Tomorrow, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. The IWD website includes this great description about what the day is all about:
“International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.”
The entire website is fantastic, and you can read more about the mission of IWD, how to get involved, events happening in your area (although Hamilton doesn’t seem to be on their global list hmmmm…) and much more. You can also check out the website for the Status of Women Canada for their take on IWD, and why it is so important.
In honour of this year’s IWD, we’d like to share the stories of two women who are currently on our radar. One is a salon owner, the other is a rising star in the modeling world. Their lives – like their jobs – are quite different, but reading about them this week has been inspiring and…well, we’ll let their stories speak for themselves.
First, you all know how much we love love LOVE the Living Aveda blog! So many great, timely, and interesting articles every week, and sometimes it seems they know exactly what we want to talk about on this blog, because the articles sync up perfectly. It’s a bit eerie, but what can you do?!
Towards the end of February, they featured an article about a salon in Concord, New Hampshire, that is doing some pretty amazing outreach to their clients:
“As care is core to Aveda, our salons and spas take care of their local clientele by offering uniquely Aveda services intertwined with their own individual missions for wellness and beauty.
Salon K in Concord, New Hampshire is doing exactly this by offering Aveda traditional services alongside their specialized Transgender Services— beauty offerings that aren’t often found in most salons. The majority of the services are for men physically transitioning from male to female at any stage of the transition process, and include custom cut and color services; wig management and recommendations; makeup lessons; permanent hair removal; and skin care. Services for women transitioning to men include haircuts and guidance on hair styling for a masculine look.”
Salon K’s owner, Kae Mason, herself a transgender woman, knows that it can be difficult to navigate the world during transition, and that those in transition need a safe place where they can not only be themselves, but also learn what they need to know physically and emotionally in order to become exactly who they were meant to be. This kind of support is supremely valuable to trans men and women, and kudos to Kae and to everyone at Salon K for this supremely welcoming environment!
Now we’d like to introduce you to a Canadian model – from Mississauga to be precise – whose career has been moving along quite nicely for some time now, but we can guarantee her star will continue to rise even higher in the next few years. Elle Canada has a fun interview with the 22-year old, that covers a lot of ground, and briefly touches on her vitiligo, a skin condition characterized by a lack of pigment:
“And that’s the fascinating thing about Harlow: She’s not exactly distancing herself from the physical difference that initially brought her fame (and campaigns for Desigual, Sprite and Swarovski), but she is trying to move beyond it.
On-set, we got the sense that Harlow was there to be a model—working hard to get it right, giving as much on the 12th shot as she gave on the first, not complaining about things running over schedule—but she wasn’t there to be a spokeswoman for vitiligo. In fact, the only time that she was anything but relaxed was when someone asked her an offhand question about the condition. Harlow answered it briefly—the Coles Notes version of an explanation she has clearly given 1,000 times before—but it obviously broke her flow in front of the camera. Shortly after that, she asked her cousin (who’d come with her, along with an assistant) to change the music playing on the studio’s sound system. “Something I can dance to,” she requested from behind the camera, swishing the black Sid Neigum dress around her.”
The article goes on to include this excellent exchange as well:
Do you ever get tired of having to address all this? “I’m very sick of talking about my skin.”
There’s so much more to you than that. “Precisely. I am literally just a human. I have the same brain as you; there’s a skeleton under my skin just like yours. It’s not that serious.”
How can you not love this? “I am literally just a human.” And aren’t we all?
In the modeling world, of course, beauty really is all skin deep, but it’s a good reminder that beneath the gorgeous clothes and the beautiful models, they are, like us still just human beings.
So, tomorrow, on International Women’s Day, think of Kae and Winnie and every other woman out there, and celebrate them. Whatever shape, size, and colour they may be, celebrate them. Celebrate and help be the change that ensures women all over the world have the rights we all deserve.
Enjoy the week, everyone. See you Friday.