Not Today

I’m pretty much drowning in work today, so no post from me until later, bellas. But I do have two quick things to say.

1. Paging Kam! Kam, you won the conditioner sample and I’ve tried e mailing you three times to no avail. My e mail has been returned every time. If you want the sample, please e mail me (bella@afrobella.com) with your mailing address. This brings me to the topic of fake e mail addresses.

If you post a comment with a fake e mail address, it will most likely get stuck in my spam filter. I do go through it every day, but to keep it real with you, I must admit that I didn’t really feel that bad when a particularly nasty comment to my post about Maddy the Frog Princess got stuck in there yesterday. So to the lady who suggested that I somehow hate my heritage and had a terrible childhood because I’m psyched to see Disney have a black princess, shed a tear because your comment got thrown out with the rest of the spam. I did notice it in there but somehow I didn’t have the energy to fish it out from among the grandma porn and Valtrex ads that I get bombarded with daily.

2. The reason I didn’t have the energy is because of that extremely combative discussion regarding this week’s Afrobella of the Week. I need to take a day to wrap my mind around that scene. But first, I need some reader feedback.
I am of the opinion that there’s far too much negativity on these internets as it is. I do want this site to be a place for honest and uplifting discussion, but all of that drama really got me down. There is no constructive criticism in accusing another businesswoman of wearing a weave, or having a celebrity’s baby. There is nothing positive in slander.
I felt especially saddened by some of the latter comments, where some readers confessed that they don’t have many black girlfriends because of this kind of thing, and others said that a successful black woman should expect that kind of response from other women of color. I guess the reason that all of the back-and-forth hateration got to me is because I still believe in sisterhood. The way I see it is, women of color should be supporting each other as much as possible. In fact, women in general should be supporting each other as much as possible. But much too often, we get caught up in trying to tear each other down.

I might be biting off more than I can chew with this question, but I want to hear from you.

Have you ever been really screwed over or hurt by a woman you saw as your friend, or as someone who should be your friend? Do you believe in sisterhood? Or do you think that sisterhood is a myth?

I’ll be back tomorrow with a more positive perspective, I promise. For now, I’m just wanting to hear your views.

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Comments

  1. Bella,
    Please do not let the negativity and drama make you not want to blog!!! I am happy to have found your site and visit it several times a day. I have received so much information and inspiration as I know others have. I truly believe that the negativity of the previous post was a one-time (hopefully) event. I have been reading your blog for several months and have never seen such nonsense! I have been screwed/hurt by sisters as well as other races but that does not make me want to be hateful or bring another person down-regardless of race. If someone has such negativity and hatred for another, they seriously need to look at themselves in the mirror because they truly have a problem.

    Stay strong Bella, there are more of us for you than against you!!

  2. Oh, Thope! I still want to blog, but just don’t have it in me today. I’m drowning in work and I want to respond to the negativity but I’m not sure how. This ties into discussions I’ve been having with my afrobellas at work as well as experiences I’ve had growing up. So the previous post kind of reminded me of feelings I used to have, and I want to write about this whole issue… but I can’t figure out how to broach it yet. But I’ll be back and upbeat as ever tomorrow, promise!

  3. I have been burned by girl friends that I held close more than once. I now just stick close to my family and keep my “friends” at arms length. Sisterhood is a good concept but I have yet to see us sista work it realisticly.

  4. Keep it positive. Once you go down the negative road you are literally stuck and the positive vibes that you give off and generate in others will begin to fade. Negativity saps your energy and really gets you down, and while we sometimes cannot avoid it, we have to learn to move on. So move on my precious baby.
    Love you,
    D

  5. Bella,

    Don’t let the negativity get you down, and feel free to ignore it if you don’t want to respond to it. To answer your question, I have been burned twice by women I considered very close friends and when I told them what they had done, they both acted like it was my problem not theirs (one slept with my boyfriend whom she had introduced to me, and the other got arrested and gave the police my name instead of hers). Neither woman is my friend anymore, but I still have a close circle of female friends. I am very picky about who I consider a sister, but I haven’t lost my faith in sisterhood.

  6. I totally agree with you, Thope. Bella, please do not let all of this negativity get to you. I am really happy to have found such a wonderful and informative site!! To answer your question, I, too, have been back-stabbed by other women and it hurted me deeply!! However, I have tried to keep faith that sisterhood does exist. But, on the other hand, I have found that it is very hard to find peaceful and humble people, that do not include themselves in drama!! With that being said, I would consider myself to be a loner with only a select few of people who I include into my “circle”. Hopefully, us as black women will stop with all the hate and negativity and uplift each other!!

  7. Heya Afrobella,
    I was truly saddened by what went on as well but as i was reading some of the comments I was not surprised as to the negativity. I have no real sistas as girlfriends as this makes me real sad as I am 40 years old and do not have a real connection to black women. I am of mixed heritage and black sistas have never really made me feel welcome and I am until this day very disgusted by it. There seems that there is always some rival feelings. I am just as sad as you as this and my sister feels the same way. Oh how I wish we could stop fighting amongst ourselves. I love your blog and read it every day, I do not comment all the time but after reading the comments regarding the Curls issue, I was not surprised but even sad, as I know all products may not work for all people but the comments were crazy, I just was turned off as you.

    All I have to say is hang in there and stay strong and keep sending your positive vibes.

  8. I’ve definitely been hurt by women more women than men. I suppose because I too believe in sisterhood and I tended to take in any sista thinking surely she will mean me no harm… we’re sistas right”. I’ve learned that many of the women I looked at as sistafriends were looking at me as the enemy. Growing up in the circumstances I did, I would have never have considered myself naive but I certainly was for a long time when it came to many black women and how we truly feel about each other. Well, lets just say I’ve learned finally after 30 years that it just ain’t so and that my choosing in sistafriends has to be has as informed as my choosing in the men that I let in my life. I think there can be sisterhood but we’ve got to learn to leave the baggage at the door. We all need to start being an agent of change and knocking down stereotypes when we see them and being careful about the words we use when communicating with or about us. I realize that we all want like the same things or the same people but we don’t have to seek out destroying that person either.

