For some time now, we have witnessed this “beef” between two dynamic artists who should be embracing each other, instead of “throwing shade”.

We’re talking about Brandy and Monica

Both are singing sensations who were brought up in an era when R&B was dominated by male groups. Despite the popularity of groups like Boyz II Men, Dru Hill, and Jodeci, these two women proved to the industry that being young and female doesn’t suppress their ability to shine bright like a diamond!

As a fan of both and as a black woman, I’m disappointed about this feud that’s started in the late 90s but resurfaced and escalated in recent months. That’s why I feel compelled to write this open letter in hopes that it will reach them and share my thoughts on something so trivial, yet, powerful enough to feed into the perception that black women do not get along.

 

Dear Brandy and Monica,

Although I’m a few years older than both of you, I looked up to you ladies and still do. Growing into adulthood in the nineties, your music was the soundtrack of my life. I’m sure it was the same for many of your fans and that’s why you both are legends in my eyes. I’ve observed this feud and despite the “entertainment” it provides for us ( social media followers, and bloggers/blog readers), I can’t help but feel like I’m witnessing the downfall of a sisterhood that should be stronger than this guy’s jacket!

tightasshit

Now, we all know that media can exaggerate things and make situations seem bigger than what it is. As a result, fans and critics alike will add their two cents, adding more fuel to the fire. The media and the fans will become problematic because their two cents will cause more division between two talented queens who should be celebrating one another. It gets worse when the both of you publicly responds to one another (although, it seems one of you is taking a higher road). That’s what the world needs to see more of—black women lifting each other up, especially when they share a bond.

What is the bond you both share? Quite a few…

You both started in the industry as teenagers…

You both snatch souls with your voices…

You both suffered a traumatic experience…

You both have grown into beautiful women with beautiful families and are definitely women our little girls can look up to.

teenbranandmo

 

I don’t care who’s right or wrong…I don’t care to debate with other fans about who’s throwing more shade than whom…I don’t care to debate about who has the most hits, who sings “better”, who dresses better and all the other fuckery your fans are beefing about on social media. 

What I do care to see are two talented beauties coming together and squash whatever beef they have, because society needs to see that women can support one another…particularly black women.

A feud between Brandy and Monica is like watching a feud between Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni! Or Whitney and Mariah! None of this doesn’t make any sense!

icecubestare

 

I hope that whatever has transpired offline between the two of you can be resolved in a more mature fashion. We have to inspire, motivate and uplift one another because we are a part of a society that tells us that we don’t. We (black women) are generally perceived as bitches/angry women with bad attitudes. There is also the perception that we don’t get along, and unfortunately, we have enough reality shows that feed into that perception.

Ask yourselves how would the late great Whitney feel if she was alive to see the division between her two sweethearts.

At some point, you’ll have to realize that this feud is definitely not worth losing a friendship over. As women, that whole competitive mentality we have divides us when it doesn’t have to be that way. We all go through similar life experiences but through different chapters in our lives.

You both are blessed beyond measure with a talent given by God. Let it all go and start supporting one another on your achievements as an artist, a mother, and gems who changed the game in R&B. Great things really do happen when we support one another. 

Sincerely,

Lakia

brandymonica2

 

 

 

 

 

In her latest attempt to promote her 3rd annual SlutWalk event, Amber Rose does what she does best…get people talkin’!!

Ms. Rose recently posted a partially nude pic of her neatly-trimmed vagina with the caption, “#amberroseslutwalk amberroseslutwalk.com.”

For the furry kitty cat supporters, click link below for unedited photo!

 

Unedited photo

Not long after, Amber posts a video and shares that Instagram deleted the pic, but not before her followers snatched it. She posted this video in response to the Instagram snatch.

 

Her controversial image has been circulating all day, exposed to some feminists who are side-eyeing the socialite/model/author/host and questioning her motive.

Before we get into whether Amber’s feminist movement is misrepresented, let’s get into the history of her Slutwalk movement.

The birth of the Slutwalk happened in Toronto, Canada in 2011 when a police officer suggested to women that we  “should avoid dressing like sluts as a precaution against sexual assault”. The first Slutwalk was organized in April of 2011. It gained national coverage, creating mass awareness about rape culture and slut-shaming. The slutwalk became a  transnational movement of protest marches calling for an end to rape culture, including victim blaming and slut shaming of sexual assault victims. During these marches, women dress in scantily-clad outfits and carry protest signs with bold statements!

 

Amber carries on the Slutwalk tradition in California and this year, she will hold her 3rd annual event. On her website, the mission states…

“The Amber Rose SlutWalk aims to impact and uplift while shifting the paradigm of rape culture. The event provides a safe, all-inclusive space to entertain, educate, and empower.”

I think Amber is doing a phenomenal job, but it leads me to the question…

How does pubic hair correlate to feminism?

I asked this very question on Facebook and my very opinionated FB friends had interesting responses. Take a read at some!

 

 

There were some valid points made and I get that part of feminism is expressing your sexuality and having confidence in your body. However, some feminists are giving Ms. Rose a hard time, expressing that she is anything but and that her image is just a thirst trap.

I guess that leads to another question…what IS feminism?

I define feminism as female empowerment through equality and enhancement of all things women. A feminist stands up for women’s rights, fights issues against women, and support other women to do what and how they want to do, mind, body, and soul.

We all know Amber is famous for showing her body, so showing her kitty is not a big deal. Then I thought, “the pic doesn’t really scream “Feminist” to me, it just shows that she’s confident in her body.”

Although publicly displaying your vajayjay with hair doesn’t equate to suppressing rape culture and slut-shaming, the image does send the message to love the skin you’re in, despite society’s ideal standard of beauty.

That includes not or not to shave down there. Something we’ve debated for years.

The more I thought about Amber’s pic, the more I believed that is what a “feminist” would do.

Despite Amber’s mixed message, I support her crazy ass ways of making women AND MEN aware that beauty is only skin deep!

What are your thoughts?

 

Two of the ladies of Hip Hop, Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj, are the talk of these internet streets!!

The women served each other verbal annihilation on some diss tracks, and both tracks, especially Remy Ma’s, has the internet going bonkers!!

Before I share my thoughts, hit play for both tracks below!

 

Gucci Mane & Nicki Minaj- “Make Love”

Remy Ma-“shETHER”

First…let me just say… Remy’s diss track left Nicki so exposed, my soul delve into a sea of humiliation for her!
Homegirl done went in from her “fake ass” to her brother who’s an alleged child molester.

In my opinion, I think the internet only generated mad hype for Remy’s track, because she apparently stated what’s being said as “facts”, according to Hip Hop enthusiasts.

Despite being entertained by it all, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out the obvious problematic situation within this so-called beef between these two women. It’s something that’s been going on for a long time in this industry and as a woman, I’m over it.

This beef pulls the rug out and reveals two major factors…the lack of sisterhood and the lack of support for women in the Hip Hop industry.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m well aware that diss tracks have been around for a long ass time. Hip-Hop wouldn’t be TRUE Hip-Hop without a good diss track between artists. Especially when the dissing doesn’t result to violence &/or death.

My issue is the underlying problem in society with black women being looked at as “catty”, “bitchy”, and simply don’t get along. This “beef” between these two iconic artists feeds into that perception.

This beef between Remy and Nicki has me wondering one thing…Can the Hip-Hop industry learn to support sisterhood, female empowerment, and use these two artists as the catalysts for change in how society views black women?

When “Ladies Night” came out in the nineties, I was just in awe of the female MCs who participated in that project. I thought it was dope how some of the biggest female Hip-Hop artists of that time got together and release FIYAH! Not only that, they revealed an admirable display of female empowerment, by proving to the Hip-Hop community and the world that when women get together, amazing things can happen! Especially black women!

 

This is what I want for Remy and Nicki. Both women are respected as great Hip-Hop artists in their own right. They both are dope with lots of fans, so I can only imagine how they’d be if they work together.

 

Do you think if Queen Latifah and MC Lyte dissed each other like this, this would happen?

In such a male-dominated industry, I think it’s important for the female MCs to do their part in advocating women supporting women. Especially when they are in the same line of work.

It only makes sense.

But, I guess, as with all entertainment, folks like drama. The Hip-Hop industry has always been “slick” with how they promote. They will bring in two popular MCs, somehow get them in the studio to freestyle soul-crushing lyrics about one another, and hype that shit to get the people talkin’.

Once the people start talkin’ (and bloggin’), the money rolls in.

That’s how the industry works.

