Wait, Footloose is 30?! [VIDEO]

I want you to think back to a time, a time before you had kids. A time when a hot, young actor named Kevin Bacon danced his way into our hearts in a movie called Footloose. Not that horrid remake they did a few years ago, but the original. The 1984-oh-so-awesome version. The version that made you get up and shout-sing and dance to Stephanie Mills’ Let’s Hear it for the Boy. That version? That version is 30 years old. Thirty. Damn, I’m old.

Earlier this month, Kevin Bacon was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where dancing was recently outlawed. Well, you know Ren McCormack Kevin Bacon wasn’t going for any of that. Check it out…

How fun! Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have some Sunday shoes to kick off.

Black Girls Don’t Cry

Depression is not a Sign of Weakness

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), only 12 percent of African American women living with depression seek help and/or treatment.

You see, as black women, we’re supposed to be strong. You know, the ones who “keep it together,” when everything, and everyone, is falling apart.

Also, for so long things like depression, bi-polar and schizophrenia were considered “the white woman’s” problem. And, seeking professional help seen as a weakness, or a lack of belief in the “God heals” train of thought. I mean, our ancestors went through slavery, and we’re “whining about being a little sad?” Hell, the diseases themselves aren’t even seen as sicknesses, but weaknesses.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to admit you need help. And, even harder to seek it out.

Don’t even get me started on the prejudices and stigma that surround mental illness – especially in the black community.

From NAMI:

While Caucasian women experience depression more often, African American and Caribbean women experience greater severity and persistence. The National Survey of American Life: a study of racial, ethnic and cultural influences on mental disorders and mental health, provided evidence of communities holding on to long legacies of secrets, lies and shame originating from slavery. Avoiding emotions was a survival technique which has now become a cultural habit. Five reasons a majority of the population withheld information on illness included:

  • might hurt the family
  • might ruin their career
  • people might think they are crazy
  • they cannot afford to appear weak; and
  • shame.

Societal issues also factor into a higher percentage of African American women experiencing depression. Being both female and African American can make a person more vulnerable to negative attitudes and behavior. This gender crisis is important in pinpointing depression among the African American population. To serve others in the community, family and others often leaves these women unable to relax or sleep.

Body image also affects women of color, creating a cascade of events: Others may believe the stereotype portrayed by the media of African Americans as curvaceous and sensual. However, for every curvaceous celebrity there are millions of women who do not match this body profile. For some, food then acts as a comfort, serves as protection and results in overeating and sometimes, eating disorders.

While major depression can be devastating and overwhelming, it is highly treatable. Roughly 80-90 percent of people diagnosed can be effectively treated and return to their usual daily activities and feelings.

Now if we can only convince people to get treated.

Never Been Here Before

Patience The Mom with Moxie

A few months ago, when the hubs and I were having a particularly bad time with the kid‘s behavior, my dad said to me, “Be patient, he’s never been seven before, and you’ve never parented a seven year old before.” Now, while the statement may seem simple, it’s really not. To me, what it means is that it’s all new to all of us. We can’t approach parenting and discipline like the kid already knows what’s going on. We need to address each new challenge with a fresh perspective. Otherwise, we’ll get stressed out and find no resolution.

I’m trying to approach things, from this point of view, but it’s hard. Really hard. It’s easy to say, “You’re seven years old, act like it!” But, really, how would he know how a seven year old is supposed to act? Heck, how do we know how a seven year old I supposed to act? Because really, my seven year old is different than every other seven year old. I just have to learn to approach parenting from this P.O.V.

What about you? How do you approach parenting? What’s your technique?

I am woman: hear me drill, and hammer, and nail…

So, last night, I put together my desk from Ikea. I could’ve easily waited for the hubster to do it. But, I didn’t. Why? For two reasons, actually…


The first reason, is simply, just because I could. Seriously, it’s just following directions.

But the second, more important reason was because I wanted to show my son that I could. I wanted to provide him with an example of  a woman that stereotypically a woman would not” or “could not” do. I want him to know that women (and girls) can do anything they put their minds to, and that they are not limited just because they’re female. I feel like it’s my responsibility to do so. Because, if I don’t show him, who will? How will he know that women deserve the same political, social, and economic rights as men, because they are equal to men. Not better, not worse, not even the same… equal.