  9. Hey Bella…I was disappointed by the negativity as well as the manner in which Ms. Dellinger chose to respond. It’s one thing to defend a company, but it’s completely another to be dismissive of a potential customer. And when “hateration” is described as an inherent quality of ALL black women, I see red as well as my green remaining in my pocket. Furthermore, I found it interesting that some grown women have not learned to agree to disagree without resorting to pettiness and immaturity. I also find it extremely interesting that women seem to view all women as the enemies if they were burned once or twice. Everybody is different. We cannot be praising the unique beauty of black women if we assume they are all the same. Keep on living!!

  10. Bella:

    This is such a positive site!!! Even when you are not in support of something or someone it is communicated with honest but tactful feelings. Keep on doing you, in doing you, you are helping us to do ourselves. Yes, I have been deeply hurt several times by “so called sister/friends” but I still believe in the sisterhood of women and of black women in particular 100%.

  11. westindiangal says:

    I always say that I’m blessed that I grew up in the West Indies. Since the islands are full of different heritages, I’d like to think I was not trapped into the need to fit everyone into a limited bucket of classification. I was fortunate to meet 2 wonderful sisters in high school (in the US) and 3 more in college who are at the core of my friendship circle.

    In the course of my life I’ve been blessed to also include in my core of friends people of different races. I’ve found my life enriched in so many ways because of my expanded circle.

    I do not waste my energy on people who feel the need to dissect hair, etc. and focus on negative comments. Why is so difficult for us to remember that not all blacks fit into the same mold? Why are we so hesitant to embrace our differences?

    Bella, I love your blog. Keep up the great work!!

  12. BlackHoney says:

    Hey Bella,
    I checked in a couple of days ago and thought to myself “what’s really going on”? I know you’ve had some heated discussions before but that was crazy.

    Please don’t let incidents like this discourage you. We need someone showcasing people of color in a positive light. You do such an amazing job at that, I really can’t thank you enough.

  13. Bella…unfortunately, many women lack self esteem and seek to tear down others as a means to build themselves up.

    It’s unfortunate that people choose to act so petty in such a public forum. Your site is a wonderful place to get information regarding many different products, as well as positive messages. Coming here is like a breath of fresh air.

    Keep doing what you do and don’t let all of that negativity detract from what you do.

  14. Bella,
    I was surprised by the comments that were posted yesterday, because this is such a positive site. I’m glad you didn’t let the negativity bring you down. Now for your question, do I believe in sisterhood. To an extent. Luckly I’ve been blessed with friends who share my same qualities and easy going outlook on life. But in my younger days I was burned by some girlfriends. But I look at it as a learning experience and move on. Somethimes people just grow apart.

  15. SISTERHOOD what’s that!!! Remember that saying “Women don’t get dressed for men. They get dresses so other women won’t talk about them.”

    Sister’s please let’s start loving each other and lifting one another up. Stop sleeping with other folks husbands. This destroys black families. There are way to many of us growing up without fathers. Stop listening to that music were black man are calling black women B@$%#. No other race treats their women like that. And please, please stop using the N word. I am gulity of using. But I have challenged myself to stop.

  16. May I also add, be careful who you trust, not everyone has your best interest at heart.

  17. I guess I’m in a different boat because every close friend I have (outside of 3 men) is a woman/sista friend. Have some women hurt me before, of course BUT so have many men. Yet, I don’t collectively assail a gender because of my isolated negative experiences. I think it’s a fallacy that women tear down each other more than men do. I’m sorry but it’s so cliched (I’m not saying some women aren’t devious but so are some men). My male friends and husbands report just as many “my boy did me wrong” stories as women. I went to a women’s college, am in a sorority, even received a Certification in Women’s Studies in my current doctoral program because I believe in the importance of women, especially black women. So I encourage you to continued to be lifted up by every encouraging word on this site and know that as a positive sista’, you have my support.

  18. Hello Bella!

    I want you to know that it wasn’t long ago that I encountered your site and the articles and insight you daily contribute has been a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

    I agree strongly that a more positive world is a necessity for life. I have been burned by plenty of women, and there hasn’t been a limit in regard to ethnicity. I think the most hurtful experiences have been with my sisters. I can honestly tell you that I don’t run with many. It’s been too much of a struggle dealing with bad behavior and I’ve come to a point in my life where if I can’t walk with you in peace and security, I’d much rather walk out my purpose solo until God sends the friendships that complement and edify my life. From so called friends turning into friendzillas to taking advantage of my kindness and abusing my family members, the friendship walk has been a disappointment.
    I’m not one to totally write of my skin kin based on bad behavior, I think in loving and taking care of me, and pursuing my dreams and goals, the type of friends I need will cross my path. I believe the images we are exposed to as women on a daily basis contribute to the underlying competition that has surfaced to our relational detriment, I also believe that we need to address these issues and identify how we can contribute to resolve them even if it is one relationship at a time. If not, we’ll continue to teach future generations of Bellas how to utilize the characteristics of perpetual bad behavior among one another…

  19. Hey Bella,
    i remember growing up and hearing “if you don’t have something good to say then don’t say it”
    it seems people don’t think about what they say before they say it. the concept of sisterhood has escaped us. i look at my mothers generation and wish we could have that support for one another. just appreciating others success and embracing the strides that individuals make and feeling pride in them as a representation of who we are as a people.
    i love your site for the positivity and the wonderful articles and i hope you continue to support and be proud of sistas who are holding their own.

  20. berrybrowne says:

    Bella –

    i have seen the best and worst of sisterhood and because i know how affirming it can be, how it can help us to keep striving for our dreams, how it can counteract the negativity we deal with every day by those who would tell us we are less than, due to race, gender, hair texture, complexion, etc. – i absolutely believe in it and will continue to advocate for its spread until all women get in line. the role of women in our society is too important for us to weaken ourselves through division, especially over petty matters. we need to regularly engage in group and self-reflection about the extent to which american racism, the legacy of slavery, and good old-fashioned Get a Man competition has pitted us against one another. keep up the good work – we appreciate your efforts!

