Private Party

As someone who used to identify as perpetually single, I understand the anxiety surrounding February 14th.aka Valentine’s Day. Before my current relationship, I was yet to experience a romantic, non-platonic Valentines. Valentine’s Day compelled me to confront both internally and externally what I perceived as never-ending spinsterhood.

I’m having a private party…Ain’t nobody here but me, my angels, and my guitar singin’ baby look how far we’ve come here”

 I remember the apprehension and dread, I used to feel at the thought of having to field questions from my mum and aunty about “where’s my boyfriends”. Years of soul searching helped me realise that there’s nothing wrong with being single. The biggest indictment on “aunty” culture is their harassment of black single women.  The unnecessarily amplification of the demonization of black single woman, that occurs at Valentine’s Day needs to change. As cliché as it seems I’d rather be happy and alone, than suffering in a relationship. Men remain trash and sanity and safety over everything. I’m happy that in 2021, we are de-stigmatising being single, buying suction dildos and sending ourselves flowers.

“I’m havin’ a private party, learning how to love me. Celebrating the woman I’ve become, yeah”

Stay Strong Singletons

Thankfully with fraternisation and flirtation extinct due to ongoing pandemic, being single is no longer perceived as indictment or failure. Although, the lockdown has made it more socially acceptable to be single, Valentine’s Day remains a hazardous holiday for singletons.  Steeped in capitalism and patriarchy Valentines’ Day, is a hallmark holiday aimed to proliferate “single shaming” and rush woman into potentially unhealthy relationships. Being single in the digital era means having to be subjected to an influx of social media “couple goals”, triggering feelings of inadequacy. Exposed to falsities of happiness and I know in the past I wonder where’s my “somebody’s son”. My advice for singletons feeling lonely and left out this holiday, please remember that the majority of Valentine Day content, you’ll be subjected to isn’t a true reflection of someone’s relationship.

Started to feel a little pity that’s when I realized that, I gotta find the joy inside of me

Portraying a Pinterest perfect couple, I’ve seen people stuck in a toxic relationship who post their materialistic Valentine’s day experiences and presents, but knowingly suffering chronic infidelity and emotional manipulation.Don’t compare yourself to YouTube couples trapped In joyless, mort relationships, trying to exploits all the possible monetary value before they get caught in a lie.  Valentine’s Day has matured into crude performatism, a band aid use to cover fatal relationship flaws with red flags. Make sure you delete all your dating apps for the weekend an, Valentine’s Day is not the time to be searching for a special someone. Dating apps that weekend, will be full of thirsty dudes trying to capitalise on loneliness single ladies may feel.

“I’m gonna take off all my clothes, look at myself in the mirror. We’re gonna have a conversation… we’re gonna heal the disconnection”

Replace Valentines with Mine – Make It About You

Mine Day isn’t a day to wallow, it’s the ultimate self care and relaxation day; use the day to pamper yourself. It’s time to get reacquainted with yourself and re-establish intimacy with yourself. We as women , particularly black woman, need  o rebuild the romantic relationships with ourselves – the first love, should be self-love. Pour yourself a glass of your favourite red, white or rose – make sure to leave the bottle. Light some candles and play slow jams to soothe your soul.

Seduce each of your senses – spray your favourite fragrance, try on some lingerie or strip down into your birthday suit, look in the mirror and admire. I know for some, lockdown has caused weight gain causing dips in self-esteem – any changes in your body doesn’t detract from the fact you’re still the “Sugar, Honey, Ice, Tea” (SHIT). Tease yourself with a feather tickler to stimulate your nerve endings – turn yourself on.

Admire and caress your curves, embrace your flaws and recognise your achievements – compliment yourself. Speak affirmations in your life and verbalise 10 things you love about yourself, it’s time to reaffirm the reasons why you are. Due to our deviation from white patriachy, society has aimed to humble and diminish black woman. In 2021, we are normalising black woman practising self-indulgence and self-confidence. “Mine” Day is the optimal time to bring out your favourite suction toy, clit stimulator or dildo and “cater to yourself”.  In the words of Tweet and Missy, “I looked over to the left I was looking so good I couldn’t reject myself, I looked over to the left, I was feeling so good I had to touch myself”. If you consider yourself as spiritual, implement some masturbation manifestation. Masturbation manifestation is where you visualise goals you want to achieve as you bring yourself to climax. My favourite thing to do on Valentines Day is a yoni steam , there’s something incredibly powerful about cleansing your pussy from all the past penises that penetrated and break any soul ties.

