On the cusp of Essence Magazine’s 44th anniversary and the recent release of their special 3 cover May issue with Singers, Erykah Badu, Solange and Ledisi, it seems only fitting to start a conversation dubbed the “Journey To Beautiful” and that is exactly what took place on May 7th.
 
Cordially invited by Essence, I attended an intimate dinner held at The Park in New York, with Erykah Badu and Ledisi as they discussed their own personal paths to the state of beauty, noting real beauty surpasses aesthetics.
Hosted by Essence Beauty and Style Director, Pamela Edwards-Christiani, guests wined and dined as the two beautiful cover stars revealed intimate moments of self-acceptance. We also were given an exclusive look at Essence’s newly enhanced hair channel that launched on May 8th. I was a bit surprised by the shout out from Essence, but deeply flattered and extremely excited to be a part of the launch. For all of you who don’t know, I will have my own weekly column on Essence regarding all aspects of natural hair.
 
Additional guests included the dope ‘Orange is the New Black‘ actresses; Danielle Brooks and Samira Wiley, Julee Wilson of the Huffington Post, celebrity hairstylist; Ursula Stephens, Essence Hair/Beauty Editor; Deena Campbell as well as and some of my favorite natural hair personalities and bloggers; Francheca Rasmey of Checalocs/Chescaleigh, Christina Brown of Love Brown Sugar and one of my best friends; Model, Tarah Rodgers
 
 
As the evening came to an end, the ‘Journey to Beautiful’ not only left us with a thought provoking conversation but a simulating dialogue that inspired…impacting each and every one of us well beyond that night.
 
 

Behind the scenes look at Essence ‘Journey To Beautiful’

 

Photos: Cipriana Quann (unless otherwise noted)

*click photos for larger view
 

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“Try not to hide the love inside” -Badu
 
“Once I started not to care what people thought my life change” -Ledisi

 

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* I have to mention that it is really refreshing to meet women of Badu and Ledisi’s status who appreciate the importance of those who love their work. Each interaction they had with a fan was genuine and of deep interest, taking the time to ask names and hug every single person who wanted a picture or just say hello. With such genuine spirts how could you not fall in love with them even more…they were just even more beautiful than I could have imagined. As I stepped away from my hug with Badu (she gives a damn good hug) the fringe on my shirt caught on her statement necklace, it was as if my shirt was saying “please stay just a bit longer”.