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Mr. or Ms. #MeToo

The #MeToo movement is a subject that gets a lot of people talking. It’s great that it has provided a platform for there to be more discussion about rape/sexual assault and rape culture. More women and men feel brave enough to come forward about the things they have experienced. It has been an opportunity to help each other heal and get justice for victims who felt they never could. This movement has also shown how vastly different everyone views these types of things, and to be honest it’s not a pretty sight.

Part of the issue is the lack of education. For years certain behaviors have been normalized or gone unchecked. Either people who do it knew it was bad and never got punished, or they didn’t know because the line for certain sexual offenses is so grey. Some answers aren’t so clear and can leave people wondering if the person is really guilty of a malicious act or if they’re simply ignorant to the fact that what they did was wrong. This isn’t the case for everyone but there are instances where this is the case.

There is also the issue of normalcy. Some actions are seen as okay because that’s how they have always been. When I was in junior high boys grabbing girls on their behinds was normal. It was an everyday thing and no one thought twice about it. Most of us actually laughed or playfully hit them for doing it. Even I’m guilty of it if I thought he was cool enough. Imagine that same thing happening now as an adult. Most of us would be inclined to retaliate in some way. Being 25 now, when the same thing happened to me in New Orleans I was angry, disgusted, and felt somewhat embarrassed. I wondered how or why someone thought it was okay. The problem? Normalcy. It’s what a lot of us grew up doing or let happen to us. We have to stop these things at the root before it grows into behavior we think is okay as adults.

Another issue I see is an unwillingness to change. Some people don’t want to change their behavior and will justify it in anyway they can. One of the biggest excuses? Too many women/men lie about this type of thing. Big excuse #2? Some people are just looking for a payday. Even if there are some instances of this, the likelihood is low. The vast majority of cases that we see involve celebrities. It’s much easier to use this type of logic for a celebrity, but what about a woman who gets raped by a part time worker at a fast food restaurant. Was her motivation money? The chances of that is very unlikely. As for lying, that’s something only God and the people involved really know. As outsiders it’s not really within our ability to know the complete truth. Even so, we should have the decency to afford the victim the same benefit of the doubt that some give the person being accused.

As someone who has had something like this hit very close to home, I want to see change. I want to see more victims step forward and claim their lives back from the people/person who victimized them. I want to see more survivors who are pushing forward and out of the darkness something like this brings. I know soooooo many people who have been affected by sexual assault/rape and the majority of them have never pursued the justice that they deserve. About 90% of them were too afraid to tell someone because they didn’t think anyone would believe them. Maybe 10% tried to tell someone and they didn’t believe them or they were blamed instead.

Some men are victims of sexual assault or rape, but don’t view it that way. I know several men who lost their virginity to a woman two to three times their age when they were underage. Some as young as 8 or 7. The difference? Men aren’t taught to value their bodies the same way that most women are. I believe this leads to a disconnect. They in turn grow up now valuing the bodies of others the way that they should as a result. They are taught to look at sex as a badge of honor so although some end up having their innocence taken away at very young ages, they don’t view themselves as victims. Let’s reverse that and say it’s a grown man doing the same with an 8 to 9 year old girl. The image isn’t as palatable, and that’s the problem. Neither should be palatable. Each instance is very much a problem.

What we need is a change in outlook. Too many people view this movement as an attack on them personally. The #MeToo movement is not about the perpetrator but the victims, the SURVIVORS. It’s a movement that started so that more people could come forward and break free the chains that have bound them because of rape and/or sexual assault. This isn’t about making every man (or woman) feel attacked but about empowering the men and women who had theirs taken from them. According to the NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center):

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives
  • In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime

RAINN (The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) claims that:

  • On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States

The saddest part about these statistics is that most, if not all, of these reports are based on reported crimes and/or interviews. That means that the number is likely much higher but has gone unreported. So many people are affected by this, but are too afraid to speak up. It’s not an easy topic to discuss. Very little people actually want to but it’s important that we do. We have to stop sweeping it under the rug and acknowledge that this is a problem. Be an ear for someone who hasn’t had anyone to talk to. Be a voice for someone who hasn’t found their’s yet…or find yours. If you can’t talk to someone you know call the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673

Your voice deserves to be heard ūüíē

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Insecurities: It’s Okay, We All Have Them

What’s the hardest thing about learning how to be more confident? For me it was learning how to stop caring what other people thought about me. Most of us underestimate the amount of power we have given other people. Their words, their feelings, and their actions have some much influence over who we are and what we show the world. I think just about everyone has had a moment where they wanted to post a picture, but didn’t because of how they thought other people would react to it. Is this the right angle? Does this color look nice on me? Do I look fat? Does my hair look right? These are just a few questions that many of us ask ourselves before we finally post a picture.

Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone, but it serves as an example of how much we let other people influence us. I still have some insecurities about things, but I have learned that this is normal and does not devalue my self-worth. Of course you want to look your best and love what you see in the mirror, that’s normal!¬†BUT! Is that because you dislike what you see? Or because someone else does…

Like my grandma always says, “People are gonna talk about you while you’re living and long after you’re gone.” As long as you exist there will be other people who feel like they can weigh in on who you are and what you do. You have to learn how to understand that this does not mean that their opinion is fact. There’s a reason that there is a distinction made between fact and opinion. One is the truth and the other isn’t, simple as that! You needing air to breathe is a fact. You not being beautiful is an opinion (one I wholeheartedly disagree with).

I want you to challenge yourself to love yourself more. Take time to invest in your own confidence and self-love. Everyday make an effort to love yourself a little more. Start by complimenting yourself and someone else everyday. Even if it’s just you telling yourself you did a good job at work today and commenting a compliment on social media, do it. Be consistent and watch how your confidence begins to build. Building yourself up doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes you might not even believe the compliment you gave yourself. That’s okay. Practice until you believe it. Practice until you start to see the amazing individual I know you are.

The only to combat insecurities is to change them or to embrace them. If there’s something you don’t like and you can change it, then do it. Just make sure that you are changing it because you want to change it. The quickest way to fail at something is to start it for all the wrong reasons. Doing something for other people is only good when it’s out of the kindness of your heart. There is a huge difference between donating money to charity to help others, and losing weight because other people tell you that you should.

I remember someone I follow on Instagram had lost weight due to stress. Instead of people asking her if she was okay they complimented her on how much weight she had lost. She was going through one of the roughest times in her life, and no one thought to ask her how she was doing. People associate losing weight with the word good and gaining weight with the word bad. Her weight loss had actually led to more medical issues and depression. Once she started to regain her confidence and became happier she gained weight. It wasn’t until then, that people started asking her is she was okay. She admitted that his made her start dieting excessively, but she stopped when she realized that the only reason she was doing it was to make other people happy. She didn’t have a problem with her weight, others did.

Stop giving other people power they don’t deserve. It’s okay to have insecurities, we all do. Just don’t let them be the ones other people tell you that you should have.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope this dose from Vitamin Key helped you in some way. Please don’t forget to like, share, comment, and follow me for more content. #LetsTalkAboutIt

 

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Dating!

So today I did a podcast with my best friend about dating (I’ll leave the link to my podcast at the bottom). We talked about some dating pet peeves, gave a little advice, and just had a blast discussing the topic. I felt like I needed to make a blog post to accompany that podcast since there were a few things I didn’t get to for the sake of time.

Dating can be pretty hard to maneuver nowadays….*sigh*. It’s just not what it used to be. Everyone is so busy living in the moment that they don’t care nearly as much about their future. It’s almost as if they’re afraid to look forward. I understand, it’s easier not to get hurt when you don’t commit in the first place but where’s the fun in that?

If you want something worth having you have to work at it. That applies to a lot of things including a meaningful relationship. The problem is, most people are too afraid to risk getting hurt because they’ve been hurt before. The worse situations are when people hurt others with a “get them before they can get me” type of attitude. What you end up with is a world full of people who have relationship phobias.

I can understand it. At one point I vowed to be single for the rest of my life, and I told myself that it would just be me and God until I R.I.P. The problem with that mentality is that I was avoiding the problem. I didn’t resolve the issue I just hid from it.

What ended up happening was I got lonely. I started to see that I was only doing it because I was still hurting and didn’t want to face that hurt again. That’s not healthy! Instead I turned my focus towards rebuilding my confidence. I forgave my ex and told myself that I would concentrate on being happy with myself. You have to get to the point where you take care of yourself but don’t close yourself off from the possibility of a wonderful relationship.

