Instagram’s Recent ban on #Curvy, #ThickGirls & #BBW hashtags (Great Video Replies)

After Instagram included the terms “curvy”, “bbw” and “thick girls” in its dragnet of porno-linked hashtags to ban, all heck broke loose among non-waifs who use those hashtags to celebrate their bodies in a world where stick thin is mainly celebrated

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What Businesses do to Thwart Successful Female Managers and Leaders

There are things that businesses can do to help support their most valuable female managers and business leaders. Here are a few tips and suggestions

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Study: Sharing your Relationship on Facebook Is a Sign it Will Last facebook 
Nowadays, when someone who is dating makes a newly committed relationship official by updating it in their Facebook profile, it’s a BFD (big___ deal)!

Imagine! Now there is some social science behind this well-acknowledged fact!

A new research study from a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor that analyzed couples on Facebook delved into the psychology of this new social phenomenon. 

It examined whether the act of couples sharing their relationship status on Facebook, posting  photos of themselves with their partner or writing on each other’s wall was connected to the longevity of the relationship.

In a first of its kind research, Catalina Toma, an assistant  professor of communications arts at Wisconsin, tracked dating couples over time in order to examine the link between how they present themselves on Facebook as a couple, and the stability of their relationship.

Toma used the “See Friendship” application (freely available on Facebook profiles) to document the Facebook activity of heterosexual college-aged dating couples. 

Toma followed up six months later to find out if they were still together. 

Results showed that, indeed, certain Facebook self-presentational elements were positively linked to participants’ relationship commitment and their likelihood of staying together with their partner. 

For example, being listed as “in a relationship,” posting photos with their partner, and writing on their partner’s wall, were indicators of a healthy committed relationship .

“The claims people make about themselves in public are likely to be very influential in how they think about themselves,” says Toma, who studies online self-presentation and how emotional well-being is affected by social media.  “Now we’re finding that these public self-presentations performed on Facebook also affect how people feel about a relationship partner.”

These presentations mean a lot on Facebook, in particular, because it is the place where people have accumulated a lot of family and friends, with whom people choose to share personal aspects of their lives.

“People declare their love, they make vows in front of friends and family, they take photographs, and they exchange rings,” Toma says. “Online claims are very meaningful psychologically, and I think a big reason for that is the access to this diverse and wide audience.”

Toma made some other surprising developments.

She discovered that couples who share more mutual friends may, in fact, be less committed.

“We think that having more mutual friends signals having a greater social network, and this greater network might include more alternative romantic partners,” Toma says.

Her research also found some double standards.

For example, survey participants interpreted their action of  writing on a partner’s wall as an indicator of their commitment to their partner but at the same time, they also perceived a partner writing on their wall negatively, as sign of possessiveness or over-sharing.

Toma says although Facebook was originally designed as an online yearbook, it has evolved into something much more powerful. “Now we’re finding that it touches many aspects of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves and our romantic relationships.”

Isn’t this interesting?

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angel davis and washington

Two African American Female Founders, 43North Accelerator’s  $250k Winners Beta Launch Social Media Management App

angel davis and washington

Last month, two black female startup founders beta launched their social media management app, KeepUp.

The platform helps users  manage various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+. They can select among 12 major life events form various friends’ feeds to have sent to them as alerts.

The masterminds are women with deep roots analyzing, engaging, studying and helping major institutions bring forth innovative ideas.

Angel Davis is an ex military brat, Stanford University double Economics and Communications grad and an NYU MBA degree holder who once worked as a strategy consultant for the marketing arm of Accenture Interactive consulting firm.

She teamed up with friend, Lauren Washington, a journalism grad who had experience leading and working in the mobile, social media and innovation teams for companies like InStyle magazine, and Neutrogena cosmetics.

Through the app, users can send a text message or update responding to friends’ news. That way they never miss an important life event from one of their friends.

The New York city-area duo won $250,00o from a global business idea competition, 43North.  Now in its second year, 43 North  awards $5 million in cash prizes to startups demonstrating big thinking ideas. KeepUp was one of 11 recipients in a highly competitive landscape of nearly 7,000 applicants.

The competition platform just finished accepting  applications for $1 million ideas on June 24.

I’ve downloaded the app and can’t wait to test it out!


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Top 5 Apps for Tots

guest posts on 

As the parent of a wee one, you might have a love-hate relationship with technology. On the one hand the convenience of your smartphone is undeniable, but at the same time you want to limit screen time for your child. Maybe you already have a bunch of apps on your phone to keep your rugrat entertained while you wait for takeout or at the doctor’s office, but there are a few essential tools every parent of a little one should be armed with. 

