Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wendy Williams Disses Viola Davis' Natural Hair


Y'all already know: I'm team #Viola.

I'm uber happy that Viola wore her natural hair on the red carpet at the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. Was super disappointed that she didn't win along with her co-star, Octavia Spencer. But hey, she wore her natural hair out on the friggin' red carpet. That made the the loss just a little bit easier to bear

And you know what? That was enough for me (as if I'm the one all up in her hair, lol).

So, count me as clueless when I heard the collective gasp in the natural hair community about Wendy Williams' comment that Davis' hair wasn't "formal"  for the red carpet. While doing red carpet commentary, Williams said this about Davis:

“You know, a lot of people used to say that natural hair wasn’t formal.”

For reals?

Though she usually rocks short wigs, Davis debuted her natural hair publicly a few weeks ago for a LA Times Magazine cover, then at the Black Women in  Hollywood Awards for Essence Magazine and finally, at the Academy Awards.

Why Wendy Was Out of Line

You could have kept that Wendy, cause most of your audience (read Caucasian folks) really don't understand what you just said. And they give less than a damn. But trust me, boo boo, I hear you loud and clear -- this from a woman who I've never seen wear her natural hair out under all those wigs and who I've heard say that she has "good" and long hair.

Not knocking that in the slightest, but why knock someone else's hair  -- even though it's the cattiest, most perceived slight, that way? You mad because Viola has the courage to wear her natural hair out -- and you don't?

What's The Real Issue?
We all know: Natural hair can be formal as any other style. You can do updos, formal, elegant styles, anything you choose. We all know this based on the styles shown on HairNista.com, CurlyNikki.com and countless others

Wendy really needs to educate herself about natural hair, and I'm sensing hate-tinged comments. Show me your natural hair once, Wendy, not a peek of it on your show, and then your comments will carry a bit more weight with me, K?  

Say you don't like her dress? OK, I'm cool with that. But her hair? From another black woman? That ain't cool, because I don't hear any other commenters talking about Angelina Jolie's straight hair as not being appropriate. 

Because that ish won't ever happen. 

Wendy could have kept that mess of a comment, because clearly millions of YouTubers, natural hair bloggers, natural hair fans and even Madison Avenue brands like Kmart, Allstate, Yahoo, eBay (and the list goes on) think entirely differently about natural hair -- enough to keep natural hair in heavy rotation on TV, the Internet and in magazine spreads.   

Why Davis' Hair On the Red Carpet is More than Just Hair
I'll be glad when we're at a point where wearing natural hair on the red carpet isn't special.  

But for right now? It is. Ditching the wig meant everything -- that she and countless other women of color are unashamed, unapologetic and unafraid to wear our natural hair. Davis' natural hair was the spotlight -- and, with the exception of Williams' comment, in a good way.

Natural hair, in all its textured glory, was on display.

That's huge, because in a society where the message in our community is to get rid of the kinks and curls any way possible -- Davis took a bold stance: natural hair means something.

HairNistas, you know I call it as I see it. And I don't make any apologies for it. I was surprised that it was a black woman -- a wig wearing black woman no less - who tried to check Davis. I was always taught that drama stays within your own household -- you handle your business there before you expose it to all the world to see.

That didn't happen.

Her comments played right into the hands of folks who could give less than a damn about our natural hair. That's some crazy internal black folks' ish -- and now it's easy to see why Viola felt skeptical at first about wearing her natural hair. And that ain't cool.

Hair Ettiquete, No?

Count me as a Davis fan. And I'm a Wendy fan, too. But I'm so disappointed by her comments about natural hair. Negative comments about your hair is one thing. But another woman's natural hair? That's crossing the line. 

Because unless you wearing a ratchet weave, I'm pretty much keeping my mouth shut -- whether you're relaxed or natural.
Really, tho, how can I be surprised by this. This is from the same woman who last month told Brandy that if she mated with a certain celeb, the baby would have "good" hair in front of a national TV audience. 

Really, Wendy? Really?
What do you think of Wendy's comments?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fro Power at the Oscars

Esperanza Spalding wore her trademark fro at the Academy Awards -- really, did you expect anything less? -- and stunned the crowd not only with her gorgeous hair, but also a wonderful rendition of Louis Armstrong's, "It's A Wonderful World."

