black woman decluttering

The New Year is swiftly approaching and what better way to prepare for a successful and prosperous 2014 than getting rid of some of the bad habits, clutter, and foolishness from 2013? With this is mind, here’s a list of 13 things we hope don’t make it into the New Year.

Letting others define who you are

How you feel when you don't live by others' expectations.

How you feel when you don’t care about others’ expectations.

Yeezy was right; you can still be who you wish you is. Which means YOU have the power to shape what your life will be like. Don’t like the road you’re traveling? Begin making changes. Set a goal, figure out what steps you need to take to get there, and take action! When 2015 rolls around I hope you look back in awe at what you’ve accomplished instead of regretting what could have been.

The word ratchet



Yes, Emmanuel & Phillip’s video was hilarious, but can we all agree that “ratchet” has jumped the shark? When old folks and white newscasters start using it, you know it’s dead. Can we cremate “ratchet” on New Year’s Eve and move on?

Cultural appropriation

No...don't twerk, Miley!

No…don’t twerk, Miley!

I’m looking at you Miley, Robin, JT, mainstream media, and everyone else who believes it’s cool to “borrow” from another group’s culture. Halloween is no excuse to paint yourself black; dressing up as a Geisha isn’t a shout out to your Asian peeps; and wearing a sombrero and serving tacos does not make you sensitive to Latino folks’ needs. From this moment on stop jacking our fresh then pretending you made it. Cuz as Ms. Debbie Allen taught us, twerking’s been around for centuries; this ain’t nothing new. Create your own trend and ride that one out. Cool?

B*tches & n*ggas be like memes

I have no words...

I have no words…

Every time I see one of these ignorant memes flash across my social media feed I say a prayer for the ancestors. These “b*tches be like…” and “n*ggas be like” images highlight everything that is wrong with our community. We have enough obstacles to overcome without our own people spreading offensive b.s. about us and calling it “jokes.” The next time you see one of these dumb memes, hit them with this Steve Biko quote: “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

Empty passports

Change clothes & go.

Change clothes & go.

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Between budget travel deals, low-cost airfare, travel articles on CLUTCH, and our proximity to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, there’s no reason why you can’t get at least one stamp on your passport in the New Year.

Sharing Worldstar fight videos

Mama, noooooo!

Mama, noooooo!

File this alongside those horrible memes. While it may be hard not to tune into two folks throwing down, sharing the video has serious consequences for those involved. As illustrated by the Sharkeisha fiasco, victims are often bullied and ridiculed because they were assaulted, and by continuing to spread these videos we are encouraging others to flip on their cell phone and confront someone on camera.

Wishing people “HBD”



If you’re too lazy or too busy or too pressed for time to write out the words “happy birthday” just skip it all together. Nothing says, “You mean nothing to me,” than typing “HBD!” and pressing send.

Kanye’s complaining


I dig Kanye. I love his passion, his creativity, and I sorta understand most of his rants. But I’m so over his woe-is-me stance when it comes to begging the establishment for access to their inner circle. Kanye has the resources, connections, and following to create his own establishment, but because the head of Louis Vuitton wasn’t impressed with his designs or wouldn’t give him a job he wants to throw a hissy fit? Nawl, Ye! I think Kanye needs to call Beyoncé, because she might actually have the answers.

Essays about Beyoncé

Beyonce gif

Speaking of Beyoncé…can we stop writing about her? I get it. She broke the Internet and dropped a sexy album reminiscent of Janet’s Velvet Rope and cast off her good girl image while being drunk on a beach with her man. Awesome? Sure. But dammit, can we stop philosophizing about what it all means? While folks squabble over whether or not she’s a feminist or whether or not her album disses her gay fans (yes, this article happened), she added more zeroes to her bank account, her BeyHive got something new to twerk to, and the rest of us are waiting for the furor to die down.

Fighting over Jordans

This can't be real life.

This can’t be real life.

Why is this even a thing? I don’t understand how a pair of gaudy tennis shoes with rubber soles and leather uppers can cause so much of an uproar. Sure they may set off your outfit, but camping out and then risking your life to cop a pair of Js cannot be worth it. Besides, you know those $300 sneaks cost like $3 to make and are brought to you by some Chinese girl’s tears and a company who doesn’t give a damn about you, right? Just checking.

Dudes who only have potential

No...I will not upgrade you.

No…I will not upgrade you.

My sisters, my sisters, the era of upgrading dudes is OVER. Every man may have some Barack in him, but if he’s currently camped out on his parents’ couch with no plans for the future and just a piece of a job, I don’t care how cute or sweet or smooth talking he is…he ain’t the one. Period. Potential is nice when someone is acting on it, but it’s quite the opposite when it’s being wasted. Judge all possible dates and mates by who they are today, not who they may be in the future.

R. Kelly


I’m not sure why this dude wasn’t run out of town when the video of him peeing on a young girl surfaced years ago, but he’s back, and without an ounce of shame. The fact that he feels it’s ok to sing and joke and talk so blatantly about sex when he’s raped DOZENS of girls turns my stomach. But what’s even worse?  So many black women continue to support this dude (ehem, Mary J. Blige). He needs to go back into hiding with the rest of the pedophiles.

Waiting for permission


The digital age has leveled the playing field and the days of begging others to include you in their business, shows, or for recognition is over.  The gatekeepers of old are becoming less and less relevant, and the rules of the game are changing. Want to make a film? Shoot it. Want to write a book? Write it. Want to start a company? Start it. The barriers to entry are lower than ever, so do not beg anyone for access. Create your own lane and take off!

Like our list? Share it on social media! What else would you like to leave behind in 2013? 

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