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OK Ladies (And Gents), Now Let’s Get InFormation


// OK, OK, ladies now let’s get in formation ’cause I slay //

Beyoncé SLAYED in her music video for her new single “Formation” and she showed the whole world that she meant business by performing her new song at the Super Bowl 50 and announcing her “Formation World Tour” shortly after. Unfortunately, not everyone understood the slayage or the message of the Super Bowl 50 performance. Many were outraged and confused as to why Beyoncé felt the need to pay homage to the Black Panthers, have an all Black dance crew and use the word Negro in “Formation.” A lot of people didn’t seem to see that Beyoncé’s activism was necessary due to the fact that racism and police brutality still exist and presents a societal problem.

Travyon Martin.  Sandra Bland.  Tamir Rice.  Eric Garner.  Freddie Gray.  Michael Brown.

All unarmed black individuals who died at the hands of the police.

Racism DOES exist and there MUST BE something wrong with the system in place.

baby hair and afros
                   // I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros //

I recently watched the Black-ish episode called “Twinnocence” that grappled with the reality of Black parents having to explain racial injustice via police brutality to their children. It broke the hearts of Dre and Rainbow Johnson from ABC‘s Black-ish to tell their beautiful Black children that the world will be unfair to them and those that look like them because of the uncontrollable color of their skin and not for anything that they had actually done wrong. And what scared the Johnson’s the most is that they could not protect their kids from this dreadful reality. That fear would always be there lurking around the corner, but they could hope for freedom, fight for justice, embrace their Blackness and boldly use their platforms (like Beyoncé did) to incite change.

So here is some inFormation to all who thought that Beyoncé’s “Formation” performance at the Super Bowl was distasteful, unnecessary or divisive.

  1.  I think what a lot of white people experienced when watching the Beyoncé performance is something that most Black people experience when watching pretty much everything else. Most of what we see on our screens is white. It is extremely difficult to find black representation because most spaces are dominated by white people but yet that’s considered “normal.” So I believe Beyoncé’s performance was unsubtle because it needed to be unsubtle. It was a statement and statements are rarely subtle. Not only was it a statement, but she was paying homage to black history (i.e. Black Panthers, Michael Jackson, etc.) and reconciling the present because racism and hardship is not in the past.
  2. Racial discrimination and the system that doesn’t allow for any real black progress in society is a real thing even now. Literary works from Black leaders years ago reveal that even today we are still dealing with the same issues they were trying to address then. It’s easier for a white individual to say racism is in the past because it’s not something that they have to experience or think about daily. However, for Black people, racism is always staring them in face as soon as they open their eyes for a new day.
  3. Honestly, Black history is and should be everyone’s history. It should be something that is celebrated by everyone. It shouldn’t be weird that all of her dancers were Black. If it made people feel uncomfortable, then I would ask them why. Because in my opinion, Beyoncé was celebrating culture and the diversity within the human race through her performance. People are just so used to seeing white people on the screen that they freak out when people of color do the same.
  4. Beyoncé started this conversation because it was necessary. If the conversation was divided that was because there was division already there in the first place and now it’s just being brought up to the surface.

I am not even praising every part of the song, “Formation,” or every part of the Black Power or Black Panther movement. However, I AM pointing out something that Beyoncé did that made sense to me and made me feel a bit prouder to be a black woman in this country.

i slay
                           // I got hot sauce in my bag, swag//
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The Truths About Community

Community has been painted as a ‘kumbaya’ portrait where everyone gets together with smiling faces, bonds over a campfire story and then feels warm and fuzzy after a perfect night.

Well community doesn’t always look like that. Community has its “bonfire nights” but it also has its rough patches that many are not aware of.

At the surface level, a community may be holding hands and posing for fake laughing pictures. But in reality, if you want to pursue a deeper community, you must realize some truths about community, including the following:

1. Community hurts.

People are imperfect. BOOM. I know that’s a shocker. Someone is bound to get their feelings hurt in a community.

Humans mess up so many times a day that we honestly are not worthy of the simple pleasures in this life that we so abundantly enjoy. But most of us get to live another day – another day of pleasure, another day of hurt and another day mixed with both ups and downs.

Nevertheless, it is important to recognize if you have hurt another person and apologize. Genuinely listen to why the other person felt offended or betrayed. Look within yourself and see if there is something inside of you that needs to change as a result. That personal change may not be necessary just to better serve others, but also to better yourself in general – everyone benefits.

2. Community suggests honesty and vulnerability.

If we truly desire to be in community, we must let people in.

There is nothing more toxic than to claim that you are in community with people, but then those very same people tell and keep secrets from each other. Those secrets and those cliques mean that there is a lack of trust and communication in the community. It means that something is seriously off with the community and it needs to be addressed ASAP. Otherwise, the tension in the room will build up and it could be years before any progress is made, any conflicts are resolved or any growth happens.

Be honest with yourself and be honest with others. What’s the point of having a community if everyone is fake and not committed? If no one is willing to share what is on their heart – to share what makes them happy and what breaks their heart?

3. Community implies inconvenience.

Being involved in a community sometimes means that you have to give of yourself even when it is inconvenient. You should expect the other members of your community to give of themselves as well so that it is a mutual reciprocal relationship.

Go the extra mile for your friends. It feels good to know that people care. And guess what? Sometimes others will not notice the sacrifice that you made for them and that is okay.  It’s O-K-A-Y. If you truly acted out of kindness, then you should be fine that you did not get recognition. Not every act of kindness deserves a medal. (However, if the lack of appreciation becomes a continuous problem, then a sit-down honest discussion may be necessary).

4. Community requires a common vision.

This may be the most important key to community success. If this isn’t true, then none of the other 3 points matter.

Unity is not just something that is felt. It’s something that is seen.

For a community, a unified vision needs to be conceptualized and pictured together. A vision needs to be fleshed out and agreed upon together. The vision needs to be enforced from within and enjoyed from without. The vision should be what holds the community together. It should be a safety net to fall back on in the midst of stormy times.

Community is necessary for us as humans. We all need a group of people we can count on and live life with. However, keep these 4 truths in mind. Community is not something that can be idealized, it’s a real thing that can have real problems and requires real work. Be mindful of that and enjoy the people around you!

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Here //

I’m sorry if I seem uninterested // Or I’m not listenin’ or I’m indifferent
Truly, I ain’t got no business here // But since my friends are here
I just came to kick it but really // I would rather be at home all by myself not in this room
With people who don’t even care about my well-being //  – Alessia Cara, Here

This song is literally my life. Always.

I am the type of girl who can be a social butterfly but am also very okay with choosing to watch movies alone in my room. I sincerely believe that it’s okay to not fit in, to not go with the flow of the world. It’s okay to do your own thing, especially if everything else seems like a waste of time and energy, so you only invest in genuine mutual relationships.

If you can relate to my ideology, then you’ll probably like my blog. If you don’t relate, then keep scrolling and let me tell you more about me and this blog of mine.

But honestly I’d rather be // Somewhere with my people we can kick it and just listen
To some music with the message (like we usually do)
And we’ll discuss our big dreams // How we plan to take over the planet – Alessia Cara, Here

I’m a 21-year-old Midwestern girl looking to make it big in life. I’ve never had small dreams, just big ones. I want to have a platform that I can use to inspire others with my words. I may not be Maya Angelou, but I do express myself best through writing so I thought I’d try this blogging thing out.

But my love of writing is not the only reason I started this blog. It’s been on my heart for a while. I feel like I have wisdom and perspective that I should share.

I am calling my blog, The Curvy Christian, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Christians are called to walk the straight and narrow path (Matthew 7:13-14) but this “road less traveled” comes with twists and turns, CURVES and crossroads. It’s not easy to maneuver at times but seeing fellow Christians, like me,  walk it with you makes it a bit easier.
  2.  I am a Christian with CURVES. Yeah, I said it and I’m proud of it. By no means, am I the only Christ follower with hips and the lack of a thigh gap, so let’s talk about it instead of sweeping the topic under the rug. Sadly, in addition to body types, there are many things that most Christians don’t talk about, like social justice and mental health. Well I plan on talking about it. I plan on giving advice and perspective on topics like #blacklivesmatter , my college experience, intersectionality of identities and relationships, in addition to explaining why I embrace all my curves and all my edges so if you are uncomfortable with that, then maybe this is not the blog for you. Or maybe it is and you just don’t know it yet.

For those that are NOT Christian, this blog IS for you. Don’t let the title, “The Curvy Christian,” throw you off. Although, my words will be inspired by scripture, sermons,  and my personal walk with Christ, I simply want to share a different perspective on everyday life. {SIDE NOTE: I am not and will not be a token Christian that represents all of my religion, but I will provide a different way of thinking that may be surprisingly refreshing.}

For those that ARE Christian, this blog IS also for you. I hope my blogs provide encouragement as well as challenges for you and your walk with Christ.

Now that we’ve got that settled. I am looking forward to taking you all on this narrow, curvy road with me.

So holla at me I’ll be in the car when you’re done // I’m standoffish, don’t want what you’re offering // And I’m done talking – Alessia Cara, Here