This book is filled with drawings of Olympic women, and it's amazing.

In 2012, designer Wendy Fox was watching the London Olympics when she noticed something about the women athletes.

"I was really amazed by the physical diversity of the female athletes and how vastly they differ depending on the requirements of the sport," says Fox.


The Women's 100-meter hurdles at the 2012 Olympics in London. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

Some of the fastest, strongest, most athletic, and inspiring women in the world don't have bodies that adhere to a societal ideal. They have bodies built for speed, agility, strength, and in short — kicking ass.

Fox decided to turn all 276 female gold medal winners into a poster of inspiration, perspiration, and representation.

Photo via Kickstarter/Wendy Fox.

You may know some of their names — like McKayla Maroney, Misty May-Treanor, and Serena Williams — but you probably haven't heard of most of them.

That might be because, according to a 25-year study, the coverage of women's sports in media is often shamefully small when compared to the coverage men's sports get.

In 2016, a little less than half of the athletes competing in the Olympics will be women. The most in history. So Wendy Fox is stepping it up.

She's turned to Kickstarter to help fund a poster and book filled with illustrations of every woman who wins gold in the Rio Olympics.

Photo via Kickstarter/Wendy Fox.

The goal is to inspire young girls — who will see accomplished women athletes held up as high as men often are — but also to help foster a worldwide interest in women's sports.

Women athletes are too often objectified and sexualized, with little attention paid to their athletic prowess.

A quick Google search for "female athletes" will yield a depressing amount of listicles containing the "hottest" or "sexiest" female athletes instead of anything remotely substantive.

Not to mention the fact that women in general are still held to absurd beauty standards and often judged for the way they look far more than their merits and accomplishments.

Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2016. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Just look at what happens over and over to Serena Williams, inarguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. She has to wade through absurd body-shaming controversies while she's busy doing awesome things like, I dunno, WINNING WIMBLEDON.

In her illustrations, Fox is careful to draw the athletes to scale, beautifully depicting the fact that all heights, builds, weights, and skin colors are capable of greatness.

"I would love for girls to look at this project and discover a sport that’s for them," writes Fox in her Kickstarter campaign, "especially a sport that they didn’t even know existed before and for them to make a conscious shift in their perception of what it is that their bodies are capable of."

Photo via Kickstarter/Wendy Fox.

So pay attention in Rio 2016, because the list of women champions is probably going to fill up fast. And if you pay closer attention, you'll see that champions come in all shapes and sizes.

More
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's