Giving Rock a serious twist, singer/song writer Urica Rose has been described as “this generations answer to the reinvention of Rock”. Loving her alternative look I decided to reach out and pick her brain on her personal style as well as her career in music. Born in Texas, but raised in NYC from a very young age, Urica learned the ways of New York City & its eclectic vibe. At age 16, she honed into her inner talents and realized she had an extraordinary harmonious gift. Urica is inspired by legends, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett and Aretha Franklin and describes her own vocals as a passionate, blues filled rawness, seasoned with an ample dose of “Rock”. Evolving more as an artist, Urica quickly expanded her musical aptness by assimilating the skills of the guitar. ATL audiences were the first to be mesmerized by her distinct sound. Urica Rose discovered her niche… Rock & Blues. Urica Rose will catapult this phenomena into “The New Generation of Rock”.
When asked how does she describe her style, Urica answered, “I never put much thought into it, it pretty much happened when an extreme thought came to mind. Due to everyone thinking I looked as though I did R&B or something subtle. I said now the statement will be clear.” It is clear that she is no basic R&B chick at all, which is why I love her style.
Since she is a transplant out of Texas, now living in New York, Urica says that because she left Texas at such a young age, she can’t even admit to being aware of fashion and style at the time. Do you remember the days, when that didn’t register to you? Lol, I sure do.
Now Urica also spent some time in Atlanta as well for a short time, so when asked about the obvious differences in style between Atlanta and New York, she answered “I lived in both Atlanta and NY in my more fashion conscious years so it would be easier to compare these two. I always admired how the girls in Atlanta wore their hair and experimented with colors etc. Then I always loved how New York girls dressed and put their style together. So I fused the two.”
“I’m more of a boutique, custom design type of girl meaning my stylist and I at times sit down and draft up ideas and this may result in an outfit.”
So what is Urica’s awesome beauty routine, she states “I don’t have much of a beauty routine. I focus on getting a lot of rest and drinking plenty of water.”
So what are the beauty and style items that she can NOT leave home without? Urica admits, “Lipstick and Eye liner!!!!” Girl, don’t I know it. LOL
So because Urica is so unique and stylish, I wanted to know what advice would she give to young aspiring artist and beautiful young women just like herself, she confidently proclaims “Be yourself, people will like you when it feels more authentic” Love it! Simple truth to live by.
Her new single “Ain’t No” is topping all of the CD Baby rock charts one by one! In just under a week, Urica has achieved #1 spots on the Alt Rock, Pop Punk, Metal, Punk, and Rock charts! This means that this week “Ain’t No” is one of the top selling singles above all of their releases! Watch “Ain’t No” music video below:
Urica Rose said: “The song is about a girl that’s at the end of her rope with everything and everyone she taking a stand against it all. It’s a very empowering song built with a lot of raging emotions. She sat back for a while and let things happen until she couldn’t take it anymore and then she explodes and tells the guy she is in a relationship with “Ain’t no way you gonna treat me like whatever.” At some point we all go through that relationship were you will do anything for a person no matter how they treat you. At some point we all have to say enough is enough and stand up for our self.”
Make sure to check her out and support her:
MetalHaze Bio: http://metalhazeent.com/uricarose
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow @GaptoothDiva
After an hour dance class, my hair is dripping wet with sweat. After about twenty minutes of running my mouth with my friends in the lobby, I notice that my hair starts to dry. A lady walks up to me and says, “Oh wow! What do you put in your hair to get it to do that curl pattern?” As straight forward as I am and as tired as I can be of this question I answered bluntly, “Sweat!” She laughed, not immediately catching my sarcasm, and asked again, “No seriously, how do you get your hair to curl this way, I mean you’re obviously black… so how do you get “good” hair?” So offended by her assumption and ignorance I just walked away leaving her with my friend to go put on my shoes and leave. I overheard her say to my friend, “She doesn’t have to lie to me, and I just know there is NO dark skin girls who have a curl pattern like that who don’t put something in their hair.” Normally this kind of debate would anger me. However, I’m starting to see that there is a serious disconnect among black women when it comes to natural hair and I’m confused.
I thought natural hair what was naturally coming out of your scalp. Pardon me for thinking that it didn’t matter what products you put in your hair, but your natural hair was whatever state your hair was in without any enhancements, curling puddings or soufflé’s, or any treatments, etc. With all the natural hair modifications that some women purchase to get that perfect curl pattern, is it really considered natural? I long for the days in the 70’s, 80’s, and even the early 90’s when nappy was awesome. It wasn’t about some shining curl pattern, black women were proud to wear afro’s that may or may not have frizz. Nowadays, some of these natural sisters throwing shade on other naturals for being too kinky and too nappy and not enough body and shine. GTFOH!
