Christian Crawford of Runway Couture (www.shoprunwaycouture.com/), a classy and elegant entrepreneur in Richmond, decided to throw a shopping and networking event at Brickstone Grill last Saturday. Perfect and just in time for Mother’s Day, fashion and style lovers all over Virginia made their way to Midlothian Turnpikes former “Razzles” location. Newly renovated and redesigned, this location turned out to be perfect for shopping and networking with some of Virginia’s hardest working professionals in beauty, fashion, and style. Taking Ms. Sydney Harris (@Sydneyellese) of Young Ladies of Beauty with me, we were ready and prepared to meet all of the beauty and fashion entrepreneurs under one roof in support of Runway Couture. Immediately captivated by all the options available for all types of women, we knew that Christian did a wonderful thing bringing all of these amazing people together. While winning prizes and raffles, patrons were able to shop and get discounts at the bar. From cupcakes infused with alcohol to healthy and energizing water, to eclectic and stylish vintage designs to handmade and crafted dresses, this event catered to a diverse crowd of women, who deserved the ultimate shopping and beauty experience. Unique and original jewelry designs, styles that were not overdone and tacky, retailers provided specialty for a new and prospective clientele that was impressive. Among some of the vendors, I had a chance to chat it up with Jacole Thomas of J-Elay.com, stylish dresses and accessories for curvaceous women. Make sure to check her out. Also, I talked to the beautiful Melani L. Jones, owner of IRock Natural (www.Irocknatural.com), who had an awesome collection of t-shirts and accessories that real natural enthusiast can enjoy. I appreciate the styling and effort she put into her pieces and I can’t wait to see more. One of my absolute favorites, another vintage and thrifting aficionado, Andrea Nicole of La Dainta (www.Ladainta.com) who I got to officially meet for the first time, should also be supported. I love her style and her spirit, a very nice young lady. Among some of the pretty faces in the building was also Virginia Natural Hair Blogger, Jonna of Naturally Glam (www.Naturally-glam.com) Just when you thought that, all the fun was somewhat over, I mean how much shopping and beauty can you tolerate, Runway Couture’s Christian Crawford takes the event up a notch, and all in attendance line dancing. I was tickled, because never before have I seen that down home feeling at a shopping/networking event, and I must say I really like it. A girl like me likes to wobble-wobble everyone once in while, but so often I feel like “I must keep it professional”, however in a beautiful self-made gown this fashion maven made everyone feel relaxed and at-home by suggesting we all let loose. That was truly fun and it made us all look forward to her next event. Overall, the event was awesome and I can’t wait to see what’s next. I appreciate the invitation, and from my understanding she has something up her sleeve for next month, so be sure to follow her and be on the lookout. For more of the baddest creative motivation, reviews, and commentary follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
It’s that all too familiar conversation, you see someone online and their following is steadily growing, their popularity is picking up, and people begin to want to have that conversation, “Are They Going Somewhere?” The truth is, we live in a generation of people that assume that if it’s not on their timeline, on their IG account, and Twitter trending topics, that it’s not news and it’s not real. Unfortunately, because of people like this I strongly feel like the world is going to sh**! There are far too many myths, half truths, and straight lies floating around about what an internet celebrity is, what social media fame means, and who is the sure enough most popular, lucrative, & greatest in Entertainment, Networking, Media, Writing, etc. In Reality, most of the lifestyles that people actually have, are actually sensationalized and made to appear more glamorous, important, and productive, than they really are. This is a scheme to intimidate the weak, peek the interest of the ill informed and lazy and to manipulate the insecure and ambitious who just want to make it.
We don’t have fans. We have supporters, lurkers, and potential clients. No one on Twitter, especially in your local scene can attest to being internet famous with followers in the range of less than 6 or 7 digits. Most of the people on our list are people trying to push their stuff on us, not paying attention to what you’re doing. In addition, some people stoop so low as to buy followers, create other twitter accounts and follow themselves, so truthfully basing your entire career on how many people you follow and who follow you in return, is almost as stupid as when hood dudes fight over government funded project territory that they don’t own. If the internet crashed today, would you still be relevant?
A boss pulls you into the office and tells you that you’re lacking, you’re slipping, and you’re fired. A boss calls a meeting with the competition to discuss issues. A boss never shows that he/she is affected by the moves of those that object to him/her. The problem with social media is that, you can always tell who is a boss. You look crazy if at noon, you’re discussing how you’re making so many moves, you are hustling, “grinding”, and building your empire, but then you are easily affected by post, comments, and humorous photos that speak things people can’t say in real life by the end of the day. When has the telephone become extinct? Passive aggressive one-liners aren’t the norm for the people that I look up to and are inspired by. People that say that they are busy working, are really busy working. They don’t have time to scroll through and see what other people are doing and indirectly commenting about it. You got questions or comments about someone use this: @TheirName, otherwise that comes off as weak and submissive, and what BOSS wants that? You can’t say you don’t have time to do that, because you’re using that time to be indirect, just saying. Your team should hip you to that, I mean they are your friends, right?
As I mentioned before, you have supporters, lurkers, and potential clients all following you and seeing your behavior. You cannot assume that just because you have certain people under your list of followers, that they are required to click your links, share your info, and Retweet your bodies of work. It doesn’t work that way. I remember doing a spoof video that was about beefing with people online. The video had a message, but it had strong language as well. I knew a few of my friends and supporters watched it and enjoyed it, but some of them couldn’t share or Retweet because of the curse words. Did I take offense to that, no I didn’t. It’s understandable, because we are all building a brand and we need to be careful how we are perceived to those we are trying to work with in the future. If you post something, some of us may click on it and some of us may not, that’s life. If you really want us specifically to see it or it pertains to us in some way, of course feel free to tag and attach us to the message. However, what you won’t do it just plaster stuff on people’s personal Facebook page, get in your feelings when I don’t Retweet your post, and try to gangster somebody into supporting you. If that’s what you came for, you can kindly leave; nobody has time for that! How do I look having your adult saturated material next to a picture of my kids? Like a fool, so get that and wrap that up nicely in a bow, we don’t do stuff like that around here. Send a newsletter, an email or just wait for me to click the link, stop acting like a spam troll, thirsty for people to see what you are up to.
Internet Celebrities, Locally Famous, and everyone in between… Many people are all trying to make their dreams come true. What some of us do it with respect and humility; they call that weak, wack, etc. Some of us do it with aggression, ratchetness, drama, etc. and they call that “go hard” and grinding. Smh. The truth is, many of you aren’t seeing a clear picture of the real lives. We all have struggles and tribulations, but overall its how we overcome them that set people apart.
Some of the people that are trying to make it, have some of these issues going on, that you may have no idea about:
Unpaid bills and potential evictions
Receiving government assistance
Warrants and cases against them
Owe money to other “local” celebrities
Have false and fake limbs and prosthesis
Are sexual deviants
Fund their businesses with food stamps and unemployment checks
Live at home with their parents over the age of 25
Loss of relatives and/or jobs
Neglecting their children and/or spouse is cheating
Own broke down jalopies and/or have no transportation
Copies ideas from actual famous people and make it their own
Are insecure, suicidal, and self-destructive
And much more…
Therefore, if you look at someone’s followers, their Klout score, and all the things that they are doing… you may not see the above-mentioned things. Of course, you wouldn’t see that, it would mess up the painted picture of success. You have to discern for yourself, based on attitude and humility, those that are truly blessed and successful.
“The Loudest one in the room, is the Weakest one in the room” – F.L
Can you honestly say that what people do doesn’t matter to you? Truthfully. Well, if you are actively trying to find information, having entire discussions around someone and their work, it’s safe to say that it does indeed matter to you. The biggest myth of all is that someone can literally have a monopoly over anything anymore. New personalities, businesses, and ventures popping up all over the place, there is no way to “takeover” anything. When you’re doing great work, somebody can sell his or her work right next to you and it wouldn’t matter… You’re still doing great work. I recently had a conversation with someone who didn’t want to throw a certain type of event, because somebody else was doing one two months later. That is most absurd thing, I’ve ever heard. You can’t get money, live your dream, and be amazing in your purpose, because someone else is also doing that as well? Stop allowing people to intimidate you from seeking your fullest potential. If they are bothered that you want to do XYZ, it’s because they feel threatened. They feel as if you have embarked on their territory and there is some evidence of fear and uncertainty. Otherwise, why would it matter? It’s enough clientele and blessings for all of us, when we stop acting like crabs and hermits, we will start to feel that. You cannot expect everyone to like you or appreciate what you bring to the table, therefore there will always be that person who will fill the void for those people you can’t reach. It’s not realistic to assume you can take over a market, a community, and a generation if your message isn’t pertaining to every single person within that realm. Stay in your lane and do what you have been called to do, don’t worry about other people. Don’t feel threatened by anyone else, because as I proved earlier… most of them dealing with their own stuff anyway. As we all know, “hurt people will hurt people”, so don’t allow anyone else’s insecurities and lack of talent dwindle your shine. They are only discussing you and seeking to destroy you because YOU MATTER.
