Black women are always angry and Latinas are sassy and sexual. At least that’s the images some networks are creating, allowing no justice for women of color.
With shows such as “Love and Hip Hop”, “Basketball Wives”, and “Bad Girls Clubs” flooding network television with images of women bashing each other, fighting over men, and back-stabbing one another, it’s no wonder we can’t escape these generalized stereotypes that haunt us. Some would argue that they are merely entertainment, but at the expense of what? Our pride and dignity and most importantly how we are viewed. For us conscious women, we’re left to do the ground work in offering explanations as to why shows like these don’t represent us well, but our credibility is often shot to bits on Monday nights.
On Monday nights, millions of women tune into these reality television shows and by the end viewers resort to posting Facebook statuses and tweets about the person on the show that they can’t stand. Reality television is destroying sisterhood. It teaches us to lose patience with each other as quickly as we are to bash women we don’t know personally online. This influences us to hurt each other on a regular basis, subconsciously fantasizing about being those big, bad girls that we see on our screens.
What we need are good quality sitcoms that display images of love, respect, and unity – these are attributes that are often overshadowed in our communities. Can we get those back?
This is another one of those cases where I had to unlearn what I’ve been taught and draw my own conclusions about love and life. I joke often about my usage of OkCupid. It’s a lot more entertaining than Tinder and requires a lot more effort when creating a profile. You have to answer a series of questions and as you swipe through profiles you’re able to see the compatibility percentage between you and others and you’re also able to see the questions that you answered the same and the ones you answered differently. So I use it often. I spent hours and hours swiping, matching and messaging guys from NJ and NYC to see if there’s a “spark” or a mutual interest to take things further. I’ve met my share of creeps and pervs. I’m sure my block list is as long as the NYC marathon at this point. However, recently I matched with a guy from Harlem and on impulse and since I was already in the city, I invited him out with me and some of my friends to have a fun night in the Lower East Side. So we met the same day we matched and I usually don’t do stuff like that for obvious dangerous reason, but I was feeling brave.
We met at a bar in the Lower East Side and conversation was great. I was already two drinks into my tequila on the rocks and was feeling extremely courageous. I didn’t have any food in my system, so we ditched our friends for a bit and walked to a .99 cent pizza shop across from the bar. We sat outside and talked about everything. Socialism, favorite colors, work, favorite foods, political viewpoints, hobbies and I decided that I actually liked this guy. The fact that he wouldn’t allow me to pay for anything was also a plus. Not that I needed him to. So we walk back to the bar and join our friends. After several shots, dancing and just acting silly the bartenders did their last calls. We closed ur tabs and hung outside the bar. One of his friends, extremely ignorant approached us and said, “I don’t have anything against gay people, just don’t touch me.” So in a sarcastic way I said, “why? Do they have diseased hands?” So we got into an argument because according to him, AIDS originated from gay people, it’s an abomination and AIDS was their punishment like the plague in Egypt. Of course I asked him for a black and white scripture on the abomination of homosexuality to which he couldn’t give me one. My OkCupid guy to my relief agreed with me on everything I was saying, but then he blurted out he didn’t believe in God.
Now this is the part where I needed to start thinking. I grew up in an orthodox Christian household where there are rules. Life is black and white just as the pages in the Bible (minus the red). That’s how I was raised, but throughout the years as I grow into a woman, I realize that life isn’t black and white. It’s actually quite colorful. I’ve learned to unravel everything that I’ve learned these last 25 years and have really examined the bigger picture of life. So why was him not believing in God weighing so heavy on me? I took to Facebook and asked my friends if they could date someone of a different faith or no faith at all and most said no, but all it takes is that one to identify with to make it all better. My sorority sister spoke up and talked about how she’s been in a relationship with an Atheist for the past three years and not once have either of them tried to change the other. He’s opened her mind up to so much and vice versa and they have a very healthy relationship.
