Pinkvelourtracksuit, Babyphatjeans, Ninthwardjawn, or better yet- Chelsea. Chelsea Claverie. With an infectious grin and energy that graces a very popular Tumblr blog, Chelsea is able to brighten up any room she walks into. She is a multifaceted beauty with a love for all things Black and woman. She applies her creative mind and visions to various social media outlets. She openly battles with the daily struggles of being a Black woman in 2015 while simultaneously slaying every corner of the internet that she graces. Her bluntness joined with her wisdom and unique presence is a force to be reckoned with. Check out my interview to learn a little more about this lovely young lady.
i’m from new orleans. my environment and how i was raised caused me to be more creative as well as cautious. i was born catholic. i had the white communion dress and all of that shit. i didn’t have a personal relationship with God when i was younger. i just went to church robotically and recited everything i was supposed to.
my tumblr aesthetic is very vivid, colorful, and slightly nostalgic. my physical aesthetic has been very bland lately. i want to switch it up. try something fresh.
3. Given the ultimate power, what aspects of society would you change to reflect your personal sentiments?
I would definitely change how women are viewed in society. i would do away with double standards. double standards are so fucking ugly. everyone would receive equal pay. women wouldn’t be judged by their appearance or who they have slept with. i would give black people the reparations we deserve.
4. Can you explain your Tumblr name changes from pinkvelourtracksuit to babyphatjeans to ninthwardjawn?
pinkvelourtracksuit and babyphatjeans were names that described my tumblr aesthetic. they were names that were tribute to throwback fashions. pink velour tracksuits were extremely popular in the early 2000s. especially the juicy couture tracksuits. Jlo’s pink velour tracksuit inspired that url. seeing her rock it in the ‘i’m real remix’ video was so cute to me. i wanted that suit and i wanted to be her at the time. babyphatjeans was also a tribute to throwback fashions. baby phat was a popular line in the early 2000s. the fashions were very fun and glam. very tacky and very gaudy. very attention grabbing. scene stealing. very me. ninthwardjawn describes where i’m from and the place i consider my home. jawn is a term that describes a fine ass girl, a blunt, basically anything. it originated in philly.
5. What led you to write a book? Why did you feel like Black Girls needed their own Bible and will there be a sequel?
the idea to write a book wasn’t my own. i had received an anonymous question from someone saying i should make my text posts into a book. one of my followers hit me up on twitter offering to help me put the book together on a site called createspace.com and she did! DeKeshia S. Horne is her name. She’s a writer also! When she approached me about helping me put my text posts together, I was excited and amped. I felt like black girls needed a bible because black girls are so excluded from everything. There’s so little out there for us especially concerning literary content. This book is not a how to guide on how to live life for black girls but it is more of me sharing my experiences. Talking about shit that I have gone through as a black woman. I’m honestly not sure if there will be a sequel. I’m still giving that some thought.
6. How long have you been writing and are you currently working on any new material?
I’ve been writing for years. Most of my writing has been done in journal form. I have two journals that I wrote when I was around 14 up until about 16 or 17. In my journals, I wrote about my emotions and thoughts. Shit that I wouldn’t dare say aloud. It was very therapeutic for me. I’m currently working on new material. I’m writing a fiction story.
7. What’s a typical day like in your life? What is one of your biggest daily struggles?
I work at a fast food restaurant. My shift is typically from 8 am to 4 pm. I’m currently taking a break from school. After work, I shower and relax. I talk to my sisters. I listen to music. Do some blogging. Do some reading and then I watch youtube videos until I drift off to sleep. One of my biggest struggles I face daily is dealing with my mental illnesses. I have depression and anxiety. I constantly worry about shit that hasn’t even happened yet. Wild right? I stress over the bills that I have to pay. I worry about my skin. My hair. What customers will think of me.
8. Where do you see yourself in 5+ years?
I see myself living in a nice ass loft being able to pay bills and keep the lights on with my writing alone. I’m going to do well. I can feel it. I see myself not only
being stable financially but mentally stable. I see myself being happy.
