Marvel’s Chavez invokes Beyonce

The latest cover of Marvel’s America #2 will have you wanting to get in formation.

According to Mic, title character America Chavez is a “queer Latina superhero” that is depicted as a “‘Formation’-inspired brown woman dressed in patriotic red, white and blue but with a grimace on her face.”

The comic, written by Gabby Rivera and drawn by Joe Quinones, gives the superhero “superhuman strength, speed, the ability to tear holes in space-time, and a take-no-shit attitude,” reports The Verge.

Marvel Editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told Mic in an email that America only adds to the “rich and diverse characters within the Marvel Universe.”

Be sure to look for the bossed up superhero when the comic hits stores on March 1.

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London to revamp Meijer apparel

From What Not to Wear to Love, Lust or Run, Stacy London has been by our side, helping both show participants and at-home viewers alike figure out how to dress their best and create a style all their own. Now, the style expert is bringing her fashion finesse to a new role with Meijer.

On Jan. 25, Michican-based retailer Meijer announced that London will be partnering with the company to revamp their women’s clothing line, Massini. A news release from Meijer says that London “will serve as a style consultant to help the Meijer Style team continue its focus to evolve the Massini line with affordable trends for everyday wear.”

First created as a sportswear line for men and boys in 1986, Massini grew to include “lipstick, nail polish, and fashion accessories like hats, scarves, jewelry and watches” by the mid-2000s, says the release, with London serving to usher in Massini’s next evolution, which will include women’s apparel.

Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing for Meijer Peter Whitsett shared in the release that the retailer is excited to work with London because of her dedication to help women feel beautiful and confident in their own skin.

“We feel Stacy’s philosophy compliments the fundamental inspiration behind Massini,” Whitsett said.

But for London, it’s all about making sure the clothes pose no limitations for women looking to enhance their style.

“I am excited to work with the Massini line because the designs inspire women to create a look all of their own,” London said in the release. “There’s a common misbelief that trends only look good on a specific body type or are limited to youth. This is not true. There are no limits. You can wear a trend regardless of your age or body type. I love helping women connect the dots.”

We can’t wait to see what London does in her new role.

 

Miss Canada takes down naysayers

The Miss Universe pageant has yet to begin, but Miss Canada has already won the crown in our hearts.

According to InStyleSiera Bearchell faced negative comments surrounding her appearance in the lead up to Sunday’s pageant, shaming her weight and size. But instead of letting the comments defeat her before the competition even started, InStyle says Bearchell siezed the moment to quash the negativity.

“While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year,” she said in an Instagram post, “I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before.”

When one naysayer argued that her weight is the product of a lack of discipline, Bearchell explained that she knows exactly what true discipline is — after all, she is a young law student, InStyle reports.

“It also takes discipline to be accepted into Law School. It takes discipline to run a marathon. It takes discipline to be true to ourselves in a world that is constantly trying to shape us into something we are not,” she said. “People have asked me if I changed my body to prove a point. No. Our lives are fluid, dynamic and ever-changing. So are our bodies.”

Detailing the lengths she went to in order to prepare for each pageant — restricting her diet, eating little and constantly working out — InStyle reports that Bearchell shared she is happy in the skin she’s in because she is confident, knowing that “that true beauty and validation start from within.”

Perhaps Bearchell’s newfound mission to spread body confidence and validation is best summed up in her own words:

“This is the side I am trying to bring to the @missuniverse competition. The side of life that is so rare to find: self-worth and self-love. We always focus on the things we wish we could change rather than loving everything we are.”

We know who we’ll be rooting for. Be sure to catch Siera this Sunday, Jan. 29 when she takes the stage of the Miss Universe pageant at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

 

Take a time out with THL

We are 27 days into 2017, and the new year has already ushered in a host of new challenges. But don’t let the stress get you down — take a time out with THL to recharge and gear up to tackle head on whatever concerns are plaguing you.

Take some R&R time

If you’re too busy to head to a nail salon, try pampering yourself with an at-home manicure and pedicure. Better yet, use a nail polish with an empowering name so every time you look down out at your nails, you’re reminded to keep calm and carry on.

THL recommends: Essie’s “Power Clutch,” available at Ulta for $9.

