VIDEO: CULTURAL APPROPRIATION 101 BY AMANDLA STENBERG

Alright, alright. Time to get serious for a minute. Cultural Appropriation is a term that I keep seeing, all over the internerdz and I’m so happy that people are talking and being vocal.

I’m a black woman. I grew up in the metropolis of West London, a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. My parents ensured that as a child, I was made aware of who I am, where I’m from, the struggles that black people have faced throughout history (and still face today), and I was taught about the plethora of strong, black social figures that inspire so many of us today. I was also taught that as a POC (person of colour), I would might find that I have to work twice as hard as others and, ultimately, to treat people how you would like to be treated – with respect.

Yesterday, I came across this video – made by Amandla Stenberg (from The Hunger Games) along with a classmate for a history project.  Amandla articulates the points of her argument without all of the keyboard aggression that just really bums me out when scrolling through Tumblr.

One of my favourite things in life is learning about new cultures, exploring new things and sharing my culture with others. One of my least favourite things is people taking attributes of things that I identify as my culture* (or any other culture for that matter) and turning it into something that lacks sincerity (yes, my baby hairs are laid with the utmost sincerity). For example – people using patois phrases like “blood”, pointing inwards, awkwardly hopping from one foot to another, swapping T’s with D’s with their baseball cap flipped backwards and adding “innit?” to the end of every sentence. Like, who actually does that? Why is it funny? Who are you mocking?

I could go on and on…………….and on and on and on but social issues like this really drag me down. I really wanted to share this as I think it’s super important for people to have a basic understanding of why cultural appropriation sucks and why we should do each other the courtesy of treating one another with respect.

 

 

 

 

 

*I would consider my culture to be primarily black (my race), afro-caribbean (my descent), urban (because I was born and raised in a city, not because I’m black).

FRIDAY FAVOURITES: DIY SUGAR & HONEY FACE SCRUB

Heyyoooooo, been a minute! I’ve been a little overwhelmed with moving house, work and my BIRTHDAY. Yes. I’m now 29. Which isn’t old but my baby cousins aren’t babies anymore. They’re like 16 and go to Camden or to the club or…omg, I’m going to have an anxiety attack. No. They’re still babies to me. Anyway, I haven’t posted a Friday Favourite in a while so here’s one for yew.

I kind of neglected my skin routine whilst I was in between my parents’ and my boyfriend’s place and was totally able to tell the difference. I was drinking less water, sleeping less, I was being sloppy with my food and I just was being lazy all round. Last night I decided to take 5 minutes out to do a face scrub before bed and GURL! Let me tell YOU. My skin felt amazebawlz.

 

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 Teaspoon of Castor Sugar (soft brown sugar would be better but I used what I had)
  • 2 teaspoons of Honey
  • 2 drops of pure Tea Tree Oil

 

Method:

  1. mix the sugar and honey together in a small bowl
  2. add two drops of Tea Tree oil*
  3. stir it up
  4. apply all over face with the back of the teaspoon
  5. rub it into skin gently to warm up the honey
  6. remove with a damp warm cloth

*NB: Be careful using pure Tea Tree oil! Only a couple drops are needed. I managed to scald my face by using it on a spot without a carrier oil.

Tone as usual (i used Aloe Vera juice as my toner’s run out) and moisturise with oil/cream of choice (I used Vitamin E oil as I have scarring from pimples that I’m trying to fade).

How easy is that?  I was kind of surprised at the results. My skin instantly looked brighter and felt super soft. I think I’ll try to do this once a week to keep my skin looking bright and tight (ha!).

Have you tried making any scrubs at home? What are your some of your favourite recipes?

 

HEALTH: IRON DEFICIENCY IN VEGETARIANS

I’ve been vegetarian for about 10 years now. For the first two years, I struggled with constant fatigue/anaemia whilst studying for my degree and working two jobs. At one point, I remember being unable to even get off the couch and I had no idea why. In more recent years, I’ve suffered from bouts of incurable cracked and chapped lips, breathlessness (even while stationary), crazy fatigue and unable to feel warm.

