Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why Amber Rose is a Bad Bitch

Amber Rose has become quite a controversial figure in popular media this year. She has been called a gold digger, whore, and irrelevant. I love her. Here's why...

First of all, who can rock a BLOND fade and still look sexy. Sisqo=fail. Dennis Rodman=fail. My mother (yes she tried)= A for effort but not quite a pass so I'll just say fail.

She has a body to DIE for.

She always wears leggings and Jordans, which is a fashion FAIL but it reminds of black girls in Chicago.

But I think what is more important to address is why I don't dislike her. Amber is often bashed because she is bisexual and is a former stripper. No shock there, women that represent "deviant" (meaning legs closed until a man says it's ok for you to open them) sexualities are always bashed. Good old patriarchy at its finest. If you've read my post "Why Bad Bitches Love Strip Clubs" you already know my position on her career choice. And how can we demonize her because she ended up with a potentially queer, slightly insane, and VERY wealthy rapper? Sounds like she hit a LICK to me. We live in a culture that idolizes media figures for their beauty and wealth. She has both of those in the bag, which should address those that question "why she's famous". And let's not forget she's signed with Ford Models.

Amber Rose is a beautiful model who used to date a woman and just so happened to strip back in the day. But she's still a beautiful model. Give her her props. Thank you.

EXCLUSIVE! 5 Non-Negotiables to Get a Bad Bitch

I don't think it's a secret that Bad Bitches are very much sought after. Very similar to the fountain of youth, the 8th wonder of the world, heaven.... Everyone wants to get there! And now, I am about to reveal 5 things that must be honored in order to accomplish that goal.

DISCLAIMER: All Bad Bitches are different and of course people look for/need different things in relationships, partners, and people in general. But these non-negotiables will apply to the foundation of ANY healthy relationship and any real Bad Bitch (not one of those knock off "barbie" impostors) will honor these as such.

1. Before you can even think about approaching a bad Bitch you have to know yourself. Please don't take that lightly. You need to know who you are COMPREHENSIVELY (your qualities, your quirks, what you're looking for, goals, character, etc.) and willing and committed to being that person ONLY. Being a bad bitch is about being whole. We require the same from people that we closely interact with. A bad bitch is not likely to sacrifice her wholeness (yes I made that word up) in attempt to complete you. So sorry to all those in character, impostors, stunnas, cheaters. You already failed.

2. Before making any commitment, you have to do your research. If you meet a bad bitch and you want to give it a shot it is very important to get to know her. Not her hobbies or favorite color necessarily, but you should be looking for indications that her wants and needs match yours. IMPORTANT POINT about research... This "research" period is not only for you. During this time she should be learning the same things about you as well. This is especially true if you are looking for something casual. If you know you are only interested in a sexual relationship don't waste my time asking about my relationship status, etc. You're only objective should be finding out if I'm interested in the same thing, with you.

3. Honesty. Honesty. Honesty. Always be upfront. Bad Bitches keep it 100 and can spot a bullshitter from a mile away. Don't sugarcoat, beat around the bush, or lollygag. Be upfront because you'll always get the same in return. This is always easier said than done, but here are some tips. A Bad Bitch will leave you with no reason to lie. We understand the imperfection that comes with being human and accept the good with the bad. Also, sometimes its not what you say but HOW you say it. Remember that.

4. Respect. If you want to get with a Bad Bitch you have to accept the situation at hand. I'm a Bad Bitch. You must respect that for what it is at all times. I know my worth, don't try to make me think otherwise. Instead, prove yours, because I prove mine over and over again. I'm not your child, your mother, or your object. I'm your partner. Who I am is not up for discussion. We were individuals when we entered this relationship. Never forget that. If you do you might be in physical danger.

5. You have to read It's only appropriate. LOL

Thursday, December 3, 2009

That Thing Bad Bitches Do... How Bittersweet it is.

There is something to be said about bad bitches. See we have this way of always leaving a mark, changing the flow, making history. A bad bitch demands attention, and not in a "Look at me! Look at me!" way. There is something about us though, that makes it so that when we're around, people can tell. But it's a gift and a curse really.

Being in the presence, or even the shadow of a bad bitch is always a challenge, a dare, an ultimatum to come with everything you got. We go after the things we want with confidence, weak bitches (also known as strags) cower at the thought of it being that easy for us. But that won't stop them from trying... and this is where things get ironic:
It takes the mere thought of a bad bitch doing it to get weak bitches to even attempt it.

Sometimes they'll step it all the way up, other times will represent fails. But it'll work everytime. I call it the "scared straight" process.

