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Date Shot: 9/17/07 Season: 8 Episode: 7 "Snap Back"

Do You Have Healthy Friendships? 8 Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Who do we cherish more than our girlfriends?

When times get hard and breakup wounds are fresh, there’s nothing like having your support team of great girlfriends behind you. Although it’s natural to have overarching expectations of the people nearest and dearest to us, how confident are you in your friendships?

Here are 8 questions you should be asking yourself to determine whether your friendships are worth keeping or letting go.

women-celebrate-oktoberfest-with-girly-beers1. Do they support you?

The best part about a strong friendship is the confidence in knowing that your girls have your back. In our twenties, we’re constantly taking un-calculated risks and it’s important to know that we have our support team behind us. Do your friends support your dreams and goals? Do they show up when you need them to? Friends aren’t necessarily the people you speak or see every day, but when the time comes, you should be able to count on them for support. 

friends2. Do they reciprocate?

Like any relationship, sometimes one person may bring more to the table than the other. If you stopped texting or calling your friends would you even hear from them? Friendships should be based on a balanced scale of give and take. If you feel that you’re the only one actively contributing and keeping your friendships afloat then maybe it’s time to step back and reassess. You shouldn’t be the only one reaching out or planning things for a friend who can’t take the time and effort to do the same.

family3. Do they know your family?

It doesn’t matter if you moved to Alaska post-college and your family is living thousands of miles away; a REAL friend knows or takes interest in the people most important in your life. Many of us cultivate great friendships post-college, but at some point, your friend should be well informed on your foundation. They may not necessarily need to know your mother’s birthday, but they should have your basic family structure down pack.

friends-fight4. Are your girlfriend’s a bunch of negative Nancy’s?

As if our own experiences with insecurity, self doubt and worries aren’t enough to scare us; who needs a bunch of “Negative Nancy’s” running around in our personal space, feeding us futile energy? As we grow older, we should be a bit more particular about the company we keep. Some friends have been in our lives for decades and a lifetime, so it’s understandable that letting go is easier said than done. In order to live a successful, positive and fulfilled life, make it a priority to release bad energy that may be draining your happiness.

black-women-friends5.  Do they make you feel comfortable being YOU?

There should never be a time you feel uncomfortable being yourself amongst your friends. Figure out whether they make you feel good about yourself or if they’re the type to constantly call out your flaws.

Vivica Fox Toasting Friends Champagne6. Do they hold grudges over petty disagreements?

One thing we don’t have time for in a friendships, are petty arguments that transform into long-term grudges. As women, it’s second nature for us to choose the most trivial things to attack each other over. It’s normal to go through the emotions, but at some point the drama has to distinguish. You may not want to deal with friends who can’t seem to move on from the temporary fall outs.

Friends and Family7.  Can you depend on them?

In many cases it’s easy to find a friend through the good times, but do you trust that they will be there to weather the storms? Can you call on your friends if you’re going through a quarter life episode or an intense breakup? You should be confident that your girls will be the shoulder to cry on and provide a couch to crash if need be.      


Friendship8. Do you trust their opinions?

There is a thin line between having girlfriends who are honest, and those who are the closeted “haters.” It’s important to really know your friends, their motives and what they’re capable of.  Figure out if your friends truly have your best interest at heart, and steer clear from the ones who use “keeping it real,” to methodically hurt you. A good friend knows your sensitivity level and the appropriate time and situations to voice their honest opinions.

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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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