Kim K x GQ2 Kim K x GQ2

Just for the Record: Mothers Can be Sexy Too

kim kardashian in chanel

I'm going to kick this off completely honest here. I've seen some of Kim Kardashian's infamous sex tape, was never too fond of her rise to fame and admittedly, turned up my nose at her "reputation in Hollywood" as a woman who couldn't keep her ass still and always needed a significant other on her arm. I am far from a fan. I also don't think there should be thousands of think-pieces dedicated to her if people are as annoyed as they proclaim to be, but here I am, a woman who always feels the need to change the channel when I spot her face on my television, sort of... defending her.

Do you know what was more surprising than seeing Kim Kardashian's bare ass on the front of Paper's magazine? Naya Rivera's response to it all. I didn't let out the biggest gasp when I saw Kim's cover, nor her full frontal shot, but I did do a double take when Rivera felt the need to slut-shame Kim simply because she's a mother.


kim kardashian is naked

A mother myself, I sympathized with Kim on several occasions during her pregnancy with North as she was on the front page of my morning's paper being slammed for her style and "not dressing appropriately for her weight." While many of us take that, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" mentality in stride, the emotional and psychological effects of words scars many, especially during pregnancy. Just four years ago, I delivered another child into the world, and immediately fell into a depression when I realized my body didn't just "snap back" the second time around. I couldn't just throw my size 7/8 jeans back on. I was now a curvy, size 12 woman who like Kim, had to change her wardrobe and maybe even hold on to the dresses of yesteryear, in hopes that my body would go back to what it once was – a hope that I'm still holding on to four years later.

It's not easy for some of us to just up and lose the weight. While I'm highly active in my life, participating in roles outside of that of a mother, I still cannot seem to find time to head to a gym and work out. I tried to workout from home but sometimes, after an eight-hour shift at work and then mother/wife duties afterwards, I prefer a glass of wine over crunches. When Kim Kardashian uploaded a photo of herself in a simple white one piece swimsuit back in October of 2013, I couldn't even be mad – she looked great. While I was downing Chinese food for lunch at work, Kim was afforded the opportunity to hire a personal trainer who would oversee her strict carb-free diet. I commended her for letting her body do the talking to hush the people who degraded and dehumanized her during her pregnancy, and showed us mothers can be sexy too. And that's how I took her Paper Magazine spread.

kim kardashian is naked

Although I personally couldn't follow suit if I went back down to or exceeded my ideal weight, Kim's liberation in showing off her body to naysayers post-Nori deserves at least, a slow clap. Kanye's "HEADING HOME NOW" tweet after the swimsuit selfie and his constant admiration (and affirmation) towards his wife's beauty works for Kim's ego. When my partner takes it upon himself to massage my lady lumps and muffin top, I won't lie and say it doesn't make me feel good. While I'm confident with my image, his approval through touch is the icing on the cake. I celebrate my body for the sole fact that I can bare children, and regardless of what I do wear or don't, I should be able to do whatever I want with my body that I feel comfortable doing.

Mothers are sexy for that very reason – we give life. We bounce back or we hold on to the weight of the beings that lived and grew within us for forty weeks. If Kim tweets her disapproval in how she looks and how her perception of her body makes her feel, she has that right. Kim Kardashian was called every animal and overweight person in the book during her pregnancy. She tweeted her woes on body image after pregnancy. She lost weight and is celebrating her body how she (always) sees fit and we still find something wrong. When are we going to stop policing women's bodies? When are we going to stop holding celebrities up to these standards of perfection as if they're some mystical creatures instead of human beings? Beyoncé, the queen of the bounce-back-after-baby brigade, photoshops her own Tumblr photos. She is just another woman, another mother, who gives us sex in her work but clearly, also goes through those moments of uncertainty with her body. It isn't easy.

kim k

We have to be everything to everyone. We have to be this and that and we have to bring it down several notches when we have children since we're their first role models. We need to keep our legs closed and we should dress appropriately, whatever that means. Only single women can "bust it open" and be sexy, apparently, women are revoked of that right when they get married (sorry, Bey). Only those without children can bare their asses on covers because there isn't someone who came from their womb looking up to them to monitor their every move. This is how y'all feeling?

Look, I shouldn't have to pack away my see-through boy shorts, Chantilly lace corsets and garter belts because there are two toddlers calling me mommy, outside of my bedroom. Being super wo-Mom and super sexual can coexist, and in the wise words of Sophia Loren, "nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." So as I said once, I'll say again, mothers can be sexy too. Kim Kardashian being a mother should have nothing to do with why you disliked the photo. Dislike it because her waist-to-hip ratio was altered (thanks to photoshop or a surgeon). Dislike it because she looked like she was stepping out of a sequined garbage bag. You finding the cover distasteful simply because "she's a mom who should know better" is antiquated belief towards women. North West is taken care of; isn't that all that matters?

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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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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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