About Young BW Determined to Live Well

After being a faithful reader of various blogs dedicated to positively influencing black women, I recognized quite a few young black women in their teens, 20's, and 30's who were touched by the message as much as myself. This blog is my attempt to reach out and connect with young black women on issues we may be facing at a very transitional time in our lives. I encourage all, irrespective of age, class, origin, etc. to participate in the discussions and brainstorming sessions we have. I look forward to the potential of this blog and hope to hear from Young Black Women Determined to Live Well like myself!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hobbies and Interests: Another Way to Bring Beauty and Positive Energy to your Life!

Good Day to My Beautiful Young Black Women Determined to Live Well Butterflies! This post will be a short one, but one that I hope resonates, and inspires you to take action in your own life.

It all started when I decided to update my resume. I received sound advice from a professional African American woman who had graduated from an Ivy League Law School. She advised me to include hobbies and interests on my resume. At first I thought, "what does this have to do with my ability to do a specific job?." She elaborated, the hobbies and interests, while not directly related to the position I sought, would encourage individuals to hold me in great favor, compared to a person without hobbies and interests. So, I gave it a bit of thought, and wrote down the most recent activities I have taken a liking to. One particular activity I absolutely enjoy and would like to become exceptional at is Tango Dancing.

Take a look at the following video:

Doesn't this woman seem like the belle of the ball! Her posture, quick an clean movements, and the passion in the eyes of each man! I simply LOVE Tango! Okay, aside from Tango dancing, I am very health and fitness oriented, and I enjoy reading and writing. These are things that help to buff my diamond to a high gloss finish! And everyone knows just how difficult it is for people to look away from all things that reflect light!

 Also, the little things you do as a hobby or interest have the power to both bring you joy and light up a room when talking about it amongst others. I can attest to seeing the eyes of men light up when they learn I know more than a few languages, am culturally and socially informed in a way that extends beyond the confines of the United States, that I love the outdoors, or maintain a healthy diet and fitness regimen. No kidding, their eyes really do light up! What's even better, I know that I have just skimmed the surface of things I enjoy to do. I am certain there are many things I would love to do that I still have yet to discover. Imagine the positive energy you pull into your life when you occupy yourself with new fulfilling things that serve to make you a better woman and simultaneously act as Quality Man Bait! A girl is literally and figuratively on cloud nine!

Try it if you haven't already ladies! Choose 2-3 things that you have never done before, research their availability or accessibility in your local area or nearby town and try them out. Once you have 2 or 3 solid things you would love to do, keep pursuing them on a consistent basis. Strive to be better at them. You will have a new perspective on life in general and another pleasant thing to add to your conversations with Quality Loving and Lovable Men from the Global Village!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oprah Knows What Time it Is!

I frequent the Oprah.com website every now and then for various reasons and found the following picture prominently displayed after clicking on the "relationship" link. Think about the kind of traffic Oprah.com gets on a daily basis. Now contemplate what message this sends to a multitude of people who visit the site. Yes indeed, it sends a positive message about Black women involved romantically with men of another race. What is more, this black woman is unquestionably black with natural hair and typical facial features of West African origin. Two thumbs up for Oprah.com. See the add for yourself here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blog Post For the Evolved YBW: MUST READ

No need for much elaboration ladies, just wanted to pass along the news of Ms. Khadija Nassif's "V For Victory"Read Post Here

When Ms. Nassif stated, "Ladies, rest assured that human nature—in the form of envy—will finish the job of saving those remaining African-American women who are capable of being salvaged. The motivational energy produced by envy is over 1,000 times more powerful than any sermon." I felt a sense of relief.

Because I am BW-identified, it really saddened me that there were so many unevolved black women who still refused the clear and obvious message from BWE writers and the work of Mr. Ralph Richard Banks. Thankfully, Envy, no matter how bitter the pill, saves the day. Lead by example. Live well for you, and the rest will undoubtedly notice, and/or follow suit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ralph Richard Banks: A Wonderful Man Indeed!

