Every year, Saturn, also known as the "Lord of Karma", goes retrograde giving us a chance to reassess our personal limits, progression, and reputation. Saturn has been transiting its home sign Capricorn since 2017, helping us whip ourselves into shape to achieve the success we strive for, particularly related to career endeavors. This Saturn retrograde, taking place from April 29th up until September 6th, invites us to rise to the occasion.
The pressure is on this Summer and as much as you may want to shirk off all responsibilities to enjoy some fun in the sun, now is the time to dig deep within for the motivation and discipline needed to stay on top of your game.
This transit has the ability to offer powerful breakthroughs in at least one area of life, given your hard work and dedication (word to the late Nipsey Hussle). Saturn in Capricorn teaches us to embrace the gifts that come with running this marathon called life. The obstacles you experience will either make you or break you. It may feel like the pressure is on to get more serious in at least one area of your life but Saturn retrograde can help you face these challenges with a more empowered perspective. Your responsibilities will likely pile up over the next few months which also makes this transit an important time to reassess what you're invested in. It may be time to implement those boundaries and get comfortable saying "No" to things that distract you from handling business.
Check out how Saturn retrograde affects your zodiac sign this Summer:
Your career and public image will require a little extra effort during the next few months. As much as you want to let off the gas, now is the time to keep moving forward. However, this progression doesn't have to be about the big moves you're making in the eye of the public. Saturn retrograde is actually the perfect opportunity for you to tend to the details and develop yourself behind the scenes.
When it comes to your employer, you'll likely be reevaluating whether you're in the right place or not. You may be at a job solely for security purposes while lacking the actual passion for the work itself. This transit is initiating your paradigm shift from worker bee to queen bee. Just be mindful of any power struggles with your boss while you're in this transitory phase. By the time Saturn goes direct in September, you can very well find yourself in a position of greater influence, power, and respect.
The next few months challenges you to come into your own beliefs that may not be the most conventional. Saturn retrograde in Capricorn invites us to dissolve the powers that be and for you, this power is related to your ideologies about God/Higher Self/whatever you wanna call "it". This Summer gives you the opportunity to explore the depths of your own wisdom instead of putting so much energy into external factors.
The same power that you pray to lives within you as well.
During this transit, your intuition will reach new levels. However, this can come with some pushback from people attempting to control you especially if you've got a spiritual teacher or mentor that's been invested in your development. You may decide that the boundaries within this connection need to be adjusted or the connection needs to be completely dissolved. Trust your instincts and know that your soul is guiding you towards your personal ascension regardless of how unconventional your path seems.
Saturn retrograde is bringing down the hammer in a more sensitive part of your chart which can feel like a whole lot of inner chaos. Your psyche is undergoing a massive transformation over the next few months as you revisit some painful experiences that stripped you of your power. This is a time to reevaluate what a healthy relationship to power is. In the past, you may have been involved with people who mismanaged, manipulated, and even abused their influence in your life which has jaded your own perception of what it truly means to be in your power.
This Summer you'll be stripping away the false narratives that diminish your capabilities to achieve the blessings that are meant for you. Emotional volatility is common during this time. Meet yourself, wherever you are, with compassion. Seek to understand the suppressed emotions forcing their way into your conscious awareness. In due time, you will rise like the Phoenix from the ashes in all of your glory.
Things are getting serious in the relationship department this Summer. Do I hear wedding bells? Sorry if I ruined the surprise but quite a few of you are in store for a proposal during this transit. This energy is make or break season when it comes to a significant relationship in your life. Saturn retrograde can be a challenging transit that requires you to consider what you really want when it comes to your long-term growth. Can you see you and this person truly going the distance? By September, you'll have your answer.
If you're not in a committed relationship, this transit can highlight where you need to make adjustments in a business partnership or employment contract. Reassess whether your current job has growth potential. If not, this is a good time to revamp your resume and explore other options. You could very well find yourself in a cushy position with more authority come the end of the Summer.
Saturn retrograde gives you the opportunity to reassess your routines, habits, and health. You may be overexerting yourself in one area of your life which has resulted in some unhealthy habits, whether it be an addiction to caffeine, working yourself to the bone, or neglecting your fitness routine.
