What do you think of when you think of sewing?

Probably something like this, right?


Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

What about sewing at the professional level? You know, like a seamstress.

Probably something like this?

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

But what about a step above that? A true master craftsman. Like a professional tailor...

Maybe that brings to mind something like this?


Photo by Harry Kerr/BIPs/Getty Images.

Or this?

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Notice anything?

Something strange happens when a job generally associated with women is done by men: Women are left behind, while men are considered the masters of the trade.

Think about it. Nurses can do many of the things doctors do, but it's often assumed that women will be nurses and men will be doctors. It wasn't that long ago that all women were expected to know how to cook, and still today there are those who insist a woman's place is in the kitchen. And yet ... many of the most famous chefs are men. Though things are changing slowly, there is a clear gender divide that's pervasive across many industries.

Women are notoriously underrepresented as business CEOs, pilots, high-level software developers, master sushi chefs, you name it.

There are numerous social and societal factors causing this in every trade, but among them is the socially constructed idea that a "master," someone who's dedicated a huge portion of their lives to perfecting a single trade, is a man.

Which is why it was pretty big news when master tailor Kathryn Sargent opened a shop on London's historic Savile Row.

As the first-ever woman to do so, Sargent has made some very significant history.

"It feels wonderful to be on Savile Row, and like a real sense of achievement," she told The Guardian.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Savile Row is a street that, for 213 years, has been known for its traditional tailoring for men.

Shops there have dressed everyone from Winston Churchill to Fred Astaire to Elton John.

A shop on Savile Row in 1957. Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Historically, the tailoring industry has been largely male-dominated, with young boys entering the trade at a very young age. In the early 1800s, when women first started to enter the industry, they were met with great hostility.

Men at the time thought that having women present would undercut the great skill and dedication necessary to become a tailor.

In "Well Suited: A History of the Leeds Clothing Industry," Katrina Honeyman writes:

"Many men, but not all, dreaded women entering the trade and viewed them as instruments of capitalist deskilling. The economic problems facing the tailors in the 1830's resembled those of radical artisans in other trades, as subcontracting systems undercut the craft strength of the skilled man and intensified gender hostility."

Times are changing for the better, though. According to Sargent, a majority of the newly qualified tailors last year were women, and the industry is becoming more diverse.

Sargent's shop, which dresses both men and women, has helped tear a hole straight through the fabric ceiling.

Photo by Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images.

"I am thrilled to be making history," Sargent told The Guardian. "Although for me being a woman is incidental, I am a tailor first and foremost. There’s more and more women coming through now and doing the training."

Every time there's a "first" like this, it changes our perceptions.

Achievements in diversity and representation are important not just for the individuals who earn them, but for how our society views the world.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Tailoring might be a niche trade that most of us never even think about, but for an entire generation of people, it just went from looking like this...

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

...to looking like this.

Photo by Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images.

And that's pretty cool.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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