World AIDS Day.

I think, by now, we should ALL be somewhat aware of the statistics and rapid spread of HIV & AIDS.  Here are some numbers I hijacked from The Red Pump Project website [I didn't wear my red pumps today because it's 12 degrees & snowing out, but I'm rocking the Red Pump in spirit :)]:

  • 33.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide
  • 2.1 million of those are children under 15
  • 2.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2009
  • 1.8 million people died from HIV-related causes in 2009
  • 67% of the people living with HIV/AIDS are in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Young people account for half of new HIV infections

This is from the World AIDS Day Website:

  • The number of people living with HIV in the UK has (tripled) in the last 10 years
  • More than 90,000 people are living with HIV in the UK
  • Over a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are undiagnosed
  • About two thirds of people living with HIV are men and a third are women
  • Over half of all people living with HIV are aged between 30 and 44, but there are significant numbers both of young people and older people now living with HIV

And this from Rollingout.com:

  • Today in America, 152 people will become infected with HIV. Half of them will be Black.
  • Today in America, 2/3 of the new HIV cases among women will be black. [Did y'all see that?!  THAT'S 67 PERCENT!]
  • Today in America, 70 percent of the new HIV cases among youth will be black.

The numbers & statistics can be broken down for days.  It’s clearly out there.

What are you doing in your own life to prevent it from even happening?

We can’t live in a bubble, and I know that there is always at least a slight risk of contracting this disease outside of your own control… BUT, there are certainly things in your control that you can do to protect yourself.

I gotta be honest.  I’m almost tired of everybody having to beg people to take action in protecting themselves against this disease.  I get that sex is awesome.  Everybody’s doing it [God-forbid you even suggest NOT doing it] and living it up and sexing you down and working you out and inventing sex (O_o).

Well, work it on out then… but do you think it’s worth your life?

Methinks not.

In fact, meknows not.

If you’re gonna be doing what you do… PROTECT YO’SELF every time.  Get tested.  KNOW YOUR effing STATUS.

Pretty please?!

Hell.

I suppose a lot of people don’t think it can happen to them.  Shoot,  I’m probably in that camp on some level.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say all the stories of married women catching HIV from their husbands didn’t scare the bejeezus out of me.  [Not that I'm married or anything, but you get what I mean.]  Talk about the ultimate violation of trust & sacredness.  Lorena Bobbitt needs to be on speed-dial for women in that situation.

And of course there could be blood transfusions gone awry, needle-sharing, and so forth.  Like I said, not everything will always be in your control.

But, when it comes to things that are within your power, USE YOUR POWER.  The numbers don’t lie.  AIDS is all up in yo’ area, son.  America, the UK, Africa, and then some.  Ignorance is not bliss and we should be doing all that we can for ourselves & for others to stop the spread of HIV & AIDS.

*steps off soapbox*

*turns up ‘We Are the World’*

Shadeism.

I saw this video on a couple blogs at the end of last week so I’m a little tardy for the party, but still wanted to share.

I’m so impressed with the young lady who put this documentary together.  It’s so needed, IMO, because little girls of color everywhere go through some form of “shadeism” or awareness of their skin color at least once.  I know I have.

I’m on the darker end of the spectrum, so it’s sadly to be expected, but one of my best friends is high yella.  And she’s gone through it, too.  She got so much crap from other Black kids in school as a kid who automatically assumed she was “stuck up” or “acting white” or “not black enough” based off of her skin tone.  So, as I had issues with being “dark-skinned,” she likewise had issues with being “light-skinned” for different reasons.  She’s an example of how I know shadeism applies on both ends of the spectrum, depending on the scenario.  But, in no scenario is it ok.  ‘Tis the world in which we live, eh?

If you’ve got 20 minutes to spare, check out the video.

My .04 Cents.

Hey kids.  How was the weekend?  Good?

Good.

So, yeah, there are a few things that seem to be permeating my space as a member of Black America as of late, so I’m chipping in my .02 cents on these two topics that I can’t seem to avoid right now.

