BSM Magazine - November-December 2021

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b e a u t i f u l ly s a i d m a g a z i n e NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021



Top5 Holiday Goodies Inside

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from the

editor’s desk Wait! What happened to 2021? If you are like us, the time went by way too fast. Who can believe we are gearing up to bring in the New Year in 61 days? "Unapologetically Living Life." The mood for our current issue. Take our cover story talent, actress Meagan Good, who welcomes aging and its freedom since turning 40 this past summer. There has never been a time (like now) for us to own our space without explaining why. Knowing that no one has permission to speak or act in a way that is not conducive to our peace and health is the care we give to ourselves—an assessment of who or what we have around us that either grows 4 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

or depletes our energy. If anything, these last couple of years have taught us that time is a most precious moment to hold close and purpose to treat each other better than the days before. We "Thank You" for spending this year with our publication. With a warm heart, we want each person here to know we appreciate your presence. May the remaining days of this year be kind to you, as you are kind to yourself and others.


Happy Holidays! Best regards, La Trisha McIntosh and La Tasha Taylor



Photo Credit: Alex Reside/Instyle

Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Turner

58 Photo Credit: Instagram

Photo Credit: AP


Michael B. Jordan Stars in the Denzel Washington Directed Film Premiering on Christmas Day

52 Kevin Hart 20 BEAUTY

Armando Kole Collab with Midas Cosmetics


Meagan Good Talks Unapologetically About Her Career and Personal Journey

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Jordin Sparks and Kelly Rowland Stars in Christmas Movies “A Christmas Treasure” and “Merry Liddle Christmas Baby”

Photro Credit: Courtesy of Life & Luxury



New Netflix Limited Series “True Story”

58 Jordin Sparks and Kelly Rowland


Photro Credit:

10 Michael B. Jordan

Photo Credit: Ryan West Photo

Photo Credit: @leyla.stefani

Photo Credit: CAntwon Maxwell Photography for BSM Magazine



Kimonos are a perfect style choice for 'Tis the Season Fashion

Holiday Goodies Talent: Tabitha Brown Denim Kimono @LaSonjaPolk Styled by @stylistjbolin Photo Credit: @tarfphotography


Listen to the musical sounds of Kelly Clarkson “When Christmas Comes Around” Holiday Album

Royal Dansk Store

Photo Credit: Amazon/Royal Dansk Store

Photo Credit: Amazon/ Burt's Bees Store

Burt's Bees Store

Gift a child with the book "The Christmas Snow" by Devonja Addison BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 7


Photography by @antwonmaxwellphotography for BSM Magazine Styled by @styledbymarkq


Behind the scenes with Meagan Good Click to Watch


White Lace Dress: Designer Temraza @temraza (provided by showroom Regard Style House) Shoes: Sam Edleman Cut & Color: @Jasmine_ashley_collection MUA: Jorge Monroy @makeupbyjmonroy Arts District Daylight Studio L.A.



Michael B. Jordan is taking on a different kind of role in his new film "A Journal For Jordan."

'A Journal For Jordan' By Katia Castrejon


Photo Credit: GEORGE Sony Pictures

Michael B. Jordan Stars in

Based on Dana Canedy's New York Times best-seller "A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor." The book, published in 2008, was a memoir that focused on Canedy and her late partners' story of love and loss and is based on the true story of First Sergeant Charles Monroe King.


n the film, Jordan plays King; a soldier deployed to Iraq who begins a journal full of life advice for his infant son.

The film centers on love and family and is a reminder of how important and strong the bond of family can be. Chanté Adams will star along with Jordan as Dana Canedy, King's love. "I've done a lot of physical roles because that's been my appetite. I'm 34; the last seven years

have been (about) physically developing into your sweet spot," Jordan told USA Today. "I felt safe to be able to go into this, to explore these characters, and to be vulnerable in that type of way." Dana Canedy helped through the filming process to tell King's story the right way. "The story would not be happening if it wasn't for (the family's) approval and signoff on everything," said Jordan. Denzel Washington directs the film with a screenplay by Virgil Williams. "Everybody wants to work with him [Denzel Washington], and he's a very selective guy," Jordan told USA Today. "So, the fact that he wanted to work with me was a huge deal for me." Executive producers of the film include Molly Allen, David Bloomfield, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, and Richard McConnell. The film is set to premiere in theaters on Christmas Day. BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 11

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Photo Credit: Abliss Studios



he owns A'Bliss Upscale Styling Studios in Jacksonville, Florida, and is highly sought after by celebrities.

She's shown what it is to be a boss, quite literally. She is a hair mogul and entrepreneur and continues to expand her horizons beyond the chair from, having her own line of hair products to even starting a hair academy that teaches other hair professionals how to run a successful business and make six figures.



Meadows was able to run a successful business even after the pandemic shut everything down. The pandemic resulted in her having to pivot her business and get creative with how she could make more revenue. "I was off for a whole month and a half, so I had to sit down and go back to the drawing board and say, 'God, what can I do to stand out more or bring in more revenue?' You know, while not being behind the chair. I had to create systems within my business for me to make more revenue.” Aside from encouraging change in her business ventures, Meadows shared some insight on what has helped her succeed and get clients such as Teyana Taylor and Tasha Smith in her chair.

"I will say the key to that is relationship building because that's what this business is all about. You have to be personable. It's not just about your talent nowadays because anybody can do hair, but what makes you stand out is what you are pouring back into that client, the customer service point, and building. You have to make the client feel they can trust you, that you can listen to their problems, and you can understand," says Meadows. Another key component to Meadow's success has been her ability to rebrand and better her work. "You have to continue to rebrand yourself, you know most clients and celebrities they're people, they look, even when let's say that I wanted to get a feature in a national publication, they're going to go


to my Instagram page and see what my portfolio looks like. So, they want to see a long body of work, you know, they want to see creativity, they want to see how I'm standing out," she explained. Cynthia Meadows has made it clear that one of her biggest goals is to be able to get from behind the chair, pour into people's lives, and provide further help and advice to her clients and fellow stylists. "I'm pouring in so much and helping to rebrand. I deal with a lot of business professionals rebrand in business, and I'm like, 'You know what? I'm giving this all away for free.' So, I had to go back to the drawing board, create systems and structures within my business, and say, 'Let's move on to client consultation.' Now I'm finding myself being more creative and diverse outside of doing hair."

Photo Credit: Abliss Studios Photo Credit: Abliss Studios

"I'm able to charge more, rebuild a business, help that person grow, market, and rebrand their business. I'm so passionate about helping people," says Meadows. "I just want to help as many women as possible and teach them the systems that I created, that God gave me to help their businesses." Through her rebranding and success, Meadows created her line of hair products, which is a great example of her business strategy working. "For them [clients] to even see that a young Black business owner can create a brand and launch it and sell it and be of quality says a lot. I want to be able to get my products in bigger stores to create household names and be able to inspire people to say, 'if she did it,' I can do it too." 16 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

as much time as she can with her family, and her future is to expand her business. "In terms of what's next for me, says Cynthia. I'm launching my advanced academy to help stylists progress in their cutting and coloring skills. I will be certified to be a master colorist. It is one of my longterm goals, and I'm now implementing that and doing more of what I love." The celebrity stylist adds, "I'm a creative artist and not just my hands. I want people to see more of what I do. You'll be seeing me do more speaking engagements and panels to empower women.”


“I'm looking forward to it.” @iamcynthiameadows

Aside from talking business, Meadows also shared some hair tips and trends for the 2021 holiday season. "Everybody wants a new look for the holidays or the new year. "Hair is emotional, so women want to do something drastic because a cut represents change. It represents growth. I'm talking to a lot of women right now, and they're saying, 'Cynthia, I just want to cut all my hair off,' Many women want to go for the big chop during the holiday season." As far as trends to look out for, everybody's going back in for that A-line, blunt bob. Cynthia's holiday plans consist of spending BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 17

WINTER IS HERE AND WE ARE SERVING YOU OUR TOP 5 #HAIR GOALS WHICH ST YLE ARE YOU ROCKING??? Flip Out There’s no doubt that flips are making a comeback, and are loving this style on Gabrielle Union. Get the look by using an FHI flat iron with Wella Thermal Protect Spray to protect your hair from the heat. Finish the look with design shine spray for endless moisture. The Perfect Faux Locs Bring out your inner edge with faux loc Extensions as a protective install for the winter. Teyana Taylor is rocking these locs creating edge and fashion. Get the look with individual crochets or hand locking! Taylor it up with your favorite glam accessories for the perfect holiday


party. Finish the style with Nairobi conditioning Gleam Hair Sheen Spray and Edge Booster Edge Control for the extra baby hairs. The Boy Cut Everyone wants the perfect low maintenance haircut but one that is still feminine that is perfect for workouts. Toni Braxton is giving what it’s supposed to be giving with this short platinum pixie cut that will sure enough turn heads this winter. Get the look using A’Bliss Luxury Hair Care Foam called "Addicted" to keep your hair smooth and laid along with Bliss Shine Spray. Texture Pixie Textured pixies will never go out of style! Ryan Destiny understood the assignment with this show stopping textured haircut. Get this look using a Babyliss Hair Iron to flatten the hair along with KeraCare wax stick for a sleek finish.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of ablissstudios



Model: @theacaciamcbride Model: @leedeevee

Photo Credit: Travis Honnick @travishonnick


Celebrity MUA Armando Kole Talks Collaboration with Vegan Make-up Brand Midas Cosmetics and Glamming up clients like Lil Kim


Model: @theacaciamcbride

By ‘Twins of Media’ Trisha and Tasha


Lead MUA @kole_mua Photo @leyla.stefani Mua Assistant @veronica_kole Model

You introduced the Served Soft Palette in September through the Midas Cosmetics website. How did this collaboration come about?

Model: @leedeevee

I have been affiliated with Midas Cosmetics for some time and have always admired their products and formulas. For the longest time, their loose pigments were the only shimmers I had in my kit because I was obsessed with their tones and how they reflected. I started to think about how much I would love an eyeshadow palette that BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 21

Lead MUA @kole_mua Photo @leyla.stefani Mua Assistant @veronica_kole Model


had all of my go-to glam tones and shades in it, along with ultra-metallic shimmers. After building a relationship with Midas, I proposed the idea of a collaboration with the CEO Rocio Nuñez, and we began to bring that vision to life!!!

I have used my palette on the fairest and richest complexions, and the tones have been beautiful on every person. It is not like the other neutral palettes, where many people struggle to find which shades appear on their skin tone. How did you get your start as a celebrity makeup artist?

What sets the Served Soft Palette apart from other cosmetic brands?

Growing up, I was always in love with pop culture and spent most of my days online, studying my favorite celebrities. I started doing makeup at 13 years old and I have tried almost every neutral began to emulate the styles of makeup that I grew up palette you can think of, and I admiring. Despite being a preteen, I took my career struggled to find one that was seriously and started doing photo shoots and fashion versatile enough to accommodate shows at 14. Over time, I started building my celebrity all of my clients. What sets it clientele, but it all started with me growing up and in apart is no matter the complexion, love with the lifestyle. the shades compliment everyone. Lil Kim wore Served Soft Palette for the Christian Siriano NYFW Show. What other celebrities have you worked with to date? Yes, for NYFW, I glammed Lil Kim using Served Soft! I have also had the pleasure to glam Ashanti, Adrienne Bailon, Nikki Baby, Emily B, Clara Almanzar, Madi Monroe, and a ton of other AMAZING people. We love that the palette is cruelty-free and vegan. Are all of your products vegan?

Photo Credit: Lil Kim for Christian Siriano NYFW Show

Midas Cosmetics being a completely vegan and crueltyfree brand, is one of the many reasons I gravitated to having my first collaboration with them. I hope to follow those same standards for any products I develop in the future. Regarding the products I use in my kit, I put my best effort into ensuring that I only carry vegan and crueltyfree products. What upcoming plans does Armando Kole have? There is so much that I cannot speak about yet. Many exciting things are on the way!! As this year comes to an end and the New Year rolls forward, I hope to continue expanding my clientele and land more incredible opportunities! BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 23

Photo Credit: Warner Records

Michael Bublé Announces ‘Christmas’ Box Set By Katia Castrejon



t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Michael Bublé recently announced a box set for his album “Christmas.” It will be available just in time for the holidays. The singer announced that for the 10th anniversary of the album, Warner Records/ Reprise Records would be releasing a Super Deluxe Limited Edition Box Set. The set will include a 7-track bonus CD with songs selected by Bublé. Also featured will be two new songs, “The Christmas Sweater” and a new studio version of “Let It Snow!” recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with the BBC Big Band Orchestra. Along with the CD, the box set will also include “The Making of Christmas” DVD with behind-the-scenes looks at the recording process and other special moments with commentary being made by the singer. The box set will also include the following: • 48-Page Hardbound Book with a personal letter from Bublé to his fans • 12 x 12 lithograph • An exclusive green vinyl version of the original album. • Exclusive Christmas ornament. • 6 sheets of wrapping paper. • 6 Christmas cards. Over the past ten years, Michael Bublé’s “Christmas” has sold over 16 million albums and has become an essential part of holiday playlists. See album release date and music at Christmas. @michaelbuble



CULTURE By Katia Castrejon


aquial Durham is an entrepreneur, creative producer, and community organizer spreading consciousness on education, pop culture, and politics—the CEO of Public Culture Entertainment Group and a creative producer and hip-hop lover, Durham uses art to amplify and emphasize societal issues. "Originally, I'm an activist and organizer at heart. That's where my passion lies. However, I've learned the way I can conduct my activism and organizing is through artistic expression," says Durham. "I started from my nonprofit organization for the love of community… I learned how to connect and build with different entities and businesses and raise money in funding. I then decided, how can I put this into my artistic expression and have content that is creative and entertaining, and still informative at the same time." Durham also created his innovative clothing brand called Public Culture Collections, which uses QR code technology to create an informative and interactive experience with the pieces designed.

history of these universities? How can I make that informative and engaging? I decided to take the QR code and design it creatively and put it onto a garment, and that QR code now gives you the information about the actual design that the person is wearing." Durham recently secured a utility patent and established Public Culture Technology, where garments can essentially become a ticket to a concert, sporting event, or movie theater. He pitched the idea to The Walt Disney Company and shared there is an interest. "I'm currently working with Disney right now on a licensing agreement. It may be the first big company to take my technology company to the next level. Growing up as the child of someone who went to prison, Durham became interested in the injustices happening within the system. His latest project was directing the upcoming documentary “The Lee Riot & South Carolina Prison Culture.” The film centers around a riot that began after prisoner Michael Milledge was fatally stabbed.

"I love Nipsey Hussle. He's one of the individuals that I say of this era, generation, inspired me to consider how can I build technology into anything that I'm doing."

Durham shared he became involved and interested in the film from his experience of when his father was incarcerated at the South Carolina Department of Corrections as with other family members. He also said his father was released from Lee one year before the riot happened.

