In early August, my home state of North Carolina was rocked by the news that a 5-year-old boy named Cannon was shot and killed by his 25-year-old neighbor.
Cannon was riding his bike when Darius Sessoms killed him in front of his two sisters. Austin, Cannon's father, says he was filled with rage, but couldn't leave Cannon's side after the incident. Here are some things you should know about this killing:
Now, with all of that being said, I feel the need to address something that's been going around as of late. A number of people are making this a racial issue, saying that the story isn't getting the media coverage it deserves because it is a black on white crime instead of a white on black crime. A number of people are asking where Black Lives Matter is in this.
THE OUTRAGE CLAIM
"WHY ARE YOU OUTRAGED OVER A CRIMINAL'S DEATH AND NOT SEEMINGLY AS OUTRAGED OVER A CHILD'S DEATH?"
That was obviously different from this case, but the hurt felt by the family and the community is just as powerful.
Many angry people are asking where Black Lives Matter is and why they can be outraged over something happening to a criminal (or suspected one) that leads to their death and not this. Let me unpack it for you in bullet points:
I'd like to end my post by reiterating that what happened to this child is disgusting and heartbreaking, and I hope that Sessoms is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I have linked the family's GoFundMe page when I first mentioned it. I pray that you read this with an open mind and you can see that these two things just don't need to be compared. They are awful and anyone who kills anyone else should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of their race or their job title.
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As someone who spends a majority of their time on social media, listening to Gen Z, working with them, and learning from them, I've had the opportunity to really dive into what a lot of Gen Z and Millennials feel the best employers will offer following COVID-19.
1. MORE FLEXIBILITY
When their child is sick, they end up using their vacation days just for the opportunity to check in on them every now and then. Additionally, I know I've had 24-hour bugs or stomach bugs that, for the most part, wouldn't disturb my ability to work. It would be more comfortable to work from home in these situations.
This ideal was popular even before COVID-19. Some of the best companies for employees, like Google, give their employees the opportunity to work in ways that decrease their stress levels and allow them to take care of themselves and their families without causing harm to their companies. Certainly following this pandemic, most desk jobs can be performed remotely. It would be disheartening if companies refused to allow this once and a while considering how well most employees have adapted to this model.
2. ESSENTIAL WORK PAY
If employers are asking these employees to put themselves in harms way, a bonus should certainly be considered, especially because many of these types of companies didn't suffer much during COVID. Restaurants laid off their servers, but continued to get orders.
I will say that, personally, I feel some essential work such as police, nurses, and EMT, may not need these bonuses. While it would be nice, these workers already have a dangerous job where they can come in contact with ill or dangerous people.
3. MORE INFO ON LAYOFFS AND FURLOUGHS
When COVID-19 first hit, several campaigns to boycott certain companies for their lay-offs spread throughout social media. Employers should expect questions including, "when was the last time you laid off employees" and "should a crisis such as COVID-19 hit again, what is the probability that I would lose my job."
We all know that COVID-19 has been tough on company overheads, and potential employees should certainly tread lightly when asking these questions, but they are worth the ask.
This causes employees to get frustrated when funding is cut or jobs are cut. They don't know what's going on, which leaves them with a bad experience that they will undoubtedly share with future employees and customers.
If you're reading this as an employer, I hope you'll take these things into consideration. So many people are asking for these, and they are relatively simple to give or educate on. If you have anything to add, feel free to comment below!
I couldnât help myself in writing this post even though, by the time youâre reading this, the post that set this off in me is several weeks old.
I came across a post that included a quote from Jillian Michaels who said that we shouldnât be glamorizing obesity, but we should be inclusive of everyone. To me, this statement makes absolutely no sense.
âBecause I have yet to see a large group of influencers encourage their followers to pack on the pounds to be pretty, valued, or worthy to society. As a matter of fact, Iâve seen much more of the opposite. Iâve seen the promotion of eating very little, following KPOP idol diets, and so on. Iâm not saying that there arenât people who say that eating more means youâre more beautiful. There are fetishes for that specifically. However, it is not a thing in society.
