Sherri Newson
Naturally Glam is baaaaaack with a new twist! In addition to chatting it up about our fav topic-HAIR- we’re diving in a little deeper, finding out more about the beautiful baddies that make up CurlyNikki! Up next we have Sherri, originally from North Carolina, currently residing in San Jose, CA. What makes this mama naturally glam is a combination of beauty and her work in the mental health field. Listen in as we chat about her gorgeous mane, as well as advice on what we can do if we find ourselves going through a mental struggle.


How long have you been natural
I have been natural since my big chop in May of 2014. After hearing Curly Nikki on the Morning Show, talking about being “natural” my first reaction was “Aint nobody got time for that” lol. I quickly devoured everything that was on Curlynikki.com and decided that weekend that I was done with the chemicals.

Do you have any fav black-owned products that you use?
I use Cantu Shea butter for my family and I, as well as few Mielle Organics products.


What's the best part about wearing your hair natural?
I love the fact that once I decided to go natural-I never had one thought to return back to the creamy crack. I was the only one in my immediate family with relaxed hair. My mom and two sisters, never relaxed their hair; so when I went natural, I didn’t receive any negative or mixed feelings from family. Even though my hair was healthy while relaxed, it always seemed so limp to me. I love volume and doing different things with my hair. I like that I have been able to do new styles without the use of heat all the time.


How has having natural hair contributed to your life?
I would say it has helped me rid my body of unnecessary chemicals. When I was pregnant and nursing, I hated relaxing my hair. I, like most pregnant mothers, was concerned with what I was putting in and on my body. After relaxing my hair for 16+ years, it feels good not to HAVE to do it anymore.

What do you do and why do you love it?
I currently work for my county, in the Mental Health department as a Healthcare Program Analyst. I love what I do because we provide a valuable service to so many people. I think it is extremely important and courageous to seek help mentally when necessary. Issues regarding mental health should not be swept under the rug, or disregarded because of fear or lack of knowledge.

How long have you worked in mental health and why did you get in the field?

I have worked in the mental health field for 11 years. At first, it was just to get my father out of my ear, and to obtain a job after graduating college. I have switched jobs within the field a few times, and I can finally see that what I do, can and does help others. It is not an easy field to work in, and constantly giving of yourself is hard when you don’t always feel or see a tangible return. But knowing that I am helping someone is what matters most.

What are a few things we need to know about mental illness?
Mental Illness can affect anybody in many different ways. Often, people try to hide or disguise things about themselves because they are afraid of what others may think. There is no harm in seeking an outside source that is able to provide you with an unbiased opinion. If you start to notice that you are having unwelcome thoughts, or feeling down or sad most of the time- reach out. There are so many aspects of life today that can be stressful. If you do not feel comfortable with a stranger, grab your closest girlfriend and have a wine/vent date, lol. Sometimes you just need a sounding board to release your frustrations. If it is more serious, and things in your life get to the point where you need help mentally, don’t be afraid to seek help with a trained mental health specialist.

What should we do if we or a loved one needs help mentally?
If you are looking for help and do not know where to start, a good place would be to look up your county services. If you have a Medicaid plan for your state, or are uninsured, there are services and classes that you may be able to attend or obtain free-of-charge. If you have a private plan, you definitely want to call to see if you have behavioral health/mental health coverage on your plan. You may be able to seek physicians, classes, or counseling by just paying a simple co-pay. It may take some effort on your end whether the services are for yourself, or a loved one; but knowing that you have the help you need can be a life changer.

Indeed! Thanks Sherri!


If you'd like to be featured in Naturally Glam- whether you live here or abroad- submit your photos to [email protected] and answer these questions!

