Tag Archives: Rolling Out Magazine

Detroit: Urban Feel, Small Town Appeal, Big Possibilities

This weekend I was given the privilege of attending The Fuller Woman Expo at the St. Regis Hotel. I’ve always wanted to attend this expo in the past, but was unable to due to conflicts in my schedule. This year, I was allowed to cover the event for this blog and for my Entertainment and Lifestyle Report on The Blaqe Rocket Blast. On Saturday, in a sizable banquet room at the St. Regis Hotel, vendors, entrepreneurs and attendees gathered to hear workshops, panel discussions, ask questions, network with each other, buy from each other, listen to the phenomenal comedienne and actress, Kim Coles and see a fashion show.

Vendors who were present include Von Stiff Clothing, Endless Chic, SoZo-eme (who makes a delicious smelling shea butter based body scrub), Steffie Kakes (her six flavor sock it to me cake is sinful), Tricia’s Simple Treasures, Queen Grace Collection, Pheline, Gi”Amour Women’s Accessories and I’m Pretty 2 Cutting Edge Jewelry.  Model Allison McGevna provided attendees with tips on how to safely and professionally navigate the modeling industry. She discussed the kinds of modeling jobs available, including fit modeling, print and editorial modeling, and e-commerce modeling. She informed the ladies in the audience to make sure that they are aspire to model for the right reasons and not to attain self validation because the industry will “chew you up, spit you out and run you over“. Allison emphasized that it’s important to refrain from sending pictures of yourself in sexy (or sexually explicit) poses to agencies if you want to become a clothing model. Sexy pictures won’t get you the modeling jobs with Macy’s, Target or other clients in that market. Allison’s body of work is extensive, including modeling for Apple Bottom and Baby Phat. She even discussed wearing clothes that make you look good regardless of your size or shape.

The “body positive” event included a discussion panel moderated by The Fuller Woman Expo’s Executive Producer, Cassy Jones-McBryde, featuring Lorna Litz Baez (Curvy Girls Nuvo TV/plus size model), Stephanie Penn, (Daily Venus Diva Magazine), Georgia Greenwood, Creator/Canadian Director of The Fuller Woman Expo and Marina Zelner, President and CEO of Queen Grace Collection.

I also had the pleasure of being a special invited guest for the Detroit CEO Magazine Launch Event, Saturday evening at the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel. Let me preface this by saying, I didn’t know what being a special invited guest would entail. Remember, I’m new to being a “celebrity“, so I still hear people say things about me and I look around the room and wonder who they are talking about. I’m extremely excited about the possibilities that Lacretia L. Rogers is bringing to our city with her magazine.

Now you may be thinking, “Super Woman, we already have a bunch of magazines in the city of Detroit, so what makes her’s different/special/better/worthwhile?” Let me say this: there are a lot of magazines here, Ambassador Magazine, Crain’s Detroit Business, Uptown Detroit and others. However, one thing that erks me about these other magazines is that they primarily feature individuals based solely on their name recognition or net worth. Yes, I said it. If you’re not rich, already on the cover of everyone else’s magazines, in politics or sports, you may never make it into those magazines. They often overlook people doing something tremendous simply because they have yet to hear of them.

Not to offend anyone, but several of our local magazines are simply popularity contests in print format. They miss the mark when it comes to introducing their readers to something or someone new, right in their own city. But there are thousands of people who deserve to be mentioned. You can almost take the city of Detroit map, throw a dart and hit an area occupied by someone doing something spectacular anywhere on it. I believe that Detroit CEO Magazine will be the mechanism for more business owners and operators to become familiar with each other and for the public to become familiar with them as well.

Detroit is a city where many people know each other but at the same time, don’t know as many people as they should. We are tremendously blessed to have a lot of talented individuals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and businesswomen in Detroit. We need events like The Fuller Woman Expo to continue to be successful so that we can all become more exposed to them. We need Detroit CEO Magazine to highlight the individuals that we may not have heard about so that we can bring our economy back into the black by supporting their businesses. I truly believe that if you don’t take a step outside your door to meet others, you will miss someone truly worth meeting.

I’m thankful for all the publications that have included little ol’ me inside their pages (Rolling Out Magazine, Front Page Detroit, Who’s Who In Black Detroit), even though I haven’t been nominated for an Emmy yet. When I reach that point in my life, they get first dibs on writing about me again. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to give them something positive to write about.

I encourage you as readers, members of society, women of color and every other demographic that you fit, to become more familiar with Detroit, its people, its businesses and what it has to offer. If you don’t reside in Detroit, please come visit us. Don’t believe everything you see on the news or read in the papers. Come and find out for yourself what we have to offer and make an informed decision based on your experience, not based on the fears that the media perpetuates.

