It girl and mega babe Emily Ratajkowski–better known as @emrata–caused quite a buzz on February 13 when she tweeted the following:

Sat next to a journalist from the NYT last night who told me ‘Melania is a hooker.’ Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming. I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should.

The 25-year-old brunette bombshell, who is a known feminist, activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, defied the mainstream media when she defended First Lady Melania Trump on social media.

In response to Ratajkowski, Trump tweeted the following via her @FLOTUS account:

Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women! @emrata #PowerOfEveryWoman #PowerOfTheFirstLady.

Ratajkowski at an anti-Trump protest at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) [source: Instagram user @emrata]

Since then Jacob Bernstein came out via Twitter (@BernsteinJacob) as the alleged New York Times journalist who slandered Mrs. Trump in what he thought was a “personal conversation” with Ratajkowski.

“My mistake, referring to unfounded rumors, shouldn’t reflect on anyone else and I apologize profusely,” Bernstein writes.

United Kingdom-born, Orange County-raised Ratajkowski often uses her social media platforms to express her viewpoints on feminism and women’s rights, sexuality, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, education and public funding of the arts. Her opinions always align with that of the mainstream liberal media’s. In fact, she gained esteem last February when she told her coming-of-age tale known as Baby Woman in an essay on Lenny Letter.

Though Ratajkowski conforms to conventional beauty standards (let’s face it: she’s gorgeous, and admits to both wearing makeup and shaving her underarms), she was raised by very liberal parents in very liberal environments. Growing up, her parents took her to nude beaches in Europe and exposed her to nude forms in photography and art.

Becoming comfortable with the naked body early in life prepared Ratajkowski for nude modeling; in 2013 she became a household name after appearing topless and in only a flesh-toned thong in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video.

In a 2014 interview with Ocean Drive’s Ray Rogers, Ratajkowski states, “We have this culture of men, especially, watching pornography, but then [they are] offended by a classic nude portrait or photograph, and I’ve never felt that way.”

Ratajkowski posses as Lady Godiva for Harper’s Bazaar, July 2016 [source: Harper’s Bazaar]

Despite her level of comfort with nudity (including her own), Ratajkowski is no stranger to criticism and shame for being openly sexual. After sharing a photo from a Harper’s Bazaar interview last July, in which she posed nude, British journalist and television personality Piers Morgan tweeted at Ratajkowski, “Do you want me to buy you some clothes? You look freezing.”

Ratajkowski responded, “@piersmorgan thanks, but I don’t need clothes as much as you need press.”

Morgan then tweeted, “Given I have 4.2 million more followers than Ms @emrata, I think she might be the one in need of more press” and “Emily Ratajowski posing FULLY-CLOTHED would be a bigger news story.”

In addition to standing up for herself and for current First Lady Melania Trump, Ratajkowski was praised when she posted a topless, albeit censored, snapshot alongside Kim Kardashian last March. The caption reads, “However sexual our bodies may be, we need to h[a]ve the freedom as women to choose wh[e]n & how we express our sexuality.”

This controversial tweet came on the heels of a naked selfie Kardashian posted on Instagram, which received a ton of criticism from those who seek to shame Kardashian for her overt sexuality.

Ratajkowski at an anti-Trump protest the day after his inauguration [source: Instagram user @emrata]

As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Teen Vogue contributor Brittney McNamara sheds light on the Ratajkowski-Trump situation in an article published February 13:

‘Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming. I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should,’ Emily wrote on Twitter. ‘Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bullshit.’

There are many reasons to watch what Melania does and how she handles the office of the First Lady. But her sexuality has nothing to do with her execution of office. Melania has claimed the escort rumors are completely false and the Daily Mail has indicated there is no evidence to suggest they are true. More importantly, alleging someone was a sex worker and using that as an insult is not OK. Being a sex worker can be a personal, valid choice. So even if she were a sex worker, it shouldn’t matter because it has nothing to do with whether she would be a good First Lady. Like Emily said, this is a gender-based attack. It seeks to undermine Melania as an intelligent woman by bringing up her sexual history. It depends upon the old idea that women can’t be both sexual and successful, and that’s frankly just untrue (something Emily has schooled us on before).

