Tatyana Ali Talks Global Feminism and Women's Empowerment

Tatyana Ali certainly has done her fair share of work and growth since her days of playing Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. With a career that has continued outside of her legendary childhood role, Ali has also had success starring in films and television shows, and continues to make great music with her powerful vocals.

VIXEN caught up with the 36 year-old artist to see what’s been on her agenda, and found that although she played a sheltered rich girl on television, Tatyana certainly is a socially conscious and morally-driven woman, who knows a bit about celebrity culture, women’s empowerment, and finding her center.

Vixen: As someone who’s had success in entertainment, how do you manage to stay grounded in such a pressure-filled industry?
I think it’s mainly because I grew up in a time before gossip blogs and TMZ. The concept of "celebrity culture" is much different than it was when I was growing up. But I also think it’s because some things about my life are privileged information for family and friends, so only do certain things or say certain things to people. As someone who likes to play different characters and identities, I think it’s important for me to present myself in a way where people will believe any character I play; I like to think that, in the public eye, I’m at a place where people don’t know so much about me that it’s hard for them to perceive me any other way.

What’s your advice for women trying to break into an industry be it entertainment or otherwise?
My number one piece of advice is to seek out role models and mentors who have the type of career you want to have. Women should always be supportive of each other, and it’s equally important to seek support. Whatever your dream may be, don’t sell out in order to make it happen. Be confident in your goals and aspirations and remember you don't always have to be the face of a company or brand. No matter what your craft is, know that your skills are valuable.

Do you feel society still underestimates the power of a woman, or do you think they’re starting to get respect?
I think women are being taken more seriously as power players. Though there are still strides we can make as a society: women’s pay isn't up to par to what it should be to a man’s. I think that’s a very real issue in every industry. And we must also remember and take into consideration the treatment of girls all over the world. The school girls in Nigeria are still missing and sex trafficking is such a huge issue abroad and even in America. We need to remember women all over the globe whenever we discuss feminism or women's rights or what have you. It's up to these women in power positions, from female celebrities to CEO’s, to stand up and saying we’re all worth fighting for. To the women with privilege and power: it’s up to us band together and remember to not get isolated in our own little worlds. We need to band together and take unification and ourselves more seriously. It's up to us to be global.

Women’s empowerment seems like something you’re passionate about. What work do you do to give back to women?
I love working with community organizations and schools, sitting on panels and having dialogue. I partner with Boys and Girls Clubs across the country. I also work closely with the Peace Corp, as they have a global initiative for women’s empowerment, and I especially like the work they do with working towards closing the gender gap. I wish I had those kind of resources as a young girl - I think they're so powerful and beneficial. Empowerment was like water for me when I was younger and I try to do as much of that work as I can.

In the 60s women got into the workplace. Now we need to come together and create a lasting change. It feeds and affirms my work - the types of roles I play. It makes me conscious of the stories I tell and the work I do, because not only do roles speak to me, but I want to use those roles as a vessel to speak to others. Films and shows tell us so much about who we’re capable of becoming, and I want to show that young woman that they can become anything they put their mind to.

When you speak to these young women, what is the one thing you hope they take away from your panels and workshops?
I hope they walk away with: knowledge that fear is a real thing. Don't be ashamed of fear. If you can spend time with what you're afraid if or tackle it head on, those are the times where you find out just how strong you are. Whatever you're afraid of doing or saying - if you sit in what you're afraid of, you'll find the most growth. If the thought of something I’m considering or want to do incited fear or nervousness, to me that means I should definitely try to do it. You may fail, but it won't be the end of the world.

Many young women, especially in the social media age, feel the need to be perfectionists. What do you say to those women who don’t step out on fear because they can’t handle failure or rejection?
Don't be afraid to do the work involved in doing what you want to get. Everyone has had to do some work. Celebrity culture makes it look so easy. Reaching your goals requires doing the work to achieve.People don't see all the work you did, even if in the end you get told no or it doesn't work out how you planned. People don't see all the ‘no’s' that it took to get to the one ‘yes’. But don’t ever quit working. Just pick yourself up, seek that support, and go again. Keep your focus on the goal and not those ready to tear you down.

