Hai Panda

Hai Panda

Hey guys! So as it says in my “about” section, I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve been wanting to share this with you guys for a bit, and it’s also something I think you guys will totally love. I own this lovely brand called Hai Panda™.

At Hai Panda™ I sell handmade crystal panda bracelets! Each one is hand-threaded with semi-precious crystal beads and a little love! My stones range from White Jade, to Rose Quartz, Mountain Jade, and a couple others. In the future I hope to expand to apparel, accessories and stationary!

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Rose Quartz: The stone of “Love”.

It’s a still a baby at only 1 year old, and I aim to get it to the point where I can begin donating 15% of its profits to Pandas International.

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Mountain Jade & Amazonite: Stones of “Balance” & “Energy”.
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White Jade: The stone of “Positivity”.

I started this business because I’ve always had a love for making my own jewelry, I love the feeling of being self-made, and I love Pandas. They are currently on the endangered list with only about 1,800 of these gentle giants left in the world.

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It’s of even more importance to me to continue this brand because it was something my mother and I started together, as she was perpetually a fan of my endless business ventures. As of right now, because of her passing, aside from everything else we’ve lost, we’ve also lost quite a bit of income. Aside from my regular job, I would love to have this to be able to pull in some extra revenue to take some of the burden off of my father, and to take care of my little sisters.

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A White Jade, Mountain Jade, and Amazonite set!

My goal is to break 50 orders to begin donating to Pandas International!

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I would love it you could stop by Hai Panda™ sometime! Feel free to use the code HAIFEMME for free shipping and a free gift with your order!

 

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Do you like the bracelets? Colors, style? Let me know what you think down below!

Thanks for reading! Sending my love,

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Femme Rewritten & 500 WordPress Followers

Femme Rewritten & 500 WordPress Followers

Hi all! I’m writing to you guys today about something that I am very proud to share.

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, and two days ago, I finally took the steps to officially change my blog’s name from Noire Rewritten to Femme Rewritten. I had get new domains, make new banners and visuals, change the blog around a bit, and make all new business cards. Despite all of this (it was a ton to accomplish in two days), I have to say that I am highly inspired about this transition and the growth of my blog’s brand.

Just for the sake of a little background, in French, Noire translates to “Black” or “Dark”. As an African American woman, I’ve always wanted to question and confront the chauvinistic and destructive theorem that has been ascribed to the Black narrative. Ergo the “Rewritten” half of my blog’s name. I wanted a name that was exclusive and yet inclusive, but still something that easily got my principle message across–Noire Rewritten did just that.

As my first year with this blog came to a close, I began to write about more than issues in just Black and Brown communities. I built up to writing about the false generalizations and toxic expectations for woman in historical and modern day society, and how to go about changing those restrictive normalizations day by day. Somewhere along those blurred lines, I began to write about fashion, beauty, self love, and self care.

While wholeheartedly accepting that the struggle of a Black Woman will always be the most arduous of every race, in this moment, I realize that my expansions on what it means to be a Black Woman, can partially transcend to what it means to be a woman altogether.

As my writing develops and the idea behind my blog deepens, I’ve found that I want to adopt a brand that embodies my entire vision for what I’ve always wanted my blog to be. I feel that now, Femme Rewritten not only encompasses me, a young Nigerian American woman, but also embraces all of the aspects that make me, and other women of color, women. 

This blog can now allow itself to be a more comprehensive environment, and yet still distinctive enough to focus on matters of Black, Brown, and Female communities that don’t receive enough positive scrutiny. Through all of this, know that this blog still remains a Pro-Black, Black Lives Matter, and Liberal space–I’ve now just officially declared it a Feminist one, if it wasn’t already apparent before.

With this new brand, I aspire to assist in rewriting what our bureaucracy stigmatizes all women of color to be.

I also want to utilize this post to thank you all for 500 WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS! It was only June 3rd that I was thanking you for 100. I can’t even begin to express how thrilled I am to be reaching more hearts, and more minds.

P.S: yesterday I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award, so I’ll be making a post about that, which will include my own nominees as well!

Thank you, stay tuned, and as usual, comment below what you’d like to see me post about next (or if you just want to say hi)!

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Until my next post, I leave you with this question:

What will you rewrite?

Sending my love,

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Thank You!

Thank You!

Thanks so much for 100 followers! Just days ago I was just a little over 40!

You guys have no idea how much this means to me. I started this blog a year ago, and fell off for quite some time, only to come back this summer after my mother passed away. Her passing is taking everything from me, and I think the only thing keeping me together, keeping me here, are the people I love, and the ability to channel what little feeling I have left through my writing.

Although I may not personally know many of you, I am exceptionally pleased to have you guys here, reading my work; it’s a deeply appreciated form of unspoken support.

If you have any content suggestions, any feedback… anything, let me know down below!

Stay tuned for more posts, and again, thank you.

Sending my love,

Mena

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Not So Good to be a Good Girl

Not So Good to be a Good Girl

For decades, possibly even centuries, mass media and popular culture have focused on teaching girls to embrace a version of selfhood that is particularly damaging to their potential greatness. Our authority, our authenticity, has been staggered by the pressure to be “good”-selfless, modest, kind, gorgeous, and submissive. Growing up we have been told how to treat our bodies and when it is acceptable to show them – if at all.

As women, we live in the ultimate paradox of a lose-lose situation. Our bodies are constantly held to the standard of absolute excellence and the ways we choose to display our sexuality are often (always) abhorred.

The problem is, we do not emphasize the correct message for both the male and female population–at least not as much as we should.  It is almost always acceptable for boys and men to act in provocative ways, and that girls and women should be repressed and unstimulating. We constantly impress upon women that they should have no sexual freedom, yet, at the same time, men are generally admired if they have high levels of sexual activity. This ideology opens the door for a dangerous sense of entitlement, which in turn, can facilitate a culture that excuses harassment, rape, domestic violence, and other injustices that women face disproportionately more than men.

In the media, and unfortunately perpetuated throughout daily life, people constantly focus on the visible aspects that make women women, but when they themselves venture to be proud of their own anatomy, or attempt to be sexually liberated, it is painted as engaging in activities “unfit for a lady”, or they are slandered as whores and sluts. Women are only expected to be sexual if it is for the purpose of pleasing a man, or in the pursuit of bearing a man’s offspring. The ultimate consequence of such a primitive mindset, is the toxic message that “a woman’s body exists entirely for the consumption of men”… (or man rather, because if a woman has more than one sexual partner that is another reason for her to receive a scarlet letter). The next inference will be that a woman’s mind, a woman’s consciousness, exists solely to serve man.

That could not be further from the truth.

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It is more emphasized for girls to protect themselves from sexual harassment than it is to teach men to respect the women they come in contact with. Disseminating itself into rape culture, the resulting idea is that it is the victim’s fault that they were sexually assaulted. Subsequently, the message that arises is that they sanctioned their harassment by being too much of a tease and that the way they were dressed warranted the maltreatment they received. This speaks as if an outfit with slightly more coverage could convince a potential rapist that their payoff may no longer be worth the struggle. This, in turn, communicates to society (and young women, more importantly) that the way a woman dresses determines how she is to be treated.

Historically, much of the world’s society has been a patriarchal bureaucracy intended to enforce the assumption that men are to be incomparably successful and “their” women are to be submissive, sophisticated, domesticated mates. Mothers and daughters are to be seen, never heard, and to bear offspring whenever their husbands so please. Such an unspoken rule and regulation on one sex tells a single group that they are entitled to the other, and the other, that their inherent obligation is to please.

As contradictory to common sense this may seem, if you have a daughter, don’t raise her to be a “good girl”. Instead of constantly controlling and encouraging anxiety with countless warnings about the unavoidable dangers of the opposite sex, engage her in conversation. Listen to what she has to say, then reflect, and advise. The appreciation and voiced affirmation of a girl’s feelings at a young age can powerfully influence her emotional confidence and success as a woman. With the added pressure from mainstream media, it can be quite challenging for young women to focus on forming their own authentic identities. In my afflicted opinion, females are more perceptive to the emotions of others and empathetic to what they feel. Research has shown that girls develop emotional intelligence earlier than their male counterparts. Having said this, it is important to understand that this innate gift is stifled by the need to constantly hide what they truly feel. When our emotional expression is perpetually depicted as meaningless, we begin to regard other people’s sensitivity at the expense of our own. Coming from personal experience, when focusing on achieving someone else’s definition of perfection, girls begin to discount their own feelings. We do this with such commitment, that by the time we turn into young women, we have found it consummately rational to censor our own consciousness. Consequently, we begin to surround ourselves with individuals who do not value our feelings. We can’t blame them, though, because at the end of the day, we give others no reason to care, if we don’t even pretend that we do. This constant neglect of our own emotional disparity, can, in turn, affect our mental and physical health. Focus on encouraging young girls to discover aspects of themselves that they can translate into conducive and cathartic outlets.

