:: Beyoncé taught me ::

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i admire Beyoncé’s confidence. somewhere in my childhood i lost my confidence. it up and left when people called it ‘outspoken’,  when my confidence in my character was called ‘stoosh’ or ‘stuck-up’, when my confidence in my intellect was called arrogance. granted, i may have been all of those things to some people, and i’ll own it, but along with conforming myself to social ideals, i lost that childhood verve. i lost the skill to shut out how people perceive me.

when you lose your confidence, you start to value people’s opinion on a level that is just unhealthy. then there’s the social media thing. i feel like i’m  bombarded with images of of people with an array of talents, and being a VERY competitive person, i am constantly worrying if i can keep up.

as a chef, what sets me apart?

as a singer, is my voice memorable? can i survive?

as a blogger, do i have what it takes to keep people reading?

i become so obsessed with winning that i berate myself into stagnation. it’s exhausting. seriously, i’m spent.

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this is a curious pose. looking like an angry towel sales girl, HA!

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SO,  as a method of self-preservation imma need my confidence back. i allowed people to take it away. at times i even gave it away because i confused it with a lack of humility. but im gonna need that shit back, like, today.

i need it back because i need to see something in me worth loving. i need it back because i’m tired of walking around dead inside, just a shell of the person i’m meant to be. i need it because i hate seeing the word ‘FAILURE’ imprinted on my forehead when i look in the mirror. i need it because perfection is deception. i need it because when someone asks me how i’m doing and i say ‘i’m OK’, i want to mean that shit.

one thing that has helped me on my road to confidence is to realize that i am part of something bigger. my gifts do not exist to serve me, they are to help others; to glorify my creator.

on a more superficial level, what i wear definitely helps. my style is a physical manifestation of the woman i am striving to be. they say fake it till you make it, right? well, when i dress like me 2.0, whoever she is, i feel like i’m a step closer to being her: confident and perfectly imperfect.

baby steps. one day i’ll look in the mirror and i’ll see light in my eyes, and pride on my chest. i’ll ask myself, ‘how did you get here?’and  i’ll laugh and squint my eyes and say,  ‘Beyoncé taught me.’

 

sequin crop top - asos belt - trifted denim cut-offs - thrifted heels - guess sunnies - ray-ban

sequined crop top – asos
belt – thrifted
denim cut-offs – thrifted
heels – guess
sunnies – ray-ban

featured is a song that’s a confidence booster for sure. when i’m in the dumps i like to listen to nicki minaj. so two of my faves on one record? GOLD!

fave lines: ‘you can say what you want, i’m the shit, i want everyone to feel like this’
‘tell ’em winning is my muthafucking protocol, cuz i score before i even throw the ball’

 

photo credit: SHAE-ANNE REID

| a love epidemic |

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there’s an epidemic attacking women,

more women than fingers and toes can count,

women in droves, wearing love on their chests, backs and  sleeves

the love they tear off their backs to clothe the men they seek.

men, with closets full of clothes,

clothes they refuse to share.

 

we give and give until we end up naked the way they want us,

vulnerable the way they need us,

naked and cold.

why am i naked, when i gave you a closet-full of clothes?

why does it emasculate you to cover me in love?

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hat – free people
top – necessary clothing
skirt – urban outfitters
body chain – amazon

listen to jazmine sullivan pour her heart out about it:

 

 

 

 

daydreaming

I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place, some other existence.” 
                                                                           – Lang Leav
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now more than ever i feel out of place. i’m not sure if it’s because i feel an impending change creeping up on me. or if it is because i’m uncomfortable with my life and there are some changes i need to make. i can’t quite place it. but whenever i feel this way i like to think about a time in my life when i came face-to-face with a change that challenged my every ideal, and shoved me out of my comfortable way of living.

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i believe God can use people to change your life in that way. and i have been blessed so as to have encountered someone who completely shifted my worldview. i doubt he knows the effect he  had on my life but i’m so grateful. he left my life as quickly as he entered it but the amount of time that i knew him and the magnitude of the effect he had on me are not related to one another.

this young man was so free, so unabashedly himself, like no one i had ever known. he loved all the things about me that i was taught to be ashamed of and opened my eyes to loving without boundaries. i find myself daydreaming many times about what my life would’ve been like had i not met him,  the hope in love that i would not have, and it always brings me back to the same amazement at the effect we human beings can have on each other.

headband - belt from charlotte russe swing dress - asos body chain - amazon  wedge sandals - bcbg generation jewelry - jewelmint lipstick - kat von d a go go

headband – belt from charlotte russe
swing dress – asos
body chain – amazon
wedge sandals – bcbg generation
jewelry – jewelmint
lipstick – kat von d a go go

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my life is so much fuller now that i try to live freely- expressing myself, and not holding back to make others comfortable. and i have him to thank for that.

moral of this vague and random story: be yourself– you could change a life.

 

photo credit: GHAZLAN ALDUWEESH

red with anger

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headband – GlamHead
earrings- gorjana via shopbop
romper – missguided
bracelets – jewel mint
loafers – jeffery campbell

 

man! what a week! i feel like i’ve been on go go go! that combined with all the tragedy in the news: from robin williams’ passing to the untimely death #MikeBrown to the injustice and negligence surrounding the passing of #MarioDeane – i’m spent.

maybe i’m daft or naive, but i don’t understand how society can be so backwards with issues like race and mental illness in 2014. i mean, our cars can tell us where to go, our phones are smart, we can pay for things with cards, information is easily accessible, but people choose to refrain from becoming enlightened about REAL struggles that people face just because it makes them uncomfortable.

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yes, racism and mental illness are two things that people do not like to discuss. maybe it has to do with the fact that both seem intangible. you cannot touch race, race is an elaborate social construct based on a primitive and basic way of thinking.  mental illness seems intangible in the same way, there may not seem to be outward physical signs or symptoms, but the truth is, many  people are held captive in their own minds. these degrading power struggles between sane and “abnormal” and white and black, occur simply because people have been taught to feel threatened or afraid of what they choose not to understand.

and that my friends, is hatred. when you choose not love that is hatred. the moment you choose not to empathize is hatred. so yes, your indifference towards racism or mental illness, your adamance that clinical depression is something someone can just “get over” or that we live in a “post-racial society” – it’s all bullshit and it’s all hatred.

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so yea, i’m pissed. i’m disappointed. but i think i’m mostly confused. why are we still struggling with these issues? come on humanity. we can do better.

featured song is self-explanatory:

 

photo credit: GHAZLAN ALDUWEESH

a mournful spirit but a grateful heart

“words mean more than what is set down on paper. it takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” — MAYA ANGELOU

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i think i fell in love with words from a young age — the melody of words, the meaning behind them, the strength they have when they fall onto receiving ears. MAYA ANGELOU catalyzed those experiences; she took the most basic of human experiences and added complexity. she took emotion; that which is often difficult to articulate and made it relatable to every human life. she made words dance to pain, to love, to courage, to diversity. she was powerful and she knew it. and she never apologized for it. she did however channel it into people far and wide, sharing her spirit with each of us.
i am saddened she is gone but so grateful to have walked this earth at a time when this force of a woman was alive. i mourn but i am joyful.

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blazer – choies
top – zara
pants – h&m
shoes – steve madden
cuff – jewelmmint

 

i do not have a song to share. i will however share a video of queen ANGELOU that i watch almost weekly. i truly hope it resonates with you.

 

 

 

love yourself and the rest will follow

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection – Buddha

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hello beautiful people! allow me to introduce myself.  i’m Brittany and this guest post is all about self-love and body image.

i’ve been meaning to perfect this post for weeks. i had a dream/vision/epiphany that I need to share this renewed self-love with the world.
i woke up this morning with all intents and purposes to do my makeup, just to add a little finesse to my already fabulous features, hop on the computer and get to typing!

so here I am!

 this story starts with me sitting in bed one night when the usual whirlwind of thoughts came along, and then God revealed something to to me. though i do not hear his voice, i feel his spirit and His spirit said, “forget what imperfections you think you may have and love you. just love you.”

now, i have always been a self-confident woman, my mother even calls me vain, but I honestly can’t help but love the gifts God has given me. there was however a point in time where i felt as though i, just-the-way-i-am, no additives or preservatives, just wasn’t attractive. this feeling was related to a few negative comments about my body, but nonetheless i let the negative vibes infiltrate my perspective of myself.

raise your hand if you have, at some point in your life been dissatisfied with your physical appearance.

i’ll wait.
…and just so you know, I’m raising both hands and feet.

i had hit a place i had never been before, unchartered territory if you will, and it was horrendous. i sat up one night on facetime bawling my eyes out to DiDi- Rizzle (Need4Reid) and typing out sadness to Meshi, completely broken and not really appreciative of the awesomeness that is me.

but shortly after…I began to heal. and there is beauty in that.

i decided, “welp, this thicka than a snicka body of mine was all for me, and since i have to live with it, i need to love it.”
i recently came across a quote that read:
”when I accept me, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.” 
in other words,  you are in control of how you feel about you. no one else has the power to devalue you.

there will always be that scar in the most obvious of places, the tumbleweed terror that grows from your scalp or a kink that won’t curl right; there will always be the pervasive bitch face, the extra rolls above the hips, body parts that jiggle unflatteringly or that won’t give you the curves you crave. but know that everything about you makes you the person you are, and at the end of the day, it is how you perceive it that determines how you handle it. 

