Ecuador Trip !

Okay so everyone was a little confused when I said I was going to Ecuador on vacation.

Why did I choose Ecuador?

Simple answer: Its cheap as hell, and absolutely gorgeous.

Flights were $276 +$100 in bag fees (Spirit sucks, but what you gon do). is a very useful tool when looking for a vacation anywhere when all you really got is two nickles and a carry on.

*you can use this tool to set your budget, and they’ll show you everywhere you can go in the world* (this is what I use)

Where in Ecuador did I go?

Well I landed in Guayaquil, Ecuador at midnight. Woo Child the ghettttooo. My hotel was $48 for the night, and right outside my window you could see people selling ass on the corner.

but in the morning we took a bus 3 hours to Puerto Lopez (bus cost $2.50). Im bougie too, but that bus was lit for $2.50, and people kept jumping on the bus selling snacks and water…which I enjoyed because, I be hungry. However, they do have Uber in this part of Ecuador but it would’ve been $150. .

The views on the bus are so beautiful!! You’re up so high, going around cliffs, looking down at the water, wow. So anyways, finally we get to Puerto Lopez, and I can breathe,  because before I was like omg, did I really just bring us to the ghetto? (Guayaquil scared me) JK, but really not kidding. Puerto LopezImage result for puerto lopez ecuador is on the coast of Ecuador. So you get all the pretty beaches, the crazy looking birds, and more touristy cute places that got infinity pools. If you travel like 20 minutes from Puerto Lopez, you got Montanita- which is the party town if you tryna get lit. We never got lit. We had plans to, but I fell asleep.

If you wanna get lit, take a taxi to Selinas in Montanita. It’s a hotel that has lots of young people that are partying & having fun.




ANYHOW, where did I stay, you ask? Well, only the finest of course. Nautilus Lodge. It was a bit pricey, but worth it for us. They treated us like muhhhfugggin Oprah & Gayle. Image result for oprah and gayle gif

Okay so, I guess yall wanna know how much it cost for me to get my grub on?

$8 maybe per meal? I was eating hella “pescado frito”. I love me some fried fish w/ rice & beans and salad.

The cocktails were $5 each ( and this is at the hotel, mindd you),  I’m sure if we got lit on the beach it would’ve been less, but I don’t care. They were making the drinks from real limes, coconuts, and strawberries. Taking like 10 minutes to make each drink, but Lord those drinks were splendid. Image result for drinking vacation gif




Okayyyyy, but what y’all do there?

We went on a boat and went snorkeling for $8 each. That was so much fun. There’s tourist places all along the main road, and they’re all honest and kind. No ones is really trying to swindle you, which was so comforting, because I reallllly hate that. We met so many people on the boat. Had really good conversations. Lauren even got to drive the boat, like literally, they let her drive the boat for like 20 minutes, teaching her how to do it. Also, make sure you get a translator app before your trip so you can really talk to people and have fun.

VacationThis is a picture of me before I got on the boat:)

This was our first day out in the sun for real for real, cus it had been type cloudy, and we were thirsty for a tan so we didn’t use any sunblock. BIG FREAKING MISTAKE. One thing I wish I knew was that Ecuador is hella close to the sun, meaning my black ass was literally getting BROILED. We were only out for like an hour, and my skin was burnt-burnt. It was peeling, and looking unidentifiable. I was pissed.Related image Sunburn

Day 3 into my 10 day trip and my face was ruined.

Fear not though, like I said, we were Oprah and Gayle up in that bihhh. The owner of Nautilus Lodge really went to the pharmacy and got me some healing cream, took about 4/5 days for it to clear up. So lesson learned, wear your sunblock at all times.

Okay so that was bit for Puerto Lopez! We stayed there for three days and hopped our asses back on a bus to go to Manta !! ( We chose Manta because its close to Quito Airport, and we were flying out the next day).

So boom, we get to Manta and we get a taxi to bring us to the apartment we were staying at that I found on Now, when we arrive, I cannot for the life of me find this shit. The taxi driver is getting tight cus we ‘arrived’ and were still sitting in the car, like nah I don’t see it. Image result for i don't wanna go gif

Lauren is like, let’s just go back to the bus terminal, and I’m like no let’s keep looking. So after 15 minutes of sweating on the street, I find it…it was exactly where we pulled up to, it just didn’t look like an apartment.

This part was a little scary lmao. So some lady answer the door, and is “Welcome!! you’re here”, but it was like weird cus whole time she knew we were outside and didn’t come rescue us because she was still cleaning. But whatever, so now she shows us to the apartment…and I’m like ohh hell no. This was not the shit on result for tf asap gif Like at all. Sis had a hole in the wall, and it was the wall between us and outside, and to fix it, she stuck a damn water bottle in it. That was all I needed to see. Airbnb

So I wouldn’t suggest that you get an Airbnb or Apartment in Manta, the whole area was like…yeah. I ended up telling the lady, thank you but no thank you. It was $50, but whatever. I took my ass down the street to Manta Host Hotel, which had a balcony, pool, and games and all types of fun stuff for $100 a night. We didn’t do anything in Manta, just relaxed because our flight was at 5 in the morning to go to Quito. The flight was just 45 minutes, and I think it costs me $40. It’s a very tiny airport, and getting through tsa took maybe 55 seconds lmao. fLIGHTTHE FLIGHT HAD THE MOST BREATH TAKING VIEW EVER!

Okay so we land in Quito. Taxi’s are waiting everywhere by the way, so you’re good. I recommend taking Uber, or checking the price fo Uber to see if it is cheaper first, it was for us 🙂 The houses are beautiful, theyre all in the hills, its like LA but better. It’s very modern here. It’s also inland, so don’t expect anymore beaches. In Quito we decided on a private room Airbnb for $28 a night (I see it for less now $20), and it was the BEST decision ever. Our host was barely there, there was a maid, and we had so much space we didn’t even need the whole place. The Airbnb was LIT. I wish we could’ve stayed longer.Quito Our host Nuria was so cool. At the Airbnb there were two pools, tennis courts, jacuzzi, restaurant, name it. (Click on the hyperlink to see the Airbnb) Perfect for a good photoshoot. **Also she has a dog (the dog in picture), so if you’re allergic or something, issa dub for you. Its a little foo-foo dog that’s so cute and loving.

Food: We ate at the restaurant at the Airbnb, super cheap.


We did go out at night and ate at a new restaurant called Uma. It was beautiful. Food was delicious & the service was great.

Okay but what did yall do?

Well, we went to the teleferico! its like a cable car thing that goes all the way up to the top of the mountains in Quito. the ride in the cable car is like 20 minutes long, and its like the best 20 minutes of your life. the scenery is beautiful. it’s an absolute must. I’m sure people hike there, well I’m actually positive, but I’m lazy as hell, but I’m sure it’s an amazing hike. BUT KEEP IN MIND. The elevation is crazy. Your ears will pop. You might feel sick (I did..but I’m also dramatic so idk). And its cold as hell once you get to the top lmao.

The llamas were at the top. There was a guy there charge $1 for pictures. There’s also coffee/hot chocolate at the top too. The swing is also at the top too. My pictures were barelllyyy edited. It is REALLY this beautiful. Being above the clouds is a whole different experience.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG. We wanted to go to Mindo! Mindo is the jungle part of Ecuador. It also has the most biodiversity of any place on earth. Charles Darwin studied here because of it. I wanted to come here because I wanted to get a little uncomfortable. I knew there would be tons of insects and bugs but I was like, nah this is my dream, nature is like home to me. SOOOO we got an Uber to Mindo which was about $75 because it is like 3 hours away or something like that. We could’ve taken the bus but I just was lazy and tired.

Where did I stay?

Terramambu Lodge   


Hosteria Saguamby  I chose to stay at two different places because they were both so beautiful and I wanted to see what both had to offer. They were both amazing. I can’t really say if one was better than the other. Only difference was Terramambu had a pool, and free ziplining, the other did not. BUT Saguamby had the river view room with the inside jacuzzi, which was amazing because when you look out the window there’s horses grazing. Its like out of a dream. You basically have to stay at both. Saguamby Mindo Lodge, Ecuador -

Where did I eat?

Every day we ate at the Food Studio, it’s right down the street from both hotels. Their food was so fresh and had so many different flavors in their food. I really enjoyed it. Only thing is, they legit have a different menu everyday, and there’s only two options on it. However, it’s so good, you just gotta trust it.


TIPS for Mindo *


What is there to do in Mindo?

Use this link, because sis said it all. She has all the best tips about mindo, about where to go and what to do, etc.

