Archive for April, 2012

Lose Weight: Tip 2

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Between September 2011 and December 2011, I lost approximately 35 pounds (16kg). In this series of videos, I share tips that I hope will help you in your own weight loss journey.

The one thing that I can say about any goal that you undertake is that it has to be fueled by a “burning desire”. (My weight-loss goal was fueled by the knowledge that I would be on a world stage, in a swim-suit, representing my country as Mrs. Botswana 2011).

In addition to that, you must be clear about what that goal is and write it down and then make your goal public so that everyone who you know encourages you and keeps you accountable.

Lose Weight: Tip 1

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Between September 2011 and December 2011, I lost approximately 35 pounds (16kg). In this series of videos, I share tips that I hope will help you in your own weight loss journey.

The one thing that I can say about any goal that you undertake is that it has to be fueled by a “burning desire”. (My weight-loss goal was fueled by the knowledge that I would be on a world stage, in a swim-suit, representing my country as Mrs. Botswana 2011).

In addition to that, you must be clear about what that goal is and write it down and then make your goal public so that everyone who you know encourages you and keeps you accountable.

Nomalanga: The Truth about Black Women

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I was just watching Oprah, on OWN TV, talking about how her grandmother was telling her, at the tender age of four, that she needed to pay attention to how laundry was done as her grandmother was doing the laundry. Even at four years old, she knew that what her grandmother was telling her about her future was not true. Her well meaning grandmother was trying to show Oprah how to do laundry so that one day she could find “good white folk” to work for as a maid.

Looking at Oprah now, I am amazed at how the acceptance or rejection of just one simple thought can change a person’s life. Imagine what Oprah’s life would have been like if she had accepted what her grandmother told her as the truth. The lesson that I draw from that is that we must not accept other people’s opinions of us as the truth.

Any time you hear about the “successful black woman” in the media, there is usually a negative cloud hanging over that image. Black women have to constantly refute those negative characteristics that are attributed to them. We have to constantly defend ourselves and at times we even allow ourselves to be squeezed into that image, usually because we’ve been poked, prodded and disrespected so much, for so long, that we finally REACT!
So, again, here is the simple lesson that I’m reminded of today, as I watch Oprah in all her magnificence: Don’t let other people’s limited and distorted opinions of you define you. Do not accept other people’s opinions of you, no matter how well meaning, as the TRUTH of who you are.

Audre Lorde, a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist, put it best:

“If you didn’t define yourself for yourself, you would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.”

The question that I will leave you with is: Do you want to be “Oprah” or “the laundry lady”? The choice is yours; what you accept as the truth of who you are is your choice.

Nomalanga:Beyonce is not the face of black women

Friday, April 27th, 2012

In the video below, I share my views about Beyonce being named People magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman in the world.

Boyce Watkins: Why Black Women Can’t Find a Man

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

I watched an ABC News special the other night featuring Steve Harvey, Jacque Reed, Sherri Shepherd and my homeboys Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael. The show covered a tried and true topic that is sure to get sky high ratings from the black community: The topic was, Why successful black women can’t find a good man. I am not going to risk bringing on the wrath of black women by saying things that some of them may not want to hear, but I have to be honest about what I saw on this show. Let me just cut to the chase and lay the issues out one-by-one:

1) Why are black women taking relationship advice from Steve Harvey? Not to disrespect Steve’s ability to drop knowledge, but isn’t he a comedian? If we are taking relationship advice from a comedian and our relationship turns into a joke, who do we blame in the end? Bottom line – perhaps learning how to love another person means that after you put aside the book by the comedian, you should go out and buy a book by a relationship expert.

2) Most good women have little trouble getting married to decent men: One has to be skeptical of the beautiful, intelligent, fully capable woman who simply says that she can’t find a good man anywhere. Most women I know who are well-balanced and who also appreciate the idea of respecting men in the same way they would like to be respected, have no trouble finding suitable mates. Sorry to break this to you, but the only constant variable in your relationships is a person called YOU.

Rather than pointing the finger at the world, a bit more introspection might be called for: perhaps you have to reconsider your laundry list of expectations or wonder if you’re not doing a good job finding men who are open to commitment. It’s easy to find a man, just not easy to find a man who is willing to be with you and you only; a lot of brothers simply play the field and allow you to buy an emotional lottery ticket, hoping that you’ll be the one he selects in the end. You may be fishing in the wrong ponds in the first place or using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re bringing home.

3) If you want something bad enough, take a class: There are classes on relationships and marriage out there that don’t cost much money. If you are determined to be the best mate you can possibly be, it might make sense to take a class that explains all the subtleties and challenges of making a relationship work (not just the counseling you get from your pastor). A relationship is not about a mate fulfilling your long and detailed list of needs and expectations. The bottom line is that if you hope to receive more, you must first fully commit yourself togiving more. Some of us are taught that we should expect the world and not offer anything in return: that’s a perfect recipe for getting dumped.

