Posts tagged with "mother"

Heather Ann illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Heather Ann

Dreaming the Impossible and Accomplishing the Unbelievable

Her name is Heather, and she is a statistic. Since the age of sixteen, she has been a statistic due to becoming pregnant with her firstborn son, Zachary. Heather had always believed that she would only be known as that: a teenage mom. She worked hard and graduated high school a semester early to entirely focus on being a full-time mother. Heather then put off college and any thought of childhood dreams because she felt they were unattainable. She worked minimum wage jobs to try and raise her son the best that she could.

Heather’s daughter, Tyanna, came along when she was 21 years old.  In that time, Heather found herself in an unhealthy relationship. She fought hard to pull herself and her children out of the situation; she eventually did. However, she found herself turning to alcohol to cope with the pain she had endured through the years. Alcohol became Heather’s best friend for over a year, and she was faced with losing her children and eventually becoming pregnant with her youngest son, Jaxson. He was her saving grace. An angel sent from above to remind Heather that she was worthy of love and that she was stronger than she had ever known. It took her a few months to get back on her feet for herself and children, but she did it with her head held high.

Fast forward to 2011 where Heather was working as a cashier at Walmart, barely making ends meet for her family. She met her now-husband, Joshua. In 2013, they became a big, blended family with six children. Heather gained three more beautiful children: Emmanuel, Lyric, and Benjamyn. Their children now range in age from ten years old to 22 years old! Also, Heather is a proud grandma to two beautiful grandchildren – Lydia and Jaxton, a.k.a. her Sweetpea and Monkey.

It hasn’t been an easy road, but it has been full of love and memories. Heather’s husband has been the sole provider for their family, sometimes working over sixty hours a week. It was decided that Heather stay at home with the children for many reasons. The most important reason was due to the emotional abandonment that Emmanuel, Lyric, and Ben went through due to their biological mother. Although they have learned coping techniques, it has been a stressful and emotional journey. It was always best for the children if Heather was available at all times for them.

In addition to the chaotic life they live with a large family, Heather’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in 2016, which led to an emergency brain surgery to better Tyanna’s quality of life. This is a lifelong disease with no cure, so there have been quite a few struggles for her to find her new normal. She will never lead a “normal” life; however, she is doing her best to make life fun, and that is all Heather can hope for. Heather also has these health conditions, but they are nowhere as severe as Tyanna’s are. Heather also suffers from a dead talus bone in her ankle, along with two collapsed joints surrounding that ankle. This has contributed to continuing on as a stay-at-home parent as well. Heather’s family is big and unique, but they are full of love, and that’s the best thing she could ask for.

Heather has spent years being unable to provide for her family financially. As a parent to six children, this has always weighed heavily on her. She has watched her husband work from four in the morning to close to midnight in the same shift. He is hardworking and very dedicated to providing for his family. In 2018, Heather decided to start exploring the idea of college. She knew that she wanted to be in something art related. Art has been a coping mechanism throughout life; sketching, painting, and inks are her mediums of choice. She believed that the career she landed with should be something that she loved and would be proud to do. This led Heather to enroll at Independence University to obtain her associate degree in graphic design. This career choice allows Heather to share her art with the world and also contribute to her family.  She has worked hard to keep an impressive grade point average while learning as much as she can about graphic design.

Heather will officially graduate in January 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. She decided after a year into her associate degree that she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree. Obtaining this degree would open opportunities for Heather to work within public relations, publishing, and digital media businesses.

Heather had been asked by quite a few people why she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree so soon after graduating with an associate degree. Many assumed that she wanted to stay focused on her education; that is true. However, that was not the decision-maker for Heather. This decision comes from a life-changing situation that her family encountered at the beginning of 2020. You see, Heather’s father was taken away from her when she was three years old. She found him again when she was sixteen and had not been away from him since then. Her father, Mike, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, in March of 2020. This disease has continually cursed her family throughout the years. It has taken her great-grandmother, paternal grandmother, an aunt, an uncle, a distant cousin, and now her father. Heather always doubted that she would be able to attend college and succeed, but Mike was always the voice telling her that she could and that he was so proud of her. Mike was an amazing person and had always been Heather’s biggest cheerleader in life. She has many reasons to continue creating art; however, her passion comes from wanting to pursue more for her family, especially her father. She would love the opportunity to make him proud continually, even though he has been watching her from heaven since November of 2020.

In February of 2021, Heather took a big breath and reached out to Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, in hopes of obtaining an internship through the magazine. 360 Magazine stands out from other magazines on many levels. 360 is an edgy fashion, lifestyle, and culture magazine. The founding members have over 30 years of collective experience both as notable talent and uber professionals within fashion, music, art, design, and entertainment. They are an LGBTQIA-friendly publication. Quality art content is the constant goal – No magazine like it is available today, constantly celebrating racial and sexual ambiguous talent and artists. Interning with 360 Magazine was definitely an opportunity she was ready to take on!

The morning Heather interviewed with Vaughn, she was battling the flu that was running its course through her household – she nailed the interview and started the next day! Heather continues to learn every day during her internship and through her classes. She has become increasingly more confident in her illustrations with Vaughn’s guidance. In addition to her internship with the magazine, Heather is also the Communications Director for her school’s AIGA Student group. She was recently nominated and is looking forward to learning her new role within the group!

While Heather stays really busy with art-related things, she really does enjoy doing other things! Her family has five dogs (Beethoven, Duchess, Ruby, Lucky & Alaska) and six cats (Pepper, Chewy, Tom, Jerry, Ebony & Dolly) that fill their home with fur and love. Heather and Josh try to hop on the ps4 a few times a week and play some Warzone. They have always been gamers! They enjoy having game nights, outdoor experiences, and hiking. Her husband is in the process of finishing their home gym – which they are pretty excited about it! Oh, can’t forget reading! Heather has a ton of books that she has bought over the years or have been given to her. She loves being able to curl up and spend an entire day just reading. Music. Music is her saving grace as well! Heather has such a unique playlist(s) – pop, country, r&b, hip-hop, rap… the list could go on!

Heather has a new mantra that she tries to tell herself daily: Keep going until YOU’RE proud. Heather has always doubted herself…but she needs to remember – like many others – that she needs to keep pushing and straighten her crown!

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Easter illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

2021 Easter Gift Guide

With Easter right around the corner, and spring blossoming all around the United States, many people are finding a reason to celebrate. Easter usually means chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs, but this Easter consider these gifts to liven up your loved ones’ baskets.

Sugar Plum Gourmet Easter Egg Hunt Set

Sugar Plum has put together an imaginative set of handsomely decorative metal Easter eggs that have been engineered from the ground-up to turn any Easter egg hunt from “blah” to “oooh-la-la!” faster than that Easter Bunny can come on hoppin’ down the bunny trail. 

Featuring a reusable plastic egg carton and handsomely festive metal eggs that can be refilled over and over again, the Gourmet Easter Egg Hunt Set promises a fashionably fun (and tasty!) time with those you care about most year after year! 