Personally I did the Butterfly garden, bird watching, tubing, chocolate factory, and tubing. All of them were dope.

Butterfly Garden: great for pictures, and just amazinggggg beautiful butterflies.

Tubing: fun as hell, slightly dangerous.

Bird Watching: umm okay, so this guy bamboozled us into paying $70 for birdwatching, it was miscommunication, but never ever pay that much. We thought he said (and agreed to) $17. He was so cool and gave us so much information about Ecuador and gave us insight into the livelihood of those in Ecuador. It seemed like an honest mistake but who knows. We only seen like 4 different bird species, so it was not worth it in my opinion, but it was a really cool experience because we hiked through the jungle to watch these birds dance and do a mating call. Really fascinating and interesting. We also got to see humming birds, really close up.

Chocolate Factory: I didn’t have high expectations for this tour, but it was really amazing. We learned SO MUCH. It was more than just about chocolate, plus the tour guide was hot, so that was good, and so was the chocolate.




Affording Ourselves and Others Growth

My journey to self has been long and difficult. Becoming aware of our own neuroses and problems is one thing- but knowing the pattern, and being stuck in the pattern is another thing. In the beginning of my journey it was exciting; I was able to break bad habits, shift my perspective, and combat feelings of fear as much as I could. I ridded identities that were rooted in ego. I unlearned a lot of what I thought about myself and the world in general. I felt like I had gotten through the worst of it, but I haven’t. With introspection being the catalyst in my journey, it has now become my worst enemy- and I say that with humor. I am so self-aware that it is making me miserable. If I don’t finish a painting at the deadline I set, I tell myself “this is the behavior you need to change”, “you aren’t disciplined”, “you’re lazy”- and the negative thoughts thrive for the sake of a “positive lifestyle”. I constantly beat myself up because I feel like I should have already mastered this. I should already be disciplined, I should already be super-confident, and I should be happy that I am in a career field doing work that I enjoy. I have become so attached to progressing that when I don’t do well- I feel like a complete failure. It stops me from wanting to pursue more, because I am scared of failing.

I decided to write about growth because I realized that it is very easy for people to accept their own growth and their own journey to self, but seldom are people able to accept the development in others. What inspired me to write this was a friend talking shit about another friend- but in reference to how she used to be (years ago); And I just was not with it, it didn’t sit right with me because I’m not even the same person I was 6 months ago. My journey for the last few years has been filled with tremendous growth; From how I think, to what I eat, to how I speak, to how I respond to people, etc. etc.

In this blog I challenge you to think about your interpersonal relationships, and ask yourself if you are still holding someone in contempt for their past mistakes and behaviors.

We must be willing to afford people the opportunity of growth and evolution. We must believe that people can change and transcend from unhealthy behavior; We must because we need people to see that in us. If we can’t afford people grace when it comes to growth – we do it at the expense of ourselves, and our own growth. If we can’t see it in others, we can’t see it in ourselves.

What is growth if it is putting you in a place that makes you look down on others?

What is growth if  it has just transferred your ego from one state of being to the next? (don’t let that go over your head, now)

If I hold a grudge against you for a mistake that you made years ago, and I don’t trust that you have changed, that is only indicative of how much I believe I haven’t changed. If I can’t see it for you, I can’t see it for myself. It’s almost like when you tell people your career dreams, but you downplay them because you need them to see it. If you say “I want to own my own business one day”, they’ll be more incline to believe you. If you say I want to be a millionaire- they may not believe you so easily, BUT, if this person wants to be a millionaire themselves, they are able to see what you see. They can see the dream because they too have it, or they can see the dream because they see you. They know that you have control over your destiny and anything is possible. When someone tells me they have changed, I believe them, because I too have changed. When someone tells me they are on a journey, I believe them because I too am on a journey. But if you can’t see it for someone else, it’s probably because you can’t see it for you.

What we withhold form others, we withhold from ourselves. What we are withholding ultimately is love, and when we withhold  love from others, we feel pain.

 Since I have started this blog, and since I have been on my journey of healing, and trying to be the best version of me that I can be- I’ve definitely experienced criticism. An old friend wanted to tell me what this guy had said about me which was “how do you feel about Lakota suddenly being ‘holier-than-thou’ when she treated you like shit”.  At first when she told me what was said, I thought to myself,  “okay, and what made you want to tell me this?”.  Another person went around saying I had a drinking problem- someone I’ve never had a conversation with. Both people who have spoke ill of me, have recently asked me to work with them; I don’t say that to feed my ego, I say that because both of these people felt higher than me. They felt like a “fake” or “drunk” person was beneath them. I don’t believe anyone is beneath me – not a drug addict, not a narcissist, not a poor person, not a lazy person – no one is beneath me. Everyone is my equal. Everyone is my brother and sister- but don’t get it twisted, I’m still not going to work with either of them, because that is my power. I don’t have to explain my “no” to working with them, it’s just a “no”. Honoring yourself means saying no to people and situations that make you uncomfortable- when it doesn’t involve fear, but love, love for yourself.

“when you do clownery, the clown comes back to bite”- Monique

It is important for me to treat every person with respect despite where they are in their journey. They could be on their first day of getting clean from drugs and I support that. I don’t think that I am “better”. I don’t think that I am better because there were situations in my life that I never thought I would be in. I know that people who use drugs never wanted to be where they are. Life just happens, and we must give people who are suffering, love, not judgment. I am not that person anymore, but I was that person.

Yesterday at work, I seen a black woman wearing a pink and white shirt with a black woman on the front of it with an afro. I told her “I like your shirt!”, my way of saying “I see you girl, but I couldn’t see the bottom of the shirt, because I was sitting at my desk and she was standing in front of me, all I could see that it said was “I AM”. The little 7 year old girl with her said proud and joyfully ” It says, I AM MY SISTER”. I was filled in that moment, a heavy feeling too. Here she was at 7 years old, learning an extremely important value- sisterhood; I never understood the importance of sisterhood until maybe a few years ago. “I am my sister” is something I always tell myself when I start to judge another woman, and it stops me down that spiral.

Writing prompts:

 1. How important is sisterhood to me?

2. Sisterhood is inclusive of our diversity- am I leaving anyone out?

( I think this is an especially important question to ask yourself because we often divide ourselves from others through classism, colorism, ageism, etc. ; furthermore, the pretty girls only wanting to hang out with ‘pretty girls’.Are transwomen, lesbian women, queer women, disabled women, invited into your circle?)

3. When another woman violates that sisterhood, how do I respond?

( Consider gossip, ‘side-chick’, disrespect, boundary-crossing)

4.  When I don’t agree with the lifestyle/profession of another sister, do I treat her differently?

(sex workers, strippers, bartenders, sugar babies, etc.)

Another part of this that I think is important to note is to beware of how men speak about women, and beware of your response. I’ve had several men say things like “you’re not like them, you’re so classy” or “you’re prettier than her”. When a man has to compliment you by comparing you to another woman, check his ass. PERIOD.

There’s a poem by Rupi Kaur that I always think about on the subject of this:

you tell me

I am not like most girls

and learn to kiss me with your eyes closed

something about the phrase-something about

how I have to be unlike the women

I call sisters in order to be wanted

makes me want to spit your tongue out

like I am supposed to be proud you picked me

as if I should be relieved you think

I am better than them

So that is my blog on affording other people growth, maybe I should also say GRACE. Affording people grace through their process.  Nobody’s perfect. Remind yourself that there was a time where you didn’t know who you were either, you didn’t know how to communicate well, you didn’t know what you believed in, etc. etc. Don’t *grow* so big that you look down on everyone else and forget where you came from.


Just My Thoughts

I thought the other day about mental illness, and how they say “ suffer from _____”. I was uncomfortable with that word usage “suffer”. Do we suffer?

Suffer: To feel or bear what is painful, disagreeable or distressing, either to the body or mind; to undergo (biblical definition)

Today though, yes I am suffering- immensely. My heart doesn’t agree with my mind. That ‘inner me’ does not want to feel like this. I want to get up and get out and do things, I really want to, and my mind won’t let me.

But on the days when my illness has subdued, and I feel neither polarity of mania or depression, I feel the heaviness of confusion and doubt on whether or not this illness still harbors my mind. I know that I do not have to take the psychiatric diagnosis and allow it to identify me. I identify me. I make the decision about who I am. I choose the lens through which I see and understand my mental health.

I just know that on days like today when the control of my emotions begins to slip from my hands, I can’t help but wonder if this feeling has a name. Do I call it depression? Do I call it bipolar? Do I call it low serotonin levels? Do I call it normal?

