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Leave Ariana Alone!
Posted on October 18, 2014

Ariana Grande is an amazing talent. The moment I saw her singing over a Big Pun sample, the moment I watched a video of her rendition of Emotions by none other than Queen Mariah, I was sold. The girl has pipes! Her music is awesome too, but a lot of people focus more on her appearance than her talent. She just turned 21 this summer and she got her career started on a Nickelodeon show.

I've seen a lot of people refer to her as a "little girl", and claim she needs to "grow up" before they can take her seriously solely based on the way that she dresses. 

In a society where women are scrutinized to be sexy and thin, it bothers me to see other women bash Ariana for her appearance. She may not have long legs or wear a C-cup, but she's gorgeous in her own way. Ariana seems to have a sweet spirit and she's uber talented, but people skip over all of that just to talk about her appearance. Some of the very same women who preach about not appeasing the male gaze rag on Ariana's appearance; including women I know. I need all of the pots calling the kettle black to realize you contribute to the misogyny and patriarchy in today's society too. 

She's a childhood star and she's only 21, so of course she's going to explore her womanhood. God forbid any of you have daughters or sisters of your own. Everybody isn't gonna be comfortable being "sexy", so let them be! 

I would rather Ariana rock her ponytail with her little crop tops and skater skirts and blow me away with that voice than see her attempt to be somebody she's not for the sake of pleasing people who don't buy her music anyway. 

If you're one of those women who declare, "Girl Power" just to turn around and downgrade women for not dressing "grown" or "sexy" enough, you're part of the problem and you might as well find a seat at the table with all the boys and men who do the same thing.

Self-esteem issues were serious when I was a kid, but these kids have it ten times worse with cyber bullying, and the pressure of wanting to grow up too fast. Ariana may serve as an inspiration to some of these kids to let them know that you can do whatever you want to do and not have to change yourself to be successful. It may sound cliche, but it's true. If you think about it, a lot of popular artists have had major success and they didn't have a seat at the "cool kids" table starting out. They just did what felt comfortable to them. 

Leave people alone and worry about your own damn insecurities before you start picking other people's lives apart. Pleasantries. 


Throwback Thursday: "I'm Like A Bird"
Posted on September 11, 2014

I'm Like A Bird x Nelly Furtado. Circa 2000.


Throwback Thursday: "Me, Myself And I"
Posted on September 4, 2014

Because it's B'day.  She was 22 in this video. That's mind blowing. Happy 33rd, Motha!

Me, Myself And I x Beyoncé. Circa 2003.

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MOTC (dot com) is three!
Posted on August 14, 2014

It's been three years since I officially purchased this domain. I bought it the day after I graduated from college and coincidentally on my sister's 21st birthday. I was officially a college graduate and I wanted to begin my own brand and solidify that before someone else grabbed it up so I made the move and I'm glad I did. I recently thought about switching the name, but after thinking it over and talking to a couple of my fellow bloggers, I really believe MOTC represents me. 

I initially started this blog in 2010 to talk about beauty and fashion (and I still will), but it's also grown to become sort of like an online journal for me to express my thoughts and various interests. Over the past couple of weeks, I've really been thinking about my life and what I need to do to get to the next level and I really want to put my all into this little space. It may not be much compared to others' sites, but I want to utilize it to share who I am and what I'm passionate about as a 20-somethin' trying to find my way in addition to the things I enjoy.

I decided to toss the whole 'stick-to-a-niche' thing out the window long ago, because I would be doing a huge disservice to myself if I chose to limit myself to one or two things for the sake of site traffic. I love beauty and fashion, I love music, I love talking about how awesome Black women are, and I love writing even though my posts are sporadic. I want to continue to use this space as a platform for those who are like me; who may not know what they wanna do in life, who challenge traditional gender roles, or just want to rave about how awesome Beyoncé is. MOTC is my baby and I vow to take steps towards sharing and most importantly, growing as a brand and as a woman.

I wanna a give a shoutout and thank you to my fellow blogger friends who read my sporadic posts, encourage me and most of all in believe me. Yetti, Kimberly, Shenequa and Tyece, you girls are everything. I aspire to be as awesome as the four of you. 

And last but not least, a big thank you to everyone whose ever read a post, commented, or anything. Your support is everything and it really does keep me motivated when I feel like throwing in the towel. 

I wouldn't call this 'blogaversary' a celebration, it's more of a reflection for me. I just hope my 4th, 5th, and so on will be one for the books.

Here's to celebratory blogaversaries in the future!

- Jai <3 p="">

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"You got the look the Gods agree they wanna see..."
Posted on July 30, 2014

This song is important. The video is even more important. I'm so glad we finally got a visual for this song. It oozes Girl Power/Black Girl Anthem. Only thing that was missing was Solo, but I still love it.  The fact that she paid homage to HBCU culture, Janelle's hair, the T.I. cameo... LOVE!


Why Cohabitation Ain't For Me
Posted on July 23, 2014

Cohabitation isn’t a foreign concept. It’s been going on for generations. Some refer to it as “playing house”, others like to call it “shacking up”. I call it a “Hell Nah” and here’s why.

I’m an introvert and I like being alone. A lot. I enjoy getting together with my friends every now and then and my weekend shopping trips with my mom, but I like my alone time. I need my space. I enjoy lounging in my pajamas, watching Golden Girls on DVD or having an impromptu jam session, party of one.  

I hate when people touch my belongings without my permission. I like when things are done a certain way, but most of all, I don’t deal well with uncertainty.

I’ve never been the type to leap into anything haphazardly. I like to go with the flow, but I also like to plan. Until I’ve met “the one” and we’ve known each other for some time and plan on being married, I can’t ever see myself living with my future significant other.

