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EC BEAUTY SUPPLY

1237 Tyvola Road Charlotte, NC (704) 525-0749

Specializing in hair extensions, hair-care products, makeup and accessories for the everyday woman with a unique style.


HAIR

Spring 2015

Natura Hot Product Picks: Check out our favorite natural hair products of the season. Pg 14 Au Naturale: What it means to be natural- Breaking down barriers, and getting to the root of why there is so much division in the natural hair community. Pg 26 A Curly Girls Guide To Products and Textures: Finding products to help manage your tresses don’t have to be such a task! We have a simple guide to help you through the process. Pg 28

BEAUTY

Facial Rejuvenation: Have silky, soft skin for under $15 Pg 36 The Natural Look: Learn how to achieve the perfect transitional look for work and hanging out with friends. Pg 42 The Color of the Year: Find out the color, and the must-have products to add to your beauty-bag. Pg 43

FASHION

Wearable Technology: Some of the hottest fashion brands are making innovative strides toward the technological market. Find out how! Pg 45 Thrifting: Learn how to reinvent your wardrobe without putting a dent in your pockets. Pg 46 Spring Fashion Looks: Check out the hottest trends of the season Pg 48

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ENTERTAINMENT Whats On Deck?: Stay updated with the latest movie and music releases. Pg 56 Chrisette Michele: Cover Story Pg 54 Malina Moye: The Electric Soul Child Pg 58

HEALTH & FITNESS

Spring Recipes: Dive into some tasty recipes that will spice up your taste buds. Pg 64 Weight Loss On The Daily: You don’t have to go to the gym to loose weight. Pg. 66

MIND,BODY & SOUL

Soul Food: You’re Doing It Wrong- Get nourishment that you actually need. Pg 74 Loving My Blackness- A black woman’s journey to becoming comfortable with herself. Pg. 73 What is Feminism Anyway: Why is it becoming so popular? Pg 75

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hrisette Michele is more than just your typical entertainer. Beyond having a voice filled with amazing soulful elements, she is also a fashion guru, natural hair icon and motivational speaker. Describing herself as a flower child, kind rebel, Chrisette Michele has released her latest EP (extended player) titled “The Lyricists’ Opus,” which is a lifestyle soundtrack inspired by the idea of being “rich in heart and art.” Her mission is to build new nations based off of the act of giving, peace and unity. Read more on page 40.

ON Chrisette Michele the COVER 6 naturamagazineusa.com


Chief Creative Officer/ Founder: Malia Brown Publishers: Andre & Lisa Fuller Editor-in-Chief: Malia Brown Managing Editor: Emily Byrd Contributing Writers: Sydney Tillman Shanti Terry Haley Ray Chelsee Pompey Brianna Rhodes Zakyree Wallace Evette Ferguson Angela Clay Natural Hair Specialist: Lisa Fuller Creative Director: Andre Fuller Senior Graphic Design Director: Kaitlyn Kelly Assistant Graphic Design Director: Simdi Onwuteaka Multimedia Director: Brittany Mayes Public Relations Team: Lanier Gray Cain Twyman Pambu Kali Sydney Tillman Social Media Team: Manager: Unikqua Shannon Pinterest Liaison: Sofia Leiva Senior Financial Officer- Lawrence Watkins Contributing Photographers: Arnold Turner Larry Hilton Walter Price Pancho Moore Joey Rosado Andre Michaels Account Executives: Malia & Andre * For advertising information please contact Malia Brown at malia@naturamagazineusa.com

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elcome to the spring issue of Natura Magazine. Can you believe that it has already been three months since we shut the door on 2014, and dove head first into the unchartered paths of 2015? By this time, you should be getting into the swing of things, and beginning to hone in on all the changes and improvements that you have placed upon yourself in order to successfully make it through the new year. I am here to tell you that this is YOUR YEAR! In 2015, you will find yourself, and you will be better than you ever have before. You will grow in ways that are unimaginable, and you will find your inner confidence to fight for your dreams, no matter the circumstance. This year I encourage you to challenge yourself, and be open to the positive changes that are coming your way. I challenge you to not give up when times get hard, but to endure and stick it out. The poet Beau Taplin once said, “She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.� Natura is built on strength, confidence and perseverance. With this issue we embody our core traits as we continue to encourage our readers to love themselves inside and out, and be apart of redefining the ideals of beauty. Every article and image that was placed in this issue was handcrafted just for you. And, we hope you enjoy reading it, as much as we enjoyed creating it. Enjoy!

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Malia Brown


KINKY GIRLS ROCK!

A “Kinky Girl� is a naturally fierce woman who walks to the beat of her own drum. She is daring, unique and driven to redefine the ideals of beauty. In a world where most people are trying to fit in, she stands out, and she rocks her natural hair proudly.

And, be a part of our mission to make natural beautiful one curl at a time.

ORDER YOUR T-SHIRT TODAY! naturamagazineusa.com

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T HEALTHY

HAIR 10 naturamagazineusa.com

ake a chance, and try something new with your hair this season. Spring is the perfect time to step out of the box, and experiment with hairstyles that you have been eager to try. The beauty of being natural is its versatility, so be bold and don’t limit yourself!


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EC Beauty Supply

1237 Tyvola Road Charlotte, NC (704) 525-0749

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Specializing in hair extensions, hair-care products, makeup and accessories for the everyday woman with a unique style.


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PHOTOGRAPHY BY PANCHO MOORE 21 naturamagazineusa.com


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“Those of us who have donned our natural hair are all working towards the same thing; and we will all arrive, one step at a time, even if we take various roads.� PHOTOGRAPHY BY PANCHO MOORE 26 naturamagazineusa.com


Au Naturale:

What It Means to be Natural By Shanti Terry

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hat does it mean to be “natural” in the world today? Are you still considered natural if you have color or a weave? In the age of social media, the line between what’s natural and what’s not appears to be very blurry. Sadly, it’s a sensitive subject and a cause for dissension amongst those in the natural hair community. Rather than coming together to celebrate selfacceptance with a sense of mutual respect, natural’s today seem to be bent on dividing themselves from one another based on petty details about hair care. In the past, the line was more clear. Hair was either relaxed or natural—end of story. Today we have relaxers, texturizers, weaves, color and a whole host of other things to do to our hair to alter it in one way or another. Deciding to change your hair from one style to the next should be your choice, and your choice only. That being said, it’s disappointing to know that many individuals are criticized due to decisions that are theirs to make freely. Where does this need to clarify whether a person’s hair is truly “natural” or not come from? I believe it’s rooted in people’s need to form groups that they can identify with. Unfortunately, division is not something that can be overcome easily. Human nature seems to demand that individuals segregate and divide, always. Since that’s the case, I feel that the division could be lessened a bit if one truth is highlighted and explained. The term “natural” in reference to individuals is a category that, if taken literally, most people don’t fit into any way. Most women wear makeup, some wear padded bras, some have tattoos, most women shave their legs and arm pits, and most women use medication at some point in life.