âIn the music world, everyone gets up-in-arms when Lizzo wears an outfit that shows her butt cheeks, but everyone is cool with Nicki Minaj or Cardi B twerking with her cheeks out because theyâve got fat in the ârightâ places. Theyâre all completely fine with the Kardashian/Jenner family walking out in sheer clothes where you can see everything. But not when Lizzo does it. Absolutely not!
As someone who aspires to be an influencer, Iâve personally gotten several comments on different social media about my size, all of which is attached to content like this where I call out the haters who are mad that one of my videos blew up. I wonât lie, there is WAY more acceptance now than there used to be. However, people have called me âdelusional,â âpart of the problem,â and more for simply saying that one personâs existence is not glamorizing being overweight or obese.
A lot of people claim that eating healthy meals is rather affordable, but it depends on the size of your family and your income. If you can buy enough to make spaghetti for five people vs. a high-protein and high-veggie meal, youâre going to be eating a less healthy meal.
âCan you live a healthy lifestyle when you arenât making much money and donât have a lot of time? Yes, if you work super hard. Because youâre still going to be eating that boxed meal, and youâre going to have to sacrifice time you use to make money for time for your workouts.
I myself am going to be trying extra hard to lose weight for my health, not for my looks. However, I take comfort in knowing that I will never ever change or feel ashamed of my body because Jillian Michaels told me I should. I will not stop trying to be a positive influence on a bunch of people because Michaels told me I would be glamorizing obesity by being a blogger who happens to be plus sized!
Black Friday is a week from today and, I’m hoping with the foresight to write this a week early, I can deter you from going out and shopping like mad.
So, here are some of the reasons why I don’t think Black Friday is really worth all of the effort you have to put into it.
IN A LOT OF CASES, YOU’RE BEING DOOPED
On top of that, some of the items that go on sale at dirt cheap prices tend to be from companies that no longer exist or old stock that has been deteriorating in the storage room. Others may include laptops that are dirt cheap but only have basic capabilities. Really check into the deal to see if it is worth it.
A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED OR HURT
One was when I was a child and we went to Walmart to get one of those really old box computers that were really cool at the time but are nothing compared to the technology we have today.
The second was one year when my brother and I went to Walmart to get my mom a sewing machine that was on sale. They were selling a gaming system at the time and people were fighting and cursing at one another.
IT FORCES RETAIL WORKERS TO WORK WHEN THEY SHOULD BE WITH THEIR FAMILIES
I know, also, that working retail is a choice just like any job. However, most people work retail. You wouldn’t want to have to walk away from your family, why should they?
YOU GET PRETTY GOOD DEALS ON CYBER MONDAY
Cyber Monday was first observed in 2005, almost 15 years ago! Thanks to the invention and cultivation of the internet, more and more people are selling goods and services online. Cyber Monday deals are great because you can shop from the comfort of your own home without having to go out in the cold or potentially be hurt by some random crazed shopper.
We have what are called “racial slurs” which are words or phrases used to demean or lessen the value of people of varying skin tones (which is crazy stupid by the way). It makes me chuckle a bit to see that members of the Baby Boomer generation consider a term that literally says “OK” paired with their generational name is a “slur.”
“If you’re comparing the ‘badness’ of two words and you won’t even say one of them, that’s the worst word.” – Comedian John Mulaney
Some will say “Millennials are always on their phones and they want everything handed to them” or “These Gen Z-ers are so disrespectful.” However, every single time I’ve heard the phrase “OK Boomer” used, it has been used to shut down insults like these from specific Gen X-ers and Boomers who are being insulting and rude. It has never been applied freely to the entire generation, but only to a few.
Saying “Boomers will never understand…” is NOT an insult or a stereotype. I can’t understand what it’s like to be a Boomer or a Gen X-er either. I have some people who fit that description in my life, but I can’t experience what it was like for them.
