Lighten Up, America

America has become more and more sensitive about LITERALLY everything over the past few years. Anything from the little shopping carts in Target, to slogans on t-shirts, but Halloween 2017 takes the cake for me. Allow me to expand…

75de3f2ca1e4eb47616ebfb4da3042c4First off, there has been an issue with little girls wanting to dress as Moana because some parents see it as being “Racist” where other feel like dressing up as Elsa from Frozen promoting “white beauty.” The only thing I see any of this promoting is oversensitive, whiny, just ridiculous overall. By any of this logic, we should just cancel out Haloween altogether. This is the ONE time every year where children, both big and small. Can literally be anything they want to be. These little girls just want to dress up as their favorite movie character. Moana is such a great movie, people (of all races, mind you) are singing the songs from the movie about as much as they were singing “Let it go” when Frozen came out.

Now, moving on to Kim K, Jay-Z and other artists who dressed up as iconic musicians for Halloween. Again, Folks look at your calendars….it’s HALLOWEEN!! The one time of the year where people dress up as whatever and whoever they want to be. Kim dressed up as Aaliyah, Madonna( with her sister, Kourtney as Michael Jackson), and Selena and social media had alot of negative things to say about it but had nothing negative to say about her dressing as Cher. I’m guessing because Cher is also Armenian. As soon as the pictures came out, people decided to jump on their keyboards and smartphone, hide behind screen names and claim racial insensitivity. Kim K…..who is married to a black man, who’s kids are half black? Who’s family clearly LOVES them some black men? We’ve seen her family travel the world and respect whatever country they travel to? I get it, people love to hate her, but calling her and anyone else dressed as their favorite artist, activist or superhero is just ridiculous. In other news, folks also claimed that Jay-Z (who is one of the greatest rappers of all time in my opinion) was throwing shade by dressing as Biggie Smalls, completely forgetting that Jay-Z has looked up and paid so much to Biggie throughout is an entire career. Jay-z has said over and over that Biggie is a legend, ad a pioneer in the hip-hop industry, so it only makes sense that he and Beyonce would dress as Lil Kim, another Hip Hop Icon, and Biggie for Halloween. I could understand if these people dressed up on Tuesday in April while having brunch or out shopping on Rodeo Dr, but this is, again….Halloween! Lighten up, America!

PhotoGrid_1509549925559

If we want to talk about different races dressing up as each other, and how it’s just “so wrong” and racially insensitive. Let’s consider the Pop phenomenon that is ComicCon. Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and Dc comics characters run amuck around local Coliseum and event centers across the US, but I guess that’s okay because those are Super Heros and aliens, not characters from a Disney movie. Where is it written that white people can ONLY be white characters and black people can ONLY be black characters? What about the races in between. According to the sensitive folks, you should stick to YOUR respective racial group and be happy with it.  God forbid we take away the ability for adults to dress up as Superman or Captain America but let’s put a restriction on our kids….the very individuals who don’t actually see the difference in the color of our skin until we, the adults point out that difference. Oops…did I just say that?! Yes, yes I did.

 

For the record, there ARE issues that I absolutely stand by.  I am not turning a blind eye to the real issues going on in America. First, don’t even get me started on the sexist, incompetence that is our current leader in the White House, having twitter wars with NBA and boycotting the NFL when he should be, I don’t know, running the country. ( and yes that includes the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.) Women being upset and outraged because the WH administration is dropping the birth control from health plans, is extremely understandable, especially since I am one of the millions of women on birth control for reasons other than just not wanting to have children right now.  Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem against police brutality is a movement that I support and respect as an African American who is sick of losing our black men and women to the hands of police. However, I don’t believe that one races live matter more than the other either. It breaks my heart when  ANY one of whatever race has died over senseless acts. But that is about people who have lost their lives, not because of some little girl; White, Black, Asian, Latino or Indian wanted to be her favorite Disney character. People…there IS a difference.kaepernick-final

