If the year 2020 has taught me anything is that life is unpredictable. You think to yourself, "Oh I'll just try that new hobby tomorrow," or "I'll pitch my new business idea next month," or "I'll just ask that cute guy down the block his name another day." Nah, sis. This year has been the year to be a little more brave and take a risk in life and in love. But don't just listen to me, comedian and content creator Jasmine Luv is here to tell you that there is no time like the present.
Jasmine Luv is no stranger to going after what she wants. From leaving her accounting job four years ago to following her passion as a content creator, Jasmine has landed countless acting roles including a starring role in a recent BETHer two-part special directed by Vanessa Bell Calloway and Sheryl Lee Ralph called The Waiting Room. While Jasmine is following her dreams in her career, she is not letting her love life pass her by. Jasmine and her partner Corey, Tall Guy Car Reviews, recently got engaged and they couldn't be happier. Who knew a ring would be the result of a simple slide into this guy's DM? With this pandemic, a successful love story of hope after an action of bravery is exactly what we need.
xoNecole recently had a chance to chat with Jasmine on how her life has changed for the better after she #ShotHerShot. Here's what she shared:
xoNecole: What did the moment look like when you decided to shoot your shot at Corey?
Jasmine Luv: When I first saw him, it was at the gym. We were living in the same complex and when I walked into the gym I said to myself, 'Who is this young fella over here glistening with the sweats?' We locked eyes, but didn't say anything. So I continued my work out and left because in my mind, if he's not going to say anything, then I am not going to say anything. I got home and was talking to my brother about the guy I saw at the gym. My brother goes to the gym all the time, so he was bound to know who else goes to the gym a lot too.
After I described the guy to him, my brother told me that he was Tall Guy Car Reviews. So after he said that, you know us women gotta do our detective work. I Google-d him and found his page on Instagram. I'm scrolling and noticed I didn't see a woman in any of the pictures. At the time, I think I was going through a moment where it's Hot Girl Summer, I'm single and it looked like he was single. We live in the same complex, so I thought what the heck, I'm just going to shoot my shot. I did my due diligence and slid in his DMs. I have never done that before. I don't know what came over me, but it must have been God because it worked out marvelously.
"I did my due diligence and slid in his DMs. I have never done that before. I don't know what came over me, but it must have been God because it worked out marvelously."
What was that intro line you gave him that reeled him in?
Well, I sent him a message saying, "Hey neighbor, I see you live at the same complex. How are you?" He responded and then I asked him how was he liking everything so far. We kept conversing after that and he asked me if I wanted to meet up with him later on the rooftop. The rest is history.
Now, you and Corey have a successful YouTube channel, travel the world, and are engaged -- did you know that shooting your shot with him was going to be the beginning of your forever?
Never did I think in a million years things would turn out the way they did. Like I said, it was 2019, Hot Girl Summer, and I was just letting things happen. I wasn't expecting anything.
How do you navigate between both of your individual careers and the budding empire you are building together?
Everything worked seamlessly honestly. We both do the same things in our careers and that helps because we both know what to expect in each other's lives. I know individually we respect each other and when we can, we make time where certain days are "Our Days". For example, during the week, it's busy with running errands and shooting videos. At the end of the day, we do catch up and talk to each other about our day and give us that time together. But on Sundays, we do zero work. We are able to just lay in bed all day, watch movies, and eat fat food. That's how we do our self-care.
"On Sundays, we do zero work. We are able to just lay in bed all day, watch movies, and eat fat food. That's how we do our self-care."
Do you think you applied the “shoot your shot” mentality with your dream career?
I know I am a person that comes off as very straightforward. Shooting my shot with my career, that doesn't come as a shock. When it comes to business, I am very hands-on and direct. However, in my love life, I have never done that before, so that definitely comes as a shock.
What are three rules of thumb you think we all should apply in order to shoot our shots and live the lives we wish to lead?
Well, the first rule I would say is, don't be afraid to do it. I think as women we think, 'Oh, he didn't approach me, so I'm not going to approach him.' Because shoot, I was like that. But while I think it's true that men should pursue women, there is also nothing wrong with you making the first move. It's OK. There is nothing wrong with trying it out. We are in a new era and if you see a man and you think he's fine, you better go over there and tell that man you think he's fine!
The second rule would be to have fun with it. Try not to take the situation so seriously. We can psyche ourselves sometimes, but girl, it's cool to just have fun and be in the moment. The third rule correlates with number 1, but JUST DO IT (laughs). I know it's easier said than done, trust me I know. But as far as shooting your shot with a guy, I think a good ice-breaker is starting up a conversation about something you both have in common. With Corey and I, we have social media in common. So we were able to connect through that.
Why do you think women are hesitant to make the first move when it comes to what we want out of life?
I acknowledge that shooting your shot is not for everyone. I know I used to be one of those girls that would think, 'Hmmm I'm good on that.' I know a lot of people have told me that they have a fear of rejection and I believe everyone does. But I still think you don't know unless you try. So, I think it's OK to feel out of your element. No one was expecting the pandemic and how it has taken control of people's lives. But sometimes, that is exactly what we need to do with our own lives. Take back control. In 2020, it's a chance to try something new. With everything that is going on, maybe how you've done things isn't working anymore and you need to shift and do something different. Something that's outside of your comfort zone.
"No one was expecting the pandemic and how it has taken control of people's lives. But sometimes, that is exactly what we need to do with our own lives. Take back control. In 2020, it's a chance to try something new."