But when the process backfires us bad bitches can sometimes end up hurt, betrayed, or left out in the cold (especially regarding matters of the heart). Sometimes it's hard being bad. And it's up to us to remember the mantra... "A bad bitch always wins. If not by merit, by default via the grace with which she handles defeat." So just when you think some strag has won, remember that it was only because of your existence in their world that they ever stood a chance.

Certified Bad Bitch: Charne!!!!!!

Hey everybody!!! Meet our second certified Bad Bitch, Charne a.k.a. Nae Nae!

Nae is one of my homegirls from high school and she's been dope from the start. If I had to describe her, I'd say fashionista meets around the way girl. And did I mention she has one of the dopest blogs besides this one??? Check her out on Out the Box Chicks!!!! She's always been in touch with the Bad Bitch in her.

Here's what Nae had to say about being a Bad Bitch.
What makes you a bad bitch?
I'm always cookin and cleanin and cleanin and cookin...seriously I'm educated, I have a job that pays my bills, I never been a follower in my life having your own identity is highly imperative and have you seen what I look like?! haha

How can you tell another bad bitch when you come across one?
A bad bitch carries herself with class and confidence...I know it when I see it.

What bad bitches inspired your badness?
My mother.

A bad bitch always... runs the show!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fake Virginity... Worth It?

Something else that may shock people about me is that I am and AVID fan of plastic surgery. Well, not necessarily a fan, but I'm not against it like many people would assume I am because of my "feminist tendencies". I like the idea of being able to change the way I look at will, given that I can afford it. In my opinion it's not that much different than dieting for weight loss, changing the color of your hair, or getting a tattoo. But I think there is a fine line that should not be crossed.

Which brings me to the horrifying existence of hymen reconstruction, also known as hymenoplasty. Hymen reconstruction, as its title insinuates, is the reconstructing of the hymen, a thin membrane that protects the opening of the vagina. This can be done by sewing together a torn hymen or inserting a hymen implant. If you are already disturbed, you should be.

As always, I did a little research before sitting down to write this and here's what I found on a site called "Revirgination". It is a great summary of the reasons people pursue this procedure.

"The virginity of a woman is valued for religious, social, and even economic reasons. Hymen gets disrupted after the first intercourse or even after strenuous physical activity or tampon use. Anyway, you wouldn't want your boyfriend / future husband feel ashamed because your hymen no longer existed."

I'm going to just dig right into this one and expose it for the bullshit that it is. First of all the term virginity is almost always used in the wrong context. Has anyone ever met someone that engages in oral/anal sex only and still refers to them self as a virgin? Fail. You are a virgin if you have not chosen to have sex. So to clarify, a survivor of rape is indeed still a virgin because they did not CHOOSE to engage in sexual activity.

They make a good point that virginity is indeed valued for various reasons, especially religious ones. And I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but if you've already has sex, I think God knows about it and can't be fooled by a fake or restored hymen. Sorry.

But I don't think people are that naive. And this brings us to the stressed point of the website "You wouldn't want your boyfriend/future husband to feel ashamed because your hymen no longer existed". And we have reached the root of the problem. Get your vagina "fixed" to please your man and avoid embarrassing him. Male privilege at its finest. The most obvious hypocrisy found on the site is that they acknowledge that a woman's hymen can be disrupted after strenuous physical activity or tampon usage, but still refer to the hymen as a "representation of virginity". It's not. Fools. And to take this a step further, who needs their virginity validated and/or represented anyway? Why isn't "I'm a virgin" enough? And can someone please help me figure out how this works... do you lie to your partner about being a virgin and THEN get a hymenoplasty? Or do you make the decision to give him an authentic "virgin" experience by having the procedure? In the former case you should probably reevaluate your relationship with your potential sex partner if you feel the need to lie about your sexual history. In the latter case, is the pain and money worth it? Think about it. Your partner is going to tear through it anyway, potentially causing you ADDITIONAL pain and essentially wasting hundreds to thousands of dollars on something you only got to use once. Also it doesn't even tighten your vagina*** so it really is a one time deal for the "virginity experience". I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have those Marc Jacob boots!

The point I'm trying to make is that you shouldn't alter your body for anyone's sake but your own. If your boyfriend/husband suggests bigger boobs (preferably willing to pay for them as well) and you think "Hey I guess an extra cup would be cool" then go right ahead! But not for the sake of avoiding his "embarrassment" or keeping up a lie that you probably shouldn't have told in the first place.

***If you are interested in tightening your vagina there are products that can do the trick, and for only 10 bucks! Or if you want to do it the old fashion way, a few caps of vinegar in your bath water will do fine. Your partner will appreciate it. But you didn't hear that from me...

