All Articles Tagged "lifestyle"

The Struggle To Find Your Identity As A Carefree Black Girl

April 2nd, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Through an examination of our history’s finest women, you can see that the carefree black girl has always existed. Women like Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Diahann Carroll, Maya Angelou, Solange Knowles, Corinne Bailey Rae and Janelle Monaé have constantly created new and positive images as black women from the past and present in the public sphere. But in 2013, creating new and positive images as a black woman for one’s own self became an official movement: The Carefree Black Girl Movement.

It sought to celebrate all things joyous and unique about black women all over the globe. The hashtag, #carefreeblackgirl, has flooded several social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The hashtag has highlighted images, ideologies and theories of women who dance to the beat of their own drum. It has helped many celebrate black womanhood in all its glory.

Carefree Black Girls are eccentric women brave enough to mix and match patterns, sport big and brightly colored hair, wear bold lipsticks and stand up for social justice issues. These are women who do not live by the rules that society creates–they create their own platforms and live according to whatever is pleasing to them. While they may be aware of the many issues that plague black women, they have decided to be the breath of fresh air many of us need; a reprieve from the exhaustion of tackling race and gender hardships, and stereotypes that we deal with every day.

While speaking about the Carefree Black Girl Movement, writer Jamala Johns said, “As I continued to encounter more sites dedicated to an endless array of hair textures, personal styles, and creative endeavors, I realized that I wasn’t alone in trying to capture a certain quality that eludes black women in traditional media.”

There’s a story behind the woman with the giant afro and floral crown sitting perfectly in a lush green field. There’s something so captivating about the group of women in colorful patterns with bold lips curled into big smiles showing their pearly whites. And while we celebrate their beauty and diversity, there’s a story that often goes untold. A story of misunderstanding and loneliness that a carefree black girl too often deals with.

Johns credits the Carefree Black Girl Movement with being a form of escapism from the “archetypes of black women (jezebel, strong black woman, mammy, welfare queen, and video vixen).” She points out that it is important to note that carefree and careless are not synonymous and that we should not think of a carefree black girl as a careless one. However, these labels are often bunched together, and for a movement that’s supposed to uplift and celebrate black women, many find themselves still searching for something well-defined. They’re often misunderstood.

The carefree black girl who chooses to artistically promote body positivity through self-portrait photography and nudity often finds herself at a crossroads: she has to offer an explanation as to how her movement is different from what we might label as that of a hypersexual vixen or pornography. One of the stereotypes that black women often face is the criticism of our sexuality. The way black women are portrayed today in popular media makes it hard for a carefree black woman to openly express herself sexually while trying to avoid such labels. Just ask the carefree black girl who chooses to embrace love as the movement. She is often forced to find a way to differentiate herself from the jezebel, which depicts black women as sexually promiscuous and driven.

Yes, it’s a struggle to be a carefree black girl who chooses to take life by the horns and make her own rules. In a patriarchal society, she is labeled as a strong black woman too independent for a man. She even receives backlash from her own men, who have redefined the word “independent” and given it a negative connotation. It can be tough. It’s not all floral crowns, peace signs and polka dots all the time.

In her piece on the movement, Johns concludes that the idea of the carefree black girl is one who “embodies not letting outside gaze rule the way you express yourself.” While that may be the intention, we as black women still find ourselves fighting against what’s been perpetuated through mainstream media. We work to redefine ourselves and make our presence known, but there isn’t enough ammunition to combat the reality TV plague that takes over our channels on a regular basis. And even when we try to be carefree, we still have criticism and questions swatted at us.

Even though we have a ways to go in shifting the way black women are viewed as a collective, I will say that the Carefree Black Girl Movement has been a step in the right direction, even if this black girl is fighting to create her own identity within her race.

Step Your Game Up: 8 Things All Women Should Know How To Do

April 23rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From LatinaMadre

As awesome as it is for us ladies to have our knight in shining armor cater to our needs, there are certain things we need to pull up our sleeves and do ourselves. No one should be so co-dependent on a person (regardless of sex) that they don’t know how to fend for themselves. Whether your a sexy independent woman or the better half of a fantastic man, here’s a look at some tasks all women should know how to do—even if sometimes it’d be nice for someone else doing some of them for you.

Women Should Know How To Do

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CHANGE A FLAT

There is nothing more annoying than being stuck on the side of the road with either no phone or cell reception to call for help. Should you ever get a flat you really need to learn how to change a tire on your own. Once you get the hang of things it should only take a few minutes, which will keep you on schedule while saving some money. Here’s a quick video to show you how.

Read more on LatinaMadre.com.

