This Thanksgiving, our mouths will be watering for more than our grandmother's renowned sweet potato pie.
Netflix is gifting us early with quite the treat in the form of a remake of the 1986 Spike Lee joint She's Gotta Have It. The film not only gained prevalence for the fact that it was Spike's first, but also for its daring subject matter – a woman who unapologetically wants what she wants and has no trouble asking for it, i.e. one with a voracious sexual appetite.
The film's protagonist Nola Darling was that woman and even if you didn't agree with her choices, you admired her for her courage. Now, In 2017, we get to follow Nola through her sexual conquests with her various suitors for 10 episodes.
The millennial black creative is a self-described “sex positive, polyamorous pansexual" and each of the three guys (and the woman) on her dating roster bring something different the table as it relates to the unique value they bring to her love life both inside and outside the bedroom.
The star of the show bringing both color and new life into the updated Nola Darling is Baltimore-bred actress DeWanda Wise. Wise portrays the now fully realized Nola that is a woman who has an appetite for life, love, men, and women, who is ambitious, and insatiable, knows what she wants and doesn't know all at the same damn time. But what she knows she absolutely does not want is monogamy. It is a stark difference from Wise's reality because she's actually married to her husband and former Underground co-star Alano Miller.
Wise articulated her boundaries in a Cassius exclusive:
“We were very, very specific about what was and was not permitted. While viewers will only see the freedom of it, there's a lot you don't see. For example, you will never see any of my co-stars touching or fondling my boobs. There's no frontal on the show. [My husband and I] were super specific about our love and marriage, and keeping what's special and intimate, special and intimate. What turns me on, only Alano knows that."
The suitors on her roster include funny guy Mars who makes her laugh about any and everything, the model Greer who offers spontaneity and constant change, and Jamie – who offers her grown man sexy with the ability to take care of her in a way that exemplifies having it together. For fans of the movie and the show who watch and desire a sex life similar to Ms. Nola Darling's, Wise described to Cassius an easy solution:
“Find a partner who shares your sexual appetite. I have friends who are crazy voyeuristic, but they're compatible. They have the same vision and needs. For Alano [my husband] and myself, we have the same need to be in person, so we make our time together a priority. I think step one is be on the same sexual page. Step two is keep exploring. There are workshops and classes. There's so much you can do to explore what you like."
Black female sexuality is becoming increasingly more seen in the media thanks to shows like Insecure where Issa and Molly express themselves sexually and even Being Mary Jane. She's Gotta Have It not only paved the way for more stories about sexually liberated women of color but will hopefully join the ranks alongside some of those shows known for their women-centric stories that show women as complex sexual beings.
The actress recently told LA Times:
"We really don't see expressions of our sexuality. We sit at the sidelines of stories. So, I'm just thrilled to play people who I recognize as fully human. To say, 'We are here. We are full.' And in Nola's case, 'Yeah, we are sexually liberated.'"
Watch the full trailer for She's Gotta Have It below and be sure to tune in when it drops November 23 on Netflix.
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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.
We, as women, pray to God for the type of husband we want, but do we pray for the type of friends we need? Many women often imitate singer Ciara’s prayer, hoping it will, too, lead them to their “Russell Wilson” – an equally yoked partner.
Yes, finding a life partner is a dream many hold close to their hearts, but how often do we put the same energy into asking for the friends that resonate with our souls? As with romantic relationships, our circle of friends can make or break us. Therefore, it is important to pray for our "tribe" with as much intention as we do for a life partner.
Our friends aren't just companions for brunches and spa days. They deeply influence our daily decisions, shape our outlook on life, and play a crucial role in our emotional well-being. True friends can elevate our spirits during life's troughs and cheer us on during its peaks. On the other hand, friendships that harbor negativity or toxicity can sap our energy, hinder our aspirations, and diminish our self-worth. This underscores the imperative of surrounding ourselves with the right tribe, a circle that fosters growth, ensures mental well-being, and champions genuine happiness.
Wouldn’t you want to be seen as a prize by your friends, like you wish to be seen as one by your future man?
When Ciara navigated the painful waters of her breakup with rapper Future, the “Level Up” singer didn’t leave her future to chance; she envisioned her ideal partner. She actively, consciously, and spiritually prayed for the type of man she wanted as a partner. This wasn't just about a rebound or a short-term fix. It was about intention, clarity, and knowing her worth. The universe answered in the form of Russell Wilson, a beacon of their love story many now admire.
And after years of women wondering what exactly she said in her prayers, she finally revealed it. The singer recorded her purported prayer on Summer Walker’s sophomore album, “Still Over It,” released in November 2021.
Her words had social media in a chokehold, as women and men alike uttered her words in every relationship video they would post.
Choosing Your Friends Wisely
It is pivotal for us to visualize the friends we desire. Consider: Are they genuinely supportive? Are they the kind of friends who push us forward without pushing us down? Do they offer loyalty without conditions? By detailing these attributes in our prayers or intentions, we offer a roadmap to the universe, directing it to the companions we seek.
While it might be tempting to seek out friends who fit into societal molds of “fun” or “popular,” genuine connection demands more. We should crave friendships that go beyond the superficial, where understanding transcends words, where challenges breed growth, and where loyalty isn't seasonal. It's not merely about someone to share mimosas with but about nurturing connections that understand and amplify our life's journey.
When our tribe aligns with our spirit, the transformation is holistic. With the right friends, our confidence doesn't just grow; it soars. We're exposed to broader perspectives, and our horizons expand beyond the familiar. The positivity emanating from such a tribe influences every corner of our lives, creating ripples of change and growth.
However, you must also ensure you’re ready for what you’re praying for. In my opinion, it is unfair to ask God to deliver friends who pour into you, but you do not pour into them. While prayer sets our intentions, our actions seal the deal. Seeking the right tribe means putting ourselves in environments that reflect our values and interests. Whether attending themed events, volunteering for a cause close to our hearts, or joining groups with shared interests, our actions echo our prayers, resonating with the universe.
Embarking to find the perfect partner holds depth, but equally significant is the odyssey of curating our tribe. The right friends don't just accompany us; they shape our lives in unparalleled ways. When we direct our intentions and actions toward finding our tribe, we aren't merely forming bonds; we're crafting our destiny. The adage goes: "Show me your friends, and I'll unveil your future." Elevate your tribe to a priority, nurture those bonds, and behold the transformative magic unfold.
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Feature image by FG Trade/ Getty Images