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#29 Be that friend.

31 Oct

Remember #28?  (  With some friendships, you just have to decide that you’re going to be that friend.  Yes, the friend who say, “Friend, your dress is too tight.”  You must decide that you’re going to be that friend who puts her foot down and refuses to let your friend walk out of the house looking any kind of way. Even if you don’t do that for your friend, at least do it for yourself.  After all, whenever I see a woman with her friends and she’s wearing something too tight, too short, and just plain wrong for her, I fault her friends.  I think either (a) her friends think what she’s wearing is cute which makes me also look at them with one eyebrow raised or (b) they aren’t real friends because friends don’t let friends wear stuff like this:


#28 Have at least one friend who will tell you that your dress is too tight.

18 Oct

We all probably have different levels of friendship amongst our friends.  There’s the BFF (best friend forever), your inner circle, your good friends, your acquaintances, and the “yeah, I know who she is, but we’re not friends” friends (  You’ve got the friends to whom you tell all of your deep, dark secrets, the ones who will stand by your side through thick and thin, and the ones who lend a shoulder when you need to cry or an ear when you need to vent.  There are those you talk to everyday, once a month, or only on special occasions.  The ones you would give your last dime to and the ones for whom you would drop everything in their time of need.  There are the friends who will tell you exactly what you need to hear whether you want to hear it or not. 

And then there are those friends who won’t.  There are those friends who let you walk out of the house looking any kind of way.  The ones who won’t tell you that your dress/pants/skirt is too tight.  The ones who won’t tell you that the finger waves/french roll/cornrows combo is not a good look on you (or anyone).  The ones who will say, “Yeah, girl, they wouldn’t make skinny jeans in your size if it wasn’t cute.”  Well, I’m here to tell you that she’s lying.  No, you should not be wearing that and no, it is not cute. 

While I do blame the hair stylists, the clothing designers, the retail stores, and the sales people for their roles in all of this, I place the most blame on friends.  And stop thinking that your friend is “hating” on you when she tells you that you shouldn’t wear that spandex Catwoman suit or that your jheri curl that you’re trying to disguise as “good hair” (or baby hair glued to your forehead) is not cute.  She’s not hating on you, she’s just hating that outfit or that hair style, and rightfully so. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t claim to be perfect.  I didn’t say that I’ve never had a WHY DID SHE DO THAT moment.  I’m sure I have.  I just don’t recall at the moment.  I’m just saying that we all need to be more conscious of our body types and wear clothing that’s appropriate and flattering to our figures.  And since we don’t always have the best judgment when it comes to ourselves, I encourage you to designate one friend to be that friend who will keep it real with you.  The one friend you can’t get mad at for telling you something that you don’t want to hear.  The one friend who can do so knowing that it’s her job as your friend to keep it real with you.  Believe me.  We all need that friend.

(But if your friend is also looking a mess, pick another friend.)

#105 Don’t wear bad wigs or weave.

23 Sep

Let me start off by saying that I’ve never worn either so I don’t consider myself an expert on this subject matter, but I do know a bad weave or wig when I see it.  And by bad I don’t mean good.  I mean bad. 

Don’t let them do this to you. EVER. Again.  This is just wrong. 

We should not see where your hair and the weave meet. 

Your wig or weave should not look like it was done at the Barbie® Beauty Salon. 

Your weave should be smoothly integrated into your current hairstyle.

And ladies, please, let your hair breath so that your real hair does not end up looking like this:

Your hair will thank you. 

Are there any other rules about wigs and weave that I missed?

#146 Don’t be ashamed to tell someone your age.

8 Aug

On the Eve of my birthday, I thought it was very appropriate to give this bit of advice.  When asked their age, so many women state, “You aren’t supposed to ask a woman her age.”  Or when asked what birthday they are celebrating, some women will say, “I’m celebrating my 25th birthday” even though its clear that 25 came and left a long time ago.  And here’s another one that I hear–“I’m celebrating the 9th anniversary of my 21st birthday.” 