In my humble opinion, the industry thrives off drama. What better way to set shit off then to get two opinionated black women, who both strive to become queens in the rap game, and use them against one another?

Songbird and Grammy-Award Winning Mariah Carey was recently spotted on a beach with her back-up dancer and rumored boyfriend, Bryan Tanaka.

 

#MariahCarey #SpottedOut with her #BackgroundDancer #jamespacker

A photo posted by Brandon Carter (@brandoncarter211) on

See the image on the bottom left?
If that looks familiar, it’s because it reminds you of a certain image that circulated when actor/rapper/host, Nick Cannon, and Mariah were together.

Nick took to the ‘gram to show his fans how picking up Mariah on a beach is supposed to be done, because Bryan looked like he was struggling!

#TBT This is how you do it! LOL #IkeTurnUp #WePetty

A photo posted by LORD NCREDIBLE ALMIGHTY 🕉IkeT🆙 (@nickcannon) on

Some of us knew it was all in good fun, but the rest of us needed clarification. Apparently, some got their panties in a bunch, so Nick had to clear the air and express nothing but love for his ex and mother of his children.

“Energy evolves and Frequencies change but love never dies…”

I like that 🙂

I gotta be honest….

I didn’t know much about Actress/Author/Director, Lena Dunham, so I googled her before writing this piece. Reading about her work, and getting a glimpse of her social media, I’ve come to some understanding of why this advocate for positive self-image and feminism uses her insecurities as part of her of humor….particularly in THIS situation with New York Giants Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Unfortunately, her self-deprecating humor was missed because of her need to dump her insecurity issues on a man who doesn’t know who she is.

Her recent comments about Odell Beckham Jr. left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people, who didn’t find them funny. In fact , critics BLASTED Dunham for her preconceived notions and expectations about a man she’s admitted to never have met.

Before I go any further, read below, the controversial comments Dunham made during her interview with Amy Schumer on Lenny Letter.

I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.

The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, “This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.”

Now, let’s be honest. I think EVERY woman has gone through a period where insecurities plagued her mind. As a result, we tend to do THE MOST with men while we deal with it, instead of working to release it. We internalize self-hate because we don’t look like the next chick.

To dump our insecurities on a guy we’re dealing with is one thing. To dump them on a man who barely knows us is a whole other issue that we’d need to fix.

After realizing that she’s become a new “poster child” of what NOT to do when you don’t feel pretty in a room full of models, she posted a public apology to Odell VIA Instagram.

 

I owe Odell Beckham Jr an apology. Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don’t rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it’s hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he’d rather be seated with. But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don’t know AT ALL. Like, we have never met, I have no idea the kind of day he’s having or what his truth is. But most importantly, I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies- as well as false accusations by white women towards black men. I’m so sorry, particularly to OBJ, who has every right to be on his cell phone. The fact is I don’t know about his state of mind (I don’t know a lot of things) and I shouldn’t have acted like I did. Much love and thanks, Lena

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

 

Whether the apology was needed or not, I’m glad she’s acknowledged the fact that Odell is not responsible for how she feels about herself. Her public display of borderline self-hate also serves as a reminder that we, as women, should never feel the need for validation from a man to feel “worthy”.

In my opinion, the attention Dunham wanted but didn’t receive from Beckham, solidified her need to blame him for the apparent awkwardness she felt.

I urge women to be mindful of  how uniquely beautiful we are. We must be mindful that if someone doesn’t see your beauty, then it isn’t meant for him to see. We should never make men, or ANYONE, responsible for our insecurities. We have to find the power within to love the skin we’re in.

No one can help you do that.

 

 

 

Chance The Rapper became the envy of every Beyoncé fan when the Queen Bey crashed his backstage interview with a slight hug of the shoulders from behind.

The rapper was ELATED when he turned and discovered it was Beyoncé showing him love, as she and her entourage were making their way through the crowd.

Chance’s reaction was soooo adorable! You couldn’t help but be elated with him!

Even the interviewer had to take the opportunity to get a little love from Beyoncé when she shared that she’s a Virgo…Beyonce’s astrological sign.

Press play below!

 

 

I must admit…

When rap star, Yung Joc, debuted his new hair, I along with so many critics and fans alike, criticized him for basically expressing his individuality.

My first thought was that Yung Joc looks like a single, hard-working single mother who drives a 2012 Nissan Altima!

