Sunday, August 2, 2015

Au Naturel

Hello, loves!

So for those who don't know, I started my natural hair transition after my last relaxing session in January. It actually started out as just taking a break from chemicals because my eczema seemed to be getting worse. I'd wash my hair on a Saturday and by mid-week, it would start flaking and itching. No bueno. Who has the time?

Anyway, I got fed up of washing my hair so often and I was also distressed over the amount of hair that came out when I did a wash. So I decided to take a little break and said I wouldn't relax until my birthday in June. This "little break" saw me doing braids and twist outs and curls just to avoid aggravating my scalp. I learned how to prevent the itch the comes with Kanekalon from early and started using lots and lots of moisturizer.

Okay, side note. My hair is really thick. Like breaking-combs-and-brushes-taking-forever-to-style thick - ,my grandparents were of Maroon descent and I got my grandmother's THICK, STRONG, UNRULY head of hair. When I was 12 years old, my mother made the decision (and I wasn't mad at her) to relax my hair. My hair stayed relaxed until this year.

During my protective styling days, I started feeling on my roots and fell in love with them. In March (I think), I decided I wasn't going to relax my hair again because I wanted to experience my natural hair again. I've been documenting my natural hair journey since then and I've grown to love and appreciate my hair so much. I take way better care of it, watch the products I use, drink way more water (and if you know me, you know that I try to always have water in my hand or nearby) and do protective styles.

After a series of braids, I made a brave move and journeyed to a barber shop to try something new. Needless to say, my mother was less than thrilled. Oops. Anyhoo, I worked with the new hairstyle I had and tried to care for my hair the best I could but I still had relaxed ends which affected the growth and maintenance of my roots. So I made another decision. I was gonna chop it all off and start from scratch. After I did that cut, I had never felt more liberated and feminine in my life. Yes for all of this! I love to change my hair and play around with my look so stay tuned to see what else I'm up to. Colour, maybe? Who knows!


I'll be uploading a video soon on how it's been caring for a TWA, short for teenie weenie afro (Rochelle had to tell me what that meant. Lol)

You can pay attention to my YouTube channel for more. I'm working on making the videos a little more high quality so bear with me as I sort that out. 

Blessed love

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself...Right?

The year a lot of us have been waiting for. Four months in and I'm sure some of us (me, lol) still don't know what we will do with it. There are a few things I want to do but for some reason, there are times I tend to put people and their opinions before my own...stuff. I unfortunately allow people to talk me out of things, especially when they point out the possibility of failure.

Pause for this fun fact about me: my fear of failure is the most crippling thing I have ever experienced. I will psych myself out then end up being miserable because I didn't take the chance. Sounds like tons of fun, right?

Ok so, as I was saying. I recently went back into an office setting. It's a mostly regular and somewhat safe 9 to 5 - something I have not been in for a little while. I get there for 9:00AM. I sit at a desk. I leave at 5:00PM (well, guh home time is really very relative lol).

For as long as I can remember though, I have never wanted that. There are some people who want an office job and flourish effortlessly in it. I see you all. I respect you all. However, I also believe that you can flourish just as much outside of the office, outside of those walls, away from that desk.I'm all for spreading your wings and flying or soaring or whatever eagles and those other fancy birds do and I wholeheartedly encourage people to try whatever they want. So why, pray tell, can't I follow my own advice?

(Oh, I also need to do a blog post on my generation's expectations of the Jamaican job market. Because. Brethren. Lord)  

Back. I cannot take my own advice because, first of all I'm an idiot...and I will be the first to admit it - I don't believe in myself more often than not. If my confidence is on 100, hell yeah I'll take it on but if I have even an ounce of doubt, nope I'm not doing it. That's something I hope to change about myself very soon because I can't live like this. I don't want to be 50 and then look back at things and go "damn, I really could have done it if I tried."

So that is what I will do. I will try. And try again. And try some more. As Marianne Williamson and the late, great Nelson Mandela once said "
  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Let's liberate ourselves and in turn liberate others.  Let us shine a light so bright that no one can cover their eyes or run from it. Let us.

Stay strong and be blessed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hook That Catfish

We all want that chance at a real relationship and real love so we oftentimes, search for it using any avenue necessary. This can result in a "catfish".

This has gotten so out of control that  the MTV series "Catfish" has achieved tremendous growth. Having been catfished myself, I know how devastating and unpleasant it can be to find out the person you have been so in tune with is in fact, not real (or real but grossly misrepresented). Mind you, there are times when the people behind the computer screens are real and genuine but that's oftentimes not the case.

Here's my story -
I was about 16 and one of my friends said she was going to hook me up with a guy. Being 16, I wasn't really in the frame of mind to fully wrap my head around why people do what they do to get and maintain one. After a while, reluctantly I obliged, so she gave him my email address and we started talking on MSN messenger. We exchanged pictures and theyseemed like him but some things he was saying just didn't add up. We were going back and forth for about two weeks when I decided I wanted to meet up and see him. Every time we talked about meeting, he would come up with some kind of excuse. After about another 2 or 3 weeks - I don't fully remember how long but I know it wasn't too far off, we finally settled on a meeting time and place. When I got there I didn't see anyone who looked like the pictures I received. When I finally saw him and called him out on everything, there was almost zero acknowledgement of what he had done.

