I think now that we’re really starting to feel the holiday cheer it is time to help those of you who are looking for cute holiday gifts. Check out this Stocking Stuffa I found just for you! It’s by an artist that goes by the name of dendoo. Affordable and cute iphone and ipad pads starting at $39.95.
Much love and stocking stuffin, dendo0
I read your magazine before and it was okay but it always left me wanting more. For your November issue, which is being described on the internet as the Natural Hair issue, I have only seen the cover but already I feel if your magazine were a meal I would still need to be fed after eating.
The cover features actress Kerry Washington who is talented and gorgeous. I really find no fault with her; I find fault with the idea of using a non “natural” haired woman who is wearing what seems to be a weave or some sort of wig on the cover of the natural hair issue.
If the issue is approaching “natural hair” from the angle Tyra did on her tv show -meaning your natural hair WITHOUT weaves than okay, I can somewhat understand. A lot of women have an issue with dealing with their relaxed hair let alone what some people angrily call napps (I say napps with love). So I could understand, just a bit, if that was the angle you guys were going for.
However, the term “natural hair” makes me think of a woman like me: hair that is not chemically treated to straighten it into a texture that I was not born with. Nice thick nappies, kinks, curls, that hard hair or soft even but whatever the texture, hair that is in its raw state and is NATURAL. So yes some naturals do have the texture Ms. Washington is sporting for the cover and more power to them but I don’t think that is her real hair. Not at all.
If Essence is a magazine for women it would have been refreshing to see real, everyday natural haired women representing what the tagline reads “Curl it, Twist it, Lock it, Rock it”. How beautiful it would have been to see some real women of different ages, shades, and sizes gracing the cover of the magazine truly showcasing natural hair.
I have been highlighted on the community BGLH.com (Black Girl with Long Hair) and it’s great to see other naturals showing off their healthy hair and style. It is proof that naturals can be just as divalicious as the woman who was chosen to grace the cover. I know it’s all about numbers and picking Kerry Washington was probably given a lot of thought. It might be too risky to throw some real women on the cover of a magazine in hopes that it might sell, but grab your balls and remember that Essence is Essence! Break a mold for once!
Lastly, a lot of naturals are frustrated with this magazine and it’s approach to the natural hair movement. I’ve read blogs whose authors have one eyebrow raised at this very cover I am writing about, blogs criticizing your natural hair chat that was online, and there are many (myself included) who feel as if Essence is using the natural trend to sell some units. Well I know you have to make money but I really hope you’re not approaching this as a gimmick, as a thing to make a quick buck.
I would like to read this issue but I won’t be able to because of where I live at the moment. However, I really hope what is inside this issue makes up for its introduction. Never judge a book by it’s cover so they say…and I have so yeah I could be forced to swallow a big helping of “shut up” but I’m telling you from the mind of a natural that it just doesn’t feel right. It would have been amazing if naturals could have been celebrated properly.
One last thing, if the idea of using naturals of every age, shade and sized had been done you could have had a curvy girl on the cover next right next to the topic “Curvy Girls….”
This is the cover of mixed messages. Where’s my map? I’m lost.
So tell me – could you handle 31 girls in 31 days?
Last month I was part of a project called ’31 Girls in 31 Days’. If this is making you feel a lil deja vu that’s because there was a similar project in March with the same name hosted by the same person, the wonderful VESTQUE!
She, I and basically everyone who took part had SO much fun that she decided to host part deux of the project and this time there was a twist: poison. Yep, under the theme poison artists from all over the world submitted to the project. I had a blast creating this piece for the project and I think it was even better the second time around because of the theme. It was more tied together.
So check out 31 females over 31 days…if you think you can handle it. Be on the look out for my poisoned beauty in the line up!
And don’t fret, if you find that you have an appetite for 31 beauties there will be a July edition. I’m starting to think this is going to be a regular project and I for one am very excited. I’ll have an announcement via my blog when July starts to roll in.
Much poisoned love, dendoo
Tell us about your most incredible romance.
Ugh…is it bad that I haven’t had an “incredible romance”? No it’s not, it just means that I have more life to live and more love to experience. Sorry yalls, no juicy stories here.
Have you ever been the “other woman” (or “other man”)? No. HELL TO THE NAW.
What is the craziest thing you have done in the name of love? Forgiven someone.
Is there someone who you think of as the one who got away? No.
