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With the best articles on caring for natural hair, Curly Nikki is your source for inspiration and advice. Find out about the latest styles and trends today!

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    By Mwabi Kaira

    When I saw the trailer for Tyler Perry’s Acrimony starring Taraji P. Henson, I didn’t immediately want to call up my girls and make a movie date. The trailer showed a woman scorned and out for revenge and that’s just not something that appeals to me. I’m one of those people who takes the Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life approach to things like this. I prefer the ‘work on myself’ approach while sending the one who wronged me love and light believing that karma always works. But when I listened to Tyler Perry on the Essence Yes Girl podcast and he said there was a twist in the movie, and I saw some status updates saying that the movie wasn’t like the trailer, I decided to go and see it for myself.

    Continue
    Taraji
    The first half of the movie is a court ordered anger management session with Melinda (Taraji P. Henson) recalling how she fell for Robert (Lyriq Bent) as a college student. Her sisters see red flags from the start but Melinda ignores them because of love and marries Robert without them present. Melinda inherits a sum of money and the family house after her mother’s death and the money goes into supporting Robert’s dream of inventing a self-charging battery. Watching all of this was not alarming and I was actually enjoying the movie because let's face it, a lot of people marry people their family don’t like and foolishly spend money instead of saving it. A lot of people are in marriages that have a lot of love at the beginning that turn into monotony and friendship twenty years in.

    The movie did have me wondering exactly how long a partner is supposed to support a dream and why dreamers can’t work regular jobs while they wait for their dream to happen. Melinda worked several jobs while Robert worked his dream at his workstation in the house. See, this is where I agreed with Melinda’s sisters because third shift jobs exist for a reason and I cannot imagine working multiple jobs while my husband doesn’t work. I’m not a dream killer, but I need you to hold up your financial obligation to the marriage while you work your dream for twenty years. Things eventually blow up when Robert doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain with Melinda’s family and his actions could lead them to lose their family business. Robert chooses his dream over the family and Melinda finally has enough and files for divorce.

    Robert finds an ally in Diana (the girl he cheated on Melinda with in college) and before long his self-charging battery is bought for 75 million dollars. Robert shows up to Melinda’s job with a 10 million dollar check, some flowers and an apology. Melinda gets more money than she ever imagined and the keys to her mother’s house back. You would think this would be enough. But suddenly she is consumed with rage for everyone and starts lashing out. This made no sense at all to me. Robert has moved on with Diana and Melinda focuses her rage on her specifically because Diana is living the life Melinda worked for.

    Taraji & Lyriq
    Tyler Perry loses me all the way. Is this the plot twist? I’m mad at reading the status updates because here I am at the movies watching the trailer I didn’t like. Acrimony was a good idea but the second half of the movie didn’t fully feel flushed out and just further pushed the crazy black woman narrative. It would have been so much better to see a movie about a black couple working a dream together and it coming to pass despite all the trials and tribulations. All the key ingredients were present for Tyler Perry’s Acrimony to be a great piece of cinema, but they weren’t mixed in a way that made sense. I'd rate it a C.


    Have you seen Acrimony? Will you? Share your thoughts!
    Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world. She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993. Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy. She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon. Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

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    By Hayden Stewart

    As a woman of color, it can be a pain to find the right foundation. Many brands only carry a limited range of shades, and more often than not, you have to settle for an inaccurate, unflattering shade, or you’ll have to put in extra work to blend colors to achieve the right look. And who has time for that?

    Thankfully, there are brands that are making efforts to offer more inclusive, diverse shade ranges to accommodate all skin tones. Next time you’re visiting your local pharmacy or Sephora, keep an eye out for these lovely brands!

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    The Fenty Pro Filt'r Foundation via Cocoaswatches.com
    1. Rihanna's Fenty Beauty prides itself on its diverse shade range, with over 40 different colors to choose from. Fenty’s main marketing strategy relies on the diversity of their models as well as the importance of representation in the beauty industry. The Pro Filt’r Foundation is a buildable, medium-full coverage foundation and goes on matte without looking too cakey. You can find it here for $34.


    Bobby Brown's Skin Foundation Sticks
    2. Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation Stick comes in 30 shades ranging from Alabaster to Cool Espresso. The foundation stick is $46 and has a formula that is nourishing, non-drying, waterproof, humidity-proof, and sweat-proof. There are 12 different formulas to ensure that skin doesn’t appear too pink or ashen. And as the personal favorite foundation of celebrities like Oprah and Naomi Campbell, this little stick has the credentials to back up its reputation. However, Bobbi Brown may not be the choice for you if you're looking for foundation on a smaller budget.


    Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup
    3. While Estee Lauder does have some problems with ashiness with their products, the Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup is a step in the right direction towards offering more variety for WOC. The foundation, which costs $42, has 28 shades and sports an oil-free finish, does not oxidize, is smudge-proof and is long lasting.


    Maybelline's Fit Me! Foundation Matte + Poreless
    4. For a more affordable option, Maybelline's Fit Me! Foundation has 40 shades (and growing) for their matte formula and 16 in their dewy + smooth formula. At $8, you’re getting a great bang for your buck, especially if you opt for the matte formula. This foundation is great for covering imperfections and hyperpigmentation, but be wary – there’s no pump and the formula is a bit runny, so be sure to pour it carefully to avoid waste.


    Wet N Wild's Photo Focus Foundation
    5. Another great budget foundation with wide shade variety is Wet N Wild's Photo Focus Foundation. While there could be more variety in the deeper shades of their 23-shade-range, that’s quite diverse for just $6, and the vegan formula boasts beautiful skin under different types of lighting and can also lessen powder flashback in photographs. The coverage is light to medium and blends easily due to the silica base.


    L'Oreal's True Match Foundation
    6. L'Oreal's True Match Foundation is $11 and comes in 45 shades. When compared to other foundations of a similar price, the range of shades is comparable to high-end foundations. This foundation will give you a finish that looks natural and is safe for all skin types. However, some find that the consistency of the foundation is too dewy and does not last long enough with oily or combination skin types. Similar to the Fenty campaigns, L’Oreal highlights diversity in their shades by hiring models of various ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, and genders and giving them a platform to express the importance of makeup in their lives.

    Finding the right foundation can be hard but thankfully more and more makeup companies are making the effort to include shades for every face and for every budget. While Fenty and Rihanna may have really sparked the recent conversation on makeup diversity, other brands are embracing that conversation and will hopefully continue to strive toward more inclusion.

    Hayden Stewart is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Zoetic.

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    CurlyGaisha
    Hey Guys, 

    My favorite hairstyle in the warmer months are wash n go's and a protein treatment helps snap my curls right into shape! Check out my video below and let me know your thoughts! 
    XO
    CurlyGaisha
    Continue

    Let us know if you'll try this treatment and be sure to show CurlyGaisha's page some love!!!

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    By Veronica Wells

    The internet is really no different than the rest of the world but what makes it so irresistible is the fact that the shenanigans from all four corners of the globe are collapsed into the palm of our hands. 

    This past week, the internet has been discussing a girlfriend who threatened an Instagram model, in her DMs, over the behavior of her boyfriend. The concept sounds crazy. So I’ll just show you. 


    Here’s 21-year-old Tajea-Jasmine Walton.

    Tajea-Jasmine Walton
    As far as Instagram models go, her following of just over 3,000 people is modest. But that didn’t stop one man from finding and following her. The practice of men following attractive women on the gram is not unheard of. But for one woman, it presented a real issue.

    As a result, this woman decided to send Tajea a message...


    Just so we’re clear, we have a boyfriend who’s infatuated with a stranger and his partner who has resorted to making threats in the DMs. 

    There were a couple of people who tried to give this girlfriend the benefit of the doubt by saying “it’ll be a problem” in reference to the trouble she was going to cause for her man. To that I say, nice try. The fact that she wrote to her like she was her mama, “If I have to speak to you again,” lets us know exactly what she was trying to accomplish with this infantile request.

    The fact that she needed to make an appeal to a stranger instead of talking to her own boyfriend, lets us know everything we need to about the nature of their relationship. Her man doesn’t give a damn about her. And I don’t say this because he’s following another woman on IG. We can tell he doesn’t care about her feelings because he’s made this woman the background on his phone and laptop and speaks about her like they go way back.

    She doesn’t say whether or not she’s spoken to him about it, instead she’d rather place the responsibility of correcting her boyfriend’s behavior on Tajea, when her only crime was posting on Instagram and being attractive. And if she had spoken to him about it, his refusal to comply to a reasonable request, one that would make her feel more secure, reflects poorly on their entire relationship.

    If you’re wondering what Tajea did in this situation, she told BuzzFeed News, that she didn’t respond to the message.

    "I didn't respond. I honestly just read it and blocked them both. There wasn't any reason to go back and forth. I have my own boyfriend, and at the end of the day, there's nothing I could do about him being oddly obsessed with me."

    Very mature. I can’t say what I would have done in the situation. I might have had a few choice words for this girlfriend. But then again, from the looks of things she certainly doesn’t need to catch another L.

    By now, I’m sure the girlfriend has stumbled upon Walton’s story and the response she issued to the media. And if so, she likely saw this advice.

    "What I want women to take from this is that...

    1) You're worth more than this.

    2) The second you feel like you must attack another woman over a man, let him go."

    Do you men unfairly go after women when they should address their man?
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sZHiOoSdX6o/Wguz8GSzrAI/AAAAAAAADmg/SpIrPvnu97QTxmBGG8fJpoMviKVt52_kQCLcBGAs/s1600/V-Wells-headshot.jpg
    Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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    Photo via CreativeSoul Photography
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    There's something about seeing the fresh face of innocence and joy in little kids that brings out the best in us. For some time, children of color were excluded from images that celebrate our innocence and beauty in media. It's been changing. We've been changing. The hashtag #blackgirlmagic helped. Black Panther helped by showing that no one can capture us like we can.

    Enter husband and wife duo, Kahran and Regis Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography, who just signed a 6-figure book deal with St. Martin’s Press to capture the beauty of children of color. The book will be titled 'Halo' and is expected to be available online in 2019.  Recently, Kahran told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that they want to change the discussion around our history. "People think our history starts with slavery. What about when we were kings and queens?” 

    Peep some of the powerful and syrupy sweet photos that will make you understand exactly why these two are getting the BIG BUCKS!

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    All photos via CreativeSoul Photography


    This little Princess is a work of art!


    We can never have too much color. And she wears it so well.


    It's my guess that she's in Venice. Can we tag along?



    This crew is looking quite proper next to London's Big Ben. 




    Nice to see us slaying in different settings. Beijing perhaps?



    Hello Mr. President, we see you!



    We're always shining! 



    Gorgeous from head to toe. 



    Roller set. Let's go!



    Color me beautiful.


     

    Pop culture kids for sure!

    *******

    Would you buy a book with images like these?
    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  ErickkaSySavane.com

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    Photo by Makho
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    It was my daughter’s 6th birthday and as a surprise I decided to get her hair braided. She never really asked for braids, but recently I thought that she might like to try something new, and when I casually ran the idea by her she said she’d like to try it. Now, my daughter has a short, thick afro. Honestly, the thought of having it cornrolled for a while so I wouldn’t have to fight with her everyday to ‘pick it more softly’ was as much for me as it was her.

    Fast-forward to the big day. We’re sitting in the Senegalese braiding shop in my Jersey City hood.

    Continue
    First, I discovered that one of my good friends worked there. She’s Senegalese like them, so I was happy that she’d be able to convey my wishes to the woman who owns the shop and was braiding my daughter’s hair. Already, I tried to tell her that I didn’t want it too long because the hair she got looked like it belonged on Beyonce. She didn't seem to hear me. In addition, I asked my friend to ask her if she could do some zigzaps or something besides braiding it straight back.

    “It’s too short!” snapped the owner. Then she told me that it would be $60 instead of the $30 I see plastered on a sign on the wall. I'm kinda pissed but my friend works there so I'm not going to haggle.

    After about 30 mins. of sitting in the front with my older daughter while they did my daughter's hair in a back room, my friend called me. I got there to find her with about 3 rows of cornrolls left to braid along with tears the size of golf balls streaming down her face. She hadn’t been this upset since she lost her American girl doll.

    “What’s wrong?” I asked her.

    “It’s. Too. Long. I. Don’t. Like. It,” she replied with her chest heaving up and down like she had just ran 20 laps.

    Then the braider snapped at me, “When was the last time you got her hair braided?”

    Me. Never.

    Her: Never? Why did you wait so long!

    Me: Because her hair is beautiful the way it is so I didn’t feel the need to braid it.

    Her: You shouldn’t have waited!

    Me: I don’t understand, I know in Africa a lot of girls have short hair so what’s the problem?

    Her: In Africa, where I’m from, we do little girl’s hair. And when they don’t want to sit and get their hair braided we tell them that people are going to think they are a boy, and then they sit.

    I instantly feel for these little girls being manipulated into sitting to get their hair braided for fear that someone might think them a boy. 

    Me: Well, people think that they are boys sometimes and they're fine. If they can learn to love their hair as it is they will be fine in life.

    She gave me and my friend an incredulous look. Then reconfirmed with her in their language that the father of these two girls was indeed African, as if he had married a clueless African American woman who was somehow ruining the children, stripping them of their African culture. Then she came out the side of her neck by asking me if I comb their hair every day.

    “Yes, of course, I do,” I replied through gritted teeth.

    She finished the job with my daughter still balling and nothing that I or her sister could do no matter how pretty we told her it looked.

    At that point, I was happy to give the woman the full $60 and a $5 tip just to get out of there. My daughter cried all the way home.

    First, I decided to cut them since the problem seemed to stem from the fact that they were too long. When I cut them the hair sprung open like a flower instantly blooming from a bud. Grabbing some colorful rubber bands, I secured a bunch on the open hair to keep it in place. Now, with the hair just above her neck. She still hated it. I haven’t even mentioned how tight it was.


    Finally, I got her to calm down by convincing her that if she didn’t like it in the morning, we could take it out. The next day we were having her birthday party so I wanted her to be happy in front of her friends.

    My friend from the shop called shortly after to see how my daughter was doing and to tell me that the braider felt sad that my daughter didn’t like her hair. For the first time, I was able to see what happened from the stylists’ perspective. No one wants to ruin a kid’s birthday, and they long for their clients to be happy. When I told my friend I was more than likely going to take it out she screamed, “Noooo, you spent your money! Give it 3 days. The hair will loosen up.”

    The next morning my daughter woke up in a much better mood, though she said she slept with her head on her hand because it hurt so much.

    “Do you like it better?” I asked.

    “Yes.”

    “Do you want to keep it?”

    “No. I just feel like it won’t come out and I’ll be stuck with it forever. I want to look like you and Makho," she said. (Makho is her big sister)

    We took it out, and no sooner than the last strands of hair dropped to the floor she was back to her normal self, and smiling like somebody gave her ice cream. I was reminded of something a relative said once when my daughter’s were younger and she noticed that I wasn’t filling their heads with little ponytails that she felt would pull the hair to make it grow longer.

    “All little girls want long hair, you know,” she said, as if I was somehow doing a disservice to my daughters by letting their hair be, free from the pulling, tugging, and manipulation.

    I just looked at her then, and I’m smiling at my daughter now, because I’ve never seen a little girl so happy to have short hair.

    Do you feel we push young girls with short hair into getting braids?
    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife and mom, based in Jersey, City. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.comMadamenoire.com and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    Iyanla Vanzant & Hazel E
    By Brenda Alexander

    Although reality television is a guilty pleasure of mine, I avoid the Love & Hip Hop franchise. From fights - to love triangles - to social media scandals - to manufactured beefs for ratings and even going as far as bringing innocent children into the picture to be subjected to the shannigans, the show just does way too much for my liking. Its cast members seem to be the most exploited and then rewarded, going from season to season and jumping cities with pay increases and instagram endorsements. Aside from K. Michelle, Amina Buddafly and Cardi B who used the platform to successfully take their music to new heights, the rest continue to marvel in the madness. Never did I think that an example would be made out of one of the franchise’s stars after seasons of showing her ass. Instead of being reprimanded for throwing drinks on her fellow co-stars or simply acting a fool, Hazel E was instead given the axe after posting disparaging comments about her nemesis' skin color. Black twitter wasn’t having it, production felt it was too much of a PR nightmare to recover from, and her “career” has taken a hit. So what did the fallen reality star do when she had no luck elsewhere? Call Auntie Iyanla of course.

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    Saturday’s episode of Iyanla Fix My Life opened with screenshots of 37-year-old Hazel E’s social media tangent about her “hating” co-stars and comparing their looks to a “black a$$ monkey” among other things that you’d think only a Trump-supporting, Republican and confederate-flag-waving Southerner would so bodly post online. Iyanla speaks to her mother to get Hazel’s backstory, as we know, Ms. Vanzant likes to unravel people’s story from beginning to end. Throughout the episode, viewers learn that Hazel was brought up in an unstable home and taught she was better seen and not heard. Born to a teenage mother without a father who passed before her birth, Hazel’s mother Angela entered into another relationship that was revealed to be physically and verbally abusive, to both she and Hazel. To make matters worse, Hazel also revealed that she was sexually violated as a child by two black women of darker skin tones than she and when she told her mother, she was informed to never speak of it again. Hazel internalized that experience and her sexual violation at the hands of darker skinned women manifested itself into the hateful words she spilled about her co-stars so many years later. That’s a lot to take in.

    Hazel's Mom
    First, looking at Hazel E, I had no idea she was black, and apparently neither did half the world which explains the intense backlash she received post her social media debacle. Colorism should never take place; but it’s always an outrage when someone (who appears to be) from outside of the community takes such ignorant digs.

     The exploitation she suffered in childhood from women entrusted to care for her, and her own mother silencing that is unfathomable. Hazel identifying darker skin tones with the women who abused her seemingly as the enemy speaks volumes. Bad behavior should never be excused but it was clear how deep Hazel’s wounds run. She’s been trained to be quiet about anything that’s deemed remotely uncomfortable for those around her. It’s only natural that as an adult, she acts chaotic.

    Iyanla & Hazel in the 'legacy room'
    The most powerful part of the episode, and in my opinion one of the best parts of the series overall, is when Iyanla takes Hazel into “the legacy” room. Hazel, who considers herself an entertainer, is surrounded by photos of the great black women in entertainment and Civil Rights including Ruby Dee, Della Reese, Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. The exercise was to show Hazel that in order to be your best presently, you must know who and what came before you. From the edit, the only figure she recognized was Rosa Parks, which was sad. We live in a time where there’s a stark contrast between black excellence being sought in the more traditional sense contrast with those who seek and will do anything for fame. With Iyanla making Hazel recite her own racy rap lyrics while in the “legacy room” about twerking and popping bottles, she reprimanded Hazel in the most stern yet educational way explaining, “You know what pop my butt meant to Harriet Tubman? It meant a whip.” That scene proves just how oblivious not just Hazel, but many women of color can be. The fact that our ancestors fought for such freedom for us to diminish one another as we do.

    They say, “Once you know better, you do better.” Behavior is a personal reflection of oneself. I hope that we can all take the Iyanla approach and correct ourselves so that as Iyanla would say, we show up in the world correct.

     Given what we now know about Hazel's past,  does she deserve a second chance?
    Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com

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    Forgiveness and unconditional love aren’t human qualities, they are Soul qualities...God qualities. That’s why you feel fake when you’re doing your best to live these principles! The ‘you’ that you think you are, can’t forgive nobody lol! 

