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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Girlfriends Appreciation Day: You and Your Besties

In honor of Girlfriends Appreciation Day we're spreading the love! We asked you to upload a picture of you with your girls to our "Girlfriends" community page — take a peek at some our favorite ESSENCE girlfriends... Click here to see our You and Your Besties photo gallery...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Join Us for Girlfriends National Prayer at Noon

In honor of ESSENCE's Girlfriend Appreciation Day, we've teamed up with Girlfriends Pray to bring you and your girlfriends closer together. is a ministry that allows you to tap into your spiritual side where ever you are. Today at 12 p.m. EDT, call (712) 432-0075 code: 128845# to say a special prayer for your girlfriend. Their mission is to get more women closer to God through prayer. Join us today!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

40 Reasons Why We Love Our Girlfriends

40 Reasons to Love Our GirlfriendsWhy We Love Our GirlfriendsSure you could live without your girlfriends, but would you really want to? Who would you shop, workout, talk trash or watch reality TV with? Who would you tell your deepest, darkest secrets. Who would you cry to or celebrate with? Let these 40 reasons we love our girlfriends remind you why life is way better with good friends by your side.They're all-knowingA good girlfriend knows everything about you... everything. Yep, even the things you wish nobody knew, and she loves you anyway.They're our favorite fashionistasYour girlfriend's closest are filled with fashionable pieces that you can't wait to borrow.They're with us through the best of timesGood friends are by our side through births, weddings and even job promotions....And the worstLife isn't always a bowl of cherries and our best girlfriends don't disappear when the times get tough.Oh No They Didn't!A good girlfriend will curse out anybody for calling you out of your name without you even asking her to.They make the best travel companionsReally, nothing beats a relaxed getaway with good girlfriends.They help us choose the right menLife is full of tricky relationship situations, but an honest gal pal will remind us of what we need, not want, most in a man.They're our best cheerleadersOur girlfriend is great for when we need to have someone in our corner cheering us on.They have unconditional loveNo matter what happens in life, we can always count on our girlfriends' unconditional love.Our bond remains strong despite distance and timeIf we don't speak for weeks or even months at a time and then we do connect it's as if we never lost touchThey're the best sounding boardsIt seems all we have to do is think of her in a time of need and she is already on her way to help.Sometimes they even look like usEver had a stranger ask whether you and your BFF are related? It's the best feeling.They make the best dessert buddiesWho else can enjoy a really good piece of chocolate cake better than your girlfriend?They party better than anybody elseFew people can make you have a good time quite like your girls.They make us laughA good girlfriend knows how to make us laugh so hard until we cry. Her sense of humor is refreshing and always keeps a smile on our face.They're the best hairstylistsGirlfriends are always down to hook up your hair and makeup before you head out for a night on the town.They take one for the teamA good girlfriend never complains about being your wing woman and will gladly chat up your guy's strange friend, just so you can have some extra flirt time. Just don't expect her to go on a date with him. She's got to draw the line somewhere.Girl, Change that OutfitA good girlfriend tells you when that outfit is all wrong or your weave needs a touch up.Check Yourself Before You Wreck YourselfGirlfriends tell you when you're being shady and need to come correct.They're the best remedyThey're the only ones that'll get within 10 feet of you when you are running a high fever to bring you cough drops and chicken soup.Thyey're the best matchmakersGirlfriends always have a Rolodex of eligible bachelors to hook you up with.We have the best conversationsTwo-hour long conversations feel like 5 minutes with good girlfriends.We swear they have psychic powersGirlfriends know when you say, "I don't want anything big for my birthday," that you really want a surprise party and that guy you have a major crush on better be there.They don't rub it inEven after telling you that he was no good, girlfriends doesn't say "I told you so" when he shows his true colors.They chow down...Girlfriends won't let you eat that tray of hot wings and jalapeno poppers all by yourself.They're always a couch awayYou know that if you and your guy split up or have a major fight and you need a place to go and clear your head, your girlfriend's couch already has your name on it.They throw down in the kitchenA good girlfriend makes the best gumbo you've ever had (aside from your mom's, of course).TV QueenGood girlfriends are always down to come over for cocktails and a "Sex and the City" or "Soul Food" marathon.Dancefloor DivaA good girlfriend is always ready to sweat out her relaxer on the dance floor with you.They make the best workout buddiesGirlfriends get out of bed at 8 am on a Saturday to meet you at the gym.They are supportiveIn any phase of life, true girlfriends will always have your back.They embrace our differencesWe have enough in common to love being together, but we also appreciate our uniqueness and differences.They bring us joyFrom cooking a meal together to enjoying a movie at home in our pj's, we can always count on a good time when we're with good girlfriends.They inspire us to dreamWe love to dream big and our girlfriend is just as ambitious and admirable as we are.We balance each other outLike yin and yang, hot and cold, there is always the perfect balance between true girlfriends.They are a shoulder to cry onLife's hardships can bring us to tears sometimes, and the comforting hug of a true friend is invaluable.They pray for usOur girlfriend's spirituality is a precious gem. She knows when to get on her knees or when it's time to go to church.They can help us sort out relationship dramaEvery woman goes through hard times in relationships. Having a girlfriend that will hear us out is definitely a good thing.They're always there to talk shopNothing says "best friend" like accompanying you to find a new pair of skinny jeans. Your girls are there to talk you off a ledge when you have to go up two sizes to fit into those European designer duds. They'll also convince you not to spend $200 on denim and try on the most eccentric of outfits just to make you laugh.They remind us that Black is beautifulOur girlfriends are the epitome ofstrong, black women.We are always reminded of that when we think of our bff.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Girlfriends: The 'Black Best Friend' in Film

