Light Girls

lightgirlsGood Afternoon! I watched the “Light Girls” documentary on OWN last night and wanted to express all the things that were running through my mind while watching. I didn’t comment on the “Dark Girls” documentary because I didn’t feel like I could completely relate to what the women on the documentary were saying but after watching the “Light Girls” documentary, I realized that I can’t completely relate to the “light-skinned” women and their experiences either. My mom is a beautiful brown-skinned woman who I’ve been told that I favor on countless occasions but my father was very light-skinned. People used to tell him that he favored Smokey Robinson pretty hazel eyes and all!  When I was younger, classmates would ask if he was white because of his light complexion. Most of the relatives on my father’s side of the family were just as light and some could pass for white. I remember one experience when I was with my grandfather at the supermarket and I ran into a coworker of mine who waved when we walked by. When I saw my coworker at work the next day, he asked me who was that “white man” I was with the day before and when I told him that was my grandfather, he didn’t believe me. As a result of growing around people who were considered “light-skinned” in my eyes, I never saw myself as light because many of my family  members had a much  lighter complexion than me. It wasn’t until my young adult life that I was placed in the light-skinned/redbone/yellow complexion category. When I would wear long weaves, people would ask me if I was mixed and the guy that I am currently seeing jokingly calls me “light brite” and “yellow cake” because he swears that I am of a lighter complexion than he is.

Being “light” was never something that I felt I should be proud of. My mom as I stated before is brown-skinned and my maternal grandmother had the most beautiful chocolate complexion that I’ve ever seen. Beauty, in my eyes was how you carried yourself and skin color had nothing to do with it. It bothers me that we are still having this conversation in 2015.  I feel like we can’t even begin to properly deal with racial discrimination until we address the colorism within our own community. Instead of putting people on pedestals or insulting them if they are light or dark, we need to talk about why we are focusing on skin color in the first place. It all stems from racism as far back as slavery and although it has been 150 years since slavery ended, the pain from the emotional wounds still linger. I know it is easier said than done but we must address the real issues that are more than skin deep.

I think we can all start by learning how to truly love ourselves. It is hard to not let appearance be a reason but we need to focus on being the best version of ourselves by changing what is on the inside. Once we learn to love and embrace our differences and accept others’ differences and be happy with what God has blessed us with, we can grow as individuals and as human beings. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Even though Dr. King was speaking about the judgment outside of the black community, we need to work on the judgment within the black community so we can begin the healing process.

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

 

 

Toxic People

toxic_people_learn_to_love_yourself_Adlandpro_QuoteGood Afternoon! I wanted to discuss an issue that I have dealt with in my personal life for quite sometime. I mentioned this briefly in an earlier post of mine but I didn’t realize how serious this issue was until I started thinking about the changes I wanted to make in my life this year and what I would need to do to make sure that they were achieved. One of my major goals is to think and act in a positive way to attract positive energy into my life. I know that one way to attract positive energy into my space is to do things that make me happy and give me fulfillment and joy “Amore Luxe” and everything the site stands for fulfills me. Being able to share my message with others is also fulfilling and most importantly, being around family and friends who believe in me and urge me to be the best version of myself helps me to build myself up and stay strong no matter what obstacles come in my direction.

Unfortunately, not everyone in life will care about the things that you are doing or even want to see you do well. They will not usually say these things to you directly but instead will shut down every great idea that pops in your head and block any great opportunity that comes in your way. The telltale signs of  “toxic” people are usually easy to spot Many times, these people are pessimists who don’t have anything positive going on in their lives. They have learned to see the glass as half empty and instead of changing their perspective on life, they decided to contaminate the minds and souls of the people who have positive energy radiating around them and have attracted love, success and anything else that they have desired and earned. Instead of trying to focus on what it is about this person that has brought them all of this good fortune and try to have some of these positive attributes for themselves, they find it easier to bring the positive person down to their level. They will do this by way of indirect insults, backhanded compliments and gossip. Gossip is like a virus that spreads and all of us are guilty and spreading gossip at one point or another. Gossip is usually malicious and is intended to insult and belittle the subject that is being spoken about. Toxic people have a sharp tongue and gossip is their weapon of choice to hurt others so they are no longer seen in a positive light.  Toxic people will also try to corrupt the people with positive energy by gossiping about others and sucking them into the negativity. It is difficult to stop bad habits such as gossiping but bringing others down does not lift you up in any way shape or form.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized this point perfectly when he said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” You have to be the better person and rise above the negativity by spreading positivity not only in your words but your actions. One of those actions that you will need to take is to dispose of the toxic people in your life. This is not wishing any ill will or harm to them but you cannot have them in your personal space and expect to grow and evolve. They are not ready to continue on this path that you are creating and do not deserve your time or energy. In order for you to be the best version of yourself, you have to let go of anyone or anything that is holding you back. These people may be a part of your family, one of your friends (which is the case for me) or anyone in your space that your deal with that tend to suck the light out of your soul. You won’t be able to shine with their dark spirit in your space so release them so their negative energy can float elsewhere.

I am a work in progress and am dealing with a toxic person in my life that I want to help but I know that I need to let go because dealing with them is draining.  I may have some of the answers but applying them to my life will be necessary for me to get to the next level. I hope you are able to do the same:)

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Selma Movie Review

Good Morning! I wanted to wait until “Selma” was released nationwide tomorrow (January 9th) but after seeing a preview for it for the millionth time on tv, I took it as a sign to give an early review so I could persuade everyone to go out and see it on Friday. I had the opportunity to see the movie right before Christmas at an advanced screening of it in NYC courtesy of http://www.gofobo.com. I knew I was going to love the movie because I am a Civil Rights History buff. When I was younger, I used to read  anything related to the Civil Rights Movement so I was familiar with “Bloody Sunday” and the importance of that moment in history but I didn’t realize how strategic the “non-violent” approach really was in the grand scheme of things. In “Selma”  the viewer is able to see how being non-violent played into the hearts and minds of the public by way of the media. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to show the pain and suffering of African-Americans in Selma and the south by showing that voting isn’t a privilege but a basic human right and being denied those rights is not only illegal but immoral.

I also loved how the director, Ava DuVernay (who is the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe award and hopefully Oscar) approached many of the scenes, in particular, the “Bloody Sunday” scene. The phrase that comes to mind after viewing that scene  is “tragically beautiful” because of all the emotions that occurred in those brutal moments. You could feel hate from their oppressors and mental strength and resilience from the marchers. It is so crazy to realize that all of this actually happened only 50 years ago. We have come a long way but as recent  event such as Ferguson and Eric Garner have  shown, we still have a very long way ago. “Selma” is coming out at an ideal time because we all can learn from the past to make sure that we handle current racial issues in a strategic way to see real progress.

I think that David Oyelowo (the actor who played MLK Jr.) did an amazing job showing the different facets of MLK.  He showed MLK as a funny, down to earth person who even in his greatest moments had imperfections and indiscretions like everyone else. I was really impressed with the fact that he was British because being able to capture the voice and overall essence of someone as well-known as Martin Luther King Jr. is not an easy task. I am sure he will be nominated for an Oscar for his role as well!

Make sure you go out and see “Selma” in theaters tomorrow and come back to the comments section and let me know what you thought of it! Can’t wait to read your replies!

 

Love and live luxuriously!