Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage Series #2: Femme Time Is Power

I know some of you may have read the Aftenposten article I was featured in. I’ve requested a native Norwegian speaker who’s also fluent in American English to translate and transcribe it for a better read and will feature it next week.

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Today’s post isn’t going to be about men. It’s about YOU. You in all your crowning glory. How you think and feel about yourself has everything to do with how you will attract (and test the character of) quality men (and people in general). This will also be useful in maintaining your equilibrium in established relationships.

We can discuss a list of do’s and don’ts. I can tell you to go after the highest-caliber man you can meet but that may have the same effectiveness of stating brushing and flossing prevents dental decay. So let’s start at step one.

You Must Feel Good About Yourself

I could say you must love yourself but we already know that. HOW do you do it? This is especially helpful for women who are undergoing internal adjustments and external changes to their appearance (i.e. losing weight). This is absolutely vital to get to young black girls who are having their spirits assaulted on a daily basis before it’s too late and they give up on life. If you have a goal that you are working towards and haven’t achieved it yet (leaving the dead black community, being more feminine, getting rid of the “mean mug”, losing weight, finding healthy social circles, etc. how do you keep the momentum going?

AFFIRMATION OF: ME, MYSELF & I

This must be done in front of a mirror. If you have one of the fancy lighted ones with the magnifying side even better. I used to live in a studio apartment (it was big) in Los Angeles that had the old-fashioned vanity (dressing table) and wall-length mirror. I put removable colored stars around the edges and ran a speaker through to the adjoining bathroom so I could have surround sound. I got a foldable chair so I could sit in front of it and preen. It’s not vain to do so. I didn’t realize how valuable a ritual that was, but looking back it makes sense. I had an active social life and dated often. I had to fight comparing myself to other women whom I thought were far more pretty, but putting on my “face” made it all better.

I also like doing this as part of my in-home facial ritual. I use a face steamer, a mask (I like to use two,one hydrating and one oil absorbing) and a pore extractor (not recommended unless you know what you’re doing). I also shape my eyebrows. After 10 years and many, many eyebrow specialists I can do it myself. If you’re as obsessed with eyebrows as I am, having to train a new person every three months at your local eyebrow bar/spa/nail salon gets rather tedious. Especially when they don’t listen to you telling them to not take off too much hair because you like a thicker brow and you have to let them grow back in. Grrr!! I’ve noticed the difference it makes now as I’m reintroducing myself to being “girly” vs. practical. I can tell  how great I feel after putting on makeup and smiling more. Not donning the bare face because I’m just going to wash it all off at the end of the day. I’ve noticed that if I put on more makeup I feel even better. It’s the difference between lipgloss and a coat of mascara pretty to full-on va-va-voom gorgeousness.

DON’T SCREAM IT JUST BE IT

This is your alone time in preparing for the day and it’s non-negotiable. Wash your face, moisturize, put your makeup on, style your hair, say your prayers/spiritual practice and tell yourself you are fabulous. You are affirming your God-given beauty and your value by assigning this time for yourself. You are putting on your “beauty” and “lady” armor. It will protect you from the slings and arrows of life (rude people, crazy drivers, annoying bosses, blog trolls). It will make your responsibilities go down a little easier whether you are partnered or solo, child-free or mommy. It will quell any doubts you have about your worth. It will put a spring in your step and work better than a shot of Vitamin B.

The men won’t stand a chance afterwards because you’ll have that layer of mystery they love. By men I’m referring to functional males who like women. The guys who have it together. The only types you should be considering. We don’t need to rehash why that’s necessary do we? No DBRs!!!!!!

People will wonder, “Who’s that girl?” and what is it about you that makes you so special. They won’t know if your style of dress, your signature scent, your hair or your outlook, but they’ll be drawn to your essence. You’ll be considered more appealing than the women who might be considered more aesthetically pleasing because your inner light will be beaming. And your “green light” will be on!

Let your “Soul Glow”! Yes, that was reference to Coming To America and that fake commercial cracks me up every time.

Here’s a link to post about a fashion editor Shala Monroque (even her name is cool!) who looks unique enough to stand out even in her high fashion attire. You can practically spoon her confidence as it oozes off the page. Find a style that works with your budget and scheduling obligations and go for it. The Satorialist blog is one of the biggest fashion blogs on the internet for a reason. The slice of life photos of regular folk who are fab-u-lous is rather contagious. You might loads of ideas about how to play with certain looks – or at the very least subconsciously absorb a little fashion forward thinking. Oh and celebrity stylist June Ambrose has a stiletto heel workout video (oh yes!) to help ease you into wearing high heels.