According to the many memes and jokes on social media, the style is just one big NO!

download

We can joke and post memes all day! The truth of the matter is, Yung Joc has the right to express his individuality, whether we like it or not.

Joc’s new hair exposes hypocrisy, ESPECIALLY in the black communities.

  Rap legend, Snoop Dogg, had very few critics when he rocked his Shirley Temple curls!

snoop

…and God bless his royal soul, Prince could rock a hairstyle that would put Mary J Blige, Halle Berry, and Fantasia to shame, and we’d better not say a GOTDAM thing about him!

prince prince-2005

The black communities will sometimes, criticize what they aren’t used to or understand. In Joc’s situation, we tend to overlook his ability to express his individuality…something a lot of our kids are limited to doing in such a close-minded culture. Joc chose to express his individuality, just like Snoop and Prince has, so why are we judgin’?

A lot of us say that Joc is rockin’ a “feminine” hairstyle, so does that make him feminine?

If that’s the case, these bald-headed/low-cut beauties must be way too masculine!

bhbeauty1 bhbeauty2 bhbeauty3

Joc is not the first black dude to rock what we’ll say ” a white boy” hairstyle, and he certainly won’t be the last. Let’s open our minds a little more to what’s new to us.

 

 

Leave it to Ms Angela Bassett to come through for the darker-skinned women, who has limited choices in skin care!

Via Black America Web:

The actress has teamed up with Dr. Barbara Sturm, her friend and a well-known skincare expert, to launch a skin-care line that addresses the specific needs of women with darker complexions. Bassett has struggled with skin issues herself, she told WWD. Initially, she used Sturm’s original line to treat her breakouts and irritations, but she realized it didn’t address skin issues that darker women deal with, such as hyperpigmentation. That’s when they decided to extend the line and after two years of research, Darker Skin Tones by Dr. Barbara Sturm came into reality.

Hyperpigmentation is characterized by a darkening of an area of skin caused by the overproduction of a pigment in the skin known as melanin.

Hyperpigmentation is the result of either of two occurrences: an abnormally high concentration of melanocytes produce melanin or when melanocytes are hyperactive. For instance, sun exposure stimulates the production of melanin. Although it can affect anyone, this condition is more prevalent among African-Americans and those of Latin descent.

Hyperpigmentation can affect any part of the body including the face, hands, and neck.

Bassett said that she wants to bring more awareness to skin care and for people, “to see what is good for it and ingredients that are helpful — not invasive or irritating. I like them to be pleased when they look in the mirror, to feel good about themselves and the condition of their complexion.” Read more here.

It’s common to see an entertainer transform along with their music. That’s how they keep their ever-changing image up with the times. However, we can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of a public figure who gets permanent facial alterations to the point where they become unrecognizable.

As a fan, I used to think that Lil Kim was one of those celebrities who likes to artistically express themselves through their appearance. When her 2nd album dropped, I was surprised by the new look.

lilkimnk

 

The blonde hair, blue eyes, and lighter skin totally threw me off. But then I thought, ‘Well, she is an artist who likes to change her looks. Prince did it, Michael Jackson did it, so why not Kim?’

Then over the next few years, Kim’s appearance became ever-changing, to the point that fans and critics, alike became concerned.

Kim went from here

lilkim

to here…

lilkim2

I think it’s safe to say that this transformation is more than just a unique makeup & lighting technique

 

Lil Kim is the perfect example of an artist who has drastically changed her appearance. While she’s known for “clap-backin'” at folks on social media for expressing that, it’s obvious that it’s more than just Kim keeping up with the times as an artist. She’s Kimberly Jones, a black woman who has allowed self-hatred to manifest inside her spirit.

I don’t know Ms. Jones personally and I’m sure a lot of her fans can say the same thing, but we don’t have to know her personally to know that her ever-changing extreme appearance over the years are signs of lack of self-acceptance.

In a 2000 interview withNewsweek’, Jones was quoted as having low self-esteem caused by experiences with the men in her life. Check out a part of that interview below.

“All my life men have told me I wasn’t pretty enough–even the men I was dating. And I’d be like, ‘Well, why are you with me, then?’ ” She winces. “It’s always been men putting me down just like my dad. To this day when someone says I’m cute, I can’t see it. I don’t see it no matter what anybody says.”

