Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves Janet Jackson’s True You May 10, 2011

Janet Jackson on her Number Ones tour

I got an email from a concert ticket service the other day that gave me a heads up about Janet Jackson coming to New Jersey in August for her Number Ones tour. My fingers instantly got itchy to go buy a ticket to the show, but the thing is…I just saw her show in March!!

But, listen, Janet put on such an incredible performance, that I would see it at LEAST two more times if I had the funds.

I have been following, and loving, Janet since I was about 9 years old. I can remember when my friend Jessica lent me the Control album…on cassette. I almost didn’t give it back! I loved singing and dancing along to her music, and soon enough, I began to want to BE her. I idolized her and even dressed like her (yes, including a key on one of my hoop earrings!).

I remember feeling so affirmed and validated when I watched Janet dance her butt off in the “Pleasure Principle” video, flipping off boxes and giving a sexy scowl. But while I loved her moves, what really spoke to me in that video was Janet’s physique. She had a real body, slightly thick and athletic, not super skinny like lots of celebs. She made me feel like, despite my chubbiness, I could not only be pretty but, maybe,  even a superstar.

So, on my recent high after seeing Janet bring the house down in Connecticut, I ran to the library and got her new book, True You. I was shocked to find out that, all the time I was loving her throughout the years, Janet could barely look at herself in a mirror because she didn’t like what she saw. It wasn’t until recently that Miss Jackson came to love and accept her whole self. In True You, she traces her journey to happiness and self-awareness.

Janet was not only candid–she was even raw at times. Her humility reminded me that, just like all of us, she too has internal struggles. Her honesty is beautiful. She laid her heart on the line to speak to young girls and women everywhere who are fighting to find peace with their bodies, looks and overall self-esteem.

Thank you, Janet, for sharing your journey with us…

“I am loved, I’m valued, and I’m capable of achieving balance in my life…I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be…”–Janet Jackson, True You


 

LizzLoves…Willie Mae Rock Camp August 30, 2010

Cindy Blackman

From the time I was 10 until I was around 18, I played the drums. At my middle school, we didn’t just play the drums, though, we were trained in all sorts of percussion instruments: xylophones, crash cymbals, timpani drums, bells and even castanets and maracas. I really loved it, but what I loved the most is that I was the only girl in my section of the school band…and I got a lot of props from other girls for it. They were impressed that I managed to hold my own in a traditionally male-dominated section.

While I’m sure times have certainly changed, I know that establishing confidence and sisterhood in and through music is still a challenging endeavor. One organization that continues to meet the need of empowering young women through musical expression is the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. They just finished up another successful summer season of bringing hundreds of girls together to find their voices through instruments, voices and even turntables.

Props to Willie Mae for showing girls how to rock out!!! *pumping fist in the air*

Hmm, I wonder if I had stuck with it (kinda hard to do at an all-girls high school), if I could have grown up to be next Cindy Blackman, Lenny Kravitz’ badass girl drummer (see pic above)…? Nah, maybe I’d be more like Sheila E.! I have always wanted to play the congas and timbales…there’s still time 🙂

Sheila E.

 

LizzLoves…Ulali August 3, 2010

When I was a sophomore at Haverford College, I took a life-changing music course called “Native American Music & Belief.” On the social justice tip, it really opened my eyes to the rich (but often painful) history of the indigenous people in our country. I also never knew how stirring and mind-blowing their musical expressions could be.

One of the requirements for the class was to attend at least one performance or lecture during the semester. I really didn’t know what I was in for when I decided to attend the Ulali concert on campus. This all-female a cappella group represents several tribes from the First Nation. The beauty they create with their voices is unlike any other harmony I’ve ever heard and it made the hairs on my arms stand on end.

I chose the video, “Mother,” (above) because it honors Native American/American Indian women with its lyrics and the montage of images. But you can also check out their famous song “Mahk Jchi” here or a live performance here.