What do you think about Esperanza's fro?

Viola Davis Wears A Copper Colored Coif at the Academy Awards

She did it!

Viola Davis showed the world her natural hair on the red carpet at the 84th Annual Academy Awards!

I. am. so. excited!

Some folks may not understand what the big deal is. Hell, Viola may return to her wig tomorrow, but guess what? Today, at the friggin 84th Annual Academy Awards, she stepped out in natural hair. And that's all that counts!


Reportedly, she told host Ryan Seacrest that her mother did her hair -- a short natural crop died a bright copper -- a brigher shade than the natural hair she revealed last week. Her hair and emerald gown by Vera Wang are the perfect match.

Davis, 46, is coming to her own after decades of working in Hollywood -- and you can feel it.

This is what she said about her natural hair, to InStyle Magazine:

"My husband wanted me to take the wig off,” she said. He said, ‘If you want to wear it for your career, that’s fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!’ It’s a powerful statement.”

I agree. I hope Davis wins the Best Actress award for her role in The Help. Whether she wins or not, she's already won!

Actresses Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis at Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood 2012 Awards

My fingers are crossed that actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will grab gold Oscar statues today at the 84th Annual Academy Awards for their respective roles in the blockbuster movie, The Help.

Davis is a contender for Best Actress and Spencer is up for the Best Supporting Actress' Award.

If they win, they'll join an elite group of Black actors that include Hattie McDaniel, Denzel Washington, Monique and others. Of course, I'll be watching for the fashions -- lovely gowns, plenty of sparkly diamonds and fab outfits -- on the red carpet. Natural hair on the red carpet will be an added bonus (maybe Davis will wear her natural hair?), but maybe I'm setting my expectations too high?

Stay tuned to HairNista.blogspot.com for the latest in Academy Awards' fashions and styles on the red carpet.

What do you think about the Academy Awards? Will you be tuning in? Who do you hope wins?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Viola Davis Says Natural Hair Makes Her Feel "Powerful"

Viola Davis Steps Out in Natural Hair at ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood Event

Viola Davis' chic, cropped natural coif caught everyone by surprise during a recent LA Times' Magazine photo shoot.

Davis' natural hair is absolutely stunning -- and enhances her beautiful features. So I was suprised when she sported a chic short wig at the NAACP Image Awards last weekend. Where did her natural hair go?

blank stare

Davis stepped out in natural hair at Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood 2012  awards this week with a bold TWA. She told Essence about her reluctance at times to wear natural hair.

When asked if she breaks out her natural hair for special occasions, Davis replied, "No, there hasn't been any occasion that I felt brave enough to do it."

We've all been there, and I totally get it. Swag is mandatory with natural hair. You just have to know that you know you look good. Even when your twist out failed, your curls plopped and you are having a bad hair day ... you still are on point.

And it takes bravery to do that.

Viola Davis wearing her natural hair in an LA Times' Magazine photo spread 

But there are days when, admittedly, we just don't have it. Even as naturals, our confidence about how we look is very much tied to our hair. I know that feeling good about myself on those not-so- good hair days is something that I struggle with. 

Davis was honest, and I respect her for that. I know I've been there are and after four years of wearing my hair curly, doubts still creep in. (I just make sure that on those days, I wear big earrings, a cute outfit and do other things that make me feel good).

Add the weaved up, wigged up pressures of Hollywood -- which, unless you are an actress, we really don't understand --  and I get Davis' reluctance to give up the safe bobs she's always worn. While all our natural hair journeys are different, we all have similarities: Davis is learning to step into her own and I think it's something most of us can relate to or at least identify with.

How many blogs do you see about wearing natural hair in the workplace, dating or relationships. For a long time, my post about natural hair and marriage was one of my most viewd osts. When you think about it, blogs about natural hair, careers and relationships almost always are inevitably tied to our insecurities about our natural hair. 

Let's support Davis' journey and others that are on the natural fence. I know that when I'm having a bad hair day, a compliment means the world to me.

