Zendaya fights for equal audition opportunities

Equal opportunities are important across all industries and upon all forums, but especially so in the highly visual, visible and influential world of Hollywood.

And so for multi-hyphenate Zendaya, making sure all are considered for acting jobs is just one way to achieve equal access to opportunities and ultimately, equal representation. In a new interview in Marie Claire‘s September issue, Huffington Post reports that the 21 year old told Janet Mock that her process for auditioning is both intentional and barrier-breaking.

“I always tell my theatrical manager, ‘Anytime it says they’re looking for white girls, send me out. Let me get in the room. Maybe they’ll change their minds,'” she said. “And, honestly, if there’s a part that I didn’t get or that I really wanted at the time, shit always ends up working out.”

Using the example of her role as MJ in “Spiderman” as an example, HuffPost says while the role wasn’t written for a woman of color, Zendaya pressed forward for an audition.

“I definitely went into it like, ‘Hopefully they’ll’ ― as they call it in the industry ― ‘go ethnic,'” she said, according to HuffPost. “I remember making the decision to straighten my hair. I didn’t know that they were going to be more diverse in their casting. I didn’t know that I was walking into a situation where they were already breaking the rules. You get so used to having to break the rules for people.”

The is one type of rule breaking we’ll fully support! Click here to read the full interview.

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Rihanna makes history on ‘British Vogue’ cover

Rihanna just broke a 102-year-old record.

According to HuffPost, the singer-beauty modul-philanthropist is gracing the cover of British Vogue’s September issue, and in doing so, is becoming the first black woman in the publication’s entire 102-year history to occupy the spot.

Styled by the glossy’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and photographed by fashion photographer Nick Knight, HuffPost says Rihanna took her place on British Vogue‘s cover wearing a “a pink tulle Prada dress and neon-orange gloves from her Savage x Fenty collection,” while also wearing only makeup products from her Fenty Beauty brand.

With the 400-page September issue the barometer of the upcoming season’s impending fashion trends, HuffPost says Rihanna’s cover is hinting at what may be a major trend: pencil-thin eyebrows, which she shows off on her cover photo.

Enninful explained the decision to place Rihanna on the magazine’s cover as one he always saw coming.

“I always knew it had to be Rihanna,” he said. “A fearless music-industry icon and businesswoman, when it comes to that potent mix of fashion and celebrity, nobody does it quite like her.”

Amen to that.

 

Clinton makes cameo on ‘Madam Secretary’

Art and reality are merging for an all-new episode of CBS’ hit show, “Madam Secretary.”

According to Huffington Post, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton will take to the small screen for an episode of the show alongside other former secretaries of state, including Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

The episode the trio will star in will air on Oct. 7, says HuffPost, the show’s fifth season premiere, with fictional “Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (played by Téa Leoni) ask[ing] the three former secretaries of state for their advice on how to handle a fragile situation.”

As for the impact the three will make on the show, Executive Producer Lori McCreary said in a release that their presence is profound.

“Having three powerhouses of diplomacy agree to come on our show is awe-inspiring and humbling.”

Dunham deconstructs before-and-after photos, all in name of body positivity

Lena Dunham is never afraid to make a point, and she did just that recently, this time using her own photos.

According to HuffPost, the actor and “Girls” showrunner took to Instagram to post two side-by-side photos that illustrated how her body has changed in the past few years. In the caption, HuffPost says she used the space to discuss how each difference in her body came with a difference in her mindset — and vice versa.

“On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy,” she wrote. “On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits”

Showing that being thinner doesn’t always mean that someone is happier (or healthier), HuffPost says Dunham ended her post by admitting that sometimes she looks at the ‘before’ picture “longingly,” even as an “OG body positivity warrior.” But then she “sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees.”

Ending on the words, “As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in,” encouraging all of us to “lean in” to who we are and accept ourselves as we are.

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.”

NYPD hires first turbaned Sikh female

There’s a first for everything, and for the NYPD, a brand-new officer is making much-needed waves in the name of inclusivity.

According to the Huffington Post, 20-year-old Gursoch Kaur from Queens, New York, has become the first turbaned Sikh woman to join the NYPD follower her May graduation from the New York Police Academy.

HuffPost says that her accomplishment is especially meaningful when placing it within the context of Sikh representation, not to mention female representation within the NYPD:

“Around 35,400 full-time uniformed officers work for the NYPD, 190 of whom are Sikh, according to the Sikh Officers Association,” reports HuffPost. “Around 10 are women.”

Kaur will begin her career in the NYPD as an Auxiliary Police Officer (APO), says HuffPost, which is an “officer who’s trained to assist local police precincts, housing police service areas and transit districts.”

As for how Kaur feels about being the one to break the dam for others to follow in her path, she only has one word: blessed.

“I feel blessed. The only reason people are interested is because of my dastar (turban).” she told Desi Talk, according to HuffPost. “People haven’t seen anything like that. It’s great because it gives me an opportunity to tell them what’s behind the turban, educate them. That’s how we love one another.”

 

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.

Graham’s new swimwear campaign features paparazzi photos

Who needs a professional photoshoot when your paparazzi photos are this good? The answer for Ashley Graham was simple: she didn’t.

So when the model and author debuted her latest swimsuit collection for inclusive swimwear company Swimsuits for All, HuffPost says the collection’s campaign “features unedited and unretouched paparazzi photos of Graham wearing the new suits.”

Called the “Power of Paparazzi,” the campaign shows off an all-new nine-piece collection that, HuffPost reportsis inspired by the 1920s and its famous art-deco style, which makes its way into the collection via “leaf appliqué and gold stitching,” as evidenced by the Ritzy swimsuit and “braided details and gold beading” on the Whoopee bikini. All styles are available in sizes 4-22, according to HuffPost, and is priced between $102-$120.

While the styles are certainly different, Graham told HuffPost that the campaign was also a first for her.

“This campaign is different than any other I have worked on throughout my entire career,” she said. “I hope these images instill a fearless belief in everyone to be happy in their own skin and enjoy living in the moment, no matter who is watching.”

Amen to that!

Shop the collection here.

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.