I am between a thing I can’t name, and a thing that I know I am feeling.

Too often I feel like I need to announce that I am suffering mentally in order for people to understand me. I feel like I need to give this suffering a name, so that they can understand; Even when it makes me uncomfortable to say that I am something that I don’t always feel that I am.

I feel drained and tired of being in a war with my mind- and then being in a war with the people around me because of it. There is only so much understanding that someone on the outside can have, and I know that it must be hard holding onto just an idea. And I know that it must be hard to trust that it is real. And I know that because when people can’t see it, they doubt its power. “The power of the mind” – is a quote that never felt exciting or blissfully awakening for me. I knew the power of my mind before it was something that was fun and willfully explorative.

I am on a journey to cease the war in my mind because I know that it doesn’t serve me. I know that anxiety is an illusionary fear that holds no weight. I know. I know. I know. But even with all the tools to think higher, and to shift my thoughts, I still suffer. I can tell the voice of doubt to be silent- but I know that I would have to settle for a  whisper. Now, all I hear are people saying ” I have such bad anxiety” or  “I don’t want to go out, because I have social anxiety” and I was bothered by it, without understanding why I was bothered about it; But our generation has taken normal experiences and feelings, and replaced them with psychiatric terminology. Why have we turned feeling scared into something that isn’t normal? Instead of saying, “I have anxiety”, say “I am scared”.

When we use exaggerated and inappropriate terms to describe normal human emotions we downplay the legitimacy of mental health issues. We’ve become a generation of people who are only comfortable with one human emotion which is happiness.

Check yourself, is it you? Are you the “positive vibes only” police? Because I’d really like to kick you. As human beings we experience the entire spectrum of human emotion, that which ranges from feeling fearful, angry, sad, lonely, frustrated, etc. People are suffering in silence because they don’t feel comfortable talking about their emotions because they may not be “happy” ones. There is nothing “positive” about looking away when other people are suffering. If you want love, if you want healing, if you want prosperity- you have to give that to the world. God cannot do for us what he cannot do through us. You have to do what you can to help people who are suffering. Those who hate, hate with conviction- so we need to keep our minds stayed on love.

I think it’s a shame that we all are battling something and are silent about our pain. Imagine how much the world could heal if we spoke our truths without shame and without a filter. Even when I am being transparent, I skip over truths for the comfort of my company- and for my own comfort. The parts of my story that I leave out are probably the parts that other people need to hear, and the parts that I need to voice. We can all easily say by now that “my parents got divorced” or “my boyfriend cheated on me”- and although that is still vulnerability it is still vulnerability that is within our comfort and within our reason. We are so used to staying on a surface level with people, because we know that they can meet us there. They have been cheated on before, or their parents split too- but going any deeper poses a threat to our fear based minds. We believe that they haven’t been through the deep wounded experiences that we have and therefore they won’t understand. We have so many thoughts about other peoples’ thoughts- when the real truth is, we all want to connect deeply, we all want love, and love requires humiliation. To reveal to someone, even someone close, that you were sexually abused or physically abused would be a very difficult thing for us to do, but also a very brave thing for us to do. When someone is opened with me, it immediately disarms me, because I know that they too are disarmed. I don’t see their physical anymore, and their ego has dissipated. All I can see now is their inner being, their spirit, their soul, their core, their depth- which is who they truly are. Now no matter what happens after this conversation, I’ll know that I have seen THEM. I can say “I know who this person is”. We hear often “you don’t really know anybody“- and what we are really saying is “we don’t know what people are struggling with, or what demons they are fighting”- but we don’t care to ask- because we are struggling with our own, and therefore can’t be bothered, when in fact that is just the ego revealing itself.

One thing I know for sure is that mental illness is real. The power of being opened and vulnerable is real. The way that God will use you as a vessel is real. And shifting your thoughts from fear to love will change your entire life.

Those are just thoughts I wanted to share with you all .

Colorism Ain’t Just About Color.

I’m trying to understand why I identify myself as just black when I am mixed. This writing is just me trying to unfold my blackness and navigating my racial identity. This is also a discourse on colorism and its relationship to black culture, racial identity, and racism.

Growing up in the suburbs in a diverse but segregated town, your experiences as a black person is interesting, to say the least. My mother is mixed white and black, and my father is black and Native American. In school, I would always proudly tell the people who asked, all of what I know to be my ethnic background. One reason was because I knew being part white was something that was liked by my white and black peers.

One day in high-school I was hanging out with Allison (name changed for anonymity), and her mother called to see where she was at. She had told her “I’m hanging out with Lakota”, her mother then said “Lakota?, you’re hanging out with a black person?”, and she said “No mom, she’s half white”. In that moment, I remember being uncomfortable, but I was happy that I had a little bit of this *whiteness* because now I could hang out with her without her getting in trouble by her mom.

I had several of these same experiences from elementary school to high school ,with my white friends parents not wanting me around because I was black, and I naively thought that this little bit of whiteness that I had would be enough for their approval.

I also knew that outside of just white people, my black male peers loved the idea of a mixed girl. Sometimes before they asked me my name, they asked ” what are you?”. I can’t say that back then I didn’t love the attention that my racially ambiguous features gave me. I felt like being ‘mixed’ gave me this higher status, opposed to being just being black. I hate that I am writing this, but this is the truth. I knew that I had a privileges because I was light skin. I knew that I didn’t have to deal with any jokes about being too dark, or having “nappy hair”. All I had to do was make sure I stayed out of the sun in the summer time and I would be free from bullying and torment.

Every day on the bus in elementary school they would make fun of this one kid who was dark skin, every single day; He would laugh back, and make jokes, but I couldn’t imagine how he felt when he went home. I knew the feeling of wanting to peel your skin, I knew the feeling of wanting to wash the tan off, and I knew that nothing hurt worst then your own people cutting you.

I didn’t know the term colorism until college, but already felt its plague. Colorism runs so deep in my community, and I know that because it ran so deep through me. Sometimes I think people don’t understand the strength of its grip and it’s complexity. The way a new born baby would be born and you would hear “check the ears”. A signifier in the black community of how dark a baby would be. How terrible. And I know some would ask how colorism has affected me as a ‘light skin’ woman, and would try to measure its affect in comparison to a dark skin woman; I know that my experience is just a drop in the bucket.Image result for colorism slavery

Colorism by definition is complexion dominated but detailed with other attributes such as hair length, hair texture, eye color, body type, etc. Colorism is about proximity to whiteness. The closer your features are to Eurocentric beauty standards, the more ‘attractive’ you are. This mentality has permeated so deeply into the way that we think about beauty, class, and value- that it is a pathological overburden among our community. The most recent example that I can think of is when I was at the Dominicans and this girl walks in and asks how much it would cost for a wash and set. They asked her to remove her scarf, and then began fondling with her hair. I was cringing in my chair just watching. The owner charged her $40 (for what should have been $25) because her hair texture was coarse, and tightly coiled. Dominican hair salons have also been known to put chemical relaxers into their conditioner without the knowledge of their clients- pushing the standard of beauty to one that is anti-black. I as a woman with a looser curl pattern, have never experienced something like that. Being light skin you have to understand the privileges you have because of your skin tone and/or hair texture. Saying “we’re all black” is silencing, is dismissive, and invalidates the experience of dark skin people who suffer under colorism. As a light skin person it is important to call out colorism and to be honest about your privilege. We have a responsibility to our community to dismantle these falsified stereotypes in the capacity in which we can. For example, we hear a lot of black men say that they prefer light skin women over dark skin women. This *preference* is rooted in colorism, racism, and white supremacy and should be called out as so. The trend to be with someone who is ‘foreign’, is not a new thing, it just has a new name, and black men 99% of the time are not talking about ‘foreign’ they’re talking about anything other than just black. If you know that your partner would not be with you if you were dark skin, you need to cancel them. This fetishization is what led me to the creation of this blog. I am exhausted of men asking me “what are you?“. As genuine as the question can be, it always comes off as just a ploy to feed their own fantasy of exoticism. If I am being ‘pedestalled’ or ‘chosen’ for my light-skin, it is not at all endearing, it is insulting.

Being light skin, and your race not being a thing that can be read easily, it is a tiring thing. People constantly wanting to know ‘what you are’, telling you what you ‘look like’ , disputing your identity, and doubting what you say you are. I hate this idea that I am somehow ‘less black’ because I am more privileged- whether it be because of skin tone or social class. I think that is something that I struggle with – trying to find the language to articulate how weighing it is for my own kind to constantly ridicule or diminish my blackness because they still view light-skin as ‘less black’.

