Lea T: Icon

Lea T is an Italian and Brazilian model and she is smoking hot. This girl has cheekbones for days! Her hair is has that beachy wave look, but you want to run your fingers through it…soft beachy waves…how the heck do they do that? Killer figure…amazing legs…basically I’m jealous of Lea T—but not just for her looks.

Recently, Lea T appeared in Benetton’s “Faces of Color” video campaign. The campaign focuses on unique looks and personalities around the world.  In the video Lea T says, “I say everything about myself; it’s too complicated to keep a secret. When you get inspired by someone … you lose a little bit of your personality … I try to be myself.”

How amazing is that? Just that sentence alone…come on you’re gonna look like that and be a rad person? Stop it. I can’t handle it. I could go on and on about how awesome this model is just based on those two sentences, but it was something she did in 2010 that makes those words so much more powerful.

In 2010 Lea T announced that she was transgendered. She went from male to female and became a successful model. I know someone who identifies strongly with Lea T and I’ve been through the struggles with them. I’ve seen first-hand what it takes to live this kind of life. It’s not easy. I love that Lea T is such a strong icon for this and that she is speaking out explaining it the best way I’ve ever heard, ““I’ve never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend … Even with surgery, I’ll never be a woman. And I will not be man. I’ll always be the middle… My father said I’ll always be his little black boy. That he’ll love me if I am man, woman or dog. My mother is very religious. She refuses, but says she will not leave me.”

There it is. In the middle, some people will accept it some won’t, some things you can do (like model) some things are more difficult (like dating), but if you get lucky you find those that love you for you and will refuse to leave you.

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Is Bemoaning the Lack of Fictional Female Mentors Taking Feminism Too Far?

Picture of One Woman Mentoring Another

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Sometimes, though, it’s … well, not.

In fact, much of the time life sort of goes along in a way that could almost be considered typical.  Stereotypical, even, odd as that sounds.

When I first read a recent piece on Jezebel lamenting the lack of strong female mentor characters, I was totally on board.  The fact that fictional mentors for young women are frequently power-hungry super bitches, arrogant (and, naturally, handsome) men, or “real characters” that often happen to be flamboyantly homosexual is inarguable.

That being said, though … so the hell what?

I am a voracious reader.  Sometimes, in fact, I think I need a 12-step program for my addiction to literature.  I also love movies.


Because it allows me to escape from my own life, to gain perspective, to think about other things.

If somebody made a movie about my life, it’d be pretty freaking boring.  And I have female mentors, several of them in fact.  Furthermore, they are real characters.

  • One of my teaching mentors has an obsession with Def Leppard that has led to tattoos in odd locations and guitar picks displayed in glass boxes on the mantle.
  • One of my life mentors recently sent me a picture of a shell she found on the beach shaped like a penis in a desperate attempt to get me to fly to North Carolina for Thanksgiving.
  • One of my writing mentors is … well, the inimitable Sarah Taylor-Spangenberg, which speaks for itself.
  • One of my motherhood mentors told me once that plastic Solo cups are the best way to keep your kids from knowing what you’re drinking.

And so on.

These are, all four and many more that I’m not bringing up, incredibly strong woman that I …

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Author Bruce Feiler Asks What Message ESPN is Sending to Men (and Women Too)

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We talk a lot about how women are portrayed by ESPN, but often less so about how they present men. In his article “Dominating the Man Cave” from last week’s Times Thursday Styles section, Bruce Feiler explores the male side of ESPN, and his conclusions are anything but straightforward.

Feiler claims that ESPN “constitutes the …

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Wikipedia Discovers a Gender Discrepancy in their Contributors

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Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, has solved many arguments, like whether that actor dated that actress, and definitely helped pad a few term papers with fun-facts about beetles. Because of its widespread popularity, I’ve always assumed its services were used equally by men and women. Wikipedia survives on user donations (if you ever use the site, you may have noticed founder Jimmy Wales’ periodic call for donations), but a recent New York Times article explored the phenomenon behind the gender imbalance between said donations. A study done by the Wikimedia Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations University and Maastricht University, found that only 13 percent of contributors to the site are women, and the average age of contributors are people in their mid-20s. Which begs the question: Do we need people to contribute on a monetarily equal level to indicate gender equality in an online encyclopedia?

Wikipedia doesn’t just function because of monetary donations; it uses literal donations. The site is edited by its users, and …

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