11 thought-provoking quotes from Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Adichie

It feels that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and actually focus on anything blog related in a lifetime.

I’ve missed this feeling. And I only have my annoying iPhone to thank, there’s always a problem with it. Luckily I have my upgrade to look forward to next month, so I may move on to something else, but probably not as I’m a sucker for punishment.

Anyway, I digress.ย Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Southbank Centre for their annual Women of the World Festival (check it out) where one of my all time favourite authors – Chimamanda Adichie – hosted a talk all about feminism.

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First of all, I have to thank Stylist magazine, as I had no idea that this festival even existed until it was printed in their magazine. As soon as I saw that the talented and sometimes controversial Chimamanda was talking there, I booked my tickets immediately as I’ve literally dreamt of having the chance to sit down and quiz her about her books, since I finished Half of a Yellow Sun, and although this was hardly a one on one, the chance to see her in real life was good enough for me lol.

Ever since reading a few of her books, I have been a die-hard fan of Chimamanda, I mean she’s even featured on Beyonce’s tune – if you haven’t heard of her, what have you been doing?!

Two weeks ago she released a short essay called;ย Dear Ijeawele or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestionscheck my insta – in response to a friend who asked her how to raise a feminist daughter, which she also discussed in depth on stage and let me tell you the whole experience was life!

I’ve never really liked labelling myself as a feminist, as I feel it has soooo many negative connotations, and in my opinion, you either agree with the equality between men and women or you don’t, but Chimamanda discussed many great points, during her talk and in her book, that after listening and reading I proudly say ‘I’m a feminist’.

She shares so many suggestions, some of which really did have me chuckle, so I thought ย  I’d share my favourite quotes with you, although I do recommend that you read for yourself as it’s such a quick,ย humorous and thought-provoking read:

  • Be a full person
  • Never apologise for working. You love what you do, and loving what you do can be a great gift.
  • ‘Because you’re a girl’ is never a reason for anything. Ever.
  • The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.
  • Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not.
  • Reject likeability.
  • We have a world full of women who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable.
  • Never treat marriage as an achievement.
  • Kindness matters… but teach her that her kindness should never be taken for granted.
  • To love is not only to give but to take.
  • If you criticise X in women but do not criticise X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women

There are so many quick-fire quotes from this book, that I’ll always have in mind, especially in the fight of feminism. Have you pocketed any quotes from this book?

Do you label yourself a a feminist? Have you ever read any of Chimamanda’s other books, if so, which is your favourite?

 

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5 Reasons Why I HATE Twitter Chats

After reaching my one year milestone on this blog a couple of weeks ago, I stupidly promised myself to join at least 2 twitter chats a week.

Let’s just all laugh together ๐Ÿ˜‚

My advances to become a somewhat ‘better blogger’ wasn’t actually unachievable, but I’ve come to the realisation that Iย actually hate twitter chats (well, most of them anyway).

When I first started blogging Twitter chats were the bomb.com!

Iย wouldย e-meet other bloggers, interact and find new blogs, as well as discover blogging events which definitely helped me network and ultimately turn my blog into what it is today, BUT, after being back on the twitter chats for just over a week, I’ve realised that my goal to join 2 twitter chats a week may have been a bit of a reach.

Let me tell you why…

  1. No shade, but there’s only so many times a year, never mind a week, where I can discuss my favourite disney movie. I get it, we all love disney and it’s a great past-time to re-live our awesome 90’s childhood, but I’m a grown ass 20 something year old woman who’s got shit going on. Let’s get real.
  2. The choice of topics is an issue. Blogging is so diverse – from the people to the subjects. I mean people blog about any and everything, so why do we always end up discussing the same topics and throwing around the same answers and buzz words? It’s like we know what others want to hear, what makes us sound good and what sounds a the right level of controversial. Let’s get real.
  3. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been an active part of the twitter chat community for ages, but is it me or is everyone besties? Everyone has something witty to say, a sure-fire comeback. I can’t lie, it makes the chats fun and very interactive, but it just makes me wonder is it all real? Are you really as animated as that sassy GIF you just tweeted or are you sitting in bed with a straight face, going back and forth, just like me? Plus, we have the whole follow/unfollow debacle which just grinds my gears. Let’s get real.
  4. Everything moves so bloody quickly. I know, I know. I feel as though my inner-granny is taking over. Even as I type this I’m imagining an older version of myself walking across the TL with my zimmerframe, but I would love if Twitter slowed down, even by a milli-second. Like, I’m sure I’m the only person who answers a question forgetting to use the chat hashtag? ๐Ÿ˜ช
  5. I never have enough time to dedicate a whole blessed hour to a twitter chat.

Don’t get me wrong guys, I do enjoy a few chats and I get that Twitter chats take a lot to run and host every week, but for me a lot of it is cliche, so… I’m revoking my earlier promise and will only be joining chats when I’m genuinely interested in, and not just because I said I would ๐Ÿ˜.

We’re probably all as guilty as each other when it comes to these points (or nah), but maybe it’s time for a change?!

What chats do you enjoyย joiningย and why, do youย have any pet peeves when it comes to Twitter chats?

 

OOTD: Confidence

Hey ya’ll,

Today I’m switching it up.

After recently retweeting a threadย that really struck a chord with me, I’ve been dwelling on whether to write more posts onย subjects that affect me.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-21-39-42I was so scared of sharing this thread (pictured above) on my twitter timeline. In fact, I toyed back and forth about whether I should retweet for my followers to see. I didn’t want any of my followers who I actively interact with to feel uncomfortable, but at the same time I just couldn’t stay silent. Twitter is my platform to share whatever I like, and although, I didn’t like this post, I could relate with subject matter.