Regardless of your politics, attacking Melania with sexist, slut shaming insults will do more harm than good.

Though her views differ greatly from that of the Trump Administration (and my own), Ratajkowski deserves praise from all sides of the political spectrum. Wise beyond her years, Ratajkowski exhibits true feminism–not the so-called “Internet feminism” that plagues social media today. Instead of engaging in the hypocritical, all-bark-and-no-bite feminism to which her peers often turn, she uses her social status to stand up for what is right–not what is popular. Her voice is a breath of fresh air that sets her apart from other Hollywood-type stars and mainstream media leftists.

Ratajkowski at a New Hampshire Bernie Sanders rally in early 2016 [source: Instagram user @emrata]

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As of their March 2017 issues, all of the so-called “Big 4” magazines–American Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Paris and Vogue Italia–have featured model and social media starlet Gigi Hadid on their covers not once, but twice each. The 21-year-old graces American Vogue’s March 2017 issue alongside Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, Vittoria Ceretti and fellow social media starlet Kendall Jenner.

While it is no secret that our social media-obsessed world favors younger, trendier models like Gigi Hadid over the aloof models of yesteryear, many critics question whether it’s hard work or sheer nepotism that lands a gal on the cover of the most well-known fashion magazine in the industry.

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Hadid caused quite a buzz when she debuted a super slender physique in preparation for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show late last year. The SoCal-native has always been in fantastic physical shape (she played volleyball for 12 years growing up), but Hadid’s figure went from athletic to ultra thin in the few short years it took her to become a household name.

Although some remain skeptical about Hadid’s weight loss methods, she credits her killer body to daily boxing workouts and an overall healthy lifestyle that includes clean eating (and the occasional cheeseburger to “stay sane”), according to Daily Mail. This may be a sign the girl-next-door beauty is taking her career as a model more seriously than she may have in the past.

However, Vogue’s March cover still raises concerns that the publication (and the media in general) favors clicks, views and sales over quality content and real diversity. The cover stars, half of whom are arguably celebrities more so than they are models, take the place of veterans who made a name for themselves in the modeling industry without the help of social media.

Adriana Lima and Snejana Onopka both have three total “Big 4” covers each, and Magdalena Frackowiak has just one “Big 4” cover. At just 21-years-old Hadid has an astonishing eight “Big 4” covers.

Sure, social media starlets like Hadid and Jenner are quote-unquote good for magazines; with this younger generation of models on its cover, Vogue will undoubtedly receive a ton of buzz and maintain its relevancy (not to mention, it will also attract a younger generation of readers). But, are the younger cover girls as talented as the veteran models? And, do It girls like Hadid and Jenner truly have a place in high fashion alongside the likes of Liu Wen?

Something can definitely be said for the amount of fans these social media starlets have. Hadid has 29.4 million followers on Instagram, and Jenner has a shocking 74.1 million—they gained a cult following and have millions of fans who are eager to buy any publication with their faces on it. On the other hand, 29-year-old Wen has a mere 2.5 million followers on Instagram and does not typically cause excitement among the mainstream media and social media when she appears on magazine covers or runways.

Marketability among It girls could possibly be attributed to their overall likability. While her work has surely improved, Hadid still is not the strongest, most talented model out there. But, she does have a positive attitude and more relatable lifestyle than most traditional models seem to have. Though Hadid may be the daughter of a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, she attended public high school and admits to eating cheeseburgers, after all.

To put it plainly, veteran models seem inaccessible and standoffish; Hadid and co., by comparison, are down-to-earth, friendly and more realistic.