I know currently the natural hair community is a money making business, profiting off some women who want to feel included in the club and seeking knowledge about it. I get it. However, for me going natural wasn’t only about accepting myself for who I am, but also for convenience. If I have to shell out $10 for curling products, $10 for ant-frizz, $10 for curl refreshers, $10 for twisting gels or oils, and more money on other crap, then I might as well go and get that $5 box of relaxer because the natural hair community is stressing me the hell out.
I literally don’t have the best curl pattern in my hair and with a lot of manipulation my hair gets frizzy and nappy just like other people. However, I have never had to shell out a lot of money to achieve the best wash & go for my hair. I don’t see myself getting that involved in the community because I choose not to spend a whole lot of money, to be something that is already natural to me. Many of my friends feel the exact same way. Like how could the industry mess yet another awesome thing up as black women accepting themselves for who they are? Going natural is hard enough, then to have your fellow sisters judging you and telling you the best style for your God-given head, the way to achieve the perfect curl according to the majority. Why would black women approach me and say they can’t go natural because their hair will not come out like mine? Who is feeding them this garbage? I think a bunch of insecure naturals are gathering trash tips and making other insecure naturals feel bad about their naturals. Some black women are delivering a message of self-hate in a community that is supposed to be just the opposite.
My hair is an accessory, my beauty is from within. Therefore whether I’m natural on Monday, weaved –up on Tuesday, and flat-ironed on the weekend, it doesn’t take away from who I am and what I believe. God made me just the way He intended me to be, no amount of products and enhancements will change who I really am. Don’t allow people to make the simple things that we enjoy so damn complicated. You can always tell the insecure from the confident, because the confident could give a damn if they were like everyone else or not, they walk to the sounds of their own music and live without looking back… naturally.
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
Every Week GaptoothDiva.com wants to feature beautiful, stylish, and marvelous people with awesome personalities. It’s our pleasure to highlight our supporters and just how incredibly unique they are. Check out the following individual and connect with them online. We’re building a community of like-minded people who want to celebrate distinctiveness and diversity. We are the Baddest Creative Motivation!
Today’s awesome style and personality belong to:
Amanda Lewis, a native of Richmond, VA grew up with a love and natural knack for the arts. She participated in everything from dance, art, theater, and cheer leading, to sports and choir. Though talented, she was very shy in school. While attending Virginia State University to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and certificate in Fine Art, she began to break out of her shell. Just a few years later, she moved to Virginia Beach to pursue her Master’s degree. While there, she began to take a serious interest in modeling and decided to pursue it.
“I would describe my style as artistic, elegant, and tomboy. I am not so much a girly girl (as I like to run with the boys) but I do have that natural elegance about me. I’m not afraid to put a pair of boots or sneakers with some really classy accessories. Since I live for art as well, I always put my individual flare on things, which is usually a touch of lavender!”
After a few test shoots, the young aspiring model was able to sign with three local agencies. Since then, Amanda had ripped the catwalks of the infamous New York Fashion Week, done jewelry shows for Laura Luxe, been in a commercial, music video, and a host of other projects. Amanda feels as if she has only gotten her feet wet though and hopes to make it to the top. She has traveled to Germany, Italy, Austria, France, and Honduras, and will be hitting the streets of Africa Spring 2013. In the years to come, she plans on being a Doctor, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Artist, Entrepreneur, model, and only God know what else!
When asked about the obstacles she had to overcome, Amanda responds…
“I’ve mostly had to overcome rejection time and time again to get to where I am today. When you are different and deplore fitting in, people don’t always accept you. Rejection is hard and something I will never get used to but I can admit that it makes me stronger each time.”
Amanda unique features is what set her apart from all of the girls who participated in the first DashA’veri photo shoot. Her humble spirit and graceful demeanor spoke volumes about the kind of young woman she was and what she aspires to be. I asked her what advice would she give to young girls and/or what advice she would give to her younger self, Amanda answered, “I would say, you will face many obstacles in life but with the help of God you can overcome them all. It’s okay to be afraid sometimes but never let fear control you. Write out your dreams, pray, make a plan, and execute! You are not inferior to anyone and you are amazing just the way you are.”
That’s the kind of advice we could all use in our lives. Please make sure you follow and support this young lady, because her spirit is so beautiful just like her presence.
Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aartisan
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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
A few people reached out to me in the last couples of months, seeing things that I wasn’t sure were being exuded through my behavior. I have something. That something, not quite sure what to identify as of yet, is an aura that makes people want to move, do, and be. I’m aware of it, but most of the time I admittedly dwindled it down, because I fear people getting upset and uncomfortable. I carry myself a certain kind of way. It’s not something I consciously do, it just happens. A regal attitude that comes from training my mind, “I am beautiful and I do deserve the best, therefore I am”, a mantra I developed over the years of transforming from just plain I’esha to I’esha GaptoothDiva. I own it, and now I want people just like me, who once felt inferior to own their as well. I want to be a service to my community and motivate women, young and old, to never listen to the background noise of people calling you out your name and saying what you should do or be, but that internal voice of God. That feeling inside that you were loved before you knew what love was, that your destiny is bigger than you can ever imagine and if you just reach for it, you will eventually touch circumstances that will blow your mind. I have that now, and it’s my life’s dream to make other people feel that exact way. The grace of God and love of oneself and others is so unimaginable; I yearn to reach so many before it’s all said and done.
