Boity’s Bottom: an analysis

pic from sowetanlive.co.za

pic from sowetanlive.co.za

Just when I thought I’d let this one pass me by… Boity’s bottom has been the talk of the week since Marie Claire’s Naked Issue was launched this Monday. My significant other candidly suggested they make it a national monument; I’m sure South Africa’s heterosexual men agree. We all know that the Naked Issue’s purpose is to raise funds for charities, this year 36 celebrities went Full Monty for The Lunchbox Fund (check out their site).

Nothing wrong with that right? Well, personally it seems that the greater part of the population does not give a B’s ass why the shoot took place: all eyes are on Boity’s bottom. And what a bottom she has – Nicki Minaj ain’t got nothing on that! As I read comments and spoke to a handful of people I realised that all of them have no idea which charity the money was being raised for and now that the photo is out there, no one seems to care about going out and purchasing their copy of the magazine. As long as they have a print-out of Boity’s apple bottom, they are happy chappies.

On the other hand, I am grateful that Boity showed off her nude body and truth be told: if you’re sexy, you’re just sexy. And as much as her photo has succeeded in turning cute little puppies into rabid wild dogs, I do believe that once the testosterone wears out, our male population will learn more about the Lunchbox Fund and contribute, in whichever way they can. Boity’s bottom has really touched on many people’s morality: should one just disregard the campaign as a ploy to use sexuality for funds (like prostitution?) or should one regard it as using sexuality positively (to make a meaningful contribution in our impoverished societies)? This issue has helped me (and hopefully many of you out there) realise that we are living in very conflicted and contradictory times and sometimes the best way to stay sane is to have an open mind and focus on the end result. And keep our ears open for Marie Claire’s announcement on how much was raised for the Lunchbox Fund.

Apple Bottom LoVe,
Amandla

Whitenicious: White is the New Black

Black Beauty... image from that1960chick.com

Black Beauty… image from that1960chick.com

Before today I had never heard of this “international Pop singer”: I have no idea what her music even sounds like! But Nigerian-Cameroonian Dencia launched what her company dubs “a high-end skin care product” which has the ability transform black skin to gorgeous fair skin because they believe that black people have been marginalized by international cosmetic companies and endured decades of neglect. I’m not kidding you, that’s what it says on their website.

Aptly titled, Whitenicious, this product’s main aim is to make black people look white. After reading up on this product and encountering the baffling news that the range sold out within a day, I realised just how naïve I have been. The signs have been everywhere. Just watch Beyoncè’s videos and take a look at our very own Mshoza; she sees skin lightening as a personal choice, no different from breast implants or a having nose job. And honestly, I have to agree with Mshoza though. When have you encountered a black woman who had a nose job done to make it flatter, bigger, more black? There you go.

Dencia4

Dencia

Dencia2

It’s about beauty and our perceptions of beauty. It’s about wanting to live a certain lifestyle. It’s about self-perception. It’s the challenges faced by blacks which whites seem immune to. It’s about our history. It’s about following tends.

LoVe yourself,
Amandla

NV Hairstylists

NV Hairstylists

As a young girl my mom had to constantly remind me that “ubuhle buyanyamezelwa”, implying that if I wanted to be beautiful I would have to hold back the tears as the hairdresser burnt my scalp with the relaxer cream, then the hairdryer, then with the curling tongs. I hated visits to the hair salon. And that fear has stayed with me for years.

In December of last year I paid one of the many Joburg CBD hair salons a visit. All I wanted was a wash. Usually I do my own hair. That is how I have been able to avoid hair salons for the past 15 odd years. so I walk into this salon and calm myself down: it’s just a wash, how bad could it possibly be? Within a few seconds of the hairdresser touching my head I was teleported to my days as a young girl. The woman’s long nails dug into head, almost tearing my scalp open. This woman was not playing; she was literally fighting with my hair. Water was splashing on my face, crawling into my ears and trickling down my back. I sighed with relief once that was over. Then came hair drying time. My heart started racing and I could not help but cringe. I knew what was coming – and it came, alright.

