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Articles on this Page
- 04/23/18--04:30: _Tattoo Artist & Ent...
- 04/23/18--04:35: _Stages: The Afterma...
- 04/23/18--04:37: _Comment on ALL Arti...
- 04/24/18--05:35: _3 Super Easy Ways t...
- 04/24/18--05:47: _Tell It Tuesday: Wh...
- 04/24/18--05:48: _Can Beyonce Ease th...
- 04/25/18--05:29: _Reclaiming Your Wak...
- 04/25/18--05:38: _How Long Should You...
- 04/25/18--05:53: _Re-Discover Your Cu...
- 04/26/18--06:05: _5 Best Hair Ties Fo...
- 04/26/18--06:32: _Meet the 18-Year-Ol...
- 04/26/18--06:50: _Kim Zolciak May Not...
- 04/27/18--07:56: _Travel Blogger Sall...
- 04/27/18--07:58: _Tea With Taneica: B...
- 04/27/18--07:59: _Hip Hop Is Having I...
- 04/30/18--06:00: _Pay Equity: Not Gai...
- 04/30/18--07:00: _Here's Why You Shou...
- 04/30/18--07:15: _Self-Improvement: A...
- 05/01/18--06:54: _5 Head Wrap Tutoria...
- 05/01/18--06:58: _And the Winners of ...
- 04/23/18--04:30: Tattoo Artist & Entrepreneur Lauren is Naturally Glam!
- 04/23/18--04:35: Stages: The Aftermath of Great Sex...
- 04/24/18--05:35: 3 Super Easy Ways to Make Aloe Vera Oil
- 04/24/18--05:48: Can Beyonce Ease the Financial Strain of Attending an HBCU?
- 04/25/18--05:29: Reclaiming Your Wakanda: 5 Ways to Move to an African Country!
- 04/25/18--05:38: How Long Should You Feel Shy Around Your Man?
- 04/25/18--05:53: Re-Discover Your Current: #BeHerNow
- 04/26/18--06:05: 5 Best Hair Ties For Natural Hair
- 04/26/18--06:32: Meet the 18-Year-Old Artist That's Painting Black Women as Fairies
- 04/27/18--07:56: Travel Blogger Sally G is Naturally Glam!
- 04/30/18--06:00: Pay Equity: Not Gaining the World, Not Losing My Soul
- 04/30/18--07:00: Here's Why You Should Be Watching The Van Jones Show
- 04/30/18--07:15: Self-Improvement: A Sign of Self-Love or Self-Hate?
- 05/01/18--06:54: 5 Head Wrap Tutorials That Will Turn You Into a Pro in No Time!
- 05/01/18--06:58: And the Winners of The Wrap Life Giveaway Are...
Jamaican living in South Florida, Lauren Findley has been natural for four years after doing the big chop in 2014. To say that she's been making the most of that natural glow would be an understatement. See why she's our naturally glam pick!
I usually make my own products, I am the CEO of Infinite Glowth LLC, where I offer 100% natural hair and skin products including a whipped Shea Butter and Bentonite Rhassoul Clay which are two staples for my hair.
What do you do and why do you love it?
As I mentioned before, I am a small business owner (Infinite Glowth LLC) and I am also a licensed tattoo artist. I love what I do because I am able to share my Glowth with everyone and also my art. My definition for Glowth is a movement; growing and glowing. I have always been passionate about tattoos. Working at a tattoo shop is great because it is right by the beach, my favorite place. I also love it because I have my own little space to paint and create amazing art. You can find my art at @inkedbysnow, and my natural products at @infiniteglowth on instagram.
|Lauren hiking in the Hollywood Hills|
I like to paint, workout, dance, or go to the beach for fun. I definitely enjoy traveling and exploring different museums/art galleries as well.
How do you stay healthy?
I stay healthy by drinking lots of water, working out, and also trying my best not to eat out often. Cooking my own food makes me feel better about myself because I am more aware of what I am putting into my body.
Having natural hair taught me patience and really boosted my self esteem. When I was transitioning, I used to straighten my hair because I didn’t like how poofy it was. I then realized the heat was just damaging my hair more, so I did the big chop. Having short hair made me accept myself and find the beauty within me. I didnt let my hair define who I am.
Did you have any positive hair models growing up?
Growing up, I didnt really have any positive hair role models because I was always told by family members that I “need a perm” and my hair looks messy when it was just naturally poofy. My hair was permed when I was 2 years old so I never knew how beautiful my natural hair was, sadly.
|Cousin Cindi via IG|
My hair crush is my cousin! She definitely inspired me to go natural. I remember when she did the big chop and I thought that I would never do that because my hair was already so long. Watching her hair flourish really motivated me to join the natural movement.
Do you let people touch your hair?
