All posts by Super Woman

The Company, The Woman, The Brand

You Winning or Naw?

Black Twitter is outraged at Amanda Seales, who portrays Tiffany DuBois on the hit HBO series “Insecure“, for pointing out a few of the ways in which you’re either winning or losing in life. I personally agree with her Tweets, particularly these:

Yes, that is a screenshot from my phone. Yes, that is my reply to her tweets.

If you’re mad at Amanda Seales’ tweets, welllllll…. do better, get out your feelings, then watch “Feel Rich” on Netflix. It’s a similar concept, but directed towards our health and eating habits versus our spending habits.

Fact: We spend too much money on the wrong shit, usually material possessions, because we’ve been taught a lie that we need that shit to feel good, look good, be successful, have sex, have friends and be happy.

Wake up.

After we buy that shit and we don’t feel better, look better or get anything else we were promised, we just go out and buy more shit, then complain about all the money we don’t have, so we can’t do things like travel, eat right, exercise or learn something new.

Wake up.

Improving yourself is possible at every income level. No excuses. No debate. You either want it or you don’t. But don’t get mad at the spoken truth. Don’t get mad at Amanda Seales because you think she’s talking about you. Get mad at yourself because YOU FEEL LIKE SHE’S TALKING ABOUT YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE DOING THE SHIT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT.

It’s true that a person’s life experiences (traveling for instance), are of greater value to their lives than buying material things (houses, shoes, cars), regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic level. And if you can afford Jordans you can also afford to travel simply by saving the money you would have paid to buy those Jordans.

“But traveling is too expensive, let me count the ways…”

Planes aren’t the only form of transportation. There’s MegaBus, Amtrak, Greyhound and they all cost less than a pair of Jordans. Google it. If you can’t afford a 5 star hotel, there’s AirBNB options that are affordable. Hell, I’ve used AirBNB and could afford a 5 star hotel, but I just like getting more bang for my buck when I travel. Let’s also keep in mind that Living Social and Groupon are in the travel business now and have great destinations and inexpensive deals.

Traveling can be spontaneous, but it can also be planned, like a goal, and give you something to look forward to, which is something that also adds value to your life. Look at places that interest you now, pick a place and save up for the cost, then go. You always plan on buying those Jordans, so you can plan a trip, too.

“Only rich, black people from the suburbs can travel and have passports.”

I’m from Detroit. Not Detroit adjacent, not Detroit proper. Detroit. Born, raised and educated. The “hood”, and I’m proud of it. I own 2 pair of basic Nike’s that retail for less than Jordans and I still bought them on sale, so they cost me less than $100 each. I own a passport. In 2016 alone I traveled away from my state by plane or car a total of ten times. In 2017, while at the airport, I enrolled in CLEAR. I’ve already paid for my hotel stay in Miami for my 7th trip there in 2018. I’ve also started my plans to return to New Orleans for Essence Fest in 2018, which has become an annual trip for the last 6 years, regardless of where else I go. I’ve been traveling since I was in the first grade, so maybe I’m not the typical black person from the hood. However, I’ve been more places than some people I know who make more money than I do and have more education than I do and live in suburban anywhere. I can honestly say I’m surprised by how many successful, affluent black people I’ve met that don’t travel, but own expensive shit. It would he nice if more black people in general set their priorities better and strived to do more than impress people by buying Nike’s or Louboutins, especially if the greatest distance they ever traveled was either on someone else’s dime or only one state away from home.

You can’t convince me that traveling is hard to do if you wear expensive shoes, that you waited on for months and stood in line for hours to buy. But if that helps you sleep at night and gives you a false sense of winning, by all means, enjoy yourself.

Personally I’d rather stand in line at TSA and at my designated gate…..but that’s just me winning.

Dannon Doesn’t Taste Good Anyway

As a black feminist, in media, I think y’all are taking this Cam Newton ‘he said females are funny and is a sexist’ situation entirely too far. You beautiful citizens of America fell for the division once again. During a time when we should be getting our representatives in DC to provide us with stronger gun legislation, and the US Department of Justice is low key making it harder to be black, we’re turning a miscommunication and misunderstanding into a war, all because a female reporter had her feelings unintentionally hurt by her favorite football player and instead of raising her hand again and saying “excuse me, what do you mean by ‘funny’?”, she let it ruin her day.

She got an apology, but was still unhappy. Why? Because she didn’t ask a follow up question that would have determined Cam’s intent and clarified his statement. For those who are unaware, reporters ask the questions. Athletes answer to what they’re asked. I truly believe that Cam does need more effective media training (which he can hire me for) and a better publicist. However, he doesn’t need to be dragged through the press or social media when his body language alone shows his intent wasn’t meant to be offensive. In fact, it seems like he was impressed that she asked something that the male reporters didn’t even think of (because they often ask about his Instagram posts or other obvious shit that doesn’t interest him much) and he expressed that in a way that she took offense to, but never clarified. Did anyone besides me think there’s the remote chance he meant it as a compliment because she asked a question he found better than any others?

