All Articles Tagged "Beauty"
Appropriately labeled the Beauty Issue, inside the mag, these musical heavy hitters are discussing self-expression, personal style, and, of course, hair. Erykah told Essence:
“I view my hair and clothes as functional art. I’m my own stylist and I love it, but I am not trying to make a statement.”
And yet, Miss Badu does just that every time we catch a glimpse of her on a red carpet, performing on stage, or posing in an ad for Givenchy. Unsurprisingly, though, her take on her personal style is shared by fellow cover beauty Ledisi. Echoing some of the same sentiments she shared with us in a recent interview, the New Orleans-bred singer said:
“Although I’m known for my long, colorful locs, I still don’t take my hair too seriously. I experiment a lot, dyeing it and constantly switching styles to grab attention. My hair is one of my best accessories and changing it helps express who I am.”
The baby of the bunch, Solange, also shared her view on style, pointing out that everyone should be allowed to dictate what works for their own bodies, saying:
“We all have the option of how we want to express ourselves through our life, hair, style or whatever we decide. We shouldn’t be pigeonholed into any one category.”
Amen to that. These three gorgeous Essence covers are available on newsstands today and you can check out each one solo on the next few pages. Which one are you picking up?
One of my best girlfriends just turned 48 and looks absolutely sensational and she is accustomed to getting all the accolades and compliments that come with being over 40 and youthfully divine.
I guess when I was younger I also imagined that anyone over the age of 35 would look somewhat mature without any traces of natural vitality. But as I’ve matured it’s become clear that age is really just a number and we do have some control over how we manage the aging process.
Being active, minimizing alcohol intake and a balanced diet are the key factors to looking great at any age but it really pays off as you start approaching the halfway mark. It’s now 2013, and it’s safe to say that we have evolved into a species that has access to the most sophisticated tools that make our daily upkeep increasingly attainable. So why are we so blown away that a 40 year old could actually have a toned body with a face devoid of wrinkles?
Let’s dig even deeper – why are women more susceptible to this particular way of thinking or judging? Now that my twenties are far behind me, (GULP!) I am more in tune and sensitive to the reception my peers are receiving as the years go by.
A few months ago, former model and media mogul Tyra Banks was photographed on vacation lounging in a bikini and of course she looked fabulous. But I couldn’t get past the headline: TYRA BANKS SHOWS OFF STUNNING BIKINI BODY AT 39. If she were 29 would they have bothered to take the extra steps to add her age? She is not necessarily over the hill so why shouldn’t we expect someone her age to be fit and bountifully healthy. Yet, when Brad Pitt who is 49 is snapped in similar circumstances, there is no reference made to his age, it’s all about how HOT he is and how lucky Angelina Jolie must feel to have such a stud to come home to after a hard day’s work.
I have been experiencing similar references, and it stings even more the older I get. Being under the age of 50, I don’t feel I need to be praised beyond measure for looking immaculately put together. I understand that our culture has molded us to believe that youth is fleeting and once you are past the age of 30, it’s time to finalize your will. But it’s debilitating to conform to the absurdity that we as women lose our sex appeal and good looks because we are advancing in age. I don’t need anyone to re-assure me that despite the fact that I am not a twenty something anymore, I STILL look good enough to make the cut.
There should be no stipulations when it comes to how good we feel both inside and out because we are each responsible for our individual dispositions. Age should never be used as a pendulum to decide which way the favor should sway, because it reduces our existence to a graceless state.
The truth is that owning your age and who you are without any trepidation does wonders for your outward appearance and if that endeavor radiates it should be acknowledged but not because of how old you are, but because of the person you have chosen to be.
Every once in a while in the black beauty world the blonde bomb drops. Celebs hop on the hair color trend and trade in their dark tresses for something a little fairer. When I was a teen there was Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim and Faith Evans. More recently it’s been Nicki Minaj, Ciara and Ashanti.
