FearlessFriday: Jaznea

This Friday’s #fearless moment comes from college student and blogger, Jaznea. She give a personal look at how her hair change, changed her world.

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Fearless. I racked my memory trying to figure out my most fearless moment. Was it when I moved to NYC right after high school, learning how to drive, or maybe even when I tried to start my own blog.

Then it hit me as I was washing my hair.

Two years ago for no reason and with no goal at the end, I cut all my hair off. Family and friends disagreed and still some disagree today. I was ignoring the negative feedback because despite their opinions, I felt beautiful and strangers were attracted to my hair more than ever before. They loved my natural curl as much as I did.

When my hair started to form into an Afro, the looks I received from the closest people to me said it all. They still hated my hair. I come from a family were your hair is your temple and they didn’t quite understand mines, yet.

It did hurt a bit that my family disliked my hair and that they all thought I was a lesbian because I had short hair. Then a very close friend of mines told me she thought my hair was ugly. She did not try to sugarcoat her feelings at all.

After that, I started to reflect on my hair progress for the last two years and the effects it had on my life. Besides the fact I have been single since the haircut and the amount of men that has been attracted to me has dropped. It’s also been harder for me to get a job since the haircut. But could I blame all of that on my hair? I started to believe that my hair was out control and it was slowly ruining my life.

Was straight long hair the only option for me? Why does Solange look so beautiful but I am being told I look ugly? And my biggest question was am I the only natural girl that get this much slack for their hair?

I was afraid that life wouldn’t get better for me until my hair grew back out because it all was still going downhill. I couldn’t believe all of this was happening because of my hair choice. What got me out this funk of mines was a very long look in the mirror.

I realized that I was beautiful and so was my hair. What did it matter if nobody else liked it, I have to live with myself every day. And for jobs I was just applying to the wrong places or coming off wrong since I was already insecure about my hair.

Nobody close to me understands why I cut my hair. It was not for a statement but out of pure laziness. I didn’t want to maintain long hair anymore. Some may call me crazy for my reasoning but I believe, therefore I know, I was FEARLESS for cutting my hair off.

It changed how people looked at me (good and bad), altered my personality, and I’m glad to be a part of the natural movement. It takes a lot of guts to chop off your hair because women base their beauty on their hair length. Women still have short hair but if it’s not the Rihanna cut then they probably have long hair. I have run into so many girls who want to go natural but don’t want to do the “big chop”. I myself have yet to understand why because it’s liberating and a different experience. I mean it will grow back.

Be fearless and shameless. I learned from my haircut to do what makes you happy even if others look at you like your crazy!

Want to share you #fearless moments? Contact david@hairrules.com

 

Check out past #FEARLESSFRIDAYS

FearlessFriday: Yannique

This week’s fearless feature features Freelance Fashion Stylist, Yannique.

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I’ve always been pretty determined and pro active towards my goals and knowing what I want. But there is no feeling like being at peace with yourself and who you are as individual and REALLY achieving your dreams.

Growing up I had an amazing childhood in a loving household, went to college, obtained a business degree but never felt that I knew exactly what I was good at. Though fashion was in my “blood” since a kid, I could never seem to know what direction to go in or what exact field. I also never considered myself creative especially looking up to some amazing talented people in fashion, music and art. It wasn’t until after the end of my first job after college that I realized I wanted to get into fashion styling. I did what I had to do to learn as much as I could. Interned, assisted, studied, researched, started a very rookie portfolio and just kept going. I even started to get booked for small gigs, until I received the “dream” job of working on a celebrity styling team. Red carpets, music videos, performances, even a tour. Through all this however I still had self-doubt. The thoughts of not being talented enough, or good enough would resurface, especially once that gig ended after a year. Unbeknownst to me, however that was one of the best things that happened to me. When that gig ended, I took some much needed “me time”, got into a deeper relationship and spiritual walk with God and really just began to figure myself out.  I drowned out the negative thoughts and followed my heart and my passion.  I took on a fairly easygoing part time job that allowed me to maintain fashion styling gigs and clients. Earlier this year, I even took a leap of faith and began a book project that had been in my heart for a few years now. The best part was the peace that came over me. My attitude changed, the way I talked changed, just me in general. It was that moment that I realized I was comfortable in my own skin. I was OK with not having every little thing together yet knowing exactly what I want in life. I was ok with continuing to pursue my dreams in my late 20s. I was ok with being Yannique whether people have heard of her or not. The moment I became FEARLESS.

Yannique

Twitter:@itsyannij

Instagram: @yannij

Want to share you #fearless moments? Contact david@hairrules.com

#FearlessFriday for the Funnys

Why has it taken this long to satirize women’s magazines?

I don’t know about you, but every time I happen to pick up a so-called “women’s magazine,” or even while I’m hate-reading a Goop newsletter or xoJane testimonial, I feel dirty inside. Sure, it’s fun at first, but after a while, an overwhelming feeling of dread starts to seep in. You think to yourself: does anybody actually realize how sick and ridiculous this stuff is? Why does everyone apparently think this is normal?