Hadid’s likable, relatable personality may be what landed her a spot on Love Magazine’s 2016 advent calendar. While Hadid’s short by Dan Jackson went live on the 24th day (Christmas Eve), her younger sister Bella’s turned heads on the first day (December 1, 2016). Other young It girls, including Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, filled the days in between; veterans like Alessandra Ambrosio and Heidi Klum appeared sparingly.

Although Hadid struts her stuff in a skimpy fishnet bikini, its neon pink color comes off as youthful and nonthreatening, and the mirror selfies she takes for the camera are something to which most of her fans can relate, despite the fact that they happen in one of New York City’s most popular hotels.

Pictured left to right: Wen, Graham, Jenner, Hadid, Hammam, Aboah, Ceretti [source: New York Magazine]

Similarly, the array of seven models on Vogue’s March cover sport tight black tops and bold hot pants–but, their diverse features and soft smiles attract readers who may be scared off by a more artistic, unapproachable cover on newsstands. To bring in more readers Vogue.com supplements this issue with an online beauty article featuring quickie interviews from five of the cover stars on what makes them feel beautiful.

Sultry beauty Ashley Graham, the striking Liu Wen, fresh-faced Adwoa Aboah, green-eyed Vittoria Ceretti and the fierce Imaan Hammam all share their favorite beauty products with Vogue.com readers, while Hadid and Jenner remain absent from the article entirely, save for the featured photo.

This article–published February 12–may be Vogue’s response to the outpouring of upset readers who insist the March 2017 cover is not as diverse as it claims to be. Yes, it includes models from a multitude of ethnic backgrounds, as well as one plus-size model, but Hadid and Jenner–who are, for lack of a better term, conventionally attractive–appear front and center.

“None of the models featured were ‘darker than a paper bag,'” Cosmopolitan adds in its February 9 reaction to the cover, which is ironic given the issue’s theme: “Modern American Woman.”

In an attempt to appease angry readers and reengage the mature audience that it isolated, Vogue.com quickly constructed an article celebrating the beauty of the five more sophisticated cover models.

[source: Twitter user @angelmuxoz]

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Bodysuits have been around for quite a while, but over the past year or so they’ve become more popular than ever–and rightfully so. They never come untucked when layered under pants or a skirt–which is one of my biggest pet peeves because it looks so sloppy!–and they are super easy to dress up or dress down.

Lately, I’ve been loving a solid bodysuit paired with light wash mom jeans; it is the perfect combo because tight-fitting bodysuits add a little sex appeal to an otherwise mundane pair of jeans. For a night out I opt for a low-cut bodysuit. I love, love, love this backless one pictured from American Apparel. (When it comes to bodysuits, AA is your one-stop shop. Trust me.)

For a more casual daytime look, I’ll pair a scoop-neck bodysuit with the same mom jeans (which are also from American Apparel, by the way) and an oversized cardigan. I tend to go for basic colors most of the time, so I like to spice things up with a couple necklaces and a pair of statement shoes (I’m really into patterned booties at the moment). But, that’s just me. This season it seems just about everyone is putting her own spin on bodysuits.

Style stars such as supermodel Bella Hadid and blogger Katrina Brodsky favor the square neckline of Are You Am I’s Kimia Body Suit, which is undeniably sexy, stylish and–most importantly–versatile. While Brodsky rocks Kimia with a pair of faded, baggy Levi’s, Hadid opts for an ultra girly denim mini. Both babes keep their looks relatively simple, proving less is more. Minimal accessories and embellishments allow the focus to remain on the woman, rather than on the outfit.

Brodsky also takes up some real estate on the more daring end of the spectrum in an edgy catsuit. With the help of a skin-tight, full-length bodysuit, the LA-based blogger aces this year’s “athleisure” trend. A cropped gray sweatshirt adds to the sporty vibe; black heeled boots, a coordinating handbag and loose beach waves keep things a little more feminine.

