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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Erasing Ethnicity: A Plastic Surgery Crisis

I am proud to be from a people who the sun loves. I am proud to be from a culture that realized Black is Beautiful because it always was. But I have noticed that there are less people of color that share my pride. People all over the world are erasing their ethnicity.

Let's start with home, the U.S.A:

Plastic surgeries performed on people of color jumped 65% when compared to the 38% by the overall population.
The most popular surgeries for Blacks and Hispanics- nose jobs! Ugh....

Recently, Pepa (Sandra Denton- Jamaican American) from Salt N' Pepa underwent a nose job joining the ranks of Patti Labelle and Vivica A. Fox. She, like them, in my honest opinion, looks a hot mess. See the before and after (on the right):




Moving along, $50 Million= the amount Black Women spend on Relaxers! Wow! What if that money was spent on education or feeding the homeless or just loving ourselves!
I have no idea how much women of color spend on weave. But I suspect it greatly surpasses the cost of relaxers annually. I don't think Chrissette Michelle has a relaxer but she definitely has a weave. I miss her looking au naturel. Check out the before and after:




Asian women have their share of costly and dangerous surgeries too! Among them include calf reduction and leg lengthening to the tune of $10,000- $25,000. There are also the numerous eyelid surgeries to make them look less Asian.

And what do women of color all have in common as far as erasing our ethnicities? Naturally, Sophia's number one pet peeve colored contact lenses. In the US alone, 2.7 million colored contacts were purchased last year. My number one concern is the teens that buy the lenses are not getting them fitted. Even worse, they are buying clear contact lenses and adding food color to them. This can and does cause blindness! Don't believe me, read here:







Besides colored contacts never look as real as the real thing. I have known a few men of color with blue eyes and a few more with hazel. Colored contacts look like a cheap imitation in comparison. I think we all should examine the ways we erase our ethnicity.




I love my ethnicity and think it's worth preserving.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fall Fashion:An Ongoing Series- Bright Eyez

There are a few serious make-up trends going on right now that I really like. My most favorite is the super bright eye because I really like the shift in fashion from the natural, subtle eye makeup to the wild eye makeup. The colors really pop against my chocolate skin and Kelis' too. See below:

Here is the safest application for you lovelies who are not make-up savvy:Here are my personal favorites for eyeshadows. Remember with brights more is more when you have brown skin. The less you put on, the less noticeable it will be. HIP by L'oreal is awesome and cheap at your local drugstores:

And here are a few more products I like from MAC:


Eyeshadows: Clarity, Goldmine, and Amber Lights




I also love the eyeliners and mascara from MAC. My sensitive eyes don't tear when I use it. I recommend it for sensitive sorts.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Naturally, Sophia has a Pet Peeve Involving Cornrows

I love cornrows. The photo on the left is from braidsinc.com. I like corn rows because they are just supremely neat (usually). I also love the neat designs and partings that reflect how creative people of color are. I also love the fact that cornrows look really good on men and women, children and adults.


So, now you are wondering about my pet peeves. I hate it when people pronounce cornrows as "cornrolls". WTH? That doesn't even make sense.


Second, I strongly dislike when guys have beads on their cornrows. See below:


Until last week, I thought that's where my pet peeves about cornrows ended until I saw a brother at the bank with the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen attached to cornrows, barrettes. A grown man (who appeared to be straight) had these attached to each of his cornrows. WTH?

I tried to take a picture of it a couple of times with my camera phone because I was behind him at the bank. But each time I tried this African chick behind me kept asking me questions about my cell phone. It was a funny scene. lol! I would open the camera and she would say, in "Coming to America" style, "What phone is this?..." lol!

Another true story from the ATL...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Texture a Natural Hair Interview

Mary Mack is a beautiful, curvy natural hair diva that I have the pleasure of working with especially because she is both professional and friendly. I want to thank Mary Mack for her time and participation in contributing to this blog.

