What’s your favorite cosmetic’s brand that I should try out next?
What’s your favorite cosmetic’s brand that I should try out next?
The future is so unsure. Seems like nowadays things—people are so uncertain. Some of us are up then some of us are down, and we just fluctuate from being up and down then down and up again. I’ve noticed this since I’ve recently been deemed as whole ass grown adult that life is fluid. And, that at the end of the day we all have choices—whether we think we do or don’t. You have a choice and so do I. Doesn’t matter how bad or good something is, you can say yes or no. Perhaps, even maybe.
I remember in my teens and early 20’s that I longed for someone to tell me the “right” way to do life things. I wanted people of age to give me the answer, that golden truth of success and belonging in this world. For the most part, the people who knew nothing about me or wanted me to fall in their content with “whatever I’m given” footsteps told me what I should do, who I should be. I rebelled because if life looked anything like what they were handed, what they accepted then I wanted no parts in it.
For the few folks that I regarded with high esteem and respect, they would always tell me something along the lines of “create your own opportunity”.
I’d grumble internally, angry at the fact that they hadn’t given me the answer that I so desperately wanted, that I needed. I needed an adult to tell me what to say, how to think, and most importantly tell me what my voice was. What it sounded like. Where to find it.
“Create your own opportunity, Leah,” the voices of mentors echoed.
I couldn’t comprehend what they meant. I looked at the shit I had—which was zero and found it impossible to create something viable from nothing. These adults must’ve had it all wrong. Clearly, they’d been set up much more lucratively than I. I was never going to be the person I was looking for.
I still never stopped asking myself as well as others about this so-called self-made opportunity.
Although hard-headed and rigid in my thinking, I’ve got to give credit to myself, I have always been curious. Curious to know how stories and narratives came to be. To exist. I’ve always been curious to know why some of us have and others have not. What characteristics does one have to possess to be on the other side of greatness.
To me, greatness was always something I’ve dreamed of, yet hadn’t known exactly what it entailed. But, I always knew it’d be good for me to experience.
I complained a lot about the resources I didn’t have. I’d explain my ideas to different artists and friends, and they’d be like, you should do it. And, I’d always reply, “I’m Black, I’m fat, and I’m a poor woman. You’ve gotta have resources to pull that off.”
There were times in my life where I hadn’t had shit. Like nothing. But, looking back, that’s not fully true. I remember one time, I had upwards of ten calls per day coming from bill collectors. My bank account was in the negative. Overdraft on top of overdraft. The phone calls were getting to me. I couldn’t pay them no matter how bad I wanted to. So, they continued to blow my phone up.
“I’m stuck,” I cried. As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I got up and opened the door.
I returned to the couch, sniffling and watching the clouds go by. I was angry that I was so educated and had no job. And, that the jobs that were paying were 8 and 10 dollars an hour. Which would only put a dent in my piling debt. I was mad that my husband at the time could only afford to hold down the rent and nothing else. I was mad that my mom was mentally ill and that my daddy wasn’t there. That my family hadn’t reached out nor was financially able to lift me out of the shit show that I’d created trying to educate myself in America.
I cried and cried and cried some more.
After that, I asked myself a question: what can you do right now for free instead of crying and feeling sorry for what you don’t have?
I answered myself: I could probably write. I mean, I do like writing stories and I do want to be a serious writer one day. I could write for practice at least.
So, I wrote.
What else can you do for free? I can post my stories on Instagram.
So, I posted things on Instagram.
There were fashion events and networking events that I could meet people at. Some free and some not. For the ones that weren’t free, I emailed the organizers and told them that I had no money but would like to attend. 90% of them would send me complimentary tickets.
I created content and emailed people. When that batch was a fail, I created more things and emailed it to more people. Most of them were rejected or ignored. I had my times where I was like fuck this opportunity shit. I need a real job. My bills aren’t going to get paid from “opportunity”. Which meant that in-between jobs that I absolutely loathed I created content and emailed people.