Sometimes I let people touch my hair, just to show them that thick hair doesnt have to feel rough and dry. I love how some people call my afro a marshmallow, cloud, pillow, etc. If my hair is styled though, that is a completely different story. #PleaseDontTouchMyHair
All of my negative hair experiences involved bleach. I recently promised myself that I will never let bleach touch my hair again. I cut off inches of my hair several times because of bleach damage. Its not worth it to me. I also had an allergic reaction to a hair dye and badly irritated my scalp 2 years ago. It's just not my cup of tea. I'd rather try natural ways to color my hair.
What natural hair advice do you give others?
The best hair advice that I have to others is to love your own hair and don't try to compare yourself to others when it comes to length, texture, or anything. Don't try to use chemicals and heat to alter the natural state of your hair, its beautiful the way it is.
|Celebrating Miami Carnival|
I celebrate my heritage mainly by remaining a family person. I enjoy the food, music, and try my best to release positive frequencies to bring everyone around me together.
What's your skin care routine?
My skincare routine consists of all natural homemade products, including some Infinite Glowth Products. I love exfoliating with sugar scrubs and use African Black Soap for cleansing.
|Lauren's Infinite Glowth Products|
My business instagram pages are @infiniteglowth and @inkedbysnow
You can also follow my personal Instagram @snowblvck_
|William Catlett in 'Stages'|
While Issa Rae has been gloriously living her year(s) of yes and working the come up, I think we are all looking at our watches to see when we will finally get into Insecure Season 3. I don’t know about you, but it has felt like Cardi B’s foreva waiting for this joint. There has been a bone thrown to us here and here but no firm date as of yet.
Issa was doing her thing well before Insecure shot to fame and had a growing list of productions to her credit before HBO even knew her name. We just may need to roll with these until season 3 hits our screens.
Stages is one of her earlier productions.
James Bland, it is a contemplative and provoking short about a man who has experienced a serious break up. What makes this film work is that there is not one word uttered within its entire 12 minutes. I enjoyed the film for the way it documents how this particular man (Will Catlett) processes his evolving emotions surrounding a love who is no longer in his life.
One of the ways this character “works through” his dismay over the breakup is through his hotline bling- a suggestion the film seems to make about men in general and how they process their emotions. When he texts her that he’s “bored” and asks if she’d like to come over, the message is clear. Throughout their graphic sex scene, a montage of sexual positions, expertly executed cinematically, it is also clear that these two know how to get off. And if sex was only about getting off, then the scene would document what it is like to have great sex.
However, the film goes on to authentically exhibit the aftermath of random "I’m-bored" sex, revenge sex, jump-off sex...casual sex. Stages beautifully captures the total emptiness that is felt through the characters after such encounters.
As I took Stages in and its messages, I realized that perhaps not experiencing this type of emptiness after sex is what great sex is all about.
We put a lot of emphasis on mechanics, don't we? How long it lasts, his/her performance, what he/she did, etc. But could we be focusing on just a portion of it all? What if great sex is about a full experience? What if I'm cheating myself when I just focus on performance?
It's not just what happens before; it's not just what happens during; it's what happens after as well.
And perhaps what happens after is one of the most enduring parts of it all.
One the most lasting memories I have about my husband is the one evening after sex he looked straight into my eyes and with a smile asked, “How was your day?” Fire.
Perhaps knowing that the person you just laid with is going to wake up with you the next morning because he wants to be there, or knowing that he is genuinely interested in what type of day you had after he hit it, or perhaps just knowing that he’ll be there period....maybe that's the greatest part of sex, the after.
And let me be clear, what I'm getting at is not a promo for marriage or even monogamy. What I'm trying to get at is the intention of sex. And often what I hear and see out there about the intention of sex is the total of opposite of a full experience. If I can help it, I don't want to rob myself of all that sex has to offer me. So, here's to great sex...all of it.
Do you feel you're getting all that sex has to offer?
Dawn is a writer and a mother who holds down a day job in academia. Currently she is getting her shit together. More to come from her!
|As seen in Vogue Arabia: TheWrapLife IG|
ContinueBy now, many of us have figured out that doing it yourself (DIY), is easier on the pocket and we also know exactly what's going into our products. In this video, Discovering Natural teaches us 3 super easy ways to make aloe vera oil. Now aloe vera oil can be used as a skin moisturizer, for eczema, as a hot oil treatment, for edges growth, dry scalp and more! Peep this video and show Discovering Natural some love by liking her page, subscribing to her channel, leaving a comment below and sharing!
DiscoveringNaturalSocial Media:Natural Hair YouTube: http://youtube.com/
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The clapback of the week comes from a community highly encouraged to turn the other cheek. But it was Wendy Williams’ cheek that turned when church folk went psycho after hearing she dissed beloved gospel legends, The Clark Sisters.
