Category

Body Positive

Turning a New Leaf feat. Teri Jon

In Body Positive, Fashion, Personal Style

At 28 years old, I feel like I’ve experienced more than I needed to. I’ve had like five near death experiences; I’ve had to make tough decisions that I wake up regretting every day and to make matters worse, I keep finding myself in a lot of the same experiences. I think the greats call this insanity.

One of life’s most challenging aspects is understanding love + partnership with a significant other. I swear, in high school, it was so simple. Love meant holding hands, going to the movies, and the worst thing your significant other can do is cheat on you.

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

As I’m getting older, love is starting to mean tough conversations, holding your tongue for the sake of bruising your partner’s ego, understanding that there is a gray area that isn’t always the prettiest place to hang out in, realizing that sex more than a physical act–it’s 90% mental, knowing that honest and direct communication will make or break a relationship, etc.

Now, there are more nuances to love but–even then, I still welcome it with open arms. Why? Love has the power to transform and heal you. I once had a friend who said, “Sha, you are brave! You go into dating with the hopes of you establishing something long lasting. You don’t seem to be scared of externalities such as hurt, depression, weight fluctuation, internalized views about yourself and men in general, etc.” As endearing as his speculation about me was, he was kind of wrong. I’m terrified of love. It can be horrifying!

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

It’s 2017, and society still dictates where a person should be in their late twenties. If it were up to my family, I would have been married with two kids by now. But, by the grace of God, I’m not even close. Being married isn’t a life goal for me. Being happy and making others happy is a better fit for me. Does that mean I’m going to put a pause on love? NAH! I’m going to love harder than I’ve ever loved before. But not in search of the dream guy—in search of Chardline. I’ve been relationships that have changed me for the worst. I honestly lost more and more of myself with every relationship.

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

While this post is only PART ONE, I hope you guys follow me as I figure out what it means to take the time to and LOVE ME! FINALLY! I’ve identified six things that kept me from loving me. With each layer revealed, I am going to share some of the tips and revelations that led me to this impetus. I’m also low key excited that I’m going to partner with people who’ve watched me grow and break down for the past 10+ years. Visuals, Interviews, and Testimonies!

No fancy production here, but this project means more to me than you all know. And yes, we can talk about this dress! The reason why I had to roll out my “Turning a New Leaf” project with this dress by Teri Jon is that I am still a style blogger and partnering with brands who are turning new leaves of their own is especially near and dear to my heart! Teri Jon just rolled out their #JustMySize campaign. Check out their video to learn more about it.

Even though my dress is sold out, check out these Fall classics that I know you’ll see on the blog again!! I am wearing a size 20 if it helps for reference. Also, I found the same dress on Saks!

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

Do me a favor? Hug yourself every night before you go to sleep. I promise it makes a world of a difference.

-Char.

Wearing my Awkward Crown

In Body Positive

Remember that time when being awkward was cool? It lasted a whole seven days; then people went back to following the “IT GIRL.” You see, I was always awkward. I have done a pretty good job at masking it, but from time to time you will catch me in my natural state.

Being awkward is more than responding to common situations weirdly, it is also stressing over the reason why others do not react the same way you do. Each of my friends will collectively say, “Chardline is so awkward, but I love her though.” Moreover, as I grew older, I realized that being awkward is not such a bad thing—it is a great thing. While everyone is crying at a scene from Titanic, I still find solace in knowing that if I were on that ship, I would not have to pay my student loans anymore–I would be at peace.

Does that mean I am savage? Nah, it just means that I process things differently. I am writing this post not only to show off my dope fedora from Kuronne, but to encourage everyone to be the best version of yourself. We live in a time where our quirks and personalities are not celebrated. In fact, we are invited to be more like sheep than a flock of diversity.

Some days I wish I were normal. Sometimes I think to myself, “If I were less awkward, I would finally get the guy.” Alternatively, my favorite, “If I were less awkward, I would be able to express myself better instead of joking about matters that were serious to me.” However, God made me this way for a reason, and I am gonna let it fly.

However, don’t get me wrong be awkward is probably what led me to all of my accomplishments today. Too many to name but one of my favorites is my relationship with my nephew. No one in the family understands why we are as close –and I think it’s because awkwardly, we understand each other. 20 years apart and he’s the only person I can connect with in my house.

