Woman Crush Wednesday | Breast Cancer Survivor Walks 1,000 Miles Topless

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Paulette Leaphart flaunts (yes, I wrote flaunt not bear) her scars like an Olympian flashing their medals every time she walks topless across the country.

The only difference for the Biloxi, Mississippi native and single mother of eight is the path she chose to walk down (which currently leads to D.C.) is one she was given.

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GOD Could have chosen AnyONE in the WORLD….. BUT HE CHOSE ME!! 🙏🏾 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Paulette Leaphart WALKING 1000 Miles from Mississippi to Washington D.C #Topless ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #BreastCancerMovement #Awareness SUPPORT THE JOURNEY #ScarStory #HistoricMovement #ChangeWillCome Zee Mullen, CEO of Savvy Affairs SPEARHEADING The Paulette Leaphart Story…. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• DONATE HERE: https://www.gofundme.com/PauletteLeaphart •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Beyoncé & Paulette /Lemonade Video http://youtu.be/wD6IJinfrLI •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #ThePauletteLeaphartStory #PowerFul #1000MileWalk #EmbraceYourScars #AliciaJones #NationsCapitol #Survivor #Supporters #BreastCancer #Scars #DoubleMastectomy #ZeeMullen #SavvyAffairs #LifeStylesInAction #ItsALifeStyle #UnScriptedReality #DoingForOthers #GivingBack #Lemonade #Beyonce #DrJackie #LookBook #Married2Medicine #BreastSpeak

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Leaphart set off on a 1,000 mile topless walk on April 30. Leaving her hometown of Mississippi, making stops in Atlanta, D.C. with her final destination New Orleans (projected June 30th) to raise awareness for breast cancer. And motivate more  Black women to get mammograms.

In 2014, Leaphart was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that resulted in a bilateral mastectomy without the chose of reconstructive surgery.

With two large scars replacing her breasts, all symbols of feminity vanished as well.

“What is a woman without her breasts?” Leaphart asked People. “I have always identified as a very feminine woman.”

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That changed when she took the bold move to go topless at the beach. The huge applause she received led her to also post a topless pic on Facebook that garnered 100,000 likes.

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Leaphart also got the attention of Queen Bey. The ‘Get in Formation’singer gave Leaphart a cameo in Lemonade. 

Who better to symbolize making lemons out of lemonade?

To donate to Paulette’s cross-country journey, which is being chronicled in upcoming doc “Scar Story,” click here.

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday | Beyonce Starts Flint Kids Fund

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Queen Bey has officially got our attention. As if you could ignore her Black power themed Super Bowl 50 performance. Or Mrs Carter’s Flawless call for ‘Formation’ in her latest video.

The Bey swarm is in full effect this week. In between preparing for another world tour (y’all get your tickets?) and dropping another surprise album–Any day now. Any day now–she started a fund for Flint, Michigan kids affected by the water crisis.

Through Beyonce’s charity BeyGOOD, she’s partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to “create a fund that will address long-term developmental, education, nutrition and health needs of the children affected by the Flint water crisis,” Live Nation released in a statement.

The BeyGOOD initiative will also continue its support of United Way. Just laser focus it on United Way of Genesee County, in helping to distribute water filters and bottled water to those in Flint.

Last week Jay Z made headlines for donating $1.5 million to a variety of Black Lives Matter orgs and social justice groups. The money was raised through a Barclay’s Center concert in October–featuring Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Usher and Damian Marley.

Cementing their place as the power couple of the world.

 

 

Black Girl Magic! Beyonce, Zendaya and Kerry Washington Top Celebs Gone Good in 2015 List

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While we’re toasting Golden Globe winners, let’s also raise a glass to all the celebs that gave an ish about social issues in 2015. DoSomething.org, “one of the largest orgs for young people & social change in the world,” was kind enough to keep a tally of all the celeb do-gooders trying to revamp this crazy world for the better by spotlighting issues like gun control, feminism, racial justice and transgender rights.

Including Beyonce, the Flawless performer was not only feeling herself but the Baltimore protesters too. It’s reported her and Jay Z used some of their billions to bail out the Black Lives Matter protesters. And then there’s her surprise jaunt to a Haitian hospital through her Bey Good charity.

Zendaya places sixth on the Celebs Gone Good list and I’m scratching my head why she’s not No. 1. A spot reserved for her pal Taylor Swift. Tell me if I’m wrong… here are the facts: the “K.C. Undercover” star used her birthday to get fans to donate to three African orphans, used a humiliatingly shallow dig (looking at you Giulana) to school us all on discrimination and racial tolerance, participated in initiatives like Get Schooled Foundation to inspire kids to stay in school and is UNICEF’s spokesperson.

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Move over Jay Z and Beyonce. Step aside Brangelina because John Legend and Chrissy Teigen ARE the philanthropic power couple of 2015. It’s not enough they’re good looking, talented and iconic meme motivators (seriously, stop what you’re doing and follow them. I mean right now.) but they’re generosity is on fleek too. Hashtag blessed. The Selma star and his Fab Life wife also rallied behind Black Lives Matter protesters in NYC with donated meals. Following the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado, the couple donated money to the org and encouraged others to do the same. Also (yes, there is more) not one to forget his roots Legend donated $500,000 to his alma mater, Springfield City School District in Indiana.

Viola Davis Joins The Safeway Foundation’s Mission to End Childhood Hunger

Viola Davis gained an Emmy and a gold star from DoSomething.org for her work with childhood hunger. The How to Get Away with Murder star is the ambassador of “Hunger Is” initiative that raises awareness and looks for strategies to combat the country’s childhood hunger problem. An issue close to the Julliard grad’s heart as a victim of those same circumstances growing up in Rhode Island.

No Scandal here. Kerry Washington is a fashion maven, so why not use it as a weapon for social change? That she did. As the Allstate Foundation’s spokesperson for their Purple Purse program that sparks a conversation about domestic violence and financial abuse. Additionally, the fixer everyone loves, is commended for her veteran work with FLOTUS Michelle Obama and LGBTQ efforts.

Last but never least is Serena Williams. The tennis champion gets kudos for hosting the Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run this spring to raise money for her charity and endorsing the 1 in 11 campaign that encourages everyone have access to education.

Riding these goddesses coattails are Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg. She’s a spokesman for No Kid Hungry org to end child starvation in the US and vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. And Black-ish’s Yara Shahidi (and Nas’ cousin) for encouraging girls to get involved with STEM in a partnership with Science Sleuth.

All together now, “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!”

For a complete list of Celebs Gone Good click here.

 

Beyonce Makes Humanitarian Mission to Haiti

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Beyonce took a break from flaunting her street style in the big apple to making a surprise visit to Haiti today.

According to VIBE, Beyonce is aiding the United Nations in a humanitarian mission. Likely a well-deserved one given that the impoverished Caribbean country is still rallying from that massive 7.0 earthquake in 2010.

A United Nations report found that 70% of Haitians don’t have working electricity,
more than half a million don’t have a steady supply of food and 172,000 are still living in temporary displacement camps set up five years ago.

But not to fear, Queen Bey is there. Well… for one day, at least.

Sporting her BEY GOOD tee (Beyonce’s charity org) she gave out food, water and other much-needed resources. Beyonce even lent a hand to sick natives battling a cholera epidemic.

This isnt the first time Beyonce worked with the UN. In 2012, she gave a very soulful presentation at UN headquarters for World Humanitarian Day.

See how she blew the roof off the iconic place with her visual version of “I Was Here” below.

15 Lessons I Learned Going into 2015

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Happy New Year!! And since I didn’t wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa, I’ll squeeze those in too. Sorry I was missing in action last week, I had to mourn the loss of my laptop. Don’t roll your eyes. I had my little friend for over four years and it’s been my best writing companion. Oh well, some things aren’t meant to make it to the new year (more on that later). But I digress, it’s officially New Years’ Eve (TURN UP) and instead of giving a long-winded list of my New Years’ resolutions (ZZZZZ) that I know I will break on Jan. 15th, okay, more like Jan. 10th., I’d much rather list all the lessons, some harder than others, I learned in 2014 that will prepare me for 2015.

  1. Don’t Sell Yourself Short– I’ve always been the girl that took what was handed to her, even if that small voice told me that I deserved more then what was given. For instance, this year I was blessed to have several writing job offers, so of course, I scooped them all up like Winnie the Pooh ladles honey. But, the sweet taste of opportunity and success turned bitter when one of the jobs piled on the assignments and gave little feedback on my writing, and to be honest, the pay was lousy. When I realized that I was doing the majority of work for a start-up site in which the creator couldn’t even be bothered to show up to editorial meetings on time, I had a famous aha moment: I deserved more. If you put your all into something and it’s not valued… then walk away (like I did from that job). Don’t settle for less than what you know you deserve. The universe will reward you for knowing your worth with a much better opportunity.
  2. Remove Yourself from Toxic People– It doesn’t matter if their co-workers, family or friends, if they’re giving off bad vibes…say goodbye. Life is too short to be hanging around someone that makes you feel like shit. This year I purged all the people that I once considered friends, and as easy as it may sound, it was heartbreaking. I won’t pretend that I don’t miss my circle of girlfriends that has recently transformed into a triangle. But just as I remember us dancing the night away at a club or getting drunk at a bar, so are the memories of me ALWAYS being the therapist and “friend” being the patient. Never in reverse. Favors were never reciprocated and asking for things were shelved for demanding they happen on the “friend’s” timetable. Adele sums it up best: “I can’t keep up with your turning tables/under your thumb, I can’t breathe/ So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me/No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me.”
  3. Embrace What you Love– Do you know why Citizen Kane is my fave flick of all time? Because through all the ebbs and flows of the newspaper magnet’s life, at the very end he learned when he was most happy. Rosebud. And surprisingly it wasn’t when he was rich and powerful, but innocent and naive. Happily sledding in his parents backyard. As shocking as the deathbed scene is, I find it more harrowing than surprising. Sometimes where we start is where we’re suppose to be. As a young girl I always wrote stories, read stories and watched TV. In that order. But I never imagined being a writer. I thought it was a scary, unattainable goal to make a living writing words. Who would read them, anyway? Yet, it was what I always came back too. Combining my obsession with words with TV shows, I discovered my dream job: entertainment reporter. This year, I worked at entertainment sites to make it a reality. I urge you all to go back to when you were most happy doing something, anything and pursue it.
  4. Take Risks– I took the biggest risk of my life this year; I quit a safe, steady job to go after what I truly want to do. Yes, in this economy. I know it sounds like a first class ticket to poverty and destitution blvd, but I weighed the choices. Do I be miserable in a dead-end job or strike out on my own and see if I can really make my dreams a reality? So, I chose the latter. It was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made in my life. And I’m still waiting on that dream job to come… any day now. Hey, I never said it was easy. Are there days when I wish I was back at my old desk, doing data entry? Yes and no. When bills come, absolutely. Yet, I’d rather be brave and take the plunge then end up like this poor, unfortunate soul. 
  5. Ask for Help– And this is coming from the “I got it” girl. Certifiably Miss Independent. But, “everybody needs somebody sommmmmeeeettttttiiiimmmmeeeeessss” and boy, did I need it this year. Quitting my job put me in a vulnerable position to rely on others for financial assistance. If it wasn’t for my husband and family I could never even entertain the idea of paving a new path for myself. As much as I want to think I can do it all on my own, I know it’s just not possible. There are occasions when it’s okay to lean on others when you’re not able to stand on your own.
  6. Trust Your Instincts– As corny as it may sound that small voice in your head is a good predictor of what you’re doing wrong or right. Think of it as your internal GPS, that won’t blindly lead you off a cliff. All the missteps I made this year could have been prevented if I listened to my gut. Hence, the writing job I mentioned above. Like Olivia Pope says it never lies.
  7. Take Constructive Criticism– There is a thin line between good and great. And you need to align yourself with people that will push past the just good enough point. Where would Beyonce be without Matthew Knowles challenging her? This year I realized that I need someone to believe enough in my talent to challenge me to be better.How else will you get to the next level?
  8. Dream Big– At the risk of sounding like Jaden and Willow Smith, what you think about is what you can become. Your mind is a powerful weapon that can be used to your advantage. For example, I applied for this position at a major magazine a few years ago, and the odds weren’t in my favor. I’m sure others were more experienced than me, had more connections. But, when I put the final period on my cover letter, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t going to get a call back. Guess what? I did. As cliche as it may sound, thinking happy thoughts isn’t so naive.
  9. Stand Up– If you can’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Pick a cause…any cause, this year had a lot to choose from. Mine was the Eric Garner I Can’t Breathe movement that swept through the Big Apple like a twister and swooped people up with its call for change. Rally against any injustices that are worthy of your voice and walking shoes.
  10. Be Patient– As hard as it may be to wait for a goal you’ve had on your vision board since college. And you’re 30-something. Nothing happens over night, including career success. There has to be some reason why it isn’t coming to pass, in the meantime sharpen your skills, network and don’t give up.
  11. Help Others– I have the best remedy for feeling sorry for yourself. Help someone that is 1000 times worse off than you. This year I volunteered for a non-profit that helps prevent dating violence, not only to get out of the house and my own head, but to help others. Focusing on other people’s needs, beside your own, will not only grant you good karma, but minimize your own issues.
  12. Be Grateful– Anyone can point out what they don’t have. This year I made more of an effort to acknowledge what I am blessed with. I’m grateful to have a close knit family, a supportive husband and friends that respect me. Readers of this blog whether it’s 5 or 500. Thank you for supporting my dream, and I urge you to be grateful for what you have because it’s likely others will gladly switch places with you.
  13. Let Go– If Frozen has taught us one thing it’s to release the past and embrace what’s to come. No matter how difficult it is to let go, what’s gone is gone. Don’t keep looking back on something or someone that has been in your rear view with the expectation they’ll be a passenger again. If it happens, okay, but they’ll likely remain where you left them. I let go of jobs, friendships, TV shows and clothes. *sniff sniff* Nothing lasts forever, not even electronics. Especially electronics. So, the best we can do is move on. Just have a backup.
  14. Love Yourself– As selfish as it may sound you’ve got to put yourself first because no one else will. Make your happiness a priority and you’ll love everyone else around you a lot more. This was a hard pill for me to swallow this year because I pride myself on putting others needs before my own, yet hated being taken for granted. Once I started resenting the same people I put first, I knew I needed to make a change. Love yourself because no one else will as much as you do.
  15. Change is Good– I hate change. Every single transition I’ve faced has been met with tears. This year was the year of change. For good or bad I had to face it head on, like we all do. Change is the one constant in life and I’m getting better accepting the role it plays in my story. I’m even looking forward to it in 2015. Don’t be like me; don’t be stuck in your ways, learn to adapt. It will definitely be worth your while.

Happy New Year, lovelies. Cheers to a wonderfully prosperous 2015!!

Beyoncé Donates $7 Million to Build Housing for Houston’s Homeless

The 2009 built apartment complex Beyonce helped fund in H-town. image courtesy: Temenoscdc

The 2009 built apartment complex Beyonce helped fund in H-town. image courtesy: Temenoscdc

Bey may be on the run with her hubby, but her heart is still in H-town. Hence the queen dipping into her honey money jar and dropping $7 milly towards a 43-unit apartment complex for low-income and homeless people in Houston.

The money will be used to expand construction on the Knowles-Tenemos Place Apartments that originally broke ground in 2009. The charitable donation is one of many the powerhouse performer has loosened her purse strings for recently.

image courtesy: Instagram

image courtesy: Instagram

And valued by her Pastor–Rudy Rasmus of St. John’s United Methodist Church –that is overseeing the low income housing project, which includes HIV/AIDS screenings and job preparation.

He praised Beyoncé for her on-going generosity in a radio interview.

“She’s an incredible human being. Has an incredible heart and has been extremely helpful in our mission and ministry here.”

Wait. There’s more. He goes on to say how fortunate he is to have her as a pal (amen to that).

“She has a global platform and is doing some amazing work and I’m glad she’s a friend of mine.”

We should all be so lucky.

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION: Beyonce Opens Wallet for Chime for Change Charity

Image Courtesy: Chime for Change

Image Courtesy: Chime for Change

Beyoncé definitely wanted to leave a mark on the one year anniversary of Chime for Change‘s launch, and the $500 G check she donated will surely be a reminder she was there. That is at the GUCCI store in NY last night basking in the revelry of another year, as co-founder of the org,  helping young women be empowered with the org’s over 300 projects related to health, education and career counseling services across the globe.

This time last year she was slaying the stage for a good cause, this go ’round she was head-bopping to beats her lil sis Solange was churning out. In other words there was nothing but good vibes flowing through the store.

Bey’s half a milly handout will be spread out to three major parts of Chime for Change: $125 Gs will go towards educating 100 Kenyan girls; another $125 Gs will be used for over 300 infant items throughout Sub-Saharan African countries; the remaining quarter million will be split between youth leadership and mentoring programs in NYC and supporting 25 human trafficking survivors with recovery treatments in LA.

Money well spent, Bey.