Brown Girl Jane CBD Oil Review

CBDISTILLERY

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Juicy Orange · Balance Daily Drops 750mg · CBD · 1fl oz / 30ml · Non-Intoxicating WHAT IT IS: Our best-selling tincture, our Orange Balance Daily Drops are designed to calm, clear the noise and reduce general anxiety. This daily drop combines CBD, with supporting cannabinoids CBG, CBC, and CBN, to reduce stress and anx Brown Girl Jane Co-Founders Malaika Jones Kebede, Nia Jones, and Tai Beauchamp share their favorite products from the brand as it expands into skincare. "Because every woman should experience six things in life: love, great orgasms, God, happiness, luxury, and rest."

Balance Wellness Drops

WHAT IT IS: Our best-selling tincture, our Orange Balance Daily Drops are designed to calm, c lear the noise and reduce general anxiety. This daily drop combines CBD, with supporting cannabinoids CBG, CBC, and CBN, to reduce stress and anxiety while boosting overall wellness.

Pure and simple, this tincture is made using the finest-quality Broad Spectrum CBD oil, 100% Coconut MCT oil, and organic orange essential oil.

Balance can be used for daily wellness, and won’t cause any haze or intoxication.

Crafted using all-natural, plant-based ingredients grown in the USA and tested by third-party labs for purity. ​

Balance can be dropped right under your tongue, or in your favorite drink or food. ​

Ingredients: MCT Oil from 100% Coconut, Phytocannabinoid-Rich Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, Orange Essential Oil.

How Do I Take My CBD Tincture?

CBD tinctures work best when they are dropped right under the tongue (sublingually). This way, the cannabidiol enters your bloodstream quickly due to the blood vessels in the area. Alternatively, you can add the same amount to your coffee, tea, smoothie, or smooth food (think yogurts, hummus, guacamole, oatmeal).

Where should I start?

A good place to start is with one dropper full. Hold the liquid there for 1-2 minutes and then swallow.​ Once you know how your CBD tincture works with your body, feel free to use up to twice a day.​

When is the best time to use tinctures?

You can tincture anytime, but ideally, take your CBD tinctures following a meal or with a healthy high-fat snack. This allows for up to 5 times the amount of absorption in the body.

Is it working?

Everyones body responds a bit differently to CBD, so please allow up to three weeks of consistent use to experience the desired effects. Your internal scale will be balancing, and it takes a little while for you to find your ideal dose and for your receptors to respond.

What are the benefits on CBD for skin?

CBD is known for its calming, balancing, and pain relieving effects on skin. Further, in studies performed at the National Institute of Health, it was shown that cannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory effects in skin, through both their actions on keratinocyte cytokine production and their modulation of immune cells.

How does CBD work topically?

CBD is highly anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant which reduces lipid product from the sebaceous glands. Overproduction of sebum leads to acne, and inflammation is the root of all skin evil, redness, puffiness, clogged pores among other skin issues.

CBD are powerful antioxidants—more powerful than vitamin C and E. CBD is particularly helpful for acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The FDA does not evaluate supplements like our collection, instead it only evaluates foods and drugs.Check with your physician before starting a new dietary or supplement program. All products are legal in all 50 states and BROWN GIRL Jane does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US CSA).

These Are The New Brown Girl Jane Skincare Products The Founders Of The CBD Wellness Brand Swear By

The brand that helps “Badass women manage full lives naturally” recently expanded into the beauty space.

Posted July 14, 2020

Source: Brown Girl Jane / Brown Girl Jane

Just this past January we took an in-depth look at plant-based wellness company Brown Girl Jane. Since that time, the brand has expanded into the beauty space with the launch of two new products, and we got the founders to give us the inside scoop on their favs because there’s nothing like knowing which products the actual creators swear by.

Having been expanding my knowledge of various vitamins and acids via my skincare column, I admitted to the ladies behind the brand that my limited familiarity with natural ingredients — CBD (Cannabidiol) in particular — has left me unsure about using products formulated with the element. It turns out, that’s not all that uncommon.

“We recognize with the criminalization of the cannabis plant in our community that there’s a lack of education and that’s why we’re here,” Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer Tai Beauchamp told me. “We want to be a part of not only providing you with products that support your overall wholeness and wellness but also help educate you.”

Part of that education is understanding “We have a certain amount of CBD naturally in our blood and in our body and it helps to regulate our sense of balance, anxiety, energy, and serotonin and that’s happening naturally in our body,” Tai explained. “So with the cannabis plant, you can extract parts of it to support what is naturally happening in your body. This is an opportunity to support what is already happening with your immune system.”

