Grown Too Soon

Taken from Google Images

So, I’ve heard a lot of comments about how kids these days are growing up way too fast.  When I first heard complaints about this I didn’t think too much of it.  Afterall, it’s the same thing our parents said to us, their parents said to them, and so on and so on.  Nevertheless, I’ve recently come to believe there is a lot of truth to these accusations.

I have an eight year old niece who is more concerned with clothes and makeup than I ever was at that age.  When I was eight years old I was into Barbies and the latest Fisher Price play set.  My niece grew out of that stage two or three years ago.  I’ve also noticed that children (girls) seem to dress far more sexually as time goes on.  I work in retail and have seen 12 year olds walk into my store that imitate styles of girls in their late teens.  Mini skirts, crop tops, and heels have become must have items for many young girls.  These are much milder examples compared with other cases.  Everyone hears horror stories about how kids are having sex at younger ages than ever before.  The youngest I remember is a boy having sex at age 10 or 11.  That completely baffles me.

One has to wonder why this is happening.  Is the behavior of today’s juveniles really as extreme as people say? Or is it the typical opinion of the older population versus the up and coming youthful culture?  Is our society becoming more corrupt and influencing kids?  Or has this always been happening and now we just hear more about it?

In my opinion, it’s a combination of all these issues.  Members of older generations will always find fault with younger generations.  This has always been the nature of our community.  Also, as our society becomes more open to discussion and technology encourages the spread of information, many aspects of our lives come to light that were not necessarily discussed or widely known before.  I also think our world is slowly becoming a more dangerous and corrupt place, however, that is not entirely to blame for the behavior of the kids.  Children have been shown to be more susceptible to outside influences (usually negative) depending on their background and home life.  From what I’ve seen, some of the kids who dress and act far above their age group have parents that either support or show indifference to what their kids do.

Taken from Violetmeetsfashion. blogspot.com

I honestly think parents becoming more lax in discipline has a major impact on what these kids are doing.  I wasnt allowed to wear lipstick on a semi-regular basis until I was around 13/14 years old.  However, today I was just watching a fashion video about how Suri Cruise (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter) was becoming a trendsetter, wearing gold heels on one day and a dark red lipstick on another.  Suri is only five.  That’s just a Hollywood example but I have seen children in that age group with similar style habits.

Then of course there’s the media.  Television, music, and movies have always influenced society’s youth.  My niece is obsessed with the Nickelodeon show Victorious.  The girls often sport short dresses, skirts, and stilettos, as part of their wardrobes.  In certain snapshots you could easily mistake some of the teens girls for grown women.

In short, I do think that kids today are growing up way too fast.  However, this is not a new phenomenon.  They are products of society.  This has always been the case.   I think all we can do is monitor what these kids see and hear as much as possible and refrain from encouraging them to grow up to quickly.  There shouldnt be groups of 12-year-old kids roaming the town unsupervised, five-year-olds in eyeshadow and heels, and preteens dressed like they’re going to the club.  Childhood is a very important stage of life and it only comes once.  When its gone they can’t get it back so try not to let them take it for granted.

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Grow Natural Black Hair Longer

Taken from http://www.fromgrandmaskitchen.com via Google Images

I struggled trying to grow my hair for years.  I got a relaxer when I was around 11 or 12 and my hair completely broke off.  That was how I learned my hair was very sensitive.  My mother put braids in my hair on and off throughout my life.  Then, after the relaxer incident, we kept it in braids assuming (like most people) that it would make my hair grow.  It may have recovered somewhat but we didn’t see great results.  After that I started going to the hair dresser and my hair slowly got better.

Eventually I started learning enough to care for my hair on my own.  Once my hair was stronger, I wanted to grow it out as long as possible.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I started hunting around on the internet for hair care help.  I was surprised to find out that a lot of what I was told about my “Black” hair was wrong.  There was also a lot about caring for my hair that I simply didn’t know.  So, I’ve put together some of the tips I picked up that helped my hair get stronger and start growing:

