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xoNecole And Ulta Beauty Launch "Beautiful Soul" — A 'GRWM' Series All About Self-Care


This article is in partnership with Ulta Beauty.

I don't know about you, but I relish in any moment I'm able to squeeze in a little self-care action. I'm not above popping on an eye mask during a flight or even booking a quick massage in between a day full of errands. When you're booked and busy, the ability to pamper yourself is a luxury that feels all too precious. But what if I told you that self-care is more than just skin deep? As a matter of fact, here at xoNecole, we believe self-care is also soul care. In order to have the motivation to take care of your external self, you must first be rooted in the belief that you are worthy and deserving of looking your best and having your cup full.


And guess what? We're not alone in that belief. In partnership with Ulta Beauty, xoNecole is pleased to bring you "Beautiful Soul." In this six episodes series, our founder Necole Kane will be hosting a "get ready with me" style interview with six of her favorite influencers while they walk us through some of their most cherished beauty routines. These millennial mavens will also be spilling the tea on their favorite hair, makeup, and skincare products (no gatekeeping over here!) that helped them pull off the look.

Beautiful, right? Here's where the soul care comes in. xoNecole and Ulta Beauty wanted to go deeper by elevating, celebrating, and affirming the influence underrepresented voices bring to the beauty industry. With "Beautiful Soul", we're encouraging each other to take off the superwoman cape and finally realize that we, too, deserve to reinvigorate ourselves in carefree moments with and for ourselves. In this series, Necole and each influencer will be engaging in girl-chats that go deep about the barriers to self-care that can hinder us from prioritizing ourselves. Whether it's a lack of time, lack of balance, or fear of how we'll be perceived by the outside world, many things can stand in the way. Each of these boss women will share how they overcame these barriers and learned to indulge in their rest, pleasure, enjoyment through self-care, while standing firm in the belief that they're worth it.

Through this series, we hope you walk away feeling inspired to carve out a little bit more time to replenish your mind, body, and spirit through beauty and self-care. Whether that means taking an extra five minutes in the shower to test out a new face wash and body scrub, or canceling your Saturday plans to luxuriate with a nice long bubble bath, there's no better time to take care of you in every way possible, sis!

Visit the "Beautiful Soul" content hub at xoNecole to check page as we unveil a new video each month, and sign up for our "Beautiful Soul" newsletter to stay in the loop!

Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates, exclusive events, retreats and giveaways!

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Black teen boy in a sweater vest and long sleeves sits and stares at the camera. A Black teen girl sits back to back with the boy, with hair down her shoulders and bangs. She looks down, sad

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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