Wendy was congratulating Snoop Dogg on the tremendous success of his new gospel album, Bible of Love, during an airing of The Wendy Show. It's a huge departure from his gang bangin,’ weed smokin,’ women dissin’ lyrics of the past, so who wouldn't emphasize it as a really big deal!? It’s been smashing Billboard records at the speed of light and an eventual slow down is nowhere in sight. But when Wendy suggested that other long time gospel artists should be feeling some kinda way about his sudden rise in their prospective field, well that's when things took a turn for the worse. She then asked if The Clark Sisters had ever been #1, to which her uninformed, off-camera employee told her no. This egged her on to tell the gospel group to, “Step up your game,” and that's how the drama began.
Yeah, Wendy shoulda stayed in her lane on this one, but the church didn't have to set her car in flames! While some of the online comments were a well-deserved fact check, most were too ferocious to repeat. And even with an apology and an invite to sing on The Wendy Show, Christians remained relentless in raking the gossip queen through the coals as they urged the sisters not to step foot through her talk show’s doors.
I understand the instinct to wanna protect people we look up to, especially those who have had a spiritual or inspirational impact on our lives. I be ‘bout ready to lose my holy mind the minute someone defames a beloved stranger who's become “my friend in my head" over the course of many years. I ain't gotta know you to love you, that's just the way it is. But those of us who call ourselves Christians are under a special kind of restraint. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to hold us back, to shut us down and to prevent us from acting a straight fool when we should instead be showing the love of Christ. This is the reason the Bible warns us against being offended (Luke 7:23). Offense desensitizes us to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and blocks us from perceiving the ultimate plan of God. What if Jesus would have let Judas’ betrayal offend Him? And what if He let Peter’s denial make him mad? Instead, He focused on the Cross so that the cost for our salvation could finally be paid. No time for dwelling on a minor offense when there’s a more major move in place!
|Beyonce at Coachella|
Following the hysteria and backlash from across the nation regarding the allegations that a Howard University law student embezzled upwards of $400,000 during his work study at the university’s financial aid office, I was impressed to see Beyonce’s new scholarship fund for prospective HBCU attendees. Not that she’s the first to establish a college fund or donate to a historically black college or university, but her recent (and phenomenal) Coachella performance has ignited pride and long overdue attention to HBCU’s and hopefully, attracts more big-time donations, as it is needed.
Many who completed college will tell you that it’s the most expensive yet greatest financial investment ever made. The loans and subsequent deferments post graduation have cost me much anxiety since graduating 5 years ago. Although college is an experience I’ll never trade and one I encourage all to do, I would be lying if I said that the financial burden oftentimes made me wonder was it worth it. Many friends have felt similar sentiments and through conversations, I have noticed a major difference in the amount of student loan debt my friends who attended HBCU’s versus PWI’s (Predominantly White Institutions) incurred.
I applied to about 10 colleges - all were HBCU’s. My lifelong dream included living like the cast of “A Different World,” stomping the yard with my sorority sisters and of course being a part of the band like in “Drumline” (I took up the trumpet in high school for that very reason). I was accepted into a few and chose Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC and was on my way.
|Me and my JCSU roommate freshman year|
According to a study done by the United Negro College Fund in 2016, students who attend HBCU’s versus PWI’s, have 40% more in student loan debt. A variety of factors contribute, including that fact that many are low-income and first-generation college students borrowing at greater rates and greater amounts, seeking loans from costlier sources, and then encounter obstacles repaying their loans. This is shocking, considering that HBCU’s cost relatively less than PWI’s. However, HBCU’s are mainly funded through government contributions and are private institutions with little alumni donations; whereas, PWI’s are generally public institutions with money coming in from several pots.
Jaimee Swift, a PHD student at Howard University can attest to the financial gaps. Although blessed to be on scholarship, she experienced a difference in financial response after finishing her undergraduate degree at Temple University and going into a graduate/PHD program at an HBCU. She says it took more work to be awarded scholarship money and also had trouble getting the stipend she was rewarded while at HU.
“It wasn’t just the issue of finding scholarship money; but, also fighting for my award money I was set to live off of outside of my financial aid,” she explains. “Coming from such a well put together machine like TU where my refund was distributed to me almost immediately, I waited almost three months for my stipend at HU. I fought for a meeting with the Executive Board to get answers. I found out that the way in which funds are distributed are different than at a PWI. Government funds have different processes. The university was essentially waiting for those funds themselves. Going deeper, there’s also a culture from financial departments where they view graduate and PHD students as people who “choose” to continue their education. In turn, undergraduates are given financial priority, which can delay funds even more.
Regardless. HBCU’s provide a very specific, irreplaceable cultural experience for black students. “An HBCU is the mecca of education for us,” Jaimee says. “Unlike my peers at TU and elsewhere, I have a more well-rounded educational experience because I’m being taught more than just the surface of the black experience in literature, arts and the likes.”