Speaking of athleisure, blogger Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What turned heads when she layered a tracksuit over a black fishnet bodysuit. The look as a whole may not be for everyone, but like most bodysuits on the market, this fishnet piece–which features a sleek turtleneck and extended sleeves–easily matches even the simplest things you already own.

Model and activist Emily Ratajkowski, aka Em Rata, gave all her Instagram followers major heart eyes when she posted two consecutive snapshots of herself rocking lacy bodysuits (first a white one, then a black one). While the mirror selfie leaves little to the imagination, her bedroom hair is on point and her makeup is flawless. In the second shot, however, the 25-year-old SoCal native rocks a statement fur coat and an awesome pair of mom jeans over a black lace number–an outfit that truly embodies her seemingly effortless sex appeal.

Day or night, casual or dolled up, there is one thing all of these looks have in common: a neutral color palette. Believe it or not, black, white, gray and traditional denim are the only hues the hottest tastemakers need to create flawless looks from head to toe. And with a bodysuit, this season’s must-have, putting together a killer outfit has never been easier.

There are tons–I mean tons–of bodysuits on the market right now, at any price and in every style imaginable. Below, I gathered some of the best bodysuit inspo I could find, as well as links to a variety of stunning suits to get your hands on.

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Bella Hadid in Kimia [source: whowhatwear.com]

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Danielle Bernstein in a fishnet bodysuit by up-and-coming designer Danielle Guizio [source: weworewhat.com]

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Cotton Spandex Halter Bodysuit, American Apparel, $25

Cotton Spandex Tank Bodysuit, American Apparel, $26

2×2 Rib Square Tank Bodysuit, American Apparel, $27

Cotton Spandex Jersey Unitard, American Apparel, $38

Kimia Body Suit, Are You Am I, $119

So Fresh Mesh Bodysuit, Free People, $30

She’s A Babe Bodysuit, Free People, $48

Maya Bodysuit, Brandy Melville, $24

Cynthia Bodysuit, Brandy Melville, $30

Reina Velvet Bodysuit, Brandy Melville, $22

Fishnet Turtleneck Bodysuit, Danielle Guizio, $63

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Twice-bankrupt American Apparel is no stranger to bad publicity. But, 40 percent-off all online and in-store purchases–which was supposed to end January 8, according to its website–has been extended indefinitely, causing quite a buzz among shoppers. Although the Canadian company Gildan Activewear bought rights to American Apparel’s intellectual property and other assets, according to Business Insider, that does not include the 110 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S., which will likely be forced to close if not sold.

Gildan gained a temporary license to all 110 stores, but that expires in a little over two months, according to Business Insider. Gildan never intended to resume operations at American Apparel stores, and does not plan to keep the stores beyond the 100 days designated by the temporary license.

[source: Instagram user @americanapparelusa]

Via Instagram (@americanapparelusa), American Apparel promotes its 40 percent-off sale almost daily. Many posts suggest several pieces–including the popular Disco Pants–are nearly sold out, while another insists the company’s line of basics will soon be considered “vintage” due to the company’s bankruptcy.

American Apparel’s first bankruptcy, filed in 2015, was caused by “a $300 million debt load, intense competition and excess inventory,” according the The Fashion Law. The bankruptcy also occurred on the heels of allegations of misconduct against former Chief Executive Dov Charney’s in 2014. Although Charney denied the allegations, it is still very likely the issue caused the Los Angeles-based company to suffer.

The company, which prides itself on sweatshop-free, Made-in-the-U.S.A clothing, is one of the largest manufacturers in the country. Because prices are relatively affordable at American Apparel (even without a 40 percent-off sale), its competition includes fast fashion retailers, all of which outsource operations to developing countries like Bangladesh. Staying true to its name, American Apparel, chose not change its manufacturing protocol in order to keep up with competition.

When stores eventually close, some 2,000 employees will be laid off, in addition to the 2,400 already affected by the bankruptcy, according to Business Insider. It is unclear whether the online store will remain, or if the company’s social media presence will be archived.

