A New ‘Barbie’ Takes Shape

Mattel’s Barbie dolls are taking a different shape these days.

The company famous for their iconic dolls announced on Jan. 28 three new shapes — petite, tall and curvy — as well as seven different skin tones, changing the 57-year-old look of the dolls, according to The New York Daily News.

These changes come in an attempt to provide Barbie customers with a more realistic body aesthetic that starkly contrasts the supermodel-like forms of Barbies past.

The Daily News says that the dolls were crafted in a top-secret mission named “Project Dawn,” in which designers worked on Barbie’s new image for two consecutive years. The new dolls feature a more voluptuous derrière, along with a fuller stomach, arms and legs. The dolls, part of the 2016 Fashionistas line, also includes 22 eye colors and 24 hair colors.

Head of the Barbie brand Evelyn Mazzocco spoke to Time, where news of the launch first broke, on how long it took to change Barbie’s shape. “Yes, some people will say we are late to the game. But changes at a huge corporation take time,” she said according to The Huffington Post.

While The Daily News says that the changes received positive responses from the likes of size-14 model Lizzie Miller, who thought the revisions were long overdue, CNN found that not all people welcomed the changes — especially Alexandra Petri of the The Washington Post.

Petri wrote, “The trouble with Barbie is that if you start taking away her unrealistic elements, she disappears altogether … Barbie is either the iconic, unattainable figure, blonde and waiflike, with huge eyes, or she is — what, exactly? Make her real, and she ceases to exist. She becomes a brand, a category heading, like American Girl, Monster High, Bratz.”

Although the changes were met with mixed reviews, Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson said their mission is to empower females. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” he told Time. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”

 

#WomenNotObjects

In December 2011, Madonna Badger’s life was impacted in the most unimaginable way; on Christmas day, her home in Stamford, Connecticut caught fire, taking the lives of her parents (Lomer Johnson, 71, and Pauline Johnson, 69) and her three daughters (Lily, 9, and twins Grace and Sarah, 7), while Badger and her boyfriend at the time, Michael Borcina, were the lone survivors of the tragedy.

But according to People, Badger is now making an impact of her own with the launch of her agency’s latest campaign, ‘#WomenNotObjects.’ Her New York agency, Badger and Winters, first launched the campaign against the objectification of women two weeks ago by posting a video to Youtube anonymously.

After garnering almost 600,000 views to date, Badger spoke to Matt Lauer of TODAY to explain the significance of the campaign. “People are really seeing that objectifying women is really up there with inequality of women,” Badger said.

“I think that sex sells, but you know what the worst part is? It’s the harm we’re doing, and for me, that’s really what made me make this decision,” she explained.

Staying true to her #WomenNotObjects campaign’s message, Badger vowed that the initiative will never present women in an unfavorable way. Her firm “will never use women as a prop where she has no choice, no voice,” while they “will never over retouch to the point that it is unattainable human perfection.”

Thank you, Madonna Badger, for speaking up on behalf of all women who have ever felt objectified or felt obligated to reach unreachable standards of beauty and sexuality.

Barbie Joins #AerieReal

#AerieReal just got a little bit more real.

According to ELLE19-year-old Barbie Ferreira is the most recent model to join the popular #AerieReal campaign, the American Eagle company’s photoshop-free initiative to encourage body positivity and diversity. The Wilhelmina-managed model, who has 243,ooo Instagram followers, told ELLE of her excitement over being featured in the campaign.

“I’m overwhelmed with happiness that I could be part of something so special and important to me,” she said. “The praise has really just proved that the world is ready to see change.”

The size-12 model thinks that being the face of the #AerieReal campaign will inspire girls to love themselves exactly as they are. “I just want to make sure girls know they don’t have to carry the weight of achieving nearly impossible standards on their shoulders every day. They’re worthy!”

Although Ferreira explained that she hasn’t been retouched in other modeling jobs, she said that continuing to work in unretouched campaigns is very important to her.

“I rarely got retouched when I started modeling and it was crucial to me to show an accurate, realistic picture of me because that’s beautiful too,” she said. “Taking it a step further with such a major brand has been so exciting … I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time!”

Ferreira has encountered her fair share of Internet shamers with her success, but she certainly won’t let hateful comments change the way she feels about herself. In fact, she encourages other young women to follow suit and cultivate a positive body image.

“Unlearn your harmful behaviors,” she offered, “realize you can wear whatever you want and you were not put on this earth to do everything to be sexually appealing to people.”

Thank you, Barbie Ferreira, for teaching us to love ourselves unretouched.

