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Adrienne Houghton Gets Real About Her Battle With Weight Fluctuation

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Adrienne Houghton took a break from her regularly scheduled fashion content to answer some questions about her personal life. The latest episode on her YouTube channel, All Things Adrienne, was a 25-question survey during which she addressed the boogeyman in every woman's closet: weight fluctuation. Although Adrienne had never really considered herself overweight, her Instagram comments told a different story.

"If I'm honest, my weight gain in the last few years has been like a struggle for me where I'm like, I never looked at myself as being overweight. And it was weird to hear so many comments at one point that I was fat, and 'Oh my God, she let herself go!' I was like, 'Whoa.' So that was a little bit weird."

As women, our weight changes depending on our levels of stress, reproductive cycles, and a number of other life changes that we sometimes have no control over. I've personally made it a habit to keep a various sizes in my wardrobe, just in case.

No matter what end of the weight spectrum you happen to be tip-toeing on these days, it's most important that you work from the inside out. You'll never reach your "ideal" weight if you aren't confident in who you are.

Perfection is unattainable, but real beauty is far from perfect. The #BodyGoals that we so desperately chase aren't based on our specific lifestyles and body types, so they are seemingly unreachable. According to Adrienne, her desire to get serious about her physical health was based on her own her own standards of beauty, not what the trolls in her comment section wrote about her.

"I just did what I had to do to be comfortable in my own skin. And I think that's the most important thing. It wasn't necessarily to please other people."

This need to please everyone but ourselves often leaves women in the "wish" mindset, on an everlasting quest to reach unrealistic body goals. We "wish" we could lose 30 pounds, or "wish" we could have a body like beyonce.

But, one quote that I live by is: if you don't like where you are, change it. There's not a whole lot of "wishing" involved when you're serious about reaching the #BodyGoals you've set for yourself. Adrienne did just that when it came to her physical health.

"I actually, genuinely, didn't like the way I looked. And every day it's a work in progress. You know, girl get up and do some cardio. More than looking good, it's actually healthy for you to eat healthy and actually get a little workout in. So as I get older, I get that it's going to be harder and harder, but I'm up for the challenge."

I'm down to take that challenge with you, A. It doesn't take Beyonce's personal trainer or a multitude of time to make the lifestyle changes that it takes to be truly happy with your body.

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Throughout our lives as women, we will be constantly burdened with weight fluctuation, it's a part of life. But no matter how high or low you go on the scale, Adrienne reminds us that we can't be defined by our comment section.

Featured image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba are gearing up for the second season of their podcast Coupledom where they interview partners in business and/or romance. The stunning couple has been married for three years but they have been together for a total of six years. During that time, they have developed many partnerships but quickly learned that working together isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

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As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

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We’ve all been there: Exhausted, lacking motivation, on edge, or simply not feeling like working at all. And we might have even used up all of our sick days, not to rest from a cold or injury, but just to get a bit of relief from those job or business responsibilities. Sometimes, you're not able to shake that nagging feeling of gloom, eventually finding yourself in a toxic pattern of unhealthy habits and behaviors. There's a larger issue that goes way beyond just needing a break.

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