Why The Suspcicion Around Brandy's Weight Gain Is Symbolic of Our "Body Goals" Obsession

Brandy's interview with True Exclusives 
By Brenda Alexander

Brandy has always been thin. Like no curves, straight up and down, pencil thin. So when pictures of a relatively thicker Brandy started surfacing, people speculated she was pregnant. She denied she was with child but the rumors persisted, as if her added pounds couldn’t be voluntary, or something more serious like a medical issue. How rude?!

After so much talk, Brandy finally addressed her weight gain in a recent interview with True Exclusives and put the body shamers and social media thugs to rest. While explaining that after 7 years of going hard in the gym, rigorous tennis and boxing workouts and eating clean, Brandy had enough and wanted a “foodcation.”

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Dear Black Women, We Can’t Pray Mental Illness Away


By: Lenora Houseworth

What words come to mind when you think self-care? Bubble baths, facial masks and meditation apps? If you haven’t already noticed, the self-care revolution has become big business--and with good reason. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from stress and depression, with Black women uniquely impacted by race-related daily stress. It took me many years and my own mental breakdown before I understood that self-care is more than lighting candles on #SelfCareSunday. It also took me being 30+ and a depression diagnosis in my 20's to realize prayer does not cure mental dysfunction and distress. For many black women, church is and always has been the only power source for mental and emotional maintenance.

And it’s killing us.

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Got Veges? Actress & Author Esosa E. Gives Us the Skinny on Vegan Life

Esosa E.
By Erickka Sy Savané

If you've ever seen the popular web series 'An African City' then you're no stranger to ‘Ngozi,’ a character so sweet you can gain 5 lbs. just looking at her. She's that girlfriend that hasn't been jaded who’s there to remind us of how we used to be. And while people have come to know and love Ngozi, they're only beginning to discover Esosa E., the New York City born actress, author and holistic lifestyle advocate who so convincingly plays her. Get to know Esosa and you'll discover that she's passionate about health and beauty and has authored two books, 'The Acne-Free Diet' and 'Parasites Be Gone' to help others on their journey to a more holistic life. Her third book, 'Got Veg? How to Thrive on a Plant-Based Diet’ came about as a way to answer the many questions she received from readers of her blog about the basics of a vegan lifestyle. So if you've ever wondered what it would take to become a vegan, but had serious questions, wonder no more. Like a true girlfriend, Esosa's got everything you need to know. Read on!

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Black Women, Here's Why We Gotta Do More Yoga!

Kira getting her yoga on
By Kira Sparkles 

While reading this article about Chewing Gum actress Michaela Coel and her yoga practice, it cited that only two percent of Black Americans do yoga. TWO percent! That's a tragic number! Why shouldn't we be out here doing yoga? We're killing everything in the game and this is just another thing that should be on a very long list. Also, we need to challenge this idea of what a yogi looks like.

Yoga was born as a practice in India, but through commercialization and whitewashing, it's become synonymous with upper-class white women in yoga pants chanting Om. I get where that feels daunting and isolating. I know when I go to yoga classes, there are so few people of color in these spaces.

But why is yoga so important to our lives?

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How to Not Suffer in Silence


By Tiffy Kink

As a black woman, I think that black people are some of the strongest human beings to ever exist on planet earth. However, we can sometimes be too prideful in ourselves, to the point where we are willing to suffer in silence. We have a tendency to let fear and shame invade our minds and silence us. This forces us to believe that we are the only ones going through whatever we are going through. While I believe that experiences are unique to the individual, I don’t believe that one individual is the only individual to have gone through a particular experience. At least that’s not always the case. And even when it is, there are some ways to help you feel like you’re not alone. Here are 9.

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The Cold Truth About Hot Flashes


By Veronica Webb

Once a month, when you’re suffering from cramping, bloating, moodiness and fatigue, do you imagine menopause as a dream where your menstrual cycle ends? That, like a butterfly, you’re freed from monthly changes forever?

