By Kerika Fields Nalty

As a woman of a certain age, my primary life goal at this moment is to evade the lure of Auntie-ism. What is Auntie-ism? Glad you asked. It’s when a woman over 40, whether an actual auntie or not, begins to dress, behave, look and sound like one of their beloved aunts. It starts with the sweats, or that favorite pair of yoga pants. And if you’re not careful it can escalate to the notorious “mom jeans” or even a moo-moo dress. Once it sets in, constant and inappropriately timed complaints about bad knees and hot flashes are soon to follow...

By Erickka Sy Savané

Making the rounds online like a California wildfire is definitely a topic that caught my eye about a mom, Essence Evans, who shared on her facebook page that she charges her 5-year-old daughter rent. As a mom of two who is constantly asking myself whether I'm doing the right things as a parent, it made me stop and think. Should little kids pay rent? Well, you can imagine that there has been A LOT of discussion, sometimes heated, for and against, from here all the way to the UK! Find out what this mom hopes to accomplish by teaching her daughter that ain't nothin' going on but the rent, and share your thoughts!


From Essence Evans Facebook page  
While I understand what this mom is trying to do, because one of our biggest goals as a parent is making sure that our kids can thrive once they leave the nest, I'm also of the mindset that kids should be kids for as long as possible. Bills will surely come, but how about they get to focus on other things that will make their lives rich, like sharing, kindness, empathy, sports, arts, ect....Also, taking the majority of the child's money back in an effort to teach them that most of their money will go towards bills when they grow up, is teaching them just that. There are many people out there working and owning businesses who aren't left with such a low amount after paying their bills. If I had this to look forward to as a kid growing into an adult, I'd probably never have the desire to work because it sounds like some bullsh*t.

And while most of the comments on Essence's Facebook page have been overwhelmingly positive...
YAY: BABYGIRL, I've been doing this for YEARS!! I have 3 kiddos under 10yo and they pay .65 per month for Rent. If they pay late past the 5th, they get charged interest for a .01 a day and get locked out of their room. You are TEACHING your little BROWN BABIES financial responsibility. I'm proud of you. Keep up the GOOD WORK!! the people who are talking trash about you will be the very ones that your child HIRES to clean up after her
YAY: to teach a child independence and the value of money and hardwork is the best gift a parent can give to their child, especially in this day and age of the spoiled, entitled generation. Don't listen to the haters and the clueless. Your daughter will have a good life because you gave her a solid foundation to build from.
YAY:  You are a genius & an awesome mom!! Your daughter is lucky to have you. Hope all the asshole moms have backed off now. Much love & respect sent your way!!
There have been a few negative...
 There have been some negative...
NAY: the greatest bullshit i have ever heard of. No time ever to be a child... before she HAS to work for food
NAY: You're teaching your daughter what? You are not telling her she is saving money. At five she can understand saving money. There are children a couple years older than her who attend college. The human brain can retain a whole lot more than most of us realize. Another thing, children don't ask parents to have them. We have them. Why should they pay us to live with us or for anything??? We owe them for bringing them here.
NAY: Lets see those deposit slips.
What do you think? Should little kids pay rent?
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  

Shena and Mom
Born in Flint, and raised outside of Tallahassee, Fl, Shena is a social worker, mom, and sister girl who loves hanging out with her friends. She also loves her mom. Find out what makes her naturally glam!

How long have you been natural?
I've been natural for ten years.

What are your fav products?
Shea moisture curl smoothie, carols daughter hair milk, as I am co-wash, eco gel-olive oil or coconut oil.

What's your favorite look?
I like to change my hair color because I think it gives me a different look even if I have the same style. Unfortunately, my natural hair color is a dull and dusty color that always seems to be darker than I would like.

Shena with her kids
What do you do for fun?
I’m a mother of two so they keep me busy, but I love hanging with friends. Out for drinks, traveling, and now being an active planner (a life of organization is in the near future).

How do you stay healthy?

I joined a gym in Sept., so I’m exercising 3x a week and planning lunches (at least m-thurs. weekly). I cook a lot too so I think that helps my family eat healthy. Also, I'm trying to drink more water daily. I can feel it in my skin, body, and hair when I don’t.

How has having natural hair contributed to your life?

I’m pretty confident at this point because it has been a while and it now seems the healthiest thing for my hair. Perming was definitely damaging my hair and stripping it to the max (I wore color often too). Plus a lot more women now are natural so it is encouraging to see that as well.

Did you have any positive hair role models growing up?
I'm not certain about positive hair role models. My mom's hair is super fine and curly too (she’s biracial), so I couldn’t look at her hair and see my own. A number of my friends and their moms wore their hair permed so I did as well.

Did you have 'hair envy' with your mom?

As a young kid I never really thought about different textures than my mom. I had really long hair and my mom always kept my hair in very neat braids and ponys. I never had hair envy with my mom. She is and always was beautiful to me and I feel I look just like her in a browner skin. I love my hair because it has always been soft, manageable, and a part of me.


If you'd like to be featured in Naturally Glam submit your photos to [email protected] and answer these questions!

1) Where are you from/live and how long have you been natural?
2) What products do you use on your hair?
3) 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.
4) How has having natural hair contributed to your life? Your self-esteem?
5) What's been the best part of your natural hair journey or your hair journey in general?
6) What do you do for fun?
7) How do you stay healthy 

Photo: Lakisha Cohill
By Winnie Gaturu 
Some of the best things in life come free of charge; sunlight, oxygen and breast milk for babies. 

Breastfeeding has all the nutrients babies need, it strengthens their immune system, and it’s the cheapest option when it comes to feeding newborns. With all these benefits, it's no wonder that pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after which solid foods can be gradually introduced.

However, for African-American women, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is a bit difficult. In fact, a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that between the years 2011 and 2015, the percentage of women who initiated breastfeeding was 64.3 percent for African-Americans, 81.5 percent for Whites, and 81.9 percent for Hispanic women.

Clearly, African-American women have a lower percentage. This is attributed to many factors including: lack of proper information on the benefits of breastfeeding, a work environment that doesn’t support breastfeeding, having to return to work too soon after childbirth, fear of being stigmatized while breastfeeding in public and cultural belief that breast milk doesn’t make the baby full. To address this problem, a group of Alabama moms decided to take action by spreading a positive message about breastfeeding and encouraging other black moms to follow suit.

Photo: Lakisha Cohill
Their journey started when one of the moms, Angel Warren, was searching for a group of volunteers in Alabama for a photo shoot during ‘Black Breastfeeding Week.’ After that first photo shoot, the moms became friends and formed a support group called the Chocolate Mommies of Birmingham. They did the second photo shoot as a group again, where each mom posed topless while breastfeeding their young ones, wearing black dresses, gold accessories and crowns. Their message is that breastfeeding is a natural act that shouldn't be discouraged or sexualized. Although the aim of the shoot was to spread awareness about breastfeeding and eliminate the stigma associated with it, they didn't expect their photo to go viral. However, they are all delighted that it did.

According to Angel Warren, all the women in the group are tired of breastfeeding being treated like a dirty or shameful act. As a result, they’ve created a website that serves as a resource for black women who breastfeed, and they also started the hashtag #BlackWomenDoBreastfeed to encourage more black women to nurse their babies.

What’s your take on breastfeeding?
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

By Erickka Sy Savané

I'm looking at a picture of a friend on Facebook, about to throw up my chips. This girl had her baby around the same time as me, yet she looks like she should be on the cover of Fitness magazine and me, well, that's another story. I've been working on this for four years!

Why is it taking me so long to lose this weight?

First, I thought it was the cyst. That thing was huge, the size of a grapefruit the doctor said, but then I got it removed and nothing changed. If anything, I gained weight. Then there was the birth control. Surely, it was the hormones making me want to eat the world. But I stopped that and nothing changed. Again.

Honestly, I hate going there, but it’s my diet. Always has been. I love food. I wake up eating cake and go to bed with a bag of Cheetos. There’s nothing like hot bread and butter. When I’m going through a rough patch, I eat. When I’m happy, I eat. I eat. I eat. I eat. So in terms of really trying to lose this weight, I haven’t been trying that hard.

It’s interesting though, because I’ve been skinny before. I spent years as a model where being skinny is the prerequisite. I’ve gained and lost weight enough times to know what it takes. So why am I not doing it now?  

When I really think about it, like, really think about it, I like my life. For years I fought to be skinny because I felt it equaled success. And let’s be real, for most models, anorexia is a goal, as was the heroin-chic look. So when I was skinny, I did great. When I wasn’t I fell down hard, suffering from bulimia, low self-esteem, and all sorts. Now, I’m older, I’m a mom, and for the first time ever I’m doing something that I love, sitting in front of a computer contemplating what makes the world go round, and it has nothing to do with my weight or my looks. In fact, being this weight makes me work harder on my craft because I’m not expecting my looks to get me in the door and carry me the rest of the way. I’m more productive than I’ve ever been. Plus, I look at women like Oprah and Ava DuVernay and they aren’t skinny girls. Yet, they are the ones making serious strides. And I’m not saying that skinny is bad, I still love when I can fit something other than my mom jeans, which have gotten snug, by the way, but I’m not going to knock where I am because I’m not skinny.

Oprah is trying to lose weight, but I’m sure it has more to do with personal choice than feeling like a failure. Who knows, maybe gaining and losing weight every few years is how she keeps it interesting. As for me, I may pick up some brussel sprouts and broccoli because they are my favorite veges, and it's always a good idea to have more greens in your system, but right now I’m going to enjoy my Cheetos and get back to work. This conversation will be revisited once I'm really ready to make changes.  

Do you struggle with losing weight? 
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife and mom, based in Jersey, City. Her work has appeared in Essence.com,Ebony.comMadamenoire.com and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram orErickkaSySavane.com