Tag Archives: Girls

What’s Good? 

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What’s Good? 

Am I, “Good Enough”
By, Ascellia M. Arenas

Have you been paying attention to popular media, music, television, film, and social media? Well, according to what I’ve been seeing and hearing there a lot of negative opinions out here about black women: what makes us good, and what makes us bad. We watch talk shows where black women are dragged for filth as their children’s images are placed on a television monitor and a man screams, “there’s no way I could be that baby’s father, she’s a hoe.” And we laugh…

Women are shamed for having an opinion, embracing and celebrating sexuality, for how we choose to wear our hair, for whatever our bodies look like, and whether or not we are worthy enough to be treated like “Queens.” The music we dance to often refers to women as bitches and hoes. Well dressed beautiful women with ample resources to purchase expensive clothing, luxury items, cars, homes, and other visible trappings of success are fodder for amusement on reality television. Women are frequently placed in hostile situations/environments where they have to show dominance by physically fighting or cursing each other. We are constantly debating about and measuring our worth. We are being informed by unhealthy stereotypes that if unchecked, will seep deeper into the psyche of the next generation of men and women. It has already taken root in more people than we are willing to admit.

There have been many times where I have faced judgment, speculation, been treated unfairly, and treated poorly even by men of my own race. There comes a time when a black woman faces herself in the mirror and asks the question, why am I still not considered to be good enough? I thought I had “Black Girl Magic” pumping through my veins…Ahhh, yes, of course I do, and YES I am good enough, AS IS!
I am a mother of two intelligent, healthy, handsome, male children. I don’t know if I will ever conceive another child, male or female. I often wonder how I would raise a female child. I do have a step-daughter from my previous marriage, I am an educator, I was a cheerleading coach; so, I have been able to mentor and nurture female children in my lifetime. But what if…If I gave birth to a female child, what could I instill in her psyche, from birth, to help her compartmentalize all of the aforementioned stereotypes? How can I help her know the difference between who she knows she is and who people try to tell her she is.  This is important. This is a real thing. My beloved grandmother Eunice used to say, “it ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to…”

If I had a female child, at this time in my life, I’d tell her…

1. I love you. Your father loves you. You are beautiful.

2. Your very best effort is all I will accept.

3. You are capable of doing anything you want to do. Just be sure you can live with the consequences.

4. If you get in trouble, if you make a mistake, as long as you are honest and face the repercussions, I will be there for you, and yes…you are grounded.

5. Help people, for free, at first…

6. Popularity is a gift and a curse. The same pedestal they put you on, they will kick you off of. Take what you need and move on. 

7. Don’t drink/eat anything you didn’t make yourself, watch being prepared, or buy. If you go on a date, make sure you call me or your father if you feel the least bit uncomfortable. You aren’t going to date until you go to college, so, there’s that…

8. If you post it, it was seen, by someone, and they saved it, and it will reappear when you least expect it. So, stand up for your own point of view and don’t be ashamed. If you will regret it, don’t post it.

9. Dance…in the rain, on tables, on planes, on trains, in fields, on stage, at parties, at home in your mirror…never let anybody tell you that you are wrong for it, ever. Your body, your rules. If you are rhythmically challenged, you may need some lessons. I got you, thank me later. 

10. If someone decides that they don’t like you, that your hair doesn’t meet their standards, your body doesn’t meet their approval, your skin is too light/dark, your teeth are crooked/gapped/chipped, that your voice sounds funny, that your fingers or toes are too long, short, crooked, fat; that your style/look is too different (with a negative tone), that you need to be different in any way to gain their acceptance, or that you aren’t “good enough,” as is, their loss. Get to steppin…

11. If you want to change anything about your looks because you feel like it, because you know who you are and you want to switch it up a little, and you can afford to pay for it with your own money, cool. I’m down, we can share accessories. 

12. Your brothers are a little weird…In a good way though. I know, trust me, they are good people and will protect you with every bit of strength they have in them. I know because they did the same for me…I’ll tell you about it when you’re 20. 

13. Your legacy is amazing, you family history is remarkable, most people think it’s a bunch of lies but I have receipts. We good, baby girl. Know that.

14. You can be whoever you want to be! Have courage, be fair, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t let anybody make you feel like you can’t have what you want if you don’t. Never ever be afraid to fly.

Yes, 14 is my favorite number …I digress…

My darling, you are a princess because your Mama is a Queen. One day you will wear the crown and share these truths with our next generation.

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”- Maya Angelou 

Gun Violence In Miami Gardens Strikes Again

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Gun Violence In Miami Gardens Strikes Again

Gun Violence In Miami Gardens Strikes Again
6/6/16

By, A.Arenas  

The city of Miami Gardens is in the news again for yet another tragic gun violence incident. On June 4, 2016, at what promised to be a fun evening, Alexandra Dean, recent NSU graduate was fatally shot down in a drive by shooting at or around about 9pm in the evening. Ms. Dean was described as being a lovely young woman who worked very hard to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in the challenging program offered at Nova Southeastern University. Alexandra Dean was described as being a very good student who had just received her degree at the commencement ceremony in May. Ms. Dean had just spoken with her mother on Friday evening and was dutifully preparing to take her nursing boards examination. Her mother encouraged her to study hard and be well prepared for her test but she was sure she would pass with flying colors because nursing was Dean’s passion. When her mother, Pauline Dean, learned of the tragedy she immediately flew in from Jamaica. Since Saturday evening Dean’s friends and those who pass by the home where the tragedy took place leave teddy bears, cards, and light candles to pay respects to a light blown out too quickly. Raymond Dean, Alexandra’s father, says he hopes once the shooter has been found that they, ” lock him up for the rest of his life.”

Alexandra Dean, 23, was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, she volunteered her time and efforts to community service, she was very well-liked, and strikingly beautiful. Horrifically, Dean was shot in the head at a house party in the 40 block of Northeast 212th Terrace. She was taken to Aventura Hospital, where she died of her injuries, said police. Police are currently investigating this case and are looking for the person or people behind it.

The Miami Gardens Party was promoted on Instagram as being a “Project X” style party themed after the popular movie. Posts on social media attracted over 200 guests who were offered free food, free drinks, and entertainment. The yard was strewn with broken glass, paper cups, flyers for other parties and quite possibly the casings from the bullets that struck Dean down on Saturday night. Dean’s friends and family began posting to social media in search of anyone who has information about the persons who may have been involved with the shooting of Alexandra Dean. Each social media post was followed #RIPAlex, her story soon became a trending topic.
In response to the tragedy the “See Something, Say Something Rally,” was put together by the Miami Gardens Police Department and family members of people who were murdered and or were victims of gun violence. The “See Something, Say Something Rally,” will be held in Miami Gardens on Thursday at 18665 Northwest 37th Avenue. 
Enough is enough: it is time to bring an end to unnecessary gun violence.  
  
#RIPAlex #NSU #BSN #nurse #college #party #service #stoptheviolence #guns #education #prevention #community #women #girls #change #cellibrationpublishing 

©2016 Cellibration Publishing

The Problem With Cinderella

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The Problem With Cinderella

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The Problem With Cinderella

By, Celli Arenas

It’s spring again, a time to refresh and renew our senses.  We will have the time to reflect upon what inspires us most, make plans, and press forward into the newness of Spring that Mother Earth has provided. Spring also blooms the thoughts of true love, classic true love; love like we see in the movies! This spring, Disney has released the live-action remake of Cinderella. The movie is described as a Science Fiction Film/Fantasy Film, and is rated PG.  It was released to theaters on March 13, 2015, making it part of  a “tent-pole” trend in filmmaking.  Eric Diaz, of “The Nerdist” says this of the live-action trend: “This past weekend, Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella cleaned up at movie theaters, making over $70 million dollars just at the domestic box office alone. This follows up last year’s surprise hit Maleficent, and before that, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The next couple of years see live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast as well as The Jungle Book hitting cinemas. It’s clear now that Disney now has yet another [tent-pole] “franchise” in the form of live-action retellings of their classic animated movies.” (“5 Live-Action Remakes of Animated Classic Disney“)

imgres-2To the credit of Director: Kenneth BranaghCostume design: Sandy PowellFeatured songs: A “Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes“,”Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Bo“, and Producers: Allison Shearmur, Simon Kinberg, David Barron; this live action version of the timeless classic was skillfully and beautifully done. The visual aesthetic of the film is breathtaking.  The performance of Oscar-winning, Cate Blanchette was riveting.  She makes for a convincing and eerily wicked villainess. Kudos to her performance, she stole the show!  

In summary, “After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella (Lily James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and step sisters, who reduce her to scullery maid. Despite her circumstances, she refuses to despair. An invitation to a palace ball gives Ella hope that she might reunite with the dashing stranger (Richard Madden) she met in the woods, but her stepmother prevents her from going. Help arrives in the form of a kindly beggar woman who has a magic touch for ordinary things.” (Google)search-1

So, what’s the problem? It is a fantasy film, science fiction film, strictly for entertainment, right? Why analyze the implications of the this classic tale of true love?  That’s why, “the classic tale of TRUE love,” is the problem.  Many women grew up watching Cinderella, reading books, and making trips to Disneyland/Disney World to take a picture with Cinderella and Prince Charming. Scores of little girls want princess dresses and crowns, princess tea parties and want to live the science fiction/fantasy as if it were their own true life.  We teach little girls to visualize fantasy/science fiction as something plausible and realistic that can happen in their own real lives by creating activities for them, and dressing them up like the princesses we see in film.

search Women believe the concept of being considered princesses to their fathers and queens to their husbands. While watching the movie I saw scores of little princesses drag their grandmas and moms to see the live-action film (probably for the 5th time since it was released).  It was particularly  cute when I heard one little “princess” squeal, “Daddy” when Prince Charming stroked the cheek of Cinderella, while admiring her flawless beauty.  I instantly thought, wow, this baby is two years old and automatically connects Prince Charming to her Daddy (thereby, possibly seeking the same type of man for her own future husband).

There are many connections being made from watching this film that will have lasting effects in the lives of millions of little girls all over the world.  When “classic true love” doesn’t occur the same way as it did for Ella, in this science fiction/fantasy film, some women will become discouraged and want to give up on love completely because they have not yet found their very own, “Prince Charming”.  This is the problem with Cinderella!

Ladies, it is just a fantasy. Although the notion and concept are beautiful, and dream inspiring, we must be able to separate reality from fiction and act accordingly. We also have to remember that this story is just a dream, created by Hollywood to make money.

There is such a thing as a “Prince Charming” out there for you; you just have to create your own realistic criteria, and recognize him when you see him.

Have you watched the live-action version Cinderella, in theaters now?  What are your thoughts?

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Photo Credits: Google Images

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Celli Arenas

Celli Arenas

Celli Arenas, published author, has been featured in several magazines, such as: MIA Magazine, Success Magazine, Legacy Magazine. She is the host blogger at http://www.cellibration.com, and hosts MIA-Live.net for BlogTalk Radio. Her books, “30 Days of Dynamic Pursuit” a self-help journal, and “Sidetracked: He Used To Love Me”, a coming of age novel,  are both available at amazon.com.

Follow@sidetrackedbook on Instagram & Twitter