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HERS magazine presents

“All She Needs is a Little Support” We need more than just flowers and a card on Mother’s Day. We need your support year-round! Have a project that never quite got off the ground due to lack of funding? Fund Her Projects (FHP) is an innovative funding platform just for women. FHP is not your typical crowdfunding site, as it allows members to promote a well-intentioned cause and request needed items within the community.

We even support needs that help you support those people and ideals you hold dear by offering:

Why FundHerProjects.com? • We Understand and Value You • We Are Community Who Cares About Your Success

• Rewards-Based Crowdfunding • Support for Meaningful Causes

• We Support Your Campaign from Start to Finish

• Virtual Baby Showers for Mothers without Means • Back-to-School Gift Registry

Visit www.fundherprojects.com


Editor-in-Chief, Annette Johnson Design Director, Joey Shepherd Page Layout and Design, Kiryl Lysenka Design Assistant, Nairobi Guillory Online Editor, Bianca Nelson Home Editor, Jennifer Adams Financial Editor, Deborah Hightower Travel Editor, Peggy Hattendorf Social Media Director, Tamara King Editorial Assistant, Iman Combs Sales Manager, Mary Taylor Special Projects Manager, Veronique Thomas Contributors: Brenda Davis Allyn Evans Jaime Johnson Sara Lanier Cassandra Parks Anetta Pool Tommeka Semien Special thanks to Macy’s for Mother’s Day Gifts Cover/Inside Photos of Kristi Castlin: Derek White, photography Fallon Armbrister, make-up Meleena Murray, hair Tyiesha Mitchell, hair Natasha Harvey, nail design Shonett Arnold Hill, custom jewelry Customer Service For subscription service or change of address, including email, contact info@hersmagazine.net or write to P.O. Box 1071, Atlanta, GA 30301 Hers (ISSN 2372-3785) is published six per year by Allwrite Communications Inc. 50 Hurt Plaza SE, Suite 1448 Atlanta, GA 30303


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Guide to Air Travel

Find out where your favorite airline ranks in safety

September

CONTENTS

F E AT U R E D S T O RY 64 Olympic Medalist Kristi Castlin

The brains behind the beautiful Olympic medal hurdler.

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Beyoncé ‘Formation’ Represents Her Transformation What her ‘Formation’ really means for her and women in general

HER HEART 72 Last Minute Halloween Centerpieces Decorative eyeballs, pumpkins and ghosts, oh my!

73 Are You the 3 a.m. Girl? The science to determining if you’re just the side chick.

H E R H E A LT H 70 Meditation Reduces Emotional & Physical Pain

Meditation outperforms medication when treating your pain.

HER FLAVOR 60 Natural Remedies that Grow Longer, Thicker Hair

Repair your hair with these everyday items found in the pantry.

62 Simple Salads

Try this creative cooking with crisp cucumbers.

63 Three New Food Trends

Keep up with the trends that taste good and are good for you.


r/October

ON THE COVER 8 50 Most Beautiful, Brainy Women

Scroll through our mind-bending, eye-catching list of women.

HER WORK 87 Your Money Life Will Get Better When... Here are personal issues that have nothing to do with money but may be affecting your money.

HER LESSONS 74 Danielle Spencer

The former child star almost died twice before discovering life’s true value.

78 Hers Poll Results: Women and the Draft

Since women are now allowed in military combat, should they also be required to register for the draft?


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Editor’s Letter For the second consecutive time in the summer Olympics games, U.S. women won more medals. This year in Rio, the U.S. women captured 61 medals and the men had 55. Among the noteworthy winners was our cover girl, Kristie Castlin, who was on the threemember U.S. medal sweep in the 100-meter hurdles. Similarly, we highlight 49 other women – some you likely know and others you should come to know. They are probably all considered “attractive” to a greater extent than most women, but what makes them really special is that their brilliance is not merely anchored in their looks. In fact, many of their accomplishments have absolutely nothing to do with their physical makeup. As you flip through our compilation of the 50 Most Beautiful, Brainy Women, keep in mind, we sought and included everyday women too. We hope to expand the inclusion of everyday in next year’s issue, so look for our announcement. With all this talk about beauty, we certainly couldn’t miss the opportunity to feature one of the most beautiful, inspiring entertainers in the world, Beyoncé, or Queen Bey to some. Her “Formation World Tour” started in Miami, Florida, earlier this year, and every city’s review after that summarized the show itself as “spectacular” and so forth. We, however, took a closer look at hers-magazine.com

the symbolism that was repeatedly projected on backdrop videos, pictures and even costumes. Read the article and tell us if you see what we saw if you went to the show. Otherwise, we’d still like to hear from you on this story or any of the others, including our picks for brains and beauty. Remember, more than anything, as Coco Chanel once said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” No one on Earth should respect and appreciate the woman you are more than you.

Until, Annette R. Johnson

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Beautiful, Brainy Women

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It is popular in society to regard women as either beautiful or smart, isolating the two descriptors as mutually exclusive. Let’s break those stereotypes by recognizing some of today’s most attractive and accomplished women. Here is our editors selection of 50 of the most beautiful, brainy women. hers-magazine.com

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Kristi Castlin Top 5% of High School Class; Virginia Tech graduate.

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Natalie Portman Harvard University graduate; multilingual.

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Famke Janssen University of Amsterdam attendee; Columbia University graduate.

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Aisha Tyler Dartmouth graduate. hers-magazine.com

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Kate Beckinsale Oxford University attendee.

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Jennifer Connelly Yale University attendee; Standford graduate; trilingual.

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Aishwarya Rai Ruparel College Straight A’s Attendee. 16

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Angela Bassett Yale University graduate.

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Kerry Washington George Washington University Magna Cum Laude Graduate; Phi Beta Kappa.

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Cindy Crawford High School Valedictorian; Northwestern University Attendee.

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Alicia Keys 16 Year Old High School Valedictorian.

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Sanaa Lathan University of California, Berkeley Graduate; Yale Graduate. hers-magazine.com

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Eva Longoria Texas A&M University Graduate.

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Shakira IQ of 140; Multilingual.

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Danica McKellar UCLA Summa Cum Laude Graduate; Author of Several Mathematics Books.

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Paula Patton USC Berkley Film School Magna Cum Laude Graduate.

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Jessica Alba Founder of the Honest Company.

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Lupita Nyong’o Yale Graduate; Multilingual.

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Sara Blakely Florida State University Graduate.

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Deshauna Barber Virginia State University Graduate; University of Maryland Master’s Degree Recipient.

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Mira Sorvino Harvard University Magna Cum Laude Graduate; Bilingual.

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Ivanka Trump University of Pennsylvania Cum Laude Graduate.

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Dr. Candice P. Cooper University of Buffalo Graduate; Syracuse University Master’s Degree Recipient; Drexel University Ph.D. Recipient.

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Lori Greiner Loyola University Chicago Graduate.

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Melissa Theuriau Institute of Communication and Media (ICM) Master’s Degree Graduate.

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Erika Kimble Ohio State University Dual-Degree Graduate; Top 100 Alumni of Ohio State University.

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Emma Watson Brown University Graduate.

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Megyn Kelly Albany Law School J.D. Recipient.

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Yulia Tymoshenko Self-Made Millionaire in the Gas Industry; Former Prime Minister of the Ukraine.

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Kimberly Guilfoyle University of California, Davis Magna Cum Laude Graduate; University of San Francisco School of Law J.D. Recipient.

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Tamara Mellon Founder & President of Jimmy Choo.

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Marissa Mayer Stanford Graduate; Long-time Executive, Usability Leader, and Key Spokesperson for Google.

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Dr. Clio Cresswell University of New South Wales PhD Recipient; Author of “Mathematics of Sex”.

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Amal Alamuddin London-based, British-Lebanese Lawyer.

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Dr. Rhonda Freeman Drexel University PhD Recipient.

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Dr. Amy Mainzer UCLA PhD recipient; Deputy Project Scientist for the Infrared Survey Explorer; Principal Investigator for the NEOWISE Project.

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Lyndsey Scott Amerherst College Dual-Degree Graduate.

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Carrie Underwood Northeastern State University Magna Cum Laude Graduate.

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Huma Abedin George Washington University Graduate; “Hillary’s Secret Weapon”.

