Obama offers insight on racism and sexism

While Michelle Obama may no longer be the First Lady of the United States, that doesn’t mean she can’t share her wisdom with us anymore.

According to Women in the World, Obama recently opened up about her encounters with racism and sexism before the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary celebration. Interviewed onstage by WFCO president and CEO Lauren Casteel, Women in the World says Casteel asked Obama “whether she had been hurt by any of the shards from the glass ceiling she smashed by becoming America’s first black first lady.”

Obama then shared that what hurt the most were those insults that were meant to have maximum impact, Women in the World reports, adding that it was only magnified by knowing that her hard work as First Lady was undercut by her skin color. However, Obama noted that the “cuts” she received by shattering that glass ceiling don’t hold her back — and women in general shouldn’t be deterred, either.

“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”

May we continue to get up — always.


‘SI’ makes swimwear for all

Sports Illustrated is making a splash, and this time, it’s not for their swimsuit edition.

According to Today, the magazine recently unveiled a brand-new swim and activewear collection at Miami Swim Week, and the line is already earning rave reviews for its body inclusivity and stylish designs. The collection, called Sports Illustrated Swim and Active, spans a variety of styles, Today says, including “sexy, high-waisted bikinis, metallic one-pieces and floral designs, which several curvy models rocked on the runway in Miami.”

With models of all shapes and sizes walking pieces of the line down the runway, Today reports that many in attendance weren’t expecting such a body-positive display.

“You could hear the roar of the applause as they walked down the runway,” MJ Day, the editor of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, told Today. “One girl came up to me after. She was a blogger, and she had just recently lost 100 pounds, and her eyes welled up. She just was like … ‘I couldn’t leave without thanking you and telling you how much this means to me.'”

What’s more is that these models have the chance to be featured in SI‘s swimsuit edition, says Today, as they were chosen from an open casting call in May and are currently competing for a chance to leave their mark on the magazine, which comes out in February.

Check out the new swimwear line and its body-positive models here.

Delevingne delivers tales of strong women with Puma

Cara Delevingne’s partnership with Puma is about much more than modeling stylish sportswear.

According to Fashionista, the model teamed up with the athleticwear brand to launch a series of mini documentaries called #DoYouStories. Taking place in Uganda, Canada and the United States, Fashionista reports that the series features “the stories of women refugees, spoken-word poets, martial arts teachers and more.”

The four-episode series begins with a trip to Uganda with the UN’s “Girl Up” foundation to meet with refugees in South Sudan, while Fashionista says the remaining episodes have Delevingne participating in literacy programs, meeting anti-bullying activists and “taking martial arts lessons from a hijab-wearing doctor through an organization called Martial Smarts.

Want to learn more about Delevingne’s project and the fearless women she’s met with? Click here.


Lipstick company donates to Planned Parenthood

Sometimes, beauty products are about more than just adding a pop of color to our faces and a glow to our skin.

Take The Lipstick Lobby, for example. According to InStyle, the beauty-for-good brand is using their lipstick products in order to benefit women in the United States and around the world by having 100 percent of the net profits of one of their lipstick donated to Planned Parenthood.

Called “Kiss My Pink,” InStyle says the sale of this vibrant shade of hot pink lipstick will directly benefit the nonprofit. While purchasing the lipstick comes with some philanthropic benefits, the cosmetic itself also has some skin benefits; InStyle reports that the lip smacker delivers a healthy dose of vitamins C and E, so it will keep your pout perfectly smooth and soft.

This dual-purpose lipstick is beneficial all around, and for just $19, you get an eye-catching new shade to try out, all while supporting women’s health care in the U.S. and beyond.

Shop the shade here.

Premme takes plus fashion by storm

Remember this name: Premme.

Launched on July 25, this Los Angeles-based clothing line offers the plus-size clothing of your dreams, and according to Refinery29, the size 12 to 30 line made its debut at a reasonable price range, costing between $30 and $89. But don’t let the accessible prices fool you; Premme does not compromise fashion for price.

Described by Refinery29 as a “statement collection,” brand founders Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg told the online publication that Premme was born out of their own frustrations with minimal size options and compromised style choices.

“We’ve always loved fashion — we’ve been fashion girls for a very long time, and we’re frustrated with the fact that designers aren’t making our size,” Gregg told Refinery29. “The brands that are making our size are [making products that are] diluted and watered down. We didn’t want that for our brand. We didn’t want to compromise style.”

With a mission to make style available to shoppers of all sizes, Mason and Gregg created a line that delivers bold style — think a shorts sweatsuit embellished with pearls — that is both accessible and affordable. What’s more is that Gregg told Refinery29 that Premme acts as a challenge to retailers to be as inclusive as they possibly can.

“We’re trying to change things up. Not only in terms of design but in our messaging and in every element of what we’re doing,” Gregg said. “We’re just trying to be the stand-out brand that’s really listening to the community.”

As if Premme didn’t already seem #flawless, Refinery29 reports that the line also uses plus-sized models who range in size from 16 to 26 — what a concept!

Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not, but you might want to hurry to check it out, since Cosmo is reporting that some items are already starting to sell out.

Skim their selection here.


