Noteworthy Women

Encouraging and Empowering Remarkable Women

Author: scortez

Jaclyn Hill: Feminist Beauty Vlogger

Jaclyn Hill has revolutionized the makeup game on YouTube! Standing at a little over 4 million followers on Instagram, Hill has worked hard to become an empowering woman and role model to younger girls. Hill is commonly considered one of the YouTube originals, the YouTubers who started the beauty vlogging movement before it truly took off a few years ago. One glance at the channel, and it’s easy to see why her social media platform of choice has continued to grow each year.

Hill has plenty of experience with makeup, she is a longtime YouTuber, former MAC employee, and the brains behind some of the makeup game’s favorite products. Beyond beauty, she encourages her subscribers to love themselves and often talks about dealing with depression, abusive relationships, and her values as a business owner.

At age 25, she collaborated with BECCA Cosmetics to create a highlighter called Champagne Pop, which had great success and sold out immediately. This caused the company to make it a permanent part of their collection. Now, she has released a full Champagne Pop collection with the company, and she’s working toward the release of her own makeup line later this year. Jaclyn relates to her viewers by discussing previous financial struggles and pledging total honesty with her subscribers.

“We were so poor, our electricity kept shutting off, and I remember crying in front of my fridge because there was nothing in it and we didn’t have any money to buy food,” she relates in one vlog. “But I kept thinking, ‘We just have to hold on and things will get better.'”

Alysa Auriemma mentions in her Bustle article that in addition to bomb makeup tutorials Jaclyn also has been very public about her struggles with anxiety, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and depression—in one video, she discusses visiting a therapist three times a week while also posting makeup videos. “I have worked my ass off to be a happy person,” she says in one video titled “Trying to Make a Change,” in which a makeup-free Jaclyn addresses comment in-fighting on her channel. Jaclyn’s efforts to make her channel about more than just makeup, and her public persona about more than just appearance make her a valuable addition to my subscription box.


Hill has no problem opening up about her former relationships or issues with anxiety on her YouTube channel, but she also commonly opens up about some of her everyday struggles with online hate and personal anxieties via Snapchat. When she does, Hill makes sure to encourage self-care to her #snapchatfam because she loves and appreciates all the support she receives. All in all, Jaclyn Hill is an inspiration to many and is brave for sharing her story with all her followers.

Model Adwoa Aboah is the founder on the Instagram account @gurlstalk which later became a website and is receiving a lot of praise for her posts that are getting girls to talk about feminism. Vogue’s article interviewing Aboah says that using the hashtag #letsgetgurlstalking as a call to arms, Aboah spreads a larger message of honesty and openness for young women, a message she also plans on taking into local schools via an upcoming workshop.

The About Me section on the website states:

“Gurls Talk is a movement that strives to create a platform where girls can openly share their experiences and feelings in a safe and trusting environment.  We are working together to create a community of girls from all different backgrounds, looking beyond external differences, and focusing on the essence of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century.  We strive to show girls that you are not alone, and that by opening up and sharing your personal stories, you too can discover that many others are going through the same things.  Gurls Talk is about working together, empowering, and taking the time to listen…”


By using her platform to boast a freedom of ideals and a breaking with the norms has helped her evolve into a star to follow. She says in her interview with Teen Vogue that her inspiration came from “the women who came into her life when she needed them the most — the women who actually saved her life”. With Gurls Talk Aboah wants to create a space wherein girls can have honest conversations about everything. It’s weekly program to educate girls on mental health and addiction and eating disorders, but instead of it being a lecture coming from a teacher or a woman twice their age, it will be from women these girls can relate to, women who are speaking from experience.

Vice Magazine comments  that with 35k Instagram followers and growing, and a website that launch last October, Gurls Talk is the best friend you wish you had growing up, a voice to speak out on body image, feminism, self-perception, and empowerment. Frank, intelligent, and deeply personal, it documents everything from Adwoa’s road to a personal recovery, to calling out the Kardashians for their use of social media (“Between you, you have 45 million followers, and this is what you use your platform for?” she asks incredulously), to insights into inspirational feminist artists and writers such as Gloria Steinem and Lena Dunham, to simple feel-good mantras (‘Be you and be proud’).

The most important message she would like girls to take away from Gurls Talk is, “be vulnerable, be open, and be true to yourself. I found when I was trying to be someone else everything was so much harder. But when I was true to myself, I felt so much freer,” she says, with a wisdom far beyond her years. “Give out positive energy and things will come back to you in ways you can’t even begin to believe.” Last year’s Italian Vogue cover shot by Tim Walker was a huge turning point for the model, who has since starred in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, and H&M. “The Italian Vogue cover meant so much to me, not so much because I was on the cover,” Adwoa says, “but because I saw a different light in my eyes. There was nothing behind them for so long. I had completely shut away from my family, my friends, my sister, but now my spark is back.”

Vice continues with pointing out that Adwoa’s spark is more than back, it’s dazzling, and the future looks bright for the her. Next year she will make her movie debut, starring in Rupert Sanders’ adaptation of Japanese manga classic Ghost in the Shell, opposite Scarlett Johannson. “It was a dream come true to act alongside Scarlett!” she beams. “She is one of the coolest and most down-to-earth women I’ve ever met.”

“In these turbulent times, an intelligent, passionate, and emotionally attuned role model is exactly what we need. Let’s get girls talking.”

