On January 14, 2018 I was able to be apart of an amazing event surrounded by beautiful women, curated by Kahlo’s Collective.
The purpose of the event was to represent local girl bosses and to uplift all individuals within the community.
The event had three different segments; Vision boarding, vending, and panel discussion.
Each segment was implemented, in order for everyone in that space to feel purposeful. The panel discussion consisted of myself and 8-10 amazing women, along with the beautiful Baby Kahlo as host.
Baby Kahlo Shot By: @StewdioPhotography
There were 5 questions prepared for all of us to answer:
1. What are your biggest long term and short term goals? How do you go about setting goals and sticking to them
2. What makes life valuable and worth living? How do you stay motivated especially when you are feeling down and know you and goals to accomplish
3. What are your hobbies that you’d love to master and improve on? Especially hobbies that could turn into a career?
4. How do you want to be remembered by others? How do you make sure you impact the world and individuals around you?
5. What is your dream/job career? What is your idea of the perfect life for you? How will you/are you making the necessary steps in order to make the perfect life a reality?
These 5 questions allowed all of us to be able to branch out and dive into topics that are affecting us a community, individually, and as a society.
For example, mental health, sexual harassment within the industry, and self image.
I mentioned that the goal of the event was to make everyone who attended feel purposeful.
Well, that was most definitely attained. We were able to walk away feeling closer to one another.
Also, as a group we were able to accept the fact that we can conquer along with each other, there is no reason to do it all alone.
As a people we allow so much to get in the way of truly loving each other.
We fail to realize that were more alike than we are different and that everything has to involve competition.
Therefore, I thank Kahlo’s Collective for arranging such an event.
We all need to be brought together as a community more often, because It creates a safety net within our neighborhoods and generates an energy like no other.
Hello everyone, I would like you all to meet Florence. She is an aspiring model born and raised in Uganda. She is known throughout social media to embrace the skin that she is in despite society's standards on what a beautiful woman is “supposed” to looks like.
I was able to get the chance to converse with this lovely young lady. The goal was to get a better understanding of who she is and what she wants to be known most for in our community. I hope you all enjoy !
KM: In all of my interviews my number one Ice breaker is to find out where someone is from and how has where they originated from and their upbringing shaped them into who they are today.
Florence: Most definitely, well I was born and raised in Uganda. Like Many others from my country due to the war my great parents migrated to South Sudan. Therefore, majority of my childhood I was trying to find a place to call home. I had never been to South Sudan before and I really enjoyed and missed the Ugandan lifestyle.
The people back at home were kind and the energy was just so beautiful. I feel like growing up in such a positive environment definitely influenced me. Living in Uganda taught me how to love life. Also, to appreciate the ones around me and for that I am grateful.
KM: That is beautiful and a very touching experience. Our background is definitely used as a common ground in order for people to connect with one another and positively influences those around us!
Which leads into my next question.
What would you call your style and who is your largest influence in pop culture?
Florence: I am highly influenced by vintage style. I don't have a name for my personal style, but basically I love doing the extraordinary. My goal is to do anything outside of the social norm.
Shot by: @Atnphotographynow
For example, Society feels like dark skin girls shouldn't wear bright lipstick or bright colours in general, but I pay that no mind. In my opinion, bright colours bring positive energy that makes you feel rejuvenated and at peace with yourself.
I would like to say that Rihanna is my biggest inspiration when it comes to fashion. She has an amazing sense of style and is truly innovative. My goal is to imitate her creativity but add my own originality!
KM: Wow, you answered that perfectly! Many find this question difficult to answer, because they will try to brainstorm their own word to describe the way they dress. In turn, that makes an individual over think and they begin to get lost within themselves.
Most try to avoid any common term associated with fashion, style, or pop culture. But, I like how your response came natural and with ease. Which then in turn helped you produce a simple yet complex answer.
My next question gets a bit personal and has to deal with self image and/or reflection.
What would you say was your biggest insecurity growing up and how did you turn that into something positive ?
Florence: Well, As a child I remember I used to pray to god before bed every single night and ask that he made me a couple shades lighter. Also, that he would make my hair just a little bit longer and make me a lot skinnier, because I was a chubby child.
Growing up I struggled to accept the fact that I'm going to be dark and fat with no hair. I remember telling myself when I was in high school “If I can't change my colour I'm going to change my weight”. Which was one of the worst mistakes I ever made. I developed an eating disorder and struggled for years without telling anyone. It was very hard, but towards the end of my high school career I started gaining self confidence. I told myself that I don't want to be living life like this anymore, because it was hell every single day.
