SHOWCASE Magazine the "PROGRESSIVE" Black Woman 5th Edition

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TheophaniStyle Beauty Thru The Eyes Of The Beholder





S. Michelle Betts Shameka Humphries Justina Linthicum-Daley Terri Marie Nelson Errin Hendricks Chanelle Rene Jazmin Sharelle

Inside Edition Khemisty Catering 6 Erinn Hendricks

Her Healthy Way 10 Shameka Humphries 11 Justina Linthicum-Daley

Affordable Taxes 30 S. Michelle Betts

14 COVER FEATURE Tifini Lewis is Co-owner and Editor-in-Cheif of She's Ink'd Magazine; a publication that highlights and celebrates influential women who have tattoos. In philanthropy, Tifini has worked with Women Veterans Interactive, providing makeup services to our female veterans at our Nation’s Capitol. Tifini is also a participating hairstylist with Reveal NYC; an organization that serves women in Domestic Violence shelters with beauty services. She is an active member of the New York Association of Black Journalists. She's worked with Jazz recording artist Rajdulari, New York 1 News award-winning anchor and reporter, Cheryl Wills, Vincent Piazza of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, along with two-time WNBA Champion and best-selling author Yolanda Moore on her list of celebrity clientele. She also boasts being a part of the Queen of Comedy, SOMMORE’S NYC Glam Squad. Tifini Lewis is the creator of TheophaniStyle, a full glam-squad brand which provides the best in Hair Care, Makeup Artistry, Beauty Branding and Marketing.

Encaustic Painter 16 Chanelle Rene

Living With PCOS 28 Terri Marie Nelson 29 Jazmin Sharelle

Who We Are FOUNDER/PUBLISHER Denise Bethune Managing Partner Damon Troy Social Media Amir & Anaya Troy Logo Design Anaya Troy Financial Consultant Amir Troy Creative Content Bonnie Josephine Contact:


Erinn Hendricks The greatest lesson that has molded me into who I am came from loss! Loss of a job propelled me into my destiny. It forced me to realize there’s something bigger out there and “comfort” would NEVER allow me to find it. Losing that “cush” job and being made uncomfortable helped me to find and hone a talent I never knew existed! There’s a blessing in loss because what you gain is always so much better. We just have to be brave and courageous enough to trust the process. I knew I was not cut out for restaurant work before I started culinary school. I had two children and knew the demands of that profession wouldn’t be beneficial for a healthy work/life balance. I also knew I didn’t want anyone else calling shots for my livelihood ever again. Ownership was the only way to go and what better way to blend all those objectives other than starting a catering company?! I didn’t have much support with that vision throughout culinary school as the focus was placing students in restaurants and casinos for employment, but that just reinforced the need for me to push! Nothing worth having comes easy! Interestingly, the catering is what began and the custom cakes developed later and completely took off. They’ve actually been the bread and butter of my business for the last couple years. Catering has since picked up during the pandemic and they’re running neck and neck now!

There is so much advice I would give to women today in bringing a working vision into the world. The top three would be: Just do it! Overthinking paralyzes you and prevents your vision from coming to life. Instead of thinking of what could go wrong, think of what could go right and make your move! - Trust the process! Two of my favorite scriptures are Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11. NOTHING happens by coincidence. It’s all a part of His plan. Trust it! Your gift will truly make room for you! - Invest in yourself! Hone your craft. Network, take classes, practice, whatever is necessary to bring you and your brand to the next level! Never underestimate the power of people, place and things! They can be exactly what you need to go from vision to reality! Facebook Instagram Email 856-238-8104


Editor’s Message I truly didn’t think I would ever do SHOWCASE Magazine again. I’m glad I decided to take on this challenge again. It’s never easy stepping out after being out of “commission” as some would say, the choice is always going to be between you and whomever or whatever Inspires you. I hope you enjoy reading all about these seven amazing Women, I’m glad they said “Yes” when the call was made..