    To extend unconditional love to yourself and others, and to truly forgive or wish well the people that have mistreated you, you must rediscover and remain aware of another dimension of yourself... your true Self. And when you stay consciously connected to this inner presence (felt in the body as stillness, peace, joy and/or well being), it spills over and expresses automatically as the qualities ‘you’ were only imitating before. #BeHerNow

    p.s. I can attest to this...lots of first hand experience... and what I know for sure is that you honestly won’t have true peace until you turn within and find it there... you won’t have true peace until you start being your true Self...and then everything changes!
    Love you all!
    Nikki Walton

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    Real Estate Developer & Entrepreneur A. Donahue Baker
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    There are people who do their jobs and there are those who are passionate about their work. Entrepreneur and real estate developer A. Donahue Baker has built an impressive real estate portfolio of over 400 residential units nationwide, and he’s passionate about providing minorities and Millennials with the strategies they need to build wealth.

    According to the New Jersey native, there are only two options to build generational wealth: real estate or starting a business. Millennials- side hustlers that they are- are starting businesses at a rapid rate, but few want to be home owners due to a variety of perceived myths. In fact, 60% of Millennials choose to rent, according to Goldman Sachs.

    Fortunately for us, A. Donahue took time out of his busy baller schedule to dispel some of the myths about home ownership, and provide us with the proper information we need to do it the right way!

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    How long have you been in real estate and why did you choose it? 
    My first acquisition was a 6 unit in Newark, NJ in 2002. After that, I didn't make another purchase for about 10 years. So 99% of my portfolio was acquired in the last 6 years. I made my first purchase after getting a lump sum of money from my career in the music industry and wanted to diversify my streams of income. Today, I own over 400 units and I continue to add to my portfolio because I believe real estate is one of the best ways to build generational wealth. 

    What don't black Millennials know about real estate? 
    Black Millennials know about real estate but they lack the foundational knowledge to build generational wealth through real estate because of the trend to rent as opposed to owning. Renting is an expense that once paid by the renter that money is gone forever. Paying a mortgage is different. It’s like making a loan to your future self. It becomes a case of ease in the short term since it's easier for them to rent. However, renting is not always best for black Millennials from a long-term perspective because owning is one of the primary ways in which generational wealth is created and sustained in the black community.

    What are the misconceptions we have today about owning a home?
    Many people, Millennials included, think owning a home is an asset. It is not. Owning a home such as a duplex where you live in one side and rent out the other to a tenant that pays your mortgage is an asset. A home that takes money out of your pocket every month is a liability. Millennials need to look at homes and think ‘how can I re-engineer the process to get others to pay for the home and allow myself to build wealth?’ The answer to that question is seeking multi-family properties. I think people that live in urban areas like NYC or LA sometimes have given up hope of owning a home (much less multi-family homes) due to the high prices in those markets. I think those are false misconceptions. The prices may be high to the general public, but I show people how to purchase properties for pennies on the dollar in any market. Especially if you are an owner-occupant you have an advantage over professional investors like me. For example, famous breakfast club radio personality Angela Yee purchased a brownstone in Brooklyn, NY. For the price she paid for her brownstone she could have purchased a super sexy single-family house in New Jersey. The decision she made basically will make her a millionaire because she delayed the gratification of owning a sexy single-family house and purchased the multi-family brownstone. She rents out the apartments to tenants that will cover the cost of the mortgage, which will eventually deliver her a paid off brownstone all while she lives rent-free in one of the units. If this strategy can work in NYC it can work anywhere.

    When should you buy a home? 

    I believe everyone's first home should be an FHA financed multi-family home like Angela Yee. If you are after generational wealth via real estate your own single family personal home should be made when you have achieved the passive income goal you desire to create. So it actually is best to wait to buy your own personal home after you have created a steady income stream. Many people don't understand why this is important. The reason why it is important is that it's easier to purchase a four family as your first purchase via a FHA loan, which is a loan anyone can get (taking into consideration they meet the program's guidelines) with 3.5% down payment, than getting an FHA loan after you already own a single family home. The degree of difficulty is steep.

    What are some of the barriers in terms of being black and buying a home?
    Really home buying is a mental sport. You have to be disciplined and able to delay gratification. Many people think of home buying as just picking a house they like in a neighborhood they like. Being black and buying a home is just like being white and buying a home. You have to be able to make the biggest investment of your life with a lot of forethought of the future. How does the investment affect my family, career, and net worth?


    Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series where A. Donahue will talk about the best neighborhoods Black Millennials should buy, gentrification, how to spot a bargain and more! For more information visit A. Donahue’s website, www.adonahuebaker.com or follow him on twitter and Instagram.

    Did you find any of this information helpful so far?
     Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.com, Ebony.com,Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    MC Tokyo Vanity
     By Lauren R.D. Fox

    Louisiana female MC Tokyo Vanity, known for her viral hit “That’s My Best Friend,” made her debut on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and caused a bit of a stir on the internet recently. Earlier this season, the 23-year-old New Orleans native revealed she’s a virgin and not ready to “play house” with her boyfriend Tabius. During her confessional, Tokyo explained that she’s not waiting for religious reason nor is she waiting for her wedding night, but instead saving for herself until she is ready to be “knocking them boots” with Tabius or whoever. 

    And as the born and bred New Yorker that I am, I silently said “‘aight, gucci,” to her plan as I watched the LHHATL episode because family planning should start before intercourse occurs. 
     
    It helps give the single and coupled up against an opportunity to discuss what they expect out of their sex life and most importantly if they are solely participating in the activity for orgasms, babies or an audition for Cirque Du Soleil. Nevertheless, Tokyo’s statement was filled with authenticity and practicality because if you’re not ready to do something, well, don’t do it. Unfortunately, Class-A social media critics believed there is another reason why Tokyo Vanity still has her V-card.

    “It’s because she has no other option,” one commenter wrote under The Shade Room’s Instagram report of the rapper, referring to her plus-size shape. Another person said it’s not surprising to learn Tokyo is a virgin but it is surprising to see Tabius is faithful to her, because if he’s not receiving sex from her, he must be receiving the ill-na-na from someone else. This cliche reasoning is problematic because despite Tokyo or any woman taking ownership of her sexuality and how she chooses to negotiate it, people (will usually) water it down to a man’s needs and gaze.

    I remained a virgin throughout college for a number of reasons. The guys I dated didn’t want to deal with the emotional ramification they believed came with having sex with a virgin. They believed once they have intercourse with me (or any virgin), obsession will entail. However, when our relationships dissolved, they would ask me if I was still a “good girl,” or did I do the deed so they can be next in line. Keeping track of my progress allowed them to fantasize about the “what-if” aspect and control how much accountability they would accept. This totally erased what I wanted out of the sexual relationship.

    Women also subscribe to this mentality. A college female classmate told me it was unfortunate that I was a virgin because I have d-ck-sucking-lips (DSLs) and men love to be pleased by those especially. Because fellatio is normalized as something that must be done, women rarely voice that they may not like it or are totally grossed out by how their partner taste. Though, there is much discussion on how women must taste like a variety of fruits and their genitals should look prepubescent.