Detroit is the birthplace of soul music, fashion and automobiles. That is our history and our legacy. There are many people here doing the right thing to continue moving that legacy forward in a positive way. Lend them your support and our city will make the resurgence that it is capable of.

Judging A Book By Its Cover

I get a lot of flack for my photographs and book cover. People think the photos are too sensual, too sexy, pornographic and all types of ridiculous things depending on their own standards. People assume I’m peddling sex or that I’m a stripper, or worse, that I’m one of those women who randomly tags people into her bathroom booty pictures on Facebook. They assume that I’m ignorant, uneducated, that I have low morals, that I’m an attention whore and that I don’t believe in, respect or love God. They seem to forget that God made the human body and that some of the most famous artwork in the world consists of the human body shown nude. I receive the most criticism from people who say they are Christians. I find it all very interesting. I’m a walking, living, breathing social experiment watching the world and how it reacts simply because it judges a book by its cover instead of reading the pages.

Recently an article was written about me by Yvette Caslin for Rolling Out Magazine with a very provocative title. The title is a definite attention getter and I love it. If a person only reads the title, they will make several assumptions about it and the content of the article. That title will either persuade them to read the article or it will dissuade them from reading the article. However, without actually reading the article, people will likely make the wrong assumption. Someone who read the article, and had seen my book prior but didn’t buy it, said to me that after reading the article they feel completely different about my book than they did before. What they had done prior was look that the book cover of my book, read the title of my book, and made a determination that it wasn’t worth their time, energy, effort or money to purchase. She probably assumed I was a younger, (single) woman who had written a tell-all book about all of the raunchy, nasty, dirty sex I had previously had with random men (ala Karrine Steffans). Now, after reading the article in Rolling Out Magazine, this person can’t wait to buy a copy of my book so she can enhance her relationship with her husband.

It’s not unusual for anyone to judge a book by its cover. We’ve all done it at some point towards someone else. A lot of it is our biases which develop because of our experiences, our social environment, our personal views, and our upbringing. Anyone who says they’ve never formed an opinion about someone without knowing them is dishonest. Even if for a split second, everyone has done it. Some people just do it more often and more to the extreme than others. If you dislike someone without ever having personal interaction with that person, and you can’t clearly verbalize a logical explanation for your dislike of that person (i.e. she looked at me funny/she thinks she’s cute), it’s likely you are judging a book by its cover. Although this occurs in society as a whole, it is constant behavior among women. So many woman have “disliked” me for unexplainable reasons. Those who have taken the time to actually get to know me, discover that I am nothing like they “thought” I was. Unfortunately, very few people take the opportunity to get to know someone prior to forming an opinion about them from afar. It would be nice if that weren’t the case.

There’s a woman I see often in passing. Until yesterday, I didn’t know her name or anything about her. All I knew about her was that she never spoke to me or smiled when she and I would pass each other, regardless of how pleasantly I said hello, attempted to make eye contact with her or how big my smile was. Eventually, I began to feel rejected, as anyone would, and I stopped making an effort to speak to her. I felt it was a waste of time and energy because she would never reply to me. She’s not the first woman to not speak to me. Believe it or not, it’s a regular occurrence in my life for women to behave this way towards me. [My personal defense mechanism is to ignore them everytime they are anywhere near me. That method may not be best for everyone, but it prevents me from becoming annoyed by something I have no control over.] After having more recent interaction with this particular woman, I discovered that she had some personal conflicts in her life that were taking a stressful toll on her. Having been in a similar situation in my life before, I now sympathize with her instead of thinking she’s just an angry and rude woman. Although her situation doesn’t excuse her behavior (and she may very well be both angry and rude), now knowing that she’s going through drama in her personal life allows me to no longer judge her harshly based on a brief encounter with her. She’s human and she’s allowed to have some bad days. I have my bad days, too. Being Super Woman is hard work and it’s stressful. It would be nice if this woman didn’t take her bad days out on anyone else, but I can’t control that. The only think I can control is whether or not I judge her without taking the time to get to know her. I’m not saying she and I will become friends, but the next time I speak and she doesn’t, I won’t feel rejected and I won’t think poorly of her as a result. She’s not just a book cover to me now.

Every book written isn’t the sum of its cover. There are pages inside of books for a reason. The pages are there to tell the story. Sometimes a book cover is just a pretty picture utilized to grab your attention and nothing more. Sometimes a book cover gives you a brief visual idea of what the book is about. And sometimes a book cover has nothing to do with the content on the pages. Take the time to read the book for yourself and form your own opinion based on what you read, not just what you see on the cover. You may find that if you take the time and effort to do so, it may change how you react to things in your life in general.