Hopefully, as you age, you are maturing. And as you mature, you accept that although our society and culture seem to act, in many ways, like life is forever one big high school (cliques, peer pressure, caring about looks more than character, etc.), it’s not supposed to be.
Take friendships, for example. While, when you were a teenager, having a ton of friends was typically an indication of being uber popular, as an adult, you realize that popularity ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be and that if you have three solid friends, you are truly blessed. In fact, some studies reveal that most adults have between 3-5 true friends (not people you are cool with or even close acquaintances…good friends), with almost 50 percent professing to have three or fewer of those.
In the spirit of finding that conclusion to be absolutely true, let’s look at five types of friends you need — and three kinds of friends you don’t. Hopefully, when it comes to the five, you’ve got folks in your life who have all of these characteristics. Also, once you review the three kinds of “friends” who are probably doing you more harm than good, you will be ready to do some shifting — so that you have more to offer the friends who are actually benefiting you and your world (as you do the same thing for them). Ready?
1. You NEED an ACCOUNTABLE FriendGiphy
I’ll tell you what — if anything is currently on the endangered species list, it’s accountability. I don’t know what’s up with the current state of our culture, but people holding themselves responsible for their own words and actions (along with allowing others to do it) is becoming so rare that I recently wrote an article about it (check out “What It Actually Means To 'Hold Yourself Accountable'” when you get a chance).
It’s like egos are so large — and fragile — that so many folks have fooled themselves into believing that they want a romantic partner when what they actually want is a mesmerized audience and/or that they long for a true friend when what they actually want is a diehard fan. Don’t believe me? How many times have you heard someone say, “If you were my friend, you wouldn’t judge me, you’d support me”? And usually, it’s in the context of them being called out in their ish and them not liking it.
Supporting you doing something that is potentially unhealthy, obviously counterproductive, or even simply against your friend’s personal convictions? Nah, a real friend is gonna tell you what you don’t want to hear — especially if/when you don’t want to hear it because one of the main purposes of friendship is to look out for you and check for blind spots that you may not notice any other way.
Does that mean you are always expected to agree with your friend and their findings? No. Still, if they truly care about you, they will put their concerns on record. That’s the sign of someone you can actually trust. Besides, have you read an entertainment website or blog lately? Audiences and fans are fickle as hell. Accountability comes with maturity and stability. It’s something that the foundation of friendship is built upon.
2. You NEED a FLEXIBLE FriendGiphy
I don’t have kids. I do have goddaughters, though. One of them is a preteen (lawd, where does the time go?!) who is a bit on the dramatic side. So, one thing that I try and emphasize to her is she needs to be flexible when it comes to her approach to life. Otherwise, her rigidness (that life should go the way she wants to with no wiggle room for shifting) is gonna make her…unnecessarily miserable.
Sometimes she listens, sometimes she doesn’t — especially when it comes to her friendships. It’s like she wants everyone to be just like she’s decided in her mind that they should be, and then they are only loyal from her perspective if they never switch up. Bless her heart, because could anything be more unrealistic than that?
Thing is, I know grown folks who act the same way, not just when it comes to their friends but their own marriage. Listen, when you sign up to be in an intimate relationship with someone else, one of the things that you’re doing is agreeing to be loyal to the person they were, the person they are, and the person they are becoming — as they do the same thing for you. And that? That requires quite a bit of mental and emotional flexibility. And no, it’s not always easy.
Just recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about how much I have grieved certain dynamics of our friendship over the past (almost) 20 years. In so many ways, although core values like loyalty, trustworthiness, and dependability have pretty much never wavered, because he’s become a different person in other ways, to a certain degree, it’s affected how we interact and how much. Many times, when we would discuss it, he would have to remind me that I’m comparing who he is now to who he was when he was damn near two decades younger — and to him, that was unfair.
In many ways, he’s right. There’s something wrong with a person who can go years at a time without evolving, and there’s also something wrong with a friend who won’t “let” a person do so. Hmph, that actually makes Alice Walker’s quote make all the more sense: “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” Yeah, if you want to have good friends and be a good friend, flexibility has to come into play. No doubt about it.
3. You NEED a PROACTIVE FriendGiphy
In the many years that I have been a marriage life coach, if there’s one thing that personally irks me to no end is passive aggressiveness. I’ve said it many times before because I absolutely believe it to be true that Disney and rom-coms have too many people out here thinking that a sign of true love and real connection is mind-reading abilities when that simply isn’t the case. What I mean by that is, if you want someone to know what your wants, needs, and expectations are, you need to tell them. Guessing games are just that: GAMES.
