All Articles Tagged "health"
We all go through a dry spell from time to time. But there are some good reasons to go out there and get your groove back. These consequences of not having sex (including the DIY kind) might surprise you.
Charlie Sheen’s recent announcement has put HIV back in the spotlight where it needs to be. But with research and new medicine, HIV isn’t seen as an automatic death sentence any longer. Do you know all you need to in order to stay protected in 2015?
Could your shower routine be responsible for your split ends, breakouts, and winter ash? Eliminate these bad shower habits from your routine and change your beauty regimen for good!
Some celebrities say their fit frames come naturally. But these famous ladies are not afraid to share their real diet and exercise tips with you — and they’re not what you think!
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone disorder common in women of reproductive age that can affect everything from our periods and weight, to fertility and mood. Chances are you know someone with PCOS or have it yourself, but if you don't know much about this condition, let us give you a brief rundown on the facts you need to know.
Most of us have heard of fibroids before, we're kind of aware that they affect Black women disproportionately, but a lot of us don't know the causes, the complications, or the treatment options. We're here to help with a short video to tell you everything you need to know about fibroids and Black women in under two minutes.
As upset as folks were over recent announcements that two Black health and beauty companies had allegedly “sold out” to more diverse customers, you would think that Fashion Fair cosmetics would be overrun with customers purchasing RBG color palettes to help keep it afloat.
But nope. It is struggling like the rest.
That is according to this article in the Washington Post entitled, “What happened to Fashion Fair?”
In it, journalist Robin Givhan investigates the scarcity of the 42-year-old cosmetic company founded by Johnson Publishing, on beauty and department store shelves.
More specifically, Givhan writes:
“Customers who rely on Fashion Fair for exact skin tone matches and perfectly flattering lipsticks have been unable to locate their favorite products — or any products at all. In stores and online, they’re finding color selections so skimpy and stock so depleted there has been little for sales representatives to even sell. Even counter clerks have been asking: What’s going on?
Fashion Fair’s response has been, for many loyalists, deeply unsatisfying.
“Thank you for your patience as we rebuild our inventories.”
“We acknowledge that stock has been low in previous months; however, the replenishment process [is] underway!”
“Are they going out of business?” asks longtime customer Allana Smith.
“No,” says Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns the makeup line.
“We’re not going out of business.”
But Fashion Fair is in upheaval — and customers have good reason to question its survival.”
According to Givhan, part of that upheaval is the “cultural shifts in the cosmetics market and business challenges specific to a stand-alone brand.” This includes stiff competition from more multinational beauty lines including MAC, Estée Lauder, and L’Oréal as well as Black women ourselves who “no longer want or need a separate counter.”
But as Givhan writes, Desiree Rogers, who is CEO of Fashion Fair, also attributes current circumstances to the company’s own inability to keep up with customer demands, including leaving Fashion Fair cases at department stores un-stocked and barren for upwards of a year.
Currently, the brand is revamping its image and preparing for a relaunch, which includes closing and remodeling some stores, changing its signature packaging from pink to metallic gold and a “fresh” faces advertising campaign. Likewise it has also hired celebrity makeup artist Tia Dantzler as its creative director.
But even with its changes, folks might be slow to embrace the brand again. As Terez Baskin, a part-time beauty business writer who attended a private unveiling of Fashion Fair’s new line of products, told Givhan:
“The colors were great. The pigments were good. But all of that has been done before,” Baskin says. “The leadership team was especially excited about marketing a mascara for the first time. But they didn’t have any samples to test. They didn’t have the full range of foundation colors available either.”
“They were excited about all the newness,” Baskin says. “They gave us a bunch of balloons, but nothing to tie them to.”
Personally, I feel that Baskin nailed one of the major challenges to Fashion Fair’s pending relaunch. Basically its failure to grow with its audience as well as to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.
