Monday, November 7, 2011

An exclusive interview with Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, only on Yahoo! Shine

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden during an interview with Yahoo! Shine Senior Editor Lylah M. Alphonse in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Nov. 2, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson; photo via Yahoo! Shine)
Last week, I went back to the White House, this time for an exclusive sit-down interview with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. The interview was supposed to focus on the Joining Forces initiative and military families, in honor of Veterans' Day, but Yahoo! and Yahoo! Shine readers submitted nearly 5,000 questions for me to pour over, so I was able to touch on a few other topics as well.

Here's a look at the segments, which went live on today:

Friday, November 4, 2011

DIY natural African-American hair styles for Barbie. Plus: The Roundup

So In Style Grace doll (Photo:
I've written before about my struggle with my own hair. It's super-curly (kinky-curly, really), and very long—when straightened, it falls almost to my waist. My daughter inherited her father's African-American hair; though it's never been cut in her entire 7-year-long life, it barely reaches her shoulders. I keep it in sleek, two-strand twists, with beads on the ends to give them that swingy weight she loves.

A generation ago, older women would have touched her twists and lamented over the "bad hair." Even now, people reach for my youngest son's bouncy curls and marvel at how "good" his hair is. Look at most of the brown-skinned dolls on the mainstream market, and you'll see this same idea reinforced: Disney's Princess Tiana and other fashion-forward dolls have classic Barbie hair, long and glossy and straight. Even Addy Walker, the African-American American Girl Doll who escaped from slavery in the 1860s, has
longer-than-waist-length, barely wavy hair.

If you want to give your girl a doll that's rocking a pair of puffs, twist-outs, or braids, you'll probably have re-style it yourself—and that's where this awesome post from Black Girls with Long Hair, by NikG of Beads, Braids, and Beyond, comes in. She takes a couple of standard Barbies—the "So In Style"Grace and Chandra dolls—and sets about transforming their long, straight tresses into bouncy, kinky, curls.

I've written about it over at Yahoo! Shine, but basically Grace went from the standard look (above), to this:

Grace with her new 'do. (Photo: Black Girl with Long Hair via

Comb out the curls, and you end up with an awesome Afro or Halo. Read the post at Shine ("A Barbie with natural-looking African-American hair") to find out how to do it yourself.

And now, The Roundup:

On Yahoo! Shine:

On Work It, Mom!:

On 4 Kids or More: