Fashion *Inhale* Friday *Exhale*

This past week I think I lost my footing a little bit. Dozens and dozens of un-or-negatively-answered job applications, as well as the belittling tapes we all have on standby when we're not doing so hot had me feeling inept, incompetent, obtuse, etc. I feel like I lost my grounding.

So this Fashion Friday I decided to flashback to when I felt the most grounded in recent memory: my trip to San Francisco, particularly to the Cypress Tree Tunnel. I'm looking forward in this weekend and following week to continue to find and do the things that ground me, like journaling, hanging out with my core people, regular exercise, eating well-ish. It's not the tree tunnel but it's practical steps towards coming back to myself.

If you guys have ways in which you like to re-ground after something hard knocks you off course, please share in the comments! Namaste y'all.

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Me Too.

I have mixed feelings about the Me Too campaign. The idea is to have women who have been victims of sexual harassment change their statuses to "me too" so that perhaps then everyone (men) will have an understanding about the magnitude of the problem. And while I applaud these women for stepping forward, we shouldn't need victims to expose their wounds before we believe them or understand that there is a systemic problem.

My issue with Me Too is that it's meant to give everyone a glimpse of the magnitude of the sexual harassment problem, but I'm like if you don't know the magnitude by now, in 2017, you don't want to know. You've remained willfully ignorant to the marches, the all-too-frequent sex scandals involving powerful men and the women they've victimized — hell, listen to literally any woman describe a Saturday night out. That feeling of objectification, that someone is undressing you with their eyes, being inappropriately touched, sex acts being committed without you're consent... it is EVERYWHERE.

I'm going to say me too, but I want to add on OF COURSE me too. This is not new, we been telling y'all for centuries now. Whether or not you've been listening, whether or not you actually want to change it, that's on you. But if you somehow "didn't know" that sexual harassment is a widespread issue, I'd challenge you to check yourself, your privilege, and honestly maybe your basic comprehension skills. *shrugs*

TGIFF: Thank God It's... Well, You Know

Happy Fashion Fridayyyy!! A couple weekends ago my friend Sara who started Revive Health put on the Eat Pretty Gala in Hillcrest and let me tell you, it was a HUGE success. Beauty and nutritionist vendors from all over SD, free Boochcraft, prizes, I mean it was the whole deal. 

It was also, only slightly less importantly, my first leather-jacket-wear of the season. I may have been pushing it, may or may not have been sweating by 8pm, but honestly it was worth it to feel like fall weather is even close to the horizon. We're almost there SoCal, hang on!

Femi wearing All Saints leather jacket and blue wide-leg pants
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Jacket: All Saints | Tee: Pangea | Pants: Forever 21

Take Up Space

Last weekend I got to visit San Francisco to spend some time with myself. If you haven’t had the opportunity to travel alone, I highly recommend it. I mean I know San Francisco *barely* counts as "travel" from San Diego, but it still gave me room to practice being with my own company and allowing myself to take up space.

I don’t know why (I have a few ideas) it feels like we’re so often apologizing for ourselves — if not outwardly, there’s like this inward voice that senses the need to be ready with an excuse if someone asks you why you’re eating alone or sitting in a park by yourself. I’ve been trying to practice getting rid of that. Reminding myself that I can go to dinner alone because I wanted to and that’s all the reason I need. Moreover, while at dinner I can fill the space, meaning look around, take in my surroundings, relax my shoulders. I don’t have to be awkwardly huddled over my phone pretending to text my million friends until my meal is finished. I can just enjoy being.

It was a uniquely fulfilling and uncomfortable to purposefully spend that much time alone, but I think it a necessary exercise for everyone. Go somewhere and be. Public or private. Go to both and notice the differences in how you feel in each space. Give yourself permission to exist. And if you can, PLEASE head to the Cypress Tree Tunnel. That shit will fix any problem.

Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes Shore, Inverness California

Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes Shore, Inverness California

CHANGE. GUN. LAWS.

At this point, aren't we embarrassed? Maybe if empathy, and sorrow, and 20 elementary school kids being murdered isn't enough to move us, sheer shame at the overwhelming number of mass shootings the US has suffered will be?

I mean, I don't get it. I honestly don't. Sure, guns aren't the only factor here. But I'd willfully, and vehemently argue they're the biggest. Why didn't the purchase of 47 guns by one human in I-don't-care-how-much-time alarm anyone? What does anyone need with that much active weaponry? Listen. If you're an antique gun collector, if you've got a gold plated pistol with your grandpappy's initials on the chamber or whatever (p.s. I don't know anything about guns, not super sure the "chamber" is a real thing), then that's fine. Not my thing, but fine. Do you girl.

BUT WHAT DOES A CIVILIAN NEED WITH WEAPONS DESIGNED FOR AN ACTIVE COMBAT ZONE?!

There's no reason! This is OUTRAGEOUS. That in one of the most "developed" countries in the world, we can't get a hold of our gun problem. And make no mistake, it is a Gun Problem. Don't let Paul Ryan fool you with those baby blues and that bullshit speak about mental health (I swear if I ever meet that man in real life he's gonna have to square TF up, I'm so done with his "thoughts and prayers".) This is a GUN PROBLEM we have a GUN PROBLEM. The second ammendment was written for muskets, not machine guns. I'm absolutely sick of this bullshit. Like I said on Monday, I'm sad, but I'm also fired up. We have to fix it. There's absolutely no reason for this shit to keep happening. 