I close this in saying, if you truly have a purpose in mind, a goal you are trying to reach, and work that needs to be done… do it! Stop allowing people to pull you down with them, distract you with their nonsense, and pull you into their ratchetness and drama. No one who is seriously busy has time for that. The folks doing the most shouting about how you can’t do what they do, how you will never be on their level, they are the best, blah, blah, blah… are the folks most concerned that we don’t know it and haven’t seen that yet. People who are talented and secure in their position in life, don’t need that confirmation and reassurance. What’s for you is yours, God will see to it that you have it regardless of what those regular people say and do. It’s just a matter in you having faith in yourself and Him, that you will eventually see that flourish right before your eyes. Debunk the myths that people can take from you what you have set up to win, if it ain’t anointed, it’s not going anywhere… believe that. It’s about time to lift these smoke screens. I want to see more winners and less whiners.
Love and awesomeness,
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
It’s impossible to think that with any ounce of beauty, talent, or self-respect that everyone is going to love you and adore you everyday. There are people out there that hate their circumstances so bad, hate what you represent, and compete so hard that they will go out of their way to step on any ounce of respect you may have for yourself. Truthfully, you can say you don’t care, but deep down inside that’s false. You care and it bothers you. Why can’t people shine without getting some shade by some people around them? Why is it difficult to make moves in your life without the obstacles of haters, negative comments, and gossip/rumors? If I go to the bible, it’s clear that even the most perfect individual, Jesus Christ dealt with haters and naysayers, so what makes you so different? However, let me break down how to overcome the responsibility of being great and doing great things. Because with every step of glory there will be groans and moans of envious, jealous, and hateful people. How you deal with it makes all the difference for yourself and your life.
This is a hard task, please believe me. I often want to spazz out, snap, go off, and start hitting below the belt when folks talk to me or about me sideways. In fact, I used to go all out to destroy people verbally and even physically at times, frustrated that they had the audacity to come against me. However, I remember that my purpose is greater than that. I’m a mature woman with values and goals that don’t include petty people who aren’t happy with themselves. It’s not easy to be nice all the time or kill them with kindness, but that’s how you are supposed to live. Vengeful/vindictive behavior is just a vicious cycle that will never end. Treat them with kindness regardless of the hate and shade thrown at you. You don’t have to be fake and buddy up with them, but cordial doesn’t cost a thing and swallowing your pride is fat free.
People are going to talk about you… and badly, too. They are going to gossip about you, insinuate things, and assume that you are something that you might not be. It doesn’t matter. When you are called to a purpose and you are driven and focused, it doesn’t matter what people say. You don’t have to address every hateful comment or every rumor that comes back to you. God can handle it. If you ask Him to deal with the small stuff, so that you can keep working, God will have your back. Don’t respond to the foolishness; don’t give your haters the luxury of pulling you down with them. Let them reach; let them talk, because they have the time. You only answer to divine descriptions of yourself, you answer to greatness.
Don’t you ever, ever, ever dumb yourself down, ugly yourself up, or limit your possibilities for the sake of other people. You may not want to step on people’s toes, but don’t starve yourself and your glory. Be the best person you can be, be the awesome individual God created. Don’t worry about people talking about you or hating on you. They will do this regardless if you fail or if you win, so stay focused. If they can’t take your shine, then inform them where they can get some sunshades or tell them don’t look straight at you. I’m going to shine despite what they say, what they do, and if my shine makes them uncomfortable, they better back up and give me some room… it’s about to get hot! That should be your attitude, don’t feel like you have to limit your abilities for the sake of someone else, because they’ll either stifle you or despise you, both of which is not your concern. Shine bright!
Life has a way of throwing obstacles in your way. Bills, illness, loss, setbacks are all apart of the system. However, don’t worry about what people can see and what they might find out. You belong to someone greater and more divine than any of us, you answer to Him. He knows your heart. Your life should be pleasing to God, not people. Therefore, so what if you have to downgrade your house, car, or your style, God is going to bring you back when you are ready. We aren’t in a race with other people; we are on a journey with God on our own. Through all the obstacles and circumstances, find something to be grateful for and praise God. Find things in your life that you know are blessings and thank God despite the pitfalls. God wants to know that you know how to keep your light shining through it all.
It kills me when people talk about how awesome they are, and how blessed they are with talents, materialistic things, etc. However, despite being blessed in one way or another, they spend most of their time trying to prove… “I’m the best”! So much energy goes into getting people back, proving people wrong, hurting those who have wronged them, and vindicating themselves, that they don’t even realize that they’re going in circles. God doesn’t bless you so that you can beat it upside someone else’s head and make them feel inferior. God blesses you, so that you in return can be a blessing for someone else. Therefore, if you haven’t fully dealt with your own insecurities and trials, you will lose ultimately in the end. Spend your energy on your purpose and fulfill that. You don’t need to prove that you are untouchable, unstoppable, and the best at what you do with words of grandeur and idle threats to no one in particular, your actions and good will speak volumes to the people. Spend your energy on being pleasing to your Creator and not on the people throwing you shade or shade that you created for yourself. Spend it being awesome and blessed with your acts, not your boastful tongue.
I want to see people be the best that they can possibly be, I know it’s difficult… but it is possible. I used to think limiting things myself, but I’ve learned that if we are truly honest with ourselves and we deal with our insecurities within, we can overcome anything with His glory. I’m excited to see what happens next. God bless and have an awesome Easter Weekend.
Love and Awesomeness,
For more of the baddest creative motivation follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
The other day, I witnessed a very talented young woman go in (I mean H.A.M) online about why people don’t come out to support her, why people don’t pay to see her perform, and everyone is cheap and about themselves. This isn’t the first time; I’ve seen people rant about people not supporting them. Even as I write this, I know damn well, it won’t be the last. It really got me thinking about the truth. As someone who spent the better part of her career, getting exposure and supporting people with no return on investment, I think I understand more than the average person, why most of you… sometimes even myself, can’t get the support we need.
First, let me say, that this list isn’t intended for everyone. Only you can determine whether you fall victim to any of these behaviors or situations. If you are honest with yourself, you probably can tell if you have been a perpetrator as well. This isn’t to point the finger, because truthfully you know what your motives and purpose are. However, based on observation, I can certainly tell you that many of us have fallen into any one of these categories before.
This pretty much sums it all up. When you see people complaining online or hear them ranting on in real life, ask them if they are guilty of any one of these violations. It’s easier to point the finger at everyone else and say people just hate, but because some of us live where very few famous people have started, we struggle to get somewhere and be a martyr, when we should just be satisfied with living with a purpose. I’m excited for you all and wish blessings on all your endeavors, just remember why you’re doing it and don’t worry about who loves you. The one that gave you the vision and the talent is the only approval you should seek.
With LOVE and Awesomeness,
I’esha GaptoothDiva Hornes
I can’t stand myself sometimes! This weekend was the tenth time I lit up in excitement when someone with animal print walked into the room. My sister says I’m insane, but that’s nothing new. Lately, I’ve wanted to splash animal print on everything basic for a double touch of color and flare. I think the winter is the best time for someone who doesn’t try prints and colors often, to experiment. During this part of the year, most people layer on for comfort and warmth. However, if you’ve never tried bolder prints and designs, the colder months are perfect for “sneaking” in that new print you’ve always wanted to try. Because of your various layers, if you’re not too hot about the look, you can always cover it up. It’s a win-win, when you’re sort of seeing whether you like the look of something, but you really don’t want to display it for the whole world to see.
Some of us are already onto something. I went into my archives and pulled two photos of two very different women who used the trend to their benefit. Have you ever seen an outfit on someone that just inspired you? Well, that is exactly what happened when I saw these two fashionistas on the go in Richmond, Virginia. First, there is Naturally Creole, a Blogger I met at the shop the aisle event. You can check her out (http://www.naturallycreole.blogspot.com) for hair and makeup tutorials. She is incredibly awesome and a mommy, too. Then there is the amazingly wonderful little sis, Shanice (@watevajustsmile) who is currently a Specialist in the United States Military. She still manages to have style after going all those weeks without lip-gloss, LoL.
Both women are sporting great choices for animal prints and I loved it so much that I wanted to share how any woman, regardless of her lifestyle can incorporate this trend into their wardrobe. From basics to full on ensembles, animal print has to be my favorite…
All my suggestions are always under $50, because we shouldn’t go broke trying to put names on our a**!
