All Articles Tagged "alicia keys"

Alicia Keys Inspires Today Show Co-Hosts To Remove Their Makeup On Air

September 2nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Freckles on fleek, Alicia Keys stopped by the Today show this morning to promote all of her many new endeavors, including her new song “Back to Life” for the Queen of Katwe soundtrack, and her work on the latest season of The Voice. While there, a conversation was started about Keys’s no makeup movement with the different hosts.

“You’ve kind of started a movement here. I don’t know if you meant to, but you are, not wearing makeup. You don’t wear it [makeup] so well!” Savannah Guthrie told Keys in the studio before her performance. In response, Keys said that going without makeup has been “empowering” and “freeing.”

“We put so many limitations on ourselves, we put limitations on each other, society puts limitations on us, and in a lot of ways I’m sick of it. I’m over it, to be honest … It’s about being our unique, own selves. We each have something no one else has. It would be so amazing to just embrace each other how we are.”

And when she went back in the studio to speak with co-hosts Tamron Hall, Billy Bush and Al Roker, all three hosts decided to take off the makeup they were wearing for the cameras. There was no pressure from Keys (in fact, they had talked about doing so behind the scenes), but they all agreed that they wanted to change it up. Hall called on Keys to actually help her wipe off her makeup.

“I will do it only if you help me,” Hall said to Keys.

“You don’t have to,” Keys said, before Hall replied that she wanted to do it because she loves Keys and loves her message. Keys reinforced that “It’s not for me, it’s for you” before Hall removed her lipstick, foundation and more in front of cameras (she looked fabulous by the way).

But as Keys pointed out, it’s not really about makeup or no makeup at all. As she pointed out, she loves her lip glosses and liners, but more than anything, “I don’t want to feel beholden [to it].”

“It’s not about makeup. Look, I love makeup, too,” Keys said. “It’s all good. But it’s about how you feel. It’s about who you are. It’s about just being who you are and not letting anybody tell you who you should be. And I think the other thing that’s kind of crazy, even this conversation, it kind of shows our obsession of the standard of beauty that we hold women to.”

Check out her conversation with Guthrie (and Matt Lauer), and the very revealing moment with Hall, Bush and Roker below:

 

“Do You!”: Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz Respond To Critics Of Her Makeup-Free VMA Look

August 30th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Me: Babe you don’t have any make up on on the carpet 😳😂 Her: I know my love 😂

A photo posted by therealswizzz (@therealswizzz) on

There was a lot to talk about online during the Video Music Awards on Sunday. One person who had a lot of people chattering without even having to give a full performance that night was Alicia Keys. The star attended the awards with husband Swizz Beatz, and still holding strong to her decision to forgo makeup, Keys hit the red carpet and delivered the best male video award (as well as a rousing tribute on the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech) with a fresh face. Of course, some weren’t fans of her decision. People said that she should have put on some makeup and tried to look a little more glamorous for the event, stating that she should have done a bit more with her hair and attire as well. Others felt that being adamant about not wanting to wear makeup, even for special occasions, meant that she has an issue with women who do love to wear makeup.

Well, Keys disagrees with all of that. She took to Twitter to say this in response to detractors of her makeup-free and carefree look:

And her husband, Swizz Beatz, was confused by the fact that people would take issue with whatever she does or doesn’t choose to put on her face. So, he also told those individuals to worry about themselves.

At the end of the day, Keys looked beautiful at the Video Music Awards, as she always does. There’s nothing off about natural beauty, and it’s sad that some are so taken aback by the sight of someone embracing the skin they’re in. However, as Keys pointed out, there’s a certain power that comes with realizing that the opinions of others won’t be the determining factor in how you choose to live your life. And when you reach that point where you really don’t care, child, nobody can tell you anything. And such commentary clearly isn’t phasing the singer, as this is her second awards show without makeup. She attended the BET Awards with a bare face:

2016 BET Awards Featuring: Alicia Keys Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 27 Jun 2016 Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

The star also has started taping for The Voice, and continues to appear free of any creams, powders, liners, lipsticks and the like in front of cameras:

Alicia Keys The Voice

NBC/WENN

Continue to do you, Alicia!

Keep It Real Friday: Alicia Keys’ Revealing Talk With Citizens Of Humanity

August 12th, 2016 - By Tamika Frye
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Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy

Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy

There’s something about her…Alicia Keys has always been in touch with her human side. She has the ability to touch the lives of all she encounters in some way, shape, or form. Whether it’s a song, a speech, or just her presence…people can feel the positivity of her energy. She has been a constant fixture for issues that matter by donating her personal time to help others. After a short hiatus due to the birth of baby boy Genesis, she jumped back into the spotlight this summer for her #NoMakeup campaign. She’s decided to proudly go without makeup, stop covering up, and embrace her natural beauty. She’s since been on a serious roll using her stardom as a platform to speak on a myriad of issues affecting the public. Here’s some of our favorite quotes from her recent interview with Citizens of Humanity.