Black Best Friends in FilmThe BBF PhenomenonThe cherished Black best friend — a legendary figure in Hollywood that was once a mammy ("Gone with the Wind"), then became a maid ("Imitation of Life") and eventually emerged as the diversity token to attract Black audiences ("Sex and the City"). Sometimes the Black best friend is an unknown actress on their grind. The Black bestie could also be A-list in the Black film scene. She offers gems of wisdom with a little urban or southern flair and sometimes she has magical powers to save the day.Check out some of American cinema's black Best friends — White Hollywood's greatest accessory.Meagan Good as Romy in 'The Unborn' (2009)Being a Black BFF in a horror film is no easy task.You are guaranteed to be axed off, especially if it is in one of the worst films of the yea,like 2009's "The Unborn." Even though Meagan Good was the most experienced actor out of the younger cast members, she was limited to a minimal supporting role. To make matters worse, Idris Elba was thrown in the cast and predictably died.Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia in 'Silence of the Lambs' (1991)"Eve's Bayou" director, Kasi Lemmons, starred in one of the most iconic films of all time.She was supposedly Jodie Foster's closest friend and roommate in the Oscar-winning "Silence of the Lambs." After a jogging scene and a chat with Clarice, Ardelia vanished. What happened? Hannibal doesn't like dark meat? Did Buffalo Bill kill her off in the deleted scenes?A.J. Johnson as Shauna in 'Dying Young' (1993)A.J. Johnson was Julia Roberts' urban gal pal in the cancer tear-jerker "Dying Young." By 1991, Johnson was famous among black folks for her role in "House Party."But in "Dying Young" she was regulated to a tiny role that included random dancing scenes at a club. By the second half of the film, Miss Julia ran away to a beach house with her cancer-stricken boyfriend. Johnson's character, Shauna (she didn't get a last name) disappeared.Didn't Shauna wonder where Miss Julia scampered off to?Why couldn't she bring the club to the beachfront?We'll never know...Elise Neal as Hallie McDaniel in 'Scream 2' (1997)Hallie McDaniel? Clearly a Hattie McDaniel reference.Does a mammy need to subliminally exist in horror films?Maybe horror icon, Wes Craven, considered the name a "tribute." Whatever the case, Hallie, played by Elise Neal, was Sidney Prescott's best friend in the "Scream" sequel. As soon as Black audiences saw her, we all knew she would be hacked off and she certainly was. In fairness, everyone around Sidney was killed.Even Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett Smith were murdered in the first ten minutes.Brandy as Karla Wilson in 'I Still Know What I Did Last Summer' (1998)Brandy was Jennifer Love Hewitt's dearest friend and managed to avoid some of the Hollywood stereotypes in the 1998 sequel. Karla Wilson was thankfully void of neck-rolling and oddball racial references. Furthermore, she survived the movie. Ms. Norwood must've put it in her contract that she would not be killed off!Rosie Perez as Cindy in 'Untamed Heart' (1993)By 1993, Rosie Perez was the most popular Latina actress in the world; she had big roles in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and Ron Shelton's "White Men Can't Jump" and won Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in "Fearless." Still, next to Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater, Perez was just the fiery Latina with an extra thick accent.Alfre Woodard as Pat in Extremities (1986)By 1986, Alfre Woodard was an Emmy winner and an Oscar nominee and the late, great Farrah Fawcett was trying to establish herself as a credible actress and not just a sexpot from "Charlie's Angels."In "Extremities," Fawcett played a woman who turns the table on a rapist.As a BBF Woodard was nuanced, calm and helped build Fawcett's role, which earned the legendary blonde a Golden Globe nod.Viola Davis as Delia Shiraz in "Eat, Pray, Love" (2010)Viola is a veteran in Hollywood and a two-time Tony Award-winner. However, it has taken her over 15 years to land a lead