Actress Dascha Polanco Mentors Local Girls From The Boys & Girls Clubs Of America At An Empowering Dove Self Esteem Workshop In NYC
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Dascha Polanco Joins Dove To Mentor New York City Girls On Body Positivity

Studies show that spending just an hour with today's youth can change how they view themselves, reclaim their confidence and develop leadership. 

According to Dove, eight in 10 girls who dislike their physical appearance avoid social interaction or classroom participation to keep from having to do things such as voice their own opinions. Today’s youth are subject to navigate a round-the-clock pop culture, social media cycle that can negatively impact their self-love. Leading experts now believe that spending just an hour discussing confidence, self esteem and what defines beauty can make a world of difference in the way a young girl might see herself. Dascha Polanco couldn't agree more.

Orange is the New Black actor and body positive advocate, Polanco teamed up with Dove's Self-Esteem Project for  International Women's Day to mentor young girls from East Harlem's Boys & Girls Club. In the framework of #HourWithHer, a workshop curriculum that promotes confidence-building, Polanco spoke with middle school and high school girls on the politics of mainstream beauty, and engaged hands-on activities that stimulated self-love and dialogue surrounding bully culture. "I am confident, but I have days that I struggle," she admitted, holding court inside New York City's Lightbox.

"It was always lizard lips, bubble butt, big lips, and oh, my god, you're so fat — there was so many negative things to say about my weight," Dascha shared with the room.

Before a sea of nodding heads now listening intently, she continued: "The first time I used the bathroom in front of my friend, she asked me why my stomach was so big. I never realized something was wrong with me until someone else brought it to my attention, and that plays tricks on you."

Part of the workshop called for each girl and their respective mentors to hark back to a time she was made to feel small or ugly, and rewrite her own story using her personal definition of beauty. "Vulnerability allows us to reach places we haven't. It's not a weakness, it's your strength," Polanco affirmed, while making her rounds alongside Global Dove Self-Esteem Ambassador, Jess Weiner and Dove Self- Esteem Educator, Dre Brown.

"This is something that I believe in and that I experience. If we can impact 20 million young girls to be able to have a better relationship with themselves, than we can make a more powerful tomorrow. That's something that was missing when I was growing up. I didn't have the ability to converse with someone that would take this whole initiative to be able to talk about what I really felt and the decisions I made because I didn't love myself — always basing [love] on acceptance and external factors. It doesn't have to be that way," Polanco said when asked how she felt about participating in such a campaign.

On International Women's Day, women and other mentors are invited to spend an #HourWithHer, helping young girls to reach their fullest potential and redefine themselves by embracing their personal beauty, develop self-confidence and reclaim their own power. How, you ask? By using tools like the free, accredited curriculum now accessible on Dove.com.

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Ayesha Curry Celebrates Google Assistant Partnership With Thanksgiving Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ayesha Curry has teamed up with Google Assistant to share a hearty recipe or two for the chef in you.

To celebrate their partnership, the entrepreneur and mother of three made an appearance at Google's Friendsgiving event in New York City SoHo district on Thursday night (Nov. 14). Before starting a cooking demo, Curry talked about her love for cooking, the importance of family sitting around the table for a meal, and how Google Assistant has helped make her life easier.

"I think it's great because I can walk into my kitchen, child in hand while making a bottle, and ask what the rest of my day looks like. I can just say, 'Hey Google, what does the rest of my day look like' and it'll pull up my whole schedule and it's just one extra peace of mind because I didn't have to do anything tangible. It's effortless... It's like a digital version of a cookbook with how-tos, timers, everything in one and it can truly be integrated into your kitchen."

After using Google Assistant to playfully cue the Kids Bop version of "Truth Hurts," Ayesha whipped up her new Fall Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Apples recipe on a cast iron enamel skillet from her cookware collection. Not only did the device give step-by-step instructions, but it also provided her with alternative ingredients for one of the ingredients.

"With this recipe, you'll see it's super easy, it's fool-proof. Baking is so scientific, this [recipe] is not that. That's what I love about it."

After serving the cooked bread pudding to the audience, the Seasoned Life author talked about her upcoming cookbook in collaboration with one of her sisters and what people can expect.

"It's going to packed, full of flavor. The realistic nature of this [cooking mother] situation is that unless I'm writing a cookbook and developing recipes, I'm not cooking every night at home. That's just not realistic. We all have jobs, we all have things we're taking care of, but I'm always trying to get a meal on the table.

"So that's what this new book is really going to be about. It's going to be about quick, simple, easy ways [to cook]. I tried to keep everything 30 minutes or less, but it's packed and full of flavor."

Ayesha Curry's Fall Bread Pudding recipe can be found exclusively on any Google Nest device. If you're a Google Assistant users, simply say "Hey Google, show me Ayesha Curry's fall bread pudding recipe" and you'll have a sweet and savory dessert for your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

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Billboard And VIBE Host Second Annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Event

Billboard and VIBE joined forces for the second annual R&B and Hip-Hop Power Players event on Thursday night (October 17). Held at New York City's Union City, the brands honored the 100 accomplished music executives, agents and more who made the third annual list for their outstanding contributions of driving, influencing and guiding the music industry and hip-hop culture today.

