Movie Remakes: Hollywood’s Way of Saying ‘We’ve Run Out of Stories About White People’

So I read an article today about how it is projected that Ben-Hur is going to be a huge box office bomb this coming weekend. The article also went into detail about why it’s going to bomb. You know, the regular old ‘people are tired of remakes’ argument. But there was one other important reason why remakes are tanking.

I heard somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, but that the reason Hollywood keeps making remakes is because they’ve run out of stories about white people. I thought about that statement for a while. And you know what? It is absolutely freakin’ true!

Drama, action, thriller, horror, romance, RomCom, sci-fi, etc. You name it, it’s been done. Then redone. And then redone again. Hollywood keeps regurgitating the same tired and trite stories. With actors that all look the same. And just to silence the masses of bored minorities, they throw in Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Viola Davis, The Rock, John Leguizamo and that other Hispanic dude that they use when they need one, Michael Pena. That little splash of color ain’t cutting it Hollywood.

That Fast and Furious franchise isn’t doing as well as it is because it has the best storylines and acting to ever grace an action movie. No, it’s doing well because of the diverse cast. People tend to gravitate towards movies that have faces that kind of resemble theirs. Look how good The Perfect Guy did last summer. It was led by an almost all Black cast, but it wasn’t advertised as a “Black  movie,” it was advertised just like Sleeping with the Enemy was advertised. As just a good old-fashioned thriller. And why do you think TV is doing so well? Network, cable, and streaming channels are doing extremely well because of the all-inclusive shows they’re cranking out. Scandal, The Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black, Empire

This is not a fluke Hollywood. People want to see true inclusion and one black, brown, tan or yellow face every now and again, right before you kill us off, is not enough. (See; almost all horror movies and Sleepy Hollow TV series)

The amount of stories out there about Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Middle Easterners, LGBTQ is an untapped gold mine. And there are hundreds, if not thousands of writers out there with phenomenal stories. Straight white people aren’t the only people who fall in love or deserve to fall in love. I’m the first person to say I love Nicholas Sparks books and movies. The Notebook was fire!!! But Nicholas Sparks isn’t the only author cranking out great romance novels that deserve their moment in the sun and on the silver screen.

And when I say all-inclusive, I don’t mean zero white people. That’s not the real world. All-inclusive literally means EVERYONE. Hell, the stories I write and would love to see on the big or small screen are interracial with mainly black women and white men. But it’s not gonna kill ya if the main female protagonist in a RomCom is black and curvy with a slender white sidekick. I, personally think it would be a breath of fresh air.

So stop being lazy Hollywood. Stop being afraid. You’re already losing cash on huge box office flops that are played out storylines. Why not take a chance on something new. If it tanks, at least you can tank with integrity and a pair of big hairy balls of steel.

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Project DIY Platinum (Hair Dye Review)  

Hello, peeps! It’s time for another review. This time, it will be hair dye or bleach technically. Back in May, I buzzed off my colorful Frohawk and decided to start over, wanting to grow my hair out into tapered natural curls. Well, when the barber finished, I loved the buzzed look so much, I decided to keep it. But something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I saw a girl in the studio audience of the Steve Harvey Show. Her hair was buzzed as well but dyed a stunning platinum blonde. In that moment, I knew what must be done.

Now, I knew what it was like to bleach my hair from dying it crazy colors before. But this was different. There wouldn’t be any hot pink, purple, or blue to cover up how sh*tty I was at bleaching my hair. Just call me Patches. So I headed to Sally’s to find the right products to achieve awesome platinum glory. When I got there, I’ll just say that the sales girl wasn’t much of a help, unfortunately, which is the main reason I’m doing this review. Maybe if I can save someone the cash and trouble, it’ll be worth it.

