Not sure who told everyone that seeing the new Tupac biopic “All Eyez on Me” was law, but I need everyone to calm all the way down. I had a few discussions regarding choosing not to to go see the movie, and it seemed everybody with a lil bit of melanin seems to be bothered by that decision.

Understand that although Tupac was a great rapper and well known celebrity, being black doesn’t automatically make everyone a stan for him. I like Tupac’s music and have watched many documentaries/interviews on him over the years. However, I’m just not excited to see a movie about him. Not being excited about the movie doesnt make me a hater. It simply makes me indifferent.

The other reason I am choosing not to see the movie is because I haven’t heard hardly any good reviews about the movie. I don’t put much weight into other people’s opinions of a movie normally because I know everyone’s experience is different. However, if I’m already indifferent towards the movie in question, seeing constant negative reviews of said movie will only solidify that for me.

Last but not least, I have never been a huge fan of biopics that aren’t approved or appreciated by close friends and family members of the deceased person in question. I didn’t watch Aaliyah’s last year either for that very reason. I feel that some lines shouldn’t be crossed and find it disrespectful to biopics with such large amounts of drama without the approval of people who knew them the best. Yeah I know sometimes friends and family want to fluff things out and paint a cleaner image sometimes, but I just feel they should be involved to a certain extent, or at least approving of it. Apparently Tupac’s mother did not approve this when it was in talks before she passed, and according to this post, Jada Pinkett-Smith didn’t care for it either.

Understand that not everyone is going to feel the same as you may feel about particular celebrities. I’m pretty sure many of the people that stan for Tupac don’t stan for Michael Jackson and Beyoncé as I do. But guess what? We can all respect each other’s decisions and preferences anyway, right?

 

So the actor/author Hill Harper recently revealed that he adopted a son 18 months ago, and I’m so here for every bit of that! He talked about how a friend talked him into it knowing that he wanted kids eventually, and I think that was probably the greatest advice he could have ever received. It’s not everyday you hear about single black men deciding to adopt children, and it’s a topic that should be brought up more when discussing parenting.

Harper said “I always thought I was going to get married, have my own kids and I was going to adopt.I had talked about adopting and I had talked about wanting to be this dad, and she said, ‘You’re going to be a great dad but I think you’re waiting too long. You may get to a point where you’ll decide you’re not going to do it. Even though you’re not married, why can’t you just be a dad now?’

Harper was able to even be there in the delivery room on the day of his son’s birth to cut the umbilical cord. How beautiful is that! That had to be exciting, an experience I’m sure he’ll remember forever.

“I actually went from the set of ‘All Eyez on Me,” flew to where she was giving birth and I was there in the delivery room and I cut the cord,” he said.

With so many negative opinions floating around about fathers (particularly black fathers), it’s truly a breath of fresh air to read about a single man choosing to take on parenthood all by himself, just as many single mothers tend to experience. His actions are a great example that you don’t have to sit around waiting for marriage, be involved in a toxic relationship, or be able to have a baby yourself in order to still raise and love a child. There are plenty of children out there, from newborns to teenagers, that deserve a loving home and support system that they may not have.

“Every day you’re making a different set of decisions that you feel impact the future of this wonderful person,” he said. “That’s a challenge. It’s a beautiful challenge but it’s a challenge.”

We definitely need more positive stories such as this   promoted in the media, as it is a great motivator and inspiration for those considering adoption, or those just simply needing to see that doing it by yourself is totally okay. Don’t be afraid to go it alone if you have to, or if you feel you still want to raise a child while single, in case you feel a relationship or marriage is nowhere in sight.

Kudos to Hill Harper for being a great example of healthy single parenting! Aren’t they just too cute?!

Let’s take a minute and talk about hair….black women’s hair to be specific. Having the most versatile hair on the planet, we style and profile in some of the best and creative ways imaginable! Whether natural, weaved up, or caught up in the rapture of the creamy crack (also known as perm), it’s safe to say we are pretty much killing the hair game! But somewhere along the line, businesses such as Victoria’s Secret and ASOS  must have gotten together and said a collective “Not today”.

Zuri Tibby, a beautiful model from Florida, who is known for slaying the hell out of photoshoots, was recently the hot topic in the black hair world, as she was spotted modeling for Victoria’s Secret and ASOS websites with hair looking like she was fresh off the merry go round and monkey bars from the elementary school playground. Y’all know that look where you played a little too rough with the boys, or it was a little too windy outside so you plaited your hair so it would stop blowing in your face.

I don’t want to blame this look on Zuri because with all her beautiful, well put together photoshoot looks she normally does, I refuse to believe she chose to be on somebody’s website looking fresh out of damns to give. I just refuse to believe she actually chose to sport that post swimming hair look. What I’m willing to bet is that someone that does hair for VS and ASOS photoshoots clearly decided on those days that they would pretend they know how to do black hair to still get their coins.