A few months ago, talking about this very passion led to me developing another internet radio show with a friend of mine, Daitron Winston (RVALien). However, he informed me about some adversity that I never realized existed. I prayed on it and I kept it moving, I knew this was a journey with purpose and God was going to make it with us. Despite a few hiccups and some “internet thugging”, I still maintain that I wish the best for all people. I truly believe that everyone has a voice, what you use it for is your business, but my overall mission is anointed.
I’m excited to introduce R3 Radio: Real Ratchet & Raw, because our show touches on those very perspectives. You have the truth, a real way of looking at life, culture, and our circumstances. You also have the raw way of dealing with it, no love, and no heart, just black & white. In addition, because it sells and is so prevalent in our community, people are floating toward the ratchet because it’s easier and more popular right now. I pride myself on never selling out, so I wanted a show that celebrated that perspective of keeping things wholesome but entertaining.Down the line, I want my kids to be proud of my behavior and the things I discussed, so I don’t call women “b*tches”, I don’t disrespect people because its funny, I truly keep it love and awesomeness, because that’s what I want the world to return back to me. Daitron feels the same way. So tonight at 9pm thanks to Soul Cypher Productions, we deliver that to you every week. I’m so excited!
With the radio show, the clothing, modeling, and writing, what else, could I add to my plate? Well, someone saw something in me and felt other people should see it as well. I praise God for the moves He is making because motivation came from an unlikely source. Someone that I have always admired and thought was very hard working, Joe’I Chancellor will be executive producing my very own show on Comcast 95 / Verizon 36 this Fall, October 2nd 2013. The GaptoothDiva Show will highlight issues that either I believe we shy away from or we downright don’t understand. Again, this venture will be on the positive tip, but with lots of entertainment and fun. Women need to see exactly what we are doing to each other, how we break our own gender down but expect respect from men. It’s a contagion of disrespect to each other and ourselves, and I’m on a mission to change that by any means necessary. I hope you all tune in for that as well, because it’s going to be an experience.
I had the pleasure of going on the Joe’i Chancellor Special Edition show with her this past Friday. She is funny and I enjoyed myself so much. It made me see that although a lot of detail goes into it, it really is an easy thing to do, I’m excited to jump right in and get to work. Because Joe’i and I discuss issues with women regularly, I know that I’m not alone in feeling that there is genuine disconnect. If no one tries to fight this issue and bring solutions to the table, then we will never overcome any obstacles and will forever be doomed to warring with one another rather embracing each other. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where women hate each other. I don’t want to live in one either. Therefore, with these new projects, I plan to shed light on these issues and more, bringing positivism back to your media and in your hearts.
We Start Taping for The GaptoothDiva Show next month, so be on the lookout for more details on that as well. We are rolling here… God got the wheel… let’s ride.
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow and support me @GaptoothDiva
It’s so refreshing when you see an artist with a message; it’s even more refreshing when that message is in conjunction with exactly how you feel. Lately, I have been having this hunger for the word and for change. I noticed that everything related to life, struggles and blessings are mentioned in the bible one way or another. All my life I felt as if I was being pulled into two different directions, as if I was in a game of tug and war with me being the rope. As strong as I am, as I feel God has made me, it’s apparent that my gifts and talents far exceed whatever expectations I have or understand, and my enemy know that. It’s a fight, as I mentioned before in It’s a War Happening Right Now! Using Faith As My Armor: A Letter from The Battle Field.
So thankfully, I see inspirational videos come my way, or by way of my husband, and I’m excited. I really want you to check out this video and support this couple. T-Rock and Priceless have been rapping for over 11 years. They also have been married to each other for 6 years. They currently reside in Richmond, Virginia with their 4-year-old daughter and 9 month old twin boys. T-Rock and Priceless are passionate about Jesus and greatly desire to see our present world have a life altering, authentic encounter with the only true and living God. They believe our generation is no longer satisfied with church as usual. There is a desperation and hunger for the presence of God and real change. These two have decided that they can no longer sit idly by as the enemy destroys families and attempts to completely mar any trace of the image of God in our society. T-Rock and Priceless are relentless about Biblical truth and seek to relay the Gospel in a relevant way through rap. However, it doesn’t stop there. They want to present Jesus in a tangible way as they serve their community and local church. Through their dynamic testimonies, T-Rock and Priceless want others to see how God has transformed their lives for His Glory. Moreover, in doing so, they hope to respond to the cry of the people and bring glory to God.
Through their lives, they both have endured struggles, trials, and tribulations, and their lives currently are great examples of how merciful God is and how awesome God has been. Avoiding circumstances that could have ultimately made them statistics, they both relied on prayer and service to see them through, and through their work they are aiming to inspire others to do the same.