Listen, I understand that the US is all about the “First Amendment.” Freedom of speech for everyone! I also realize that because of the first amendment, I am able to have this little blog where I can voice my opinions and frustrations in my own way, so hey, I’m all for it myself. But seriously, some of these “issues” are reaching. I’m not sure when we got SO “politically correct” or for some, so”woke” that we start searching our cereal boxes and finetuning over commercial ads for signs of racial insensitivity. The racial climate and the need to be politically correct has become a huge part of America these days. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t scroll through social media without seeing a political post or the need to “wake up” over the smallest issues. I just long for the days when things weren’t so complicated and people weren’t so easily offended. When I could pick up a can of Pepsi or bathe with a bar of Dove soap without someone saying “ DIdn’t you hear about what happened?!” or “Didn’t you hear about that commercial that everyone is talking about?!” My hope is that we, as a nation, get past feeling so sensitive about the little things and focus on the big issues that really matter.

Off my soapbox…

 

Advertisements

Happy Birthday Lil One


Dear Baby Cerise,

Today you turn 36, Happy Birthday! You’re a real grown up now, can you believe it?!  You won’t believe where you are in life right now, or even the events that have happened to get you here, but it’s a good place. Exactly where you need to be in fact, for now anyway. You are onto bigger and greater things, and the plans that you have right now?! If they are God’s will, it’s going to be something really special.  You just keep praying and listening to God’s voice. Believe it or not, you have learned to slow down, and be more patient. You’ve come back to your roots (kicking and screaming) but you have rediscovered some things about yourself that you seemed to have forgotten. My advice? Hold on to it this time. You’re much happier this way.

You have almost everything you’ve been praying, crying and fighting for: a job that doesn’t wear you out, working towards the career that you have always dreamed of having, getting the degree that you never thought you were smart enough to earn(you’ve got a B+ GPA btw, so to hell with that doubt you’ve always had in yourself)  a car that you’ve been wanting for the past 5 yrs, and you’re on your own again in a really, really cute apartment that you have all to yourself. It wasn’t easy, in fact for a while there, it seemed almost impossible, but you won’t give up. You’re stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for.

Lastly, little one, I’m so proud of you. There are still some things that need to be accomplished, goals that need to be reached and health stuff you need to defeat, but you’ll get there…I’ll get there. Just you wait. You’re gonna grow up to be quite the grown woman! Love you💜

Love,

Cerise

Your Mindset is Your Testimony

share-your-testimony

 

I met someone today whose daughter was just diagnosed with breast cancer on Monday. It was still fresh and new to her and her family, and since her daughter is 25 with a young child it was difficult to see anything but sorrow. I understood exactly what she was feeling and shared my testimony with her. I stressed to her the importance of a positive mind throughout her fight.  Even with so much negative around you: doctors, treatments, chemo, pain etc, your mindset will be your strongest weapon in any fight you have ahead of you especially when it comes to your health. When we left each other she was thanking me for my help, encouragement and prayers and said that that I made her smile in spite of the news that she was given about her daughter.

When I left her, I felt l helped somehow and it made me feel good to be able to help someone with my testimony. This is one of the reasons why I choose to walk this journey a little different than other folks with Cancer. I choose positivity. In our conversation, I could have very easily told stories about how treatments can sometimes not be pleasant or you can wake up not feeling great somedays. I could have left her saying “it’s going to be a rough road, hang in there.” but what kind of help would that have been to a woman who just found out her youngest child was diagnosed with breast cancer and the tumor they found is aggressive? She was already in tears when I was talking to her, now is not the time to add fuel to the fire. I wanted to give her hope, some sort of positive note to help her and her daughter to start this journey together and keep moving forward with a strong mind. I’m glad I got to share my story with this lady. I want to leave a better impression of cancer for someone than what they had before they met me. They need to know that the word “Cancer” not always the death sentence that you initially think it is.

