BELLES NETWORK

The lovely Faith, how are you love? Now I should say to you that I’m very much about female empowerment, businesses and everything else. I am incredibly excited for what Belles Network is doing on social media and how much it brings forth positivity. To those who don’t know, what is Belles Network? And how did the idea come about?

I am good thank you babe, do you know what? A lot of people ask me that. In essence it is a women’s empowerment organisation, but when I say that people already think “ahh dead”, not another one, and I get it, I really do. I can already see them immediately switch off, and boring is the last thing Belles Network is about!
We connect and celebrate incredible women through social media and by hosting phenomenal events. We bring the ‘girls wanna have fun’ vibe back to women’s empowerment events. Not only do we give you your daily dose of motivation, but at our events we want you leave thinking “WOW, what a night!” You know when you wake up the next day after an event, and you just lie in your bed and deep how powerful that night was, yeah we want that to be the Belles Network experience.  We want you to let your hair down, dress up, meet likeminded women and be inspired to be the woman you are destined to be.
We shine a light on the extraordinary things ordinary women are doing, we do this by using our hashtag ‘#BellesLoves’ to highlight some undiscovered talent, sometimes it just takes that one person, or in our case, Belles Network to believe in you. Yes it is great that celebrities and public figures are doing amazing things, however what about the timid girl, who’s been writing for 10 years and finally had the confidence to start a blog, or the fashionista who started her fashion line – like “yassss come through sis” *snaps fingers*.  We give credit, where credit is due.
Well my friend Chelsea and I were both fashion bloggers at the time – Chelsea still is – and I dm’ed her regarding a new bloggers community for black girls. We agreed that it was an amazing idea. But if you know me I don’t want a slice of the pie, I want the whole thing, so we said lets create events not only for bloggers, but for all types of women. Then boom, Belles Network was born and the world was good *laughs*.

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You already know how much I support and also value a movement like Belles Network. It’s so positive, and I know it’s going to be doing amazing things in the near future, which I am very excited about. Do you think the position women are in, regarding entrepreneurial opportunities and experiences  has grown within this culture? Do you think it’s important for women to be active and independent and what would you say to encourage a woman who wants to start a business but is unsure?

 I think women are in a better position than they were in a decade ago. Back in the day women would stay at home whilst their partners went to work. Now, women are leaving the workforce to stay at home, but not as homemakers, but as entrepreneurs. More women are going after what they want. Life is not bliss, but there is evident progress. Every day or so on Twitter I see a young woman launch her blog, business or dive into some form of adventure, and I love it.
Yes, women should be independent, you don’t need to parade around calling yourself miss independent, claiming that you don’t need anyone. However you do need to be comfortable by yourself. What comes to mind is that video about not compromising your 20s that was circulating Twitter not too long ago. The lady in the video said something like create a large life, so when a man isn’t in the picture, you are still enjoying life. Nobody is going to get you to your destination, but yourself!
In regards to starting a business…. Hmmm. Don’t launch something until you are ready, but at the same time don’t sit on an idea for too long as someone else will launch it before you do, and that day you will cry. It’s all about balance. Also, make sure your idea is unique. What makes you stand out, what problem are you solving? People don’t know they need something until they recognise that there is something missing. Lastly, starting a business is harder than you think, it is an emotional roller-coaster. Outsiders only see the end product, but don’t see how you got there. Talk to God and talk to a friend, they will uplift you and encourage you when things are going wrong. Iron sharpens iron!

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Let’s talk about something that’s been on Twitter, Amber Rose released a photograph of her showing her vagina but with pubic hair and many people have attacked her for this, saying she’s being attention seeking and it’s not about female empowerment or feminism. For someone who is a lover of seeing women prosper, create and just grow positively, what was your opinion of this?

Shaving is such a mundane task, waxing hurts like crazy and not all shaving cream is sensitive skin friendly, even when it claims to be. So sis… I feel you, you are tired, and by all means… do you! A box is still a box at the end of the day. However what I cannot support is people posting nudes in the name of feminism and women empowerment, to hide the fact that they are seeking attention…post your pic and go. Nudity doesn’t equate to empowerment.
I don’t even know how you spin this to make your child understand why their mother’s nudes are on the Internet. As kids do, they cuss each other, if her child said to another child “but look at your hair though” the other child could easily say “yeah, but your mum’s nudes look great on my phone.” To be honest that’s the end of the conversation, because really and truly where do we go from here? I just think posting a nude, is a lazy way to increase awareness about women’s rights.

I definitely didn’t understand the correlation between women empowerment and the picture she posted, I cannot lie to you (laughs). I was baffled, but at least we can take control of what is defined as women empowerment and create a new narrative everyday. Amen! (laughs) What is next for you and Belles Network and how can we stay connected?

So our first event will be on the 15th of July, I’m very excited for this one, it is called Pole dancing and Mocktails. The ticket link is below and make sure to follow us on twitter: @BellesNetwork.
When I put the event poster as my WhatsApp display picture my Nigerian mother immediately messaged me saying “Pole dancing?” this was very early in the morning and I wasn’t ready to rumble, so I ignored it. Unsurprisingly she called me and I explained that the reason she was calling me was because she had conformed to societal norms, due to the stigma attached to pole dancing. I added that Belles Network is about empowering women to be who they want to be. Why can’t pole dancing be recognised like every other sport? In the words of Kelechi Okafor, a pole dancer isn’t a stripper and a stripper isn’t a pole dancer. I think my mum was surprised that I gave her a PEE explanation and she gently said “okay ooo” and that was the end of it.
As for me…*grins* I’m a busy bee, I’m always looking for new opportunities, ways to better and challenge myself, whilst obviously having fun. I have a few things in the works, but I’m not one to kiss and tell, so follow me on twitter: @fxith_x to watch me on my journey to the top.

Purchase your ticket for Belles Network’s first event ‘Pole dancing and Mocktails’ https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pole-dancing-mocktails-tickets-35475040802

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