Last week I took a break from 'The Real Word' to make sure this week's article was more upbeat for my dedicated readers. Today, I'm kicking it up a notch. Ready? Yes? Well, let's go!
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not ladylike.
"ALEXIS! Why would you say that?!" Well...because...it's true. I spent 18 years believing that "In order to get respect, you have to give it." This is true, in some cases. However, a woman respecting herself does not involve the clothes she wears, the music she listens to, or the frequency of her sexual relationships.
When I got to college, I began to wear skirts, shorts, and shorter dresses. I fell in love with crop tops, and I never feel ashamed of uploading my bikini pics during Spring Break. In fact, most of my Instagram pictures are in these same types of clothing. If someone chooses to judge me from my attire on social media, then they can simply unfollow. I twerk, I occasionally drink alcohol (in moderation), and I am in LOVE with rap music. Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Young Scooter...you name the rapper, I know the rapper. In society's world, I am not the typical ladylike woman. However, that does not keep me from being the intelligent, kind person I will always be.
With that being said, I want to introduce the world to my types of role models. Check out the list below:
1. The 'Carefree' Role Model
How are former exotic dancers like Blac Chyna and Amber Rose role models? They are proof to current dancers that there are ways that you can capitalize from your earnings, and leave the pole in the past. Chyna (born Angela) and Amber both appeared in music videos to get their names in the press. Afterward, they used that attention to promote their businesses. Chyna now owns her own clothing line, and skin care business. Her boutique, "Lashed", provides body waxing, facials and eyelash extension services.
Amber is now an actress, author, and she has released her own line of sunglasses. The same women that you see bearing their busts and posterior areas on Instagram, are the same women who have several brands to manage. They are mothers who will raise their sons not to disrespect a woman because she dresses the way she pleases. They are MY type of role models.
2. The 'Educated' Role Model
I have hundreds of celebrities that I want to meet. However, if I never get to meet Taraji P. Henson and Regina King, I will never be satisfied. Watching Regina King hold an EMMY in her hand gave me an extra dose of 'Black Girl Magic'. She was worked for over 30 years in television and film, including animation; easily making her one of the most versatile and brilliant actresses in the African-American community. Ms. King went from "227 Brenda" to "Emmy winning actress" and I'm not mad at her.
Take a look at the picture above and notice the apparent honor Taraji felt as she handed Regina her award. There is nothing more beautiful than true friendship. When Henson starred in her first major films Hustle & Flow and Baby Boy, she admitted that she had done her own hair because she could not afford stylists and hair extensions. She came to California after graduating from Howard University with $700 to her name. Today, she is an Academy Award nominee, and an Emmy Award nominee. Whenever I doubt myself, I look to my educated role models and say to myself..."If they can make it through college and their budding careers...so can I."
What You Can Take from This:
I encourage my readers to look for encouragement through everyone. Even if you notice someone who is making mistakes...figure out a way to ensure that you don't follow those patterns. Education goes beyond a classroom. Never stop learning. Never stop observing. Allow yourself to be inspired by the world, not hindered by it.