Precious: Fat Shame in it's Prime

Fat politics have kinda become my thing recently. As a bad that just so happens to be fat, it has been interesting to think about the ways in which weight and body image intersect with other social issues and the experiences of discrimination/oppression that results.

And then, as if reading my mind, here comes Precious. For those of you who may have recently fallen under a rock (as I sometimes do. I haven't checked the YBF in a while) and don't know, Precious is a newly released movie based on the AWESOME novel Push by Sapphire. Precious, the main character of the story, is a 16 year old black girl dealing with motherhood, incest (her 2 children, one with Down syndrome, are by her father), illiteracy, and a physically and emotionally abusive mother. And as if all of this is not enough, she's fat. Although I haven't seen the movie yet (my school is in the stick so it's theatres weren't one of those selected to play the feature), I haven't been spared from attitudes about Precious, the person.

Instead of hearing about the plight and/or celebration of black girls or their struggles/resiliency, themes central to the story, I've heard only about how fat (and let's not forget ugly because of her dark skin) Precious is. She has become the representation of all things unattractive and unworthy. I've been subjected to every fat joke in the book at some point in my life, but the emergence of Precious made me realize that it was time to address the underlying meaning of fat hate rhetoric.

From what I've heard thus far Precious, and therefore myself by extension, is not worthy of companionship, love, a spot on the big screen, the right to call herself a bad bitch, or happiness. When people say things like "What's fucked up is that somebody out there is going to try to hit that now" or "Did they have to make her look like that?" it becomes very clear that the way we think about body image has become more than personal preference and self esteem. It has become a way to shame, devalue, dehumanize, and demonize people. It is very disturbing to insinuate that someone doesn't deserve to connect with another person, or that the person willing to establish that connection is wrong. It's just cruel. And in typical capitalist, I mean American procedure, we have created a multi billion dollar industry by shaming an entire group of people. The weight loss industry is the only one that surpasses porn. Think about this, Americans would rather support fat hate than sex! It's quite disgusting.

In an attempt to address this very serious issue, I posted this note to my facebook page and would like to share it with all you Bad Bitches and supporters, too. Enjoy.

Sesali Tackles Myths About Big Girls

Myth #1- I am always hungry/eating.
Quite simply put, this is NOT the case. I have an appetite that isn't any larger or smaller than any other person. In fact, sometimes I LOSE my appetite, like all other normal people. (SHOCKING right? lol) In fact I would like to acknowledge my sister on this point. She in fact IS always hungry, and weighs about 130 lbs soaking wet. (And I think I just gave her some extra booty with that statement). So when people make comments like, "It seems like you don't miss too many meals" or "You don't need any {insert food of choice}" not only is it ignorant and rude to make statements like that, it really is just a low blow rooted in stereotype and ignorance because that's rarely the case.

Myth #2- I have low self esteem.
While some big girls may have low self esteem (and for very good reasons considering we live in a society that tells them on a daily basis that they aint shit) there are some that don't (I know, SHOCKING). I have even met people that have taken it a step further to not only assume this but to imply that big girls that DON'T have low self esteem SHOULD. For example, all the people that tell me I have no right to think I'm a bad bitch. (Which I am lol)

Myth #3- I have uber high self esteem.
I have hang ups about my body and myself like every other person does. EVEN BEYONCE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD and we ALL know she PERFECT LOL!!! I think this assumption also makes people think that fat jokes that aren't directed towards me are therefore not offensive. They are, because essentially I understand that I am a part of that group. Which leads me to my next myth.

Myth #4- It's ok to call me "Big Ses" or anything else with BIG in front of it
FIRST AND FOREMOST you shouldn't call people anything other than their name or what they were introduced as without their permission. Also, I don't go around calling people "Lame Larry" or "Dirty Darius" (well except for my friend Darius but only because he calls me Smelly Sesali LOL) but you catch my drift. Just don't do it. Because it offends me, and NOT because I have low self esteem!( See Myth #2)

Myth #5-" You pretty for a big girl" is a compliment...
It's not. Nor is pretty for a dark skinned girl, etc. If I'm pretty just tell me that. No need for disclaimers. And that statement implies that big aren't usually pretty/attractive which, if I must say so myself, is once again NOT THE CASE. And statements like that are actually more offensive than complimentary or anything else.

Myth #6- No one is attracted to me
In DC this summer this guy (who was EXTRA wack and pesty and disrespectful) tried to talk to one of my friends, when she refused and we laughed he got embarrassed and singled me out for a verbal attack saying that I had no right to laugh because I "couldn't get a man if i wanted to". Well, I can get a man (and a woman), I've had several. In fact, unlike many of my skinny friends, I've never even been technically cheated on, and until last year was in an 8 year relationship, not many people can say they've done that. Especially when the divorce rate is 50% in our country.