Maybe you haven’t fallen for the hype as I have, and animal print isn’t really your thing. Look at some small options that make a huge impact on any outfit. These $25 earrings from A.B.S. By Allen Schwartz (lordandtaylor.com), this eclectic clutch purse for $40 (lulus.com), and this Mesh Leopard Bangle Set for $9.50 (wetseal.com) are all great options to add some “wild” to your basics. I especially love the quirky vintage inspired bow hair tie for $14 (etsy.com).
Let’s say you are only willing to go as far as a shirt. Well, wetseal.com has a Cheetah Mirrored Status Tee for only $12. In addition, you can get a $44 Animal Print Mohair Sweater from oasap.com; something I think is super cool for those really chilly days.
For my fierce darlings, I’m obsessed with these $40 American Eagle Outfitters leopard oxfords (ae.com), I would pair these with basic white tees and jeans on slow days and a full blown printed outfit on days I’m feeling myself… which would be almost everyday. Yep, rim shot! I also adore this $24 Motel Becka Bodycon Skirt from motelrocks.com, but as an alternative I wouldn’t mind wearing these High Waist Leather Shorts for $44 at romwe.com. My motto is always “go hard or go home!”
Anyway, I have a few DIY’s coming soon that include animal print designs and I always will be posting some new outfits on my personal style blog, FYOURSTYLE. Make sure to check them out and tell me what you think.
I believe that this topic has been long overdue. I’ve been blogging since 2007, and most of the content on this site is related to an event that I went to or have promoted for my audience. Through all the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never encountered some of the ratchet and craziness that I’ve dealt with lately. I thought since my goal is to motivate and inspire, my current objective should be to provide constructive criticism and support to those that just don’t know. This particular subject will be aimed at event planners and promoters who should and want to work with bloggers, in an effort to bring more attention and publicity to their events. Bloggers provide an opportunity to get your event and business in front of a diverse and unique audience, through social media post, articles, and videos on the internet. The work put into creating articles and post deliver substantial benefits similar to having your event featured in magazines and newspapers, except its all online. Through SEO (search engine optimization) and a large audience, bloggers have the power to influence their following to check out links and websites, just by mentioning a business’s name and information. Some Event Planners and Promoters have yet to comprehend the overall payback of utilizing this technique to get their name out there through the efforts of popular bloggers. My goal is to provide some tips and advice on how to make the collaboration between and Event Planner/Promoter and Blogger, a smooth and non-stressful situation.
Recently, I had the displeasure of working with an Event Planner/Promoter who lacked a general understanding of how our relationship would work. The individual was very new to their chosen business field and may have been a little touched mentally, but I digress. What was supposed to be yet another motivating and enlightened post on my website, turned into a twenty-minute shouting match over the phone, a situation I refuse to find myself in again. I blame a lack of communication and a dose of pure arrogance for what transpired, and I would like to ensure that every Event Planner and Promoter understands the dynamic between their event and what bloggers can offer. Because I can be somewhat of an “a**hole” LOL, I will use this current situation as an example of how to make the relationship with bloggers a successful one.
I’m always looking to support local businesses and events in my area, with the intention of showing my audience what’s out there and available to them. I’ve covered a wide range of events that catered to diverse demographics. I understand the amount of work and detail that goes into planning an event and function, as I have done so in the past myself. I have never walked into an event with the intention to slander or gossip about a promoter, because my site is dedicated to promoting and inspiring people through the actions of others. When my work is sought after, I assume it is because the person knows what I can bring to the table and is prepared to work together in a harmonious fashion. I never assume someone’s intentions are to abuse my hard work and reputation by providing no compensation for my time and efforts, and then disrespect me because they can’t get what they want. As a popular Blogger, I want my name to be synonymous with positive reporting and creative motivation, not disparaging reviews and local gossip.
It takes time to create articles and post, time that is filled with hours of dedication and a passion for what I do. I’m insulted by the amount of Promoters and Planners who assume that this work is not worthy enough for compensation, choosing to enlist hobbyist to do their guerilla marketing. Like any business, the goal is to provide a service and be paid. If a Blogger does not request payment for services, then you have just received a huge favor, especially when that Blogger is popular and generating a large number of traffic. With that said, don’t insult the Blogger, don’t make demands of the Blogger, and don’t assume they will fluff up their article to say what you want it to say just because you believe you’ve been very nice to them.
The internet is an ever-growing space and people are still learning the roles of those that utilize it. Businesses are just now learning the benefits of using online publishers to increase their visibility and search ranking. Through information and education on how to best market yourself locally using bloggers and online publishers, you can very well make a name for yourself in a rapidly growing industry and get assistance while doing so.
I always thought style was an individual thing. When I was a little girl, although my funds would never allow me to express it, I was always into fashion and style. I remember watching the movie Clueless, thinking I have to get a cardigan and some knee-highs like Stacy Dash and Alicia Silverstone. I would marvel at the clothes worn on episodes of Sex in the City, thinking when I grew up and got a job, I would always express my individuality through my clothing, regardless of the price or label. I was enthralled at designs and colors, wanting to be as “fly” and as glamorous as the celebrities walking the red carpet are. While other girls just wanted to look as sexy as the girls in the music videos did, I was more impressed with those who didn’t conform to society’s definition of style. I wanted to stand in a lane of my own, opting to choose different pieces when I could, to reflect my style. I colored my hair in various shades through out my life and even started thrifting before it was cool to admit.
Nowadays, I look online at different style sites and see that trends are being reported daily, some of which may or may not be for me personally. I see people rating others on their style, stating whether they like it or not. Often times, I notice people making very judgmental comments, that often have nothing to do with the entire outfit but mostly about personal choice. Is style something people should agree on or is it based on the individual? When people post their outfit pictures, allowing others to judge them thoroughly on their choices, is this for the individual’s ego or is it to see if the public agrees that their style is acceptable? I’ve never wanted to submit my pictures for something like this, and when I tried to get others to submit their pictures last year, it appeared that many people felt the same. Nobody wants to get bad reviews on their personal style, however it seems like it’s natural to want to know if people like what you’re wearing.
Personal style is supposed to be about what makes you look good and feels comfortable on you. If society has to ok your outfit of the day, are you really dressing for yourself or for applause? It’s harder nowadays to determine if something is of someone’s taste, or if they’re wearing something that is simply of the current trend. Nevertheless, if you have a personal style and you’re just a follower or trends, you may have posted a picture or two online, to display your new purchases. I see people (especially on Instagram) posting newly bought shoes, clothes, jewelry, etc. hoping to get likes for buying the most heavily labeled items out right now. I don’t want to believe that in order for any of my pieces to be considered “hot”, it has to have someone’s name heavily attached and monogrammed on it. My style is about the piece. Is it colorful? Does it fit into my wardrobe? Can I wear it in various ways? Can I up cycle the item when it gets old, damaged, or too big/small? If I wanted to look like other females, I would just stalk them while they shopped and I would pick up everything they bought. Unfortunately, that’s not my agenda. Although it seems to be for every girl that wants to wear something just because someone with a well known name has it on. I prefer to wear something that I know I won’t see at every event that I attend. Regardless of what your style goals are, there are a few things to remember and to keep in mind. Below is a list that may help you in perfecting your personal style, and not that “wanna-be” attitude that makes everyone else seem like copycats.
Wear what fits your body type – I’m very blessed in the breast department, so I know going bra-less is not an option. I also know that crop tops and body cons, are items that I have to prepare for. I won’t wear anything tight without some foundation on (girdle, spanx, etc.) and I have to wear a good bra that can carry the girls, because they’re huge. I see too many females walking around with sagging bellies and breast, wearing tight clothes that look like they’re suffocating the person wearing them. Wear your size and get realistic about what that size is. Even if you’re slightly thicker than the rest of us, no one wants to look like a busted can of biscuits.
Not every trend is for you – Of course, it would’ve been nice to wear those body suits that looked so good on Ciara and Rihanna when they came out. However, if your stomach looked as if you just gave birth to some baby Ciara’s and Rihanna’s a few weeks ago, then you probably should have just sat that one out. People love trends because of their look and style, but if your body type makes the look appear less than stylish, then why try so hard to be in the loop? The look shouldn’t look totally different just because you put it on, we should still know what you’re going for. Nevertheless, some of you will still try to get into a trend that just wasn’t fit for you. I loved the cat suit that Nicki Minaj wore in “Beez in the Trap”, I thought it was very sexy and I couldn’t help but imagine that style on me. However, imagining is where my desire stopped on a piece like that. With my love handles and uber thick frame, I could never wear something like that. Well, can someone tell that to the thousands of wanna-be Nicki’s that decided to get similar outfits for the club and nightlife events. Nicki was in a music video, you’re not… please sit down. Thanks!
