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That's why we couldn't help but chuckle when we saw these altered images of Disney princesses with hair far more realistic than the lucious locks animators originally drew.
Just look at Mulan's hair with the inevitable frizz brought on by humidity:
And Ariel's sopping wet hair (she is a mermaid after all):
The realistic Disney princess characters are the brainchild of Buzzfeed's Loryn Brantz, who first brought us "Disney Princesses With Realistic Waistlines." She previously spoke to The Huffington Post about why she created the illustrations.
"As a woman who loves Disney and has dealt with body image issues, it has been something I've always wanted to comment on, particularly after seeing 'Frozen,'" Brantz said. "While I loved the film, I was horrified that the main female character designs haven't changed since the '60s."
Though we couldn't be happier to see Brantz make some much-needed physical changes on our favorite Disney characters, we do have one suggestion for her -- add Princess Tiana!
Head over to Buzzfeed to view the rest of the princesses here.
It's not you, it's me. It was fun while it lasted and... eh, f*ck it. It's you. It's completely you.
I could be one of the few women on the planet who isn't dreading turning dirty 30 this year. I, for one, can't wait to bid my 20s a long-awaited adieu. No disrespect, 20s, it's been real. You've taught me more about myself than I ever cared to know. It's just that -- how do I put this lightly? -- you need to take your emotional baggage and get-ta-steppin'.
Needless to say, there are a number of things that every 30-something-year-old needs to just stop doing. Enough. Knock it off. Cease. Hault. Fini. Basta! I digress...
1. Being a b*tch to yourself.
Jeez, back off already. Give yourself a break. Your 20s are filled to the brim with self-doubt. Trying to stay afloat in this never-ending sea of insecurities is next to impossible. My pores are too big. My ass is too flat. My laugh is too loud. My eyes are too close together. Stop walking on egg shells and be whoever the hell you want to be -- whoever the hell you are, thunder thighs and al l-- no questions asked. And anyone who has a problem with it, can vaffanculo!
2. Wearing a handkerchief and calling it a shirt.
Listen, I've actually worn a handkerchief as a shirt and gotten away with it. (At least in my mind, I pulled it off.) But, it's no longer acceptable to shop in the junior's department. It's just not. I don't care if you have Giselle's legs and Scarlett Johansen's ta-tas. The answer is no. I'm not saying you can't be sexy -- by all means, show off your best assets. Just don't think you're on Project Runway and cut out tiny felt squares and double-stick tape them to your nipples and call it a shirt. That's all I'm sayin'.
3. Pining after the jerk.
Ugh, this one's a killer. Probably one of the most painful lessons you learn over and over and over again in your 20s. You know the guy I'm talking about. The one that brings nothing to the table, yet you somehow convince yourself that he's sexy and mysterious. He waits two hours to return a text message for a boring conversation that you've initiated. Oh, he must be incredibly busy. Yeah, incredibly busy being a douchebag. This is one of the more important items on this list because it can be the most damaging. Stop selling yourself short. In 20 years, this guy will probably be on his third failed marriage- - of which he takes no responsibility of wrong-doing. Torture yourself in another way -- like eating a pint of ice cream. It's much more enjoyable.
4. Throwin' up in da club on a Tuesday.
This one has dual meanings. I wrote this with the intention that it's not OK to actually throw up in a club. But then I realized that this saying has become somewhat popular now, meaning getting "turnt up" on a Tuesday. Nevertheless, NEITHER is acceptable in your 30s. I'm not proud to admit this, but I've thrown up multiple times (on different occasions) right in the middle of a club, mid-dance move, and continued on with my night as if it never even happened. To be completely honest, on those particular nights, I've locked lips with some poor bastard who had no idea that 30 minutes prior to his eyes fixating on my cleavage that I was just blowing chunks in a dark corner. I'm not sure this behavior is acceptable at any age, but hey, I was 20; we get a free pass.
5. Being a part-time, unpaid detective.
We all do it. And will probably continue to do it, no matter what age. You know what I'm talking about... it's a normal day and then BAM. It pops up on your damn newsfeed that your distant acquaintance commented on your ex-boyfriend's status. Then your mind runs rampant. The innocent thought slowly wraps itself around your once-rational cognitive process: "Oh, wonder what he's up to." Red lights start flashing. Sirens go off. Cannonballs Fire. Doesn't matter, you don't hear them; you begin your stalking pursuit. Then it's four hours later and you find yourself 1,800 clicks deep on your exes' cousin's sister's grandmother's page. Oh, look, there's little Timmy in his swimmies -- Jesus, you should be ashamed of yourself. If they're not in your life any more, and you don't talk to them on a somewhat regular basis, no matter how stalk-worthy they may seem; cut them loose.
