I Went on National TV in Lingerie—It Changed What Body Positivity Meant to Me

I had about two hours to decide if this was something I’d do. And of course, every part of my brain was saying NOPE.

“But maybe…,” some other, braver part of my consciousness would whisper, only to be interrupted by repeated screaming “NO”s. But that new, unfamiliar, encouraging voice in my head kept pushing. It kept asking: “What’s the worst that could happen?” And, perhaps, more pointedly, given my work as a body-positive editor: “What would you tell someone else to do?”

For once, this rang louder than my self-consciousness telling me I couldn’t do it. So I wrote back yes.

Suddenly, no matter what that hesitant, obnoxious part of my psyche said, it was happening. I was booked to be on the Today show. In my lingerie.

Normally, for these types of shopping segments, the producers will pick the outfits. Once I said yes, knowing what it would entail, that was that. Ultimately, for this appearance, it turned out that the lingerie look I was assigned was closer to a sexy pajama than a lacy boudoir set. That didn’t change the fact that, when I first saw it, I absolutely panicked. It was nothing I would feel remotely comfortable wearing around, well, anyone, let alone the entire country. But there was no turning back now.

I went to hair and makeup. I talked to the other models and people who had volunteered for the segment. I drank some coffee and marveled at the variety of breakfast foods available. Inside, I felt like throwing up.

Nothing was stopping the fact that I was about to appear on national television in something much more revealing than I’d ever worn in public. Earlier I had made friends with another woman in the segment—a professional plus-size model who was unfazed by every aspect of what was happening. I joked with her backstage as we waited for our cues, trying to channel her laid-back attitude and confidence. But then I asked myself: What was the difference between her and me, really? Sure, she had more experience modeling than I did. But it wasn’t anything physical. It was that she believed she deserved to be there—and I didn’t.

I knew I deserved better than that. So I told myself to put one foot in front of the other, and to focus on all of the other emotions later. And I just…did it.

Kim Kardashian Brought Back One of Carrie Bradshaw’s Most Iconic Outfits

Kim Kardashian loves a fashion reference. She’ll wear looks made famous by Naomi Campbell on Instagram. Her Met Gala dress was inspired by Sophia Loren. She’ll dig through designer archives to pick out pieces that are a decade-plus old. A lot of these throwbacks are pulled from the fashion history books—homages that make runway scholars (amateur or otherwise) do a double-take immediately. But earlier this week, Kim wore a skirt that immediately called to mind another frequently-cited style icon, albeit a fictional one.

On Tuesday, Mrs. West attended a dinner celebrating Wardrobe.NYC’s collaboration with Levi’s in L.A. She wore a white tank top and a cross-front pencil skirt with an all-over newspaper print—complete with a matching saddle bag.

The graphic is eye-catching in and of itself, but Sex and the City super-fans instantly recognized it as vintage Dior. Obviously, Ms. Carrie Bradshaw is involved.

That newspaper print is the “Christian Dior Daily,” introduced by designer John Galliano for Dior’s Fall 2000 collection.

Carrie first donned the Christian Dior slip in the third season of the HBO show (episode 17, to be precise), which aired in 2000. She then brought it back for the franchise’s second film, in 2010.

Taylor Swift Just Hit Back at All Her Trolls With Her New Song, ‘You Need to Calm Down’

Taylor Swift has some things to say about the Internet, social media, and trolls—and she’s letting it all out in the latest single from her upcoming seventh album.

The song, “You Need to Calm Down,” dropped at midnight, and its message is clear just from the title: We must chill, guys. Musically, the new song feels very in line with the first single from the album, “ME!” And though it’s laying out a clear message to trolls and those who drag Swift and her friends online, the overall tone is positive. The actual video for “You Need to Calm Down” will be released next week. “I wanted you to hear the song first, then see the video,” she said during an Instagram livestream on Thursday, June 13. “Because the video is very worth the wait. There’s a lot going on in the video, so I wanted that to be a separate discovery.”

So let’s break down what Tay’s got to say on this new song.