I’ll be the first to admit everything isn’t for everybody. But for the most part when done right blonde on black can be very flattering. But of course whenever a woman makes a bold statement regarding her own beauty there will be critics to remind her she doesn’t make the rules. Because of course every woman who dyes her hair blonde wants to be a white-washed, sun-kissed surfer from Pasadena.
Now the truth is some of us look like fools. That trendy red lip or bubblegum pink pout is a fail for some. But the great thing about beauty is that it is in the eye of the beholder. And the quicker we stop letting everyone but black women decide black beauty for women, the better off we’ll be. Every woman that buys a pack of #27 remi doesn’t want to be Marilyn Monroe, just like every woman with blue highlights doesn’t aim to be Marge Simpson.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly understand women in general’s obsession with Marilyn Monroe. It’s not only black women; Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey are just a few of the artists who have portrayed the late actress in photo spreads or performances. Nicki Minaj did a small tribute to her in an issue of XXL magazine and even has a song of the same name in which she raps:
“Sometimes I feel like Marilyn Monroe, I’m insecure, yeah I make mistakes.”
I think Nicki makes a good point. I‘m willing to argue that many woman not only admire Monroe’s apple pie “all-American” beauty, but can identify with her story as well. Monroe’s story is that of many superstars: The tale of an industry that builds up celebrities based on their beauty (and sometimes their talent) and doesn’t make any extra effort to intervene while watching them inevitably breakdown beneath their demons. Maintaining the balance between inner and outer beauty is a struggle that all women can identify with: blonde, brunette and everything in between.
Blonde with blues eyes is just another fad like big booties and small waists and tattoos and piercings. Our community needs to be a little less critical about what one another look like and pay more attention to other underlying issues. The truth is every woman who wants to rock a blonde bob from time to time doesn’t have a secret wish to be white. I grew up looking at beauty icons like Lisa Bonet, Chaka Khan and Aaliyah. Marilyn Monroe was just one example of American beauty, not the only one and the sooner we allow little girls to expand their definitions of the word, the less eager we’ll be to accuse each other of self-hate just because someone doesn’t want to rock an afro and a dashiki. I’ll admit, some of us have some deep seeded issues, but some of us just get easily bored with narrow definitions of beauty.
I can’t argue that there are plenty of black beauty icons to go around from Lena Horne to Lupita N’yongo, but if blonde hair and blue eyes are what some of our women look up to, does it honestly have to be that deep? Will we crucify women who tan their skin and crop their hair in an effort to look like Lupita if that’s what we begin to glorify? I don’t think black women or any women for that matter aim to be Marilyn Monroe as much as they aim to just be seen as beautiful. And as long as we keep allowing the media and corporations to decide exactly what that means, the longer we will chase it whether it’s blonde hair with blue eyes or hydrogel inflated booties. What’s most important is that women are able to embrace the many definitions of beauty and not just what the media, a man or their own “brothers and sisters” tells them is acceptable.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.
Once upon a time, the red carpet was a monotone place that only celebrated one type of beauty. But today, Hollywood is embracing diversity of all colors thanks to the pioneering work of some of our favorite entertainers. Shouts out to these women who are changing Hollywood’s standard of beauty one red carpet at a time.
Earlier this year Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Porsha Stewart, officially launched a line of premium quality hair extensions, Go N*ked Hair. Now it looks like the soon-to-be divorced reality TV personality has ventured into the beauty business as well. According to BET, in addition to Go N*ked Hair, the Atlanta native has also launched Beauty by Porsha, a line consisting of hair care and beauty products.
Products offered by the new line include Bye Frizzy! towelettes, which are supposed to assist with the taming of flyaway and unruly hair strands.
“I needed a product to keep my hair neat and smelling fresh. We created ‘Bye Frizzy!’ for all women who need a quick refresher,” says Porsha.
In addition to Bye Frizzy!, the line also offers Bye Brittle! nail hardener, which is said to restore damaged nails. Porsha is among the ranks of several reality stars who have taken a stab at the beauty business since snagging roles in popular reality shows, including Basketball Wives‘ Tami Roman, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta‘s Rashida and fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kenya Moore.
