Marsai Martin Essence cover

Source: Ramona Rosales / Courtesy Of Essence

This is Marsai Martin‘s world and we’re just happy to live in it!

The child superstar, who made her mark on history as the youngest executive producer ever, covers Essence for the publication’s first-ever Girls United digital cover. Inside, Martin talks diversity in Hollywood, living authentically as a young Black woman and creative, and rewriting the rules. “The talented @marsaimartin is positive proof that the teens of today are an inspiration to those humble and wise enough to note their influence. Proudly leading the pack, the young mogul has clearly figured out how to live large while living life on her own terms,” Essence said of the young black-ish icon.

Here are a few highlights from her cover story:

On Living Authentically: “I’m always myself…I’m in the space I’m in right now because I was just always unapologetically myself​…” 

On Inclusion In Hollywood: “It really sucks to say, but people are just now starting to understand that we as Black people have very creative minds and we won’t stop until we get there​…” 

On Pitching Her Film: “I really didn’t think of it as a nerve-wracking thing. Math equations scare me a lot more than public speaking​…” 

ALSO: A Gazillion Reasons You Should Be Following Marsai Martin On Instagram

Earlier this month, Martin attended and participated in the Essence Girls United Summit, which aims to “amplify and empower young Black women via impactful conversations and workshops — encouraging the next generation of activists, leaders and entrepreneurs.” In case you missed it, the 16-year-old actress taught a masterclass in self-empowerment, securing the bag, and more.

Below, the beauty thanks Essence and crew. Stay tuned to see what she has in store for us next. We stan the young queen.

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After announcing Eboni K. Williams as the first black housewife to join The Real Housewives of New York, the franchise has added even more diversity. US Weekly’s confirmed that Bershan Shaw is also filming the forthcoming season.

Women Empowering Women - The Unstoppable Warrior - Arrivals

Source: Rachel Luna / Getty

It’s unclear how she fits in, but it sounds like she’ll be a Tanya Sam, Marlo Hampton-style “friend of the cast.”

Bershan is a business coach, motivational speaker, and has her own podcast called “Buckle Up With Bershan.” So far it looks like the official housewives will consist of Eboni K. Williams, Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, Countess Luann de Lesseps, and Leah McSweeney.

Bershan is reportedly good friends with Leah.

MadameNoire reports that Bershan, who also starred on OWN”s “Love In The City”, is a TWO TIME breast cancer survivor. Bershan told MN that after she was diagnosed for a second time, this time with stage four, she was only weeks away from getting married.

“You know you think, you’re about to get married in two weeks, you don’t want to hear you have stage four breast cancer,” said Bershan. “You should be thinking about what color veil or what kind of shoes you should get. Walking into the room, just saying ‘Look, honey I love you. I love you with all my heart and I’m a fighter, I’m a warrior, I’m a survivor but I’ve got this diagnosis and the doctor told me ‘do I believe in miracles?’ It’s not a good thing but I’m going to beat this. I don’t care what I do, I’m going to beat it. And you know what my husband said to me? ‘You are going to be my wife. I love you and we’re going to beat this together.”

She indeed did beat it, and she and her husband are reportedly still together. She also credited her plant-based diet with saving her life. “I don’t like meat at all. It’s changed my life.”

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She also recently celebrated being 12 years cancer-free.

Congratulations to her!

Will YOU be watching RHONY to see Ebony K. Williams and Bershan Shaw???

Michelle Obama Podcast

Source: Spotify / Higher Ground Productions

Michelle Obama opens up about her and her family’s quarantine lifestyle on the latest episode of her podcast.
Today, Spotify and Higher Ground Productions debuted the newest episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast, featuring award-winning journalist and former anchor of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Michele Norris.

In this episode, the two longtime friends sit down for an intimate conversation to discuss their quarantine routines and learning to become their own beauticians, the importance of self-care and inward reflection in these uncertain times, maintaining their mental health, how they are coping with the coronavirus crisis and racial inequality, and what we can all do in the face of injustice.

Available now, you can listen to the latest episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast HERE.

Check out highlights from the episode below:

On Trying to Keep a Routine in Quarantine

Michelle Obama: For Barack and I, we, we’ve lived outside of the norm of regular life for quite some time, and what we learned early on in the White House is that in order to stay sane, and to feel like the human that you once were, is that you have to have a schedule, and a routine, that’s pretty, that’s pretty lock step. So we were in the habit of, you know, I get up, you know, I don’t have to set my alarm, but I

Michele Norris: Do you get up at the same time?

Michelle Obama: Uh, roughly, around the same time. I mean, but my sleep is off, too, and I’ve heard this from a lot of people, it’s, you know, because we’re not moving around as much. So I’m not as tired, I’m not, I’m not knocked out tired, like I usually am at nine o’clock, I’m going to bed a little bit later, so, and I’m waking up in the middle of the night, cause I’m worrying about something, or there’s a heaviness. But, if I sort of set aside, an uneven night, I do tend to wake up at the same time. Not the crack of dawn, but, pretty much like six, seven o’clock, then I try to make sure I get a workout in, although, there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where i just,have felt too low. You know, I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself, and sometimes I’ve, there’ve been, uh, a week or so where I had to surrender to that, and not be so hard on myself. And say, you know what, you’re just not feeling that treadmill right now, um, but.

Michele Norris: That’s unusual for you.

Michelle Obama: It is unusual, and it is, you know, it’s a direct result of just being out of, out of body, out of mind. And spiritually, these are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually. You know, um, so I, I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.