6. Stage-5 clinger.
Nothing pisses me off more about my 20s-self than memories of surgically attaching myself to someone else in fear of being alone. NEWSFLASH: Being alone is magical. Embrace it. Bask in it. Soak it in. Second newsflash: It's only not obvious to you that the reason you're clinging is because you're insecure. In fact, once you start to like being alone -- which you inevitably will -- it becomes downright addicting. Think about it: No one to argue with. No one to politely suggest you take a shower after your late-night out. No one to ask "Can I have a back rubbbbb?" No one to point out that pesty zit making its way to the surface. Man-up and get a life of your own; you'll thank me later.
7. Participating in the walk of shame.
Ladies, ladies, ladies. I've been there. Mascara clumped in the sides of your eyelids, eyelashes hanging by the last stitch of glue, last-night's alcohol breath that could kill a pack of wildebeests. It's only natural--and actually safe--if you're drinking, to have a place to stay afterward. But be prepared. Pack a bag. It takes two seconds to throw a toothbrush, some kicks and a change of clothes into a bag. "What is everyone thinking?" you ask yourself while trying to catch the train home at 8 a.m. wobbling in 4-inch heels.
8. Drunken Texting.
I had originally wrote "calling," but I erased it. Who am I kidding? I'm not that old that I'd actually call someone. Anyway, back away from your iPhone. Put it away. Give it to a trusted friend who's strong enough to beat your ass when you threaten her life for it. Lock it up in a padlocked safe. I don't care what you do, but NOTHING good comes out of drunken texting. You think that duck-faced selfie is going to seal the deal? Or that quick shot of your boobs that you took in a bathroom stall? "OK," you concede. "But what about a simple seductive 'I want you' sext?" Maybe. Only if he's already very interested. If not, just think about sending whatever ridiculous text you want to send to your dad. That'll stop you dead in your tracks.
9. Doing laundry only because you just wore your last pair of bathing suit bottoms as underwear.
Whatever, I'll still do this.
10. Being a Mean Girl.
That is so not fetch. Feeding on others insecurities only screams lack of confidence on your part. You don't think that girl knows she has a big nose? You don't think she doesn't wake up every day wishing she looked like someone else? You don't think that she'd give her kidney to have a perfect body? Or to have a voice that doesn't sound like Alvin the Chipmunk? Trust me, she does. Women shouldn't tear each other down; they should band together. Who else understands that PMS isn't just an excuse to be a bitch. Or how painful a bikini wax is. Or how important "the right angle" in a picture is. Stick together girls. We can accomplish some badass shit.
Thirties ... here I come bitches.
While the catty interpersonal drama we've come to love and expect is a little lacking this season, and Prince Farming's personality is nowhere to be found, we can still glean some important life lessons about love and dating from "The Bachelor":
It's 2014. Can we please dispense with the retro myth that virginity = value? Just because you've never experienced the presence of a penis in your vagina does not make you "marriage material." (And while we're at it, let's dispense with that old-fashioned "marriage material" term, too!) Respect given should not ebb and flow in relation to the number of partners a person has had. (Chris: "It makes me respect her more." Say wha?!) Are you in touch with your sexuality and enjoy sex with open and honest communication? Great! Are you abstaining until you've found the right person? Great! But please don't whip out your V-card and flash it around like it's a Black Amex.
Lipstick, concealer, bronzer and contour makeup have no place on a camping date. It's okay to get glammed up for special occasions (though we'd reconsider the fake, tarantula-leg eyelashes), but a quick run to the corner store to pick up croissants and the Sunday New York Times for you and your lovie should not require three and a half hours of prep in front of the vanity.
Little girls under the age of 6 can get away with calling themselves "Disney Princesses" -- just barely. But if you are an adult woman, you should not consider yourself a princess, expect to be treated like one, or refer to yourself as such in public with zero shame. This is the real world, not Far Far Away; you are a grownup, not a spoiled brat. Self-infantilization is not attractive.
Before this becomes the official Poop on Ashley I. Parade, let's switch gears: It's your life and your body, do with it what you want -- but when revealing past personal choices, consider the nude modeling slightly more potentially scandalous than the called-off engagement.
