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Cicely Tyson & Kerry Washington Talk Being In the Public, Yet Remaining Private

The legendary Cicely Tyson and critically acclaimed Kerry Washington gave us a peek into their inner thoughts and passions during a recent interview with The New York Times. The two power-house actresses discussed the things they have in common including how hard they work to keep their personal lives private, their process when it comes to choosing a movie role and their views on race relations in America. Here is a snippet from the memorable interview:

On how they choose a movie role:

NYT: You’ve had some amazing film roles. Was it a hard decision to take on “Scandal,” knowing you’d be less available for film?

KW: When you read something extraordinary, when you read “Sounder,” for instance, you just say, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime.” I had that experience when I read the pilot episode of “Scandal.” I’d never seen a woman like this on television before. And I wasn’t even thinking about race or the fact that I’d never seen an African-American woman as the lead of her own network show, but I knew that this smart, sophisticated, powerful and vulnerable woman was a tremendous opportunity.

CT: The same thing happens to me when I read a script: either my skin tingles or my stomach churns. When it tingles, I take it, and when my stomach churns, there’s no way I could possibly do it. No way. I would end up on a psychiatrist’s couch, and he would get all the money.

On why they don’t publicly talk about their private lives:

NYT: Let’s shift gears for a second — to something you both have in common. Neither of you speak publicly about your personal lives, which makes you rare creatures in the celebrity world.

KW: Miss Tyson and I just had a conversation about this.

CT: I am very protective of my family. I chose this business, they did not. And I never felt it was right to deprive them of their private lives. I have a nephew. I have many nephews. And I remember once, when he was very little, he was watching me on TV — looking at the television, looking at me — and finally saying: “What’s Aunt BooBoo doing in the television?” And I’ve seen what happens to the children of people in public professions. It’s very hard to get out of their shadows. Their lives are difficult.

NYT: Are you an Aunt BooBoo, too, Kerry? Is that what makes you private?

KW: Let me say it like this. There have to be some boundaries to maintain your artistry. If you don’t have a strong sense of who you are, it’s hard to build a character. So I’ve learned to hold on to a sense of myself and keep it private.

NYT: Even when people are hyperventilating to get pictures of you in your wedding dress?

KW: Even then. It’s so important that at home, I can just be me.

On their parents not wanting them to be actresses:

NYT: Another thing you have in common? None of your parents wanted you to be actors.

KW: My mother was devastated.

CT: Mine, too.

NYT: So, in segregated America, in 1950, what did your parents want you to do instead of “Sounder”?

KW: Who knew “Sounder” was going to happen?

CT: Exactly! Well, my mother was an introvert and quite religious. And we were brought up in the church. And when she learned that I wanted to act, she simply said: “You cannot live here and do that.”

NYT: She threw you out of the house?

CT: Oh, yeah. I didn’t say anything to her, but I made up my mind that acting was something I had to do for myself, so I found another place to live. My mother did not speak to me for two years. Refused to see me, refused to speak to me. And when I did my first play, an amateur production of “Dark of the Moon” at the Y in Harlem, I had the audacity to call my mother and invite her to come. And she did. And the moment I walked onstage, she thought she was whispering, but she said, “Oh, my God!” and I heard her clear as day. And when it was all over, my mother was standing at the exit, accepting congratulations. Can you imagine?

KW: Wow, what a great story.

NYT: And 50 years later, you and your parents go through the same dynamic?

KW: By the way, they had the same kind of turnaround, too. I was at a dinner last night, and my parents were sitting in the corner, warmly accepting congratulatory remarks. But at the time, my mother, who is a retired professor of education, and my father, who is a businessman, wanted me to go into a career that had some security. They did not want me to be a starving artist. I’m an only child. They were devastated by the idea that I might not be able to take care of myself and earn a living.

NYT: Plus, you went to Spence. You probably could have done anything.

KW: I was a child of an educator, and I was really encouraged to pursue my academics. And I think it’s allowed me to be a better actor because I approach my work as a social scientist. So I’m very grateful that my parents insisted.

 

Oh yes and at the end of the interview Ms. Tyson said that retirement is out of the question for her. I don't blame her. When you do something you love for a living, why would you want to stop?

They are two very inspirational women. What do you think?

 

Photo Credit: nytimes.com

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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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