By Girl Tyler
Izzy & Liv strives to amplify Black women through empowering products and messages. We embrace our tagline, "Culture, Confidence, and Soul." Those intangibles are the greatest currency in this space. These three simple words make up the special sauce that bonds our Brown Sugar community. Our goal is to walk it just like we talk it, and so should you. Accountability is key! We're here to hold a mirror up along your path to self-discovery. Here are five ways to harness your culture, confidence, and soul.
Read Black Books
Soak up fiction and non-fiction across all genres. Dabble in sci-fi. Immerse yourself in poetry. Find your sense of wonder. Reading books by Black authors allows you to embrace all aspects of culture while opening to fresh perspectives. Black stories provide mental stimulation while deepening our thoughts on society and stretching the depths of our empathy. Share your favorite titles far and wide. Do it for the culture. You’ll start to notice surface level conversations shift to thought provoking discussions that just might drive positive change for you and the people around you.
Redefine the "strong Black woman" myth
Black girls are raised to be strong Black women. This world is a tough place; of course, you need strength and resilience to lead the way. The twists and turns are difficult to control, so you'll need a soft place to land. Embrace your delicate side, sis. Be vocal about your feelings. Never feel ashamed to speak up about your experiences. When the world feels rigid and nearly impossible to navigate, rest assured in knowing that you were born with the tools to survive anything that may come your way. You don't have to be strong every breaking moment or pretend to have it all together. Express yourself in ways that feel most genuine to you and not from a defensive space. Vulnerability yields understanding.
Explore body acceptance
There is no such thing as the perfect body. Tall or short? Skinny or thick? 3c or 4c hair? You can't contour your way out of the face you have, and social media filters won’t turn you into a model. The list goes on and on with the wild trends we follow just to appear "put together." Although there is no such thing as a perfect body, to some extent, we're all guilty of chasing a false standard of beauty to achieve false satisfaction. Soon another trend comes along and we’re on to the next. Here’s a little secret: It’s impossible to keep up with the ever-changing standards of beauty. Learning to accept your looks as is, is an art form and an act of resistance against the negative messages Black women have been forced to accept since the day we were born. Your body is the only one you have, so learn to love it, and be nice to yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Do the inner work
Confidence comes from within. Make time to get to know what makes you tick. Interrogate your thoughts. Healing comes through introspection. Deposit words of affirmation into your spirit. Reject self-deprecating thoughts and language. Journal through the process. Shifting your thoughts can pull you out of a dark place. Inner work is not an overnight job. No number of self-help books can light the way to unleash your renewed sense of self. Only you can do that. There’s no greater feeling than experiencing your life through a fresh lens.
Reminisce on your happiest days
Some days it is challenging to fight the funk. No matter what they say, you can't always "fake it until you make it." When overwhelming feelings rise to the surface, you should never ignore your body, signaling possible burnout. We've all been there before, even a little longer than we'd like to admit. Here's a simple hack for keeping your soul happy. Stop, take a deep breath, and focus on previous moments of joy. This simple practice is an instant mood booster. Revisit the days when you felt free and prioritize getting back to those peaceful moments. Doing more of what you love with the people you love will make your soul smile.