Entertainer of the Year #TWT

Lizzo. The first thing that comes to my mind is her body positivity. As 2019 comes to an end, I can’t help but admire her hustle, her catchy tunes, and her abundance of self-love. Her boldness is shaking the industry and has everyone motivated to be unapologetically themselves. She is our last terrific woman of the year.

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Lizzo grew up in Texas playing the flute. She went to the University of Houston for music performance and rapped in a group named the “Cornrow Clique.” After, she hopped from group to group and then went solo.

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As a solo artist, most of her songs were and still are about being black and an “overweight woman” and the stigma attached to it. Her songs resonate with many listeners. An album that really highlighted her personal experiences and contributed to her success was ‘Big Grrrl Small World’. Her song, “My Skin” from the album blew up in 2014. With powerful lyrics like, “I woke up in this in my skin…I can’t wash it away, so you can’t take it from me my brown skin,” women were shocked by its relatability and truth. In 2014, body positivity wasn’t a conversation that was prioritized. There was still a lack of representation of minorities and thicker women on TV and in media, so this song was one of the first to address it.

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This year Lizzo’s album ‘Cuz I Love You’ remained in the top 10 of the billboard 200 for several weeks, she made her SNL debut, performed at Coachella, and was named Entertainer of the Year by TIMES’s magazine. Every time I open up Instagram or Facebook I always see her name, her face, her performances. She has been the topic of most conversations recently.

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Lizzo never fails to give a killer performance and is very passionate about her music and what she stands for. I admire her desire for others to continue to push and work harder. In a tweet while reflecting on where she was versus where she is, she writes, “don’t stop…we need you. Your time is coming.”

Drakeâ™s Private After Party at Poppy nightclub, presented by The h.wood Group & PacSun, with specialty sips by Virginia Bla

Lizzo is a girl with beauty and brains, and I am excited to see what else she is capable of!

What other beauty would you like to acknowledge before the year ends?

“There’s a Glitch in our Online Communities” #TWT

In 2017, a brilliant organization named Glitch was created. Seyi Akiwowo, who is 28 years old, is the one behind the organization and designed it to end online abuse.

Did you know that women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men, and if you’re a women of color it is a lot worse?

Seyi Akiwowo experienced online abuse herself and felt that there wasn’t much guidance or anyone to help her. She decided to take matters into her own hands and started Glitch to support women and girls who are victims of online abuse as well as help them stand up for their rights. Through many online campaigns and media coverage, Glitch was finally able to get social media platforms to take action.

Aside from Glitch, Seyi was elected as the youngest black female councillor in east London in 2014 and last year, she was named Amnesty international’s Human Rights Defender.

It is so inspiring for Seyi to rise from her trauma and create a platform to help prevent girls from online harassment, especially because social media is prominent in our generation. I admire her strength and her ability to be an advocate for all women. Seyi Akiwowo is a girl with beauty and brains!

Instagram’s Favorite Poet #TWT

This beauty is known for her heartfelt and meaningful poetry and bestselling book, “milk and honey.” Our terrific woman this Tuesday is Rupi Kaur, Instagram’s favorite poet and feminist.

Rupi Kaur was born in Punjab, India and was only four years old when she moved to Canada. She didn’t speak English well, so making friends was a challenge for her. Rupi decided to turn her attention to drawing, writing, and reading and considered those hobbies her friends. Drawing and writing gave her a way to express herself. Reading opened her mind to the endless opportunities in the world.

This is where her love for poetry started.

While attending the University of Waterloo, she wrote her first book, “milk and honey.” She went to many publishing companies and got rejected every time, but that only motivated her to try harder. Rupi took matters into her own hands and self-published the book. She didn’t have much money but was able to make it happen.

She considers self-publishing her book one of the best decisions she has ever made. She has sold over 2.5 million copies of “milk and honey” and it was on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 77 weeks.

“Milk and honey” is a collection of poems about healing from traumas and overcoming past and present demons. The book takes you through Rupi’s dark times, her struggles to find self-love and her journey of healing; a process many people can relate to.

Rupi is known for writing about feminism topics like love, abuse, and breakups, but she has also written about other heavy topics like racism, loss, and pain.

In 2017, she published her second book, “The Sun and Her Flowers.” This one revisits some themes that appear in “milk and honey,” but also introduces new themes like, ancestry and honoring one’s roots. This book sold over 3 million copies and was on The New York Best Seller list for over 100 weeks.

Rupi Kaur is a talented author and illustrator and is changing the world with every poem she publishes. I admire her determination and how grounded she was during the start of her career. Throughout all of the rejection and the doubts received from other people, she never stopped believing in herself. Rupi Kaur is a girl with beauty and brains.

Beauty is Beyond Size #TWF

In 2017, Ashley Graham became one of the first curvy models to sign a big beauty contract. She uses platforms like that to push the body positivity movement to light.

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When Ashley was a teenager, she got the opportunity to do a group shot for a big campaign, and a girl who was a size two went up to her and said: “Did you actually get paid for this job?”

I’m sure that young lady wouldn’t have said that if she knew what an impact Ashely would be making on the modeling industry later on in life. This is one of the experiences Ashley had that made her want to be a body image activist. She wasn’t always as confident as she is now and she wants to make sure no girl feels the way she used to feel.

When Ashley moved to New York to be a full-time model, she gave up after being rejected so many times. Her mom told her “you’re there for a reason. Your body is there to change the lives of people.” With those words of encouragement, Ashley got back up and used her Instagram as a platform to show girls that beauty is beyond size. Her goal is to see many curvy models walking the runway of high end shows specifically like, Givenchy and Dolce and Gabbana.

She believes that there aren’t enough clothes for curvy girls which is why she has created multiple clothing lines for sizes 4 to 24. Now she is making her mark on the hit show, “America’s Next Top Model” breaking boundaries and showing potential models that a cute face isn’t the only thing you need in the modeling industry.

Thank you, Ashley, for making all girls feel beautiful in their skin. She is a girl with beauty and brains.