Again, Cam apologized, but she said he didn’t “seem” remorseful. Probably because he didn’t mean to offend her to begin with and offered an apology because he saw it bothered her unexpectedly, not because he felt he was wrong. And that’s OK. Ladies, we all know there’s a difference in the apology we receive when the men in our lives didn’t realize what they said was hurtful because they weren’t trying to be hurtful, and an apology following a malicious statement said to hurt us. The body language and tone are not the same. There’s no begging, or crying, or roses when he didn’t intend to be hurtful to begin with. You get an “I apologize”, then a few days later after it marinates, if you made sure he understands what exactly was hurtful, you may also get a token of that apology, like dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Again, reporters ASK questions. Maybe had she just hit him with that follow up question, she’d have some clarity instead of giving too many people ammunition to argue and turn this situation into everything racist, patriotic, anti-patriotic and sexist that it is truly becoming for no reason. It’s an unnecessary fire storm, over feelings that were unintentionally hurt and a failure to properly and effectively communicate. As women in media, asking a good question is fine, asking a good follow up question can be better. So while people are demanding that Cam needs to do better (I suggest by hiring me for his media training and getting a better publicist), I think the reporter should do better also and not allow her feelings to be used against others to create more division in a country already divided on so many issues. She’s also being dragged on social media and being called a cry baby, which impacts all women working with actual sexists in male dominated industries because she is their new barometer of women not being able to hold their own.

The only thing people seem able to agree on in the midst of all of this, is that Dannon yogurt doesn’t taste good anyway. I agree, it doesn’t and the company isn’t as clean and moral as you think they are. Watch the documentary “What The Health” on Netflix and you’ll see they are hypocrites. I advise you to watch before you stock up on groceries.

You know who’s really mad about all of this? Donald Trump. Because right now Cam Newton and NFL are trending more than he is.

Black Women vs Shea Moisture

For several days I’ve been observing the Shea Moisture public relations nightmare. The reaction on social media has sparked so much of what I wrote about in my book Breaking Through The Black Ceiling. Here are my thoughts about the situation:
  • This isn’t the first time Shea Moisture has “offended” people of color, it’s just the first time some people noticed. The company previously had an ad featuring a white baby which also caused an uproar.

 

  • Although I feel Shea Moisture had a disproportionate number of people of color represented in their recent ad, as a black business owner, I (still) wonder why people of color don’t think we (black business owners) should be allowed to earn revenue from consumers that don’t look just like us . Money is green and necessary for businesses to operate. That’s a fact. Businesses don’t exist for likes, the actually plan to make profits unless they structure themselves as a not for profit organization. White owned companies make revenue off of black people everyday. Many black people work for such companies and use their products daily. Let that marinate.

 

  • Hair care products are primarily marketed to WOMEN, who have a combined $5 TRILLION in spending power in the USA alone, so a smart business owner in the hair care business, who knows this would want to target ALL women in their ads. Several companies do. Loreal does it. In fact, if you open the May 2017 ESSENCE Magazine (a popular monthly publication which celebrates women of color), Loreal has paid for a 2 page FOUNDATION ad that includes several women of all races and complexions, along with a…      wait for it …..      Black MAN.  And before you get mad about that, men often need makeup applied when they’re ACTORS and MODELS. Contrary to what you see on social media, everybody isn’t perfected by the use of Photoshop. To me the ad makes sense.

Loreal cosmetics knows their products, and those of their competitors are used in film, television, theater and may be used by men, including make up artists.

As a woman, I’m not at all offended. As a business owner I’m not mad at Essence Magazine for securing that bag. There’s nothing to see here. It’s business. And it’s not bad business

  • Yes, Shea Moisture messed up in their casting process, and someone there should have insisted on having more diversity represented, prior to or after seeing the ad, however Carol’s Daughter also has women who aren’t black in their recent ads for their products. Are we going to get mad about that too, or naw?

 

  • The right to solely use products including ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter or castor oil are not exclusively reserved to black folks. In fact, if you make such products and only target black people as consumers, you’re greatly limiting the amount of revenue you could potentially make, doing your business a disservice. Black business owners SHOULD capitalize and profit off of our greatness too and that means thinking GLOBALLY instead of locally in some instances.
For the record, United Airlines is still winning the PR fuckery of the year award. Pepsi is still in second place. Shea Moisture is like #6 or something, bit they’re definitely not on the top 5. The mistake they made doesn’t hurt anyone directly, physically, financially or minimize important social issues with the assistance of a Kardashian. It was a bad idea, that can also serve as a wake up call towards something more important; how women of color make changes to address a lack of diversity. 
Instead of complaining on social media and “modeling” on Instagram, some women of color who aspire be seen for likes should show up for the next casting call held by Shea Moisture and make a difference that way – by going out for the opportunity to positively represent diversity. And more women of color should become educated to work in the business fields related to advertising and marketing so they can apply for the jobs that make those decisions in the marketplace.