Denise Bethune


“I'm lifted, as He perfects the gifts in me, fine tune the music of my life like a symphony, no accident that my mom's named me Tifini, He's been with me, when others weren't what they claimed to be”










“My inspiration was my son. He’s 3 years old and I didn’t want to have my weight or health hinder me from being active with him. I joined Weight Watchers (WW) early February 2020 because I was battling with high blood pressure and I was also pre-diabetic”

I workout everyday for 30-40 minutes at home in my gym downstairs. I first started walking outside during the summer and increased my walking workouts by one mile each month. I eventually got up to walking 4 miles everyday by August 2020. Once I felt confident enough, I started incorporating workouts on YouTube through Leslie Sansone and I’m now focusing on strength training to tone my body. My starting weight was 232 lbs and I’m now down to 180. I hit my goal early November 2020. I have made my weight goal and now I’m working on maintaining at this time. My height is 5’5”. My diet consists of low carb high protein. I eat a lot of protein in the morning to sustain until lunchtime. For breakfast, I drink a protein shake, eat 2 eggs and a banana. For lunch, I eat tuna with mini saltine crackers (or on bread) with grapes or another fruit (clementines). For a snack, I’ll have a Light and Fit Strawberry yogurt, which is packed with protein. For dinner, it varies depending on what I decide to cook for my family. My advice to others that would like to lose weight is focus on why you want to lose weight and find a source of motivation. Also start slowly and work your way towards your goal. Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t feel like this journey is a race. (For example, my goal weight by June 2020 was to get down to 200 I made

that goal by early June 2020.). It took me close to 9 months to lose 52 pounds so your journey may look different from someone else’s. Even when you have rough days, still push through. Know that it’s okay to struggle within your journey, but seek out support (weight loss groups, friends who are losing weight) when you feel like it’s too much. Know that only you can change your situation and no matter what anyone says, always stay focused. This is your journey and don’t let anyone derail you from your goal. Also, your weight loss journey does not solely depend on the number on the scale, so don’t focus always on that. Be patient with yourself. I would also advise to focus more on your diet first then exercise. Once you have established good eating habits, you are set and can then focus on exercise. Slow and steady always wins the race. My goal was to naturally lose the weight on my own without feeling deprived of eating foods that I liked sparingly and in moderation. My primary care physician had a very straightforward conversation about how I need to lose weight to improve my health. A coworker of mine joined WW and had success with the program. From there I decided to join and have continued to be on the program every since. I followed the program’s point system and first worked on eating better before incorporating exercise. I cut out drinking soda and juice. I drink a gallon of water everyday and have one cheat meal every week. I focus on eating moderately and mindfully. I also create a menu every week at home so I can focus on cooking more and making meals at home as much as possible.








“My healthy lifestyle began in 2013 starting at 275 lb And now down over 100 lb. I started this journey when my doctor warned me about my blood pressure that would lead me to having a stroke and my BMI was over 40.”

I faced many challenges coming from childhood obesity into being morbid obese. I've always been the chubby girl smiling all while dying inside facing many traumatic events within my life. In the year of 2013 is when I started my journey and that's when I started loving myself a little bit more than I have. I was determined to get my life together before I turned 40 years old .I decided to have a consultation for the lap band. When I entered this appointment this doctor made me feel like he was really listening to me he listened to all my concerns my family history. I explained all the yo-yo diets I've been on weight watchers diet pills etc fighting trying to lose weight and that I was never taught how to eat. My fears of having two aunts that had triple heart bypass with one who passed away and one who survived was very fearful for me. Growing up you ate what was presented to you and you must clean your plate. The doctor talked to me for almost 2 hours trying to come up with a plan for me for better quality of life.he told me that the lap band was out of the question and that he suggested that I get the gastric sleeve. I was approved with my insurance once they checked out my medical background and my surgery was scheduled within 2 months.Within this time I had to go through a psych evaluation, nutritionist, sleep study and endoscopy and having to drink clear liquids with no food 2 weeks prior to surgery. The first 4 days into this liquid diet was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life.I believe what helped me was my doctor stating that if he went in he would be able to tell if I've eaten anything and he would come out and stop the surgery and not even start. During my surgery the doctor went in and when I woke up he was there telling me that it wasn't completed. I knew I hadn't eaten anything so I was very concerned on why. He stated that he found some spots on my liver and he had to see if it was benign or not. He wasn't sure


