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Excuses for an Abuser, Scorn for a Victim

Posted by JD on Friday, November 6, 2009 , under | comments (3)

Over the past 7 months since Rihanna was beaten by Chris, I have listened to people reach far into the deep and musty canyons of complete ignorance in order to defend Chris. I’ve also witness those who try hard to dismiss the conversation altogether saying, “if they weren’t celebrities no one would care.” Unfortunately, the people who make that statement are so far removed from an informed perspective that they don’t see the irony of that statement. For your benefit, I will point it out. The fact that people rarely discuss these issues unless celebrities are involved is a CRUCIAL symptom of the problem. Women who don’t have the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by Rihanna are on television quite often telling tales of abuse. Still, many people struggle to muster a modicum of empathy for these women yet find plenty of sympathy for the men who receive light sentences of community service and endure damage to their reputations.

I was moved to finally write about the Chris Brown and Rihanna story after being amazed by the amount of people willing to enthusiastically stretch the truth and conveniently ignore facts in order to defend Chris’s behavior. You know, those people who feel it necessary to couch any acknowledgement that Chris made a mistake by saying that women should avoid provoking men; that women do go “too far” sometimes and we “can’t expect” men to always control themselves [FOR THE RECORD, Rihanna maintains that she did not hit Chris the night of the beating, and thus far I’ve seen no evidence to contradict that statement]. It’s as though no conversation would be complete if someone simply said “Chris was wrong.”

And wrong he was. The pictures of Rihanna’s face after he brutally beat her into someone who was barely recognizable to her friends, family , and fans were hard to view. The details of that night are hard to hear. The thought of a young man twice the size of his girlfriend shoving her face violently into the cold hard glassy window of their rented sportscar over and over and over. Biting her. Threatening her life. Frightening her. Making her cower down in her seat in fear and confusion. A beating so bad that people in an apartment building heard her scream in pain and called the police without even coming outside to see if their suspicions were correct.

This wasn’t a fight—it was a battering. It was one young man’s war against himself and everything he knows. And the casualties were many. A beating like that isn’t the result of provocation—it’s the result of a sickness.

I have watched a couple of Chris’s interviews in which he addressed his violent behavior. Chris is clearly lost and words of blind support cannot help. Chris has been the recipient of bad personal advice and bad professional advice. He’s being sent on TV ill-prepared. He’s being sent through life ill-equipped. Like many of his fans, he appears not to have grasped the full implications of his actions. I’ve wondered if he’s still in shock? Chris reminds me of a man without anyone who loves him productively. Rihanna seems to have been more than just a girlfriend, she was his center of gravity. She was his lover and confidante—his best friend. And I’m sure he can’t believe what he did.

And I can’t believe what some of you are doing. Defending Chris is basically encouragement to men (and abusive women) not to seek understanding and help for their violent behavior. It’s bad enough so many teen girls have succumbed to and participated in violent acts with their boyfriends. They have been among the most vocal supporters of Chris. But to hear people who should be old enough to know better than to do so is disheartening.

In her 20/20 interview, Rihanna, who was poised and eloquent throughout, said that she asked herself over and over again what she could have possibly said to make him do what he did. She replayed it over and over again in her head like a bad dream. And finally, she came up with the right answer: NOTHING! But really, Rihanna doesn’t need to blame herself, lots of other people have taken up that challenge on her behalf.

They blame Rihanna because she didn’t talk about the incident until her album was ready. Yes, blame her for putting off discussing such a painful incident until the very last possible moment. Blame Rihanna because you don’t like her. Blame Rihanna for not knowing when to stop questioning her violent boyfriend. Blame Rihanna for the media firestorm. Blame Rihanna for the fact that Chris has struggled to sound coherent when speaking. Go ahead, poke holes in her interview statements. Please, do all you can to find fault with her.

Blaming the victim is a key part of the paint-by-numbers reaction people have to domestic violence cases. First blame the victim for the other person’s actions. Second, critique their history. Third, insult their sincerity. Fourth, if they speak out, question their timing, motives, and message. Fifth, dismiss their story altogether. Get it? Got it! Good.

How anyone can walk away from hearing Rihanna’s side of the story with cold words for her and support for her abuser is unfathomable. Rihanna didn’t have to speak in detail about that night at all. She could have gone on her promotional tour acknowledging the incident in passing. If she were cruel, she could made snide comments and diggs at Chris during interviews heightening interest in her appearances.

