Okay, starting today, I am going to challenge myself to drop a #ThoughtOfTheWeek once week on this blog! A challenge yes, for I like to be consistent with my posts but at the same time, it will allow me to get my daily thoughts out as opposed to them being glued to my membrane. For this week’s segment, I wanted to honour the talented Solange Knowles.
From her brightening up our Instagram timelines with her visually inspiring outfits to the release of her third studio album A Seat At The Table, I think it’s safe to say that Solange Knowles creatively embodies the term #goals. It’s no doubt that Solange is the younger sister of an icon but she has managed to create a path for herself and uses her authenticity to encourage young black girls to not only embrace their melanin, but to be the best that they can be. To get personal, Solange has taught me to always remain true to myself, trust my creativity and to use my voice on topics that are swept under the rug. I used to be the quiet little mixed girl that was so afraid to express herself both verbally and creatively, but seeing this soul sista express herself so freely, gave me fuel to do the same. By releasing A Seat At The Table, Solange used not only her voice, but also an array of visuals to raise awareness of the ongoing struggles that black men and women face in society today. Whether it is our hair, false perceptions, self-worth and independence, Knowles managed to address these viewpoints all with a psychedelic sound. From following her on Instagram to hitting the repeat button on her musical projects, it’s safe to say that Solange has taught us all valuable lessons and well, here’s five important ones, enjoy!
1.) Thou Shalt Stay True To Thyself:
Solange is no stranger when it comes to sticking to her guns and not confirming to the rules of the music industry. By launching her own record label, Saint Records, Solange is in full control of her decisions, persona and has the freedom to create her own rules. Knowing what you will and will not tolerate is a huge key when it comes to staying true to yourself. Nowadays we live in a generation where popularity is more valuable than purpose and I’ve seen people change who they are in terms of personality and morals, all to get ahead. Don’t ever try to fit in for the sake of popularity for you are setting yourself up to be like everyone else and there’s no fun in that. Set boundaries for yourself and don’t lose yourself trying to please others.
2.) Create Our Own Path:
I personally could not imagine being the younger sister of an icon for there is so much pressure on you to follow in their footsteps. For Solange, yes she pursued the same musical career path as her sister but in terms of sound and style, they’re completely different. The best advice I ever received was from my sociology professor in university where he always ended the class by saying “Don’t be a sheep.” For the longest time, I couldn’t understand the meaning behind such an expression until it dawned on me that if you follow the crowd, it will get you nowhere. It will just make you the same as everyone else. Yes, its perfectly okay to be inspired but don’t live in someone else’s dream/reality. Create your own and enjoy the journey along the way. Don’t put so much emphasis on the destination. If you walk alone, the more you will get to know yourself along the way. And DO NOT, under any circumstance, compare yourself to others. Comparison kills joy!
3.) Own Our Style:
As stated in point #2, don’t be a sheep! As a follower of all things fashion, it’s cool to know what’s hot, but it’s even cooler to have your own sense of style. Solange clearly needs no help when it comes to owning her fashion sense whether it’s with a pair of silver shimmery Michael Kors pants or creating a dress out of purple yarn. I mean, is there anything this woman can’t do? I’m sure that if she shared an Instagram photo of herself in a dress made out of brown paper bags, she’d make it look like couture. Wanna know what else makes Solange cool? Is the fact that she doesn’t have to use her personal style to impress others, and neither should you.
4.) Speak Up, We Can’t Hear You:
It’s no doubt that Solange is #goals for when it comes to speaking her mind on issues that are surrounding us today such as racism and how African-Americans are treated. As a young girl, I grew up in a world where I was constantly bullied about my appearance and my curly hair. It got to the point where I wanted to chemically straighten my hair for I believed that it would make others accept me and I wanted to be a part of the superior white race. It got to the point where I eventually said “fuck this” and began standing up for not only myself, but for those who needed support. Whether I was placed in an uncomfortable or ignorant situation, something had to be said and done to prevent it from continuing. Even with this blog, I made the decision to become more personal and tell readers the thoughts that flow in my head with hopes they can relate and to be honest, it is the most liberating thing I have ever done. I don’t have to hide anymore and I can finally speak up about what drives my mind and creativity. I encourage you all to do the same. Make yourself heard!
5.) True Beauty Is Internal:
We live in a generation where appearance is valued more than character, hate to say it. Now it’s all about what your looks bring to the table as opposed to your overall skills and that is something I can’t seem to come to terms with. Growing up, I was picked on for looking a certain away and even though those words hurt, I still stuck to my guns as a vibe-supplier (that should be a paying job). As I got older and developed more confidence, those internal features began to make its way to the outside and now I am in a place where I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I look like and look back on my journey of self-acceptance to help other women see it in themselves.
“I think about all those phases I went through, and the ridicule and whatever that I experienced. And I can’t think of one time where I ever felt like I was going to break.”
– Solange Knowles (Glamour Magazine)