Photo Cred: SimplyScratch.com

After convincing myself that I had a brain tumor and diabetes, I deduced that it was probably down to an Iron deficiency so I try to stay on top of it by eating iron rich foods (broccoli and kale) as well as taking supplements and vitamins (mostly when I’m feeling run down as I don’t like to put too many things into my body at once).

 

Photo cred: OhMyVeggies.com

Sometimes health jargon can be snooze inducing but I found this really cool write up on Iron & Vegetarianism from OhMyVeggies to be really helpful. Click the pic to check it out!

How do you cope with symptoms of anaemia and stay on top of your iron intake?

 

SHOOT: PETE & JOHN YABRIFA

I’ve known Pete & John guys since I was a teenager, first going to shows. They played together in a metal band called Last Hours of Torment and have always been really f*cking cool to me.

Now that I’m shooting again, it made so much sense to link with the brothers of darkness and do a really fun shoot in our mutual hometown.

I met them in south London on a Saturday to nail some shots. It was nice to catch up with them and talk about the times when all we cared about was beatdowns and moshing. They’re both dad’s now (wtf!?) but still enjoy Shaolin kung fu and photography when they have time.

We had the best fun. I even made some friends too!

Photography: Peter and John Yabrifa

Hair, Make Up & Styling: Me

Blast Orange Vest: Carhartt Work In Progress (sold out, see link for similar)

Leather Jacket: Jofama x Edwin Europe (sold out)

Leather look sweatpants: Topshop (sold out)

Leather look wide leg pants: Zara (sold out)

Longsleeve T: Crowbar merch (via Rock And Roll Heavy Weights)

Grey Short Sleeve Sweatshirt: Uniqlo

Sneakers: Le Coq Sportif 

BIRTHDAY WISHLIST

I turn 29 in less than two weeks which means that I’m one year and 12 days closer to 30 *melts down internally*. By the time my mum was this age she was married, a property owner and I was 2 years old. OKAY.

As this stark reality sets in, I’m going to ignore all of societies expectations and restraints and think about presents because what else are birthday’s for? Here are some of the things that I’m hoping will make the journey to real life adulthood (your 20’s don’t count) plain sailing…

Photography Lighting Kit and Ring Light

 

I’m not always able to film for my Youtube channel during the day. I’m hoping to turn one corner of my new apartment into a mini home studio with this very basic lighting kit and a ring light for my Canon EOS 100D.

NEW Macbook from Apple

My current Macbook is 5 years old and I’ve noticed that it’s a little too slow now that I’m using it for more than blogging and watching Netflix. The new macbook from Apple is GOLD. It’s gold and lightweight and I simply must have it.

Calvin Klein Duo

If, like me, you’re not into fussy underwear and prioritise comfort over everything else then this duo set from CK is EVERYTHING. I’ve had my eye on this set for the longest while. This is one 90’s trend that I’m happy to see come back. Wear the crop-top as is if you’re braver than I, or under a T’s or tank for the days when a bra seems like torture. I like the fact that there are variations on the bottoms but I’m done wearing thongs and the boyfriend shorts remind me of being 16 years old and thinking it was super cute to rock boy’s undies. Lemme just the the regular knick-knacks and done. You can cop these at ASOS.

 

Moleskine Diary

The older I get, the more forgetful I seem to be. It’s not a cliche, it’s skraight fax. I love this Moleskine week-per-page diary with another side for notes. In a way, it reminds me of my homework diary from school. I’m into it. Check out the variety of diaries that Moleskine has to offer here.

Personalized Ring

I’ve always been more of a ring person and now that I’m in a position to be able to rebuild my jewellery collection, I’d love to get something personalised like this awesome nameplate ring. The Personalised Boutique offers tons of different options for rings – initial, full name, two-finger, diamonds – and any other form of adornment that one can imagine. The prices aren’t too bad either.

