Chastain gives $2K to woman who left negative Instagram comment

The answer to negativity isn’t more negativity — that’s the lesson Jessica Chastain recently taught her followers.

According to Bustle, the actor and producer took to Instagram to share a photo on Thursday’s International Women’s Day of herself wearing a “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt; in the photo’s caption, Chastain wrote, “FEMINISM: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes #happyinternationalwomensday,” but Bustle says the seemingly innocent post drew ire from some followers, including one named Karin Hallsten Schulz.

“Yes, feminist that believe in God and stand up for The Unborn,” Schulz wrote. “I would be for that kind of feminist.”

Instead of immediately replying to the comment — or even thinking of replying at all — Bustle says Chastain decided to explore Schulz’s Instagram account, which led to the discovery of a GoFundMe page the commenter set up for herself to help fund fertility treatments. Asking for $5,000, Bustle says Schulz wrote that her insurance won’t cover the treatments — and in the blink of an eye, Schulz became $2,000 closer to achiever her goal of being a mother thanks to Chastain, who gave her campaign a $2K boost.

Bustle reports Chastain then responded to Schulz’s original comment this way:

“Yes you can decide what is right for you. I am pro-choice and I believe that everyone has the right to make their own decision. I read about your journey to become a mother and it broke my heart. I hope that your dream will come true in 2018! Much love to you ❤”

After also posting on her GoFundMe page by telling Schulz that her and husband will be “wonderful parents,” Bustle says Schulz wrote back to the actor sharing words of support and gratitude, offering that even though they don’t agree on everything, they are both on the same team.

“Thank you for your words, for your encouragement and loving wishes. I too am a feminist!! It is ok if we don’t see eye to eye on everything,” she wrote. “We do agree on more than we disagree!! You are my sister, and together wonderful change and more awesome things will happen in this beautiful world we live in.”

Proof positive that women can support each other despite differences of opinion and beliefs.

Art student refuses to ‘dial down the feminism’

When an art student was told to dilute her expressions of feminism in her artwork, she could have just said no. But instead, she came back with an even greater display of her convictions.

According to HuffPost, not only did 23-year-old London-based art student Alex Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes not take her instructor’s “tip” to “‘dial down the feminism’ in her work, she also created a literal representation of the teacher’s comments. Creating what resembles a stereo dial, Bertulis-Fernandes puts the words “Dial Down the Feminism” above the dial, and in the dial’s Off/On positions, she placed the words “Complicit in my own dehumanisation” and “Raging feminist.”

After tweeting out the image of her work, HuffPost says the artist received a deluge of support, with Twitter users telling her it was “incredible” and that she should “keep that dial turned right up.” Bertulis-Fernandes later tweeted her gratitude, and also shared some new information — that she might sell prints of the now-famous design.

“Thanks for all the love shown to this piece, it really means the world,” she tweeted. “I’m a bit overwhelmed so it may take me some time to respond to everyone! I’m considering selling prints/t-shirts – just trying to figure out the best way to do this. Once I do I will share the details here.”

 

Time’s Up hit major milestones in first month

The Time’s Up campaign has achieved quite a bit in its first month in action: from a wide-reaching social media movement to a “black-out” at the Golden Globes to a white-rose moment at the Grammys, Time’s Up is certainly making its presence known in all aspects of pop culture. But now, the movement has reached an important set of milestones in its first month — milestones that will help further its mission in the future.

According to Glamour, at a recent Time’s Up panel in Los Angeles, “Obama administration alum and lawyer Tina Tchen announced that the group had already raised $20 million, from about 20,000 donors across the country.” Additionally, Tchen announced that the campaign has also received 1,000 requests for help, says ELLE, with requests coming from people of all walks of life.

“The need is clearly there, from all industries—farm workers, hotel workers, steel workers,” Tchen said at the panel. “I had a steel worker from Indiana reach out to my office….Time’s Up has spoken to men and women who need help getting safety and equity in the workplace.”

In terms of getting that help to those who need it, Glamour reports that lawyer and one of the founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund Roberta Kaplan said the requests are siphoned through the National Women’s Law Center:

“They have a number of lawyers who volunteer to work on these cases,” she said, “And they’re matching up clients with potential lawyers. Obviously the clients have to decide for themselves whether they want Lawyer A or Lawyer B to represent them.” The calls for help keeping coming in, says Kaplan: “[We’re getting requests] from people similar to some of the ‘me too’ stuff in Hollywood that you’ve heard—maybe not so famous, but people who’ve had bad experiences with someone in the industry—to other industries. I just got an email this morning from a nurse in Louisiana.”

And that $20 million — Kaplan told Glamour that the sum is “not that much,” as it “won’t even meet the current demand” for help. But with the campaign in its infancy and a plan in place to leverage the public platform of Hollywood to gain more traction, the Time’s Up campaign is bound to keep growing.

Just take the Song Suffragettes, for example: formed in 2014 in response a concern that women were being excluded from record labels and radio stations, The Columbian reports that the group of Nashville-based female musicians crafted a song and music video about the movement, with earnings from the song being donated to the Legal Defense Fund.