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Michelle Obama Ggraduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

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Lisa Nicole Cloud Emory University Graduate; Johns Hopskins University Graduate.

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Joan Smalls Interamerican University of Puerto Rico Magna Cum Laude Graduate.

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Christy Turlington Gallatin School of Individualized Study of New York Univeristy Cum Laude Graduate.

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Laura Shields Leeds University Master’s Recipient.

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Mindy Kaling Dartmouth Graduate.

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Reshma Saujani Yale Law School Graduate; Founder of the Tech Organization Girls Who Code.

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Amara SohnWalker University of Southern California DualDegree Graduate.

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Elizabeth Banks University of Pennsylvania Magna Cum Laude Graduate.

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Erin Burnett Williams College Graduate.

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Zain Asher Keble College, Oxford University Graduate; Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism Graduate.

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Natural Remedies That Grow

Longer, Thicker Hair BY Jaime Johnson

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s women, we are encouraged to have a thick, luscious, shiny head of hair. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with hair that is thick or grows quickly. There are many reasons why you may be experiencing slow hair growth or even hair loss. It could be due to stress, hormones, or it may even be part of the normal aging process. The good news is there are some natural ways to encourage, and possibly increase, the growth of your hair. The first step of your hair growth journey should be to examine your diet. Like so many other problems we have, our modern diets are often lacking a variety of vitamins and minerals, which can contribute to a lack of hair growth. Try to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet, full of vegetables. Be sure you are consuming plenty of proteins, as these are the building blocks for hair. Find ways to add meats, fish, eggs, and even bone broths to your diet. Bone broth, also referred to as stock or soup stock, is made by boiling bones with vegetables and herbs. It is a mineral rich brew that has been used for centuries as a nutritious (and cheap) food or cooking aid. You can buy broth in the store, but for best results and to better control what goes in your broth (and body), make your own broth at home. Sip warm broth by itself or find ways to add it into your cooking routines. You do not just have to eat your way to healthy hair. There are numerous topical, all-natural remedies to encourage hair growth. These methods stimulate your hair follicles and increase the blood flow to the scalp. Create a hair mask with one of the following treatments and massage directly onto your scalp. Allow the mask to remain on your scalp for 5-10 minutes before shampooing your hair as usual. • Onion Juice Squeeze or mash a medium sized, yellow onion to release as much of the juice as possible. The onion boosts collagen production to help hair grow and increases the flow of blood to the scalp.

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• Coconut Milk Mix together the milk from one coconut, 1 tsp of lemon juice, and 4 drops of lavender essential oil. The milk is rich in iron and potassium, while the lavender is antibacterial, which will clean the scalp and open up your pores. • Egg Mix one egg white with 1 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of honey. The proteins in the egg help with the formation of hair cells. • Aloe vera Aloe vera contains vitamins and minerals that help stimulate hair growth. It also helps remove built up oils and reduce the overproduction of sebum. Sebum can slow growth of hair by clogging pores. After shampooing your hair, consider using these natural ingredients as a final rinse: • Apple cider vinegar cleans your hair and scalp. The use of ACV helps encourage hair growth by creating the necessary PH balance for an optimal hair growing environment. This ingredient will also help put shine back into your locks. Mix 1/8 cup ACV to 1 cup water and pour over your scalp and hair. • Green Tea is rich in antioxidants that help boost your hair growth. Make green tea from tea bags and hot water and allow to cool completely. Then pour over your scalp and hair as your final rinse. Be sure to avoid pulling or tugging on your hair when combing and brushing. Treat your locks with a little TLC (tender loving care). Then use these remedies no more than once per week, and you should soon see results! Jaime Johnson’s passion for all-natural products started as a challenge to produce high-quality health and beauty products at home, from common household ingredients. This research lead to the creation of her book, Natural Beauty. hers-magazine.com


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S i mple

S alads :

Cool as a Cucumber BY Anetta Pool

Growing up in Estonia, I ate a lot of cucumbers, so I have a particular fondness for adding them to my dishes whenever I can. They are fresh, crisp and hydrating, and help cut through protein rich dishes. Here is a quick and simple recipe to incorporate cucumbers into your intuitive cooking repertoire.

Prep Time: <10 minutes Ingredients: 1 medium cucumber, cubed Arugula, 2 handfuls Salt & Pepper, to taste Lemon juice, to taste Olive oil, 1 tbs optional

Bonus Flavor Pairings Cucumber + arugula + sliced avocado Cucumber + arugula + cherry tomato Cucumber + avocado + cooked quinoa Cucumber + avocado + garlic + parsley

Instructions: Wash all ingredients thoroughly. Grab a medium sized bowl and create a bed of arugula. (TIP: You can gently rip up the arugula leaves to make them into more bite sized pieces.) Then top the bed with chopped cucumbers and finish with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and/or olive oil to taste. This is not a recipe as much as it is a guideline. If you like more arugula, add it; if you want more cucumbers, add them. For more variety check out the bonus flavor pairings below.

Anetta Pool is a Health & Lifestyle Coach. For more fabulous ways to style a healthy life, your way, visit her blog and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 62

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Three New

Food Trends to Watch BY Anetta Pool

Being healthy shouldn’t be trendy, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t cool health trends coming your way this season. I am a big proponent of simple healthy living, which doesn’t take tons of time and is easy to implement in your life. I am going to take my cue from Michael Pollan, the acclaimed author of “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” and “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” and share with you my take on his three simple food rules: “eat real food, not too much and mostly plants.”

1. Eat Real Food. Meal Delivery Services. The days of processed food are numbered. Ever since the World Health Organization shared its findings on the link between processed food products and cancer, health conscious consumers can no longer ignore the effects of overly processed foods on health. If you’re a busy, on-the-go professional, you may not have the luxury of cooking often, eating out all the time, or resorting to processed “to go” foods. You may benefit from great new meal delivery services that is focused on organic and allergen friendly foods that are both satisfying and healthy. A favorite up-and-coming service, hers-magazine.com

happens. Without even trying, you will eat less, feel more satisfied and you will begin to choose higher quality foods more often. Eating a greasy burger mindfully, being present for every mouthful, is not as pleasant as it sounds. In fact, when I’ve eaten fast food mindfully, I noticed how little I actually enjoyed it. Above all else, practice tuning into your body to get a sense of what it needs and how much food you need to be eating, and you will naturally stop overeating.

3. Mostly Plants.

based out of NYC, called Sakara, delivers beautiful meals that are crafted from the highest quality ingredients and superfoods. PRO TIP: If Sakara is not in the budget, or they don’t deliver to your zip code, try a quick search on Groupon. They often have great introductory offers on meal delivery services near you.

2. Not Too Much. Mindful, Intuitive Eating. Mindful eating is the new meditation. Don’t have time to meditate every day? No problem. A great way to incorporate a few peaceful moments of Zen into your life is during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The practice is simple. Be aware of every bite. Do not multitask while you are eating. Chew every bite fully and you will be amazed at what

Alternative Ingredient Chips & Pastas. Food companies are becoming hip to consumer demands for healthier alternatives to our favorite plant-based foods. For example, chips have long been a prized food for texture, saltiness and scoopability. What would hummus, salsa and other dips be without their chips? And pasta, the comfort food of all comfort foods, has long been shunned by the health conscious, because it is glutenous and high in empty carbs. You can now easily find a new favorite alternative. Try lentil, quinoa and bean chips, and pastas. You can now enjoy your favorite chips made entirely out of black beans. If your grocery story is slow on picking up on this trend, you can easily purchase these products online, which will also save time for you to do more important things.

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KRISTI

CASTLIN Makes Her Olympic Shot Count BY ANNETTE JOHNSON

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W

hen Kristi Castlin graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government legal studies, her intention was to become a sports agent if she could not continue to pursue track & field professionally. While in college, Castlin managed a 4.7 GPA while amassing seven NCAA All-American honors and five NCAA championships in hurdling. Gaining acclaim not just for herself, but also for her school, she helped earn Virginia Tech’s recognition as a competitive track & field university. In fact, she broke the school’s records in both the 60 meters hurdles (8.20 seconds) and 55 meters hurdles (7.61 seconds). Castlin made her international debut at the 2007 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships and came away with the gold medal and a 100 meters hurdles championship record of 13.02 seconds. Not only would Castlin compete professionally after college, she would earn a spot on track & field’s biggest stage, competing for the United States in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. While in Rio, she set her personal best time for the 100m hurdles in 12.50 seconds during the finals of the Olympic trials. Even while competing to win on the field, she had another, more universal mission in which she sought victory. And like track, it had impacted her throughout her life.