But instead, she chose to reveal herself to the public. She chose to protect him. She shared her vulnerabilities with an audience filled with too many people who don’t deserve to hear her story. A tiny part of me wished that she wouldn’t have spoken out and had saved herself from becoming doubly victimized: once by Chris, and twice by a sneering ignorant public. But I have to believe that somewhere, a girl has seen Rihanna as a mirror, and will move to copy her strength and resolve. And if that happens, Rihanna should be proud despite what irresponsible members of the public may say.

View Rihanna's 20/20 Interview here:

"Precious" Opens in VERY Limited Release Today. Movie Theater Locations Inside

Posted by JD on , under | comments (1)

No matter how hard I try I cannot understand the way Hollywood works. The movie "Precious," which, as far as I can tell is a pretty highly anticipated film is opening today in "select theaters." The movie is set to go something resembling "Nationwide" next week; however, theaters showing the movie could still be few and far between unless "Precious" proves that it can attract viewers.

I'm not sure how a movie can prove such a thing if people can't get to it in the first place. Anyway, to find out which theaters are slated to show the movie near you (and when) click here.

If you haven't yet seen the trailer, have a look.

Cellulite Sadness: I found some dimples and I am NOT Happy About This!

Posted by JD on , under | comments (0)

Beyonce (photo to the left) is definitely not ashamed of her dimples. Show'em off girl!

About two weeks ago, I walked past my full length mirror wearing my signature look of booty shorts, cute top, and jacket. I happened to glance down at and caught the side of my thigh in the worst angle possible—the angle at which you can see….*whispers* cellulite! Ever since then, I’ve been OBSESSED with looking at my thighs. I lie on the bed and turn my legs this way and that way to see which angles make the ripples of fat deposits visible and which ones don’t. I unconsciously rub my hands up and down my bare thighs to see if the cellulite is noticeable by touch (it is).

I realize that the majority of women have cellulite. I also don’t give a shit. My skin is very sensitive and all my life I’ve had stretch marks here and there. The slightest touch causes me to bruise. To have to deal with stretch marks and cellulite simply isn’t fair! And If I have to have cellulite, why on my legs?

My legs have always been my favorite part of my body. They are long for my 63 inch height, smooth, and largely unscarred—a feat in itself! Growing up, I had all sorts of injuries because I was such a tomboy…but for the most part my remained unscathed. Until now.

I did a little research and of course, the only way to get rid of cellulite is to lose weight and even then it may not be possible. If you are predisposed to getting cellulite, chances are it’s not going anywhere. You may be able to minimize it but that’s it.

I will say this, I do think that cellulite, on many women is sexy. It’s erotic if it comes with a jiggle and some thickness. But still, I plan to follow some of these tips I found on the innanet to minimize it. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not they work. Or, better yet, whether or not I’m able to stick to them!

Here are the tips from various sources that I am trying in order to help minimize my unwanted thigh dimples.

• Detox your diet. Emphasize fruits and leafy greens.
• Avoid junk food,diet sodas, processed foods and saturated fats such as butter and animal fats
• Avoid excessive alcohol and cigarettes.
• Drink a lot of water
• Brush your skin with a skin brush to stimulate blood and lymph flow
• Finish your daily shower with a cold rinse to tone your skin.
• Take Glucosamine supplements to assist your body in repairing the dermis and connective tissue
• Avoid high-pressure massage so as not to damage lymphatic function and micro-circulation. Also avoid high-impact exercise.

Self-Esteem on U stream: Tonight at 9:30 pm!

Posted by JD on Monday, November 2, 2009 , under | comments (0)

I am planning to hold my very first Ustream chat tonight at 9:30 pm. Yesterday Twitter was abuzz with conversation about female body image thanks to my article on "The Rise of Booty; The Demise of Black Female Self-Esteem" and The Beautiful Struggler's article on breasts. Sistertoldja, the writer behind The Beautiful Struggler will be calling in and discussing this issue with me during the Ustream chat. I'm so grateful she agreed to do so, it should make the conversation that much more lively.

For those who have never used UStream, head over to, and you can either create a log in, or log in with your facebook or twitter ID. It's really easy. During a show, you can participate in a chat and ask questions directly to those who are broadcasting. My Show can be accessed by clicking here.

I hope lots of you tune in tonight and help us elevate the dialogue on these issues. The replies I've gotten on this article have been varied and interesting. I'm curious to see how the discussion will play out tonight. If it goes well, hopefully I can do more shows in the future!

If you have any questions, you can post them in the comment box, and I'll will answer.

Facebook Has Gone Too Far, and I am NOT Happy About This!

Posted by JD on Sunday, November 1, 2009 , under , | comments (1)

Earlier this year facebook was an addiction for me. It was the best way I had to be in contact with my friends routine without all the nudity and just general garishness of Myspace. But now, my beloved Facebook is little more than a pain in my ass. Since I’ve been using twitter, my FB knowledge has dwindled down to nothing. The only thing I really know how to do on facebook now is update my status, but oddly enough nowadays I can’t do that without issues.

I signed into facebook today to update my status with the newest link to my blog. I tried for almost `10 minutes. Every time I thought it was about to update it wouldn’t. Finally, I remembered that tweetdeck now gives you an option to update your FB status (among other things you can now do on Facebook and Twitter though the application). I was able to update through tweetdeck and will use it to post updates from now on.

Quite frankly, I see no need to log into Facebook. I’m not interested in playing Mafia Wars or Farmville. I’m tired of facebook asking me about my relatives or encouraging me to message, or worse, poke people for no reason AT ALL. Facebook is gotten too pushy. Not only is it pushing its ridiculous ineffective updates on us, it’s now telling me who should I friend or talk to at any given moment.


It’s bad enough that myspace has all but folded for most people and now people who I went to high school with have migrated over to facebook and are posting old pictures that really don’t need to see the light of day again. At this point, I’d rather just stay off facebook. And if it wasn’t for all the inadequacies of twitter, I probably would.

What do yall think? Has facebook gone too far?

Football: Come for the Men; Stay for the Action!

Posted by JD on , under | comments (1)

When women learn sports, WE LEARN SPORTS. You never know when your sports knowledge is going to be challenged by some man who is sure he knows more than you just because…well, because he’s a man. Men think that it’s some sort of birthright that they know more about sports than we ladies too. But au contraire mon fraire (?), female sports fans typically take their learning seriously. You don’t want to be the lone girl who’s wrong about a call or a player’s history. How dreadful.

Men love to show off their machismo when it comes to sports.
Fortunately, a lot of what men’s sports analysis is way off. Many avid male sports watchers don’t know much more about sports than they would if they were a casual fan. See, men don’t have to learn sports the way we females do, because no one is questioning them. In fact, the first thing you notice as a woman after learning your favorite sport in and out is how little the men yelling in the sportsbars and on your couch actually know about the game.

Women shouldn’t be intimidated by the passion men show for the game—passion doesn’t mean the game is complicated. Basketball is a sport that brings a lot of emotion out of sportsfans during playoffs but what’s more simple than trying to get a ball into a basket? Baseball drives some fans maniacal, nothing is simpler than hitting a ball and running some bases. After you watch for a few years, you develop some sports memory which is helpful in conversation, but you can pick that up by reading articles on your favorite team.

Football, I’ll admit is much more complex and can seem impossible to understand completely. That’s because…it is. The NFL handbook is longer than Roots and not written with a layperson audience in mind. There’s more going on on a football field than anyone who’s not on that field can ever imagine. But football has become much easier to understand as networks like Foxx adjust their cameras to provide the viewer with more angles and more action.

Whats more, football has something that other sports simply do not—an abundance of RIDICULOUSLY FINE MEN.

Sure basketball has produced a few cuties, but I bet you can name every cutie pie currently in the NBA. I’ve counted and there are exactly 10. In fact, basketball in it’s 55 year history has probably only produced 55 men who weren’t complete ogres. Baseball has more odd looking players than cutesy Kenny Loftons or sexy A-Rods. The NFL, on the other hand, has more cuties than you can count on your little manicured fingers. Each week presents you with a new opportunity to spot someone new and lust-worthy on the sideline. Check out this little piece of chocolate cake I spotted last week when the Saints played:

That is one DAMN GOOD reason to watch the game. I was first attracted to football after a couple sideline views of Randall Cunningham and Hershall Walker. These big strong handsome specimans piqued my interest. Jamal Anderson, RB for the Atlanta Falcons was the straw that broke the camel’s back. After seeing him with his helmet off one day, I thought, anything that a man like that is a part of, I need to learn and learn fast.

And so I did. And so you should. Getting into football can be rough in the beginning, here’s some help getting over the hump.

You don’t care about the Jets or the Redskins? Really? Would this picture of Jets Safety Kerry Rhodes and Redskins Wide Receiver Devin Thomas change your mind?

The Giants in a slump? Funny, because, from the looks of DE Osi Umenyiora, everything is just fine!

The Bills are losing? Hmm I wonder if this caramel something to the left (Aaron Maybin) needs comforting?

Browns traded you? Something tells me you'll be just fine Braylon!

So Redskins Safety Laron Landry gives me all I need in life with that first picture I posted, let's discuss...which football players got you (get you) into the game?

Who are your favorite football hotties??