Alicia Keys talks human rights issues:
Alicia is no stranger to helping others. Between organizations like Keep A Child Alive and We Are Here, she is well aware of the social injustices that people face worldwide. Whether it’s the Global fight to help people with AIDS to speaking on the police shootings plaguing the Black Community, she is on point with it all.

“Keep a Child Alive provides medicine for children and families who have AIDS who can’t afford it. We also provide surrounding care around that as well. There are just not a lot of places you can go and get treated or get tested or get food even, and you can’t take AIDS medicine and not have eaten. It’s important; at this point we’ve helped almost 2.5 million people.”

“With the We Are Here movement I was just personally angry—angered by turning on the TV and every second seeing this constant disrespect or inequality, and that’s really what the main focus of We Are Here is about; it’s really about inequality and justice all over the world. So We Are Here focuses on different organizations that focus on issues that I believe, when we look at them all together, will really be part of what will change the world for the better in so many ways.”

Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy

Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy

Alicia talks her new album:
Aside from being a multi-talented artist, she is a wife and mother who takes all of her roles very seriously. Her new album, due out this fall, is already making waves around the world. She tells Citizen of Humanity, “The music for this album was created so fast — the fastest I’ve ever created music before. It was like raining down every night, like storms of music was just coming out. … We did probably 30 songs in like 10 days.” She found out she was pregnant in the midst of trying to put the album together so that forced her to put things on hold. Her unplanned hiatus forced her to put things into perspective.

Motherhood changes people in many ways. Alicia is real when it comes to motherhood. She admits that when it comes to parenting:

“I’m still figuring it out; I can’t say I’ve mastered it or anything but letting go, letting your kids have their own path. They are going to discover and they have their own journey, their own way they’re going to figure out how to express themselves in the world and who they’re going to be, and I think a lot of times as parents we project our thoughts or fears or images on them, and we have to let them be a little bit. We can’t always answer every question; you don’t have to tell them how to do it. They can figure it out, and we should give them the space to figure it out.”

This right here is such an important piece to the parenting puzzle. A lot of parents will never admit the above and say they are still learning. People think they know it all or need to know it all and they definitely don’t. Parenting ain’t easy and if someone tells you that it is then they’re doing it wrong. If you are not still willing to “learn” as a parent then you already lost the struggle.

Alicia talks relationship success:
Alicia and her husband Swizz Beatz recently celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary. Their relationship is very public but they keep it private at the same time. They work at making it work just like everybody else and their secret to relationship success is simple…presence and communication.

“I think the most important thing in any relationship is presence—being present and really choosing to make the time and take the time for the people that you love … not letting a part of your job be more important or a part of your career be more important, you know? And communication—really talking about who you are, because we grow, and we should be growing together … So you’re both growing and both evolving and learning more about yourself and learning more about each other, and I think when you give each other the opportunity to continue to know each other, that really strengthens it. Me and my husband, we have this thing, we’ll call it Keep It Real Tuesdays if it’s Tuesday, if it’s Friday we’re like Keep It Real Fridays, and we just have to be honest, whatever it might be.”

Success means different things to everybody. Alicia measures success by measuring happiness…”Success to me mostly is happiness, and when I say happiness I don’t mean that in a generic way. I mean if I’m going through a day and I’m feeling good, I’m feeling that I’m on my path, I’m feeling invigorated, I’m feeling inspired, I’m feeling at the end of the night that it was a good day. To me that’s success, because there is so much in the world that wants to take you out of your happiness, you know, and to figure out a way to maintain that and to maintain inspiration and to maintain excitement, vigor for life and the next thing for yourself—whatever that is, to me that’s success. So happiness to me is success. Honoring myself and honoring my family and making sure that those things feel like they’re in the right order and balance, it can be difficult but it’s possible. But to me, that’s success.”

Alicia continues to make awesome power moves and ground herself at the same time. She is a role model for young women everywhere and very much still #OnFire. You can check out the full Citizens of Humanity interview here and look out for her new album to drop early this fall.

#23 Ways: Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Rihanna & More On Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America

July 13th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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I don’t have to tell you what’s going on in our world these days. You’ve seen the news. They’re killing us, often times for nothing at all.

Now is the time for everyone offended by these senseless killings to speak out. And thankfully, there are some celebrities using their platforms for good by speaking out.

