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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Dear White Parents Of Black Children: Stop Making Their Blackness A Burden

Dear White Parents Of Black Children: Stop Making Their Blackness A Burden
Are you a hero for figuring out how to do their hair, or are you a parent?
Today I read an article about a white woman who “couldn’t cope” with her bi-racial daughter’s black hair. In the article she describes how the “ritual” of combing her hair became traumatic for both of them. Traumatic? Traumatic for BOTH of you guys?
She said that her daughter began to RESENT her hair and she knew this because she said she wished for a long, blonde braid like Elsa’s in Frozen.
When my niece wanted a long, blonde braid like Elsa’s, my mom took her to the Disney store, bought her the braid and slapped it on top of her head and she couldn’t have been happier. Was that resentment her daughter was feeling or was that a five year old wanting to be like the princess in one of the most popular kids’ movies? Resentment is an emotion that adults place on actions, not children. This is when I began to worry.
The author recalled times when black women stopped her in the street to suggest products for her daughter’s hair, only to dismiss their suggestions and immediately make this “struggle” about herself… feeling ashamed as if she was “failing her daughter.”
How unique of this white woman to center an issue of blackness around herself!
To me, a simple Google search, organic apple juice, gluten free cookies, Frozen on repeat and some practice would have made this experience a lot less traumatizing for both parties. I spoke with Elizabeth Pipe, a white mother of three girls, about her experience with hair and her daughters. One of her daughters is black and white, her foster daughter is black and her other daughter is white and Asian.
“I had to do research on all hair types so that I wouldn’t ruin their hair. I used it as bonding time.”
“So, no traumatic hair-styling sessions?”
“Absolutely not! It’s a blessing to do anything for my girls!”
I’m black and white. Can you even imagine an article where my black mom agonizes over my limp, tangled and greasy hair? All the while trying to navigate which hair ties wouldn’t rip my hair out? Right. Me neither.
The author eventually talked to a black woman about her white mom/black baby hair plight and tied up the article being the hero because she now knows how to run a comb through her child’s hair.
I’ve exhausted my capacity to nod and smile politely when I read these articles in which white parents seemingly tackle the burden of their children’s blackness.
If your child has asthma, you’re going to learn how and when to give them breathing treatments, right? Are you a hero for figuring that out, or are you a parent?
I worry about those parents who are look for praise or acknowledgement for something so simple as learning how to brush their kid’s hair. If you think I’m overreacting, understand that it starts with the “burden” of combing their hair which trickles down to self-esteem and self-love.
If negativity is tied to their black appearance, how do you think it shapes their outlook of themselves? Will they be proud of their blackness or will they inadvertently be taught that their blackness is a burden and unwanted.

Summer McLane, Contributor
Owner, My Simply Perfect Events


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Stats and Facts about the Afro Hair Industry

The Afro hair industry is flourishing like never before, if recent market stats are anything to go by. More and more black women are embracing their naturally curly hair, no longer enamored by the universal trend of straight, kempt hair. At present, the Afro hair industry is worth over $500 billion and the growth is expected only to continue. Reports also indicate that black women are not averse to trying out new products and investing more on hair care if it guarantees them better results. For more such interesting facts and figures about the Afro hair industry, here is an infographic from Love Afro Cosmetics:

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Introverts can use vulnerability to become strong leaders

I am an introvert, I know this article is not related to Afro hair and beauty but I found it so interesting I wanted to share with all my introvert friends in the world.

Jess Lee went from Polyvore CEO to Sequoia partner. (Flickr)

On Nov. 7, 2012, Jess Lee published a blog post titled “Why startup founders are so unhappy.” In it, she reflected on her experience building the fashion tech site Polyvore, and the unique challenges she faced as a self-described introverted CEO.

At the time, Polyvore was cash-flow positive and approaching 20 million unique visitors per month. The company had raised a $14 million Series C round earlier that year (and more than $20 million total). The five-year-old start-up was proving itself a success. Even so, Lee said that she struggled with moments of “extreme unhappiness”—something she identified as universal among startup founders, no matter their temperament, because of the high volatility and uncertainty of the journey. But early on, her introversion held her back in dealing with that unhappiness in one critical way.

