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Image is everything

Diahann Carroll

Years ago I had the pleasure of having a private conversation with legendary entertainer and author Diahann Carroll.  During that conversation we talked about how she always had to fight with producers and writers to prevent them from casting her in a negative light.  I loved the fact that she always tried to defend and protect her image and that of Black women as a whole.  One thing she shared with me that I’ve always remembered is the importance of looking good whenever you go on camera.  ”Honey,” she told me, “there are a lot of things you can’t control when you get started in this industry.  But one thing you can control is how you look.”

That statement has stayed with me.  In fact, the older I get, the more I take it to heart.  That’s why I always call my fabulous make up artist Landis to hook up my face.  He has worked with me for more than 10 years and has been with me through it all!!  So at the advice of the great Diahann Carroll, I make sure that whenever I do my show “Perspective”, Landis is never far away to make sure I look my

Landis and Me before make up

best! Here he is before my transformation and watch the video to see him in action.

Like it or not, image is everything (or at least 90%).  So what are your rituals for looking great?  Who’s look inspires you?  Do you have a “glam squad?”  What are your fabulosity secrets?

There are no jobs for teens so encourage them to create their own

Teen Biz Coach Shonika Proctor

Shonika Proctor is known internationally as the “Teen Biz Coach.” She’s traveled the world teaching about business and sharing her unique expertise.

Check out her fabulous website to learn more about building your own business or nurturing the teen entrepreneur in your life.

Today on the Monique Caradine Show, Shonika is sharing the Top 5 “real deal” questions every teen should ask themselves before starting a business.  She’s also giving away 3 copies of her book Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets. The first three people who leave a comment here will receive a FREE copy by mail.

The rest of you? Grab your copy by clicking here.

Black men rule the universe. Too bad they haven’t leveraged their innate leadership skills to realize it.

LeBron James Rules the Universe

Last week, in the wake of LeBron James’ landmark announcement of his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the Miami Heat, I did a segment on the Monique Caradine Show entitled “Black Men Rule the Universe.”   It was a bold title that was inspired by an article of a similar title I read on Salon.com.  Believe me, it garnered a lot of hesitant reactions when I first teased it but by the end of the show, I think I effectively conveyed the message. Basically, my point was this: given the fact that Black men in general (and black culture as a whole) have such a huge global impact that it’s time they finally start to first REALIZE their power, then start to leverage it to change their image and the world.

During the conversation, I cited several examples of Black men who have enormous power and influence.  First of all, LeBron proved his influence when he had people around the world hanging on his every word waiting to see where he would take his athletic talent.  Needless to say, President Barack Obama is the MOST powerful man in the world.

Then there are those lesser known people like Chicago’s Tim King.  For years he has worked in education with a commitment to provide quality educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth.  Currently, he is the founder and principle of Urban Prep.  It’s a small, all boys charter school in Chicago’s Englewood community.  Englewood is notorious for it’s legacy of crime and poverty.  Yet, Tim King has managed to establish a top-notch public school against big odds which recently graduated 107 African American boys–all of which have been accepted to a 4-year college or university…did you get that???  100% of the young men who graduated from Urban Prep will go to college this fall.  Now THAT’s influence.

King’s example got me to talking about leadership and the importance of teaching leadership to our children each and everyday.  I cited a book I’ve read a couple of times on the issue.  It’s a quick read, it’s cheap kids and adults alike can learn the basics of leadership by reading this awesome book.

The bottom line is, black men don’t really rule the universe, but they could if they wanted to.  They have everything it takes to do so: presence, swagger, intellect, talent and everything in between.  Add leadership skills to that mix and you’ve got a recipe for global transformation that could change our world for the better…but that’s just my humble opinion.  Thoughts?

What a difference a year makes

One year ago this month, I was miserable.  I was at my heaviest weight ever (156 lbs), I was chronically tired, bloated, irregular in every way and i just felt yucky.

Enter my fabulous trainer John Hall.  We actually started working together in May of last year but I didn’t really get committed until July (you know how that goes).  Believe me when I tell you, John saved my life!  Since I started working with him, I feel better than I have in 15 years.  I am about 27 lbs lighter, I’ve gained crazy muscle and I am in the best shape of my life.