It is a HUGE red flag when you gently ask the person you're dating a legitimate, challenging question and they become so enraged that they cannot form a complete sentence -- indeed, they cannot even finish a single sentence. (Verbatim: "I guess, ah, I see two sides, like, a, Kaitlyn has a lot of different facets that are, not, and I don't, those aren't, I see the Kaitlyn that's just, you know what I mean? I mean obviously, I mean if you like her or dislike her, I don't see, I don't look at Kaitlyn like being some really, I mean I'm not rewarding inappropriate behavior, you know, by giving roses to people that are, and I, if you view it as that, um...") When the expression on your date's confused face reads "Can't talk, must punch," it's probably a good idea to back up slowly and then briskly walk away.
Read up on last week's love lessons learned from "The Bachelor."
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"My vision for Vogue.com is to make it the global essential destination, hour by hour, for people who are interested in style in the broadest sense," Singer told HuffPost Style. "I want it to inform, inspire and create the conversation in fashion, beauty and culture."
And one of the many conversations that Singer has started revolves around a fashion staple: the "it" bag. In an effort to democratize the anointing of this year's must-have bag, Vogue.com has launched the "It Bag" Election today.
Readers can now have a say in the purse that fashion fiends will be coveting by choosing from 10 worthy candidates -- such as Chanel's Hippie-inspired flap bag or Reed Krakoff's color-blocked geometric square bag. The polls are officially open and a winner will be announced on February 3.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Singer about the imaginative "It Bag" election feature, all of Vogue.com's impressive original video series and how she manages to stay sane in this crazy world of fashion.
HuffPost Style: What inspired the "It Bag" Election?
Sally Singer: From the straight point of view of fashion and looking at the last collections, suddenly your eye was drawn to the bags on the runway -- there were lots of them and they were eye candy. And that has not happened in awhile. There was a time when shoes took over the runway and it was all about the wild shoe. But suddenly bags are back and in a way I haven't seen since probably the early 2000's. So, it seemed like the right moment from a fashion point of view to pick the ten possible new iconic shapes... and let our readers decide which one should win. We did campaign posters and videos and endorsements. It was a fun way to bring the "it" bag back.
HPS: Do you have a favorite candidate?
SS: I have made a case for the Céline curve bag on the site, because I think it has a shape to it that almost looks like you're going to archive it immediately -- one that you're going to put away and take out in years to come and it will become a reference point for other designers. It will always look like it was the most important design of the year.
HPS: How many "it" bags do you actually own?
SS: In my closet, I have often shied away from "it" bag moments in the past, because I never wanted to wear what everyone else was after but when I reneged on that, they were always the ones they bring back again and again. Like the first Balenciaga bag, the Motorcycle bag, I carry a lot. I can't get enough of the Fendi baguette right now, I don't think anything could be more fabulous right now. So I know the value of an it bag over time. There is a reason that they work -- there is something special when they hit. They might subside for a few years but you can always bring it back. They hold their value and very few things in fashion hold their value.
HPS: The video programming on Vogue.com is out of this world! How important is original video content to the site?
SS: Original video content is essential to the site and to our social streams. We make everything from Vogue Original Shorts with top talent and cutting edge video directors to fitness how-to's, shop-able video fashion slideshows, animated recipes, delightful model profiles, long-form interviews with designers and stars, unboxing spoofs, "it bag" campaign ads, original acoustic musical performances, makeup lessons, Vines, gifs (remember Nikki Minaj doing the anaconda dance backstage at Alexander Wang?) and even special pieces just for Instagram. Why? Because it makes the site feel alive and playful, and it allows us to tell stories we couldn't really do justice to in text or still photography. One of my favorite pieces is a fashion/fitness slideshow and video on the site right now called "The Year of No Excuses." How else to convey the utility and loveliness of these workout looks without showing them in motion on actual athletes and dancers?
HPS: Very true. We're also obsessed with the "73 Questions" video series. Who would you love to see featured?
SS: For me, Leonard Cohen--because I just love him and have always wanted to know more. And then folks who are super private but, because of extreme and unusual circumstances are of intense public interest -- Amal Clooney, Kate Middleton, and Julian Assange (just imagine "73 questions" in the Ecuadorean embassy!).
HPS: Beyond fashion and beauty the site also features stories on health, wellness, lifestyle and even politics. How important is that type of content to Vogue.com?
