Tag Archives: women

Don’t Let the Likes Fool You

We live in an age where social media is prevalent. It’s not going away no more than the Internet it lives on is, and everyday it becomes larger than the previous day. Social media is truly embedded into our culture and how we communicate with each other. That can be both good and bad. It can be good because social media allows us to communicate with people that we may normally have not had access to because of distance and language barriers. There are also many other benefits to social media; such as the ability for businesses to reach a global consumer base and relatives to stay in contact from miles away.

Unfortunately, one of the down sides to social media is the impact it has on individuals and their self-esteem. A lot of people, adults included, use social media to validate their self-worth in society. Many people only have interaction with others by way of their social media accounts and the strive on a daily basis to make other people “like” them. What they fail to realize is that some of those people liking their content, whether it is photos, memes or statuses, don’t really know or like them as a person and would not ever support their endeavors in the real world where it matters.

For instance, being a radio show host I offer independent artists the opportunity to have their music played on my show. I did this because I was constantly receiving messages with links to YouTube videos from artists asking me to watch, like and share their videos. However, many of those artists weren’t generating revenue from their video content on YouTube. So what’s the point in me liking your art when my ‘like’ is not helping you to make money from your art? To me it was a waste of time. So I offered artists another, more traditional method, by which they could be heard, not just liked. A many of them have stated that they have seen an increase in the number of PAID downloads of their music as a result.

Artists and musicians aren’t the only people impacted. Aspiring models, actors and others are in the same boat. People love the way they look on Instagram and like their pictures on Facebook, but that doesn’t help if those same people aren’t going to see the actors in plays, movies or aren’t watching their television shows, and…. well…. everyone wants to be an Instagram model nowadays, so you can imagine how stiff that competition is. Getting a lot of likes on Instagram doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be booked for the next Dolce & Gabbana, or Macy’s campaign anymore than for the local county fair at this point.

Part of the issue is the façade that big brands portray to consumers as well. When big brands seek partnerships or endorsements, outside of professional athletes and well-known celebrities, they often seek individuals in large part due to the quantity of their social media following more than the quality of their followers, the person’s power to influence those that follow them or their own loyalty to the big brand as a consumer.  This makes everyday social media users and those with dreams of success and stardom believe that they only way to be successful is to have a huge following on social media.

What’s the use if your followers can’t be converted into consumers?

For instance, reality show stars are now being cast in movie roles that actors/actresses fight and train for, simply because they have a larger social media following, but they don’t actually do anything. The movie studios do this because they hope that the reality show star will give them free advertising for their movie. True enough, the advertising is free, but what movie studios fail to realize is that everyone that follows that reality show star on social media isn’t really a loyal fan who would buy a ticket to see them star in a movie.

Being in media has afforded me the opportunity to hear what everyday people honestly think about others. I don’t know what it is but me, but people love to talk to and confide in me. I hear it all the time “I just follow them because I think they are funny/I want to see what people are saying about them; but I’d never spend my money going to see them perform/sing/dance, etc.” And that’s the hard truth that a lot of people don’t know when they have dreams and goals of Instafame.

Consider the newest social media darlings, The Westbrooks. They are being called the black version of the Kardashians. I wouldn’t consider that a compliment personally, but maybe they do. They have millions of combined followers on Instagram and a reality show on a popular cable network. On the show, we get to witness the sisters attempt to do what their father (a successful businessman), suggests they do; monetize their social media following. We also get to see their friends either support their attempts (backyard pool parties) or try to use them for their own attempts at gaining clientele (club openings). Which is probably where the Kardashian comparison comes into play. It seems that the “power” their wield over their social media minions could be used more productively than to endorse hair extensions and pop bottles in nightclubs. They all seem to be intelligent young women, with guidance from their hardworking parents, who didn’t always have it easy, so they understand building success in a more traditional way to acquire longevity.

So why shouldn’t The Westbrooks be able to do something bigger and more impactful with their branding than what everyone else on Instagram is doing?

Time will only tell when it comes to how far things will go for The Westbrooks. They’ll either make change, make waves or be replaced by the next hot group of pretty sisters on the internet. In the meantime, I hope that they serve as a lesson on how fleeting and intrusive Instafame without strategic preparation can be. I also hope that at some point we move away from the façade of what makes people successful and show examples of more men and women using their influence on social media for more than monetization. Those people exist. They may not have millions of followers, but they have quality followers, who are positively impacted by them, myself included. Big brands aren’t paying attention to those types of social media influencers….yet. But that is something that I also hope will change so that being attractive isn’t the only talent left for people to have in order to become successful.
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Real Women Won’t Hold You Back

There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. Women, especially the younger ones under 35, are always crying about men lacking ambition, drive, focus, determination and commitment, but those same women do everything possible to undermine, discourage and sabotage the men who do. They think that being a real woman means having a man. They think that being a good woman means chasing a man. They are even so foolish to think they can get and keep a man by threatening and harassing other women. It never works in their favor, yet they are determined to try.

