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Strict or Sane?

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Don’t you absolutely hate when your parents get on you about little things?! It’s like they’re trying to prevent you from living your best life! You feel like they are breathing down your neck and don’t give you any room to enjoy your youth. Well we’re here to give you some tips on how to deal with overly strict parents.

Keep it 100| Show your parents that you are serious about having more freedom. Sit down with them and discuss the rules that are in place and why you feel like they are unrealistic. Along with that, give them suggestions for appropriate punishments and reward system.

Relax| When your parents come down hard on you, don’t use your energy to yell and argue back. It will make them see you as immature and further their decision to remain as strict as possible.

Help me, help me! | Sometimes you may need to lean on other family members for help. For example, your aunts and uncles are great people to talk to about your parents’ strict ways since they grew up with them.

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Tia Banks, Content Editor

 

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Queen EXTRA? Not Today

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We all have that one friend who does the absolute most! We love them to death but sometimes their personality is EXTRA. You ever find yourself rolling your eyes whenever they’re around? Yeah, it’s time to check this diva.

Remain Unbothered -When your friend is having a diva moment don’t exhaust your energy by feeding into it. They’re probably telling you a story with lots of embellishments in order to get more attention.

No More Drama -We love hanging out a spilling tea with friends. However, we are going to have to cut this friend off from tea spillage. Drama only adds to our diva friend’s over the top personality. This is a fire you don’t want to add fuel to.

Keep Calm and Carry On –Everyone has their issues where they need a friend to vent to. When your diva friend contacts you for support, make sure you remain calm. No need to add in any “Oh no she didn’t” and “Girl! Are you serious?!”. Just give her the advice she’s looking for.

Small Doses- You may need to cut back on some of the time you spend with her all together. It’s easier to handle personalities like that in small doses. You care for her the same, but you do so from a distance.

-Tia Banks, Content Editor

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Meet Alexandra’s Art!

Turning daily inspiration into dope + vibrant art, Alexandra Yasmine Togba has the magic touch of creating captivating characters that you wish were apart of your girl squad! Originally, born in the Ivory Coast of West Africa, she grew up in Montreal and continues to flourish in Toronto, Canada.

Alexandra unleasehes her artistic energy + creativity as a Freelance Illustrator and Comic Book Artist. Not only does she express herself through art but gives her audience a “slice of life” by making each character relatable. Every illustration creates a sense of connection with a glimpse of reality. Representing and developing diverse characters of color allows each girl to find herself in her expressive art.

Let’s get to know Alexandra a little better…

Your illustrations are vibrant, eye catching and tell such an authentic story, what made you want to express yourself through art?
I’ve always gravitated towards creative and artistic outlets: whether it’s painting, drawing, writing, (even piano at some point) I’ve always needed a way to express myself in other ways than to just speak out. Art gives me a break from life, a moment to myself to relax and focus on an alternate universe I’ve created in my head. I need this disconnection from life’s anxieties from time to time.

Life is filled with ups and downs and we all experience such an array of emotions, why is it important for you to showcase genuine illustrations of girls expressing real life emotions?
I feel like women of color, we don’t get the representation we deserve. We are often misrepresented, overlooked and/or shown expressing negative emotions only. Especially in the art world. If I can uplift and offer a better representation of WOCs, why not do it? I want to change the narrative a little to not have us feeling bad for existing, I want to show that we fit in this world just as much as everybody else.

As a comic book artist, what’s your all-time fave comic book?
Weirdly enough, I don’t read comic books that much anymore. In the past years my faves were ‘Aya from Yop city’ , ‘Blacksad’, ‘Inuyasha’ and ‘Saga’. I grew up reading ‘Nathalie’ a comic book by Belgian author Sergio Salma. I’d say this is my favorite comic book from my childhood, but for my adul I can’t choose.

Your illustrations also celebrate the LGBTQ community in such a beautiful way, why is it significant that young women of color are represented in your characters within the community?
I enjoy having people relate to my characters. I want them to feel safe expressing themselves without feeling judged. As I said earlier, representation of WOCs is something I want to push forward. We don’t have that much characters that look like us to relate to. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I feel like WOC representation is needed in the community as well. You can see that just by how people enjoy my characters Jennifer and Cassandra.

What advice would you give girls who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?
You can either be miserable because you didn’t follow your dreams and you’re living the life of someone else, or be miserable because of the challenges that are thrown your way during the process of following your dreams. In the end, only one outcome will be beneficial to you. It is a risk that you have to be willing to take. Leap and the net will appear.

Being young, juggling responsibilities while walking towards your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?
I love printing motivational quotes and sticking them to the walls in my room. So that these quotes are the first things I see when I open my eyes in the morning. It helps motivate me out of bed and reminds me of my potential. Sure, there are days where I ignore them and decide to stay in bed all day, but I try not be too hard on myself when it happens. Allow yourself to rest. You can’t be as productive as you want to if you don’t take a break from everything from time to time.

We are all about empowerment, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?
Empowerment to me is giving someone the confidence to live their best life. Make them know their worth and potential to accomplish what they desire. That is what I want my drawings and stories to convey.

Fun Faves! Fave Food? Artist? Song? Celeb Crush?
-My favorite food is a meal from Ivory Coast named ‘Attieke’ we usually eat it with some fried plantains, braised chicken and/or Tilapia fish. I love it!
-Fave artist: I have too many fave artists to choose!! But my top 3 would be Beyoncé, Kehlani and Jay Park.
-Fave song: these days is Body count by Jessie Reyes ft Normani and Kehlani.
-Celeb crush: I love a lot of different people, Kehlani, Amara La Negra,Park Jimin, G-dragon, Idris Elba, Trevante Rhodes ect. #PansexualProblems

 

Follow more of Alexandra’s DOPE art here:

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InstaCRUSH or InstaSTALK?

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You know how easy it is to turn into an FBI agent when you’re trying to gather info on your crush. You end up on their sister’s husband’s bestfriend’s cousin’s mother’s page. Well depending on how much information you gather and how often you search, you’re borderline cyberstalking.

Here are 3 ways to know if you have crossed the line:

Catfish– Like many perpetrators on the show, you yourself have developed a fake profile. This is so you can hide behind another identity in order to get more info on your crush without seeming crazy.

Excessive Messaging– Opposite of catfishing, you are not hiding behind a fake identity but you are sending lots of DMs. Even when he doesn’t answer, you continue to send messages in hopes of getting the response you wanted.

You search and search…and search– Not only do you search their Instagram page, but you also look for their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, and probably their Myspace too.

-Content Editor, Tia Banks

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Body Talk!

From social media influencers to getting an inside peek of celeb lifestyles, it’s easy to start playing the comparison game.  Being a teen oftentimes invites social pressures that can have you feeling out of place, isolated + constantly battling with body image. It can be difficult not to compare yourself to others when perfection is portrayed every time you scroll on Instagram. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five teens ages 13-18, have or will have, a serious mental illness.

Knowledge is power + it’s important to learn more about yourself and how you perceive your body. We spoke with Jamie Manwaring, PhD, Primary Therapist from the Eating Recovery Center in Denver to give us additional insight on the impact of eating disorders and self-esteem.

Come join us for body talk!

With social media being so prevalent throughout teenage years, how has that affected the rate of eating disorders + depression of teens?

Many studies have recently shown strong correlations among the amount of social media used by teenagers, and their resulting body image dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and symptoms of depression. We do not yet know if this has impacted the prevalence of eating or depressive disorders in teenagers, but social media can certainly provide unhelpful messages and triggers to teenagers at risk for these disorders, including a greater ability to compare to peers.

An eating disorder can lead to suicide or suicidal thoughts, how does struggling with body image create a sense of hopelessness?

We don’t know the exact mechanisms by which poor body image can lead to hopelessness, but we do know that body dissatisfaction predicts depression for girls, but not for boys (Bearman & Stice, 2008), although the relationship between poor body image and low self-esteem is similar for both genders (Davison & McCabe, 2006). For those who are unhappy with their bodies, this can create hopelessness due to being in your body all the time, and thus struggling to separate themselves from this component of their unhappiness.

Davison TE, McCabe MP.J Soc Psychol. 2006 Feb; 146(1):15-30. Adolescent body image and psychosocial functioning.
Bearman SK, Stice E. J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2008 Nov; 36(8):1251-63. Testing a gender additive model: the role of body image in adolescent depression.

 

Being a teen and discovering your personality can be an intense emotional roller coaster, how can friends + family detect between teen moods and a potential mental illness?

It is normal and natural that teenagers want to gain their independence and often react harshly to their parents to achieve this outcome. This, in addition to their hormonal changes, can make it difficult to distinguish what is normal versus what deserves intervention. Given that teenagers typically want to spend time with friends and engage in extracurricular activities outside of the home, a change in this desire for a teenager may signal something more is going on for them than just a bad day. In general, look for the severity of their symptoms, the duration of their symptoms (a deterioration in mood that lasts two weeks or longer may indicate depression versus a bad mood), and how many domains their symptoms impact (e.g., at home, in school, and with friends). Finally, parents should always trust their intuition and talk to their teenager’s medical providers and teachers to obtain a better understanding of how the teenager is functioning.

Struggling with an eating disorder? Never be ashamed to reach out for help within a supportive community. Learn more here:

Eating Recovery Center

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Campus Cuisine! Ramen Remix

Ramen has become the staple meal for any broke college student. It’s cheap and easy too make, which is why it’s the go-to meal option. Now lets mix it up! Here are three ways to enhance your bowl of ramen and take it to a gourmet level!

Tis the Seasoning! | Try adding some extra seasoning to your bowl of ramen. Sautee some garlic in a pan and add it in along with a little garlic powder and onions.

Breakfast Ramen | Add an egg (whatever style) along with some crumbled bacon. Now there’s no excuse for skipping breakfast anymore!

Spice it up! | If you like a little spice, add in some sriracha. Try a few drops for a little kick and a couple squirts for the spicy lover in you!

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-Tia Banks, Content Editor

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On Repeat: Kären McCormick!

Ever caught yourself drifting away to the sweetest daydream starring the one guy who makes your entire heart light up? Yep, we’ve all been there and Kären McCormick has the perfect song to be the background to your love-filled daydreams!

Country/pop singer-songwriter Kären McCormick recently released her sophomore single, “We Were on Fire” on August 31st and we cannot stop pressing repeat! The sweet melody matched with cool but captivating lyrics will take you on a  journey from summer into fall. It simply unlocks the magic of beautiful memories of falling for your one true love.

 

Produced and mixed by Lucas Hathaway, the single was recorded at the famous Treasure Isle studio in Nashville, TN. The track was written solely by McCormick and encompasses a contemporary country/pop sound similar to Kelsea Ballerini and Danielle Bradbery, among others.

McCormick explains, “I wanted to write a song that embodied a relationship that is so happy and so good, everyone wishes they could have it. It’s one of the happiest songs I’ve ever written, and that in itself makes me so happy as a writer.”

Listen NOW: Soundcloud

Download HERE on iTunes: “We Were On Fire”

Follow more of Kären McCormick’s music here!

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Meet TAMISH!

Have you ever just want to go after your passion no matter the sacrifices? Singer-songwriter TAMISH not only quit her job in advertising but she decided to pursue her passion for music full-time!

TAMISH has opened up for major artists including Babyface, Kelly Price, Slick Rick and MC Lyte. She has also provided back up vocals for Mariah Carey, Slick Rick, Charlie Wilson and T.I. on Showtime at the Apollo and Andra Day on BET’s Black Girls Rock. TAMISH is living passionately to inspire others and to make her songs have meaning.

You were born and raised in Chicago, what was it like growing up?

I grew up on the west side of Chicago, K – Town, so that’s in the hood. Chicago has some segregated parts of the neighborhoods. Being from K – Town, I was in the community but I was never influenced by it or it’s lifestyle from people who were in gangs, on drugs, etc. It made me want to do something more. Girls use to love the gangsters but that was not for me. I was never attracted to the bad boy type.
My mom and dad are both college graduates so I was exposed to a different lifestyle. My mom was trying to make it clear that I would see two different aspects of the black experiences: viewing people on drugs in my neighborhood and the college educated in my household.

