She's All That

She’s All That – Kiernan Shipka

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You probably already know that Kiernan Shipka plays Sally Draper on the award-winning AMC drama Mad Men and Cathy Dolleganger in Lifetime’s remake of Flowers in the Attic. What you might now know is that she’s only 14 and a half and she CRUSHES IT on the red carpet. With the Mad Men’s final season kicking off in less than a month, we’re sure to be seeing plenty more from her this year.

pradaIn Prada at the Elle Women in Television event this past January.

Shipka, whose acting career began in 2006, just one year before Mad Men’s inception, is flawlessly mastering the art of dressing for her age. She’s consistently looking fresh without looking immature, but never looking overdone for her 14 years.

SAG Awards 2014 ODLAt the 2014 SAG Awards in Oscar de la Renta.
Delpozo 2013 Emmy'sIn Delpozo at the 2013 Emmy Awards.

Lucky for us, she’s been flush with opportunity to rock the red carpet. The award-winning actress won 2 SAG awards (2009, 2010) and a a Women in Film (Lucy) award (2013) with the cast of Mad Men and 2 Young Hollywood awards (2012, 2013) for her portrayal of the troubled daughter of Don Draper and Betty (Draper) Francis.

Sally Season 1As Sally Draper on Mad Men, season 1.
Delpozo Costume Designers guild awardsIn Delpozo at the Costume Designers Guild Awards in February.

When Shipka, originally from Chicago, isn’t wowing us in perfectly picked frocks, she’s lunching with other famous teens like Lorde and Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games). Her Instagram and Twitter feeds are as fun and refreshing as she is. Keep your eye on this rising fashionista. We can’t wait to see what the young starlet will do next!

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She's All That

She’s All That – Cate the Great

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Whether she’s royally nailing the role of Queen Elizabeth or bearing rings and speaking Elvish by way of J.R.R. Tolkien, don’t you worry, Cate Blanchett’s got it covered. The Australian actress who had been running a theater company in Sydney with her husband has been splitting her focus between the stage and motherhood (3 boys), leading to her selectivity when choosing roles. I guess when your big screen debut earns you a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination as Queen Elizabeth I, your standards are set relatively high.

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Like most talented actresses Cate’s not chasing awards and was convinced her film career was over after her concentrated focus on the theater company. Live performances have brought her a depth of experience that film hadn’t previously given her. She has said of performing live, “The role is secondary. It’s about who you are being directed by and who the other actors are.” Her role as a fallen-from-grace socialite in Blue Jasmine and the accolades that have followed were completely unexpected.

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Cate is prepping to hit the stage again on March 2nd, this time as an Oscar nominee for her role in Blue Jasmine. The actress already took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress on January 12th in a gorgeous black lace gown by Armani Prive and a BAFTA award for Best Actress on February 16th in a short-sleeved Alexander McQueen gown. We think she could wear a paper sack to any event and still be one of the most stunning women in the room. Best of luck to you, Cate!

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She's All That

She’s all That – Fashion Icon of the ’20s

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Greta Garbo. Period.

It was the decade that brought us the flapper dress, the t-strap and flashy costume jewelry, so naturally we’d choose a fashion icon from the ’20s who chose to step out and step it up. The ethereal, Greta Garbo. Considered the first androgynous style icon, the Swedish actress ruled the silver screen in Hollywood’s golden era but created a signature style that lives on today. On-screen she rocked the quintessential ‘art-deco diva’ vibe but off-screen was another story.

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Most famously mimicked by another BattleShop style icon, Diane Keaton, Garbo’s penchant for button downs, loosely fitting trousers and oxfords created a masculine look that was soft enough for women who dared. Favoring comfort over conformity, she once said “Perhaps I am most pleased at having fought for the right to wear trousers.”

Thanks Greta! Our fedoras are off to you today.

she's all that

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She's All That

She’s All That – Lena Dunham

Vogue cover, February 2014
Vogue cover, February 2014

‘Why did you all make us look at your thighs?’ My response is, get used to it because I am going to live to be 100, and I am going to show my thighs every day till I die.” – Lena Dunham

My instinct is to immediately glance down at my thighs as I write this, always quick to judge and certainly lacking Lena’s bravado.

Let’s talk about Lena Dunham.  It seems like people are always talking about Lena Dunham, and more often than not, it’s about what she looks like rather than what she is capable of (Emmy winner, writer, director, actress, etc.). Last year, I posted a link on my Facebook timeline to the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign, lauding their efforts to encourage all women consider to themselves beautiful.  One of my Facebook friends commented on the post with:  “Why is it important for women to be beautiful?”  It made me think – my impulse had always been to want all women to think of themselves as beautiful, even if they don’t conform to traditional or popular standards of beauty.   The discussion of Lena Dunham, and her insistence on challenging conventional expectations for female beauty helps answer this question.

Why is it important for all women to be considered beautiful?   It’s simple: beauty makes us happy.  It’s why we listen to music, admire art, and travel to breathtaking places.   The more important question is:  why can’t more women see the beauty in themselves?  In 2011, @KiyahDuffey blogged about her daughter’s “beautiful body.”   In the post, she redefines very notion of bodily beauty as strength, ability, sensation, function — not size, texture, clarity, or symmetry.   Her daughter’s body is beautiful because it can, and not simply because it is.   Here’s a lesson for all of us:  let’s start some loving self-talk, why don’t we?

Quite frankly, it’s a little bit of upstream swimming to challenge what we think we know.  Just look at the number of women who criticize and judge Lena’s nudity in the HBO series Girls — this is nothing more than, as Tina Fey once put it in Mean Girls, “girl on girl crime.”   The best way to move forward?   Think about this:  my 3-year old daughter tells me I’m beautiful every single day, even when I’m feeling my worst about the way I look (should lose some weight, don’t like my nose or teeth, etc.).  Does she think I’m a supermodel?  No.  Does she think I’m flawless?  No.  She doesn’t associate beauty with that yet.  To her, beauty comes from love and a completely innocent belief that beauty is there because it just is.  And it’s hard work for me to stop self-criticism and doubt in front of her – why should I unteach the secret that she already knows but so many adults struggle to grasp?

Let’s go back to talking about Lena Dunham.   Lena is the rest of us….but she knows the secret:  beauty isn’t externally defined, it’s internally generated.  In our hearts, in our minds, in our friendships, our talents, successes and failures.   When I wrote “beauty makes us happy,” I meant feeling beautiful in your own skin and opening yourself up to the (often unsung) beauty of others and the world around us.

Why this post?   When you create a game based on fantasy shopping, wearing beautiful things, and looking at a zillion pictures of people who look completely flawless and fabulous at all times in their clothing, it’s easy to focus on external and traditional notions of beauty.  Let’s battle that impulse, shall we?   Let’s live in the fantasy world of fashion and keep dreaming of shopping glory, but let’s feel good about ourselves, shall we?   While women are BattleShopping, we want you all to be brave, to take good care of each other, and know that beauty is everywhere.   Including Lena Dunham’s thighs.

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