La Toya Jackson La Toya Jackson

Vixen Chat: La Toya Jackson Talks New Reality Show, Abusive Relationship and Style Influences

Now, the Starting Over author is prepared to pen a new chapter as the cameras trail her in the new OWN series Life With La Toya. There is no shortage of drama as she battles to revive her music career, considers adoption and flaunts her independence. --Camille Augustin

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VIBE Vixen: What’s the most surprising lesson you’ve learned about yourself from doing the show?
La Toya Jackson: I learned that I wasn’t embracing certain people I should have [like men] because of my past and what I had gone through. I didn’t realize that I had just sort of shut them out without even realizing it. It was brought to my attention with the people that surround me, that work with me and my friends. I realized that I wasn’t able to trust. It was a subconscious thing. I didn’t even know that’s the way I was thinking.

One thing viewers will see on the show is that you discuss your abusive past relationship. Such as fellow reality television star Tamar Braxton, who also confronted her tumultuous past relationship. Did you use her as inspiration to talk about your experience?
This is my first time hearing that. I have never known that about her, but I will say that because of spousal abuse, I was always so on guard on making sure I don’t get involved with someone of that nature. Because of that, I eradicated men out of my life completely where I just indulged in constant business, where I never even thought about dating or any of those things. It’s a very sensitive subject and I can understand if she was affected by it because we all are.

La Toya In-StudioVV: Since traveling back to your hometown of Gary, Indiana, did you gain a different outlook on your life?
LTJ: It’s so funny because you forget a lot of things. I left when I was really young, and the minute I stepped in that house, all the memories came back. I recall my brothers rehearsing in the front room. If it wasn’t for that place, if it wasn’t for my father and brothers, you wouldn’t have a Jackson 5, you wouldn’t have had a Michael Jackson so that was so warm to me, and it was almost as if the house and the people in the neighborhood embrace you so graciously that you just wanted to be there longer and stay forever.

Adoption is discussed on Life With La Toya. Have you taken measures in beginning the process?
It’s something that I always wanted to do since I was 16 because I always wanted to help kids in the world. When [my ex-husband and manager Jack Gordon] took me and my passport away and said you’re never going back to your family or you can never speak to them again, my life took a different course. It was like there’s no way I’m adopting a child with this person. It’s still my love and my heart, and you will see it play out in the story.

With Michael Jackson’s children embarking on their own careers, is Paris planning to pursue modeling?
She loves show business in general, doesn’t matter what it is. Kids are young and their minds change all the time, but she wants to act more than anything else. She wants to act, sing, dance, play guitar, drums, everything.

And how is Prince’s Entertainment Tonight hosting job developing?
He did that for one time only because he wanted to so badly. He and his father worked so closely together as far as directing because he wants to be a director. He knows that his father was telling him, "You should be doing this at 16." When people say why is everyone pushing him to show business, no one is. This is their life, this is what they want, this is what their father wanted for them and they know that.

Have the two of them approached you for advice on how to deal with fame?
Yes, they do. It’s so important to me to let them know that your education is most important. I just went to the Academic Awards that Prince had, where he’s just a straight-A student and was inducted into the Academics of the World, which is really great. I’m just very proud of him for that. He knows that schooling is first, just in case something happens and [show biz] doesn’t work out for you, you can fall back on your brain.

La ToyaVV: With a burgeoning career in music depicted on the show, what type of records do you plan to create?
LBJ: You will see who I eventually start working with. I am working with RuPaul and it’s dance music, so we’re having fun with it. It’s strictly club. I love songs that people can dance to and enjoy at the same time. It’s very simple but fun.

Are you open to working with any rap artists?
Yes, if I like what they’re doing and it’s a positive thing. There’s a lot of different rap artists that are out there that are really great, but you know who I’m really loving right now that’s not necessarily rap? Bruno Mars. I just love his music. And Will Smith. He hasn’t put out anything in a while but his rapping is so clean and I like that.

Do you know when we can expect your lead single or a projected album date?
I don’t know about an album because we are working on different songs, but it’ll probably be an EP. As far as a single coming out in the next few weeks, you’ll hear something with RuPaul. It’ll be the song you’re hearing on the show.

Who is your style inspiration?
I do my own thing. I wear a lot of things that I design and I have someone make it for me. When it comes to designers, I love Armani, Versace and Louis Vuitton.

What is your must-have clothing item this season?
I always wear a brooch. I put them everywhere, all over my blazers. If it’s not a brooch, then probably a blazer because you can pop it on and have a different look. That’s the business side of me. You can just throw on a blazer with jeans or anything and you’ll look fine.

Would you be open to creating a fashion line?
Absolutely. I have developed a few things. A lot of the things that you see me wear are things that I’ve developed and designed. It’s going to a little while but we’re working on it. It’s not something that happens overnight.

Life With La Toya premieres June 1 on OWN at 9:30 p.m.

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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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