#ESSENCEINTERVIEWS 1

Hey Readers!

So I’m back with something exciting and new, since September I’ve been pondering on this new segment called ESSENCE INTERVIEWS, where I interview successful people on tips to do with motivation and their journey to get to where they are now. It wasn’t until the beginning of October that I put this plan into action, and by the beginning of November, this planned was birthed into reality !

So I start off this segment with a very dear friend of mine, someone I’ve known since I was like 4 years old and someone who inspires me more than ever- Desiree Henry. Desiree is a British sprinter from North London who competes in the 100 and 200 meters races. So far she’s acquired an amazing bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and a silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay in the World Athletic Championships in 2017. Amongst these many achievements, she is an Adidas ambassador and lover of photography ! It was such an honour to catch up with her since I haven’t seen her for over 7, maybe more years ! I’m glad that I got the chance to start off my new segment with her, and I look forward to continuing with this with more great people to interview! Check out the interview here :

  • So Desiree, how did you know you had a passion for athletics ?

    I feel that my passion for athletics began when I attended multiple competitions and just found that I was winning ! Of course everyone wants to be the best, everyone likes to win and feel successful and have their moment, and after winning a few races, I just wanted to do everything in my power to maintain this and be successful, become an athlete and be successful at it, so I believe my passion started from there.

  • Do you feel pressure to stand out amongst thousands of athletes that are around the same age as you, if so, how do you deal with this pressure?

    Most definitely , in terms of the pressure I have to realise that, yes athletics is an individual sport, and the competitiveness is extremely high in the UK, but I think what puts things into perspective is when I went to America, and found that not only are there girls my age running just as fast as me, working just as hard as me, but it was the numbers. I’m sure that there are 100 girls that could do what I do, and that could knock peoples confidence. But that could make me think how am I going to make myself feel even more special, I just think to myself my drive is completely different to their drive, it’s just remembering who I am, remembering the work I have put throughout the years and not discrediting it and just giving myself a pat on the back and realising that all my efforts haven’t been for nothing, and I’m going to be successful regardless, even if it means I’m my own cheerleader you could say.

  • What is your favourite thing about being an athlete ?

    Hmm, my favourite thing about being an athlete would definitely be the travelling aspect of it, being an athlete has opened up my eyes to so many cultural experiences, and not only cultural experiences but being able to experience it through travelling and going to different countries, a big thing for me when I started off being young, was travelling around the UK. I thought that was the greatest thing, but now athletics has brought me to places such as South Africa, China, The Bahamas, America etc. It’s just incredible that I’ve had these opportunities to go to these places ,so that’s not only comepetition experiences but life experiences, that have been amazing and have been able to achieve through athletics.

  • Do you feel that the sporting community is lacking in black females, form diverse areas e.g London ?

    To an extent, yes. I am lucky in the sense of  the generation of sprinters we have are top female sprinters , that are London sprinters, so I feel like we have the representation there. Of course we have to think about the future, what are the future generation looking like for upcoming sprinters ? and I wouldn’t say a lot of them are from London, but I think we are lucky for the support and for me to do my job which is to represent London the best I can, even if that means winning a medal. Just giving the younger generation, hope and a future. Then I would also look at a wider scale, London is partially represented in out sport, but on the grand scale, are black women represented in sport in general ? If it just means that I can do my role and get my face out there as much as I can, then I’m doing a great thing, we are on the right path of having well represented black female athlete.

  • What makes you gain confidence in times of anxiety, for example when you have a huge race coming up or a big interview etc ?

    Well for me, when it comes to races, I’m at the stage where I’m running against my heroes, my idols and all that kind of stuff. It’s really easy to crumble and get sucked in and forget all he hard work you’ve put in, but now I’ve been able to train my brain, that when I’m standing there on the line, those days of sweat,blood and tears that I’ve put in at training, it’s going to be for a reason. This is the moment that it’s all been worth it for, and I think it only takes me a few seconds to simply realise that and once I believe that all the work that I’ve put in has been worth it, and all the work is going to help me with my performances, I just feel unstoppable! I can look to my left and to my right and be like ” right, let’s go, bring it on!” because I’m confident in my work.

  • In terms of motivation, what would you tell your younger self ?

