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It’s ON

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Dr. Ian Smith


Who is The Brave Chick?




Win IT Join the Fight!


Brave uChick n leash ed

Volume 3 • Number 4 “At a record-setting pace, we would like to change the world by changing the narrow views of what is beautiful. In this issue, health at any age, young or old, is simply breathtaking.”

Editor-In-Chief Chloe Graham

Creative Casting Director Yvette Bouye Roberson

Entertainment Editor Erika Bracey

Entertainment Correspondent Timothy Newson

Copy Editor/Writer Hannah McEwen

Copy Editor/Feature Writer Terri S. Harris

Marketing Specialist Brianna Towers


Maudlyne Ihejirika Jodie Blum

Media Consultants Big Red Head Ideas Debbie McEwen


Aronna Wynne Special Thanks to Regina Cooper and the staff at Advocate Healthcare in Frankfort, IL for allowing us to shoot the “In It to Win it” spread at their offices. 2

FALL 2013 Issue |


My Pink is Transparent


consider myself a relatively private person most of the time, but I discovered that being transparent when it helps others is pretty amazing! Breast Cancer Prevention is not something young adults think about much, so this allows USTYLEU the opportunity to inform others as we educate ourselves in the process. I was sitting on my patio on a lovely Sunday afternoon in July with our Entertainment Editor, Erika. I expressed how I envisioned USTYLEU Mag to be the new Fashion Editorial Platform for young fashion revolutionaries and idealists. I wanted a new, more mature direction and wanted to launch this new course in our October issue. We need to find a unique way to make my generation think about their healthy future. The best way I could think of it is to get “in their face.” Erika, a breast cancer survivor, then opened her mouth (her first mistake) and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to put a breast cancer survivor on the cover topless?” I said, “Yes, and it should be you.” She quickly tried to change the cover to a model with a mesh top, but I was sold at topless. She’s “The Brave Chick”. She’s a Survivor; She’s a Warrior. She’s not ashamed of her battle scars. As a matter of fact, she uses her scars as a canvas for others to observe and draw strength from. Let’s talk about me…just for a moment. I am 19 years old. I discovered a lump in my breast when I was 16 years old. I was watching a show about self-examinations and decided to try it. Well, to my surprise, I discovered something. This was the same year I launched USTYLEU Magazine. You can only imagine what was going through my head. I actually put the magazine on hold until I found out if I was okay. At the doctor’s office, I was told that this was common in girls my age, but they wanted to do a biopsy just to be certain. “Okay, a what? You want to do what?” I wasn’t afraid. I was more confused than anything. “So, this is not the end of it?” “Does this really have to drag on?” “Why do I have to go through this drama?” A few weeks later, I’m lying down on the examination table in this little dark room with one chair. What I remember most is the sound coming from the ultrasound machine. This handsome young doctor

came in and told me what he planned to do. I turned my head and began to cry. He said “Are you worried? Don’t be! I promise you Chloe, I will find nothing. We just do this so you will know everything is okay.” In go the needles..”Ouch! I thought you said a little pinch!” I looked at the lump on the monitor. It was shaped like little Valentine’s Heart. I dried my tears and went to school a little late like everything was okay. I Photo By: Guthrie Bonnett would go about my normal day laughing and joking around with my friends, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking about the test results. A week later, that handsome doctor was so concern about me and my “Chloe Tears,” that he called me personally to tell me the lab tests were negative. I remember saying ,”Thank God” and thinking now let’s get this magazine started. “It’s ON!” Each year, I receive a letter reminding me to get an ultrasound so they can monitor things. Some people call me a “Dodger” because I detected something early, and I’m monitoring this yearly. That was my “Brave Chick” moment which has transformed me into The Brave Chick for a life time. This is dedicated to my Auntie Kim, a 2012 Breast Cancer Survivor. Love U

Chloe Graham

On the cover

follow us on Twitter or Facebook




Robb Jackson SOUL CAFE 4532 South Cottage Grove Avenue Floor 3, Chicago Website: Email: Phone: 773.512.5245

