Body positive: 9 women wearing what they want and pushing back against harmful advice.

"That's not very flattering."

It's a phrase so many women are used to reading, hearing, and even thinking when it comes to the ways we dress, style our hair, wear (or don't wear) makeup, and a whole lot more.

Just for fun, I googled the words "fashion magazine advice: flatter," and here were the top six results:


  1. How to Dress 10 Pounds Thinner
  2. Fashion for Petite Women: Top 5 List of Styles for You
  3. How to Dress a Short Torso
  4. Fashion Tips For Body Types
  5. Be Fashionable After 60: Clothing Advice for Older Women
  6. Tips to Flatter Your Size 14 Figure

Sigh.

Mallorie Dunn is pretty much over women being told what they "should" and "should not" wear.

She's a fashion designer and the woman behind the clothing brand SmartGlamour. Her clothing company, which launched almost two years ago, is about more than just clothes — way more.

"SmartGlamour is a body positive clothing line of customizable, ethically made pieces from XXS to 6X and beyond," Dunn tells me in an email interview. "We promote self acceptance and empowerment for women!"

How?

"We use models (experienced and not) of every size, shape, age, height, weight, ethnicity, ability, and identity to wear our clothing, and we never Photoshop them."

In one of her blog posts, Dunn wrote about the word "flattering" and "society's contextual definition of it."

All photos provided by Mallorie Dunn. Shared with permission.

The responses she got inspired her to push back against the negative messages women hear all too often by launching a social media campaign about what "flattering" really means.

In her blog post, Dunn asked women to share their experiences of when someone else decided they knew more about the women's bodies than the women knew themselves.

"So many responses rolled in!" Dunn says.

The blog post and the responses to it were the inspiration Dunn's latest project, #ImFlattered, in which she pulled together a diverse group of women and designed custom pieces from SmartGlamour's collection to highlight — rather than hide — the things people told them were "unflattering" to their body types.

"The process was cathartic, joyful, and empowering for all!" she says.

Here are nine of the models pushing back against unwanted advice they were given about how to dress in a "flattering" way and totally rocking Dunn's designs.

Check them out!

1. Marcy

"Big girls shouldn't wear prints."

2. Wendy

"Sorry to tell you, but don't you think that's a bit too tight and short for a woman your age!!!"

3. Mikaela

"Put the 'girls' away!"

4. Celia

"Your shoulders are too broad to wear halter tops."

5. Mara

"You're too old to go sleeveless!!"

6. Linni

"Hide your arms. They're a problem."

7. Liz

"Nobody wants to look at that."

8. Bethany

"You're too widefor sparkles."

9. Nikki

"You should only show your stomach when you have the body for it."


I'd say confidence is the most flattering look of all.

And the women in this campaign have it.

"Women are constantly told to be smaller, younger, thinner, whiter, quieter. This campaign is all about allowing women to be exactly who they are and want to be — and celebrating it!" Dunn says. "I am hoping to not only prove the 'experts' wrong about their 'advice' but also to firmly plant the message that your happiness, presentation, worth, beauty, and confidence are up to you and you alone."

Can I get an amen?!

Family

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture