We’ve all been in situations where there is a giant elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Well, for Mr. and Mrs. Carter right now that elephant in the room is the On The Run tour. What was supposed to be the culmination of a great year for the “Drunk in Love” duo, seemed more like the finale. As crowds gathered into the Rose Bowl stadium this Sunday, the rain wasn’t the only thing putting a damper on the show.
The show opened with the words “This Is Not Real” written across a giant screen. Jay-Z and Beyonce then took us through a movie-like portrayal of hip hop’s Bonnie and Clyde. A mash up of old footage with new action-packed scenes accompanied their classic hits, and made you want to see a full length film from them. I’d watch! Beyonce in a wedding dress shooting a gun. Hova robbing banks and speeding in classic cars. Who wouldn’t want more? As hit after hit played you realized that these two are some of the most talented individuals on the planet. Smashes like “03 Bonnie & Clyde, “Crazy in Love,” “Drunk in Love,” reminded you that these two have been making love and music for a long time now.
But the third star of the On The Run tour is the tension between the two. They were rarely on stage together and when they were it was stiff to say the least. Jay Z seemed to be trying to get back in Bey’s good graces, rapping to her and putting his arms around her at one point, but she wasn’t having it. It was almost a relief when they did their separate sets, Jay doing “Big Pimpin,” “Tom Ford,” and “No Church In The Wild.” While he worked a little harder to pull the crowd into the performance, getting closer to do a dope verse over the Partition beat, he seemed almost a supporting character to Queen Bee. She wowed with hits like “Flawless,” “Run the World (Girls),” and “If I Were A Boy.” She slayed with her outfits, coming out one time with her full derrière showing, and other times rockin lots of sexy lace and leather. She pulled at your heart-strings (and maybe hinted and her true feelings about her marriage) with her renditions of “Resentment” and Lauryen Hill’s classic “Ex-Factor.”
But then they flipped everything towards the end of the show, the screen changing to say “This Is Real,” and then behind the scenes images of couple in their real lives, traveling, laughing and playing with Blue Ivy. It reminded you that you weren’t just watching legendary performers, but also real people with feelings and emotions. It made the question of their divorce seem less like fodder for the audience to speculate over and more like a sad prospect for a couple we’ve all come to love and respect. They closed the show singing “Young Forever” turning around to watch the screen and the images of baby Blue crawling and then walking. Yes, I teared up.
While the talent between this power couple is undeniable, I hope the same can be said of their love. I hope there is much more to come from J+B as a duo, in music and in marriage. On The Run has just a few more stops before its conclusion in Paris. Catch them if you can!
Dear Made Woman Readers,
I'm writing today to announce that this will be the last time I address the Made Woman Family as co-founder and business manager. While this moment is bittersweet for a variety of reasons, I will forever be proud of what Made Woman stands for and what it has become.
A few years ago, Serena and I dreamt of a way to make an impact on ambitious young women -- to find women, like ourselves, who yearned for more than the status quo. We sought to connect these women and create content and a support system that would help make their dreams become a reality.
Four years, sixty-eight issues, two events and countless initiatives later; it's safe to say that our dream has been realized through Made Woman Mag. I couldn't have imagined how launching a magazine would change my life -- not just in terms of my career -- but even more than that, through the thousands of amazing women I've been able to meet, interview and work with over these years.
Made Woman has always been rooted in the foundation of sisterhood, and that will not change. I'd like to thank each of you who has offered words of encouragement or shared perspective that helped break through the clutter. I'm thankful for every single reader and supporter of Made Woman -- you have made these years so worthwhile.
I am thankful to Serena for standing beside me as we got this thing off the ground, and I support her as she carries the torch and continues to deliver useful and relevant content from diverse voices.
This article was originally posted on Watercoolerconvos.com
Last Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in the Burwell v Hobby Lobby case in a 5-4 decision that any employers with genuinely held religious beliefs can opt out of providing employee coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Citing the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, justices found that “closely held” for-profit entities had the same rights as non-profits. Five conservative men on the court, in essence, reduced the conversation about women’s rights, health care, and equal freedoms under the law to a misogynistic take on Christianity. And, it’s disgusting.
I can’t help but hearken back to Rush Limbaugh’s assault on Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law student who spoke before Congress in 2012 regarding the contraception mandate in the ACA. This is precisely what many conservatives think about birth control. They think it is “slut medicine”. Somehow, only whoring “coeds” need contraceptives. Contraception isn’t just about sex and baby making. It just isn’t.