Lisa K. McGuinness Phone:

Special Effects Make-up Juanita Angelique Marty TriIlusions Make-up Email: Phone: 773.632.6518

Hair Design Marvelette “Molly B.” Jackson Touch of Perfection, Inc. 2406 West 111th Street, Chicago Websites: & Email: Phone: 773.888.2406

FALL 2013 Issue |


uStyleu 2013

Table of Contents: 5


Flash! Robb Jackson

6 In This Issue: Featured Artists 7 In This Issue: Featured Artists 8

Style? By Chasidi Bell

9 In the Spot with Patrick Niles 10

It’s ON with Dr. Ian Smith


It’s ON with Kelly Cornish


The Unbreakable Bond



14-15 Break the Chains 16-17 Who is The Brave Chick? 18-19 MOM! YOUR SECRETS ARE KILLING ME 20-21 A TOAST TO HEALTH! 24








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8 12 13


ROBB JACKSON The Photographer

More than just a photographer, Robb Jackson is and has been a “visualographer” for well over a decade. His vision, creativity, and insight have always allowed him to see not only the “real” that’s in front of him, but also things that are deeper, and futuristically, things to come. This same overall sense of clarity allowed for his introduction into “the industry,” as well as being able to remain a positive, creative force in it for so long. Robb has worn many hats, including project manager for major companies, A&R for record labels, and graphic artist & web designer for ad & marketing agencies, but his true love for capturing real, beautiful subjects and moments has always lead him back to photography. His photographic beginnings took shape long before he became an industry professional. As a member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (University of Oklahoma), in the early-90’s, Robb ultimately became the National PanHellenic photographer. A self-professed “photogeek,” Robb believes that everyone sees the world with their own prospective. He feels that what makes a photographer a “good-great photographer,” is that a good-great photographer sees the world in a way that’s more pleasing, interesting, composed, and artistic than the average person. His love for the arts and photography in general has constantly pushed him to teach and provide guidance to up and coming photographers and artists whenever he can. Aside from being a “go-to” industry photographer and videographer for over five years, specializing in fashion, music, promotional, and event capture, Robb has made his mark nationally, and cross-industry as a highly regarded graphic artist, web designer, event organizer and brand/marketing consultant. Although branding and marketing are his mainstays, he constantly pushes the envelope of style, art, innovation and creativity in everything he shoots, designs, creates, and executes. Upcoming Projects: • • •

Cîroc Amaretto Vodka Press Appointment & National Campaign The 9th Annual Fashion Focus: Chicago’s Fashion Week Jeep Wrangler Rally – US

Contact Robb at . New photography & graphics website coming soon.

FALL 2013 Issue |


IN THIS ISSUE Juanita Angelique Marty

Juanita Angelique Marty of Trillusions was born and raised in Chicago’s Logan Square area. She has been working professionally for three years working fantasy, runway, film and FX make-up. Juanita’s stunning and creative work is featured on this issue’s cover and inside features. Contact her at or at 773.632.6518

Lisa K. McGuinness

Lisa K. McGuinness is a licensed esthetician, published author and illustrator. She is finishing up her Bachelors in English while continuing to grow in the makeup industry. Lisa’s work is featured on this issue’s cover and inside features. Contact Lisa at

Marvelette “Molly B” Jackson

Marvelette “Molly B” Jackson has more than twenty years of in-depth and diverse experience in her field. She has worked in various areas in the beauty arena including full service Cosmetologist, Educator, Platform Artist and Trichology Practitioner. Her hosts of talents are each supported by licenses and certifications of both extensive and advanced training. Marvelette’s work is featured on this issue’s cover and inside features. Contact Marvelette at or Phone: 773.888.2406

Maury Cesair

Maury Cesair owner of CESAIR a high fashion clothing line that is enriched with creativity and many attitudes that are tied together with a sophisticated manner, using the world as its inspiration. That is old meets new, different cultures, styles and eras clash and melt together. Maury’s high fashion dresses are featured in the “A Toast to Health” spread in this issue. Contact them at or

