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A Thought about Personal Perception

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07:50:00
Let me first start off by saying that this is a weird post to write. It' strange because even though I don't really filter myself on this blog, I rarely go into topics that are me-centric. Usually, they are overarching topics that involve groups that I am apart of and as a result I have an opinion on them. I am a black woman and  I have opinions on things that involve black women. I am also plus sized and I have an opinion on fashion as it pertains to (and ignores) plus sized women. But aside from my introduction post, most posts I write aren't as me-centric as this one will be.

I've been in a continuous slump of how to present myself both offline and online. And it's been happening for as long as I can remember. At first it was a conflict because I wanted to be so many things and look so many ways. At that time the multiplicity of people just wasn't a thing in my mind and I didn't realize I could be anything and everything I wanted. I wanted to be emo and punk but I also wanted to be as cute as a button and have that sort of feminine dolly look about me. It also became a case of not seeing black women who were into those looks and having a basis to set myself upon, you know?

Now it's different. I've been lucky and blessed really to see the emergence of black women in every look I can imagine and then some. I've also come to realize that I don't have to stick to one look. I can change it up everyday and still feel like I'm being true to myself and the aesthetic of things I like. But I still have an internal conflict going on. Everyday it would get a little worse and it's an overwhelming feeling at times.



It's a pressure to be pretty that no one but myself is inflicting upon me. I don't have to be pretty or choose to present myself in ways that relate to being pretty. I don't even have to present myself in a way that is remotely attractive or is normal or whatever. I don't have to really do anything. And I full well know this but I still can't feel comfortable posting pictures of myself that I feel aren't pretty. There's a pressure to be pretty. I'm not even going to discuss whether or not I think I'm pretty or whatever because that's really not at the heart of the issue. It's the feeling that I should be conforming to some idea of pretty. There are so many versions of pretty and I feel like I have to fit into some box of pretty.

So I kind of did something a little weird. Well not that weird. I deleted Ig and then signed back up for it. I took a week-long break in between it and let me tell you I got a lot of stuff done. I read alot during this time and I came to realize that IG took up a bit of time of my life. There's nothing wrong with that of course but I mean I think I could be using that time to do other things.

Anyway what happened was that I kind of vented all my issues and ideas about this pressure to feel and to present as pretty (to my friend) and came back and did what I wanted to do. Which is to present myself in a way that is very me and isn't necessarily pretty.



And so far? It's working pretty well. I've got my images all set up ready to post and truthfully I like it. Instead of focusing on how pretty or not I look, I just think about whether or not this picture is me and also is it fun? I think that so much of personality is taken up by how dramatic, and silly, and whimsical I am. And I feel like my pictures should reflect that. 

I guess what I want to say is that personal perception of self is hard to define. It's hard to look like you feel and to be content with that. It's even harder when you're not sure exactly how you wish to present yourself in a way that is cohesive to how you feel. As scary and overwhelming and impossibly confusing it is getting there, when you do get to the point where you think your outside matches your inside, it can be a relief and wonderful. Many people don't really understand this or at least acknowledge how great it can feel to in sync.

But I can tell you as someone who is slowly finding out how she wants to be perceived and the ways in which I can do this, it feels really great. It's a challenge some days because I think that the way I want to be perceived and the way I present myself isn't always the best and doesn't look that great to the people around me, and other's perceptions of me is something I struggle with. But it's all a work in progress and everyday I slowly just stop worrying about how others perceive me.

That Time I Stopped Drawing Because I got A Bad Grade in Art Class

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10:53:00
I'm an artist. Or at least that is what my instagram bio says and as we all know if it's in our ig bio, it's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But I didn't always start out as being the silly little cartoonist I am today. Actually, I only started drawing consistently last year. Over the course of my life, I've started and stopped drawing at least a thousand times. Art isn't talent like everyone thinks it is. Some people are more attuned to drawing and may be able to draw at a higher level than others initially. But art is practice. It's hard work, long nights and incidents of carpral tunnel.

It's taken me a year to realize. Now that I know this I sometimes sit back and think about how good I'd be at art if I had actually continued drawing all those times I stopped. How awesome would my art be?  Would people know about my art and be interested in it? Would I even be in university studying evolution or would I be in art school? Would I have gotten a better grade in art class?