 "I feel very powerful, I really do," she said. "I feel more powerful every day, more secure in who I am, and I've waited so long for that.... It feels so divine." 


What do you think? Can you identify with Davis' struggle? Have you ever been reluctant to wear your natural hair? Does natural hair make you feel more powerful?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hot or Not?


LOVIN' IT! Blogger Sai Sanicoh wears a Max Jeremy cape with thigh-high Christian Louboutin boots at NYFW Fall 2012.

The mix of patterns is to die for!

What do you think of this look? Hot or not?

Are You Obsessed with YouTube Videos?

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not into a lot of YouTube hair vids.

I know plenty of naturals who are, but to each her own.

For me, I haven't seen anyone with hair that's like mine --- dense, thick and with shrinkage like a mug! Not that they don't exist, I'm sure they do. But I think it's pointless to look at hours of YouTube vids and not be able to duplicate the results on my head.

Why I Don't Obsess Over YT

That's not to say that I don't look at YT hair vids -- I do from time to time, especially product vids I'm interested in and style vids. I happen to subscribe to one YT vlogger who I maybe check out a few minutes of her vids once every few weeks or so.  I just like to keep it in perspective: Her hair ain't mine and my hair ain't hers.

I don't like to set myself up for hair disappointment. And I think many naturals do, especially new naturals, when their curls don't come out looking like their fave YouTuber. We like what we like, but it's still a dangerous, slippery slope.

Do YouTube Vids Cause More Harm Than Good?

I don't need to obsess over KimmayTube, because her KinkyCurly leave in/aloe vera mix won't look like exactly like THAT on my hair. Nor do I need to wish for straighter ringlets than Taren916 because our textures are totally different. No amount of wishing or praing will ever make my hair like that, without a perm or flat iron.

I don't need to stalk and follow the growth regimens of certain YouTube gurus, because no matter how much I try to duplicate someone's regimen, my hair is gonna do what it do. And going from one YT guru to another in the quest for length is set up for failure: Soon enough, nothing works, because you go from one thing to another too quickly to see results.

Keep It In Perspective
That's not to say I can't learn things from YT vids. I think we can, but I like to keep it in perspective.

YT vids are great ways to learn styles, read product reviews. But, if you are stalking YTers, wishing your hair was like theirs, obsessively comparing your length to theirs, or wondering what the hell is wrong with your hair because you both big chopped at the same time and she has more hair than you ...  that's where the problem comes in.
With that said, check out this funny video by suzyquzy. I love her energy and I think she's hilarious.  Her spirit is just infectious! She big chopped and has lots of growth less than 2 years later. The most important thing?

She met her hair goals -- a goal she set for herself by comparing her hair length as a natural to when her hair length when she graduated from high school. Not by comparing herself to some other YT vlogger, but she used her own hair as her length standard.

Have you obsessed over YT vids? Do you think too many naturals compare their hair to their favorite YT vloggers?

Hair Swag Part 2

Second day hair. Twisted with shea butter the night before.

Lil bit of shrinkage, but,so far, so good.

Threw on my fave leopard shirt and did a red lip to make it pop.

Do you get good results on second day hair?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tracee Ellis Ross In Crimson Red Curls

One of our favorite natural hair curlies, Tracee Ellis Ross, is wearing a headful of bouncy crimson curls.

Definitely a different look for Ross in terms of color. Usually, she wears her natural dark brown curls, but this is the first that I've seen her rocking color. But where are her wild curls?

Her curls here are much more tame, but I wanted to see the color pop with her natural curls.

What do you think of this color on Ross?

Hair Swag!

I had my twist out swag on deck!

After months of wearing my hair curly, it was time. I was bored with my hair and I wanted to change up my look.

Here's my regi:

  • Shampooed with Creme of Nature (I usually condition wash, so my hair felt so dry afterwards)
  • Deep condituoned for 5 min with Silicon mix, no heat
  • Moisturized with Jamaican Black Castor oil
  • Light blow out
  • Twist and curl with dax overnight.
The good news: My hair has definitely gotten thicker, which is a good thing.

