Black Girls Run! Black Girls Run!

Black Girls Run Too!

Spring is upon us, and it's time to get back in shape!

What better way to lose the winter weight than to hit the park or the treadmill and run off some of those extra pounds from Fall and Winters' many holidays. We spoke with BlackGirlsRun.com founders, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks, to get running tips on how Vixens across the country can get in shape and dispel rumors that running isn't a black sport.

Founded in 2009 to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners, Black Girls Run! has a mission to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. They have a network of 70 running teams across the nation, and you have no excuse to not get involved!

Lace up your sneakers because Black Girls Run too!
VIBE VIXEN: Tell us how Black Girls Run! started?
ASHLEY: Black Girls Run! is three years old, and we started out as a blog back in March 2009. At the time, I had been running for two years, and we decided to start blogging about our running experiences since it was very few black women running.  We started off writing post on running, nutrition and health and fitness. From blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, we created a network initially of other Black runners and slowly we started bringing girls interested in running into the running community. Last year, we officially launched our own Black Girls Run! running group. Right now, we have over 60 groups and over 25,000 members.

Wow, your network grew fast. How do the various running groups work?
Ashley: We have running groups in different city with the largest being in major cities. We take in groups every six months for ambassadors who run the group in their city.

What type of women and runners are encouraged to participate in Black Girls Run!
TONI: We have people who have never run a day in their life to marathoners. It ranges from beginners to veteran runners

On the blog there is a post titled "Black Women Struggle with Body Image Too."  In Black culture, the voluptuous and full-figured woman is praised. What are your thoughts on that?
Toni: That's a tough question. On one hand, our community has done a disservice to woman by coining terms as "thick" and glorifying being bigger. While I believe that everyone should be comfortable in their own skin in regards to being overweight or obese, we shouldn't champion that. But then there is also the reverse end of that, where I think all women experience body image issues, and I think Black women get both ends of the spectrum.

What are some easy running routines that people can use to ease back into running?

What are some easy running routines that people can use to ease back into running?
Toni: The best plan that new runners can follow is the Couch to 5K program. It's 9 weeks, and it takes you from being a couch potato to running a 5k, which is over 3 miles. Using an interval program, you build up your endurance.

What's some good gear for ladies to buy to start running and getting back into shape?
Ashley: We always recommend that people get fitted for running shoes, because the easiest way to get injured is to go out and run in shoes not made for running or that are not appropriate for your stride. You also need a good sports bra.
Toni: Those are the two big things. And from there, as women commit to the sport, women should start investing in the proper materials. You should never wear cotton when running.

What are some of the misconceptions with African American female runners?
Toni: From my experience, one of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to look a certain way or be a certain size. The awesome thing about running is that someone bigger or older can have a faster pace. You can't categorize people with running. One of challenges is convincing women that they can begin to run if they are willing to put in the work and train for it.
Ashley: I agree with Toni. Once people decide that they are a runner, then they are a runner, regardless of what you see people who run marathons look like or what is portrayed on television.

It's still small percentage of African American runners. Why is that the case?
Ashley: We are slowly encouraging more African Americans to begin participating in running, but I think running is limited amongst African Americans because of culture reasons, due to lack of exposure and lack of information about the sport. I wasn't exposed to long distance running because my family exposed me to the more traditional sports. It's also due to lack of understanding of how and why you should run. Most people are used to running after a ball, not just running for sport, and I think that's the reason why there isn't a lot of African Americans involved in running today.

For more information on Black Girls Run! visit their site at www.blackgirlsrun.com and on twitter at @BlackGirlsRun.

From the Web

More on Vibe

VIBE Vixen/ Jessica Xie

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. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Head Over Heels (@hohmusical) on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:26pm PST

"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.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

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.

Continue Reading
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

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.

Continue Reading

Top Stories