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Editor-in-Chief, Annette Johnson Managing Editor, JanayÊ Brown Senior Editor, Laurianna Cull Associate Editor, Grace Kelley Staff Writer, Robert Rygiel Design Director, Joey Shepherd Design Assistant, Robert Johnson III Entertainment Editor, Harmoni Brangman Editorial Assistant, Desirae Diaz Contributors: Queen Blessings Njeri Dean Chef Zipora Einav Gene´Hunter Venus Hurst Candace Jackson Aklexander Joyce Jennifer Keitt Tia Ross and Kris Miller Ava Miles Ilana Muhlstein Saskia Roell Sylvia Russell Cover Photography by Rowan Daly Customer Service For subscription service or change of address, including email, contact or write to P.O. Box 1071, Atlanta, GA 30301 Hers (ISSN 2372-3785) is published six times per year by Allwrite Communications, 3300 Buckeye Road, #264 Atlanta, GA 30341 404-221-0703

59 What Does “Dating Like a Dude” Mean? Divorce lawyer creates a new relationship playbook



F E AT U R E S 12 Mother’s Day Special: Celebrity Mothers’ Advice

Celebs share the advice they gave their daughters


Beauty Trends for 2018

How to be the hottest thing around this summer

22 Making a Lasting Connection Instead of Swiping Right

Matchmaker is creating lasting connections

36 Exploring China’s Past Through Her Eyes

Meet Fengxian Chu, pioneer of perseverance

13 Clean Out Your Relationship Gutter This Spring Tips to help you get rid of problems with your loved one

19 Wine Glasses: A Guide for the Perplexed Why different wines call for different types of glassware

31 Talking to Your Child About Sexual Assault Must-have

conversations for parents and children

43 Art Inspired Pillow Designs by Solvejg Channel the artist within with these custom designs

9 Recipes to Reset and Flatten Your Core You don’t starve yourself to get that flat tummy

14 Cooking for Mom on Mother’s Day Return the favor and try this sweet recipe on her special day

20 Prom Fashion: Leave Them Speechless Line that includes runway style gowns for teens

21 Hair Care Products with an Old School Twist Grandpa Soap Company is out with new, in with the old

27 Summer Breeze Looks Catch the summer breeze with these stylish looks

32 The Gym Doesn’t Have to Blow Your Blowout 24 What’s n Your Happy List?

Incorporate these tips in your routine for a happier life

35 5 Lessons from Losing a Good Job The end of a job doesn’t have to be the end

56 Tanya Acker Heats the Bench & Warms Your Heart

TV judge by day, woman’s advocate by night

Luxury hair product could revive hair during your workout

42 Keeping Your Makeup Brushes Clean The world’s first smart brush sanitizer is here

49 Balinese Culture is Woven Right In New line

of woven handbags are perfect anything

28 Keeping up with the Real Johnsons: The Black·ish Guide to Raising Kids

Book explores the laugh-out-loud life that inspired the TV show

38 Leave It to Katie

Second-generation fitness guru succeeds mom, Denise Austin

30 Book Review: “She Caused a Riot”

Follow this history of women who stirred up their community or world

34 Gabrielle Union’s Movie “Breaking In” for Mothers

Actress produces her first film about a mother who fights back

16 Mercier Therapy: A Natural Treatment for Infertility Mercier provides

47 7 Steps to Find & Live Your Passion as a Mother

natural hope for women seeking motherhood

18 Overcoming Plateaus & Slow Metabolism It’s mind over metabolism

23 Keeping Crazy Fit During Pregnancy How working out can help your pregnancy not hurt it

Get back to what you love

26 Teaching Your Daughters about Money Experts share 4 financial lessons to teach your daughters

return home with some money too

44 Five Tips to Set Yourself Apart During the Job Hunt

Channel your boss lady vibes with these new spring releases

33 Spiritual and Broke: How to Stop Struggling on Purpose Tips on bearing fruit

Here’s how to stand out from the crowd

52 Bianca Van Damme: Continuing the Legacy

your workout geared up

that purpose and prosperity

Jean Claude van Damme daughter proves her fitness genes

48 Summer Vacay Planning Without Wrecking Your Finances Enjoy vacation and

46 Gadgets: Spring Workout Essentials Spring is here, so get

50 New Spring Music Alert!

54 Women On TV Network

These women are creating their own TV channel of success

55 Broadway Goes Under the Sea Something to see on stage while in the Big City

53 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts Waited to the last minute? We’ve got you covered!

