Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fat Girl

My name is Angela and I am fat girl. With a height of 5'5 and 3/4th, and a weight of 210lbs, by definition I am obese. I have curvy hips, a booty, my thighs touch, and I have a gut; I see these thing when I look in the mirror. I accept my body and cover it accordingly to "hide" my flaws. I don't let my weight dictate my worth so why try to make me feel so insecure about it?
I know I can't wear tight ass dresses or certain suits without spanx, but does this make me less than a person? Nope! Yeah my clothes size is in the double digits, I have never been a size 8 (even when I had a super flat stomach) but does that mean I'm supposed to just settle for the desperation of any man's affection? Hell naw!
In my lifetime I've had men, women, family and "friends" around me try to make me question my worth based upon the scale. I know what girl gets pissed when I pull the guy they want when I'm in a blazer and they're in the world's tightest freakum dress. I know the guy talking about me being shaped like "fat zero" after walking away from a situationship that was just not working out. I know the family members who think I'm ugly and overweight. Trust me, I hear and see everything, I just don't hold value to it.
I guess the words and actions of these people are supposed to make me feel less than. I guess they think they are better than me because their stomachs are flatter or because they take showers with their shirts on, I don't know! But in my world they hold no weight.
Once I embraced my fat, I became weightless to the expectations of others. It doesn't hold me back anymore. My confidence is bigger, my moves are bolder, my light shines brighter.
In order to change, you have to accept where you are at. I'm happy to report I'm down 45lbs as off today! My goal is not skinny, I actually just want to be a runner (another future blog post) so I gotta lose some of this weight to make the journey.
I'm still a big girl. I accept it. It doesn't make me less than a whole, or not worthy of praise. I just am what I am, and that happens to be fat and I am OK with that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4 Young Black Women on a Couch: The Reality Not Shown on TV

Photo Credit: Polaris

The following is a post from my collab with "Just Politickin" (check it out). Since this whole Mimi Sex Tape drop, I thought it was appropriate to visit this once again. Enjoy, reflect, discuss and share!

-Angie Dapper

4 Young Black Women on a Couch: The Reality Not Shown on TV

It’s Ladies’ Night. I’m sitting on the couch with 3 of my friends chugging a big glass of Riesling as they recap the weekly happenings of reality TV shows that I don’t watch. I’m just sitting here, listening to plots of these women’s “lives” that seem to have a continuous stream of craziness, unhappiness and drama. From my awesome deductive reasoning skills, I’ve come to the conclusion that the following story lines happen in every reality show dealing with black women:

Story Line 1…
Girl waiting on Guy to realize she is ride or die. She is invested in him because they have a child together. They play tug of war with their relationship and someone’s crazy momma is involved making things way more complicated than they need to be.

Story Line 2…
Girl 1 is trying to make it in some industry but she has a hater (Girl 3), who happens to be besties with their bestie (Girl 2) so they are always around each other. Everyone ends up at some public function, usually a birthday or launch for a weave product/mixtape and Girl 3 starts shit with Girl 1 and drinks/fists are thrown. Girl 2 ends up crying.

Story Line 3…
Girl 2 goes over to Girl 3′s house and they have champagne while discussing the reasons she needs to apologize to Girl 1. It’s decided that Girl 3 will call Girl 1. Eventually all end up at some restaurant and a fake apology is made or another fight breaks out.

Story Line 4…
Guy has Girl 1 on Mon/Tues/Weds and Girl 2 on Tues/Thurs or whenever Girl 1 kicks him out. Both Girls “fight” over Guy but never stop dealing with him.
Intertwined between these story lines, people have sex with people they shouldn’t be having sex with, everyone travels in limos, there is an emotional song made the studio, lunch is always at a restaurant with cloth napkins, at least one person launches a side venture/business they know nothing about, everybody drinks ridiculous amounts of champagne/vodka/cognac (depending upon product placement deals), AND a fight that requires security breaks out. All of this happens with freshly laid hair, exquisite makeup, 5 1/2 inch heels….and their kids NEVER seem to be around to see Mom twerking, crying, drunk, throwing punches or a combination of all 4.

I know that many young black women striving for a dream of love and career success can relate to the over all theme of these shows, (if you squint your eyes and tilt your head to the left), but can we get a better representation of “us” in this world of reality TV? Where the hell in “reality TV” are the stories of the women that look like the 4 of us sitting on this couch? We are all young, stable, educated black women with interesting and colorful lives striving against the stereotypes being discussed right now. Irony, strikes again!

I’m following along with the conversation and stuffing my mouth with home made tortilla chips. After gasping at several ”oh hell no!” events being discussed during the recap, I realize how intoxicating these stories are. No matter how far from realistic these shows are for us, it’s the reality of television today and it makes me kinda sad…

I’m awakened to fact that although I’m not watching this crap, I’m supporting it by sitting here actively listening to these stories, drinking wine like its nothing. If I want the change to happen, I have to be apart of the discussion.

I put my wine down, clear my throat and pose a series of simple questions:
“How do these shows help women like us? Do you really like how we are represented? What would you change if you could?”

From these questions a constructive and heated debate starts. They stop recapping, I stop stuffing my face and we all start having an enlightening conversation about reality TV, responsibility, and  the black woman. We talk about the things we like, the things we hate and how it relates to the image of us.

I know my questions will not change my friends’ love of the messiness portrayed in these shows, but they opened to conversation to something greater. I may not have the resources available to tell stories like mine and the women surrounding me on this couch (yet), but at least we are starting to speak them into existence.

As I sit and take tally of the women around me, I begin to wonder how radical of an idea it would be to see a reality show starring all of us: 4 young, black, educated women supporting each other through trails and celebrating our triumphs…while drinking wine at a taco themed Ladies’ Night.

Own Your Light & Love

Angie Dapper

(P.S. I hope this inspires more of us to have conversations like this amongst ourselves. Also, check out a cool article about reality shows and perception by Erin Harper, entitled “VH1 Protest Organizer Explains Why She is Full of Hate”)

Friday, April 11, 2014

You're Beautiful Too, Brown Girl...

I read an article this morning about Karyn Washington, creator of  The #DarkSkinRepLip Project and For Brown Girls committing suicide at the age of 22. Although I didn't know her personally, this really touched my soul. To see all the work she was doing to promote self love for all the brown girls, I know she was a beautiful spirit. There are lots of pressures being a young black woman today. I pray this is a wake up call in our community to talk and seek help for mental issues, and I hope through this tragedy other lives are saved.

I dedicate this to the ladies who shine above us, the rebels and the leaders, like Kay who help us find our own beauty. I want you to know you are beautiful too.... 

You're Beautiful Too, Brown Girl...

As little black girls we weren't called "beautiful"...
We were scolded for getting scars on light skin;
yelled at for staying in the sun
too long making us extra chocolaty.
Our hair was ruled "wild"
and tamed by the straightening combs;
hand crafted cornrows accordingly.
Our mothers and grandmothers picked dissected our physical insecurities
and justified it as making us better.

We were taught beauty comes from within...
 So we digested books
We religiously excelled in classrooms.
On paper we were perfect
But we still felt inequity.

They label us conceited,
By the way we hold our heads high in the mirror
as we practice our "smiles"
not knowing we are analyzing the coffee stains on our teeth
and the discoloration on our neck.

We wear a mask of strong
We glide gracefully in the pain of heels
That give a sense of stature
As we look at a world that steals our beauty
yet consistently wants us to conform to their standards.

And we are supposed to support "our"
men who bruise our souls,
as they defend their preference
for the "exotic" type, the fairer skin,
We stand behind them, feed their egos silently...

Silently we sit
on a chopping block of emotion
wanting to just give up
but remembering what we were groomed to be
Then we wake up and leave
being called out our names for
not staying to ingest all our flaws
being thrown at us once again

We walk alone,
with the knowledge of only our shortcomings;
The scars on our souls
And somewhere between lost and found
We meet our kindred spirit,
A bronzed angel who the beauty in us we cannot see,
And they understand our eternal quest
Just to be beautiful as we are...

Her spirit guides us because like us,
They tried to mold her too
But she never conformed
She only knows rebellion.

The Rebel is the Lonely Light
The most tortured of us all,
She feels the need to bare the
insecurities of all the unbeautiful
And lead them to a place of self love...

She shines brightly, our golden sister
For all to see.
She reigns light on our
journey to beautiful,
And even though we worship her spirit
We forget she needs to know
she is beautiful too.

So today, hug the goddesses in your life
Who built you up,
when the world tried to tear you down
And make you feel unbeautiful too...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tired: The Breaking Point

Everyone comes to a breaking point in life where they really start to question the path they are on.  Mine came about 8 months ago the day my ex-manager pulled me into a meeting and told me, "you don't have to be here if you don't want to be". On my lunch break, I wrote the following list...and cried in my car . I already was hanging on to my sanity with one hand on the cliff (I will explain this is future entries), but that conversation allowed me to let go and just give into the feelings that everything was not ok with my life. I share this list as a background to the space I was in so that you may understand the next several entries coming along. I also believe sharing is caring. I feel God gave me the gift of transparency, so I'm going to get real and start using it. I'm going to be judged regardless so why not use it for good. Enjoy, reflect, and share!
Much Love,
Angie Dapper
Tired: The Breaking Point

I have reached the breaking point of tired.
I'm tired of smiling. I'm tired of pretending I am built for the purposeless work.
I'm tired of saying I'm ok and I'm not ok.
I'm tired of image. I'm tired of the world is telling me what I need to project. 
I'm tired of this damn job knowing this is not my purpose in life.
I'm tired of putting money over family.
I'm tired of bundles of Brazilian hair and false eyelashes being reposted on my timeline by men who say they want "real women".
I'm tired of the "natural hair" vs. "chemically treated hair" debate.
I'm sick of the "light skin" vs. "dark skin" war. 
I am tired of "bad bitches" being the standard.
I'm tired of knowing my greatness but the world telling me I have to dim my light so I don't shine too brightly. 
I'm tired of dumbing myself down. 
I'm tired of being accepting less than I deserve because I am a woman.
I'm tired of settling.
I'm tired of being expected to put up with bullshit and cop outs for the presence of a man in my life.
I'm tired of compromise not being a two way street and being labeled a "bitch" because of my expectations.
I'm tired of  males trying to make me compete with my sisters for half-assed attention.
I'm tired of second guessing myself. I'm tired of  feeling less than. I'm tired of the burden that knowledge brings.
I'm tired of the way we look on television.
I'm tired of being too much of something and not enough of another.
I'm tired of critics who aren't constructive. 
I'm tired of excuses. I'm tired of not living up to my own expectations.
I'm tired of my people not wanting better for themselves. 
I'm tired of being the aggressor.
I'm tired of men giving me unsolicited advice on how to "get" a man.
I'm tired of men thinking they are prizes that need to be won.
I'm tired of men with no balls and women with no grace.
I'm tired of paying for the mistakes of others.
I'm tired of caring.
I'm tired of my blackness being questioned.
I'm tired of not feeling the God within myself.
I'm tired of not being able to pray.
I'm tired of the beautiful woman around me questioning their awesomeness.
I'm tired of being cut down so other's feel taller.
I'm tired of not believing that love exists for me.
I'm tired of people asking "why are you single?".
I'm tired of being the "homieloverfriend".
I'm tired of defending my singleness.
I'm tired of listening to other people's problems. 
I'm tired of people thinking my kindness means weakness and my forgiveness meaning I forget.
I'm tired of being the shoulder.
I'm tired of people trying to change me when I am accepting of them.
I'm tired of people trying to sell me dreams I don't want to buy.
I'm tired of not feeling beautiful.
I'm tired of people complaining about life instead of being thankful for it.
I'm tired of people not having the balls to say what they need to say to my face.
I'm tired of being nice.
I'm tired of being the bigger person.
I'm tired of men with big egos and overly sensitive egos thinking the world revolves around them.
I'm tired of men acting like bitches. 
I'm tired of indecisiveness around me.
I'm tired of chasing and trying to keep up.
I'm just tired....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stepping Out Of The Gray

I know, I know I've been gone forever but I'm happy to say I'm back :) I've missed you all and I've missed writing. So much has happened in the last 6 months since I last composed a blog entry. In "Angie" fashion it includes lots of random misadventures but I can truly say I'm on the correct path. I was very depressed, super sick and just overall not feeling happy about life in general. I shut the blog down until I could write about good because I didn't want my pessimistic attitude to spread to you all.

In the meantime, while I was trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, many of you reached out to me to encourage me. Some of you prayed with me, others hugged me, and brave ones smacked some sense into me. I am thankful to all of you!

I didn't even know people read what I wrote...or would even notice that I was gone so it means the world to me that you care.

I'm stepping out of the gray and back into the sunshine because of you, and for that I am grateful :)

Much Love,

Angie Dapper

We Are Not Our Mothers

We are late twenty-something, early thirty-something, single women, without or with kids, chasing goals and ambitions. The products of women that gave their lives to give life to our dreams. They are the reasons we believe that we can do anything and everything we put our mind to. We are the vision of what they wanted to be. We stand tall on their shoulders, touching the stars they only dreamed of.