I feel bad for men who are surrounded by women who themselves don’t want anything more out of life  other than to be “hood”, “liked”  and “ratchet”.

To put it bluntly, there’s a THOT TAKEOVER in progress in this world, and they are doing their best to try to take our promising men down with them. Yes, the thotish behavior of women is negatively impacting the success of men of every generation and will for generations to come if it’s allowed to spread. It’s difficult enough to lay the foundation for our sons to grow up and become strong, decisive, productive members of society, but when you add a thot to the equation, you make the mathematics impossible to solve for any man.

I’m a feminist, who also loves men. No matter how much heartache I’ve had in past relationships, I have a tremendous amount of affection towards the male gender. I have learned a lot about myself and men specifically in many areas of my life because of the men who are and have been apart of it.  It’s not always easy to do, but I can say that because I am not bitter and angry,  like some women, I have built awesome rapports with men personally and professionally. I have the respect of these men because of the kind of woman I am, and the way I conduct myself; not because of how many fans I have, or don’t, and not because of sex.

When it comes to sex, I have no problems being celibate. Keep in mind that I’m not practicing celibacy because I can’t get a man. The problem I’ve always had is that my sex appeal attracts too many men and often they aren’t the kind of men I’d want in my life. It’s the combination of pheromones and the long legs that start at the floor and come all the way up to make an ass out of themselves, that causes me problems with men… or so I’ve been told.

Celibacy is a character, esteem and strength builder.

Celibacy helps me to focus on myself on a deeper level and have a clearer mind so that I will have better discernment when I do decide to date a man. Celibacy shows that I can be sexy without having to have sex. Because of celibacy, I can tell which men are worthy of my time, attention and energy, and which ones are not. Further, because I don’t chase men, I don’t hate on women who have a man, and I don’t compete with thots, I’m self-assured, confident, successful, and I don’t share my body with every good-looking, charming man who wants it. Those are just some of the many characteristics that men actually find attractive about me and other good women in the world. Thots don’t have those qualities going for them. Thots are selfish. They are attention whores who need to be validated at every turn. They like to use a lot of words and can’t say anything meaningful or valuable. They can’t bring anything to the table, not even a pitcher of water because they concentrate more on how cute they are than being smarter or successful. They are braggadocious about their sexuality, and overly aggressive towards men that have absolutely no interest in them because of it.

Men are comfortable with women who don’t try to manipulate them,  who can speak to them like they are adults and allow them to make informed decisions for themselves. Any man who has ever said he didn’t want to pursue a relationship with me wasn’t harassed or belittled. He was set free to do whatever he thought was best for him at that time. Any woman he decided he did want to be with or even showed him attention after me wasn’t harassed by me either. Why? Because I don’t need to prove myself or my womanhood to any one. What does that resolve? Nothing.

In my personal relationships, sometimes men later realize that I may have been the better woman and sometimes they don’t, but they can never say I wasn’t a good woman towards them when they were with me and they can’t say I’m crazy because I can’t handle rejection either. Thots hate rejection. It hurts their feelings because they lack maturity and self-esteem. Thots are quick to attack the next woman in a man’s life, while real women know that they have other options that they can take advantage of.

I learned early on how to be a motivating factor and a supportive woman to a man. It’s not hard, but not everyone can do it either. It’s not about the material things. It’s not about being loud and making it rain in the clubs. It’s not about proving you’re the baddest bitch in a room (that woman doesn’t have to prove anything because everyone else already knows she is). It’s not about cooking a struggle meal or giving good sex either. That’s how thots think.

Real women, grown women, know better.  Grown women know that men mature at different stages, ages and for different reasons. We as women can’t always motivate and nurture men throughout every one of these phases, but we do know that when a man seeks something better for himself of his own accord, he will find and want the woman who will help him accomplish that. He’s not going to give his attention to the woman who is telling him he can’t, he shouldn’t, she doesn’t want him to, or the woman trying to sabotage all of his opportunities and relationships because she fears losing something that wasn’t truly hers to begin with – him. After all, if he was hers, they’d be married and supporting each others dreams and goals.

There’s a vast difference between a good woman who knows how to have a man’s back and a thot who only wants to hold a man back. A thot knows that him moving forward in his life, growing, maturing and becoming successful in spite of her, means that she has no power over him.

Real women don’t seek to have power over men.

