Monday, February 28, 2011

Abortion: Is it affecting us more than we know?

I'm not here to state my opinion on abortion. I believe everyone has the right to choose, we only have to answer to God at the end of the day. How I feel does not impact or affect any ones life BUT there is something that I saw that caught me off guard. You may disagree with my thoughts, and that's fine but that's just what they are.. MY thoughts. I will share the image and continue from there....

Now, this billboard was in New York City for all to view. I saw this image today on facebook after a friend of mine posted it. Needless to say I had mixed emotions. At first I read it... blinked twice.. and thought "ok.. what's the big deal? It's TRUE." A few moments passed and then it hit me. All I could murmur is "Wow."

I soon realized that the saying on the billboard is deeper than the statistic of African American women having countless abortions. This billboard made it clear, this is what people think of us. Now when I say people I don't mean the every single person on this earth but more of the picture or stereotype that is perpetuated in this world about African Americans. I  had multiple phrases stemming from this billboard pop into my head: "hyper sexual", "irresponsible", "murderers", etc. I imagined myself walking down the street seeing this in the middle of the busiest city in the country and having these words paint a picture of my people and myself to everyone who encounters it. I am not apart of the statistic, but they do not know that. All they can see is African Americans are killing their unborn children.... and that's it.

I read comments and gathered these thoughts. Although the saying is correct, because the statistics of African American children being aborted is at an all time high, there were other approaches that could have been taken. Information on alternate choices could have been displayed (adoption, pregnancy prevention info, etc.) They could have posted the statistic and found a positive way to encourage women to recognize the severity and strive to decrease the number.

I soon began to wonder... why was this message so important to put out? Does anyone post billboards saying the leading cause of death for any other race or ethnicity? Does anyone report the amount of Caucasian children dying in suburban areas from drug use? Does anyone report the amount of asian, latino, or middle eastern children killing their parents on billboards? No.

I've learned that we live in a country that constantly feeds these negative images of our people. How does one get past that? How do I show them by not saying a word that I am not who they see on the news, on movies or in a demeaning music video? I've never been shot at, nor do I possess any "baby daddies", nor have I been in jail, and my father and mother are still married. Am I better than anyone who has, does, or will do these things? No. But those stereotypes are not my reality. When do we begin to break the cycle? When will we as a people begin to eliminate these negative ideas? When we we get back the the very things our ancestors faught and died for? When will we as a unit want more for ourselves?? When will we begin to fight again?

There are many African-Americans who have contributed GREAT things to this world and many continue to do so today. We have got to continue on that path. There are no perfect people but we can strive for our best. We are much better than we are given credit for. We are a people that have the same blood running through them that was once of kings and queens. I guess this was a great way to end Black History Month. We have to wake up people. All are welcome to comment.

Monday, February 21, 2011

For those who feel like they want to quit:

Don't You Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit-

Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a fellow turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don't give up though the pace seems slow -

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

Whe he might have captured the victor's cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It might be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -

It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Open Diary Entry: One of Those Days, I am Human

I've been thinking about writing a blog that was true to me and how I'm feeling, no holding back, no layers. I've learned that most people can identify with how you're feeling or what your going through. There are many times when we feel alone but don't recognize there are millions of people who have felt the same way you do. So here is me giving of myself... writing down my very feelings and praying that this can help someone else get through the same thing.

Lately I've been frustrated.
Frustrated with the pace of life, frustrated with watching other models, actors, and people in the entertainment industry do the very things I've been dreaming of since I could dream. I'm not jealous, I've very happy for them all... I just wish my life would unfold already. At night I sit and wonder what I could be doing differently, what can I do to gain exposure, who can I talk to to get a foot in the door. Every day I strive for my dream, even while I'm at work selling phones... I'm thinking about traveling the world, walking down runways and being in major films.

