Amber Rose Amber Rose

The Female Bromance: Girl Crushes

Every girl needs a girl crush. No, not the type that fills male sexual fantasies with two (or more) women romping around in their undies. The girl crush is more along the lines of a female bromance. It’s a strictly-platonic, straight girl kind of longing where a hetero woman becomes infatuated with a fellow lady who possesses traits— inside and out— that the crusher admires (like say, beauty, sophistication, sass, confidence, etc.), and too, hopes to emulate.

Much like a girl-boy crush, which girls you crush on can actually tell you a bit about your own personality. “Whoever your girl crush is, it's probably a result of somehow feeling connected to the star's personality and values," Dr. Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist and author of the new book Why Him? Why Her? said in a Cosmo interview about girl crushes.

Having a girl crush also tells something else about you. There’s a certain type of woman who can see a fabulous fly woman and lift her up, instead of tear her down. If you’ve got a crush, you’re the type that bypasses buying into the negativity that is often associated with women’s social interactions (thanks Wives’ franchises). Girls who crush on girls offer a positive expression for how we ladies, really--no, seriously--actually do get along.

A girl crush comes as a great antidote to all the madness, a small, bright reminder that all women aren’t insecure, catty and crazy. Yes, there are those of us left who see a woman who seemingly has it all, or at least something we like, and instead of tearing her down, we raise her a little higher, and use her as inspiration to be a little better, sexier, more confident, whatever it is about our crush that gives a grown woman the giggles.
My girl crush(es)? Start with Amber Rose. It’s her… Gosh, I hate to use this word, but it’s the only one that sums it up properly: swag. She’s got an intrinsic I-am-who-I-am confidence that makes her gym-run, clad in spandex and kicks, look like she’s on a European runway in haute couture. And she’s got an unbridled sex appeal, obvious when she’s wearing one of her curve-hugging, cat suit getups, and also when she’s in flared pants and a turtleneck.

I also have a thing for Tracee Ellis Ross. Her fashion, hair game, and shape are bonkers, of course, but my awe comes from the way she walks around like she’s got ever-present theme music, probably something like Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” on a loop in her head. She’s also incredibly random. Who rocks Jordans and a Birkin bag? Tracee! That’s who! Ever seen her on the mic at an awards show? She’s in front of a room full of people, millions of viewers watching, and she’s just chilling in ball gown, effortlessly cracking jokes and dropping one-liners like it’s her and a bathroom mirror. Loves it!

Yesterday on Twitter and Facebook, I asked female readers to spill on their own girl crushes and the responses poured in. Apparently, ya’ll have a lot of love to give! Many ladies gushed over Tracee and Amber too, and a good chunk of women have it bad for Rihanna. ”I love her style and that witty/candid mouth of hers when she does interviews,” one of you said. ”I also love the random places she gets her tattoos on her body.”

As expected, Beyonce made several lists. “She is the epitome of all things beautiful,” another commenter boasted. “Her grace, talent, beauty, simplicity in nature & humility is something to admire.”

Sanaa Lathan (“Laid back, cool, and beautiful”), Zoe Saldana (“She’s funny, she can dance and kick your butt”) Jill Scott (“Gorgeous, talented, down to earth”), Angela Bassett (“Simplistic elegance”) and Scarlett Johansson (“Hot white girl. Exudes sex”), Condoleeza Rice (“Ballsy and plain fierce”), Kelly Rowland, (Impeccable style and sweet spirit”), and finally, Kerry Washington (“Poised, classic”) also got a lot of much-deserved love.
I’m feeling the love, ladies! Share some more! Who’s your girl crush?
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk

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VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Meet Peppermint, The Boss Using Her Gifts For Good

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

Miss Peppermint started as a staple in the New York nightlife scene, and after appearing as a contestant on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, she’s continued to make a name for herself.

Outside of the show, she's traveled the world and is hoping to release her third album, which she hints will be influenced by the '90s, R&B, and neo-soul. She's also planning on re-releasing her debut album, Hardcore Glamour, for its 10-year anniversary.

"I'll be doing a lot in New York this year for World Pride," she explains to Boss Talk's host, J'na Jefferson. Pride takes place throughout June. "The last album I dropped was 2017... I'm excited about that, I'm writing it now. It's just poems, but I'm excited."

Peppermint, who was the first openly transgender contestant on the Emmy Award-winning show, was also the first transgender woman to originate a principal role on Broadway for her role as Pythio in Head Over Heels. 

 

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"On paper, it shouldn't make sense... it's hard to explain what it is," she says of the musical, which combined a loose adaptation of 16th-century piece The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of the new wave group, The Go-Go's. It closed in late-2018.

"The better way to explain it now that it's over and closed is 'a revolutionary show about dismantling the patriarchy...'" she says about Head Over Heels. "I knew that they wanted to cast a trans actor... I wanted to put as much as I could into it, and try to do our non-binary siblings well and proud... [the show] became something I really believed in."

Peppermint continues to share her love of performing all over the world and is also an activist, who aims to promote the importance of LGBTQIA representation and advancement. She has worked and supported organizations such as The Point Foundation, which aims to help LGBTQIA students attend college. 

"People are just starting to catch on that having queer voices is essential and inevitable," she says of further representation of LGBTQIA individuals in media and entertainment. She praises Pose creator Ryan Murphy for showcasing trans people of color both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.

"Giving [trans people] the power to speak for themselves, rather than slapping the community with stereotypes or archetypes... we're past that," she continues. "We're not in the phase where they're feeling comfortable to be who they are, but I think we're getting close."

Listen to the full episode below.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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