Rihanna Brings Inclusivity To Another Level.

Rihanna brought inclusivity into the fashion world back in September of 2017 with her launch of Fenty beauty foundation. Her make up line was made purposely to  push boundaries in the industry, which it certainly did. Launching over 40 shades of foundation , the singer/entrepreneur said “it was important that every woman felt included in this brand”. Rihanna is being praised all over the world for her efforts in bringing a quality-to-affordability ratio to make-up with an emphasis on diversity.

Fenty Beauty Foundation Shades Via Sephora.com

Just when you thought Rihanna couldn’t get more amazing, she dropped her Savage X Fenty line at the closing of 2018’s New York Fashion Week. Her show featured a diverse group of women; different body types, races, LGBTQ community, and even two women who were visibly pregnant. Through her lingerie line, the singer hopes to encourage “confidence and strength”.

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In today’s society, the fashion industry is increasingly used in discussions around portrayal of culture. Before, Designers were forced to consider who should be excluded from the runway and why. Now, designers, like Rihanna, want to engage inclusivity into the fashion world. 
Rihanna also casted supermodels like Bella and Gigi Hadid. During the show the singer had repeating lines on a livestream saying “We know beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive,” and, “We know that we can be as competent in the boardroom as the bedroom,”. Rihanna called the show herself when speaking with Vogue — “a celebration of womanhood.”
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Besides embodying body-diversity, the show was innovative and fresh. Lush greenery scaped the runway, botanical domes, and a glowing pond as the backdrop to the collection. The show included interpretive dance, performance art pieces, and ended with models holding hands as RiRi took the final walk. Many took to twitter after the September 2018 show to express their gratitude and liking to the singer’s show.

There is just one downside to the lingerie line: Despite the array of bodies, bra cup sizes only start at 32A and stop at 44DD. Some buyers online were taken back by finding the sizing range imitating most intimates brands, since Rihanna’s lines are usually known for their ride ranges.

As the line progresses, many hope to see the brand expand their sizes in future collections. Despite the one holdback, the inclusive casting in her performance sent a powerful message not only to the world but especially to other brands and retailers. This is actually what women look like. So thank you, RiRi.

If online shopping isn’t your thing, here is where you can get your own Savage X Fenty products!

 

 

 

 

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One Man Wont Stop Survivors From Being Heard.

By Te’a DiNapoli

It has been over two weeks since California professor Christine Blasey Ford has spoken up about her allegations of sexual assault. Her courageous words spoken to the Senate Judiciary Committee, following the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, were watched by millions across the United States. Ford said she told no one about the assault that took place in high school by Kavanaugh until she was in couples therapy in 2012.

Shortly after Christine came forward, Donald Trump tweeted that, if the attack “was as bad as she says,” Ford would’ve reported it. To state the obvious- survivors do not report the attacks for a multitude of reasons: shame, minimization, fear, and having to relive the traumatic experience over and over again. In response to Trump’s tweet, women and men took to twitter to share their stories with #WhyIDidntReport and #MeToo hashtags.

I did, it didn’t matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still get blamed.”

I was four, and he said he’s kill me.”

It has been an overwhelming couple of years, countless stories resurfacing from women coming forward about the trauma that has been filtered from their lives for decades. Many of these stories leave us feeling helpless, because there is nothing anyone can do to take away someones pain. Yet the stories have also been powerful, because there is finally a pedestal for survivors to be heard.

The treatment of Christine Blasey Ford is a prime example of how victims continue to be treated in this country, with zero compassion or recognition; straight denial. The way she was treated and not understood by people of higher power caused an uproar amongst Americans. On September 23rd, men and women across the country walked out of work to united with Ford as well as Debora Ramirez, who also accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. All dressed in black and carrying signs with messages like “I still believe Anita Hill,” and “I Believe Her,”. This march was not only to show support of the women, but for themselves. 

From the very beginning, Ford has said she was hesitant to come forward of the worry of reliving the trauma for nothing. “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” she told the Washington Post when she first attached her name to the allegations. But she soon realized it was not for nothing. She was not just a voice for herself that day, she was a voice for millions of victims just like her.

