We are Powerful Beyond Measure: A Letter to Ivanka Trump

Hi Ivanka,

Hope you are doing well. I want to express my sincere congratulations on your family's victory last night. I also want to ask if you remember me? We met a couple of times last year. I came to your office to interview you for my blog, and I was proud. I was a young woman just starting out in my career, inspired and energized by your brand's message of women empowerment and equality. 

First and foremost I am rooting for you, but since the last time we met I can't help but feel a little bit burned. I can't help but take your actions over the past year personally. And I can't help but feel like I've been completely lied to based on the hypocrisy that you so boldly exemplified while supporting a campaign built on tearing down the pillars of your own personal brand. What is so disheartening is that the campaign that you supported was built on insults and vitriol. Misogyny, racism, sexism, complete and utter bigotry, and a lack of very basic human decency, values that I believe(d) that you do not identify with.

So I feel burned, but at the same time I feel that you are the only glimmer of light in the darkness. I need you. We need you. You have a heavy burden to bear, and I am rooting for you. I'm hoping that you'll stand up for issues like women's rights that you promised me, and millions of others, were the cornerstones of your brand. I hope you'll be vigilant and keep your father accountable. I am ready to be your champion, but I am hoping that you'll hold up your end of the bargain. I am begging you to be not only my champion, but the champion for those that need you much more than I do. Please do not let me down. 

With love and sincerity, 

Molly Flynn 

April 2015.

April 2015.

TED Talk Tuesday: Amy Cuddy on How Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

You may know that body language affects how others see us, but did you know that body language can also affect how we perceive ourselves? In this TED talk Amy Cuddy, social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor, talks about how "power posing" can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. Even when we don't feel our most confident, standing in a power pose can have a positive impact on our chances for success. So if you have a date, an interview, or an important test coming up, you might want to watch Cuddy's talk below. 

I've recently been in a lot of social situations where I felt completely out of my comfort zone. Whether I was interviewing Ivanka Trump at her office in New York City or going on an important job interview, Cuddy's words helped me through it all. It really hit home for me around the 18 minute mark when she tells a story about one of her Harvard Business School students who came into her office and said, "I'm not supposed to be here." I know what its like to feel like you don't deserve something. I know what its like to feel completely defeated and lacking confidence. I now realize that the way I view myself is the only thing holding me back from achieving my goals.

9 Inspirational Quotes From Your Favorite Females

Finish the week off strong with inspiration from your favorite feminists.

1. "Life is not about what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you." Chelsea Clinton

2. Emma Watson on fearlessness.

3. "There are no mistakes only opportunities." Tina Fey

4. "A huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make for yourself." Lena Dunham

5. "You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." Lucille Ball

6. Taylor Swift tells it like it is.

7. "I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody's passionate, engaged, ambitious, and doesn't mind leading." Amy Poehler 

8. "I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I'm not trying to be an example...I am not trying to say I have all the answers...I am trying to support what I believe in...trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself: a woman who loves pink and likes to get freaky and sometimes dances her ass off to music she knows, she knows, is terrible for women." Roxane Gay

9. Gloria Steinem on confidence.


How to Create Your Own Luck

My Dad has always told me, "You create your own luck." He also frequently says things like, "Pull my finger." So until recently, these words of sound advice went in one ear and quickly out the other. 

Would you trust this man? Same.

Would you trust this man? Same.

Since graduating from college I've realized that my Dad's soliloquy rings true. Sometimes our cards don't play out in our favor, but with a bit of hard work and a little strategy you can learn to play your hand to your advantage. 

Many people think that they fall into one of two categories: Lucky and Unlucky. The fact of the matter is that they are neither. 

Ask yourself, "Am I prepared to be lucky?" The Roman philosopher Seneca once said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." 

So called unlucky people miss opportunities because they are focused on looking for something too specific. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner, so they miss their opportunities to meet good friends. They scour job boards determined to find exact job descriptions, and as a result miss other types of jobs that quite possibly would be a great fit. Lucky people are slightly more relaxed and open. Therefore, they see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. Luck isn't just about being in the right place at the right time, it is also about being open to and prepared for luck to happen to you. 

Below are 4 ways I've created opportunities for myself, and advice on how you can to:

1. In College: One mistake that my peers made in college that was glaringly apparent was that they would stress out about the wrong things. I would consistently get the same work done, and get the same grade (if not higher) without the fuss. One of the most important skills I learned in college was how to prioritize what was important. Sure it is important to give 100% to everything you do, but the way I see it is that if you have 2 things to do in the same time frame you are really only giving 50% to both projects. Figure out which project needs 80% and which project needs 20%. 

