Honey B. Natural Event Recap

I apologize for the delay on posting about our most recent event. But I will delay no further. Here it is! On Saturday of last week, Antoinette and I had the good fortune of being panelist at the Honey B. Natural event. At the event we were introduced to many forward thinking and doing women. The room was full of successful, thoughtful women of all trades and purposes- corporate lawyers, business owners, students, mothers, bloggers, photographers, friends and supporters. As you can imagine everyone’s hair was all on point with a mix of braids, twist outs, fierce pompadours, locs and even straight weaves and perms were in the house! The conversation had amongst the panelist and audience was inspiring and enlightening. Antoinette and I left with our ears ringing with a call to action. We are now set to roll up our sleeves and begin our “Campaign for Curls”.  Inspired by our fellow panelist and audience we are ready to reach out, educate and encourage women to go natural and rewire the negative perceptions they have about the kinky, curly hair that grows naturally from their head. It is time we offer a true alternative to the European aesthetic of straight hair. Our hair should reflect how we feel and think of ourselves which ideally should be confidence, pride, creativity, fearlessness and comfort in staying true to what God intended.
In the eloquence of Bob Marley “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery none but ourselves can free our minds.”
 Here are a few pics from the event covering the great vendors and products present as well as the great company of fellow naturalistas.
Table of the wonderful Candace Kelley, creator of Curl Prep and author of Coif Cuisine.
She has some great products that looked amazing via her demo. Visit her site to see some before
and after footage. You won’t be disappointed.
Check this book out ladies for all your mixtress needs and desires for your tresses.
Candance Kelley along with fellow small business owner.
Co-Owner of Honey B. Creations Emijaa Jaaemil and I. Not to mention, she is a fabulous jewelry designer. Check out her handmade earrings Antoinette rocked wearing her High Side Bun and at the last Honey B. Creations Event.
Hand made cards by Lauren Jones celebrating natural hair! Cute huh? There was even a story line that all the cards followed called, “The Braided Bunch”. There is quite a selection and variety for evey occasion. Her website is up and coming but you can inquire at Laurenjones@usa.net.
Antoinette with the newly natural, Michele Murphy! They met at a past event where Antoinette encouraged her to go natural. She finally took the plunge and was so exited to see Antoinette and share with her the news!
Isn’t she cute? Her hair looks fabulous!
Handsome bartenders serving the naturalistas with buttons that read “love your hair”. They even joined in during the discussion. One was completely distraught while we were discussing the health risks and long term damage of relaxers. He just kept saying something along the lines of, “I just want to say that you have to think about the health issues… for real! I mean I don’t know a lot about this stuff but that’s just crazy.” He was just too sweet.
You may recognize this woman. Her name is Lurie Daniel Favors. I featured her brilliant article “An Afro Visits the White House but Without an AK-47″ in a post before I knew I would ever meet her. She is so dope. Her insight and opinion on the political and societal aspects of hair and how we choose to wear our hair is really thought provoking. She along with her husband, who accompanied her dropped gems all night. It turns out she and Antoinette came up under some of the same teachers within the Philadelphia Freedom School/Children’s Defense Fund Circle. Small Word… Check her website out here.
Bad quality picture but I wanted to show a shot of us talking on the panel. Go Toine, talk your ish!
The truly fabulous, brilliant and unapologetic ladies of  the panel.
 (from left to right: Candace Kelley, Sabine B., Yardley Messeroux, Emijaa Jaaemil, Kris Mari, Lurie Daniel-Favors, Shanti and Antoinette}
Overall, it was a great experience to have the opportunity to serve a panelist for such an inspiring event. These types of conversations are important and very much needed. So, thank you Kris and Emijaa for facilitating it and allowing us to share with each other as women. We can’t wait for the next one. Listen, if you missed this… you missed out!