And what does that have to do with this particular point? Well, until you state what you need from someone, it’s not their responsibility to try and figure it out and then fulfill it. It’s once you communicate with them and (this is key), they agree that it is something that they can rise to the occasion on, and then they don’t, that it starts to translate as neglect or even disrespect as far as your relationship goes.
Here’s a good example. I’m a Gemini. I’m also a unique woman on a few levels because, although I don’t observe holidays (and no, I am not a Jehovah’s Witness), I do treat my birthday like it lasts the entire Gemini season. Back in the day, I used to assume that my friends found their own birthday to be as much of a big deal as I did mine, and so, I didn’t think it was necessary to mention that I wanted to celebrate beyond a mere “Happy Birthday.” Interestingly enough, though, most of my world is kind of “meh” about their day — and so that energy initially translated that way when it came to observing mine.
For years, I would be HOT. At the same time, I wouldn’t say anything. I chalked it up to folks not really caring about me as much as I thought they did. That is, until I stated it as a need and — BOOM! Even the friends of mine who don’t get it will make sure to bring up, right around the beginning of June, what I want and/or want to do for my born day. They are proactive instead of reactive because I communicated my needs.
So, with this point, there are two things to remember: don’t expect out of people what you haven’t clearly stated. Once you do, though, if they value you and your dynamic with them, they are going to be proactive. In other words, you won’t have to keep asking, keep reminding, and/or keep being disappointed. You will be too important to them for that to transpire.
4. You NEED a SAFE FriendGiphy
Probably, until my last breath, if someone were to ask me about a self-help book that they should read, I’m going to refer them toSafe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't. Listen, when you’ve survived the kind of stuff that I have over the course of my lifetime, “safe” is a word that is truly music to your ears. And yes, when it comes to the types of friends that you need, safe is a word that you should never compromise or waver on.
When someone is safe, they are “secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk” and “free from hurt, injury, danger, or risk.” Some synonyms for safe include protected, cherished, alert, considerate, and even “taking it easy” (they aren’t pushy or pressuring). And because the word “safe” isn’t used nearly enough when it comes to setting the bar for romantic, platonic, or hell, even familial relationships, let me go a bit deeper.
Characteristics of a safe person include:
- They are honest and direct in their communication
- They let you share your feelings freely
- They keep things confidential
- They operate from a place of humility
- They do not weaponize information against you
- They’re forgiving
- They’re understanding
- They are affirming and validating
- They are consistent (they aren’t wishy-washy)
- They don’t expect perfection yet they do expect growth
- They keep their word
- They help you to become a better person
And honestly, these 12 things simply scratch the surface of what it means to be safe to someone else; however, the list is vast enough (hopefully) that you know what kind of bar you are holding your own friends to.
For the record, a safe friend isn’t a perfect one. That needs to be said because friends are human and humans are fallible. At the same time, the reason why I’ve penned articles for the site like “10 Signs You’ve Got A Close (TOXIC) Friend,” “6 Signs You're About To Make A Huge Mistake In Making Them A Close Friend,” and “Ever Wonder If A Friend Is Just...Not That Into You?” is because, it’s one thing for a friend to make mistakes, yet it’s another when they are reckless and honestly couldn’t care less if their words or actions are doing you harm.
So yeah, do yourself a favor and think about each of your friends (close friends especially). As you go over the safe list — which of them are safe and which ones…honestly aren’t? And then, in the spirit of holding your own self accountable, ask yourself if you are a safe space for them as well. In order to be objective, you might want to send them this article and let them be the judge. Straight up.
5. You NEED a SECURE FriendGiphy
It’s hard for someone to love you if/when they don’t love themselves. And when I think back on one of the things that I totally underestimated back in the day when it comes to healthy friendships, it was making sure that the people in my life weren’t insecure — especially the women. From the mean girl that I met in the first grade, to one of the worst people to ever come into my life who was kind of forced upon me in my childhood (just because your parents have friends, that doesn’t mean that you should automatically be put together with those people’s kids), to some people who were not-even-remotely low-key jealous and competitive — you really need people in your life who are so secure in themselves that they can root for you, they won’t try and copy you and they don’t feel some type of way about the goals that you reach along life’s way.
So, what are some clear signs that you’ve got a friend who is secure with themselves, which means that they will be solid when it comes to you and your friendship with them?