I have to stay on top of my moisturizing game because of thyroid issues and subsequent hair thinning over the years. And getting older doesn't help! My thyroid issues have been under control for the past two years (surgery and now I take medication daily for an underactive thyroid) so I'm glad to see the return of thicker hair -- almost as thick as the LaJay wig.

The only supplement I take is chlorella, though not really for hair. I find it's good for my skin allergies. The hair benefits are just an added bonus.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Color on the Red Carpet

Black celebs turned the red carpet out in bold colored gowns over the weekend at the NACCP Image Awards in Los Angeles. 

I'm a big, big fan of color. Nothing makes our skin glow more than color in our wardrobe. The bolder, the brighter, the better. So I was too happy to see that most actresses played color up big this year, especially at a red carpet event where you usually see a sea of nothing but black.

And in the middle of winter? Apparently, they got the color memo! And they worked it, in brilliant shades of orange, candy-colored pink and deep blue. Take a look at a few of my fave looks, as featured on Essence.com.

What do you think of these colors?

I almost didn't recognize actress Keke Palmer. She looks smashing -- and all grown up  -- in this hot pink gown with a sweetheart neckline and a flowing train by Naven. Very classy.

Actress Viola Davis glows in this tangerine halter gown by LeRoux. Davis takes the sexy up a notch, with the orange complimenting her rich, chocolate skin tone. But I have to ask: Where is the natural hair she sported recently? Don't you think this would have looked even more smashing with her natural hair? I do.

Tiffany Hines is working red and ruffles in this gown. I love the shade of cherry shade of red.

Tamera Mowery wears a one-shoulder gown from BCBGMAXAZARIA that mixes several trends all at once, with a long and short hemline. Not a big fan of the multiple style trends, but I do love the color!

Sanaa Lathan wore a classic gown modernized with a wonderful burst of orange.

Regina King is fire-engine red in this gown by Romona Keveza dress that shows off her sculpted arms.

Octavia Spencer's ocean blue gown by Tadashi Shoji that compliments her curves.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hair Theatrics at Bronner Bros. Show

The Bronner Bros. International Hair Show is legendary for its over-the-top hair theatrics.

The hair extraordinaire show draws stylists from around the world, who produce extraordinary hairstyles and compete in hair contests. The contests are more than just about money, though, but hair cred. The competitions are known for on-stage hair antics  -- stylists clipping, cutting and managing intricate hair styles while suspended on ladders, swimming in fish tanks and in all kinds of back bending awkward, gymnast -- all captured in front of a live audience.

Celebrating 65 years, kicked off this weekend in Atlanta.

Talk about hair skills!

If it's unusual, daring and creative, chances are, you'll see it at Bronner Bros.
Wigs and weaves usually reign; the focus usually isn't on natural hair, but the Bronner Bros. has reached cult status. Stylists flock to the show, held twice a year, and it's often a good barometer of the coifs that Black hair stylists around the country create.

I've never been, but I want to attend, just to say I've seen it live and in person; I don't think pictures or even reality shows do the show justice.  If you're looking for tame, you won't find it at Bronner Bros. It features plenty of eccentric runway hair styles.

Have you ever been to Bronner Bros.? What did you think of the show?

Here are a few pics, courtesy Raymond Hagans for the AJC.

A Mardis Gras hair style

An eyelash inspired style

What could make this hair cutting scene better than two buffed dudes?

A cobra inspired style

A Shake-N-Glo hair contest

Big Hair + Volume = Lush

I don't know who this model is, nor do I care. I just love her hair. How do you get that much volume and body from straight hair? Gorgeous!

Are you able to get volume with straight hair?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love My Hair!

I loooooove my hair here. Just can't remember what I did to get it this way? Don't you hate when that happens!

How in the HELL did I get this style and can I get it back?

I've been trying like hell to recreate the look, but haven't been able to.

What do you do when you can't remember how to recreate a style?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

FDA Report: 400 Lipsticks Contain Lead

Sometimes, I really feel like the things that make a girl a girl -- heels, makeup, hair care -- leaves us damned if we do and damned if we don't.

So you know that feeling went up 1,000 times when I read about an FDA report that more than 400 shades of lipsticks contain lead. So you mean now the lipstick I apply can make me sick? Really?

