Stuff Brittney Says: People always ask me, "What are you?" Spanish? Italian? Hawaiian? Persian? Armenian? Puerto Rican? Albino Jamaican? ... I'm human, does it matter?

Being Color Blind Helped Me See

January 21st, 2014

According to the world I have a disability: “color deficiency” – which is essentially the female form of color blindness. I can’t tell you the difference between blue and purple, or green from gray and yellow – perhaps explaining why my clothes seldom match. In fact, that’s how I learned I was different – I remember sitting on the monkey bars during recess in elementary school getting laughed at because I couldn’t see that my clothes didn’t match. And it’s been an issue up until about a year ago when my friend Loren came over and color coordinated and labeled my closest after I mistook a pair of mint green jeans for white ones.

And as a result of my “deficiency” I’ll never be able to join certain military ranks or the bomb squad.  Lucky for me I’ve never had dreams of becoming like MacGyver. But I do share similar dreams as Martin Luther King Jr. that more people in the world shared my color blindness.

When I was a little girl, at that age where kids say the darndest things,  I asked my father, whom was born to a Spanish speaking mother from Costa Rica, “What color are we?”

I was confused because we weren’t black, but we weren’t white either, especially not in the summer. “I guess we’re brown,” he said.

“Why are people different colors?” I then asked him.

And what he said made so much sense I began seeing people for their similarities, as in being other people, paying no mind to their external differences. “God gave people different skin tones to survive in the different climates He created, a fair skin person would have had a hard time in Africa before they came out with sunscreen. And that doesn’t make anyone better than anybody.”

So I see my “disability” as a blessing, because my color blindness has translated to people. It doesn’t bother me that I see the world in different shades than most people as I don’t see the shade of people’s skins either.

It does however make me a bad sports fan as I recently learned the Eagles jerseys are green rather than silver, and now I can’t tell Panthers and Hornets colors apart.


I deserved the skin cancer scare I got. But you don’t! How to avoid it…and the insecurities that led me to it.

January 7th, 2014

The first time I ever even acknowledged that I had an enlarged freckle on my cheekbone under my right eye was in my mid-twenties. I was sitting in a make-up chair having all my flaws covered up for my first TV job.
The makeup artist asked, “Do you want me to cover up your beauty mark?”
What beauty mark? I have a beauty mark!” I replied, kind of excited. She looked confused as she held up a mirror and pointed out the rather large brown spot on my face.
“Oh, that, I shall call her Cindy Crawford. I don’t care, your call.”
She covered it with foundation.

Nelly Cason

The next person to point out that spot on my face was seven years later when Dermatologist Dr. Joel Sugarman saw me for the first time (and the first time I’d ever seen a Dermatologist. I know, shame on me, but as a PSA for those in the same boat: Going to the Dermatologist does not make you a hypochondriac, it makes you smart).

“When did you notice that mark on your face,” he asked. And my sincere reply: “Well I didn’t start getting vain until my 20s, so I had to have had it my whole life, right?”

“Can you show me some pictures of yourself when you were younger?” he requested. So I pulled out my iPhone and scrolled to some black and white baby pics I had from #throwbackthursday. But no “beauty mark.”

He sent me home and had me go through all my old pictures, and as I rummaged through shoeboxes full of pictures made from old film rolls – the kind you had to wait and get developed to see what it looked like and just hoped the pictures turned out (I’m really aging myself here).
But a small freckle first made a cameo in the scrapbook of my life in my freshman homecoming picture. And I apparently didn’t wear makeup to my homecoming dance either because you could actually see it, about three times smaller than it is now.

I showed Dr. Sugarman the pictures, and next thing I knew I was getting my face numbed for a biopsy. And waiting for the results, as I was walking around looking like Nelly, I swallowed my pride and accepted that should the results come back as Melanoma, that I deserved it. It was my pride that put me in this predicament to begin with.

I could write you all kinds of advice on how to avoid skin cancer in terms of health precautions, but that’s obvious – keep your ass out of the tanning bed! But what women need to avoid in general, is the mentality that being pretty is so important that it’s worth risking your health over. So please be comfortable in your own skin, or you might end up with skin cancer.
So how is it that I could go through life not noticing a prominent marking on my face? … Because about the time the “beauty mark” made a change in size, is when I changed and started spending more time in the mirror.
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What Jason Leffler Taught Me About Life…and how he changed mine.

August 14th, 2013

I have a terrible confession to make … I was late for Jason Leffler’s memorial service on the afternoon of June 19. After already working an 8 hour day by 1 p.m., I worked up until the very last second my poor time management skills allotted for the commute from Uptown Charlotte to Grace Covenant Church in Lake Norman, and of course I then met with traffic on 77 North. After arriving 15 minutes late, I sat in the car for another 10 minutes feeling too ashamed to go inside. Because I knew Jason would’ve been mad at me, not for being late per se, but for being late because of work.

LEFTTURN

Rewind to a Friday night in Birkdale in 2009. I’d taken my laptop to Starbucks to do some writing when I heard Jason Leffler’s voice from the neighboring patio at Red Rocks Café (of course, that was his spot).