NS: Why did you decide to go natural?
MM: I decided to have natural hair because there were people who didn't believe that a person with my complexion could have naturally curly hair
NS: How long ago did you go natural?
MM: In 1999, about 8 years ago
NS:What do you like best about having natural hair?
MM: I like the stunned looks I get from people! It's funny that people believe that so called "good hair" only comes on light skin or bi-racial blacks.
NS: What do dislike about it (natural hair)?
MM:Finding someone that can style it the way I want. Everyone loves to "play" in my hair, but no one can really style it.
NS:Ok. What did you find out about your hair that you didn't already know?
MM: It has a mind of it's own!
NS: lol! Mine too.

NS:How do men respond to your natural hair as opposed to when you had a relaxer?
MM: My boyfriend loves my natural hair! He is admantly opposed to me relaxing it! I think he likes the compliments I get on my hair as much as I do. The reaction really isn't much different from then to now.
NS: You stated "opposed to me relaxing", are you considering a relaxer? If so, why?
MM: I consider a relaxing my hair every other week. Because I get tired of the ponytail, bun and braids. If I want to straighten my hair out it only lasts about 2 hrs, 4 max if I walk around with a handheld air conditioner. It would just be easier sometimes.
NS: Do you feel having natural hair effects your professional life? Is so, how?

MM: No, not at all!

NS:Your hair color is gorgeous. I love it! Is it natural?

MM:Thank you. It is not natural, bought at WalMart. It's Honey Blonde, but because my hair is so dark it comes out a golden red color. I wanted to go blonde but I liked this color better. I decided to stick with the accident.

NS: It looks very natural. And I think it compliments your skin perfectly. The accident was a pleasant surprise then.

MM: Yes it was!

NS: Do you have any tips for women transitioning to natural hair?

MM: It starts off pretty rough! hang in there, and you will love the end result!

NS: How did you go natural? Did you do the big chop or cut the ends off slowly?

MM: I've always had long hair so cutting it all off and starting over was not going to work for me. So I let it grow and slowly cut it off. For a while I had a half 'n half thing going on. Half curly, half straight.

NS:lol- What styles did you wear at the time?

MM: One big afro-puff

NS: Sounds very fly

MM: "I rocks rough and stuff with my afro puff..."LOL

NS: Do you have any products you like to use or product recommendations?

MM: I use TCB hair conditioner, mainly because its lighter and doesn't weigh my hair down.

NS:Which shampoo do you use and about how often do you wash your hair?

MM: (as far as products) I use a lot of conditioners too because my hair is like a sponge. I wash my hair every two weeks and I use Treseme deep cleaning.

NS: How does your family respond to your hair?

MM: They've been around since the beginning so they are used to it. And alot of my family has naturally curly/wavy hair so it's really no big deal.

NS: Thanks for your cooperation and time. I am trying to encourage being natural one head at a time.

MM: You're welcome. Gone girl, do your thang.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WTF? West Virginia Terrorist Assault!



CNN normally does not reveal sexual assault victims' names. But Williams, who is hospitalized, and her mother, Carmen Williams, wanted her identity revealed.
'I don't understand a human being doing another human being the way they did my daughter,' Carmen Williams told The Associated Press on Tuesday from her daughter's hospital room. 'I didn't know there were people like that out here.'

Deputies received a tip and Saturday visited a home owned by Frankie Police said Bobby Brewster raped Williams, forced her to lick blood and drink from a toilet, and told his mother to kill Williams if she tried to escape. Authorities previously said Williams was also forced to eat rat and dog feces. According to criminal complaints filed in the county, Williams was assaulted, stabbed in the left leg, choked with cords and beaten for at least a week. When she was found, big parts of her hair had also been torn off of her scalp.Williams says that Alisha Burton 22 cut her ankle with a knife while saying, 'That's what we do to Niggers around here,' police records show.'I don't understand a human being doing another human being the way they did my daughter,' Carmen Williams told The Associated Press on Tuesday from her daughter's hospital room. 'I didn't know there were people like that out here.'Deputies received a tip and Saturday visited a home owned by Frankie Brewster in Big Creek , West Virginia .As the deputies spoke with a woman on the front porch, 'a female inside the residence limped toward the door with her arms held out, saying 'Help me,' ' according to a news release from the sheriff's department.'It's something you'd expect to see in a horror movie, not in Logan County ,' Abraham said.
'She was subjected to unendurable torture down there.' The six are charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, malicious wounding and battery. If convicted of kidnapping, a suspect could face a sentence of up to life in prison. The penalty for first-degree sexual assault is 15 to 35 years.
Abraham said he is seeking the maximum sentence on the kidnapping charges. In addition to the Brewsters, the suspects are Danny J. Combs, 20, of Harts, West Virginia; and George A. Messer, 27, Karen Burton, 46, and her daughter, Alisha Burton, 23, all of Chapmanville, West Virginia. They all have previous records and have been arrested numerous times,' Sheriff W.E. Hunter said Tuesday. 'They are familiar to law enforcement.' Frankie Brewster was charged with first-degree murder in 1994, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the death of an 84-year-old woman. She was released in 2000 after serving five years in prison, according to court records cited by the AP.

