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The self-confidence secrets of four women who defy beauty standards

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Beauty standards are instilled in girls from an early age. Our Barbie dolls and dolls are perfectly packaged, with hair, makeup and nails already done. Most of us played with these toys while watching our moms dress for the day. Beauty seems fun and funny until we grow to be teenagers. Many of us then feel pressure to adapt to trends and alter our hairstyle and makeup.

Parts of ourselves that we once thought were “fine” have grow to be our best insecurities. Our bodies, skin and hair begin to vary when comparisons occur. Sometimes this creates a divide between women, mainly because we feel like we’re not “good enough” to be her friend, or out of jealousy. What we do not understand is that “she” also has her share of insecurities.

If we do not take care of these insecurities, they’ll grow as we age, like an enormous rash we will not get rid of. We placed on more makeup, buy more clothes and do not get caught missing a Botox appointment. This mentality may be passed on to our daughters and the cycle will proceed to repeat…unless we start being more honest about our beauty journey.

That said, below four inspiring beauty content creators share how they’re navigating the ever-changing beauty industry and the standards it holds.

Melissa Baker

Melissa Baker is a content creator who knew the pressures of beauty standards until she began making her own rules. “Cutting my hair was the first time I felt beautiful,” Baker says. Just a number of years ago, Baker was diagnosed with traction alopecia, a condition exacerbated by iron deficiency, tight hairstyles and years of using chemical relaxers. Early symptoms of alopecia normally begin with bumps on the scalp or hair loss originally of the hairline. In the natural hair community, healthy hair is praised and might include pressure to fulfill beauty standards which can be difficult to take care of.

As a result, “I spent a lot of time worrying about what people thought I looked like and what I thought of myself,” Baker says. “Cutting my hair allowed me to appreciate my beauty,” adds Baker. “This trip made me realize that health and self-confidence are important. I drink a lot of water. I constantly condition my hair with rice and rose water. It was great for my hair and overall shine, making me feel beautiful.”

Angel Edme

Angel Edme she began to seek out acceptance of herself as she began her healing journey. She describes her “me year” as a pivotal turn to self-confidence and the start of her fashion journey. “I had a year where I wanted to discover a lot of who I was. Journaling was a way to face parts of myself that needed to be addressed and to get to know myself again. It helped me gain a lot of self-confidence,” says Edme.

Working through her insecurities allowed her to precise her confidence through clothing and experimenting together with her personal style. “I used to be the girl who always wore all black,” she says. “My self-confidence journey has given me the strength to start wearing more colors.” According to Edme, there isn’t any higher time to be a curvy woman in fashion. Many brands have gotten more inclusive, encouraging all body types to feel their best. Edme adds: “Fashion is all concerning the confidence you bring to your clothes. You wear clothes; your clothes don’t wear you. But this may only occur if you happen to start working on the inner work to regain your self-confidence.

Abby Maureen

“I have suffered from acne and discoloration since I was a teenager,” she says Abby Maureen, skin health content creator. She spent most of her pimples journey with dermatologists who prescribed harsh treatments and chemicals. Maureen was receiving tretinoin, a drug often used to treat pimples. She described skin medications as harsh and when she expressed this, she didn’t feel heard by her dermatologists – something many women of color struggle with of their doctor’s offices.

Maureen’s journey became even tougher when she began studying in America. “I come from the Caribbean, where acne is normal; Until I came to the United States, I didn’t know that clear skin was the standard of beauty. The beauty standards here made me feel like I wasn’t good enough,” says Maureen. But she didn’t let these judgments stop her from appreciating her beauty. She began experimenting with different programs and sharing them online to assist others overcome pimples and feel good of their skin. Maureen says: “My biggest beauty secret is to never let others determine your beauty. You determine it yourself. I finished comparing myself to others on social media and every little thing modified.

Denise Francis

Denise Francisowner Self-Love Organization, says her journey to inner healing began on the age of nine. “There was a quarrel in my family. I remember running to the toilet and crying. But after I heard that my family was searching for me, I wiped my tears and told myself that I needed to be strong,” Francis says.

This mentality caused Francis to struggle with anxiety for years. She finally began her journey towards self-love and took a deep dive into the parts of herself she had suppressed for therefore long. “Self-love is about returning to old versions of yourself,” Francis says. “You grab the old versions of yourself that you repress to survive and you come home,” adds Francis.

When Francis got here back to himself, she created Journal of Soul Studies, a curated book of therapist-approved journaling suggestions that allow us to heal and discover our true inner beauty. “By teaching yourself to heal, you will teach your daughters to heal. Through inner work, we will free ourselves and our daughters from a strong Black woman to a healed Black woman.”


This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Kerry Washington is on a mission to improve sex education: ‘People are being left to deal with these issues on their own’

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Actress Kerry Washington wants to educate people about sex and reproductive well-being. Washington’s partnership with Winx Health, a Generation Z sexual and vaginal health brand, gives her a space to spread the word. Sex education is a lifelong passion, which he continues as an advisor and brand investor.

“When I was a teenager, I started working in a theater and education program that did sex education in high schools and community centers,” the Scandal actress told PEOPLE. “We wrote these skits about health and wellness, safer sex, homosexuality and abortion, and human trafficking in that space has been important to me for a long time.”

Washington believes that spreading details about reproductive health is especially essential immediately due to the various changes regarding reproductive health laws within the country. In the previous couple of years, statewide abortion bans have been implemented after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade in 2022, which might end federal abortion rights.

“It’s weird in the meanwhile. “It’s like – I wouldn’t say I’m working with a company to be an activist, but just being in the sexual health space seems like a radical thing to do right now because of the attacks on reproductive rights and the attacks on education,” Washington said.

“I actually need to step up this essential work [Winx] what she’s doing around women’s health education and just ensuring people are informed,” she continued. The ability to truly know ourselves and deal with ourselves allows us to love ourselves and live conscious lives of selection as women.

In addition to educating women about reproductive health, Washington wants to address one other related issue: voting. She believes that much of the laws will be modified if the fitting candidates are elected in November.

The actress openly said that on the age of twenty she became a victim of sexual abuse and abortion, which is why she speaks out from her own experience. In her 2023 memoir, she also talked about how her parents’ sexual experiences influenced her.

“My memoir is in many ways about the secrets of my mother’s sexual well-being and my parents’ shame about their journey into parenthood and how that affected our family life,” she said. “And so I think, as I explored these topics about how we relate to our bodies, how we keep secrets about our bodies, our sexuality, our sexual health, my dad keeping secrets about his sexual health, my mom keeping secrets about her and her health in general.”

In the book, Washington reveals her experience when she came upon her dad was not her biological father.

“I think we really are as sick as our secrets,” Washington added. “So I feel for me this space of sex education is also about shaking off shame in order that we are able to live with more freedom and a sense of liberation in our on a regular basis lives, really destigmatizing health and sexuality. “

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Here’s how to plan a successful girls’ trip to the 2024 ESSENCE Cultural Festival

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The ESSENCE Cultural Festival could be considered a pilgrimage for Black women to the mecca of the South, New Orleans, every summer, and for good reason. This 12 months marks the festival’s thirtieth anniversary and is anticipated to boast hot acts, an enticing program including insightful panels, and delicious, mouth-watering food and spirits. However, the opportunity to connect, bond, and strengthen relationships along with your best friends excites groups of ladies across the United States. Like Will Packer’s 2017 film, ESSENCE Cultural Festival is a hotbed of fun-filled adventures, mischievous shenanigans outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans (after all), and once-in-a-lifetime loving memories shared along with your closest confidantes, your girlfriends.

Below we have included some suggestions to assist you prepare to your upcoming girls’ trip. See you in NOLA!

Budget: While ESSENCE Fest programming is free, flights, hotels, live shows, food and beverages aren’t! Connect along with your best friends to develop a financial wellness plan that can reduce stress and any future trauma. You should all take part in budgeting and planning.

Close nice hotel: While New Orleans has loads of fun, attractive, and exciting boutique hotels to stay at like Ace Hotel and The Pontchartrain, we have now access to equally great hotels now that our 2024 FESTIVAL block is open! Check out our list of really helpful hotels Here. Contact your hotel of selection to reap the benefits of our exclusive festival weekend rate.

Make a list of NOLA attractions: While we have now the whole lot you might think or dream of at ESSENCE Fest, NOLA is stuffed with beautiful places to visit and fun activities like steamboat tours, Bourbon Street bar crawls, City Park walks, and distillery and cocktail tours. Talk to your girls to see what is going to pique your group’s interest and create a tour plan.

Download the EFOC app to select your itinerary: An incredible way to enhance your ESSENCE Fest experience is to download our EFOC app upfront! The app allows you to plan every day of the festival, starting with panels, performances and free giveaways. You can share your itinerary with friends to see in the event that they want to take part in programs with you. Find out about the official EFOC app here.

Determine the purpose of your trip: A really successful girls’ trip at all times starts with a positive intention to guide you throughout your time with the girls. Brainstorm along with your girls how you desire to to feel at the festival after which make it occur!

Be flexible in your plans: Even though a few of us love to plan, have a budget and a travel itinerary, sometimes things just don’t work out or can go in a different direction and that is okay! Try to stay flexible while the girls are traveling. Even in case your plans fall through, keep in mind that you might be there to rejoice along with your girls!

Schedule a while for yourself: I really like a good day at the spa, a solo brunch, or a solo date at a museum on girls’ tours. It is essential to energize yourself for the right day and even a few hours.


This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Keeping astronauts healthy in space is not easy – new training programs will prepare students to practice medicine thousands of kilometers from Earth

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In the approaching decade, more people will go to space than ever before as human spaceflight enters a new era. NASA, the European Space Agency and other government agencies are working together develop manned missions beyond the Moon. At the identical time, these agencies are working with private corporations to use new technologies to lower the costs of space exploration.

Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Sierra Space have developed vehicles with reusable amplifiers, automated flight systems and light-weight materials support these space missions. Some even have their very own ambitions to construct private space stations, lunar bases or mining operations in the approaching many years.

However, as these technologies and partnerships rapidly expand the supply of spaceflight, new challenges arise. First, maintaining the health and performance of the astronaut crew. My team researchers and educators on the University of Colorado and others around the globe want to solve this problem.

As spaceflight expands, astronauts will need access to medical care on longer journeys and business flights.
Katya Arquilla

New medical challenges in space

NASA astronauts are some of essentially the most sensible and healthiest people in the world. In one study, astronauts undergo extensive medical and psychological tests disqualified 26% of candidates from the ultimate round. This rigorous inspection and testing process effectively reduces the chance of a medical incident occurring during a mission.

However, as spaceflight becomes more accessible, astronaut crews on business missions will likely make up the bulk of people traveling to space in the approaching years. Private missions will be short and will remain in close Earth orbit for the foreseeable future, but this will likely be done by private crews less training and more chronic health conditions than skilled astronauts currently living and dealing in space.

One sec experiments on the International Space Station have extensively studied the conventional physiological changes that occur in the human body in weightlessness, there is no data on the behavior of common chronic diseases, akin to diabetes and hypertension, in the space environment.

Mars shown from space.
During a mission to Mars, astronauts will be away from Earth for a very long time, with limited access to medical resources.
CU/LASP EMM/EXI ITF/Kevin M. Gill, CC BY

This industrial development also creates opportunities for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. Due to the length of the mission and the gap from Earth, professionally astronauts participating in these missions will experience long-term weightlessness leading to bone and muscle loss, communication delays ranging from a number of seconds to 40 minutes, and extreme isolation lasting months or years.

Crews must operate autonomously while being exposed to new threats, akin to lunar and Martian dust. Due to the fuel needed for these missions, resources will be limited to the bottom possible mass and volume.

As a result, mission planners will have to make difficult decisions in advance to determine what supplies are really needed, with limited or unavailable options for resupplying food, water, and medicine. For example, in space there could also be radiation and humidity contained in the spacecraft cause medicines to spoil faster and change into unavailable and even toxic to crew members.

The space station crew has already done this access to the flight surgeon at Mission Control to help manage health care in the identical way telehealth is used on Earth. However, crews on distant planets will have to perform medical care and procedures themselves.

In the event of a medical emergency, crews may not have the opportunity to evacuate to Earth. Unlike a space station, where medical evacuation to Earth can occur in lower than 24 hours, lunar evacuations could take weeks. Evacuation from Mars may not be possible for months and even years.

Put simply, the present approach to spaceflight medical care will not meet the needs of future business and skilled astronauts. Scientists will need to develop new technologies and novel training approaches to prepare future service providers to treat conditions in space.

Current aerospace medicine leaders are either experts in aerospace engineering or medicine, but rarely do experts have formal training or full knowledge of each fields. And these disciplines often cannot speak their very own language, neither literally nor figuratively.

Training the subsequent generations

To meet the changing demands of human spaceflight, educators and universities are looking to train specialists who understand each the restrictions of the human body and the restrictions of engineering design.

Some schools and hospitals, e.g University of Texas Medical Branch, conduct training programs for medical school graduates in the sector of aviation medicine. Others, akin to UCLA AND Massachusetts General Hospitalthey’ve specialized training programs in aerospace medicine, but these are currently geared toward fully trained emergency medicine physicians.

My team on the University of Colorado created a program that integrates human physiology and engineering principles to educate medical students to think like engineers.

Two dome tents connected by long pipes in the desert.
The University of Colorado takes students to the desert to simulate a lunar base. Students work together to solve simulated medical problems which will arise during a space mission.
Katya Arquilla

This program goals to help students understand human health and performance in the spaceflight environment. He approaches these topics from engineering design and limits the prospect of finding solutions to the challenges astronauts will face.

One of our hottest classes is called Mars in simulated surface environments. In this class, students explore engineering and medical scenarios in a simulated Martian environment in the Utah desert. Students navigate the challenges of working and caring in a space suit and in a desolate, Mars-like landscape.

The stress of simulations will be real for students, they usually learn the way to use their combined skills to take care of other crew members.

Educational programs like these and others are designed to produce trained professionals who understand each patient care and the procedural nature of engineering design and may mix the 2, each for space tourists in orbit and as a pioneer to the surface of one other planets.

A new era of spaceflight is upon us, and these programs are already training experts to make space accessible and secure.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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