Dr. Sherry Blake Dr. Sherry Blake

Vixen Chat [Part I]: Dr. Sherry Blake Talks Single Women and Celebrity Couples

The thing about relationships is that you never really know what you're getting yourself in to until it's done. Every couple has their own trials and tribulations, and, essentially, it takes two to make it work. Expert psychologist and author of The Single Married Woman, Dr. Sherry Blake gives it to us straight and answers the questions women and men often have when it comes to the opposite sex.

Having worked with Toni Braxton and her family on WE tv's Braxton Family Values, Dr. Sherry confidently delivers responses that will help make all of the things we ponder, over-analyze and over-think a little bit easier.

Vixen caught up with the vet who has been servicing people for more than 20 years. In part I, Dr. Sherry talks about her book, celebrity couples and, of course, relationships. -Krystal Holmes

VIBE VIXEN: How do you think women end up in the situation of a "Single Married Woman?”
DR. SHERRY BLAKE: We end up in those situations by wanting a marriage and wanting to make others happy and trying to please so much that we lose sight of ourselves.

Why do you think women who have the power to train a man to her liking just let him walk all over her instead?
I think sometimes women allow men to walk all over them because it’s an issue of self-esteem. Some may think if they don’t do what the male asks or requests of them they won’t have them. They haven’t learned that they have a value in the relationship and they don’t have to allow someone to walk all over them and they don’t have to walk all over someone else, so it goes both ways. The reality is that it’s all about self esteem. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s hard to stand up for yourself. It’s really tricky, but you have to understand it works both ways.

Is Kobe and Vanessa’s situation the type that can be saved, or do you think they will just go back to each other for booty calls?
[Laughs] I haven’t worked with them, so I don’t know the ins and outs in terms of their relationship, but I think both of them must really sit down and be honest. It would be great if they were working on the issues that got them to that point with a psychologist or a group of therapists. What are those things we can work on? What are those things that we enjoy that we can enhance? And many times when people have difficulty in relationships and it become public knowledge, then the public thinks material things come in place and they are back together again. But it is more than the material things that keep you together.

When exes get into new relationships, should they just cut off the relationship they had with one another, even if they were friends?
That’s not necessarily a requirement to cut off everyone from your past, but I do think it’s very difficult to have a new relationship and still be involved with your ex. I think that there must be boundaries once again, and it depends on the nature of the reason why you are friends with your ex in the first place. If you have children involved that’s one thing, but if that person’s an ex and you are just friends, then keep them at a distance as you try to develop a new relationship. Otherwise, it’s going to be very difficult for you to remain friends with that ex because they will be all in your business. That’s the tricky thing with exes; everything can be cool as long as you're not in a relationship. You think everything is cool and fun and occasionally you hang out or whatever the case may be, until one of you gets someone significant in your life then it becomes a problem. You have to define what your relationship is going to be about.

What is the most difficult hurdle in relationships that you've seen?
I think the most difficult hurdle is rebuilding trust once it’s been destroyed. I think for a lot of women especially, once trust has been distorted it’s very difficult to allow your heart to trust again. For men I think it’s loyalty. Trust is important, but if a woman is there with him through thick and thin that’s one thing but if she’s not loyal and will turn her back very quickly it’s very hard for the male to come back and trust her again.

Check back for Part II tomorrow!

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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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