So today, celebrate the things about yourself that you’ve been trying to hide. Learn to embrace those things about yourself, too. Issa Rae did it when she first wrote The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, and now look where she is! AN AWKWARD BOSS! Jesse Eisenberg is my #MCE and I think it’s because he’s a pretty awkward guy himself.

See we are not all that strange!

Want to see how my homegirls expressed their Kuronne fedoras? Check out their Instagram pages. Bianca + Genevieve.

 

Which Kuronne hat best represents you?

Til next time, Char!

Book Review: The Bomb Life by Claire Sulmers

In Beauty, Body Positive, Fashion, Inspiration, Interviews

*DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT SPONSORED/NOR WAS I GIVEN THE BOOK. These opinions are 1000% my own*


It was the first week out of school, and I was anxious to delve into something that has NOTHING to do with Urban Policy. Enter: The Bomb Life.

Two weeks ago, I attended Claire Sulmers’ “Conversations with Claire.” And while the conversations were fruitful and the drinks were flowing, I wanted to learn more about the Fashion Bomb brand and how Claire rose to be the force that she is today. At the time, I wasn’t curious about being a boss, bombshell, and beauty–but after reading her book, I realized that I have potential to be someone/something more. Also, since I was featured on Fashion Bomb Daily in the past,  so you already know my interests were piqued before attending the event. Before we get into the book, just wanted to give a little bio on the Fashion Bomb Daily:

Created in August 2006 by journalist Claire Sulmers, Fashion Bomb Daily provides daily doses of chic to savvy stylistas. Recognizing there were few print and online sources for multicultural fashion, Claire took her interests in style and writing to create the number one online destination for global chic seekers with a penchant for all things fabulous. Readers log on to The Fashion Bomb for its fresh takes on fashion news and stories, along with its boutique spotlights, exclusive editorials, magazine scans, fashion show reviews, trends, wardrobe advice, celebrity looks for less, and tips on how to break into the industry from the best in the business.With 2.4 million monthly visitors, The Fashion Bomb made Ebony Magazine’s 2011 Power 100 List, while Claire was named Black Blogger of the Month by Black Enterprise, and was dubbed Blogger of the Moment by Teen Vogue. Well respected in the industry, The Fashion Bomb has been referenced in New York Magazine, featured in Glamour, and quoted in Time. Claire is a regular contributor to Essence.com and Vogue.it.

BOSS right? Now, I know that this life isn’t for everyone. In fact, I am starting to realize that this life may not be for me, either. But, if there’s anything that I learned from The Bomb Life, it’s the power of hard work, sacrifice, gut instinct, and playing the part! In this stunning memoir and self-help book, she tells what she had to do to get to the top, and offers aspiring bloggers and digital influencers tips on how to monetize their sites, build an audience, and ultimately live the Bomb Life.

-Sets the scene-

When I first picked up the book, I was commuting to-day 1 of my Fair Housing Training in Washington, DC. Eager to finally read something that didn’t come from a course catalog, I immediately started to flip the titles of The Bomb Life. I saw that the book wasn’t lengthy so I committed myself to two chapters a day. The first chapter immediately hooked me in. Claire’s life reminded me of mine. Not only is she Haitian, but her parents worked hard to send her to private schools. Claire’s humble beginnings show that she was brilliant and stayed true to who she was–much like myself. She had her fair share of bullies, over-wore her “most popular” item in her closet and had to deal with parents who were “anti your creative dream”. I know this all too well because my mom loved her some bargains and still doesn’t know why I blog. Suffice to say, they usually come around.

As I continued to read, she started to find out who she really wanted to be. She went to Harvard and killed it; she persisted in finding opportunities to advance herself in the field of journalism, and then she took the leap of faith that I still have yet to carry out: the move to NY. From there, she landed a gig as an intern for a well-known publication, but still faced the issues of working in an “it’s who you know/who knows you” industry. But the endearing part of it all is, that never stopped her. She kept working hard!

