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z 40 ROCK Quarterly Magazine / Issue No. 8










Michele Thornton SVP, BET Networks / Centric TV




ORIGINAL BEAUTY vs COPY 9.0 by Brenda Combs-Jefferson





Just one more, right? Here are just a few of many:

WAIST TRAINERS When you are an Original, you never

As an original, you must establish and

Research from several studies has proven that excessive use of waist trainers can be dangerous to your health. Many of these studies say its due to the adjustment that it makes to the position of the human organs. Does it mean that they are horrible?

keep the integrity of your identity.

Hmmmm ... You decide.

stray too far away from what sets you apart from everyone else. You always stand out; never blend in!

Pop Culture has led us to believe


that we need waist trainers, weave,

Lashes, how amazingly fabulous, right?

lashes, glute implants, breast implants, and that we must starve ourselves.


I remember the movie, “I’mma Get

You Sucka,” there was a funny yet reality type scene for today’s women. It’s a

Absolutely curv-a-licious, right?

scene where this woman takes off her


wig, fake leg, eye and other additions. Once you got down to the real her, it was pretty shocking. Sometimes the additions we add take away from us.

Beautifully bountiful, right?


At some point, you have to ask

yourself, if I am a Brand, an original, a

working with. It’s another thing to create

masterpiece, a work of art, why should I

a generic & new you.

add so many generic additions? It’s one

thing to enhance what you are already

you more than you’re willing to pay. ✖

Sometimes GENERIC BEAUTY, will cost






It has been said that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. I’ve had to make my fair share of lemonade. So much so that I’ve officially shut down the lemonade stand and upgraded to making lemon margaritas with just an innocent splash of tequila. Before

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this mother of the world turned into a Mixologist of the world; many days, I would think to myself; does everyone have to fight the struggle or is it just some of us? I would ponder if there was ever anyone who had ever had a life of eternal rainbows and roses bestowed upon them.

Here are my perfect ingredients for

reaching the demise of our seven year

eventually my babies would have to deal

a Lemon Margarita with an innocent

union. (This is a sudden the start/abrupt

with the fact that mommy and daddy

splash of tequila. Get ready to drink

content change. You stated “we” without

would get a divorce (it happened sooner

from the fun and sometimes unpredict-

saying anything about your ex. It could

than later). Add to that the audacious

able cocktail glass I call life.

be as easy a fix as subs turning “my

decision to start that phase of our lives

former husband and I” or adding more

on the other side of the world with no lo-

plate and ask myself—where did I go

background ) An opportunity for me to

cal support in place and eight suitcases

wrong? What did I do that causes me to

teach abroad arose that would give us

in tow. You have the perfect mixture of

continuously end up on the losing end

the change we so desperately desired.

fear, determination, and success.

of life with its dramatic battles? By the

We had the chance to resettle our chil-

age of 30, I found myself trying to beat

dren and ourselves and get a start fresh

purchase four one-way tickets back to

the odds. I was a divorced single mother

in the Middle East. We were both in

America if things didn’t go as planned.

of three elementary aged children,

agreement that this opportunity would

Giving up was not an option I could

former welfare recipient and survivor of

be beneficial for our marriage, fam-

entertain. I HAD to succeed.  I could not

domestic violence. At this point in my life

ily and finances. We had less than four

allow the fear of failure to consume me.

I decided to pull out the margarita glass,

months to pack up our lives and become

I placed all my trust in God and didn’t

sprinkle the brim with salt and proceed-

official expatriates. Unfortunately, our

doubt nor question His ability to provide

ed to make that margarita.

marriage could not be revived before we

for us. We had the essentials we needed.

At that time, it seemed that all the odds

reached the airport. Instead of being a

My new employer provided us tem-

were stacked against me. If you have you

family of five starting a journey abroad,

porary shelter in a hotel and I had the

ever looked at the latest polls, statistics

we boarded the airplane to the Middle

promise of future income from my posi-

and research conclusions, they all say I’m

East as 4 Deep (three kids, one parent).

tion as an educator. I was also equipped

destined for failure and a life of poverty.

with a bold and optimistic level of faith.