Do you think you’d be interested in trying out any of these products?
As a plus-size blogger, I’ve been known over the years to be very vocal about the lack of plus-size representation in the fashion industry. From voicing my disappointment with thelack of diversity on online fashion communities, to challenging the standards of body image and blogging, I always speak my mind. As one of those girls who grew up flipping through the pages of Teen Vogue and Lucky hoping and wishing that one day I would see someone who looks like me gracing the pages, I’ve been a constant advocate of initiating open dialogue about plus-size options in the fashion industry.
So it took me by surprise when I read earlier this week about model Tara Lynn’s statements regarding plus-size models and fashion. The size 14/16 fashion modelrecently told Elle Magazine, “It is hard to make clothes look great on big women. The more fat there is on a body, the more variation there is in the shape of that body.” Though I agree with the latter part of her statement regarding body fat causing for variations in body shape, I wholeheartedly disagree with the former. It is absolutely not hard to make clothes look good on big women.
First of all, you don’t have to make big women look good. And you certainly shouldn’t have to make clothes look good. A great piece of clothing is a great piece of clothing, regardless of its size. I shuddered when I read Tara Lynn’s statement. It essentially implies that big women, by default, don’t look good. Aside from the astounding statistics that prove the majority of women in this country alone are an astonishing average size 14 as opposed to the fashion’s ideal standard size 2, there is a grave misconception that curvy and plus-size women inherently have to try 10 times harder to look presentable.
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
Last year, Miami teen Rachel Jeantel was thrust into the public eye following the tragic murder of her friend Trayvon Martin. Of course, this new-found exposure has opened her up to a world of criticism and scrutiny, which radio host Tom Joyner has her in counseling for. But Rachel says that she doesn’t pay much attention to people’s negative comments.
“I don’t really care about that. I can’t let them put me down. I was there to help a friend out,” she told The Grio of her decision to testify in the highly publicized trial.
As for all of the support she’s received, Rachel says she’s truly thankful.
“I’m blessed. That’s the truth. Everybody wants to be in my shoes right now. But for me, I’m taking this opportunity, and I’m hitting it hard.”
During a recent visit to New York, The Grio and Ebony Magazine teamed up to offer the soon-to-be college student the ultimate makeover.
“I’m very excited to be here. I think it’s exciting working with theGrio.com, and black media partnering together to collaborate on this project. This is the first time we have done something like this. She’s been really fabulous so far. You can tell she really loves style and fashion,” said Ebony style director Marielle Bobo.
The 19-year-old high school senior was given beautiful new hair extensions, a manicure and makeup.
“She’s super young, with all this vivaciousness and personality. We want to keep that, but translate it into ways that can work for her, for her new life as a student. We want to give her a look that’s going to translate from campus life, to any internships, or employment that she may be doing while she’s at school,” Marielle added.
You can find out more about Rachel’s life post trial and view more photos from her makeover in Ebony’s December/January issue.
Check out footage from Rachel’s makeover session below. For a sneak peak of her transformation, click to the next page.
The fashion world is a beautiful, fantastical escape, but sometimes a real-life issue yanks us back from our Louboutin wishes and Balmain dreams into the cold, harsh reality at hand. Today’s terrible truth has to deal with pre-teen and teenage girls, their body issues, and their self-esteem. It’s bad enough that teenagers must navigate the tricky waters of growing up around Photoshopped ads and magazine covers crowding them in from all angles, and it seems that impressionable young minds are having a hard time sorting out the real from the fake–and feeling all the worse for it.
Young girls are feeling so bad, in fact, that they’re taking to YouTube–by the hundreds of thousands–to find validation (or humiliation) through posting “Am I pretty or ugly?” videos. Girls who question their appearance due to bullying at school or feelings of inadequacy are posting homemade videos on YouTube asking the general public to rate them on their appearance–the results are as disturbing as you’d think.