The Other Platform Born July 7, 1988, the Douglasville, Georgia, native, has been running since age 14. She won multiple state championships and all-state honors before graduating from Chapel Hill High School in Douglasville. She also competed in the triple jump and relays, but chose to focus on the hurdles during her senior year. One of her many records includes the Georgia state record for the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.73 seconds. On December 7, 2000, when she was 12 years old, her father, Rodney Castlin, was murdered at a hotel he managed. “I experienced sadness because…I would like my father to be here, or I would like for him to see these races and these experiences,” Castlin once said in an NBC interview. This wouldn’t be the last time she was confronted with gun violence. She graduated in the top five percent of her class in high school, and was awarded a scholarship to study political science at Virginia Tech. A week after the Virginia Tech track team won an ACC Championship, a fellow student, Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. “I’m definitely guarded,” she admitted. “Sometimes there’s even a feeling of being numb to it – even at the trial seeing the details [unfold]. hers-magazine.com

“I think it was Alton Sterling who lost his life over CDs. Just things like that are constantly put into our faces. It’s constantly exposed. And even them taking the lives of the officers in Texas. People aren’t valuing a human life. We can come together, and we can stop it. But it just can’t be one person, and everyone keeps saying the president. One person cannot solve a problem. It’s a community.” As for her role in the community, she declared, “I really want to help make a difference. I really want my story to help make a difference.” She would also like to see both the police and parents to a better job at curbing violent reactions. “I would just like to see more responsibility, especially from the local level, from the police enforcement level. You guys are supposed to be diffusing situations. They’re escalating situations, and you cannot do that. They’ve gone through training. You shouldn’t be abusing power. They shouldn’t ever go into a situation where, if they feel like they need to raise their voice, let the person go. You can find them, you can follow them, you can do all of these different things. It’s different tactics to doing that. “Then from a community level, I know a lot of the violence is from men. I know men have such responsibility to and respect for their mothers and for grandmothers, so that’s where it’s going to start – these women holding their sons accountable. The thing is, you want to see more mothers, but it’s like men are supposed to be the powerbrokers in this country when, really, it’s women… So, I think having more leaders is important, which was a part of the Ludacris Weekend this weekend. It was a great event, but it would have made me feel good if they would have had a woman to take a stand and really have a role in it.” While Castlin was able to attend college and graduate, she feels that route may not be for all young people. See would like to see more at-risk kids going to technical schools or taking technical courses while in high school. “Why do they have leave school campus? Why don’t they get that at their schools? If some people can’t afford to do all of that, that’s just room for error. So why can’t we have cosmetology, makeup artists, and producers? Why can’t we have that in the school? So, mechanics, electricians, all of that should be right in the school. You shouldn’t have to go off campus for that.” She asserts, “That’s how you keep the kids off of the streets.” Effective leadership and inspiration continue to be her themes for redemption when interacting with youth. “When I go show kids my medal, I let them touch it. I let them put it on. Nobody ever put a medal on me. So imagine if I got that experience.” | Se ptem ber/O c to ber 2 0 1 6 | H ER S Ma gaz in e |

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The Championship Platform With so many news stories coming out about the poor living conditions in Rio during the Olympics, Castlin says her experience was quite the opposite. “The conditions were fine, and everything was fine in the village. We didn’t have any bad experiences. I didn’t have a bad experience at all. It was just so very spread out. Everything was so spread out. I’m used to being in Europe, London, Brussels, Switzerland, and Paris, where it’s a better transit system. That was the main thing. In the village, we were kind of isolated. Everything took an hour to get to and from. But overall, it was an amazing experience. It was warm. The culture, I was embraced a lot, even in the stadium. They were screaming my name. When I did that little twirl, people were going wild. So it was fun.” About meeting the “world’s fastest man,” Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, she said, “I see him all of the time. We all go on that same professional circuit. We all go to the same competitions. He’s a really cool guy. Just fun. Likes to have a good time. A really good person.” 66

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However, what she remembers most is what it took to get to Rio and stay there. “I just remember most that I actually did kind of underestimate the level of competition. Not underestimated, but it took a lot of focus. It took laser focus to actually get there, and for us to not just do the sweep, but overcome so much. Even going through the trials, because there were other girls that had been just as successful that didn’t make our team. So we were dealing with that controversy. So it was a lot that we dealt with, and a lot just to get there and to get one of those medals.” Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin swept the 100-meter hurdles in the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio. Rollins led the American squad with gold (12.48 seconds), Ali took the silver (12.59 seconds), and Castlin won a bronze medal (12.61 seconds). Castlin was satisfied with her bronze medal but felt a shaky start cost her the chance at gold. “It was just my reaction, and I was a bit dehydrated so there was a little bit of cramping going on. That was it,” adding, “no shade on Briana. I’m supposed to think I can win just like she does.”

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Both she and Rollins train in Los Angeles together. Castlin says they “push each other” on a daily basis. “Iron sharpens iron, so we definitely hold each other accountable on a daily basis on and off of the track.” The win was important, but for the first time in her life, she had peace about the outcome. “I’ve always been in an environment with very competitive girls. We’ve always been competitive. It’s always been about ‘who’s winning? who’s the best?’” She has learned that in order to be a winner, you must first acknowledge that who you are now is enough. She learned this from her current coach, Nat Page, who she said changed her life with that advice. Essentially, she surmised, “You have to learn how to be a champion.” She left her original coach back in 2013, and then she moved to LA to train with Coach Page, who is a veteran assistant coach for the Georgia Tech track & field program. “This coach here changed my life because he really helped me find peace. I used to be so competitive. I wanted it too bad, so I really had to let go and find peace in my life, in my heart – just peace within myself.” She added, “If I never win another medal in my life, I will be satisfied. And I think there’s power in that because you’re never chasing something, always thinking, ‘I’ve got to do more.’ I already

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feel like I’m enough. So, I think sometimes with people and winning, and different things like that, they’re defined by what they do, but I’m defined by who I am, not what I do.” During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Castlin wore a traditional Hindu bindi to make herself distinct from the other female U.S. track & field members. For many years, Castlin’s hair bows made her easy to mark at the track. Last year, she switched to wearing rhinestone bindis, a Hindu symbol adorned on the forehead, to make her physical appearance a bit more exotic. The subtle bling, along with her colorful manicures, became a part of her uniform in Rio. This fashion statement obviously had many across the world questioning, literally via Google, her cultural heritage. “I started

“They’re defined by what they do, but I’m defined by who I am, not what I do.”

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to blend in, so I always wanted to do something to stand out because, with track, we all have to wear the same uniform all of the time. So, I started last year with the smaller bindis. “Indian [people] and other people had always told me, ‘You look Ethiopian. You look Indian. You look this, you look that.’ So, with the bindi, I was like, ‘Well this is something that is worldly that different cultures and different people can look at and see beauty. “So, at first I started smaller. I went to authentic Indian store in L.A. and saw the larger bindis. Then when I started wearing them, I started getting so many compliments, I was like, ‘Whelp. This is it.’” Eschewing any fashionista tendencies, she said, that she merely likes to wear nice clothes and brands, but she prefers a more relaxed “clean” look. “I love supermodels, I love the way they dress. So, if you see them, most of the time they’re not very edgy when they’re off the runway. They just wear real clean jeans, a jacket, a vintage t-shirt, just [really] simple stuff.”

The Life Platform Currently, she says trains six hours a day, six days a week while living in LA. So does she have time to date? She says fervently, “There’s always time to date. No matter what.” She certainly makes time for her current boyfriend, a former track & field star. “Most of the people I’ve dated have been professional athletes as well,” she said. “We’re in the same circle, so we kind of have the same schedules, and we understand. It’s not like dating a schoolteacher or a CEO of a company, because most of the time, they’re working, and then they get off of work. It’s just different.” Still, she admits that romantic relationships have been a challenge, not because of what you do as a career but because who women are as people. “I was in a serious relationship when I first started my career for about five years. I just saw how much it took from me. I’m not going to say that the person was necessarily bad, but I think as women, we just [naturally] want to please and give and take care of our families and different things like that. Sometimes we forget our own purpose.”

