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WAGNN Podcast EP 8: Self-Love (Body Image Edition)

In episode 8, the WAGNN team continues the conversation about Self-Love (from episode 7), this time with a focus on body image. The ladies take a journey back two centuries ago to shed light on the negative attention black women received for their robust bottoms. Specifically speaking of Sarah Baartman, also known as “Hottentot Venus.” Fast forward to the present, the same imagery of black women continues to be the topic of conversation and the driving force behind most commercial music as well as plastic surgery.

This segment discusses body image: How women view themselves, how we apply how people see us, and what we perceive as beautiful. Body image is a topic that is sensitive for many women, whether they choose to address it or not. Self-Esteem and Self-Love go hand in hand when you discuss body image.

Plastic surgery is a phenom that has grown in the past 20-30 years in black and brown communities. Social media has propelled such images to integrate a false sense of beauty into the minds of many. What is beauty? Is beauty in the eyes of the beholder or the eyes of an Instagrammer? WAGNN continues to discuss this topic to bring awareness of how history repeats itself. If you are on the wrong side of history, your fate may be similar to our dear Sarah Baartman. Oh wait, it’s happening present day.

Lastly, the WAGNN team provides some healthy tips towards plastic surgery safety, self-love, and being satisfied with yourself as you are. Some women will indulge in plastic surgery for their own reasons; however, seek clarification of your heart, mind, body, and soul before you do; it can save your life.

We challenge you to open your ears and thoughts while expanding your knowledge and understanding of people, situations, and cultures. Please leave your comments below; good, bad, or indifferent, we welcome all opinions and feedback.

We hope you enjoy listening!

WAGNN Podcast EP 8: Self-Love (Body Image Edition)

00:00 / 44:26

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Lifestyle, Cultural, and Featured Stories

KJ Rose Drops First Book ‘The Rose Effect: Eight Steps to Delivering the Performance of Your Life’

GRAMMY Award winner, performance coach, and author KJ Rose releases her first book, The Rose Effect: Eight Steps to Delivering the Performance of Your Life, available at all online bookstores.

In The Rose Effect, KJ details her journey of becoming a preeminent performance expert in the entertainment industry. She also shares tools for expression originally taught to some of the biggest stars in the world. KJ examines her own career as well, opening up about experiences working with the likes of Lil Nas X (her most recent success story), Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Diddy, Heavy D, Janet Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Tyrese, Kelly Rowland, Frank Gatson, and many more.

Some of the industry’s biggest names have endorsed the book as essential, ranging from GRAMMY® Award-winning superstar Anthony Hamilton to iconic producer No ID [Kanye West, JAY-Z], Erica Campbell, Common, Adam Leber, Steve Pamon, Jon Platt, among others.

Get your copy HERE!

With over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, KJ Rose aims to help performers, singers, executives, artists, and actors achieve their true potential. She has performed with the likes of P. Diddy, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake, and delivers real-world results to artists like Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. The “Talent Whisperer” has offered her expertise to companies such as Google, CAA, ABFF, SXSW, Pandora Media, TriDestined Studios, Google, Univision, OWN TV, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, all of which deem her to be the “Ultimate Solution” for their talent. The culmination of these experiences shaped Rose’s new book, which will provide readers the tools necessary in “reconciling their internal narrative so that the external expression is explicitly and beautifully truthful.”

Connect with KJ: Twitter | Instagram

Zhavia Dispels Her Haters in New Video “Waiting”

Nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter Zhavia released an edgy black and white visual for her latest single, “Waiting.” In the Andrew Sandler and Tusk-directed clip, Zhavia is showcased in her most vulnerable state, as she confronts her non-believers and haters.

“Waiting” was produced by Malay Ho and draws from Zhavia’s personal experiences. The song serves as the first piece of music Zhavia has released since her debut 17 EP and follows up to her Aladdin collab with Zayn on “A Whole New World,” which accumulated over 170M views and earned her first Teen Choice Award for “Choice Song From A Movie.”

“To me, it’s essential not to pay attention to those kinds of people, and not include them in my life,” Zhavia admits.

Since her breakthrough performance on FOX’s The Four competition back in 2017, there have been over 400 million views of Zhavia’s music videos, including her award-winning rendition of “A Whole New World” with ZAYN for Disney’s Aladdin, as well as Deadpool 2’s “Welcome To The Party,” alongside Diplo, Lil Pump, and French Montana. Zhavia displays her musical range and infuses her deeply personal songwriting with “Waiting” and continues to work on new music for release later this year.

Instagram | Twitter

You Got Your Stimulus Money! Find Out When to Invest, When to Pay Off Debt, or When to Do Both

By now, many of us have received our $1200 COVID-19 stimulus payments from the federal government — Well, $2400 if you are married and file jointly with an additional $500 per child.

For many, these funds will be expensed immediately for things like food, bills, and other living expenses. For others, who are not facing any financial strains, the funds will remain sitting in your bank account or will be used to minimize any debts.

If you’re facing the dilemma of paying off debt or investing your money, you might also be wondering if you can come out ahead with some combination of both. Fortunately, there is a middle ground that allows you to pay off your debt while making smart investments to increase your current income.