I agree with Jaimee. My year at JCSU gave me the inspiration to continue finding my black girl magic, just elsewhere. It’s unfortunate that due to the financial hardships, many HBCU’s are now extinct. Hopefully, with more high profile people stepping up, alumni contributions and the government recognizing the importance, HBCU’s left standing can continue to thrive and more will come in the future.
By Kaylan Reid Shipanga
Ready to make your Wakanda dreams come true? These days, it's more doable than you think. I know expats who've successfully moved to Africa through the following routes...
|Offset & Cardi B|
I find myself enamored with Cardi B Whether I agree with everything she says or does, or not, I’m interested. The other day, Cardi launched an Instagram Live video and invited her fiancé, father of her future child, Offset, to take part in the discussion. I guess she wanted to talk to her fans and her man at the same time.
I didn’t watch the whole thing but for the few seconds I was tuned in, I noticed that Cardi wasn’t showing her full face, and she repeatedly asked Offset not to look at her.
“Babe, don’t look at me! You know I get shy when you look at me while I’m talking."I could tell from the other people who were in the chat that they thought her refusal to make eye contact was cute. I assume they took her shyness to represent the depth of her feelings. I watched the whole exchange and was thoroughly confused by it. And if I’m being honest, more than a little judgmental. After all, this man’s seed is currently growing inside of Cardi. Why is it so difficult to look him in the eye? I clicked out and went on to the next story.
But there is something about Becalis. She gets in your head. For the next couple of days, I found myself wondering what her inability to have her man look at her really meant. Is it a good or bad sign to feel shy around the person you plan on marrying?
The whole thing reminded me of some internet wisdom I stumbled across when I was in my early twenties. I can’t locate the exact quote but, to paraphrase, the thought was: When you find “the one,” there won’t be any nervousness or butterflies in your stomach. Instead, you’ll experience a sense of peace and comfortability that lets you know you can be your true self around this person.
Essentially, the author of this concept proposed that finding the person you’re supposed to be with forever is like discovering an entirely new location and realizing it’s home. For some reason that sentiment always stuck with me. And has proven true for my life. Dating new people or the same person, there was always a very small part of me that felt a bit censored. If I do this, will it be okay? Will he still like me? If I bring this issue up, will we have a falling out and stop speaking for a year? (True story)
From the first day I met my now fiancé, I didn’t feel an ounce of that. Of course, I wanted him to like me. But I made no attempts to shield, sugarcoat or suppress the real me. He was going to know what he was getting into. And the thought of being my true self with a man was not only comfortable, it was liberating.
I wanted Cardi to know that feeling.
The more I thought about this thing, comfort versus shyness, I started thinking about examples of women who expressed some level of discomfort in doing or saying things around their partner. I remember a former co-worker told me that as far as her husband knew, women didn’t fart...ever. “Ladies, don’t do that.” Her husband was never privy to that side of her. They’re divorced now.
I asked another friend about this whole thing. Before sharing the Cardi example, she said that sexually she’s felt some insecurity around her body, her breasts (longer than she’d like) and her stomach (bigger than she’d like.) She also mentioned not wanting to fart in front of romantic partners either.
Gas is a common theme.
After I shared the Cardi example, she understood.
“Oh yeah I can relate. Staring, followed up with a compliment saying how pretty I looked or something?? I’d be like, ‘Don’t do that.’
Eventually, I asked myself are there things I’m too shy to discuss with my man? I would be lying if I said there weren’t some topics that made me feel a little squishy. Sexual fantasies being one of them. I can articulate what I’d like… or what I think I’d like. But the language, is easy to get tripped up on. Do I use a colloquialism or the biological term? Does this expression exude the type of sexy I’m trying to convey? And God forbid, I try to be sexy and he finds it corny.
This is why I have to keep Cardi around. She reminded me that we all have our things. There are no hard set rules when it comes to relationships and what will make one more “successful” than the other. And internet wisdom, encapsulated in a few sentences, doesn’t do much to express the intricacies, complexities and innumerable variations of love.
Are you shy around your man?
‘you let go of who you are and become who you might be.’- Lao TzuThis silent but powerful current carries with it the deets of HER unfoldment— of HER success and unconditional happiness.
This joyful current IS security. It IS love. It IS affluence. This flow is your purpose.
You re-discover your current, this ‘quiet joy,’ when you stop scrolling... when you stop worrying, multi-tasking, manipulating, comparing, judging... when you slow down. You notice IT when you take a moment to relax, to breathe, to smile. You recognize IT when you’re being HER, the fullest version of yourself. This current is always there, waiting on your conscious remembrance. So, remember! And live in IT- feel IT in every breath, every step, every action and before, during and after every thought. Make it primary.
