Story Time: “I’ve Never Been With A (Insert Race Here) Girl Before”

Bonjour à tous!

It’s official. I’m an owner of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. I haven’t been this excited and fulfilled in my entire life. I’ve jumped many hurdles in life, but this amazing accomplishment is, by far, the biggest. Now, it’s time for grad school to accomplish another huge goal; receiving my master’s degree.

Post-graduation, I’ve decided to take advantage of things that I’m unable to do during my the school semester like watching Netflix with a glass of wine, going out and meeting up with friends, and just having a great headstart into the summertime.

While having some drinks in Downtown Manhattan with a friend that I met in France last summer, I got to meet some new people, including one interesting guy that got me thinking about a statement that he had made while attempting to flirt with me (very poorly I might add) over a glass of rosé. Let’s call this guy ‘Alex.’ After the “you’re gorgeous” statements and standard “tell-me-about-yourself” questions, Alex slightly giggles and says, “I’ve never dated a black girl before.”

How did I respond? I didn’t. If I did, I’d instantly become the “angry black woman.” I turned my back to him as if we’d never met.

Let’s talk for a moment.

It’s completely okay to have never dated outside your race or outside of your normal dating preference, but it is absolutely not okay to blurt out that fact when you first meet someone. Regardless of your intentions, it’s offensive and it only tells us one thing.

Now, let me explain thoroughly.

Let’s start with the stereotypes put upon women of color (par example). Latinas are sometimes stereotyped in society to be fiery and sassy while black women are said to be loud and/or (wait for it) “exotic.” If the first thing that you point out to a woman of color when meeting her for a date or talking to her for the first time is her race, then this is a form of objectification. It expresses that you see her as nothing more than an object; one more “to-do” to kick off your bucket list or a great story to tell your pals about that ‘one time with a [insert race here] girl.’

As a young woman of color who has experienced such events, I’ll tell you honestly that statements like these are not funny or cute in the slightest.

They’re actually quite ignorant.

When I meet people for the first time, contrary to popular belief, their race is not the very first thing that comes to my mind. So excuse my astonishment that my race, along with racist stereotypes (yes I said it,  because, let’s face it, stereotypes are racist) are almost absolutely the first thing that comes to mind when I converse with the opposite sex of a different race apart from my own.

It doesn’t keep me up at night but it’s definitely a conversation starter. What are your thoughts?

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À la prochaine,

A.

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Suggestions: Graduation Outfit Dilemma

Bonjour a tous. Joyeux jeudi!

Final exams are over, I’m packing up to leave college, and graduation is only a week away…and I can’t think of a thing to wear.

For as long as I can remember, the traditional graduating woman’s attire was a mid-length dress with a pair of strappy heeled sandals. Unfortunately, the New-York-born fashionista in me hates trends and loves being different from the norm, so I’m thinking about ditching the traditional graduation dress for a chic tuxedo.

You read that right; a female tuxedo. Carry Bradshaw did it and so will I. Sadly, female tuxedos are extremely hard to find, and if you do find one, it will probably cost you an arm and a leg. However, I am open to suggestions from all of you. I would be a huge help!

Any suggestions for what I should wear on such an important day? I’d really appreciate the help. Email FTLF a ftlfblog@gmail.com OR just comment below! Merci beaucoup!

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MSU ’17 Graduation Cap

À la prochaine,

A.

À Paris!

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Bonjour à tous!

Okay, let’s be honest. Going on trips and experiencing new adventures is exciting, but packing…not so much fun. Have you ever packed for a trip, promised yourself that you wouldn’t pack a lot…then end up packing your entire closet?

This happens to be a bad habit which I possess, but sometimes, it’s also a good habit. The worst thing is coming across an unexpected event in another state, country, or anywhere that is not your hometown and having to go shopping for an outfit that you most likely already have hanging in your wardrobe back home.

To pack light or not to pack light? That is the question.

The answer is pack “smart.” 