And for the record, there is no THC in any of Brown Girl Jane’s products which means “You will not get high,” Tai added. “There is no high associated with CBD, that’s another part of the plant that’s extracted, THC, and there is no THC in any of our products.”

Source: Brown Girl Jane / Brown Girl Jane

With that background knowledge, I asked the ladies to dive into the details of entering the skincare realm and introducing GLOW, a serum formulated with 750mg of full Broad Spectrum hemp and Cannabis Sativa Seed oil, which the ladies love so much they sung the name when talking about it during our Google Hangout.

“Those together really do some amazing things for your skin. It’s really like a one, two punch,” Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Malaika Jones Kebede said of the two oils.

Calling CBD a “magic ingredient,” Tai added that Cannabidiol has more antioxidants than Vitamin C and D and is an anti-inflammatory. “It’s really one of these one-hit wonders of an ingredient. It can work on acne, it can work on psoriasis, and it can work on eczema.”

The other new addition to the Brown Girl Jane family of tinctures is HEAL, a whipped CBD body butter. “Having a CBD body butter is really unique in the space and I know our sisters love body butter so as we thought about skincare and lotions we thought, we need a body butter. This is what’s helpful for us,” shared Mailaika who was introduced to CBD topically herself.

“I love it because, of course, it harnesses the power of CBD, and that’s amazing on its own, but we pair it with other botanicals that also work in tandem with it, from aloe to shea, to chamomile, calendula, and cocoa butter, and the marriage of all of those together really is healing and nourishing and hydrating along with the CBD. It’s one of our most loved additions.”

When it comes to calling it HEAL, well, that’s not just a name, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer Nia Jones explained. “I have two young sons and I get sore just from picking them up and chasing them so I love it as a mom for helping to heal some of those sore muscles which is great. A lot of my friends who have young kids who feel a little less comfortable doing something that you can ingest also feel a bit more at ease using something that they can apply on the skin.’

Because every woman has different preferences and needs when it comes to their beauty and wellness routines, I asked each of the Co-Founders of Brown Girl Jane to break down their favorite items in the collection. Here’s what they told me.

Nia Jones

Source: Brown Girl Jane Founders / Brown Girl Jane

“I love them all but lately BALANCE is truly the one for me that resonates the most having two young boys and needing to find calm and ease at certain points in the day. So while I won’t say ‘my favorite,’ the one that is my go-to at least right now has been BALANCE.”

Malaika Jones

Source: Brown Girl Jane Founders / Brown Girl Jane

“I’m a GlOW Girl, but it’s between Glow and SLEEP because SLEEP is also my best friend. Running a startup has been super exciting and all of the things, but it is hard to turn off at the end of the night. So you can imagine if you were really exhausted, to just go right to sleep that would help.

“But GLOW is amazing. I don’t mind the hempy taste so I just love the fact that I can have it in my purse at all times and, whether I need a little moisture on my face or I can drop it on my tongue, I can use it in a couple of ways. Also, I’ve had some inflammation in my skin and a little redness around my nose and I’ve just been super amazed — of course, this is our collection — but it’s one of those things where week over week it really has transformed my skin. I don’t have any of the redness that I used to have. I don’t even know if I have pores anymore. So those are my two best friends.”

Tai Beauchamp

Source: Brown Girl Jane / Brown Girl Jane

“GLOW, BALANCE, and SLEEP I can’t do just one or two, that’s the Trifecta. With Glow, I use it for my braids with my scalp because I have a dryer, itchier scalp. It’s the only thing I use on my face. I use it for my cuticles so GLOW is my glow-to.”

We Tried It: Brown Girl Jane’s CBD Products For Better Mental Health

Five months into 2022 and already it feels like it has been a year. New levels come with new devils (new stresses) and though we are proud of our accomplishments in the year so far, as a team, to say we aren’t in need of a vacay is an understatement. A part of recovery from burnout includes being intentional about how we approach our self-care practices. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the xoNecole team decided to put better mental health into practice. And what better way to prioritize our mental health and manage our stress levels than through the use of CBD products?

The first Black woman-owned CBD brand that came to mind was Brown Girl Jane. CBD is the non-psychoactive ‘cousin’ of THC known for its more medicinal properties. When infused in products like oils, water, and gummies, CBD is used to provide relief to those experiencing health conditions like anxiety, stress, inflammation, depression, migraines, and even chronic pain. With product offerings like Balance Wellness Drops, CBD Gelées, and Rest Wellness Drops, Brown Girl Jane is taking up space as beauty and wellness innovators tapping into the power of CBD.