Here is a prime example. I saw someone from an old church we went to who shared this on their Facebook timeline. It took everything in me not to say “this is part of the reason we left your church.” I hesitated in including it because I don’t want to fuel the views for this. However, if you read the YouTube description, it says that the video is a parody that was meant to show church leaders that they should look past Millennial stereotypes and look toward the unique potential Millennials have. I didn't know this at the time because I saw it on Facebook and followed the link onto YouTube after watching and commenting.
Regardless of the intent, I think the video is in poor taste. This church had to know that people would take this stereotype and run with it. This was my comment on the video:
“I don't know if I'm more shocked that this even exists or if I'm shocked that a CHURCH created it. The sad thing is that the church shouldn't stereotype anyone, and all of the Millennials I know are not like this whatsoever. Please keep in mind that your generation raised Millennials, gave Millennials false hope about getting good jobs (which is now resulting in fewer enrollments at colleges and universities), and that the economy is NOTHING like what it was for you. Also, as you said, Millennials are going to be future leaders. Instead of making these rude videos, maybe you should be kind and see how you can help them.”
I then mentioned that everyone who had commented or laughed at my comment was in the Boomer or Gen X populations, which was evident by their profiles. Another man who was obviously much older and in the Boomer population said “grow up it’s funny but so true.”
To that, I said “OK Boomer,” because I really didn’t want to hear it. I felt my initial comment was fair and kind. Another man said “Spoken like a true Millennial.” My response?
“Why thank you! It's funny how someone can tell me to ‘grow up’ and insult me because of my age, but when it happens to them, they lose their minds! Love that for you. Best of luck in your future."
These specific people were committed to misunderstanding millennials and didn’t even want to try to help. They just wanted to continue to push these ridiculous stereotypes.
Calling this phrase, a slur seriously diminishes the magnitude of other slurs that are still being used, almost exclusively by members of the Gen X or Baby Boomer generations.
I’ve always said: “Stereotypes are just commitments made to intentionally misunderstand people.” Quote me on that.
Next time you see yourself stereotyping a Millennial or Gen Z-er (or if you’re in one of those generations and you start to stereotype all Boomers or Gen X-ers) watch your words. We should all be open to honest conversations about our work and its state. No one should be dismissed for being “too young.” That’s not how this works. We are all citizens of the world, and we should all have a say in how it runs.
It’s pretty much an accepted fact that men mature at a slower rate than women. However, I think most people would agree that studies on this indicate social maturity is what psychologists are talking about in these studies.
But today, I want to talk about emotional maturity. Women get such a bad reputation for silent treatments and arguments when a lot of the time, it boils down to emotional maturity, usually on the side of the man.
Before I get too far into this, I want to make it clear that I don’t believe every man is emotionally immature. There are several amazing guys who were taught or learned emotional maturity. I know a lot of them. But I know and have experienced far more men with a lack of emotional maturity. I will be saying “men” as a general term in this post. Just know that I am aware that not all men are this way, but a lot are.
This post is for them and for women who feel the same.
THERE IS A REASON WOMEN ACT THE WAY WE DO
Why do we do this? Because we don’t understand how you don’t see what’s wrong. Men are not emotionally mature enough, for whatever reason, to read body language and cues from their female pattern, but they can tell when a friend is getting frustrated or another guy is about to swing on them. How does that make sense?
If a man says something is a rude tone and the woman gets quiet, doesn’t answer, or turns her attention away, how can a man sit there and ask “what’s wrong?”
Before I was married, I dated a guy who lived across the state line. He was obsessed with video games. I would drive hours to see him only to sit beside him while he played games. He would often ask “what’s wrong,” and I would tell him “I drive forever to see you just to sit here and watch you play games.”
Why did I need to tell him that? He should get that. Now, are there girls who will get mad for dumb reasons? Sure. Sometimes we see lack of concern for big things, so we get heated over the little things in hopes of stressing the importance of handling issues as they arise.
WHERE DOES EMOTIONAL IMMATURITY COME FROM?
It goes even further. Dads treat their sons much differently than their daughters. Dads view their daughters as princesses (most of the time) and will stop the world if they are hurt. But when boys are hurt, they are told the “toughen up.” This just perpetuates the expectation of the macho man.