I need ASOS and Victoria’s Secret folks to understand that the wind blown messy beach hair style doesn’t work for everybody. I need them to understand that our edges need some respect on their name. I need them to understand that they need to put just as much effort and fierceness into a black model’s hair as they do their models of other races. I need them to understand that if they don’t really know how to work with a certain hair texture they shouldn’t attempt it, and put the tragic results all online like this. Zuri Tibby probably would’ve been better off slaying her own hair on those days because the stylists clearly didn’t put much effort toward her look at all. Don’t get me wrong. Let the record show that I think Zuri Tibby is beautiful, and always does great shoots. She is an awesome model, and she is not the issue. I just need ASOS and Victoria’s Secret to understand they got Zuri Tibby all f*cked up.

So I’ve been checking out a lot of different meal plans to try out, in order to change my horrible eating habits. One that keeps popping up in my searches, as well as all over my Facebook timeline, is the Whole 30 program. So since it seems to be pretty popular and everyone seems to be extremely pleased with their results after trying the program, I decided to go look up the details of this program.

My first thought was ” Watch …this whole 30 madness is gonna be about eating grass, an egg, and only drinking water”. I admit that I’m very pessimistic about most diet plans and healthy food challenges. I don’t usually find them enjoyable, and have a history of trying them and quitting them fairly early. I’m trying to do better though. I’m 33 years old now. My love of medium rare steak, Mexican food, and frequenting fast food places has to be placed under control so that it doesn’t start catching up to me in a horrible way.

So back to this Whole 30 thing. I wasn’t extremely far off with my description, because they clearly don’t want you to eat a lot of the things I absolutely love (major side eye inserted here), but once again that’s my pessimistic diet plan voice speaking out. Here’s a description of all the things you CAN’T eat.

Sugar and dairy are definitely two of my weak spots when it comes to healthy eating because I love candy, and I love,love,LOVE cheese. Immediately I saw this list and got discouraged. My “hell no” antenna went up in record time. Then I decided to at least give it a full chance to read what you CAN eat, instead of shutting down due to what the restrictions are. So I gave myself the time to read the Do’s after the Dont’s so that I could prepare to give an informed, slow no instead of a fast one. Damnit, there goes the pessimistic side speaking again. I’m a work in progress.

The list of what you can eat actually surprised me. I was extremely happy that the diet gods didn’t take meat and fruit out of the meal choices. That instantly made me feel like this whole 30 challenge could actually be doable for me. So here I am, debating on whether I will give this a go.

Some things that I will have to take into major consideration are my caffeine addiction, love of soda, Starbucks addiction, and flavored water. It’s going to be very hard to remove these things from my diet, so I will definitely have to plan out some great, effective substitutes. Back in the day, alcohol would’ve been an issue, but I don’t drink nearly as much as I used to these days.

I’m kinda interested in trying this out to test my discipline and willpower. I definitely feel if I can get through 30 days of this, then I can possibly make some healthy food lifestyle changes that will greatly benefit me. Should I give it a go? We shall see…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the drawn out, beginning of the end of bite-size rapper T.I. and singer/reality star Tiny’s marriage. This heartbreaking deterioration of their relationship is being played out publicly, both in social media, as well as their reality tv show “Family Hustle”, and it’s very difficult to watch. Watching one of hip hop’s favorite couples fall apart has a lot of fans extremely disappointed. However, with every experience comes lessons we can take with us in moving forward. Here are a few lessons that stand out to me in this relationship/marital drama.

When your partner shows you who they are…believe them.

Maya Angelou  spoke it best with her famous quote “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”. Sure, you have the good qualities that make you fall in love with your partner, but it’s important to pay just as much attention to the red flags that pop up. Anyone that keeps up with T.I. And Tiny’s tumultuous relationship can see that there were obvious long-term cheating and control issues. It’s much easier to remove yourself from a toxic relationship in the beginning when you first notice the unhealthy habits, as opposed to once you’re deeply invested or in love.

If someone is showing you that they have cheating and controlling ways, do yourself a favor and avoid getting seriously involved, or involved at all. Knowing those things about someone and getting involved with them anyway is basically signing yourself up for heartbreak and dysfunction.

If he says your marriage or a relationship is a “distraction”, it was probably never a top priority.

T.I. recently did an interview where he called his marriage to Tiny a “distraction”, a slap in the face that stung women everywhere. What’s crazy is that T.I. actually saw nothing wrong with that disrespectful statement, even when Tiny tried to explain why it wasn’t okay. In life we have priorities, things that are very significant to us. Most people hold marriage as one of those things once they make that major step.