My thoughts were that if I kept doing this that one day someone would be like hey! She’s not only talented but diligent. For the most part, I would hang onto the hope that one day I’d get the yes that I was looking for. I knew that I was good, but I needed others in my fields to validate my talent on a larger scale. I couldn’t do it alone.
When I tell you to create your own opportunity, I am telling you something that has been said to the folks before me and will be told to the folks after me until the end of time. You might not get it right now and maybe you will not understand it, but there is so much wealth in that simple statement.
Opportunities are everywhere, all around us just floating around. Many of us don’t see it. Many of us miss it. Many of us allow them to pass because we are too scared that we aren’t qualified. That we will make a fool of ourselves. We get that “what will other people think?” syndrome going on.
But what would happen if you just did it anyway? Learned as you go. Grabbed that opportunity by the arm and molded it into something cool and great. Something with purpose.
Stop waiting for an opportunity to stumble upon you. Go out there and capture one.
I shot this video last year and because I hate editing and it takes me so many hours, I just finished it and decided to post for your viewing pleasure. I've been getting tons of hate messages in my DMs as well as on my body-positive Instagram page. So, I thought I'd share the best of the best of body-shaming troll comments. We are taking something bad and having a little bit of fun with it :p
What's the meanest comment you've ever received online or IRL? Let's chat.
And, don't forget to follow me @ Lvernon2000 on Instagram for my latest fashion and body-posi updates :)
Fan Questions Answered with Leah V.
I like to do random shit. If I feel it, I’m most likely gonna say it (or type it). LOL. I had this cool idea to ask some of my followers to give me some questions to answer. Like LIVE, but not really because it’s like weeks later. I was shocked at the high quality of questions I got. I thought people were gonna ask completely ridiculous stuff. See? That’s what I get for assuming. But, yeah. They really gave me thought-provoking questions.
So, here are my answers:
@Candeecurry What do you feel is your unique purpose in the world? Do you feel as though you are on track?
LV: This is such a good question! And, honestly, it took me a long time to figure out how to answer it. At this point in life, I know that my purpose is to create content and share it with the world. My work is very niche, so everyone isn’t going to get it or like it. My purpose is to defy the odds, show girls, woman (and men) that you can look totally different and not fit the mold of societal beauty or power and still be whatever it is that you want to be. Which, in this world, is hard to swallow.
Am I on the right track? If you would’ve asked me last month, I would’ve said, hell yeah! Today, I’m not so sure. My ideologies of ‘on track’ differ from day to day. I always hope I am though.
@JasmineN What’s your fave piece of clothing and why?
LV: Surprisingly, I don’t have one. I have a fave food though. HAHA. I’m sorry, I lied. My fave item of clothing are leggings because you can lounge in them and stretch whenever or wherever you are in the world, comfortably.
@becoming_becca.again_ Whose your biggest influencer, the person you look up to?
LV: I have many. A lot of them aren’t even in the “fashion” arena. I really look up to people who are real, raw, and have a backstory that doesn’t involve a silver spoon in the mouth. I love individuals that are a little rough around the edges, ones who went through hell to get to where they are now. People like Oprah, Maya Angelou, and J.K. Rowling. I struggle all the time doing what I do. I’m struggling today. But reading stories of their struggles and how they just believed and kept going really changes my life and outlook.
@Thisis_esi Dating as a young fat, black, Muslim woman, challenges? Best and worst experiences?
LV: Oh lordy! Lol. Girl, now you know there is a lot of those challenges when dating. And this is such a touchy topic because I’m Muslim and Muslims aren’t supposed to date, but you know I keep it real. Most guys don’t even approach me because I wear hijab so that knocks out about ninety percent. For the ten percent that have the guts to come up to me or message, they span from fat-shamers, BBW fetishizers, and wierdos. I’ve had okay dates, but no one has stuck yet because I’m finnicky like a cat.
@Prettyinpigment What do you love most about Detroit
LV: Detroit is OK. LOL. The job market sucks. The food here is pretty tasty. Detroit isn’t a fast-paced city but it isn’t slow either. It’s a good balance. It’s laid back and still growing which is cool. I don’t think I’d stay here though; it’s not growing fast enough in the fields of fashion or publishing.
