Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why Celebrities Should Stop Apologizing For Racist Comments

Lately it seems like there's a new celebrity every week that makes the mistake of uttering a racist comment. Just as frequently there also seems to be some underground video or audio recording that ousts a celebrity as many as ten years after the comment has been made. Like clockwork the shamed and ostracized celebrity will release a statement through or often written by their publicist explaining away their choice of words and apologizing for having uttered them in the first place. Unlike the general public, I see no need for the theatrical production that is the public apology. Personally, I think racist celebrities should just stop apologizing for their comments for three main reasons.

1. They Don't Mean It

A forced apology is a false apology and that in itself is insulting. The fact is, no matter the circumstances surrounding the comments, the person who uttered them meant every word. I may not like what was said. I may be offended, infuriated, and disappointed. But an apology is something that is meant to be expressed in situations of sincere regret. But what exactly are the celebrities regretting? Do they regret their opinion? Do they regret that their opinion hurt my feelings? Do they regret that something that was meant to remain private has been released to the public via TMZ or some other paparazzi medium? Unless the celebrity truly regrets what they said, I really don't want to hear an apology because they don't mean it. It would be better for them to become enraged with whomever recorded them or exposed them in the first place, that person who blackmailed them and violated their privacy. That, I can understand and accept.

2. You're Allowed To Be Racist

As quiet as it's kept, you are allowed to be racist. It would be an unpopular choice and you are sure to find yourself surrounded by people who truly believe that violence is in fact the answer. But you are allowed to be racist. Your beliefs are your beliefs. As long as you are willing to accept the consequences of making your socially unpopular beliefs public, I have no problem with a celebrity being racist. Celebrities apologize because they don't want their record sales to go down like John Mayer when he claimed his penis was a white supremacist when asked how he felt about his black, female fans. People were livid but I wasn't. If John Mayer doesn't like black women, that's his prerogative. I know plenty of black women with black supremacist vaginas. Don't apologize for your own preferences. I don't like undercover racists. I like to know what I'm dealing with at all times. I don't like finding out after I've spent money on an album, movie, or some other merchandise that the actor, singer, or artist doesn't like people like me. An apology for comments like John Mayer's tell me that person is embarking on a campaign of deception to cover up their true feelings just so they can get my money. I'd rather deal with the unapologetic racist.

3. Everyone Is Racist

Just because people don't want to admit it, doesn't mean it isn't true. We're all guilty of saying something racially insensitive when we think no one is recording. We all have our stereotypes about other races. The sooner people can accept that no one is perfect, the sooner we find ways to end the stereotypes. I also don't see the point in apologizing for a comment made many years ago that your side chick decided to record like Hulk Hogan, Donald Sterling or Mel Gibson. People change. People say things that they no longer agree with a decade later. People also say the most evil things they can think of to say when they're angry. Think about a person you know that is in a toxic relationship. Think about the cruel things they say to each other when they are trying to hit below the belt. Celebrities are not exempt.

If you're going to apologize, there is a way to do it. Take Hulk Hogan for example. I didn't like his apology. Saying he grew up hearing that word as a reason for why he did it, didn't apply to the recording that was released. That's something you say when you use the n-word as a term of endearment or in an attempt to appropriate hip-hop culture. In Hulk Hogan's situation, he clearly was an angry father looking for anything to grasp as a justification for being angry. I don't think he has a problem with black people but I do believe he really doesn't want his daughter to be with anyone who isn't white. Again, that's a preference he's entitled to have, although it would inevitably make him a social pariah. Hulk Hogan should said, "I apologize for the pain my comments caused. I was an angry father back then and I really needed to vent my frustrations. I did so under the belief that I was with someone trustworthy, who has clearly to be anything but. I do not have a problem with the African American race. But if given the choice, I would prefer that my daughter date within her own. It is a culture with which I am familiar and therefore more comfortable supporting." More people would have been understanding and could probably outright identify with that same statement.

But then, I'm not a celebrity publicist.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Zodiac At A Glance: Virgo

Virgos are born August 23-September 22nd

Leo/Virgo cusps tend to be extroverted and energetic. They have very sunny personalities and radiate positivity. People love to be around them.

Virgo/Libra cusps tend to be more moody and easily infatuated. They are more flirty and sexual than other Virgos.

Almost always a Virgo's favorite color is some shade of blue. Of course, there are exceptions.

The Good

Workaholics - No one has ever referred to a Virgo as lazy. They put in the time and dedication that is required to get the job done right. This can also be a bad thing. A Virgo man may not realize how desperately he is missed at home because he is perfectly content to work overtime.

Independent - They are self-starters who don't need much assistance with anything. Partly because they are so intelligent to begin with, and partly because they learn by trial and error. But don't worry, if they need help they will ask. Also, don't be surprised if they take off on their own to attempt your instructions before you've even finished your sentence. They like the satisfaction of having done the task themselves.

Humorous - Next to Geminis they are the funnest of the zodiac. They are extremely playful and light hearted. They love to entertain and make people laugh. They are as silly as they are studious. Perhaps this is nature's way of keeping them balanced.

Meticulously Organized - Virgos are completely reliable. They are usually the ones keeping everyone else on track in meetings, at work, at home managing the budget. As a result, they are always ready for the worst case scenario. Preventable conflicts rarely occur in their lives as they meticulously plan for as many outcomes as they can.

The Bad

Bossy - Virgos tend to be control freaks. This is partly how they plan for the worst case scenario. Being studious can make them into know-it-alls who feel the need to manage other people in the workplace. This drives them to be overly ambitious in their climb up the corporate ladder.

Cheap - Virgos are always willing to spend top dollar on themselves but can be horribly cheap when it comes to others. Again, they are planning for worst case scenario. They are holding on to every penny they can just in case. They are also known for keeping your change when you send them on an errand.

People Pleasers - Virgos are often described as two-faced. The reason is they want to please everyone. They want everyone to like them. They will go out of their way to appear more intelligent and more trustworthy than they are. In an attempt to seize leadership, they will quietly gossip about the boss behind his back and then use everything they've gathered in that conversation to their advantage while they suck up to that same boss. In a confrontation they immediately take a neutral stance but when it is over they will approach the person the most agreed with and offer support in private. They also have a habit of taking credit for ideas that are not their own if they feel their position is being challenged by another.

Hoarders - Virgos are notorious hoarders when they are unhappy. It begins as planning for the worst but gets out of hand when they are depressed and becomes a problem. Collecting memorabilia can quickly become an expensive nightmare.

Sex life

Virgos don't typically initiate the sexual relationship. They like to feel as though everything is happening to them when it comes to love so that they aren't actually taking any risks. Virgos tend to be more attractive than their mates for this reason. If a man comes to the Virgo woman and professes his love he had better have his house in order first. If he does, she will let him into her heart and reciprocate whatever he sends out. She will never go above and beyond what he has placed on the table. She will treat her romantic partner as her equal. The same is true in bed. She will not likely turn him down for sex. If he's down, so is she, but he has to make the first move.

Best match

Capricorn - both are meticulous planners with a passion for finer things. Neither likes to take risks but the Capricorn tends to be more traditional in gender rolls. Both are frugal and love spontaneous laughter and passion.

Taurus - A Taurus will work like a, well, bull for anyone who provides the proper motivation. Virgos are excellent in management and know how to speak to sensitive people. Beware of being overworked by the Virgo however. And the Virgo should make his or her loyalty to the Taurus very plain to see.

Worst match

Leo - You can't have two kings ruling over one kingdom. Virgo will try too hard to control the Leo. Leo will boss and bully the Virgo. Leo will make the Virgo feel insignificant and worthless without even trying.

The Natural Hair Trojan Horse

The natural hair revolution has boosted the self confidence of millions of African-American women. There are less products on the shelves that portray European beauty and more products that portray a natural, ethnic beauty. Many black actors are finding they no longer need to wear a weave, wig or treat their hair with relaxers to book auditions. In fact, some like Viola Davis have been applauded for returning to their roots. But there are some myths that are persisting due to the booming natural hair revolution.

