12 Year Old Fashion Designer
A STORY SURE TO MOTIVATE & INSPIRE EVERY SMART GIRL
SALLY & STEM
STYLE OF SMART WOMEN
AND HOW YOU CAN PULL IT OFF p. 32
& HOW SHE CHANGED SCIENCE FOREVER p. 16
SMART WOMEN Their Challenges, Triumphs, & Lessons
HOW TO SPEND SMART
A SHORT LESSON IN FINANCES p. 18 ISSUE NO. 17 | DECEMBER 2013
THE U.S. & THE GENDER GAP p. 14
HOW TO BE A VEGETARIAN DECEMBER 2013
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hey smart girl! A N O T E F R O M E M I LY
It is officially my favorite time of year and I couldn’t be more happy than to kick it off with a new edition of Smart Girl’s Guide! This idea of celebrating the present during the season of presents could not be more perfect. With our second birthday fast approaching, even we here at SGG have been struggling to be in the now. December brings with it massive chaos, between final exams for college students, holiday parties galore, and the never ending shopping list. Sometimes, we forget to recharge and appreciate what is right in front of us. When I interviewed Bloomberg News’ Stephanie Ruhle, she said something that struck me: “Be at your best, not at your most.” I have this tendency where I think the more hours I put into something, the better it will be. The problem is, I burn out (something that Maggie mentions in her article, “On Fire or Burning Out?”). In times like that, I am not my best. I mean, how can I? I have burnt the candle at both ends. 2 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
In all of the hustle and bustle that comes with December, take time for you. Stop studying and watch Home Alone with your roommates. Take a break from shopping and look at the Christmas tree in the center of the mall. Be present. This season only comes once a year. Now is the time to appreciate it. Start with reading Issue No. 17, which is sure to get you in the spirit. I wish you the happiest of holidays!
Emily Raleigh Founder & Smart Starter @emilyeraleigh
ISSUE NO. 17
DECEMBER SMART FEATURES 36 MEET THE COVER GIRL
Meet Sanah Jivani, a superstar Smart Girl who is making a stand for natural beauty.
12 WHAT IS FEMINISM?
We asked a leading lady in women’s rights to give us the 411.
48 ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE
With a guide like this, you’ll be done shopping for everyone on your list in less than 30 minutes.
67 STEPHANIE RUHLE
This interview has some of the best career advice you’ll ever hear from a leading news anchor.
76 HELLO FROM THAILAND The U.S. is typically a global leader, but not with this.
64 SMART GIRL SPOTLIGHT
What does it take to write a book? Emory sat down and told us all about it.
“Wouldn’t you rather be a pioneer rather than a follower?” Stephanie Ruhle
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DECEMBER agenda BE SMART. SHARE SMARTS.
SMART NEWS 12
Margaret Thatcher wasn’t the only leading lady in her time. Haley introduces us to two women who changed female leadership forever.
Journalism is for everyone, right? Wrong. That is, until Nelly Bly came along.
Amelia Bloomer introduced the need for women’s magazines, and our Editor-in-Chief, Quincy, pays tribute to the woman who made Smart Girl’s Guide possible.
“It will not be until women hold equal representation in Washington that our politicians will respond to women’s voices adequately.”
HEY SMART GIRLS, CAN WE 24 GO THRIFT SHOPPING? We headed to Housing Works to learn about savvy shopping while helping others.
JOSEPHINE BAKER 32
Megan takes some style tips for Smart Woman, Josephine Baker.
JANE GOODAL 33
Alessia channels her inner Jane with these adventure-ready pieces.
LIZ CLAIBORNE 34
Gabbi looks to Liz for some bright inspiration, sure to many any outfit pop.
MAKE EXERCISING 46 EXCITING
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Don’t let working out get dull. Add some enthusiasm with these 8 exercises.
36 SMART LIVING
A KATE SPADE BAG & DOROTHY PARKER
Who knew a Kate Spade bag could change a girl’s life?
BUILDING FOR TOMORROW
Jane Addams introduced the idea of city reformation with the Hull House. Nori let’s us in on what that has to do with us today.