Gourmet Easter Egg Hunt Set – Starting at $34.95

Mommy & Me Easter Manis with Dashing Diva

This year after coloring eggs, add a new Easter activity to the agenda for you and the kiddies – matching manis! Dashing Diva’s fun and colorful collections are sure to keep the festivities going and make them feel just like their mamas! Also not to mention, a great addition to any Easter gift basket (and an easy way to swap out some chocolate).

Whether it’s smiley faces, friendly fruit or Old McDonald’s barnyard friends – MAGIC PICK KIDS nail stickers will have the kids beaming from ear to ear. And we can’t forget about you, mamma! Dashing Diva’s Powder Pastels collection will give you that simple springtime manicure and ability to color coordinate with the kids or if you’re feeling even more festive, check out So Egg-stra or Bunny Hop. \

Dashing Diva Nail Stickers – Starting at $7

Baby Fire Pits

As the weather warms up, more and more people are gathering outdoors. The good news is you don’t need to break the bank to get a new fire pit. Baby Fire Pits offers two sizes of small firepits that are perfect to stay warm and they begin under $100. They come with gorgeous teal detailing that will make a statement in the center of your outdoor table. The fire pit is handcrafted in the USA and made with copper and steel.

Each fire pit is one-of-a-kind, as the color of the patina design varies depending upon the humidity levels in the production of each item. Each fire pit includes one can of TerraFlame gel fuel which is odorless, smokeless, and nontoxic so it can be used indoors and outdoors!

Baby Fire Pits – Starting at $74.99

Alphapals

The newly launched interactive, learning activity, Alphapals, is designed to specifically help keep your house clean and tidy! Each Alphapals set is equipped with 26 plush letters, each with a unique personality and signature embroidered smiley face, that conveniently packs into a comfy bean bag when playtime is over. Alphapals is a perfect tool for your little ones learning the alphabet or practicing spelling and reading. It promotes learning in a fun, interactive way.

Alphapals are available in rainbow and neutral color schemes. They are the perfect fun learning gift for any child this easter. Letters are sold separately as well as in a set! Plus the letters are machine washable.

Alphapals – Starting at $18

Alphapals for 360 Magazine

Kidrobot x The Simpsons

Kidrobot is excited to present The Simpsons Stupid Sexy Flanders 8″ Vinyl Figure. This premium vinyl art figure features Ned Flanders showing off his ski suit and some of his other assets as he joins his neighbor Homer on the slopes. “Feels like I’m wearing nothin’ at all!”

This iconic scene from The Simpsons has burned its place in our hearts and become a beloved meme-worthy moment that will be forever captured in your collection. Kidrobot has a variety of gifts perfect for anyone that loves The Simpsons. From pins to plushes, this website will not disappoint. Pre-order this exclusive vinyl figure right now at Kidrobot.com and find other Simpson exclusives.

Kidrobot x The Simpsons – Starting at $8.99

G-Shock’s New Women’s Collection

The G-SHOCK GMAS2100 collection boasts the distinctive, octagonal bezel of the original men’s GA2100 timepiece in an updated, slimmer case. It also features new complementary metallic color accents on the dial, and a Carbon Core Guard Structure that ensures the watches are trendy on the outside, yet strong on the inside. 

The collection arrives in four colorways including white with silver accents, blush pink with rose gold accents, and black with rose gold accents. The fourth colorway is a limited-edition watch that boasts a hot pink case with rose gold metallic accents. All four watches offer the perfect combination of strength and style, creating the perfect accessory to go from day to night. 

G-SHOCK GMAS2100 collection – Starting at $79

Mom illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 Magazine

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

As Valentine’s Day comes to a close, there seems to be a lull in the season of gift-giving. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are two holidays focused on spreading love and the next day focused on sharing love is Mother’s Day. Although it’s still weeks away, it’s never too soon to start planning for the important women in your life.

Tea Forté

Tea Forté has a variety of exquisite teas that are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. The company features a variety of tea collections such as the Soleil Collection, which will be available in March 2021, the Wellbeing Collection and the Tea Over Ice Collection

Tea Forté also features a variety of gift sets so they’re ready to go as a perfect gift. Beyond tea, they feature teaware such as a steeping cup that has a double-walled cup to keep tea hot and the cup cozy to hold. Plus, enjoy free shipping on all orders over $49!

Gifts from Tea Forté – Starting at $18

OURA Skincare

A perfect gift for Mother’s Day is skincare and OURA has products worth talking about. OURA has recently worked to create self-care products that infuse high-tech solutions into everyday life, while also doing social good by granting the wish of a childhood cancer patient for every 1,000 products sold.  

The OURA Exfoliator is self-disinfecting and rejuvenates the skin by removing dead skin cells as it cleans out pores and sweeps away debris deeply and completely using only water. The dual-textured smart fiber pad is infused with copper oxide which works naturally to improve skin texture and provide a luminous glow, while gentle enough for sensitive skin. These special cleansing cloths are anti-bacterial; ultra-plush; self-sterilizing; sustainable; hypoallergenic; and anti-aging.

Like the Exfoliator, the Hydro Glove creates a healthy glow on skin from head to toe. The Hydro Glove is antimicrobial and made of 100 percent cotton infused with copper to allow for gentle exfoliation for the entire body.

OURA Skincare – Starting at $38

OURA Hydroglove

The Cutie Undies Period Panty 

There’s finally a sensible solution to help stop stains on your favorite panties from unpredictable monthly leaks. Cutie Undies are underpants that you wear during your period and then toss into the garbage! 

Each pack comes with two pairs of 100% cotton breathable briefs with built-in sanitary pads for the best day/night protection. The briefs are discreet, secure, comfortable and biodegradable. The best part? It’s only $9.99 for a pack of two! Check out their website for more information

Cutie Undies – Starting at $9.99

Barefoot Dreams Lounge Wear

Mom has been working overtime for the past year, it’s only fair to give her a gift of true comfort with Barefoot Dreams’ new Spring collection featuring new colorways of fan-favorite sets and brand-new styles. Surefire items include the Crinkle Jersey Lounge Set in a beautiful new color, Waterfall Sea Salt, the Scoop Neck Short Set, and the Washed Satin Short PJ Set

Now, with everyone staying home, loungewear is the perfect gift for any woman in your life. Barefoot Dreams features a collection of cozy, chic and comfortable clothing. 

Barefoot Dreams Products – Starting at $20

Barefoot Dreams

Gemmist

Score extra points with mom this year, by giving her a gift made just for her – salon-quality custom haircare by Gemmist. Made with coconut oil, camellia japonica seed oil and avocado oil, and by using science-based formulas from a quick hair quiz, this personalized shampoo and conditioner set, and the Scalp Balancing Bar is the endless thank you mom deserves. 

With these products, women in your life will be able to bring the spa home with them. The brand also offers a Gemmist gifting subscription service to save you the hassle. 

