Patrick posts body-positive Instagram message

Instagram is filled with before-and-after style photos, but a recent trend on the app has been to share how different lighting and poses can affect the way one’s body is perceived. While the trend has largely been fueled by photos of models or fitness bloggers, race car driver Danica Patrick couldn’t help but join in.

According to Today, Patrick took to Instagram to post her own side-by-side photo in which the only thing different was the way she was posing. While the photo illustrates that something as subtle as a pose can make a difference in the way our bodies look, Patrick’s caption shed more light on the issue.

“We all want to look our best at all times, no shame in that,” she wrote, according to Today. “But don’t let someone else’s body put yours down. Use it for motivation.”

Concluding her post with one last inspirational message, Today says the famed driver told her followers to always respect their bodies.

“We all know when we are treating our bodies with the respect it deserves. It’s the one and only thing we own for life.”

Aden poses for Allure

Halima Aden is only 19 years old, but that doesn’t mean she can’t slay like the big-time models. Judging by her new cover for Allure magazine, Aden did just fine — and even made history in the process.

According to HuffPost, after “becoming the first Miss Minnesota contestant to compete in a hijab and burkini in November 2016,” Aden earned another first, this time becoming the first cover star for Allure to wear a hijab.

But this isn’t the only history the young model has made thus far: HuffPost reports that Aden “became Vogue’s first hijab-wearing model in June and walked the Yeezy show in February,” only just beginning to cement her place in the fore of the American beauty and fashion industries.

Posing in a Nike hijab and a red, white and blue hoodie, Aden’s gorgeous cover photo for Allure is accompanied by the headline “This Is American Beauty.” HuffPost explains that while the magazine intend to make a political statement with Aden’s photos, the spread comes at a time when the public forum is filled with talk of travel bans and hate crimes directed toward Muslims.

For Aden herself, HuffPost says the model shared with Allure that wearing the hijab shields her from negative comments about her looks.

“‘I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny,’ ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hips,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap.'”

To learn more about Aden and see her Allure photo spread, click here.

 

Veras verifies body positivity in swimsuit photos

Everybody has a bikini body, no matter what the haters say, and Diana Veras proved this to be true in a string of recent swimsuit photos posted on social media.

According to Cosmopolitanwhen the model’s Instagram photo of herself looking fierce in a pink off-the-shoulder bikini drew negative comments from online trolls, Veras decided not to hide but to instead fight fire with fire — by posting even more bikini photos on Twitter.

Directing the photos’ caption to those shaming her, Cosmo said Veras wrote, “Here’s more of my lil chubby ass in a bathing suit since it offends men so much.”

With over 75,000 likes and 16,000 retweets, Veras followed up her popular clap-back photos with a written statement, sharing that she hopes people understand there are variations of beauty that deserve equal admiration.

“…Don’t forget that I can’t speak for all plus sized women,” she wrote. “We all come in all different shapes, sizes, proportions, colors, and ALLLLLL of our beauty should be celebrated. Even though I’ve had my own struggles with my body, I don’t want 2 silence the voices of other beautiful women who also deserve recognition for their efforts.”

Perhaps Veras said it best when she concluded her message by saying, “There is so much room for all of us to shine.”

Dunham demonstrates body-positive point on Instagram

Lena Dunham recently bared it all on Instagram to make a statement on body image and self-love — literally.

According to InStyle, the Girls creator and star posted a nude photo of herself (save for a few strategically-placed emojis) along with a caption that not only discussed the impetus behind her decision to post the photo, but also the reason why she is choosing to love her body. Referencing the Instagram account @eatingboys, which InStyle reports frequently addresses body image, Dunham wrote:

“Just wanted to share that one of the reasons @eatingboys has inspired me so much is because of the way she mixes her humor and sexuality. I spent so many years loving my body but thinking it wasn’t lovable by others- its sole purpose was to be fodder for jokes.”

Dunham continued her caption says InStyle, sharing that she often made herself the punchline to jokes so no one else could, but now, she recognizes that her body is worth much more than a joke.

“…At age 31, having been through hell and back with my health and other people’s perceptions of my physicality, I feel deeply comfortable with the idea that this pear-shaped pot of honey is equally good for making people laugh and laying out like a Suicide Girl circa 2004. Love it all.”

Thanks, Lena Dunham, for reminding us to “love it all.”

Oregon governor signs equal pay law

Oregon just took a major step to make equal pay a reality.

According to a news release published on the Oregon Business Report, Governor Kate Brown signed into law the Equal Pay Act of 2017, a law that aims to “address pay disparities among women, minorities and other protected classes.”

The release says that the new law blocks employers from “compensating certain protected classes” — which are defined by characteristics such as race, sex, marital status and disability, among other things — less than their co-workers for work “requiring substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.”

Furthermore, the law explains the circumstances in which pay is considered “lawful,” which includes instances in which pay differences are doles out based on merit, seniority, quality or quantity of work or experience level. The act even affects employers in the hiring process, outlawing the act of learning a candidate’s previous pay and setting their current pay at a rate equivalent to that of their previous or current position.

