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Archive for the ‘Socialite Says’ Category

Happy Halloween! |The Natural Socialite

In Socialite Says on October 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

Happy Halloween

from The Natural Socialite!

Be Safe & Have a Blast!

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Is your night time “Head Wrap” turning your man off? | The Natural Socialite

In Dry Hair Remedies, Natural Hair, Natural Hair News, Socialite Says, Style Guide on August 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I am literally cracking up over here! LOL! Essence.com recently posted an article entitled Sound -Off: Is a Do Rag Really Okay in the Bedroom?, and I was tickled to death about how serious the guys that were interviewed felt about their Boo’s nightly head wraps. I mean, you all have heard me say time & time again…. If I don’t protect my hair at night, you might as well call me Florida (Evans) when that alarm clock goes off in the morning! lol. My hair ends up looking like the Black struggle & low self-esteem after just one night of neglect.

Our hair should not be interfering with our love lives, or our nighttime romance. Redefining ourselves means we are open to feedback, to listening and to changing if need be those things about our habits, rituals and personalities that end up costing us the love, happiness, and fulfillment we seek.
It is a well-known fact that natural hair and cotton fibers don’t mix, and the friction caused from tossing & turning at night can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause breakage. I will just have to tell my husband that I’m deeply sorry (not really) if my silk scarf is causing him problems, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Honestly, I’ve never noticed any “lack of attraction” on his end so………….. *Kanye shrug*
I howled with laughter, then I realized he was quite serious. Another gentlemen in his early 40s chimed in, “Yeah, I have begged my wife to at least give the hair thing a rest a few nights a week — it is hard to feel connected sexually to my wife when she has hardware in her hair, or her hair is covered up and I cannot touch it. Very frustrating, but if I say something about it we end up in a huge fight. So I don’t say anything anymore to keep the peace.”
Now I don’t want to seem insensitive to this group of Black men, but I cannot understand how a scarf or bonnet makes one less attractive to their spouse or partner. I mean, would you rather your woman sleep without her “hair equipment” at night and look busted at work tomorrow, so that you can get your night of “sexual connection”? What will that do for the attraction you feel for your spouse when you awaken from your night of passion?

Lucille Ball wearing a sleep bonnet in I Love Lucy

The idea of wrapping hair for sleeping is nothing new, nor is it something that is exclusive to Black women’s hair. Back in the 1940s women would get their hair done in the salon once a week or so and, in order to preserve the style, would wrap their hair in head scarves so that they could get as much “wear” out of the style as possible before having to have it re-set.
If my husband felt completely turned off by my bonnet and asked me to oblige, of course I would. Just for one night though…. Don’t get too used to that though sir. I kid, I kid. I have been considering investing in a nice satin pillowcase, so I just may go ahead and make that purchase in order to preserve my sexy.
~Charlotte

Video: Natural Socialite Moves to Chicago!

In Socialite Says, YouTube Videos on July 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

What are your favorite things to do in Chicago? Favorite Restaraunts? Things I MUST see? How do you protect your hair in the harsh Chicago winter?!?! Send me suggestions!

www.Facebook.com/NaturalSocialite

Natural Hair & the Generation Gap | The Natural Socialite

In Natural Hair, Self Help Series, Socialite Says on July 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

 

Ever since I completed my transition process and became natural, I have received mixed reviews from different people in reference to their opinions about my “new do”. When I first did my big chop, I was definitely not  1) prepared to deal with being COMPLETELY natural & 2) prepared to deal with having SHORT, completely natural hair. If I could have done it over again, I definitely would have transitioned more than the 10 months that it took me to grow my mini fro.   I have since grown to love my hair & its unpredictable nature, but since 2009, neither of my grandmothers have gotten accustomed to the beauty of my “nappy hair”.

I know that I am the only one who has to love my hair, and quite frankly…. I do & could care less what people though.  My experiences with some of my “elders” however have caused me to stop & think twice about the generational gap that exists when it comes to natural hair. Going against someone else’s standards of beauty can be challenging, but nothing beats loving yourself for who you are.

Have any of you witnessed the generational differences that exist when it comes to having natural hair?  Did you get any opposition from your family members when you decided to transition?  If so, how did you deal with the “pressure to perm”?

She is PISSED at Black People! (video) | The Natural Socialite

In Art & Beauty, Socialite Says, YouTube Videos on June 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Take a look at this video & see exactly why she is soooo pissed at Black people!  Lol…

Peet Peeve Alert! Please stop saying “Dreadlocks”!!!

