First black woman appointed as West Point’s first captain

Sometimes, all it takes is one woman to break through the glass ceiling to pave the way for those who follow in her footsteps.

Take Simone Askew, for example. According to HuffPost, the 20-year-old International History major at West Point was recently appointed as the academy’s first captain, making her the first black woman to ever hold the prestigious position.

Currently serving as the Regimental Commander of Cadet Basic Training II, HuffPost says  Askew leads over 1,500 cadets, but with her promotion, she will have more than 4,000 under her charge, giving her “the highest position possible for a cadet.”

Proud sister Nina Askew spoke to NBC Washington about her sister’s history-making promotion and shared a message of inspiration:

“It’s a great step for not only women, but African-American women, because it shows that no matter what your sex, or your race, you can really do anything,” she said. “There’s nothing that can hold you back.”

May Simone light the way for many more!

Vergara bares all for Women’s Health

It’s no secret that Sofia Vergara is both a funny and talented actor, but in the August issue of Women’s Health magazine, the Modern Family star is also spilling some sage words on body positivity and body love.

Featured on the cover of the magazine’s “Nude Issue,” HuffPost that Vergara finds her place on the glossy’s front to mark a shift in the media industry.

“Here’s a woman, 45, being able to show her body,” she said. “It’s not like before, when it was just young girls who would make the cover of a magazine.”

For Women’s Health editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird, the entire issue — including Vergara’s cover — is meant to be inspiring and thought-provoking, according to HuffPost, encouraging women to simultaneously feel comfortable in their own skin and to consider nakedness in the abstract.

Vergara told Women’s Health that for her, this means being kinder to herself and accepting change.

“I’m 45,” she said, according to HuffPost. “Even if you want to, at this time in your life, you can’t be perfect. It’s not that you hate it, or that you’re upset about it, but it is our reality…We’re changing. I see it happening to me. I want to look my age, but I want to look great. I think if you are obsessed with this ‘I want to look younger’ thing, you’re going to go crazy.”

Wise words to keep in mind.

DeGeneres unveils new baby collection

If you loved Ellen DeGeneres’ ED by Ellen adult clothing, you can soon dress your kids in the same easy, comfortable style.

According to InStyle, DeGeneres recently unveiled her all-new baby lifestyle collection, which includes “playful clothes, footwear, diaper bags, furniture, strollers, and even mobiles.”

With over 100 pieces included in the line, InStyle reports that items were created through  partnerships with brands like aden + anais, Bivona & Company and Crown Crafts, to name a few. What’s more is that each piece carries a message of love, which DeGeneres herself said in a statement encompasses the collection’s aim.

“Babies love to be swaddled and should always be surrounded by love and kindness. I created my baby collection with that thought in mind,” she said.

Ready to shop the line for yourself? The baby ED by Ellen collection retails between $7.99 and $899, and is available in stores and online only at Buy Buy Baby.

Doctor to perform free surgeries for transgender military members

One doctor is standing up for those who so bravely defend the United States every day.

According to the New York Daily News, following news of President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the United States military, Dr. Christine McGinn — a former Navy surgeon —  told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that she will perform any gender confirmation surgery schedules prior to the ban for free.

Dr. McGinn, who is also transgender, was nominated for the Navy’s flight surgeon of the year award in 2000, says the Daily News, and is also the founder of the Papillon Gender Wellness Center, a care center for those transitioning and their families.

Not only does McGinn see the need to provide these surgeries for free, the Daily News says she also argues that providing proper healthcare to transgender military members is actually cost-effective.

“I think the cost of getting rid of very well specialized, trained military service people is exceptionally larger than just taking care of them,” she said on CNN.

Yet, at a very basic level, McGinn just wants to ensure proper care for her fellow service members.

“If the commander-in-chief won’t take care of our veterans, our veterans will.”

 

Moore shares advice to younger self

If Mandy Moore could go back in time, she’d have quite a bit of advice to give to herself.

While sitting down with Todays One Small Thing series, the This is Us star shared a few pieces of advice and lessons learned, according to Today, underscoring both the power of positivity and the perks of saying “yes” more often.

Sharing advice to her younger self, Moore offered that she wished she enjoyed her youth more instead of being so intensely focused on building her career.

” I feel like I passed up opportunities to go on trips and go out to dinner and hang out with my friends because I was so focused on the task at hand,” she said. “So I would tell my younger self to take a breath, enjoy the world around you a little bit more.”

But Moore had more to share; Today says the multi-hyphenate also discussed how to stay positive in our highly culled social media culture.

“Step away from the computer. Step away from the handheld device every now and then. I think having an honest line of communication, acknowledging the world around you and your friends and the real life people who exist. So much of what we present to people is a curated version of our lives, and I think keeping that positive perspective could be helpful.”

But make no mistake: Moore also wants us to know that no matter how perfect social media accounts may seem, we as human beings don’t have to try to live up to that unattainable standard.

“We’re all going to have things we don’t love about ourselves, but embrace the positive attributes and aspects of who you are,” she told Today. “That’ll get you going a lot further.”

Couldn’t agree more, Mandy. Watch her One Small Thing video here.

 

Ocean dons young designer’s statement T-shirt

It’s not every day that celebrity selects an up-and-coming designer’s work to wear on stage, but for Kayla Robinson, that day just came.

According to Glamour, the 18-year-old and owner of The Green Box Shop saw her very own T-shirt design worn on stage by Frank Ocean at the Panorama Music Festival in New York City on Friday, July 28. Robinson — who identifies as Afro-Latina and bisexual, Glamour reports — created the “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?” T-shirt after finding a lack of social justice-themed clothing on the web.

“When I couldn’t find any social justice tee shirts online for myself that really would grab someones attention, I decided to make my own and sell them to raise money to get my yoga teacher certification (Now the ultimate vision is urban farming),” Robinson wrote on her shop’s About Us page.

And after learning that Ocean chose to wear her design on stage, Glamour says the young designer is experiencing an influx of orders, posting on Instagram to ask shoppers for patience as they craft and send out the handmade shirts.

If you want to wear your social justice goals, check out Robinson’s shop here.

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.