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K. Michelle Spent Over $300K & Has Had 13 Surgeries To Reverse Her Butt Implants

Plus, other stories that are poppin' in the news this week!

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True beauty can't be bought and buying into this ideology can force you to pay a hefty price, both literally and emotionally, and has even cost a number of women their lives and K. Michelle's new show on Lifetime is a potent reminder of this fact. In 2012, the now-33-year-old R&B singer paid $7,000 for black market butt injections, and after 8 years of migraines, surgeries, and complications, K. Michelle says that she has spent nearly $300,000 to get the procedure reversed. On a recent episode of the Wendy Williams Show, K. Michelle opened up about her tragic experience and her mission to ensure that no woman has to ever go through what she went through, again. She explained:

"One morning I woke up, I was fine. And just one morning I woke up, y'all and my legs gave out and I couldn't walk and no one knew. They told me I had lupus. They didn't know what it was."

After learning that the silicone had spread throughout her body, causing potentially fatal damage, K. Michelle was forced to undergo a series of back-to-back surgeries to get it removed and they were not cheap.

"That surgery alone was $300,000 and I did it and no insurance doesn't cover it, so that's why I have the TV show because I'm helping women get it out of their bodies."

Although K. Michelle still has at least two surgeries before she's fully on the road to recovering, she's adamant about using her platform and her upcoming show to save the lives of women who don't have $300K to spend on a lifesaving procedure.

"Every day I get about 20 to 30 emails begging for their lives to be saved because they can't afford to get it out."

For more of the news that's poppin' this week, scroll below!

Kobe & GiGi Bryant's Memorial Service Was Today & There Wasn't Dry Eye In The Room

After watching Kobe and Gianna Bryant's memorial service, I have felt all of the feels and my heart literally can't take it. Along with Beyonce's performance of Kobe's favorite song, "XO", one of the most emotional moments of the service was when Vanessa Bryant gave an emotional tribute to her daughter GiGi, who she says would have made a great mother and ultimately become one of the greatest players in the NBA:

"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together."

In her address, Vanessa also had a message about her late-husband, who she calls her "protector":

"I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidante and his protector. He was the early bird and I was the night owl. He was fire and I was ice, and vice versa sometimes."
"I"m so thankful Kobe heard KoKo say dada. He taught us all valuable lessons... and we're so thankful he left those lessons and stories behind for us... We're still the best team."

B. Smith Loses Her Battle With Alzheimer's Disease

According to reports, 70-year-old lifestyle icon, cookbook author, and restauranteur B. Smith lost her seven-year battle with Alzheimer's and died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday and the creative industry lost one of the biggest bosses to ever do it.

Known for becoming one of the first Black mainstream fashion models, Barbra was a multi hyphenate businesswoman with many eggs and many baskets and she won't be soon forgotten. In a 1997 interview with New York Magazine, she said:

"Martha Stewart has presented herself doing the things domestics and African Americans have done for years. We were always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden. This is the legacy that I was left. Martha just got there first."

The NAACP Image Awards Show Was Black Elegance Personified

I'm going to need to send Lizzo, Rihanna, Tracee Ellis Ross, and all of the other Black girl magicians who pulled up at the NAACP Image Awards an invoice. Because my wig is snatched and I would like reimbursement.

Among the stars who were honored was our favorite bad gal, Queen Rih, who received this year's President's Award and we can always count on our good sis to come through with a word. In her moving speech, she asked the audience:

"How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Well then, you know, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too. So when we're marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jr.s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up."

Erykah Badu’s Vagina-Inspired Incense Sold Out In Minutes

Erykah Badu might possibly be one of the most iconic businesswomen of our time. Sis committed to the commando lifestyle, burned all of her old panties, made them into incense and sold them on the internet.

Earlier this month, the singer revealed that the unique product, which featured 20 sticks per box and is priced at $50, would be featured on her Badu World Market exclusively, and according to Erykah, it sold out in 10 minutes. So if there's anyone out there who doesn't believe that you can do anything you put your mind to (even if that means burning your underwear and selling them), just know that you're the only person holding yourself back.

Sabrina & Idris Elba Have A New Podcast, Here’s What We Know

Last year, Sabrina and Idris Elba tied the knot and recently, the couple announced that they would be giving viewers an inside look at how they make their relationship work with their joint lifestyle brand, Sable Labs.

The newlyweds say that with the launch of their podcast, they plan to help couples find a way to achieve their dreams together:

"We've started something called Sable Labs. We believe if we can create a Coupledom community, we can share our experiences and help each other communicate better and achieve more. We'd love to explore couples and relationships of all kinds under the topic of Coupledom, which is two people coming together to make a shared dream a reality. My hope is that by listening to other partnerships, people will recognize themselves and their own relationships, finding common ground that they can apply to their own lives. We hope that Coupledom becomes an inspiring space to help one another grow."

Featured image via Giphy

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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