The next few months is the divine intervention you need to whip you into shape both literally and figuratively speaking. This is a time to recommit to what matters to you most.
Getting back into your fitness routine is encouraged along with implementing more well-rounded, nutritious eating habits in your life. If you've been experiencing any strange physical symptoms, make that appointment with your doctor. It's better to be proactive instead of waiting for a minor problem to escalate into something more serious. Changes in your workplace or schedule are likely at this time. Figuring out a routine that works best for you to maintain your well-being is supported.
The next few months brings your attention to romance, adventure, and creative expression. You may be considering a more serious commitment with someone you've been casually dating or weeding out people that don't have long-term potential. Saturn retrograde can bring on a more serious approach to our lives and if you've been excessively all about play, it's time to snap back into reality. Don't worry. Your pockets will thank you for this hiatus from all of your wining and dining, traveling, and entertainment.
If you have children, you may find them particularly demanding (as in expensive) during this transit. School is out for the summer which means higher bills, more trips to the grocery store, and tons of extracurricular activities that keep the lil' ones out of trouble. This Summer doesn't have to be a major wash out. You should still get out and enjoy yourself on occasion but keep in mind that you don't have to splurge to have a good time.
Saturn retrograde brings your focus to your family, home, and roots. You may be on the receiving end of a lot of pressure from your family, particularly the mother, during this transit. Traditions that run in your lineage are up for review over the next few months as you seek to discover who you are as an individual. There may be a significant person in your life attempting to shape and mold you into their idea of you. However, you're encouraged to draw the line in the sand when it comes to the way you choose to live your life.
If you've been struggling with breaking through some generational patterns, the "Lord of Karma" can assist in this transformation. Depending on what stage you're at in life, this is a great time to look into buying a home or relocating. Give yourself the next few months to get into the details before making your decision. If you're interested in starting a family, use this transit to create your fertility plan.
As one of the most sensitive signs of the zodiac, you have the tendency to get enmeshed in other people's lives swiftly and easily. Your empathic nature causes you to experience the pain of others on a visceral level that not everyone can relate to. Your soothing vibes make you a magnet for people seeking wisdom, guidance, and nurturing. Unfortunately, this can be a detriment to you if you don't keep your limits in mind.
It's important for you to understand the difference between enabling others and actually helping them. You can't do the work for people nor can you be everyone to everybody.
During this transit, you're encouraged to take a backseat from the affairs of siblings, friends, and even your online community to focus your energy on packaging your gems of wisdom into something more tangible like that memoir or self-help book you've been putting to the back-burner.
During this Summer, you'll be challenged to set better boundaries when it comes to your finances. If you've been overspending or too generous with your money, it's time to reel it in, Ms. Money Bags. The next few months is an opportune time to reassess your budget as well as your source(s) of income. Maybe you've been exerting too much energy into an endeavor and not getting the return you expected.
Saturn retrograde often brings harsh realities with it. Be honest about how disciplined you've been in working towards your goals. During this transit you may also realize how your skills and talents are being undervalued in your current role. Seek opportunities that align with what you truly love to do by unraveling any lack-based programming that inhibits you from receiving the wealth that the Universe has to offer.
Saturn retrograde encourages you to reevaluate how you've been delegating your time and energy across all aspects of your life since the "Lord of Karma" is transiting your sign. Over the next few months, you'll be refining your personal image and how you want to be received by the world. This could involve something as simple as a makeover, but on a deeper level this transit is requiring you to make some adjustments when it comes to your behavior as well.
If you've been hiding in the shadows, now is the time to come front and center stage. Opportunities can't find you if you're playing hide and seek.
Saturn retro is also about recommitting to yourself by establishing boundaries between your own shit and what belongs to others. If you've been picking up the slack for someone else, they're likely in for a rude awakening during this transit. You've got enough on your plate as is. Be realistic about your limits and don't feel guilty about this crucial time in which you'll experience exponential growth within yourself and towards your personal goals.