BGJ has a wide variety of products, both edible and topical, and we at xoNecole were all very excited to try them all. Here’s what each team member had to say about their experience with Brown Girl Jane’s CBD products:

Brown Girl Jane’s Aromatic Body Oil

Courtesy of Kyra Jay

“First of all, it’s the aesthetics for me. I love the cute packaging and the gold text on this bottle is giving luxury! Roses to all responsible. I have very dry skin so I usually use oil over lotion on areas of my body like my heels, toes, elbows, and fingers. So, I was looking forward to trying this one out.

See also  Natures CBD Oil

“There was little to no scent at all which kind of disappointed me as someone who enjoys smelling things but I can see how this is would be a plus for someone who is sensitive to strong fragrances. That definitely doesn’t take away from its quality. It left me glistening, as it should, and if there was a travel-sized version I would carry it everywhere I go. Hint. hint.”

Kyra Jay, Brand and Social Manager

Brown Girl Jane’s CBD Gelées – Anti-Stress

Courtesy of Kyra Jay

“I’ve always been very interested in trying these after seeing so many people say that CBD gummies really helped with their anxiety. Living with an anxiety disorder and knowing there’s something that can possibly help was comforting. I tried the strawberry rose flavor and I loved how tasty it was at the beginning, masking the taste of the plant initially.

“It definitely made me feel calm and eventually sleepy. I wasn’t very stressed or anxious at the times I took them so I’m curious to see how clutch they will be mid- or post-anxiety attack.”

Kyra Jay, Brand and Social Manager

Brown Girl Jane’s Heal Body Butter

Courtesy of Tyeal Howell

“So since becoming a mom I’m always looking for different products to add into my evening routine to really help me wind down for the night and get the best sleep possible. It’s sometimes so challenging for me to turn my mind off and allow my body to relax and release the day. The past three days, I have added some Brown Girl Jane products into my evening routine and they’ve been a complete game-changer.

“I’ve been using the Brown Girl Jane Heal Body Butter. I have been putting it on my lower back, my neck, shoulders, and my feet, and it has been so relaxing. I honestly almost feel my body relaxing and the effects of the CBD on my sore muscles and my tense areas instantly. I’m obsessed and I will continue to add this as a staple in my evening routine, for sure.”

Tyeal Howell, Special Projects + Client Services

Brown Girl Jane’s Glow Luminous Facial Serum

Courtesy of Tyeal Howell

“I’ve also added the Brown Girl Jane Glow Facial Serum into my evening skin care routine and I loved it as well. I think I probably used a little too much the first time but the second night that I tried it I used a little bit less and it still felt so good. The combination of both of these products into my evening routine has really allowed me to relax and just take a deep breath and ease into my night.

“I’ve been using both of these products right before reading my book and laying in my bed and they’ve been just really relaxing. I love them both. If you’re looking for some nice CBD products to add to your evening routine, I highly suggest the Brown Girl Jane products. They’ve been a game-changer for me.”

Tyeal Howell, Special Projects + Client Services

Brown Girl Jane’s Rest Wellness Drops

Brown Girl Jane

“If you’re anything like me, the word ‘rest’ is typically one of those mythical moments you hear about but rarely achieve or witness every single day. There’s life, there’s stress and there’s the Big ‘A’ wearing its scarlet letter loud and proud: anxiety. Between those three culprits, finding organic and consistent rest for me, as of late, has been like a modern game of musical chairs. I’ve tried it all…melatonin, sleep aids and even working out before bed. I might’ve landed on one for a while, but none of it gave me the rest I was looking for nor the aftermath of a truly great night’s sleep (you know the rest I’m talking about – when you wake up refreshed, energized, and barely know what day it is).

“For me, an ally and advocate of cannabis, I was hella intrigued to discover if Brown Girl Jane’s Rest Wellness Drops would end up a nighttime staple or just next to the staples in the bottom of my nightstand drawer. Before I hopped in the shower I took one dropper-full and placed it under my tongue; I let it sit there for 30 seconds before swallowing and proceeding with my normal nighttime routine. Shower, facial, lotion, brush my teeth, and spray my melatonin spray on my pillowcase. By the time I’d crawled into bed, I felt relaxed, at ease, and at peace. My mind wasn’t racing as it normally does before bed, it was rather in a state of subtle euphoria.

