Bougie Ninja Best Practices

Picture this with an ascot. Then you got a bougie ninja.

Let’s be real here, the vast majority of us tow the line between being the pretentious bougie ninja we hate the most and the person two steps out of the projects still concerned with credibility. It’s why men fight in three-piece suits and women complain like hell about Basketball Wives and Single Ladies while keeping them DVR’d. We’re always keeping it real or just being entertained. For a large part of us, success is erroneously how other people perceive us. It’s no secret we tend to be statusticians.

We’re a confused bunch for the most part. And if confused is too strong a word, then denial is the closest term. It’s like most of us reading black ninjas are constantly in a fight for that whole double consciousness Black thing that W.E. was rappin’ ’bout back in the late 1800′s and further in the Souls of Black Folks. Basically, Black people have had image problems for a very, very long time.

However, given that we are a bunch of bougie ninjas, or aspiring considering one’s current station in life, I figured that I’d run down the list of what actually constitutues the current practices of the bougie ninja…best practices if you will. See, bougie ninjas like saying sh*t like best practices because it implies you’ve read a book. Nobody in the hood says “best practices” unless they’re on a team somewhere and you know, “that was one of the best practices we done had, boss…”

Tupac back.

By the way, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a bougie ninja unless you actively look down on other people. Life’s a lot easier when you stop being so judgemental about everybody else’s f*cksh*t and do you. Then again, can one really be a bougie ninja without being judgemental? Confruscious my ni*gga. Confruscious.

Let’s take a stab at this, shall wel.

1. You must know where NOT to go.

Bougie ninjas congregate in all types of places. Grassy knolls. Bookstores. Coffee stores. Home Depot garden centers. Basically, you can go anywhere and be bougie and live your life. What’s important is to know where bougie ninjas don’t go. Like clubbing in Maryland. Not because you won’t see other bougie ninjas, but because non-bougie ninjas don’t really f*ck with bougie ninjas like that. And if you show up at Jasper’s with an ascot, my ni**a,  folks are going to talk about you. I think women tend to do better at this than men, women STAY up on where not to go.

Hmm…has anybody noticed how liberal we are with male fashion choices? Honestly, ladies, I blame this all on you. I’ve seen men wearing some of the gayest attire out in public and catch no flack from any ladies. Skin-tight pink button ups with a vest, ascot, pocket square and those polyester not-quite-tennis-shoes-not-quite-dress shoes from Aldo with some skinny jeans. Somehow, someway, this became acceptable attire. I don’t know when stylish dudes decided that looking gay was the way to get women, but it seems to be the case. Perhaps this is a DC-ATL-NYC-LA problem but really, someone please call 911.

2. You have to be up on some sort of artistic expression be it art, esoteric music, or travel arts.

Yes, I said travel arts. And do you know why I said travel arts? Because some of you ninjas treat your travels like its the gateway to painting oneself as a well-learned person. And while I do believe that experiencing new things helps to make you a fuller person, I definitely know some bougie ninja women who travel just so that they can tell other people that they travel so that they seem otherworldly to other folks who think a stamped passport makes you cultured. Bougie ninjas like art. I’m not sure why, but this is fact. I remember a long time ago this cat trying to sing to me the praises of Cody Chestnut’s Headphone Masterpiece. It’s mixed like hot garbage. On purpose. And somehow this made it artsy and I just wasn’t up on that hot sh*t because I didn’t f*ck with Cody’s album. Still don’t. But being the music snob that I am, I understood his plight. It also helps if you actually know what things like impressionism mean. I don’t. But my art knowledge is largely based on vinyl album covers. This right there? Is art.

3. You really do have to pretend to hate current popular Black culture and only have love for all things 90s

Rick Ross is the exception. Somehow, all bougie ninjas can get down with Rick Ross. Could be because he keeps making dope music. Maybe it’s his titties. I don’t know. The interesting thing about this one is that in order to hate it you have to engage in it. Which means that we have to listen to it all to hate it, which we do with enthusiasm. I know I do.

4. BET is the ruining the community.

You just have to say this a few times a week or whenever somebody says BET. And you can use any BET awards as your only reference point. It’s like an exemption to play in the Master’s.