What is one thing you would tell your younger self that you wish someone told you about taking ownership of writing your own story?
Jasmine Luv: Well, growing up, I was always the shy girl. I'm honestly still shy to this day. But with moving out to LA, I was able to get out of my comfort zone a little bit and it made me more confident. So I would tell my younger self, "Don't be shy." If there is anything you want to do, you should pursue it.
Whether it's in your love life or your career, make sure you get out there, do it, and give it your all.
Keep up with their love story by following Jasmine's IG page here and check out the couple's YouTube channel to see more of their travels, wedding planning and more.
Featured image courtesy of Jasmine Luv
This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
In a time where the term “relationship goal” has seemed to have lost its spark, there’s one couple that we continue to root for whether they’re together or apart and that’s Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers.
Powers, 30, and Destiny, 27, first met in 2015 while attending a Teen Vogue party in 2015 but it wasn’t until 2019 that confirmation of their relationship surfaced in the digital cover of WeTheUrban digital cover in July of the same year.
While there was an immediate attraction, the now-exes said sparks really flew once they connected over Instagram. "For a minute we tried to hide it for numerous reasons, but as human beings sometimes you want to just shout to the world 'I love this person and I'm happy!'” Destiny expressed in the interview. "We try to find a balance. I'm already a private person and very career driven so reminding people that I am my own person is important."
With “are they, aren’t they” rumors swirling about the two’s aspirational relationship, it is clear that they both hold their privacy in high regard, while not keeping their love for each other a secret.
During the same interview, Powers shared how maintaining happiness in a relationship involves keeping aspects of one's life private. Especially considering the challenges of having a public relationship while navigating external perceptions that can lead to misinformation.
"The more you keep private the happier you'll be,” he shared. “It's not easy being in a public relationship, so you try to keep as much as you can private. Control your own narrative, don't give people too much because they make up stuff from the outside looking in."
In 2022, PEOPLE reported that the starlet couple had separated after a four-year relationship. And while a source confirmed that the two were, “taking time to focus on themselves and their emerging careers but are remaining close friends,” the LA-based actors have continued to be spotted together on red carpets, social functions, and public outings.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed whether the two are officially together again, us girls can dream, right? Let’s take a scroll through their relationship timeline together.
2015 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Meet
Destiny and Powers met in 2015 at a Teen Vogue party. From there, the two grew as friends and Powers quickly knew there was something special between them. "I realized I was in love when I knew my life would be extremely affected in a negative way if Ryan wasn't in it," he detailed for the digital cover of WeTheUrban in 2019. "I also felt myself growing as a person when Ryan came into my life, especially mentally. And I realized that I'm ready to deal with anything I have to deal with alongside Ryan. Once I felt that, I knew."
2017 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Attend LudaDay Weekend Topgolf Takeover
(L-R) Keith Powers, Ryan Destiny, Algee Smith, Luke James and Woody McClain.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Alongside Powers' New Edition castmates at the time, Powers and Destiny showed support at the LudaDay Weekend Topgolf Takeover in Midtown Atlanta.
2019 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Confirm Relationship
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET
Keith Powers and Ryan Destiny made their red carpet debut as a couple in 2018 at the BET Awards. In doing so, they also seemingly confirmed their romantic relationship.
2019 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Go Public With Their Relationship
It’s safe to say that the couple has embraced privacy over the years, but in 2019, the two began to appear as a package deal in magazine shoots and advertising campaigns together.
The couple starred in a sultry Calvin Klein campaign, dished the details of the relationship to WeTheUrban, and even appeared on-screen in Big Sean’s "Single Again” which highlighted the ramifications of being in a public breakup.
January 2022 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Spilt
After four years of dating, Powers and Destiny end their relationship, but still “remain friends.”
August 2022 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Spend Time With His Family
If spotting the former couple here and there together shortly after their public split didn't create speculation of a possible rekindling, fans seeing the two together with his family for his birthday put romance rumors into overdrive.
October 2022 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Spotted Together All Smiles
Destiny and Powers were photographed together and shared in a mutual friend's Instagram Story.
March 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers’ First Public Outing Since Breakup
Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers posing together at the 2023 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards.
Arnold Turner/Getty Images for ESSENCE
The actors were spotted together while attending the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards.
April 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Pose At Coachella
In April, the two were seen at the Revolve Festival during this year’s Coachella Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
June 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers At “The Perfect Find” Premiere
(L-R) Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers attend 'The Perfect Find' world premiere.
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Netflix
Powers owned his leading role alongside Gabrielle Union in the Netflix rom-com, The Perfect Find. And in June, Destiny was his red carpet date at the movie’s premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.
August 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Show Support
Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for FWRD
Destiny and Powers were dressed to the nines at the Hall Of Fame Induction Celebration for Dwyane Wade hosted by FWRD at Chateau Marmont's Bar in Hollywood.
August 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Take a Getaway
In an August Instagram posting, Destiny and Powers shared nearly identical selfies and photos showcasing that they both took a cruise with Virgin Voyages across the Adriatic Sea around the actor's birthday. Coincidence? One user commented on Powers' post, "You and my girl Ry Ry think y’all slick! I love it tho."
August 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Dance The Night Away
October 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers Celebrate Halloween
Destiny and Powers got in on the Halloween fun and hit the town in coordinating hamburger and hot dog costumes at a party in LA.
December 2023 — Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers On a Dinner Date
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Featured image by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for FWRD