Do you believe in true love? No.
Have you ever experienced love at first sight? No.
Lol so answering this week’s Curious Tuesday questions got me wondering: am I super unromantic or am I too realistic when it comes to love? Maybe that is why I don’t have super long or super successful relationships. My relationships are filled with love, or whatever love is at that moment, but in the end I always start feeling like I’m moving in another direction and the person isn’t moving in that direction with me. The relationship ends in a friendly vibe but when I reflect on it I always feel like I was doing love because it’s expected of me. You know? It’s expected that you will be in a relationship and be lovey dovey. Maybe that ISN’T me.
I’m starting to feel like my relationships are too childish for my liking. So am I on to dating older men? We’ll see but for now I am back to enjoying being single. I swear my dears, single is good if you give it a chance.
Do you believe in true love? Do you have crazy love stories and love connections? Do you have advice for me??
Oh! I missed the last Curious Tues. so I threw it in. My answers are much more lengthier than this week’s!
1. Would you ever get cosmetic surgery? If not, why not? If yes, what would you want done?
I think if I got surgery I would die, I have a fear of unnecessary surgery. But if I got surgery I would probably enhance my booty area…lol. Black girls know the booty is important! But on the real note I’d rather fix whatever imperfections I have without surgery.
2. What is “your drink”?
I love mojitos, I love any chocolatey drink but I don’t have a drink. I drink what is there as long as it doesn’t taste like fruit.
3. What are your five fashion essentials? My essentials aren’t crazazy cause I think essentials should be essential:
- Plain coloured tees – they go with EVERYTHING, they make your wardrobe stretch and they’re cheap!
- A bright, oversized purse – This can double as a weekender, it adds colour to your outfit, and it carries all
- Black pumps – Tyra tells all wannabe models adding a pair of basic pumps can add oomph to your outfit (so true!)
- A good (sexy) bra – ladies get fitted, stick to your size and treat yourself to a frilly cute bra. Instant sex appeal!
- Sexy pencil skirts – A pencil skirt is so basic, it’s flattering and it always makes me feel sexy. Try it!
4. Do you have any tattoos? What are they? If not, do you want some? What would you like to get?
I have a square on the inside of my wrist and I plan to get a lot more squares all over my body.
5. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m terrified of butterflies. TERRIFIED. Have you seen those things? They’re just disgusting.
much love, dendoo
Well hello there!
I’ve had quite an adventurous time away but it’s back to the blog and back to sharing and caring.
About two weeks ago I watched a local show here that focuses on issues within my country’s community. The issue being discussed that night was on the issue of condom use. Well…let’s just say I didn’t totally agree with what was being said. I was so disappointed I made a video about it AND wrote the show an email. Take a look and read!
And this is what I wrote to the show:
I watched your show last night dealing with HIV/AIDS within our community. I am pleased that you highlighted women in your show. Overall it was okay but there were some points where I was in total disbelief and disagreement with what you and your guests were saying.
On condom use:
This is where I had a huge problem with what you were telling us. Yes it is true condom use is not popular within the TCI community or the Caribbean community for that matter but I think this was a place where you, as someone who is seen as an educated Black woman with various experiences, have an opportunity to help change that.
I can not recollect the exact term used by you and your guests but it was something along the lines of “it would be wrong of us to ask our partner to use a condom” in the sense that since it is our culture to do without we would be asking so much of our partner, it would be against culture and prat ice to ask our partner to use a condom.
I STRONGLY disagree. Culture is not always right. Practices are not always right. It was practice to throw excrement right outside centuries ago, it was practice to not wash hands before an operation or sterilize instruments before and after operating, but these practices were WRONG. It is prat ice within our community to not use condoms but that practice is WRONG.
I agree, within the Caribbean women are usually the strong force of a relationship. I like to believe that women have the power to be movers and shakers. We can let a man think he is charge but a strong woman knows how to quietly pull the strings. I will not enter a relationship unless I can use condoms. I don’t think it’s wrong to present this to my partner, I could care less if it goes against culture because at the end of the day I know culture will not help me if I get a STD or HIV or AIDS.
I don’t think I need to negotiate the use of condoms. Instead of encouraging our women to be passive in their womanhood you and your guests should have encouraged woman to take a bold step and look the issue in the eye. There is nothing wrong with looking a partner in the eye and saying I use condoms and that is what I require in my sex life. For the woman who does not like the female condom or is more comfortable with the male condom I think it is better to encourage her to be proactive and straightforward with her choices instead of tiptoeing around her man and asking in a submissive way if it’s okay that we use condoms.
