Medieval noblewomen swallowed arsenic and dabbed on bats' blood to improve their complexions; 18th-century Americans prized the warm urine of young boys to erase their freckles; Victorian ladies removed their ribs to give themselves a wasp waist. The desire to be beautiful is as old as civilisation, as is the pain that it can cause.
The desire to be beautiful is as old as civilisation, as is the pain that it can cause.
The desire to be beautiful is as old as civilisation, as is the pain that it can cause.
The desire to be beautiful is as old as civilisation, as is the pain that it can cause.
No, I did not make a mistake by repeating that three times. I want it to sink in that THE DESIRE TO BE BEAUTIFUL IS AS OLD AS CIVILISATION, AS IS THE PAIN THAT IN CAN CAUSE.
Growing up I was told that, "you must suffer for beauty." Today, a number of black women I know, including myself, suffer from a condition call alopecia, which is baldness and extreme hair loss, mainly because we had to suffer to be beautiful. My natural hair is now permanently damaged because I pursued perfection. A few years ago I used to religiously get artificial nails. One day I noticed that, in my pursuit of perfection, my natural nails had become so damaged that they were paper thin. We've all seen celebrity women who used to be naturally beautiful but are now short of looking like cats due to extreme plastic surgery, again, in the pursuit of perfection.
But why do we do this? Why would we rather damage, and sometimes even destroy our natural beauty, in the pursuit of perfection? Why do we think that we are not perfect enough?
Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that the global beauty industry—consisting of skin care worth $24 billion; make-up, $18 billion; $38 billion of hair-care products; and $15 billion of perfumes—is growing at up to 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the developed world's GDP.
I think I can go off on a limb here and say every single one of us believes that nature is perfect. From the tiniest fish in the sea, to the greatest beast in the wild; the blue skies, dusk and dawn, the mountains, the birds of the air, the oceans and the rivers, the flowers of the field, even the bare desert, it's all perfect.
What confuses me is, how can we find ALL of creation to be perfect.....except ourselves.
Why are we constantly trying to make ourselves look better? Why do we spend so much time and money constantly trying to fix ourselves? If God created EVERYTHING to be perfect, even the tiniest little butterfly, why do we think that we are less than that? That perhaps He made a mistake when creating us.
“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”
When you meet most women today, including myself, you find that we have on a wig, weave, or coloured hair, plucked eyebrows, fake lashes, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, foundation, blush, lipstick, a push-up bra, a waist-trainer, spanx, a butt-lifter, artificial nails, or high-heels. Nothing about us is in its natural state. Worse, despite all of these enhancements, we still photoshop and filter our photos. Why?
I ask these questions for myself. I ask these questions to myself. I ask these questions for my future daughter. I ask these questions for every woman who does not feel beautiful without all the enhancements. I ask these questions because I'm just confused. Why do we not think that we are perfect?
We think little girls are beautiful. We think old women are beautiful. What happens to us in between. When do we stop feeling beautiful and perfect in our natural state?
This is not a blog protesting the cosmetic surgery and beauty industries, neither is it a blog comparing natural and "fake" beauty. This is a blog asking you and me, why do we not think that we are perfect exactly the way we are?
I am always so shocked at how judgmental human beings can be. I think what perplexes me the most is when a human being pretends like they're not human. Like they're perfect and have this life thing all figured out. When a human being judges another human for being...well...human. When he who is with sin casts stones while they're living in a glass house.
“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.”
The reality is, sometimes you lose. And you're never too good to lose. You're never too big to lose. You're never too smart to lose. It happens.
We like to say that life is unfair. This is not true. I'll give you two very good reasons why life IS fair.
1. We all have 24 hours in a day. 2. Life is fair because life is 'unfair' to all of us.
You can follow all the rules, work hard, be a faithful believer, have a positive attitude in every and any situation, be kind to people, be humble, but still lose. It happens. It happens to all of us. And it sucks. And it hurts because then you are left with no explanations and sometimes, no solutions because, according to what you know, you've done everything right. You've done everything you possibly can.
You reach a point where you wish you could have a sit down with God and ask Him, "What is going on? What are you doing? Where is this going?"
I recently had a conversation with a friend who asked me, outside of going to parties or to social events, what else do people do for fun? Well, here's a list of things I dare you to do for fun at least once in a lifetime.
WARNING: This blog may change the way you live your life. Forever.
1. Visit all seven continents. The world is HUGE! Don't be satisfied with experiencing it only through the TV screen. Visit Africa, North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Europe, and Antarctica at least once in your life.
