My Adventures Through Black Woman Land: What’s in a Compliment?

pretty-black-womanHave you ever had someone tell you, “Wow, you look pretty today,” only for you to respond with a gracious “thank you”? Then moments later ask yourself if that means you looked terrible yesterday? The truth is, compliments are very very tricky. These tiny gestures, which many of us crave by the way, seem innocuous and random. In actuality, compliments come from a socialized place internal to each of us and are driven by traditional ideals of beauty. Let’s break down to pitfalls of the common compliment for women of color and how getting one or not getting one is never a reflection on you. [Read more…]

Worthy Products: Coconut Oil

coconut oil 2I have a minor infatuation with natural hair care products (as if you haven’t noticed that already). And oils, by far, top my list of useful, multi-purpose hair care items. One of the most flexible and accessible oils on the market is coconut oil. Some use it for cooking purposes and internal health. I use it for consistent hair and body moisture maintenance. Truthfully, it is an ingredient in every single body butter and hair oil I produce for my family. Because of its natural capabilities, coconut oil boasts many benefits for women of color in particular.

Here are a few reasons why I love it so much. [Read more…]

Frenemies? Women of Color & Corporate America

Multi-racial business team sitting around an office boardroomCorporate America is a very interesting place. In many respects, it represents opportunity, growth, and possibility. But, since it has always been an environment dominated by “good old boys” and mainstream American ideals, it has not necessarily been the most welcoming place for women of color. In many respects, the very crooked rooms that these women seek to escape in their daily lives are emboldened in the corporate realm, but opportunities for career growth still make mainstream industry very appealing for women of color.

In essence, corporate America has become the “frenemy” of women of color: sometimes friend, sometimes enemy. But, understanding oneself better, being uncompromising with one’s values and ideals, and understanding that every situation is not an always situation helps to mitigate some of these contradicting aspects of a central institution to America’s core capitalistic culture.

[Read more…]

Worthy Products: Jojoba Oil

jojoba oilOkay, I know I said that I love castor oil. And, it is true. I really really do love castor oil. But, on my list of oils, jojoba oil has got to be right up there in the top 5. Another natural hair care and body product that I can’t live without, it imparts moisture while softening hair and skin.

Jojoba oil comes from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It is one of very few natural oils with molecules small enough to enter the hair shaft. But, its waxy texture is so similar to the hair’s natural sebum, it helps to provide a thin film on the hair to keep the hair shaft moisturized. It is a natural emollient (hair moisturizer). This capability allows jojoba to moisturize the hair from the inside out rather than sitting on top of the hair as most primarily sealing oils do. [Read more…]

Worthy Products: Castor Oil

castor beans

Castor oil, castor oil, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on oils. I have a nice little collection that I cannot go without. Since I have always had hereditary dry skin, I have always sought out natural methods to moisturize throughout the seasons. It was hard choosing one, but castor oil is officially my favorite oil of all.

[Read more…]

Worthy Products: Shea Butter

shea butterShea butter is definitely a worthy product. Coming from the Karite Nut tree native to West Africa, it is truly one of God’s great gifts to man. This natural moisturizer and emollient (softening or soothing agent) can be used for a host of personal care needs. It is the first natural product we will spotlight here because it has become a staple in my household since starting my worth campaign. I certainly would not be as well-equipped on my journey to authenticity if I did not have it in my cabinet. So, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Shea Butter for Hair

You have probably heard about it before but Shea butter has everything one needs for hair care. It is a moisturizer, sealant, emollient, and general dryness solver. I have been using it on my natural tresses for almost a year now  and have noticed a major difference in the texture, feel, and suppleness of my twist-outs and flat twists. Here are a few things that work for me. [Read more…]