Grande announces return to Manchester

Following the recent terror attacks in Manchester, U.K. at an Ariana Grande concert, the singer has released an open letter to her fans, not only preaching a message of courage and love, but also announcing a return to the city.

According to NPR, Grande took to Twitter on May 26 to share that she will return to Manchester “to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families,” though a date is not finalized.

Grande continued her message by sharing how the response to the tragedy has both inspired her and made her want to continue to provide a unifying experience for her fans.

“The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you’ve shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday,” she wrote. “Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.”

As for the lives lost in the attack, Grande said, “They will be on my mind and in my heart everyday, and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”

 

 

Clinton’s new book showcases strength of women

Women persist through a great deal in their personal and professional lives, and Chelsea Clinton’s new book is showcasing it all for the youth of America.

According to Glamour, Clinton is releasing a new children’s book entitled She Persisted: Thirteen American Women Who Changed the World, which is inspired by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s February ordeal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Clinton’s “own efforts to inspire her children with the stories of inspiring real women.”

Written by Clinton and with illustrations done by Alexandra Boiger, Glamour reports the book “features 13 women who overcame adversity to achieve greatness and shape our world, from abolitionist Harriet Tubman to ballerina Maria Tallchief to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. And her mother, Hillary Clinton, makes a special cameo appearance.”

Making the book extra special is the way in which it relates the experiences of these prominent female figures to the young children reading the book, says Glamour.

You can buy the inspirational book starting May 30.

 

Lawrence stars in new Dior video

Jennifer Lawrence is set to take centerstage in a brand new video for Dior.

According to WWD, the project, which is a follow-up to her pre-fall ad campaign where she donned a “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt, is shot by French photographer Brigette Lacombe and is directed by Fabien Baron.

Called “La Fille Américaine,” WWD reports that the black-and-white video “features Lawrence (‘La Fille’) with her Dior bag (‘Le Sac’), a flower (‘La Fleur’), playing with a canary in a birdcage, sitting in a chair texting ‘Le Texto,’ staring into the camera, applying lipstick, looking sad and looking happy.”

The plot doesn’t pick up much from there, says WWD, but a behind-the-scenes video shows Lawrence discussing how it feels to work with female professionals.

“It’s exciting to work with a woman photographer because, frankly, there aren’t very many,” she said. “Whenever I think of a feminist, I think of a confident woman.”

Chopra shifts focus in ‘Wendy’ interview

Who someone’s dating should never outshine the things they’ve achieved — that’s what Priyanka Chopra implied in an interview on The Wendy Williams Show this week.

According to Marie Clairethe Quantico and Baywatch star used her time on Williams’ purple couch to remind the morning talk show host that dating someone doesn’t overshadow their accomplishments, even when that person is dating a royal. When Williams asked Chopra about friend Meghan Markle (who is dating Prince Harry), Williams referred to Markle as “Prince Harry’s girlfriend,” says Marie Claire. 

Chopra responded to the reference by reciting her friend’s resume: “Also Meghan Markle, actress, Suits, her achievements,” she said.

Here’s to maintaining an identity beyond a relationship!

Minaj reveals donations to Indian village

Nicki Minaj isn’t just the queen of rap; she’s apparently the queen of charitable donations.

According to The Cut, the rapper recently took to Instagram to reveal photos and videos of a village in India she has “been donating money to for the past few years through her pastor Lydia Sloley.”

Minaj shared in her posts that her generosity has helped to provide the village with “a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS,” says The Cut, writing that she’s telling of her charitable missions in case her fans would like to join in her efforts.

These Instagram posts follow her recent Twitter donation spree, in which she helped students with their tuition and student loans and is leading to the creation of a charity specifically for students.

We can’t wait to see what Minaj does next!

Raisman raises standards on body shaming

Girls are strong, and if you can’t see it, get over it — that’s the message behind Olympian Aly Raisman’s latest string of tweets directed at some very rude body shamers.

According to For The WinRaisman shared a recent encounter with some less-than-friendly TSA agents who identified her by her muscles and continued to comment on her appearance. Raisman tweeted that while one said she “recognized [her] by [her] biceps,” the other male TSA agent said he didn’t see her muscles and then proceeded to stare at the gymnast.

Calling the situation “rude and uncomfortable,” Raisman went on to school everyone on what body shaming means.