- Don’t always have to be right
- Do not feel threatened by your success
- Aren’t using you as a meter for their own life accomplishments
- Don’t give backhanded compliments
- Aren’t defensive about every damn thing
- Aren’t super clingy or needy
- Can take criticism
- Aren’t petty
- Don’t switch up on you on the regular
- Feel like a breath of fresh air instead of someone you have to walk on eggshells around
In short, insecure people feel like projects, and when it comes to healthy friendship dynamics, the last thing you should want to feel is like you’re always working on someone — or that you’re constantly working to make things work.
1. You DON’T NEED a HYPOCRITICAL FriendGiphy
Have mercy! If there is one thing that our culture enjoys doing to the utmost, it’s cherry-picking the Bible. Meaning, if there’s a Scripture that makes them feel good, they’re all about applying the Good Book to their lives. On the flip side, if there’s something that challenges them to the utmost, suddenly, they want to deflect or manipulate it. Take when Scripture speaks of Christ saying, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Folks are good for stopping there, yet let’s look at the statement in its proper context:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” — Matthew 7:1-3(NKJV)
Now, for the record, there are verses like “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24 — NKJV) that make it clear that judgment is not a bad thing; it’s just that there is an attitude and order that we’re supposed to apply when doing it — and Matthew 7 is clear that the spirit that we have when we judge is one that we can expect from others. Not only that, but whatever area we plan on judging in, we should make sure that we’re good in that very same space.
For instance, how can you call out your friend on being in unhealthy relationships if you’re in a toxic one yourself? Are you being a good friend, or are you merely deflecting — or worse projecting? It is easier to take out your frustrations with yourself on them because you don’t want to look into your own mirror. Or how are you going to be hard on your friend about their financial decisions when your credit score sucks, and your savings account is empty?
See? The issue when it comes to being a hypocritical friend is you either hold people to a bar/standard that you don’t even hold yourself to, or you seem very comfortable with the “Do as I say not as I do” approach — and that is just ridiculous.
No one needs a friend who thinks it’s their job to police everyone but themselves. It’s draining. It’s arrogant. And, at the end of the day, it benefits absolutely no one.
2. You DON’T NEED an INCONSISTENT FriendGiphy
A few weeks ago, while sitting in one of my classes, an instructor asked all of us to share what our biggest pet peeves were when it comes to relationships. I didn’t have to think twice — I can’t stand it when people are inconsistent.
I think a lot of it has to do with PTSD from my childhood because I lived with people who were unpredictable as all get out. And while it might be ironic to those who’ve read/heard that a popular trait of Geminis is moodiness (although I would say I’m pretty consistent on that front), is there anything more exhausting than someone who is one way on Monday and another way on Thursday or they make plans and then bail at the last minute (on a pretty regular basis), or they suck at clear communication, or they make promises yet don’t keep them, or they aren’t there for you when you absolutely need them to be? NOPE.
And while we’re on this particular kind of friend that you don’t need in your life, some definitions of consistent include compatible, not self-contradictory, and “constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc.” Yeah, the older you get, the more you realize that long-term friendships need to have more than “we like the same music or food” in common. It’s important to have some people in your life who share your core values — who have similar (good) character traits as you do.
Also, some synonyms for consistent include words like dependable, logical, rational, steady, and unwavering. For better or for worse, if there’s one thing that just about all of my friends say about me, it’s that I’m consistent as hell — what you see is what you get. Rarely does something ever blindside them about me; especially since I’m going to pretty much overcommunicate my needs and will give a heads-up when I’m about to shift into some sort of internal growth spurt. That way, there are no unpleasant surprises.
Life brings enough of those without your friendships being full of ‘em. Feel me? I’m sure that you do.
3. You DON’T NEED a SELFISH FriendGiphy
As I’m gearing up to write my third book, one of the things that I will be addressing is how selfish a lot of my past friends — well “friends” — were. A lot of self-work and healing has helped me to see that a huge part of that is because my friends reflected quite a bit of my familial experiences because, well, your family is all that you know…until you know something different.
Friends got to get away with it because it was a cryptic kind of selfish. They were self-consumed like a mug yet also manipulative enough to do just enough to make me think that it was okay for me to do more than them. Probably the best way to explain the hamster wheel is bread-crumbing — you know, giving you a little bit to keep you hanging on and rarely much more than that.
