Models team up to stop sexual harassment in fashion industry

A new program created by a group of 100 models demands respect — literally.

According to Cosmopolitanthe mass of models banded together at the recent Copenhagen Fashion Summit in Denmark to announce their new Respect program, which “aims to end sexual harassment in the fashion industry.”

Led by Model Alliance founder Sara ZiffCosmo reports that the program “asks brands, modeling agencies, and media outlets to sign a contract to protect models,” with the idea being that a legally-binding contract will allow models to file formal complaints, protect them from retaliation and secure an independent investigation into their complaints.

“The program establishes an orderly and fair process for addressing charges of abuse. It provides comprehensive training and education to models and all industry participants,” Ziff said in an interview with WWD, according to Cosmo. “This system benefits models, photographers and other service providers, and every company that wants to do the right thing. The only people who don’t benefit are the harassers themselves.”

Among the models who signed an open letter encouraging brands to join the program are Karen Elson, Doutzen Kroes and Milla Jovovich. While this new initiative aims at greater protections for models, it is not the first to take aim at such measures; Cosmo says the Model Alliance partnered last year with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to provide private changing areas for models.

This program, however, seeks to stand on the shoulders of previous work — and Cosmo says Ziff is heartened by what she’s seen so far.

“I think everyone is very aware of the problems in our industry and others and now we finally are able to move towards solutions.”

Advertisements

Miss America announces first all-female leadership team

Miss America has just made history, but not in the form of a contestant or winner.

According to CNN, the organization has just appointed an all-female leadership for the first time in its history. Led by all former pageant winners, CNN reports that Miss America has named Regina Hopper as president and CEO, while “Marjorie Vincent-Tripp was named as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Foundation.”

Hopper and Vincent-Tripp join former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson who, in December, was named the chairman of the Miss America Organization’s Board of Trustees. Taking over for leaders who resigned in 2017 over disparaging emails, CNN says the organization hopes the their new leadership team will usher in a new era:

“The induction of this all female leadership team signals forthcoming transformational changes to the entire organization and program, ushering in a new era of progressiveness, inclusiveness and empowerment,” the organization said in a statement.
Amen to that!

Markle marches down aisle on her own terms

In what is likely the most highly-anticipated event of the year, American actor Meghan Markle walked down the aisle to be married to Prince Harry — and that walk was certainly one to remember.

According to ELLE, the new royal made her way down the aisle in bold fashion, first entering St. George’s Chapel on the arm of her mother, Doria Ragland. As she reached the Quire — or the part of the chapel “where the main royal wedding guests are seated” — ELLE reports that Markle escorted by Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles of Wales.

While Markle did have company making her way to the alter, ELLE says she made much of her trip alone, “making a feminist statement by being alone for the majority of her walk.”

Not only that, but Markle was not “given away” by Prince Charles, but instead walked to Harry on her own — something that CNN reports as being a historic move.

“No other royal bride in the UK has walked unescorted down the aisle at their wedding ceremony,” CNN says. “Markle’s decision indicates that she wishes to assert herself as a strong, independent woman who is prepared to challenge royal norms.”

Social media erupts in praise over ASOS swimwear model

Online retailer ASOS made waves when it began using unretouched models, featuring everything from stretch marks to cellulite. But now, the company is drawing extra praise for showcasing one model in particular in their lineup.

According to Insidershoppers took to social media to share their delight in the company choosing Vivian Eyo-Ephraim to be a swimsuit model for their ASOS Curve line. For example, Twitter user Katherine Laura said, “Glad to see curve models are actually the sizes sold and not a size 12 wearing larger clothes. Thanks ASOS,” while another simply wrote “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE!!!!!”

Others praised the move as a significant step toward achieving greater body inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry, as Twitter user Martina shared, “she’s so beautiful and seeing my body shape being represented as well makes me so happy.”

Eyo-Ephraim told Insider that the opportunity has given her a platform to break down the doors of beauty standards to represent all beauty.

