Born in Ghana and living in NYC, Zeba Blay is a cultural and film critic and author of Carefree Black Girls, a pop culture series. In order to deal with frustration and frustration, she has a habit of taking care of herself – including home decor, podcast baths, and reading Harry Potter aloud. Here, she shares the acne cleanser with a very forced argument over shaving head …
Did you have any beautiful photos growing up?
I was intrigued by Shingai Shoniwa, the lead singer of the Noisettes band. She is a Zimbabwean-British rock star, who wore her hair naturally and wore the most beautiful clothes. Last year, I had a chance to ask him a question, and we all got into an argument. I was like, ‘You don’t understand, you made me love my hair!’
She, David Bowie, Karen Oh, and the Spice Girls. This was very encouraging to me.
The Spice Girls!
Growing up, I was super in Spice Girls. One of the things that attracted me to them was how different they were all. Looking back, I realize it was a gimmick – but it was a good gimmick, wasn’t it? The reason was to show the little girls that, you know, you could be actresses or high school girls. You can wear all black or you can wear wild pants! And it all works!
Can you describe what you do in the morning?
First, I take five minutes to relax. Meditation games can be hard to get into. So, instead of trying to act like two hours of deep meditation, I take the baby steps. Then I drink two glasses of water and wash my face.
What cleaner do you like?
Already a Green Tea Superfood Cleanser from Youth to People. You think that once you become an adult you will never meet an ance. But unfortunately, that is not the case for me! This cleanser has been very effective.
And then what?
After washing, I love UFO Acne Treatment Face Oil. I ended up with Black Girl Sunscreen.
What do you look like every day when you put on makeup?
I am the kind of prostitute who would probably do with a full foundation because I have hyperpigmentation. But as I get older, I feel like, eh. If you can see a few scars or scars, as long as my skin is similar, I’m fine. I want to look like myself. I’m not trying to kill anybody. So, these days, with Glossier concealer and lip gloss.
Are you a deodorant person?
Well, I’m not a pretty girl, and I recently started using fragrances, creams. It smells like coconut and honey, and it’s so good, oh!
You shaved your head last year, didn’t you?
Well, I was very depressed and neglected myself. I longed for the empty slate, and my head became slate. I think everyone should shave their heads once, to see what it does for them. For me, I’m still spinning, but now I’m going up.
I hope a lot of people can relate to such a feeling of wanting to shake, especially after the last two years.
It does not matter how the world feels – because we have all felt like, What’s going on ?! – Shaving the head reminds you that there are hands that you can straighten. Plus, having 4C hair is not an easy task. It’s scary, it takes a lot of work, and it’s tiring. As soon as my hair was gone, I was so happy! Washing my hair did not take more than two days! It helped me to feel comfortable for many years.
Dust! I light a candle and spray an eucalyptus mold around the bathroom. Then I like to play postcards. I also love bathing Necessaire body. I struggle with acne on my chest and back, and this helps a lot.
When dealing with depression, are there other ways you can rely on it?
When I feel down, I amolate myself. My friends did not see me for months, and they often said, ‘Where are you? What happened?’ I struggle with agoraphobia and anxiety and worry that I have to look or act a certain way when I see people. Walking is a way of saying to yourself, ‘No. You have the right to live on earth. ‘ But there are days when I have to force myself to leave home.
In those days, how did you get out the door?
My patient recently told me, ‘Every time you hear a voice in your head telling you that you cannot leave, remind yourself that it is a depression. Disappointment tends to isolate – you do not. ‘ Walking is a good, safe way to remind yourself of that.
Do you make your own nails?
Yes, they are all printers from jewelry stores or Nail Candy. I started using them when COVID hit. Dealing with it myself is way cheap, and nail salons have always been very difficult for me. As I said, I sometimes find it difficult to be outside, and any such places – hair salons, nail salons – put me at risk. But I still want to look my best!
Most of us have learned a lot about nail care since the plague began, including me.
The plague has been terrible – it is still terrible. But once it started, it was the first time I thought of ways to enhance my appearance. I thought, ‘Well, going to a nail salon worries you? Well, now you can’t go anywhere, whore! So, why should we make this a good thing? ‘
What is sleep time?
Before I go to bed, I wash my face and drink another couple of glasses, since I think, ‘Girl, you have to drink a lot of water.’ Then I sat down to try tossing my phone in the closet. Just leave it in the corner, far away – it’s too hard. I have a big problem sleeping, and – who would have thought ?! – Having a phone two inches from my face is not the best way to get sleep.
What do you do instead?
Then I read a book, bro. I keep asking myself, ‘Zeba, did you just read a book?’ Now my friend and I are reading Harry Potter together. I read the books out loud. It has been so beautiful and fun, oh my god.
You use Instagram in a new way, posting amazingly powerful boards, which often feature pictures of black women during a party. But you are also thinking about taking a break from the platform to stay healthy. How do you drive there?
I am an internet kid. I was an isolated child with no friends, so that is when I found myself. The website was a real place to connect with like-minded people. And I miss it. Now, the internet is very close to the essentials, and there are a lot of difficulties to sell – and I do not care about anyone, because it is the world in which we live. a way to rediscover the past of living online, without being forced.
You wanted the internet to be fun.
Yes. We are made to feel that social networking is very important. But isn’t it? Who says? What does having more Twitter followers mean for me, as a writer? I have a friend who had almost half a million followers on Twitter, and he published a book, and no one bought it – so what does that mean? I received a text message from one girl saying, ‘Girl, you have to send more,’ and I was like, ‘Mother. ‘ Every time I put something in, I just wanted to.
You mentioned Carefree Black Girls is about your journey to gaining freedom in a free society. What gives you that feeling of relief?
Having a different purpose. Before releasing my book, I kept asking myself, ‘Who do I think I am writing the book for? What can I say that is more important? ‘ And in the end I am in a position where I know that my opinion is no longer relevant than anyone else’s. And making these boardboards, with beautiful pictures of the black women I love – the black women who came before I was born – helped me realize that I was part of the line. Putting myself in this position, the more relaxed I am.
Thank you so much Zeba!
PS Many women share their beautiful uniforms, including a joke and a 5th grade math teacher.
(Top photo in Alexandra Genova / ITG green dress