Lead levels were checked by a private lab, and included niche brands as well as drug store brands, accoding to a story in the Washington Post.

The FDA said this about the results:

“We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern,” the FDA said in its online comments. “The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics.”

However, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is sounding the alarm.

It found that lead in Maybelline's Pink Petal is double the level founds in the previous FDA report and nearly 300 times what is found in the least-contaminated lipstick, according to a letter the group wrote to the FDA.

Not surprisingly, the least contaminated product - Wet 'n' Wild' Mega Mixers Lip Balm -- is also the least expensive.  Should we throw out Mac and Nars lipsticks?

No level of lead is safe for children. I can't think of a reason why lead applied on your lips would ever be a good thing, especially considering that some 9 and 10-year-olds wear lipstick.

“Lead builds in the body over time, and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels,” Mark Mitchell, co-chairman of the Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association, said in the group’s statement.

This isn't the first time that lipsticks have come under fire. In 2008, the Calfornia Attorney General's Office launched an investigation to determine if cosmetic companies broke California law that requires business to warn consumers if they knowingly expose them to chemicals that can cause cancer or reproductive damage.

The state found that the amount of lead in lipsticks was too law to break the law -- which is five parts per million.

The FDA found that tested lipsticks fell below that amount, but Maybelline's Pink Petal and L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Volcanic tested higher.

What do you think? Are you afraid to wear lipstick now? Will you think twice before applying it?

Solange Knowles' Photo Shoot for RollaCoaster Magazine

My favorite natural style chick is at it again, rocking denim and a boss fro at a recent photo shoot for RollaCoaster Magazine.

I like the denim pairing (light vs. dark) and Solange looks fab, as always.

What do you think about Solange's look?

Friday, February 17, 2012

How Much Product is Too Much?

Twist out fro, little product. Umm, excuse the bathroom stalls @work. The best lighting, I swear.

Is less more when it comes to products?

I'm starting to think so. I'm super heavy handed. If product directions say use a quarter-sized dollop, I'll double that. I figure more is better, no? But that doesn't always work. Less is always more when it comes to the amount of money you save on products. Half the time, I feel as if my hair is weighed down with product.

After years of looking at hair charts, I've yet to figure out my hair. I've only seen 2 or 3 people with the kind of curls that I have -- tight corkscrew curls like the inside of a ballpoint pin. I don't think my hair is fine, it's thick and pretty dense. Yet, my hair presses straight as a pin with a good flat iron or press.

And shrinkage is a straight beast:Water is my frienemy. It moisturizes like no other, but my hair shrinks from APL when straightened to neck length when unstraightened if I add the teeniest bit of water.

My hair, even natural, shrinks up in styles like twist outs whenever there's a touch of rain, fog or humidity. For me moisture in the hair = hella shrinkage. So much so that I usually wear an updo when the weather is icky; I hate walking out with neck length hair and coming back home with drawn up, ear length hair.

My Little Product Experiment
So, one day I washed my hair and conditioned it the night before and headed out the next morning after dampening it with water. The next day, I dampened it and added a bit of glycerine for moisture and shine.

I checked my pictures of my hair loaded with product and I actually had more hang with wet hair than I did with gelled up, shellacked hair. So I've been experimenting with less products. Wash and gos by wetting my hair with water and some glycerine and a little bit of Dax. Or twist outs with damp hair and glycerine.

Not super defined, but that's OK. I've yet to get super defined twist outs, even with lots of products, since my hair shrinks so much when product with water is applied. And I'm not sure how to "fix" that. I see girls with lush, awesome, defined twist outs with hang and I wonder if I'll ever get there.

With less product, I'm manipulating my hair less and saving a boatload on products.
How do your styles fare when you use less product?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Natural Hair Hits the Runways of NYC

Karen's Body Beautiful founder Karen Tappin at the Textures on the Runway show in NYC. Credit: Nicole Marie Melton
Fashion wasn't the only thing on the runways at Fashion Week.

Natural hair was also on display at Textures on the Runway -- an homage to our natural coils, kinks and curls -- during Fashion Week in NYC.

