YouTube leveled the playing field and gave everyone a platform to speak his or her mind. While some folks have taken to the site to spew ignorance, others have used YouTube to share tips, tricks, and information to improve other people’s lives.

Recently, someone shared a video by Shanel Cooper-Sykes, a self-proclaimed woman’s woman, that talks about 25 habits all women should have. From tips on the value of listening rather than speaking to the virtues of cleanliness, Sykes says that all women should carry themselves in a way that not only demands respect, but also reflects a positive outlook on life.

While I thought her tips fell on the side of common sense and could be applicable to both men and women, it was refreshing to watch another black woman attempting to empower women instead of tearing them down.

Check out Part 1 of her series on the  ’25 Women Habits’ and let us know what you think!

  • Keiko

    I don’t agree with the ‘Smile’ habit, because it is only something that is told to women. Men are allowed to walk around with a scowl on their face, but women can’t.

    Also, the showering thing is something that can apply to men too.

  • Laugh

    Yes, she have very good advice!

  • hehe

    she irks me

  • keke

    yea, i have a similar reaction to her as well.

  • omfg

    women need so much help. lmao.

    esp black women, such a pathetic lot we are.

  • Osazeme

    The general tone of this sounds like we’re suppose to minimise ourselves for someone…?! why shouldn’t we occupy a lot of social space??

  • TH

    Glad I’m not the only one irritated when being told by someone else to smile. You don’t know what’s going on in my head or my life. A smile may or may not represent the message I want to convey. Either way-it’s my face.

  • SK

    1. “A smart woman is a quiet woman”. This sounds like advice my sexist dad gave me whenever I tried to make a valid point. If all women are being quiet and “listening and learning”, I suppose that means we’re listening to and learning from men?

    2. Just because you smell human doesn’t mean you are not clean! She’s basically saying: Women, you should waste twice as much water as regular people (a.k.a men) because your body does all those weird human things like sweat and secrete stuff WHICH IS NOT ALLOWED BECAUSE YOU SHOULD ONLY SMELL LIKE SWEET ROSES.

    3. Geez, women, stop allowing your face to express the full range of human emotions! You must constantly smile. We don’t give a sh*t how you really feel or if you’re busy doing stuff that usually prevents you from caring about how your face looks to other people. God forbid you inconvenience someone else’s day by not caring what he/ she thinks of you.

    Is it just me or do these pieces of advice sound like terrible caricatures of what women have ALWAYS been told to do?

  • Jasmine Rose

    She looks like Raven Symone!

  • gfkag

    I prefer these lady habits more.

  • Keiko

    You covered why I felt bothered with this.

  • amarie

    Does she remind anyone else of Lisa Raye?

  • keke

    yes I thought that too. She is pretty and she does favor lisa raye

  • keke


  • African Mami

    YES!!!!!! iLIKE her delivery and I HATE spoken word. She is funny too!!!

  • Randomchick

    I was thinking the same thing ‘”/

  • Clarity Jane


  • nikki

    sigh…please don’t post the other 20 habits.

  • lisa

    well to be honest, it IS smart to be quiet. this applies to men also. i tend to have more respect for quiet people in general, male or female. so i don’t have an issue with that view in particular.

    HOWEVER, given that immediately after that, she goes on to advise women to keep their lady parts groomed to the preference of “whoever has access to it” (which she implies is your partner, as opposed to yourself), it does seem as if she’s telling women to cater to the preferences of the opposite sex. which is wrong, outdated, etc.

  • Gam

    Don’t smile then. Who do you think it’s harming?

  • Gam

    A very helpful reminder, would like to listen to the rest.

  • Keiko

    “Don’t smile then…” I don’t. I don’t allow for other people to have control over what expressions I wear on MY face. I don’t think it is harming anyone. The people who command me to smile obviously think it harms them to see my face in a neutral expression.

  • @echidiime (@Echidiime)

    I’ve seen the videos. Some of her comments are ideal and make a whole lot of common sense (like washing dishes before going to bed), but I really don’t see much in terms of balancing cooking, and cleaning, and sexing up your man with other important aspects of life – like advancing in your work, raising children. It all sounds superficial, honestly. I would like to know what her street cred is. Is she in a long-term committed relationship, and for how long? Is she married? Does she have kids? Personally, I have seen a plethora of examples of black men and women in long-term (as in decades long) relationships, and though I have not personally asked, I don’t think well-groomed pubic hair, pineapples, nor twice daily showers were the glue to their relationships. There was an article on The Huffington Post on staying married with a happy husband, decent career, and well-adjusted children, which I found more relatable: 15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years <–and yes, it talks about preserving the sexy too.

  • Elle Michelle


  • lvdw

    are you freaking kidding me? i’m supposed to smile all the time because i’m a woman? i’m supposed to make my bed because leaving it messy is not ladylike? well, here’s what i’m going to tell you: LADYLIKE is a load of bullcrap! don’t let yourself be squeezed within some made up social boundaries that you may not be fond of just because you happen to have a vagina between your legs. and the faster you learn it, the faster men will realise that we don’t need to have any special duties or compulsory habits because we’re female. according to this video, i’m as far from stereotypical lady as one possibly could be. and you know what? i’m fine with it. i don’t need to be whatever you consider a lady to be. i’m a woman in my own way. i’m a woman in a way that my mum taught me to be: always financially independent, always strong, caring for those who care for her and doing whatever she wishes to do.