I began feeling like I didn't want to be alive. One day I checked myself and decided that I needed to change for my family, friends, and most importantly myself. I started loving myself and realizing that this is who I am and I cannot change it. I've been through so much personally, therefore it has been nothing but rewarding to hear people say that they look up to me.
KM: That made me pretty emotional, because I can relate on a personal level. I went everyday feeling like I wasn’t worthy on the inside or out because of how society made me feel. Then one day everyone made appreciating dark skin a trend. From grade school up until my 12th grade year, I wouldn’t be able to go a day without being bullied directly and indirectly all because of my complexion. Coming from such a bad place personally like that and being able to embrace the skin I’m in is truly an accomplishment or a true “Glow Up”.
Which leads me to my final question. What does the term “Glow up” mean to you?
I ask this question because majority believe that this term means that at one point you looked bad and now you finally have some type of sexual appeal.
Where others may argue that the “Glow up” has more of a spiritual and emotional connection vs physical. Therefore, due to your advancement spiritually it reveals itself not just on the inside but on the outside aswell which then creates the “Glow”.
For example, you and I went from being looked at as the lower end of the spectrum or unattractive because of our complexion. Yet, now we are considered heroes within our community because of our endurance and self confidence despite societies hurdles.
Florence: Agreed, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. The “Glow up” to me means to fully understand and appreciate yourself. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is Extremely important and being happy with the way you are!
KM: Beautiful! Well I appreciate you for everything and I can’t wait to spread your message through the community.
On Sunday October 1st, 2017 I attended the annual Amber Rose Slutwalk in Los Angeles, California. I flew from the East coast to the West just to make sure that I was at this event. It is my duty to assist all women and men that are chastised and ridiculed for due to their sexuality and for being comfortable in their own skin.
I got a chance to meet some beautiful people and speak to them about how we as a community need to assist each other in spreading our message. Which is that prejudice and hate can no longer go on just because someone is comfortable with their sexuality. Also, that we as woman should never be disrespected, outruled, and objectified by any means.
Along the way I was able to speak to a young woman by the name of Izel. She asked me two key questions, “How would you describe your reasoning for dressing the way you did and what does this mean to you ?” This question makes my thoughts swim and my mind boggle because many would consider what I wore to the Slut Walk as dressing up. Just because I decided to wear a sheer skirt without anything underneath causing my butt to be exposed.
Well, in reality any woman should be able to dress how they please whether it’s in their birthday suit or in a gown that zip-pens from their toes on up. Women should be able to do this Without being sexualized or body shamed to the point where their; safety is in jeopardy, their sanity is threatened, or their given a scar that is going to haunt them for the rest of of their life. That is the point of this movement. Which is, equality for all women and those that have pride in their sexuality.
Whether you are; a man, woman, Black, white, red, violet, gay, or straight. You are still human, therefore this is a platform given to those that want to express who they are and break society’s imaginary rules and regulations set in place by social extremists.
Spreading this message means a lot to me because my own family has disowned me due to what I believe in because they refuse to understand. They labeled me as a “Pornstar” because of the message that I spread. Therefore I come before many including my family to make a statement.
I want everyone to understand that minorities have been working on equality and getting the respect they deserve for decades now. Slowly but surely we are progressing as a people. More and more are beginning to accept and celebrate one another instead of belittling each other. Platforms like the Slutwalk, PRIDE, Women’s s March, Etc. remind me that I’m not the only one fighting for the same thing.
Being a woman is most definitely a full time job but being a black woman puts even more weight on my back. But events like this inspire me to push and keep spreading my message although I’m going to face adversity along the way I refuse to give up.
With all that has been said I will definitely be attending this event next time it comes around. I had a splendid time being around those that genuinely believed in the message that is to be spreaded. Also, it’s nothing like seeing the beautiful Amber Rose up close and personal. Until next time Slutwalk La!
Everyone meet the beautiful Storm Dove. Recently, I came across her Instagram page due to a feature on a “Black women are beautiful” appreciation page. I was able to get in touch with this gorgeous young lady and get to know her a little better. She inspired me so much that I wanted the world to get to know her and her aspirations as well. Hope you guys enjoy!
KM: Where are you from and How did where you were brought up affect your self reflection?
Storm: I am from Brooklyn, New York. Where I come from had an impact on myself reflection through the perceptions placed on beauty mentally and physically. I am from a neighborhood where it's tough and gruesome Where I am from if you are a female you're nothing more than just a pretty face. Society is the king of putting ideas in your head, in order to make you think, act, and look a certain way.
KM: What is your daily motivating force?
Storm: my daily motivating force is to just get better on a daily basis not in a sense where we as a people are always trying to do more to remain on top in order to keep others back in a shadow. Instead, my goal is to to inspire others to do more with their lives and to do stuff that makes them happy. In the end I feel like this will assist individuals in sparking a change within themselves. My motivation through the day is to just live and be happy and to know that when I get up every morning that it is going to be something new and different.
KM: What does confidence mean to you?
Storm: confidence to me in something that's mental not physical. It is just feeling good based on your appearance but something inside that really displays confidence to me is energy. Energy is power and confidence shines through no matter what. Confidence is knowing yourself, your self worth, and not letting anyone tell you what you should be or what you have to do. I believe in not allowing anyone to put you down or control your actions.
KM: What adversities have you faced and how has it assisted you in becoming the young woman that you are today ?
I ask this question because we live in a society that has 0 substance or a clue on what it really means to step into another individual's shoes. Nowadays, so many people do things only for the shock value and to make it appear like they truly care about another person’s situation when in reality they are ill informed.
For example, for a long time people have gone out of their way to compliment dark skin women as if they were diseased or searching for empathy. Therefore, I want to know with your situation have you experience the same thing, and if so what is your take on it?
Storm: The adversities I have faced made me a stronger person and has assisted me in being the woman I am today. Situations such as getting bullied because of my skin complexion, whether it's being to light or to dark. Another adversity I have faced involving my skin is the fact that it is “different”. I have Vitiligo. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color. Vitiligo is caused by a loss of pigment in the skin, due to destruction of pigment forming cells known as melanocytes. Although vitiligo affects all races, It was a struggle growing up especially since the technology and information that we have now was not out back then. Therefore, growing up people would look at me different since they could not understand it. They choose to mock and judge me because I'm "different".
Growing up in a neighborhood that was not diverse made it even worse, because their reactions would grow even stronger because they've never seen anything like it before. But, as I grew and got a lot older I got stronger and gained more confidence with my appearance.I knew that the outside wasn't as importance and the inside. Therefore, it did shape me into the young woman I am today because now I exhilarate confidence and inspire others just like me to be more confident in themselves. I always say “The vitiligo doesn't have you, you have the vitiligo”.
KM: Do you feel like individuals see you as a handicap or an actual human being? If so how has that affected you ?
Storm: we do live in a society that has zero substance and no clue what it's like to live in someone else's shoes. Nowadays, people do things just for the shock value or to make it seem like they really care about a major situation especially when it comes to appearance and illness. We live in a society that holds beauty to such a high standard. Adults with children are observing and taking on the same values, which will later on causes turmoil and self hate in the future. Dark little girls or boys feeling like their hair has to be straighter or their skin has to be lighter and if it's not then they're not attractive or have no value.
I have experienced situations like this not only as a child but even right now. When you're a kid you have no idea of what is going on in the world around you. All children no matter the ethnicity; Caucasian, African-American, and Asian should be able to play in a group together. They should not have to focus on race or even know the difference because it doesn't matter. Sadly, as you get older it becomes clear and not only because of what they see, but because of what they are taught as well. Even growing up that's become a problem especially going through the teenage phase, having a crush on someone and you not feeling as attractive as the light skin girl or the Hispanic girl. You begin to question if you are unattractive or not. Society has placed such a stigma on being dark skin and even being light skin. It's a frustrating thing to go through as a child considering you're still in the process of getting to know yourself.
Just because I am “different” does not mean I do not deserve to be treated like a regular human. I have gotten treated different just because I look different, but thankfully even in today's society people are trying to grow and learn to know that everything is different and everything looks different and it's OK to be different!
KM: What is important to you--how you value yourself or how others value you?
Storm: it is important to me on how I see myself and how I value myself because if I don't even see the value in me I can't inspire others to see it in themselves. You having the value in yourself is what motivates you and it's what gets you up in the morning. Also, it's a way to let you know that you are special,important, and not just as a female or male, but as an individual.
KM: How do you plan to inspire others currently and in the future?
Storm: I plan on inspiring others right now and in the future by letting everyone know if they are unique and beautiful that the sky's the limit. As long as you have confidence and never allow others to take away your opinions and personal feelings. You will reach the moon and the stars. There is no such thing as I can't or I'm not, because you are and you will✨.
There is so much expectation put on individuals due to the influence of social media.
What ones that are superficial do not understand is that the "glow up" process is not just about what's on the outside but what is within.