60 Heriscopes (Summer) What’s your career horoscope?

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Editor’s Letter Being a mother is one of the most special callings. However, being a mother doesn’t always involve actually giving birth, for in its essence, mothering is something we do for those we love. We mother our biological children, our adopted children, our students, our relatives, or anyone we feel needs this special nurturing. In that spirit, we have composed this issue to celebrate the spirit of motherhood, including advice from celebrity moms like Chrissy Teigen and Elizabeth Banks. On the cover, we feature fitness guru Katie Austin and her iconic mother Denise Austin. This mother-daughter dynamic duo represents the love and legacy we sought to exemplify in this issue. We also highlight the journey of a mother from a completely different time and place – China. We explore motherhood through the life of 92-year-old Fengxian Chu, who shared the hardships and inequality of women during a period in China that had never been documented by a woman. One of the most popular family shows on TV now is ABC’s “Black-ish,” and we have included the inspiration for the show, the real-life Rainbow Johnson. She has provided highlights from her own life and how it plays out in the show, as well as in her new book about parenting. We also feature specialist Jennifer Mercier and her natural alternative approach to infertility. Her faith-based approach is said to have helped many women become mothers. Even a skeptic will appreciate her bold journey and timely revelation that has helped many other women.

For those who are trying to simply find or have a stable relationship, we feature Michelle Afont who discusses how “dating like a dude” helped transform her life and find true love finally. She discovered and shared her surprising truth about dating, which may save our single readers from needless heartbreak or wasted time. We even provide insight on dating via a matchmaker, Sameera Sullivan, for those who are too busy or afraid to “get out there.” From personal stories of finding truth after being assaulted to accounts of making peace with taking on the family business, the theme of this issue centers around self-discovery. Every seeming tragedy or loss was turned into something positive because of the determined spirit of the women in this issue. Even the movie, “Breaking in,” we highlight starring Gabrielle Union is about a mother who fights back after her children’s safety is threatened during a home invasion. In general, we share accounts of lots of women who turned their lemons into lemonade. Then they created a lemonade stand so we can all share and sample their special elixirs. Drink up, ladies! Enjoy,

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Chef Zipora Einav

Ava Miles

Chef Zipora Einav is an accomplished private chef who has cooked for some of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities - Mariah Carey, Pierce Brosnan, Scarlett Johansson - and for professional athletes. She is the author of “Recipe for a Delicious Life,” which includes recipes, a classical music CD, and her anecdotes. She founded her company, Chef Zipora Enterprise to improve people’s lives by empowering them to eat well and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

International bestselling author Ava Miles calls herself a “divine rockstar” — something she believes everyone is deep down. With a B.A. in Rhetoric, Technical Writing and Spanish as well as two graduate degrees, one in International Peace Studies and another in Political Science, Ava spent many years traveling and sharing her gifts in war-torn countries, helping them to rebuild and reintegrate their communities. Now, she brings that experience together with her passion for personal success in a book called “The Goddess Guides to Being A Woman.” “ It invites us all to reimagine what it means to be a modern woman — on our own terms.

Venus Hurst Venus Hurst of Venus Staffing began her entrepreneurial career in 2001 with the launch of Venus Models a promotional model staffing agency. The virtual agency specialized in placing talent at recurring special events across the US including, The North American Auto Shows, CES shows etc. The agency also booked models for entertainment-based celebrity events including The Emmy Awards, 2009; the Charlie Sheen Roast, 2011, and the James Franco event for Sony Pictures in 2013.

Alexander Joyce Alexander Joyce is CEO and president of ReJoyce Financial LLC, a full-service retirement income planning firm in Indianapolis, Ind. He’s a licensed professional in Indiana who specializes in working with individuals who are nearing or already in retirement. He holds the NSSA (National Social Security Advisor) CRPC (Charted Retirement Planning Counselor) designation. He hosts informational and educational seminars as well as the radio show Retirement Halftime Show.

Jennifer Keitt Jennifer Keitt is a 30-year radio veteran, reaching more than a million unique listeners per week through “Slow Jams” and “The Jennifer Keitt show” on Kiss 104.1 FM. One of the most passionate, engaging voices on the airwaves, she works to empower, educate, equip and encourage women and men from around the U.S. and globe. She has appeared on Dr. Drew, HLN Morning and Weekend Express, Cobb in Focus and more.