I know that my privilege as a light skin woman has afforded me more opportunities because white people can somehow identify better with those whose skin approximates their own. It is seen historically, that light-skin slaves who were ‘almost white’, pushed the abolitionist movement because white people could sympathize with them. Being ‘light skin’ was evidence of  rape and sexual abuse that slaves had to endure. I think that I identify as black because of this reason. The white in my family, like it is in most black families, does not come from love, but from rape. There is nothing ‘cool’ or exotic about that.

The “one drop rule” has definitely played a part in the way that I identify. I remember watching movies like Queen and understanding the way that blackness/whiteness is interpreted in this country. The one drop rule was the way in which this country forcibly made ‘mixed’ or ‘mulatto’ people identify with only black- and to group them with their ‘subordinate’ race regardless of their genetic makeup. The way the one drop rule shows up for me is in generations of women in my family who went by this rule, not because it was the law, but because they didn’t want to be white- and they didn’t have a choice anyway. No one in my family identifies as part white, even though it may be in our blood. In writing this, I feel a deep pain in realizing that my grandmother could not and would not identify with whiteness, and in a way couldn’t identify with blackness either. To live your whole life as ‘other’, and to never know your lineage on either end, and to not feel fully connected or even welcomed by both races, has to make you feel a deep sense of incompleteness.

“Ironically, when a black American sister (or anyone for that matter) puts me, or other ethnic women of this society in the same category with the socially dominant White American Woman on the basis of lighter-than-black skin color, she is in fact denying my history, my culture, my identity, my very being, my pain and my struggle.”-  Mirtha Quintanales


We learn that we have ‘bad hair’ from the first time we remember getting our hair done. I remember crying every time my mom tried to put a comb through my hair. I vividly remember one day in elementary school looking at this white girls hair and thinking, ” why couldn’t I just have their hair?”, and I asked my mom that question when I got home, and she looked at me crazy and said “you don’t want their hair”. LMAO. Still funny. But I still couldn’t help but see the connection between me needing to get my hair permed before school started, and white people hair. I mean if my hair is good the way it is, why am I suffering getting perms all the time? This is what I mean by colorism being about proximity to whiteness, or Eurocentric standards. Growing up as a black child you already know what ‘good hair’ is, and what colorism is. The whispers of it being too thick and too coarse. As child you experience things that you feel are wrong, but can’t understand why it is. There were so many emotions I had around being black that I didn’t have words for. I don’t believe that I was some ‘enlightened’ or ‘consciously aware’ child, more than the average black child, my experiences, my feelings, and my thoughts are shared ones. I first realized this when I was watching the ‘doll test’ experiment where black and white children were asked to choose between two dolls. One doll was white, and one doll was black. In this experiment they had to choose which doll was the pretty one, and which doll was the smartest one. Image result for doll test colorismBoth children almost always chose the white doll as the pretty and smart one despite the dolls being identical in features, only different in skin tone. This experiment attests to my story of how colorism afflicts the mind of young children at such an early age- with no clear answer of why they believe the white doll to be smarter and prettier. There is something in our culture that is anti-black, and it is rampant and undeniable; and at its worst it is shaping the minds of our children to hate themselves- and love their white oppressor.

I see my own people not as oppressors, but as accomplices to oppression by our unwittingly passing on to our children and our friends the oppressors ideologies. I know that I spent that most of my time as an adolescent hating my skin tone, and I know that I projected that same self hatred onto my own peers. I cannot discount the role that I’ve played as an accomplice to oppression; I can only acknowledge and hold myself responsible for the way that I’ve used my words to uphold racist and colorist creed, unknowingly or knowingly.

” I write because I am scared of writing but I’m more scared of not writing.”



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The War with My Body


photographer: bennierose

I think I’ve only known war with my body, so much so that peace felt forced, unfamiliar, and strange to me. Me and my body had never known compromise or reconciliation and I swear it was like two married people in a loveless house. I always wondered what people thought of my body before I wondered about what they thought of me -because my body announced itself before I could even speak. I always wished I could shrink the contours of my body just to see if it was me that they liked.

When I actually feel confident in my body, and I feel sexy, and I feel free- it is the cat-calling, and the gawking, and the disgusting words spoken by men that make me feel uncomfortable. Here I am feeling full, confident, and tall- and then men sexualize me, and I no longer feel safe. I no longer feel safe in my own body. Male privilege is when you feel safe in your body, when you feel that you have agency and ownership over your body- that is something that women simply do not have .cat calling

I am not just accepting my body, like it is some forceful decision that I must do in order to feel at peace with it, I am in love with my body. I am in awe with the way that my body has forgiven me, for the ways in which I have tried to manipulate its form to please the world in which I live-through diets and through not eating, and the unhealthy ways my body acted as collateral damage to my own mental suffering through binge drinking, self-harm and the obsession of thinking of how my body would look if it were smaller, always smaller.white chicks.gif

I am filled with gratitude for my body. The fact that my body has forgiven me for how I spoke about it, how I neglected it, how I abused it, how I scarred it- that is beautiful. For such a long time I’ve abused my body emotionally, and physically- and now, I am finally able to give it the love it deserves, and it feels revolutionary to me, it feels THAT powerful. And I know to some it may seem unimportant, or small, but to me it is huge, to me it is a celebration- a call for a party ;That this woman finally let go of the idea of how she should look, how she shouldn’t look. For me that is tremendous. I know my body applauds me. I feel happier. I feel stronger.

This is the longest relationship we will ever have. The one with ourselves; The one with our body.

How Did I Reclaim My Body?


One thing I like to do as often as possible to give my body love is to use coconut oil all over my body. It shows appreciation to my skin, and leaves me feeling like a goddess. Just rubbing my skin from my ankles to my shoulders, feels really good.

I like lingerie. Pretty matching sets, bra & underwear, makes me feel sexy and sensual, and it doesn’t have to require the presence of a partner, I just do it for myself.

My top ritual has to be, and has been the most transformative for mw, is just dancing in front of the mirror. I started out doing it with underwear and bra still on- and once I got comfortable, I did it completely nude. I would stare at my body in the mirror while dancing to my favorite song, and I did this damn near everyday after I got out the shower, and I promise you a roll can’t bother me at all anymore.

*dancing to “dance 4 you-beyonce”, like you’re dancing for your future husband is my go-to*

Taking pictures of myself has also helped me tremendously with my quest to being body positive. I bought a small tripod from Amazon for like $8, and set that sucker up, and started taking pictures. This photo on the right I took by using two tacs pushed into my ceiling, and putting my phone between the tacs, and putting on a self-timer. Get creative, have fun !!

Music- girl turn on Freekum dress before you go out and it. is. over. Beyoncé always makes me feel like I’m Beyoncé, if you follow me on Instagram then you know how I be getting’ it poppin’.


I remember once when I was in high school one of my teachers asked a class of women to raise their hand if they were unhappy with some part of their body- everyone raised their hand; and she said, “one day you’re going to wish you loved your body when you were in high school” .And when I look back to what I looked like in high school , I’m like “damn what the hell was wrong with me?” lmao, and so I carry that thought with me all the time.

We have to love our bodies now. Not when we lose ten pounds. Not when we gain ten pounds. Our self love cannot be conditional. It cannot be ” I will love my body when…”, or “I will love my body if…”. I say that to you in the same way that I say it to myself. Even when I am feeling the most confident, I hear the voice saying “God, if you just lost a 10 pounds this dress would be perfect”, and even if it is just a whisper of a voice, it is still there. I’m okay though with how my journey is going, because that voice used to be much louder, that voice used to make me change my outfit 100 times before going out, and that voice used to turn my confidence into a quick “I’m not going anymore”. The joy in the journey comes from just knowing you aren’t in the same space that you used to be anymore.

My quest to loving my body has not been easy but it has been so worth it. I am finally my body’s best friend. I take care of her, and she takes care of me.

Last but certainly not least, remember not to body shame, and I wasn’t gonna add this but hell ,

“are natural bodies still in?”

“squats not shots”

“is anyone real these days?”

“built not bought”

“natural bodies matter”




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Vulnerability // DWI Story

I felt the need to write on vulnerability because being vulnerable is dangerous if you are not accustomed to the feeling- and I want to tell you how that showed up for me in my life.

Story time:STORYTIME

Me and my (ex)girlfriend were going through a lot, and our relationship had kind of dissipated into nothing. We were barely talking, our relationship was no longer really defined as a relationship, and we were in a gray area for a long time. I was uncomfortable with it, but I was just happy she was still there, you know?