Natural hair is easier to style than relaxed hair.

It actually takes about the same amount of time to maintain natural 4c hair as it does if it were relaxed. After washing both natural and relaxed hair, the decision to blow dry is optional. Both require that moisturizers be applied almost immediately. But natural hair should be braided or twisted to prevent tangling and hair loss. Relaxed hair need only be wrapped. The time saved after a shampoo for relaxed hair is made up upon styling, as some form of heat is needed to style it. After natural hair has been braided or twisted one could wear that as their style or undo it in a matter of moments, and they are ready to go.

Natural hair products are cheaper.

Natural hair products are more expensive than products for chemically treated hair. This is especially true now that the natural hair revolution has become widespread. Natural products typically involve pure coconut and other oils which can be very expensive. Sulfate-free and other shampoos from companies like Shea Moisture, Carol's Daughter, Kinky Curly, and Mixed Chicks are twice the price as a bottle of Pantene or Suave for as little as a quarter of the amount. One can reduce this cost by using vinegar or other homemade hair care products.

If I go natural, my hair will be beautifully curled.

Unfortunately, this is what has caused the natural hair revolution to go into overdrive. People who are caught up in the good hair/bad hair stigma are jumping at the chance to appear to be mixed race or racially ambiguous. Having natural, curly hair would achieve this. But if you have 4c hair, your hair will not coil over the same as a person with 4a hair. No amount of anti-frizz or anti-shrinkage products will achieve this effect. Braiding is required for waves and twisting is required for curls. In some cases, perm rods are necessary.

People with natural hair don't wear fake hair.

This is one of the biggest myths to come about for natural hair. Most people you see with natural hair have worn, or are wearing some form of hair extensions. This is because of the awkward grow out phase. People see others with the shoulder length, trademark fro and take the plunge. But it takes time to achieve that level of hair growth. So out comes the Brazilian weave hair and half wigs.

Natural hair has finally made all black women equal.

Actually, there is just as big of a divide amongst black women now as there was in the 80's when the natural hair revolution was here last. Black men still go for the "light is right" black woman with the silkier curly hair over the darker skinned black woman with 4c hair. White Americans emulate mixed race women with silky, curly hair as well. The dark skinned black woman is however finding more acceptance in the workplace but she is also finding that she is often told her hair is messy while her light skinned or mixed race, fellow natural haired co-worker is being marveled at.

The natural hair revolution is putting Asian hair companies out of business.

We all know that the push to support black owned business has seen a backlash against Asian beauty supply store owners. After all, Koreans are the biggest suppliers of the world's hair extensions. Black Americans are willing to get loans to afford the skyrocketing costs of purchasing someone else's hair. So, some have come to reason that by going natural those stores are going out of business. This is false. Korean store owners aren't dumb. They didn't get rich selling weave hair. They got rich providing the black community whatever it is they demand. In the early 2000's BeyoncĂ© dyed the bottom half of her hair pink. Weave stores everywhere stocked extensions of the same style in mass quantities because everyone wanted it. When Mary J. Blige hit the scene with her trademark strawberry blond hair, the shelves were stocked with boxes of coordinating hair color. Go into a beauty supply store now and you will find afro kinky and Brazilian hair stocked to the ceiling. Not everyone is willing to cut off all of their relaxed hair to accomplish the natural look the natural way. Also, some women have caused so much damage to their natural hair that they can never go without extensions again. Which means, Asian beauty supply businesses will never lose money.

It is important to understand that going natural is not meant to be worn as a badge of honor. Women are judging each other based on who has the better curl definition or who's hair is nappier or silkier. Women are putting down women who chose to chemically treat their hair because the stereotype is that she is still trying to be white. People go natural for different reasons including, healthier lifestyle, finances, and social acceptance. Don't assume that every black woman with a natural prefers to be called "sistah" or is afrocentric. If you decide to go natural, be prepared to love and accept yourself for who you really are and not who others perceive.