  21. As someone who considers herself a womanist, I feel saddened that this dicussion even has to occur. I’m in agreement with D. Owens. I spent four years at an all girls boarding school and sisterhood was commonplace. The bonds that I have made with those women are unshakable and I thank God for that experience. I have never in my life experienced the kind of behavior to which you ladies are referring. Maybe its because I’m still young (20 years old,) or maybe its because I try to always see the good in people. Ladies,you have to remember that whenever someone is “hating” on you it means that they are feeling insecure about themseleves. And God know that for centuries Black women in this country have been told that they were inferior to White and lighter skinned women. As, a child I used to wish that my skin was lighter and I would wrap scarves around my head with the ends hanging down because I wanted my hair to flow down my back. I even wanted to use Pantene Pro-V because I thought it would give me hair like white women.
    And to this day, if I see a beautiful lighter skinned woman I sometimes feel ugly. But I don’t hate on her. I compliment her on her beauty and tell myself(in my head)that although she maybe beautiful, her beauty is not “better” than mine. There is nothing wrong with me and nothing wrong with her. And on the occasion that I do feel that a woman may be hating on me, I compliment her too. Why? Because I love women, and especially love Black women and I don’t want her to feel bad about herself because of me. Man, I’m rambling.
    Anyway, Bella feel better and let the negativity roll off your back like water.

    Peace, Love and Blessings to all my sistas!
    I love you and you should love you too!
    Candy

  22. I absolutely believe in sisterhood. I have moved around a bit but have always been able to find sistas to talk to, laugh with, cry with, support, and love. We must use common sense when acquiring friends. Being a black woman doesn’t guarantee you free access to my most personal thoughts. But, believe me when I say that relationship is very important. Within the last month, my husband’s job has relocated us to a city where only 1/9% of the population is black people. I am having a serious problem adjusting to that. I have nothing against friendships with other races as all of my friends are not of color. But, I need and crave that sisterhood. Don’t let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch!

    P.S. I too am of mixed heritage and never had much of a problem fitting in with other black women. If you saw me, you would probably think I was hispanic.

  23. Oops, I meant 1.9%…

  24. I, too, was saddened to see what the discussion had degenerated into. For a minute, I thought a couple of 12 year olds had been using their parents computer! LOL Anyway, to answer your question, I do beleive in the concept of sisterhood and I also beleive that women need to uplift each other more, but in my everyday experiences, I have not seen it enough. After falling out with my best friend of 14 years, we had to go through a period of adjustment and just plain growing up, and I am happy to say that we have renewed our friendship and have been friends again the past two years. I have lots a women that I am cool with, but I admit that I get wary in situations where I have to work with a lot of women. I only have a couple of women in my close circle–other than that I keep a bit of distance.

  25. @ Candy, girl you better get out my head. I recently started doing the same thing. When I know(suspect)a woman is hating on me, I go out of my way to compliment her and bond with her. I love seeing the look of “I hate this girl but she being so nice to me”, on their faces.i say kill em with kindness.

  26. haitiangurL says:

    Bella….
    I check your website everyday, the information here is AWESOME!!! from everything about hair and makeup to politics and that awesome post on dental care (which sparked me going to the dentist where I learned I have serious gum disease and am now undergoing treatment) … Like a previous Bella stated your blog is a breathe of fresh air keep up the good work! As for being burned by a sisterhood, its ironic that this would come up as I am going through a crisis w/a dear friend – sometimes its not about your girl sleeping with your man drama, etc… Sustaining any intimate relationship is hard work and right now I’m trying to figure out if I should stay and keep trying to work it out or if we should break-up… Plenty of books and articles about breaking up with a guy but what about when it’s your girl which right now feels more painful then breaking up with any guy? But I still believe in sisterhood & Bella your blog is a place where we can meet in a positive space filled with light and be affirmed… Continued blessings upon you…

  27. Hi Bella –

    Like alot of women, I’ve had negative experiences with other black women and other women in general. I don’t trust women that say they don’t like women and would prefer not hanging around them. In my experience, that type of female friend is the one that I end up having all the drama-full encounters with.

    I believe in sisterhood. I have 3 sisters and I belong to a sorority. I regularly support and befriend women. I think I’m able to do that because I like me and seeing another afrobella doesn’t threaten me at all.

  28. Ok I know this is a different convo….but I need help! Can anyone please help? I have type 4B hair and I am wearing braids now because my hair is just simply not manageable! In order to workout I have to have braids otherwise I would be “hot combing” my hair everyday. I can’t go back to the perm because no matter which perm I use or person I go to my scale is always getting burned! I am now ready to just shave it all off because I am tired of it. However, i really can’t do that because of the office enviroment I work in. I saw this young lady come into our office one day and her hair was so AWESOME! I ask if she had a perm and she said no and said her hair is all natural and her stylist flat irons it. So I tried to do this at home and ya’ll….I looked like “chucky”. I live in Atlanta. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!

  29. Bella, this is the first time (I think) that I’m posting a comment on your website, even though I visit it almost everyday. First of all, let me just say that as a fellow AfroTriniBella myself, I ADORE what you’ve done here on this site. It’s encouraging, to say the least.
    Secondly, if you’re a spiritual person, I’m here to tell you that when the devil sees something good prospering, he likes to throw roadblocks and distractions at you to set you back and get you down. So just know that you must be doing something good. Don’t let the negativity that was displayed get you or anyone else down. Just keep doing what you’re doing, cuz NOTHING in life comes easy…except salvation.
    Keep your head up Afrobella. A lot of us on here got your back!

    In reference to your question, I have had a friend (or a few!) treat me in a way that was VERY unexpected. But no one is perfect and without blemish. As far as sisterhood goes, I believe in it. But I also believe that we all have issues that probably would never get resolved because of what’s happened to us in our childhood, family, or ancestry. And that goes for brotherhood too. In a perfect world, you could expect everyone to do what’s right. But when we expect too much, that’s when disappointment gets an edge in. As long as we treat others the way we’d want to be treated, then we’ve fought half the battle that’s raging amongst the sisterhoods and brotherhoods.

