#NOMAKEUP

Soulful, raspy, sensual, humble, curvaceous, stylish, humanitarian, mogul, actress, pianist, director, singer, and mother, are just some of the words used to describe the one and only, Alicia Keys.

She stole our hearts at the peak of the 2000’s with Fallin’ and kept leading us on with songs like Diary, You Don’t Know My Name, No One, and Girl on Fire. She’s taken a break, started a family, begun directing plays, began fighting for human rights, and somehow in between it all she still managed to make music. It seems that she has a new sound and a new outlook on life based on one of her newest singles, “In Common”. It’s a fresh take on a new love. The song talks about the joys, surprise and worry that someone could possibly love her and accept her for who she is.

One of her newest mantras is the no makeup movement. In the world of today, with no shortage of hip, butt, and lip injections, breast augmentations, skin bleaching, weaves, and makeup it’s no surprise that our girls are beginning to look like full blown women at such a young age. Makeup and the other assets is something women indulge in for various reasons, whether it be simple self-expression or possibly concealing a flaw they may not like, but as a young child turning on the television or even going to the store, seeing everyone dolled up, with extreme curves…I can only imagine going through puberty during this epidemic. Now more than ever, seeing these things could lead the youth to develop low self-esteem, absence of confidence among other things with no one to look up to. Thanks to Alicia Keys and many other women in the industry, we can finally find some inspiration for our girls instead of weeding out all the celebrities.

Alicia Keys published a piece in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter and made several statements that really made me stop and think.

“Does it start somewhere in second grade after picture day when you wear your frizzy hair out ’cause your mama says it’s beautiful but all your “friends” laugh at you?”

Deny as we may, we’ve all had this feeling. Our outfit wasn’t the best, our shoes weren’t the newest, we might’ve been “late bloomers”, we may have had to wear braces, might’ve had acne, our voice may have been a bit funny sounding, our hair wasn’t the longest or straightest, and our skin wasn’t the smoothest or lightest-as society has taught us, or it might’ve just been a bad day and we forgot to care about how we look for others sake.

“You grab the brush and gel and pull your beautiful big hair back into the tightest ponytail you possibly can to contain your unique hair in a bun — hiding a piece of who you are in order to fit into a picture of what others seem to see as perfection.”

I can remember in elementary school seeing movies like Clueless or Bring it On, and even seeing celebrities like Aaliyah and Beyoncé and looking up to them, in a sense kind of wanting to be them, because they’re so beautiful and must live an awesome life. I can remember in high school, if you didn’t have the new Jordan’s, a pair of True Religions, a designer purse, the most “laid” sew in…. well, you know the rest. At such a young age it’s instilled in us, somehow, that we need to look like this, have this, do this, talk like this, walk like this, etc.

“Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal, and heaven forbid if you’re plus-size. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked.”

I wish I could’ve included the entire article because it was so raw and real. The stigma that Alicia Keys along with many everyday women experience is real! There are many who like putting on a “face” simply because they like it and there are also those who really struggle with their inner happiness and acceptance. They’re not curvy enough so they have to get injections, their butts are a little flatter than some so why not pump it up, lips aren’t as full as her’s: Botox! The list goes on and on. One problem I’ve identified is that we can find 1,000 flaws, but can’t seem to recognize 10 beauties. Alicia Keys wrote a song, “When a Girl Can’t Be Herself”. The lyrics are inspiring: In the morning from the minute that I wake up , What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup, Who says I must conceal what I’m made of , Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem. After receiving so much flack at the recent VMA’s, Alicia Keys tweeted, “Y’all, choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!”.  It seems as though people were confused. Alicia simply means that she no longer wants makeup to be her go-to when it comes to being beautiful. She doesn’t want to feel obligated to plaster it on before she leaves the house. She also doesn’t want to put anyone down if they do choose to indulge in it.