56 HELPING HANDS
Service is important for everyone. Eleanor will get you started.
60 CULTURE & LIFESTYLE PICKS Smart Girls from all over the world weigh in on the smartest things to do in November, from movies to conferences.
62 FIND YOUR ART
Georgia O’Keefe was certainly an original. Maggie explores how we can find our inner artist, whoever she may be.
66 SISTERHOOD HELLO FROM MILWAUKEE 78 Take a quick trip with us to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to meet Frannie and Caroline.
MIAMI UNIVERSITY OF OHIO 81 This gorgeous campus has all the makings of the perfect second home. Kristen will tell you why.
64 WOMEN LEAD
Check out WomenLEAD, our Opportunity of the Month, and learn how this organization is changing the lives of girls in Nepal.
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the guide girls MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS
REBECCA MILL smarts sharer virginia
HALEY ROYAR LOFLIN smarts sharer alabama
JENNA FRATELLO smart selector new york
MELISSA RIORDAN smarts sharer georgia
MEGAN ROGERS-REILLEY smarts sharer illinois
CHRISTINA CHUNG smARTy pants new york
CAROLINE smarts s wiscon
SOPHIE RALEIGH smarts sharer new jersey
GABBI OPPENHEIMER smarts sharer illinois
ALLIE HARRIS smarts sharer maine
ALESSIA GRUNBERGER smarts sharer maryland
FRANNIE AC smarts sh wiscon
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LEAH KASHAR smarts sharer new york
BRIDGET BRENNAN smarts sharer california
ZOE USOW smarts sh connect
the guide girls MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS
WSKI harer ticut
KRISTEN WOOTEN smarts sharer ohio
YAUCK sharer nsin
AJA FROST smarts sharer california
CCIARDO harer nsin
MAURISSA WALLS smarketer washington d.c.
NORI DRACH smarts sharer michigan
MIMI WARNICK smart-perator pennsylvania
MEGAN BECKER blog brains michigan
ELEANOR HARTE smarts sharer massachusetts
ALYSSA FIORENTINO head of smarts sharers new york
SAM DUGAN smart selector delaware
ERIN CHANCY smart shooter texas
TORI WILBRAHAM smarts searcher pennsylvania DECEMBER 2013
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hello issue no. 17 A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
ecember is a weird time of the year. You’re either looking ahead to the next 12 months of your life,
or looking back on the past 11. Either way, you’re not focusing on what is happening right now: The present. It’s a gift, and we should all treat is as such. To help you celebrate now, we’ve collected tons of articles and spreads that are bound to make you think a little, release your inner shopaholic, and celebrate the month of December! Read our interview with the amazing Shelby Knox (pg. 12) and get a glimpse of what being a feminist is really like. Read up on Chelsea of Style With Benefits (pg.
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30), and what her company is doing to help others. Learn about Sanah Jivani, our beautiful cover girl, and her amazing story. Take advice from Maggie and figure out whether you’re “On Fire or Burning Out?” (pg. 54). Oh, and while you’re at it, skim through our gift guides, handcurated by us, especially for our Smart Girl Sisters (pg. 23)! Take advantage of what is right in front of your eyes: Smart Girl’s Guide, issue 17. It’s our gift to you.
join the SISTERHOOD A UNIQUE SPACE WHERE YOU CAN INSPIRE AND BE INSPIRED. Our sisterhood seeks to unite, inspire, and empower the next generation of superstar women through our vast array of products, resources, and opportunities fit for passionate game-changers like you. Welcome to the one-stop-shop for Smart Girls. For more information, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved today.
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The one-stop-shop for Smart Girls.
daily reads | online classes | book club | online community | & more!
articles on news, style, empowerment, & much more
a library of past magazines
an online shop that sponsors girlsâ€™ education
an online community, exclusive to Smart Girl Sisters
Be Smart. Share Smarts. 10 smart girlâ€™s guide | DECEMBER 2013
INTERNATIONAL | WOMEN’S ISSUES | POLITICS | HISTORY | FINANCE
Feminism According to Shelby Knox
Be prepared to be mind blown. DECEMBER 2013
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We’ve all been asked the question: “Are you a feminist?” Some of us may answer with a resounding yes, while some may struggle to respond at all, as images of burning bras come to mind. So what really does it mean to be a feminist in present day society? We didn’t want to just give you our opinion, so we called upon one of the most influential feminists of our generation: Shelby Knox. She was the subject of the 2005 Sundance award-winning documentary, The Education of Shelby Knox, and travels across the country as a feminist organizer, speaking out about women’s rights. This Smart Girl knows a thing or two about feminism today and we are honored to feature her in our December issue. interview by Quincy Bulin
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WHAT SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES DO YOU SEE IN THE FEMINIST MOVEMENT FROM THE 70S TO NOW? I think the essence of feminism is being politicized by the realization that something you face as an individual -- like street harassment or being unable to access reproductive health care -- is in fact a collective political issue borne of a system that values certain lives over others. The Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970’s organized consciousness raising groups to bring women together to talk about the issues they experienced to both make those important connections and foster relationships amongst women by showing them they were not alone. My generation’s consciousness raising groups are often online -- we use Twitter and Facebook and blogs to share our experiences, learn about those of others, and make connections with other people. I think the internet has changed both how feminists are politicized and how we organize. The barriers to participation, while they still exist, are much lower, which means that we are able to benefit from a much deeper and diverse range of voices and experiences. We are shaping the our movement’s ideology by dialoguing in real time and supporting and learning from organizing around the world that we might not have known about without the internet. It’s also much easier for many folks to sign an online petition or participate in a feminist Twitter chat like #sheparty than show up to a protest or engage in a sit in. The point is not that the Forth Wave, which is what I call my generation of feminism, doesn’t do offline organizing to reach our goals. But I think it’s quite fair to say that most effective organizing has an online component.
NECESSARILY CONSIDER? As part of the backlash to feminism, our culture has siloed women’s issues into those that relate to parenting, reproduction, and quantifiable inequality like the pay gap. But every issue is a feminist issue. Feminists must be antiracist because racism colors how all genders of people of color live in the world. We must work against homophobia and transphobia because both are rooted in sexism and gender essentialism. We have to be vigilant about tech policy because free and open access to the internet is imperative to connecting and organizing. The fight for immigrant rights is our fight because women and their families are the most impacted by discrimination against immigrants. The environment and food policy are feminist issues because women globally are most responsible for providing food, water, and shelter for their families. If you’re interested in an issue, it’s a feminist one because they all are! ARE THERE ANY MUST-READS (OR WATCH!) FOR BUDDING FEMINISTS? I think a classic place to start is Feminism is For Everybody by bell hooks because it lays out how oppressions and therefore feminist fights are connected. Another great resource for young feminists just coming into their own is Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists, which is a collection of essays edited by Courtney Martin and Courtney Sullivan by feminists of a diverse range of identities discussing the experience that made them identify with the word. Finally, some of the great writing I’ve seen recently by young feminists is online by the girls of SPARK Movement. That can be found at www. sparksummit.com.
HOW CAN WE CHANGE THE NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE OF FEMINISTS INTO WHAT ARE SOME ISSUES RELATED ONE OF POSITIVITY, CHANGE, AND TO FEMINISM THAT MOST DON’T EMPOWERMENT? DECEMBER 2013
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While there’s no doubt that the stereotype of feminist as man-hating harpies is still out there, I think the first step to killing it for good is celebrating how many people do embrace the label. Over half of Americans of both genders support the goals of feminism. One study found that more women under the age of 25 identify as feminist than those over the age of 65. I travel across the country and work with amazing feminist young people who are doing interesting, exciting and innovative work and only when we start uplifting those realities rather than focusing on a stereotype that was never even true that we will move past it. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN DEFINITION OF FEMINISM. WHAT IS YOURS? Feminism is hearing your pain and your struggle in another woman’s voice and suddenly realizing there’s nothing wrong with you and nothing wrong with them but something wrong with the world that’s trying to make you think there is.