Gemmist – Starting at $36

Gemmist_ProductPhoto_Scalp_Bar_Omitted_Lo_b0fc960c-8e16-4d6b-874e-b58070ecde2c_325x@2x

DoggieLawn 

DoggieLawn was created when founder Natalie wanted to find an easy indoor dog bathroom solution to living in an apartment with dogs. It’s the perfect, natural place for your pet to relax or go potty – especially right now with cold temps, crazy storms, or even if it’s in the middle of the night and you don’t want to venture outside!

DoggieLawn is an environmentally-friendly subscription or one-time purchase that delivers a never-ending supply of fresh grass right to your door. Great for indoors, small balconies, backyards and more! Learn more on their website

DoggieLawn – Starting at $26

DoggieLawn image for 360 Magazine

Qemp CBD

Qemp has a variety of CBD oils, the perfect Mother’s Day gift for all the stressed moms out there. Their formulas are crafted to help maintain focus, boost energy and improve rest. They also have a CBD cream to help provide relief for pain. They have formulas for nighttime and daytime use as well as an oil for beginners that don’t know where to start. 

Qemp CBD – Starting at $26.25

Qemp CBD oil

GlassFusion Screen Protectors 

The GlassFusion VisionGuard+ with D3O and GlassFusion+ with D3O are now available for the Apple iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12/12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The formulation used by InvisibleShield is crystal clear, so it looks just like the phone’s original screen. The D3O additive makes these industry-leading screen protectors more than 20% stronger than the original GlassFusion protector. These screen protectors are perfect for the mom that can’t seem to hold on to their phone. 

GlassFusion Screen Protectors – Starting at $49.99

Glass Fusion Screen Protector

G-SHOCK’s Gold Ingot Collection

G-SHOCK’s new Gold Ingot Collection screams luxury. The GM110SG-9A, GM5600SG-9, and GM6900SG-9, each feature stainless steel bezels and buckles with eye-catching semi-transparent bands and metallic gold dials inspired by the design of a classic Gold Ingot. The retro-inspired models each come equipped with standard G-SHOCK technology and capabilities including shock resistance, 200M water resistance, EL backlight, daily alarm, stopwatch, countdown timer, and full auto-calendar.

G-SHOCK’s Gold Ingot Collection – Starting at $220

G-SHOCK Gold Watch

L’OR Espresso 

For the mom that loves coffee, L’OR will allow them to dive into pure espresso bliss. With L’OR you can experience the sweet aroma of the freshest Arabica and Robusta beans, hand-selected by L’OR roasters. The selection is truly exquisite and would satisfy any mom that wants to indulge. 

L’OR Espresso – Starting at $6.90

Blowfish Sandals 

As we move into the spring months and warmer weather, sandals are on every women’s wishlist. The Blowfish Malibu Spring Collection has a variety of cute styles to choose from. The Rylim Sandal is the perfect slide on shoe to complete your Spring look; the cushioned footbed, featuring a cactus flower sock design, allows for all day comfort without breaking the bank or compromising your chicness. The Rylim Sandal comes in five cool colors and is Vegan Registered too!

Blowfish Sandals – Prices Vary

blowfish sandal

Ida Body Care

A trend in skincare is moving toward more natural and organic products, and sugar can be a key ingredient in a natural skincare regimen. Ida Body Care Founder & CEO Vicki Weaver Payne says “Our Sugar Scrub is Ida’s secret step to maximize hydration. My mother Ida created it with natural sugar and 12 essential oils including anti-aging powerhouses like Avocado oil, Evening Primrose oil and Apricot Kernel oil,” Vicki explains. “Your skin will never feel the same.” 

A vegan and cruelty-free line, Ida’s Body Scrub stimulates the skin, activating and cleansing it, so you feel revived and ready. Sugar is beneficial to the skin because it is a natural humectant. A humectant draws moisture from the environment into the skin. Using sugar on the skin can help hydrate the skin and retain moisture.

Ida Body Care’s Sugar Scrub – Starting at $12.50

PROUD Clothing

PROUDis an ethically sourced collection with a mission to give back. Any purchase the customer makes from the website, 10% of gross sales will be donated to their charity of choice: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Pink Ribbon Girls, Baby2Baby, Off The Street Club, Victoria’s Victory Foundation or the Rezvan Foundation.

PROUD’s ethos is to create a brand that unifies people beyond the current political divide in America and awaken the philanthropist in each of us. The idea is no matter where you come from or what you do, we all have something to be proud of. With a variety of sizes, styles and prices, the women in your life will love PROUD.

PROUD apparel – Starting at $48

Luli Bebé Diaper Bags

For the mom that wants a bag that is stylish and practical, the Luli Bebé Monaco Diaper bag is the one for her. Available in two sizes—Monaco and Petit Monaco—the soft vegan faux leather texture is gorgeous and easy to care for. Worn as a backpack or a shoulder/crossbody bag, with clips provided to attach to it to a stroller, this diaper bag is versatile and beautiful.

The central satin-lined storage space is ringed by pockets for a total of nine storage spaces, to keep all of the baby’s things organized and easy to reach. The exterior design and elegant colors make this diaper bag look runway-worthy, with shades of Ebony Black, Pearl White, Stone Grey, Pastel Pink, Latte Brown and Caramel.

Luli Bebé Monaco Diaper bag – Starting at $129

FluffCo Pillows

Mother’s deserve a good night’s sleep and FluffCo brings ultimate comfort to your bedroom. Featuring down and feather as well as down alternative pillows, bring the ultimate hotel pillow experience home with you! The pillows contain ethically sourced down & feather and pillow shells made with cooling eucalyptus.

At half the industry retail cost, your best night sleep ever is right around the corner with FluffCo. Any woman in your life will love the comfort that FluffCo can provide. After all, they deserve to relax after the busy lives they need to balance.

Coach x Champion

For the fashion-forward mom, this limited-edition collaboration brings together two American icons, combining Coach’s distinct attitude and legacy of craftsmanship with Champion’s authority in authentic athletic apparel.

Featuring leather bags, leather jogger pants, sweaters and shearling jackets printed with new branding that unites Coach’s storypatch, one of its house symbols, with Champion’s iconic C-logo, the collection reimagines the shared heritage of both brands with a fresh, modern lens. 

BisouLovely Jewelry

BisouLovely is a line of high-quality ethereal jewelry that will remind you of the magical jewels in your fairytale dreams!

Inspired by magical girls, each piece is crafted with care using precious metals and sparkling stones to create the jewelry of your fairytale dreams. Choose from rings, necklaces, and earrings in celestial shades of pink, blue, rose gold, silver with sapphires, opals, cubic zirconia stones, moonstones and more.

Gifts from BisouLovely – Starting at $80

Puro Sound Labs Headphones

 Puro Sound Labs, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium, safe children and adult headphones, recently announced a change in ownership. Founder Dave Russell has sold the company to his daughters, Ashley Warnicki, Christina Russell and Nicole Russell, to both honor Women in the Workplace as we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, and also to continue his legacy of providing safe hearing for all.

The brand is dedicated to creating healthy, affordable, high-quality listening products for everyone. They have a variety of styles and colors beginning at just $64.99. The volume limiting headphones ensure a safe listening experience.

Puro Sound Labs Headphones – Starting at $64.99

Malicious Women Candle Co.

Malicious Women Candle Co. is a woman-owned company serving sassiness through their ethically made candles, cosmetics, apparel, jewelry and more. They have built a community of Malicious Misfits from around the world and their candles make the perfect gift.

Scents like “A Hot Mess” and “Blueberry Cobbler” will fill anyone’s home with a fabulous scent. The women in your life will love the cute candle jars that will spice up any room. The candles come with funny sayings so they can be personalized to the woman you’re shopping for.

Malicious Women Candle Co. – Starting at $20

Repour Winesaver

For the mom that loves wine, Repour has the perfect way to save the bottle so every last drop stays fresh. By absorbing the oxygen from the bottle—which is what causes wine to go bad in the first place—it keeps your wine fresh from the first glass to the last.

Use Repour like you would a normal stopper or closure. One Repour will save one full bottle of wine (750 ml), even if you drink one glass a week for 5 weeks. The stopper eliminates 100% of oxygen from your wine, perfect for those who can never finish a bottle.

Repour Winesaver – Starting at $9.99

Louis Vuitton Gifts for Her

This Mother’s Day, make mom feel bathed in opulence with a heartfelt gift from luxury designer, Louis Vuitton. The company has an array of exotic and leather handbags so that mom can tote around all her goods in one compact, fashion-forward purse. Vuitton also features stunning springtime garment designs, like their Starboard Wedge Sandals and Stellar Sneakers, so mom can stride with style. Pair her favorite Louis Vuitton shoes with the fashionable Flounce Detail Straight-Cut Dress or the Monogrammed Jacquard Gabardine dress for a full outfit–perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch. If she can’t get enough of the accessories, add a cool new pair of sunglasses, a monogrammed shawl, or some of the company’s beautiful baubles. From earrings and rings to necklaces and watches, let mom shine in what is sure to be a gift she’ll cherish forever.

Louis Vuitton experiential gifts can make for most unforgettable Mother’s Day memories– such as their Surfboard by Alex Israel, bikes, board games, and book collections. Sharing an afternoon playing chess with mom on her new Louis Vuitton chess set might be your new, favorite Mother’s Day tradition together.

A variety of luxury home goods are available from Louis Vuitton’s Mother’s Day gift guide. From origami flowers by Atelier Oi to Marcel Wanders diamond mirror to Tokujin Yoshioka’s stunning blossom vase and more, outfit mom’s space with the glitz and glamour she deserves. Several of Vuitton’s gifts–including the Doudou Louis teddy bear and Lockit bracelets­– give money back to UNICEF, so customers can feel good about simultaneously indulging in mom and contributing to a charitable cause.

DouDou Teddy Bear by Louis Vuitton for use by 360 Magazine
Silver Locket Bracelet by Louis Vuitton for use by 360 Magazine
gun violence image for 360 magazine by Kaelen Felix

Motherhood Does Not Drive Support For Gun Control

A recent study has found that moms are not more likely than other women to support gun control efforts. In fact, this new study finds that parenthood doesn’t have a substantial effect on the gun control views of men or women.

“Everybody ‘knows’ that moms are more politically liberal on gun control issues,” says Steven Greene, corresponding author of the study and a professor of political science at North Carolina State University. “We wanted to know if that’s actually true. And, as it turns out, it’s not true – which was surprising.”

To explore the impact of parenthood on people’s gun control views, the researchers drew on data collected by the Pew Center for Research in 2017 as part of Pew’s nationally representative American Trends Panel. The researchers then used statistical models to account for various confounding variables, such as political affiliation, allowing them to focus specifically on the effect that parenthood has on one’s beliefs regarding gun control.

The Pew surveys had examined a range of issues pertaining to gun control. Across the board, men were substantially more politically conservative than women on questions related to gun laws and regulations. In other words, men were more likely to favor fewer regulations and laxer legal requirements when it comes to guns.

On four of the gun control issues, parenthood had no statistical impact at all – meaning that the positions of moms were no different from the positions of women who weren’t parents, and the positions of dads were no different from the positions of men who weren’t parents. Those four issues pertained to: gun ownership, or how permissive gun ownership laws should be; home safety, or laws pertaining to how guns and ammunition are stored or secured in the home; teachers and guns, or whether school personnel should carry firearms; and whether stricter gun laws would reduce mass shootings.

However, parenthood did have a small – but statistically significant – impact on two other gun control issues.

Mothers were actually more politically conservative than other women on the issue of gun strictness – meaning that moms were slightly more likely to support less restrictive gun laws.

And fathers were more politically conservative than other men on the issue of gun prevalence – meaning they were slightly more likely to believe that more people should be allowed to own guns, and guns should be allowed in more places.

“When we talk about political movements and efforts to change laws, it’s important to have a clear, accurate sense of where people stand on the relevant issues,” Greene says. “Using the potent symbolism of motherhood in America in order advance a political agenda, in this case, is actually ignoring the fact that positions on gun control are virtually identical for women across the board. There is some minor variation, but even there, it actually suggests that mothers are less supportive of restrictive gun laws.

“To be clear, most women – including most moms – support more restrictive gun laws. But it’s not because they’re parents.” In conclusion, there is no true correlation between how adults feel about gun laws and if they are a parent.

The paper, “Do moms demand action on guns? Parenthood and gun policy attitudes,” appears in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. The paper was co-authored by Melissa Deckman, of Washington College; Laurel Elder, of Hartwick College; and Mary-Kate Lizotte, of Augusta University.

“Do moms demand action on guns? Parenthood and gun policy attitudes”

Authors: Steven Greene, North Carolina State University; Melissa Deckman, Washington College; Laurel Elder, Hartwick College; and Mary-Kate Lizotte, Augusta University

Published: Dec. 28, 2020, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties

DOI: 10.1080/17457289.2020.1862130

Abstract: The idea that motherhood primes women to support stronger gun control policy permeates our contemporary politics. Motherhood shapes views on a variety of issues, but the question remains whether mothers hold distinctive views on gun control policies relative to their non-parent peers. We draw on 2017 Pew Research Center data to explore the ways gender, parenthood, and race intersect to shape attitudes on gun policy in the post-Sandy Hook era when gun violence has become prominently linked with schools and children, and during a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has drawn national attention to the relationship of gun violence and racial inequality. Most notably, we find that contemporary depictions of mothers as a distinctively pro-gun control constituency are largely inaccurate. The very real gender gap in gun policy attitudes appears to be falsely attributed to motherhood, rather than gender. We also find very little impact of parenthood for men. Finally, we generally fail to see much relationship between race, parenthood, and gun attitudes. Overall, despite common belief and media reporting to the contrary, the story is very much one where parenthood seems to play little role in gun policy attitudes.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Dianne Morales for 360 MAGAZINE

Dianne Morales

As of late, one of our team members had the opportunity to sit down with New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales for an interview. After eight years under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will see someone new in the position in 2021, and Morales, a member of the Democratic Party, is jumping at the opportunity.

