U.S. Open changes pregnancy leave penalty

After Serena Williams returned to the court of the French Open following her maternity leave for daughter Alexis Olympia, the world-renowned athlete entered the tournament at a ranking of No. 453 — where she was previously ranked at No. 1; but now, Glamour reports that the backlash from the move has caused the U.S. Open to revisit and revise their rules.

According to Glamour, the French Open organization has “now spoken out to announce a change in post-maternity protocol, one that will no longer penalize any female player returning to the sport after pregnancy.” But that’s not all: the U.S. Open is also making similar changes, says Glamour, “creating a special protection on seedings for women who return to the sport post-pregnancy.”

In an interview with the New York TimesGlamour says U.S. Tennis Association (which oversees the U.S. Open) president and chairwoman Katrina Adams not only explained the decision as the “right thing to do,” but also as a move toward achieving social parity.

“We are all about social justice and equality, and this is definitely an instance of equality,” she said. “We think it’s a good message for our current female players and future players: It’s OK to go out and be a woman and become a mother and then come back to your job, and I think that’s a bigger message.”

Also the bigger message: making sure Williams gets her due as one of the best athletes of all time.

“Serena Williams is arguably the greatest player to ever play, with 23 Grand Slam titles,” Adams continued, according to Glamour. “She deserves the respect to be put in that position.”

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Fenty unveils new summer products

If we needed another reason to love summer beyond the sunshine and warm weather, Rihanna just gave us one: a new Fenty release.

According to ELLE, the multi-hyphenate has announced a new Fenty eye product collection, which mainly includes eyeshadow, eyeshadow primer and liquid liner. Making its debut on July 6, ELLE says the collection features the Moroccan Spice palette — the brand’s second-ever eyeshadow palette, following the Galaxy palette last year” — which offers “diamond-shaped shimmer and matte shades in toasty hues.”

Matte shades in the eyeshadow palette include a warm terra cotta, charcoal and even a dusty mauve, while the shimmery shadow look to be a bit more fun, with a sparkly emerald making an appearance in the palette.

Beyond the palette, ELLE says the collection will include a Pro Filter Eye Primer to hold onto all of that gorgeous eyeshadow color, as well as eyeshadow brushes to get the perfect eye look. Finishing off the look is what ELLE says is a “long-wear liquid liner that’s formulated to be water-resistant with a satin sheen” that is aptly named Flyliner.

Ready to shop the new products? ELLE says the collection will be available for purchase at Sephora, as well as Harvey Nichols and on Fenty Beauty’s website.

Rodriguez uses Emmy money to send undocumented student to college

Gina Rodriguez is using the money that would otherwise be spent on Emmys “For Your Consideration” campaigns and giving to the worthiest of causes: education.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Jane the Virgin” star convinced her show’s network, The CW, to use her portion of the “FYC spend toward a college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.”

A member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s board of directors, EW says Rodriguez partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles to “locate a Latinx high school student who plans to attend Princeton University in the fall,” allowing the student to “complete a four-year degree without financial burden.”

For Rodriguez, the attempt to do something for the Latinx community is natural, even one that has been encouraged by showrunners.

Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community,” said Rodriguez, EW reports. “So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year.”

And something different they did.

Siriano: Business tripled, thanks to extended sizes

Who can singlehandedly triple their business, restructure an entire industry and redefine the commonly-accepted depiction of beauty? Only one person: Christian Siriano.

According to Glamour, the fashion designer — who has featured plus-size models in his fashion shows and has been determined to make his clothing size inclusive — recently explained the scope of the impact these moves have had on his business. In a panel discussion at the 92nd St. Y with executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fern Malli, the 32-year-old Siriano said his business has changed drastically, and all for the better.

“Adding plus sizes to my line tripled my business. Why wouldn’t you do that?! Do we not want to triple the business?” he said. “Do we not think these women should wear our clothes? Do we not want these women to have beautiful things because we’re afraid they’re not beautiful? What is going on here?”

Now 50 percent plus sizes, according to Glamour, Siriano’s business has clearly changed for the better — and it’s doing the same for the fashion industry at large.

“We got Moda Operandi to change their whole website—now they go up to our sizes,” he said. “Knowing we have a part in change like that, it’s amazing…but it’s still crazy to me that it’s not the norm.”

Amen to that.

Survivor of Taliban attack graduates with honors

No one should have their education stripped away from them, not even at the hands of a bullet — that’s what this recent graduate is teaching the world.

According to HuffPost, 28-year-old Breshna Musazai of Afghanistan recently received her completed her studies in law last month from American University in Kabul, all “after she was shot twice in the leg by Taliban insurgents who are opposed to education for women.”‘

Attending high school and college in Pakistan, HuffPost says Musazai and her family returned to Afghanistan in 2011, the year she began her law studies at American University; but in 2016, Taliban fighters attacked the campus. Huffpost reports that because her right leg was crippled from polio, Taliban fighters shot her twice in her left leg, leaving her to play dead for hours until responders secured the scene; a total of 13 people were killed in the invasion.

Musazai went on to the United States to receive medical treatment, and HuffPost says she later returned to school in a wheelchair, proving her strength and her ability to rise above her circumstances.

“When I was a disabled child, I always thought that I was nothing. Now when I see people who say they are inspired by me, I feel so strong,” Musazai told Women in the World, according to HuffPost. “I want them to know that their support makes me want to do more. It also feels so good to see people using my story to support women’s education.”