The lesson from this issue to women of color is become the change you want to see in the world and secure a bag in the process. Otherwise, diversity will not be the goal for a lot of companies, including ones you’re already consumers of.

In Real Life

Over the last several years I have shared many of my experiences with you all, whom I lovingly call my Super Fans. I’ve shared my ups and downs, my pain and triumphs, my feelings and opinions with you on this website and on social media. It’s been several months since I posted a blog post, but I haven’t been missing or in hiding. I’ve been revamping, learning and growing, both as a person, and as an entrepreneur. I’ve tried some different business ventures and some did very well, while others….. well…….not so much.  Regardless, they taught me something that I can now take into the next phase of my business in media to bring you more interesting and thought provoking content.

Media is the concentration of the Super Woman Brand.

All of media, not just bits and pieces. I have been extremely blessed to have my brand connected to book publishing, radio, magazines, blogs and events. Now I’m also connected to films and television.

To catch you up:

Last year the Super Woman Brand acquired its Amazon Digital Distribution License. We’re working with indie filmmakers to get their content distributed. At the end of 2016, The FabLife Radio Show went from a podcast platform to streaming internationally, and earlier this year we launched the mobile app on Google Play. All the artist we play and indie and from various genres. For information on indie music submissions click here.

This past March we held our 5th Annual International Women’s Day event and it was another success. We honored 4 phenomenal women that are doing amazing things for the community.

  • Darvece Monson
  • Lativah Greene 
  • Crystal Mitchell
  • City of Detroit Council Member Mary Sheffield 

They are unsung she-ros and it was our pleasure to acknowledge them.

After much needed research, and some trial and error, we’ve spread our wings into artist management for independent rappers, singers etc. with the launch of our subsidiary, Mogul Mindset Entertainment Group. We currently represent three artists in three different states, Wil Akogu (Chicago, IL), JMichael (New York City) and The Vices  featuring Versa (Detroit, MI). We’re booking these artists to perform in various cities over the course of the upcoming months to promote their current and upcoming projects.

Because I just don’t have enough to do already (insert laugh track here), I’m launching my own television content. In Real Live TV  (#IRLTV) is currently in development and will broadcast on the Super Woman Productions and Publishing YouTube Channel and on Amazon. I’ve just completed the casting process for my 4 co-hosts, and I’m reviewing crew applications for the video editor and director of photography positions. More information will be forthcoming on how to become a show guest, when to watch and how to advertise with us.

My goal isn’t to be popular, my goal is to be successful and help others realize their dreams in the process.

I appreciate those who support me, whether they have been witnessing me from the beginning or just discovered me yesterday.

 

They Don’t Want Us To Be Woke

Let’s start with this, so that we’re clear from the onset.

I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence. I am also both woke and aware that sometimes women lie about being victimized by men. Therefore, what I’m about to state isn’t based on my biased emotions because of what I’ve survived. I don’t hate men and I know how to be objective.

If you are a person of color, and you don’t go to see Birth of a Nation, you’re playing yourself and robbing our children of an important moment in American History that is not sugar-coated or watered down.

A jury of his peers found Nate Parker not guilty of raping a woman, whom he had a relationship with, when he was a young, black man (without millions of dollars in the bank) on a sports scholarship in college. Now, as a grown man, Nate Parker is being vilified for that same crime because he successfully made a movie that could have a positive impact on our legacy and the minds of people in this country.

This is not a “I slipped something in her drink/I gave women drugs regularly” situation by any means. Nate Parker has spoken about this incident and never changed his stand on his innocence. Recently he was interviewed by Robin Roberts about the incident. After the interview, The Grio published an article about said interview with a very misleading title in an effort to (obviously) gain readers’ attention.  During the interview with Robin Roberts, Parker was expected to apologize for the rape controversy that recently reemerged and exploded due to the spotlight put onto Birth of a Nation. In my experience as a rape victim, a woman, and a citizen, innocent people, who are proven innocent by a jury, don’t often apologize for a crime they didn’t commit, if they didn’t commit the crime. It is my opinion that mainstream media is attempting to hang Parker with his past, in hopes that no one will go see the movie.

The reality is this: the biggest demographic of movie goers is women. With an estimated annual buying power of $5 trillion dollars, women rule in many areas of importance, regardless of what you may assume.  Therefore, if women are led to believe that Nate Parker committed the crime of rape, even though a jury found him innocent, women will sympathize with the alleged victim, if they too have been violated, or empathize, even if they haven’t, and thereby boycott Birth of a Nation instead of supporting it. Someone somewhere is hoping that on this opening box office weekend, that will be their victory.

