Bevel x Nas

“My signature fade with the Bevel blade

That’s a major key” – Nas

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Photo: http://www.bevelcode.com/a-new-legacy-nas-bevel/

This line has been stuck in my head since I first heard it. It comes from the rapper Nas on the track ‘Nas Album Done’ from DJ Khaled’s Major Key album (released on 29th July 2016). It may be so unforgettable because of the highly recognisable sample of The Fugees track ‘Fu-Gee-La’ or the fact that I initially misheard ‘bevel’ for ‘devil’, which added very sinister touch to the lyric. Anyways, it turns out that Nas is a brand ambassador for Bevel. Bevel is a shaving range from Walker & Company– a company created by Queens-born Tristan Walker to make beauty products for people of colour. It’s worth watching the introduction video on the Walker and Company website to see what the business is all about.

I was privileged enough to see the man himself performing his legendary hip-hop album Illmatic at the Manchester-based Parklife festival in 2015. He was incredible.

 

Skirting Around the Issue

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Serena Williams, Wimbledon 2012. Photo: giz-img.blogspot.com

The This Girl Can ad campaign by Sport England aims to show that all types of women can participate in sports, and is a celebration of active females all across the UK. Interestingly, this example of empowerment in sport features a glimpse of a netball match in which a small minority of players are wearing netball skirts. The debate about women in sports is ongoing, but what part does dress code have to play?

Female athletes on the world stage such as Venus and Serena Williams have been seen wearing some fabulous (and very out there) outfits on court over the years, but this doesn’t detract from the fact that they are extremely talented tennis players. Although there is no overarching rule in tennis regarding skirts, a lot of players choose to wear skirts or dresses—and get plenty of endorsements for doing so. However, when female boxing was finally declared an Olympic sport in 2009, it was proposed that female boxers wear skirts to allow the spectators to distinguish them from men. Although this campaign gained a lot of support, after receiving criticism from boxers and the wider public it was scrapped. There are many other ways to distinguish a boxer than by a skirt—their face, their team colours, or simply by looking at the names of the players competing.

Years ago, women had to wear corsets whilst playing tennis; this was later abandoned because of the obvious restriction on physical activity. I personally believe that if the outfit allows you to be comfortable then go for it, but when it is unnecessarily forced then it becomes a tad ridiculous. Aimée Grant Cumberbatch reminisces about P.E. in secondary school, lamenting the stupidity of dress code rules, saying: “We used to be made to wear netball skirts over our tracksuit bottoms.” Seem a bit pointless to you?

This was an article written by me for The Mancunion student newspaper in February 2015.

Teamwork x you

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University of Manchester Cheerleaders at Future Cheer, Bath 2014

Whilst scrolling through photos on my laptop I came across various examples of teamwork from the past two years. From competing in my first ever cheer competition to co-hosting Christmas dinners with friends. In essence, teamwork is a relatively straightforward concept – the concept of discussing and exchanging ideas to ultimately achieve a better outcome. We come across several people a day, and in my opinion teamwork is one of the more exciting aspects that we encounter during the day.

When in sports teams it is often hard to explain just how much individual effort is put into every training session. My mum often said I would be a good sportsman in a sport like tennis, and my dad often says I should play golf (I have little knowledge if this sport but it does seem very isolated). However, I have always preferred activities where being a team player is key – netball, rounders, cheerleading, running as part of a run club, going to the gym with a partner, double badminton, co-hosting a radio show etc. This has always seemed natural because the feeling of success can be shared – which I love. I’ve always pictured myself in a career where a daily part of the job is discussing and interpreting ideas as part of a group.

This may appear strange because the degree I did was rather singular (Politics and History BA). With most of my academic timetable consisting of 8 contact hours a week maximum – it is odd now why I chose a degree where most academic time was spent alone in the library reading through countless journals, with practically no group projects. In my last year I feel my studying approach was the most successful but this was also because I knew my habits, strengths and weaknesses. As well as when to prioritise social life and down time. Reflecting on one final year module in particular where I would often work with a friend and we would discuss our ideas – splitting the reading up and making notes for each other – this contributed hugely to our success and enjoyment of the whole module. This friend remains a motivational and positive aspect in my life – that period in particular we shared articles, educational YouTube clips and graduate job opportunities – the team work of life.

Just give it a quick Google and you’ll see that in interviews employers will always be interested in the actions YOU took, and better yet how YOU specifically contributed to the success of the whole team. Being a team player is all well and good but ultimately it is you who forms your own destiny. Never underestimate your contribution to the team.

 

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University of Manchester, July 2015

Deciding my hair for graduation was anything but a simple task.

At this point (July 2015) I had been transitioning to natural hair for about 6 months. Considering my hair was just reaching shoulder length, the transition was in full swing 6 months in. I knew for a fact that constantly straightening my leave-out for weave was bound to cause damage, so that’s an option I steered clear of. Although I had a 20″ Peruvian hair, middle-part weave with leave out just a few months later…Don’t ask. Those straggly straightened bits left the middle section of my hair limp and lifeless for quite a while afterwards,

In the end practicality was my main concern. Graduation was only a few days before backpacking through parts of Southeast Asia so I had to weigh up my options and decided I would rather spend the days leading up to my trip packing and running last minute errands rather that getting my braids done then.

As displayed in the picture above – I don’t regret my decision.