Reductress creators/comedians Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo totally “get” how you feel, girlfriend. Reductress eerily skewers the “women’s mag” tone so well that you can simultaneously feel more superior (because you’re not actually reading Cosmo) and satisfy the sick pleasure you get from trolling yourself reading magazines aimed at women. And not even just the brainless stuff that you’ll find in a Cosmo, but Reductress also take the piss out of the “let’s never offend anyone” tone that even the more self-aware feminist sites like Jezebel can sometimes lean toward.

[Anna Graizbord] sat down with the women behind this “feminist Onion” to find out how in the world they pulled this off, how a comedic background was inherent in their understanding of interactive media and essential to their success, where they draw their own lines between ironic and sincere enjoyment, and also just to validate my own hate/love/hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow.

What was the biggest inspiration for Reductress? Was there any specific experience that set the whole idea off?

Beth: I was working with a lot of funny women on different sketch comedy projects and noticed how strongly they all reacted to each other’s jokes about women’s media and the advertising directed at women. When the idea came to me, I was kind of surprised something like this didn’t already exist. While women’s media has definitely been parodied, there wasn’t anything on this scale. Up until recently, most of us have been bouncing our comedic ideas off of rooms full of men, who can’t fully appreciate the experience of being a woman, regardless of their good intentions.

Sarah: For me, it was more of a lifetime’s worth of being fed the idea of “woman’s identity” through every medium Oprah could get her hands on. I’d see someone make interesting commentary about it here and there, but there was never an all-encompassing place where we could say, “hey, the way the media talks to women is absurd,” and illustrate exactly how it’s being done.

Do you guys consider yourselves feminists? Why/why not?

B: I do but please don’t print that anywhere. I’m not really “out” yet.

S: I actually don’t think I’m allowed to not be a feminist.

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Aside from real and fake women’s magazines, what else do you guys like to read or consume pop culture-wise?

S: I’m reading Susan Sontag’s journals right now. I also got the New Yorker app, which means I actually read it now. Hopping on the TV bandwagon, I’m pretty excited about Amy Schumer’s show and am obsessed with Veep.

B: Veep is great. I also love Call the Midwife on PBS. I’ve been trying to get my friends to read Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy for a while, but no one’s taking the bait. It’s like a more interesting, adult version of Twilight — so basically nothing like Twilight, except that some of the characters are vampires. I haven’t read Twilight, though, so the comparison is unfair.

Read the full The Irony and the Ecstasy with Reductress founders Beth Newell & Sarah Pappalardo by Anna Graizbord on THESTARKLIFE.com

#FearlessFridays: Mo Brown

This week’s fearless feature features host, film maker, actress, voice-over & recording artist, Mo Brown.

image-15From reciting long monologues to countless auditions, theater stages, voice-over recording, touring- Entertainment has always been a part of my life. Growing up, we always loved to believe that the person with the most lines was the “main attraction”. But it isn’t always so. Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, and other great actors, can make us believe that a scene is in a movie can be so real. But what the moments when they’re acting in silence? Where no words are said but the emotion, story and feelings are there.

I wasn’t always a scholar student, so math problems and memorizing formulas wasn’t me. I constantly asked myself, “Mo how are you going to memorize all of your lines as an actor if you can’t even remember a formula in class?” It was depressing as students aced their math and science tests and I was barely making it through. But I was determined to make my dreams come true whether I had the sharpest memory or not.  So I studied people and their body movements, habits and behaviors. I danced and watched Mr. Bean on HBO faithfully. Mr. Bean was this great actor that was a MUTE. He used his physicality to execute every scene and it was sooo engaging. I said hmmm… maybe I can be a MIME?!!!

But I didn’t want to paint my face white and hide behind the beauty that my parents told me was beautiful. So I continued to perform using all  that I’ve gathered over the years. But I would get the comments “Calm down, why do you always have to move around?” “Be still”, “Shut up and look pretty”, “Chill Out”, “Don’t you ever be quiet?” I experienced people trying to dim the light that shined, and I was in denial. I thought people didn’t like me and as I began to close up my shell and settle for something more “CALM.”Then I got the part in Melvin Van Peebles play “Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death” Directed by Alfred Preisser.

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I was sooo excited because the play looked WILD and I was READY. I saw that my character,Lilly, was a prostitute! I gasped as we sat at the table for the reading. All the cast members were so engaging as I saw my dance numbers as the characters kept referencing me over and over… but I was so confused. We were on the last page and I asked myself, “WHERE ARE MY LINES? I worked so hard to get here and I have no lines? My character is amazing but she doesn’t say a word!” WHAT?!!! So when wrapped up the script reading the Director Pressier pulls me over and says” We’re gonna make you a star” I laughed in confusion but trusted that God would lead me. I showed up to rehearsal nervous and defeated but nonetheless in dance attire.

