Rodriguez to the rescue

Every girl wants to look and feel like a movie star when they go to their prom, and one high school senior got to do just that thanks to Gina Rodriguez.

According to Entertainment Tonight, 17-year-old Jessica Casanova from Buffalo, New York sent a tweet to the Jane the Virgin star ahead of her special night, asking to wear one of Rodriguez’s red carpet gowns to the prom.

While many tweets sent to celebrities go unnoticed, Casanova’s certainly did not. Marie Claire reports that Rodriguez answered Casanova’s request and “after a bit of back and forth on Twitter, Casanova received the black Badgley Mischka gown that Rodriguez wore to her first Globes in 2015 where she won best actress in a TV comedy.”

Entertainment Tonight says Casanova had her hair done to match Rodriguez’s style when she wore the gown to the Golden Globes. But before Casanova could head off to the prom, her mom had a special message for her — from none other than Rodriguez herself.

“Just know I love you. I’m so proud of you. I’m so excited for you,” Rodriguez said in the video message. “You look beautiful and everybody will remember it — especially you!”

Casanova expressed her gratitude for Rodriguez’s kindness, telling Entertainment Tonight, “l have no words, no other celebrity can compare to what she has done … She deserves everything in this entire world.”

While it is certain that Casanova will never forget her senior prom, other deserving girls may have a similar experience, thanks to the actress — Entertainment Tonight says that after Casanova wore the gown to her prom, it went back to Rodriguez in order to be passed on to another girl “continuing the trend of making dreams come true.”

Casanova said she hopes whoever is next to wear the special dress loves it as much as she does. “I hope whoever gets it next, it goes in the right hands, because it’s something close to her heart and it means a lot to her … I just hope it gets taken care of really well like the way I am.”

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Slam poet secures a space for women

A woman’s personal space is not to be violated — that’s what slam poet Reagan Myers argues in her piece, “The Girl Becomes Gasoline.”

According to the Huffington Post, the poem “sums up the rage that women feel when our personal space is invaded,” channeling Myers’ own personal — and uncomfortable — experiences into each power-packed word.

“‘On my last flight I fell asleep next to a man…I woke up to his wedding ring digging into my waist, his hand on my thigh like an unwanted house guest. It is moments like these I feel more sputter than storm,’ she said, explaining how demeaning it is when men don’t respect our physical boundaries,” according to the Huffington Post.

She continued, saying that the invasion of her personal boundaries implies that she is occupying too much space. “I am apologizing to this man next to me, hoping that this will be it, that he won’t follow me to my next gate,” she said, something that happened to her after several other flights.

Approaching the end of her poem, Myers offered, “I don’t know when I became a space to be filled: my thigh, open lease. My neck, wishing well. His hot breath, a coin, a demand passed into me.”

But each time a “man assumes my space,” Myers says, “he is just stoking the flame. And a spark, stoked enough, will burn down the whole house.”

Thank you, Reagan Myers, for saying all too eloquently that one invasion of a woman’s boundaries is one invasion too many.

To watch the video, click here.

Senate joins fight for equal pay

Five members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team filed a complaint in March accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination and arguing that male Major League Soccer players make significantly more than they do. While they have yet to achieve equal pay for their talents, the United States Senate has joined the fight in securing their rights.

According to the Huffington Post, the Senate “unanimously approved a non-binding resolution calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to ‘immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve'” on Thursday, May 26.

Introduced earlier this month by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and 21 other Democrats, the resolution to remedy the pay disparity was brought up for discussion this week when Murray gave a speech on the team before the Senate, says the Huffington Post.

Mentioning the USWNT’s third World Cup win and three Olympic gold medals, Murray said, “But despite all of these tremendous successes, these players do not get paid on par with their male counterparts.”

“This isn’t just about the money. It’s also about the message it sends to women and girls across our country and the world,” the senator offered, later calling their struggle “emblematic of what is happening all across our country,” referencing the ever-present pay gap that persists across a multitude of professions.

The Huffington Post says that although the resolution, which “only applies public pressure on the soccer governing body,” passed without objection, Murray and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) hope that this small step will lead to further action taken to address the broader pay problem.

After the resolution’s approval, Murray expressed her pride over its adoption, calling it a show of support for women around the country. But Murray’s work is far from over; she hopes that this victory can help garner the approval of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to remedy wage discrimination based on gender.

“Now, let’s back it up with action by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act!,” she said after the resolution’s approval. “I am going to keep fighting for this legislation, so I urge all my colleagues to put partisanship aside, once again, and work to get this done.”

Rihanna and Dior partner for new line of sunglasses

With summer fast approaching, finding stylish sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright sun is a must. Luckily for you, Rihanna has a brand new line of shades just in time for those blindingly bright summer days.

According to Forbes, the “Work” singer struck up a partnership with Dior to create a line of sunglasses called, “Rihanna.” The limited collection includes futuristic designs and a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something you like.