MOVEMENT BEING WHEN YOU’RE HER AGE? HAS SHE BEEN ABLE TO OFFER YOU ANY GUIDANCE IN THIS? When I’m 80, I hope that society will have evolved enough to understand and act on the understanding that the human identity is the one that connects us all and is moving toward eradicating all oppressions at the same time and with the same intensity. Gloria often says, “we are linked, not ranked” and I even have a bracelet that says that because it’s truly the essence of what drives my work. Feminism is fighting for the equality of all people without qualifiers and I’m working to build a movement that will bring about that end goal.
Texas is a very traditional state. How did growing up in Lubbock and attending the University of Texas - Austin shape the views you have today? One of the greatest threats to my generation of women is that we’ve grown up being told that feminism achieved its goals and is no longer necessary and that lie, comforting as it may be, leads us to believe that the barriers we face GLORIA STEINEM IS A FRIEND OF YOURS. are individual failings rather than systemic WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FEMINIST problems. Since feminism has eliminated a 14 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
lot of the most blatant forms of sexism -- like gendered job listings and credit card applications that require a husband’s signature -- it’s harder recognize the more subtle and often more insidious instances of sexism. Fortunately or unfortunately, growing up Evangelical exposed me quite early to blatant forms of sexism, like women not being allowed to preach in the Southern Baptist church and wives saying their husbands vote for the household, that made it much easier for me to identify sexism as a conspiracy I wanted to fight. Also, frat parties at the University of Texas, the proud #1 party school in the nation. Need I say more? HOW DO YOU ADDRESS AND EDUCATE AN IGNORANT (FOR LACK OF BETTER WORD) INDIVIDUAL? Start with the personal because that’s where it always starts. Figure out how an oppression impacts an individual or the people they care most about and dig into that with them. Some of the hardest people to talk to, in my experience, are folks who are anti-choice. But since 1 in 3 women in the US will have an abortion in their lifetime, they probably don’t have to go far to find someone who is real to them, rather than a faceless figure, who needed that service.
CARE TO ELABORATE ON WHY YOU DO THIS? In the United States, most feminist leaders who have gotten attention and opportunities have been white, straight, cisgender women and the work that’s gotten the most traction and support has been fighting for the rights of white, middle class, documented women. This erases entire individual histories and marginalizes important work, which hurts the movement as a whole. And, understandably, it turns folks who do not benefit from those privileged identities away from feminism. So I feel it’s my responsibility as a very privileged woman to acknowledge prominently and often those privileges and how they may impact my work and ideas. Since I want to be an ally, I hope that acknowledging that I am devoted to the lifelong process of exploring how I, due to my privilege, contribute to oppression encourages at least some folks to challenge me when I mess up. And it’s basic fairness -- a Black, disabled lesbian woman will, in our culture, most often be identified with those qualifiers whereas someone like me is seen as the definition of “woman.” I want a world where all of our intersecting identities are embraced and uplifted rather than used to oppress so I am trying to live by example.
ARE THERE ANY LAST WORDS YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE WITH OUR SMART GIRL SISTERS? One of the greatest gifts Gloria Steinem ever gave me was suggesting that I form a “sister circle” of close friends who commit to meeting in person regularly to talk, cry, plot, and support one another. We need our sisters to politicize us, to call us out when we’re wrong, to help us carry out our dreams, to hold us when we hurt and celebrate with us in our greatest moments of joy. YOU OFTEN STATE THAT YOU ARE Sisterhood isn’t an idea, it’s an action. I would AWARE OF ALL THE PRIVILEGES YOU love to see Smart Girl Sister circles forming all HAVE BEEN AFFORDED. WOULD YOU over the world! That said, challenging individual ignorant people on their views was a vital part of strengthening my beliefs as a feminist and learning how to express them in the world but has become less so as I’ve gotten older. As an organizer, I choose to focus my energies less on changing individual minds but on making such sweeping strides toward equality through my work that the culture changes and, by nature and necessity, individual people change with it.