In a recent video released by Mic.com, several celebrities spoke out about instances of police brutality, recounting the common actions these Black people were involved in when they were killed by police. Actions like running to the bathroom in your house, playing with a toy gun, asking for help, wearing a hoodie or failing to signal.

There’s also a call to action at the end of video, that directs viewers to WeAreHereMovement.com, where you can tell President Obama and Congress about your desire to address racial injustice in this country, particularly when it comes law enforcement and the government.

“I Feel Empowered”: Celebrities Who Bared Their Bumps To Celebrate Pregnancy

July 11th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Celebrities grace the covers of magazines and partake in photo shoots on a regular basis. No biggie, right? Well, that privilege takes on a completely different meaning for pregnant stars. For some of them who haven’t already shared the good news, posing while pregnant serves as their official baby announcement to the world. For others, a baby bump magazine cover or photo shoot is a chance to document and flaunt one of the most exciting times in their lives. Many pregnant models, actresses and singers have happily posed for magazines over the years, and some of them have even done it with zero clothing on. The result? Artful, classy, timeless images that present pregnant women in a beautiful, vibrant light. The joy and magic of pregnancy is a wondrous thing. Click on for pictures of some of your favorite celebs who bared it all – and in some instances, went fully clothed – while pregnant.

The #NoMakeup Movement Shouldn’t Be Seen As A Slight To Women Who Love Makeup

July 6th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Instagram/WENN

Instagram/WENN

I’ve noticed that when it comes to movements, there’s an assumption that to be a proponent of one aspect of it means you’re against the other. This has been the case when it comes to important things like the way mainstream society (i.e., White folks) view the Black Lives Matter movement and even something as empowering as Black Girls Rock! to things as simple as this whole #NoMakeup movement going on.

It’s gained quite a bit of traction thanks to Alicia Keys, who stated that after being paranoid about leaving the house without makeup and struggling for years with bad skin, she used makeup as a mask. Eventually, after doing a photo shoot makeup-free, she felt empowered, and made it clear that as she promotes her newest album, she’s “not covering up anymore.” She even attended the BET awards last month without makeup.

KeKe Palmer, who has been criticized when makeup-free, is a supporter. And just this past week, Sanaa Lathan said that for the summer, she’s ditching her usual weaves and makeup for a fresh, “au naturel” look.

It was in these declarations from people with influence that I noticed a number of individuals who weren’t here for the idea of encouraging women to forgo makeup. And I also saw people who were proponents for going without makeup, but made their stance clear by saying that they wished more women would stop with the makeup and weaves, claiming that those who embrace such trappings should stop “obsessing” and learn to love their natural selves. And therein lies the problem.

As I’ve already said, too many people think one has to be the antithesis of the other. But the truth is, you can respect and even love a woman’s choice to enjoy playing up her features in makeup while choosing, for yourself, to go without it. And you can be a Beauty Insider card-holding member of Sephora and still appreciate a woman’s realization that she was wearing makeup for all the wrong reasons and wants to leave it alone.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t the intention of either star to make it appear as though one way of doing things is better than the other, which it seemed some people believed was an underlying message. Instead, they used their platforms to share with fans what is best for them. And as people with influence who may have followers who feel attached to certain accouterments for the wrong reasons (because they don’t think they look right without them), they wanted it to be clear that it’s okay to go without. Of course, we’re all adults here, so the pep talk from a celebrity likely gets a side-eye from most. But let’s not act as though there aren’t young people, and grown people, who couldn’t use some encouragement. Namely, encouragement from people who are often criticized heavily if they don’t step out of the house with a full contour job going on just to run errands. They understand the struggle most.

I’ve known many women who forgo wearing makeup. Those who do, they don’t do it as a stance against anything in particular, aside from the discomfort of wearing heavy cosmetics. And I know women who love makeup. Sistahs who take classes to get better at applying it and who shop at Sephora and MAC like they shop at the grocery store. I’ve also been around the folks who are anti-makeup (including some men who say, “You don’t need all of that”), and those who wouldn’t take a picture of me until I put a lip color on (because “a girl always needs a bright pop of color on her lip” and “You never know who you will run into”).

What I’ve learned from all of them is that you have to do what’s comfortable for you. Keyword: comfortable. If wearing a lot of makeup is your thing, do it. If going barefaced is your thing, go for it. But whatever you do, do it for healthy reasons. Don’t cover yourself because you’re uncomfortable with your skin without makeup and you’re worried about how you will be received. Don’t pass up on makeup because other people you’ve never met told you that you look better without it or because a man who couldn’t tell the difference said so. Do whatever works for you and respect other people’s choice to do the same for themselves. Whatever your choice, save your debates for more pressing matters instead of arguing with fellow women and men (who rarely have to deal with the pressure to look a certain way) when none of that does anything to tear down the beauty standards that are really holding us back from feeling comfortable enough to do what the hell we want anyway.