 

 

Don’t Burn Out: 14 Ways to Re-Center Yourself

April 3rd, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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A while ago, my daughter and I were both afflicted with some type of horrible sickness that had us both up late at night vomiting.  When I finally got better, she got sick again,, and I was up for days caring for her.

You know that no matter how busy you are, the world does not stop spinning, work has to be completed, and deadlines must be met.  So, through the coughing, vomiting, crying, and gentle rocking while muttering “why?!” I still worked.  Got all my projects and side projects in, and felt great…  Until I was completely better, and then the next wave came and I just felt so mentally exhausted.

There’s a problem with working so hard until you fall, because sometimes it’s hard to get back up.

So, I did a few things that personally helped me, and decided to share.  Hopefully it’ll help you if you’re in a similar situation.

The Day I Decided To Go Get My Happiness

April 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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My Happiness

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From MommyNoire

I’m not in control of my happiness. That is the theory that I accepted for a very long time.

It appeared that whenever things were going too well, for too long, some unknown force would ultimately descend upon me and effortlessly snatch away any feelings of well-being I was experiencing. I attributed this abduction of my happiness to the fact that I had merely exceeded my “happiness quota.” Essentially, the universe just wasn’t going to let me get too happy. I deduced that I had a happiness limit and if I came too close to that limit, or God forbid exceeded it, the universe would be forced to cut me down to size, humble me and remind me who was in charge.

Believe me, I had very good reasons to believe this far-fetched theory. One example of an swift and forceful response to an overabundance of happiness happened in March of 2012. During the first few months of 2012, things had been going very well for me: my career was zooming forward at the speed of light, I was six months pregnant and excited to meet my new bundle of joy, and my personal relationships were flourishing. Things were going really well. But as usual, this feeling of “well-being” would prove to be short-lived.

I remember commenting to a friend that I sensed I was getting too close to my “happiness quota.” “You know, things can’t be too good for too long,” I told her. She scoffed at me and replied that I was just being paranoid, (I mean who really believes that their happiness is rationed out by some mythical energy source that rules the universe? … Me, that’s who.)

Within a week of that ominous conversation, the biggest life-changing incident that has ever happened in my life took place. I accidentally ran over my then two-year-old daughter with the family car and was subsequently run over myself after throwing my six month pregnant body under the vehicle in an effort to save her.

Read more on MommyNoire.com.

Ouch! Everything You Need To Know Before Your First Wax Down Below

April 1st, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Source: Shutterstock

For some women, getting a wax is a must. They have appointments booked every few weeks and know their waxer by first and last name.  But for the few women left on the planet who have not yet entered the realm of having their hair ripped from their body by a hot, gooey substance, it is terrifying! Despite how that sounds, the process isn’t all that bad. But there are some things you need to know before your first wax.

Chile, Please! 15 Things You’re Too Grown For

April 1st, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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You’re never too old to grow up and stop participating in foolishness, like…

Things You're Too Grown For

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Chasing a Man

It’s just not a good look.

14 Things Women Don’t Understand About Men

January 2nd, 2014 - By Ashley Page
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iStockphoto

Just as much as men try their best to understand women, us women do our darnedest to try to unravel the puzzle that is a man. While women will probably continue to hold the crown as the more complicated species, it goes without saying that there are certain things about men that we will seriously never understand. We’ve already covered the things men don’t understand about us so here are the things women don’t understand about men

Males Just Don’t Understand: Things Men Don’t Get About Women

December 11th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Things Men Don't Understand About Women

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Though women may not really be from Venus and men from Mars, there are some definite differences between the genders and misunderstandings that regularly occur. While the psychological gap may not be a huge one, it’s hard to admit that there isn’t one at all. From certain topics to multitasking, there are some things that men just don’t get about us ladies. Here are 14 things that men don’t understand about women and probably never will.

15 Things That Make You Glad Your Clubbing Days Are Over

August 16th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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There’s a time and a place to tear the club up, but one day you’ll walk in a party and suddenly everybody looks young, it’s hot, and your feet hurt. Don’t be sad when you hang up your sky high heels for good. There are lots of reasons to be glad that your clubbing days are over.

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

No More “Guessing Game”

The Guessing Game is when a man from last night calls you from the club and you’re trying to guess from his voice whether he’s really as attractive as you thought he was. Everybody looks good at 2am on a Saturday. In the cold light of day, its another story.

Half On A Baby, Perhaps? The Benefits Of Having Children

June 14th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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Made up your mind about not having kids in the future? You might want to think again. Although there are some benefits to not having children (as we featured previously on Madame Noire here), having children also has its variety of benefits, from physical to emotional.

Although having children is a major life change and responsibility, a family might do more good than harm. Check out a few life benefits of being a parent.