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Women Who Push Our Buttons - The Good and The Bad

There are women you love. Women you hate. Women you love to hate. And women you hate to love. For most of us, Beyoncé, Amber Rose, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian fall into one of these categories with no in-between. While I won’t put these women into any of these groups for you—because I know the stans rep hard for their girls—let’s look at how each of these women push our buttons in both good and bad ways.


Beyoncé
If you didn’t know there was a step above perfection, now you do. At least that’s how it seems when it comes to Beyoncé. She transcends genders—King B; art forms—singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, clothing designer; and scandals—would anyone really stop buying her albums if her baby bump was fake? Then she had the nerve to marry hip hop’s biggest cash king, Jay Z, and actually get pregnant by 30 like she always said she would, and have a husband bursting at the seams with excitement all while she dances on stage in 6-inch heels. Is there anything she can’t do? Probably not. And even though you want to hate her for it, you can’t, because she’s just that good—and that’s what makes her so damn annoying, and just as equally loveable.

The woman has a hustle you can’t knock, no matter how hard you try, and the results to back up every minute she puts into what she does. Beyoncé’s dad may have set the stage for her solo career, but Bey earned every ounce of her success by the work she put into it. She’ll keep pushing the envelope, and consequently our buttons, with everything she does because she’s just. that. hot.


Amber Rose
Deep down, something tells me Amber Rose is one of the sweetest girls in the world with one of the sickest bodies on the planet. And for some reason, we just don’t know what to do with that combination. Everyone keeps calling her a gardening tool, but does anyone actually know of any celebrity men she’s dated besides Kanye and Wiz? Two men in four years? We might all be you-know-what’s if we’re going by that rule.

It doesn’t help that whenever we see Amber, there’s some T and a whole lot of A going on, but what would you do with that body? As one friend recently put it, “If I had her figure, I’d find a reason to put on spandex just ‘cuz too.” Plus, until she recently exposed Kim Kardashian for the “homewrecker” that she might be, Amber wasn’t the type of girl who brought the drama. She’s cool and seemingly down to earth with insanely good looks and sometimes that’s just too much for the public to handle.

The only issue that comes up with Amber is the need for her to stay in her lane. She says she’s channeling her inner Beyoncé while working on a studio album, but honey let’s be clear: Nobody can be Beyoncé—for all the reasons mentioned on the previous page. Amber’s a gorgeous woman who excels at modeling, and that’s what she needs to stick to. There are plenty of ways to stake out a long career in that industry behind the scenes when she’s sick of posing in thongs in front of the camera, and that’s exactly what she needs to do. Nobody can rock a bald head and leopard print leggings like Amber Rose, and for that reason she is in a league of her own.


Kim Kardashian
Kim is into a lot of things. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. What makes it so bad for Kim is that she is constantly shoved down our throats. Like, we don’t even get a 10-second breather before she’s launching a new line of this, hosting a party here, premiering a reality show there, getting married, getting divorced, endorsing sketchers and starting a clothing line. I mean, where does it end? On top of that, it’s hard to respect her hustle because it doesn’t appear she’s hustling at all. Things just seem to fall into her lap—probably because her mother, Kris, puts it there.

The problem is every time you think you could eventually like the girl, she does something ridiculous, like get divorced after 72 days or supposedly ruin someone else’s relationship or earn $600k just for hosting a New Year’s Eve party. I mean what is that? And let’s not forget where this all began: a sex tape. It’s kind of hard to have a leg of credibility to stand on when you rose to fame for lying on your back. If Kim would’ve stuck to being a stylist and took on all of these other opportunities, the haters might not have so much hate for her, but the woman essentially gets money to show up and be pretty. And while a lot of us might say we’d love to do that, at the end of the day, we just don’t have much respect for it.

What we do have to respect about Kim, though, is her sense of style. No one can tell that girl she doesn’t know how to dress that killer body of hers, so while she makes us turn up our nose in some ways, her fashion sense definitely turns heads.


Rihanna
There’s a fine line between sexy and raunchy, and if you ask most people, RihRih hasn’t figured out that distinction just yet. Her sex is constantly in our face, from crotch-grabbing, to grinding on women, to booty shorts and fishnets. It’s a lot. But what people forget about Rihanna is that she’s 23 years old.

What it boils down to with the Bajan beauty is that she’s young, rich, international, she has a banging body and she enjoys the company of men. It may look a bit suspect to bounce so quickly from lover to lover, but a lot of women go through a wild phase. Rihanna just happens to be doing it in front of the entire world and 11 million twitter fans waiting to feel her wrath when she shuts them down for coming at her sideways in 140 characters or less. The girl’s got a mouth on her but she’s also the subject of a lot of scrutiny. Rihanna has repeatedly told the press that she’s nobody’s role mode,l and she doesn’t want to be. It’s time to give the girl a break and let her do her because with every hot single she drops, we love her more and more.

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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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