Po Johnson Po Johnson

Vixen Vanity: Po Johnson Talks TV, Plastic Surgery, and Turning Over A New Leaf With Eye For Design Hair

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Since the first season of Vh1?s Lala’s Full Court Life, Po Johnson has proven to be far more than just another reality star. When it comes to boundaries, she has none. Broadcasting her personal struggles with her father to undergoing plastic surgery, Po shares with Vixen that it’s important for her to inspire other women. “I publicize it all, because I know there is someone out there going through what I’m going through. I hope to inspire that person and have them face whatever is going on.” Sassy, sexy and every girls favorite wing (wo)man, it’s easy to follow the eccentric star on her journey to the top. As she preps for the new season of LaLa, and a new year ahead, Po Jo is taking everything to the next level. In a nestled midtown salon in NYC along with Po's glam squad, celebrity stylist Troy Styles and makeup artist Shenelle Mays, we caught up with the reality star and the Eye For Design team, to discuss her brand new look, the decision to go under the knife, and she even spills the beans on her budding career and fresh love interest. I’m excited to watch this new look you’re going for! What’s going to change? I always have this platinum blonde hair because I just love blonde. But this color is softer and much more toned down. I’m used to not [like] being warm, because I’m very hard and aggressive, so this is exciting because it’s just so calm.

Photos by: Nichloas A. Nichols

IMG_9001 That’s right, because when you first came on the scene you were really hard core and had this punk rock edge—but now you’re style has matured a lot. This has all been a really big learning process, but it’s also really cool because everybody gets to see me grow into whatever it is that I’m going to grow into; I get to watch it too. It’s a natural progression and it’s nothing forced about whatever it is that I’m turning into. I’m a crazy person, however there is a difference when there is an audience watching. And sometimes I have to learn that what I think is super cool and right just ain’t the best look. So when there’s a team involved you start to reevaluate things. So you’ve teamed up with Eye For Design Hair—are you prepping this look for the New Year and this season of LaLa Full Court? This look is because everything is about to go to the next level in regards to my career. There’s this season 4 of Lala that we’re about to start shooting, I got a new deal on the table that I do believe I’m going to sign and I have this huge deal with this DJ, that I can’t talk about yet. So I think each season from the Wedding special to the one we’re about to film now, each one of us, myself, Lala and Po, we’ve grown in front of you; career-wise, style-wise, and personality. I’ve went from having a blonde shag to getting a long blonde weave to getting a nose job. I don’t want to stay the same and keep showing people the same things. If anything I think it’s important that I share growth.
IMG_9117 You do open up very publicly especially in private manners regarding your dad and the nose job. Was that difficult? I can’t front, opening up about my dad was harder than the nose job. That was a situation I was dealing with all of my life, and I wanted to inspire someone and show people that I’m going through this, then maybe it’s okay that others are. A lot of times we as black women ignore our daddy issues and say “fuck him.” But we really need our dads. I wanted someone to be inspired and reach out to their own fathers. Definitely. As you said a lot of what you show is something a lot of young women are going through. How did your father’s absence affect your self-esteem? I’ve never been the type of person to hide something. If I was feeling something or wanted to do something I want everybody to know because I want everyone’s opinion. I’m always that researcher asking everyone, because I never see anything wrong with how I felt. If I want a nose job, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Of course opinions may come and let’s just be all the way honest, the black community often frowns upon it.
IMG_9122 What were some of your insecurities you battled with? One of my biggest insecurities growing up was my crooked teeth, which I got braces for, and my nose. I’ve always wanted to get my nose fixed, so when I had to the opportunity to do it, I wasn’t going to let anybody tell me otherwise. Not even my mother. She was one of the main advocates of saying, “you don’t need that, you’re beautiful.”  I was like mom, come on. How do you feel about young girls getting butt implants and that type of surgery? I think that if it’s a decision that’s going to help you feel better about yourself moving forward, I think that you should do it—as long as you’re safe. There are a lot of procedures that women are getting that may not be the safest. And I would just hope and advocate for every woman to be smart doing so. I do believe that it can get a bit obnoxious, but do what works for you.
IMG_9139 On a lighter note! You hashtag #Po Jo Loves You a lot in your tweets. Is this a new brand that you’re building? I started saying that because everyone I work with musically, and this producer specifically, calls me Po Jo. The whole idea behind it for me is just that I love to love. There are very few times where I feel ill-will towards anyone, and I think love, this is going to sound very cliche, overcomes all. Po Jo Loves You is just something I say to people that has turned into a brand. There are a couple of fashion things I have going on. I’m going to release my Po Jo loves you sweaters in a couple of months. And it’s just my gift to everyone from me saying, “I love you.”
IMG_9162 So with the new season of Lala, what are some things we should expect to see from you? You guys are going to see a lot of my music stuff become official, a lot of career endeavors are happening. I have a new love interest. Finally! Are you in love? Finally, right! [laughs] You’ll have to find out. But also at the end of the season, God willing, I’ll be going on tour. Do you have any New Years resolution? I want to start paying my cell phone bill on time. And a big one is the tour that is about to happen. I also want to take my philanthropy to another level. I’ve been working with a few organizations, which I really hope to put them on my back; make whatever audience I do have become more aware. My biggest New Years resolution is to be considered an amateur boxer though! I train with Hollywood Hino and he’s always trying to get me to do golden gloves, so I want to become amateur.
IMG_9040 You gotta watch for that new nose through girl! I know! That’s the problem, I don’t want to get punched in the nose. It’s absolutely not allowed right now. What products do you use to keep your hair and skin healthy looking? I do keep coconut oil in my hair. With blonde, you have to keep it moisturized and add some type of sheen to it. I work out a lot so I’ll wear a silk bandana unless I’m getting laid. I’m not the girl who has sex with a bandana on; I gotta give you a whole moment. And I live by Kiehls for my face, their midnight oil. I use Olay in the morning and scrub my whole body in Apricot scrub. This is going to sound extremely ghetto, but I put baby oil gel on my legs and then put tights on at night to keep my legs smooth. #WCW is popular. Who’s a girl crush of yours? You know what? It used to be Rihanna every single Wednesday, but it’s truly my girlfriend. I gotta be honest, I’m super obsessed with that girl. She’s super hot and she’s very intriguing and I’m always learning something new. You guys will see who she is this season.
IMG_9077 Do we know her? No, she’s not a celeb or anything like that. I thought being on TV I would bag some celebrities but I haven’t. Nobody wants to mess around with Po Jo. Will we be getting more music from you soon? Absolutely! So many features and I seriously can’t believe what’s going on. The new single is coming out in February and it’s incredible, it’s called “Monsters.” So I’m excited! Flip the pages to check out more of Po
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Kylie Jenner attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Kylie Jenner Doubles Down On Being Crowned A "Self Made" Billionaire