Personal Affirmation:
When I do empowerment work with girls I talk about [the word] "affirm." Have people in your life that only affirm you. They can encourage you when you're right and tell you when you're wrong. I also meditate. When I'm feeling out of sorts or overwhelmed, I go to my meditation to reinforce a sense of self. Sense of self-confidence. Sense of self-love. Having that me time that allows me to reflect and re-charge and really be in tune with myself. I think it’s so important to have time for you. As women, we give our time to so many people in our lives. We have to remember to save some time for ourselves and keep ourselves inspired so we can continue to change the world.

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Rico Nasty And Kali Uchis Join Bad Bunny As Performers For 2nd Annual Pornhub Awards

Pornhub has turned things up a notch for their second annual awards show with performances from Bad Bunny, Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty and Tommy Genesis.

The celebration of the adult film industry will also welcome Benny Blanco as Musical Director and British Art Director and graphic designer Peter Savill for the redesign of the show's statue. Last year's inaugural show proved to be a learning lesson for the company. Kanye West's presence attracted most the attention, with everything else including the show's presentation falling to the wayside. The rapper/producer performed last year with Teyana Taylor and also performed his single "I Like It" without Lil Pump (he was arrested at the time for violating his probation).

But with creative daring acts like Rico, Bad Bunny and Kali, the show might be visually stimulating for fans–musically speaking. Benito was previously announced as a performer last month. “Last year, we made history and we’re building on that momentum,” Pornhub's vice president Corey Price told Forbes. “No other awards show has ever even attempted to do what we do.”

The show will compete with the Adult Video News Awards — or AVNs — which honor stars in the adult film industry. Price is hoping to reach its very diverse audience with their selection of performers.

“We’re very excited to announce the additions of several creatives to the 2nd Annual Pornhub Awards Show. Peter Saville is absolutely legendary, having had some prolific output that has gone on to inspire entire generations of creatives,” Price tells VIBE. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Ian Isiah, Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty and Tommy Genesis take the stage with Bad Bunny on October 11th. We are so lucky to have such complementary talents entertaining for us on our big night. ”

The show will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Categories include: Most Popular Female Performer, Most Popular Male Performer, Most Popular Verified Amateur, Top Channel, Top BBW Performer (c' mon diversity), Top Fetish Performer, Most Popular Gay Performer, Most Popular Network and Top Celebrity, among others.

Fans are encouraged to vote for their faves here.

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Nicki Minaj Offers Advice To Women In Abusive Relationships

Nicki Minaj took to Twitter over the weekend to address her female fans. In a series of tweets, the MEGATRON artist offered advice to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship.

When u see a woman in a toxic relationship, rather than laugh & say mean things, try to offer sound advice from your heart & root for her to learn her worth. We’ve all been there. I saw my parents fight & argue non stop & never divorce, so I thought this was normal behavior...

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) September 1, 2019

It's unknown what caused Sunday's tweets, (Sept. 1)  however, in 2018 Minaj revealed the abuse she witnessed as a child in her Apple Music documentary trailer, as well as two toxic relationships she experienced.

"I remember when my mother would let my father be violent with her, and she always brings up this story as a little girl, I would stand in front of my mother and go like this," she recalled while extending her arms.

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#Queen The documentary - Coming Soon

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:57pm PDT

Newly engaged to music executive, Kenneth "Zoo" Petty, Minaj re-opened the conversation on domestic violence, self-esteem, and toxic relationships. She offered words of encouragement and advice to those who could be in situations she was once in.

When u see a woman in a toxic relationship, rather than laugh & say mean things, try to offer sound advice from your heart & root for her to learn her worth. We’ve all been there. I saw my parents fight & argue non stop & never divorce, so I thought this was normal behavior...

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) September 1, 2019

Minaj also provided a checklist of warning signs women shouldn't ignore if present in their relationship.

Dear all of you beautiful souls.

A man who loves you does not:

1. Humiliate you on social media 2. Beat you 3. Cheat on you 4. Call you out of your name/put you down to lower your self esteem due to his own insecurities. 5. Hide his phone, passwords, where abouts, etc.

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) September 1, 2019

The "Hot Girl Summer" collaborator also advised that loving yourself should be your top priority, not attaining a relationship goal.

I remember being so afraid to speak cuz I never knew when that person would be in a particular mood and I could maybe say one wrong thing that would get me hit. So the diff you see in me now is that feeling when a woman feels lifted up, safe, appreciated & unconditionally loved.