.p.s. Spoiler alert— stay in IT long enough and you’ll realize that you are the current! #BeHerNow #laotzu #life
|Photo: Snapee IG|
For natural hair, it is important to find hair accessories that are just right for your needs. When it comes to hair ties, too many naturals use harsh options that lead to pulling on edges, stress on strands, and complete breakage. Avoid the hair drama with this list of the 5 best hair ties for natural hair!
3. Natural Life Boho Bands
5. Hair Bungee Silicone
These are just a few of the options out there, but these are definitely great picks for natural hair. Your curls deserve hair ties that give you all the hold you need without all the strand pulling you don’t want!
|Artist Sumaiyah Jones via IG|
When you think about fairies, names like The Fairy Godmother or Tinkerbell instantly come to mind. They are part of most children's childhood and are often associated with magic, femininity and beauty. Perhaps the most outstanding thing about most fairies is the fact that they are white. This has been the case for decades. However, many artists are seeking to change this narrative by reimagining fairies to reflect diversity. Among them is 18-year-old Sumaiyah Jones, an artist that reimagines fairies as black women. It's hard not to fall in love with her work therefore it comes as no surprise that she has gained more than 70k followers on Instagram!
|Photo via Sumaiyah's|
Like most young girls, Sumaiyah grew up reading and obsessing over fairies. However, as she noted in one particular book, there were no women of color, except for one baby. She also noted that when she was volunteering in younger kid's classes, they would color themselves white despite them being of color. The kids avoided coloring themselves in their actual skin tones. Through her observations, she concluded that the kids did that simply because they didn't see themselves represented in art and most children's books. This compelled her to try and fill an important gap by painting more people of color so that kids could see themselves represented in art too. This later evolved to her re-imagining fairies as women of color.
|Photo via Sumaiyah's IG|
Sumaiyah is also seeking to show more diversity within the black community. She's noted that when most people paint black women, they paint them in a certain way over and over again. The common picture is that of a curvy woman with an afro and a certain skin shade. Although this isn't a bad depiction, there's more to black women than just a curvy body and an afro. She wants to show that apart from being fierce and independent, black women are also sweet, delicate, radiant and kind. We cannot all fit into one stereotype. There's even more diversity within the African American community itself and we should appreciate it.
|Photo via Sumaiyah's IG|
|Kim Zolciak of the RHOA|
|RHOA Season 1|
Remember the time when Kim belittled her black personal assistant while her co-stars voiced their uncomfortability and tried to educate her on why such behavior was inappropriate? Or, when she made a joke about not wanting to sit around with NeNe while “eating fried chicken.” She also referred to Kandi Burruss' two home estate (that Kandi paid for in cash) as being in “the ghetto” after driving by gentrified areas of Atlanta on her way to the housewarming. Let’s not forget the recent sharing of a video of water bugs crawling around NeNe’s bathroom with the rest of her castmates (that her daughter took) where she accused NeNe of living in a roach nest? All of this, and then some, while she has professed her love of black women and our hair weaves while seemingly attempting to morph into one with extensions and visible plastic surgery that she instead attributes to makeup. Yeah, okay Kim.
The only ally Kim has is Sheree Whitfield, but that’s a separate conversation for a black woman to enable her behavior. Sheree should know better.
Do I personally think that Kim Zolciak is a racist? No. But, I do believe she hasn’t been held accountable. That was the case until she was put in the hot seat at this year’s reunion by not only her castmates, but also Andy Cohen.
|Kim, Andy, and NeNe|
At one point in the reunion, Kim tried to shut Cohen down after he refused to let her off the hook for accusing Kandi of making an advance at her. “Don’t even try to make me out to be a liar,” Kim said to Cohen. His response: “Kim, you said it on camera.” Not being able to take the pressure, Kim was in tears in a private conversation with Cohen where she claimed she was antagonized and questioned why Cohen didn’t come to her defense and ask her any “positive” questions. “There was nothing in your storyline this season that was positive,” Cohen answered. “It was all combative.” Thank you Andy. You may just get an invitation to the Memorial Day cookout.
Since the reunion aired, Kim has been quiet, which is unusual for her considering her social media presence. I hope she’s taking the time to reflect. To say that racism is blown up by social media takes her ignorance to a higher level. Kim lives in the South, where racism has always been present.
We live in a time now where the “I don’t see color” line won’t be accepted. This could be a teachable moment for her to become aware of her privilege and use it for a greater good with the type of platform she has. Since she adores the culture so much, if you’re going to appropriate it or yearn to be involved in it, then learn it completely and fight for it. But with recent news that Kim halted production on her own reality show “Don’t Be Tardy” because she’s upset over how she was treated at the RHOA reunion, it seems she’s still taking the victim stance. It’s time for Bravo to step it up.
