I'm a forever sap. I admit it, and that's probably not changing. And while I don't think love and relationships should be the sole focus of one's happiness, I do think it's OK to celebrate them when they're done healthily and happily! This year quite a few breakups had social media buzzing, but there was also an outpouring of love. From public first dates to relationship do-overs, we've seen it all. And some of our favorites were the celebrity couples showcasing it.
Check out this list of five of the biggest celebrity couples of 2021. And let us know if there is a couple we missed!
Lori Harvey and Michael B. Jordan
Of course, this couple had to make the list! Michael B. Jordan is one of the biggest talents of our time and the affection women have for him is indescribable. Yet, the 32-year-old Black Panther star was never previously tied to anyone publicly. I mean sure, we've seen a few photos pop up throughout the years, but he has always remained private about his personal life. So, it was so surprising when he shared an Instagram post smiling from ear to ear with none other than, model and influencer Lori "Living her Best Life" Harvey.
Women have applauded Lori for living her twenties fully by dating, securing the bag, and supporting her family. And it's been so nice to watch from the social sidelines as they share extravagant date nights and special moments, while genuinely appearing happy and fulfilled. Lori tells The Real:
"We really balance each other and I really do believe in the statement when you know, you know. And I think that really applies to our situation."
I enjoy watching them continue to flourish creatively as individuals while still showing Black love in such a beautiful, and I mean beautiful way.
Megan Thee Stallion and Pardison Fontaine
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET
"I never said hot girls couldn't have boyfriends," the Body rapper dropped a gem with this one when she replied to a fan during an Instagram Live. Because, for some reason, some people feel like you can't enjoy life, be about your coin, and still maintain a happy relationship, and I love how the rappers boldly defy that idea. Now, I'll admit Megan Thee Stallion and Pardison Fontaine should not technically be on the list since they released a one-year video that shows they were dating before 2021. However, the item didn't share their relationship with us until the beginning of the year, and we've watched happily ever since.
From baecation photos to heartfelt messages, they love each other out loud and we love to see it. In an interview with Taraji P. Henson for her Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind With Taraji, Megan described their relationship wonderfully, "He moves me. He inspires me. We just feel like a real team. He feels like a partner."
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images
(Sings) "If you love something let it go, and if it comes back then that's how you know." Y'all remember that song from the IMX days? Well, that's what plays in my head whenever I come across pictures of "Bennifer 2.0." As a reminder, actor Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were previously engaged and ended up calling it off in 2003. But, after Lopez's recent split with Alex Rodriguez, the two were seen spending time together pretty shortly after. And, hey, true love never dies. Because since that time, they've been spotted together romantically on multiple occasions and even made things Instagram official over the summer.
A source close to Lopez told People, "They want to do everything they can to make this work."
Adele and Rich Paul
It seems like sitting courtside at the games is some sort of rite of passage for celebrity couples. And the latest to accept the challenge is none other than the amazingly talented singer Adele and her business bae Rich Paul, LeBron James's agent. When they arrived at the game together, blogs and social media went crazy. But, many people were wondering if they could just simply be friends enjoying a game.
However, Adele ended all the speculation when she made it Instagram-official with a collage of photos, the final one being a picture of them together – captioned with a heart (see above).
I'm here for this couple and I can't wait to hear the "happy relationship music" that I'm betting will be on the album.
Zoe Kravitz and Channing Tatum
James Devaney/GC Images
I've always heard it's not good to mix work and play. But I mean, maybe if you're Channing Tatum and Zoe Kravitz, it's OK to bend the rules a little bit. These two connected, one of my favorite ways, through their creative passions. Kravitz first reached out to the Magic Mike star about playing a character in a film she was directing. And it looks like their relationship blossomed and developed from there. A source tells People, "They don't seem to care about hiding their relationship anymore. It's obvious that they are very happy."
Fast forward to the end of summer 2021, the High Fidelity star was seen riding on the back of his motorcycle, holding Tatum tight, giving very much smitten vibes. We get it, girl, we do.
