#OdeToKim

In a world of influence and short lived fame, only a few can hold the status/title of a legend or icon.

Nowadays, we see so many people wanting to live in a world that involves having “clout” or a large following simply to hold the title of ‘influencer’ but they lack actual influence. We rarely see someone come in the game of their respected craft and create a lasting impact, one that goes beyond a link click, a retweet, or a few thousand likes.

For my 25th birthday this year, I wanted to pay homage to a true legend, Lil’ Kim. For my birthday shoot, I decided to recreate two looks from her and honor another Cancer (because let’s face it, Cancers are amazing). But, the homage went beyond the blue ‘Crush on You’ wig and it went beyond posing in a towel channeling my inner sexy. I gravitated towards Kim because .. our birthdays are two days apart but also there was a time in my life when I didn’t love myself completely and it took a while to really look at my skin (literally, my skin) and realize, “damn, this brown is beautiful.”

I always wish that Kim had people around her to let her know that she was beautiful the way she was, that it was okay to have low moments but that didn’t mean she had to change a damn thing about herself. There are so many missing links to her story that people won’t ever know about simply because they don’t take the time out to read the actual interviews, read her story, or fully take in the words that come from her mouth when she speaks on what she’s been through or the things that influenced the decisions she’s made in life.

Nevermind a blog, a headline, or some “jokes flying on Twitter” under a picture .. she’s a woman who needed love and affirming and didn’t get much of it.

Now, this isn’t a sob story or a pity party for Kim because she’s definitely left her mark in the world of music, entertainment, and fashion. But, the more I looked into her pictures, her looks, the outfits, details .. I realized, “damn, I want this”. TO CREATE AN IMPACT. And to be able to do it effortlessly and authentically.

Year after year, women (both celebrities and every day women) rush to recreate her iconic looks ..the wigs she wore, the raunchiness and sexiness she served. Even me, I scattered trying to order the best blue wig I could find to pull off her 90s look. Even if internally, she wasn’t feeling like the queen she really is, one thing she was .. was unapologetic. Unafraid to make people uncomfortable because she was a woman who talked about sex, who kicked shit like a nigga, and hustled by any means necessary before getting on as a rapper. Even as a rapper, she was down, she was cool, a girl’s girl, she was sexy. She embodied so many elements and never was afraid to be herself or push the envelope.

I think it took me sometime to really come into my own .. more time than I would have liked but I’m glad to be in this space now. I think she’s finally in that space too and regardless of the enhancements and changes she’s made, you can’t help but to love a woman who knows who the fuck she is and what she brings to any table she sits at.

So, it was an honor to pay homage with my #OdeToKim and I can only hope to have a lasting impact with the content I create as she does time and time again. Influence fades but Kim’s icon status is forever.

Happy birthday Kimberly and thank you.

Give Mary Her Things -- The Journey of Womanhood + Missions Bigger than us

Whew, y’all! Anyone else still on a high from the BET Awards?! I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t plan on watching it at first but I quickly remembered that Auntie Mary (J. Blige) was being honored and there would be a tribute happening. I’m such an “auntie” myself and I love a good two step to the early 90s and 2000s music. But, let’s get into this topic!

So, my blog is centered around all things womanhood (girl talk), looking good, and feeling good. Today, I wanted to get into a womanhood tip because Auntie Mary definitely dropped a few gems during her acceptance speech at the awards and I gravitated toward something she said.

During her acceptance speech she said, “Even though I am a queen, a living legend .. I’m also a leader and I realized that it’s so much bigger than me.” First of all, YES affirmation! But also, there are so many times when we’re told that our platforms, journeys, stories, or whatever we go through are not only for us but for others as well.

I won’t lie, I’ve run away from that realization time and time again. I wanted my content and my testimonies to be mine and mine only. Never did I think that what I was sharing was made to help others along the way; Even if it was something small, there was always someone that could relate to it and use an experience of mine as a stepping stone to get over their own trials.

Even before Mary took the stage to accept her award, she was introduced and presented [her award] by Rihanna. During Rih’s speech she said, “Thank you for being you so we could feel comfortable being ourselves.” WHOA, A MOMENT!

Rihanna and Mary J. Blige, BET Awards 2019

Rihanna and Mary J. Blige, BET Awards 2019

That made me realize that there are so many times we’re called to create a platform or create some sort of safe place that ultimately serves others. For Mary, her music and even her life experiences helped other women overcome heartbreaks and unforeseen circumstances. Even for 20-somethings like myself who were introduced to her music as children, her music prepared us for some sort of womanhood that’s still relatable decades later.

