Star Jones

Star Jones
Have you met Miss Jones?


Friendship Friday: Look toward your Future

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.” 

It's May 1st...the last day for students across the country to get their college applications in for next semester and this of course, brings back a lot of memories.

Thirty years ago (damn, I'm old)...I had already been accepted in the school of my choice, The American University in Washington DC because come hell or high water...I was going to major in Justice, go on to law school and be that lawyer that I had been planning since I was 8 years old.  

Pretty much all of my girlfriends who were graduating with me had big goals...doctors, judges, senators, professors, scientists, astronauts, bankers, engineers and a whole host of varying careers. Interesting enough, not one had the goal of being a "video ho."  Not one planned on "dropping it like it's hot" on the web for all to see.  And not one thought that baring one's breast, booty or crotch would be the way they would advance in life.  

I'm sorry folks, this week just blew me away on so many levels.  First, I read yet another story about yet another young woman who sent nude photos of herself to her boyfriend, who of course is no longer her he posted them all over the web and she killed herself. Then I read about the "Craig's List" Killer who is alleged to have targeted women who advertised "professional services" on Craig's List and then went to meet this freak alone with no "wing girl or guy" there to have their back...and ended up dead or assaulted.  Then I got a legal update on the two NY cops who now face charges of allegedly participating in the rape of a woman so intoxicated she couldn't get herself out of the taxi that her friends put her into so she could get home which of course made her incapable of consenting to sex, much less able to fight off an assault.  And then finally, to my utter disgust, I received an email photo attachment that was posted on some website of a beautiful young lady in a series of provocative and suggestive "stripper" poses who purported to be a member of my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. I love my affiliation with AKA and am proud to be a member; so as Richard Pryor used to say:  That's when I put my hand on my knife!

Enough ya'll!

I am absolutely dumbstruck by how women continually allow ourselves to be exposed to danger, harm, risk, peril, jeopardy and uncertainty at every turn when we don't use common sense.  When will we stop focusing on, enjoying and lapping up the instant gratification of the immediate and start to plan, plot and strategize for our future?

All those years ago when I was planning for college, yes...I wanted to get my complete party on. But I knew if I decided to get pissy drunk at parties, sleep with "Lottie, Dottie and Everybody" on campus and as my grandmother would say "show my behind in public" (not really...but you know grandmothers!); I would derail EVERYTHING that I had planned for my future.

What makes a girl...a pretty girl no her legs for a crotch shot unless she is a straight porn star or stripper ('cause they need love too)?  Is that the "look" now? It is as if they are saying "I'm fine, with a fly body, so let me see just how whoreish I can look."  Not how classy I can be...not how elegant I can act...but how skanky I can appear to be.  Why is this on my mind this week...well I'll tell you.  

One the not too distant future a lot of the young women who are applying to college on this the last day to put your applications in, are going to grow up and mature and look back on the dumb decisions they made when they were young; and they are going to regret those decisions when they are the doctors, judges, senators, professors, scientists, astronauts, bankers, engineers and a whole host of varying careers they have planned for the future.  

You don't think so?  Well, today it was announced that President Barack Obama is going to get to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice when Justice David Souter retires at the end of this court term. I just ask you one thing:  look forward 30 years from now, when you're 47 like me. Imagine that you're sitting in the position of being nominated by the President for that seat on the Supreme Court and the Justice department "googles" your name, writings, images, etc.  Do you really want that website crotch shot or topless spring break girls gone wild video to be broadcast on CNN during your confirmation hearing?

I'm not perfect.  Far from it. Just read some of my "google" entries.  I've made some dumb decisions in my life...some I wish I could take back; but none that I can't defend with my head held high.  

You all know how much I admire Michelle Obama.  We actually met many years ago while we were young women just entering adulthood.  One of the things that I find so fantastic and inspiring about her is that I believe that even our First Lady, with all her dignity and grace at some point in her life had to make decisions on the kind of woman she wanted to be, so she made conscious choices in her present, to insure that her past would not adversely affect her future.  

You want a role model...there is one right there.  Start creating the future you want today!


  1. Sadly, I don't think enough of us (young women) think that far ahead. I had this very conversation with one of your sorors about how so many of these young girls are broadcasting this kind of behavior on social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace not realizing that these are the kinds of things that show up in Google searches.
    I think the young women now need to be more careful because there are cameras everywhere now and everybody's watching them. I think this problem started with self-esteem issues at early ages that were either ignored or not picked up on and these are those issues manifesting themselves live and in living color through these pictures and videos.
    It's really sad because in five or 10 years, they'll look back on it in embarrassment and they won't be able to do anything about it. Once it's in cyberspace, it's gone forever!
    Nice post. I'm adding you to my Blog Roll!

  2. Hey Star, I hadn't chimed in for a while but I've been following you. Thanks for continuing to keep it real. I think we need a Supreme Court Queen. AAs have no representation on the High Court. 68% of AA women elected the POTUS. We have not demanded anything for our political capital and I believe its time to do just that. We as a people elect officials without ever asking or demanding, so power does not have to concede a thing. If we let this one get by and not demand a Supreme Queen, we are just pathetic. What's your opinion? Mythe

  3. Well said Star! I'm doing my best to try to raise my daughter with dignity and class. There are way too many messages and images that try to get in the way of that. Thank you for your post today.

  4. Good Day Star,

    This is my first time reading your blog, and what a topic. I know first hand what it’s like to piss-off your future. I’m now forty working at an uninspiring job. We didn’t have the internet (as you well know) when I was a teenager; however there were other obstacles that I allow to interfere with my goal planning. I hope young ladies read your post and others who comment, and realize they have to be goal oriented. They can party later, like you do at the Derby. And have a good time knowing they work hard for this. I look forward to reading more blogs in the future.


  5. Thank you for those words of wisdom Star. The "older" women should teach the younger women. Your post is doing just that. I will pass this along! God bless.

  6. I think we can send mix messages to girls out there; on the one hand saying that such behavior is unbecoming and on the other hand rewarding such behavior with privelege.

    Look at the pop stars who do all of the above, crotch shots, half-naked, but they do it on stage and its art?

    When those same women are rewarded with, IDK, singing for the President. How can I then tell a young girl that that behavior will result in no good thing?

    I agree with you but its hard to compete for the youth's attention when the people succeeding through selling sex are seen as role models.

  7. What's sad is that we as mothers (those of us who are mothers) don't realize that we are our childrens' first teacher. So, what they see us do is what they think they're supposed to do...whether its good or bad. We must be positive role models for our children, surround them with positive role models and teach them to plan for their futures because what they do today can affect what happens tomorrow

  8. Star -

    Thank you for writing about such an important topic. My parents stressed the importance of reputation and reputational harm when I was growing up. Some accused my parents of having me on "lockdown" and insisted that I wasn't having as much fun as everyone else. However, looking back, I'm so grateful for their care and guidance. I'll take class over trash any day!

    When peer pressure can get these girls down, or anyone else for that matter, I like to share the following quote from Earvin "Magic" Johnson, "If people around you aren't going anywhere, if their dreams are no bigger than hanging out on the corner, or if they're dragging you down, get rid of them. Negative people can sap your energy so fast, and they can take your dreams from you, too."

    We MUST dream big, think big and ACHIEVE big!


  9. I see this topic has many comments already, which is a great thing. This topic speaks VOLUMES to me. At only 26 y/o I sometimes wonder what was I thinking about 8 yrs ago when I was an aspiring "video ho".
    Growing up in the south, I had a mama that didn't play. I was forced to attend church EVERY Sunday and she strongly believed in chastisement. If I showed my behind out in the street, then my mama disciplined me in the street. I was very defiant and challenged my mom at every opportunity. I attended private school until I got put out and was forced to attend public school (after all it's what I wanted since all of my friends were in public school.)
    During my teenage years I had been arrested several times, I started hanging with the wrong crowds, skipping school, became promiscuous, smoking weed and drinking. Eventually, my social life became more important than school (even though I was an honor roll student), so I dropped out my junior year.
    Local rappers here in New Orleans would pay females $50 to be in their video. Sad to say I would spend more than my $50 earnings on hair and nails just to be in the video. I was on a fast track to an early grave.
    At age 18, I had to deal with my brother being murdered. At 19, I faced an unplanned pregnancy by a man I barely knew and at 20 I was homeless. I did whatever I could to survive, but I was dying. I would see men on the street and on the public transportation that would tell me they knew me from “this” club or being with “that” man. It was very embarrassing.
    Also during this time many of my friends were getting “caught up” in the street life. They were either in jail or dead. All of my T-Shirts were “R.I.P” displaying the face of one of my slain friends.
    Since I had nowhere else to go, I turned to Covenant House New Orleans. While at CHNO, my case manager made me realize the one thing I was lacking…self-love. It’s something I would always proclaim to have, yet I continued to put myself in harm’s way.
    Finally, in 2005 (at 22 y/o) my light bulb came on. After much encouragement from CHNO I decided to go for my GED. My biggest fear was (and still is) failure. Because I was afraid of failing I never did try. Well after much prayer I passed the GED test. I was excited. Several months later I find out that of the 1,500 individuals that had taken the GED test, I was valedictorian. And that was the day I changed my life. The title of my speech was Starting Over (taken from a reality TV show I enjoyed watching at the time). As I gave my fellow classmates words of encouragement, I told them it was not too late to start over.
    From that moment on I decided to no longer allow negative labels. No longer was I a ho, b**ch, slut, failure, or quitter. I demanded people to refer to me by my government name or something respectful. I have enrolled in college where I am pursuing a degree in Public Administration and I travel speaking to young girls about the choices we make in life and the consequences of our actions. I find that many of these girls lack self-esteem and self-love (as I once did). I have given out many copies of Hill Harper’s book “Letters to a Young Sister”.
    As young women we lower our standards just to fit in, instead of raising the bar. For the young girls I mentor, I preach to them about respecting themselves and others. Words are powerful and words have meaning. Two of my favorite quotes that I live by are: “I am the author of the only dictionary that defines me” (Star Jones Reynolds) and “It’s easy to make a buck, it’s a lot tougher to make a difference” (Tom Brokaw). Ladies we must be the difference in the lives of these young girls. After all, they are our future.
    ***I apologize for this being so long – I really didn’t intend on it. Ladies, enjoy your weekend and Be Blessed!!!! XOXO Tiara

  10. Star, I find it very difficult to read the blue text on the black background. Even in a well lit room with glasses on :0 it is really a strain. Yet some of your most interesting words are presented this way. anything you can do to make it easier?



Your comments are welcome as long as they are in keeping with the spirit of this blog. They must be positive about your life, your community, our nation or our world. They must elevate...not denigrate...and if you criticize me or my position...state your name and email address so I know who you are and can address you directly. My rules. Star