 

10k Curb Chain

I haven’t worn a chain since I was a child, probably. But my friend and old flatmate, Zaza, just did a soft launch for her jewellery brand, Four Ones, and I need a chain to go with one of her pretty pendants.

Balenciaga Buckle Boots

THESE BOOTS. At first, I was so unsure about these but now, the veil has been lifted and I’m ready for the life receival that will ensue once I finally get my hands on these bad boys. Now, let me be real wit it for a minute. These boots are not cheap. In fact, they cost mad bank but we can all dream, right? With a bit of saving and a few less veggie pitta’s from Nando’s, all things are possible…………………………………………right?

Calvin Klein “Bea” Cross Body Bag

I first saw this cute Calvin Klein, structured cross-body bag while lost in the Depop vortex. All of my bags are huge and the Celine trio is ridic money so I’m after something that’s smaller, will hold my wallet and possibly a Game of Thrones novel……and some pens. You can also find this dreamy bag on ASOS. For a classic mid-high end brand, the price is really good. Hoping to get my hands on this ASAP.

A Dance With Dragons: After The Feast

The new season of GOT starts on April 12 which leaves me 24 days to finish the last book in the series. Apparently the new book won’t be out until 2016. WTH am I going to do once I’ve finished this one!?

Final Cut Pro

I’m struggling with iMovie when it comes to editing my videos. Final Cut Pro seems like the way to go when it comes to video editing. It’s not cheap (£229) but I think it’s important to invest in the best quality tools when it comes to these things. You can cop this from the app store.

Lader watch from Larsson & Jennings

I am, by no means, a nerd when it comes to time pieces. I have an awesome Military Watch Company watch that I use for every day but the nato strap is a little on the casual side. I’ve had my beady eye on this Larsson & Jennings for a while but never knew which to pick. I love the classic black and gold colour way on this and at £215, the price is really reasonable for such an investment – especially seeing as it’s gold plated. You can buy Larsson & Jennings at, Selfridges, Liberty and at the L & J store on Monmouth St in London.

Double Back Earrings from The Haute Pursuit Co

These are really lovely. I’ve been following Vanessa Hong ever since I saw that picture of her wearing the basketball jersey, cut out jeans and strappy shoes (WERK HUNNAAAYYY!). I love her take on fashion and her minimal instagram is perfect. Vanessa has a webstore under the same moniker where you can find all of her dreamy creations. These Doubleback earrings are pretty, versatile and come in a bunch of other colourways. I love dem!

Marble iPhone Cover

Why do my phone covers always end up breaking or just looking like garbage?! UGH. This one is really cute. Thoroughly enjoying the marble look. You can grab this from Zazzle.com.

Diptyque Figuier Scented Candle 

I have two perfumes from Diptyque – Philosykos and Do Son. This scented candle is Philosykos in candle form and I want to smell it ALL THE TIME. Available from the Diptyque store and Liberty, it’s on the pricey side (£40 for 190g) but I hate cheap smelling candles and I love this brand so it’s totally worth it.

Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques

I bought a Beauty Blender and Silicone liner brush from Real Techniques and I really love them both. This cute collection of duo fibre, synthetic make up brushes look great and I’ve seen great reviews online. You can buy the whole set from Boots. They may seem expensive but regular brushes from MAC cost just as much and certainly don’t look as cool! Secret – a makeup artist from a MAC location that i shall not reveal suggested I try these duo fibre brushes as they’re just as good. Can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on these.

And there you have it! My birthday wishlist. When is your birthday and what are you wishing for?

HAIRSPIRATION: COLOURPOP FRO’S

 I decided to go natural last summer and did  my big chop in December.  Thankfully, I have  the most resilient hair known to man as I’ve  never experienced *real* damage or breakage  (apart from once when a colourist at an afro-  european salon told me that afro hair didn’t  need oils and grease, HA!) but I figured that  those horrid chemicals can’t be good so I  opted for that Naturalista liiiiffeestyyyyllee   *young thung voice*.