All of the six individuals that are involved in this case are accused of 108 different cases of crimes all combined. All six were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, and all requested court-appointed attorneys, the AP reported. Investigators are still looking for two other people suspected of driving Williams to the home, according to the AP. Carmen Williams had not reported her daughter missing, saying Megan Williams often disappeared for weeks at a time. Carmen Williams said she is 'horrified' by her daughter's injuries. She wakes up crying, and the first thing she hollers is 'Mommy,' ' she said.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sophia, Naturally likes Cool T-Shirts

I am always looking for T-shirts to wear on casual days and around the house that are cool. They are so hard to find in stores unless you know where to look. Here are your best bets online:

African Mother & Child:
This one is from http://www.artistictee.com/ for $18.99 plus shipping and handling. It features an African mother and child. I love the angles and colors in the shirt. Nice!










I Stopped Living the Lye:
This one is my personal favorite. You can find it on http://www.zazzle.com/ for $16.95 without shipping, handling, and taxes. This site has more natural hair type tees than the others. I love the look of it as well as the caption:








Highly Edumacated:

For grins and giggles, I like this one from http://www.digitalgravel.com/. It's $37.00 plus S&H. Indeed, I consider myself a "Highly Edumacated" intellectual...except when it comes to men. lol!







Movement Tee for Youth:

The sister that operates this site http://www.essenceuniversal.com/ is a beautiful natural hair diva I met while mingling. She makes T-shirts and accessories primarily for youth. But there are also women's tees on her site. It's definitely worth a click.














Save Darfur:
Last but not least, I found this one on http://www.cafepress.com/. It's a nice quality cotton with simple lines. They offer many t-shirts designed with racial and political awareness.




Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Birthday in Reflection- September 15ths

This is me 20 years ago today:



















This day 15 years ago, I wanted to be an actress.


10 years ago this was my boyfriend du jour:














10 years ago- My most favorite movie at the time was:











This time 10 years ago this was my favorite video:




10 years ago- On a daily basis, I wrote in my journal, was melodramatic, and talked on the phone for hours on end.



This is me 7 years ago:












This day 5 years ago, I was beginning my final semester of college.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Birthday Celebration

Unfortunately, I could not celebrate the way I originally wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. My BFF was out of town, my other close friends were either busy or broke, and, most importantly, my cousin died this week. His funeral was today. I spent most of the morning frazzled because I was unsure as of what to wear and where the funeral was. I finally decided to wear head to toe black and a veil around my neck and hair. It seemed appropriate as my cousin's death came at the untimely age of 46; and he died of cancer. The second reason I decided on wearing the veil is because of my family's fixation on my hair. "How is it?" "Is it straight or curly?" "Do you have a relaxer?" With the veil and the severity of the family gathering, I only received minimal inquiries about my hair.

Because the funeral coincided with my birthday,I had more inclination to reflect and ponder life's meaning. Above all things, I want to be thought of as useful and loving. I also realize how short my own life is:
James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

And I thought of how important it is to utilize the few moments each of us have left to the best, fullest potential.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.- Annie Dillard

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Day before my Birthday, Sept. 14th


I see my birthday and the time surrounding it as a personal New Year, a time to reflect and celebrate on my past years. Since the New Year consists of New Year's Resolutions, I have listed them as follows:

1. Be Healthier: this means healthy eating habits and working out consistently even when I don't feel like it. It means making and keeping regular dental and doctor appointments. And it means taking vitamin supplements regularly.