Tia Ross and Kris Miller Tia Ross, (a best-selling author and speaker) and Kris Miller (a Legacy wealth strategist,) are activists for women’s financial rights and the founders of Legacy Shifters. They empower women to change their families’ financial realities and create incomes they will never outlive. 8

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Ilana Muhlstein Ilana Muhlstein is a registered dietitian, the highest standard in the field of nutrition. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maryland, sits on the leadership team for the American Heart Association, and leads the Bruin Health Improvement Program at UCLA. Ilana also acts as a nutrition consultant for several major companies, including Whole Foods Market. She’s also a contributor for publications such as SELF, the Huffington Post, and the Journal of Obesity.

Saskia Roell Saskia Roell is a Soul Purpose and Fertility Coach, radio host, bestselling author, international speaker and clairvoyant healer. Using her own life as living proof that extraordinary choices lead to an extraordinary life, Saskia expertly helps others do the same. In 2001, Saskia came to America with five children and one suitcase. Without jobs or contacts, hardly any money, and five kids who didn’t speak a word of English, she and her family succeeded by trusting the guidance of her Soul. In her bestselling book “A Suitcase Full of Faith – How One Woman Found Her Dream Trusting the Compass of Her Soul,” she writes about the grand adventure of that leap.

Sylvia Russell Sylvia Russell, CEO for Puckerd Cosmetics, has been working in entertainment for over 25 years. She was the key makeup artist for the Tampa Bay cheerleaders and worked on various celebrities, ranging from Hulk Hogan and family to foodie Adam Richman and HSN show hosts. Russell has been a beauty and lifestyle expert host for 10 years in Tampa at WFLA, Channel 8 @ The Daytime Show and Channel 10 @ studio10. She has also worked for NBC Dateline, TLC Network, The Travel Channel and has been an educator for top beauty companies, as well as owned and managed salon startups. Russell founded the business in August 2017 in St. Petersburg Florida and is a proud mother of three.




A Natural Treatment for Infertility Mercier provides natural hope for women seeking motherhood BY JANAYÉ BROWN


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Contemporary Dress Brand, Speechless aims to leave people speechless with their dresses. B Y JAN AYÉ B ROWN

Founded in 2001, Speechless has created a line specifically targeted to teenage girls. Based in Los Angeles, this brand has worked to create brand that aims to give every teenage girl their own personalized look. The variety of dresses displays styles based off trend-driven contemporary fashions. These styles range from bold and daring, to simple prints that allows girls to choose a dress based on their


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personality and lifestyle. Teens can choose from the traditional prom dress style, two-piece sets or even a simple cocktail dress for every occasion. In addition, this brand also offers more relaxed styles such as rompers, and summer dresses. While many girls have different taste in fashion, there is ultimate one goal for this brand, and it is to #leavethemspeechless.


Your Unique Happy List

Need a reason to smile? Incorporate these tips in your routine for a happier life.


appiness is the proverbial Holy Grail for many of us. The media constantly bombards us with images, commercials, TV shows, and movies decked out with happy people. You know the ones I’m talking about: the friends dancing around all footloose and fancy-free at a party; the happy family smiling at one another over a perfectly laid-out picnic in the park; the happy couple holding hands as they walk down the street for an evening out. The media makes it look so easy to be happy, and we buy the products they’re selling hoping these external things will make us happy, too. These images and videos are almost impossible to avoid, right? And if you’re not feeling happy when they’re shoved in your face, you might start to wonder what’s wrong with you. “Why aren’t I as happy as these friends, this family, this couple?”  Maybe you’ll even start to believe you need to have these kinds of people and situations in your life to be happy. I mean, how many times have you heard or even said one of the following? • • •

I’ll be happy when X happens. I’ll be happy if X loves me. I’ll be happy if I get X.

And so, happiness becomes a chase. We believe we must travel to find it, strive for it, and hustle our butts off to get it. 24

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We must do something to deserve it. So, how do we find our way back to happiness? Real happiness? Our own unique happiness? It starts with identifying what makes you happy — not your partner or your kids or your parents or your friends — just you. I’m inviting you to make your happy list. Make a list of: • Things you want to do or experience. • Things you feel happy doing and experiencing. • Things your body and emotions say they need or enjoy. • Things you would like to gift yourself with. You can also make your list by responding to these prompts: • I feel happy when… • I feel most happy when I… • I feel most happy around… • I find myself laughing at… • I enjoy laughing with… • The one thing that makes my heart soar is… • The thing that makes me want to dance and cheer is… Happiness isn’t an emotion; it’s a state of being. It becomes the way you experience yourself and the world. You are enchanted. The world is enchanting. Are you ready to believe in your own magic again? Are you ready to see magic in the world around you? What’s on your happy list?