I can’t deny that I do actually like him and would like to get to know him a lot better, so I asked him his reasoning for his choice and he actually had a similar story to me. He was raised Catholic (I was Christian) and he just didn’t feel like he belonged. SO many of his life experienced caused him to shift his views. He’s Honduran and life’s experiences living in Central America has left him with a lot of questions. He’s an insanely intelligent person, very genuine and caring and I like his character. He calls, texts, makes plans, so I’ve learned to be very open minded and get to know him better without being so quick to judge, toss aside, etc. It’s too early to tell where this’ll go though, but I’ll keep you posted!
I want to know has anyone dated outside of their faith and what was that experience like for you?
If ever you needed a legitimate excuse to be a lazy couch potato or bed zombie, Sundays are it. On Sundays all electronics go on “Do Not Disturb” and if they don’t know by now, they’ll learn. Don’t call my phone, don’t text my phone unless it is an emergency, not work related or if it’ll make me laugh myself to tears (those disturbances are welcomed). Sundays are a blessings. They’re our little treat from God that says I know you had a long week, a stressful week and maybe even a depressing week, so here’s Saturday to have some fun. Get it all out on Saturday. It’s his way of saying, now rest my child…here’s Sunday.
Lazy Sundays consist of:
A Really Good *Playlist
*if you don’t have a Spotify account, you won’t be able to access the playlist. GOOD NEWS, Spotify is free and the playlist is “Genre Bender.”
A Good Piece of Literature
I recently started reading this anthology of goodness. I love it so much!
Back of Book Summary: What could make a smart woman ignore a doctor’s orders? What could get a hardworking employee fired from her job? What could get a black woman in hot water with her white boyfriend? In a word…hair. When does a few ounces feel like a few tons? When a doctor advises a black woman to start an exercise program and she wonders how she can do it without breaking a sweat? When an employer fires her for wearing a cultural hairstyle that’s “unprofessional,” and she has to go to court to plead for her job. When she’s with her man, and the moment she’s supposed to let loose she stops to secure her head scarf so he doesn’t disturb the ‘do. Tenderheaded? Yes, definitely. All black women are, in one way or another. TENDERHEADED boldly throws open the closet where black women’s skeletons have been threatening to burst down the door. With works by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and other writers of passion, persuasion, and humor, this collection is as rich and diverse as the children of the African diaspora.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis
A Couple of Movies
Two women, one (Cameron Diaz) from America and one (Kate Winslet) from Britain, swap homes at Christmastime after bad breakups with their boyfriends. Each woman finds romance with a local man (Jude Law, Jack Black) but realizes that the imminent return home may end the relationship.
A Cuddle Buddy
Those some lazy Sunday staples when I go off the grid which is becoming more often nowadays. So tell me, what have you done today?
Don’t you just love when you open up a box of Yogi tea and the pleasant aromas just come springing out? Opening up a packet of tea has the same equivalent of cracking open a fortune cookie and reading the fortune or reading the cap of a Snapple bottle. You can always guarantee that you’ll read a quote that is inspiring and uplifting.
Yesterday, I had to be reminded of my blessings. These days those reminders are coming more often than I would like, but I found myself briefly slipping into a state of depression and I thank God for the friends and family that I do have because they immediately reach down and yanked me out. One of my best friends sent me a message from Joel Osteen that read “If you’re not content in the process then you’ll never be satisfied.”
My boyfriend preached a mini sermon to me and literally counted out every single blessing transpiring in my life. He had to lay it all out on the table for me to see. Everything that I want, it’s on its way. I just need to learn patience. I expressed to him that probably since graduating from college in 2012, there has never just been an extremely long period of peace in my life. I’ll get settled into something only for a single event to just shake it all up.
But before all of that came my Yogi Tea bag message that read: “Happiness comes from contentment.” I thought how do I find this happiness…how do I find the contentment when I’m uncomfortable? It’s like Martin said, “Love’s in your face.” It is literally in my face every time I open up my eyes to let me know I’m alive another day. It’s in my face every time my boyfriend texts me or FaceTime me to see how my day is going. It’s in my face every time my friends texts me because I know there are people who genuinely care. It’s in my face with every annoying and frustrating work email that I answer and deadline that I meet because someone believes in my writing that much to give me a chance.
