Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Curly Girls Christmas Wish list

I hope that you get all the gifts you've been looking for under your Christmas tree -- especially those for your natural hair.

What's on your Christmas wishlist? Here's a peek at mine.

1. Hair steamer (this is a big one, since I have used a plastic bag, damp towel and microwave in the past).

2. Fingercomber unit - for those days when yo' hair just won't act right. For $39-79, you can't beat it for bad hair days.

3. A twist out from a professional at a national hair salon. Because after years of doing the twist out thing myself, it's time for a professional to twist up this ish.

Support "Pelo Malo" at a theatre near you

The acknowledgement that natural hair is beautiful isn't just a battle being waged in these here United States - it's also a battle being fought around the world. The issue of natural hair and how it so often intersects with race, class and gender is the subject of "Pelo Malo" (bad hair).

The  movie profiles a nine-year-old Venezuelan boy's efforts to straighten his curly hair for school pictures. The movie is now being shown in:

  • Santa Fe, Argentina
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • San Diego
  • Miami
  • Houston
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Rome, Italy
  • Torino, Italy
  • Vancouver, Canada

It's more than just about curly hair.

It's an important story that needs to be told -- this time by Venezuelan director Mariana Rondón,  through the eyes of a 9-year-old boy as he seeks to loosen his curls to look more like his idol, Justin Bieber. The boy's father is Black and his mother, who is light skinned, isn't having it and worries that he may be gay.

Yes, the movie is about more than just hair straightening; it's about what is deemed beautiful or socially acceptable -- and how those intertwine with many other issues.

Blacks in the U.S. aren't the only ones fighting the curly hair "fight."

It's an international issue -- and the struggle is real, especially among our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean and Latin America, who may not have access to the same products or support that we do in the U.S.

The movie has already won several awards, including a top prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival, as it seeks to expose racism, colorism and hair prejudice among Venezuelans.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The natural hair struggle is real

I have been reading too many natural hair blogs.

Crushing on too many natural curls.

Sipping the natural "Kool-Aid."

Because I was speechless during a recent conversation with women who aren't natural, in their 40s, about natural hair.

I was shocked and saddened. We still have a long, long way to go, folks.

These were some of the comments I heard:

"It's primitive. They need to go back to Africa with that hair."

 "Natural hair isn't for everybody."

"Some of us need a perm."

"It's cute ... but."

"Natural hair styles do not work in corporate America." "They want straight hair."

"Why they gotta have twists? It just doesn't look right."

"I am not taking anybody with me with their hair looking like ... that."

"Dreads look nasty to me, like there's something in their hair, like it's not washed."

"YOU can wear natural hair because your hair is softer, but everybody can't."

"I know everybody is going natural, but I'm sticking with the creamy crack."

"I won't let my kids wear natural hair to an interview."


Just stop!!! It got to be too much. I felt like the natural hair ambassador, trying to defend it and rebuke those statements. I felt the weight of the natural hair community on my shoulder, for a brief minute.What are we telling ourselves about US? I thought maybe it was generational, regional even.

Then I let it go because you know what? NOTHING will ever convince women dead set against kinks and coils that it's OK.  Nothing will ever make them think that hair that is not silky straight is pretty. That it's not corporate, despite the many styles and ways we can wear our hair that will look professional and polished in any board room.

Natural hair is OUR issue -- not White America's.It's a mental battle -- and that's where I exited stage left. We have come full circle - from bad ass, bodacious fros to relaxed hair and back to natural. Natural hair is a choice or a preference -- and everybody ain't ready.

What I won't do, though, is after all we've been through in the will anyone make me believe that what grows out of my head is less than.

It just made me realize that, despite the bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers, natural hair is growing, but it's still not the norm for some. 

Loving this jacket!

I love the jacket as a dress look, worn by Adrienne Baillon of The Real and by Rihanna, that's really a throwback from the 90s jacket dresses (remember those)?

Wonder if I can recreate at a thrift store? Either way, Adrienne's jacket is $33 here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Naomi Campbell for Madame Figaro

Supermodel Naomi Campbell is one of those beautiful women who could wear a paper bag and it would look good.

Look and swoon.

Celeb looks

I am totally feeling these looks by Tia Mowry and Kloe Kardashian.

Tia went ultra sexy glam at the premiere of Selma, wearing a Stone Cold Fox tuxedo dress with a thigh high split. I love the look and feel of the tuxedo dress -- a bit masculine but glammed up. Love it! Celeb fashion done right!

Tia Mowry in a tuxedo dress

I'm also feeling this look by Khloe Kardashian. I love unexpected fashion pairings - leather and denim, sequins and jeans, (you get the idea). So I'm really loving how Khloe paired leather (a fave of mine) with a tied plaid shirt. Totally different take on this look.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What Naptural85 said ...

If there's one post that I think every person with natural hair needs to read and let soak in, it is this one by naptural85.

Years after many of us have let go the creamy crack and replaced it with curly puddings, oils and potions, this is still one issue that many naturals struggle with. The natural hair "struggle" is real for every single one of us - whether you are a newbie or a veteran.