Enjoy a soak in a luxurious and relaxing bubble or spiritual bath. Insert jiggle balls to contract and stimulate your walls. My body responds well to bath salts, essential oils. Depending on your pH balance allows, try bath fizzlers and bath bombs. If you plan on having a long steamy bath – make sure you’ve drank your 2 litres of water throughout the day. Follow the bath up with sweet smelling body cream, slip into a nice satin slip, between silk sheets.

“My body is beautiful and sacred and I’m gonna celebrate it

Protect Platonic Friendships

An article I wrote for Millennial Femme about the importance of protecting platonic relationships and how society’s forced copulation to facilitate the patriarchal agenda.

The Millennial Femme

Platonic – a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex

– Urban Dictionary

In an era of sexual liberty and casual sex with friends, I feel like I’m witnessing the end of true platonic friendships. There’s a common misconception that there’s sexual tension underpinning all friendships between men and women. Certain individuals tend to perceive friendship as the intermediary stage, that either precedes sexual relations or follows amicable breakups. I blame men’s perceived entitlement to the female body and society’s disposition to reward esteem to females based on their proximity / connection to men. A lot of women succumb to the pressures of patriarchy and struggle with the concept of being alone. Subsequently they try to transform every male interaction or male acquaintance into something romantic. A lot of women don’t understand the benefits that come with having a truly platonic relation and exclude a male acquaintance if…

View original post 1,395 more words

Dating & Relationships: Plus Size and Mid Size Edition

The Millennial Femme

Like many other females I have struggled with my weight my entire life. Although considered mid-size and what society deems an acceptable palatable level of fat, up until recently I struggle with the concept that someone could love me in my current state. I struggled with existing as a black plus size woman, I very much believe that I was living as foil to highlight the beauty of conventional white patriarchal ideals. Embedded into my psyche was a notion that I was undesirable and undeserving of love. Through therapy I began to find self-love and identify black love as internal entity. Unfortunately. these feelings recently resurfaced due to the significant amount of weight I have gained in the past year. This can partly be attributed to the pandemic and the relating happy weight. My weight gain severely impacted my ability to feel desirable. Thankfully through my shadow work I’ve started…

View original post 1,283 more words

First Christmas

The Millennial Femme

This is the first Christmas I am spending with my boyfriend’s parents. Last year I decided to skip it because I thought it was too soon into us dating, however this year I’ve decided to join them for our first major holiday together. Thankfully, me and his parents already have a good rapport so I’m not nervous about being there. Your first Christmas invite is potentially your induction into the family, it’s paramount that you make a good impression, regardless of whether you’ve already met them before. Here are my top 5 rules to follow, to make sure you’re first Christmas doesn’t become your last Christmas (RIP George Michael).

1. Tis the season of giving – Regardless of the race or culture, it’s impolite to turn up to someone’s house on a major holiday without a present. They’re about to feed you several courses and have you in their home…

View original post 764 more words

Anti-Ally: The MisogyNoir Behind Ally McBeal

*DISCLAIMER* – mentions of rape and mild reference of child abuse*

If there’s one thing I learnt in 2020, it’s how much early 90s to early 00s sitcom I can consecutively consume. While national lockdowns trapped me in a vicious cycle of binging on box sets, I stumbled upon Ally McBeal. I vaguely remember watching Ally McBeal as a child but to me, it was essentially a show with random breaks, dancing babies and a scarily thin white women, however the critical acclaim made feel compelled to re-watch. My naiveté failed to realise how critics (as well as award shows) are pillars of white patriarchy, with judgements that admonished anything that deviates from mainstream or multifaceted and complex portrayals of black women. Living in post “Me Too” movement, it’s troubling to see how archaic the portrayal of consent and reductive portrayal of black women

Ally McBeal – Season 1

I was always aware of society’s dedication to reinforce harmful depictions of outdated black stereotypes, however, I didn’t realise the extent or level of ferocity with which mainstream media violently perpetuated misogynoir. For those unfamiliar with the legal comedy, Renee Raddick is the only black main cast member in the show. The only other black females are fake “Pipettes” who are simply there to play back up to Elaine’s vein attempt to compensate for her insecurities. Product of objectification, the “Pipettes” are there to ooze sex appeal on demand, further conforming to society’s desire to hypersexualise black women in attempt to justify their dehumanise and eventual brutalise. In Renee, we see the Anti-Ally McBeal, her role as District Attorney places her in the villain and positions her in combative situations against the conventionally likeable characters and main protagonists. The juxtaposition between the fragile, pale and petit Ally McBeal (a hyper sensitive and flawed heroine who lacks control of all her mental faculties) against the curvaceous, vivacious and intelligent Renee Raddick (a pragmatic and confident woman) was intentionally harsh. I understand for the sake of plot the firm and must always win and by proxy Renee must always lose. But I found Episode 2.19 ‘Those lips, these hand’ deeply unsettling, specifically when Ally, in true W.W.W, devalues Renee’s aptitude and proficiency. Renee’s desire to be competent at her job frequently frames her as the aggressor. In ‘Those Lips, these Hands’ Renee is the villain for wanting to convict an individual who by his own admission, cuts off his wife’s hand. Renee is portrayed as the Anti-Ally, confident and competent and therefore the bully is incredibly disappointed especially when placed in the context of shows in the same era (e.g. Girlfriends). Unlike her counterpart, Renee Raddick is not driven to incompetency by her desire to find a husband and settle down. Reductive in their decision to resort to the angry black female, the writers seek to demonise confident black woman. If you’re scared of black women just say that.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2089505312-3-1.jpg

The most overt representation of misognoir is the Episode 20 ‘The Inmates‘. In this episode Renee is on trial for breaks the neck of her date (Michael Rivers) who, when because frustrated at her failure to follow through with her flirtations and coquettish indications, tries to force himself sexually on her. In this altercation Renee first of all offers Michael a warning slap, which is retaliated with a slap from him before she is forced to produce a roundhouse kick. In his testimony, Michael talks about how Renee oozed sex appeal, how she grabbed him by the butt and how she invites him back to her flat. He fails to talk about her exclamations to “slow down… be practical”, her overall change in body language and her demand for him to leave. Men’s suppression of female voices and stripping of our ability to dictate terms or pace of sexual interactions, stems from an inherit entitlement perpetuated by monotheistic religions and is my main gripe with organised religion (article pending). Pick me female and rape apologisers will argue the fact that she “assaulted” him first, despite the fact that American law allows individuals to stand their ground and supports acts of self defence. The moment he failed to adhere to her verbal and non verbal protests, was the first act of violence in that altercation. Despite its outdated portrayal or consent, its not the case that I found troubling but more Ally’s response to the case as her lawyer and as her friend. Ally in her typical W.W.W (white woman ways) demands that Renee take accountability for her hypersexualised nature in a manner adjacent to victim blaming and body shaming. She infers Renee’s decision to “lead him” and dress provocatively made her somewhat culpable in his attempt to rape, validating his sense of entitlement over body and to a justifying his case against her. I have never felt such rage in my life, as someone who wholeheartedly believe there’s a special place in hell for female victim blamers, I was ready to swing.

Although Renee’s accuser was a black man, the entire story arc (which spanned over 2 episodes) had strong undercurrents of racism. The dissection of Renee’s hypersexuality was traumatic; specifically the explanation of how Renee’s body developed early and how her curves were a source of shame was triggering. It echoed society’s failure to protect black girls based on fallacies of “appear grown” and sexually matured. The subscription to rape culture on primetime TV was sickening and made white women’s co-option of the “me too” movement all more infuriating. Ally McBeal’s portrayal as a modern feminist highlights why intersectionality needs to be at the forefront of feminism.

Fleeting Forever

Struggling to find other reasons
To alleviate the pain that you just love for me a season
Trying to understand why after my initial appeal
You fail to feel anything real
You’re contempt for me, you can no longer conceal

Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you stop this impending sorrow
The answer is no – you wont even like me in the evening
Your desire to be with me as fleeting
I can feel you love depleting

Feelings fleeting forever
Goodbye to the dreams of us ever being together
Good luck in all your future endeavors
Feelings fleeting forever contradiction in the pain
What was once feelings is now just distain


CARNIVAL 2019 – PART 2

Sunday – Chocolate Nation Mas

I decided to play Sunday mas aka “dutty mas” with Chocolate Nation . I decided to play with them because my first love is Trini soca, they always have good DJs and they’re the only band to throw chocolate rather than paint or powder. Also it was Chocolate Nation’s 10 year anniversary year and their teasing proclaimations of something special to celebrate, was incredibly enticing.

COST
Carnival can be extremely costly when not planned in advance. The early bird catches the worm / the slightly cheaper priced tickets. Consequently I made sure I purchased the initial release packages (early bird) for £25 as opposed to the £35 standard price. They later released a leotard in however for me the standard carnival leotards cut me off at an awkward pace – do nothing for my body and no cleavage. Also this year to commemorate their 10 year anniversary they linked up Live Love Soca to create a special and more flattering red collection featuring a standard T-shirt, standard leotard and zip down hooded leotard. I was tempted by the zip down hooded leotard and the potential for cleavage and built in hair protector.