SS: It's incredibly important to the site. The emotional life of the women and the men that come to our site, I'd say in someways, is the key to the whole enterprise of doing a luxury publication digitally or in print. I think the choices we make in our lives, whether it's our it bag or our boyfriend, are emotional choices. Those are the ones that resonate with readers the most. It's not utilitarian or pragmatic -- it's emotional. And it's incredibly important to think about the emotional lives and the ethical lives in every which way we can of the people that come to our site. It's actually the glue that cements a reader's allegiance to us. It allows them to feel and myself to feel, as an editor, that we know each other. Once we know each other, well then we can talk about bags, we can talk about lipstick, we can talk about anything. I think when we do pieces on wellness, sex, or politics -- like reporting from the front lines of the Eric Garner protests or the Charlie Hebdo protests -- what we're saying to our readers, and what our readers are saying back to us via social media, is we know each other.
HPS: Speaking of wellness, we hear you meditate. Amazing! How often do you do it and why?
SS: I do meditate. My goal is to be able to meditate twenty minutes in the morning, up from fifteen. I was lucky enough to meet, through Vogue, a Buddhist meditation teacher named Ethan Nichtern. He convinced me that I could sit still for ten minutes and I've managed now to make it fifteen minutes every day. It's a good practice, in part because I learned from him and by doing it that it doesn't still your mind -- your mind is still going, but it allows you to just sit and watch your mind go in front of you a little. The thoughts are there but they are floating in front of you and you get a little distance and it's a very wonderful and calming thing.
HPS: So do you feel that meditating has helped you navigate this crazy world of fashion?
SS: It's helped me not only in the crazy world of fashion, but also in the crazy world of having three kids and in the crazy world of New York. The other thing I do is ride a bike everywhere. I think riding a bike, even between the [Fashion Week] shows, is a wonderful way to not be on your phone and just be completely alert to the world around you -- it's very exhilarating and head-clearing.
HPS: Having worked on both sides of the magazine industry (print and digital) -- what are your thoughts on the future of print? Is print really dying?
SS: Oh gosh no! I don't think print is dying. I'm someone who reads books in print and books on my iPad. And I read magazines in print and online. I also read The New York Times in print every morning and go to their website. I don't think print is dying, but I do think media culture is evolving. The print that is thriving is really special -- it's images that can't be reproduced easily and it's text that needs to be read in long form. Print is relevant because the publications that make it and the care they put into it. I don't think that's going anywhere.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
In 2013, 22 states passed 70 anti-abortion measures, including bans on late-term abortions, increasing doctor and clinic regulations and bans on insurance coverage for abortion. This week witnessed another flurry of legislation. A bill that would prohibit using federal money to pay for "any abortion" or for "health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion" was approved Thursday by the House. Introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J), and speaker John Boehner among others, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 bill passed by a vote of 242-179. With an almost certain White House veto looming, the legislation has little chance of becoming law. However, the passing comes only a day after House Republicans opted to shelve a bill that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks post-conception.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (also known as HR36), passed by Arizona in 2013 and then shortly after struck down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, floundered after a lack of support from female GOP lawmakers. HR36 was also heavily opposed by Democrats and women's and reproductive rights groups. However, fights to tighten abortion restrictions are not going away. Ten states already ban abortions after 20 weeks, two others are actively defending such laws in court, and although shelved for now, HR36 will continue to linger and shape the discourse around abortion rights and has strong potential for resurrection post-2016 elections.
Since 1973 there have been significant gains in several important areas of women's rights. Declines in the gender gap in salaries, legislation around sexual harassment in the work place, The Violence Against Women Act, and the lifting of the ban on women serving in combat roles are examples of significant strides towards gender equity. I am not saying we have achieved gender equity -- far from it, there still remain significant gender gaps in employment and income for example -- but we have made progress. Except, that is, when it comes to abortion.
True, abortion is more available than when Roe v. Wade passed in 1973. But access is quickly being eroded. Mississippi and Texas are examples of states where legislation has successfully closed clinics that could provide safe abortion services. Over the course of the 20th century the decline in childbirth-related deaths in the United States has been dramatic, with a drop of nearly 99 percent. However, the rate of decline has stagnated, and there is recent evidence that the U.S. has the unfortunate distinction of being one of a handful of countries that has seen an increase in maternal deaths. And the risks have risen most acutely for black women. Between 2006 and 2010, the death rate among black women in the U.S. was more than three times that of white women. Access to abortion care is not the only answer -- there are gains that also need to be made in providing quality obstetric care -- but it is clearly a part of the answer.
Sedgh and colleagues, in their review of global abortion trends between 1995 and 2008 published in The Lancet, show that globally approximately one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2008, and that restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. This highlights a very important point. Restricting access to abortions does not prevent abortions, it merely shifts safe abortions provided by trained health care professionals in clinic settings to unsafe abortions often conducted by less trained individuals outside of clinical settings, increasing the risk of serious health threats to women. The Guttmacher Institute shows that globally each year 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortion, accounting for 13 percent of all maternal deaths worldwide. By eroding access to abortion, the U.S. risks undoing some of the progress made in maternal health. Our nation's health, as well our as progress towards gender equity, it literally retreating.
Sedgh and colleagues also show that the abortion rate is lower where more women live under liberal abortion laws. If we ensure equal access to safe abortions in the context of a program of quality reproductive health services, every woman will not suddenly want one. But they will have a choice. The U.S. is not alone in restricting access to abortion; many other countries have far more restrictive and even punitive legislations. But 41 years on, we are still grappling with providing access to an essential reproductive health service. And that feels so 1970s.
The views expressed in this article do not reflect those of the University of Michigan.
However, as we've seen so many times before, offering a reasonably priced designer product is a successful, sometimes overwhelming way to attract customers. Perhaps that's why the store announced Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Women's Wear Daily that it will launch Dressbar, which will include in-store pop ups, an e-commerce site and one standalone store featuring dresses designed by Carmen Marc Valvo, Heidi Weisel and Michael Smaldone from Adrianna Papell on March 4.
According to WWD, they were chosen out of a group of 25 designers based on their understanding of the store's typical customer, who are women in their 40's. Each of them will design a collection of between six and ten dresses.
Lori Wagner, Dress Barn’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president of e-commerce, explained the company's goal in partnering up with designers to WWD: "We plan on being the number one destination for dresses. In our value sector, there are very few retailers giving this level of design at our price points. We feel it’s a real differentiator," she said.
Each dress will be priced between $42-$70, which is a real bargain considering the high prices these designers typically charge. We can't wait to see the entire line.
Victoria's Secret is set to air its first Super Bowl commercial since 2008, sending every guy watching the big game a message about Valentine's Day,
... s Secret Sara Sampaio for Victoria's Secret PINK Photo: Victoria's Secret Sara Sampaio for Victoria's Secret PINK Photo: Victoria's Secret...
Mark your calendars, VS fans! Somewhere very south of the #BlizzardOf2015 , people are reveling on beaches in bikinis—and Victoria's Secret ...
The book Russian Tattoo first grabbed my attention because of its amazingly accurate title. I instantly knew what it would be about: immigrants bearing the everlasting marks of detectible dissimilarities, symbolic tattoos of their native cultures, with negative connotations typical of our daily interactions.
An immigrant for over 20 years, I remember my first American job, in a New York global computer company that employed scores of immigrant programmers as cheaper labor. It was there that Mary, an executive assistant, took me into her confidence because I spoke better English than the majority of workers there. Mary deplored immigrants' "disgusting behaviors" and asked rhetorically and disapprovingly, "How can they be of any good if they speak such poor English?" I never felt flattered by her "uplifting" me to nearly her level, as I was aware of my own immigrant wickedness, my tattoo.
A lot of water went under the Brooklyn Bridge since then, but intolerance to such "tattooed" people, immigrants and other minorities (which make up 13.1 and 22.3 percent of the U.S. population respectively), is still a significant problem, as recent conflicts show.
We take it as universal truth that mitigating intolerance to those fellow-citizens who are not like us is a sign of a true democracy. In that sense, we still have a way to go to root out our unconscious bias, leveling the field for all compatriots of talent and goodwill. America - the beautiful, the prosperous, and the diverse - works only if it is indeed inclusive of all stakeholders. I'd like to think that our reality is drifting towards this, albeit as slow as a glacier.
Immigrant Women Writers
While embarking on a book project about prominent immigrant women leaders, I realized that many of them are authors as well. It really came as no surprise: adrenaline-charged experiences of what I call Generation FF certainly provide unique perspectives on American opportunities, evolving values, their leadership-in-the-making, and most importantly - cultural integration as a prerequisite of success.
Remarkably, 60 percent of the 35 women I researched have taken the time to write books, aside from their primary occupations. They clearly felt the urge, the need, to share their thoughts and experiences, which is, per se, a leadership "symptom."
As much as I enjoyed learning about Isabel Allende, Ivana Trump, Edwina Sandys, Nadia Comaneci, or Paulina Porizkova, to name a few, I was spellbound by a memoir of Elena Gorokhova, one of my book subjects, because her story in Russian Tattoo launched by Simon & Schuster with a movie trailer, takes one to new heights of truly understanding the "guts" and significance of immigration.