Additionally, you should be documenting all your important work throughout your college career in an online portfolio or blog. If you have limited coding or graphic design knowledge, I recommend using Wix or Squarespace. You can do this is 2 hours. If you don't you will graduate college and realize you have nothing to show for yourself except for a framed piece of resume paper with your name on it. Sorry to be harsh.

2. Networking: So many people tell me that they have "no connections". Saying that is essentially admitting that you're not trying. Of course some people have more connections that others and that's life, but I guarantee you that your cousin knows someone. Or your family friend's best friend's sister is the CEO of something fabulous. Or maybe even do something crazy and go to a networking event and shake someones hand! You'd be surprised to find out who will help you if you just put yourself out there. The whole ask and you shall receive thing is real 9 times our of 10.

3. Resources: Networking is your number one resource (see above). Another resource I have found extremely helpful is Angellist. Angellist is a website that helps startups find both funding and talent. It is like the lovechild of LinkedIn and Tinder. You can literally scroll through all the startups and click a button to say if you're interested in working for them, and if it's a match (if they're interested in you too) the website sends an email with both parties attached on it.

Do not forget where you came from. Use your alumni network to your advantage. Since I graduated not too long ago I don't have much to offer, but I regularly meet with students from my college to bond over overpriced lattes and offer advice. There are many accomplished individuals willing to help in your alumni network. Follow the tribe. 

Last but not least, LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn to find out if you know anyone at a company that you want to work for.

4. You Already Have The No, Go For the Yes: I have this theory that the number one reason that everyone doesn't have their dream job is because most people are afraid to ask for what they want. People are so afraid of rejection that they don't even apply for the job, or ask the guy out, or introduce themselves to a coworker. We often settle for something in the middle, perhaps not quite mediocre, but certainly not our best. You don't have to be the overachiever who always raises her hand in class, or the girl that has the most confidence and always gets the guy. You just have to remember that you already have the no, go for the yes. If you don't get the yes, you're no worse off than where you were 5 minutes ago.

Lucky people generate their own good fortune. They open their eyes and notice opportunities around them. They make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition. They create self-fulfilling prophesies with positive expectations. Most of all, they are resilient. 

Luxy, The Dating App for the Self Absorbed

At last we can breathe easy my fellow 1%'ers. Luxy is here!

Luxy is like Tinder, "minus the poor people".

Literally, that is how the app is pitched in the press release. "Shop for affluent people in your neighborhood" like your favorite Ferragamo booties. "Our app allows users to weed out the poor and unattractive," said the CEO - who prefers to remain anonymous for reasons unbeknownst to me.

New users to the app are prompted to select their favorite high end brands such as Prada, Gucci, or Cartier. Your choices show up at the bottom of your profile apparently so that when you're shopping for a date, you can bond over your preferred brands.

Brilliant! Before Luxy I never knew how to strike up a conversation with a man, but now all my problems are solved. Can't wait to start conversing with potential suitors about $2,000 handbags! 

How are all these attractive, rich people still single?!

To all this I say: Get off my Tinder. Thank god for this app. Finally we can weed out the pompous and shallow. Thanks Luxy!

Blurred Lines: Emily Ratajkowski is a Feminist

Emily Ratajkowski will grace the cover of Cosmopolitan's November issue. Her movie "Gone Girl" premiers in theaters this Friday, October 3rd, 2014 - a role that she acquired by appearing in Robin Thicke's, Blurred Lines music video in which she did not speak a word.  

In her interview with Cosmo Ratajkowski says, "I feel lucky to wear what I want, sleep with whom I want, and dance how I want, and still be a feminist." Amen to that. However, I have some mild reservations.

There's no denying that feminism is very in vogue right now. The word feminist is being used as a powerful marketing tool to sell clothing, records, and now magazines. Somehow I'm not convinced that the sudden reclaiming of the F-word is genuine. 

Ratajkowski can call herself a feminist all she wants, but having her claim to fame as a naked woman dancing around fully clothed men in a music video that glosses over consent is not a great platform to build off of. 

Commercializing your body and exploiting your sexuality to sell products is not a new concept. It certainly is not helping women gain equal rights. That being said, I'm not trying to take away her feminist card. I believe that any women who wants to be afforded the same rights as men is by definition a feminist. Like Lena Dunham recently said, "A huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself." However, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the message she's sending.

What happens when the nude model in the music video doesn't think the video is objectifying, but other women do? If the viewer objectifies a woman, but she isn't objectifying herself, is she still an object? If a tree falls in the woods, but it doesn’t hear its own sound, did it make one?

I'm very eager to read this interview - coming to newsstands October 7th.

12 Things You Need to Know Freshmen Year of College from the Girl That Did it Wrong

Your freshmen year of college basically feels like this.