Check out “The City” by T-Rock and Priceless….
Email them for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plus Size Beautis (@PSBinc) is a organization here in Virginia dedicated to uplifting and empowering women of all sizes, mostly curvaceous, to love themselves and take care of their God-given temples. This organization, based out of Richmond holds several recruiting sessions throughout the year, participates in community events, and mentors to younger girls ages 8 and up with their subsidiary YLOB (Young Ladies of Beauty). The idea is to uplift the spirits of women, tackle sensitive issues in the plus size community, and mentor members young and old. It’s an opportunity for those full figured, plus size and curvy girls to bond with a sisterhood of like-minded individuals and make a difference in the world around them.
This past weekend, Plus Size Beautis had their first ever Women’s Empowerment Symposium at the Holiday Inn in RVA. The event was well attended by groups of individuals, all seeking the same thing… to be empowered and inspired. Plus Size Beautis did just that, by featuring Motivational Speakers, Inspirational leaders and Coaches like Kita Martin, Cecily Hickman of SassC Creations, and Coach Metra of Love Life Enterprises, LLC. These women took the stage to discuss their experiences while providing a message that everyone could relate to and become encouraged. Plus Size Beautis brought women of diverse backgrounds to speak on subjects relating to self-love, faith, and being true to oneself. Several people in the room admitted to being emotional, captivated, for they understood the dynamic, and could resonate with the speakers and their testimony.
I missed the opportunity to catch the testimony of Ms. Kita Martin, Empowering Women on Purpose. She is a Host, Motivational Speaker, Poet and Writer in the 757 area. Her message related to “B the Best “You” can B!” a mantra eloquently placed on the back of her business card. Make sure you get in touch with her for empowerment and motivation, via email at email@example.com
I caught the message from Cecily Hickman, of SassC Creations . Knowing Cecily to be a kind hearted and gentle spirited entrepreneur, I was intrigued by her testimony at the event. Talking to Plus Size Beauti members and their supporters, Cecily touch on issues regarding her self-esteem and the feelings she had growing up. Like me, Cecily had to busy herself with her passions and creativity to eventually find value in herself, thus discovering a new sense of self-esteem. Cecily encouraged event participants to write strong positive affirmations everyday. She listed individuals who have failed in one aspect of their lives, but went on to succeed beyond what they, themselves may have expected. It was motivating to hear some of my own favorites listed, among them Oprah… solidifying the belief that if you keep going, your dreams can and will come true. I appreciate Cecily sharing those aspects of her life. Her presentation was very inspiring. Please be sure to check out her beauty and styling work, as she specializes in versatility in today’s women with SassC Creations at (804) 822-1236.
During our intermission, prizes and raffles drawing were being conducted. Vendors such as Melanie Wade of Modgyrl Cosmetics were in the building. Modgyrl Melanie was displaying and promoting Plus Size Beautis newest partnership with Modgyrl, their exclusive lippies and glosses. Exodus by Design by Brenda Powell was in the building. Her vendor table was being manned by former WEA Member and Hinton Consulting CEO, Tamera Hinton-Bulger. Plus Size Beautis were also selling their branded t-shirts to supporters and their families as well. Among the other vendors were also Hands On Massage Therapies and Palms of Passion. It was great to see all the PSB members rocking their official PSB white polo shirts, looking fabulous and cohesive for the day’s event.
Last, but definitely not least was acclaimed motivational speaker and life coach, Coach Metra of Love Life Enterprises (sharmetrapittman.com/). Metra shared detailed aspects of her life that I think may have hit home with many people. Her honesty and energized spirit was charismatic and engaging, which made her testimony even more motivating and easy to relate to. What hit home with me the most was the experience of having her daughter tell her that she couldn’t wait to get older, so that she could attend nightclubs like her mother. That is something that I think many women don’t realize being prevalent in their child’s mind. That is not the memories I want my child to have of me, and neither did Coach Metra as she admits during her presentation that that incident was one of the catalyst in transforming her life. As she discusses being a better woman, mother, and wife, it’s the down to earth feeling that I get from her that makes me know; this woman isn’t speaking anything but the truth to me. Her speech “Size Does Matter” isn’t dripping with corny phrases set to entice the curvaceous community at all. Her message speaks to the soul that faith, heart, dreams and communication are the most important aspects to living a fruitful and blessed life. The issues discussed were magnetic in their own way; nevertheless, this was an awesome way to wrap up an extra special event orchestrated by the women of Plus Size Beautis.
“The size of your faith, the size of your heart, the size, of your communication, the size of your dreams. Be Loved, Be blessed, Be You!” – Coach Metra
Ladies, if you are looking to join an organization that supports the plus size community here in Richmond or the 757 area, contact Plus Size Beautis today (http://www.plussizebeautis.org/). Even if you aren’t in Virginia at all, and believe that you can head your own chapter wherever you are, feel free to give them a call. Also, check out volunteer opportunities with YLOB (Young Ladies of Beauty) as well at youngladiesofbeauty.com, because mentoring young women to be amazing grown women, should be a priority for all of us.