For instance, I have shared before that one former friend? Over the course of our friendship, I literally spent thousands on her, yet I can’t think of one time when I ever received a wrapped gift. Not one. Instead, she would bake a cake or cookies (mostly for my birthday), which was nice — yet still, how do you go 15 years with someone purchasing for birthdays, bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries, etc., and you can’t seem to muster up one present that actually comes with a receipt?
Meanwhile, you show me things that you purchase for other folks? Wild. Yeah, she was a selfish person, and a big part of that was because she was a self-consumed woman. Somehow, even when she claimed to call to check on me, the conversations would always become about her (chile).
So, what else does a selfish friend typically do?
- They’re constantly asking for something while rarely offering anything
- They display horrible timing when it comes to their requests (they don’t know how to “read the room”; they only care about their needs being met)
- They rarely apologize (if ever)
- They don’t really commit to anything unless they can get something out of it
- They do what’s best for themselves — even at the expense of others
- They have controlling tendencies
- They act entitled
- They’re typically easy to get along with until they can’t have their way
- They lack empathy
- They don’t mind you doing most of the work
To be fair, most of us have selfish moments that our peeps have to love us through (because, well, love is patient, right?). However, because friendships are about reciprocity, look out for folks who, if you pulled your effort out of the picture, there would barely be a friendship to speak of because that’s how much you put in and how little they do.
It was a long read, I know. Yet because one of the most important relationships we will ever have in this life is our friendships, I hope this cheat sheet will help you to see what a real friend looks and acts like — and doesn’t.
Because, after all, life is too short and precious to be out here not celebrating the friends you need as you hold onto the ones…you…don’t.
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Featured image by PeopleImages/Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
It is Eartha Kitt who once said, “Aging has a wonderful beauty, and we should have respect for that.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s why, it really does get under my skin, that we live in a culture that is almost obsessed with staying young. Why? Don’t you want to grow, evolve…mature? That’s why I’m also not big on people who are damn near obsessed with looking 20 years younger than they are. Nah, personally, I think the goal of looking great for and at your age is where it’s at because, as my mother (who ages remarkably well) used to say, “I’ve earned every year. I don’t want to be looking like a child when I’m not.” (It’ll preach.)
This kind of wisdom is the type of hindsight that cannot be matched. Because again, while getting older shouldn’t be anything that any of us are afraid of or ashamed to do, wouldn’t it be great if we were more proactive than reactive when it comes to how we take care of ourselves — so that as we do age (and it is inevitable), we will age…gracefully…seamlessly…beautifully?
That’s why I took the time to ask 15 women in their 40s to share some things that they wish they had done in their 20s as far as physical beauty is concerned. Look at it as me doing a solid for any of you younger readers who really think that “I woke up like this” will last…forever. It won’t. And if you settle into that very real reality by taking good care of yourself now, the 40s will be where you actually end up looking better than ever.
*Middle names are used in all of my interview pieces, so that people can speak freely, no matter what the topic may be.*
“Some women aren’t gonna like this but, Black can crack. I see it often; especially when I look at a lot of these women’s necks — even celebrities. You can look like you’re 29 in the face but because you didn’t take care of your neck when you were in your 20s, it’s out here looking like it should be in a nursing home. That part of your skin ages and sags like everything else. I wish I had cared about that back in the day. I do now and yes young women, moisturize your neck every night and every morning. I personally use a combination of rosehip oil and lavender because they help to stimulate collagen production. Don’t wait until you have tree rings. Do it…now.”
“I wish I had taken better care of my breasts. Not [just] as far as my health; as far as their appearance. When you’re in your 20s, everything is perky and unicorns. Hit 35 and you start to notice that your girls like your feet more than your neck. Doing some exercises to make your pecs more prominent and applying some cocoa or shea butter every night are little things that can keep them youthful. Don’t wait. A breast lift is an option but those aren’t cheap. And if you can avoid paying what a used car costs to keep your breasts sittin’ high, why not do that now?”
“It might sound weird but I wish I had laid off of my protective styles more. It’s like we’ve forgotten that the point of them is to grow our hair out but that can’t happen if we’re never giving our hair a break from all of the tension that comes from tight-ass braids and twists. Now my edges are suffering and that can make you look older than you are. Those ‘Brandy braids’ are cute, girl, but so is having a full hairline. Don’t live in a protective style — your future self is screaming this at you.”
“I wish I drank less. I had a good time, trust me. But drinking on the weekends and then having drinks a couple of nights a week after work took its toll. My skin feels drier and it takes more work to keep it moisturized. These days, [I] eat edibles instead. It’s healthier and it has compounds in it that can slow down the aging process. Oh, to be young again.”
“I wish I had incorporated some sort of hand care. If anything takes wear and tear on a constant basis, it’s our hands and we’ll be out here having a beauty regimen for everything but those. Now my hands are starting to look older than I would like and so I’m having to work overtime to get rid of some fine lines and fragile-looking skin. What I do is get hand facials every couple of months. Look to see what spas or salons offer them. It makes a really big difference on your hands. Your arms too.”
“I’m the most comfortable sleeping on my side but it’s not the best for my face — anyone’s face, really. I used to hear that it would cause wrinkles but when those aren’t something that you have to worry about, you don’t care. I’m starting to see a few around my lips and so now I’m on my back more often. I’m thinking that if I had cared about this in college, avoiding wrinkles would not be on my list of concerns at this age.”
“Stay off of acidic drinks. Your teeth will age just like everything else and sodas and orange juice doesn’t help. Think about the people you know who look one way…until they smile. Then they look 10-15 years older. Go to the dentist regularly and schedule a professional whitening appointment. White teeth make you look younger. Just take good care of them. You’ll be glad that you did, if you do.”
Jaye. 44.“Gray hair is a blessing but my grandmother always told me that it can come in prematurely — and a part of what causes that to happen is stress and a poor diet. When you’re young, you don’t care about stuff like that. But let those first ones creep in around your hairline and suddenly, you’re looking for all kinds of hacks. My advice? That man, that job, and that relative that is already making you want to pull your hair out? Let them go. Your hair can’t take it. And all of that junk food you’re consuming? I still hit a drive-thru but these days, it’s more like a couple of times a month instead of during every lunch break.”
“Get your legs waxed. All of that razor shaving can cause discoloration or leave razor marks that can make your skin look older over time. Plus, it creates ingrown hairs and something about those can make you look older too.”
“Stop not taking sleep seriously. When you’re 25, you can go on four hours of sleep for days on end but it catches up to you. Sleep is what rejuvenates you and if you don’t get it, eventually you will look like it. I have dark circles that I’ve been trying to get rid of and a part of it is due to years of no sleep catching up to me. Whatever it is, it can wait until you’ve had at least seven hours. Don’t listen if you don’t want to. One day you will look in the mirror and wish that you did.”
“I wish I had spent more time outdoors. It’s no secret that Black people have more of a vitamin D deficiency than anyone else but trying to pile up on supplements when you’re older is a lot. When you’re at restaurants, eat on the patio. Sit on your back deck to read a book. Go for a walk in the mornings. I’m dealing with some hair loss stuff right now and it’s partly because I need more vitamin D. And thinning hair makes you look older than you should.”
“Waist trainers are bad for you. I wish those damn things would go away. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get that a snatched waist can take a few years off. Hell, I know that I took mine for granted back in my 20s. Snack on bananas and berries. Do some cardio even if that’s power walking through the mall. Stop drinking cold stuff so much. It might sound like a mama’s tale, but drinking things at room temperature reduces bloating. There are other things that you can do to get the curves that you want without smashing your organs. Lord.”
“I wish I cared more about my damn arms. Nothing makes you look older quicker than your upper arms not being in good shape. Get some five-pound free weights and set aside 15 minutes. Dry brush those bad boys; it’ll keep dimples from showing up. Keep them extra moisturized, so that those annoying little bumps won’t show up. And use sunscreen. The sun doesn’t know if you’re Black or not. It comes for us too.”
“Have a professional care for your skin. There are a billion things that you can do at home but an aesthetician is trained to figure out what works best and what doesn’t. Facials, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels from time to time have all played a role in me starting to look younger. If I had taken preventative measures, it would’ve kept some money in my pocket because I wouldn’t be going quite as much as I do now.”
“I wish I had been more choosy about my sex partners so that I could’ve had wilder sex. Listen to Auntie here. There is some stuff that good sex will do for you and aging that no cosmetic can. Sweat out those toxins. Work out that core. Take in some of that sperm. Just do it with a man you can trust and you can be totally free with instead of these knuckleheads. Yeah, better mate selection is the beauty tip that I recommend — and stop acting like it’s a rite of passage to start this at 35. Get a good man now and sit down somewhere. So that you can lay down in peace. That’s what I’ve got for you.”
Pass the plate around for Payce, y’all. As far as beauty and maturity go, she just preached — to women of ALL ages! Amen? Amen.
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