My hair was pulled and tugged with a fine comb (how could this woman not have seen that I walked in with an afro?), the scalding brutality of the hot air stung my poor scalp. I recalled my mom’s words and I endured. Finally the woman let go and packed away the dryer. She then gave me a comb so that I could style my own hair – seriously!

Nonie

Nonie

With this daunting memory still fresh in my mind, I cautiously entered the Good Hair Today salon in Commissioner Street. Minimalist, spacious, chic and unbelievably clean, I was welcomed by friendly staff who took the time to look me in the eye and smile as they spoke. I introduced myself to Barbara, the NV Hairstylist I would have to trust with my hair.

“The NV Hairstylist concept came about when I partnered with a friend with the intention of starting up a salon”, shared Nonhlanhla ‘Nonie’ Nxumalo. In 2013 Nonie started a weave-selling business called Nuovo Hair. Because of the high quality and cost of the weave, many of Nonie’s clients worried that black hairdressers just didn’t know how to correctly install weaves. Nonie saw the opportunity to increase her income stream by providing her clients with experts to install the weaves. And so, NV Hairstylists was born.

While doing her salon research, Nonie came across Good Hair Today Salon. “The salon is owned by internationally acclaimed American hairstylist, Brian Warfield. Warfield has been in this industry for about 20 years.” As a company, NV Hairstylists rents out a chair from Good Hair Today and employ hairstylists. The NV Hairstylists started operating this January and already, judging by their facebook page, have accumulated a satisfied clientele. Barbara is currently the only NV Hairstylist but more are scheduled to arrive to meet the demand. Although specialising in weaves, Barbara let me know that NV Hairstylists do all kinds of hair and hair treatment.

Before...

Before…

Washing...

Washing…

Drying...

Drying…

Scalp care..

Scalp care..

You’re probably wondering how I handled my salon experience with Barbara… Well, she started off with washing my afro. Unlike the ordeal of my past experiences, this time I received a head massage. Barbara’s fingers gently caressed my scalp and I felt so relaxed. From the basin to the chair and I watched anxiously as the dreaded hairdryer was pulled out of the drawer. I held my breath. But there was no need. Barbara used a big wide-toothed comb and not once did I feel the burn of the hairdryer. Because I had just removed hair extensions, Barbara informed me that my hair needed to recover and so she would not plait my hair, opting to style it instead. It’s touching how a hairstylist can have such a concern for a client’s hair – as Siphiwe, the salon’s manager stated “We do not chase after money, we ensure that the client is educated about her hair”. And this cements why NV Hairstylists is at this particular hair salon.

After Barbara announced that she would style my hair I had no idea that it meant that the bloody curling tongs would be whipped out. To be technically correct, the latest version of the tongs, the flat iron, is whipped out. “I really don’t like those…” I confide in Barbara. I briefly explain how previous hairdressers almost burnt my ears off with the thing. Barbara smiles warmly and assures me that all will be fine. And to my great relief, it is.

I couldn’t believe it. I had a genuinely good experience at a hair salon. I walked in nervous and petrified and walked out feeling confident and beautiful. Needless to say, Barbara has not seen the last of me.

After...

After…



Visit the NV Hairstylists

Good Hair Today Salon
35 Surrey House
Corner Commissioner and Rissik Streets
Johannesburg CBD
011 492 0484

You’re Beautiful, Seriously

You are Beautiful

You are Beautiful

My beloved shared a Dove advert with me and it made me realise that many of us women honestly do not believe that we are beautiful. According to the Dove campaign, “You are more beautiful than you think.” I watched the video and, as much as I don’t like to admit, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. The campaign hit home: as a new mom with a body that is still undergoing so many changes, I came to the realisation that I too, did not believe that I am beautiful.

Because of the impact this advert had on me as woman, it is fitting that I share the video with our female readers. You need to believe that you are truly beautiful.

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches Campaign was awarded Best Ad for 2013. Watch the video.

For more information on the campaign, visit the Dove website.

LoVe,
Amandla