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Positive Social Networks + More
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Girls’ Club
As gentrification threatens the cultural centers of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, an essential club continues to empower young girls of color to be leaders. Managing directors of the Lower Eastside Girls’ Club Erikka James Ebonie Simpson explain the importance of having a foundation early on that supports young girls’ self-esteem. The club aims to expose the girls to different industries and routes to success, as well as provide good role models
Women Creating their Own Social Networks
With all of the scandal Facebook has been enmeshed in, not to mention the frequent online harassment women face, new social networks are becoming more attractive. One of them, named ‘Maverick,’ recently launched. Its mission? To empower tween girls through new “challenges” and positive affirmation that avoids the trap of competition and comparison. New business models of other women's networks are keeping away trolls that women deal with on other sites, while Maverick calls attention to the new ways women are connecting and finding community outside of the mainstream.
Image: Getty Images
How Charlize Theron’s New Film Tully Tackles Raw Motherhood
Charlize Theron’s new film, Tully, addresses mental and physical health issues surrounding motherhood. The film depicts the realities of parenting and speaks to the obligation to discuss such issues that are oftentimes ignored by society. Its authenticity has been commended, garnering support from new mothers who say the film is all too real; however, by creating a film dedicated solely to these issues, Tully embodies the importance for recognition of women’s mental health.
How the #MeToo Era Has Affected Women's Mental Health
“Female agency,” a term originally coined in the 1970s, advocates for the independence of women on the platform of “your life is yours.” Women have struggled to define this term in modern society when so much is dictated by the male perspective, which has ultimately taken a toll on their mental health. With the birth of the #MeToo era, women have reclaimed this term and have redefined what it means to live for yourself.
Image: Emirates Woman
Not What Love Looks Like- Ending Dating Violence
Though the amount of women who are abused by a partner in their lives—1 in 4— is sobering, important action is being taken to teach friends and victims how to recognize abuse. The One Love Foundation, founded by Sharon Love after her daughter Yeardley Love was killed by her ex-boyfriend, aims to support survivors and educate the public about the problem. CEO Katie Hood talked to Business Insider about the signs of relationship violence, and what friends can do to help. The signs of an abusive or unhealthy relationship are there— now it’s up to us to educate and empower everyone to stop the abuse in its tracks.
Hannah, a 32-year-old mother, talks about her battle with postnatal depression after giving birth to her first child. Because postnatal depression is so often ignored, Hannah was unaware of what route she could take to combat her severe depression. After realizing that many other women don’t know their options regarding postnatal depression, Hannah started a couch to 5k program for mothers suffering from mental health issues.
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.