What do you do when you are extremely talented, believe in yourself, but the industry that you are trying to get into will not give you the time of day because of your age or your race or your “look” in general?
That is how the mainstream music industry is. It is controlled and contrived with routine practices of age, race and sex discrimination. They actively promote young people who are NOT talented in any major way because when marketed properly, can generate revenue from a non-discerning, young audience. Meanwhile, truly gifted people go unnoticed.
Rena Scott has an incredible voice and talent. She’s been in the music industry for a long time and has never been given her due. Like a lot of inspirational women, she will not give up and continues to do what she is and makes her own way. We are grateful for her conversation and her inspiration on Women Move the Soul.com.
You started out singing in a Baptist churches. Did you ever feel out of place because of the color of your skin?
I grew up in the Black community. I think people were shocked when they saw this skinny little light-skinned girl get up there to sing. They really did not expect this big voice with so much emotion and soul go come out. You could just see it on their faces after the first note. I always thought that was funny. I was teased often because I was light skinned. I did feel different because I did not look like anyone in my family. I could not quite figure that out. Many years later I found out that I was bi-racial – half white and half Black. I was called several names and some people wanted to beat me up in school for no reason. That really hurt me, I did not understand that. I was blessed to have so many wonderful friends who stood up for me back then. I am so grateful for my church experience. It brought me closer to God and helped to develop as a singer and a person. To me there is no better training ground. I had so many teachers and choir directors mentor me.
You have been in the music business for all of your life. You have paid your dues. Do you feel that you achieved what you wanted? For being as talented as you are vocally, do you feel that you got what you deserved? And, is there more on your plate to do musically?
I have achieved a lot in the business. I have 4 albums and was featured on 8 Soul CD compilations through out the US and the world. I have sung on several movie sound tracks and sang jingles along with other accomplishments. I want to do more of that kind work as well as do some acting. There is so much more that I want to achieve. I want to continue to grow and be the best I can be with the talents and blessings God has given me. I have come to realize that God is in control – not me – and I know he will continue to open doors for me just like this interview with you.
I think 60 year old women are not supposed to spread their arms and pretend they are airplanes (complete with zaroom noise) while walking in the park. I don’t think they can pretend they are fairies fluttering with delicate wings from a yellow flower to an orange flower. Or skip with a big grin on their face while singing some song from their youth. Well, I guess it is okay if they are with a grandchild. But alone?
December I will be 60. When 60 years passed I have no idea. I always thought I’d reach my idea of an adult by now. However, I still sleep cuddled up with my stuffed bear (and of course my two dogs.) I love hot chocolate in the winter and ice cream causes my eyes to glitter in the summer. Flowers are imagined as fairy dresses and having fun, as always, is my primary goal. So I check to see if anyone is nearby before I twirl in the middle of the sidewalk pretending I am wearing a light pink tutu. I hide this part of me from a judging public’s eyes.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve done a lot of adult things like get an education, work, live alone and support myself. I’ve attended boring professional dinners and conventions. Speaking with political correctness while boiling inside and leaving any sign of passion outside when dealing with issues was a great skill. But I’ve never given up my childish ways. Now I will be 60. The age, as each age, is welcome. I mean, think of the senior discounts. I am still me, still happy. A world of fantasy, art, music, and dreams of love still remain. Yet I feel publicly I must display the dignity I did as a higher education administrator and professor while inside I am dancing as I did at 20.
Perhaps the difference with 60 is some things I do such as those in the opening paragraph must be hidden. But wait until 80! At 80 I won’t care who sees or thinks I’m crazy. I’ll just smile sweetly and keep dancing in the middle of the street wearing a rainbow tutu and wig.
Dr. Nancy J Nelson
“Just Enjoy Life,” Mom
Women are the care takers on the planet. That is one of our instinctive functions spiritually. A lot of us understand intellectually that there may come a time when our elderly parents may require full-time care. Some people are prepared for it, some are not. One thing we can ask ourselves is can we take care of our parents the way they cared for us as children? Caring for our spouses and children seems a little more natural, but parents?
Hope Gamble, without hesitation, made arrangements to care full-time for her mother. She shares her story with Women Move the Soul.
Were you prepared to care for your mother full-time? Had it been something that you thought about previously? What kind of process did you go through as far as your thinking and your emotions?
My mom has always been a strong woman. She and my dad raised 9 children, me being the youngest. We have always lived in a house and always have always had enough food and clothing. My mom watched my children when I worked; I never had to worry about finding daycare or outside child-care for my children. When she got to the age where she could not work anymore, she stayed home and my dad worked.
