Viola Davis and Regina King are two heavy-weight names that we thankfully hear in plethora during every award season. And this season is no different as the two have been up for various hardware, oftentimes even taking home the gold. This year, all eyes have been on Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and A Night in Miami, the projects considered this year for various history-making accolades.
Or, the two simply just show their support for one another.
And this year was no different as Regina King managed to snag Viola Davis and family in “Black Americana,” a photo essay for 'W Magazine'.
The project depicts Auntie Viola and husbae, Julius Tennon, who she wed in 2003. And in a surprising twist, the long-time couple's daughter Genesis was also brought along for the ride.
In the classical portraiture of Black American life shot by Andre D. Wagner, you see the what it means to be black in America, a sentiment that the two wanted to express in its entirety. King prefaces it by saying:
"I don't think any of us are particularly happy with the state of America, but we still embrace the fact that we are Black Americans, even with all of the things that have happened in history. There's a life beyond the tragedy, there's life even within the tragedy, and there was a life before the tragedy. That you can be experiencing moments of joy when tragedy comes in and invades your life, and then it melts into something else—we understand that about life in general, but not always with Black folks in it. This is the first time I've ever done a photo shoot like this."
Additional highlights from the project are below:
On how Regina King and Viola Davis met:
Years ago, King met Davis at our good sis, Alfre Woodard's annual Oscars Sistahs Soirée, which celebrates women of color in Hollywood. During the event, Davis explained that after cocktails and dinner, "The media leaves, and then we just let loose; shoes come off, and makeup is wiped off."
That's when their friendship began.
The two would run into each other here and there during awards season, and with Tennon often appearing alongside Davis at various Hollywood events, King got to know him better too.
"I loved that Julius always seemed to be very protective of Viola, but not in a way that looked problematic. He really feels like a partner."
On daughter, Genesis:
Genesis may only be 10 years old, but she already has her sights on Hollywood. The youngster appeared in the animated The Angry Birds Movie 2, which came out in 2019. And sis knows how to respect a giant when she sees one. The first thing she said to King when meeting is:
"I'm talking to a legend right now!"What would you like me to call you?"
The story is explained as Genesis being the gist of the shoot's narrative: a family enjoys a Saturday afternoon at home, Mom and Dad go out on the town that night, the following morning they all head to church, and once they're back home, Mom receives a horrible phone call.
On the struggles of being Black in Hollywood:
One thing that Regina King and Viola Davis can attest to, is the struggles that each of them have faced on their journeys to respected artists--something that each of them still to this day, have to fight through. Davis says:
"I feel like there is still a filter that we have to go through, and by the time you see us on-screen, we've become almost a Mr. Potato Head of who we actually are. You've got to snip out this part for white people because it'll become an indictment. And then what's left is a huge lie. An apologetic lie."
And the ultimate goal of the photo essay:
At the end of the day, King mentions that ultimate goal is to "capture a spectrum of emotions without shying away from the more unpleasant facets of life—Black life in particular—in order to reveal the truth."
"In anyone's work, we're all products of our environment. Sometimes people ask, 'Is there a difference in your perspective because you're a woman?' And I say, 'Yes, but the difference is because it's Regina.' The way Regina would tell the story is different from the way another Black female director would tell the story. The experiences that made us who we are, are all being used in the storytelling."
And that's on Black woman solidarity!
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Featured image by Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
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.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images