Let’s hope other states soon follow suit!

Rihanna takes on new role in Malawi

Rihanna is changing the world, not just in her music but in everything she does.

According to TIME, the singer visited Malawi in January to “learn about the educational challenges facing students there,” even “teaching math, reading with kids, and leading chants on the playground.”

Through Global Citizen, its Global Partnership for Education and her Clara Lionel Foundation, TIME says Rihanna is on board to help improve “access to education for some of the world’s poorest students.” Her trip came as an attempt to sway world leaders to pledge $3.1 billion to the Global Partnership for Education, reports TIME, which helps to improve the quality of schools in 89 countries.

In a video released highlighting her trip, TIME says Rihanna discussed the impact of minimal resources on students.

“It’s such a pity that they have to drop out, because they are so smart,” she said. “Everybody’s learning together, and learning at the same pace it seems. It’s sad that has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete.”

Here’s hoping the efforts of Rihanna and others will help give students the supplies and opportunities they need to thrive.

 

Raisman raises body-positive point on Instagram

Women can wear whatever they want and still be respected — just ask Aly Raisman.

According to HuffPost, the gold-medal-winning Olympic gymnast took to Instagram to make a statement about body confidence. Posting a photo of herself in a swimsuit with a plunging neckline, HuffPost says Raisman captioned the photo this way:

“Wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn’t dress. We are all entitled to wear what we want. Females do not have to dress modest to be respected. Be proud of your body.”

Raisman continued her inspiring message by offering that despite our insecurities or the number we see on the scale, we are “unique and beautiful in your own way.”

That’s a message we’ll be sure to keep in mind all summer long!

Rihanna responds to online trolls

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple meme to point out the gender disparities in media coverage — just ask Rihanna.

According to Vogue, the “Love on the Brain” singer took to Instagram this week to respond to online body shamers who were criticizing her weight. After one male blogger wrote that her “purportedly fuller figure made her look like she was wearing a ‘sumo suit,'” Vogue says that Rihanna clapped back in the most bad-gal way there is: by “posting  before/after shots of rapper Gucci Mane that are ten years and a good 20 pounds apart on Instagram” with a caption that read “If you can’t handle me at my 2007 Gucci Mane, you don’t deserve me at my 2017 Gucci Mane.”

In posting the meme, Vogue offers that Rihanna is shedding light on the fact that “men rarely need to defend their bodies” in the way that women constantly do.

Let’s hope that Rihanna starts a chain-reacton of letting people of all sizes own and love their bodies as they are — and without criticism.

Gap makes diversity a priority in new campaign

With a simple white T-shirt, Gap is making a big statement about the power of diversity.

According to Glamour, the retailer unveiled their “Bridging The Gap” campaign this week  in an attempt to “[celebrate] diversity and [champion] optimism through a lighthearted song and dance, directed and styled by British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful.”

But Enninful didn’t create the campaign alone — in fact, Glamour says he recruited an all-star cast to help, which included the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Maria Borges and Yara Shahidi, among many others. All wearing versions of Gap’s famous white T-shirts, Glamour reports the crew “all came together to sing the 1976 song ‘Sunny’ by Boney M. as a united front,” showing off both their individuality and their unity.

Speaking on the importance of the campaign, Chopra said in a press release that Bridging The Gap’s message of finding unity in diversity could not come at a more opportune time.

“‘Bridging the Gap’ is exactly what the world needs right now,” she said. “The most important one for me is empowering women; women need to be given an opportunity to stand on their feet and do the best they can for themselves.”

Check out the fun and inspiring video in its entirety here, and learn more about the campaign here.

 

Mom corrects daughter’s sexist homework

Sometimes, homework helps children learn the wrong things.

According to Glamour, children’s book editor Lynne Polvino found that to be true when she was helping her six-year-old daughter with her homework. Given a fill-in-the-blank worksheet that told the fictional story of a girl named Lisa, Glamour says the exercise told a tale of a young girl who was unhappy that her mother went back to work, while her “inept” father had to make her breakfast and forced her to wash dishes after.

Shocked at the messages the worksheet was sending to students, Glamour says Polvino “emailed her daughter’s teacher, and says the teacher replied that she agreed that the worksheet was outdated and would more carefully review future assignments.”

But her efforts didn’t end there: she decided to rewrite the worksheet, says Glamour, working in details that made the worksheet less misogynistic and more representative of working parents today. Not only is Lisa happier in Polvino’s story, her family also shares responsibilities, according to Glamour:

“Lisa’s mother receives parental leave because her workplace ‘valued her important contributions,’ and her father is now home on his leave and ‘contributing equally’ to the running of the household. Lisa’s dad makes breakfast easily, because testicles don’t get in the way of scrambling eggs. In what might be her best line, Lisa washes her dishes ‘because all functional humans should learn to clean up after themselves and help others.'”

Lisa even enjoys school in Polvino’s tale, Glamour reportsbecause she has “play-based learning” and “plays with Legos at a federally funded after school program.”

Let’s hope more worksheets like Polvino’s populate classrooms very soon.

See a side-by-side comparison of the worksheets here.