I remember the exact day when I felt like it was over. I had called her, because I was so proud of myself for booking an Art Show. I had never done anything like that, and I was so excited. I asked her to come, and she said “…maybe”. I had understood though, our relationship was really non-existent at that point, but I was still hopeful. Then the day had came, and it was my Art Show. Yes, I was so happy that I had did it. A couple of friends and family had came- but I still stared at the door waiting for her to walk in. This time I didn’t even care if everyone knew she was my girlfriend, I just wanted her there.

She never came.

Maybe two weeks later, I was on my snap-chat, and I seen she posted something. It was her and another girl, out…kissing…having a great time. I could not believe what I had seen. I was devastated.omg

I guess I didn’t realize how bad things really were ya know? So I called her, and I asked her “when did we break up?”. I was surprised she answered the phone, because I knew that she was with her, and I know its sick, but I was hopeful that we could mend whatever it was that we lost- because why would she pick up the phone, in front of this new girl. Anyway, we argued for about 15 minutes- I cried, a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever been publicly humiliated like that before.

All of this was followed by a lot more hurt, and disappointed- and I fell deep into a depression, I mean she really made sure I did too. She made sure I felt it. She posted this new person, everywhere. I had asked for closure, or for an answer, because I was so lost. She never answered, and I never spoke to her again. Three years together, and I never spoke to her again.

I said all of that to say this :

I have never been a stranger to depression, and I knew that I was vulnerable. I knew that I could not start drinking. I knew that I would really sink into it if I did. About 3 weeks had passed since seeing the snap chat thing, and I made a conscious effort to not have any wine, to not doing any drugs, to really just try to heal. My friend was tired of me being depressed and never going anywhere, and suggested we go out and celebrate- I had just bought a new car, and I hadn’t went anywhere. I agreed, I needed to go out, I needed to leave my room.

Long story short, I drank way too much that night. I was so pressed to have a good time, that I was giphy2.gif

buying everyone shots,

buying everyone drinks,



talking to everyone- trying to convince myself like, yeah I can do this, its lit.


I couldn’t do this.

My friend had met someone and was having a good time, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and on top of that I had some guy in my face trying to talk to me with a “Make America Great Again” hat on. That was the cherry on top of the shit pie. I left the bar we were at, and got into my car to call her. It was like 3 in the morning. The phone kept ringing and she wasn’t answering, and then she was just straight declining the calls. I just kept crying and crying. Two random girls seen me, and told me to get out my car, because there was a cop who was watching me. you-in-danger-girl

I got out the car, and just was crying on the side of the street with these two girls whom I’ve never met.

Then I ended up getting in an argument with my friend, then someone stole my phone, and then my friend got in a fight with some other girl – the night was a mess.

All I wanted to do was go home at this point. I had cried all my makeup off, and the night was disastrous. I got into my car, me and my friend not speaking- and within maybe 60 seconds I was pulled over. I was still crying from earlier, and all I could think was “wow, this looks so bad”. They told me to get out of the car, and do all those ‘drinking’ tests. I did the walk. I did the flashlight in the eyes. I did the alphabet backwards- or whatever it is they ask.Image result for DWI TEST GIF

Then they asked for me to blow into a breathalyzer. I was panicking, because at this point I was so emotional, and scared, that I didn’t know if I was ‘drunk’ or if I was really this upset. My last drink was maybe an hour before I started to drive, but I really didn’t know. So I refused, and I thought because I was cute, they would let me go. Nope, not this time. He said “Can you turn around for me?”- and that was it. I was handcuffed, and they brought me crying all the way to jail.cop gif

So you see, vulnerability was a key factor here. I was depressed, feeling lost, feeling hopeless, and I was very vulnerable. This was a teaching moment for me. I learned the importance of listening to my own voice. I knew that I wasn’t ready to go out, to drink, and perform ‘happiness’.

There are two sides to being vulnerable, you can either let it harden you, or soften you.

I could have let the whole thing harden me, I could’ve blamed everything on her, I could’ve blamed it on God, I could have told myself that I’m the unluckiest person ever- but my response never turned into that. As soon as I sat down in jail, I thanked the officer for arresting me, because the reality of the situation is, I could have hurt myself or someone else by driving. Then later I met an older woman who was the same age as my mother and had just gotten a DWI too, and she was in there crying. She told me that she had a daughter that was my age, and was going to be so upset with her. I prayed with her, and hugged her until it was time for me to see the judge.

There was a miracle in this, my vulnerability had helped her, and her vulnerability had helped me too. We were both comforted in sharing our stories, and by just being in our truth. If we had both been angry, legs crossed, and tight lipped, we would have never connected, and we would’ve never helped heal each other. I will never forget her, she was the cutest Italian woman, and I could see her strength, and she could see mine.

Is that not a miracle ?

Is it not a miracle that I am able to write my story all whilst bearing the risks of rejection, humility, disapproval, and judgement? I write my truth without regard for that. I know that for those who are reading this feel a connection, feel a depth, and feel a truth that they cannot receive everywhere else. So when I speak, I only speak truth, so that you will know what you get when you have me. Nothing but truth, nothing but honestly, and most importantly, vulnerability.

Vulnerability saved me. I became more opened because of my pain. I became more resourceful. I became stronger. Life pushed me into a place of discomfort but it was all for my growth.

I quickly want to thank those of you who have been supportive of my writing- your affirmations were necessary for me to keep going. Your comments, your statements of “me too”, “I’ve been there”, and ” thank you”, have all been so important for my journey.


Vulnerability is My Power

What does vulnerability mean for me?

-the radical idea that transparency and openness can be healing, in and outside of yourself- with the power to heal and connect the world.

How does it show up for me?

-it shows up in my capacity for growth. I’ve found that any hindrance or hesitation I’ve experienced that has prevented me from personal growth, was rooted in my fear of being vulnerable. When you are unable to be bare and honest, you run into dysfunction because you’re concealing the truth, or you’re lying about who you say you are.

Personal Example:

This year I decided to stop lying. I know it sounds like whaaat, bitch you’re a liar? Yes. I was a whole liar. For example, in the past if someone was trying to talk to me, and I was interested, girlllllll,  I would be putting on a whole performance of ‘perfection’. I was scared to be myself, scared to be vulnerable, scared to speak my truth, because I didn’t want to be rejected.

“Nah, I don’t talk to anybody”,

” I don’t know why I’m single either, shiiiiit”.

“Yeah, Friday sounds good” – knowing damn well, I ain’t coming.

So, story time of how being vulnerable (honest) really showed up for me in a small way.

So I’m in Miami, out to eat on Collins with my cousin. This guy sits down at the table next to us, and he’s by himself. At this point I got one of them big $25 drinks in front of me, and I’m feeling a little out-going. So my cousin goes to the bathroom, and I’m like alright,  this is my chance to talk to this dude, I really didn’t even know what he looked like ( he was sitting next to me, not across from me, so I would have really had to be in his grill if I wanted to like, get a peek, you know?) I just knew that this year, I was *trying* to be more outgoing. I don’t know what I said, but me and him just start talking, and we never stopped talking (my cousin was so annoyed by the way).

Anyway, I’m sitting here having a great conversation with this man. He was interested, he was honest, and very pleasant.


He’s like “Are you talking to anyone?”

I was like “Yes”.

He just looked away and started staring off into the road all dramatic and shit, and in my head I’m like wow, that felt good- to just tell the truth and not care about the outcome.

Then he’s like “Have you ever cheated on someone?”

I was like “Yeah”.

Then he does the same dramatic look-away, and I’m dying laughing on the inside because its like “n*gga of course I have”. People have this weird fantasy of meeting a woman who’s perfect, and Mother Teresa-like.

Anyways, so then he says ” I hate that you’re so honest, I’ve never had someone be this honest”.

At that moment, I could’ve jumped for joy because I didn’t have that feeling of like , damn I just lied, now I gotta remember this lie, I gotta keep up with this lie, etc. etc.

So now, I just had a great dinner, great conversation, and I’m feeling hella good because I just told the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and this guy still is looking at me like the sun shines out of my ass.

So while I’m putting my number in his phone, I guess I was feeling like “Sis, let him know who you are”, so I put my blog site in the website spot in the contact. For me, that was a very vulnerable thing to do because I write about a lot of personal things on here. The miracle was that my perspective changed from ” What if he reads my blogs, and doesn’t like me anymore?” to “I love my writing, and it’s important to me”.

Lets get back to the point. Vulnerability.

Why do I need vulnerability?