If your debt is like a leaking boat, the best step is always to plug the largest leak first. High-interest credit card debt is by far the largest leak and should be considered a top priority.

Sometimes, investing instead of paying off debt may even be a more cost-effective decision. If your investment yields earnings greater than the interest on your debt, your money is better spent on those higher yield investments.

Let’s look at different scenarios to help you determine the most lucrative options for your own situation:

1. When investing is a better option. You may have a mortgage or student loan debt that carries with it a set monthly interest rate. Whether or not the interest from these loans is tax-deductible may influence your decision to invest or pay off the debt. If the debt costs you less money per month than you could otherwise earn through profitable investments, like stocks or real estate, then it is in your best interest to focus on investing.

2. Say “yes” to free money. If you currently have debt and are employed by a company that offers a 401k plan, you are turning away free money by not enrolling or raising your contribution. Saying “no” to a 401k is essentially leaving money on the table.

3. When it’s better to pay off your debt. Of the many different kinds of debt, credit card debt often carries some of the highest interest rates in the industry. These interest rates can now be as high as 18% to 28%, and trying to find investment options that yield such a percentage in earnings may prove difficult. Unless you find an investment option that provides you with that percentage amount in returns, it may be in your best interest to focus exclusively on paying off the debt.

You may now be seeing the bigger picture regarding debt and investing. In essence, it is a balance of interest rates. Finding a balance where you are paying off your high-interest debt while investing in stocks that also provide a high percentage in returns is ideal. The investments will be more cost-effective than paying off your low-interest debt.

If you’re still deciding on whether to pay off your debt or invest, make a list with your debt on one side, and investment options on the other side. Compare the interest rates from both sides and decide which requires your attention first. Then your plan will be your most lucrative solution.

Investment Risk

I would be crude of us to discuss investing your hard-earned money without discussing the risk.

When you’re ready to invest, you’ll likely consider the amount you have available to invest and what you want your financial gain to be over a specific period. You may be quite specific about these factors, or maybe you care only about the bottom line and how much you stand to lose or gain. For your own peace of mind, it’s wise to determine your level of risk tolerance for your investments. Understanding your own wants and desires related to your finances will largely determine how you decide to allocate your funds.

When you’re younger, you may have more tolerance for loss because you have more time to make up any losses before you retire.

It’s wise to know your level of investment risk tolerance. Because making investments are so integral to you and your family’s financial future, it’s important you be intimately connected with your feelings and ideas about investing your money and the risks involved.

Consider your answers to the following questions to help you determine your level of risk tolerance regarding investments:

1. How much are you willing to risk? Based on how much money you currently have, how much of it are you willing to risk in an investment?

2. Are you okay with no cash flow? Can you handle no investment cash coming in for a while if a large investment goes south?

3. Is an investment “doable” in your eyes? If you’re considering a specific investment, do you feel the investment is one you could make without hesitation?

4. What is your experience in investing? Are you able to adjust to money losses in the short term to gain funds over the longer term?

5. How old are you and how much are you worth? These factors are also important when it comes to making difficult decisions about how to invest your money.

If you seriously ponder the above questions and your responses, you’ll be able to determine successfully your risk tolerance for investing.


Bishop Briggs Drops Touching Video For ‘Oh Happy Day’ Cover Amidst Coronavirus Crisis!

Bishop Briggs shows off her powerhouse vocal range in a heartwarming, self-made video for her cover of “Oh Happy Day” from Sister Act 2, featuring clips from television, social media, and more that have lifted the public’s spirits in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I was in a gospel choir when I was little and whenever I sang this it brought me so much joy. So, the other night I started recording myself singing every part of the choir in the hopes that this could offer the same peaceful feeling to you that I felt as a kid,” states Bishop Briggs. “Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that good still exists. You just have to look for it. THANK YOU to all the people in this video who have given light in this darkness.”

PJ – Don’t Start Now (Dua Lipa Trap Remix)

Atlantic recording artist PJ continues to keep busy with her colorful cover series titled The Quarantine Tapes. Her latest release is a cover of Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” which got a trap treatment to fit PJ’s sound and cadence.

The new offering follows last weeks cover medley of Justin Beiber’s “Intentions/Yummy” and the prior week’s rendition of Roddy Ricch’s breakout single “High Fashion.”

PJ kicked off summer 2019 with her breakout single “One Missed Call,” and she has been running ever since!

Connect with PJ:

Instagram | Twitter

Kelly Rowland Celebrates Black Beauty in “Coffee” Video

Kelly Rowland celebrates black beauty, especially those with “Coffee” complexion, in the music video for her sensual new single. In the tantalizing visual, directed by Steven Gomillion, the multiple Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and various dark-skin models show off their gorgeous bodies in a mixture of swimsuits.

“I want to celebrate the women in video—every shade, every coffee color, every curve, every essence and what they gave me,” Rowland told ESSENCE. “My intention I set for the video was to take the light in yourself and your sexuality [and put it in] a God perspective, in a way where you don’t have to get any approval from anybody else.”

