9/22 – This Week in Women: Role Models

9/22 – This Week in Women: 

Role Models

Elisabeth Moss and Margaret Attwood. Photo Courtesy of Time Magazine

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From fashion week to superhero firsts, this week was all about the role of women; with a female, and even one male leader, using their talent and opportunity in the spotlight to draw attention to the significance of increasing female roles in society.

Using the runway, comic books and feature films to draw attention to women’s voices, women’s rights and combating violence, the work from these role models are sure to inspire.

Tracy Reese. Photo Courtesy of TracyReese.com
Tracy Reese concludes fashion week with a unique approach

Although the fashion designer behind one of Michelle Obama’s favorite designs has been known to curate previously diverse runway shows, this year at New York Fashion Week, Reese went beyond embracing different sizes, shapes, and ethnicities.

Reese gave a voice to her models, and therefore a storyline to the show, by allowing models the chance to share something about themselves while on the runway. “They’re saying something about themselves, why they’re doing this, what their hopes and dreams are, the women they admire in their lives,” said Reese.

In presenting this unique angle to her show, Reese hoped to bring the audience’s attention to the women in the clothing, rather than solely highlighting the fashion. “I wanted people to see the woman in the clothing and hear something about who she is,” said Reese. The model’s comments were raw and personal, ranging from female empowerment to small stories in different languages, like one model sharing her admiration for her mother in Spanish. After Reese’s show last year highlighted non-models, this approach continues to reveal the designer’s persistence in shifting how her followers consumer fashion.

Tanya Joseph talks women’s roles in commercials
Tanya Joseph. Photo Courtesy of PBS

This week, marketing executive Tanya Joseph published an article in Marketing Week, discussing the significance of the roles that women currently play in commercials. Joseph is the brains behind “This Girl Can” campaign at Sport England, and the current chair at The Pool–a UK-based platform for international female voices. In her article, Joseph observes how women in commercials too frequently receive the “supporting roles,” which include roles such as, “the woman behind the counter, the girl on the phone, the wife complaining to her husband.” As a result, Joseph argues how this further adds to women being perceived as “accessories.” Joseph further explains that besides subconsciously feeding into the evident sexism in society, brands also face losing out on an entire market. “I want to see more car campaigns with women in the driving seat–both literally and figuratively,” writes Joseph. As chair of The Pool, Joseph notes how she hopes to launch more campaigns targeted at spotlighting women as “the consumer” and “the decision maker,” as often this is the role women play behind the scenes.

Elisabeth Moss takes on new female empowerment role

Having dedicated her acting career to powerful, female, lead roles, Moss has taken on yet another impactful role in Call Jane–the true story of 1960s women forming a secret network to provide abortions in Chicago. This underground network was referred to as the Jane Collective. Moss is set to play the character of Jane; a married woman who finds herself pregnant then stumbles into the network of underground women. Apart from taking on powerful female leads, such as her most recent lead in The Handmaid’s Tale, Moss has is also a self-proclaimed feminist, using her television and film spotlight to petition for women’s rights and speak out against the patriarchy.

The 12 women projected on the ceiling at Grand Central Terminal

As part of a three-night series, General Electric is sponsoring the projections of 12 women in the science and technology fields on the ceiling of New York’s historically symbolic train station.

A few of the headliners include Mildred Dresselhaus, “the queen of carbon” who was the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in 1990; Sossina Haile, the scientist to develop the first solid-acid fuel cell; Danielle Merfeld, Vice President of General Electric Global Research; and Hadiyah-Nicole Green, working to create a better cancer treatment via laser-based nanotechnology. In sponsoring this project, General Electric hopes to capture commuters’ attention to reveal the “unseen stars of science.”

Photo Courtesy of The Week UK
Pakistan Girl is the country’s first female comic book character

Although the power of female superheroes have become somewhat mainstream through the likes of Wonder Woman and Super Woman, outside the western world, these roles are still growing. In Pakistan, graphic designer Hassan Siddiqui, has created their first female character; one who uses her superpowers to fight for women.

The designer said he wanted to create a “strong female character that girls – and boys – could look up to.” Thus, like most superheroes, Sarah is just a typical teenager, until women need her help when she transforms to a green cape-wearing savior. Siddiqui gave examples of these scenarios, which include women fighting corrupt officials, violence and hostage situations; problems that are a relevant reality that women living in Pakistan still face. He hopes that through his art, he will be able to assist in the fight for women’s equality in a historically infamous patriarchal society.

Jillian Dara

Jillian grew up an island girl but converted to city style after living in Boston, London, Santiago, and now, NYC. She is a writer, editor and content creator with a desire to share stories in the lifestyle genre. With a particular focus on travel and profiles, she prides herself on sharing the most authentic story for those who aren’t able to share their own.

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