Michelle Obama: So I have had to kind of give myself that, those days, those moments, but for the most part, staying in a routine, getting a workout in, trying to get outside. Um, but schedule has been key, and having a regular dinner time. And, I’m finding that in quarantine, we look forward to that. Because we, in our house, what we all do is go off into our little workspaces, right. Barack’s in his office, making calls, working on his book. I’m in my room, duh duh duh, the girls are on their computers, and sometimes we’re outside if the weather permits, but we’ve developed this routine, of you know, we don’t really worry about seeing one another in the day. But right around five o’clock, everybody comes out of their nooks, and, we like do an activity, like, puzzles have become big, just just sitting and doing these thousand piece puzzles. The girls are just like into ’em, and we’re all sitting on the floor, around a table where the puzzle is now permanently set up. And then we sit down for dinner. And we talk some more. And then afterwards, the girls and Barack, and, another friend there, they’ve got a spades tournament. So Barack has taught the girls spades, so now there’s this vicious competition. They wouldn’t have sat down but for this quarantine, to learn how to play a card came with their dad.

On How the First Lady is Getting Through Quarantine

Michelle Obama: Not to put anybody out of work, but this time has taught me how to do my own waxing, do my nails,

Michele Norris: You’re waxing? You’re waxing!

Michelle Obama: I did!

Michele Norris: I am impressed!

Michelle Obama: I did, but it’s like, there’s a lot of stuff, I’m figuring out, if I want it done, I gotta figure out how to do it, but that’s how we were raised, right.

On Racial Injustice and Identity

Michele Norris: In this moment of tumult and uncertainty, a lot of people are feeling the highs and the lows.

Michelle Obama: Mm hmm. They’ve been real for me, and, you know I don’t think I’m unusual, in that, but, I’d be remiss to say that part of this depression, is also a result of, what we’re seeing in terms of, the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country, since its’ birth. I have to say, that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to, yet another, um, story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt or killed, or, falsely accused of something, it is exhausting. And, and it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life, in a while.

Michele Norris: You know I spend a lot of my time thinking about race and identity and studying race and identity and that aspect of my work has been roiling. You know. And it started really with the pandemic and the racial disparities that were apparent almost immediately. In who was getting sick and who had access to testing, and then who was dying, but there is, there’s been this period, where it’s been a ratatatat of death that just doesn’t even make sense. The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, immediately followed by Breonna Taylor, and then, the killing of George Floyd in a manner that just didn’t, just doesn’t… I mean, I’m trying to find the right words to describe how much it hurt to watch that video, and I made myself watch that video. You know literally squeezing the life out of someone. I feel like it’s almost, it creates a certain sense of vertigo, I think for us because we were told it was supposed to be better.

On Managing Your Mental Health

Michele Norris: When you feel the lows, how do you get through that? How do you keep moving forward?

Michelle Obama: Well, this is, the part of, of knowing yourself, knowing how to replenish yourself with the things that do bring you joy. So for me, my spirit is lifted, when I am feeling healthy, when I am surrounded by good people, you know, so I reach out. I reach out to my family, and to my friends, uh, even in this time, of, quarantine, you know, I fought to continue to find a way to stay connected to the people in my life who bring me joy, and my girlfriends, my husband, my kids, it’s, it’s the small things. It’s small, the small rituals. Right. For me, there’s no magic to it, but it is effort, right. Because you have to recognize that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it. Um, so you kinda have to sit in it for a minute, to know, oh oh, I’m feeling off. So now I gotta, I gotta feed myself with something better. And sometimes for me that means turning it off. Right, it it means turning off the phone, not taking in the news, because it is negative energy, I learned that in the days of the White House, and, sometimes we feel like that’s irresponsible, to just cut off, and I think it is, if you do it over long term, but for me, for my mental health, there’s some times I cannot look. I need to just take a moment, and to just not look. For a second. [laughs]

Michele Norris: I try to be honest about it, with both my kids but especially my daughter, because the strong Black woman trope is a cement necklace.

Michelle Obama: Oh god, yes.

Michele Norris: You know, that’s supposed to feel like pearls. It’s supposed to be a compliment, but what it is, is, it perpetuates the notion that we can throw anything at you. We can just hurl anything at you and you will catch it, and look elegant doing it. And that’s just not true. And so, I try to be honest in my low moments, you know, this has been a tough day, this has been a tough day.

\

Michelle Obama: We will get through this, uh, you know cause the thing we have to remember is like we’ve been through tough times, in this nation. Um, and we are in a unique moment in history. We are living through something, that no one in our lifetimes has lived through it. Uh,

Michele Norris: 2020 is, just extra. [laughs] In all kinds of ways.

Michelle Obama: Who would’ve thought. It’s like phew! What more do you have for us, 2020!

Have you had a chance to listen to Michelle’s podcast yet? What do you like best about it so far?

Moet & Chandon At The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Red Carpet

Source: Michael Kovac / Getty

We knew that Tracee Ellis Ross was a smart and sexy woman, but if you didn’t notice, she’s also a voluptuous goddess whose very proud of her curves.

Back in 2014, he Black-ish star took to Instagram to spread a little body positive cheer and happiness by posting pictures of her curvaceous body along with a touching message. Ms.Ellis-Ross  is proud of her lady lumps and wants the world to know. She wrote:

“I’m not the type to post booty pics…I love my body but I try not to objectify it,” she captioned. “But today I wanna…so I made a damn collage! The pic on the right made me nauseous the first time I saw it. I thought my face looked crazy but the pic is always popping up somewhere so I’m embracing it…crazy eyes, bra bulge and all!!! #IWokeUpLikeThis#FeelingFrisky #Freedom2014″

Fast forward five years, and not much has changed about the sultry actress, except her age. The Emmy Award winner turns 47 years old today, and is still basking in her all thick glory.

Since jumping on the scene as Joan in Girlfriends back in the day, Tracee has always been beautiful (and packing). But over the years, her beauty moments just been hittin’ different. Hit the flip to check them out.

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