Curvy, Curly, Conscious: The Melanin Wellness Queen Shelah Marie
Interview By: Keisha Faulkner
The mystique of this melanin queen goes beyond her gorgeous tresses, natural curves, and holistic spiritualistic vibe. Known by some as Ace Hood's lady and partner, "The Shelah Marie" lends her voice to women of color who seek self-care inspiration. Mind Body Melanin connected with Shelah Marie to uncover the most intimate aspects of her emotional healing, battles with depression, search for inner peace, advocacy for mental health, and tribe leadership with Curvy, Curly, Conscious.
MBM: Your mystique, yet transparency is infectious for fans who want to know more. What can you tell us about yourself that we can’t find on the internet?
SM: That's a long answer, but the short is -- I have 7 brothers and sisters between 4 different moms, and I was the only person of color in my house growing up.
MBM: What are some challenges or insecurities you’ve endured prior to finding your own peace and acceptance?
SM: Depression and anxiety are conditions I learned from my mother. She is an amazing woman who sacrificed everything for us, but she suffered for it. She was not fulfilled and happy -- and it took a toll on her. So I got very familiar with experiencing anxiety and depression from a young age. I still experience anxiety and depression sometimes, and I might always relapse here and there. And that's okay with me. It's not like a light switch you can turn on and off, but more of a dimmer where you can decrease or increase the light. I choose light as much as I can.
MBM: Your platform has gone viral, based on the inspiration of self-acceptance, inner-peace, & healing for women: What did it take, years ago, for you to transform your lifestyle and get to this point?
SM: It took a really unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationship to finally shake me into change. That relationship changed my life for the better. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have been forced to grow and finally deal with some really negative core beliefs. It also took a willingness to change my beliefs and perspective.
MBM: How do you view depression and mental health, as it relates to women of color?
Women of color experience it differently because we have been socialized into thinking we are "stronger" and can take more pain and suffering. It's nice to think of us as strong -- but problems occur when we don't allow ourselves moments of vulnerability because we think we have to have it all together, all the time. So we suffer in shame and silence, and there is no healing in that space.
MBM: What are some misconceptions people have about your relationship dating rapper, Ace Hood?
SM: That all rappers are assholes, absent fathers, and misogynists. That's the predominant narrative, but it's not always true.
MBM: How can a woman prepare herself for openness to love, be loved, and seek a spiritual connection with a new partner?
Connect with yourself first. Develop a bond, a true relationship with yourself that brings you joy and love. Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you experience,
MBM: How has meditation and yoga changed your life?
SM: Yoga has taught me to maintain peace even in discomfort and meditation has taught me how to sit with myself. It seems simple, but getting to actually know myself has really made my life so much richer, in every aspect.
MBM: What are a few beginner steps you would recommend to someone new to exploring holistic practices or therapies?
Start small. Just pick one thing and try it for 30 days, if you don't like it -- drop it and try something else.
MBM: What advice can you give to the woman searching for the beauty in her imperfections?
Find a way to love and accept your body as it is right in this moment. Find gratitude in how your hair curls, or how strong your legs are, be thankful for your creative mind, for having all your limbs, for being able to see, eat, touch, and smell. Gratitude is the gateway drug to self-love. Hating your body is the most selfish act you can do, it benefits no one, it makes you unhappy and that is a disservice to the planet ultimately.
MBM: Tell us more about your platforms, Soul Study with Shelah & Curly Curvy Conscious.
Soul Study is the missing course I wish they had in schools. You are taught everything from calculus to chemistry -- but never how to be a happy, healthy human being. We aren't taught how to move through difficult emotions, process trauma, deal with breakups, etc. We are expected to just -- know. Soul Study is my response to that. Soon, I will launch Soul Study Academy where you can subscribe and receive monthly meditation tips and resources.
I started Curvy, Curly, Conscious last year along with Aisha Thalia and Yoga Racheal. CCC is a movement dedicated to providing beautiful spaces of healing for women. We believe beauty is cultivated from the inside out, and we strive to create events that nurture every aspect of healing. Our events focus on promoting self-love, personal development, mediation, and physical wellness, with the ultimate goal of providing individuals with the tools and resources to be able to live a more elevated life.
MBM: What can we be on the look out for within your platforms SS & CCC? (Events, courses, etc)
Soul Study Academy opening soon!
CCC Tour starting this Summer to DC, NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami & ATL.
MBM: What motto or quote do you absolutey live by?
Take the path of least resistance.