I’m excited to see what comes down the pipeline for this group next. I hope their work is blessed and they continue to inspire throughout their journey. It was an awesome event, so the next one is promised to be greater.
Be sure to check out and support…
Want to see more pictures from the event? “Like” our Fan Page on Facebook, and check them out at www.facebook.com/gaptoothdivaonline
For more events and baddest creative motivation, 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
Every Week GaptoothDiva.com wants to feature beautiful, stylish, and marvelous people with awesome personalities. It’s our pleasure to highlight our supporters and just how incredibly unique they are. Check out the following individual and connect with them online. We’re building a community of like-minded people who want to celebrate distinctiveness and diversity. We are the Baddest Creative Motivation!
Today’s awesome style and personality belong to:
Every time I see her, her cute face is smiling bright and her attitude is always positive. I love her spirit and I think you will, too. - I’esha GaptoothDiva
Kisha is an eclectic, creative being who is thoroughly passionate and fascinated with visual and performing arts. She has a bold energy, which is not concerned with the opinions of other and is thrilled with the challenge of living outside “the box”.
“Often inspired by my alter ego whose unique style and signature is not complete without contrast and can not be categorized.”
Get to Know her… you won’t be disappointed
To be featured Submit your information to GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com. Men & Women encouraged to apply. Submit your pics, a brief bio describing your style, and your online profile links and we will share your info with our community. All ages and demographics accepted, Style is unique and we love it!
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As the product of a dysfunctional upbringing, it was always important for me (as a parent now) to ensure that my children don’t ever look back and wonder why I wasn’t a better mom. Work, school, bills, relationships, events, activities, and life as a whole will pull on us everyday, whether we like it or not. However, the blessing and opportunity to love our children, not with things, but with our hearts and souls… only comes to a very few. So why aren’t we taking greater advantage of it?
Lately, I’ve been reminded that many parents are depending on the school system and its administration to steer their children in the right direction. They are probably never considering that school systems deal with politics and bureaucracy, that some teachers may be there for only a check, and that your child is in a classroom with over 15 children at a time. No one at school can dedicate that much time to your kid in such a short period, with several other children from various backgrounds pulling on them constantly.
Therefore, some other parents are depending on the childcare/daycare to help ease some of the stress. However, let me explain that most of these businesses are only required to keep your child physically safe, away from harm and danger, and well fed and healthy until you return from work. They are not required to ensure that your child can read, write, or even speak proper English. They are not required to ensure that child has an adequate amount of self-esteem, knows right from wrong, or that the teacher in the classroom doesn’t have emotional problems of their own. It’s about money most of the time, if they enroll your child then its income for the business.
So, what do parents have left? Ourselves! It is our responsibility to ensure that our children know the basics from saying “please” and “thank you” to more complicated topics like “stranger-danger”, child abuse, discipline, and something as important as washing their filthy hands after using the bathroom. Our relationships will come and go, our jobs, although important are essential because we have children to care for. Therefore, to ignore the very seeds we put on earth, to get that paper and keep up with the “Joneses” makes absolutely no sense to me.
Last week, I had the displeasure of witnessing two very troubled children cause chaos all over a daycare center just because they could. Of course, the mother was dealing with so much on her plate, with her new employment and being a single mother, she had her hands full. My heart was heavy for her because if she could get the help she needed, without worrying about being paid, bills, or other life struggles, she could very well turn these kids around. However, despite the children’s bad behavior and her struggles, the kids managed to have brand new sneakers, video games, and even quoted lines from recent movies in theaters right now. I knew then, it wasn’t about the struggles anymore, it was about parents not having their priorities straight. It’s about people assuming positions of change, yet allowing the dollar to become priority over their purpose. Everyone gave up on these kids, so the kids gave up on themselves. I literally sat there and saw a child inflicting injuries on herself, crying her soul out for attention (needing someone to intervene), while one of the staff members videotaped her tantrum supposedly for legal purposes. This girl was irrational and her parent was at work, this was kind of situation that required a hospital and psychological professionals. It hurt so bad to witness this, more so because in my position there was nothing I could do. As a mother, I wanted to scoop her up and figure out what was wrong, set her straight and comfort her all at the same time. It was then that I knew, we as parents depend on the system too much to raise our children. The system is only depending on your fee.
I spend a lot of time with my children. I teach them right from wrong and I have the tough conversations with them early. I have a lot on my plate and I am by no means a perfect parent. I do as much as I can, because I don’t want to depend on school and daycare to parent my child, it’s my responsibility. My son will learn a lot on the streets and from other kids, but it’s my duty to ensure that he knows the facts. His behavior and his actions are a reflection on my abilities to be an adequate parent, and myself. I’m accountable for my actions, as any healthy adult should be. I can’t blame school and daycare for what I failed to do at home. So relationships, business, and other stuff to the side, if your children are acting up, think about what you did to contribute to that behavior. Is it the movies and television you allow them to watch that has them acting like fools? Are they seeing your adult behavior when they shouldn’t be? Are they privy to your idle gossip and grown-up conversations when you think they aren’t paying attention?