Take Her Look [For Less]

The cold weather of Park City, Utah couldn’t turn down the heat of Scandal star Kerry Washington’s Sundance Film Festival look.

On Jan. 23, Washington made an appearance at the premiere of HBO’s Confirmation on the third day of the festival, wearing a black leather top by Ji Oh, a white faux-wrap skirt by Tibi and thigh-high Stuart Weitzman boots. She completed her look with a bit of bling, wearing Jennifer Mayer rings, according to the actress’ Instagram account.

Washington’s Sundance ensemble seems pretty easy to replicate, but its price is not as easy as we hoped — her Tibi skirt alone costs $425 from Nordstrom. While her designer-laden outfit is sophisticated and just a tad bit sexy, we’ve found all the pieces necessary to create a look-alike ensemble that is just as stunning for under $200. Read on for the results!

First on our shopping list was a faux leather top, and we found the perfect tank for the job in the form of the Faux Leather Crop Top from Forever21. This faux-leather cropped number will deliver a similar look to Washington’s top for only $17.90.

faux leather crop top

The Faux Leather Crop Top, found on Forever21.com.

A white wrap skirt will form the second part of our three-pronged look, and the Textured Wrap Front Midi Skirt from Missguided offers the perfect alternative to Washington’s expensive Tibi number. Although this skirt has a closer-fitting silhouette than Washington’s more A-line skirt, this option from Missguided delivers a sexy front slit reminiscent of Washington’s style, and it does so for a mere $17.

textured wrap front skirt

The Textured Wrap Front Mini Skirt, found on Missguidedus.com.

Completing our look for less are gorgeous over-the-knee boots courtesy of DSW. The Unisa Saranaa Over the Knee Boots offer a gorgeous faux-suede over a heeled construction, making these the perfect boots to replicate Washington’s Stuart Weitzman pair. These, however, will only set you back $79.95.

Unisa Saranaa OTK Boots

The Unisa Saranaa Over the Knee Boots, found on DSW.com.

While Washington’s Tibi skirt alone costs a whopping $425, our look for less totals $114.55. With all the money you saved, you deserve to go out and buy some jewelry to add to your new look!

Happy Shopping!

Harassment Gets a Bad ‘Rap’

Lady Gaga made headlines when she called for an end to sexual assault with her chilling track, “Til It Happens to You.” But recently, another musician has had enough with sexual harassment, and he’s taken to social media to get his message across.

According to The Huffington Post, frontwoman for Brooklyn-based band Dirty Projectors Amber Coffman tweeted on Monday, Jan. 18 that music publicist Heathcliff Berru has sexually harassed her in a New York bar. She was at once joined by others who shared similar stories, spurring Berru’s prompt exit from his position as CEO of Life or Death PR.

Within the 24 hours it took for Berru to step down, many of his clients parted ways with the former-CEO, one of whom was rapper Killer Mike. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Jan. 20 to express his feelings over Berru’s actions, Killer Mike explained that although he supports his friend, he gave him “an ear-full” about his behavior — or lack thereof.

Killer Mike concluded his string of tweets that began at 10:49 a.m. and ended at 10:52 a.m. by saying, “My real desire is to see These women Whole healthy and rocking out like great artist and members [of] the culture.”

While his social media postings seemed to end there, Killer Mike wasn’t quite done — on Wednesday night, he published a lengthy post on his Facebook account, clarifying that he “stand[s] in solidarity with the women that have spoke out.”

This time, the rapper summed up his comments on the situation in this way: “Men have to be able to tell our friends and peers when they’re wrong. We cannot just say, it’s not my problem. We can’t expect [people] to improve if we’re not willing to hold them accountable and push them to be better.”

Thank you, Killer Mike, for encouraging men to be a part of the solution to the harassment problem.

 

‘Vogue’ Visionary Stepping Down

If you love fashion, chances are you’ve picked up a copy of Vogue at least once in your life and ogled at the luxurious designer goods and impeccably-styled models displayed throughout the magazine’s glossy pages. But on Jan. 20, news broke that has the potential to change the lauded fashion bible as we know it.

According to The New York Times, Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue, announced she will be stepping down from her position at the Condé Nast publication. A spokeswoman for the company explained that Coddington will act as a “creative editor at large,” producing “several” articles a year for Vogue while pursuing other opportunities.

Coddington told industry website Business of Fashion that although she will be scaling back her position, she still looks forward to contributing to the magazine. “I’m not running away from Vogue, because it has opened so many doors. But it will be nice to collaborate, and nice to go out (and) give talks to people,” she said of her future plans.