Now armed with a degree and the admiration of countless around the world, HuffPost says Musazai wants to make sure the Taliban knows exactly what they’re up against.

“I want to tell [them] that they can try to kill as many of us as they can, but that doesn’t mean we will stop fighting them,” she said. “I am going to continue to work and struggle.”

Kate Spade pledges $1M for suicide prevention

Two weeks following the suicide of the brand’s founder, Kate Spade New York is honoring their leader with a new initiative.

According to Glamour, the brand announced last week that “plan to donate more than $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health organizations through its foundation, beginning with $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line, a service that connects individuals to a live counselor for real-time help 24/7.”

Additionally, Glamour says the brand will be matching any public donations made to the group through June 29, up to $100,000.

CEO of Kate Spade New York Anna Bakst told WWD explained that she hopes the move will create a positive change when it comes to dealing with, accepting and treating mental illness.

“Mental illness does not discriminate; it is complicated and difficult to diagnose and can often be life-threatening,” she said, according to Glamour. “We hope that our support will shed even more light on the disease and encourage those who suffer from mental health issues to seek help. Collectively, we must all do more.”

 

Fashion brands respond to ‘don’t care’ jacket

Last week, First Lady Melania Trump travelled to Texas to visit a shelter for children who were separated from their parents and guardians at the U.S. border; to make her unannounced trip, Glamour says she wore a ZARA jacket that read “I Really Don’t Dare, Do U?” on the back. Now, fashion brands the world over are responding with a message in reverse.

According to Glamour, Wildfang was first to take action, releasing a jacket that reads “I Really Care, Don’t U?” along with a “limited capsule collection titled “I REALLY CARE”, with 100 percent of proceeds going to RAICES Texas, which offers legal services and resources to immigrants.”

Emma McIlroy, CEO of Wildfang, told Glamour that they decided to create the collection not only because the moment “could not go unnoticed,” but also because it offered a chance to do some good in the world.

“Because we now make the majority of our products, we are able to turn things around like this, so when we’re passionate about something, we take control of the situation,” she said. “Our customers have gone bananas over this—the support is overwhelming, and we couldn’t be more proud to align with them in support of these families.”

Other brands also joined in, says Glamour, with PSA (Public Service Apparel), unveiling a similarly-worded graphic T-shirt that’s part of its Rapid Response/Limited Edition line; currently available for preorder, Glamour reports proceeds from the shirt’s sales will benefit immigrant youth network United We Dream.

Lingua Franca offered up their take on the do-gooder responsewear, creating a stitched sweater that says “We Care A Lot” that Glamour says will send $100 from each sale to the charity of the buyer’s choice.

Who says fashion can’t make a literal statement?

GM to get female CFO, CEO

With a female CEO leading the company since 2014, General Motors is about to get a new woman in charge.

According to CNN, GM has announced that Dhivya Suryadevara will be their new CFO, joining CEO Mary Barra in leading the Fortune 500 motor company. The move also puts GM in exclusive company, says CNN, with Hershey being the only other Fortune 500 company to have both a female CEO and CFO.

As for Suryadevara, CNN says she “joined GM in 2005 and has been vice president of corporate finance since July 2017,” and her recent promotion will have her replacing Chuck Stephens, who had been CFO since 2014.

While putting a woman in a position of power is significant, Anna Beninger, senior director of research and corporate engagement partner at Catalyst — a “non-profit studying women and work” — told CNN that this move is even more rare.

“Any time a woman brings on another woman, it’s notable. It should be acknowledge, and celebrated.”

Amen to that!

History-making NASA astronaut retires

A history-making astronaut has officially retired, leaving in her wake a stream of firsts and records set.

According to the Associated Press, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has retired almost a year after her last and longest space flight. In her storied career, not only was Whitson the first woman to command the International Space Station, AP reports that she has “spent more time off the planet than any other American: 665 days over three space station missions,” not to mention that she’s “also the world’s most experienced female spacewalker, with 10 under her spacesuit belt.”

Joining NASA in 1986 as a researcher, AP says Whitson’s career highlights also include  serving as the only female chief of NASA’s “male-dominated astronaut corps,” as well as being the oldest woman to ever fly in space.

Director of flight operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston Brian Kelly explained Whitson’s impact in this way:

“She set the highest standards for human spaceflight operations, as well as being an outstanding role model for women and men in America and across the globe.”

As for Whitson, she took to Twitter to express how significant her time as a NASA astronaut has been, calling it “the greatest honor to live out my lifelong dream.”

Bra brand adds 24 new sizes

Bra shopping just got a little easier, thanks to ThirdLove.

According to Cosmopolitan, the intimates brand has announced that it they will not only begin offering half cup sizes, they are also adding a total of 24 new sizes to their collection. Additionally, the cup sizes will “range from AA through H and up to a 48-band size,” says Cosmo, giving ThirdLove a grand total of 70 sizes — more than double the offerings of competitor brands.

Chief Creative Officer for ThirdLove Ra’el Cohen told Cosmo that the more inclusive sizing aims to provide true-to-size styles that are supportive and stylish.

“We know you can’t just take a 34B and scale it up to a 40G — that’s a recipe for a bad fit,” she said. “We’ve worked tirelessly to design bras that don’t just scale up in size, but that have additional supportive elements that are nearly unperceivable to the naked eye.”

All of these inclusive sizes almost sounds too good to be true, and it kind of is — for now. Cosmo reports that while these sizes are currently available solely for the brand’s 24/7 Perfect Coverage Bra, ThirdLove does plan to extend the sizing to more designs in the near future.