Shoes: Steve Madden, Jeans: Fashion Nova, Top: MissGuided, Bralette: Forever 21

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Bodysuit: Lilac Shade

Here are a few packing tips that I’ve learned through traveling:

• Think of at least three events that you will likely attend on your trip and be realistic. Pack three specific outfits for those occasions. The rest of your suitcase should be clothing that you wear on a regular basis.

• Accessories, accessories, accessories!! I cannot stress this enough. If you wear a black dress on one day and you add a popping handbag and a matching scarf the next, you’ve just expanded your outfit choices.

Dress: H&M France, Sneakers: H&M, Scarf: Net-A-Porter

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Top: Nordstrom, Pants: Express, Shoes: Express

• At least 25 percent of the clothes in my suitcase are what I call “toss-worthy.” Toss-worthy clothes are anything that can be tossed if worst comes to worst and my suitcase is too heavy. Toss-worthy clothes are anything that costs ten dollars or less.

For example, one-dollar flip-flops, two-dollar tanks, or seven-dollar shorts are a few pieces that I consider to be toss-worthy.

I love clothing stores like Old Navy, Uniqlo and H&M where there are regular bargains and deals. If the option of making my suitcase lighter before traveling back home approaches, getting rid of a $1.90 top or a $5.50 pair of pants will not severely harm my wardrobe or my wallet.

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Shorts: H&M, Flats: H&M, Choker: Forever 21, Bodysuit: Forever 21

• The same goes for toiletries. Travel bottles are great for weekend and week-long trips, but they should never be a burden. They are very cheap and they can afford to be tossed out if needed. For long trips, if possible, it’s best to buy most of your toiletries in the place that you are visiting. It may save you a lot of space and hassle.

Wherever you go, just remember that you may want to bring a few things home from your trip, so make sure you have space in your travel bags to do so!

Thanks for tuning in!

I will not be posting next week. It’s Final Exam Preparation week. Stick around for the week after!

À la prochaine,

A.

Nevertheless, She Persisted! …And Then Got Scolded For It

.Bonjour à tous!

Have you ever achieved something in your life, but received negative comments or feedback from others despite your success? I have. Especially last week, when I found out that I was one out of 19 percent of applicants to be accepted to attend one of the top journalism graduate schools in the U.S. What’s surprising is that a lot of these negative comments did not come from men, they came from women.

In this age of widespread feminism, I cannot understand why women still bring each other down rather than uplift each other.

I’m a feminist who watches the patriarchy of many different societies tear down women every single day, but no one talks about how women do the same to other women. Feminism often bases its platform on equality between women and men. This includes a woman’s right to succeed as well as any man. But shouldn’t women, especially those who call themselves “feminists,” applaud other women when they succeed in a male-dominated world?

 The answer is, “without question.”

If you are a woman or you call yourself a feminist, live up to it. We fight against hate, not become it. On that note, here’s to smashing the patriarchy!

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Celebrate your sisters as they should celebrate you.

Stay strong and kick a** together.

Photos by photographer, Dina Raketa (Instagram: @dinarocket)

Merci for tuning in this week!

À la prochaine,

A.

Body Acceptance: Self-Love

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FTLF supports self-love!

 

Bonjour!

As a teenager, I went through a lot of self-hate issues when it came to my body. I was fit because of sports, but I always saw my hard-earned muscle  and natural curves as “fat.” When constantly told that there is only one “ideal” body type, it takes a toll on your self-confidence and the way you look at yourself in the mirror. I was determined to change large parts of my body to fit what mass society deemed “acceptable.” This week has been a chance to demolish some of these body ideologies by celebrating self-love with ‘Body Acceptance Week.’

Though, I do support people who change certain things about their bodies because they desire to do so, whether it be body modifications or plastic surgery, I do not support people who modify their bodies to please the personal views of others.

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Cat-Eye Glasses : Sunglass Hut; Pants: Fashion Nova

As a full-time student, it sucks to only have 24 hours in a day. With 20 hours of classes per week, college professors make sure that your “free” time outside of the classroom is completely occupied with work, even if you only receive four hours of sleep each night. Sadly, I am living proof of this. This week, I’ve probably received only three hours of sleep or less because it’s Body Acceptance Week.