She sets the tone with the first verse, calling out the difference between saying something to someone’s face versus putting it on social media: “You are somebody that I don’t know/But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patrón/And I’m just like, damn, it’s 7 AM/Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out/But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out/And I’m just like, “Hey, are you OK?”

Swift goes on to say she’s not against self-expression, but she’s learned to let it go because “snakes and stones never broke my bones,” seemingly a reference to the pre-Reputation Kim Kardashian drama.

There’s also more than one reference to the LGBTQ+ community in the song. At one point, Swift sings, “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD)”. GLAAD is the organization formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that describes itself as being at the “forefront of cultural change, accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community.” Later she says, “And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate/’Cause shade never made anybody less gay.” This is in line with a newly more politically active Swift, who recently released a letter she wrote to her Tennessee senator about protecting LGBTQ+ rights.

I Got a ‘Mommy Makeover’ and Here’s What It Was Like

The term “mommy makeover” is misleading; there is no single surgery that reconstructs the body of a mother. Instead, with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon, a woman can customize a series of operations specific to her body. For many women who have breastfed, a mommy makeover will mean breast augmentation rather than breast reduction—a less expensive and less invasive surgery. But a mommy makeover nearly always includes a tummy tuck, a surgical procedure designed to eliminate the loose skin and excess fat apparent after childbirth.

40 weeks pregnant

Two weeks postpartum

Three weeks postsurgery

As anyone still reeling from a cesarean can confirm, abdominal surgery forces a slow, painful recovery—and a tummy tuck is abdominal surgery at its very worst. Part of the procedure involves tightening the abdominal wall by suturing together the musculature. For the first few weeks after my surgery, I could neither lie supine nor stand up straight. My sore body existed in the limbo of the permanent forward-leaning crouch. In the shower I sat on a library stool, unable to stand fully.

For one week there were drains and plastic tubes running through my lymphatic system and routed outward into egg-shaped containers I had to empty of blood and fluid daily. There were daily self-administered shots of Lovenox, a blood thinner used to prevent postsurgical patients from developing deadly blood clots.

There were compression garments, required for anyone undergoing large-scale skin or fat removal. Patients should expect to wear them for up to six weeks, day and night. For the first few weeks, I couldn’t pick up my children because heavy lifting can impair the healing of the breast and stomach tissue, and the anchor-shaped suture line at the base of my breast is particularly prone to pressure. As someone accustomed to caring for my children and cooking their meals, the concession of forced relaxation felt like imprisonment. I wanted to have my house clean. I wanted quality dinner with my children at night. Most of all, I wanted to pick my toddler up when he came to me, arms outstretched. If you can’t comfort your child when he comes to you in need, are you doing your best as a parent? I hoped that, in the broader sense, the answer to that question was yes.

Like all plastic surgery, the mommy makeover—no matter its iteration—comes at a cost. In my case, insurance covered the majority of my surgery, owing to several medical conditions that required attention (severe muscle separation, an umbilical hernia, large breasts that were coverable under my insurance’s necessity provision). That meant that the expenses for which I was responsible were far less than the average woman’s. I paid for medications out-of-pocket, as well as the negotiated rate ($1,000) for a required hospital stay, the result of severe anemia.

The author with her kids

But for most women, the cost of a mommy makeover hovers around $20,000 for outpatient surgery. Many plastic surgeons can help with financing plans, and certain credit cards like Care Credit and Alphaeon, have 6-, 12-, and 24-month offers at zero percent APR. Still, the surgery is, admittedly, not cheap—and, as is often the case, this brand of empowerment can be prohibitive. Forget, for a moment, the sheer cost, which could easily impoverish a family. Surgery like this, a massive undertaking, requires help in the form of sick leave, childcare assistance, and a partner willing and able to up the ante on domestic duties. Not every household can accommodate these needs; in fact, most cannot.

The hard-fought reward? I have reclaimed myself. My weight has not changed (that was never the point), but my body has. The sweatpants that signified my prison are back in the drawer. I’m not consumed with dread when I look in the mirror. Best of all, I can be a fearless, fun mother, which is an immeasurable gift. I haven’t started running again yet; most patients aren’t cleared for rigorous exercise until six weeks after surgery. I have dusted off my double-jogger, though, and I hope to take my children, and my newish body, out on the pavement again for a 5k in July. The road ahead seems bright.

I Got a “Mommy Makeover”—But It Wasn’t About Losing Weight

The term “Mommy Makeover” is misleading; there is no single surgery that reconstructs the body of a mother. Instead, with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon, a woman can customize a series of operations specific to her body. For many women who have breastfed, a Mommy Makeover will mean breast augmentation rather than breast reduction—a less expensive and less invasive surgery. But a Mommy Makeover nearly always includes a tummy tuck, a surgical procedure designed to eliminate the loose skin and excess fat apparent after childbirth.

As anyone still reeling from a cesarean can confirm, abdominal surgery forces a slow, painful recovery—and a tummy tuck is abdominal surgery at its very worst. Part of the procedure involves tightening the abdominal wall by suturing together the musculature. For the first few weeks after my surgery, I could neither lie supine nor stand up straight. My sore body existed in the limbo of the permanent forward-leaning crouch. In the shower, I sat on a library stool, unable to stand fully.

For one week, there were drains and plastic tubes running through my lymphatic system and routed outward into egg-shaped containers I had to empty of blood and fluid daily. There were daily, self-administered shots of Lovenox, a blood-thinner used to prevent post-surgical patients from developing deadly blood clots.

There were compression garments, required for anyone undergoing large-scale skin or fat removal. Patients should expect to wear them for up to six weeks, day and night. For the first few weeks, I couldn’t pick up my children because heavy lifting can impair the healing of the breast and stomach tissue; and the anchor-shaped suture line at the base of my breast is particularly prone to pressure. As someone accustomed to caring for my children and cooking their meals, the concession of forced relaxation felt like imprisonment. I wanted to have my house clean. I wanted quality dinner with my children at night. Most of all, I wanted to pick my toddler up when he came to me, arms outstretched. If you can’t comfort your child when he comes to you in need, are you doing your best as a parent? I hoped that, in the broader sense, the answer to that question was yes.

Like all plastic surgery, the Mommy Makeover—no matter its iteration—comes at a cost. In my case, insurance covered the majority of my surgery, owing to several medical conditions that required attention (severe muscle separation, an umbilical hernia, large breasts that were coverable under my insurance’s necessity provision). That meant that the expenses for which I was responsible were far less than the average woman’s. I paid for medications out-of-pocket, as well as the negotiated rate ($1,000) for a required hospital stay, the result of severe anemia.

But for most women, the cost of a Mommy Makeover hovers around $20,000 for outpatient surgery. Many plastic surgeons can help with financing plans, and certain credit cards like Care Credit and Alphaeon, have 6-, 12-, and 24-month offers at zero percent APR. Still, the surgery is, admittedly, not cheap—and, as is often the case, this brand of empowerment can be prohibitive. Forget, for a moment, the sheer cost, which could easily impoverish a family. Surgery like this, a massive undertaking, requires help in the form of sick leave, childcare assistance, and a partner willing and able to up the ante on domestic duties. Not every household can accommodate these needs; in fact, most cannot.

The hard fought reward? I have reclaimed myself. My weight has not changed (that was never the point), but my body has. The sweatpants that signified my prison are back in the drawer. I’m not consumed with dread when I look in the mirror. Best of all, I can be a fearless, fun mother, which an immeasurable gift. I haven’t started running again yet; most patients aren’t cleared for rigorous exercise until six weeks after surgery. I have dusted off my double-jogger, though, and I hope to take my children, and my new-ish body, out on the pavement again for a 5k in July. The road ahead seems bright.

Jennifer Lawrence Says She Had a Total Bridezilla Moment While Wedding Planning

Earlier this month, Jennifer Lawrence opened up about her engagement to art gallerist Cooke Maroney, saying that he was “just the best person I’ve ever met in my whole life.” We’re still swooning, but now she’s getting even deeper into their romance. In a new interview, the usually private actress spilled all the details about how she knew Maroney was the one and how wedding planning is going.