By now, you should already know of the discussions pertaining to Mr. Ralph Richard Banks and his book, "Is Marriage for White People?" If you don't, feel free to google him at your leisure or click on the following link: Is Marriage for White People?

Mr. Ralph Richard Banks with wife Jennifer and 3 sons.

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, this man is saying have been the sentiments I have echoed throughout my last 2 years at University as an undergraduate. I cannot tell you how much I was ostracized and maligned by people within the African American student body (both black men and women). The very same student body I had dedicated my first 2 years to uplifting and supporting with my involvement in various clubs that had a predominantly African American membership and focus. The backlash from the so called "African American (Pseudo) Community" being dished to Mr. Banks is no surprise. In fact, I plan on personally writing this man a thank you letter for taking the time to do the research on such a delicate issue. What is more, he has done it from an objective viewpoint. One that does not come with loads of pre-concieved notions or ideologies about what is the "right" way for black women to lead their lives on the romantic front.

I have searched for videos featuring Mr. Banks discussing the book and am annoyed to say the least, at how many black women are being vocal about the wrong things. I have seen videos and snippets of black women sounding off on their desire for "black love," their feelings of insecurity and discomfort with black men dating outside of their race, etc. Could someone please zip these women's mouth closed and throw away the key?  (mild venting about to commence) I cannot say it enough, when black women like that become excessively vocal, it results in damaging our image as evolved young black women. I urge all to not be afraid to speak up about how we as young black women determined to live well could care less about the love lives of black men, whether they involve women of another race or not. We all know that there is no such thing as a man shortage because we have always and will always consider ourselves to be a part of a global village; a global village with an abundance of eligible quality men that are more than eager to marry women like ourselves. We also know there truly is nothing to fear or feel ashamed of when it comes to dating men outside of our race. Our ancestral heritage loudly declares that our crowns have been paid for and we have every right to wear it with pride. As Evia always says, Mate Out or Die Out! We as Young Black Women Determined to Live Well are already prepped and primed to MATE OUT.

Any chance or opportunity I get, I plan on making my voice heard, as it is full time for women like us to show our views and how they strikingly contrast with that of the less evolved black women that keep us down with their outdated and self-defeating mentalities. I stand firm in my belief that black women should always put themselves first no matter what. We are not mules, breeding incubators for black out of wedlock children, nor are we asexual bastions of the black race. We are women first, and with that comes the responsibility to ensure that we take advantage of every opportunity within our reach to lead fulfilling lives. Solving the problems of systemic racism towards black men is not our fight. That is a process that will take decades if not centuries to undo. Meanwhile our lives should remain on hold?! I think not! People better get a clue quick. We are unstoppable, and mean business when it comes to our well-being. We are resolute in our convictions for success and steadfast in making it a reality. Keep on with the keeping on ladies! It's our time now!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Estelle's "Thank You" Music Video

I plan on continuing with this post as I find there are a multitude of things that can be analyzed about why the artist Estelle and her "team" of people decided to go with this route. However, due to being pressed for time, I will make a list of several things that stand out to me after the first viewing:
- The video does not show Estelle at all. There was a few shots toward the end of the video of what appeared to be a woman with a scarf over her head and hand shots, but nothing to clearly make the viewer say, she is in fact Estelle
- The lyrical content of the song deviates from Estelle's happy an upbeat vibe when she first jumped the pond for America on the music scene. The song seems to be about a woman who is thanking a former lover for all of the pain he caused her because it has made her the woman she is. For myself, this bares a close resemblance to the "Woe is Me" mantra some people stereotypically find black women projecting in particular.
- Perhaps my ears are not as keen to picking up on certain sound effects done to a singers voice, but I hear a little auto-tune when it comes to her voice in this song. Akon, the rapper, is said to have written the song for her.
- I think the song sounds pretty cool, but I find it a very interesting move and maybe a smart one considering the American music Industry and it's historically complex relationship with black women of a darker hue.
To Be Continued...and Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Free Birth Control: How does this affect Young BW and Girls