And Times Up even found a home across the pond, with British natives of Hollywood’s elite — such as Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson and Daisy Ridley — are “in the process of forming their own version of the movement” in Britain, according to Variety, advocating for both equal pay and safer workplaces for women across all industries.

Looks like time has not run out for the Time’s Up movement — and it’s not running out any time soon.

To donate or request help, click here.

Nicole’s Favorites: High Fashion & Bold Feminism

Sometimes, designers like to make a statement in the styles they create, while others like to literally inscribe a message on their designs.

Take, for instance, these new tees by Dior and Stella McCartney, both of which offer an inspiring message of female empowerment. According to PopSugarDior opened their Spring 2018 show with “a Brenton-striped slogan top that read ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?'” Inspired by a 1971 essay by Linda Nochlin, PopSugar says the top highlight the very themes Nochlin explore in her essay, which dove into the gatekeepers barring women from succeeding in the art world. What’s more is that the tee hold even more significant, as it was designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri — Dior’s first female creative director.

But Chiuri isn’t the only one to take a stand with her T-shirts. Stella McCartney used her design talents to create an exclusive top for Glamour that reads “Women, Power, Love.” The shirt, which Glamour says they co-designed, is featured on all 17 of its editions around the world and benefits the The Girl Project, a charity created by Glamour to help girls around the world earn an education. The shirt, says McCartney, aims to not only empower women to speak up and love themselves as they are, it also serves as a reminder to reclaim what it means to be a “powerful” woman.

“I think when the words powerful and women go hand in hand, certain generations believe it’s not a compliment,” McCartney told Glamour. “But this [belief] was something generated by men to make women feel bad if we have something to say. That’s not the case anymore.”

Now, she explained, women are owning their voices and rejoicing in their power.

“Young women see power as something to be celebrated and to be proud of. I feel powerful when I’m being honest and when I’m not compromising who I am,” she offered. “Also, when I speak for other women who don’t have a voice—that’s when I feel that I’m being the best woman I could be.”

I love that these fierce women are using their talents to assert the voices, power and presence of women everywhere. Let’s hope the trend continues!

XO,

Nicole

 

Nicole’s Favorites: Digital Must-Reads

Friday is here, and with the weekend officially upon us, you might feel like relaxing before jumping into your weekend plans. Whether your agenda includes going out every night, sampling every brunch in a 30-mile radius or cozying up with a good book, it won’t hurt to celebrate the start of the weekend with a bit of inspiration from some of the most powerful women around.

So before diving into your busy — or lazy — weekend schedule, be sure to give these online reads a glance:

How Shania Twain Learned to Feel Beautiful After Tragedy and Self-Doubt” – Without a doubt one of my favorite artists of all time, Twain imparts her tale of self-doubt, tragedy and eventual acceptance and self-love to InStyle‘s Sarah Cristobal. From feeling anything but pretty as a child to learning how to feel comfortable in her own skin through the loss of her parents, a divorce and a vocal cord injury, Twain’s determination to overcome all that life has thrown at her is the definition of beauty and grace.

TIME magazine’s “Firsts” series – A series of video and print interviews with women who have been the first in their industry to achieve success, this project aims to inspire women and girls to “find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to her that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular.” With interviews ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Serena Williams, Barbara Walters to Selena Gomez, this series will not only make you believe in the power of women, but also in the power of your own abilities. Two of the most notable interviews come from Ava DuVernay, the first black to direct a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (Selma), and first female secretary of state Madeleine Albright; I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry watching them speak.

So wherever your weekend takes you, be sure to get a healthy dose of empowerment from some of the most inspirational women of our time.

XO,

Nicole

Nicole’s Favorites: Graphic tees with a message

Graphic tees are a great way to share a cool print or a funny saying, but sometimes, screen printed T-shirts about more than just comfort and style. In fact, some tees can be as charitable as they are fashionable.

As someone who loves to shop with a purpose, I’ve been recently trying to find T-shirts and companies that donate to a worthy cause or organization with every purchase, and in that quest, I’ve landed on a few shops that are doing big things with simple tees. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Outrage

Called an “apparel brand for lovers of equality,” The Outrage fights inequities at every turn with T-shirts, sweatshirts and accessories. The best part is that every item for sale on their site gives back to organizations that fight such inequalities like Black Lives Matter, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

Store favorite: The “Resist” scoop neck pocket T-shirt ($29). This simple style injects a bit of the resistance into your everyday attire, all while benefitting the ACLU.

Otherwild

This New York and Los Angeles-based shop highlights the work of individual artists and designers, acting as one-part retail space and one-part design space. While not all of their products directly benefit outside organizations, they do have a selection of items that delegate a portion of their proceeds to specific charities and institutions.