“What are you doing?” he shouted to me.

“Working.”

“That’s all you do, you’re no fun!”

“I know. I’m a dork. Don’t judge me.” But he did judge — that I needed to stop working so he started peer pressuring me to start living.

After resisting and looking back down at my computer screen, he proceeded to walk over and pick me up and carry me over to the Red Rocks patio (yes, he was actually able to pick me up). Though he did need help getting me over the patio fence, and thankfully a waiter ran over to come to his (and my) aid , which is when he asked him to go grab my computer to complete his friend-napping mission. Next thing I knew, I was taking Patron shots with him at the bar and toasting to life. Or as he put it, me “getting a life” and taking a break from work to enjoy it.

Clearly I didn’t listen very well…

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Finding Forgiveness: The 6th Stage of Grief Kubler-Ross Forgot

January 31st, 2013

Boy am I glad 2012 is over … it was full of such highs and lows, I am dizzy from the bipolar coaster of a ride the year was. Especially, the last quarter of it … because I spent it grieving. And anyone who had to deal with me moping around the past few months can attest that I was diligent about actually grieving, because it was the first time I’d actually ever done it. I didn’t run to the emergency room of emotional pain looking for a quick fix. Though, I did run out and adopt a dog and impulsively got a tattoo, I didn’t sedate myself from my pain; I forced myself to actually feel it. Because you can’t put a band-aid on a broken bone, now can you? Well, as hard as we try, that doesn’t work for a broken heart either. Just like a torn muscle needs physical therapy, a broken heart needs to be rehabilitated so it can heal properly too. And with every injury life gives us, it hurts before it feels better. Because you’ve got to fall to your knees before you can get up. So, I put my big girl panties and game face on, and faced my pain head on, forcing myself to go through the stages of grief. And boy did it suck. I even broke out my old psychology textbook from college covering the Kubler-Ross Model that I knew I was hoarding for a reason.

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I was stupid through the (1) Denial Stage, which lasts for about a week. Then I was irrational and slightly bitchy and psychotic through the (2) Anger Stage — the absolute worst stage of them all. So I rushed through it quickly and went from pissed to pathetic in the (3) Bargaining Stage. Then, I fell hard into the next phase, (4) Depression.I lost 12 pounds from not having an appetite, and would randomly, without warning, break out into tears … and then try to be inconspicuous about it, but my mascara would get messed up so it would be obvious, and then I’d have to make up some stupid excuse as to why I was crying. Once I even blamed the Spice Girls for splitting up. And then … (5) Acceptance. That’s supposed to be the final stage and the death of the grief. But truth is, I accepted the reality of my grief as soon as the denial wore off. I accepted it, but that doesn’t mean I liked it. But through my faith in God’s plan, I learned to.

But, I think there is one more step Kubler-Ross left off her list … (6) FORGIVENESS! The unofficial 6th stage in the grieving process,  that my Psychology professors failed to mention.

Because you see, when you go through something, and don’t go through the process of healing from it — and just put a band-aid on and play through the pain pretending you’re not hurt, you’re just worsening the injury. Just like ignored back pain can end up a herniated disc, a broken heart that is never cared for can harden. And the next thing you know, you’re 30 years old dealing with the issues of having your virginity stolen from you when you were 13, or whatever childhood trauma you suppressed by just pretending like it didn’t happen. You can lie to yourself all you want, do things to distract yourself from mourning and put on a happy face as easily as putting on make-up, but you can not hide from your subconscious. Suppressing emotional pain is like building a bomb inside your soul … and it will eventually explode! It’s not just about accepting your situation as a reality and dealing with it, but it’s finding forgiveness that will cut the wire to deactivate said bomb.

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A Love Letter to the Haters

June 4th, 2012

Haters. We all have them. With what I do, I have a whole rolodex of them … but that doesn’t mean I have to call on them.

I never read comments on my blogs and articles published on-line, anymore. Yet, people will make verbal comments such as the other day following my recently published article in the Charlotte Observer. Someone walked up to me and said “Don’t pay attention to those mean comments. They were really tearing you up.”

Well, I wasn’t paying attention until you brought it to mine, thank you (not) very much. … why would someone do that anyway? That’s almost a passive aggressive insult!

Anyway, a few years and articles ago, I would have felt compelled to go see what people were saying about me. But I learned my lesson. Back in 2009 someone put something up about me on The Dirty.com. So naturally, I went to go read all the comments. I was happily surprised the majority of the comments were defending me. But like it really matters because you can get 5 compliments and only hear the one insult.

My good guy friend Drew let me know he was disappointed in me for reading the comments. Caring what other people think (good or bad) shows a lack of confidence, seeking it from without rather than within. He was so right; other people’s acceptance is irrelevant if you accept yourself.

Throughout my years working in the media I’ve read that I’ve got thunder thighs, I’m a talentless hack, I’m packing on the lbs, I am fake, I’m a racer chaser, I’m stupid, I look like Snooki, I’m a troll, I sleep my way into jobs …

All coming from people who have never so much as met me — let alone had I done something to them.