Everyone claims to be happy with their “situation” until they finally get more. It’s okay to want more. It’s alright to desire a deeper connection and admit that you’re afraid it might never happen. What’s most important is building happiness within. Once you start to change you’ll see opportunities appear that you didn’t think would. Today I want you to allow yourself the chance to take a chance!

On a more lighthearted note, don’t forget to tune into my podcast Vitamin Key titled: Dating! Feat. Nae McCall

Podcast Link: https://anchor.fm/keyra-dominique

(Me and my best friend Nae)

And you know the drill, let me know what you think. Don’t forget to comment, like, share, and follow.

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https://www.instagram.com/keyradominique/

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https://www.facebook.com/kdt1993/

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I Love My Haters

Recently I ran across an article on Revelest.com titled:

Blogger Points Out Sexist Double Standard In Wake Of Tess Holliday Cover Backlash

By Emerald Pellot

Tess Holliday, a plus size model and just overall amazing person received quite a bit of backlash over her cover on Cosmopolitan Uk. As outlined in the article, most of the flack came from people who felt her being on the cover was endorsing being obese. If you want to read the article here’s the link:

https://www.revelist.com/internet/tess-holliday-cosmopolitan-backlash/13426/of-course-piers-morgan-was-one-of-the-trolls/5

For anyone who doesn’t know, Tess has always been an advocate for body positivity and embracing herself/her body no matter what the haters say. That is the mentality behind the #effyourbeautystandards movement that she and many women (and men) around the world have started to embrace. At it’s core this movement is just about acceptance of yourself and letting other people know that regardless of what they think, you still love yourself.

I believe that it’s for that very reason, that the backlash she’s getting is so disgusting to me. Disgusting sounds like a strong word right? Well I think it fits this situation perfectly. The cover is obviously meant to promote self-love and body positivity, but people turned it into a weight issue. Let’s be honest, although people say it’s about health it’s not. In a society that has finally started to embrace more diverse types of beauty, people have looked for more politically correct ways of insulting people.

How is a woman loving the skin she’s in a way for her to promote obesity? How is she the poster girl for being unhealthy? It’s because people are threatened. They try to mask it behind “concern” for her well-being but we all know that’s not what this is about. This is about other people’s insecurities and them being uncomfortable.

As hard as it is to believe, there are people who genuinely feel offended by other people and their confidence. They have fought so hard to look a certain way or live their life a certain way so that they can finally feel accepted within society’s standards of what is an acceptable life. Then here comes a woman who has decided that she loves each and every inch of herself when all she does is live her life.

There are also those who find plus size women disgusting. They can’t fathom how anyone would want them. In their minds plus size women cannot be attractive and they should be ashamed of themselves. This type of mentality is more common than you would think. More often than not, the trolls with fake profiles are the ones who boldly leave comments like this. Others just like it and keep it moving because they are afraid of the backlash they could receive.

I can’t help but feel that their frustrations are severely misplaced and insulting. They have twisted her message of empowerment to suit their needs and I am not here for it. The reason I chose the picture I did for the featured picture is because I want people to see the cellulite, the stomach, the thighs, the scars, and the stretch marks. I want people to see my story. I love who I am and you don’t have to.

If you want to hear more about this tune into my podcast Vitamin Key. Let me know what you think. Also, don’t forget to comment, like, share, and follow!

Here’s the link:

https://anchor.fm/keyra-dominique

P.S. My Podcast Vitamin Key is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts

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Stop Hating On the Confidence

I always advocate for self-confidence and body positivity because I know how important it is for people to find love for themselves. There’s nothing sadder than believing you have to ask others for permission to love yourself. I see so many people do this and when they don’t get the recognition they seek, they fall into depression. I have been in that place myself and I know just how easy it is to fall into the habit of looking to others for the approval that you can’t find within yourself.

What’s crazier is that people actually want you to seek their permission to love yourself! Have you ever noticed how people want someone who is confident, but also want them to seek their permission to be confident? They want someone who loves themselves, but they put people down if they don’t fit their criteria. People want you to look a certain kind of way, dress a certain kind of way, or live a certain kind of way in order to gain their approval.¬†I refuse to do it and so should you. You don’t need anyone to tell you that it’s okay to love yourself.

