I don't know who was in need of a word today, but Oprah just came through with an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that is a whole sermon. Auntie O is always dropping gems, but this advice she gave on demanding what you deserve out of life, I felt that in my spirit.
Do you sometimes feel like an imposter in your own life? Despite all of your hard work and accomplishments, for some reason, you feel unqualified AF. This feeling can lead you to doubt how talented you are and make you feel unfit to achieve the goals you once had for your life. So you take that job that you have little to no interest in because it pays the bills, you stay with that man who has proven time and time again that he is not the one, and you live in that city you claim to hate because you're afraid that if you step out on faith and bust a move, others won't recognize your talent; but Oprah wants you to remember that your worth isn't determined by how much other people value you.
"I remember working in Baltimore [in the mid-1970s] and being in a position where I was doing the exact same job as my [male] co-host and going into my boss, saying, 'Gee, I'd like to get a raise,' and them saying, 'But why? Do you own your home? Do you have children? He has children. Do you have college payments? Do you have a mortgage?' I just tucked my tail between my legs and said, 'Thank you very much.'"
Although this response would have shaken some people, leading them to criticize and doubt their own instincts, it prompted Oprah to make a plan.
"And that's when I decided I'm not going to become an institutional anchor. I'm going to leave here because they cannot see my value. But I didn't blame myself for one minute. I just thought, 'Oh, you don't get it.' I always felt, even as a young reporter, that there was something more important to do and say than this thing I'm doing here right now, out here chasing ambulances."
At the time, the now 65-year-old powerhouse had a vision for her future, and it was one that didn't include having to beg for what she felt she had earned. She continued:
"I could feel in the center of myself that my life was not going to be out on the street holding a microphone in front of people's faces and every day looking for the worst thing that has happened to someone to report about. So there was that innate knowing that this is not going to be it. Through all of the times I felt discriminated against, put down, marginalized, I always thought, 'It won't be long.'"
Oprah carried this 'F U Pay Me' mentality all the way to the top of the entertainment industry, and she encourages both her fans and her homies to do the same thing. In the interview, she also revealed the important advice she gave her bestie, Gayle King, in terms of signing her multimillion-dollar deal with CBS. She explained:
"I said, 'Get what you want. Get exactly what you want because now's the time. And if you don't get what you want, then make the next right move.' Even without me, she was going to do that. But that was my advice, and I actually called up her lawyer, Allen Grubman, and I said, 'Allen, she should get what she wants.' And Allen goes, 'What the F do you think I'm doing here? I said the same thing to her!' The negotiation was already happening before her R. Kelly interview."
We all need rich friends like Oprah who can remind us that we're worth so much more than our pay grade. Whether it's personal or professional, you owe it to yourself to unapologetically break free from any relationship that's not giving you what you feel you deserve.
Read the full interview with THR here.
Featured image by Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
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.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports