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Saturday, May 31, 2014

No SHADE June!!!

What is Shade: The word shade is an American slang word that is used to describe the action of gossiping, trash talking, demeaning, or disrespecting someone in a discrete or indirect way. It is usually the very opposite of celebrating someone's success/happiness, encouraging someone's dreams, or celebrating someone's beauty. Even though "shade" is indirect (not an actually straight forward insult to the person) it is very easy to recognize. With reality shows depicting people, especially women, of all different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, cultural backgrounds etc... throwing shade, it seems like a common place among groups of associates and even friends.

Examples of Shade

Friend 1: Oh my goodness, I'm so happy! I just got accepted into the college that I wanted!
Friend 2: "Really, I heard they are letting everyone in that school" (SHADE)

I am pretty sure we have all experience our fair share of shade. The above example actually happened to me before the word "shade" even existed in its current connotation. I can honestly say, that there was a time in my life that I even threw shade at the same exact people that did it to me. After reflecting on my actions and the actions of others, I realize the only person hurt by the "throwing of shade" was the one that was pitching it, not the one with the Catcher's Mitt. 

I truly believe that the need to "throw shade" comes from the insecurities that we all face daily. It is hard to celebrate someone else happiness when their accomplishment comes from an area of our own lack... I get it, it's hard but it isn't impossible.

If you want to live a shade free life, start by focusing on the things that make YOU amazing. Focusing on your talents, your goals, and your accomplishments will make it difficult to focus on what you are insecure about. Secondly, practice the old saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." If you feel like something insulting, demeaning, or hurtful is going to come out of your mouth, try to swallow it and replace it with something positive. This positive thought, can be a positive affirmation about yourself to combat the insecurity or envy within or you can be bold and say something positive/nice to the person you were going to insult. Positivity breeds positivity and love multiplies with love. When you change your thoughts you can truly change your life. Lastly, live in your truth! Deep down inside, we all know the real reason behind our actions and our words. We often times lie to ourselves about a situation in order to justify our behavior. This leads to a cycle of unhappiness, inadequacy, and lowered self-esteem. NO ONE is worth limiting your success, your happiness, or your quality of life. The constant need to throw daggers at another person takes away from the energy you need to live your life fabulously and fearlessly. YOU ARE ENOUGH! WE ARE EACH ENOUGH!! Let's start celebrating instead of shading today!

To celebrate a shade free life, I adapted the notion of No Shade May from Shonda Brown White. I didn't see her campaign until yesterday, but I wanted to do this with my family, friends, and readers. I hope you will all join me for, No Shade June. In order to participate, do the suggested loving action for each day in June. Take a picture of your kindness in action and #NOSHADENCJ and upload it on Instagram. You can also email your picture of kindness to nappturallychic11@gmail.com. The person who celebrates beauty, lives in kindness, and participates the most to live a shade free month will be gifted with a prize basket filled with some of my favorite beauty, hair products, and a gift card to Forever21 to help you beautify the outside to match the beauty that will for sure be blooming within. Ready, Set, No Shade!!!

Together, let's celebrate the beauty of others while celebrating the beauty ourselves!!! 

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