Posted in News, Rants

Why I’m Not a Fan of the Plus Size Clothing Fashion Industry.

Hey everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing, but I’ve been working really hard to write Confessions of a Fat Girl. For some reason it’s probably the hardest book I’ve ever wrote and not because I don’t know what’s going to happen, but because I really relate to the plight of my protagonists. Sometimes I just have to stop and takes breaks because of the emotional blockage that builds up before I just force myself through it. So there’s that and then there’s the fact that I started writing Star Wars fanfiction again. So when I have that emotional blockage, I just write fanfiction. Then I’m in the process of looking for a job and… well, there’s just a whole lot going on, but to rant about my personal problems isn’t why I’m here.

Plus size pic 5I’m here to talk about that title. The title that might be a little controversial. That title that says that I don’t like the plus sized model ads. I can imagine initial reactions to that. So you’re a body shamer, you don’t believe clothing should be marketed to bigger woman, you’re playing into and being affected by so-called normalized expectations of feminine beauty that men have been using as one of the ways to marginalize women. Sigh. No. I’m not. It’s the very opposite actually. Not only do my size 14 non-slender legs, big butt, and huge arms disagree with you, but it’s also because I reject normalized expectations of feminine beauty that men have been using as a way to marginalize women that I don’t like the so-called plus sized model industry nor the ads.

Plus size pic 2I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life people. I struggle with it now. Even at my smallest weight, which was 138 pounds when I was seventeen , I struggled with my weight. No matter how big or small I was or am, I’m the fat girl. And I obsessed over it. Now I realize that some of that was the beginnings and seeds of what could have become a full blown eating disorder if I hadn’t realized and made the conscious choice that no matter how hard it was, I refused to let food and my weight dictate my entire life and take enjoyment out my life. So now, I’m 160 or so pounds and mostly happy with myself for the most part. Even so, I still struggle and while like everyone else I was like, “Alright. Actual big girls modeling clothes for bigger people,” I found that these same ads triggered all those insecurities about my body image and my weight I was. Why? Well, look at the plus sized model ads throughout this entire post.

Plus size pic 4I know. I know. What’s wrong with them? They’re celebrating curves and thickness and trying to accommodate and welcome bigger woman, right? I should happy about this, right? But the things is I’m not and the reason is that the plus size model and clothing industry still caters to a certain ideal of what a so-called plus sized woman “should” look like. Sure they’re big girls, but all of them have big breast slim waists, flat-ish stomachs, long slender legs, wide hips, slender arms, and not a blemish in sight. They may be bigger, but they all still fit into an acceptable standard of beauty, a standard where big sausage arms, big thighs and short legs, a-shaped bodies with little to no breast, no discernable collar bone, and full faces without a defined jaw line aren’t accepted.

Plus size pic 3
Yeap. They say what words cannot alright. They say even though I’m technically plus size, I’m still the “right” size.

A good article that somewhat draws attention to this is the buzzfeed article This Is What Plus-Size Clothes Look Like On Plus-Size Women. Read the article for yourself, but the gist of the article and pictures are that the plus size modeling industry and the plus size clothing industry is a gimmick to make more money just like everything else in the fashion industry. It’s a way to get those women who probably wouldn’t look twice at designer clothing because it wouldn’t fit to spend their money, and ultimately, for girl like me—who very well may always think of herself as the fat girl no matter how big or small she gets—it’s telling them that their kind of curvy or fat or whatever you want to call still isn’t right and doesn’t fit within the mold of beauty. Women are still being presented with a standard they might not ever be able to attain.

Now, that’s not to say that they’re aren’t designers who really want to cater to the needs of plus sized women, who want to break the beauty mold and accept all woman, all body types, skinny, curvy, not curvy, and somewhere in between all that. However, I am saying that while I think the fashion industry has taken a step in the right direction, it has an incredibly long way to go in embracing more diverse body types.

This Post was Brought to You Today By:

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*Images Courtesy of Google*

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Virgin Shaming and the Sexual Expectations of Men in Media

Time Flies!Time really flies. I didn’t realize it had been so long since I updated. Admittedly, I’ve been in a rut and living my own real live new adult novel lately, filled with angst, depression, despair sometimes and some brief moments of happiness, mostly when I realized that the guy I’m very much in love with knows I’m alive and comes to seek me out rather than the other way around. So yes. I’m a little happier than I have been lately and found some inspiration to work on Confessions of a Fat Girl, which is where I got the idea for this post.