Change. The Fucking. Law.

Love, Gratitude, Healing, Las Vegas

First of all, I want to start off by saying thank you to my readers. Somewhere I read about this woman who instead of saying "sorry" for herself, decided to try thanking people. Instead of saying "Sorry for being late" she would say "Thank you for your patience" or something like that. So I'd like to say thank you guys for allowing me the space to not write last Thursday or Friday. It was a much needed time to heal and focus on being present.

And though I'm glad to be back here, I'm torn apart by the news that brings me to write today. The deadliest mass shooting in US history occurred last night in Las Vegas. Might I remind you the last deadliest shooting happened just over one year ago in Orlando. I'm devastated, dejected, and pissed. I'm trying to keep calm, but it's hard not to look at the statistics for mass shootings in United States and not get fired up. I will try to save my fire for Thursday.

Today I'll say that gratitude and love are the most important. Both of those come with action. Whatever that means to you this week, do it. Whether that's texting your friends and family, calling your representatives, journaling, whatever it is. Our healing is tied together with the healing of Las Vegas. We have to do this together.

Tuesday Inspiration: Take the Space You Need

Leading by example this week. Something horrible happened Saturday night that was also kind of my fault, and I just needed yesterday to be. I know, when you're building a blog, or really making any professional venture, everyone tells you to be consistent and while consistency is important, so is taking care of yourself. Maybe taking space looks like canceling plans or turning in something late. I guarantee you the world will keep spinning if you do. Take all the space you need.

Fashion Friday: Makeup Edition

Happy Fashion Friday y'all but more importantly, HAPPY FALL!!!

This week I decided to try my hand at a twist on some traditional fall makeup looks! I mean duh everyone goes orange-y copper or reaches for their deepest red lip color this time of the year butttttt for the first look I tried going just a litttttle more orange-y than I'm comfortable with (it was a lot more orange-y than I'm comfortable with). And for the deep red lip, I tried using nothing on my eyes but Vaseline and mascara (thank you SZA for the inspo) and glossing out my normally matte finish. It's honestly so fun to explore and play in makeup, we should all do it more often — boys included. Tell me what you guys think!! Happy falllllll!

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I Am My Hair

No shade to India Arie because her song is powerful and I understand and agree with the message of it. But I say "I am my hair" because I’m finding that the liberation of my hair has been tied to the liberation and healing of my Self. Honestly I think Ms. Arie and I are on the same page but I’ll let y’all decide at the end.

Okay so, the process of loving and accepting my hair has been a longggg road. I used to think my hair was trash; I'm not kidding or being hyperbolic. Actual trash growing from my head. I hated it, I wanted to remove myself from it as far as I could. I remember walking around the house when I was little with a towel on my head, slinging it over my shoulder like I saw my favorite (European/Asian) Disney princesses would. I cried in my mom’s lap about the desire to have hair that “fell down my back”. I once stood in the shower for 45 minutes to an hour, completely clean, just hoping the water running over my head would be enough weight to pull my hair down. And when nothing worked, my hair became the enemy. I loathed it, I had no interest in understanding it, taking care of it, or being gentle with it. Instead I hid it, or used chemicals to change its shape, trying to manipulate it to mirror all the white girls I saw on television, in movies, and in magazines. But every time I saw my hair in its natural state, it felt like I was looking at someone else, and I cannot describe to you the damage caused by the dissonance that arises in divorcing yourself from a part of your body like that.

It wasn’t until, maybe four years ago that I began to understand the beauty in black women and maybe only two years ago did I begin to understand the beauty in black hair. Isn’t that crazy? No, it’s crazy. This is why I will not stand for the idea that racism does not exist. Because I have lived the effects of the internalized form. Loathing like that is not a natural form of teen angst. Also, seven-year-olds shouldn’t be emotionally distraught over their hair. That only happens when there’s been a message communicated, one that says the things you are naturally are not good enough. My story is what happens when the society you’re in despises the person you are. Without conscious thought, you start despising yourself too.

About a month ago, I decided to get clip ins. Freddie Harrel, a UK blogger who I am just flat out obsessed with started a company called Big Hair No Care that produces extensions exclusively in black hair textures, and I was like YUP this feels like a good fit. You guys, I literally couldn’t have asked for a better result.

Not only with the hair being beautiful and easy to work with, like that’s all great but this is about more than that. This is about me now being able to look in the mirror and see myself. To see my hair unencumbered by a weave or twists or chemicals to make it into something else “more palatable”. To have my hair out is powerful and empowering, while also proving to be a very special and unique form of vulnerability. I work with it and for it instead of against it and in manipulation of it. And it’s an everyday thing y’all. Every night I take the clips out, every day I put them back in. But as I do that, as I work my hands through my hair, styling for the day and moisturizing for the night, I am bonding me to myself. I’m being gentle, I’m paying attention, I’m taking care. It feels like reconciliation, coming back to myself. And realizing for the first time in my life that my hair does not have to be excused or qualified. It can stand. And be soft. And take up space. And be loved. And respond.