Admit It or Not We've all Dated a Stevie J.


Photo via Hollywood Life
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Like many music lovers, I have been waiting not so patiently for real R&B to make a comeback. Last week my wish kind of came true; however, nobody told me it would come through the seemingly drunk in love nuptials of Faith Evans and Stevie J... Let us pray.

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Singer Leela James is a Naturally Glam Diva

 Leela James
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Leela James always remains consistent for the culture. Whether she’s giving us soulful hits or wearing her natural crown and glory, both are equally amazing. We recently chatted with the former R&B Divas star to get the scoop on her hair care tips, mommy duties, and the next phase of her career. Check out our latest Naturally Glam feature with the one and only Leela James!

Is Fitness a Goal This Summer? Here's 7 Myths That Keep You From Reaching Your Ideal Body.


By Michelby Coco-Whitehead

There’s nothing like your favorite pair of jeans ripping in the thigh area to let you know it’s time to back away from the table and bust a sweat in the gym. If you’re serious about shedding pounds, you’ve got to be able to distinguish fitness facts from fiction. This is where Dani Taylor comes in.

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24 Shades of Business: A Coloring Book for the Black Entrepreneur's Soul


Book illustration by Shakira Rivers

By Michelby Coco-Whitehead

As a single 30-something with no children, I sometimes feel like I’m in my second childhood. I still watch cartoons and collect baby dolls that exude black girl magic with absolutely no shame. But coloring has never excited me as a kid, and it didn’t appeal to me in adulthood when my cousin mentioned her coloring book for women. I thought to myself: I ain’t THAT bored! But according to Psychology Today, there is power in coloring. Researchers say that coloring can be used to aid with therapy and as an intervention to relieve stress and anxiety. Taking this into consideration, I can now see why coloring books are the new wave. When I found the one created by Latoya Nicole, I was ecstatic.

North Carolina mover and shaker Latoya is a mental health professional, entrepreneur, and the brains behind 24 Shades of Business: An Adult Coloring Book, which features images of beautiful, boss women who are bloggers, doctors, makeup artists, teachers, yoga instructors, etc. It also contains mazes and motivational quotes. Recently, Latoya chatted with us about the inspiration behind her coloring book and why they're great therapy for black women, especially entrepreneurs!

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Everything You Need to Know About PR From Publicist Deidre Palode

Deidre Palode
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

A publicist’s job is quite fascinating, especially as it relates to the beauty industry. From your favorite hair care commercials and even the infamous Dove and Shea Moisture ads that made consumers of color say “Girl, bye!” you can bet your good wig that a publicist was involved somewhere in the process. Having a PR expert on your team is an invaluable investment, but before hiring someone, there are several things to consider. Atlanta-based PR pro Deidre Palode shared some insight on what it’s like to work in the industry, as well as what beauty professionals should consider before hiring someone to leverage media coverage for their brand.

Teyana, Iman and a Thing Called Chemistry

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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Therapist Vladimire Calixte Discusses The Horrors of "Gaslighting" In Relationships

Vladimire Calixte
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

When I was in high school, I didn’t see the hype about the Lifetime channel. Every Saturday afternoon the women in my family would be glued to the television watching what I thought was a bunch of cliché’ drama between a female protagonist and her insane male love interest. At 16-years-old, I thought it was depressing to watch, but now in my 30s I see such storylines are important to depict because women actually fall in love with toxic mates.

But the gag is when you’re being gaslighted you can’t always recognize the brainwashing that is taking place, so the relationship drags on longer than it should. As a result, one’s life becomes as a chaotic as the movies I used to loathe on Saturdays…

What is gaslighting you ask? I recently had the opportunity to chat with award-winning therapist Vladamire Calixte about the term as it relates to romantic and paternal relationships. Check it out!

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7 Must-See Moments from the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon!


Tess Thompson, Lena Waithe, Tiffany Haddish, Danai Gurira
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Have you ever taken a deep breath and thought to yourself, "God, I love being a Black Woman in 2018?!" From Amara La Negra to the women of Wakanda, and Ava DuVernay's highly anticipated A Wrinkle In Time film, being a sister is lit! And this year's Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards was no exception. Every year, celebrity influencers and tastemakers in the industry gather for a celebration of Queendom in film and entertainment.

This year's honorees included Issa Rae, Janelle Monae, and Yara Shahidi, just to name a few. With all this melanin in the room, there were quite a few magical moments to behold. In case you missed it, here is a rundown of what happens when you put a bunch of goddesses together!

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When The Family Claps Back: Zeola Gaye & Rain Pryor Dispel Quincy Jones's Rumors

Rain Pryor & Zeola Gaye
 By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Quincy Jones's interview with Vulture has been a doozy in every way imaginable. While the interview did provide great commentary on what he thinks about today's music industry and his relationship with Ivanka Trump, it also spilled some messy tea that has left a lot of people pissed off.

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Is Public Speaking Your Thing? Here's 5 Ways to Win at the Podium Like Mother Maxine...

Congresswoman Maxine Waters
By Michelby Coco Whitehead
Hands down Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the most adored woman in modern politics. CNN’s Angela Rye refers to her as her mentor, and when Mother Maxine delivers a speech, the people sit up and pay attention—haters and fans alike. When you’ve got the gift of gab, you have influence and the ability to create a platform that gets you paid! 

And speaking of pay, speaking for pay is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to showcase their expertise, attract their tribe, and make more money. Authenticity is always a must, but so is willingness to learn. If you want to be a highly sought-after speaker, you've got to study the greats, like Mother Maxine. Here are 5 pointers to take from the ultimate teacher!

We’re Not Dismissing Monique Because We Don’t Like Her, We Always Criticize Black Women’s Feelings

Monique via IG
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Malcolm X was right; the Black woman in the most disrespected person in America. 2018 is coming off as the year to play aloof to the concerns of Black women. According to some, Ciara deserves backlash for asking women to value themselves more, Amara la Negra needs to assimilate and stop talking about colorism, and Monique needs to shut up and be happy Netflix offered her $500,000… I’m sorry, but where was everyone when Oprah said speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have? I’m just asking.

Amara La Negra & the Colorism Debate

Amara La Negra & Charlamagne
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Unless you live under a pop culture rock, you have seen the wonder that is Amara la Negra by now. Her flawless skin and larger than life hair, are hard to miss. However, the Love n Hip Hop Miami breakout star is more than a pretty face and booty bouncing music. She’s actually got something to say and unfortunately, Charlamagne and Dj Envy didn’t seem to grasp that when she appeared on Monday’s Breakfast Club interview. Then again, I’m not sure if these guys were asking tactless questions just for the sake of making the interview juicier. Nonetheless, they acted as if they couldn’t understand Amara’s stance on the discrimination she faces as a dark-skinned Afro-Latina trying to crossover into the American market. Regardless, Amara’s story line is making the world indulge in conversation that has been swept under the rug for decades. What's the topic of conversation you ask? C-O-L-O-R-I-S-M. Colorism.

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