The classic album that launched Mary J. Blige's career in the mid-'90s is the inspiration behind the newly released Amazon Prime documentary entitled, Mary J. Blige's My Life. When Mary dropped the album in 1994, it connected with women of all ages on a different level than ever before, dubbing her the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. She admittedly recorded the album during one of the darkest times in her life.
Depression and an abusive relationship (with singer K-Ci of K-Ci & JoJo) contributed to the album's timeless soulful tracks and the reason she's finally decided to tell the whole story of that period on the silver screen.
"I've done pretty much everything that I've always wanted to do," the Power Book II: Ghost star said in the doc. "But success comes when you're successful inside. And for a long time, I didn't know I was successful outside because I was a wreck inside."
Raise your hand if you've ever been a wreck on the inside. *Raises hand* It's true her relatability and the resilience that she's displayed in her music over decades has transformed her into the icon she is. In the doc, Mary also talks about being molested, her battle with addiction, and childhood traumas.
Below read Mary's best quotables while doing press for the film that shows the power in her vulnerability.
On wanting no more drama in her life...
"For years, from album to album, I was still in so much pain until I got to the No More Drama album [released in 2001]. That's when I made the choice, 'I'm tired of feeling like this. I'm tired of having suicidal thoughts. I'm tired of hating myself, and now I don't want to die. How do I live?" Mary told Yahoo Entertainment while promoting the doc.
"So it was still heavy for me when everyone else was like, 'Oh my God, this album did so much for me. This album saved my life.' When I was still stuck in hell."
On growing up in underserved communities…
Mary's parents divorced when she was just five and she grew up with her mother and her three siblings in Schlobohm housing projects in Yonkers, New York.
"I think [what] people don't understand about the families that live in the projects, is that it's like a prison… people are just suffering…. I remember hearing women being beaten. My mother was one of those women. I carried her pain. I carried the neighbors' pain. I carried people all over the environment's pain. And I carried my own pain," she said of her experience.
On her self-love journey…
"Now, I love my sharp, pointy nose. I love my high cheekbones. I love my lips. I love everything about me and, nowadays, people are buying these features [laughs]."
On the abuse she endured...
The songstress opened up about her failed relationship with K-Ci.
"It became very dark, the whole thing, and abusive," she shared. "There was a lot of manipulation," to the point where she decided, "I'm gonna dumb myself all the way down, play myself all the way down, so I don't think I'm special, so I can be with you."
"I've had to physically fight for my life a lot," she continued.
On the advice she would give to the young women out there…
"My advice would be to keep going," Blige said during an interview at ESSENCE Fest. "You're going to fail, you're going to have ups and downs, but just don't stop whatever you're doing."
Mary J. Blige's My Life is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Featured image by Rodin Eckenroth / Stringer
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Jazmine A. Ortiz is a creative born and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn and currently living in Staten Island, NY. She started in the entertainment industry in 2012 and now works as a Lifestyle Editor where she explores everything from mental health to vegan foodie trends. For more on what she's doing in the digital space follow her on Instagram at @liddle_bitt.
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The Holistic Remedies This Yoni Specialist Uses To Heal Her Womb & Level Up Her Vulva Care
It’s time we have a talk with our yoni.
Before we ever knew she had a name, our yoni has been a beloved companion. She ushered us into womanhood with our menstrual cycle and nudges us in the right direction through the voice of our intuition. Through her, all life flows, and with that kind of power, doesn’t she deserves a lot more love, care, and protection?
“Everything comes [from the] womb,” says Dorisa King, Minister of Holistic Feminine Healthcare and Pennsylvania’s first Certified Yoni Steam Practitioner. “Our deepest fears, desires, and goals — that woman's intuition that we feel is really our womb talking to us. The womb is the brain of the woman's body.”
Dorisa’s calling came to her in a dream on her 30th birthday in 2018. While she had never heard of Yoni steaming before, the vision set her on the path to seek further education about the practice and inspired her to rewrite the womb history in her family. “I've always been into herbs and eating clean, so the fact that a lot of women in my family had hysterectomies and suffered from fibroids — and with me having painful periods — I wanted to reverse the curse on the womb history in my family.”