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She has no children but looks forward to starting a family with only one child after her track career. “People are having kids at 40 and 50, at different ages. So, I just think taking time out for myself and really just focusing on my career, being able to provide a good life for my children once my career is over, all of those different things come into play before starting a family.” For right now, the only recognition she wants is for female track & field athletes, who she feels are minimized under the public relations efforts of the gymnasts and other sports. “I definitely want our track sisters to really get some love. I really want us to get some love because we’ve been doing this for a long time. We’ve been on top of our game for a long time, and we need to be recognized for that. I know, hats off to the gymnast and to the swimmers. They’re doing their thing, but these track girls, we came in, we shut it down, and that deserves a definite pat on the back.” While the public may not get to see a lot of her team members in the media, major sponsors like Nike have recognized her team’s achievement. Castlin now has a sponsorship deal, so she can rest a little easier while she trains for the world track stage once more. See her at the races!

“You have to learn how to be a champion.”

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+ HER W e l l n e s s

Meditation vs. Pain

Medication: Study Shows Meditation Provides More Pain Relief BY Allyn Evans

A

s one of its many protective functions, the body produces natural opioids to reduce pain. When pain becomes unmanageable, though, we may seek prescription or naturopathic remedies. According to a recent study, meditating on a regular basis can reduce physical pain by up to 27% and emotional pain reduced by 44%. The study, which was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, looked at how a meditator’s brain responds to pain. Lead researcher, Dr. Fadel Zeidan, determined that meditation exhibited more effective pain reduction than morphine. Zeidan, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has studied mindfulness for 15 years. What he has found is that meditation improves overall health and also people’s opinions of their health. In the study, one group was given a placebo cream. Another group was taught a “fake” method of meditating, which involved deep breathing, but no formal instructions. On top of that, they had to listen to a book on tape called: “The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne.” The final group was taught a mindfulness meditation method. The members of the group sat for 20 minutes while maintaining a straight posture. They also closed their eyes while they listened to instructions to help them focus on specific things. They were asked to not judge their thoughts or emotions during the time. There was a baseline measure taken, which included experiencing pain inflicted by a 120-degree probe. After four days, all participants went through the process again. They were told to use their training, which either included application of the cream, deep breathing or mindfulness meditation. The people in all of the groups faired better than the control group, which received no training or creams. The participants who used the placebo cream reduced the sensation of pain by an

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average of 11 percent and the emotional unpleasantness of pain by 13 percent. The group using the bogus mindfulness techniques was 9 percent and 24 percent. The group who used mindfulness meditation did the best. In this group, pain levels were cut by 27 percent and emotional pain was reduced by 44 percent. What surprised the team even more was that people who used mindfulness meditation methods seemed to be accessing different regions of the brain than the other groups. An MRI showed that the group practicing mindfulness meditation had tapped into more complex brain regions, which are tied to attention and enhanced cognitive control. On the flipside, all mindfulness meditators also seemed to disengage activity in the thalamus, a structure that allows the signal of pain to enter the brain in the first place. Below are simple ways to practice mindful meditation: 1. Don’t start by trying to meditate for long periods (i.e. one-hour a day). Set shorter periods of time. One minute. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Or, if you do want to “try” for extended period of time, use audio recordings of binaural beats or affirmations, which you can find a wide variety of offerings by Googling. These types of audio guidance tend to help by providing instructions as well as a well-vetted sound technology to support the practice. 2. Start with simple activities, such as focusing on your heart beating or your breathing. 3. Don’t be too critical of yourself. Just make the effort to be more mindful in all that you do, especially when you find yourself stressed or upset by external forces. The more you can become the “observer” the more detached to the outcome you will be. Allyn Evans is a published author, former newspaper columnist, former college lecturer and long-time workshop facilitator who has a BA in psychology and an MBA. She has teamed up with two MDs at Samvit Wellness www. samvitwellness.org who believe being vital and healthy involves the whole person—body, mind and emotions. hers-magazine.com


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+ HER HOME

Last-Minute

Halloween Centerpieces BY Jennifer Adams

Halloween calls for festive parties and ghoulish decorations, but all the creepy decorations and costumes can get expensive if you’re not careful. Looking to add some spookiness or style to your table? Here are a few last-minute, costfriendly centerpiece ideas for your next monster bash!

Lace Pumpkins

Ghostly Gallery

Tortured Candles

Eyeball Flowers

Halloween pumpkins have never been so sophisticated! Simply wrap your pumpkins with your favorite lace and apply Mod Podge to secure in place. I love to paint my pumpkins white beforehand for an extra special touch. Cluster a few of these in the center of your spread for a chic addition to any Halloween party.

Replace the photos in your picture frames on the mantel or tabletop with ghoulish images of ghosts and 19th century portraits. For extra spookiness – add a few candles and cobwebs to the arrangement.

Place white candles throughout your centerpiece for warmth and light. To make things creepier, drip wax from a red candle around the edges of the white candles to create bloodlike drips.

Scary and unsettling, buy some dark colored fake flowers and fake eyeballs from your local craft/Halloween store. Glue the eyeballs inside the center of the flowers for a creepy centerpiece to spy on your guests.

Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, writer and TV personality. Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com or on Twitter: @JenniferAdams. For more tips, watch Jennifer’s YouTube channel or visit www.jenniferadams.com

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+ HER R e l + a tHER i o n sHOME hips

Are You the 3 a.m. Girl? BY Cassandra Parks

“Ping”… You look at your clock and it is 3 a.m. You know that familiar sound… the text alert from your cell phone. You wonder who would possibly be trying to talk to you so early. It’s him. “WYD?” he inquires. Now this is where the game gets tricky because one of two things can happen: 1) not answer and go back to sleep or 2) reply, saying, “Nothing, WYD?” Naturally, humans have an urge to mate for survival or to combat loneliness. Studies show that loneliness is linked to poor physical and mental health. Loneliness can also drive us to desperation, compromising true affection in exchange for any form attention. There is no wonder when lonely hours roll around, between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., phones start ringing in search of a mate’s response even if only temporarily. How you choose to respond to these predawn messages sets the tone for the type of relationship to be had.

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So are you the 3 a.m. girl? Does he always call you by a pet name opposed to your real name? Do you only interact after hours? Are most, if not all, of your conversations via text messages? Have you made plans to meet up or go out, but they always seem to never work out? Have you yet to meet any of his friends or family? Are you always invited to “Netflix and Chill” but not grab dinner and a movie? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are indeed the 3 a.m. girl, also known as the “side chick” or “booty call.” Being the girl he hits up for some last minute, late night interaction to subdue his moment of loneliness may not be all bad if that is something both parties have agreed upon. On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable being the 3 a.m. girl, especially if you didn’t even know it until reading this article, then make a change. Remember, you have the power, so next time, just decide to roll over and go back to sleep instead.

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+ HER LESSONS

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Happening Now with Former Child Star

Danielle

Spencer BY Brenda Davis

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+ HER LESSONS

Once known as “Dee,” the sassy younger sister on the ‘70s sitcom What’s Happening, she is now officially known as Dr. Danielle Spencer-Fields. After the show went off the air in 1979, the former child star famous for the line “Oooh, I’m gonna tell Momma,” went on to become a veterinarian and later married in 1999. Just two years ago, in 2014, Danielle publicly announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This would represent the second time she had to face a life-threatening illness. The first time, she had suffered serious injuries from a car accident during the first season of the TV show. She said, “I was severely injured, like I broke my leg, my arm, and my pelvis, and I was in a coma for three weeks. By the grace of God, I healed six months later.” Her stepfather died during the accident, but she thought she was completely recovered until nearly 30 years later when she began to get a tingling sensation in her legs. “Come to find out that I had a disc impingement on my spinal cord, and I had actually ignored it for a good three or so months. By the time I actually went to the hospital to have it looked at, I basically couldn’t even walk. It had gotten that bad.” After surgery to remove a disc in her upper spine, Danielle was paralyzed from the waist down for about a year. Through intense physical therapy, she had to learn to walk again. “I’m at the point now where I’m walking on crutches, which I’m so thankful for that, and I’m still doing physical therapy from time to time.”