Boyfriends Will Be Boys: Sleeping at Your Man’s Crib

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There’s nothing quite like having someone you love in your life. Everything is seemingly easier when you’re laying in their arms, watching your favorite t.v. show while receiving sweet kisses to the back of your neck. (sigh) It’s even better when your home becomes their home, and their home becomes your home. You spend endless nights together falling in love until the morning comes. The birds are chirping. The sun is shining and every thing’s coming up roses. You carefully and quietly slide out of the bed being sure not to wake him. You head to the bathroom, open the door, turn on the light and then BOOM! You see your reflection in the mirror. Your make up is smeared all over your eyes, your hair looks like Sideshow Bob and your face is bumpy and irritated from not washing it the night before. Quickly, you search his bathroom hoping to find a comb and spare toothbrush, some fash wash… hell you’ll settle for hydrogen peroxide at this point. But you find nothing. Completely against your wishes, you open the door and begin to ask your man for the very small things you need (but take for granted) in the morning.
  • You ask him for something to comb your hair out with… He passes you the brush he maintains his waves or beard with.
  • You ask him for face wash… He passes you an old stale bar of Dial soap. 
  • You ask him for something to wash your hair with… He passes you some awful 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, probably Head and Shoulders. 
  • You ask him for some moisturizer or oil for your hair… he passes you a big blue bottle of Ultra Sheen. lol!
  • You ask him for a wash cloth but they are all dirty so you use your hand.
  • His towels smell purely like the gym so you secretly use a loose sheet or oversized tee shirt you found lying around to dry.
  • You use his afro pick to detangle your hair only to find that it tangles it more.
  • Then you drip all over the place because you don’t have a hair dryer or towel to properly dry off making the bathroom floor deadly. 
  • And the only thing he somewhat has right is the Coca Butter on his dresser but then you realize it’s the wack watered down kind that is more soupy than a butter. UGGHHHHH
After all is said is done you’re so frustrated that you finally blurt out “I need to leave some things over here if you want me here. I have to go to work and I don’t have anything I need to get ready. You can leave stuff at my place. I should be able to leave stuff at yours”. He looks up from his laptop or phone (while sitting in the bed looking just as good as he does all the time) and simply says, “Okay”. You smile realizing that you made a bigger deal out of everything than necessary and that you should have just mentioned it before. You crawl back in bed and give him a sweet kiss on the cheek. Moments pass and he says nonchalantly, “Babe, this is nice and all but your hair is wet and your dripping on my sheets”. You roll your eyes and grin, taking note that the two of you just shared one of those ‘relationship moments’ you only see on t.v. You sashay back to the bathroom and go about your business.
-Antoinette

Retro Braids

I suppose Antoinette and I are stuck in the past with the her last look and now mine. If you know how to corn row then this is really easy. The front portion of my hair or “bang” is two strand twisted and then I switch to traditional corn row near the middle while the other side is a complete traditional corn row braid.
 
 
 

Is The Natural Hair Community Obsessed With Length?

Guest Blogger Yirssi of The Naturaliste
I’ve never been obsessed with hair length. I shaved my head because my hair was outrageously damaged, and for that reason I’ve always been focused on hair health instead. The funny thing, is that my obsession with hair health (and it is an obsession, for example, I actually feel GUILTY when I don’t put on my cap at night) has paid off because my hair has grown tremendously.
And the fact that it was growing was more than enough for me. When I had relaxed hair, it seemed as if my hair didn’t really grow, and so when I saw that my hair was visibly growing, month by month, it was like magic to me.
Exhibit A:
Yirssi at 17
Exhibit B:
Yirssi at 20
Exhibit C:
Yirssi almost at 22
Although that may seem like good growth, bear in mind a couple of things:
When I went natural I was considering two things:
either A, cutting my hair at ear level again (it was shedding that much)
B, go natural.
And secondly, in about two years it grew about 2 inches.
Check out how much my hair grew in less than two years when I went natural:
Nothing proves to me, more than these pics, that focusing on healthy hair pays off. The thing is, even though I’m not obsessed with hair growth, I do want long hair. Otherwise I wouldn’t be documenting the growth. And when I look at other women with super long hair, I want it for myself.
But when I was on twitter, and @SwytSHA retweeted someone else’s tweet that spoke of #teamnatural as obsessed with hair length, I had to stop and think. I really think there’s something behind that. I’ve seen countless charts, contests, personal missions, etc, that talk about getting our hair to a specific length.
If I remember correctly, the tweet also said that if we are obsessed with hair length, then we haven’t really let go of society’s expectations. Let me tell you, I really agree with this one. To me, the hair length obsession stems from the fact that we see long hair almost everywhere we look. 90% of the time, beauty is associated with long hair. Not only that, but most black women we see on TV have long hair (or super short hair, like Wanda Sykes). And the ones that have short hair are never the heroines, the sex symbols, etc.
If this is the case, then this is very dangerous. This goes right along with the “good hair/bad hair” debate. Think about it. What did the women with “good hair” look like? They had long hair.
And more than that, I’m willing to go as far as associating it with the “light skin/dark skin” issue, and the “skinny/thick/fat” issue. Because all of these are what the society feeds us. I may be wrong, but in most society’s that I’ve looked at that are black and have been colonized/enslaved the epitome of beauty is “Thick, with light skin and long hair.” It’s the same in afro-caribbean cultures, in African countries, and here, within our black community.
Now, I may have gotten too deep for what this blog is usually about, but I believe this strongly. And I feel that a lot of you have strong feelings about at least part of the points I present.
I’m going to end this post by mentioning that saying that goes “minorities are like crabs in a bucket.” We keep pulling ourselves down. And as long as us, as women, keep feeding into society’s standards, and keep focusing on those standards of beauty instead of our own normal and NATURAL beauty, we will never push society forward into loving our own brand of beauty exactly as it is.
Stay tuned, for tomorrow I will post some of the comments/tweets I’ve gotten on the subject. And you can also check out the video that is the first part of this series. This is the second part of a 3 post series. The first post was a video on the subject, and the third one features some of the amazing comments I’ve gotten on the subject. Check them out!
 Check out Yirssi’s Blog The Naturaliste. Also, check out Antoinette’s Hair Story 
that was featured on her site!