@Lateeforigninals What’s your favorite color?
LV: Black. Darkness! And I like colors, too. Don’t have a favorite. Back in the day it used to be yellow.
@lionwinemountain What books inspire you?
LV: The Harry Potter Series. I really love YA fiction and dystopian novels. I love being immersed in other worlds. And I’m really inspired by the author’s story of how she created the characters while being broke.
@notmycupofchai What advice would you give to your young Muslim sisters who are trying to find themselves?
LV: I’d tell them to stick to their guns. Family, friends, and the media will try to persuade you from being who you are truly meant to be. Who you’re comfortable being. Don’t allow them to. You have to be true to yourself and listen to your gut.
@Saneelatameez What is your greatest fear in life?
LV: Wow. Y’all didn’t come to play games today! Right now, my biggest fear is failure. I’ve always been an overachiever and I thought that perfection was attainable. I still have to remind myself to chill, but it’s hard. I just don’t want to let anyone down.
@itsbenstange What do you want to be your legacy?
LV: I want my legacy to be that girl who didn’t take no for an answer. Who pushed through the glass ceiling even though she had negative two bucks in her account. I want to be that beacon of change of the mass ideology that beauty is only thin or only white. That as a Muslim woman you can. That as a black woman you can. That as a fat person you can. And you will. And you deserve. All of it. I want my legacy to be words. With meaning. With direction. Substance. To change the world from hate and ignorance to understanding and respect for all humankind.
At Buffalo Wild Wings, I ordered lots of food. Hey, I was super hungry. Plus, I have a tendency to order too much then complain about being too full halfway in. Yes, annoying. I know. I’m working on my indecisiveness.
Anyhow, after the waiter leaves, I said to my guy friend playfully, “OMG. I’ve ordered half the menu. I’m soooo fat.”
His eyes swelled with fear then shock. If he had pearls, he probably would’ve clutched them.
At first, I thought I had lipstick on my teeth. “What?” I croaked.
“You. Are. Not. FAT!”
I rolled my eyes. “Boy, bye. I am fat.”
“No.” He shook his head. “You are curvy. Trust me, I know fat. You’re just thick.”
“I’m fat. I’m obese. I’m overweight. It’s fine.”
What was interesting was that the ‘F’ word for him was so negative, so vile that he couldn’t possibly equate that nasty attribute to me. He got an A for effort though. Haha. But like him, so many other men and women avoid the word ‘fat’ or if they do use it, it’s become one of the main cuss words.
I’m not even going to lie. In my adolescence and early 20’s, I was once one of those people that if someone called me fat, I’d melt and dissolve into the wind. No coming back from it. I’d go over it a million times in my head. Fat. Fattie. You’re FAT! Why the fuck are you still fat? Be skinny. Skinny is better. Skinny is acceptable. You will be great when you are skinny.
Funny thing is that when I did have an eating disorder and got ‘skinny’, I was the unhappiest I’d ever been in life. But, everyone else seemed to dote on the fact that I’d lost so much weight so fast and blah, blah, blah.
Why do we glorify thinness but bash fatness? And I know the internet trolls with their Google degrees are going to come out of their troll lairs with the following argument: fat acceptance glorifies obesity and health problems.
Firstly, I welcome them with the real ‘F’ word. After that, my rebuttal consists of not only fat people have health issues. I’ve been fat mostly all of my life, and I’ve had no major health problems. I have fat and skinny friends with health issues. Good or bad health doesn’t discriminate like we do. And if I did have bad health from being fat, that still has nothing to do with you because you aren’t me nor do you pay my medical bills.
Back to our scheduled program…
So why am I talking about this? In an interview, I was asked about the word ‘fat’. Why is it such a negative word? Why do most girls and women cringe and melt when they are called it? And most importantly, when I decided to reclaim it.
I reclaimed the word when I started having open conversations about body acceptance with other body positive activists in the community. The conversations were real and enlightening. These women (and men) were not only fat but they were other things, too. They were fat and business savvy. They were fat and confident. They were fat and stylish. They were fat and athletic. They were fat and sexual.