#BelieveSurvivors Walkout 2018. Getty Images

Though we do not know if Ford’s testimony will affect Kavanaugh’s confirmation, for survivors, it does matter. Ford’s courage to speak up against someone so powerful in the government, against her accuser, opens up a space for them to speak. Now as a nation all we can do in the meantime listen—listen to how many uncanny stories there are, listen to survivors as if they were on trial too, listen because unfortunately sometimes that is the only thing you can do for a vicim.

There’s no going back in time to stop horrible situations from happening. But, there is an opportunity to listen to those who want to be heard, so that other survivors know they will be heard too, and that someone does care if  they speak up.

Why Serena Williams’ Catsuit Matters

When the French Open responded to Serena Williams’s black catsuit by banning the outfit from future tournaments, it started a major backlash on the games regulations. It seemed as if everyone was upset with the backlash Williams encountered, criticizing the change as an example of the ongoing sexism against women, especially black women.

The renowned tennis star explained that she wore the ensemble for her health and to  inspire other mothers. Williams has talked about her history with blood clots and developed one after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis, in September. She dedicated her princess warrior catsuit to “all the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy.”

Williams is not the first to push the boundaries of fashion in tennis and trigger the notoriously conservative tennis establishment—nor was this the first that Williams’ was scrutinized for other outfits she has worn. This has been an ongoing controversy since the establishment started.

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ANNE WHITE AT WIMBLEDON, 1985 (Getty Images)

Right before the 2018 U.S. Open was about to start, Tennis magazine published an interview in a new article with French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giudicelli.  Giudicelli concludes that catsuit would run an abundant of new French Open dress codes. “It will no longer be accepted, One must respect the game and the place” Giudicelli was quoted saying. Since when is “showing respect” apart of a dress code, and if it is, who makes the rules?

Giuidicelli’s comments hinder the rich history of fashion in the Tennis Game: Tennis has been recognized for years as a sport where athletes’ fashion choices have been a channel to not conform to standards. This goes for both Men and Female players who have been victims of the tennis dress codes and have boycotted tournaments because of required uniforms. Fashion trends have also always influenced player dress, starting in the 1980’s with the first catsuit worn by Anne White. So why is Serena William’s Black Panther- inspired catsuit any different or less respectful to the sport then anyone else?

Just months after the French Open scandal with Serena Williams, on Aug. 28 at the US Open, French player Alizé Cornet took off her shirt after a match break and discovering it was on inside-out. Her sports bra showed for a better of seconds, but long enough to shock the umpire and bringing herself a code violation for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” Yet this happens all the time in tennis with men, where is there violation for showing actual skin?

But the backlash from Giudicelli and U.S. Open violations did not stop big companies and fans from speaking out of the sexist issues. Nike took to an Instagram post “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers,” and Girl Scouts Co. tweeted: “After her health-conscious catsuit got banned by the French Open’s president, tennis champion and Girl Scout alum @serenawilliams won our hearts — AND her match — in a tutu. What a queen!” Even tennis legend Billie Jean King commented on the ban saying “the policing of women’s bodies must end.”

As a black woman in a very white sport, Serena is consistently body-shamed because her body is ‘different’ from her other, white, competitors’. Society sexualizes black women’s bodies, which is a problem for athletes like Williams and many just like her who are trying to compete in a spot they love. Fashion has unfortunately been made for ‘white culture’. Although the fashion industry has become more accepting to other body types, curvy and athletic built women are still facing these obstacles and Serena Williams is the perfect demonstration.

Nevertheless, it is safe to say Serena Williams in a hero to all women and athletes, she is a true essence of power and glory. Williams has topped Forbes’s list of most marketable female athletes, across ALL sports. She has ruled tournaments all over the world and has achieved a copious amount of  legendary titles. Whether she does this in a catsuit, birthday suit, sweats, who cares? The real focus should be on her game. The Tennis associations can’t deny that know matter how she dresses, she sure does know how to bring it.

 

Sexism And Double Standards Within Fashion And Politics

By Te’a DiNapoli 

Fashion and Politics have always been intertwined, from the late 1960s miniskirt protest to Melania Trump channeling her inner Jackie O, there has never been a time in history where fashion wasn’t a political statement. So why are people who enjoy fashion not taken seriously when speaking on political matters? Because there are still double standards instilled when it comes to taking interest in politics and fashion.

