Swank talks of pay-gap problems

Hilary Swank — best known for her Oscar-winning role in Million Dollar Baby — knows that, while the gender pay gap may be starting to dwindle, it is still a very real thing. That’s because she’s felt the effects of it herself.

According to Indiewire, the actress sat down with Chelsea Handler, Connie Britton and Ava DuVernay on Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea, on Wednesday, Oct. 19 for a “women’s dinner party” to “chat about, amongst other things, what it’s like to be a woman in the entertainment world.”

That’s when Swank spilled the beans about how she’d been affected by the pay disparity throughout her career, mentioning that for her first Oscar-winning role in Indie film Boys Don’t Cry, she only earned $3,000, says Indiewire. But after winning her second Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, Indiewire reports she was “offered the leading female role in a film opposite a popular male actor who hadn’t had much in the way of critical success … but who was still slated to receive a paycheck twenty times fatter than Swank’s.”

The male actor, says Indiewire, would have made $10 million, while Swank would have earned a mere $500,000 had she accepted the role — which prompted Britton to gasp while giving voice to what all viewers must have been thinking in that moment: “What are you talking about?”

To hear Swank tell the story in her own words, click here.


Mirren makes it known that she’s a ‘nasty woman’ in Hollywood

ELLE‘s Women in Hollywood event celebrates the most prominent female forces in Hollywood today, so it’s no surprise that Dame Helen Mirren tops this year’s list. The outspoken, no-holds-barred actress showed off this week just why she deserves to be considered a top woman in Hollywood — or should we say, a “nasty woman” in Hollywood.

According to TIME, Mirren used her speech at this week’s Women in Hollywood gala in Los Angeles to point out just how she is “the nastiest of all nasty women,” alluding to the now-infamous line spoken by presidential candidate Donald Trump about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the third and final presidential debate.

So how does Mirren advise we become nasty women? TIME paraphrased the actress’s advice this way:

“Never drink alcohol (unless celebrating, upset, or on a day that ends with the letter — luckily, quite a flexible policy); don’t be in a rush to get married; give your partner freedom to achieve their ambitions; always split aces, eights and nines on the blackjack table; connect with friends daily — beyond social media; and ‘ignore anyone who judges the way you look, especially if he or she is some anonymous miserable creep lurking on the Internet or is a bloated, small-headed dinosaury-handed candidate for President.'”

While these sound like surefire ways to become a nasty woman, Mirren also shared one more vital piece of advice with ELLE: the last time she “gave zero f*cks.”

“That’s a great question,” she said. “Probably this morning when I went out with any makeup on and I just put jeans on. That’s one of the greater things about getting older is that you give zero f*cks more often.”

Here’s to being a nasty woman who “gives zero f*cks.”

Jones teams up with Iconery for new jewelry collection

Having jewelry that is both beautiful and built to last is a must; after all, if you’re going to invest in fine jewelry, you’ll want to wear it as much as possible. That’s why Rashida Jones teamed up with Iconery to create easy-to-wear jewelry that is sure to never lose its luster.

According to Vogue, the former Parks and Recreation actress launched her collaboration with  the fine jewelry line on Monday, Oct. 24, which features everything from rings and earrings, to dainty pendants and chains. While there are only 11 pieces so far in the collection, each piece employs a clean aesthetic that allows wearers to mix and match the different items to create a visually stimulating look.

Vogue reports that Jones “found inspiration for the assortment of coordinating earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces in 14-karat yellow gold and the occasional black diamond in everything from the recent presidential debates and Frank Sinatra to ’90s street style.”

Speaking of a piece owned by her father Quincy Jones, she told Vogue that she was inspired by her father’s style when designing the Square Ring for the collection.

“He has a ring with a crest on it that Frank Sinatra gave him, which is the same shape as this,” Jones said, according to Vogue. “I’ve always loved a man’s pinky ring, so [the Square Ring] is a sleeker, feminine version of that.”

With prices ranging between $95 and $850, the line is certainly not cheap, but it’s definitely worth the investment. To check out the pieces, click here.


Icelandic women fight for pay equity

Gendered pay discrepancies are rampant all over the world; according to Business InsiderNew Zealand has the most “equal” pay gap, with women earning about 5 percent less than men, while women in the United States earn about 18 percent less than men and women in South Korea earn a whole 37 percent less than men as of a 2015 report.

While the effects of the wage gap are felt around the world, women in Iceland decided recently that it was time to take action in their home country.

According to Women in the Worldwomen decided to leave their workplace on Monday, Oct. 24 exactly at 2:38 p.m. — a time beyond which unions and women’s organizations have calculated women essentially work for free due to the country’s 14 to 18 percent pay gap. Thus, female workers decided they would only work for the hours they’d be getting paid and left once their work didn’t merit any further pay.

While Women in the World explains that the country has been otherwise rather progressive, electing the world’s first female president in 1980 and passing “landmark” parental leave legislation in 2000, closing the pay gap seems to be the one thing still plaguing the female workers of Iceland.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gender pay gap or any other pay gap,” said Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, reports Women in the World. “It’s just unacceptable to say we’ll correct this in 50 years. That’s a lifetime.”


Adichie stars in new campaign by Boots No7

Makeup is not about covering up; it’s about getting ready to make your mark on the world — that seems to be the message behind a new beauty campaign starring author and feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

According to Mashablethe Nigerian novelist is the face of British beauty brand Boots No7‘s latest ad campaign called,”READY to Speak Up,” which “aims to recognize that female beauty is about more than just looking pretty.”

Mashable says a statement explains the campaign this way: “Women use cosmetics to be ready for something: to show up, speak up, and make an impact in their world in their own way.”

But for Adichie, wearing makeup is all about doing what makes her happy instead masking her true appearance:

“I love make-up and its wonderful possibilities for temporary transformation. And I also love my face after I wash it all off,” she said in a statement, according to NY Magazine. “There is something exquisitely enjoyable about seeing yourself with a self-made new look. And for me that look is deeply personal. It isn’t about what is in fashion or what the rules are supposed to be. It’s about what I like. What makes me want to smile when I look in the mirror. What makes me feel slightly better on a dull day. What makes me comfortable.”

The campaign may help remove some of the falsehoods present in current beauty advertising, says Adichie, who’s involvement in the campaign may present one positive step forward in achieving this goal.

“I think much of beauty advertising relies on a false premise — that women need to be treated in an infantile way, given a ‘fantasy’ to aspire to,” she said, according to NY Magazine. “Real women are already inspired by other real women, so perhaps beauty advertising needs to get on board.”




Hall learns to overcome her hair haters

After getting her hair cut to resemble that of Anita Baker’s when she was 18 years old, Today show anchor and MSNBC host Tamron Hall kept the same style ever since, according to People magazine. However, Hall told Today.com that while she loved her haircut, others thought otherwise once she stepped before national audiences on television.

“I remember reading the cruelest, most awful thing about my hair online,” she explained to Today.com, according to People. “A person speculated about who I was as a person and even read into my personal life based solely off my hairstyle. He or she said I must be lazy because I have short hair. It was just devastating.”

The comments even led to her trying to grow her hair out to shoulder-length, says People — that is, until she learned to not let the negative comments influence her hair decisions. Once her mother mentioned Hall’s hair when she was letting it grow out, she decided to go back to her cropped pixie style.

“I’ve finally learned that this is what I like, and this is how I look best. And that’s great,” she said, according to People.

Once you learn to own who are, negative comments can roll right off you. To read more about Hall’s story, click here.

Beckham teams up with Target for new collaboration

Posh Spice is about to make her posh fashion a little more accessible.

According to the Huffington Post, Victoria Beckham is teaming up with Target to release a limited edition clothing collection for women, toddlers and babies. Announced on Thursday, Oct. 20, the Huffington Post says the partnership “marks the former Spice Girl’s first jaunt into designing childrenswear and arguably the department store’s poshest designer collaboration yet.”

Speaking on the accessibly of her new venture, Chief Executive of Victoria Beckham Zach Duane told Business of Fashion that Beckham’s clothing was never designed with a small audience in mind.

“The DNA of Victoria, Victoria Beckham lends itself to being accessed by a much broader number of people,” he said.

However, Business of Fashion notes that “Beckham, who launched her namesake ready-to-wear line in 2008, promised a fresh take on her repertoire, including some joyful prints. ‘It’s quite girly, fun, happy,’ she said. ‘I’ve always said [the VVB collection] is the other side to my personality, it’s the other half of my suitcase. The fun side of me.'”

With the all-new Victoria Beckham for Target collection is set to include more than 200 pieces, HuffPost says a press release describes the new line is based on Beckham, as well as “the shared experiences between mother and child” and will deliver “soft pastels, bright pops of color and pretty spring prints.”