     This morning while doing my workout of the day, I left my television on CNN. The topic of discussion was free birth control starting August 1, 2012. According to the report, not only is the government making birth control free (meaning no co-payments in addition to the insurance one already has), but also free screenings for gestational diabetes, free screenings for HPV (the human papillomavirus), breastfeeding support, and counseling on sexually transmitted diseases. Read the article at CNN here or see the PDF document of the entire Compilation of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act here.
      I attended a religious institution and do have friends of certain groups that do not endorse this provision. However, I have always been an advocate of methods that I believe help women exert agency over their lives in some way or another. While practicing abstinence is the absolute best way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy (and a sexually transmitted disease), I do feel that women in our country today, should also have a right to the type of life they choose to lead. If this involves being sexually active, then being able to do so without the worry of becoming pregnant with a child that one does not want, is better than the lack of choice in carrying the pregnancy to term, potentially seeking an abortion that could jeopardize one's health and/or ability to conceive at a later time in life, putting one's child up for adoption, or in an already overcrowded foster care system.
      Because I am black-woman-identified (BW First), my initial reaction to the broadcast was to think about how this new Act would affect the millions of young black woman living in the United States. As we are all aware, there is a disproportionately large number of children being born out of wedlock in predominantly black residential areas. I would venture to say, a lot of these children were not carefully planned, and perhaps were not wanted by their mothers in the first place, given their respective circumstances. Now, there is no way you or myself can determine conclusively whether or not these young black women had access to birth control at the time they were sexually active, but let us look at what we do know:
- Birth Control currently costs money, for the insured and the uninsured.
- Young BW, on a whole, do not comprise a financially stable or wealthy portion of the African American population
- Young BW are often living in areas where they are exposed to sexual images, language, and advances from male groups that are often hyper-sexual in nature.
- Young BW live in predominantly black residential areas where the idea of a girl or young woman getting pregnant after a few sexual encounters (consensual or not) is not uncommon and in some cases regarded as a normal and perfectly acceptable occurrence in life.
- Young BW who do get pregnant and carry the child to term often become and remain single-mothers for a very long time (in other words, the male who took equal part in creating the child, does not stay around on a consistent basis to help raise the child with the mother)
- Young BW (and other groups of women) who are single parents, often lead a life of financial burden and limitations (with or without the assistance of government aid)


An unwanted pregnancy is not a joyous affair for a young mother, irrespective of race, because it can be extremely taxing on the woman for the rest of her life. For this to happen to a Young BW is deeply unsettling to me. If these Young BW are able to acquire health insurance that will allow them access to birth control, coupled with a 0 copayment according to what this new Act is declaring, the lives of Young BW have the opportunity to fully pursue their interests and endeavors without the hindrance of raising a child. Can one even begin to imagine how much free access to birth control on a consistent basis for a Young BW could serve to remedy the high rates of black children raised in already strained households, government spending on programs, even our image as Young BW living in the U.S. The sky is the limit for Young BW who are able to dedicate 100% of their effort and time toward self-improvement, education, etc. How about how this could affect their health and that of older black women who often help their daughters in raising the out of wedlock child. This is definitely food for thought.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Many Shades of Kelly Rowland...What motivates us?

Hello Beautiful Young Black Women Determined to Live Well! I hope the summer has been treating you as kindly as it has been treating me. I don't know about your feelings toward sun damage, but I have been living and breathing sunblock since the beginning of June. SPF 30 or higher and nothing less! Protect the pretty, even if they say our skin ages most gracefully compared to women of different ethnicities.