A label shouldn’t break you – If your bank account doesn’t reflect that of a LV bag wearer, a Chanel jacket owner, or a Balmaine buyer than what are you doing? Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and wear clothes in your budget. If your closet is filled with luxury name brands, but you have no furniture, no car, and no food, your priorities are all mixed up. These labels don’t know you personally and will not send you free stuff, just because you’re a Stan. I don’t know of anyone’s life improving just because they went out and bought something that a rapper mentioned in a song. Forget about stepping into the hood and stunting on the poor, and wear clothes that fit into your budget. It kills me how many people will stand in line for the latest Jordans, but still have not registered to vote as of today. If the name/label wasn’t on the clothing or accessory, would you still have a desire to wear it? That’s the determining factor in whether or not this is your style or you’re just copping something you saw or heard about. Don’t be a label-whore!
Don’t turn your nose up – When I first started to talk about thrifting, some people were like “Eeeww”. I didn’t get it then and I still don’t now. People try clothes on at Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, just as they do at the thrift store. Some folks take things home wear them and bring them back, which means eventually those items end up back on the floor. To turn your nose up at the idea of thrifting is the same as saying I don’t buy off the rack. If you can afford to have your clothes custom made, then… do that. However, for those of us who can’t, we should consider all available options to find great items for our wardrobe. I can shop anywhere and make it work for me. I’ve gotten items from Thrift stores, Walmart, and even Family Dollar. I’ve also shopped (the clearance racks) of Nordstrom’s and Macy’s as well. It’s about how you put the pieces together. There is a such thing as “mixing highs and lows together” seamlessly; creating an outfit that is still stylish and chic. Fashion doesn’t have to make people feel poor or destitute because their clothes aren’t featured in this month’s issue of Vogue. I believe having style is the ability to make even the low priced items look amazing with a little creativity and pizzazz.
Create what you can’t find – If you live in an area like mine, you may feel restricted and limited on various styles that you may want. I get it! Nevertheless, you have many more options today than we did a while ago. These days, you can go online and have whatever you want shipped right to your door. You no longer have to travel hundreds of miles to get a certain look you saw in a magazine or pay a large amount to have it custom made. People have the ability to obtain any look with just a click of a few buttons and patience waiting for the mail carrier. What about DIY (do it yourself)? With a little research and some creativity, you can very well create a look yourself with just a few embellishments and a glue gun. I learned how to sew, paint, knit and bedazzle because I wanted to have the ability to make something I sought after. It was the most rewarding feeling to know that I can look at something and make it myself. I don’t worry about where I can find something or how much would it cost to have it shipped to my address. I just go to the craft store and get the things I need and I’m halfway home to a personally custom-made piece that looks good on me and fits my style perfectly. You can learn new techniques and DIY tricks online, with the vast amount of tutorials and articles available.
Reuse, Re-New, Recycle – While we’re on the subject of DIY, I just thought you should know I hate waste. I have clothes in my closet from high school, and yes before you throw yourself out the window with laughter, I do still wear them. I was taught that nothing is new under the sun, so all the trends coming out right now, aren’t anything new (just tweaked a little). I have no intentions of just throwing clothes away because they are no longer trendy or the “hot thing” now. If I don’t want it anymore, I look at my other options. I could add something or take something away, to create a very different piece for my wardrobe. This option ties into creating what you can’t find. Since style keeps revolutionizing, you can change and alter your clothes to update them to fit the current trends. If that is not an option, consider finding a new use for the item. I use old t-shirts for cleaning around the house, I’ve made pillows and stuffed animals out of old sweaters and coats for the kids, and I’ve even turned old accessories into embellishments for other outfits. I won’t waste a thing. If I can’t find use for anything and I really don’t want it, then I donate them to a local thrift store. Someone just like me may be able to find use for it that I couldn’t. There is nothing worst than just throwing clothes away, like food, you never know who could’ve needed it.
Think about your Intentions – Do you want to feel sexy? Are you trying to be comfortable? Are you dressing for yourself and your self-esteem? Are you just dressing to be seen? Think about why you want to wear a certain piece and how it fits into your daily lifestyle. No matter what you do, if your intentions don’t align, with what you’re wearing than you will always look uncomfortable and it won’t work. People have the hardest time admitting their true intentions, and most of the time they spend the whole evening concerned about what they look like. Their outfits always need constant adjustment and no matter how hard they try, they appear self-conscious about their outfit. This also ties into wearing something just because it’s on trend and doesn’t fit their body type as well. Be honest with yourself and the reason why you really want to wear a certain piece of clothing. When you dress with a certain intention and your outfit matches that, you normally feel comfortable all day and not worried about the small details of your look. You can’t say that you just want to be comfortable, when you’re wearing six-inch heels and a body-con dress, you sound crazy. Be realistic and wear what you want, just don’t have a false sense of what you can wear and what you want to wear.
Style for me has been an ever-changing experience, finding my true fashion sense as I matured in life. What I loved in my teens, I’m no longer interested in now that I’m in my twenties. I’m more conscious on how things look on my body and I dress more for myself, rather than the people I’m going to see. I think it’s important to be an individual no matter what and do what makes you feel comfortable. If it doesn’t fit, then you must… quit. Move on to something more fitted for you, your personality, and your frame. Don’t attempt to keep up with every other girl reading the same fashion magazines as you. Be creative and personalize your pieces, while wearing clothes that fit your lifestyle. It’s easy to try to keep up with celebrities, but who wants to take the easy route? Style is subjective; it is slanted towards the individual, and what he or she prefers to wear. So, always make sure that your personality and your intention is reflected in your outfit, not your taste in copying famous people and your bank account.
I highlight my personal style on “F Your Style” because I want to promote dressing for oneself, without spending tons of money, and displaying self-confidence while doing so. I don’t go running to buy the latest trends, and most often, my clothes are thrifted and up-cycled. I’m a plus size mother of two, with fashion sense. However, I don’t spend my time in major retailers buying up every trend, just to run back home and show the world that I can buy stuff. I want to show people that they can get great pieces from anywhere and make it their own. I want to show that style is about your creative ability, not the swipes of your credit card. To see my personal style, check out FYourStyle for more of my personal style and life at http://www.fyourstyle.tumblr.com
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram: @GaptoothDiva
Obviously some of us are tuning in, because the beautiful women of VH1’s Basketball Wives keep getting a new season and being paid. Shaunie O’Neal doesn’t look like she is starving, so as much as we may complain; some women have decided to run almost religiously to the VH1 channel weekly. Whether it’s to watch their insanely beautiful fashion style or to laugh and enjoy their bickering and catfights, women all over the country have made their decision about this reality series, good or bad.
I will be the first to admit that I watch the show. It’s not for what you think, though. Although the cattiness, squabbling, and tedious arguments can be slightly entertaining (whom am I kidding, that mess is down right hilarious!), I watch because I believe there is a lesson to be learned from it all. Normally, I’m always looking for positive inspiration behind everything. However, you can find some motivation behind the stupid negative things people do as well. It’s what you take from the situations that determine its worth.
I know that when I watch the show there are several things I walk away with, that I can use in my everyday life. It’s less about how to hurl myself across the table barefoot, while not letting my vagina show on television, and more about being a better beautiful black woman. I know that sounds crazy, considering all the negative responses on the wire about these chicks. However, unlike Star Jones, I think I’m willing to look at this from all angles. What these women do and say, are always two different things. As we were taught when we were younger, actions speak louder than words. If we take the actions displayed on television (whether edited or not, they did it) and break it down, there are secret lessons to be learned.
Evelyn vs. Jennifer – We’ve all had those friendships, where you and another chick were super tight. Something may have happened (most of the time dealing with a lack of communication) and you have a falling out. The one that is hurting the most will usually be the most vocal about the split. I’ve been that chick, not proud of it, but I have. I will tell anybody who was within a few feet of our connection what went down, most often trying to see if I was justified in being so angry. Some people will stir the pot and some will keep their opinions to themselves. Either way, you can bet your spiked earrings that they’re going to go a run back to the other party to spill the beans. Now the fire is turning into an inferno and you have to save face. Every time you see her, you’re more upset because of what once was, and you can’t take it. You start to get petty and vindictive, and eventually a separated friendship turns into an all out battle.
Motivation: Jennifer showed signs of moving on, which obviously made Evelyn even more upset. She can’t stop bringing her up in every episode, the people around her can’t either. Evelyn is getting married and her best friend is not even in the picture, which would hurt any chick. However, instead of being a woman and confronting these feelings, she is playing hard and stubborn. Jennifer asked the ultimate question “Other than a sorry, what else do you want?” Sometimes, even we don’t know. Speak up and stop acting gangster all the time. You can be a strong woman and show that you have feelings for your friends.