I hurt at times. I worry that I'm not good enough. I wonder if this is all something I have going on in my head that will never be reality. Some days I know in my heart of hearts that THIS is right, others I wonder how it could ever be. Yesterday I walked into Victoria's Secret and almost shed a tear as I looked at the posters of models in the very place I imagined myself. You see I'M HUNGRY. I've never wanted anything so much in my life. One day someone said to me "I've seen your modeling pictures. Are you serious about this or is this for show?" I wanted to scream... I wanted to yell all types of obscenities and ask them where the hell they've been. I don't do this for show, I could care less about the public showcase. THIS is about the feeling I get EVERY TIME I do what I love. The rush of adrenaline, the moment before I walk out and want to run the opposite direction and think "what have I gotten myself into?". The moment where I have to pee so bad because my nerves are a wreck. Then the last moment when I say " F@!k this, I have what it takes... now shut this thing DOWN " and kill it!

See... I'm human, I wonder if I'm good enough even when I know I am. I'm tired of waiting for the world to recognize my gifts, my talents, and what I possess. But I won't quit. I won't give up. I know this thing is deeper than me. I know that one day it will all happen. It's just a waiting game. If you ever feel like I do/did just remember... all storms come to an end to release the sunshine. Stay inspired and remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Desarée Franchon

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Black History Month!: Vogue Italia's Black Allure

Black History Month began as "Negro History Week," which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

This month Vogue Italia did a spread with ALL black models. *gasps* The spread is exceptional!! Ajak Deng, Chanel Iman, Arlenis Sosa Pena, Jourdan Dunn, Melodie Monrose, Lais Ribeiro, Rose Cordero, Mia Aminata Niaria, Sessilee Lopez, Joan Smalls and Georgie Baddiel all make a statement "We are black models, and we're here to stay!" There is no question to these ladies talent. Take a look....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Recommended Book: Steve Harvey's Straight Talk, No Chaser

Hello all! Just wanted to share a book that I think is a MUST HAVE. Steve Harvey's Straight Talk, No Chaser. This is his second gift to the female population. He gives insight and answers to things we have all expressed that we want to know. He explains the differences between men and women in depth.

This one was a little harder for me to read than his first book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The second book hit me in some soft spots and I had to take time off from reading because it was SO real lol. I needed it though. There are so many things I misinterpret as a woman when a man is talking to me. Pick it up ladies! If you haven't picked up the first book.. do that too!

To Weave or Not to Weave, THAT is the Question!

A few days ago I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show. As usual, they sparked conversation about a topic relevant to their listeners but this time they took it to another level. They opened the phone lines to men voicing whether they like women who wear weave (extensions) or not. I didn't have the opportunity to hear most of the calls but I did hear one.

The man was discussing how he despised weave. He said that he enjoys a woman that will love her real hair and there is no need for extensions. By no means would he date a woman who decided to add hair to her what God has already given her. As I listened I couldn't help but think about how men like this hinder women from being their true self. As women we feel we need to be attractive for our men. If he doesn't like something, if not unreasonable, we will try to mock what our man likes. I myself have been guilty of this. At one time I had a boyfriend who HATED weave and I stopped wearing it. Now it didn't bother me at first because my hair was long enough to feel comfortable but after a while I felt stifled. This conversation was all too real for me. I started to grow angry and I was two seconds from turning until Steve Harvey gave his response...

He explained that he is a man who loves women and as long as the woman he is with looks her best he has NO problem. Weave or no weave, if the woman looks beautiful than so be it. He continued to say that extensions may even enhance a womans look. Some women have that extra glow about them when their hair is flowing Now as long as the weave was in tact (not shedding, well put together, no tracks exposed, etc.)  then he was completely fine with it. I loved this the best... "I don't care what the woman got on her head. She can have a rat on her head but if she looks good with that RAT on her head, damnit wear the rat." LOL.

Be who you are. If one day you feel like wearing 18 inch extensions and the next you want to be bald then I say DO IT! It's your hair!! If the man you're with can't get with it, trust me there are many more who will not care AND volunteer to help you pay to get it done. Ladies there is nothing more beautiful than a woman more comfortable in her skin so if it's 22 inch hair, a short cut, natural, or braids that make you feel you best DO IT!!!

Oh yea... if you haven't gone to get his book "Straight Talk No Chaser"... I suggest you do so ladies! Steve Harvey gives some great insight into the male perspective and perception.

Until next time!
Desarée Franchon
Took this today: Long hair (weave)

Short hair
Either way you choose.. LOVE YOURSELF.