Billboard Executive Director of R&B/Hip-Hop Gail Mitchell and VP of Culture Media/VIBE Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas greeted guests at the invite-only reception saying, "Big shout to the team that puts this together, we just want everyone to know that this is a night of celebration. A lot of people have been working in the game for a long time - you are here tonight so you are all winning." He added, "We thank you for taking the time to celebrate your colleagues."

Shortly after, the hosts presented Steve Pamon with the Billboard Executives of the Year Award shared with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. As he accepted his award, the Parkwood Chief Operating Officer delivered a speech saying, “This award was given to myself and Beyoncé, but the award truly belongs to the team behind me. We live off respect and responsibility. A sincere thank you.” He went on to say, “We live off of respect and the responsibility of being around all of you. You are hip-hop. We are hip-hop. It’s not about us. It’s about us all.”

The late Nipsey Hussle was honored with the Billboard Impact Award for his contributions to breaking barriers of cultural appropriation, young professionals seeking educational resources in science, tech and mathematics spaces, and positivity in his community. Prior to Marathon Agency co-founder, Steve Carless, acceptance of the world on Hussle's behalf, there was a 30-second moment of silence.

In his emotional yet encouraging speech, Carless said, “I accept this on behalf of Nipsey, his family, and all his loved ones and his children. What this means to me, it’s a testament to his hard work and dedication." He added, "Congrats to everyone who made this year. It’s a huge honor...One thing I do want to say it, this award is about inspiration. Responsibility is to uplift each other mentor each other and lead each other. May all of us leave here and know we have a responsibility.”

As attendees enjoyed beverages and captured Instagram-worthy images at the Billboard and VIBE cover-inspired installations, rappers Casanova and Young M.A hit the stage, respectively, to perform their popular singles. Flip through photos and interviews from Thursday night's event down below.

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Ryan Muir

21 Savage And Doja Cat Close Out The Summer At Genius' IQ/BBQ Concert

With summer slowly closing its curtains, Genius held its third annual Genius IQ/BBQ and live concert on (Sept. 7) in Brooklyn, NY. After the end-of-summer event opened its doors and hit capacity, music lovers who made it were in for an interactive, day-long experience.

Presented by Boost Mobile, the free event offered a sky deck view and lounge for V.I.P. guests as well as a warehouse full of both indoor and outdoor experiences. From vendors to ice-cold White Claw beverages to a one-of-a-kind multiplayer trivia game, attendees' attentions were absorbed in activities and an all-around good time. In between sets and as the indoor stage radiated hues of purple, DJ S.WHiT! spun hits from your 1st or 2nd generation iPod.

RCA recording artist Destiny Rodgers took the stage to command the room with her hip-hop, pop, and R&B infused set as she performed her singles, "North$ide," "Apologies," "Lockdown," and "Tomboy."

Hailing from South Haven, Indiana, self-taught guitarist Omar Apollo brought the funk, psychedelic rock, and rhythm and blues while performing "Kickback," "You Got Me," "Unbothered," and "Brakelights."

Yung Baby Tate sported a dark purple laced bustier, black skirt, and thigh-high boots while she sang her hits "Pretty Girl," "That Girl," and "Beckham." The Atlanta producer, rapper, and singer also performed her unreleased track "All Dat" and paid homage to Nicki Minaj while she rapped her "Babytron/Megatron" rendition.

Ann Marie slowed the BBQ down with her R&B sounds rocking a late '90s/2000s-inspired black leather fit. The Interscope Records songstress melodically delivered "Handle It," "Unlove You," "Ride For Me," "Throw It Back," and "My Body," while her backup dancers kept up with their hard-hitting moves.

Rising rapper and Bronx-native Lil Tjay helped to warm up the crowd with his newly released single "F.N." that had the crowd putting their middle fingers up. The 18-year-old Columbia Records signee rapped through his reflective lyrics keeping the crowd hooked from start to finish.

The one and only Doja Cat fans warmed the artist up before she appeared on stage, chanting "Doja, Doja, Doja, Doja." Rocking a yellow, black, and white Fashion Nova pantsuit and jacket set, the 23-year-old engaged with her fans singing her hits "Roll With Us," "Go To Town," "So High," "Game," "Juicy," "Tia Tamara," and "Moo!."

Headliner 21 Savage took over the stage with a 30-minute set as shades of red with hints of green captured the emotion in the UK-native's performance. The Billboard chart-topping rapper took his fans back in time opening  with his 2016 single "Red Opps." 21 carried his set going into Savage Mode with "No Heart," and "X" and gave fans a few M's while rapping "Bank Account."

The Not All Heroes Wear Capes artist closed out the event with performances of "Don't Come Out The House" and "10 Freaky Girls" off of his 2018 album, making the third annual Genius IG/BBQ live concert an event to remember.

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