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Women protesting in Great Britten, in order to protect the mini skirt, outside the House of Dior in 1966, for its ‘unfair’ treatment of mini skirts. By Larry Ellis

Over the past year, there has been countless amounts of evidence proving that fashion and politics can certainly intertwine. Fashion media outlets, Models, women and men alike, used fashion as a tool to demonstrate their take on current social issues. Seeing this has inspired young men and women to speak out on these issues but, the media and double standards also make many nervous to.

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The Chanel spring/summer 2015 fashion show. Photos by Pascal Le Segretain and Patrick Kovarick (Getty)

People who express a liking in beauty or fashion are still snubbed and rejected from political conversations, as if these interests were exclusive clubs and not to be crossed. Yet, people forget to remember that our clothing does not just reflect our personalities or likings, it also opens a gateway for us to enter influential spaces.

The most relevant example of how people snub fashion lovers was a broadcast on national television last year. Tucker Carlson, a male Fox News host, abruptly concluded the politically charged debate on current social issues with Teen Vogue writer Laura Duca. Carlson told Duca at the end of the 10 minute debate to “stick to the thigh-high boots.”

Throughout the debate, Tucker Carlson continuously demeans Lauren Duca’s political stances based on the fact that she has been a fashion contributor for Teen Vogue. Duca took to her next piece for Teen Vogue to explain “the notion that enjoying fashion precludes the potential for critical thought espouses an absurd double standard with obvious roots in sexism.” What men and women, like Tucker, overlook is that fashion has and always will be a gateway to making political statements known. Our interests do not belittle our intelligence and thoughts on a subject.

“The only requirement for expressing your politics is being informed; this applies to future shopping sprees and the next time a middle-aged man tries to tell you what you can and cannot talk about.” -Lauren Duca

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From left to right: Prabal Gurung, Public School, Creature of Comfort and Christian Siriano (photo: Rex and Getty)

It is our responsibility as American citizens to speak up on matters we truly care about, march for movements that speak to us, and fight to stop policies we know are inhumane. Wanting to have a political opinion does not mean you can’t love fashion because we know how much fashion has impacted politics.

Regardless if you like to wear pink or if you write about what celebrities are wearing, our voices on political matters should not be deemed unqualified just because we have other interests. Fashion has always been a political statement, end the sexism and double standards.

 

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Gender Neutral Fashion Is Now The New Normal

By Te’a DiNapoli

In the Days of CoCo Chanel, women were breaking the fashion rules with shorter skirts and ditching pants to show more leg. They wanted a chance to break out, to set the women gender apart from men. Fast forwarding  to 2018, gender is being left behind in fashion.

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There have been numerous designers breaking the gender boundaries in 2018 such as Jun Takahashi, Takahiro Miyashita, and Fidish Designers Timo and Niina Leskela.  

These top designers, featured in Vogue UK, showed off their gender fluidity designs with young men sweeping the stone floors in ankle-length skirts and bold ruffled blouses. Throughout all of the looks displayed, mixing between sporty and chic pieces, it was hard to tell which models were male or female. Which made the point that gender might not be so relevant anymore when it comes to fashion.

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There is no such thing as set colors to wear for genders anymore, we are living in a century where men wear crop tops and dresses. Gender stereotypes are changing, and it’s because this is what consumers want. The LGBTQ community is being more accepted in this day in age than it ever has, specifically gender fluids, and it is being shown through the fashion industry. No more specific clothing “for boys” or “for girls” but, is this just a phase? Or here to stay.

Most would say this latest fashion fab is here to stay. Many celebrities such as Kanye West, P Diddy, and Jaden Smith aren’t afraid to show there support for the fashion movement. But, for others this gender fluidity in fashion may take some time to get used to.

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But let us remember — the biggest fashion trends to this day have always started off controversial. Even Something so little as Coco Chanel wearing a skirt above the knee was deemed unspeakable and insane. Who knows, maybe 20 years from now guys in skirts will be the new normal. Nevertheless, gender neutrality is making its mark in the fashion world and is here to stay.