2. Switch off everything for a whole week. No phone, no internet, no TV. Nothing. Technology is great, but it takes us away from the present moment because we are always chatting with someone who isn't there. Disconnect for a little while. Be present. Be in the moment. Read a book. Go for walks and really notice what is around.
3. Ask someone you like out on a date. Forget flirting via text or social media, ask someone out on a real date. Dress up really nicely, pick them up and go to the door to meet them instead of asking them to meet you outside. Bring them a bunch of flowers, and give them an incredible experience. Plan something that won't necessary cost a lot of money, but something that is personal, special, and well-thought out.
4. Spoil yourself with something expensive. Think of something selfish, but something that you can hand down to your kids. An art piece, a vintage car, a Rolex, a Berkin...
5. Do an extreme sport like bungee jumping, sky diving, paragliding, or swimming with the sharks. Something you think you'll never do. Face your fear.
6. Go skiing in the Alps.
7. Write a letter to your child for them to open on their 21st birthday. Or create an email for your child and write them regular messages. Give them the password on their 21st birthday.
8. Write a letter to yourself that you will open 10 years from today. Tell yourself where you will be, what you will have and what you will be doing.
9. Be on a reality TV show. Even if you don’t make it to the final, be part of the experience so that you'll look back one day and say you were once on a reality TV show.
10. Live in a different country on another continent. Living away from home makes you grow in ways you could never imagine. Be an au pair, do an exchange student's program, or find a job in a foreign country for a year. This will be the most life-changing experience of your life. Trust me.
11. Take yourself out, alone, to an upmarket restaurant where you need to reserve a table weeks in advance. Dress up and order the best meal on the menu. Enjoy.
12. Go on holiday, alone, to a city where you have no family or friends. There is something really interesting about vacationing alone. You can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, for as long as you want to do it, without having to consider anyone else. People also tend to be very friendly to you when you're traveling alone. It's a great way to meet new people and make friends from different countries and cultures.
13. Buy roses at the traffic light and tell the guy selling them to give it to the person in the car behind you.
14. Write a message, put it in a bottle and throw it in the sea.
15. Send a handwritten letter to your lover via the post office. Yes, yes, snail mail.
16. Find an underprivileged child and buy them the whole year’s school stationary. Make it personal by meeting the child and taking them shopping for the school supplies. If you can afford it, buy them new school uniform as well.
17. Test drive a sports car you can’t afford...yet. On a Friday afternoon, go test drive a car you one day hope to own.
18. Go to an expensive open house. On a Sunday afternoon, go view a house you can't afford...yet, but one day hope to own.
19. Mentor someone. Commit to changing someone's life. It could be a school kid who aspires to do what you do, or a young person trying to find their way, or someone who's simply trying to change their life. Changing someone's life will change your life.
20. You know how people buy people drinks at a club or a bar? Go to a bookstore, meet someone interesting, and buy them one of your favourite books. Write your number in it and tell them to call you when they've read the book.
21. Find a childhood friend whom you haven't seen in years and reconnect with them.
22. Everyday, pay a total stranger a compliment.
23. Learn something new. Perhaps a foreign language, how to play a music instrument, how to play chess, or anything you've always been curious about.
24. Start a library for your family. Buy books and keep them for your children to read as they grow older. Challenge them to add to the collection and eventually hand down the library to their children. Make this a family tradition for generations to come.
25. Go see your favourite artist perform in another country. Or better yet, go to a music festival in a foreign country.
26. Kiss a hot celebrity. Don’t date them. Don’t sleep with them. Only kiss them.
27. Dedicate an entire week-end to helping people who could possibly never be able to pay you back. Take care of orphans, help the elderly in an old age home, or feed the homeless. Find a charity around your home and volunteer.
28. Book your parents into a hotel for a weekend. Not on any special occasion, just as a random act of gratitude.
29. Forgive someone you’ve been holding a grudge against. Write them a note or email or text or even call and tell them that you forgive them.
30. Have the perfect body. Challenge yourself to have the body you've always wanted and give yourself exactly six months to achieve this goal. Then start a health and fitness program to fulfil this goal. Do it not only to look good, but also to feel good about yourself naked and more importantly, to be healthy.
31. Get married. I think marriage is a beautiful thing that we should all experience at least once in a lifetime.
32. Dance on top of the table in a bar. Or do something just as ridiculous and silly. Something you will look back and laugh at.
33. Take one of your parents on holiday. Just the two of you. Spend the week together and get to know each other again without people and daily routines distracting you.
34. Go on a road-trip with your best friends for a week. Don’t plan anything. Switch off your phones. Get in a car and drive to nowhere slowly. Stop at random places. Meet the locals. Take lots of pics.
35. Learn yoga and learn how to meditate. It will do wonders for your life!
36. Get a new hobby. Technology has developed so much that we no longer have to leave our couches to pursue what we enjoy. Get a new hobby or start doing an old hobby again. Grow a vegetable garden, write poetry, learn photography, join a cooking club, take a painting class. Something. Anything!
37. Become a couch surfer. Did you know that you could actually travel the world and not pay a cent for accommodation? Yup! You register at www.couchsurfer.com to become a member. You can accommodate people from all over the world on your couch for a night or two, and also stay on their couch for free when you're travelling the world. It really is that simple.
38. House swap. Ever watched the movie "The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law? That's where I learned about www.homeexchange.com. Go on there, register your home, and whenever you want to go on holiday you can swap homes with someone from a different country or city. I kid you not.
39. Pack your bags, go to the airport and ask the travel agent to book you a flight to anywhere random. Get on the plane and go on an adventure to a surprise destination.
40. Bake a cake from scratch for someone special. Also make them a mix tape with all the songs that remind you of them. Don't wait for a special occasion. Do it on a random day. Make them feel special.
41. Publish a book. Write a memoir and share the story of your life with the world in your own words. If you feel that your life isn't that interesting, write a biography about someone whom you truly admire. Someone whose story may otherwise never be heard by the world.
42. LIVE YOUR DREAM! Visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Go after your perfect job. Date your crush. Leave no regrets!
43. Get paid to do what you love to do. "The biggest mistake you could ever make is thinking that you can't get paid to do what you love." If you like to talk, think of Oprah. If you like to cook, think of Jamie Oliver. If you like to make people laugh, think of Trevor Noah. If you like shopping, think of June Ambrose. Yes, you CAN get paid to do ANYTHING you love to do.
44. Love someone completely and unconditionally! Love them wholly and with no inhibitions. Tell them you love them. Show them everyday that you love them. Teach them how to love you by the way that you love them. Let your love change them for good.
45. Finally.....Be happy. Make whatever change, whether big or small, for you to be happy. Life really is too short for you to live it unhappy. This is not a rehearsal. There is no second take. You only get one shot. Don't waste it. Be happy.
When I hear a woman saying, "I don't get along with women, I'd rather make friends with men" or “I’m not friends with too many women because they’re too much drama,” or "women hate each other," I can’t help but cringe. A small part of me wants to die and the other part of me wants to hug that woman.
You see, I was raised to hate women. I was taught that women create drama, that they're jealous of me and are competing with me, and that I just should not trust women. I was taught to not trust the women in my workplace, the women in my circle, and definitely the women who even wave at my man. Why? Because women hate each other. Women hate me.
Is it not funny that, even though men create so much drama in our lives, even though men can emotionally abuse us to the point where we doubt and hate ourselves, even though men hurt us so much, we are never taught that men hate women? Why?
As women, we will forgive the same man for the same hurtful behaviour over and over and over and over and over again, but when a female friend does us wrong just once, we won't think twice about cutting them out of our lives. We are taught to fight to keep a man, and taught to quickly let go of female friends. Why?
Listen...., not all men are dogs and not all women are bitches. Not every woman is out to get you or is in your life to create drama. You know how some of your relationships with men haven't worked out due to irreconcilable differences or due to the fact that the guy was just an asshole? It's the same with your relationships with women. It will happen that you will meet a woman who is out to ruin your life, a woman who is just the devil incarnate. But that's who SHE is. That's HER character. One woman is not a reflection of all the women in world. As much as not all men will like you, not all women will like you either. That's just life.
I consider myself very lucky and blessed to call some of the most incredible, strong, talented, supportive women "friend." I love women and I believe that women love me. I learn so much from women. I draw so much strength from women. There are struggles and challenges that I have had to face and I know I would've never been able to get through them without my female friends, female colleagues, and female strangers. I believe that it's easy for other women to show up for me because I show up for them.
One day I hope to have a daughter and I want to teach her that other women are not out to get her and that they aren't competing with her. I love complimenting, encouraging and supporting women, because I know the challenges we, as women, face everyday. As a women, we already have so much going against us, I can't go and be against other women. I will not believe that women hate me, because women don't hate me. I hope to one day have a daughter I will teach these same principles to.
Remember that life is a reflection of who you are, so if you, as a woman, believe that women hate women, ask yourself a few questions. Ask yourself, "How loving and supportive am I of other women?" Ask yourself, " Do I love women the way I'd like for them to love me?" Ask yourself, "Am I the change I'd like to see in the world?"
Women don't hate each other, and that's just life as I see it...
How are you?
When was the last time you said to someone, "How are you?" because you really wanted to know how they were? When was the last time someone asked you, "How are you?" and you answered truthfully and genuinely?
