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The Helesian Renaissance: 2011-Present (Why I Chose Media as a Means of Re-Birth)

renaissance –

ren·ais·sance (r n -säns , -zäns , r n -säns , -zäns , r -n s ns). n. 1. A rebirth or revival.

The Helesian Renaissance: Manifesting Goddesshood through Rebirth

On the heels of a snap decision to move to a small “hippie town” called Yellow Springs, Ohio (I’ve been wanting to leave New York for a while now, updates on that coming soon), I’m really excited about the opportunity to totally emerge myself in a culture wehre I feel free to explore it and find my own niche within it. When I visited 7 years ago, I was relieved by the fact that there, you don’t have to look good, you just have to BE good. I’ve always wanted to be admired for my mind, not just my face and body and face. They are equally important to me as a being, but, my face and body have gotten alot of attention in recent years. Now it’s time for people to hear and feel my words. I call this the my Renaissance because I truly feel a shift, a huge transformation in my perspective on the events that happen in my life and where I choose to put my energy.

I have recently decided that I want to be great and make a huge impact on society. I like to do this simply by living, but I want it to be publicized and I wish for it to generate money, material things, wonderful friendships, and “first-time” experiences. I see myself starting trends and calling attention to ones that have already been started, (such as my T.I.T.S. Movement concerning topfreedom).

I would like to to be the first person to have ever done something, and I may have already broken barriers being a Black woman who chronicles her experiences of going topfree shamelessly in a fear based society and getting interviewed for it, and while I am still able to use the high I got from that experience, (especially having the support and presence of those near and dear to me) to laugh through moments as akward and downright creepy as an episode of Awkward Black Girl or The Office a few days later, this accomplishment is still not enough for me.

Not enough people know about the subsection of the American black female population who are intelligent, delicate, sexual, spiritual, articulate, and close to the Earth. Not enough people know about me! When I began studying media and becoming really interesting in filmmaking, I was in high school and took an intro to film class in high school, I remember being bored out of my mind but also disappointed in that we were forced to watch Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith. It had nothing to do with my present experience, (or anyone’s if you take the film’s interpretation of reality literally) nor my desired experience,  and the filmmaker probably had never considered that a young precocious Black woman like me would have to analyze this film. It was about the slave trade and showed slaves to be less than human, “unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women,” and portrayed “the Ku Klux Klan (whose original founding is dramatized) as a heroic force.” (Source: Wikipedia. Don’t judge me. I actually DO  research. More of that to come.) I knew not then what had to be done about this type of propaganda that perpetuates self hatred among  even worse, a self denial among Blacks and unnecessary and counterproductive white guilt. I had much earlier mentally checked out of the public “fool” system altogether as early as 5th grade anyway, so I didn’t expect much at that point, but still, I was disenchanted.

Fast forward to college to when I took another film class. We watched movies like Amelie and Nanook of the North, which were more relatable: Amelie’s cuteness on screen and her adventurous nature I could relate too. It wasn’t as heavy. I’ve always felt a connection with the Native Americans too, as my lineage is strewn with them.

I’m not saying the point of every movie is to be relatable. But I am emphasizing the importance of people, especially children, seeing representations of themselves of what they desire to be, on film.

Films are programs, and these images and sounds are downloaded into the brain when one views them. They become ingested by the soul, encrypted in the spirit. The research is there, but I know from personal experience–besides an artful martial arts film, I can’t stand violence, horror, gore, and blood. When I’m sick, it actually makes me feel WORSE! Everything you hear and see affects your health.

I saw many problems in the self image of Black women who were very close to me, and this was only examining my own self hatred. I dealt with my hair and went natural in 2003, I dealt with my fear and fascination of Black men, and started the process of digging up layers of sedimentary hurt and trauma caused by situations with my father and other Black men who I felt harmed me.

I decided I want to undo some of the negative stereotypes of Black women in the media by producing media that showed who some of us truly are, and while we are unique, I hope I’m representing even a bit of you… and I hope the rest of you will give me a pat on the bottom for giving it the old college try.

