Monday, June 30, 2014

BET Awards 2014: Not One Damb Was Given

If this is your first time visiting my blog, I would like to welcome you with a "Yaaaaaaaaasssssssssssss" in my Reginae (Lil Wayne's daughter) voice as I shake my hand in a sporadic motion.  Usually, I write the highlights of the show.  However, sometimes words are just not enough.  So I would let others express my emotions for me:

Every time Chris Rock Clowned Rick Ross or T.I. or Solange 

When August Alsina was giving us faux tears during his acceptance speech

How excited I get to when I see Nicki Minaj looking like a human

The girl is gorgeous!

How I looked when dancing to Lionel Richie's All Night Long

When my SISTAH, J-Hud, was bringing back the new Walk It Out

When I didn't know who any of the groups were in the Rap Group Category

When Young Money gave there acceptance speech

When Phylicia Rashaad came out to give a tribute to Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou

When I saw the it was passed my bedtime and the show was still going on 

Every year when it's time to present the Best Female Rapper award and you know Nicki Minaj is going to win it

When Nicki Minaj said she wasn't throwing shade

That Beyonce and Jay Z "performance"

As always I had an awesome time watching the awards along with #BlackTwitter and if you want to follow me during any award show, you can find me at @ebonymariere.  

Special shoutout to and for the awesome GIFs.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What You Didn't Learn from Maya Angelou's Memorial Service

This past Saturday was the Memorial Service of the great American poet, Maya Angelou.  As someone who has always had a hard time with funerals, I was not sure I was going to watch.  However, I put my big girl panties on and tuned in to the stream.  As I watched the stream online I couldn’t help but feel a certain way.   

When I joined the stream Oprah was stepping up to speak.  I was not surprised Oprah was on program because everybody knows that when it comes to Oprah it’s Gail, Maya Angelou, and Stedman… in that order.  I was ready to hear about the amazing life and times of Dr. Maya Angelou, but what I got instead was the most narcissistic eulogy ever.  Oprah repeatedly told stories about how Angelou would often remind her [Oprah] of how great she was.  She spoke about her school in Africa.  She told Maya that the school would be legacy.  Oprah so proudly told the grieving audience that the great poet told her that the school was not her legacy but her show, her show’s guests, and the audience themselves were her legacy.  How humble of Oprah to let everyone know that Maya Angelou knew Oprah was a legend.  And don’t get me started on how she ended her speech plugging a project she is working on called Salem and Maya told her it’s going to be awesome. 

After Bebe Winans shared a story about how the talented, late literary told him his family was great, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke.    She did talk about how the poem Phenomenal Woman helped her to realized that black women are beautiful too.  However, also Mrs. Obama told us that her mother commanded that she be at the service.  She let us know that she started from the bottom, coming from the south side of Chicago and moving into the White House.  Oh, and she reminded us that her husband is the first African American President of the United States. 
Then the First Lady shared an experience about Maya speaking at one of Barack’s campaign rallies.  This story had promise.  In the story, Maya strolled into the campaign rally like she owned the place.  After her speech, she spoke briefly with Michelle.  Now Michelle can’t remember what she said but apparently it was so profound that it provided her with some extra confidence.  If Maya Angelou told me something in Chinese it would be burned in my memory forever. 

Where were the eulogies about Maya’s life and accomplishments.   Where was the story about  Maya Angelou’s early years struggling as a single mother to keep food on the table for her son, Guy.  How she studied dance while working as a short order cook.  Where was the inspiration story about how in the mid 50’s, Ms. Angelou toured Europe performing the stage play, Porgy and Bess.  I wanted to hear how Maya Angelou being an actress, director, dancer, and writer of more poems than just Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise has inspired little girls around the world to be better people.  I admit that Oprah and Michelle have plenty of accolades but this was not about them.  It was not about Oprah’s school in Africa or Michelle’s journey to the White House.  It should have been about one of our country’s greatest writers.  Disappointedly, it was not. 

I told you she wrote more than one book
I might be in the minority but I was not satisfied with this Memorial Service.  I felt it was more about the guest list than it was about Maya Angelou.  For anyone wanting to know about the beautiful writer, I would advise you to read beyond I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  Do research on her and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  And then you will understand what a national treasure that we lost. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why I Consider the Scale Satan

I have been trying to be healthier.  My job consists of telling women to be healthier so I rather not live my life as a hypocrite.  Mind you, I have been chubby all my life so my weight has been a challenge for as long as I can remember.  In the last year, I have had an epiphany: 
Satan get behind me and take the scale with you.

I rebuke you in the name of Jesus
So when I started my healthier lifestyle, I decided that I would not check the scale weekly.  You might be asking, how can you know your progress if you don’t weigh yourself? You’ll recall the first line of this post said that I’m trying to be healthier not skinnier.  I have never wanted to be skinny.  I wanted to be accepted for who I am.  I don’t want the “you’re pretty to be big” or the “you’re still pretty regardless of your weight” speech.  I know!  When you’re giving a full figured woman this “pep talk” all you are doing is reminding her that something is wrong.  I would prefer that my weight not be up for discussion. I have a policy that if you’re not being paid my HMO than my weight is not your issue.

Who run the world?  Healthy Girls
By getting on the scale weekly, I’m setting myself up to have a good week or a crappy week.  I will either jump up and down over the weight I’ve lost or feel like a complete failure.  Who has time to go through that emotional rollercoaster week after week?  I most certainly don’t.  What I do instead is set up mini goals for myself like I’m going to walk/jog three times a week, eat out only on Fridays with friends, or eat a green vegetable twice a week.  By doing this, I know that I’m making small changes that could make a huge impact on my overall health.  I’m not beating myself up on why I only lost 1 pound or zero pounds.  Our bodies are crazy sometimes and don’t always do what we want them to do.  I don’t want to be depressed for the rest of the week because my body decided to be stubborn and not shed any pounds.

