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Living in the Land of Make Believe: You Are the World’s Most Wanted

Monica Cost

Pathfinder & Brand Strategist, Monica Cost

I’m not much of a reality television watcher for so many reasons that  I’ll save for another article (if I can muster up enough energy to write it). However, I wanted to support my girl Melyssa Ford in her Blood, Sweat & Heels reality series. That makes watching this also tough, because my interactions with Melyssa don’t line up with what I see on the show. But hence my lack of desire to consume these shows.

On to my real reason for writing. . .YOU. How did I get from Blood, Sweat and Heels to you? Well I’m glad you asked. As I was watching the episode of Blood, Sweat & Heels: Papa, Can You Hear Me? and watching Mica Hughes talk about wanting her father to apologize or explain why he treated  her the way he did when she was growing. Per Mica he was abusive to her and her mother.

After hearing of her father’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis and his refusal of treatment (which meant he could be dead in 72 hours), she was pondering whether or not she should go to her father for support or stay away because he’d shown no interest all these years. She seemed to long for validation that she’s worthy of love. Not knowing her personally and having only the show to base any conclusion on, I would venture to say that Mica’s emotional issues stem primarily from her need to feel like she is truly wanted by her father.

My father left when I was five. He had schizophrenia and felt that we would have an easier life without him. For that I loved him, even though I felt sad that he had to go it alone. However, I never wondered if I was worthy of his love. My mother did an amazing job at subsidizing, as did my uncles and family friends. There was no shortage of love.images

I say that to say, I can’t relate to Mica’s experience personally. And, I would still like to offer up a few thoughts on women feeling unworthy due to abandonment.  Here are my thoughts on feeling unworthy or unloved:

1. Stop it! Easier said that done. I know, but the reality is that you are loved. I’m sure if you take a moment to think about it, you can name at least one person who loves you.

2. Look at it. And by it I mean the list of qualities you enjoy about yourself and the list of positive things that people say about you. I don’t care if it’s as simple as you have a nice smile or as complicated as you offer great analysis to hard situations. You have qualities that are lovable, even if your parent or another family member didn’t take time to see it.

3. Change it. If you’ve been behaving badly in some areas due to the feelings of your lack of love and validation, change those behaviors. Instead write down your feelings or tell someone you trust or tell a therapist. Don’t lose the people who love you because of the people who decided not to.

4. Recognize it. Recognize that people who decided or didn’t know how to love you or show you love, couldn’t. The reasons could be anything and you may never know. It could range from you reminding them of mistakes they’ve made in the past or scared to mess it all up. The list is endless and people’s emotions can be complicated. Whatever their reason for not loving you, it is NOT an indicator of your worthiness to be loved.

5. Kill it! If you woke up this morning and I’m pretty positive that you did since you’re reading this, you have an opportunity to continue to bless the world with your gifts, love and passion. Show us the best of you. Choose love every time.

I’m just crazy enough to believe that each of us is born with a purpose and a worthiness to be loved. In your most authentic being, you are necessary. You are the world’s most wanted. We’re looking for you. The world wants the best of you.

Monica Cost is a Pathfinder, Author, TV Show Host & Brand Strategist. She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome emotional sensations” (found at www.monicacost.com) Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com. See Kenny Lattimore and model, Melyssa Ford at www.monicacost.com. Live  true!

Melyssa Ford - Real Estate Broker, Model & Actress

Living in the Land of Make Believe: Do You Know Melyssa Ford?

Monica Cost

Pathfinder & Brand Strategist

*Melyssa Ford. You may know the name. You may certainly know the face. But, you may not know the person.

Since meeting Melyssa, who has quickly become like a younger sister to me, I’ve encountered many opportunities to witness the continual negative effects of labels without understanding.

Yes, she’s model, an actress, a community servant, a real estate broker and now a reality television star. However, what you may not know about Melyssa is that she is a woman with, an extensive vocabulary, an in depth knowledge of forensic psychology, and one who is passionate about community service and a homebody.

I met Melyssa during the National Urban League Conference where I was moderating a panel she was on called Transcending Stereotypes: Redefining the Black Woman. Other panelists included Devyn, winner of Naomi Campbell’s The Face, Broadway star, Brenda Braxton and corporate leaders from Comcast and JC Penney. Given my mission of dismantling labels, there couldn’t have been a more perfect topic for me to discuss. Melyssa and I decided to meet in the lobby of the Marriott, where we were staying for a brief “get to know you”. Eight hours later, we were laughing, talking about our life goals, and completely annoyed with those who were interrupting our “girl talk.” I have to admit that I would not have guessed that our conversation would have covered so many areas, and that we would have had so much to talk about.

Again, it was further confirmed that we should not judge a book until we have “read it”. Only then can any one of us claim to have understanding of its content. While Melyssa’s notoriety came from her work as a video model that focused on her looks, she is very much a person who lives in her head. Did you know that she is a deep thinker, that she reads books on forensic psychology, that she enjoys quiet evenings at home, that she volunteers her time fighting for those with HIV/Aids, and that she gives her time to read to children? Did you know that she set standards for herself when she was a video models?

Real Estate Broker, Model & Actress

Melyssa Ford – Real Estate Broker, Model & Actress

As you may know, my mission is to liberate our society from the labels that hinder our real progress by aborting the information gathering process that we need to access the truth. It is only when we move beyond perception, let go of the labels and get our values in view that we will experience the ultimate fulfillment of our purpose.

Who is the real Melyssa Ford? Watch this segment of The Monica Cost Show: New levels. No labels and see.

Melyssa Ford on The Monica Cost Show: New levels. No labels.

Melyssa Ford is starring on a new reality television series called Blood, Sweat and Heels airing on Bravo on Sunday, January 5th at 9pm EST. These days you can also find Melyssa assisting buyers in sellers with high end real estate in New York at MNS.

Monica Cost is a Pathfinder, Author, TV Show Host & Brand Strategist. She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome emotional sensations” (found at www.monicacost.com) Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com. See Kenny Lattimore and model, Melyssa Ford at www.monicacost.com. Live  true!

 

monica cost (screenshot)

Living in the Land of Make Believe: Ditch the Perfect Dish

Monica Cost

Pathfinder & Brand Strategist

*Welp, looks like the pressure is on.

Stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day and I have to say that I’m in the crowd of the outraged (well, maybe that’s a bit strong, but you get my drift).

With so much going on in our world, the need for human connection has reached an all time high in my book. We’re disconnecting by the minute and the holidays often provide a time for us to unplug and get to know the real people in our lives again. It’s a time for laughing, sharing, catching up, playing games and breaking bread together.

And to add to the excessive pressure and focus on giving just the right gift, comes the worry that our meals won’t be sufficiently tasty or otherwise enjoyed by those we are preparing it for. And, as if that isn’t enough, lob on the stress of having the house perfectly clean for the guests who are attending.

This year ditch the pressure of the perfect dish and opt for doing the best you can. Commit to just enough cleaning to make you comfortable and save your purchasing power to prepare for your financial future.

Let go of the pressure, enjoy the people and ditch the perfect dish.

Happy Holidays from Pathfinder & Internet TV Host, Monica Cost from Monica Cost on Vimeo.


Monica Cost is a Pathfinder, Author, TV Show Host & Brand Strategist. She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome emotional sensations” (found at www.monicacost.com) Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com. See Kenny Lattimore and upcoming guest model, Melyssa Ford (Monday, Dec. 2 at 3pm) at www.monicacost.com. Live  true!

monica cost

Living in the Land of Make Believe: BriaMarie says Bye Boy!

Brand Strategist

Brand Strategist: Monica Cost

I ain’t your trick. I ain’t your hoe. I ain’t your freak. Don’t work no pole.” Yup, that’s where we are folks. In a place where young women are having to adamantly state their position, for it is no longer a given. Because many young women of today accept any kind of approach and treatment from men, a distinguishment must be made between who will accept it and who will not.

The words above are from up and coming superstar BriaMarie’s current single, Bye Boy. With her cleaner style of music and encouraging messages, she is changing the music game for her generation. Despite the overwhelming popularity of mainstream songs, that are in heavy radio rotation, that continue to disrespect and degrade young women, BriaMarie is opting for a kind of music that promotes an alternative, and what some might consider a more healthy approach.

I was recently introduced to BriaMarie by co-founder of Ethical Music Entertainment, Grammy nominated and award-winning producer, Carvin Haggins. BriaMarie’s current single on Ethical Music Entertainment’s label, Bye Boy is a new anthem for young women wishing to dispel the notion that all women want to be handled loosely (no judgment). “BriaMarie is different,” says Haggins. “One of the first things she said to me was that she wanted a career that meant something, both in her message and in her presentation. In an industry where artists are forfeiting the title of role model, BriaMarie is heading towards it. She embodies what Ethical Music Entertainment stands for.” continues Haggins.

