Don’t Freak Out: Perfection is Overrated

Every year for the past few years I shoot lingerie for Valentine’s Day (here and here).  Lot’s of plus size bloggers do it. I’m not special in that regard. This year as I was styling looks to shoot I felt really bad anxiety. I was standing in line at a discount store about to buy a bra for the shoot and I got overwhelmed.

Playful Promises X Gabifresh Bra and Panties

Every year for the past few years I shoot lingerie for Valentine’s Day (here and here).  Lot’s of plus size bloggers do it. I’m not special in that regard. This year as I was styling looks to shoot I felt really bad anxiety. I was standing in line at a discount store about to buy a bra for the shoot and I got overwhelmed. It was a sudden wave of questions like “Will my readers think that I am vain?  Do I really need to do this again? I mean hell, it’s not like my body is any smaller or better than it was last year.  Also, explaining why I am on the internet in my underwear again it’s not the easiest conversation to have with my family.

I called my best friend to get her perspective and hopefully laugh off my near panic attack at our favorite rag bin.  I asked her, “should I quit doing this?” She laughed at me for a few minutes because she’s used to my quarterly breakdowns.  After she got out her giggles she said, “No, I actually think we all look forward to it. It gives us all hope.”

Target Ava & Viv Bra and Panties

Bra: Target, Panties Target, Robe: Amazon

I calmed down and thought, hope? Hope for what?

Is lack of hope keeping women afraid of themselves and their bodies? It surely was making me sweat at the thought that someone would be perceiving me as overly confident.  Let’s keep it real, I’m no Instagram model, but the reality is that lot’s of women have bodies that are very much like mine. As a person who lives in the real world of office potlucks, stress eating, post-pregnancy bodies…do I really need to go on? We can pretty much recognize what society deems a display body and what bodies need to be “flattered”.

The body positive movement is diligently providing a voice for women with real bodies. Ironically when I have conversations in small circles of real women I don’t always feel like it’s fully embraced by the women who are supposed to be inspired by it. When I check out my ultra fly and confident blogger boo’s Instagram posts, the comments sections are filled with horrible body shaming comments from women who look very much like them. Do these women lack the hope?  Are our bodies unworthy of love and positivity before we get to the perfect goal weight? Or if they are worthy of optimism should we cloak our “before” bodies in shame before revealing a happy “after” photo with mass appeal? I can’t pretend like I’ve never been in a conversation where something cruel was said about a woman’s less than perfect body.

Amazon Kimono

No one is perfect.  We all say things and have opinions and biases. I think a woman who is uncomfortable with herself is quicker to shame a woman who has features that remind her of her own. It’s her way of expressing frustration. How dare you celebrate what I am so ashamed to have. I think there needs to be checks and balances and to bring a common space and bridge the gap between women who are comfortable and those who are still trying to figure out where they are with their confidence journey.

My body is not a weed and cannot be plucked from the garden of life and neither is anyone else’s.  We all need enough space to dance to the rhythm of our own individuality. There’s room for tattoos, stretch marks,  cellulite, scars, and my size 16 ass. We all want to be free from judgment from ourselves and others. I don’t know what made me anxious and double over in fear next to the $1.99 pantyhose while waiting for the next available cashier but if my body is giving someone hope to one day be comfortable with themselves I must be doing something right.

Thank you to Sara Harr of S.N.H Photography for these great shots at Hotel Covington

Playful Promises X GabiFresh

Bra: Playful Promises, Underwear Playful Promises, Robe: Vintage (similar and similar)

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

It’s Been A Long Time | Seriously Single


I haven’t been on a date since I turned 30. In May, I will be 33. I’d love to be overly dramatic and say I’ve never been on a real date but I’m sure all of my ex-boyfriends would find that highly offensive. I mean a lot of guys have incredibly bad planning skills and an inability to go beyond the scope of “What do you want to do?” Like I said before I am being overly dramatic. Since I know the plot of this story I can even say I’m deflecting.

Back to the point… I haven’t been on date since I turned 30

Let’s add an asterisk to this statement and say that I am not counting any of the times I shared a meal with a booty call and or friend with benefits to create a vibe that felt less like a sexual transaction. (That may have only happened about 3 times since I’ve turned 30).  I’ve been busy.  I started a small business, I am a freelance writer, a stylist, and carefree Black girl trying to adult on a regular basis. I have a long list of stuff going on here.

After my last failed relationship I just wasn’t in the mood to date. When we broke up I played George Michael “Freedom” on a loudspeaker and took a victory lap around my house. I was excited to be single, to say the least. I will admit that I am a little closed off, a low key introvert, and apprehensive of strangers. I’m pretty positive that plays a factor in my slow paced dating life. Maybe I am just waiting to have a conversation with a guy and afterward think I could talk to him again.

There is a chance the time has come to get out of my comfort zone. I keep seeing memes that say everything I want is outside of my comfort zone *insert eye roll*.  I’m downplaying my need to make myself more available because when I got a quiet moment alone to myself I did something unthinkable and downright stupid.

Last Saturday night would have normally been a work night for me. A night where I would have been interacting with other people and engaging in light networking.  This Saturday is different I had just dropped my 16-year-old daughter off at her friend’s house. Her friend happens to live in a neighborhood that I spent a lot of my late foolish teens and miserable early twenties in. If all of George Strait’s exes live in Texas then all of mine live in this suburb. (Again with the dramatics it’s like two).

It did make me think of the guy who was sorta something like my ghetto high school sweetheart. Gosh, I loved him. He was goofy, absent minded, criminal minded, strangely endearing and at the time really cute. My ghetto high school sweetheart wasn’t a bad guy.  He was just always getting arrested. He was the kind of guy where no matter how much you cared for him and tried to steer him in the right direction he was still going to pick wrong. No matter how much we cared about each other we were on different pages in two different magazines. If I was Essence he was a full years subscription to High Times.  It could have never worked. I know because we tried several times. Give me a break. I was twenty.  He felt like a great love of my life so we broke up and made up five or six times.

After I dropped my daughter off at her friend’s house I took the scenic route home. I drove past places where we used to kick it, I even stopped to pump myself some gas at the gas station where I frequently had to wait for him to buy a single cigarette several times a day. (He wasn’t the brightest.  He was funny, cute and good at other things). It felt innocent enough. I thought about the last time he called looking for me at my mom’s house.   It was just a few years ago. We always kept in touch even when he got himself arrested and jailed. Just as friends, mostly. I came home and my sister told me that he called several times and the last time she had to tell him that I didn’t live at home anymore.

Createherstock Happy New Year Pack 3

I hadn’t seen or talked to him since. Something in me wanted to know where he was so when I got home I did what any normal person would do, I googled him. He had been arrested a couple of months ago.  I don’t know why I wasn’t satisfied with that information but it was quite in my house, no one was bothering me asking me to take them to the mall or to cook something to eat, so I continued. I just kept internet stalking until I found myself on one of those people finder websites and I just kept plugging in information about him and the green progress bars keep going from 0 to 100 %. I just kept feeling like I was closer to an answer although at this point I don’t really remember what was in question.

At the end of all my searching, I pretty much found out what I already knew.  He had been arrested a lot, an address and a phone number that may or may not have been disconnected. (I wasn’t crazy enough to call it). By the time I had come back into reality I realized that this had all gone too far. The quiet time that I had been craving had just bit me in the ass because one ride through a neighborhood just caused me to go on some deranged people search for an old friend.  Especially since I know it’s better that we don’t communicate.

As busy as I’ve been, the moment I got time to myself I squandered it on nothing. On something that I already knew I could have gotten three loads of laundry done. I need to get out and be less apprehensive about strangers because I just let the past seduce me into a really ghetto episode of The Twilight Zone.

I should have felt this coming on.  Just a few weeks ago I was looking for Christmas ornaments and found a box of pictures that included a picture of my ex-fiance. I remember looking at it noticing the sweatshirt he had on.  It was his favorite. A few days later on my way to work, I saw him walking down the street wearing that same sweatshirt. What are the freaking odds!

All of my exes are exactly where I left them doing all of the same things they always did.  Hell, I should know that because none of them have social media profiles.  Nothing is going on in their lives that they can even remotely embellish upon. I mean they can’t even stunt on the ‘gram.

I’m guessing that this was a teachable moment from the universe. Well more like a toll bridge because it cost me. The universe just told me to quit looking back because nothing that you want is back there and that will be $34.50.

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The Plastic Surgery I Never Got

Why I Never Got Plastic Surgery

If a picture says a thousand words then 1000 words still don’t manage to tell the full story. I think when people see fashion bloggers they assume that bloggers must clearly find themselves very attractive. I mean, we do share lots of pictures of ourselves in snazzy outfits so I can see how people make this assumption. Pictures don’t actually talk, people do and it’s always in television interviews that we find out that the women who we find beautiful and awe-striking don’t always feel as beautiful as we perceive them to be?