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by Haley Royar Loflin This question was posed during our Twitter Lack of voting on either side and failure to pass #SmartyParty held in late October! the bill led to the shutdown. So the Government Shutdown is over, now The next big concern was over the debt ceiling, what? which is why it actually mattered (other than the fact that the government was not working) During our Government’s sixteen day that the two parties come together and pass a involuntary vacation, our country saw a lot of bill. really interesting things. We learned that the GOP is really dysfunctional thanks to the Tea On October 16, the Continuing Appropriations Party and Senator Ted Cruz and that there are Act 2014 was passed which effectively ended the a ton of things our government does that we debt ceiling crisis and Government Shutdown might actually just take for granted, like NOAA of 2013. weather updates, NASA space pictures, and our National Parks (and the Panda Cam). Now, there are new dates to know. Nearly thirty lawmakers have been tapped to debate a budget Quick refresher: The shutdown began on resolution and present their findings and bills to October 1 because that is the technical start of Congress. But the next shutdown could be right our government’s fiscal (or financial) year, so around the corner. January 15, 2014 is the next fiscal year 2013 ended September 30, 2013 and possible shutdown date, as well as the day $19 FY2014 began on October 1, 2013. Congress billion in sequester cuts kick in, and February is split right now: a Democratic-led Senate 7, 2014 is the time we’ll hit the newly increased and Republican-led House. Both chambers debt ceiling. Basically, all we have to do is hurry wrote and passed legislation that would have up and wait. I predict that we’ll see a similar funded FY2014, which would have avoided this situation come during December and early shutdown, however the House’s version of the January, but hopefully this time, our Congress law would have defunded parts of the Affordable will be able to see past their own disagreements Care Act, aka Obamacare, many parts of which and work together to better our country. were scheduled to take effect on October 1. 16 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
We believe that every Smart Girl is unique. Every internship should be, too. Applications for spring internships due December 9th. Click here for more information.
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& CHANGING: The Present Status on Gun Control in the United States One Year After Sandy Hook by Bridget Brennan
his month marks the anniversary of the twenty children and six faculty members that were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. It was a day that made us hug our families a little closer and maybe work together a little harder to prevent the heartache, the hardship, and the overwhelming loss that comes with a tragedy as heinous as the one that took place on December 14, 2012. As President Obama stated in his address to the nation in response to the shootings of that day, “We have endured too many of these tragedies…as a country we have been through this too many times.” Here we are one year later and the question remains: What have we as a nation done in the past year to prevent another tragedy, like that dark day in December, from happening again?
history. There is no simple solution or quick fix to the problem. But not having the perfect solution does not mean that we cannot do something to combat the violence in our nation. This year, the Senate failed to pass a bill requiring universal background checks. Currently in the United States, background checks are required for all people who attempt to purchase firearms from federally licensed dealers. These checks are intended to prevent people with a criminal, drug, mental health, or domestic violence record from purchasing a gun. However, federal law does not require the same background checks for firearms sold through “private transactions”, such as sales at gun shows or over the Internet. Each year, about 6.6 million guns are sold with no background check for the buyer. Almost 90 percent of Americans overall and even 75 percent of actual National Rifle Association members support universal background checks for gun sales. So why has this comprehensive The United States Center for Disease Control and popular reform not been implemented? and Prevention gave an estimate as of November 24, 2013 that roughly 31,374 Americans have Although this month, we Smart Girls evaluate died from gun violence since the massacre at our present in the Guide, we must not forget Sandy Hook Elementary. our past. Our past—in Newtown, Aurora, Tucson and at Columbine and Virginia Tech— Gun violence has been a problem that has is very much apart of our present and future as crippled our nation for the majority of our Americans and as Smart Girls.