“I call myself a feminist and I’m proud to say that, but I think the modern-day feminist can be anyone. It can be a model on the cover of a magazine, it can be a mother of five, it can be a working woman, a woman who chooses to stay at home, a woman who decides not to shave her armpits in protest—it really can be anyone drawn to the idea of equality. I really think it is about doing things for yourself and not being held back by what society views as appropriate.”


Backlash on Emma Watson’s Vanity Fair Shoot: Feminism or Hypocrisy?

This week, BuzzFeed posted on its Snapchat story? an article about Emma Watson’s Vanity Fair shoot. While the article focuses on Watson who opens up about her metamorphosis from child star to leading woman, critics were more focused on her breasts and disputed on how a feminist could do such a thing. Was it hypocritical of Watson to reveal herself in such a way? BuzzFeed comments, “Since then, several articled have been published objectifying Watson. The Sun published an article with the headline “Beauty and the breasts.”

The Telegraph writes about Daily Mail columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer who tweeted a picture of the page, writing: “Feminism, feminism… gender wage gap… why oh why am I not taken seriously… feminism… oh, and here are my tits!” According to CNN She later defended her tweet, saying Watson “complains that women are sexualised and then sexualises herself in her own work. Hypocrisy.”

Emma Watson, as featured in the March 2017 issue of Vanity Fair

Talking about how important her role is in the upcoming film Beauty and the Beast, Watson emphasized how important the approval of her mother Jacqueline and Gloria Steinem’s is.

“I couldn’t care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that I felt was important for people to hear.”

Emma Watson

As we all know about how Watson feels about empowering young girls, the type of backlash she received on her picture featured in the magazine was a bit surprising to the Beauty and the Beast star. Watson later comments to CNN saying, “The more I have spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. … For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” On a lighter note, although she received a lot of criticism for her picture, she gained a lot of support as well.

In an interview with Reuters, Watson, responded to the controversy by clarifying the definition of feminism to critics:9

“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is,” she said. “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”

So what does Gloria Steinem, arguably the most high-profile feminist, think about this controversy? According to CNN once more,

Steinem laughed at the notion that Watson was a “bad feminist” because she appeared in a revealing photo.

“Feminists can wear anything they f****** want,” Steinem told TMZ. “They should be able to walk down the street nude and be safe.”

Feature Friday: Malala Yousafzai

As one of the most famous and influential Pakistani activists for female education, Malala Yousafzai, has changed the game in feminism. In 2009, Malala wrote an anonymous blog that described the lifestyle under the Taliban. Later that year, she was discovered as the one behind the blog posts that became a documentary. This also put a target on Malala by the Taliban and she’s still targeted today.

Malala attended a school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, had founded. After the Taliban began attacking girls’ schools, she gave a speech in September 2008 titled, “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” According to BBC’s article, Malala was only 11 years old when her anonymous diary captivated audiences. She wrote under a pseudonym – Gul Makai, the name of a heroine from a Pashtun folk tale. Malala was able to document the chaos that her and her friends underwent while they saw students from their class dropping those classes due to the fear of being targeted by the militants. Malala and her family were then forced to flee the valley when a government military operation attempted to clear the region of militancy. Seen as a passionate campaigner, Malala consistently received support and encouragement in her activism from her parents. Her father was even the one who had the idea of starting a blog.

“For my brothers it was easy to think about the future,” Malala tells me when we meet in Birmingham. “They can be anything they want. But for me it was hard and for that reason I wanted to become educated and empower myself with knowledge.”

Once targeted by the Taliban, Malala was shot in the head in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at age 18! BBC writes, “The bullet hit Malala’s left brow and instead of penetrating her skull it travelled underneath the skin, the length of the side of her head and into her shoulder”.

Malala’s diary: 3 January 2009:

“I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat.

My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools

Only 11 students attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taliban’s edict. My three friends have shifted to Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi with their families after this edict.”

“I didn’t want my future to be imprisoned in my four walls and just cooking and giving birth” – Malala

In 2009, a documentary was produced about Malala.  The Guardian reviews this film as, “No squeamish cultural relativism: women’s education is a must in Muslim countries, non-Muslim countries, everywhere, non-negotiable. Guggenheim’s film is inspiring.”

A fund has been set up in her name to help children in education around the world.

“She is an extraordinary young woman, wise beyond her years, sensible, sensitive and focused. She has experienced the worst of humanity, and the best of humanity – both from the medics who cared for her and the messages from many thousands of well-wishers.”

Women’s Rights are Human Rights

A sister event to the Women’s March on Washington took place here in Austin, TX on Saturday, January 21, 2017. This March to the Capitol of Texas was to show the strength, power and courage and demonstrate the disapproval of the new president and his values in a peaceful march. An estimated 40,000 people were in attendance for this march. From daughters to granddaughters, welcomed as well as like-minded men, sons, grandsons. Letting the world know we women stand with all women! No woman is free unless all women are free.

A New York based chef names Breanne Butler was one of the women that helped organized the march which became to be known as the “Women’s March on Washington”. After Donald Trump’s inauguration, Butler’s friend, Bob Bland, posted on Facebook about organizing a march. Eager to help, Butler organized the groups and gained a large following of a couple thousand people. However, by the end of the weekend, the number went up to six figures. On the Washington march’s website, there’s a platform outlining its purpose. “Women’s rights are human rights” it reads, welcoming anyone to come along.

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, and threatened many of us: immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, and survivors of sexual assault. This march was intended to send a bold message to the new administration on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE.

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