What a brilliant idea! Hosted by TextureMedia, Textures on the Runway highlighted cuts, styles, color, products for natural hair and fashions, with leading stylists from around the country. And it makes total sense: Fashion Week is all about creativity, edginess and fashion forward.

If you didn't know, natural hair is all THAT -- and a bag of chips!

"Being a part of ‘Texture on the Runway’ means we gain the opportunity to share our vision for creative, fashion-forward, multi-textured styles," said stylist Nick Arrojo in Essence Magazine. "It’s so important that the event is during New York Fashion Week because we live in a culture where hairdressers follow in the footsteps of fashion.”

HairNistas know: Natural hair is the ultimate fashion accessory. I'm just glad that someone else believes it, too.

"At Fashion Week, the focus is so much about the clothing, but we wanted to create an event around hair that was really powerful," Cassidy Blackwell, of TextureMedia, said in Essence. "Hair is a fashion statement and we wanted to make that message clear."

Amen to that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Designers Show Off Wares At NYFW

Y'all know I have hometown love for designer Tracy Reese. We're both from Detroit, and umm., yeah, I love her work. Check out Reese and other designers shown during Fashion Week.

I'm a color lovin' fool. Love this bright yellow wool trench coat contrasted with teal shoes and the fur color. It's a winter/early spring combo bursting with color.

There is a big difference between being simple and plain. You nail simple, with a minimalist approach. Plain, well, you look homely. This look, HairNistas, is so simple that it's stunning. Sometimes, less is more. Bask in the simpleness in this updated, modern spin on a shift dress in ecru by Mimi Plange.


There's something about a boss chick outfit. You bad and you know it! This outfit by Jason Wu goes there, with a military vest with feathers, leather and lace collar and shoulders. Wu is doing his thang with Target with a bit more subdued fashions. Love this daring men's wear meets women's wear look.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ododo's Originals

It doesn't matter if you don't have a boo on Valentine's Day-- your hair can be your Valentine's Day present to yourself. Anything you can give your significant other, you can give to your hair. I'm going to call your hair a "her," but if you are a dude, by all means substitute "her" for "him."

Give her a card. After all, she's there through thick and thin. Sometimes, Hallmark greetings (try to find a natural hair icon depicted in the card, if you can) say it best.

Buy her something special. You know those *insert here* hair care products you've been eyeing? Go ahead. Splurge and treat your hair to a favorite product..

Treat her to a special massage. Your oil game is on point. Break out one of the many oils you have in your closet and gently give yourself a scalp massage.

Pamper her. Go all out. Give yourself a hair steam, a luxrious conditioning treatment and a style that makes her feel good -- a curly, bouncy roller set, flexirod updo, or even straightening your locks for a special treat. Time to turn those YouTube video tutorials that you've always wanted to try into real-life styles.

Make her a special dinner. You don't have to go out and spend a fortune to make sure your hair is "fed" properly. Prepare her a nice, well-rounded meal (break out the good China and errything) with some protein (a nice, juicy steak  if you aren't a vegetarian or a piece of salmon; plenty of green veggies (fresh, steamed broccoli, asparagus or green beans), legumes (they are great for overall health) and a glass of red wine for hair benefits.

Happy Valentine's Day! Do you plan to buy your hair any special gifts today?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grammy Awards: Hits or Misses?

Whitney Houston's death cast a sad, eery pall on the 54th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, but celebrities still honored the pop princess during countless tributes.

There were some high notes and low notes in fashion.

Love the hair as always, Corinne, but not a fan of the dress. Love the shoes, tho.

Ledisi looks amazing in this strapless gown. Her locs, as always, are on point in this beautiful updo.

Esperenza Spalding rocks a subdued fro.

Amber Rose looks lovely in this yellow gown. Not gonna say anything about Wiz.

Hours after Whitney Houston's Death, Mourning Fans Take to Social Media

Photo credit: AP
Pop music legend Whitney Houston hadn't been gone a good six hours and some folks had already taken to Twitter and Facebook late Saturday night, expressing their outrage and blaming her ex-husband Bobby Brown for her death. At one point, according to media reports, Twitter was aflutter with more than 30,000 tweets a minute that tweeted about Houston's death.