  30. Hello Bella!!

    I am so sorry that negative engergy was sent you way but, I am glad that you did not say you would give up this site as I found it several weeks ago and look forward to reading the post everyday. It is very hard at times to keep the Sister thing going as you have just found out Women can be VERY catty. This is just why I have SELECTED girlfriends simply stated I am not up for all the drama!! Your points were right on and I hope that everyone who read you comments will truly “check” themselves. Don’t we as Women already have a hard time?? Why can we just uplift and support those around us?? Why ca’t we praise each other to success?? My hopes would be that we all stay in the Sisterhood and live by the golden rule, treat others the way you want others to treat you. My closing advice, if you want to sprew negativity perhaps you’d like to do it somewhere else because if I can be blunt this NOT why I come to this site.

    Much Love Bella from one Sistah to another!!

  31. I believe in sisterhood, peace, and charity. Of course, always found in blogs like yours, bella. But I also believe in realism; in the presence of brilliance there will always be shadows. We allow ourselves to degenerate when we take the harsh words of others too seriously. If Oprah or Jill Scott did that, they’d be popping all forms of antidepressants!!

    And, honestly, how can you not laugh at the idea of a curly weave?! On the owner of Curls?!! At an imaginary, nameless hair convention?!!! You just KNOW they’re lying! That’s what makes it so funny. Just looking at the idea objectively… how can you allow this much ignorance to make you upset? Rejoice, sisters! Those who try to tear away at us rip only at themselves. Rejoice, and laugh in the face of challenge. If those of us who have knowledge stick together we have nowhere to go but fowards.

    I still can not get over that someone actually posted twice under different names to back themselves up… that is truly sad!!!

  32. I can’ say that I’ve every experienced sisterhood per se, but I do believe that it is important to take time to build each other up as women, even on a one-to-one basis. I don’t really have that in my life right now, so I consider this blog a lucky find.
    I too was surprised/disappointed to read what the Curls feature devolved into, but sometimes things get that way. On other blogs, people use the shield of anonymity to say some truly hateful things, simply because they can. I think it made a real difference that you stepped in to say what is and isn’t acceptable on this site. I’m sure some people will think twice now.

  33. Bella,

    There are such things as toxic relationships and if you’re not being uplifted by a person you should let them go. Doesn’t matter if they are a sista or not. I’ve had to deal with this in my life, I had a sistafriend I had known since I was 13 and we got to be very close. But she felt we were in constant competition and she seized every oppurtunity to cut me down. After 11 years of friendship I had to let her go. I have found my black women friends are better when I barely see them and rarely talk to them. It sounds terrible I know. In the past year I had gotten very close to a co-worker of mine (black women at this company are few and far between) but since she is also sips the hater-aid (by her own admission) and spends so much time talking that she never listens, our relationship went from hanging out every weekend and talking everyday to polite greetings and email forwards. My best friends are my married male friend (whose wife doesn’t like me, of course) and my boyfriend.
    On a more positive note, I consider you my friend, Bella. Ever since I found your site in August, I check it compulsively and have been so excited to discover another black woman whose interests are similar to my own. It goes way beyond natural hair… It’s music, jewelry, clothes, lots of things. I wish you great successs with this blog and hope you continue blogging for a very long time. :)

  34. Hey Bella,

    I haven’t posted in such a long time, but I do read your blog every single day and I was amazed by the negativity going on in the Curls post. Ladies, why the hate?? I am a young women, and I have always had a lot of female friends. I have gotten burn in the past 3 years by two friends who I considered “sisters”. I’m an only child, so if you are my friend, you better believe I will treat you like the sister I never had. I treat all my female friends with love and respect and I expect the same back. Sometimes though, negativity and pure envy get in the way of a good friendship. In the past two months I have been dealing with a lot of jealous and spiteful females, who I considered at one time my “sisters”. I’ve learned it’s just best to let them talk; I don’t need negative, hateful people like that in my life. I believe in sistahood and it breaks my heart to see women tearing each other down or letting men come in between them.

    Bella, don’t let negative people affect you. You have an awesome blog, and a lot of people look forward to reading it every single day!

  35. byrdparker says:

    bella your site is great . don’t let them get to you ! just ban them , it is the internet crazy’s are everywhere , for this main reason i will never give my email, as like you I am spammed all the time , and i believe in privacy .

    bella you have power because u have this blog. i.e. u wrote this post, that u felt bad, now you have recieved all these comments trying to psychoanalyzing the people who posted the negative comments who they do not know, and also comparing these negative comments to thier own bad experiences in relationships.

    There is no sisterhood in business , please remember that ladies. Your asking people to make you wealthy, to buy your products , it would not surprise me if the competition decides to become an agent provocateur, or if people/ consumers want to challenge you. It is business and you can not take it personal …

    I believe in sisterhood , that is why i took the time out to write you a message, but if i was doing the same type of blog as you were doing , I guarentee perhaps you or I would get under each other’s skin , it’s competition only natural.

    To all the young ladies out there , friends are rare , I say you are lucky if you experience two true friends in your life . Most are just associates.

  36. checkymymelonie:

    I did not read any comments after yours so I’m pretty sure some have said what I am going to say. I agree with your post 100%. I am a business owner (not hair care products) and KNOW well that you must be smart enough to be diplomatic. I was soooo turned off by the afrobella of the week. Her response was just as offensive as her haters. I acutally believe thet the negativity started from HER and not the mean comments.

    The owner of the company should have just focused in on the positive comment and thought, behind closed doors about the negative ones and should have commented with caution. Bella, I LOVE YOU but you should have stayed out of it. I liked your first comment about how you did not want the board to become a negative one but thumbs down (way down) for giving out information on the ISP addresses. That information is private and should not be shared with ANYONE. Via my website, I get tons of information on those who visit but to share that information is inappropriate.

    You have a responsibility to your readers and your advertisers and that puts you in a tough situation, but the IP address thing is not cool. Having the same IP address does not mean much other than they were using the same computer which can be the case in libraries, copy places, internet cafes, schools,…

    I have considered advertising on your site. I love what you do here and am not trying to bash you in any way. I think you are an amazing person however, I feel as if I should comment becauses actions like yesterday have jaded my view on advertising here and buying afrobella of the week’s products. I’m not trying to hurt you or scare you but you CAN’T let what happened yesterday repeat! It was unprofessional on so many levels. You will always get negativity. From experience, I’ve learned that the best way to respond to it is to either ignore it or respond to it without coming across as sided and arrogant.