All of those things are technically not “natural.” Painting your face up is altering your natural appearance, shaving hair off your body is altering yourself, everything you do to change the way you appear is a form of altering what you have “naturally.” Under this definition of “natural” few fit the term, concerning hair or any other area. Since this is true, why do women tear their sisters down in front of one another over hair? Think about it ladies, this year, whatever your thoughts are, put them in check before you go defending your definition of natural to the death. Now, make no mistake, you are entitled to your opinion, and you have a right to seek out others who are like-minded. I have my opinion too. I feel that natural, in reference to hair, means that you don’t chemically alter your curl pattern or texture. So, in my opinion, as long as there’s no relaxing, texlaxing or texturizing taking place, an individual is au naturale. There are definitely those out there who would disagree with me on the matter, and that is alright. They’re free to disagree. They are not free to meme, harass or be rude about my opinion. It’s to be respected. I, in turn, am to respect their opinions too. Mutual respect is the key to coexistence. Being natural today should mean that you have learned to accept, embrace, and work with the God given beauty you were born with. Those of us who have donned our natural hair are all working towards the same thing; and we will all arrive, one step at a time, even if we take various roads.

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Trying to find the right products to style, and accentuate your curls can be a real challenge when you are still in the process of figuring out your hair type. We have teamed up with celebrity stylist and natural hair expert, Lisa Fuller, to create your very own personal guide to matching hair products with textures.

HAIR TYPE PRODUCT TYPE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER

2B

LOOSE WAVE

LIGHT CREAMS GELS FOAMS CUSTARDS CREAMY GELS TWIST & DEFINE CREME BUTTERS 28 naturamagazineusa.com

2C

WAVY

3A 3B

CURL


4B

3A 2B 3C

EXTRA CURLY

4A

4C

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARNOLD TURNER

COILED

4B

4C

VERY COILED EXTRA COILED

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PREVENTING

DAMAGE

By Shanti Terry

H

eat Styling. It’s a dangerous area for natural girls to go wandering off into. Whether it’s a flat iron, a curling iron, a blow dryer, or any other heated tool, there’s a serious risk that comes with using heat to style your hair. If you’re not careful, you can permanently damage those beautiful curls, coils, and kinks you work so hard to maintain. In order to avoid the damaging effects of heat on your natural hair, there are really only two options: 1) Don’t use heat. 2) Use heat ONLY with a great heat protectant. There is a third option: 3) Use heat without a heat protectant….but we don’t recommend it. Let’s get back to the two options that would actually be wise to implement into your routine. Option One: Don’t Use Heat To be honest, the only way that you can ensure you never have to suffer through the pain of heat damage is to avoid heat like the plague. Let your hair air-dry instead of using a blow dryer. Try styles that don’t require heat and can be achieved as hair dries overnight. Pretty much any hairstyle out there can be achieved with or without heat, as long as you allow for drying time. Unfortunately, for many of us, time is always something that we feel we’re running out of. Sometimes that feeling is legitimate… and other times we’re just being impatient. Either way you look at it, your lack of time and patience can lead you astray if it prompts you to use heat—so calm down, and get a plan in motion. Write down some no-heat styles you want to try, and experiment with them. If you prioritize avoiding heat, you can avoid it. Be disciplined. Take those heat tools out of your house if you have to, whatever works.

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Option two: Use Heat ONLY with a Great Heat Protectant As you go on the hunt for a great heat protectant, there are some things you should keep in mind: Silicones are your friends. When you are going to do a style that will involve a lot of heat, like a blowout followed by a flat iron, you need something strong enough to handle the heat and shield your hair from high temperatures. Silicones come to the rescue in this instance and act as an invisible shield for your hair. Silicones will also help the hair from tangling up and, it will help you achieve a finished polished look. There are natural oils out there that can protect your hair too—you don’t have to go the synthetic route if you are genuinely opposed to silicones. Shea butter and grape seed oil are two all-natural heat protectants that have worked wonders for countless naturals as they heat style their hair. Try them out as you dry your hair (gently, please!) and see how they work for you. If everything goes well, move on to testing their capabilities further. Again ladies, heat styling is dangerous territory. If you can avoid entering the realm of heat, please do. If you insist, at least be sure that you use a heat protectant. You should also invest in quality tools like a flat iron that tells you exactly what temperature of heat you’re about to put on your hair. When flat-ironing your hair make sure to keep the temperature under 400 degrees, if you can help it. Take it slow and steady, and consult a professional if necessary. There is no length too great, to go to concerning your hair. Do whatever you have to in order to keep your gorgeous natural hair healthy!


http://liberatedstrands.com/mini-natural-hair-workbook/

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The Prefect Shade By: Brianna Rhodes

Want to switch up your do, with a color that fits you? Say no more! Choosing a hair color that fits you can be kind of tricky, but we’re here to help! At times we all get tired of wearing our natural hair color, and we may want to be spontaneous and try something different. You may not know it, but it’s very important to choose a color for your hair that compliments your overall appearance. When you want to switch things up for your physical appearance, you have to make sure that it compliments other aspects of your body as well.

Consider your skin tone:

Your skin tone is the first thing that you should consider. You may be surprised, but the veins in your wrist can help with your hair color decision. According to wikihow.com if your veins are blue your undertone is cool, if they are green your undertone is warm, and if it is somewhere in between your undertone is neutral. If your skin tone is extremely pale, dark colors can make you appear even more pale, and if you have a yellow hue, deep reds and dark browns are often safer.

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Consider your clothing color:

It may be hard to believe but the color of your clothing plays a big role in choosing your hair color. According to wikihow.com, if you look good in red, orange, golden, yellow, olive green, or rust, warm tones such as golden brown, golden blonde, etc. will work best. If you look good in bluish red, fuchsia, black, royal blue, or pine green, hair colors such as platinum, ash blonde, burgundy, and jet black will look great. Finally, if red purple, charcoal grey, periwinkle, or teal fits, neutral tones like sandy blonde, beige blonde, chocolate brown, and mahogany will work well.