P.S. I had to add the link to the Lords Of Acid song, The Most Wonderful Girl. It may be considered a bit risque but sometimes we need a jolt! Besides with lyrics like: I’m beautiful/I’m the greatest thing I’ve ever seen/God I love myself/ I’m sexy/Gorgeous/Beautiful/So lovely it can’t be accused of not espousing a confident message!

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You Might Like to Review:

Vetting Men Part One

36 comments to Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage Series #2: Femme Time Is Power

  • Faith

    Here's a NYT feature on photog/fashionista Garance Dore. She's part of a very creative couple and I like how she managed to carve out a niche for herself. While she's not married to Scott (yet?) she was previously married. Anyway, she'll figure out what works best for her in that department. I wanted to include it because her blog is sooo cool. And I'm actually glad we've all been able to progress from talking about the insane behavior of the DBRs 24/7 (which was necessary at one time to guard ourselves) but now we cna also talk about some FUN things but how we can use them to enhance our best assets and position ourselves better. Enjoy! http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/fashion/10close

    • Vanessa F.

      I love both the Sartorialist and Garance Doré. Those blogs provide a ton of fashion inspiration. My sort-of dream is to be profiled on one of those blogs! :)

      • Faith

        I saw the photo of the black woman in downtown Manhattan and squealed like a teenager, lol! I'd love to be featured as well.

  • I'm DEFINITELY adding these affirmations to my morning ritual. Thanks!!!

  • Vanessa F.

    Hello Faith and Ladies,

    First, I am jealous that you can do your own eyebrows. ;) I have a monthly standing appointment with who I call an eyebrow specialist to deal with my Brooke Shields-esque brows. I love 'em but they are a pain to keep them at the correct thickness and shape. However, after I get my brows done, I always feel prettier.

    Moving on: Femme Time is Power! When I first started the job where I currently work, a lot of the women would give me slight grief on dressing up 'all the time'. Sometimes they came off as genuine compliments, other times they were suspect (depending on the woman). After seeing how I was treated by the men, well lo and behold I started seeing a whole lot of dresses/skirts/makeup on the same women who would make an issue out of me being me. Good for them!

    Being put together makes me field good even when I do start off feeling like death warmed over!

    btw…Shala Monroque is fierce! She has great style.

    • Faith

      Vanessa F: It's almost Alicia time!!! Anyhoo, yes after TEN years and out of necessity I tried to see if I could maintain my brows after I finally got them the exact shape and thickness I wanted last year. So it hasn't been that long. Like I said, I got tired of the ever-revolving door of eyebrow "specialists" to keep messing what would take weeks of growth. My passport photo has my best eyebrow look IMO and they were perfected by the Aveda Day Spa brow specialist when I lived in Toronto and one day I ran to a photo booth to get some on a really nice day. She was amazing because she used tea tree oil-infused green wax that didn't hurt at all and worked very well on AA hair textures. I hate that cheap paraffin wax. Threading is kinda gross, a razor is definitely out of the question and I've had to mix different tweezers (slanted, pointed, combo). Like I said…I'm a bit obsessed with good brows hehehe. Shala is my new style guru-ess. And they say there are no black fashion editors. Here's one and there's more women like her. WE need to be supporting their careers and media that would employ them and leave the likes of MESSence alone. I for one love POP Magazine. Don't you feel like a 10 lbs weight has been removed from your shoulders after a fresh brow shaping? Funny how those biddies were trying to keep you from shining to make up for their mediocrity and then stepped it up. Typical. Glad you led the pack. Alpha female game proper.

      • itsmeak

        Pop magazine is great, and I love a lot of i-D magazine's issues. Nylon isn't half bad either. The British Elle magazine has an accessories editor who is a young black woman, but forgive me I cannot remember her name! She does have a tall, slender androgynous model-ish style in her own personal style of dress though, quite boyish, and she has short, natural hair that looks as though she's starting to loc it or something.