if I had cancer. Two weeks went by and I was told that I was cancer-free. He began the surgery again and it was done being completed with having my gastric sleeve. Once getting this surgery you really have to be in a good headspace and you have to learn your body. I had to endure another 2 weeks of liquid diet with completion to that then you have to go through two weeks of puree food, then 2 weeks of soft food and then 2 weeks after you are able to start introducing yourself to solid food. You will also learn that some foods do not agree with your new stomach. Foods you used to love you don't anymore. Foods that you craved before you don't crave anymore. I also had to cut out sugar which could cause what they call the dumping syndrome. Sugar or certain foods can have me feeling like I want to pass out or lightheaded sick to my stomach or vomiting. So it's kind of like it forces me to eat right. During this whole process I never had support from family besides my grandmother and support from two friends. Later that year after starting my journey I joined a running group called Black Girls Run South Jersey in Camden New Jersey .They taught me how to condition myself to run and giving me my self-esteem to become a better Justina. I did Cancer Walks In Trenton N.J And I also volunteered for fun runs with my grandson Jace for the Parkinson's Alliance in Princeton New Jersey.




“ JUsTINA LINTHICUM-DALEY ” Which gave me great pride doing so. I used to be the Mom who couldn't physically do much with her children and now here I am running the track with my grandchildren. This gives me so much joy to be able to really live my life. A year after that I began to experience abdominal pain and I knew something wasn't right within my body. I was in the hospital from 5:00 p.m. to about 5:00 a.m. with them trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I was told that nothing was found. This began to infuriate me because I knew something was not right. I called my surgeon and traveled to N.Jersey and he had me come in. After tests were ordered for me from the surgeon. The hospital that I went to in A.Jersey called me back and stated that they found something. I went back to the hospital and it appeared that they did not know what they were doing ( when it came to WLS) or what they were talking about.They stated that I had a abscess that needed to be drained off of my spleen. I then called my surgeon and started advocating for my body and stating to him that I was afraid and I wanted him to send for me. He did and when I got to the surgeon's hospital in N.Jersey they found out that I had two ulcers that perforated from stress and a gastric leak and my body became sepsis. All the doctors and nurses kept saying thank God that I came when I came because I could have died if I hadn't come sooner. I wound up spending 18 days without food or water and only hydrated by my IV.

Pastor Michael Sweeney prayed and went on a fast with me during this time. After two attempts of trying to stop this leak they were able to clip and glue it to stop the leak and I was able to get my life back on track. 3 years into my journey my grandmother passed. My grandmother raised me and she was my everything. My depression and anxiety started getting the best of me and here I was again starting to be that emotional eater letting my weight pile back on. I started realizing what I was doing again to my body and my mind so I started going to therapy to get me back in the right headspace. The meds that I was on for depression made me regain also. I then spoke to my surgeon and he wanted to give me the gastric bypass. Just the thought of the gastric bypass made me cringe, but I took a leap faith knowing that I would make it through. Since that day I’ve been in a pretty good head-space mentally and physically and I continue to live my life as healthy as I can. You come across a lot of naysayers that believe that weight loss surgery is so easy, well I'm here to tell you it's much harder than you think and they will never know until they walk in your shoes. I'm happy I was able to utilize this tool and I realized dedication to lifestyle changes that I made I'm always learning how to eat better, healing after trauma, uplifting myself and those around me.Always putting my best foot forward.. rooting for myself.. continuing to love myself.. despite any challenges I face... These days I look at myself as God's warrior. And with him all things are possible.


