Girl Power

Girl Crush: Chioma Nnadi

I remember when I discovered Chioma Nnadi. I had just read a piece she’d written & fell in love with her eloquence. Then I googled her and fell in love with her style. I have selfishly tried to keep her all to myself (& just the American bloggers) but I think, I ought to share her brilliance. So here goes …

As a fashion writer for Vogue, it’s obvious that her style has some haute couture influences and that being front-row in the world of fashion ensures that this eclectically self-styled wordsmith is always impeccably dressed.

What has me crushing on Chioma is that she isn’t just a vapid clothes mannequin: she studied English and French literature at England’s Manchester University. She is gorgeous, well-read, a great writer, everything I’d like to be when I grow up. That is why she is my Girl Crush.

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Here Mommy, Have a Break.

I adore my mother. Nobody could ever replace her. Nobody could love me more than she does and nobody can compare to her. Every Mother’s Day I try to repay for the grey hairs I put on her head during my capricious teen years. The older I get, the harder it is to find inventive. At 23, a hand-made card and flowers I picked from HER garden stopped being adorable.

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My Mommy Dearest this past Christmas

So I asked the mothers in my life for ideas, to get it from the horse’s mouth so to speak. Would you like to know what to give Mommy Dearest this Sunday? Give Mommy a break. That’s all she wants, a break from playing chauffeur, housekeeper, homework assistant, chef, doctor, personal ATM and all the other roles that come with being a mother. And by a break, I don’t mean a Kit Kat.

Here Mom, have a Break.

Cook (or cheat and Buy) her Favourite Restaurant Meal. Does she love the Wolves Meatball Sub or the Alabama Chicken Sandwich and Mugg & Bean? Why not ask the restaurant for the recipe and cook it for her at home. She’ll appreciate the effort it took for you to make her favourite meal. If you’re not a Master Chef in the kitchen, you could cheat and buy it. Either way she’ll appreciate not having to play chef and housekeeper for one night so when you’re done, wash the dishes.

Take her to the Movies. In the Living Room. Rent a few of her favourite films, provide snacks and set up your very own cinema in the living room. Then kick back and relax with Mom on the couch. There’s no need to drive so she’ll appreciate not having to play chauffeur and personal ATM at the movies.  Don’t forget the popcorn. And to clean up when you’re done.

Mani, Pedi, Facial Anyone? What woman doesn’t like to be pampered like a princess? And your mother is no exception; she is a woman after all. Book her into a day spa:  Camelot Spa at Villa d’ Este in Johannesburg and at The Table Bay in Cape Town are exceptional and Mangwanani Spas are peppered all over the country and are internationally renowned. Many spas offer Mother’s Day specials, so book your mother in for a few treatments and she’ll come out feeling a serene goddess. But remember she’s on a break so play chauffeur and ATM for her on the day.

There are plenty of other things you can do for Mom to show her you love and appreciate her; Mother’s Day picnic at the zoo, walking through the trails at Melville Koppies or Tygerberg, cook her breakfast in bed or organise drinks date with her girlfriends. Remember though she deserves it so give her a break. And a Kit Kat chocolate wouldn’t hurt either.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOMMY

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Mommy & I in 2008. People always ask if she’s my sister.

Bisous

Ms Zanna


It’s Leap Day So Will You Marry Me?

I get excited about silly calendar holidays. St Patrick’s Day, Easter Friday, May Day & Christmas. When I was in school, I looked forward to them because they brought with them “civvies day” – a day where we didn’t have to wear our dreary school uniforms.

But I also love the silly traditions associated with these calendar holiday. I loved wearing all green at school on St Patrick’s day & now that I’m a little older I enjoy a little tipple with my Irish friend Siobhan down at the pub. Siobhan is only a quarter Irish & mostly Afrikaans, but on St Paddies day she drinks like a right proper Irish lass.

Wait, isn’t lass Scottish and not Irish? I can’t remember. I digress.

I love the chocolates & camaraderie (but mostly the chocolate) that comes with Easter and presents & family time (but mostly the presents) that come with Christmas. I love all of them, except Valentine’s day, but that’s another post for another.

Now, my favourite of these calendar holidays is today, February 29th. Leap Day. Not only is it a super special day, what with it only occurring every four years, it’s also a day that single young ladies wait for anxiously.

In eons past, a women proposing marriage to a man was unheard of socially taboo. In our modern society, a women proposing to a man is not quite so incroyable.Traditionally however, February 29th is the only day could legally propose to a man.

Irish Folklore has it that in the 5th century Saint Bridget complained to Saint Patrick about the fact that women had to wait for a long time for a man to propose. The sympathetic Saint Patrick (I knew I liked this guy) said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February, during the leap year. Hence the tradition was born.