For years, Fashion Fair rested on the fact that it was one of only a few makeup lines that a woman of color could use to find a foundation that perfectly matched her natural complexion. But that was then. And nowadays, most multinational beauty conglomerates are not only targeting Black customers, but they also carry their own “perfect match” foundation lines, which includes press, liquid, mineral, sunblock, vitamin-enhanced and waterproof. Many of these brands also carry “perfect match” bronzers, primers, blushes and full face palettes too.
In order to compete, Fashion Fair will not only have to catch up, but it will have to find a way to reinvent what it had previously cornered the market on, and what others are currently doing better.
And it will also have to find a way to sell these changes to a younger generation of Black glamour girls who might have felt both ignored and disregarded by the brand over the years.
It will certainly be an uphill battle for the Black-owned cosmetic company. And as Fashion Fair struggles at both rebranding and regaining a niche market, which is slowly being siphoned off by the major brands, you can certainly see why other Black-owned beauty businesses have opted to go the “all faces matter” route.
But in the interest of preserving a piece of Black beauty history, which has tried to serve us well over the years (my grandmother was loyal to the brand), I am hoping that Fashion Fair can reclaim its glory.
The first time I walked into a Planned Parenthood, I was 15 years old. My best friend at the time came to school crying because she believed that she was pregnant. She had asked me to go with her to the Planned Parenthood in downtown Trenton because it was the only place she could get free testing without having to concoct a lie to get her insurance cards from her parents. I was a little scared and hesitant because up to that point, I had only known Planned Parenthood to be an abortion clinic and a place for low-income families in my city. We left school early, which meant that we cut a few classes. I went with her to the clinic, and as we walked, I was so afraid because I was sure we were going to get caught by my mother, and I didn’t want her to think I was pregnant, let alone sexually active.
When I got there, my friend took her test, which came back positive. And while I helped her cope with that life-changing news, I also found myself looking around, impressed by all the health care resources Planned Parenthood offered to women. I remember leaving thinking, This is like a real doctor’s office after all. It wasn’t impersonal. In fact, they were an additional emotional support to my friend and helped her a lot throughout her process as she made decisions.
The second time I went to a Planned Parenthood, it was also with a friend. This friend was afraid to tell her parents that she was thinking about having sex. She wanted to get birth control but didn’t want her mom to know. Long story short, I went with her to get the contraception she needed.
After thinking back on both of those experiences and forward to the research I’ve done on my own, I realize that if I knew then what I know now about Planned Parenthood, I could have been getting a lot more care and had access to more resources while I was in college.
With all the conspiracy theories floating around about Planned Parenthood, its founder Margaret Sanger (and whether or not she started the clinic to control the Black population as Ben Carson would claim), and right-wingers claiming they sell fetal tissue of aborted babies (which Planned Parenthood vehemently denies), it’s time to take a step back. I think it’s time to acknowledge what the clinics provide for women like you and me–and it’s a lot more than abortions.
They are a haven in our communities and have offered health treatments and resources to millions of women and families without health insurance, way before Obamacare. How many of you have found yourself in need of birth control and couldn’t afford it anywhere else? How many of you have found yourself needing some general health care, but found no healthcare provider who offered free care? How many of you just wanted to get tested or see a gynecologist to address an issue? No, Planned Parenthood isn’t just an abortion clinic. It offers general health care as well as flu vaccinations, physicals, and screenings.
And Planned Parenthood doesn’t just offer care to women and children. Men can also schedule check-ups, get tested, get screened for diseases and also receive consultations and help for infertility. Planned Parenthood has also become a catalyst for change in young women through their workshops on body image, sexual identity for those who are questioning or need guidance, and for those looking to build healthy relationships.
So while some choose to focus on the negative image painted of Planned Parenthood by its detractors, those fighting to have funding cut, think about all the families who have benefited from this organization in the nearly 100 years they’ve operated. Think about them. And then think about all those who would be impacted without such services. Planned Parenthood may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but whether or not people want to admit it, the clinics have done a lot of good for a lot of people.
