It’s All an Illusion: The Rise of the Social Media Star


I love watching “beauty gurus” on YouTube. Occasionally I’ll watch family vlogging channels as well. A common trend that I’ve noticed in the comment section is that a lot of viewers think these people have perfect lives. Some examples of comments are:

  • “Your baby is the the cutest, smartest baby on YouTube.”
  • “I love your family, you guys give me life.”
  • “You are so perfect.”

I think it’s all well and good to get inspiration from the people we see on various social media sites. It becomes a problem when we begin to put them on a pedestal and believe that they don’t have issues, fears, insecurities, and problems, just like the rest of us.

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It’s More Than Hair–Being A Role Model



“Young girls can’t aspire to be something they don’t see.”

—India, from My Natural Sistas 

This quote totally resonates with me and reminds me of an experience I had to a few years ago.  I had the pleasure of working with youth in an after school/ summer day camp program a few years ago. This was before I converted to Islam and began wearing the hijab.

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Three Year Old with a Relaxer

Tanika 3 years old

Tanika 3 years old with chemical relaxer

This is me on picture day in Pre-Kindergarten.  I was three years old.  As you can see my hair is bone straight from a chemical relaxer or “perm.”  At this age, it was ingrained in me that my hair was bad and needed to be altered.  Although I was only three years old at the time, I distinctly remember having this message instilled in me.  One day, my mother’s sister and her children came to visit from Louisiana.  Several of my relatives were sitting around the table in my grandmother’s kitchen talking.  I was sitting on the counter next to a Dark and Lovely Super Relaxer, which is meant for extremely coarse and kinky hair textures. If you have ever had a relaxer before, then you know there are adult “perms” and “kiddie perms.”  Well this one was the adult version.

My aunt asked my mother, “Are you going to put that in Tanika’s hair?”  She was concerned about her giving me the maximum strength  adult “perm,” even though I was very young. My mother replied, “Yes, her hair is bad, so she needs it.” This memory sticks out to me, so much even though I was very young at the time.   For  17 years of my life, from ages 3-20, I was addicted to the “creamy crack” and hated my natural hair.

If you check out the rest of our blog, Tasha and I talk about topics such as worthiness, positive thinking, overcoming life’s tests,  and the importance of self-care, etc.  So, what does hair have to do with the overall message of this blog?  It has everything to do with it.  For me, making the decision to accept my natural hair texture was more about accepting the part of me that I believed was inherently bad for the majority of my life.  It about loving the God given me, including my natural hair.

Going natural has changed not only my life, but has allowed me to have a positive effect on many young girls’ lives and self-esteem.  Anyone who knows me in real life, knows that I love natural hair!  I love styling it, reading about it, watching videos about it, and writing about it.  It’s more than hair, it’s about self-love, self-esteem, health, being a role model, empowerment and so much more.

I want to share with you some more of these stories in future posts.  In the meantime check out this song I absolutely love called Love Me So Naturally by Alicia James that totally relates to my point.

You are beautiful.  Own it. Accept it.  Inspire others to do the same.  What  physical characteristic do you love about yourself?


Peace and Blessings

Love Always,

Tanika Monique

Always and Forever

Forever and Always

A time soar…


What can make you soar and become your best self?  Too often, we are used to playing small and denying our true natures.  Like chameleons, we blend in and conform to the negative expectations of our surroundings and our environments.

Worthiness by Tasha Richardson


You are enough.  You are worthy of the best that life has to offer.  You are amazing and wonderful, truly one of a kind.  You have gifts to offer the world that only lies within your heart, in your mind, and soul.  Pause and let this sink in.

How often do you go through life fearing that you are not enough?  This fear of not being enough looks different for each of us.  For some of us, this may look like over extending ourselves, playing the martyr role.  The martyr gives and gives, sacrificing his/herself because this is the only way that s/he knows how to operate in the world.  For others, this may look like fear of being vulnerable and a quest to be perfect.  It may show itself as being arrogant, judgmental, certain that you are above it all.  For others, it may look like getting involved in unhealthy relationships (with food, significant others, family members, jobs).  Today, examine how ‘not being or feeling good enough’ plays out in your life.  What does it look like…and what are you willing to do to let this notion go?

Practical Tips:

  1. Note the ways your own ‘I am not good enough’ story is playing out?
  2. Begin a gratitude journal, each day, noting the things you are grateful for in your life and just how fabulous you are
  3. When you feel discomfort or are unhappy with your circumstances, stay and sit with the discomfort, realizing the impermanence of it all.
  4. Surround yourself with the people who realize just how great you are…allowing their words and actions to lift you up until you begin to awaken to the truth of their words
  5. Let go of sweating the small stuff…because it’s all small stuff

For even more inspiration and to help you along, check out this poem found in One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen:

Today I am enough

I am smart enough

Wise enough

Clever enough

Resourceful enough

Able enough

Confident enough

I am connected to enough people to accomplish my hearts desire

I have enough ideas to pull off magic and miracles

Enough is all I need

Enough is what I have

I have more than enough

As I do all that I can do I’m able to do more and more

I am expected to be alive.

I rejoice and re-choice every day to make my life better

I am happy, healthy, prosperous, successful, rich, loving, loved and beloved

I am comfortable with myself, so I am comfortable with all others

I confidently greet each day with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

Everyone who meets me is warmed by the radiance of my attitude

I work on my attitude continuously

I read positive, inspiring, and uplifting books

I listen to audiotapes and CDs during my driving and exercise times

I associate with friendly, caring nurturing people who are involved doing important things

The people with whom I associate want more for me than I want for myself

The projects with which I am involved wow my soul

I am passionately on purpose to do good, be good and help others to do the same

I am enough, I have enough, I do enough.