Everyone has to find something to give their mind a break.

A lack of care for our emotional fitness translates into other facets of life–especially relationships. Above all, it keeps us from falling, and remaining, in love with ourselves.

I think we females have two points in our lives where we are consciously able conceptualize the meaning of loving ourselves: as candid, innocuous children, and when we have experienced enough in life to be able to filter through the bullshit and find our own beautiful truths.

I suppose we’ll all get to that point someday.

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The Beauty of Melanin

The Beauty of Melanin

mel·a·nin

ˈmelənən/
noun
  1. a dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight.

“I have brown skin, brown hair, brown eyes. This is because of Melanin”.

“If it ranges between brown and black; it has Melanin”.

“Usually people with Melanin have better eye sight, natural muscle physique, and better, youthful and beautifully elastic skin”.

 

Melanin. From the definition and provided anecdotes, it seems as if the concept of melanin is pure essence, pure beauty – it seems as if melanin is a positive attribute. But anyone who didn’t naturally understand the beauty of melanin and its divine purpose, would be fooled by the way sociocultural standards of beauty paint it today. Anyone who has been affected by calumnious societies who appreciate aspects of white ideology and white privilege would never have known that melanin is the true source of all things beautiful. Melanin is the reason there is color, it is the basis of every hue and the essence of all things beautiful and young.

Maybe it was once understood. Maybe it was appreciated in a world long before white ideology stripped blackness of its royalty. Maybe just maybe, melanin was desirable.

 

Modern Humans Derived From Africa

Many believe that melanin is an adaptation, but they are so far from the truth, not even Christopher Columbus could venture their waters. Let this be known: the lack of melanin is an adaptation, not the other way around.

We are solely children of Africa—with no Neandertals or island-dwelling “hobbits” in our family tree, according to a new study. Scientists who compared the skulls and DNA of human remains from around the world say their results point to modern humans (Homo sapiens) having a single origin in Africa.”

New data supports the theory that the single origin for anatomically modern humans is from Africa. Early humans colonized the planet after spreading across the world about 50,000 years ago.  National Geographic places the original roots of modern humanity in south-central Africa. The archaic remains found farther away from Africa, represent the adaptation to climate, land, and lifestyle. In short: white skin is an adaptation of the european environment. 

 

Benefits of Melanin

Melanin Is Essential to Brain, Nerve, and Organ Function.

In humans, melanin is the determining factor of hair and skin color. Inconsequently, few people realize that melanin is found in almost every organ of the body and is necessary for the brain and nerves to operate properly.

Translation: melanin is a necessity for survival.

Melanin Protects Black Skin

Melanin targets the biggest cause of widespread damage to human cells: free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for any type of skin damage, from discoloration, wrinkles, sagging, and more importantly, to skin cancer. Melanin is the reason why African-Americans are at the all time lowest risk for developing skin cancer. Our skin was made to absorb the properties of the sun, not reflect them.

Exposure to the sun primarily causes premature aging, as well as skin cancer and one’s ability to withstand the damaging affects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation depends on the levels of melanin in your skin. Melanin, a natural absorber of light, dissipates more than 99.9% of UV radiation. Even the lightest skinned black people have more protection from the sun than the darkest Caucasians. Though there is a limit to the amount of protection melanin provides (yes, you still have to wear sunscreen, this protection is significantly higher in naturally dark skin. As a result of this, darkly pigmented people tend to exhibit less signs of aging. Increased melanin protects its owners from short-term damage from the sun, as well as long-term signs of aging (i.e. age spots, deep wrinkles and rough texture, sagging, and discoloration).

Translation: black don't crack.