I’ll do a proper post, documenting my natural  hair journey another time but, for now, I’m enjoying rediscovering my natural hair texture, trying out new products (which i’ll  post more about in the future) and having short hair in general. I can’t wait for it to be  bloody massive.

In the meantime, here are  some pretty colourpop ‘fro’s that I found when looking for inspiration.

Tiki Caldwell ~ @tikicaldwell

Kayla Phillips ~ @afroxvx

Elaine ~ @elaineafrika

Jasmin Charles ~ @aristocratchet

A friend of mine found also found this cool article  on Harlem during the summer of 1970 with  pictures by Jack Garofalo. so many cool natural hairstyles! Have you coloured your natural hair? Which colour did you go for?

Images lifted from Google. Please leave a message if you recognize any of these beauties so that I can credit!

 

LIFE: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

It’s 2015 and here we are, fighting the good fight for equality. The struggle is still very real but let’s not dwell on the negative. Here are some cool and talented women that inspire me…

Grace VanterpoolConsultant Nurse, specialising in Diabetes (My Mum!)

My mum is my rock and my daily inspiration. My whole life, I’ve done what I wanted to do and wanted to make my mum proud. I think I did ok! She makes me proud too. This write-up is a little old but you can read up on my mum’s story here.

In 2006, she received the Nurse Of The Year and Community Nurse Of The Year and has also been awarded an MBE for her contribution to the NHS.

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Dominique HolmesArtist, Tattooer, Designer

Not only is Dominique one of my best and closest friends, she, too is one of my big inspirations. Artist, tattooer, designer and dogmum to my dognephew, James The Beagle, Dominique is constantly immersed in her craft.

If she’s not tattooing, she’s researching, drawing up ideas for customers or working on commissions. Couldn’t be more proud of this lady. (@domholmestattoo/www.dominiqueholmes.com)

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Maya “Shameless Maya” WashingtonPhotographer, Actress, Youtuber and Pioneer of the Shameless Movement

I don’t even remember how I came across The Shameless One, Maya Washington, but I’ve eagerly followed her ever since. In 2012, Maya devoted 365 days to being completely Shameless and hasn’t looked back since! In case you’re wondering the hell that means, you can read about it here but, in short, Maya sought to gain enough confidence to promote herself and her talents via our favourite social media channels.

Her Youtube channel has been a great success and has opened many doors for her. Believe it or not, I, too, struggle with confidence – particularly when it comes to self-promotion and my abilities. Maya’s ethos inspired me to start my own Youtube channel and to live that shameless lifestyle! I urge every one to head straight to her channel and start watching. (@mayasworld/www.youtube.com/user/shamelessmaya)

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Yagazie EmeziVisual Artist, Cartoonist, Youtuber

Nigeria born Yagazie Emezi moved to the US to study in 2005 and has recently returned to Africa to fully dedicate her time and attention to the “cultural preservation of the African aesthetic”.

Her website plays host to the works of many young African photographers, giving visitors a view through their proverbial lens. Her Youtube channel is compromised of Vlogs, rants and advice for young women! (@yagazieemezi/yagazieemezi.com)

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Jayne Min – Designer, Creative Consultant, Blogger

The first picture I saw of Jayne was on Tumblr. She was wearing a bunch of layers, ripped up boyfriend jeans and air max 90s…FOR FASHION WEEK. Yes, it was a fashion week street style shot and homegirl was out here wearing jeans and sneakers. A girl after my own heart.

I found her awesome blog, STOPITRIGHTNOW.COM, and have followed religiously ever since. I love Jayne’s sense of humour, her effortless sense of style and the fact that she wore a SEPULTURA TSHIRT FOR HER SHOOT WITH THE COVETUER. I die. (@stopitrightnow/www.stopitrightnow.com)

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!