I had the opportunity to catch up with the Maryland native, adopted Philly Girl, and Temple University student last week. I have to say that while I don’t know her well, she certainly comes across as a young woman of purpose and substance. She spoke about being committed to offering her generation of women an alternative to what is being played on the radio currently, learning the business and production side of music, and giving back to her community. In addition to her message to young women of respecting and valuing oneself, she is also displaying the execution on the desires of her heart. It’s one thing to hope and dream, it’s another to take action, and BriaMarie is making it happen.

BriaMarie

BriaMarie

She was introduced to the music business at an early age by her father, who was a drummer in a band. At the tender age of 14, she began singing background vocals for his band. In 2011, after recording a demo, the young talent took to social media to “stalk” Carvin Haggins, one of her favorite producers. Much to her surprise he responded and as they say, “the rest is history”. Noticing BriaMarie’s talent and hunger to make a difference, Ethical Music Entertainment signed the young artist.

True to my mission of assisting those who desire it, in living a more authentic life, I asked BrieMarie how she maintains her authenticity in an industry that promotes putting up facades. To that Bria said, “I experienced a lot of peer pressure growing up and I definitely had cool crowd issues where I was always trying to fit in. What ultimately helped me and keeps me grounded today is my relationship with God, along with the amazing support team that I have around me.”

BriaMarie wants her music to impact generations of young women around the globe and to promote a healthier approach to self respect, and how young men and women relate to one another. I believe she’ll do it.

To the men that will try to take her off message, hate on her style of music, insist on treating her without respect and/or utilize material possessions to capture her heart, BriaMarie says. . . BYE BOY!

You can find BriaMarie and her MTV featured video “Bye Boy” at www.briamarie.com.

Monica Cost is a Brand Strategist for Evidently Assured & Chief Advisor for the L.Y.T.E. (the live your truth experience).  She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome emotional sensations” (found at www.monicacost.com) Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com. Live  true!

monica cost

Living in the Land of Make Believe: THE FACE Off with Devyn

monica cost

Monica Cost

Given the current state of reality television I chose to stay away from watching. That being said, I had not heard of Devyn Abdullah prior to meeting her through The National Urban League. I was moderating a panel entitled, “Transcending Stereotypes: Redefining the Black Woman” and Devyn was one of the panelists.

Our first meeting was a casual and insightful phone conversation that I had with the rising star. In preparation for our conversation, I Googled to learn more. As with most things, the negative news was first up. We’ll get to that later. After that I learned a little about her upbringing in Bronx, New York, attending the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and her recent win on Naomi’s Campbell’s model search reality show called, “The Face.”

I try to manage my paradigms and stereotype assignments, especially since I live in America where they run wild. After meeting Devyn, I learned from meeting Devyn that I had a few of my own about models. And she blew them all out of the water. Devyn was sweet, relatable, humble and comfortable. She was poised and presented our audience with great insights to her transformation, as well as her fight for other young single mothers. Given that there are stereotypes that stick with many young mothers, it was nice to hear her perspective and her story.

While Devyn won The Face, she was unfortunately best known for her statement on the show that she does not consider herself a black model while being interviewed by Wendy Williams. Of course Wendy took the opportunity to assign her own meaning to Devyn’s words instead of understanding the point she was trying to make. As with most reality shows, the producers chose to show all of the negative responses to Devyn’s comments. This lead to a social media firestorm with most people attacking Devyn personally. Many of the posts were unrelated to her actual comments on the show and were just mean without cause. I have to say on a personal note that I am usually confused when someone’s perception of themselves causes others to launch personal attacks.

When I spoke to Devyn about the comment she made in the interview with Wendy, prior to our

Devyn, Winner of The Face

Devyn, Winner of The Face

panel, she told me that while she completely embraces being an African American woman (because that’s what she is), she doesn’t think it’s fair to have to constantly identify herself as a “black model.” I understood immediately, as I have NEVER called myself a black Brand Strategist or a black Author or a black Entrepreneur even. I don’t think it’s fair that Devyn has to choose the title we give her in her profession. It’s one thing for the public to acknowledge her ethnicity, it’s another to demand that she line up her professional title with what makes us feel better and more comfortable. Which, for those who take comfort in Devyn calling herself a “black model,” I would ask where is the offense to you? To me, it appears that the discomfort lies with the discomforted. I’ll move on.