And so in keeping with this tradition, the hopeless romantic that I am wanted to propose to my better half today. But alas, due to the lack of a better half, I cannot. So instead of waiting another four years, I’ve decided to extend the Leap Day tradition to the entire Leap Year.

This means that I have up until December 31st 2012 to find a suitable suitor & propose to him. Then get married. And live happily ever after.

No pressure.

“Will You Marry Me,” she said.

Bisous
Ms Zanna


Women Dress For Other Women

I had a good chuckle at when Khaya Dlanga tweeted this a while ago:

“@khayadlanga: Sorry ladies, as much as you love your bags, they do nothing to us.”

I chuckled because our dearest Khaya is under the mistaken impression that I own 30 handbags in the hopes that it will “do something” for the male populous. Silly Khaya.

Women are aware that the men in our lives will not join us in gushing over those Charlotte Olympia platform stilettos or that adorable vintage Chanel tote that we found at a bargain. They also will not care if said tote matches said shoes.

What we do know, is that you will appreciate the long legs attached to the stilettos. It doesn’t take much to impress a man; a little cleavage, a lot of leg & we get the wolf whistles & nods of appreciation. It’s too easy.

I don’t know a single guy who cares for shoulder pads, embellished dresses, leopard print cardigans or platform heels. And if he does, then as a Fag Hag my gaydar will pick up a new HBF.

The fact that I’m hunting for a white, cropped tuxedo jacket has nothing to do with that cutie at my favourite coffee shop and everything to do with the looks of envy I will get from my fellow female fashionistas.

Only she will notice subtle lace detail on my favourite mini dress or the “Rock ‘n Roll Chic” spikes on those Red Bottoms.

Dressing to impress is a competition. The prize is not the attention of the opposite sex. The prize is the girly screams followed by the “I-Love-That-Where-Did-You-Get-Its.” The prize is the feeling of one-upmanship when you can say “Oh, it’s H&M, I got it in London” knowing that the chances of her ever finding the same one as yours are slim to none.

Men, our world does not revolve around grabbing your attention, contrary to popular belief. We don’t dress for you. Women dress for other women. And anyone who says otherwise is either disillusioned or male. Likely both.

Ladies, can I get an amen?

Bizou
Ms Zanna


An Open Letter To Beyoncé


Hey gurl,

Let me start by congratulating you on your fourth album, appropriately named 4.  Genius.  Even though it leaked three weeks early, it has already been well received by your fans and pop music aficionados alike and will no doubt top the charts when it officially drops on June 28th.

That being said, we need to talk.

I’m a huge fan, let me get that out there.  You’re perfection, you’re a powerhouse, an icon, a diva, a queen, etc. etc.  I’ve been on Team Beyoncé since you lost your shit and kicked those bitches out of Destiny’s Child and forced America to just go with it.  I remember shaking my ass to “Bootylicious” at age 12 and worshipping you.  And not much has changed.  I know the entire “Single Ladies” routine and do it at EVERY available opportunity, none of them being even remotely appropriate.

But listen, there’s been something that’s been bothering me since your first solo effort Dangerously In Love. You have this habit of having about four hot tracks on your album and then filling the rest of it with filler songs and sleepers.  Upon hearing your first album, I thought this mistake may have been a fluke.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt that perhaps you were still figuring the whole “solo” thing out.  Learning what it means to stand on your own two feet as a solo artist.  And all your singles went number one!  Dangerously In Love?  Fire.  ”Baby Boy feat. Sean Paul”?  Fire.  (Sean Paul LOL where IS he?)  The album was a huge success though, going on to sell over 11 million copies worldwide.  But I still couldn’t ignore the fact that the album, as a whole, was a bust.

Then there was B’Day.  “Yay!” I thought to myself.  “This is Queen B’s chance to redeem herself!”  The lead single, “Déjà Vu” was insanely promising, and the album’s release was the only thing that kept me focused through the boozy haze that was the beginning of my freshmen year of college.  I saved every bit of loose change I had in order to ensure I could get my hands on the album the day it came out.  When I finally did, I was heartbroken to learn that you had done it again.  The album had a couple of bangers, but otherwise was a mediocre R&B record at best.

By the time I Am… Sasha Fierce was released, you had cemented your status as a worldwide pop icon that was here to stay, whether we liked it or not.  And with that you almost had us fooled.  “Single Ladies.”  “Diva.”  “Ego” feat. Kanye West.  Video Phone feat. Lady Gaga.  We couldn’t get away from those songs and we didn’t want to.  And need I even mention the cultural phenomenon that was the “Single Ladies” video?  You were killing it, girl.  But the rest of the album?  It was flaccid.  It put me to sleep.

