Pickn’ Part 2

How's it been going since our last conversation about picking? Did you do your own research about the condition? I urge you to always do your own research because to follow blindly is not wise. Never the less I found that when I keep my nails neat and polished I'm less tempted to bite away from my cuticles and pick the skin off my fingers until they bleed. I actually do my nails at home because it's cost-effective. I noted If I go more than a day without reapplying my nails or nail polish I will wreck my hands out of habit.

As hard as I try, I can't stop myself from ruining my hands. And does it hurt! The soreness lasts for days. Now I have to hide my hands out if fear of someone questioning me. Childdddddd it's too much now. One more thing to be anxious about. So no wait a period of fixing chipped nail polish or replacing my press-on nails.

I don't berate myself about it as I have in the past. I'm aware of why I peel the skin off my fingers and sometimes my lips. Anxiety concerning my future and the well being of my family. That was the first step in my healing process of overcoming this habit. I'm aware of the trigger and the second step is figuring out the solution. Talk about it to my love ones. Share my experience.

Don't berate yourself for that's additional unnecessary stress. We are trying and that's an accomplishment. Pay attention to when you want to pick. What is the root of the action? Do you need to talk to someone about the cause of the picking?

Love yourself enough to get out of the situation that causes you to pick. Stay consistent on your healing path. Some days I succeed sometimes not but I don't stress myself. Each period gets longer and longer that I don't have the urge to damage my fingers out of anxiety which is nothing but fear in a cloak. One day at a time. We got this!

Pickin’

My job as a Model is to give an illusion of whatever the clients want to sale. However, if you look close enough you will see that I'm just like you or someone you know. The closer I get to personal freedom, I'm finding I'm able to talk about my ish. One of my goals this year is to break free of self-imposed chains. I want to be free to feel free. The only way for me to do this is to let myself feel, to let you all in big gushy hugs to those dealing and willing to break free of self-imposed chains.

 

My mind doesn't hush

I pick, I nibble, I chew, I spit

A bowl of acid molded and shaped by fear and doubt awaits the findings

Nervousness grows as the sky blushes pink cause the evenings hold my weaknesses

Mindless nibbling, a habit I can't seem to deny

Ouch I picked too deep

The tears cry little perfect tears leaving an acrid copper taste on my tongue

Guilty I stare at the deformity I have created over the years

Yet, I can not find the will to stop

Such a minor detail that thankfully no one has taken notice

You won't let me off my birthed blueprint So I continue on this unclear windy road And I pick, I nibble, I spit

Cairo Williams

For more information about Skin Picking https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/skin-picking-disorder/

What is chronic skin picking?

Chronic skin picking is where you can't stop picking at your skin.

can't stop picking your skin

cause cuts, bleeding or bruising by picking your skin

don't always realize you're picking your skin

pick your skin when you feel anxious or stressed

You may pick your skin with your fingers, fingernails, teeth or with tools like tweezers, pins or scissors.

Bleaching

In the days of anything goes there are pluses and minuses, as with anything else. On the one hand, people feel freer to express themselves as they please. On the other hand, where do we draw the line between self-expression and self-hate? In my opinion skin bleaching rest on this fine line. As I see skin bleaching become more and more noticeable in Black American culture, I stop and ask myself “what is the root of this”? I ask myself for purposes of understanding and not of judgment.

I remember growing up in the 80’s and 90’s when ladies shamefully wore hair extensions to lengthen and thicken their hair. No one wanted to admit to wearing a weave. It was an honor to rock your natural hair, eyes, body, washed face (no makeup), and yes skin color. In the 90’s light skin men jokingly “went out of style” with Al B Sure and we were proud to embrace the motherland. Being black was the thing to be. Artist like Brandy, Foxy Brown, and even reggae artists such as Patra we’re at the top of the charts. They were viewed as bronzed goddesses. Multi-faceted flavors of the black were also represented in tv and movies.

Somewhere between then and now we’ve succumbed to the messages that we weren’t enough as we are. That the way our hair naturally grew out of our head was considered “unkempt “ or “nappy”. That our skin color was undesirable, threatening, and something to feel inferior. I’ll argue this movement of “light skin is the right skin” happened long before any of was born.

