November 2014Faces of Black Fashion: November 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Five Great Reminders That Your Life Matters

In light of Mike Brown's death and the recent decision by the Ferguson prosecutor not to indict, I stand in solidarity with those of us who hope for a society that is fair and just to all people. I stand with those who uphold the intrinsic value of ALL human life. All life matters, and while the evils of racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice and hate seek to devalue the worth of some people's lives, with this post I celebrate life and the value of black lives.

This post was inspired by the #blacklivesmatter socialmedia hashtag. Here are five great reminders that your life matters!

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company?" Zora Neale Hurtson

 “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity” 
― James BaldwinThe Fire Next Time

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." Maya Angelou

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela

“God made no mistakes when He created you. You were uniquely designed for success in your purpose. When you align your life with your strengths—those innate qualities you were gifted with—you will tap into a level of grace that empowers you to achieve things you could never accomplish in your strength alone.”  Valorie Burton

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Beauty in Black and White

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nika Notes: I'm not my hair, or, am I?

"I'm not my hair, I'm not this skin...I am a soul that lives within." India Arie

“A woman's hair shows a lot about her character,” he said.  I paused, befuddled, wondering how something as trivial as hairstyle could distinguish someone's values and moral qualities.  I was scrolling through  one of my favorite media mogul’s Facebook page enjoying her daily words of wisdom and inspiration. I came across a thread on vulnerability and showing your partner the “real you.” Most everyone who commented agreed that vulnerability engendered intimacy, but the conversation took an interesting turn towards hair, specifically black women’s hairstyle choices, when a poster chastised women who did not wear their hair in its natural state for having "poor character" and not showing their "real selves."

Unfortunately it isn’t the first time that I’ve come across this attitude or the simple arrogance that some people display when talking about how black women "should" wear their hair.  While I value the natural hair movement for highlighting the diversity of beauty and for balking in the face of narrow and  limiting beauty standards, hair isn't the blueprint of moral, mental and spiritual standing.  Over the years, I’ve worn an array of hairstyles ranging from short to long, natural to relaxed and everywhere in between. My hair is a part of the way I choose to express myself, but it will never be able to fully  encapsulate who I am. My growth and evolution as a woman emerged from my life experiences, choices, and God’s grace; not my hairstyles.  Thus, you can tell nothing about the depths of my spirit by looking at the hair on my head.

While your hair can be a step toward expressing self-love and acceptance, it's far from the indicia of who you are  inside. You simply cannot sum up a woman's character by how she wears her hair. If a whole is a sum of its parts, our spirits can and will never be the sum total of our hairstyle choices. We are so much more than that. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rihanna Covers Elle Magazine December 2014

Rihanna is stunning in Atelier Versace on Elle's December cover. Visit Elle to see more photos of the gorgeous Island beauty and read excerpts from her interview.