Natural Belle With Facinator Hat

I have a new hair style! All thanks to Natural Belle who’s blog is my new favorite online click. For a fabulous tutorial on how to get the look click our About to Go H.A.M: 1940′s Pinup Styling post. This hairstyle calls for a ‘rat’ which is used to help create the bang. If you don’t have a ‘rat’ use a hair roller and some bobby pins. That’s what I did and it worked just fine.
natural hair, retro, curly hair, updos, antoinette henry, around the way curls
I tried this style out and I love it! It’s edgy but also sleek and soft. I wore it to work yesterday which was so befitting because I work at a jazz club and I was too cool for school. 
natural hair, retro, curly hair, updos, antoinette henry, around the way curls
Front View
natural hair, retro, curly hair, updos, antoinette henry, around the way curls
Side View
natural hair, retro, curly hair, updos, antoinette henry, around the way curls
Add the Fascinator Hat
It’s easy ladies. Try it out. Send Pictures!

Health Challenge

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Today is the day folks! Shanti and I have decided to do some cleansing and establish a more healthy eating regimen. I’m already feeling a bit under the weather as this winter approaches so I can tell my body needs it.
Cleansing is a great way to detoxify the body. Our bodies are constantly working to eliminate toxins that  build up in our lungs, kidneys, intestines and liver. Our livers are working every single second of the day to maintain a healthy body. According to British Liver Trust our livers perform over 500 different functions so it’s uber important that we treat it with love and tenderness by flushing it out with nourishing liquids. Fasting is also a wonderful way to bring clarity into your life. While fasting take time out to be grateful and prayerful. Ask for help from whatever Divine source you belief in in whatever worries or troubles you are facing. 
1st Week’s Plan: Diet Restriction 
  • No Fried Foods
  • No Alcohol
  • No Processed Sugar (Stevia and fruit are okay)
  • No Bread of any kind (oats, whole grains and brown and black rice are okay)
  • No white or processed foods
  • No liquids other than water and tea (without sugar)
  • No Meat (Substitute meat with proteins such as beans or with soy replacements such as tofu, tempeh, seitan etc).
2nd Week: Juice Cleanse
  • Juice Cleanse- Restrict diet to juices only. Juice is required to be squeezed from fresh vegetable or fruit sources. (Juicer is needed. We will post about the various juice blends).
  • No solid food for 5 days (Yikes!!!)
  • If you must eat something solid, only raw vegetables or fruits are recommended.
  • At least 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Begin and End each days by stretching and doing 20 minutes of some sort of workout.
3rd Week: Reintroduce Solid Food
  • Slowing begin to introduce solid food back into the diet
  • Begin with smoothies, salads, nuts, fruits, vegetables, eventually fish, etc
  • Do not eat any red meat or fried food
  • Continue the eating habits of week one with the reintroduction of meats if so desired.
We CAN do this. It would be great for yall to join along. Remember it’s not necessary but always easier with a friend!

