Going Natural and What it Really Means To Me

My fellow CT comrades have shared their opinions and perspectives about their natural experience, but I realized that I had yet to share mine. If you don’t know, I am still transitioning, seven months in and still going. I am just entering the difficult phase of transitioning- the hair shedding, the dryness, the making hairstyles up out of your a$$ phase. Over the course of six years, I’ve tried transitioning twice before this and I hope that the phrase, third time is the charm, is indeed true.

The first time I transitioned was in college. As many college transitioners will tell you, I transitioned because I couldn’t find a decent stylist to do my hair and I was broke. Back then, blogs weren’t as popular as they are now and the YouTube videos weren’t in abundance. The second time was still in college, but due to me getting permanent color, the inevitable damage occurred, so I went down the transition road again. By this time, the natural hair community and more information began to have a presence online and forums like Nappturality and Fotki and sites such as Curly Nikki clued me in a bit on the basic stuff. I held on for a while until an event came around and that creamy crack got the best of me.

Fast forward a few years and with the help and support of all my natural friends, the endless amount of information online, I got this thing in the bag. My transition has been, as expected, met with opposition. I still catch my mother, who insisted that even though she pressed her hair back in the ‘70s she wasn’t “natural,” throwing up side-eyes on the low when I walk pass her time to time. While my grandmother is more understanding surprisingly than my mother, she sometimes ask when I plan to get it straightened again.  

Sometimes I hear others refer to this as a “trend,” thinking that ultimately we all will revert back to relaxers at some point. Truth be told, I never said I am completely giving up the relaxer forever, who knows, one day I might do a Jill Scott and throw it back in. The point is, those in our community shouldn’t look at this with cynicism and skepticism.  There is something autonomous, powerful and sometimes rebellious in embracing something that for centuries has been looked at as unattractive, inferior and unworthy by most cultures, including our own. When I see women walking down the street with the afros, twist-outs and locs, there is apart of me that feels, (without being too cheesy), proud. With that being said, why put us down because we want to know what our natural hair textures feel and look like without being manipulated by Motions and Affirm. Hair in general has always been that common thread for black women when it comes to camaraderie and fellowship. It’s probably the most frequent topic that brings strangers together. Yet, there’s apart of me that feels that with natural hair, there aren’t as many secrets withheld for fear of being less exclusive. I see that women in the natural hair community are more supportive and forthcoming, willing to share their tips, tricks and products to use. I suppose that is because natural hair is like DNA, no one can get an exact copy. No one can go into the beauty supply store and buy my exact hair texture, and to me, that is the beauty of natural hair.

What are your transitioning stories? Are you thinking about going natural? What is holding you back? Also, are there any women reading this who are relaxed? What are your thoughts?

When It Comes To Being Sexy, Should There Be A Limit??

 

"I'mma Kill 'Em Tonight Girl!!"

 

First I must say, like beauty, sex appeal is subjective. What I would deem sexy could be viewed as conservative or unattractive to someone else; everyone has their own interpretation of what is sexy. In Hollywood, celebrities are constantly pushing the envelope with their fashion to become relevant or to stay relevant. In a world in which you have 15 minutes to make your stardom known in order to last, it’s understandable. Yet, in the real world, there is a fine line between being sexy and just plain ole trashy. For example, yesterday, while looking at club pictures online, I stumbled upon a picture of SEVERAL, everyday women wearing textured tights as bottoms. Now, before you question, “what’s the harm in that?” keep in mind that their butts were exposed. No, their tops were not covering their butts, if so I wouldn’t have seen a huge problem with their ensembles. HOWEVER, there were exposed underwear, butt cheeks and all.  I couldn’t help but wonder about others who had visited the site and saw the pictures. Were their mouths on the floor as mine was when I saw the photo? I am sure someone who is reading this can relate to me on this issue. Seeing the scantily clad girl walking around in the club or any social function, thinking she looks good because she’s getting lots of male attention, but little does she know it is for all the wrong reasons.

Whatever happened to leaving something to the imagination? Judging by the lack of comments on the photo, have we become too desensitized to provocative clothing? Have these women, and the men who like this style of dress, made it harder for women who don’t feel they should have to wear swimsuits out to the club in order to get attention. Furthermore, have they made it harder for women in general to get respect at the club? I personally have always been a firm believer in the idea that tight and short does not automatically mean “sexy,” but what do you guys think?

The Maturation of Style

"Mom Jeans" At 25? No thanks, I'll pass....

After months and months of being in denial, I finally came to the realization that I had outgrown my “forever 21” phase when I busted out of a dress walked out of the store empty-handed. While none of the designs are really appealing to me at the moment, the reality is I’m getting older and with that, my style is as well. I find myself torn, wanting to shop in the Junior’s section because the clothes are more “trendy,” but too juvenile trendy, but rather shop in Misses section, (yeah, I said “Misses” section), because the sizes are more suitable for my body type. The dilemma is many companies are not tapping into the market of the 23-30 year-olds who want to dress their age without looking as if they’ve stepped out of a Wet Seal or Talbot’s ad. Who want to achieve the grown and sexy look and not the old and boring look or childish and playful either. More and more I find it extremely difficult and frustrating finding apparel that is suitable for my age and I am sure those who are reading this will agree with me, male and female.  Have you ever seen a mother/daughter or father/son duo and its obvious physically who’s the parent, yet stylistically, you’re drawing a blank. In fact, this post came to mind as my sister and I had a conversation with our father when he revealed he wears Coogi and Rocawear….and by the way, he’s 55…..