“Just to make sure I wasn’t experiencing a fluke, I continued trying the drops for a week and each time, I found myself reaching for the drops as part of my nighttime wellness routine. The beautiful part? I don’t feel addicted to them, I feel aligned with them. I’m so impressed with the experience that I’ve texted just about every friend of mine and raved about finally witnessing the mythical ‘rest’ moment firsthand. ‘Girl, you won’t believe the sleep I had last night.’ Because every woman should experience six things in life: love, great orgasms, God, happiness, luxury, and rest…lots of rest.”

Ebonee Thompson, Social Media Manager

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Feeling Stuck In Life? Here’s How To Get Out Of That Funk

For the past few years, I’ve been working to create a life I don’t want to escape from. A huge part of that journey has been dedicated to doing more of the things that make me happy and accepting that I’m worthy of a life I love. I had become accustomed to accepting what life threw at me and learning to be grateful for it. But, I wasn’t happy, nor was I fulfilled.

I often found myself forcing gratitude out of fear of seeming ungrateful. Forcing myself to always focus on what was going great in my situation or telling myself it could be worse stopped me from addressing the lack of joy I was experiencing daily. It also prevented me from seeking opportunities that aligned with the vision I had for my life.

I was in community with a few people at the time who knew they weren’t happy with their lives, and we were deciding to settle. When I would ask them about good things happening in their lives, some would only be able to reference events from high school or college, but 10 years had passed since then. Some people experienced tragic or unplanned things that derailed their goals and became stuck in a cycle of thinking about what could have been. They were in their late twenties and early thirties and already felt like their best days were behind them.

Well, the average person lives to be 72 years old and I eventually found myself wondering what they would do for the rest of their days while allowing their past to define their reality. I knew I didn’t want that for myself and became determined to do something different. If you can relate to these feelings, keep reading to learn what I did to keep the spark going when I didn’t feel excited about life.

1. “Lean into the discomfort.”

When I was a resident advisor, my team leader would end each meeting by reminding us to “lean into the discomfort” because it was the only way we would grow. I thought it was a cool reminder, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s become integral to how I move through life. Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is one of the first steps in the growth process.

Sometimes we’ll shy away from being uncomfortable because we assume we’re in danger. We may perceive that we’re at risk of failing or embarrassing ourselves. These concerns are valid because when we’re operating outside of our comfort zone, we’re vulnerable. We may be hyper-aware of how others see us and may even be uncomfortable adjusting to the changes we see within ourselves. But, two things can be true at the same time. This period of discomfort could be one of the scariest and most exciting times of our lives!

We also don’t have to throw ourselves out into the unknown unprotected. During times of transition, we must practice self-care and self-soothing activities. Taking risks exposes us to rejection, judgment, anxiety, and hearing the word “no” more often. We won’t succeed or get the outcome we were hoping for each time, and that’s okay. Finding support systems and engaging in stress relief activities can help us navigate the challenges.

Over time, doing things that scare us can help build our capacity to tolerate uncertainty and increase our self-confidence when we realize we can do hard things.

Aja Koska/Getty Images

2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Social media is a great tool to connect with people and be exposed to new things, but it can also leave you feeling defeated if you aren’t careful. Social media has made it easy for us to participate in the ‘Comparison Olympics.’ We watch the highlight reel of someone’s life and question why we don’t have what they have or couldn’t navigate a similar hardship the way we did.

We could receive news we’re hoping or praying for and might not allow ourselves the space to be excited because we saw that someone share what we perceive to be more significant news on Instagram. We could be getting ready to take a much-needed vacation and become sad that we can’t travel to the locations we see on travel pages.

We may even become upset that more people aren’t more forthcoming about their negative life experiences. Sometimes we want to know that other people are struggling because we don’t want to feel alone in our situation. But the truth is, we don’t need to know every single detail of someone else’s life to feel better about our own. It isn’t healthy, and most times, it isn’t our business.

No one on the earth is without worry or hardship. People are allowed to remember and display their lives the way they want. Focusing on what you can see about others takes the focus of what matters most and what you actually have power over: your life.

Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

3. Find things to look forward to.

​ Sometimes we are afraid to look forward to things because we’re afraid to be disappointed. The past two years have been rough. People had big plans for 2020, but the pandemic caused a lot of social shifts and grief. It seemed like we were always anticipating the next tragedy. But grief and joy can coexist.

Grief and happiness are both important parts of the human experience—you can’t have one without the other. Give yourself the space to feel how you feel and process your feelings. But also give yourself permission to move on. Ruminating over what could have been or obsessing over what could be, makes us feel powerful because it gives us the illusion of being in control. But none of that is real, and we end up stuck.

