Accomplished Woman Hillary Clinton Gets Nice Haircut, All Hell Breaks Loose

When it comes to self-presentation, Hillary Clinton can’t win.

On Wednesday morning, Page Six reported that Clinton spent $600 whole dollars — the horror! — on a haircut at a high-end salon in New York City. Clinton, who is running for President of the United States and is a former First Lady, also committed the cardinal sins of (1) having “a huge entourage in tow,” and (2) “being ushered through a side entrance.” (Security detail? Entourage? Basically the same thing!)

Hillary Clinton is a woman who is constantly in the public eye and on television. She is a person who is constantly photographed. She is also a person who has money, not unlike many other high-profile political figures, and sometimes she spends that money on her personal grooming.

Clinton’s hair has become a news item before, like when she wore a scrunchie… 

Or when Matt Drudge started the rumor that she wore a wig… 

Or when she wore a headband… 

The above headlines are all from the last five years. Let’s not forget the many snide comments written about her hair before the Internet archived every such piece. As Michelle Goldberg outlined in a piece for Slate in November, Clinton’s hair has been a topic of conversation for actual decades, her changing hairstyles used as proof of her “conniving inauthenticity”: 

“Not only has Clinton’s hair changed since the campaign season, it seems to change just about every day,” said a 1994 piece in the San Jose Mercury News. “Just this week alone, her ‘do went from softly feathered bangs on Tuesday to sleekly coiffed pageboy sans bangs on Wednesday. It’s most discomforting for the national sense of identity, Clinton watchers mutter. After all, you wouldn’t want the Statue of Liberty changing her hemline every other week.” 

Clinton is not the first politician to face criticism over her or his hairstyles and their upkeep — John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders all come to mind. But the tenor and consistency of such critiques feel unique to her. Both Trump and Sanders have faced dumb jokes and rude comments about their hair, but neither’s character or “authenticity” has been called into question over it. 

Being a woman in this country means having your worth and respectability tied inextricably to your looks. Women are, of course, not obligated to keep up with beauty norms, but they are always expected to. As a woman who has been in the public eye for years, Clinton knows that all too well. She has not only had her hair picked to death, but also her glasses, her makeup (or lack thereof), her smile and her voice

So is it really that crazy to think that she might invest her own money in a nice haircut?

Plus, as writer and editor Anna Holmes pointed out on Twitter, paying hundreds of dollars for haircuts and coloring isn’t a habit unique to the Democratic frontrunner:

I think it's really telling that so many men have no idea how much women have to spend on personal grooming.

— Anna Holmes (@AnnaHolmes) March 31, 2016

Seriously, folks. *I've* spent $600 on my hair. (See accompanying avatar for shot of the process in action.) It doesn't make me a diva.

— Anna Holmes (@AnnaHolmes) March 31, 2016


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Hilarious Video Shows That Portuguese And Spanish Aren’t As Similar As People Think

How different can Spanish and Portuguese really be? A group of innocent Spanish-speaking souls found out the fun way.

In a video published by Flama on Tuesday, Spanish speakers took on some particularly difficult Portuguese words. Their complete and utter failure at both pronouncing and understanding the words given to them is further proof that these two languages aren’t as similar as people think.  

“I thought I could read it [but] nope, apparently not,” one woman from Medellín, Colombia, admitted at the end of the video about her ability to pronounce the Portuguese words on paper. 

Sure, they’re both Roman languages but the Portuguese language can be quite difficult for native Spanish speakers to master due its nasal sounds and spelling.

“You just decorated your letters,” says one woman about the Portuguese word coração which means heart. While another man says Portuguese pronunciation feels like “you have a hot potato in your mouth.”  

Watch just how similar and different these two languages are in the video below. 

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Eva Longoria Meets The Pope, Is Literally #Blessed

Actress Eva Longoria shook hands with Pope Francis on Wednesday — and, from the looks of it, she’s a big fan. 

Longoria posted a photo of the meeting on her Instagram account, along with the caption: “Praying with Pope Francis #Blessed #Literally.”

According to Fox News Latino, the star is currently vacationing in Italy with her fiancé Jose Antonio Baston.  She was one of a crowd of thousands who attended the pope’s general audience, which is held in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesdays. 

Praying with Pope Francis #Blessed #Literally

A photo posted by Eva Longoria (@evalongoria) on Mar 30, 2016 at 8:19am PDT

Longoria was raised Catholic, but like a number of American Catholics today, her faith journey has led her to adopt positions that differ from official church teachings. She’s pro-abortion rights and she supports marriage equality. She is also divorced and will soon be remarried, which, according to Catholic church doctrine, is immoral.

Still, Longoria has been upfront about how important her religion is to her. She’s spoken publicly about how her family would attend masses and honor saints’ days when she was a child, and she reportedly grew up participating in Catholic Daughters of America, a woman’s organization within the church. 

“I really looked at [the church] as an institution that provided guidance as to how we were raised,” Longoria said in an interview with Parade. “To me, the Catholic church was inclusive. It included the blind, the poor, the minorities, the disabled.”

This isn’t the first time the “Telenovela” star has made it a point to spend time with the pope. In 2015, Longoria visited the White House to hear Pope Francis speak during his trip to America. 

Life moment happening today! #HisHoliness #PopeFrancis #BlessedToBeHereWithMySisterLiza

A photo posted by Eva Longoria (@evalongoria) on Sep 23, 2015 at 7:42am PDT

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Women’s History Month: Advancing the Mission

March is National Women’s History Month, an annual celebration of the contributions women have made in years past and the society they are helping lead today. The 2016 theme, Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government, provided an opportunity for the country to recognize women who have helped shape America’s history through their public service and government leadership. It has also allowed the Department of State to look at the landscape of public service and government today. Women’s History Month provided an opportune time to highlight the women currently in DOS leadership roles, as well as reveal the areas where vast improvements could be made to open doors for additional women.

