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What Self-Care Looks Like To Blogger & Plus-Size Style Expert Rochelle Johnson

Finding Balance

In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.

Can women have it all? Undoubtedly, there have been many attempts to answer this question over the years, most with a mournful no. But with just one glimpse into the life of plus-size blogger and beauty/style influencer Rochelle Johnson, the answer it would seem should be a resounding yes. A doting husband, beautiful toddler, AND a booming career? She holds the trifecta of a life well lived and fulfilled. And if you aren't familiar with her brand, you definitely should be.


Gracing the pages of popular style mags such as Glamour and People StyleWatch, and securing campaigns with some of the biggest names in the game, this LA native has served to be an inspiration to women of all sizes and shapes well before the inception of her brand Beauticurve in 2013. And as someone who has personally taken occasional cues from her on everything from mixing prints to becoming comfortable in my own skin and what I wear, her evolution to becoming one of the top dogs in the industry has been nothing short of inspirational and impeccable.

With her very first clothing line in collaboration with Lane Bryant on the horizon, I wanted to know just how she manages to maintain it all in this latest segment of Finding Balance.

What does the average day or week look like for you?

Courtesy of Rochelle Johnson

I get up. I drink my celery juice. (I started drinking it about a month ago, but I'm already obsessed with it!) I pray and then I watch the morning news for about 30-40 minutes while I'm scrolling Instagram. I'll make a to-do list for the day of the things I need to get done, try to schedule my shoot for the day. I try to do one photoshoot a week so that I'll have content for the blog and social media. Then Creed wakes up and I make breakfast for him and hold him for about an hour and get him up basically!

The rest of my day is about him but when I put him down for a nap, I can get back to work -- whether that's finishing up my to-do list or writing up a blog post. Then Mike gets home and I make dinner and I pick his brain for ideas for shoots and try to catch him up with what's happening with Beauticurve.

What do you find to be the most hectic part of your week?

The most hectic part of my week is shoot day. I normally try to get an assistant for the day and I try to make sure that when I leave the house, I'm not forgetting anything, which I always seem to and that gets hectic because it's like you're wasting time and money and that can be detrimental. And it's also trying to come up with creative ideas for brand work because you're always trying to figure out how many ways can I hold a shampoo bottle? That's really why I scroll through Instagram, to gain inspiration and different ways to do things!

Do you practice any types of self-care?

Courtesy of Rochelle Johnson

My self-care is watching Netflix! I just try to take a moment everyday where I can sit down and not do anything or do something that I like to do. Like online shopping, or watching Netflix, or eat a meal! It's just taking a moment everyday where I can relax, turn off my brain for an hour or 30 minutes.

How do you find balance with:

Courtesy of Rochelle Johnson

Love/Marriage?

[My husband and I] just try to go on a date or do double dates at least once a month, which is not very often but Mike and I have been so busy lately. But every year, we try to take a big trip, usually for our anniversary. So we do small things like that.

Friends?

I feel like most of my friends are online. For me, it's occasionally reaching out to a friend to check-in and bounce ideas off of them. I do try to make a point to attend something that my friends will be at once a year, just to keep the connection. It's normally a one-stop shop like going to events during Fashion Week where I can see everyone and talk to them.

Exercise/Health?

I have a trainer and I go twice a week, but I feel like making that a priority is always hard, so I told myself I was going to start waking up at 5 a.m. to workout everyday and make it a part of my life. Because if you don't do it first thing in the morning, it won't get done unless you're really disciplined. And it's about making healthy choices throughout the day.

Do you ever detox?

I do a food detox once or twice a year but it's mainly after I've been traveling a lot. I don't do a social media detox because it's literally my job and I'm not on it as much as I probably should be, so that's not an issue for me. Sometimes I'll give up coffee for a week because I drink coffee everyday, three times a day. And I get tired of it.

When you are going through a bout of uncertainty, or feeling stuck, how do you handle it?

Courtesy of Rochelle Johnson

I just have to pray. It happens a lot to where I don't know what to do or where I'm unsure or have to make a big decision. Of course, I talk to Michael but we both pray about it and see what the Lord says.

What does success mean to you?

I think that success sometimes looks different from what you thought it was going to look like and people have to be open to accepting that. You have to be honest with yourself and not be so rigid.

For more of Rochelle, follow her on Instagram.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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