If we’re going to incorporate more joy into our lives, we must remember that we only have the present moment and we have to let the present be enough. We may not know what will happen next year or next week, but we can still schedule a time to do the things that make us happy.

4. Learn something new.

I attempt to learn something new whenever I’m stressed to shift my focus. I thought I lacked discipline and the ability to concentrate (which can be true lol), but then I read that learning something new helps ease stress and increases your self-worth. I also learned that learning also makes you happier and increases your self-confidence.

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Learning doesn’t have to be structured or confined to the classroom. You can learn through meeting new people and hearing their life experiences. You can also take dance, writing, or drawing classes from YouTube University. It also makes you open to trying new experiences because you’ll be confident in your ability to take on new challenges.

Learning can also help you realize that you’re never stuck. You’ll be confident in your ability to take on new challenges because you’ll know you can develop the skills to succeed. As long as you’re willing to learn something new and put yourself out there, you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself and change your life.

So, get out of your own way. Your best life is waiting for you.

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7 Trending Ways To Wear The Year’s Hottest Shoe

After two years of athleisure, oversized silhouettes, and video chats, destination dressing is having a welcomed comeback tour. As evident by the never-ending tap-worthy content of the girls this summer, there’s no expectation for this to slow down in the colder months. This year it’s all about making memorable IRL experiences, including dressing the part.

Falling in line with the rebirth of Bratz fashion, and ultimately everything related to Y2K style, platforms continue to be the IT shoe of the season for all parties involved. From Versace to Marc Jacobs to Valentino, you can’t throw a butterfly clip three feet without hitting a seeing a sky-high shoe of some sort.

According to global shopping platform, Lyst, platform boots were the top product for the first quarter of 2022, alongside the ankle-strap platform offered by Valentino. Last week alone, online searches for platforms were up 16% and chunky loafers were up at a higher rate of 23%. The versatility of the platform is what keeps the trend fresh, and effortless for a multitude of people with different styles. No matter the occasion, there’s a platform for you.

Keep reading to shop 7 trending pairs of platforms for fall, at every price point.

1 . Flat Boots

The easiest and most comfortable option of the bunch, flat platform boots are an effortless way to incorporate platforms into your everyday wardrobe. Due to the trend being around for a year or so, there are plenty of options across many fabrics, colors, and heights. This boot saw a lot of action during the beginning of the year, but with a change in fabric and in darker hues, expect to see it twice as much.

2 . Open Toe Heels

One of the more classic ways to rock the platform, but equally one of the sexiest. There’s no denying the (not-so) subtle sexiness that comes from a great platform heel. Anything that elongates the leg and creates a beautiful silhouette is an immediate yes. The Prada heel (pictured above) is having its moment in the sun, but there is a lot of variety out there. Glitter is optional of course, but, what’s the harm?

3 . BRATZ-inspired Pumps

You’re living under a fashion rock if you haven’t seen the Bratz-inspired subset of this trend. Everyone from Gabrielle Union to Latto to Lil’ Kim has been spotted slaying this style of the platform, often resulting in a new phenomenon of Barbiecore. As seen on our celebrity favorites, it’s often touted as a going-out shoe but Ramona (pictured above) effortlessly showcases how easy this trend can be paired with a casual outfit.

4 . Heeled Boots

If you want to make a statement without overdoing it, a platform boot is for you. Tall boots have been trending for a couple of years so there’s a variety of options available. If a tall boot isn’t your speed, the ankle boot is also on its comeback tour.

5 . Mules

While this presents as more of a summer trend, the mule is a great transitional piece for anyone’s wardrobe. It’s easily paired under wide-leg denim, can delicately compliment a simple slip dress, or elevate a simple monochromatic matching set.

6 . Loafers

Another cool yet classic way to incorporate platforms into your wardrobe; the loafer is the silent winner of the trend. The Prada version is the strongest contender (pictured above), but plenty of designers are offering their own versions. This is a newer faction of this trend but it’s not expected to be a one-season hitter; expect to see her in 2023 too.

7 . Goddess Strap Up

Lastly, another summer trend that’s transitioning into the fall months effortlessly. The gladiator sandal is on the verge of a resurgence, and this is just the first iteration of that. This fall must-have is the statement shoe for any after-hours party, house party, or even a cute, late-night date night. It’s giving an understated vibe; the girl is ready to have fun but as always, keeping it cute!