    Sandra Shehab
    America’s Next Top Model (ANTM)Cycle 24 contestant Sandra also disclosed on the VH1 network that she is a virgin, as well. She, however, was not subjected to critique because of her physical appearance. The Kim Kardashian lookalike received praised for being able to “hold on to her purity” because of her striking looks and occupation: an Instagram model. In numerous confessionals, Sandra revealed that people rarely believe she’s a virgin or Muslim because of the connotation that Instagram models are sexually deviant. Travel Blogger Laura Powell shared similar sentiments. She says friends often try to persuade her to have multiple sex partners because of her voluptuous shape. Powell also alluded that people try to classify women’s sexual experiences or lack thereof based on their skin color and overall behavior.

    “You are a prize and you are a gift. Know your worth and know yourself. What're you rushing for? You're going through the same thing with men that a woman who's having sex is going through,” Tokyo Vanity told VH1 News Blog, and that is a proverb in itself. 

    Is their a misconception that virgins who don't fit a certain beauty standard can't get it?
    Lauren R.D. Fox is a Guyanese-American pop culture/beauty editor and writer who has an undying love for soca fetes, poulorri, New Orleans and deep conditioners. After graduating from SUNY Geneseo with a dual concentration in American and Black Studies, she became a journalist and social media manager. Lauren has previously written for MadameNoire, Mayvenn Hair, Wetpaint, Enstarz, Her Agenda, Zora Magazine and B.Couleur Magazine. Follow her at @LOLOTHEFOX.

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    Cardi B via IG (left) & Oprah listening to Cardi B's album via instagram (right)
    By  Ta-ning Connai

    When I first saw the Instagram post of Oprah showing some love for Cardi B’s album 'Invasion of Privacy,' my first thought was, “Dang, Oprah done officially went hood!” Then my second thought was, “Dang, Oprah is ALWAYS shining light, even in the most unexpected places.” Now, when I say unexpected, what I mean is this...It's no secret that Oprah has never been a fan of Hip Hop. Known for her stand against profanity, the N- word and materialistic overload, we’re led to believe that the genre's prominent message conflicts with her Super Soul Sunday philosophy. Has she changed her position? I ain't got a single clue, but one thing remains the same...No one is more moved by someone else's success than the former queen of daytime TV. No one is more thrilled by a person's rise to the top than the rags to riches phenom herself. And no one has a tradition of lifting others up quite like the lovely Miss O. She brightens up the room when she steps up in the place and we should all be inspired to do the same exact thing.

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    There's some dark places with darkened souls everywhere we turn. And when God said, “Let there be light,” He wasn't just talking to the sky, He was talking to us too! Matthew 5:14 says that we, “...are the light of the world,” which means that Oprah ain't the only one to bring some sparkle into the atmosphere.

    I used to HATE elevators. And even though it's probably the shortest means of travel, just going from one floor to the next can feel like an eternity. To me, there is nothing more uncomfortable than being confined in a tight space with people who can't wait to get away from you. Nobody wants to talk, not even hello; and they make it real clear by staring up at the illuminated numbers as they slooooowly move from 2 to 3 to 4..., as if it's gonna magically make the ride go faster! They will play on their phone, twiddle their thumbs or hold their breath until they can fly like a bat out of hell as soon as the doors open. So, whenever you get on an elevator, expect to be completely ignored.



    I  often wondered what makes people so distant, so cold and so doggone rude. But then I realized that every single person has a story or a problem, and one of the few places where you can fake it is on an elevator. Someone may be fighting depression, or having family issues at home, or maybe their job makes them miserable, who really knows. Seeing the negative probabilities were endless, so I came up with a plan to offer some quick relief. Between the time an elevator opens and the time that it shuts, I figured a compliment would work well since they’re quick and everybody LOVES getting one. Sure, there was a fear of rejection, but what did I have to lose? I think I heard you say, “NOTHING,” and you're absolutely right!

    One very serious business man giggled like a child when all I said was, “Cool sunglasses!” Another woman shared her coveted shopping spot with me when I asked her to, “Give me those fabulous shoes!” A young girl shrieked with laughter when I begged her to, “Trade purses with me!” I recall so many faces flushed with true appreciation and total surprise. Sometimes people would miss their floors or get hit by the doors just to hang a little while longer! When I'd go my separate way, my eyes would sometimes swell up with tears because I was beginning to realize the effect that the love of God can have on people, particularly strangers in strange places. 

    The Lord’s light within us can transform the most dark and dead-spirited environment into a place full of delight. Am I saying become an office building blabbermouth? No way! An elevator is just an example that you can be a light anywhere: at the stop sign, the grocery store, the parking lot; everyone can use a quick smile, a good laugh, a kind word. So, no more waiting to shine big time in a fancy place in some fancy way. You can shine big, right here and right now. There’s a dark place that really needs you, so go ‘head, be like Oprah, and get your shine on! 

    Do you intentionally shine light on others?
    TA-NING is a former model and clothing designer who one day got the "call" to leave the fab world of fashion behind. While in Bible College, she discovered her knack for mixing her quirky style of writing with her gift to teach. TA-NING'S TELL IT TUESDAY is a weekly column (originally launched on Facebook) that uses doses of pop culture to tear down the walls of churchy tradition, change the face of Christianity, and present it's message in a lively way. Ta-ning resides in Santa Monica (by way of BK), is obsessed with dogs, and is an old school Hip-Hop junkie!

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    Real Estate Developer & Entrepreneur A. Donahue Baker
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    In part 1 of this 2-part series we spoke to real estate developer and entrepreneur A. Donahue Baker about some of the misconceptions that black Millennials have when it comes to building generational wealth through home ownership. Here, he'll talk about the best places to buy, gentrified neighborhoods, and how to spot a bargain. Get your pens ready to take notes!

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    In what neighborhoods should black Millennials be looking to buy? 
    Black Millennials should be looking to buy in whatever area they live in and know best. Why? Because in those areas your local knowledge is an advantage in the marketplace. You are able to locate the areas of appreciation better than an outsider. You are able to know your local elected officials, real estate professionals, and other business owners a lot better than someone that is not local to the area. When you buy locally you have an advantage because you have years of knowledge about trends and changes in neighborhoods.

    Where do black buyers fit in in terms of gentrification? Should we be looking at areas that are gentrifying or in 'the hood?'
    Black buyers should be looking to purchase anywhere they can spot value. In the hood or not it doesn't matter. There is a tenant for every property if it is well maintained. If you can spot value there is a significant opportunity to create wealth. For example, if I can consistently find properties 50% below market value I can create a million dollars of wealth in less than a year. Believe it or not, there are currently many markets where this is possible today. There are lots of areas that are experiencing job growth, population growth and have good school systems. These components provide an opportunity to create serious wealth. As Americans we all want opportunity. We all want our children to have good school systems one of the ways those good school systems are created is by taxing businesses and homeowners. That dynamic is always changing and the change creates an opportunity for those that are prepared and ready to take advantage. The white buyers are ready so should the black buyers.