I don't think all those years of practice would have changed anything. It definitely wouldn't have changed my major, nor what school I was in, and it sure as heck wouldn't have made my C in art class any better. My love of drawing couldn't have saved my grade and how it made my belief in my artistic ability plummet.

I started off the year really liking art class and by the end of it, I was disillusioned with the whole aspect of taking art classes. The problem wasn't really with me, or with the class. It was a mix of the two. I had no interest in doing fine art and studying and trying to replicate the art work of famous artists. I was more into cartooning. And me and art class? Well we just didn't gel. I still had a passion for it and I doodled and sketched whenever possible (ask my other teachers about that) but I just wasn't that kind of artist.

And it's a little sad that I wasn't able to understand that in middle school. I absolutely lost faith in all artistic ability I had. And it wasn't me it's just that, art class was a class before anything else. It was more about learning and less about freedom and expression (although shoutout to my teacher at the time. We studied Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo!).




In between my loss of faith in myself, I started and gave up alot. I drew and didn't see progress and stopped. I would see other artists and how good they were and think 'I could never do that'. And I would stop. And I would feel that sneaking sneak sadness poking it's nosey face into my life. And I wouldn't draw again for months.

I was slumped and slumped good. And it really took a long time to get back into art and to inspire myself to do it and do it consistently. I had an artist or two that I discovered and totally inspired me to get back into drawing.

My art isn't good. I've been drawing consistently for only a year. But it's been a good year. And I've improved alot. I'm proud of where I am right now. I have ideas that I can't wait to put out. I have a two year timeline until I begin to work on and publish my first webcomic. In those two years I have a lot of work to do and a lot to practice but once those two years are up, it's all go whether I'm ready or not. And I'm excited.

In The Know 001 - Interview Hoda Katebi (of JooJoo Azad)

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05:42:00
I cannot even tell y'all how thrilled I am to write this post. I have been thinking about this since last year and I am just bursting at the seams to write this and start this series. Welcome to In The Know, a blog series that focuses on POC doing really cool and unique things within the beauty and fashion community. Once I month I bring y'all a new and very cool person (or people) that I think y'all have got to know about (hence the name!). This month I am honored to bring you a blogger who've I been a fan of since I started blogging so many years ago. I had the opportunity to interview  Hoda Katebi the creator of the political fashion blog Joojoo Azad. She describes her style as being unapologetic (yet) lighthearted, creative and angry. We talked about identity, upcoming projects and using fashion as a form of politics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
I’ve been a reader of your blog for a few years now and although I know your blog and who you are, my readers may not. Can you introduce yourself and your blog?

My name is Hoda Katebi. I am Iranian, born and raised in Oklahoma. I turn 22 later this month. I started Joojoo Azad (meaning free bird in Farsi) in August 2013. I started my blog two months after a pregnant Muslim woman in France had a miscarriage after a hate crime. Out of all the violence I had experienced growing up as a hijab-wearing girl in Oklahoma, and out of all of the gender-based and religious-based hate crimes I heard left and right in the news, what happened to the woman in France had really struck one of the deeper chords in my body. It was also around the time I started becoming interested in fashion from a political angle. I started JooJoo Azad as a platform to be able to portray myself, my story and show the space that Muslim women should be taking up. My blog is a radical fashion blog. It's a fashion blog that intertwined with politics.



Your blog mixes activism and fashion. Why did you start your blog and was it always focused on fashion and activism?
JooJoo Azad has always sat at the intersections of fashion and activism. Fashion is inherently political, and I want to be able to use that property. And of course, it's only right that I call out the industry that I work in. I couldn't work in the fashion industry and stay silent about the fact that it is one of the most destructive industries in the world.

On the Political Value of Fashion on Joojoo Azad - Photographed by Kevin Serna (Brownbook Magazine, issue 59, 2016)


 What message do you want people to take away from you and your blog?

My message to Muslim women and women of color is to be unapologetic. Forget the rubrics of beauty. Forget “flattering” clothes. Don’t let fashion become simply a mindless consumer good. It’s political. It’s a method of communication. Use it.



