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6 Ways Cassie’s “Love Glow-Up” Is A Part Of Us All

2019 is totally Cassie's year! We love how we feel her journey in so many ways.

Celebrity News

If memory serves me correctly, Cassie was 20 when she first officially made her way onto the music scene as a newly-signed Bad Boy artist. Her first single was "Me & U". I remember watching the video and being like, "She's cute." But for me, it wasn't until I saw her in the movie Perfect Match, starring as the love interest of Terrence J. a few years back, that I was like, "Look at Cassie. She's grown grown." It was then that I noticed her having the kind of sexiness and style that puts you—well, at least me—in the mindset of Rihanna in some of the very best ways possible.

But you know what? These past several months, Cassie has captured my attention in a way like never before. First, she got mad respect from me for how graciously she supported Diddy during the loss of Kim Porter—a true love of his life and the mother of three of his children (although he also claims Al B. Sure's son Quincy as one of his own too). Something else that I really esteem about Cassie after this year is the fact that, although Black Twitter has been incessantly lightin' Diddy up for missing out on a good thing (being Cassie), she hasn't said much, if anything, about their relationship. Instead, she's been focused on her new life and new normal—her relationship with her man and now fiance' Alex Fine, and preparing for the entrance of their baby girl. There is something about how Cassie's been letting her Instagram account do the talking that has come off us mature, dignified and totally self-aware. Not only that but she seems to be at peace, living in the moment and very much in love.

You can see all of this resonate via the post that she shared of her engagement. Even though she turned 33 yesterday—Happy Belated Birthday, sis!— you'll see that her caption says that it was actually Saturday (8/24) that was her best day ever. If you make the time to check the video out (and also scroll on her page to check out some shots of her baby bump), it's very apparent why that is the case.

As I watched and oooed and ahhed with all of the others who have caused Cassie to trend on Twitter today, I thought about the fact that, while most of us will probably never be within fifty feet of her, there is something about her late 2018-2019 glow up that hits home for us all. In some ways, she's been the best kind of teachable moment. For me, here are the six lessons that observing her and how she moves has taught me.

Lesson #1. Do Something Different to Get Something New

I've written in the entertainment lane long enough to have learned to be very careful about commenting on famous people's personal lives like I actually know them and have all of the facts. Therefore, I have no clue what the true inner workings of Cassie and Diddy's relationship were; this includes not knowing if she was fine with being in a decade-plus relationship that didn't move to the point of them jumping the broom. However, what I do know is that the minute that she—at least to us—quietly made her exit out of that dynamic, it wasn't too long after that we started to see Mr. Fine. Some party shots from last December caused a lot of us to be like "Oh?" and now, eight months later—she's about to be a wife and a mom.

So yeah, I don't think that any of us need to know the details to be able to come to the confident conclusion that if you want something different than what you currently have going on, you've got to be willing to switch some things up—to let some things go, to try something new, to be open to leaving the past behind you. That's my first takeaway from Ms. Cassie's ever-evolving journey.

Lesson #2. If It’s Not Working…IT’S NOT WORKING

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I once loved a man for 10 years. I spoke with him not too long ago and if there's one thing that we can agree on, it's the fact that we actually loved, and still love, each other. The challenge is that I desire to be married someday and he? He has no clue what he wants to do in that arena. That's the thing. Unless you've been in something similar, it's probably hard for you to understand that just because you may be involved with someone and the relationship doesn't go how you planned (or others think it should go), that doesn't automatically or necessarily mean the relationship sucked or the guy is a jerk. Sometimes you simply want different things and, because feelings are there, it can be hard to let one another go so that you can get to what you truly desire.

What makes you finally walk out? I won't speak for Cassie, but I'll speak for me. Sometimes loving another individual teaches you how to love yourself more, better or differently than you did before knowing them. And when that love has solidified, you can love yourself enough to say, "I don't know what the future has in store, but what I do know is this isn't serving me anymore. So, I love you, but I love me more. And since I am single and my top priority, I need to do what's best for me, regardless of what you think about it or even how it affects you, really."

Somebody needs to hear this loud and clear. You can still love someone and know that since something is not working, it's an act of love—love for your future and whatever the other person needs to learn without you being so present in their lives—to move on. PLEASE DO.

Lesson #3. The Right Man Is Ready, Willing and Totally Able

The Universe is both cryptic and hilarious. Right around the time when Cassie posted a pic of her then-boyfriend-now-fiance', I had an article published on here entitled "One Overlooked Yet Obvious Indicator That A Man Is Husband Material". I don't know if Diddy is a commitment-phobe or marriage just ain't on his menu (yet). At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. What I do know is the third lesson that Cassie has taught me, actually comes from her man this time. It was basically in December that they went public and, not even a year later, this man literally saddled up, rode up to his lady, got down on one knee and sealed the deal. It didn't take 10 years, or even five or one. He knew what he wanted and he made it happen. And clearly, a part of what he wants is to be a husband. Cassie's husband.

A lot of us waste time with a man, not because he isn't a good man, but because he doesn't want what we do or he isn't at a point in his life to prepare for it. If we stay anyway and, as a direct result, only end up wasting more time, really…whose fault is that? That's my third lesson. (Thank you, Alex.)

Lesson #4. Timing Really Is Everything

I write a lot, so I can't remember exactly when or where I said this, but I know that I've shared that one thing about lessons of the heart, no matter how great or heart-wrenching the experience may have been, is they all are able to teach you some things that you probably wouldn't have learned any other way.

Again, I don't know Cassie, our paths have never crossed in any shape, form or fashion, but I'm willing to bet some pretty good money that she'll tell you that the woman she was at 20 is totally different than the woman she is now at 33. And yes, her past relationship(s) play a direct role in that. And because of what she's learned, she is able to take that wisdom into her upcoming marriage and her new season of motherhood. For that alone, she is grateful for the experiences and the growth. It was all preparation. All of it.

Speaking of motherhood, I must say that when I looked at her baby bump, I thought about something I heard someone say about how to tackle feelings of low self-esteem—"Automatically, you are a fighter and a winner because out of all of the sperm that made it to your mom's egg, it was you. YOU." Keeping that point in mind, while looking at Cassie, I thought, "Now that she's in the kind of relationship that she desires in this stage and season of her life, love is birthing new life."

Lesson #4. The right kind of love isn't just about feelings. It's also about well-placed timing too. You can't do it all. Just do your part. Let timing do the rest. As timing sees fit. Believe you me, it knows some things that you absolutely do not.

Lesson #5. What You Seek Is Seeking You

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I don't know the full history of Cassie and Alex. I do know that it's been reported, countless times, that he was hired to be her trainer once upon a time. There's been plenty of speculation about what transpired since that initial meeting, but when I briefly revisited all of the gushing that Alex did on his Instagram at the news of Cassie's pregnancy, all I could think about is the Rumi quote—"What you seek is seeking you."

Sometimes, the thing that we hope or even try and make happen with someone isn't working out because they aren't truly what we're looking for. What I mean by that is, well, my favorite quote by author and speak Leo Buscaglia expresses it all perfectly:

"As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I in a love relationship do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming."

If who you're with doesn't line up with what you want, always remember that real love is about your constantly evolution and the Universe seeks to bring you what you truly desire—and need. If the person you're with can't honor you in that way, the Universe will beckon you to look elsewhere.

Maybe towards your trainer. Maybe somewhere else. #winkwink

Lesson #6. Love Does Not Hurt. Love Nurtures, Heals and Fulfills.

Did you see how BIG Cassie's smile was at the end of the engagement video? No two people are perfect, no love relationship either. But what I haven't seen since the entrance of Mr. Fine is anxiety, confusion or pain. Cassie really does seem happy. No, she seems like she has joy. Happy is fleeting. Joy is a state of being.

And if that is what you want, no matter how much you love or even want to be with someone, if joy isn't coming your way, you've got to be willing to comply with whatever needs to happen so that you can get to the kind of love—and lover—that you truly deserve. A love that nurtures. A love that heals. A love that fulfills.

So yes, Ms. Soon-To-Be Cassie Fine, I'm happy for you today like I'm one of your homies or something. Because in many ways, you represent the love journey that may of us are on. And you are living proof that if we're willing to learn, apply and wait, good will come our way. Enjoy all of the blessings of this new season. We're rooting for you, Alex and that sure-to-be beautiful baby girl of yours. We really and truly are.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Cassie Is Out Here Living Her Best Life & We Love It

What The Ciara's, Cassie's & Karrueche's Of The World Have Shown Us About Moving On & Moving Up

Cassie Says She Owes Her Comeback To Black Women

Why You Should Be Grateful 'He' Didn't Choose You

Feature image by Alex Fine/Instagram

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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