Consider your eye color:

If you don’t consider anything, make sure you consider your eye color along with your hair color. Hair color with warm tones like red, gold, and auburn shades are best for people with brown, green, or hazel eyes. This is because these particular eye colors have a yellow base. Hair color like light gold or ash are cooler-toned colors and are best suited for people with blue or grey tones. These eye colors have a blue based compared to having a yellow or brown base.


Now on to hair colors‌. A

ll in all, coloring your hair is a very fun and daring process but these tips are very important to consider. With any hair coloring, make sure that your hair is in good condition, and also make sure that you maintain a good hair care regimen.

BLACK

BROWN

It will be best to consider brown’s if you want a low-maintenance color. It is not hard to upkeep, and it is an easy color to apply yourself at home. Brown’s reflect well in light, and can minimize the appearance of damaged hair.

BLONDE

Dark brown or olive skin tones work best with black hair color. But, this is the hardest color to lift. If you do get this color, it can be very difficult to go back to a lighter hair color due to the fact that the black dye stains the hair shaft, making it very difficult to achieve a lighter hair color.

When trying to go blonde, skin tones are very important to consider. Warmer skin tones suite golden blondes and cool skin tones suit cool ash tones best. Also, blonde will be great if you can afford regular maintenance. Blonde is an expensive color to maintain. Regular root touch-ups and toning products are needed.

RED SILVER OR WHITE Both are bold and daring colors. It will work best if you have very pale skin with cool undertones, or dark cool-toned skin. Also you have to prepare to deal with a lot of maintenance even more than blonde hair. Your hair also has to be in very good condition.

Red usually suits any one. But, a darker cold red or purple-red works well with pink skin. Golden and olive skin tones look best with a dark natural auburn or dark red color. Basically, whatever skin tone you have will fit any color of red. But, most importantly your hair has to be in good condition. If your hair is dry or damaged, it will have a hard time holding on to red color molecules, and the color will fade quickly.

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EnhanceHAIR GROWTH N

by: Chelsee

aturals are always finding new ways to promote hair growth. Here are some tried-and-true trending methods to increase in hair length, thickness, and health:

Drinking water has a ton of benefits; hair growth and healthy skin are among them. Water is an essential part of your daily diet for a variety of reasons. It hydrates your hair strands and scalp, preventing it from becoming dry, and brittle. In addition to drinking water, a healthy diet can have a great impact on your hair, skin, and body. Salmon, blueberries, eggs, and other foods high in Omega-3’s are great food sources to promote healthy hair. Vitamins can be used to increase hair growth because they contain the additional supplements that we don’t get in our regular day-to-day diets. It’s almost impossible to go on social media without seeing a post of Hairfinity (www.hairfinity.com) vitamins being praised by one of your friends. Hairfinity contains biotin, which helps protect your hair follicle from being dry and brittle, preventing growth. Braiding and other protective styles are also good hair growth solutions. Having your hair braided gives you and your hair a break from everyday styling, which is sometimes all your hair needs to recover, and grow out. This is the perfect way to refrain from applying too much heat to your hair. Just remember to be careful when installing, styling and removing you braids because braiding too tight can cause hair loss. Lastly, moisturizing and/or conditioning yout hair is a must! Leave-in conditioners and light natural oils, like Coconut oil is great for moisturizing your hair. Deep conditioning treatments and steam hydration treatments are highly recommended. Be sure not to apply too much product to your hair, causing product build-up, as this can cause extreme dryness and possible hair damage.

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These are all inexpensive and harmless methods for enhancing hair growth. Just be patient and love your hair, and in return you’ll achieve healthy hair that loves you back! Check out this popular website (www.maxhydationmethod.com) called The Max Hydration Method, for at home hydration tips. (Used on Type 4) .


A

BEAUTY

s women of color, we are unique because of our distinct physical features. This season, take the pledge to accept all of them, and embrace your natural beauty.

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PHOTO BY: JOEY ROSADO

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PHOTO BY: JOEY ROSADO

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PHOTO BY: JOEY ROSADO

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PHOTO BY: JOEY ROSADO

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ake-up doesn’t have to always be a dramatic accessory. If you want to spruce up your look beyond your staple eyeliner and mascara, you should try this beautiful “Natural Look,” done by make-up artist YarisBeth Donaldson. This is the perfect transitional look for work and going out with friends. Find out how she achieved this look below.

1. Embryolisse Moisturizer mixed with Nars ‘Orgasm’ illuminator 2.M.A.C face and body foundation 3.La Girl concealer to highlight  4. Anastasia Beverly Hills “Chocolate” to contour from the cream concealer palette in medium  5. Set under eye concealer with Ben Nye “Banana” powder 6. Set contour with Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in “Havana” 7. Set entire face with M.A.C “Studio Fix” powder  8. Highlight with Becca “Champagne Gold” highlighter and Dose of Colors “Sunkissed”  9. Lashes are Esqido “Miss dolly” lash 10. Bobbi Brown “Smokey Eye” mascara  11. M.A.C ‘Nylon’ to highlight inner corner of the eye 12. Lips are M.A.C “Cork” liner and Anastasia Beverly Hills “Pure Hollywood” liquid lips  Instagram: @yariszbeth Photographer: Kathydia Pryce

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Natural THE

LOOK


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FASHION 44 naturamagazineusa.com

The spring is all about reinventing yourself, but still staying true to who you are. As CoCo Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same,� use this season to express your style in a new and bold way.


Is Wearable Technology Trendy? The intersection of fashion and technology in 2015

I

Rebecca Minkoff for Case-Mate

In her spring NY fashion show, Rebecca Minkoff debuted a line of smart bracelets that either alert the wearer of calls and texts or have charging capabilities. “We wanted to go after wearables in a different way,” CEO Uri Minkoff said to NYMAG. “Health is covered [in the wearable space] but at the end of the day, our customer comes to us for fashion — and as we look at this fashionfunction mix, it’s really where she’s living.”

by: Sydney Tillman

n the past, wearable technology DVF for Google Glass During 2014 New York Fashion Week, Diane Von Furstenberg’s show was used as a platform has generally been associated with to promote Google Glass. Since the show, DVF has worked to make the wearable pieces appeal health and fitness—not fashion. not only to techies, but also to early fashion adopters who otherwise would have waited to buy Today, it is a market that has fashion the tech products. By collaborating with DVF, Google found a way to make their wearable not only functional, but also fashion-forward. designers clamoring to collaborate with tech companies. The problem in the past with wearable’s was the struggle to cross the chasm and find success in the mainstream market. Lucky Editorin-Chief Eva Chen suggested that the key to success for these products is “to balance elegant form with functionality that you just can’t live without.” As technology has become an essential part of our everyday lives, the challenge was to make it trendy and the solution was to get Tory Burch for Fitbit Fashion-plus-functionality is not only being seen in the tech market, but also in athletic wear, designers on board.

