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Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke are featured in a campaign to make lingerie comfortable.

"My fears came true: people called me fat and hideous, and I lived. And now I keep on living." — Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke are featured in a campaign to make lingerie comfortable.

Lena Dunham has always seemed rather comfortable bearing it all in front of the camera.

From her countless nude/underwear scenes on "Girls" to her commitment to sharing unedited photos on Instagram, she certainly appears to be confident about her body. It wasn't an easy journey; it took years of wading through numerous insecurities for her to get to where she is today.

Not her natural habitat but she's trying her darnedest!!!


A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

"When I got out of college I thought, 'What am I gonna do? No one's gonna hire me, I'm a fat girl,'" she told People in 2014.

Of course, that turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth.

Dunham is now modeling for body-positive lingerie brand Lonely Lingerie alongside her "Girls" co-star Jemima Kirke.

Jemima Kirke applying lipstick to Lena Dunham for the lingerie shoot. Photo by Zara Mirkin and Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie. All photos used with permission.

Wearing lingerie can be an incredibly vulnerable experience, but the New Zealand-based lingerie brand is all about changing that perception.

Most lingerie (and the ads for it) are designed for what's known as the "male gaze." They feature heavy airbrushing, complicated hooks and ties and underwires, and models in uncomfortable, awkward poses. While lots of women might want to wear lingerie, many don't feel like they can for any number of reasons: They have the "wrong" body type, it's too complicated, it's not comfortable, it's not designed for them, the list goes on.

Lonely Lingerie wants lingerie to be freeing and empowering, something that women wear as "a love letter to themselves" rather than a gift for a spectator to enjoy.

Photo By Zara Mirkin and Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie.

It's refreshing to see Dunham and Kirke wearing lingerie for themselves because they want to wear it, posing with cellulite and tattoos and belly rolls and looking totally casual and comfortable.

Dunham and Kirke might be the highest-profile models in Lonely Lingerie's new campaign, but they aren't the only ones.

Here are nine other photos from the campaign, showcasing inspiring women wearing lingerie for themselves.

Just like the photos of Dunham and Kirke, the other photos in the series are unretouched and not meant for the male gaze. The women in them are successful and confident, posing in environments in which they feel comfortable.

1. Meet Hannah, an early childhood care student from Melbourne, Australia.

2. Meet India, a house painter and surfer from Auckland, New Zealand.

3. Meet Alice, an artist in her home in New York City.

4. Meet Erica from Far North, New Zealand. "I was interested in being a part of this project because women need to see each other and be seen as we are."

5. Meet Nicole and bubba Beau from Auckland.

6. Meet Anna, a fine arts student from Auckland.

7. Meet Ruth, Grace, Bridget, and Bonnie. "We go together like butter & bread, there's a whole lot of love."

8. Meet Anja, designer for Lonely Lingerie, and her dog Hank.

9. Meet Isa, a soul singer from New York City.

Now more than ever, we need to embrace every ripple of who we are, inside and out — not just in ourselves, but in others as well.

As Dunham writes on her blog: "This body is the only one I have. I love it for what it's given me. I hate it for what it's denied me. And now, without further ado, I want to be able to pick my own thigh out of a lineup."

RODNAE Productions via Pexels
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The past year has changed the way a lot of people see the world and brought the importance of global change to the forefront. However, even social impact entrepreneurs have had to adapt to the changing circumstances brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The first barrier is lack of funding. COVID-19 has deeply impacted many of our supporters, and we presume it will continue to do so. Current market volatility has caused many of our supporters to scale back or withdraw their support altogether," said Brisa de Angulo, co-founder of A Breeze of Hope Foundation, a non-profit that prevents childhood sexual violence in Bolivia and winner of the 2020 Elevate Prize.

To help social entrepreneurs scale their impact for the second year in a row, The Elevate Prize is awarding $5 million to 10 innovators, activists, and problem–solvers who are making a difference in their communities every day.

"We want to see extraordinary people leading high-impact projects that are elevating opportunities for all people, elevating issues and their solutions, or elevating understanding of and between people," The Elevate Prize website states.

Founded in 2019 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph Deitch, The Elevate Prize is dedicated to giving unsung social entrepreneurs the necessary resources to scale their impact and to ultimately help inspire and awaken the hero in all of us.

"The Elevate Prize remains committed to finding a radically diverse group of innovative problem solvers and investing unconventional and personalized resources that bring greater visibility to them as leaders and the vital work they do. We make good famous," said Carolina García Jayaram, executive director, Elevate Prize Foundation.

The application process will take place in two phases. Applicants have till May 5 for Phase 1, which will include a short written application. A select number of those applicants will then be chosen for Phase 2, which includes a more robust set of questions later this summer. Ten winners will be announced in October 2021.

In addition to money, winners will also receive support from The Elevate Prize to help amplify their mission, achieve their goals, and receive mentorship and industry connections.

Last year, 1,297 candidates applied for the prize.

The 10 winners include Simprints, a UK-based nonprofit implementing biometric solutions to give people in the developing world hope and access to a better healthcare system; ReThink, a patented, innovative app that detects offensive messages and gives users a chance to reconsider posting them; and Guitars Over Guns, an organization bridging the opportunity gap for youth from vulnerable communities through transformational access to music, connectivity, and self-empowerment.

You can learn more about last year's winners, here.

If you know of someone or you yourself are ready to scale your impact, apply here today.

In 1997, we used the internet primarily for email and for the novelty of being able to look things up on the "worldwide web." The internet wasn't even 10 years old and was a tiny fraction of one percent the size it is now. Speeds that seemed fast then would make us throw our laptops at the wall now. There was no Google, no social media, no Zoom. This is what the top search engine looked like:

Wayback Machine

We knew the internet had some potential, but we had no idea how reliant we would become on it for pretty much everything. Our vision of what the future might hold still looked like the Jetsons in many ways. Flying cars. Bulbous architecture. Inexplicably pointy clothing. Some kind of cool communication devices that would allow us to see one another's faces in real-time.