My plan was never to become a negative

a foreign world as a single parent. If you

Faith is one of the determining key com-

social statistic. I set forth to prove every

are a single parent who started off with

ponents to my success.

statistic about who they (whomever

a spouse, you know that entering into

THEY is) said I was suppose to be wrong.

single parenthood has its challenges. I

forever, and for the better. Until two

I declared then and there that I was des-

had those challenges and I added a few

years ago, I had never experienced a

tined for greatness and failure was not

more for special effect just to keep it

place of true eternal peace as an adult.

an option.

interesting. So far, my cocktail mixture

Here is what happened: I was standing

was: I was a new single parent, I was

on the balcony of our 21st floor condo

My former husband and I both needed

uprooting my children from their familiar

overlooking the beautiful blue sea.

a change that would keep us from

home life in America and I knew that

Everything seemed so peaceful, so right.

For a long time I would sit, contem-

In 2013, my marriage had flat lined.

I started a new chapter of my life in

I had no Plan B nor reserve funds to

Trusting God has changed my life




At that moment, I felt the weight I had

several countries and we enrich our cul-

many of us have something in life that

been carrying for so long immediately

tural experiences when go. We’ve spent

has us scared and has us hesitating to

remove itself from me. It was like my bur-

frigid nights and blistering hot days

“move” on. We allow society and our

dens took wings and flew away. At that

camping in the deserts of the United

self doubt to dictate what we should

very moment I knew I had found peace.

Arab Emirates, explored Sri Lanka for

and shouldn’t be able to do. We have to

It felt like I was standing in the eye of a

Christmas, walked the beaches of Thai-

release ourselves from that mindset.

hurricane. There was a storm around me

land and visited the temples of Malaysia.

but all I could see was the beauty in the

These are just a few examples of the

our children, they can do anything they

current calmness and I KNEW the storm

adventures we’ve experienced in the last

put their minds to, yet we fail to heed

would pass. I KNEW with everything

nine months. Moving abroad has placed

our own parental advice. Making such a

in my being, the storm would subside.

me in a position that allows me to enjoy

bold move to the United Arab Emirates

Succumbing to depression or a mental

a stress free life as a single parent.

was never on my radar nor was it on any

breakdown was not and could not be my

vision board I had created. I’m so happy

way out. I had found my place of peace

to travel throughout the year with my

I pushed through my fears and doubts

in the midst of the storm.

children, I also make time for myself. I

and opened myself up to an option out-

use my ME time to re center, rejuvenate,

side of the norm.

that may seem impractical to others but

and refocus; not only as a mother but

is normal to me. I opened myself to gen-

as a woman. This is my essential time

of being the poster child for single moth-

uine opportunities for personal growth

to focus on my mental and emotional

ers. I was simply tired of struggling and

and set out to prove the impossible was

well-being. In the last year, I’ve experi-

living paycheck to paycheck, or as my

possible. Doing so has allowed my chil-

enced/seen/walked around the Eiffel

elders often said, robbing Peter to pay

dren and myself a chance to experience

Tower, biked down and over the streets

Paul. If I had not taken this chance and

the world in a hands-on manner. I work

of Amsterdam, drank the fine wine of the

stepped out on faith, I would still be in

to live now, not live to work. I chose to

Tuscany Vineyards, partied all night in

the rat race. Boy!!! Am I glad I did!! Doing

take a leap of faith and not allow a nega-

the streets of Cancun and experienced

this has allowed my children to see the

tive situation dictate my future. ( this is

some serious R&R in Bahrain. I say none

world, meet great people along the way

beautifully and eloquently stated)

of this to boast or brag but to assure you

and live in a place of peace and happi-

that the storm doesn’t last forever. I’m

ness I didn’t know could exist.

pledge to literally give my children the

a living testimony. I want to encourage

world. I pledged to give them a new

you to not allow the world with their

may just spread wings you never knew

world experience or adventure every

negative statistics and polls to dictate

you had and SOAR! ✖

100 to 150 days. We board planes and

the outcome of your outcome in life.

trains and put our passports to use by

frequently visiting new countries. In the

is not like mine and may not consist of

last nine months, 4 Deep has explored

a bold move across the world. However,

I embraced a single parent lifestyle

As a single mother I made a self

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Not only do I get an opportunity

I understand that everyone’s journey

It’s funny because we always tell

I didn’t make this decision in hopes

From me to you, I say JUMP! You

40zrock 8 preview  
40zrock 8 preview