• Getty, Justin Horrocks

    Body Image

    Our Photoshopping Disorder

    The media has been on a rampage against severely Photoshopped images, particularly of young women. Now a new bill calls on Congress to get involved. But is it really a political issue?

    Nearly three years ago, Seth Matlins, a former Hollywood marketing executive who spent almost nine years at agency-powerhouse CAA and served as CMO at Live Nation Entertainment, began looking at the world through the eyes of his daughter and the woman she would one day become. He considered the obstacles “that can leap out and get in the way of a little girl trying to grow up happy and trying to becoming a sustainably happy woman,” he told The Daily Beast. He quit his million-dollar gig to, in conjunction with his wife, Eva, become an empowering resource for girls and young women.

    “In August 2011, there was a story that I read about a member of the British parliament [Jo Swinson] who had taken down two Lancôme billboards in London—one had Julia Roberts, the other had Christy Turlington,” he said. “And she took them down because she said they provided such a false and unrealistic expectation of what women should and could look like, that it was damaging. I thought to myself, who in the world is looking out for my daughter—for our children—from a legislative perspective here? And I didn’t see anyone, because there was no one.”

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  • Memoir

    How to Be Popular, ’50s Style

    When 15-year-old Maya Van Wagenen had trouble fitting in at middle school, she looked to a popularity guide from 1951 for answers. Read an excerpt from her hilarious and brave journey.

    In 1951, model Betty Cornell penned a self-help book for young women struggling socially: Betty Cornell’s Teen-Age Popularity Guide. Cornell provided insight on everything from wearing white pearls and girdles to the proper ways to fix one’s “figure problems.” 

    Before entering the eighth grade, then-14-year-old Maya Van Wagenen discovered Cornell’s tome in her father’s office. Van Wagenen, who had been having difficulties fitting in at middle school, decided to follow Cornell’s advice and embark on the new school year with a 1950s mentality.  In her new (and first) memoir, Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (April 2014, Dutton Children’s Books), Van Wagenen catalogue’s her journey through the social experiment, which included learning to be a stellar hostess, practicing proper posture, and styling her hair with rag curlers.

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  • Tibrina Hobson/Getty

    Fashion Favorite

    Candidate to the Stars

    It’s always a good idea to get celebrity endorsements for your congressional campaign, right? Well, maybe not when Nicole Richie’s hair color choice is overshadowing your message.

    When researching California congressional candidate Marianne Williamson, two of the first article headlines to surface are,“ Kim Kardashian Wears Plunging Top With Menswear-Inspired Look” and “ Katy Perry Exposed a Springy Strip of Upper Belly.”

    Last October, the 61-year-old spiritual teacher and author announced her run for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent California's 33rd District, which includes cities in West L.A. such as Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Malibu, and Santa Monica. Although a longtime member of the Democratic Party, Williamson revealed she would be running as an Independent. "I believe that a wave of independent candidates, all committed to a huge course-correction, is necessary to turn our ship around, she said. “I feel my campaign, and most importantly my win, can help inspire such a movement.”

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  • Queen Sofia of Spain (R) receives Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned (L) at El Pardo Palace on April 25, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty)

    Sheikha Who?

    Qatar’s Jackie O

    She’s obsessed over by the fashion set, but compared to Kate Middleton, Sheikha Mozah is an unknown. How her pricey taste—and circumstances—have kept her from becoming a household name.

    When it comes to the world’s most popular royal, there is no contest. Britain’s Kate Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, is the undisputed queen, able to sell out dresses just by wearing them and sell out crowds simply by showing up and waving. But there are other royals who inspire America’s aspiring fashionistas.

    At the recent Women in the World summit, Jordan’s Queen Rania charmed attendees with her grace and intellect. But even among the educated and impassioned activists, some couldn’t help but be charmed by two of her other qualities: her beauty and impeccable fashion sense. A number of women I spoke with referred to the queen, who has graced numerous best-dressed lists and has even been named the “most beautiful royal consort,” as “the best-dressed woman on the planet.” But when I brought up another well-dressed royal, also a staple of best-dressed lists and a favorite of the fashion set, I was surprised by how few knew who she was. Her name is Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, and she was until recently the wife of the emir of Qatar. (Her husband recently stepped down to allow the couple’s oldest son to begin his reign.

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  • Marc Bryan-Brown

    DVF!

    Diane Von Furstenberg Undressed

    The iconic designer who is an inspiration to women discusses the women who inspire her.

    Diane Von Furstenberg does not want to talk about the wrap dress.  Her famous dress turned 40 this year, but she addressed the 5th annual Women in the World conference to talk about something else.  When Tina Brown launched the women’s summit, Von Furstenberg launched her DVF awards, which are given to women of inspiration along with a $50,000 stipend for the charity of choice.  

    This year’s People’s Voice award was presented to Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan whose parents struggled with unemployment, mental health issues and addiction. Von Furstenberg described how Scott designed a coat that could be turned into a blanket for homeless women in Detroit. Now Scott employs the homeless to make the product.  