Sanaa Lathan Says “No Makeup. No Weaves” For Summer ’16

July 5th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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What are you doing without this summer? Well, if you catch me out and about in NYC on the weekends, you’ll see that I’ve decided to forgo makeup and full shirts (#teamcroptop). As for stars like Sanaa Lathan, she’s ditching not just makeup, but weaves, and we’re loving it.

The actress, who is currently working on the upcoming Fox show Shots Fired, took to her Instagram page to let her followers know that this summer is all about going au naturel for her.

💋

A video posted by Sanaa Lathan (@sanaalathan) on

All that hair! Lathan continued to show it off on social media, stepping out with a friend with her curls (and cheekbones) popping:

Me and my road dawg @tamietran. Happy 4th! 💜

A video posted by Sanaa Lathan (@sanaalathan) on

In an interview with Hype Hair last year, Lathan said that while she loves “weaves and wigs and all of that,” she had been embracing her own hair more and more.

“I’ve been wearing my hair natural a lot lately. For me, it’s all about changing it up. In terms of my real life, I’ll put it in cornrows and put some conditioner in it and then take it out and it’s really big and wild. I’ve been loving that lately.”

In case you missed it the first time, Lathan revealed a very full head of hair in 2013 after taking out a weave:

Sanaa Lathan facebook pf

Source: Facebook

We’re glad to see the actress, as well as influential stars like Alicia Keys, stunning either way, embracing their strands and encouraging other women to show off their natural beauty as well. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wearing weaves and all the MAC your makeup bag can handle, but there is an issue when it seems that you rarely feel comfortable enough to step out without such accouterments.

Pop Mom: Does Saying No To Makeup Come With Age?

June 14th, 2016 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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Erickka Sy Savane

Erickka Sy Savane

There was a moment a few months ago when I was getting ready for an event, standing in the mirror with a tube of lipstick, wondering why I was about to paint my face. I’d done it a zillion times without question, but this time, I just felt silly. What I really wanted was to go completely as I am. Now, I don’t mean butt-naked, but naked-face. Is this what it means to get older? Still, I went ahead and did it, and when I got to the event and posed the question to a few friends they looked at me like I was smoking crack. Wanna clear a room? Start talking about age.

My bad.

Soooooo when Alicia Keys started popping up all over the place sans makeup I suddenly felt vindicated. I mean, Alicia is a mom, like myself, and she’s getting older, we all are, and well, now we can start talking about how we really feel about this makeup thing.

I start with one of my favorite California girls, Angie B. T.

A model back in the day, Angie never left home without a fully made up face. In fact, sometimes she wore makeup to bed. How does she feel about it today?

“I still love makeup, and lashes, and adorning myself with jewelry,” she says, “but what has changed is I don’t feel the need to wear it all the time. I appreciate my beauty without it.”

She says the change wasn’t so much an age thing, but more about the different changes in her life. She broke up with her finance, her mom and sister both passed away in the same year, and not long after she fell, fracturing both of her ankles.

“It was hard at first, not to feel sorry for myself,” she says looking back, “but being in that space where I was literally crawling to the bathroom with no makeup on for such a long period of time stripped away all the pretense I had in my life. I had to find my inner strength and what re-emerged was this beautiful woman that I am today.”

Read the full article here.

“I’m Not Covering Up Anymore”: Alicia Keys Explains Why She’s Currently Team #NoMakeup

June 1st, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Look at you, look at you, look what you made me do ;-)🔥🌃 #incommon #video #linkinbio

A photo posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on May 22, 2016 at 4:01pm PDT

Are you a makeup lover who doesn’t leave the house without at least some foundation, mascara, and lipstick? Do you spend your spare time clearing out your bank account at MAC or, like a friend of mine, taking classes at Sephora?

Or maybe you are someone who enjoys a good beat face but doesn’t relish in the time and work it takes to make it happen. You love some lashes and getting your makeup done, but the process is one you take on only a few times a week.

Or are you someone who doesn’t like makeup? Someone who only wears it sometimes because people tell you that you should for certain occasions. Someone tired of being told that to look beautiful, or to just show your face in public, you need to be gussied up because “You never know who you will meet!” If you could, you would opt for a bare face at all times and let your skin breathe.