4) Big mistake – always chasing the alpha male: I know a lot of “regular guys” who are unable to find a woman that is interested in being with them. This is especially true in their mid-twenties, when everyone is single and living fancy-free, with little expectation for long-term commitment. Some of the women these ”regular guys” are interested in are not paying them much attention to them, mainly because the woman has become enchanted with the dream-like alpha male in her life: the guy who fits every single portion of the checklist (height, income, education, toe nail length, swag, etc.), but who may not be available for a monogamous, long-term relationship. What many women seem to forget is that there are some men who always have room for another woman on the roster. If you’re wasting all your time with the lying, cheating, super dog, you might miss out on the chance to be with the man who will love you forever and father all of your children. He may not come in the same package, and by comparing the two without considering the differences in what each of them offers, you may be passing up on your opportunity.

5) Relationships should not be a pissing contest: One of the by-products of many black children growing up in single parent homes is that their relationships become highly contentious. I once saw a neck swinging, energized woman say, “I need a man who can handle me!” What I wanted to tell her is that your man should not have to “handle” you as if you are a wild bull with his testicles sewn together. The act of love is a process of being open, feeling and sharing, not trying to dominate one another. So, if you need to be “handled” in your relationships, realize that you are likely going to only attract men who are mean, rough and insensitive enough to handle you effectively. In fact, you’re not searching for a mate, you may be actually looking for a pimp. Fighting and domination is not the same as love – let’s not get it twisted.

6) There’s nothing wrong with a few gender roles: Sherri Shepherd, during an especially volatile segment of the ABC News show, swung her hands around in the air saying, “I don’t have time to validate you every day!” – referring to the fact that she doesn’t feel that it’s her job to make her man feel good about himself on a regular basis. What’s interesting is that most women want their man to make them feel beautiful and to feel like a woman. So, why is it not acceptable for a man to expect his wife to make him feel like a man? A man doesn’t want to marry another guy – or rather, a woman who feels that any and all gender roles are an insult to her feminine independence and also expects the man to be willing to be regularly emasculated. It’s O.K. to make your man feel like he’s THE man, a king and a leader. A good man will surely return the favor and make you feel like a beautiful woman.

7) Let’s be real- many men aren’t as excited about marriage as women: As much as we want to believe that men grow up fantasizing about their wedding day the same way that many women do, the truth is that this is not the case. Many men see marriage as a frightening commitment that will cause them to be vilified for actions they can engage in without consequence when they are single (notice the millions of dollars that Shaquille O’neal and the rapper Nas have paid to get out of their marriages – every man gets petrified when he reads these stories).

A woman who gets her husband is the one who makes the man WANT to be married: she let’s him feel free, strong, needed, loved and supported. While this may seem to be a primitive concept, the reality is that the reverse is true for sex: Men and women both want it, but men know they have to work just a little bit harder to “get some.” They’ve got to buy flowers, take the woman to dinner, and make her feel comfortable. It would be silly for a man to think that a woman should buy him flowers and beg him to have sex with her. The converse is true for marriage – where getting a man to overcome his anxiety is a great way to get him to give you what you want.

I love black women: My mother, daughter and grandmother are black women and there is not a more precious group of women on the planet. But the truth is that this “woe is me, black men ain’t sh*t” attitude has to be replaced with something more constructive. If not, we’ll be having these same forums 20 years from today.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book,“Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

Nomalanga:What we can learn from Martin Lawrence’s Divorce

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

It is being widely reported that after less than three years of marriage and 13 years “together” , Martin Lawrence and his wife, Shamicka Gibbs are getting divorced. Apparently, the couple had been together for 13 years and had two daughters together before they decided to tie the knot in 2010 and now it’s all over!

This is a very interesting trend that I have noticed does not only plague Hollywood couples. We see it all the time; two people who date for a very long time and are seemingly happy together decide to get married and end up getting divorced soon after-the relationship that they had before they got married lasted longer than the marriage.

I was just having a Facebook discussion in which I suggested that the lesson that can be learned from a lot of these unfortunate “train wrecks’ that they call marriages is that when people get married, especially after dating for a long time, it is important not to suddenly come up with a new set of expectations.

The way I put is was this: When people get married they change their expectations but the truth is you can’t live with a “dog” for years and then hope that after the wedding it will stop barking and start purring like a cat. It is a dog and it will continue to bark. If you wanted a cat, you should have married a cat.

Now, just to be clear, I’m NOT saying men are dogs-okay? What I am saying is that when you date a person, the time that you spend getting to know them, should also be time spent setting up realistic expectations for a long term relationship. Obviously, there will be small, maybe even major changes after you get married. A great example is that you will start to live together, assuming that you were not already. These kinds of changes in expectations are normal and reasonable. You cannot, however expect that a person will morph into a different and maybe more “responsible” life partner just because you both said “I do”.