      • itsmeak

        Hi Faith OK it's AK here and I'm back! LOL You're gonna think I'm weird and all but I felt bad that I'd forgotten the name of the Accessories Editor for the British Elle magazine, or Elle (UK) but her name is Donna Wallace and even Donna gets 'papped' a bit a lot like Shala Monroque, because of Donna's interesting, boyish/androgynous, and minimalist personal style.

        Here's Donna Wallace being 'papped' for a blog:
        http://streetpeeper.com/fashion/donna-wallace-ell

  • Jacquie

    Re: Soul Glow-- I crack up every time too!____I feel you on the taking time for self. For so long, I didn't want to be bothered with makeup even though I had unhealth skin: acne, blackheads, scars. But I love the stuff! I just didn't love me enough. I live in the DC Metro area, and this is the time when I *need* to be on my game. Women here do.not.play. At first, it was overwhelming and I was feeling very self-conscious, but I had(have) to remind myself that I am a beautiful and I am me! Making time for the gym has made running up and down those durned broken Metro escalators a bit easier…and I feel better in my clothes! :)

    I loved the dress with the skeleton hands! LOL

    • East Coast/DC girl checking in! I'm doing the same as you-wearing more makeup on a daily basis. Chic clothes and barefaced-ness just won't do LOL! I'm constantly trying to up the ante, since, as you put it, DC women don't play. A little makeup can make such a difference in how you look and feel.

    • itsmeak

      Hey lady, tell me about it. I am trying to get my recently rabid acne under control, although truth be told I've had acne since I was 12.5, AND wear make up over it at the same time to cover up what I don't like.

      It's not heavy make up, just concealer and/or tinted moisturizer, bronzer, or blush, and then eye make up and/ or lipstick, you know…..

      • MesaATLien

        Oh, I feel you. I've had acne ever since I hit puberty, and it just won't quit. The benzoyl peroxide based cleanser I have clears my skin up, but it causes major flaking, itching and dryness . So to cope with it, I use EV olive oil to moisturize. The thing is, I have discoloration spots on my cheeks from acne scars, and I don't want to try makeup because I'm scared my sensitive skin will break out!

        *takes a moment to breathe* So, I am active looking for a tinted moisturizer to use. I've never been a full face makeup kind of person. I just want my face to look natural and glowing. ;)

        • Faith

          Have you had a professional facial? I had a friend with similar problems who, after having three facials and adjusting her skin care regime had clearer skin and the hyperpigmentation almost unnoticeable.

          • MesaATLien

            No…broke college student here. ;) Honestly, since I've been working out and drinking only water everyday, my skin has cleared up a little. It's just acne scars and the indecisiveness of my skin (does it want to be dry or oily today?) that's annoying.

            The only facials I've had were some I've given myself where I used an olive oil scrub.

          • Faith

            There are beauty schools you can go to for the trainees. Also it will eventually have to be something you make a priority for, but I'm certain you can also find a combination of treatment options using natural remedies. I also believe you get medical insurance while in school. You can go to a dermatologist.

  • Miss S

    I, for one, love this post.

    I have my morning rituals with moisturizing, make up, etc now, and it changes the way I feel about myself for the rest of the day. .
    Sometimes (this may sound weird) when I get out of the shower, I admire myself in the mirror before getting dressed. I struggle with hormonal acne on my face, but I am in love with my body. It sounds so weird to say that, because from what I've read on womens blogs, most women seem to hate their bodies. But I love mine. I admire it in my full length mirror every day before I leave.

    "Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful" Sophia Loren

    This statement is so true. Confidence makes you glow, and it attracts men.

    • Faith

      Thank you Ms. S! There is nothing weird with being confident and admiring yourself. It is so much better than beating yourself up for every (real) or imagined imperfection. We must do at least one thing every day that makes us smile, one step that affirms we are loved by someone. Even if it takes hearing it at an online forum. So…I'll say it. BLACK WOMEN YOU ARE LOVED!!!!! If we all pause for a moment and shout it out into the universe, there will be a positive ripple effect. I truly believe that. Call it 365 Days of Beauty. I've gotta think about that. I don't want to bombard the blog feed with multiple daily posts again but this something else I'm going to work on. I know what….I'll do it as a once a week post with 7 days of tips or affirmations. I'll let you all know.