    I would tell my younger self, the hard work that you’re putting in right now, maintain it. It’s going to define you as a character and separate you from not just being an average sprinter but being one of the best in the world and a world class British athlete, so I would commend myself on that, on my perseverance and determination. I would also say- enjoy the journey ! You are going to experience a lot and in experiencing alot, take a moment to just appreciate every single opportunity. Whether that’s going to a new country and racing there- take a moment to walk around and explore the country because another thing is, you’re gonna travel the world a lot, but just make sure you get the real experience and not just see the tracks, the hotels and repeat that cycle but try and get that experience in. 

  • What would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and gain exposure for their career e.g boosting themselves on social media ?

    I would start to think how can I help myself, and I would start with things such as charity events. That way you are doing a selfless act, something that is not going to bring financial gain out of it but to gain experience and communicate with people, that could be an amazing thing. So by charity events, this could be giving away old clothes or speaking at schools etc. Because it ultimately helps you to build your own character and it gets you think to think from another perspective, so if you’re going to a school and you are going to speak to people from another generation, if you’re an individual or an athlete, everyone has had life experiences, and everyone can learn from a moment and if you can share those experiences and what you’ve learnt to to a younger generation, again through that you have done a selfless act- share it on social media! It’s not a problem at all. And yes people can say, “oh well, you’re only doing it for social media clout” but also you did something amazing, you took time out of your day, not getting paid by it, but taking time to help others, I feel like that is a  major important thing. It’s important to build yourself first, build your own self confidence and to get to a place where, you don’t feel as well that you need outsiders to tell you are great or amazing, but simply spending time and building on your own self confidence it the best thing. 

  • And girlllll, I need some fitness tips so, what are the essential/starter-kit basic things to getting that body in shape

    Right, we are getting right in there ! When we say “fit body” people have to remember, it is not going to happen overnight. If you are going to the gym, I’m telling you don’t look in the mirror the next day, thinking you’ve made an improvement – because you haven’t. But this shouldn’t discourage you, but I think the number one thing is – brace yourselves- CARBS !
    As much as we love our rice, bread, pasta etc, that is the number one thing I would reduce on my list. I personally don’t have any carbs, but for someone that isn’t an athlete and they are doing their day to day things, I would reduce the amount. By this I mean having 1-2 carb dishes a week, eventually progressing to having no carbs at all. I tell you that is where a lot of fat comes from.
    Tip number 2 – everyone loves a good ab circuit workout. and if you can implement at least three ab workouts a week, roughly 10 exercises for each of them =, I feel like that’s an amazing foundation for you, just to introduce exercises into your body. Nothing too strenuous, something easy, maybe if you are watching a Netflix show or just chilling, something that is not taking major time or is taking out time from your busy day. I believe those two, would be my top 2 things, if you want to start your journey to a healthy and fitter lifestyle.

  • Any lasting things you would like to say..

    I used this quote the other day “dreams don’t work unless you do” and this can be applied in every aspect of your life. How I relate that to me- if I don’t go to training, if I don’t put in the work and effort, how am I going to be successful ? You or anyone else can apply that by making sure your going to lectures, going to seminars guarantees you graduating or getting the grade that you want, whether your a teacher or something, going to work inspires the next generation and helps them too. So that has been my quote for the day, – ” dreams don’t work, unless you do.” 

So that’s the first post of this new segment completed ! I’m so excited for starting this and can’t wait to see what come out of this. I would like to thank Desiree for contributing to this and you can find her on :

Instagram : desiree_lh
Twitter: @DesireeLHenry
Facebook: Desireehenryfanpage
Youtube: Desiree Henry

Thanks for reading !

 

 

 

When Faith comes to an all time low…

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Hey Readers !

I feel as if I haven’t spoken about my Christian journey on here in a long time, I’ve been blogging about other topics apart from my journey with Christ, and I guess the reason behind this post is a great way to get back into doing so.

Unfortunately I haven’t been in the greatest state of mind when it comes to my relationship with Christ. Who knew that behind me sharing motivational scriptures on my IG stories or writing about topics that are fun and enthusiastic, there was a girl sitting behind a screen suffering from a mixture of emotions and uncertainty with God?