"I remember thinking to myself. I'm partnering and collaborating with predominantly white universities. How can I pull out the Black

What needs to be understood is that Lee is a Level 3 correctional facility for those who are lifers and for those who have committed




"You get to hear the voices of those who have truly experienced, not three, four, or five years but men who have spent 20 plus years of their life inside of South Carolina Department of Correction, and they're sharing their stories. They're sharing how we can become better, what South Carolina can do better. They are sharing their accomplishments since being released," says Durham. The film is not the only project Durham has. Inspired by his clothing collection centering around Black culture within predominantly white universities, Durham's upcoming documentary will highlight some of the barriers, but most importantly, the wellaccomplished Black culture within well-known, mostly white universities. PHOTO CREDIT: JORDAN SOLOMON (SOLOMON PHOTOGRAPHY ATL)

heinous crimes such as murder, molestation, those types of things," says Durham. "My father was imprisoned for drugs, and according to him, you will learn in the documentary that Lee Correctional Facility has always been one of those places.

I've been researching the Black history of LSU, the University of Georgia, University of Florida. The Black history of University of Arkansas and Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and all the predominantly white universities that are centered in Black communities, and that's my vision

for this documentary." says Durham. The entrepreneur also shared exclusive news not yet released to the public, and that is, he will be starting his own basketball team for the youth in his community. I'm launching Public Culture Sports basketball team, an AAU for youth in my community coming soon in July of 2022," says Durham. Adding, "I hope to continue to grow my company and make a change within the industry. My goal is to become the next Jay Z of this generation, but bigger. It is my aspiration. To create content for our people and for the culture that is enlightening and informative, educational and entertaining all at the same time. Truly, I believe that I am creating a new blueprint." @jaquialdurham @fortheloveofcommunity

"I was scrolling on social media, and the inmates were live. I wasn't friends with any guys on Facebook but, people were sharing the actual footage of the riot as it was happening. One of the guys that got killed, his sister, had to witness her brother die on Facebook Live," recalls Durham. He added that many people did not understand the severity of the riot and why it was so impactful. “The Lee Riot was the biggest prison riot in 25 years when it happened in 2018. It was something that nobody was talking about; seven inmates were dead, 18 badly injured, and they found more bodies that they later failed to mention,” says Durham. PHOTO CREDIT: DK KEASLER-BRUCE PHOTO



Helping women 40+ feel confident and beautiful

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eet Renee Jefferson Smith, an Interior Designer based in Houston, whose work is nationwide and “Living Beyond the Vision.” Read more of what to look out for with her design business.


Q: You started an Interior Design business, Living & Luxury. Is this something you have always wanted to do? I have always been intrigued with home decor and design. What was once a hobby became a business that I absolutely enjoy. Q: What do you love most about designing spaces? I love the transformation of the space that I'm working in, and. I love turning my client's house into their beautiful home. It becomes the place they enjoy the most. Q: What colors schemes are hot this holiday season? Blush, Burgundy, Fern, Rose, Creme, and Navy are some really great colors for the upcoming Holidays. Q: What's next for your company? Great things are happening for Living & Luxury. I'm extremely excited about the release of my new online store, and I'm also excited about the release of my luxury pillow line and design studio. @reneejeffersonsmith BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 31


Red Dress: Designer Luciana Bal (provided by showroom Maison Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Cut & Color: @Jasmine_ashley_c MUA: Jorge Monroy @makeupby Arts District Daylight Studio L.A.

Meagan Good By ‘Twins of Media’ Trisha and Tasha

Photography by: @antwonmaxwellphotography for BSM Magazine Look styled by @styledbymarkq


lderrama @lucianabalderrama Privee PR)

collection yjmonroy .


eagan Good goes all in. That is initiating a part of the conversation where she talks about her "skin ordeal" from a few years ago. She doesn't disclose the lady she says "really messed me up," but instead sees the traumatizing experience as something that made her stronger. "God allowed my back to be against the wall to the point where I couldn't defend myself," Meagan says of the people who thought she was bleaching her skin. The actress admits she "looked pale" but decided not to live in pain but accept the revelation. "I was crying and saying, 'Thank you, Lord' for this season no matter how much it hurts." It took a full two years, Meagan says, for her complexion to come back. "It made me so much freer, and it was all in preparation to get me to where I am now and where I'm going next", she says of the difficult time. “I’ve always been unapologetic because I know myself, and I know my heart,” says Meagan. Especially in the 30 years, she’s graced the small and big screen. Having celebrated

a milestone birthday, she turned 40 in August; she could easily pass for someone in her twenties, but don’t mistake her trying to stay stuck in her youth. Meagan accepts her new decade age with “ultimate confidence.” "Forty has already been one of the most challenging and rewarding ages for me," says the actress. Gone are the days of being a bit of a people pleaser. Wanting to be liked, for everyone to see my heart, or understand my intentions," shares Meagan. However, she is fully aware that there may have been those with preconceived notions about her to which she "often felt very misunderstood." Especially the times when she showed up to major Hollywood events. "Oh my gosh, I just met so and so, and I hope that was a good encounter, and I hope she can see what kind of person I am." The actress opened up. "I've always felt so uncomfortable in those spaces." "I realize, some of it is in your head, and some of it is very real, but I'm at a place in my life where I just don't care anymore," laughs Meagan.    Instead, she chooses to focus on her career with upcoming projects like the Amazon series Harlem by Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver and produced by Amy Poehler and Pharrell. Meagan plays a college professor named Camille.

"It's crazy, like two years ago, well now we lost a year. So, it would be three years ago; I was saying I really want to do action and comedy, but I don't want to do comedy where I'm the straight man, and the other person is funny. I want to do Lucille Ball lovable physical comedy," says Meagan. With shows being a big commitment where you likely work 4 to 7 months out of the year, the actress says she wanted to find something that made her excited every morning to get up and play. She got that feeling when she read for the part of Camille. There was that combination of drama and, of course (physical) comedy Meagan says she was looking for, "I love this character. Camille is awkward and a little offbeat. She is a young woman who is active in the community and tries to tell the truth, but she is also someone who is still trying to figure it out. I feel like she is relatable to all women. She is the black girl that doesn't get represented often in film and TV, so when I got the role, I literally cried." Meagan describes the new series as dope in that it explores women in their 30s, dating with careers and navigating life. "It's very widely inappropriate, honest, and real, and it's pretty cool to play in this space." She shares her castmates Grace Byers, Jerri Johnson, and Shoniqua Shandai "Are true joys to work BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 33


I feel so free. I love myself so much. I feel so connected to God"

with." Meagan and Grace, who are longtime friends, literally said to each other three years ago, "How nice would it be for the two of us to work together," and so it happened with this show to which Meagan calls a "sisterhood" both on and offset. "I have been working nonstop from January to midAugust," says the actress. Along with Harlem, Meagan will reprise her role as Darla on the DC Comic film Shazam. She will also co-star in the new Netflix vampire comedy Day Shift with Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg.   Meagan jokes that when she first heard she had gotten the part in Shazam in 2019, she mixed up the title with the Shaquille O'Neal film Kazaam from the '90s before realizing she would be a part of the DC Comic movie. Meagan had wanted to do a superhero film for some time, and when she


White Lace Dress: Designer Temraza @temraza (provided by showroom Regard Style House) Shoes: Sam Edleman

told her husband, producer, and motivational speaker Devon Franklin, beforehand, his response was, "Wonderful!" What are you doing to meet God halfway? Faith Without Works is Dead. "I knew he was right, says Meagan. So, I got a trainer, changed my diet, and got serious about my fitness journey. Within a year and a half…almost two years, I went in for this project where the character was unknown. I had no idea what I was shooting for when they called back two weeks later saying I got it. In a moment of reflection, Meagan says, "my prayers were answered."