role (Davis will star as the lead in the upcoming film "The Help.").Davis' breakthrough roles were playing the coveted Black bestie.She was Diane Lane's best friend in 2008's "Nights in Rodanthe" and, more famously, shared a friendship bracelet with Julia Roberts in the lackluster "Eat, Pray, Love." She was the voice of reason and the only African-American in the movie who had a speaking role.Nia Long as Donna in "Stigmata" (1999)Nia Long was practically a legend in the Black community by 1999, staring in classics like :Boyz 'N The Hood," "Friday" and "Love Jones." However, playing alongside Patricia Arquette in the horror film "Stigmata," Long was the concerned "sistah gurl" working at a hair salon.I remember thinking, "Isn't Nia Long bigger than Patricia Arquette?"Not by Hollywood's standards.Kerry Washington as Chenille Reynolds in Save the Last Dance (2001)There were many uncomfortable stereotypes perpetuated in 2001's "Save the Last Dance," which starred Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas.Washington made this role tolerable as the only Black girl who saw a little soul in Stiles' character. She even gave her a thirty second, urban makeover. Nonetheless, Washington proved to be the breakout star from the film and has since starred in "The Last King of Scotland," "Night Catches Us" and the critically acclaimed "Mother and Child."Wanda Sykes as Ruby in Monster-In-Law (2005)Jane Fonda plays J-Lo's menacing soon to be mother-in-law in this romantic comedy about families coming together. Wanda Sykes played Fonda's assistant—aka maid.That said, the comedic brilliance of Sykes shined in all of her scenes and her one-liners made the film.Stacy Dash as Dionne in "Clueless" (1995)Stacy Dash as Dionne — Cher's sidekick — in "Clueless" is one of the better Black BFF roles. Dionne was a fully developed character and had scenes throughout the film. Cher didn't cry on Dionne's shoulder and Dionne never had to save the day. Sometimes Hollywood gets it right.Alicia Keys as Lynette in The Nanny Diaries (2007)Unlike some singers-turned-actors, Keys got her feet wet in small roles like The Nanny Diaries.If you blinked, you missed Keys but she was Scarlett Johansson bestfriend.Lynette was a disposable role and Keys would show her real acting chops in 2008's "The Secret Life of Bees."Jennifer Hudson as Louise in 'Sex & the City' (2008)J-Hud is considered A-list in the Black community and is even an Oscar-winner. But, when she became the Black best friend (beating out Kelly Rowland for the role) in "Sex & the City" those credentials were useless. As Louise, she was living beyond her means and looking for love in the Big Apple. In the end, she became Saint Louise saving Carrie Bradshaw's predictable love life—reminiscent of the magical negro who always saves the day.Regina King as Rhonda A Cinderella Story (2004)Regina King is a leading lady, but don't tell Hollywood that. The critically bashed "A Cinderella Story" starred Hillary Duff as another girl searching for love. King played Duff's co-worker and helped her pick out a gown for a dance. Clearly, no romantic comedy is worth making without the resident Black girlfriend.Regina King as Grace Rossiter Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)Regina King's character in "Legally Blonde 2" — which starred Reese Witherspoon — was a departure from the BBF dropping "sistah gurl" wisdom.She wasn't necessarily a Black BFF, but would eventually bond with Witherspoon's character.Still, the film failed to meet expectations of the original.Regina King as Sam Fuller in 'Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous' (2005)Yes, King goes down as a legendary Black best friend. In 2005, she played opposite Sandra Bullock in the action-comedy "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous."In one scene, Regina was dressed undercover as Tina Turner and Bullock's character said, "I just don't see why I couldn't be Tina."King answered with, "You don't see that?"Say what you want, Regina stays working!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Girlfriends: 10 Songs for Sisterhood

