BODY VALUE I


Women, sexual abuse and (what I call) “body value” is a very complex dialogue – this is what I have to say today.

In light of the recent #MeTooOnCampus movement and the larger conversation on Twitter, I’ve identified a few problematic attitudes towards victims of rape and sexual abuse.

Firstly I’ll say, if we continue to let a woman’s sexual activity or sexual partners determine how much she is worth then we are capable of doing the most disgusting things to them. Once you detach value and a voice from a woman then you are putting yourself in the same headspace as an abuser.

Now, let’s be clear. A woman can choose to have as many sexual partners as she wants. If she, however, decides that she does not want to have sex with you then that is her decision and it should be respected. Too often, men can feel justified and entitled to a woman who has/had many sexual partners – so entitled that they deny a woman’s right to give consent. It’s almost as if these women aren’t allowed to say no? This behaviour is pathetic.

People are more liable to sympathise or believe a rape victim that is the conventional “good girl” much easier than a girl who is more sexually active. This is (and I can’t stress this enough) so wrong. It goes back to how we determine a woman’s value. We’ve got to unlearn those principles as rape can and has happened to all kinds of women. Can we learn to approach all rape stories with sensitivity?

Can we stop attaching ‘body count’ to body value?

**Amazing artwork credit: Daisy Mojave Holland

WORKING WOMEN I STAN

Happy International Women Day!

In no particular order, I’ve shortlisted five ladies who have consistently been in their BAG. These are women that are creating opportunities for themselves and simultaneously, inspiring other babes. So let’s get started.

1. Mikai McDermott – CIPHER

YouTuber – Creator – Founder of CIPHER

I knew Mikai was essential and necessary when I first came across her on YouTube. It was refreshing to see that she could balance beauty with substance so effortlessly. It showed in her content + is evident in the brand(s) she has built. This isn’t to say that she was the first or is the last – it was just simply refreshing. Her content is real + her journey to establishing herself is one I’m so invested in because she represents + pours into females who are on similar journeys. She is aware that she is multifaceted + is striving in her lane(s).

2. Mabintou Kolley – MABIN2

Digital Designer – Creative Director – Speaker

Man, women in Tech are so cool. What I love about Mabintou is that she is self-taught + nothing screams “driven” to me more than that. If you’re following this phenomenal young lady then you are a witness of how she is Miss Make It Happen. She is constantly sharpening her graphic skills + working at her craft. You really do love to see it. On top of that, Mabintou is generous with offering advice to other creatives who are inspired by her. Whew, we love a unthreatened babe.

3. Julie Adenuga – BEATS 1

Radio Presenter – DJ – UK Personality

Though being the sister to well-known Grime rappers, Skepta + JME, Julie Adenuga stands on her own two. Her identity is totally about herself + her presence in the music industry is a distinctive one. Everything about her just stands out. I admire that she’s in spaces that can be quite ‘male-dominated’ + just simply being her authentic self + being an authentic voice. Julie is very in touch with the online/urban culture + makes the necessary moves to create the space for more people from an urban background to also flourish.

4. Conna Walker – HOUSEOFCB

Business Woman – Founder of HOUSEOFCB + MistressRocks

At 26, she’s made the Forbes Under 30 list. That says enough for me but I’ll carry on. Yes, this is the face of one (or two) of our fav fashion brands. I have a lot of respect for a woman that is such a force in the very competitive fashion industry. She has never compromised her standards + the quality of her pieces remain top notch. The streets know this. We stan a woman who knows how to flip her coin + make a killing.

5. Sophia Tassew – ASOS CURVE

ASOS Curve Insider – Founder of CURVES IN MOTION – Creative

Sophia is so in her bag it is ridiculous. Honestly. Truly. Everyday is about truth for her + she isn’t afraid to address big issues that many are silent about. She is a mouthpiece for plus sized babes + works tirelessly to bring about inclusion for women who have similar life experiences to her. It’s no “plus female empowerment” gimmick either, this is her real life work. Everything she does is for the cause + nothing is more commendable. Sophia is beautiful and I absolutely stan.

I encourage everyone to follow + support these females on their journey.

Black Women in the workplace.

Negative work-based experiences that are exclusive to us. Let’s talk.

1. Hair

Any change in our hair becomes the trending topic between co-workers. Suddenly, your new hairstyle is the only thing about you that stands out.

A non-black co-worker at my sister’s old workplace would often bother her with ignorant and invasive questions regarding her natural hair. This was quite frequent as every time they worked together he would make unnecessary remarks. My sister had enough self-control to calmly ask him to refrain from making anymore. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he took it too far when he deemed it acceptable to put staples in her hair a few days later. Did my sister contact HR? Yes. How did they handle it? They told her the matter isn’t serious enough. The constant harassment from her ignorant colleague was apparently not serious enough for action to be taken.

2. Nails

“How can you possibly manage to work in nails that long?”

I don’t know babe. I just can. What I’ve felt most, as a black woman in the work atmosphere, is that limitations can be placed on us because of little things like our nails and how ‘unprofessional’ they may look. I’ve noticed that people within your workplace or customers may take you less seriously for such things.

The quality of your service may even come as a shock to some people because they, most probably, assumed that you’d be the ratchet chick that showed them no respect. For simply having some acrylics on, we find ourselves proving that we’re just as capable as our more ‘professional looking’ peers.

3. Microaggressions

Microaggressions are derogatory, or negative messages that target a person’s particular race, gender, social class etc. These microaggressions are hidden in everyday verbal or nonverbal actions.

i.e When someone may ask, “Can I speak to the manager?” it’s a perfectly normal request but it is obvious to you that the underlying message is that they don’t trust what you’re saying.

I work in Technology Retail. I’ve sat down with many customers – older men in particular – who need a male employee to confirm what I’ve said to them. This is a regular occurrence in male-dominated industries, like Tech, and it’s disappointing to learn that we aren’t looked at as reliable sources of information in those spaces. Both men and women have access to the same information – not too sure they know that though?

What’s worse is that most of the men on your team cannot understand nor can they relate. I raised the concern to my team and was told that I’m taking it too personally. Sigh.

4. Objects of sexual desire

When I was 16 my employer revealed that he hired me because they needed some “eye candy” on the shop floor. Yep. Believe me, I wish I knew then what I know now. Black females can be victims to harassment in their place of work as a result of their curvaceous figures.

In fact, I’ll have a post dedicated to the Sexualisation of Black Women up soon.

Can any of you attest to experiencing these things at your place of work?

YOUTUBERS ft American accent

Maybe I feel like this because I’ve recently been enlightened on Black British culture and how rich it is. Or just our British culture period.

On the net, it’s clear that people from overseas have preconceptions about what being British is. I hate it. Some can be completely out of touch and believe we’re living in the 19th century. Didn’t you all see the jokes around 21 Savage being British? Thus, for me it’s very important that British figures with large platforms (or any platform) can own OUR culture. Too many times I’ll go on YouTube for instance and see our UK personalities embodying a whole American chick. Some are more excessive than others but either way it is a little bit… cringe.

Can we leave that in 2018? We are not the watered down versions of anything. We are ourselves and that’s all I’ll say on that.

MARKETING MISHAPS

IMG_2305You have come up with this great business idea and because you’re a smart girl, you know that marketing and branding via social media is vital in this current climate.

Cool.

You then create a fresh page (on the handle of your choice) dedicated to showcasing your work and skills. You are yet to upload any content on this new page, however, you have already given yourself a title i.e “fashion stylist” or whatever applies to you.

There is a real risk in giving yourselves empty titles and perhaps, empty personas. Social media has made it easy to do so. By empty I mean you might be someone who has not yet provided your service and/or do not have any content to offer your audience. Wouldn’t it be wiser to have both things covered before promoting yourself? Otherwise, you’re basically promoting air. It will not work until you can actually SHOW us something.

IMG_2307 (1) If something has worked well and you are ready to launch, that still will not AUTOMATICALLY qualify you. Build your portfolio and your experience as you go. Do some research on your market and figure out your direction. All I’m saying is do not act hastily.

These are honestly things I tell myself. All the best!

 

IM SCARED OF IG BADDIES

Alexa, play IG Girls…

Now, to take something at face value means that you are accepting whatever is presented to you as the truth – without considering whether it is or is not actually what it claims to be.

That’s what a lot of us are doing when it comes to what we know as “IG Baddies” – we are taking what they give to us at face value. We are celebrating a false reality. If I start to talk, they will say I’m hating. Unfortunately, it is very easy to paint all IG girls with the same brush, but that is not the approach I’m ever going to take on this blog. I’m never here to drag. You all know how the saying goes though…if the shoe fits, w e a r i t.

