It’s so true. I feel like that’s something a lot of us forget to do, and you’re not alone in that. I know many of us have been dealing with grief the past few years, and it’s not easy, so my heart really goes out to you. It’s important to really honor that!
Yeah! It’s also important to laugh. If you feel like laughing about something, laugh! That’s healing. One thing I’ve definitely learned is if you can’t laugh about something, you’ll never heal from it. Just expressing it and getting it out of your spirit [is so important]. After I say some negative things, I like to cancel them. Since cancel culture is so popping right now, we’re going to cancel these negative thoughts, then bring in some positive ones and go to bed [laughs]. But also, if you’re having these bad thoughts, that’s okay too. Crying is healthy. That’s the first thing you did when you were born. Now, I’m not saying you should cry every single day, but you have to find some time to laugh in between that crying. That’s why I try to laugh as much as possible. It releases better chemicals in your body when you laugh as opposed to crying. But you still need both.
Changing gears a bit here. I’d love to talk about your best-selling book Layla, the Last Black Unicorn. What experiences shaped the book for you, and how did you come up with the concept?
So many experiences. There’s a part in the book where the other unicorns are calling Layla “woodsy.” Growing up, they used to [say to me], “You’re so ghetto.” There’s nothing wrong with that—just like Layla being woodsy. She had skills they didn’t have, and she was able to save the day. People will try to make you feel bad for being who you are or what you are. It doesn’t matter because those skills that you have because of that [are] going to benefit you and others around you at some point in time. Honor that, be proud of it, and there’s nothing wrong with being unique because it’s going to come in handy. Trust and believe.
I hear you’re also working on some other really exciting projects, including season two of The Afterparty on Apple TV and a new collection of essays called I Curse You With Joy. What can you share about them both? I’m sure everybody’s going to be really excited to hear about them straight from the source!
What I can share about Afterparty season two is that there is a wedding. Oh—and somebody dies. That’s all I can say about that! As for I Curse You With Joy, they call it a series of essays, but I call it a memoir. They’re stories of my experience. You’re getting a lot more of not just the stories but also my thoughts and point of view on things. I’m hoping it brings joy and healing to others.
That’s definitely needed right now! You have so many projects going on. How do you make time in your busy schedule for things like self-care or for writing? Do you have any nonnegotiable beauty or self-care practices that you absolutely have to do every day to keep centered?
Well, every day, I have to say my little mantras, and I have to pray every day. Those are the main things that happen every day no matter what. Sometimes, I might not wash my face, I might not wash my body, but I have to do those two things every single day. I have to pray and say my mantras, and I have to drink water.
Do you have any favorite mantras that you can share with us?
“I believe children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us [of] how we used to be. Everybody’s searching for a hero. People need someone to look up to. I never found anyone who fulfills my need—a lonely place to be. And so I learned to depend on me. I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity. I found the greatest love of all inside of me.” — Whitney Houston
It pretty much sums up everything in my life. That’s [why it’s] one of my favorites. I say that one every morning.
And what would you say is your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?
Take care of the inside, and [the] outside will be alright.