They smashed the fat stereotypes in half and I set out to do the same.
Let’s say this at least eight times: Fat isn’t a bad word. Stop making it that way. It’s starts with you. It’s an adjective, people. Just like any other adjective. Sometimes, we’ve got to take a look at ourselves and stop being so freakin’ sensitive. So what if your boyfriend calls you fat. Do what I do and say, “Yes, I know. Anything else you want to point out Captain Obvious?”
If you are obese, overweight, curvy, or thick, 9 times out of 10 you are probably fat. And that’s ok. And if it’s not ok, then change it. Simple as that. But let’s not wallow in the fact that our bodies are shaped differently or the scale gives us a number that isn’t ‘acceptable’ to society’s standards.
Why not start living right now? Don’t let a couple pounds deter you from enjoying what life has to offer. Your body is good so be good to your body.
You’ve only got one.
In this day and age, everybody and their mamas are ‘models’. Thanks social media! Everyone is a CEO of their own one-man company. Everyone is a fashion blogger. Everyone is a comedian or an actor. Or an influencer. And in no way am I throwing shade, but it’s real. And I tell it like it is. This is what I see, every day, all the time.
I am so grateful for social media, because it gave the thriving artist—who wouldn’t ever be considered by mainstream companies—the channel to build a following and show their value in a completely different way.
Frankly, without social media I’d have never made it this far in my blogging career or met the amazing people I’ve met. So, big-ups to Instagram and Facebook!
So when I started blogging in 2013, I was very, very reluctant to call myself a plus-size model (and sometimes, I still am). Because I wasn’t. I wasn’t signed to an agency nor was I a professional in any way, shape, or form. Then there’s the dreaded stigmas attached to being a model…
At shows, people would be like: Oh, you model?
I’d reply: No, no, no. I’m just a blogger who happens to take decent photos. *Laughs nervously*
Even on my worst days, I’d always get the compliment: You are so photogenic.
I’d grimace and be like, umm, do you see my jacked up teeth and round, fat body! I’d think in my head, what are they talking about and that they were probably just trying to be nice.
Fast forward. I went through eating disorders, self-loathing, negative, nasty thoughts about myself and my worth. The people around me started to flee. I hit rock bottom and had no support. The last straw was pulled and I got some mental therapy. Five years’ worth to be exact! Best five years of my life. Therapy allows you to look within and to stop covering shit with icing. The layers started to unravel. And a new-ish me emerged. I mean, she wasn’t perfect but she was a lot better than the old version.
I began to see the beauty in others and within myself. I know, I know. This sounds corny. But I literally hated everyone. And I hated myself. No one knew. But it’s the truth. I was uncomfortable in my very own skin. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.
I set up two photoshoots for myself. Funding the whole thing from makeup to wardrobe. Planning them was stressful yet exhilarating. Then I had my face on, my ensemble was snatched, my turban was on decent. I was nervous. Very nervous. And the camera started to flash and I just gave in. The photographer was like yassssssss. I was like ayeeeeeee.
Then other photographers and businesses started to approach me and ask me to model their clothes, makeup, and accessories.
Now I claim with proudness that I’m an indie plus-size, African-American, Muslim model. And with that said, modeling is about expression and story-telling. A lot of bloggers and models are about that paycheck and popularity. Not all. Some. In the beginning, I did like the exposure and being ‘known’ was cool, but then I started getting these sincere messages from men and women and I paused.
So every time, I do a shoot or a campaign it’s gotta have something the viewer can take from it. That’s why I’m very heavy on the content that I mix with my photos. If you, as a reader, don’t take anything from my words, then I’ve failed. If you look at my photo and don’t feel some kind of emotion, then I’ve failed.
And failing aint ever an option.
I’ve had a few interviews for different feminist and style blogs recently, and the question that I’m most asked is what it was like for me growing up, before Leah V. was Leah V.
I grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, where nothing on my body was considered beautiful or desired. To add to that, I was Muslim and Black. And very much so fat. Triple whammy? So confidence was at an all-time low for the most part.
