Beyond Black & White » Christelyn Karazin http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:55:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Online Friendships Ain’t Real, and Why You Should Only Have 150 Facebook Friends. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/online-friendships-aint-real-150-facebook-friends/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/online-friendships-aint-real-150-facebook-friends/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:09:30 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35288 Events over the passed 24 hours have resulted in the loss of two people I thought were friends and the dissolution of a business relationship. Of course I have cried, yelled and felt sorry for myself. I struggled with how relationships built of years could just go KA-BLOO-EY over something so benign as a difference […]

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dating, relationships, mating, swirling, For Hariet, black women dating outside their race, bi racial, mixed relationships, black women white men, asian men, jealous, BWE, blogs, hatred, shade, gossip, lies, defense, choices, options, lifestyle, parenting, families, community, black love, marriage prospects,

Events over the passed 24 hours have resulted in the loss of two people I thought were friends and the dissolution of a business relationship. Of course I have cried, yelled and felt sorry for myself. I struggled with how relationships built of years could just go KA-BLOO-EY over something so benign as a difference of opinion. On social media, wars are waged daily and people are forced to take sides, and often the fallout is huge swaths of “friends” lost in mere moments.

In real life, most of the friendships that I’ve made have lasted through a few bumps in the road. We disagree, maybe throw a few punches (not really) and move on. We still exchange Christmas cards and go to our parents’ funerals and cry at their weddings. Facebook is a whole other animal. Even long-time friends can easily be cut off, never to be tagged again over global issues that have little to no bearing on individuals. If you have an opinion on Ferguson that contrary to your Facebook friend, depending on that person’s mood, you might be zapped. Promising friendship? Squashed with lightening-speed expedience. By lunchtime, you can easily have eliminated 30 friends before you take that bite out of your soggy sandwich.

Facebook allows friendship to come so cheaply, that people feel next to nothing about cutting someone off. And because I’m currently struggling with such a situation, I’m curious about the dynamic, so I decided to to some research.

Apparently I was 100% wrong from the beginning. According to researchers, friendships formed on social media aren’t real friendships at all. The bonds are as virtual as Playstation. Here’s what I discovered:

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace do not help you make more genuine close friends, according to a survey by researchers who studied how the websites are changing the nature of friendship networks. Although social networking on the internet helps people to collect hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances, the researchers believe that face to face contact is nearly always necessary to form truly close friendships.

Although the numbers of friends people have on these sites can be massive, the actual number of close friends is approximately the same in the face to face real world,” said psychologist Will Reader, from Sheffield Hallam University.

Social networking websites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace have taken off rapidly in recent years. Facebook was launched initially in 2004 for Harvard University members but has since expanded to more than 34 million users worldwide. MySpace, which was set up in 2003, has more than 200 million users and was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2005 for $580m (£285m).

Previous research has suggested that a person’s conventional friendship group consists of around 150 people, with five very close friends but larger numbers of people whom we keep in touch with less regularly.

This figure is so consistent that scientists have suggested it is determined by the cognitive constraints of keeping up with large numbers of people.

But Dr Reader and his team have found that social networking sites do allow people to stretch this figure.

The team asked more than 200 people to fill in questionnaires about their online networking, asking for example how many online friends they had, how many of these were close friends and how many they had met face to face. The team found that although the sites allowed contact with hundreds of acquaintances, as with conventional friendship networks, people tend to have around five close friends.

Ninety per cent of contacts whom the subjects regarded as close friends were people they had met face to face. [SOURCE]

Yeah. But even when you meet folks face to face, the bonds can be tenuous. I wager that even if you meet “friends” after subsequent connections on places like Facebook, I’d bet those bonds are much loser than those acquired the traditional way. Social networks make friendships cheap and disposable. Bullying intensifies, and so to outrages and vendettas. Turns out I’ve been doing this online “friend” thing wrong all along. You can’t take anyone you meet this way seriously, so best not be shocked or hurt when your online buddy dumps and blocks you because you didn’t vote for her prized petunias in the private garden group.

Read more about the lameness of Facebook friends here.

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End of the Year, End of the Drama, Part II http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/end-year-end-drama-part-ii/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/end-year-end-drama-part-ii/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:42:44 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35281 People whom I care about have contacted me regarding my last post about my feelings of being dragged into petty Facebook wars and the subsequent gossipy, back-bitey fallout when women get their feelings hurt and put their claws out. Someone whom I am close to and work with could face lasting consequences if I don’t […]

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People whom I care about have contacted me regarding my last post about my feelings of being dragged into petty Facebook wars and the subsequent gossipy, back-bitey fallout when women get their feelings hurt and put their claws out. Someone whom I am close to and work with could face lasting consequences if I don’t swallow crow and make it go away. While I still have lingering hard feelings, I’m going to protect this person, and not use my platform to make her life harder. Let me be clear: I’m doing this for her, because I don’t believe that she expected that a blog post could have a ripple effect, turning friends into enemies and inciting petty dramas. 

