Independent Woman

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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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


5 Signs That He Is Not The Man For You That Women Ignore

This is another post for my ladies. Ladies, if you are with a man that exhibits these behaviors or brings these characteristics out of you then run. Take heed to my list ladies…Sometimes it is difficult for you to see the situation you are in because you are the one that is in it. My goal is not to blame the man in these different situations. However, sometimes we can get with certain people who can pull us out our natural element. People who can bring out a negative side of us that we never knew existed. How do I know this? Because I have been there before! There have been times when I was in unhealthy friendships and relationships with men. The best choice is to either distance yourself from those people or release them fully from your life. Again, these are signs that occur in a relationship but women dismiss as nothing. They assume that that is just the way it is… Or that that is just the way he is and she just has to deal with it. It doesn’t have to be on both accounts.

Asks You To Do Things That You Are Not Comfortable With…Constantly

A man that will consistently ask you to do things that make you uncomfortable or that he KNOWS you are against is giving you a big warning. By doing this he is demonstrating that he is extremely selfish and insensitive to the things that you might be morally against. Or perhaps it just is something that you are not ready to go through for whatever reason and he does not care. Either way, any man that consistently asks you to do things that you have vocalized your uncomfortableness about on several occasions, yet he still expects you to do it for him and to put every bit of your God given good sense to the wayside may not be the man for you. He may resort to saying that he doubts your love for him because you refuse to oblige. You should reply that you doubt his love for you for even asking that of you.

Takes You Out Of Your Natural Element

This is for the man that brings a different side out of you and not in a positive way. This man takes you out of your natural element constantly. Perhaps, you are usually a laid back type of chick who is secure with herself but since you have been with this man you find yourself hiding behind trash cans, peeking behind corners watching this man. You are literally stalking this man, slashing tires and breaking car windows because he came home too last night. You just know he is messing with so and so and wait until you catch his a**. Girl stop! He is not the man for you! Any man that takes you into your “dark place”, which brings an angry, vindictive side out of you, is not the man for you. Honey, this is not love. This is obsession. A man that is able to control your emotions to the point where you release all of your rationale and hand it over to him is not the man for you. A man that gets you to where you don’t even think before you act if it involves him. He is not the man for you!


You Get Physical When You Fight

Couples are going to argue and fight occasionally. It is going to happen. But if when it does happen, if you and your man always seem to go down the path of becoming physically aggressive and violent with each other then this is not the man for you. I do not care how many years you have been together, or how many babies you two have made together. If the two of you come to blows on a regular basis, then this is not healthy love. This is in fact the very type of love that will drain you emotionally. Now, I know there are some chicks that get a sick high from fighting and arguing with their man. The s**t excites them and fills them with adrenaline. For those chicks my advice is for you to seek physiological assistance. The real issues in the relationship may not really even be your guy. It may start with you. This is especially true if every serious relationship you get in you initiate the violence. That is your go to move. You are the one who is running up on him slapping him, kicking and punching him. Girls please seek psychological help.

You Never Grow To Trust Him

You guys have been together for ten years and you still are unable to trust him. You are still peeking behind corners looking for him outside his job. Again, the problem might lie with you and not him. Not need to be repetitive. You get the point. Or you should.

He Requires All Of Your Power

Within every woman is her own source of power. It is the little something inside of her that keeps her going when she feels she can’t go on. It is the source that gives her strength. It is the little voice in her head that tells her that she is beautiful, she is loved, and she is special. Some unhealthy men who have the need to dominate over the woman they are with, will feel the need to “break” her emotionally. Men like this cannot simply be with a woman and love her. No, no, no. He desires control over her. With that being said, he needs her to give him all of her power in order for him to feel secure. He is not happy unless she submits to him in every way at his whim. Ladies, if you are with a man that exhibits these kinds of symptoms, a man that is trying to break you emotionally, a man that wants to take your power in order for him to be with you, RUN. Run and never look back. This man has issues that are deeper than just you and him and your love cannot “fix” him. Also, no matter how much of your power you hand over to him he will never be satisfied. He will always crave more and this will be a never ending desire for him.

Ladies your intuition is a POWERFUL tool, don’t discount it on account of “but I love him.” Take this all to heart.

Bizou

Miss Zanna


Marriage, Kids & Career: Can A Woman Really Have It All?

When I was younger, I wanted to be like Oprah. As I got older, I realized, well maybe not exactly like Oprah.  As she approaches the last season of her long running talk show, many of us are wondering, will the talk show host finally sit down and focus on her personal life?  She definitely deserves it. 

While kids are clearly out of the equation for the over-child-bearing age powerhouse, (but who knows, it’s Oprah), marriage and reproduction has taken the backseat to her career.  In an interview with TV Guide, Oprah admitted that the show has been her ‘baby’. “It will be bittersweet…It’s been my life. I didn’t have children – I had the show.”

This only leads me to wonder, can a woman really have it all: a successful, yet demanding career while also maintaining a husband and kids; or does she have to sacrifice one for the other?

Oprah choosing her career above anything else isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if it’s her choice.  Beyonce, who is frequently questioned about her desire to have kids, has also decided to put her career before having a child, at least for now.

Although most of us don’t have a career as demanding or high profile as Beyonce, Oprah, Halle Berry, or other celebrities whose careers seem to take precedence over pushing around baby carriages, many of us still experience the demands of ‘chasing our dreams’.

Even now, as a freelance writer who also works a corporate job, I barely have time to date and manage all of my responsibilities. This is also partly because my time management skills are almost nonexistent. But imagine if my career was on the level of Beyonce. To add children to the equation would require some serious time management, not to mention a few babysitters.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to manage.  But it’s all about timing, balance, and compromising.

At some point in time, one thing must be compromised to ensure the success of the other, whether it’s for a day, a month or a year; it’s not realistic to be Betty Crocker every day, work long hours at an office, travel every week, and make sure hubby isn’t sneaking around because of lack of food and affection. As much as we like to consider ourselves as superwomen, there just isn’t that many hours in a day.

Beyonce admitted in an interview with You Magazine, that her Valentine’s Day with her hubby Jay Z consisted of a date ‘via’ Skype. To some women this may not be the ideal Valentine ’s Day; but to others,  having an understanding mate who respects her career is more important.

There is no exact blueprint for life that fits everyone. Different women choose different paths and have different visions for our lives.  Of course, there are extreme and unexpected circumstances that come up. And sometimes children and falling in love isn’t planned. But in a perfect world, some women would prefer being married and having children before 30, while others want to wait until they’ve reached career milestones and achieved many of their goals. But focusing on a career doesn’t mean that marriage or kids can’t be in your life’s plans. Oprah chose not to have kids, but that doesn’t have to be every career-driven woman’s choice.

With a little planning, a lot of balance and people around you that don’t mind the compromise, I think women can have it all. Maybe  just not all at once.

The question at hand: do you think women can have it all? The thriving career, the man, children, and success?