360: What are the major points of inspiration throughout your life, so far, that have led you to where you are today?

Morales: At my core is a commitment to community, and I learned community at home. I am the youngest of three girls and the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. My mother, a secretary for the Leather Workers’ Union, and my father, a building manager on the waterfront, created a working-class life for us in Bed-Stuy. But our home was not just for me and my sisters. My grandmother, Mami, lived with us my whole childhood. In fact, she and I shared a bed until the day that I left home for college. Our home was a resting place, a layover, a transition point for whoever needed it. There was always someone new sleeping on the couch or joining us at the dinner table. Whether they had just arrived from Puerto Rico, were in between jobs, had just returned from the military or from being incarcerated, there were always other people staying with us while they “got back on their feet.” My parents opened their arms and their front door to whoever needed it. I never questioned this way of life. I was taught, “If you have, then you provide.” We took care of each other. I saw, firsthand, the opportunity created when we each take responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and for our communities. This belief has spurred me on through 30 years in the public sector, as an educator, a foster care worker and a leader of nonprofits.

As I established my own home in Bed-Stuy as a single mom, my children and I recreated the dynamic my parents had built. We always have a few extra people living in our home – whom we often refer to as our “chosen family.” These extended family members have filled my home with love and reciprocal support. In a twist of fate, since the pandemic hit, I have shared my home with my parents and my children. I envision a New York City where we take care of each other, where everyone is welcome to the dinner table, where neighbors provide more support than extra sugar and all of us have a warm place to rest our heads. Although NYC is vast with diversity, we are all inextricably bound together and are only as strong as our most vulnerable link.

360: How can a mayor, as opposed to any other civic official, lead unique positive changes for equity?

Morales: Over the past several months there is a mantra I have been repeating consistently: a budget is a reflection of our values. The mayor has executive power over what gets funded in the city and by how much. Funding for services that contribute to true public safety (access to housing, medical/mental healthcare, economic stability, job training, education) will provide access and opportunity to those who have historically been left behind by our elected officials. Line by line, the budget reveals the values of a city and government. The NYC budget passed in June was a failure. It failed the residents of NYC, who have been raising their voices in protest and demanding a divestment from law enforcement since May 29. It failed those whose lives have been lost at the hands of the NYPD. It failed communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by violence and brutality.

The budget highlights the need for NYC leadership to put New Yorkers first by investing in communities. The NYC Mayor also has the ability to work to desegregate public schools and impact the quality of education provided to over 1.1 million students, many of whom are students of color living in poverty. This alters the course of a student’s life and provides an entry point to economic mobility and a true career trajectory. New Yorkers deserve a bold, transformational leader who is unapologetically committed to prioritizing justice in the budget’s bottom line. I fundamentally believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Our city needs a mayor that is in tune with her people and provides a vision for and direction for what is possible.

360: What are some of the most pressing or urgent issues that need attention within New York City, and how would you address them?

Morales: New York’s problems all stem from structural oppression by Race, Gender and Class, so our solutions must go deeper, all the way to the root causes. Too many New Yorkers are living in a time of scarcity, and that’s been going on since long before the virus hit. The are working two jobs, just barely surviving and always one misfortune away from losing everything. Instead of this “Scarcity Economy,” we need a “Solidarity Economy,” and that requires bold action. First, transforming public safety in the city by providing access to the same critical resources found in wealthy communities will be a critical step toward creating the long-term change we need for all to live in dignity. True public safety includes ensuring that every New Yorker has access to “life essentials,” like quality transportation, affordable housing, excellent and equal education and human-centered healthcare. All New Yorkers deserve access to these fundamental resources in order to live in dignity, and it is the necessary floor needed to break through glass ceilings.

Next, we must enhance and overhaul vital infrastructure requiring multi-part, creative solutions that address the deeper issues embedded in the fabric of NYC. To break the racist cycle of poverty that divides our city into the “haves” and the “have-nots,” we will establish a guaranteed minimum income. We will push for universal healthcare and eliminate inequities in the health system faced by women, and especially women of color. We will work to address the persistent segregation of our schools and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by replacing school safety officers with trained mental health professionals. The driving force behind all policy initiatives is the experiences, needs and voices of women of color. Particularly, Black women. As the Combahee River Collective wisely wrote in its 1977 statement, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We know that if New York does right by Black women, the entire city will be better for it.

360: How can you use your personal experiences with serving as a single mother and observing the many other challenges that face New York City residents to enact policy reform?

Morales: So many of New York’s problems have impacted me directly, and so much of who I am and what I know comes from being a mom. My greatest joy is being the mother of my two children, Ben and Gabby. They constantly push me, teach me and nourish me. As a single parent, I share experiences with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. A 2018 study found that single-parent households are the second largest household type in New York City. I navigated New York City’s systems – economic, health and education – on my own. I balanced a budget for my family each month, figuring out how to make it work. My greatest challenge was parenting my children through the NYC education system. The rigid and unforgiving education that my children received did not allow any space for their learning differences. They did not see themselves in the white-centric curriculum and we struggled to find support during their developmental years. Advocating for my children was a full-time job on top of my paying-full-time-job. Again and again I have stood with parents for a more equitable and life-affirming education for our kids. It is with this same community spirit of coalition building, advocacy and bettering of our social safety nets that I will push for policies that support all types of families in NYC.

360: What is one of the most significant components of your background or experiential knowledge that separates you from any other candidate?

Morales: I am, in so many ways, the average New Yorker. I was born and bred in Bed-Stuy. I am an Afro Latina single-mom of two children who survived the New York City public school system. I am a first generation college graduate who came back home to my city after school. I am a woman of color who discovered that I was not being paid the same as my white male counterparts. I’ve watched my neighborhood change, I’ve seen Starbucks replace the corner bodega, and I have spent my weekends marching side by side – 6 feet apart – with my fellow New Yorkers demanding justice for those killed at the hands of a racist policing system. Because I am the average New Yorker, my voice reflects the voices of thousands of others. We share our lived experiences, frustrations and joys. I love New York City because I see our full potential for all of us.

360: How does your previous extensive work with social service nonprofits inform your motivations and goals to serve as Mayor?

Morales: For decades, I worked within the community to address structural inequities burdening communities of color. I worked alongside those experiencing the symptoms of our broken system most acutely – poverty, lack of access to education, homelessness and mental health services. I witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of New Yorkers that are perpetuated by cycles of poverty and oppression. I worked from the ground, up and from the inside, out. But as I hammered away, I recognized these structural and institutional barriers, and began to ask, “So how do we burn them down?” It felt as though I was only tinkering around the edges of the problem and providing Band-Aid solutions to deep, deep wounds. The core, perpetuating issues were centralized and foundational. I realized that if I want to create lasting, effective change, I must address these systemic and political problems at the root. As Mayor, I would carry with me the voices of those I have served.

360: In outlining your points of action and reform for New York City, how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect any of these potential strides for change?