Susie vs. Kenya – It’s amazing to me how both of these women are beautiful in their own unique way (say what you want), but they somehow can’t find that little thing called self-esteem. They say and do some of the dumbest stuff, to be accepted by a couple of women who constantly clown them on television. They come across as being goofy, naïve, and often times starving for the love and admiration of the “popular girls”, instead of trying to make their own path. Royce may have her child-like ways; however, I no longer see her trying to fit in with the clique. Susie thinks Kenya is crazy, but she herself suffers from the thirst. By playing both sides more often than I can count, these two have proven that being accepted isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. You’re still a joke to everyone and you’re only postponing the inevitable. They still are cursed out, threatened, and picked on. They are too grown for that. You see what happened to that other chick that lasted one season.
Motivation: Be yourself regardless! If they don’t like you now, they won’t like you later, because the truth will always come to light. Who you really are can’t be hidden for long. Most importantly, when you are a strong black woman, that high school nonsense is just that. Stop trying to be accepted into every group of pretty girls by any means necessary. What’s the point of jumping through all those hurdles, only to look like a follower falling on her face in the end? If you’re smart, you can start your own group, where the women don’t get glasses thrown at them or talked about behind their backs.
Jennifer vs. Evelyn and Nia – Jennifer has been accused of being “bougie” and acting like “her sh*t doesn’t stink”. This was only brought to light when Evelyn and Jen stopped being friends. I don’t believe I ever heard Evelyn refer to her as “bougie” when they were hanging close and cliqued up. Nevertheless, Jennifer is so uppity now, with her new friends, and seriously acting “Hollywood”. Whatever! As I mentioned before, these are all symptoms of a friend scorned. However, what kills me is that because Jen isn’t yelling at the top of her lungs, starting fights at every lunch gathering, and hurling furniture at people, she comes across as being “bougie” even more. Why? The girl doesn’t have to fight at the drop of a hat, because someone else is threatened by her presence. Jennifer was right in saying she makes money with her brand using her face and her looks. What reason would she have to justify getting into a physical altercation with either Evelyn or her assistant Nia, besides her not being in control of her emotions like these women?
Motivation: I can speak on this whole heartedly, because I used to be this chick. You’re mad and you want to get it out. Words will make you sound weak, so you want to fight. However, every girl that doesn’t want to fight you isn’t “bougie” or classified as weak, she’s grown. Grown women don’t fight. If you can’t communicate your feelings without jumping across the table, then you are weaker than the person who is trying to avoid the confrontation is. It’s just not worth it.
Tami – Tami is probably my favorite, although she comes off as having her bullying and instigating ways as well. She was also the one that stated that it was in fact the producers fault, that the women were portrayed to look malicious and confrontational. I don’t agree with that. I think if you do a number of things, and only part of it was shown… you still did that part. So if Tami comes across as a bully right along with Evelyn for only ten percent of the show, that is still your ten percent contribution to your everlasting legacy on television. Tami discussed some very personal things on the air, which I was able to identify with. The fact that she had to be tough and hard most of her life, also allows us to see where all that anger was coming from. However, I totally believe she would have been more of an asset to us all, had she dealt with those issues before she came on. She has a strong opinion and even stronger personality. I believe with the anger aside, she could have been a pinnacle to steer this hot mess into a much more positive direction. I wouldn’t want to take anything away from her work in the community, especially with the young girls. Nevertheless, I wonder what those girls and their mothers think about her behavior on the show. She jokes on the girls, she engages in threats and she started being the big bad ass from the jump. Is it fear or is it respect? She has come a long way from being the butt of jokes by the girls, who described her as being rough around the edges, to being one of them now. However, with this remarkable transformation, should come some responsibility to set an example that all these women aren’t as ratchet as television would make them seem.
Motivation: Get therapy, seek help, and sort out your issues before jumping into the spotlight. I’ve had health issues while dealing with my own internal demons while being on a proverbial stage of people watching me. Not at the capacity of Tami, but I still would have been better off getting myself together first. Tami’s health issues are not something to take lightly, and with all the craziness from the show, I just pray that she learns she doesn’t need the stress for a check. Sometimes being a popular woman and being famous, needs to take a backstage to taking care of you. What’s for you is already yours; you don’t need to force it.
Shaunie vs. Everyone – Let’s break this down. Remember in an earlier episode this season, everyone gave a huge toast to Shaunie, for their large paychecks. Well that is because, she is the HBIC. Yes people, because of Shaunie and her skillful business savvy, she is able to capitalize on all of this fancy, fashion-forward, drama filled, girl on girl warfare. Now does she ever get in a dispute with anyone? Never! Why would they? If you signed my check, I wouldn’t be able to find a problem with you either. Any woman that did, either is removed or put somewhere else. That is a boss lady for you. However, she is hardly on the show. When she is, it’s to usher the other women from an upcoming ass kicking. She does do her share of instigating, but I believe it’s to find a resolution rather than to get the juice like Tami. When they showed her segment with her daughter on her birthday, I found that to be the most heart-warming part of the show. Was it why we watched, hell no, but it was nice to see a softer side of the show for once. Some described her and the new Royce as boring. All of this is due to these two women not bickering, fighting, throwing jabs, or lashing out on everyone else. If that’s boring, what’s wrong with that? Kesha is the same way. She is constantly surprised by the way the other women act as if she never watched an episode. Girl, please! The three of them are all classified as boring by the majority, and most of the time never the ones to boast up on anyone for any reason. I hope that the fans blood thirst, won’t make them change their ways.
Motivation: It’s ok to be boring and drama-less. Often as women, we are always looking for some sort of excitement or thrill out of life and in our relationships. Even if that thrill or excitement comes from drama, as long as we come out winning in the end, we’ll settle for that. It’s not enough to have a sense of normalcy, but we live to stir up controversy and to get the eyes pointed at us. As a reformed “drama queen” myself, it was easier for me to find something to jump up about rather than just fall back and live peacefully. Often we think that by beefing with such and such, having a chaotic relationship or a life-altering situation will make us feel more alive, instead of enjoying what we have and keeping our names out of people’s mouths. We all don’t live on reality television, so we don’t need to spark the ratings in order to be successful. As regular women, it is ok to step back and just enjoy the blessings we have. Boring is not a bad business decision. You can still be a boss and not have a bunch of drama drown your brand or your name.
6. Be a good friend – Say what you need to, to your friends first. Don’t talk about them behind their backs or judge them to the public. They should trust that you would keep it one hundred at all times, even if they don’t like what you have to say.
7. If you don’t like someone, then deal with it – Sometimes you will find yourself around people you don’t care for. This is called the Earth. You can’t fight every single person that you don’t agree with. Learn to coexist.
8. Your real friends don’t urge you to fight – They also don’t put you into situations where they know that you will fight and sit back and watch what happens. You should be able to retain your other friends without them constantly trying to bring two squabbling people together. It never ends well and it’s only for their entertainment.
9. Sometimes the loudest in the room is the weakest in the room – Under all that yelling, anger, and aggressiveness is a little girl crying for a hug and some security. Confident grown women don’t act like that. Even the hottest and sexiest chicks need someone to say they’re pretty, so don’t stress. It’s a cry for attention and validation, it’s not up to you to fix. Just pick up your clutch, shades, and phone and just walk away.
10. Never be intimidated – we all bleed, piss, and move our bowels. We are human. I don’t care how long someone has been around or how popular he or she is, never be so star struck and thirsty that you take anything from anyone. Stand up for yourself and gain the respect of a person. Not by fighting or threats, but by showing that you won’t tolerate the bullsh*t by not delivering it. People will test you, but it is best to nip that in the bud from the beginning, then to let things fester. Tell people where you stand without hesitation, and learn to accept others who have not matured quite as much as you have. By your example, they should eventually fall in line or forever be inadequate.
Hopefully, the next time you enjoy the fire of some of your favorite reality shows, you can learn something from the behavior of the characters, regardless if it’s good or bad. It’s easier to judge from your living room couch, while these people put their lives on the table, but if you don’t get a lesson from what you see than you should just go read a book. Read a book anyway, however I’m just saying. It’s entertaining, but should be informative as well. You shouldn’t aspire to look like them or just dress like them, but to have a better quality of life than they do, aside from the money. Now that’s real motivation.
Only because I’ve been through it and I know what it looks like, can I feel comfortable enough to put this out there. It’s shameful, no way around it. The characters that engage in behavior such as this should be banned from utilizing such an extraordinary tool as social media. When we were in high school, we got mad at the things people said and retaliated. When we were in high school, we were children.
