Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya just put on a historic runway show featuring only black models and it was perfect.
Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger

The fashion industry is no stranger to criticism. A lack of diversity and perpetuation of impossible beauty standards have been the industry norm for decades.

But 22-year-old actress Zendaya just proved that fashion can be inclusive and chic at the same time during her collaboration with designer Tommy Hilfiger.

The runway show for the Tommy x Zendaya collection at Paris Fashion Week featured a group of all-black, all-ages, and all-sizes models. The 59 black models didn’t just strut down the catwalk, they challenged fashion industry standards.


The Tommy x Zendaya was inclusive in almost every way possible. “This is a proud and happy celebration of female beauty in all its forms, something which is as important now as it ever was before,” Zendaya said.

The show also marked the first time Hilfiger used plus sized models. It was important to Zendaya that all sizes were reflected on stage. “Size-inclusivity has been important to me always — if women in my family can’t all wear it, I don’t want to make it,” Zendaya said.

Both the show and the collection were inspired by 1973’s Battle of Versailles, in which French and American designers competed. The Americans pulled a bold move and cast 11 black models, including Pat Cleveland (now 68), who also walked during the Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya show.

Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images.

The fashion industry is notoriously youth-oriented, however the show challenged the idea that a woman must be young to be beautiful by including more experienced models.

"Everybody has something different that they’re great at," Zendaya said. "We need to learn from people with experience, even as the world changes.”

Legends such as Beverly Peele, Beverly Johnson, Veronica Webb, Debra Shaw, Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin, Winnie Harlow and, and Jourdan Dunn walked the runway. The show was closed by a 70-year-old Grace Jones dancing to “Pull Up to the Bumper.”

"We said, 'we want Grace Jones, she represents so much beauty and power and she needs to be here,'" Zendaya said.

The actress stated it was important to pay homage to the women who paved the way for her. "I want to make a show inspired by the women who made it possible for me to be in the position where I am now. Honestly, I just wanted to say “thank you” to them through this show."

I said to Tommy, 'If we do a show, this is what it needs to be about.' And Tommy said, 'Great. Go for it.' And he actually meant it. I mean, look,” Zendaya said.

It’s refreshing to see a designer shake up the notion that a model must be young, thin, and white in order to wear their clothes on the runway. The success of the Tommy x Zendaya proves that we need to rethink what types of models we see on the runway.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.

In 2015, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price had a life-changing epiphany.

Price, who founded Gravity with his brother in 2004, was out hiking in the Cascade Mountains with his friend, Valerie. She told him her landlord had raised her rent by $200 and she was struggling to get by on her $40,000 a year income. Price, who was making $1.1 million a year as CEO of Gravity, was struck by her story. Not only did he feel for Valerie—a military veteran working two jobs and barely making ends meet—realized that some of his own employees might be facing similar struggles.

And they were. One employee frankly told him his entry-level salary was a rip-off. Another employee had secretly been working at McDonald's outside of work hours to make ends meet. So Price decided to make a drastic change by investing in his employees.

He researched how much money the average person would need in order to live comfortably and settled on $70,000 a year. In one fell swoop, he dropped his own salary to that amount, while also making it the minimum salary for anyone who worked at Gravity.

The move drew media coverage—and dire predictions from pundits. On Fox News and other conservative outlets he was called "foolish," a "socialist" and a "lunatic of lunatics." Rush Limbaugh called the company policy "pure unadulterated socialism" that was "going to fail" and should be a case study in MBA programs on how socialism doesn't work. Talking heads predicted that his employees would end up in the welfare line.

Six years later, Price has proved the haters wrong—by a lot.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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