Gorokhova definitely made it in America. A lively, intelligent girl from a modest Soviet-Russian family, she was single-handedly raised by an authoritarian mother. She evolved into a confident American professor who authored two memoirs - both rich in sensual and sensitive detail and both very popular. They describe her 24 years growing up in the Soviet Union and subsequent 30 years adapting to life in America.
Russian Tattoo depicts the life and mentality of a young immigrant marked with a Russian tattoo she can't get rid of--or doesn't really want to--with her love, marriage, loving-detesting relationship with her mother, and Russian-American identity issues. It's about the duality of belonging to different worlds, about the eternal mother-daughter relationship and associated tensions, and about her slow integration into mainstream American culture.
I could also sense innate modesty from Gorokhova's responses to her questionnaire for my book: "I have never had a single leader quality. I am not a follower, but in no way am I a leader... I think I am pretty average when it comes to toughness or giving up." On the issue of leadership I beg to disagree with her.
I understand Gorokhova to be both a good writer and leader. Why? How about thousands of followers? Do they read her books because they have nothing better to do? Don't they identify with her anguish about detesting her overbearing mother? Presumably, they recognize her feelings of guilt remembering how she kept her mother at arm's length, never letting warmer emotions to show. Surely they feel her pain of non-healing wound in her soul sliced into two incompatible parts, Russian and American. They certainly understand her longing to find an ultimate "home". Finally, they understand her begging for forgiveness from her late mother.
Come on, Elena, you are a leader!
You are a leader if only because you've shown us how we too can do something to improve upon unfortunate circumstances. You've given us much food for thought - about the meanings of home, love, and mother's duties; about mother-daughter relationships; about cultural integration, and more.
Most importantly, in sharing your own journey of transitioning from Russian to American mentality, you provided abundant evidence that as different as all of our backgrounds might be, your journey is our journey too. We all do soul-searching; we all do the best we can bearing our own crosses, because we all have been marked with our own individual tattoos, Russian or other. We are all human, and we're all connected.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Russian Tattoo is not merely Gorokhova's personal memoir--because all immigrants can relate to her integration anxieties, while countless other people can relate to her honestly uncovered poignant family dramas. Hemingway quoted John Donne in For Whom the Bell Tolls, "No man is an island, entire of itself" - because we are part of a bigger mankind: "and therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
This is wonderfully put; and my point is that Russian Tattoo, so profoundly sincere, gentle, and personal, also relates to each one of us, as Gorokhova rose to speak of all of us as human beings. Many could identify with her or tell a story similar to hers. But it's nearly impossible to tell it better than she did.
On Monday, as Elsa (er, Juno) distressed the Northeast, cold singles furiously swiped right and left -- the app Hinge saw a record high -- in hopes of finding a snuggle buddy (or, whatever). In real life, I'm not single, but I joined in the fun anyway, exclusively using quotes and lyrics from "Frozen" to converse with matches.
Me, yesterday, basically.
What I learned from my experiment was threefold: 1) There are still humans left who don't recognize the lyrics to "Let It Go," 2) Innocent Disney lyrics seem oddly sexual when taken out of context, and 3) Olaf is quite the wing(snow)man.
Sorry, guys of Tinder, and thanks for playing along.
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Forty years ago this month, then President Ford established the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, which had been designated as 1975 by the United Nations. The President's actions kicked off a chain of events, now largely forgotten, that triggered some of the most dramatic changes to women's progress in American history. That year, the Women's Commission was established, holding caucuses in all 50 states to engage women in debate and action around the issues that mattered most to them. Tens of thousands of women attended these meetings from across the country and the energy and momentum they generated would change the paradigm for generations of American women that followed. The powerful combination of civic action, community, collaboration, bi-partisanship and advocacy created change at every level of American society. For American women from all parties, classes and walks of life, 1975 was a breakthrough year.
Forty years later, we are again seeing historic energy, engagement and passion from American women who are better educated and more ambitious than ever, increasingly out earning men as primary breadwinners and leading in unprecedented ways. Women are running major corporations, starting businesses and serving in Congress in greater numbers than ever before. Strong, powerful role models - such as Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who in November became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress at age 30 -- abound. And yet for all the leaning in and working hard, women have also realized they are far from the promise of full and equal voice and opportunity. The World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. 20th globally for gender equality -- behind Nicaragua, Burundi, and South Africa. 62% of minimum wage workers in the US are female. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence. And while women have turned every election since the 1980's, their voices are not being heard in a wide range of issues from the office to the state house to Capital Hill.