In Education, Natural Hair, Socialite Says on May 19, 2011 at 8:48 am
bob_marley_01

Bob Marley

Ok. This post stems from a conversation my husband & I had at lunch yesterday about this lady walking up to me and asking if I was “gonna let my hair dread”.  Now my husband KNOWS how much I 1) Hate the term “Dreadlocks” 2) Hate people assuming that since I’m natural, that it must be because I plan on locking my hair, so he immediately looked down at my face in anticipation of my “WTF” look.  Yeah, she got hit with the “WTF” face.

My WTF face

Let me start off by saying that yes, I know that most people are not really “into” natural hair the way I am.  Yeah, I understand that my fascination with natural hair is borderline obsessive.  I get that. But dang!  I can’t help but to get annoyed when people make generalizations and assumptions just because someone has natural hair.  And not to mention the term “dreadlocks”. To me, that’s the same as someone using a word to describe something and they have no idea what the word means.

Ok. Now I cannot sit here and rant about how this term sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to me without explaining why this term is inappropriate offensive  to me.

Locs are not just related to the Rastafari movement, but are historically connected to a spiritual journey or relationship of the person wearing their hair in this manner. The term “dreadlocks” is a synthesis of the words dread & locks and was historically used to signify the “dread” in those who wore their hair like this. The Rastafari religion was once seen as a threat to Christianity and came under attack by the authorities that tried to suppress the ‘Rasta’ movement. Their dreadlocks were thought to be disgusting and frightening, hence the term ‘dread’ . It was also said that the wearer lived a “dread” life or a life in which he feared God, which gave birth to the modern name ‘dreadlocks’ in relation to this ancient style.

The term dreadlocks has a negative connotation attached to it, which is why people who are aware of the history behind this term prefer the use of “locks (locs)” or “African locks (locs)”.  Today, locks signify spiritual intent, natural and supernatural powers, and are a statement of non-violent non-conformity, communalism and socialistic values, and solidarity with less fortunate or oppressed minorities.

I understand that while many people wear locs as an expression of ethnicity and as an expression of their religious convictions, that some people wear them as a fashion preference. That’s fine with me.  I can be cool with that.  My only hope is that people will look deeper into the history behind the things that they do in search for a better (or any for that matter) understanding. Even though you may have decided to wear your hair in a loc style as a fashion statement, just try to be aware that it can be so much more than that for some people and that this term that you are comfortable throwing around can & may come across just as offensive as someone calling you a NI%$@.

Melanie LaRocque “ShayGon” Custom Artwork Giveaway!!| Enter to Win! *open*

In Art & Beauty, Contests & Giveaways, Natural Hair, Socialite Says on May 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

I am super-duper excited to announce this HUGE giveaway, hosted by the lovely Melanie “ShayGon” LaRocque! When I first contacted Melanie regarding my desire to interview her, she was so very gracious to offer to provide readers of the Natural Socialite blog an opportunity to win a customized piece of art from her collection (pictured above).

Here are some of my favorite pieces from her collection:

Mother Father & Child

Surrender

Canboulay

 The lucky winner of this piece of art will receive a truly Bespoke painting, because Melanie has agreed to reproduce a similar artwork in a colour scheme of the winners choice.

If you read my interview with Melanie, then you know that she creates art that starts with a feeling that is triggered by an experience, and this piece is no different.  In her own words:

The painting is called “Erykah” and it was inspired by Erykah Badu who was (and still is) one of my musicians of choice.  At the time when I painted it, I had been made redundant and I was desperately trying to find work.  I had bills to pay and I was in such a turmoil about what I was going to do with my life.  The day I painted it, I vowed that I must never be in that position again where I’m begging people for a job in order to survive.  I was intelligent, highly creative, hard-working and there was no reason why I shouldn’t be successful.  So I picked up a paintbrush and a new canvas that I had stored in the back of my cupboard for years and began to paint.  Erykah was on rotation in my cd player and I began to “release” all the negative feelings and visualise where I wanted to be.  The result was this painting – a confident woman who is exposed to the cycles of life (hence the naked vulnerable body), but still remains poised, confident and determined to be the regal person God had intended me to be.
 
I have never sold that painting and it remains in my private collection.  I have also never painted another version of it, so it would be an honour to do so for this competition.  The size of the painting is 420 x 510mm. 

Here’s how you can win:

1. You must “like” the Natural Socialite Page on Facebook & comment that you entered the ShayGon giveaway. 

2. “Like” the ShayGon Page on Facebook & comment on her wall that Natural Socialite sent you.

3. Comment on this post with your name & email address & tell me what inspires you. If you participate in any of the 3 additional entry opportunities, please let me know here as well.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE DONE ALL THREE IN ORDER TO BE ENTERED!