    How do we spot a bargain and how much money do we need to start thinking of buying?
    In order to know you have a bargain, you have to know your local market. You can find out what the local market prices are by looking on the MLS- Multiple Listing Service. I would recommend focusing on properties you can purchase at least 20% below market. The price point at which that occurs is vastly different if you are located in New York City vs Euclid, Ohio. Home prices are geographically relative. However, if you are patient there are strategies that allow you to purchase properties for pennies on the dollar. Some of the strategies I have either used or helped others use include purchasing from local governments, tax sales, wholesalers, direct mail campaigns, auctions, probates, and many others. Most people think there is one way to purchase a home and that is by using a realtor. That is a good method sometimes, but it should not be your only method. Realtors are incentivized to sell you a home at the highest price possible. Your mission should be to find a home at the lowest price possible. Both objectives are in contrast.

    Is buying a home the same as buying a condo? Is one better?
    All of my home buying strategies and advice are based on the perspective of building generation wealth. The mindset of home buying should be asset buying. A condo could be considered an asset but the vast majority of them are not, because they do not cash flow positively or they cash flow at a considerably reduced level. This occurs because the monthly maintenance fee associated with condos is something arbitrary and are cash flow killers. In addition, when the market changes condos are the first to be hit adversely. I do not recommend condos. Condos can be sexy, but show me a person that has purchased a condo as a first purchase and I will show you a person that has lost out on a lot of potential capital gains from the real estate market.

    If we have the money, should we be buying a 2nd place an renting it out?
    Absolutely, buying a 2nd place should be an opportunity to increase your monthly income. When you get to the 3rd and 4th purchase you should begin to see your rental income match or exceed the active income you work really hard to earn. The point when your passive income exceeds your monthly expenses is the point in which you are effectively retired. At some point, it becomes more than a passive investment it becomes a business and you have to run it like a business by creating systems, hiring property managers, and constantly measuring the success and failures of those systems in place.

    Can you offer any other advice or reasons that real estate is still a hot investment?
    If your goal is to create generational wealth or retire early or supplement your current income, real estate should be right there with other alternatives like having a side hustle or starting a business. Real estate is the I.D.E.A.L. investment because it provides monthly INCOME. It provides tax benefits and DEDUCTIONS via DEPRECIATION. It allows you to build EQUITY instead of throwing hard earned money away on rent. Real estate APPRECIATES on average 5% a year. And real estate allows you to LEVERAGE such as the FHA program that allows you to purchase an owner-occupied property for as little as 3.5% down payment.

    Read Part 1 of this series here. And for more information, visit A. Donahue’s website, www.adonahuebaker.com or follow him on twitter and Instagram.

    Did you discover information about home ownership that you didn't know?
     Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on TwitterInstagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    Wameeka AheVonderae
    By Kaylan Reid

    Meet Waameeka AheVonderae, a New Yorker who moved to Dakar, Senegal. After realizing the Peace Corps application process wasn't for her, Waameeka took her living abroad plans into her own hands, found a job online and moved to Senegal. She is a testament to the power of pursuing your African continental interests and making them a reality.

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    Niko Khale& Keyshia Cole 
    By Mwabi Kaira

    I  have never been interested in dating anyone younger than me. I’m talking two months younger and I’m disinterested. I’ve always preferred to date older, I’ll even go 15 years older. Recently, there has been a 29-year-old fella that’s been trying to get with your girl and I haven’t gone past flirting cause he’s 29. If we are calculating then he is only 10 years older than my son and the way my mind is set up, that’s all I’d think about if I ever agreed to his advances. Everyone has been telling me to get over it and get my cougar on but it’s just been one of those things I’ve refused to budge on until Keyshia Cole.

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    Back in February, reports began surfacing that Keyshia had a new man on her arm and he was only 22. Keyshia is 36. As expected, there was a lot of judgment because how dare a woman do  what men have been doing for years. We watched Keyshia as a very cautious newcomer back in 2005; it was clear that she was closed off to love because of what she had been through and had a very tall wall erected around her heart. We celebrated when Daniel Gibson broke through that wall and got our girl to smile and experience love. Her hit song Sent From Heaven had a whole new meaning since that it appeared that it had come to pass. Love brought marriage and a baby but the marriage ended a few years later.

    No one would have blamed Keyshia for retreating from love and erecting an even higher wall around her heart. Very few things hurt more than heartbreak especially when you go out of your comfort zone to let love in. It makes you wish you’d stayed within the confines of your safe wall and enjoyed the life you knew without being bamboozled. We’ve all been there, we swear off love and retreat back to our corners in fear of another love TKO. Eventually we soften our stance, it might take months or years but eventually someone comes along and makes us believe again.

    Niko Khale is Bae
    What intrigued me about Keyshia and her new young bae was how she introduced him via an Instagram post. Keyshia posted,
    “Now the reason I’m posting The pepper to my salt @nikokhale is because he’s been such a sweetheart to me, and I know people have been very judgmental about our relationship but I gotta nurture what nurtures me.”
    That nurturing line got to me and I clicked on his profile. Niko Khale is a rapper and I took a listen to his music. He was actually rapping about meaningful things and not just repeating the same line a hundred times. I could see his appeal and I’m happy for Keyshia and her openness to this young man has me rethinking things.


    Don’t get excited, I’m not saying I’ll say yes the next time the 29-year-old hits my line but I am leaving my comfort zone and will consider dating younger, I’m thinking 35. Cut me some slack, I’ve gotta start somewhere. There are younger men out here that have themselves together and know how to treat a woman. As long as he is not expecting me to be his Mama, can nurture me, and bring something to the table, I’m open.

    Would you date a younger man? How young?
    Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

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    EfikZara
    Hi Everyone,

    In this video, I demonstrate how to use henna for thicker hair and a slew of other benefits! I was first introduced to henna almost a decade ago via CurlyNikki.com so really my journey has come full circle! I hope you enjoy my simple henna mixture and use it to reap the benefits of this powerful plant. If you give it a try, be sure to leave a comment!

    Best Wishes,
    Zara “EfikZara”

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    Let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to show Zara's page some love!




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    Steff Reed
    By Jashima Wadehra

    There's something about a man that rocks a disheveled crown and a nappy beard that reeks of confidence. New York native and Bedstuy resident Steff Reed is one such man. See why this musician and educator whose hair idols are Lenny Kravitz & Jean Michel Basquiat is our Naturally Glam pick!

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    What hair products doyou use? 
    I use shea moisture shampoo and conditioner. Coconut oil, shea butter, scotch porter, as I am naturally, for my beard and hair.