#1 – The big TP

That’s right, Tyler Perry.  I’ve gotten two separate Evite invitations to go & see FCG this past weekend.  I didn’t go.  I just wasn’t amped to see it.

From what I’ve seen and  heard, people either loved it or hated it.  But that’s typical for a TP film, right?  Right.

I haven’t seen all of his movies, but his track record hasn’t been the greatest for me.  Why Did I Get Married [the first one] and The Family that Prey’s were not bad, actually.  Meet the Browns, however, was one of the worst movies I think I’ve ever seen in my life.  House of Payne & Meet the Browns [the TV shows] are also just SO sub-par.  Just SO... didn’t curl all the way over.  In my opinion.  And his stage-plays?  Never been a fan.

His characters tend not to have any depth or dimension and they can be very over the top.  The messages tend to be RIGHT on the nose.  Like one of the characters will literally explain the moral to the story in a moment of dialogue, instead of just letting the overall story actually tell the story.  That isht is like fingers on a chalk board.  Drives me ALL THE WAY up a wall.  LAWD.

To his credit, he has some funny actors.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t CTFU at Madea.  And the lead actor dude on House of Payne.  He’s hysterical.  Still, they’re not enough to save a bad script.

I will say, I cannot knock his hustle.  Tyler Perry has the drive and chutzpah to find a way to get his stuff produced by any means!  He’s built an empire from nothing and that’s definitely something to be commended.

But people have such polarizing opinions about TP that Ion’t even like to discuss my thoughts on the matter with certain people because they don’t want to see both sides of the coin.  It’s like politics!  They either STAN for this guy [because "he shows films that uplift black women / he's not afraid to talk about God / he touches on 'real' issues / etc."], or they have a seething hate for all that he does [because "his films are full of coonery / he hates Black men / he puts out a poor image of Black people/ etc."].  I’m somewhere in the middle.  I’m a TP non-partisan.

At the end of the day, dude has an audience.  I don’t particularly care for his work, but obviously a lot of other people do.  Will I ever see FCG?  Prolly so.  Am I expecting to be blown away?  Likely not.  Here’s part of a comment I left on a post over at The Grio about TP that pretty much sums up my sentiments:

If you like his movies, by all means, continue to support.  But a Black person should not have to automatically support a Black film if they don’t think it’s quality. Period. #endofsentence Just because the message is a positive one, it does not equate to the film being good. There’s an art to film-making, which he hasn’t yet mastered. *shrugs*

But, again, kudos to him. I wish him further success & better storytelling.

And there’s my .02 on that.

#2 – Natural Hair

I’m a little… shall I say… weary on this natural hair discussion.  See, a lot of women are “going natural” now and, hey, that’s wassup in my book.  I’ve been a natural since ’04, so this isn’t new to me.  Hell, I WISH there were as many blogs & youtube videos to go to for advice & support when I transitioned.

But, what I’m getting sick of [well, have been sick of for a while] is the discussion around the natural hair discussion.

Makes sense, yes?

No?

Okay, lemme ‘splain.  Black women, it seems, are transitioning in droves these days.  With that, you have some of the OG naturals who have become Natural Hair Nazis and say all these new transitioners are doing it because now it’s a “fad.”  Or you have the naturals who think that they’re now so much better & “blacker than thou” because they have natural hair & you don’t.

O_O

*sigh*

Y’all… that isht get’s on my damb nerves.

I was out with my sister one time… she’s natural too, but on this particular day she flat ironed it.  We’re at a house party & this girl [who I could only assume was a new natural] was talking about how she was looking for products because she couldn’t tame her hair with all the humidity & moisture this & youtube that & so on.  My sister said something like, “yeah, I know what you mean.  My hair acts a fool when it’s humid, too.”  And ol’ girl responds with, “But still, I’m natural so you probably don’t know what I’m talking about.”

O_O

Look.  I’m so glad you’re proud & you’re free to be you & are all “natural hair don’t care” and what not, but please… let’s not feel ourselves too much.