2. Get Organized- I am often looking for things, which often contributes to making me late or near late for events in my busy work week. I have many things in my home that I don't use or need. I want to get rid of these things and only live with what I love and need. Then, I want those things to all have a place.

3. Save and Make More $$$- I am making a short term plan which includes smarter shopping, budgeting better, and a PT job. My long term goal is to go back to school if only part time very soon. Ideally, I would like to go by next year. After reading a post from blogger , brunsli it gave me the boost I needed to rethink going back to school. I am presently researching MBA, JD, MSW, MHA, and PHD (Forensic Psychology)programs. I am interested in a career in service to people as I am a nurturer naturally, but I need to know specifically what that is. I need to decide how I can pay for my education and what to do with my house if I can not work full time or sell my house as I can't afford to take a loss in today's terrible selling market. Thoughts?

4.Stop Procrastinating- You may delay, but time will not. ~Benjamin Franklin. I plan to do too much tomorrow. This is evident as I am writing about last week as we speak. I f you have tips that are really helpful to you, I would love to incorporate them into my life. The key theme seems to be creating routines...

5. Be More Beautiful- Though shedding pounds will help, I also want to see a dermatologists and create a beauty routine. As it stands, I sleep with my makeup on and don't wax/shave the way I should. I know TMI! My eyebrows can be unkempt, and I will still walk out of the house anyway. I don't want to become one of those women you see in the grocery store with baggy clothes on and rollers in their hair. I want to look as good as I can whenever possible. I know there have been a lot of missed opportunities. Being a single heterosexual woman, I have to realize that men are visual and look accordingly. Plus, I hate walking by the mirror and thinking what is going on today. Well, Sisterlocks definitely help with it because I always have perfect hair at least. But I know you readers know what I mean. There is always room for improvement.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I miss you, Tupac!

11 years ago today Tupac Shakur died.
"2Pac told the truth

there were those who called it dirty gansta rap inciting there were

those who never wanted to be angry at the conditions but angry

at the messenger who report: your kitchen has roaches your toilet is overflowing

your basement has so much water the rats are in theliving roomyour house is in disorder and 2Pac told you about it

what a beautiful boy graceful carriage melodic voice sharp wit intellectual breadth what a beautiful boy to lose"

- Nikki Giovanni, "All Eyez on U"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Naturally, Sophia's Sisterlock Chignon

This is one of my first SL styles, and my first SL bun ever. I am lovin it! I was even able to give it a little rise in the crown that is so popular now. I think it looks professional, and I attempted but never achieved the neat chignon with the traditional locs I had prior. What do you think?

Tutorial Instructions:

For shoulder-length hair:

1. Pull your hair into a ponytail snugly with a ponytail holder.

2.Wrap a small/medium size sock/scarf around the ponytail holder that matches your hair color in a circular shape around the ponytail.

3.Now you should see a donut shape surrounding your ponytail.

4. Use another ponytail holder to wrap your hair around the donut stretching it from the outside in tucking the ends underneath the sock/scarf. The top of your ponytail will be facing the inside of the donut shaped scarf/sock.

For longer/thicker hair:

Follow the steps except don't use the scarf/sock as it may not be necessary. Secure your own hair under using hair pins.

***This works on all hair whether you have a relaxer, locs, or a natural afro/curls.***

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fall Fashion Trends: An Ongoing Series- Numero Uno


THE WAIST IS BACK!!! Naturally, Sophia could not be more excited. I love my waist which remains smaller than the rest of me thanks to God and mom's DNA. More on that later...This fall is all about the waist. This means hi-waist pants & jeans, wide waist grazing belts, and my personal favorite: shirts and dresses that accent the waist.

I just bought my size 16 Hi-Waist jeans from Old Navy. They are dark blue and have a wide leg adding the illusion of a smaller waist. Although I would not wear my jeans as tight as Eve's on the left, it's still a very good look. I am so tired of low waist pants and jeans showing that infamous panties/booty peek combo and pudgy waistlines.


