1. Redefine Your Definition of Beauty
Say goodbye to traditionally rigid Eurocentric beauty standards! In 2018, we are celebrating Afrocentric features, including big lips, big eyes, wide and flat noses! Re-conditioning the mind is one of the first steps to overcoming racism and white supremacy. The same goes for colorism. Educating yourself on the inner workings of racism and colorism, will give you the tools to protect yourself when you see both systems in your everyday world. Surround yourself with images of people who look like you—everyday dark-skinned black women who face the same systems of oppression that you do.
2. Don’t Define Your Worth On Your Relationships
This doesn’t just apply to those in romantic relationships – single people often make this mistake too! The truth is, it’s easy to define yourself by how many friends you have, or whether or not you have a boyfriend. Black girls especially struggle to find self-worth because of the systems of oppression we face, which actively work against our best interest. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize your value notwithstanding those around you.
3. Love Your Natural Hair
The best way to fall in love with your natural hair is to learn how it works. If you understand the tools and products necessary to keep your hair healthy and happy, it will make your natural hair routine much less stressful and make your life a whole lot easier this year.
4. Support Other Black Women
Unfortunately, we as black women are quick to judge other black women, and we are often the toughest critics. Just last month, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was criticized on social media for her hair, in the same way Gabby Douglas was criticized at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. In the new year, let’s take the opportunity to support each other and realize that we are all in this together.
5. Save Money
Making a plan to spend less money this year, is a more practical goal than simply hoping to make more money, because it’s something you can start doing and seeing the effects of immediately. Invest in a budget planner or daily or weekly spending record to help track your spending. It’s also a good idea to plan out your major expenses in advance, which helps reduce your likelihood of impulse buying.
6. Patronize Black Businesses!
Buying black is the best way for black people to help themselves economically, socially and politically. When we spend money within our community, it helps to create jobs for black people and builds a stronger, safer community. Don’t hesitate to support black businesses in the New Year. In fact, why not make a goal to spend no less than 10% of your money on black-owned businesses?
7. Go Where You Are Celebrated, Not Tolerated
Toxic friendships and abusive relationships are all things to leave behind in 2017. Let’s make a conscious effort to spend time with people who appreciate us and to be unapologetically black and dark-skinned in all spaces. Say goodbye to misogynistic, abusive, toxic people in your life and begin to exist in spaces where you are celebrated, loved and appreciated, not merely tolerated.
9. Get Healthy!
Getting healthy doesn’t have to be a big, overwhelming endeavor. It can be as simple as implementing a few small lifestyle changes into your life. For example, make a goal to eat three solid meals every single day, or buy a book on healthy, tasty recipes that contain the proteins and vegetables necessary for a well-balanced diet. Even just making a goal to eat home-cooked meals more often, can be a better alternative to going on a diet. Also, don’t spend excess time worrying about your weight in the New Year. While wanting to lose weight isn’t a bad thing in itself, a better goal is to focus on your body’s overall health. Make a commitment to exercise a specific number of days each week, whether by following along to an online Zumba tutorial, or joining a yoga class.
“While some have described her as overly opinionated, Grace much prefers the terms headstrong and passionate. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.”