Let’s acknowledge that contraception is just hormones, so a host of people take them. Transgenders, homosexual, and gender-fluid folks take them for actual medical reasons rather than wanting to have endless amounts of sex. Lesbian women who have no intention of making children take contraceptives for medical issues as well. And, cisgender women do too. I took birth control for years before I became sexually active. I had terrible, almost debilitating, menstruation bleeding and pains that made it hard for me to get through my school day. And since I started my cycle in elementary school, I endured that struggle for at least five years before my mom decided to get me a low doseage of oral contraceptive to help me become more regular.
Then again, the justices would know that if they had sided with the women on the Court. I personally struggle to see how this is a win for Christianity since it just means more women will struggle to access effective birth control which may lead to more abortions. Obviously, upper- and middle-class women will likely be unaffected by this decision because they probably are not working at Hobby Lobby anyway. But, working class women at smaller companies now have this precedent to contend with when attempting to manage their own health. And, most Christians support the employer contraception mandate. By the way, Viagra is still seen as medically necessary so no issues there right?
There is an important aspect of this conversation worth noting here. Just because these privately held companies don’t have to cover contraception, it doesn’t mean that employees won’t have access to it. They will. The government may still subsidize their access to contraceptives if their companies opt-out. The process may take more effort because of the cost-sharing process. But those who need contraception won’t be barred from getting it. Still, this precedent leaves the door open for a denial of anything that is deemed out of step with Christianity. Can companies like Hobby Lobby also deny employment to folks in the LGBTQ community? Can they enforce company policies denying non-Christians the exercise of religious freedom like wearing emblems or hijabs on the clock? Where does this end?
There are only two solutions we, as the people, can take in situations like these: a) vote, and b) stop supporting businesses that work against our self-interests.We need to turnout to vote every November, even in non-presidential elections. While the justices on the SCOTUS are appointed; they are chosen from a standing pool of candidates available at the time that said appointments are made. We decide who gets there. We pick the congressional members who confirm them. Secondly, we have to stop supporting businesses that are against personhood for everyone. For me, that is companies like Hobby Lobby, Apple, and Chic-Fil-A. Our support for these companies equals support for anti-women, anti-human rights, and anti-LGBTQ corporations.
We have to do more, and demand more from those in DC pulling the strings in our daily lives. We have the responsibility to hold them accountable in cases like these when they get it completely wrong.
It takes a village to start a company—or maybe a tribe. A successful company requires the investment and dedication of many to get it off the ground. Tribemint, a branding, digital communications and experiential marketing agency, has keyed into this principle by working to to foster connections among a company’s employees and consumers to create engagement and meaningful conversations. Tribemint focuses on vision, culture and engagement to revamp female-owned companies targeting millennials. Put simply, the results are “Companies made fresh.”
Photo courtesy of General Assembly
This past Friday, I checked out Tribemint’s very first event held in Santa Monica at the General Assembly. Hosted by Tribemint CEO Julie Thorne Engels, Managing Director Lindsey Heisser and Creative Strategist Michelle Spinale, the event was a great mashup of networking and a “TribeTalk” with CoolHaus Co-founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller. Business partners and partners in life, the two told the story of how they started CoolHaus, combining Natasha’s architecture background and creative drive with Freya’s business know-how. The duo discussed the challenges they faced and surpassed to become a well-known brand with eleven trucks around the country, retail stores, and distribution in grocery stores such as Whole Foods. They’ve even created a CoolHaus cookbook. CoolHaus has come a long way since it’s launch at the Coachella Festival in 2009 from an old, repurposed ice cream truck. But sticking to their vision allowed the partners to maintain their passion and creativity through the ups and downs.
Hearing the duo talk about their entrepreneurial journey was enlightening. The atmosphere, the great food, the sparking wine—and of course the ice cream—made the event even more enjoyable. In addition to their branding and marketing services, Tribemint plans to offer quarterly events focusing on topics like vision and culture. I plan to be at the next one! Follow Tribemint on Twitter for more news on their events.
Last week the world lost a great poet, author, teacher, and sage Dr. Maya Angelou. The power of her words and insights will live on long after her passing. Click through to remember an icon and get a bit of inspiration along the way.