If we can start changing our mentality about these things we can start making strides beyond our imagination. I can’t understand how we can empower women if we’re telling them to be little kittens. If our men are expecting us to be lionesses in the bedroom let’s start by being a lioness about our sexuality and our sexual life.
I believe culture is dictating too much of a woman’s life.
Actually I touched on this on my blog a bit. I attacked it from the angle of what is expected of me culturally as a young woman and what I expect for myself. If you like you can read it here: http://dendoo.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/youre-not-a-traditional-girl/
I think with all the different cultures and backgrounds we have in such a small community a woman, regardless of where she is from and her beliefs, may feel forced to keep up or conform to her partners beliefs. A lot of people, men and women, living here do not feel it is a problem to have more than one partner AND to have unprotected sex with various partners. However, if a woman can feel secure in who she is she will not only demand monogamy but she will also demand higher standards in her partner. So you want to withold money? Then keep it. She should demand higher standards within herself. It is only then a woman can be free from the perceptions, the practices and the unbalanced situations that life is presenting her.
Overall the show was okay but I think the way you presented some ideas could have been stronger. I’m never going to trick or negotiate a partner into doing something that should be standard for my safety. Screw culture when it comes to my sexual life. We need to start educating ourselves at a younger age, don’t you think? Too often I have asked why aren’t we educating our daughters from the time they are in high school? Especially when this is the age many are starting to experiment sexually.
I will be blogging about this same issue. Thanks for giving me something to think about.
What do you think? In your culture is safe sex the norm and what do you feel about women and the strength of their voice in their sex lives?
Culture….it’s a crazazy thing.
Much love (and respect), dendoo
It is so exciting! I have skins for your iphone and ipod available for sale at the low price of $15.00. Here are the skins that are currently available. Clicking each photo will take you to the purchase page.
More skins will be coming soon, but don’t wait get something for your phone today!
Much love, dendoo!
This morning I was just clickin around on the web and I came across this awesome project based in England. These guys are giving artists a voice to be a voice for the people. We’re expressing how we feel about government, politics, etc.
The idea behind my submission is we expect the government to fulfill their promises. We follow them because they shower us with what we want to hear. We’ll follow them in the hopes that they’ll fulfill, that they’ll love us.
Maybe it’s time we loved ourselves.
This will be plasterd all over London.
1. What are you most excited for RIGHT NOW?
To move to JAPAN this summer. I’m excited beyond words. Why can’t it be August?
2. Who is your style icon? What inspires your look?
I love, love, love Erykah Badu. Can’t you just see it? We’re united. Look:
On the real tip I enjoy finding my own influences, many people an things influence my me but at the end of the day it’s about the vibe I’m feeling and the energy that is flowing within in me. But if I had to pick someone who captured everything I could never say it would be Erykah Badu. Cause she baaaad.
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you invite?
I’d probably have dinner with My great grandmother and ask her a bunch of questions. I never met her but I would like to.
4. What did you dress up as for your first Halloween?
Well the first Halloween I can remember I dressed up as Smurfette. I mean come on…who else was I going to be? I think she’s awesome cause she’s blue and not a lot of people can pull that colour.
5. What are you improving?
Trying to improve my: Japanese, my anger, my need to procrastinate, my eyebrows, my hatred of taking baths and wearing the same undies up to three days in a row (yeah yeah like you’ve never done it) and my worrying.
There’s a movement going on in this universe called RADICAL SELF LOVE.
Before anyone thinks I am hating on the movement or the creator please understand: I totally believe in Radical Self Love. If I weren’t addicted to squares (I have a tattoo of a square) I’d probably tattoo it on my wrist. So don’t start thinking “My word! She’s against the movement.” It’s nothing like that. And I know that RSL is about being in love with yourself but I’m approaching this from a different angle which I hope will be apparent as you continue reading.
So what is it like?
It’s like this: Radical Self Love already was, already had been, and will always be so snap out of your stupid bubbles and just accept the realness that is you, your awesomness and the life that will change dramatically once you do. I’m mad that more women are not accepting this movement but I’m even more upset that it has to be a movement to begin with because YOU are radical, YOU are yourself and YOU deserve your love.
Where is this anger coming from?