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) September 1, 2019

But I first had to learn how to love MYSELF. 🙏🏾 if you wouldn’t let a man treat your mother, your sister or best friend like that b/c you LOVE them, then you wouldn’t let a man treat YOU like that b/c you love YOU. This isn’t about judging. We judge too much. Lift them up. 🙏🏾

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) September 1, 2019

Although the 36-year-old never revealed who her abusers were, the Barbz surmised Meek Mill and Love and Hip-Hop star Safaree Samuels as her two alleged abusers.

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Tracee Ellis Ross attends the Marie Claire's Image Makers Awards 2018 on January 11, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.
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Hair Hero: Tracee Ellis Ross Launches Pattern Hair Care Line

Tracee Ellis Ross is hoping to change our curl patterns for the better with her new haircare line.

The multi-hyphenate blessed fans with news about the line called Pattern on Monday (Sept. 3). Ross told WWD her vision for Pattern started on the set of fan-favorite series, Girlfriends in 2008. After realizing she was one of the few actresses in La La Land rocking her natural curls, she put together the idea for Pattern, which specializes in curly, coily and textured hair.

"I believe everyone should have access to their most beautiful selves in the bathroom," she said. Just before announcing Pattern's launch, Ross highlighted her hair journey on Instagram over the weekend, sharing how she came to terms with loving her curls.

"I can literally chronicle my journey of self-acceptance through my journey with my hair," she captioned a gallery of hair pics from her youth. "Growing up, society told me there was a right way to wear my hair and a right way to look. Those ideals didn’t match what I saw in the mirror, so I tried to beat my curls into submission— putting body lotion in my hair, sleeping in rollers, blowouts, relaxers, texturizers, ponytails so tight they gave me a headache, and I even whipped out an iron (the kind you use for clothes) in an attempt to straighten it that way."

After coming to terms with her hair, Ross says she's ready to take on the beauty industry for women of color, especially those in the 3b to 4c category. "The culture of beauty has been so steeped in patriarchy, racism, and sexism for so long," she said. "It’s not that those skin tones and hair types haven’t existed, but there hasn’t been a large space and understanding for it. That’s why it’s taken me so long to make these dreams happen.”

Ross explained on Instagram that Pattern "is for those of us who need more than a quarter size of product" and encouraged fans to share their journey with the hashtag, #RockYourPattern.

Sign up for updates on Pattern's launch here.


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Thrilled to introduce PATTERN // my new hair care brand specifically for curly, coily, and tight textured hair.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ @patternbeauty is the result of 20 years of dreaming, 10 years in the making (I wrote my first brand pitch in 2008, right when girlfriends finished ) and 2 years of working with chemists. I’m so excited to share this with y’all. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ @patternbeauty is here to empower and nourish curly, coily and tight-textured hair. 3b to 4c. The formulas are unique and packed with luscious & safe ingredients-trust me I know, because my panel and I tried 74 different samples to get these 7 formulas for phase one.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ @patternbeauty is for those of us who need more than a quarter size of product. large conditioner sizes that actually fulfill the unmet needs of our community. accessible pricing because everyone should have access to their most beautiful hair in their own shower, and gorgeous packaging that conjures the legacy of our history and makes us all feel like the royalty that we are. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I’m excited for PATTERN to join the natural hair movement, and to celebrate our hair for what it is: beautiful! The line will be available on patternbeauty.com this Monday, September 9 at 9am ET!!!! #RockYourPattern

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Sep 3, 2019 at 6:02am PDT



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IF MY HAIR COULD TALK ~  oh, the stories it would tell. i can literally chronicle my journey of self-acceptance through my journey with my hair. growing up, society told me there was a right way to wear my hair and a right way to look. those ideals didn’t match what i saw in the mirror, so i tried to beat my curls into submission— putting body lotion in my hair, sleeping in rollers, blowouts, relaxers, texturizers, ponytails so tight they gave me a headache; and i even whipped out an iron (the kind you use for clothes) in an attempt to straighten it that way. trying to make my hair look “easy and breezy”, “bouncin’ and behavin’” actually had the opposite effect. my hair was broken, damaged, and tired of trying to be something that it wasn’t. i finally took the leap and stopped relaxing my curls, thereby beginning the healing journey towards loving my hair. it was a long road to knowing, understanding and, eventually, loving my curls. now i just let them be the happy little ringlets and zig zags of joy they want to be. if your hair could talk, what would it say? #fbf #hairlove

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Aug 30, 2019 at 3:50pm PDT

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