Lovato shows body love

Demi Lovato sure loves her selfie.

The “Confident” singer shared a photo on Instagram last week of her thighs, all in an effort to show that every body is a beautiful body, says ELLE UK.

“I don’t have a thigh gap and I’m still beautiful the way I am,” she wrote, according to ELLE UK, accompanying her photo with the hashtags #recovery, #selflove and #EVERYbodyisbeautiful.

The image — and Lovato’s comments — serve as a great reminder to go easy on ourselves, especially as we are inundated with online articles and photos on how to achieve the perfect beach body for summer.

A first down in football history

One high school football player just made history.

According to Glamour,  18-year-old Becca Longo of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona signed her way into history, becoming the “the first woman to land a NCAA scholarship at the Division II level or higher” when she signed a letter of intent to play college football at Adams State University.

The current senior started her football career in her sophomore year, working her way up to be a kicker on the team, says Glamour. With her sights set on playing college ball, Glamour reports Longo “compiled a film reel of some of her greatest moments on the team and included it with her applications,” one of which went to Adams State.

As if her impressive reel weren’t enough to get her noticed, Glamour says Longo took matters into her own hands yet again, following the university’s head coach Timm Rosenbach on Twitter.

“She’s kind of put herself out there to let everyone know she wants to do this,” head coach Rosenbach told CNN, according to Glamour. “If she’s able to compete at a level we think she’s able to compete at, we should afford her that opportunity to do that.”

After visiting the school in February, Longo was later offered a scholarship to play football — and if that’s not enough, Glamour says she will also play basketball for the university.


Talent beyond boundaries

Talent knows no boundaries, so why should awards for outstanding acting performances be confined to specific gender identities? That’s the question that Asia Kate Dillon posed in a recent letter to the Television Academy.

According to Women in the World, Dillon — the non-binary star of the Showtime hit series, “Billions” — wrote a letter to the Television Academy after network executives, wanting to submit their performance for Emmy award consideration, asked which category they wanted to be included in.

That’s when Dillon composed a letter to the Academy, says Women in the World, asking “whether the terms ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ were meant to ‘denote anatomy or identity.'”

“The reason I’m hoping to engage you in a conversation about this is because if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are in fact supposed to represent ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a woman’ and ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a man’ then there is no room for my identity within that award system binary,” Dillon wrote, according to Women in the World. “Furthermore, if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are meant to denote assigned sex I ask, respectfully, why is that necessary?”

The response from the Academy offered that their guidelines allow for anyone to submit their work to any category, and that’s exactly what Dillon did, says Women in the World, choosing to enter the category of ‘best actor’ — a term Dillon found to have a non-gendered history dating back to the 1500s.

Here’s hoping Dillon’s actions are the first of many more inclusive moves to come.

Forever 21 to debut new plus offerings

Everyone should be able to find clothing that suits their style, and Forever 21’s newest offerings are helping to make that happen.

According to WWD, the fast-fashion retailer “plans to relaunch its plus-size collection on Friday, tapping models Barbie Ferreiraand Lulu Bonfils to appear in marketing for the revamped offering.”

Originally launched in 2009, Forever 21 Plus is getting a makeover in order to provide women of all sizes with styles that invoke current trends, says WWD, which includes ’90s-style clothing like “chokers, boots and rose-colored sunglasses along with studded and patch detailing on motorcycle jackets and tops.”

But the relaunch isn’t just focusing on apparel; it’s also providing plus-size swimwear, reports WWD, which has made headlines this spring for its sexy styles.

With sizes ranging from XL to 3X and costing no more than $78, Forever 21 Plus seems to be on a mission of providing accessible fashion for all sizes and budgets.

Lawrence and Dior team up for new campaign

Jennifer Lawrence may have signed on to star in Dior’s fall 2017 bag campaign, but the ads for the luxury fashion brand have us focusing on anything but a handbag.

According to Glamour, the actress takes centerstage in a series of casual, black-and-white photos that not only show off Dior bags, but also a statement T-shirt that reads, “We Should All Be Feminists.” The T-shirt, reports Glamour, is part of Dior’s spring 2017 collection and is inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s famous essay and adjoining TED talk.

While Glamour says the $710 T-shirt is already sold out after becoming an instant celebrity favorite, the shirt is more than just a fashion item — a portion of every T-shirt purchase is donated to the Clara Lionel Foundation, the charity created by Rihanna that funds education and health initiatives around the world.

A shirt that’s fashionable and charitable — we can get behind that.

Teigen helps pay student’s tuition

As if we needed another reason to love Chrissy Teigen, she just delivered.

According to Glamour, North Carolina native Mercedes Edney set up a profile on crowdfunding site YouCaring in order to help pay her over $6,000 tuition for esthetician school. With just about $300 raised, Edney was short of the funds needed to pay for her tuition, books and fees, so she took to Twitter to promote her crowdfunding page — and that’s when Teigen stepped in.

Glamour reports the model donated $5,600 to cover her schooling costs, and Edney took to social media to share her gratitude for Teigen’s assistance.