DIY: Avocado Deep Conditioner

After the Avocado Deep Conditioner
So… as I stated in my recent post  Is It Me? my hair has been trippin lately being just as dry and brittle as it wants to be. I’ve been trying to get away with spraying it with water and adding leave-in conditioner but it was still unsatisfied. I thought about doing my Banana Deep Conditioner but decided to try something new especially since a DIY post was long past due. I also thought that avocado would be a much better conditioner for the upcoming winter because its heavier and more rich in oils than bananas. I’m also becoming really dedicated to the idea that anything we need for our hair is already in our kitchen. 
Dry Brittle Hair Before the Conditioner
The Recipe 1 Avocado- Avocados are incredible for hair and skin because they are rich is vitamin A and antioxidants, making them a powerhouse moisturizer. They also are a natural sunscreen. It’s natural and essential fats make hair stronger and shinier by repairing the shaft for an overall healthier head of hair.  2 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt- Yogurt is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and Vitamin E. It serves as a natural detangler, eliminates frizz, treats scalp issues while leaving hair shiny and soft. Yogurt is incredibly beneficial not only for hair but for the skin as well. It also has been known to balance vaginal pH levels and also cure bad breath. 1 Tablespoon of Honey- I used manuka honey but it’s incredibly expensive. Any honey will do but the more organic and pure the better. .Manuka Honey is full of nature’s extraordinary healing properties. It’s been known to treat eczema, ringworm, infected wounds, arthritis and wrinkles. It also makes for a great facial because of it’s anti-bacterial activities. Any honey is will suffice. I just happened to have some manuka honey on deck.  1 Teaspoon of Lemon Juice or juice 1/2 of a Lemon- I used some lemon juice because yogurt has a natural pH of 4- 4.5. My hair seems to respond well to acidic remedies. Shanti is working on a post that will go into further detail about hair and pH. Until you know whether your hair likes acidic or alkaline products leave this ingredient out. The Process
1 Avocado
*Save the pit because you can make a body scrub with it. I did. Post coming soon*
2 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt
1 Tablespoon of Honey.
1 Teaspoon of Lemon Juice if you so desire.
Blend or mash it up until it is a paste.
Your mixture should look like this. 
Apply to damp hair. I used a spray bottle full of water. 
Leave on for at least 20 minutes. If you have a hair steamer I recommend
sitting under the steamer for 20-40 minutes. The steam enhances the conditioner
and moisturizes the hair more thoroughly. If you don’t have a steamer run
a hot shower and let the steam hit your hair. Rinse your hair and style as usual.
The Results
Ta Da!
I really like this conditioner. I’m writing this post 3 days after I conditioned and my hair is still happy and shining. I think its great for the winter because it’s so hydrating plus it’s easy to make and CHEAP!
 I really want yall to try this out and see how it works for you. Let us know!

About to Go H.A.M: 1940′s Pinup Styling

Now ya’ll know how much I love the retro looks of the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s right?? I have finally come upon a video on how to get this look thanks to the wonderful, resourceful, blogger Natural Belle (I am obsessed with her blog). Coming up soon will be my rendition of this style. I am so excited. I know you guys are too!