This Summer brings your attention inwards to a more low-key part of your chart that will challenge you in the area of your subconscious patterns and self-sabotaging habits. Your dreams can be extremely insightful during this transit, gifting you with insight into your past, and potentially past lives, that helps you see how you've become entangled in a narrative of defeat and powerlessness. The next few months are best served diving deeper into your spiritual connection and developing your faith in the divine which ultimately lies within you.
For many of the other zodiac signs, this Saturn retrograde will be an external experience involving the more tangible aspects of life. Your experience, however, is more of an internal battle between your conscious and subconscious mind. As grueling as a transit in your 12th house can be, understand that the Universe is not punishing you. Remember, babe. Pressure makes diamonds.
OK, Pisces. Saturn retrograde isn't your favorite time of the year due to your boundless, carefree nature. However, this transit will challenge you to draw the line between what's yours and what isn't. Your friendships and social networks are undergoing some adjustments over the next few months. As open and giving as you usually are, you may be feeling the burn of unreciprocated effort from some of the people in your tribe.
Instead of doing that thing where you try to force people to get on board, your energy will be better served in the pursuit of new connections. This doesn't mean you have to burn any bridges as you expand into new social territories. You're just learning how to better compartmentalize the relationships that don't offer as much value to your mission in life. Collaborating with more like-hearted individuals is favorable this Summer and you're likely to make some lifelong connections with some special people.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Unapologetically, Chlöe: The R&B Star On Finding Love, Self-Acceptance & Boldly Using Her Voice
On set inside of a mid-city Los Angeles studio, it’s all eyes on Chlöe. She slightly shifts her body against a dark backdrop amidst camera clicks and whirs, giving a seductive pout here, and piercing eye contact there. Her chocolate locs are adorned with a few jewels that she requested to spice up the look, and on her shoulders rests a jeweled piece that she asked to be turned around to better showcase her neck (“I feel a bit old,” she said of the original direction). Her shapely figure is tucked into a strapless bodysuit with a deep v-neck that complements her décolletage.
Though subtle, her quiet wardrobe directives give the air of a woman who’s been here before, and certainly knows what she’s doing. At 24 years young, she’s a “Bossy” chick in training— one who’s politely unapologetic and learning the power of her own voice.
“I'm hesitant sometimes to truly speak my mind and speak up for myself and what I believe,” she later confessed to me a couple of weeks after the photoshoot. “It's always scary for me, but now I'm realizing that I have to, in order to gain respect as a Black woman— a young Black woman— who's still navigating who she is. And you know, I'm realizing that closed mouths don't get fed. And if I keep my mouth shut just because I'm afraid of what people's opinions of me will be or turn into, then that's not any way to live.”
For Chlöe, the journey into womanhood is about embracing who she is, without succumbing to the perceptions of what others think of her. From the waist up she’s everything you’d imagine. A gorgeous goddess with the kind of sex appeal that some work hard to embrace but fail to exude. But unbeknownst to anyone not on set, her bottom half is covered by a white robe, surprising coming from the girl who boasts “'Cause my booty so big, Lord, have mercy” on her first hit single “Have Mercy.”
But that’s the beauty of Chlöe. There’s more to her than meets the eye. More than what a few sensual photos sprinkled throughout an Instagram feed could ever tell you. Just like the photo-framing illusion of her portrayed from the waist up, what we know about the songstress is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more beneath the surface.
Some hours later Chlöe leans back in a high chair as her locs are transformed from a formal updo to a seemingly Basquiat-inspired one. It’s pure art, and at her request, no wigs are a part of the day’s ensemble. She’s fully embracing her natural hair, a decision that wasn’t always a socially accepted one.
In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, (Mableton, to be exact) Chlöe began to explore the foundation of her self-image. At an early age she and her younger sister, Halle, demonstrated a vocal prowess and knack for being in front of the camera that caught their parents’ attention. Soon after, they were sent on a parade of local talent shows and auditions, and eventually broke into the digital space with song covers on YouTube.