I’m not mad at young ladies recognising their beauty as a method of generating an income and building platforms for themselves. I’m here for that self-awareness. What I’m not here for is building a fake persona online. Anything that lacks authenticity will not last long. Period. Luckily for them it isn’t (usually) about anything other than their appearance and how high up in status they can get.

Oh and can we really talk about where some of these UK broads are drawing their inspiration from? I mean, whew…I’m seeing straight replicas of US IG girls. We should probably get into this matter another time?

It’s funny though, because that’s how they get the bag? After all the pretending, some of them actually do get to become the girl they faked so hard to be. The facts are that some of these beautiful IG Bad Bs are so broke in real life, so messy and do bad business.

I’ve seen it and I am shook.

(OFF THE) RADAR RADIO.

To put it simply: Radar Radio is cancelled.

The popular radio station, home to a number of urban DJs and influencers, recently had to suspend broadcasting as a result of allegations concerning the sexual assault and discrimination against women of colour.

Many of those who hosted shows on the radio station took to Twitter to announce that they’d be removing themselves from Radar and thus, not condoning the quite shameful events that occurred right on the premises.

The victim tells the public of how, despite consulting those in power about the issue, her claims were downplayed and brushed off as “just boys being boys”.

 

LADIESNGHT stands in solidarity with women in the entertainment industry who unfortunately have to deal with matters like these in their place of work. We’d also like to give a big shoutout to Kenny Allstar, AaliyahMariaBee, DJ P Montana, the Slumflower, the Receipts podcast and everybody else who took a stand and stepped down.

With that being said, we cannot be naive. Some members were very well aware of the incidents happening at the radio station and decided to turn a blind eye until it became some sort of wave to leave. Be reminded that sexual harassment should never be tolerated!

Meet: ENKAY ROCKSON

Raspy, raw and rich. Her voice is a live embodiment of these words. Her tone is unmatched. A true songstress who oozes emotion with every song she sings.

“…All I’ve really known is music and singing and I’ve loved it ever since I was very young…”

Enkay’s influences are taken from R&B Queens such as Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia, even some of her friends but also from wider music genres. I asked her:

What new opportunities have arisen for females on the scene?

“There are currently more females doing more on the scene but at the same time I still don’t feel like they have ‘blown’. Despite the uprise of female rappers lately, and some singers, I think it is harder for female singers to get appropriate recognition. Hopefully that changes soon.”

Which doors still need to be kicked down?

“I want to hear more black, female singers on the radio, see more of us on TV etc. Those doors need to be kicked down.”

Ms Enkay Rockson – a rising star we anticipate listening to soon! Why not go and check out some of her covers on her social media pages: @EnkayRockson

LADIESNGHT: Wireless Lineup Shock

Above are the names of all three of the female artists performing at 2018’s Wireless festival.

Out of a lineup made up of how many artists?

I could name a whole list of females that could’ve occupied spaces in the lineup. Such is real life though. I’ll keep this short and ask — What does this tell you about the development rate for female artists? What’s your take?

Still, I am not disheartened. We’re capable of breaking through and if not this year, next! Keep working hard.

Meet: FACEINTHENEWS

Her home is on social media. Starting a while back from Keek to Twitter and Youtube today, she has kept entertaining those that follow her and the masses beyond that. If you’re not familiar with this young, black creative from South London you know you’ve missed something. Take a look at the numbers above – numbers do not lie!

I’ve struggled to categorize her. On her social media handles alone, she has displayed herself to be a comedian-actress-rapper-sketcher-adviser-influencer all in one. Though, what always shines through is her consistent support towards the UK’s rap scene and her enthusiasm in pushing that culture forward. Dave, Ambush, K Trap, AM & Skengdo are amongst some of the many rappers she has promoted across her Twitter page and fairly new YouTube channel.

We hope to see Miss “FaceInTheNews” capitalise off of her popularity and channel her passions and interests into her dream occupation. If anything, it is her vibrant personality, humorous posts and positive attitude that has kept us all in tune with her.

That “big buss down” is well on its way and #LADIESNGHT anticipates her achieving all the goals she has set for herself this year. You can find her as “faceinthenews” on all social pages so go and show her some love!!

Don’t shut your eyes people, we have more super women on the way! Love.