overall experience
So the music and DJ was amazing, after the jump up jump up of Dreamland a bachannal based/ power soca band was refreshing, Obviously they still had jab-jab and dennery section but at least I could breathe. The heat was everything and was perfect carnival weather. The complete opposite to last year’s dutty mas, I loved it. Unfortunately I feel security didn’t do their job. We had so many band members and stormers – which detracts from the experience. This is unfortunately a carnival wide problem – the sun brings out people ignorant or carnival conventions who don’t understand the significance of judging point. I know it’s only dutty mas and the major costumes / main day for costume is Monday but judging point is important. I understand the objective is to get messy and covered in chocolate, but some structure would be nice. If I had paid £80-100 for the limited edition Live Love Soca packages – I would’ve been annoyed.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS . Did I enjoy myself – yes! Was it worth the money I paid for it – most definitely! Will I play Chocolate Nation again – probably! Is it the best time I’ve had – no! I must admit that physically I didn’t feel as good as I did last year. They failed to live up to their 10 year anniversary hype and all the surprises they announced they announced they had planned. Other then having King Bubba perform and the limited edition Live Love Soca collaboration, it didn’t feel any special.

MONDAY – Island Mas

A relatively new band (only 5 years old) and experiencing all the teething issues that come with initial stages of growth – this is a band for feters. Playing the best in Grenadian soca aka jab-jab and dennery, I had my caffeinated glucose drinks at the ready. Island Mas aren’t likely to win any awards in terms of artistry and constuctions but the atmosphere especially sans major performers is unrivalled.

Cost
I chose to do blue T-Shirt All Inclusive package for £45 instead of the blue £60 Al Inclusive Leotard or the green £30 T-Shirt only package (which increases to £50). Like I mentioned earlier, I just feel like the leotards on me are not flattering and I love the all the benefits of the all inclusive. Island Mas were definitely one of the cheaper bands with more established bands such as Chocolate Nation charging £100 for a parallel experience. It has less goodies in the bag but it had everything that I really cared about.

overall experience
The jab jab atmosphere and spirit of Grenada is so lit – not a “stoosh” vibe to be present. Do something crazy hits differently when you’re actually crazy and Grenadians are crazy. There’s nothing pretty or bouji about Island Mas, it’s all about the energy and running. The comradery you feel when jabbing / moshing is ridiculous. I broke nails, lost possession and acquired so many new scratches and bruises but I regret absolutely nothing. We had appearances from Lil Natty and Thunder who entertained the crowd with wig shifting, shoe losing tracks such as “Top Striker” & “Get In Your Section”. Mr Killa. Also the security did their job by making sure the majority of the people between the ropes had paid to be there. The only irritating thing was their poor punctuality – I should have expected this as they also organise Dreamland. Breakfast was meant to start 8.30 with a 9.30-10.00 departure time. Unfortunately the food wasn’t served until 9.15am and we failed to leave on time. I wasn’t overly mad because no band leaves on time I just wished I had slept more. I know I could have met them on the route but I hate wasting time looking for the correct truck and it gets so much harder to find the truck mid route when there’s other people.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
I lived my best life at carnival. The nature of each day means its difficult to compare the 2 days but I can honestly say my preferred day was Monday . Typically Sunday is my favourite day as it’s quieter, more authentic and less influencer laden. Normally Sunday’s paint and powder is a deterrent for the Instagram obsessed folk but this year just felt different. Also on Sunday, the Chocolate Nation security people failed to their job and let non masqueraders into the band space. The saturation of stormers and randoms turned judging point into a farce and made it incredibly difficult to enjoy myself. Island Mas security did their thing, they’re performers were better and they were more liberal with their “rum” punch.

Birthday Princess

So I know I posted a think piece about my birthday, but I forgot to actually speak about my birthday. I’m not going to let my negative mind space cloud my perspective of my birthday. Especially when taking into consideration that nothing momentously bad happened and thus objectively my 24th birthday was my best birthday (on paper). For my birthday I booked a VIP package on a boat party with a load of my closest friends. The boat was organised by @YPEvents and launched from Festival Pier. The music was good, staff and promoters were friendly and there was good vibes all round. I think if was drunker, less self conscious and less concerned with trying to put out fires (e.g. missing friend, knocked down sisha pipes and table intruders) – I may have had a better time. Nonetheless my friends enjoyed and that was my main priority. The following day was a chill birthday meal with some sisha. The nightlife aspect was a little bit of a let own but I got drunk and the DJ was accommodating.

Special thanks and every positive feeling goes to Sharifah for understanding and bearing with me. You somehow make it work it work each ear despite netball and martial arts. . through netball. All the love to Arianne, Antonia, Bianka, Ayesha, Kemisha & Reanna for coming through. Thank you to Sophie, Alimat, Kamarl & Blake for the birthday wishes.

birthday video