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Fashion and Friendship: When Dressing Becomes a Competitive Sport

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives: girlfriends who make a competition out of every situation.

If you’re happy about a glowing review at work, she has reason to believe she’s on the verge of a promotion. You’re pleased that your man is ready to commit and make you his “girlfriend,” her boyfriend is going to ask for her hand in marriage. Your five year-old got an A+ on an English quiz, hers will probably skip kindergarten by the end of the week. And the list goes on.

This kind of insecurity and antagonism also plays out in fashion. For example, when shopping with your girlfriend at the mall, she may grab the same dress you did and remark that it fits her differently (read: better). Or after piecing together an outfit that captures your unique style, you’re frustrated to find her wearing a similar look only days later.

It’s easy to determine that such competition is a manifestation of your girlfriend’s lack of self-knowledge and love. But there are other ways that competitiveness can materialize through your wardrobe that aren’t as easy to detect.

While I’ve often found myself the specific target of a competing friend, deeper reflection revealed I’m guilty of competing too but in a different way. At brunch one Sunday, my good friend pointed out that I make a habit of overdressing. When I pondered why, I realized I harbor the desire to be the “best-dressed” at every event I attend. My goal was not to compete with one particular girlfriend, but rather to crush the competition as a whole.

It’s a mindset that is reflected and encouraged by popular culture. Fashion journalists write lengthy articles determining who is the “Best-Dressed” after an awards show and create columns like “Who Wore It Better?” that make fashion feel like a battlefield. Rappers and singers alike will point to material things like custom-made diamond watches and designer bags as evidence that they’re an upgrade from the competition.

And when we face our closets to pick out an outfit with that spirit of competition inside us, we stop dressing for ourselves and start dressing for the approval and acceptance of others.

That Sunday, I realized though my look has always been unique and I don’t copy my friends’ fashions, my sense of style was still too heavily influenced by outside forces. I had given the way I wanted others to see and celebrate me too much power. Sure people’s opinions will always play a role in what you choose to wear, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. And outdoing one another shouldn’t be the motivation for looking our best.

Whether you’ve found yourself competing with a friend’s look or gunning to be the “best-dressed,” here’s a checklist to ensure that your look is purely a reflection of you:

-Do you genuinely love what you have on or do you just love the attention you receive when you wear it?

-What would you wear if no one (your best friend, boyfriend, etc.) was there to judge your outfit?

-Does your look celebrate what’s unique about your body and not what looks good on someone else?

-Would it matter to you if no one complimented or even liked your look? If so, why?

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.


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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.


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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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