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B RE EZE LOOK S Catch the summer breeze with these stylish looks BY JANAYÉ BROWN

Outfit 1: Jill Jill Stuart Ruffle Sleeve Top $99, Faux wrap skirt $99

Outfit 2: I.N.C. Printed RuffleTrim Surplice Maxi Dress $119.50

Outfit 3: RACHEL Rachel Roy Ruffled Scuba Cold-Shoulder Dress $109.00

Outfit 4: RACHEL Rachel Roy Cutout Midi Dress $94.99

Outfit 5: RACHEL Rachel Roy Wrap Utility Skirt $79.00 RACHEL Rachel Roy Cold-Shoulder Flounce Top $79.00

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“Being equal doesn’t mean being the same.” that Kenya was a success. As for the show itself, she admits, “It is difficult if not impossible to know what success looks like and even more difficult to believe that a story about your story – ups, downs, good, bad – would ever be interesting or important to anyone else. Now that the show has completed its fourth season, when watching the show, I’m not surprised at the success because it’s so good.” The couple have three boys and three girls altogether. Although Rainbow is no longer uncomfortable with the portrayal of her family on the show, she says it’s sometimes difficult for their children, especially the older ones, to see their lives played out on television. “They often share their feelings about the episodes, but my hope is that in seeing some of the most personal events on display, they are able to learn, grow and become more empathetic when someone in their life is also going through a challenging time.” She realizes, “The most uncomfortable, real situations when portrayed are the most helpful to the audience. I’m grateful to be able to share these parts of my life if it’ll help someone else in the same situation. If it’s something really crazy, I’ll just tell him it’s not real (laughing).” Her sincere desire is to inspire other families is one of the reasons that she decided to put even more of her family’s lives in a book. Her life lessons, she hopes, will be other people’s blessings. One of the greatest lessons she says she learned from being a parent has more to do with her and her husband’s roles rather than the children. “Being equal doesn’t mean being the same,” she says of her once unrealistic expectations of having her husband take on as much as she does with their children. In fact, she ruminated in the book, thinking, “Why did he get to have all the fun? Why did I have to be the one who did the dishes, and wiped the boogers, and inserted the rectal thermometer?” She then had an epiphany that would re-channel her anger and frustration. She decided to have an impromptu house party with the four children in her care, who were all under age 6 at the time. She used that moment to get over her husband being dishonest about his whereabouts, realizing that he needed a break just as much as she did. Once he got home from hanging out with friends, she told him two things that surprised him. First, she explained, “Being a parent is really, really hard, and we all need a change from the drudgery. So I decided, ‘What the heck?’” Second, she said, “You put the kids to bed, because I’m pregnant!”

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+ H E R F E AT U R E




inety-two-year-old Fengxian (FUNG-SYEN) Chu’s life story began with her growing up in a wealthy tea trading family in communist China in the early 20th century. Although her family was fairly well off, she still faced the societal hardships and inequality of women. She grew up in a time where practices like foot binding, women’s illiteracy, arranged marriages, and keeping concubines (which her grandfather did) were still in place. However, Fengxian somehow defied every single one of these practices. Even though her mother was a more traditional Chinese woman of the time who was illiterate and had her feet bound, Fengxian was fortunate to have a forward-thinking father who encouraged her education. Meanwhile, her mother would get upset when her father taught Fengxian and her sister, Bayo, how to read and write. He was opposed to arranged marriages and


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Leave it to Katie Second-Generation Fitness Guru Succeeds Mom, Denise Austin


atie Austin, 24, fits right in with many other fitness and wellness experts, save for two things. One, on her website and social media, typical fitness language like “Lose 10 Pounds Fast!” is conspicuously absent in favor of body positivity and pics of Austin eating ice cream and sipping margaritas. Two, her mom is Denise Austin, 61, former queen of the VHS fitness tape empire of the late ‘80s to early ‘90s. Katie’s fitness presence however is more “of the moment,” with Starbucks selfies and trendy Adidas crop top photos. In addition to her social media pages, Katie also has a YouTube page with hundreds of workout videos, recipes as well as fun, innovative techniques such as breakfast meal prep in 360-degree virtual reality. Occasionally Katie will post a cheeky throwback to


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Denise Austin Recalling her career journey and how she makes 60 look sexy



Art Inspired Pillow Designs by Solvejg Channel the artist within with these custom designs A great way to brighten up your home for the spring and summer without making drastic changes is to add in some key accent pieces like throw pillows. One of the artists creating individual and unique pillows this season is Solvejg who actually gave up her architecture career to pursue her passion of designing fabrics. Drawing inspiration from her childhood in Sweden and Denmark as well as her daily life in Maine, Slovejg’s unique designs come in a plethora of bright vibrant patterns which are all printed with eco-friendly ink. Herringbone in Turquoise

$89.00 Fir

$89.00 Herringbone in Red

$89.00 Fish Linen


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Spring Workout Essentials Spring is here, so get your workout geared up!

SABRE Pepper Gel – $12.99

Sabre has designed a compact, userfriendly pepper gel bottle that easily fits in your hand or pocket to carry wherever your run takes you. The handy strap eliminates the need to worry about having protection close at hand while in the heat of your run. The gel can spray up to 12 feet keeping you far from the danger at all times. The #1 trusted pepper spray brand of police and consumers worldwide, SABRE’s maximum policestrength formula is tested for multiple uses without failure, giving you peace of mind during every mile.



FlipBelt Classic – $28.99

The original product that established FlipBelt among runners, the FlipBelt Classic is the easy and comfortable solution for carrying the essentials you need on a run. It can fit your phone, card, keys, cash and more in a sleek, comfortable, and secure design. It also has a spacious tubular pocket that fits snuggly over or under clothes and flips to provide even more security. Whether you like to run, hike, bike, hit the gym, or travel, checkout the FlipBelt Classic for your next adventure.

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FlipBelt Crops – $89.00

Combining their best-selling classic product with comfortable activewear, FlipBelt has recently debuted FlipBelt crops-- cropped athletic leggings with their uniquely designed hold-it-all pockets built into the waistband. Two large pockets and an interior key hook make it easy to securely and discretely stow your phone, keys, cash and any other workout necessities. Said to be both comfortable and functional, FlipBelt Crops are the newest must-have for any workout enthusiast.


Balinese Culture is Woven Right In This New Line of Bali-Inspired Handbags are Perfect for the Beach B Y LAURIAN N A CULL


hile there have been countless handbag trends and designs throughout the years, the vast majority of these designs have originated from the same places, such New York, London, France and Italy, which many believe to be the fashion capitals of the world. However, when designing her new line of handbags, Regina Kirshbaum decided to look a little further East for inspiration. On one of what would end up being many trips to Bali with her husband, Michael, Kirshbaum fell in love with the creative beauty of the Balinese culture and thought that this beauty needed to be brought back home to the states. “The artistry that we were finding along the way in various mediums, jewelry, handbags, and clothing, woke up our old retail brains, and we looked at each other and said, ‘This is better than Bergdorf ’s.’ We both came from Bergdorf Goodman.” She added, “Michael said, ‘We can do this. We can open our own store and make it exclusively Bali and fulfill the dream… of letting the world know how special Bali is, and how steeped in culture and tradition Bali is.’ And that’s been a big part of our mission.” The Kirshbaums did end up opening their own online store

and having their Bali brand, Aghabumi, sold in retail stores as well. However, they decided to trade their busy city lifestyle for a more relaxed, lowcountry lifestyle in South Carolina, where their Aghabumi brand is thriving. Since Kirshbaum is now living a more tranquil lifestyle on the beach, it’s only natural that her products are designed for style as well as comfort and utility. This is also true of one of the latest additions in the Aghabumi collection which is a line of “beach-ready” woven handbags. These handbags, of course, maintain the Balinese signature style of the brand and are all made by hand in the village of Tenganan. All the bags are made with ata, which is a durable vine used for weaving. Some of the bags are lined with handmade Balinese batik cloth and others have hand-carved wooden tops. These design techniques help make the bags durable as well as unique and elegant, making it easy to transition them from a beach day to a night out. The name “Agabhumi” means “ancient firmament,” and according to Kirshbaum, refers to the strength and creativity of the artisans who make the pieces. Kirshbaum is proud of her brand’s Balinese partnership and inspiration. “We’re not just products on a shelf or products on a site, we are an exploration of how talented the culture is.” | M ay /Jun e 2 0 1 8 | H ER S Ma gazin e |



New Spring Music Alert!

