#BWSU “Goddess Spotlight” Feature with Cathleen Meredith – Founder of Fat Girls Dance

Meet Cathleen Meredith, Founder of Fat Girls Dance #FGD, Author and Black Women Stand Up’s #BWSU “Goddess Spotlight” Feature!  It was a pleasure taking part in the #FGD two-day Weekend Finale Event that took place August 26th – 27th 2017.

#FGD is a Movement that has taken off, embraced by women of all shapes and sizes, changing the way women view their bodies.  The ladies of #FGD challenged themselves to learn, perform and post a new dance on YouTube each week for a full year.  Cathleen’s experiment caught the attention of Shonda Rhimes and the Dove brand, which led to an awesome opportunity for Cathleen and the squad…Check out the video below to find out more and see a recap of the #FGD Weekend Finale.

Thank you once again to Cathleen Meredith, the #FGD Squad, Workshop Presenters, Panelists, Vendors, Dance Groups and every woman and guest who did their part to make the Weekend Finale a success! And of course to #Dove and the #RealBeauty Campaign.  Visit Fat Girls Dance to learn more about the #FGD Movement.

#BWSU

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Today #BWSU Celebrates Shatysha Billingsley – Women Who Won Against Breast Cancer

April 27, 2017 marked Shatysha Tysh Billingsley’s one year anniversary of being Cancer Free! Tysh, from Birmingham, Alabama, is another Queen who found the courage and strength to Stand Up to cancer and win. We here at BlackWomenStandUp.com (BWSU) celebrate Tysh and other Black and Brown Women who are breast and or gyn cancer Survivors.  These women serve as an inspiration to many who may be experiencing hearing those life-changing words from a doctor “you have cancer.”  Seeing survivor stories of women like Tysh and many others from #BWSU’s “Survivors Wall” will empower many to fight, and believe that they too can WIN!

Thank you Shatysha for allowing us to share your story and celebrate you. Congratulations on your one year anniversary of being cancer free.  Keep winning Queen, You Rock!

TishBMay the words below from Shatysha on her one year cancer free mark, inspire you as much as they did the BlackWomenStandUp.com Founders.

“Today I celebrate, praise God and jump for joy for being 1YR CANCER FREE!!  I must first THANK cancer. Thank you cancer for teaching me lessons I never knew I needed to learn.  Thank you for making me look at small moments as giant ones. Thank you for teaching me to live and love as big as I possibly can.  Thank you for introducing me to many new amazing people and giving me a greater appreciation for the people I already had.  Thank you for teaching me that its OK to accept help (set my pride to the side) Thank you for making me face the fear of losing myself cause without It couldn’t find my new self.  Thank you for teaching me to let go and disconnect myself from unnecessary stress.  Thank you for helping me find my true potential through havoc.  Thank you for showing me that gratitude should come out of every experience.  Thank you for giving me a new perspective on life, and Thank you for teaching me that I am stronger than you!!!  From the very moment of hearing those words “Ms. Billingsley you have cancer” my breath was shallow, I was scared and instantly felt pain that I had never felt before! Well my pity party didn’t last but a moment, I looked myself in the mirror, took a deep breath and asked God “now what?” (ask and expect an answer) At that moment I began declaring over my life John 11:4 msg “This sickness is not fatal, it will become an occasion to show Gods glory by glorifying Gods Son” so with that in my mind, mouth, heart and soul. Winning was not an option it was the only outcome!!”

Peace and Love,

#BWSU

If you know of a woman of color who you would like to honor/celebrate and would like to see on our “Survivors Wall,” feel free to drop us an email at Contact@BlackWomenStandUp.com with relevant details and picture.

Thank you.

We Are Still Celebrating Women Who Won Against Breast Cancer #LoveYourVaJayJayAndBreast

Meet Mrs. Loretha Blue, a breast cancer survivor, wife, mother and BlackWomenStandUp.com’s 2017 #LoveYourVaJayJayAndBreast Honoree.  Mrs. Blue is a resident of the Bronx, NY., retired, active in her church and totally focused on being the best wife she can be to her husband of 35 years.  We will be featuring the couple in our “Love Lounge” where we celebrate love.  Check back in June 2017 for that feature.

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Thank you Mrs. Blue for being a fighter, an inspiration to many and for allowing us to tell your story, honor and celebrate YOU!

Love the #BWSU Family

Celebrating Survivors #LoveYourVaJayJayDay Gynecological And Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative

Today through our online Gynecological and Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative “Love Your Va-Jay-Jay and Breast Day” we are celebrating Survivors of GYN and Breast Cancers. We Stand With and For Survivors everywhere and Honor Black Women and Women of Color on our Survivors Wall.

Meet Survivors Ester Davis and Karen Henry who we will be adding to our Wall for #LoveYourVaJayJayAndBreastDay

Ester Davis was diagnosed in 2010 and beat cancer a year later.  She attributes having her yearly mammogram and early detection as helping her win the fight against cancer.  That is why it is so important for you to #CheckUpOnIt

Thank you to Hope Gurley, Co-Worker and Friend for Honoring Ester!

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Meet Karen Henry – Karen is currently going through treatment and Standing Up to breast cancer, she is a Fighter and Survivor!  She is pictured below with her Son Zach, who honored his Mom when cut his hair to show his support for Her. 

Karen is being Honored by her long-time friend, Lora Jackson of New York City.

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Thank you from #BWSU

#LoveYourVaJayJayAndBreastDay

Skin Lightening In Africa, Why Are Women Bleaching Their Skin?

Skin Lightening: Why Africans Use It

Written by Jeanette Lekgabe: Guest Blogger

Jeanette

 Skin lightening products has flooded African markets and the industry is still booming. Research shows the countries contributing profits to the companies behind this method of “beautification” include Mali, South Africa, Togo and Nigeria. The question still remains…Why?

Africa, known as The Motherland, has been intoxicated by this “beauty treatment” of which most question, including me.  However, most communities in the continent seem addicted to this skincare regimen despite the lack of research regarding long term affects to the skin.  The black market, which preys on the poor, has vastly grown as the demand for these types of products has increased; meanwhile, the rich and famous can afford high quality products. They the money needed to access to the proper professionals who consult and provide their dermatological and cosmetic skincare needs.

This is how it works…

 The Have-Nots: Those that do not have the money usually get these products at a cheaper price from any street vendor that are usually located on most corners in the communities.  What some do not know, while many do, but choose to ignore is that most of these products contain a harmful chemicals such as hydroquinone, which is mainly used in paints and photographic developing solutions and also the most commonly used one mercury, all of which can cause irreversible damage to the skin when continuously used.

Now that you know the basics of lightening creams, let’s get into the history of how the categorization and segregation of Light skinned vs Dark skinned began…

The term “yellow bone” gained popularity in the United States of America and later made its way to the South of Africa.  South Africa refers to light complexioned Black people (more specifically, the woman). This term took a toll on most and segregated dark and light skinned individuals, which caused emotional conflict where most found it hard to discuss fairly or to even simply articulate.

Can this be a disorder?  If so, here are the most globally recognized symptoms:

  • Skin Lighting (Bleaching)
  • Veneration and Lack of Self-Love
  • Lack of Group Unity and Trust

The idea of colorism goes back to Colonial history.  Oddly, British aristocrats embraced and aspired to have pale skin like “milk” and “porcelain.”  Having light-skin was perceived to come with privileges, social profile, better employment and change of marital status.  Their concept and standard of beauty holds no place for beholding melanin and celebrating pigmentation.  It later became a tool for oppression. Contemporary marketing campaigns take advantage of this social dynamic and perpetuate this perverted myth by sending a strong and consistent message through their advertising:

The lighter you are you are significantly more socially accepted, therefore the more benefits in life await you. The darker you are the less attractive you seem to most.

This has become so ingrained in African society; women of darker complexion literally work harder to be valued in the community than those with a lighter skin-tone.  Her quality of life is influenced.  Her self esteem is impacted.

Unfortunately, this will always be the norm to most.  So to my fellow Beautiful, Dark-skinned Women -segregated or not, light or dark – the Dream is big and we have the Power.  Hustle hard, work diligently in whatever you’re doing, and choose the right way to live.  Fearlessly aspire to what pleases and satisfies you.  Be uniquely you and stand proud.

Make your own mark and WEAR YOUR AFRICAN SKIN PROUD!

I stand for BLACK, so should YOU.


About the Author:

Jeanette Lekgabe is a Blogger from South Africa.   She has first hand experiences with the difficulties that darker skinned women face in the South African Region.  Learn more about Jeanette and read some of her fiction writing by visiting her Blog at Darted Africa.

 

#WednesdayWords – Happy International Women’s Day

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Happy International Women’s Day!  Today is truly a phenomenal day as we Celebrate All Women.  Whatever you are doing today it is our hope that you are standing a little taller and smiling even harder while doing it.  If you took off today to stand in solidarity for #ADayWithoutAWoman we salute and thank you.

Check out #BWSU C0-Founder, T. Braxton on Periscope sending love to women everywhere, and letting everyone know why she is #ProudToBeAWoman – Are You? Please comment below and share, we want to hear from you today.

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Queens, continue to let your light shine, dim it for no one.  We are Women, We are the backbones of our families, communities and the world!  Stand up, Rise up and Never Give Up on yourself or your belief in a better world!

Peace and Always Love,

#BWSU Family

“Love Alert” Meet The Fords – BlackWomenStandUp’s New Love Lounge Feature

We Love, Love…Especially Black and Brown Love!  Here at BlackWomenStandUp.com the Love Lounge is where we celebrate and remind everyone of the beauty and feeling of being in love.  Our goal is to inspire those who are still hoping for and looking for that special one, and to spread the joy of those who have found their true love, while highlighting amazing couples.

Our Love Lounge Feature:

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Keith and Chanel Ford of Essex County, New Jersey – Married 9/24/16.
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Here are some fun and true facts about our Newlyweds:

  • Keith Ford and Chanel Caraway met on match.com —->(He was bored and signed up for a 7 day free trial.  She was at the end of a subscription that she rarely used).  Wow, look what that lead to!
  • They met the day after Thanksgiving, 2014

Message:  Internet Dating Works, don’t be scared ladies.  You never know where you will find love, just keep your heart open to the possibility and remain positive.

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Fun facts continued…

  • Chanel is from Baltimore, MD and Keith, East Harlem, NY
  • The wedding ceremony was in Baltimore County.  Reception was in the Inner Harbor, Downtown Baltimore
  • They are both foodies, entrepreneurial, and philanthropic
  • Some of their favorite things are cooking, dining out, reading, working out, and traveling

What’s next for the Newlyweds?  Their List Below:

  • Little ones
  • Home ownership
  • Developing their businesses – Check out Keith’s Business Pages here —->K Systems Solutions and The Digital Report (TDR)
  • Advancing their education

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More moments from Keith and Chanel’s Special Day!

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carawayfordwedding-142Thank you to Keith and Chanel for sharing their love and special day with the BWSU Family!  We wish you many more years of marital bliss, and all the best with your next steps in life as a couple:)

Peace and Love.

#BWSU