A good, old fashion conversation may do you some good.
Lastly, my mother always said, "Pretty is as pretty does." Behave yourselves, people. You've got an audience on Social Media that has a front row seat to your commentary. Make sure it's pretty. Here's a posting tip: just share articles and not your negative thoughts and opinions. The world needs love!
The things I write about are the love of my life and the life of my love!