**OPTIONAL**EARN UP TO 3 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES!

**option 1**Post the link to this contest on your Facebook wall to share with your family & friends! 

**option 2** Follow me on Twitter! Just email me at contest@naturalsocialite.com with your twitter name & say “I followed Natural Socialite on twitter”

**option 3** Subscribe to the Natural Socialite channel on YouTube!

That’s it!  The winner will be chosen by random selection using random.org.

This contest will end on Friday May 27th, 2011 at 11:59pm CST. The winner will be announced on Monday May 30th!

Dont forget!!! Melanie has  set up a coupon code for my readers that will entitle you to a 20% discount on all purchases until November 30th, 2011.  Just enter the coupon code SOCIALITE in her ETSY online shop  www.shaygon.etsy.com

You can also use this coupon more than once, so don’t miss out on your chance to own a piece of her beautiful artwork!

Interview w/ Artist & Designer Melanie LaRocque

In Art & Beauty, Interviews, Natural Hair, Socialite Says on May 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to find & meet Melanie LaRocque online after falling in love with photos of her work on the internet.  Melanie was so gracious to allow me to interview her and get a sneak peek into the mind of an artist.  I was floored by her down to earth personality and her willingness to speak to me; someone who was merely a fan. I am very honored to share my interview with the one and only ShayGon…

 

Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

My name is Melanie LaRocque and I am a self-taught  Artist-Designer-Maker.  I use the name “Shay” for my creative work which is a Melanie-revised- shortened-version of my Yoruba name: Olusegun (pronounced “O-lu-see-gon) .  It loosely means “God will help me to Conquer”.  I am a proud London-born, Trini-bred citizen who splits her life between the UK and the Caribbean.  Before becoming a full-time Artist, I studied law and worked in IP and Anti-Piracy within the Pharmaceutical, Creative & Technology Industries. However, I always harbored a dream of owning a shop or studio someday where I could create, design and teach something artist all day long because Art was my release.  I am always drawing something.  I doodle when I’m really concentrating and I always put a creative slant on anything I do.  Then in 2008 I discovered Etsy, which is an online marketplace.   I instantly knew that a change was coming.   I set up my online shop “ShayGon” and began the long walk towards my dream. 

When did you first discover your creative talents?

I didn’t.  Creating was simply a part of me -as common as eating, drinking and sleeping.  I thought everybody needed to create and that it was a natural part of life.  But my earliest memories start with my mum who used to set me homework from the moment I could hold a pencil.  My siblings used to come home from school with their work and I wanted to do some too.  So my mum would give me a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and say: Draw me a story.  So I did.  When I finished, I would sit down and “read” it to her.  I drew her so many stories and she kept them. I never stopped drawing stories until I started my degree.    

Could you tell us about some of your work?

Hmmm, I normally start with a feeling which was triggered by an experience.  I try to capture it whilst leaving room for questions . I think that it’s important that my paintings can be interpreted.  Someone, somewhere must be able to “get it”.  Otherwise, what’s the point? 

I usually draw people – especially women – black women to be precise – because I am one and I have been raised, taught, encouraged, cut-down, motivated up and laughed with them all my life.  So I simply paint what I know and I know what I feel..

 How will you describe your style?

Eclectic.  –which is code for “never-would-have-thought-of –putting –those-two-things-together” lol.   I don’t know if I have a particular artistic style – I’ve never had my worked assessed by an art critic – but I know that I am influenced by sights, sounds, smells and my heart.  So I take these treasures and mash them all together in a way that somehow works.  I also refer to my style as urbanite because I’m a cosmopolitan city girl who has old-fashioned values and ethical principles.

 Do you have a favorite artist? Or artists that inspire you?

I don’t have a favorite artist just like how I don’t have a favorite color.  I love anything that moves me whether it’s art, music, a bag, a shoe, a dinner set lol. I’m open to anything creative. But if I had to drop a few names of established people whose work I admire, I would say Matisse, Picasso, Rembrandt, Alvin Kofi, Kehindi Wiley, Chidi Okoye, Chris Ofili, Boscoe Holder, Jacob & Gwen Knight Lawrence, Kadir Nelson… the list goes on. 

Share with us something funny that has happened to you recently.

The funniest thing that’s append recently is my 1 year old daughter shouting “ahhh-MENNN” at the end of Pastoral prayer the other day.  And when people turned around and looked at her laughing, she just said it again with a look on her face that said “Say it like you mean it!”

