Tiffany Haddish: The Last Black Unicorn

As a supporter of black television shows and movies, I believe watching some of the latest films starring or created by black people a necessity to maintain my black card. Some of the recent films that hit theaters within the past year included the thriller Get Out produced by Jordan Peele; the play turned movie about father son relationships, Fences starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington; Hidden Figures, the story of three influential black women in NASA; the story of black men and uncovering their sexuality, Moonlight; and the summer adventure movie Girls Trip starring Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Jada Pinkett.

Despite the recent snub by the Golden Globes 2017, as mentioned by none other than Jada Pinkett herself, Girls Trip has proven what the power of  women supporting films created by and about women, black people supporting films created by and supporting black people, and what can be done with a small budget, a great story and amazing acting. After watching the movie with tears in my eyes from laughter, I am not surprised that the $20 million budget movie became a $138 million success. The movie was a hilarious depiction of what would happen if the Girlfriends series had a baby with the movie Hangover. It’s a story of rebuilding broken friendships, supporting friends through financial and relational problems, and being grateful for the ones who have always had your back, all while having fun and embracing black culture in the city of New Orleans. Although all of the ladies starred in the movie were amazing, Tiffany Haddish, with her larger than life personality, insanely hilarious commentary and reckless acts was the source of much of the laughs in the movie. From grinding on P. Diddy to teaching us what can be done with a grape fruit and a fine man, the 38 year old comedian and actress became the breakout star of the movie.

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Tiffany Haddish was, as a family member once told me, “an instant success that only took ten years”. However, since Girls Trip, her fame has skyrocketed with successes including her HBO Special, becoming the first black female comedian to host SNL and most recently her book, The Last Black Unicorn. Despite her comedic SNL skit as a future predicting black unicorn with Leslie Jones, her book takes her readers through a range of emotions from happiness to fear to anger to redemption and more. Trevor Noah in his interview of Tiffany Haddish on December 7, 2017, emphasized how great this book was and highlighted just how insane Haddish’s life has been. This book does not disappoint.

It is common knowledge from her interviews that Tiffany Haddish was once a child in the California foster care system which further stole the hearts of many with her Cinderella story. However, her book extends far beyond demonizing the system and those involved with it with the usual stereotypes of neglectful evil parents to lost cause children to indifferent social workers to careless foster parents collecting checks. Haddish put a face on a system that we prefer to ignore. Her heart wrenching relationship with her mother shows the diversity in paths to how children end up in foster care. I believe we in the United States mentally file foster care as the unfortunate outcome of a few bad apples that was self inflicted. However, Trends in the Foster Care System recorded by Children’s Bureau statistics tell a different story. As of 2016, there were approximately 687,000 children served, 118,000 waiting for adoption and 57,200 adopted. These numbers don’t even scratch the surface of each child’s story before, during and after their lives in foster care.

Haddish’s relationships with the men in her life are so emotional, so dysfunctional and for many who have experienced abuse on any level from verbal to physical, so familiar. Unlike other domestic violence survivor stories that write those moments in the Tyler Perry style where they graciously found courage after one last traumatic moment to escape that situation (which is a type of story that many need), Haddish’s story was as if it had happened yesterday. In her book, Haddish became the best friend that made all the wrong, impulsive decisions. If you don’t have that friend, either your life is incredibly boring or you might be that friend. Either way, Haddish’s willingness to open her life to readers in a way that feels real and recent is what many victims of abuse may need. Leaving an abusive relationship is not always a clean cut or easy decision for those invested in that relationship, and Haddish’s story is just one example of the difficulties of leaving.

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Her life as a comedian was equally an emotional roller coaster as her personal life. She may have started her comedic career  as a teenager, but by no means was her success or involvement was a steady, consistent climb to the top. Her story as a woman trying to make it in a man’s world (or so we’ve been falsely taught) is one that resonates with all women with goals of making it big in any industry.

Her book was genuine and more like a long conversation with Tiffany Haddish herself rather than an autobiography. The book itself was short and the words were so conversational, I read it in a weekend. I now understand Trevor Noah’s excitement in pitching this book.

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FKSP A Fashion Testimony

The search continues for black owned brands as I came across the Style Pantry Instagram page by Folake Huntoon. As mentioned in a previous post, my style can be described as a more colorful and form fitting Olivia Pope style with sleek cuts and usually minimalist patterns. This style is exactly what Style Pantry embodies. Folake’s high-waisted shirts and pants can be worn everywhere from business meetings to classroom settings to semi-formal events to date nights. I have been following this Instagram page for about a year, and each post has yet to disappoint with its slayage.

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Many of her styles came from her original line Loft324 founded by herself. Similar to her Style Pantry Instagram page and blog, Loft324 pieces were everything I could ever want in a wardrobe. To my disappointment, my first shopping experience involved the constant message on each piece I liked being out of stock.

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Despite my disappointment, I continued to follow style pantry for style inspiration.

Many moons (in reality about 2 months) later, I found Loft324 has become FKSP. Despite the name change, the Los Angeles based online store is still filled with the sleek, sexy and elegant styles I love. As a post graduate student, finding this site where the prices were majority under $100 for quality pieces was a blessing.

I decided my first step to maturity would be to place my tank tops, crop tops and hoodies in the back of my closet and add more button ups and blouses to my wardrobe. Of course, FKSP had just what I was looking for. one of the models wore a beige pussy bow tie button up blouse matched with a bright orange A line skirt. The shirt was $42 plus $10 shipping, and I received it within a 2 week period of ordering it.

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At first glance holding the blouse, I was nervous about the quality of it after holding it to the light and being able to see through the shirt. However, I wore the shirt for a teaching assignment and went through the ultimate wardrobe test.

What better test of the longevity of any item than seeing its ability to withstand the wrath of a stain.  I would not recommend actually pouring anything on your clothes to see what happens, but if the fashion gods decide to give you a test for a testimony, just go with it. So, here is my fashion testimony. Of course, I eat in my car on the ride to work everyday without dropping so much as a crumb. . . until the morning I decide to wear my newest pieces. You can imagine my horror and despair as a quarter size drop of deep purple jelly from my soy nut and jelly sandwich lands directly on the bottom of the attached scarf. Really the stain looked something like this. . .

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But it felt like this. . .

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By the grace of the fashion gods I happened to have class in the science classroom which included its own set of sinks. I rushed to the sinks like a Grey’s Anatomy scene and drenched the edge of the scarf in cold water 10 minutes before the start of first period. I thought I’d be walking around like a G rated wet t shirt contest for the majority of the day, but to my joy, by the beginning of second period  the shirt was completely dried and the stain was gone.

 

Just like any relationship, there will be hard times to test the fate of the relationship, and this jelly test showed the start of some awesome outfits with this shirt (once I watch enough YouTube videos to figure out how to properly tie this bow).

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