The interview continues…

After Biggie made his deal with Bad Boy Records, she began recording with his Junior M.A.F.I.A. posse, and transforming herself from girl in the ‘hood into blue-eyed blonde.

So what was up with that? According to Kim, just what you’d think. “I have low self-esteem and I always have,” she says. “Guys always cheated on me with women who were European-looking. You know, the long-hair type. Really beautiful women that left me thinking, ‘How I can I compete with that?’ Being a regular black girl wasn’t good enough.” And the implants? “That surgery was the most pain I’ve ever been in my life,” says Kim. “But people made such a big deal about it. White women get them every day. It was to make me look the way I wanted to look. It’s my body.” Read the entire interview here.

 

Struggling with self-acceptance is problematic for ANY woman, but for black women, it’s like fighting a double-edged sword.

In the black communities, we also deal with light skin vs. dark skin and body image, which is unfortunate. I’m convinced that it’s a lot of pressure for black women in the entertainment industry to look a certain way, so Lil Kim is fighting a few double-edged swords, for sure! That includes maintaining her spot in such a male-dominated field!

 

This is an excerpt from one of my earlier blogs that breaks down what I’m trying to convey in this piece

 

As young girls of color growing up in the black communities, the influence of the so-called beauty industry has brainwashed them into thinking they’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or light enough, or dark enough, or skinny enough, or even thick enough. It’s no wonder there are so many horror stories of women becoming disfigured or worse…dying from illegal butt injections, breast implants, etc. Black women are bleaching their skin to make their ebony dark skin lighter, so they can be “prettier”.

That’s why it’s so important to tell our little girls how beautiful they are the moment they come out of the womb. They are a part of a world that is constantly telling then that they aren’t. From the beauty industry to mainstream media, even music and television, they are constantly bombarded with images that will blatantly downplay and disregard Black Beauty. Read entire piece here

 

As a black woman and a fan of Lil Kim, I won’t disrespect her by calling her names, or mocking her looks. I will, in fact, pray for her in hopes that one day, she can fully accept Kimberly Jones for who she was as opposed to how she felt…a beautiful woman. Kimberly,unfortunately, let the men in her lives change her perception about the way she looked. Now, we have rap artist Lil Kim, who has permanently changed herself into the woman who the men in her life desired.

That’s why it’s so important to love how God created us, especially black women.

Society does a good job of trying to undervalue us, so why undervalue ourselves? It’s important that we educate ourselves and our daughters about self-love and self-acceptance regardless of skin color, facial appearance, size, hair type, etc. because one day, they can meet the very person who has enough power to convince them that they aren’t good enough.

We have so many “Kimberlys” in this world and what they face everyday fester when they are constantly exposed to negative imagery and surrounded by people who undermines women who look like them.

 

 

 

When we mourn the death of a celebrity, it hits us like a ton of bricks. The celebrity may be someone we grew up to, listening to their music, or watching their movies/shows. That formulates a personable connection to the celebrity, who when suddenly dies, leaves us in mourning as if that celebrity was a part of our extended family.

We may surprise ourselves at how much a celeb’s death has affected us. Sometimes, we don’t know how much our favorite star has impacted our lives until they’re gone. In a sense, we’ve grown up with them. For many years, we’ve listened to their music, watched their films, and read their books. We’ll become a faithful fan of a celebrity because in some way, shape, or form, their art resonates with us.

The unexpected news that leaves us having difficulty processing it, the longtime thought of immortality and the never-ending appreciation for what they do are all factors to why we mourn. It’s also a reminder of our mortality and forces us to use the legacy they’ve left behind as a template for how we should walk in our purpose.

According to Huffington Post, David Kaplan, chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association says, “The passing of someone so admired, whose life was in the public sphere, creates a universal human connection.”

In the age of digital media, I can see how bonds are formed from celebrity death. When you see that you’re not alone in the grieving process, the bond you share with other mourners validates your need to express how you feel without fear of criticism.

It’s totally okay to mourn a celebrity’s death. Everytime an admirable public figure goes home to glory, I hear and read comments like, “You act like (s)he knew you.” , “Why are you so upset?”, and other questions worthy of a faceslap!

1….The person doesn’t have to know us

2…We become upset because we can. There’s no wrong way to grieve. Mourning the death of a celebrity you’ve admired for a long time is no different than mourning an extended family member or the family pet.

 

 

 

 

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