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that being said, you have two options: accept it or change it for the better. you can turn it into motivation to eat healthier, exercise more, make whatever bothers you into your most appealing aspect, and/or accept it and move the heck on.

indeed, my advice to the masses, or at least to all those who are reading this, is to love yourself; truly appreciate all that you have and make it work for you. if that means waking up a little earlier to throw on some makeup or work out for 30 mins then so be it. as long as you leave the house feeling yourself that’s all that matters.

you are in control of your body, your personality, your aspirations and your perspectives, and with faith and prayer you can be the best you that you want to be. at the end of the day, do what makes you happy but do it for you.  

bikini top - target bikini bottom - victoria's secret sarong - souvenir store in montego bay, jamaica necklaces - gifted

bikini top – target
bikini bottom – victoria’s secret
sarong – souvenir store in montego bay, jamaica
necklaces – gifted

photography credit: Natasha Lee

 

 

for the broken hearted girls

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Finally surfaced above the downs
Feeling her boldest, she came around
Cause she’s a goddess, finally saw this
And now you’re back, trying to claim her
Cause she’s gone and now without her
You all alone, cause she’s a goddess
You shoulda saw this
– banks

dear broken hearted girl,

with each tear that washes your soul,
you will live to love another day.

the pain pangs when you think of what you missed
but in times such as this remember
you are goddess.

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parka- zara
ID necklace – luv aj
dress- asos
boots- report signature
earrings – shopbop
bracelet- jewelmint

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this song goes out to all the goddesses who loved another with the entirety of their being. you may not have gotten the ending you desired but what is fiyuh cyan be un-fiyuh   //   what is yours will always be yours

photos by herbert yuen

uniform

 

parka - zara - sold out - similar top - zara - sold out - similar shorts - salvation army tights- uniqlo boots - report signature  headphones - frends ear cuff - asos - sold out- similar

parka – zara – sold out – similar
top – zara – sold out – similar
shorts – salvation army
tights- uniqlo (these asians come up with the darnedest things)
boots – report signature
headphones – frends
ear cuff – asos – sold out- similar

my uniform is simple: black, plaid, distressed denim, leather and gold accents.

my fave gold accent happens to be these gold headphones that were gifted from a friend. they are gold, noise canceling, comfortable and super badass. a music lover’s dream. and the best part, they’re gold.

i swear i was either a rapper or a 90’s dancehall deejay in a past life. i love gold.

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but anyway, back to the uniform. this is my go to outfit for running errands on chilly days, and it perfectly expresses the woman i am becoming: making my own rules, no nonsense and sometimes a little rough around the edges.

so imagine my delight when i saw my fave, my inspiration, badass personified, BEYONCE, in the same uniform in one of her new videos ***flawless.

the entire attitude of the song declares “i am woman, and you will deal.” best part: the feature of one the most epic TED talks ever by the indomitable Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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i used say i wasn’t a feminist, but every part of these women’s creed is also mine. i suppose that with growing up in a developing country i have become well acquainted with the negative connotation associated with being a feminist. i was afraid that people would associate me with those negative attributes. but i am no longer afraid.

i concede; i am a feminist. this is my uniform.

photos by Herbert Yuen

 

the blues

 

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bwoy…

we lost a good person yesterday man. i’ve been enamored with PAUL WALKER for years. OK don’t tell anyone, but i’ve spent numerous saturday afternoons watching videos of his interviews and movie clips on youtube. i dare you not to find him adorable in that george lopez interview. i don’t know man, there’s just something about his surfer dude voice, his sense of adventure, and big heart. his swoon-worthy looks don’t hurt either, nah mean?

anyway, it’s beautiful how people have been affected by this. it shows that there is hope in humanity: people can be touched by the circumstances of someone they don’t even know. not to mention that there is something about the very unexpected  passing of someone  that reminds each of us of our mortality. time certainly is limited and we each have a purpose to achieve, talents to use, lives to touch.

 

jumper - f21  bandage skirt loafers- dolce vita celine imitation bag- sold out- similar trenchcoat - zara - similar ID chain - gifted - similar

jumper – f21
bandage skirt- modcloth – similar
loafers- dolce vita
celine imitation bag- sold out- similar
ID chain – gifted – similar

 

i really can’t express in words how torn up his passing has made me, so i’m gonna try to explain the best way i know how- through music.

enter:  2 the sky by ROBIN THICKE. it’s a blues-inspired ballad that explores the sadness and difficulties one can experience in life while looking for a sense of direction. the shit is tender and deep, and  is especially  tear-inducing when the piano and percussion instrumental break hits. the song has pretty much been the soundtrack of my life for the past few years. i hope it affects you the way it does me. in the meantime, i’ll be  here looking for truth from the main man upstairs.

if you feel so inclined, please donate to PAUL WALKER’S charity here.

 

photos courtesy of Herbert Yuen

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