Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fences; The Disconnect Between Cosmetic Companies Corporate Side and its Retail Employees 

I have a friend that recently completed an MBA and is starting a niche lifestyle brand. She has traveled internationally to establish relationships with other brands similar to hers, created marketing strategies to promote her brand and gain a following, develop a website, and planned events to create her own platform. I am super proud of her and know that she will be successful. The one thing that is always in the back of my mind when I think about her education which includes her many years of experience in the cosmetic retail world not only as a sales person but also as a manager, and as an MBA holder is why the company that she works for hasn’t tried to snatch her up and place her in a corporate position? 

Another woman that I know who is now an account executive shared with me about a month ago that she used to work for the same company decades ago, and while she was completing her MBA she shared some ideas she had with upper management but felt ignored and dismissed because she was a sales associate. 

In my own experience I have become friends with some of the most educated, articulate, experienced employees. When I was a full time sales associate at MAC I worked with a staff where about 85% had at least a bachelors degree. My peers came from all walks of life and had degrees in everything from education to chemistry and electrical engineering. So here is the big question. Why In the hell do companies ignore the larger talent on their sales floors? The answer is ego, pride, laziness, ignorance, fear, sexism, and in some cases where applicable racism.

The same way my friends who work for the government complain about having to fight for a seat at the table is the same way folks in retail have to. Unfortunately retail companies do not have an open door policy like Facebook where any employee can walk into the COO’s office to provide a solution to a problem or suggestion for how to make the company better. Retail also does not operate like our US government where you can go from being a real estate tycoon and reality television star to the president of the United States either! 

Instead the same executives are recycled from one company to another and typically when they land at a new company, they implement the same ideas , protocols, and procedures they shared with the last company they worked for. If you happen to have worked for several brands that one of these recycled execs came from, you might be able to predict what they do because you have experienced it so many times!  Another thing that I notice is that instead of promoting people from the retail side into the corporate side, companies hire recent college grads with little no experience in any field especially as it relates to the cosmetics industry. I have witnessed this first hand many times than I can count.  When I have come face to face with these folks I limit my conversation because I always end up talking over their heads because of the information disconnect.

On the exciting side of things, there are new cosmetic companies popping up everywhere that are started by ex retail workers who once did not have a voice! These companies are creating niche brands selling everything from skincare and fragrance to liquid lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes, and they are literally giving these old companies a run for their money honey!!

Anastasia of Beverly Hills has grown from waxing eyebrows and selling products for brows only to a full blown cosmetics company complete with categories for every part of the face! Their social media following is insane, and they have every influencer eating out of their finger tips! The most amazing thing is that the creator of the company credits her young daughter for all of the expansions! 

Melt cosmetics, another company started by two ex MAC employees has also done extremely well. Dana Bomar and Lora Arellano started with shocking matte lipstick shades and eventually expanded to cool looking uber pigmented eyeshadow palettes and are killing the game right now! Of course it did not hurt that one of them was one of Rihanna’s makeup artists, but they have still managed to create an amazing social media following and a cool cosmetic brand.

I could go on and on, but I would rather stop here and address some elephants in the big room of cosmetics execs. The millenials have come along with the internet and social media and changed everything that we thought we knew about everything. For many cosmetic executives that are in the baby boomer generation, those realities must be scary. Instead of holding on to old ideologies and slowing the progress of the companies these execs work for, my advice would be to accept and embrace the changes, and to go out and find people in your companies who have the work ethic (retail workers are some of the hardest working people in the world),experience, educational background, passion for the business, and let them work!! If these companies don’t switch things up, these young driven fearless folks will continue to eat them for breakfast!

Fifty Shades of Brown; Why I Think Bobbi Brown Left Her Namesake Brand

About a month ago I read that makeup artist and brand owner Bobbi Brown was leaving her namesake brand!! While that news shocked the beauty industry, I knew that it was only a matter of time. 

When I first started doing makeup professionally, one of my peers would take me to all the different beauty counters and show me what she loved about each brand. We would touch each brands powders, and foundation formulas, and she would give me the rundown on each brands aesthetic, their targeted demographic, shade range, quality of shadows and brushes, etc… Whenever we would get to the Bobbi Brown counter she would seem to mutate into a “Bobbi Bot”! Her eyes would become glossy and all of a sudden she would become possessed!! All of her sentences would begin with “Bobbi says…”, and I would be looking at her wondering where my friend went.  I soon came to realize that all of the artists I encountered who worked for Bobbi Brown were all the same in that they were “Bobbi Bots” who only spoke the gospel of Bobbi Brown! Eleven years later, I respect and dare I say miss those “Bobbi bots.” They were extremely loyal to the brand, well trained on products and makeup application and Bobbi’s aesthetic, and were able to make all of their clients drink koolaid from the fountain of Bobbi Brown!  In this day and age of social media, all of those things I just mentioned are still the key ingredients to make and maintain a successful brand.

Alright, so I’m sure the question that all of us want to know is “Well what the hell happened?” I have one simple answer. I think that Bobbi’s no makeup aesthetic, her vision, and her voice were silenced, and that she was tired of fighting.  Ten years ago Bobbi had 50 shades of taupe, brown, and beige shadows, and none of them had any shimmer. I remember my friend who worked for them telling me that if they were caught wearing shimmer eyeshadow, they would be in trouble! Some may think this was extreme, but I see it as protecting the integrity of a very specific aesthetic and a brand. Three years ago while freelancing at a MAC counter I started to notice shimmer pop up across the way at a Bobbi counter! Not only did I notice shimmer, but I also noticed whenever MAC would have a new product launch, Bobbi would also launch a product that looked very similar with different packaging of course, but similar to the point of confusion. Now both companies are owned by a parent company that has a larger than life portfolio with at least 20 cosmetic brands under its belt, and it is no secret that parent companies often launch similar products throughout the different brands under their umbrella, but Bobbi was different! With each shimmery shadow, pressed pigment, and MAC foundation in Bobbi packaging I knew that I was witnessing the end of an era. I also noticed the Bobbi artists in all of the department stores I worked in disappear or even worse, go to a different brand. The lines of women looking for that “no makeup makeup look” dwindled, and I couldn’t help but think that at some point, Bobbi would do the same thing as Jo Malone a few years back and leave her namesake brand.  There were just too many instances where I was frustrated with what I saw because it was not in line with her aesthetic! I figured if I was frustrated imagine how she felt! Then there was the whole Kim Kardashian contouring thing. The company seemed to have a huge internal battle mainly because the whole contouring and highlighting trend was just that a trend, did not seem to go with the “everyday woman/no makeup look” that Bobbi was known for, and many of her artists were simply not trained on how to do it.  Witnessing the fall out over a trend popularized by a reality television star was awful to watch but also very telling. 

The brand had lost its way, and there seemed to be no response from the person behind the brand. I knew that there was no way a women who had worked so hard to create a name for herself as a celebrity makeup artist and invested everything into ten lipsticks with $10,000 twenty five years ago would be silent over a trend that could easily be ignored or embraced. 

The reality is that once you sell your company to a larger entity, it is no longer your company, and changes either good or bad are inevitable. While it is truly a sad time for Bobbi Brown the cosmetics company, I wish Bobbi Brown the absolute best in her future endeavors and look forward to her next innovations!

Blackish: Why There Are Hardly Any Black Women Who Do Major Celebrities Makeup at Award Shows

A few nights ago I watched snippets of the Golden Globes on television, and on Instagram. Every time I saw a black female celebrity come across my screen, I looked at how she was dressed, I looked at her hair, and lastly I looked at her makeup! After I looked at all of those things, I immediately researched all of the people responsible for creating the looks, and just like all the years before, I failed to see black women’s names. 

Traci Ellis Ross took home an award for her show Blackish (see what I did here?), and neither her makeup artist or stylist were black women. Kerry Washington’s makeup artist was not a black woman, and Simone Biles, the gymnast who stole the show at last years summer Olympics did not use a black makeup artist or hairstylist. Last but certainly not least our beautiful and amazing flotus for ten more days, who has been the epitome of black female excellence to many for the last eight years, consistently uses a makeup artist who, you guessed it, is not black or a woman.

Many reading this may ask, well why the hell does any of this matter? It matters because of the same reason seeing the movie Hidden Figures matters. Black female representation at the top of all professions matters. Black women on major platforms supporting other black women matters, and you know what? Sometimes a black female makeup artist that has had years of experience working with deeper skin tones would be better suited for the job! Yes, I said it. Now back to my first point.