It is no secret that women are greatly underrepresented in elected positions and political leadership. Within the U.S. Senate, only 20 of the 100 members are women. Of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 84 are women. On a local level, we see similar statistics. Within the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, there are 37 women serving out of a total of 203. The Pennsylvania Senate has 50 members and only 9 of them are women.

A great many political careers, however, do not start in leadership positions within the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building or the White House. Often, impactful political leaders begin their careers in city halls and state capitols throughout the country. With more women occupying local offices, we will begin to see the shift on the national level.

Understanding the importance of diversity in the workplace, I remain grateful every day that many highly talented and dedicated women have chosen to join our team in various leadership capacities. At the Pennsylvania Department of State, we have a deep commitment to equality in hiring and opportunity. Within the Department, women hold 24 of the 38 leadership positions and account for 58% of all staff. It is an honor and privilege to serve alongside my female colleagues. They are great role models for my 16-year-old daughter. Through them she can see a broad spectrum of career paths, educational backgrounds and various interests. Having been raised by my mother and sister, I feel deeply compelled to advance the mission of increased opportunity and equity for all.

In an effort to inspire young women to take interest in government leadership and public service careers, the Department of State celebrated the women in our department with a campaign to highlight the various roles and positions they hold. The titles and duties were accompanied with a relevant quote from each of them explaining why they enjoy working in government. The successful campaign received media attention and reached tens of thousands on social media platforms.

On March 29, the Department wrapped up the month-long social media campaign with an hour-long Twitter Town Hall. The goal of the #GovLikeAWoman social media event was to encourage women to run for office, work in government and engage in the civic life of their communities. We also wanted to have an open dialogue about young women and girls becoming more interested in public service. The conversation was enlightening and the comments from participants were truly inspiring:

“It is important to have women pursue careers in public service to ensure that all perspectives have a seat at the table.”

“I think it’s important to get more young girls involved by being mentors and highlighting each other’s accomplishments.”

“I work in government/public service to ensure women and children’s voices are heard and their needs met.”

Women have a unique perspective and voice that should be heard at all levels of government. Women’s History Month may only be celebrated one month out of the year, but we must continue to celebrate women’s accomplishments, mentor and lead a younger generation 365 days a year.

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On César Chávez Day, Honor Farmworkers’ and Women’s Struggles for Equality and Justice

This week we observe one of the most significant holidays of the year: César Chávez Day, in honor of the farmworkers movement and the hard-won triumphs of some of the most marginalized among us. Thinking about this in combination with International Women’s Day reveals the ties that continue to bind them together: both movements are constituted by workers who have endured persistent silencing, dismissal, and disenfranchisement. Yet both movements have also contributed labor that while undervalued, continues to create and sustain human life.

When women and farmworkers speak up about wage theft, unsafe working conditions, or sexual assault and domestic violence, the enduring patriarchy and sexism endemic to U.S. workplace culture engender doubt, often spoken but too often insidiously unspoken. Rather than responding with action, management and company leadership often call for endless dialogue and broader study, as if the brave testimonies of survivors are not credible or significant. When acknowledged as truthful, often they are dismissed as isolated incidents that cannot possibly be part of systemic social problems requiring systemic policy solutions.

Women, after generations of struggle, have finally gained enough–just enough–political capital for “fair pay” to gain broad support. Last year, California signed into law the Fair Pay Act, led by our own Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, one of the strongest laws in the country enforcing equal pay for women. It drew support from the statewide American Association of University Women (AAUW), California Chamber of Commerce and a majority of legislators of both parties.

Farmworkers in our community are mostly undocumented immigrants, ineligible to vote, many from indigenous communities who speak native languages like Mixteco, with little formal education to read and write in Spanish, let alone English. It should come as no surprise that farmworkers have little political capital. Since the 1970’s, farmworkers work more hours, and yet wages in real value have declined. They are still the only workers in California who are not paid overtime after 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, a result of the racist legacy of their exclusion from the Fair Labor Standards Act in the 1930s, a deal brokered between President Roosevelt and Southern congressmen who refused labor rights to Black farmworkers.

The struggles of women and farmworkers are intertwined. Perhaps the only members of our communities paid less than male farmworkers are female farmworkers. According to Census data, while year-round, full-time male farmworkers in the Central Coast earn around $20,000 per year, their female counterparts earn roughly $15,000. Female farmworkers are especially vulnerable to sexual assault and harassment, where foremen have almost absolute power over their workers. And women farmworkers often have to work while pregnant, despite known links to reproductive health harms from exposure to hazardous pesticides during pregnancy.

As women who continue to fight for equality, we stand in solidarity with farmworkers struggling for justice. We ask our policymakers at the county, state and federal levels to believe farmworkers who are courageously speaking up despite immense fear of retaliation that could cost them their jobs or being deported away from their families. Know that for every person who is able to testify in front of policymakers or file formal complaints or be interviewed by researchers, there are countless numbers of farmworkers who have survived abuses and are fearful to speak about them.

When it comes to issues like AB2757, the bill that would grant overtime pay equity to farmworkers in California, and the Farmworker Bill of Rights being proposed in Santa Barbara County, a significant part of the “breadbasket” of food distribution in the country, we stand with every woman and farmworker who has bravely raised her voice. We stand with those who are speaking out for justice, in spite of intimidation and retaliation, and saying, “We believe you.”

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