5. It is vital to appreciate natural hair.

Odd, I know. But there is a huge undercurrent of women going natural and it has to be loved and appreciated en masse. Now I personally love natural hair. En masse. See what I did there?

6. You must be willing to overspend on food.

Real spit, I HATE boutique eateries. If your menu only has 8 items and all of them cost $20 per plate, I cannot f*ck with you. But if I want to see other bougie ninjas, that’s what I have to do. Well, if I want to see bougie women. A group of bougie ninjas will hit up TGIFridays in a minute. Of course, this one is more prone to be likely in major cities as well.

I think I’ll stop there for now. These are a few of the best practices of the bougie ninja.

VSBNation, what else you got?


That Sounds Stupid To Me, Vol. 1: Morehouse College Gets A Dress Code.

Dress_codeIf you frequent this site you know I went to Morehouse and love my alma mater dearly.

However, this is some bullsh*t.

(By the way, I really didn’t mean to do two HBCU posts in a row.  I know how some of you folks feel about the HBCUs around here.)

Apparently, the higher ups and our new President, Dr. Howard Franklin, feel the need to ensure that the image of the Morehouse Man and the reality of the Morehouse Man are one and the same.  To wit:

“Appropriate Attire Policy”. Based on Dr. Franklin’s conceptualization on the Renaissance Man, specifically his expectation of the “well-dressed” man of Morehouse, the policy will set a campus-wide standard for student’s attire.

The policy outlines 11 expectations pertaining to what students should not wear while on campus. Instead of requiring certain articles of clothing, as a typical dress code would, the policy details those articles of clothing deemed unacceptable for students. Some of the expectations discussed in the policy include to prohibit wearing “sagging” pants, women’s clothing, and headwear.

Now slap me silly and call me Susan J. Elmo, but I’m really curious about this need to outlaw women’s clothing.  Granted its been years since I was at the ‘House but I do not remember anybody actually walking around looking like Lady Gaga or anything.  But hey, you never know with these kids nowadays.

Anyway, I have a beef with this new policy on a principle level.  For one, college is a time for self-expression and self-discovery.  Attempting to limit the scope of one’s dress seems kind of counterproductive to what college is all about.  For b, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.  We’ll get back to that one in a minute though.

Forget about the fact that it’s Morehouse for a second.  The fact that any school college or university would take it upon itself to limit the clothing choices of its student body is kind of troubling to me.  To me, it assumes that they have no concept of what is appropriate or that a bunch of 18 to 22 year olds who are learning about life should be forced to view themselves through only one lens.  While I can understand the disdain for sagging pants, I think that its a fad and trend of the culture right now.  Fads end and when folks get older and start looking for jobs, they come to their senses and pull their pants up.  It happens to most of us reading Black men.  We all eventually learn to know better.

But I also have an issue with this whole “image” thing that we in the Black community are so obsessed with.  The reason you incorporate a dress code is so that these men can uphold one particular image of what a Morehouse Man should be.  The great thing about Morehouse and one reason it’s so successful and well-known is because of the variety of individuals who’ve come out of Morehouse.  And all that starts with things as insignificant as establishing your own identity through dress early on in life.  Catering to this “image” is putting the school above the individual when its the accomplishments of the individuals that have placed Morehouse at the pinnacle of the Black community in the first place.

Plus, these are grown ass men that you’re telling how to dress.  On just a surface level, what does that say about the quality of the individuals you’re bringing in that you feel a need to explicitly tell them what they cannot wear on campus?  Not really giving them much credit, are they?

But it all comes back to image.  To the old vanguard, there is this pristine image of a Morehouse Man and the new administration wants to make sure that the current crop looks the part at all times, which is great, but once again, you can put a thug in a suit, but then all you have is a thug in a suit.  Morehouse is a school, much like other HBCUs that builds character and we all grow by being at those schools.  Attempting to limit something like clothing and individual style (face it, that’s what dress codes do, they limit styles for certain people) does nothing but stifle growth.

Anyway, I’ve said my peace and I’m a grown ass man who doesn’t go there anymore.  But my free-dressing compadres of the VSB, what are your thoughts on this, on a larger scale?  Does it seem necessary to have to provide a dress code to grown men?  Is it reasonable?  Or is this just more Black pandering to an “image” as opposed to the reality?

Say you, say me.

What say you?