"well-behaved women seldom make history."
-laurel thatcher ulrich
this kickass gal pioneered the accessible high fashion industry, designed clothes that flattered every body type (hell yeah) and was publicly outspoken about the fashion industry. elizabeth hawes learned from the masters in france in the 1920's and toted back to the states a wealth of talent tinged with some serious disdain of the absurdity of the trend-driven nature of the fashion scene of the day.
writes alice gregory, "for hawes, fashion could -- and should -- be goal-oriented. Proactive ambition, much more than vague self-assurance, was her unspoken brand of feminism."
in true feminist style elizabeth hawes was opinionated, fierce, fearless: "if you've solved your dressing problems satisfactorily for yourself, you are bound to attract the people you want to attract and for the reasons you want to attract them: a better job, a new mate, a competent lover, a fresh friend." get it, girl.
there was her cheeky side as well: "if you can't have some amusing and enlightening discussion with your friends about private night dress, you'd better get a new set of friends."
wear what you want, live how you want and say what you want. be the unabashed, opinionated version of yourself and revel in the liberation!
new york is a veritable mecca for artists and we could not be more honored to have the likes of hanna eshel in our midst.
before embarking on the creative journey that would secure her fame, hanna fought in an underground resistance movement to defend Israel and gain her independence (and an israeli passport). her new-found freedom allowed her the opportunity to leave israel to explore the arts in paris. hanna made her way on a solo voyage to carrera, italy at age 46 to broaden her artistic horizons. the physical move signified a shift in her medium of choice -- transitioning from painting to a plentiful resource in carrera: marble. talk about hardcore.
six years later, hanna made the trek to nyc with tens of thousands of pounds of incredibly crafted marble works of art in tow and hauled them up to her 6th floor noho loft. (thou shalt not complain about moving again.)
now 87, hanna eschel recently left her "little loft," but she certainly did not leave her artistic ventures behind -- she continues to explore her creativity (currently working on paper rather than in stone). one thing is for sure, she sure as hell keeps rocking.
"is it my fault that defense budgets are made at the expense of
education and hunger still rules our universe?"
this month, we pay homage to one of the most lauded, admirable women in history -- maya angelou. without exaggeration, it's safe to say that the she served to fortify millions of people in their resolve to abolish segregationist practices. partnering with the likes of malcom x and martin luther king jr., angelou moved the cause forward with her passionate words and unparalleled dedication.
i know why the caged bird sings marked angelou's ascension to fame in the most personal and revealing manner imaginable. this autobiography detailed her life and spoke to the struggles encountered by her entire race and gender -- effectively allowing the world a glimpse of the most heartbreaking and intimate moments of her life in an effort to propel forward the message of equality.
maya angelou wrote a total of seven autobiographies, but was also esteemed for her prolific poetry, acting and screenplays. her work remains as relevant to society now as it was fifty years ago and continues to demonstrate a palpable effect on its audience.
maya angelou's presence will be missed by all. her powerful words and messages will resonate with generations to come.
in honor of april fool's day, we're giving a big shout out to one of our favorite funny gals: tina fey. author, comedian extraordinaire, actor and producer -- her limit does not exist (catch that subtle Mean Girls reference?).
in 1999, she became the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live. 5 years later, she wrote and acted in Mean Girls while simultaneously starring in 30 Rock AND writing for SNL. obviously, tina fey is a pusher (Mean Girls reference #2).
hell yes, tina fey -- you are so fetch (#3!).
“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”
― Tina Fey, Bossypants
where would 90's gals have turned for their bible of badassness if it wasn't for jane pratt? as the editor-in-chief of sassy, jane and xojane.com, pratt has promoted a message of empowerment and banished negativity from her publications. she ensured that her magazines steered clear of fluff dating tips, opting instead to showcase the likes of sonic youth and courtney love/kurt cobain. her magazines diverged far from the beaten path of magazines of the day. a whole generation of women will be forever grateful.
suffice to say, jane is truly an anti-bad-chi kind of gal.
sending a hell yes xo to you, jane!
before women even achieved the right to vote, a badass woman ran our country. you read that right. after president woodrow wilson suffered a fairly debilitating stroke, his second wife, edith wilson, effectively became the surrogate president in the aftermath of world war I.
every piece of information directed to the president went first through edith, who made the decision as to whether the information was important enough to reach her husband. notes from woodrow wilson were dictated to edith behind closed doors for over two years and preceded by the words "the president says." she later noted: “i, myself, never made a single decision regarding the disposition of public affairs. the only decision that was mine was what was important and what was not, and the very important decision of when to present matters to my husband.”
many, however, disagree -- suggesting that 1919 to 1921 were the years of edith -- she secretly ran the show. almost 100 years later, it seems about time to make this legit. shout out to hillary 2016...
a true feminist powerhouse -- an lgbt activist and a voice for female equality. her musical career started at age 16 when she recorded "it's my party" which shot to #1 on the charts. just a year later in 1964 she recorded "you don't own me," which was an anthem of the second wave feminist movement. a 17 year old with her finger on the pulse of social injustice in america and worldwide, gore inspired women to stand on their own.
want your daily dose of badass? check out lesley gore's psa from the 2012 election.