Featured image by Johnny Nunez/WireImage via Getty Images
Kirby Carroll grew up in VA but now calls Atlanta, GA home. She has a passion for creating content and helping brands grow through storytelling and public relations. When not immersed in work, you can find her sipping a mimosa at brunch or bingeing a new TV drama on Netflix. Keep up with her on social media at @askKirbyCarroll.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
This Content Creator Gets Candid About Touch Starvation In Emotional Video
Recently, a young content creator named Mayte Lisbeth posted an emotional video about experiencing touch starvation. She expressed that she feels she is dying from touch starvation and does not receive hugs. Additionally, if she were to receive a hug, she would crumble. The nearly three-minute video continued as Lisbeth breaks down her need for touch. Healthline says touch starvation or deprivation “occurs when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things.”
According to research posted in the National Library of Medicine, “touch is a powerful tool for communicating positive emotions.” Furthermore, other studies emphasize the importance of social touch. When an individual lacks touch, they can experience the following: depression, anxiety, stress, relationship dissatisfaction, difficulty sleeping, and detachment. Moreover, people who do not enjoy being touched can also experience deprivation due to occasionally longing for a hug or handshake.
Lisbeth’s video was triggering because touch starvation is something I experienced in the past. The first time I experienced this was when I was 17 years old after moving across the country to a state where I had no family. It happened again during the pandemic. I remember going into the pandemic optimistic as I really could be.
It worked for the first several months but quickly spiraled into some of my most challenging times, emotionally and mentally. That feeling was amplified when there was no one I truly loved to hug me. Something about a long embrace from a loved one assured me that no matter how dark my world was at the time, there was a light at the end of my darkness. Being away from my support system was rough during that time of uncertainty.
I was not fully aware of what touch starvation was at the time, but I knew I longed for touch. It was not until I was visiting my best friend and randomly asking for a hug that I remember having an immense sense of anxiety and sadness.
The content creator stated in her video that the solution is more complex than scheduling a hair appointment and receiving services. The form of touch was not suitable because she had no ties to these people. It is more about receiving affection, which can come in touch from someone who cares about her, not specifically a romantic touch.
Its been five years of touch starvation. I’ll probably have some more years of it. I’m not handling this well.
First, I commend Lisbeth for her vulnerability and courage to speak on a subject many sometimes do not know about or even acknowledge. She even commented that her family was not big huggers, which did not help her touch starvation. She could count how many times she hugged her parents when she saw them last. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, this is the norm for many families. “I do not know how to heal in a community; I only heal alone,” Lisbeth tearfully explained in a follow-up video. People instantly flooded her social media pages with support and suggested solutions, including breathwork, touch work, and even hiring a professional cuddler.
Sadly, many suffer from touch starvation and do not have family or a tribe to contact. If that is your current situation, here are some exercises that copy touch sensation when experiencing touch starvation.
- Blankets – Wrapping yourself up in a blanket can provide comfort. Another option is a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket mimics receiving a hug, which can provide a sense of calm for an individual.
- Self-Touch Breathwork – The counselors at Twinpowerment, LLC taught us a five-step self-holding technique that could help remedy touch starvation.
- Body Pillows (or pillows) – Cuddling up to a body pillow can mimic cuddling and allow comfort during sleep.
- Cuddle Therapy – Like the name states, you can pay a professional to cuddle with. The Institute of Counseling in Nigeria explains that “Cuddle therapy fills a niche that is complementary to traditional talk therapy.” With traditional therapy, a mental health professional cannot touch their clients.
- Companion Animal – Dogs and cats make excellent companion animals. The endless number of cuddles and “kisses” they provide can offer comfort during hard times.
Even though traditional therapists cannot provide touch to their clients, they are a great option if your symptoms from touch starvation increase.
Since then, Lisbeth has posted videos explaining remedies she has tried or is willing to try. Some days are better than others, but she keeps moving forward. I pray she finds peace during these times.
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Feature image by People Images/ Getty Images