So the story is all about Season and how she battles with the onset of an eating disorder she won’t admit she’s developing and how that effects all her relationships and her relationships effect the disorder. One of those relationships is with Victor. You guys remember him, right? If you don’t know who he is, I won’t spoil it, but he shows up in my other two books. And I wanted to make him the star of his own book, but Victor just doesn’t have enough conflict within himself or outside of him that affect him, nor do things bother him. However, he is Season’s very serious boyfriend in Confessions of a Fat Girl and in the novel, Victor’s a virgin. That’s right guys, I reversed the roles here. Victor is the virgin with little experience in things of sexual nature and Season is the non-virginal female who has to know what boundaries she can push and ease Victor into his sexual awakening… Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. He’s purposely saving it for marriage, and I’m not sure if they get married or not yet at all, but I do know it’s not in the duration of the book which brings me to the point of this post:

Virgin shaming.

Virgin Meter

Yes. It exists. I mean, you would think in a world where women are criticized for being sluts because they had sex being a virgin is a good thing. NOPE! They get shamed for being a virgin with things like, “You can’t marry someone if you don’t know if you’re sexually compatible,” “You don’t know what you like if you haven’t experimented,” “That’s old fashioned,” and blah, blah, blah!!! Damned for doing and damned for not doing people. So you may as well be damned for doing whatever the hell you’ve made the choice do because someone is going to persecute you for it either damn way!

Stop Virgin ShamingHere’s the thing, people talk about slut shaming, people talk about how wrong it is, how you should be allowed to have as much sex as you want without anyone judging you for it. But I think when we started to fight so harshly against sexual repression and oppression, we became to covertly sent the message that once you get a certain age, it is not okay to not have sex, even when someone makes the active choice not to. If you’re choosing not to have sex or you choose not to deal with relationships until a certain time period in your life, that should be fine and no one should be telling them that they’re asexual or never going to find someone that wants to be with them. Unfortunately, that’s what virgins of a certain age are faced with.

For example in this article called, When Guys Find Out I’m a Virgin, a girl defends her decision (a totally non-religious decision might I add) to not have sex until marriage. I thought it was awesome that she was so convicted in her choice, especially in a very sexualized world where it seems like even toy commercials are wiring us to want sex. Then I read the comments that said she might be asexual or she might have a psychological problem or that she was wrong to think that way and should rethink her choice. First of all, her choice is harming not a damn soul. Second of all, I think these commenters missed the part where she said she was in no way anti-sex, that she pretty much can’t wait to have sex, that once or twice she’s almost given in to the guy who liked her so much and wanted to rip off her clothes and she thought about letting him, but he left the room to respect her decision. Did they miss all that? It was the first time I became aware of the stigma that’s being created against virginity at a certain age and really began to look into this idea of virgin shaming. And to my surprise, it existed.

Dominant male
I hate this movie, but is this really what women want? A guy who always takes control… minus the abuse of course.

And then I thought about the guys. The guys who are expected to be the controllers of the bedroom, to take charge and know exactly how to please a woman, to have her melting like butter in his arms from a simple touch. Virgin shaming is so much worse for them. Somehow, being a man and a virgin is seen as taking away from their sense of masculinity. Somehow people assume a virgin won’t know what to do when it comes time to get in bed, that they don’t know and won’t ever know how to pleasure a woman. That if they’re waiting for marriage, the two parties involve will be sexually incompatible and the marriage will be over. Or that they’re deprived or… or… all the other things I’ve heard people say about male virgins and all virgins.

And it’s not just what’s said, it’s what’s not said in movies, books, music, and various other forms of entertainment. I can’t name a romance novel where the guy is the shy virgin and the woman takes control. If he is, he’s being made fun of or his sex partner is just as virginal as he is and they both awkwardly fumble through it as though it’s not that serious or it in no way can be romantic or erotic.