From staying informed to staying healthy, here are our top tools for parents of young children.

Common Sense Media

This is your go-to source for an expert opinion on what is best for your little one’s developing mind. The folks at Common Sense Media will help you choose the right games, apps, TV shows etc, offering a library of age-based, educational ratings. From the app you can browse books or digital titles with links to buy through Amazon or iTunes.


Having trouble finding the right daycare? Ever wish there was Yelp for preschools? Truly, there should be much more comprehensive, easy-to-find information on daycares and preschools, right? CareLulu collects and shares detailed info on daycare providers and preschools, including verified reviews, real photos (not just marketing shots), and up-to-date program, enrollment, and tuition information. This site will help you find high-quality and affordable childcare to meet your family’s needs.


Brightwheel is a free and easy-to-use mobile app that helps you stay connected with your daycare or preschool. Daycare providers or preschool teachers use brightwheel for recording and tracking daily events and activities in the classroom. As a parent, you’ll get private, real-time updates on your child delivered to your mobile device throughout the day. If that wasn’t enough, brightwheel also allows for secure, digital check-in/check-out, and a paperless billing system. No more wondering what your kid is up to all day!


Unlike a mindless game, Agnitus is a great way to keep your kid occupied and not feel guilty about it. This award-winning app is an immersive preschool experience covering a bevy of topics including math, reading, and writing. Kids build basic skills, working their way through a series of books, activities, and interactive games. Report cards track their progress and the reporting tools give you valuable learning insights. This one is designed specifically for kids 5 and under.


Now that your little one is in daycare or preschool, you’re bound to be seeing an uptick of inbound germs. The WebMD app is a handy reference tool for checking symptoms (what could that rash be?) or asking questions (is a 101 fever cause for alarm?). The mobile app also has a local health forecast tool–you can check pollen levels or the harshness of UV rays before hitting the playground or beach.

 Good luck!

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The #StartUp Cult: The 12 Different Kinds of Entrepreneurs


Throughout recent Internet history, there have been articles written about “The Cult of Entrepreneurship”, essentially breaking down some of the idiosyncratic nuances associated with the startup culture.

I was thoroughly amused by a recent commentary written by linguist Gabriella Rackoff in Medium back in March.

This early passage stood out:

The first problem I see with the cult of the entrepreneur is that for some people the title seems to take precedence over the success of the product or service they created. Like an author who’s never had a book published, calling yourself an entrepreneur is meaningless if you can’t point to the fruits of your entrepreneurship.

The word has a misleading air of success.

The glorification of entrepreneurship naturally tempts people to use the term to build themselves up. This is especially evident on Twitter and LinkedIn where I’ve often seen entrepreneur listed in someone’s bio without being able to figure out what he or she actually does. It also has the consequence of undermining people who work hard, achieve great success and are integral to a company’s success without being entrepreneurs — the Sheryl Sandberg rather than the Zuckerberg.

Well..‘s followed up, taking more air out of the sails of “entrepreneurship”.

In a recent analysis, Aimee Groth reminds us that the only reason why entrepreneurs can be successful and take risks is because most have a safety net that non-Entrepreuneurs, and wage and salary workers do not have. It could be in the form of home equity they can cash out, wealthy parents who can give them a loan, savings, or a trust fund to be used to to sustain their dream while they build a business.

That safety net or support and resources can be used to bail them out in case of failure.

Groth also took aim at debunking a recent study and Think pieces suggesting that there is an entrepreneurship gene that some people have.

While I must admit that not all people are cut out to hang out a shingle, it’s true that many more are hampered by the inaccessibility to cash.


Indeed, “access to capital” is one of those things that forever come up during panels and conferences that aim to bridge the wealth gap in the US.

People who come from disadvantaged backgrounds have a tougher time saying goodbye to their full time salaries to pursue a dream or an idea they “think” may work.

Yet, it is still quite true that in recent years, there has been a renewed fascination with entrepreneurship and that Start Up life.

Just search that hashtag in Instagram and you’ll be overwhelmed by all the motivational posters by those claiming to be on hustle mode. (*snark*)

It’s trending and I’ve noticed that not all  Entrepreuneurs are the same but that’s okay. “Get in where you fit in,” as the saying goes.

There are levels, well, really, distinctions that I’ve noticed among those that fit into the basket.

This is how I’ve broken them down:


Entrepreneur- The person who writes a business plan then takes out a loan at the bank or cashes out their 401k or 529 plan earnings or the bonds their parents put in their name when they were a kid. They use those funds to open a brick and mortar store or to buy a Krispy Kreme franchise or something. They fit into the classic idealized historic notion of entrepreneur.