I will say this. My decision to discontinue my personal Facebook page was not predicated on one single event, but a multitude of events over years and years that I have finally grown tired of. I want to live a good life, and do good things. I want to help black women, not hurt them. In kind, I don’t want to have to open my veins every time someone feels like singling me out. I am a human being with feelings. Actions have consequences, and that truth goes for me as well.

Let it go in the final record that the origins of this mess–a post that Misee Harris wrote on her opinion about the alleged Bill Cosby rape victims–is diametrically in opposition to my own views. I thought it was hurtful and cavalier, and I told her so privately before I said as much publicly.  The issue that transpired was never about me defending an alleged rapist and remaining silent. That said, I’m not going to be bullied into participating in some social media lynch mob to drag her just because you say I should. My issue was that people whom I thought were friends used a forum to call me out publicly, state a position, and give fodder to people whom they knew sniff around for blood every time there is any controversy surrounding me because they have an persistent and virulent hatred for me. I deeply resent being dragged into social media dramas, and have to work really hard to keep my feelings in check, because again, people think I’m not supposed to have any.

Finally, I’m hoping that we all find some peace this holiday season. Closing my personal page was the first step. Gossips, please get hobbies. Grow a garden. Read some books. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Don’t let your entire existence and entertainment be about watching the pain and misfortune of others.open door

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QOTW: Geeky Guys Seeks Girl, but with Strings Attached. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/qotw-geeky-guys-seeks-girl-strings-attached/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/qotw-geeky-guys-seeks-girl-strings-attached/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:42:34 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35263 The question… Hello Christelyn, I’m going to be straight forward, how do I grab the attention of a woman as a geeky introvert? By introverted I mean I just can’t go up to just any pretty face and try to make conversation, I need a reason to not I feel like I’m not wasting my […]

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The question…

Hello Christelyn,

I’m going to be straight forward, how do I grab the attention of a woman as a geeky introvert? By introverted I mean I just can’t go up to just any pretty face and try to make conversation, I need a reason to not I feel like I’m not wasting my time because it takes a lot for me to go up to woman and trying to make a connection. So, my first question how do I get a woman to want to get to know without making the first move.
On top of that I’ve been told that my mindset about dating until a serious relationship happen drives a woman away, for example, when I do work up strength to ask her out on a date how do I get her to be okay with going dutch, the majority of the woman seem to want me to pay for everything but none seem to understand there isn’t a relationship established yet and I don’t want to be a free meal ticket for them? I also want to clarify that these are past first dates that happened that never had a second date or never happened because I wanted to go dutch.
Also, in one article and/or video you mentioned that 72% of black woman have a child out of wedlock, I’ve never dated a woman with child before and the subject is completely alien to me. I’m not going to lie it scares me, I’m almost 25 and i’m only being my career, on top of that i’m not fully sure the kid will respect me until he is older and doesn’t have to deal with me ( this is coming from bias experience). So, I’ve always been curious am I over thinking it and I you mentioned that you had children when you met your husband, what were his thoughts on it? Did he not care  or was he cautious when dating you and did he have concerns like me? Also, when dating your husband what did you expect from him when meeting or dealing with you and your children?
Finally, I enjoy your videos and I find them interesting.
Here’s my take…

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Former Naysayer Takes Health in Her Own Hands and Thrives!! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/former-naysayer-takes-health-hands-thrives/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/former-naysayer-takes-health-hands-thrives/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:52:17 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35244 Got this note from a longtime reader and Facebook friend, Amber McDowell a few months ago… I remember a post you wrote about black women needing to become fit and healthy in order to attract higher quality men. I wanted to thank you for that post. It really bothered me at first but as I […]

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Got this note from a longtime reader and Facebook friend, Amber McDowell a few months ago…

I remember a post you wrote about black women needing to become fit and healthy in order to attract higher quality men. I wanted to thank you for that post. It really bothered me at first but as I began thinking about it I noticed there was truth in your words. I also realized how much black women are in denial due to their weight.

DISCLAIMER: A few years ago, I focused the message of fitness and romantic desirability at the expense of getting to the root of the problem for many black women who overeat…emotional pain. I also wasn’t always clear on the modes in which weight maintenance is achieved–always safely and with longterm lifestyle changes to ensure lasting results. I’ve since expanded and refined that message.

I’ve watched Amber work VERY hard to get healthy and she deserves some shine. Here’s her BEFORE photo (April 22, 2013):

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Here’s her now:

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Amber has been the embodiment of what we promote here. Not only has she gotten healthy, she’s moved to China, found work, some boyfriends, and a new outlook on life. I remember when her notes to me were defeatist and somber, she thought now one could ever love her. Now they reflect a woman who has come into her own and is taking life by the horns and not letting go! I’m so incredibly proud of her.