The priorities we choose then become our focus. A priority cannot be a distraction. If someone makes you feel that their relationship with you is an inconvenience or a distraction, it’s clear you’re not very high on their priority list. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel that you’re an obstacle to their happiness or success. And if they do, don’t be afraid to remove yourself so that they no longer have that excuse to fall back on.

Being the “main chick” is not winning.

It’s a debate people have had for ages. The wife or girlfriend thinks that she’s “winning” because she has the title and all the benefits, and the other woman (or women) feel they’re “winning” because they get the benefits without having to commit and be the one getting cheated on. The truth is…the only winner in a love triangle is the guy playing the heck out of all the women involved, because he’s getting the best of both worlds with little to no consequences.

There’s nothing to be proud of  while being someone’s “main” woman, because that simply means that there are other women in the picture. Accepting and claiming the “main” position is acknowledging that your man or husband cheats, and that you’re willing to accept that as long as you’re in the top spot. There’s no “winning” in that. You’re simply sharing your man/husband and lowering yourself to take “L’s” with the side chicks who are used to taking them.

Entertaining the other woman publicly is a waste of time and loss of power.

Although many may not admit it,  we know how it feels when the other woman is discovered, and what’s even worse is when she decides to begin making it known or deliberately being disrespectful. The first thought is to want to put her in her place, but the truth is she should be the least of your worries. The problem is your man/husband that gave her the position to fill in the first place.

Dont waste time arguing back and forth or stepping out of character to retaliate against a woman that obviously has no respect for herself  as it is. Don’t hand over your power by allowing her behavior to tap into your emotions and cause a reaction. If you feel you absolutely have to talk to her, do so in a mature and private manner, never publicly. When you take your relationship drama public, that only makes things much worse by making the other woman feel empowered, and by making you appear foolish. Don’t give the other woman any more attention than she deserves, and don’t give the world a front row seat to all your relationship issues.

Love yourself, before and above all else.

When you truly learn to love all that you are, and understand how valuable you are, you begin to settle a lot less. You begin to tolerate less mistreatment and surround yourself with those that know your worth also. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting love and someone by our side that we neglect ourselves to get and maintain that. A lack of true self love is the reason many people are involved in unhealthy/toxic relationships today. You have to remember that self love has to successfully exist before you can truly maintain a successful relationship with anyone else.

Love doesn’t hurt or make you compromise your values/morals.

You may read all the memes online that give you the idea that you have to go through storms and pains before can experience happiness, but that’s completely misleading. Love doesn’t make you feel like crap, or break you. It’s not supposed to be a game of pain and pleasure. It’s not manipulation, control, or convincing yourself that adding another partner into the equation will make everything okay or improve things. Never allow anyone to make you feel that compromising your values or morals is showing love and loyalty. And never allow anyone to make you feel that you have to add someone to your bedroom activities like you aren’t enough for them intimately.

Investment doesn’t guarantee obligation.

If you’ve followed Tiny and T.I. for a long time, you know that Tiny was famous when T.I. was just an up and coming artist, and she played a large part financially in helping him to become the popular rapper we know today. Tiny invested in her partner, even setting her own endeavors aside to help build her man’s career and lifestyle, something that she continued  to do well into the marriage holding him down as a true “ride or die” partner. However, she was still cheated on, disrespected, and the marriage is still on the way to being over.

It doesn’t matter how much time or money you invest in a person. If that person is not as emotionally invested in you, no amount of sacrifice or financial support will make them remain if they don’t want to. And even if they do remain for those benefits, they’re not going to necessarily feel obligated to be faithful simply because you’ve financed them. This is a growing problem these days because there is a drastic increase in women that are financing men, trying to buy love and time in order to have someone by their side, while opportunistic men are taking advantage of this “sponsoring” and moving on when they’re able to find someone else to conveniently use.

History does not equal healthy.

Its difficult to imagine starting over with someone new when you’ve been with someone for years. Many hang on to  toxic relationships due to history, and the hope that things will change for the better, or,at the least, that they will go back to the happier times once had.  The trouble with allowing history to be the reason you stay is  that most toxic partners see this weakness and use it as a green light to continue disrespecting the relationship. They know that you’re desperate to hang on, and they see that there’s no real consequences for their behavior. Don’t let the thought of how long you’ve been involved with someone blind you to how much you’ve been through or how much you’ve been hurt by this person. Always choose healthy over history when deciding if your relationship or marriage is good for you. Having a “ride or die” title in a toxic relationship is simply saying you’re willing to settle for whatever treatment you get, for as long as you need to. You get nothing but heartache hanging on to what hurts you for the sake of it being long term.