Darla is an 11-year-old superhero in the DC comic, and Meagan couldn't be happier. "I want little girls to be able to see themselves in these types of movies and believe that anything is possible." The actress, who had a small part in the first film, says, "I got a lot of positive feedback on my character, and I saw little girls buying my action figures, which was something on my bucket list, so this time around, I am throughout the entire film. It's really cool," she says in excitement. She adds that her dream role would be to play the female version of Blade. "I have wanted to act in a vampire movie since I was young and saw Interview with the Vampire." "I heard about the movie Day Shift a year prior and knew they were looking to find the right person when I hoped to get a meeting with the directors. So happened; I was in New York filming Harlem when I got the


White Lace Dress: Designer Temraza @temraza (provided by showroom Regard Style House) Shoes: Sam Edleman



I want to do projects where I get to help the little black girl behind me"

call," says the actress. Getting this role was also another check off Meagan's bucket list. "I talked to Jamie on FaceTime, and he loves this role for me. He's so much fun to work with and a lovely spirit." Meagan also credits stuntman turned director JJ Perry for his "unique eye and a fresh new take for what things should look like with the vampire comedy." The actress is also excited to team up again with Datari Turner. The two produced their first film together, Video Girl, where Turner wrote the script. "He's like a brother

to me," says Meagan of their full circle working relationship. Meagan, who loves being behind the camera more these days, is excited to talk about the recent video she directed with Senegalese artist Diarra who has a huge fan base in Brazil. "First of all, I love directing so much." Sharing "she is not the girl that gets excited to jump into hair and make-up in the mornings" like years ago. "Honestly, I would do no hair and no make-up and just go act, she

laughs, but that's the wonderful thing about directing. You can show up in a baseball cap." The music video Meagan speaks of sheds light on racial injustice. “The people in Senegal and Brazil are not aware of what’s going on in the states.” Meagan says coming up with the concept for the video and working with Diarra allowed “education and something meaningful to happen” for the people. “I’m super proud of it, and I want to do projects where I get to help


the little black girl behind me who is having her experience trying to break through (in the industry). I want to show people what she is capable of, and I want to give that girl the opportunity to shine.” "It's not about me," says Meagan. "To put what I can as an actress and what I've learned

Black Dress: Designer Viviane Valerius @vivianevalerius (provided by showroom Maison Privee PR) Shoes: Steve Madden 38 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

is to help somebody else. I love producing and putting the pieces together and being intentional about what I create," she adds. Talk of directing and producing brings Meagan to discuss her short film Black Karen that will air on Laugh Out Loud (LOL!) Network and star Bresha Webb as the lead. Having already premiered at the Sundance, "I think you can imagine what it is about; the 'Karen' type, but we're black," laughs Meagan. "It's a social piece that has incredible commentary." Adding that what she loves about comedy is that it disarms people. "It enables you to receive what someone is trying to share and to interpret it without feeling offended or attacked, where you can listen for a moment and see it in your own way. Yeah, I'm excited about it," Meagan says of the opportunity. To listen to Meagan is a person who speaks from the heart. Contrary to her flawless appearance, the actress doesn't seem to worry about being overly pretty, and she doesn't mind giving away some of her beauty routines in conversation. "I started using Retinol when I was 39 for fine lines and wrinkles. The Kiehl's Retinol Skin Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum is very gentle. You can use it day and night, and I like how it smooths out my face."

A skincare line? Yes, it is in the works,” says the actress, but in the interim, "There is an amazing Atlanta-based esthetician named Paul @pore_star. He and I are creating an eye cream to get rid of dark circles and tighten and tone around the eyes. We are working to have (the product) out by the end of the year." In the meantime, “I also use his Retinol Charette Cosmetics Rejuvenate and Reverse Retinol Serum. I trade back between this and Kiehl’s.” “Oh, this one is not a goto beauty product, but it’s something we (ladies) can do,” says Meagan. Morpheus 8 is a micro-needling radiofrequency device done three times a year. It does hurt a tiny bit, but it really tightens your skin and pores. It’s something I discovered when I was 35 that has been a good skin-changer. I know a lot of women don’t talk about the secret things they do, but this one I wanted to share,” says the actress. “Physically, I work out in my garage and make sure I do something active daily, even if it’s jump romp or doing sit-ups,” says Meagan when asked how she maintains staying fit. “I feel if you commit to doing 100 sit-ups a day, no matter what, you’re going to get that stomach together,” she laughs. She admits she’s not as diligent on doing squats; she averages about 60 to 70, but says intermittent fasting is good for me.”

"It's when you don't eat for 14 hours a day," she explains. "It sounds crazy, but the truth is you are sleeping for 7 hours anyway. I stop eating at nine at night. When I am up at 8 a.m., I'm already halfway there, and by 9 a.m., I'm twelve hours in." Meagan says her first meal is at 11 a.m. and because "I haven't eaten in 14 hours; it kicks starts my body into ketosis, which means it is in fatburning mode throughout the rest of the day." Meagan has been doing this for three years now and says it's kept her in shape when she couldn't work out because of filming or her crazy schedule. "As long as I stay on my intermittent fasting my weight stays where I want it. The working out part is toning and bringing those muscles together. I make sure I eat healthy in the mornings with a green shake (spinach, bananas, almond butter and a touch of honey with my protein powder) because what I eat for lunch and dinner isn't likely going to have all those vitamins and minerals," she laughs. “Prayer, prayer, prayer. I can’t do anything without prayer,” says Meagan on how she stays healthy mentally. Not hesitant to talk about her faith, the actress acknowledges, “He is everything to me. He is my source. It’s spending time before Him.” Her favorite gospel song at the moment is Something Has to Break by Kierra Sheard. “I listen to it,

White Lace Dress: Designer Temraza @temraza (provided by showroom Regard Style House) Shoes: Sam Edleman


and I worship in the morning,” says Meagan. “I read my word, say my affirmations, and I jump in the car and listen to gospel music to make sure my intentions are set for the day, and that I’m capable of handling what comes my way because I’m already rooted in the Lord from the time, I walk out the house,” she adds. Meagan, who is looking forward to celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary in 2022, says again these last few years have been challenging, but in a great way. "I want to share what that experience has been because I think it will help a lot of women.” She talks about writing another book with her husband. Their first, “The Wait,” a New York Times Best Seller, was released in 2016. “There is a book in me,” says Meagan, pausing to say her next words delicately. “I feel like I might wait until I get pregnant to write it because it’s something budding in me.” Whether it’s a future pregnancy or what she’s learned in her almost ten years of marriage, Meagan knows the message will be beneficial. “I think everything you experience in life is not just for you. If you share those experiences to help someone else and let them know they’re not alone and that they too can come through on the other side and 40 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

Black Dress: Designer Viviane Valerius @vivianevalerius (provided by showroom Maison Privee PR) Shoes: Steve Madden

“I’VE ALWAYS BEEN UNAPOLOGETIC BECAUSE I KNOW MYSELF, AND I KNOW MY HEART" that it’s worth it, I think you’re walking in your purpose at that point.” With a little downtime from a busy year, Meagan laughs that now she is back home in L.A., her husband is off promoting his latest project with Kirk Franklin called Kingdom Business to air on BET+. The actress is equally as excited her older sister La’Miya got an audition and booked a role separate from Meagan’s husband. “She’s playing a pop star,” says the actress of her sister’s new character. “La’Miya

has roots in the music industry as a former musician that’s traveled the world with her former singing group Isyss,” says Meagan. “Now she gets to use all those past experiences and put it into acting and drama.” Meagan also mentions her sister just recorded a song with record producer, Warren Campbell (husband of gospel singer Erica Campbell). “We’re all still working,” she says with a tone of gratitude in support of her family and close friends.