On nearly every measure of civic engagement beyond voting, women are hugely behind. We are less likely to read about politics, to write to our representatives, to make political contributions, to speak up at town hall meetings, or to believe we understand the issues. And while women in Congress have time and again shown their willingness to collaborate and put aside partisan politics to focus on issues that matter, we are still less likely to run (or believe we'd ever be qualified to run) for office.
Looking back at where we've been and forward to where we must go, we decided to do something. This month, in honor of that important anniversary, we are launching the All In Together Campaign to spark a national conversation about the role of women in political and civic life. We are bringing people together from both parties, from the private, public, non-profit and academic sectors to help shape a groundbreaking agenda of leadership and civic action and to close the stubborn and stagnant gender gaps that continue to limit women's voices in our national agenda.
Today, many women understand we have unprecedented freedoms and opportunity. We have the ability to choose our careers and determine our destinies in ways our mothers could hardly have imagined. And yet, we are far from achieving full equality and empowerment as envisioned by women in 1975. To ensure our voice is as powerful as our numbers and our influence is as strong as our interests, we must take all remaining boundaries off our leadership to drive real change on all the issues that matter to us. We do not have to agree on everything but we must speak up and participate in shaping the future of our nation -- for our communities, for our families, and for ourselves. And we must do it together.
Lauren Leader-Chivée @laurenchivee and Courtney Emerson @courtneyemerson
PHOTOS: Supermodels -- then and now Victoria's Secret models walk the runway during finale of the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on...
The Sexiest Swim Show Of The Year, "THE VICTORIA'S SECRET SWIM SPECIAL", Premieres Thursday, Feb. 26, On The CBS …
Maj. Erik J. Burris was found guilty on two charges of rape, a charge of forcible sodomy, four charges of assault and a charge of disobeying an order, the Army said in a five-sentence statement. Burris was sentenced to 20 years in prison, dismissed from the service, and ordered to forfeit all pay, the statement said. Burris, 39, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. He could not be reached for comment, and the name of the lawyer representing him was not provided.
The statement emailed to news media outlets Monday was the first issued by the Army about the case. It provided no details about the crimes for which Burris was convicted or whether they included other military personnel.
Fort Bragg spokeswoman Maj. Crystal Boring said Monday night that she could not provide further details about the evidence presented against Burris, which she said involved multiple victims.
"Our policy is not to comment on information that might reveal the identities of sexual assault or minor victims," Boring said. "We do not have a policy of issuing public releases on sexual assault cases and have received no previous media inquiries (about this case)."
Boring said Burris' name was listed on a public docket in advance of his trial, though a copy was no longer available. Such dockets do not list the specific charges against a defendant, only the numbered sections of military law at issue.
Nonmilitary personnel cannot access the sprawling North Carolina base or its federal courthouse without prior approval. Court documents such as legal motions and trial transcripts are supposed to be public under the Freedom of Information Act but are routinely not provided by the military until months, even years, after the case is resolved.
At the time he was charged, Burris was the chief of military justice for the 82nd Airborne — a position in which he supervised other military prosecutors handling criminal cases within the famed paratrooper division.
The military has been under intense scrutiny in recent years over its handling of sexual assault allegations. A trial was held at Fort Bragg last year for the man believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. military officer ever court-martialed on sexual assault charges.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who served as deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, faced numerous criminal charges after he was accused of twice forcing a female captain who worked for him to perform oral sex during the course of a three-year extramarital affair, as well as inappropriate relationships with two other women.
The trial ended in March when Sinclair agreed to plead guilty to some of the less serious charges against him as part of a plea agreement that saw him retire at a reduced rank while avoiding prison time.
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This remote work may be something we should be doing more of, according to two new studies. Working from home can be good for your health and productivity. Not only did people who worked from home report greater work satisfaction and less "work exhaustion," they also got better sleep. Separately, researchers found that the highest performing workers were the most likely to cultivate and excel in a "WFH" environment.
Researchers from Stanford University recently conducted a study on 255 employees of a large Chinese travel agency, all of whom had been employed with the agency for at least six months. Half of the employees worked from home for a period of nine months, while the other half of the employees acted as a control group, and continued to work out of the office. Both group worked the same shifts at the same time.
While the performance of the group that stayed in the office remained stable, the performance of the work from home group increased by 13 percent, as measured by their sales rate and interactions with customers. They were also more productive per minute. The researchers cited less noise distraction, fewer breaks and fewer sick days as some possible reasons for the boosts in productivity, Harvard Business Review reported.