Then there are dresses which are my most favorite thing to wear. There are a whole lot of kimono styles and wrap dresses that are the most flattering to the female form. Even better, wrap dresses look good on all body types. They show off curves and hide them where/if necessary, and the wrap dress creates shape when needed. I prefer below the knee styles. However, there are a variety of lengths, fabrics, and colors at every price range.


Here are some wide belt options:
I like using the texture and print to play up the outfit, but nothing beats neutrals. They are safe and look expensive even when the materials aren't. Happy Shopping!


Friday, September 7, 2007

YAY Whoopi!

I am proud of Whoopi standing up for Michael Vick on her first day on The View. In Atlanta, I feel that he was convicted before he even gave the guilty plea. Please don't misinterpret me. I am not condoning Michael Vick's behavior. If he was involved in harming or torturing animals, he was wrong. But all of us who have furs, leather bags or eat any sort of meat, especially veal, contribute to torturing animals and to the destruction of our rain forest and other natural habitats. This destruction then contributes to the extinction or near extinction of the animals who live there. Are these things not wrong? So since we have all contributed to torturing an animal at one point, let's not be so judgmental. I feel the media constantly is looking for the smallest thing to turn a seemingly positive Black person into a pariah. Here is what Ms. Whoopi said on The View:

Beauty Inspiration: Secret Advertisement


The caption reads: "When you're strong, you sparkle."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My 2nd Retightening: Muchas Problemas

After my 2nd retightening, I must say that I am extremely disappointed with the Sisterlock Consultants in Atlanta. With the initial install in Boston, the consultant was professional, meticulous, and did everything perfectly. The people here in Atlanta are much worse than I expected. Here's why:


Consultant Number 1: She was off to a good start because she takes weekend appointments and is in my neighborhood. She is very professional and courteous; but retightened my hair using the clip tool which is designed for mature locs to my understanding. It made my locs inconsistent where she retightened them, and there are several bulbs and knots where she retightened it. She is very heavy handed. Ouch! Although the ambiance was great... She retightened my hair while I lounged in a chaise lounge chair.


Consultant Number 2: She is not at all professional!!! I called her a couple of months back to make an appointment with her, and she said she would call me back and didn't. Then, I called her back because she was referred to me. I made an appointment AND confirmed the appointment. When I show up at the shop, which took me 40 minutes to get to, she looks perplexed. I introduce myself and remind her of the appointment. She goes to her book where my name and number are written; then says, "I thought we discussed another day." I advised her that we didn't. She then says that she can't do it and refers me to Number 3 without even apologizing. Number 3 is an hour away from her shop and equally far from my house. Even worse, I took off of work for the appointment.


Consultant Number 3: She was very far from where I lived, but took my appointment on short notice after Number 2 called her. She was the most expensive and combined several of my locs without my knowledge. Gasp! I was feeling my hair over the Labor Day break and noticed many locs had one root but two ends. I spent the weekend undoing that because it totally messed up my parting that was even horizontally and veritcally. She also noted that Number 1 retightened my hair incorrectly producing knots and that she wouldn't have installed them the way they were. She complained that they were too small around the hairline and that my ends should not have been left out. I explained to her I want my ends loose...that it's ok. She stopped at that point with bringing my locs down to the ends. Yet another thing I had to undo. Then, she gave me some maintenance instructions which involved braiding my hair ever night and banding. Whateva! Totally, not why I got locs. No daily maintenance required.


I am seriously considering taking the Sisterlocks class to retighten my own hair or using the Nappy Locks tool to retighten them myself. Thoughts?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

4 J-Bizzle: What I Can't Wait 2 Hear, Part 2



These are my most anticipated releases coming soon:

1. Jill Scott, The Real Thing


You can see Jill Scott's new songs live here. Click the link under Check It Out: VH1 Soul Stage http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/scott_jill/artist.jhtml


2. Alicia Keys- As I Am


You can check out her new single, "No One" at the link below:




http://concreteloop.com/2007/08/hot-or-not-alicia-keys-no-one




3. Lupe Fiasco, The Cool album is due out November 20th; mark your calenders.
You can check out "Superstardom" below. I'm lovin it.