Captain Deshauna Barber, U.S. Army, photo courtesy of Vogue

In 2014, Army Regulation 670-1 mandated that soldiers were banned from wearing most natural hairstyles—including “twists, dreadlocks, Afros and braids”-- along with hijabs, religious beards, and turbans while in service.

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But in January of 2017, after receiving numerous complaints that the ban was discriminatory from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the military to review its policies. The United States Army revised their regulations, allowing cornrows, braids and locs to be worn. The Army’s new rules state that each loc “will be of uniform dimension; have a diameter no greater than a half-inch; and present a neat, professional and well-groomed appearance.”

Because of this new change, more servicewomen are feeling comfortable rocking their hair in its true natural form. The new mandated rule inspired this series of photos below from Vogue.

“When I first came into the military, people would always say, ‘What’s the problem? Why can’t you just straighten your hair?’” says Army Captain Deshauna Barber, in an interview with Vogue, who, like her peers, has wrestled with regulations that were diametrically at odds with her springy, breakage-prone coils. “

The recent change in regulations has given me more options,” Lieutenant Colonel Junel Jeffrey says. “It also says a lot about how the Army feels about inclusion. I feel like now it’s okay to be me.”

“Hair is a complicated thing for women of color,” says Barber, who still remembers struggling with the discomfort of wearing wigs under her helmet. “The new regulations show they did the research; there’s an understanding and appreciation of just how diverse our backgrounds are.”

Captain Faren Campbell, U.S. Army, photo courtesy of Vogue
“We understood there was no need to differentiate between locks, cornrows or twists as long as they all met the same dimension,” said Sergeant. Major Anthony J. Moore, the uniform policy branch sergeant major at the Army’s office of the deputy chief of staff for personnel. “Females have been asking for a while, especially females of African-American descent, to be able to wear dreadlocks and locks because it’s easier to maintain that hairstyle.”

“When you first cut off your hair, it’s like, ‘Oh, man, I’m stuck!’” says Campbell, who wears her natural hair at a fourth of an inch from her head, the shortest possible length for women in the Army. “But then you embrace it, because there’s nothing to hide behind anymore. I’d say the shorter my hair is, the happier I am.”

First Lieutenant Whennah Andrews, Army National Guard, photo courtesy of Vogue
“We wanted to dispel the myth surrounding them, this idea that the style is somehow unhygienic,” says Andrews, who submitted the clip to the uniform advisory board at the Pentagon last year. “We literally put the hair under a microscope to show that’s not the case, to show that locks can belong in any place of business and certainly in the military.”

Lieutenant Junior Grade Arabia Littlejohn, U.S. Navy, photo courtesy of Vogue
“I know that as a woman of color, I have to lead from the front and be a model for other black junior officers,” says Littlejohn. “It’s a responsibility that’s on my shoulders, but I’m grateful for it.”

Major Tennille Woods Scott, U.S. Army, photo courtesy of Vogue
“It’s refreshing to see women up and down the ranks embracing their natural hair,” says Scott. “I think my mom would be pleasantly surprised.”

The Army now allows Muslim women to wear hijabs and male soldiers to wear beards and turbans, as long as it’s a religious requirement.

All images courtesy of Vogue.

What do you think these military servicewomen and their experience rocking their natural hair?
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.
Captain Deshauna Barber, U.S. Army, photo courtesy of Vogue

In 2014, Army Regulation 670-1 mandated that soldiers were banned from wearing most natural hairstyles—including “twists, dreadlocks, Afros and braids”-- along with hijabs, religious beards, and turbans while in service.

Continue Reading
But in January of 2017, after receiving numerous complaints that the ban was discriminatory from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the military to review its policies. The United States Army revised their regulations, allowing cornrows, braids and locs to be worn. The Army’s new rules state that each loc “will be of uniform dimension; have a diameter no greater than a half-inch; and present a neat, professional and well-groomed appearance.”

Because of this new change, more servicewomen are feeling comfortable rocking their hair in its true natural form. The new mandated rule inspired this series of photos below from Vogue.

“When I first came into the military, people would always say, ‘What’s the problem? Why can’t you just straighten your hair?’” says Army Captain Deshauna Barber, in an interview with Vogue, who, like her peers, has wrestled with regulations that were diametrically at odds with her springy, breakage-prone coils. “

The recent change in regulations has given me more options,” Lieutenant Colonel Junel Jeffrey says. “It also says a lot about how the Army feels about inclusion. I feel like now it’s okay to be me.”

“Hair is a complicated thing for women of color,” says Barber, who still remembers struggling with the discomfort of wearing wigs under her helmet. “The new regulations show they did the research; there’s an understanding and appreciation of just how diverse our backgrounds are.”

Captain Faren Campbell, U.S. Army, photo courtesy of Vogue
“We understood there was no need to differentiate between locks, cornrows or twists as long as they all met the same dimension,” said Sergeant. Major Anthony J. Moore, the uniform policy branch sergeant major at the Army’s office of the deputy chief of staff for personnel. “Females have been asking for a while, especially females of African-American descent, to be able to wear dreadlocks and locks because it’s easier to maintain that hairstyle.”

“When you first cut off your hair, it’s like, ‘Oh, man, I’m stuck!’” says Campbell, who wears her natural hair at a fourth of an inch from her head, the shortest possible length for women in the Army. “But then you embrace it, because there’s nothing to hide behind anymore. I’d say the shorter my hair is, the happier I am.”

First Lieutenant Whennah Andrews, Army National Guard, photo courtesy of Vogue
“We wanted to dispel the myth surrounding them, this idea that the style is somehow unhygienic,” says Andrews, who submitted the clip to the uniform advisory board at the Pentagon last year. “We literally put the hair under a microscope to show that’s not the case, to show that locks can belong in any place of business and certainly in the military.”

Lieutenant Junior Grade Arabia Littlejohn, U.S. Navy, photo courtesy of Vogue
“I know that as a woman of color, I have to lead from the front and be a model for other black junior officers,” says Littlejohn. “It’s a responsibility that’s on my shoulders, but I’m grateful for it.”

Major Tennille Woods Scott, U.S. Army, photo courtesy of Vogue
“It’s refreshing to see women up and down the ranks embracing their natural hair,” says Scott. “I think my mom would be pleasantly surprised.”

The Army now allows Muslim women to wear hijabs and male soldiers to wear beards and turbans, as long as it’s a religious requirement.

All images courtesy of Vogue.

What do you think these military servicewomen and their experience rocking their natural hair?
**************************
Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

The cheeky British comedy we’ve come to love seems to have come to an end.

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Michaela Coel announced that her hit Netflix series “Chewing Gum” probably won’t return for a third season any time soon. Coel told UK’s Broadcast  that she thought she’d reached “a creative peak” last season, and confirmed that she’d be moving on with a tweet.



E4 confirmed the news in a statement, saying: "Chewing Gum is a vibrant, hilarious and unique comedy of which we are incredibly proud. Though there currently aren't any plans for a 3rd series, we hope to work with the hugely talented Michaela Coel again soon."

Starring Coel as the Ghanaian Beyoncé-obsessed Pentecostal virgin Tracey, “Chewing Gum” first aired on the UK’s Channel E4 before making its way to Netflix. The comedy earned Coel two awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a crowd of American fans—but her reps say it’s time for her to focus on other projects. “Michaela is not currently writing a third series of Chewing Gum as she is focusing on some other projects, but is not closing the door to the possibility in the future.”

“I mean, Chewing Gum ages me 15 years every time I do it — it's insane. It's brilliant working on something else,” Coel told Digital Spy. “It means I can really focus on one thing, instead of spreading myself thin.”

But don’t count another season out just yet.

"She's a very funny and clever writer so she'll always have a home here if she wants to do a project with us. It's bittersweet but it's always been part of what we do here. We establish people and then there's a point where they have to move on," E4 exec Fiona McDermott told Broadcast.

Another E4 source told RadioTimes, "We are really keen to do more but nothing will be confirmed for a while. Michaela is very busy and has worked so hard on this series. She just wants to catch her breath. But everyone’s delighted with this series and the feeling is we'd love more."

What did you think about Season 2 of Chewing Gum? Are you surprised that it's ending?
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

If you haven't seen the hilarious Girls Trip yet--girl, what are you waiting for?

When four friends–Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival during a girls trip, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

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The raunchy comedy brought in $30.4 million in its opening weekend--and just crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office!

“The films that I've done do appeal to black women,” said director Malcolm Lee, “but here's an opportunity for black women to tell the story — for them to be the leads and tell it the way they want to see it, the way they see themselves.”

Inspired by the kind of movies “usually with white guys — they go off and have a fun trip and behave really badly,” Lee decided to recreate the experience “with some chocolate girls.”

Audiences agreed, and Girls Trip became the highest grossing opening for a live action comedy in 2017.



A large part of the movie's success is that women can see a little bit of themselves in each character. “Malcolm and I wanted the couth, articulate, well-mannered and high-powered [woman], but also the down to Earth, ’round the way girl,” said producer Will Packer. “We wanted the ultra bougie and the super ratchet.”

And crossing the $100 million mark is a celebration for us all--Girls Trip” has become the first film produced, written, directed by and starring African Americans to do so.

Lee attributes the movie's topping the box office to a combination of things. “I definitely think it was a combination of things. First of all, you’re dealing with an undeserved audience that Will and I and the studio as well felt that this was a ‘Sex and the City’ for black women," he said. "Quite honestly, the precursor to ‘Sex and the City’ was ‘Living Single’ and ‘Girlfriends.’ I think that it’s a movie that celebrated them at a place that felt like an event with the setting being at the Essence Festival. I felt women were going to own this movie and claim it as their movie...This is fun and this is black women telling their story the way they see themselves. Black girl magic is real, and everyone's craving it right now."

What do you think about this new record being set? What do you think has made Girls Trip so successful?
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

When Issa Rae made the leap from YouTube sensation to bonafide HBO star, millennials rejoiced. We saw Issa go from Awkward Black Girl to Hollywood, red carpets, awards shows, and interviews -- but one thing we didn't see her go for was protection on her hit show, Insecure.

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We love seeing Issa navigate relationships and dating on screen, but fans have questioned the message the show promotes about sexual health. We're not looking to HBO to give us a sex ed lesson, but while we've consistently seen characters get it in, we've never seen them use condoms.



"Insecure’s beauty, its greatness, is in its details," says Very Smart Brothers' Jozen Cummings. "From the way the characters talk to each other to Issa’s brief depictions of her alter ego, Insecure has thrived because it depicts a reality that is drenched in awkward moments, and one of those awkward moments for anybody who has ever taken part in casual sex is what do with a condom."

Issa Rae took to Twitter to give Insecure fans an explanation.


While Issa was receptive to fans' concerns, show runner Prentice Penny said folks need to chill, tweeting that Insecure is "not a PSA, documentary, non profit organization."



Lots of fans were #unbothered by the whole issue.





Whether you're #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence, be on the team that's responsible. Protect yourself from unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections by using protection every time.
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.