When you post your thoughts, ideas, music, projects, and pictures online, you are asking people to respond and comment. As a woman who has been doing this for quite some time, I know how disheartening it can be to get negative feedback on something I’ve work on. I know how frustrating it is to have someone, who doesn’t even know you, tell you that you are ugly. However, I can’t go out and beat a bunch of people up, when I put myself in the situation to be judged. I can’t spend my days commenting and bickering with every single person who attacks me with his or her irrelevant post daily. I’m grown. If I’m truly busy, then those comments are to be expected and I should “put my big girl draws on” and deal with it.
When people, especially black women get into Facebook and Twitter beefs with each other, it’s disgusting! Yes, you want to get your point across. Yes, you want to prove that you are right and the other person is wrong. It will cost you your self-respect, your reputation, and your sanity. Most of the time, people can tell whose the irrational one with something to prove, if you just shut up and let that crazy bird chirp. It’s a lose-lose situation, leading to nothing but childish banter that we shouldn’t have time for.
I get my respect from those that know my intentions and respect my grind. I don’t assume that every person who clicks follow is truly a member of my team. I understand that not everything I say may come into agreement with many people in my network. Nevertheless, I expect that if I’m saying things you don’t like, or if you truly don’t like me, that you will be wise enough to click unfollow/unfriend. Don’t be nosey, don’t be cute, and just don’t care. I will say what I want, I will post what I want to share, and if you hate it… do what should come naturally… move on.
When we take ourselves out of that rational and decide to fight online and offline, over mere words, we put ourselves in a position to be foolish. Someone almost pulled me out of character a couple of weeks ago. I was more upset with why she was mad and her reaction to it, then what she was actually saying. I prayed on it, and I decided it was best that I don’t respond. God showed me that I made the right decision, by the amount of emails, Facebook messages, and tweets that said, “You inspired me”, “You are much better than that…”, and “I respect what you do…” I appreciate the support and I will continue to show you what it looks like to be yourself, to be fearless, and to be a motivation to everyone around you. I do this for the love of it, but I do appreciate it when I can affect someone along the way. I wish I could have inspired the young woman to stop and look at how her actions were going to be perceived in the end; however, some people are just too far-gone.
Continue to be who you are and let those who stop that, diminish in the distance
Internet beef is NEVER worth it.
THE BADDEST CREATIVE MOTIVATION!
There is an abundance of talented independent artists in the world. All of them want free promotion on blogs and internet radio shows that cater to their niche. There is right way to get your music featured, and of course, there is a wrong way. I explain in the video the right way to get your music featured that not only gets you the opportunity to have your worked displayed across various platforms, but also maintains your credibility as being professional and educated on the business portion of your music career. Not everyone has a team of publicist and marketers that can get their information out there to the masses. With this video, you should be able to promote yourself with little to no effort, the proper way.
for more inspiration and motivation follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
To be featured on GaptoothDiva.com or GaptoothDiva Radio, submit your information to GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com
Nowadays, the fashion industry is giving more and more respect and acknowledgement to the wonderful work that the plus size/full figure community has done. This means great things for so many women, who once thought they could never be models. Although our size is accepted and more opportunities have opened up, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t educate yourself on how to stay a step above, in your quest to be a plus size model.
Most recently more labels, fashion houses, and even retail boutiques have requested full figured beautiful women to attend open houses, model calls, and auditions for their runways shows and fashion campaigns. This means a greater chance for plus-size/full figured women to represent more on the runway, on the catwalks, and in print.
There are a couple of things however that you need to know, especially when starting out. If you are interested in getting involved in plus-size fashion and you want to start in the local scene, below is a list of all the things to consider before auditioning. It may seem like an easy accomplishment, considering you have the attitude and you can walk in heels. However, strutting down the hallway in your stiletto heels and pretending to be as “diva-fied” as Beyonce, Tyra, or any fabulous woman on television is not enough to boost your career or your true potential.
Now congrats on your choice to join the brave, bold, and voluptuous on their quest to being modeling superstars. Always remember you are representing a brand, a designer, and a label. Put your best foot forward at all times and always show confidence. Good luck!
After attending the 1st Annual Hair Battle Royal in Richmond, Virginia (at the Showplace) and hosted/created by Mario Lee with some fantastic assistance by none other than the RVA Queen of Marketing, Mareesa Dawn, I was blown away. Although this was his first Hair battle competition, the event showed a dedication and jubilant ambition that many of our veteran promoters don’t display as often as they should. He thanked every single person for showing up, an appreciation that was hard to go unnoticed. He catered to the public, his supporters, and all the people who assisted in putting this effort together, rather made them feel like they were lucky to even get in the door. He insisted upon the crowd showing their support for everyone, not just the individuals they came to see, although at times some were resistant, his efforts were not unnoticed.
The event did not go without some kinks here and there, however the positive attitude he brought with him from the first moment compelled you to give him the chance he deserved. With the help of Ms. Dawn, the two kept it interesting and fun, no questions. I was asked to be one of the judges on a panel that included Ms. Community herself, Clovia Lawrence and a New York Stylist and Promoter by the name of Hustleman. Both of whom I met for the first time that evening, but laughed and conversed with as if we knew each other for a while. I really enjoyed myself and the show. I learned a lot about people and perception that evening, a few details I’m so excited to share with you. Now during my hiatus, I promised myself upon my return I would be a specific as possible, detailed thoroughly, and as honest as God will allow. If some of these lessons pertain to you (as the reader), please don’t take it personally. Just realized that your details (or lack there of) did not go unnoticed by me or anyone else, whether they openly say so or not. Expect for someone to keep it real.
1. Being late to a show/competition that you are in (and I mean seriously late) always shows. No matter how good you may be, people can tell a rushed job and performance versus someone who is calm and already knows they have the prize in the bag.
2. Be careful who you are rude to! You never know if the person you are eye-balling, rolling your eyes at, whispering about, or basically hating on, is the person to bring you to that next stepping stone. Choose not to be a bitch, until after the person as offended you. You aren’t anybody worth making everyone jump through hoops to get a cordial attitude out of, no matter what the mirror told you this morning.
3. Fashion shows, hair shows, creative events as a whole is your opportunity to showcase your unique and eclectic fashion choices. So don’t get upset at the girl who decided to show her creative/sexy side and you chose jeans and a t-shirt. Be inspired and stop hating!
4. You CAN clap and support groups that you did not come to see. It’s not illegal or against any rules. Just because you friend, cousin, or stylist is there, I’m sure there are plenty of other talented groups that deserve your accolades. This is not a gang war, show some love all around.
5. You can not use babies and small children to cover up a sloppy performance… period. Many people are distracted by the adorable faces and sassy dance moves of young people, I happen to not be one of them. Although all kids are cute and cuddly in their own way, if the performance is disorganized, sloppy, and just plan wack… you will know.
6. Creativity can get you a long way in life. No matter the level of expertise you have, if you showcase the limited skills you have in the most creative way possible, you will leave people mesmerized. Don’t worry about what you don’t have, use the heck out of what you do!
7. Participation does not go unnoticed. People can tell when you put your all in something, when you approach the stage fearlessly compared to your competition. Don’t get loss in the sauce.
8. Don’t let your friends down. You only hurt yourself when you flake out on your group, no call-no show, and bail (physically or mentally). That’s just something people don’t forget, ask the winners of this competition. They could have been affected by the shady person who left them hanging, but instead they went even harder and stronger to gain the respect of the crowd and the judges. This attitude made them $2,000 richer in the end *snap*!
9. Never be afraid to be honest. Someone made a comment about not saying certain groups were lame or lacking skills, because their family members may be listening and be offended. Going so far as to say they might want to retaliate after the show. I laughed at the idea of getting into a fight because I was doing my job, which was judging. In life, we have critics. There are people all over who feel we don’t deserve the seat we sit in. However, if you live according to what other people respond to, then you are weak. Period. Constructive criticism shouldn’t be taken as a threat, but as a blue print on how your fans, supporters, and even your haters may see you. You dissect what you need and you move on, don’t stress and damn sure don’t brawl.
10. Everyone has to start somewhere, but as long as they start – that’s all that matters. You may not have all the money, the networking connections, or the support that some people have, but if you don’t step out into your dream somehow and someway, then it will never happen. Mario showed that he had a big vision and he was destined to carry it out. He learned from the first experience and vowed to make the needed changes for the next go round. He didn’t fuss about what went wrong or what people said, but promised bigger and better the next time. He displayed and attitude that most of us could learn from. We can’t impress everyone, all the time, but what we can do, is do something. Whether the masses cheer or not. Because he was so positive and driven, he got all the support he needed, which was the coolest thing of all.
