Essence Weekend, The Therapy You Need [Media Recap]

This year marked year 24 of The Essence Festival and it seems it gets grander and grander! Here it is 2018 and the Essence Festival attracted over a half million attendees! If you’ve ever wondered if you should visited and  have a thing for the culture, this is definitely the place to be!

“As one of the country’s largest curated live experiences, the ESSENCE Festival engages Black women globally—through a truly unique celebration of culture, connection to community and access to content that inspires and empowers.”


HoneyBeNatural has been visiting New Orleans, Louisiana for the past five years by way of bing the MEDIA SPONSOR for the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo curated by @itsmeitsmo!  The New Orleans Natural Hair Expo (NONHE) is the “Ultimate Natural Hair Experience!” and provides a fun, sophisticated, and social environment that celebrates and promotes the natural hair community and culture. The expo brings together some of the largest hair brands and bloggers into the beautiful Contemporary Arts Center for a weekend of gloriousness! It’s the perfect topper to the melanin sundae Essence Festival fuses together so graciously.

High key, between the Expo, Essence Concerts and Bourbon nights, normally for us the bustle never ends. Now we always pay our respects, but this year things were different. Driving to and fro with the crew sparked hundreds and hundreds of girl chats. And it wasn’t the surface level ones, it was the deeper ones that make you want to be a better person. This year we realized that a trip to Essence can be the therapy you need to get through! Maybe we’ve grown as women or the mystic of the drive is ultimately calming and cultivates life-changing conversations. And just like that, we’ve learned and grown from the company we keep and we have NOLA to thank!

What kind of women would we be, if we failed to share a few key conversation points that made the cut. “Mama NOLA” in full effect:



FORGIVENESS: We all find ourselves in a weird space that causes us to lag in the forgiveness department. It can be extremely tough and sometimes crazy as hell to think about forgiving someone who’s wronged us, but what does holding a grudge prove? We found on our girls trip that it proves not a damn thang and may even cause wrinkles (lol). Sometimes it’s better to let it go, even if it’s just for you and no one else. It takes real friends to remind you that forgiveness is necessary for growth.



THE RIGHT SIZE: The way you see yourself is pretty important, sis. And it took my girlfriends to tell me that I’ve been wearing my clothes TOO BIG. My first reaction was NAH, HEH CLOTHES AINT BIG AT TALL, but they were in fact a smidge too big. It was tough to accept that I hadn’t taken the time to acknowledge that the latest version of me was slimmer. I ignored her and in some weird way didn’t give her a chance to shine. But can we all thank God for honest friends who can see your progress even when you can’t?! Celebrate your small wins waist snatches!



PORTION CONTROL: Some of us can have a breakdown in the bathroom, cry for a little bit and get back to work. For some of us, the entire world stops, burns and crashes. And then there are those of us who are breaking down and haven’t even realized it yet. In these cases you open up and start to talk. In conversations with your girls you realize that you’re not okay. You realize that you’ve taken on more than you can handle. Your girls are there to validate your feelings, remind you of how awesome you are and encourage you to take it one day at a time. You may even have the friend who’s ready to bust a cap. She’s fun too. You soon realize that you’re not alone and it’s okay to chop your situation into bits and pieces so you can handle it -- AND on your own terms. This is beauty of rolling with people who have a variation of perspectives. It makes you thankful for the testimonies and experiences of others. What a relief, right?

So our advice: Go with the people who make you feel alive! If you’re feeling “dead” go with the  healers! ……...hit the streets,


shop ALOT,


go to a concert and

swing by the  New Orleans Natural Expo to stash up on the latest products. After all, it is a girls trip.

Images captured by Velarie Hinson | View More on

I'sha GainesComment