Without vulnerability I would never be able to write, and I would never be able to connect with the amount of people that I do through my writing. My transparency has been groundbreaking for me. The writing saves me in the same way that it saves the reader. I know that my pain will be useful. When I am vulnerable with other people, they feel like they can be vulnerable with me too- and because of that, I have more connections with people on a soul level than on an ego-level; And yes- I think those relationships hold more value and importance because I know my friends’ hearts. I know what they’re going through, I know that they are not *bad* people because they didn’t answer my texts, I know them at a depth that I can understand, I know them at a depth that is familiar to me.

I asked three or four people that I knew who were struggling with being vulnerable, what their objections were, and why there were against it.

This was their answers :

  • Trust– they felt like they couldn’t be vulnerable with everyone because they didn’t trust them.


  • Betrayal– they feared that by giving people information about themselves, it could easily be used against them, and it has before in the past. (people throwing things you’ve said in your face, using deep things you’ve told them against you)


  • Accusations– people invalidating your experiences, your feelings, your pain, your trauma, etc. (I understand this one deeply, because I actually had a psychiatrist tell me that he thought I was lying about trauma that I experienced, and that made me closed off for a long time)


  • Weakness– they felt like being vulnerable made them weak.


  • Possibilities– being opened leaves us susceptible to all forms of energy, dangers, toxicity, and abuse. *

This is my response (which took weeks of digging deep inside myself to find answers)

There is a lot of anxiety attached to the idea of being an opened book because of ways people have treated us in the past because of it. The fear derives from an unpleasant experience that we had while being vulnerable, and because of that we have chosen that the best way to avoid pain and abuse is to put our walls up.

This is what I know for sure:

Being closed doesn’t serve us in any capacity. It leaves us hard and closed off. It creates a barrier between us and love, and more specifically-between us and anyone who is trying to love us.

If you prefer comfort over vulnerability, you will get just that. You won’t suffer much, or enjoy much- but for the rest of us we will know what victory and defeat feel like because we’ve dared to live outside the gray area.

To circle back to my story about the guy I had met- I could’ve easily used my past experience with men as a guideline for how I interacted with him. I could’ve been like “nah I know this n*gga ain’t sh*t, because none of them are”, “something gotta be wrong with him”, or “yeah he’s definitely broke, that’s what it is”. But I didn’t. I know now that I can’t allow my past experiences to sabotage new relationships. All those thoughts were thoughts of fear, none of them were thoughts of courage or vulnerability. “When you hold on to your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny“-Bishop T.D. Jakes. Sis, don’t nobody want a woman who’s holding onto so much baggage that she doesn’t know a good man when he’s standing right in front of her.

Kill the narrative that you’ve been telling yourself about men. Men are not the enemy. You are. You choose what you want to see in men.

Vulnerability is strength. When we are vulnerable with someone, we have no idea of the outcome. We don’t know if they are going to reject us, we don’t know if once we share our truth, and our wounds, if someone is still going to stick around. Being vulnerable is the most courageous act of love- to me at least. If someone can show me themselves- whole, even “the ugly parts”, I want that person. Now me and you connect on a level that you don’t share with most people.

When I am vulnerable with someone, and it’s an unpleasant experience (which I’ve been experiencing a lot), it doesn’t make me want to be less vulnerable, it just doesn’t. What happens though, is I get to say “WOW, you are not for me, and I’m happy that now I’ve realized our relationship can’t go beyond the surface”. Being vulnerable has only allowed me to weed out the people I do not want in my life. Sure, it can be painful if you tell someone about a wound, and they downplay the significance, or invalidate you- but it’s always worth the risk.

Vulnerability connects us. It is those painful truths that we have that will connect us. Most of the time when I can be be vulnerable and tell someone about who I am- and it is something that I think may make them feel uneasy, uncomfortable, or unsettled, I am scared. I am scared that if I tell them I struggle with communicating, or that I am not doing well financially – they won’t want me anymore. But the space that you create by being vulnerable provides comfort. Usually the person will respond by saying “me too”, or “I’ve been through that, and this is what I did…”. There is a lot of relief that comes with vulnerability. To have that weight off of you, to finally tell that truth that you’ve been scared to tell, is liberating.

Be free. And if there is ever any rejection that comes from you being free- then you’ll know to let go.

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Reclaiming Femininity in a Patriarchal Society That Would Rather You STFU

A woman’s body and the way that it is seen, interpreted, and scrutinized is usually a reflection of the culture that it is in. Western culture will have you believe that in order for a woman to be of value she must be conservative. I think what is important to mention is that men are not the only oppressors of women, but women to themselves and other women. There is internalized sexism, and then there is outright body shaming, and slut shaming done by other women. I want this writing to be less text-booky, and more of an examination of the common experiences, experienced by women.

My first uncomfortable experience with women shaming other women was on the topic of ‘strippers’. I remember a friend saying “I could never be a stripper”, “they’re dirty”, “they don’t respect themselves”, followed by more unimportant denigrating statements, and I remember thinking, “word, I couldn’t do that shit”. But at the same time in my head I’m like “well damn, why she gotta be all that”. I remember going back and forth in my head wondering if women who strip are worthy of the same respect that I am? (as a woman who doesn’t strip) Of course I consulted with my male companion who said they would never date a stripper- and so that steered my thoughts in a direction of me feeling *better* than ‘those kinds’ of women. I went on to believe that there was this unspoken ‘ranking’ of women dependent upon profession, amount of sexual partners, personality, etc. To give an example, I really used to not go out because I thought that my partner would find me less desirable if I went out a lot; I thought that the *better* kind of woman was the woman who stayed home. I wouldn’t form any platonic relationships with men,  because I didn’t want to make my partner feel uncomfortable or insecure.

Now through life experience and reading, I am unlearning all of the ideas about how a woman should be. I let go of the assertion that their is a ‘ranking’ that exists among women. I let go of the thoughts I had about sexuality, gender, marriage, family, sex, careers, and its connection to a patriarchal way of thinking. This returned my power back to me. Thinking for myself, instead of using our society’s standard perception of women and our rights, and our power. Now, I view all women (inclusively) as my sisters. When I view them as my sisters, it is a reminder that together we are powerful, and we have a natural relationship just because of what/who we are. We have experiences that are specific to our womanhood, some being a direct result of the society in which we live; I sat with my girlfriends one time talking about our experiences of ‘cat calling’, sexual harassment, sexual assault, unequal pay, domestic violence, body-shaming, double standards, etc.. I never realized the amount of experiences I had with sexual harassment until me and my friend were going back and forth with endless stories about things that have happened to us, and have been said to us. I realized at this point how much we as women have in common just on the basis of being women.

Wow, there is much work to be done.

Thoughts on Internalized Sexism

The thing is, we as women can be many things, and we are many things. It’s not even that we’ve been taught to feel boxed in, it’s that patriarchy has been so ingrained in us, that we have never considered another way of thinking. We followed the blueprint given to us, without a second thought. Some women are so set in their thoughts about sensuality, womanhood, feminism, etc. they don’t even know they’re boxed in. The reasoning for that, at least for me, was the lack of connection, and honest dialogue between me and other women. I never talked about sex with other women, deeming it as something private and sacred. But when I did have that conversation(s) with other women on sex, I felt something had been bridged. Certain things I thought I was alone in, and then I realized I was not. The revolution has and will always be, women connecting through vulnerability and transparency. Outside of just sex and sensuality- our difference in  culture, sexual orientation, race and class, is not something that should be used as a way to separate us, but connect us. I feel more comfortable in spaces with women that look like me, and come from a similar background, but that’s not where the revolution lies. When I meet women who come from other countries, and women who don’t share the same politics as me, or who are older than me…I always leave them feeling like I have been taught something. I always feel grateful and excited. Just being a woman, and seeing another woman should be enough for conversation.

Reclaiming Femininity through Emancipated Sensuality

ˌsen(t)SHəˈwalədē  noun
noun: sensuality
  1. the enjoyment, expression, or pursuit of physical, especially sexual, pleasure
What is sensuality to me?

It is defined by me in its relativity to the culture in which I live. I think it is important to understand that sensuality will be defined differently dependent upon the culture in which a woman lives. In most cultures, sensuality isn’t something women have put too much thought into because of the shame, embarrassment, and discomfort that comes along with it. Sensuality for me,  is the bravery and confidence to feel and express your emotions physically- especially in a way that is sexual. I think of it as my sexual body language. Being sensual is a radical assertion of ownership over your body.

Sensuality is affirming; It is the bonding of my mind and body. It is having agency return over to me, whereas with sex, agency is shared, and sometimes taken. Although it is expressed physically, I think it has nothing to do with your body and it’s form, but of something that is felt intrinsically. I think too often, women place their sexual desires secondary to that of men. Us receiving pleasure in a way that we would like is an after-thought, a special occasion, or only comes at our request. I find it interesting the dynamic between men and women during sex, more specifically those who have been in a long term relationship.