In 2009, she became ill. She had not been to a doctor in 30 years and she could hardly move because her legs were so swollen. I tried to get her to go to the doctor’s, but she said its nothing a “Bayer Aspirin” would not cure. By June 2009, we had to have a nurse come to the house every other day to wrap her legs and check on her. I ended up quitting my job at the library because unfortunately my other siblings could not come and check on her daily like she needed, and dad was working.
One day at the end of August, my dad came home and sat on the edge of the bed and said he did not feel well. He went into the hospital that Friday, and mom went to hospital the following Monday. My dad found out he had cancer and my mom found out she had gangrene in the leg and needed to have it amputated. After mom got her leg amputated, we found out my dad had four weeks left to live. He said “dont tell your mother.” It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life. I chose to tell her.
I wheeled my dad in to see my mom and the first thing she said was “Do you have any money hidden in the walls?”…It was so funny and at the same time so sad to see my parents who have been married 56 years…who grew up as kids on the farm together in Pamplico, South Carolina…who have NEVER been separated look at each other like they did.
I had the help of hospice to take care of dad at home until he passed Oct 8, 2009. He was my best friend – My Ace! I was the “baby” and my dad and I were so close. My mom and I always had a relationship that was somewhat “strained”. Maybe a lack of communication, or whatever it may have been…my dad was always the buffer. I went through so many different emotions when he passed. I felt as though he “left” me with all these responsibilities. I was sad and angry and cried every night.
I would go to the nursing home every day to see mom and I took care of the house and everything that came with it. My brothers and sisters would not offer much help so I basically had to do it on my own. I learned so much going to the nursing home everyday. Even after having 3 knee surgeries, I was not worried about how I would take care of mom in the “physical” sense…I worried about the “emotional” part of it. Would we get along?…”Would I be able to please her?” …”Where can I run to if she gets me mad?” Mom has been home since May 24, 2010, the day after my 40th Birthday and I must say that we are both doing well.
We have been taught that youth is everything and that young is beautiful. That means that old is bad and unattractive. I personally don’t subscribe to such thinking. I consider myself more beautiful now than ever having grown older and more wiser in my ways.
Having said that, I recognize also that our body does as we do. It is a product of our thoughts our habits of eating, sleeping – in other words – how well we take care of ourselves. I know women in their 70’s and 80’s who have incredibly beautiful skin and sparkling eyes. They have a wonderful outlook on life and fully enjoy themselves in it. So the secret key is our thoughts and what we believe about ourselves. Meanwhile, I came across this article from Natural News (which is something I subscribe to on the internet) about reducing or removing wrinkles. For those of you who are concerned about such things, here it is: (Enjoy!) – Tomaca
(NaturalNews) Wrinkles are a bane of the natural aging process. They are thin creases or lines that form in the skin, primarily on the face and neck. Wrinkles result from a gradual decrease in the skin’s collagen levels as you age, which causes it to lose its elasticity. Wrinkles may also form pre-maturely, as a result of poor diet, stress and sudden loss of weight. You can use natural remedies to prevent and get rid of wrinkles.
Milk and Honey Cleanser
Milk and honey is an age-old, anti-wrinkle cleanser that dates back to the ancient pharaohs. Modern science now supports the efficacy of this remedy: milk is rich in lactic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid that deep cleanses the pores, sloughs off debris from the skin and stimulates the secretion of collagen. Honey is rich in humectant compounds, which promote the absorption and retention of moisture into the skin. This helps to keep the skin hydrated and increases its elasticity.
Lemon Juice and Sugar Exfoliator
Lemon juice is rich in citric acid, a naturally-occurring, organic acid with strong exfoliating properties that help to get rid of wrinkles. Exfoliating your skin sloughs off dead cells from the outer layer of the skin, revealing soft, supple skin underneath. It is also rich in vitamin C, which is essential in the production of collagen. Sugar contains glycolic acid, which is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid that helps to repair skin damage and to remove dead skin cells.
Stir one teaspoon of sugar into two tablespoons of lemon juice, mixing thoroughly. Gently massage the solution into your skin using your fingertips, taking care to avoid your eye area. After ten minutes, rinse it off with cool water.
Egg White Mask
Egg whites are a temporary but popular remedy for getting rid of wrinkles naturally. Egg white has astringent properties that temporarily tightens pores and firms the skin, helping to diminish the appearance of wrinkles. To use this remedy, separate the egg whites from two organic eggs and whip them until peaks form. Apply this to the face, leaving it on for about 20 minutes. Wash it off with cool water.