How did she drop the weight? Well, she practiced the ancient art of eating less and moving more. She also attributes a diet of authentic Chinese cuisine (aka healthy, low fat) that helped things along.

Next year we’re going to be focusing on ALL aspects that keep black women struggling with weight with our “Become Your BEST You” challenge on our new forum. We’ll be sharing stories, tips, recipes, and I’ll be bringing in some special guests and experts. It literally will be the most important thing BB&W has ever done.

And finally, I know it’s hard to stay focused on maintaining good eating habits during the holidays, but one way is to substitute one meal with a green protein smoothie. Here’s an idea you might try…

 

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Television is STILL Not Ready to Make Black Women ‘The Main Chick’ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/television-still-not-ready-make-black-women-main-chick/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/television-still-not-ready-make-black-women-main-chick/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:18:38 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35187 If you’ve been around for a while, you might know that I watch soap operas. Not just casually either–my DVR is set to Bold and the Beautiful. It’s a thoroughly horrible show, but of recycled story lines and romantic pairing that lasts about three episodes. So I wasn’t holding out much hope that a love affair […]

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If you’ve been around for a while, you might know that I watch soap operas. Not just casually either–my DVR is set to Bold and the Beautiful. It’s a thoroughly horrible show, but of recycled story lines and romantic pairing that lasts about three episodes.

So I wasn’t holding out much hope that a love affair between a handsome, white and wealthy fashion mogul and a black girl with a prison record and from the wrong side of that tracks began to develop. “Rick and Maya,” the unlikely love story was thwarted by rich, blond and classist Caroline was an exercise in train wreck viewing.

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Rick and Maya

Caroline, who also comes from a rich family, snubbed her nose at Maya, and straight up told that that she was just an experiment and that their bond was nothing more than a white man of stature sowing his wild oats prior to making a commitment to a pretty, blond “Becky.” Which in this case, was Caroline. Because once Rick and Maya broke up, Caroline stood front and center to graciously accept her role as the trophy. Never mind she worked real dirty behind the scenes to sabotage his relationship with a black girl she was convinced was beneath him. In real life, it’s pretty typical that pretty white women look at BW/WM pairings as slumming. “Why be with her when you can have meeeee?” White women have been elevated to goddess status to pretty much all men…right? Well…notsomuch anymore.

Black women and white men are experiencing spoiled-brat, entitled behaviors from the opposite gender. Both white men and black women are forging alliances that are long-lasting and fruitful. Marriage between a black woman and a white man has a lower chance of divorce that even WM/WM marriages.

Rick_and_caroline

 

Rick and on-camera wife, Caroline

So then, why is Hollywood still committed to pigeonholing antiquated stereotypes that black women are Jezebels/Mammys/Sapphires? I mean, these pairing ARE HAPPENING offline, so why the hesitancy to reflect cultural changes that are occurring in real life?

So after conniving Caroline schemed and plotted to get married to Rick, Maya, sidelined, began to be envious of the status and respect that comes with being “Mrs. Forrester.” So a few months into the marriage, Maya began to do her own scheming, and exposed a secret Caroline had that left her husband unable to forgive her and drive him back into the African America character, Maya.

Maya is ecstatic about winning her man back, and Rick delights in flaunting his new bed buddy in front of a jealous Caroline (they all work at the same fashion house in which Rick serves as CEO). But the patriarch of the company, who ultimately calls the shots, is disturbed by his son’s abandonment of his pretty white wife, whom he openly says is better suited for a man of his stature.  He goes so far as to demand that unless his son reunite with his more “suitable and acceptable” mate or face a de-throwing as CEO. Rick agrees outwardly but tells Maya his just doing it for show and he really wants to be with her but his big bad daddy won’t let him. Sounds eerily similar to IRL…

Maya isn’t happy about the charade, but goes along. You know, because us black chicks are happy tap dancing fools for any old half a man, regardless of race, amiright?  Rick tells her to be patient, that he’s only faking the reunion with his wife to save his career. Hold on, black women! Don’t give up on us yeeeetttt!!!

But what really took the cake today was Rick presenting his side hoe with a fancy apartment, in which will serve as Mistress Headquarters.

I mean, REALLY? In (nearly) 2015, folks are still hung up on seeing BW/WM in HEALTHY interracial relationships? I mean, as much as I know how some of you like Scandal, the Olivia Pope character mirrors the Maya character on Bold and the Beautiful. In both cases, the black women in relationships with rich and powerful men are presenting a dangerous cliche: The white man with lay up with you, but he won’t marry you. You can be the side chick, but never the main chick. That’s reserved for “Becky.”

