So….given that this advertisement depicts two people snuggling up for a cigarette company, does that make it negative? Is it a negative association with natural hair because black people stereotypically smoke this particular brand? Back to my earlier question, does the advertisement become positive or negative depending on what product is being marketed?

It’s interesting to see that this young black couple is not even being shown smoking. The only reason you know it’s an advertisement for cigarettes is because of Newport’s brand recognition and the pack of cigarettes featured in the word “Newport”. Personally, I am not a smoker. And before this blog, never really paid attention to ads for cigarettes. This may just be a marketing strategy for cigarette companies.

I found it in Essence magazine.

I was reading Essence magazine recently. No, I did not buy it. I sat in the bookstore and flipped through it to see if it what was worth buying. Even though I didn’t buy it (I know, shame on me), I was happy to see a number of advertisements featuring natural hair. Let me just say one thing, though. I am happy to see positive representations of natural hair in the media. Since I’m new to documenting this trend, it’s hard for me to say exactly what represents a negative representation.

I’ll say this, it’s like porn: I know it when I see it.

That being said, here is a picture of the McDonald’s advertisement that featured a natural hair model.

Think about this: What do you think is a negative representation of natural hair? Is there such a thing? Does it depend on the product being advertised? Or the company advertising the product?

I don’t know about you, but I like change. Change is good, when it’s for the better. Keeping that in mind, I’m announcing a new focus for my blog. Natural hair in the media!

This is an interesting topic that I don’t think many people are exploring. One day recently, I picked up a magazine and noticed a McDonald’s advertisement with a beautiful natural featured. I was so excited to see it. Once I saw that, I started noticing more and more ads with naturals in them.

So, this leads me to my change and evolution. Naturalhairedfoodie will be changing! I am going to start small and make my way towards bigger things. For now, I will begin by showcasing online and magazine advertisements that feature naturals. If you see a similar advertisement, take a picture and share it, or send me a link!

I’m going to start with an advertisement that just popped up while I was listening to my Mint Condition radio station on Pandora. Here is a Hillshire Farms advertisement featuring a beautiful brown-skinned natural! Rock on, Naturals!

Hey, I didn’t ask the question! But it was recently asked by a blogger for Psychology Today. The possible answer to the question, according to Satoshi Kanazawa, is differences in testosterone. Supposedly (because I take everything I read/sometimes see with a grain of salt) “Africans” have higher levels of testosterone.

My mom always told me, if you can’t say it better than it’s already been said, then don’t. And I have to say that CNN blogger LZ Granderson put many of my thoughts into words.

How dangerous is it to attempt to statistically prove physical attractiveness in humans? Is Kanazawa’s post responsible journalism? Is there any value in it? Or is it an example of what happens when you give everyone a voice/mic/platform? Speak out!

The researcher in me understood his explanation of factor analysis, but had the following questions:
*What is the level of significance for these findings? Is it .05% (acceptable standard), or is it larger (.10% or .15%)? Kanazawa mentions that “race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III)”, but doesn’t identify the level of significance. Note: identifying the level of significance is expected when expressing statistical significance.
*What was the race of the interviews who were determining the attractiveness of the Add Health respondents? If a white interviewer was rating a black respondent, is that really reliable? Is this question unimportant, given that 3 interviewers rated the respondent’s attractiveness over seven years?
*You must consider the source: Kanazawa is apparently an evolutionary psychologist. London School of Economics or not. See my earlier post about evolutionary psychology and physical attractiveness.

A favorite go-to style for many natural women is the twist-out. I am no exception. I rock a very defined, shrunken twist-out, while others prefer a loose, large twist-out. For work, I think the former works great. Here is my hair care regimen to get twist-outs like the ones you see in these pictures.