9. What self-care remedies do you utilize (physical health, mental health, etc)?
My favorite form of self care is listening to music. Music has such a huge impact on my life. It’s very comforting when I feel discouraged. Writing is also a great form of self care for me. It helps me get my thoughts and emotions out in a healthy manner. I feel a great sense of relief when I write. Hitting the gym is such a huge stress reliever for me. I put on my headphones and run on the treadmill until I’m too exhausted to feel stressed about anything. I also spend time with my loved ones and surround myself with people who believe in me and people who give me energy to keep going. For physical health, I am attempting to drink more water and be mindful of the food I am consuming.
10. Could you possibly elaborate on your spirituality or what you view as spirituality?
Spiritually, I have a relationship with God. I talk to him in a casual way almost like I would a friend. I don’t pray daily but when I do, I try to come to God with an attitude of gratefulness. I’m working on not coming to him only when things are going bad but when things are going great as well. Spirituality, in my opinion, is anything involving a higher power. It’s all about how someone chooses to connect with that higher power.
11. Would you say that your online presence is an extension of your true self and if so, how would you compare & contrast “NinthWardJawn” to Chelsea?
My online presence is most definitely an extension of my true self. Ninthwardjawn is definitely more expressive than Chelsea is. Chelsea is more quiet and reserved. A lot of people talk to me and say that I am very different than they imagined I would be. Chelsea is much more softer and sweeter. Ninthwardjawn is my inner most thoughts.
12. What does ‘sexuality’ mean to you?
Sexuality to me means anything involving a person’s sexual preference or how a person expresses themselves sexually.
13. What was your response to Amber Rose’s slut walk?
I thought amber rose’s slut walk was amazing and I wish I could have attended. I loved how vulnerable and open amber rose was during the event. However, I feel like the event was misunderstood by many. A lot of men dismissed the slut walk as an ‘excuse for women to be a hoe’ but it wasn’t about that at all. It was about women having sexual agency and not being shamed for it. It was about women reclaiming negative terms such as ‘slut’ and ‘hoe’. It was about women owning their bodies and their sexualities. We need more events like these.
14. A large portion of this blog is the discussion centered around “Black Girl Solidarity”. Can you elaborate on what you believe it means for Black Girls to be in Solidarity? Do you believe that universal Black Girl Solidarity is possible?
Black Girl solidarity is about accepting ALL black girls. Yes. All black girls. This includes disabled black girls, trans black girls, fat black girls, thin black girls, black girls with mental illnesses, black girls who don’t love themselves yet, black girls that are loud, black girls that are quiet, etc. all black girls. It’s not about picking and choosing which black girls to support. It’s about supporting them all. I had to learn a lesson in solidarity. I had made a post that was cissexist and I had to be called out on it. I was defensive at first because I didn’t understand how it could be hurtful to trans women but I definitely had to stop and realize that the safety of trans women is so important. I was wrong. I had to recognize my own privilege as a cis woman. It was a very eye opening experience. I have been making efforts to educate myself and unlearn all of the internalized bullshit I had been taught. It’s a lot to dismantle but I have to do this. I had to realize that in order to be about black girl solidarity, I had to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I feel like black girl solidarity could be possible. Anything is possible.
15. Elaborate on this topic in your own terms: How It Feels To Be A Black Girl….
Being a black girl is such a blessing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being a black girl isn’t easy. It was definitely a struggle learning to love myself growing up. I’m still on that journey. There are some parts of me that I’m still learning to love. Black girls are taught to hate themselves. To feel inferior to other girls. To feel ugly. To feel insignificant. Being black is one strike. Being a woman is another. We live in a racist AND a sexist world so being both black and a woman at the same time is very challenging but you know what? I still wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so proud of black women and everything we accomplished. It’s so hard when the whole world is telling you that you’re ugly. It’s so hard living in a world that adheres to European standards of beauty constantly. Being a black woman is a such a blessing but it’s so hard.
16. And just for fun, Who are a few of your favorite YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter users?
my favorite youtube users: ivydear, makeupdoll, msaaliyahjay, raven elyse, Shirley b. eniang, and tatyana wstco just to name a few.
My favorite tumblr users: surra-de-bunda, femburton, babypinkofficial, rawsheathot, and virtual-candy.
My favorite instagram users: iamcardib, thechoppedmob, azizamour_, jai_nice, realbriamyles, and miraclewatts00.
My favorite twitter users: JE55ICAFANT and nicolemilfie.
Follow Chelsea on her Twitter & Tumblr!