Essence's Janelle Harris says that the list of musts for black women is a little different from the standard one that's been circulating on the internet. Hers includes a favorite hair product and "peace about being different."

For Black women, I think the standard is different. Not that we don’t have expectations and goals and heart’s desires to chase after, and not that we shouldn’t have certain things checked off the ol’ timeline when we reach that milestone age, but White women operate under a completely different reality than we do en masse. So all of the earmarks of success that usually fall so easily into place for them in their 20s — houses, husbands, booming careers, financial security — aren’t necessarily givens for Black women by the age of 30 …

1. A song that immediately lifts her spirits or takes her back to a special, stress-free time, no matter where she is

2. A polite, diplomatic way of putting someone in check and a taste of sister girl attitude when diplomacy just won’t cut it


3. A favorite moisturizer, a favorite hair product and a favorite recipe in case she has to cook something impressive (or a favorite bakery or restaurant to pick it up from)

4. A tool set, a car jack and a refusal to be anybody’s damsel in distress

5. The willingness and resolve to let it go, whatever “it” is

6. Spiritual grounding and a prayer and meditation war closet to sneak off to when life hands her chaos


7. A signature dance and a motivational saying

8. A hot pick-up line — you know, in case she ever needs or wants to use it

Read Janelle Harris' entire list at Essence.