Take some creative time

If makeup and spa days aren’t your thing, relax your mind with a little art therapy. A new trend, adult coloring books offer a brief respite from the daily grind and allow grown ups to be a kid once more. But make no mistake: adult coloring books aren’t all roses, sunshine and puppies designed to numb your mind. Some incorporate your favorite television shows, while others may even teach you something new while you’re coloring away.

THL recommends: “The Badass Feminist Coloring Book,” available at Barnes & Noble for $25, is complete with images of “40 badass feminists and bonus essays on feminism” that are sure to simultaneously relax you and inspire you.

Take some alone time

Everyone loves to read something that is both enlightening and engaging, so there’s no better way to steal a little time for yourself than by curling up with a good book. Whether you decide to read something brand new or choose to revisit an old favorite, reading allows you to escape from the present or become engrossed in a new tale — or may even make you aware of a previously unconsidered point of view.

THL recommendsWe Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, available at Amazon for $6.39 (or $2.99 for the Kindle Edition). This short essay, which was adapted from Adichie’s famous TEDx talk, lays out the basic premise of feminism and explains the logic behind an inclusive feminism.

These recommendations will surely provide an escape from the stresses of the new year. But don’t rest for too long — those challenges won’t resolve themselves.

Cruz inspires at Women’s March

Sometimes, the youngest minds produce the most profound points — and such was the case with 6-year-old Sophie Cruz when she spoke at the Washington, D.C. Women’s March on Jan. 21.

According to the Huffington Post, the pint-sized immigration activist took to the stage of the march with her parents and younger sister to encourage others to come from a place of love in their demonstrations

“Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed,” Cruz said, HuffPost reports. “I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love. Let’s keep together and fight for the rights. God is with us.”

As if that weren’t enough, Cruz concluded her speech with “a rousing chant of ‘Si se puede! Si se puede!'” reports HuffPost.

Even the youngest voices can speak the loudest.

Winter learns body acceptance from ‘Modern Family’ co-star

It takes a wise, knowledgable teacher to impart a valuable lesson to their student. And that’s exactly what Sofia Vergara became to Ariel Winter when Winter struggled to accept her body.

According to Motto by TIME, the 18-year-old Modern Family actress told Self.com that Vergara was a role model of sorts to her after struggling with her developing body.

“She could see that I was struggling a little bit with how to deal with my body, and was always trying to give me advice, like, ‘Here are some brands that would look good on our body type,’ or ‘Wear whatever you want, and feel good about yourself,'” Winter said of Vergara.

Adding to her difficulties adjusting were social media naysayers, says Motto, which Winter said was not only “the worst” for her self-esteem, but also a constant struggle to not succumb to the online negativity.

“It was hard for me in the beginning to deal with people’s comments and deal with everybody having an opinion on absolutely everything I did,” she said, according to Motto. “It was hard for me to not fall prey to wanting to change the way I felt and the way I did things and the way I looked because of what other people said.”

However, with the help of her older sister, Shanelle Workman, and Vergara, Motto says she was able to combat the criticism, learning that it’s only her happiness that matters most:

“But as I got older, I started to realize that as long as I’m positive in my life and as long as I feel good about my decisions and stick to how I feel and the things I want to do, that’s what’s most important,” Winter shared. “And that’s what’s going to get me through in life.”

 

 

Lively promotes ‘girl power’ in PCAs speech

When Blake Lively won a People’s Choice Award at the Jan. 18 event, she used the moment to give a speech that encouraged young girls to shed any limitations placed on them.

According to Entertainment Weekly, after winning a PCA for Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress, Lively shared words of wisdom passed down to her from her mother:

“My mom, she always taught me as a kid that you can’t ever let anyone limit you. Don’t ever let anyone tell you there’s something you can’t do,” she said.

Sharing that as a child, she wanted to meet the Spice Girls, EW says the actress told the audience what she learned from idolizing the girl group. “What was so neat about them was that they’re all do distinctly different, and they were women, and they owned who they were, and that was my first introduction into girl power,” Lively said.

With her award, Lively contended that a vote for the Favorite Actress category was a vote for girl power. “Watching this movie, and the women nominated in this category — when you guys voted for this, you didn’t just vote for this movie or me, but you voted for girl power,” Lively said, according to EW. “And men voted for girl power, too, and you guys are awesome for doing that.”