Of course we know this is simply not what’s happening offline, where there’s hundreds of thousands of black women being the main Missus to white men, Hollywood is still clinging to the same old stereotypical tropes. We can keep kidding ourselves that both these characters are motivated by star-crossed love of powerful white men, but it’s just a dressed up version of a very old story. In what crazy world can homosexual pairings and public affection is being promoted and celebrated in Hollywood, but black women with white men are still begging for scraps?

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What Pictures Say About You That You Might Not Like… http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/pictures-say-might-not-like/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/pictures-say-might-not-like/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:53:08 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35170 I am an amateur photographer, and I’m told I take a pretty good photo. The most important thing I’ve learned about the art is that each photo tells a story. It can inspire a feeling, remind you of something, spark a latent memory. But guess what? Bad photos in smeared bathroom mirrors, cluttered closets and […]

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I am an amateur photographer, and I’m told I take a pretty good photo. The most important thing I’ve learned about the art is that each photo tells a story. It can inspire a feeling, remind you of something, spark a latent memory. But guess what? Bad photos in smeared bathroom mirrors, cluttered closets and in your bed also say something, some of which you probably won’t like.

We live an an Instrgram nation, where the story of you is taken in greedily, and in the dating world, is often used as a filter. Depending on what they are looking for, men filter according to goals–short term and long term. In general, a guy looking to have a serious girlfriend he can take home to his mom and feel like she won’t sleep with half his friends won’t be telling this story…

red lingerie ethnic sensual black woman on couch

 

Let’s analyze this photo, shall we? What story is it telling about the subject? I asked my husband to answer. While he admits the photo is alluring, he also told me that if a woman sent him this, they wouldn’t be getting out of the house much. Yep; she’d be the booty chick. Would she get some attention and instant gratification that goes along with posting such a photo? Sure! But how long would it last? About as long as it take for the dude to reach an orgasm.

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And while such encounters are being force-fed as “empowering” to the young and silly, that fact of the matter is, to be used as an instrument of another’s pleasure, being a vessel for sex, with a fleeting or nonexistent emotional connection leaves you feeling empty, used, lonely, and hungry to fill up that hole again. As a wife and mother in my forties, I can’t lie that I once thought that my worth was in my sum of parts. As a dark-skinned, nappy-haired girl, I could see the types of women who were rewarded with long term relationships and marriages to quality men. By far, it was the light skinned women with the “good hair,” who seemed to always get a man–she could be rail thin, 100 pounds overweight, a litter of kids from different men, didn’t seem to matter. If a dark girl was to be noticed, her ass and tits had better be displayed as appetizers for greedy, hungry eyeballs.  So, needy for attention myself, I wore the tube dresses and the Daisy Dukes, and thank the gods there was no Twitter or Instagram. I wore those things not because I wanted to celebrate my body in the fullness of womanhood. I did it so the guys would holler. People in my circle are reporting girls as young as 10 and 12 are partaking in such behaviors, and if anyone thinks that this is somehow empowering young black girls, you need to come close to the screen so I can slap your ass.

Now of course, things have evolved so much that even these women are being passed over for the women colorstruck men really wanted in the first place.

I’ll also be honest with you that I never took photos like this, but I suspect the same reasoning applies. Photos like this are in abundance on Facebook:

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Now does that mean that showing any skin at all is wrong? Of course not. But ask yourself, what’s the story? What is this image SAYING? For example, the woman is fully naked. But what’s her story?

Beautiful nude woman back. Wellness. Sport. Beauty

 

Do you think this woman’s primary goal is to provide consumption for horny, sweaty men looking to jack off? Nope. She’s displaying the awesomeness of the female body entwined in a very difficult advanced pigeon pose that I’m STILL trying to twist myself into after years of practice.

I also want to make a disclaimer at this juncture. If you’re offended that humans make judgements based on how you dress, or huff and puff when strange men send you dick pictures after you posted a “head’s down, bottom’s up” pose, then you need a one way ticket to Jupiter. No amount of naked nipples in Times Square is going to change a cornerstone of human evolution. Tits and ass make heterosexual men horny. When your photo tells your story like this….

Sensual Afro American woman in jeans undressing

 

…Don’t come crying to me about how men only want to use you. By their mid-to-late twenties, high value men choose long-term girlfriends based on what they envision their future wives and mothers of their children would be. Does that mean that no man will ever love you because you put your ass on Facebook? No. But ask yourself, am I being loved at the level I deserve with a high-quality man, or someone who is needy with a rap studio in his grandmother’s basement? Like attracts like. Quality attracts quality.

And in closing, I’m all for the celebration of the female form, but in ways that will tell a complementary story, not grimy and bottom basement. This is lovely to me….

beach nude

What’s her story? 

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