by Zani Tsabedze
Nappily Ever After is a Netflix romantic comedy about a woman named Violet, who aspires – more than anything – to get married and live the “perfect” life that her mother raised her to believe she needs to live. She is obsessed with appearing to be perfect at all times and tries to maintain a standard, mainstream ideal of what a beautiful woman is. The film touches on some political issues regarding black women’s hair and the way we navigate the dynamics of our hair as black women.
However, if you are hoping for anything more than a romantic comedy, then you may be disappointed. The movie was marketed quite directly as a movie about hair. Even the name of the film is a fun Afro-style twist on the term “happily ever after”. But those who may have already read the book will already know that this isn’t as much a hair story as it is a story about a girl who has dating issues and happens to have a bit of a hair issue attached to it.
The movie includes voice-over narration by the main character. This is usually likely to happen when a movie is adapted from a novel. I personally don’t like this at all, I think it takes the viewer out of the story and makes us immediately aware of the fact that we are watching fiction. Whereas when you just watch a story play out, it’s easier to be immersed in the story and feel like you’re there with the characters. Voice-over narration almost feels like we’re being read a bedtime story. They aren’t really necessary as there are always other creative ways to communicate messages to an audience, through images, action, conversations between characters etc. But the film makes up for it by making good use of subliminal imagery, e.g. having the little girl play with a white Barbie doll’s silky hair whilst she goes through the painful process of getting her hair straightened with a hot comb.
The film is divided into different chapters and phases similar to the book. It successfully captures the essence of how black women can express themselves through their hairstyles. Violet’s wig phase showed how different wigs can bring out different personas in a woman.
A pure drama may have been more impactful for this subject matter. Most of the jokes in this comedy didn’t really have impact and the fact that it is a comedy almost gives it an excuse to gloss over some of the important issues regarding the “natural hair” conversation. It’s okay for a black film to just be a fun romantic comedy that doesn’t deal with political issues – it wouldn’t be fair to demand that all black movies be about making statements. We should be allowed to be as diverse in our genres and topics as“white” films. But the marketing of this movie focused very heavily on the conversation of black women’s hair, which is very political at the moment. It’s even been classified as a movement. It comes with an understanding of the history of African hair and is linked to all sorts of oppressive ideologies.The science of black hair is complex and we are still in the stage of discovering and learning to understand the texture of our hair without chemicals in it. This story had the opportunity to explore that a bit further and it just didn’t at all.
So the main issue is that it seems to be trying to be all about black women’s hair but it merely incorporates hair in quite a vague and subtle way. We wanted more. We wanted to really connect with her struggle and maybe even learn something. But a lot of black women found that at times, we couldn’t even really relate to Violet all that much. The most relatable character in the movie is actually a little girl named Zoe. She’s the easy-going, charismatic and funny daughter of the “natural hair” hairdresser.
What we at Girl Boss appreciate most about this movie is the moral of the story that is delivered at the end. It teaches that the self-worth of a woman should not be determined or dictated by men, but by herself. We echo the ideal that beauty comes from within. A Girl Boss does not seek validation from others.
Girl Boss rating: 5/10
“The eyebrows frame the face.”
We hear this statement from make up artists and beauty bloggers all the time. 2017 was the year of the “eyebrows on fleek” trend that saw a drastic change in the way eyebrows appeared on the faces of women all over social media. YouTube was flooded with tutorials on the not-so-simple technique that would help girls achieve this fashionable look and thus, the eyebrow element of make-up took on a life of its own. We can now find complete eyebrow kits in the cosmetics section of stores, whereas eyebrow makeup used to be as basic as drawing one thin line above the eyelid with what would now be classified simply as a lip liner.
The makeup industry can seem quite aggressive to someone who hasn’t taken the time to keep up with it. There’s a brush for everything now. Several brushes for each part of the face, in fact. The eyebrows are no exception to this. But why? Who determines what the eyebrows should look like? If the eyebrows “shape” the face, then why do we keep changing the frame?
Looking back to the early 1900s, when the eyebrow trend wasn’t as bold or technical as we know it to be, we can see that the main influencers of this trend were performers. Whether it was ballerinas and actresses in the theatre or the dancers and gymnists in the circus, women admired what performers looked like. The same way that performers constantly have everyone’s attention today, they were also always looked at back then. Men were mesmerised by them and women wanted to be them. So women would emulate their style, from head to toe. This is how performers throughout history, have been able to dictate the general aesthetic of society. When we open instagram and see Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce wearing Burberry, best believe, Burberry sales go up and we suddenly see that same beige pattern on millions of girls on instagram.