Now, on to what I originally intended to discuss. While searching online for images of Kelly Rowland, I came upon a picture of her that seems fairly recent. She posed for the cover of a magazine. But, what immediately jumped out to me, was how pale this beautiful brown-skinned girl appeared. Take a look at the photo for yourselves:
I am fully aware of this magazine, and the majority of it's readership are other minorities. With that being said, I couldn't help but wonder why no one has said anything about how light they made her on this cover...I am sure you all remember the commentary many people gave about this ad:
So....why the silence about Kelly's cover? Take a look at other magazine covers of Ms. Rowland, including one from the same publication:

And to complicate things further, here is an interesting comparison:
Kelly is made to look lighter than her known to be fair complexioned pal Beyonce...
I am curious to know what the concept was for the Vibe Cover of Kelly? Was it some major interrogation that had her burning up under ultra bright lights? What people choose to place on the cover of magazines is done for the sole purpose of selling as many copies as possible to the consumer population. Whatever the case, I think all who would protest the Loreal ad of Beyonce should take a look at this cover of Kelly and ask, is it not the same thing? Whatever motivated them to protest Beyonce's ad, for some reason, is not applying to Kelly's cover? Am I the only person who sees the glaringly obvious? What say you?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Excellent Example of Young Black Women Positive Imagery and Representation!

I enjoy fashion and beauty a great deal. I particularly like to peruse websites such as ModCloth. I was pleasantly surprised today, to see a lovely black girl with a sweet afro and beautiful dark skin advertising pretty and feminine dresses on the site's home page. Check out these gorgeous advertisements:

This young model looks so beautiful! I also love that she is not painfully skinny (no disrespect to my naturally thin ladies) but healthy and youthful looking. Her smile is bright, her skin is glowing and she looks like the image of a young black woman I would be proud to emulate. I personally sent ModCloth a letter to let them know they gained a customer today for recognizing African American women customers in such a positive light. You can see the ads and more for yourself by visiting the site: www.modcloth.com Happy 4th of July Weekend to you all Lovely Ladies :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Great Video!!!! A MUST SEE!!!

Hello Lovely Young Black Women Determined to Live Well. I came upon this video while frequenting another uplifting blog, and felt the need to post this. ENJOY! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Colorism Documentary...Cui Bono?

There has been a new documentary circulating the web, showcasing colorism and its effects on women who occupy the deeper hued color spectrum. I could barely get through watching the preview, and hesitated for quite a bit before clicking the link to view the footage. My hesitation was not based on my own fears or insecurities, but rather, it was an annoyance. I really don't know what good this documentary will do for anyone who identifies or passes as a black woman. Who benefits? (as Khadija would urge all black women to question in multiple situations that arise) Well...let's see. Many groups that have a large demographic of darker skinned people are NOT NEW to the concept of colorism. This is especially true of darker skinned peoples with a history of European Colonial rule. There may be a different name for it, or different terms harshly used to insult a person born with dark skin. There may be a larger variation of bleaching creams and the like, which use images of the same model, one light, and the other dark, to prove the lighter you are, the better it looks and the better your quality of life. If we really wanted to go there, simply observe a before and after of airbrushing done to celebrities of all races. Click here and observe the pattern. 
For women, the general rule of thumb is to be lighter. Dark anything, is equated with masculinity. What does this mean for black women? Due to our skin, hair, and eyes, for the most part, pre-disposed to being dark in color because of our genetic origins, we have a steeper hill to climb in terms of mainstream society acknowledging our inherent femininity and claim to all things beautiful. In addition we are operating within a patriarchal society that shifts the stigma of dark skin on the backs of women, and allows men who have dark skin to be praised for it as a testament to their inherent masculinity, supposedly making them all the more appealing to women. Should the man with dark skin acquire riches, he now has the added benefit of choosing from society's "top" women who will more than likely occupy the lightest place of the color spectrum. I am quite certain this is the case for multiple dark skinned cultures and or cultures that have a history of European colonial rule. Again, NOTHING NEW to any of us, and perhaps I have just reinforced what many darker skinned women have known all along. Hmmm... I still don't see how this documentary benefits women who identify or pass as black? In this documentary's preview, I only saw black women speaking of colorism's effects on their lives, but what about interrogating the people who dictate the color pecking order, which would most likely be the men of the group? I did not see a thorough questioning given to men who instinctively know that skin color carries no genetic link to higher intelligence, or better capacity to give birth to healthy offspring, yet consistently select for the lightest women they could possibly have access to, even when there group is predominantly comprised of darker skinned women. I have always believed, if it weren't for a large portion of black women being so heavily "black male identified," they would pay less attention to the absurdity of colorist men's tastes, and suffer less among the black masses. 
Now, here is why I am annoyed. The documentary is best summed up for me, as another opportunity that darker skinned women took in the hopes of getting sympathy for their plight of living amongst a society and sub-group of other dark skinned people who carry a deep seated disdain for dark skin on women. However, as has been the case before, these type of documentaries, movies, footage, what have you, do not help the black women who participate. They also do very little to help black women living this reality in their own predominantly black residencies. People at large who are not black do not run to promote ads that showcase and glorify darker skinned beauties. Hmmm...I have yet to see a benefit to spilling all of our hurt and insecurities for the world to see, ponder for a moment, and then move on with their lives. This kind of discussion is better left for a private setting in which their are solutions that each individual woman can do to escape such destructive thinking as wanting bleach placed in their bath water, or that their skin is  extremely dirty because of its color. The best this documentary can do is encourage people to change their thinking about dark skin inferiority and light skinned superiority. Change however, is something that people do on their own willingly. There are people out there ladies, who believe firmly in the superiority of lighter skin and are not changing any time soon. At the end of the day, I think it best to not air these issues out for the world to dissect and see through a distorted lense. I do know one way to truly get over this colorist thing is to leave environments that clearly do not uplift you as a black woman period. For many, this means divesting from an all black construct, and adopting one that is more open and appreciative of all characteristics that are attributed to a rich history and genetic origin. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Little Venting in Good Taste Never Hurt...

I decided to blog about this because I finally have some free time on my hands and because this fits along with a posting on the new (old but re-vamped) website: Black Femininity. 
On an outing this morning, I went to a service at a predominantly white church (Though it was all white, there was still a considerable mix of all groups there). I still consider myself relatively new to the city I live in and felt it would be a great opportunity to see and hopefully meet new people. Well, here goes: I went inside the church with my friend and we both enjoyed the service. Afterwards, I said that I would like to see what they had mentioned earlier for the people who are new visitors to the church. So we went up to the lady holding up the new visitors sign and she introduced herself to us. What is most notable is that as soon as she finished introducing herself to my roommate and I, while walking to the visitors room, she walked in such a way that “closed the gap” ....Picture three people lined up side by side. Those three begin to walk forward. The two on the end take faster steps and begin to move in closer, just enough to force the middle person to reduce their pace so as not to run into them. I have seen this technique before... I am going to observe if this is the way things would be done if all 3 women were white. I will be on the lookout for this. 
When we are finally in the visitors room, we are introduced to a few people. 5 of the persons introduced were older white women ranging from mid 20’s to 50, and perhaps 2 or 3 wm. Every single one of those white women, stared me down. Especially the older ones. The look was not one of openness acceptance, etc. The look was one of fear, intimidation, it was as if I was a threat. I tried to dress femininely: I wore a black sheath dress with a white cardigan sweater and a long necklace with diamond stud earrings. For the love of me, I couldn’t understand why I of all people was getting those looks from them when I swear to you, the number of white women in that church trying their hardest to bring their A-game was in the triple digits. I felt like I wasn’t even on my own A-game because I left the house in quite a rush. 
My makeup was rather simple as well, I had on eyeshadow that was for the most part neutral with black mascara, and my new favorite nude lipstick that for all purposes gives me only a subtle hint of color. I wore my hair down and curly. My edges were not even smoothed straight with gel! Yet I had this idea in my head that I was being considered a threat. 
When I came home, I looked on the website for the church to see their various bible-study groups for singles. A very good amount in my opinion, but too many women in some of them. I like a ratio of 2-3 men to each woman. In the photographs taken during the different bible-study group events, the black women pictured looked average to downright homely or overweight. I also kept a close look at the black women at the service. They ranged in age. The ones in the teens or early 20’s seemed to just wear skinny jeans, sandals, etc. The older black women were pretty average in their dress as well. Is it just me ladies? Sometimes I wonder if I am really seen as a threat by some women. I could have turned it up a few notches in my dress, but I toned it down. 
I like to be noticed for my beauty. I see ww do this all the time and the ones I saw in church were very over the top with very sexy heels and skinny jeans and the like. They virtually all wore a full face of makeup and had their hair styled in some way. I don’t like being the “pretty black girl” in secret that many ww treat “funny” because I am a threat to them and their flimsy self-esteem. But if I tone it down any further, I will most likely not land the kind of guy that I want. Why can’t black women simply revel in just how hot and beautiful and pretty and smart and confident and desirable we are? Why must our light have to be dimmed or veiled because of the insecurities of others.  I’m hot and I have known this for a few years now (laughs). I know that men are attracted to me from all races and walks of life. I know that being a beautiful and feminine woman means that other women, especially non-bw, are going to see me as competition or threatening and automatically try to dull my luster. I just don’t buy the whole, tone down what you wear thing, because being beautiful period and then being categorized as black, seems to attract hate from other women period. Nothing you can do about it. If I tone myself down any further, I really am selling a lie and not being myself. I would take a fur lined coat over a common cardigan found at GAP. I would rather find a one-of-a-kind statement necklace with gorgeous diamond earrings to match before I wear no necklace at all. Boy does this annoy me. 

