Category

Body Positive

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.

That Christian O’meshun Love

In Body Positive, Personal Style

Tomorrow is the holiday that I’ve grown to have a love/hate relationship with. While taking a stroll down memory lane, I could only remember ONE VALENTINE’S DAY worth recanting…and that was in 2011. Today’s post is all about my Galentine’s Day with my squad. We are taking plus size fashion to a new level ha!

plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun

I’ve always wanted to do a collaboration with my homegirls. A chance for us to look pretty and take pictures doesn’t come often. But when it does, we can only slay featuring the best! Enter: Christian O’meshun. Christian Omeshun was created for the sophisticated curvy woman who values modern fashion! If there is ever a brand that speaks to empowering women through entrepreneurship and style, they still don’t compare to Christian O’meshun.

Founded by fashion designer A’Shontay Hubbard, Christian O’meshun designs custom clothing for sizes 12-32! When I introduced this brand to my squad, they asked me, “What makes this brand so unique?” Aside from the perfect fit and the breathable fabric, the designer, A’shontay, embodies all things L-O-V-E.

Her drive for her brand is a love of passion. Her dedication to making clothing that goes up to a size 32 (especially with most brands catering to a size 22) is well founded with each customer photo she reposts. And time and time again, we are always asking for body diversity! Well if you go to her website, the models range from size 14-22+. Also, there is a type of clothing for everyone on her website. I am a modern day career woman. I love slacks and button ups, but occasionally, I like to test the waters with a little something form-fitting in the board room. The love that I have for my curves and the love that I have for my job are all summed up in this one look.

When talking to my girls about which pieces they were getting, I saw that there was a moment of empowerment happening. We each started to point out our strong points, For instance, Stavana  loves form-fitting clothing, and we knew she could kill any bodycon.We all told her she would look amazing in the Cold Shoulder Set.  Or that Bianca has a perfect chest…no for real; she can fill in any dress– so we knew she could kill the Iris Set.

With each affirmation, we saw how we empowered each other to look and feel our sexiest! Without doing too much, our Galentine’s Day was a success! We don’t need someone to call ‘bae’ for us to realize that we are loved–many times it’s just being around your friends that get us there. So a huge shout out to my squad! We roll deeper, curvy, and great!

plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun plus size bloggers wearing christian o'meshun

My Outfit Details

Outfit: Christian O’meshun’s Christian Wide Leg Set

Fur Stole: Amazon 

Choker: Tricevault 

Shoes: Eloquii

Plus Size Fashion

A huge thank you to Christian O’meshun for gifting us these fabulous outfits for this post! Sizes 14-24 are represented in these photos. Make sure you visit Bianca, Veronica, and Stavana’s website’s to see their looks!

Also, another huge thank you to Tricevault for curated the jewelry for outfits! After all, a girl can’t have too many chokers!

Lastly, thank you to Brad Bahner for standing out in the cold and making sure we got our shots!

For all our readers, Christian O’meshun is offering 20% off of your purchase if you use code SQUADGOALS at checkout!

And of course, please check out my Squad’s posts as well: Stavana, Bianca, and Veronica!

Happy Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day everyone!

Char.