I also didn’t want to define myself by a number that appeared on the scale.  For too long, I would weigh myself and let that number linger in my mind.  All the while feeling like I was not losing enough.  I would think about that number all week.  If I slipped up and ate a snack cake, I would see that number increasing in my mind.  It would remind me why I was shopping in the plus size section.  I could see it as I would inhale trying to put on a pair of jeans.  That number on the scale would cause me anxiety.  I got tired of letting a 3 digit number make me feel worthless.  I wasn’t Ebony.  I was such and such pound Ebony.  I no longer wanted to live that way.

I wanted to be happy with who I was while I was in transition.  I wanted to look in the mirror and love the person I saw knowing that I was making lifestyle changes to become a better Ebony.  I refused to let a battery-operated machine dictate to me what my worth was.  When I started to think like this I found happiness.  I saw the beauty in myself. I loved being a woman. 

If you are on a weight-loss journey, I would advise that you abort that journey and get on a healthier you journey.  When you are on weight-loss journey, you are fixated on a number and you are giving that number power.  When you are working on health, you are the one with the power.  You’re deciding what changes need to be made and making them.  You are setting goals you want to set and seeing the fruits of your labor.  You realize that your health is not about your jean size but about how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.  

The Struggle: Black and Introverted

There is a very distinct stereotype of a black woman: loud, wearer of long Brazilian hair weaves or quick weaves, frequent shopper of Forever 21, and avid watcher of Love & Hip Hop.  I admit that I can be loud.  I have worn a few quick weaves.  When I’m going for a trendy look I stop by Forever 21.  I don’t fools with Love & Hip Hop, but I will clear my Sunday evenings for the Real Housewives of Atlanta.  So, yea, I fit some of the criteria of the stereotypical black woman.  Before you attack me in the comment section, I know this stereotype doesn’t describe every black woman.  We have a variety of hobbies, interests, talents, and personalities.  However, there is one thing that makes me feel like I stick out like a sore thumb when I amongst black women: I’m introverted.

This isn't just me posing... this is my ultimate introvert face: pondering or daydreaming about something
Black women are supposed to be the life of the party, office, or any other group setting.  Do you know how disappointing white people are when I’m in the office and I would rather read a book during lunch than twist my neck and trash talk about the crazy customers we had that morning?  I don’t mind having a good time but to be honest sometimes I just want to hang back in the cut.  I don’t want to start the electric slide or any other line dance at the office party or wedding. 

I HATE small talk.  I understand that it is a part of our social norms so I have sucked it up and have tried to be a better at it.  But for the most part I rather not talk about the weather or who was eliminated on The Bachelor.  I also don’t want to small talk about what went down at Thirsty Thursdays or First Fridays.  I have never been a club person.  Getting dressed up to stand shoulder to shoulder in a room with dangerously loud music has never appealed to me.  So it’s challenging for me to have a convincing, casual conversation about how Kesha showed up in the same white peplum dress as you and how she ain’t sh*t for speaking to you while wearing it.  I love having purposeful conversations about how social media has changed our world or should Donald Sterling have to pay the NBA 2.5 million dollars for a private conversation.  You can save the club chronicles for someone else. 

The look on my face when someone is having small talk with me
Black women are supposed to be “down for whatever” or ready to “tell somebody off.”  I, on the other hand, avoid hostile situations.  It’s very rare for me to “go in” because I don’t like someone’s tone of voice.  Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying I’m a punk but I will be so calm when going off that you won’t be sure if I’m telling you off or having a therapy session.  There have been occasions when I wanted to go Nene Leakes on folks but my introvertness won’t let me.  On the inside, I’m throwing tables and Champaign bottles and yelling obscenities but on the outside, my quiet demeanor is telling you to give me my refund before I write a nasty email to your regional manager and have you written up for insubordination. 

It has taken time for me to be comfortable with being a different type of black woman.  At 26, I have accepted that this is who I am and I’m going to probably be like this into my old age.  I’m might not know who Yandi is or how to read someone but if you want to have a deep conversation about the authenticity of Beyonce’s feminism then I’m your girl. 

Where my introvert sistas? Leave a line in comment section.  

Deebo Baby

Last week, I watched a video, not once, not twice, but 30 times.  And I cackled louder each time (sorry to my surrounding neighbors).  This video is what I have titled Deebo Baby:

Whose devil baby is this and why is he so angry?  Had the person that was filming been antagonizing him and he snapped?  Who forgot to warm up his bottle?  And he is hella strong.  That first lick sounded like it left a bruise on homegirl’s arm.  He probably got strength behind that hit from that running head start.  Those little legs were fast. But that look at the end was what made me hit the floor.  He gave that “I wish I you would…” look.

First I got to let my inner-black momma out:

I wish a child would put his hands on me.  No child I give birth to will hit me once or twice.  Baby boy would have caught the back of my hand before he made it across that room.  If any child living in my house run up on me he better hit me in the knee and immobilize me because when I get a hold of him it’s going down *in my Kevin Hart voice.  If you bold enough to ball your fists up, you better knock me out cold with the first hit because that will be the last hit.  You won’t have to worry about losing your baby teeth one by one because you are losing all of them in that very moment as soon as that little fist makes contact.  And why you at it fix your face before I fix for you.

But who he mad at though?
Deebo Baby was not ready for bedtime and he wanted homegirl to know it.  And just in case she wasn’t sure, he gave her the Ike Turner-eye to remind her.  I can only imagine him at daycare, punking all the kids for their juice boxes and napping mats.  These kids are out of control in 2014 and Deebo Baby is leading the pack. 

What would you do if you met Deebo Baby in an alley?