Adding that her win and her peers’ nominations proves that people “want to hear stories about women,” Lively concluded her speech by calling on fans to share their stories, because “You need to be heard, you are valuable, and no one can limit you!”

BuzzFeed profiles plus-size athletes

Strength is not determined by your physique; it’s instead determined by your skills and your perseverance — that’s what a new feature from BuzzFeed is proving.

In their piece called, “Here’s What It’s Like to Be a Plus-Size Athlete,” BuzzFeed staffers interview seven plus-size athletes about their respective sports and what they gain from participating in sports. From a pole dancer and marathoner to cyclists and lifters, the seven women profiled all had one thing in common: they refuse to be bound by stereotypes that perpetuate one image of athleticism.

Kristina Rodriguez, a “cyclist-yogi-baby powerlifter,” told BuzzFeed that her favorite part about her sport of choice is getting to prove people wrong.

“Women have to face so much bullshit about body image,” she said. “Men do too, don’t get me wrong, but you get extra as a woman in sports. People have doubted my athleticism, but I live for the look on their faces when they see how fast or good I am at whatever sport.”

Although some have had to prove naysayers wrong, long-distance runner Olivia Frempong shared with BuzzFeed that she thinks that more diverse definitions of what it means to be athletic are being increasingly accepted.

“I think the fitness community is finally realizing that you don’t have to be a certain shape or size to accomplish things,” she said. “When I first started to run, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to do it, or that I would get injured — but now, those same people are asking me for tips on how to get started.”

Show ’em who’s boss, ladies.

To read the full feature, click here.

 

What feminism means to me

As I follow the Women’s Marches around the United States and around the world today, I cannot help but reflect upon hundreds of thousands of people — likely millions — gathered in support of a just, equal society for all. I am proud of the women and men that are demonstrating peacefully, standing in solidarity for their fellow human beings.

But I also wish that I could have physically participated in a march. And that, dear friends, has spurred me to write, something that for me has always felt powerful and assertive and, in many ways, makes me feel connected to those participating in demonstrations today. My words are printed; they are permanent. And the permanence of my words feels like the promise of permanent change — the very goal of these marches.

But what also gives me power is feminism. I am a feminist. I believe in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s definition of feminism posits. I believe in a feminism that is inclusive of all women: straight, non-binary and LGBTQ+ women, women of all races, income levels, locations and circumstances.

I believe these things because I have felt the power in women supporting women, and I have seen how such support can embolden women to speak their minds, to own their bodies and assert their presence. I have come to believe these things because I have come to see their fruitful results.

So for me, feminism is not merely an assumed ideology or a lofty set of beliefs. To me, feminism is sticking up for your fellow woman, fighting not only for yourself but on behalf of your sister. It is empowering her, supporting her and pushing her to achieve her full potential.

It means securing the equality and liberties due to women of all circumstances without taking away from our male counterparts; it means serving as equals, knowing that there is enough of the proverbial “pie” to go around.

It means encouraging our mothers, sisters, friends, daughters and fellow women to respect their bodies, brains and hearts — and commanding others to respect them just the same.

It means teaching girls that they can do anything boys can, and teaching boys that being sensitive or contemplative is just as good as (or perhaps better than) being tough.

To me, feminism isn’t just about women. It’s about all of us. Because when one group succeeds, we all succeed.

XO,

Nicole

DeGeneres makes history at PCAs

In addition to making television viewers smile every day, Ellen DeGeneres is also making history.

According to TODAY, the voice of Dory from Finding Dory and everyone’s favorite daytime talk show host won three awards at the Jan. 18 People’s Choice Awards, giving her a record-breaking total of 20 People’s Choice Award wins.

While accepting her history-making award, TODAY says DeGeneres was flanked by “two rows of 10 well-dressed men onstage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, each holding one of her Waterford crystal People’s Choice Awards.”

“This is amazing,” she said in her acceptance speech, TODAY reports. “Seventeen, I get it. Eighteen, sure. Nineteen, I can see that. But 20 is outrageous.”

Giving DeGeneres her 20 awards were three awards at this week’s PCAs, which TODAY says were for “Favorite Daytime TV Host, Favorite Animated Movie Voice (for ‘Finding Dory’) and Favorite Comedic Collaboration (with Britney Spears).”