Travel blogger Sally G is always on the go seeing the world. This Kenyan-born world traveler calls Atlanta home, but friends know her as the one always catching flights. Where in the world is Sally G is a question we are always asking. I caught up with Sally fresh off her epic Eastern European adventure and before she heads off to Bali and the Maldives to talk all things travel and what she does to keep it all together!
|Sally G in Jamaica|
I got it from my Dad. When I was little he loved to travel around Kenya on long road trips and it was exciting to me. I loved seeing new places. My love and curiosity for travel grew as I got older from reading books and watching movies and TV. I’d fall in love with places all over the world and tell myself that I’d travel there.
How many stamps do you have in your passport?
Last time I counted I had 30.
|Sally G in Istanbul, Turkey|
|Sally G in Croatia|
Protective styles are a must. My go-to is braids and cornrows. I found early on that wearing my hair this way is a conversation piece and a great way to meet new people. I want to see and experience the places I travel to and don’t want to worry about getting my hair together. My must haves are Trader Joe tea tree tingle shampoo and conditioner, Mama Imara oil for my edges and scalp, olive oil sheen spray, and Clairol semi permanent rinse.
Where is your dream destination?
New Zealand and East India. Some people travel for food, I travel for nature, it makes me feel closer to God. God’s creation is beautiful and I want to see it all. The mountains of New Zealand are beautiful and I want to see them.
|Sally G's Free ebook|
Let's talk about dating on your travels?
I wasn’t a fan of online dating and dating Apps until I met a friend in my travels who told me she met her boyfriend that way. I use Tinder and I’m upfront on the App and say I’m traveling. I either get a great date and make a connection or I get an amazing travel guide. People love showing off their cities.
|Sally G with friends is Japan|
Sharing is exhausting. Since I am a blogger, sharing and social media are a part of it. Unplugging is my self care. I turn everything off and live life in real time and enjoy my friends. I do things for me, I read books and get in touch with loved ones.
What are the pros and cons of being a travel blogger?
The pros are seeing the world, meeting people and experiencing new things. The cons for traveling alone especially are repeating your story over and over to new people you meet, living out of a suitcase and missing home.
You can read about Sally’s travels on her blog and download her free ebook for great travel tips at http://sallygworld.com/ or follow her on instagram!
For years, I’ve wondered what went wrong with Nas and Kelis. There just seemed to be more to the story. After yesterday, when her interview with Hollywood Unlocked was released, I realized I felt that way because we’d never heard Kelis’ side of it. The singer-turned-chef dropped a bombshell yesterday when she detailed the mental and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband and father of her child, rapper Nas.
“Something reminded me of Rihanna. I remember so clearly when the pictures came out with that whole thing that happened with her and Chris Brown. The only way I can describe it was like double dutch. I felt like, ‘Do I jump in?’ ‘Do I say it?’ Because I had bruises all over my body at that time. Like, that day. I remember being in Atlanta, sitting at the kitchen being like [sighs heavily]. And I wasn’t ready to walk. I just wasn’t. And honestly, because I’m not weak…I’m really private. I don’t want people in my business. I felt like this is my partner, I chose this. And like I said, I’m not frail. I’m not scared. I’m not weak…Seeing her the way she looked and then looking at myself, I was embarrassed. I was appalled... So much of me was out of character in that marriage. Taking that is not my character. I didn’t say anything because I wanted things to work and because I was delusional and because I thought I could love past this, like we can get through this.”For a split second, before I watched the interview, I was surprised by the allegations. This is Nasir Jones...one of the good ones. The writer of “I Can,” the conscious rapper. His demeanor seemed so cool and calm. But then again, I remember I thought the same thing about Fabolous before I saw him lunging at Emily B, brandishing some type of weapon as children, likely theirs, screamed in the background.
I also think the timing is interesting, but for an entirely different reason. I believe Kelis. I can’t imagine what she would have to gain from attacking one of Hip Hop’s most beloved voices. The timing is interesting because it’s right. I don’t know that it’s a coincidence that on the same day Kelis shared her story, Bill Cosby, the man who, in many ways, served as the impetus and catalyst for the #MeToo movement, was found guilty of sexual assault. The voices of women sharing their uncomfortable truths has shifted the culture, the climate, the atmosphere. And the time of exposure for men who abuse women, no matter how legendary, no matter how revered, has come.
Sadly, while that exposure has also come with reckoning in the Hollywood sphere, I think it will be a while before the men in Hip Hop experience that same type of ostracization. After all, Hollywood has been trying to mask its misogyny for decades, while Hip Hop and subsequently its followers have revelled in it.
It would be easy to point to the prevalence of the word “b*tch” in the lyrics. And that’s certainly part of it. But I would argue there’s a more glaring piece: the private and public actions of men in Hip Hop.
There was the time The Game spat on his female fans.
Kevin Gates was sentenced to six months in jail after he kicked a woman.
Rapper Maxo Kream stood idly by as his security poured water on and ripped the wig off a woman in the audience.
There’s Dr. Dre’s history of abuse.