Here’s the thing guys. Even the two most compatible people on the planet have to work at sex. Yes. I said it. Sex takes practice. And it doesn’t matter how many people you’ve been with or haven’t been with, sometimes it takes a while to understand what the other person likes or to get over the initial awkwardness. For some people, that’s two hours and for some people it takes more than that. Days, weeks, maybe even a few months. But eventually everyone gets the hang of it and they’re sex lives turn out to be just fine. Or maybe it doesn’t, but that’s totally not dependent on how many people you’ve had sex with or haven’t had sex with in the past. There are a lot of factors that play into it.

Shut upMy point in this long rant? If you want to have sex. Go for it. No one is stopping you. If you don’t want to have sex, for whatever reason you don’t want to, then don’t. Either way, don’t let anyone judge or shame you for whatever decision you make. And in your efforts to no be shamed, please don’t shame someone who makes a different choice than the one you made.

So Confessions of a Fat Girl are for all the girls who have a problem with how they look whether it’s too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall etc… It’s also for virgins, particularly the male virgins. Whatever the reason you made your choice, it’s okay.

This post is brought to you by:

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*All Images Courtesy of Google Images*

Note: No. I did not marry a virgin man. I’m very single, but if you are single man and happen to be a virgin, please send me your number. Lol. Just kidding…. Mostly.

Posted in News, Rants

Fox’s Empire and the Portrayal of Black Life in Media

Empire Image 1As a writer that is a proponent for diversity in fiction, particular a proponent of more racial diversity in fiction, it should be no surprise to any readers of this post that Fox’s new show Empire caught my attention right away. It’s gotten a lot of criticism, good and bad, and I had no intention of saying anything about it until this checklist was shared on Facebook.


The executives at FOX NETWORK ran down the following check list before Premiering the New show “EMPIRE” tonight…….. here’s that check list…

  • 1.) Black Men killing each other…. “check”
  • 2.) Angry Black Woman going after a Black male “check”
  • 3.) Educated, Successful Black Male with a White Woman “check”
  • 4.) Display of Effeminized Black Males “check”
  • 5.) Blacks committing crimes and going to prison “check”
  • 6.) Two Bitter Black Women going after each other ….one being lightskin, the other brown skin…. “check”
  • 7.) The Promotion of Ignorant ass Crack Baby Rap Music “check”
  • 8.) Overweight Black Woman displaying her self hate by wearing a BLONDE WIG “check”

 THIS SHOW IS GONNA BE A HIT !!!!! BRILLIANT


Before I discuss this, I’m going to throw out a disclaimer that I don’t know the legitimacy of this list. All I know is that it showed up in my personal Facebook timeline where a lot of people were beating down the show.

Music, Family, PowerNow because I’m a very open minded person and and as a writer I must see all sides of the argument in order to present them, I see where both the defenders and the opponents of this show are coming from. In its defense, the show is pretty well written, has some good acting (especially by Taraji P. Henson), and is unafraid to delve into detail about the taboos and customs of the black community. Issues like homosexuality, drug dealing with the intent to get out as soon as possible to start legitimate business, jail, marriage, divorce, etc… If it weren’t so well written the entire show would be a cliché, but then again everything is a cliché if it’s not well written and executed so make what you will of all those tropes.

On the other hand are its opponents. Some of their conclusions are a stretch, but I can see why their upset over this portrayal of blackness. There’s this portrayal that black people are nothing but a bunch of self-hating backstabbing thugs that will do whatever it takes to get on top in the world and get a couple of dollars, no matter who they stomp down in the process (family and friends). That’s evidenced by how Cookie and Lucious are trying to turn their own sons against each other, even though so far the two have resisted. The very atmosphere of the show is one of no loyalty, no trust, and taking advantage of people to get what you can from them while they’re useful.

Now, let’s step back and analyze this. Do both sides have a point? Yes. Absolutely!

On the defenders side, as black people, we’re starved for any portrayal of black people in a television show, especially where the black people get leading roles. And let’s not talk about getting GOOD shows with black people in leading roles. It’s one of my pet peeves with Tyler Perry. Sure the man is trying to make good whole TV with a message for his people, but damn can he work on the execution, the dimension of his characters, the sometimes offensive, condescending and judgmental message he sends, etc. So when Empire came out, many people cheered. Another show paving the way for us. And to anyone who has a problem with it, my suggestion is that you turn to FX, MTV, VHI, HBO, Lifetime and you’ll see white people acting like that on any given day and no one is critiquing them like Empire being critiqued.