Here’s the before (technically this was the first day I got my hair buzzed back in May, but I wanted to show how dark my hair was)…

After using Loreal Excellence HiColor Honey Blonde (Sidenote: My barber has gotten extra clipper happy since my first chop, but I can go once a month instead of twice, so I’m cool with the scalped look. Here it’s so short that you can barely see the color. In fact, I really did look bald because it matched my skin so well)…

 

After AgeBeautiful Golden Blonde (this was the very next day)…

 

Neither one of those products lifted my hair to the blonde I needed and I was starting to get super frustrated. Finally, I went to another Sally’s further away in the hopes of finding a sales rep that was better able to assist me in finding the right dye. Thank God I did! The girl there directed me towards this amazing product…

Common sense would tell you that going with the product called Blond when you’re trying to get blonde is the right way to go. But I was clueless and my original helper didn’t help at all.

 
So armed with the starter kit, I was ready…

 

And man is this stuff legit! Just check out the results…

I still needed to put it through the black test, though. You see, I’d already lifted my hair quite a few shades lighter before using Blond Brilliance. What I needed to know was if it would lighten my hair that high from my natural black or very dark brown hair color. After a week’s worth of new growth, I dyed it again today. This time with the Extra Strength Powder and the Extra Strength 25 Developer (which you’re not supposed to go over their 15 Developer on your scalp, but I’m either brave or really stupid. Either way, I was lucky because it barely tingled).

And here are the results…

 

Even the new baby hairs that have grown out since my last cut and the last dye job that were jet black went platinum! And after only 10 minutes, too!!! I had to leave the other two on for 45 minutes to achieve dark blonde.

This stuff is the bee’s knees. It doesn’t kill you with the chemical smell. It doesn’t practically burn your eyes out from the fumes. The other two above did, especially the AgeBeautiful. Blond Brillance didn’t burn either time I used it. Just a slight tingle. It’s not super expensive and the tools provided in the starter kit are perfect for reuse.

I also use a purple shampoo mixed with some coconut oil to get extra moisture and to make sure the color isn’t too brassy. Blond Brilliance actually has their own toning shampoo and conditioner, but I’d already purchased this when I was helped by the unhelpful sales girl. Ha!

So if you haven’t noticed, I give Blond Brilliance 5 brightly shining 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟, two enthusiastic 👍👍, and three super happy 😆😆😆. The other dyes would work for someone that wants to achieve sedate blonde hues, despite their potent smells and somewhat burning chemicals. But Blond Brilliance also has more products for those that want darker blonde colors. They seem to have it all and totally winning the blonde game.

Now that I’ve reached the color I wanted, I’m totally satisfied with my hair. When I first buzzed it, the look appeared to be an accident or that I was recovering from being sick. I wanted my already bold statement to reflect the fact that it was totally on purpose. And with the blonde, there is absolutely no doubt that my super short locks were 100% my choice and I’m loving every minute of it.

Be bold. Be brave. And rock the style you want with confidence. Till next time…

Word-of-Mouth Dies on the Lips of White Readers

I’ve been a self-published author for nearly three years. I’ve published 12 works and can now kind of gauge what’s happening with my books and readers by my sales. The majority of my readers are Black women since I write Interracial Erotic Romance with a main focus on Black Woman/White Man characters. Though my books rarely ever even address race. They’re just love stories like any other. Anyway, I digress.

When a book is first released, especially books that were available for pre-order, sales start out relatively high. After a while, depending on how well you promoted and how many readers are spreading the word, sales can peter off. Then let’s say, a few months later, I see Book 1 of one of my series sells on Monday, then on Tuesday or before Monday is even over, Book 2 is purchased and shortly after that Book 3. I can tell that it was more than likely one person that was really into my series and snatched up all the books. Then within a couple days of that random purchase, I’ll see sales for Book 1 shoot up when it had flat-lined for quite some time. It is relatively obvious then that the original reader told her friends, family and co-workers about the series and they want to experience the story too. In the nutshell, word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is huge for an author. You can advertise, promote, and hustle all day and it will help. But word-of-mouth is what books live and die by. I’ve heard that Fifty Shades of Grey rose to the top because of book clubs that shouted praise at the top of their lungs. And I have no doubt that many, if not all of those book clubs were predominantly white. So it’s obvious that white word-of-mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to going mainstream. As a black author, I wish it wasn’t so. Because in my experience, when it comes to a book being lead by a black female protagonist, white readers clam up tighter than a virgin inside a bank vault.

