Category Archives: beautyLIFE

For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Lipo When Working Out Isn’t Enough

Listen. Going to the gym sucks. It’s not, nor has it ever been the move. Idc. It’s not fun. It’s not refreshing. It’s not exhilarating, or any other colorful words you people use to camouflage your anguish.

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I’m almost four months postpartum, which puts me a little behind on sculpting my summer body. In case anyone else missed it, it’s summer already and despite breastfeeding and pumping, my belly didn’t melt off like those bombshell moms on Instagram.

See, the last pregnancy I didn’t really care about getting all the way back to my pre-mommy figure because I planned on getting pregnant again pretty quickly. So I worked out…but not that hard. Because why waste all that work just to get all fat again? Right? Right. Follow Me.

But now that I’m done having kids (I think?) I’m on operation bad boosh a la Joseline Hernandez. Except I like to eat Bonchon chicken and am an active french fry connoisseur. Which means I need to be in the gym if I want a snatched waist.

The thing is, I get all excited and research my workouts and have my whole routine in my head for when I go to the gym. Then I get there and the thrill is gone. The only thing keeping me going is 2 Chainz radio and images of Meghan Good in all of her petite glory. Is that normal?

Need New Workout shoes (1)

Example: I go hop on the Arc trainer for some cardio, then head over to the free weight machines like I do EVERY time. Out pops the annoying guy who decides for some reason that you need him to show you how to use the equipment (shoo fly). Or you have the old lunks who leave all their stuff strewn across the equipment that they’re not even using. Like…why is this a thing? Why can’t the doctors just go in and suck all the fat out immediately after giving birth? Why must I cry?

Next comes the group of people who coddle you as if you ‘ve never worked out a day in your life. Irritating. I know it comes from a good place, but I’m not a stranger to this lifestyle. To get back in shape after baby number one, I was in the gym at least four days a week. I don’t need your gym life tutorial…really. Thanks though.

not a baby

Then you have little hiccups like the one I just had. I tried a new form of birth control. And the side-effects–well actually there was really only ONE side-effect. Within a week, I looked 6 months pregnant. Like…SUPER bloated (no, seriously, look up Mirena and bloating) Just as I had started seeing some favorable progress from the gym. Can you imagine how discouraging that is? You put yourself on a plan, start eating like you have sense, then all of your hard work is just null and void because you’re trying to avoid being pregnant again. Like…can I just not be pregnant? Anyway. I stopped that form of birth control and the bloating eventually went down, so now here we are.

I feel like I’m back at square one. But I’m going to keep going to the gym and every time I feel unmotivated I’m gonna think of Draya. That’s an attainable goal for me. I just need y’all to prepare to get tired of me and get your screen shot fingers ready. Cuz once this tummy is flat? Y’all WILL get these crop tops and all these stretch marks. Yaherrrrrd?!

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A Couple of Rants about Hair

Black women and hair is one of the most sensitive and divisive topics only second to the topic of marriage, and Beyonce’s relevance. As tired as I am of talking about it, there’s always some huge social media uprising that brings it back into my line of thought and then I get irritated.  Here are my peeves:

Can we stop attributing everything to European standards of beauty?

The beauty of Black hair is in the versatility. I can wear my hair in a huge ‘fro, a twist-out, in braids, AND I can straighten it because, options. I love my ‘fro and wouldn’t trade the ability to queue one up for the world. I also love flipping my freshly flat-ironed hair from side to side, because it is luxurious. Not luxurious like a white girl, but luxurious like MINE. That grows from my scalp. While engaging in said hair flipping, never do I think to myself

“Wow, I feel really white right now” or “Maybe people will find me more beautiful since my hair is straight and thus closer to European beauty standards.”

Thoughts of being a baddie cross my mind daily regardless of my hairstyle, much like many other black women. So save that theory. There’s no denying that it exists–there are some people who only see beauty in straight hair (or brazilian or peruvian additives), thinner noses, lighter skin etc. But let’s not be so broad when pointing out Eurocentrism. Is it not possible to enjoy your own hair in the many ways that it can be styled?

Photosource: http://okmagazine.com/get-scoop/beyonce-jay-z-blue-ivy-at-the-vmas/

A cute little afro. Photosource: http://okmagazine.com/get-scoop/beyonce-jay-z-blue-ivy-at-the-vmas/

 

Can we stop talking about Blue Ivy’s hair?

I don’t have a daughter (much like many of Blue’s critics), so I can’t say exactly what I would do or not do to her hair if I had one. But I do have a son, and his hair is wild and every time any one of his grandparents or great grandparents see him, they’re asking me when he’s getting a haircut (when I feel like he’s ready). Aside from his hair being wild, my child is intelligent, and charismatic. He’s not abused, doesn’t miss any meals, and wears nice clothes and shoes. Anything else you’re talking about is irrelevant to me.