From the Start Originally from New York, she moved to California to do the show in 1975. Spencer, now 51, lives in Virginia with her husband, Gary Fields. She had been in California for almost her entire life but moved to be closer to family. “I also just wanted to be on the East Coast,” she said. “Eventually, my husband and I do plan to move to Florida possibly, but, for right now, we’re East Coast bound.”

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While her whereabouts may change, she has always been certain about her career path after acting. “It was always a goal,” she said referring to her choice to go to college. “I wouldn’t say I always knew what exactly I was going to study because I went through a couple of different things in my head. But my mom had gone to college and my cousins had gone to college, so I knew that I was eventually going to do it.” Her parents noticed her love for animals as a child. “I was always going to the zoo, and I was always caring for animals. I was always bringing home strays, that sort of thing. My mom kind of put a name to it. She said, ‘Oh, you love animals. You should be a veterinarian.’ That was when I was like 6, 7 years old, and ever since then, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” Calling herself somewhat of a “loner” growing up, she gained a deep connection to her pets as primary friends. “I wasn’t one to run in groups of three or four girls. It was always me with one friend, or because I would always hang out with my cousins or someone like that, while I was at home, I had my dog. It was just me and my dog. I think, at one time, I had a cat. So, after that, I just felt like they were family, and ever since then, I just couldn’t see going through life and not being able to help them.” When her dog named Rubia died from distemper virus, which, at the time, she didn’t understand what it was, this became her motivation to become a veterinarian. “I want to make sure nothing like that ever happens to my animal again,” she explained. After high school, she attended University of California Davis, which has a veterinary school. However, her plans to stay close to home changed after meeting an African-American female veterinarian. She and her husband had both graduated from Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and she became Danielle’s mentor. “She was like everything that I wanted to be: a veterinarian, an accomplished business owner, and also the fact that she went to Tuskegee.” After that, she made plans to attend Tuskegee University in Alabama instead. She was there for two years when producers decided to bring “What’s Happening” back to television. The plans were to re-film the show, bringing it out of syndication. While she thought this was a “wonderful,” unique opportunity for an African American TV show, this would interfere with her education. “Once they started taping the show, I transferred to UCLA for my undergrad part. Then I believe the show taped for three years, and in ’89, I went on to Tuskegee Veterinary School.” Danielle may have been a relatively big deal in LA, but no one in Alabama really got into the fact that she had been a TV star. “By the time I got to Tuskegee, I think they cared about it for

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exactly one minute, and after that, everyone was into their studies because they were not playing with their school. You could mess around if you wanted to, you’d get kicked out. They were not impressed at all. It was good.” When she went to her 20-year college reunion, she said it was “so good” to see all of the teachers and everything again. “They’re still there and they remembered me, and how crazy I was… It was probably the best decision I made to go to an HBCU.” As a practicing veterinarian, she has worked in all kinds of settings, from the Beverly Hills area to animal shelters in Compton and Long Beach, California. Currently, she is not working in a veterinary facility. However, that doesn’t stop people from asking her petrelated medical questions. “Occasionally, [people] will come down and ask me questions about their pet, and of course, my answer is always to ‘go to your vet.’” She does say she may give them an opinion, but she always tells them to go check with their vet because they can do testing.

“We’ll always be friends. Ernest is the one I talk to all of the time because he’s like my brother. To this day, we speak. I try to speak at least once a month. He is so busy, and I know he’s doing a lot of plays as well. I don’t speak to Haywood that often, but I know that he’s doing well.”

The Big Move After moving to Virginia two years ago, Danielle found out that she had breast cancer. “So I had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, and it’s just amazing that I’m in this place now. Looking back a year ago, I didn’t even think I would get here. So, I think every time I’ve come through something, I have to remind myself, ‘You came through it before. God allowed you to come through it before, so you can come through it again.’” Positive self-talk and gratitude for what she has are how she says she has managed to confront her illnesses. “I have friends and family around that really, really helped me get through it as well,” she added. She credits her mother for being “the most positive soldier around,” as well as her brother. Of her husband, she said, “I was able to tell him, talk to him about what I was going through, too. He’s certainly been here through all of my surgeries. And it’s not something you’ve ever anticipated, especially when you first get married, that you’ll have to go through something like that right away. I thank God we’re still together, and we’re still holding on and hoping for more positive things to happen going forward.” Meanwhile, she still communicates with her former costars Ernest Thomas (“Raj”) and Haywood Nelson (“Dwayne”).

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What’s Happening Now Still hopeful and looking to get back to work, she says she is actually looking forward to getting back to her “busy, crazy life” that she had before her illness. “The first thing is, I am doing plays.” Apparently, theater is her favorite outlet. “That, I think, to me, is even more rewarding than TV just because it’s going to be different every single time you do it. Maybe just a little bit here and there. Also, the audience responds too. We don’t have that

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now with TV. We don’t have a lot of live audiences.” In honor of her acting career, she was inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture that opened in D.C. in September 2016. President Obama had broken ground for it back in 2012. “I am so

honored,” she gushed. “You never think at the time when you’re doing something, first of all, that anyone would even know about it 40-something years later. But also that it’s going to be in a museum-type situation or in a book where people will be able to read about it forever and ever. That kind of blows my mind.” Ever the entrepreneur, she is working on finishing a natural skincare line, along with a line of ethnic dolls. She had written a memoir in 2011 titled Through the Fire: Journal of a Child Star. The book chronicled her life as a child star and explained how

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she got through the incidents with her spinal cord injury. “That [title] just came to me because I thought about when I was in church, and they talked about the three Jewish boys, how they walked through the fire, and they came out unscathed because God was looking after them. That’s kind of how I felt after going through my spinal cord injury. That’s kind of how I feel now, even after going through all of this with the chemo and the cancer, and all of this. It’s almost like I forget about it.” She says she has another book on the horizon too. “I’m always writing stuff, and I have pieces of paper all over the place. I really need to get it together so I can get this second book out. It’s basically a continuation of where I left off with my last book.” While recovering, she reconnected once more with the TV show that made her famous. This time and for the first time, however, she would be a spectator. “It’s so weird because before three years ago, I could say that I did not ever see [“What’s Happening”] on TV or anything. Never. So, it wasn’t until I came here that I started watching the DVDs. It’s the most bizarre thing because it doesn’t even feel like I’m looking at me. It’s another person. I’m looking at it through other eyes. I realized how bad I was on the show, like a terror I was to Raj, and I was what everyone said.” As for what her doctors say, she is reportedly cancerfree, but what she is equally grateful for is that she still has the opportunity to create. “I was able to still pick up the pen, write on paper, and share my thoughts. I was still able to take my pictures and get happiness from that. Then to create this whole skincare out of just a little idea I had about lip gloss. That’s how it started. Now it’s like a rebirth. It’s like I have a chance to do something else where I can contribute, and I can feel happy about it.” In fact, her life mantra centers on finding happiness in what’s happening right now rather focusing so much on the future. “I always want to leave the impression that it’s okay to do what it is that you think is going to make you happy because I realized that going through trials and tests, your life can be taken at any minute. You really have to live life for you at that minute, and you have to do what it is that makes you happy as long as you’re not hurting anyone. And just try to have fun. Be lighthearted, and be happy while you’re here because you never know when that time is going to end.”

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+ HER SOCIAL

Poll Results:

Women in the Draft After the Senate passed a bill in June 2016 by a 85 – 13 vote requiring all women turning 18 on or after Jan. 1, 2018, to register for Selective Service, just as men must already do, many women are surprisingly supporting the idea.

Ultimately, in order to pass, the bill would have to be approved by the full House and signed by the president. So for now, there is no impending requirement for women.

We asked our readers, since women are now allowed in military combat, should they also be required to register for the draft? Here are the results: There was no indecision on the question of whether allowing women in direct combat would cause them greater risk. To that, 57% said “yes” while 43% said “no.”

Fifty percent (50%) of women said “no” to women being required to register with Selective Service, 38% said yes, and 13% said they were undecided.

Most women were undecided (43%) or said “no” (43%) to whether men should even be allowed to decide if women would be required to register. Only 14% said “yes.”