Myth #7- Being attracted to me is doing me a favor.
A perfect example is men who feel that they have to announce at every opportunity how much just LOVE big girls as if they are doing some type of charity work that not many other people are willing to do. I hate to get all Beyonce-ish but "YOU GOT ME TWISTED. You must not know bout me"... you know the rest. Enough said. If you need more clarification see Myth #6. Or in another more disrespectful example, I was reading an article in an anthology about sexual assault and one "fat" blogger described her experiences. One comment she received said "You should feel lucky that someone found you fuckable"...

Myth #8- I am loud and aggressive. (thanks Aris lol)
Well actually I AM loud and aggressive lmao. BUT not because I'm big, I'm loud because my hearing isn't the best and I grew up around other black girls and women who expressed themselves... well, loudly lol. And not ALL big girls are loud and aggressive. My other sister is probably one of the most reserved and quiet people you will ever meet and we wear the same size.

Myth #9-I am invincible.
Not too long ago, I was sexually assaulted. Of course the person that did it denied it and began discussing my "lie" with other people. His friends supported him with the argument that he could not have possibly done anything to me against my will because "look how big she is"...
Well I get afraid and vulnerable like everyone else (as I was that night) and I am not immune to random and/or premeditated acts of violence/disrespect, like EVERY OTHER PERSON.

Myth #10- Losing weight is/should be my only priority in life.
Can't count how many times I've been told to "go on a diet" or workout from both friends and foes. And honestly, I have to ask. Has anyone ever thought that maybe I was genuinely satisfied with the way I looked and didn't want to change?? I am an advocate for health and well being, but then, who has seen a copy of my medical records?? Well let me tell you a little secret, I AM HEALTHY. (I know, SHOCKED again) In fact healthier than most, naturally as I age weight will have a different affect on my body and my health can subsequently decline or improve, but as it stands today I'm healthy. But even if I wasn't the decision to alter my body is ultimately mine and mine only and when I ask for outside opinions is when they are welcome!

I said all of this to say that I am a HUMAN BEING like everyone else. I look for love (sometimes in the wrong places lol) and happiness, I am not perfect but I am not so flawed that I do not deserve those things. I like to be treated with respect and just want to live comfortably like everyone else.

If you want to continue this convo feel free to comment and if you are interested in more info about "fat" politics you should check out

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

"A bad bitch always wins. If not by merit, she will do so by default via the grace with which she handles defeat"

- Sesali B.


Monday, November 16, 2009

The issue of humanity....

One of my favorite things to say is "I'm a bad bitch. I never said I was perfect." And I never would say that, because I'm not. In my first post that outlines the Bad Bitch bylaws I mentioned that being bad has nothing to do with perfection, I'd like to take a few minutes to elaborate on that...

Because we are all only human, none of us were blessed with perfection. We're all different. Some of us are bad, some of us are typical... but at the end of the day we are all just people. But see the funny thing about humans is that it's in our nature to forget this sometimes, especially when we are hurt or feel wronged. But acknowledging someone else's humanity will make you feel better. Think about it... How many times have you said "She got a fucked up attitude. I don't like her" or "I just want him to like me and act like it" or "This dumb ass just cut me off on the road"? We never stop to think about what might be going on in that woman's life to make her that way, or that we can't dictate how he expresses his feelings, or that the crazy ass driver that cut you off is just trying to get home or made a mistake. Don't get me wrong, there are assholes out there that have no regard for or even get pleasure out of hurting/mistreating others, and if you feel like you know someone of the sort get away as fast as you can! But for the most part, if you just remind yourself that you are dealing with another imperfect being (like you) who is trying to figure things out (like you), makes mistakes (like you), and doesn't have all the answers (neither do you), it will bring you some peace of mind at the end of the day. This makes forgiveness, something that's never easy, a little less difficult.

And in case you don't believe me, I've been repeating "he's only human" in my head for the past hour and its the only thing that's stopped me from shedding the tears that keep trying to force themselves out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How Young, Fat, & Fabulous Changed My Life. And Can Change Yours Too!

One of my (many) new guilty pleasures is fashion. People that know me probably can't tell because with a $25,000 university bill I can't afford to revamp my wardrobe right now. But let me tell you, in my head I can dress my ass off! Every month I used to go to Borders, grab the essentials (Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar) and sometimes the extras (Nylon and Style), and escape. I would open that magazine and by the time I was finished with all 300 plus pages of the first one I would be transported into a new life. And this life I have a Black card with no limit and I am a part of a secret society of fashionistas alongside Rihanna, Victoria Beckham, and Kimora Lee. ::sigh::

Somebody please give me $2,000 so I can get these Marc Jacob boots!!!

