OK, first off, let's get this out of the way: Tamela Mann is a gem. She's the pivot queen, forever accomplished, always elevating her platform, and constantly have us wondering if there is anything that she can't do. And although it doesn't seem like it, her career has already spanned the course of two decades. Two decades! *Randy Watson stomps*
As an actress, Tamela is best known for her role as Cora Simmons on the TV series Meet the Browns. But as a singer, chiiiiiiileeee, she belongs on gospel's Mt. Rushmore somewhere. To-date, Tamela has released five gospel albums, one of which reached number one on the gospel charts. But outside of the accolades, her positive spirit in such a mean industry, has earned her the respect and admiration that she deserves--all the way from people in the entertainment industry, to the fans that love her.
Melodies From Heaven
Listen, Tamela's start was far from the magical realm that it is now. Sis, was literally, at one point, singing Drake's "Started From the Bottom" at the top of her lungs (the gospel version, of course). But since, her journey has been a major flex, and I have the receipts--starting here: Kirk Franklin and Tyler Perry. Rightfully, two of the most respected powerhouses in black entertainment. And Tamela owns the adoration from each.
Mann actually got her start in the music industry by singing with Franklin's group, Kirk Franklin and the Family. She's known him since he was 15, when her husband and Kirk sang in high school together. Kirk has even written and produced a few of her songs.
Here's some footage from the early days:
I see you, Kirk, with the slick down!
From here, Tamela pivoted her brand to most recognizably Tyler Perry Productions i.e. Madea plays and various television shows. After being discovered in '99, well into her thirties, Perry enlisted her to become a part of one of his most trusted sources for opportunities. Soon after, her massively beloved career blossomed.
Take Me To The King
In 2013, Tamela's career saw new heights when she crossed back over into music. But this time as the leading lady. She racked up six of nine Stellar Gospel Awards, including CD, song, and traditional female vocalist of the year. She began touring the world with her husband, David, to sold out shows.
And although we may know her more for acting than singing, Tamela says for both her and her husband, it's quite opposite.
"Acting is his thing and music is more so mine. Singing, I'm very confident about. It's my one sure thing. I'm just really excited about the outcome and the people receiving it. Of course, you're nervous when you're presenting something new, but I've gotten great response."
Becoming famous without even trying? Dassa receipt, honey.
She has lost over 140 pounds!
Throughout the process, Tamela has managed to drop a large amount of weight. As an issue that has stemmed from her childhood, well into adulthood, the decision for her to lose weight formed from David's diabetes diagnosis. Since, the two have taken on a new outlook on life. In 2019, they decided to get serious about their weight and partnered with Weight Watchers to help reach their goals. Of her journey, she has said:
"One of the main struggles was my weight! I've always been good enough to be heard but not seen. I've lost over 140 pounds. I used to be a 30/32 and now I'm at an 18/20."
And now, a YouTube channel, clothing line, and 12 grandkids later, sis has no plans to slow down.
And her favorite part is she gets to do a lot of it with her husband and at home, which is exactly where her heart is.
"I just count it as a blessing. I don't take it for granted. I'm just really grateful. It's been my dream. I'm in awe."
See? I told ya. Receipts.
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Featured image by Tamela Mann/Instagram
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