We are women that wake up everyday with an internal conflict: contemporary versus tradition. We try our hardest to make our mothers proud by showing them their investment in us paid off, yet we feel a sense of guilt for not having a family of our own. We can conquer the business world, but can't conquer the task of finding that man to start a family of our own with...

And we look back at life and where we are and compare ourselves to our mothers. And we see everything they've accomplished in love versus everything we've accomplished and we start to worry. We start to look at the clock mother nature put on our wombs and ignore the spiritually sound person that we've been taught to be. We start to doubt our beauty, we forget the same blood that gracefully runs through our mothers' veins is the same that flows in ours. We try to mold ourselves into the women that our mothers want us to be. Crazy thing is, we are exactly who our mothers' want us to be.

We are bold, we are strong, we are not afraid to walk this road called life alone. We'd rather be happy with ourselves than miserable and unfulfilled with rushed "love". We've found our voice, our style, our self-definition. We've gotten degrees, traveled the world, roamed far from home and managed to survive with optimism in our hearts. We've done so much yet we still feel inadequate compared to our mothers. What we have to remember is, we are not our mothers. We are who we are because of them. They are proud of us, we are the spitting image of their dreams that were deferred.  It's ok to feel defeated and behind in the life, but we must remember that each generations' walk is different. Our grandmothers are not our mothers, and our mothers are not us.

Deep in our eyes is a glimpse of their hearts; their spirit is the beginning of our souls. They are forever a portion of us, their lives intertwine with ours but we were born with our own. We are not our mothers and they raised us to be that way.

Much Love,

Angie Dapper

Monday, May 13, 2013

What I Know About 30: Random Thoughts of an Almost 31 Year Old Girl

I wrote this on the eve of my 31st Birthday. 30 went by so fast that I didn't realize it was over until my mom asked me how the year went. This entry is a reflection of that conversation, a random list of things I've learned this year from living my life and being surrounded by all my 1982 babies out there..

30 is not the age where life starts to make sense and you finally start to get your shit together, it's actually the complete opposite; you're shit isn't together, but you know what shit you need to do to get your shit right. It's the number where you start questioning life and your purpose. 30 is the number you reflect on that last decade of life either with joy or regret, it's the space where you know better and try to do better. 30 is not the "New 20" and it is not "old" as the 18 year old you once thought.

You go from buying bottles of Ciroc at the club to budgeting your money for things other than vodka and VIP tables. You drink but you know when to stop, you keep your shoes on and you drink your drinks out of real glasses. Nights of clubbing are replaced with early happy hours and trying to get 5 hours of sleep to look decent for your regular gig.

By the time you've reached this age you've swarn off love at least 3 times but deep down you still believe it in; eye candy is giving you a headache and you're probably ready for someone of substance in your life.

30 is when you start investing room in your closet for the bridesmaids dresses you accumulate, and you go to divorce parties. You go from road trips with 23 of your "best girlfriends" to weekend get aways with your sister-girl crew of 4. You lose many friends to time, life changes and falling outs.
Your friends may be fewer but your bonds are stronger.

You realize your parents won't live forever, you hug them longer, call more often, appreciate your family a little more than you did when you left for college and thought they were evil and trying to ruin your life. You can finally admit to yourself that, "Mom was right.". You've grown up, but you still have lots more to do.

Music played on mainstream radio starts not to make sense with your lifestyle. You find yourself reaching back to the melodies of your childhood. You are starting not to understand pop culture terms but you are ok with it, you still look cool. You check your face for wrinkles and scan your scalp for gray hairs; you secretly get excited when you get carded. You don't fall asleep in your makeup anymore... unless you're trying to relive your 20s, after that one night you come back to the reality you can't hang like you used to...and you are ok with that.

Being called "Ma'am" makes you feel old, the boy at the bar  hitting on you born in 1990 makes you feel flattered, and there is still something weird about that man you want to love down that born in the 70s. You feel odd about shopping at Forever21 and you begin to appreciate Anne Klein.

You become ok with eating a nice meal alone and  the idea of solo vacations don't freak you out.
You begin to feel comfortable in your skin; you know your strengths, accept your flaws and excude confidence in your worth. You finally see the beauty inside of you.

You quit your job.
You buy a house.
You go natural.
You get out of that relationship that's going nowhere.
You go after your dreams.
You say "eff this!" and you just do it.
Everyone thinks your crazy.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

30 is exactly life: It is truly whatever you want it to be.

 30 is 30, that's all it is.