While her new line of sunnies with Dior is exciting, it’s not the first time Rihanna has worked with the fashion house. Forbes reports, “Last year, the Barbadian pop singer starred in a campaign for the company, which included photo spreads that were seen around the world and a commercial entitled “Secret Garden” that was shot at Versailles.”

Rihanna has also been a longtime fan of Dior, as InStyle says she is a “regular fixture in the Christian Dior front row,” and has often worn their designs for performances.

Although Rihanna’s new collection of shades will not be available for purchase until next month, the singer has taken to Instagram to share photos of the forthcoming styles with her followers, offering an inside glimpse at the sleek, avant-garde looks from the line.

So how much will a pair of Rihanna’s sunglasses set you back? Only between $840 and $1,250 per pair, says Forbes. You know — pocket change.

But if you can swing the hefty price tag, be sure to stop by a Dior store next month to make your stylish purchase.

 

 

Nude no longer ‘one color fits all’

On the heels of Christian Louboutin’s March release of a nude shoe collection designed for all skin colors comes another brand that is attempting to redefine “nude” in the fashion industry.

Enter Naja, a lingerie brand that Glamour reports has launched a new “Nude for All” collection that features seven different shades of nude for women of all skin tones. Included in the new line are “T-shirt bras, thongs, and briefs meant to disappear under your clothing,” according to Glamour.

While there are certainly more options for women to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which shade is best for your skin tones. That’s why Glamour says Naja paired their garment colors with foundation shades from popular makeup companies like Nars, Bobbi Brown, MAC and L’Oréal — this way, women can match their foundation from these brands to the lingerie to find a perfect match for their skin.

Last summer, British brand Nubian Skin infiltrated the American market with four new shades of nude to pick from, but Glamour says Naja’s seven shades are certain to give women more of a choice when it comes to picking a truer nude. “Nobody has ever done seven shades,” Naja founder Catalina Girald told WWD.

The trigger for these expanded colors? Glamour reports: “It was the absence of darker neutrals that led to the line being made; Girald got busy after watching gymnast Gabby Douglas in the last summer Olympics and noticing how her lighter-toned nude ankle wraps were such a dismal match to her actual skin tone.”

Chopra not ‘bonded’ to traditional female roles

Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra is tired of being asked to play the pretty love interest of a film’s hero. She instead wants to be the hero.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Chopra told Complex magazine that although she’s been asked to play a Bond girl in a forthcoming James Bond film, she has no interest in such a role.

On being asked to play the part, Chopra told the magazine, “I get that all the time … But f— that — I wanna be Bond.”

While Chopra wants to play a protagonist, current films lack such roles for females. According to a study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University found that “females comprised a paltry 12 percent of protagonists in the top-grossing films of 2014.”

But the number of such roles for females has only gotten worse: “the latest figures represent a drop of three percentage points from 2013 and a fall of four percentage points from 2002,” says Variety.

Besides mentioning her desire to take on the traditionally male role of James Bond, Chopra  also discussed her current role on the Baywatch movie, in which she plays Victoria Leeds — a “bad guy” role she said was initially written for a man, according to EW.

The film, which debuts May 19, 2017, will allow Chopra to dive into a role that she’s longed to play. “I wanted to play a bad guy for a really long time,” she told EW in a previous interview. “And I’m doing that in Baywatch, so I’m excited.”

 

To read Chopra’s full interview with Complex, click here.

A dream come true

Neither time nor circumstances can keep you from achieving your dreams — that’s what Hermina Hirsch showed us this weekend.

According to Glamour89-year-old Hirsch — a Holocaust survivor — had her longtime dream come true when she sang the national anthem at the Detroit Tigers game on Saturday, May 21.

But her journey to Detroit was far from easy. Glamour says that Hirsch was born in Czechoslovakia in 1927, joining nine other children in her family. By 1944, Hirsch and her older sister were separated from their family, according to her granddaughter Andrea Hirsch, because they “moved among five different concentration camps, including Auschwitz, before being freed in January 1945.”

Once freed, Hirsch travelled back to Czechoslovakia by walking and taking rides from strangers, says Glamour, and by 1947, she married Bernard Hirsch. They moved to Detroit in 1953.

In April 2016, Glamour reports that Hirsch publicly shared her bucket list, on which she included her desire to sing the national anthem at a baseball game. Wanting to support her favorite baseball team and share her singing talents beyond her performances at her synagogue and local Jewish community center, Hirsch told local TV station WWJ-TV, “At my age, I figure that this would do it … I don’t want to die before I sing at a baseball game.”

Her bucket list garnered much public support, with the Tigers soon taking notice and inviting her to perform, says Glamour. While some would be nervous to perform at a Major League Baseball game in front of thousands of fans, Hirsch didn’t even flinch.

In fact, she told WWJ-TV that she knew she was up for the challenge. “If I lived through the concentration camp, it couldn’t be that bad.”

 

Maybelline gets a new global ambassador

Meet I-Hua Wu, a Taiwanese model who we will surely be seeing much more of in the coming years.