Long story short, I had suffered two major disappointments in the past week and a half, mainly to do with my education. I had cried, strayed away from God and doubted he had even listened to my prayers. The fact that I had to wake up the next day and walk into university, engage in conversation with people with a wide smile on my face was the most daunting part of it all. It was hard.

I really believed that my prayers were answered and that God was going to pull through for me. So when I was hit with the disappointments, I was really angry with God, I questioned him with all sorts of things- “God why didn’t you answer my prayer” “Did I do something wrong, is this a punishment or something ?” “Surely the things I ask for would have brought great joy and glory to you, so why did you deny them? ” and I was just left confused.

The ironic thing was, immedialtey when I had discovered the disappointment, the first thing I did was to go on my laptop, play a worship song, fall on my knees and cry out to him. THAT’S WHAT MADE ME PAUSE. After drying my face from the black spectacles left from my mascara ( typical of me to not buy waterproof ey? ) I turned off the music, and just sat in silence for a while.

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I realised that whatever trial I go through, God always pulls me back towards him. The minute I have an unanswered prayer, or things are just turning out for the worse I immediately call out to him. Isn’t it strange that the person I would expect myself to be the most angry at is the one I am driving towards as my immediate help and guider? This my friends is the ultimate and indescribable power of God. Just face it, once you’ve given your life solely to God, there’s no turning back- he has you in his grasp until the very end. That’s why in any situation you may come across- think of the first thing you turn to…

Yes you may turn towards friends, and family for support, But when you lay in bed thinking about those things, those thoughts go directly towards God. It’s taken social media and a good church service today to make me realise that God listens to us when we pray. Social media because I just happened to come across a SnapChat post by a friend, sharing her thoughts on God putting us through tough trials and seasons for a reason and then from the church sermon, I learnt that God simply listens to us when we pray- it just might not be the answer we were expecting.

In the meantime, I’ve started a new Bible plan titled ” What Hinders Answers To Prayer” and it’s going well so far, given me all the answers I need. So hopefully I will completely overcome this overbearing hurt that I am feeling.

I decided to share this post because to whoever is reading, I know you’ve been in my position before. Even if you are not religious, you’ve wanted something so bad and it just never happens… I anticipate that once you read this post, you will find some kind of encouragement and motivation from this, so I leave you with some quotes that have uplifted my spirit :

Verses to lift you up whilst in disappointment:

Philippians 4:6 : Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God

John 16:33 : I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace . In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world

Psalm 46:10: He says ” Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”

Psalm 55:22: Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Remain Blessed x

Social Media : What’s the limit to Influencing ?

I was having a discussion the other day with a close church friend and we were discussing social media and the role of influencers. How much they influence, how much we should be influenced by them, the roles they play in our lives and how we let them dictate living our lives daily.

Before I write any more, I’m going off the definition of an influencer being:

A person who has achieved a high status/credibility on social media platforms, and can use this to change people’s mindsets, activity and beliefs by their words or by their actions themselves. 

yeah, hope that makes sense 🙂

As we are going into 2019, it is no surprise that people of a younger demographic all have a smartphone and have access to at least one social media account. Whether it be Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr etc. here you can find millions of social media influencers who have made it a living to become an influencer through working with brands and organisations that mainly gain income through promoting their products. Asides from that, they have the power and the means to create an instant following by starting off trends and wearing the latest clothing and designs. Hey, if the hottest influencer out there is rocking a new pair of jeans or a new pair of earrings, wouldn’t you want to do the same too ?

I myself have a fair share of subscriptions on YouTube that I watch and look up to. Either because they have some amazing style, offer great tips on makeup or beauty. Or quite frankly have presented life-changing tips that have actually affected the way I live and how I view life in general. However, I don’t follow these people on Instagram or Snapchat.

So, what’s the reason behind doing so you ask ? I KNOW MYSELF. I go on Instagram and Snapchat without a doubt at least 20 times a day ( probably more than this, I know I’m working on it) and as much as I would love to see these big influencers and celebrities on my screen, a part of me deep down inside would feel resentment. We live in a world where there are pressures to be the best that there is out there. I’m sure we are not all stranger to the saying “comparison is the thief of all joy” and this my friend, is the true reality.