In the video below, for instance, a 14-year-old girl laments her confusion over her appearance–saying that her friends tell her she’s beautiful and that they’re jealous of her face, but other kids at school call her ugly. This sad trend of asking an unknown–and potentially cruel–public to judge one’s appearance has been around for a few years now. Early in 2012 one professor at Pace University referred to the practice as a form of “self-mutilation,” akin to cutting and eating disorders. Yet another article from early 2012 says, ”This is a self-destructive yet, unconsciously, coping mechanism. They’re trying to feel better, but it’s self destructive and it’s not working.”
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
When offered the opportunity to interview our favorite childhood friend, Rudy Huxtable from The Cosby Show, we were excited to catch up with the lovable Cosby Kid.
When she’s not auditioning or making sure her body is right and tight, Keisha Knight Pulliam can be found mentoring teenage girls through her non-for-profit summer camp, Kamp Kizzy, or promoting Hairfinity, a hair growth product everyone from Toya Carter to Regina King is raving about.
Known for her flawless skin and unbelievably laid hair, Pulliam shared an important secret with us that many women overlook when determing their health and beauty regimens. Check out what the big secret is in our Q&A below.
Why did you decide to become Hairfinity’s brand ambassador?
I decided to become the brand ambassador for Hairfinity because I believe in the product. I would never sell something I didn’t already use. Prior to becoming brand ambassador, I used the product to see how I really felt about it. Since I began using it, there is a huge difference with my hair. It is thicker, longer and it sheds less. Initially I didn’t tell my friends I was using the product and after a while they began to tell me how great my hair looks and that’s how I knew Hairfinity was working.
What’s your personal hair care regimen?
I usually flat iron my hair, but when I’m working out I will make it curly; I go with the looks of my lifestyle. I take my Hairfinity vitamins daily along with my other vitamins; I make sure to drink lots of water and eat good fruits and vegetables. I also make sure to not put too much heat on my hair, too, when styling it.
What’s your number one beauty tip for black women?
Honestly, at the end of the day, it starts from the inside so you need consistency. You have to be consistent with your own personal hair care or fitness regimen. You cannot expect miracles overnight; it’s important to commit and give things time. As black women, we are not homogeneous, so you must create a routine based on your individual needs. There are so many vitamins and health products out there but you have to think about your body’s chemistry. Go to a really good nutritionist or find natural remedies to help maintain your health.
Why did you create Kamp Kizzy?
Kamp Kizzy is my heart. It’s a non-profit I started for 11-16 year old girls. We focus on empowerment and self esteem. It is important for girls to dream big and accomplish big — understanding there is nothing outside of their reach. We host programs throughout the year, but in the summer we host usually 100 girls for free. This past summer we had 105 girls join us. They come from all across the country to Atlanta. We have different workshops based on vision boards, sexual and reproductive health, yoga and respect. We create a very safe place and judgement-free zone for the girls. Kamp Kizzy is based on who I am as a woman; I realize not everyone will have the same experiences as me. Kamp Kizzy is about broadening another person’s horizon.
Click on the link to see Keisha in action with some of the Kamp Kizzy campers!
In case you were looking to try out another reality TV star-branded hair extension line, look no further. Real Housewives of Atlanta star Marlo Hampton recently celebrated the launch of her new hair line, Select Extensions, this past weekend in Atlanta.
Celebs like Marlo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta cast mates, Tameka Raymond and Funky Dineva were in attendance of the event, which took place at Atlanta’s My Fair Sweets. According to FreddyO, some drama also went down between Marlo and one of NeNe’s estranged sisters. The nature of the altercation is unclear, but witnesses say that Marlo was unhappy about the sister attending her event and eventually hair went “flying.” NeNe’s sister was eventually escorted out of the party.
What’s interesting, however, is the fact that Marlo’s hair pieces were being showcased on wooden hangers. Currently, there aren’t many details available about the line, but according to attendees, the outspoken reality star showcased multiple premium pieces from the collection.