Part 5| Yoni Specialist, Dorisa King is back with some more natural birth control tips! In this clip, Dorisa talks about a natural herb you can use as birth control. If you’re tired of using hormonal contraceptives push that + for more tips! #naturalbirthcontrol #contraception #tiktokhealthtips #viral #blackseedoil #birthcontroloptions
After a clip of Dorisa sharing a list of natural birth control options went viral, many women in the comments were left amazed (and even skeptical) of the discovery. From black seed oil to tangerine juice, these alternatives to hormonal birth control have left many of us wondering: why didn’t anyone tell us about these before? But according to Dorisa, it’s an insight that our ancestors have made available to us all along.
“I like to take things back to our roots and ancestors. We've only been in this country for about 400 years, but these plants and herbs have been here forever,” she tells xoNecole. “We weren't able to practice these things then, but if you claim to be a child of God, you should take God's medicine.”
The connection we have with our womb is sacred. And with natural methods to enhance our feminine care and secure our reproductive health, we can ensure that the care of our vagina remains where it should be: in a woman’s hands.
Dorisa tells us all about how natural birth controls work, how to up our Yoni care routine, and why a natural approach to birth control is worth trying.
xoNecole: You’re a big advocate of good Yoni care — could you share what a proper Yoni care routine entails?
Dorisa King: I want to talk about vulva care, and that's: washing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing your vulva daily.
It's really important to wash your vulva with a safe plant-based wash. We use our hands only because rags carry bacteria, and the detergent that we use can be harsh. A rag is too harsh of a material to use on this soft sensitive skin, so I always recommend using your hands to clean your vulva, the clitoris, the small lips, and the big lips.
If you're getting waxes, I really recommend toning with a nice plant-based toner or rose water and exfoliate the skin to keep it clean from dead skin cells. Lastly, apply a good moisturizer like flaxseed oil or coconut oil.
xoN: How can Yoni steams help to the regulation of our flow and/or relieve menstrual discomfort?
DK: Everything that we eat must go through our womb before it exits the body. The way yoni steaming works is by cleaning out the womb space and the vaginal canal. The steam goes through the canal and kind of whispers around the reproductive organs to pull out anything that's unwanted — a lot of stagnant energy [from] a spiritual perspective. Anything backed up in there is just going to expel. I like to think of it as when we have a congested nose, we steam our face, and the snot comes out. Well, it's the same thing when we steam our yoni.
xoN: Let’s talk about natural birth control. What are some natural birth control methods that women can use to prevent pregnancy, and how do they work?
DK: They work by getting into the bloodstream. Everything's all about the blood, especially when it comes to women. There are four different birth controls I’m going to share, and they all can be used at the same time and work effectively together.
- Black seed oil: Black seed oil should be taken in the a.m. and the p.m. around the same time, daily. Black seed oil is great for keeping the immune system boosted and rid of excessive mucus in the body.
- Organic coconut oil, organic: Unrefined coconut oil is actually a spermicide. It can be used as a lubricant on the penis and all over the yoni. Every time before sex, you want to apply this because the properties in coconut oil and antifungal and antimicrobial, keeping infections at bay.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C keeps your immune boosted, and it should be used after sex or before sex. We want to keep these herbs and minerals inside the body so the blood knows how to recognize [them] and then let [them] do [their] job. You can use vitamin C like in capsule form like Emergen-C, or you can use other liquids like tangerine and grapefruit juice.
- Neem oil: This kills sperm in 30 seconds, tops. Now, the smell is very offensive, but it works, and it has been used for hundreds of years. A way to use neem oil is after penetrative sex, you'll pour the neem oil inside an applicator, insert it up to your cervix, and abstain from sex for 24 hours to allow the herb to do its job.
xoN: How long after sex should someone wait to utilize these natural contraceptives?
DK: I would do it immediately, but I want to treat this just like you would with Plan B — that 24-72 hours after sex.
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