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10 annoying ass things you deal with when you have visible tattoos

The experience that comes with getting a tattoo is usually pretty dope.

Brainstorming creative ideas, planning with your tattoo artist to perfect your vision, then alas, bringing your idea to life while bracing yourself for the possible pain to come with it.

The creativity wrapped in adrenaline brings forth a special atmosphere. And the final result is even more exciting.

This experience is even more thrilling when you get a tattoo that can’t easily be hidden. Having visible tattoos that anyone can see at any given moment is arguably a life changer.

As soon I got my tattoo that stretches from arm to arm and across my upper back, my entire identity changed. Naturally, I was the same person, but to the outside world, I was someone new. And with this perceived new identity, you tend to be met with a lot of annoying shit from people who are either intrigued or disturbed.

That said, here’s 10 aggravating things all of us tattoo-covered people are faced with.

Catching total strangers reading or staring at your tattoos.

There aren’t many moments that are creepier than feeling a stranger’s eyes trace over your body.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I caught someone I’ve never known or spoken to staring at my arms, head cocked to the side, mouthing the words of my tattoo.

Trying to cover up for job interviews.

I’d never be out here voluntarily wearing a long sleeve button up shirt in 85 degree weather… unless it’s required when chasing a check.

Normally I don’t care about how people judge me, but unfortunately, we live in a capitalist society and in order to make decent money sometimes you have to play the game.

I’ve had countless interviews during a blazing hot summer and had to walk around wearing a long sleeve shirt or blazer just to hide part of my identity to fit the ridiculous expectations of corporate America.

Dudes using your tattoos as a pickup line.

I’m disappointed in myself for not thinking this would be a thing until I actually experienced it about 10 times.

When I’m out, guys seem to think my tattoos are the cheat code to getting my number (or more).

I’ve basically handed them an opening and I kick myself every time it happens.

Guys will walk up to me using the same “I love your tattoos” followed by a few bland questions about where/why I got them done.

Thus eventually leading them to ask for my number. The usual approach isn’t too intrusive, it’s mainly the fact that the originality is lost in the art of trying to bag that pisses me off.

But was there ever really art in trying to bag in the first place?

Being asked to show off all of your tattoos on the spot.

Look, I want people to like my tattoos. I want people to be intrigued. I really do.

That said, what I don’t want is for people to inconvenience me by asking me to maneuver my shirt and spin around so that they can see the entire piece as if I’m on display at an art gallery.

People asking you to explain the meaning behind your tattoos.

I know a lot of people get tattoos in remembrance of a deceased relative or as a reminder of dark places in their lives which they survived. I am not one of those people (at least not yet … knock on wood).

“I got my tattoo because I liked it” just isn’t a fitting response for most people who ask my reasoning behind my body art. But guess what, it’s the truth. I thought it was cool, I liked it, I got it. Next question.

People showing you their tattoos that you didn’t ask to see.

Imagine being at one of your favorite food spots, trying to order food, and the cashier is holding you up because he’s showing you all of his tattoos after asking about yours. This has happened to me.

Please just take down my order for my double bacon cheeseburger and give me my receipt. I’m hungry and just want to eat. This is definitely one of the worst times to stall someone but it happens more often than not.

“What’s gonna happen when you’re old?”

When I’m 80 or above I’m going to be too busy feeling accomplished for surviving a crazy world to think twice about my wrinkled tattoos on my old wrinkly skin.

Nobody looks at old people with tattoos and says “wow look at her tattoos, what an idiot!” You know why? Because nobody cares.

Old people should be the last group of people to give two shits about what people think of them. You think they’re doing this to take tattoo removal before and after photos?

Senioritis in high school and college is nothing compared to senioritis in life. I’m looking forward to getting there.

People asking you to cover your tattoos for specific events.

Weddings, dinners, you name it.

A guy that I was casually seeing once told me that if I ever wanted to meet his mom I’d have to cover my tattoos. “Cover my tattoos?” I asked. “Nah, tell your mom to cover her eyes.”

Yeah, that didn’t end well.

Pretty much every assumption about your personality.

I’m the most fearful person that I know.

I’m afraid of the dark, I’m afraid to drive a car, I’ve never been on a plane or a rollercoaster.