  1. A man’s orgasm is priority, even if yours too is important- a man’s is still mandatory and primary. Imagine a woman being priority, imagine you being a priority.

The dynamic is more interesting than I thought as my mind unfolds to the idea; But lets get into it. If a woman’s orgasm was the main concern, imagine the amount of men who would carry feelings of shame, and disappointment when they could not produce an orgasm for a woman. I mean wow, if our culture was designed for the pleasure of women, then more men would know our body’s and its’ functions. It would be a discussion. It would be exactly how our society is designed now for the catering of men, just the roles reversed. What would it take to reclaim our sexual needs as being just as important as a mans sexual needs?

2.  I think being honest about your sexuality, sexual desires, sexual trauma, sexual dysfunctions, can all be revolutionary to your relationship, and to yourself. I was having a conversation yesterday and it went like this.

Girl: I asked my ex if she would be into polygamy, and she said absolutely not.

Me: It’s funny you say that, because in the past when I was in a relationship, when I was asked about anything that was outside the ‘normal’ lines of sexual things, like “would you do this, or would you ever do that”, and I would quickly say ‘no’ because I knew that saying “no” is how he wanted me to respond, to keep up with this image he had of me. Now if I was being honest with him and with myself, I would have said well, yeah lets explore that…but I was so scared of the judgment.

If we could release the fear of being a sexual being, and what that means for us– I think it could be life-altering and really liberating.

3. Take up space in your sexual liberation. Understand that their are some women who are still scared to speak about sexual desires…too scared to even speak about it with their friends, let alone partners. The more we express our freedom, the more other women won’t feel the shame and fear in expressing theirs. I don’t do it for the male gaze, I don’t do it for the benefit of men, I do it for me. Just being a sexually liberated woman, and especially publicly, is a political statement- and I have never shied  away from being bold, being brave, and being controversial, it is what I was made for.

4. Sensuality as Self Care- Ain’t it crazy that even touching ourselves is looked down upon? Like for real, me touching my own body is shamed. I’m laughing right now too, because I remember a partner asking me like “why you gotta do that, I’m not enough for you?”like first of all, this aint got nothing to do with you!! I am allowed to give myself pleasure. I am allowed to learn my body. I think that through pleasuring myself, it strengthens the relationship between me and my body, and my sexuality. I think it helps me (us) release shame, and the stigmas regarding women and pleasure.

Things I Needed to Say Like Yesterday

I believe in sexual liberation and sexual agency for all women. ‘The freedom to be sexual’ as a woman has to be inclusive because the women who are often left out of the conversation are usually sex workers, trans women, black women, disabled women, etc., the women who need other women’s’ support the most. The shame from other women to other women disgusts me. Some women like to be with multiple partners and some women don’t, and what governs you to judge that woman, and to see her as less than you? It is okay to say that a certain lifestyle is not for you, but in saying it to elevate yourself to be seemingly superior to another woman serves no one but patriarchy. As women we have sexual desires, they are about as natural to us as being hungry- and yet we reject the idea. The problem is not the desire, the problem is the judgment that we place on ourselves for having the desire, and then we project that onto other women.

Being sexually liberated is easily reduced to a woman having her ‘hoe phase’. What do we call this same behavior for men then? Or are they more attractive because they are sexually experienced, and sexual experience is appealing too right? Oh but not for women, I mean you want me to be experienced but not too experienced, otherwise I’m a hoe, and not worthy.

I think the problem with social media is that sexual liberation is seen and learned from Instagram accounts featuring women with plants all around, and crystals, and sage, and she is celebrated for her ‘evolution’, but the woman who has on a tight Fashion Nova outfit, posing sexy with her skin out, is seen as unsophisticated and unworthy (even by women). If your feminism is rooted in being anti-hoe, it ain’t feminism and its wack. If it’s rooted in shaming women who have gotten their bodies done, you can also miss me with that too. If you put other women down to make yourself feel better, you’re also wack. The natural vs. unnatural, the makeup vs. no makeup, the skinny vs.fat, the natural hair vs. weaves, perms, it’s divisive, and does nothing for us.

We need to unlearn the ideas of what we have learned through a patriarchal society, and find what it means for us to be a woman. Independently think of what it is that you would like as a woman, sexually, socially, and culturally- and then be that woman. Be that daring woman to live outside the lines.



Who Are You Without Instagram?

A critical analysis of human behavior through the lens of social media as a means to shift a very normalized and common perspective to a perspective that is unpopular or obscure.

There is this thing about social media that I’ve grown to hate. It’s that nothing is real. The trends are there and the people follow. Self-care is done as a performance, depth is shown through the quotes of a book you’ve never read, and your said ‘knowledge’ is learned through memes so you can participate in the woke nigga Olympics and beauty is shown through an expensive camera, carefully chosen pictures & a filter to show your ‘perfection’- followed by (insert Alex Elle quote) a writer that you don’t follow. A book that you’ve never purchased.

this is a virtual reality. a distraction. nothing but performers, and the audience. I want to walk out, I do- but I’m like the person peeking behind the curtain, wondering, can I do what the performers do? the ones that get the standing ovation? the ones that get the fans? but the only thing I know how to be is myself- not a brand. not a type. not a category. I mean like fuck, I’m exhausted.

Aren’t you tired ?

But it’s all still a contradiction isn’t it?

 I wrote this in the way that I usually write everything – which is out of complete rage, passion, or compulsion. I don’t think there has been much critical writing on the way that social media is shaping our lives and our livelihood. I tried to encompass all of my frustrations into that writing, but I decided I need to elaborate on them with more examination and cogitation.

” Self care is done as a performance…”See the source image

I am ecstatic and excited that women, especially black women are engaging in self care, which I believe is radical, powerful, and uplifting. Self care is something that I’ve never made space for or have even been taught how to do. More often that not, black women aren’t afforded the time or the luxury of  engaging in self care. When I say that self care is done as a performance, I am making reference to the people with photographs of the flowers in a tub on their page, and the exaggerated perpetuation of ‘happiness’ and ‘positivity’ through those photos. I think this excessive expression of ‘self love’ through superficial acts of self-development can be dangerous. Self love/care is a journey that requires healing, introspection, and practice. I think it is falsely represented through social media as something that is easily tangible. A womans’ healing and self-development is nothing that comes easy. It is intense emotional labor and difficult sacrifice. It is the break-downs before the break-throughs, it is morning prayers, it is overdue apologies to ourselves, and to our bodies, it is the agreement to live beyond the comfort of pain, insecurities, and relentless fear,it is bravery, it is discipline, it is a decision to love yourself wholly.

We live in an age where ‘positivity’ is forced down your throat, and the intention is good but the result is not. I think we lose our ability to feel and relate when pain, suffering, and imperfection is looked down upon. It denies us of our realities of mental health struggles, and life’s unpredictable trials; And what I find interesting is that this exists in and outside of social media, because of social media. In other words, whatever lifestyle you are portraying on social media, you have to keep up with it outside of social media, thus it becoming performative and disingenuous.

“Your said ‘knowledge’ is learned through memes so you can participate in the woke nigga Olympics..”

Yeah, I said it. I am drained by the plagiarism and regurgitation of information for the purpose of seeming intelligent. I think that when people ignorantly engage in socio-political debates or conversations in subjects that they are not well-versed in, but do it anyway, they reduce the work that real activists and researchers do; To just participate without any real objective other than to feed your ego and to reinforce that you are ‘smart’, is damaging and counterproductive.Blog Photo-Powerful Women

“…Beauty is shown through an expensive camera, carefully chosen pictures & a filter to show your ‘perfection’..”

The pressure to look a certain way is disheartening. I have felt it. I still do, and I think it’s detrimental to the well being and self-esteem of the young women who are growing up in this age. The teenagers that I see now, look like grown ass women and that scares me for many reasons. I am scared to raise a daughter in a world where she will feel that her self-worth and beauty is defined by the amount of likes she gets on a photo. I want the feeling of inadequacy to escape me fully, so that I never feel the pressure of needing to be more, or less, ever again. I have found flaws I never even knew were there, because of the bombardment of ‘perfection’ images on social media. I never even cared that my teeth weren’t bright white, but now I do, I never cared that my stomach wasn’t board flat, but now I do, I never knew my butt wasn’t big enough, but now I know.