But one day, I miraculously found myself one step closer to my dream, when I was introduced fashion blogs, specifically, Young, Fat, & Fabulous. Now before any of you get deterred by the title assuming that it is only relevant to fat bad bitches, IT'S NOT! Gabi is by far the best dressed person I must say, she put me ON! I found new places to shop, new blogs to love, and a new eye for fashion that Vogue just couldn't give me. And oh yeah, she's fat too!!! Thank you Gabi! You're inspirational!

SO without further ado check out Young, Fat & Fabulous for yourselves!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Bad Bitches Love Strip Clubs

In case you all haven't noticed, I'm what most people would call (although I don't self identify as such) a feminist. So it may come as a surprise to many that I have a deep love for strip clubs, a place that receives much criticism for objectifying and exploiting women. And while some clubs may foster a hostile environment for their dancers, I do not think that every stripper is miserable with a life saturated with being demeaned and disrespected. So, what exactly is it that I like so much about strip joints? Well first of all strippers are Bad Bitches. It takes a lot of courage to be nude in front of strangers. But to do it for 8 hours in 6 inch heels, while performing acrobatics, and maintaining a bad bitch stance is.... simply put, AMAZING! Also, the same systems of oppression that reduce women to body parts have created social conditions (i.e. single motherhood, pursuing education) that require women to seek alternative economic opportunities. In a nutshell, these women need/deserve to get paid! They can count on my business. And last but certainly not least, strip clubs have better DJs and music! They play shit that makes you move!

So in the honor of strippers everywhere, here is my national strippers anthem... R.I.P. Pimp C

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Certified Bad Bitch: Ms. Yinka!!!

I am so excited about introducing you all to our first featured Bad Bitch in The Bad Bitch Society. Being featured pretty much takes you from being an ordinary bad bitch, to CERTIFIED bad bitch! So, without further ado...

Yinka is a senior at the University of Illinois, has style OUT OF THIS WORLD (in case you didn't notice that's Pink Rang Rover... nuff said.), and has a heart bigger than Kanye's ego! This chick got it goin on!! I had the pleasure of interviewing Yinka and here's what she had to say about being a bad bitch.

What makes you a bad bitch?
I am? Oh gosh thank you…I’m just a chick trying to graduate and live! I will admit I’m an extremely motivated person who has goals and ambitions like the next person. I take initiative and make sure my daily activities are always in some way pushing toward one of my goals. I can never be satisfied with being average, or being “comfortable” where I am. I’m always doing something in a continuous effort to develop myself and prepare to bring into existence my highest and best. Simply put: I work hard, play hard…then work harder!
Another thing that complements my “bad bitch” persona is being a positive person and simply encouraging others to do and be their best. I also surround myself with individuals who encourage and uplift. I don’t concern myself with the downs in life because I know God is with me and will always get me through everything.
Also just understanding that with anything I do, the impact I have is bigger and beyond myself. So I try my best to represent myself in a positive manner, make others smile, encourage, and find the good in everyone.
In regards to appearance: I’m very well maintained and put lots of effort in making sure I look well for an occasion. I loveee getting dolled up for parties, events, socials…catch me any other time I'm probably in workout clothes and I'm fine with that. :-) For certain events, my friends would tell me “It’s a small event, no one is going to be dressed up” or “Its gonna be lame, it doesn’t matter” It kind of always matters to me though. I don’t base my attire on what everyone else has on. I just wear what I feel comfortable with.
So simply put… I'm smart, unique, driven, classy, positive, encouraging, well-maintained, extraordinary, and fashionable. In the words of Miss Sesali Lewinsky, “I'm a bad bitch…nuff said.” Lol.

What bad bitches inspired your badness?
umm…My momma. She’s the best and expects nothing less out of me. So yeah, gotta keep the tradition going and all…lol

How can you tell another bad bitch when you come across one?
They are always on their stuff! Always setting goals and conquering them. Driven, Inspiring, Encouraging, and have a purpose that is greater than themselves. They aren’t scared to take risks and always set new and higher standards; they shift old and create new paradigms. They are well maintained, not just on the outside, but the inside. They could care less about drama around them and can easily ignore negativity. They don’t settle and know and understand that they deserve the best!