Most of my posts are about what I do on the weekend, the placesย I travel and what-not which is great because I genuinely enjoy sharing those aspects of my life, but most of the time my head is swirling with a gazillion things that affect me on a daily basis,ย and one of those ‘things’ is how I choose wear my confidence as a black woman.

And I use the word ‘choose’ because every way in which I am confident is not always accepted in the society I live in.

Being a black woman living in London is something that I treasure and love about myself. In my home, in front of my friends and family I am Rianne without any limitations, however, in society being black acts as anchor that doesn’t allow me toย fully be myself without stereotypes and tags being attached to me and everything I do.

Angry, loud, passive aggressive, ratchetย instead of their positive alternatives like passionate, confident, intelligent and honest are labels that get thrown around at black women on a daily basis. A few of these words have even been hurled at me and used to put me down which ย of course, over the years have had a detrimental affect on my confidence and means I have to always be socially and consciously aware in situations I’m in.

So, here’s a few ways I choose to wear my confidence, when the world tells me I can’t…

Posture
It’s proven that posture has a direct reflection of how you feel and are perceived. Standing with a straight back and head held high makes all the difference to howย I feel. For me it’s totally natural for me to recoil into my posture if I’m not feeling great, or if there’s something society deems as not being something I should be proud or confident about. Whenever I catch myself doing this, I remember to readjust my position to show – ย I have a purpose and I am meant to be here.

Hair
If you didn’t know I have dreadlocks,ย take a look at my posts about it here & here. Although this hair journey is becoming a lot more mainstream as a natural, protective hairstyle for black women, it’s not always understood and still very much not an ‘approved’ hairstyle in many workplaces, but I love how I wear my hair as a way to display my heritage and culture. My hair is very versatile, sometimes, I have it in styles, sometimes I have it out, but I love that it can be a conversation starter, where I can educate anyone who wants to know more.

Attitude
Stereotypically black women can be seen as intimidating and unapproachable. Confidence isn’t just about the exterior and how you appear to seem, but it starts from within. At first glance people may have a pre conceived idea about me I’ve been told I have RBF (resting bitch face), but I actively agree in quote: If you have good thoughts (and a positive attitude) they will shine out of your face…

Inner Thoughts
Occasionally, I recite quotes in my head that reaffirm and boost positivity.

Public Speaking
When I refer to this point I don’t necessarily mean in front of a big crowd. Speaking up in certain situations takes courage and therefore confidence, and the older I get I find myself doing this more and more. There are many examples where I feel I have to do this to set the record straight or give the black perspective and to even break stereotypes by someone who is reinforcing them. (the thing about stereotypes is that ย they’re not necessarily untrue, but they don’t tell the full story).

One instance where I had to speak out was when someone voiced that they think Blue Ivy is an ugly baby, that she looks nothing like Beyonce and that North West is much prettier.ย Thisย may seem like a minor issue but to say a child is ugly is quite pathetic tbh, but then again everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, I had to question why they thought this.

When quizzed they simply said her hair wasn’t nice because it was too ‘frizzy’ and because her features resembled Jay Z. This is true but I had to highlight the fact those qualities are qualities of her blackness and for that to be used against her is not cool.

Ultimately,ย it shows that from a young age, confidence is something that can be snatched away, but it is our job to reclaim it and make the ways in which we are confident a force to be reckoned with.

The subject of confidence is so much bigger than this one blog post, and there are many other ways in which confidence can be radiated. ย Although I am talking about my experience as a black woman, I want to know how you wear your confidence, no matter where you’re from or your background?

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Year On…

Today riannemitchell.com turns one!

And I feel it’s only right to dedicate a whole post to my blogging journey.

Since I was quite young I always wanted to have a successful blog. I’ve always loved writing, and enjoy sharing my experiences, however, it wasn’t until this day last year that I plucked up the courage to actually make this blog a reality.

It’s still surreal to me that people read my blog (like I actually have real like subscribers-eeek). People who tweet me, like my sh*t and follow me on multiple social platforms. Although I’ve hit many milestones, a year on and I’m feeling a mixture of emotions about being a ‘blogger’. There have been ups and down, great events and PR invitations, as well as the chance to become involved in something big, where I’ve been able to make friends and craft real relationships with fellow bloggers as well as companies.

But, I can’t lie, it’s been hard. Hard to balance life, working full time as well as creating content to blog about. Hard to choose what events to attend, because who wants to take Annual Leave for an event that’s totally cool but will have no relevance on my blog and last but not least, majorly hard to keep up with ever-rolling timelines of social media – because who cares about what was tweeted 10 minutes ago.

But, in some of life’s crisis’ there’s always a silver lining and one thing that I read very recently taught me that if I want an interest or hobby of mine to succeed, I need to work at it full time and put in the same amount of time and effort I put in at my 9-5 – which really put things into perspective.

So with that in mind, I’ve listed a few goals that I’d love to achieve and look back in a years time and say check! (and sometimes that means going back to basics)…

Goals

  • To grow my blog presence – I still can’t believe people actually read and comment on my blog, but I wana go global baby! (maybe not global but definitely bigger and better)
  • Post 2 times a week
  • To join at least 2 twitter chats a week – I mean who doesn’t love a good twitter natter
  • To grow a travel & lifestyle blog that people actually go to for date night ideas, travel destinations etc.  – I love finding new destinations from publication like Time Out so why not gain a real review from moi
  • To comment on blogs that I love reading – This is the hardest thing for me as i’m always reading something, so I feel it’s only right to show appreciation if I enjoyed the read.

One year on, and for the first time I’m feeling confident about my vision for this blog, so as I switch things up a bit, I hope you all stick around for the journey.

See you on my next post x