Fringe Dress: Designer Temraza @temraza (provided by showroom Regard Style House) Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana


As casually as she arrived on set for the photoshoot. Before all the makeup and glam took place, by the way, Meagan rocks a beanie most fashionably. The actress, director, producer, and author has a way of reminding those around her she is a woman enjoying the journey of “unapologetic realness. It’s amazing,” she says. I want to continue my healing process and be healed in 2021, she professes—her affirmation. I feel so free. I love myself so much. I feel so connected to God. ~ Meagan Good





artha E. Berry and Icelande “Icee” Robinson are a mother-daughter duo taking the fashion world by storm and building their business empire. Berry, who owns IMarE Boutique, and Robinson, a budding fashion brand owner, talk about their journey to success, their brand's future and share a few fashion tips for the holiday season.

Q: Tell us about some of your fashion collaborations. Berry: Our fashion collaboration is pretty much between me and Iceland. She does the regular size, and I do the plus size. We made sure that for holidays, Christmas, Mother's Day, and graduation, we do different things to collaborate and show ladies the different body types. Even though I'm 40 and she's 21, we can still wear the same things and look really nice. So, a lot of times, that's the type of collaboration we do to show my customer base and our customer base that we still can wear the same thing and look nice. Q: You gifted Iceland with a business at the age of 19. Instead of typical things like money, clothes, or cars people her age receive, you invested in her future. Tell us why?


Berry: I didn't learn this at an early age, but I realized it as an adult creating generational wealth and thought, you know what, maybe I should give her a boutique because she was always saying, "Mama can you get this, or mom somebody asked about this outfit." I could see the people under the comments asking her questions, and I was like, you know what Icee about to make some money, so I gifted her the business. I got her Pay Pal, a bank account set up, DBA, and everything she needed. All we had to do when I gave her the business was turn on the website.

Q: You run a business, and you also hold a spot on the Dean's list at Texas Prairie View A&M University. How do you stay so disciplined and motivated to do both? Robinson: Well, what helps me be motivated is knowing that after college, my future is set up, and I already have a great future planned. As much as I don't want to drive to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I have classes those days, and as much as I don't want to drive an hour away and back, and photoshoots for the business, I've just been telling myself you know "Icee you can get through it," I have remained on the Dean's list. I'm just trying to get to the finish line so that I can make my mom proud. Also, she promised that when I do graduate, I can be the assistant manager of IMarE. I really want to be more hands-on with the Icee Collection and IMarE because my business is very successful, and I'm just keeping it going. Q: Going back to your history as an entrepreneur, you started your business in your living room with no money. How did you go from that particular place to where you are now running a successful boutique and photography studio, IMarE Glam House? Berry: I started my business because I was a single parent, and I was trying to have some type of money because I had just gotten laid off from my job. So, all I had was unemployment. I've always been into fashion, like with Closet by Mott Scott, named 46 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM


I went through terrible times in my life being with an abusive person just because he was taking care of me. That was all I had because I was in school, didn't have a job, and didn't have money. I made a promise to myself that as soon as I got to the place in my life where I could set my kids up, I would do that because I never wanted her to depend on someone for money or be in a bad relationship. To my daughter, I said, I want you to be very independent until God blesses you with who he wants you to be with, but at the same time, I still want to teach her how to bring something to the table, so she doesn't have to settle.

"I feel like many curvy ladies like long hair because it slenderizes our face. For the holidays, I'm all about glitz and glam " after my aunt and my then married name. I pretty much sold everything in my closet because I had lost a lot of weight, and after I sold everything, I was like, "Okay, what am I going to do next?" So that's when I decided to start the business. It took about five to six months to figure out this business thing because I thought it would be good for me. I sat down and googled a lot of stuff because I didn't have a mentor. I then started meeting people who were influencers which helped take my business to the next level. I want to say this: when it seemed like my business was taking off after the first year, the second year, I hit rock bottom and became homeless. All I had was, you know, the money from the business, but it still wasn't enough to buy inventory and pay my bills. Even when I went up in business, I still hit bottom in my personal life. I didn't start seeing success until I moved into my store in 2018. Prayer first, having faith, and trusting God, faithing this thing out is what took me to the next level.

"I started my business because I was a single parent, and I was trying to have some type of money because I had just gotten laid off from my job" I am now in a warehouse location with my business. I don't have a storefront anymore, so everything is pretty much online, and I have a customer service team that ships everything and drops new arrivals. I like this way of doing business better because I can focus on social media with my customers. Now, I don't answer every comment, but I try to respond to the important ones and have relationships with my followers to make them feel like family.

Q: The two of you participate in community initiatives to give back and help others. How important is that for you, Martha E. Berry, and how have you taught Icelande the same? Berry: Well, that started from my mom, who has always been involved in the community. She taught us to give back even when people don't do the right things or are not always good but still give back. That's something that we (our family) have, a giving heart, a giving spirit, and that's something that I also instilled in Icee and England, my other daughter. BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 47


May I add, success is when you can give something back to people who don't have what you have, and a lot of times when you are successful, it's not just giving back to people who need it, but it's also giving back to people who have helped you when you are at your lowest point. Q: Martha and Iceland, what should we be wearing for the holiday parties coming up? Give us an example of a dress or a casual look. Robinson: A great example if I'm going to a holiday party, I will either wear something sequined that stands out with a cute, classy heel, it can be strapless or long-sleeved, or I'll do a sexy long sleeve velvet dress with a cute heel, clutch and 48 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

dangling earrings depending on how detailed the dress (determines if they will be hanging or a stud). My signature looks for myself is a bob, so I will either do a bob if the dress is coming up to my neck; if not, I will do long hair. Berry: Berry: You know I'm curvy, and I like long hair even though I cut my hair short, but I feel like many curvy ladies like long hair because it slenderizes our face. For the holidays, I'm all about glitz and glam, so anything that sparkles… child, I'm going to put it on (laughs), and I'm going to sell it. I feel like people who are plus size are short or petite, so wear an above-the-knee fun and flirty dress. There are also the A-line and baby doll style dresses that are glittery and cute, and you can wear them

with a nice coat. Something color blocking, but I love sequins, and I love glam. So, anything that sparkles will be great. Q: What's one of the staple items that we can have for a holiday party if we want to make it a casual affair? Berry: I would say the Kimono and the Kaftans are coming out because you can wear that with a low heel or tennis shoes if you want to dress it down. If you're going to dress it up, you can add your oversized jewelry with the heels. I just came out with some Kaftans that are


both dressy or casual, and I think that's something hot for the holidays. Faux leather pants are also really hot because you can dress them up or down with a nice top with details, whether bling or a big bow. Anything that glitters is what the girls love this season. Q: How will the both of you spend your holidays? Berry: We go to Louisiana for the holidays because it's tradition. I was hoping they (my family) would shift the tradition this year because I bought a home, but


What helps me be motivated is knowing that after college, my future is set up "





I don't think they will (laughs). But t's always good to go home. Sometimes it's good to get away from here and take a breather and be around people who love you. You know, I like going home because I don't get to go often, and I love family. Robinson: I'm a country girl at heart. Due to school and work, I haven't had a chance to go home since Easter, but I would typically go every other month. So, I'm excited about going home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Q: Describe your year in 2021 in one word? Berry: I would say the one word for 2021 for us is just "favored." God's favor has been in our lives, in our business, in our family lives like, it's nothing but the blessing of God in our lives that has brought us to where we are. Of course, "blessed" is okay because, you know, you are blessed, but when you've got God's favor on your life, that's a whole different type of blessing. So, I will say the word for the season for us is "favor."