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She always preached abut the Strength of a Woman and had her personal trials put on public display but didn’t know how many women she was helping through her transparency. It’s not an easy thing to be able to cry out loud, to say “things aren’t perfect”, go through a failed relationship, or an addiction with the world watching. But, she did and through her pain, other women found strength. Even girls who were too young to sing about heartbreak (because who hurt you at 7?) grew up with a forever auntie who had already gone through life’s experiences and could talk you through any moment of womanhood.

In the moment of realizing her impact and appreciating her transparency, I began to realize that everything I do is bigger than me. Even when I don’t want it to be, it is. There were so many times I was afraid of pushing out content because I didn’t know if people would actually gravitate towards it or appreciate what I had to offer. Then, I had to realize .. even if ONLY ONE person got something from the words I wrote or the videos I created, then I’ve done my job. I’ve used my platform for good and I’ve completed my mission.

“This journey has always been bigger than me. My mission is not to just to survive right now .. it’s to thrive and continue to make history while I do it.” -MJB

Even after I bopped, clapped, and shouted Mary’s lyrics at the top of my lungs, her words continued to sit with me. Mary is someone who’s achieved longevity in an industry that will chew you up and spit you out. She’s been through the mud, the fire, rain, hell.. the tornado. But, her journey as a woman was not in vain. It taught so many of us that you can be resilient, you can cry, you can share your life’s stories through hooks and verses and lift other women up simultaneously. Although she’s not the only woman to do it [there are so many more], she is someone I’ve admired for her willingness to do so. AND SHE NEVER MISSES A BEAT OR A TWO STEP, OKAY?!

Today and everyday, think about how your platform or your that idea you have that keeps pulling at you can help the next person out. Even if it’s not something you do everyday, how can your adversity or your triumphs be shared to uplift at least ONE person?

I hope that through this journey of blogging and creating content, I continue to be relatable and provide the conversations that we as young women are always pressing to have but the media likes to keep at a surface level.

Xx,

GH

Authenticity Is the Word ..

*Deep Sigh*

This entry has been months (maybe years) in the making but I’m so glad that it is finally happening. When I first created my website, I wanted to make a deep post about patience and how it’s such a virtue (and it is) but for some reason, I didn’t connect with the idea at all. I literally couldn’t bring myself to write about the topic. I realized that I was trying to be too deep and push out a narrative that didn’t truly represent who I am as a person. Which brings us here .. to this post. Authenticity is the word.

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So many times when we start a brand or create a platform, we want everything to be perfect. We start putting together the perfect aesthetics, curating the perfect Instagram feed, the perfect photo shoot outfits, and even drafting the perfect Instagram captions that honestly, most people won’t take the time to read because they simply don’t relate or don’t care. One thing I’ve learned on this journey of “Do your own thing” is that people simply want what’s real. They want to know YOU. Your most authentic self. When you’re not snapping away for your Instagram story or posing for your Instagram feed, or when you’re not out with your friends having a good time .. WHO ARE YOU? WHY SHOULD THEY TRUST YOU AND TUNE INTO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY?

I’ve always believed that transparency is a super power. Regardless if people know you personally, if you’re a genuine person they’ll find something to connect with.

There was a time I put myself into a box of what I thought other people wanted me to be, who they wanted to see me become. Truth be told, I’m not a “primp and proper” type of girl. I know how to conduct myself when it matters but on a regular day, I’m a girl who loves old trap music, I curse more than I should, I will twerk all day if you let me, and I love naps more than the average person. But, if you saw my social profiles or the work I was doing .. none of that was reflected.They were being exposed to a more poised version of me and being completely thrown off when interacting with the full version of me and I didn’t like that.

Recently, I’ve become very inspired by Megan THEE HOT GIRL-STALLION Pete and not just her success, but her authenticity and willingness to be herself. She’s fun, she’s southern, she’s brown, and she seems like such a girl’s girl. She doesn’t shy away from ‘driving the boat’ wherever she is and letting you know that she loves to twerk, make her music, and do hoodrat sh*t with her friends. People either love it, relate to it, or find something negative to say about it. But, you can’t deny that it isn’t authentic which is why people relentlessly support her. Another woman in the industry that I’m heavily inspired by is Scottie Beam: An on camera host and a pro in the media game. She’s unapologetic and open about her self love journey, her mental wellness, and never hesitates to speak her mind. While she has received backlash for being so outspoken, she’s also gained thousands of fans and supporters that love her and relate to the things she shares.

Right now, I’m working on releasing expectations and realizing that everything doesn’t have to be perfect in order to create something great. It’s one of the most challenging things but I’m finding beauty in allowing things to come and happen as they should.

I hope you do too.

Xx,

GH.


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