I want those of us fighting this battle to know that even though that word “Cancer”  can be very scary and sometimes life threatening, you CAN beat this. As long as you keep your prays up, your body healthy, your thinking positive and your mind strong, you can get to remission and total healing. In the beginning of my fight, when a true diagnosis seemed impossible, I could have very easily given up. I had everyone, even people I didn’t know praying for me, but it was up to me to fight. Physically, at the time that wasn’t possible, but my family keep speaking scriptures and positive things over me, saying “WHEN you get better” and “WHEN you get your strength back.” Things like that make a HUGE impact. Constantly saying things like “IF I get better,” or “IF the treatment works” leaves room for doubt something that we don’t have the luxury of having. We need to speak positivity in all things, no matter how small or large the battle is in front of us. It is truly the only way.

I am determined to be a positive light and an inspiration to those around me and I won’t settle for anything less. I am More Than A Conqueror, I truly believe that. Yes, I have my bad days, of course I have times when I have to fight a little bit harder than other days, but I don’t dwell on it for a long time. I start that morning saying “Okay, I don’t feel good today. That means I need to be a little more positive and push a tiny bit harder.” No, I don’t push myself over the limit, and put my health in danger, but I keep my mind strong, even when my body can’t be at that moment. It is what is going to get me through and to the point where I meet N.E.D (No Evidence of Disease)…and I WILL get there. No matter how long it takes, I will continue to work towards that goal. So I leave you all with this note, yet again: REMAIN POSITIVE in your fight. Somedays I know it is hard to do so, but you MUST keep your mind and attitude strong. It will absolutely be your testimony!

Thank you for taking the time out to read my blog post and taking this journey with me! It means more than you could possible know! To my friends and family, I love you past the moon and stars! And to my fellow Zebra’s and Cancer Fighters, keep fighting and supporting each other, don’t ever give up hope, no matter what the doctors have to say! WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!

-Cerise Jackson

Mind of A Conqueror

positive-1

The Mind Of A Conqueror

 When I was diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer, I knew right from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be easy. I felt a variety of emotions at once: numb, disbelief, fear, and confusion. But the one thing I never felt was defeated. Not one time did I feel like this was something that I can NOT beat. It would take work, dedication and prayer but I knew that I was strong. I’d fought through tough things before and even though I’d never had a diagnosis of “Cancer,” this was just one other thing that I would be able to look back on one day and say “I went through this and I came out victorious.”

From the beginning I was on a search for answers: why did this happen, how can I fight it, and even searched for support groups to help me answer questions that I had. Naturally, I headed to Facebook and found a few that were helpful. While it was extremely comforting to know that there are others fighting with me on this rare disease, I found that the comments, post and some of the information were mostly negative:

“I feel bad today,”

“I’m in so much pain,”

 “Going to the hospital,”

“Another procedure, more medicine, another round of chemo or more injections”

and sadly sometimes even “We lost another Zebra today. RIP _____.”

After about two months it got to be maddening. There was so much negativity and it wasn’t often that I came across a positive post. This was not the support I needed so honestly, I stopped going into the groups. I needed positivity and encouragement.

See, I was raised in a Christian home, where you don’t “claim” your sickness. From day one, my family’s attitude has been “This is what they are saying, but WE believe you are healed.” That way of thinking got me through those four months of painful stomach aches, not being able to eat, the depression I went through, the major surgery I had. It has absolutely been essential in getting me to be able to be as healthy as I am today. No, I may not have reached N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease) yet, but that is my goal. My positive way of thinking is going to get me there.

People tell me all the time that I’m so positive, and I don’t look like what I’m going through. I call that a blessing. Positive thinking means Positive results which brings Positive outcome. There are, of course, some days when I don’t feel well but I have learned to keep going. Don’t focus on how you feel, focus on getting out of bed, on going to work, doing your job, running errands, go grocery shopping, see a movie, whatever you have to do that day, KEEP MOVING. The more you lay in bed, thinking about how you bad feel, the more you allow yourself to feel that way. Psalms 18:21 tells us that death and life is in the power of the tongue. That has never proved more real to me than it has throughout this experience. I learned to say “I’m feeling better and better every day” when people ask me how I feel. I could be crying, or having stomach pains, and nauseous but I will refuse to speak life to that.