Summer is coming! And there is a new health and fitness destination online that will help whip you into shape. Brocollete.com is a new wellness platform for women of all colors. The site will provide video lessons from various health and wellness practitioners to educate, inspire and enable women to live healthier lives. Brocollete.com will cover topics from natural medicine, homeopathy, physical training, organizational tools, meditation, on-the-go fitness, juicing, clean cooking, utilizing creativity for emotional health and more. The site was started by LA based health and wellness curator, Njambi Gibson, who has devoted her career to inspiring and educating people toward passionate, healthier living.
For this next week, in exchange for kick starting Brocollete, Njambi will whip you into your happiest, healthiest, most beach-ready self with recipe books and guides found on her RocketHub site. Here’s a sneak peak of some great tips to get you right for the summer!
Dump those sugary calorie-laden drinks in favor of chia seed water, fresh green juice, herbal iced teas and coconut water. You can also eat your water in the form of hydrating fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and celery are great choices!
Your workouts don’t have to be hours long. Get them in where they fit in your daily routine. Hit the squats in the a.m. while brushing your teeth, applying makeup or making a smoothie. Perform isometric exercises at your desk and keep a pair of weights handy. Don’t forget classics like parking further away and swapping elevator rides for stairs!
Excessive salt consumption causes us to retain water, making us look and feel bloated. While eating out or shopping for pre-packaged foods, ask for dressings and sauces on the side and opt for salt free alternatives. When cooking, flavor food with fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and spices instead of salt.
Consume chewing gum, sugar free snacks, beer, sparkling drinks, dairy products and other gas producing foods in moderation. Considering cooking fibrous vegetables --broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage -- and be sure to soak beans before cooking. Remember to eat slowly and make decisions based on the way your stomach feels.
Exfoliate skin weekly with a homemade salt and sugar scrub. Scrub daily with a natural sponge or gloves to remove buildup. Use Shea butter to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of scars.
For more great tips and insights including a Healthy Snack Recipe Book, Drinks and Smoothies Recipe Ebook, Wellness Guide for Busy Professionals and a Natural Beauty Guide visit the Brocollete Rockethub site, found below for the next week! And for exclusive first look of the site, leave your email address on Brocollete.com!
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- April 7, 2014
As Made Women, giving back is an important part of our lives. But figuring out where exactly to place our energy can be tricky. We hope you've been following along since our 30 Days of Made: Giving Back initiative launched last Tuesday, where we've decided to take it one day at a time.
From health education to empowerment and supporting our youth; the Made Woman team is giving the inside scoop on the organizations they care about most. Get caught up below and learn how you can get involved in a new organization this spring!
Today's organization is called Doing WIT (Whatever It Takes). Read about their mission to support ambitious and entrepreneurial students in taking their passions and skills to the next level -- while benefiting their community, school or the world at large.
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- March 10, 2014
I don't know if my West Coast people feel it quite as much, but there's a change in the air. There's a subtle warmth -- a hint that spring is coming (or so all of New York prays!). While I miss the perpetual spring of Los Angeles, it's kind of cool to experience true seasons. I saw the trees change colors, watched their leaves fall, and marveled at their branches covered in snow. Now I can't wait to watch them blossom this spring.
We Made Woman have seasons too; some of them prettier than others. Some seasons demand incredible energy, and in some we reap huge rewards. In some seasons we feel loss, and in others we feel love.
What will this spring bring to you? Maybe it's time to reevaluate that "meh" relationship you're in and learn to date better. Maybe you're ready for a complete career shift, like our Made Woman of the Month, Amber Wilson. Perhaps you'll finally start reading more or treat yourself to a much-needed style spruce-up. Whatever the case may be, you're in luck -- you have a network of women that's here to support you in your pursuits, year-round. We thrive on seeing our Made Women reach their goals. How can we support your progress? Talk to us!
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- February 10, 2014
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect Yourself. Money, power, respect... These quotes are just a few examples of music's fascination with respect. The idea is woven through the albums of the 80's and 90's, and it has pushed artists to create dynamic and groundbreaking music. As Made Women, it's definitely a word we can get behind.
If you've ever spent time with Serena or myself, you know that we, in turn, have much respect for original artists and the music they create. That's why we're so excited to announce the Respect the Classics Contest that kicks off today, in conjunction with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
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In this issue, we also pay homage to some of the remarkable Made Women of Black History and -- with all due respect -- clue the fellas in on what we really want for V-Day this Friday.
Take a look around and let us know what you think!