Men are also expected to be emotionally tough. Men often don’t smile in pictures because it “makes them seem weak.” They don’t want to talk about their feelings. To all of these men, let me tell you something: your partners aren’t happy. Unless they are like you, they aren’t happy.
As a semi-influencer (a name I've given to myself since I don't have a huge following but have been blessed enough to work with some brands), I've had the opportunity to receive free products in exchange for a review.
While I always tell you my true feelings about the products or services I'm given, I'm not all that convinced that everyone does. Today, I want to share a few reasons why I think product/customer reviews aren't always reliable today.
1: MISINFORMATION FROM INFLUENCERS
I think a big reason why influencers do this, especially with a bigger brand, is because they don't want to have any bad blood, especially in the beauty industry. Then you have people like Jeffree Star who gives reviews on big makeup brands and shares his opinion, regardless of how it will reflect on the brand. Sadly, though, there aren't many reviewers like Jeffree who will slam Kylie Cosmetics to millions of followers (see below).
2: PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE IT AS AN INFLUENCER
In today's world, everyone wants the dream job of being a YouTuber or blogger. Getting to do what you love (creating content) and getting paid for it is the dream. However, this can cloud some people's judgement and cause them to leave positive reviews in hopes of working with the brand later.
I want to stress that I wouldn't do this. If I try a product and it is awful, I will tell you! I wouldn't want to pay any money, let along $40-$60 for a product that didn't have good results. But, I do know some influencers who simply want to make good press for brands so they have a future with them! Brands don't want fake reviews, yet influencers do it. Go figure.
3: YOU CAN PAY PEOPLE TO REVIEW YOUR PRODUCT
My response is always "I don't feel comfortable writing a review about a product I haven't tried for myself." Luckily, freelance isn't my only job. But for someone who makes their living off of writing, they might not pass up the chance to make good money writing fake reviews.
And obviously, since the reviewer hasn't tried the product, there is no legitimacy in their review.
CONCLUSION AND QUESTION OF THE DAY
These are only a few of the reasons why the customer review is losing its power. I think more can be done if websites will add "verified purchaser" or indicate if someone was gifted a product to review. However, a lot of people won't stop to look at that. They want a quick answer and five positive reviews might be the answer they can get the easiest.
For the question of the day: how important are customer reviews to you? Given the information in this post, will you pay more attention to them next time you shop online?
Men and women aren't treated equally in pretty much every country in the world. In fact, in some countries, women are treated as second-class citizens who aren't even allowed to get an education.
Today is National Women's Equality Day. I regard myself as a feminist. I am someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. I think everyone should hold this belief. Please go into this post with an open mind. I do bring up some points I've heard from very conservative speakers and give my thoughts on them.
1: WOMEN ARE EXPECTED TO DO EVERYTHING
I find myself incredibly lucky, partially because I chose to be with someone who doesn't push the narrative that a woman needs to be the one who not only bears a child and raises it, but takes care of the house and likely has a full-time job as well.
A lot of women do much of this work by themselves. That's not to say that a father doesn't change his child's diaper every now and then.
It's been perpetuated in TV, movies, and in real life. The man comes home, grabs a beer, and flips on the sports channel while the mother is rocking the baby, praying that the touchdown celebration doesn't wake him/her.
Don't get me wrong. If I had a life where I was capable of being a stay-at-home mom, I'd do these things without protest, although I would want some time to myself after taking care of the house and children all day. But some don't share that desire and very few can afford to live a single-income lifestyle.
2: WOMEN DO GET PAID LESS THAN MEN
Personally, I would rather spend time with my kids than working my way up the ranks of a company, but that isn't entirely true for everyone, and it isn't feasible for most families in this day and age.
Women are constantly told that, because we bear a child, it is our responsibility to raise it and nurture it. We are pressured by society, some by our partners, and by our emotions. It takes two to make a baby, so two people should be raising the baby. I do see why pro-choice advocates are so upset by this. Men don't want a say in how a baby is raised until it comes to the choice of abortion. Then they say "it is half my child, so I should get a say."