“”I am so grateful to Bridge Models and ASOS for championing diversity in the fashion industry and giving me this amazing opportunity to do a job I love,” she said. “To have the public respond in such a positive way to one of my first jobs is so unbelievable, it just highlights now more than ever that we want to see a wider representation of women and men on the high street and we are going to champion the brands that listen to us.”

#MeToo movement makes way for more female graduation speakers

Graduation from any level of education is significant, but this year, there is added meaning to the ceremonies.

According to the Associated Press, 2018 marks a milestone in U.S. college graduation exercises, as “the majority of the nation’s top colleges are featuring women as their spring commencement speakers” for the first time in at least two decades. The impetus behind the change? AP reports that industry experts are crediting the swing toward female speaks to the #MeToo movement that has reignited the flame of female empowerment in the United States and around the world.

And the increase in female commencement speakers this year is significant; AP reports that this year, “women account for nearly 60 percent of the speakers at the 25 schools that have the largest endowments and traditionally carry the clout to draw big names to the lectern.” In previous years, however, AP says women accounted for a mere quarter of the speakers at those same schools over the past 19 years.

While AP says that while some universities said the #MeToo movement didn’t specifically shape their decisions, companies hired to find commencement speakers said that they’ve seen a major increase in requests for women that correlated with the timing of the the #MeToo movement’s inception and takeoff.

“There’s been a much bigger push to bring in white females, black females — anyone other than a white male,” said Richard Schelp, owner of Executive Speakers Bureau.

So just who are some of the women speaking at graduations this year? For starters, Sheryl Sandberg will do the honors of delivering a commencement address at MIT, according to AP, while Dartmouth will host Mindy Kaling. Not to mention Amal Clooney will descend upon Vanderbilt, while AP says Hillary Clinton will return to her alma mater and speak at Yale’s commencement.

 

 

Ross reveals power of women’s fury in TED Talk

Hell hath no fury like a woman — and that fury has deep roots, according to Tracee Ellis Ross.

According to HuffPost, the actor recently gave a TED Talk at the organization’s annual conference in Vancouver, Canada on “the spectrum of objectification women have faced for hundreds of years, and the anger women harbor because of it.” What’s more, HuffPost says Ross explained in her 10-minute talk that this anger should be embraced.

“Women, I encourage you to acknowledge your fury,” she said. “Give it language. Share it in safe places of identification and in safe ways. Your fury is not something to be afraid of. It holds lifetimes of wisdom. Let it breathe and listen.”

Opening her speech with a story of a female friend who was physically moved by a man who was trying to reach something she was blocking, HuffPost says Ross used the anecdotes as a launch pad to explain the depth and extent of the rage women feel, offering that her friend’s fury was “ignited by lifetimes of men helping themselves to women’s bodies without consent.”

To make the experience more relatable to male listeners, HuffPost says Ross equated it to having a stranger take your phone out of your hand’s every day, and having the stranger explain away their reasoning for taking the phone in the first place.

“Somehow, no one ever talks about the person who took the cellphone,” Ross explained. “Men are so used to helping themselves, that it’s like … [shrugging] they can’t help themselves. And not because men are fundamentally less moral, but because this is a very big blind spot for most men.”

After stating that her friend’s fury — and that of countless women around the world — “holds centuries of never being able to directly address or express [women’s] indignation, our frustration and our rage,” HuffPost says Ross concluded her talk with two very powerful words as of late: “time’s up.”

“Time’s up on women being held responsible for men’s bad behavior,” she said. “It is men’s responsibility to change men’s bad behavior.”

Watch her TED Talk in full right here.

Kardashian takes on Congress for cosmetics regulations

Kourtney Kardashian recently traded in sun-soaked California for a trip to Washington, D.C. to take on Congress.

According to ELLE, Kardashian met with “several members of congress to lobby for better regulation of beauty products” through her work with the Environmental Working Group, which “currently has a big #beautymadebetter initiative pushing for federal law to ensure stricter screening of personal care products made with chemicals linked to cancer, allergies, and other harmful effects.”

With existing legislation unchanged since 1938ELLE says the eldest Kardashian sister has Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on her side, offering that the guidelines need a revamp to “ensure cosmetics are safe for the American people.”