Breaking-Bad-HeisenbergNo one critiqued Breaking Bad for it’s portrayal of a white man selling drugs to take care of his family even though it eventually gets out of hand. We didn’t agree with what he did all the time, but we loved him all the same because his intentions were (most of the time) good. This reminds me a lot of Cookie who sold drugs and got sent to jail trying to help Lucious, and most people who like the show couldn’t give two f**** about the message it sends.

The opponents of Empire don’t see all this. They see some, most, or all of the issues in the above list I shared. They see this show as giving a bad name to black people and black life because that’s not the entire scope of black life. Black life is more than just doing whatever it takes to come out on top. And the opponent’s problem is the lack of other black shows to balance that out. So yeah we Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal. But where’s our more wholesome portrayals. Where’s our normal black family trying to do the right thing, who did everything right and are dealing not just with issues specific to the black community, but specific to the universal community.

FreshWhere’s the Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin (debatable) and That’s So Raven, of the 2010’s. The shows that everyone, no matter what color can relate to and say I’d like my family to be like that. Those families and portrayals weren’t perfect, the black people in them were good people with a somewhat regular life who simply made mistakes along the way like all people do. Yeah not all white people are portrayed like that in television, but for every Breaking Bad there’s a Girl Meets World or a Switched at Birth (that one’s debatable too) or a Community or a New Girl. And they’re not always cheesy, over-the-top, and dramatic. They’re good shows you can unwind around and watch with the family. Sure we have Black-ish, but meh. Your mileage may vary with that one like mines does.

So what I think it all boils down to, and what it all boils down to for me as a writer, is that Empire isn’t a bad show. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with it. It’s just one portrayal of black life. But it’s not the only portrayal, and I think that’s where its opponents are having issues. We need balance in the portrayal of black people—just like there is a somewhat balance in the portrayal of white people—in all media from books to movies to television. And when writers decide on those portrayals, we shouldn’t be judged on it. There’s no way one show can be the picture of a race, but because the rest of the picture is lacking crucial aspects, that’s what it seems like.

*All Images Courtesy of Google Images*

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Hi! I’m Holly Dae and I’m Muslim #RespectForMuslims

So I became aware of this hashtag going around on twitter: #RespectForMuslims. And it’s really weird, because I’m writing a new novel and while the main character is atheist, her best friend is Muslim and I make it clear she’s Muslim, not just imply because she happens to wear her hair covered. Odd couple aren’t they. Not as odd as you think because it’s very indicative of my friend with my best friend from college. One of us is Muslim and the other is kind of atheist or more specifically, thinks there may be a God, but doesn’t believe in organized religion. Three guesses who the Muslim in this relationship is…?

If you guessed, that me, Holly Dae, is the Muslim, you guessed right. I’m Muslim, but I tend not to broadcast that on my social media or on this blog. Why? Well, because of all the stereotypes of Muslims. This idea that we’re either all terrorists or we read the Quran all day or that we’re all a bunch of big hypocrites because our religion teaches us some things and sometimes, we do another. I caught hell for wanting to be a writer and wanting to write about people who weren’t perfect and came from all walks of life. And I made the same argument to them that I’m going to make to anyone who won’t respect me because I’m Muslim. The religion is perfect, but the people aren’t. We struggle like everyone else and sometimes a lot of ugly comes out of us, but so does a lot of beauty. Saying all Muslims are terrorists and using that as an excuse to nullify the religion is like saying all men are rapists and deciding that world has no use for men.

With that said, I’m Holly Dae. I’m a Star Wars fanatic, I still play pokemon at 23 years old, I write YA and NA that tackles sex, drugs, and other taboo topics that are universal to the human race and the main and supporting characters are atheists, Christians, Jehovah witnesses, men, women, black, white purple, whatever suits my fancy at the time, and I’m Muslim. #RespectForMuslims.