“I work very hard to be healthy & fit. The fact that a man thinks he judge my arms pisses me off I am so sick of this judgmental generation,” she tweeted. “If u are a man who can’t compliment a girls [muscles] you are sexist. Get over yourself. Are u kidding me? It’s 2017. When will this change?”

Hopefully tweets like Raisman’s can at least begin to change this culture.

 

Swimsuit photo preaches body positivity

If you don’t look like supermodels on the runway or in advertisements, it’s easy to be critical of your body. In fact, when we grow accustomed to seeing idealized depictions of the female body, we may come to believe that there is something wrong with us for not looking the same way — and that sentiment can seep into the minds of women and girls of all ages.

Just ask Rachel Spencer, who HuffPost reports took to Instagram this week to share a side-by-side photo of her 13-year-old self and her 26-year-old self to demonstrate the importance of body confidence. According to HuffPost, the confidence and success coach shared an image that shows her younger self covering her stomach in a swimsuit and her current self showing off her body with the caption “Self Love Queen.”

Her lengthy caption detailed why young Rachel was ashamed of her body because boys bullied her, which HuffPost says made her no longer want to go to the pool, let alone show off her body. Exacerbated by the media’s representation of women’s bodies, HuffPost says Spencer shared she felt at age 13 that she needed to change the way she looked.

“Why was a 13 year old worried about cellulite??? Because the media told her it was bad. That SHE was bad and needed to change,” she wrote.

But, Spencer finally managed to overcome these feelings with a little self love.

“There’s a big difference between the closed off, hiding, young girl on the left and the carefree, happy, open girl on the right. ❤️And that difference is self love.❤️” she wrote, according to HuffPost. “I taught it to myself. I had to. I had to find a way to be happy. The process wasn’t quick. I’m still working on it at 26 years old.”

Spencer concluded her post with a message to anyone who is still uncomfortable with their bodies, says HuffPost, saying that every body is a beautiful body.

“Put on that bikini and smile. Don’t feel the need to let other people’s opinions ruin precious memories with your friends and family,” she wrote. “Show your daughters what it’s like to flaunt their flaws at the pool. No shame. Your imperfections tell a story. Your body is beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL.”

 

Body-positive documentary to air June 21

TV is about to get a little more body positive, thanks to a brand-new documentary.

According to Glamour, a documentary called Straight/Curve will make its debut on EPIX on June 21. The film, which Glamour says “aims to redefine the beauty and size standards enforced by the fashion industry,” features prominent models like Iskra Lawrence, Denise Bidot and Charli Howard, all in an attempt to change the fashion industry.

Sharing their own struggles with body image issues, Glamour reports director Jenny McQuaile said the models help to shed light on a complex fashion environment, as the film examines “the misconceptions around health and size, body shame, the lack of diversity in fashion and media, and the limited scope of education in fashion schools, among other issues.”

Glamour also notes that the film features “Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn, and Chromat designer Becca McCharen, as well as Claire Mysko, CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association—all of whom are important in rounding out this conversation.”

Catch the film at 8 p.m. on EPIX on June 21.

 

Swimsuits for All offers new ‘Baywatch’ style

Sexy swimwear isn’t just for tiny Hollywood actresses — thanks to Swimsuits for All, they’re available for anyone of any size.

According to InStyle, photos released in March showed Ashley Graham, Teyana Taylor and Niki Taylor all donning a red Baywatch-style swimsuit, complete with a high-cut leg and scoop back, in a Swimsuits for All ad campaign. The images were of course body positive, says InStyle, as each model “rocks her suit with her own signature style and personality interjected.”

But InStyle reports that those photos were only preceding the public launch of the swimsuit, which is now available on Swimsuits for All’s website. The $84 swimsuit is sold in sizes ranging from four to 22, so anyone who opts for the suit can feel sexy all summer long.

Shop the style here.

Macron fills cabinet with female ministers

The faces of French leadership are increasingly female, thanks to new French President Emmanuel Macron.

According to the BBC, Macron has already created a “gender-balanced cabinet,” filling 11 of 22 positions with female ministers, fulfilling an early campaign promise.

Some of the women taking up cabinet positions include, Sylvie Goulard, who the BBC says will be the defense minister, while Laura Flessel — an Olympic fencer — is sports minister. BBC also reports that Macron named Marlène Schiappa, whose s”uccessful blog Maman Works saw her dubbed the ‘spokeswoman for working mums,'” a junior minister for gender equity.

While the move certainly places women in high-ranking positions, the BBC says that “one of the top five posts, that of defence, went to a woman.”