A bad bitch always...
Respects herself, values herself, never feeds into drama, never settles for less, lives it up and appreciate the blessings God has provided her!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The word "whore" wasn't invented by a woman

In my quest to discover the roles of gender and sexuality in my communities and break down sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. ideologies within these communities, I've discovered that when it comes to the empowerment and agency of women, I receive the most resistance from other WOMEN! As a certified bad bitch I was horrified at this revelation! I was shocked at how many women I see on a daily basis participating in the exploitation of other women's sexuality and/or degrading the existence of another woman in general. To give you an example of what this looks like, I have selected 3 incidents I've observed and decided to break each one down to the best of my ability. I figured it would be better (and wouldn't remind me so much of my monotonous life as a student) than just writing an essay about internalized sexism, patriarchy, etc.

So the first incident... about a year ago at a program (about uniting women of color on campus) a female participant made this comment, "These girls walk around this campus like they are so high and mighty, but at night they do some scandalous things" (or something to that effect. NOTE: scandalous=sexual). I noticed all of the things wrong with this comment as soon as it was made but did not have the opportunity or time to address it the way I wanted to. So first things first... Is it really anyone else's business what these women are doing "at night"? It's not. Furthermore, the fact that, with regard to women, sex has become "scandalous" is a problem in and of itself. Among women, sexual liberation has always been taboo. And although things have changed drastically over the years, women who do not fit into the box of heterosexual, submissive sexual roles are still targeted for ostracism and discrimination. Additionally, sex is still used as a way to measure a woman's worth and/or character, a trend not found with men. And this comment is a perfect example of that and the ways in which women have adopted this as a method of condemning one another. The underlying message, considering the topic of the program, was that the sex that these women engage in behind closed doors makes them bad or undesirable people. If this is true, stone me. Bad Bitches have sex lives (even those practicing abstinence/celibacy). Sorry.

The second thing I'm about to address isn't an isolated incident, but a trend I always find on Facebook, some of you may have noticed this as well... When a guy (especially a popular, well respected, or "attractive" one) posts something negative about a woman, there is usually a BUS LOAD of other woman that come to back him up or show their support of "outing that bitch".. Sometimes they don't know the woman in question, the situation that sparked the post, or even the man. Women, their bodies, lives, and sexualities have always been oppressed and regulated by men (you didn't think a woman invented the term "whore" did you?). And anyone who acknowledges that should recognize incidents like those on Facebook as just one of the many ways men police women. And to see women rush to assist in this process, shows that we have internalized sexism just as people of color have internalized racism. Men set the rules against women, but other women enforce them. All of this leads me to the third thing (a common phrase heard from women)...

"I don't mess with females like that. They are too ...[insert petty, phony, fake, sneaky, dishonest, or any other negative adjective you can think of]" I hear this phrase from women of so many different backgrounds, some more hypocritical than the next, all unbelieveable. I've heard this from women who attend all girl schools, lesbians, women interested in sororities, women raised by single mothers, women who are attracted to misogynists (someone who hates/mistreats women), women who work on women's issues, women who have daughters, women who claim to love themselves. This is the frightening reality of the world we (women) live in. We have been so affected by sexism and patriarchy that we have indeed internalized it, ESPECIALLY within communities of color. And what is even scarier is that we don't even know it. In the social justice sphere there is a popular saying that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" for those of you who dont get that (and just because I love her) I found a translation from Ms. Nicki Minaj...
"You see a bad bitch gettin shine you should love it. Cuz everytime a door opens for me that means you just got a better opportunity to do you..."
And I couldn't agree more.

So when I hear people say they don't mess with females I can't help but ask... How can you not??? That means you don't mess with yourself! Being a bad bitch is about uplifting and bringing out the bad bitch in others, not only for their benefit, but for your own!!!! Because everytime I put down another woman that makes it easier for a man, or another woman, to do the same to me. Audre Lorde said it best "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" therefore, until we stop bashing each other the bashing (from everyone) will not stop.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all of these, I have found them to be reason enough and- I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations and generations."

-Lorraine Hansberry

I would normally have a few words to say about the quote I pick, but I think I'm going to just let you all run with this one. This shit is deep.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hi I'm a Bad Bitch and I'm a Shopaholic

Thursday night I went to a frat house. A place you'd assume I'd be more familiar with considering I'm a senior at a university with one of the largest greek systems in the country. But, for various reasons (admittedly some of them valid, some based on assumption), I'm not. But Thursday I learned my lesson about judging a book by its cover, or even its table of contents. So Thursday after a very good program***, I stepped COMPLETELY out of my box and and acted on an invitation to go to the frat house... and found the most unlikely ally...

