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That’s the Way Looove Goes…And Other Revelations

Lancome DreamTone, Dior CC Primer

This will make sense in a minute, but my skin turned greyish-green this summer. It got better by October-ish, thank heavens, but still looked a little peaky. I use one or both of these primers every single day of my life, and my skin’s never looked so glowy. The Lancome DreamTone Dark Spot Corrector for Even Skin Tone #3 (hell of a name) evens out my shadowy, blotchy areas so fabulously I never wear foundation…and when I do need to wear face makeup for shoots, I spritz on the radiance-boosting Dior Diorshow Airflash CC Primer first. Lit-from-within realness.

Not all black women are religious. I’m not. I wish I were…I’d love to carry the faith that everything is Jesus’ will,  that He’s protecting me, no matter what. Not to get all deep on a beauty blog. But actually, I was just having this conversation with your girl Felicia, of ThisThatBeauty…so it’s beauty by association. When I was very sick this summer, I was lost. My skin was greenish-grey, I was ninety pounds (I’m 5’9″). I don’t believe in anything, so I didn’t feel that suffering was part of a bigger story…that it was purposeful somehow. Instead, it just felt like an endless, pointless ass-beating. And then someone that I used to love — whatever, that I still love and always will — showed up at my house, quite angry, and bellowed at me for two hours. “You’re giving up, you take handfuls of narcotics but never eat anything, you don’t move, you’re too unhealthy to get better, YOU’RE LETTING IT WIN!”

Several people over the years have tried to tell me this, but I never listened. When you’re in pain — whether it’s physical or emotional — it’s hard to think outside your bubble of woe. To understand that you matter to other people, that your darkness is killing them, too. All I ever cared about was survival…getting from one day to the next and raising my Lina Bobina. Details like, oh, nutrition weren’t even on my radar (I’ve always made sure Lina eats healthy, of course, but me? I’d subsist on toast and bacon. Nothing green, no water). But something about the shock of this intervention — the anger at the nerve of me to be so callous with my body — shook me up. “I will go with you to a nutritionist,” he said. “I will walk around the block with you if you’re too weak to move, I’ll do the fighting for you.”

It was uncomfortable to be read so profoundly. But he was right. And now I go to a nutritionist. I got a juicer! I drink and eat green things. I take vitamin supplements and sip Chinese medicinal teas and do stretches. I even meditate (sort of)! I’m not pain-free, but I’m better…and I feel more vital. And my skin’s not green (it’s awesome, thanks to Lancome and Dior, above)! Plus, something crazy happened. I’d felt so isolated that I forgot I had people. They came out of the woodworks. My sister cooked a healthy meal for me every week. Girlfriends appeared with almonds, avocados, brown rice, fancy stewed spinach, lists of gluten-free goodies at Trader Joe’s, and books on healthy living. My family sweated blood to help get me back on track. I’m not alone. And I’m so lucky.

I don’t believe in a religion, but I do believe in love — it saved me. Nothing’s more powerful. And that has to come from somewhere, right?



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  1. logan
    January 29, 2014 12:17 am 

    Tia, I’m totally one of your random many fans. I’m originally a Billie Burke lover (sequel please!) But I must say I went through some rough times in ny life and though we haven’t met your writing, be it blog and books brought me so much light and love. Even though you don’t know your syb babes, we are your people! You bring so much joy to so many of us. Take care of our fearless beauty leader!

  2. January 29, 2014 10:47 am 

    Greetings from half way across the world. I’m in Dubai. I cam across your blog through an article in Beautylish on the Brazilian “way” down there. It was hilarious. So I decided to check you out.

    I am soooooo moved by your thoughts on the power of loving others and the impact that it has. The line from your friend that “I’ll do the fighting FOR you” is divine. It’s divinely inspired. I’m going to use it when I try to motivate someone whose giving up on them selves. Please let your friend know so that he doesn’t sue me for plagiarism 🙂

    Take care of yourself not for yourself but for others who get hurt and burdened to seeing you suffer

  3. A*E*
    June 9, 2014 4:27 pm 

    I’ve been a SYB babe since the old blog site (and I have all your books) and this post just absolutely breaks my heart! Not to get too deep in the comments section or feel like I’m pushing my beliefs on to you but I just wanted to say that I’m praying for you. Your readers love you as well and so does Christ. Stay fabulous hun!