The six-time Grammy award-winning pop music superstar was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room on Saturday afternoon. Authorities are investigating her cause of death and at this point, we can only speculate.

But that didn't stop online trollers from weighing in with their opinions, many of them critical of Brown. Houston married Brown in 1992, but the pair split up and had divorced by 2007.

“I will always love Whitney. I will always loathe Bobby Brown,” someone  wrote on Facebook.
“Bobby Brown you took our diva and turned her into an addict,” another vented.

Loved her to death, but it was no secret that her life on stage and off stage was ... complicated. It is what it is. She had demons -- we all do. Only hers were on the public stage, while we deal with ours privately, behind closed doors.

The Rush to Blame
I'm not one to eulogize anyone, but I also believe in personal responsibility. I know, love and have dealt with enough drug addicts to know that addiction is a complicated disease. Very complicated. Very few drug addicts can say that someone held a gun to their heads and made them hit that crack pipe for the first time, pop pills, sip alcohol or use whatever is the drug of their choice.

Can a person influence you? Of course, for good and bad. It's easy and convenient to point fingers, but we only have ourselves to blame. We are in control of our own actions -- not someone else. Any therapist worth their psychology license will tell you that.

The problem lied with Brown's and Houston's images: Houston's was squeaky clean, a gospel singer raised in the church, turned pop music diva who could do wrong. She came from music royalty: Her mother is gospel star Cissy Houston, Aretha Franklin is her godmother and Dionne Warwick is her aunt.

Meanwhile, as Whitney's music star shone bright, Brown, a member of New Edition, had a starkly different image: He was the bad boy, and many blamed him for corrupting Whitney's pristine image and for her downfall.

We always want to blame someone, something, for bad news. Somehow, I suspect that we didn't really know either of them; we only knew what the music industry wanted us to see. It's no secret that their marriage was tumultuous.

In 1993, Whitney said this during an interview to Rolling Stone -- perhaps an eerie precursor to their troubled marriage:

"When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. "You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that's their image. It's part of them, it's not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy."

Am I giving Bobby a pass? By no means. It's pretty well documented that there were at least threats of domestic abuse in the Houston/Brown marriage.

The Voice of An Angel
Backed by music mogul Clive Davis, she was the first Black pop music star to cross over, making a splash onto the music scene in 1985 with her self titled "Whitney Houston" album that showcased her effortless, powerful voice with amazing range.

She was the music industry's golden girl in the 80s and much of the 90s, and everything she touched turned to GOLD.

The hits followed, among them, "Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know?" ''You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All." Movies soon followed, among them "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale" and the "Preacher's Wife."

                                  Whitney Houson in "Greatest Love of All." Source: YouTube

A Natural Hair Role Model of the 1980s
Folks idolized her, especially in the Black community. She was who us Black girls in the 1980s looked up to. And I'll never forget her first album, the picture of a beautiful brown girl with short natural hair. We had never seen anything like it. At that time, in the wig, weaved and Jherri Curl world of the 1980s, it meant something.

She was tall, elegant and regal. A real-life queen that could SANG.

"Whitney Houston" self-titled debut album in 1985

Others tried, but very few Black musicians managed to woo both white and Black audiences like Houston. Everyone else would follow in her footsteps. She set the bar impossibly high, influencing generations of singers and musicians.

By the time American Idol became part of our lexicon, Houston had largely faded from the spotlight, but her songs didn't. It is Houston's voice -- and songs -- that American Idol hopefuls still struggle to emulate even today. Even now, very, very few singers can reach those notes that Houston could, almost without breaking a sweat.

Did We See This Coming?
The music industry is a very complicated, schizophrenic thing. It builds musicians up to tear them down. All well knowing that the intoxicating smell of fame, the allure of money and celebrity is enough to make us forget who we really are, what we really stand for.

Did Whitney and Bobby have problems? Of course -- all of that ugliness was captured in tabloids, in the news with domestic abuse charges against Brown and even on their ill-fated reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," in 2005. It featured a rambling, bumbling and sometimes incoherent Houston.

