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Back & Black AF: The 2021 BET Awards Lewks We Stan
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Back & Black AF: The 2021 BET Awards Lewks We Stan

Here's who showed up and showed out on culture's biggest night.

Beauty & Fashion

Black really is king and we are so happy we are gang! As we inch back into our new normal, we can't help but gush over the events we missed last year. The BET Awards is at the top of the list because of its Blackity, Black, Blackness. Since 2001, Black Entertainment Television has made it their business to highlight the achievements of our people in music and entertainment overall. This year marks the 20th year of the awards show that has always shown up and shown out as a true custodian of the culture.


In a press release, EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, Connie Orlando, shared, "As we return LIVE with culture's biggest night, this year's show marks many firsts-including the highest number of performers in 21 years of BET Awards; and viewers can expect several surprise moments. Some of today's hottest talent will join us for our return to LA for an unforgettable night celebrating Black excellence."

This year's theme: The Year of the Black Woman. The stars are aligning to "honor and celebrate the immense cultural impact of Black women." From the ultimate cheerleader Taraji P Henson as the host, to showcasing the magic of superheroes like Stacey Abrams and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Queen Latifah, the motif couldn't be more accurate for this year and every year.

Of course, we are here for any celebration of Black women and we are also here for the lewks! After a year of no glam, this feels like Christmas. Keep reading for some of our favorites from this amazing show of Black excellence.

Taraji P. Henson

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

We love a hostess with the mostest and this multi-hyphenate boss came to slay dripping in Versace. The high-slit showing off her gorgeous gams, the cutouts, the colors – it's everything. The platform heels and long, silky-straight hair creates a true Hollywood getup ideal for tonight's show.

As the quintessential girls' girl, Taraji told People that she's so thrilled "that young Black and brown girls have a large selection of successful women to look up to like politician and activist Stacey Abrams and historic Vice President Kamala Harris."

Lonnie Chavis

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Somebody tell Lonnie Chavis that we aren't ready for him to grow up because he isn't Lil Randall anymore. Especially in this Dior fit because he looked fire in the matching silk suit. When he's not making us cry on This is Us, he's apparently showing us Black Boy Joy is so real.

Zendaya

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Leave it to the red carpet slayer, Zendaya, to give us all the BET Awards nostalgia we didn't even know we needed. Wearing vintage 2003 Versace, the style icon paid homage to Beyonce by wearing the same dress she donned at the 2003 BET Awards during her unforgettable "Crazy In Love" performance. Zendaya's stylist, Law Roach, always understands the assignment and tonight was no different.

Giveon

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

It's not our Heartbreak Anniversary but we are fawning over Giveon's black on black outfit. God took his time with this Black man and we just want to stop and say thank you father!

Saweetie

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Our unproblematic queen, and bestie, Saweetie pulled up to the awards in the most queenly Dolce & Gabbana gown. Please get into this makeup look also because she is glowing like never before. It may have something to do with the way she minds her business and drinks her water but that's just our theory.

Lil Nas X

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

"MONTERO" singer, Lil Nas X, glided down the red carpet in a beautifully structured gown. He is living his Cinderella dream and we are so honored that we get to experience his light.

H.E.R.

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

We can always depend on this songbird to serve up a crazy, sexy, cool lewk. Her take on the classic suit matches the star-studded night. Fun fact: H.E.R. is celebrating her birthday today at the BET Awards. What better way to celebrate than at the biggest night for the culture celebrating the amazingness of our Blackness.

Sevyn Streeter

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Aaliyah is definitely smiling down from heaven looking at Sevyn Streeter in this pearl-embellished ensemble. From her body giving what it's supposed to had gave to the matching headscarf, Sevyn was definitely a style stunner on tonight's carpet.

Chloe Bailey

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

One thing about the elder half of Chloe x Halle, she's going to break the internet when she leaves the house. Wearing a lace netted frock with leather undergraments, she is proof that Black girls are straight magic. Even her locs perfectly drape her face because they know their place on an angel's face.

Ciara

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Alexandre Vauthier must have sewn this onto CiCi's bawdy because it is perfection. She has always been a vision in her lewks but she has really stepped it up as of late; it's safe to say this is a Ciara stan account.

Tyler, the Creator

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Oh, Tyler. Thanks for being you. We need little Black boys to see your quirkiness and know that it's OK to try different things. We are not a monolith and that's what makes us.

Ashanti

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Baby, baby, baby, baby, babbbbbyyyyyyy... Ashanti always reigns supreme whenever she graces us with her presence. This Julien Macdonald gown exudes whimsy on the Long Island native's melanated skin. The high pony paired with the plunging neckline deserves its own award.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Necole Kane Exits xoNecole To Pursue Her Next Venture

Seven years ago, our founder Necole Kane shook up the internet when she abruptly announced that she was shutting down her popular celebrity gossip blog, NecoleBitchie.com, to pursue a more purposeful path. As a result, xoNecole was born. Seven years later, Necole is making yet another bold move by saying goodbye to xoNecole and focusing on her next pursuit: helping women experience better periods.

Today, the media mogul and entrepreneur announced that she is passing the baton here at xoNecole.com, which will live on under its parent company Will Packer Media while Necole grows her period supplement brand, My Happy Flo, full-time. “As a brand, we are truly excited to see Necole flourish in this exciting new chapter of her career,” says Alix Baudin, President and COO of Will Packer Media. “With her product My Happy Flo, Necole has provided relief and education to so many women. Will Packer Media is proud of what Necole has done both at xoNecole and beyond, and we support her endeavors moving forward.”