Channel your boss lady vibes with these new spring releases B Y JA N AY É M . B R O W N

March 20 signaled the first day of spring, which means the weather has been heating up, and the new music will be even hotter. Check out these new music releases from some fierce female performers. These songs will be sure to have you singing all spring and well throughout the summer. Kylie Minogue – “Golden” Album The pop star will release her first country album, Golden, which was recorded entirely in Nashville.

Bridget Kelly- ‘Reality Bites’ Album Bridget Kelly, the R&B singer releases her first full-length album, Reality Bites. After parting ways with Roc Nation, Kelly offers 13 confessional tracks that many women may relate too.

Anne-Marie - ‘Speak Your Mind’ Album English singer-songwriter Anne-Marie, released her studio debut album. Songs on the album like “2002,” will hopefully transport you back in time.

Janelle Monáe - ‘Dirty Computer’ Album Janelle Monáe reveals her most personal album yet. Inspired by her late mentor Prince, Monáe had the opportunity to collaborate with him right before he passed. Enjoy the sounds of her electric soul.

Maranda Curtis – ‘Open Heaven’ Single Curtis, who is known for her melodic tones and her flow in worship, provides a track that can help you enter into worship with Jesus Christ.


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KACEY MUSGRAVES – “GOLDEN Hour” Album Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves new album is still very much a country collection, but it’s mixed with other genres, pushing closer to mainstream pop

CARDI B - ‘Invasion of Privacy’ The boogey down Bronx girl releases her much-anticipated debut album, which is a follow-up to her highly successful single “Bodak Yellow”


BIANCA VAN DAMME: Continuing the Family Legacy Jean Claude Van Damme’s daughter proves her fitness genes



hildren inherit many qualities and traits from their parents. Some parents will encourage or even force the development and interests of those family qualities that they want to see manifest in their children. To that influence, some children embrace it while some reject it completely. The latter was true for Bianca Van Damme for many years. Bianca is the daughter of actor, martial artist and film producer Jean-Claude Van Damme, also known as “the Muscles from Brussels.” He starred in martial arts action movies like “Bloodsport,” “Kickboxer” and “Street Fighter.” Similarly, Bianca’s mother, Gladys Portugues, is a body building champion. Following in her parents footsteps was not always the case, Bianca, who was not a fan of martial arts. “My parents let us do our own thing. When I was young, my mom pushed me into martial arts for self-discipline. I was 7 and like ‘I can’t stand it,’” Bianca recalled. “I stuck with ballet and [ice] skating.” She continued ice skating until a back injury from a car crash caused her to end her dream of professional skating and competing in the Olympics. In 2008, Bianca started acting along with her dad in the film “The Shepherd: Border Patrol.” This film is where she started practicing


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martial arts. Still, she was not confident about her on-screen performance. She decided it was time to master the craft of acting and martial arts. “I didn’t like what I saw on-screen when I watched my first film. I realized that if this was what I was going to do, I needed to do it right,” she explained. Ultimately, Bianca worked hard to master her craft, and she proved her worth by co-starring in six of her father’s films. She also went on to co-produce a few of those films in which she starred. The 27-year-old can be seen on Instagram showcasing her boxing regime and spreading hope to young boys and girls. “I want to show little girls and little boys that you can be physical and feminine. That you can cross your legs at the dinner table and then kick ass in a nice, feminine way,” she said. “Kind of like how my father brought martial arts to the mainstream for my generation — I want to continue that legacy.” To her father’s delight, she is continuing her acting career as well. She stars in an upcoming martial arts comedy called “Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece.” The film comes out May 25th. She costars alongside Sean Stone (Oliver Stone’s son), and other famous martial artists, such as Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Taimak, Cynthia Rothrock, Ernie Reyes Jr, Michael Dudikoff, Don Frye, and more.