 You recently published your Tehran Streetstyle book, which is beyond cool! How was the process of creating this? Which parts did you enjoy the most and which parts surprised you?
It first started with reader requests. They wanted to see more Iranian fashion. I also did academic research on underground movements of Tehran. When I went to talk with activists, I asked how I could better support them. They told me to create a media for a western audience. I use the medium of fashion to create this message. So I started doing more research. I went to shows and taking photos (with their permission of course!) and interviewing people. After that came the process of editing, printing, thinking about how I wanted to publish it, etc. The most surprising thing was the multiplicity of the women and designers of Iran and how the value of fashion for them isn't what I thought it was. I thought of the underground fashion scene to be a largely political landscape but Iranians are not homogeneous and the underground fashion scene had different meanings to different people.


With the different styles and looks shown in your book, how do they inspire your day to day fashion?

Yes, definitely. Iranians are mad good with colors and patterns. I’m happiest when I’m clashing patterns head to toe (or in all black)! I gather inspiration from Iranian patterns, architecture, colors, shapes, and silhouettes -- as is the inspiration for my upcoming clothing line!

An Ode to the Ethical Jumpsuit on JooJoo Azad - Photographed by Felton Kilter


On your blog, you’ve talked about your religion and culture and haven’t been afraid and really allowing yourself to embrace your identity as a Muslim-Iranian woman.  You even embrace your identity through your style. Do you have any tips for a person looking to embrace their own identity through their style?
Love yourself and your people. Learn the history of your people. Celebrate and affirm your people. You’ll naturally start dressing to reflect it


Have you ever had an issue with embracing your identity? If so how did you work towards being comfortable with who you are and your identity?

Of course! I was born and raised in the incredibly racist Oklahoma. I cried every day and I was physically assaulted when I started wearing the hijab in 6th grade. Even with my hijab I tried fitting in with my majority white classmates and I just couldn't. If I ever felt American for a second, I would quickly be reminded that I wasn’t by racist comments of my classmates (despite being born in this country). I was able to overcome it when I started to learn how to love myself.



We are both college students and we both know that a college student’s budget is not one to joke about. Since some of my favorite posts of yours are about ethical buying. How would you suggest for those of us on tight budgets shop more ethically without draining out bank accounts?

Well, I just graduated, haha! But the number one way? Stop shopping. I know it doesn't really answer your question but it is the most ethical alternative. Even buying ethically produced things is still consuming resources. The best way to go about ethical spending is to stop spending. I started doing this and it has quickly leaked into all parts of my life. I talk about this a bit on my blog and how I try to live a minimalist life and I found that it made everything so much clearer-mentally, physically. It's a whole lifestyle change.


If you are going to buy something, find things at thrift shops or Etsy. Supporting brown and black artists, artisans, and designers. You know, instead of buying 10 pairs of pants from Forever21, take that money and buy 1 or two pairs of ethically-produced pants and support brown and black business designers.
Daydreaming on Joojoo Azad - Photographed by Daniel Chae


Are you working on any projects or events that readers should be on the lookout for?

I just hired my winter intern, but have a low-key open call for activist-minded women-identified people of color to join our volunteer team! Later this year I'm working on an ethical clothing brand that is inspired by Iranian fashion, and also starting up a radical fashion magazine for women of color that specifically feature black women and femmes who work in activism and organizing. I have a book tour coming up that will be in California, Toronto, and New York, so if you are in these areas please keep in touch! (Or invite me to come speak at your university, hah!).



Are there any brands or even people you would like to collaborate with in the future?
I love collaborating with activist-minded bloggers of color and ethically-produced brands!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 It was such a pleasure to interview Hoda. It was really enlightening to listen to her opinions about fashion and to learn more about her blog and her approach to fashion as a whole. If y'all are interested in reading the rad stuff Hoda talks about on her blog I asked her which three posts people should read first and she suggested that you check out The Political Value of Fashion, Orientalism, Feminism, Asra Nomani and the Hijab and Allyship Post Trump. All three posts are brilliantly written and are definitely some of my favorite articles of hers.  She has a post coming up that discusses the Muslim registry, what is known about it, the history of it and what it means, and you really don't want to miss it.

