young, gifted, & broke

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a brown girl navigating post grad life.

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Health Insurance is a real cute luxury.

Listen friends, if you weren’t aware, health insurance is a real cute luxury. I  found that out real quick while in college, especially during my last semester. In North Carolina (and probably most other states) you have to have health insurance in order to enroll in college. Either you submit proof of outside insurance or you are forcibly signed up for the schools insurance plan. After a series of unfortunate events, I gladly accepted the later and paid student health a monthly visit to pick up my Aderall prescription. ECU’s student health was clutch. I got a great price on all my prescriptions at the student pharmacy, plus preventative care was free. It especially came in handy when I quite randomly acquired Mono during Fall 2013 and felt like I was on the edge of death right as classes began.

I come from a generally middle class family and i’ve wanted to be in the health care field since i was 4, so to me health insurance was just something that you always had. Oh, but no. ECU kindly snatched their insurance coverage from me this Spring once I became a “distance education” student, as i completed my public health internship full time off campus. So I found myself a 21 year old with ADHD, prescription glasses, and other health care needs with no one to help me pay for it. Now, I’m a generally health person, but I do have my basic prescriptions and I like to go in for my standard doctor visits at least once a year. I was kind of horrified when I realized this wasn’t going to be the case. I was even more horrified when one of my wisdom teeth became inflamed and I couldn’t go to the dentist. My mom couldn’t put me on her plan because her monthly premium would increase exponentially. Our Governor, Mr. Patrick McCrory, refused to expand Medicare in North Carolina, so although I would have qualified, it was a no go there. I went to a local health insurance navigator in Greenville to see what my Affordable Care Act (ACA) options were, and I have been stuck on that marry-go-round for the last few months. I took a class about health care policy and insurance, in which we spent an entire unit learning the ends and outs of health care reform. I definitely think the ACA Is a step in the right direction, but unfortunately the bureaucracy involved in applying, the glitches in the system, and my parents combined income made it almost impossible for me to find any affordable options. I’m sure its helping someone, just not me. The entire ordeal has been incredibly overwhelming and I have been on the pursuit of health care for the last 8 months to know avail. 

Rewind to last week…its not always what you know, but who you know. An old teacher from high school called me to let me know there were job openings at the organization he worked for. It was one of those situations where this person is willing to vouch for you and hand you something they feel that you are worthy of. I sent over my cover letter, got an interview, and then the job within a week. A full time position with benefits. BENEFITS= HEALTH INSURANCE= TURN UP! So now, I’ve decided to forgo grad school for this semester (which is a story for another day), and work full time as a field organizer doing organizing work around politics and voting rights. Its all very awesome because its new and a big step in the direction of adulthood.

I got a new apartment, a new job, and yes, health insurance. This entire ordeal has taught me that I’m not entitled to anything. Its all luxury. Its all blessings. Providing health care is something that I’ve always been passionate about, and although we all should have a right to health care (and health insurance), unfortunately thats not the case…yet. So for now I have to work hard, I have to plan, I have to back up plan, and even then things may not work out. But when they do be grateful for it. The ability to take care of myself and my health is something thats really important to me, so hopefully I never find myself in this position again…but I’m aware that it could definitely happen and I’ll figure out how to prepare for it just in case. Just another part of being young, gifted, and broke, I guess. Now, I’m going to go finish the list of doctors appointments i need to make.

Betonite Clay has been a popular product in the natural hair community, many using it in place of shampoo to cleans their hair. Bentonite Clay is a multifaceted product that can be used as a facial and to fade scars on the body. Many people rave about its healing properties and its detoxifying and defining benefits for hair. Going with the trend, I purchased a tub of the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay from my local Vitamin Shoppe about a year ago. I have since used it to cleanse my hair and as a facial, but I’ve never really gotten into the hype. Most people mix Aztec clay with water, apple cider vinegar, or aloe vera juice, all of which I have tried. I’ve always found it to be a little too messy to apply and difficult to fully wash out. Recently I got the urge to make my own mudwash because after almost two years of being natural I still haven’t gotten up the audacity to purchase Terresentials Mud Wash. A few of my friends love Terresentials, but it’s a little too expensive for me to invest in as a broke post grad. Through Youtube and Pinterest I’ve seen people making their own mud wash using Aztec clay and I decided to give mines another chance in this recipe.

I initially viewed Naptural85’s recipe for DIY mud wash for some guidance, but ultimately I decided to wing it and come up with my own mixture. I never measure things and I’m too ADD/impatient to follow directions so I brainstormed ingredients I had in my cupboards and started mixing. I decided to use Aztec clay, honey, apple cider vinegar, glycerin, castor oil, water, and a little conditioner.

Read the rest of this post at CurlyInCollege

"mental health, transitions, anxiety, and strolling"

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the internet lately. Partly because I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing with my life and its good way to procrastinate…but also because I realized that my passion for art and culture are things that can tangibly be built upon using the internet. During one of my many adventures through the interwebs I decided to look up a video by Cecile Emeke referenced on Black Girls Talking about selling out as a black actress. Its apart of Cecile’s “strolling” series, in which she follows young black brits and discusses a myriad of pop culture and social issues. Its fascinating….breath taking actually. I sat pantless and indian style on the floor going through just about every video in the series screaming “yasssssss” internally and externally. The commentary and insights are just so relevant! They are things i want to say, things I disagree with, things that enlighten me, things that me and my friends would talk about.

