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Film Review: Nappily Ever After

By Atika Aliyah

Sanaa Lathan gives a raw and riveting performance in the Netflix original movie, Nappily Ever After as Violet Jones. The film is centered on a black woman’s quest and inward journey for self-love. The audience is most certainty in for a bumpy ride as they go along with Violet, peeling back the many layers that make up a black woman.

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http://www.imdb.com

Based on the introduction, this movie may seem like the perfect chick flick melodrama, where the successful woman gets the perfect man. However when Sanaa’s Violet receives a tiny Chihuahua, instead of the marriage proposal she had everyone expecting. The movie stops becoming a love story based on a man and a woman, into a love story about falling in love with oneself.

There is quite a bit to unpack in this film, but all the messages are delivered and imbedded in a way that is both impressionable and relatable. Violet’s image obsessed mother Pauletta, played by Lynn Whitfield. Gives life to the stigma that black women and girls’ hair must acclimatize to European standards of beauty, in order to be considered attractive. Even if this means having your mother come to your house in the middle of the night while your man is sleeping. To put a flat iron to your head, that sizzles with ever pass. Causing not only damage to your hair but also underlying psychological damage, just for you to return back to bed before he wakes. Giving the illusion that the first thing he sees in the morning is what he thinks is perfection.

A bit extreme, but an actual representation of the lengths woman go in the black community, by sacrificing and manipulating themselves to maintain someone else’s standard of beauty. This film gives women of color the opportunity to look in the mirror and start embracing their true authentic selves. It took Violet multiple identity changes before the clippers came, where she was able to finally start stepping out of the box that she and other woman like herself, had been placed in for so many years. Violet experimented with different hair colors, lengths, and styles, and with everyone she adapted a new persona.

 

Nappily Ever After

CNN Entertainment

When the time came for the big chop Sanaa Lathan opted out of utilizing a bald wig cap and took the plunge for real. In an interview with CNN Entertainment, Lathan stated that she was in a place where she was ready to do the big chop. Lathan went on to tell CNN about her role, “It came in my life at a time I was kind of rethinking beliefs and desires, and actually my hair was a big part of that,” she said. “I felt like it was definitely the stronger choice, it was committing to all she (Violet) was going through.”

The transformation that developed on screen was empowering and emotional. Violet begins mentoring the young black daughter of the single father. That owns the hair salon where her natural hair journey began to take root. Through Violet and young Zoe’s relationship, you can see the same challenges that Violet faced as a little black girl, coming of age in a society that constantly puts an emphasis on appearances. This particular kinship on screen makes this a perfect film to sit down and watch with adolescent black and brown girls. It could positively impact their outlook and ideas of the meaning of beauty.

Nappily Ever After unifies women of color by paying homage to the natural hair movement that continues to grown day by day. In the movie we have a women re writing her own narrative, while we also have woman and girls all over the world that have the courage to do the same. There is a strong connection between hair and identity in the black community and we take pride in our roots, literally. The film is liberating and affirming; yet it is important to understand that this is not a call only to black women, but a call to all genders and ethnicities. To begin defining themselves on their own terms, and re defining this thing called beauty to be all-inclusive and unconventional.

 

Keedie’s Corner Company Review: Soaplistic Scents

By: Keidra Ponder

We recently caught up with Lovin Spirit, owner of Soaplistic Scents. She was very warm and knowledgeable of her craft, taking pride in providing an alternative relief for sensitive skin. You can find her vending at Atlanta Indie Market and various events throughout the Southeastern Region. Her passion for skin care is evident with her holistic approach to her beauty products. Soaplistic Scents creates soaps, lotions and detergents that are Paraben and  Formaldehyde free for customers with Eczema and Psoriasis in mind.

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When did you start Soaplistic Scents? Where was it started?

We unofficially started in 2012, at first it became a hobby for me, something I did for family only. I started in my hometown of Wilmington, DE.

Give us some background on you as an individual.

I was blessed to come from 2 families (my mother’s and father’s) that are extremely talented. My mother’s family, in my opinion, are really gifted in the area of cooking. Honey, they can COOK! They are also very career oriented with most lasting on their earlier jobs thru retirement….this really taught me stability. My father’s side is SUPER talented. There are so many artists in my father’s family that I cannot keep up with who does what but many are entrepreneur’s, they are cooks (oh yes, they can burn too), they are artists (singers, dancers, painters), they own cleaning companies, day care centers, do hair, all kinds of stuff…..so entrepreneurialism was embedded in me from both bloodlines and I’m ever so grateful for that. 

Screenshot_20180521-170543 Who are some of your influences in the business and in life?

My greatest influences are definitely my family and particularly, my mother who taught me independence, my father who taught me family values and my dear sweet Aunt Sug
(daddy’s little sister) who taught me strength and that I can do ANYTHING THAT I SET MY MIND TO DO!!!

What was the vision behind your brand?

I’ve always had my customers in mind. I have a lot of family members with eczema and I knew that the products on the ‘mainstream market’ were too expensive for many sufferers to purchase. I wanted to create something ALL NATURAL and attainable to ALL.

What material did you study to gain knowledge of your craft? 20180723_104417

I first began learning the process of making all natural laundry detergent. Believe it or not, I learned this on YouTube. This blossomed into my desire to make more natural
products hence creating, Soaplistic Scents.