StartUp Founder- Usually a techie or 20-something kid in Silicon Valley (though not always as research shows the median age for a US startup founder is 39) or some other tech hub or community in another city; traditionally this person is working all day and night to  launch an app or raising funds to make some gadget or do-hickey via a crowdsource fundraising site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

Hustler-preneur- That person who refuses to get a 9-5 so he sells DVDs to barbershop and beauty shop patrons, helps his man hustle his mix tape out of the trunk of his car for a cut of the profits or runs a street team operation for local promoters. He balances several self-employed ventures at the same time and makes rent or pays his college or HBCU loan bill doing so. He is that conscious self-supporting brother who refuses to be dependent on institutions to eat.

Mompreneur- A mom who makes money on the side by blogging, reselling items on EBay or hawking homemade earrings in her Etsy shop. She is married (though not always) and most of her side money goes to HER rainy day fund.

me blogging
Momtrepeneur – A mom who runs several hustles at the same time. In addition to her mom blog, she’s consulting, selling ebooks, working as a career coach or running a variety of ventures to create multiple streams of income. (This is me)

instagramit works

Instagrampreneur- This person uses her following on Instagram to hawk her It Works Wraps, Jamberry or Brazillian Hair bundles franchise.  Or she may be a fashionista who is a brand ambassador for various labels and can be seen posing with a plate of macrons or pretending to eat an In and Out or Shake Shack Burger.


Small Business Owner- This person usually runs a brick and mortar business and has two or more employees. Under the definition of Small business by the U.S. Small Business Administration, a company with up to 1,500 employees, but since 75% of all non-employer businesses are small businesses and  are true solo run, this could be the owner of a newspaper stand too.

Serialpreuner or Serial Founder- The persistent dude or dudette who has founded at least a half a dozen startups, business and other gigs, to varying levels of success but none big enough that s/he can afford to quit the hustle life and just became angel funder and invest in others.  This person is NOT afraid of failure and in fact considers it a badge of honor.

The Freelancepreneur – This guy lives that 1099 life. He’s either a writer pitching and repurposing articles; being an independent subcontractor, project manager or analyst; a lawyer earning a living doing agency document reviews; the freelance photojournalist or an artistic type, living off of commissioned works or an up and coming singer or musician getting by on gigs. They get no benefits and pay self-employment tax but get loads of tax exemptions so they do alright.

Side-Gig preneneur- The person who doesn’t have a safety net to quit a dead end job, so evenings and weekends are spent not sleeping but being an Uber or cab driver, hosting Pampered Chef or Mary Kay parties, vending at swap meets, bazaars, culture festivals or flea markets.

small business

Government Contractor-preneneur – The ambitious person who has her eye set on those massive government budgets so she spends painstaking hours bidding and responding to RFPs until she finally gets a government contract which she runs until it’s time to renew and she starts all over again. Her business hires the Freelancerpreneurs.

Alaitair Humprheys

Alaitair Humprheys

Motivational-preneur – The these guys have “made it” & are in the business of helping you get the dream too. We’re talking life coaches, motivational speakers, personal trainers, Amway, 5-links & other Multi-level Marketing (MLM) programs. The bastard kids of this bunch are also the spammers who can be seen in the comment section of every news article or blog trying to get random signups cause  they “make $2,500 a week doing this” .

Bonus: I tried to do a one or two line definitions for the other types of entrepreneurs you may have seen out there in the Internets, as curated by John Frazier

solopreneurs – Building a biz by herself. She’s the CEO, CFO, COO & Sales Team & subsits on coffee.

wanapreneurs – Wannabe entrepreneur who talks about plans but doesn’t put it into action. Can’t Commit and is essentially Faking it out here in these streets. The business card he hands out to ladies at the club only has his name and the word CEO underneath that.

EntreArchitect -Building a business from scratch.

Uberpreneur - Paying the bills & earning a living by being an Uber driver. He’s picking up passengers while the part time Sidegig-preneur Uber drivers are at their day job.

divapreneur – Too cute and has too much style to work for someone. Has an online clothing boutique, or may be a professional and full time personal shopper, stylist, makeup artist, interior decorator or landscape architect.

potpreneur – Selling pot (legally or legally) and Smoking some too.

ganjapreneurs – Same as above

Olderpreneurs – Retired but can’t stay home doing nothing all day.

Passionpreneurs -Following a passion on a wing and a prayer.

Humorneur – Stand Up Comic as a main gig.

Matchpreneur- A professional matchmaker.

Micropreneur- Got a teenie tiny biz for a niche market.