Step 1: Wash hair with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butte Moisture Retention Shampoo
Step 2: Deep condition hair with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner
Step 3: Detangle hair while conditioner is in. Separate hair into sections, working from the tip to the root, detangling. Do not start from the root. If you want to use the conditioner as a leave-in, go to Step 5. If you want to rinse it out, go to Step 4.
Step 4: Rinse out conditioner, and apply your daily moisturizer, curl definer, etc. Begin twisting hair while wet or damp.
Step 5: Begin parting hair at the back of head. Part into sections about 2 finger-widths wide, or about 1.5 inches wide. While you are parting, make sure to apply moisturizer. I use a homemade whipped shea-butter based recipe (which I will post later) on my scalp and on the hair strands.
Step 6: Make your way from the bottom of the head to the top of the head.
Step 7: When you get to your ears, part from one ear to the other. You are now going to change the direction of your parts, so that you start from the front of your head and go to the new part (stop at your ears). *It’s easiest to start at the side and not top of your head.
Step 8: Finish remaining twists, and wear for 2-3 days. This will allow the hair to dry and establish the desired tight curl pattern.
Step 9: Starting at the back of your head, begin unraveling twists at the root and slowly pull your finger down the twist.
Step 10: Ready for work! *But make sure to sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a satin scarf at night.

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Can you tell in which pictures I was rocking the smaller versus larger twists before taking them out?

You never know what you may come up with when you experiment in the kitchen. Try it. You may be surprised. With random vegetables left over in my fridge from my 3 week vegetarian challenge, I put together a simple and easy black bean and tomato salad. But the beauty about this salad is not just its simplicity, it is also your ability to customize it. You can substitute, modify, and add ingredients. Check the end of the post for suggestions.

Black bean and tomato salad
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-30 cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/2 red onion, chopped
-1 yellow pepper, chopped
-1/2 poblano pepper, minced
-1 bunch of fresh cilantro, or 1.5 tbsp dried cilantro
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-Juice of 1 lime
-Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, tossing with lime juice, kosher salt, and pepper.

Customize it, by:

*Grilling fresh corn, or buy the frozen roasted version at Trader Joe’s, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan
*Grilling chicken breast and add it if you’re a carnivore
*Preparing some quinoa and toss it in with the salad, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan

Make sure to serve this salad chilled, by placing it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This gives the flavors time to meld together.

How often have you made a decision, committed to it, shared it with someone else, and regretted your decision to share it? Hopefully, not too often. We live in the real world, though. Sometimes, this does and can happen. I am no exception. I began to question my decision to stop eating meat for 3 weeks once I told my friends and family. I got responses like “Why?” “Really?” “For what?” “Are you sure you want to do that?” “That’s interesting!” “Why 3 weeks?” “You can do it!”

When I started my challenge on April 17, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. After over 2 decades of eating meat, the impact that this can have on your body was never something I really questioned. On the flip side, I didn’t really know a lot about the impact of being a vegetarian. Because of this,I made a fatal error. I didn’t research how becoming a vegetarian (however temporarily) can affect your body, digestive system, weight, etc. I also didn’t really look into how to eat a balanced diet without meat. I didn’t know what to expect. Now, don’t get me wrong. This challenge wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle. But anyone that knows me knows that I can’t stand being unprepared. This may have contributed to some anxiety that I began to feel during my challenge.

Even though I may have struggled through the challenge, I came out on the other side a newly informed carnivore (No, I will not become a vegetarian). But these are some of the things that I learned and will do differently in the future:

1) Use quinoa, tofu, seeds, nuts and beans for additional protein in my diet
Resource: go here for additional options and protein content of various foods.
2) Keep fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, chives, cilantro, etc., in the house. They are a really simple and easy way to add flavor to dishes. And if you’re worried about fresh herbs spoiling before you can use them, check out the resource below on freezing herbs.
Resource: Freezing herbs
3) Control meat portions.
Resource: American Cancer Society’s article on controlling portions

What’s your take on being a vegetarian? Or a healthy carnivore (that doesn’t have to be contradictory)? Have you or will you ever try it? Let me know.