According to Cosmopolitan, Wu has recently been named global ambassador for beauty company Maybelline, making her the “first Asian model to be a worldwide face for the brand.”

In an interview with New York Magazine’s The Cut, Wu explained that she never considered herself exceptionally beautiful. “I know I’m not terrible-looking, but I don’t think I’m as great as everyone seems to say,” she said.

In fact, being a model was the furthest thing from her mind. “I never thought about being a model. Since I was little, I was bullied because I was too tall, or different somehow — I’m not really sure. I didn’t have any friends and was ostracized. In junior high, I cried every single day,” she said.

Little did Wu know that her life would change in high school. “My mom saw a company was holding a modeling competition, sponsored by an agency. My mom signed me up,” she said. “It wasn’t to become a model; it was to meet other tall people like me. We went to China to compete, and I came in second.”

Since becoming a model, Wu told The Cut that her career has taught her how to become more self-confident, as well as how to move past her insecurities.

“…It’s helped me to build up a lot of confidence. Before, I used to be more shy and afraid of people. If there were a lot of people, I wouldn’t go up and talk to anyone. I wouldn’t even leave the house by myself. I would have to go with someone,” she explained.

While she sometimes still gets nervous when she’s around unfamiliar models, Wu shared with The Cut that her time working in the industry thus far has taught her how to “fake that confidence a little more.”

But that’s not the only way modeling has shaped Wu, according to Cosmopolitan — it has also helped her to see past confining beauty ideals.

“I saw that other people were beautiful, and it wasn’t because their skin was white or they were wearing special contact lenses,” Wu told The Cut. “It’s helped to see lots of different types of beautiful. It doesn’t matter if your eyes are big or your complexion is white — people don’t care. As long as you think you’re beautiful, you will be beautiful.”

New editor-in-chief for Teen Vogue

It’s one thing when you make history, but when you make history twice in one day, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Enter Elaine Welteroth, who has just been named the new editor-in-chief of Condé Nast’s Teen Vogue on Thursday, May 19, according to NBC News. Not only is she the first African American woman to assume the position for the magazine, NBC reports that Welteroth is the youngest editor-in-chief in Conde Nast history.

Before her recent promotion, Welteroth served as Teen Vogue‘s beauty and health director since 2012 — a position she also was the first African American to hold. Now Condé Nast’s second Black editor-in-chief in history, NBC says Welteroth began her ascent in the industry when she worked as beauty and style editor for Ebony from 2008 to 2011. From there, she bounced to Glamour where, between 2011 and 2012, she traded her title of beauty writer in to become the magazine’s senior beauty editor, according to NBC.

Making Teen Vogue more representative of multicultural content is yet another item on Welteroth’s resumé, with NBC reporting that the 29-year-old was largely behind the magazine’s “‘step in the right direction‘ with recent covers of women of color like Willow Smith, Amandla Stenberg and Zoe Kravitz.”

Welteroth will taking the helm of Teen Vogue along with two other editors — Phillip Picardi, the digital editorial director, and Marie Suter, the magazine’s creative director, says NBC.

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, spoke on the magazine’s new leadership and said she is confident that the trio will take the publication to the next level.

“Elaine, Marie and Phil are fearlessly at the forefront, inspiring young trendsetters with their sophisticated take on emerging fashion, beauty and pop culture, and they will lead Teen Vogue to the next phase of its success,” Wintour said. “This team has thoroughly embraced the endless potential of social media and new platforms, and their understanding of the most effective way to use them to connect with audiences, embodies what it means to be an editor today.”

 

 

 

Coding like a girl

Girls can code — if only being a female didn’t get in the way.

That’s the snarky message behind Girls Who Code‘s latest campaign, according to ELLEwhich aims to draw attention to the gender bias in technology. Released on Tuesday, May 17, ELLE says “the series of videos tackles women-specific ‘problems’ — like menstruation, being pretty or having boobs — that explain why girls supposedly ‘can’t’ code.”

Each video in the series centers around a specific theme that answers the question, “Why can’t girls code?” One sarcastically posits that menstruation makes it impossible for girls to code, while another offers that girls’ beauty gets in the way of their academic and professional endeavors in the field.

Two girls explain that they can’t code in one video because, “”It’s hard to code when you can’t stop crying … Or when you’re having mood swings.”

Another video depicts one teen attempting to use the computer, but she promptly stops to fix her nail polish, which chipped after a few strokes of the keyboard.

The video series comes at a time when women’s place in the tech industry is wavering, at best. According to a March 2015 article from The Huffington Posta study found that the percentage of computing jobs held by females has dropped over the past 23 years, with 26 percent of such positions being held by women in 2013 as compared to 35 percent in 1990.

The study, done by the American Association of University Women, also found that the number of women holding degrees in the field has also decreased.

But with this campaign clearly pointing out the lunacy of the gender bias present in the tech industry, maybe more girls will decide to pursue the tech path — and prove everyone wrong in the process.