For your debut, “Met You”, what inspired you to create that song?

Once I graduated from college, I moved to New York City and worked in advertising. Then I quit my job and focused on music full time because I felt lead to do so by the Lord. I moved to Los Angeles and I had an opportunity to work in a studio in LA. While working there I was able to record my music.
I wrote “Met You” in New York, but I didn’t have anyone here to help me put it all together. I recorded “Met You” out in LA and we literally created it from the ground up. And was able to add all of the musical elements that I wanted. Then I recorded a rough version of it. I wasn’t sure what kind of sound I wanted to go for when I was ready to release my first project. Once I recorded it and when I first heard it, I was like “this is something I will release and share to the world”.

You have opened for many major artists and have sang backup for many artists, how have those experiences affected your career?

I think it was life – changing because I knew I felt like I needed to do it and I went for it. The opportunities just reassured me that I made the right decision because from quitting my job to pursue a singing career, I felt like I was a little crazy. However, it made it clear that what God gave to me was true. I didn’t apply for these opportunities that came to me so I can’t take credit for anything. People who heard and believed in me recommended me to others. It made me feel validated. Once I released my debut and I had my single release show, that’s when I got connected with an opportunity to open for Babyface, and then Mariah Carey. I didn’t apply for any of these opportunities. Because of this, it helps keep me in check.

What was the biggest challenges you have faced as a singer?

I think the first one was finding my sound like what I want to talk about. If you’re not clear on what you want to talk about, you will write crazy stuff that you don’t believe in. Even in the beginning, we were writing songs or writing stuff with crazy topics I wouldn’t even say. It made me really clear on what I want to talk about and what I wanted to stand for as a creative person. I wanted to make sure that I talk about something that means something and worth releasing.

We are all about empowerment, what does it mean to you?
Educating, liberating and activating a person or group of people to take charge of their lives, and choices, and make a change, if needed, for the better.

Tune in + follow Tamish’s beautiful voice here!

Website: www.Tamishonline.com
Get social here! @tamishonline

Interview by: A’yanna Rouse, Teen Writer + C.O.R.E Intern

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Professor Shade?

Your parents may think you’re overreacting, but what do they know? There’s a possibility that your teacher is out to make your semester miserable. Ugh! We can’t pinpoint why but we can help you through it with these 3 survival tips:

Ask Around – Be observant of your teacher’s behavior and ask a classmate if they feel the same way. If they do, then you won’t be going through this semester alone!

Focus- Even when your teacher is in full savage mode, remain focused. Now is not the time to become the class clown to lighten the mood. Save it for your lunch period.

Talk to Them-This is the route for the bold and mature crowd. Speaking directly to a teacher in a respectful manner is a way to face the problem head on. Just remember this is not your peer so you mustn’t speak to them like one.

-Tia Banks, Content Editor

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Beauty Diary x Ariana!

Scroll through the Beauty Diary of college beauty Ariana Jordan!

Where are you from?
I am from Picayune, Mississippi.

Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + having fun! What are 2 beauty trends you’re loving this year?
Two beauty trends I am loving are natural makeup looks and natural hair.

If you had only 15 seconds to grab 3 beauty products, what would they be?
If i had 15 seconds to choose 3 beauty products i would grab E.L.F lock on liner and brow cream, an E.L.F small angled brush and some mascara.

Beauty inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate beauty icon + why?
My ultimate beauty icon is Yara Shahidi. Her fun spirit shows through whatever she’s wearing head to toe and I strive to be just like her!

Getting ready for class can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s one beauty must-have that lives in your bag?
One beauty MUST HAVE is mascara I feel like I look like a turtle with out it (and not a cute one).

What’s your number 1 beauty rule?
My #1 beauty rule is to never go over board. There’s nothing wrong with a little glam once in a while but I also still want to look like myself!

Check out more of Ariana’s fresh beauty!

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