Tanya Acker Heats the Bench & Warms Your Heart TV judge by day, women’s advocate by night. She does it all! B Y LAU R I AN N A C U L L


awyer and now T.V. judge on the show “Hot Bench,” Tanya Acker has become a fan favorite due to her background in fighting for women and minorities, as well as her genuine personality and sharp but fair tone on the show. Throughout her career path in the male-dominated law field, Acker has faced adversity and disrespect but said she used those moments as inspiration rather than setbacks. She encourages all women, especially women of color, to do the same. As someone who grew up without many women of color on daytime T.V. to look up to, Acker is thrilled and humbled to begin joining the ranks of inspirational T.V. women and role models for young girls everywhere. Making the transition from lawyer to daytime T.V. start hasn’t quite sunk in yet for Acker, but she shares a few endearing moments from fans as well as hilarious ones from when she had a run in with the late comedian and actor Don Rickles. She said he made her new stardom feel like a reality rather than a dream.


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So, did you ever watch Judge Judy before joining Hot Bench? Yeah, yeah, yeah, you know from time to time I watched her. When I was a kid, I remember ‘People’s Court’ with Judge Faulkner, and it was fascinating to me actually, to kind of feel like you were getting a view about what was really going on inside a courtroom. Which, if you’re not in one, can seem very mysterious. So yeah, I certainly did watch Judy. I think that she (Judge Judy) is very much the empress of that universe, frankly, because what makes her so great is that she really brings to the show, what I gather, is the same thing she brought to her court room in New York. She’s just who she is. You know, if you’re not trying to sell her a load of goods, she’s a lovely, warm, charming person. If you are, then you’ll see another side. There’s a genuineness about her that I think makes her program so powerful and effective and entertaining. I was actually going to ask that, if she’s the same outside of the show. Like is there ever a pressure to put on a persona a little bit to keep the show interesting and full of drama? Well, one, as to Judy, she’s absolutely the same person. You know, as I said, what people see on T.V. is just her reacting to whatever that situation is or that litigant is in front of her. She is actually one of the most genuine people, frankly, that I’ve ever met, and certainly in this business. But in terms of me, no, I don’t feel any pressure to put anything (a TV persona) on. I think there’s pressure sometimes to make sure that you’re communicating what it is you’re trying to, that you’re effectively communicating because we’re making a show. Since we’re a courtroom, some of these cases wouldn’t even come out. You know, judges will often discuss things in chambers or simply write their opinion and come out. But the purpose of a show is to communicate something to an audience. So, there is some pressure to make sure that we’re communi-

Her-iscopes: Career predictions from the stars Happy birthday, Taurus and Gemini!


June 21-July 22 •


April 20-May 20 Strengths: Sophisticated, grounded, loyal, intelligent Weaknesses: Stubborn, predictable, materialistic Taurus, your perfectionist tendencies mean you often don’t attempt things unless you’re certain you’ll be good on the first try. But Mercury went in retrograde for your sign in April, bringing painful clarity to fears that have been holding you back. Maybe you’re stagnant at your job, but you’re afraid to put yourself back on the market, or you want to learn a new skill but you’re afraid that you won’t be able to make the time. Tease these fears out—your intuition is at an all-time high right now—but take some time for self-care before you act because you get cranky without it, and you’ll stay in your comfort zone if you’re cranky. But when Venus, your ruling planet, rises after Tax Day—watch out, everyone, here you come!

The seeds you’ve planted are sprouting, which at first feels nice because you’ve had a rough go of it recently. Unfortunately, chugga-chugga, choo-choo . . . the Hater Express is pulling into the station. Your intellect can differentiate between the constructive criticism and the plain ol’ criticism, but that doesn’t make it any easier to hear. Have faith in the career seeds you’ve planted, and good things will happen. After all, you can criticize an apple tree all day, but that won’t stop it from bearing fruit. LE O

July 23-August 22

You have the eye of the tiger—the eye of the lion, perhaps? Like the song’s lyrics suggest, steer back toward passions you’ve neglected and rekindle that fighting spirit. People will fawn over your recent accomplishments, things you did despite Mercury throwing every obstacle it could at you while it was in retrograde. Yes, soak up the glory and the spotlight. Take a well-deserved break. You really nailed it! But don’t rest on your laurels when you come back. Leo lions thrive in a pride, but pride is also one of the deadly sins.