Because she hated networking so much, she mostly kept her head down during Polyvore’s early years. In hindsight, she identified that as one of her biggest mistakes:

Without any perspective from other founders, my only data points on startups came from TechCrunch, which is filled with overnight success stories and positive spin. Therefore, every one of Polyvore’s problems felt like the end of the world to me. After I started talking to other founders, I got the benefit of their wisdom, their encouragement, and their suggested solutions. It was a huge relief and good for my mental health.
Fast-forward exactly four years, and on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, Lee began her job as Sequoia Capital’s first US female partner. After eight and a half years building Polyvore (and eventually selling the company to Yahoo for more than $200 million in 2015), Lee decided she wanted to advise other startup founders. She tweeted about it when her hiring was announced, linking to her 2012 blog post:

Lee had found a way to get over her fear of networking by bringing a social connector with her to events to navigate the scene. And while she did her fair share of public speaking during her tenure as CEO, she also found that by spotlighting employees and asking them to take the floor, she gave them a greater sense of ownership.

“I don’t think I quite fit the traditional mould for what a CEO is supposed to be like,” she wrote on her new Sequoia bio. “Personality-wise, a certain set of skills, being introverted—none of those things are your classic CEO. Figuring out how to lead in my own style, authentically, has shaped me tremendously.”

Instead of holding frequent group meetings, for instance, Lee opted to meet 1:1 with employees throughout the company, a move that suited her personality type and gave her a competitive advantage in rooting out issues. “I have a lot of 1:1 conversations with people, which means that I have more time to get know someone better, or time for them to tell me if there’s a problem,” she explained to Quartz earlier this fall. “As a leader, you can’t fix problems that you don’t know about.”

She emphasized that the strategy only works, however, when a leader is willing to be transparent with their employees. “When you see leaders being authentic and being real and talking openly about their failures and not just the successes—and not just talking about how awesome the company is and how awesome they are—it creates an environment where people feel more comfortable approaching you,” Lee said, noting that she made a point to be open with employees about the company’s financial situation and strategy, and for the most part “telecast” her own emotions. “If they see you be vulnerable then they’re more willing to be vulnerable with you. That’s part of what makes leaders approachable.”

Netflix’s Reed Hastings, she said, is an example of a leader who “does a good job of coming across as a normal human being.” After the very public failure of Qwikster, which led to a PR disaster and a major drop in stock, he spoke “openly and authentically about it … and that was really refreshing. For a leader to say that [he failed] it makes you trust them more.”

As an investor, surfacing problems from entrepreneurs is a critical part of Lee’s new job. Her ability to see vulnerability as strength—through her own experience, and identifying it in others—is one of the biggest assets she brings to the table.

Image by Fortune Live Media on Flickr, licensed under CC-BY-ND 2.0.

The Office


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

How To GROW HAIR Long, Thick & Healthy FAST! (4 easy steps)

Hey! I’m here to share some super easy tips for hair growth that have worked for me! I’ve been doing these 4 things consistently for the past 9 months or so and my hair has done a complete turnaround for the better! My hair has always been short and pretty thin and now it is a lot thicker, stronger and LONGER. I hope these tips help you guys out as well. If there is anything specific you’d like more information on just let me know!

How to SAFELY straighten 4C NATURAL HAIR start to finish

I had already blown out my hair at home in the before picture. I used medium heat like most natural hair gurus recommend but it was ineffective because of the coarseness of my hair. Due to that, we decided it was best to blow it out (this time we used high heat) again at the salon before straightening. 
I decided to use less heat during straightening because...

1) I had already used too much heat due to blow drying twice
2) I don't care much for bone straight hair
3) knowing my hair, it's gonna be impossible to achieve bone straight hair without using a lot of heat thereby putting my hair at risk for heat damage. 
4) I don't intend to wear my hair straight for a long time. I only straightened it for this trim.

P.S: If you intend to trim your hair, USE SHEARS instead of scissors. I'm not a hair guru, I just know how to grow my hair healthy and I try to share my ways with you so we can all have long, healthy hair :)

I had already blown out my hair at home in the before picture. I used medium heat like most natural hair gurus recommend but it was ineffective because of the coarseness of my hair. Due to that, we decided it was best to blow it out (this time we used high heat) again at the salon before straightening.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Help these women and children