Recently, I was talking to a single woman about what her plans were for the holidays. When she started talking about how badly she wanted to be in a relationship, I found myself calling her out on it a bit. "Girl, you ain't said nothin' about a man all year and now you want to be with somebody?" After she (literally) poked out her lip, she said, "It just seems like everyone in the world is with someone but me and I don't like it."
Listen, it doesn't matter how much you adore your single state, there are definitely going to be times when you will either want what others have or wonder what it would be like to have what others have and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. At the same time, if you're tempted to reroute your entire life just because of six weeks' worth of sentiment, at least make the time to skim this so that you're absolutely sure. Because having someone to kiss on New Year's Eve is one thing. Taking on all that comes with being in a relationship? That is a reindeer of a whole 'nother color, sis.
So, the Hallmark Movies Have Got You Going, Eh?
OK, kinda off of the subject yet not really — what is up with all of these interracial couples in these holiday Hallmark and Lifetime movies and commercials? Listen, my goddaughters are bi-ethnic, so that is no diss; however, Black love is my lane and it seems like that is getting harder and harder to find right through here. Whew.
Anyway, although I'm not personally a holiday observer (and no, I am not a Jehovah's Witness), I do enjoy a good-'n-semi-corny holiday romance film, more than anything, because of the sweet innocence that seems to come along with it (which is hard to come by in TV and film these days). A word of caution, though — if you watch too many of those, it can definitely get you caught up if you're single. What I mean by that is, after about three of 'em, you'll be close to crying into your hot chocolate because it will seem like EVERYONE in the world is boo'd up when that isn't even close to being the case. Not by a long shot.
Still, if you know that you are naturally super sentimental, you might want to balance how much lovey-dovey stuff that you consume. Holiday movies are supposed to make you feel good. If all they're doing is making you feel lonely, it's time to read a book, listen to a podcast, or do something else.
Is This the Time of Year That Has You “Feeling Some Type of Way” Every Year?
I'm pretty sure it will come as no surprise to you that a whopping 40 percent of engagements happen in between Christmas and Valentine's Day. So, between IG posts of randoms with their sparkling diamonds, your friends with pics of them standing underneath the mistletoe, and perhaps even looking around at your family members and their boo, it's important to sit back and assess if you actually want to be with someone right now or does it just seem like this is the time of year when it is made abundantly clear that you aren't.
Then, once you've got that question answered, follow it up with if the holidays are a trigger for you every year. If so, don't take that lightly because you don't want to go out there and try and make a relationship out of scraps (an ex, a booty call, etc.) just because you're going through an annual trigger that will pass just (about) as fast as it came. You'd be better off treating yourself to a pampering day than forcing a relationship that you know you don't really want but try to make work…just because you're a little (overly) emotional right now.
After New Year’s, Do You Even Have Time to Maintain a Relationship?
Something that I personally think the holidays and weddings have in common is folks can put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and expenses into both, only for both to end pretty quickly. My point? When it comes to weddings, couples need to make sure that they are taking their life following their nuptials into account. And when it comes to the holidays, well — if you were doing just fine not having a man prior to Thanksgiving, what makes you suddenly think that now is the time to get with one?
Y'all, something that life and time have taught me is things are best when they happen organically when they aren't forced. If you happen to meet a guy at your favorite coffee shop the day before Christmas, awesome. Yet if you don't, again, your life was pretty full before the holiday season began, and trust me, these next few weeks are about to fly right on by. So, if you already know that you've got a ton of plans for the new year and being in a relationship would kinda sorta ruffle them, it's probably best that you are single right now. Don't mourn this fact. Celebrate it.
Always Remember That Sentimentality and Responsibility Are Two Very Different Things.
Whew. If you don't get anything else from this piece, please get this (and yes, I'm about to yell it) — THERE ARE A TON OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING DIVORCED, EVEN AS WE SPEAK, AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE THEY WERE CAUGHT UP IN THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT SOMEONE MORE THAN THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT COMES WITH BEING IN A HEALTHY AND LASTING RELATIONSHIP. To be sentimental isn't just about having feelings of love; it is also tied into nostalgia. And believe you me, I have found myself holding someone in my heart or bed far longer than I should've and it was all because nostalgia — not love — had gotten the best of me.
Besides, if you are single during the holiday season, don't take for granted the perks and pluses that can come with that — sleeping in, saving money, not sharing a remote, hanging out wherever you want with whomever you want for as long as you want, going on a few different dates with a few different guys…I can go on and on. Something that I share from time to time is a video that my goddaughter's mom did for me many years ago (you can check it out here; Rissi also has a dope Apple radio show called Color Me Country. Learn more about it here and here). She's married and she gets really real about the price that comes with that. It's a great reminder that while love is a beautiful thing, there are some blessings that come with being single that are totally unmatched as well (again, watch the video).
“Cuffing Season” Can Apply to YOU Too.
OK, so what if you read all of what I just said and you're like, "I hear you, Shellie. I would still like to go on a romantic date, binge-watch some shows on the couch or cuddle up while listening to some Donny Hathaway this year." Understood and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. That said, there is a big difference between being in a relationship and having a cuffing partner or even just someone to casually date right through here. Definitely do some pondering on which one you actually desire because the latter two require a lot less, basically everything, than that first one does.
