How Omarosa became my shero or how I just want to be good enough

The cultural mandate to stand in our own personal truth has reached the point where it is almost meaningless, after all who defines truth? What does it even mean to stand in our own truth? What if my truth is different than your truth? Clearly “truth” is in the eye of the beholder; yet sometimes you hear someone sharing their truth and it resonates so deeply that you realize that it is a truth that is larger than any one of us at any given time. In fact it is a cultural and societal truth that we all strive to ignore because there are times when to speak truth is to speak pain.

Such was the case when I read about two reality stars engaging in a conversation that for many would be easy to write off; after all the speaker of this truth is known as one of the most villainous reality stars ever to exist. Omarosa Manigault is best known for her appearance on the first season of The Apprentice, where her tactics earned her the label “the woman America loved to hate.” Omarosa is an aggressive, no holds barred Black woman in a world where womanly aggression is already hard to swallow but even doubly hard to swallow for a Black woman. Omarosa recently appeared on the daytime talk show Bethenny, named for reality star and talk show host Bethenny Frankel and the conversation while made for daytime ratings and buzz (after all I am writing about this) offered a snapshot into how race still matters even when we try to deny that race is a factor.

“It’s different for you and I,” she told the talk show host. “I am an African-American woman. You get to walk around and be mediocre and you still get rewarded with things. We have to be exceptional to get anything in this business.”

In choosing to make this statement, Omarosa shared with the world some commonly shared thoughts within the Black community and I suspect thoughts that are never even considered within the white community.

Recently I have been struck by the fact that almost all my Black friends hold advanced degrees, it is the entry price we pay just to be allowed just to play on the field of opportunity. Yet within my white circle of friends, advanced degrees are still the exception and not the rule.

Opportunity in the land of the free and home of the brave is not equally distributed to all. Despite the myth that affirmative action opens doors for all people of color, there are many of us who never had a single door opened by virtue of our skin color. In fact doors were closed and we worked twice as hard just to get the door to budge and we still work hard every day just to keep that door cracked just a bit.

As the internet redefines how we receive information, I often think of the number of white writers who I am familiar with; who are able to take spaces such mine, in other words a blog and turn such spaces in to a full on income generating career. I can’t even begin to count the number of white writers for who this has happened. On the flip side, I only know of a few writers of color who have been able to do the same as their white peers. Many writers of color who write online are much like me, our spaces are labors of love that we do to feed our souls but if we depended on them to feed our bellies and the bellies of our loved ones, we would be hungry. However when one of us does land that book deal or get picked up by a mainstream publication, you best believe we were doing the work of several people in many cases.

In the end, it is not sour grapes to call out this truth, but a weary acknowledgement of just how much further we have to go. It wears on a soul to know that day in and day out, you are always being asked to prove yourself and your worth and that being just good enough is in fact not good enough at all. When you start to realize that others around you are allowed the luxury of being just good enough, instead your 200% effort must often compete with good enough. It feels like a race, you can never win.

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Nope, guess I won’t be a Skinnygirl…a review

One of the more interesting benefits to blogging is that my inbox is often filled with offers from companies and PR firms looking to get the word out about their products. Truthfully due to the nature of my all-consuming day job and life in general, I tend to say no to reviewing products. It’s hard enough to fit in the work that keeps the bills paid much less offering free promotions that don’t necessarily benefit me. Yet every now and then an offer comes across my inbox that catches my attention that was the case with Skinnygirl Daily Cleanse & Restore.

Spring is here, and it’s clear that I need to get my physical self in order and I had been toying with the idea of doing some type of cleanse and just as I had that thought an offer for one came in my email. Hey, I work in the non-profit sector so I figured why the hell not, a no cost cleanse? What could be better?

I suppose I should have read up a little more before I agreed to offer up my digestive system as a guinea pig, but sometimes reading all the details isn’t my thing especially when I am multitasking. It seems that Skinnygirl is a line of lifestyle & nutrition products developed by Bethenny Frankel of Real Housewives of New York fame. I suppose if I had ever watched an episode of Real Housewives of New York her name may have stood out when I scanned the press release, but hey….

According to the Skinnygirl website, Skinnygirl Daily is “A Daily on the Go solution to promote healthy digestion, detoxification, energy, and overall wellness”. I admit that sounded pretty good, hell I am a working mom, I need all the energy I can get! So I received 5 sample packets, in the Green Lemonade flavor. I followed the directions of adding one packet to 6-8 ounces of water and since I didn’t have a fancy shaker, I stirred and stirred. Ummmm, it was green and frankly not too appetizing to look at, no problem, I figured with a lemonade flavor it would taste better than it looked. Bottoms up! I took a hearty sip and nearly vomited, not sure why this is described as green lemonade, I tasted not a hint of lemonade; frankly it tasted vile, very vile. I suspect that taste should have been the tip off of things to come. I eventually drank my whole serving and went about my day. No extra energy, all seems well.

Fast forward to the early evening hours when my stomach started cramping, let me just cut to the chase without getting to graphic and say that it cleaned me out all right. I spent a good chunk of the evening being intimate with my porcelain throne. I wasn’t quite expecting that and maybe it’s because I tend to have a lot of fiber in my diet naturally but all I will say is I spent the next 24 hours frankly feeling bad. I decided to repeat this experiment with a second packet and had the same results, no added energy, but a lot of time emptying myself out. In some ways in reminded me of over the counter products used to deal with constipation, harsh and uncomfortable.

I wanted to like this product especially after I finally did get around to looking at the Skinny Girls website and later on discovered there is even a Skinny Girl line of cocktails; I had thought maybe I could become a skinny girl once again using Skinny Girl products. Sad to say I was a slightly fluffy girl with a jumpy stomach for several days after using Skinnygirl Daily Cleanse & Restore, so it looks like my relationship with Skinnygirl is over.

Disclosure: In keeping with FTC rules, while I was not paid for this post, I did receive free samples to review.