Ladies, we should never be ashamed of our age.  Every year, every birthday, every minute that you are given is a gift from God and should be regarded as the BEST gift you could ever receive.  So when you refuse to tell someone your real age, it’s as if you are saying that you are ashamed of the gift you’ve been given, and surely you’re not ashamed.  So embrace it!  Be proud!  Show the world how good 30, 40, 50, or even 80, looks and feels!

#50 Don’t go on a reality TV show to find love.

1 Aug

Jillian and Ed.  Jake and Vienna.  Ray J and Cocktail.  Ray J and Mz. Berry.  Flavor Flav and Hoopz.  Flavor Flav and Deelishis.  Flavor Flav and Thing 2 (I just chuckled to myself as I typed that name).  Fourteen seasons of The Bachelor and no marriages.*  Two Seasons of Ray J of Love and I don’t even think they dated after the season ended.  Three seasons of Flavor of Love and I still wonder how there was even a Season 1 of that show (I know I’m not the only one wondering why one young woman would want a then almost 50 year old recovering drug addict with 7 kids much less 65 women over 3 seasons). 

Do you really think that in a couple of months of living in a house with a bunch of other women, going on a few group dates, getting 5 minutes of his time every few days, having a couple of one-on-one dates, meeting the  family, and one overnight date that you will know the guy well enough to find a husband?  Most men are naturally competitive so they will do what it takes to win, because after all, it is a competition.  So how will you know what’s real on this reality show?  And how many times have we seen people get busted for having a boyfriend or girlfriend back home or slip up and tell someone that they aspire to be a model, actress, or singer (many of whom will sing every chance they get while the cameras are rolling)?

If you just want 15 minutes to shine, then go ahead, be on a reality dating show, get yourself a little nickname and a couple of roses and then move on with your life.  Please don’t try to stretch your 15 minutes as “Mz. Applebottom” into a career.  Three years later I don’t want to hear on the local radio station that “Mz. Applebottom” is hosting a party for the grown and sexy at a local club.  Please go back to whatever your life was before the show or perhaps use your new-found face recognition to get yourself into a legitimate career.  But whatever you do, don’t shed a tear on the reunion show when the bachelor says that he doesn’t think that the relationship will work, because (a) it was a reality show and you should have known better and (b) you should have already known it wasn’t going anywhere when the man you chose or the man who chose you never called you after filming ended. 

*After 6 seasons of The Bachelorette, there has been one marriage that 7 years later appears to still be going strong.  Congrats to Trista and Ryan for beating the odds and finding true love on a reality TV show. 

(Image courtesy of

#21.1 Read books and watch the news.

30 Jul

Remember what I said in #21 about watching the local news?  (  Right.  Well, if this is your local news, this does not apply to you (and I can say this because this is my hometown’s local news).  How many WHY DID SHE DO THAT moments can you count?  (Hint:  Don’t forget to count the reporter.)  

#19 Don’t leave the house with rollers in your hair or house shoes on your feet.

18 Jul

We’ve seen them everywhere.  The mall.  The grocery store.  The post office.  Your organization’s last convention.  The church kitchen preparing the post-service dinner.  Maybe we even saw you.  (GASP)  Yes, you. 

House shoes.  Shoes for the house.  “Do not leave the house in these shoes” shoes.  It says it in the name.  If you wear your house shoes outside of the house, you’ve defeated the purpose of house shoes.  They now have dirt from the outside on them that you are going to drag all through your house. 

Maybe this advice is slightly selfish.  Maybe I’m writing this because I no longer want to feel embarrassed when I see someone in public with rollers in their hair or house shoes on their feet.  If all of your shoes are that uncomfortable, why not buy more comfortable shoes?  Heard of sneakers?  How about flip-flops?  Dr. Scholl’s ® Massaging Gel Insoles?  If you are going to be in a position where you will be on your feet for an extended period of time and the thought of standing in your heels does not appeal to you, buy and wear some flats that match your outfit rather than wear the too small, too tight, too high heels, that will make you want to slip into your house shoes 5 minutes after arriving at your destination.  Who’s even going to notice or comment on your dress you spent months shopping for if you’re wearing house shoes?  Their eyes will be drawn to your feet. 