People who are good at getting attention become an instant influence. People gravitate towards them and even begin to adopt their aesthetic. Social media has birthed a new type of celebrity, solely based on this principle. “Influencers” are the new celebrities, and they are the ones dictating the trends in beauty and fashion. The new makeup trends are enforced by them.
Here is a timeline of the eyebrow trend as it has evolved over this past century.
1920s – 1940s
The thin, rounded, drooping arches.
1950s – 1970s
Full, arched and brushed.
1980s – 2000
Full, natural brow.
2000 – 2009
Skinny, waxed, pencil-thin arches.
2010 – 2015
The Natural, Trimmed & Manicured Brow
2016 – Today
The Instagram Brow
The Bleached Brow
The Bold, “Messy” Brow
Trends are ever-changing and the aesthetic is constantly evolving. We look at some past trends and laugh at them but we also seem to circle back to some older trends. What will eyebrows look like next year, or ten years from now? Will we return to some older aesthetics? Will they get thinner, thicker, rounder, sharper?
Which eyebrow style do you subscribe to? And which trend do you think should make a comeback?
by Zani Tsabedze
by Nonhle Matsebula
There’s a constant saying that goes along the lines of ‘if you can imagine it and visualize it, you can create it’. Visualization comes as a natural form to humans, because simply wanting something means that you have seen it, even if only in your mind. The only thing we have to do different is see that exact same thing as our own. I have seen vision boards work in my life and in my family, goals being manifested against all odds.
Oprah Winfrey once said: “Create the Highest Grandest Vision Possible for Your Life. Because you become what you believe.” Believing is different from thinking, believing is a much deeper and sometimes more difficult process.
What Is A Vision Board?
This basically means creating and holding firmly onto the images of yourself doing or having what it is that you want until those images manifest. A vision board is all about exercising your skills of visualization and imagination, when we have a clear vision it becomes easier for us to believe and then manifest. A vision board intends to play as a constant reminder of what we want, making our visions a mental-blueprint.
Simply put, a vision board is a collage of pictures, images and images of your goals. A vision board should focus on what you want to feel, because seeing something and feeling the associated feeling you will have when you achieve that something, is powerful manifestation energy.
Visualization may be the most important part of your mental package. Visualizing your destination changes the energies that you put out there. It makes you more excited, passionate and determined. In this state you automatically open up yourself of readiness to endure sacrifices, you transcend into a mental zone where you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to where you have envisioned yourself.
Allyson Felix, an American track and fields printer, a 3-time World champion and a 2-time Olympic silver medalist says that ‘I am a big believer in visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel more prepared’. A vision board helps you prepare the same way, if you see it, you can be it..
What Are You After?
The purpose of a vision board is insight and not just images, it requires that you tap into your deepest self and use what you see there to create a board of reference. This is was what I found most difficult; asking myself the question ‘what are you after?’ Only once I could answer that, I then began the process. The cool thing about this creation is that there are no guidelines, no style books and no rules; the only factor that matters is clarity.
So, tapping into my inner self means that I have to question every aspect of my life and how I wish to improve certain departments. This could range from my physical appearance, travelling, an improved lifestyle, my career, my relationships with friends and family, my social interactions, companionship to material things such as the car and houseI wish to purchase…. this does not require you to be realistic, just as long as you can believe it, then it is possible.
How To Create A Vision Board
There are various ways to create your personal vision board; you could go about the old school way of cutting up images from a magazine or news paper and paste them on a clean sheet of cardboard paper or you can create one electronically via certain Apps (vision board 2, hay house vision board etc), there are plenty Apps to choose from. You can source images online and then load them onto the app to create your exclusive board.
The whole point of a vision board is to serve as a reminder, so you can print it out, laminate it and put them all over. For example I use one as a bookmark, there’s one in my shower, there’s one on my notice wall in dormitory room and there’s always one in my bag. My mom has hers saved as her wallpaper on her phone, I mean there’s no way to miss that. Also you can always change it up, add more things remove what has changed or has been fulfilled.
However, what I have learned about this is that it is merely the beginning of achieving success. The rest requires for you to put in the work and also patience, the universe will always reward those of us who are prepared and have put in the effort physically, mentally and spiritually.
Have you created or adjusted your vision board for 2019?B