Prime example:

Chasing Day Cover

Chasing Day (Book 1): He’s the golden boy quarterback of the football team. She the shy, plump orchestra geek. Unlikely best friends. An undeniable attraction… Tap here to purchase.

I’ve been involved with a cross-promotional group of authors on Facebook for nearly a year now. It’s a mix of Romance authors, but mainly white. We blast our readers every quarter with freebies in an opportunity to expand our readership to readers that may have never found us, to begin with. For some of the black authors in the group, that means possibly finding white readers that normally wouldn’t go out of their way to look for us. In the most recent freebie blast, I gave away Chasing Day, Book 1 in a two-part series. That day, I got over 5,000 downloads. The potential for read-through to Book 2 and crossing over to new readers is definitely higher with those results. And every time we do a blast for some odd-marketing-universe-reason sales for that book shoot up even after it’s no longer free.

 

It wasn’t long before I saw definite read-through to Book 2. In fact, sales for Book 2 did remarkably well for a while, considering my still relatively newbie standards. So it’s obvious that those who have read Chasing Day so far, are liking it enough to buy the sequel. There were about 40-50 books for free in the promotion, so I don’t expect all of those 5,000+ readers to get to my book right away.

 

But also, what I noticed is that, though sales for Book 2 went up, sales for Book 1 flat-lined. Which it is glaringly obvious what’s happening, or shall I say, not happening. They are loving the story enough to continue on to the sequel. But they’re not comfortable enough to tell their friends, family, and co-workers about it. I am a reader before I am a writer. When I’ve come across a book I adore, I let it be known to anyone who will listen. And I know that is what almost all readers do. Because once you find your tribe, you have to share in the joys and heartbreak of a story. You can’t be alone in your adoration of a book. Even now, if I read a book that its characters are White Woman/White Man (i.e Archer’s Voice and Me Before You), if I love it enough, I will still tell my friends and readers about them. Even knowing that many of them prefer to read black heroines. A good book is a good book, no matter the race of the author or characters.

And I know what you’re probably thinking, “Maybe your book isn’t as good as you think it is and that’s why they aren’t sharing it.” I’ll admit, I love my series and may be biased but I seriously doubt that it’s the best series ever written. I’d have to be delusional and quite egotistical to believe that. But it’s still a good story that I poured my heart into. And a few of the white readers that were kind enough to leave a review, did in fact, sing its praises. So I’m not completely off-base in my summation here.

So I say to anyone who is reading this, I urge you, for the sake of art, if you come across a good book that you thoroughly enjoyed but it’s not something you or your friends would normally read…share it anyway. If you liked it, they probably will too. Your recommendation is our life’s blood. Our books live and die by your word-of-mouth. So for the love of God, speak up!

***Anyone interested in signing up for my newsletter to get these awesome deals and freebies I mentioned above, click here. Also, you get a free eBook when you sign up for my newsletter.***

Douche Repellent

I realized something today. Almost everything that I am and all I have done, especially in the last 3 years, has effectively turned me into douche repellent. Keep in mind that setting up your life and your person as douche repellent may mean you’ll be single more often than not. But I’ve found that ultimately, I’d rather be single than dating a douche. So here are my examples of applying douche repellent:

  1.  My weight. Being a chubby woman has steered many a dick away from me. They’re too shallow to be a chubby chaser, so they leave me alone. While they find some slender girl to browbeat emotionally when she gains a pound. I’ve actually heard some of my guy friends say that if their wives gain weight, they’d leave her. How sh*tty is that?!  I’d rather a man fall in love with me gloriously fluffy and I possibly lose weight down the road than to lose all my weight, get a man, and then possibly settle into life and gain my weight back and he becomes turned off.
  2. My education. Now, I’m not saying that uneducated men are automatically douches. But there are those men who are intimidated by an educated woman, being that they’re chauvinistic pigs. Which sends them scurrying in the opposite direction. Though, we do have to beware of the F*ckbois that want to use us to pay their bills.
  3. My career choice. I write Erotic Romance for a living. Sex. Many a sexually selfish a$$hole will avoid me because of it. So any man that isn’t coming correct in bed is going to be hesitant to talk to me. Also, if they, their families and friends are judgy jerks, they’ll stay away. Imagine telling the fam what you do for a living at a dinner party or barbecue. Oh, the horror!
  4. My hair. As of right now, it’s buzzed super short and dyed platinum blonde. And before that, it was in a multi-colored mohawk. Both hairstyles are for confident women that really don’t give a f*ck about what people think. Also, for someone who’s not paying close attention, they may assume I’m lesbian. But I do believe that it takes just as confident of a man to date a woman with edgy hairstyles as it is to actually be the woman with the edgy style. Because you know that he’s going to get commentary from the people he knows.