Rowland continues: “Sometimes when women stand in our own sexuality, without approval from any external source, I think that there comes a different perspective, a different outlook, a different feeling, and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it, but I think society has kind of made it that way, especially with the Black woman.”

“I just wanted the video to come across like, ‘Here we are standing in all of our beauty, in all of our coffee colored shades, in all of our greatness and you going to take this in,’ Rowlands adds about the clip, which she said was shot before the coronavirus shutdown. “And that’s what I wanted and that’s what I want every woman to feel like. So that was my intention, and to be honest, I was hungry for too much of that video.”

It’s safe to say Rowland represented the essence of black women’s skin color, hair, and body frame.

Purchase “Coffee” here!

How I Stay Positive During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Just like you, I’ve had a lot of life adjustments to make over the last few weeks — and I’m not going to deny it, it’s been tough to stay positive and not feel anxious about the world we are living in right now.

The days when we could freely go to restaurants with friends, meet for happy hour on a Friday with co-workers, or hopping on a plane for a vacation, seems so long ago. We can quickly feel sad and hopeless when the future is uncertain, and we don’t know when we’ll all get back to “normal.” While social distancing is necessary for all of us to stay healthy and safe, you can find ways to stay positive and mentally fit. Here are five things that work for me.

1. Limit Your Intake of News

It’s okay to stay informed, but obsessing over the news and being inundated with only information about the pandemic can take a toll on your mental health. I was quickly going down that rabbit hole before I stopped myself and only checked the news once or twice a day. If you can, keep the news channels off. This also means limiting your time on social media as well. From memes to videos, social media newsfeeds are inundated with content about the coronavirus.

2. Get Physical

When stuck at home, it can be easy to get into a sedentary rut — especially with gyms and other exercise studios closed. Staying physically active is not only good for you physically, but mentally too. So, take time out of your day to find some way to keep your body moving. I have my yoga mat in my living room and roll it out every morning to get the blood flowing, and then in the afternoon, I’ll take a long walk in my neighborhood. You don’t have to run a marathon to feel the positive effects of the endorphins; you just have to find something that can keep you off the couch.

3. Stay in Touch With Family and Friends

If you are anxious or unmotivated, call or video chat a friend or family member. I personally have my Aunt Marie on speed dial when I’m having an anxious moment. Talking to someone you care about and who also cares about you can help you cope with the struggles you are facing. You can also do group video chats. Platforms such as Zoom or Facebook Messenger make it easy. My family has made it a point to do a video chat at least once a week.

4. Find Ways to Relax

When a bout of anxiousness starts to creep up, I know it’s time to take a break. If it’s during the workday, I’ll step away from my desk for 10 minutes and just sit quietly in another room to regroup. Some may call it meditation, but for me, it’s just shutting my mind off for a few minutes to recharge. Here are some other things I like to do to stay positive and keep anxiety at bay:

  • Take a bubble bath – light some candles and put on some music while you soak away the blues!
  • Color – I have an adult coloring book and a good set of colored pencils. I love getting lost in picking the colors and watching my black and white print come to life.
  • Watch a funny movie – Pop some popcorn or make a few of your favorite snacks and enjoy a good laugh.
  • Play with your pet – Did you know that having a pet can reduce stress and anxiety? When I play with or pet my little Chihuahua, Cha Cha, my worries seem to melt away! If you don’t have a pet at the moment, watching cute animal videos on YouTube can also bring down your stress levels.
  • Write in a Journal – I love journaling. Not only does it inspire me to be more creative and improve my writing skills, getting my worries and frustrations out on paper can be a wonderful anxiety reducer.

Have a “Night In”

Recently my boyfriend and I had a “Night In,” and it was one of the best things we could have done. It really lifted our spirits. First, we cooked a meal together, which was fun in itself, and then we both got dressed up like we were going to a 5-star restaurant. We set the table, opened a bottle of wine, and put on some music. We also did a few dances in the living room, which, as I mentioned above, kept us active! If you have kids, having a “night in” can be fun for the whole family!

From staying physically active in finding ways to relax, committing to doing something for yourself each day, can go a long way in helping you stay positive each day.

Kid Cudi Returns With ‘Leader of the Delinquents’

Kid Cudi returns with the brand new single, “Leader of the Delinquents” via Republic Records.

The new offering marks the rapper’s first release since ‘Kids See Ghosts’ in 2018 and first solo music since 2016’s ‘Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin.’

Once again, the GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum artist levels up and brings the culture with him. Cudi is readying his previously announced seventh full-length studio album, ‘Entergalactic.’

Joe Biden Gets Bernie Sanders Endorsement For President

Former Vice President Joe Biden has the support of Senator Bernie Sanders in his bid to become America’s next president. Sen. Sanders gave his endorsement to Biden during a Livestream conversation between the two Democratic rivals on Monday.

“We’ve got to make Trump a one-term president and we need you in the White House,” Sanders said.

During the conversation, the two political candidates also discussed minimum wage and oversight of the coronavirus emergency loan program.

Sanders suspended his campaign last week, telling supporters, “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.”

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