Speaking of college: I’m going back.

It’s something that will change my life forever and now is the perfect time for me to do it.

“I just decided that I want to be great.”

The above quote was my Facebook status just a few days ago. I was looking at a Youtube video of Oprah speaking about Maya Angelou and her influence on her life. I embody a few characteristics of both. Despite all of the the conspiracy theories I’ve entertained about Oprah and how she got and keeps her position in the media, and Maya Angelou, who’s greatness over the years has been damn near forgotten by many in my generation, I have come to my senses: the positive impact of these women on people’s lives, especially black women who have the added effect of them being someone who looks like them, who they can see themselves, in is undeniable.

They made me see that even though my method of getting attention may never be theirs, I want to impact people’s lives the same way, especially young black women.

Sept. 11th, 2012–Two more high school young women came up to me to inquire why I was topfree. I took pictures at their request, and encouraged them to look at the blog pertaining to my movement. It’s one small thing I could do to inform them that there’s more to this than just what you see, even in my actions.

That is exactly what I want the world to see about them, that you can’t judge them by their looks, or even their actions that you see for a few seconds on a news clip. You certainly shouldn’t take any of the caricatures you see of them on film seriously without doing some reflection on the industry as a whole. And more importantly I would like for them to see this about themselves. This is the reason for the shift: as I give birth to a new me and manifest Goddesshood, they birth a new image of themselves as well. They will realize their dynamism, their potential, the Goddess in themselves. May they have their own re-birth and be inspired to have a Renaissance of their own.

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16 thoughts on “The Helesian Renaissance: 2011-Present (Why I Chose Media as a Means of Re-Birth)

  1. I am also a writer, I have alot of contacts in the advertising world and support groups and organizations. I know where to put the word out when the word needs to get out. if you don’t want a man’s support, just say so… : )

  2. I too, want to make my mark on the world like you do. That is why I did 10 years of research, (and I love doing research!), into the book I wrote about the connection bras are to breast cancer. It’s called, “Is Your Bra Killing You?” it can be found here: http://www.lulu.com/content/11755494
    I am an avid women’s rights supporter, especially bra/breast freedom.

    • I praise you! The Universe sent me you because my womb choice (I don’t know what else to call him) commisioned me to do research to back up my movement. My indignant rebellious side says “I’m not here to prove anything” but there’s another side of me who admits that it makes me that much more credible. Thank you! I’d love to review the book and weave it into my work.

      • The culture/modest trained side of me always stops me from getting out of my comfort zone. The rebellious side always wants to break the mold and it always wrestles with the nudity issues. I want so much to just jump out there and do it. You have actually done it, and I want to know, how did it feel to be topfree in public?
        I am a man, but I was raised in a home where family nudity was okay, as long as we were in the house. Living out in the world, I run into so many people who are/were prudes. To me, a woman topless and/or braless is the most natural thing for a woman to be. Getting women to do that, is like pulling teeth. In my research and advertising my book, I have run into so many opposition. It’s a real drag, man! But as time has drawn on, I am starting to run into positives, like you now. It’s such a relief!

      • I just wanted to say, that if you feel a certain fear about your body, rest assured, you have very beautiful looking breasts, and you have nothing to fear or be ashamed of. Having a uplifting self esteem about your body will go a long ways towards your goal to show your support of topfreedom. : )

      • This is not about the so called beauty of my breasts. I think that everyone should be allowed and made to feel empowered by goin topfree. My self esteem issues are really a non issue. My feelings of unworthiness mainly had to do with economic circumstances or just the feeling that I wasn’t enough. I think that’s the core issue, but it doesn’t manifest through shame about my body.

      • well, excuse me !!! I was just trying to help. You have to understand where I am coming from: I have three sisters, no brothers, I have three daughters, no sons, and I have been married 3 times , so I have seen my share of boobs, and have done the talks about them, been around them, so my personal life has been as close to female issues as a man can get. When I did my research for my book, it was very intense. I have a college degree to back it up. I was trying to help your cause, and you seem to be attacking me as though my comments were sexual, which they weren’t.