I opened up about my catfish experience last year on a radio show called Di Fusion, aired on Nationwide 90 FM (Like them on Facebook here ) when asked to speak on Social Media and Relationships. Since then, I was asked to share my story once again on Weekend Smile (Saturday morning Smile Jamaica) Like them on Facebook here: ). After the show, the beautiful host, Kiki planted a seed in my head. She asked me "so what are you planning to do to highlight this issue in Jamaica?" At first, I didn't do the show with the intention to go any further than sharing, but that question did something to me. 

Catfishing is serious and potentially dangerous to all those involved and I want to educate young women and men alike of the scary reality. Watch the interview here:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Skin Deep

This is something I've wanted to tackle for a while but never really knew how to handle or how to approach it. I had all these struggles mainly because this is such a sensitive topic and I'm sure there are people who will read and be of the view that I'm not allowed to say these things because I "don't know what it's like". I'm speaking on self esteem, confidence and body issues.

Growing up, I was deemed less than attractive. There are no two ways about it. I did not live up to the standard of beauty that existed back then (and probably even now). Pretty girls were petite and light skinned with long hair and a straight nose. I....was none of those things. I was a tragic 90 lbs with acne, a full head of thick natural hair and glasses. So of course, I was teased because my peers were just as cruel as all other school children can be.

I used to be called "Grater Face" among other things. I remember this because I was one of the few girls in my class who had started going through puberty at an early age and my skin was a wreck. I got my first period at 10 years old and it seemed like everything just went downhill from there. Looking back at it, I was what one would call a "hot ass mess". There were days when I would wish to be pretty and light skinned like some of the girls all the boys liked - but of course this never happened. I remember I had a crush on a guy and I got the most public shoot down one could get. Yikes.

My mother would always stress how important it was to take my head out of the clouds and bury it in the books. Taking her advice got me several years of straight A's, multiple academic awards and the faculty acknowledged me as a star student. I was involved in everything: 4H, Brownies, Speech and Drama, Choir, Spelling Bee, Builder's Club, Dance. I even tried out for track and netball - bear in mind that I don't have an athletic bone in my body so...yeah.

When I was about 14, my skin started clearing up (I used so many products and tried so many remedies, I don't know how my face didn't just melt right off. Ick.) but I still wasn't beautiful to some. Why? I was TOO skinny. My face was TOO oblong shaped. I was TOO black. My nose was TOO big.

At 17, I started gaining weight. I grew breasts (yay, tits) and got what some would call a butt. A new dose of weight gain and transition started when I was around 19. Then it came in another burst at 21 then again at 22 and my body has continued to change up to now. I feel sad that growing up, I never felt beautiful because I measured beauty based on other people's standards and not my own. Even up to this day, I still get tackled about my weight and to my surprise, there are even people who have called me fat (yeah, me. Fat. Who saw THAT coming? Talk di chute weh God love!)

I was so sold on skinny being a negative thing that I tried all I could to gain weight. Then when I did, people had something to say. So I lost it. They still had something to say. Then I gained and guess what? They. Still. Had. Something. To. Say. I grew to understand that no matter what, PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, it's just up to you to decide how their words and actions will affect you.I was always so devastated and worried about what people thought of me and my looks. Then one day, I decided I didn't want to feel like that anymore and so I changed my approach. I tried to find the positive in these negatives.

"Oh, you're so skinny!"
"Yep. So I can fit into everything"

"Your hair is way too thick"
"Yeah, I broke a few combs but these strands never fall out"

"Your life is showing on your skin"
"At least I'm living"

"You're getting fat"
"I'm well fed so I guess it's showing now"

Looking back and learning all I did, I wish I had let these things roll off my back sooner. I have learned to love myself as a Black woman and most importantly as a person. It took me YEARS to get to this place in my life that I'm at and it's something I wish for other people (not just women) who are struggling with themselves and society's standards. You are beautiful. You are more than your skin tone. More than your hair texture. More than your good/bad skin. I had to learn that confidence comes from within and self acceptance is the first step to self love.

Help people. Breathe deeply. Smile more. Be positive. Speak your truth. Keep your head up. Love the world. Never have doubts. Embrace what you can't change. Be gentle with yourself.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Ward 21 Wraps Up European Tour To Promote New Album

From the 90s up to now, Ward 21 has been churning out hit after hit and has blessed the ears of Dancehall fans worldwide with great music. The trio recently wrapped a 16 show European tour dubbed “Still Disturbed”, a tour like no other. Ward 21’s Kunley McCarthy gave a taste of why Still Disturbed was so different from all others by highlighting the purpose was to bring attention to their newest album, “Still Disturbed”. “Usually we tour as artistes giving a concert based on past hits and any new material we have to offer which is usually always fun but because of the album’s release, the fans seemed a lot more eager so the energy was at a fever pitch right through to the end.

The group also took another act on the road with them for this tour, Marcy Chin – a young Dancehall artiste who they say took every step as a learning experience and fit right in just like “one of the guys”. Ward 21 has been doing great things since they first stepped on the scene and now they are helping to grow Dancehall by witnessing and aiding in the growth of other performers.

