Dec 07
Her eye on the news
‘The Real Catwalk’

Body positive activist and model KhrystyAna hosted an impromptu lingerie show over the weekend in New York City’s Times Square. A group of 25 women of diverse body types and skin tones was featured in an event she billed as “The Real Catwalk.” KhrystyAna, 32, said that her guerilla fashion show was a response to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, an event she said promoted an “overwhelming standard of one kind of beauty.”

“[This is] not an anti-Victoria’s Secret Runway Show, it was pro ANYONE can catwalk showcase,” she explained to Yahoo Lifestyle. “This is exactly when so many of us ladies feel so discouraged about our bodies and faces. We look at these beautiful VS models and get deeply affected, sometimes not even consciously … Neglecting to represent the many other types or ideals of beauty can make us feel unattractive, as if we need to change to become more like those girls.”

That didn’t mean that skinny models were excluded from KhrystyAna’s fashion show — instead, she said, she aimed to make the show inclusive of not only “curvy women” but of “every woman — petite, bold, transgender, women in wheel chairs, all different skin tones, very fit, thin, freckles, women with various disabilities.”

“All deserve to be beautiful,” she added.

The event, she reported, turned out to be a huge success. There were “no bullies,” but instead a host of “genuine smiles on women and men watching us do something incredibly vulnerable yet empowering.” Lily Chen, co-founder of lingerie brand Thistle & Spire, was among the crowd to witness “The Real Catwalk,” writing on Instagram that “[the weather] was cold, but my heart was warm surrounded by the fire of all these powerful women.”

Watch a short video of the event, as captured by Chen, below.

I’ll do anything to support women…including catwalk in lingerie down Times Square😬 Together we walked to reinforce one beauty standard: BEING YOU. Because being you is the definition of beauty. It was cold, but my heart was warm surrounded by the fire of all these powerful women💃🏻💃🏽💃🏼💃🏾🔥💗💪🏼 #therealcatwalk #womensmarch . . . . . . #effyourbeautystandards #loveyourlines #thisgirlcan #womenshould #yesallwomen #allbodiesaregoodbodies #ilovemybody #bodypositivity #selflove #loveyourbody #embraceyourcurves #teamcurvy #facesoffeminism #bodyacceptance #selfconfidence #bodylove #bodyimage #bopo #bopowarrior #celebratemysize #allwomen #timessquare #newyorkcity #mybodymychoice #girlgang #womenempowerment #womensupportingwomen #girlboss

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Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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Get accessorized

Christmas is less than three weeks away and you may be beginning to scramble to find the perfect gift for a friend, relative or spouse. Sure, you love the idea of splurging on a unique present like the Tiffany Sterling Silver Ball of Yarn for $9,000. But let’s be honest: Who actually has that kind of scratch? What to do then?

Behold the garment of clothing that could be a genuine game-changer this holiday season. We give you the giant mohair tube scarf:

The Chunky Mohair Tube Scarf in Beige Mix. (

Admit it. This is … unique, to say the least. And at $280, it’s far more affordable than the silver ball of yarn. Plus, it comes in four convenient colors and is hand-knitted. “Who is the mad genius behind this giant scarf?” you ask. Milena from Bulgaria, whose “addiction to yarns and knitting started [a] long time ago, somewhere in the late 80-ties,” according to her Etsy profile. Her company, Dukyana, recently launched an online shop after experiencing success on eBay and Etsy. And trust us, there are many more options on the website if the giant scarf strikes you as a tad overwhelming.

But if warm is what you’re looking for, the giant scarf seems like a slam-dunk to keep you or whomever you buy it for nice and toasty this winter. And, if nothing else, it makes Lenny Kravitz’s famous oversized scarf look completely sensible.

Read more at The Cut.


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‘The Handsy Man’

In a blistering and darkly hilarious guest monologue for Jimmy Kimmel Live, actress and comedian Tracee Ellis Ross suggested a way to help men who still express ‘shock’ about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and abuse — a children’s book.

“There’s something I wanted to talk about tonight, and that’s the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal. First of all, let’s start with the fact that it isn’t a sex scandal, it isn’t a Hollywood scandal, it isn’t even a scandal. It is a systemic problem about the abuse of power that takes place across all industries,” Ross began. “While I’m not surprised by these stories, it seems like quite a few men are. Treating another human being with respect isn’t complicated, but it seems a bit confusing for a lot of men out there. So, I wrote a book,” Ross explained to viewers.

In Ross’ ‘book,’ she clarifies how to avoid being accused of sexual harassment to a figure she appropriately names, “The Handsy Man.”

“You may not compliment my butt. You may not call me ‘ho’ or ‘slut.’ And even if you’re stoned or drunk, do not expose to me your junk. And if I am your employee don’t rest your hand upon my knee,” Ross intones. “You cannot smell my hair, you creep, or grab my boobs while I’m asleep. I do not want a back massage. Did you follow me into the parking garage?”

As Ross speaks, images from the ‘children’s book’ are shown behind her — in most of which she can be seen fending off or otherwise escaping the advances of a “Handsy Man” dressed in a blue suit.

“So Handsy Man, if you’re still confused whether your behavior will be excused I’ll say it clearly, nice and slow,” explains Ross. “If she doesn’t consent, the answer is no!”

Watch Ross’ performance of “The Handsy Man” below.


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‘The last word’

Local news anchor Sharon Reed was covering Atlanta’s mayoral election this week, a hotly-contested race that almost resulted in the city’s first white mayor since 1969, when she publicly responded to a viewer who called her the n-word in an email about her coverage. Sitting alongside her CBS 46 colleagues Ben Swann and Alicia Roberts, Reed, the only African-American on the panel, read the viewer’s note aloud as it was shown on-screen to viewers.

“You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight. It’s o.k. for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites. Really??? you are what I call a N***r not a black person. you are a racist N***r. you are what’s wrong with the world,” a woman named Kathy Rae wrote in an email to the station.

Reed then delivered her response, live on the air.

“Quite the contrary, we think that race is an authentic discussion to have. It’s one we’re having tonight because it’s one that you are talking about at home and it’s one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race. That’s why, behind the scenes, my colleagues and I — white and black — we decided, hey let’s go for it,” she said.

“When arguing with somebody you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint, so I won’t mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae,” Reed added. “I get it. On Dec. 5, 2017, you think it’s okay to call this journalist a ‘n****r.’ I don’t. But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead I’ll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themselves. And that will be the last word.”

Needless to say, Reed’s scathing riposte was a hit on social media.

In the recent mayoral election, independent candidate Mary Norwood, who at times has been compared to Donald Trump, lost by just 800 votes to Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat. Norwood called for a recount on Wednesday, and on Twitter appeared to imply that she felt her turnout was negatively affected by voter intimidation.

Watch Reed’s on-air response below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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‘Spineless feminism’

“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,” Taylor Swift famously sings in her her mega-hit “Shake It Off.” Isn’t that the truth.

Swift may have been featured on TIME magazine’s Person of the Year cover as a silence breaker, but not everybody agrees that the popular singer deserves such a distinction. And some are being quite harsh in their assessment of TIME’s inclusion of her on its latest magazine cover. Swift was featured on the cover for her role in raising awareness about sexual harassment after she countersued former Denver county radio DJ David Mueller for assault and battery — the DJ had initially sued Swift, claiming that she got him fired when she publicly outed him for lifting her skirt and groping her during a meet-and-greet in 2013. In the case, Swift famously provided blunt testimony while on the stand.

“Gabe, this is a photo of him with his hand up my skirt — with his hand on my ass,” Swift told Mueller’s lawyer, Gabe McFarland, after he questioned whether the DJ had really groped her. And after McFarland tried to claim that Swift must be critical of her bodyguard if he really didn’t stop Mueller from groping her, she responded: “I’m critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my ass.” Other tactics used by McFarland met similar responses.

According to TIME, Swift’s “clear-eyed testimony marked one of several major milestones in the conversation around sexual harassment this year.” In an interview with the magazine, Swift also gave a strong response to people such as Geraldo Rivera, who have claimed that women shouldn’t be able to speak out about sexual harassment if it happened a long time ago.

“You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you,” she said. “I think that this moment is important for awareness, for how parents are talking to their children, and how victims are processing their trauma, whether it be new or old. The brave women and men who have come forward this year have all moved the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn’t be tolerated.”

Not everybody is convinced of Swift’s sincerity, however. In a scathing opinion piece for The Daily Beast, Amy Zimmerman criticized Swift for refusing to speak out against Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, or to acknowledge the claims of 16 women who have accused the now-president of sexual harassment or assault. Swift, Zimmerman points out, was also conspicuously absent from the Women’s March on Washington — even if she did issue a tweet in support. Swift’s pointed silence about Trump, and even her own neo-Nazi fans, Zimmerman writes, is all about making money. Swift’s feminism, she claims, is similarly motivated.