What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome in the skin care industry?

The only hurdle I have had to overcome, as I choose not to call it a struggle, is to convince people that they don’t ‘HAVE’ to use commercial products exclusively. That they really
should do research on the ingredients that go into some of the commercial products and learn what’s best for their body instead of what they’ve been ‘told’ is best for their body. You’d be surprised at the insurmountable number of people that tell me that they can only use ‘this or that’ because the doctor said so and ‘this or that’ has chemicals that they probably know nothing about.

20180628_092323_001What are some of your highlighted achievements?

I would have to say that one of the biggest things for me is the number of customers that I have accomplished by word of mouth. Nothing like someone contacting you and saying, ‘so and so told me about your soap or your body butter and I really want to try it’. That’s invigorating! Another is, having a store owner contact you after you’ve given them a sample, randomly, not necessarily at their store and they contact you and say, “I have to have this product on my shelves, in my store.” That is an AWESOME feeling.

What are some unknown facts about Soaplistic Scents?

One unknown fact is that the idea of even making soap came after overhearing my niece talking to another family member about the struggles she faces with children with eczema. I actually only set out to find something for her that would work for her children’s delicate skin AND her purse. I stumbled upon a recipe to make my own laundry detergent by accident and thought I’d try it. I moved on to soap, from there. I found my niche’ and here we are today!

What is the current status of your Soaplistic Scents? 20180601_092013

We are still really in the beginning stages but we are consistently growing. Our social media exposure has grown TREMENDOUSLY in the past few months. WE still have a long way to go to achieve the heights we are looking to attain. 

Where do you see yourself taking Soaplistic Scents in the future?

Soaplistic Scents is ALWAYS working on the perfect recipe for Eczema/Psoriasis. We are striving to create a recipe that is recommended by physicians and pediatricians everywhere and hope to be able to make it affordable to ALL.

20180806_013447_001Any upcoming events or specials?

Absolutely! We will be at 2 different events in October; Rising Entrepreneurs Fall Expo on October 13th, 2018 from 3pm-8pm at 2101 Tula St NW in Atlanta. We will also be at the 3rd Annual Pamper and Shop For A Cure, also on October 13th, 2018 at the Newark Senior Center, in Newark, Delaware from 2pm – 6pm.

Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for our readers?

Absolutely, NEVER, EVER give up on your dreams. Don’t push your dreams to the back burner. If you thought it, it can be done, all you have to do is DO IT! And DON’T WAIT
until……whatever, do it NOW!!!!

Do you have any networking partners you want to shout out?

I want to give Atlanta Indie Market a shout out because though there are MANY outlets that give entrepreneur’s such as myself an opportunity for growth, my experience
was with them. They gave me the opportunity to show and share my skills with SOOOO MANY other artists and gifted entrepreneurs. It really opened my mind to the possibilities and helped me to seek even more opportunities. For that reason, I will always be grateful and push their mission to those that come after me. I also want to give a shout out to Laura-Lyn of De Ja Vous Antiques, in Austell, Ga for reaching out to me when I was unknown and asked me if I was interested in putting my soap in her store. That opened a lot of opportunities for me as well that she was unaware of. So SHOUT OUT TO BOTH OF
THEM!

 

If you would like more information on Soaplistic Scents follow the links below:

Website – www.Soaplisticscents.com

Email- soaplisticscents@gmail.com

Phone- 678-668-3612

Facebook- @soaplisticscents

Instagram- @soaplistic_scents

Twitter- @body_butta

 

 

 

A MEME or a Movement

By: Atika Aliyah

Since September 5, 2018, social media feeds and timelines have been filled with various black and white close-ups of our favorite entertainers, athletes, and politicians, illustrating quotes or sayings these individuals have said, or would say. All of which are parodies playing off of the ad Nike released featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

 

 

The Internet has been undefeated yet again, as they have taken the attitude and tone of the ad and ran with it. Though the MEMEs provide some comic relief to the more serious issues at hand as it pertains to Kaepernick’s activism and resistance. One may pose the question, is this a new trend? To go against the grain and entertain controversy, using it as a vehicle, in this case, to spread awareness and spark conversation on the racial tensions in this country. And if so, does social media have something to do with this new direction?

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It is clear and evident that Nike was taking a risk using Kaepernick as the face for their brand. The release of the ad initially called for a boycott by those who did not support Nike’s decision and the company’s stock took a hit. However, once the smoke cleared and the memes went viral it was later followed by record-setting highs for the Nike Company on Wall Street. Nike was criticized and then praised for their “bad publicity.” But it was publicity nonetheless, and the MEMEs, along with the retweeting and reposting had more to do with it than you think. According to Apex Marketing Group, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure.

Needless to say, the support for Colin Kaepernick by Nike is a great look for the culture. People of color can wear and support the brand with pride and honor. Nike now fits in with the best of them, like rappers J. Cole and Meek Mill who are using their platforms to bring attention to police brutality, criminal justice reform, and many other issues that face black and brown communities in America. Bleacher Report revealed that Meek Mill who is not only a rapper but also an advocate and victim of a corrupt justice system will be releasing a song on his new album that will be about Colin Kaepernick’s story.