I wasn’t able to take a whole lot of pictures because of my capacity as a judge, but I did take a few for this post. Please be sure to like us on Facebook as we gain more inspiration and motivation to hit you with.
To contact Mario (Hair by Mario Weave Master) hit him up via email at email@example.com for weaves, up-dos, and quick weaves. He also offers classes and information on weave which are filling up fast. Check him out on Facebook under Mario Lee
The Annual Hair Battle Royal has a page as well – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Annual-Hair-Battle-Royal/185974514843316 for more photos and event updates
Also contact the lovely and incomparable, Mareesa Dawn VA Marketing Queen who ensured the word got out about this event. She is amazing and always on her grind, so don’t sleep, cause it seems she never does. She is on Facebook at Mareesa Dawn
Examples of other Hair Shows & Competitions…
SOPHISTICATE’S BLACK HAIR AT THE BRONNER BROS.SHOW! -
It’s been a crazy year and from what my horoscope tells me, it’s going to get even crazier next year. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate every single one of you rocking with me for so long, it’s a blessing to have the support of great people. I’ve enjoyed my work with GaptoothDiva.com, GaptoothDiva radio, GaptoothDiva TV, and all the other projects that I’ve touched. I can’t wait to embark on some new things and make you all more motivated and even more inspired.
If you’ve been under a rock for the past couple of weeks, my best friend/husband and I just found out we are having our second child next summer. Believe me, with all the work I’ve been doing, that was the last thing I expected to happen, but we are excited nonetheless. More children, means more abundance, so like I always say #bringiton. I just warn you all who are super busy in your dream chasing, to avoid sex on the floor if possible, because that’s how we were caught up. Ok, enough with the TMI!
We are the process of expanding our brand and coming up with some new ideas to share with you all. Since we’ve been married for almost ten years, yes, I did say that, so expect some stories from our relationship that may help you down the road of finding and maintaining love. I feel so blessed these days, and when you got it good – you should share how you did it for those who need it. Now, we aren’t any Steve Harvey’s over here, although I love him dearly, but we have it right the first time and want you to do the same. Therefore, that should be fun for the 2012 New Year and I can’t wait.
For all my fashion and Beauty heads out their, expect to see more of that on the website as well. I will still keep http://www.FYourStyle.blogspot.com as my outfit post location, but I want to share with you some great unique and often handmade things I find from RVA and all around. The music will still be here also, but geared with more intense interviews and better artist. If you know anything about independent artist, they are a lot. I don’t want to saturate the game with interviews with every Tom, Dick, and Yung Harry, so we will be more stringent on who gets interviews and why. I want you to be inspired, not annoyed.
Gaptoothdiva.com is going to include more of my own life lessons that I’m learning. I’m not perfect, so I feel like people need to hear from someone like them. I don’t pretend to be some infamous socialite with nothing going for me but my sexual assets. Although I love my body and my style, I have much more to offer you than that. I want you to gain something that you can apply to your own lives, through interview with fantastic people, through events that I attend (substantial events), through advice and tips, and most importantly, through experience. That’s what I’m good at and that’s what I believe we need.
So, while I spend the next two weeks wrapping this final big project, spending quality time with my loving and supportive family, and trying to desperately to come up with non-ghetto baby names, I want to tell you all how much I love you. I love your ambition and you ability to overcome your present by always looking to the future.
1. Stop hating on human being with no super powers; if you have faith then you will get your chance.
2. Stop creating garbage and stuff you think the hood wants to see. Our work should be from the heart.
3. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Do YOU for a damn change!
4. Start having a purpose. Write down your purpose and look at it everyday as a reminder. Why are you doing this?
5. Pursue at least one new thing that you have always wanted to do. Live with no fear of failure. However if failure happens, don’t let it break your stride.
6. Stop exploiting ourselves for attention and public discussion. I’m tired of seeing naked chicks on my timeline, especially ones with children.
7. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Consider what vices may be limiting your potential. Many of you love weed, these days a lot of you, but don’t indulge so much that you stop your dream before it even starts.
8. It’s ok to have a family and be in love. Don’t live so much in the public eye that you forget that you have a real life and real responsibilities. Fame is a goal, but fortune is a privilege.
9. Be honest to yourself and others. They say the world is going to end. I don’t want it to end with bullshit in my mouth… period!
10. You never know who you are going to inspire, so don’t discount your fans no matter what age, shape, or background they’re from. Talk to everyone and support anyone, your next leg up might be from the unexpected.
11. Stop trying to be a bandwagon success. Don’t do a Busta Rhymes and get signed to every new hot label, or jump on the next lap of the most successful person you know. Create your own lane. At the end of the day, you’ll have fewer checks to write.
12. Don’t discriminate or make false accusations, get you info straight. Twitter people are famous for listening to their timeline and not doing their own research. If you saw on your TL that Obama did something, go check your facts before you comment. Stop listening to the grapevine.
13. Fall in Love. With all this hard work and grinding, it so refreshing to have someone that can hold you, tell you you’re doing great, and even give you a truly honest opinion. I break bread with those that loved me when I was starving. There is nothing like true love in your life.
14. Include your kids. I need to adhere to this more. My son is the biggest motivation of why I do most of this. I should have him involved more, and you all should too. People like to see that they can relate or that your life is inspiring. Not everything has to be glitz and glamour, but real reality (not Kardashian reality) is entertaining.
15. Never quit! This year has had its high’s and lows, believe me. However, I don’t regret anything, except being more open about it. I shut down for a while. I was worried and anxious most of the time. I should have spent more time enjoying the ride. You may not always have money, friends, and fly clothes to go out to events, but you still have vision. Keep going in your dream. Don’t let obstacles get in your way, no matter how big or small. After everything is said and done, you can look back and really talk about what you made it through. It will be hard, no doubt, but nothing worth having ever came easy. This is your dream/goal, who going to check you, boo (*Sheree voice*)???!!!!
I hope you are inspired to make some great changes for the New Year, because I definitely am. I can’t wait. While I’m busy working on these things and doing the family thing, I may drop a few videos here and there, so stay tuned on www.Youtube.com/GaptoothDiva and be sure to subscribe.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today” – James Dean
When I first got the inspiration to create GaptoothDiva and work towards my dreams, it was an unexpected occasion. I was so used to doing things a certain way and I never believed I would do so much in my life. I really don’t feel like I started living until I found my purpose, a fact that I’ve always shared with people I want to motivate. However, it may not come as “easily” to others as it did me. We get so accustomed to living out our daily routines, that we don’t even consider changing things and making your life more fulfilling. Listed below are some ideas I have about changing your life dynamic and feeling more happiness and accomplished in your life.
Who needs a Makeover? – So many beauty and fashion sites suggest that you purchase something to make yourself feel better after a rut. The truth is, new clothes and makeovers do boost your self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be brand new. I get off on thrifting and finding creative items that fit my style. I also like to make some things, which to me means so much more. It’s not about being materialistic at all. It’s about putting something on that compliments your style and makes you feel more positive about your external appearance, which will reflect internally. That’s a fact.
Do Your Research – It may sound like common sense, but you won’t believe how many people get an idea or thought and just run with it with no homework behind it. They don’t research other people doing what they are doing, mostly because everyone thinks they came up with that idea. They don’t reach out and ask for assistance, consultation, or training because they don’t want to invest in the time and energy to learn how to do what they want properly. It’s a waste to pursue your dream without first knowing what direction to go in. When you are trying to reach a goal, you need GPS to find your way to the next milestone. Who drives without knowing where they are going? Dumb ass people that’s who.
Build Relationships – Now that you decided what your goals are and how to do it, it’s time to network with like-minded people. Find people on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In who are doing what you are trying to do, know about resources you can use, and can introduce to people that will help you go further in your dream. Be honest and upfront, never pretend to be more experienced or more lucrative than you are. It’s important to show how valuable your skills are to the people you are networking with, but eventually the truth will show its ugly head. It’s always important to keep it real, so that you and your new networking partners can build and grow together.
Learn Always – No matter how great you are at what you do, you still have to constantly educate and train yourself on new and more interesting ways to be successful. I look at how an athlete has to practice, condition, and train. Look at your dream as an athletic competition that you must be on point for. Everyday should be about pushing yourself more and gaining new knowledge on your expertise. If you aren’t learning new ways to keep yourself relevant in business or to capture the attention of the potential fans, then you will be doomed to eventually fail. Some old school entrepreneurs and creative minds do the same things repeatedly for years, not ever realizing how technology and new ideas have passed them by. Their clientele slowly dwindles, because everyone is looking for new and fresh ideas. Wouldn’t you prefer the shiny new style that is innovative versus the old-fashioned creative who is stuck in his/her ways?