Support this beauty, Angelique Noire on her Youtube page as well

-Shanti 

Word from the Wise

I have the blessing of being surrounded by many wise, beautiful, stable and generous women in my life. Olivia is one of them. She is my auntie and a woman I look up to a lot. She is a mother, grandmother, and wife, who has been married to her high school sweet heart for over 20 years! As with all of us, life has not always been easy but she clearly lives in the realm of appreciation, enjoyment, generosity and style. Her birthday passed recently which marked her membership into the exclusive club of the ’50 somethings’ (although she looks years younger). She has been natural with loc’d hair for some time and stylish, funky and dedicated to healthy living for much of the span of her life. 
From a very young age, I would love to sit with the older women and listen to them share their laughter, experiences, struggles, recipes, fashion tips, advice and squabbling with one another. I take a lot of their advice to heart as I try to navigate and create my own life. I wanted to extend that correspondence between the “more mature” women and our generation. This is a long read but trust when I say it’s worth it
Describe your hair journey. When and why did you decide to go natural?
 I was in high school when I first wore my hair natural in an afro hair style.  The 70’s was a good time for self-expression and a time when I exercised the freedom to express, celebrate and embrace my naturally beautiful locks.  I remember the day I wore my first afro hairdo.  I loved the way it framed me emphasizing the shape of my face, eyes, nose, and lips.  I wore big hoop earrings, excited about how it felt to finally be liberated from the straightening comb, hot curlers, hair grease, burnt ears, and the smell of burning hair. Let me not forget the pink hard hair rollers that came loose while I slept and ended in the bed or on the floor leaving me without a curl to start the morning. I loved that I no longer had to worry about bad hair days.
Wearing my hair in an afro was a soulful experience.  I felt a closer connection to the person inside of me who was transitioning from girl to woman.  It was a time when I shared a growing connection with women of color who was uplifted and thrilled about wearing our hair natural.  We were finally given permission to reflect on how profound it was to be Black and Proud in America.  Wearing an afro was also a political fashion statement.  It was the first time we were allowed to openly appreciate the texture of our hair.  Being called “nappy headed” lost its significance as a full afro became the crowning glory desired by some of our “finer” haired sisters and brothers.
I never really knew how to style my hair.  Perms were too damaging so I wore my hair in a crop natural cut for years after the afro.   After the crop cut I wore a wet set natural curl and began to grow bored with this hairdo where I eventually went back to wearing a short cropped cut only to desire something new and different.  In a short time I needed another change, but a change I could personally feel attached to, and then came Anita Baker.  She changed my world in the 90’s.  Every woman admired the sophisticated cut she wore as well as her music.  I made my first visit to the hairdresser to get my hair permed, cut and styled the Anita Baker way.  It was fun while it last until it started to get expensive to maintain a bi-weekly cut and style.
The style, length and color of hair convey a subtle message about our sense of fashion and personality.  Being a fashionable individual, I chemically permed and dyed my hair.  I also went as far as wearing a wig and getting a weave, none of the styles matched my personality.  Unhappy and frustrated about my hair and the effort it took to get it right, I decided to go back to wearing my hair natural; a place of comfort and ease.  The journey with my hair has taught me that as Afro-American women we have the exclusive advantage of wearing our hair in so many different styles.   Our hair textures are as diverse as the color of our skin, and to celebrate this uniqueness.  For these reasons I made the decision to free myself from the chemically treated products and accept my genuine natural hair again. This time around my decision was to lock my hair and claim my freedom with pride.  Once again, I was empowered to embrace the quality of my god-given naturally textured hair, skin, lips, hips and butt, and style; developed my signature swagger and claimed what is mine.  Being able to embrace my outward beauty allowed me to embrace the beauty I host within.  Once again I gave  myself permission to love all of me  - not just my hair, but the temple of my wealth, wisdom and a new appreciation for the journey I’ve taken to enhance the beauty I sometimes fail to acknowledge.
Have you always taken such good care of yourself? What habits have you practiced consistently from your youth to your middle ages that you think has been beneficial to your health?
My grandmother always reminded me to scrub my knees, smile and show gratitude.  My father would check me and always remind me to wash your neck when you wash your face.  My mother who stood 4’11” will remind me not to slouch, check my posture and act like a lady.  And when neighborhood kids called me names just because of my dark complexion, I’d go home and tell my mother and she would assure me I am loved and that I am beautiful and that God loves me just the way I am because he made me just like he made the others.  It was clear to me early as a child that beauty is more than an outward appearance. The people who called me ugly were being mean and that made them appear to be ugly.  I learned from my experiences as a young girl that acceptance of differences is a value.  Showing kindness and empathy for everyone is a distinctive quality that superseded any imperfections or perceptions others might have of you.  Having a positive attitude and practicing the art of forgiveness is so therapeutic.  I am able to feel positively free and I do not walk around with a grudge.  To my advantage I was taught early to be authentic, connect with my soul and seek acceptance from within. Embracing these teachings early in life gave me permission to explore my femininity at the same time I explored the values and tenants of my soul that support me in feeling beautiful.
I learned early to adorn myself with clothes and jewelry that enhance my features, body shape and self-esteem.  After attending charm school where I learned how to walk, and conduct myself as a lady I began to adopt a philosophy and a regimen for taking care of myself early.  I was fortunate to learn early to make a personal commitment to always challenge my capabilities, celebrate my accomplishments, and show gratitude every day.  I also committed to maintaining a positive attitude, eat healthy foods, and spend time with people who warm my heart and make me smile.  And … always pamper my mental, spiritual and physical self.  Yoga keeps me centered and prepares me to mentally and physically deal with any challenges I might face throughout the day. I recently returned to practicing hot yoga which has helped me tone my body and eliminate impurities and meditate.  I begin my day giving thanks to my GOD for a new day.  In the mornings I dedicate 20 minutes of yoga 3 to 5 days a week.  As I grow older more importance is given to attending annual medical appointments, exercising. eating healthier, and making sure that rest and relaxation is included in my schedule of activities.
What is your skin care regimen?
I drink lots of water, and avoid or limit the amount of sugary and fatty foods I eat every day. I believe it to be true that what you digest has a tendency to affect your complexion, concentration and energy level.   Overtime, I’ve reduced or eliminated fried greasy foods from my daily diet and eat them when I want to treat myself.  Knowing my skin type and what works for me, I use the appropriate products to clean, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect my skin as well as keep it hydrated and blemish free.  I wear make-up and no matter what’s going on, I DO NOT go to bed without first cleaning my face.  Good dental care is as important as washing my face and taking in vitamins and herbs before going to bed. When I was young we used petroleum jelly to moisturize our body.  Later I learned that petroleum products are not good for the body because they clog your pores.  In an effort to find the right moisturizer for my skin I have learned to mix up my own moisturizers using coconut, almond oil and essential oils.  To help keep my skin smooth I exfoliate while bathing 2 to 3 times a week.  Exfoliating is necessary because it helps to reduce the appearance of dry skin.  This is especially important in the winter when you skin can get dry and appear ashy.
Exercise regimen?
Exercise has always been something I do for fun to maintain my health.  I’ve mentally and physically challenged myself to commit to an exercise routine. I enjoy feeling strong, healthy, and competing with my capabilities.  Feeling good enables me to challenge my capabilities and explore other types of exercising.  To start my day I do a combination of yoga stretches in the morning to waken and tone my body.  The benefits of stretching 15 -20 minutes 4 to 5 times a week have significant health benefits as I get older.  In addition to my morning stretches I attend hot yoga classes twice a week and take the stair steps instead of the escalator.  I am an avid gardener and can easily spend up to 5 hours in my garden in the spring and throughout the fall seasons.   In addition to gardening, I try to incorporate some form of exercise in my life every day going to work and while I’m on vacation. My lifetime goal is to stay actively healthy.
As a woman who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s self-awareness and holistic knowledge was most popular and circulated, what do you think about this generation of women? Have we gone two steps forward or two steps back?
Many of my friends have aged beautifully because we share some of the same values growing up.  We’ve learned to support and encourage each other to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts were role models who taught us to respect and embraced our femininity and sensuality.   Although they did not exercise like we do, they walked more, ate better, socialized and because they lived with routine and structure they managed to maintain an active life.  We grew up under these conditions and did not have the alternatives of eating and relaxation as our young women have today.
There was also a code of ethics about how we were expected to dress and behave as young ladies.  Our parents established specific standards we were expected to follow as we grew into womanhood.  Something happened that began in the 80’s that erased the values of eating meals together, “courting”, ( a process of getting to know your mate),  behaving and dressing like a lady and having positive male and female role models to help you mature.  In the 80’s I gradually observed extremes changes in how young women conducted themselves.  Another change was the popularity of young girls and women wearing Timberland boots, white t-shirts, cross-gender dressing, and posturing like the opposite sex. In addition to cross-gender dressing I see extreme inappropriate dressing and a lack of self-awareness and self-respect for what is appropriate clothing to compliment body shapes and sizes.