There is a tall glass ceiling for black female makeup artists as it relates to agency representation, and being in a union. I experienced a ridiculous amount of discrimination first hand by non black makeup artists who were pissed that I was able to work a major union event side by side with them. For the few days that we shared a work space, they critiqued my appearance, my personal makeup, and my makeup kit. While they could find nothing negative to say about any of those things, they resulted in relying heavily on some old raggedy tired black women stereotypes and complained to the key makeup artist that I was “not friendly” and “distant”.  Now would you be close to someone or some people who made you feel unwelcome and grilled you on your experience, brands you worked with, your kit, and personal appearance?While this was one example of the challenges that I personally go through on my road to the top of my field, it saddens me to say that my experience is common place amongst my black female peers. Racism and gender discrimination towards women exists so heavily in the world of celebrity makeup, one of the easiest ways to help solve this problem is for black actresses and celebrities to request black female makeup artists, hair stylists, clothing stylists, and clothing designers.  

Now switching subjects, I mentioned earlier that sometimes black women can be better suited to do black female celebrities makeup because of experience. In all of the years that I have worked in the cosmetic industry I have seen sooooo many examples of this play out. I have been personally set up by countless non black artists at trainings, I have seen many black women be set up and done wrong at beauty counters, I have seen it go wrong at huge celebrity filled events, and I have seen it play out for the world to see with many black actresses, politicians, celebrities, and even flotus on occasion. 

The common sense factor is this. Typically, where you work is what you learn and practice. If you work in a location where there are no people of color let alone a ton of black women who have deeper skin tones, you won’t ever have to use products or learn to use products to do a person with a deeper skintone. Mastering the art of makeup on a woman any shade takes practice! It also takes mastering color theory, understanding face structure, and understanding cultural nuances as they relate to women’s makeup preferences. Last week I participated in a makeup audition, and I had 20mins to execute a look. I chose a black woman as my model, and after I was done, and the administrator over the audition approved my work, I went back to my models face to sculpt her brows. Why? It’s simple, many of my black female clients like a sculpted brow. 

There are several black women killing it in entertainment, politics, and education. I would love to see them look their absolute best when they go before the world to be celebrated for their accomplishments. To further represent black excellence and bring everything full circle, it would be awesome if I saw more black female glam squads providing them with the best hair, clothing, and makeup! Blackish the television show is great, but not as it relates to our leading women!

Hidden Figures:Why Black Women are Flocking to Makeup Brushes Like Black Men Flock to Basketballs

We are three days into 2017, and this post is long over due!  Now some of you might have read the title of this post, and thought to yourself “Now what in the hell does the movie Hidden Figures have to do with makeup or basketball?  My answer is pretty simple, one word even.  The word is exposure.  Keep reading to smell what I’m cooking!

I went to high school in the suburbs of Chicago, and when it was confirmed that I was going to that suburban high school, I was not excited.  I had gone to public schools in Chicago for most of my life, and I was afraid to attend school in a totally new environment.  Luckily I had a mother who was very active in my life and made sure that I went to good public schools with magnet programs and teachers that cared about their students.  I also had classmates that were mostly black, and came from middle class backgrounds like me.  Now I was considered a little different because I was a dancer and occasionally traveled to perform in different states and in one instance outside of the country, but other than that and my natural hair (got my first “perm” in the eighth grade) everything was gravy.  I wasn’t the smartest kid in my class, but I was one of the smartest, and we had several teachers, who also happened to be black, who pushed our little brains to their capacity. Long story short, I was privileged and I ain’t even know it!  I had educated teachers who looked like me and cared about me, and at this point we all know that is not common in many urban cities especially as far as children of color are concerned.