May 21-June 20 Strengths: Charming, witty, intellectual, flexible Weaknesses: Jealous, impulsive, restless Mercury being in retrograde materialized as depression for you. Happy career news people sharing—they’ve got a new job or they’ve defended their dissertation—just seemed to remind you that you couldn’t catch a break and were doing just what you needed to get by. Fortunately, as April ends, that fire inside you returns, and people are drawn to your passion and energy. Who these people are will surprise you; some old friends might become mysteriously “busy” during this time while some new friends and colleagues are on board. Whoever they are, when a new project manifests, they’ll rely on you to excel (not that that’s particularly difficult for you), and you’ll rely on them to help you sell it. It may lead to a career oppurtunity around your birthday so work hard! 60

| HERS M a gazine | May/ Jun e 2018 |


August 23-September 22

Virgo, your life has been chaotic recently which has really thrown your order-loving self for a loop. Rest assured, this is a good thing—you’ve been pursuing some potentially lucrative avenues, and Mercury being in retrograde has eliminated the ones that don’t feel true to you. It was painful at the time, but you’ll be thankful soon. Like, “Your side-hustle Etsy shop is being featured by the Etsy main blog” soon. Fellow Virgo Tim Burton was fired by Disney Animation, who said his drawings and ideas were “too creepy,” but then they hired him back for “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and recently his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art. It takes patience, but it will pay off, Virgo.



Someone is working your last nerve. Distinguish your conflicts between the petty (your coworker left her dirty dishes in the break room sink, again!) with the profound (you’re not happy at your current workplace due to their frankly archaic maternity leave policy), and work on addressing the profound. The end of May will grant you the serenity to address it. As good as the ability to outsource the petty arguments is— you can always get the intern to make a “Don’t Leave Dirty Dishes in the Sink” sign.

At the end of April, you visited with family, and as per usual with your family, it’s a mixed bag. Some voice support for your goals, others look at you quizzically, and some roast you. It’s easy to focus on the people who praised you for the ego stroke, or made fun of you for the “you’ll be sorry” sort of revenge determination, but you need to focus somewhere in the middle, with people who like your ideas but want to talk logistics. Hammer out the details to impress people in all three camps. You’re intelligent and no stranger to doing your homework and showing your work to solve the math problem, so do it here, too.

September 23-October 22

January 20-February 18


October 23-November 21

Your temper has run hot and you’re dealing with the fallout of that. Mercury’s recent retrograde led to some miscommunications that backfired. Unfortunately, you’re going to need to rebuild some bridges you’ve burned to get to where you want to be. Don’t grovel—you don’t know how to anyway—rather, come from a place of sincerity. You’ve seen enough phony media apologies from big stars to know what not to do, so own up to your mistakes. SAGITTARIUS

November 22-December 21

You’re a free spirit, and the routine of a regular 9-5 has always felt stifling. Yes, you’re grateful for the stable income, and the health insurance is on point. But all the “Daily Grind” upbeat playlists, insightful podcasts, and even having your favorite flavor of coffee creamer at the office isn’t saving you from being out-of-your-mind bored. It’s time for a side hustle, but make sure your side hustle is something you’re passionate about so you’re not saddled with two obligations that make you want to hit snooze 20 times each morning.



February 19-March 20

A wild-child friend comes back into your life, and, to be frank, you’re tempted. They remind you of a simpler time when you weren’t tightening your purse strings or shopping around for a sensible sedan. Hang out once or twice, for old times’ sake, but this person will try to use what they call your “bleeding heart” against you to convince you they need to spend a week on your couch, or, more likely, to loan them money. Sure, they can go wherever they want, whenever they want, and their nights are a non-stop party, but the grass isn’t greener on the other side. For one, you’ve been watering yours. ARIES

March 21-April 19

You’ve received some good news—yay! But, tempting though it may be, don’t act on it yet. Dust off, or form, your five-year plan and see how the good news fits into it. If the good news fits your overall plan, full steam ahead. If not, ah, well, maybe next time. This time following your birthday is making you introspective on your goals, so take advantage of it. You’re smart, but it’s foreign to you to act on logic, not feelings, so practice that and it will pay off.

December 22-January 19

These past few months have thrown a bunch of different things at you, and you’ve been handling them with grace, but wow, you need a break. Stress at home made you snap at colleagues, and stress at work has made you snap at family members. Bust your stress in a healthy way with some good workouts—hey, you just might get that summer body you’ve wanted out of this—and then regroup with your goals. People who care about you have some good insights that will set you on the right path.

| M ay /Jun e 2 0 1 8 | H ER S Ma gazin e |


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| HERS M a gazine | May/ Jun e 2018 |

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