    How long have you rocked a beard and what do you use on it? I've always wanted to try grow my facial hair out, but felt pressure to fit in and rock clean cut styles. 2 years ago I decided to grow my beard & mustache out. It was one of the most liberating feelings ever. For maintenance I use shea butter and coconut oil.

    What do you do ?

    I am a full time Musician and Educator. When I'm not on the road performing or in the studio creating, I'm in the classroom teaching the next generation of artists how to embrace their inner rock star. My life is a constant learning and sharing of lessons that I learn while on the journey to manifesting my own dreams.

    What does natural hair mean to you?
    Having natural hair is empowering. I feel that through rocking my locs, I'm able to express myself in another way, own my individuality, while staying connected to my ancestors.

    Do you feel there are enough male hair products on the market for you?

    I think there are plenty of hair products on the market, but not enough education or lifestyle branding around hair care for men. I learn things from my community, I would like to see more content and conversations online.


    How do you express yourself?  

    Self expression is very important to me. Throughout my life I've had to fight for my light. Fight for my dreams. Fight to be seen and heard. When I was in grade school I was often bullied and called weird, eccentric and made to believe that I wasn't enough. As an adult who answered the calling of being an artist and pursuing an artist lifestyle, society at large tells you on an everyday basis to fit in, conform and stay in your lane. I practice radical self expression as an act of liberation, self love and revolution.

    Tell us about your passion, the hustle and what you strive for. 

    My passion is to uplift and encourage others to be themselves, live their dreams and not give up!! Music and education are skills and talents that I use to convey those messages. I strive to impact the world and save lives through my ministry of music.

    What do you do for fun?
    Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite past times has been bike riding. I don't currently own a bike, but I do have an annual Citibike membership and ride bikes several times a day. Bike riding gives me an exhilarating feeling. A strong sense of freedom & nostalgia...It feels like flying.


    How do you stay healthy?
    I used to be overweight and battled with alcohol. This caused me to have lots of health issues and look a lot older than I was. I've been a vegan for 6 years now and sober for 7. I find that making healthier lifestyle choices is the key to living a healthy life.

    Follow Steff on instagram and on youtube!



    If you're Naturally Glam, send your photos to naturallyglam@curlynikki.com! 
     ********
    Jashima Wadehra is a writer, entrepreneur, artist and lover of all people based in NYC. She can be found dancing and traveling her way through life. 
    Follow her on Instagram @TheChatterBoxLife and check out her new blog TheChatterBoxLife.com

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    Photo: VH1.com
    By Michelby Coco Whitehead

    Teyana Taylor and her hubby Iman Shumpert are one of the cutest and sexiest couples I have seen in a long time. Her abs are on my summer wish list, and the Betty Boop inspired finger waves she’s been rocking lately compliment the heck out of her bone structure. In my mind, Teyana and I are gal pals, so I won't lust over her husband too much... but I will say he is equally desirable as good credit. Daughter Junie is living proof that these two are having the best mattress gymnastics you can imagine.

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    Teyana & Iman 
     But when you really look at the dynamics of the young power couple, Stevie Wonder can see that it isn’t anatomy that makes their relationship work; it’s chemistry. Chemistry between two people can be based on a lot of things. Personally, for me, an attractive outer appearance will hook me, but ultimately, a man’s mind must reel me in or it ain’t happening! So, at 30-years-old being a sapiosexual has been a gift and curse. Hear me out.

    Black Panther has been the highlight of 2018 for me and just about every Black person I know. I’ve seen the movie twice—with my regular bifocal vision and in 3-D. I’d go a third time if there was a significant other I could discuss all the layers and underlying messages with over dinner. But the way my love life is currently set up, that’s not happening right now! The men sliding in my DM’s are not on the level of thinking that critically. Either they have not seen Black Panther, or worse, they did see it and only think it’s a “good movie” …Tragic. Absolutely tragic.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking to discuss thermodynamics or even Russian affairs with my man. But there has got to be something more he can offer in conversation besides What did you do today? and Damn, you look good! I look at some couples and I wonder what the heck is the relationship like when they aren’t parenting, sexing or arguing? If it weren’t for those things, some couples would have no dialogue between them…Painfully tragic!

    But there is hope for all of us girls who want a bond that is solid AND sexually satisfying. A friend of mine always says God sends what we need when we need it. In the meantime, we simply have to keep waking up and slaying in every other area of our lives — such as career, motherhood, and improving our communities however we see fit. Then just when we least expect it, BOOM! Here comes Common—fine, intelligent, and back on the market! If you’ve been feeling aggravated in your season of waiting, think about it like a quick weave versus a sew-in. Sure, the quick weave is a faster method to achieving the look you want, but the longevity and versatility of the sew-in is worth all the time you spend in the salon chair. In short, patience is still a virtue and someday, your prince will come if you can learn to appreciate the season of singleness that you’re currently in.



    And just to be clear, before the Shumperts gave us a glimpse into their lives through reality TV, I was aware that they go through ups and downs like normal people. But after all the dust has settled, chemistry is still there. In my opinion, parenting and even wedding vows force people to stay together because “it’s the right thing to do.” At that point, you’re just going through the motions. Frankly, I’m not interested in doing anything for the sake of just doing it. I say show me chemistry, and I’ll show you a marriage that won’t be easy to break.

     What's most important to you in a relationship?
    A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator 

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    Bria Larine via xonecole.com
    By Danielle Jennings

    Whether you are newly a member of the natural hair community or a veteran naturalista, creative hair inspo is always welcomed. For spring, the temperatures are heating up and color palettes are brighter, so that means it's the perfect time to have a little fun and experiment with hairstyles that force you out of your comfort zone a bit. Try out a bold hair color, rock some intricate braids, or show off that gorgeous bone structure with a delicate updo. The options are endless!


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    Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian
     By Brenda Alexander

    By now, you’ve already heard that Khloe Kardashian’s basketball player boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, was caught on video tonguing other women down in clubs throughout the country while his 9-month-pregnant girlfriend was home prepping to give birth to their first child. To escalate matters, Kardashian went into labor a few weeks early, just two days post the news breaking, allegedly due to the stress she was under from being heartbroken and publically humiliated by Thompson’s infidelities. Thankfully, their daughter, True Thompson, was born healthy and all are seemingly doing well. What’s next for Kardashian and Thompson’s relationship has yet to be seen, but the larger unfortunate question has been, “Is this karma for Khloe considering how she and Tristan’s relationship came to be?”

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    For those unfamiliar with the suggested “karma” mentioned, let’s do a brief recap:
     Khloe and Tristan meet on a blind date in late summer 2016.
    Tristan was thought to be in a long-term relationship with Instagram influencer/blogger Jordy Craig, who was around 5-6 months pregnant, but according to reports, Tristan jumped ship to the Kardashian yacht.
    Jordan Craig and Tristan Thompson
    Khloe and Tristan make things official in September 2016.
    Jordan Craig gives birth in December 2016 to a son.