Upon entering high school in the burbs, I had to take a placement exam so that I could be “placed” in the proper classes.  I tested well, and it was recommended based on my results that I take a few honor classes, English and Science were two.  While my test scores said one thing, my white female counselor sang a different tune.  She argued that because I came from a city school that perhaps the level of education that I had was not up to par, and that I should take all basic level courses.  Chile, she clearly did not know my mother! My mom came up to the school, demanded that I be placed in the classes I tested to be in, and that was that.  I ended up taking honors English, and I cannot remember what happened with Science.  Even though I knew that there was an attempt to deny me a certain level of education at this new suburban school, I still did not grasp all of the implications of what had occurred.  Some time in grade school I had gotten the idea that  because I was a girl, could dance my ass off, act, write poetry, and sing if forced, that math and science did not matter as much. I heard someone say that if you were good in reading and english that you often were not good at math and science, so thats what I chose to believe.  Oh and I also learned that girls were mostly good at those first two subjects, and boys were good with the later.  Anyways, I took highschool somewhat seriously, but I was lazy. Real lazy.  I remember taking Chemistry my sophomore year and daydreamed pretty much every class.  I never did my homework on time, I never really studied for pop quizzes, and I did just enough to get by.  The one saving grace was that somehow I always managed to get A’s or B’s on the mid terms and finals.  I remember my white male teacher always looking at me with a ton of dissappointment in his eyes, and I knew that it was because he wanted me to put forth more effort.  He must have seen potential in me(which went way over my head), but he never articulated his frustrations in a way that I could understand.  I was a teenager kind of going through the motions to get through high school, and graduate.

I was an artist!  Everybody who knew me knew that while I kept to myself, and did not have a ton of friends, I could out dance/perform anybody, and I was cool with that.  While my mom did not allow me to slack too much, she made it very clear to me that the choices and decisions that I was making as far as my academics were concerned were mine to make and that I would have to live with the consequences of those choices and decisions.  She also made it very clear that I would be attending somebodies college immediately following high school graduation, so I knew I had to get it together, or I would have hell to pay!  My mother did not play!

Fast forward to 2017 I am a full blown freelance make up artist living in the nations capitol, which also happens to be one of the most expensive cities to live in. Technology via social media has changed the whole entire landscape of what I do and many other creatives, and people are flocking to the creative fields and  becoming make up artists faster than you can say highlight and contour!  The most celebrated make up artists or “make up marketers” as I like to call them have millions of followers, and tons of brands clamoring to get their products in these social media gurus hands.  Many women now rely on Youtube and Instagram tutorials to teach them how to be “self taught muas”, drugstore brands are now creating cosmetics that can compete with and in some cases surpass high end department store brands for a fraction of the cost making makeup way more accessible, and reality stars and celebrities have given make up artists who in the past lived behind the scenes and in the shadows the biggest spotlight the world as we know it has ever seen!  With so many people and especially black women seeing make up artistry as this new golden hustle, we have started to flock to make up like flies flock to honey.

To be a make up artist in today’s world, you just need some money to purchase a “kit”, a strong selfie game, a decent camera, and access to social media.  As a black women who may come from humble beginnings or  be an “artist” in high school that could care less about math and science classes, this make up artistry game is our basketball otherwise known as our way out.  The “golden hustle” is not why I started doing make up.  It was just a natural progression from the other art forms I practiced, and while I think the physical part of make up artistry is cool,  it is also hard and ridiculously competitive.  The retail jobs that you used to be able to depend on to make a living in the past are drying up due to Department stores not being able to compete with the internet. With so many people seeing make up artistry as this new golden hustle there is more supply than there is demand.  Enter the importance of the movie Hidden Figures.

About eight years ago  I started teaching myself about ingredients in skincare and makeup.  I became obsessed!  I would read magazines like Allure and New Beauty because they would always have amazing articles about these new technological advances in skincare and ingredients, and would explain in lay mans terms why these “breakthrough’s” were a good thing. I would visit the Library of Congress and read medical journals about certain skin issues and case studies just because. Now I hoard Beauty Inc magazines which only come out quarterly because I have to know about the new beauty innovations, gadgets, and formula’s, as well as the changes to the retail landscape because of social media, millennials, the economy, etc…While I still rely on make up application to make my living, my interests are shifting and have been shifting for a long time.  I have become extremely interested in what I know now as cosmetic chemistry, aesthetics, coding ( I feel like I could have created at least ten apps by now), and mechanical/ electrical engineering (I once took steps to create a device that would make make up artists jobs much easier but didn’t have the capital to follow through).  I am also interested in business as it pertains to the beauty industry at large, and would love to consult.  What has frustrated me for at least a year are the “what if’s”.

What if in grade school I was told that I could be great at reading, english, and math and science?  What if it were made clear to me that even though I was an artist,  there was still room for me to flourish in other areas of study?  What if my high school chemistry teacher had taken the time out to express to me how great I was at chemistry even though I didn’t know it at the time?  What if I were in high school or better yet grade school when the movie Hidden Figures came out?  I didn’t know that there was such a thing as cosmetic chemistry until I was in my late twenties.  It did not occur to me that I could go to school to become an engineer and make all the cool beauty gadgets my heart desired until I was thirty.  Sadly, I know that many of my fellow black sisters  do not equate science, technology, engineering, or math to beauty, and while Hidden Figures was about three black women who used S.T.E.M fields to send the first American to the moon and outer space, their story could have and will plant seeds in the minds of women all ages and races.  In an extremely over populated industry, I hope that many of us start to embrace the subjects I know we were never encouraged to embrace and create products, and apps, and gadgets, and companies that can compete on a global scale!  There is always more to do and learn, and for all the folks flocking to the new “golden hustle”, know that hidden behind make up artistry can be a window to something much bigger, more valuable, and more profitable i.e figures.

 

 

 

Trump and the Aftermath

Last week I went into my job just like I always do. I put my bag and coat in the drawer designated for “vendors”, and proceeded to stand at my station. It didn’t take me long before I started daydreaming and thinking about my plans for 2017, because after all the end of 2016 is here. Half way through me dreaming of taking over the world one makeup brush at a time, a customer walks in. I spoke, she looked at me, and then proceeded to walk around the store looking for whatever it was she came in for.

 Now at this point I know some of you are wondering whether she spoke or not, and the answer is no. She blatantly ignored me, but because I am so used to being ignored by customers who choose not to say hello after I have greated them, I was unbothered. I chuckled to myself, and continued to daydream. Five minutes later, the same woman told me to grab some things for her, all from brands I coincidentally did not work for. I explained that I was visiting from ___ brand, and that I would grab someone to pull her items. She was heated! Now I’m sure you are wondering why she would become heated? Well my guess is probably because I didn’t scurry to step and fetch what she wanted with the sense of urgency that I may have had to have back in 1876. Anyway, before I could finish explaining that I was gonna grab someone to help her, she cut me off and blurted out “Well perhaps someone else can help me then”, and dismissed me like I had done something wrong. I laughed in my head, not being shaken because as I alluded to earlier, this type of stuff happens everyday.

Fifteen minutes go by, and the same client comes back and asks me a question specific to my brand. Of course because she is still irked that I wouldn’t step and fetch her products from earlier, she says “Well since I usually use ____ brand, can you just “do something to my face?” I mean since you work for ___ brand?  Now in my head I was thinking that based on technicalities I could say no because “doing something to my face” means a full face makeup application, and that is considered a service which costs money, but I am no dummy, and was not looking to argue or have a customer complaint so I said “sure” and asked the lady to have a seat!

Almost as soon as she sat down, she started talking about politics. She talked about how awful it was going to be with Trump in office, and how our country was going to go backwards, and how she worked in politics, etc…Here and there I would engage her and discuss statistical data in regards to Americans and the break down of how we all voted (she had no idea that 96% of black women voted for Hillary while 52% of white women voted for Trump),shared with her a few funny anecdotes on my experience at the DNC this past July, we discussed where we both were from, our educational backgrounds, etc… Overall I kept the mood light, because Trump is the president elect, and somehow someway we have to move forward. At the end of our surprisingly pleasant conversation, she looked me dead in my eyes scrunched up her face as if she was really trying to understand something with all of her being and asked “How do you know all of this stuff?”, now people ask me that question all the time, but the way that she asked the question reminded me of the other statement made by many people towards me at least once a week and millions of other people who look like me and that is the ” You are so articulate” micro aggression which makes the assumption that because of the color of my skin my vocabulary will be basic at best, that I am uneducated, and that there is no way that I could have a decent conversation about politics (even though I had already shared my educational background and live in DC which makes it almost impossible to be clueless about politics). 

Not feeling up to reiterating my specific educational background or providing a history lesson, I just replied that I love to understand the world around me and the people who live in it, which is the truth, and gave her a Kanye shrug. After that, she felt the need to bring up how awful the election of Trump would be for race relations and for immigrants and proceeded to tell me that she had a black son. At that moment, I realized that while I live in a city that voted 96% Democratic that many of the folks who view themselves as liberals and progressives have a long way to go. 