The Future of the Wearable Market In 2014, wearable’s were big on the runways. The uncertainty but excitement surrounding the Apple Watch, set to release this year, created a buzz. Branding wearable’s as fashion items will help to expand the market. It is predicted that this trend will influence the consumer market and hit mainstream in 2015. The future of the market looks hopeful, as long as a focus on fashion and functionality is continued.

with companies like Urban Outfitters creating successful fitness brands. Tory Burch has taken advantage of this by teaming with Fitbit to create her line of trendy wearable tech accessories, like her gold Fitbit bangles that are flying off the web’s virtual shelves.

Ralph Lauren for OMsignal

OMsignal is a biometric smartwear company that Ralph Lauren partnered with to produce the Polo Smart Shirt. The shirt, which tracks biometrics and helps the wearer make form and breathing adjustments, was debuted at the US Open, marking the first time a global sporting event was used to unveil and test a wearable product.

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OLD TO NEW:

by: Sydney Tillman

How Thrifting Can Reinvent Your Wardrobe

T

hrifting is the perfect way to create a personal style without breaking the bank. In order to maximize your spending, thrifting takes skill, a keen eye, and patience. The basics: Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Value Village (for East Coasters) or Savers (for West Coasters) are great places to start thrifting. These stores are easy to find and have super low prices. Parent Teacher Association (PTA) stores are also great places to find affordable thrifted items. Once you’ve tried out the basic stores, shop around at local vintage shops. For those overwhelmed by the endless, unorganized racks at your local thrift shop, keep calm and keep these thrifting tips in mind.

1

If you can’t sew or alter clothes, don’t buy things that require you to do so. Sometimes you’ll find clothing that you’ll envision looking a different way. However, if you’re not capable of making the alterations yourself, they will most likely never get done.

2

Always buy your accessories, t-shirts and jean jackets at thrift shops. Stores tend to overprice these things and they are typically of poorer quality.

3

Don’t hesitate on buying designer things you like. When you come across designer accessories or clothing while thrifting, the fashion gods are on your side. Thrift shops are the perfect place to buy vintage designer wear, but it doesn’t last long. So, if you like it, purchase it sooner rather than later or you’ll definitely regret not having it.

4

Have a goal. Thrift shops are notorious for having loads of zany things. Don’t fall into the trap of buying things that you won’t ever actually wear. Shop with intent and don’t let the low prices blind you.

As thrifting is growing in popularity, it is reinventing fashion. It’s an affordable way to shop economically, and a great way to transform a dull wardrobe into a unique collection. Now go and thrift to your heart’s content! 46 naturamagazineusa.com


NATURA STREET STYLE Tasha McCaskiel Check out her blog: tashjmackk@blogspot.com Check out her Instagram: @tashjmackk

Erika Butler

Check out her blog: www.thefashionesta.com Check out her Instagram: @theFashion_esta

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Spring Fashion Looks:

Jonathan Simkhai: Cropped Cut-out Ribbed Kit Top-$345 Zara Zipped Cargo Trousers-$80 Zara Long Waistcoat - $129 Tory Burch Colorblocked Espadrilles- about $135 Alloba Bracelet- $120

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Yumi Lace Skater DressKarl Lagerfeld: School Le Steve Madden Bangles- $ InterMix: Rag&Bone/Jean Jacket- $275


W

$97 eather Tote- $480 $30 n Unfinished Edge BF Crop

e are a little obsessed with green this spring! These are some of our favorite casual looks of the season.

Elle Sasson Blenny Silk Top- $280 LuLuc Suede Leopard Flat Shoes- $24 Versus Gold Lion Stud Earrings- $96 Marissa Web Gabby Long Anorak-$895 Zara Medium Washed Ripped Boyfriend Jeans- $60

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Spring Sandals:

T

his season make sure you are stepping out in style with these very cute sandals that will definitely turn heads!

DKNY: Vera Leather Platform Sandal $150.00

Jeffrey Campbell: Olympus Suede Gladiators-$265.00

ALDO: MIRANI$70.00 Steve Madden: LIVVIE - $99.95

Steve Madden: MARVEL- $79.95

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Top Shop Humidity Sandals- $45.00

Top Shop Lilth Suede Chunky Sandals- $135.00

ALDO Sigode Leather Gold Double Strap Flat Sandals- $65.00


S

pring Handbags: Switch it up with a hot new Tote bag this season that has just the right amount of color and a lot of flare!

Spring Handbags: ALDO: Denman-$60.00

H&M: Draw String Shoulder Bag- $29.95 ALDO: Hatchet- $40.00

Target: Women’s Striped Mesh Tote Handbag- $9.99 Target: Women’s Color Block Tote Bag- $39.99

H&M: Patterned Canvas Bag$39.95

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The ladies are making their mark on the entertainment industry. Chrisette Michele, Malina Moye, Jessica Williams and Necole Bitchie are serving girl power, and quality entertainment.

ENTERTAINMENT 52 naturamagazineusa.com


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ChrisetteM

M

ost of you are familiar with Chrisette Michele because of her insanely soulful melodic voice, crazy fashion sense and unique hairstyle’s that would make any natural have immediate hair envy.

We all fell in love with her back in 2007 with her debut album “I Am Chrisette Michele,” and also her notable collaborations with the likes of Jay Z, Nas, The Roots and Wale, just to name a few. Chrisette’s music has been number 1 on the Billboard release, and she is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her song “Be Ok” featuring will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. After leaving Motown Records, Chrisette re-introduced herself to her fans and the world, as a flower child, kind rebel that promotes giving, peace and unity. She started her 54 naturamagazineusa.com

“What I learned over th black girl who is more th at a record label. Instea universal color with my


Michele

he years is how to be a han just an urban dollar ad I’m learning to paint a music.” Chrisette Michele

own record label called Rich Hipster, where she will paint a “universal color with her music.” Her first EP (extended player) released by Rich Hipster is titled “The Lyricists’ Opus,” a lifestyle soundtrack that uplifts communities, and focuses on being “rich in heart and art.” The leading single on the soundtrack is “Together,” written by Chrisette Michele and produced by Justin Lyons. The release of “The Lyricists’ Opus” is a follow up to Chrisette’s 2013 Grammy nominated album “Better.” Chrisette Michele is a Natura Woman because she is unique, daring, and driven to not only redefine the ideals of beauty, but also to make her own distinct mark on the world through her music. You can catch Chrisette on Wednesday’s starring on season 3 of TV One’s “R&B Divas,” “The Opus Tour” and you can reach out to her on her new website richhipster.biz .