And yet, some people assume that I’m this fearless person because I have tattoos.

I find it pretty amusing actually.

Any interactions with overly conservative people.

If you’re a minority in this world you already have one strike against you, so anything else that goes against the grain just adds to more discrimination.

Luckily, our society is becoming more and more accepting of people who aren’t conservative, straight white men.

Some people manage to slip through the cracks, though, and sometimes I’m met with cold stares from people that I know are seething in judgment.

That’s their problem, though.

8 things racists hate that you should never stop doing

One of my favorite things to do is make racists feel uncomfortable.

I’ve noticed a horrible habit in which minorities go above and beyond to prove to racists that they aren’t who they’re perceived to be.

Oftentimes this requires losing a sense of self in order to gain some sort of respect. But the jig is you won’t earn any true respect because racism still prevails despite your efforts.

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So, the solution? Stop looking for their approval. Racists don’t want to see us win. They don’t want to see us excel. The greatest way to defeat them is to do everything that positively affects us while not considering their opinion whatsoever.

This list could basically be endless, but here are 9 things that racists never want to see you do that you should never stop doing.

Having pride

Shout out to the activists like Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, and Assata Shakur for being so proud to be black that they didn’t care what it would cost them.

In 2018 it’s still a struggle to have pride in being black when there’s so much against us. We’re taught to desire anything but black culture until it’s appropriated.

Racist people find it offensive when you appreciate your culture as part of your self-worth.

It’s kind of like when that bully in elementary school got frustrated that he couldn’t tease you about being a nerd, because your reaction would just be “yeah I’m smart, you mad?”

Turning the other cheek

Please see below.

Sike, the real answer is standing up for yourself

The stereotypes about us weren’t created just to humiliate us — they were made to control us.

We’ve been brainwashed into behaving in ways that dispute the labels we’re given, just to avoid confirming what racists are going to think of us regardless.

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So many black women feel the need to bite their tongue rather than speak up for themselves in the workplace because they don’t want to seem angry. I say fuck that.

Seeking truth

Much of American history that’s taught in elementary school is pretty much bullshit.

Nearly everything kids learn about Christopher Columbus is a lie, and they even have the nerve to refer to African slaves as “workers”.

You’d think the lies would stop at the elementary school level since children are too young to understand when they’re being duped.

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But, unfortunately, we’re constantly being deceived by cable news and the likes of our own president.

It takes a bit of extra work to double check sources and stay up on what’s going on in the world. But it’s extremely important that we do so. Otherwise, we’ll simply be sheep.

Uniting with each other

There is power in unity. If everyone who is subjected to any form of discrimination and/or dehumanization were to support each other’s cause and truly empathize with each other’s struggle, it would be much easier for us to force real change.

Calling out injustice

Police brutality is nothing new but we can’t accept it as normal just because it’s been going on for years. It would be so much easier for them if we all swept these cases under the rug.

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Screaming Black Lives Matter makes a racist’s skin crawl. In the words of DJ Khaled, they don’t want you to think you matter.

Supporting black businesses

Not only does this create more jobs for our people but it benefits the black community as a whole.

Keeping profits within these communities allows us to maintain power over the well-being of ourselves and our neighborhoods.

Knowing your worth

Never settle for less because society brainwashes us to believe we don’t deserve as much as anyone else.

We have to work twice as hard to earn a seat at the table, but don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. If we continue to accept the cards we’re dealt we will never grow as a unit, and that is exactly what they want.

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I know all of these actions don’t necessarily make life any easier for us. Not yet, at least. It’s much safer to fall in line and not rock the boat, but then what do you gain from that? Who wants to live a “safe” life without any true freedom?

Even still, we are never truly safe as long as we’re being killed by police just because of the color of our skin.

The best way to defeat a racist is to live being your best self by your definition, not theirs. Racism may be alive but we will not let it win.

F*ck cuffing season: Single ladies, boss up and get you a starting five

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never come across a young guy, say under at least 30, who is actually searching for one woman to devote himself to. I’m sure those guys are out there somewhere, but I’m also not checking for them.

Let me give you a common scenario: You start talking to a new guy. He’s pretty cute, though maybe not the finest man you’ve ever known. It’s mainly his swag that’s got you hooked.

You like the way he moves. He’s into you but it’s subtle. He doesn’t try to convince you that he likes you or show how much. He knows you know.

Your desire for affection is normally pretty low because most dudes do too much, and you get easily annoyed. But this guy is too smart to overdo it. Good morning texts aren’t his thing but sporadic forehead kisses are. A nice balance.

Sometimes when you want to see him he says he’s busy. What the hell? “I’m busy” is supposed to be your line. Dammit, he’s good.

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Besides the occasional hiccup, you guys are vibing. Dope conversations and even better sex. Now all of a sudden you’re wanting more attention than you usually do. You start thinking, maybe I want him all for myself?

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Suddenly you’re curving other guys who’ve been showing interest.

Now you’re stuck on dude and he knows it. But guess what? There’s at least one other woman who’s been experiencing the same exact thing … with your dude. Technically he’s not in the wrong cause he’s not really your dude.

Now you’re sick.

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You’re mad at yourself for catching feelings. Don’t be. Your only wrong move was ignoring other guys for a dude who isn’t yours off the strength that you liked him the most.

Having feelings for someone isn’t a bad thing if you know how to manage them. Once you realize you’re into someone, don’t immediately assume they are the person you should be with. Basically, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

What you need is what I like to call a starting five. And no, you don’t need literally five guys to play the field with, but you should have multiple.

Most of the guys you deal with are juggling multiple women. Dating is basically a circus. Why get juggled when you can be a juggler?

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There are so many benefits to playing the field: You’re keeping your options open. You stop attaching your idea of love to one person who may or may not feel the same. And overall, you’re maintaining full control over your dating life.

The power lies in nobody’s hands but yours. You won’t find yourself tripping over one guy not texting back when there’s another dude already on his way to scoop you up for a date.

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Until the guy you’re seeing is proving that he’s ready to be cuffed, ease up on your expectations. Go see what else is out there. And for those of you who think it’s close to impossible to find more than one guy that you could genuinely like, I get it.

We’re surrounded by guys with ill-intent or lack of substance. Even when he’s sincere in his efforts and personable, maybe the chemistry is off. Either way, it’s difficult to find a true connection, so when you think you found it you get a little ahead of yourself.

The problem is, most of these guys aren’t pressed to find a connection yet. Even the good ones. Sure, he likes you, but he’s chilling.

If there’s a connection then he probably isn’t pressed to look for other women, but if it happens then he’s going with it.

Sometimes you wish you could do the same. And you can, but you have to want it. The problem is more revolved around your reluctance to be available than a shortage of eligible men.

And at the end of the day, none of this dating shit really matters. Grind, focus on your passions and personal growth, and find all of the things that bring you happiness.

All these dudes (your main included) are just the side piece in life. Treat them as such.

Are rose petal blunts really the new wave? Ya girl investigates

I’m gonna start this off with a quick confession: I’m an avid weed smoker who doesn’t know how to roll. Half of it is because I’m too lazy to learn, and the other half is because I don’t like tobacco so I avoid blunts (with the exception of a cyph with the homies).

Also, I lied. Every so often, I’ll smoke hookah (a disgusting load of tobacco … just say no kids). Anyway, this isn’t about me. Pay attention.

One of Twitter’s latest gems is this video floating around of homegirl showing us how to roll a blunt with rose petals.

Our girl Sasha shows us the process step by step. Problem is, ya girl uses a broiler for the petals. I don’t know about y’all but most of my Backwoods loving friends don’t have time for all that.

They’re usually rolling up on a random street or a rooftop of a building that they shouldn’t even be on. The goal is to have the blunt ready as soon as possible because shit is already hot-boy. Throwing a big ass oven in the mix just complicates the process.

Rose petal blunts are dope in theory, but are they really for everyone? My guess is no. There’s definitely a time and place to give it a shot, and I do think it’s worth a try.

Question is, when is the time and where should you try this? Obviously you need a kitchen, so if you live with your parents and they don’t know that you smoke, don’t try this at home. Unless, of course, you have some weird-ass explanation for cooking rose petals in your mom’s oven.

Here’s a good scenario: You have a girl coming by for the first time to chill at the crib. You have the vibes all set — vanilla scented candles burning, lights dim, music playing while the Netflix home page sits idle on your TV screen.