See, I'm a shopaholic. And in case you think I mean that in a "I love money and shopping and it's cute" way, I don't. There's actually nothing cute about it (except for maybe the stuff I buy). Overspending has become my little dirty secret and my big, problematic habit. And after discovering that I wasn't alone in this (from the most unlikely person) I immediately began to think about how I got to this point in my life. Now I am in no way an expert and I'm almost sure that stuff like this is different for everybody, but here are 3 factors that I have come to terms with and observe in others too...

1. Spending gives me a sense of control. Think about it. Once you have it, your money is yours. You spend it at your leisure on the things that you want to spend it on. Even if you have bills, there is no one "forcing" you to pay them (please be advised that it IS NOT a good idea to not pay your bills if you want decent credit). But there is definitely a feeling of power and control behind spending money that's yours, especially with big purchases.

2. I, too, am a sucker for the Jones (and no, I'm not talking about my light skinned friend). Like most people of color, my senses have been bombarded by images of indulgence and materialism at their best, or should I say worst. Either way, I'm a sucker for a Coach bag, a nice weave, and trips out of town like many other people. I just can't afford it!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Growing up, I was never "taught" anything about money except in the context of number 1. of this list. How many of you have ever asked a parent as a child why they took your phone or Play Station away only to be answered with a harsh "BECAUSE I PAID FOR IT!"??? I know I got that alot. What did that teach me about money? That in order to have any control over my own life I had to have some! No one ever sat me down and had a talk with me about savings, investments, etc. So now the spending habits I developed as a child have followed me into adulthood.

... So here I am, a broke college student, struggling to pay bills, and spending like there's no tomorrow. But they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I hope that other people can take this step as well and maybe we can all come together and get through this!

***The program I attended was about gender roles in the Black community, a subject I'm very invested in as a gender studies major/African American studies minor. I was going to post something about it but I found everything I wanted to say in a post on one of my friend's blogs. The post is called "Worth: Who Decides?". Check it out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Parent Accountability: Media Damage Control

For those of you who don't know... I'm not a big TV person. The constant flow of sounds and images saturated with stereotypes and bigotry labeled as entertainment, lies labeled as news, and ripoffs labeled as ONE TIME ONLY deals became too much for me to take, especially as I increasingly become more and more aware of social justice issues. Yet I still found myself sucked into the smut known as VH1 reality television... and the effect it had on me was actually quite interesting...

(Where it all began... Check out New York before she was... famous??)

I didn't find myself angry or offended as I had in the past watching what my great grandmother would have called "the telly". (Of course that didn't stop the occasional feeling of disgust and secret shame of enjoying these shows in the first place.) But instead I found myself appreciating the shows for what they were, SHOWS! For very valid reasons, shows like Flav's and Ray J's have been the subject of much criticism, especially regarding their representation of women. The most compelling argument amongst these criticisms were that they promote unrealistic images of love, black women, and relationships...... EXACTLY!

I can always remember growing up and my Granny (who is a top notch Bad Bitch by the way) telling me, even after news broadcasts, "you can't believe everything you see on TV." And that was something that always stuck with me. So since childhood, I've always understood that television is the dwelling place of illusions and facades. Unfortunately, it seems today many parents have (in both abstract and direct ways) given television the responsibility of raising their children. The negative effects media has on children has been the central focus of many debates and conversations. But I must ask, to what extent should parents be accountable for exactly how their kids internalize what they watch, play, and listen to?

In 2 seconds, with one sentence my Granny stopped me from being traumatized by a box that consistently told me I wasn't shit if I didn't have product X or looked like the bitch in Lil Suchnsuch video. If more parents took the time to explain REAL LIFE to their kids I am almost positive that some of those negative effects would decrease and young women would be able to discover the bad bitch in themselves much sooner! I understand that there many parents who do not have th resources, time, or knowledge to impart this kind of knowledge on their children... But you don't have to had made a baby to be a parent.

This "realistic" perception of television also sparked my slight interest in advertising. One of my new favorite hobbies watching commercials and breaking it apart, exposing all of the different tactics used to sell the products (i.e. If you are a good mother, buy Clorox Bleach. As opposed to: this shit works so buy it.) Being the bad bitch I am, I couldn't actively participate in making assumptions about groups of people to sell them shit. But I know there is hope. Groups like Students of Color in Advertising here at U of I seek LEGIT and efficient ways to market and pub for various venues.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why all Bad Bitches Should love Clutch Online Magazine

So this summer my relationship with the Internet finally traveled beyond facebook and my student email account. I discovered Clutch after one of my favorite fashion blogs was mentioned in their publication. Clutch is the only online magazine dedicated to today's young, black, urban women (also known as clutchettes). Topics range from beauty and fashion to world news and black culture (and what online ANYTHING would be complete without a little celebrity gossip!)

