The Secret Behind That Tutu I Was Wearing On Instagram…

 

Over the weekend I wore this tulle skirt to a New York Fashion Week event.

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While the outfit felt incredibly obnoxious in the privacy of my own bedroom, once I was out walking the NYC streets, you couldn’t tell me I was anything less than fierce!  Folks’ compliments didn’t help-it seemed like almost every woman I passed was ogling over the exceptional tutu.  As a pranced along throughout the evening, I was nearly convinced I was a princess!  :p

I’m here to let you in on a little secret…  Would you believe me if I told you I made it myself?  Yes, it is a DIY project.  This past spring I sat down and made my tulle tutu.

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I spent $20.  Yes, twenty dollars.

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Blake Von D posted the tutu tutorial awhile back and after closely following her directions, I had a masterpiece of my own.*

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As hard as it is to believe, it really is as simple as stated on her site.  The most difficult part of the entire process for me was deciding which color(s) of tulle I wanted!

Happy tutu-making ladies! XOXO

*While Blake ordered three rolls of black tulle, I thought I would make two tutus, so I ordered three rolls of wine tulle as well.  Unfortunately, when I started adding the black tulle to my elastic band (from an old pair of leggings), my skirt was still extremely sheer.  It was at that point I began adding pieces of wine tulle between the pieces of black.  My two-toned tutu took six rolls of tulle and I couldn’t be any happier with it!

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

This morning I woke up and it was just one of those days.  My hair had a large part to do with that.  The longer it’s gotten, the more difficult it’s become for me to deal with.  It no longer stays detangled, hydrated or defined for days on end.  It loses it’s shape within hours, the moisture I spend so much time sealing in is depleted after one night’s sleep (and yes, I exclusively sleep on satin).  Don’t get me started on the frizz and shrinkage with zero definition that occurs after Day 1…I. Can’t. Deal.

Today was day 3 hair and with one look in the mirror, I immediately became discouraged.

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Suddenly, a pair of scissors and a relaxer look like the answer to all my problems.

 

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The tumbleweed that was looking back at me didn’t care.  It stood up defiantly, determined to have it’s way with me.

After a hot shower’s mist took affect, with some added Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, my hair has lived to see another day.

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While I claim victory in this battle, I must remember the war is not yet won.

Black Beauty #nohorses (only my avid book readers would understand that play-on-words)

This definitely reminds me of my mother and I 🙂

These beauty’s are in the eyes of EVERY beholder.  It’s undeniable.  Beyond their apparent physical beauty (they’re models, hello!), we see the beauty of the (Black) American family, (Black) American love and overall, a representative of American culture…it just so happens that this representative is wearing a Black face. 

And this is a Gap ad.  Gap.  Gap is viewed as uber American.  It’s up there with J. Crew, Abercrombie and American Eagle.  That is so powerful to me!

Shoutout’s to Patrick Robinson, the Black designer who’s been the Head Designer for Gap since 2007. 

Black History Month yall, we’re still celebrating 🙂

Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, Modern-Day Blackface

Modern-day blackface...literally!

          Last night I was having an interesting conversation with my friend James regarding my hair lol.  It wasn’t my fault however-he actually initiated it and brought the topic up and of course I went with it.  From there he began to elaborate on the epic failure known as 27-piece hair weave setups, wigs and tracks and how great it is to see women of color embracing their own hair.  He then compared modern-day’s fake hair to Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” and it got me thinking…

Are entertainers such as Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Lil Wayne and Gucci our modern-day examples of “blackface?”

Minstrel show advertisement

            Let’s break this down and really think about it.  Blackface was a widely popularized entertainment medium that grossly exaggerated Negro culture’s physical features.  Negros were able to gain the approval of the majority culture (White America) by “poking fun” of what others disapproved of.  Everyone laughed and was wildly entertained at the expense of the Black man.  It wasn’t until Black consciousness was awoken in the form of the Civil Rights Movement that America recognized how detrimental blackface actually was. 

            If we fast-forward 90+ years or so (assuming blackface was dying by the 1920s) we’ve arrived at the heightened popularity that is hip hop culture.  Many have argued that the popularity of it is mainly because it’s an opportunity for the majority culture to laugh at Black culture’s expense.  Today we have Nicki Minaj representing the Black woman-Nicki with her multicolored, eccentric weaves, hyper-sexualized physical demeanor (there’s no denying that chick is beautiful though!) and a fiery, lyrical delivery.  As a result Nicki has been put on a platform of admiration and idolation but I have to ask, at whose expense?  Is she not a gimmick?  Many of us have seen Nicki’s documentary on MTV and are now aware that she is performing as a character in her music.  Is that not what the blackface performers were/representing?  Entertaining the broad audience at the expense of their own culture (and sense of self)?

            With the aforementioned, we can easily pull other performers into the equation, namely Lil Wayne, who speaks of his allegiance to Martians.  We’ve heard him in interviews speaking like he has some sense but then we hear his music and watch him perform-consistency is severely lacking.  He again

"Ironic you been sleeping on the one that you been dreamin 'bout." -J. Cole

reverts to a character, entertains the masses and leaves me again to question, “At who’s expense?”

            With this being Black History Month we must have a conversation with ourselves about the direction that we, as a culture, community and country are moving towards.  While hip hop has its share of saviors (cue newcomer J. Cole) and the culture has embraced some of its heritage (cue the natural hair movement) our work is nowhere near complete.  Get back to work folks!