I’m still in shock that HBO’s Insecure has come to an end. It truly feels like the end of an era. And much like the show’s main characters, my friends and I have changed so much since the first episode aired. I think that’s why I connect with the series. It told our stories in such a clear, funny, yet beautiful way that seemed familiar to real-life problems, relationships, and friendships. But, the other obvious reason we rallied behind the show is clearly the mastermind herself, Issa Rae.
As a creative, her story motivates me so much. She defied the Hollywood rules and created her own path to achieve her dream. From the viral web series Awkward Black Girl to a five-year deal with Warner Media, her journey continues to inspire me. Still, it’s not just her story that resonates. It’s also her attitude and personality.
Whenever I see her interviews (and I’ve watched many) or watch her on the red carpet, I get the feeling she is completely being herself. And that self is a talented, awkward, and successful businesswoman who seems to pour herself into her art and helping others. January 12, Rae’s birthday, feels like a good time to focus on her, so let’s take a few moments to celebrate Issa by reflecting on 10 of her most inspirational quotes.
Rich Fury / Getty
There’s no code-switching over here! This meme moment will live in our heads forever. When an interviewer asked Issa Rae who she was supporting, she nonchalantly stated that she was “betting on Black.” And her delivery was everything we didn’t know we needed.
On Possibilities: "I don't like being limited. This is my worst nightmare. I want to be able to flex other muscles and see what else I can do."
This Issa Rae quote serves as a reminder not to tie myself into one skill or trait, it’s OK to grow and change paths.
On Authenticity: "Embrace who you are now. Embrace what makes you different. If people don't like you for who you are then those people aren't meant to be in your life."
Don’t feel like you have to fit into a mold. Celebrate yourself and those who see you for who you are.
Basically, I love this one because it’s an ode to Black girl magic and how we continue to be great no matter how much turmoil is thrown at us.
Christopher Polk / Getty
Often it’s easy to diminish our goals yet magnify our problems. You know what I mean: “I got that little promotion” or “I did OK on my exam,” when you actually aced it! We should be comfortable celebrating our accomplishments and need to be careful not to minimize them.
Issa Rae On Taking Up Space: "It take confidence. It takes a sense of knowing what you want to say... but sometimes, as women in the workplace, you really have to speak up for yourself and not expect to be rewarded automatically."
With this one Rae simply reminds us not to fade into the background and be comfortable using our voice.
On Initiative: "Tell the story that you've been brewing in your head for years. Even if there hasn't been something, something that you're passionate about or something that you're curious about. You've just got to start it."
It’s so easy to put off goals and projects, especially when you’re passionate about them. But, this quote reminds me not to let fear make decisions for me.
On Speaking Up: "Never dilute your voice. I'm here for a reason and I have something to say, and that's why they [HBO] called me."
Being confident in yourself can get you far, and I think it feels better in the end when you remain true to who you are.
On Perseverance: "Stop finding ways you can't do something. Then you're not going to do it. Find the way that you can and then go for it."
Just go for it. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to start it. Nothing is ever perfect but it can’t be improved until it exists.
On Diversity of Black Women: "I'm a proud Black woman who likes swimming, owns an electric car and loves 'Downtown Abbey.' That's me. And just by being me, I'm Black."
Because, it’s a perfect reminder that we’re never a monolith.
Featured image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for American Express
- Issa Rae Dishes On Her Self-Care Secrets - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- Issa Rae On Having Multiple Streams Of Income: 'Because, Why The ... ›
- 20 Inspirational Celebrity Quotes, Success - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- Issa Rae Weighs In On Prioritizing Therapy - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- Issa Rae Comes Full Circle ›
- Issa Rae Comes Full Circle ›
- Advice From 25 Black Moms In Business - xoNecole: Lifestyle, Culture, Love, & Wellness ›
- Motivational Quotes On Success For Black Women - xoNecole: Lifestyle, Culture, Love, & Wellness ›
Kirby Carroll grew up in VA but now calls Atlanta, GA home. She has a passion for creating content and helping brands grow through storytelling and public relations. When not immersed in work, you can find her sipping a mimosa at brunch or bingeing a new TV drama on Netflix. Keep up with her on social media at @askKirbyCarroll.
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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images