So here's a breakdown of how it works... Although the site is updated daily multiple times, the site releases a new issue every week covering a plethora of topics. And as if this isn't good enough... they have a blog network consisting of 5 parts. There's Stylistic, their fashion blog.
The Edge, their celebrity gossip blog.
Fuchsia, all things beauty; hair (NATURAL AND RELAXED), skin, makeup, etc.
Golden, this blog includes culturally relevant titles.
Pad, also known as, how to have and keep a DOPE crib blog.
and last but DEFINITELY not least, Paper, the money section!

With their broad range of topics, Clutch is a one stop shop for any bad bitch on the web. And did I mention the subscription was FREE! Anyway enough of my pubbing. Check it out for yourself!

The must read for all bad bitches.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is Imitation really the greatest form of flattery?: A Bad Bitch's trendy new pet peeve

One of the bad bitch principles briefly mentioned yesterday was acknowledging and appreciating the other bad bitches. Be it your homegirl, a bad ass classmate, professor, coworker, your mama, or your celebrity idol (I LOVE YOU BEYONCE!). But showing appreciation can be taken too far.

I just love her.

Anyway, my new and apparently popular pet peeve is Nicki Minaj fanaticism. It's particularly interesting that it irks me so much considering that I am a HUGE Nicki Minaj fan. She's a fresh face in the rap game, especially considering the lack of female representation in hip hop now, and surprisingly talented. She really represents the voices of the new generation of girls and women. It's like she has the comeback to every sexist retort from a rapper telling us to "bust it wide open" or "bring it back".

She is DEFINITELY a bad bitch.

But seriously, some of her fans really know how to take it there... I love Beyonce but I do not refer to myself as Sasha B., Sesali Fierce, Seyonce, or anything else. Recently, my facebook friends list has been flooded with Lisa Lewinsky's (usually spelled in a myriad of ways) and Marie Minaj's . And now half of my female friends are "Mistresses", or "Barbies"***, or some other spin off of one of Nicki's numerous aliases. According to one profile pic, someone apparently has an elaborate "Barbie" tattoo.

There is nothing wrong with showing love to artists, respecting their work, and admiring their image... but seriously, stealing their name/persona? What type of statement is that? Is that a proclamation that you are more like her? And if so, what does that mean? A bad bitch is the most inspired by herself and the potential she holds. If she comes across a badder bitch its cool to give her props and be moved to step your own game up. But remember that it's just that: YOUR game. SO with that being said, don't dim your light for the sake of someone else's. After all, Nicki Minaj is a bad bitch, but so are you!

***Tangent: I think it's interesting that so many Black girls are embracing Barbie, considering that it took the company until this year, sixty years, to actually create a black doll in the image of actual black girls. Check out this interview with the designer of the new So In Style Barbies.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Welcome to the Bad Bitch Society: Bad Bitch 101

Welcome to the official blog spot of the Bad Bitch Society! I felt like it was only appropriate to kick things off by filling people in on exactly what it means to be a bad bitch. In the past, many people have numerously questioned my authority on the subject... Hopefully this clears things up...

When many people hear the term bad bitch they think of Beyonce, Halle Berry, Nicki Minaj, even Michele Obama. I would argue that these women are indeed bad bitches, but not for the obvious reasons most people would expect. While I would be a much badder bitch if I was exceptionally beautiful, filthy rich, a top notch Ivy League scholar, married to a rich and powerful man, owner of Gucci bags and red bottoms, actually being a bad bitch is so much more than that.

A bad bitch is simply a woman who feels like she is, and exudes that. Not to get it twisted, being bad isn't about walking around with your nose in the air. Instead, it's about owning (acknowledging and living up to) all the things that make you fabulous, sexy, unique, extraordinary, and BAD! It's not about being the most fashionable, it's about having and owning your own style. It's not about having a degree, it's about never ceasing to learn. It's not even about having a great job or "gettin money" as people like to say, it's about never stopping on the path to get where you want to be in life.

See, being bad has nothing to do with perfection, nor is it a way to measure how close to perfection a woman is. In fact, being bad is about accepting the imperfections and still knowing, without a doubt, that you're still bad. Being a bad bitch is about being WHOLE.

A bad bitch has respect for and appreciates other bad bitches. She helps bring out the bad bitch in others. A bad bitch is never afraid to show love and she is only focused on putting herself and others on, leaving no time fro hate and negativity. A bad bitch doesn't stop until she gets it; "it" is WHATEVER SHE WANTS.

So to answer the question that has been posed to me so many times... Sesali, what makes you think you're a bad bitch??? I AM A BAD BITCH!

So again, welcome to the Bad Bitch Society. Go on wit yo bad self!