Untold Beauty : A response to “DARK GIRLS”

natural hair rules_thumb[3]        This past Sunday the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) aired a documentary, by Bill Duke, titled “Dark Girls”. Being a woman of deep toned skin I was both concerned and optimistic about this documentary. Concerned with questions about if our story will be told correctly from the eyes of a male and how will his own personal views on the black woman and her beauty affect the editing of this documentary. Optimistic because I believed it would bring light to how women are treated because of their skin and that racial issues still exist, even within our community. With all this being said… I don’t think I was represented at all in this film.

I hoped that it would show proud BLACK women – of all cultures and backgrounds standing firm in SELF LOVE… it did not. After watching this twice the night it aired I found myself really disappointed. I do not wish to take anything from this film. I can fully appreciate the exploring of how the misperceptions of what beauty entails affects people who do not fit that standard. I definitely appreciate this discussion being brought out on a global scale from the living rooms and dining tables of every nation to the forefront. For that I am grateful. It is no secret that slavery on this continent has been the major factor that has caused this defined line of color discrimination.

Original Goddess    The oppression of Africans in America with unnatural false set of beliefs enforced by Westerners and its media has thrown the largest jab at the BLACK community across the globe. Especially to those who have more melanin. In this short documentary there was a lot of preference talk from men. (For me) This was not helpful to hear their responses when it came to skin color. It made no sense. Of course all black men don’t like the deepest toned women the same as all white men don’t like the palest of skin. Interracial dating is not going anywhere and more people are marrying outside of their cultures. This information was pointless and was just another way to send global negativity of the “dark girl”.

The major problem that I had with this film is that our beauty was confirmed by everyone else except the black women themselves! Which I found retarded and unrealistic. Most of these woman appeared to still have baggage of childhood memories. They displayed them on their sleeves as if those thoughts still effects their current lives. And even when some said that it no longer mattered they were not proud black women, but merely content with who they were. Bill Duke did not show us any strong black women in this short documentary, which saddens me because he himself is a dark man. I feel that his views, shaped by the western world, has had a total effect on his editing.

There was minimal positivity toward the black woman. The highest point was a snippet of an Ethiopian woman who claimed that dark skin in some parts of East African was still a badge of honor, but soon was over and followed up by sad faced crying women. Again I can appreciate the discussion being brought out to the table, but (in my eyes) it was a fail. A pity party. Black Woman

My argument for this documentary is a simple one. What angle of the “Dark Girls”, which should have been titled dark WOMEN, were you trying to show? Is there no deep toned women who feel that their dark skin has no effect on their relationships – personal or business? Is there no dark skin women who know that their skin is actually a badge of honor? Where are the women who have been taught from birth that they are beautiful? Has no one ever taught a dark skin woman to have self love??

I am completely unsure of the underlying effect this documentary wanted to have on its viewers, but I am sure that to empower our young dark skin women was no one of them. To try and cover all the dimensions of this type of conversation I feel that this should have been a series told by the black woman herself. This documentary is just that… just another.

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Born in the Morning.

As the sun rises…

I feel kissed by potential.

The overstanding of yesterday’s painlioness

and the win of today’s gain!

 

As the sun rises…

I know tomorrow brings better days.

I shall not cry or scream

but go forward with force!

 

As the sun rises…

I breathe then water hits my face.

Prayers go to MY God as I

strap up Madden’s to prepare for battle.

 

As the sun rises…

I feel my ancestors power.

Grasping their warrior spirits

I stretch and know that I AM AKINYI!

Born in the Morning…

As the sun rises.

Creeping.

Dear Future Husband,

I seen you last night when you crept out of bed. You were on your tip toes to make sure that you didn’t wake me… as you ran to use the phone. I swear I would never doubt your love. However, you know I have a inquiring mind. I waited for a second, then I followed. I heard you talking thru the garage door about how you managed to keep it a secret for so long. Sorry I opened the door and ruined the surprise for the morning. But either way, I EFFIN LOVE IT!! I always wanted a black on black two seater. I swear I never doubted your love.

Sincerely,

Your ambitious,Yahweh loving, shoe fanatic wife named Dutchess.

My when it “feels right” hair care regimen.