And yet, Archie Comics got one thing eerily right in a 1997 Betty comic titled "High School 20201 A.D." Virtual, online school.

Of course, it wasn't happening due to a pandemic, but was simply the way school happens in their imagined future.

"Kids today are SO lucky! They're able to go to school in their own home!" says Betty's Dad. "They never have to carry books to school...and they never have to worry about the weather!"

Flashback to this winter, when schools contemplated whether or not to have "snow days" for kids doing school at home.

"'Scue me, folks!" says Betty. "Class is about to begin!" She sits in front a definitely-not-2021-accurate computer with a hilariously huge camera atop it, but the basic gist is spot on. Especially when we see the sign on the wall that reads "VIDEO MONITOR MUST REMAIN UNCOVERED AT ALL TIMES."

Kids turning off their cameras was one of the hundreds of challenges teachers have had to deal with through the 2020-2021 school year. Phew.

Screenshots of the first page of the comic have gone viral on social media as people point out how bonkers it is that the comic pinpointed this year for their online, at-home schooling idea. Snopes had to do a fact-check as people asked if it was real, and Archie Comics themselves wrote up a page on their site about the prescient comic.

They wrote:

"The 6-page story, originally titled 'Betty in High School 2021 A.D.' was written by George Gladir, with art by Stan Goldberg, Mike Esposito, Bill Yoshida, and Barry Grossman. In this story we find Betty and her friends in Riverdale dealing with the struggles of virtual home schooling!

When this story was reprinted in 2015, the year in the title was changed to '2104 AD' (probably because we didn't have flying cars yet) but rest assured, the original story was published in 1997 and eerily predicted elements of virtual home schooling now commonly found across the world!"

Archie Comics went ahead and shared the rest of the comic on Facebook, and it's fun to see what was eerily accurate and what was hilariously not.

"My video phone is flashing!" Betty thinks, as her pink magic-mirror-looking phone rings. Remember, most people didn't have cell phones at this point, and smartphones with cameras were a more futuristic idea than flying cars, oddly enough.

And as bizarre a year as it's been, I don't think any schools have instituted "closet detention" for at-home schoolers.

Betty's friends' "special video screen" she puts behind her to make her feel like she's not alone in class is pretty funny, and not terribly unlike the Zoom backgrounds we can virtually put behind ourselves.

They actually overshot a little with the super short skirts, as the micro-mini actually made a comeback in the early 2000s.

And yep, there's the good ol' futuristic flying car. Is there anything we've been more wrong about than the likelihood of flying around in cars by now? I don't think so.

The rest of the comic is the teens checking out the old high school museum, where they could see the cafeteria and bulletin board and "an actual classroom."

And Betty ultimately saying she wished she could "go back to the days of our old and obsolete high school."

Yep. That part's accurate for a lot of actual 2021 students as well.

Virtual schooling has been a mixed bag, with some kids thriving at home without the pressures and social drama of in-person school, while others have struggled without the structure and social stimulation of it. But no one was prepared for the sudden shift to online learning. The past year has been one long stretch of trial and error, forced flexibility, and constant adaptation. And it definitely wasn't the future—or present—any of us had hoped for.

Hopefully, we'll get those flying cars one of these days. In the meantime, we'll settle for basic in-person schooling and some semblance of normalcy.

RODNAE Productions via Pexels
True

The past year has changed the way a lot of people see the world and brought the importance of global change to the forefront. However, even social impact entrepreneurs have had to adapt to the changing circumstances brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The first barrier is lack of funding. COVID-19 has deeply impacted many of our supporters, and we presume it will continue to do so. Current market volatility has caused many of our supporters to scale back or withdraw their support altogether," said Brisa de Angulo, co-founder of A Breeze of Hope Foundation, a non-profit that prevents childhood sexual violence in Bolivia and winner of the 2020 Elevate Prize.

To help social entrepreneurs scale their impact for the second year in a row, The Elevate Prize is awarding $5 million to 10 innovators, activists, and problem–solvers who are making a difference in their communities every day.

"We want to see extraordinary people leading high-impact projects that are elevating opportunities for all people, elevating issues and their solutions, or elevating understanding of and between people," The Elevate Prize website states.

Founded in 2019 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph Deitch, The Elevate Prize is dedicated to giving unsung social entrepreneurs the necessary resources to scale their impact and to ultimately help inspire and awaken the hero in all of us.

"The Elevate Prize remains committed to finding a radically diverse group of innovative problem solvers and investing unconventional and personalized resources that bring greater visibility to them as leaders and the vital work they do. We make good famous," said Carolina García Jayaram, executive director, Elevate Prize Foundation.

The application process will take place in two phases. Applicants have till May 5 for Phase 1, which will include a short written application. A select number of those applicants will then be chosen for Phase 2, which includes a more robust set of questions later this summer. Ten winners will be announced in October 2021.

In addition to money, winners will also receive support from The Elevate Prize to help amplify their mission, achieve their goals, and receive mentorship and industry connections.

Last year, 1,297 candidates applied for the prize.

The 10 winners include Simprints, a UK-based nonprofit implementing biometric solutions to give people in the developing world hope and access to a better healthcare system; ReThink, a patented, innovative app that detects offensive messages and gives users a chance to reconsider posting them; and Guitars Over Guns, an organization bridging the opportunity gap for youth from vulnerable communities through transformational access to music, connectivity, and self-empowerment.

You can learn more about last year's winners, here.

If you know of someone or you yourself are ready to scale your impact, apply here today.