Dr. Sherry Blake Dr. Sherry Blake

Vixen Chat [Part II]: Dr. Sherry Blake Talks Chris Brown and Rihanna, Men with Kids

Expert psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake knows a thing or two about the up and downs and needs and wants of a relationship. Her book The Single Married Woman has received great reviews for inspiring, empowering and equipping women to find a way to thrive in their relationships without losing themselves.

Mind soother to NFL players and celebrities, Dr. Sherry makes it clear that everything is a process and as long as you never settle you'll be happy in life and relationships. In Part I we got the scoop on her book and celebrity couples.

Part II offers more insight on the topic that women love to discuss. Check out her take on interracial relationships, Rihanna and Chris Brown and more. -Krystal Holmes

VIBE VIXEN: What do you think the fascination is with interracial relationships and everyone wanting to taste the different colors of the rainbow?
DR. SHERRY BLAKE: That’s one of those questions you have to look at very carefully. Sometimes it’s genuine love and it’s not about race or color; it’s about the fact that they fell in love with that person and they really care about the person. Many times, it’s about curiosity and stereotypical images African Americans have about other cultures, especially with African American men and white women. I had men tell me that they exclusively date white women or women of other races. The reality is that man has a lot of views from his past and baggage he is dragging and he won’t give African American women a fair shot. Anything she does is going to be connected to whatever his view is of black women.

Can you tell us a little about Toni Braxton's obsession with white men? What do they have that no other ethnicity doesn’t?
It’s so funny, because I can’t comment on any individual person, but I know it’s been highlighted several times with her comments about white males. I think a lot of it, again, is curiosity. Just like there are views that work stereotypically for males viewing white women, there are some females that have views of men of other races. I think it works both ways. For Toni, in particular, I don’t know. Maybe she just wants to explore and maybe her mind is open at this point in her life where it really doesn’t matter. For many people, it’s okay and it doesn’t matter because they’re not holding on to all of the views of the past, so they’re going to find people that are going to treat them right and do what they need to have done and love them for who they are regardless of color. I think that in today’s society, interracial relationships are more accepting, and given that it’s become more common, it’s not as big a deal.

Are the problems that you see in relationships among celebrities any different than those of average every day people?
The problems remain the same. It’s not that the problems are different, it’s the issues surrounding the problems that make them unique. For example, we all sometimes have issues with communication, or we may have issues with trust or issues with other things. The issue with a celebrity is that it’s magnified and everybody knows about the problem. Once it hits the media, it gets blown out of proportion to the point that it makes it very difficult for them to really work through issues, because everyone has an opinion and everybody is making a comment. They may still love one another, but they don’t want to be viewed certain ways in the media, so they can't allow themselves to remain together.

One couple is Rihanna and Chris Brown. It makes it very difficult for them to work out whatever is going on with them. Everybody is in their business and has an opinion. There are some people who are for Chris Brown and others who are for Rihanna. Yes, we saw some things, but we don’t know the gist of everything. Now that they did a project together, people were like, ‘Oh, my God! They’re going to get back together,’ and we don’t know how they feel about one another. No one takes to count the emotional part, so if I could recommend anything for the two of them is that they really do need to get into therapy and find someone that they can trust that’s not going to leak their business.

VV: If a man has a child with another woman and the child is younger than a year, should a girl keep it moving because he is still involved with his baby’s mother?
Not necessarily so. [Laughs] I say that because it depends on all the parties involved. If the man has a relationship with the woman and he has a baby that is less than a year old, it really says something in terms of his investment with the baby’s mother. But different things may happen for different reasons, whatever may be the case. If you are a new person, I would approach that relationship with caution, because how he treats that other woman may be the way he treats you. A lot of times we can learn so much by not talking but by observing. If the child is going to be a part of his life, at least until he or she is 18 years old, you really need to take a look at the mother, because like it or not, she will be involved in your life to some extent because she’s the baby’s mother.

When one person wants out of the relationship and the other wants to stay together, what steps do you take to resolve that?
I remind people that it takes two to make a relationship. You can want a relationship all day, but if someone doesn’t want you, you don’t have a relationship. You can jump hurdles and do back flips for the person and try to please them. But if they really do not want you, you’re just going through exercise. So I say, start with honesty and really explore the reasons 1) why the person wants to be there, and 2) explore why the other person wants to leave.

Would you say being honest with yourself is the key to being happy and finding someone you can be content with?
Absolutely. Being brutally honest. Sometimes you have to hear things you don’t want to hear, and you have to take time to really process what you're about and what you really want in life. If we don’t know, someone else will give us direction and tell us and that may not be what you want. Don’t settle and never lose your voice. Often times we start settling for things because we are desperate, and we feel that if we don’t settle, we’ll never have. But when your settling you're doing just that. You may have to compromise with some things, but that’s entirely different than settling.

Do you think sex changes things for a man when he sees that a girl may give it up too fast?
You know men and women view sex differently. For many men, sex is just sex. Nothing more and nothing less. But for women, it has a whole different meaning. Sometimes they think, ‘I’m in love,’ and unfortunately that’s not the case. When you are sexually active very quickly in a relationship, I do think that it changes the perspective for the man because he knows, without question, that you're going to give it up to someone else very quickly.

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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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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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