It’s coming from this: I was out last week running some errands and I had on a typical “me” outfit plus my afro. The afro is what I think started this entire conversation. This young woman about my age start laughing when I went into the store. So I look at her like “and what” and keep browsing. So she comes up to me and asks “You ain’t scared aye?” (don’t forget we’re island people so we have our own talks) and I’m asking her scared of what “scared of what everyone thinks of you”. I tell her plainly and bluntly no. I ask her why should I be scared. She lists some stupid reasons and then I laugh. I tell her if anything I’m scared to become like her.
She looks shocked and I smile a secret smile. So she asks “What’s so wrong about me?”
Nothing is wrong about her but what fun is it to be just like everyone else? What is so fun about fitting in because it’s what’s expected? This opens up a discussion. In the end she admits there are things she wants to do, wants to be but she feels she can’t be. Okay, you know me. Even if the dream will never come true I still need to have the dream. So I share this with her and she tells me “But that’s what white folks do. You white aye?” (yep white people I’m sorry but us black people do say that sometimes.)
So I shake my head vigorously. NO. LIFE IS NOT JUST FOR WHITE PEOPLE.
Then I realized I’m getting mad…and I am getting mad because this woman does not have her own foundation of radical self love. True, it didn’t come to me like that but I knew at that moment there wasn’t enough trust in herself, knowledge about herself and about her worth in her and that’s why she was making such crazazy statements.
Look, I don’t have anything against people but I know about the black way of life so it’s something I can talk about in-depth. I know we (black people) constantly say “That’s for white folks to do”. Well at least in my country that’s what a lot of black people say.
Saving money for retirement, buying a condo, traveling the world, eating caviar, hiking, holding a dinner party…LIVING is for white people. When I realized what this woman is telling me along with what I’ve heard countless times I suddenly got it: we’re clouding our horizons. We can’t ever expect to get on with the movement. Then I realized we can NEVER accept radical self love because we put ourselves in a bubble of “blackness” and we can’t get out.
me accepting my crazazy hair…
So I am saying today that anything she can do we can do too. I’m not even going to say we can do better because first we have to believe that we can even do it. To me, RSL (I’m tired of writing it all out) is about accepting who you are and then taking that person and pushing it past your boundaries. But if you can’t even accept who you are and where you belong in this world then how can you push past anything? The most you can do is push your trolley past the little old lady in the Supermarket!
The movement was created to be in love with yourself and not have to be dependent on a man for the love you are so worthy of as Valentine’s day moved closer but to me it was more about saying “I don’t need a man to make me happy”. It was about discovering every inner truth, every desire, every fear, and every worry that was you. So maybe you think this girl does have her own RSL thing going on…cause she comfortable being a part of the pack, right?
I think the fact that she asked if I’m not scared, the fact that she admitted some dreams that she wants to have but doesn’t even have the courage to hold onto, and the fact that she hasn’t discovered who she is outside of the pack (IMO) all point to her not being down with Radical Self Love.
And I told her. I TOLD HER! Well I didn’t say she needs to learn about RSL but I did say
You can’t be afraid to be who you want to be even if it means you’re never popular and people make fun of you. You can’t be afraid to have your wants and desires. That my dear is radical.
You can’t be afraid to be in tune with your energies, your harmonies, your you. That my dear is self.
You can’t be afraid to have an open heart and open mind for everything that comes along. You don’t have to accept everything but you do have to accept that there is more than you out there. You have to accept the you that you’re in tune with. Isn’t that love?
So I’m on a mission to bring Radical Self Love to the Black Girl in my country because I’m starting to see ain’t enough of that stuff floating around. If I offended you I’m sorry but I live in a place where I witnessed grown as hell 30, 40 and 50-year-old women pay $100 to have some stupid broad answer questions like “How to win my man back from a prostitute?” and “Is it okay to date a white man?” (I’m not joking). I have to do my part to nip it in the bud. I can’t wait till I’m 50 and then try to go out and help a sister. NO!
Radical Self Love means a lot of things to a lot of people but if you can’t even start with the simplest thing…what’s the point?
artwork by dendoo
keep moving on
even if you got scuffs on your new shoes keep stepping on
even if he says your boots were made for walking keep walking on
even if you only have your bare feet keep keeping on
no matter what you have to do
keep moving on
cause you’re a woman and that’s what we do
let’s move along
much love, dendoo