Ask yourself this one question if you think I’m blowing smoke:

If Parker were in fact guilty of the crime of rape, why bring it to the forefront after he’s already starred in several movies, along with the likes of Denzel Washington?

I’ll tell you why. Birth of a Nation isn’t just going to be in movie theaters across the country or the world. There’s an educational curriculum developed around the film to put it into school districts as well. If our next generation isn’t led to believe that slaves were happy being enslaved and are instead taught the truth about what slavery was, introduced to more stories about how slavery impacted the country the live in, they are more likely to have a higher sense of self, civic responsibility and concern about civil rights as it relates to themselves and other people of color. 

The rape case that ended with a not guilty verdict is being used as a distraction. If Nate Parker was a White man, putting out this same movie, the crime he WASN’T found guilty of committing, wouldn’t be a topic of any conversation at all…. anywhere. I urge you to make a decision to educate yourself about a pivotal figure in African-American history instead of allowing yourself to be influenced by the spin being put on Nate Parker’s past. If you were in his shoes, that is what you’d want.

They don’t want us to be woke. So we need to stay woke.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Get Your Happy -An Open Letter to Single Women 

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I’m not the luckiest woman when it comes to romantic relationships or dating. Although I’m accustomed to being committed, because that’s been the majority of my experience, I’ve had some bad relationships that I had to overcome. Although I enjoying going out, dating has been a serious challenge for me as well. After a couple of stalkers, and too many men who put up facades, it was determined that online dating just isn’t my thing and meeting men in general isn’t always pleasant. 

Instead of doing the “woe is me” single dance, I started intentionally focusing on just being happily single/married to my career. My desire for male companionship has become the last thing I think or care about. Marriage isn’t a goal, it’s an option. And I won’t date a man, or chase a man just to say I “have a man”. I don’t even mind when men assume I’m already in a relationship or married, preventing them from even attempting to date me. I have begun to look at that as a compliment….it means I’m identified as wife material and it helps keep the men who aren’t for me away when they’re unsure of if I’m “taken”, or not. 

I literally can turn men down and not feel any regret. I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I’ve gotten very good at it. I’ve politely said “no thanks” to trips, gifts, dinners, and hotel room keys from a slew of very successful, good looking, and some very famous men, and felt perfectly fine about my decision. *Here comes the grown folks convo.* While other women may think I’m crazy for turning these men away, I know why they show interest in me and more importantly, my p*ssy isn’t what makes me a good woman, therefore, I don’t feel the need to give it to every man who wants it, regardless of his status. Even if a man is genuinely interested in me, it doesn’t change the way I already feel about myself. I know my worth, and no matter how successful, good looking, or famous a man is, my worth isn’t predicated on what he thinks of me at all. I’m not hesitant to let any successful, good looking, or famous man know that “you can Google me, too, bro”, which often, they know already; that is one factor that attracts them to me. 

I can go many of the same places they go and I’m on the same guest lists, so their access doesn’t impress me. I travel, eat at very nice restaurants and wear designer clothes, so offers of plane tickets, handbags and clothes won’t impress me either. Men in my circles grow accustomed to women who fawn over their money, status and material possessions, so when they meet a woman who doesn’t need those things from them, it changes the game and sometimes intimidates them. I’m okay with that. I’m enjoying my life regardless. I’ve found my happy.

I bring this up to say, as women, we have to stop allowing how much we enjoy living life to be determined by how much attention or affection we receive from men. Women “wait” to do things, like traveling, buying jewelry, building/changing their careers, going back to school and buying property, until they “get a man/husband”, while men do whatever they want to do before they get a woman/wife. Too often women will say things like “I want my future husband to buy me a ring/watch/car like this” instead of buying it herself. But a man will see a ring/watch/car he likes and work towards buying it for himself. A woman will say things like “I want to go to Paris/Milan/Ibiza for my honeymoon”, but a man will go to Paris/Milan/Ibiza by himself or with the fellas without hesitation anytime he can afford to. 

Too many women limit the amount of living they do because they prioritize having a relationship with a man above living happily. Those same women often become resentful and envious of other women who have learned to live boldly and happily single, doing everything they want to do…. without waiting for a man to join them or facilitate it for them. That creates a strain in the sisterhood when a woman is unhappily single around her friends who are happily single or happily married. Ladies, you are guaranteed to lose a friend, or two, when you’re not happy because you’re single. 

Life is too short to wait on someone else to live it with you. If you don’t start embracing where you are today and start living life fully, as a single woman, you’ll wake up one day regretting all the things you didn’t do or deferred simply because you were single. Get your happy. Most women meet their Boaz while doing something productive and positive to enhance their own happiness in the first place.  

Devon Franklin posted this picture on Instagram, and it inspired this open letter.