I have seen¬†men and women alike post a picture of themselves and take the¬†picture down because of comments that were negative. Sometimes the comments came from total strangers and sometimes they came from¬†people that they know.¬†When they uploaded the picture they loved it but it only took a matter of minutes for them to lose¬†that confidence. It’s extremely easy to sit behind a keyboard and talk badly about others, especially¬†when you don’t even like¬†yourself. Social media¬†has led to what I call “troll culture”. These people make it a point to troll others and make¬†people feel¬†bad about themselves but guess what? Not anymore.

Take your power back! Take your confidence back! Take your self-love back! Tell the trolls to STOP HATING ON THE CONFIDENCE and find some. You weren’t put on this earth to be judged by the people around you, especially if that judgement is making you unhappy. I want people to see that I have stretch marks. I want them to see that I have fat. I want them to see that my hair is kinky. I want them to see my eczema and acne scars. I WANT PEOPLE TO SEE ME!

The reason for that is, I want others to embrace who they are without worrying about what everyone thinks. I know it’s not easy but trust me it is so worth it. You will see a lot of differences in the way that you think and act. That shirt you didn’t think you could wear? You’ll wear it. Those shoes you thought you were too tall for? You’ll wear them. The outfit you’ve put off wearing because you didn’t think you could pull it off? You will rock it and dare a hater to hate.

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I talk more on this subject in my podcast Stop Hating On the Confidence. Be sure to listen and let me know what you think. Also, don’t forget to comment, like, share, and follow!

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Team Natural

I always want people to see me in the most authentic way possible. I feel like it’s important because there are so many people quick to put out false representations of themselves in order to impress others. None of us are perfect but that’s okay! You don’t have to be. This is something I had a hard time figuring out the first time I went natural. It’s not easy to embrace things that people usually tell you are not attractive. That’s how I felt about my hair.

I can’t help the type of hair that grows out of my head but I used to hate the way it looked. Ridiculous right?! I wanted to have the loose curly hair that everyone deemed “good hair”. I didn’t like the idea of having kinkier hair. Looking back, I see how important it is to learn how to love things before letting others color your perception of it. I had already convinced myself that I should not like my hair because of what other people thought and oh how wrong I was.

Our hair is unique to us, and that uniqueness should be embraced. One thing I learned was that despite everyone having similar curl patterns and textures, no one’s hair is exactly the same. Different parts of my hair are literally different curl patterns AND textures! The back my hair is around a 4b curl pattern and the front is more of a¬†4c curl pattern. For those of you who don’t know what that means, see the chart below:

rasa-blog-hair-charthair

The texture of my hair lies somewhere between type 6 and 7:

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Loving your hair is a journey, and not an easy one at that. I think everyone should figure what works best for them and learn to embrace what makes them happy. I’m team natural because I WANT TO BE but if you aren’t, do you hun! What matters most is that: 1. Your hair is healthy

2. You love it!

To hear me talk more about this topic, listen to my podcast called Hair: If You Like It I Love It. I talk a little more about my natural hair journey and experience. Let me know what you think. Also, don’t forget to comment, like, share, and follow.

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Cardi b & Nicki Minaj

Over the last year there has been comparisons made between Nicki Minaj and Cardi b. Many people saying that Cardi has taken influence from Nicki’s style (in fashion and rapping). What’s interesting about this is that the same thing happened to Nicki when she first started to rise in the industry. People accused her of biting Lil Kim’s¬† style. After that, there was beef between her and Remy Ma. Now that it has died down, there is a strange infatuation with whatever issues Nicki and Cardi have with each other. My question is why?

People are no stranger to rap beefs. Some of the best songs came as a result of rap beefs. One of the best examples of this can be seen with No Vaseline by Ice Cube. Sometimes it is because of actual issues present between the artist and other times it comes as a result of an obvious publicity stunt.

Despite that being the case, there is a strange infatuation with female rappers and beef between them now. They have to fight even harder to earn the respect that men get in the industry, but for some reason it seems as if there is only room for one to rule. Despite there being more than one title male rappers tend to credit to themselves, there apparently can only be one queen. The feeling that not everyone can get a piece of the pie is especially prevalent when it comes to female MC’s in this industry. You can’t like both. It has to be one or the other. This has helped add to tensions already present between Cardi and Nicki.

It’s almost as if the world does not want to see both win.¬†This beef they have has soared to newer heights after the fight that happened at a recent party. Things were said, hands were thrown, let’s talk about it.

(Picture credited to the shaderoom)