During this journey I am on, I have come in contact with a lot of people, many of which are in their own journeys and fights through Cancer. I choose very carefully who I talk to though. There are some that constantly talk about how bad they feel, how they heard bad news at the doctor’s office today, they are in so much pain, they have this procedure or that exam, they need more medicine, more chemo or more injections, this hurts, that hurts etc. I try to stay away from this kind of talk because it brings me down. There’s no hope in those words. I have also been very blessed to come across folks in this journey who say “I feel great today,” “You have to keep moving, keep fighting, keep pushing,” “I won’t give up,” “Every day is a new day, a new opportunity to be an inspiration,” or as my very good friend says “Strong Mind, Strong Body.”  It is all about what you choose to feed your spirit and your mind during this fight.

Negativity will always bring negative results. If you constantly talk about how bad you feel or how bad your situation is, that is EXACTLY how you will feel…BAD. However, if you feed your spirit with positive thoughts, surround yourself with positive people, focus on a goal to make yourself stronger, your body stronger I promise you, my dear friends, that positivity will bring you better results. I learned the lesson first hand when I was in the hospital, right after my surgery that your mind is the strongest influence over your body. You can read more about it here. It took the doctor who performed my surgery to come in a talk to me to encourage me to eat. He said something powerful to me: “Why do you THINK you can’t eat…the only thing that is holding you back from eating is you.” Once I got it through my head that I was holding myself back, and I needed to push past that, I was able to eat again, get stronger, healthier and gain my weight back. The mind is very powerful. What you feed it will determine your outcome that is guaranteed.

I have been given the nickname of The Conqueror, A Worthy Opponent by my family, so that is the mindset that I choose to take on. I choose to fight in every aspect: mind, body, and spirit. I make sure that when I am asked about how I feel I say “Better and Better every day” because that will begin to come true the more I speak it. When I am having a challenging day I listen to my Elevation Worship music, or music from my favorite Christian artist like Israel Houghton or Jonathan McReynolds. If I have a day when I don’t feel as confident because of the weight loss I went through, I listen to what I call Girl Power music from artist like Pink, Ne-yo or Beyoncé that talk about feeling good about yourself. Those times when I have a chance to tell my testimony about what I have been through, I tell people that it’s all about what you choose to say and who you choose to listen to that determines the direction your journey will go in, whether that is good or bad. The direction is your choice.

Throughout this time in my life I want to be an inspiration. I want those who have cancer to read my story or hear my testimony and say “If she can do it, I can do it.” I want those who do not have cancer, who may not know what it like to go through something like this to understand why I choose to stay positive, and not focus constantly on how I feel. I don’t tell people right away about my having Carcinoid Cancer. I don’t want people to associate me with Cancer and think “She’s helpless,” or “She can’t do it by herself.” I want them to see me as strong, courageous and powerful. More than anything I want the young people in my life to know no matter what life hands you, you can make it through, and as long as you believe you can.

In closing, my friends, I will leave you with this. Your attitude and your words will be your biggest weapon in this fight that you have ahead of you. Surround yourself with positivity and encouragement as often as possible and you will start to see the outcome. You will feel better, your days will be brighter, and your reports and doctor’s visits will be more positive. This fight will become a testimony and your life will become a blessing to those around you. Think Positive! Never Stop Smiling!

smiley-face

I’ve Got A Story To Tell…

fb_img_1481514143347.jpgI’ve Got A Story To Tell…

I wasn’t going to say anything. I was going to carry this secret of mine until the very end, only letting my family and a few choice friends take this journey with me. But then I thought about it. What if I cheated myself out of the chance to change someone’s life? To educate someone on something they knew nothing about? Bring awareness to something that is rare and misunderstood? Or worse, what if I could have encouraged a doctor to dig a little deeper and possibly find the cure that is needed? I didn’t want to look back one day and think, I could’ve been a part of the cure, and I could’ve helped someone. So, that’s why I’m choosing to tell my story now…