I say this because I am an avid, self-proclaimed documentary junkie. I’ve always been interested in how other people live. Looking at people of color all around the world it appears that these same messages were bestowed upon all people of color. Even in countries such as India, Brazil, oh and yes Mother Africa. “Light Skin is the right skin” has been taught and widely accepted. In reality, ore skin bleaching products are sold in Africa and The Caribbean’s than anywhere. Still, ’ve watched a lot of our American celebrities get lighter and lighter over the years. Some own up to it and others don’t.

The way my brain works it was natural for me to search for the commonalities amongst people of color around the world and their insecurities with skin color. In my observation, was able to pinpoint that any country that has been colonized experiences this skin color inferiority complex. So my next question is how do we reverse this over 400-year brainwashing project? Is it too late? If not how can we get to the point where we demand inclusivity of ALL hues of black, brown be represented in mainstream media. As of right now, 'm not sure of the answer to this. I'm always up for a discussion and different points of view on this matter.

 

Clock and Flow Relocates to New York!

photo credit: photodune
photo credit: photodune

Well hello my friends! Anything new going on in your lives? Did you implement your fresh plan of action to elevate your careers? I have. I’ve relocated Clock and Flow to New York. Bam! No fear. Lies! Fear reared it’s stinky head but I decided to get to the root of it because after making my pros and cons list, I did not have one con of moving to the fashion capital of the world. There’s a reason I reverted back to the bad habit of biting my nails, destroying my finger tips by picking at my cuticles until they bled. I analyzed my every thought and talked it out with my close loved ones. I was still holding on to past traumas that I associated with living in New York. Ugh another layer of healing is needed. It seems this life is full of self discovery, growth, and healing practices.

The best thing I can do for myself is to look at those situations as aides in helping me become a better person by taking responsibility for my actions. I’m not saying I was at fault entirely but I’ve been led to understand that I have a choice to accept the behavior of others. I must respect myself enough to set personal boundaries. If I seek it, help will come. Now I could breathe and move without hesitation after the turmoil settled. I understood.

It’s been one week since I joined my management team YBLimited in NYC. A blessing was bestowed upon me and I got a pretty cool apartment. The accommodation is nothing like Atlanta. Yet, the freedom to express myself trumps what I’ll miss from my home state of Georgia. People going out of their way to praise my style or whatever it maybe that attracts them is a form of acknowledgement. If you know anything about New York residents, they are so focused on where they are going they don’t pay attention to anyone. They mostly mind their business because they just don’t care. I love that.

I’m where I need to be to continue elevating my modeling business Clock and Flow and my own career as a working Model. Visit me here to get updates about my new experience in New York. Share with me your progress as well. We’re in this together. The best way to stay sane in this fickle industry is to form a tribe that will keep us lifted. Stay Clockin and Flowin!

Reality Check: Life of a Working Model

    “I want to Model. How do I get started?” Model Coaches get this question all time. Trust me when I say we do not take anyone serious when this is your first question. It is a basic question that take only a few minutes to google. When you are truly interested in something, do you not research first? Raise your hand if you did not google Game of Thrones or Wendy Williams this week? The growth of Instagram models has resulted in the rise of models in every category who at the top end can make millions a year through the endorsement of products. This is not an easy accomplishment.

Starting today think of yourself as a brand. Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly.
• What is branding?
• What is my point of view in fashion, beauty, and any other interests I may have?
• How many hours and days can I commit to branding and marketing?
• Where will I receive training?
• What type of Model am I?

     These questions and answers should help you understand yourself so you can brand correctly. My modeling career began before social media was used in the fashion industry. We relied heavily on our Agents and Managers to secure us work. No longer my queens and kings. You must put in equal amount of work with your team. Think of it as a collaboration. The more hands invested in networking on your behalf and sending you out on auditions the better chances you have in creating a buzz behind your name. Take some initiative. No one will work harder for your brand than you. When the check writers see you’re actively involved in your success, they are more likely to trust that you have the know how of today’s standards in “selling” their products. So, you see, life as a working Model isn’t glam all the time. You must put in hours of training and work.
Good luck out there! #ClockandFlow

The Cats Out The Makeup Bag!

