Let’s Get This Straight! – Natural Curls in the Workplace

Five years ago when I told my mother I had an interview for an internship position with a renowned fine art and antiquities auction house, her immediate reaction was, “go straighten your hair.” I had really long waist-length tightly curly hair—a gift from my mother’s side of the family—that tends to get a lot of unwanted attention. Though choosing to retain my natural texture for most of my life, I had a love-hate relationship with it- until I realized that my hair wasn’t a curse but something that made me more unique. Maintaining my curly hair was long, tedious process so as a child I often complained about my texture, while my mother was always the one championing  its natural beauty, so hearing her “go straighten your hair” declaration threw me off a bit. What did my hair have to do with my qualifications for the position?

A lot apparently.

2015 Office Selfie

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Why Fa(t)shion?

I have been very fortunate to have major support for what I do here on this blog. I’ve had friends and family help me pick out blog shoot sites, take pictures and point out new industry updates that I may have missed due to my hectic schedule.  And every once in a while they question what I decide to feature in my posts, but with recent events being what they are, I’ve noticed that these private exchanges have shifted. I’ve begun to get messages saying that with my academic background and intellect, my time and efforts would be better spent writing about social injustices instead of fashion. To be honest, I have been anticipating that comment for a while now. The very act of  getting dressed is considered to be a necessary, yet  frivolous, part of everyday life, so the pointing out that  fashion plays a central role in society is met with denial and ambivalence. The thing is culture, race, socioeconomics, gender, capitalism/consumerism and even politics all intersect in fashion.

why

Everyone whether black, white, rich, poor, male, female, adult, child or teen interact with it in some capacity.  Just think about  the amount of effort we put into figuring out what to wear for everyday occasions like going to work,  job interviews, graduations, dates,  quinceañera parties and of course weddings. Fashion, even at its most simple, conveys culture, social status, income level, education, age, sexuality, and even nationalism.  Continue reading

Messages From (26-year-old) Me to (16-year-old) Me

16 year old post pic (1)

This year my beloved baby cousin turned sixteen. It is just unbelievable to think that just ten years ago this young woman carried my crown down the aisle at my sweet sixteen. Ever since she was born I made a point to be a good role model for her though I know I needed guidance myself half the time. Earlier this month as I celebrated my twenty-sixth birthday,  she asked me if  I believed my 16  year old self would she be proud of who and where I am today. That random question got me thinking and to be honest, I didn’t have an answer which obviously frustrated my cousin to no end. Yet now as I sit here I thinking about it again, I am pretty sure that my sixteen-year old self would be glad, yet at the same time surprisingly furious at some things. So while I know that it isn’t actually possible for me to go back and speak to my younger self, I decided to make a list of 16 things I would say to her if I did get the chance. I am hoping that these messages also inspires my cousin and other young ladies that are just reaching this milestone.

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Seaside Spring Drama

Earlier this month I managed to convince my mother to drive me and a friend to New Jersey for the Ashley Stewart sample sale, (3 items for $10? I couldn’t pass that up!)  and I am so glad I did, as not only were my “partners-in-crime” able to get a full bag of clothes and shoes, but my mother found me this great spring top amidst the massive maze that made up the sale. From the lace up front and crochet detailing to the ruffle cuff bell sleeves, it really brings the drama as it’s product name implies. IMG-20160417-WA0014My favorite thing about this new addition to my wardrobe is its versatility, due to the fact that it is made of gauze fabric so it can easily transition into summer even with the long sleeves. Considering the fact that it is meant to be an airy top, you may want to size down if you prefer a more fitted look, though I sized up for a laid-back and relaxed feel.  I paired it with my cuffed boyfriend jeans, rolled up to capri length, and red print flats which I rediscovered recently during my annual spring closet sweep last week.
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Not a Production but a Movement: Viva Africa by The Truth UTG

viva africa title card

Image Credit: The Truth UTG

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of going to see Viva Africa, a musical retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romero and Juliet, that deconstructs present social issues like racial profiling, stereotyping, immigration as well as ethnic cultures and tradition. The Truth Urban Theater Group manages to not only entertain as it seeks to educate the audience on the significance of the immigration narrative as it is what connects us, but has also managed to create a great divide.

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