To cast your opinion in our polls, visit our website’s news page or our Facebook page. 78

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+ +HER HERF EATURE SOCIAL

#TheMeEyeSee Self-Awareness for 2016 and Beyond

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ers magazine wants to remind women: “What you think of yourself is more important than what others think of you.” Using #themeeyesee hashtag to promote greater self-awareness, the magazine wants women to begin to visualize, declare and pursue the person they can rightfully become. We believe that the way we see ourselves propels us on the path to who we will ultimately become, driving our thoughts, actions, habits, and lifestyles. Thus, declaring an intention of our ideal selves can motivate us to achieve our goals.

Ask Yourself: Am I living up to my core values and personal mission? Am I being a person others can respect? Am I respecting my body the way I should?

#themeeyesee is a movement with the purpose of encouraging and challenging women to become the people they want to be in the new year and beyond. This is not a New Year’s resolution, but a public pact and declaration. We will feature the posts on the Hers magazine website, #themeeyesee website and Hers magazine social media platforms: www.themeeyesee.com www.facebook.com/hersmagazine www.twitter.com/hersmagazine www.instagram.com/HersMagazine www.google.com/+HersMagazineOnline

Am I meeting the expectations I set for others? Am I using my talents fully? Am I performing at my peak capacity? Am I giving my family and friends my most and my best? Am I engaging in worthy activity? Am I making a positive impact on the world? Am I on the path to my preferred future? Readers and others should post a short video or a selfie online with the hashtag to declare their unique vision for the future. They should then also challenge 5-7 friends in the post to make their own #themeeyesee declaration and agree to be accountability partners for 2016 to ensure their success.

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+ HER TRAVEL

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u

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Air Travel BY Peggy Hattendorf

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+ HER TRAVEL

F

lying can be a personal and fascinating experience. You can be transported to a different city in a matter of hours or a foreign country in a little more than a day. The aviation industry presents the possibilities of connectivity and expedience for global business links and serves as a major conduit for worldwide commerce. Air travel also facilitates personal and family connections as well as the ability to discover new places and destinations . . . through the sheer joy of travel. In 2015, the world’s airlines carried 3.57 billion passengers.

However, before you ever board a plane for a flight, a reservation must be made and purchased generating a ticket or e-ticket. Most of us feel comfortable acquiring a ticket from an airline, consumer website or through a travel agent. But consider do you really understand how that fare was determined on the ticket you just purchased? Here’s a basic reference guide to the alpha and numeric airline terms and codes necessary for identification and formulation of an airline ticket.

Important Travel Industry Terms: International Air Transport Association/IATA – is the trade association for the world’s airlines, based in Montreal Canada. The association works in conjunction with the transport industry to promote safe, reliable, secure and economical air travel for consumers worldwide. Among its responsibilities is the establishment of the following codes and designations. Airport Code – a 3-letter code is assigned to each airport or location. Examples: ATL – Atlanta, LAX – Los Angeles International, MIA – Miami International and MAD – Madrid, Spain. Airline Code – each IATA air carrier is given a 2-digit code. Examples: AA – American Airlines, DL – Delta Airlines and BA – British Airways. Accounting or prefix codes – a 3-digit accounting or prefix code is used for airline tickets to identify the issuing airline. Example: 001 identifies American Airlines. This is followed by the ticket number. Example: American Airlines ticket/e-ticket 0012305774887. City Pair – refers to the origin (departure) and destination (arrival) cities of flights. Example: Los Angeles to New York.

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Once the city pair or locations are determined, you need the Airport Codes to book the flights. Some cities have multiple airports like New York. Example: NYC (location) the three airport codes – JFK, LGA and EWR – representing the three major airports – Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark. Note ** Many airport codes are similar so double-check your itinerary before ticketing. If you are booking a flight from New York to San Jose California, you don’t want a flight to San Jose Costa Rica instead. Example: JFK to SJC – San Jose California versus JFK to SJO – San Jose Costa Rica. Yes, this does happen. Passenger Name Record/PNR – a record in the database of the computer reservation system (CRS) that contains the itinerary for a passenger or a group of passengers. Record Locater – an alphanumeric code typically 6 characters in length – for example, GIIXTZ – used in airline reservation systems to access a specific record. Now we are ready to conquer the fundamentals of ticket fare construction and pricing. The airlines have large tariff and rate departments that establish pricing, fare rules and construct fares. Computers continually search and monitor thousands and thousands of published fares and regularly update fare schedules. Fares are inventory controlled. When a fare is sold out the next higher fare level normally applies. Airfare construction starts with the Booking Class or the Class of Service. This refers to the Economy, Business or First class cabins of the airplane. Below is a sample of a flight with airline code, flight number, class of service, departure airport code and arrival airport code, the date of travel and the departure and arrival times. AA255F JFKLAX 05MAY 10:00am 1:10pm The major Booking Class codes are: • F = full fare first class ticket. A and P also designate first class depending on air carrier. • J = full fare business class ticket. R and D are also business class designators. • W = premium economy. • Y = full fare economy/coach class ticket. Discounted economy fares use codes – B H M K L W S N Q. • IN = infant fare usually 10% of the adult fare • CH = child’s fare • DP = diplomat fare • YGA = contracted military fares

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Mileage or award travel also has special coding: X – economy award seat, I – business class award seat and O – first class award seat. Some airlines have specific fare classes for their own special products, passengers or other situations. Each booking class has a Fare Basis Code, consisting of letters and numbers, which determine the Base Fare – the fare before taxes and surcharges. Here’s an example of a fare basis code: MH7LNR. Each letter has a specific meaning. M – is the booking class of the ticket, H – means it’s a high-season ticket, 7 – requires a 7 day advance purchase, L – indicates a long haul and NR – stands for non-refundable. Fare basis codes are important to you, the traveler, as they determine whether a fare is: • refundable or non-refundable • valid for one-way or round-trip transportation • combinable with other fares • good in high or low season • an advance purchase or requires minimum and maximum stay requirements • governed by routing restrictions such as departures to or from specific countries • subject to change fees or cancellation penalties Knowing this information is valuable because: • it determines if you will earn 100% of your frequent flyer miles from a purchased ticket as well as how the mileage credit is handled when crediting your flight to a partner airline • it dictates whether your ticket is upgradeable and your ranking on the airport upgrade listing • it will help you determine if the ticket is refundable and/or if change fees apply It is the base fare along with taxes, fees and surcharges that forms the price of the Airline Ticket. The next time you check in for your flight give the reservation agent your Record Locator for access to your Passenger Name Record and your flight itinerary.

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Here is the ranking from December 2015, of the top 15 leading airlines worldwide based on revenue passenger kilometers with statistics from www.statista.com. American Airlines – United Airlines – Delta Airlines – Emirates Airways – Air France/ KLM – IAG* – Southwest Airlines – Lufthansa German Airlines – China Southern – Air China – China Eastern – Singapore Airlines Group – Cathay Pacific Airways – LATAM Airlines* and Turkish Airlines. * IAG is a consortium of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, IAG Cargo, Iberia Express, Open Skies and Commair. *LATAM Airlines is Latin America’s largest holding company with LAN from Chile TAM Brazil and Peru.

The U.S. based airlines took 4 of the 15 spots in the rankings.

Airlineratings.com markets itself as “the world’s only safety and product rating website,” www.airlineratings.com . From the 407 airlines it monitors, it has ranked its – 20 Safest Airlines and 10 Safest Low Cost Airlines for 2016. The company uses comprehensive data obtained through audits from aviation’s governing bodies and trade associations as well as government’s audits and the airline’s fatality records. It also reviews airlines’ operational histories, incident reports and operational excellence. It delivers a seven-star rating system for each airline. For the third straight year Qantas, the Australian carrier, has taken top honors. Qantas is the world’s oldest continuously operating airline and throughout its 95 year history has a fatality free record. The carrier has pioneered the efforts in the development of the Future Air Navigation System; the Flight Data Recorder that monitors plane and crew performance; the Global Navigation Satellite System for automatic and precise approaches around mountains in cloud cover using Required Navigation Performance and the use of satellite communications to oversee the jet engines for its entire fleet in real time. With top honors to Qantas, listed in alphabetical order are the nineteen safest airlines and the ten low cost airlines.