Storypreneur – Writer or Poet. Enters writing contest every week.

hackapreneur – Hacking his way into a comfortable living by being an outsource coder for Startups.

whatrepreneur – Still trying to find himself

Attractionpreneurs – Professional Tourguide in New York City or Hollywood?

Ha! What other interesting or creative entrepreneurs have you bumped into?

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Registration now OPEN: Apple’s Free Summer Camp for Kids


Apple recently opened registration for its annual Free Summer Camp for Kids that will run for the next two weeks from July 20- August 7.

I signed up two of my children who fall within the target demo ages, 8-12, to attend one of the three day camps that are held at Apple Stores nationwide.

Parents need to simply go to Apple’s reservation website, select their state in the scroll down menu, then select among stores in their state closest to their location. Finally, if the class hasn’t already been filled or booked, enter their name, child’s name and a parent’s email and done!

The sessions are only one and a half hour long and include the following camps:

Stories in Motion with iMovie or Interactive Storytelling with iBooks.

The idea is to introduce the technology and products to children and also stimulate interest in technology, while giving them something to do intellectually during the Summer brain drain months.

Spaces are filling up! Register today!

h/t Chelsea Social via LifeHacker

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This is what made the BEST PR Pitch I’ve ever seen GREAT! (Video Link)

For my first professional instructional Meerkat and Periscope broadcast, I shared one of THE best PR pitched I’ve gotten recently and broke down what made the 7 lines only pitch so fabulous and effective.

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Why Women Control Wealth but Aren’t Confident in Handling Finances

Women are the master of the household finances yet many report not being comfortable managing money and aren’t confident in their investment and saving knowlege

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Dissecting the 5 Common Responses Readers Make to Excuse Big TECH’s EEO Reports


So here’s the deal: Twitter released its EEO report showing that out of close to 3,000 employees in America, it has only 49 black ones.

twitter demo

Many outlets have reported on this news.

I don’t really want to rehash all I wrote when Facebook came out with its own EEO report which revealed a similar yet unsurprising result.

It’s getting exhausting at this point making the same argument for the value of diversity to a community and culture reluctant to recognize its value, from a strictly business perspective, if not for the social optics.

And by gosh, each time there is a story about this, I can predict the responses I will see in the comment sections to articles (most made mainly by white and Asian or Asian-American men). They are recycled versions of one of these five:

1. Tech companies pick the most qualified always and if there aren’t many blacks and Hispanics, that means obviously those minorities aren’t qualified (and/or have poor work ethic, aren’t educated, etc)

2. The Tech industry operates as a meritocracy solely.

3. Minorities don’t have computer science and/or coding skills thus disqualifying them from work in the tech industry.

4. Well Asians are over-represented and they are a minority so there is no problem.

5. The NBA is majority black so does that mean we have to force team owners to draft white players?

At this point, these responses are not only predictable but laughable…

Oh and they reflect a high level of whining  (which, by the way, is what anyone who dares to demand equity, equality or unbiased treatment is usually accused of doing by merely speaking up).

Said complaining is usually spewed by  privileged members whose race and gender are aptly represented thus they are blind to see what could possibly be wrong with the  status quo. 

The knee-jerk reaction is to close the mind and eyes to rational thinking and consideration to any other alternative explanation, suggestion or solution.

For the sake of the exercise once more, let’s discuss these five lame excuses.

1. and 2. On only Best Hired and Tech being a Pure Meritocracy. *Yawn*:

Studies have shown unconscious bias exists. It is a real thing.  Facebook has admitted  it may impact hiring managers’ decision-making and consequently has launched efforts to train them how to recognize it and respond to it, appropriately.

Google the same. I really dig its model and attempts.

Twitter’s VP of Diversity and Inclusion Janet Van Huyesse made a similar statement about the value of diversity that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made last year as well:

“It makes good business sense that Twitter employees are representative of the vast and varied backgrounds of our users around the world. We also know that it makes good business sense to be more diverse as a workforce – research shows that more diverse teams make better decisions, and companies with women in leadership roles produce better financial results. But we want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of.”

The long and short of it: People prefer those who they are comfortable with, live around, socialize with and work with already. When choosing between two candidates with equal qualifications, they will likely hire the one they relate to more. When you have a predominantly White company, you must admit that Blacks and Hispanics are going to end up on the short end of the stick. Come on. Let’s be honest.


Twitter Employees

Add stereotypes about these races of people that are deep in the recesses of people’s minds  (they are lazy, they’ll come to work late, they have poor work ethic). These perceptions, not based on the actual individual applying for the job, but what the person hiring believes generally about people from one racial group is unconscious bias at work.

