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INKED

I’ve had my mind set on getting “tatted up”, as they say in the cool circles, for a while now, but never had the time, the design and the money to go through with it. So now the time has finally come. I have searched through the mounds of ideas in my mind (realising in the process that I might end up the subject of my parents’ over-tattooed nightmares), isolated the favourites, gotten the money together and I’m ready.

But there is always a lot to consider when you are making the decision to get a tattoo. As tempting as it is to just ignore all these considerations, you might want to give them a glance over.

First, is your family and friends, and their opinion of your decision. For some people, this is a pretty big thing and they might have some pretty strong reactions to your choice.

Second, is your boss and co-workers if not clients. This might be a pretty big one, especially if you work or you ever plan on working, as it might become an issue in the industry or company of your choice. A tattoo might be the thing standing in your way of getting your dream job, as there are some industries that just won’t accept this type of thing. In such a situation, you might want to place your tattoo in an area of your body where it can be hidden when the need arises.

Third, is how many you will get, where you will get them, and where you will draw the line. From what I’ve heard, the process or the having of the tattoo can become addictive to some people and it’ll help when you need to make sure you don’t go too far to decide beforehand where you will stop.

Fourth, and it think this might apply to just me, but can a young black girl get a tattoo and still be accepted by, say, a conservative black mother in law? Will she see me as a wild, crazy whore leading her darling son into hell?

Hahahaha…Well all this nonsense aside, tattoos are still an art form, one which, when you do it right, turns out to look pretty amazing.

Here are a few ideas for the ladies:

      

             

             

             

             

     

– @MS_Mandi


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Beweave It! vs. Au Naturelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems everywhere I look, I am being confronted by the topic of weave vs. natural hair.

Last night, Deborah Patta caused havoc in African circles by tackling the tender issue of black women’s hair. As is to be expected, the debate of black women’s hair always comes down to the bottom line of the weave vs. natural hair.

The debate continued raging long after the credits ran, with Twitter being set alight by all manner of the enraged and the entertained commentators having their say. There were a variety of opinions expressed in last night’s show, from both “professionals” and the layman, from people in the streets as well as the people we admire, our beloved celebrities, and from where I was sitting, the conclusion was – it all comes down to personal choice.

#TeamWeave strongly believes in the right to have whatever hairstyle they choose, and believe their weaves look amazing on them. Some are right. They not only show no signs of stopping, but some…err…eager beavers…claim they cannot live without their weaves and that their natural hair is an irreversible disaster which they will NEVER show to the world.

#TeamNatural, on the other hand, seems to feel that natural not only looks better, but feels better and the hair fares better in the long run. Some members of said team also feel that weave-wearers are suffering of an identity issue of sorts. That they are, in a way, ashamed of their natural hair and therefore, of their African-ness. They…to put it simply…have a longing to be white-er, and are expressing this longing by, instead of celebrating their natural hair, hiding it under a weave. Please note that I am paraphrasing here, but for me this was where the debate became an issue.

I see no reason why the style a woman chooses to put on her hair should become an issue of race or culture.  

When did a woman lose her right to choose the look she wishes to portray to the world??

Since the dawn of time, women have been changing their look, altering it, improving it, playing around with it and being adventurous with it. Since the dawn of time, women have been the ones who, when they felt they needed a change, would walk into the salon and walk out feeling like a whole new woman. I can see why males would be completely baffled by this concept but this is one thing that fellow females should understand better than anyone else. There is nothing like a new look to make you feel vibrant, refreshed and new.

Please let it be known that I am speaking as an African woman with beautiful, healthy DREADLOCKS, but should I choose to have a weave tomorrow, I see no reason why it should be a reflection on anything but my need or want for a pleasant change in my life. I am no less in touch with my culture, I am no more ashamed of it, and I am not trying to transform myself into a white girl, I just want to look in the mirror and see something new and exciting.

Sure, there are a wide range of styles to choose from that are for natural African hair, but why should I limit myself to just those??

Basically what I’m saying is that it irritates me that black women have been limited and boxed in by fear of judgement and reprisal from their peers, especially in this, the 21st century, when all we spout is freedom of choice and freedom of this and that. Touching momentarily on the very sensitive subject of race, let me remind you that for the white female, hair issues are a lot more straight forward, in that she can do what she will with minimal judgement. Barring dyeing your hair rainbow colours, a white female can explore all manner of hairstyles…she can straighten her hair, curl it tomorrow, extend it on Saturday and then cut it short on Tuesday without the general population batting an eyelid. So why not extend the black female, the same courtesy?

That being said, not all our natural is the same. Some people’s hair is thicker, harder and unrulier than others, and can you imagine having to wake up every day and comb this kind of hair into a decent style?? The pain? The time? The exercise? Not everyone has the creativity, nor the inclination to work with natural hair and make it look amazing every day…not to mention every night (some experts recommend you loosely braid your afro before sleeping so it can be less tangled and more manageable in the morning),  I, for one, know that I would be spending my weekends with a hot mess on my head, because if I wasn’t going to work, I wouldn’t even bother…in fact, that’s exactly what I did before the dreadlocks, and my afro was soft even! The sheer energy it takes to maintain some people’s natural hair is extreme and it really isn’t fair to enforce the same ideals you hold for your hair onto another, who might have it harder than you.

We’ve all had those mornings when your hair is just not behaving the way it should and the styles you envisioned with your outfit aren’t quiet looking like they should. Mornings when you try to recreate the GORGEOUS afro or <insert another hairstyle here> you had yesterday and today it just turns out :-/…even after you’ve done everything you did yesterday. How much worse when the process of trying to restyle it will take another 30minutes? And not all of us are made for close-cropped “brush cuts” or chiskops, which would be the alternative to the every day torture of reigning in said hot mess.

All this being said, ladies, don’t judge each other too harshly or too quickly. As long as a lady is trying to make herself look good, she is doing it right.

To quote one of my tweeps “Having an afro doesn’t make you an African or black any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.” – @Bee_loco

 

Note: This was the Opinion Post. In the next blog posts, I’ll be discussing what a weave is (for the novices in my audience) as well as some weave do’s and don’t’s, its much-talked-about effects on natural hair and why most brothers (and haters) don’t like weaves. So come back for more ;-).

 

– @MS_Mandi

 


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Fashion By The Sea

This past weekend, Durban hosted the much anticipated Fashion By The Sea, a fashion show held at Durban’s Point Waterfront with a pier being used as the runway, the longest runway in South Africa since David Tlale’s Nelson Mandela Bridge extravaganza.

The show featured (showcased) some of South Africa’s finest, from Gavin Rajah, Craig Native, Dax Martin, Kluk CGDT and Fundudzi, just to name a few. The showcase was meant to a prelude to next month’s Vodacom Durban July, take a look.

    

    

         

    

         

         

        

           

          

        

 

– Pics courtesy of Howzit MSN