The now-former creative director assumed her place in the spotlight after the 2009 documentary, “The September Issue,” was released, which followed famed Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour and her team as they compiled the magazine’s 840-page September 2007 issue — the largest single issue of a magazine ever printed, reports NPR.

Although Coddington has been with Vogue and worked side by side with Wintour for 28 years, The New York Times speculates that her departure may have been long overdue. In a 2014 interview with The Financial Times, Coddington said, “I’ve been saying, ‘I’m going to leave tomorrow’ for the last 10 years.” While her exit may comes as a shock to us Vogue readers, her vacancy may usher in a series of surprises that may change the publication as we know it.

The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman describes three potential changes that may take place. Coddington and Wintour both assumed their positions at Vogue in 1988, while Executive Fashion Editor Phyllis Posnick has been at the magazine since 1987 and Fashion Director Tonne Goodman added her name to the masthead in 1999; Her exit, then, may spur other changes in leadership at the magazine.

Second, Friendman suggests that as Condé Nast reconciles their print publications with their respective online presences, any decisions Winter may make as the magazine’s artistic director will signal a longterm editorial strategy that will impact the magazine’s future.

Finally, Coddington celebrated fashion as a means to “transport and transform,” which balanced out Wintour’s practicality and business prowess. Their strengths combined to form the publication we have all come to love, and Coddington’s absence may mean an overall change in direction for Vogue.

While Coddington is bowing out from her post at Vogue, The New York Times says that she is not retiring altogether. In fact, she is set to release a perfume with fashion company Comme De Garçons in April, while working on a follow-up book to her 2002 title, “Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue.” There’s even talk of a film being made on her 2012 autobiography, “Grace.”

Perhaps Coddington explained her plans post-Vogue best when she said, “It’s just another approach. I’m certainly not going to retire. I don’t want to sit around.”

Clearly, Coddington has more work to do on more things that will, undoubtedly, find their way into our hearts yet again.

Take Her Look [For Less]

Wearing a cream-colored lace dress with cutouts in the middle of winter may sound wrong, but when Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland wore the very thing to the ELLE  Women in Television dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 20, it was very, very right.

Hyland attended the West Hollywood affair in what InStyle says is a cream Zimmermann frock with cutouts on the sides that gave way to an open back. She completed her look with nude Giuseppe Zanotti heels and sparkly Anita Ko rings.

Although Hyland’s look seems as though it came straight off the runway, a few modifications were made to the dress to make it the chic look she wore to the Women in Television dinner. According to The Daily Mail, the original number from Zimmermann’s Spring 2016 collection not only has sleeves, but also a ruffled hemline and lace-covered cutouts.

While this may mean you can’t take Hyland’s exact look for your own, there’s still hope for her gorgeous Giuseppe Zanotti heels — or so we thought. Her patent leather tri-strap sandals cost a whopping $850 from Net-a-Porter. But don’t let the high price spoil your attempt to recreate Hyland’s ensemble, because we’ve found all the pieces necessary to take her look for less than $200. Read on for the results!

Finding a lace dress with similar features to Hyland’s altered dress was quite the struggle, but we finally landed on the ASOS Lace Crop Top Skater Dress. Featuring a high neckline and sheer lace back, this dress gives similar hints of skin that Hyland’s dress does, but without dramatic alterations. The cropped layer also emphasizes your waist in a way akin to the fringe on the top of Hyland’s frock. The best apart about this dress — it’s currently on sale for $39.

lace crop top skater

The ASOS Lace Crop Top Skater Dress, found on ASOS.com.

Capping off our look for less is a pretty pair of nude sandals, and we’ve found the perfect pair in the form of the Four Strap Barely There Sandals from Missguided. Although these sandals have one strap more that Hyland’s heels, they share the same basic silhouette and style, making them a great way to finish off your look-alike ensemble for only $51.

4 barely there straps

The Four Strap Barely There Sandals, found on Missguidedus.com.

While Hyland’s look cost upwards of $850, our reimagined look with pieces from ASOS and Missguided will only set you back an even $90. Complete your look with your favorite silver rings and a chic topknot, and you’ll have Hyland’s look in no time!

Happy Shopping!

 

Smith Tackles Pro Coaching

On the heels of the Arizona Cardinals’ hiring of Jen Welter as their training camp linebacker coach in 2015, the Buffalo Bills announced that they hired the NFL’s first full-time female coach in the league’s history.

According to ESPNW, the Bills made history on Wednesday, Jan. 20 when they announced that Kathryn Smith will serve as the team’s special teams quality control coach. Her promotion comes after working 12 years for the New York Jets — including six seasons under Rex Ryan when he was the team’s head coach.

Smith started her career with the Jets in 2003 as a game-day/special events intern, and by 2005, she was named a collegiate scouting intern. In 2007, Smith became a player personnel assistant and seven years later, she became Ryan’s assistant, says ESPNW.

While Smith’s promotion might be making history in the NFL, the Bill’s have a history of naming a female to a higher position within the team. ESPNW says that in 1986, Linda Bogdan was appointed as the team’s first female scout after working in their player personnel department.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan spoke on Smith’s expertise in a statement released by the team, and expressed his excitement over her promotion this way:

buffalo bills pr

Twitter / @BuffaloBillsPR

Bills co-owner Kim Pegula said that Smith’s advancement with the team is not only groundbreaking, but also deserved. “Kathryn has been a part of [Rex Ryan’s] staff for the past seven years and has proven that she does excellent work,” Pegula said. “While we understand the significance of this announcement, it’s important to understand that Kathryn earned this position because she has shown she is qualified, dedicated and puts in the work needed for this role.”

Smith’s promotion proves that women are slowly getting the chances they deserve in the male-dominated world of professional sports.

Take Her Look [For Less]+

Something as a simple as a black dress can look just as stunning as the fanciest couture gown, and Angelina Jolie showed us how it’s done when she walked the red carpet of the Kung Fu Panda premiere in Los Angeles on Jan. 16.

Taking to the red carpet with five of her six children, Jolie turned heads in what InStyle says is a black Saint Laurent shift dress with cap sleeves, which she paired with minimal jewelry and black pointed-toe pumps.

If this is the little black dress that you’re wardrobe has been missing, you may want to hold off on purchasing the frock until you learn its price. Jolie’s Saint Laurent tube dress is available from YSL for a lofty $1,490. But before you think that all hope’s lost in owning your dream LBD, we’ve found all the pieces necessary to recreate her entire look for under $200. Read on for the results!

Black dresses are always in high demand, so finding the perfect shift dress for our recreated look was a cinch. The Have a Good One Black Shift Dress from Lulu’s not only mimics the silhouette of Jolie’s Saint Laurent number, it also comes with an added bonus: slit pockets at the hip! What’s more is that this dress will give you Jolie’s exact look for only $59.

lulus

The Have a Good One Black Shift Dress, found on Lulus.com.

If you’re looking for the perfect LBD in extended sizes, we’ve found another great alternative in the form of the Strappy Shift Dress from Charlotte Russe. Although this frock has some extra detail at the shoulder, it only makes the look that much more chic. This dress will not only make a great way to take Jolie’s look for less, it will also make a great wardrobe staple for only $23.99.

charlotterusse

The Strappy Shift Dress, found on CharlotteRusse.com.

Capping off our head-to-toe look is the Journee Collection Yoko Pump from DSW. Featuring a similar pointed-toe silhouette and leather upper, this heel will be your wardrobe’s utility player for years to come, and it’s available for only $39.95.

journee yoko

The Journee Collection Yoko Pump, found on DSW.com.

If Jolie’s Saint Laurent shift dress was calling your name but it’s$1,490 price tag was waving goodbye, we were able to recreate her entire look for $98.95 and $63.94 for extended sizes. Just add some dainty jewelry, and you’ll have Jolie’s look in no time!

Happy Shopping!

Well, #I’m Flattered

If you’ve ever been insulted for wearing something because of your age, size or height, you may want to pay attention to a new body positivity campaign.

According to HerCampus, New York City-based body positivity clothing company SmartGlamour has started a new campaign aimed to be body inclusive called #I’mFlattered.

“The campaign features women holding signs that contain advice they’ve received about dressing for their bodies—usually something to do with covering up less-perfect areas of their bodies—and wearing an outfit that disregards the rule,” wrote HerCampus’ Cathy Zhang of the initiative.

On SmartGlamour’s blog, the brand’s owner and designer  — and now creator of the campaign — Mallorie Dunn described the process of creating the brand’s campaign this way:

“I asked women of all sizes, shapes, ages, and ethnicity if there was ever a time (or times) when a stranger or loved one concluded they were the expert on their body and presentation—and decided to voice it. I decided to invite some of these women to tell their stories, hand making them the exact kind of garment they were advised against wearing—not just to prove these ‘experts’ wrong—but to show that their bodies are up to them, and them alone.”

Not only does SmartGlamour find fault with how certain types of clothing are considered to be exclusively for specific body types, they also see it problematic that others are dictating our clothing choices.

Thank you, SmartGlamour, for showing us that each individual has the sole power to decide what to wear and how to look.