1) Where are you from and how long have you been natural?
2) Do you have any fav black-owned products that you use?
3) What do you do and why do you love it?
5) If you have a business, are in school, have a blog, products you sell, a job in a field you'd like to talk about, have initiatives and organizations you'd like to highlight, advice to give, or family that you are proud of and want to share, please do.
6) How has having natural hair contributed to your life? Your self-esteem?
7) What's been the best part of your natural hair journey or your hair journey in general?
Liza Jessie Peterson by Yoshinori Hashimoto
By Sharon Pendana 

Liza Jessie Peterson is an "artivist," her art and her activism conjoined. With a deep sense of justice, it is her Libran calling to balance its scales. "I’m an artist, but my advocacy is channeled through my art," she says. "Everything I write about, everything I perform is through that lens." Her decades-long entrenchment in the carceral system spans from making the trek upstate from her Brooklyn home to visit her jailed former lover to teaching incarcerated youths at New York City's notorious Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

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These experiences inform her profound one-woman show, The Peculiar Patriot,exploring the human impact of mass incarceration, not just on inmates, but their intimates who brave the cramped, hours-long bus rides to prison visits in revolutionary acts of loyalty and commitment, "navigating love between barbed wire." She toured the show to over 30 prisons across the country to standing ovations and black power salutes before premiering it to the general public in a sold-out run at Harlem’s National Black Theatre.


In All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island, Liza mines her old journals and indelible memories to deftly chronicle her experience of being the classroom teacher, all day from 7:50 am - 2:30 pm to adolescent boys locked in a system more punitive than rehabilitative. With humor and pathos, she gives voice to these young men swept into the penal maelstrom and exposes the glaring disparity in corrections approaches between kids of color and white.

She started working at Rikers Island in 1998 to conduct a poetry workshop and was surprised to discover "the overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of Black and Latino adolescents" incarcerated there. She says, 
"It was astounding! I wasn't aware of the prison industrial complex— it was not in the zeitgeist— this was 1998. Mass incarceration was not even a phrase that people used back then. I was going in without any context. I had no idea about the cash bail system; I had no idea about the privatization of prisons. A corrections officer pointed to the boys and referred to them as the ‘new cotton’– that I was working on the plantation and the boys were the crops."
She would learn that Black and Latino children are targeted for arrest and criminalized for typical adolescent behavior. 
"Adolescents are always going to buck up against the system; they are still going to challenge authority. They are going through a stage of psychological differentiation separation, where they are exerting their independence, moving away from family toward friends and testing boundaries. It's a natural phase of adolescent development."
While working with incarcerated adolescent girls, she learned that most had histories of sexual abuse. "A lot of their acting-out comes from the unhealed wounds and unaddressed trauma in their lives," she says. As rampant revelations of sexual assault surface in this country, Liza hopes that "this heightened national dialogue will give young girls the courage to come forward and speak out about what has happened to them and know that it isn't their fault; their cries are valid, and they have support." She says that although women who have spoken out about it have been "dismissed, ignored, denied, chastised, threatened and attacked, now we’re seeing the tide turning, and men are being called to task and being held accountable for their reprehensible behavior."

She remains hopeful that the social justice pendulum will swing toward what is right and just—that the normalization of sexual misconduct will reverse, and prison reforms put an end to race-based arrests and draconian sentencing. She shares how others can effect change: "first people need to get educated on what white supremacy is — what it looks like and how it works. And vote, not just in the big elections, but the smaller local elections, too." She adds that many community-based organizations rely on donations to keep their doors open. "There are organizations already on the ground doing the work. If you have money, find out who they are and support them. Of philanthropist Agnes Gund's recent endowment she adds, "Be like Agnes; write a check."


An "interrupter of recidivism," Liza stays in contact with several of the kids and works to help them once they are released. "I’m always going to have that connection to the youth–helping them to stay alive and free and out of the grip of the criminal justice system. But I’m an artist first. I’m creating; I’m writing plays, I’m writing books, I’m writing content for television that will encapsulate my advocacy."

Photo: Garlia C. Jones-Ly


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Sharon Pendana is the creator of THE TROVE, author of Secret Washington DC and on a relentless quest to discover treasures, human and otherwise. Find her on Instagram, Medium, Twitter or binging on Netflix and Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps.

2 Dope Queens Podcast
By CultClassiq via xonecole

Take a moment to say “congratulations” to yourself today.
Why? Well, 2017 was your year, and 2018 is too. As driven women, we often decide whether a year was “our year” based on what we accomplished: whether we landed that promotion, whether our summer fling became bae or bye, and so on. We measure ourselves by what we did, but we often overlook a huge part of that —the time and effort we took to keep pushing. You deserve a moment to clap for 2017, because you made it.


By Jashima Wadehra

I am ALL about the wellness train that defined 2017. I am not, however, the most well-versed on spending hours peeling, chopping and blending my nutrients into instagram- worthy mason jar smoothies. I used to be a start-my-morning-with-a-cup-of-coffee kind of girl, until I discovered my morning elixir 3 months ago, life hasn’t been the same.

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In an effort to assist de-bloating and promote a sunnier disposition I decided to incorporate the tried and true warm lemon water into my morning routine, which was great but it got me thinking…..I had heard A LOT about the benefits of unadulterated Apple Cider Vinegar  and wanted to experience it for myself while integrating a few other key ingredients.

Say Hello to your new favorite hair, skin and energy life hack:
I compile the following ingredients in my trusty 32.oz  water tumbler:


1 Tablespoon of Turmeric:
We’ve all heard the hype behind turmeric, beyond its skin cleansing and yellow coloring benefits- it contains Curcumin. Curcumin possess an endless list of benefits and will soon become a staple in your cabinet.
Anti-inflammatory properties
Antioxidants
Promotes digestion
Enhances your brain’s neurotrophic factor
Lowers risk of heart disease
Has been used to treat arthritis


1 Lemon: 
Re-Open the lemonstand because baby, we bout’ to make some lemonade!! The age old lemon water is NOT a myth, it works. Not only does lemon alkalize, but its properties also encourage a boost in energy. Beyonce was onto something with that album…
Acidic properties
Digestive assistant
Flushes the liver and lymphatic system naturally
Contains vitamin C


2-3 Drops of Liquid Chlorophyll:
If you can get past the potentially green tinted bowels, liquid chlorophyll is a skin and internal health power player. There is a reason plants produce this incredible component and thrive because of its abilities.

Here is my favorite rundown on Chlorophyll:
Detoxes your liver
Expedites wound healing
Protects skin


½ Teaspoon of Cinnamon:
Cinnamon contains Cassia, it does much more than make apple pie and decorate hot cocoa. This sweet spice has several benefits beyond skin health.
Antioxidant
Lowers blood sugar
Anti Inflammatory


Pinch of Cayenne:
Capsaicin is a component in cayenne pepper, aside from its hint of heat, cayenne pepper can boost immunity!
Detoxifies
Lowers Cholesterol
Pain reliever
Packed with vitamins like B, E, and C.


Pinch of Black pepper
This underrated flavor enhancer is more than just for your potatoes. Black pepper not only assists your body in absorbing more curcumin because it contains piperidine, but has a slew of positive attributes!
Contains Vitamin K, Manganese, Iron, Fiber and Zinc.
Fights against intestinal gas
Anti-Inflammatory
Digestive assistant courtesy presence of Potassium



Drizzle of organic honey
The honeybear comes with more than just a sweet cuddle. Locally sourced organic honey can help combat your seasonal allergies as well as provide incredible skin benefits and lighten hair naturally!
Antioxidants
Lightening properties
DELICIOUS!!!!
Will combat the ACV and intense spice flavors


Apple Cider Vinegar
Ya’ll already know this beautiful probiotic filled vinegar is where it’s at. More than a salad dressing must- ACV is #bae.
Packed with probiotics ( if you can’t stand greek yogurt like me, this is the #PLUG)
Acetic acid
Reduces acid reflux
Helps manage blood pressure
Can assist in weight loss

Voila mix and mingle!

Drink this first thing in the morning for a week straight and reap the benefits!
I noticed the following,  changes within the first two weeks:
Clearer skin
Brighter skin
Shinier hair
Reduced eczema breakouts
Improved digestion
Decreased inflammation
Better quality sleep
Increased energy throughout the day
Less junk food cravings

Will this become a part of your morning routine? Let me know in the comments below! 
 P.S. I am NOT a doctor, so be sure to consult yours! 
Jashima Wadehra is a writer, dancer, entrepreneur, and lover of people based in NYC.  She can be found blogging at overpriced coffee shops or on a plane heading to a new place to write about.  Follow her on instagram at @TheChatterboxlifeEnthusiast and check out her new blog TheChatterBoxLifeEnthusiast.com.  


By: Maya Wright

I’m an emotional person, if that’s what you want to call it. It’s not something I apologize for (because, why should I?)—but I do feel sorry for it; that is, when I allow myself to be that kind of vulnerable with someone who simply wasn’t worth my trust.

I had a pretty rough week last week, and I let myself cry in front of a friend on three different occasions. After the first time, they assured me that I could confide in them and that I didn’t have to bear my burden alone. It was comforting and I felt honesty in their admission; so a couple of days later, I cried in front of them again and then once more the next day. I thought everything was cool and confidential until we were watching a movie with a group of friends (who I have never cried in front of) and the friend I had trusted suggested to everyone that I was emotional. Everyone got a good laugh out of it and I played it off, but I was pretty hurt. It caught me off guard that they would betray my trust like that and I vowed to never cry in front of them again.

But it caused me to really consider: Where did this notion originate, of not wanting to cry in front of other people?

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And it’s not really crying itself, but crying openly—publicly—just feels like a major no-no. In other words, it’s okay to cry as long as no one else sees it. And growing up, my mom never let me cry in public. While those tears were usually associated with something I’d done wrong, it ingrained in me a discomfort with public displays of vulnerability. My mom was a soldier and a single mother of 4; I didn’t see her cry until I was a teenager. She was hard on the exterior—hard to relate to, hard to understand, but I knew she loved me. And now, in my adulthood, I understand her plight. Being a woman in the army, she was forbidden the freedom of crying, so it was only natural that she instinctively taught us the same behavior.

So I learned how to keep my feelings to myself and that if a person was crying in public, they had failed to do exactly that. Even now that I know better, I would still say that sometimes seeing a stranger cry in public feels strangely invasive. It’s like I’m seeing a part of them that I shouldn’t, because vulnerability has a way of making you feel stripped, open.

Especially in black culture, crying just gets a bad rep. It is considered to be the very manifestation of weakness. Whereas strength conjures up images of physicality, determination, and often aggression, weakness presents itself as being emotional, crying, and showing physical incapability. But this attitude towards crying is nothing more than a societal-inflicted impression that is actually 100% false. In fact, tears show that the person is mentally strong, in control of their feelings and unafraid of societal expectations. PsychCentral.comsays, “tears signal a need for help and comfort, help relieve stress, and may bring us back into emotional equilibrium.”

Which is good because I cry a lot. I cry when I pray, when I’m angry, sad, anxious, worried, or venting. I cry when I’m really grateful about something or just reflecting on how blessed I am. I cry while watching TV or a movie. I cry when I feel lonely, left out, confused. When I try not to cry, I just don’t feel “free.” I need to cry sometimes and there’s no point in risking a headache when I can quite easily just let myself fall apart for a few minutes and be done with it.

Still, crying is something I only choose to do privately—alone, or with someone I trust. When I get to know a person and they cause me to feel comfortable enough to think I can allow them to see that part of me, I almost always get let down. They either suggest that I need to ‘suck it up,’ call me ‘weak,’ tell someone, or bring it up randomly in public conversation. These days, the comfort of confidentiality and respect is a rare find, but still worth searching for.

What some people fail to realize is that even though they are sometimes listed as synonyms, ‘weak’ and ‘vulnerable’ are not the same. Something or someone that is weak is lacking in power or strength; easily damaged or influenced.  Vulnerability is choosing to let your guard down, despite the consequences.

Vulnerability is a choice, and if someone is willing to let you see them cry—which is probably the rawest expression of emotion that exists—be worth their time. Don’t make them feel like crap. See the beauty that is present in their tears and be there for them.

Because vulnerability is a gift—not a handicap.