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Confessions of a Fat Girl: Excerpt

The first writing of 2015! Meaning this was written this morning so no harsh judging. Knowing me, it’ll probably be a little different by the time I publish it this spring. But I felt like it’s a decent start and establishes Season’s personality and some of her conflict in the book quite nicely. So enjoy.

The Interrogation Scene:

“Can you look behind you for a minute?” Season asked unabashedly because the best way to get what you wanted was to be confident and act like you expected to get what you wanted.

The man looked at her with wide eyes, pretty eyes Season noted.

“Don’t worry,” Season said in a dry tone. “I’m not trying to knock you over the head to steal all your pretty cupcakes. I just want you to look at the girl at the table in the back corner with the neon pink nail polish see on her nails before you ever see her face.”

Laughing, the man looked back. “The girl with the scarf on?” he asked in a somewhat deep voice, but not a rough voice. It was smooth, didn’t grate on Season’s ears.

“That’s the one,” Season replied as the man turned back to look at her. “She’s very curious about you. Actually, she thinks you’re pretty hot and can’t believe that I see you every time I come in here and don’t know a single thing about you. Just between me and you, I love my best friend, but right now she’s getting on my nerve while I’m trying to work. So if you don’t mind, could you answer a few questions for me so I can satiate her curiosity and she can leave me alone?”

The man laughed and shrugged. Season took it as a yes.

“How old are you?” she asked clinically.

“Twenty-eight.”

Season nodded and looked at his hands. No rings.

“Married?”

“Nope.”

“Girlfriend?”

“No.”

“So single? And when I ask that, I mean totally. Like, no ‘it’s complicated’ on and off relationship because you or her can’t decide if you’re ready to commit long term?”

“Totally. Single,” he assured.

“Kids.”

“A niece and a nephew down south.”

Season hummed and then asked, “Are you gay? I should have asked that first and then I wouldn’t have had to spend so long interrogating you.”

“I’m not gay,” he said laughing.

“Asexual?” Season asked just to be sure.

“No,” he assured, laughing more, even as Season narrowed her eyes at him and leaned in to get a closer look at him.

Dark brown skin, pretty brown eyes, a goatee, sharp linear features, but not too hard. Tall-ish, almost six feet if she had to guess from seeing him walk in the café, with nice arms. Not huge, but muscular and nice to look at for someone with an arm fetish like her. Actually, he was nice to look at overall.

“Alright. Those were all the questions she wanted me to ask. Now I have a question for you. It’s none of my business, but if I don’t ask, it will nag the hell out of me.”

“What?”

“Why the hell are you still single, bruh? I mean, unless you’ve got some kind of domestic abuse record the length of the Eiffel Tower or are on some kind restraining order for every woman in New York that I don’t know about.”

The man stopped laughing, though a smile still twitched on the edge of his lips as he raised an eyebrow and asked, “Are you trying to flirt with me or something? Because you have an odd way of flirting if you are.”

“No,” Season said with a shrug. “I’m just genuinely curious with a very vivid imagination and if you don’t tell me, I’m going to go back in that café and come up with every good and bad scenario as to why you’re still single and then I won’t ever get any work done.”

He stared at her for a long time, as though trying to analyze her. Rather than look away in embarrassment or discomfort, Season looked right back at him, waiting for an answer. He could stare all he wanted, but no matter how long he looked into her eyes, he wasn’t going to find any window to her soul. If there was a window, it was firmly shut, with closed blinds on the inside, and boards nailed to the outside.

Finally, he said, “Just haven’t found the one yet.”

Season hummed again. Some things were just simple that way.

“Well,” Season said sighing. “Good luck to you on that.”

“Thanks,” he said as she started to make her way back into the café. “Wait!”

Season turned back to look at him.

“Cupcake?”

Season glanced at the dessert and in the two seconds it took her to decide, she managed to recall the average number of calories, grams of sugars, fat, and carbs in the typical cupcake the size he was offering. 260, 24, 14, and 30 respectively. Not today and not after that medium chai tea latte with whole milk because low fat milk tasted terrible. 270, 42, 7, and she wasn’t sure how many carbs.