The key is self-worth, confidence, and acceptance. Be unashamed, proud, and unapologetic. If you like it wear it, if you want it get it, but if you’re not happy with yourself then you’ll never be able to accept you for you. TLC may have been the best to say it:

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow

You can fix your nose if he says so

You can buy all the make up

That M.A.C. can make

But if you can’t look inside you

Find out who am I too

Be in the position to make me feel

So damn unpretty

I’ll make you feel unpretty too

Let’s follow in Alicia Keys’ footsteps and set an example for others, including our youth.  Here’s a link to the full article. http://www.lennyletter.com/style/a410/alicia-keys-time-to-uncover/

 

#BlackGirlMagic

#WomenofColorWednesday

 

Remembering AALIYAH


Fifteen years ago today, we lost a beautiful person, the baby girl of R&B Aaliyah. I can definitely say I miss her music and tom boy swag. I remember it, like it was yesterday. Aaliyah was my a role model to my eldest sister. On this day 15 years ago, I had to comfort my sister as she cried, as if she lost a friend. 


We were able to witness so much black girl magic from the triple threat. She gave us sexy, sporty, bad girl swag. We were able to witness her acting in Queen of the Damned and Romeo Must Die. 

I created a playlist today of my favorite Aaliyah songs. 

  1. I care 4 U
  2. More Than A Woman 
  3. Are You That Somebody
  4. If Your Girl Only Knew 
  5. 4-Page Letter
  6. We Need A Resolution
  7. Loose Rap
  8. Age Anit Nothing But A Number
  9. At Your Best (You are Loved)
  10. Rock The Boat

If you’re an Aaliyah fan, take some time to groove to her soft voice today. Comment below your favorite Aaliyah Hit. 

Usher Witnesses The Power Of The Vagina First Hand

[Credit: Necole Bitchie]
[Credit: Necole Bitchie]
By Sydney B.

Usher can now say he truly understands the genuine power of a woman’s honey pot!

A woman’s vagina is a wonder to many. It’s capable of doing many things and now we can official add “charge a phone” to that list of things.

The Good Kisser singer tested this power at the Art Basel Miami where he checked out the Vector gallery when it just so happened that he needed his iPhone charged. Lucky for him, there was a naked woman named Lena Marquise sitting with a charger stuffed in her vagina as a part of the show.

Lena acted as a “post-human” with legs wide open demonstrating how reliant we’ve become on technology.

Desperate times call for desperate needs and Usher can attest to that. With Usher’s battery life being very low, he handed Lena his phone where she then spread her legs wide and plugged the phone up.

For 10 minutes of juice, Usher exchanged just $20!

After seeing this, I wonder how many ladies will turn this into their everyday hustle!

Would you have plugged your phone up if the charger was hanging out of the woman’s vagina?

See more pictures from the show below:

[Credit: Necole Bitchie]
[Credit: Necole Bitchie]
[Credit: Necole Bitchie]
[Credit: Necole Bitchie]
 

 

Ariana Grande Disses Nickelodeon

[Credit: Getty Images]
[Credit: Getty Images]
There can’t be smoke without fire, and for Ariana Grande her smoke came soon after her Nickelodeon series, Sam & Cat, was cancelled.

It takes strength and courage to admit the truth even if, for Ariana, that honesty includes slightly dissing your former employer.

The actress is speaking about what life was like working for Nick. Although there were many good moments there were plenty bad moments as well, and Ariana is sharing them all.

“It was a blessing and one of my childhood dreams comes true,” she says, “For a long time, I was attached to a character that was nothing like myself. It was a little frustrating.”

It’s understandable that playing the same person on television, for many years, can become exhausting. Especially when she’s played the same character previously on Victorious. To play a character that’s nothing like you can also be frustrating, but wait!

I thought that’s why it’s called acting!

Lucky for Ariana, her troubles and hard feelings against Nick are long gone since her show has been cancelled. So no hard feelings, right Nick?

Ciara Calls Off Engagement

[Credit: Hip Hop News 24-7]
[Credit: Hip Hop News 24-7]

It’s officially over!

“He cheated on her. Game over,” an insider tells Us Weekly of the “I Won” rapper.

Us reports Ciara called off her engagement to Future just three months after welcoming their son, Future Zahir Wilburn. The duo got engaged on Ciara’s birthday in October of 2013. Their son was born seven months later on, May 19.

“She’s devastated. Ciara’s focus now is the baby, ” another source adds.

I wish both of them well, and much happiness as they continue to  co-parent their bundle of joy.

What was your reaction to the split? Share below.