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To put it plainly, there are a ton of fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers these days; it seems almost everyone wants to share his or her own personal aesthetic with the world. Among the many blogs out there, only a few really stand out. And, while all are distinctly different from one another, there are definitely some things they have in common, too. In addition to consistency and a strong work ethic, all the best bloggers possess a powerful sense of individuality and major creative abilities.

Though blogging (especially fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogging) is often labeled as something shallow, truly being creative requires a lot of hard work, dedication and critical thinking. Thankfully, the bloggers behind Zanita Studio recently devised a guide to finding inspiration for all types of creatives–not just bloggers–because even the best sometimes find themselves feeling unmotivated and uninspired.

The author mentions that 2017 is the “year of story telling” because social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow followers to take a behind-the-scenes look at bloggers’ lives with “story” features. Sharing so-called “stories” on Snapchat and Instagram is a great way to develop more intimate, personal relationships with followers; at the same time, however, it puts a ton of pressure on us bloggers to constantly be creating top-notch content.

Furthermore, Instagram also recently introduced its “live” feature, which allows users to video chat with followers in real time. Many bloggers use this feature for impromptu makeup tutorials and unboxing hauls. Several creatives, such as YouTuber Lauren Elizabeth, expressed how difficult and tiring it can be to keep up with all these new platforms.

To combat this problem, the author suggests Pinterest as a resource, and I definitely agree! I joined Pinterest a couple months ago, and I genuinely wish I started sooner. There is an endless amount of creative content on that platform, from lengthy articles to DIYs to stunning visual inspiration. Many bloggers and creatives share their work on Pinterest, and from that inspo, others can come up with their own unique ideas, then “pin” them to inspire others.

So many bloggers and influencers publish the same “trendy” content the rest of the world shares, and as a blogger myself, I know how hard it can be to develop unique, quality material on a regular basis. In order to stand out and be successful in the blogosphere, it is undeniably important to find what inspires you personally and share that with your followers in a meaningful way–not the superficial, insubstantial content you think you should be posting based on the blogs or Instagram feeds of others. Not only is Pinterest a great way to find inspiration, it helps you save and organize your favorite findings, as well.

[source: Instagram user @areyouami]

Speaking of trend-based content, Matt Elison predicts women’s fashion trends for the upcoming season on a blog known as Chronicles of Her. One of the first trends the author mentions is from Vogue, which has throughout history always had a strong influence on designers (which have a strong influence on fast fashion retailers, which have a strong influence on consumers). This year, Vogue predicts the “death of cleavage.”

Elison also mentioned that chokers, a huge trend in 2016, will no longer be in style. We are currently a little over a month into the new year, and I am still seeing chokers everywhere I look: on campus, downtown, on social media, etc. Runway designers and luxury fashion brands may steer clear of chokers in 2017, but it seems a lot of young women still enjoy wearing this type of necklace. Because high fashion is typically ahead of street style, many who wear chokers now (including bloggers) may still see them as trendy, while big name designers are tossing them in favor of other styles.

[source: harperandharley.com]

Sara Donaldson, blogger behind Harper and Harley, did a brilliant job executing several of 2017s hottest trends in a single post last month. Oversized dress shirts–especially in a crisp white fabric like Donaldson wears–have been pretty big these past few months, while statement sleeves and shiny pants came into style more recently. While bloggers everywhere have been promoting all three of these trends, Donaldson ties them together in a way that is unique and tasteful.

Her neutral and nearly monochromatic color palette definitely helps tone the entire look down, while a neat bun keeps her hair out of the way and black sandals remain virtually invisible under gorgeous flared plants. This outfit embodies everyday glamour because it is the perfect mix between casual and elegant; it shows that fashion bloggers (and other influencers!) can create content that is mainstream and relevant (i.e., trendy), as well as thoughtful, substantial and most importantly, authentic.

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