We can’t complain about the world and all of the messiness, when we unknowingly contribute to it. Not steering our younger generations in the right direction is the first strike against making any positive headway at all. Chasing money and trying to make sure your family looks “fly” only covers the surface. The kids that are neglected the most always seem to have the priciest labels and latest gadgets, has anyone else noticed that? Our focus should be their physical, mental, and spiritual health as well as looking good. That also includes our own health as well. If we are at our best, then our children are at theirs. It’s our job to be awesome parents, let’s make sure we do it to the best of our abilities regardless of our circumstances.
Love and awesomeness,
Follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
Plain and simple, I was floored. From the beginning to the end, I was captivated and inspired. I know I throw many words out there, but speaking from the heart, Zakia Jameceye made me want to be a better woman… period. It sounds crazy, right? This woman saying that she was inspired to be a better woman by Zakia and a group of professional Female Impersonators, would probably make many of you weary as to what in the world I’m thinking. I don’t care! It’s the truth. The All Red Affair managed to take entertainment to a completely different level and I’ll explain why…
I’ve been to drag shows before, who doesn’t love Godfrey’s brunch on Sundays. Get the mimosa, honey it delicious. However, it’s so much going on during those shows between my plate and the hard-core entertainment; I’m spent just thinking about it. I enjoy it! Nevertheless, last Saturday in a hotel conference room, Zakia and her entertainment family, Nationz Pageantry Systems managed to take me from loving my femininity and myself oh so dearly, to wanting to be straight fierce, ferocious, gracefully elegant, and majestic all at the same time, every second of every day. I know they were performing, but hear me out. These entertainers, Mr. Nationz included managed to take an art form and push the envelope so far, that you have no choice but to be greater than what you are. You have to be there to understand the magnitude of what I’m saying, but allow me to paint a picture I know you’ll get…
If they can be that beautiful, that intriguing, and that spectacular on stage and they weren’t born with all of the amazing things that got them there to that point (you know what I’m saying), then what’s YOUR problem?
I thought about this deeply as I watched them cascade up and down the aisles casting spells on the audience with their glamour and fierceness, I want to be better. I want to feel better; I want to feel free and uninhibited to captivate just as much minds as they did on stage with my words. I too am a DIVA!
Now some of you may have your feelings right or wrong about female impersonators and/or drag queens, that’s your right. I support the LGBT community fully and I won’t apologize for that. This isn’t about that. What’s important is that these amazing men and women took art and inspired in the way they know best. I loved every minute of it, the crowd was drunk off excitement and support, and it was the best entertainment showcase of performances and glamour in a while. I appreciate Nationz Pageantry System for inviting me and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
They are currently looking for qualified promoters to produce official preliminaries. Visit www.nationzpageants.com to get more information.
Support their events and check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationzPageantrySystem
Check out this preview of the evening events:
Last week I had the pleasure of attending Lela Bizz listening party at 2 Beyond Recording Studios on Southside Richmond Virgina. The studio is located right next to Antonz Barbershop and Beauty Salon off Semmes Ave at 3414 Semmes Ave.
This state-of the art studio featured equipment and resources that any musician would appreciate. Built and managed by Keleek Collins, I’m sure that RVA independent music scene could take advantage of all the features that 2 Beyond Recording Studios has to offer.
At the listening party, we had the chance to check out Lela’s Youtube channel via a flat screen for all to check out and enjoy. The vivid lighting and set-up made it comfortable and enjoyable for us to mix and mingle during the event and participate in watching Lela’s latest hits and covers.
Although the space isn’t huge, it was large enough to accommodate many of the guests, more than we had anticipated and so much more. The studio has a large back entrance where many people were able to congregate and relax, while others enjoyed the main area, and the large open front entrance right off of Semmes Ave.
Anton Cofield was in the building, being a gracious and sophisticated host networking with all in attendance. The evening went without a hitch; everyone laughed, sang along to music tracks, and even completed surveys provided by Lela and her team in regards to her music. Food and drinks were provided, making those invited even more comfortable and at home. Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
I definitely think you should check out 2 Beyond Studios for your music and/or recording needs. The management there will cater to what you want in services and the location is sophisticated and pristine. The studio is adorned with old school and new school attributes, it’s that “at home” feeling that made us not want to leave. Check it out for yourself and tell them that GaptoothDiva sent you.
3414 Semmes Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23225
Office: (804) 447-2429
Manged by Kaleek Collins
If you aren’t looking to get super dressed up and change clothes during the week, but you want to go out to a stylish nightspot right before the weekend, I hear Ladies Night Thursdays at BrickStone Grill is the place to be. This Thursday, 4/4/2013 at 8pm is there official launch that aims to cater to a diverse crowd of sophisticated and stylish people, especially the women. In the former “Razzles” location, BrickStone Grill is offering up a certain atmosphere that promotes maturity and class for those interested in having a great time without all the hassle.
