So, Here Are 8 All-Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Body Hair
When it comes to my eyebrows and the nooks and crannies of certain areas down below, you can best believe that I'm gonna go to my wax appointment as if my life depended on it. As far as my legs and underneath my arms, I'm a shaver. Yet the older I get, when it comes to where I put a razor—and also the cream that I put on my super faint mustache every couple of months—I've been on a mission to use it less and less. What's helped me to reach my goal are natural hair removal methods.
Before I share with you what some of them are, let me just say that many of these are most effective if you've got facial hair and/or when it comes to places where your hair isn't super coarse. Also, if you're looking for methods that will get rid of unwanted hair immediately, these aren't those. On the other hand, if you are a patient person, you're consistent with your beauty regimens and you want to fade your hair over time, I've totally got you on that.
The following eight all-natural hair removal remedies can have you on your way to less hair in a few months without any chemicals, expenses or drama. Ready to check 'em out?
1. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is a type of herb that is really good for you on a few different levels. For instance, if you're a vegetarian or vegan, it's a good source of protein and iron (it's got a fair amount of fiber too). Also, if you're looking for a way to lower your cholesterol, fenugreek has got your back. Thanks to its inflammation properties, fenugreek can help to heal mouth ulcers, chronic coughs, boils and even bronchitis. As a doula, I can personally vouch for the fact that it's helpful if you're a new mommy who's having trouble getting your breastmilk to come (or stay) in. Word on the street is it can boost a man's libido too.
If you drink the seeds in a powder form, it can deep cleanse your skin, reduce blemishes, soften the appearance of dark circles underneath your eyes, slow down signs of aging and even help to prevent hair loss (for instance, if you put the powder into your conditioner and let it sit for 10 minutes on wash day).
Fenugreek also makes the hair removal list because the properties in it can also help to weaken hair follicles. If you mix two teaspoons with a tablespoon of rosewater (rosewater will hydrate and protect your skin while also reducing any redness that you might experience) and let it sit on the areas where you want hair removed for 20-30 minutes, once a week, your hair should appear finer in about three months.
2. Papaya Paste
Papaya is a fruit that's in season, starting early summer and runs through the fall. It's good for you because it is a good source of fiber, protein, antioxidants and vitamins A and C. As far as specific health benefits go, if you eat it a few times a week, it can help to strengthen your heart, improve digestion and fight body inflammation. On the beauty tip, papaya is cool because the enzymes in it can help to decrease breakouts, the lycopene in it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and, if you mix one-half a papaya with a one-half cup of coconut oil and a tablespoon of honey, it can be a pretty potent hair conditioner too.
So, why does it work at removing body hair? Well, there's an enzyme in papaya that's called papain. When it's consistently applied to your body, it can weaken hair follicles and hinder regrowth.
I already know some of y'all are like, then why would I use it as a hair conditioner? Remember, these remedies require consistent use. Conditioning your hair once a month with papaya is not the same as slathering it on your legs and letting it sit for 20 minutes, a couple of times a week. Anyway, a couple of tablespoons of raw papaya mixed with three teaspoons of turmeric (its chemicals help to slow down hair growth too), applied to clean skin and left on for 15-20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing off, can help you to see a noticeable difference when it comes to having less body hair in around three months or so.
3. Rosewater and Alum
If you've never heard of alum before, the long name for it is aluminum potassium sulfate. It's a chemical compound that is typically attributed to salt. Anyway, when it's used in powdered form, it can do everything from treat a canker sore and help to heal an eye abscess to soothe cracked heels and even naturally aid in alleviating body odor.
Alum is also pretty popular when it comes to getting rid of body hair because of its abrasiveness. You already know how rosewater helps. One half-teaspoon of alum powder mixed with one teaspoon of rosewater needs to be applied to your skin after you shave it. That way, it can help to weaken your hair follicles at the root, making it harder for it to grow back after, say a couple of months or so (you must do this regularly for it to be effective). By the way, you can cop some alum powder at stores like Target or even your local grocery store.