It has nothing to do with religious beliefs and everything to do with privacy and security. Some people live together because it works for them and their relationship while others do it for the sake of getting help with the bills. If the relationship doesn’t work out, then what happens? If Ricky can’t come up with his part of the rent, what am I supposed to do?

I’d like to think I’m a modern-day woman with an open mind, but that’s one thing I can’t get down with. It’s just not for me. I realize no relationship is perfect, but that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. Sorry, not sorry.

One's living arrangement is none of business if it doesn't pertain to my own, but I personally can't see myself splitting the bills with someone unless marriage is involved. 

At this point, I don't even want a roommate if I can help it. I did it in college for two and half years and that was enough. I would prefer my own space to do what I want and not have to consider someone else's feelings or preferences. Once I move out on my own, I’ll know for sure that bills or paid or if I’m craving a bowl of Talenti gelato when I get home from work, it’ll be in the freezer where I left it.

It almost reminds me of the days I shared a room with my sister when we were kids and I absolutely hated that. There’s nothing like being alone in my own space. On those rainy fall nights, I like to sit in the dark with my window up, burn a pineapple mango candle, put my iPod on shuffle and chill. No worries, no interruptions.

God forbid I ever get married, I don’t know what I’m gonna do then. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy my candle collections, iPod on shuffle and Golden Girls DVD collection.

Do you live with your significant other or are you contemplating moving in together? How does it work for you and your relationship? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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The Pursuit Of Fulfillment
Posted on July 6, 2014

One day, I jokingly asked my co-workers if it was time to go (one, I was getting over a summer cold and two, I really was ready to go).

Then out of the blue, my co-worker hit me with, “It’s starting to sound like you don’t like your job.”

Just because I say I'm tired and I'm ready to go home doesn't mean I don't like my job. I already dedicate 40 hours a week of my life to that place. I don't eat, sleep and breathe for my company or paycheck. I’m grateful for gainful employment and benefits, but I enjoy my free time more. I’m not saying I don't wanna make money, but I'm not gonna break my neck or bend over backwards to do something I don't enjoy. I think my job is cool, but that's just it. It's a job. I’m on a pursuit to find a career and use my skills and $40,000 degree if possible.

I admire and envy my peers who are able to travel frequently while I'm stuck at home trying to save up enough paid time off just to take a weekend trip. I can't wait until I can travel and meet all the amazing people I’ve met through social media because of mutual interests we all share.

I'm single. I don't have a family to provide for so my every waking moment isn't worried about working overtime to add a few extra coins to my paycheck every two weeks. So many people get caught up in the cycle of working nonstop for nothing. After you've worked 60 hours a week trying to fatten your paycheck to pay bills, then what? Money is great, but I crave fulfillment. I need it.

I may not ever have my "dream job", but whatever I decide to do for a living in the next year or however long, I want to enjoy it. I want to make a difference. I want things to be on my terms. I want my skills and interests to play a part in whatever I do.

Working fulltime while trying to find the time and energy to put your all into something you believe in is already difficult. I have a lot of living to do, but I’ll be damned if I waste most of it “grinding” for the sake of a few extra dollars on my paycheck.

Holla at me about overtime when it comes to something I actually have an interest in, because entry-level employment won’t be the move forever.

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Life Is About Choices
Posted on May 21, 2014

Tyece and I had a brief conversation on Twitter about being the youngest associate in the workplace and being underestimated and patronized. Sometimes I swear she's in my head because she always hits the nail on the head, but this is something I've struggled with over the past five or six months as one of the youngest associates in the office. I'm in my mid-20s, single, no children. I'm still trying to find my place in the world and get situated to where I can grow and be the best person I can be. 

I often shy away from having conversations with certain co-workers because a lot of them are older and judging by their response on certain topics, they come off jealous or bitter. I'm not here to brag about my education or walk around with my nose in the air by any means. I've had to overcome things in my lifetime, but I don't believe in sharing my life story with the public for the sake of defending who I am and how I am. If you really know me, you know the deal. If you don't know me, you'll never know. I've been blessed with an amazing support system along the way. My parents were relatively young and they didn't have the "perfect" childhoods, but they did what they could to make sure me and my sister were raised right. 

I've never had to deal with being patronized or disregarded because of my age until I started working at my current company. Maybe it's because I used to work with a lot of people around my age and I'm my parents' oldest child so I've always been the oldest or amongst peers most of my life. I shy away from discussing career goals with certain co-workers because they seem to have a crab-in-a-barrel mentality about things. I can tell that some have gotten complacent with where they are in life. To be quite frank, that isn't my problem. In life, people make choices and right now, I'm making the choice to do my best to progress. My worst fear after death is being miserable and unfulfilled. 

I don't want to miss out, look back over my life filled with regret because I decided to sit around and just take what was given. 

Just because some of them have decided to stick to what's safe and comfortable doesn't mean I have to do the same. Sometimes I also feel like it's a subliminal way of them not wanting me to do better than them. My manger and supervisor are great and I'm thankful for that. I've never had issues in that department, but some of my co-workers allow our place of employment to stress them out and worry them. That's not my MO. Once I clock out, I'm done with work-related issues. I don't bring it home with me. I refuse to. 

For one, I don't get paid enough for that. Two, if I'm going to be stressed, I'd rather be stressed over something I'm passionate about. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for where I am right now, but I really believe there is more in store for me. I don't know what, where or when, but I'm on the quest to figure that out. 

My parents have known me all my life and I'm their child, but they still respect my views and opinions. At the end of the day, you have to do what makes you happy. You're going to be able to share your joy with everybody and you may not always have a cheerleader. Some people will root for you while others dismiss you because of their own unhappiness. 

Don't invite that type of energy into your life. Life is all about choices. Choose your path the way you see fit.

Just a 20-somethin' trying to find my way and be great.
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