Picture Creds: Comme Coco

From gatecrashing high-end fashion shows to walking around the streets of Paris to find the most stylish people for Vogue.fr, Claire was on a mission! I found her passion for fashion, her reasonable application of life’s lessons, and even her lust for creating her own lane inspiring. Even when reading about her love story gone wrong, it made her seem more REAL. Once you’ve read about her drug dealing ex-boyfriend, you might instantly start seeing similarities lol …not that I dated a drug dealer…I’ll shut up now.

All while Claire launched her blog Fashion Bomb Daily, she was still working her way to the top. She multi-tasked, wrote blog posts until wee hours of the night/morning, faced the backlash from other bloggers, took rejection from MANY people in the industry, put herself out in the mainstream, and to this day, SHE’S STILL ROCKING IT! Knowing me, I probably would have stopped.

Pic Creds: Fashion Bomb Daily

Because this is a relatively short book (or maybe it’s short for me because I am used to reading 1500 pages a week for school), I kept the synopsis short and sweet! I really urge you to buy the book and read it on your own. Why? Well here are five reasons why reading The Bomb Life is GOALS! 

Faith

Any book that includes even a bit of prayer/trust in God GETS ME! Even though I am trying to figure out who I am today, I am grateful for the lessons that God teaches me along the route. I know that everyone doesn’t ascribe to a specific faith, but I honestly don’t know where I would be without HIM.

Letters to Younger Self

At the end of the book, Claire writes letters to her younger self. Those letters are POWERFUL! No, they aren’t written in prolific conundrums or use crazy rhetorical devices, but instead, her letters give clear examples of how to learn to love yourself better, learn to wait for love (my biggest challenge) learn to trust the process and learning that the world is yours for the taking.

Blogging/Digital Influencer Advice

To be honest y’all, I’ve been sitting on the fence with this whole blogging thing. Social media is double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can make your coins, connect with others around the globe, and even gain valuable knowledge or today’s news. But on the contrary, you can feel really shitty about yourself. You subject yourself to developing low self-esteem, the feeling of having to keep up the Joneses, and I’ve been in positions where social media has affected my relationships. Scary right? But Claire provides a positive spin on social media. From tips on a establishing your domain to ways to marketing yourself better, Claire drops two chapters of gems SPECIFICALLY to social media + brand building.  But, if you read the book from cover to cover, you will see the book is just oozing with gems on how to build your brand OVERALL.

Personal Appearance Advice

Every time I see Claire, she looks AMAZING! One time I saw her on the plane at 5 am and she looked like she just came back from a hot date! Admittedly, I looked like a hobo, so I didn’t even try to say hi. However, in her novel, she speaks on how she consulted with image consultants and brand experts to refine her look. She gives advice on how to play up your features and to always be “ON” because you never know who’s watching. Who knows, if Claire looked the way I was looking that day I saw her at the ATL airport, I probably wouldn’t have noticed her. So what am I doing now? BUDGETING–budgeting my wardrobe, hair, makeup, and nails. For a while, I was trying to dress sexier so that my love interest would lust over me like all the girls he fawns over. But in the midst of that, I failed lol. I tried to be sexy with a hint of who I am at the core. So imagine Blair Waldorf meets a BBW entertainer? YEA! To that end, in the next few weeks, I’m going to take you on an interactive journey with my image consultant.

Staying True to You

In Claire’s book, she gave so many examples where she could’ve been petty, foul, and even threw a wad of cash in people’s faces. But, that’s not who she is. From sleuthing interns to over zealous bloggers, Claire maintained her composure, didn’t have sleep with anyone to get where she is, and kept it pushing! It’s hard to maintain who you are once you enter an industry. I’ve watched bloggers and models who were so down to earth become some of the most unpleasant people to be around. In fact, one of them is —oops, Claire advises against talking bad about others…nothing but bad karma ensues.— Don’t let the fame and fortune get to you.

I give this book an A+! 

For content, readability, real life application, and complete honesty! If you haven’t already bought her book, head to the website to check it out!

Until next time,
Char!

5 Reasons Why I Am Martine Chanel’s Daughter

In Body Positive, Personal Style

There’s only one person that can get me post on Sundays: My Momma! My mother is my hero & it took me all of 27 years to realize it. My mom and I spent so much time screaming at each other, that we never really took the time to understand each other. I always assumed she was crazy (still do) but now that I’m a bit older and wiser, I realize that we act this way because we are the same.