Lemon Balm Rinse
Lemon balm is a natural astringent that helps to keep your skin taut and firm. Make a lemon balm rinse by steeping a handful of lemon balm in two cups of boiling water. Let it cool and then use it as a facial rinse each morning.
Take Your Vitamins
Vitamins are a simple but effective natural anti-wrinkle remedy that not only helps to get rid of wrinkles, but also promotes healthy, younger-looking skin tone. B-complex vitamins, in particular, have potent antioxidant properties and can be obtained from dietary sources such as organic meat, eggs and whole wheat. Vitamins A, C and E are also natural anti-oxidants for the skin, and they can be obtained from green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit.
1. “Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies: Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets” by Jude C. Williams and Jude Todd
2. The Mayo Clinic: Wrinkles
3. Peter Molan: Manuka Honey as Medicine
4. “The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II,” Prevention Magazine; 1995
About the author
The Armchair Herbalist is a copywriter, turned insurance agent, turned freelance writer and published author. She has written numerous health- and business-related articles and eBooks for Demand Studios, Suite101, Bright Hub and LovetoKnow.
She is a self-professed armchair herbalist, and authored the book: 101 Herbal Tea Remedies: Healing Infusions and Decoctions from Nature’s Own Pharmacy.
by Tomaca Govan
My conversations with women from all over the world has revealed something astonishing to me – they are all fighting the wrinkles and are afraid of looking older. The story is the same from most of them. Drastic measures are being taken to avoid or eradicate wrinkles and smile lines. Companies who create chemicals that profess elongated youth are making a fortune. They continue to perpetuate the myth that as we age, we grow ugly and undesirable and absolutely something – anything – must be done to reverse this process.
I refuse to embrace the idea that I am ugly because I am aging. I refuse to cake on the war paint and hide myself from public without it. I refuse to support the lies of the companies that make beauty products and profess the importance of maintaining a youthful appearance. I refuse to buy into the euro-centric, hollywood idol bullshit of what an attractive woman looks like.
I am beautiful just as I am at any given moment. I have personally learned not to look at the outside of a human being, but to focus on their heart, their energy, their being, their soul. The sound of a voice has light. The shine of the eyes is light. Beneath the surface is where we find the essence and the beauty of all human beings, male and female.
Youth is on the inside of us. Inside of the body of every woman, no matter how old, is the five-year-old little girl who’s eyes are still full of wonder, life and excitement. When we look in the mirror and into the windows of our souls, we must seek her, find her and embrace her.
Our bodies and our appearance are temporary and transient. We are here for such a short time and in that time we can choose to embrace our own light and our divine right to celebrate the glory of ourselves, or we can choose to shun who we are because we’ve been programmed to focus on what the outside looks like.
“Excuse me ma’am.” As we age, we begin to be greeted in such a manner from people who are younger than us, who look at us and say to themselves, this is an older woman and I need to call her ma’am. Calling me “ma’am” is like calling me “Queen.” I embrace it. I look at the youngster with love knowing that one day they too might be worthy of the title of “ma’am” or Queen. It is a sign of respect that we deserve. We are not just Mothers, we are Grand Mothers – and yes oh yes -, Queens.
Too much focus on the outside takes away the focus from the inside, where there is everything that matters – our hearts, our souls – us. We are all endowed with gifts of varying sorts and if we are fraught with worry about the outside, we cannot tend to the magic that is inside. An amazing artist will not be amazing because she worries too much about what she looks like. An amazing book writer will only write mediocre books and an amazing singer who has much to give the world will not, all because they are concerned about the wrapping of the package and thus lose sight of the gift that is inside the package.
Why do we live this illusion generation after generation after generation? We are conditioned to believe that in our teens we are – and are required to be – young and sexy. We carry that feeling and illusion into our early thirties when we slowly start to shift our thoughts and our focus to feeling that we are unattractive and unworthy. How foolish of us older women to teach the younger women this way. We are only perpetuating the lies that we were told and chose to believe. Shed the lies, change the paradigm and wear your purple hat, your red hat, braid your hair, put flowers in it; put on your overalls, dress, jeans – dress in whatever way it defines who you are on the inside and wear it proudly cherished woman, cherished child of a loving Creator.
Live your life and embrace every moment, every opportunity, every obstacle. Love it all and proudly wear the face that is rich with the enjoyment of a life well-lived and well-loved. When you choose to embrace yourself, you are also embracing every other woman – those your age, older and younger! You are showing us all a different way to be – a better way – healthier way. Embrace yourself!