    • ann

      Yes, I know I am late to this comment section. I agree with you. We should be the first ones to appreciate ourselves first.
      BTW, I simply adore Sophia Loren (When I was a kid I used to I think she had some African decent in her Sicilian family because her skin was somewhat darker than other hollywood actresses.)
      To me Sophia is the epitome of femininity (the quality or nature of the female sex). She is beautiful, smart, and had been married to the same man until his death. I have never seen her on tv carry herself in an uncouth manner.

      It does feel good to be able to say, "I love my mind and body". If I do not appreciate myself then why would I expect a man to appreciate me?

      Sometimes us women can be a little too hard on our selves. On the other hand, most men will give themselves some space to mess up and start again.

      • Faith

        I didn’t close comments, so if anyone has relevant remarks to add I’ll approve them. Yes, Ms. Loren and other women from her generation (i.e. Diahann Carroll) have always publicly presented themselves as women, behaved like ladies and put the “c” in class.

  • evia

    Faith, I wasn't quite sure which one of you had done the Norwegian newspaper interview. I knew they had grabbed one of you or maybe more than one? Super!

    And when we talk about mating in the global village, there are so many different men out there with different makeups. Some of those guys LOVE a woman with her own zany style. They're delighted by her. I would encourage bw to develop their own style, at least when they're away from work. If a woman looks like every other woman, then she's just a clone. IMO, most bw have the body structure and personality to be viewed as understated "art." I would encourage a bw of any age to go for it, as long as she behaves like a butterfly--charming, lighthearted, friendly, and of course, a bit flirtatious. LOL! That works every time!

    • Faith

      I'm looking forward to participating in more interviews and taking steps to position myself to meet high-caliber men. Good thing for me I've always been a "weirdo". I liked certain music, dressed a certain way and have had a different life philosophy. I gave a lot more detail about having lived abroad already and being a creative but there was only so much space in the article! I'm thinking about doing a tongue-in-cheek series called Viking Quest. It won't be the fictional show the Johnny Drama character from Entourage starred in but it could be a means of increasing the profiles of other black women in the reading audience who want to connect with European men. Would anyone who's single and looking be interested. I might add it as weekend post.

    • itsmeak

      I agree with you 100% in fact I've been doing as you've said for the past 10 to 15 years! LOL IAnd now I'm bringing it all back again! LOL

  • Faith

    Oh dear it would seem the Red Carpet Fashion blog's server is down. I hope it's up soon. The Shala feature was really really good!!

  • MsMellody

    Absolutely stunning. That is my response to clicking on the link to Shala Monroque. This is one of the many reasons that I am in awe of these BWE blogs. I had never ever heard of her and let me just say..thank you Faith for this blog. And yes I did indeed read ( as best I could ) the Aftenposten article this morning over at Evia's. I was truly impressed with the photos and seeing how some very smart and empowered young BW have gotten up and moved forward..and in effect moved on to the open range of available quality men in European countries.

    Thanks again Faith!!!!!

    • Faith

      Hey MsMellody! I was wondering if anyone was going to comment on this post! I do a lot of research trying to bring useful information to the forum and I appreciate your acknowledgment. Isn't Shala fabulous! Once the transcribed version of the Aftenposten article is ready I'll post it.

      • MsMellody

        Forgot to mention that I see your new pic!! Lovely, you have indeed lost a lot of weight!!!! Good for you. Keep up the great work. You are a beautiful woman..let YOUR Soul Glow !!!!!!!

        Seriously that line from the movie, brought back great memories!!!
        Keep up the great work Faith.

        • Faith

          Thanks! I need to find that clip online. There has to be an mp3 of that phrase. I could play it on loop just to annoy you all, lol!

      • STDM

        Faith: I do a lot of research trying to bring useful information to the forum and I appreciate your acknowledgment.

        Shesthedifferencemaker: I need to remind myself of this each time I visit your site and Khadija's site. You are not obligated to do all of this research to inform your audience (certainly not for free), but you do it anyways and you have no idea how grateful I am for all that you do.

        I have been reading your posts for several months now and each and every post has been a breath of fresh air. Even though I grew up with a lot of these lessons being taught in my home, it is so rare to see it come from the mouths of other black women (especially online).

        Thank you for your post, 'The Would-Be BWE Messenger Trying To Swipe Our Crown'. The clarification was much needed!!

        Best Wishes!!

        • Faith

          STDM: Welcome and thanks for de-lurking. We need more engaged and informed readers such as yourself who may not have much indoctrination to jettison but can dispense a lot of beneficial advice to do those that do.