All Articles Tagged "beautiful"
I love going to the Brooklyn Art Museum’s annual Dance Africa festival. Not only are there tons of artists and Black entrepreneurs selling their wares, there are Black people dancing, eating, laughing, talking and socializing in peace. It’s an incredible scene.
So incredible that I often find myself looking at hair styles and fashion choices for inspiration. My sister, who was with me, does the same thing. As we were walking out of the festival, heading back to the Subway, she noticed a woman who had insanely long locs. But they weren’t hanging down her back. Instead, they were braided into large plaits and then pinned into a massive updo. Some would call it a bun. But it was so big, I’m not surely exactly how to classify it. She had a scarf wrapped around the perimeter, holding it up.
The style was so impressive that my sister complimented the woman.
“Your hair is so beautiful!”
Instead of the traditional thank you, the woman said, “Ooo sista, I’m only reflecting your beauty.”
I immediately laughed.
That’s another thing about these street festivals, they had a tendency to attract the super deep, nuts and berries, crystals-used-as-deodorant type of Black folks. And, just so you know, with locs of my own, I’ve been called the nuts and berries type before. With my locs also in a wrap, there might have been a few people who lumped me in that category this past weekend. You know how stereotypes go.
But as we were walking away, laughing. I thought about the statement for a second. And when I actually considered it, it did make sense.
We all know that it’s our own perceptions, experiences and attitudes that influence the world we see. When you’re in a funk, the world seems to be dark and gloomy. When we’re up, the sun seems to shine brighter, music is sweeter etc. The world is always what it is. It is we who frame it with our different lenses.
Surely, the same can be said with beauty.
We all know that beauty standards vary from culture to culture, from person to person. That very same day my sister, one of the vendors and I disagreed about whether or not it would be fly to put these two different prints together. They couldn’t see how it worked. I could. For whatever reason, there was something about those prints, together, that spoke to me and not them.
And the same could be said for that woman and my sister’s response to her. You’ve heard this concept before, articulated in a variety of ways. “Like attracts like.” “You are what you attract.” “Test the spirit by the spirit.” And my personal favorite, “Game recognize game.”
Earlier this year, Brande wrote about the thrill of being complimented by Black women, knowing that when a sista goes out of her way to compliment you, you’ve done something right. And that’s certainly true. But to take it a step further, the compliment is more than one directional, it’s a circle, simultaneously celebrating the one giving and receiving.
That loc-ed lady taught me a couple of things yesterday. One, a thing about beauty, both outside and within. And she also taught me to weigh the words before I laugh them off.
Miguel And His Steel-Bottom Church Boots Do Paper Mag; Talks Changing R&B, His Struggle To Make It, Love And Mariah
While he continues to figure out if he’ll face legal action for jumping rockstar style on fans during his performance of “Adorn” at the Billboard Music Awards, Miguel is enjoying all the exposure he’s received from that incident and from the appreciation of his music by a new wave of fans. But it wasn’t an easy journey for Miguel, who was once selling car warranties to make ends meet and sleeping on a friend’s uncomfortable couch. He spoke about his journey with Paper, writing “Adorn” for his girlfriend as a way to be more comfortable expressing his feelings and helping to revive Mariah’s career with her new banger, “Beautiful,” which he wrote for himself but passed on for his last album. Here’s a few excerpts from the interview that had us talking:
On The Origin Of “Adorn” And How He Struggles To Express His Feelings In Person Compared To In His Music:
Miguel is leaning more toward the tender side he showed on “Adorn,” which he wrote for his long-term model/actress girlfriend Nazanin Mandi. Still, expressing his emotions isn’t as easy for him in person.”As comfortable as I am dealing with it in my music, it’s so much harder to do for real. I’m not even going to pretend.” Back in 2007 Mandi temporarily called off their relationship. “I was mad young, just wildin’ out,” he recalls, “and she was smart enough to leave, like she should have.”
On His Life Before Making It Big:
He was also struggling with a go-nowhere deal with Black Ice, an independent label that had cartoonishly styled him as an “urban” artist in oversized sportswear and chains. He says he couldn’t handle being alone, and crashed on a friend’s sofa for a while, getting up every morning with a backache at 4:30 a.m. to get to his day job selling car warranties. “I was good at it, but it was so bad,” he recalls. “Imagine you’re lonely, you’re missing someone, you’re like, ‘I f**ked up,’ and you have the worst job in the world.”
On Changing The Scope Of R&B:
“I really wanted to stretch musically on this song, not only sonically but structurally, and just kind of remind people that R&B has no boundary,” he says on the track commentary for Kaleidoscope Dream. “There’s no rulebook to how R&B is supposed to sound.” His voice can flip seamlessly from a cool falsetto to yearning soul belts, winning him frequent comparisons to Marvin Gaye, while his lyrics evoke an emotional complexity rarely heard in his home genre. “What I’m trying to say with my music is, ‘You don’t have to pretend,'” he explains. “‘Say what you mean.'”
And Having A Crush On Mariah Carey Before Working With Her On “Beautiful,” Which Was Originally For His Kaleidoscope Dream Album:
“The moment she dove into that pool and came out of the water…oooh,” he recalls of Carey’s 1997 “Honey” video, released when Miguel was just barely pubescent. “When she first walked into our session I was like, ‘I had such a crush on you, B***h!'” Asked if those were his exact words, he grins. “Nah, I had to keep it cool.”
Check out his full interview over at Paper‘s website where he talks about being a relative unknown at the Met Gala, what inspired his change in sound for Kaleidoscope Dream and more.