If you are totally down with what Hoda is saying you can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Also be sure to check out her book Tehran Streetstyle and of course her blog.

Skin care Review: Teddie Organics Orange Blossom Water Best Face Toner

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09:56:00
This winter has been harsh on my skin. I'm an oily-normal combo skin kinda girl and I have never met a weather condition I didn't like until I moved to college and had to feel the New York dry fall winter weather. As a result my skin has been less than happy. I'm not as oily as before but I've had to deal with dry skin. I'm not going to lie, I really really hate having to deal with dry skin. It's flaky, and no amount of moisturizer feels like it's going to help.

Luckily I've found a product that helps spruce up my skin and leave it looking super hydrated. I scream, you scream, we all scream for hydration. And Teddie Organics Orange Blossom Water gives me that hydration I need. Also this was my Christmas present to myself. Present Zaire is thanking Past Zaire for buying this.

The product describe of the water (on Amazon) goes as:

This all natural alcohol free toner is perfect for all skin types, but works really well with dry, sensitive and mature skin. It’s soothing and healing and its anti inflammatory properties will help calm your skin and create a more radiant look. Its antibacterial and astringent properties also make it no slouch when it comes to minimizing pores and fighting oil build up. If you’re expecting an intense orange smell you’ll be disappointed. Sweet orange products are made using oil from the orange peel. This toner is made using the delicate orange blossom flowers, which provide a more subtle, floral scent. These bitter orange trees can be found in sun kissed groves in northern Africa, right on the Mediterranean sea. Neroli oil, made by steam distilling the fresh flowers, is one of the most expensive essential oils in the world. It takes about 1000 pounds of orange blossoms to produce 1 pound of oil. We’ve captured that luxury and light, floral scent for you in our organic Orange Blossom Water. So whether you’re prepping your skin for the day ahead or you need a mid afternoon skin refresher, simply close your eyes, spray on the fine mist and take a moment to breathe in the delicate scent. The aromatherapy benefits of Neroli - often used to relieve tension and anxiety – are an added bonus when you pick up this natural toning spray. If you find it’s not for you, don’t worry you’re covered by our no questions asked 100% satisfaction guarantee. Just contact us and we’ll provide you with a full refund. We stand behind every customer, every product, and every purchase.

TLDR: It's an all natural toner that is good for all skin tones and is really good at healing, and anti-inflammatory properties and can help make you glow. Also it doesn't smell like oranges (me? Is disappointed) but it has a flowery scent to it. It has tons of uses.



Personally, I love this product and it does wonders for my skin. I was struggling with some skin issues (those really huge zits that hurt like heck for no reason and leaves dark marks on your skin...also for no reason) and this product helped. It did not prevent a dark mark from happening, but it did help make those gross painful zits a little less painful. I've noticed that my skin looks a lot less red than it normally does and it feels so much smoother.

I love using this product so much. I use it twice a day diligently (and sometimes in between). If you wanna know the specifications of how I use it, I use it after cleansing my face and right before I apply my moisturizer. I make sure my skin is damp from the product, tap it into my skin gently and then while it's still remotely moist I apply my moisturizer. And there I go about my day. If I need a mid day pick me up or if I want to make my skin look really nice after applying makeup, I'll use it.

I'm not a hater of the scent but I don't necessarily like it. It has kind of grown on me, I'll say that. My mum commented that it smell like oleander and I have a penchant to think that as the scent dissipates it smells slightly like Froot Loops. If you aren't a fan of the scent then I still would say that you might like this, because the smell of this stuff goes away very quickly after spraying it.

My only gripe is that it's such a small bottle of watery goodness that the $10 price tag has me feeling funny. I mean I'll totally shell out $10 for this when I run out of the product but! I'm sure there are other toner waters that come at a cheaper price but are just as nice. Also I do have a problem because I can't seem to find any recent information on the Teddie Organics brand. For some people this may not be a problem, but I for one like learning about the brand and kind of browsing through their website.

All in all I love this product but I'm not so sure if I want to buy another one of these. This is great and I really like it, but I may want something else and I'm kind of eyeing up the idea of getting a Vitamin C toner instead of using this.