Be Yourself – The internet has made it easier to keep up with your favorite personalities and business minds. However, it’s not their intention for their fans to become their clones. You can’t adapt someone else’s style or craft and call it your own. You will never be that person, so just be you. It’s harder for some people to accept themselves as they are and work with what they got. We live in a world where “If only I had…” seems to make everything better. Consider your life and memories, your journey, and all that you had to overcome. How many times have you felt alone? Now think about someone on the other side of the world going through that exact same thing. Wouldn’t it be cool, if someone could relate to your story, by you grasping that your own style and story deserves a platform? Everyone is already taken; try playing the role you was born with.
Enjoy The Ride – When people start to recognize your name, it’s time to go even harder to keep it in their minds. Don’t just chill on publicity and ride it out. This is the time to amaze them more, time to shine and show what you are capable of. Embark on new opportunities, relinquish all your fears, and jump into your dreams. You met the right people, you developed the confidence, but now it’s time for you to make more opportunities for yourself using the work you already put in. While everyone is partying and bullsh**ting, it’s time for you to grind.
Do It for the Right Reasons – Your purpose is yours and yours alone. Your destiny and your journey are what define you as a person. If your overall goal is to be rich and famous, that attitude will reflect in your work. If your goal is to be a martyr or trailblazer, people will see that in your efforts. Discover what is motivating you to go hard in your dream. If your motive and intentions are not in the more positive of lights, be honest about that and re-evaluate your journey. Everyday in your quest, your reason should push you harder each day. Being an artist and creator, I’m constantly thinking about my true reason for doing what I do. If it doesn’t inspire or motivate, most likely I show little to no interest. Your “Why” should captivate you daily, giving you the fuel to keep going.
Although, it seems like everyone and their mother wants to start a business, write a book, create an album, etc. there is still room for your legacy. Just keep in mind why you want to do what you plan to do, have a plan of course, and stay around people that will support you and propel you. Everyday won’t be easy, sometimes you may feel like giving up, but your dreams die with you, your work can last forever. Don’t just talk about be it.
For more inspiration and motivation, follow me on twitter @GaptoothDiva
The other day I was talking to a woman who works in retail. She has one hand, but is one of the hardest working people I ever met. Why I was desperately trying to muster up enough strength to not complain about how much my feet hurt, she was diligently throwing items in a bag, ringing up customers on the register, and putting clothes back where they belong. She was amazing!
I looked at her at thought about how many of us don’t see just how blessed we are. Here I am about to complain about how much my feet ache, and she is killing her retail job with one hand. How many of us could even live life at home with one hand. The things we take for granted, Smdh. I know that we don’t look at our blessings enough. We don’t think about the people who do love us, just the ones we want to love us. We don’t think about the clothes we have, just the clothes we want to have. I can’t remember a time when someone said, I’m broke but I feel great and have amazing health. We will find anything and everything to say we don’t have it, or not enough of it.
I’m blessed. I no longer care about getting the latest anything, I’m focused on my relationships with those that have proven they truly care about me, I’m making ends meet, I don’t have a stuffy nose or cough, I have both of my hands and feet, and a sound mind and body. If I didn’t tell you already, I’m blessed. I’m not looking at the next person and comparing myself to them. I don’t care how many followers you have or who said you were the best at what you do. It doesn’t matter to me how many people know you or what amount of change you have in your bank account. I’m blessed. I’m living my life with a purpose and a path, with no regard to measuring up to anyone else’s expectations. The woman with one hand has inspired me ever since I met her. She has a positive outlook on life that most of us only wish we had. I look at her and all that she is capable of doing and it makes me want to accomplish more. Like what is my excuse, really? Do you know embarrassing you would look if someone without one of their limbs can accomplish more than you in a day, then you’ve done in a month? Simply foolish, let me tell you!
Since today is Prince A’veri birthday. I will take this time out to spend with my son. I miss him and I feel that my work has taken me from him just a little bit. I can’t even describe how blessed I am. The love, the support, I have a life that some women make a fool out of themselves for, so why should I complain. It’s up to me to live it. It’s my duty to show my creator just how pleased I am with this gift of a sixth chance. I have a second chance at enjoying the splendor that is this journey. No I’m not living with a handicap or physical disability, but I shouldn’t allow any obstacles that I’ve projected onto myself be the reason why I don’t live. Thank you Nicole, for showing me that you can do anything that you put your mind to. Now I’ll find more amazement in the little things and appreciate every second that I’m here, never looking back and always keeping my blinders on.
Happy 4th Birthday A’veri… Mommy Loves You!
for more inspiration & Motivation, follow me on twitter @GaptoothDiva
It’s true everyone in this industry wants to be famous. Anyone telling you they don’t want to be famous is lying either to you or to himself or herself. Fame brings more opportunities, more money, and more attention. Who in the world is making music, writing, modeling, acting, or whatever and not seeking those things. Exactly!
However, more and more I see people taking the time to research what other’s are doing and taking the plunge to do it themselves. When asked about why they are doing this, their answers are trite, revealing no evidence of any pre-disposed ideas or aspirations. They simply sound like followers. Now, I interview people all the time (most of the time asking the same questions) and I somehow don’t get the impression that many of the people I talk to know why they are pursuing a dream that, so many have tried and failed at. When asked what inspires you, it’s always someone who is doing what they want to do, but that someone is famous. Seriously, are they really trying to reach another person’s goal?
GaptoothDiva started because I started to believe in myself more. I discovered what it meant to feel as if I possessed nothing worth sharing, and turning it around and discovering my own God-given talents. After almost losing my life, I realized that I rather live doing what brings me happiness and gives me purpose, rather than what I was expected to do. In turn, I wanted to inspire other people to do the same. Do what makes you happy; what you’re good at, what you would do free if money were no factor. That’s living. However, so many people look at another person’s success and think, “I should do that, too!” Alternatively, if this person is gaining attention from it, then maybe I should do what they are doing. It’s sad… and pathetic, but the reality is they were inspired. If they were asked why they decided to go down this road and become whatever dream they are embarking on, they can only mention the basics, or the people who statuses they admire, or the perks to doing they’re job. No key indications that this is a heart felt journey that they take very seriously, no sign that this was their dream.
If you lack a valid purpose for your dream, is it really worth achieving? Maybe you like the idea of how Artist use words and beats to convey a point; maybe you enjoy their stage presence and their brand. However, you skills don’t equate to a successful artist by today’s standards. Have you considered being a Spoken Word Artist? On the other hand, maybe you should be a Ghost Writer. Considering an alternative doesn’t mean you failed, it just means that you are going after your goal with a different approach. If the work involved makes you cringe, and you are constantly making up for loss time, following behind other people, watching what everyone else is saying, thinking, and doing with your work, and lacking constant inspiration because this wasn’t the original plan, you really need to sit down and evaluate what you REALLY want.
I’ve inspired many people in the past year, a fact that I’m truly proud of. I’ve even inspired many people to inspire others, which is great as well. However, I’m honest enough to say, I see the difference between a copycat and an inspiration. With an inspiration, you make it your own, you take a small piece of something and you remix it to reflect who you are and what you are about. A copycat just watches everything you do and attempts to do it the same way, not realizing that everyone is an individual and although you may have a similar concept and approach, no one can really do anything exactly like another.
When is the last time you asked yourself, what was are the real reasons why you are doing what you do? Is it truthfully because of all the unpopular answers that in reality would make you look bad, is it because you just want to be rich and famous, or did you see someone else do it and you think you could do better? There is no wrong answer, and you don’t have to share. Nevertheless, if you seriously think about it, you may be able to discover why you are here and not “there” already.
They say in church all the time, God knows your heart. How many of us take that beyond the pews and into everyday life. If your intentions are less that admirable, maybe this is why we aren’t successful, popular, or rich. People blame their haters all the time, but often is it the haters that see past the façade and can detect a swagger hacker trying to make a name for themselves? You can get mad at them, but not all of them “hate” for no reason.
Your purpose sets you apart. Your mission makes you different from the crowd. I recently noticed a severe infestation of artist and promoters over the years. I say infestation because a lot of them are rats, feeding off the hard work and money of the masses just trying to be popular and semi-relevant. I still ask the same question, “Why?” Their answers are limited to my homeboy asked me to do it; to I liked it the first time I did it. Which is fine, because we push people to do what they like, but to call it a career? I’m not sure many of them fit the bill. Mareesa Dawn taught a class recently about your “Why”, and she said if it doesn’t evoke emotion, move you and others, then it is not worth pursuing. I couldn’t agree more. What is your purpose? What should your fans, friends, followers, and customers say when they hear your name and you’re not in the room? How should your name and presence make people feel?
When you discover the answer, let me know… I want to interview those kinds of people.
For inspiration and motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva