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WElevate. WEpromote. WEinspire.

Be Naturally You |July Issue 2014

Establishing & Maintaining Healthy Friendships You GLOW, Girl 3 Naturalistas On Being Yourself

Marala Scott One of Oprah Winfrey’s Ambassadors of Hope and an Amazon Bestseller, Marala Scott shares how she used her story of childhood abuse to help others!

Top 10 Instagram Naturalistas You Should Follow

in this issue

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 from the founder Reevaluate & readjust

6 you glow, girl! Try using natural cleansers for a healthy glow

11 accolades Women’s Elevation Magazine receives recognition!

12 recipes You must try these!

52 top 10 naturalistas Follow these ladies on Instagram for helpful tips, ideas & more!

63 healthy friendships It takes two to establish & maintain healthy, beneficial friendships

FEATURES 16 feature story Marala Scott shares how she used her story of childhood abuse to help others!

28 feature story Kinky Curly Beauty discusses learning to love your natural, beautiful self

37 feature story Ijeoma Eboh on embracing your natural hair and being having confidence

45 feature story Akushika Gone Natural takes on YouTube with hair, skincare, beauty & fashion tips

in this issue


THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS Sonja Smith Jones Owner of Beautiful Brown Girl www.beautifulbrowngirl.com

Kara Frison WE Magazine contributing writer www.softwordsbrighteyes.blogspot.com

Shannon Clark Graphic Designer www.srichardscreative.com

WElevate. WEpromote. WEinspire. www.WomensElevationMagazine.com

From the Founder

DELISHA SYLVESTER The warm weather has come. People are planning their vacations, starting new adventures, and planning out the remaining part of this year. Ask yourself where you are with your goals for the year? How can you get closer? Is there anything that needs to move





Whatever the answer is use this time to reevaluate things. Life is all about readjusting. With that being said take a break, turn the page, and




As always...


Happy Reading

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our face is the first thing people notice

when they see you. The condition of your skin can either age you, or convince people that you’ve found the elusive fountain of youth.

By: Sonja Smith Jones

Regardless of your skin type, an ideal skin care regimen should always involve three main steps: cleansing, toning and moisturizing. There are tons of products on the market today for your face, but did you know that there are a multitude of natural ingredients that you can use to get healthy, glowing skin? Women’s Elevation Magazine | 7

No matter your skin type, neglecting to moisturize your skin can actually cause pre-mature aging. Cleansing your face should be done in the morning and at night. Glycerin soaps are beneficial because of their anti-aging properties. Their humectants draw moisture from the air into the skin making it feel smooth and supple. Some of the most popular types of glycerin soaps are honey, olive oil, seaweed and aloe vera. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can easily make glycerin soap in the comfort of your own home. Toning is probably the most over-looked step in facial care. It is essential because it improves your skin’s complexion. Witch Hazel astringent and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar are prominent amongst natural toners. They maintain the skin’s natural pH balance and promote detoxification. Lemon juice can help fade hyperpigmenation, however due to its acidity and potential interaction with sunlight, it is best used at bedtime and in moderation. No matter your skin type, neglecting to moisturize your skin can actually cause pre-mature aging. Nature has given us moisturizers by way of natural plant oils, however knowing the right oil for your skin type is crucial. Normal to oily skin should be treated with light oils such as jojoba, grapeseed, or avocado oil. Dry skin is best treated with rich oils such as sesame, coconut, or olive oil. 8 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

Any esthetician will confirm that exfoliating at least once a week is also a necessary part of any skin care regime. Exfoliating encourages the shedding and removal of dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin. Many organic and natural product stores sell various types of clay powder that draw out impurities and oils from the skin, when used as a facial mask. Green clay is a great oil-absorber, making it a good choice for oily or acne-prone skin. White clay is gentle, though less absorbent, so it’s a better choice for sensitive or normal skin. Other natural exfoliants such as baking soda, brown sugar, coffee grounds and even uncooked oatmeal are not only great on your face, but are perfect to use on your shoulders, arms, and legs to reveal your most luminous skin during the summertime. Your skin is the largest organ of your human body and is by far the largest indicator for what is going on within your system. Having a diet that consists largely of water, fruits high in vitamin C, and dark, leafy greens can also aid you in getting gorgeous skin. So, glow on girl, and put your best face forward!