This Mom Shares the Key to Getting Kids to Eat Healthy & it Doesn't Involve Force

Jamie & her son left, delicious vege tacos right
By Erickka Sy Savané

For many moms, getting our kids to eat foods that are healthy and good for them is like pulling teeth.  If it ain't fried or dipped in sugar they don't want it. At the same time though, we bare the responsibility because they can't eat what we don't put in front of them. But it doesn't mean that we don't know that eating well is the key to a long, healthy life, and setting up good habits now, while our kids are still young, is essential. So what's a well-meaning mom who wants to do better to do? For the answer we turn to Jamie D. Rhoden, mom of two boys, ages 13 and 14 years old. Jamie has been working at popular, Marcus Samuelson-owned Red Rooster in Harlem for the past 6 years, going from server assistant to supervisor, to working in pastry, and having some of her own recipes featured on the menu. Coming from a background that is Puerto Rican, Jamaican, and Irish, Jamie grew up between Atlanta, DC, and Los Angeles, eating a wide range of delicious foods that she's been passing down to her boys, right along with background stories. Safe to say, her sons eat everything she places in front of them, always have, and she's going to share how we can get our kids to do the same.

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The Sweeter Side of Hair Removal. I Tried the Sugaring Method.

Sugaring paste
By Jashima Wadehra

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies!

However you prefer to keep your bikini area is your discretion, I prefer to engage in hair removal. Through my late teens my razor and I made do until I realized that it was simply much too much effort and lets be honest…………. The itch is REAL. Between the upkeep, discomfort and general thought of sharp blades on sensitive skin, shaving is a hell naaaah for me.
 
For the past few years I’ve been an avid waxer, it's quick, on time and does the job (all while reducing my hair growth overall). But recently, I had a dinner date with a friend and she told me about SUGARING. What's that you say?

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Aevin Dugas Holds the Guiness World Record For Largest Afro & She's Naturally Glam!


Aevin Dugas
Some women know how to make a statement and Aevin Dugas is one such woman! Hailing from a small town outside of Louisiana called Napoleonville- "Eve's Bayou" was filmed there as was parts of Beyonce's "Lemonade"- you know she knows how to spice things up! Natural for 20 years, and currently holding the Guiness World Record for the Largest Fro, we had to chat with Aevin about what she uses on her hair, how she stays fit, and her hair crush... If you're feeling this beauty, please subscribe to her IG page and leave us a comment below!

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Obesity and Black Women: These Activists Get To The Root Of The Epidemic

Photo: Annabel Mehran
By Ebony F.

Obesity in America has reached epidemic levels, and according to a Special Report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Obesity a few years back, African-American women are at the helm of this alarming trend. Statistics show that four out of every five black women are overweight, and one out of four middle-aged black women are living with diabetes. We are facing a health crisis like never before. We know the data, but what’s the truth?

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50 Shades of Shape: How Nicole Murphy & Cynthia Bailey Stay Fit at 50!

Image result for nicole murphy working out
Nicole Murphy
By Brenda Alexander

When I saw the picture of Nicole Murphy stepping into her 50h birthday party with a bedazzled catsuit and matching bustier, her boobs lifted, ass sitting high, coca cola shaped figure and Halle Berry inspired short cut I gagged. To make matters worse, she had the audacity to twerk and dip it low while Beyonce’s Drunk In Love serenaded her in the background. I prayed to God that if that’s not what I will look like going into my 50th birthday, feel free to take me out early.

I did a quick google search of black celebs in their 50s and found that gorgeous, high-cheekboned Cynthia Bailey of RHOA is slaying with her #50Cynt movement. After researching how they are keeping their bodies young, I wanted to share a few tips that can help you get on the right track.

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Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death for African American Women. Here's What We Should Know.


By Erickka Sy Savané

Do you know that Heart Disease aka Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among African American women? If not, it goes to show that we aren't necessarily aware of our health issues, let alone what we can do about it. Sooooooo, with this being black history month the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is doing their part to get the word out about this deadly disease and asking us to do the same. Here are some facts that we all need to know that can make the difference between life and death.