Now, I STAN for gorgeous big hair.  I love the different styling options, etc.  I am not a fan of perms or weaves for ME.  And that’s my prerogative.  But if somebody else chooses to do what they do with their hair, by all means let ‘em do it.  Take the chip off.  If you’re a new natural, don’t treat your permed friends like you’ve “seen the light” and they’re lost in permed darkness.

If you’re an OG natural, why resent those who may be going natural as a “fad?”  Who cares?  They’ll probably switch it up again when the natural “fad” passes.  Get over yourself.  Let people do what’s right for them WHEN it’s right for ‘em.

My final .02 cents.

Thank you & goodnight.

Beauty-full.

My girl crushes…

Victory!

I. Am ridiculous.

A few months ago, I noticed a friend of mine got her nails done in this grey color. Like a flat, matte, grey. I had never really seen that color before in a nail polish, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. So, soon after, I decided I wanted to find some grey nail polish like it.

Anytime I happened to be at a store or pharmacy (CVS, Target, Sephora, Ulta, etc.) I would peruse the nail polish section for the perfect shade of grey.

For too long, this mission was a complete bust. I bought polishes that turned out to be silver, gun-metal, a purple-y kinda concrete-ish color (yes, this makes sense), and every-other wanna be grey-but-not-really color. I bought about 4 or 5 different nail polishes that were ALL the wrong color.

You would think after all these failed attempts, I’d just let this go.

You would think.

But, oh, no. O_O

The more I couldn’t find this grey nail polish… the more I had to find it.  This… this… elusive grey that withheld itself from me.  I would find it.  And then, finally, I did! *does the cabbage patch* I went to a new Ulta, looked at the shelves, this time almost just by routine. Not even expecting to find anything. Not even with my hopes up.  And then…

*cue harps*

YES! Essie, in a color they’ve called “Chinchilly.” THE grey that I’ve been looking for. *fist pump* And it’s looking awesome on my toes right now. #TAKETHAT

Just a little lesson in persistence my friends. If you want the nail polish, go after it!

Yes, I know I’m ridiculous.

#youcare

Eat better.

Listen.

I don’t claim to have the healthiest, organic-eating, no-sugar-allowing, vegetarian diet in the world.  But I do watch what I eat.  I watch my portions, I read labels, I almost never drink pop [soda], and I make sure I eat some kind of fruits / vegetables on a regular basis. I can admit I have a thing for french fries & sweets that never seems to die, but I can keep it in check. [knock on wood.]

Food, or, rather, the abuse of food causes so many unnecessary diseases & ailments.  America is one of the FATTEST nations in the WORLD.  There have been a gazillions studies on the correlation of a poor diet to poor health.  We all know the stats.  We all know our kids have been getting more obese over the years.  We all know what the freakin’ food pyramid recommends. EVERYBODY knows these things .

So, when I see isht like THIS?!

Dude.  This is a hot, greasy, chicken-fried MESS!  THREE slabs of fried meat, cheese, and heavy sauce.

KFC has manufactured the perfect storm for high blood pressure, clogged arteries, & the diabeetus.

I’m so straight on this sandwich.  It looks like it’ll have you all bloated after you eat it.  Like your stomach would be in knots & you’d need to stay near a bathroom. Like you’d have a blinding headache from eating all that sodium in one sitting. Like you’d be stricken with all TYPES of itis.  This probably has the same caloric intake of an ENTIRE Thanksgiving meal.

No bueno.

Y’all, please leave this sammich alone. Let KFC have that crap.

Chris Rock should have talked about this.

I could have used this image today & stuck it on the wall by my desk circled in red with lighted arrows pointing at it.  I was asked three different times by two different people if they could touch my hair… one who had her hands in my head before she even finished asking the question.

It can be a compliment, I guess, but if someone has nice skin, do you ask if you can touch their face? It’s just an odd request to me.

I’m not a chia pet.

[Image from Kiss My Black Ads]

Image taken from Kiss My Black Ads

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