Nicole Bettis

A lot of us have questions about relationships, coming out and family issues, but we just don’t feel comfortable talking to the people in our circle. Fears of being judged and mistreated are enough to stop any of us from seeking the advice we need. I know. I’ve been there. I didn’t have a space where I was free to ask whatever I wanted and receive great feedback, but you do. This article is dedicated to you. You can ask absolutely anything you want from “how to tell her you like her” to “where to tie the knot.” You can even write in anonymously. It’s totally up to you. There are no limits. In each issue you will receive advice from yours truly and maybe even realize that there is someone else out there in your exact situation. If I haven’t been there, I know someone who has. Coming from where I’m from, that means a lot.

Nikki, I know this sound sounds kind of stupid, but I really need to know what I can do to become beautiful. I’ve went on diet after diet, but compared to the models in the media I’m still a big fat slob! I hate the way I look!

Ashley 21, female
Baltimore, MD

You only hate the way you look because it differs from what the media say is beautiful. I don’t want to sound harsh but, seriously, I think you should stop focusing on what society’s beauty standard is and focus on your own. That’s what I had to do! Come on, I’m African American, dark-skinned with dark kinky hair and dark brown eyes. Society as a whole still hasn’t realized my beauty, but I have patience. I know that one day they will see the same Afro-centric, chocolate-toned women with sexy coiled hair, and coffee brown eyes that I see. And, if they don’t, oh well! Love yourself enough to find YOUR beauty, instead of blindly following society’s criteria…. You don’t owe society a thing.

Nikki I’m a dominant female and I dress the part. I went to Lexington Market the other day and a man came up to me asked me what NAACP meant, when I told hi,m he said he was surprised I knew. When I asked him what he meant, he said, “A lot of you people don’t know what NAACP stands for, but as soon as you people have a problem y’all come running.” Later, I found out that he was actually a board member! I think he was way out of line. Should I write a letter to inform the board of his actions or am I overreacting?

Jaydee 26, BLACK Female
Maryland

Jaydee, if I were you, I would write the letter! He was totally out of line. Do you know his name? Be sure to include that, along with the time and date of this incident in the letter. I think it’s so sad that some people that are in positions to help others choose to judge them instead. Although you know what the acronym stands for, I’m sure there are people who don’t, and that does not make them bad people! So, in my opinion, he should have been giving info about the organization to people instead of forming opinions about them.

My girlfriend and I have been arguing constantly for about a month now. She has even hit me a few times. I really think we should see a counselor be she refuses. What should I do?

Kim, 36, female
Washington, DC

Kim, the hardest thing to realize about being in a relationship is that you can only change you. Sounds simple enough, but so many of us stay in a relationships in hopes of changing the other person. When it’s all said and done, we’re the ones left crying on the sofa watching Lifetime, wondering what the hell we did wrong. If you think seeing a counselor will help, go and see one. Maybe by taking the first step, she will figure out that you’re serious or you’ll figure out that you’re better off without her.

Tags: abusive girlfriend, NAACP, Weight issues

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