I talk about body confidence, body acceptance and loving yourself “as is” a lot.

I talk about body confidence, body acceptance and loving yourself “as is” a lot. I stand behind it one hundred percent because acceptance is the first step to healing.  Self-doubt is a wound from an injury inflicted by several outside sources. I know this because I am always actively participating in my own healing process. It can seem like I have the highest self-confidence in the world but I don’t.


For as long as I can remember I have loved getting dressed up. Every Sunday my mom would get my sister and I dressed and we would go to church. Every dress always felt like a cloud of femininity that I could float on forever. We would get so many compliments at church and people would stop and look at my sister and me to tell us how pretty we looked in our dresses. I ate it up. I believed every compliment. How could I not believe them? The dress was pretty and I was pretty in it and my mom worked so hard to ensure that we looked like angels. Everything supported my belief that I was pretty.


I don’t think I ever felt unattractive until I went to school and boys would tell me that I wasn’t pretty.  Which was news to me because everyone at church thought I was pretty? The more they told me that I wasn’t pretty the more I paid attention to what boys considered attractive. I wanted to know what was catching their eye. I started to realize that the girls who were being praised at school for being pretty had hair that was much longer than mine, not always but sometimes their skin was lighter and their eye color weren’t brown.

As I got older my research continued.  It even carried over into my own interest like being an avid magazine enthusiast. I have been reading magazines for as long as I can remember. Hell, I had a subscription to Highlights magazine at age 8. By the time I started reading magazines like YM, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen while searching for the latest trends and pictures of boy bands, I noticed what boys noticed about women. Their faces, their bodies and what would make one woman more attractive than the next. I started realizing that on the rare occasion a Black model was featured in a magazine, however, her face didn’t look like mine.  I didn’t have a nose like Tyra Banks or hair like Ashanti. I also noticed that the girls who boys found attractive at school had similar qualities to these women.

The sad part about all of this is it wasn’t like all the boys found me unattractive or that I was getting the worst of the taunting. I just wanted more options. I wanted the ability to have my pick of who I wanted to date. I didn’t feel like the ugliest girl in the room but I felt like I knew who had the advantage. I knew where I ranked. I was average. I had what most of all the Black girls had; brown eyes, short to medium length hair and a wide nose. A nose that was clearly Black. A nose that didn’t lend to a question like “what are  you mixed with?” A nose that made it clear both of my parents are Black.

A nose that didn’t lend to a question like “what are  you mixed with?”

I didn’t have a problem with being Black I just wanted more attention. I just wanted to date the most popular boy on the Varsity football team and I thought having a slimmer nose would give me that option. My nose became the one thing that I would change about my body. My nose was hindering me from being my most attractive self. I mean I would never be able to have “good hair” but I could get a weave. I could never have hazel eyes. I could, however, pay a doctor to take a little off the side and give me a nose that looked a little bit more like Halle Berry’s.

Why I Never Got Plastic Surgery

Thank God, for MTV  True Life: I Got Breast Implants. After seeing the bad side to plastic surgery I started doing my own research about rhinoplasty. I found out that slimming my nose on the outside could also narrow the airway inside. I have enough issues breathing as is with my allergies.  Maybe my nose wasn’t worth the temporary attention of the cutest guy on the football team.

As I age I get more and more happy with the decisions I made not to alter my nose. My nose looks like my family’s nose. I am happy to look more like my mother than Halle Berry. Now that I’m in my thirties, I realize that my nose would have only been the start of altering myself because there is always a quality that you won’t have. Something else will become the “it” factor like big butts are now, but tomorrow it will be something else. I can’t change every time I feel inadequate. I can only figure out what is making me feel like I am inadequate so I can deal with the feeling instead of feeling the need to change my body.

I advocate for women to take the time to ask themselves, “Is this what I want because I want it?”

I advocate for women to take the time to ask themselves, “Is this what I want because I want it?” If the answer is yes then I support her right to make that choice but if the answer is no then I implore her to find her own unique beauty that is beautiful because she says it is! I blog for many reasons and one of them is so that I can be a face in the crowd that feels familiar. Proud of a face that may be deemed average by some but it will be familiar to someone else because it is reminiscent of features that look like theirs.

Women, Black women, skinny women, fat women, women with short to medium length hair, brown eyes, wide noses, and flat asses are beautiful. I’m rooting for you. I’m in your corner and I love you!

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!