The idea we have of our own appearance has been distorted, at least honestly it has been for me. I rarely look at myself through a camera without a filter- and when I do, I’m like “who the hell is this?” and I put on a filter on it to feel better. Wow, we live in a crazy time.Blog Photo Child Praying

“…followed by (insert Alex Elle quote) a writer that you don’t follow. A book that you’ve never purchased”

I have been ITCHING to write on this. Okay, so boom- you wanna seem deep so you find yourself a deep caption, cool. But what we’re not gon’ do is, take writers’ work without citing/crediting them. As a writer when someone takes my work without permission, and/or doesn’t credit me, it is as though you are passing it off as your own. Being a writer is a struggle already, visibility is important to us. I know people who say they love this poet and this poet, and yet have only read their work on Instagram. Do you really love this writer if you’ve never actually purchased their work? P.S. I always see when y’all steal my shit, and it sucks.

I remember in one day two people who had 20K+ followers stole my poetry and used it as a caption without crediting me. I think the insult is that you felt you really didn’t need to. You can’t love the writing and not value the writer.

“I want to walk out, I do- but I’m like the person peeking behind the curtain, wondering, can I do what the performers do? the ones that get the standing ovation? the ones that get the fans?”

I enjoy social media and not just for the good parts. I like looking on TheShadeRoom, I like looking at the ‘picture perfect’ girls holding tea bags, I don’t know why, I just do, and I find myself wondering like, “how much do she get paid for posting herself in this Fashion Nova fit”, and “wow, her life must be lit, gettin’ all this free shit sent to her”, and “maybe I need to up my followers so I can get some free shit too”, and then I realize I’m never going to be like them, because I’m going to be like me.

This pressure to be a ‘brand’, pulls us further and further away from our spirit, and closer and closer to our ego. This ‘branding’ draws us deep into a superficiality that hurts us by making us believe we are this way, and this thing.

I am constantly reminding myself to stay true to who I am because the alternative is an internal conflict of turmoil and lifelessness.

“I mean like fuck, I’m exhausted. Aren’t you tired?”

Living for your ego, is a lot like constantly trying to prove yourself – to yourself- to others, that you are great, talented, worthy, funny, cool, and your attitude is so “I don’t give a fuck”, that you’re numb to anything worthy of feeling.

I thought that what I wanted was to be this perpetuated image of attraction and *goals*, and when I started thinking that, I started losing me. It is a tiresome thing to live to please others. It is a tiresome thing to stare at pictures for 10 minutes to figure out which one to post. It is a tiresome thing to sit around thinking of a “good caption”. It is a tiresome thing to ask your friends which fucking filter you should use. And I say this angrily, because I have lost so much time and energy trying to be something I’m not, and I still see people trying to be this thing.

I came home to myself…and it is the best thing I have ever done.

Being A Pan-Sexual Woman


My inspiration for this piece was Janelle Monáe talking about her discovery of pan-sexuality & I was like yessssssss! So here we go :

As a black bi-sexual woman, I live at the intersection of injustice. I have had to be both elephants in the room.I have had to be a voice of insight, and a modest matter-of-a-fact speaker. My rhetoric always coming out as general knowledge. Always speaking ” the LGBTQ community…”, knowing damn well I was speaking about me, and us. I feel empowered by Monae’s courage and confidence to live in her truth in a world that would rather you be silent.

I remember being 12 or 13 years old and I was interested in what sexuality was. I guess I had googled ‘sexuality’ because I knew that I was attracted to both men and women. I read that there was an array of identities in which people identified with. I remember being so excited because I had found what I most closely related to, and that was pan-sexuality. I remember spinning around in my computer chair to face my mom and I told her that “I’m a pan-sexual!”. I said so with such urgency and excitement, because there it was…this exposition for the feelings that I had. She said “Alright, what’s that?”, and I told her “it’s when you believe that love is love, and it doesn’t matter if its a boy or a girl…”. I don’t remember her response, I just remember being so happy and joyful in that moment. I remember feeling too that, God had given me an even greater capacity to love.

I felt blessed that I could love more people than other people could.

I think now, that wow I was a deep ass 12 year old, but I think that when you’re that age, you are nothing but truth and innocence. I never thought that my sexual identity would be a problem, or be anything to be ashamed about. I hadn’t known that homophobia was a real thing, and I didn’t know that people would reject you just because of who you choose to love. I had just felt extremely blessed that I could love anyone, and especially those who have felt unloved because of their sexuality and/or gender identity.


Discovering My Sexuality

I had always known that I was attracted to women in the same way that I knew I was attracted to men. I think I tried to repress my feelings for women because I was scared of what people would think. My earliest memories of ‘coming out’ to my peers, mostly resulted in responses like, “Can I see you guys kiss?”, “You’re too pretty to be gay”, and “Oh, you’re a carpet muncher?”

(The carpet muncher one was my favorites, because I was like, is it really like eating carpet? lmao)

I didn’t really go through too much, in comparison to the people I know, who have struggled a lot with discovering their sexual identity. I was very okay with who I was, what I wasn’t okay with was : other people not being okay with who I was . Most of my struggle has just been from the responses and reactions from other people.

I internalized a lot of the homophobic comments said to me which made me feel ashamed about my sexuality. My relationships with women and men also suffered greatly on behalf of me being uncomfortable with my sexuality. When I was with women, they really wanted me to show them off, ya know, like anyone would want to be shown off, and I never would. I didn’t even want to kiss in public, or hold hands. I didn’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. I always told myself I wanted to be so sure that this person was who I would spend my life with before posting them on social media or before introducing them to family *because* if it didn’t work out, people would say “yeah it was just a phase” or invalidate the relationship as a whole. I always felt like I needed to prove that my relationship was authentic and real, because of the projections of incredulity from other people.

The most common question I get asked by people who are discovering their sexuality is, “How did you come out?”. Well, I never did ‘come out’. I never felt the need to, I mean sometimes I did (pressure from partners), but I never really cared to do like this whole elaborate weird thing of announcing “hey I like girls”, in the same way that straight people don’t go around saying “hey I’m straight”. I understand why people do ‘come out’, which is usually for acceptance, but I’m now 24, and as long as I can accept me, I’m good.

I think people have this idea that bisexual people like men more, or like women more, and that may be true for some people but for me, I just go with the flow, it doesn’t really make a difference. Some people also think bi-sexuality is just the pathway to becoming a lesbian, or a phase that one grows out of; Both ideas have played a tremendous role in how I thought about myself. I questioned a lot if I was just going to be a lesbian, or maybe I wasn’t bisexual at all, and I just liked *this* person.

I do have this controversial opinion of mine (backed by social science) , that sexuality is really just a social construct, meaning – heterosexuality is the norm because our society says it is, and thus people fall in line. I believe that innately we as human beings, our sexuality is fluid and if we did not have these social constructs, majority of people would fall more fluidly on the sexuality spectrum.

Defining My Sexuality

( Terms I think it’s important to be familiar with )

Cis-gender – a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex. (I.e. you were born a boy and you feel like you’re a boy)

Trans-gender – a person who does not identify with their sex assigned at birth.

Gender-fluid– a person whose gender is not fixed. Some days they feel more masculine, some days they feel more feminine.

** big point I want to make here : GENDER AND SEXUALITY ARE DIFFERENT.

I usually identify myself as bisexual when the question arises, just because a lot of people are unfamiliar with what pan-sexuality is, and it averts any following questions. There has been a lot of ambiguity in the community on what the difference between bisexuality and pan-sexuality is. For me I choose to identify with pan-sexuality because it is inclusive to all gender identities whereas with bisexuality their attraction is solely to cis-gender men and cis-gender women.

I know that people get really confused on sexuality and gender identity, and a lot of people don’t understand it, but I think it’s important that we as a people do our research to understand its’ complexities. People will dismiss conversations as soon as they feel like its ‘too much’ or want to invalidate someone’s identity. I started in-depth research a few years ago, as I began to learn about the alarming violence against transgender women- more specifically black trans women. I don’t know where all the hate comes from, but I think the first step is awareness and education, and I think that is everyone’s civil obligation.

My Struggle of Being a Bi/Pan-Sexual Woman

I use the terms bi/pan/and gay interchangeably to describe my sexuality. In safe spaces, and with people that I trust, I don’t mind being specific about my sexuality. In every other space I feel a sense of security by using ambiguous umbrella terms to describe my sexuality. I feel like it serves as a security blanket. I don’t feel like I need to say I’m ‘pansexual’ because I don’t think specificity is needed in order for my sexuality to still be valid. Some days my sexuality is unclear to me (If I’m being honest), and being able to use different terms interchangeably gives me a sense of freedom from feeling boxed in & labeled.


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