With social media, there is always the feeling of being the best or owning the most amount of followers, and I will even own up to this- we love the feeling we get when we get an extra like on a photo or when a huge page reposts your picture with all credits being given to you. You feel valued, recognised and praised for it. But why can’t we get these things in real life ? Why does it take a page on social media to tell you that you have cool style or take great photos. It’s all the effects that comes with social media and I guess it has become normalised to think we are not effected by the power that social media has on our “social” lives.

I didn’t want this to be a long post, even though I have so much more to say on this subject, so I will probably end here. But in essence, I choose to not be influenced by these people so that they dictate my everyday lifestyle and habits, but I let them influence me in a way that I will be motivated, humbled and open for success !

Thanks for reading !

My Fave Beauty Products of 2018 So Far !

So, I’m no makeup expert or blogger, but I wanted to document some of my fave beauty/makeup products that I’ve really enjoyed and used up this year. Although the year hasn’t ended yet, I still feel like these are notably the best products that I have added to my routine which enable me to create the best makeup looks for those crazy nights out! (lool I’m really just attending a wedding or going out to eat)

  1. Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Foundation

So, this year Riri released her makeup line titled Fenty Beauty which included foundations of 40 shades alongside a universal lip gloss and other amazing beauty products. I had been using my Maybelline Fit Me which was really good, however I knew that I was attracted to the Fenty foundation based off of all the reviews and hype going around it, so I decided to purchase it before my trip to Canada. I have the shade 450 and so far, it’s doing really well for me. For what you buy you get a lot of product (30 ml) in comparison to other foundations, and the range of 40 shades means it is suitable for every woman of every single shade and undertone. So far this is the only high-end foundation I am using at the moment, but I do want to delve into other foundations that are out there.

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2.  Becca Ever Matte Poreless Perfecter Primer
So yes, I fall into the category of people with oily skin- like OILY SKIN, as in a couple of hours after I apply my makeup it will look as if I got oil from the bottle and drenched it onto my face! I have tried many primers since I got into wearing makeup and none of them have done me justice. Until I found out about this primer from Becca. I had previously known about it from various beauty bloggers on YouTube using it in their tutorials but have never ventured out into looking at it. This year I purchased a small bottle (12 ml) to try it out and I must say it has done me really well in controlling my oil throughout the day. This is defo my go-to primer (until I find something better). Another product I can recommend is the KIKO Matte Face Base primer.

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3. NYX  Makeup Setting Spray
Another product which helped with my oily skin is a fixing spray by Nyx. I only started to incorporate a setting spray into my makeup routine this year, and honestly it is the best decision I have made ever. (yes, I used to leave my house with an ashy powdery face lool) But introducing a setting spray really helps to complete your look after all the powders that have been sitting on your face. After highlighting, it’s my favourite step when I am going for a really good makeup look.

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  1. MAC Lipglass in Spite
    Lastly but not least is my favourite lip gloss so far which is by MAC. In my opinion it is a really enticing nude gloss for dark skin tones, and it just perfects your whole look completely. I purchased this whilst in Canada, so it was a bit on the cheaper side, but despite the price in the UK, I will still recommend this product. Mac do a whole range of lip-glosses and lipsticks, so I look forward to having a collection of them, slight addiction is pending lool.

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Thanks for reading this makeup/beauty post. I hope to do some more in the near future surrounding drugstore or cheaper products as most of the products I mentioned were of high end, and as a student I know that can be quite difficult to manage.

 

Stay Blessed x

All About My Braids Part 2

“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates”

Welcome back to a new post readers !

Today I decided to blog about braids yet again! I realised from my last post in February, that there is yet so much to delve into about the topic surrounding braids, yet it isn’t really explored that much. So this post pretty much explains the history and backgrounds of braids and how it has transformed into what it is in 2018.

Looking at the origination of braids, we have to look at Africa, particularly West Africa. In the villages, hair was known to act as a statement. Based on your hair, a person could tell your background, family roots, location and so much more information about you just by the styles and the presentation of your braided hairstyle.

This is why when the Trans Atlantic slave trade occurred, many women’s heads were shaved for sanitary reasons, meaning they lost a part of their heritage and identity.