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Whats on Deck? Music R&B

Maxwell: Black Summers Night (June 1, 2015) Trey Songz: Trigga Reloaded (April 13, 2015) Ciara: Jackie (May 4,2015)

Hip-Hop

http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/20300000/trey-trey-songz-20314051-1024-1024.jpg

Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly(March 23,2015) Ludacris: Ludaversal (March 31,2015) The Dream: Crown (March 31,2015) Wale: The Album About Nothing (March 31,2015) Snoop Dog: Bush (March 31,2015) Rico Love: Turn The Lights On (May 19, 2015) Waka Flocka: Flockaveli 2 (June 1,2015) http://www.prlog.org/11412906-waka-flocka.jpg

Movies

Furious 7: April 3 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 April 17 The Avengers: Age of Ultron May 1 Pitch Perfect 2: May 15 Insidious: Chapter 3 June 5 Ted 2: June 26 Terminator:Genisys- July 1 Straight Out of Compton: Aug 14

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Women We Love:

Jessica Williams Emily Byrd

“I have a weave! I have a weave that we be judged not by what grows out of our head, but by the contents within it!”

What’s not to love about Jessica Williams? She’s bold, talented, absolutely hilarious, and equally gorgeous. Here are some of our favorite moments from the 23-year-old comedian’s already impressive career:

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Her TV debut as a Queens-born soccer-player in TEENick’s Just for Kicks. -Even in 2006, Jessica was dropping wisdom. Challenging beauty norms as the “too-tall” Vida Atwood, Jessica made us realize that the sportychick is just as hot and feminine as the girly-girl.

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When she became the youngest Daily Show correspondent ever! And, did I mention that she was also the first black woman in that role? -In her work on the Daily Show, Jessica has produced powerful work on race, social ills, and what it’s like to be a woman living in the world today.

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When she schooled everyone on why catcalling is not so harmless: -Catcalling is not “nice,” it is not a “compliment.” What it is, is threatening, and it forces a woman to submit to the male gaze or else be seen as rude and ungrateful. “When we’re walking to work, we’re not looking for applause….And believe it or not, getting a horny clap of approval from any guy does not improve my day, it actually creeps me out. So guys, get some impulse control because I’ve actually got some sh#$ to do.” Yes, Jessica, you can get an amen!

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When she pointed out the blatant racism of the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policies: -What does it mean to “look suspicious?” Jessica thinks that it may be time we stop assuming that black youth are likely to be criminals, and start going after people that actually are. “Right now, I’m standing in one of New York’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods. I’m on Wall Street: the white Bronx; business-Harlem. And frankly, I don’t feel safe here. And I would like to see the police start doing their freaking jobs and start stopping people down here. Just people you suspect of being white collar criminals.” Jessica, you are the master of using satire to reveal the hypocrisy and racism that’s still woven into our society.

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When she stood up for naturalista’s everywhere with a segment on black hair and military policies, which limit options for black women’s hairstyles. I mean, they really limit options. The new rules outlawed basically all natural hairstyles, and approved only styles that take a ton of money, chemicals, or time. Jessica takes a white, male, military commander and makes him sit and watch a soldier get her braids done—for four hours. “I have a weave! I have a weave that we be judged not by what grows out of our head, but by the contents within it!” she concludes. Jessica, you are a boss. Keep speaking the truth and standing up for real hair, real beauty, and real women. We love you. 57 naturamagazineusa.com


“I would describe my sound as a throwback but still contemporary. I like to utilize some of the elements of rock, some of the elements of funk, and obviously the elements of soul. All of that combined is a gumbo of Malina Moye.�

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Photo by Dean Forman


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alina Moye is a superstar on the rise. She is a singer-songwriter, lefty-guitarist and co- founder of her own label, WCE records. Malina was also recognized by Guitar World Magazine, as the top female guitarist in the world. In an industry that is dominated by men, Malina exudes confidence and gives all of them a run for their money. “I think that it is important that you actually do the work, and work on your craft. Regardless of you being a woman, you are going to shine through.” A Minnesota native, Malina gained her musical roots from her mother who is a singer, and her father who is a Bass guitar player. You wouldn’t believe that a woman who can play just as well as some of the great’s, and rock out in front of thousands of people, actually didn’t like the guitar when she first began to play in her early adolescent years. It wasn’t until she was 9 years old that she was able to find her grove by flipping the guitar upside down, and playing with her left-hand— very reminiscent of the late, great, Jimi Hendrix. From there it was history. In just a short amount of time, Malina has made her mark on the music industry. She made history as the first AfricanAmerican woman to play the National Anthem on guitar at a professional sporting event. She performed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute concert for Chuck Berry, and more recently she performed “God Save The Queen,” for the Queen of England, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the Queen’s sixtyyear jubilee. Photo by Josh Schultz 59 naturamagazineusa.com


As an African-American female entertainer, most would expect Malina

to be a rapper, an R&B singer, or a pop star. But, she defies the norm with her funk-rock sound that provides an avenue for her to create her own lane, and make history.

“People get confused, like whoa! You actually play the guitar, but you look like a Beyoncé, but you play like a freaking Jimi Hendrix, you rock like Tina Turner, and you have the moves like Prince..” Entertainers like Malina Moye are rare to come by. Her ability to smoothly transition between rock, soul and funk, grants her the praise from fans of all different colors and nationalities. With all of her success and notoriety Malina still remains very down-to-earth, and passionate about perfecting her craft. “Call me crazy, but I’m just a young girl that wants to make her dreams come true. I want to get out there and make this happen.” What many don’t know about Malina Moye, is that she is one of the realest people that you will ever meet, and she came from humble beginnings. “I came to Los Angeles with $20, and I was homeless. I could never forget looking on the floor and saving pennies so that I could buy a hamburger, and I cannot forget not being able to take a shower for a week. I can’t forget any of those things.”