Alicia Keys falls in the latter category. The Grammy winner has, as of late, decided to take a break from wearing makeup. It’s not 100 percent clear whether this will be a temporary thing, something she only does when she’s not on the red carpet, or if she’s fully done with all things concealer, mascara and beauty-blender related. But in a very revealing piece for the Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner site Lennyentitled “Alicia Keys: Time To Uncover,” Keys penned a letter about why she is team #nomakeup as she works on her newest album. It all started when she realized she was writing a lot of songs about masks, the ones we wear metaphorically.

In one song I wrote, called “When a Girl Can’t Be Herself,” it says,

In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem

No disrespect to Maybelline, the word just worked after the maybe. But the truth is … I was really starting to feel like that — that, as I am, I was not good enough for the world to see.

This started manifesting on many levels, and it was not healthy.

Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.

After getting a handle on these thoughts through a newfound appreciation for meditation, Keys had a revelation. She wasn’t going to cover up anymore, both metaphorically and literally. It wasn’t easy at first. Especially when a photographer decided to shoot her as she was, bare and beautiful, for the packaging for her album.

I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola (never met a Paola I didn’t like) said, “I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”

I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo-shoot look. So I asked her, “Now?! Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!!”

And that was it. She started to shoot me.

It was just a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately relating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic circulating. And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.

Keys felt driven to embrace the idea of going without–without her insecurities, without the “walls I built over all those years,” and without the heavy makeup so that she could start fully listening to and embracing herself, inside and out. She would love if you could do the same.

“I hope to God it’s a revolution,” Keys wrote. “‘Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

I love it. And as someone who can relate to the struggle of having adult acne, which Keys has spoken about, and often feeling as though you have to wear makeup so people won’t comment on your skin, I completely respect and appreciate her choice to give all the powders and creams and colors a break. She looks lovely.

Check out Keys’s full Lenny letter and be sure to share your thoughts on her #nomakeup movement.

Little Egypt Dean And Why You Should Stop Telling Your Children What They Can’t Do

March 4th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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egypt dean

Source: AP Images

Last night was another good night for Hip Hop as Kendrick Lamar released a new, surprise album called untitled unmastered. Any Kendrick fan knows that it is a sonic and lyrical treat. The boy doesn’t play.

And now that the secret is out, information about its completion is seeping out. Chief among the truth spillers is super producer Swizz Beatz. Beatz himself wasn’t involved in the project, his 5-year-old son Egypt Dean was.

Following in both his mother and father’s footsteps, the little one produced the second to last track on Lamar’s album, which is, as the album name suggests, untitled. It’s just track number 7.

Understandably proud of his son, Swizz got on Instagram to talk about his son’s contribution to the project.

It should have been a moment for us all to marvel at this Black Excellence, wrapped in such a tiny package. Instead, when Beatz’s post was shared by The Shade Room, the comments were alarmingly negative.

People said things like, Yeah, and when I was 2 I competed in the World Cup. or At 5 years old, you can’t even read. How he produce a whole song? or At five years old, you don’t even have all of your motor skills.

Basically, various ways to state that Swizz Beatz was lying on his son’s actual talent and capabilities. Instead of taking Egypt’s talent as an inspiration, these people likely looked at themselves and became discouraged. Doing the hard work to accomplish your own dreams is much harder than tearing someone else down on social media, even if that someone else is a child. 

I don’t know if he read the comments on The Shade Room or he just wanted to stunt a little bit more, but later he included two more videos showing little Egypt putting the song together. And he made sure to note that he had no help.

Check him out.

Part 2

None of us were there when the song was produced but I’m inclined to believe Swizz. Children are brilliant and sadly it’s the people closest to them who extinguish that light. I can’t remember who stated the very real fact that “Parents kill more dreams than anybody.” The same parents who will watch their children take their first steps before they turn a year old, become fluent in a language before two and sing all the words to their favorite song on the radio, will turn right around and doubt that child’s gifts and abilities believing that they’re too young, too unskilled and inexperienced to exceed the limits of their parents’ expectations. Interestingly enough, when these same people see young child prodigies on Ellen playing classical piano, we applaud that. Not really believing that their child is capable of the same.

It’s devastating.

And frankly, the wrong way to raise a child you want to make a difference in the world. The thing about doubting or stifling a child is that the words don’t expire once they are actually old enough to achieve some of the very things you, their parent, believed they couldn’t. Your negative words, predictions and attitudes stay in their heads and create doubts within themselves. We can all understand that basic law of physics. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.

That’s the very same thing many of us are subconsciously doing with our children, transferring our negative energies. The world doesn’t even have to work to get to our children. Their lights have been dimmed or dismissed before they ever left the house. It’s time we start asking ourselves, what could they achieve if we saw things differently?

If their actions are not going to endanger or harm them, stop telling your children what they can’t do.