As a serial entrepreneur, Necole is all too familiar with the grief that comes with saying goodbye to a business. Though this new time comes with a mixed bag of emotions, Necole is embracing change as she always has: with open arms. "I've grown so much as a person through the articles and the writers on xo," she says through our Zoom call. "So I am so thankful for every single contributor, every single person who has been on the team, and the staff that has been a part of the vision. Every single person matters that has gotten the brand where it is seven years later."

She continues: "I'm thankful to Will Packer Media for believing in me, allowing me to live my dreams of seeing my site grow to unimaginable heights while also allowing me to see what stability looked like for five years because I didn't know. I spent my whole career grinding and in survival mode as an entrepreneur. So those five years gave me a taste of what it felt like to at least be comfortable. And now I'm going back to uncertainty and discomfort, but that season is always necessary before the big reward comes."

Necole Kane launched My Happy Flo in 2021 inspired by a number of friends diagnosed with fibroidsJlavii Photography

Necole is known for taking the heart on her sleeve and making it a brand. Her vulnerability, instinct, and passion for helping folks live their best lives have been the secret ingredients in her career and her life. Since launching her first website, Necole Bitchie, in 2007, our girl has made several major life transformations. We've watched her shut down her popular gossip blog and launch a brand new lifestyle site, move cross country several times, and even enter her first-ever body building competition. It's no wonder that she's built a reputation as the queen of career pivots. Keeping with the pattern in Necole's life, her next career move is taken right from a page of her own personal story. "When people ask me what has been my secret to success, I say it's cultivating communities and creating brands that address exactly what I need," says Necole. "I create the void that's in my life. I need a community, I need a safe space, and I need to elevate my health."

To no surprise, My Happy Flo is a labor of love in every sense of the word. When Necole turned 35, she started questioning her legacy and didn’t want to be remembered solely for being a gossip blogger. With her mother passing away at the age of 41 from breast cancer, and Necole getting closer to her '40s herself, she decided to take preventative measures to safeguard her health. The year she decided to retire from celebrity gossip, she moved to Arizona to embark on a wellness journey. During that time, she started seeing a holistic doctor that completely changed the game for her. "I enrolled in holistic nutrition and hormone health certification programs and learned about what causes different forms of cancer and how to heal through foods and vitamins," she continues. " I was able to learn about the different hormonal imbalances and discovered that having an abundance of estrogen in your body, or estrogen dominance, contributes to breast cancer and fibroid growth. I felt like I unlocked this wealth of knowledge concerning our hormones and how it contributes to many reproductive conditions that I didn’t know before."

Starting a holistic supplement brand was an idea Necole had been mulling over while burying herself in research about plant-based remedies and vitamins. But it became urgent when four of her friends had been told by their doctor that a hysterectomy was the only solution for their fibroids - one of which was a newlywed hoping to start a family. "[Through research] I learned that 80% of Black women will be diagnosed with fibroids by the age of 50," Necole says. “Most of the women I’ve talked to feel as though their period concerns were being brushed off by their doctors, or they were being pushed on birth control that came with a long list of side effects and eventually made their conditions worse, so I just knew it was the right time to launch My Happy Flo. I didn't know how I was going to run a period brand while running a media company, but God worked things out. He was like, 'I'm going to give you the vision. And then I'm going to give you the tools to see this vision through.'"

JLavii Photography

My Happy Flo is a plant-based supplement made from a blend of all-natural ingredients including DIM (Diindolylmethane) and Indole-3-Carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage. It also features essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D3, B12, Iron and Magnesium. The research-backed ingredients were curated with common nutrient deficiencies in black women in mind, and work together to improve hormonal balance, while helping to alleviate uncomfortable period symptoms like heavy bleeding, cramping, bloating, and mood swings. One customer even came back to report that her 11 fibroids had completely vanished after 6 months of taking My Happy Flo. Though Necole has yet to put advertising dollars behind what some reviewers have pegged as “a miracle in a bottle,” thousands of customers are already singing its praises. "We occasionally poll our customers and they’ve revealed that having a painful period affects their self-confidence, body image, intimacy, relationships, and job performance. So this product is about allowing them to have a better quality of life. And we do that by helping them improve certain aspects of their hormone health because our hormones rule everything."

While speaking with Necole, I noticed she is like an encyclopedia when it comes to vitamins, supplements, and hormonal health, and her face practically lights up as she talks about it. She is even enrolled in a menstrual cycle coach certification so that she can become an educator and empower her following. "I want to take a lot of my experience in media and translate that into My Happy Flo," says Necole. "I want the brand to feel like a girl’s night or happy hour with friends and you're talking about your health. For people to be able to talk about their period and reproductive health openly and honestly with no shame."

Above all, she wants to spread the word that period pain is not normal. "Our menstrual cycle is like the body’s report card and heavy bleeding and PMS symptoms is like our check engine light. It can be the first sign of an underlying condition," she insists. "There's just so many conditions [like] PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, and even thyroid disorders [where] a painful period is the first sign of these underlying health conditions. It is not normal to bleed through tampons by the hour, or have periods lasting more than 7 days, but we have just learned to deal with it. These symptoms serve as a smoke alarm and is letting you know that there's a fire going on somewhere else in the body."

Divine intuition has never steered Necole Kane wrong. And though she's aware many will have questions about her next steps, she assures her followers that she's still here to serve. Moving forward, Necole has her sights set on building My Happy Flo into the megabrand that she believes it can be. On her wishlist is a full-fledged line of products with holistic solutions for PCOS, insulin resistance, hyperthyroidism, and other hormonal imbalances as well as in-person events, video content, and getting government funding to launch menstrual education programs in schools. Until then, she assures xoNecole readers that she's never too far away. "I want my community to know when they read this and see that I'm leaving, that I'm still here, but serving them in a different way."

To learn more about My Happy Flo visit My Happy Flo.co or follow them on Instagram!

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