As a professional makeup artist, skincare line owner, and product junkie, in general, I must say I laugh at my industry's open secret. What is that secret you ask? Well since no one's giving up Victoria's Secret I guess I'll share ours. There is little to no difference between high in department store makeup and drug store makeup. The biggest difference is often the price. As far as quality goes it's generally the same formula recycled and repackaged.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Maybe that's why it's still not often discussed. No one wants to be the messenger that gets shot. Or it could be that the payoff is great enough to keep mouths shut. Let's take “beauty bloggers” or “YouTubers” for example. Many, but not all beauty bloggers take a substantial pay off by big beauty brands to promote their products. You know the ones that act like this particular foundation can cure diabetes or something like that. Honest opinions are very discouraged by these brands thus leaving the bloggers fanbase with an objective view of these products.

Beauty bloggers or Youtubbers are there to sell you products and services NOT to teach you how to apply your makeup. First of all, many of them are not even a makeup artist to begin with. They are makeup enthusiasts similar to most of their subscribers. To their credit, they have a magical way of making their viewers feel connected to them. This is why so many people trust their commentary.

Some beauty bloggers started to challenge the status quo. They would do this high/low tutorial. They would use high end department store makeon  1 half of their face. The other half of their face would be done by inexpensive drug store makeup. The viewers would have to guess which is which at the end of the video. Needless to say, there was no difference in any of these examples.

There's a simple explaination to how you're being ripped off. Basically, there are a few major brands that own a ton of other popular brands, both high and low end. For example, Estee Lauder is a mother company that owns Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Clinique, Smashbox. Mac, and a host of others. Max Factor is another mother company that owns a slew of other brands. They easily take their formulas, repackage, rebrand, reprice, and pass it off to the consumer as an original.

Most consumers are unaware of this bait and switch. All they know is that they feel more luxurious when they spend a luxurious coin. The packaging makes you feel regal. Plus the bragging rights don't feel too bad either. At the end of the day, the way the makeup looks on your face is not about how much you spend. It's all about the application. If you don't know how to apply $6 makeup from Elf you're definitely not going to have better luck with $60 makeup by Tom Ford. The moral of the story is you have the right to spend however you please on whatever you want. Just know there are better options than you’ve been lead to believe

The “Jack of all Trades” Epidemic

One day a model handed me her business card. According to her, not only was she a model but also an actor, choreographer, makeup artist, dancer, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, personal trainer, screenwriter, paralegal, welder, spiritual adviser, Karate teacher, shoemaker, photographer, mechanic, hairdresser, army recruiter, juggler, film critic, book critic, food critic, human resources administrator, flutist, dog whisperer, licensed family counselor, traveling circus freak, dental hygienist, architect, Lead Trauma Surgeon at Emory Hospital, refrigeration technician, equestrian instructor and funeral director. I was impressed that she had so many side hustles, but how thin can you spread yourself?! When I suggested that she streamline her approach, she scoffed at me and walked away. I mean, what do I know right? I’ve only been doing this for 85 years.

Should I Dress Like a Stripper for my Audition?

Should I Dress Like a Stripper for my Audition?


I am so happy to see eager young models striving for perfection. It ain’t easy beatin’ your face, trekking to an audition, dealing with other models in the waiting room while they throw shade with a stank face. Then there’s the wait afterward to even see if you get a callback let alone book the job! Needless to say, we must do everything we can to stand out! However, this does not mean that you show up to the audition dressed like a floozy who just staggered into the audition after a long night of running from pimps and police.

You may have a beautiful figure, but when your boobs fall out from the bottom of your neon pink halter top and your butt cheeks are making a cameo appearance through your virtually translucent leggings, it may be time to evaluate your audition wardrobe. So you say to yourself, “Okay know-it-all, Clock, and Flow Administrator, if I can’t showcase my dusty thong or sport my green “night dress” with a split up the old wazoo, what should I wear?” My answer? “Sign up for Clock and Flow classes and Cairo will teach you everything one needs to look like a Pro Model. After all, she can’t give you these gems for free, momma gotta eat!