    I wish you nothing but the best. Your blog is by far one fo the best I have read in a long while. As for sisterhood. I don’t have many friends no matter the race. Jealousy runs in all colors. My response to haters, you have to learn to deal with it. Knowing who you are is all that is required. You will never please everyone and with each success you will loose some and gain some, but what is most importan is that you have pleased yourself.

  37. peace Bella…..the world should have more positive uplifting sisters like you…and like a girlfriend of mine says….that’s just the devil talking….Good can not be denied..the sun always comes after the rain…Do you sisthren …Cause you are fab…and you can take that to the Bank…

    Be Bless
    ps..and i think it’s the job of us a women to uplift each other…and anyone who is doing otherwise…is not loving who she is..!

  38. I love this site and look to it everyday as a breath of fresh air! It is great to see someone focusing on us as human beings and not publicity objects. I get sick of seeing gossip, lies, and overall dysfunction on some blogs. This is a beautiful site, and you are a beautiful woman for keeping it alive!

  39. Hey Bella,

    Don’t let the negativity get you down! Ignore those comments get you down because there are loads of people like me that love reading your blog and picking up your useful tips. And this is despite the fact that I live in the UK and can’t get my hands on most of the products you speak about – I just make my list and stock up when I come stateside.

    Kesp on girl!

  40. Thanks to all of you for your wisdom and warmth. This post wasn’t solely inspired by the comments issue, I’ve been going through some other stuff and it’s coloring my world view in a dark way. For the record, I have no intention of stopping this site, or being everything to everybody. I need to stay true to myself.

    I have so much to say, but I just want to address edub really quickly.

    I am sorry that the Afrobella of the Week debacle made you feel that way about my site. My husband is an IT administrator, and I asked him about IP addresses and discussed this with him about this before I said anything. Also, I deliberately didn’t say which people shared the IP addresses — I just put that out there so they knew I knew. It’s notable to me that they haven’t continued to comment on the site.

    Perhaps it wasn’t my place to point out or share with the public that I noticed that two of the negative commenters were sharing a computer, but to me, it destroyed the continuing accusations and put everything on the table. In all probability what I should have done (as Nichelle suggested) is delete all of the negative comments from jump. But even that, I’m not sure about. Because then I’m editing the content of my reader’s thoughts and not letting this be the dialogue I always envisioned, where there’s complete honesty and respect. But perhaps that’s just an ideal.

    I’m still new to this blogging thing and I’m sometimes unsure of my direction. I look at some of my inspirations, at the gossip blogs that I can’t stay away from… and their comments pages often become such a morass of negativity and criticism and off-the-cuff blather. I really don’t want that kind of thing here. I’m trying to find a balance. I hope you keep reading and someday give me another chance.

  41. Ok I know this is a different convo….but I need help! Can anyone please help? I have type 4B hair and I am wearing braids now because my hair is just simply not manageable! In order to workout I have to have braids otherwise I would be “hot combing” my hair everyday. I can’t go back to the perm because no matter which perm I use or person I go to my scale is always getting burned! I am now ready to just shave it all off because I am tired of it. However, i really can’t do that because of the office enviroment I work in. I saw this young lady come into our office one day and her hair was so AWESOME! I ask if she had a perm and she said no and said her hair is all natural and her stylist flat irons it. So I tried to do this at home and ya’ll….I looked like “chucky”. I live in Atlanta. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!

  42. Bella, I didn’t read all the comments but I just want to say that I absolutely love your blog! I hate that someone would post something like that. I for one was so excited when you wrote about the “Frog Princess.” As a matter of fact a friend of mine and I have been talking for years about writing a screenplay for a cartoon with a black princess. It’s needed. Young and older bellas need to see ourselves in that light and honestly the media has been seriously dragging their feet to do it. I’m happy someone finally did it. It’s about time! Your on time with the news as always!

    As far as sisterhood goes, I do believe in it. I’ve just expanded my group of sistahs to include non-black women. As a black women my greatest hurts in friendships have come at the hands of other black women. I believe that we as black women as a whole have been injured so much and have been raised to be so tough that it’s hard to have sincere, mutually respectful, self sacrificing, non-competitive, enduring friendships with one another. I’m not saying that it’s not possibly and I’m sure there are enumerable friendships like this going on everyday. Just in my experience I have found it harder and I haven’t seen it modeled well in the generation before me. I haven’t given up hope or energy though.

  43. flygyrl72 says:

    Oh Bella, don’t let it get you down. First of all, in this type of open forum, there’s gonna be some questionable exchanges from time to time, no getting around it. I personally, while a little taken aback at the silliness a couple of days ago, wasn’t offended or bothered by it. Secondly, people are people. Some are good for you, some, you gotta leave em where they at. Be it male or female, you have to be mindful of who you let into your inner circle. Now, while I do think that women reserve a special type of cattiness for one another, overall, hatin is hatin, no matter who is doin it for whatever the reason. Most times, it stems from that person’s own insecurity, so, it’s really them playing themselves out. Now, if it gets out of hand, then handle it, but most times, it’s not even worth feeding into any further. I judge everyone on an individual basis, be it man or woman, & until you do something to prove yourself untrustworthy, I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, I’ve gotten burned, but overall, I’m pleased w/ the results. Peace!

  44. Hello Bellas!

    The rude/ignorant/silly comments were just that!

    Bellas, today is a new day and with that said, it is time to recognize the things in life that keep us positive. Unfortunately, those who took the time to partake in such negativity robbed themselves of time that could have been used for anything uplifting, positive, and encouraging.

    In my life, there have been some sistas who were very close to me that hurt me to the depths of my heart. When I was younger, I couldn’t understand why someone would go out of their way to betray or hurt me. I have never been one to be malicious or catty, and I always treated others the way I wanted to be treated. It boggled my mind!