Store favorite: “The Future is Female” sweatshirt ($60). Modeled after the first “The Future is Female” T-shirt made for Labyris Books, the first women’s bookstore in New York City, this sweatshirt allows you to wear your feminism out loud. Twenty-five percent of the cost will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Feminist Apparel

An independently-owned “purpose-driven” apparel company based in Philadelphia, Penn., Feminist Apparel believes in “spreading feminism through inclusivity, positivity, and open dialogue.” Featuring a wide variety of designs that spans issues including rape culture, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights and Black Lives Matter issues, there is something for everyone at Feminist Apparel.

Store favorite: The “Cinnamon Scrolls, Not Gender Roles” T-shirt ($29.95). While this tee is certainly cute with its animated cinnamon roll on the front, its message is still powerful — especially since proceeds benefit The Equality Institute, which works to secure gender equality and eradicate violence against women.

So whatever causes you support or issues you care about, you can wear your heart on your sleeve, thanks to these fabulous shops.

Happy shopping!

XO,

Nicole

 

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.

Dior T-shirts to benefit Rihanna’s charity

If spending anything over $20 on a T-shirt sounds outrageous, you may want to reconsider.

According to The Cut, Dior is selling a T-shirt with “We should all be feminists” inscribed across the front, and a portion of the proceeds from its sales will benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization created by Rihanna that helps support “innovative and effective education and health programs around the world.”

The shirt, which is available for $710 only at Dior boutiques, comes after The Cut says Maria Grazia Chiuri made a statement at her first Dior fashion show as the brand’s artistic director, sending models down the runway in the shirt, which echoes the words of globally-known feminist author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

A for Rihanna’s role in the venture, The Cut reports that Rihanna partnered with Dior in order to show  that “philanthropic pursuits is a positive way for fashion to effect change and benefit women around the world.”

Take a time out with THL

We are 27 days into 2017, and the new year has already ushered in a host of new challenges. But don’t let the stress get you down — take a time out with THL to recharge and gear up to tackle head on whatever concerns are plaguing you.

Take some R&R time

If you’re too busy to head to a nail salon, try pampering yourself with an at-home manicure and pedicure. Better yet, use a nail polish with an empowering name so every time you look down out at your nails, you’re reminded to keep calm and carry on.

THL recommends: Essie’s “Power Clutch,” available at Ulta for $9.

Take some creative time

If makeup and spa days aren’t your thing, relax your mind with a little art therapy. A new trend, adult coloring books offer a brief respite from the daily grind and allow grown ups to be a kid once more. But make no mistake: adult coloring books aren’t all roses, sunshine and puppies designed to numb your mind. Some incorporate your favorite television shows, while others may even teach you something new while you’re coloring away.

THL recommends: “The Badass Feminist Coloring Book,” available at Barnes & Noble for $25, is complete with images of “40 badass feminists and bonus essays on feminism” that are sure to simultaneously relax you and inspire you.

Take some alone time

Everyone loves to read something that is both enlightening and engaging, so there’s no better way to steal a little time for yourself than by curling up with a good book. Whether you decide to read something brand new or choose to revisit an old favorite, reading allows you to escape from the present or become engrossed in a new tale — or may even make you aware of a previously unconsidered point of view.

THL recommendsWe Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, available at Amazon for $6.39 (or $2.99 for the Kindle Edition). This short essay, which was adapted from Adichie’s famous TEDx talk, lays out the basic premise of feminism and explains the logic behind an inclusive feminism.

These recommendations will surely provide an escape from the stresses of the new year. But don’t rest for too long — those challenges won’t resolve themselves.

What feminism means to me

As I follow the Women’s Marches around the United States and around the world today, I cannot help but reflect upon hundreds of thousands of people — likely millions — gathered in support of a just, equal society for all. I am proud of the women and men that are demonstrating peacefully, standing in solidarity for their fellow human beings.

But I also wish that I could have physically participated in a march. And that, dear friends, has spurred me to write, something that for me has always felt powerful and assertive and, in many ways, makes me feel connected to those participating in demonstrations today. My words are printed; they are permanent. And the permanence of my words feels like the promise of permanent change — the very goal of these marches.

But what also gives me power is feminism. I am a feminist. I believe in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s definition of feminism posits. I believe in a feminism that is inclusive of all women: straight, non-binary and LGBTQ+ women, women of all races, income levels, locations and circumstances.

I believe these things because I have felt the power in women supporting women, and I have seen how such support can embolden women to speak their minds, to own their bodies and assert their presence. I have come to believe these things because I have come to see their fruitful results.

So for me, feminism is not merely an assumed ideology or a lofty set of beliefs. To me, feminism is sticking up for your fellow woman, fighting not only for yourself but on behalf of your sister. It is empowering her, supporting her and pushing her to achieve her full potential.

It means securing the equality and liberties due to women of all circumstances without taking away from our male counterparts; it means serving as equals, knowing that there is enough of the proverbial “pie” to go around.

It means encouraging our mothers, sisters, friends, daughters and fellow women to respect their bodies, brains and hearts — and commanding others to respect them just the same.

It means teaching girls that they can do anything boys can, and teaching boys that being sensitive or contemplative is just as good as (or perhaps better than) being tough.

To me, feminism isn’t just about women. It’s about all of us. Because when one group succeeds, we all succeed.

XO,

Nicole