Beckham receives posh honor from Queen

Victoria Beckham is more than just Posh Spice; she’s a fashion designer, a humanitarian and a UN ambassador. And now, Beckham is an official honoree of the Queen of England.

According to ELLE, Beckham has been selected to the Queen’s Honours List for 2017, earning her an OBE, or an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. “She is being recognized for her work in fashion and for her humanitarian work,” says ELLE, as “Beckham not only runs her eponymous fashion line, but also serves as a UNAIDS goodwill ambassador.”

But Beckham isn’t the only member of her family to receive the prestigious honor: ELLE says husband David Beckham received an OBE 13 years ago.

Congratulations to Victoria and the Beckham family.

 

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NWHL protects transgender players

A brand new policy adopted by the National Women’s Hockey League allows players to express their gender identities freely — and with protection.

According to The Cut, the NWHL became the first professional sports league with an openly transgender player back in October; after playing one season as Hailey Browne for the Buffalo Beats, the player came out as a transgender man named Harrison Browne. Following Browne’s announcement, The Cut reports that NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan personally tracked the revisions made on the NWHL’s website to Browne’s player profile and pronouns.

Now, the NWHL is ensuring that all players have a level playing field — or rink — no matter their gender identities. The Cut says the NWHL enacted a policy that emphasizes the league’s support for their players:

“The NWHL ‘recognizes all forms of gender expression,’ and ‘therefore supports athletes choosing to express their gender beyond the binary of female and male.’ There are now guidelines in the NWHL that indicate which players are eligible to participate, the first being ‘people designated female at birth, regardless of their gender identity.’ In addition, a person transitioning from male to female is eligible to play in the league if she has declared that her gender identity is female, a declaration that ‘cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.’

Furthermore, the league presented stipulations blocking testosterone hormone therapy, says The Cut, specifically in transgender men while “transgender women athletes will be required to demonstrate testosterone levels equal to those of cis-female athletes.”

With these policies in place to create a playing environment open to all, The Cut reports Rylan told the New York Times that is is much more than just an important step forward in the world of sports.

“It’s a unique opportunity to continue to move the conversation forward and accelerate that social progress and to be that benchmark, and to remain approachable and available for these discussions.”

 

Teigen gifts ‘Lip Sync Battle’ dress to Twitter fan

The holiday season is a time for giving, and one lucky fan just received one stylish gift from none other than Chrissy Teigen just in time to ring in the new year.

According to InStyleTwitter user Rebecca Howe fell in love with a wine-colored velvet dress Teigen wore to host a recent holiday episode of Spike’s “Lip Sync Battle.” In fact, she loved it so much that she sent a Tweet to Teigen, saying “@chrissyteigen but seriously when you’re done with that red dress from this week’s @SpikeLSB can I have it please,” InStyle reports.

Within two minutes, InStyle says Teigen responded to the Howe’s request: “I am done. DM me your address!”

That’s one gift that Howe will remember well beyond the 2016 holiday season.

 

Biles named AP Female Athlete of the Year

With a stellar performance at the summer Olympic games that resulted in 5 medals, it’s safe to say that Simone Biles is considered one of the top names in sports in 2016. But this week, the Associated Press confirmed her elite status, naming her their Female Athlete of the Year.

According to the AP, Biles received the honor after a vote conducted by news editors and directors around the United States; after all the votes were in, Biles came away with the victory after receiving 31 out of a possible 59 votes.

The AP reports that “U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky, who won four golds and a silver in Rio, finished second with 20 votes. Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon for the seventh time to tie Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles, and three-time AP women’s NCAA basketball Player of the Year Breanna Stewart tied for third with four votes each.”

The fifth gymnast to receive the title, the AP says previous honorees include “Olga Korbut in 1972, Nadia Comaneci in 1976, Mary Lou Retton in 1984 and Gabby Douglas in 2012.”

Congratulations to the world-class athlete!

 

Streep to receive honors for LGBTQ advocacy

Meryl Streep is no stranger to winning awards — with Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes wins under her belt, she is surely running out of room to display all of her honors. But in February, the star is set to receive another honor that she’ll just have to make space for.

According to the Huffington Post, Streep is set to receive the Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality Award for her support of the LGBTQ community. The Human Rights Campaign will present Streep with the award on Feb. 11 at their 2017  HRC Greater New York Gala at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, says the Huffington Post.

Increasing awareness of LGBTQ people through movie roles, HuffPost outlines her history of maximizing visibility for the community in this way:

“In 1979, she played a lesbian in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” and was bisexual and shared a smooch with Allison Janney in “The Hours.” Then, of course, there was her much buzzed-about onstage lip-lock with Sandra Bullock at the 2010 Critics’ Choice Awards. And who could forget about her fantastical love scene in “Angels in America,” in which an angel (played by Emma Thompson) brought her to orgasm while hovering over Manhattan?”

Beyond her professional advocacy moments, HuffPost says that Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin believes that Streep deserves the award for generally being an advocate of LGBTQ people.

“Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, Meryl Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community.”

Women take top posts within UN

It looks like women will literally be running the world in 2017.