I’m excited to attend this Thursday for my full GaptoothDiva review, so make sure that you’re there as well. We can experience this together. I’m very excited to hear DJLuxxlife on the tables, who promise to provide music we all can enjoy. I’m not nightclub person, but they promise to change that and I can’t wait to see if they can. I hope to see you there for a cocktail… or two. Come ready to have a great time, good conversation and connect with like-minded individuals. I would even bring my business cards and be prepared to network, because you never know who will be in the building. Ladies, it’s all about you this Thursday, can’t wait to have a good time with you.
Invite to Ladies Night Thursday at BrickStone Grill: https://www.facebook.com/events/153343181498483/
9826 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, Virginia 23235
For more about this event and others, connect with 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
This Saturday March 30th, I will be accompanying Zakia Jemaceye (also known as Eye2go on FB) to a few events. She has been crowned Mz. International Supermodel 2011 and 2012 & Miss Gay Richmond 2011-2012. In addition, if you inquire with her about getting your face beat and looking fabulous, she states, “I slay a set of Eye-Brows, Lashes or Faces”. I love it! I met Zakia a few years ago as she performed for an earlier showcase that was hosting back in 2009, her grace and pose makes her a force to be reckoned with and an exemplar among the Richmond LGBT community. I’m certainly excited to spend the day with her. Her amazing personality and her fierce performance skills proves that Saturday may just be more electrifying than I can anticipate.
The first event that we are attending will be all about Empowerment. The Train Yourself to Win Empowerment Seminar for Women is scheduled to go down at the Comfort Inn Midtown Jefferson Conference Room in Richmond, VA. The event is all about building self-esteem and having fun. From 10 am to 12pm, we will enjoy life coaching and making our goals count with Author Suzanne A. Roberts. To get tickets to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 908-9043. This is an adult only event and light refreshments will be served.
Later on Saturday, we will be celebrating the launch of Nationz Pageantry System. The name derived from the local Richmond club Nations, where Zakia was crowned the last Miss Nations before they closed. She inherited the rights to the name and changed the spelling. Zakia began to market it on a national level and currently travels the county entertaining and competing in pageants on a state and national level. It has always been her dream to bring that to Virginia.
Recently, September 30, 2012 Nationz Pageantry System held their Plus division for Plus sized female impersonators and on September 28, 2013 they plan to have Mr. and Mz & Plus National Competitions. The All Red Affair is a Promotional Party to introduce Nationz Pageantry System to the world. It will be a night of Glitz and Glamour, featuring some of the most beautiful Female Impersonators and Lead Male Entertainers from all over the east coast. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Fenniz Baldwyn Zakia has special guest entertainers from Washington DC and New York as well.
Doors open at 8pm with a Meet and Greet for those who have purchased early tickets from 8-8:45 then Showtime is at 9:00pm.
It is Zakia’s hope to bring to Richmond a new and improved outlook on what Female Impersonation is all about. Nationz Pageantry: The Red Affair is the official Kick off for something wonderful here in Richmond. I couldn’t be more excited for her, because I love a good show full of fierce beauty and lots of fun!
Tickets are 20.00 in advance and 25.00 at the door unless you have on Red or Accents of Red. There will be a great Buffet and DJ Robb will be spinning the music and giving the kids the old Scandal’s Pyramid feel of House and Club Music. I really hope to see you there looking beautiful and glamorous.
Last year my husband had the awesome privilege of attending the Camp Diva Date with Dad Dinner and Dance, and came home talking about how amazing the whole event was. Naturally, we discussed all the beautiful dresses the girls wore and the fathers who compassionately accompanied their daughters to this event, which celebrated love and the bond between father and daughter. At the time my relationships with my own father was strained and virtually in limbo, so I felt my heart tug when my husband joyfully described the love and affection shown to each girl by her father. It was the pictures that depicted fun, excitement, and grandeur, which made me want to attend the event this year on my own. However, it was my husband’s powerful testimony that enticed me to make the decision to repair the relationship with my father and bring him along, with my two sisters as well.
I knew from the very beginning that God had his hand in this situation. As I was preparing to talk with my Dad about attending, my sisters had already caught wind of the event through social media, as I was tweeting and posting it to Facebook. Immediately when I suggested that we should all go, they both squealed in delight. “This will absolutely bring us all together!” they exclaimed. It was just a matter of asking my Father. When I arrived at my father’s house to ask him, I must admit I was nervous. In my late twenties, I have never embarked on something as wonderful as a father/daughter dance. I would have never imagined inviting my father to an event like this, or even him attending one with me. We just were never that type of father/daughter team. Neither my sisters nor I knew what was going to happen, but I stepped out in faith and invited my Dad anyway. My Dad immediately said “yes!” I was ecstatic. He said it sounded like a great idea and he too wanted to start spending more time with us and create a stronger bond with his daughters. This was going to be an experience I never wanted to forget.