It was during these early years that Chlöe first learned that the entertainment industry could be unforgiving to those who didn’t fit a particular beauty standard. Despite the then three-year-old snagging a role as the younger version of Beyoncé’s character, Lilly, in Fighting Temptations, casting agents requested that her natural locs be exchanged for more Eurocentric tresses. Ironic, considering that growing up Chlöe saw her hair as no different than that of her peers. “I remember specifically in pre-K we had to do self-portraits and I drew myself with a regular straight ponytail, like how I would put my locs in a ponytail,” she says. “I just never saw myself any different.”
Chlöe would also learn the true meaning of a phrase that would later become an affirmation posted on her bedroom mirror: “Don’t Let the World Dim Your Light.” After attempting to wear wigs to fit in, the Bailey sisters instead chose to rock their locs with pride, which undoubtedly cost them casting roles. Yet they would have the last laugh when making headlines as the “Teen Dreadlocked Duo” who landed a million-dollar contract with Parkwood Entertainment, and the coveted opportunity to be groomed under the tutelage of a world-renowned superstar.
Credit: Derek Blanks
While that could be the end of a beautiful fairytale of self-empowerment, the reality is that it’s just the beginning of the story of her evolution. For most girls, the transition into womanhood takes place in the comfort of their own worlds, often limited to the number of people they allow to have access to them. But for Chlöe, it’s happening in front of millions of critiquing eyes just waiting for an opportunity to either uplift or dissect her through unwarranted commentary.
Many in her position wouldn’t be able to take that kind of pressure. But Chlöe is handling it with grace. “I feel like all of us as humans, we have the right to interpret things how we want,” she says. “I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
Chlöe isn’t the first artist to receive criticism for her carnal content, and she certainly won’t be the last. In 2010, Ciara writhed and rode her way to banishment on BET when the then 24-year-old released her video for “Ride.” In 2006, 25-year-old Beyoncé received backlash for “Déjà Vu."
"I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
So much so that over 5,000 fans signed an online petition demanding that her label re-shoot the video because it was “too sexual.” Even 27-year-old Janet didn’t escape critical headlines when she shed her image of innocence for a more risqué appearance with the 1993 release of janet.
It’s almost as if public reproach is a rite of passage for young Black women R&B singers on the road to stardom. Good girls seemingly “go bad” whenever they embrace the depths of their femininity, and fans only like you on top figuratively. But Chlöe has learned not to bow down to other people’s opinions, but to boss up and control the narrative. As the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history. If sex appeal is her weapon, she wields it well.
On set, Chlöe exudes the energy of Aphrodite in an apple red, off-shoulder dress with a sexy high split. In between shots, she mouths the lyrics to Yebba’s “Boomerang” as it echoes throughout the space in steady repetition at my recommendation. The hour grows late, yet Chlöe is heating things up as eyes stare in deep mesmerization of the girl on fire.
Credit: Derek Blanks
Through music, she explores the depths of her being, a journey that seems to be, at its foundation, rooted in self-discovery. Whereas their debut album The Kids Are Alright (2018) boasts a young Chloe x Halle empowering their generation to embrace who they are while finding their place in the world, their second album Ungodly Hour (2020) shows the Bailey sisters shedding the veil of innocence for a more unapologetic bravado.
What fans looked forward to seeing is who Chlöe shows herself to be on her debut solo album In Pieces. In an interview with PEOPLE, she confesses that releasing her first project without her sister was “scary.” "It was a moment of self-doubt where I was like, 'Can I do this without my sister?’”
Chlöe has never been shy about sharing her insecurities or her vulnerabilities, all of which are laced throughout the 14-track album. “I want people to have fun when they listen to it and to just realize that they're not alone and it's okay to be vulnerable and raw and open because none of us are perfect; we're all far from it. And I think it's healing when we all admit to that instead of putting up a facade.”
The gift of time has given the self-professed “big lover girl” more encounters with romance and heartbreak. Love songs once sung for their beautiful riffs and melodies become more than just abstract lyrics and are replaced by real-life experiences, which she tells me is definitely in the music.
