#CrazySexyCool : Why TLC taught me everything I needed to know about being a woman.. (Lol, but seriously)

#CrazySexyCool : Why TLC taught me everything I needed to know about being a woman.. (Lol, but seriously)

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It was Winter 1992, and I was standing in the doorway of my house waiting for the "alleged" snow to arrive. Growing up in New Orleans, everything was alleged, lol. The previous Christmas, my mom bought me a brand new CD Walkman and there i was, standing in my doorway listening to the newly released "Oooooooh On The TLC Tip". We all know that the best influence you can have starts in the home, but it also helps if those influences are supported by seeing reflections of yourself in the media, and in the arts....seeing people who look like you, and sound like you, excel positively in the public eye, matters to little kids with big dreams. And I was there for everything Tionne, Rozanda, and Lisa were dishing. As a kid, I was shy, I was introverted, I was nerdy, I was insecure, and I was a tomboy. Somewhere around middle school, when shit got real, lol, I started to slowly but surely break out of that shell. And TLC was saying everything that I was thinking, but I was always too shy to ever say. These three women, so perfectly combined in the manner in which they were, defined modern-day black feminism in the late 20th century, at its best. They taught me that women have voices that matter, and not to get discouraged when those voices aren't heard. Just speak louder. They made me feel both comfortable and ladylike in my sweatpants and my baseball cap. Their Lyrics encouraged me not to allow society to Put me in a box that perpetuates the image over sexualized women, and at the same time taught me to be proud about being a female who is comfortable in her own sexuality. They came on the scene with messages that were loud and proud, like attaching condoms to their clothes in an effort to promote safe sex instead of irresponsible promiscuity. They discussed the culture of rape and sexual assault, and at the same time wasnt afraid to let you know, dont get it twisted, "I could have any man I want to, baby thats actual....and factual." At the time of the first album, i was too young to understand the full details of some songs like "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", I mean, I wasn't an overexposed child, but I wasn't stupid either, lol. And, to this day, the messages discussed in "Oooooh on the TLC Tip" are even more direct now in my adult life than they were back as a pre-teen in 1992. When "Crazy Sexy Cool" dropped, I was getting older, starting to have real life boyfriends (as opposed to just making out with my sisters Al B. Sure poster, lol). i was raised by a single mom who was also still Maneuvering her way through the dating scene, so honestly, my mom would give me the realest, most applicable advice. But, there were of course times when i didn't want to talk to my mom about EVERYTHING. "Crazy Sexy Cool" taught me that balance is a key foundation to femininity. I can be sexy without being a hoe. I can be confident without being a bitch. I can be goofy and funny and still be taken seriously as a woman. And I don't have to always wear tight clothes to be attractive. But if i did, it would be MY decision, as an outfit i feel comfortable in, rather than something to get the attention of just another fuck boy, lol. Their lyrics got me through my first kiss, my first breakup (and others), friends I've lost, jobs I've lost, and times when i just cant clear my head and make sense of some things. The death of left eye hit very close to home for me, she was the free-est spirit of them all, and she was such a role model to young Outspoken feminine tomboys like myself, just trying to find their voice in the world, not to mention she was talented AF. TLC just wasnt and will never be the same after that, and in my humble opinion i think the group left their legacy on this world a long time ago anyway. One of the most beautiful things about art is its power to connect you to People worlds away, whom you've never met, and possibly never will, in ways you can never imagine. These three women, and every last bit of their black girl magic, epitomized femininity for me. And because of them, I SPEAK LOUDER....❤️

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