4. Oatmeal Scrub
If you basically want to eat a multivitamin, start off with a heaping bowl of oatmeal. It contains fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, antioxidants and a good amount of different forms of Vitamin B too. The combination of all of these nutrients can cause oats to lower your cholesterol levels, improve your blood sugar levels, relieve constipation and even decrease asthma symptoms in children.
One of the reasons why you should try using oats from a beauty angle is because its nutrients and semi-rough texture makes it the ultimate kind of exfoliant. Plus, it contains a chemical called saponins which can help to deep clean your pores.
Since oatmeal is such a powerful exfoliant, this is why it's an effective way to remove fine facial hair. A tablespoon of raw oats, five drops of fresh lemon juice (the acid can weaken your hair follicles) and the moisturizing properties of one-fourth of a banana is a great combination. Blend everything and apply to your face. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water. Facial hair should get finer in 6-8 weeks if you do this 1-2 times a week.
5. White Pepper and Camphor
Whenever I'm cooking, sometimes I prefer to go with white pepper instead of black. It's less "harsh in taste" is the best way that I can describe it. As far as health benefits go, white pepper is good for you because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that are able to boost your immune system as well as properties that protect your body from cardiovascular diseases, will detox your system and can also increase blood circulation. Camphor? Well, it's an organic compound that is full of antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that are able to relieve skin irritation, reduce pain, treat toenail fungus, soothe congestion and speed up the healing process of acne, hemorrhoids, muscle spasms, earaches and warts.
Believe it or not, if you combine these two things, they can also help to rid your body of hair over time. The texture of the white pepper along with the strong properties of the camphor make for the kind of scrub that works really well if you're trying to reduce the amount of hair that is on your legs (matter of fact, this particular remedy is so potent that you avoid putting it on your face altogether). Simply mix two tablespoons of white pepper, two tablespoons of camphor along with a tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil and apply it all to your legs for no more than 15 minutes (beyond that could irritate your skin). Rinse thoroughly with warm water. If you do this twice a week, you should notice thinner hair within six weeks.
6. Baking Soda and Turmeric
I don't know about y'all but when I was growing up, baking soda was used for three main things in my house—deodorizing carpets, keeping food fresh in the fridge and brushing teeth so that they stayed pearly white. When it comes to what is also known as sodium bicarbonate, there are other bonuses with using it including the fact that baking soda helps to treat heartburn (by putting a teaspoon of it in some water and drinking it slowly; run this by your doctor first); healing pimples (by making it a paste with water and applying it directly onto your pimples; it's an ultimate overnight remedy); relieving itchy skin (by pouring a cup of it into your bathwater); eliminating odor and naturally whitening your laundry (by putting a cup of it into your laundry detergent); getting pesticides off of fruits and veggies (by soaking them in a solution of water and one-fourth cup of baking soda for 15 minutes) and so much more.
Due to the gritty texture of baking soda, applying the combination of one teaspoon of it with one teaspoon of turmeric (along with enough water to make it a paste) and then putting where you want to see less hair for about 15 minutes, can reduce the appearance of hair in 8-12 weeks. (You might want to avoid this on your face. Baking soda can be a little too harsh if constantly used over time.)
7. Basil Leaves, Onion and Garlic
Basil leaves are good for you because it helps to reduce oxidative stress, fight the growth of cancer cells, decrease body inflammation, fight the kind of bacteria that causes respiratory and urinary infections and lower your blood sugar levels. Now put a pin in that. When it comes to the other ingredients in this tip, something that onion and garlic have in common is they both contain a lot of sulfur compounds. Why is this a good thing? For one thing, sulfur is beneficial because it plays a key role in the synthesis of proteins throughout your body. That's why sulfur supplements are oftentimes used to help treat osteoarthritis, dandruff and allergies. On the beauty tip, I am all about sulfur; using sulfur soap is what finally got my pimples under control while evening out my skin tone in the process.