Do Skinny Teas Really Work? “She’s The Boss” – AJ Johnson, Celebrity Fitness Trainer & Founder Of The AJ Zone
Meet AJ Johnson. Actress, Choreographer, and Fitness coach. Currently molding the hottest bodies of Hollywood with her rigorous workout training sessions, she is also creating a global movement towards overall wellness with her popular AJ Zone pop up shops, online meal plans, and more. Find out why, She's The Boss.
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On Saturday I’ll have my last personal training session of the year. It’s a big step for me since I’ve been training ever since November 2014 and this will be my first attempt at continuing my weight loss journey on my own. I’m nervous, but I also know at some point I have to take off the training wheels, and after one year and 92 pounds lost, now seems like the right time. But there’s another reason I’m also ready to take the leap. Though personal trainers exist to help you reach your goals, they also have their own goals in mind. Or rather, ideals of what the finished product, i.e. you, should look like when your training is complete and those ideals can be a bit burdensome, to say the least.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a wedding of a co-worker in New Orleans. I had to miss a few sessions because I was out of town and when my trainer asked me how the celebration was, I sent him a few pics from the festivities. I was proud of myself, mostly for fitting in this dress that would not be possible without the help of a strapless bra, Spanx, the Holy Spirit, and lots of hours in the gym. And he acknowledged as much, saying he saw me “stylin'” as usual. Fast forward to my return when my trainer was anxious to get back to work — and sell me a new package of sessions by the end of the month — and he said to me, “I really want to see you kill it in a dress or just show up with a pair of pants that are like a size too big now.”
Wait, haven’t I already done those things?
On one hand I didn’t fault my trainer because we’ve only worked together for the past six weeks or so and sometimes I think he forgets that I started this journey long before we met. I wanted to remind him I’m not new to this, I’ve lost about four pants sizes now.But I just nodded in agreement because I do still have a few sizes to go and initially wouldn’t have minded his help in getting there. The dress thing bothered me though. On top of not being here for the implication that a plus-size woman can’t look amazing when she steps out, I thought, I know you’re trying to motivate me to keep going, but did I not just send you a pic of me killing it in a dress? And as much as I tried to remind myself that trainers’ standards of the ideal body are on some next level ish — after all I’m dealing with men who have single digit body fat — it still brought up unhealthy thoughts of the progress I’ve made thus far still not being good enough and was a reminder that while I’m no longer obese (or morbidly so as I started out), an overweight woman is still what many see when they look at me.
I know that because of other comments my trainer’s made like “you’re going to be killing it in a bikini soon.” Again, I thought, been there, done that. But I also thought, who said wearing a bikini was my goal? I’ll be the first one to admit looking better and feeling better about myself were stronger motivators to losing weight than my health, but I’m also not here for the constant insinuation that I need to strive to look like a model or the assumption that I even want to. I set out to be a size 12, maybe 10, when I started working out last year and I need to work with someone who supports what a realistic goal weight and look is for me. The more my trainer pushes his ideals of perfection that are so far off my radar, and not even realistic, the more I realize it’s time to take matters into my own hands and craft the next chapter of my weight loss journey for myself.
Several months ago I wrote about things you should know before hiring a personal trainer. Though it wasn’t a concern for me at the time, I’d now add to the list that you need to work with someone who respects your standard of beauty and appreciates you as you are in the moment. I’ll never forget the day I was being unnecessarily hard on myself with my first trainer and he looked at me with complete sincerity at about 205 pounds and told me, “You have a great body. You just don’t see what I see.” It was the most genuine compliment he’d given me and I can’t lie and say hearing that from someone with 6% body fat and abs for days who worked with women with bodies much fitter than mine didn’t put a little more pep in my step. But more importantly it reminded me I needed to speak as kindly about my body as he did and I didn’t have to assume the first thing everyone sees about me are my flaws. That’s the kind of trainer you want: someone who knows the difference between pushing you past your perceived limitations and projecting their perceptions of perfection on you.