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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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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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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