 

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Oooo!  That’s a hard one.  I had to go away and drink some tea before answering this one lol.  But think this best describes me:

Sometimes falls but always rises…

 

Any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?

Keep it real.  Express your heart and don’t overthink things.  Be open and flexible to possibilities. See difficult situations as opportunities to polish and perfect your work.   That’s the difference between manufactured and organic work. 

This path is not easy so be prepared to work hard, encounter disappointments and feelings of failure.  The key is to not to give up.  Take a break, hit the pause button, but don’t chuck in the towel.

People talk about being discovered, but the real discovery is the one they made when they recognized their talent and nurtured it. 

Remember that life is more than you…

Lastly, how can we reach you in order to purchase your beautiful artwork?

So many ways to hook up with me:

Online Shop: www.shaygon.etsy.com

Blog: www.cariblime.blogspot.com

I also have a Facebook Page (search “ShayGon”) and I am on Flickr.

Of course, you can always contact me by email: shay_gon@yahoo.co.uk

Thank you for your time Melanie. Peace & Love.

Melanie has been so gracious to set up a coupon code for my readers that will entitle you to a 20% discount on all purchases until November 30th, 2011.  Just enter the coupon code SOCIALITE in her ETSY online shop  www.shaygon.etsy.com

You can also use this coupon more than once, so don’t miss out on your chance to own a piece of her beautiful artwork!

In the News: CNN Report on Hair Loss in Black women

In Natural Hair, Natural Hair News, Self Help Series, Socialite Says on April 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

 

I ran across this article on CNN Health and thought I would share it with you guys.  The article reported information from a study suggesting that hair weaves and braids are causing many black women permanent hair loss.  This made me sit back and take a look at my own “hairstory” and examine all of the unhealthy measures I have taken (in the past) to keep my hair fried, died & laid to the side.  I have vivid memories of my childhood next door neighbor and I trying to get our hair silky with curling irons & hot combs in the privacy of my bathroom. We wanted our hair to look like the glorified straight-haired beauties that we saw in the magazines & on tv, and in my opinion subconsciously felt as if what we had was somehow inadequate.

This article even makes reference to central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, also known as CCCA, which was at one time known as “hot comb alopecia” because “it was attributed to the use of hot combs to straighten curly hair.”  Wow. 

This isn’t (shouldnt be) news to us. We know the potential dangers of weaves, braids, perms, etc, etc, etc; and how they can cause hair loss, breakage, burns and loss of sight (relaxers) if done improperly.  We know this.  My question is why do we continue to do these things?  Why do we sometimes torture ourselves for beauty?

I’m not trying to get all deep on y’all, but sometimes we really should take a look at ourselves and evaluate why we do the things we do.  I had a happy childhood.  Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were the best that God could have given me, so please don’t even think of going there.  I just want to make sure that if I ever have a daughter that I teach her that she is beautiful just the way she is.  I need her to know that there isn’t anything that she will ever need to alter about her hair, skin etc. in order to fit in to anyone’s standard of beauty.  I will do that by starting with myself.  I am doing that by embracing my own natural beauty.  After all… God makes no mistakes.

Don’t forget to “like” the Natural Socialite on Facebook!

Do Prenatal Vitamins Really Help Hair Growth?

In Education, Natural Hair, Products, Socialite Says on April 21, 2011 at 10:31 am

For as long as I can remember, I have always heard that taking prenatal vitamins can aid in stimulating hair growth. Now when you are actually pregnant, your body actually produces more estrogen than normal which locks the hair into the growth phase, encouraging additional growth. But what about taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant, and just want more of a growth spurt for your marvelous mane?   Believe it or not, there is no reliable research available that supports this claim.

If you are someone who actually has some sort of vitamin deficiency, then there is some evidence that vitamins can help, but if you already have a somewhat healthy diet & lifestyle, prenatals won’t miraculously work wonders for you. In situations where you do lack some sort of vitamin deficiency, then a daily multi-vitamin will just about do the same thing.

The difference between prenatal vitamins and multi-vitamins is that prenatals usually have more iron (which is why you may get an upset tummy) & folic acid.  People usually target prenatals as the growth culprit because the vitamin B in folic acid accelerates growth of fresh cells, which replace the old cells and calcium helps in maintaining a healthy scalp. This increased dosage may however have adverse affects on people with some health conditions, including those of the liver and kidney.

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant prenatal vitamins should definitely be high on you list, because protecting the health of your baby is what’s most important.

Please consult with your doctor before taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant.  If you have insurance, it’s usually cheaper for your OBGYN to write a prescription for prenatal vitamins anyway because you can end up just paying your copay.