Lawrence spoke on Catt Sadler’s NAKED With Catt Sandler podcast and basically answered every question fans have about her husband-to-be. She quickly revealed that she fell fast and didn’t have doubts when it came to getting engaged.

“It was just, it was so organic. I don’t know, I haven’t talked about it yet in an interview setting. I definitely wasn’t at a place where I was like, ‘I’m ready to get married.’ I just met Cooke and I wanted to marry him. We wanted to marry each other. We wanted to commit fully. He’s my best friend, so I want to legally bind him to me forever,” she said. “And fortunately the paperwork exists for such a thing. It’s the greatest. You find your favorite person in the planet and you’re, like, you can’t leave. So I wanted to take that offer.”

On the wedding front, Lawrence shared that things are moving pretty smoothly, and that she already has most of the major stuff on her checklist completed. She was asked if she was nervous, and she cheerfully replied, “No, not really. I’ve been in a good place.”

She added, “I haven’t been neurotic about it. I’m too lazy to be neurotic. I like saw a dress I liked. I said, ‘Oh, that’s the dress.’ I saw a venue, and I was like, ‘Cool, we got the venue.'”

Lawrence sounds like the most chill bride ever, but even she admits there was one slight bridezilla moment. The Hunger Games actress admits she cried because, “I thought I didn’t want to have a bachelorette party and then last minute, I decided I did.”

Lawrence continued, “I didn’t realize that I wanted it until yesterday, until I realized I couldn’t have it, which is typical. My friend was like, ‘Welcome to being a bride.’ I’ve cried, I’ve officially joined the club.”

We have a feeling she’ll figure out a way to get everyone together before the big day. Let’s hope that her alter ego Gail makes an appearance.

Jennifer Lawrence’s full interview is available here.

The Spice Girls Are Making Another Movie, and All 5 Have Signed On

Spice World might be one of the most unsung classics of the late ’90s. The beloved Spice Girls’ musical comedy had pretty much everything: a wild plot, a Meatloaf cameo, an inexplicable scene involving UFOs, a little Gucci dress, and of, course, that iconic bus. Now, it looks we could see the bus throttling through London again, because there’s reportedly another Spice Girls film in the works—only this time, it’s going to be animated.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed this week that Paramount Animation is bringing back girl power in a big way. The studio is in the early development stages of an animated Spice Girls feature, which is slated to drop in 2020. The best part? Unlike some of their recent reunion tours, all five women—Melanie Brown (Scary), Emma Bunton (Baby), Geri Halliwell (Ginger), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), and Victoria Beckham (Posh)—are going to have a role in the new production. The film is also going to include the band’s manager Simon Fuller, who is a producer, and Karen McCullah, who wrote the screenplay for the original Spice World.

Paramount Animation president Mireille Soria didn’t reveal too many specifics, but she told THR that the Spice Girls “had an idea that we’ve been developing” and that “they are very involved.” If you remember, Spice World was based on “an idea” by the Spice Girls and Fuller, so this second film is clearly off to a good start.

Rumors about an animated movie began swirling in early 2019, and Variety previously reported that the script might involve a superhero plot in which there would be a “‘girl power’ unique to that group member that reflects each girl’s personality.” It’s unclear if that’s still the plan, but THR does say that the flick is going to include some new Spice Girls songs, as well as all of the classics. Maybe this will finally give us a chance to get that “Spice Up Your Life” lyric right…

The Fluffy Sandals Celebrities Can’t Stop Wearing

Earlier this week, Gigi Hadid was photographed in New York wearing a black long-sleeved sweatshirt French-tucked into bike shorts—not a super surprising outfit for a model who’s become known for her athleisure. The most eye-grabbing, surprising part of her look, though, was on her feet: a pair of fluffy, neon-yellow sandals.

A few hours later, sister Bella was spotted in the same city, repping the same trend. She wore denim on denim over a pink cardigan—and a pair of slightly different, still very fluffy slides.

Coincidence? Or yet another example that this over-the-top shoe is having a moment?