    In the meantime, Khloe and Tristan are frolicking around on vacations, Kardashian declaring her undying love for Thompson, holidays and birthdays spent together etc.
    Just one year after Thompson becomes a first-time father, Khloe announces she’s pregnant with their first child on IG in December 2017.
    April 11, 2018, reports surface that Tristan is cheating on Khloe, with video, photo and hotel receipts.
    April 12, 2018 Khloe goes into labor and gives birth.
    So why would anyone even fathom a 9-month-pregnant woman being cheated on as “karma?” Your answer lies within bullet point #2. Spectators will never forget that Tristan allegedly left his pregnant girlfriend to join the Kardashian team. Whether that is true, only Jordan and Tristan really know.

    This is not a bash the Kardashian Klan moment for me. No woman deserves to be under any stress while pregnant. Instead, it’s a reflection period that I’d like for all of my ladies out there to take in. When it comes to relationships, how things start off is an indicator of how things will end.

    Many have gotten into a situation with someone where things on the other person’s end weren’t ideal: they had just gotten out of a relationship, were still “friends” with an ex or were never clear on what their status was. I spoke to a handful of friends to see if they’ve ever been in a situation similar and the answer for all was a loud YES!

    Tristan Thompson kissing a woman on video
    One friend dated a guy who had recently just broken up with his long-term girlfriend. After two months of dating, he picked a fight with my friend and communication ceased. She found out weeks later on social media that he and his ex were back together. Of course, she suspected he picked a fight so that he could avoid telling my friend he’d rather break things off. Instead, she spent weeks calling and texting him, trying to figure things out before Facebook told her what was up. Fast forward to now, he and the long term girlfriend are married with a child. “I felt salty when I found out they had gotten back together but I never confronted him,” she explains. “I’m glad I took the high road. I’ll NEVER date anyone under those circumstances again. The new gf/bf almost always gets hurt while someone else is sorting through their hurt.”

    Another friend had a different outcome. She dated someone that had a “friend.” Months later, that “friend” called her phone to profess herself as his girl. My friend confronted him, and he insisted he told her that was his actual girlfriend. It was too late. My friend was already invested and had feelings for him. Their “situationship” lasted four long years, with hopes that he would choose her. Today, she’s married to someone else and is actually friends with the “girlfriend” of the guy she was in a “situationship” with. Crazy huh?

    I was in a similar situation also. I dated a guy who had an “on-again-off-again” girlfriend. He continued speaking with both of us and eventually broke things off with her. Soon after, he broke things off with me to be with her (while she coached him on what to say to me in the background during our phone call). They ended up staying together for years. I was devastated, simply because I felt stupid getting into that situation.

    These things almost always turn out disastrous. A relationship with a rocky start will always include one main ingredient: mess. As women, we need to be our own advocates, and think things through despite what our heart leads us to do. As Jeanie Mai would say, yes, it’s important to follow your heart, but take your brain with you. If something doesn’t seem right, more than likely, it’s not.


    Have you ever been in a 'situationship' that started rocky and didn't end well?
     
    Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com

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    By Devon Mac

    Here's a tale of two break ups:

    My brother just ended a serious, year-long relationship just as I was ending a 14-year marriage. What's the first thing we both decide to do? Start dating. Immediately.

    What is it about a break up that brings the hoe out of everyone?

    It doesn't matter if you had a great sex life or a poor one with your now ex, when it's all over, the first thing many seek out is sex. Rebound, jump off, sex. 

    There certainly is a level of anxiety that comes along with the demise of a relationship. When you're used to having sex on the regular and now can't, it can be a major "Oh shit" moment. Or, depending on how long you've been in the relationship, you can start to question, "Am I still wanted? Can I get someone else?”

    But mostly when it's all over, distracting yourself from the pain is all you want to do. In crisis, you immediately just want to be assured that everything's going to be okay. So, you seek out the comfort of another person and usually in the most immediate, physical way.

    However, as I wade through my hurt and complicated feelings, I'm learning that it's not necessary to give it up to get some love.

     

    Coming out on the scene after being absent for over 10 years can be quite a culture shock. When I was single and available, it wasn't a serious option of consideration to market yourself on social media. My dating pool was regulated to the places I frequented, church, college spaces and places, and my neighborhood, which as you can imagine, exposed me to certain types of men, men I was familiar with at some level.

    Now that I'm out again, it seems that it's par for the course for men and women, single, married, gay, straight, to hook up just for sex. And of course, digital culture helps to facilitate that...quickly.

    And I guess, at a basic level, that would be good news for me. But so many years later, I'm still not convinced that f*cking a man I barely know because I'm lonely, hurting, and scared will help me. And this is no knock to those who find it to be useful.

    So instead, this fake good girl has gone a little mad in her approach to “getting it in” by implementing a plan B.

    Can I explore my sexuality without having sex? The answer is, so far so good.

    How exactly has this heterosexual (grown-ass) woman been quelling the fire of her sexuality?


    1. I’m a flirt
    For starters, I've been flirting my ass off. I flirt in public, I flirt in private, and I flirt in text. I flirt in a mall. I flirt down a hall. I flirt when you call! I say anything and everything I want to say, sometimes just to get a response. And the reactions and responses I receive never disappoint.

    2. Hotline bling
    I've also participated in a fair amount of sexting (without pics) and phone sex. That's been fun too. Every man brings their own flavor and it has been wildly entertaining (and mind-blowing-ly HOT) experiencing that. The great thing about sexting is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving because you can always go back to it and relive the moment on those lonely nights.

    3. 21 questions
    I've been sexually curious. I have a list of questions that I ask men, questions that help me develop a profile. For example, consider all the things you can learn about a man when you hear his story about the first time he was seduced by a girl or woman.

    4. This man
    Real talk, watching Mr. Bryon Carter dance has been getting a sista thru!

    All my methods have been quite sexually fulfilling…in a comprehensive way. And at the end of the day, I can walk away no worse off than when I started. Have l been tempted to take it over the edge sometimes? Absolutely. But usually within 24 hours I've been reminded of a very good reason not to go there, whether it was self-imposed or dude putting his foot in his mouth.

    There is no need to rehearse the type of heartache breakups can bring. We all know it. The pain, wounds, and loneliness are real. Hopefully the route I'm taking will help to speed up the healing process and not set me back...So, here's to not getting burned while this mad scientist experiments in her storefront sex kitchen. So far, the concoctions have been tasty.

     For more by Devon Mac, visit GoodBlackChurchGirl.com

    Do you have any forms of sexual experimentation that don't involve sex?


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