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Empowerment

Why Did Instagram Delete This Woman’s Transformation Photo?

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19-year-old Morgan Bartley recently lost 115 pounds and was proud to share photos of her success on social media. However, Instagram deleted her photo, for no apparent reason, shortly after she shared it.

Instagram has a policy against “close-ups of fully-nude buttocks; content that contains credible threats or hate speech; and serious threats of harm to public and personal safety.” But…Morgan’s post didn’t violate any of these rules.

Shocked at Instagram’s actions, Morgan reposted her progress photo. As a caption, she wrote, “I share my journey online in hopes of inspiring others to take control of their own lives.” The photo has already gained an incredible 17,600 likes. She went on to say, “I think it sucks that people express negativity toward something with only positive intentions, BUT that’s why we peeps full of love and light get to make a difference.”

Reflecting on her past, Morgan says that she’s struggled with her weight her entire life. When she was only 15, she was diagnosed with ovarian torsion, a condition which caused her to lose one of her ovaries. This made weight loss even harder. She then began to experience symptoms of menopause and she became extremely depressed. Her depression led to binge eating, as is the case with many people, and she eventually reached 300 pounds.

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Morgan says she hit a point where she just knew she needed to change.

“I decided to take back control of my body and save my own life,” she said. She decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. Since then, she’s lost 115 pounds. While she still wants to lose another 30, she’s extremely proud of herself for her progress, as she should be.

Morgan says she’s not going to let any critique bring her down. “Never let worldly pessimism or judgment prevent you from living your life and celebrating what you’ve done with it,” she says.

“I think I look pretty freakin’ bomb in a bathing suit on the beach. And that’s after a lifetime of letting insecurities hold me back from experiencing life. Yes, I’ll continue to wear a full face of makeup to the beach and yes, I’ll continue to be DAMN proud of who I’ve worked so hard to become.”

Go, girl!


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Beauty

Brooklyn’s Fourth Annual Curlfest Celebrates Natural Beauty

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This past Saturday at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, #BlackGirlMagic was abound!

Thousands of black women attended the fourth annual Curlfest, which is the country’s largest natural beauty festival.

And these women have some serious style. Check out some of our favorite looks below – from waist-length braids to crowns to ornamental butterflies.

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The annual festival is sponsored by the five women of Curly Girl Collective. Curly Group Collective is a marketing group specializing in multicultural beauty. Their goal is to celebrate women all around the world by appreciating their natural looks.

Tracey Coleman, the director of events at Curlfest, stated in a press conference, “Curlfest was founded on the idea of you all needing to be celebrated. If you look around, and you see images of beauty, they don’t necessarily look like us.”

When Coleman was asked about the natural hair movement, she said, “The great thing about the movement now is that barrier is being broken down; there’s no good hair and there’s no bad hair. Healthy hair is what’s good, so that’s what we’re here to promote.”


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Empowerment

A Black Wonder Woman is Coming to the Big Screen

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With Black Panther coming out in February of next year, fans are pretty hyped about Wonder Woman’s twin sister, Nubia.

According to the DC Comics lore, Nubia was made in 1973 from the same clay that was used to make Diana. The only difference was that hers was black.


Nubia was created by the goddess Aphrodite. The backstory gets a bit crazy. At birth, Nubia was stolen by Mars, the god of war. He trained her to master the practice of hand-to-hand combat. When she was introduced in Wonder Woman Vol. 1#204, she Beat Diana in battle but stopped fighting when she met her sister at sword point.

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In the latest DC edition, Nubia portrays the Wonder Woman of Earth-23. But aside from having superpowers, she also served as the sole guardian of the River Styx, which depicts hell, and Floating Island, which is a community of all men.

Twitter is already pretty demanding that Nubia gets a role on the big screen. Some Twitter users are getting extreme – a few have already planned directing and casting roles. One suggestion was the Serena Williams play the lead, with Ava DuVernay directing. Others suggested Angela Bassett as the lead. Clearly, there are lots of people excited to hit the big screen.


Last month, much to Twitter users’ delight, it was announced that the movie actually would happen!

Lately, DC has been battling at the box office with Marvel Studies. The Averngers universe movies, which began in 2008 with Iron Man, have given Marvel mainstream success.

But with the Nubia movie in the not-so-far future, Marvel is sure to have some challenging competition!


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Beauty

Deshauna Barbe Is Challenging Society’s Beauty Standards

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Deshauna Barbe spent her childhood moving from army base to army base. Born into a military family, Deshauna joined the military at 17 years old.

At the time, Deshauna had no idea that she would be the first woman in the country to win the title of MissUSA while on active duty.

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Deshauna entered the pageant world at 19 years old. Over the next few years, she make a name for herself in the beauty queen scene while simultaneously serving in the U.S. Army. She also completed her MSc in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maryland. On top of all that, she was serving as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

She wants to let the world know that beauty is meant to be celebrated in all of its diverse forms. And although we’ve come a long way, we still have a ways to go. Deshauna is proving that women can fight for their country and look good in a swimsuit at the same time. She did a lot of work with soldiers who suffered from PTSD.

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In an interview, Deshauna said, “In the past I have been very hard on myself about certain parts of my body, but I try to always remind myself that I was given this body and to remain positive.”

And her views on beauty are awesome:

“Beauty to me means more than something physical, and it’s definitely represented internally. I think beauty is about the way you treat others, being a humble and kind person that respects everyone. I think that really represents beauty.”

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She says she enjoys the fact that she can show how multifaceted women are – there is both a tough side and a feminine side within us. Hopefully society will continue to challenge its beauty ideals by showing forms of beauty that aren’t necessarily considered ‘mainstream.’

Deshauna plans to continue serving as an inspiration to women all over the world.

“I hope to continue what I am doing to help impact people around the world — particularly young girls and women,” she says. “I plan to never stop working to positively impact their lives by motivating them to always follow their dreams.”


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