But they found something else that was interesting. After the test period was over, the employees were given the choice whether to continue working from home or to return to the office. Roughly half the work-from-homers decided to return the office, and three-quarters of the group who remained in the office decided to stay there -- and typically, it was the highest-performing employees who chose to work from home, likely because they were not worried about getting distracted.
"Our advice is that firms — at the very least — ought to be open to employees working from home occasionally, to allow them to focus on individual projects and tasks," the study's authors wrote in Harvard Business Review.
Another way that working from home may improve employee productivity and satisfaction is by improving sleep quality, according to an unrelated new study. Research conducted on nearly 500 workers found that employees with a more flexible work schedule are less sleep-deficient than those with less control over their time.
The study, recently published in the journal Sleep Health, found that employees who were able to decide when and where they work enjoyed an improved quality and quantity of sleep.
"Work can be a calling and inspirational, as well as a paycheck, but work should not be detrimental to health," one of the study's authors, Orfeu M. Buxton, said in a statement. "It is possible to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of work by reducing work-family conflict and improving sleep."
Some previous research has supported these findings. A 2007 meta-analysis of 46 studies found that working remotely improved productivity by both objective measures and supervisor evaluations. Remote work was also found to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction, but on the negative side, was correlated with a lower quality of relationships with co-workers.
A 2014 University of Calgary study also found that when it comes to work-from-home productivity, personality matters. Workers who were honest, conscientious and satisfied with their jobs were productive at home, while (unsurprisingly), workers who had a tendency to procrastinate were less productive at home.
To help share our wisdom, we've rounded up 11 habits of the sartorially advanced. Follow these rules and who knows, you could be the next Miroslava Duma (or at least have a closet that rivals hers).
1. They subscribe to dozens of listservs and newsletters. Yes, your inbox might be clogged, but it's worth it to get alerts on sales and special promotions.
2. They aren't scared of items that are dry clean only. Any closet worth its salt is going to have special care pieces -- whether it's a suede skirt, a neoprene top or a sequined blazer. Don't back away from something just because you can't toss it in the washing machine.
3. They have a tailor on speed dial. It may seem like a waste of money to tailor a dress from Zara, but perfect fit is the difference between looking fast fashion versus high fashion.
4. They aren't afraid to size up. So many women get fixated on wearing a certain size, but sizing up can often completely change the look of a garment. Turning a tight tank into a loose top by going up a size will make it uniquely yours.
5. They understand that the best closets are 70 percent meat and potatoes. It's always fun to buy trendy, statement pieces, but the most lust-worthy wardrobes are always made up of mostly basics. These neutral garments (think black leather pants, a perfectly tailored blazer, a classic white T-shirt) are the things you should be splurging on, as they will make up the bones of your closet and you'll be able to wear them multiple times a week.
6. They aren't afraid to buy something even if they have no place to wear it. When you find an incredible piece, just buy it. The occasion to wear it will come later.
7. They take things to the repair shop before they fall apart. When you first notice that a pair of shoes is starting to deteriorate, run to the nearest cobbler. If you wait until they are on their last legs (pun intended), it could be too late.
8. They try things on, even if they are out of budget. It can be disheartening to fall in love with something if it's out of budget. But when and if that item goes on sale, you want to know your size and whether it suits you. If you always try on pieces that are a little out of reach, when the markdowns happen, you can buy it online, even if it's final sale.
9. They befriend sales associates. Buddying up to the sales clerk has many advantages -- they will put aside items in your size, give you a heads up when a sale is happening and call you when new items arrive.
10. They are the first ones to try a trend. She who hesitates is lost -- in the style world, that is. If you notice a new trend that none of your friends have adopted yet, don't be afraid to be the guinea pig. Big risks equals big rewards (or at least a spot on a street style blog).
11. They are always shopping. Even when you're in the mens section or at an antiques shop, always have your eyes peeled for things that could work in your closet -- you never know what gem you might find.
But the most bizarre moment of the weekend had to be Sarah Palin's head-scratching speech, which has been described as "meandering and bizarre," "weird" and "terrible."
Here's an excerpt:
"Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed! It's too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads or nothing will change with the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo. Another Latin word, status quo, and it stands for, ‘Man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really gettin’ taken for a ride.'"
“You know, that’s the kind of talk you normally hear right before the pharmacist says, ‘Ma’am, you’ve got to leave the Walgreens,’" Stewart said on Monday night's "Daily Show." “Now we know what it’s like to get cornered by Palin at an open-bar wedding."
Maybe Palin wasn't setting the stage for a presidential run in 2016. Maybe she was doing something else entirely... and Stewart thinks he knows exactly what it is.
Check out the clip above to find out.