Rewind: Top 10 of 2017

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I honestly thought the apocalypse was going to happen this year.

But aside from the shitty country/world around me, 2017 wasn’t such a bad year for me. I went to Cancun, received my Bachelor of Arts, went to Jamaica, started my first job out of college, got broken up with via email (a lesson/blessing that must be mentioned), was on a radio show, and picked up this awesome gym habit.

Although 2017 will probably be viewed as a glass-half-empty year for most, I somehow managed to think of 10 things that made me laugh, smile, or inspired me this year.

  1. “DoItLookLikeImLeftOffBadAndBoujee”

The awkward interview as I like to call it. Things went left when Joe Budden caught an attitude during the Everyday Struggle’s interview of Migos on the BET Awards red carpet. Why did Akademiks even bring Takeoff up?? Quavo’s no nonsense “wrap it up then” still has me dead.

2. “Everybody Black”

Since I’m talking about award shows, I have to mention Issa Rae’s comment on the Emmy Awards red carpet. When asked who she was rooting for at the awards she responded, “I’m rooting for everybody black.” That phrase has been my life mantra since. It’s also worth noting that Donald Glover became the first African American to win an Emmy for directing a comedy series that night.

3. Milds and Yak

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Nothing says unapologetically black like Shannon Sharpe pulling out a Black & Mild on TV and referring to it as a “victory cigar”. His “milds and yak” stunt went viral and was even remixed into a song because you know black people are creative as hell.

4. “I just want my baby”

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Speaking of creative, here‘s the remix of Tyrese’s crying video. They called it the Cryese Mix 😂😂😂😂 I’m hollering

5. “U Bum”

u_bum_tweet.png There’s nothing I love more than celebrities using their fame to bring attention to social issues. I couldn’t tell the difference between sports and politics this year. Lebron cracked me up when he called Donald Trump a bum lmaoooo

6. Get Outget-outGet Out is already a classic movie in my book. It got a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. I saw it in a packed theater and was SCREAMING at the screen. Although it is a fictional drama, the horror behind Get Out is real. I’ve never seen a movie so raw and honest. Jordan Peele said “fuck ya’ll feelings, I’m telling the truth”!

7. The Revival of R&B

RnB_2017.jpg I say 2017 brought back R&B because fire album after fire album was dropped. So many smooth, soultry artists finally got their breakout moment. We’ve had Tory Lanez and Bryson Tiller for a minute, but this new “alternative R&B”, as some call it, has a sound of its own. Even though I can’t stand to hear SZA’s “Weekend” one more time, I’m still happy she finally got the recognition she deserves this year.

8. Durags in Public

I swear silkies used to be for inside the house only. In 2017, I saw more men (and women) letting their durags fly free. I even saw a group of guys at Morehouse had a “Durag Day”. But of course, as soon as something becomes trendy, the price skyrockets. The velvet durag pictured above is $40!

9. Rihanna

Yes, Rihanna alone gets a spot on my top 10 this year. First of all, baby girl got thicccc and I love it. She dropped Fenty Beauty. She also put out another line of Fenty x Puma. Did I mention she didn’t drop a solo album or single this year, yet gave me life on “Lemon”, “Loyalty” and “Wild Thoughts”? As if she wasn’t perfect enough, she was the fourth most charitable celeb of 2017. 10. Girls, Girls, Girls

women_2017.jpg Rihanna wasn’t the only female killing it this year. 2017 was truly the year of women! There was the Women’s March, Jemele Hill, #MeToo, Girls Trip, “reclaiming my time”, Wonder Woman, Cardi B broke records, Black women pretty much saved Alabama, the list goes on. “In 2017, women made the most of a deeply flawed system. Then again, what else is new?” -Issie Lapowsky, Wired Honorable Mentions: Mans Not Hot, The Carters (their whole lives as usual NBD), and the solar eclipse.

It’s been real 2017! Check back here in 2018 for updates on the Young, Black, and Opinionated podcast that I’m planning!