Here’s my juicy @$$ before I started working with John.  Now mind you, I was on vacation, on the beach and this was the best I could do :[  WTH!!!! WARNING: it is not a pretty site...and i trust you won't laugh.  Here goes:

Am I Pregnant??? WTH!

the look on my face says it all...

This is wrong on several levels. That outfit has since been burned. Geez!

What #39;s with the meat hanging from under my top??? Damn!

Can you believe the atrocities!  I swear, I look back and I cannot believe I let myself get to that point.  I wasn’t completely out of control but I was definitely going down that path.  John put the brakes on that madness real quick!  Thanks to his brilliance, tough love, encouragement, motivation and willingness to challenge me I now look like this….

After a C-section, I never thought I #39;d have a tummy like this!

Now I #39;m not afraid to rock the bikinis!

I cannot believe I acheived this level of fitness!  And I’ll be 40 in a few weeks!  It took a lot of hard work but I did not give up.  Thanks John for believing in me!  Thanks Tony (my hubby) for supporting me!


Now that I have pushed myself to lose the weight, gain the muscle and I really understand how to eat, I am ready for the next challenge.  John wants me to do a fitness competition but I’m thinking half marathon or half triathalon…we’ll see.  But the point is, if I can do it, anyone can.  John is the best and he can really help you if YOU make the commitment.  Don’t spend hours at the gym trying to figure it out.  Trust me you’ll do it wrong and you won’t see the results you want.  Lack of results may lead you to quit!

So start something today–whether its walking, jumping rope, jumping jacks…whatever….just do something!!  You can also join one of John’s small group fitnesses courses.  Whatever you decide, I hope you will commit to experiencing YOU and a whole new level.  If you do, by this time next year I’ll be looking at YOUR before and after pics!

Call John at 312-421-6640.

What fitness/weightloss programs have worked for you?  I’d love to know about your success!

Fabulous at 40

June 2010, 39 years of age

Last year, I made a decision that when I reached the age of 40 on September 21, 2010, I was going to be in the best shape of my life.  Goal achieved!  Here’s a recent picture of me right before my workout at John Hall Studios.

Now if you’ve known me for a while, you might be saying, “You don’t look much different than you’ve always looked, Mo!”  I beg to differ.  Getting BACK to this has been a long journey because in 2006 (3 years AFTER having a baby)  I started gaining weight at the rate of 8 pounds a year!  By  2009, I was a juicy hot mess!

Today in the 10:00 a.m. (CST) Hour on my radio show, I will reveal the horrid before pictures that capture me at MY heaviest weight ever.  When I make the announcement on the show, I’ll simultaneously reveal my BEFORE photos and I’ll also tell you more about my fab trainer John Hall who I call my “secret weapon” for losing more than 25 lbs.  He WILL whip your @$$ in shape, but the question is: do you really want it??

Tune in!

Introducing the Provident Foundation

I’ll be the  emcee for  this exclusive, private event introducing the Provident Foundation to Chicago’s “Who’s, Who.”   The foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of pioneering doctor Daniel Hale Williams and raising money to support aspiring doctors and nurses from Chicago’s inner city.

I am on the board of this foundation and they do great work.   If you are interested in attending, call the foundation at 773-363-4272.

Tracking Homicides in Chicago

The Chicago Tribune’s “Redeye” blog has done a great job of tracking  homicides in Chicago.   Check it out if you want to see the violence situation play out in our city.   Written by Tracy Schwartz, the blog lists victims’ names and communities where the violence is occuring on a daily basis.   It’s sad to read about the murder of a one-year old and all the other lives lost but it drives home what I’ve been saying for the past several weeks that an aggressive and strategic plan must be put in place to stop this violence.   I believe that churches should be at the forefront of this effort working hand in hand with our elected officials and police.

I’ll be referring to this regularly on Perspective (My50 Chicago)  and the Monique Caradine Show on WVON.   Please tune in.


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