But I can't place the blame for her death squarely on his shoulders. They might have been a marijuna toking, crack pipe blowing couple, but were both co-dependent on each other. They seemingly brought out the worst in each other.

Am I giving Bobby a pass? By no means. It's pretty well documented that domestic violence did exist in their marriage, with charges by Houston that Brown threatened to abuse her. Is this a bash Bobby Brown blog? No.  I'm sure that, in death, a lot of ex-husbands would have their regrets about their late ex-wife and their troubled relationship.

Still, deep down, the "Whitney Houston has died" news story is one that no one wanted to see. But we all knew it could happen, considering her widely publicized drug abuse problems, including that infamous and parodied, "Crack is whack" interview with Diane Sawyer in 2002 and her multiple rehab attempts.

The Music Comeback That Never Came
And so we braced ourselves, hoping that incorrect reports of Houston's death in the early 2000s, after an appearance in which she was suprisingly thin, would never come true.

We waited patiently for her comeback. An appearance on Good Morning America was a disaster. An overseas tour flopped after fans walked out mid-concert complaining that THE voice was no longer,  ravaged by years of drug use. In 2011, she filmed Sparkle and was to film the sequel to Waiting to Exhale. We always love the underdog and a comeback story. And we all looked forward to her possibly performing at the Grammy Awards today.

We just knew that we'd have Whitney back -- the old Whitney.  The one whose rich, soaring voice made your spine tingle, pat your feet, and try your best to sing like her in the shower, even though you knew you couldn't.

We just didn't expect her death on Saturday.

The Death of a Music Superstar
Music legends die tragic deaths. Unfortunately, it just seems like what they do -- and Whitney Houston is no exception. Music, money and drugs are dangerous and seductive. Add the glimmer and glitz of celebrity, and it becomes a train wreck, playing out for all to see.

Only now, add Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TMZ to the list.

Houston was a real person, with real flaws, just like anyone else. What's not debatable is this: Her voice will go down in history as one of the greatest. And 50 years from now, we'll still be talking about her.

Houston was a real person, with flaws. We can be real about the issues Houston faced, yet not mock her in death. Many of those tweet and Facebook status updates probably won't be discussed at Houston's upcoming eulogy. Though we do need to address the issue of addiction.

Your choice: Blame Bobby or don't blame him for her tragic death.

At this point, it doesn't really matter.

Because none of it will bring her back.

Whitney Houston's last performance, "Yes, Jesus Loves Me, with Kelly Price on Friday, Feb. 10. Source: YouTube

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fashion Week Looks We Love

Fashion Week 2012 is in full throes in NYC and here are some looks we love:

Cushnie et Ochs' sexy cut outs in this vivid blue dress are workin' it!



NAHM debuts this classic, yet updated look:


HairNista is on Pinterest.com!


Pinterest -- an online pin-up board -- is dubbed the next Facebook and Twitter.

So you know I had to get all up in it, HairNistas! Plus, I hardly saw any natural hair representation. And you know I rep #natural hard!

Check out our new profile on www.pinterest.com/hairnista, where I'll be busy pinning natural hair and fashion. If you're on Pinterest, follow me!

What do you think of Pinterest?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fashion Week Brings Out the Stars

I'll go ahead and say it: There's nothing quite like a lady in a tux.

A bad ass, shut yo' mouth type of tux: one that fits elegantly, yet with a contemporary flair. And I don't mean a man's tux, but one that is made for women and expertly compliments our curves.

Two fashionistas sported them at Fashion Week -- Angela Simmons and Janelle Monae. I loved both looks. Both were black and white and both were on point.

Angela Simmons rocked it in a white suit by SuperTrash. I like her unusual pairing of the leather halter -- unusual, but it SO works -- and the statement necklace.


Janelle Monae sports a tux jacket and what appears to be a black jumpsuit underneath. No matter, I love it.

What do you think about women's tuxes?

Source   Photo by Jamal Countess, Getty Images

HairSpiration: Love This!


Saw this gorgeous fro on BlkGirlsRock.Tumblr and had to give it some HairNista love.

Hair + Wonder Woman T-shirt = FUNKY to death!