Robinson: Mine is three words, and I'm just going to say, "Thank You, Jesus." Every day I wake up and say, "Thank you, Jesus." Just thinking about where he has brought us from and where we are now, it's just, "Thank you, Jesus." @imareboutique @iceecollection



Kevin Hart stars in Netflix's new dramatic series "True Story."


Wesley, and the fact that now that's my guy, my brother, my friend, my costar — it's everything, plus more."

art had the idea for the dramatic series, a blend of reality and fiction, and a tale of a comedian named Kid (Hart) who decides to visit his hometown in Philadelphia and experiences a lost night with his brother (Wesley Snipes). As the show progresses," the consequences of a lost evening with his wayward older brother threaten to destroy everything Kid has built."

believe a lot of them are capable of killing somebody.

"[Hart] called me out of the blue, I didn't know him, and his pitch was simply, 'I want to kill someone,'" said True Story creator Eric Newman in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"This was an opportunity for me to step outside of my norm and partake in a genre of this craft that I never imagined that I would get to," Hart told Entertainment Weekly. "This is about me finding new excitement in my craft, in my talent, and putting it on display," he added.

True Story is executive produced by Narcos and Narcos: Mexico showrunner Eric Newman, under his overall television deal with Netflix.

When it came to working with Snipes, Hart said, "I can't put words to it. I grew up watching Wesley and emulating

"As I did some research on Kevin, I was struck by how ambitious he is, how vast his empire is, and it dovetails slightly with the theory that I've been cultivating for a long time, which is the common sociopathy in really successful people: I 52 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

And I certainly thought Kid as a character would kill to protect what he had built," added Newman. Hart used his real life as a source of inspiration for his role, and it's evident he's ready to work on something more serious and dramatic.

Tawny Newsome, Will Catlett, Paul Adelstein, Ash Santos, John Ales, Chris Diamantopoulos, Lauren London, and Billy Zane also star in the show with Hart and Snipes. Kevin Hart also serves as one of the executive producers with Charles Murray.

The series will debut during the holiday season.

Shop BSM!



GABRIELA FRESQUEZ By 'Twins of Media' Trisha and Tasha Photos Courtesy of Ryan West Photo


abriela Fresquez is helping break boundaries for Mexican-American representation on-screen, taking part in a first-of-its-kind news show.

Fresquez hosts Radar 2021, a Telemundo news show geared toward a bicultural, Latinx audience. Her responsibilities within this multi-award nominated show include hosting, producing, and writing. In a recent interview with BSM Magazine, Fresquez talked about the importance of representing Mexican-Americans. “To have this platform as a Mexican-American, it’s not only important, but it’s personal for me,” says Fresquez. “I grew up living in a culture where I did not see myself represented. I know a lot of bicultural people in the United States can relate. For me, joining the Radar 2021 team was very much born out of a selfish desire to understand, appreciate and connect more deeply with my culture.” Fresquez believes that many other bicultural Millennials and Gen Z-ers relate to feeling underrepresented.

"There is this deep interest in reconnecting with roots in a country where a lot of us have felt either erased or forced into assimilation or just unseen and underrepresented. So, it's been a great opportunity to explore that for me on a personal level, and then more broadly to be able to give that back to an audience of Gen Z and Millennials," says Fresquez Telemundo has been a primarily Spanishspeaking network, so introducing Radar 2021, a fully English show, was a big step towards change. "I think it's time that they (the network) make room for this younger generation of not only Spanish speakers but bilingual, bicultural people who also want a seat at the table, and I think Radar 2021 provides it, say Fresquez. Before hosting Radar 2021, Fresquez enjoyed a successful acting career, having worked on television shows alongside some of Hollywood’s best-known actors like Danny DeVito, the late Robin Williams, and Zoey Deschanel. Through her talent and the connections, she made during her time as an actress, she was able to transition into hosting.



To have this platform as a MexicanAmerican, it’s not only important but it’s personal for me ”

"Sometimes I get asked the question, 'What do you like most, hosting or acting? "I like a good story and something I can sink my teeth into and relate to," says Fresquez. "Acting is just another form of storytelling, and what I like most is when it's a good story, and you feel connected to the role you are playing, it's all that matters to me at the end of the day, whether that's comedy or drama". "I will say I got an opportunity to work with some pretty legendary comedians like Conan O'Brien, who was absolutely delightful, and Danny DeVito. I've worked with Billy Crystal, and again, the late Robin Williams. These are comedic titans I grew up watching, and so anytime you get to work with a hero, or someone you admire is always a bonus for sure." says Fresquez. As far as dream roles, Fresquez says, It would definitely be a dark dystopian fiction, maybe with a satirical element because art imitates life and life imitates art and is sometimes an indicator of where we are as a society and where we're going. Fresquez has not only paved the way for change for Mexican-American people in the industry but also black and brown women through her work with the Untitled Women’s Project. "I was one of the many co-creators, so it was a group of


women in Hollywood, mostly female writers, producers, and actors. We got together because we felt that we didn't have a place to connect and that it was necessary for us women to network to further advance in the industry," says Fresquez.

"Continue to elevate the platform for Radar 2021. We just finished slating all the topics for the next season, which is very exciting. Fresquez shared the show may be expanded to a broader platform but couldn't give all the details just yet.

"I think it's especially hard in Hollywood because it is a sort of fragmented industry, where it was founded on this very hierarchical structure," says Fresquez. "We wanted to create a space where we could meet and network. To talk in a very casual setting and be there for each other and build that sort of alliance and sisterhood, with the unifying goal of wanting to have a better representation and more access to opportunities. A lot of these women now are producers and writers on major network shows that are doing awesome things."

"We're looking to the future and how to expand our audience at the moment and creating real substantive content that people can enjoy and hopefully learn something from and also feel like they have a voice in the conversation," says Fresquez.

Despite her busy schedule, Gabriela Fresquez always makes time for some music and naps in her free time. On weekends you can find her singing her heart out at a karaoke bar. "I sing at the karaoke bar, I sing in the shower, I sing in the car. It's my outlet to decompress." Fresquez is hopeful for her future and even shared some insight on what’s next for her and Radar 2021.

"The network is expanding its team and diversifying. Its goal is to represent the many Latinx communities as best as possible and build a team of people of different backgrounds. So, in terms of what's next?' "It's honing in on the team and making sure they all have a voice and a seat at the table and a place where they can come and represent those communities. "The whole purpose of Radar was to create an inclusive community with inclusive voices, and we're working hard to make sure that we're living up to it. Expanding Telemundo's platform for this English language audience, Radar is a pioneer and a first of its kind, so that is something to be proud of," says Fresquez


Holiday Movies By Katia Castrejon

Jordin Sparks and Kelly Rowland Bring Some Holiday Cheer with New Christmas Movies


Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/ Lifetime

ordin Sparks and Kelly Rowland are bringing some holiday cheer in their upcoming movies. Sparks in the new Hallmark Channel original "A Christmas Treasure." Rowland is back on Lifetime with a third film in the "Merry Liddle" franchise. Sparks will be playing Lou alongside Hallmark alum Michael Xavier, previously seen in "Christmas Comes Twice," who will be playing Kyle. The movie begins with Lou, a writer, returning to her hometown of Pine Grove.


