Category: Beauty

Dying To Be Perfect

Angela Wilson | Intern UAB School of Education | CHHS

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Jacky Oh was a Beautiful, talented mega-influencer, model, and socialite who seemed to have everything.  She was a YouTuber, an entrepreneur of a lip gloss line, and a regular star on the hit comedy and cultural phenomenon, “Wild ‘N Out”.  She had amassed an Instagram following of more than a million people and had three beautiful children with her longtime partner, comedian and rapper, DC Young Fly.  Unfortunately, at just 32 years old, Jacky Oh, whose real name is Jacklyn Smith died. 

The vivacious beauty posted on her Instagram page that she was going to have a “mommy makeover” and that she would reveal the results of her procedure on her YouTube channel.  She seemed very excited about the possibility of improving her body, by tightening up the problem areas just months after giving birth to her son. She and her doctor, Dr. Zachary Okhah, were all smiles standing next to each other while flirtatiously piquing the interest of her fans. The publicity seemed to be destined for a promotional win and money maker for both of them, but something went terribly wrong. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, a mommy makeover can include targeting more than one area of a woman’s body,. Often the surgery of choice for women who have noticed significant changes in their bodies as a result of gaining and losing weight, breastfeeding, and other physical changes during motherhood. The typical problem areas are the breasts and the abdomen.  The breasts began to loose shape after breast-feeding, and the abdominal muscles, tissues, and skin that stretch during pregnancy to accommodate the fetus, may not snap back after giving birth. This leaves women with layers of excess abdominal skin usually accompanied by unsightly stretch marks.  If you are in the entertainment business and your revenue is generated based on how good you look, or how fit your body is, it is easy to see why Jacky Oh decided on a mommy makeover. 

A mommy makeover may consist of breast augmentation, a breast lift, a tummy tuck, circumferential abdominoplasty, and liposuction. It may seem like an easy, quick way to get your pre-pregnancy body back, but there are several risks involved. These risks include infection, bleeding, hematoma, unfavorable scarring, necrosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, persistent pain, contour deformity, fat embolization, anesthesia risks, and even death.

While speculation is running rampant about the exact cause of death of Jacky Oh, the only thing that is certain is that 3 children will grow up without their mother, millions of fans will be without their shining star, and a loyal man be without his partner.  I cannot help but ask myself, is having cosmetic surgery worth the risk?


America Society of Placstic Surgeons. (2023). Mommy Makeover Risks and Safety.

Brito, Christopher. (2023, June 2). Jacky Oh, Wild ‘N Out Cast Member, Dead at 32.

I am Not My Hair

By Tan Walker | Community Health and Human Services Intern

In today’s society, glorifying unhealthy and unrealistic expectations makes us beautiful. It is easy to focus on appearance rather than character. Women, especially black women, have to work more than most to attain the world’s idealistic view of beauty.

The Afro hair texture has been the epitome of a black woman’s life for centuries. As far back as the slave trade, Africans were forced to abandon their links and connections to their natural hair to simply strip away any cultural identity or tribal heritage (Black hair and an unjust society, 2021). However, this has not stopped Black women from embracing their natural tresses.

From the infamous “fro” to hair wraps to braids, Black women continue to embrace their natural hairstyles to help express who they are, and to show the evolution of empowerment and Black culture over time.

As a community, we must speak power into our young black girls and remind them that their natural hair is beautiful until they feel it themselves, and that their natural hair doesn’t define who they are. 

Black hair and an unjust society. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from

A Note of Love to My Wife Khalia: Thank You Sweetheart

My dearest Khalia,

Thank you for your love.

Thank you for being patient with me. Sometimes my ways are not your ways and your ways are not mine, but you choose to love me through the tension.

Thank you for being kind to me. I realize there are times I am unpleasant to be around, but you choose to love me with your gentleness.

Thank you for being generous with me. I realize there are times between us that inspire resentment, but you choose to pursue goodwill in our relationship.

Thank you for diminishing my faults, remaining down-to-earth, and being civil and polite. I realize there are times I come off rude or high-and-mighty, but you choose to not be irritable with me and forgive my wrongs.

Thank you for being fair with me. I realize there are times where your sacrifice or compromise is not celebrated, but you choose to exercise truth in a respectful manner.

Thank you for not giving up on me, not losing faith in me, remaining hopeful with me, and enduring life’s circumstances with me! Thank you for being a loving wife to me!

Your Husband,

Larrell L. Wilkinson

Reflecting on 2020: The @Home Haircut while in Quarantine

No doubt, 2020 was a hard year! There were many tragic circumstances (I won’t list them in this lighthearted post) that transpired through the year. Life changed for many of us. As I type this reflection, it is hard for me to remain cheerful because the year was filled with many challenges for the nation, there were many struggles in local communities, and many hardships for individuals close to me (myself included). Still, in this posting, I will choose to reflect on a lighter side of life. So here it goes, among the many reflections I have about 2020, at least one of those is the Quarantine Haircut. Now, it may not be what you think…I don’t have a horror story. I am bald, so I am good! And, I know that we are to “not worry…about your body, what you will wear…is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25, NIV). So, we shouldn’t worry about haircuts? Right? Well, I do want my son to look good, but…$15 – $20 per haircut. I mean real talk; he is 3 years old. He doesn’t like to sit still and sometimes he cries when I cut his hair, especially when he was younger. Plus, that is low end $180 to high end $480 a year. We’re on a budget, so yes, I have and will continue to cut his hair (at least in the short term)!

The reason why I can appreciate 2020 is because so many other parents did the same thing. Many parents (& adults) got their haircut at home, imperfections or haircut fails and all! I won’t comment about the stress that the women in my family experienced. That is another post for another day…or never! For me, I didn’t feel that fatherly guilt knowing my son didn’t have the “tightest fade” or the coolest new design! Everybody did what they had to do, and the world kept on spinning! So, parents, are you going back to taking your son to the barbershop? Or, are you pocketing the haircut money and putting the money away in savings account, using the money to invest, or placing the money for your vacation fund?

At least for the time being, there will be no strong tape ups (fades) for my son [although I will start to practice] and sometimes his hair line is a little crooked (I know, but it grows out). But there is also, no 20 – 30-minute drive to the “shop” and then another 20 – 30 minutes back home; no appointments or wait times for the “chair” (the wait can be so long); and we continue to place the cost savings into other budget areas for the family. Plus, we still aren’t going much of anywhere…anyways! And although we aren’t supposed to worry about how we look so much , my son is still very handsome!

Appreciation for the New Dove Commercial: Showing many types of Women

Shout out to Dove, the soap brand, for one of the latest additions to its commercial campaign. This moment of praise is not to endorse the Dove soap product. Instead, we want to encourage Dove, a product of Unilever, to continue airing commercials that include diverse women, embrace women of all different body types, and beautifully depicts the stories of women. Their advertisement “Our Skin Tells a Story” shows an array of women, allowing them to depict their story, positively! The ad was placed on the Dove US YouTube channel on February 20, 2020.

Although companies have missteps in advertisement time-to-time, we at PHAME-US Life & Style see it as our mission to support advancement of what is positive and healthy, while encouraging uplift and solidarity. Thank you Dove, keep up the good work!