A year ago today, June 26, 2015, I got some news that changed me, my family and my best friends. After 4 months of an intense sickness and a major surgery, I was diagnosed with Carcinoid or NET (neuroendocrine tumors) Cancer in my small intestine. An estimate of about 12,000 individuals are diagnosed each year. NET’s are described as “Cancer in slow motion” and is thankfully not aggressive in a lot of cases but not all. My case it is not aggressive, but still detective. Many times, when trying to find the real cause, a patient, like myself, is misdiagnosed several times before getting a true, accurate diagnostic. In my case it took 4 long months, however, in some cases it can and has taken longer. November 10, NET Day is about spreading awareness in hopes to get doctors and physicians to consider NET as a possibility to get to an accurate diagnosis quicker. The most recognizable color for cancer is pink, but the color(s) for Carcinoid are Zebra Stripe and the mascot a Zebra. Just like our fingerprints no two zebras have the same stripes. Every NET Patient may have the same Cancer, but there are no two that are exactly the same, or have even had the same journey! As I join my dazzle of Zebras, I wear my stripes proudly to help get that word out for those who are going through the same thing I did in the beginning of my journey.

 

In the beginning I was scared of course. I mean anytime you hear the big” C” word the first thing you think is the worst possible thing you can possibly imagine. But I was scared that you guys would look at me different. You would see me as sickly or weak instead of strong and fearless as I’m often called. You’d think I was fragile instead of the fun loving “Reesie” you all know so well. I didn’t want you to be thinking “Is she okay?” watching my every move. I didn’t want you to be afraid because I was already terrified.

I also kept the secret because I didn’t want any negative rumors…

“Oh my God, did you hear? Cerise Jackson has cancer! Can you believe it?!”

“Well, I heard that….”

“Yo, lemme tell you what I JUST SAW on Reesie’s page…That’s CRAZY right!!

“Oh, well you know so-in-so had something like that and they died…”

 

A lifetime of gossiping, nosey, negative, non-praying individuals will make you think that way. I needed warriors, I needed positivity, I needed laughter, and smiles and joy. More than anything, I needed hugs and kisses and “I’m praying for you” and “Don’t give up” and “Keep fighting’s.” I needed my friends and family. Now that it has been a year of nothing but love and support from the strongest, loving, God-fearing, prayer warriors and believer’s I know, it doesn’t matter what kind of reaction I get from sharing my news. All that matters is that my Oncologist says that my scans show the tumors are getting smaller, and every visit is positive and I’m improving. I’m getting more and more energy every day and it’s getting easier and easier to get back to feeling like myself again. It’s giving me more courage to see this through to remission or NED as us Zebra’s call it. If that isn’t enough to shut out the nay-sayers then you don’t have the kind of faith I have grown. That’s why I was chosen to carry out this journey.

My family, Dr. Vallathucherry Harish and I have FULL confidence that I will see this through to NED (No Evidence of Disease). As I am “More than a Conqueror,” my family has dubbed me a Worthy Opponent for the journey I have set before me. I’ve often been called a Superwoman because of the strength people see in me. Well, Superwoman’s cape is been colored in Zebra prints. Armed with Joshua 1:9 and Romans 8:37 as my left and right hooks, I plan to KO Carcinoid Cancer. I aspire to be an inspiration. Especially so that I can set an example for my nieces, nephews, and Godchildren to look up to and follow. I choose to be a fighter, and nothing less, keeping a smile on my face at all times even when I don’t feel like smiling. You just never know what difference you might make in someone else’s heart that way. Hearing the word “Cancer” as a diagnosis is very scary. My goal is to help bring awareness about Carcinoid Cancer. That being said, I ask that continued prayers and positivity be the means for support. Thank you for your prayers, it does not go unappreciated.

 

With thanks and love,

Cerise Jackson

*Never Stop Smiling*

*If you would like to take this journey along with me, don’t be afraid to head over to my blog “Diary Of A Fighter“*fb_img_1481514143347.jpg

Christianity does not give you the right to judge

93259759_ellenburrellcomp.jpg

Christianity does not give you the right to judge

The recent controversy involving Gospel singer Kim Burrell and everyone’s favorite daytime talk show host (she happens to also be gay) has been gaining lots of attention over the past couple of days. NBC News article states that during her one of her sermon’s Kim talks about how homosexuality is perverted and has a spirit of delusion and confusion. This sermon comes after she booked an appearance for Ellen’s show to sing “I See The Victory” with Pharrell Williams to help promote the upcoming movie “Hidden Figures.” My first thought was if that is how she truly felt about the gay community, why would she book the appearance to begin with?