After finding a 100-year-old time capsule containing a journal left by her grandfather, she tries to decide between moving to New York to advance her writing career or staying in Pine Grove to run the local familyowned newspaper. During her time in Pine Grove, she crosses paths with Kyle, a charming chef visiting and struggling to decide on his future. With some Christmas magic and chemistry, they navigate their journeys to decide on their futures. "There's a lot of sweet things that I feel like everybody will be able to relate to," said Sparks in a Hallmark interview. Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/ Lifetime

The movie will feature covers of "This Christmas" and "Oh Holy Night" sung by Sparks. It will also include "Oh, It's Christmas" from her 2020 Christmas album "Cider & Hennessy." "Christmas is so special to me, and I'm thrilled that I get to share this festive movie with you this year," said Sparks. "I loved being able to perform some of my favorite Christmas melodies, one for the first time, as part of the movie. Joining the Hallmark family is a dream come true! I know people are going to fall in love with Lou, and our story that truly represents the phrase, 'Home is Where the Heart is," she continued. Sparks will not only be acting and providing music for this movie, but she will also executive produce alongside Stephanie Germain, Harvey Kahn, and Allen Lewis. The movie will premiere as part of Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas, which has entertained Christmas enthusiasts with original movies for nearly a decade. Fans can watch the premiere on the Hallmark Channel on November 7. "Merry Liddle Christmas Baby" will be the third movie where fans follow Jacquie Liddle and her husband, Tyler. The official tagline of the film is, "Jacquie's sister Treena (Latonya Williams) and her husband Julian (Jaime M. Callica) are thinking about adopting a baby themselves. And spirited fashionista sister Kiara's (Bresha Webb) relationship with Chris (Nathan Witte) is heating up. With Jacquie's family expanding in ways she could never have expected, the Liddle's are headed for a crazy Christmas filled with merry mayhem and lots of love and laughter." Fans were able to follow Jacquie and Tyler's love story in "Merry Liddle Christmas," and watched them get

married in "Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding," and will now get to see them have a little "liddle" in "Merry Liddle Christmas Baby. "Fans will be able to feel the love we have poured into this story as the Liddle family expands in so many fun and unexpected ways," said Rowland, who is also an executive producer on this film. "I am so excited to be back with my Liddle family for Lifetime's first-ever holiday movie trilogy," Rowland told PEOPLE in an interview. "Being able to continue to tell their story with our amazing cast and crew has been such a dream come true for all of us," she added. "This movie just overflows with heart. I think people will embrace the abundance of love and honesty that lie in each of the characters," said Thomas Cardot, who plays Tyler. "Merry Liddle Christmas Baby" is one of Lifetime's many holiday movies lined up for this season. The network had not announced an official premiere date at the time this article was published. BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM | 59



By 'Twins of Media' Trisha and Tasha

Fostering a “heard” doctor and patient relationship is necessary, says OBGYN Physician Dr. Nwego-Banks. She encourages women to take action for their health by suggesting that we write out the questions we may otherwise forget at the time of our appointments. Read more.

Photo Credit:

Ms. Ryot @msryot


What are some of the questions we women should ask when visiting our OBGYN doctors? I believe that feeling the energy and bedside manner of your OBGYN is paramount. How does your OBGYN make you feel? Do they listen to you and make you feel heard? This is an important dynamic in the patient-physician relationship. When it comes to questions specifically, each patient will have different ones based on their age, medical and gynecologic history, etc. I suggest that patients come to their appointments with questions regarding their health either written down or typed into their phone so that they can be readily available, and you can ask questions that are pertinent to you without concern about forgetting anything.

Photo Credit:

Ms. Ryot @msryot


How do you guide women, especially black women, to advocate for their health more when a doctor seems to ignore their concerns? I encourage them to find another physician. You cannot negotiate with terrorists. You also cannot have a quality and trusting relationship with a doctor that doesn't listen to you, period.

We recently talked with Tamela Mann, and she spoke about her

experience with menopause and how not enough women talk about it. Why do you think that is the case? How do we bridge conversations with younger and mature generations because we will all deal with this stage at some point in our lives? That's an excellent question. I think the reason why is multifactorial. AARP recently conducted a survey, and it showed that up to 42% of women fail to discuss menopause symptoms with their doctor. 1. From taking care of so many women, I have recognized that not everyone experiences menopause the same. The symptoms can range from roaring hot flashes and night sweats to vaginal dryness, decreased libido, sleep disturbances, and mood changes. Some women don't have too drastic of a climacteric transition at all. So, not all women can commiserate on their symptoms. When you compare this to pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, more women have enough in common to share their experiences freely. In addition to this, many women aren't aware that there are many treatment options to treat these symptoms ranging from natural options to prescription medications. There's no need to suffer!

Photo Credit:

Ms. Ryot @msryot



As a physician, mom, wife, and entrepreneur, I juggle a lot, and I want to make sure I am putting my best foot forward"

Photo Credit:

Ms. Ryot @msryot


2. Along with this, women may not even know how to broach the subject of menopause. Menopause is essentially the conclusion of the reproductive years; while it is a natural phenomenon, some women may feel various emotions regarding the aging process and embracing that next life phase. 3. Lastly, I don't know about everyone else, but the older women in my life (mom, aunties) never talked much about their menopausal transition-- many of them kind of went through it silently. It's challenging to have a frame of reference when it's never discussed. I think we can bridge these conversations by discussing them in the media (tv, magazines, social media). By offering information about what menopause is and treatment options, I think women can feel more reassured about this natural transition and how to manage it. Most of us have a checklist for many things. How should we best organize doctor's visits during the year? Each woman should have an annual well-woman visit. This is a check-in with your gynecologist and typically includes a full breast exam, pelvic exam, pap smear (if indicated), and STD testing. Recommendations on preventative health are also discussed (breast cancer screening, bone density screening, etc.). This is also a chance to let your doctor know if you are having issues with your menstrual cycle, incontinence symptoms, infertility, pelvic pain, pain with sex, low libido,

birth control questions, etc. Your gynecologist will take notes of your concerns and schedule a follow-up visit to help you find solutions to your gynecologic concerns. Annual health exams with your primary care physician (family medicine, internal medicine, etc.) are also important. These appointments include history, physical exam, and tests to screen for diabetes, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, etc. It is important to have a regular health care provider who helps make sure you receive the best medical care for your individual needs. Twice yearly teeth cleanings and check-ins with your dentist are also important. Oral health is often downplayed, but good oral hygiene is critical to your overall health. Also, finding dental issues before they progress to advanced issues will save you a lot of money and pain. Our health is wealth. How do you communicate this message to women during a busy time like the holiday season? I often emphasize the importance of self-care. Many women, especially women of color, have been socialized to put everyone else above themselves. While this is noble, it's not cute or sustainable. Even on an airplane, if there is an emergency, the instructions include putting on your own oxygen mask before helping a nearby passenger. I tell my patients this, and it often helps drive the

point home. My recommendations for staying healthy include regular exercise (walking is just fine), adequate sleep and hydration, and keeping our mental health in check (prayer, mediation, affirmations, journaling, therapy, yoga, etc.). In what ways as a physician do you maintain complete wellness? -I try to take my own advice by following my self-care recommendations (above). I also speak with my therapist regularly as a physician, mom, wife, and entrepreneur, I juggle a lot, and I want to make sure I am putting my best foot forward. -I work on having open and consistent communication with my husband, and we have weekly date nights where we just decompress, baby-free. I also have wonderful friends that hold me down too. They know who they are. -My family overall keeps me well and balanced. I have a huge family (husband, son, parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins), and we stay in touch via group chats, video/ phone calls, trips (pre-pandemic). They keep me grounded. -I also delegate what I just don't have the time to do. And I am not ashamed about not being able to do it all! I get help every few weeks with cleaning the house. I also use grocery delivery services. @dr.nwegbobanks Disclaimer: These are the opinions of Dr. Nwego-Banks and not of BSM Magazine



By 'Twins of Media' Trisha and Tasha

Photo Credit: Different Mind Designs

Meet the woman entrepreneur who is used to being both in front and behind the camera as a media personality but decided to switch things up and delve into real estate, helping families with a place to live through rehabbed residences. Read more on her reasons why and the unexpected birthday gift she recently received. 66 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

Q: You travel to different places like Michigan and New York to service your clients. Can you recall a heartwarming story after a tenant saw their new space?