In her single “Pray It Away,” for example, she contemplates going to God for healing instead of going at her ex-lover for revenge for his infidelities. “With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable,” she says. “I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
Has Chlöe been in love? That still remains to be said. Of course, she’s been linked to a few potential baes, but dating in the digital age isn’t as easy as a double tap or drop of a heart-eyes emoji. It requires a level of trust and vulnerability that’s hard to earn, and easy to mishandle. To let her guard down means to potentially set herself up for disappointment. “It’s difficult dating right now, honestly, because you really have to kind of keep your guard up and pay attention to who's really there for you. And you know, I'm such an affectionate person and I love hard.
"So when I meet the one person that I really, really am into, it's hard for me to see any others and I get attached pretty easily. And you know, I don't know, it's…it's a scary thing.”
Credit: Derek Blanks
“With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable. I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
While broken hearts yield good music (queue Adele), what’s in Chlöe’s prayer is the desire to be happy. What does that look like? Well, she’s still figuring that out herself. “Honestly, I'm the type of person who I don't truly learn unless I experience it. So it's like I can view and watch my parents and watch the loving relationships that I see in my life and be like, ‘Oh, I want that. I would love to have that.’ But then I also have to experience [love] on my own and see what my flaws or my faults might be or see what my good things about myself are. I feel like it's really all about self-reflection. And even though our base is our family and that's our foundation, we are still our own individuals and we have to find out specifically the things about ourselves that may be different from what we saw from our parents when we were growing up.”
Her ideal beau, she tells me, is someone she can feel safe to be her fun, goofy self with, but who also gives her the space to be the boss chick chasing her dreams. A man who understands that just because the world compliments her doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear those words from his lips or feel it in his touch. A bonus if he shows up on set after a long hard day of work with vegan cinnamon rolls. You know, the basic necessities. “I like whoever I'm with to constantly tell me they love me and that I look beautiful because I do the same. I am a very mushy person, and if I see something or you look good, I will never shy away from saying it out loud. And I want whoever I'm with to do the same, be very vocal. Tell me that you love me. Tell me what you love about me because I'm doing the same for you because that's just the person I am.”
Until she meets her match she’s married to the game, and for now, that seems to be perfect matrimony.
Credit: Derek Blanks
On stage at the 2021 American Music Awards, Chlöe solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with. It was a full-circle moment. In 2012, bright-eyed and baby-faced Chloe and Halle would walk onto the set of The Ellen Degeneres Show and blow the audience away as they bellowed out their future mentor’s song. Ellen would present the sisters with tickets to attend the AMAs, assuring them that they would be back and had a promising future. Nine years later, Chlöe descends from the sky cloaked in a snow-white cape and matching midriff-baring bodysuit for her debut performance. It’s the first time she’s graced the stage of the very award show that she was once an audience member of.
As she shakes and shimmies and boom kack kacks out her eight counts, it’s clear that she’s in her element. Just like her VMA performance a couple of months prior, and the many more stages she’ll continue to grace, she brings an energy that has earned her comparisons to the beloved Queen Bey herself. An honorable statement, considering few R&B songstresses are getting accolades for their entertainment capabilities. It’s on these very stages, in front of hundreds of astonished eyes and millions more glued to their televisions at home, that she tells me she feels most sexy. Powerful, even.
But off stage, it’s a different story.
It’s more than just the commentary about her image and media-flamed rumors that get to her. Mentally, she’s in competition with herself. The desire to be the best burns at the back of her mind with every performance, every production, and every time she steps into the booth. Before, she could share the weight of this burden with her sister. Being a part of a duo meant she could turn to Halle for quiet confirmation and encouragement without a word being exchanged. But lately stepping on the stage means stepping out on her own. And despite being a breathtaking, five-time Grammy-nominated star, Chlöe doesn’t escape the reality that sometimes we can be our own worst critics.
Over the last year, she’s been coming to terms with who she is on her own while overcoming the fear of failing to become who she’s destined to be. While the world waits to see how Chlöe wins, the real triumph is in every day that she chooses herself and continues to walk in her purpose. “I don't really have anything all figured out, honestly. But what I try to do, a lot of prayer. I talk to God more and I just try to do things that calm my mind down and just breathe.”