Going from 11 likes to 1100 likes does not sustain your life to the fullest.
It may feed your ego but what else do you truly get out of it?
The goal is to focus on bettering ourselves as human beings not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
This in the end will assist us in leading the best life possible and surpassing to the next level.
Now, that is what you call a "glow up" !
Happy Fathers Day
Happy Father's Day to all of our men out here making a difference in their children's lives.
You serve as a major purpose not just in their lives but in our community.
As a people we need you. We are grateful for all that you do please enjoy your day ❤️.
Learn To Set The Example
Reading this post made me tear up and want to hug this young lady.
I couldn't have said it better myself, yes parents you set the example for your children.
I was bullied K-12 and let me tell you having to undergo that as a child is extremely difficult. I remember thinking to myself "why me?".
Children absorb every single thing that you do and are the definition of "monkey see monkey do".
Therefore, please be a better example and lead your children in the right direction. Doing this can literally save your child and someone else's life.
The critically acclaimed "Moonlight" won Academy awards for best supporting actor, best adapted screenplay, and best picture.
To all those that have not watched this beautiful work of art please do so.
This film reminded me so much of the beginning stages of finding myself. "Moonlight" also reminded me that the process of finding myself is no where near done.
Life throws us trials and tribulations that force us to jump out of our comfort zone.
I want thank those behind the creation of this film for addressing coming of age in the rawest way possible.
Find True Happiness
We were all raised to do everyone else, whether it's a higher being, family, or the potential love of our life. We were raised to be slaves to someone else, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This is just a distraction from experiencing happiness within ourselves. This is why people are always saying they need to "find happiness" because they never have experienced it within themselves before.
Therefore, this is new to individuals and that is why one always feels like they must announce the fact they they are taking time to cater to themselves.
We are human, we all fall victim to love and pressure; but we should take time to get to know ourselves, enjoy our own company, and learn how to find happiness within ourselves.
As cliche as this may sound, at the end of the day all we have is ourselves. Learn to become your own best friend and start making yourself priority not just for a trend or because it sounds cool, but for your well being.
Monday Morning Inspiration: Nova King
While I was at my desk on Saturday working I can't help but shed a couple tears because I'm so proud of us women.
The inequality that we go through on a daily basis is ludicrous and unjust.
We the people and we are to be recognized as human beings and not as "hot & ready".
I am tired of fighting but I will not stop ✋🏾.
I will continue to shout justice as I march down the street in my booty shorts, my crop top, and my pierced nipples!
Witness the journey of Teneisha's triumphant victory against cancer.
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
I decided to write my review of Beyonce's visual album "Lemonade" in this section because it inspired me more than it entertained me. This album has such a deep meaning, but of course people prefer to point out the "shade" vs what they need to point out. Beyonce talked about a subject that is not addressed on a daily basis. This was targeted towards black women that are being disrespected and/or mistreated in their household by their mates.
Sadly, the media only picked out pieces of the album that they thought were a shot from Beyoncé to her husband Jay Z. Instead of dissecting the meaning of the album they decided to stay on the surface. Beyonce's goal was to let women know, particularly black women, that you do not have to bow down or second guess yourself as a woman and a wife just because of the way he is treating you or has treated you in the past. This is just another part of Beyonce's movement to empower women in the black community.
As a as a young female who still has so much to learn, I can truly take from this. I have had dealings in the past with men that made me feel unworthy, ugly, and worthless. The main reason for that is because of the absence of my father during my times of need. The album definetly brings out how her husband reminded her of her father. Her father warned her about men, because of the mistakes that he has made in the past, which in the end affected his relationship tremendously, and he does not want to see that happen to his daughter.
Daddy-less daughters are more common to be found in the black community. This is very common and is the reason why black women allow themselves to be mistreated in a relationship. When my father left, I felt worthless for a long time, so when I began to date I went into the relationship already broken. This caused me to be numb to mistreatment, which caused things to escalate and make my self worth, self image, and self esteem go down. Thank fully I'm over all of that now and I have moved on with my life. I had to come to the conclusion that I was trying to bring a male figure in my life to serve as s replacement for my father. This was very unnecessary and was only bringing me down and I had to take into consideration my well being for once, and I'm very happy that I made that choice.
As as a community, how about we stop trying to be so comical when a public figure actually starts a positive movement. Try to join the wave vs hate on it. Also, use that noggin and dive deeper into the situation at hand and use your voice to speak out on it other issues that are not being addressed. Last but not least my sisters be strong and never let a man define who you are as a person, you are so beautiful, don't forget that,
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