A few days ago I texted a very dear friend of mine, "How are you?" and she replied, "I'm centred. I'm fine."
Then I replied with, "How are you? How are you really?" She then replied, "I'm torn up inside. I'm in pain. My heart is broken."
It got me wondering, how many people in my life are torn up inside, in pain, heartbroken, and dying quietly, that I believe are fine? How many people who are family or people who claim to be my friends genuinely care about how I really am? How many of them ask me, "How are you?" because they really want to know how I am?
We live in a time and place where we are so busy, so consumed by our own thoughts and our own lives that we care very little about those we claim to love. We ask, "How are you?" out of habit and not because we care to know how the person really is. We answer, "I'm fine," because that's what we're used to saying and not because we really are fine. We also don't believe that the person asking, "How are you?" is genuinely interested in knowing how you really are.
We need to do better and be better. We need to slow down and listen to what those around us are saying and aren't saying. We need to slow down and listen to how we are feeling without being afraid to feel that. And we need to remember that we are human beings and not robots. We need to stop saying things we don't mean out of habit. We have to do better.
Perhaps we should stop using the response, "I'm fine," and actually learn to articulate how you really feel instead of saying what we're used to saying. Perhaps we say, "I'm fine," because we don't want to accept that we feel the way we do, because acknowledging our feelings makes them real. Perhaps we are aware of how we feel but are afraid to tell those around us because we fear being judged and ridiculed by them. There are so many "perhaps" I can think of, and many more that I can't think of.
Next time you ask someone, "How are you?" mean it. Ask and then wait for an answer. Listen to the answer. Really listen. And if you're not convinced, ask again, "How are you really?"
And next time someone asks you, "How are you?" tell them how you really are. If you're happy, say you're happy. If you're hurting, say you're hurting.
So, here I am, I'm asking you, "How are you?"
"Really, how are you?"
It's easy to praise God when things are good in your life, but faith is about worshipping Him when things aren't going your way. Faith is knowing that God is the same God in good times and in bad times. Faith is the assurance that no matter what is going on around you, the God that lives within you has always got your back.
We all know that everything happens for a reason, but somehow, when things aren't going our way, we panic. We lose all faith and become discouraged. Thing is, everything happens because it's supposed to happen. Nothing happens TO you, everything happens FOR you. People come into your life for a season and for a reason, and when the right time comes, they have to leave…… for a reason. It all happens FOR you.
Sure, we're human and we get hurt, become sad and disappointed, and that's okay. Take a day, lock yourself in your room, feel sorry for yourself and ball your eyes out. Do that ugly cry if you have to. Then get up and keep it moving! Don't allow what is supposed to be a bad day to turn into a bad week, then bad month, then a bad life!!! Even though you don't know the reason right now, trust that the right thing happened at the right time. For you.
No matter what happens, do not lose your faith...
Dear friend, learn to be genuinely happy for anyone who's doing better than you. Let go of bitterness and hate because it will consume you and kill your spirit. Keep negativity away from your lips and bitterness away from your heart. When something good happens for someone, celebrate with them. This is called sowing a seed. If you sow negativity, you will reap negativity. If you sow positivity, you reap positivity.
Dear friend, until you learn to be happy for those who are doing better than you, God/life/the universe/whatever you believe in will continue to humble you. It will seem as though life is unfair and that things don't work out for you, but I tell you, look at your heart, listen to the things you say about others and you will understand why you are where you are today.
Change yourself, friend. Be kind to others and life will be kind to you. I tell you this because I care and want you to be happy, friend…
If I could have just one wish,
Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals. -1 Corinthians 15:33
Be very careful of whom you allow around your personal space. Stay away from "friends" who have no direction in life, who are the same today as they were 5 years ago, people whose lives are filled with drama and constant failures. Stay away from people who have no ambition, who aren't always looking to learn something new, people who are complacent and have no burning desire to grow and getter be at personal relationships or in their careers. There is nothing to learn from such friends and these are the people who will always discourage you whenever you try to do something to make yourself better. In fact, they will be quick to tell you that you think you are better than them,.
Surround yourself with people who are doing better in life than you are. Choose friends who are always motivating you, calling you into order, and inspiring you to do better in your life. Be around people who will challenge you and be genuinely happy for you even when you are doing better than them. Look for the over-achievers, the fighters, the people who just never ever ever give up.
Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals. If your life is going nowhere and instead you're moving backwards, look at the people you call friends. Look at their lives and what they have achieved or haven't achieved. That is your life. Do not be deceived…
I think a lot. I question a lot. This is my journey to finding the answers and also sharing with you my thoughts on life as i see it...
bits & pieces