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Teyonah Parris, Keyshia Ka’oir & More Share That They Are Expecting

Social media has redefined pregnancy announcements in a significant way. From over-the-top baby bump photos to emotional videos when couples find out they are expecting, pregnancy announcements have become an online phenomenon shared between people and their following.

And when it comes to celebrities, fans gobble up their pregnancy announcements and look forward to the social media posts that follow. The last few months saw many women in entertainment reveal that they were expecting. Here is a list of pregnancy announcements so far in 2022.

Teyonah Parris

Teyonah Parris revealed that she is pregnant with her first child. The Marvels actress made the announcement on Instagram in a photo with her husband James. “We’re pregnant!! Whooooo chiiile!! I’m so excited to share that we have a baby on the way,” she wrote.

“There have been so many feelings since we’ve learned that our dream of becoming parents is finally a reality. My husband, James, and I have felt a mix of shock, lots of nerves, but most of all so much excitement! Seeing the word PREGNANT was such an amazing feeling! We are so blessed and so grateful.”

Keyshia Ka’oir

Ka’oir fitness owner Keyshia Ka’oir shared that she and husband Gucci Mane were expecting their second child together. The influencer shared a video of the “Lemonade” rapper’s reaction to finding out that they were having another baby, and it was priceless.

“Let’s Have Another Baby ICE Needs Somebody To Play With” , Keyshia wrote quoting Gucci’s song “Mrs. Davis.”

The couple already shares a one-year-old son and they both have kids from previous relationships.

Chrissy Teigen

After losing their baby a few years ago, Chrissy Teigen revealed that she and John Legend are pregnant again. The model shared the exciting news on social media.

“The last few years have been a blur of emotions to say the least, but joy has filled our home and hearts again. 1 billion shots later (in the leg lately, as u can see!) we have another on the way,” she wrote. “Every appointment I’ve said to myself, “ok if it’s healthy today I’ll announce” but then I breathe a sigh of relief to hear a heartbeat and decide I’m just too nervous still. I don’t think I’ll ever walk out of an appointment with more excitement than nerves but so far, everything is perfect and beautiful and I’m feeling hopeful and amazing. Ok phew it’s been very hard keeping this in for so long!”

Jhené Aiko

In July, Jhené Aiko finally confirmed the rumors that she was expecting her first child with rapper Big Sean. Following the news, she began sharing images from a celestial-themed maternity photo shoot with the Detriot rapper as well as a song dedicated to their unborn child. Big Sean commented under the photo of them together, “Thankful For My family ♾ ”

The “On the Way” singer already has a 13-year-old daughter whom she shares with O’Ryan.

Summer Walker

Summer Walker revealed in a June 25 Instagram Live video that she was pregnant with her second child. In the Live, she said, “People asking me if I’m pregnant: I am and you know I’m very, very, very, very, happy about it. I’m very, very excited because it’s going to be different from how it was before. It’s really peaceful, really happy, lots of help, lots of love.”

The “Body” artist is expecting her child with her boyfriend Larry. She also has a one-year-old daughter with producer London On Da Track.

Keke Wyatt

Powerhouse singer Keke Wyatt revealed in February that she and husband Zackariah were adding to their big, blended family. In June, she shared that she gave birth to their “miracle baby” after he was diagnosed with trisomy 13, a condition where a person is born with an extra chromosome and the likelihood of survival is very low.

“Most of you are familiar with the challenges I faced during this pregnancy. My husband & I made the decision not to accept the Medical Specialist’s suggestion to terminate our baby early despite the positive trisomy 13 test results,” Keke wrote. “We appreciate and thank God for all of the Dr’s in the medical field. However, I can’t stress enough to all mothers & couples, when the Dr gives you life changing information about your unborn child …. pray about it, use faith & follow your spirit before making ANY final decision. We believed the report of the Lord and after holding our beautiful healthy baby boy Ke’Zyah & looking into his eyes, I’m glad we did.

Leona Lewis

In March, Leona Lewis shared that she was having a baby in the summer. And in August, the “Bleeding Love” singer revealed that she gave birth to a baby girl in July.

“And then there were three Our little Carmel Allegra arrived 22.7.22,” the British artist wrote.

Rihanna

Who can forget the pregnancy announcement heard around the world? The Fenty mogul and A$AP Rocky confirmed the rumors that they were expecting with showstopping photos in January that debuted Rihanna’s baby bump.

The “Kiss It Better” singer reportedly delivered her baby in May but has since kept any traces of the baby under wraps.