In my family, my mother was a pretty snazzy dresser and so was my grandmother. Even though they were large women, they still pulled out their sequins blazers, costume jewelry, and furs. My grandmother was into makeup as well. Bright red lips and blue eyeshadow was a must for any special occasion.
That’s when I fell in love, playing in her expensive lippies and shadows. I secretly painted my face, knowing my mother wouldn’t approve, and would make me wipe it off immediately.
Makeup wasn’t in like that for young girls when I was growing up. No overly-contoured Kim K. looks. The most we did was a heavy coating of cheap lip gloss from the beauty supply store and some mascara. Anything else was considered ‘clown face’.
I was a weird, thoughtful, and creative child. I watched a lot of movies, read a lot of books, and immersed myself into rock/pop music. Through these outlets, I began to internalize all the characters that I admired. They were sassy. They were strong. They didn’t take no shit! They were modern and stylish and outrageous. They were different just like me. And I imagined being anything I wanted.
And then it clicked… I was going to wear glitter on my eyelids, smear black lipstick on my lips, and place tiaras on top of my hijab.
Why? Because I was expressing myself and it made me happy.
Others didn’t feel the same way.
“Take that dark lipstick off your face,” Mom told me.
“Why black polish? Why not red?” Another asked.
“Why wear makeup, you already have such pretty skin,” someone commented.
“You look like a clown,” a family member said.
I was obsessed with the Spice Girls, so I bought several pairs of those chunky flip flops. I was into Gwen Stefani from No Doubt and started wearing black nail polish and fingerless lace gloves. Then I went through the goth phase. Everything was pitch black.
I got made fun of for dressing crazy, wearing makeup, being outspoken, being fat, having big feet, pointy teeth, wearing colorful hijabs, covering my body… Blah, blah.
The funny thing about it, I never allowed other people’s criticisms to stop me from dressing the way I wanted or affected how I carried myself. Because it was my body and I loved the expression that makeup and clothes could prompt. I wasn’t the same as the other girls, and that was fine with me.
It’s ironic, because now, I’m the trendsetter and style blogger. People ask my fat, Black Muslim self where do I get my clothes from. They ask me for fashion advice.
Although, it’s a sad thought to think what would’ve happened if I listened to those friends who made fun of my appearance and ensembles.
I wouldn’t be Leah V. I’d be some cardboard cutout. Exactly the same as the rest. Just falling in that straight and narrow line of lameness…
Beyonce said it best: “Tell him boy, bye!”
Keep being your crazy, odd dressing, thin or plump self. Don’t let others dictate how you should or shouldn’t dress. Or that you need or don’t need makeup. Tell them it’s YOUR BODY and you can do with it as you please!
I used to be the kind of style blogger who didn’t speak on issues out of fear of the repercussions of what ‘others’ might say. I was a ‘style’ blogger; no one wanted to hear what I had to say when it came to politics or religion. I should’ve been talking about the newest matte lippie or what I was wearing that weekend.
With age and wisdom, and basically not giving a fuck, I came to the conclusion that I had become like all the other bloggers. I was a fashionable shell. I had thoughts and worries about the world we lived in, but I never spoke on it. I kept quiet even though the issues myself and my people faced were reality.
In January, I took my social media and blog up a few notches. I rebranded myself as an anything-goes-blogger. Whatever came to my mind about feminism or self-image or blatant racism, I was going to speak about it while adding bomb ass photos to the mix.
In Detroit, there’s this amazing Black Lives Matter wall near Midtown that popped up last year after the string of police killings of unarmed Black males. Black Lives Matter is written hundreds of times in white letters and in different sizes.
While standing in front of this powerful wall of words, I found it to be the perfect moment to throw my fist in the air in support of #BlackLivesMatter. It was the fist that many of us stick up when we are trying to make a statement.
When we are trying to push for equality. When we are telling the world that Black Lives Do In Fact Matter!