Biggie was notorious for his abuse of Lil Kim, I would argue both mental and physical.
|Rihanna post Chris Brown altercation|
Despite the steady stream of women coming to speak out against Russell Simmons, there are those who are stepping forward to proclaim his innocence.
Even with Fabolous, who hit Emily B so hard and so often that she had to have her teeth medically replaced, there are those who won’t take issue with the abuse because the two were spotted at Coachella together last weekend. As if her compliance somehow absolves him of moral responsibility and the rest of us of need for further concern.
I was speaking with a friend recently about men when I noted that for Black women, Black men represent a particularly problematic group because we’re the only ones they can oppress, personally and systematically. On the hierarchy, we’re the only ones who are “beneath” them.
I have no doubt that this societal structure is the reason why so many Hip Hop artists and fans alike are still unwilling to hold themselves and each other accountable for their actions against women. It’s their one last stronghold.
But as we’ve seen elsewhere, the voices will only continue to grow. It’s simply a matter of time before society can no longer ignore them.
By Dawn Washington
Last year I made $43K. I often wonder if everyone went to their jobs tomorrow and did what I just did, that is, told everyone in the office how much they made, would there still be a wage gap in this country? In the American workplace, it is generally discouraged to discuss salary. I have learned in life that anything that is asked to be kept secret becomes an opportunity for lies, deceit, abuse, exploitation, etc. If inequity is shrouded in darkness, no one will challenge it. If everyone discussed their salaries openly, wouldn't management have to give an account for why Tom makes more than Tyrone and why Becky makes more than Brenda?
Secrets are also opportunities for shame.
Too few will admit that the ideology surrounding earnings in this country is overrated. The logic is, how much you make says something about the type of person or worker you are. So since I make under 40K, I'm uneducated ( I received my masters with distinction years ago), that I'm unmotivated or unambitious (I have taken salary cuts in my career to pursue what I want to do, not how much I want to make), that I'm not a good worker (my rapport is long and strong with my former and current employers).
It's true that salary says something about the type of person you are. Sometimes it can mean that you are talented, have desirable skills, and that you manage those gifts in professional and ethical ways.
But this might be the exception.
We rarely discuss the fact that how much you make can mean that you have poor character and that you will do anything at the expense of others to get ahead.
One fact racism has taught me is that having money doesn't automatically make one admirable or noble. In fact, racism has taught me that having money doesn't offer much insight on one's wholesome attributes.
When free labor or slavery was the economical norm, the richest people in this country didn't pay their employees, they exploited them. This system of labor and power still exists in culturally tolerable ways. As our cultural mindsets have shifted, so have the ways we see and define exploitation. Today we may denounce slavery with our speech, but we find it perfectly permissible to politic in the workplace.
The power structures of the past have shifted to the so called "equitable" and "inclusive" workplace. Workers who treat others poorly, abuse their power, and exploit people in ways that are subtle or overt still exist. And this behavior is affirmed and reinforced in language such as, she's a "go-getter," he's "ambitious," and she has "professional drive." And frankly, most times when I've encountered a person who has been perceived as a "go-getter," they have been horrible people.
Nine times out of ten there are people in your office who have been ignored, dismissed, and silenced just because they make less.
Meanwhile success continues to be associated with "good" attributes. And most of us fall prey to the unchallenged association. If someone makes "a lot of money," it is assumed that they did "the right things" and was appropriately rewarded for doing so. And yet criminals end up the "30 Richest People" list all the time.
When I watch people hand over their professional respect and admiration to people who are not deserving, I sometimes think of the housing crisis of 2008 and every level of business it took to make it fall apart. Everyone from the top execs at Fannie Mae to Annie May, the office assistant, sold a bit of their souls to make that collapse happen.
Look in your own office and see how this dynamic plays out.
Today, the shame I once felt for my salary is almost non-existent. The shame lessens every day when I consider how people achieve "success" and the arbitrary nature of salaries.
Lately my admiration is with the poor and working poor. They get up every day in a country that doesn't acknowledge them or their experiences. And they keep living and saying with their presence, I exist.
So, when someone presents themselves as someone who "makes a lot of money,” my initial reaction is to be slightly suspect. Don't get me wrong, I know people who make sizable salaries and have done so honorably. However, I know just as many people who barely make enough to feed their children who work just as honorably.
There's a scripture that says, "What profits a man to gain the whole world and lose your soul?" I used to think this scripture was intended for the rich. But it just might speak to all of us who work to gain wealth at the expense of others.
So, I will keep my $40K a year and trust that my needs will be met. I will do so and keep that part of my soul.