Michael Kostopoulos

Photographer Michael Kostopoulos has been shooting hair, beauty, style and commercial images for over 35 years. He is called The Hairstyle Photographer because he shoots some of the top hair designers in the business and gets them in hairstyle magazines in the USA and in Europe. He is a former executive editor of two nationally distributed beauty magazines. His style team for the “In It to Win It” shoot includes hair by Wendy Mahlfeldt of Velvet Roar Salon and make-up by Julie Munn. Catch him on or call 630.842.6787

Mz. Shana

Mz. Shana is a hairstylist in the Chicagoland area. She is a very outgoing, sociable sweetheart. As a master of her craft, she continues to keep up with the latest techniques and hair trends as they appear on the fashion scene. She believes images she gives to her clients must be just as meticulous as her own. Mz. Shana’s hair designs are featured in the “A Toast to Health” spread in this issue. Contact her at or at 708.932.5742


FALL 2013 Issue |

Bob Arpee

Bob Arpee lives in a suburb of Detroit, MI. He began working in model photography in 2009 featuring shoots that are fun and relaxed and not about high pressure or stress. Bob feels that every photo should be collaboration between the model and the photographer, not dictated by the photographer. He gets unique and individual images with each model he works with, trying to capture the personality of the model in the image. Bob’s work is featured in the “Hands Up” spread of this issue. Contact Bob at

Larry Love

Larry Love, inspired by skateboard photographer Rodent and Chicago area photographer John W. Iwanski, has always found an inspiration and overall appreciation of living in Chicago’s vast metropolitan sprawl and interacting within it along with the people who inhabit it. Larry’s photography is featured in the “Our Unbreakable Bond” spread. He can be reached for hire via email at or check him out on tumblr at

Dominique Larue

Dominique Larue is the Owner of Da Boutique Couture and House of Consignment. Da Boutique specializes in Da Latest Collection of Designer’s Custom made and Vintage Women’s Jewelry and Fashion. Ms. Larue caters to Women of all varies bringing a Creative Artistic Enhancement to Transform The inner Beauty into Reality. Ms. Larue’s Passion for Beauty and Fashion Creates an Atmosphere in Discovering the Inner Beauty of Every Woman. Dominique’s lovely jewelry pieces are featured in the “A Toast to Health” spread. Contact Dominique at 708.969.0089

Khadija Parham

Khadija Parham, owner of D’vine Beauty has worked her way into the beauty industry as a makeup artist based in Chicago where she provides on location beauty consultant services for any event or occasion. Khadija’s diverse background and experience has been accredited to her artistic talent, cosmetology and Business Administration as her field of study. She focuses on the innate ability to bring out the natural beauty of her subject, no matter the gender or ethnicity. Khadija displays her mastery for creating the right look, a flawless look. Kehadija’s work is featured in the “A Toast to Health” spread. Contact her at

Billy Montgomery

As a veteran photographer, Billy Montgomery is known and respected for his professional work and reliability. In his captures, he doesn’t just take pictures but strives to be a storyteller. He is known for being resourceful, thorough, creative, prompt and professional. With experiences ranging from publications to wedding companies and now his own media company, he prides himself on being a photographer for all seasons and all reasons. Billy’s photography is featured in the “A Toast to Health” spread. He can be reached at or 708.228.6127 Want your work featured in uStyleu? Email us at FALL 2013 Issue |


Photography: Studio57 Photography

Style? By Chasidi


was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October, 2011.