Morales: As we know, COVID-19 is a catastrophe that illuminates all of the cracks and splinters in our broken systems. At first, many claimed the COVID-19 was a “great equalizer,” affecting all people, regardless of race, class or gender. Instead COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This is not a coincidence or personal failing, but rather the direct result of racist systems, putting structural oppression in stark relief. While some New Yorkers are able to escape crowded areas, arm themselves with personal protective equipment and work remotely, others, namely people of color, are on the front lines providing essential services to our city.

As COVID-19 has had devastating consequences that will leave a lasting impact for years to come, it has also provided us with a unique moment. As we saw after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, being homebound and isolated forces us to pay attention. We have paused. We have slowed down. With fewer distractions and a center of focus, folks all across the country have had the veil lifted. People are noticing the interconnected webs of oppression I have lived with and that I have been fighting to dismantle my entire life. In this moment, we need leaders in office who are of, by and for the movement for social change. There is a momentum and hunger for justice that can no longer be ignored. As we overcome the challenge of the disease, I will never let the city forget who is truly essential. Together we will create a world in which front-line workers are truly valued as indispensable. A world where we accompany our applause and platitudes with a livable wage, unquestionable dignity and real community power.

360: What are some of the most rewarding takeaways you have gained from leading several momentous organizations?

Morales: I’ve learned firsthand about the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome in order to gain access to opportunities that are alleged to be available to everyone. I also have watched as community members care for one another to bridge the gaps in access to those opportunities. This is testament to the power of our communities to be true partners in determining the solutions they face when given the resources to do so. Finally, I have been able to bear witness to what is possible when people finally gain access and opportunity and how that has the potential to change the trajectory of people’s lives and transform families and communities.

360: Regarding the national and global movement, Black Lives Matter, how will you utilize your unique identity to empower minorities in the City of New York?

Morales: Like many people of color, I have lived years of my life trying not to take up space. I have seen the ways that my identities – my Blackness, my Latina roots, my politics, my womanhood – make people, namely white people, uncomfortable. In these spaces I would constantly ask myself, “Do I seem too opinionated, too articulate, too aggressive?” I would contort and deflate myself to fit into tight corners and small boxes. I would shrink myself so that others could feel big. When making the decision to run for Mayor of NYC, I decided it was important for me to run as my full, unadulterated, unapologetic, multi-hyphenated self. There would be no more shrinking, questioning or self-doubt. I recognize that by the very nature of stepping into this space, I am opening up a path of possibility. As the first Afro-Latina running for mayor of New York City, I recognize the awesome responsibility I hold. I know that when I speak, unfairly or not, I am representing all Afro-Latina women. Missteps become mass stereotypes. Accolades become communal achievements.

This is both beautiful and deeply terrifying. But in moments of fear, I am guided by a greater purpose to bring with me those whom have been devalued and made to feel small, as I have been; to elevate the voices of those with shared experiences and claim our rightful place in democracy and representation in leadership. People like me, individuals and communities of color, women of color, we must be at the forefront of our politics and policies. I am deeply committed to divesting from racist systems and investing in Black and Brown communities. I am committed to reimagining public safety on our streets and in our schools. I am committed to shifting wealth opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. I am committed to redressing and repairing the wounds of oppression that scar our city. I am in this race to stand taller in the face of a world that tells me to shrink. I am here to tell them that Black lives are beloved. We matter today and every day forward.

360: To all of the NYC citizens following your efforts to better numerous communities, what are some of the best ways individuals can support your campaign?

Morales: The best way to help me is to join the campaign with a small contribution. I am not a career politician, and unlike other candidates, I have not spent decades cultivating a war chest of people, networks and resources to kickstart my run for mayor. I want to be responsive to the people, not the special interests.. My campaign was born out of my home in Bed-Stuy, out of conversations with my neighbors, friends and colleagues. Our campaign is 100% powered by the people, not the 1%. We are an intersectional coalition of Black and Brown, Latinx, LGBTQIA and working class New Yorkers. We are backed by the people being hit the hardest at this moment in time. I am so incredibly humbled that in the middle of a pandemic, without employment, people are finding a way to donate to our campaign. I know what is at stake and the choices they have had to make to do so. If donating to our campaign is not possible for you during this financially uncertain time, we understand. Visit my website, dianne.nyc, for information and volunteer opportunities. Spread our mission to your fellow New Yorkers. Reach out to join our team. Remember me in November 2021.

To learn more about Dianne Morales, you can click right here. To learn more about her stances and solutions, you can click right here. To support Morales through donations, you can click right here. You can also support her on Twitter and Instagram.

Lily Aldridge Perfumes

Supermodel, philanthropist, mother and entrepreneur, Lily Aldridge unveiled her first scent, Haven, in early September – a delicate floral homage to the home in Nashville she shares with her two children and husband, Caleb Followill. This Friday, Lily will be welcoming her second fragrance, Summit – a wood and spice blend reminiscent of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, to the collection.

Summit by Lily Aldridge Parfums A wood and spice blend that delicately marries Cinnamon, Tobacco, Patchouli, and Leather to encapsulate the beauty of the Smoky Mountains and give the gift of warm indulgence with each and every spritz. Available beginning November 15th for $50, exclusively HERE.

Teyana Taylor, Kehlani, 360 MAGAZINE

Teyana Taylor × Kehlani

LISTEN TO “MORNING” 
 
WATCH THE VIDEO

EARLY LISTEN TO “MORNING”HERE
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
 

Teyana Taylor – multi-hyphenate R&B superstar singer, songwriter, producer, director, dancer/choreo­grapher, actor, fitness guru, model, mother and Harlem native  – announces the release of “Morning” featuring Kehlani, the brand new single and steamy video, both available today via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings.  “Morning” is the second advance track from THE ALBUM, following up the R&B smash “How You Want It? (HYWI?)” featuring King Combs.
 
THE ALBUM is the long-awaited follow-up to Teyana’s KTSE, one of the five G.O.O.D. Music/ Def Jam albums produced by Kanye West during his 2018 sojourn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Released in June, KTSE (acronym for Keep That Same Energy) set off an 18-month chain reaction for Teyana, starting with its summertime RIAA- certified Gold smash “Gonna Love Me.”  Teyana performed “Gonna Love Me” (in a medley with “Rose In Harlem,” also from KTSE) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  Hip-hop audiences embraced the Gonna Love Me” remix featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface KillahMethod Man and Raekwon, whose video was directed by Teyana herself.
 
KTSE spun off a hot new single and video for Teyana in early 2019, the explicit “WTP (Work This P***y).”  The video was nominated last week for “Best Dance Perform­ance” at the upcoming BET Soul Train Awards, airing live from Las Vegas on November 17. The third single from KTSE was the evocative “Issues/Hold On.”  After slaying the audience with the song live on Ellen in April 2019, Teyana was surprised on-air when Ellen presented her with the RIAA gold award plaque for “Gonna Love Me,” bringing it all full circle.
 