If there were that much concern by men in the first place, there may be fewer abortions.
Anyway, I have the same human urge to move up the ranks in my job as any man. Maybe more of an urge. But, if my husband made more than me and someone needed to stay home to be with the baby, I would be expected by society to leave my job for a few years without question to take care of the child.
3: WOMEN ARE POWERFUL BUT ARE CONSIDERED WEAKER
But because of the whole muscle mass thing, women are always viewed as weaker. We get terms like "you throw like a girl" or "you fight like a girl" hurled at boys and men in our life and it is an insult. These things are taught at a young age and no one thinks anything of it. It just adds to the sexism that already exists in our nation.
4: WOMEN ARE CONSTANTLY SEXUALIZED
I like to use hashtags like #prettyandplussize or #bigbeautifulwomen on my photos in hopes of inspiring other plus-size women to build their confidence. However, I usually end up getting an inappropriate DM or comment.
Another thing I remember is being followed around in Walmart by a guy who asked if I "wanted to come over to his place." And before you ask, no, I wasn't wearing anything low-cut or "sexy." I was wearing a t-shirt, basketball shorts, no makeup, and a messy bun.
HOW YOU CAN BREAK THE SYSTEM
I wanted to share something that happened to me a week or so ago and try to give you a sort of snapshot of what fat people wonder when they are fat shamed by complete strangers.
This is a topic I'm really passionate about and this is the understanding I have both personally and from the plus-size community that I've been a part of. I'm not meaning to "speak" for others who have had a different experience, but I think most can agree that this is what happens in our heads.
âSo, I decided that I wanted to make this explanation post to get out into the open some things we fat people want others to understand:
1: WE DONâT BELIEVE YOU âCARE ABOUT OUR HEALTHâ
2: WE FIND SOME OF YOU VERY HYPOCRITICAL
3: WE ARENâT ASKING YOU TO LIKE US
4: WE DESERVE EQUAL PRAISE FOR EQUAL
I cannot tell you how many times in my life that Iâve accomplished something amazing and shared it with friends, only to have someone share a different (equally as amazing) accomplishment and give praise to someone who is substantially smaller than me.
I work super hard to do the things that I do. I also strive to be supportive to all of my fellow creators.
And donât give me that âyou should validate yourselfâ nonsense. Have you ever asked a friend if your makeup looks good? How about asking your partner if your outfit makes you look âfat?â
As if you donât own a mirror.
Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is in some way concerned with how they are perceived. If you donât think so, then youâre either very enlightened (kudos) or youâre lying to yourself.
5: WE DONâT GET WHY YOU CARE SO MUCH
Caveating off of the first point, why do you care? You have no personal stake in my life, so why do you care what my size is?
Unless youâre sitting next to me on a plane or in a crowded bus, my fat is none of your concern. Half the time, airlines make fat people buy TWO SEATS to make other passengers feel comfortable.
I do want to say that, in situations where fat people are in a packed area, most of us try to be courteous as best as we can. I have requested to move seats on an airplane when it was open, chosen to stand rather than sit on a crowded bus or subway, etc. Most people donât want someone else in their personal space, anyway.
6: WE ARENâT PROMOTING OBESITY BY LIVING LIFE IN
OUR OWN BODY
It took a lot for me to choose this picture for this point. We've all probably had a taco. But this picture of me pointing to a taco sign means I'm "promoting obesity" to some.
In this photo and the caption, I don't encourage people to eat tacos until they gain weight. I am very honest about my love for tacos. I am very open about being a foodie.
âBut I have never in my life seen or witnessed or taken part in promoting unhealthy living. Iâve never seen a plus-size person tell one of their followers that they should eat unhealthy things excessively and avoid exercise.
What I have seen are people doing the opposite. They tell women they are too fat and should avoid eating, throw up their food, and get weight loss surgery to âfixâ themselves.
Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and validated. We deserve cute clothes, happiness, and opportunities. Living our best lives in the body we have in its current state is the whole premise of the body positivity movement.