As far as hair removal goes, using onion and garlic on your unwanted hair can help to break down your hair's proteins, so that it's harder for them to grow back. And what about the basil leaves? Not only are they an awesome moisturizer, they're a potent fungus fighter too.
Make a paste out of all of this by mashing up one-fourth an onion, crushing two garlic bulbs and the smashing 5-6 basil leaves and applying it to the areas where you don't want any hair for 20 minutes, twice a week. You will see less hair in a couple of months. And what about that sulfur odor that's left behind? Soaking in a tub that has a cup of apple cider vinegar in it or taking a shower and then putting on some lemon or orange essential oil that's been mixed in with a carrier oil can nip the odor in the bud (no worries, it fades on its own too; it's just annoying until it does).
If you've never heard of sugaring before, I guess you can chalk this up to being your something new for the day. Long story short, if you combine sugar, lemon and water and turn it into a paste-like consistency, it has the ability to remove body hair in a way that is less painful than waxing; plus, it can reduce how much hair grows in the areas where you are doing the sugaring process over time.
There are people who apply this hair removal method to all parts of their body, although it should go on record that different parts need different amounts of time (you can "sugar" your underarms in 5-7 minutes while your legs may take 30-45). Another benefit of sugaring is the results can last for 3-5 weeks. For tips on how to make your own sugar paste and apply it, check out this video, this video and this video. Enjoy!
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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How To Have A Successful Hot Girl Summer
Summer is upon us, and you know what that means: It's time for a hot girl summer! The term exploded in popularity a few years back, and it’s all about encouraging women to flirt, have fun, and of course, enjoy some good ol' safe sex. But amidst all the fun, it's essential to have the right tools to protect yourself and your partner.
So, if you’re single and ready to mingle, here are a few helpful tips on how to have the best hot girl summer possible.
Start with self-care.
It's no secret that confidence is key when it comes to having a good time. Before you start swiping on dating apps or heading to the bar scene, take some time to indulge in self-care. Get a new haircut, buy a new outfit, and pamper yourself with a spa day. Having a fresh look and feeling good about yourself will boost your confidence and make you feel unstoppable.
Protect yourself and your partner.
Hot girl summer is all about having fun, but safety must come first. Before engaging in any sexual activity, make sure you and your partner use protection, whether it's a condom or other methods. Keep in mind STDs can still spread even with precautions, so it's important to get regular STD testing, especially if you're seeing multiple partners.
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Set boundaries and don't compromise.
It's common for women to feel pressured to do things they're not comfortable with during casual sex. In a hot girl summer, it's essential to set clear boundaries and not compromise on what makes you comfortable. If your partner doesn't respect your limits, then it's a sign they're not worth your time.
Be open-minded and explore.
If you want to spice up your summer, try exploring new sexual experiences and positions with your partner(s). For inspiration on what sex positions to try, check out articles on our site like this, this, and this. However, it's always important to make sure you're both on the same page and comfortable with what you're doing. Consent is key.
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Date like it's your job.
With summer in full swing, dating becomes easier, and more people are open to meeting new individuals. Take advantage of this opportunity and start swiping on dating apps, or if you're more traditional, head to the bars or local events. It's important to remember that dating isn't about finding someone to settle down with; it's about having fun experiences and meeting new people.
Be honest about what you want.
Be honest with yourself. If you want a serious relationship, seek it out, but if you want to go on a casual date, go on a casual date. Hot girl summers mean doing whatever it is you want to do and not settling. Just be sure to communicate and be honest about who you are and what you’re looking for.
It's all about having fun, enjoying yourself, and exploring your sexuality. But it's crucial to remember that safety comes first. Use protection, get regular STD testing, set boundaries, and don't compromise. Be open-minded and explore new sexual experiences, but never forget to prioritize your comfort level, and don't let anyone pressure you into doing things you're not comfortable with. With these tips and tricks, you'll surely have the best hot girl summer yet.
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