Providing muse to make a change to feminine societal standards with beauty, art, aesthetic, and the written word.
Menstruation Education + More
Efforts to Increase Menstruation Education for Girls
The NGO, Princesses Attaining Defining Stages (PADS), recently stated the importance of proper menstrual education and hygiene for female children to allow them to be proactive members of society. PADS founder Temitope Udmo urged schools and government to instigate menstrual hygiene education, especially because of cultural, religious, and traditional beliefs that could lead to restrictions that women and girls face during their period. Some countries in fact perceive menstruation as a disease—a stigma that manifests in a lack of adequate toilet facilities and the availability of clean water in public schools. Menstruation education and proper hygiene materials are needed not only to improve girls’ self-esteem, but also to prevent diseases such as reproductive tract infections.
Image: Vanguard NGR
Google’s Sally Ann Williams: “Inclusion isn’t a ‘nice to have,’ it’s a ‘must have’ ”
Sally Ann Williams is an engineering community and outreach manager at Google Australia, advocating for diversity and inclusivity in STEM. She says that inclusion is a “must have,” especially for creative product development in STEM fields, and the only way to achieve positive change is to actively combat against “unconscious bias.” Williams goes on to discuss the measures that need to be taken to achieve parity and encourage diversity in all realms of STEM, beginning with a close examination of the uncomfortable truths surrounding the lack of inclusivity.
Image: B&T Magazine
Transgender Toys to Help Youth with Gender Identity
LG2, A Montreal-based design firm, has spent 2 years creating a Russian doll named Sam that aims to help educators and young students understand their gender identity. Each of the 6 dolls represents the various stages of life a transgender child may go through. The associate professor of the University of Montreal’s school of social work noted that because gender identity starts developing around two to three years old, and consolidating around seven to eight years old, children need help understanding these complex emotions. The creative director of LG2, Stuart MacMillan admits that the toy won’t be in stores anytime soon, as they don’t necessarily have an audience, but they do have a mission that will open a valuable discussion and source of support for transgender youth.
Image: CTV Montreal
Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas
Women now making up a majority of law students in the US. Linda Bray Chanow diligently serves as director of the University of Texas’ Center for Women in Law, a groundbreaking program widely recognized as being instrumental in encouraging more women to pursue a career in law. The center provides many mentoring and internship opportunities for interested students, and implements outreach to women of color. Chanow, a former resident of the Pittsburgh area says, “It’s progress, not perfection.”
Image: AMANDA VOISARD
Co-Education to Maximize Standard of Learning in India
In the city of Pune, India, a 138-year old school is now opening its doors to girls for the first time. The school’s principal thinks that co-education is key to creating a holistic and gender-neutral atmosphere with mutual respect and healthy competition. 25 girls have enrolled so far for the next academic year, and the school is hopeful that the male students will adopt positively to the change.
Carrie Kerpen, CEO and co-founder of the content studio, Likeable Media, released her book detailing lessons and tips she learned from interviews on her podcast, “All the Social Ladies.” Tips on contract and wage negotiations, entrepreneurship, achieving success and more are collected in Work It: Secrets for Success from The Boldest Women in Business. Kerpen talks about her motivation, perspective and gives advice for women attempting to meet the challenges associated with a career in the business sector.
It’s been over a year and six months since the Brexit vote, and the UK’s impending breakaway from the European Union is still causing uproar. Fashion companies based around the UK, in particular, are concerned about the deals’ impact on their ability to hire and travel internationally, as well as import high-quality textiles from around the globe. According to a report from the Creative Industries Federation, 74% of small luxury labels—many of whom are run by or provide employment to women-- fear that Brexit will significantly harm business prospects. Adam Mansell, the executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, warns that, although it seems unlikely, “it is vital that we get a trade deal with zero tariffs and very simple border controls.”
28-year-old Humza Mian isn’t just a veterinary technician—he’s also a drag queen and social media influencer whose feeds are both a celebration of his South Asian heritage and of his individuality. His drag name, MangHoe Lassi, pays homage to a popular drink in India. Growing up in a religious family, Mian was taught to hide any traces of femininity, and he still isn’t out to his parents. While he wishes he could be, the reality is that coming out still is not a safe option for many people across the world. Even though laws are changing and promoting acceptance of more and more people, the social implications of such a decision can be incredibly dangerous. Mian wishes that media represented those queer folk who are proud of their identity but still have to remain closeted, unlike the many out-loud-and-proud shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite this, he is happy his drag, makeup tutorials, and social media presence as a beauty influencer can create a safe space for him to be fully himself, and he hopes he can create that space for others with similar experiences.
Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor and body-positive advocate took to Instagram this week to talk about an issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: chafing and the discomfort—and scars—it can result in. Stanley posted an amazingly real photo of herself on her couch in her underwear, comfortably watching television with her inner thighs bearing the scars many plus-sized women have from chafing. Within her caption, she says “Yes, there are permanent marks on my thighs from chafing, Welcome to being #fat.” What people don’t realize is that this happens to women whose thighs happen to brush together when they walk—it’s not about being what society deems as “fat.” It’s simply friction and nothing to be ashamed of.
Coming out is an important moment for many in the queer community, but what if you never technically have to come out, or you’re not sure you even have anything to come out about? Growing up, Wilson knew she liked boys, but she was confused about the feelings that girls would sometimes provoke in her. She hated herself for being confused. As a supporter of queer rights, she felt that even discussing her confusion would take away from “real queer people,” and she saw her own identity as invalid. After all, she married a man and was incredibly happy with him, so what was the point of exploring her identity even further? But one day during Pride Month, Eleanor wondered why she didn’t think her identity mattered and why she had been unhappily hiding herself. She realized that to finally feel comfortable in her own skin, she had to be honest. After coming out via social media, Eleanor couldn’t stop telling everyone she talked to; it gave her such a rush of love for herself and her unique identity. If there’s one thing Eleanor’s story can teach us, it’s that accepting yourself and showing who you are to the world takes time, bravery, and a whole lot of self-love.