7: WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR HEALTH, JUST LIKE
My health is really important to me. I go in for regular check-ups, get blood work done, and make changes to meet the goals set by my doctor. Like everyone else does!
We all just donât feel the need to tell people that. It is none of anyoneâs business. Sure, there are some who donât do any of this stuff, but most of us are trying to be healthy for our health, not for âcuterâ pictures on Instagram.
Some people may jump into the comments alleging that he never really said that. But, this notion that video games are to blame for people's horrendous actions has been a topic of discussion for decades. I wanted to come on here today to talk about the real issue: racism and a lack of care for mental health.
THE HISTORY OF CORRELATION BETWEEN VIDEO GAMES AND MASS SHOOTINGS
Video games have historically been linked to violence because of the Columbine shooting. During follow-up reporting, it was discovered that the two shooters liked to play games like "Doom" and "Grand Theft Auto." Ever since, video games and video game addiction has been linked to school shootings in particular, but has now been associated with the most recent mass shootings previously mentioned.
So, if it isn't video games, what is it?
LET'S TALK ABOUT RACISM FIRST
Racism is a topic of discussion that is close to my heart. Mainly because I wouldn't have been able to marry my husband several decades ago because of this notion.
It is also close to my heart because so many people try to use religious text out of context to justify segregation and racism, which hurts my soul so much.
The El Paso shooter, who I refuse to name, is a 21-year-old who wrote a racist and anti-immigrant document, according to CNN. The manifesto, titled "The Inconvenient Truth," was put online only 20 minutes before the shooting happened and discussed "race mixing."
I was so shocked to read this. After all, if I ever had a child, I would be a "race mixer." Not only am I shocked at how demented the mind of a killer can be, I'm also shocked that someone cares so much about individual choice and preference. At the end of the day, you can choose to be with whoever you want. Why do you care so much about another person's choice?
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH IN AMERICA
I could write a book on everything wrong with mental health in America. There are so many factors to it.
To begin, there is just an overall negative stigma to mental health disorders and getting help for mental health disorders, especially in certain communities. Our men are told to "just be strong" and to "put their feelings aside."
"I think it is largely due to the idea of them portraying a sense of masculinity...Everyone is smiling, except Mr. Macho Man who believes smiling is a form of weakness and would rather choose from his arsenal of looks..." -Lucas Pool on Quora
And then there's bullying. The misconception is that bullying is a child's sport and that it stops in adulthood. But, nothing is further from the truth.
According to Counseling.org, 99 percent of school shootings are carried out by males (which I mentioned because of the aforementioned "macho man" thing).
As a segway, only about 17 percent of these shooters had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, but nearly 78 percent had a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts. This strongly suggests that they may have been struggling with depression or another mental health disorder.
As far as mass shooters in general, the LA Times ran an awesome article that highlights some of the traits that almost every mass shooter has in common.
The first is that most are exposed to childhood trauma. This could leave them with untreated PTSD or another mental health disorder. Second, they had all reached a crisis point. Third, they sought validation for their motives. And fourth, they had the means to carry out their plans.
WHAT WE SHOULD REALLY BE TALKING ABOUT
- The value of human life, regardless of race,
- Racist sentiments bred into society and even in our classrooms,
- Politicians who have made terrible racist statements, regardless of what they "meant" by them,
- Bullying - how different it is now vs. even 10 years ago,
- Punishment for bullies, regardless of whether or not they're a star athlete or their parents have money,
- Adding licensed counselors to our schools,
- Recognizing bullying and/or signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder,
- Normalizing the talk about mental health,
- Encouraging men and at-risk communities to seek counseling or just to be more open about their feelings and their emotional status (trust me, y'all will still be macho),
- Stop "celebrating anti-bullying week" with orange t-shirts and start getting real about the reality of bullying,
- Give everyone paid vacation and not guilt them into not using their vacation,
- Access to affordable mental health care,
- Mental health care within our schools,
- ...and so many other things.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Black Lives Matter
Plus Size Children
That's My Opinion