“That perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion and has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a strain on the body of Christ. You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted … You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”- Kim Burrell

So, let me get this straight. You are against homosexuality, but you were okay with booking an appearance on a talk show who’s host is THE most highly known lesbian in the industry who has NEVER been shy about her sexuality, her beliefs or support of the LGBTQ community?! You were okay with Ellen when she was going to write you a check for appearing on her show, but you don’t agree with the way she lives her life? Were you planning on sanctifying that check and soaking it in hold oil before you deposited it in your bank account? I see….because the check is going into the Love and Liberty Fellowship Church ministry, and the movie is bringing light to Black Women and a story that needed to be told its okay this one time. No Kim, it’s NOT okay.

I’m a Christian woman myself. But prior to me becoming a Christian, it always bothered me how people of the church seem to justify their judgement against other people with scriptures, sermons, morals and pointing fingers completely forgetting the fact that nobody has a heaven or a hell to put anyone in but GOD himself. I could support this statement by quoting all types of “cast the first stone” or “judge not lest ye be judged” anecdotes, but at the end of the day, my question is: Who are you to say or call people out on their life choices? Again, when we pass on and transition on to heaven, will it be Kim Burrell’s final word, or any other preachers for that matter (including my own) to let us into the kingdom? No, it won’t be. We are human first and Christians second. What kind of testimony does that show for those individuals that we want to minister to and bring into the kingdom? Your way is the right way and everyone else is wrong? Every disciple on the bible had their own sins and wrong doings prior being called by God. How can we be Godly examples if we are constantly pointing fingers and putting people down for what we think is wrong or sinful?

I grew up in a church where judgement on those who were not Christians flowed freely. A number of sermons warned us about watching shows that had fornication, worldly music, and bad words. We were told to stay away from wine and alcohol because it was a doorway to hell and sin. Oh, and if you were going to dance, it better be to a Christian song, but don’t bop along too hard…don’t want to give the devil his place in the kingdom if you put TOO much feeling into that dance move. As I got older, I just didn’t feel comfortable with the way that these ‘lessons’ were drilled in my head. It was like if you were living your life in any other way than what was being preached or taught, you were doing it wrong. If you didn’t know the bible inside out, pray every chance you had throughout the day or listen to anything other than Christian music, you might as well be a sinner because it doesn’t count. The kind of pressure to live right by their standards is unbearable, but I had to learn in my own way on my own time that my walk with GOD is just that: my walk with GOD. It’s not right or wrong, no sin is greater than the other, and it’s simply about my walk and my convictions.

Kim later says in defense of her sermon quote during a Facebook Live post that:

“I never said all gays were going to hell. I never said ‘LGBT’… I said ‘SIN’,”

“To every person who is dealing with the homosexual spirit, that has it, I love you and God loves you but God hates the sin in you and me. Anything that is against the nature of God.”

“Have I ever discriminated against them? Have I ever outright told them ‘I don’t love you and you going to hell?’ Why would I?” she asked. “Who gives me the right to say that I’m telling someone that they’re going to hell? I don’t get that call?” – Kim Burrell

While Mrs. Burrell is 100% entitled to her opinion, I don’t support her way of bringing her message in her sermon and Facebook Live post, especially after she had initially booked the appearance in the Ellen DeGeneres Show. That was simply in bad taste. With the weight her name holds in the gospel industry, and her pending appearance in the show, she should have probably used better judgment with her words during that sermon or just shouldn’t have ventured to the subject to begin with. There’s no way she could say that she didn’t know who Ellen is or what she stands for, even though her sexuality is just a fraction of who Ellen is as a person (and what an amazing person she is!) For her to try and clean up her words by saying God loves “those dealing with the homosexual spirit” but “hates the sin in you and me,” just isn’t right and doesn’t help her point in any way, shape or form.