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Photo by Josh Schultz


Malina’s success story is a true testament of having faith, courage, and the determination to fight for your dreams even when the road gets tough. She stands for true “Girl Power,” and she shows young girls all over the world that it is ok to be different. When asked what is her best advice for young girls who have aspirations such as hers, she says: “You can do anything that you set your mind to. Keep doing it. Keep believing it, and keep dreaming. And, no matter what don’t stop. Malina will be kicking off her U.S. tour starting in June, promoting her hot new record “Rock & Roll Baby” featuring her very popular single “Kyotic” which debuted at the top of the Billboard Twitter 140 chart at number 5, and on Billboard’s Hot Single chart at 11. Also, be on the look out for her new single “Are You The One,” which will hit urban radio stations in May.

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THE QUEEN

of gossip By: Brianna Rhodes

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ecole Bitchie is one of today’s most famous blogger/entrepreneurs. She is one of the very few media socialites who has had much success in the industry, by taking the initiative to build her path to stardom on her own. Formally known as Necole Kane, Necole Bitchie has created an empire, which includes Urban Entertainment blog, NecoleBitchie.com, a webchannel BitchieTV and a forthcoming apparel line, BC Society. Necole is an innovator and a move-maker, and she does things her own way. She started reporting on the world of celebrity entertainment, new music, and her own experiences in 2008. From there, she made history and has become one of the nation’s most popular urban bloggers. Within a year, her website NecoleBitchie.com became one of the leading and fastest growing urban gossip sites on the internet—attracting readers, advertisers and receiving a lot of attention from outlets such as The Huffington Post, CNN and BET, just to name a few. But, before she gained her claim to fame, Necole didn’t have what you would call a “picture-perfect” life. After experiencing the death of her parents, being unemployed, and being on her own, Necole found the strength to

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prevail, and still make her dreams come true. Her willingness to fight and never give up on her passion is a true representation of a woman with ambition, courage and determination. This is only the beginning for Necole Bitchie, but one thing readers should take away from this strong woman is that she exemplifies what it means to be a go-getter. Despite her shortcomings, she turned her dreams into a reality, and that is something that we should all aspire to do. So, whenever you’re contemplating whether you should take that next step to follow your dreams, put a little BITCHIE in it and it will be sure to take you far!


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Exercising and eating right are essential components to a healthy lifestyle. But, not all of us have the time or energy to be consistent in maintaining it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to exercise on the go? Turn the pages.

HEALTH & FITNESS

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Chili-Roasted Cod

Author: Alison Ball Serves: 4 Ingredients vegetable cooking spray 1½ pounds fresh cod fillets (about ¾-inch thick) ½ teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter ½ teaspoon ground cumin juice of 2 limes Instructions Directions 1.Heat oven to 450° F. Lightly coat a roasting pan with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange the cod fillets skin-side down. 2.Sprinkle the cod with the chili powder, oregano, and salt. Roast 5 to 7 minutes or until the cod is just opaque and flakes when tested with a fork. 3.Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over mediumlow heat. 4.Cook, swirling constantly, just until the butter begins to brown. Add the cumin and lime juice and continue to cook, swirling, 1 minute longer. 5.Remove the cod from the oven. Drizzle the cumin-lime butter over the top.

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The spring is all about exploring and trying new things. Heat up the kitchen this season with these 2 delicious recipes that will definitely satisfy your taste-buds. Check out our girl Alison over at aliinthevalley.com, for more tasty recipes.


Spaghetti Squash with Asparagus

Author: Alison Ball Ingredients 1 small spaghetti squash (about 1½ pounds) Olive oil 1 pound of asparagus 1 lemon ž cup goat or ricotta 1 clove garlic, unpeeled Olive oil 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves from 4-5 sprigs Salt and pepper 3 tablespoons sliced almonds or pine nuts, toasted Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2.Carefully cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and brush with olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking tray and place in the oven to roast for about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends and slicing the stalks on a diagonal into 2-inch pieces. 3. Using a microplane or zester, remove 1 teaspoon of lemon zest from the lemon, and then cut the lemon in half and juice it. Pick the leaves and soft, thin stems from the thyme until you have about 1 teaspoon. 4.Combine the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, thyme leaves, and ricotta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and several grinds of the pepper mill. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed. Set aside. After the squash has roasted for about 35-40 minutes, add the asparagus to the tray and tuck the glove of garlic beneath one of the squash halves. Return the tray to the oven and roast another 10 minutes, so until the asparagus is bright green and starting to char in places and when the squash is easily pierced with a fork. 5.Take the baking tray from oven and carefully remove the garlic clove from beneath the squash. It should be a little soft from its time in the oven. Snip off one end and squeeze the garlic from the peel into the ricotta and mix well. Transfer the asparagus to the bowl with the ricotta. 6.Let the squash cool for another 5 minutes. Pull a fork through the flesh to separate and remove the strands from the shell. Add to bowl with ricotta mixture. Mix squash, asparagus, and ricotta mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon into a serving dish. 7. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

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Build Your Own

HIIT

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ho doesn’t want a workout that takes less time, requires no equipment and produces fast results? Lately, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become the go-to workout routine because it meets these popular needs. HIIT alternates between low intensity intervals and high intensity intervals. This gets your heart rate pumping, which results in more fat being burned. When doing HIIT you’re relying on your own body weight, which makes it a good form of strength resistance training that will help you in other areas of fitness. After completing a HIIT workout, your body will also metabolize food faster throughout the day, and continue to burn fat. Sounds like a win-win! Generally, these workouts are done within a short time period: anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. So, excuses like you “just can’t fit a workout in to such a busy schedule” won’t keep you from toning up anymore. There’s a wide variety or HIIT exercises and routines to choose from- you can even get creative and craft your own. The basic premise of HIIT is doing intense moves for seconds or minutes, switching to a more moderate exercise, taking a short 30-second break, then going through the cycle again.

By: Haley Ray

To Build Your Own HIIT:

Pick one of these intense moves to do for one minute: burpees, jumping squats or allen wells Pick one of these low-moderate level moves to do for 45 seconds: donkey kicks, the superman or a side plank (20 seconds each side) Rest for 30 seconds. Pick another high-interval exercise to do for one minute: reach through’s, skaters, or jump roping. You don’t need an actual jump rope to do the jump roping exercise; just jump up and down and swing your arms as if you’re holding a rope). Choose one move from this list to do for 45 seconds: push-ups, mountain climbers or butt kickers. Pick one low to moderate interval exercise to do for 45 seconds: reverse lunges, bicycle crunches or split jumps. Rest for 30 seconds. Then go through the routine you created three more times. There are so many different ways to pair up these moves that it won’t be redundant or boring, like that elliptical. You’re only exercising for about 15 minutes – so, the moves may get challenging, but make the most of them!

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By: Haley Ray

could be changing the availability and affordability of rehab.

W

hen Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, people seemed strictly for it, or blatantly against it. Even those who didn’t read the bill, or research what it contained, held a strong opinion about it. But some of the health reforms within the ACA seemed to be overlooked. The bill put into place reforms that could allow more citizens greater access to drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. In 2014, health insurance provided by Medicaid or sold on Health Insurance Exchanges had to start covering substance abuse services. This is because Obamacare considers substance abuse disorders as one of the 10 essential health benefits. This reform provides promising action to battle the growing prescription drug abuse problem in the U.S. There are 23.5 million people in the U.S. who need treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also found that less than 12 percent of the 23.5 million people were receiving treatment. The rising price of treatment could be the cause of such a low percentage. While the average cost of addiction rehab was a little over $1,000 ten years ago, the price now averages at least $10,000. Better-known facilities charge even more. Passages in Malibu, California charges $45,000 for treatment. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, located in 16 cities around the U.S., provides outpatient treatment for $10,000, and residential treatment ranging from $20,000 to $32,000. For many, the price of rehab services is too high so they never seek treatment. When over 300 people die every day because they never received treatment, according to an article in “Time,” Obamacare’s reforms are a much-needed change.

“It will have more far-reaching positive consequences for substance abuse treatment than anything in my lifetime, including the discovery of methadone,” said A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute, at an annual meeting of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine. “There will be more prevention, early intervention, and treatment options. The result will be better, and less expensive outcomes,” he said. There are still obstacles remaining for those who get substance abuse treatment covered by the ACA. The bill doesn’t specify the length of treatment, so there are issues with insurance companies about how long patients can receive treatment. Generally, rehabilitation facilities offer programs ranging from 30 to 90 days. Depending on the individual, a 30-day program could be far too short to recover and develop habits to prevent relapse. A 19-year-old woman, Jessica Schabel, was receiving substance abuse treatment through coverage of her parents’ insurance plan. Her insurance ran out after 30 days and the treatment could not be extended, according to a Kaiser Health News article. Schabel began using heroin and methamphetamine when she was 15, so a longer stay at the facility was necessary to her recovery. The facility ended up paying for Schabel to stay for another 30 days. Despite the challenges facing the ACA’s health reforms, the change is still making drastic improvements in addiction treatment, and people remain hopeful about the change. “Until now, there have been about 13,000 treatment providers for substance use disorders, and less than half of those are doctors. Now, 550,000 primary care doctors, in addition to nurses who can prescribe medications, will be caring for these patients,” said McLellan. CQs ACA: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/healthcare 23.5 million people need treatment: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics Hazelden Cost: http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/top5questions.page Time Article: http://ideas.time.com/2013/11/13/one-thing-obamacare-cant-fix-bad-addiction-treatment/ A. Thomas McLellan: http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/affordable-care-act-to-provide-substance-abuse-treatmentto-millions-of-new-patients/ Jessica Schabel: http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/substance-abuse-treatment-access-health-law/

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As you encounter information and opportunities for betterment, it’s important not to confuse self-wellness with self-improvement. Finding balance, security, and confidence in yourself is not always as simple as following 5 steps. Wellness is a process not a destination. Read on to view how to aid your personal process.

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You have the power to set your own schedule, to plot your own course in life. All it takes is a series of “Yes” and “No” answers. Let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no. That’s it. That’s all. Sometimes, as a woman, we feel like we need to spread ourselves so thin in order to please those around us. It’s not necessary to do that in order to have a full life. So, STOP IT. Here’s how: Remind yourself everyday when you wake up that the most valuable thing you have to spend in this life is your time. You have a certain amount of it, and you’ve got to make it count. Making it count doesn’t mean maximizing every second. It simply means feeling like you made a conscious decision about how to spend your time. Spending time with your girlfriends is making it count, just the same as putting in overtime to really make that presentation “pop.” Choose, but choose wisely. How do you do that? On to step two! Think before you speak. When someone asks for your time, take a moment to think things through before responding. Is the request something you are capable of doing? Is there anything you’ve already agreed to do that will cause a conflict? Can you do the request while maintaining a cheerful spirit? Answer these questions before you give your answer. Telling someone that you’ll have to check your schedule is OK. Just be sure that you do check it, and if it happens to be something Written by Shanti Terry Photo By : Larry Hilton that will put an unpleasant or stressful strain on you, say “NO.” YOUR’E ALLOWED TO SAY NO! Give hether you’re a Christian or not, there are many your answer in a timely manner (perhaps by the end of principles, proverbs, and life lessons in the Bible the day or within 24 hours) and stick to it. Don’t beat that can apply to your life. Take for example yourself up because you can’t do everything—no one Matthew 5:36-37: can! Those who claim otherwise are likely liars, and very unhappy. “And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even Analyze your time and the obligations or chosen one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or activities you fill it with. ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Take a week and write out what you do from day to day. Anything you can cut? Anything you can add in? A It may sound a bit extreme for those unfamiliar with the little weeklong journal will do wonders for you when it serious tone of voice Jesus spoke in, but extreme or not, it’s a comes to figuring out whether or not you feel like your true and valuable principle to learn. time is going towards what you want to get out of life. This third step might sound geeky, but don’t knock it Think about your day-to-day as a woman. How often do until you try it. You’d be surprised. I guarantee it. you think you wind up agreeing to things you really didn’t want to do because you felt powerless or awkward saying This year, we here at Natura Magazine want to see all no? Or perhaps you said “maybe” because you felt a bit of our readers living full, well-proportioned lives. We indecisive, (and you wound up getting roped into it anyway want to see you grow, and learn how to spend your time because you never gave a clear answer)? What about all the wisely. We want to see you take your time into your times you’ve sworn to kingdom come that you will or won’t own hands. We want to see you give firm “Yes” and do this or that, and you wound up doing the very opposite “No” answers that will lead you to a more fulfilled and of what you said? Wouldn’t it be nice if this year, right now, happy life. What are you waiting for? Get started today in 2015, you started giving straight answers instead of all and pencil in sharing your results with us soon! that? Can I get a “Yes?!” Can I get an “Amen?!”

LET YOUR “YES” BE YES AND YOUR “NO” BE NO W

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The imperfections of me is what I see when I look into the mirror. Look at my eyes, one is more slanted to the left side, or too wide, as I look close the color is not quite right and my eyesight is not 20/20. Lord why didn’t I get clear vision? Now I’m on a mission to By Evette The Poet pick out all my imperfections. Look at this hair, it’s beyond repair as I stare, wait! There’s a grey hair over there, it’s too short or too long, too thin or too strong, I know it’s my hair but to me it’s all wrong. I look down at my nose, so big, so bold, or too thin, man I just can’t win. The imperfections of me is what I see when I look in the mirror. And why do I have ears of an elf and a cleft in my chin, or the freckles on my face or the butt I can’t erase or embrace? I turn to face front and see the stomach I don’t want, my legs are too big, or too thin, or too short, or too lean I don’t want to be mean but it’s what I see as the imperfections of me. And let’s not talk about my feet and my hands, I can’t stand seeing what I see as imperfections of me. So I turn away because I can’t take what I don’t embrace. Wait a minute! This is me, as a light goes on, the vision I saw in the mirror was all wrong. God made me as his masterpiece, unique in His image, now the imperfections I see is really beautiful to me. I stood up tall and turned to the mirror and the vision of me is so much clearer. I look at myself from head to toe and realize my eyes are the windows to my soul. Now I’m on a mission, to point out all of my beautiful imperfections. My hair, as I stare is my crown and glory, it makes me unique and it doesn’t bore me, it’s a part of me, just like my nose, my ears, my chin, my face, even my butt I can’t erase but embrace the beautiful things about me. My stomach, my legs, my hands and my feet, these are all unique parts of me, what makes up the fabric of me. You see, my vision is much clearer now, as I see what God sees, the imperfections of me, His masterpiece, is pure beauty. Embrace your beautiful self. Three snaps up! If you’re a poet or spoken word artist and would like to be highlighted in Poetry Corner, please email: EvetteThePoet@gmail.com.

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Poetry Corner

Welcome to Poetry Corner, a new segment of Natura Magazine which highlights poets and spoken word artists and their original works of art. To start this segment off, I wanted to share one of my original pieces called “The Imperfections of Me”. We are always finding something wrong when we look into the mirror. This piece talks about embracing the flaws you may see as imperfect, and celebrating the uniqueness in you that our most high has made special. Enjoy!


by: Zakyree Wallace

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

What does it mean to be beautiful? I wouldn’t know. All I know is I love playing outside with my friends until the sun sets, picking out my own clothes for school is the definition of freedom, and my mom walking me to the bus stop is embarrassing. My mom tells me I’m her “beautiful angel” all the time, but I’m not sure why she says it so much. I don’t know why that’s something important to know yet.

HIGH SCHOOL

Things are confusing now. I want to be considered beautiful so badly, but it feels like nothing I do is ever enough. I keep my hair straight, my weight down, but I’m still missing something. I want to feel like I am enough. I’m growing more aware of how unequal hierarchies and systems of value exist based off of race, but I don’t know how to reconcile this knowledge with my daily experience of being a black girl. I’m growing to like my hips, my lips, and the color in my skin, but I can’t help but remind myself that other features would be preferred more. A lot of popular black girls have gone natural by now: they look radiant and really own the look. I feel like they’re making a bold statement. I want to be bold. PHOTO BY: JOEY ROSADO

MIDDLE SCHOOL

“I’m ugly,” I declare to my parents. What I was thinking was “My lips are too big, I have an awkward pear shape that doesn’t look right in anything, and my hair does not grow as straight and long (read: pretty) as the other girls.” When they asked me, “Who told you this? Who said you were ugly?,” I replied “no one,” and it was the truth. My insecurity was something I had learned— something I’d observed when the cool, pretty girls on all my favorite shows and movies were skinny with thin, same-colored lips and had long, straight hair: all traits of whiteness. Embarrassed to occupy a body that so obviously didn’t live up to the standard, I tried to ignore what I was and transform myself into someone I was told to want to be.

COLLEGE

I’ve been reading a lot of feminist and race theory, and I’m realizing what I’ve been missing this whole time isn’t what I needed. I live in a society that values whiteness as the standard and places men in positions of power. This reality has caused me to believe that my color is something to be ashamed of—something I shouldn’t want. It has forced me to feel like I need to be beautiful (for men), and regulated my behavior to an overwhelming extent. With this in mind, I’m emerging into a black woman who finds only strength and pride in her blackness. I know now that beauty-standards are targeted and created to inspire self-hate. I am teaching myself different meanings of blackness now and discovering the beauty of how it feels to be aligned with one’s self.

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bY: Zakyree Wallace

F

eminism once again became a popular buzzword in 2014. Mainstream media boasted seemingly never ending lists of “feminist icons,” and more celebrities proclaimed themselves to be feminist. A common belief arose about the term feminism: that it is primarily about equality of the sexes, body positivity, and sexual liberation. Another misconception was the idea that feminism is simply an identity. While the overwhelmingly positive reception of feminism in the mainstream media was beneficial, the call to be a trendy feminist had the effect of depoliticizing the movement. Media rarely gave lip service to the history, diversity, and gains that the ongoing feminist movement has made for women. Instead, to be a feminist meant “keeping up with the times” rather than reflecting on a background that’s deeply rooted in grassroots activism, coalition forming, and other political actions. Naturalista’s call for a different perception of feminism. One that acknowledges: Feminism was never meant to be just an identity. It is a method for political action and a lens used to understand the ongoing, historical oppression of women.

What is Feminism Anyway? from us.

“the call to be a trendy feminist had the effect of depoliticizing the movement.”

Intersectional feminism is a necessary foundation of any feminist movement. Intersectionality refers to how different identities (race, class, sexual orientation, etc.) reinforce and intersect each other under systems of oppression. Without intersectionality, “feminism” is neither inclusive nor effective. As Fannie Lou Hamer once said, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” As we advance into the year of 2015, let’s make our feminism more inclusive and prioritize the voices of trans, queer, disabled, poor, intersexed, and women of color. Let’s talk more about feminism as vehicle for all women to rediscover our power and the ways it has been kept

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Natura Magazine Spring 2015  

Welcome to Natura Magazine where natural is beautiful 365 days of the year. Natura is your one-stop destination for all of your natural hair...

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