So, in honor of my mom that I love 365 days a year, I wanted to write this open letter to her with five reasons why we are the same person:

Dear Mommy,
First off, thanks for all the sacrifices that you made to give me a BOMB life. You sent us to the best schools and always made sure we didn’t go to school looking crusty! Thank you for not allowing us to go to the sleepovers my classmates had because…well I would be going on child number 5 while smoking two packs a day! You are the real MVP for that! I know we spend a lot of time bickering, but I’ve come to realize we are the same people…always thinking the same–even if we want to deny it. Half of the quarrels are a result of us trying to prove a point just to play devil’s advocate. I always resented the thought of growing up to be like you, but now I’m sort of glad that I am relishing in your path. I know exactly who to consult for schooling, work problems, and even fashion. In many ways, you know me better than I know me–even if I pretend like you don’t.
Thanks for being the mirror that I need when I am power tripping or self-loathing. Thanks for always reinforcing God in my life because, with HIM, I would be totally lost!

Lastly, thank you for respecting how I chose to worship God…I know it was hard watching your daughter go from Baptism-Confirmation, just to end up where she is today. Thanks for letting me be my OWN person but still having a firm hand in my development. You are probably thinking, WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? Well, to confuse you even more, I listed five reasons why we are the same…who knows, you might actually agree with me (for once).

We love Eloquii– To date, this is the only brand where we both look forward to shopping on Fridays. We surprise each other with what we found and then think of places we could wear them. I don’t even share this type of obsession with my friends.

We don’t take smack from guys– You are the reason why I have a backbone when it comes to dealing with guys. Watching you tell off guys that were disrespectful was a sight to see. Even if a guy called you “honey,” you corrected them because it wasn’t your name. Today, it’s damn near impossible for me to stick around a disrespectful guy because my MOMMA DIDN’T TAKE NO SHIT!

God is first ’nuff said!

We throw down– 9 times out of 10, we would rather cook for our food than paying for others to do it. Let’s face it; we cook way better!

We love hard in our very Chanel way– We don’t know how to explain it, but we love each other like enemies and friends at the same time. We go hard for each other and respect each other’s space.

 

All in all, I got lucky with this lady!
Love you mom!

Thanks to Eloquii for providing our looks for my mom’s special day! We are Eloquii loyalists!!

Pleated Maxi Dress: Here

Cold Should Mock Neck Dress: Here

Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21

NOT SAFE FOR WORK

In Body Positive, Personal Style

*Warning: NSFW – This is a positive experience of what my life has been looking like…with 7-10 f-bombs*


I know what all of you might be thinking: She hasn’t posted since April 25th, and now she’s going to walk up in here and start posting like nothing happened? Well…yea! Now that school is out for the summer, it’s time to unwind and have some real fun. These past few months have been especially trying. I was sick 60% of the time, I lost 17 lbs then gained 26lbs, I think I consumed an accumulative 1 gallon of water, I picked up a bad hookah habit, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, my weave is already fucked up, I was leaving my school library at 12 am most days, I probably cleaned my room two times,  etc.

Yea, life was crazy. However, I learned to count my blessings and keep it moving! If there’s anything I learned from this semester, it’s that God got me and that I should do a better job taking care of my well-being. I mean…A MUCH BETTER JOB! So next semester, I’m gonna do things a little differently. Three weeks before school, I’m going to form habits around healthy and positive living. This includes: sleeping at 11 pm, drinking a gallon of water a day, making sure I commit to physical activity twice a week, nix the hookah, and engage in healthy communication with my loved ones. Even if I start there, slowly but surely I know I will get my shit in order…maybe.

To that end, I had to post these photos because I legit forgot who the fuck I was. My hair has been a mess, my clothing choice –> abysmal, and I stopped taking sexy pictures of myself because I haven’t felt sexy! To me, it’s important to feel yourself from time to time because if you don’t, you’re leaving it to some fuck boy to feel it for you. So here’s to remembering who the fuck I am and why I started blogging, to begin with.

Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21

Bodysuit: Here / /  Duster: Sold out, similar here / /  Pants: Here (I am a size 22, I am wearing a 3x. They have amazing stretch!)  / / Shoes: Sold out, similar here // Bag: Here

Until next slay,

Chardline.