This is probably how Beyonce feels when there are grown women who devote their time to starting online petitions to comb her daughters hair…like…business…get some. There are a millllliiiionnnn other things people should concern themselves with besides Blue Ivy’s hair. What if Blue doesn’t like getting her hair done? Should Beyonce sit her down and pop her with a comb until she submits? She’s like 3 years old fuhgawdsakes. She is a free and happy black girl who has loving parents, and we hope that despite being pop royalty by default, will grow into a well-adjusted adult.

Furthermore, when Blue gets older and people are still acting this way about the hair that grows out of her head, what type of message will this send to her and all the other girls who have hair like hers and don’t feel the need to tame it to make YOU feel comfortable? What if she likes the way she looks? If a little black girl with kinky hair, adorned with a pretty bow is unkempt to you, you should probably ask yourself why. Because there is an absence of loose shiny ringlets? THEN you should probably re-visit your theory on  European standards of beauty.

All that’s all I’ve got to say about that *Forest Gump voice*

 

 

 

 

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The Fault in My Scars

Last weekend, my husband decided that we should be baby-less for a day. Between an 18-month-old who’s just discovered running and standing on things, a demanding full-time job, and my husband consistently working overnight and on weekends, I jumped at the chance to live sans baby if only for a few hours.

I immediately obsessed over what I would wear. The forecast called for a mild, low 80’s day, which meant we would probably be spending our quality time outdoors in the city. I decided to go for the perfect combination of sexy and relaxed, settling on a black fold over maxi skirt that he loves to watch my booty in, with a cropped tee — but not too cropped, because tiger stripes.

I showered and applied my sugar-cookie-scented shea butter mix, before heading to the bathroom to continue my grooming routine. I piled on some mascara and painted my lips with “Korean Candy”, one of my favorite summery hues. As I was reaching to coif my hair into my signature messy bun, my shirt rose above my waistline, just enough to expose my stretch marks. Instead of quickly adjusting it as reflex would have it, I paused and found myself admiring the way I looked. I saw sexy. The fold-over on the maxi accentuated my waist perfectly, and the angle at which my top exposed my stomach framed the perfect curve down to my hips. I saw the stretch marks, but they looked perfectly in place as I imagined my husband coming up behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist as he usually does.

For just a hot second, I felt like I wouldn’t mind if my top just so happened to raise up and expose my stomach again during the day… around other people…strangers. For just that quick second, I felt a wave of body confidence that was new to me…

Read the rest at From A Wildflower

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#TBT: Longing for my Throwback Body

Every day, I’m forced to walk past an entire wall of mirrors in order to begin my morning routine. More often than not, I stop and take inventory of what my body has become. Some days I stand and admire the hourglass curve that’s taking its sweet time to re-appear in my torso. Other days I stand there poking and prodding, wondering how much a quick lipo/tummy tuck would set me back.

Yes. I’m a tiger that earned my stripes and my c-section scar is a badge of honor and all that other psuedo-inspirational, instagram meme stuff. But to be real, I’m 25 and if I can be selfish for just a moment, I just want my body back to way it was before.

The thing about being a young mom — given the state of your post-baby body, you may or may not be able to participate in trends made for the twenty-somethings like your peers do. It sounds shallow, but some days you just want to be carefree about what you wear and not have to worry about your “mommy tummy”. I’ll never again know the joys of rocking a breezy crop top with a pair of low riding jeans, and you won’t catch me in a bikini unless the bottoms cover my belly button.

Crop top + high waist. Still MILF-Y.

Crop top + high waist. Still MILF-Y.

Most days it’s “kissmyasssowhat” (Michael Blackson voice).  I had a baby. I have stretch marks. I have a c-section scar that separates one part of my abdomen from the other, which is sometimes visible under clothes. It is what it is. But just when I start to feel somewhat comfortable, there’s a photograph coming across some social network timeline of a mom with a perfectly flat, stretch mark-less stomach. Why can’t EYE look like that?

Don’t mistake this for me saying that I don’t think I’m MILF-Y. Cuz I’m most definitely MILF-Y. I just have to do things a little differently now, like pay attention to the materials I choose, and be mindful of how things will fall on my tummy. If I want to wear a crop top, I have to make sure that whatever I’m wearing on the bottom covers up my tiger stripes. I have to make sure my dress isn’t SO tight in the front that it may show a roll. When an outfit doesn’t flatter you quite the way you imagined it would, it eats away at the tiniest iota of your confidence. We all have those moments. Right?

In a little over a month, my girls and I will be reinstating our annual Miami trip — only interrupted for two out of four of us to give birth. This is the first time post pregnancy that I’m going somewhere where most of the people surrounding me will be quite scantily clad. Of course I don’t want to be the one looking like a covered up granny,  but I’m pretty sure I would feel most comfortable in a one piece WITH a sarong to cover up ALL of my stretch marks–they get on your legs too. But that’s not what I’m going to do. Because I’m just too fabulous for that. Too fabulous, and too MILF-Y.

Miami. Pre-baby.

Miami. Pre-baby.

For the past few weeks I’ve been scouring the net trying to find, mommy-friendly outfits that also won’t have me looking like a “mom” if you know what I mean. I came across a leopard print bathing suit from ASOS. It managed to combine a youthful look with a cut that would cover my major worry spots, so I went out on a limb and ordered it. When it finally came, I carefully peeled back the packaging and examined the size 6 bathing suit.

“This thing looks TOO damn small…

I thought to myself as I began to prepare myself for the worst. I put one leg in, and then the other, and finally pulled it all the way up and tied the strings around my neck. It fit! I have to admit I was surprised. I stepped in front of the mirror and was indeed feeling myself.

I still do wish I could wear some of these really cute cut-out bathing suits and bikinis or wear a little crop top without something high-waisted, but for all of those moments when I’m down on myself, there’s twice as many more that I’m feeling myself — and with good reason *hairflip*.

I think I’ll be alright for the summer.

 

 

 

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Are You Going to Put It Up In That Bun Like Beyonce’?

I’m pretty basic when it comes to my hair. I’ll give you a good 5 hair-styles and you will deal. You can choose from a braid-out, a high bun (aka old braid-out), a bone straight blow-out, or a little wanded ‘do (aka old blow-out). Ok, that was 4. Dassit. Don’t expect anything else out of me, and don’t act like my hair ain’t luxurious when you know it is.

Given the predictability of my hairstyles, I can imagine the thoughts of confusion when I sashayed through the office swinging my booty-length box-braids last week. (For the record I specifically asked them to only braid just past the length of my hair…my hair is nowhere near booty-length) My team of co-workers is pretty close-knit. Close-knit meaning nobody has any qualms about asking me completely candid questions about my hair.

Luxurious box-braids

Luxurious box-braids

Here’s how my last two weeks of box-braided-ness have been going:

“OMG that is SO cute! So what do they like…just weave it in?”

I kindly explained to my boss the difference between a weave and braids. I still don’t think she gets it.

“OMG are you going to put it up in that bun like Beyoncé? I love when Beyoncé wears that bun.”

Why yes. Yes I am. In fact Queen Bey herself is coming over tomorrow to give me a tutorial on how to do it. You should stop by.

“Hey, what did you do to your hair? I just looked one day and thought Oh she’s been taking her vitamins!”

I told her that I grew it like Rapunzel. Then I assured her that I was just kidding and that my new booty-length braids were a result in the recent spike of biotin in my diet.

“So how much of that is actually yours?”

Half. It’s half mine. The other half belongs to Rumpelstiltskin, who spun it like gold one rainy night, and sent it via carrier pigeon to the braid-shop. I found it waiting there just for me in a special package with my name on it.

“Do you think I could get mine done?”

Sure girl.

And the age-old favorite:

“So how do you wash it?”

I don’t. *gasp*

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Why Buy Clothes? Making Use of your Man’s Closet

If you don’t know anything else about me, learn this:

I’m tight with my coins. Anything I buy designer or otherwise, you can pretty much bet I didn’t pay full price. My Kate Spade bag? Won it during a challenge at my gym. My vintage Luis? My husband’s grandmother gave it to me. My Marc Jacobs booties? Caught a mean sale at Bloomingdale’s. Loubies? Don’t own a pair. You get the picture.

When it comes to clothing items, I buy for practicality. Most of the pieces I own are versatile pieces that can be easily transitioned from work to happy hour. Anything else, I buy sparingly, which leaves me stuck on the weekends between looking like I’m ready for cocktail hour and looking like I’m about to go workout or play basketball…I don’t play basketball.

But then…I discovered that my husband’s sweaters, hoodies and t-shirts look really cute on me, and can easily transform an outfit “doing the most” to “perfectly chill”…for free! These are a couple of my favorite looks that have saved me trips to the store. I haven’t purchased an oversized sweater, hoodie or, plain t-shirt for as long as I can remember. Just another way to stretch a buck–and you know I know about THAT.

Toasting to his awesome sweater.

Toasting to his awesome sweater.

 

Leading Carter to the way of stealing Daddy's hoodies

Leading Carter to the way of stealing Daddy’s hoodies

 How do you stretch your wardrobe? 

P.S. – I’m not responsible for y’all getting in “trouble” for stealing your man’s clothes, but if you do, Just tell him “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” That may or may not work. *shrugs*

 

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