When I asked Devyn about her ability to stay true to herself despite being in an industry that promotes disingenuous behavior, she said that she had to attribute it to knowing who she is in Christ, as well as having her daughter’s father and others as a great support system to keep her grounded.

Devyn is clear that modeling is a career that lasts only for a time. During her journey, she would love to be a national spokesperson for a respected brand, have her own reality show (exposing some of the ills that plague young single mothers) and possibly to visit the Wendy Williams Show for another conversation with her.

She is enjoying this time and honing her other professional passion, which is photography. Devyn hopes to one day be a photographer for National Geographic. In addition, she is co-creating a clothing line called Amerikan Outkast that targets the audience it names.

Devyn’s ultimate face off is yet to be seen with so many new opportunities headed her way. I look forward to seeing more of this authentic beauty.

Monica Cost is a Brand Strategist, Author of the new life changing book about living an authentic life, called “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze: How to live an authentic life with awesome emotional sensations” (found at www.monicacost.com), and host of the new and groundbreaking talk show “The L.Y.T.E. (live your truth experience) with Monica Cost, launching in fall of 2013. Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com. Live  true!

monica choice

Living in the Land of Make Believe: As the Tables Turn

Brand Strategist

Brand Strategist

*”She’s a whore.” “She’s awesome.” “He’s a dog.” “He’s incredible.”  “She’s a home wrecker.” “She’s such a great person.” “He’s a menace.” “He’s a disgrace.” “He’s a giver.”

Funny how someone can be on one side of the table one day and the other side of the table, the next. Our society is in the practice of hearing one bit of information from a third party, immediately casting judgment and giving a label to the person in question. Then (and here’s the crazy part to me) we in the same breath go on and on about how we’re misunderstood, wronged and judged. We talk about how people don’t know the whole story about us. We take to the social media airways and further complain by making statements like let the haters hate, or I’m just doing me or, some other statement to let the world know that they have our stories all wrong.

What would it take for us to take just one moment to stop and process before judging and thus turning the tables to be hypocritical? When a man gets caught cheating, why can’t we just remember the time we made a bad choice? When we hear about a woman strung out on drugs, why can’t we somehow recall the time we felt like there was no way out?

I remember when Fantasia admitted to being illiterate at the time, people came out of the woodworks. They called her dumb, country and more hurtful names. I remember when Tiger got caught cheating with quite a few women, people called him a dog, a home wrecker, and more. When Michael Vick was caught fighting dogs, people called him a monster, a thug and more. When Nadya Suleman had eight children, people talked about her ability to mother and raise these children.

Here’s the thing. Fantasia ended up in the hospital having tried to end her own life. All of a sudden, the same people who were judging began having some empathy for the entertainer. Tiger still hasn’t quite recovered. Michael Vick is on his way back. Nadya Suleman has faded to black. But what if. . . just what if. . .Tiger missed his childhood because his father had his thumb on him his entire life, prepping him to become a golf phenom? What if while other boys were having teenaged boy experiences with girls, Tiger was suppressing his desires on the golf course to please his father? What if Michael Vick grew up in a place where dog fighting was acceptable and it didn’t register as a sensitive topic for him? Or, if it did, he rationalized it away. What if Nadya Suleman had a void in her soul so big that having children was her answer given that she couldn’t explain the void?

My point is why we can’t we reach out to our fellow human beings to lift them up in their times of struggle? Why do we have to wait until they have a fall from grace to have any empathy for what people may be going through? Why can’t we take a moment to remember our own fight with various demons, no matter how big or small, in order to assist our brothers and sisters who are on struggle for a variety of reasons.

The labels we dish out so effortlessly are kind of pointless, because on a drop of a dime, they change. The tables turn.

Can we skip the turning of the tables and just opt for compassion, understanding, and assistance? Just thinking out loud.

Thoughts?

Monica Cost is a Brand Strategist for Evidently Assured & Chief Advisor for the L.Y.T.E. (the live your truth experience).  She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome emotional sensations” (found at www.monicacost.com) Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com. Live  true!