Here are a few exceptions to this “don’t leave the house with rollers in your hair or house shoes on your feet” advice:

  • It’s your wedding day and you don’t want to take the rollers out until you get to the church.  That’s understandable.  It’s your big day.  Every eye and every camera in the building will be on you.  You want to look your best.  You get a pass; however, you must drive directly from your home to the church, wedding hall, or wherever your wedding is being held.  No stops between the two.  Straight to the church.  (Notice that this exception only allows you to leave the house in rollers.  It doesn’t say anything about it being okay to wear house shoes before, during, or after the wedding and/or reception.  Not even when you get home.  Your husband does not want to see you in house shoes or rollers on your wedding night.)
  • You are at the salon and your stylist has had you sitting with rollers in your hair for the last 5 hours because he/she is terribly overbooked and you decide to go next door to the convenience store/fast food restaurant to get something to eat.  This is the “I don’t want to die of starvation/I’m so mad I’ve been here all day that I dare someone to say anything or even look at me like I’m crazy” exception.  Exception granted.
  • You’re leaving the hospital in a wheelchair, not simply because it’s hospital policy, but because you truly can’t walk out of the hospital on your own.  You’ve been through a lot (surgery, stroke, child-birth, etc.).  You deserve to be comfortable. 
  • Your house is on fire. 

So, what do you think?  Are there any exceptions that you would add to the list?

#89 Watch your weight. No one becomes overweight overnight.

11 Jul

With #59 being said (,  I feel it’s only right to follow-up with this piece of advice.  While you may not want someone else constantly watching your weight, you need to make sure that you are watching your waistline.

Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser on NBC?  Did you see the episode where the truck driver said that in his 20s he weighed 195 and that one morning he woke up and BAM!  He weighed 337 pounds.  Just like that.  Went to bed at 195 and woke up at 337.  No?  Don’t remember that episode?  Oh, right.  That’s because it never happened.  No one becomes overweight overnight. 

But one episode that I do remember was for a show on TLC called “One Big Happy Family”.  As you can guess, it’s about a family that is big.  Literally.  No, not big in number a la the other “big” family on TLC named The Duggars, but big in weight.  The family of 4 weighed in at a collective 1400 pounds, each weighing well over 300 pounds.  The episode in particular that struck me was where the 16-year-old daughter’s doctor told her that she was obese.  The daughter immediately started crying as if this was the first time anyone had told her this; as if she didn’t already know that she was obese.  How she did not know that she was obese before that moment is beyond me.  I knew she was obese from the opening scene of the episode. 

What causes obesity?  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are many factors; some that you can control, such as lack of energy balance, inactive lifestyle, overeating, cessation of smoking, and lack of sleep.  Unfortunately, there are other factors which you cannot control:  an environment that doesn’t support a healthy lifestyle, genes and family history, health conditions, and medicines.  (  While you might not be able to control some factors, I encourage you to take responsibility for your health and lifestyle.  It amazes me that in the U.S., there are 23.4 million children between ages 2-19 and 145 million adults 20 and older who are overweight or obese.  (

What can you do to not become a part of this statistic or to take yourself out of those numbers?  Well, eating a whole pizza in one sitting won’t help.  Maintain a healthy diet and watch your caloric intake.  It is recommended that women consume 1200 calories per day and men 1800 calories per day (I know this blog is aimed at women, but we need to look out for the men we love).  Keep track of what you’re eating and look for healthier alternatives.  That daily Venti Iced Double Chocolaty Chip Frappacino® Blended Beverage with whipped cream you’re having from Starbucks® every morning on the commute to work?  800 calories–more than half of your recommended daily caloric intake.  I’m not saying that you can’t ever treat yourself, because you can and you should.  But instead of making this part of your daily routine, make it a real “treat”. 

If the only exercise you get is walking from the couch to the fridge and back to the couch, be prepared to watch your waistline grow.  Take a walk around the neighborhood 3-5 times a week.  Keep your energy balance in check by not allowing the energy you take in through food to outweigh the energy you use throughout the day. 