    I realized that some folks think that acting this way is acceptable and necessary behavior in relationships. I learned to maintain my composure and not stoop to their level. I learned that inside I am a good and wholesome person, and those attributes will only change IF I allow someone to get to me.

    I have few friends, some associates, and those who I am pleasant and polite with. One who says they have enemies is also saying that they accept that negative energy in their live.

    Afrobella, I’m new to this site and I love it! I am glad that you started this blog and greatly appreciate in valuable info you’ve shared with your fellow bellas! ;)

    Have good days everyone

  45. *the valuable

    I’m a stickler for grammar, didn’t want to make it seem the “info” was not valuable!

  46. Bella,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I guess I get sensitive when it comes to sharing “private” information even though, you are right, you did not give out who it was.

    I’ve thought a lot about your response. I hope that I did not hurt you in any way–that was not my intention at all. I guess, I was just turned off by the “bella of the week” ‘ s commnets. In all honesty, it was she who caused the majority of my uneasy feelings, not you–I should have clarified that earlier.

    Maybe it’s just me but she crossed the line by directly attacking your viewers and showed a very unprofessinal side. I get negative comments from my website ALL of the time, I could choose respond in the name of protecting my image but I know my product and stand behind my product, so I feel it uncalled for to get into an argument with someone who does not feel the same. I guess that I just wished that the business owner would have come at it different I would have been less turned off.

    This has nothing to do with you. In hindsight, perhaps your actions –revealing the ip address thingy did send a message to the negative commenters. I appreciate that! Two thumbs up for that!

    Continue to do what you do because you are soooo good at it. I wish you nothing but success! I am greatly sorry, If my earlier comment made you upset.

  47. As your sister & as a reader I take strong issue when persons write negative things about you or your site.

    Edub was right about how the “bow” reacted to comments.. it was most unprofessional behaviour and made me feel that she “has cocoa in the sun.” Both Dad and yourself are right that you need to look past such negatives & such people & just be your sweet self.

    I am not sure on blogging etiquette or even if there are laws about blogging BUT if it is your site, conceived, created & operated by you via hubby then you can and perhaps should censor or edit some things..rather like a newspaper editor would ..hint..hint *grin*.

    I will search this area of law as I am intrigued.

    Don’t let people make you stop doing what you enjoy doing & what more than 99% of your readership wants…and that is AFROBELLA! Hugs me

  48. I missed the drama from the other day but I did go back and read the comments. I am always shocked at how much drama can take place on the internet and how adults can behave like children.

    I love this site because it’s positive and uplifting, I don’t comment often but I guess I should start doing so more often.

    Personally, I think that when women, actually people in general find the need to hate on someone they should first figure out why they are doing this. It’s one thing to say that the products don’t work for you but it’s another to badmouth someone that you don’t even know.

    As a Black woman who does not have very many friends where I live since I recently moved I’ve decided to just encourage other black women as well. When I see someone with a beautiful healthy hair relaxed or natural I compliment them. If her dress or earrings or shoes are cute I tell her. Yes she’ll probably be shocked but think about the smile that goes across your own face when a complete stranger compliments you. It’s always bothered me that more often than not women of another race will compliment my natural hair but my fellow race doesn’t. But I actually had to look within myself and realize that I can’t expect women to do something that I don’t do either.

    Alright let me get out of your comment box. I enjoy all of your posts and I’ve learned so much from the site. Thank you for setting an example of how to uplift other Black women who are doing their thing in life.

  49. Big up and respect to all the true sisters out there. Bella, just brush di haters off and take yesterday as a needed lesson, your site is great and I’m on here everyday! Just do you. Now back to the topic, hell yeah I believe in sisterhood, we all need our sisters, the positive affirmation you get from another woman, the support, even the criticisms, that’s how you become a better woman!

  50. cassandra m says:

    Hey Bella, This site is wonderful and does quite a service — you should be proud of it and know that what you just saw with the Curls discussion is sometime part of the interactive landscape of the internet.

    I’ve been online for a long time (almost since Al Gore invented it! :)) and these kinds of flame wars just seem to happen. One thing to keep in mind here, is that the internet is a pretty important vector for niche vendors these days. There is a real embarrassment of riches now for curly and kinky girls, with vendors and artisans working hard at creating some of the best hair care products I think I may have ever seen — bar none– and that includes the pricey salon stuff. Many of the people who hang out here and in some of the curly forums are folks who will make their hair their hobby, which means that they try lots of stuff, which means that they talk about the stuff they’ve tried. They may qualify in marketing terms as “influentials”, so the stakes can be high.

    One of my best friends on the internet takes this as his guiding principle: On the internet, everyone knows you’re a jerk. Which is not to say that anyone here is a jerk, but it is to remind everyone that all we have here are our words — no body language or other mediating knowledge of each other — and it is way too easy to look at what gets said (I’m not Shakespeare, you know!) and go right to a worse case judgment.

    Ms. Bella, you ought to keep doing what you are doing. This is an awesome site and I come here every day. I think that what you did in warning those who were sock-puppet posting was just enough — they stopped posting, which is the idea. You may want to let folks know the circumstances under which you reserve the right to delete posts, so folks can manage their behavior accordingly. A heavy censoring hand at a promising blog is not healthy….

  51. knitnbytch says:

    Hey Bella,
    Just wanted to comment that I love your site and look forward to checking it on a weekly basis. I’ve even stopped visiting another website (I won’t mention the name but some of you all can guess) because of the mean and nasty comments posted. I like the positivity of your site, the fact that it’s not ALL about CELEBRITIES, and your writing about different genres of music, and now food. Anyway, I have been stabbed in the back by a lot of black women, some white and hispanic women. The only reason for this was because I associated with a lot of sistas, and when I was younger, I thought having a LOT of friends was more important than actually having a small number of GOOD TRUE friends. I don’t have a lot of friends, but at least the few I have will definitely have my back if something goes down.
    I read the comments from yesterday’s post and all I have to say is that neither person (anon and businesswoman) acted in a positive manner. Sistas will come together when we ALL start getting our personal issues in check. But I still believe in it.