As a trend, this goes back a few seasons, with brands like Valentino, Chloé, and Prada popularizing furry footwear among the very high-fashion crowd—and, of course, Rihanna making fuzzy slides an essential when she released a pair under her Fenty x Puma line back in 2016. (Prada recently announced it would be going fur-free in 2020, while the Fenty x Puma shoes were made with faux fur.)

The latest “it” version actually comes from Ugg. It introduced its hallmark Fluff Yeah sandal—the one Gigi was seen in—last summer, for Fall 2018. The platform shoe is covered in colorful sheepskin, and has the brand name featured prominently on an elastic ankle strap. And at $100, it’s a pretty easy way to make a statement, while staying very cozy. (Lyst named the Fluff Yeah sandal one of the most unexpected trends of 2018, reporting a 25 percent increase in searches for Ugg on its platform.) Ugg ambassador Sasha Lane was early to it, wearing a pink version to a campaign launch party back in July.

In Perfect News, Rihanna and Meghan Markle Have Reportedly Become Friends

A few weeks ago, Rihanna very causally let it slip that oh, you know, she just picked up all her things and moved to London. According to an interview she did with the The New York Times magazine, she hopped the pond to be closer to her Fenty team, and she’s enjoying things like “walking around the block.” She’s also, according to reports, used her time in the U.K. to forge a secret friendship with none other than Meghan Markle.

Yup, that’s right: Markle and Rihanna might be friends now, becoming the London power duo we didn’t know we needed. Of course, none of this is confirmed, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. But a source told *Radar Online* that the two of them had “bumped into each other a few times before Meghan was super famous and have a few mutual acquaintances on the Hollywood social scene who’ve put them in touch again recently.” Now, the source continues, “they actually have a lot in common in terms of style and a shared need for total privacy in their lives.”

Still, things haven’t moved too far along. The source claims that “Meghan is with her baby right now but once she’s back from maternity leave, hanging out with Rihanna is high on her list.” Um, yeah, hanging out with Rihanna is high on my priority list, too.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when they’re hanging out. Do the two of them go on double dates with Prince Harry and Rihanna’s under-the-radar boyfriend, Hassan Jameel? Does Markle get free Fenty products? Do they spend time strolling the block together while trading disguise ideas? We might never know, but we support this friendship in any capacity. Invite me to the next hang-out, queens!

Jessica Alba Wore a $625 Ulla Johnson Dress With $36 BaubleBar Earrings

Jessica Alba is traveling through Europe with Gabrielle Union, promoting their new show, L.A.’s Finest. (Sure, it’s work for them—but doesn’t a Euro-trip with those two sound fun?) Both been serving looks left and right, as two incredibly stylish actresses do when they’re on a press tour. But of all their outfits, there’s one that stands out, thanks to the price tag.

While in Croatia, Alba shared sun-drenched shot of herself wearing a summery LBD with a pair of dangling seashell earrings. Seasonally, it was on-point. The best part, though? The earrings are seriously affordable.

Alba procured her seashell accessory, like many others looking for affordable takes on the trends we can’t help but love, from BaubleBar. The earrings retail for a cool $36.

BaubleBar Fiji Drop Earrings

BaubleBar

$36

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Her dress, meanwhile, was Ulla Johnson, and goes for $625.

Ulla Johnson Odile Dress

Garmentory

$625

Buy Now

Worn together, they’re a master class in high/low styling—much like how Julia Roberts paired a custom Salvatore Ferragamo suit with a $44 rainbow ring, also from BaubleBar.

Alba’s the latest to endorse fashion’s favorite nostalgic accessory trend for 2019: all-shell-everything. Gigi Hadid wore shell jewelry to Coachella.

Vanessa Hudgens wore it on a date.

Countless bloggers have worn them in far-flung locations.

It’s as if every purchase of a shell accessory—be it an earring, necklace, or anklet—comes with a dose of wanderlust, free of charge. You might not be able to buy the vacation, but you sure can put on a pair of seashell hoops with your favorite sundress and pretend like you’re sipping spritzes on the Mediterranean.