Final Rating? 5 Goku Spirit Bombs out of 5 Goku Spirit Bombs


What's your new skincare go to product? Is there something about toners that I need to know?


Studying for College Crash Course College #3

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08:00:00
In my last Crash Course College post I told y 'all I would talking about study tips and how to do well in classes. Hold your hats, because this will give you the deets needed to help you pass your classes. This is especially useful for you freshies that are going to be experiencing college for the first time and have no idea of what you should be doing. I mean no one teaches you how to study and studying for college is nothing like studying for high school. It's a completely different game and not even worth comparing.

So I have passed my first semester of college with pretty decent grades (Bs) and I'm so proud and relieved. And tbh the reason I passed was because I did well on exams and did really well on smaller assignments and did any extra credit work my professors threw my way. My good grades really comes down to the retention of information which is what this post will be about. I'm really big on retaining information and trying ways to help encourage this. The more information I retain throughout the semester the less I had to study and to re-learn. It just made studying so much more easier and less stressful.

I know that in highschool it was easy to pass school because you only had to remember a whole chunk of information and then it was out of your head and out of mind. But in college/uni this method is not enough. Out of the three finals I took two of them were cumulative. A lot of exams will be cumulative and you can't forget the information you learn, you have to retain it. And so here I am with tips on how to assist in the retention of information.




Write What the Teacher Say in Lecture

Maybe I'm totally lucky but most of my teachers make their powerpoints and lectures available online for us to access. If your teacher does that then print off their powerpoints and add in bits and details they talk about in the lecture. You are more likely to remember what they said then what's on the powerpoint. Also when you review you get a little more information about the topic than you would from just reading the powerpoint. If your teacher does not provide their presentations for you, I suggest recording what they say during class. After class is over you can listen back to the lecture and add in stuff to your notes.

Notes

Your notes in class have to be at least legible. They definitely don't have to be perfect but they have to be legible so that you can rewrite them better at home/in your dorm. This helps your retain information much better. Also when you go back at the end of the semester to study, you have all these nice looking notes. Reading from clean notes makes studying a little more enjoyable (only a little though). Also a little color coding goes a long way. Use color only when coming to a keyword or something super important.




Read your book!

My biggest mistake was not reading my book as much as I should have. Honestly read the material trust me. Read it before class or maybe even after class. Either way read it as soon as possible and in the closest proximity to your classes. You will retain that information that much better. Also you kind of get the jump on the rest of your classmates because honestly most people don't read their books. If you don't own or rent the books, you can go to your library and ask if they have it (they should). Or try to find an online version if you can.

Tell Someone What You Learned

I believe that the only reason I had a decent grade in psycology was because everyday I came home and told my parents or whomever would listen to me, about what I had learned. If you can regurgitate a lot of information from your lecture to someone and explain it well then it's cemented in your brain. So tell your friends, your roommate, your parents, siblings, stuffed animals about what you learned that day. At first you may feel silly and like a 5 year old but it'll help you a lot. there's a reason why kids remember so much information and I do think it's because they're always willing to tell others what they learned.



I have a few other brief tips on helping pass classes that do not pertain to retaining information. Do the extra credit work no matter how tedious. One percent can give you a whole letter grade. And it's really nice to do the extra credit work. If your mid terms are sparse and few but! you have lots of smaller assignments that are worth less than mid term grades (i.e quizes are worth 10% whiles midterms are worth 25% etc) then try to do really well on those smaller assignments. Even though it's worth less than your midterm it does help your grade alot more than you'd think it does. Read your syllabus before your classes start and also refer back to it a few times during the semester. There is a whole lot of information in there. Utilize what you read in there!

What are Your Uniersity Study/Exam Tips? How do you De-Stress after exams?


P.S if you like my study/exam checklist shoot me an email and I'll provide it to you as a pdf file!

We Need to Talk: Racist Beauty Brands

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08:00:00
People are getting really into the idea of buying vegan and cruelty free makeup. And I for one think that's brill. I love that people are being more aware of the impact that their makeup habits are having on the world. I also think it's wonderful how y'all pull out all the stops when you research the ingredients within your makeup products. Not only do you teach yourself but you teach other bloggers about the harmful ingredients you are putting on your face.