Being or going natural takes effort, especially when dealing with 4c hair textures. Tons of naturals have a faithful hair care regimen scheduled by the days and time. Maybe their lives call for it.. and I hope they continue the good work. Me, not so much.

the odd ballI do clarify and moisturize. I also cowash and oil treat, but only when it “feels right”. This may seem strange at first because we hear so many agree that having a strict regimen helps their hair grow – which is the truth for them. Don’t put anyone else hair habits on yourself. You will naturally develop one. Learning your hair takes time. Think to yourself when was the last time you actually did not have a perm in months?? Been a while im sure.

Textures may also change after it becomes more healthy. Detangling will be come easier. You may start to use less product as well. And if that does happen, you can be sure that you may not have to cowash your hair as often as you do now. I know a few YouTube ladies who wash once a month. I’m not there yet… I need my edge control, lol.  Although we have the same hair texture type remember beauties that our strands are unique as our finger prints. So what works for some does not work for all. What works for me may be all wrong for you. Right now it probably crossed your mind that you don’t need a regimen, lol, think again. Don’t let me gass you ❤ .  I’m just simply stating what does me justice.

It works because I actually listen to my hair when she talks to me. When it’s not acting right and dull (not dry) it is time for a wash. When tea tree oil and my olive oil hair grease don’t sooth my itchy scalp I know it is time to clarify and remove residue build up. I moisturize daily, definitely because of recent temperatures, and I’m good. I actually like my not so strict regimen. It saves me from becoming a product junkie.

Sincerely…

A Yahweh loving shoe fanatic named Dutchess.

Cruel Cold World. #CCW

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CRUEL COLD WORLD is an upcoming line of snapbacks and fitted caps with its CEO Streetz as its sole designer. I recently did an interview with him during a trip to Atlanta to visit my younger sister. I had to ask Streetz what was the motive behind the idea of creating handmade custom hats. Either way, I believe that it is a profitable market to provide consumers with a familiar product and a fresh outlook. And with him only producing a few of the same the buyer can be sure that his or her look is unique.The sweet Auburn Fest 2013 was his latest debut of his line.

Me: So how long have you been at your latest project (#CCW) ?

Streetz: About two months now. Its been a bumpy road. I had an idea and I’m running with it. I am just taking a chance.

Me: Have you had any help from others with your project?

Streetz: Yes. I had help with promotions in the past, which was some real work. As of now I’m working on this alone. Not everybody sticks around. My partner that assisted with the promotions was very helpful but a little unsure of it all.

Me: Besides having people back out of your business – for whatever reasons – are there any other situations that didn’t go according to plan?

Streetz: I remember waiting for my shipment of hats to come and they never did. I had to call the wholesaler and find out what was the problem. Long story short they held my payment and delayed my shipment because of lost paperwork on their end. That was definitely a learning experience. Even when you think you have it in the bag, double check.

CCW Streetz

Me: What would you like to gain from this business besides profit?

Streetz: Ah man. Well the personal and business relationships that I’ve made so far are cool. It has given me a chance to ask questions and brain pick… which is great because I am getting reliable answers from people who work in the same field. Whether it is from owning their own business or work experience.

Me: What keeps you motivated about this random idea that you had?

Streetz: I mean this is just a side hustle, music is my first passion and providing better for my children. All those combined is motivation. CCW is an avenue I use to invest in other ventures that I have going on. I also have a mixtape coming out soon (titled CCW). Alot of the guys I team up with or will be getting with soon, in the industry or random Joe’s, enjoy well made hats. So I figure I can provide them with that. When acting as CEO of Cold Cruel World artists wouldn’t have to know that I do music. I am that entrepreneur. However, when doing shows or in the studio and my man, a friend, an associate, a business contact or whoever… (when they) need that custom hat or snapback for a show or their own big opportunity I can provide that. That is definitely great promotion in itself. So it all works out.

CCW

Me: If you had to describe this project in a few short words what would you say it was?

Streetz: It was an experiment for the better. After making them there was nothing else to do but sell them.

Me: Would you like to have any competition in the world of snapbacks or where do you see this going for you?

Streetz: I will become the creative force for this market. My style is unique and I believe I have alot to offer.

Me: Where can we find you?

Streetz: You can follow me on Instagram @hollaatstreetz. All orders can be placed via email (ccwdesignz@gmail.com). The website is under construction and updates are coming soon.