There’s a small tray on your coffee table. On it sits a lighter, an ashtray, and the beloved rose petal blunt that you prepared right before she arrives. Once she shows up, she’s fairly impressed with the atmosphere. After some time, you light the blunt and pass it to her, nonchalantly.

She hesitates, you tell her it’s just rose petals, eventually, she hits the blunt and boom — she’s in awe. The combination of the charred red petals and the floral taste is lethal. She’s in a trance and she’s loving it. Congrats, you’ve got her hooked.

Or, she’ll see right through the bullshit and laugh at you. She’ll still smoke the blunt though, ’cause why turn down free weed? Once you’re both high, you’ll laugh and low-key think “damn, this rose petal blunt is kinda lit, though.”

It’s a win-win.

But here’s my next question — where are you getting these roses from? You’re not going out of your way to buy overpriced roses just to experiment rolling some blunt that will most likely fall apart.

Ladies, if your man fucks up and buys you flowers as a sorry then that’s the perfect time to try this. Especially if you’re like me and you think flowers are a pointless gift. Smoke your sorrows away and hit up your side dude. Suddenly, those flowers have a purpose.

Or, for happy couples, perhaps this can be a Valentine’s Day tradition? What else are you really doing with those roses anyway? They’ll be dead in less than a week.

No matter the reason, I’m all for giving this a try. It’s harmless and original. And who knows, maybe it could end up being your go-to for blunts.

19 years later, ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ is still influential

If I asked you your thoughts on Lauryn Hill right now, many of you would immediately mention her tendency to show up dumb late to one too many performances.

And while I can’t be mad at you for that, I still have to remind you exactly who the f*ck Ms. Lauryn Hill really is.

Before SZA’s Ctrl, before Solange’s A Seat at the Table, before Lemonade, we were blessed with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

The art of creating a masterpiece inspired by a broken heart wasn’t invented by Lauryn, but she mastered the craft effortlessly, and she did it on her first solo album.

While Lauryn paints a picture of struggle, pain, and heartache, she’s been quoted saying that it was mainly betrayal that inspired her work.

“The album is not about me bein’ upset about a love lost. It’s not even really about bein’ upset about bein’ stabbed in the back.”

I was six years old when The Miseducation dropped on August 25, 1998. I’ve grown with this album, each year being able to understand it a little more than the last.

I remember listening to “Ex-Factor” (track #3) on repeat 10 years after it dropped, a naive 16-year-old girl who had no clue what being in love even felt like. However, Lauryn made me want to know.

She showed us the ugly side of love, not that fairy tale bullshit. I damn near wanted my heart broken just so I could feel her pain.

Eventually, I got exactly what I wished for and everything came full circle as I found myself listening to The Miseducation as I cried myself to sleep, finding comfort in knowing that my hurt wasn’t an isolated experience just for me.

Lauryn bared her soul and the rest of us were hooked. The Miseducation broke the first-week sales record for female artists and sold over 420,000 copies in its first week.

Lauryn didn’t only break barriers for women, though. Her solo album was also the first hip-hop album to win a Grammy for “Album of the Year.” With all the notoriety her album received, it was a surprise to me to see that the Fugees didn’t initially support her solo career.

Apparently, she dipped off on the group after seeing that they were working on everyone’s solo album but her own. She was quoted saying, “I don’t wanna f*ck with them, I just wanna get a whole new crew.” Yeah, that’s a Jersey girl for you.

Before her complete departure, she agreed to lay the hook down for the song, “Ready Or Not.” She stormed out of the session in tears, but we were given a musical gem. Rumors continued to spin surrounding her relationship with Wyclef.

He was married at the time and apparently, she led him to believe that the child she was pregnant with was his. He made it known that he was flying out to be by her side to bring this new child into the world. Was Lauryn’s secret propelling her art?

Was one of the most impactful artists of our time a “side chick”? It definitely made me listen to “Zion” a little more closely.

The child ended up being fathered by Rohan Marley, Bob Marley’s son, whom Lauryn had begun seeing at the time of the promotion tour for The Score. Messy. Wyclef wasn’t trying to let that go.

“I was married and Lauryn and I were having an affair, but she led me to believe that the baby was mine, and I couldn’t forgive that.”

