Mary J. Blige on How She Makes Her Health a Priority (and Why She Encourages Other Women to Do the Same)
With health issues still top of mind for many people, singer-songwriter, actress and philanthropist Mary J. Blige is encouraging Black women to prioritize and act to achieve annual breast cancer screening starting at age 40.
Through the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure, Mary, along with the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), RAD-AID and Hologic, Inc. is helping to raise awareness about the disparities Black women face for mammography screening and encourage Black women to get screened.
The P.O.W.E.R. of Sure campaign is designed to address existing health disparities and associated mammography screening rates among Black women across the nation through:
- A website addressing the barriers Black women face when it comes to screening, along with video testimonials from Black women on this topic BeSure.BWHI.org.
- Myth busters featuring common myths and facts about mammography screening
- Educational resources and FAQs regarding the importance of early detection
- Informative content regarding what to expect when getting a mammogram during the COVID-19 pandemic
Additionally, as part of the campaign, Hologic is funding comprehensive mammography screening programs at multiple healthcare facilities across the nation. These facilities will be in areas of need to help increase access to screening for Black women living in those communities.
The site locations include the following cities:
These programs provide access to Hologic’s Genius 3D Mammography exam, as well as diagnosis and treatment services for women who have breast cancer detected.
In a career that spans over three decades, Mary J Blige has been a powerful force and a beacon of empowerment to Black women for generations. From her songs of strength and vulnerability to her dialogs of encouragement at her sold-out stadium concerts, to her style, personality, and authenticity, Mary motivates women to keep the faith, press on, and to never forget to put God and themselves first.
At age 50, The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is not only committed to living her best and healthiest life; she is also using her voice and platform to inspire Black women in every area of their health (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) around the globe.
As part of the campaign, Mary revealed that she was completely unaware of the importance of annual women’s health exams – specifically mammograms – until she was an adult. She now ensures that in spite of her hectic schedule of filming or executive producing hit movies and television shows, rehearsing and touring for her performances, recording chart-topping songs, and managing her brands of jewelry (SisterLove) and wine (Sun Goddess) collections, her ‘well women’s health’ exams and annual screenings are her top priority.
“Without your health, you can’t do anything,” said Mary. “Your health is the way you go out and make a living. Your health is the way you take care of your children. Your health is the way you take care of yourself. Your health is your wealth.”
During our one-on-one exclusive conversation, Mary J Blige revealed to me how she manages her wellness and self-care with a busy schedule; as well as her thoughts on the current state of women’s health, the existing health disparities and associated mammography screening rates among Black women, and why she works so hard to encourage and inspire women to harness the power they have of being their own health advocates.
About Our Guest
Mary J Blige is a Grammy Award-winning singer and accomplished actress. Her career began in 1991 when she was signed to Uptown Records. She went on to release 13 studio albums, eight of which have achieved multi-platinum worldwide sales.
Blige has won nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards and has also received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound (2017) and another for its original song “Mighty River”. She also received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, becoming the first person nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year.
Blige performed for Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. In February of this year, she became a first-time nominee for the 2021 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.