This Statement: Keep in mind that society resents and often hates beautiful women. Men and society admires beautiful women from afar, and then punishes them by being threatened by them. Men and society’s value of women are not placed in beauty, but in warmth in women and prettiness. What is the definition of pretty? Average women who take effort in appearance to dress femininely. The conventional use of “pretty” in appearance over exotic, daring, bold, beautiful, and stylish which all reads as UNAPPROACHABLE. Do not make this fatal mistake in love and in life.
From the Post:

Part II Your Basic Tools: Becoming the "Exception to the Rule". 

on: http://blackfemininity.com/

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Budget Advice!

I stumbled upon this article which I hope helps some of you ladies reassess and get your finances in order:

25 Ways to Waste Your Money

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can you guess the theme?

If you are somehow still walking around with headphones over your ears jamming to the latest, BLACK LOVE tune, you need to seriously take heed to the first three photos in this post. I will not name the website with a name very close to the name of this beloved blog, but they recently posted a snippet about  the current Census statistics on the rate of marriages between BW and the "other male group" that I will also not mention. Just as the ladies of BWE have been saying for many years now, the rates are overwhelmingly LOW. If you are currently associating with a Young Black Woman who is still a champion of BLACK LOVE, you may just have to cut the sister off. Do it gently of course. Opt for distancing yourself little by little. I say this not as a call to abandon other black women but as a very important step that must be taken if you are indeed resolute about Living Well. If she doesn't see the facts now, then she is dead weight for you and the rest of your Determined to Live Well Lady Friends. She'll figure it out...when she does is the question. Bottom line, you don't need to waist time waiting on her to finally get it. Focus on you and those who actively love, support, and encourage you to be the best you can be. Living Well is not a game for US. The other groups of women that don't fall into the category of Black and Beautiful are getting it done. There is no reason that I as a young black woman determined to live well, should accept mediocrity. No matter the cards you were dealt in this life, you can make it too. We all need a little push to get things going and I hope the BWE blog postings, books, commentary, etc. can be that push for you. You all are already ahead of the game because you were forewarned for FREE about what those statistics would be. Don't even waist your breath trying to hash out with the DBR-BW BM, whoever they are, about whether the stats are wrong or right. You may even hear them say or know of a young black couple that recently got married. Kick all of that hooey to the curb dears and simply keep strutting away until you get yours.