As she continues to direct her own videos, Teyana – aka ‘Spike Tee’ – was again at the helm of the clip for her recent single, How You Want It? (HYWI?) featuring King Combs, released in August. 
 
About TEYANA TAYLOR:
Being a jack of trades has allowed Teyana Taylor to become a master of all. From her smoky melodic vocals to her dynamic dance moves, the entertainer dips in dives between her talents that also include producing, songwriting, acting, directing and everything in between. When it comes to describing herself, the Harlem native can only think of one word: Everything.
 
“I literally can do everything. I never look at anything as being impossible,” she explains. “I exhaust all options to make what happen when I need to make happen.” Her mantra made her an early favorite to artists like Pharrell, who she signed her first deal with, and later choreographed videos for artists like Beyonce and Jay-Z. Her love for the arts and R&B later earned her the title of the first woman signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint.
 
Between R&B’s identity crisis in the 2010s, Teyana dropped her debut album VII, with tracks like “Maybe” (featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T) and the sultry “Just Different” shaping her musical persona. The critically acclaimed album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in 2014, cementing her position in today modern R&B field. “I fought for that raw, hood necessary R&B and now I feel like it’s better than ever,” she says.
 
After spicing up the R&B charts, Teyana was blessed with the arrival of her daughter Junie with husband and NBA star Iman Shumpert in 2015. “I do all of this for my baby. She’s who I do it for,” she says about Iman “Junie” Tayla Shumpert Jr., her main source of inspiration. “I always show her how to be a leader and a businesswoman. I want her to believe that she can be anything she wants to be and it not be a shocker that she’s a female doing it all.” Soon after, Teyana went on to star in the internet-breaking video for Kanye West’s “Fade,” and scored her first MTV Moonman for “Best Choreography” at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.
 
But it wasn’t until the release of her sophomore project K.T.S.E. in June 2018 that the world experienced Teyana’s talents. With her all-female production company The Aunties, Teyana self-directed videos for “WTP,” the Gold-selling single “Gonna Love Me,” and recently, “Issues/Hold On.” She has also directed videos for her peers like T.I. (“You”), Monica (“Commitment”) and Lil Duval (“Pull Up” featuring Ty Dolla $ign) with fans like Ms. Lauryn Hill and Elton John praising her boss moves.
 
Part of what makes Teyana stand out from the rest is her ability to move with precision and poise in everything she does. From the studio to the stage, every idea is a project with the singer front and center with a vision all her own. With her musical inspirations like Aaliyah, Teena Marie, Mint Condition and Janet Jackson speaking to her soul, Teyana is aware her mission is larger than life. “I’m working on me every day and I think that’s my purpose,” she says, comparing her life to a never-ending book. “I’m still going, still mastering and being a better me.”
 

Homecoming

Netflix released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which presents an intimate look at her historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional physical sacrifices it took to conceptualize and execute a performance of that magnitude that became a cultural movement. This stand-alone Netflix original is now available globally on Netflix.

As the first black woman to headline Coachella, Homecoming recognizes the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural luminaries such as Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Audre Lorde. Beyoncé’s personal knowledge of the relevance and celebration of HBCUs started with her father, Mathew Knowles, an alumnus of Fisk University.
Shot over eight months, the film follows the global entertainer as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins, highlighting the comprehensive preparation involved in creating her groundbreaking performance, which included four months of band rehearsals followed by four months of dance rehearsals with over 150 musicians, dancers, and other creatives, — all of whom were hand-picked by the artist herself.
In juggling dual roles as both the director of her live performance and the film that captured the process of making it, Beyoncé says, “It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary. We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
Many in the cast; band, singers, dancers and steppers are former HBCU students, immersed in the HBCU marching band tradition. They joined Beyoncé’s own group of performers, some who have toured with her for years. Viewers not only get to see the intense dance rehearsals and talent of these amazing artists, but hear their personal journey from HBCU student to artist and the lifelong impact that comes with performing alongside Beyoncé in this historic concert.
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
As a treat to her fans, the film also includes, in the end credits, her remake of “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, a 1981 R&B classic that’s commonly performed at HBCU games. The single will be available on the film’s soundtrack, Homecoming: The Live Album, available today from Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. smarturl.it/BH9102
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Longtime collaborator Ed Burke served as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.
Set List

“Crazy In Love”

“Freedom”

“Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing”

“Formation”

“Sorry”/”Me, Myself and I”

“Kitty Kat”

“Bow Down”

“I Been On”

“Drunk In Love”

“Diva”

“Flawless” (Remix)

“Feeling Myself”

“Top Off”

“7/11”

“Don’t Hurt Yourself”

“I Care”

“Partition”

“Yoncé”

“Mi Gente (Remix)”

“Mine”

“Baby Boy”

“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)”

“Hold Up”

“Countdown”

“Check On It”

“Déjà Vu”(featuring JAY-Z)

“Run the World (Girls)”

“Lose My Breath” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Say My Name” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Soldier” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Get Me Bodied” (With Solange Knowles dancing)

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

“Love On Top”

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
About Parkwood Entertainment
Parkwood Entertainment is an entertainment and management company founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé in 2010. With headquarters in New York City the company houses departments in music and video production, management, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, fashion, publicity and a record label. Under its original name, Parkwood Pictures, in 2008, the company released the film Cadillac Records (2008), in which Beyoncé starred and co-produced. The company also released the film, Obsessed (2009), with Beyoncé as star and executive producer. Parkwood Entertainment produced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013-2014) and The Formation World Tour (2016), and co-produced the ON THE RUN TOUR (2014) and ON THE RUN II (2018).

Beyoncé, netflix, Homecoming

Beyoncé’s Homecoming

Writers: Vaughn Lowery, Tara McDonough, Stella Iman Dugall

Every once in a while pop culture encounters a rip in its continuum. The latest breach comes from one of the most effervescent entertainers of all time, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter, as the first Black female to headline one of the most prolific festivals since the iconic Woodstock. Introspective yet intimate, Homecoming is positioned to be one of the most immersive concert series in the history of music and streaming services. Beyoncé, the Director and Executive Producer of the film, creates a visually captivating story from the beginning to end. The documentary answers a plethora of questions, at which the infamous Beyhive has had about the historical moment.

With intermittent quick cuts of her family before, during and after the epic performance, Beyoncé gives herself permission to exhibit her vulnerability. After all, she planned to take the stage at Coachella in 2017 before she was pregnant with her twins. The tour was postponed and we fast forward to ‘Mrs. Carter’ having to deal with the aftermath of a complicated pregnancy, which ultimately ends in a c-section. Similar to friend, and professional tennis superstar, Serena Williams, Beyoncé bounced back harder than ever after her tough pregnancy. Throughout the piece she digs deep and pummels through some of the most difficult days she has ever encountered. She even speaks to her weighing 218 lbs and how she was only able to zip her costume up after months of hard work alongside of a dedicated clean/raw food diet – no meats, carbs, sugars. The director of photography expertly captured an extremely intimate and vulnerable side to the strong and flawless Queen Bey.