Q: Your background is in media, and you've recently become a real estate investor. How have you merged the two professions?

Q: Tell us about your YouTube series Contractor Disaster? Contractor Disaster is a series that shows real life in real estate investing and dealing with people that aren't honest and transparent. It also shows all of the work that goes into getting properties ready for the next phase.

Our properties are really special to me because they are properties of second chances. We only accept tenants with credit challenges that want to become future homeowners but need to prepare and reset their finances first. So, I remember placing a tenant that has five children, and she said she absolutely loved what I did to the property, and she was finally able to call that place her HOME. That means everything to me when someone takes ownership of the property because it gives them a sense of pride and major accomplishment.

Photo Credit: Different Mind Designs

I merged the two professions by documenting my journey of being a real estate investor and allowing everyone that may be interested in jumping into real estate to see that it's not always glitz and glam. It's hard and gets frustrating, but in turn, it is very rewarding.

Q: Are you seeing more women who look like you join the real estate investor profession? Yes, I think it's absolutely amazing. This industry is heavily male-dominated, and there are so many women of color that are breaking down those barriers, and it inspires me to do more and keep going. Q: Explain how you are creating multiple streams of income and loving what you do? I am creating multiple income streams through coaching and mentoring in real estate investing and development, rental incomes from all the properties, adding features like vending machines and coin-operated laundry.

Q: You recently celebrated a birthday, and your Husband gifted you with a tool belt? How have you already put it to good use? My husband is the absolute BEST ever! I've already started doing the light and minor repairs at some of our properties that I would normally have to call a handyman for; I love being able to do those things now myself. Q: What's next for you? The next major thing for me is developing a block that I've started investing in; I'm planning to create more new homeowners in communities all around the country. It's important to me that women, in particular, own an asset because it's life-changing.



GENERA WEALTH By 'Twins of Media' Trisha and Tasha Photo Credit: Stacey Gray from The Gray Lens Photography

Meet single mom Chanel Hill who invested in her son’s upbringing at an early age to secure his financial future and how’s she helping others to do the same. Q: Your story. A Philly mom who used her stimulus check to gift your 2-year-old old son with a business. Tell us about the company. We are a traveling soft play rental company for babies and toddlers that promotes fun through imaginary play while practicing sensory, strength, and social skills in an environment of safety. We travel in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, South Jersey, and Northern Delaware. Q: Why is building generational wealth important? As a single mother, I wanted to make sure that I did not have to depend on anyone for the financial success of my child’s future. I do not wish my son ever to be limited with 68 | BSM MAGAZINE | BSMANDMEDIA.COM

ATIONAL H choices in life because of money but to have access to the best private schools, programs, & colleges of his choice. My goal was to build a foundation of something that he will one day teach his children. It was important to me to give him something that would last for generations, not just the moment.

Q: Do you talk to your son about the business on a level he understands? Right now, all he really understands is play, (laughs). He is learning through the advantages of soft play and increasing many of the skills we like to utilize and promote within our business: social skills, sensory skills, cognitive skills, and strengthening skills. As he gets older, we will teach more and more about generational wealth and the importance of financial independence. Q: Have other single mothers reached out to you wanting to do something similar for their children? If so, how do you guide them? Yes! Since going viral, I have received an extreme number of inquiries from single mothers who either started or want to create a soft play business or a business in general. My goal is not to simply just tell people to buy the products and book customers because it is way more than that to start a business. But you must first legitimize your business before you purchase my piece of inventory or book one client. You have to be insured, licensed, registered, have a business plan, and so much more. Set your business and child up for success first, making sure that everything is legitimate and in order for your child to receive that first paycheck. Q: What do you hope your son continues to learn from you and his business as he gets older? My prayer is that my son builds a mindset to know that he is the lender and not the borrower, above and not beneath, and he can have all that he desires with the financial independence that comes with building your own business and being your own boss. I want him to learn the generational power wealth has when you continue to build on it, creating multiple income streams with businesses to successfully secure a future for himself, his children, and his grandchildren.

Q: How are you around the holidays when it comes to spending? Do you buy your family and friends unconventional wealth-building gifts? I wish that were something I could do. I'm sure everyone would love that, (laughs). To be honest, I've always wanted to build a business, but I never had the mindset. It's like something finally clicked when I had my son, and I knew I had to do something more than give him toys and clothing. It is all new to me and something that I've been working on and researching for a year. I'm just glad I finally made it. I know this will be one of many businesses we will start together. So moving forward, wealth-building gifts will definitely be something I practice. Q: Share a win and a failure creating the business for your child? How do you congratulate a milestone, and how do you learn a lesson? A win for my business would be most definitely the viral post. I didn’t expect that outcome at all, but it allowed me to be completely booked for the entire month of October, only just launching in September. It has brought my son and me so much recognition not only locally but all over the world. We have been able to serve our community of children with sponsorships and free events, and people wanting to help in any way. A failure, I would say, is the amount of time it took me to finally step out of fear and jump out in faith on a business plan I have had for almost a year now. When milestones happen for us, we Thank God, and we give back. I’m learning lessons as I go, which I believe will happen for quite some time as a new business owner. (Laughs) However, I am looking forward to the journey. Q: What do you plan to still accomplish in 2021? My goal plan is to have my own building to create an indoor playground. Not only for families who may not have the opportunity to utilize our packages in their homes or venues, but for a fun and safe, and clean environment for children all over the city to experience a chance to soft play. I always say we are more than a soft play company, but we are here for the children in our community. So having a building one day would be a dream come true and the ultimate gift I could give not only my son but my city. @chancetomama


Photo Credit: Damaly Shepherd @bydamaly


Melisa Alaba

Cancer Survivor Melisa Alaba is all about keeping herself healthy as well as other women. The Therapist and Breakthrough coach says, "Wealth is the final pillar of healing for many women of color." Read her reasons why. By 'Twins of Media' Trisha and Tasha

Q: In a quote you have on Instagram, you wrote, "Aging to me is living life unapologetically, happy, healthy? Why is the message necessary to share? As a Thyroid Cancer Survivor and mother of three amazing young ladies, I have come to understand that waking up every day is a great gift. I choose to use my gift of life in a way that honors my calling to support Black women with their physical, emotional, spiritual, financial health and leaving a legacy for the next generation. Black women are worthy of all things. I'm worthy of all the things. Aging has taught me that.

Q: On another note, you help others to achieve their highest calling. Explain to us what that is exactly? As a Therapist and Breakthrough Coach. I help women to be unapologetic about their purpose and their financial healing. Wealth is the final pillar of healing for many women of color. Money allows us to own our lives... The work we do, the people we hang with, the relationships we stay in, and the legacy we leave for our kids. Q: You are a Mo to your grandchildren in what you describe as "legacy." In what ways do you shape their young lives? I want to be an example of vitality and love to them. Being Mo means that I not only leave them a financial legacy, but I show them to earn, save and invest for themselves. Growing up, no one in my family discussed money unless there was an emergency or someone was in need. To have money conversations early is very important to me. Q: Online or in-person shopping this holiday season? Definitely, Online!! @melisaalaba


November is Diabetes Awareness Month

BE WELL Photo Credit: Jannis Brandt


RIGHTS Photo Credit: That's Her Business/ Unsplash

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