And to my surprise… I barely left the stage. I was in almost every scene playing this raunchy, character that had to take every movement to the 10th power.

Now, graduating from college, I thought that I had all the tools. But the Director shouts “Mo Brown I need you to stare at him with disdain”. I paused. I knew what it meant but I had to deliver with NO VOICE. No shout. No cry or disgusting words. I had to give my physicality to this moment. We took a 5min break and I went backstage to pull my thoughts together. Thinking about the little girl in me watching Mr. Bean, so I googled the word ‘DISDAIN’ on my smart phone. I took a deep breath in and exhaled the word to get it in my body.

“AAAND WE’RE BACK” the stage manager says. Here it is… my time to work my eyes, body, and breath into this emotion that is so easy to verbally communicate. And as I walked across that stage… listening to the monologue about me. I goosebumped into Lilly. Lilly, the prostitute who made a man fall in love with my moves, love making, booty shaking, almond eyes.Lilly, the sexy street runner who was loyal to her pimp and would shake for a dollar while running from the police.

New York Times, Black Star News, Starz in Black, and among others wrote about this character named ‘Lilly’. I used my face, breath, hands, feet, eyes, fingers and more to execute. Mr. Bean never left my thoughts. I breathed life into this character ‘Lilly’ and I will never forget it. The standing ovation without saying a word, that’s when I became… fearless.

Mo Brown, Mobrownsuga.com

www.Instagram.com/MoBrownSuga

If you are in the New York area and would like to see Mo Brown in action, check out the Soundcheck Live Concert Series.

Want to share you #fearless moments? Contact david@hairrules.com

#FearlessFriday: Amanda Seales

It’s Fearless Friday!

This week’s fearless feature features television personality, culture critic, host, & DJ, Amanda Seales.

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#fearlessfriday Hair by Hair Rules Salon

This woman is opinionated, fearless, and HILARIOUS. A one of a kind renaissance woman, with a Master’s in African American studies from Columbia University and years of experience, Amanda has built a global following. Speaking on politics, pop culture and everything between she has become a respected voice providing commentary for major outlets such as VH1, HLN, CNN, MTV, AOL, Huffington Post, and more.

This past Wednesday, Seales previewed her latest one-woman work, It’s Complicated: Hilarical Answers to Serious Questions About Love. After a few musical selections from indie vocalist, Shyvonne and a short set from stand-up comedian, Chloé A. Hilliard, Amanda Seals graced the stage for standing-room-only audience.

It’s Complicated staged a refreshingly fun discussion on common relationship fork-in-the-road questions that encourage and include audience participation. Seales brings us comedy while taping our conscience on the shoulder and telling us to “get yo self in check!”

Everyone one in the building, woman and men, were caught up in laughter and some good ole reminiscing.

It’s Complicated will playing throughout the month of August.

Hair Rules will be giving away a few goodies at the August 20th show with special guest… Taren Guy

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Click here–> It’s Complicated for ticket information.

#fearlessfriday

If you would like to share your #fearless photos and stories, send them to david@hairrules.com.

Also check out The Look Back

#Fearless Fatima

It’s Fearless Friday!

This week’s #fearless moment comes from freelance stylist, blogger, & office manager, Fatima.

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When I think of fearless, I think of a moment not too long ago when I decided to leave a job that made me unhappy for way too long. After I completed college, I found a well paying job maybe a year or so later. I was able to do what I loved everyday but the staff and the company I worked for were not pleasant.

At first, leaving my job was just an idea but each day the idea started to consume me. I realized I was spending countless hours stressing and being unhappy. I never had the energy or time to work on things that really made me happy like my blog , designing or spending time with my friends.

When I expressed this idea to most of my friends and family they all said I was crazy and told me to find something else first .

However, I was determined to focus on passions more. That was on of the most unhappy times of my life. Then one day I just got the courage and took a leap. I was tired of being unhappy so… I saved up as much as I could, found an unpaid internship working in a high end fashion showroom in the city and I put in my two week notice.

That was not only the best choice I made in my life, but it was the scariest as well. I was terrified that things wouldn’t work out, but I stuck with my gut feeling. I didn’t end up getting a job at that showroom but it put me in the right direction and gave me the right experience to find a much better job still doing what I love. I even had more time to focus on my business and blog. There was moments when I doubted my decision, but I just kept pressing forward and I’m so happy I did!

Fatima, 22

www.sewingstardom.com

If you want to share you #fearless photos and stories, send them to david@hairrules.com.

You want it? Go get it! Be #fearless!

#Fearless Ladies at the 2013 ESPY’s

#Fearless Ladies at the 2013 ESPY's

These women are fearless gladiators both on and off the field, floor, court, ice! Congrats to all of the 2013 ESPY Nominees and Winners.
Showing the world that you can do what you want if you put your mind to it! #FEARLESSFRIDAY

Send your pics and stories of your #fearless moments to david@hairrules.com