This particular episode of strolling struck me in particular because the women above poses a brief but important point. It kind of seems like depression and anxiety are a default for young 20 somethings. I’m 22, a recent graduate, I’m not exactly sure what moves to make in life. Its dreadful feeling like you are not doing enough, like you’re doing too much…the sheer fear in not knowing can be suffocating. I remember sleeping my last semester of college when I got too overwhelmed with life. I’m starting to realize that sleeping and eating are my coping mechanisms for stress. I think its even harder for me because I’ve known what I want to do with my life since I was in pre-school…but knowing the destination doesn’t always mean you have the map to get there. Although its not posed as such, its totally a mental health issue. Why don’t we talk to young people about the mental implications of navigating the world as an independent adult. I think its especially important for young black people because there are so many other opportunities for anxiety that present themselves. I sometimes wonder if my natural hair will ever be a problem for me while interviewing for jobs. I wonder about my place in a workplace as a woman. Not to mention the agony that comes with just reading about the terrible sh*t that happens to people of color in the world on a day to day basis. I’m currently trying to look for an apartment, meet the goals of my current job, and prepare for nursing school, while processing the fact that a 17 year old brown boy just got murdered cold in his own neighborhood, and his people are being terrorized in their own community for mourning his loss. Its a lot. I guess, I say all that to say that sadness shouldn’t be the default. We need to prepare our young people to cope with transitional periods like graduating college or finding a job. We need to treat periods like these as detrimental to mental health because they are. This conversation is not one thats being had and its so normal to be depressed and stressed out while at this stage in life, which is kind of scary. 

Any who, watch the “strolling” series. its dope. 

Kidada Jones: A photo appreciation

I live for Kidada Jones. She is the lessor known daughter of Quincy Jones, sister to Rashida Jones. Kidada isn’t as widely known, but she is a model, actress, and brand ambassador for Disney. She’s well respected in the fashion industry due to her extensive modeling and styling career in the 90’s. I actually found out who she was during a bout of random googling after watching the movie “The Faculty”. She was intended to play Ushers girlfriend in the movie, but her plot line was cute. I further fell in love with her when I found out the flower tattoo she has on her shoulder was once a portrait of Tupac’s face and that she would have been his wife if the unfortunate event hadn’t occurred.

None the less, she that was Hilfigures muse, Aaliyah’s homie, and a wayward member of a 90s California brat pack of sorts, seems to be a simply dope and inspired person. I’ve enjoyed reading some of her old interviews, and not to mention seeing many of her professional and candid photos. 

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She can most recently be seen along side her sister in RUN, Beyonce & Hov’s kind of epic summer tour promo video. 

P.S: Kidada and Rashida have some interesting commentary on their life as mixed race young people. They discuss colorism and “passing” as white in various interviews. Kidada’s experience has been vastly different to Rashida’s due to her skin tone and hair texture. Their group interviews are worth a read.

cocojigglypuff:

thatonechick42:

leseanthomas:

With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece.
The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist – traditional Nigerian costumes.
The dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest Ethnic Groups; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so far.
Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month, and reckons he has 10-15% of a small but fast-growing market.
"I like it," says Ifunanya Odiah, five, struggling to contain her excitement as she inspects one of Okoya’s dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. "It’s black, like me.”
Like Barbies, Okoya’s dolls are slim, despite the fact that much of Africa abhors the western ideal of stick-thin models. Okoya says his early templates were larger bodied, and the kids did not like them.
But he hopes to change that. “For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”
SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jan/15/barbie-nigeria-queen-africa-dolls-mattel-toymaker

I will buy them for my own children.

Bless!!
Zoom Info
cocojigglypuff:

thatonechick42:

leseanthomas:

With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece.
The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist – traditional Nigerian costumes.
The dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest Ethnic Groups; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so far.
Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month, and reckons he has 10-15% of a small but fast-growing market.
"I like it," says Ifunanya Odiah, five, struggling to contain her excitement as she inspects one of Okoya’s dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. "It’s black, like me.”
Like Barbies, Okoya’s dolls are slim, despite the fact that much of Africa abhors the western ideal of stick-thin models. Okoya says his early templates were larger bodied, and the kids did not like them.
But he hopes to change that. “For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”
SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jan/15/barbie-nigeria-queen-africa-dolls-mattel-toymaker

I will buy them for my own children.

Bless!!
Zoom Info
cocojigglypuff:

thatonechick42:

leseanthomas:

With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece.
The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist – traditional Nigerian costumes.
The dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest Ethnic Groups; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so far.
Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month, and reckons he has 10-15% of a small but fast-growing market.
"I like it," says Ifunanya Odiah, five, struggling to contain her excitement as she inspects one of Okoya’s dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. "It’s black, like me.”
Like Barbies, Okoya’s dolls are slim, despite the fact that much of Africa abhors the western ideal of stick-thin models. Okoya says his early templates were larger bodied, and the kids did not like them.
But he hopes to change that. “For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”
SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jan/15/barbie-nigeria-queen-africa-dolls-mattel-toymaker

I will buy them for my own children.

Bless!!
Zoom Info

cocojigglypuff:

thatonechick42:

leseanthomas:

With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece.

The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist – traditional Nigerian costumes.

The dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest Ethnic Groups; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so far.

Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month, and reckons he has 10-15% of a small but fast-growing market.

"I like it," says Ifunanya Odiah, five, struggling to contain her excitement as she inspects one of Okoya’s dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. "It’s black, like me.”

Like Barbies, Okoya’s dolls are slim, despite the fact that much of Africa abhors the western ideal of stick-thin models. Okoya says his early templates were larger bodied, and the kids did not like them.

But he hopes to change that. “For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jan/15/barbie-nigeria-queen-africa-dolls-mattel-toymaker

I will buy them for my own children.

Bless!!

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