The Lesson We’ve Learned from the “Affluneza” Teen

 

On Wednesday December 30th, the “affluneza teen”, Ethan Couch, and his mother will be brought back to the United States. This of course happened after he and his mother fled to Mexico. Now captured, the question everyone is asking—Will they finally face punishment for their atrocious crimes?

Back in 2013, Ethan Couch killed four innocent civilians while driving drunk. At the time of this accident, Ethan was 16 and sentenced to 10 years of probation. Why such a light sentencing for such a serious crime? Well Ethan was not responsible for his actions because he suffered from affluenza, a disease of the privileged. He was never told right from wrong and got everything he ever wanted.  He went to rehab; however for Ethan, probation was only a suggestion and he fled to Mexico with his mother.

It’s no surprise that Ethan did not stay. His reason for fleeing is the same reason that Lindsay Lohan can have multiple counts of drunk driving and still have a career. Money talks louder than rulebooks—also you have to have the right complexion for protection.

Ethan is a rich white male in America. The law was made for him. But for the rest of us, our lives are in constant danger and our rights are denied. This story of Ethan and his gross disrespect for human life and law is not unique to him. It is the story of several privileged millennials who believe that they are above the law.

In 2016, people need to take responsibility for their actions. Ignoring the issues of race and privileged has created a society where Black lives are lost, no longer protected, and not wanted. When we compare Black teens such as Tamir Rice, Emmett Till, or Trayvon Martin to Ethan Couch, what we see is a hatred and disregard for Black lives. Our lawful society would rather have a rich teen that is responsible for killing four people than our innocent Black teenagers.

The privileged are staying privileged. The rest of us are not. If society continues on this course, then the separation between the races, the rich, and the poor will only continue growing. There’s a virus haunting America and it’s been living with us for centuries. This virus is killing innocent Black men and women, and if we stay silent about our outrage, then we will continue dying.

 

Natural Hair- The High Bun

bunIt’s the perfect time for protective styles. While everyone is braiding up their hair and hiding it with extensions, you may not have the time or money to do so, but your hair still needs protection. A bun is a quick and easy way to put away your ends and protect without spending any extra money.

You probably already have everything you need for a bun. Some suggested products are: edge control or gel, synthetic hair and a satin scarf.

In this video, you can see how Mini Marley does her high bun.

This style is as easy as 123. You simply pull your hair into a ponytail; lay your edges down with gel and/or edge control and bun it. You can opt to use synthetic hair for a bigger bun, but this is not necessary. It is also a good idea to tie a scarf around your head to mold your edges and give a sleek look.

A bun is not just an everyday protective style. It can be worn for many occasions. With New Year’s right around the corner, it is a great style to wear to a holiday party or a night on the town.  You can watch Naptural85’s bun tutorial to see a way to spice up your bun with confetti. It’s super cute and just as protective for your ends.

 

Why It’s Okay to not be Here for the Holidays

 

giphy

It’s the Holiday Season! There’s no way that you will walk down the street without seeing a candy cane or hearing a Christmas tune. For some, this is a time of bliss. Presents, a New Year, and eggnog—what more could a person ask for. While for others, the holiday season is a hard time. Not everyone can get swept into Rudolph’s red nose. Life is hard, confusing, frustrating, and a million of other adjectives that could just wrap around you all day. A certain season doesn’t mean you have to suddenly be happy and act in a way you wouldn’t have before the frankincense and myrrh.

Like always, you are most important, and self-care is your top priority. If that means skipping out on a holiday party because you’re not feeling up to it, then that’s fine. If your friends ask you why you’re being such a Grinch, then you can tell them how you’re truly feeling. However, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. YOU DO YOU.

I know that this is a simple phrase you’ve probably said in passing almost a million times, but it’s a phrase you have to remember, especially during the holidays. During this season it’s so easy to give so much away without keeping anything for yourself. If you give and give without taking a moment to relax, then there’s going to be none of you left. And no you, is not a good look. So just in case, you’re tempted not treat yourself with some much-deserved self care, here are five ideas to help you out.

giphy-1

  1. Buy yourself something nice.
    • You’ve earned it. That is all.
  2. Go escape the holidays!
    • If you don’t want to be in the holiday spirit or near any holiday cheer, then find your own special place that’s away from everything.
  3. Remind yourself you’re amazing. 
    • One morning when you wake up, stare in the mirror and tell yourself five great things that you’ve done this year or five things that you plan to do in the New Year.
  4. Take some time to turn off your phone and just sit down and think.
    • You don’t have to be on all day. It’s good to restart your batteries and get a fresh start.
  5. Don’t let anyone bring you down!
    • If they’re not a part of your squad, then leave them behind in 2015.