I could bark back and say, “Glad you have dial-up Internet in your parent’s basement” …but that would just put me on their level. I really just want to give them a hug.

Because haters are just people who need love. And Jesus.

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Change is Good.

March 26th, 2012

One of the hardest things in life is finding your our own voice amidst all the noise. And we have to try on several different identities to see which one fits.
I’ve had more different styles than Madonna in the 90s, and my resume looks more like a random list of careers than someone’s work history.
But most recently I went from writing for a living and going to bed at 3 a.m., to talking for a living and waking up at 3 a.m. Change is the only thing that’s consistent in life, but it’s also consistently for the better. Through answered prayers and tweeking from management, my job and identity have changed, to sports anchor … Flash Girl

Let’s be real … I’m a tomboy. I missed The Bachelor to watch the Daytona 500, and I skipped Dancing with the Stars to watch the NCAA dance, even though I don’t even have a dog in the fight. Since I went to Virginia Tech, I should perhaps consider using an alternative cliche. So I traded microphones, and have a new home on the Mac Attack on WFNZ, and hope you come visit me there sometime.

So meet Flash Girl, my new identity … myself. The real Brittney Cason.

And for some sports comedy you can follow “Flash Girl” on Twitter

My first job in Charlotte was writing the nightlife column in Creative Loafing titled,  “Brittney After Dark” – and now I’m “Flash Girl.” I hope people don’t think I’m a porn star or something!


Sh!t People in Charlotte Say

March 25th, 2012


Eat, Pray, Love: The Costa Rican version

March 25th, 2012

While normal people traveled to their parent’s house to visit family and gorge on turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving, I booked a solo trip for a yoga retreat: AmaTierra in Costa Rica. Because as anyone who knows me personally can attest, I am definitely not normal. I mean, who goes to a foreign country by themselves during a family holiday? … I do apparently.

But my fit of insanity comes from a place of seeking sanity for myself, like my own version of an Eat, Pray, Love journey of self-discovery. You see, I never met any of my grandparents, which has left many chapters of my history book empty. All I know about my grandmother is that she moved to America from Costa Rica and barely spoke a word of English. And while life is a choose-your-own-adventure story, it’s hard to know where you’re going if you have no idea where you came from.

So, like a tree without roots, I ventured into the Costa Rican rain forest in search of my family tree, so I could climb it … 

And learned a lot … Eat, Pray, Love – The Costa Rican version


I’m getting married…

August 8th, 2011

Well, I am signing a contract. Same thing, right?
The ol’ ball and chain being Charlotte … You’re stuck with me, for the next 3 years at least.

Apparently I have a face for radio, considering I was given the morning show slot on KISS 95.1 with Otis. As in Ace&TJ’s old time slot.
First order of business: speech therapy … and learn how to quickly fill some big shoes with my little ass feet. Oh, and go buy five more alarm clocks.

I was just sitting behind my computer writing my column, and then Otis shoved a microphone in my face, and before I know it we’re being offered our own morning show. And just like that, my whole life game plan changed.

I have always said that my motive for being an artist is to have a voice, so that I may use it for good. I got what I always wanted I guess, I just never imagined it would manifest in a literal sense, in a career in radio. So I am signing on the dotted line like a woman that just turned 30, ready to settle down.

Please bare with me as I figure out how to transcribe my writings to the spoken word. Like speaking in tweets, 140 characters or less. And without the luxury of editing and having a filter. I have already lost approximately $17 to Otis for saying the S or F words in conversation off the record.

This is going to be a challenge. But Tucker Max, my mentor and boss who didnt realize he’d be paying me in therapy sessions pending any major life decisions, said it best: “Someone wants to employ you to be YOURSELF. Not dumb cheerleader Brittney, not “Miss Brand Name,” or some reality TV whore. YOURSELF, without a mask. You couldn’t get a better deal.”
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A Hot Southern Mess

June 2nd, 2011

“She’d rather wear a pair of cut-off jeans than a fancy evening dress. And with her windows rolled down and her hair blown all around, she’s a hot Southern mess.”
~ Brad Paisley, in his new song “Old Alabama”
Those lyrics pretty much sum me up … so much so that I’m even in the video for “Old Alabama.”
I was actually the production coordinator on the shoot and ended up driving vintage cars from Hendrick Performance alongside Kelley Earnhardt and Erin Crocker Evernham — legit drivers. So, for a little Hollywood secret: They put the 1950 Buick I was driving on a trailer hitch, so I wouldn’t wreck it.

The video premiered before the All Star Race in Charlotte on the world’s largest HD screen at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sh!t my dad says, Mr. Cason edition: “I liked the video. Nice cars. But why do you look like you’re just out taking a stroll? Drive that thing! And you’re not worried about being on the largest HD screen? People will be able to see inside your pores!”
You can view the video HERE … as in the highlighted word here for which you can click on to link to NASCAR.com. Fancy.
All artist royalties from this song will go to tornado relief in Alabama. Brad Paisley rocks … literally with the band Alabama in this video!