Tag Archives: Kardashian

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.

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.

Enjoy Your Success Today

Sometimes I wonder if people want to be successful, or if they just want to be famous.

There are times in someone’s life when they can’t have one without some of the other. However, I observe people who are very successful and they don’t seem to realize it at all. They are seemingly chasing fame instead of celebrating the success they already have and the added success coming their way. The level of success they currently have is spectacular and impressive, and they are already accomplished and awesome, but they are constantly minimizing it themselves and their success because they desire to have fame and a lot fans. Having fame and fandom on any level isn’t at all what it’s cracked up to be. Being famous involves a lot of responsibility that many people truly can’t handle. Sometimes being famous can actually destroy your success.

Success requires work, sacrifice and maintenance. Remember all of those college classes you took and that student loan debt for those degrees? That was work. Remember all of the friends you lost and relationships that failed because you were studying or working? What about the long days and nights you spend striving towards meeting a deadline? Those are sacrifices. Think about your continuing education or leadership classes, conferences and networking events you attend. That is maintenance.

Fame is fleeting and unpredictable; it can help, but it can also hinder. Fame also has limitations. Everyone has different gifts and talents when they come into this world that makes them unique and contributes to the quality of their lives. When you are aware of what your gifts and talents are you can use them towards being a success, instead of trying to emulate others. Everyone won’t be a famous author. I know this because I receive phone calls and emails from people who haven’t completed a manuscript. Everyone won’t be a YouTube sensation overnight or at all. Yet daily people invest a great deal of time in doing so. Every woman with curves won’t become the next Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose, but on a daily basis women strike a pose on Instagram in hopes of being discovered. Becoming famous for most people who do isn’t about their gifts or talent. They are dependent on societal trends and timing. Without that fame formula coming in to play for them, we’d never have heard of them at all. Years from now we won’t remember most of those famous individuals for anything meaningful, if we remember them at all.

I’ve learned that you can’t reach the next level of anything in your life or career if you don’t appreciate where you are currently at. Appreciate the success you have today, no matter how small you may think it is. There’s something to be said for having gratitude in your current situation. There’s a lesson in this moment of your life that you need to learn in order to elevate to the next level.

Even if your name is never in lights on a marquee, strive to be success in your life, not famous. Success comes in various forms. For many people success is being able to pay their bills on time, feed their children and help others in their communities. Success for some people is never going before a judge or having their children go to college. Success for some people is having an opportunity to go a job they love everyday. Success is what the people who matter in your life will remember you for when you are gone.

Gratitude is extremely powerful and pushes you closer to your purpose in this world. Be grateful for what you have in your life and career today. Change your perspective and begin working towards improving upon the success you have without expecting to become famous for it. Your life will be more fulfilling and you will be happier when you do.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Russell Simmons Doesn’t Know My Name

Sometimes I forget all of the things I’m capable of writing. Even though I constantly receive rejection from online news publications and magazines who claim they are looking for writers who are able to write about a variety of subjects or one subject specifically, I know that I’m a damn good writer. I know how to research a subject thoroughly. I know how to add statistical information without making the work boring and I can add humor when needed to keep it from being too serious. I know how to make people think, whether they agree with me or not. I know things about writing that you don’t learn in school. Things you can only learn from experience and by being given the gift.  

I’m working so diligently at trying to find a place to showcase my abilities to the rest of the world, that I forgot that I’ve already been published by GlobalGrind.com. I wrote two articles in 2010 in hopes of acquiring a long term freelance position as a blogger with the company. Unfortunately, GlobalGrind.com has since decided to no longer enlist the aid of “average” individuals to write blogs and have recruited celebrities to write blogs about themselves and each other. In a way, some would argue that I still qualify (as a celebrity), but Russell Simmons doesn’t know my name, therefore, I’m not a celebrity (yet). But that doesn’t bother me at all.  

That’s pretty much how it is. If people don’t know you, they aren’t often willing to take you seriously. They won’t meet with you and they won’t take the time to find out about you. You have to be “popular”, like a Kardashian. It’s called name recognition. I’m concentrating more on Brand recognition. I think that is better in the long run. It lasts longer and is often missed more if it disappears. I don’t want to be known for just one thing (writing erotic fiction), which is why I blog on this website. I want to be known as the masthead for a diverse media brand. The more exposure I’m able to obtain the better it is for The Brand, but at the same time, everything isn’t a part of the Master’s Plan. My route to success if going to be harder than that of someone who happened to fall into success overnight or by being discovered.

I’ve started on my novel “He’s A Problem” and on “The Goodie Bag II“. But I’m taking a short break from literary fiction to write spec scripts for television shows. I will pick up where I left off on “He’s A Problem” and “The Goodie Bag II” soon. That the power of being the boss; I can change my own deadlines. I’ve got a ton of ideas for stage plays and movie scripts as well. Plus a notebook full of book topics. There’s enough talent and creativity bottled up inside of me to keep Super Woman Productions and Publishing in business for years and years to come. I’m just waiting on people to notice. I’m also waiting for us to begin to use the technology that we buy to do more than update our Facebook status.  

As I read the “rejection” emails from entities like Examiner.com, I realize that I’m not being rejected by them. They are being rejected by me. They aren’t ready for me. They aren’t the catalyst necessary to further my purpose. They will one day become nonexistent because they are not an example of diversity. They are the same thing, recycled in a slightly different package. A year ago, I attended a technology conference where there were only three African Americans in the whole room. And we were all women. The conference gave highlights and previews of what I’m seeing come to fruition in today’s technology marketplace and online environment, including the implementation of Google+. I integrated Google+ into this website even prior to having my Google account upgraded. That’s called forward thinking.   

Instead of being the next trending topic or dying fad, I’m striving to break the molds. All of them. Repeatedly. From the screen on your smart phone to the motion picture screen. I encourage people to open their minds as they follow me on this journey. The Super Woman Brand will become more than what you’ve seen so far and more than you’ve seen from others in the industry. Russell Simmons doesn’t know my name today. But one day soon, he will want to.

In the meantime, check out the two articles I wrote for GlobalGrind.com last year by clicking the links below.  

I Ain’t Mad At Nicki Minaj  

The Case for King James