I'm all for being more conscious about your buying habits especially when it comes to makeup.  But I don't want cruelty free makeup to be the be all and end of all of conscious beauty.I think there are many topics that should be discussed within the beauty community like: opening up the ideas of what beauty is, how beauty is promoted, erasing the idea the light/white is right, being more inclusive of all bloggers, acknowledging the groundbreaking things women of color are doing in the beauty industry, stop attributing makeup 'trends' to white celebrities when they actually originate in communities of color and racist brands (which is what I'm talking about today).

There are a lot of brands that promote or are run by people who are very racist and promote racist ideas. Finding out this information is relatively simple in my opinion (a google search of brand + racist usually does the trick). There are also a lot of brands that aren't racist and don't succeed in the industry by continually benefiting off of the oppression of people of color. A lot of them are run by people of color and these brands are just as good as the makeup y'all are already buying, just a whole lot less racist.



Opening up a discussion and removing brands from our stash that have shown to be continuously racist is going to be a process for all of us. I still have stuff from a few years ago that are from brands and people that are problematic. I acknowledge that and I bought that when I wasn't really into researching the brands I was buying from. It's also so easy to buy from a brand you think is okay today but then tomorrow something happens and they show that they don't care about their non-white consumer base.

Whether a brand is newly racist or ones who have long standing histories of harming people of color, of running campaigns, or of creating this certain brand image that go out of their way to exploit/ benefit off of the oppression of people of color, I think it's important to discuss and talk about why their actions aren't okay, maybe even a bit of the history behind it and how we as a community are going to support our non-white friends who are affected by it. I think that as community we have to work towards not being so focused on all the good things the brand does but to look at brands as a whole. We should actively focus on holding them accountable for their actions and behavior. 

 I have seen numerous times people go gaga over Jeffree Star or Limecrime because it's vegan or cruelty free or whatever (which is important too). But very few bloggers actually take the time to see whether or not this beauty brand has had racist ads, or if the creator/CEO has said nasty things about non-white people. And while these bloggers actively support cruelty free makeup (which is again, great), you also are supporting people who have done numerous things that harm people who suffer under the ideas presented by white supremacy, and a society founded on racist ideals.



I'm not only protesting brands who have done things that are racist but also brands who aren't willing to acknowledge the problems they have caused and the racist things they have done. It is one thing to be called or told you are racist and to acknowledge you did a terrible thing and working towards fixing it and yourself but it's another to do what most brands do. They all have the exact same reaction to being called out for their racism and ignorance and it's to argue with those of us who are oppressed who understand their impact better than anyone. If I a black woman says that your makeup name, campaign or actions promote racist ideals, then they do (even if another black person comes about and says no, it's not. We don't all have the same experiences and knowledge of how racism against all black people works universally. But this is another post I think and I'm getting way off topic!).

Anyways, most brands choose to ignore people calling out racism. And then it becomes the understanding that these brands are no longer just ignorant but they are willfully ignorant and as a whole do not care about their customer base that are affected by the racist things they say and do.

I know a lot of beauty bloggers don't want to get political but to me this isn't political at all. I'm merely asking you to research your brands and see the impact they have on women of color and non-white individuals and then you make your decision based on that.

I merely want y'all to be informed and take a stance on the racism that many brands promote or have stood for. I don't want cruelty free makeup (though important!) to be the be all and end all for any kind of conscious decision concerning the beauty community. This isn't a zero sum game and there isn't some red pill, blue pill decision, in which you have to choose between cruelty free/vegan makeup and makeup that doesn't harm people of color. There are brands out there that support and are run by POC and are also vegan/cruelty free and environmentally friendly.



I got really upset and passionate about this post and it kind of shows, and the reason for this is because I think that the beauty community as a whole is ignores the racist things that tons of brands and beauty bloggers/vloggers do. Or maybe not even ignores but is ignorant to! You know, I think that if the beauty community as a whole talk and try to change this, we can have these brands and these people become accountable for their actions. I mean y'all are causing brands to become more vegan and cruelty free, I don't see why we as a whole can't do the same thing about the racist ways in which these brands profit off the marginalization and oppression of people of color.