  52. First off…bella I LOVE this site!! I’m so happy I found it. Ok napp swinging off…*SMILE*

    As far as the topic at hand–Not too long ago, I would have said over and over again that I couldn’t stand being around a bunch of women. My main reasoning: In general I believe that Black women are constantly competing. To me, that’s what fosters this unnecessary vindictiveness and this “let me one up you” mentality. I mean think about it between the scarce supply of Black Men, Natural vs Chemically Processed Hair, Light Skin vs Dark Skin, Black American vs African American, Fat vs Thin….the list goes on and on. We always seem to find SOMETHING to fight about. And it makes absolutely no sense. I’ve recently been gifted with a womens ministry (trust me I balked at this big time) so I will say that sisterhood is something that has the power to change our community. We have to be open to it and committed to affecting change to see this sisterhood of ours bloom into the greatness it once was.

  53. Hi bella & other afrobella devoted readers,

    Love the blog.

    Here is what I don’t understand. I have had negative, hurtful experiences with my family, does that mean I stop loving them?
    I have had negative, hurtful experiences with men, does that mean I stop loving them.
    I just don’t understand why we take situations and experiences (hurtful as they may be) that make up life and living and then decide that all of (insert gender, family, work) is bad.

    I really am puzzled.

    I love my family, my sista girl friends, my men folk and realize that some in these categories are okay, many are good, but the ones who are worth it are wonderful.

    and that’s…lovely.

  54. davina e says:

    Bella, I do believe in sisterhood.I also think that at time we are often to quick to call someone out friend and then when they hurt us we are surprised. But if we would have taken time to really get to know that individual the signs would have been there to show there true colors we were just so caught up not to notice it, or we just decidede to look the other way. I have been hurt in the past by so called girlfriends but in the end I realized they never had my best interst in hand. I can now say I have a wonderful circle of friends that I can truly call my sisters. No one is perfect in this world but there are people who try their best. Sometimes you just have to look at the bad and hurtful situations and learn and grow from them. All it can do and make you a better individual.

  55. This post says it all for me..
    http://afrobella.com/?p=90

    Bella, I totally and 100% agree with what your Dad says!

    Stay positive and you’ll be just fine, me dear, just fine!

    Peace & Love
    Anita

  56. Amen Sista! I am wit’cha on that. Sisterhood is a beautiful thing and I believe in it. I have been blessed with many sisters in my life although I do not have any naturally in my family. Every time I make a friend I try to be the best friend I can be. Maybe because of the fact I did not have any sisters of my own, I lay hold to being a good friend. I must admit it has not always be easy in relationships or just interacting with others in public. I have had those who were close to me betray me. For example, once I tried to help another female who ask me to let her stay at my place because she had no where to go, come to find out she was bringing everything she owned including her kids to stay a looooong time. She was kicked out of the shelter for women because of drugs and stealing. She was going from house to house. I was next. Another situation where I tried to help another so called sis by letting her stay at my home, she eventually moved in with my best friend’s boyfriend, got pregnant then married him.(In the same apartment complex). He kicked out my best friend.
    My best friend was outraged and thought I was in on it. I was cursed out. I have nothing against the homeless but I have been burned by those sistas who had no where else to go. I can’t stand drama like that. But you know,the best thing I could do was forgive, forgive, forgive. When I forgave them all the negativity I felt about the situations left and I begun to have peaceable life again. So Afrobella continue to sow good seeds, care for them, nuture them, like this blog and they will flourish.

  57. @ Emily. Do you want to wear your hair in its natural state or do you want to straighten it? And what exactly about your hair makes it unmanagable? Is it too dry? Full of knots? If its is too dry you need a moisturising conditioner. Nexxus Humectress worked for me. If it is full of knots, Giovanni leave in conditioner worked well for me too. It’s availible @ whole foods and they even have little travel size ones for about a dollor that you can try. Also suave makes a knock off version of the humectress that you can try. Also castor oil is a great emollient. Makes the hair feel great. I hope that this has helped you, but finding the right products takes a little trail and error. Everything does not work for everyone, no matter how great the product is.

    Peace and good luck Mama!

  58. I love this site, and I’m all about Sisterhood! I grew up with a grandmother, & mother who had strong relationships with their femail friends! I too carried on this tradition. I have had my longest friends since kindergarten I’m 29 so that is a long time.
    All relationships take work including friendships.
    I have way too much light and love to shine to get stuck on people who have hurt me. We must learn to forgive and move on! It is healthy!
    Don’t stop what you are doing.
    I do believe in freedon of speech but no need to personally bash anyone.
    I do think people should give their honest opinions of products because it helps me when im shopping.
    Onesty doesnt have to be negative!
    Blessings,
    Sunshine!

  59. No, I have not been burned by a woman I considered my friend. Not sure I beleive in sisterhood… never gave it much thought.

    Now that I think of it, most of my friends are guys, precisely because having too many women in your life invokes too much drama. This has been my experience, and is my opinion. Please don’t get offended and bent out of shape… ;)

  60. Most women give me a headache. A similar thing happened to me recently, so I’m happy you talked about this. Treat women kindly with grace and respect, but don’t let them push their negative energy and complexes off on you. Keep you head you girl and keep on posting!

  61. THANK YOU CANDY!!! I will take your advice on the conditioner. I have not permed my hair since summer 2006 and I am cutting the rest out when I take my braids out. My hair cannot handle a perm, nor my scalp. So I looking forward to growing my natural hair out (Shoulder length, which I have never been able to do) but I am speaking positive and praying over my hair to just heal and be! LOL Again, thank you candy for your response. Have a blessed day!

  62. Hey Bella,

    Coming in a little late, but I really wanted to comment.

    About five years ago, I lost my best-friend of 10 years. She truly screwed me over and caused me to not only lose her as a friend, but others as well. Over time, I healed, but the memories remain. I do have girlfriends that I am close with, but I sometimes find myself pulling back out of fear.

    At the current time,I don’t feel comfortable divulging my deepest darkest secrets to my girlfriends. I once had this with my former friend, and truly miss being able to have complete confidence in a person. It just takes time. I am hopeful, and I pray that others will be as well.

    ty!

