Up Close With: Madame Gandhi

Up Close With: Madame Gandhi

A lover, a dreamer, and a Pisces…and a pretty killer playlist maker, too.

“When what we think, what we say, and what we do

are in alignment, we can never go wrong.”

Madame Gandhi

What do you think of when asked to visualize a “Creative Spirit?”

You might envision someone taking a sopping-wet-with-paint brush to canvas, or scribbling feverishly in a journal. Maybe even dicing vegetables for a tantalizingly complex dinner.

And you wouldn’t be wrong to think that, not at all.

But after watching and listening to the wonderful people who spoke on behalf of our latest campaign of the same name (that being, For the Creative Spirit), I realized that perhaps I was leaving out some really key components. Meaning, a Creative Spirit doesn’t always have to be an artist of some sort. Because creativity is not always about MAKING something. A creative isn’t necessarily the result of a process. It’s more about harboring an inherent FEELING, a mindset, to look at something and say, “I don’t know if I accept this thing as is. I might, or I might have my way with it to create something new.”

After listening to Madame Gandhi, I was floored, for lack of a better word. Because she is, in fact, the epitome of creativity. As true to her school as they come. Meaning, she believes in the reality of who she is, but refuses to settle for it at any given time. And throughout her life’s journey, she is warm, inviting, honest and powerful.

Watch her video below, and mark my word — you’ll be inspired to shine more of your light on this world than you thought possible.

“This video is meant to live as a reminder to all of us that, when we do our own thing and shine in our own light, we are happy, and this is what the world needs! We deserve to feel effortless in our personality, clear in our choices and brave in our risks. We should not have to worry what others will think.”

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Shonda Rhimes Shares The Final Straw That Pushed Her To Leave ABC For Netflix

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/entertainment/shonda-rhimes-abc-netflix/ along with the image used.

Celebrated television producer Shonda Rhimes left ABC after 15 years of producing shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy—and now she’s explaining why.

In a honest conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Rhimes revealed she had been in an ongoing battle with ABC over multi-year deals and compensation years before her departure. But wasn’t until she attempted to receive an additional all-inclusive Disneyland pass for her sister (which was a perk allotted to her through her deal with ABC at the time) that she decided to leave the network. After allegedly being told “Don’t you have enough?” by a high-ranking official, Rhimes immediately called her lawyer and implored that they negotiate a deal with Netflix.

Since then, she has signed a nine-figure deal with the streaming service and producers like Ryan Murphy have followed in her footsteps.

In the interview, Rhimes said that her relationship with Netflix was a work in progress and that she was emphatic about the type of work she wanted to create. “I said, ‘I just want to be in a place where I can make stuff and no one’s going to bother me or make me feel like I’m beholden,” Rhimes said, reminiscing on a 2016 conversation with Netflix’s CEO.

Three years after Rhimes’ first-of-its-kind deal with Netflix, she is finally releasing two new bodies of work.

Her first project with the content giant will be a documentary about choreographer and director, Debbie Allen, which will be available on Nov. 27th. She will also be releasing a period drama, Bridgerton, on Dec. 25th.

Shonda Rhimes Shares The Final Straw That Pushed Her To Leave ABC For Netflix By Brooklyn White ·October 22, 2020October 22, 2020

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Nicki Minaj Introduced the World To Her Newborn Son

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/celebrity/celebrity-moms/nicki-minaj-introduced-the-world-to-her-newborn-son/ along with the image used.

Nicki Minaj Introduced the World To Her Newborn Son Instagram.com/nickiminaj By Charli Penn ·October 22, 2020October 22, 2020

Nicki Minaj has a lot to celebrate these days. The rapper recently gave birth to her first child with husband Kenneth Petty and on Wednesday they celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

To mark the occasion, Minaj shared a photo of Petty holding their newborn son’s foot on Instagram with a sweet caption: “Happy anniversary my love.”

View this post on Instagram

Happy Anniversary, my love ♥

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Oct 21, 2020 at 9:34am PDT

Minaj, 37, and Petty welcomed the newest member of their family into the world in Los Angeles on September 30. While the baby’s name is still unknown, last week Minaj revealed the baby’s gender to fans.

“So in love with my son,” she captioned a photo while also sharing that celebrities like Beyoncé and Kanye West had sent congratulatory gifts her way.

Minaj first announced she was expecting in July 2020 by sharing a series of glam maternity photos on Instagram with the caption “preggers”.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CC3ffwbDEM5/?utm_source=ig_embed

Congrats again to the rapper and new mom!

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VanJess, Givēon And More Share Why #BlackVotersMatter365

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/articles/vanjess-giveon-blackvotersmatter365-election-2020/ along with the image used.

The stakes have never been higher in our lifetime than voting for the 2020 presidential election. Often a right taken for granted in this country, Americans have been submitting their ballots at historic rates, while Joe Biden and Donald Trump sling not-so-thinly veiled shots through commercial campaign ads on TV.

The importance of this moment cannot be stressed enough. At a time where Black and brown people are facing unprecedented perils — from COVID to cops to all-around caucasity — forces are still attempting to silence those voices using the law and any other excuses it can muster.

To continue encouraging the Black and brown community to head to the polls, ESSENCE has restarted its #BlackVotersMatter365 initiative. With the energy surrounding this year’s election (Black) mirroring 2016, these stars with huge voices and platforms are sharing the importance of casting your vote and being politically engaged.

Driving home the point, ESSENCE received special messages from the likes of VanJess, Givēon, India Shawn, Xavier Omär, Saweetie, and Vic Mensa. Watch the videos below detailing why #BlackVotersMatter365, find your polling place via the Voter’s Hub, and circle your early voting date to beat the Election Day rush.

Xavier Omär on having our voices heard…

Participating in local and federal elections are just two ways for people to support policies that serve their communities’ needs and ensure that they have a say in the decisions that benefit all of society, and not just the few and powerful.

Saweetie on her first-time voting…

In the wake of the killings on young Black and brown Americans, Generation-Z have been addressing the systemic racist agenda through marches, protests, and civil disobedience. Despite the stakes on the line, these resilient voices are encouraging the disengaged, the politically inactive to sway those who are non-voters by choice.

Givēon on how voting can improve our future…

All indications point out that young voters across the country are lining up to do their part for Nov. 3. With so much excitement for the massive turnout in voting, ESSENCE is encouraging everyone to mind COVID-19 protocols and be very safe while advocating for a generational shift of political power at the polls.

VanJess on how voting can make an impact…

Political activism has electrified the Black and brown community in an unprecedented way. With the clock ticking down to Nov. 3, people are coming out in droves to vote early and flood election offices — even enduring huge lines to cast ballots — and make a concerted effort to protect the nation’s democracy.

Vic Mensa on his first time voting…

For many people, disengagement as a voter is an annoying act of self-sabotage. The sheer selfishness of such behavior can keep other potential voters without access to a myriad of issues. Ahead of Election Day, let’s not stay at home and rattle our concerns to the sky.

India Shawn on being an active voter…

The rising group of potential voters is 142 million people as of 2018, which points to a concern for most politically-minded Americans. With much overlap between campaigns promises and COVID-19 concerns, young voters are still eager to be involved and have showed up to the tune of more than 26 million as of Saturday, Oct. 17. Stay engaged, stay active, and stay activated as we head to the polls to vote on Nov. 3.

For more information, check out the ESSENCE Voter’s Hub.

Kevin L. Clark is a writer and producer of The Playlist, where artists share their music faves every Friday on Essence.com.

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Gisele Bündchen's Skin-Care Routine Includes Washing Her Face Using Only Water

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/gisele-bundchen-wash-face-using-only-water-skin-care along with the image used.

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen talks to Allure about life in Florida, what she appreciates about aging, her favorite new Dior Skincare serum, and the skin-care talk she’s hosting with a variety of beauty and wellness experts.

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Treating Hyperpigmentation | The Science of Beauty Podcast

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/the-science-of-beauty-podcast-hyperpigmentation-guide-episode along with the image used.

In the Hyperpigmentation episode of The Allure Science of Beauty podcast, we teach you everything you need to know about dark spots, melasma, sunspots, and freckles, and break down the best ingredients and in-office treatments to make them disappear. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Yes, You Can Live More Sustainably. Starting Right Now.

Yes, You Can Live More Sustainably. Starting Right Now.

Here are three ways to do it easily…

A few weeks ago, after changing our garbage bag for what felt like the third time in a few days, I couldn’t fathom how it was even possible to create so much waste so quickly. So I decided to pay attention. Every time my hand stretched toward the bin, I made a mental note of it. And to be frank, I was really shocked by the ease with which I was throwing things away without thinking about:

1) what I was tossing

2) how it got to the point of being disposable 

3) what that meant long-term.

I didn’t really think much about the waste I produced before shifting my life indoors; I guess it was all “out of sight, out of mind.” Now? It’s all I can think about.

So I’ve decided to make some changes. If you’ve got sustainability on the mind — or want to put it there — here are three easy ways to get started:

Turn food scraps into stars.

Did you know you can freeze that half-glass of red wine left at the bottom of a bottle in an ice cube tray to use as a base for sauces and soups? Peeling potatoes? Use the skins that would otherwise end up in the bin for baked potato chips! Stale bread? Turn it into gnocchi! And you haven’t lived until you’ve turned leftover pasta into spaghetti pancakes.

With a few simple changes to the way we already live, shop, cook and eat, it’s totally possible to reduce the amount of food waste we create down to virtually nothing. Your shaman on this waste-free journey? Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev’s “The Zero Waste Cookbook.” Within the pages of this legitimately genius tome, you’ll find countless tips and steps for sourcing food locally (less waste on the journey from farmer to retailer, plus fresher food), planning your meals and storing food wisely (knowing what you already have and how to use it prevents overbuying and spoilage). Oh yeah, and tons of recipes to help you use — and eat! — everything you buy.

Rethink single-use feminine products.

According to global statistics, the average woman will have around 450 periods in her lifetime. If you do the math (and I did), that equals about 21,000 pads and tampons per person. That, plus packaging and wrapping, equals a LOT of waste.

Luckily, you’ve got a sustainable alternative in the Saalt Cup, a reusable, soft silicone cup worn internally that collects your period (as opposed to absorbing it like a tampon). It’s easy to insert, stays put thanks to an ingenious design, and is simple to remove, empty, rinse, and reuse. Because it’s made from reusable silicone, the Saalt Cup is the epitome of sustainability, with one cup lasting up to 10 years of regular monthly periods. What’s more is that right alongside Saalt’s mission of sustainability is their commitment to ending Period Poverty by providing access to safe, effective, hygienic period products for women around the world. To date, they’ve donated over 7,000 of their cups, and give a percentage of their revenue to fund initiatives in menstrual health, education and sustainability in the areas that need it most.

A chemical-free, sustainable, altruistic alternative to period protection? Sign me up.

Say goodbye to plastic, plain and simple.

I want to share some truly staggering facts about plastic and the impact they have on the environment:

*  Half of the plastic we use, we use only once.

*  An average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic every year.

*  Half a billion plastic bags are used around the world annually — that’s one million plastic bags every minute.

*  10% of all the waste produced globally is plastic.

*  It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.

*  We throw away enough plastic in a year to circle the planet four times — nearly 800 million miles of plastic annually.

If you’ve already converted to reusable water bottles and mugs, metal straws and totes for shopping, you may be wondering what’s left to change. The answer is: plastic sandwich and freezer bags. That’s right: the zip-top baggies you don’t think twice about before filling up with snacks and then tossing once you’re done. While you can technically wash and reuse them, you could also invest in a set of actually washable, reusable storage bags, like those from Stasher.

Made of medical-grade silicone, Stasher’s line of storage bags are durable, freezer- and dishwasher-safe, infinitely reusable and look a little like they would be equally at home in your kitchen as they would a deep-sea diving mission. Because they come in so many shapes and sizes, there’s truly one for every food-storage need you might have. (And, according to Stasher, at least 23 non-food ways to use them, too!)

So there you have it. Maybe it’s due time to rethink your routine. You might be amazed by how much money and space you’re saving…even on your trash bags.

 

Free People Blog

Barack Obama Speaks At Joe Biden Drive-In Rally In Philadelphia

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/news/politics/barack-obama-joe-biden-drive-in-rally-philadelphia/ along with the image used.

It is time.

In his first in-person campaign event of 2020 to pitch his former number 2 guy to the American people, former President Barack Obama told the crowd of people sitting in their cars at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park that former Vice President Joe Biden is the clear choice over President Donald Trump, 6ABC reports.

“This election requires every single one of us to do our part. What we do these next 13 days will matter for decades to come,” Obama said at a drive-in rally of about 300 cars…The fact that we don’t get 100% of what we want right away is not a good reason not to vote.”

Speaking about Trump, his destruction of the economy (for everyone other than billionaires), and his administration’s bungling of the COVID-19 response, Obama said, “I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my polices, but I did hope for the sake of the country, that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously, but it hasn’t happened. He hasn’t showed any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends.”

The former POTUS said of the continuing pandemic that is currently spiking again in some states, “Eight months into this pandemic, cases are rising again across this country. Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us. He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself.”

Obama didn’t stop there. “This is not a reality show—this is reality,” he said. “Four years ago, you’d be tailgating here instead of watching a speech from your car.”

Unlike Trump, Obama also said that Joe Biden wouldn’t “host a super spreader event at the White House.”

Watch Obama’s full remarks below:

Both Biden and Trump are paying close attention to Pennsylvania, one of the key swing states of the 2020 election. Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012. Hillary Clinton lost there in 2016 when Trump turned three counties—Luzerne, Erie and Northhampton—red.

Biden currently holds a double digit lead in the state.

barack-obama-philadelphiaPHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 21: Former US President Barack Obama talks elbow bumps a young child while campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at community event on October 21, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today is the first in-person campaigning for Former US President Barack Obama who is campaigning for the Biden Harris ticket. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) By ESSENCE Staff ·October 21, 2020October 21, 2020

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‘CAREN’ Act: San Francisco Supervisors Unanimously Vote To Ban Racially Motivated 9-1-1 Calls

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/news/caren-act-san-francisco-supervisors-racist-9-1-1-calls/ along with the image used.

San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass the Caution Against Racially and Exploitative Non-Emergencies (CAREN) Act, which, if passed into law, would make it illegal for white people to call 9-1-1 just because a Black person dares to exist in ways that make them uncomfortable.

“The CAREN Act will expand the definition of a protected class in San Francisco to prevent false emergency calls with the specific intent to discriminate against a person or otherwise infringe the person’s rights or cause the person specified harms on the basis of the person’s race, color, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, age, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, weight, or height,” ABC7 reports.

Supervisors will vote on the measure again next week. If passed, it will be sent to the desk of Mayor London Breed to be signed into law.

The name of the act, CAREN, is a clear nod to the proverbial Karen, the name of a fictitious white woman initially made famous during a now iconic Saturday Night Live skit for “probably putting something unnecessary like raisins” in “her bland ass potato salad.”

The SNL skit, “Black Jeopardy,” featured Keenan Thompson and the late Chadwick Boseman.

The name has since become synonymous with white women who, feigning innocence and victimhood, call 9-1-1 to intentionally threaten, intimidate, and endanger the lives of Black people by weaponizing their white womanhood as a tool of the state. It can also describe a white woman who believes that Black people exist solely for her benefit and/or to serve her, who then become irrationally angry or upset when she is disabused of that notion. From Carolyn Bryant Dunham to #PermitPatty to Amy Cooper, this is a very specific kind of white supremacist violence.

Carolyn Bryant Donham, the patron saint of Karens. #EmmettTill pic.twitter.com/71aVWz48EV

— Kirsten West Savali (@KWestSavali) May 26, 2020

“When law enforcement responds to non-emergency calls as a result of the caller’s prejudice, discriminatory views, and racial bias, it diverts resources away from actual emergencies to the unnecessary policing of people of color,” the Board said in a press release announcing the vote. “This is another form of racial violence instigated against people of color that causes further mistrust between communities of color and law enforcement.”

The act was first introduced in July of this year by Supervisor Shamann Walton. Speaking to the New York Times, Walton broke down the penalties associated with the CAREN Act.

“In San Francisco the penalty is: if you contact law enforcement and there’s some harm brought to somebody they can file civilly and reap the benefits for at least $1,000 — and it could be more than that based on the type of damage and what’s awarded. But we are also focusing on some type of fine for folks who make those phone calls arbitrarily,” he said.

“My ultimate goal is to make sure we have ordinances like this on the books across the country, and to make sure that people don’t do this because, again, this is not a joke, it’s not a game, people have literally been killed by police officers because of arbitrary calls to law enforcement.”

Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that's why I'm introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeting. This is the CAREN we need. Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. #CARENact #sanfrancisco

— Shamann Walton (@shamannwalton) July 7, 2020

Even though the name Karen is often used in a lighthearted way, it is also a shorthand way to acknowledge what—Walton recognizes as—a very real threat. Still, some San Francisco residents are more concerned about the name causing hurt feelings than the behavior, character, and identity the name represents in Black culture.

“The name of the act places a target on my name as a racist and I am not,” one resident wrote in a letter to the Board of Supervisors. “By associating the name ‘Caren’ or anyone elses name with such a law, really is offensive.”

“I do not have objection to this act; the issue it is trying to address is wrong,” wrote another resident. ” I do strongly object to the name. The insensitive choice of many people to use the name Karen as a general purpose term of disapproval for middle age white women needs to stop.”

Walton says that the CAREN Act isn’t intended to specifically call out anyone.

“Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies” calls to law enforcement is just that,” he told the Times. “It’s not directed toward any person or any human being, we just came up with the acronym that worked for the type of law that we think needs to be passed.”

‘CAREN’ Act: San Francisco Supervisors Unanimously Vote To Ban Racially Motivated 9-1-1 Calls By Kirsten West Savali ·October 21, 2020October 21, 2020

The post ‘CAREN’ Act: San Francisco Supervisors Unanimously Vote To Ban Racially Motivated 9-1-1 Calls appeared first on Essence.

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Meet Rume, The Home Edit's Aesthetically Appealing Personal-Care Line

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/the-home-edit-rume-hand-washing-products-shop along with the image used.

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, founders of the The Home Edit and queens of streamlined, visually pleasing home organization, have launched Rume, a line of personal-care products that are actually display-worthy without the help of a third-party vessel.

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