The premise of "self-made" and its interpretation when it comes to privileged celebrities has been a huge debate. When Kylie Jenner was named Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire, debates were raised due to her timeline in the limelight and her wealthy family. The 21-year-old defended her title, explaining how she doesn't fall into any ofter category.

"There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth," she said in Q&A with Interview Magazine's German edition. "That is the category that I fall under," she started.

She acknowledged how her fan base equated to her success but refuted claims that she used her family's money to jump-start her wildly successful Kylie Cosmetics line.

"Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that."

Earlier this month (March 5) the mother-of-one officially surpassed Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest person to reach billionaire status, when Kylie Cosmetics hit a billion dollars in revenue.

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'Boomerang' Episode 7 Recap: Family Matters And Pride

Bryson and Simone are a thing, like for real for real. They can’t keep their hands (or tongues) off of one another. As the two of them get steamy in the jacuzzi, a sexually riled up Simone tells her new beau that she wants to treat his face like a bean bag. They are in it, y’all. There’s just one problem — they may be half-brother and sister (insert vomit emoji here). The excitement of finally landing the girl of his dreams is shut down when he reveals that his mother, Jacqueline, informed him that Marcus Graham may be his papa. (Wait. Does that mean Marcus cheated on Angela back in the day? Regardless, what a way to ruin a mood.)

As they wait for the DNA test results, Simone and Bryson still try to be business as usual, you know, chillin’ like they used to. Speaking of business, Bryson is all that. Ari may be his boy and all, but when it comes to directing Tia’s music video, Bryson wants an Italian dude to shoot it instead. He just doesn’t believe Ari can execute. All great directors have vision and through Bryson’s eyes, Ari has none. Simone can’t help but agree. It’s obvious that Tia and her bae are not at all pleased with the video production of her single. Bro gotsta go. Tia has never been one to hold back and in a fit of frustration, she does what Simone couldn’t verbalize; she fires Ari.

Like the “big bad boss” he is, Bryson harshly tells Ari that not only will he basically fail at being a producer, but people will notice that he doesn’t belong here. Hold up. Are we sure Bryson and Ari are friends? Tough love is understandable but to completely obliterate the dreams of someone you’ve been rocking with? That’s foul. Unlike Ari, Bryson knows that he was brought up with the keys and basically helped himself to whatever role he wanted in the industry, a luxury he can afford to extend. Why not help your friend out now even with a little guidance knowing his career aspirations?