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We Are Honored Founder DeLisha Sylvester was the 2014 Honoree for the SHERocks event presented by Love Life Media.

WE Magazine is the recipient of the 2014 Stiletto Woman in Business award in the category of Business on the Rise!

“Keep striving for greatness because you never know who you are inspiring with your journey” ~ DeLisha Sylvester

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for every occasion!

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Instructions Mix first 8 ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Spread seasoning paste all over chicken with spoon or basting brush. Grill chicken using medium heat for a gas grill or indirect heat for a charcoal grill. Close the lid and grill about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. For the Lime Butter, mix all ingredients in small bowl. Drizzle over chicken just before serving or serve separately for dipping. For easy prep-ahead planning, seasoning paste, and Lime Butter may be made ahead, a refrigerated covered. The Lime Butter can be slowly rewarmed, or just brought to room temperature and let the warm chicken finish the melting.)

Southwestern Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter Ingredients For the chicken: 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken parts For the Lime Butter: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 1 serrano chile, minced 2 tablespoons minced white onion 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice pinch coarse black pepper

Adapted from She Wears Many Hats Recipe from McCormick

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Rosemary Citrus Shrimp Tacos Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Yield: 8 tacos Serving Size: 2 tacos

Instructions In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook for two minutes until pink. Flip shrimp and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until shrimp is pink and flesh is opaque. Stir in 1 cup of Rosemary Citrus & Papper Sauce and warm through. Remove from heat. Assemble tacos by topping a tortilla with cole slaw, pepper strips, avocado slices and shrimp. Top with additional Rosemary Citrus & Pepper Sauce, if desired.

Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined and tails removed 12.4 ounces Robert Rothschild Farm Rosemary Citrus & Pepper Sauce 8 flour tortillas 8-1/2 ounces fresh cole slaw mix 1 red pepper, cut into strips 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips 1 avocado, sliced

Adapted from Melanie Makes 14 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

Instructions In a medium size sauce pan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add quinoa, turn heat down to low, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, covered. When it’s finished cooking (no liquid left), stir in scallions and a 1/2 Tbsp of lemon. In a small bowl, mix paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt and pepper. Rub all over chicken breasts. Spray a large frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, cook chicken for 7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Tip: cover the pan while cooking. Meanwhile, mix Greek yogurt, remaining lemon juice, garlic powder and avocado in a food processor. To serve, place the chicken on a bed of quinoa and drizzle the sauce on top.

Blackened Chicken

with Avocado Cream Sauce Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 servings Serving size: 1 chicken breast, 1 cup quinoa, 1/8 cup of cream sauce

Ingredients 4 — 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 cup quinoa 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup scallions, chopped

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 chicken breast, 1 cup quinoa, 1/8 cup of cream sauce): Calories: 360 Fat: 10 Carbohydrates: 35g Fiber: 4g Protein: 35g Sugars: 4g Sodium: 444mg Vitamin A: 16% Vitamin C: 11% Calcium: 6% Iron: 13%

1 Tbsp lemon juice, divided 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 tsp black pepper 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt 1/2 avocado 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Adapted from Skinny Mom Women’s Elevation Magazine | 15

Marala Scott If you haven’t heard about Marala Scott then get ready to be inspired. Her story has inspired countless individuals from all walks of life. Marala Scott speaks from the heart with her life-changing words of faith and strength. Her efforts caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey who honored her as one of her five Ambassadors of Hope in 2009 and stated “A childhood of abuse almost kept Marala Scott from a life of happiness...until she discovered how to use her story to help others.” Ms. Scott is also a recipient of a Congressional award for her humanitarian efforts for sharing her prolific life story in efforts to help and inspire others. Marala’s Award-winning books, In Our House, (an Amazon Bestseller) Surrounded By Inspiration, Bad to the Bone (an Amazon Bestseller) and the newly released award-winning novel (co-authored with her daughter, Alyssa Curry,) Intuition, provide powerful lessons that inspire, provide hope and encourage change. WE Magazine sat down to chat with Scott about her amazing stories. She utilizes her own tragedies to continue to inspire others. 16 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

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WE Magazine: Good Morning! I appreciate you taking the time out to do this interview. I want to start out with asking you: What inspired you to begin writing? Deciding to become a writer is a huge step in a person’s life. Not a lot of people can handle it so just talk a little about how you got your calling. M. Scott: Well when I was a child I used to write quite often and I actually loved writing. I wrote a lot of poetry believe it or not. We had a lot of turmoil and violence taking place in our house when I was growing up so that’s when I began writing. Writing was a way to release the negativity I witnessed and experienced. Putting it down on paper was my way of saying, “Is this really real? Is this really happening to me and why?” Back then; writing was my way of validating what was occurring. My memoir In Our House accounted for everything that happened. If I didn’t write for peace of mind and just to cleanse my spirit I think things would have been more difficult to handle. When I was in college I continued to write, and it just became a passion for me. It was therapeutic in a lot of ways but I enjoyed it. It allowed me to share a lot of things that I didn’t share with anyone else. It didn’t really matter whether or not I wanted to publish it because writing was for me. I reached the point where I became comfortable embracing my story and the lessons I had gone through. On a positive note I decided to share it with people so that they could understand the adversities that I was able to overcome. When people read my book they are blown away by what I have overcome and the 18 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

resilience that was born out of it. At the same time they are able to understand that I was able to forgive, and hopefully it will help them do the same in their lives. Sharing my memoir prevents my mother’s life from being in vain, but even more so it allows people to connect with it. Hopefully the readers will be able to figure out how to avoid some of those hurdles I had to go through in life. WE Magazine: I like what you said about how sharing your story will hopefully help others not have to go through or experience some of the things that you have. One of the things I believe wholeheartedly is that you shouldn’t ever be ashamed of your story because you never know who it can help. It is great that you felt comfortable enough to release your memoir. Since we’re talking about writing what advice would you give someone who wants to share their story and begin their journey of becoming an author? M. Scott: I get this question quite often and one of the things I tell people is that they should share their story and take the truth with them. I share inspirational stories and nothing more because that’s my passion. Know who your target audience is and know what you want to share. If it’s based on nonfiction then tell the truth and write from your soul. You will be surprised what will come out. If your story is fiction then use your passion and creativity. Share your passion but create a story that has something that can benefit people. People tell me often that they don’t have time to write and I say well then you’re not ready. If it’s your passion then you’ll make time. I was raising my two children at the time, as a Women’s Elevation Magazine | 19

single mom, and I used to write at night. What was flowing out of me was so natural that it wasn’t a chore. If you look at it as an imposition then you’re really not in the right mindset to do it yet. Don’t force it because it will sound forced when it hits the paper. WE Magazine: I think that’s definitely huge. I recall writing poetry as a child, which was a huge thing for me. I never really wanted to write a book, but always loved writing poetry. So I know firsthand if you try to force writing something it won’t sound like it came from the heart. Readers are privy to something that sounds forced. I’ve read many books where I say, “This doesn’t sound genuine or real” so I think that’s a huge part of it. So you have a few books that you’ve written. What was the hardest part about writing In Our House or Surrounded by Inspiration? M. Scott: Well, In Our House was actually a true accounting of the horror I had to experience as a child. It was extremely difficult to write. Actually when people read it they say that they feel such an intense connection. As if they were me, in my house, and 20 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

that’s exactly what I want them to feel. I wanted them to feel my pain, my horror, and my fear; I wanted them to feel everything. I wanted them to say, “Wow! I don’t want this to happen to my child, siblings or friends.” My life story is incredibly shocking and it will absolutely shake your soul. In order to do that I had to relive what I endured, which was the hardest part. I actually put those feelings and emotions on paper so it transcends when you read it. It goes into your heart and your mind. Surrounded by Inspiration was written with ease. It was effortless for me to write because it’s a combination of my inspirational quotes and short stories. It stemmed from the fact that we’re all surrounded by inspiration, even in our darkest hours. So that book was born out of In Our House because it reminded me that I have God’s inspiration no matter what I do. God is always watching over me and that’s the reason I made it out of our house. It was my lesson. It was a hard and difficult lesson, but I learned a lot from that stage in my life. I certainly didn’t learn while I was living it, but definitely once I transitioned out of

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it. Surrounded by Inspiration showed me the beauty that was around me. It was collection of quotes that I share on Facebook and Twitter to inspire others. I shared it to combat the negativity that we are constantly faced with. I have another book, Bad to the Bone, which is the story of David Tuccaro Jr. and his battle with Leukemia at the age of 25 years old. His story is remarkable and working with him to get his story out of him was easy. Additionally, I am a memoir and ghostwriter so when I work with clients I like for them to get to know me. When they do, they’ve read my stories so it’s easier for them to connect with me. Afterwards, they 22 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

feel more comfortable and they are open to sharing their stories that they typically wouldn’t share with anyone else. That’s what I enjoy. I love to bring the truth out of people, as I believe their truth can inspire and teach others. WE Magazine: Switching subjects, one of the things that I read as I did some research on you was that you are one of Oprah’s Ambassadors of Hope. I wanted to know what that title means? M. Scott: That title came from the work I did after writing In Our House. I began speaking nationally about domestic violence, child abuse, the power of forgiveness and many other topics. I received a call asking me to be one of her Ambassadors of Hope; she has five worldwide. What we’ve been doing is inspiring and encouraging others by giving them hope. I share my story so that people know that they can overcome anything. Sometimes, there are reasons behind our challenges. They are meant to make us stronger, wiser, strengthen our faith, and bring us closer to God. Adversity exists to help us understand our purpose and what we’re supposed to learn, share or teach others. Oprah recognized what I was doing. It’s an honor to be recognized by such an impressive woman that has her sights on what others are doing to improve this world. WE Magazine: Yes, because whenever Oprah or Oprah’s people come calling you just say yes! (laughs) No questions asked. So that is definitely a huge honor. That’s awesome that you were able to connect with her and share your story. Switching subjects I want to know what you are reading right now or what would you like to read if you don’t currently have the time? M. Scott: That’s a good question. Right now I am reading a book that I just published called Intuition. When I’m writing I don’t read Women’s Elevation Magazine | 23

anything. The reason being is that I don’t want to adapt anyone’s style. I have a unique style of writing, and it works for me. Styles, fashion, cooking, and different things naturally influence you. Therefore, in order for me to maintain my authenticity I don’t read other works when I’m working on projects. That’s a bit unfortunate because it takes some time before I get a chance to read other things. I always keep Langston Hughes around me because he’s brilliant. You cannot duplicate his style. However, Intuition is what I am reading and that book was co-authored with my daughter, an award-winning novelist, Alyssa Curry. WE Magazine: That’s awesome, kudos to you for the newest book. M. Scott: My latest novel is about trusting your God given intuition. It teaches you to trust what you innately know instead of fighting it. Intuition is a powerful gift from God that should not be devalued. Trusting it can save your life. The story is powerful on all accounts and the characters bring that value of understanding it in a romantic, psychological thriller. I reveal a lot about my personal life and what I’ve learned from following my intuition with my daughter learning to trust hers in order to find me after I am kidnapped. It’s a collaborative effort between Alyssa and I. We share our stories and I think it’s our best work. WE Magazine: Well I’m sure your audience looks forward to enjoying it. M. Scott: It is phenomenal and that’s really hard for me to say because I am such a perfectionist. I really love what I do; I see the growth in my work. It’s not necessarily because of the writing, but because I know the message gets better. That’s what I value. It’s my destiny to share messages that inspire others. Doing this 24 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

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with Alyssa Curry, a young 22 year old, has been a great process. She gets a chance to share her story as well. It’s great because with Intuition you really get to see what it means to follow your intuition. People get into the car and follow the GPS to wherever they need to go, but forget about the God given intuition we have inside. It’s truly powerful. WE Magazine: It truly is powerful and it is important to realize that we have to trust the voice inside of us. Last question before we end this interview. When you think of a quote that you go by throughout your life what would it be? M. Scott: Well I’ll tell you I have a book of quotes and they are really powerful, but my mother told me something years ago when I was a child. I was very angry because of everything that was taking place in my life and she told me, “Let God deal with him, He made him.” That quote stayed with me throughout my life. It taught me not to judge, not to carry anger, and to let it go because God knew this was going to happen; He knew this destiny. He created all of us so you have to let Him deal with them accordingly. It is not for you to judge, it is not for you to seek revenge, and that has been my mantra. WE Magazine: I love it! Thank you for that quote it is a very powerful one. Again I want to thank you so much for this interview. M. Scott: Thank you, I truly appreciate it. For more information on Marala Scott visit her website www.maralascott.com. Also follow her on Instagram and Twitter @maralascott. 26 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

Backstory No R.I.P. (Reckless Internet Posting) is a movement founded by entertainment mogul Debra Antney. The movement was inspired by the untimely, and extremely unfortunate, passing of Deb’s youngest son, Caodes “KayO” Scott. Just after Christmas 2013, and right before the New Year, KayO took his own life. At 22 years old, the pressures of the world were too much for him to bare and he decided this was a place he no longer wanted to be. A weight that weighed heavily on KayO and his family were the evils of the internet and the reckless, thoughtless people who spread vicious rumors and fed into harmful gossip regarding his mother and other members of their family. Always with an amazing heart, KayO felt every aspect of his mother and family’s pain. Carrying his own pains and personal hardships, in the end, it was all too much pain for someone with such a loving spirit to carry. WE Magazine’s Pledge WE Magazine is taking the pledge to say no to reckless internet posting. We’re saying no to negativity. Matter of fact we’re saying no to anything that does not benefit the lives of others. Are you taking the pledge? For more information visit www.pledgenorip.com

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Kinky Curly Beauty 28 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

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WE Magazine: You’re a woman who loves natural hair, but let’s talk about your background. Where are you from and how did you get your start? Leslie: My name is Leslie and I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. I mistakenly transitioned in 2011. My last relaxer was in August of 2011. I’d decided to stretch my relaxers to prevent breakage from relaxing and coloring my hair. After going months without a relaxer, I realized how healthy my new-growth was and decided to proceed with the stretching of the relaxer until I finally chopped the relaxed hair off in April of 2012. WE Magazine: What are your hopes for your place in the natural movement? How do you hope to inspire people differently than others before you?

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Leslie: My hope is to inspire the Naturals of our community to think outside of the box. I’d like for us to realize that there’s more to being a Natural than wearing puffs and twist outs. With our hair’s versatility, there are a plethora of ways to style our hair while allowing it to remain in its healthy state. WE Magazine: When many people think of the phrase “I’m going natural or I’ve been natural for xyz years,” they think of it as it relates to hair. Being natural to me is being the person who you love to be. To wake up and be the way you want to be. What is your take on this? Leslie: I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t realize who I truly was until I went back to my Natural texture of hair. A confidence rose up in me that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Returning my hair to its Natural state gave me the courage to find my true self again...loving myself just as I was made. WE Magazine: What advice would you give those who are looking to dive into the natural realm as it relates to hair? Leslie: a. Have patience. When we title our processes as a ”journey”, it’s just that. Returning to your Natural texture and having the length and healthy state that you’d like to have takes time. b. Never compare your texture/length to others. Learn to love and embrace what God gave you. c. Have fun! Research! Try different products! All three must be done in order to learn your hair and what it needs to remain in a healthy state.

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WE Magazine: What advice would you give those that are struggling with loving themselves? Is there anything that you would have told your younger self about loving the skin you’re in? Leslie: When God made you, He made a one of a kind. There will never be another you...made in His image. People are going to talk regardless of what you look like or what you do or don’t have; give them something to talk about. There’s no revenge better than success. :)

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WE Magazine: What’s next for your brand? Leslie: Next for Kinky Curly Beauty is the opening of my Hair Studio. I will also begin traveling the country providing workshops for the Professional Stylist as well as the Everyday Woman. Follow Them On: Website: kinkycurlybeauties.wix.com/kinky-curly-beauties Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/kinkycurlybeauty Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KinkyBeauties Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KinkyBeauties Youtube: www.youtube.com/kinkycurleebeauties

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Ijeoma Eboh Women’s Elevation Magazine | 37

WE Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself. I see from your page that you are a Harvard alum (kudos to you by the way) and that you were originally born in Nigeria, how has that affected you? I Eboh: I was born in Nigeria but my family moved to the US when I was two, so I claim New Jersey as my home away from home. Nigerians - especially the women - are incredibly hard workers, so that value was instilled in me from a young age; I guess that’s how I ended up at Harvard! Going to Harvard put me around more intelligent, motivated, and like-minded 38 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

women of color than I had ever seen in my life, and my experiences there really groomed me to not only be confident in myself, but also to recognize the power of black women when they work together to uplift one another. After college, I moved to New York City, where I’m now pursuing a doctoral degree in the history of public health while dabbling in health and hair education, blogging, and being a hair stylist. WE Magazine: Your website states that your goal is to “Change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world.” Why is this mission so important to you? I Eboh: When I cut my hair, I became fully aware of the stigmatization of kinky, afro-textured hair that was at the time present in America, but absolutely rampant in Nigerian and other African cultures. Whatever you think are the acceptance issues surrounding natural hair in the US, multiply them by 20, and you have the current perception of natural hair in Nigeria. There is a lot of work to be done in educating, empowering, and uplifting those who choose to wear their hair in its natural state, particularly for us with the tightest and most historically frowned upon hair texture, so I wanted to contribute to that effort on a global scale. While my site will also tell you which conditioner to try, I hope the stories and images that are shared by myself, my contributing writers, and all the beautiful women that we feature, help redefine kinky hair as professional, stylish, elegant, and beautiful. WE Magazine: When many people think of the phrase “I’m going natural or I’ve been natural for xyz years,” they think of it as it relates to hair. Being natural to me is being the person who you love to be. To wake up and be the way you want to be. What is your take on this? I Eboh: At an event I went to in March, one of the discussion points was whether having natural hair and being insecure makes you better than someone with relaxed hair who is confident. It doesn’t matter what your

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hair looks like; at the end of the day, if you cannot look yourself in the mirror – naked and make-up free – and say “I was made perfectly fabulous,” then you have some work to do. That’s not to say that we are all perfect and shouldn’t strive to improve, but that we were created perfectly with beauty and purpose. At least for me personally though, I couldn’t come to a place where I loved the person I was, or even know who I loved to be, until I saw and embraced what my natural hair looked like. WE Magazine: What advice would you give those who are looking to dive into the natural realm as it relates to hair? I Eboh: If you are thinking about going natural so you can have hair like [fill in the blank with your hair crush], don’t do it. You most likely will not have hair like hers – because everyone, and I mean everyone’s hair is different – and you will simply be frustrated and miserable. If you are thinking about going natural to try a different look, have healthier hair, or just see what the hype is about, approach the process like you would when learning a new skill – for example, cooking. You watch some videos and read some blogs (which will all say different things), then you try out a few recipes on your own, pick and choose the ones you like, and finally, you add your own custom flair to make it work just for you. WE Magazine: What advice would you give those that are struggling with loving themselves? Is there anything that you would have told your younger self about loving the skin you’re in? I Eboh: Learning to love yourself is a challenging but worthwhile process – you might feel unworthy or it may seem too self-centered – but you must try or you’ll never know what real love feels like. Nourish your body, pamper your skin, cultivate your dreams, and do whatever it takes to exude radiance;

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“We were created perfectly with beauty and purpose. At least for me, personally, I couldn’t come to a place where I loved the person I was, or even know who I loved to be, until I saw and embraced what my natural hair looked like.” Women’s Elevation Magazine | 41

“Ultimately, you cannot receive love until you have learned to love yourself, for then you will know what love is.”

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all those come with loving the skin that you’re in. Ultimately, you cannot receive love until you have learned to love yourself, for then you will know what love is. WE Magazine: What’s next for you and your brand? I Eboh: The 1-year anniversary of my site www.KlassyKinks.com is coming up in August, so that is a major milestone I’m looking forward to! I just hosted my second US event at the end of May, so I am excited about planning the next one for sure. I’ve already had events in Nigeria and Kenya, so I would love to get to some other African countries and experience the natural hair scene in those contexts, especially Ghana and South Africa. I’m also working on some secret business moves, so you’ll have to stay tuned to see!

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A Go

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Akushika one Natural

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WE Magazine: I have to ask what does the word “Akushika” mean and what made you chose to incorporate it in your YouTube name? Akushika: Akushika is my middle name. “Aku” means a Wednesday born in my native language (I’m originally from Ghana, West Africa), and “Shika” means a priced or precious jewel. The name was given to me since birth. I decided to incorporate it into my YouTube name because I wanted a name that had a nostalgic connection to me, and the journey to my roots. A unique way to incorporate my culture into YouTube Channel. WE Magazine: What can people expect when they check out your YouTube channel? Akushika: My YouTube Channel is mainly comprised of Natural Hair videos, hence the name “Akushika Gone Natural”. It was a platform through which I could share my Natural Hair Journey, as well as everything that comes out of it, and with it....D.I.Y tutorials, mixed in with a few Skincare, Beauty and Outfit of the Day videos. I have a very spontaneous personality, so I tried to incorporate that into my channel as well. I have a very creative and artistic side (I’m a Graphic Design graduate from college), and that also leaves a blueprint on my channel. WE Magazine: What made you want to publicly get involved in the natural hair movement? Akushika: I realized there weren’t many Natural Hair Vloggers on YouTube with my Hair Type, hence, I decided to share my experience and hopefully, help, and inspire other 4C-haired naturals out there. Sharing is Caring, and that’s what I’m all about. 46 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

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WE Magazine: When many people think of the phrase “I’m going natural or I’ve been natural for xyz years,” they think of it as it relates to hair. Being natural to me is being the person who you love to be. To wake up and be the way you want to be. What is your take on this? Akushika: I think being natural can encompass a lot of things. Going natural for me first comprised solely of my transition to natural hair, but it has had a positive impact on all parts of my life. It has further impacted my self-image, as well as my diet. I tend to incorporate more natural fruits and vegetables into my diet, it has brought about my new found love for Juicing and Green smoothies. It has impacted the products I use on my skin. I tend to solely use natural skincare products including products from the Shea Moisture line. I’ve also started using all-natural deodorants, because they do not contain aluminum and other harsh possible cancer-causing ingredients. WE Magazine: What advice would you give those who are looking to dive into the natural realm as it relates to hair? Akushika: I’d say “GO FOR IT”.....Going natural has been one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far.

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It has transformed my perception of beauty and my outlook on life. There is a certain liberation, self-esteem, new found love and happiness that comes with Big-Chopping and embracing your natural curls that can only be experienced through “Going Natural”. WE Magazine: What advice would you give those that are struggling with loving themselves? Is there anything that you would have told your younger self about loving the skin you’re in? Akushika: “I would have Big-Chopped sooner” that’s the advice I would have given my younger self. Society is so rigid on the definition of beauty, and I think Self-love is the best kind of love one can ever have. You can never love someone else fully, till you can love and accept yourself for who you are. Look into the mirror daily, Appreciate and Compliment yourself. You’re an original blueprint on the face of this earth. No photocopies, no copyrights...... Just “YOU” Jennifer, a.k.a “Akushika Gone Natural”, can be found on Youtube.

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Top 1 Naturalistas on Instagram! We follow a lot of “Naturalistas” on Instragram, and we have decided to pick our Top 10. We wish we could include everyone, but that would make for a long segment! Enjoy our list and start following these lovely ladies. *Note: List is in no particular order! Enjoy* 52 | Women’s Elevation Magazine


@KinkyKrescendo – Have a longing for music? What about a love for all things natural hair? Well then follow this account. They’ve coined the hashtag like #CanIKinkIt and #KINKyKrescendo it’s no wonder why they are the place where natural hair and music collide. Follow them on Facebook www. facebook.com/KinkyKrescendo. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 53

2. @TginNatural – With a mission to empower American households to live healthier natural lives there’s no wonder why we love this brand. Their Instagram incorporates quotes, pictures, and tips on life, natural hair. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and check out their website www.tginatural.com.

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@NaturalHairDaily – They really are “Just two naturalistas on a mission to encourage others to rock their natural tresses with pride!” They’re bringing natural hair tips, features, and they are also the host for Natural Hair Week UK 2014! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and sign for their newsletter by going to www.naturalhairdaily.com. 36 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

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4. @NaturallyFashionable - Personal style blogger Kimberlee Postell is the creator of the blog Naturally Fashionable, and resides in North Carolina. Her blog is designed to help curvy women dress their bodies and develop personal style. Kim is also a YouTube Vlogger, and her channel Naturally Fashionable features fashion, beauty, and natural hair tips. Kim’s posts include a wide variety of topics from outfits of the day, to discussions about confidence, and tutorials. Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on her website www.thenaturalfashionista.com 14 | Women’s Elevation Magazine 56


@NaturallyCreole – Her YouTube offers great content and tips on how to style and manage natural hair. NaturallyCreole showcases everything from Natural hair, Beauty and Fashion to the Randomness of life!! Follow her on Twitter and on YouTube www.youtube.com/ NaturallyCreole.

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@CatchTheez_Nappz – “Is an ode to The Trend Setters... The Trail Blazers... The Innovators. All Fierce. All the Time. Plain and Simple It’s To Empower and Inspire. Here We Create Our Own Platform. Our Own Voice.” Says creator Chavantay Howard. Positivity, empowerment, and inspiration make up this brand! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and by going to their site www.catchtheeznappz.com. 58 | Women’s Elevation Magazine



@KinkyKurlySistas – “A passion for Multi-Ethnic women to embrace their own natural beauty, gave birth to a vision to create a platform where these women get and provide education, encouragement and support to each other.” Says creator Sherwanda M. Lee. Find out more by following them on Twitter and checking out their site www.kinkykurlysistas.com.

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@Natural_GirlsRock – Their mission is “For every women or girl to feel proud to rock their hair in its natural Godgiven state; to never feel ashamed, embarrassed, or less attractive than anyone else because of the texture of your hair. If you have natural hair and you are sporting it with confidence, You Rock!” For more information check out their website http://www.naturalgirlsrock.com. Also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. 60 | Women’s Elevation Magazine

@MoKnowsHair - “Hair care is a priority for everyone. We express who we are with clothing, makeup, accessories and especially our hair. It takes time and patience to find what works and how to manage care. But once you figure it out, you can enjoy coming up with new ways to style your hair and feel confident in how it looks and behaves.” – MoKnowsHair. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and check out her website www. moknowshair.com


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@KoilsByNature - Koils by Nature is a woman owned company, that provides quality and affordable all natural hair and skincare products for the entire family. No matter what hair type you have they have something for you! Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and check out their site http://www.koilsbynature.com/!

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July Spiritual Corner

“Makes no sense investing your time, effort and feelings into someone, who only wants to invest in themselves.” As with any relationship, friendships are something that we should take seriously and continue to nurture. Think of a plant . . . If the owners don’t pay attention to it and water/feed it, it will wither and die. I just want to give you a few tips for establishing and maintaining healthy relationships and friendships in your life. • Love yourself and be nice to others. Realize that you are deserving of meaningful relationships with others. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and strive to be your best self. Proverbs 18:24 tells us that a person must be friendly in order to gain friends. Simply be nice and you’ll draw others into your life. • Give ‘Strangers’ a Chance. I’m not saying for you to tell your whole life’s story to some random person walking down the street but take the time to get to know a coworker or someone that you’re taking a class with. You may be shocked at the connections you’ll make or the goals and interests that you share. You never know how (new) people may enhance your life. Be willing to learn the lessons that they can teach you.

• As you learn and grow, evaluate things. Over time, you may realize that you’re growing apart from people that you started out with. Although you may have history with someone, that doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to play a role in your future. If they are draining you instead of pouring into you, it may be time for you to redefine your boundaries. • Be clear with your expectations and feelings. Things won’t be peaches and cream- all of the time but I really believe that most disappointments and misunderstandings result from differing expectations. If everything is laid out and people are on the same page, the chances of misunderstandings occurring are less likely. Honesty and communication are priceless! Never underestimate their value. • Complement your friends and invest in them. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”- Proverbs 27:17 (KJV). You should want to be the type of friend that makes people’s lives interesting and positive. Whether it’s encouraging your friends to explore their gifts or talents or offering encouraging words when they’re dealing with a tough situation. . . your friendship should be a positive force. “Count on me through thick and thin. A friendship that will never end. When you are weak, I will be strong. Helping you to carry on. . . Call on me, I will be there. Don’t be afraid. Please believe me when I say. . .Count on [you can count on me].” {Count On MeWhitney Houston & CeCe Winans}

Kara Frison is a 2010 graduate of Hood College who strives to inspire others through her writing. You can read more of her thoughts at www.softwordsbrighteyes.blogspot.com and learn about her organization- Ladies of Virtue. . . Empowered! (for women - 14 & older) by visiting www.facebook.com/LadiesOfVirtueEmpowered.

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Profile for Women's Elevation Magazine

July 2014 Issue  

July 2014 issue features Marala Scott! You may know her from books "In Our House" or "Surrounded By Inspiration" She's also one of Oprah's B...

July 2014 Issue  

July 2014 issue features Marala Scott! You may know her from books "In Our House" or "Surrounded By Inspiration" She's also one of Oprah's B...