I went home and looked over the pictures that Danni took and the one with my fist planted in the air was the perfect photo to post on Instagram and Facebook. I added a caption as well about us as a whole making so many strides towards equality but taking so many steps back simultaneously with the whole racial divide happening all over the world.
I posted it and for the most part a lot of different races were feeling the picture and throwing their fist emojis up. I had a few haters that I had to delete the comments of and block since they wanted to troll my page.
The next day, a popular body positive page reposted the picture with the original caption. It got a lot of hits. Lots of supportive people said that we needed to do better as a country and they were in full support of the message. Then one troll replied: “Blue Lives Matter…”
After that all the internet trolls flooded in with comments like what about Black on Black crime? And someone even said, “White Lives Matter!”
Then people started arguing under the photo. How does one photo of an African-American Muslim blogger standing behind a Black Lives Matter wall start all this ruckus?
Why are people so turned off my support of #BlackLivesMatter? How many times do people have to say that this movement has nothing to do with Black supremacy?
Listen…in case you didn’t get the memo, it has nothing to do with us being better than anyone or being wronged more than another race. We are dealing with the issues at hand. Period. And if someone standing up for themselves or for humanity bothers you, then you need to check yourself, and not some hashtag or movement!
EVERYONE deserves freedom of speech. Freedom to walk the streets without being harassed by a cop. EVERYONE deserves to live life that isn’t in constant danger. EVERYONE deserves to be free.
I am Black. I am a woman. I am a Muslim. I am a triple minority. So I get it. Trust me. I have been picked over and belittled and mistreated because one or all three of the above. A lot of us have.
What I want for you, the reader, to get from this piece is that every movement isn’t a personal attack on your culture or religion. It isn’t an attack on cops or White people. It is a movement like all others to boost awareness, to help make a change in an unequal system, and to hopefully one day live in harmony amongst one another.
*Originally posted on Muslimgirl.com*
This is my 2nd year being asked by Naturally Flyy Detroit to run not one—but two ‘Headwrap’ workshops at their annual Naturally Flyy Detroit Presents: A Natural Hair Experience.
I’ve always seen Etta and Jenn (the founders of Naturally Flyy Detroit) around the city at different cool events and their aura, their energy is none less than can be described as pure radiance. They’re the kind of Black, Amazonian queens that you just have to meet in person to bask in their sisterly glory.
So when they asked me to participate, I said ‘yes’ on the spot.
I get asked to endorse a lot of the things. But I think in these days and times, it’s important to ‘believe’ in what you’re endorsing. And as you gals (and guys) know, I have to believe in what I endorse. It’s gotta have that ‘umph’ factor that I’m looking for when collaborating with anyone, really.
Why I rock with the Naturally Flyy Movement? Well, it’s a dope and unapologetic movement for not just Black women, but ALL women to be just as Flyy as they want to be, in whatever shape or form.
In the age of everything is cut, snipped, and lightened, we ARE hungry for change and enlightenment.
And they bring it.
There’s this old-school notion that sistahs can’t get together to support one another. And at one point, I believed it. It was always that one (or in my case, many) Black females who didn’t ‘like’ me or thought I was ‘doing too much’ because I’m confident in who I am and could care less about the thoughts of others.
They believed I should’ve conformed to the normalcy which is society.
When my friend and I were invited to the 1st Naturally Flyy event, all that changed. As I walked through the very crowded corridors of Java City with my huge colorful turban on, I got smiling faces and bright eyes.
They screamed, ‘Yaaaaassss, queen,” “Lookin good, girl,” and “Tell me how you wrapped that turban!”
And They embraced me with hugs and kisses. Love.
That is #BlackGirlMagic people.
Uplifting. Encouraging. Smiling at another beautiful queen.
Naturally Flyy just isn’t a natural hair movement. Oh, it is SO much more. It’s an open forum, it’s a community, and it’s love.
They embody empowerment, female entrepreneurship, and sisterhood.
Keep on rockin’ Etta and Jenn.
The world needs more people like yall in it.