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These Chocolate Mommies Of Birmingham Are Taking Breastfeeding To New Heights


Photo: Lakisha Cohill
By Winnie Gaturu 
Some of the best things in life come free of charge; sunlight, oxygen and breast milk for babies. 

Shola is Naturally Glam & a Helluva Makeup Artist!



Born and raised in Queens, New York, Olushola, aka Shola, which means 'one who is blessed' in Yoruba, is a hair and makeup vlogger who will instantly become your bff in your head! Find out her fav hair care products, her top makeup tip, and how she stays body positive! 

Still Struggling To Lose Weight? Maybe It's Time To Get Honest.


By Erickka Sy Savané

I'm looking at a picture of a friend on Facebook, about to throw up my chips. This girl had her baby around the same time as me, yet she looks like she should be on the cover of Fitness magazine and me, well, that's another story. I've been working on this for four years!

Why is it taking me so long to lose this weight?

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Hi Felicia! What This 'Friday' Actress Is Doing Nowadays

Angela Means aka 'Bye Felicia' from the movie 'Friday'
Via TheGrio 

Ever wondered what happened to Felicia from the cult film favorite Friday?

Angela Means may forever be remembered for her “Bye, Felicia” scene with Chris Tucker and Ice Cube, but now the actress and model has left behind show biz to run a vegan café in L.A. The best part? It’s proudly situated in the ‘hood.'

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This Morning Elixir Will Make You Forget All About That Cup Of Joe!


By Jashima Wadehra

I am ALL about the wellness train that defined 2017. I am not, however, the most well-versed on spending hours peeling, chopping and blending my nutrients into instagram- worthy mason jar smoothies. I used to be a start-my-morning-with-a-cup-of-coffee kind of girl, until I discovered my morning elixir 3 months ago, life hasn’t been the same.

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How Essential Oils Changed My Life: And What They Can Do For You!


By Jashima Wadehra

It all started when I was traveling to India after all the mosquito born viruses were on a rise. I was essentially tired of inhaling chemicals and putting deet filled repellents on my skin. Naturally, I consulted the internet gods, did my research and found the trifecta that would soon be my holy grail; grapefruit, lemongrass and citronella essential oils. Shortly after finding the most effective natural remedy for bug repellent (not one bite!), I decided to invest in a cheap diffuser just too see what all the buzz was about

I’m not one to jump on the hype train y’all, with that said, essential oils have LITERALLY changed my life.
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Think Yoga Is ALL About Flexibility? Think Again.

Photo of Shanna Tyler by Tom Lew
By Shanna Tyler

"I am not flexible." That's the first thing I thought when I started practicing yoga. I hear the same exact words very often from my students as a yoga teacher. Flexibility and yoga seem to be synonymous now. From Instagram to Yoga Journal, so many images are circulating of yoga practitioners touching their toes, doing splits, and practicing backbends. There's so many reasons I would love to talk about yoga and flexibility so that we can all better approach our mats and observe our practices.

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How to Survive the Holidays Meat Free

Photo via Mwabi's instagram
By Mwabi Kaira

I was listening to an interview about the importance of eliminating what we consume and how what we don’t eliminate becomes disease.  I had been practicing meatless Mondays on-and-off and would do a week of being meat free here, a month of it there, and always saw it as a reset before I went back to meat.  This particular interview got me to thinking and I realized elimination was always easiest when I consumed more fruits and vegetables.  I decided to start with a week of being meat free and I felt so much better after the 7 days that I just decided to keep on going.  That was 5 months ago.  My taste buds have adjusted and I don’t miss meat.  Eventually, I’ll go vegan but for now I’m happy.

Being vegetarian or vegan is easy in your own home where you can prepare your meals.  There are not as many choices once you venture out for meals outside the home, but there are choices that just require some research.  The hardest part has to be family gatherings and the holidays.  There will be vegetables at the gathering but they’ll probably have meat in them and for the vegans, it will be hard to find dishes not cooked with eggs, milk and butter.  Fret not, you can still enjoy your holidays and be meat free by doing these things...

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