I had to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy and withdraw from school due to treatment. I returned to school in the fall of 2012 and graduated this past May with a B.A. in Mass Communication & Journalism with a concentration in Broadcasting. A routine doctor’s visit made me aware that the cancer was again present in my test results. The following week, I was undergoing surgery (a full hysterectomy), and now I am currently undergoing radiation treatment. I started daily external beam radiation treatments 5-weeks ago. Now, I am undergoing internal radiation treatment (Cylinder Treatment) once a week for three weeks. Treatment is going well, but the side effects are kicking my butt. I am alive! I'm now in graduate school pursuing my Masters in Sports Media and Branding. My style is fun, bubbly and creative! My inner strength and knowing my body are a few of the reasons I am alive today. I am a Christian and through my journey, prayer and faith have been my medication.


FALL 2013 Issue |

k c i r t a P NILES


in the spot

atrick was born in what was once the small rural Illinois community of Bloomington/ Normal. Growing up in a house hold of two women, he learned the art of fashion and dressing at a very early age. Patrick spent much of his high school career working at the local shopping mall working in stores including Gadzooks, The Buckle then graduating as assistant manager at Express for Men. While employed at these stores, he managed a client book that was UNHEARD of for someone at his age and experience level. In 2003, Patrick landed an opportunity that took him to, Chicago. Patrick worked up to three jobs at a time, while trying to adjust to the big city and make his presence known. Fashion and the destiny to be great kept him motivated. Patrick worked day and night and gained knowledge, experience, and clientele by trial and error.

not only for his impeccable taste for clothes, but for his ability to dress a female form. He looks beyond what people want and sees what is right for them. Having become very popular with the Ladies of Chicago’s North Shore communities: Winnetka, Highland Park and Lake Forest, Patrick has moved his focus to the streets of Chicago itself. Patrick has broadened his outreach to men’s fashion industry and is styling some of Chicago’s most fashionable gentlemen, including Benjamin Cottrell, Chicago’s “go to” guy for fashion events and NBC5’s producer and socialite, Jeff Conway. Currently, Patrick is working the Chicago fashion scene and working for one of the nation’s top designer consignment boutiques , Luxury Garage Sale. He has no intention on slowing down soon and has many offers for new projects daily.

To this day, Patrick has made a name for himself in the fashion industry, FALL 2013 Issue |



By Erika Bracey

r. Ian Smith is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of SHRED, THE 4 DAY DIET, THE FAT SMASH DIET and EXTREME FAT SMASH DIET. He is a co-host of “The Doctors” TV show, a medical contributor to “The Rachael Ray Show” and host of the nationally syndicated radio show HealthWatch.

ON “Healthy”: We have to understand what healthy means. Healthy does not necessarily mean what you look like. Lots of people look very healthy on the outside but internally are very unhealthy. So there is an aesthetic part of health that means what you think healthy looks like, but more important, there’s a physiologic and biologic look of health and that is what your indicators shows. What does your blood glucose level show? What does your blood pressure show? What is your heart rate? If we were to look more at the internal physiological indicators then we would have a better understanding of what is healthy and not healthy. Just because you are slim does not mean you are healthy. ON Breast Cancer Prevention: It is unfortunate that different organizations have different recommendations, but in general, I think all women should perform self-breast exams. In many cases a self-breast exam is one of the best screenings you can do to detect cancer if it is there. Perform a SBE every month at the same time normally in the shower. This is a great detector. Mammograms, of course, are tremendously helpful, but Mammograms by themselves sometimes aren’t enough. There have been cases where a woman has had a negative mammogram, but six months later she finds out she has Breast Cancer. Selfbreast exams, mammograms and having your doctor perform an annual breast exam are important. ON African American women: The belief is #1, African American women tend to be diagnosed at a later stage, and so the later it is diagnosed the less chance of a cure and the shorter the survival time. The second thing is there’s a belief that African American women may be predisposed to a more rapid growing breast cancer. That is not always the case, but this can grow more rapidly and can be more resistant to treatment. The third thing is our access to great medical care tends to be less so we have less access to appropriate medical care. In some cases, curative measures are not offered at the same rate as others. Studies have shown there is a disparity in how some health care providers handle African American cases. ON The Next Generation: A campaign to target a younger demographic is a good idea. Talking to that demographic speaking in their language that is relative to them is very important. You have to be very clear that the younger sect looks at disease different than the older sect. The message may be similar, but the delivery needs to be appropriate for that particular demographic you are trying to reach. While breast cancer advocacy groups have done a great job of raising awareness of breast cancer, more work needs to be done for younger women so that they feel like it is relatable to them. Check out Dr. Ian’s book Shred: The Revolutionary Diet. Follow him on Twitter @DoctorIanSmith. Website 10

FALL 2013 Issue |


By Hannah McEwen

elley F. Cornish, MA, CCDP, is a mom, a leader, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a woman on the move! Leading, coaching, and helping others drives Kelley’s work as well as her downtime. Creating sustainable change within diverse and emerging talent pools is her passion. ON Health and Aging: At 44 years old, I feel healthier mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally than I’ve ever felt before. However, in my late twenties and thirties, that was not the case. At a very young age and through my college years, I lived a very active lifestyle. After college, starting a career and a family early was my dream. With a passion for diversity and leadership, my career trajectory was always on point. When it came to health for myself and my family, I focused on scheduling well-baby visits, dental and optometrist visits and annual checks for myself. ON Reality: One day it happened. I found myself late one afternoon in an urgent care center in disbelief. I was given three different prescriptions and one was for high blood pressure! I was in shock and complete denial! To give perspective, over my adult years, my blood pressure was usually low, sometimes to the point of concern. By the time I arrived at the urgent care and having the doctor check my blood pressure, he said, “I don’t know what’s going on but something needs to change.” I immediately took a leave of absence from work which ended up turning into a two-year journey in regaining my health. ON Lifestyle Changes: For four months, I would take my son to school and sleep until it was time to pick him up at 2:30 p.m. I slowly regained my strength through a team of doctors including my general practitioner and my neurologist. This involved medication for the first three months, rest, light exercise and regular visits. I changed my diet to include more home cooked meals, I surrounded myself with healthy people who could speak positivity into my life. Prayer and fasting was also a part of my recovery. Through it all, the loudest alarm for me came from my two boys. The oldest one had come home from college for a weekend and said Mom, nothing is worth all of this. You must get better. The youngest one, asked the ultimate question, “Mom, who will take care of me if something happens to you?” I knew that if I did not take of me, I could not take care of them. ON Balance: As a family we can see fruit in the form of major life style changes. We eat three – four times a week at the dinner table which forces me to be sure that I eat and we have a balanced meal. I travel with work so I’m sure not to overschedule meetings during my travel time, and I take an extra day when I return and work from home to allow my body to rest mentally and physically. I continue to meet with my team of doctors who happen to be in the same practice which is very convenient. I no longer take medication for high blood pressure, however, we monitor it closely and I realize when I need to increase exercise and cut back on certain foods – all lifestyle changes. Each day I feel more in tune with my body and my needs as I mature mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. To me, these are all signs of success, freedom and power as I maintain and remain being a woman on the go! FALL 2013 Issue |


Our Unbreakable Bond A Son’s Love: A Mom’s Journey


hen Tyler Popp modeled for USTYLEU Magazine in the fall of 2011, he probably never imagined he would be sitting with us again, not for a fashion shoot, but to share his experience of supporting his mom Mary Jane through her breast cancer treatment and recovery this year.

USTYLEU Mag: Tell us what stages of emotions you went through when you were diagnosed with cancer. Mary Jane: I was shocked. USTYLEU Mag: What other emotions did you feel? Did you go through any other stages? Mary Jane: I didn’t really feel any other emotions after being diagnosed. I just went from being diagnosed with breast cancer, to accepting the diagnosis, and what was to come along with it. This was within a span of five days. USTYLEU Mag: What options were you given with regards to care and treatment? Mary Jane: I was given three choices, a lumpectomy, a mastectomy on one side or bilateral, which means to remove both breasts. I was given detailed explanations of the treatment options, and I opted for the bilateral because at 40 years old with breast cancer, I didn’t want to think about it coming back on the other side. USTYLEU Mag: What type of support did you receive from friends and family? Mary Jane: Unbelievable support. I had great nurses and all types of volunteers to keep me company. USTYLEU Mag: What type of advice would you give to family members when someone is going through cancer? Mary Jane: It’s important to give people their space when they are going through this [cancer], because it is a lot to process and absorb. You have to go through your own grieving process, but when you get through the grief, it is like you are reborn into a new life. USTYLEU Mag: Tyler were you afraid when your mom told you she had cancer? What were your emotions? Tyler: Yes, I experienced shock and fear at the same time. I didn’t know anyone in my family who had cancer. When my mom said she was diagnosed with cancer, it was really scary.


FALL 2013 Issue |

USTYLEU Mag: What was most important when it came to supporting your mom? Tyler: To be there to help out and have a positive attitude the whole time. Mainly, I just tried to help her around the house and with everyday tasks and chores that she wasn’t able to do after the surgery. I also just tried to be as supportive as possible because I couldn’t understand what she was going through on the inside. I just saw the physical toll that the fight with cancer had taken on her. USTYLEU Mag: How did this experience change your life? Mary Jane: You don’t take anything for granted. You feed the birds. You watch the butterflies. You really look at things in a different perspective, because you never know what tomorrow might bring. USTYLEU Mag: What would you recommend to families who may have to go through this? Mary Jane: 99.9 percent of the disease is your attitude. The more honest, positive, and open that you are the easiest it is to get through everything. Being positive is uplifting. USTYLEU Mag: Mom, what is your biggest inspiration? Mary Jane: My biggest inspiration is the people that I consider my “family,” which includes my actual family, as well as all of the friends that were there to support me. USTYLEU Mag: What about you Tyler? Tyler: My biggest inspiration is my mother. She has literally made me the person that I am and helped me accomplish a copious amount of goals that I had set for myself. She is there for me whenever I need her, and I know that she is the one person that I can confide in with anything. I honestly just look up to my mom because I know that she’s a fighter, and I just hope that one day I’ll have the strength and courage that she possesses. USTYLEU Mag: We have heard so much about this awesome garden you and our sister created for your mom. Tell us a little about it. Tyler: The garden was made to almost symbolize the new life my mother was experiencing. We built the garden after the surgery was over, and she was home. She kept saying that she was one-year old. This is mainly what prompted the construction of the garden because the flowers that were planted would bloom and grow just as she would again after the cancer was removed. USTYLEU Mag: Simply Beautiful. Thank you.

Photography: Robb Jackson Hair Design: Marvelette “Molly B.” Jackson Special Effects Make-up: Juanita Angelique Marty Make-up: Lisa K. McGuinness

Break the Chains of






FALL 2013 Issue |

Her Truth —— Lumpectomy

—— 39 Straight Days of Radiation —— Third Degree Burns


he Brave Chick is a flagship of awareness. A role model, road map and an example of what cancer looks like. “Young ladies, take a look at my scars and my burns. Cancer is not pretty. Seeing the effects cancer can leave behind shocks the psyche, but if you catch it early, you will have more options for treatment. The Brave Chick illustrates the naked truth about breast cancer. Having endured the unimaginable, The Brave Chick goes way beyond the pretty pink ribbons of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Her whole life is dedicated to empower, uplift and inspire all women specifically young women to take action by knowing their body and being proactive. Whether you are 18 or 80, cancer does not discriminate. It activates and once activated, you better put it out like a three-alarm fire. Your response time can be your saving grace or it can be your worst nightmare, nonetheless, you are your own best advocate. Technology can fail you, but knowing your body and performing self-examinations can save your most precious gift…your life. The Brave Chick is beautiful on the inside and fearless on the outside. She’s fit and fierce. She blends in, makes a bold statement by using her scars to create awareness and proactive thinking. People want to know who she is, and she’s not afraid to tell them or show them. She allows her actions to speak in the absence of her voice. She is a fighter, survivor and a warrior. She is the college student, the bus driver, the doctor, the teacher, and the first lady. The Brave Chick is you! One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. The number 8 is branded on “The Brave Chick” to represent our new number. We want to be the 8, not that ONE. We must break the chains of silence, secrecy and shame, but how can we break what we don’t talk about? We have to position young women to win by arming them early with information that makes them aware of the epidemic that is invading our communities in epic form and leaving mother’s daughterless, children motherless, husbands widows and friends in pieces. We must rise up unified one voice. Be involved, be aware, be knowledge, be a fighter, be brave and be of service.

FALL 2013 Issue |


Mom! Your Causes misdiagnoses

s e c r e t s

Missed opportunities Reactive solutions vs. reactiveness Feelings of Discontent Distrust and lack of communications Continuous state of confusion Avoidable major complications Family resentment and partings Distrust and feelings of betrayal Misunderstanding Birth complications Unpreparedness Lack of knowledge Constant search for answers Deficiency in prevention False sense of security Lack of communications Misinterpretations Anger and disbelief Generational illnesses Disappointment and regrets ARE KILLING ME By Terri Harris Sanchez 18

FALL 2013 Issue |


”People just “got sick and died. They never got into the details, and as a child, you NEVER probed.”

ust turning 18, my beloved pediatric doctor advised me to find a new doctor before my next appointment. I have to admit, I had become somewhat uncomfortable sitting in a waiting room full of babies and toddlers, so I was not a bit miffed to finally get the “boot” out of the pink and blue pastel rooms of the pediatrics practice. My high standard criteria selection was based solely on location, i.e., walking distance for a deprived college student sans a vehicle, and extensive office hours. I ultimately selected a female doctor located near my home and immediately made an appointment. Even though I always considered myself to be in tip-top shape, I thought I better get a quick check-up before beginning Pilates classes. Upon arriving to my first appointment, the receptionist gave me an application to complete. The first section of the application was pretty simple, containing basic questions. But once I reached the family history section, I drew an absolute blank. Not being advised of any family history translated to no history of family medical problems….Right? Any family history of Cancer? No one ever discussed anything with me, so “No.” Do you have any mental illness in your family? I only have a few “crazy” cousins and an aunt walking around without restraints, so my answer is “No.” High Blood Pressure? “No.” That Was Pretty Easy!

Folks” business. When I asked her about breast cancer history in our family, I wasn’t surprised to hear she had just found out her grandmother died of the disease 30 years ago. This fact was only discovered because of a Facebook posting by her aunt. The posting read, “In honor of my mother Haden during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” My mom said she wondered why her parents did not share this information with her. She said she had always answered “No” to that question. Aside from the cancer history, she never knew until a few years ago that she was not the only child. She had a mentally and physically challenged brother who died before she was born. Cancer, mental illness, alcoholism and birth defects run in our family, but she always answered “No” because, she just like me, didn’t know. My mom is from the deep South and discussing mental and physical health issues were off-limits. Children had to respect adults and the essentials of respecting your elders were staying out of their business. There was a huge separation of “Grown Folk” and “Kids,” and if you stepped across that line, you may not live to tell the story! According to my mom, when she was growing up, people just “got sick and died.” They never got into the details, and as a child, you NEVER probed. You sat through a relative’s funeral and heard great stories about them, heard they “fell ill” and went to be with the Lord. Family Secrets Hurt: Why is it important to know your family medical history?

My Research

A family medical history or a family medical tree is a record of health information about a person and their close relatives. A complete record includes information from three generations of relatives including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

I did a little research of my own and asked my mother about her family medical history. She’s 44, and as she puts it, was raised “Old School.” If you were raised by an oldschool mom, you didn’t get into “Grown

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, we inherit half of our genetic profile from each parent. Along with the genetic information that determines our appearance, we also inherit

To most family members, their business is their business. Or they try to keep medical issues a secret because they don’t want people to worry. However, someone needs to let us know about our genetics.

genes that might cause or increase risks of certain medical conditions. A family medical history can reveal the history of disease in our family and allow us to identify patterns that might be relevant to our own health. A family medical history can’t predict our future health. It only provides information about risk. Other factors — such as diet, weight, exercise routine and exposure to environmental factors — also affect risks of developing certain diseases. What’s the best way to gather family medical information? The CDC’s National Office of Public Health Genomics, suggests asking questions; talk to family members at family gatherings and look at death certificates and family medical records if possible. Collect information about your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, siblings and children. Collect information regarding major medical conditions, causes of death and ethnic background. What information should be included in a family medical history? If possible, your family medical history should include at least three generations. Compile information about your grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins, children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. If you use just some of these proactive measures to ensure you know your medical history, you won’t fall into the trap that I and so many others before me have — responding “No” to critical questions that can impact your health, when in reality, the answers might be “Yes.” Resources: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education & Research; CDC’s Family History Web site for the Public. For more information on CDC’s National Office of Public Health Genomics, visit their Web site at FALL 2013 Issue |



FALL 2013 Issue |

Photographer: Billy Montgomery Photography Designer: Maury Cesair Hair: Mz Shana Make-up: Khadija Parchem Jewelry: Dominique Larue of DaBoutique Models: Ruth Daniel Priscilla K. Williams Whitney Engle Khadija Parchem Alexandra Proano Jeff McAlister Chloe Corrien

FALL 2013 Issue |


On The

Rise A music rebel, breaking norms of sound and tradition to create ear candy for his listeners, 3tre began crafting trendy sounds at the age of 13. Born Ricky O’Neal on November 27, 1987, 3tre released his first mixed tape, Calm Before the Storm, in April 2009. His song lyrics draw fans in with the same smooth and even tone that define 3tre’s personality and passion for his art. Songs like “Sweetest letter I ever wrote” evoke heartfelt emotion that is easy to listen to and just as easy to move to. About the album, one fan comments that “You can listen to 3tre’s music when you are going through difficult times.” In October 2011, 3tre released Underdog Overqualified, the album title a testament to his own talent and tenacity. “I truly believe I can choose anything I want to do, and be successful, but I chose music,” says the University of Illinois business grad. Underdog Overqualified was the first glimpse into the boundless musical versatility the artist would eventually explore. It was also the project that later led to the dynamic duo Blakrebel Music Club. A movement which inspired a talented producer, Beau Brenton Dillard, to join forces with 3tre and together push sound barriers beyond the limits. CONTACT: WEB: WWW.BRMCLUB.COM/3TRE EMAIL: 3TRE@BLACKREBELMUSICCLUB@GMAIL.COMFOLLOW: TWITTER.COM/3TRE CALL: 773.599.3TRE

FALL 2013 Issue |


In a New York Minute


By Matthew Ambrosio


ashion week in New York is like no other. Provided with an abundance of shows and a great deal of talent, how does one decide? This year, my tour included RGP-Rogue Gallery Presents. If you are one who appreciates fashion history, this show was reminiscent of Eleanor Lambert’s original NYC “Press Week” showcase which launched in the 1940’s. Emerging and established designers showcased their collections to the media masses, and at RGP, they certainly did not disappoint. Brands such as Reckless, Blueman Swimwear and B’KLYN Clothing Lab packed the mile long runway with


FALL 2013 Issue |

male and female forms wrapped in trend setting attire. Hair and makeup matched the skill level of the designers and it meshed beautifully to enhance and compliment the designer’s vision. The most memorable moment of the event for me materialized as a scantily clad model walked tastefully topless wearing only a sheer sarong around the waist and arms to conceal her breasts. It was a head turning moment and a bold image which provoked a scandalous pride of how edgy fashion can be. That’s Fashion Week in a New York minute.

USTYLEU Mag Fall Issue  

The Brave Chick is Unleashed and USTYLEU is bigger and better than ever! We have transformed into a more mature, edgier top fashion-editoria...

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