No Shadyboots Allowed!: What happens when you move the palm trees to the side…..

“Shade: acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone/dissing a friend” (UrbanDictionary.com).

We are the generation of the SHADE! Throwing shade is like breathing air; it is a necessity to stay alive.  I mean have you watched any reality TV lately? Friends are not really friends just people who hang out and talk behind each other’s back before they even walk out the door.  Everyone has a motive and it seems as if no one is genuine (because if they were we wouldn’t be watching…..).  As a result of obsessing ourselves with these shows we start living just like it.  I even had to check myself on it.  My friends began to give me the “Jas you know you shady as hell right?” spill. I knew I would throw it here and there but nothing major but I had fallen victim and didn’t even realize it (well that was until every comment I made was followed by a series of palm trees emoji). 

So I vowed that I was going to leave my shady ways in 2015 (it’s a movement no shade in 2016 add pettiness in there too).  Of course in true Jasamine Hill fashion I asked myself what would a shade free world look like?  If we put it to the side and stop wearing our shady ways as a badge of honor; EMPOWERMENT would be at an ALL time high!  Everybody would really be out here winning!

Self Love

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to hear Jeremiah Wright preach at my church’s revival.  His sermon was entitled “The Second Commandment" from Matthew 22:40 “Love others as well as you love YOURSELF….”.  How can we love our neighbors if we don’t know how to love OURSELVES (deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!). 

I can’t teach you how to draw your eyebrows if mine look a hot mess.  And that’s where shadiness comes in.  When we don’t love ourselves it is easy to place that baggage on someone else. 

On the weekends I assist in mentoring high school aged girls and in our February “My Black is Beautiful” session we had the opportunity for Michaela Angela Davis to skype and talk with the girls (and she was the BOMB.com y’all). She spoke about how we tell ourselves about our imperfections instead of the constant reminder that we are BEAUTIFUL.  And that’s why it becomes easy to shade others because we shade ourselves on a DAILY basis.   Self-love is really the best love we can’t look for validation outside but it must start from within.  Michaela closed by reminding the girls that it is like being good at anything else, you have to PRACTICE; you can’t just wake up one day and be good at loving yourself but every morning look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are BEAUTIFUL!

Competition

Is it just me or is it that black woman can’t win at the same time? If Nicki Minaj and Trina both dropped a dope song and on they grind only ONE can be hot in Hip Hop (like only one MC can run the game at a time).  At school only one person can have a business at a time or expect the shade Gods to emerge. Honestly I think that it’s the DUMBEST idea EVER!  A competition does not always have to exist.  More than one person can win at the same time.  “Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.” Have you ever thought that instead of competing (even sometimes even in your head) that you could channel the same energy to COLLAB!  If you about cha business team up and really make something shake. 

That is one thing that I love about my circle; I have two other close friends who blog as well (Daphnie of www.lashesandnails.org and Anika of www.raisingroyalty19.com ).  Instead of being in competition with each other we bounce ideas off of each other, share articles, and resources that we find useful, which in the end makes all of us BETTER. 

I tell anyone who is willing to listen that we ALL going to win (and I don’t care if I just met you); if I can give you the alley hoop for greatness I’ma toss that motha up!

Punch line gone wrong

One of the most noticeable reasons why folks throw shade is because they want attention.  HEY HEY IT’S ME AYEEEE YOU LOOK AT ME I’M OVER HERE.  Folks will sell their soul for a minute of attention (just take a look at IG) and if throwing shade a someone else will achieve that goal they will do it without a second thought.  Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not just thought I would give yall a chance) but lasting success is never accomplished by kicking another down. 

I would say that I am a humorous person (or at least that what my mama said so if mama said it, it must be true).  I never knew how a shady punch line could hurt a person until I was on the receiving line of it.  Of course when you are being shady you look for the factor that doesn’t get touched often, a nerve that we all know will be pinched; you know the thing that you’re not fully confident in just yet.  Well this happened right when I cut all of my hair off (I went from long hair don’t care to bald head small head).  I was still getting over the shock of cutting my hair and I walked into work and a shady co-worker made a NeNe Leaks level of shade comment (she is like the shade master the highest ranking you can reach).  Everyone began to laughed…. It’s not so fun being on the other side of the joke.  It made me realize that my quick and witty shady punch line wasn’t worth the receiver’s continued pain. 

Next time that you are tempted to bring out the palm tree to work, hanging out with the girls, or even speaking with the professor you don’t like how will you respond? Will you add a clause of negativity? Or give a backwards compliment? Let’s change the thoughts that we manifest within our head, because it all starts there.  Speak words of encouragement, positivity, and support.  We all know Shaquan can’t dress so the one day she looks nice; instead of saying “oh you finally got it right this time.  You look cute.”  Tell her “girl I like your outfit.”  See, not only did you just do something good but you just knocked her confidence level up a notch.  No shade necessary.  Our shady ways create invisible riffs within the community and most definitely in our relationships.  WE can achieve so much more when we EMPOWER one another than when we tear each other down.  My mama said it best “If you don’t have nothing nice to say……….SHUT UP!”