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Women & The World is a newsletter powered by Love; love for meaningful connection, love for progress and celebration, and love that sheds light on the beautiful things happening in our world. Combine this love with a Hope to inspire, and that's how my weekly message to you begins.
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We could all use a healthy dose of optimism, so let's see what was good in the world last week.
👁Italian women demand voice in Covid-19 fight: Italy has one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in Europe, with almost 30,000 fatalities. Yet the Civil Defence's daily briefings on the crisis are chaired by men, and the group of experts advising the government does not include any women. In response, Italian women have taken to social media to call for better representation. "We want to be able to exercise our right to be fairly represented," the Dateci Voce ("give us voice") Facebook page said. "Reconstruction of the country must be a project shared by women and together."A petition started by the group has been signed more than 4,500 times, including by MPs, scientist and researchers. The page also encouraged Italians to post pictures of themselves wearing face masks with #DateciVoce, which was soon trending in Italy. Full Story
🦄Judi Dench becomes British Vogue's oldest cover star: At 85 years old, Judi Dench has become British Vogue’s oldest cover star. The Oscar-winning actor was photographed just before lockdown for the magazine’s June issue, but the accompanying interview explores her experiences self-isolating at home in Surrey. “I am sure I feel like everyone else, such unprecedented times are quite hard to comprehend,” she says. “What is a good thing is that it has made people aware of the predicament of others who are completely alone. If a great deal of kindness comes out of this, then that will be a plus.” Full Story
🎖May 8 marks 75th anniversary of end of WWII, known as Victory in Europe (VE) Day, and in honour of VE here are stories of 8 trailblazing women of WWII: Some are legendary, others little remembered, but all eight of the women profiled played a key role in the years surrounding WWII. Here's two of them: 1) Noor Inayat Khan: Spy Princess Khan was an Indian princess and a British spy. Born in Moscow, the daughter of an Indian father and an American mother, she studied in Paris and her language skills landed her a place in the fabled, undercover British Special Operations Executive 2) Hedy Lamarr: Hollywood's brightest bombshell: The Austrian-born film star achieved fame in Hollywood and had six husbands. She was promoted as "the world's most beautiful woman" and starred in more than 30 films. But what gains her a place on this list was her sideline as an inventor; elements of her pioneering inventions can be seen in today's Bluetooth and WiFi technology. Full Story
A few opportunities and projects that caught my eye.
Media // NYC // Copyeditor at Buzzfeed - Details Media // NYC // Audioproducer at Buzzfeed - Details Travel // SF // Benefits analyst at Airbnb - Details Retail // SF // Business analyst at Stitch Fix - Details Retail // Honolulu // Visual associate at Madwell - Details Education // Honolulu // Environmental planner at Johns Hopkins - Details NGO // Kailua // Social impact at Ignite - Details
Media // Rome // Coordinator at Netflix - Details NGO // Rome // Marketing at FAO - Details Education // Rome // Business analyst at RBS - Details Internet // Milan // Product manager at Bending Spoons - Details Internet // Milan // Field sales at Google - Details Retail // Molfetta // Team leader at Nike Bari - Details Education // Eboli // English teacher - Details
News // London // Analyst at The Guardian - Details Finance // London // Editor at Freetrade - Details Music // London // User researcher at Spotify - Details Internet // London // Partner manager at Pinterest - Details Publishing // London // Program manager at The Economist - Details Internet // London // Policy manager at Instagram - Details Health // London // Content manager at XenZone - Details Media // London // Entertainment Editor at Refinery29 - Details Internet // London // Manager at TikTok - Details NGO // London // Community at Pride London - Details News // London // Editor at The Telegraph - Details
🌏This month marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! There are many great virtual celebrations to mark celebrations, and a popular one I've been seeing is promoting books from the region in book clubs. Here's a really interesting one: the book is called If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha. This is the author's debut novel and it's about four young women, in contemporary Seoul, Korea, making their way in a world defined by impossibly high standards of beauty, secret room salons catering to wealthy men, strict social hierarchies, and K-pop fan mania.
👗More interesting cultural insights from Korea: Hanbok is traditional attire that has been worn for centuries in Korea. And fashion designer Kim Young-Jin has found a way to make the clothing modern while still respecting its history. You have to see it for yourself.
🏎Motor racing-W Series launches all-female Esports League: Organisers hope the league will encourage more women to play in the male-dominated virtual world.
🤟Madonna's Blond Ambition World Tour is considered the most controversial tour of all time, and it just turned 30. Her trail included simulating masturbation on a velvet bed under the watchful eye of the Canadian police, who threatened her with arrest if her show went ahead. In Italy, unions called for a general strike if Madonna performed, and Pope John Paul II declared her concert “one of the most satanic shows in the history of humanity.” Here's why the controversy-courting concert tour is still shaping the ways female artists express their sexuality.
🐣With hospitals full of Covid-19 patients, many women are choosing (but also forced in many contexts) to give birth at home. These intimate photos capture one woman's emotional delivery amidst a pandemic.
🎶Todrick Hall, a musician trailblazer paving the way for LGBTI youth just released a new album "Quarantine Queen" specifically for quarantine, and many of Women & The World readers (special thanks to Ica!) are loving it. Read more about Hall's activism.
💄In 2018, Rosanna Meikle felt like a failure. She was toiling through beauty school, and she hadn’t been able to find much work nor garner much attention for her creations online. She was exhausted from the sameness she saw around her, “a sea of beautiful girls, smoky eyes and plumped lips”, she remembers. So she decided to try something totally different. One day, she created "a mess”. Meikle didn’t realize it at the time, but she was joining a movement that has been slowly gaining momentum – the ugly makeup revolution, a term coined by the Berlin-based makeup artist and activist Eszter Magyar, who began working on the project in 2018. “Ugly makeup revolution is a community,” she says, as is her other hashtag, makeup brutalism.
🧠Brain food: Today is an especially special day for many people around the world: Mother's Day! Whatever your relationship is to your mother, wherever she may be in the world, universe... I encourage you to take this opportunity to write to her, or about her, focusing only on the ways she has shaped your life, for better. I'll go first.
My grandmother once told me the story of my mom's first trip to the movies. They went to see Mary Poppins. I remember her emphasising just how much mom loved the movie, and especially the quirky nanny with the funky umbrella–so much so that mom was gifted her very own lookalike umbrella.
My mom still lives and breathes the essence of Mary Poppins, and sticks to the "Poppins Code." Essentially, the Poppins code is a freeing of the spirit into the physical realm in all the most creative ways; It is a confidence that asserts itself from grace and empathy; it is a constant will to reinvent; it is holding the youth flame yet not being consumed by its intensity; it is a sylvan connection to smaller life; it is remembering and trusting the dreams your heart makes; it is preserving courage to materialise ostensible impossibilities.
The Poppins way of life that my mom taught me lives in everything I do, carried me through the greys and blacks of life and held me high above the fray of mundane and spiritually void moments, and pushed me to build my own colourful worlds in beautiful quirky connections. Also thanks to massive spoonfuls of sugar.
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