Maya Angelou has been known to say, “When people show you who they are, believe them”. So, when you date a person, this is the time that they will show you who they are and that is the behavior upon which you should set your expectations. If their behavior while you are dating is unacceptable, marriage will only compound the degree to which you find their behavior unacceptable.

Again, the lesson is simple; if you want to marry your “honey”, understand that the way your honey is when you’re dating is basically the way that honey will be when you’re married.  If you marry him (or her), don’t ask him (or her) to change and certainly, don’t expect them to.

It would not surprise me to find out that this is precisely what went wrong with Martin and Shamicka. I reckon that Shamicka married Martin and thought that when they got married, he would change and she was disappointed to find out that he didn’t and probably wasn’t going to. And now…Divorce.

Nomalanga: Are Black Men disabled?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Today, I received a message from a man who described himself as “a disabled black man”. He asked me a very important question in response to some of my posts that talk about what black men want or what black women want. For the purpose of this post, I will call him “G”.

G: what about black men

Me: What about them, G?

G: You wrote about what black women want – well as a black disabled male, I know they do not want disabled males

Because I do not personally know G, I had to assume that he was physically or mentally challenged and that is what he was referring to as “disabled”. This got me thinking; we all have some form of “disability” and “black men” are no different. In addition to that, I believe that black men have a collective “disability” that is unique to them. Through no choice of their own, they have been built into many people’s minds as a threat and every day, they have to overcome that “disability”. The Trayvon Martin case has reminded us that black men and boys can even be brutally killed because of this “disability”.

Here is how I responded to “G”:

I hear you [G]. I think it is important to re-define how people perceive who you call “black disabled males”. Being “black” or “disabled” or “male” are all secondary to being a human being. We all want to love and be loved and all the descriptions come after.

What we all want is for people to see us for who we are; not for what we can be described as. On a personal note, I have spent A LOT of time investing in my personal development and the people who genuinely love and appreciate me do so because of who I am and not what I can be described as.

We are all differently abled and there will always be people who can see past our “disability” and focus on what we are able to do. There is no one on this earth that is still alive that does not have some ability-the fact that we are here is a testament to the fact that we have ability and our own unique ability is our contribution to this life as long as we are alive.

Have a great day, [G]!

Here is the bottom line: The people in this country and the world, at large, are going to have to find a way to see people for who they are (human beings) before they see their “blackness” or any other “ness” that can describe them. We have to start seeing people without using a lense of racism or any other “ism” that we can come up with.

Nomalanga: Miss World announces contestants list-what about the judges?

Friday, April 20th, 2012

It is being reported that a list of 50 winners of national beauty pageants around the world was made public. These 50 are the first of what is expected to be a total of 120 women all vying for the Miss World 2012 title. What I find interesting is that we always know so much about the contestants but so little about the judges.

It makes sense that in order to protect the integrity of the judging process, the international beauty pageants would not disclose the names of the judges but I also think it is reasonable to expect that after the pageants, there should be full disclosure. If there is no transparency in the judging process, we can never be certain that the winner was chosen fairly.

My experience at Mrs World 2011
led me to write a letter to the Mrs World Pageant owners, specifically because the pageant lacked both transparency in the judging process and there was a lack of diversity in the selection of the judges as well. Of the nearly 60 women that entered the Mrs World pageant, there were no less that 12 women who were either African or identified themselves as being of African decent and yet, not one single one made it into the top 14. Of the women that the judges selected to go into the top 14, only Mrs Vietnam (a gorgeous and phenomenal woman) made it in. The problem with this is that the only non-white judge on the judging panel was a Vietnamese woman who is also a former Mrs Vietnam.

I’m saying all this to make one basic point, we need BOTH transparency and diversity in judging international pageants. If pageants are going to define beauty by narrow, euro-centric standards, then it may be best for those that do not fit into those narrow stands to forgo entering the pageants all together. Although pageants are about more than how the women look, it is next to impossible to deny that how the women look is certainly a critical factor in deciding who walks away with the title.

The main reason why I wrote the letter to the owners of the Mrs World pageant is because I believe that the Mrs World did not select a diverse pool of judges and in so doing, they opened most of the Mrs World contestants to an unfair pageant experience.

One thing that I absolutely love about the Miss World (not MRS) pageant system is that their judging system is such that they always have a finalist from every continent or region of the world. That being said, in their history, they have only, to my knowledge, ever had two Black women win the title. Statistically, that is not high enough and I hope that in the coming years, we will see an improvement. Being a finalist and or runner up is great, but black women deserve to wear the crown as well.