Unless the only mirror you have in your home is the talking mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs telling you that you’re the fattest fairest one of them all (and if you tell me that you do have a talking mirror, you have more than a weight problem, but that’s for another post), you should see the changes in your weight and not be shocked when your doctor says that you’re overweight or obese.  Be proactive and take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on maintaining a healthy weight, visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (

#59 Don’t tell someone they look like they’ve gained weight unless it’s time for an intervention.

6 Jul

Have you ever had a family member say to you, “You look like you’ve gained weight” or had a friend ask, “Have you put on a couple of pounds?”  If you haven’t, lucky you.  If you have, I’m sure you replied, “No, but it looks like you have.”  Or maybe that’s just me.  Okay, I didn’t really say that, but I did think it.  (At least I hope I only thought it and didn’t actually say it.) 

I have never understood why people feel it is their place to always comment on other’s weight changes.  In a time when so many young women feel societal pressure to be thin, you would think that people, especially other women, would be careful with their words.  Constantly drawing attention to a young woman’s weight can affect her body image, and according to research, girls start focusing on their bodies at an early age. 

Take a look at a few shocking statistics:  42% of 1st through 3rd grade girls want to be thinner.  81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.  51% of 9 and 10-year-old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet.  According to a study, over 50% of the females surveyed between ages 18-25 would prefer to be run over by a truck than be fat; and 2/3 surveyed would rather be mean or stupid.  (

With this piece of advice, I’m not saying that you should never be concerned with a loved one’s weight.  Borderline obese?  Say something.  Looks like Skeletor’s twin sister?  Minus the muscular blue body?  (Ok, maybe Skeletor isn’t the best comparison, but the name Skeletor itself is so fitting.)  Might be time for an intervention.*  A little weight fluctuation?  That’s likely normal.  Gained 3 or 4 pounds over the last year?  Probably not a big deal.  Does she have a stomach pooch that she didn’t have before?  Maybe she’s bloated. 

The point is that no one wants to have their weight constantly scrutinized.  If the weight changes are drastic and you are truly concerned, then of course you should say something.  But for the slight changes in weight that happen to all of us, there is no need to broadcast it at the family Christmas dinner.  Would you want someone constantly talking about your weight?  Doubt it. 

*For more information on eating disorders, visit the website for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at

#34 Embrace the things that make you different. That’s what makes you You.

28 Jun

As we remember the King of Pop and all of his greatness, I can’t help but think of how he epitomizes this piece of advice.  Throughout his life he was often stared at and talked about; laughed at and ridiculed.  But one thing that made Michael Jackson special was that he never wavered.  He embraced all of his differences and never tried to be like everyone else.  From the brown-skinned boy with the afro to the pale skinned man with the long flowing hair, unique is what he was.  (I know #130 is the elephant in the room.  I know this.  Now that I’ve acknowledged it, let’s move on.  And look how his uniqueness affected not only music, but the world.  So often throughout life, women feel the need to be like everyone else.  We follow the fashion trends that are popular.  We get the same haircuts as our favorite celebrities.  And while all of that is ok, we oftentimes forget to develop, display, and embrace the things that make us different. 

Let’s take a walk down the hallowed halls of our high school memories.  We all remember the “weird” kids and the outcasts who were picked on and left out of the in crowd because they were different.  No one wanted to be that kid, so we all tried to be alike or like someone else or like anyone but that kid.  We suppressed the quirks in our personalities and hid our unusual talents, gifts, and interests.  The only time we wanted to be different was each spring as prom rolled around and we dared another girl to wear our red floor length backless, split to the bottom of the thigh, sequined gown.  (I will pause for a moment so you can look back at your prom pictures.  I know you and your best friend in her lime green, ruffled, fishtail dress WHY DID SHE DO THAT? looked fierce.)  So maybe this need to fit in can be attributed to the memories from our high school days. 

Again, fitting in isn’t a bad thing, but don’t fit in so much that you disappear.  Stop hiding the things about you that make you different from everyone else.  Anyone can try to be like someone else, but no one else can actually be you.