Melanin Aids in Human Reproduction

Dark pigmentation protects precious DNA from damage and absorbs the necessary amount of UV radiation needed to keep the body healthy. Melanin also protects against folate depletion, which women need to maintain healthy eggs, proper transferring of eggs, and the normal development of the baby after fertilization. Dark-skinned women suffer the lowest level of baby defects.

Translation: we good.

Melanin vs Melatonin

Melanin and Melatonin are two chemically related substances, but harbor many different characteristics. Again, Melanin is the major human pigment found in black skin, eyes, and hair. Melatonin is responsible for maintaining sleep cycles, biological rhythms and the regulation of melanin synthesis.

Translation: beauty sleep aids in the glowing of beautiful black skin.

 

The Power of Melanin

Melanin is black because its chemical structure allows no energy to escape, making black melanin the sole absorber of energy and light.

Translation: our darkness harbors the brightest light.

According to many authors, skin melanin is a result of UV rays, which despite popular belief, do not have to come from overused tanning beds. Melanin possess the unique ability to absorb energy and convert said energy into a re-usable source.

Melanin can rearrange its chemical structure to absorb all energy across the radiant spectrum. This includes sun-rays, light-rays, music vibrations, sound waves, and sun heat. This could be another major reason why Africans connect on such a deep level with music, and why most of our music was manifested. As a race that is used to being in the sun, whether on our rightful continent, or wrongfully enslaved on another’s, music is a natural response to happiness, adversity, and any other feeling black people may possess.

We could not physically exist without our melanin; our organs, our motor functions, our senses, and our minds could not work without the presence of it. The five physical senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) are our sensory reactions to the outside world in response to melanin.

Melanin exists on a dark plane of matter, a cosmic biological gateway in which the life form of the spiritual mind can manifest and exist in the material realm.

Melanin, is our power – our essence – while the sun is our source.

We are solar beings.

“We Afrikans, with our distinct racial features -blackness, curly hair, broad nose, thick lips, etc.- are really blessed with greatest gift from nature. The source of all this beauty is this precious life and chemical substance; Melanin.”

The prominent presence of Melanin in African-American people is a testament to the fact that we are the prime examples of elegance and beauty.

We are the ideology.

Despite centuries upon centuries of slavery, objectification, hatred, and prejudice, no one can tell us that black is not beautiful – Black is beauty.

“Dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enameled with grace, toasted with beauty. My lord, she’s a black woman.”

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The Destruction of Colorism

The Destruction of Colorism

col·or·ism

  1. prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
    “colorism within the black community has been a serious emotional and psychological battle”

Colorism can best be defined as the internalized racism unknowingly fueled by white supremacy within the black community, and other communities of color.

We are bound – sharing ancestral torments of slavery, separated kin, sexual and psychological assault – we are bound. Tantamount to this, we are damaged. Yet we still walk, and just as anyone who is wounded that endures, we continue to injure ourselves more and more with every passing day.

 

Colorism’s Origins

The simplest way trace colorism’s roots, is to date its significance back to American Slavery. Slave owners typically displayed partisan treatment to slaves with lighter complexions. While dark-skinned blacks struggled in the fields, their light-skinned counterparts typically worked the less grueling tasks inside the house. Slave-owners were often partial to light-skinned slaves because more often than not, they were related. Slave-owners frequently engaged in sexual intercourse with slave women, and light offspring were the signs of their coalition. Although mixed slaves were still forced to endure the horrors of the eugenics movement, abuse, and rape just as their darker-skinned brothers and sisters, they were often allowed some form of an education and were occasionally granted freedom. Light skin became an asset among the black community and centuries of this conduct deeply instilled the belief that light was more desirable than dark.

While most are unsure of exactly why there is such a vast division between black people, the stumbling upon concept of colorism was no accident. The psychological war between African-Americans was the malevolent creation of William Lynch in 1712. Slaves only had the family they were left with and the families they shaped, but their union was strong – almost resilient enough to never be shattered. Lynch spoke of ways to break apart the unified Black man and woman, because their strength lied in each other. Lynch concocted a strategy that he believed would control the slaves physically and mentally for centuries if implemented properly.  The following is what many believe to have been William Lynch’s theory:

“Crossbreeding Niggers mean taking so many drops of good white blood and putting them into as many nigger women as possible, varying the drops by the various tone that you want, and then letting them breed with each other until another circle of color appears as you desire. What this means is this; Put the niggers and the horse in breeding pot, mix some asses and some good white blood and what do you get? You got multiple of colors of ass backward, unusual niggers, running, tied to backward ass long-headed mules, the one productive of itself, the other sterile, (The one Constant, the other dying, we keep the nigger constant for we may replace the mules for another tool) both mule and nigger tied to each other, neither knowing where the other came from and neither productive for itself, nor without each other.”

Most propose that his efforts did not cease there. It is theorized that Lynch suggested destroying the mother language of the black people and limiting their understanding of the English language to render them voiceless. He figured that by making African-Americans imprudent, minuscule differences, like the shade of their skin, would break the black people’s unparalleled alliance. Consequently the conception of light versus dark skin was achieved. Lynch was suspected to have fed off of the fear of the black people by forcing women and children to watch as he tortured the strongest black male on the plantation until near death. The goal was to break the black man’s emotional tenacity. This new mentality was passed down from the mother to her child, and the strong image of the black male was broken. Male children would be made strong physically, but weak mentally. A slave to the white man, even if he was free.

These same inequalities now manifest in our work places, our criminal justice systems, socioeconomic statuses, and in our education systems. It is disproportionately black individuals who are dehumanized by the police, instead of protected, and this psychological terror impacts the entire race. We live in a world that perceives dark as evil, foreign, threatening, and exotified. One could now assume that William Lynch was successful because we unintentionally sanctioned white ideology to separate us. Because of this, no matter how strong we think we are, a part of us is still weak. A part of us is still enslaved.

 

Post Enslavement

Post slavery and throughout the Jim Crow era, the effects of colorism and the actions that went along with it, did not disappear. In black America the favored attitude toward lighter-skinned blacks continued, affecting their darker equivalents. Light skin and privilege were still considered synonymous and fair skin became the sole criteria for acceptance in the black aristocracy.

The Blue Vein Society refers to a historical phenomenon among some African-American communities in which the lighter skinned individuals held more privilege, as to darker skinned blacks, who held lower ranks on the social scale. The term “blue vein” was prominent in the early twentieth century, and was utilized because the test of how light one was, was determined by whether or not their blue veins were prominent beneath their skin. Another benchmark was the “paper bag test”. Many churches, fraternities, sororities, and even clubs, utilized a brown paper bag as an example for the darkest a person could be to be allowed entrance. People at these organizations would hold a paper bag against a person’s skin, and if one were darker than the bag, they would not be allowed entry. The term “fair-skin” was derived from the original meaning of “fair” – which was “beautiful”. “Fair-skinned” is instantly a colorist term because now fair skin means not only light skin, but it also holds the same connotation as, “beautiful skin”. This forms a devastating analogy: fair is to light as ugly is to dark. This is part of the reason why the idea of the brown paper bag test still haunts the black community. Images of lighter skinned blacks dominate the representation of black people, global sales for skin-lightening cream have remained steady for years, and analogously, photoshopped skin lightening techniques are commonplace.

 

Our Choice Affects Us Now More Than Ever

Colorism within the black community is proof that white supremacy, racists, and William Lynch’s techniques are operating exactly how they were intended to. Our experiences as African-Americans are different across our shades and genders, even if we share some of the same oppression. The disunion amongst us makes our fight against the eradication of racism less effective thus creating a double binding paradox for the entire African-American race. That, in itself, was William Lynch’s ultimate plan all along.

It is now, and has always been, our responsibility to educate ourselves and inform the black youth about our antiquity. Teachings should be reminiscent of the fact that although skin color was utilized as a weapon of mind control, light does not equate to beautiful any more than dark does. Internal bias will deteriorate momentously as the concept of unbiased beauty is understood. The perceptual shackles still imprisoning us from centuries ago will be broken and the discriminations that have manifested because of our ignorance will be less prominent. The black community can progress as a race, allowing us to be just as strong as we were before enslavement—if not stronger.

The history of African-American colorism is interminable, and the ruthlessness of internalized racialism boils down to comprehending why humans began to associate light with virtuous, and dark with corrupt. For those of us who acknowledge colorism and the destruction it has since left in its path, my principal question to you is: Are you going to do something about it?

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