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Shoot Your Shot, Sis.

“I always wanted to talk to a guy, but I was never allowed to because society and my friends said no. So I said, ‘We’re going to reverse engineer this.'”

Whitney Wolfe, Founder and CEO of Bumble, tells Guy Raz her story on one of my favorite podcasts, How I Built This. She explains what inspired her to create the dating app where women must message the men first or else their match deletes in 24 hours. Bumble is a great concept because it flips gender roles on their head. But the ball being in the woman’s court isn’t limited to Bumble. In my opinion, it’s time for more women to “shoot their shot”.

I wasn’t always for women making the first move because I myself didn’t have the confidence to do so. But my fear of not getting asked to my high school senior prom pushed me to shoot my first ever shot. I asked my coworker to prom and I’m glad I did. I had an amazing time that night and got my first taste of female empowerment.

Not all the shots I take are slam dunks. I once flirted with a guy on a party boat just for him to burst my bubble by telling me he was gay. Another time, I flirted with the employee at my gym, only to find out he’s 18 (I’m 22). A few weeks ago, I had a one way conversation with a dude at a party. Turns out, he was being so icy because I had completely missed the wedding band on his finger.

Sometimes shooting your shot is a hit and sometimes it’s a miss. It can be awkward, embarrassing, or just flat out challenging to think of something to say to a guy. But as one of my male friends told me, “If you never ask, the answer will always be no.” This is how I look at shooting my shot now: What do I have to lose? The worst thing someone can tell you is “no”. I highly doubt you’re going to ever get a response of “ew no as if lmao” from a guy, unlike the brutal responses girls give men in their DM.

I feel bad for men sometimes. They are raised from an early age to be the go getter in a heterosexual relationship. Literally, go-get-her. And women, on the flip side, are trained to play hard to get. So, to be clear, society is telling men to always make the first move and telling women to do the complete opposite of that. This logic doesn’t make much sense. We’re telling two human beings to act in inverse directions of each other. No wonder we’re failing at love.

Men are pretty much set up to be rejected, and women get called snobby/boujee because they sit pretty waiting for the knight in shining armor. Why not put ourselves in control, ladies, by shooting our shot? Shooting our shot enables us to steer the conversation in the direction that we wish. When we take the reigns, it takes the pressure off the men for once. Most of them say they’re actually flattered by it.

“I think it’s definitely cool. I think it shows that the woman is brave and can make her own moves. It can show she’s a very confident person.” -Craig, 25

“Just like dudes are supposed to initiate convos, be smooth af, do and say everything right, ask the girl out, make the first move, I think it’s fair that if a girl wants to do one of those, then she can because relationships these days are changing in so many ways. So, girls are allowed to do some things out of the norm if they’re interested.” -Dan, 22

Still, even with the above proof, we have women calling favoriting all of a man’s tweets and liking 6 Instagram pictures in a row “shooting their shot”. I conducted a poll on Twitter that concluded 42% of people think women don’t shoot their shot as often as men because “they think the man should do it”. That kind of thinking is why ladies will never get the man they really want. You’re on an Applebee’s date with a lame you don’t even like, hoping your Instagram crush watches your story for a “hint”, when you could simply message him first.

At this point, women shooting their shot is so few and far in between, you might wow a guy just by being the first to hit him up. Ladies, did you know that men want to feel wanted too? Heed my advice and let the chips fall where they may. And don’t give me that “what if he’s out of my league” crap. Do you think Nola Darling or Jacqueline Broyer ever worried if a man was out of their league? There’s no such thing when you’re in a league of your own.

As usual, I’m sharing this piece of advice after observing and living it. I’m tired of seeing women act like little girls who are too scared to go after what they want. If we can shoot our shot for the careers we want, why should we be intimated by men? We have women proposing marriage and paying for dates these days! If I can get over my fear of rejection, you can too. As G.L. Lambert says on BGAE, “True confidence doesn’t come from never being challenged in life, it comes from overcoming those obstacles.” Are you up for the challenge sis?