Songs For Your GirlfriendsOur SongsIf anything can touch our soul and shake our spirits it's good music and having a special friend to share it with.Luckily, these songs have a little bit of both, by combining hit tunes with lyrics that make us totally adore our BFFs.Take a look and listen to our favorite songs for our girlfriends.Dionne Warwick and Friends 'That's What Friends Are For'Dionne Warwick's hit song encouraged us to stick by our gal pals not only during the good times, but in the hard times too. Sister Sledge 'We Are Family'Family reunions in the summertime just aren't the same without this upbeat, sista-friendly tune. Brandy 'Best Friend'Brandy summed up our feelings for a true BFF best when she sang, "I know one thing that never changes and that's you as my best friend." Bill Withers 'Lean on me'Bill Withers' hit is commonly used at charity functions, but we love to listen to it when we think about our best girlfriends. Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans 'Count on Me'When this song made its debut it not only featured two of the best female vocalists of our time, but it also featured heartfelt lyrics about counting on our friends. Corinne Bailey Rae 'Girl Put Your Records On'Corinne's free-spirited song was the ultimate encouragement to be your true self, especially around your best buds. Mariah Carey 'Anytime You Need a Friend'Mariah's gospel-inspired ballad was all we needed to make us feel close to our best friends. Whitney Houston 'Exhale'As Whitney so eloquently sang it, whenever we're feeling stressed, talking to our girlfriends to help us keep calm and breathe is always helpful. Tata Vega 'Miss Celie's Blues'Who can forget this iconic tune from "The Color Purple?" We all wish for a friend who is as close as a sister. Destiny's Child 'Girl'When your BFF is going through relationship drama, the sisterhood instinct is kicked into high gear. Dreamgirls 'Family'

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Girlfriends: Our Favorite Movie Girlfriends

Our Favorite Movie GirlfriendsThe Best Movie GirlfriendsThrough thick and thin, your girls are always there to share some laughs, to wipe your tears and to have your back when the going gets rough. No one can replace your best friends, but it's nice when Hollywood gets the dynamic of your relationships right. We're saluting our favorite girlfriends in some of our favorite movies today. Call up your crew and rent one of these flicks this weekend and have a fabulous girls' night in.How Stella Got Her Groove BackStella and her bff Delilah head to paradise in this sunny and exotic film about opening your heart and finding love.BAPSNisi and Mickey went from ghetto queens to "Black American Princesses" and realized their dreams together in this 1997 rags-to-riches comedy.Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?Diane, Patricia, Sheila, and Angela are a feisty quartet determined to save their marriages despite the hardships of life, such as death of a son, betrayal of trust, and infidelity. Set It OffStony, Cleo, Frankie, and T.T. are a dynamic group of gal pals in this climactic film that explores a true test of friendship under the impact of intense action, suspicion, and crime.Deliver Us From EvaEva is a total man-hater who is encouraged by her sisters to hook up with a guy.  What Eva doesn't know is that her circle of sisters has a secret about this luring set-up.SparkleFor these three sisters from Harlem, pursuing their musical dreams is everything.  Unfortunately, turmoil and drugs stands in the way of them rising to the top together.Two Can Play That GameShante Smith (Vivica A. Fox) was the relationships guru in her foursome of fierce, professional girlfriends in "Two Can Play That Game."Bring It OnEvery high school cheerleader remembers chanting "I'm sexy, I'm cute. I'm popular to boot!" a favorite line from this preppy film about gal pals turned teammates who are relentless in the pursuit of taking home the championship.Something NewIn this romantic comedy, Kenya gets set up on a blind date, only to discover the guy she is meeting for dinner is white.  Despite opposition from her trusted circle of girlfriends, she follows her heart to the romance no one ever expected.The Best ManMia's best friend Jordan is the maid of honor in Mia's upcoming wedding, and has to endure dramatic experience of having to tell her bestie the wedding is off — almost.Just WrightDespite the betrayal felt by Leslie when her mother bequeaths a family heirloom to her childhood pal, Morgan, these friends renew their bond and prove that true friendship overcomes all odds.Love JonesThese besties stayed by each other's side when Nina endured the joys and pains of catching a love jones.ATLNew New  and her boy-crazy clique are at the center of the drama that unfolds at the local rollerskating rink every Sunday night.Soul FoodThrough this close knit circle of sisters and the weekly Sunday dinners cooked with love by their mother, this family endures love and laughs and learns the real meaning of soul food.Waiting to ExhaleIn the ultimate girlfriend flick of the century, Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria and Robin proved that despite the drama relationships may bring, true friends will always be there until the end.Daddy's Little GirlsAlthough she fears being judged by her gal pals, Julia, a successful attorney, takes a step out on faith and accepts a date  with a blue collar worker that may just be the love of her life.  

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Girlfriends: 5 Low-Budget Big-City Girlfriend Getaways

Time For a Girl's TripLet's Go, GirlfriendOver Sunday brunch, you and girlfriends crack up over the antics you got up to during your last girls' trip and then you realize, "Damn! That was two years ago!" It's time to pack your bags again. Leave the husbands, boyfriends and everyday blues behind for a fabulous girlfriend getaway to a big city near you. We've scored some flight and hotel steals for you in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas and New Orleans so you can make it possible...Las Vegas, NevadaIf there was ever a place in this country that embraces excess, Las Vegas is it. Al the celebs ring in their birthdays there, from Vivica A. Fox to Nicki Minaj. The millions of lights always shine bright. The casinos are humongous. The hotels are larger than life and right now the hotel packages are a steal. A search on found a five-night-stay at the Gold Spike Hotel for $28-per-night. Yeah, girl. You're reading that right. Even fancier places are fairly inexpensive with the five-star Wynn Las Vegas offering up five nights for $159 each. It looks like you need to round up the crew for a few fabulous nights of parties on the strip and days filled with luxurious spa appointments and lucky rolls of the dice in sin city...South Beach, Miami, FloridaSpring's almost here and your best friend is still suffering from a case of the winter blues. You need to schedule an intervention. Take your bestie to Miami for a few days of sun soaking, man cruising and all-night partying in Miami to warm her spirits. According to $166 is all you need to head down south from New York City. If your coming from Baltimore or Atlanta it's only $168. You may want to splurge on the hotel — especially if its known for throwing popular soirees like the Gansevoort. If not, the only slightly less glamorous Shellborne is going for $148-a-night from March 28 to April 1. Miami, here you come!New Orleans, LouisianaIt's March 3rd. Before you know it Summer will be here and the year's hottest concert event will be upon us. Plan a girls' trip down to the Big Easy for the ESSENCE Music Festival and experience New Orleans at its best. Aside from watching Mary J Blige, Trey Songz and Kanye West give it all they've got at the Superdome, you and your fabulous crew will have the whole mystical city to explore. Wander down the French Quarter's cobblestone streets. Relax with warm, smooth coffee and fluffy, sweet beignets at the legendary Cafe Du Monde. Pop into one of the city's jazz clubs and get lost in the arms of some southern stranger. Better book your lodgings now. Some hotels are already sold out for the weekend. You can still find suites in the French Quarter at the St. James Hotel for $126-a-night and in the commercial center at Royal St. Charles for $173 according to York, New YorkWhatever you and your girlfriends want to find, you will find it in New York City. Take a tour of historical Harlem and stop for a bite at Top Chef winner Matthew Samuelsson's new restaurant The Red Rooster. Feel the energy of the city's streets. Stroll across the Brooklyn bridge and watch the sunset on the promenade and dance all night at one of the city's many nightclubs on its notorious West Side. With roundtrip flights to NY from Chicago starting at $176, you don't have much of an excuse. Tickets from ATL are slightly pricier at $204 and to get their from Baltimore ($124) is cheaper than the gas and toll money you'd spend driving. To the big apple!San Francisco, CaliforniaLife's worries can make you feel so uptight. Maybe it's time to head to the free-spirited city of San Francisco. Relax is Delores Park during the day and take a long, peaceful drive across the Golden Gate Bridge at night and just let it all go. Fly across the country from New York to SF for as low as $258 right now. Tickets from ATL are going for $298 and Dallas residents can get there for as low as $218. What you don't save on flights you'll make up for in your hotel stay, with the Hotel Majestic and The Opal running for $70 and $77 per night. Even the four-star Stanford Hotel is a steal at $129-a-night. Besides, you can't put a price of fun with the girls and peace of mind, can you?

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Girlfriends: 10 Activities That Are Better with Your BFF

Better With Your BFFIt Takes TwoYour best friend could also be called your other life partner. While your guy, your kids and your job fulfill you in many ways, they can never replace the feeling of completeness that a good girlfriend can give you. That said, there are some activities that just go better with your bestie by your side. Have you had a bff moment lately?Movie MomentThink back... who were you with the first time you watched "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Love and Basketball" or "The Best Man?" That's right, your best friend. There's a reason why she's always around to indulge in a sappy love story with you. It's just better that way.Work Out PlanYour best friend offers a touch of friendly competition to your workouts that helps you keep going when you'd rather give up. Plus it's just nice to have someone else around who can literally feel your pain after a strenuous session.Cook It UpWhen you and your best friends get into kitchen together, cooking isn't the only thing going on. You make jokes, catch up, trade recipes and bond. Plus every one needs a bestie to try out her new souffle on.Hand in HandEvery frugal fashionista is on a budget these days. Save your dough by bringing your bag of nail gear over to your girlfriend's place. Giving each other mani-pedis is still way more fun than doing your nails yourself.Women on MenThe only thing that makes that wild night of passion between you and your man better is being able to re-hash all of the sexy details with your girlfriend.Girl, Please!We all talk to our bffs about our other friends.Don't act like you don't do it.Talk ShopNothing says best friend like accompanying you to find a new pair of skinny jeans. Your bff is there to talk you off a ledge when you have to go up two sizes to fit into those European designer duds. She'll also convince you not to spend $200 on denim and try on the most eccentric of outfits just to make you laugh.Spruce UpWhy is it that getting ready for the party is almost always more fun than the actual party? You and your bffs trade new makeup secrets and side-eye moments, catch up on each other's lives and help style each other's hair and outfits. By the time you head out the door you've already had a nice dose of girl-time to boost your mood.Get the SpiritWhile everyone's spiritual journey is personal and unique, it is always assuring to have a friend to help you along that journey, to motivate you when you feel yourself slipping or to simply feel the spirit with you.Go DigitalKeeping up with our girlfriend's via text, twitter, bbm and facebook is way more fun than just checking in once in a while.We can find out what they're up to and even chime in in the digital space, as if we were right there with them.