I recently had a lot of things on my mind about the state of women in general. Where are we heading in this New Year? Have we elevated from the status of just “side pieces” or “jawns” or “b****es”? Are women now being seen as important contributors to not only her story but history as well? These are just a few of the questions that went through my head and I needed to speak with someone that I knew could enlighten me, besides my own mother.
Meet, Lacey Clark! She is a life coach and the big “soul sister” of young women who are growing up in the generation of Hiphop. She has been known for her very insightful and encouraging workshops like, the Self-love Movement and Holiday, The Self-Love Celebration Series for female youth of Hip-Hop Generation, and The Sisters' Sanctuary Inner Beau-Tea Parties.
YHC: What is a Life Coach and why should everyone teen girl have one in their lives?
Lacey: A Life Coach is personal cheerleader that keeps you focused on your goals and developing your greatness. I don’t know if every teen girls needs to have one but a Life Coach can really support teen girls and young women with making healthier choices and smarter decisions. The role of a Life Coach is to inspire people to know that all things are possible and you can be and see the best that life has to offer.
YHC: What is your view of young women today?
Lacey: I think young women today have spunk like never before. It’s a great thing when it’s guided into something productive, but is can destructive and damaging without guidance or support.
YHC: What are some to the mistakes that you see young women make that you would like to see them reflect on?
Lacey: Sometimes we can sell ourselves short. I think young women need to get in the habit of thinking about the consequences of their actions. Young women often make choices with boys and in school that do not celebrate the highest and best for themselves and their lives. I would like them to reflect on and focus on choices. We almost always have a choice.
YHC: What do you think about the way woman are portrayed in music videos? Have things changed for the better of the worse? Why?
Lacey: I think it’s an updated version of the same point: women are objects and trophies for men's fantasies. Nikki Minaj's exaggerated fake booty is an example of this. The danger is the message; women can be thrown away like a toy you have finished playing with. This message is damaging because it teaches young people that they are equal to things and that their value is related to what they have and not who you are. Your value is sacred because you are Divine.
YHC: What would women look like and what would women do if they were in charge of their own image?
Lacey: The imagery we see in videos is often taken from pornographic fantasies of women based on what men want. Young women should be aware of what they are copying. You don't have to master sex and sexuality at a young age to be valuable. This is the message.
However, I think Monica's image is classy. I love the way she is presented in music videos.
YHC: With songs like, "You Fancy, Huh?", "My Chick Bad", and others that say that they are celebrating women, do you feel that the Hiphop community is changing its opinion of women?
Lacey: "My Chick Bad" is all about how good the chick's sex game is and her ability to handle her liquor. Does that sound like a different type of celebration or is it in line with same message?
"You Fancy, Huh?" is celebrating the girl for being fly and smart. The rap also speaks of her willingness to be her own person and not try to trap a man by being a gold digger. I think that's cool. I am concerned about the materialistic message it sends. It makes us obsessed with these "things/labels", and if we don't have them, then we ain't "Fancy" which in return means we ain't valuable.
Young women can be "fancy," valuable, and fly in a t-shirt, jeans, clear nail polish and a ponytail. I teach girls and young women how to celebrate their inner fancy. Inner ‘fancy' goes a long way.
YHC: How can young women make a difference in how they should be viewed by society?
Lacey: I feel our values and sense of power are misplaced. Media says that the woman's power is in her sexuality. This is only one aspect of her power. Women are whole, beautiful beings with amazing gifts and value but we are reduced to faceless and nameless sex objects...big booty. When we learn how amazing we truly are, we can walk with dignity and know that we are beyond bootilicious.
I talk all about this in my workbook/journal, "Celebrate HER Now"!
YHC: Just recently I wrote an article about Nicki Minaj and she stated that she has changed her style because of the young women that she has an influence over. What do you think about that?
Lacey: Congrats on writing the article. I think it’s great that she is taking responsibility for how young people view her, but young people need to know she is human too and is not perfect. I think we need diverse everyday models. Not just celebrities.
YHC: Are celebrities role models? Because they are in the media, do they have a responsibility to the youth and those that admire them?
Lacey: On one hand, celebrities are individuals who happen to have a public job. On the other hand, they are being watched and are models. I do think they should be conscious of their public actions. We must remember that celebrities are human beings with human issues, like low self-esteem, relationship insecurities, dysfunctional childhoods, heartbreaks, bills. When people are put up on a pedal stool, we forget that they have to put their pants on just like everyone else. Their pants may just cost more money. I think young people need family and community models that teach them that it’s not all about glitter and glamour and superstar lifestyles. I think it is about learning how to coexist with others and being a positive contribution to yourself and the world.
YHC: What do you think about the show The Bad Girls Club?
Lacey: I think the show is all about chaos and confusion. It celebrates violence, disrespect, lack of responsibility for their actions and absolute recklessness. I do not like the way it reinforces stereotypes especially among Black women.
YHC: Is the media creating a bad image of pretty women as bad girls?
Lacey: Define "pretty women." I think there is a lack of celebration of women over all. The "Bad Girl" concept is IN. I think the imagery is out of balance. Yes, there are "bad girls" but they are not telling the whole story. What happens to "Bad Girls"? The consequences of a "Bad Girls” lifestyle is not fabulous.
There are ways to handle conflicts without violence.
YHC: Can these women be viewed as role models? What about the fact that many of them have careers as teachers, business owners and more?
Lacey: They can be viewed as role models but what are they modeling? So it's damaging. There are little to no boundaries and no real life consequences displayed on the show. Some of the actions on the show are worthy of being in jail. The girls are being exploited. The show is saying that violence, recklessness, chaos, confusion and drunkenness are fabulous. There are no solutions to the inner anger and pain these girls are experiencing. This is why they are acting out in this way. They need help. Substance abuse (alcoholism. drugs, etc.) lifestyles are really painful and can leave themselves and loved ones physically and emotionally hurt. In real life their careers and livelihood would be in jeopardy.
This is where practicing self-love comes in. I coach young women in how to practice self-love. Self-love soothes anger. There are tools I use to support young women in working through their anger and inner pain. You can get free.
YHC: What are 5 things that young women should tell themselves before they start their day?
Lacey: I love you.
You are valuable.
You are worthy of all things great and beautiful.
You are sacred.
You are beautiful.
YHC: What are 5 things that you never leave home with that are in your bag?
Lacey: My things are in my spiritual bag and are intangible:
Love and belief in myself.
Love for others.
Peace of Mind.
A sense of balance.
Connectedness to my Higher Power.
If you would like to learn more about Lacey C. Clark! Visit her at:
@Queencelebrateu on Twitter
Lacey Clark! is an expert in solving the communications challenges between younger and older women of color. Her work includes creating the Self-love Movement and Holiday, The Self-Love Celebration Series for female youth of Hip-Hop Generation, The Sisters' Sanctuary Inner Beau-Tea Parties, the workbook/journal, Celebrate HER Now! and the 5 Disc Audio collection, Healing the Gap. Lacey!'s clients include individuals, families, not-for profits, civic organizations and corporations. Her insights heal wounds and bridge the gap created by our changing culture. She has shared stages and platforms with, Jill Scott, Hill Harper, Dr. Sonia Sanchez, Les Brown, and Dr. Robin Smith of the Oprah Winfrey show. Lacey!'s approach has been featured in both local and national media.