*BLANK STARE* *CRICKETS*

While he tried to add the caveat that he buys the “dressier” kind without all the flashy monograms  and loud colors, the point is, NO man over 30 35 should be wearing Coogi or Rocawear, period. Which is another issue for a different post, but in general, urban fashion labels make millions of dollars off the black community, and majority of their designs are not suitable for people over a certain age *cough 25* (hey, I was being lenient earlier). Let’s face it, we like to be in style and there are some people out there who will wear whatever regardless of their age for the sake of being “in style” unfortunately. Until they create lines that are geared for the 25 and up group, urban apparel is one of many items that I put in my Do Not Wear After 25 category, along with cornrows and Aeropostale tees.

What do you think CoffyTalk? Any similar stories you have with finding age-appropriate clothing?

STYLE VS. TRENDY: What’s The Difference?

Fashions fade, style is eternal.

-Yves Saint Laurent

Me and TeasTer have numerous conversations monthly on the stylish vs. trendy debate. I find that people are throwing around the term “stylish” too much lately. So what you can put a cute outfit together, but does that make you stylish? There are tons of blogs springing up with individuals showing off their fashions daily, they’re “trendy,” but does that make you blogworthy? I find that many people tend to think that trendy automatically means stylish and that’s where the problem lies. CONFUSION is what I call it actually. Style is effortless and timeless, meaning, piecing together an outfit shouldn’t take three hours to do; it shouldn’t read methodic or trendy.  Or just because you bought an expensive piece, whether it’s a bag, or a pair of shoes, doesn’t make you stylish either. And don’t me let me get on the brand names. Being stylish is the ability to set yourself apart from the trends and “do you.” Trendy, on the other hand, is temporary; whatever is “hot” at the moment, or following a pattern. Granted, we all wear trendy pieces sometimes, but you shouldn’t read trendy head to toe and on the regular. There are people on college campuses who are going into serious debt trying to keep up with the masses and following trends of the moment. At the same time, there are people who have difficulties being themselves stylistically because their style is not the norm and is not accepted where they live or on those same college campuses. What do you have to say on this issue CT readers? What’s your definition of style?

Style Violations Part 1

We like to style and profile….I know, BUT sometimes, we tend to do too much in the style department. I came up with eight items we tend to do too much in the style department. This will be an ongoing series, so let this be PART ONE:

1. Over Accessorizing- sometimes less is more. The general rules of thumb when it comes to accessorizing are a) if there is a lot going on in your ensemble, keep it simple with the accessories, b) keep it down to ONE statement piece. For example, if you are wearing a statement necklace, then your earrings should be simple. Some of us tend to go overboard with the jewelry.

2. Coordination Overload– Apparently there are a few bad apples in the batch who didn’t get the memo that coordinating from head to toe should have been left in the 90s with Chilli’s baby hair. If you find yourself matching from head to toe, step back and take one item off. However, neutrals shouldn’t count; in fact, a neutral is your best friend when you find yourself wearing the same color. Throw on a nude pump with the bright colored dress. Silver and gold accessories work best with multicolored outfits.

3. Label “Whoring” – You know us black folks, if it doesn’t say who the designer

is 10 million times across the purse, belt, shirt, hat, etc., we not buying it. One logo purse is alright, but is the matching belt and shoes necessary??

4. One-Stop Shop Outfits-Where all my wet seals at???? If I can tell that you bought your entire outfit from one store, then kill yourself. Unless it’s a dress, the key to creating a great ensemble is looking around at various shops/boutiques/stores to find these pieces to make yours one of a kind. Stores have a certain “look” or theme that makes it easy for others to spot what store it came from. In the future, do yourself a favor and shop around.

5. Fit vs. Tight-We all know that one person who just refuses to shop in their size. People confuse tight with fit. The garment is tight if: a) your rolls are visible b) you have a muffin top c) you have to lay back on the bed to fasten it OR d) YOU’RE UNCOMFORTABLE!

6. Age Inappropriate– Don’t be a Mariah Carey- dress your age. This works both ways.

Sometimes people dress too matronly- I have fallen victim of this time to time, but if you’re 35 dressing as if you’re American Eagle’s spokesperson then reevaluate your self-esteem.

7. Formal Places/Unmade Faces– I know I might get some disapprovals over this item, but who cares, this is MY post. Nothing irritates me more than seeing a woman in a beautiful gown, hair done, nails, everything big……but the face! Ehh?? No one is saying go out and buy out the MAC store and paint your face, but there’s a $1 lip gloss and eyeliner in every Asian owned beauty supply store in your local hood. Look the part, if you paid hundreds of dollars for a gown, throw something on your face to complete the formal look….I’m just sayin.’

8. Following Trends that Don’t Suit Us… Amber Rose, Eve, Beyonce’-like lacefronts, Lil’ Wayne….need I say more?

~ THE QUEEN

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