However as slavery ended around the 50’s, the black power movement’s in America stemming from the civil rights movements encouraged a “Black Consciousness” out of black women to recognise their roots and their hair as being just as acceptable as the typical European style.

So, in comparison to 2018, where braids are appreciated even more than ever! Why are we still talking about them? The true fact is, that deep down oppression of braids still occurs today. I spoke on a previous post about the topic of Cultural Appropriation and how trends and lifestyles typically known to be created by black people are adopted by another culture. Although it may not be out in the open, it still exists.

Braids are no longer seen as something used for portraying an identity, rather it is used for styling and social media purposes. Which isn’t necessarily a negative thing, however it can mainly be misinterpreted as a muse to boost social media followings on pages. Again, isn’t a bad thing, as it is showcasing the many talents of hairdressers around the world. So I guess it is at a point where it is neither negative or positive. Views on the purposes of braids are completely subjective.

I believe it is up to us as older women to not only educate the younger generation about their roots but to encourage them to recognise it as their original identity, stemming back from centuries. I guess because it is what’s in fashion alongside other styles such as wigs and sew-ins, but at the end of the day it is nice to know where your heritage come from.

So this concludes my post about braids and it’s origins. I hope to research more about other African cultured items and trends that are valued at such a high standard like it is today. Until next time!

(All research used for this post is credited to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_l0rEJq1_s)

Setting Your Mindset Up For School

So, it’s officially September (seriously guys this year is going too fast, I can literally remember the 31st of December 2017 when I was in church getting ready for the new year ha ha) and if you haven’t already seen the back 2 school adverts on television and the college enrolment posters on billboards and train stations then maybe you’ve just been hiding under a rock look. But it is definitely back to school season! and what better way of starting the month off with some tips on how to prepare your mindset off for back to school.

I think the first step to getting in the right mindset is doing it PRACTICALLY. And by this, I mean getting the necessary resources for a good school year. This can range from correct uniform if you are in a secondary institution, or getting clothes needed for sixth form or university. Stationary is essential for school, this can range from notepads to folders, to flash cards, highlighters, even a good functioning laptop is needed if you are in a higher institution. Practically getting yourself back into the school zone will give you a good shock, and tell you that you are going to have a great school year, and you’ve left that lazy holiday mentality back in Ibiza (or wherever you went lool…)

Secondly, it’s all about the MENTAL preparation. Let’s face it, school can be stressful, very stressful. I’ve mentioned in the past about taking care of your mental health, and I can’t reiterate this enough- its so important. School is a place where you make friends and meet them every day, however it can also be one of the loneliest places, especially in university (I’ve had my experiences of this too) so mentally preparing yourself for what can seem like a long year is very important. So, try and do what is best for your mental health, whether by talking to mentors or councillors, family members or investing in your faith e.g. prayer. Going in with a strong mind can help you when you face obstacles such as exam stress.

Lastly, PHYSICALLY. I don’t think this is really talked about enough, but physical health is really important too. It can be simple things such as eating healthy and having a balanced diet. At the end of the day you need to have energy to focus and perform tasks to the best of your ability in order to perform well at school. So gradually beginning a routine of getting enough sleep, eating the right things and drinking enough water can really make a difference to your school day. And this depends on where you are in your education, for example a Uni student may need a lot more energy for all-nighters and long library sessions in comparison to someone who has just started year 7, so take time and evaluate how much energy you need for a school day. Physical health is just as important as mental health. Both work in unison.

In conclusion, this was just a short post put together, as I was reflecting on how I can make my school year a better and efficient one. I thought it was great to share on my blog for those starting school soon, or for those who have already started a new year. Wishing you a blessed, prosperous and enjoyable school year!!

Something I’ve Never Written Before…

This is something I’ve never written before
I guess it’s self-explanatory, the fact that
such words or thoughts have never escaped or made a
conscious departure from my thoughts

Never have I uttered such thoughts and wonders,
many that I keep hidden away, locked up in a
psyche that refuses to bare it’s nakedness to outsiders
in the world , to the unknown, to the unseen

Since this is something I’ve never written before
should I dare to even begin to write it?
words that can’t be traced back to its original being
once stated can’t ever be taken back?