  1. WET YOUR HAIR!  This is one thing I was always told never to do.  As far as I was concerned my Black hair needed to stay as far away from water as possible.  Well that’s a complete falsehood.  Your hair love water.  Water is moisture and hair (especially Black hair) needs it badly.  I wet my hair everyday now in the shower and it loves it. NOTE: wetting your hair does not mean shampooing.
  2. Keep your hair clean.  Many Black girls are told not to wash your hair often.  It is true that we don’t have to wash our hair as much as others with less curly locks, but we still need to keep it clean.  You should wash your hair about once a week (give or take).  DO NOT do it everyday.  Also, try to find a natural shampoo or do conditioner washes.  Conditioners can loosen up dirt without stripping the hair the way most store-bought shampoos do.  Most over the counter shampoos are very harsh on Black hair.
  3. Moisturize your hair EVERY DAY.  Black hair needs moisture.  Find a moisturizer with natural ingredients.  Avoid Petrolatum and silicones which are found in most hair care products.
  4. Lightly oil your hair AFTER adding moisture to lock it in.  Olive, Jojoba, Coconut are just some of the natural oils that are good for the hair.
  5. DO NOT brush your hair when it’s wet.  You can comb through it with a wide tooth comb from ends to roots to get rid of tangles.  Brushing while wet weakens the hair strands by stretching them and causes split ends.
  6. If you have split ends, cut them.  They will only get worse and travel up the hair strand.  Tell whoever trims your hair not to get “scissor happy”.  You only need to cut 1/4-1/2 an inch every four to eight weeks or so.  Some people also say 12 weeks.
  7. Wear a silk or satin scarf to bed.  If you don’t wear scarves then put plastic over your pillow case and braid up your hair so you don’t get unnecessary tangles.
  8. Try not to flat-iron, blowdry, curl, or use any type of heat on your hair.  If you must, do it sparingly.
  9. Braid Extensions can help your hair grow but remember to still take care of your hair and moisturizer and clean your scalp while your hairs in the braids.  Also, make sure they aren’t braided too tight.  That can put stress on the hair strand.
  10. Deep condition with heat and do hot oil treatments every now and then.  How often you should do it depends on the condition of your hair.  Some do once a week, some every other week, some once a month.

Well, like I said these are just a couple of things I’ve learned through all of my research and experimenting.  There’s a world of information out there so I encourage everyone to read up if there interested in growing their hair longer!

Fat…But Not Too Fat

Taken from Billivorylarson.com via Google images

Weight loss, weight gain, exercise, diet…the subject of staying in shape has become a huge aspect of most people’s daily lives.  The pressure to be thin becomes more and more pressing by the day.  You can tell just by looking at Hollywood.  Many celebs either lose weight soon after getting famous or succumb to the pressure a bit later on.  Kelly Osbourne, Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Richie and Khloe Kardashian are just a few examples.  Sometimes it’s a healthy choice.  Jennifer Hudson, for example, looks amazing.  Look at Star Jones!  Mo’Nique also lost a great deal of weight.  Other times it isn’t such a healthy choice…I’ll leave names out of that one.  But how are we supposed to know the difference?

A doctor will probably have you check your BMI (Body Mass Index) to determine if you have a healthy weight.  A healthy BMI is from 18.5 to 25.  Twenty-five to thirty is overweight and over 30 is obese.  I have an issue with this system.  The BMI system is based on weight and height alone.  Everyone who is 5’2, as an example, does not have the same body type.  So why are they lumped into one standard of what their weight should be.  Granted, the system does leave room for differentiations (someone who is 5’2 can be from 101-136 lbs. to be considered normal), but I’m not sure it’s enough.  I knew a girl who was 5’5 and 172 pounds.  According to the BMI system she was overweight and getting close to the obese category.  When you looked at her she looked like a regular girl.  She did have extra pounds but she didn’t look too overweight.  I wouldn’t have guessed her BMI was so high.  Another girl I know is 5’5 and 155 pounds.  Most people I see on a regular basis are about her size.  She is what I see as normal but her BMI crosses into overweight as well.  I had a friend once who lost some weight (she was already skinny) and her mother actually started worrying for her health….but if you checked her BMI she was in the normal category.  I think something’s wrong with this.

I’m not saying we should completely ignore our doctors and BMI.  They are both helpful tools that can keep you healthy.  Nevertheless, if your BMI is 25-30 (overweight range)  I don’t think there’s a need to panic.  If you look in the mirror and like what you see, don’t stress it.  That said, let me add that we should all try our best to stay healthy.  Mo’Nique once said she was inspired to lose weight because her husband said she had gained too much to be healthy.  He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and didn’t want it shortened by avoidable health issues.  When weight gain gets to that point then, in my opinion, fast action should definitely be taken.  My point is: don’t let a BMI calculator or statistic get you down.  Do what’s healthy and comfortable for you.