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The Internet United To Help This Little Girl Recognize Her #BlackGirlBeauty & We're Not Crying, You Are.

Not all heroes wear capes.

Culture & Entertainment

Last Sunday kicked off this year's International Women's Month and what better way to do it than uplifting the little queens in our lives? This past weekend, an Instagram live video of an Atlanta hairdresser (who we now know as Shabria) speaking life into a beautiful brown-skinned girl named Ariyonna went viral and proved that not all heroes wear capes. In the video, Ariyonna is seen breaking down into tears after saying "I'm so ugly," which ultimately proved to be a touching moment for women across the internet. Shabria captioned the post:

"While doing her hair she had alllll the energy in the world then out of nowhere she stares at herself and gets soooo discouraged 😢 it broke my heart into pieces because she has the GREATEST energy and the most beautiful smile and heart ! She comes from a great home & loving mother . I just think when kids go to school they learn and pick up sooo much different things that they don't know the definition but they know the feeling ! Keep her in your prayers and keep lifting up our future!!!"

The video has since amassed millions of views and thousands of comments from celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith, Michelle Obama, and Viola Davis, who expressed their mutual support for the young queen in heartfelt messages. Director Ava DuVernay wrote:

"In tears over this. Somebody told this child this and her heart broke and her confidence broke and she believed it. Thank God for this beautiful spirit in her life to tell her differently. This video shows how deeply we harm each other. And fully we can lift each other up."

Among Ariyonna's supporters was also Hair Love creator, Matthew A. Cherry, who launched a massive social campaign that rallied creatives to show their love for young Arianna through artwork and Black Twitter showed up and showed TF out, sis.

While this year may have gotten off to a rocky start, I'm pleased to say that this is the type of wholesome, Black AF content I like to see on my timeline.

For more stories that are poppin' in the news this week, click below!

Niecy Nash & Jay Tucker Finalize Their Divorce & Agree To No Spousal Support

Getty Images

In October, Niecy Nash and her husband, Jay Tucker, announced their split after 8 years of marriage and this week, the couple seems to have amicably finalized their divorce, proving that not all breakups have to be bitter.

Page Six reports that in their separation, Niecy will retain ownership of their Bell Canyon California home and 2016 Tesla while Jay will walk away from the marriage with a 2011 Ford F-150 Truck and one final payment of $185,000 from his former spouse.

While the couple's romantic journey may have come to an end, they have done so as friends and both waived their rights to spousal support. They wrote in a joint statement on social media:

"Our union was such a gorgeous ride. And as we go our separate ways now, we feel fortunate for the love we share — present tense."

Omar Epps Teased A New Movie With Mekhi Phifer & Larenz Tate & Our Hearts Can’t Take It

Omar Epps just teased a new movie with Mekhi Phifer and Larenz Tate and no one film should have all that chocolate.

In a cryptic Instagram post, the actor wrote:

"Been hard at work trying to create something incredibly special for all of you! We're one step closer... 💥🐐💥 Stay tuned...."

While we're not sure what these three have in the works, we're definitely here for all of it.

This Lipstick Tutorial Has Gained More Than A Million Views

This viral Tik Tok video has gained more than a million views and 134K likes on Twitter and this Black beauty blogger is at the helm.

Jacinda Pender's lip tutorial series is everything we didn't know we needed and she recently sat down with Allure to break down the details behind her iconic glossing methods. She told the publication:

"This is [for] whenever I'm in the mood for a dark glossy lip look, which is rare. If I had the time, patience, and energy to rock this badass glossy ombré look, I definitely would. It's such a sexy look that radiates such strong dark, mysterious, and vampire energy."

In the post, Jacinda is seen applying the f*ck out of an ombre lip that is perfect for both a work slay or a night out on the town. Since the success of her short video, Jacinda says that fan support has done wonders for her career in the beauty industry.

"I just want to say THANK YOU guys for supporting my lip swatch series because it's allowing me to partner with companies that will remain nameless and opening doors for me, thank you."

To recreate the look, here's what you'll need:

Coachella Is Postponed Until October

Reports reveal that Indio, California officials are not here for your germs and will postpone Coachella until October due to the coronavirus outbreak. Coachella and Stagecoach are the latest major music festivals, following the Ultra Festival and Miami and SXSW 2020, that have been affected by the viral disease.

The announcements come as the list of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. rises to 116.

This Is The Ciara-Inspired Hair Trend That's Taking Over The Internet 

This unique hair trend is living proof that the internet was made for Black creatives. Don't @ me.

After seeing Ciara's stylist masterfully spell the word "melanin" in her hair, social media user Shanell Khan decided to recreate the look. Much to dismay, they don't sell block letters at the hair store. It was then when Shanell used her ingenuity to bring the celebrity-inspired look to life:

"I really missed my nephew and then it Hit me...That light bulb moment lol: [Children's] Wooden blocks. Like why didn't I think about this before? I ran to the store and I was soo happy when I stumbled across these with the letters already written on them (I was soo excited !!! I had a quick dance 😂🤣 my close friends know the excited dance 💃🏾 the workers at the store probably thought I was cray cray 😅😂🤣😅) I bought some brown beads and got a carpenter to make the huge round ones. Shout out to him!!"

Featured image by Instagram/@lilwavedaddy.

Last year, Meagan Good experienced two major transformations in her life. She returned to the small screen starring in the Amazon Prime series Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and she announced her divorce from her longtime partner DeVon Franklin.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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