Or should it forever remain a distant memory
of words that could have been spoken
but locked away in a passage leading to my mind
words that that will eternally stay hidden, not awoken

So, this is something that I’ve never written before
although I write down these words that I’m thinking
I’ve actually never written something like this
Should I dare to even begin to write it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Canada/ Travel Blog

So, at the ending of June till the ending of July, I visited Canada for the 2nd time (I had previously visited there back in 2015) and I went to the city of Toronto, its capital. So I’ve decided to document my thoughts, opinions and some good places that I went to!

Some background knowledge though, Canada has always been one of the places to visit on my bucket list. (amongst many other countries) I’ve always had a weird fascination about the country, you would think everyone’s dream is to go to America, but Canada is one of those countries that is hardly spoken of, mentioned in the news, it’s a chilled-out country really, and I’m fortunate to have relatives who live there so they were happy to invite me.

Toronto in particular is not that different in comparison to London, it has the same shops, entertainment districts and chill spots, just imagine London maximised by 10, the roads maximised by 10, cars, pavements, malls, tourist sites all maximised by 10 and you practically have Canada. The weather is the same, however their winters have been said to be really harsh in comparison to ours. So, it wouldn’t be much of a difference if you were visiting for your first time.

Spots to go:
Scarborough Town Centre AKA: STC. This is like the Westfields Stratford of London, it’s a really urban mall with loads of clothing shops and restaurants targeted for young adults and teens. This is located in the centre of Toronto, so it’s easily accessible by train (although Canada’s train system is pretty crap). So, it’s similar to Westfield as you can access it easily using the tube. I was mostly excited to go there as you all know there is no Sephora here in the UK (rolls eyes) so I spent at least a good 40 mins to an hour there just being in heaven. It’s an extremely fast paced moving mall with thousands of visitors coming every single day, especially during summer time with school kids coming to spend their day with friends.

Niagara Falls: Probably the most recognised Canadian attraction would be Niagara Falls, A huge waterfall located at the border of Canada, almost crossing into the US. It is simply a spectacular sight to see, and I also had the opportunity to go into the falls in a boat that took you round the perimeters of the waterfall, allowing you to get sprayed by the heavy mist the waters spring out. Accompanied by this is a range of hotels and streets filled with arcades and restaurants to make you enjoy your whole day, I must admit it is quite a pricy area, so you could end up spending so much without you knowing, but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and any one going to Canada should go and see the falls.

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Canada Wonderland: Canada’s Wonderland is very similar to Thorpe Park or Alton Towers here. It is a huge amusement park filled with famous rides such as the Behemoth and the Leviathan. As well as this, it has a massive water park for all ages. It’s a really great place to spend a hot day, as Canada can get quite hot at times. It’s best to go in a huge group as you are entitled to discounts, and it’s just more fun that way really! You can literally spend your whole entire day there and never get bored.

Well, this is just a short post about me documenting my travels in Canada, I hope to this with more countries as I go along my life, thanks for reading !

My Culture is Not for Sale !

So, this week I have decided to blog about my opinion on the idea/theme/social construct or whatever you would like to phrase it as – Cultural Appropriation. The whole scepticism around the concept, and how it has affected me directly or exactly how it has affected girls my age or around my ethnicity.

But first, let’s define the term as: “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society”

In simpler terms, it’s the process of taking another group’s culture, or traditions or lifestyle and adopting it as your own, and therefore making it accepted in your culture, rather than theirs, hopefully that makes sense?

The term arose around 2016/2017 and it came to it’s prominence due to its association with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber all facing criticism over it. Even celebrities we recognise today such as 6ix9ine who regularly use the derogatory word “n*gga” in his lyrics is facing high criticism from let’s say the “black culture” after using the term quite frequently

So why would anyone be offended over this idea? Let’s look at it in depth. The whole process of it is when you are taking a person’s culture (mainly of a lesser dominant race) and using it as your own. An example of this could be when Kim Kardashian wore braids and posted it on her Instagram account. On the outside, there is nothing wrong with it, after all she is just wearing a hairstyle, isn’t she? However, the problem starts when she referred to the braids as “Bo Derek” braids after the famous actress who wore the hairstyle in a movie. Many black women were highly offended by this act, stating that she completely disregarded the history of braids and cornrows, as it can be traced back to relating to slavery, as those were the styles that women wore before they boarded slave ships and had their hair removed, it was apart of their culture and customs, and unfortunately it was stripped away by the slave owners, due to their wanting of them to assimilate to western types of hair which is mainly straightened.