      • Never attacking you per se, but it WAS a biting reply. Also, see my post Education Industry . A college degree backs up NOTHING! I appreciate your support and research, although no college degree is needed for that. I just want to point out that it’s never going to be taken lightly if you say “if I were you, I would stop wearing bras.” (Or you could try that on a different day. We cd see what would happen). The statement is so far from reality that it just need not be said. It suggests a lot, one is that men, no matter how much they can’t relate to women (REGARDLESS of how many women they have been around), always somehow find a way to try to take ownership of women’s bodies. Correct me if I’m wrong…

      • you’re wrong about that. That’s not what I am about. I am for (you)women not against them(you) okay? (shakes head) I am a supporter, don’t point me away.

    • Well nobrasforu, the world is changing. This is the time for feminine energy to rise again, although it may a take a few decades. But things ARE changing. It felt like the most liberating thing in the world to be topfree. I felt a rush of excitement and I always get nervous before doing it because just like getting dressed up to go to the grocery store, there IS a performance like quality to it, for me, because I’m naturally going to draw attention to myself. I’m 5’9″ and a black female with an afro while I type this, so I don’t blend in easily. And you know what? I don’t want to.

  3. You express yourself well in your writing. I get it, your wanting to be a first. They’re usually the ones who step out on a limb, and boy, the gratification of people embracing what you do that comes later makes it worthwhile. I can’t say I myself would ever go topless. To see my body is a privilege not meant for just anyone – as I see it. But we’re all different. I get my hair permed, I see all races of people do whatever it takes to make themselves feel good.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I need to check out your blog. Tell me, why do you need to perm (I assume u mean relax) your hair in order to feel good? This is something to think about. Also, relaxed is something I wish to be most of the time. The very implication that natural hair is wild and therefore can’t be “relaxed” in its natural state serves to perpetuate the idea that Black people are naturally wild, beastly, and savage. I just thought of that! But it’s true.

      • Helese, don’t get me started on my hair, I will spare you the long version 🙂 Yes, I relax it, because it is the easiest way to manage my hair and I like it best relaxed. I tried the natural look for two years, it didn’t work for me. My hair has three different grades to it, so it was a huge challenge. The front is wavy, the middle is wiry, and the back is straight. I went a year like that, and my hair always looked “unfinished.” My hair is also thin and fine, not strong enough for taut braids or twists (ha, my hair doesn’t twist in its natural state not without untwisting again, I tried it as it grew longer. Cut very short was the only style that worked. But I don’t want to look like that all the time. When I did let it grow out naturally, it was very difficult to manage. I went to professionals and they just wanted to braid it and burn it with hot irons. With my hair relaxed, I have more options, I can just wash and go (no curling, and let it flow straight); or I can flat iron and style. Not as much work for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time. It puts a smile on my face, and that’s all that matters. I think natural styles are beautiful for the people who can wear them. But it doesn’t make me any less Black than any of them. People of all races change their hair, too – perming, extensions and all, for the same reason – to look and feel their best. That’s more important. I respect a person who does what feels best to them. Color it, cut it, extend it, perm it, whatever. And at the end of the day, there’s no reward being given out for being the most Black you can be. So just be the best person you can be.

      • That wasn’t the long version? 😉 This is true what you’re saying. We live in an unnatural state, but at the same time it’s natural to be unnatural and I don’t just mean hair. We are supposed to evolve change invent and grow. I just challenge people to know why they do things, and I like to be challenged this way as well. I think hair is a big one for people who don’t fit into the idea of what is presented as beautiful the majority of the time in media. It goes a long way to explore traditions in order to find out their roots. It has helped a lot of people with Self Acceptance. That’s the major point. As long as you have that, then you’ll feel more empowered to do everything you want.

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