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offered or available if you are going to destinations where you have concerns about the air carriers.

19 safest airlines: Air New Zealand Alaska Airlines

10 safest low cost airlines:

All Nippon Airlines

Aer Lingus

American Airlines

Flybe

Cathay Pacific Airways

HK Express

Emirates

Jetblue

Etihad Airways

Jetstar Australia

EVA Air

Thomas Cook

Finnair

TUI Fly

Hawaiian Airlines

Virgin America

Japan Airlines

Volaris

KLM

Westjet

Lufthansa Scandinavian Airline System Singapore Airlines

And words from the Flight Deck when it comes to airline safety . . . I posed airline safety issues to my aviation specialist, Captain Michael Davis, recently retired after a distinguished career of 32 years flying for American Airlines. By way of background and introduction, Mike prefaced, “I flew as a flight engineer and as a copilot on the Boeing 727 (the 727 required a three man crew), as a captain on the McDonald-Douglas (now Boeing) MD-80, and as a copilot and later as a captain on Boeing 757s and Boeing 767s. I enjoyed all of my flying experiences, but the favorite part of my career was flying the Boeing 767 on long-range flights to international destinations. While these were very complex operations, and required long hours, they were very satisfying flights.” With specific regards to passenger safety, Mike responded, “We, as crew members, have the safety and well being of our passengers uppermost in our minds. We want the flight to be on time, comfortable, stress free but most of all – safe. We accomplish complete preflight checks on all systems and a walk-around exterior inspection prior to each departure. If something is found “not right” we coordinate with our maintenance personnel to insure the aircraft is absolutely air worthy. Our attitude towards safety is uncompromising. The well being of our passengers is our number one priority. Flight crews want to return safely to their loved ones as well.”

Swiss United Airlines Virgin Atlantic Virgin Australia

The U.S. carriers surprisingly omitted from this list are Delta Air Lines, Frontier and Sun Country which each scored 7-stars. Rounding out the American carriers are Southwest and Spirit which garnered only 5-stars. Using the seven-star ranking system devised by AirlineRatings. com, they categorized a total of 50 airlines that ranked three-stars or less with 10 airlines that rated just 1-star or zero stars. The 10 carriers that have had serious safety concerns or violations are: Batik Air, Bluewing, Citilink, Kal-Star Aviation, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, TransNusa, Trigana Air Service, Wings Air and Xpress Air. They are all based in Nepal, Indonesia and Surinam. When booking a tour or a cruise excursion ask the booking or reservation agent which air carriers are used by the suppliers. Determine what alternative air or transportation sources are hers-magazine.com

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the flight deck? Captain Davis explained, “Immediately after taking off, the crew must “reconfigure” the aircraft from a land machine to a flying machine. This is done by raising the landing gear and raising the flaps. This takes a minute or two, and there are mild “clunks” and “bangs’ during the retractions. After the gear and flaps are “up,” the plane now has its optimum shape for flying. During the approach to landing, the aircraft is slowed, and the flaps are

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extended first, followed by the landing gear, which means more “clunks and “bangs.” It is all normal and routine.” In follow-up, I asked, what are the most critical times of flight for a pilot? “The most critical times or “phases” of flight are the takeoffs and landings. Because takeoffs are a very time sensitive period, any problems encountered during takeoff rolls must be identified and analyzed immediately, and exact flying inputs executed as prescribed by aircraft flight manuals and pilot experience and training. If a problem is encountered early enough during the takeoff roll, the takeoff can be safely stopped or “aborted” on the runway. After a certain takeoff speed is attained, there is insufficient runway length to safely stop the aircraft, so the takeoff must be continued and whatever problem the aircraft has must be handled by the cockpit crew in the air. For almost every landing, including emergency landings, there is time to review applicable procedures, conduct crew briefings, coordinate with ground control and emergency ground crews (if required) to insure a safe landing. Nonetheless, the landing is when the aircrew has to be at the top of their game, to do everything possible to make every landing routine.” Landing a large aircraft smoothly and safely is a challenge and is predicated on a number of variables. Foremost is the experience level of the pilot who is landing the plane. With the major legacy U.S. airlines, pilots are only authorized to fly one type of equipment (aircraft) at a time. As a pilot rises in seniority with the company, he or she usually transitions either to larger aircraft for pay grade increases or to smaller aircraft seeking change in title from first officer to pilot. The amount of flight time clocked on a particular aircraft also affects the experience levels. In addition to pilot proficiency, factors such as weather, crosswinds, visibility and turbulence affect a pilot’s efforts to land a plane. Pilots have different landing preferences. Some prefer to fly the aircraft all the way to the ground while others use a combination of manual and other controls. Achieving a smooth landing requires considerable pilot finesse and skill.

pressure, temperature and winds. The mixing affect of these four inputs cause turbulence, especially where weather fronts meet. These meeting areas or turbulent areas can be predicted by weather forecasters, but they cannot be seen by the naked eye. Different types of cloud formations can be excellent predictors of turbulence, and “Mountain Wave Turbulence” is frequently encountered over the Western United States. Unfortunately, if there is turbulence between your take off airport and your destination, it will affect your flight. Your flying time may be longer because the crew may need to fly outside the area of turbulence or request a higher or lower altitude to avoid turbulence. However, if there are other aircraft flying nearly the same routes, Air Traffic Control may not be able to reroute your flight or be able to assign your flight a different altitude and you may have to endure a period of flying through the “bumpy air.” Pilots are trained to carefully study weather patterns, plan ahead and choose the fastest route before every flight. In addition, planes are engineered and designed to handle these conditions and there is little concern that turbulence will cause the plane to crash. Clear-air turbulence has added a new phenomenon, as it is a turbulent movement of air masses in the absence of any visual cues such as clouds. It is caused when bodies of air moving at widely different speeds meet. At present, the best passengers can do is to keep seatbelts fastened at all times when seated.

Oh . . . that dreaded turbulence . . . . Have you ever experienced severe turbulence and thought, even for a moment, whether the plane would stay in the air? While turbulence is disconcerting, it is generally harmless. Turbulence is caused by wind, upward and downward currents from thunderstorms, the jet stream, proximity to mountains and thermal currents. While injuries from turbulence are quite rare, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, when they do occur, it is usually to flight crew members and passengers who have not heeded the notification to keep seat belts fastened. Captain Davis described it this way. “Airplanes fly through air molecules that are being affected by the underlying terrain,

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After safety, passengers are most interested in the service onboard their flight. Which air carriers make the top grades for service and overall performance?

Airlineratings.com has made its selection for its “Airline Excellence Awards” for 2016. The 2016 Airline of the year is Air New Zealand. For three consecutive years, it has held this distinction due to passenger innovations, environmental efforts, sound financial performance, operational safety and the commitment of its staff and management. The additional winners of these excellence awards are: Cathay Pacific Airways, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia, Kulula.com, Lufthansa, Delta Air Lines, Norwegian, Scoot, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin American. Airlines spend a tremendous amount of money on service improvements in attempts to enhance the flying experience. While mileage and awards programs build customer loyalty, passenger retention it put to the test with each flight every day by the service and performance of the flight crew. Passengers’ judgment about an airline can be determined by the cleanliness of the lavatories, the meal selection preparation and

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service, the in-flight entertainment and the attitude of the flight crew. From a short hop to a long haul flight, service and comfort are high priorities to passengers. These airlines have raised the bar in service. Etihad’s exclusive First Class cabins viewed at www.etihad. com have transported the first class flying experience. With designated First Class check-in and Premium Lounges, the experience starts prior to boarding. The First Suite features a leather seat that converts to a 6-foot 8-inch fully flat bed. There is a personal wardrobe, refreshments cabinet, 24-inch HDTV with a wealth of entertainment options and same day papers delivered over breakfast. Close the sliding doors for the most personalized of spaces, The Residence, is the only three-room suite in the sky. It boosts a living room, 32-inch HDTV, a separate double bedroom and ensuite with shower room. Nightly turndown service is provided for both these luxurious accommodations. Singapore’s prestige Business Class has added a number of items to its product offerings. It provides a sense of subtle elegance, comfort and functionality. www.singapore.com. Singapore Air consistently ranks among the world’s top airlines. The airline’s new Business class, offered on its A350 and retrofitted Boeing 777-300ER, has seats that have two seating positions and convert to a fully flat 78-inch bed with cushioned headboard. www.sinaporeair.com. Air New Zealand’s premium economy class is a knockout with its fixed shell seats called Space Seats which offer enhanced leg room and bean bag ottomans. But it’s the Skycouch; designed by Air New Zealand for its Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 777 wide body jets that is a first in the industry. This Skycouch creates a flat surface, by folding the armrests into the seat and removing the headrests and inserting them into brackets underneath the seat extending the flat surface to the back of the seats of the row in front. A mattress pad along with a pillow and duvet are delivered by a member of the flight crew. The Skycouch provides a cozy lounge feeling and serves as a small bed. www.airnewzealand.com.