I really hate the bad publicity that this situation is bringing to the movie “Hidden Figures.” I am so excited about going to see this amazing story in theatres. The fact that we are now going to associate the song for the movie with this situation is very unfortunate and could have been avoided had Mrs. Burrell considered her words, actions and example before she spoke. Looking at this from Ellen’s possible perspective, she was probably feeling disrespected,with good reason. How can you not agree with her lifestyle, yet book an appearance on her show? Those words from her sermon must’ve been very hurtful fer her to hear especially since she offers no apologies for her words. I don’t blame her one bit for cancelling her appearance. Going forward I hope that she has taken something valuable from this situation. In today’s social climate coupled with Social Media, anything you say can be put out there for the entire world to see within seconds for the media to get a hold of. She has to consider how this may affect her career, church home and reputation in general in some extreme cases. In her own words “God doesn’t like the Sin in you” when talking about her opinion on the LGBTQ community, he also doesn’t like the sin in her when she is judging other people. I really hope this has been a learning experience for her, with all sincerity.

God Bless you, Kim Burrell.

Black Mirror Project = Black Girl Magic

Black Mirror Project = Black Girl Magic

bmpic5.jpg                  bmpic6.jpg

I’m scrolling through Instagram one day and I happened to come across this amazing photo series called #BlackMirror. The series was done by a model named Debbeh Howard and her boyfriend Raffael Dickreuter to help bring light to the lack of diversity in the modeling industry. She takes the imaged of well-known model’s like Kendell Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Kate Moss (to name a few) for major name brands like Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Victoria Secrete and recreates them to show that not only black women but also all women of color could have done these ads just as well, if not better than the model that were in these campaigns. She wrote a blog about is called Black Mirror and put, in her own words, her experience with this issue:

“Not to long ago it happened to me that I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black model that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model.  Besides having an abundance of white models. It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all. When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre”

Here wording is elegant as she brings everything to perspective.

bmpic4.jpg   bmpic1.jpg

I really love what she has done with this series. Not only has she used her platform of modeling to showcase diversity, but she has also used it to show girls all over who are trying to find their way into the modeling industry that it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, you show go for your dreams no matter what people tell you. After being told over and over by these talent agents that they couldn’t sign her because they had basically met their quota of black models, she could have handled this issue in a whole different way. She could have caused a protest, written an angry blog, called these agencies names…anything. I LOVE the fact that she used her voice to in a POSITIVE way and as a result she has gotten so much positive feedback from her Black Mirror Project. I’m sorry but that is BLACK GIRL MAGIC all day, every day. In case you aren’t aware of what #BlackGirlMagic is, don’t worry, Reesie is here to enlighten you!

Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of black women. It’s about celebrating anything we deem particularly dope, inspiring, or mind-blowing about ourselves.

bmpic7.jpg5_deddeh_howard_raffael_dickreuter_michelle_williams_louis_vuitton_campaign.jpg

I love when we can bring light to issues, topics, and grievances about diversity, prejudice and racism in a positive way. I’ve always felt like doing destructive things is just not the way to go about doing these things. In fact, it does more hurt than harm by adding to the stereotypes that we are trying to overcome. Debbeh Howard will probably get so many deals from this, and it will be well deserved. As a photo personality (yes, that’s what I call it), I really love everything about what Debbeh is doing. I can see how the color of someone’s skin can make someone hesitate from trying to persue their ambition to become a model. And I can understand the feeling of severe disappointment one can have from being rejected over something like your skin color, something you cannot help but you are proud to be in. I’ve seen and heard people go to agencies and be truned away because their ears are too big, or nose is too wide, or eyes are too close together, their too heavy, too short, too curvy UGH!!! ENOUGH!!! A person is beautiful for who they are no matter what color, race, shape, height, type of hair whatever!bmpic3.jpgbmpic2.jpg

The amount of respect I have for this young lady is unmeasurable. The more attention she gains from her choice to speak with her voice in a positive way the better.  I hope that everyone who comes across this series is as inspired as I was when I saw this. It’s nothing short of absolutely amazing.Respect, Debbeh!

#BlackGirlMagic

#BlackMirror