Sharing the news on Twitter and Instagram, Edney wrote in her Instagram post — which was accompanied by a photo of her tuition receipt — that she was shocked when she saw the payment notification.

“My paypal alert went off, and as I looked at my phone, there was amount of $5605. I thought it was a glitch,” she wrote. “I then look at my email and realized it came from my fundraiser. @chrissyteigen donated my entire tuition money for school. I have been crying all night and I cried in the office this morning as I paid my downpayment for esthetician school. I haven’t been this happy in a very long time.”

Edney also shared her thanks on Twitter, to which Teigen replied, “I’m really excited for you to live out your passion.”

It looks like Edney has a beauty school fairy godmother.

Rihanna dives into jewelry design

Fine jewelry is about to get a little finer, thanks to a new Rihanna collaboration.

Launching in May at the Cannes Film Festival, ELLE reports that the singer and fashion icon’s new jewelry line — “Rihanna Loves Chopard” — will draw “inspiration from the gardens and Carnival celebrations of Barbados, Rihanna’s native island.”

To design the nine-piece collection, ELLE says Rihanna worked with Chopard’s creative director, Caroline Scheufele, making a limited-edition jewelry line in which there are only 2,000 of each piece made. Though the collection is rather finite, Scheufele said in a statement that it’s easy to feel Rihanna’s boundless energy in the line, according to ELLE.

“Rihanna and I collaborated closely on the collections,” she said, “so you can feel her unstoppable energy, strong creativity, and inherent sense of design in every piece,”

With limited quantities available of a high-profile collection, the cost of owning even one of Rihanna’s designs should come as no surprise: ELLE reports that pieces are “available for pre-order now and range from a $1,460 ring to a $11,140 necklace (both made of ethically sourced materials), to a “price upon request” (aka very expensive) all-diamond watch.”


Walking in style

Adrianne Haslet was not only a model of clothing on March 24 when she walked down a fashion show runway; she was also a model of strength.

According to Bustle, the Boston Marathon Bombing survivor opened a “body positive Vancouver Fashion Week show,” taking her turn down the runway to represent #BeBodyAware, a collaboration between Toronto-based designer Lesley Hampton and plus model Tia Duffy’s Be Body Aware Project, which aims to promote diversity in the fashion world.

Following the bombing, Haslet — a professional ballroom dancer — lost her left leg below the knee, says Bustle, and now serves as a motivational speaker. But for Hampton and her body-positive collaboration, Haslet didn’t need to utter a word to be an inspiration. Hampton explained to CBC News how she asked Haslet to walk in her show this way:

“I sent her an email,” she said. “I was just like, ‘I love your story. I’m so inspired. ‘Would you be interested in coming to walk for my show?’ And she replied right away, and was like, ‘That’s incredible, absolutely.’ And she’s flying all the way in from Boston.”

And the feeling is mutual; Bustle said Haslet offered that her willingness to participate in the show was a celebration of the ways her mission aligns with Hampton’s.

“She represented models of all body types on her runway,” she said. “It is my life’s work to show other amputees that they can do anything. We are not broken, we are simply missing pieces.”

Well said, Adrianne.

The Wing takes flight to new locations

The brainchild of former publicist Audrey Gelman is spreading its wings and flying from its Flatiron District next.

According to The Cut, women’s social club The Wing will be adding three new location in addition to its flagship, expanding their reach to Soho, Downtown Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. First to open will be the Soho location this fall, be followed by D.C. in winter 2017 winter and Brooklyn first thing in 2018, reports The Cut.

With an over 3,000-person long wait list for membership to The Wing, The Cut says that each forthcoming location will be “roughly three times as large as The Wing’s flagship location, and will therefore be able to accommodate roughly three times as many members,” which is 3,500 square feet and accommodates only 650 members.

If The Wing sounds like something you’ve been missing, The Cut says applications for membership are now being accepted for the new locations, though membership costs a lofty $2,250 per year.

Though the club is rather elite, fear not. The Cut says Gelman shared that The Wing chooses members in such a way that ensures diversity: by reviewing “racial and cultural diversity, career diversity and diversity in the utilization of the space.”

To apply, visit The Wing’s application portal here.


Teen sweeps Ivy League acceptances

There’s nothing like a straight flush when playing a game of poker; as the highest winning hand, no amount of luck can top that magic combination. But Ifeoma White-Thorpe got a straight flush of a different kind, and she didn’t even need luck — her brains and talent were more than enough.

According to Mic, the senior Morris Hills High School in New Jersey recently was accepted into all eight Ivy League colleges and universities in addition to Stanford University. With plans to study biology, Mic said White-Thorpe almost settled on one school after being accepted early:

“I got into Harvard early action so I figured I’ll just go there, so then I got into all the others and I was like, ‘Wait, now I don’t know where I want to go,'” she told ABC-7 News.

While White-Thorpe “ranks high in her advanced placement classes and serves as president of her high school’s student government,” she was also named a winner of the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech and Essay Contest, according to Mic, beating out over 800 applications with her spoken word poem on “equal educational access, freedom and racial justice.”

With a resume like this before leaving high school, we’re confident that White-Thorpe will succeed no matter what school she chooses.

Congratulations, Ifeoma!