 

Coming Straight from the Underground: Nezi Momodu

artworks-000137282838-4c9ces-t500x500.jpg

At 23, Nezi Momodu has established her craft. Momodu embodies a nineties flow with visions of Queen Latifah and MC Lyte coming to mind when I listened to her EP, Babylon EP. With solid voice that demands respect and entices listeners to understand and vibe, it is evident that she thinks before she speaks her rhymes.

She was stumbled upon on Tumblr. A captionless video demonstrated her talent during a freestyle video that made me smile due to her ode to the film 8 Mile. With links to her Soundcloud and website, I was immersed in her style of colors and truths. The native Nigerian and Texas Tech University student gives smooth vibes with her EP and her sound will be reminiscent old school rappers that were more contingent on respect and rhyme rather than gold and shine.

Check out Nezi Momodu on at www.nezimomodu.com and listen to her EP at soundcloud.com/nezi-momodu

Quick & Easy Blowout on Natural Hair

blow outIs it time for a length check, or do you want to stretch out your hair with minimum heat? A blowout might be a good idea. It will not make your hair as sleek as flat ironing; however, it will give some length to your tight curls, coils or waves.

Many people use the tension method to blow dry their hair, but it takes a long time and may not give you that fully blown out look. If you use a blow dryer with different comb and brush attachments or a 3in1 dryer, this can cut down drying time and provide a flawless finish.

In this video posted by My Natural Sistas you can see a quick and easy way to achieve a blowout.

Some important things to note from this video are: detangle before blow drying, separate hair into small sections and always use a heat protectant to protect those beautiful curls.

Here is a video that reviews some of the best heat protectants by Shea Moisture. However, a quick google or Pinterest search can give you many product options.

There are many styling options with blow outs, so you can try different styles each time. For example, you can do bantu knot outs, wand curls, flexi rod sets and braid outs. Blow outs can also be worn naturally, just pineapple hair at night to preserve the style. If you want a sleeker look, a blowout is also a perfect base for flat ironing.

How to Do Natural-Looking Crochet Braids Outre Cuevana Twist Braid

natural crochet braidsThe harsh cold weather and wind of the winter months can be damaging to natural hair. If you’re in love with your natural hair texture, but you really need to put it away in a protective style for a while, natural-looking crochet braids are the way to go. This style is easy to do and very cost effective.

First, start off with freshly washed and conditioned hair. It is a good idea to deep condition, if you plan to keep the crochet braids up for at least two weeks. You can use almost any braid pattern. However, it is important to make sure the braids in the front are straight. This method makes it easy to part the hair different ways for multiple styles.

The items you’ll need to complete this style are a crochet hook and Outre X-Pression Cuevana Twist Braid hair. This hair matches the thickness of most natural hair to give you that effortless look. This brand can be rodded, twisted and curled in most of the styles that naturalistas do to their own hair.

You can watch The Brilliant Beauty’s tutorial video here to get natural-looking crochet braids.

In this video she uses three packs of hair in small amounts to keep it dense and more natural looking. She also shows you how to do the invisible part technique. She blow dried the hair, but it can also be flat ironed for a sleeker look.

It’s Okay to Say No to Marriage!

6357889953664274831439313714_shonda_two

When Shonda Rhimes proclaimed that she has no intentions of getting married, my mother gasped. Her like many other women, believe that the next important step after gaining a successful career is marriage. Meanwhile there are other women who cringe at the idea of marriage. The desires of mother and grandmother are not ours, and not wanting marriage is perfectly fine. For centuries, Black women were denied a home. If she was given one, it did not happen under the best circumstances. She was forced to embody the role of the Black mammy. So, when Black woman finally gained their home, it was sacred.

Fast forward to now. The histories of violence against Black women and their bodies remain with us. We have come far. We are strong. We are #blackgirlmagic. However, we don’t have to force ourselves to do things that we don’t want. It’s the 21st century, Shonda Rhimes rules ABC, and we have a Black president. Although, society wants to tell you that people of color are not wanted, it’s a lie. Like come on, Donald Trump is just a bad weave clumped on top of a rotting tomato.

Centuries of struggle have forced for women of color to forsake what they want. Some women dream about their wedding day while others don’t. You don’t have to know whether or not you want to get married. Yes, the biological clock is ticking, but don’t let that clock lead you to unhappiness. If everyone had a say on what to do with your body, then it wouldn’t be yours anymore.