Let's talk about these accessories for a moment. The bracelets and earrings are courtesy of Trois Soeurs : Three Sisters a socially conscious brand working with artisans in West Africa & funding tutors for kids in need. www.troissoeurs.org/shop-1/natural-coconut-earrings
Check them out! They have some dope pieces for modest prices and I will be doing a giveaway with them soon.
Turban: Flossy's Suitcase
Shades: Alley & Eye
Jumpsuit and Vest: Target
Shirt: Forever 21
My blog has always--and will always--be a 'body inclusive" blog. I don't discriminate. And nor should you. All bodies are amazing bodies. Idgaf who says otherwise. But I want to talk to my big girls (and guys) for a hot second.
Over the weekend, I posted this photo. Check out the caption. Extra. I know. Lol.
I'm getting old. I'm going through some shit in life. OK. So I saw this photo in my archives. It was an awesome moment. A moment of carefreeness. When in reality, at that very moment that I posted it, I felt like the ugliest person on the planet. I didn't feel like getting out the bed, seeing anyone's face, or 'talking' about the issues at hand. So, I took it to Instagram. I decided that maybe all the angst I had built up could be channeled into something more positive and helpful to the world. The picture ended up going semi-viral. I got tons of shares, likes (more than I ever had before), and lots and lots of positive comments.
Nope. No fat-shaming occurred...yet. LOL.
A lot of the comments were from women from all around the world praising me for doing something that I find easy and take for granted. But they didn't know that I was in bed feeling so eh! In retrospect, I find it incredibly simple to find clothes that fit, grab a photographer, beat my face, and pose. Even on my bad days. I find it easy to post my pictures, use all the right hashtags, and create a bomb caption. It's nuffin!
The eye opening comment was from a woman who basically said that in her country if you were bigger there weren't any clothes that fit, let alone did large women ever consider modeling.
And there I was in bed sulking. I was taken aback by her words. And all the other comments of women (of all sizes) just reaching out and telling me that I gave them a little hope and confidence to get out there and try something new. Even if I felt like crap, I was perked up by the love and support. They even trusted me enough to share their stories. A strange blogger from Detroit.
A lot of us take for granted the small things, the things we think are easy for us. To someone, confidence isn't an issue. Yet half way across the world (or right next door) is someone struggling to hold their head up and look at themselves in the mirror. We never know what someone is feeling by what they post on the internet or, even, from what they say. Sometimes, the pain is buried so deep that it's hard to express.
What I'm saying is that we have to do better by one another. Stop judging a book by it's cover. Because that's not always accurate. It doesn't matter where we come from or what we look like. This isn't a popularity contest or whose the best looking or whose got more followers. This is real life. What we say, how we treat others, and what we type matters. And someone else is looking and searching for that someone who's going to bring them back up. The feeling of helping someone else, inspiring someone else, is enough pleasure for me. And, frankly, they got me out of my funk. When I read those comments, it's like wow, they really did that. And I got to put a little sparkle in their eyes, too. We kinda helped each other without even knowing it. This is where my enjoyment from blogging and social media comes from: The people. The interaction and sharing of information.
I really want to encourage you to inspire someone else--in person or through social media. However you do it, I don't care. Just do it! But the goal for this week is to uplift someone. Because you never know who needs it.
Oh, how I love makeup. I just went to Sephora yesterday and almost had a heart attack because all of the pretty colors and lippie samples. I touched and sampled...everything. It's been a tough ass week. And I deserved it. Spending money that I don't really have. But guess what?! Don't judge me.
So I want to chat about skin and makeup application and my regimen for my caramel complexion. In these sets of photos my MUA, Madinah M., gave me a natural, everyday look. And everything that I know about cosmetics comes from her. So pay attention:
If you don't have eyebrows like me, lol, then you'll have to fill those bad boys in with a pencil. I suggest using shades of brown depending on your complexion. I use Wet'n'Wild in dark brown. Black pencils are waaaaaay too harsh. Don't do it! After you fill them in, use a spoolie (basically, a clean mascara wand) to blend.