bringing business to business


I see that family is so important to you, especially being a single-mom (I no what that’s like), what are the lessons and or wisdom you give your children on I was born in the late 1970’s, when children were respectful and had manners and basic values. I was taught to cook, clean, sew, read, write, enjoy art and music, groom myself, know my giftings. None of these were taught as gender specific, but as things needed to take care of myself when I was on my own. I tell my children all the time that my job is to prepare them for life outside of my home. I want both my sons and daughter to not need another person to cook their meals. I want them to know their gifts and begin now thinking about how to build a business doing what they are good naturally. I have never been married and have been a mother for almost 26 years. I tried to fill in the gaps the best way that I could. I’ve been both self-less and selfish. I speak to my children in a solution-based manner because I used to live with a problem mindset. That mindset almost killed me honestly, as my coping mechanisms began to turn on me. I have been an example of successes, failures, and resilience in front of my children. That is the lesson I offer to them, and the wisdom is all things occur to show others God’s realness in all situations.


“I always say that “you can’t look at me and know what I have gone through”. It’s not visually apparent; I marvel often at how God has preserved me.” The pandemic has changed our lives beyond belief, are potential clients still reaching out to you? I am currently rebranding to offer services in what I was just describing. I do have clients who still reach out just for beauty services, and my mental health population I continue to work closely with. I am also an essential worker, so I have not ever stopped seeing anyone in person. How has Texas treated you? Houston is the unexpected lifesaver. I left New York in 2015 at the height of my career, and at the depths of personal despair. I “ran away” here wanting to go as far as I could possibly have gone. The one thing about being a helper, or the “go to” person for everyone else’s issues is that you are often not reciprocated what you give out. After a series of very bad financial decisions, an active addiction where I was no longer functional and all-around personal defeat, I came to Texas to give up. I was beat down and broken. I thought I came here to die, but what I have discovered was recovery, and another chance to live. It seems as I have become alive for the first time in my life. The woman that left New York in 2015 is not the same woman sharing this today. I am really proud of who I have become, flaws, scars,

missing pieces, all of it. I really like this Tifini. She is amazing, and authentic, and while everyone else may have already known, I now know too. The best thing is it is not based on what I do. I am learning serenity and contentment with who I am. I am flawesome. We all have times when we laugh beyond belief. Tell us what are your favorite times? Today it’s when my oldest son who currently lives in San Diego, California, calls us to Facetime myself and my other 2 children for the day. It’s 4 squares of catching up, screenshots of funny faces, corny jokes and bonding. My dog Kolbi Jack makes me laugh often, as he is my emotional support animal. Surprisingly, I’ve experienced a level of joy in having him I never knew existed. Who knew I’d be proud to be a “dog mom”? My sidesplitting laughter comes from daily WhatsAp videos between my best friend Shirley and I. She is still in New York, but this has been our method of communicating since living in Houston. She is the funniest person I know.

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The overarching inspiration that informs my artwork is the beauty of black women and underrepresented women of color. Combined with the journey of self-discovery that starts with introspection and blooms into confidently pursuing our dreams. But the way I bring that vision together and ultimately create “the world” the women in my paintings live in is through fashion, interiors, and inspiring artists like Kehinde Wiley.

Not in the whole of these creations but it’s a color that may catch my eye, or a texture that conjures a feeling. From there, I imagine how these snippets can be a part of my artistic process. Recently, I watched New York Fashion Week virtually and was most taken by how the designers presented their work. I saw everything from elaborate, movie vignettes to quick and snappy TIK TOK-style clips. It sparked so many ideas on how I can present my own artwork, creating an immersive experience for my collectors.. Chanelle Rene


I am an encaustic painter working out of my home studio near the shore town of Cape May, New Jersey. Painting with hot wax and fire is transformative, satisfying my curious sense of wonder. Translating more than a visual story, my original encaustic art excites all the senses. This combined experience of sight, touch and scent of beeswax spark awe, curiosity and conversation for my viewers. I have always been fascinated with faces and the exquisite beauty that emanates from the soul of every woman. As a woman of color, diverse feminine beauty is central to my work. My portraits quietly whisper the deepest desires of the soul. Bringing forth a full spectrum of modern beauty, unbridled and free, in a world of endless possibilities.. My journey to art unfolded later in life. With a BA from Rowan University, I worked in digital marketing for most of my career. Approaching 40, the calling to express myself artistically became harder to ignore. The moment I picked up a paint brush, I immediately connected to the experience. In a way, painting helps me unearth who I am and what I’m here to do. With every brush stroke, I create my own visual vocabulary allowing me to express myself beyond words. If you have any questions, please reach out at


…….. Your Mom named you has that name impacted you over the course of your life? Your passion for beauty has been featured thru so many outlets, how do you know when and what is right in what you do?

Other than she must have known how unique I was to be, I’m not sure why she named me “Tifini”, not “Tiffany” or any other version. I have my suspicions. I was born June 4th, a quintessential Gemini, so I can see how that was a possibility. I was told that the name Deidre was a thought as well. It’s funny, because I absolutely LOVE Tifini; the 1 f and 3 i’s fit me. I would have been misnamed if my parents went for the traditional way. Believe it or not, my name is often mispronounced and for as long as I can remember. “Tah-fee nee” Lewis has been heard since kindergarten, seriously. I used to cringe because the kids would laugh obnoxiously at the misnomer. I am no longer affected; I just correct people before they state the last syllable. It is so simple, that it is difficult for others to pronounce. What was most notable fact for me was when I learned where my name had derived: the·oph·a·ny (/THēˈäfənē/)-a visible manifestation to humankind of God or a god. I was floored when I learned that, and it was at a really hard time in my life after the death of my mother in 2003. I needed to know my reason for being, and this is also when my beauty brand TheophaniStyle was conceived.

My passion is equally for beauty and helping. When considering projects to work on, they in some way must embody both of those. My mission is to “enhance true beauty”, anything that doesn’t involve that I don’t take on. I stay true to what I do; there are thousands of artists and helpers for every area represented. Staying true to myself and what I value attracts me to those that agree in both deed and mindset. I allow my intuition to guide me. In the helping portion of my work, I have come to recognize and value the importance of mental health in our current society. Particularly with what we are all experiencing with this pandemic, beauty used to be a coping mechanism that we could display openly. Distanced, and covered in masks, it is very difficult to be seen by others right now. This is affecting our mental health at alarming rates, so I look to incorporate both beauty and mental health in what I work on today.

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UOMA - pronounced OMA (uh-mah) means beautiful and we believe that beauty starts the moment you decide to be yourself. We exist to re-write the rules of inclusivity and diversity to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.


Listed by WWD as one of the 50 most forward-thinking executives shaping the future of the beauty industry, Nigerian born Sharon Chuter, is a rebel with a cause and on a mission to go off the well beaten path to redefine the rules of inclusivity and diversity. A visionary and seasoned beauty industry executive, Sharon has had a career that has spanned multiple continents and has worked with major multinational beauty and consumer brands including Revlon, L'Oréal, PepsiCo, GSK and most recently Benefit Cosmetics.

As the creative director of UOMA Beauty, Sharon has taken a very hands-on approach to create a makeup range that is forward thinking, radical and uncompromising. She draws inspiration from her Afro heritage and infuses it with fierce modernity to create a truly fresh aesthetic. The collection is made of products that are ground breaking in innovation, esthetically pleasing with instant payoff, skin loving, delivers maximum pleasure to all the senses and most of all suitable for all skin tones.


………… Tifin Lewis is Co-owner and Editor-in-Cheif of She's Ink'd Magazine; a publication that highlights and celebrates influential women who have tattoos. In philanthropy, Tifini has worked with Women Veterans Interactive, providing makeup services to our female veterans at our Nation’s Capitol. Tifini is also a participating hairstylist with Reveal NYC; an organization that serves women in Domestic Violence shelters with beauty services. She is an active member of the New York Association of Black Journalists. She's worked with Jazz recording artist Rajdulari, New York 1 News award-winning anchor and reporter, Cheryl Wills, Vincent Piazza of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, along with two-time WNBA Champion and best-selling author Yolanda Moore on her list of celebrity clientele. She also boasts being a part of the Queen of Comedy, SOMMORE’S NYC Glam Squad. Tifini Lewis is the creator of TheophaniStyle, a full glam -squad brand which provides the best in Hair Care,

"Hair excites me, and makeup makes me happy. Fashion, art, culture, and style invigorate me. What makes these of any significance are the people attached, and writing about those experiences has opened me up to connect to the world differently, in the most beautiful way. I believe in enhancing true beauty, starting with the inside which only adds to the power of these external factors. Helping people this way gives me the greatest joy. So does quality chocolate and coffee..." Licensed cosmetologist, professional make-up artist, Beauty Expert, on-camera personality, blogger, beauty/fashion/style/art/culture writer, journalist, chocoholic… Tifini brings her salon experience in print work, runway, editorial fashion, and bridal to every personal encounter. Her training and education, along with her noted warm aura and affable personality, provide her clients with a dependable, element-oriented and multi faceted professional to add to the creative team of any project. Her work has been seen in Livid Magazine NY, Playboy Chocolate Bunny, MTV’s Lingerie Female Football League, New Form Perspective Fashion, Autographed in Pink Ink, "Everyday for Women” Fragrance, Girls Who Rock Benefit Concert, Eyani Couture, Full Figure Fashion Week, BET’S Rip the Runway,Glamfest,Fashionisto Magazine, and (GQ Magazine). Former co-host of The Jay Everyday Radio Show, Tifini has been a contributing Beauty/ Style writer for, Fuzion Magazine, Full Blossom Magazine, Creative Spotlights, Spotlight Magazine, and

Theophanistyle Wordpress Theophanistyle.Blogspot Single Mother Making It Wordpress Linkedin Facebook

Tifini has also been a contributing expert on Tyra Banks', and an On-Camera Talent for Her own blogs, Theophani, and, explore beauty, style, art, and culture from an "inside looking out" point of view. Tifini is the Brand Ambassador for Tattoo Booster, an all natural organic moisturizer for healed tattooed skin.

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TheophaniStyle Beauty Thru The Eyes Of The Beholder





…….. Everyone keeps saying how beautiful you look, what; if you want to share are some of your insecurities.? I always say that “you can’t look at me and know what I have gone through”. It’s not visually apparent; I marvel often at how God has preserved me. I am equally open with pretty pictures as I am with personal struggles and insecurities. I have abandonment issues, which present themselves in how I choose romantic partners. It hasn’t worked very well for me so far. I have been a people-pleaser, which has led me to over-extend myself, and not exercise boundaries. I also am a perfectionist, which has been very difficult to undo, but I am working on it. To unlearn the notion that I must do things perfectly to be or feel valued, and that if that impossible standard is not met, then I’m worthless. While it can be helpful in performance, particularly in arts and service, the depression comes in the “human moments” of not measuring up. You become diminished in your own eyes and believe that everyone sees how you see. I work all on all these things through therapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). I am also an active member in 12step programs that address the disease of addiction.

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I became addicted by using substances to help me deal with my insecurities. I’d be remiss if I did not mention that. So many of us suffer in silence, and not get the help we need. When I finally addressed my mental health, recovery could begin for me. Addiction is a symptom of something gone wrong. Recovery deals with the causes and conditions. There is no stigma in needed help; we are all living in extremely difficult times. I need the next man or woman to know that they too can recover from seemingly hopeless states of being. That is really the beauty that you see when you look at me. Thank you so much for agreeing to be apart of SHOWCASE Magazine, how can potential clients reach out to you? I am beyond honored to be able to share. SHOWCASE Magazine is the platform that will be used to encourage, inspire, and shape how the world views Black women. I can be reached at, FB and IG @theophanistyle. You can also check out my podcast Single Mother Making It at tifini-lewis. It chronicles my life as a single mother working on my dreams as an artist and philanthropist. Thank you so much again for this opportunity to share.


KNOWING Living With


Polcystic Ovary Syndrome a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.

Ever since the age of menarche, or my first period, I would skip months without menstruating or would have it twice in a month. The inability to track my period and predict when to expect the next cycle was frustrating. When I raised these concerns to my doctor they informed me this irregularity was my normal and looked to stress or weight changes as the reason why my cycle was all over the place. Because I trusted my physician to know more than me I never pushed the issue further. At least not until I started medical school and learned about polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS, myself.

Terri Marie Nelson

confirmed that I indeed had PCOS. This diagnosis did not come as a surprise to me as I already had a strong suspicion but I was thankful to finally have an answer to a problem that I was trying to solve for years. Because I had an educational understanding behind PCOS, I was I remember sitting in lecture and briefly hearing able to understand what was happening about this syndrome and immediately diagnosed within my body and now knew how I could begin myself. Not only did I have irregular periods but to address certain symptoms and conditions that also hirsutism, or male pattern facial hair, that I come with PCOS. was treating with electrolysis hoping this would permanently remove the unwanted facial hair. This At this time, PCOS is mostly managed with difwas a very embarrassing condition for me that I ferent medication: birth control pills to help regustruggled with since my teenage years and tried late cycles, another pill to address the facial hair, everything from shaving and Nair to laser and fianother pill to treat acne, another pill to increase nally electrolysis to get rid of this hair. I’ve spent fertility, and another pill to help prevent or treat thousands trying to get rid of this unwanted hair diabetes. As someone who is young and does not and now was beginning to understand there may be want to take medication every day I have been making changes to my diet that will help me maina hormonal reason behind this. tain a healthy weight. I’ve continued my electrolyAt my next annual check-up, I shared my sis treatment in conjunction with a medication in thoughts with my doctor and she agreed to take some bloodwork to confirm my diagnosis. I’m un- hopes of permanently removing unwanted facial sure if she took me more seriously because I was in hair. medical school and becoming a doctor or because she honestly thought I had PCOS. Either way, because I advocated for myself she agreed to order the test. The bloodwork showed that testosterone, a hormone, was elevated beyond the normal range. The bloodwork in addition to my history of irregular menstrual cycles and undesirable facial hair 28

I’m aware that there is not much available or a magic pill to treat this condition. PCOS is something that will continue to have an effect on my life and will require lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes or address obesity. And one day when I’m ready to start a family, I know PCOS will present another hurdle.

YOUR BODY Their Own Personal Journeys Always Seek Medical Treatment From Your Primary HealthCare Provider I was active, not eating clean but making healthy choices, I didn’t drink soda, sugary drinks, or frequent fast food. I was getting more frustrated, some days I couldn’t get out of bed, I had no energy, and sexually I felt off!! I thought I was dying. No matter what I did I wasn’t losing weight the way I should have been based on my lifestyle. I started feeling overwhelmed, work was unbearable. I was traveling, I probably was drinking too often, and I started having panic attacks. I was being harassed at work and I was losing my grip, my cool, my hair and then the job was gone, I could have fought but I took the settlement and I started making doctors appointments. I was specifically looking for a black woman OB/ GYN, I knew something was wrong. I had been told all my life just lose weight and your cycle will regulate, just have the surgery. I wanted to do it naturally because I enjoy exercise, I like healthy food, I knew something was wrong!! I found my OB/GYN sooner than I expected. I had not menstruated in forever. I got to the appointment, changed into the hospital gown, took a urine sample, got a PAP smear, and a vaginal sonogram. There was build up in my Uterus and blood in my Urine. I walked into her office and she said you have PCOS, I was too exhausted to really react. She explained my symptoms and I was slightly relieved. She suggested Surgery and an IUD. That was a process that was harder than I expected, I had never been in an operating room. My surgeon asked me something to the effect of, if something went wrong should she save me or my Uterus, I'm paraphrasing but that's what the question felt like. I started thinging about what if couldn't have children, that changed everything for me.

Having a family wasn’t on my radar but that's a deeper conversation that I haven't worked out in Therapy yet. I had always had a tough side to me, I could compartmenalize, remove the emotions, remain logical. Once I got the (IUD) Mirena the floodgates opened, I became more sensitive, more maternal, Jazmin Sharelle more vulnerable, still logical Once I got the (IUD) Mirena the floodgates opened, I became more sensitive, more maternal, more vulnerable, still logical but I am different, baby fever different. This estrogen is still kicking my ass 3 years later. As a kid I was a chronic Asthamatic and I took high doses of steroids and that's why I believe I don't have a metabolism, and therefore the start of my hormone and weight problems, also a larger conversation about Healthcare Inequality. I believe this is where my PCOS stems from. I am very proactive but the fatigue and insomnia are kicking my ass right now in this moment as I type this. I am overwhelmed and a bit frazzled so I am only able to give you a general experience. I just started a blog called “Pretty Unattractive, The Social Construction of My Beauty”. I am working my way through all of this alongside Therapy. PCOS feels like exhaustion, it feels like I am constantly at war with my body. I feel like I like I am in a body I didn’t ask for. I am constantly finding new ways to love myself, be kind to myself, to accept my body but some days like today the fatigue is unbearable and I just want to crawl into bed but I can’t, life still is happening and I have things to do! Jazmin Sharelle Instagram Pretty_Unattractive Website

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S. Michelle Betts What made you decide to go into finances? First off, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to my success. It took some time for me to find where I wanted to be career-wise. In high school, my strongest subject was science; therefore, I sought out a nursing career. I quickly realized blood, guts, and needles were not for me. I decided to take a class with HR Block. After completing the course, I started my career preparing taxes. I was 23 years old. Learning tax laws and applying them to tax returns were exhilarating. However, I had not learned the importance of credit or the sources of financial freedom. Two years later, I decided to move from Detroit to attend college in Northern Virginia majoring in Accounting. We are located in Eastpointe, Michigan, on Detroit's borderline (across from Eastland Mall). We provide annual and quarterly services to all states and the District of Columbia. We are experienced with the 1040s, Schedule C (small businesses), nonprofits (990), Partnerships, and S Corporations. We enlighten clients on new tax laws while minimizing their tax liabilities and maximizing their refund for a lesser price than most tax companies. Affordable Taxes' owner is S. Michelle Betts; she holds a Bachelor's degree in accounting and brings 10 years' experience to her credits. She is also sitting for the IRS Enrolled Agent Certification. Learn more by visiting Conveniently file your income taxes from home. Visit our google business page to gain access to our digital portal.

What would you tell Woman about their financial future and how best to begin? My suggestion to women would be, build an emergency fund. There are ways to decrease your tax liability and save at the same time. 1) By contributing to your companies 401k, you have the ability to save, and some companies match up to a certain percentage. The contributions are taken out of your paycheck before taxes, which means your gross income is reduced, so you pay fewer taxes. If you ever need to withdraw from your 401k, consider the company match as the extra amount you need to take out for taxes and penalties. 2) IRA contributions are tax-deductible as well. You can save up to $6,000 if you are 49 and under and $7,000 if you are age 50 and older. This method allows you to save and decrease your tax liability. 3) HSA and Flex Spending Accounts work like personal savings accounts. You contribute pre-taxed dollars, lowering your tax-liability. However, you can only spend the money on qualifying medical expenses.


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UOMA - pronounced OMA (uh-mah) means beautiful and we believe that beauty starts the moment you decide to be yourself. We exist to re-write the rules of inclusivity and diversity to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.

Balanced Women is founded by Jewel Gould, a non-profit who curates spaces and initiatives that are all geared towards encouraging women from all walks of life to lead a well-balanced life while executing their various rolls. Most recently Balanced Women launched their first initiative called Sister-Sister, designed to assist their community with not just essential needs, but also to aid with furthering education, tools and resources needed to pour into purposeful dreams as well. In support of ending racism, systemic racism, hatred, brutalities and dehumanization, the funding collected for their first initiative will be dedicated to pour into the lives of black women who are wholeheartedly working on becoming the best versions of themselves for their families and communities. They will be utilizing these donations to pour into their lives, dreams, aspirations, and businesses.


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