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Why Healing Must Be A Community Effort

I’m not unlike most people who spend too many hours of my time scrolling through Tik Tok when I should be doing literally anything else. In my mind, however, it’s justified — as long as in between videos of dance challenges and gross food recipes, I watch videos about how to heal my gut, or listen to one of the many Black therapists on the app try and cure me of my people-pleasing ways.

There’s been an abundance of online content geared towards healing, within the last few years especially. Everywhere I turn, someone is tweeting about how to align your chakras or what combination of fruits in a smoothie will clear your skin or what hip stretches will release the trauma from my body.

It barely registers as odd to me now, since I began intentionally immersing myself in these online communities over the last year in an attempt to treat emotional and physical ailments. But sometimes, I am caught off guard by the ways in which healing has become a currency of sorts on social media.

As with anything that touches the timeline, there’s an opportunity to be rewarded with likes and retweets, and hoards of followers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it does leave the opportunity for attention to be allocated towards the glossiest, most idyllic version of life, which creates an environment of people trying to outdo one another.

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There are hundreds of morning routines on Tik Tok where the creator takes over an hour to get ready as soon as they get up, from eating breakfast to exercising to journaling. There are healthy grocery hauls with over a hundred dollars worth of items. There are people who give their testimonies about manifesting themselves into a life of wealth and prosperity.

I watch all those videos the same way one might watch an animal documentary on National Geographic: with a morbid sense of fascination. I glean a few things from these videos that I’m able to transfer into my own daily life, but I can’t help but wonder what healing is supposed to look like for those that don’t have the lives that the people in these videos have.

When people talk about healing, it’s very individualistic and lacking in a racial and class analysis. It doesn’t take into account all the different systemic traumas that impact people on top of personal trauma.

How can one eat the food they need in order to repair their stomach if they live in a food desert? What does the morning routine look like for a person who is coming home from a night shift and has only a few hours in the morning to rest before going to another job? How does a person begin to heal in a world that constantly retraumatizes them because of their Blackness?

When western NGOs tried to help survivors of Rwandan genocide with individualized therapy in an indoor room, they were notably unsuccessful and in many ways were thought to have retraumatized the survivors. A Rwandan man described it like this:

“Their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.”

When I think about healing, I think of it as a collective effort. I think about the communities that grow gardens together and share the harvest. I think about the communities that have set up a public fridge for everyone to use. The grassroots organization that organizes mental health resources directly to under-resourced communities.

When we treat healing as solely an individual pursuit — something that can be achieved through smoothie drinking and stretching — we lose a necessary dimension that teaches us how to be a part of a whole; that allows us to lean on one another when life burdens us and lets us know we are not alone in our struggles.

There’s nothing wrong with applying facets of healing learned from people online or living vicariously through their daily routines that might be slightly unattainable. But the real healing begins when we learn how to do it together.

Read all of the stories in the Issa Rae: She Comes First editorial series here.

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Rediscovering Self-Pleasure In A Pandemic

As the pandemic was shutting down so much around us in early 2020, disabled people were disseminating advice on what it would take for everyone to stay home and take care of themselves. We wrote Twitter threads on masking, cross-contamination, and sanitation. Much of what we’ve all experienced during the pandemic – mainly that the deadly virus would also be a mass disabling event – was predicted early on by the members of the disability community. We also predicted the social consequences of COVID-19 and isolation: People would yearn for connection with one another, for a touch of kindness, love and lust, and would go hungry.

Today, it seems that the rest of society has “moved on” from protecting themselves and each other from the effects of COVID, and now Monkeypox and even Polio. Judging by how many ancient graves people keep digging up, we are in for several more viral pandemics. Yet they’re accepting serial reinfection of disabling disorders as an inevitability worth the risk of “getting back to normal.” But there’s one demographic who is unable to do so: disabled people. This now includes the millions of people who have Long Covid.

With everyone “returning to life as usual,” abled people have told disabled people to keep isolated as the world continues without us. It’s our “choice,” they say. It is a painful reminder that those around us do not believe disabled people have lives, loves, goals or relationships to return to and if we want to venture outdoors, we have to put our lives on the line to do so. Our health and lives remain still while everyone else snatches the opportunities for connectivity we so desperately want.

Self-pleasure is so much more than pure sexual gratification. It’s meditation. It’s exercise. It’s grounding ourselves in our own bodies.

Touch and closeness with others are a dangerous gamble, regardless of what the pandemic minimizers have to say. So what do we do when our bodies crave touch? I’ve been here before.