“No thanks. I don’t like too many pastries,” Season said quietly. She wasn’t allowed to like them. Actually more like her entire body wouldn’t like them. She could practically see herself in the mirror tomorrow morning. Bigger pooch, bigger butt, fatter arms, and her face—the best thing she had going for her in terms of looks (besides her long full hair) with her clear dark sand skin and brown almond shaped eyes—puffy and bloated, and 176 pounds on the scale rather than 175. Nope. A latte was enough indulgence for the week.

It was his turn to hum.

“Nice talking to you…”

“Season.” Upon seeing him raise his eyebrows, Season added, “Yes. That’s the name on my birth certificate. And there’s no elaborate story behind it either.”

So? What do you think? And yes. This is the only excerpt I’m going to post until it’s published. 

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Confessions of a Fat Girl: Meet Season

I really wish right now that I could stop writing, but I can’t. It’s an obsession. So while I’m battling my obsession with writing, I wanted to introduce to you someone else who battles with an obsession; the protagonist of my next new adult novel, Season.

Season is going to be one of those characters who is a walking contradiction. Secure, yet insecure. Confident, yet not confident. Happy, yet sad. Successful, yet unfulfilled. And she’ll be going head to head with a developing eating disorder, hence the title of this novel. The eating disorder isn’t all this novel is about of course. It’s about romance, it’s about growing up, it’s about trying to find your place in the world, but I really suddenly wanted to tackle this idea of body image which is intrinsically linked to overall self-image for two reasons.

The first is that there are too many hot girls weighing in at 130 pounds at 5’5 with a 36 D cup breast, 24 inch waist, and 36 inch hips with a perfectly round ass in not just the New Adult genre, but fiction in general. Sure there are girls who look like that (and no knock to them), but not all girls. The second reason is that I wanted to dispel this notion that eating disorders have a certain “look.” Before this book is even a fifth of the way done, I want it to be pretty obvious that a girl with seemingly everything going on for her, clocking in at 5’6 and 175 pounds is on a downward spiral into anorexia if no one (including herself) stops her.

Without saying anything more, because I don’t want to spoil the story, here’s a summary.

Smart and ambitious Season Minett was homeschooled, got accepted into college at 16, graduated with a B.A. in English at 20, got a job at a prestigious newspaper at 21, and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Twenty-two-year-old Season has it made and everyone knows it. Except Season herself.

People can gush over her all day long, but Season knows they’re just being nice. In reality, she’s accomplished nothing. She doesn’t work hard enough, can’t get her book published, and worst of all at 5’6, 175 pounds with a thirty inch waist, a forty-one inch hip, and arms too big for her body, she’s fat and ugly. So Season is quite bewildered when the guy she saw every weekend in a corner café shows serious interest in her. Super serious.

And that’s not the only thing that’s super serious. Also super serious is Season’s growing food and image obsessions, or at least that’s what her best friend keeps saying. As far as Season is concerned, there’s nothing wrong with memorizing all the food labels and trying to lose a little weight. There’s nothing wrong with trying to do whatever is necessary to make herself appear as on top of the world and perfect as everyone says she is, like Season thinks she should be. Right?

So what do you think? I’m looking forward to writing this. I figure it’ll be out by mid or late spring if I get to start writing it in the next month or two. Don’t quote me on that though. Lol

P.S. Yeah. I know. Season? That’s a unique name. But that’s the name that came to me, so whatev. And I’m writing about a writer, something I never thought I’d do! But the story wants it to be that way and who am I to fight what the story wants!

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Romantic Playlist: Confessions of a Drug Addict

In Confessions of a Drug Addict, Gene’s romantic relationships, both past and present, play a big role in his story. And to get the tone of his romance(s) right I listened to a lot of romance music. Yes, I know there are three Michael Jackson songs on this playlist. I’m a fanatic about him. Anyway, this is just the romantic playlist. The playlist for the entire book will follow  shortly. Normally, I don’t do playlist but I though it would be fun.

Confessions of a Drug Addict Romantic Playlist:

1) Butterflies (Michael Jackson)

2) I Can’t Help It (Michael Jackson)

3) Nobody’s Business (Chris Brown and Rihanna)

4) Unthinkable (Alicia Keys)

5) Reasons (Earth, Wind, & Fire)

6) Other Side of the Game (Erykah Badu)

7) Any Time, Any Place (Janet Jackson)

8) Love Never Felt So Good (Michael Jackson)