After the brows you can do a simple wing line. And there's really no simple way to do a wing line. I'm still struggling. But there are many, many makeup tutorials on YouTube that will help ya out. I like to use the eyeliner pen with the felt tip by Stila. Better precision. Plus perfection takes practice, people! So if you end up looking like a raccoon, at least you can say you tried. Tip: less is always more. Haha
Next, you can do some false lashes if your feeling pizzazz-y.
Get some foundation. I like Estee Lauder Double-Wear Liquid Foundation. It's nice and sheer. Not too much for a natural makeup look. I dab it all over my face in dots then use this soft synthetic foundation brush to blend the shit out of it.
Please. Please. Get the right color foundation. Don't be out here with an ashy lookin' face. Don't know your correct color? Try at least three different shades. The one that blends into your skin seamlessly is the right color. The ones that look ashy is too light and the ones that make you look several shades darker than your real skin tone is too dark.
Apply a little blush. You'll need two soft, angled brushes. One for the light one and one for the dark one (M.A.C.). The peach toned blush (Klean Colour), I placed on top and then the darker one, I placed on the bottom (for a little contour action). Stroke at an angle, blending towards your side burn.
Apply some gloss or a matte cream lippie. The nude gloss I'm wearing is Milani Bare Secret.
I take quite a bit of selfies. You have to take at least 10 pictures to get that perfect one with the right light and angle. I love taking them, especially when I get my face beat. The excitement is real. Too real. Most of the time, I take mine outside or on the way to an event. Usually, people are around. Now, mind you, I don't really pay attention to people who glance or even shoot me a little smile and then goes back to their business, but it's the haters that stand there and grimace and stare the entire time I'm doing it.
Umm, ahem. *Clears throat* Do you mind? A little privacy while I capture this moment of contoured elation.
There was this one time, I was taking selfies at a networking event with some friends. On each floor, we took pictures because the light said NOT TODAY! There was this couple who was watching us the whole time. You know me, I'm a nice lady, but I keep it moving. On the last floor, their hate finally erupted. "Are you guys gonna take selfies on every floor?"
I've had four years of therapy to get my mind and mouth right...after I snapped out of all types of angry Black woman stereotypes, I finally gave an acceptable answer. I smiled then said, "Yes, we are."
What I really wanted to say was the following: Why you all up in mine? Mind yo bizness! And lastly, why are you so bothered?!?!
So I threw up the deuces and continued with life.
But this isn't the first time that I've taken pictures of selfies in public and got weird stares. I'd really like to know, why are these people so bothered with what I'm doing? I'm not carrying an ax or performing street tricks, I'm either modeling or taking a picture of myself at a moment where I feel good and confident. And I want to share that moment with other people, or my friends, or keep it tucked away for myself on those low days. The days when I need reminding that I AM beautiful, no matter what.
I believe that some are angry at the things that they themselves won't allow themselves to do. So when they see me taking selfies, being unapologetic about the way I look and feel, it angers them. I also think that some people feel like taking selfies is for the vain and arrogant. Now, I can't speak for others, but that's definitely not the case for me.
Selfies are supposed to be empowering. Not this evil act that people do to annoy others. I've had a few people who never took selfies before in their life take some and tag me. What I saw were bigger smiles, chins lifted higher, and that slick glow of confidence that I live for. What's so wrong about that? Want us to walk around like unfabulous zombies? Nah. Aint happening this way.
And this isn't just a selfie thing, it's an epidemic of people being uncomfortable with you owning it: your life, your circle, and yourself. Yes, I'm fat and I look damn good and sometimes I don't, but most of the time I do! Haha.
I have the right to be confident in my skin and in my clothes. I can strut whenever I want. I can speak with authority if I want. No, I don't think I'm better than you or anyone else, but I make decisions for me that are going to make me happy (including selfies!!!). And if you don't like it then that, my friend, is a personal problem. And I hope that you can get some help for that.
Yonce' says it better. "I ain't sorry. N****, Hell nah!"
Let's keep the conversation going: How do you feel about selfies? Yay or nay?
And don't forget to follow my fashion shenanigans on IG @Lvernon2000 or on Snapchat @ LeahVDaily