We first saw Van Jones as a co-host on the short lived CNN’s Crossfire in 2013 but he had been behind the scenes working tirelessly for years before that. He is a co-founder of several nonprofit organizations, including the Dream Corps, a "social justice accelerator that operates three advocacy initiatives: #cut50, #Yeswecode and Green for All. He is the author of 3 New York Times bestsellers; The Green Collar Economy, Rebuild the Dream and Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. He served as President Barack Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs and is a distinguished visiting fellow at Princeton University. He is currently a regular CNN contributor and the host of The Van Jones Show. Are you watching the show? Here’s why you should:
This is Sesame Street for grown people
Van is not afraid to ask the tough questions and get to the heart of the matter
|Meghan McCain and Van Jones|
Van interviewed Bernie Sanders and Meghan McCain and didn’t focus on their politics. It is clear that we are missing the human connection in today’s current climate and lines have been drawn in the sand; you can only be on one side or the other and despise the side you’re not on. No one wants to see our commonalities and that at our core, we are all the same. Van focused on Bernie’s upbringing and his family history. He showed a clip of John McCain on the 2008 campaign trail and how he shut down a supporter who tried to call Barack Obama an Arab while interviewing Meghan. The show emphasizes how it is okay to have opposing views but still be kind to one another while doing so.
He doesn’t sugarcoat racism
Van saw how rampant drugs were at Yale when he attended and how none of the white kids were sent to prison over it, it was just something young kids did. A few blocks over black kids were doing the very same thing and were sent to prison. He calls out the countless blatant examples of racism in America and how it is justified through political correctness and unfairness. Van Jones is not having it and it is a pleasure to watch him give it to the people straight no chaser.
So far Van has interviewed Jay-Z, Oprah, Ava DuVernay, Jennifer Hudson, Steph Curry, Al Gore, Bernie Sanders and Meghan McCain. The show airs every other Saturday at 7PM on CNN
|Photo of Cardi B via GQ|
We all want to be better versions of ourselves. We want to grow, change, evolve and we definitely should. Listen, a serious juice cleanse never hurt anybody. And a diet does indeed do a body good. But at what point does this pass into obsession? Things like constantly dieting/fasting, spending money you don't have on expensive cosmetics, wigs and/or weaves, obsessing about your looks, beating yourself up over your choices and comparing yourself to others are all red flags that you just might be over-doing the whole self-improvement thing. Be clear about the why’s behind your desire for drastic changes.
Dr. Nicole M. Alford, a clinical psychologist with over twenty years experience, says,
“I have come to embrace this quote: ‘It is what it is.’ I think for most, this type of perspective only comes with maturity, AFTER spending the thousands of dollars, of setting diet goal after diet goal, of plucking and tweezing and sucking in and wrapping and zapping. I tell my patients, ‘When you cannot leave the house with a naked face, the Spanx and all the accouterments and be comfortable…when your naked self as you were born is not good enough for even you, you need to have a reality check. If you cannot check yourself then it’s time to see someone professionally. I also say check your motives. Why do you want to get lipo? Lose weight? Get a nose job? Dye your hair? Are you doing this to enhance or to hide? No shade to those who have done these things. We all want to look our best. But the motivations behind the behaviors are worth exploring.”My gym buddy, an attractive woman of a certain age, gets stared at, approached and admired everywhere we go. She is oblivious and ignores the attention although she constantly moans about wanting to meet a nice man.
I say: Hey girl he’s checking you out!
She says: I’m not even thinking about guys until I lose these twenty pounds.
She has been saying the same thing since I met her in the sauna seven years ago. She is still single, and clinging to her crutch of having to lose weight first because without it she would have to be vulnerable, take chances, make compromises, and ultimately grow.
The game of life demands that we assess ourselves and make adjustments accordingly. It’s easy to think that these adjustments should always be physical due to examples everywhere. Kim Kardashian. Pay that noise no mind. True transformation comes from taking into account all aspects of self- the trifecta of body, mind, and spirit. After taking a good look inside, you may discover that what you see on the outside is not so bad after all.
Let's face it, head wraps are the ultimate fashion accessory whether disguising a bad hair day, protective styling or just adding a lil' pizzaz to an otherwise boring day! For those of us who'd like to wrap it up, but don't really know how, here's a roundup of some of the best head wrapping tutorials online! Be sure to like these videos and leave a comment to let us and the vloggers know whatchatink!
|Photo via TheWrapLife|
Yes, Spring is here and what better way to celebrate than by winning yourself a head wrap from The Wrap Life?! We asked you to leave comments on all articles for the week and you showed up! So it's with great pleasure that we announce our 5 winners...
|TheWrapLife founder Nnenna Stella|
2) Natural MiMi
3) Kat S.
And the 5th winner goes to the commentor who has been the most consistent, even when there's no giveaway!
You have 1 week to claim your prize. Email your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'The Wrap Life Giveaway' in the subject line, and a head wrap will be chosen and sent to you compliments of The Wrap Life. If you want to see more gorgeous head wraps, visit TheWrapLife's website! Congrats winners and see ya at the next giveaway!