  63. cassandra m says:

    More@Emily…I don’t know if this is kosher to do here, but have you taken a look at the boards over at naturallycurly.com? They even have a forum focused on your type of hair. I learned alot from these ladies when I went entirely natural, and I mostly lurked. But I started with a really good haircut, intensive conditioning for awhile, and obsessively trying various products. The work is finding a routine and products that work for you, but luckily, it is fun work! Tell us how it goes for you!

  64. Eni's Girl says:

    Hi Bella,

    This is my first post. I love, love your site. You should not give up. There is an old quote that says “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    I’m not saying the comments made were evil but just very passionate and in the end maybe came across as powerfully negative. Your positive nature and those of many of the other women (and men) on this site cancels out that negativity. But if you’re not here and all the other people who make this site hum with warm energy, then the negative folks win.

    I think if you and all the other upbeat folks keep on putting out those good vibes, eventually they will become enveloped with the positive vibrations too (I know, it’s a little idealistic but I believe it anyway. :)).

  65. Thank you Cassandra M! I am on my way to that site now! Not this is the positive sister site I love! Thank you god for Bella and birthing in her the creative ideas to bring forward into the cyber world.

  66. wow! what a response! i usually like to read the comments and feed off of those too, but there are too many this time, lol.
    i’m glad you did this post. i truly believe in sisterhood too. probably because i have 3 sisters and we are all close. when i hear of siblings that aren’t, it baffles me. but then i have to settle with the fact that that is reality for some folk. this bond between my sisters and I give me a ground for extending the love to other ladies. i believe in lifting each other up out here. it’s hard at times being a young, black, female, educated, and optimistic (believe it or not) and not getting respect from a number of channels and to turn around and getting the same hate from someone who looks like you. sad! i’m a part of your sisterhood bella!

  67. LBellatrix says:

    Emily, in the other thread I referred you to http://www.nappturality.com. With all due respect to NaturallyCurly, Nappturality is much more focused on type 4 hair (and, to some extent, type 3 hair) and ways to care for it without heat and chemicals. It’s also more focused on learning to APPRECIATE this hair type in its natural state, and this firm stance sometimes rubs people the wrong way. ;) But a lot of us 4′s are tired of being made to feel bad for wanting to wear our hair natural. Nappturality is full of nappy sisterhood.

    To the subject: Bella, you don’t need another person telling you to keep the faith, but I will anyway. :) I grew up in a house full of sisters and went to all-girl schools. I actually made it all the way to my 30s before I picked up on how SOME women tear each other down due to insecurity, etc.

    I still believe in sisterhood. I would never write off all women completely because of a few b****es. Just keep on staying true to yourself and your mission. I’m a fan!

  68. Continue to do your thing mama, don’t let the haters get in your way for every one person doing their thing, there is like 50 people tryin to tear them down, just do what you do and don’t pay them no mind!!much love

  69. Thanks LBellatrix I found a natural hair salon in the ATL ….wish me luck!

  70. JUstMYwOrD says:

    Bella, I really see your sincerity in promoting something positive for readers to digest, and I appreciate your energy…so don’t let the negative rob you of an ounce of your gift! I agree with your Dad (and how kool is it that your Dad supports you and reads your site?!–that’s awesome), the negative will always be there and to focus on it would cause you to get “stuck” and like I already said, you’re much too gifted for that. What you bring to your readers is appreciated. Although I see your reasons for wanting to explore the breakdown of sisterhood, I truthfully feel this will only have people re-hashing dark roads that lead to no where in regards to understanding why people in general spread hatred. Truthfully the reasons and root of any type of hatred, even self-hatred, would require a history lesson that most people don’t even care to explore–so you can’t force feed it to them. But their negativity is no reflection on the classiness of this site and next time, you do what you have to, even if that means deleting some people’s comments. The good news is, whether we’ve been victimized by an act of hatred or been the perpetrator of one, the solution to ending it is simple, and requires nothing but a made up mind, and the more determined the mind is, the more it will search for understanding as to how to effectively love our fellow sister/brother and move past/forgive the incidents of betrayal and deciet.

  71. Bella, Continue to do what you are doing because we love this site, as you can see. It’s sad that the few have to ruin it for the many of us who enjoy frequenting this site with rude and unecessary comments. Fortunately I haven’t seen any of them, and you have been doing an excellent job of keeping them out. I know that sometimes you get those occasional comments that slip through the cracks but remember, they are from people who do not want to move forward and prosper mentally, but rather bring you to their level. (but being educated you already know that Bella)

    As far as having black female friends, they are very hard to come by or even keep. I work with 16 other guys and 1 other girl (Samoan) and we get along fine but we dont hang outside of work. It’s so hard to meet other black women especially in Germany because they are so bitter because many of the black men here are chasing the German women and any woman is seen as competition or threat. The black women here seem to have turned against one another purely out of hurt. It’s sad here in Germany Bella. Very sad.

  72. Shaquana says:

    Peace to all the Afrobellas. I just discovered this site. Better late than never. Love it!
    I am a newly turned 30 year old honey hued Afrobella. I have been growing my locs since 94!!!!!!! I truuly believe in sisterhood. I love my sistas. They make me proud. I don’t have any biological sista’s but I feel a profound connection to womyn. I know negative things happen, especially in this era of competition and individualism. We are Queens, it is time for us to reclaim our rightful place. There is room for all of us to represent wherever we are. The universe is infinite. Let’s uplift each other.

  73. “Have you ever been really screwed over or hurt by a woman you saw as your friend, or as someone who should be your friend?”

    Yes. When it’s someone who you thought was a sista, it truly hurts worse. I’m sure a lot of sisters on the thread share experiences, so I will not elaborate today.

    “Do you believe in sisterhood?”

    Still and Yes. Despite the above.

    This site, for example, is a good example of it. So thank you for being here for us, bella.

  74. Im obtaining a browser error, is other people? When will you post again? You actually inform many people! Cheers with this blog post, it was great to see. Thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping exactly the same best product of your stuff later on as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my very own BlogEngine blog now. Truly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your article is a fine illustration of it.

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