In many ways, it's a good thing for natural hair care manufacturers; cause we'll buy every production, potion and cream out there. But not so good for our self esteem: I can guarantee you that as women, we want the opposite of the hair that's on our head, and someone else's curls always looks better than our own.

But we want CurlyNikki's hair. Or My Natural Sistas. Or Strawberry Curls.

Or, insert your favorite blogger's name here.

Maybe we're wired that way -- to appreciate others' hair while not exactly "liking" our own and wishing we had someone else's. Maybe it's the fault of hair blogs, YouTube and Instagram. One thing's for sure tho, as naptural85 said, natural hair acceptace is a mofo.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn make Burberry history

It's damn near 2015, but that doesn't mean that many haute couture brands feature Black folks for their campaigns -- even though they count plenty of Black customers as their customer base (that's a blog for another day).

Iconic brand Burberry is featuring supermodels Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn for their Spring 2015 campaign-- reportedly, the first time the brand has used Black models for their campaigns It is progress, no doubt, but it should have happened a LONG time ago.

They couldn't have picked a better duo: Campbell made history on the covers of Vogue and Elle and runway modeling for top brands; Dunn made history modeling for Prada after no Black models in more than a decade.

See the spread below:

RIP Miss Jessie's Titi Branch

Sad news in the natural hair community: Titi Branch, co-founder of popular and pioneering natural hair care line Miss Jessie's, died of an apparent suicide on Dec. 4, according to media reports.

It's important to point out that NV Magazine posted an obituary for Branch on their Facebook page on Sunday, Dec. 14 and while media outlets have confirmed her death, there has been no independent verification that her death was a suicide.

Branch is credited with creating Miss Jessie's curly pudding, helping to cement the hair care product in the minds of legions of natural hair care years before hair care products that catered to natural hair were available on the shelves of major retailers such as Target and Walmart.

What started out as a small natural hair start up soon expanded to an empire: Miss Jessie's was one of the first natural products available at mass retailers and its success is credited with helping the natural hair care movement explode.

It is one of a handful of sudden deaths in the natural hair community in recent months. Karyn Washington, 22, ounder of the forbrowngirls.com and the Red Lip Project, which encouraged dark skinned Black women to rock red lipsticks, died of a suicide in April. Another popular blogger, Domineque Banks, 27, died of lupus in April 2014. l

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rhianna wears a blazer on the red carpet - and that's it

Fashion icon that she is, Rihanna stunned wore nothing but a black blazer on the red carpet at the 2014 British Fashion Awards in London recently.

Leave it to Rihanna to stunt on 'em -- and she did THAT! Wearing just a blazer was a bold -- and risky -- move. But if anybody can pull it off, she can.

The velvet tuxedo lapel blazer was a bit oversized (sleeves slightly baggy) and showed off near navel bearing cleavage (and her breast bone tats). Ri Ri wore nothing underneath the buttoned blazer except for stockings and heels.

Naturally, the buttoned blazer revealed a thigh split -- and it looked as if it had been strategically taped so as to not reveal too much. She paired the Stella McCartney blazer with a sparkly choker necklace by Giuseppe Zannoti.

Might the bigger, oversized blazers of the 90s be making a comeback? Hmmmm....

2015 Color of the Year

Can I get a drumroll, please?

The Pantone Color of the Year is ..... marsala! I had barely gotten over the vibrant radiant orchid (my personal pick from 2014 ) when the new color was selected last week.

The earthy, deep reddish brown will be a good color scheme; expect to see it soon in everything from fashions and home decor to beauty (nail polish and makeup) and accessories.

Pantone describes it as "naturally robust and earthy wine red, Marsala enriches our minds, bodies and souls."

I don't know about that, but I know that it is meaty -- some might even say the color reminds them of a chunk of raw red meat.

It almost reminds me of the reddish brown almost burgundy color popular in the 70s. Might be time to hit up the thrift store, as this color is clearly back in style. 

Here are a few other good ideas from the New York Post on how you can incorporate the color into your wardrobe.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lisa Price talks Carol's Daughter sale to L'Oreal

By Tenisha Mercer

Lisa Price talks to Madame Noire about what led Carol's Daughter to file bankruptcy and the sale to L'Oreal USA ... in her own words.

View video here

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lenny Kravitz's blanket coat

I love Lenny Kravitz and all, but this blanket coat? BOY, BYE!

Kravitz's slumber coat made the Internet rounds recently and, after a cold weather snap across much of the nation, it's got me feeling some kind of way.

I am perplexed. I know it's NYC and all, but ....

Seems like all he needs now is a pillow and a nap. I get functional fashion, but this it is even a bit much for me. A dude rocks a duvet in public and tries to pass it off as a fashion statement--  compete with shades and a slouchy hat.

So did he just literally roll out of bed, roll the cover up and off he went?

I'm just asking. Because I just CANNOT.

Look. I love Lenny's rocker look, but this look is making me feel (yawn) ... sleepy.

Would you rock this?