“TIME’s decision to laud [Swift] as a “silence breaker” is ironic on multiple counts, and suggests that the magazine was willing to barter some integrity for star power and social media buzz,” Zimmerman concludes. “Because of her spineless feminism and political passivity, Taylor Swift is hardly the figure of female empowerment that TIME is making her out to be.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast and The Washington Post.


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U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota on Monday announced he will be resigning from his Senate seat in the coming weeks amid numerous accusations by women who say that he has groped them or attempted to forcibly kiss them. “Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” Franken said. “This decision is not about me. It is about the people of Minnesota.”

Franken’s announcement comes a day after several female colleagues in the Senate called on him to resign. “I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Senator Franken’s behavior. Enough is enough,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote in a Facebook post.

Pressure continued to mount and by the end of Wednesday, the chair of the DNC had urged Franken to step down and Chuck Schumer, the senior senator from New York, had called Franken and asked him to step down. Franken had received support in recent weeks from women who had worked with him during his SNL years, but as the allegations piled up, so did the condemnation and the calls for him to resign.

The disgraced senator also called attention to the irony of his resignation coming “while a man who’s bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who repeatedly preyed upon young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” references to President Donald Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

“I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice,” Franken said on the House floor. Then he used a pronoun that hinted at who might eventually succeed him. “Minnesotans deserve a senator who can focus with all her energy on addressing the challenges they face every day.” Franken went on to thank Amy Klobuchar, the senior senator from Minnesota, for helping him quickly transition from the entertainment world to politics when he was first elected.

“This has been a tough few weeks for me,” Franken said, adding that his family is a source of strength for him. “I’m going to be just fine.”

Watch the full video of Franken’s speech below.


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Love match

The world’s youngest living queen, 27-year-old Jetsun Pema, and her husband, 37-year-old King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, have become known as the “Will and Kate of The Himalayas,” since they reportedly married for love in 2011. According to The Washington Post, Pema, the daughter of an airline pilot, had been living together with Wangchuck for eight months before they decided to tie the knot.

“I have been waiting for quite some time to get married,” Wangchuck said after the wedding in 2011. “But it doesn’t matter when you get married as long as it is to the right person. I am certain I am married to the right person.”

“She is a wonderful human being, intelligent,” he added. “She and I share one big thing in common: a love and passion for art.”

The king’s father, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated his throne for his son in 2006, is well-regarded for helping plan and oversee the democratization of Bhutan, but also controversially drove out thousands of Lhotshampa (ethnic Nepalese) from the country in the 1990s. The country is perhaps best known for the concept of “Gross National Happiness,” the idea that “sustainable and equitable socio-economic development; environmental conservation; preservation and promotion of culture; and good governance” are more important to improving people’s lives than maximizing gross domestic profit.

The former king also has four wives — four sisters he married in a mass ceremony — who could always be seen walking a step or two behind him. By contrast, the current king walks together with his wife, and scandalizes traditionalists by holding her hand and even kissing her on the cheek in public.

June has long been associated with the environment and conservation in Bhutan. The coronation day of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, on June 2, was traditionally commemorated as Social Forestry Day, with numerous trees planted on the day each year. Bhutan has also enthusiastically commemorated the World Environment Day each year in June. This year, we look forward to an exceptional edition of the Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition, which will be held at the National Memorial Chorten on June 4, coinciding with the Birth Anniversary of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, whose Patronage and steadfast support for agencies working with the environment, and numerous conservation efforts, has helped Bhutan continue and take forward our exceptional efforts in conservation. This month’s calendar commemorates Her Majesty birthday and Bhutan’s conservation efforts, and features this beautiful photograph of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, at the Lingkana Palace gardens. We join the people of Bhutan in offering our heartfelt wishes to Her Majesty, along with our prayers for Her Majesty’s continued happiness and wellbeing. #HerMajesty #QueenJetsunPema #birthanniversary #June #HRH #GyalseyJigmeNamgyel #Lingkana #Palace #Bhutan #environment #conservation #garden #yellow #desktopcalendar #beautiful

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While Queen Pema is often portrayed as a commoner, her paternal great-grandfather was lord of the eastern province of Tashigang, and her maternal grandfather was the half-brother of the wife of Bhutan’s second king. Prior to marrying, she studied international relations, psychology, and art history at Regent’s College in London. As Queen, she has become popular for her charity work with organizations such as the Bhutan Red Cross Society, Ability Bhutan Society, and the Bhutan Kidney Association. In February 2016, she gave birth to her first child, a son named Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, who has since become a hit in India following a royal visit.

Read the full story at Business Insider.


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