Available in sizes XS through 3x, Business of Fashion says the collection will hit Target stores and Target.com on April 9, 2017, with select pieces also available on victoriabeckham.com.

So just how much will a VBxTarget design cost? HuffPost says pieces range between $6 and $70 — not too bad for fashion from Posh Spice herself.



SNL highlights fashion ad pitfalls

Leave it to Saturday Night Live to satirize the fashion industry and its portrayal of non-super model women.

In their recent skit called, “Chonk,” the late-night sketch comedy show promoted a new store that sells clothing from sizes two to 28, reports The Cut. The ad begins with a seemingly inspirational message of promoting the faux store, calling women “beautiful,” “strong” and “gorgeous at any size.” But it quickly becomes “toxic,” says The Cut.

Interspersing empowering messages in between the rather offensive store name of “Chonk,” the skit points out the implicit negative messaging in clothing advertisements directed at women which make them feel “othered”or subpar.

Perhaps the best part of the video comes near the end, when Chonk introduces their male store, called “Normal Clothes,” emphasizing that men may be less likely to deal with the same negative messaging in fashion advertising.

While the video closes by mockingly saying, “Every woman’s a chonk,” we all know that in reality, every woman is everything the fake ad said in the beginning: beautiful, strong and gorgeous at any size.

To watch the full video, click here.

Fashion for thought

Emma Watson has always had a tasteful, elegant style — look no further than her red carpet appearances for confirmation. But her recent posts on Instagram not only feature her classic style, they also promote sustainability and product awareness in the fashion industry.

According to Glamour, the actress and UN Ambassador has been sharing the details of her latest outfits in her Instagram posts all in an effort to make herself and others more conscious of where their clothing is coming from and how it’s being produced.

Glamour shared one post in particular, in which Watson is in Malawi with young gender equality activists. In addition to discussing her work with the youth activists, she mentioned the different pieces of her outfit and how they are made in eco-friendly and worker-friendly conditions. Sharing that her jacket and pants were made from “sustainable organic cotton canvas,” while her shoes were made by local craftsmen and her jewelry was recycled, Watson then wrote why she’s decided to post about her looks.

“You may have noticed me talking about my clothes recently – I’m trying to be conscious about where my clothes come from and also about the people who make them,” she wrote, also disclosing that she doesn’t get paid to promote the clothing brands she mentions, which included EDUN, Ancient Greek Sandals and All Blues accessories.

Here’s to sustainable fashion!



‘Good American’ is good for all

From reality TV to fashion to beauty, the Kardashians are certainly at the fore of shaping cultural and fashion trends. And with launch of Khloe Kardashian’s all-new denim line adds to their pervasive pop-culture influence, it may also have the power to shape the fashion industry itself.

According to Fortune, Kardahsian joined forces with fashion executive Emma Grede to launch Good American, a new jeans line “designed for many women’s body types, especially for those who have a more curvy figure” that will be available through the all-new Good American website and in Nordstrom stores.

Telling ELLE that she wants to ensure that women feel beautiful at any size, Kardashian said:

“It’s important to me, no matter what size I am or weight I am, to feel beautiful. Even at my biggest I was rocking body con dresses and you couldn’t tell me twice. That’s what I think Good American is. It’s about women of individuality and diversity, but also about being comfortable in yourself.”

Thus, the duo set out to create a line of jeans that enhances women’s natural curves and makes denim sizes a little more inclusive. Fortune reports that not only have Kardashian and Grede “spent the past year working on perfecting the fabric and contouring of the jeans so that the stitching is complimentary to all sizes,” they have designed the line in a range of sizes, from zero to 24 — ensuring that all women can find jeans that they love. The best part: Fortune reports that all sizes sold in Nordstrom stores will not be separated based on size, placing smaller sizes away from plus sizes in distinct sections.

What’s more is that each of the styles currently available — which range from a boyfriend-style, to a skinny jean, to a high-waisted pair — are all modeled by women with varying body types, says Fortune. Grede told ELLE  that such an approach aims to reflect the spectrum of beauty present in our world.

“We have girls of all different colors, ethnicities, heights, sizes. They have tattoos, shaved heads– everything. Because that’s really now what our world is. It’s not about cookie cutter ‘I’m a blonde with long flowing hair,'” she said.

Available for purchase through the new Good American site, as well as at Nordstrom, Fortune says the denim retails between $139 and $189. To shop the new line, click here.