I’m already a tea addict and I have a cabinet stocked full of Yogi Tea and I’m pretty sure I’ll be drinking it much more often because I’d like my life to be big ball of inspiration like a box of Yogi Tea.
Since I’ve been writing for Saint Heron, I’ve been uncovering some really amazing music and I had the pleasure of hearing this amazing song by Kali Uchis produced by Kaytranada (fave). I love her style and I thought this was a great track featuring Vince Staples and Steve Lacy from The Internet.
Dating a creative can be quite the adventure, but only if you avail yourself to experience it. Dating a creative can also require a lot of patience and TLC when necessary. As a creative, there are specific wants and needs that we have that might different from a “normal” relationship because at times we are far from normal and that’s not such a bad thing, but if you are dating a creative, if you’re attracted to one and is thinking of pursuing it, here are some things you should know beforehand.
We Love Spontaneity.
Seriously if we wanted to date a Grandpa Joe or a Grandma Jane we could’ve just went to a nursing home. As a creative, routine and predictability are slow killers to our vibes. Our sense of adventure is much like our thought process, sporadic and unplanned. We get bored with the same thing day in and day out and often need an escape to get our creative juices flowing again. We love surprises and to be able to just get up and go do something fun without hesitation.
Even though we like spontaneity, that doesn’t mean we’re materialistic. We’d actually prefer a simple and creative date over a traditional and expensive one. Rather than going out to a fancy restaurant for brunch or lunch, we’d prefer a picnic at a park or near a harbor. Rather than taking us to the movies we’d prefer going to a free movie night in the park if the weather is permitting. We love free concerts and music festivals. We love flea markets and thrifting. We love when the person we are dating can think outside the box because we often live life outside the box.
We Value Space.
Sometime you might find us in a creative bubble where we completely tune everything out. We might not text you or call you or see you for a day or two. Sometimes we need a clear and creative space to do what we do. We aren’t avoiding you, but unless you’re a creative yourself and we can bound ideas back and forth we’d prefer to be left alone. We’d prefer you leave us in our creative fog and don’t try to disturb us.
Late Night are Inevitable.
Our college days are over, but pulling all-nighters certainly aren’t. There was a time when I had a regular job that I went to everyday. I would get home around 8pm every night and rather than going to bed, I would open up my laptop and just write. I would be up until three in the morning. Sometimes I wouldn’t go to sleep at all. It comes with the territory. There are times when I’ll be in bed and an idea will come to be and force me to get up. The goal usually is to get it out of our mind and on to paper before we forget it.
Emotions Are Everything.
One of the things that come with being a creative or a deep thinker is that when we feel things…we REALLY feel them and it is often fuel for another poem, song, article, painting, story, etc. We don’t just feel things, we experience them. We sit in it, they consume us. So be prepared to deal with an array of emotions.
We are Scatterbrains.
Sometimes we’re messy and you’ll have to clean up after us. Sometimes we forget to make that phone call. Sometimes we forget to respond to an important email. Sometimes we forget we were supposed to meet you somewhere. Sometimes we forget our thoughts mid-sentence. It’s not that we don’t care or that we have a disregard for others, our minds are literally on 100 all the time. So be prepared to give us reminders and repeat yourself often. Sorry.
We Didn’t Ask for Your Opinion Until We Ask For Your Opinion.
Keep in mind we’re artist and we sensitive bout our ish so unless we ask for your opinion please save the bootleg art critiques. Don’t tell us how to write our stories, don’t tell us how to paint a portrait, don’t tell us how we should sing that song UNLESS we asked you to.
Big Kid Moments Happen Often.
Telling us we need to grow up often falls on deaf ears. What fun is life if you’re not getting a little silly and immature? We play too much, we enjoy laughter. We enjoy being kiddie at times. Sometimes we like to sit and watch the Adventure Time marathon. Don’t rain on our parade just because you prefer to be a prude.
We Follow Our Gut.
We might say one thing, but end up doing a completely different thing because following our gut is telling us to. It’s just something we do. Being an artist and a creative is about taking a risk, often again societal norms and expectations.
Don’t Make Us Choose.
Do NOT give us an ultimatum. Do not force us to choose between what we create and you because that is a battle you will lose every time.