Bryson may be able to but Simone is not willing to give up on Ari just yet. She lets Ari collaborate Bryson’s pick, Shayan, who is also seemingly having a hard time capturing dope shots. A conversation with Simone about perfecting his craft leaves Ari somewhat disappointed but open to the constructive criticism.

While enjoying the Atlanta Black Pride festivities, an old filing recognizes Ari and waves him down. In catching up, the discussion quickly takes a turn to sexual orientation labels with a judgemental tone and Ari is not having it. Sure, while he was with her, he liked women but sometimes he’d rather be with a man. “Bisexual,” “Gay,” call it whatever, he just likes who he likes, refuses to be put in a box, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is not about to happen is him being judged by a woman with five kids and three baby favas. Yikes.

That frustration instantly births inspiration. Instead of dryly shooting Tia performing with Pride weekend just happening around her, Ari points out how the world needs to see all black people not caring about what anyone has to say about them, especially when the world includes women rocking $12 jewelry. Sashayers, milly-rockers, and twerkers galore, the video shines on the culture, highlighting Kings and Queens of all shades, ages, genders, and sexualities. It’s a good time. Even Bryson can give up his props and that lead director credit to Ari. You see, Bryson? You gotta have a little faith like David always has.

Speaking of our fave pastor, unlike many Baptist churches, it’s amazing to see that David embraces and participates in the Atlanta Black Pride weekend. With the help of Crystal, David is preaching a message of loving who you are and loving others. His sermon last week no doubt spoke to the soul but if you recall, Crystal did notice that a lovely lady attended the service moreso for David and less so for Jesus. That obviously triggered something. Crystal and David may not have been able to work out their marriage but the attraction is absolutely still there. Could it be one-sided though?

You didn’t think we forgot about Bryson and Simone, did you? It should be noted that for his entire life, all Bryson ever wanted was to be like Marcus Graham, but not like this. David is right: be careful what you pray for. No matter the outcome of the paternity test, Simone and Bryson will undoubtedly be in one another’s life (maybe less like Whitley and Dwayne and more like Denise and Theo).

Well, folks, the results are in (insert Maury voice). In the case of Bryson J. Broyer, Marcus, you are NOT the father! But, you may still have some ‘splaining to do. Now that they are officially not related, Simone can finally go ahead and have that seat. We know, sis has been tired all day. Ow!

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Yvette Nicole Brown and Gabourey Sidibe were some of the actresses who were vocal about the treatment of actors of color when faced with beauticians in Hollywood.
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Celebrities Use #ActingWhileBlack Hashtag To Point Out Pitfalls Of Hollywood's Beauty Scene

While being a working person of color in Hollywood is something to admire, those fortunate enough to be working in these spaces often have difficulties finding the right person to do their hair and makeup with the right amount of diligent care.

Model Olivia Anakwe took to Instagram earlier this month to detail the issues she faced before a runway show, when she was disrespected by haircare professionals who refused to work on her textured hair.

"Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others?” she wrote. “It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class."

The hashtag #ActingWhileBlack began to spread on social media over the weekend, and people of color chimed in to share their stories.

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown shared that she often carries her own hair extensions and clothes for shoots, and that having stylists who are untrained in black beauty often runs the risk of them looking bad later on. Oscar-nominee Gabourey Sidibe shared a similar sentiment.

Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell hit the nail on the head in her tweet about the issue with not hiring the right people to work with ethnic hair.

“If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair,” she wrote on Mar. 11. “Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.”

Check out some tweets from celebs on this issue below.

 

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This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair. I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class. I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better. || #NaturalHair #ModelsofColor #BlackHairCare #HairCare #Message #Hair #Hairstyling #Backstage #BTS #AfroTexturedHair #Afro #POC #Braids #Message #Spreadtheword #Speak #Awareness #Growth #WorkingTogether #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin

A post shared by Olivia Anakwe (@olivia_anakwe) on Mar 7, 2019 at 9:07am PST

#ActingWhileBlack Makeup & Hair in one bag. The other bags are filled with clothes because some wardrobe stylists don’t know that cute clothes exist in sizes larger than size 10. “Here try on this mumu, I know it’s a little big, we’ll just belt it!” #ActingWhileBlackAndChubby https://t.co/gl3b64Omtj

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

If they don’t have the budget to hire a black hairstylist for me, or won’t, I just get the director to agree that my character should have box braids or senegalese twist.

— Gabby Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) March 11, 2019

PSA: If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair. Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.

Congratulations on advancing to the next level of inclusion! https://t.co/A1Q9ZpvXmH

— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) March 11, 2019

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