To whom much is given, much will be required. She’s been chosen to walk this path for a reason. Once she fully embraces that everything she’s meant to be is already inside of her, she’ll be an unstoppable force. “My grandma, Elizabeth, she just passed away and my middle name is her [first] name. So I feel like I truly have a responsibility to live up to her legacy that she's left on this earth. I hope I can do that.”
There’s no doubt that she will. With a role in The Fighting Temptations at three years old, a million-dollar record deal, a main role on five seasons of Grown-ish, five Grammy nominations, a number one solo record in Urban and Rhythmic Radio, a debut solo album, and starring roles in recently released movies Praise Thisand Swarm (just to name a few), Chlöe’s certainly already made her mark, and she’s just getting started.
Photographer & Creative Director: Derek Blanks
Executive Producer: Necole Kane
Co-Executive Producer: EJ Jamele
Producer: Erica Turnbull
Digitech: Chris Keller
DP: Alex Nikishin
Gaffer: Simeon Mihaylov
Photo Assistant: Chris Paschal
2nd Photo Assistant: Tyler Umprey
Features Editor: Kiah McBride
Special Projects: Tyeal Howell
Hair: Malcolm Marquez
Makeup: Yolonda Frederick
Fashion Styling: Ashley Sean Thomas
For More: Cover Story: Issa Rae Comes Full Circle
The Gina Vs. The Jheri Curl: Are Perms Having A Comeback?
When it comes to beauty trends, everything comes full circle, and perms are no exception. If you weren't around to experience perms the first time the hairstyle was cool, then the modern version might blow your mind! But before discussing what a GinaCurl is, you have to understand the Jheri curl and what a standard perm is.
A perm is short for permanent wave and is a process that uses chemicals and heat to change the texture of the hair to a curl or wave. Perms work by altering the structure of the hair thermally or chemically and setting the curl pattern and texture. This differs slightly from what we in the Black community have referred to as "perms" growing up, which were formally called relaxers, but the word "perm" could be used to describe the chemical treatment interchangeably.
Similar to perms that are known for creating permanent waves in straight hair, perms for Black hair involved the chemical process of straightening curly hair by breaking the bonds of the hair shaft. In this article, we are focusing on perms that create permanent waves in the hair, not the perms we sometimes call relaxers.
The Jheri Curl
Though originally created by Jheri Redding, an Irish-American hairdresser in the 1970s of Nexxus and Redken fame, the Jheri curl that we've come to associate with was adapted by Comer Cottrell, a Black entrepreneur. Their at-home Curly Kits were specifically created for Black hair and would lay the groundwork for the popular style to be more accessible to everyday people and not just celebs like Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
The standard Jheri curl that comes to mind whenever a perm is mentioned requires a two-part application. This consists of a softener or rearranging cream to loosen the hair, followed by perm rods and a solution to neutralize and set the curls. Just like with any process that chemically alters the hair, proper care and technique are needed so as not to damage your hair during the process.
However, as a low-maintenance hairstyle, once the process is done, Jheri curls can be maintained pretty simply and effectively through the daily use of a curl activator.
Reply to @wholistichut I recommend it. It’s really helped my hair grow and made maintenance of my hair easier #ginacurl #curlyperm #curlyhair
The GinaCurl, similar to the Jheri curl, has an emphasis on loosening tighter curl patterns. Unlike other perms and relaxers, the GinaCurl is believed to be a gentler and less damaging approach to chemically altering the hair for manageability. The GinaCurl created by Gina Rivera restructures the hair molecules to reduce frizz, making the hair manageable, soft, and moisture balanced.
Per their official website, Rivera's modern take on a perm includes a 3-step process:
- Step one is a chemical that breaks down the protein chains in the hair to allow a new shape.
- Step two is applying perm rods for the desired curl size and pattern, applying heat for oxidation, and rearranging the hair's protein bonds.
- Step three is neutralizing the hair and permanently setting the hair in its new shape.
Where the Jheri curl requires maintenance every 6-8 weeks, the GinaCurl can be done every 6 months.
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