Not our husbands, not our sons, not our brothers. We seek to co-exist and partner with men so that we can have a stronger dynamic in this world. There’s so many forces against us already as women, we don’t need to be anymore combative with each other or over any man.

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Stop Body Shaming

There’s too much fat/skinny shaming among women. Everywhere I look women are pointing out each others physical flaws; from Instagram to comments on websites and blogs, there is shade between women who are on either side of the weight scale.

Skinny vs. Plus Sized

I’m neither skinny or plus size, standing at 5’10” in a size 10 dress, size 12 (sometimes for comfort) jeans. I’m in the middle of the debate looking at both sides like Really? I wonder why we can’t just strive to be the HEALTHIEST version of ourselves, regardless of our varying body types or stereotypes associated with them? There are some ‘skinny’ women that can’t walk a half mile without becoming out of breath, just like there are some plus sized women that can run a mile effortlessly. There are people on both sides of the scale eating unhealthy and not getting enough exercise. Why not look in the mirror, go to your doctor and decide what’s best for you personally and work on that? For some women, getting healthier may result in weight loss (smaller), muscle gain (bigger or more toned), improved breathing, better stamina AND a more youthful appearance. And if any of that happens, don’t go sit on the other fence throwing shade and taking shots at other women because they are thinner or bigger than you are. I know what it’s like to be plus sized and struggling to lose the weight. Believe it or not, I had a medical condition at one time in my late 20s and I was a size 16. It took me over 2 years to lose weight and go to a size 12. The one thing I didn’t lose was something I have always had; the curves that create my booty and thighs. I learned to embrace those attributes, instead of making excuses for them or trying to minimize them. My thighs may not rub together as much as someone else’s, but they look good on me. My breasts may not be as big as someone else’s, but they also look good on me. My stomach may not be as flat as someone else’s but it looks good on me, and it’s looking better because I want it to, not because some magazine article, or pretend model on Instagram or a man who isn’t worthy of my attention told me I needed to change it. I’m working to make that personal change because a smaller waist helps me avoid a heart attack with all of the stress in my life and business. That’s my motivation at 40 years old – to avoid dying because of something preventable.

Exercise is for more than looking good.

Exercise reduces stress and the adverse effects of the daily traumas we experience when racists go out and shoot up churches, or people around us are losing jobs and hope. Exercise isn’t a badge you hold over your sisters head because she’s not with you at the gym. All of us as women, need to have better relationships with food, water, exercise, health, and each other. I encourage you to stop letting the Kardashians and other Instafamous nobodies tell you what you should look like, what to inject into or remove from your bodies. Instead, get to know the healthiest version of yourself, not to compete with other women, but because it’s going to improve the quality of your life.

Love yourself and be the healthiest you can, for your own quality of life and longevity. The healthier you are the more you’ll appreciate your individuality, regardless of your shape or size.

Turn Down For What?

Often we go through our lives concerned about what others think to the degree that we diminish ourselves. Too often, women in particular, down play our talents, dumb ourselves down to seem less educated or intelligent and quiet ourselves up to seem less intimidating. There’s that word – intimidating. I’ve heard that a lot  in my life and until I reached my 30s I honestly didn’t understand what it meant. Men often said I was ‘intimidating‘ to them and that’s why it is difficult for men to ask me out or commit to a relationship with me. I thought it meant I was doing something wrong. I later came to the realization that wasn’t the case. In fact what I grew to understand was that

Strong Women Only Intimidate Weak Men ~ Dr. Farrah Gray 

Recently, the extremely talented Mo’Ne Davis was verbally attacked  on Twitter by a male college student who called her a “slut” because he was jealous of her.  Yes, jealous. That was his motivation whether he would admit it or not. He didn’t like that Mo’Ne Davis was shining brightly, so he called her a “slut” on social media in an attempt to take her down a notch and throw shade at her. He wanted Mo’Ne to turn down so he could build himself up. His envy of her success drove him to behave like a jealous person does – ignorantly – and he lost his opportunity in return. Mo’Ne, being the exceptional young woman that she is, forgave him, asked his college to reinstate him and publicly stated;

“Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV. But sometimes you got to think about what you’re doing before you do it.

I admire her forgiveness, however, I have issue with her saying “I know people get tired of seeing me on TV” and here’s why:

As women, in general we turn our light, our shine, and our accomplishments down too much, too often and to make other people feel better about themselves just because they want to see our light lessened.  We do it in the work place, we do it at social events, we do it at family reunions and we do it with the men in our lives. As a result, we are paid less and disrespected more. We shouldn’t do this to ourselves, each other or teach other young women, like Mo’Ne, that they should either. If being successful in any shape, form or field results in others feeling envious of you, that isn’t your fault and it isn’t something you should apologize for. You shouldn’t stop doing the great things you are doing in your life or career because someone feels intimidated. You can’t control other people feeling jealous of you. You don’t have to lessen yourself to build others up. If a person’s jealousy doesn’t motivate them to do better for themselves, that’s entirely too bad for them.

I no longer care about how intimidated someone else feels when it comes to my appearance, my success, my intelligence, my height or anything else that makes other people feel ‘some type of way‘ when I enter a room or express myself.  Especially not a man. That is their issue to resolve, not mine. I will continue to be the amazing woman I am and anyone, man or woman, who can’t handle it doesn’t have to stand in my sunshine. They can go find a dark shadow to lurk under. And if Mo’Ne Davis was my daughter, I’d tell her the same thing.

The next time you encounter a situation where someone is attempting to diminish your shine, say this to yourself until you feel it resonate within yourself like the sun itself

I shine brightly, I am intelligent, I am successful, I am happy, I am beautiful, I am self assured, I am gifted, I am talented, I am loved. I live within my purpose, and I strive for personal greatness, so turn down for what? 

 

IWD – It’s Not What You May Think

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today we celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women from all around the world, past and present. Today we also reflect and advocate on behalf of women’s issue and gender equality and social equity.

At Super Woman Productions and Publishing we contribute to International Women’s Day by hosting the only official IWD event in Michigan each March 8, called Women’s Day Tea. This year isn’t any different. However, for the first year this year, I ran into a small roadblock. In Detroit, I’m accustomed to people being behind in receiving and sharing information. I’m also accustomed to people not being receptive to something that is different from what they typically know about or are exposed to. Detroit isn’t the most innovative place in the world, like it once was.  It takes time for people to understand the value of something “different”.  Although I’m accustomed to these factors, I don’t accept them and I find ways to work around them.

This year, however, I received a lot of inquiries from women business owners whose only interest in Women’s Day Tea was to be a vendor at the event. I literally received messages on social media, by phone and email asking if there were any vendor tables left for the event. They didn’t seem to understand that vending wasn’t the purpose of the event and that I only offer four vendor tables to create an added feature and opportunity for women-business owners in Detroit, that would help them to meet and interact with other successful women in hopes it will encourage them and help them economically. Most of the women who contacted me by phone immediately dismissed me (practically hanging up on me) when I told them that vendor tables were sold out, and they didn’t allow me an opportunity to invite them to attend. Women who contacted me by email, didn’t accept my invitation to attend and responded with “let me know next time you have an event with vendors”.  Very disappointing.

When I vented about this sudden upswing of women business owners only wanting to be vendors at events and not understanding the importance of IWD as a whole, someone had the audacity to suggest that I should just turn the event into a vending event since so many people seem to want that and, in essence, just take the women’s money since they didn’t know any better.  That’s not the type of business woman I am and that does not contribute to the purpose of IWD.

In my post event surveys from Women’s Day Tea for two prior years, attendees stated that the event vendors were not the primary reason they attended the event or would attend again. Those who attend, attend to celebrate the purpose of International Women’s Day more than they attend to buy products from vendors at the event. In fact, their attendance still supports women-owned businesses, and attendees network with each other and hopefully support each others’ businesses and community projects after the event concludes. So, if my paying attendees have an understanding of the goal of the event and attend because of that goal, why would I want to shift the focus to please those who don’t have an understanding? I wouldn’t. And there are thousands of other events all over Michigan, throughout the year, if women want to buy a vendor table for a few hours or an entire day. I stuck to my guns. I did not turn Women’s Day Tea into a vending event or expo.

As a result this is what happened:

I received an email from an internet television program asking if they could cover the event; they now have a level of exclusivity and “bragging rights” because they get to cover the only official International Women’s Day event in MichiganWalt Disney Pictures contacted me and asked if they can send representatives to give away promotional items to the event attendees. Of course I said ‘yes‘ and it may turn into future business opportunities with Walt Disney Pictures. At the last-minute, for online ticket sales, tickets were still selling. I woke up this morning to emails from women asking if they can pay at the door.

At 6 pm today, Women’s Day Tea will take place as planned. The ladies who attend today will have a delicious and fun time, receive gifts and giveaways, network and celebrate the purpose of International Women’s Day with one another. Selected women in attendance will be awarded as #MakeItHappen honorees. Those women who opted not to attend Women’s Day Tea because they only wanted to be a vendor, have unfortunately lost out on opportunities to be vendors at the I Feel Good! Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference in August at Wayne State University, where we have up to 20 vendor tables available.  I have learned that sometimes passing up one opportunity because it doesn’t fit what you think it should, results in other missed opportunities. I truly wish more women in Detroit would realize that. That’s today’s lesson on being short-sighted, I suppose.