So aside from building up an invisible wall against douchebags, I’m also setting myself up for the type of man I want. A man that loves me with all my curves, lumps and bumps. A man that adores the inner workings of my mind. A man that grins secretly and winks at me when we tell people what I do for a living, because he knows that I try out some of the scenes on him as research. A man that rubs my near bald head and kisses it lovingly before heading off to work.

That’s the man I want. Douches need not apply.

P.S. This method is not foolproof. Some douches in disguise can slip through your defenses. But building up your confidence as a single woman, developing an air tight Bullsh*t-O-Meter, and cutting off potentially unhealthy relationships like an episode of Chopped before you get in too deep, helps as well.

P.S.S. For my fellow curvy girls- Some men will think that just because you’re chubby that you’re desperate. They will try to get into your good graces and heart just to use you. For your car, a place to stay, money, etc. This is why it is also imperative that you build up your confidence being a curvy girl and single woman. Just remember: Extra meat does not equal desperate. It equals more to love. That’s it, that’s all.

Conservatives Confuse the Hell Outta Me

I’m a pretty laidback person and obviously a liberal. But I’m also a person that can see both sides of many arguments. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to even take a side on certain issues or subjects because I can see the pros and cons of both views. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out the logic of many conservatives. Here’s an example:

So you’re anti-sex education in schools which often leads to teen pregnancy (just look at Mississippi as an example of how terrible that idea is). The teen wants to get an abortion, but you’ve banned it because you’re anti-abortion. Now she has two choices. Keep the baby or give it up for adoption. She keeps the baby, but she can’t afford to take care of it, and she can’t get welfare because you’re against that too. Or she decides to give the baby up for adoption and a really great gay or lesbian couple with good jobs and kind hearts are the only people who want to adopt the baby, but they can’t because you’re against LGBTQ people adopting children who need families.

So what, exactly are people supposed to do?

What in God’s name do you want?

I know. You want kids to abstain from sex without any working knowledge of sex. FYI…that doesn’t work (again, Mississippi). You want control over a woman’s body. But if you have control over my uterus, I get control of your balls. Don’t like that idea, do ya? You want welfare recipients to get a job, yet you and your homies have sent off most of the good jobs to other countries, just so you can have a fourth house and bigger yacht. And you want LGBTQ people to just disappear back into their closets. Well, that ain’t gonna happen either. They’d rather face discrimination coming out proudly than living a lie to seek your approval.

So I’m gonna need you guys to make up your minds because you can’t have it both ways. You refuse to grow and evolve. Which is why your party is on the brink of extinction. Survival of the fittest and all.

Go Back to Where You Came From…

immigrants

I just finished watching Nightly News with Lester Holt, Olympic edition. One of the stories was about Saber champion (aka fencing) Ibtihaj Muhammad. She’s an African American Muslim that grew up in New Jersey. She talked about her sport and she also talked about her struggles as a Muslim woman in America. She said that people have told her to ‘Go back to where you came from.’ Where? Jersey? Because, newsflash entitled A-holes, she’s just as American as you are.

immigrants 2Why is it that the main people always shouting ‘Go back to where you came from’ are racist Euro-Americans (aka white)? The only group of people allowed to actually say those words are Native Americans and Mexicans, considering both were the original peoples of this land. Yeah, that’s right. California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Utah and more were originally part of Mexico. So go take several seats with your illegal immigration bullsh*t. Europeans were the first illegal immigrants.