I’m all for anything feminist-related and LGBTQ pride-related, especially when it comes to self-love.

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It’s your life. Would you rather live it  hating your body because you do not fit society’s “ideal” body type or would you rather be happy with what you see when you look in the mirror everyday?

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Until next week!

À la prochaine,

A.

Skincare For The Confused Weather

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My nightly skincare routine consists of a variety of my favorite skincare brands such as Clinique, Forever Flawless, Proactiv, La Mer and Ponds. I also take GNC’s Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamins to keep my skin supple and glowing.

Bonjour à tous!

Whether you’re single or taken, I hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been a fan of this holiday (mostly because the ‘Kay Jeweler’s’ commercials are everywhere like a plague), but hey, I don’t discriminate against free chocolate on a Tuesday afternoon!

I’ve cut down on sugar quite a bit due to my sensitive skin, but like I said, it’s chocolate, so a few pieces didn’t hurt. My skin is prone to breakouts in absolutely any circumstance. The cause of my breakouts is my oily skin and large pores. Like many other women, my skin tends to flake up in certain areas during the winter months due to the dry air and makeup can sometimes make this skin problem worse.

After 15 years of spending money of a variety of skin care products, I’ve become very skilled on products and brand that work or do not work for specific skin types.

One of my favorite products that I often use is ‘Ponds’ Dark Spot Correcting Cream. I have some minor acne marks and this product helps them fade within 6 to 8 weeks. Not only does is fade dark marks, but it is a great moisturizer before bed. I usually thoroughly moisturize my face with this cream before applying my makeup and it keeps my skin soft and supple throughout the day.

Other brands to consider if you have dry, oily, or in between skin, or if you’re skin is heavily being affected by the cold weather, is ‘La Mer’ face moisturizers, ‘Forever Flawless’ (especially the infused face peeling gels), and Clinique. If you have extremely oily skin, Clinique’s  Pore Refining Solutions moisturizer is best for you. It applies on matte and prevents oily skin for up to seven hours.

I have way too many skincare products that I adore, but these are my all time favorite simply because they work really well with different types of skin.

Merci for tuning in this week!

À la prochaine,

A.

Weekend Getaway To St. Tropez

 

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Pick a weekend, book a flight, and go nuts! | FTLF

Bonjour à tous! Finishing college is kicking my rear! And the New York weather isn’t helping.

There’s a huge snow storm hitting the city tomorrow, which had me thinking all day about all the snowless places that I wish I could be right now. And of course France came to mind first; specifically, Saint Tropez. I usually escape to this beautiful paradise any chance that I get, like two weekends ago.

When people think “France,” they think about Paris or the La Côte D’azur (French Riviera). Along with Nice and Antibes, there is also the gorgeous Saint Tropez. This little coastal town in southeastern France is the perfect place to get away from it all, especially on the weekends when all you want is to enjoy some amazing eats, indulge in the immense variety of shopping boutiques, or just relax.

It’s not as difficult as it may seem to travel there. As a frequent traveler, I have my ways of traveling cheap. One way is finding cheap airfare apps such as SkyScanner and Fareness that not only finds cheap plane tickets but suggests the cheapest places to travel to at a given time. I also refrain from paying for expensive hotels every single time I travel. Airbnb has become my best friend in my pocket. In London, Belgium, Florence, or literally anywhere I travel, the first thing I do is pick and book an Airbnb apartment that I desire. St. Tropez has some of the most beautiful Airbnb apartments near the Mediterranean Sea.

Honestly, words cannot explain the beauty of the simple, little posh town, so take a look for yourself:

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That view is breathtaking

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Famous St. Tropez Clock Tower

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St. Tropez Bay Front

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Spent my Saturday afternoon having lunch on this beauty

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Vacationing near the coast means endless lobster!

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This Chanel Boutique is literally a mansion

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Chanel en St. Tropez

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C’est belle!

 

Take my word for it or don’t, but if you visit St. Tropez, you’ll never want to leave!

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Learn from me. Don’t be lazy and refuse to rub in your sunscreen then fall asleep on the beach | FTLF

À la prochaine,

A.