Another observation is the number of overweight young women.  We need to promote health and engage our youth early in embracing their inner beauty to help them develop a healthy and honest self-esteem.  We have to try harder to teach each other that size does matter in health, appearances, and relationships and in how people respond to.  Unfortunately, some of our young women today are experiencing more health and relationship problems that have the potential to follow them into adulthood.  Ignoring your health and appearance is a choice.  It appears that too many of our young women have become complacent and are finding quick ineffective solutions to beauty and healthy lifestyles.  These choices have replaced alternatives to developing long-term solutions and daily beauty regimens for a holistically healthy lifestyle.   It’s never too late to demonstrate the importance you personally place on your mental, spiritual and physical self.  The first step is to personally and honestly evaluate their lifestyle, and begin to make changes to support your personal goals.  There is something significantly preventing our youth from recognizing their natural beauty.  I think it takes each and every one of us to help our young women to realize their full potential.  Old-school values learned as a young woman has had a positive effect in the way I approach the aging process.  What I learned from the women who passed through my life has allowed me to embrace my aging beauty. Now it is my turn to teach our young what being beautiful really means.
What pitfalls or habits of your peers have you noticed that lead them to look more worn, out of shape and overall unhealthy in their older years? 
Unfortunately, some women believe that at a certain time in their life when they define themselves as being old, they take on the attitude that they are suppose to stop living and begin to neglect their appearance practice unhealthy habits that exacerbate the aging process and accelerate  life expectancy.  If you believe aging is a problem then you are right.  If you believe aging is a natural occurrence in life you are also right.  I believe you become what you think and believe to be.  It’s a fact that as we age our energy level decreases, our body goes through hormonal changes, and we no longer have an interest in doing what we need to maintain an attractive appearance.  Although I do not have the energy I had when I was younger, I’ve made a commitment to maintain a consistent level of fitness, and an active social life.  To ensure that I am able to accomplish these goals I make sure that I attend regular scheduled doctor visits to maintain my health and appearance.
A pitfall for women my age is not pushing beyond their full potential to improve their health and lifestyle.   They will eat unconsciously and even if they exercise they’ll go home and justify eating more calories than what they burned just because they visited the gym.  They easily give up on exercise if they don’t lose weight as fast as they believe they should.  I tell them not to give up and offer resources about exercising to help them understand that they need to develop a holistic approach to diet, exercise and skin care.
If you have not paid attention to your body in your in the last 30 years its going to be tough starting an exercise program and/or changing your diet.  My advice is to begin a life changing/sustaining healthy approach to longevity today.   It’s never too late to take on the challenge.  Exercising, developing healthy habits and exploring your full potential will help anyone feel great and even better as you age.    I remind them that there is more to life to explore with a new and developing attitude.
As you age, how has your perception of yourself changed? Do you still feel effortlessly sexy, energized and motivated?
I am comfortable with how I have aged.  I feel sexy motivated, and energized every day I wake up.  I expected wrinkles and changes in the shape of my body.  I expected these changes to occur, and began as a young woman to establish a lifestyle that slowed down the aging process.  I’ve embraced every decade of my maturity. When I was younger I promised myself that as I mature, I will hold on to the  uniqueness of my body and soul  and value every lesson I learn.  I’m now very comfortable and satisfied with how I have aged.  Getting older comes with many benefits.  It’s empowering to feel confident and secured knowing and liking the person I’ve become.  This attitude makes it easy to feel sexy.  Feeling sexy is effortless and it motivates me to continue my lifelong commitment to wellness.
What beauty secrets can you share with the younger girls?
Total care of the body is so important in maintaining your youthful look; so start today.  Read and understand the science of healthy eating, diet, nutrition, and exercising.  To stay focus on with your personal goals, be honest and determined.  Commit to what you want and desire.  I have learned that success is sexy and motivating.  To lose weight and like the way you look in your clothes is an extremely strong ego booster.   Commit yourself to accomplishing goals to eating healthier foods, losing excess weight, and exercising. I feel more confident and motivated when my efforts show results.  When I do better, I smile more and the process gratefully repeats itself with each new challenge.
To keep my skin smooth and free of blemishes I exfoliate, cleanse, moisturize and protect my entire body.  If you wear make make-up cleanse your face before going to bed.  Our skin say so much about what is going on inside our body. This is why it is important to understand the importance of vitamins and minerals and the effects they have on your body.
Being and feeling beautiful is a personal responsibility that begins with you.  The earlier you start taking care of yourself the more beautiful you’ll feel as you grow older.
Thank you so much Olivia for this interview. Love you!
Olivia with her sister Kutia (my God mother)
Highschool sweethearts
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