And seeing as how your ancestors brought black folks over here against our will, we belong here more than you do too.

So here’s a suggestion. Whenever you’re feeling the phrase ‘Go back to where you came from’ bubble up to the surface, ready to spew out like vomit, swallow it down and say it to yourself if you don’t like where America is heading. Because in my eyes, America is looking mighty beautiful with all of the colorful people with their rich cultures and different religious beliefs (Just an FYI…almost all religions stem from one and have many of the same values. There are murdering rat bastards in every religion. Christians, being some of the worst in history).

In fact, the only ugly and unfortunate thing about America right now is…YOU. Yeah, you. That person that’s holding on to an old America where only Euro-Americans had rights, the opportunity to be successful, and ran off or corralled anyone that didn’t resemble them.

So Europe is waiting, my friends. Bye! And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Wait…Crap! I want to visit and possibly move to Europe. No, you can’t go there. How about Russia. Russia looks lovely. Such picturesque winters and a charming president to boot. Yeah, Russia. Russia sounds perfect.

P.S. Before anyone gets butt hurt, I clearly said racist Euro-Americans. If you’re not a racist douche, this article is not about you. You’re cool. You can stay.

***I do not own the rights to this photos.***

Schools vs Natural Black Hair

Stop banning natural black hairstyles!

Every few months I read another headline or see another video about a school banning natural black hairstyles. I can’t tell you how irritating this is to me and most of the black population. So I’m writing this blog as a reference for any school board who makes up these discriminatory rules, to check when in doubt.

Let’s start by going over what it takes to straightened black hair, so that you understand why many are opting to go natural. We either need to hot-comb, flat-iron, or chemically relax our hair. Absolutely none of these methods are healthy for ANYONE’S hair. Especially, for a prolonged amount of time.

Case in point…

Our hair can either be chemically burned from our scalps or our hair can thin out permanently. I, myself, have a permanent bald spot on the back of my head, due to a relaxer. Which is why many black women have made the decision to go au naturel and have chosen to keep their daughters’ hair natural as well. This is the crux of the problem. When our hair grows out of our scalps naturally, it grows out, not down like ethnicities with finer hair textures. For whatever reason (I know why, but that’s another post), this is seen as wild, unkempt, unruly, unprofessional, etc. To call what grows naturally out of someone’s hair follicles these nasty things is so wrong on so many levels, I can’t even wrap my head around it. It’s like telling a little brunette girl that her hair color is all wrong and to go bleach it blonde to ‘fit in’ better. You’re basically telling us that how we are naturally is unacceptable. Which is traumatizing to young impressionable kids that are trying to figure out where they fit in this world.

So now, to help the clueless and ignorant, I’m going to take average hairstyles worn by people with finer textured hair and their natural black hair equivalent. Prepare to be schooled…

Messy bob worn down and an Afro:

Ponytail and an AfroPuff:

Pigtails and AfroPuffs:

Bun and Cornrows, basically when parents are too tired to do anything fancy (cornrows can be worn for a week+):

Braid w/ ponytail and Braid w/ Puff:

French braids and Twists:

And let’s not forget about the boys. I’ve heard that a black boy couldn’t go to school because he had a part cut into his hair. Let me take a moment to debunk that nonsense…

Popular undercut style and black boy equivalent:

Shaggy hair cut and dreadlocks:

And there you have it school boards across the country and around the world (that goes for predominantly black schools too). I really hope this helps, because I can’t take another stupid ban on afros, afro puffs, dreadlocks, twists, braids, so on and so forth. Many of these styles are our way of taming and working with what we have naturally in a safe and healthy way. So stop, stop, STOP trying to place us in a box that we don’t fit in. And stop telling our children that their hair isn’t acceptable. They get enough of that garbage when they turn on the TV, get online, or open a magazine. They don’t need it when they go to school and are already trying their best to fit in. You picking them out of the crowd is telling them that they’re ‘other’ and that ‘other’ isn’t good enough. STOP!

***I do not own the rights to these photos.