  • lvdw

    i don’t make my bed, i cook every once in a while when i FEEL like it, i don’t wear dresses (simply because i don’t like them) and, in spite of that, I have always found myself to have quite a lot of male attention even though i never really cared for it! plus, i only get interested in the right men, i.e. men who accept me as i am…just like my current boyfriend who is a feminist, loves cooking and doesn’t give a damn about what i wear because i’m always beautiful to him. and, concerning period pains, you don’t really have to whine about them that much, just tell your man to go buy you some good painkillers, then he won’t have to listen to your complaints (for the record, my man does care about any sort of pain that i might experience, and vice versa)- simple as that. and, as i’ve said before, i’m a woman in my own way, and if you find any of it wrong or inappropriate, then it’s you who’s got a problem- not me.

  • minna k.

    “Eat uh plum befo’ you go to bed, cuz it got some kind uh acid.

    Don’t axe me whut it is, cuz ah don’t know. Do dis so you don’t wake up wit stankin’ breath.”


  • cmallett79

    My friend told me about this, so I came to watch and see what was so offensive about what she is saying. Funny, in my opinion, she did not say anything that is terrible. It’s interesting that some of the commenters are offended being to to smile. No, you don’t have to, but her number one piece of advice was right. You set your tone for your day. My natural expression is quite staunch and off putting, but I have been told that I have a gorgeous smile, so I want to show off one of the best things about me. Further, we all know people who do not wash well. I think there is nothing wrong with washing well man or woman. Finally, we rarely can receive wisdom and knowledge when we are talking. The problem that we have is that many of us think we have the answer and don’t want to listen. I think her advice was great.

  • Please

    What kind of plum

  • JuneBug

    Thank you! This is something that is ONLY told to women. Also, I think that BM are more likely to tell this to BW than other men are to tell it to other women. I have noticed that BM ALWAYS feel entitled to impose on BW in public.

  • liz

    me too…

  • Essence

    I like her and I think the advice is good, especially about smiling! A smile is just more inviting and pleasant to be around than a frown. Also, it helps to brighten your day, even in the event of unfortunate circumstances. Smiling your way through can help alter your perspective on bad situations and pull you of your pity party.

  • Yevi

    Basically, the same crap patriarchy has been telling us for years.

  • minna k.

    She mentions this jewel in a later installment that I bothered to watch.

  • smiling….

    Smiling and choosing to be positive is a great one. No matter who it comes from and its intention…I think its great advice. Smiling is a wonderful thing. Even if you’re not in a good mood it makes you feel better (studies have been done on this) and it can help brighten up someone elses day. You shouldn’t have to smile because you feel forced to, but because you want to. Being more positive is something that can only benefit you.

    I really think that when we refuse to do things that can only bring more positivity to our lives because of society’s double standards, thats when we really allow those double standards to be harmful. I don’t really care if its true that men or other women can get away with not smiling. I smile because I want to. Just do you and smile away… :)

  • Keiko

    For some people, it takes a lot more for them to smile. And as I said already, nobody is walking around telling men to smile.

  • Laina

    I think she makes some valid points although I do not agree with the last comment. There is something to be said about listening. There are some people that just talk too much. Generally, they are talking about themselves. At a certain point, they just need to stop. There is not that much talking in the world. I like the part about chosing your attitude. It is a skill to maintain a good attitude and not let the actions of others impact how you feel. As far as personal hygiene, I agree with everything she said. I truly dislike crowded public bathrooms where I have to use the toilet right after someone else. I do everything possible to avoid that situation. I have never understood why some women do not realize they have an odor. I know the habits are for women but men need to realize they need to shower on a regular basis also.

  • Let’s not impose ourselves on others………

    I agree with Keiko. You dont know what the person is going through that you are telling to smile. What if I was just fired? What if there was a death in the family? Would the person telling you to smile know that? Probably not. So why come along and tell someone that may be in a bad mood for good reason to smile as if that will just make there problems disappear. Its really an imposition and intrusive. I cant think of one time that I have heard that where it has lightened my mood or made me feel better. That may be the intent in some cases but it just causes resentment and usually backfires. In some cases it may make the person feel worse. And is that what you really wanted by telling the person to smile?

  • Pseudonym


    And she totally contradicted herself with #3.
    Instead of “yapping, yapping, yapping” on this video, she should have listened to someone.

  • NTG

    What’s a “screwball effect”?

  • Dionne

    Smiling or just a pleasant look is a way to attract people and things to you. I’m not talking about men going around and telling you to smile. I’m talking about just being present and aware of your person. Have you ever walked around and seen people with the most disgusted look on their face like they’re mad at the world, but in reality they’re just fine? I have and I have to “fix my face,” sometimes. Not because I’m trying to please anyone, but I just don’t want to look like that person that’s mad at everything and everybody, especially when I’m not.

    It doesn’t cost anything to smile, but in reality walking around with a big frown on your face and mean mugging people does nothing to help you.

  • Keiko


  • jraq

    Love this woman !

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