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  • Getty

    Kim Kardashian Isn’t Aspirational

    The editor who invented high/low media says the Vogue cover is no scandal but, on the eve of the Women in the World Summit, she has a few ideas about women who really are cool.

    It was fun watching the festival of media umbrage over April’s Vogue cover—you know, that Annie Leibovitz portrait of a sloe-eyed Kim Kardashian in a white ruched wedding bustier, nuzzled by her equally spiffy baby daddy, Kanye West.

    It’s not entirely clear why a fashion shot of the reigning queen of trash television—whose 2007 “leaked“ sex tape lifted her from the status of Paris Hilton’s B-list BFF to the star of her own little reality-TV empire—should prompt so much punditry bewailing the decline of Western civilization. True, Anna Wintour may have gone a little overboard when she celebrated Kim’s “courage” in her editor’s letter. But come on. The cover of Vogue is not exactly the Nobel Peace Prize, and Kim Kardashian isn’t exactly Pol Pot.

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  • Jamie McCarthy/Getty

    Model Rights

    Supermodels’ Anita Hill Problem

    In the wake of Hill’s allegations against Clarence Thomas, public opinion shifted when it came to combating sexual harassment in the workplace. Yet somehow, models have been overlooked.

    When I became a model at age 14, I had no idea what I was signing up for. Childhood dreams of travel and luxury seemed like easy fixes to my rural, small-town innocence. But what I found was an industry rife with sexual harassment. Twenty years later, it’s still the same.

    The televised testimony of Anita Hill has gone down in our nation’s history. In 1991, Hill sat in front of a panel of all male senators and told her story, as portrayed in the new documentary, Anita. She alleged that Clarence Thomas, her superior and mentor, had sexually harassed her in the workplace on numerous occasions. Hill said that Thomas frequently talked about pornography in the office, referencing a porno-film character, in addition to boasting of his own sexual prowess. Instead of treating her with respect, the senators humiliated Hill during her testimony, calling on her to repeat the most uncomfortable details of her harassment. Four women waited to back Hill’s story, some with similar sexual harassment claims against Thomas. But none of the witnesses were called upon by the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a man who is now, twenty years later, the Vice President of the United States. Clarence Thomas, who had been a judge for only a year, went on to be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

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  • The Daily Beast

    WINTOUR’S FAIL?

    Will Kim and Kanye Kill Vogue?

    Is putting ‘Kimye’ on the cover of Vogue a bravura business decision or one which editor-in-chief Anna Wintour will come to regret?

    Usually it takes a major scandal to shake consumer confidence in a brand. But in the case of Vogue magazine it appears that all it took was putting Kim Kardashian on its cover. The reality show starlet graces the April issue in a wedding gown alongside her fiancé Kanye West.

    The backlash has been swift and brutal. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar led the charge with a tweet that read “Well……I guess I’m canceling my Vogue subscription. Who is with me???”

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  • Michael Kovac/Getty

    "MAJ"

    Rachel Zoe '2.0’

    With a new book out on living the glamorous life—with ‘maj’ ease—the mega-stylist dishes on how far her life has come.

    “I think in the last several years, honestly, I’ve grown up,” celebrity stylist and fashion personality Rachel Zoe says. “I feel like this is sort of the Rachel 2.0 version. It’s phase two [of my life].”

    Zoe has come a long way since her days of screaming “I die” and “Bananas!” and feuding with former assistants Brad Goreski and Taylor Jacobson on her namesake Bravo reality series The Rachel Zoe Project. Off the air for almost a year now, Zoe’s life has taken a more personal turn, focusing attention on her budding clothing line, special projects and collaborations like the blow dry salon, Dream Dry, and, of course, her two sons.

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  • Paul Drinkwater/NBC, via Getty

    Ultimate Feminist

    Miss Piggy Leans In

    Miss Piggy is confident, driven, and fights for what she wants. She embraces her "extra fabulous" looks and is unapologetically outspoken. And she doesn’t care what you think about it.

    Over the years, Miss Piggy has been faulted for her clingy, seemingly obsessive relationship with Kermit the Frog. His unwillingness to marry her and settle down has only increased her fervor. Miss Piggy is so desperate, many think. So how does this longingness for acceptance and attention by a male figure a true feminist make?

    Since her emergence on the television screen in the mid-seventies, Miss Piggy has been one of Hollywood’s reigning divas, overcoming and surpassing her years as a nameless swine in a male-dominated group. Her roots were humble and tinged with tragedy. “She grew up in a small town in Iowa; her father died when she was young, and her mother wasn't that nice to her,” Frank Oz told The New York Times in 1979. “She had to enter beauty contests to survive, as many single women do. She has a lot of vulnerability which she has to hide, because of her need to be a superstar." But Miss Piggy persevered, transforming her culpabilities into a successful career and becoming an icon to countless generations.  

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