While I wasn’t necessarily feeling “Triumphant,” Mariah Carey’s last single with Rick Ross, nor was I crazy about her track “Almost Home” for the movie Oz, The Great And Powerful, this new joint I can rock with. Just a few days ago, “#Beautiful” dropped and I could groove with it, but wasn’t 100% sure if it was a winner in my book yet. But now that the video has been released, I love it! Carey debuted the video during American Idol yesterday, which was directed by Joseph Kahn, and in the clip, the iconic singer rides along on a motorcycle with the very handsome Miguel as they sing and let the “wind” (fake) blow though their hair (and in Miguel’s case, bouffant). Later in the video, Mimi writhes around and dances in a tiny yellow dress in front of Miguel in a barnyard. And yeah, that’s pretty much the gist of it. But I can say that the visuals match the song well. The song was co-written and co-produced by Miguel, and we’re digging it.
Even if things don’t work out as a judge on American Idol (and I hope she leaves on her own accord after the hot mess of a way she’s been portrayed through the show), she’s got a great summer to look forward to, because we’re sure this jam will be a winner on the charts. Check it out for yourself and let us know if it’s a pass or play for you!
They say you can’t trust a big butt and a smile, but what about a big butt with a smile and no brains to go with it? Looks will get you far in Hollywood — very far actually — but there’s still something a little unnerving about people with all this money, power, and fame, and no good common sense or even book smarts to go with it. We’re not mad at these marginally clueless celebs, we’re just saying…
She’s lost the baby weight and she looks great. But Kimbella is giving dumb blonde a whole new meaning for black women. She’s done a lot to support people’s assumptions that she’s just a vapid model. But get this, she told Sister to Sister that she has a Master’s Degree. I’m going to need to see that sheet of paper because I don’t believe it.
If you ask me, “beautiful” is not a word to be thrown around lightly. Sure, I think beauty can be found in a lot of places; but when it comes to people, beautiful is just as much about a person’s actions and thoughts as it is about the outward, physical appearance, people are often referring to when they use the word. I guess I’m of the same mind as Italian actress Sophia Loren, who had this to say about beauty:
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
But maybe everyone doesn’t see it like that.
A few months ago, I started dating this guy and from our first date, until now, every time we’ve seen each other, he’s made a point to tell me that I’m beautiful. The first time, I appreciated it. Maybe even the second time too. But eventually, I started to resent it a little bit. And not because I didn’t believe him, or thought he was being insincere. I’m not being conceited when I say beautiful is not a new word for me. I’ve heard it from my father, my family, my friends, strangers who meant it and strangers who just wanted something from me. I’m comfortable with the word. I just wondered why he was using it so frequently, when he really didn’t know me yet. If he had been calling me pretty that would have been easier to stomach. But to me, the use of the word beautiful required knowledge about me he just didn’t have yet. So one evening, after he’d said it again, I had to tell him: “You know I really don’t know how to take that. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say ‘thank you,’ when I really had nothing to do with how I look.”
His answer was perfect. Essentially, he told me that our definitions of beauty weren’t too far off from one another, that beauty, and my beauty in particular, was more than just my physical features. And I believed him.
So my question to you ladies, is this: Do you have a problem with a man commenting exclusively on your physical features? What is your definition of beauty?
As a genealogy buff, I’m fascinated by the composite of different races within blacks of African descent. Apparently, I’m not alone. Some of us love to let others know that we are more than just black. This almost goes hand in hand with people that love to tell others that their curls aren’t as tight as the rest of ours because they claim to be mixed with something. Yeah, whatever. But there is something to be said about being proud of one’s origin. Knowing where we came from is an integral part of knowing who we are. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know our genetic makeup due to lack of historically relevant data, money (for genealogical testing), or interest in knowing our backgrounds. Maybe if more of us did, we too could be like these nine celebs that are proud (some maybe too proud at times) of their diverse lineage.
You’ve got to love a man who is both conscious of things going on in the world around him, but also happens to be a stone cold fox. Marvin Pentz Gaye was all that and more during the 44 years he was on this earth gracing us with his musical talents and presence. While he was deemed by many as a major sex symbol in the ’60s and beyond, Gaye tried to move past that image to be seen as a true artist. However, he was able to be both whether he liked it or not: make music that mattered and remain a beautiful man. I’m a huge fan of Gaye’s music (“I Want You” and “After the Dance” are my jams!), so I’m excited to present to you this slideshow of the legendary crooner who sang about love in a way everyone could enjoy and respect. He seems perfect in getting prepared for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!
Look at Gaye as a young boi (*in my Lauryn Hill voice*). Dashing good looks!
How can we do a series on beautiful black men of the past and NOT have our main man Billy Dee Williams featured? Williams was and still is pretty as he wants to be with his Colt 45 sponsoring self. The West-Indian, Harlem raised actor, artist, singer and writer has been a sex symbol for our mothers, our mother’s mother and now it’s time we drool over the old-school player ourselves. Check him out.
I have to give it to Keyshia, she is one of the few people who can look great in almost any hair color, and she’s done most of them! As versatile as her hair has been over the years, we had to give her some props with an album that looks back on all her big hair hits! However, because we’re not bias, we’ve also got to showcase a few of her big hair what the hot messes!? You know, so you guys know what NOT to try. In the end, it’s always all love though! So check her out and take notes…
Just a heads up, if you were thinking this was going to be one of those posts that idolizes “blue-eyed soul singers” or says folks are out here trying to “sound black” (as if there’s one way to sound black), you’re mistaken. This is a list about a few individuals with voices that we accidentally assumed at one point and time belonged to black people. It wasn’t until videos popped up for some of our favorite jams that we didn’t see a black man or woman, but a white man or woman–and it surprised the hell out of us. A lot of these singers are probably your personal favorites by now, some you may have never heard of, but don’t lie, you know you were telling your friends at one point or another, “Oh snap, I just assumed he/she was black…”
You’re not the only one.