3. On lack of Minorities w/Tech degrees or Coding skills. Le Sigh. Really?

Put aside the fact black and Hispanic students graduate annually in large numbers with the requisite degree and skills (There are 106 HBCUs in America, many of which have CompSci departments and offer degrees in that major.)

Twitter and most of these large companies have a sizeable amount of non-tech positions that they manage to fill at least half with white women. So the excuse about coding goes down the drain there, even if it could be used to explain the numbers for tech jobs.

Working at Twitter

Most of the users of Twitter from America and from around the World are people of color. I don’t know how anyone can deny the fact that there are a lot of ideas that may come from people from different cultural backgrounds that can help a business.

Who would possibly think  only one racial group, mainly of people from the same or similar culture, is capable of serving and providing creative and innovative ideas for all the peoples and cultures?

Diversity is not about Political Correctness and it isn’t a four letter word. There is real business-value to mixing up your workforce.

Anyone who doesn’t get that is purposefully ignorant or dense.

4. On Asians being aptly represented: Just Don’t .

We all know the concern is over two racial groups: Blacks and Hispanics, and women.

Why do they matter? 

Both racial groups over-index, compared to their proportion in the population, in their use of Twitter and social media, generally and they represent a good bulk of their users. 

Women overindex in social media as well.

See this infographic from Yahoo! News:

Infographic  Which Demographics Use Social Media    Yahoo  Advertising Solutions   Yahoo News

Twitter and other social media companies  rely on women, Blacks and Hispanics’ numbers when courting advertising revenue. They value these groups as consumers but not enough to hire them…not even to answer the phone or clean the toilets because…check the numbers there too.

 5. On the NBA straw-man argument. Oh boy!

First, the NBA has limited positions for players on each team.

Second, you best believe non-blacks are aptly represented among NBA Team owners, General Managers, Assistant General Managers, Coaches, Sales Team leaders, Marketing, Advertising, Media Relations, Promotions, Graphic Designers, Team Radio and TV crews, On-Air Talent, Producers, Technicians, Guest Relations and Suite Services operators.

For example, check out Jet Set Times’ image from last month of Golden State Warrior employees being flown to the finals:


Nope. The NBA doesn’t have a Diversity Problem.

Big Tech does.

Tech companies have hundreds and even thousands of positions, worldwide and many of them do not require special skills (whether to dunk a basket or to  code).

Yet, despite this fact, they still don’t hire non-minorities (except Asians) and virtually no black women.

It’s uncanny and can only be explained by the fact the culture prefers to be inclusive of those who fit into it comfortably, and everyone else can see themselves out the door and never be called back for a final interview.

It’s not that complicated to diagnose, but it will take the usual apologists to take their heads out of the sand and actually digest the reality of the situation.

As I said in my post about Facebook:

Those who do not look like they belong (based on superficial factors such as their race and skin color) come in with the burden of having to prove they do.

Those who do look like they belong have an automatic check mark the former group doesn’t get.

This means the sole meritocracy position is bunk. 

The former groups are proven unqualified to fit in until they prove otherwise and the latter are deemed qualified to fit in until proven otherwise.

All of it this is not based on coding skill or actual work done but rather superficial things that have nothing to do with merit but rather perceptions that are based on stereotypes.

Homework: Here is the Required Viewing

I really enjoyed this Google Ventures video on Unconscious Bias presented by Dr. Brian Welle, Google’s Director of People Analytics. It is 1 hour long but worth the watch.

(h/t toSpaceKatGal on Twitter for this find).

I really appreciated the section about resumes and black names starting at 18:30.

People can’t get hired when their name blocks them from even getting interviewed.  

I also appreciated the microagression portion of Welle’s talk about preferring people and interacting more with people who are like ourselves starting at 33:30. It’s perfect and speaks to all I’ve written on this topic. And Welle shows data on why workers are hampered from a social networking and career advancement perspective by not crossing comfort barriers.

Oh I also like the part in the end around the 1 hour mark when in response to a question from the audience, Welle shares the story of the Asian American coder who didn’t think he was specially skilled but who had many doors opened to him simply because he fit the stereotype. That same coder wouldn’t benefit from any stereotype if he were in Harvard Business School where the perceived “type” is a tall, attractive, white male. It speaks to the point about how your race and gender is an automatic and unearned boost for some.

We need more who work in Silicon Valley and tech, in general, to recognize these research-based realities.

And finally, I also like that Google is taking the approach that the onus is on the institutions, companies and HR companies to fix the problem not those who are disadvantaged by things like unconscious bias.  Many tell Minorities and Women they need to do xy and z to get jobs in tech without addressing how the tech culture and companies within it need to do some work as well.

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