According to The Guardian, incoming United Nations secretary general António Guterres named three women to top spots: Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s environment minister, will serve as his deputy, while “Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, a senior Brazilian foreign ministry official, will serve as Guterres’s chief of staff, and Kyung-wha Kang of South Korea has been appointed to the new position of special adviser on policy.”

Prior to her new position, Mohammed achieved great success in negotiating “sustainable development goals,” says The Guardian. Viotti, however, previously worked as an ambassador to Germany as well as a UN envoy, reports The Guardian, while Kang is currently heading up Guterres’ transition team.

While their qualifications are blatantly clear, their receipt of new positions also comes as an attempt to create a more gender-equal leadership team within the UN.

The Guardian reports that “Guterres has made achieving gender parity at the world body a priority of his tenure, which begins on 1 January. Women currently fill less than one in four leadership positions at the UN.”

‘Tis the season

Christmas Day is often one filled with joy, peace and love. The pressures of work are placed on a shelf in the back of our minds, and day-to-day stresses are cast to the side in order to enjoy a day with family and friends.

While this holiday — and the holiday season in general — often invokes such feelings, there is something fleeting about them. Like most feelings, they are only temporary, lasting for the duration of the day and maybe carrying over into the following. But once work or school begins again and the hustle and bustle of everyday life returns, this contentment often fades.

But what if this feeling, this state of mind, didn’t fade away? What if we could hold onto it well into the new year, living every day like it was Christmas.

Maybe we can. Maybe this holiday season, we will be able to carry that joy with us beyond Christmas Day or beyond New Year’s Day. Maybe we won’t have to confine these feelings to just the “holiday season.” Maybe every day can be the “season” for joy and hope and love.

So as we celebrate Christmas with our families and friends, let’s remember that this holiday season isn’t the only time for us to be hopeful and joyful. Let’s remember that we can carry these feelings with us every single day — and make every single day feel just as joyful, peaceful and magical as Christmas.

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas.

XO,

Nicole

Style 101: Holiday style

So you’re heading out to a holiday party tonight with friends and family, and you’ve been rummaging through your closet all day trying to figure out what to wear. Look no further, because THL has you covered with holiday style suggestions that will make you shine brighter than an holiday lights display.

Velvet: If you’re looking for a luxurious, soft fabric to keep you feeling cozy and confident, velvet is the way to go. Velvet’s rich texture can immediately elevate even the most basic of outfits, adding just the right amount of flair to your holiday style. Try out this revived trend by opting for velvet heels, blazers or even dresses; better yet, give velvet a go in a deep burgundy, and your look will surely be in the spirit of the season.

Metallics: Gold and silver aren’t just big for the holiday season this year, metallics are a major trend in everything from clothing to accessories to makeup. All eyes will be on you as you make your entrance in a sparkly top, dress, skirt or jacket. If these pieces prove too bold for your style, start out including the trend in subtle ways, wearing metallic makeup (like eyeshadow), nail polish or jewelry to sneak in a little shine to your holiday style.

Be casual: While some holiday parties may require more dressy attire, nothing will ever top being comfortable and casual for the holidays (when appropriate, of course). Show off your affinity for the season by opting for an ugly Christmas sweater — or, keep it cozy chic  by wearing your favorite sweater and jeans. These looks can be enhanced with accessories — such as oversized scarves, jewelry and cool jackets — that will make your casual outfit look a little more put together.

No matter what you decide to wear this holiday season, just be sure to wear it with confidence.

Happy holidays!

Nigerian bobsled team aiming for 2018 Olympic appearance

There’s a first for everything, and this bobsled team hopes to be the first to represent their home country in the Winter Olympics.

According to MAKERS, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga of Nigeria are training to become the qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea; but if the trio qualifies, not only will it be their first appearance at the Games, they would be “the first Nigerian team ever to compete in bobsledding for the Winter Olympics.”

Despite their current training efforts, the team will need a bit of help in making history. MAKERS reports that the team started a GoFundME page to raise money to pay for their equipment, which includes a real bobsled to “replace the wood pushcart Adigun built to help her teammates understand the mechanics of the sport.”

Hoping to raise $150,000, MAKERS says the team has already raised $10,000 that will surely help launch them down the path of Olympic history.

To learn more about the team or help them reach their goal, click here.

Obama tackles discrimination

When a group of female students visited the White House for a screening of the new movie Hidden FiguresMichelle Obama took a moment to acknowledge how “ridiculous” gender and racial discrimination are.

At the event, which centered around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, The Cut reports that the outgoing first lady “spoke of the adversity she faced while on the campaign trail. ‘We were supposed to be hidden. People didn’t even want to believe we were real. But here we are,’ she said.”

Speaking from her own experience while also referencing Hidden Figures — which “tells the true story of three black women whose brilliant work as NASA mathematicians went largely unrecognized, according to The Cut — Obama continued to impart her words of wisdom to the students in attendance.

“Skin color, gender, is the most ridiculous defining trait that we cling to. It doesn’t matter,” she said, according to The Cut. “What matters is you believe in your own potential. Because people will try to tear you down, I guarantee you that. There will never be a point when people will 100 percent be cheering you on.”

Thank you, Mrs. Obama, for cheering on these students — and students all around the country.