New video delves into racial bias

A beauty brand owned by Proctor & Gamble wants to take a break from promoting products and making sales to focus on an issue of prime importance: racial bias.

According to HuffPost, beauty company My Black Is Beautiful released a new video called  “The Talk” on July 24 that “explores racial bias by depicting some of the burdens placed on parents of black children, who are challenged with having necessary but difficult discussions with their children about their survival and self-esteem.”

The two-minute video depicts black parents and their children in discussion about the ways their skin color influences their everyday interactions, says HuffPost, including preparing for the potential of an encounter with police. In the opening scene, however, HuffPost reports that the video tackles the issue of qualifying black beauty:

“…A young girl is seen telling her mom that she was told she was ‘pretty for a black girl,’ to which her mother later responds sternly: ‘You’re not pretty for a black girl. You’re beautiful period.'”

With a goal of raising awareness on racial bias, Director of Global Company Communications at Procter & Gamble Damon Jones told HuffPost that he hopes the video goes beyond mere education and instead incites action.

“We are also hopeful that we can make progress toward a less biased future by recognizing the power of people of all backgrounds and races showing up for one another.”

Let’s show up for one another, shall we? To watch the video in its entirety, click here.

Whittaker to earn same salary as ‘Doctor Who’ predecessor

With [white] women working full-time in the United States still only earning 80 percent of what their male counterparts make, achieving pay equity is still a work in progress. In fact, the American Association of University Women estimates that it will take until the year 2059 to achieve full pay parity. But to achieve this end, we must make small gains now to benefit all women in the future.

And for the newest Doctor on Doctor Who, a small step toward pay parity has been made. According to Glamour, BBC director Tony Hall confirmed that Jodie Whittaker — the first female Doctor on Doctor Who — will “receive the same pay for the show as her predecessor, Peter Capaldi.”

As for Whittaker and her newfound role, the actor is excited to be the first to break the mold on the popular show.

“It feels completely overwhelming,” she told BBC, “as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be.”

Pirelli debuts 2018 calendar models

Images from the latest Pirelli calendar are finally here, and they are absolutely magical — literally.

According to ELLE, the 2018 calendar features 17 black models and entertainers set in an Alice in Wonderland-themed photoshoot. Photographed by British fashion photographer Tim Walker and styled by British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, ELLE reports that the forthcoming calendar will feature the likes of Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as RuPaul, Adwoa Aboah, Sasha Lane and Sean “Diddy” Combs, among others.

What is especially noteworthy about this Pirelli calendar is that this group of models marks only the second all-black cast in 30 years, according to ELLE.

Check out some of the calendar’s most gorgeous photos here.

Marie Claire publishes first sustainability issue

With 33 percent of consumers seeking out environmentally and socially friendly brands, sustainability is becoming an increasingly high priority for consumers around the world.  But sometimes, shoppers need a little help finding inspiration for their sustainable style pursuits.

Cue Marie Claire, who according to Fashionista just released their first-ever “sustainability-focused” issue, which not only “features stories on eco-friendly fashion faves like Reformation,” but also “profiles eco-fashion activists like Emma Watson and Livia Firth.”

In an interview with FashionistaMarie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider shared that the idea for the issue was initiated by her editors at a staff dinner over a year earlier, and finally came to fruition with the help of an advisory board filled with fashion and sustainability experts alike, which included the likes of worldwide sustainability director for Amazon Kara Hurst and representatives from the CFDA.

When asked by Fashionista about the “relentless positivity” of fashion magazines in a time when politics have made a lack of concern about the environment apparent, Fulenwider said she hopes Marie Claire‘s attention to sustainability will have something of a ripple effect.

“I think one of the best things we can do is apply peer pressure,” she told Fashionista. “It’s like the high school rule. If enough cool people are taking this on, those who may not be moved by their own moral compass may change, too.”

Here’s hoping fashion media can incite change! To read about sustainability in Marie Claire, click here.

Dobrev dishes on body image, new Reebok collaboration

Sometimes, the only way to teach people how to love themselves is by practicing what you preach.

Take Nina Dobrev, for example. According to HuffPost, the Vampire Diaries actress told the online publication that she’s “teaming up with Reebok and Les Mills for an ‘organic’ partnership focused on connectivity and positivity” in order to promote a lifestyle of well-being.

Telling HuffPost that workouts are a way to clear her head while benefiting her body, she tries to maintain a routine even with a hectic schedule.

“Like anyone, it comes in ebbs and flows and you have good days and bad days,” she told HuffPost. “I’m a person just like anybody else. I’m a girl and I have insecurities of my own. So I think being a positive example by practicing what I preach hopefully sends out a good message. It’s about showing people it’s not always easy.”

And even though she likes a good workout, she shared with HuffPost that she still has her cheat days.

“Nobody’s perfect,” she said. “I have cheat days, I eat burgers! I like brownies! It’s just once I get to the gym I have to work twice as hard is all.”

As far as that collaboration with Reebok and Les Mills, WWD reports that Dobrev will act as an ambassador for the Reebok x Les Mills partnership, which as Dobrev framed it, aims to “inspire, engage and empower people to be fit for life.”