How insensitive of me.

When they said, "College will be the best four years of your life!" They lied. 

If you're a freshmen, at this point you've been in school for a couple of weeks and you either: 

a. Love it.

b. Pretend to love it via Facebook and Instagram.

c. Binge eat Chipotle and cry yourself to sleep every night. 

I went to one of the biggest party schools in the country, was miserable, then transferred to an all women's college in Boston. In retrospect things turned out pretty well, but I went through hell to get there. Truth be told, college will be the best three years of your life. Freshmen year is f*cking hard. Take it from the girl that did it wrong.

Here are 12 things I wish I knew freshmen year of college:

1. Pay no attention to that awesome "80's Frat Party" Facebook album that your friends from high school posted after her first day at college. It may look like they've met their new bffs and had an awesome time, but did they post a picture of this part of the party too?

2. This tip will carry with you throughout life, but people are 100% more interested in talking about themselves than they are about hearing how cool you were in high school. You know when your eyes rolled into the back of your head every time Gretchen Wieners bragged about her father being the inventor of Toaster Strudel? Don't be the Gretchen Wieners. 

3. If you don't feel like going out or have a really big paper due tomorrow, don't play the YOLO card. If I know one thing for certain it's that there will always be another party.

4. Go to orientation events, major fairs, and club meetings...but you really don't have to go to everything. 

5. That being said, don't spread yourself too thin in college. 

6. Don't enroll in 3 hour evening lectures.

7. The first month is hell. Between finding friends you actually like, figuring out where your classes are, and establishing a routine, freshmen year is really hard. It's ok to feel like this.

8. Don't cling to the first people you meet.

Nope. You didn't.

9. Don't order late night food with your roommate every single night of the week. The freshmen-15 doesn't have to be a thing.

10. That drunken hookup you're having probably isn't going to develop into a lifelong romance. Don't waste your time, or dignity.

11. Calling somebody fat won’t make you any skinnier, and calling somebody stupid won’t make you any smarter.

12. And last, but not least.

The Apparently Kid Has It All Figured Out

If you haven't heard of Noah Ritter, better known as the Apparently Kid, apparently you spent your summer vacationing in North Korea. Let me bring you up to speed.

Is it just me or do we have a Freaky Friday situation on our hands? No doubt, the Apparently Kid is just Grandpa trapped in a Kindergartener's body.

Seriously though, in a separate interview with ABC he says that "it's great [to be famous now] because I've never really had any people like me". Truth be told, he's just far too ahead of his time for the other kindergarteners to understand him. This kid is a certifiable genius and the future of stand up comedy...or paleontology. Don't worry, apparently kid all you have to do is be yourself. 

How to Avoid an Existential Crisis While Choosing a Nail Polish Color

It all started in the third grade when I took my first trip to the unspoken tenth circle of hell: the nail salon.

First off, you're tasked with choosing a polish color. This color that you choose defines you. At least for the rest of the week. Don't even get me started on gel nail colors, because that is a whole other level of commitment.

Twenty minutes after you've tirelessly sorted through the 40 shades of red on the wall to no avail, an employee comes over to assist you.

You hate the color, but won't notice until your entire right hand has been painted. 

You muster up the courage to ask for a color change, but there's a communication barrier.

The employees are having a seemingly hilarious conversation. You begin to get paranoid that they're making fun of you because you don't speak their language.

They were totally making fun of you. An employee asks you if you want your upper lip waxed.

You find out at the end of your service that tip is cash only.

You mess up your manicure immediately after you leave the salon.

You decide that you don't need to pay $35 for a mani/pedi when you can just do it yourself! But they turn out like shit.

You walk into the nail salon the next week, and the vicious cycle continues. 

Disclaimer: I don't do nail art. I swore off of it in the 8th grade when I asked my manicurist for sparkles and by the time I looked up from my US Weekly, I had a spider painted on my left thumbnail. Mind you, this was nowhere near Halloween. No idea how that request would have made any sense at all, but these situations tend to get lost in translation. The only time I strayed from my oath was in 2012 when I was inspired by Louis Vuitton's Yayoi Kusama collaboration.

Slightly less basic bitch than a regular french manicure? No?

I lied to you. This isn't a "how to", because I really don't know the answers to avoiding an existential crisis at the nail salon. Can it be done? My best advice is to find your signature shade and stick to it. At the moment, mine is a nude color by Essie called "ladylike". The name alone makes me want to die, but it'll do. You're also going to need to find a place that is sensitive to your self esteem issues and doesn't suggest a brow or lip wax every time you're there. Lastly, you'll need to find a good therapist. Hope this helped! 

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