Archive of ‘Affirmations’ category

Why You Need Selfies

Why You Need Selfies

Why You Need Selfies

“If you’re the type of person who doubts yourself; your abilities, your decisions, your potential…then selfies are for you.”

That was the beginning of the caption I put under a selfie I posted on Instagram last week. In an age where we have front facing cameras in our pockets and wi-fi and 4g at our disposal, snapping and posting selfies is a no-brainer. But as simple and, often vain, as selfies may seem, there’s more to snapping that photo than a duck face and a filter.

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In a Society Obsessed With Ass

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In a society obsessed with ass, where having a masters means less than having a fatty, and twerking is the focus of social conversation. In a society obsessed with the fleek of eyebrows & the laying of edges. It’s really difficult to feel beautiful. It’s hard to remember that ass is brought & knowledge is earned. That your pound of flesh perched on your behind doesn’t define your self-worth. It’s hard to remember that stretch marks are natural, hair grows how it feels, & that your backside isn’t a garden designed to sprout an onion. You forget that with or without your kohl wing you are the same girl. In a society of waist trainers and cinchers, we’ve trained ourselves to exist in impossible standards. Where we look like impossible dolls, our impossible minds created. In a society that demands the impossibility of perfection, you will always be imperfect.

I think it’s extremely important to take time to remind yourself that you’re one person, you’re human, and you were not created to alter who you were already assigned to be. What is the point of contouring for the after, if you refuse to allow people to see your before? You’re not in competition with anyone but yourself, and sometimes you are your own worst enemy. If you can’t stand in front of the mirror and love yourself for what appears before you in the nude, then you have failed yourself as your own motivator. The only one to make you beautiful is you, and your self-worth is self defined.

Don’t miss out on the greater path for yourself by becoming distracted with the flash of fat asses and false lashes. Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup and heels. I couldn’t imagine my life without lipstick, but I don’t cry over the fact that my ass isn’t the roundest, my hair isn’t the curliest, and my eyebrows are far from fleek. There is too much else to cry about and we’re too beautiful for that. Besides… even Nicki’s butt is plastic.Nicki-Minaj-0

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On Sanity, Success, and Keeping It All Together

Mental Health College Students

Not more than a week ago I received an e-mail from my alma mater informing me that a Freshman on campus had taken her own life. Just a few days ago, my friend and fellow blogger The Black Collegian, wrote about her disturbed disgust with her own campus administration for their lack of energy and resources towards the mental health of students on campus. Nearly 2 years ago, a girl from my college went missing, and after weeks of searching the tri-state area, they discovered her remains on the rocks of the Hudson River underneath the George Washington Bridge. Students, people, taking their lives because of the stress and pressures of life isn’t a new thing, but it’s really time for us to start paying more attention and taking better care of our own mental health. In a society that is all about results it’s rare that we’re conditioned to stop and ask ourselves, ‘am I okay?’

I finished my undergraduate career just this May, coming out of the other side, holding 2 degrees, an associates and a bachelors, and while

TheDailyCougar.com

TheDailyCougar.com

I’m deeply proud of that accomplishment, my truest pride is that I made it out of college in one piece. I think more than awards, grades, and accolades, your sanity is the most important part of making it through school and honestly making it though life. Having your degree is important, it opens doors, it creates opportunities, and it is very much at the center of making a living; but stop and ask yourself, what good is having an open door, if you’re in such bad shape that you can’t make it through? We’re a society that is focused on end goal and results, and we neglect that as humans our capacity does have limits. For most of us those limits get pushed when we arrive in college, greeted by piles of work and endless demands of perfection. I have friends whose desire to be successful, to keep up with the demand, to survive the load, are slowly breaking them down as the stress eats away at them. I can tell, because stress almost ate me clean away. Endless hours of studying for entrance exams, keeping up with papers, a demanding boss at my internship, it was like everyone took a limb and just tugged until I popped. Balancing that was matter of stopping to find inner peace and remembering that I was no good to anyone if I was dead or damaged due to stress about my future.

It’s really important that if you feel it all coming down on you, you stop and ask yourself ‘am I okay?’ If the answer to that question is no, then you need to stop everything and seek help. We’re a generation that loves to think we can do anything and everything ourselves, but the reality is, you can’t be too proud to ask for help otherwise you may end up flying a little too close to the sun and melting your wings. Help comes in all forms, it can be as simple as having a friend who you spend an hour or two a day with, doing something you love. Everyday there seems to be a new article on productivity, and teenage CEO success stories, and start-ups that boost in the millions, and they are great but don’t let them push you to a dark place in the pursuit of success. Not every action you take has to be academically or professionally productive, doing something for yourself is a means of health productivity. Your mental health is  more important than you give it credit for being. Your existence matters, your existence as a functioning and happy individual matters. As important as a degree may be, no piece of paper has more value than your life or mental being. If it takes you more than 4 years to get your degree, then let it, if it means you keep your sanity. Everyone’s timeline and experience for achievement is different, don’t beat on yourself if you’re not where the next person is, because no matter what you’re doing there will always be someone who is doing it better. That battle will be never-ending. Find self-assurance in every accomplishment you’ve made and don’t downplay your achievements. Celebrate yourself, appreciate yourself, work hard in life, but do not forget to ask yourself ‘am I okay?’