I prayed on it the whole way through. Most of us were struggling financially, trying to make ends meet and pay bills. Just barely keeping our heads above water, I faced the challenge of paying for all four of us to attend the event. With tickets costing $25 each, I knew I wanted to contribute to the event and deliver an awesome experience to my sisters and father at the same time. I had to get to work. The Date with Dad was my priority. Most of the people I talked to were difficult to close on the idea that they too should contribute to this monumental occasion, some even suggested that it might not be worth it. Here I am trying to help and create a wonderful memory for not only me, but other girls and their fathers too, and obstacles were coming from left and right. I pressed on, I sold clothes, I contracted work, and saved pennies just so that I could attend with my family and give them the night I promised. I could only imagine the work that the women of Camp Diva have to put into what they do. They are truly an inspiration. The ability to keep explaining your vision, your dream, and your purpose to people, in the hopes that they too buy into it and can contribute a small iota of assistance to see it flourish… it monumental. Those women are amazing!
I finally got the money together and I paid for my ticket, Glory to God! We scheduled a date to help my Dad find a suit, which for some reason was rescheduled three to four times due to scheduling conflicts. However, when we finally got together, it was an awesome Saturday afternoon. We laughed, we cracked jokes, and we talked. Something we rarely get to do with him on our own. It’s that nervous feeling around him, as if you’re meeting someone for the first time. We ask ourselves constantly, “Does he know this” or “Have I told him this”. This event was going to be the catalyst to jump start a relationship with our father. This was going to be the marriage of a father/daughter bond that we never experienced. We wore variations of white and gold, because we were solidifying a solid bond with this man, who we have lived with our entire lives, but know rarely anything about. Our Dad, who has always provided for us, but never really tried to get too close. This was our chance to change what history has tainted, and I couldn’t have been more excited if I tried.
The night was beautiful! In gown and dresses, my sisters and I stepped out with our father in a spectacular way. I walked in a saw all these beautiful little girls and gorgeous women, all adorned in pretty dresses and incredible smiles. My Dad was dapper in his suit and tie, looking nervous but excited himself. He cleans up well, and we were so proud to have him on our arm. As we ate and drank punch at the table, marveled by the beautiful families around us, we laughed and joked the whole night. I am not going to lie and say that we weren’t at the table waiting and ready to get “turnt up”. I wanted to dance and watch everyone else get his or her party on as well. So right after the celebration of the Real Father Award Winners: Congratulations to Harold Coles Jr., Scott Randall, Thomas Nixon, Anson Owen, and Nelson B. Farrar and the Father/Daughter game with Actor Chad Coleman (Miss Evers Boys/The Wire), Juan Conde (Anchor with TV 8) led us into the dance portion of the evening.
My Dad was a straight crazy man on the dance floor and I loved it. We laughed at his silliness and delighted in his ability to just let go and be free. It’s times like this when I realize that time is never promised to us, and if I could make that moment in time last forever, I would. Nevertheless, I soaked in every minute of it, and enjoyed every second. He talked with Juan Conde and shared stories about us when we were little, listening to him on the radio when Juan was with Power 92. He was so excited. He ran and took pictures everywhere and profiled in his suit, something he doesn’t get to wear often enough. I was proud to have him with me that evening. My sisters looked beautiful and my Dad was so excited, the evening turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
When I think about what Angela Patton and everyone with Camp Diva are doing, have done, and are attempting to do with these young girls in Richmond, I kind of wish I was a little girl again. I wish I had this when I was younger, because we wouldn’t be trying to begin a relationship with my Dad as adults, we would be celebrating what already was in place. I wish that some more people out there were diligent in trying to institute something so precious as that bond, like Camp Diva is doing. Nevertheless, my mission was to prove that it is never too late. As a grown woman with children of my own I’m making it my business to make something happen between my sisters, my dad, and I. Life is too short and I don’t have the time for “should’ve, could’ve, and would’ve”, I want to take advantage of these opportunities when they come. I didn’t know if I was going to even be able to afford to do it, but my trust that God was going to see me through, and it did, it saw me through that hotel, with two beautiful sisters and my handsome father in tow. So just when you think it’s not important for you to strive for life has a funny way of showing you, everything is worth it and more. Our experience is one for the books, a lifetime memory and a whole lot of love was in that room at the Marriot. Camp Diva did an awesome job in putting that together and creating a chance for fathers to make their daughters feel special. I can’t wait to attend next year; I hope that I see you at the table beside us.
Shout out to Melody Short (Artisan Café), Craig Watson (Lyric Ave), Rob (Peace Clothing) who I saw and spoke to that evening. A huge shout out to Angela Patton, Ayana, Lisa, and all the beautiful women of Camp Diva (Camp Diva).
Please follow and support Camp Diva www.CampDiva.org
To see more photos go to my Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/GaptoothDivaonline