Inspiration

Having family members as graduates of some of the prominent HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), Beyoncé was able to tap into the most celebrated moments of their collegiate life. Her full show not only highlighted the history of these schools but also their social networks and fraternal organizations; transforming the stage into one of the most dynamic Black Southern spaces of cultural legacy and pride. Much of it was enunciated with their boot dancing, a traditional dance style for HBCU called J-Setting, in between transitions. These dance formations visually anchored the performance. Contortionists contributed an urban Cirque du Soleil vibe to the display which can be more accurately described as an infused gumbo of Chicago (the musical), Moulin Rouge! and the Off-Broadway play Stomp. To date, the pyramid stage has been persevered onsite at this year’s Coachella as an art installation.

A group of 200 people shared the stage with Queen Bey including Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Solange Knowles. The expansive crew that Beyonce worked and practiced with for 8 months is featured in the documentary, as each individual had their own part in making the event a success. The dancing in her set is not technical, but emotional. The crowd, as well as audiences watching the documentary at home, are meant to feel something from just the way Beyoncé and her dancers, who she handpicked herself, move with each other. The concert experience not only exhibits the immense talent of HBCU musicians but works towards using this heightened exposure to aid these institutions that have been struggling with little resources and grants since their establishment.

After the the release of Homecoming, Netflix will more than likely notice a spike in downloads/subscriptions; Beyonce will notice an increase in her fan base and HBCU enrollment rates will most likely skyrocket. Overall, most audience members will be thrashed into a world of black honor, history and preservation. While the Pew Report notes that there is a varying “black/white digital divide” concerning internet usage, (87% whites, 80% blacks), there is little divide when it comes to mobile platforms. The growth of black presence in media, such as on social media, in streaming services and more, will only continue due to the imminent success of Beyoncé’s partnership with Netflix. Her myriad of success as a dominant Black woman breaks down barriers in the same way Jordan Peele has done for young Black filmmakers across the diaspora. This will become one of the most treasured pieces of mass media and should offer encouragement to both women and minorities to bust through the glass ceiling on all fronts especially digitization and technology.

Beyoncé, Netflix, Homecoming

Illustrator: Alejandra Villagra

Shop Beyoncé

Anne Welsh

Interview with Instagram influencer Anne Welsh

In simple terms, Anne Welsh is a hard-working, fashion-driven mum, who shares her lifestyle and experiences of positive living on Instagram. But she is also much more than that. The former Chairperson of the UK Sickle Cell Society and Founder/President of ‘Arise Consult’ is a passionate advocate for people with chronic illness.

Anne influences many people with her fashion style, travel and lifestyle in general. But sharing content of her everyday life has resulted in her gaining nearly a million Instagram followers.

Prior to becoming a social media influencer, Anne had a formidable academic career focused on obtaining an Accounting and Finance Degree as an undergraduate and then attending the prestigious ‘Cass Business School’ in London to complete a further Master’s degree in Investment Management. Before founding ‘Arise Consult’, her career roles included Vice President at New World Capital and Senior Vice-Associate of Marketing at Investment Bank, Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman.

Being a mother has changed Anne in many ways, but especially in her views on ‘compassionate’ fashion for women. She shares her advice to future bloggers and reveals how she became an Instagram influencer.

Anne, how did you build up the huge following you have on Instagram? How did all start?

I must say it wasn’t an easy start. It was a journey that still continues every day. Firstly, I had an aspiration to be an influencer and role model for family living as well as for people who are challenged by chronic diseases; however, I was not exactly sure how to achieve that goal.

I researched multiple platforms and the right platform for me was Instagram. I have now been involved with Instagram for two years and the platform continues to improve in allowing users to post with more sophistication and gain more followers. I find that I can directly approach anyone in the community and learn from other people’s experiences.

A theme that has always permeated my story boards is to promote the awareness of sickle cell disease. As a sickle cell sufferer, I felt obligated to tell positive and uplifting stories that would inspire others to achieve great things in their personal lives. I also found out that this positive approach to life has been embraced by many people living ordinary lives, but who are looking for a ‘new spark’ or who may be facing personal challenges outside of their control.

Building my Instagram following was not something that happened over night. You must post regularly and gradually; through comments and likes, you become to understand what people like and prefer to see posted. Improving on the posting experience is an evolutionary story. Be patient, as success is unlikely to happen quickly.

What are your posts all about and how do you interact with your followers?

My posts are usually centered around my personal experiences; travelling, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, with an important focus on health. Fashion is almost always a part of my posts and I get to work with my children and family on these aspects. Styles & certain fashion looks become my form of communication, an expression of my femininity, a way to find new statements and rediscover myself. That is why I love to showcase fashion and beauty aspects.

Sharing travel destinations is typically another function of my job description. I am fortunate enough to travel to many places internationally as well as locally across the UK. London itself is a world class destination with so many great photo opportunities. When I am at a location it requires significant schedule and logistics planning so that I can fit in business meetings between getting to photogenic sightseeing locations. Sometimes this can be very difficult to accomplish, and discipline is the key.

I am also happy to show some details of my family life, specifically woven around those interesting moments I share with my kids, my nieces and nephews and the family’s daily routine. I have found this part of my postings to be very popular. I am sure my followers encounter many of the same challenges I do with having a family, so it is a common bond we share.

What is your partnering philosophy with different brands?

I am very selective with brands. I usually accept invitations from only a small percentage of the brands that approach me. The first hurdle for a brand that seeks collaboration with me is I must love the product or service. If I don’t hold that passion it will come across to my followers as not very genuine and this will not achieve the marketing results of the product. When I post something which includes a brand, it is because it is the best in the sector.

Another key aspect of my personal brand, Anne Welsh, is that I interact with my followers. I work diligently to keep them updated and I personally respond to many of the questions I am asked. This level of interaction is actually a key requirement of the clients that approach me.

What is your best advice for people who want to become Instagram fashion or lifestyle bloggers?

My best advice for anyone who wants to be a lifestyle or fashion influencer is to be yourself. I think the only way to achieve success is to be original and at the same time be able to translate that originality into your own distinctive brand that companies can see as being useful for their business.

My passion for my family, the fact that I suffer with sickle cell disease and where I live have all been instrumental in developing my original offer. I would also follow-up that to say this is a very competitive market and clients are becoming much more savvy in how and at what level they pay Instagram influencers.

Using the fashion theme as an example, I consistently showcase my ‘Passion for Fashion’ and prominently display my latest looks on my website and on my Instagram page. You don’t have to have a million-dollar wardrobe, but you have to be thoughtful in what you purchase and research how these pieces can be recycled in unique ways.

Do you have any special projects coming up?

I have a very special project coming up, that is so dear to me. It has been my absolute dream for the last ten years to complete a book that improves the awareness of Sickle Cell Disease. My greatest influence will be to showcase to sufferers that your quality of life can be improved; that there is hope. The book is a memoir of my life, and the daily challenges that I have faced and how I have overcome them to be where I am today.

The book will be released on 19th of June to coincide with the United Nations Sickle Cell Day.