Vanessa Williams: A Long Overdue Apology…Ramble

Social media has shined a light on misbehaving, injustices and the downright ridiculous ways we treat each other as human beings. Not all of us are reality stars, learning or ignoring lessons on our mistakes caught on camera, yet, social media brings back the opportunity for all that “lost footage” and all the “private” conversations we’re having using our smart phones to be broadcast to the world.

Fat-shaming. Body-shaming. Beard-shaming. Can’t we treat each others like human beings? It was with grace that Vanessa Williams relinquished her Miss America crown in 1984, forced to by people who took offense and tried to shame her for Penthouse publishing nude photos of her- she didn’t pose for them to be published.

These days “Scandal” is not only the name of a hit show, it’s how Kim Kardashian transformed her entire family¬†into reality stars and cash generators. Isn’t it time we treated people like human beings and be decent to one another, instead of saying, “Gotcha! I have a way of taking you down? I’m going to use this to bash you in a moment that wasn’t your finest, even if I don’t know the backstory?”

The sad thing is when you compare how men who have been violent towards women like Kobe Byrant and Chris Brown, they have legions of fans, didn’t have to “go quiet” to wait out the scandal and go into self-doubt. Hitting Rihanna gave Chris Brown street credibility,¬†with many big name artists lining up to work with him on a track. Even Kayne West, who said he doesn’t understand award shows at this year’s VMA’s stood up and applauded Chris for winning an award, while his long-time collaborator Jay-Z, remained, understandably seated.

For this I admire Vanessa Williams and her ability to go on to be an award-winning actress, beloved even when she was delightfully bad on “Ugly Betty,” hats off to you, Vanessa Williams for having the class to both accept and forgive the Miss America Pageant, and then support them by being a judge in the contest. What a class act!

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Rebel, Rebel…Ramble

There are signs everywhere in London, to REBEL. The dictionary defines a rebel as a person who resistant any authority, control, or tradition. The 1950’s, which gave us Jack Kerouac’s second book, On The Road, and 1955 classic film, “Rebel Without A Cause,” amongst others, popular culture has glamorized being a rebel. Even my the ice coffee wants me to be a rebel. I don’t mind rebelling from war over processed food to the below delicious treat.

  
Personally, I prefer today’s rebels in the dome of women, standing up and calling out the sexism and discrimination. Although female empowerment books from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to Nastygal.com founder, Sophia Amoruso’s Girl Boss, and proof that women over 55 are best suited for strategic leadership, numbers this week revealed the amount of women in tech is down to under 30% and the women on tech boards are not in the leadership chairs. Is the rebellion working? Can it only succeed when famous women support the cause? Can awareness lead to change?

Rebel. It’s all around us. It’s the name of a gym I frequent. During classes we are all called rebels, to incite and inspire us to work harder, go against the grain. A teacher said “if there’s no pain, you’re not changing your body.” (Cut to me screaming in pain from pulling out my arm during the weight lifting portion of the class.)

  
Be a disrupter, a rebel. Yet, it’s taken social media to vent truthfully about shit people say about women directors getting the ultimate sexist treatment, being a given norm. That’s why I loved when Julianne Moore said no to the nail cam E! added to their inane red carpet coverage. Rebel against the nail cam, that is, unless you launched your own nail line and you are promoting it.

REBEL! Against women getting paid .70 cents to the US Dollar for doing the same jobs as men.

REBEL when so-called ‘women’s magazine’, Allure called reality star, Lauren Conrad, a ‘basic bitch,’ but she gave the most girl boss answer to a question pulled from a listeners at random, during a radio interview, asking her her favorite position, by responding “CEO.”

Recently, Oscar winner and single mom, Gwyneth Paltrow rebelled against her lifestyle site, GOOP.com being compared to other actresses’ brand extensions. She’s right, but press likes to pit women against one another, put people in boxes.

  
 For instance, Jessica Alba’s Honest brand sells safe eco-friendly baby products, which has netted her $1 billion dollars. Seriously. That is some seriously impressive work for a girl who grew up clipping coupons. Honey, you are the one laughing all the way to the bank, but The Honest Company has a different audience from GOOP.com, which offers recipes, city guides, clothing & accessories, mostly for women, and advice for women on everything from nutrition to how to self-promote– like a rebel.

Launched in early May, Reese Witherspoon’s website, DraperJames.com is a strictly e-commerce site for women who want modern Southern style. It doesn’t go too deep, even in the ‘meet’ section of the site, but has a sweet questionnaire about Southern style. A lot of people want to look pretty and be entertained in small doses. They don’t want to know what you’re reading or the latest palatable way to eat kale, and that’s where Reese comes in, providing charm and charming outfits.

Kate Hudson’s website sells strictly athletic gear (and yes, I have some, terrible name Fabletics, but really high quality product) on an ala carte or subscription basis. Again, that is a different business demographic. One does not attend a Southern tea party in athletic wear!

At the end of the day, rebel against comparisons and carve out your own niche. Do you. Always. And if any snakes are around, blast Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ to let them know what kind of rebel they are dealing with – one who sees the enemy, faces them, and triumphs, passing the bad juju back to the original snake.