That’s why when I got the news that your album had leaked on Tuesday, I was less than excited.  With a lackluster first single, a bomb of an American Idol performance, and a last minute swap of the second single from “1+1” to “Best Thing I Never Had”, I saw another flop coming from a mile away.  “Run The World (Girls)” is decent, don’t get me wrong, but a female empowerment song from you is a little redundant because EVERY song you do is a female empowerment song.  You are female empowerment embodied so we don’t really need that kind of material from you, it isn’t that groundbreaking.  Plus, the video looked like a cross between a Balenciaga runway show and Lilith Fair.

4, I’m sorry and yet unsurprised to say, that this is your worst album to date.  It starts off with a ballad.  Who starts an album off with a ballad?  Who does that?  And is followed by no less than FIVE MORE BALLADS.  WHAT IS THIS?!?  My jaw was on the ground the first time I listened to it.  I just couldn’t believe you structured the album in the manner you had.  In all twelve songs, there are only four that can be considered proper pop tracks.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re great.  I’m OBSESSED with “Love On Top”, it’s my summer jam, my reason for living.  But other than that, the track list just seems like all of the songs that weren’t good enough to make your previous albums.

What I’m trying to say is that, though you are one of the best artists in the world, you are incapable of putting out a good album.  Even tragic hot messes like Katy Perry and Ke$ha (I know, forgive me) are better at putting out albums than you are.  I’m not saying their albums are better, my god, no.  I’m saying that their albums make more sense as a package and are more in line with the direction they are going as “artists.”

I’m always going to be on Team B.  But that being said, you have no excuse not to put an album out that consists of nothing but pop masterpieces from beginning to end.  You’ve got it in you, I know that you do.  So I’m asking you, as a fan, as a friend, put on that Freakum Dress and prove me wrong.  Make me eat my words while standing on my face in stiletto heels.  Show us the reason that you’re on a first name basis with pop culture.  There are so many ways that I could describe you, but all I need is one word: Beyoncé.

By Tynan Sinks ⁠

You can read the original post here: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/an-open-letter-to-beyonce/

Ms Zanna


Ladies, Let HIM Wear The Pants Please!

As a little girl I hated chores. When I grew up, as a young woman I hated chores. I mean who doesn’t right? It wasn’t because I was lazy (sometimes I can be) or incompetent (alright, I was useless then but let’s not digress), I saw myself as a powerful self-assured woman who didn’t need to conform to the stereotype of “barefoot & pregnant in the kitchen.” I considered myself an educated young woman, who had been exposed to so much that I can imagine the roles, reversed and have me bringing home the bacon & have “Hubby” fry it for the family.

I was what I’d like to think of a feminist. And then my mother forced me to learn how to cook on Sundays. Now let it be said that as a feminist-cum-tomboy-slash-girly-girl (I’m a paradox of MANY things) I was the girl who sat with my daddy watching soccer on a Sunday while my Mom did the cooking My dad & I would scream at the incompetent referees and waiting for my Mom to scream “Food’s ready!”

I resented my Mom for reducing me to nothing more than a cook and cleaner in the household. My feminist-self was convinced I was destined for SO much more. God made me to be more than just … well …. A WOMAN!

Herein lies the crux of the matter. I feel that feminists have warped the role of a woman to make it seem undesirable. In the last 18 months, cooking and cleaning have gone from being a chore to being a pleasure. I’m not saying I’m Suzy Homemaker or anything and sometimes you have to drag me out of bed to do what’s necessary, but more often than not, I enjoy (deep breath) COOKING and CLEANING! There I admitted it! Let all the suffragettes and feminists who burned their bra’s turn in their graves.

Let me clarify my stand point before you force me to burn my bra! And my explanation is slightly biblical, so bear with me. When a woman marries, Jesus commanded her to honor and obey her husband. The opposite of honor and obey would be, take charge and lead. Jesus would not command someone to do something that we are innately able to do. Note that man is commanded to love and cherish his woman. As a woman we need not be commanded to love because we already love and cherish. That is the nature of our heart. Woman is commanded to submit to our men and honor and obey. This means that innately, we are drawn to lead and take charge. It’s not something that we have to fight for. It’s something, which we already know how to do. It’s Standard Procedure. We need not fight for this role.

Try a new role. This is the role that a woman’s heart cries out to take. To be the nurturer. To be the comforter. To be the proverbial “shoulder-to-lean-on.” It’s an easier role, because it will minimize conflict with the man in your life. It’s a fulfilling role to play, knowing that you are his pillar, that great woman behind the great man. 

 

Feminists have made being a woman, seem weak. I say we are definitely the stronger of the sexes. It takes a strong wo-MAN to back down and take the subservient role. Try it Ladies. Dare to cook, clean and rub his shoulders after his long day at work. Let him be a man, while you go about your business of being a Woman.

 Bizou

Miss Zanna