Lauryn smartly never spoke directly on the matter. She only covered it through song. Through her lyrics, she alleged abuse, rejection, and thoughts of suicide:

“You see I loved hard once, but the love wasn’t returned, I found out the man I’d die for, he wasn’t even concerned…Diamonds deserve diamonds, but he convinced me I was worthless…I was God’s best contemplating death with a Gillette, but no man is ever worth the paradise manifest.”

Basically, Clef did a number on her. This ongoing lover’s quarrel was a testament to the hottest love having the coldest end.

Clef continued to throw shade on her claiming that he was the mastermind behind the Fugees and proof was that she wasn’t able to produce anything outside of The Miseducation.

It’s still unclear whether it was Lauryn’s rebellion or Wyclef’s need for control and credit that led to the breakup of the Fugees. Ultimately, it gave her the confidence to step out on her own and create the lyrical masterpiece we have today.

Lauryn went ghost for what seemed like a decade. She refused to do interviews and she was rumored to be dealing with bipolar disorder, growing tired of the shady dealings of the music business, and searching for spiritual direction.

In 2013, Hill was jailed for tax evasion. She had multiple disappearances from the spotlight, erratic performances, lawsuits over songwriting credits, and an array of other issues. Shorty had a lot on her plate.

She was actually in jail when The Miseducation turned 15. Now that it’s a year shy of being 20 years old, we can only revel in the messiness that contributed to this masterpiece.

Lauryn has since re-emerged on the scene, giving EDM vibes at Afropunk and headlining shows with Nas and Dave Chappelle.

I’m here for it, Lauryn.

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14 throwback tweets from Rihanna that remind us she’s the realest

It goes without saying that Rihanna is a force to be reckoned with in the music world.

By February of 2017, our girl tied Michael Jackson for third place in most top ten hits of all time. She’s not even 30 yet, keep in mind. Oh, but this bad ass Bajan won’t stop just there. Rihanna is multi-faceted, you see.

In August 2016, she received MTV’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, also known as the Lifetime Achievement Award. Then, just this past February, Rihanna was named Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year.

She started her nonprofit, the Clara Lionel Global Scholarship Program, for Caribbean students to attend college in the US. Rih also built a center for oncology at a hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados for diagnosing and treating breast cancer.

She’s practically out here saving lives, and most definitely helping to better quite a few.

Aside from that, Rihanna is an undeniable trendsetter and arguably the most influential pop star today. If anyone’s got the Midas touch, it’s Rihanna. Sure, Missy Elliot made wearing garbage bags look fire in a video, but if Rihanna wore a garbage bag to the Met Gala I’d put money that she’d be crowned best dressed yet again.

Rihanna is loved for many reasons, but above all else, she’s loved because she’s real as f*ck. Her authenticity is damn near unmatched. And even if you don’t agree, I doubt she gives a fuck what you think. But that’s the beauty of it all.

From clever clapbacks to just keeping it a buck, Rihanna pretty much dominated Twitter back in the day. She spoke her mind with ease and never dared to delete a tweet. In other words …

Here’s 15 tweets from back in the day that should remind you just who tf Rihanna is, in case you forgot.

Rihanna goes hard for Lebron, and for good reason.

She’s unfazed by blog sites, cause well, she’s THAT bitch.

She’s eternally grateful for her fans.

And loves her haters just the same.

Feminism at its finest. Let em know, Rih.

The realest prayer you’ll ever hear.

Once again, Rihanna cannot be fazed.

Remember her ill clapback at Ciara?

The real ones aren’t afraid to apologize, though.

Ya’ll ain’t know Rihanna had bars?

Bitch better mind her business.

Rih loves those cheddar biscuits just like the rest of us.

We miss you too Rih, we miss you too.

And at the end of the day, she’ll still hit you with some encouragement.

Rihanna may not use her Twitter as much as she used to, but we will never forget the brilliant tweets she blessed us with in the past.

Luckily she’s graced us with so much more while time has passed, whether it be her dope feature on Kendrick’s ‘LOYALTY’ or shutting down this year’s Met Gala.

As of late we’ve all been focused on her effortless ability to pull off the thick look, all natural of course. Not many can gain a few and be praised for it, but Rihanna is transcendent of judgement.

We’re living in a scary time in this world, but if there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Rihanna will never disappoint.