What men want from women-One man tells us

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Some days ago I posted a message that comedian, Kevin Hart, allegedly had for black women.. A lot of people had very strong reactions to the post and I was glad to see that because I always encourage dialogue surrounding love and relationships. One comment, however, stood out to me because the person who made the comment clearly outlined what men want. I am assuming that the person is a man; a black man. Here is his comment:

“Commenter” says:
“I love black women. Period. And I feel that they are only to be with black men. The problem that I see is that so a lot of women:
(1) disqualify men even before they even say anything to them.

(2)Tend to believe that acting aggressively is what they perceive as strength. But there are more good examples than bad.

[This is basically what men want]:
(A) I should not have to fight with her at every turn because she expects things to turn out her way.

(B) I should not have to be challenged and criticized for being who I am. And just because she is doing better financially does not discount my value as a black man nor does it warrant her treating me with disrespect or disregard.

(C) Just because a man say something as simple as “Hello” does not mean that the intention is to jump into bed with them. Even though it is healthy to be attracted to her if she is beautiful and desirable. (D) So many tend to want to be with bad boys or supposedly “Broken” boys that they will absolutely overlook decent men for clowns & buffoons. That has been my experience with sisters but I will not give up on them!!”

The “commenter” may not be speaking for every man, but he made some very valid points. The reason why I chose to share his comment is that I have consistently been told that one of the most important elements of a successful relationship is Communication. (I love to interview married couples-the longer the marriages, the better!) I believe that in order for a man (or woman) to give their partner what they want, the starting point is both of them getting clear about what they want and then clearly communicating it. So, ladies, you heard it here directly quoted from “the horse’s mouth”!

Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses is a wife, mother, professional speaker and an Assistant Professor of Professional Studies. For more information about Nomalanga’s programs, please click here.

If you want a “good” man…be a “good” woman, first!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

I just read the article below and immediately wanted to go and hug the writer, Dr. Corey Guyton. This man has managed to pin point one of the major reasons why black people’s relationships and marriages fail so often:Women stopped understanding their value and the men followed right along and stopped appreciating the women’s value. When things don’t work out, women tend to blame the men; black men. What we might want to start doing is looking at ourselves and let that be our starting point. I’m not saying that women are Always to blame and men are Never to blame. What I am saying is that “change comes from within”. Start within and I bet what you see “without” will also begin to change.

From a Brother to the Sisters: Why You Should Demand to Be Properly Courted!
By Dr. Corey Guyton
The bible states that “whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing”. In today’s society, it seems that this bible verse has been reversed to “whoso findeth a husband findeth a good thing”. This reversal of roles is the result of women believing that there are not many good men left, causing them to take the role of the pursuer and not the pursued. The truth is that when women begin aggressively pursuing men, it puts them at a disadvantage. If a woman chases a man, he has the ability to control the situation because her pursuit of him lets him know that she likes him, which gives him the opportunity to make her work for him. In these situations men do not have to take the time to get to know a woman internally because there would be no incentive to do so. At this point, men can push the envelope and try to be physical with a woman because if it does not work out, he will not have lost anything because he was not pursuing her in the first place.

Beautiful queens, you are royalty. You deserved to be chased and you deserve to be wine and dined. In my opinion, going “dutch” or you paying for a date is unacceptable. While you are being pursued, a guy should pay for everything and there are multiple reasons why.

1. If a guy pays for your dates, it shows that he sees enough value in you to invest in you financially.

2. If a guy takes the lead and pays for you, it shows that he has the potential to be a provider when he has a family. This does not mean that women cannot provide, but it suggest that he would be willing to do whatever it took to support his family.

3. If a guy pays for your dates without trying to get anything from you (sex, money, etc), it shows that he is pursuing you for you and not for what you can do for him.

A real man (good man) will always take the lead on paying for you while pursuing you. When I first met my beautiful queen, I would not let her pay for anything. I wanted her to see that I valued her and that I was willing to do whatever it took to prove that I was fully invested in her and really wanted to be with her. My goal was to make her feel like a queen and allow her to feel wanted. By no means am I telling you to milk a guy for his money, but allow him to treat you as the queen you are.

From my experience, I have noticed that women love to feel wanted and appreciated. If this is true for you, why settle for a guy you have to chase? You deserve to be courted, chased, pursued, wanted, appreciated, and feel special. Do not settle for less beautiful queens, because real men understand that their role is to pursue you. If you want the key to a guy’s heart, please make sure that he pursues and works for you.

About the Writers
Dr. Corey Guyton is a dynamic speaker, blogger, author, and husband who is on a mission to bring back the essence of healthy relationships. Alongside his wife, Dr. Chutney Guyton, their movement has gained momentum and they have been sought out by many colleges, conferences, churches, and organizations for their powerful keynotes, workshops, books, and personal consulting. For more information, visit www.ybelove.com.
Source