Rewinding my experience with this one woman took me from slavery into modern day times, but I controlled our journey into the future. If I had made the decision to “step and fetch” the items that she asked for initially, I would have been making a subconscious decision for us both reinforcing the same crazy ideologies that got Trump elected in the first place. If I had declined her request for me to “do something to her face”, the experience could have turned nasty and strengthened the unwavering stereotype of the angry black woman inserting me as that woman. Had I chose not to be myself and engage her in conversation, she would not have been caught off guard by my educated and articulate thoughts and responses which she obviously needed for various reasons.

Finally I remembered that everything happens for a reason, and both of us needed to share in that experience. Racism is alive and well in many, and fighting it requires many strategies. As my granny always said, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

To like or not to like that is the question 

One of the reasons I write this blog is to discuss topics that nobody else wants to discuss out loud, with people other than their friends and folks they trust. The problem with staying quiet about the politics behind liking someone’s posts on social media can be life changing career wise so I’ll take one for the team and write about it. Like to hear it? Well here it gooooo!!!

I am a very honest extroverted introvert. Before I say how I feel, my face says it for me, I really only like to engage in conversations that go beneath the surface, and have to work really hard at small talk, I am a premillennial artist so I struggle with the new definition of an artist and the onslaught of all the folks who are now apart of the club, social media doesn’t quite come second nature to me all of the time, and as far as friends and aquaintences are concerned if you really piss me off or disrespect me I will dissmiss you from my life forevvvaaa!!(in my Cardi B voice) With all of that being said, I realized something extremely important recently, and that is my personality sucks as it relates to having social media success! Some folks may ask well “Why”? I’ll tell you!

I am a visual artist that uses makeup artistry as my platform. I get many requests from potential clients to view my Instagram page not only to see my work, but to see how many followers I have, and also to see how many likes I get on my photos. In 2016, my work can no longer just speak for itself! In fact, no ones work can. In order to get the all important “likes”you have to like everybody else’s stuff! There is no room for complete honesty! Hey you follow a ton of makeup artists? Cool, like their work. Don’t like the way they do brows? Skin? Shadow placement? It does not matter, like their work anyway! Have they disrespected you or said something you don’t like, but liked one of your posts and left a comment? Comment back if you can! Go back and like their stuff! Now to some folks this may sound like a lesson in “how to be phony and fake 101”, but it’s actually a lesson in office politics for the wonderful and beneficial world of social media. 

I have tons of friends, family members, mentors, acquaintances, etc… that discuss how they have to deal with people less qualified, who are rude and nasty, rascist, sexist, and a whole bunch of other stuff, but these folks deal with it and become pros at dealing with it, because they need their jobs. They also become pros with office politics because they know that it is often a rights of passage of sorts for them to get from point A to point B in their careers, and in their salaries. 

The moral to the story is the world is one big gigantic high school, and while I know some of us loathed high school it is the truth!Old school protocols do not exist to some, and their is no time for your feelings, opinions, or pettiness ( I am working on all this stuff as we speak! Lol) You have to like every bodies photos and comment on everybodies posts mainly because you NEED them to do it back! In 2016 as a doctor, lawyer, makeup artist, nail artist, painter, Hvac specialist, teacher, photographer, real estate agent, model, activist, chef, filmmaker, musician, reality star, hell even an “Indian chief”(I know that the correct term is Native American chief)it matters that you are relevant/lit/popping on social media.

Simply communicating with people in a positive manner via social media can and will affect your life for the better. It can get you followers, clients, opportunities, money, products, etc… take it from someone who has had to learn the hard way, be like Nike and just do it!! 
Sincerely,

The makeup artist formerly known as Petty Murphy!

In My Chair: What the Presidential Election Has Taught me About the Fifty two percent of White Women Who Voted for Donald Trump

statistics-for-election

Last year I had the opportunity to meet a woman at one of my favorite stores to work in, and she was very ‘special'(wink wink).  She was young, ambitious, and loved to talk about her job.  She also loved to talk about how great her college education, and her MA program were, and how difficult it was to be accepted into the program that she graduated from.  Needless to say, she was very proud.  I was not mad at her at all!  I thought that it was great that she took pride in her profession and her education.  A few weeks later, I learned that she was married, and lived near my favorite store.  I saw her about once or twice a week, and whenever I would see her, she would be talking to someone about her job.  A few months later, I learned that she was expecting, and her whole conversation changed.  She went from being a proud college graduate with a super fancy advanced degree with a job that ‘made a difference’ in the community to being a housewife now celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of her husband often borrowing those accomplishments to one up as many regular single people she could.  Eventually, she had her beautiful baby, and now bragged about the joys of motherhood, being a housewife, and you guessed it, her husband.