Anyways to finish this up I hope this doesn't come off as a personal attack or even in a nasty way. It wasn't intended that way (but intention doesn't always equal affect). I'm not talking at you specifically I'm as a whole trying to address the beauty community and I'm hoping that this post makes you do a little double take. And to not leave you hanging and without any idea where to go, I highly suggest you check out this blog. The mods are great, the followers are great and they spend their valuable free time looking into things like what I've talked about. You can search for a brand, a blogger, and even like inspo pics in order to see what's what. This RBB is a good place to start but you should also think about doing your own research because they aren't perfect and also you wanna find them facts for yourself too!

And final word: I'm leaving the decision to buy a brand/not buy a brand up to you. I know I make some really big statements but I really want to stress that it's up to you as a person to talk about which brands you choose to support and to not support. I think that my overall message is to just have a discussion about the practices that some brands promote and to talk about the way they negatively impact people of color. There will be brands you continue to buy from that do some form of harm to people of color and there are brands you won't support. It is what it is.

Are there any brands on your no buy list? If so why? Where do you think the beauty community should start?

New Year, New Goals

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08:00:00
It's that time of the year where we all make resolutions we most likely aren't going to keep and we make promises we have no intention of seeing through. The root of the problem in my opinion is that we all strive for goals that are too big and overwhelming to do. We think "Okay I'm going do this large thing in so many months and that's my goal and I'm going to do this many big changes and it's going to stick and this year will be different'. I mean it's no wonder most resolutions don't stick right? We're so busy with thinking about how big and amazing our resolutions an changes are that we kind of fumble along the way.

What we all really need to do is put in place some smaller goals that will allow us to reach the bigger ones.  I've decided to re-evaluate my goals and hopes for this year and see instead of what big things I can achieve, focus on small things that will help me get the big things.


Blog


My goals for my blog in 2017 is to grow my blog and gain a bigger and more engaged following. I would love it if my blog hit 100 followers on bloglovin by this time next year. I'm going to do this by commenting more and being a more engaged follower myself and actually try to reach out and gain some blogging friends. At the end of 2016 I really did disappear and tbh I'm not sorry for it since school and to take a break but I definitely killed what little engagement I did have.Other than that I am excited to start my new blog series In The Know and also enjoying blogging. I aim to write more personal and real posts and maybe do some reviews when applicable.

Social Media


 I deleted my instagram account took a week long break and rejoined (I'll discuss this at a later point on the blog). Since my follower count before I deleted was around 80 followers, I hope that I can get 100 followers by the end of the year. It's not a big goal but it's something right (also 100 real followers is alot!). I have decided to do this by being an engaged follower myself and also to comment more. It's a little weird because I feel funny about commenting but, I also think that once I do become a more engaged follower I'll really like it.


University


I ended my first semester with mostly Bs. I hope to have at least one A when I end the new semester. I think I know where I went wrong last semester and I think that I will be able to get it. I think I'll do it by reading my books more and also by studying more efficiently. Not only that but I think I will go to office hours and actually get help if I need it. Although I won't lie doing so makes me feel really nervous. Like...my heart is beating a little faster just remembering the time I had to drop off my homework at my TA's office.

Also I really hope to join a club at uni. There is one or two I have my eye on and I'm really excited to try and get a foot in.  This semester I want to be more outgoing at school and join or apply for organizations and kinda of academic things. I did apply for being apart or an internship thing that is focused on art which I don't really think I'll get in but I was really excited to just apply for it. And I really liked that so I'm going to be doing more things like that.




Me

Something I don't really share is that I do a lot of artsy things. I mostly draw and I write. I hope to keep on improving and I will do that by practicing regularly. Another goal for me personally is that I aim to buy less things in general and more importantly less new things. If I do buy I will try to buy things that are second hand. Since I love makeup, my makeup habits will have to change as well. I aim to support mostly indie businesses and black owned companies as well. I don't really have any weight loss related goals but I mean...if it happens...it happens.

What are y'all's New Years Resolutions and Goals? Got any ideas on how you will accomplish this?