Speaking of cuffing season, you know, it really does trip me out that when the topic of it comes up, it's oftentimes assumed that it's a "man's sport" when the reality is they wouldn't be able to pull it off without us. So, if after reading a lot of this, you know that what you want is some holiday company more than anything else, be real with yourself about that and then be honest with others who may be trying to set you up on a blind date or who may be trying to make a match with you online. At the end of the day, cuffing season is about people who want some company and not necessarily a relationship. Personally, I have a lot more respect for people who are honest about that fact than those who try to make something be more than what it is, all in the name of holiday-themed romance.
Whatever You Do, Plan and Choose Wisely, Sis.
See the feature pic for this piece? Imagine that the woman in it got linked up to the guy via a co-worker a week prior to Halloween. Neither of them could travel home for Christmas due to their work schedules, so they stayed at his/her/both places from Christmas thru New Year's and made some great, umm, memories. How beautiful — only, come Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, somebody's period is late and the pregnancy test that she bought seems to have the faintest double line on it. Or, her period is on schedule but there seem to be some little bumps down below. Or, her health is all good but someone is suddenly not answering her calls or responding to her texts anymore.
I could go on and on with various scenarios yet the point is this — whether you decide to make this the year that you get into something serious or you just want some holiday company to tide you over, please don't just let your feelings just run away in any direction that they want. Be honest with yourself, not just about what you want but what you need. Put together a plan that will serve you best. Then move in wisdom, taking your future and not just the present into account. Because no matter how much you may have the urge to reenact some rom-com right now, reality always sets back in and that's what you'll have to deal with after the credits that triggered your emotions in the first place stop rolling. Remember that. Every holiday season. OK? Cool.
Featured image by Getty Images
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.
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Actress and singer Keke Palmer recently shed light on the 'breast milk discrimination' she encountered at a Houston airport.
The incident allegedly went down on June 16, when Palmer, who welcomed her son Leodis Jackson earlier this year with longtime partner Darius Jackson, revealed on Twitter that Houston airport employees ruined her mood as she was discretely pumping.
In the tweet, the 29-year-old elaborated that her aggravation stemmed from the alleged threats spewed at her, including potentially disposing of "over 16 oz" of her son's food.
"Breast milk discrimination at the Houston airport ruined my mood," she tweeted. "I should've popped my tit out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16 oz [of] my [baby's] food?!?!!! Why is that not a crime?? I'M A MOTHER, for crying out loud."
\u201cBreast milk discrimination at the Houston airport ruined my mood. I should\u2019ve popped my tit out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16oz my babies food?!?!!! Why is that not a crime??\n\nI\u2019M A MOTHER for crying out\u2026\u201d— Keke Palmer (@Keke Palmer) 1686566225
It is unclear if the issue was resolved because Palmer has yet to release any additional details regarding the matter. Still, the Nope star's post was met with fans' support, and many shared similar stories about their experiences at other locations.
According to the official TSA website, breast milk and baby or toddler-related foods and drinks are categorized as "medically necessary liquids." This means those items, including break milk, formula, and puree pouches, aren't required to meet the carry-on regulations and can be transported onto a plane as long as it's in a proper bag.
In addition to those rules, it is also reported that it is legal to breastfeed and breast pump in public. Although different states have different laws, in Texas, where Palmer was allegedly discriminated against, a bill allowing women to pump in public areas was passed in 2019.
In light of Palmer's tweet and the controversy surrounding breast pumping and breastfeeding in public, xoNecole is sharing the stories of other high-profile women who have openly discussed their experiences, positve and negative, with breastfeeding in public.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama revealed during a Workplace Flexibility Conference over a decade ago that when her youngest daughter Sasha Obama was an infant, she was forced to bring her to a job interview because she was still breastfeeding.
The star disclosed that she feared she would have been disqualified if Sasha's presence was a disruption. But because Obama had interviewed with the president of the company, who also had a child, they understood the responsibilities of being a parent and gave her the job.
"I packed up that little infant, and I put her in the stroller, and I brought her with me. And I prayed that her presence wouldn't be an automatic disqualifier. And it was fortunate for me that, number one, she slept through the entire interview. And I was still breastfeeding — if that's not too much information. And I got the job," she said.
"But I know that I was lucky, number one. I was interviewing with the president, that had just had a child himself and was very understanding and open-minded. But I know that most folks are nowhere near as lucky as I was."
In addition to her speech, Obama advised a plan to give tax breaks or credits to nursing mothers to cover breast pump costs, but the opposing party, unfortunately, scrutinized it.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Another person who has discussed the stigma of breastfeeding in public is actress Jada Pinkett Smith. In an episode of her Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith revealed that she was mom-shamed as she tried to breastfeed her children, Jaden and Willow Smith.
The Girls Trip star explained that when she attended public locations with Jaden and Willow --who were respectively born in 1998 and 2000-- and had to breastfeed, she tried shielding it, but it became a hassle.
"I remember me, myself when I would be out with Jaden and Willow breastfeeding... I used to have that little [breastfeeding] cover. It would make it so difficult. They're in there [and] they're suffocating. I can't see them," she said.
Pinkett Smith added that the experience gave her anxiety because, at the time, breastfeeding in public was stigmatized.
"I had so much anxiety about it because back when I had them, breastfeeding was like, 'what? What are you doing?'" she stated.
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Feature image by Noam Galai/Getty Images