Please seek help if you feel lost, we all need help, none of us are perfect. If you’re on a college campus and you don’t think there’s enough help try here. There is help for you somewhere the first step is to ask. You can learn more about mental health in college students here.

Just a Little Inspiration

I know it’s late Monday night and that just seems to always evoke the blues doesn’t it? Monday just screams, tired and unmotivated. I know I feel like that sometimes so I thought maybe a little woman’s anthem might make you feel a little bit better. I love this song, if you listen to the words you’ll feel really great about yourself but even further than that the compilation of the classic female rapper, (before we rapped half-naked and painted like a piece of damn candy) is just beautiful. So enjoy the song, and don’t let Monday get you down. Plus I’ve got a few inspirational pictures for you to remind yourself that you’re awesome, maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow feeling inspired.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/uAj5Lc0laQk]

good women happiness hipbones

 

An Open Letter to AIDS

AIDS,

I wish you would just kiss my black ass. As a black woman in the year 2012 I am much too informed and have way too much common sense to allow you to catch me and ruin my life. Don’t I? But why does it seem like you still manage to catch and punish my peers? How is it that as of 2009 African American women still account for the largest share of new HIV infections among women (57%) and the incidence rate among Black women is nearly 15 times the rate among white women? What is it that we still seem to be doing wrong? We use condoms right? We as black women are smart enough not to just “trust” every man we choose to get into bed with aren’t we? I could have sworn we were! We’re much too clever to be wooed by the “baby you know I’m clean” or “I just wanna feel you & nothing else”! Besides, we get tested, every 6 months right? You obviously have no intention of laying off my people. But I just wanted to let you know that you aren’t going to win. Because as you continue to rage on we will continue to educate ourselves and our coming generations. We will arm our youth in the war you have waged and protect ourselves from your attacks. We are a strong, industrious, and brilliant group and we will fight you to the death. We’re gonna kick your ass, just watch!

Love Always,

Ari

Ladies, it’s World AIDS day, but today is not the only day you should be thinking about the effects of AIDS. This epidemic is and has been coming for us for years. Arm yourselves with information and physical protection. Do not forget to practice what you preach, because the hardest thing is deciding in that moment if you will pick your carnal desire over the safety of your health. Don’t make the wrong decision, because whatever 5 minutes a man can offer you physically isn’t worth the years of treatment and sickness that will follow. Love yourself, respect yourself, protect yourself.

Confidence: The Greatest Love of All

Good morning readers. I know it’s been a little while since I posted, my apologies but school has just grown hectic. There’s been plenty of events and going ons that have happened lately that I should & will write about (President Obama included!!!) but right now I want to talk to you about something that’s heavily weighing on my mind. I am the first person to tell you how important self love is, the necessity that exists to get up every morning and tell yourself you are an amazing and beautiful individual, but I’ve never really mentioned just how hard that is.

Photo Credit: thebridgemaker.com

It’s hard to look in the mirror and love every flaw. It’s even harder to imagine that someone else could possibly what you yourself cant seem to come to terms with. I know this. I understand this. I have lived this. You are not the least bit flawed if you have ever had a moment where you looked in the mirror and felt like crying staring at the reflection, and maybe even indulged in a good cry. Self love is so important but a little self loathing ensures your humanity and even more your humility. I like to walk tall as if I am unaffected by trivial things in the world and I am deeply proud of that ability but I’m even more proud of my ability to recognize that I am flawed, and to a certain extent flawed in a way that I hate. More than anything this recognition is even more reason to stand up and walk tall as a perfectly flawed individual. We live in this world of clashing media issues whether it be the rise of the “fatosphere” or the longstanding anorexic image tradition. Everything is telling you something different, one day you should hate yourself for those extra pounds or blemished skin and the next day you should be flaunting your love handles in a “fatkini” and rocking an earthy no make up look. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win because you don’t know if you should accept yourself or rather if the world even accepts you.

The simplest answer to this burning internal struggle is this: YOU WILL NEVER WIN. So long as you attempt to set yourself to any standard society has put in place understand that you will never be able to win because society itself is fickle in awarding labels of achievement to those whom we model ourselves after in this desperate hope to meet the standard. With this logic it becomes clear then that we should not compete. Do not enroll yourself into this rat race of social disgrace because the penalty of loss is far greater than the rewards of a winner. You run the greatest risk of loosing yourself and in the midst of the run allowing the wrong ones to find who you are for you rather than you celebrating the gift of finding yourself.

Photo Credit: Tumblr.com

So for all of this I issue a remedy of sorts, it is not easy. Either today, tomorrow, next week, or whenever you feel you are ready take 10 minutes to yourself where you stand completely naked (including makeup & hair) and stare at yourself. It may be embarrassing at first, you may feel a little ashamed or maybe even angry but you shouldn’t look away. Do not let society tell you that you cannot spend 10 minutes alone with your naked self for fear of shame or facing a flaw that you hate. If you need to cry then cry or yell or smile or laugh, do whatever it takes so long as you keep staring. Ladies, please love yourself because in life it is the most important thing. If you don’t love you remember that I do. <3