At the beginning of November, election month, I had the pleasure of doing little miss housewife’s makeup for an event.  She was going to an event with her husband, and wanted to look nice, but not too “made up” because she wanted to look good but not stand out in front of her husbands peers and their significant others. The whole time it took me to do her make up she explained that her political views were conservative because her husband and his families views were conservative, and that because of her husbands job and his income, she would vote for the republican candidate i.e. Donald Trump.  I realized then that the woman I had first met, an independent career woman, who was highly educated and prided herself on having her own thoughts and ideas had sold herself for a marriage, financial security, and a baby.  Suddenly I flashed back to my senior year of college to a scene where something similar took place.

I was waiting patiently outside of a dance studio with a few other dance majors.  While we were waiting to enter the studio and take class, I overheard many of them discussing the status of their relationships with their boyfriends.  Many of them made comments stating that because we were in our last year of school, this “was it”, and that they would just stay with their current boyfriends after college and “hope for the best.”  I got the feeling that they each thought they had run out of time to find the best guy, and that for some reason, they needed to settle and stick it out with their current partners.

Another experience that reminded me of “little miss housewife” was at an office job that I absolutely hated.  I worked with a doctor who was getting married to a lovely woman who had a law degree and was pursuing an MA in another subject.  When asked what his future wife’s plans for her career were going to be once they got married, he said she wanted to be a housewife.  Now with every situation I was thinking, why in the hell would you go through applying for college, taking out student loans that you may never be able to pay off, studying for the GRE, the LSAT, etc… all to get married and throw all of that hard work and debt to the wind?

I had a few theories, and this election proved one of them to be true.  One of the things that all of these women had in common was that they were all white women.  Another thing that these women shared was their desire to find a husband and get married.  They all seemed to put marriage at the top of their list of priorities, and seemed eager to ditch their individual career paths in exchange for a husband.  I realized that culturally there was a fundamental difference in how white women and black women were raised.  While society places marriage as the most important achievement for women on this planet, most black women I know have been raised not necessarily to get married, but rather to survive.

We are encouraged to go to school and finish, get good jobs or become entrepreneurs(black women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs in the country), raise children alone, provide financially, mentally, and physically for our families, and last week the burden placed on our backs was to “save the world”by giving our collective vote to Hillary Clinton.  Since slavery the black women’s role in this country has been to essentially replace the black man as the head of the black household.  It was a defense mechanism for mothers during slavery to make the men docile and more effeminate in an effort to keep them from performing their “manly duties” to protect their families thus getting themselves killed.  Many would argue that centuries later, our roles have never switched back, and that would help to explain why instead of running out to get married and vote the way our husbands and boyfriends voted on November 8th, like the 52% of white female voters, we did the exact opposite, and voted for Hillary. Charles D. Ellison from theroot.com wrote an article on November 9th, titled “Black Women Were the Only Ones Who Tried to Save the World Tuesday Night Black female voters—when they had no real cultural or social obligation to do so—stayed on course with Hillary Clinton even while white women coolly abandoned her.”

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Now I personally know a ton of white ladies that voted for Hillary, and some of them are feminists that did not and do not put their careers and lives second to their boyfriends or husbands, but the moral to this story is that the majority of white women in this country did.  Last Tuesday many men ended up voting twice once themselves and a second time through their wives and girlfriends, and that boys and girls means that we have a ton of work to do.  Before we believe that a woman can be president, we first have to believe that we are more important to this world than only being wives, girlfriends, and mothers.  Each of those titles are important, and I am absolutely positive that being a mother is the hardest job on earth, but it is 2016, and women can be great mothers, and hold down full time jobs, and be educated, and have our own opinions, and be leaders of the world, and participate in healthy intimate relationships where we do not have to trade in our individual thoughts and opinions, or votes for our significant others.  Here’s to four years of absolute uncertainty!!