Other instances include singers such as Katy Perry being criticised for wearing Geisha which is the tradition of Japanese culture which includes wearing pale white make-up and elaborate hairstyles. This stemmed from her American Music Awards performance in 2013. Many people again were hurt and offended by the act, which she later apologised for. Now there is not anything wrong with wearing other people’s cultural attire or materials, it can simply mean you show appreciation for their culture and are interested in it. However, when it is culturally accepted by a person of a dominant race, whilst the weaker race is criticised for it, it becomes a problem and many people who view it happening on social media become very offended by it.

So, what is my opinion then? I completely understand the hatred and the annoyance coming from the receiving end of cultural appropriation. After all, imagine wearing something you find attractive, but when a person of a higher status or wealth wears it they are praised and adored for it whilst you are ridiculed for it. However, I believe we have to look at it from both sides. Taking the example of black cultural appropriation, with hairstyles and facial features such as lip shapes, aren’t we doing the same by doing processes such as contouring noses and wearing weaves and wigs? There is the argument of it being protective styling and beautiful, however we happen to take the culture of Europeans or Caucasians by wearing straight wigs, even with the emergence of frontals to make it look extremely realistic (as you can see I am digressing into hair talk)

But the point is, in realistic terms, we take things from people’s cultures all the time, sometimes without realising that we are doing so. This is not necessarily wrong, as it can be considered as a way of appreciating the beauty in one’s culture, I think where the problem lies is when the persons culture is not being accepted for its originality and praised when someone of a different culture takes it into the public light. Whether culture appropriation would ever be solved is the question, as time goes by, people’s cultures are being shared and intertwined with others rapidly. So, should we start to accept that this is occurring, or should we put an end to appropriation due to the harm that it causes to the lesser dominant race ?

Thanks for reading !

Issa Testimony !

So, I’m back with a new post, it’s been a while as usual (I’m familiar with my inconsistent uploads now ha!) but today I decided to write about how important it is to talk to God- like literally how important it is to tell God everything.

As we all know prayer is when you are having a conversation with God right? And we think that God is this super being who is bigger and powerful (which in fact he is) therefore our prayers must be super formal as if we are writing to the Queen herself. But I’ve learnt that telling God the smallest thing, even though it may be embarrassing or uncomfortable to mention to God really does help as God answers prayers.

Lately I’ve been struggling to talk to God – LIKE REALLY BADLY. As in I can’t even formulate a sentence to say to God in the mornings as I am usually cranky and tired from sleeping all night, and then before bed I usually watch a little YouTube or scroll through Instagram and that usually puts me to sleep- but not talking to God. It’s got me quite worried as in desperate times of need e.g. exam season I can spend hours with God, but in times of enjoyment e.g. holidays, I struggle so badly to have a conversation with God. But then I try and remember the times when I was honest to him about my feelings and struggles and things turned out for the better from then on.

Little Testimony: So this year I created an Amazon account as I had some old textbooks I didn’t need any more so I decided to sell them, now I’m not sure if anyone would agree on this but Amazon is a very complicated website, like very complex so of course I made a mistake and set up my account wrong, so by doing this they deducted £15 from my account which of course I was very angry about. So about over a period of 2-3 months I battled with them back and forth constantly about getting my refund as there were several steps involved in the refund process. It was a long and frustrating time in getting my refund, however I realised I had not even spoke to God about it. It just hadn’t come to my attention that I hadn’t told God about my problem that I had. So, I decided in the morning that I would actually talk to God about this problem and within a week or so of doing that, I received my refund. Lesson learned.

So, this is basically a lesson to you and to myself really about the essence and benefits of telling God everything, even from the littlest thing to the biggest. Even things you may think you can handle on your own and in your individual time can be helped by the power of God. I would say this is a contradiction as I honestly do struggle with this myself and I hardly tell God about the real deep things that I may be feeling, however I guess this is something I need to develop on and be more serious about as God really does care about every single detail in your life. Hope this helps !

Stay Blessed x