Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beyonce's Stocking Shocker!: Happy Natural Thanksgiving to All!

Beyonce has caught the eye for many people throughout the world for her talent, grace and style.  There is no doubt that she has all of those characteristics and a phenomenol voice.  Two groups, that particularly pay attention to her are young Black girls and women, who have the daunting task of trying to fit into a society that is often times reluctant to accept their natural features.  I was quite surprised to hear Beyonce announce on the view that she wears four pairs of stockings to keep everything tucked in while performing.  Hence, the body image that she provides is one that conforms to many tricks of the performance trade. Check out her comment on the view per this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dssvrw8nkr4

Her honesty is appreciated and it would be wonderful if those who admire her, particularly the two groups mentioned above, could hear this loud and clear.   Additionally, there are questions about her skin tone, or at least how cosmetic companies portray her per the pictures below:

The question is, why is her natural skin color not good enough in the world of hair and cosmetics?  What kind of message does this send to young women and young girls?  Why is it that the beautiful skin tones of Black women, based on their natural hues and vibrantly kinky hair styles are "white washed" and straightened? On Thankgiving day, Beyonce, a beautiful sister will perform during her television special.  Her music, style and grace will be evident and we should be proud of her success.  However, on that day, to every Black woman watching her, also be thankful that a greater success, will be  if you can look in the mirror at your beautiful natural skin color and your wonderfully natural hair (if it is in the texture that grows out of your scalp) and say wth pride, Natural is Cool Enough.  That you should be thankful for, because it says a lot about your fantastic self-esteem and level of consciousness and that is N.I.C.E.! Happy Natural Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Natural Tips for the Naturalistas: Oprah and Dr. Oz Are On to Something!

     Are you interested in trying something new to enhance yourself naturally?  Lately and gradually, I have peaked at the Dr. Oz show and have gained some worthy insight.  From time to time, he offers tips from  around the world which are of great interest to me.  Generally, the information is natural and positive so I decided to try a few of them to see if they have merit and I have been pleasantly surprised. I think that Oprah Winfrey was on to something when she introduced Dr. Oz to the world and they are both on to something big in terms of their belief and promotion of natural and healthy products. 

Dr. Oz and Oprah
      The first suggestion, through one of his guest hosts, is the use of a combination of egg yolk, extra virgin olive oil and honey in your hair. This is a South African secret of beautiful hair. So, during my weekly grocery shopping trip to Whole Foods, I acquired organic eggs, organic extra virgin olive oil and organic honey.  Subsequently, I mixed the three together in a bowl and proceeded to put the mixture in in my locs.  I left it in for a while, washed it out and to my amazement, my hair felt wonderfully soft and moisturized.  So, this is now a weekly routine for me. 
Another suggestion, per the Dr. Oz show, is the use of Coconut oil on the skin as a moisturizer.  So, I also acquired organic coconut oil at Whole Foods and after showering, I use it as a moisturizer.  The result after doing so for two weeks is beautifully moisturized skin.  The great thing is that my skin does not feel too oily and I find that it keeps my skin moist for the entire day. According to Dr. Oz, this wonderful secret is from Belize.  I have visited both of these countries and so to find that the wonder and beauty of both has something so nourishing to my hair and body is great.  Anything that is natural and healthy and is beneficial for the Naturalistas furthers my belief that N.I.C.E.!  If you have any natural beauty tips for the naturalistas, let us know.  Natural Beauty tips from around the world are welcome.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cultural Competency for the Naturalistas: Would this happen to Whoopi Goldberg?

Recently, I wrote a book published in March of 2010 by Jones and Bartlet Publishing, Inc. There are stories, written in this book in a form that is called Case Studies, to get the thoughts and opinions of individuals who read them.  Also, there is one chapter, (the last, but not the least), that is specific to women. So, check out the Case Study below from the book.  I am definitely intersted in your opinion and whether the folks who were to provide service to this woman understand that Natural is Cool Enough (N.I.C.E.).  For example, do you think this would happen to a true Naturalista like Whoopi Goldberg as an example? Book available at www.jblearning.com/catalog/9780763761646/ or   http://www.amazon.com/Cultural-Competency-Health-Administration-Public/dp/0763761648/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1290018881&sr=8-1
CASE STUDY ( pgs. 131-132, Chapter 11)
An African American woman enters a healthcare facility where she is to receive a magnetic resonance image (MRI) of her spine.  She has long hair in the style known as locks.  She is greeted by the receptionist and asked to have a seat in the waiting area until the technician is ready to see her.  A White, male technician arrives to escort the woman in for the proceudure and briefly discusses the process of the MRI with her.  During his overview,  he indicates to her that she will have to remove any metal objects (such as pins in her hair and jewelry) and that she should remove her hair for the process.  The woman is appalled by his latter statement and indicates to him that her hair is her own and cannot be removed.  He responds by stating that he has served a number of Black women who have weaves and other "false" hair often held in by pins, so he was basically taking a precaution.  The woman in is highly insulted and asks to speak to the Administrator on duty.  A White woman, in an elegantly tapered suit, arrives, hears the concern, and explains to the African American woman that the technician meant no harm but it is the policy of the facility to be thorough with all patients in terms of the provision of information and that he was correct in inquiring about her hair in the manner that he did to ensure safety during the MRI process.  She offers no apology and curtly responds, "I hope this resolves your concern as he was merely following our required protocol."  The African American woman responds with a disappointed and curt thank you and leaves the building, promptly vowing never to return.  She seeks her MRI at another facility.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lauryn Hill: This Sister Knows That Natural Is Cool Enough!

In this picture, Lauryn Hill is performing at a Homecoming event at the University of Miami in Florida.  I had read several reviews about her comeback, in various venues, and most of the comments were unfavorable. However, my opinion, after going to her concert, is that she is still amazing on a number of levels.  First of all, she sang some of her new songs and some of her old jams as well adding a new touch to them that expresses who she is today, a more mature Lauryn.  She seems a bit mor seasoned by life, more hardcore and intense.  I like what I heard but I especially liked what I saw...a serious, natural Afro, essentially what one would have called,  back in the day, a "Fro."  Her hair is a true statement of her consciousness.  It is almost as if she is saying, through her natural, for those of you who may think I have changed during my hiatus to raise my children, do know that I am still conscious, I am still natural and I am still your soulful sistah!  To me, Lauryn, without a doubt, is self assured in her understanding that N.I.C.E.!