​The name “Still Disturbed” is an ode to Ward 21’s very first album which was entitled 'Mentally Disturbed’. It also speaks to the fact that even after 16 years in the business as artistes and changes in musical style, they are still producing great music and will never disappoint their fans.

The 'Still Disturbed' album will be launched in Jamaica and promoted in the region by later this year which will keep them steady on their musical campaign to do their part in returning the root sound of dancehall music. Kunley McCarthy says “Music evolves but we are seeing the identity and quality fall because the original sound is slowly fading away to a point where, without the heavy Jamaican accents of the artistes, it doesn’t even sound Jamaican anymore. We will continue touring the world and flying Jamaica's flag with AUTHENTIC dancehall and reggae music as long as we have life.​”

​Ward 21 and the “Still Disturbed” album will be promoting Jamaican sounding music and as always, giving upcoming artistes a chance ​to seize their opportunity in the music business.

Marcy Chin A Hit With Fans On The Still Disturbed Tour

Fresh faced Dancehall artiste Marcy Chin is at it again! The BadaBadaGang member recently wrapped up an energy filled European tour with Dancehall veterans Ward 21. You may remember Chin when she blew up the airwaves with hits like “Body Able”, “When Again” – a remake of Tiger’s “When” and “Bunx Up” with Dee Wunn. Now back in Jamaica, Chin gives us a peek into her summer performances in Europe by describing it as “a wicked experience” and that it made her realize how much she enjoys performing. “I conquered all my fears and did my thing. [As a first timer], I was taken aback. The reception was pretty good. The audiences were very involved in my performances and they even called me on for encore.”

Still Disturbed”, the 16 show tour began in Poland in July and saw Chin performing live on stage with Ward 21 in countries like Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France. While she expressed that every stop was equally as fun and helped her to grow as an artiste, she admits that her most memorable tour moment was celebrating her birthday under the Italian sun. The tour also brought positive vibes into Chin’s personal life as she had both her father and brother come out to see her perform when she took the stage in London. The tour wrapped in Bratislava in August but if we know Marcy Chin, we know that will not be the last stop for her. “I’m very driven and passionate about music so I’m always working; whether it’s writing or putting a song together so I have things that I’ll be sharing with my fans very soon. I am back in the studio working on another mixtape and a few more singles to be released.” Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mental Illness - Bridging the Gap

Following on the heels of an article written by Brandon Allwood, a Jamaican student at York University in Toronto, I feel that it has become increasingly necessary to join in the fight to break the stigma attached to an issue affecting numerous people in the world today: Mental Illness.

Mental illness is any disease or condition that 
influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, 
and/or relates to others and to his or her 
surroundings. Although the symptoms of 
mental illness can range from mild to 
severe and are different depending on 
the type of mental illness, a person 
with an untreated mental illness 
often is unable to cope with life's 
daily routines and demands. (Source:

It is something that must be brought into the light and seen for what it truly is - a legitimate medical condition. Mental illness should not be seen as something to get over, or something to be looked at with disgust and taken lightly. One does not look at someone with a seizure and tell them to walk it off. Would you dare tell a diabetic they don’t need their insulin today? So then why is it, that as a people we treat someone with a mental health disease differently?

The typical Jamaican view on mental illness forms a skewed picture with two extremes. On one end of the spectrum, there is the drug abuser in the streets begging for spare change and arguing with himself while possibly walking about aimlessly in the nude. The other extreme is the so called “perfect uptown person”, who is said to have no real problems. Mental illness knows no social class and may very well affect any person reading this article.

Let us first clarify that substance induced psychosis is real. For some people, it takes one spliff to unleash the floodgates of Schizophrenia. Similarly, it can take one negative experience to push a person beyond the brink into depression. These people are suffering and should be treated no different. Chemical imbalances in the brain fuel a physical and emotional change that needs help and intervention. It goes well beyond “getting over it”, or just being strong and moving along with your life. For people affected by mental illness, the experiences that they have are very real. For those suffering from depression, they are in physical pain and the voice they hear inside their heads speaking to them is real. So why then do we still treat mental health and illness as something trivial? It is far too easy for those unaffected - whether it be primary or second hand - to be obtuse.

Some sources indicate that 1 in 4 persons suffers from depression. Clinical depression is in no way the same as a mood of feeling down. It oftentimes involves feelings of worthlessness and guilt. For the affected person, it is a weight to endure and sadly sometimes this issue often leads to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Fortunately, there is hope and things can be better. The first step however needs to be a change in the collective consciousness of the people as a whole. We need to realise that mental health issues have the ability to affect every and anyone. It strikes just the same as any other physical disease - across all social classes and all ethnicities.,all communities and all religions. Don’t turn a blind eye. Anyone can be affected.

- Written by Dr. Jordan B. Eaton BSc MB, BS

Jordan Eaton is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. He is a trained Medical Doctor and real life mental health patient. His condition and the condition of those like him work together to bring forth a wider understanding of this global problem. He is currently completing his internship and hopes to specialize in Psychiatry in the future.