When it comes to sex and touch, my own experience has consistently been informed by my disability. In high school, I believed that because I wasn’t dating anyone, I was behind the mark on milestones I should be passing. No one explicitly spoke to me about sexual autonomy, other than to say that if I were to have sex, I should use protection.

Amongst the people around me, there was doubt that I would ever “do it,” and in my youth, prior to me growing some gall, I would join in the speculation with my classmates about what my body would be capable of in the bedroom. The desperation to be held and wanted made me do some wild things, including, at 19, chatting with way older men online who said they wanted nothing more than to fly me to where they lived and take care of me.

Imani Barbarin out in pandemic style

Spending my teen years romantically isolated made me feel like I was undesirable and unwanted. It wasn’t just that I was disabled; I was also one of only four Black girls in my class of 400. I could already feel that others viewed me as an obligation, so dating me would be a nonstarter. I accepted that I would likely spend my life alone without ever experiencing the rush of being physically desired. As I was implicitly and explicitly taught, bodies like mine are to remain alone. Touching someone like me when not medically necessary was out of the question. Disabled, fat and Black does not a lover, a partner make. Maybe, I was told to believe, with some weight loss and physical therapy, I could get them to see past that.

It wasn’t until after college that I intentionally approached dating (and stayed away from the Facebook chats with random men). Dating apps were their own obstacle course as I had to navigate people wanting a little taste of chocolate and whether or not to disclose my disability. When not fielding messages asking if I had an “attitude” like “those other Black girls,” I was trying to get them to understand that I can, in fact, have sex (in theory with no indication otherwise) and I wouldn’t be broken by their bedroom prowess.

At this point, I had given up on the idea of ever having a relationship and focused more on hooking up. I could find someone who wanted to sleep with me, but I couldn’t make anyone love me, I believed.

I would engage in self-pleasure, but it always felt like a substitute for the romance that I had always wanted.

Finally, I found a partner that wasn’t put off by my disability and didn’t fetishize my Blackness. We hung out under the pretense of being on a “real date” and then made our way to my bedroom. I was clear about the parameters of this particular meet-cute. But in that moment something unexpected happened: being desired felt empowering. Knowing I was wanted made me like my body, my rolls, my skin more.

Afterwards, my self-pleasure sessions got even better, because I understood I was allowed to be and be seenas sexual and desirable. With each new encounter, I was gaining confidence and feeling more at one with my body — even with someone else in the room.

Now, just as safe sex has become more complicated due to our government’s poor management of competing pandemics, self-pleasure is even more accessible. In the prescient words of N’SYNC, we are in the age of the Digital Get Down.

I like the idea of consenting entities engaging in intimate acts over video and Bluetooth connected devices simultaneously. Companies in recent years have made a point to cultivate accessible toys that accommodate those with dexterity and flexibility issues. Since my hands are on poles (crutches) all day, I prefer toys in the bedroom that allow my wrists and shoulders to rest. The magic bullet type of toys often can be paired with apps or bluetooth, but for those of us feeling the pressure of purse strings, toys with wires and a remote control can make you feel old school, but financially prudent. Long vibrating dildos are also worthwhile as long as the controls are on or near the top and can be accessed without straining too intensely. If getting into position is still difficult, wedge pillows for disabled people have the exact same shape as sex pillows. (Come to think of it, a Hoyer Lift looks identical to a sex swing. Coincidence? I don’t think so!)

There are those who would say that these accommodations aren’t “real” or intimate enough. Not only does this discount the ways in which disabled people experience physical intimacy, it also diminishes the opportunities we all have for self-connection, for releasing any shame, guilt, ignorance or embarrassment we may hold about our own bodies.

In this sense, self-pleasure is so much more than pure sexual gratification. It’s meditation. It’s exercise. It’s grounding ourselves in our own bodies. And in a world in desperate need of safer sex practices, self-pleasure is self-care.

This isn’t to say that we don’t need other people or that self-pleasure is a last resort or a stand in for sex with others. It’s a valid-in-its-own-right practice that you can share with others or explore on your own as a way to know and love your body, with no judgment, as it is.

As disabled people, our lives are reliant on closeness, touch and letting others have a deep knowledge of our needs. We are aided, physically moved and treated by people who know us at our most vulnerable. Our ableist society doesn’t see us as we are: lustful, desirable, and wanted. Whether we’re living single, partnered, or isolating from potential partners to protect our own lives and each other, self-pleasure is a wonderful way to remind ourselves and the world that our bodies and our pleasure matter.

Read all of the stories in the Issa Rae: She Comes First editorial series here.

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