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With a staggering figure of 3.75 billion worldwide airline passengers estimated to fly in 2016, according to statistics from IATA, we can and will expect our planes to be more crowded and our airports busier and more congested. Transporting billions of passengers means more delays at airports due to increases in processing time at security check points, more flight arrivals and departures, additional airline maintenance issues and weather related back-ups. These are the Best and Worst Airports for flight delays according to U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau.

Try these airports:

Avoid these if possible:

Salt Lake City International (SLC)

Midway International Airport (MDW)

Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA)

Baltimore/Washington International (BWI)

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Portland International Airport (PDX)

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP)

McCarran International Airport (LAS)

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Int’l (FLL)

Miami International Airport (MIA)

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)

Washington Dulles Int’l Airport (IAD)

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Air travel is an integral part of the overall travel experience. It allows us to build relationships, connect with family and friends conduct business and see the world. And then there is the sheer marvel of flight . . . .

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Your Money Life Will Get Better When… BY Deborah Hightower

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issues, keep the faith that things will work out. Joy is free and can be seen in the morning sun, blooming flowers, a celebration of good health, and genuine thankfulness for God’s blessings.

1. Choose wisely. Needs, wants and dreams are three distinct categories. Be careful not to confuse the three. Red-bottom shoes (for which I save my allowance) are really not a need – no matter how hard I try to fit them in that category.

4. It’s about attitude. Earl Nightingale once said, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” Your outlook affects your financial habits, as well as your relationships on every level. Because you can actually choose to be happy, you may have to learn to have conversation without being resentful, accusatory or hateful. Where there are differing opinions, especially if there is a spouse involved, find a common ground from which to discuss issues.

ften times, there is so much more to money problems than, well, money. It can be all about the peripheral issues, such as lack of discipline. Recognizing these five points will help you see things without the rose-colored glasses we are prone to wear:

2. The “D” word is key. In order to control our resources, we must also have a “D” word (discipline). As my mother used to say, “Anything worth having is worth working for” and that certainly applies here. It’s worth it, so work it wisely! Create a budget, keep it up to date, and use it to guide your spending. Remember to include an allowance for discretionary spending. Without it, you can feel restricted and conflicted if it’s “all work and no play” and that is no fun…no fun, at all. A purchase as small as a lipstick can do wonders to lift your spirit and give you a reward for all the hard work that goes into making your household successful. 3. No amount of money will make you happy if you are unhappy. If your heart is corroded, money is not the cleansing agent. A new purchase may make you happy for the moment, but joy (true happiness) must be found organically. Learn to have a grateful heart regardless of your circumstances or your bank balance. The smallest things can bring great joy. Know the verse, “While the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Even if you are struggling with financial

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5. Setting goals provides incentive. What do you want to accomplish with your resources? I know someone who has set their net worth goal based on the amount of money they want to give away. Think about what/when/where/why you want to plant your money seed. Would you like to donate to a women’s shelter or give a scholarship to a child in need? What would you do ‘if you had the money’? While this is not an all-inclusive list, it does call our attention to five simple truths that are useful as we maneuver our daily money life. Take each point and develop your own ideas about how you can be successful with each one. Deborah Hightower writes for networking and lifestyle blogs and magazines and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Morningstar, CNBC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, and other news outlets. She has been listed by INC. Magazine as one of America’s Trendsetters in Health, Wealth and Success. | Se ptem ber/O c to ber 2 0 1 6 | H ER S Ma gaz in e |

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Beyoncé’s

Formation Tour What Does It All Really Mean? BY Iman Combs

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here is a reason she is regarded as royalty. America’s very own Queen Bey has charmed her Beyhive with her Formation World Tour, which promotes her latest album, Lemonade. Her musical reign, especially as of late on this tour, is filled with symbolism demonstrating her power to love, leave and forgive, as well as her evolution. When the tour came to Atlanta, Georgia, the show featured a slew of onstage musical surprises, beginning with Atlanta-based guest performers ranging from the up-andcoming Migos to mainstays like Usher and hosted by DJ Khaled. Surprisingly, as the album’s main song calls for ladies to “get in formation,” the opening acts didn’t include any female entertainers or empowering preludes. Bey, as we would see, was going to be the sole conductor of any and all such female energy in the Georgia Dome. While the first hour was almost satisfactory enough to be considered its own concert, nothing, not DJ Khaled, not T.I., nor Ludacris, could mentally or emotionally prepare the crowd for the out-of-body experience everyone underwent during Beyoncé’s performance. Strategically and brilliantly intertwining all of her top songs with the audible art that is Lemonade, Bey did not just put on a show. No, she entertained; she preached the gospel; and she ultimately gave her audience a whole new outlook on her life, as well as theirs. Behind her remained a massive rotating, cube-shaped monument to her success, streaming clips from her videos along with home movies and pictures from her family life – both before and during her success. It illustrated a variety of psychedelic images and displayed pre-recorded performances, all used to coincide with and complement the amazing choreography of her and her backup dancers. As if that wasn’t enough, periodic fireworks exploded to commemorate the concert as it was occurring. To add to her unbelievable stage, she included symbols all throughout her routine. The most prominent referenced Egypt in a few different ways. The first, was a subtle Ankh necklace, a hieroglyphic symbol used to represent life, she wore around her neck. That, itself, could be a way for her to further celebrate womanhood, which was speculated to have been one of the main muses for Lemonade in the first place. Secondly, the aforementioned digital monument was hers-magazine.com

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all too reminiscent of a modern day pyramid, a sort of homage to herself and her accomplishments. Throughout its entirety, the concert seemed to be a split cocoon for this new (butterflied) Beyoncé. In front of the world’s eyes, she is surpassing her title of “queen” and slowly transforming into this new age Pharaoh. That god complex she mentioned her husband having in “Don’t Hurt Yourself ” seems to be manifesting within her as well. Whether she admits it or not, her greater self-awareness, new edgy sound, and power imagery, all indicate an evolving artist who sees herself as capable of anything. Another thematic form of symbolism was the usage of colors. Each one seemed to have had a very particularly calculated purpose, conveying and impacting the overall mood of the atmosphere. She began the show in an all-black, lace-trimmed, onepiece bodice accompanied by a black brim hat and black leather boots, exuding strength and grace while signifying the death of her old self, which would soon be followed by the new. When she wanted her hive to feel her rage, her passion, and her sensuality, a blood red fur coat and ruby red, thigh-high boots most certainly did the trick. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Queen Bey brought her subjects along for an emotional journey of vulnerability, forgiveness, spirituality, beginning again with an allwhite, lace-trimmed bodysuit and a decorative white veil. Yet, she would not be the regality that she is without garnering admiration from the crowd by adorning herself in a gold number by the end of the show.

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“Unparalleled” is the only way to truly describe the Formation experience. Chalk full of wonderful music, striking imagery, and an uplifting sermon, each fan got nothing short of their investment in time and money. Beyoncé demonstrated her love and appreciation for her fans with the obvious attention to detail she applied to every step, every lyric, and every facial expression. Allowing the world to be involved with this rebirth cultivates a very special, intimate relationship, only a benevolent, trusting entertainer would risk creating. It once again proved that she is truly one-of-a-kind, even as she emerges anew.

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Hers Sept/Oct 2016  

In this issue, we highlight some of the most intelligent and attractive women in the world – some you’ll likely recognize and others you sho...

Hers Sept/Oct 2016  

In this issue, we highlight some of the most intelligent and attractive women in the world – some you’ll likely recognize and others you sho...

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