As for Kardashian, this isn’t a new effort for her; in fact, she’s long been all about ‘clean’  and non-toxic cosmetics, even “going so far as to stop wearing deodorant and DIYing her own,” according to ELLE, and even making sure that products for her folded Kardashian Beauty line were paraben and sulfate-free.

Here’s hoping Congress keeps up with this Kardashian on making beauty products safer for all!

Zendaya talks Hollywood, colorism at Beautycon

Zendaya has achieved quite a bit at a such a young age: at just 21, she has had starring roles in television shows and movies, dabbled in music and is even entered the world of fashion as a designer. But with all of her success comes a responsibility, says Zendaya, and that responsibility is to pave the way for her successors.

According to HuffPost, the multi-hyphenate recently spoke in conversation with Uber’s chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John at the Beautycon Festival, taking a moment to address colorism in the entertainment industry and share some sage words about representation.

“As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, it’s important that I’m using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community,” she said, HuffPost reports. “I am Hollywood’s, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a black girl and that has to change.”

However, she said there is no need for there to only be one “acceptable version of a black girl.” In fact, she is trying to blaze a trail for increased representation and inspire others to shine their light in the process.

“We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to just be the only representation of that,” said Zendaya, according to HuffPost. “What I’m saying, it’s about creating those opportunities, sometimes. You have to create those paths. And that’s with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever.”

Amen to that.

Fallon to Fey: ‘I hope my kids grow up to be like you’

Jimmy Fallon recently used part of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to pay some high compliments to friend and former Saturday Night Live co-star Tina Fey, and it resulted in a pretty touching moment.

According to HuffPost, to commemorate the opening of Fey’s “Mean Girls” musical, Fallon had guests to show “to stand in front of a poster for the play and describe how the “30 Rock” creator inspired them” while Fey stood hidden in a back room listening and then surprising them with hugs and tears.

But, as HuffPost reportsthis wasn’t the only tear-jerking moment of the episode; Fallon said there was one more person who wanted to deliver a “heartfelt message” to Fey — him.

While his comments were not without jokes — namely, jokes about their ages — HuffPost said Fallon offered that Fey “changed [him] for the better” and serves as an example for all, including his own children.

“I met you when I was 23, I believe you were 45. And I was lucky enough to work with you and grow with you and learn from you. A lot of people in this world have dreams or goals or ideas, but not everybody goes out and fights to make them happen but you’re someone who did. You didn’t get served this, you didn’t get given this as a gift. I know firsthand, you worked so hard and found a voice and found your way, and you made your own dreams come true, and most importantly even now you’re making other people feel like they can do the same thing and change the world.

Today, I’m 27 years old and I have two daughters, and my hope for them is that they grow up to be leaders like you and that they’ll be as fearless and confident in their strengths as you are.”

Ending his remarks with a simple “I love you,” Fallon proved what we already know — Tina Fey is one for the ages.

Southwest pilot was one of Navy’s first female fighter pilots

When a Southwest Airlines plan en route from New York to Dallas had to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia, one person was killed and 149 passengers were saved after an engine exploded while flying at 32,000 feet. But thanks to a skilled and history-making pilot, the damage could have been much worse.

That’s because the pilot — Tammy Jo Shults — may have used her experience as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot to help mitigate the damage, according to HuffPost. With her first flying experiences in the Navy “touching down F-18 fighter jets at 150 miles per hour on aircraft carriers,” HuffPost reports that Shults was “one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy.”

But had it not been for her own determination, Shults may not have been the pilot on that flight — or at all. HuffPost says that when Shults was in high school, she tried to attend an aviation career day, but was told they did not accept girls. Determined to fly, she went on to study medicine and applied to the Air Force, who HuffPost reports did not let her test to become a pilot — but the U.S. Navy did.

After becoming a pilot, Shults eventually went on to be an instructor before she left the Navy in 1993 and joined Southwest, says HuffPost, leading up to her fateful day piloting the flight-gone-wrong from New York to Texas.

Many of the passengers on Southwest flight 1380 took to social media to thank Shults, says HuffPost, calling her “amazing” for being able to land the passengers safely.