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A Smart Girl of History by Tori Wilbraham The Smart Woman of History this month is First Lieutenant Annie G. Fox. 1st Lt Fox was the first woman to receive the Purple Heart on December 7th, 1941. Born on August 4th, 1983, Fox served as the chief nurse in the Army Nurse Corps at Hickham Field during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Often when we think of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we do not think of those who responded to the terrors and cared for the injured. As chief nurse during the attack, 1st Lt Fox was not injured. According to today’s standards, in order to receive the Purple Heart you must be injured. However, in the 1940’s you could be awarded the Purple Heart for your exemplary and essential aid during wartime. When people think of Pearl Harbor and World War II often women are forgotten. Women such as 1st Lt Fox should be remembered and honored for the work they did to aid those who were injured and those who lay dying. 1st Lt Fox was awarded her Purple Heart on October 26th, 1944. It was said that Fox was awarded her Purple Heart for “outstanding performance of duty and meritorious acts of extraordinary fidelity.” Without her, 20 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
and those that assisted her, it is difficult to say what would have happened to those who survived the attacks.
In the month of December let us remember all of the females who have helped serve our military. We often forget about the women who have put their lives on the line to help protect those on the home front. Whether they are nurses, lawyers, pilots, sailors, December is the month to remember all of the men and women who make sacrifices by putting their lives on the line to keep us safe, many of whom will not be joining their families this holiday season. SGG
SMART GIRL’S 2013 GIFT GUIDE | STYLE SPOTLIGHT | CURATED SPREADS
Tis’ the Season for Style
And we have you covered with our Ultimate Gift Guide, blogger style picks, and a spotlight that shows you can do good while dressing well. DECEMBER 2013
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when in full screen, click on the items you like for their info!
smart girl sister
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when in full screen, click on the items you like for their info!
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when in full screen, click on the items you like for their info!
smart sorority sister
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By: Chelsea Padgham
I was seven-years-old, my friend and I really wanted those sneakers with the built in wheels. We looked through her grandmother’s house for things we could sell and found a pitcher of tea and a watermelon. We went to the nearest church parking lot with our concoction and a hand-scribbled watermelon tea sign. We waved our sign at passing traffic until people stopped and before long, we sold everything we had. Then we went back to her grandmother’s house and started again. We didn’t make enough money to buy the shoes, but I was so excited to earn my first paycheck (in a sense). hen
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I should’ve known then that entrepreneurship was my calling. Since then, I’ve stumbled through my fair share of entrepreneurial letdowns, from video games to cupcake candles, until one finally clicked. Style with Benefits was born after I began researching non-profits. I discovered that twenty-eight non-profits are forced to shut down every day. When I looked into the cause, I found that the top 100 nonprofits get 1/8th of private funding, and the rest of the funding is dispersed between the other 1.2 million. This gap is largely driven by the notoriety large charities receive from cause marketing. Companies may give what seems like a large dollar amount to the non-profit, but compared to their overall profit, the donation is miniscule.
I should’ve known then that entrepreneurship was my calling. to these smaller and local movements. So Style With Benefits was born. Right now we’re working with an artisan group in Zimbabwe, Liberia, and Nicaragua to create our first line, which will focus on high quality, handmade handbags and jewelry. All of our products will be sold exclusively through our company in limited amounts. We’ll be featuring non-profits from around the country, and we’ll connect people to the unique ways these groups address social issues.
At the same time, they’re selling unethically produced, toxic products. Carcinogenic make-up for breast cancer awareness anyone? I wanted Our first official line is currently set to launch to create a company that sources ethically in March 2014, but T-shirts featuring our “I produced products that also give back Am Change” and “Style With Benefits” logo are available on our website. You can find out more about what we’re doing, read about the organizations we’re working with during this period, and get involved with the movement at www.stylewithbenefits.org! Early supporters will get first looks at new products and exclusive coupons.
Visit www.stylewithbenefits.org to get one!
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December according to...
www.thesocialboutique.blogspot.com AMERICAN EAGLE | $7.50
KATE SPADE | $40
H&M | $17.95 ZARA | $15.90 ANTHROPOLOGIE | $34
MODCLOTH | $99 DOROTHY PERKINS | $45
FRANCESCA’S | $34.99
ASOS | $44.50 ASOS | $70
URBAN OUTFITTERS | $12 32 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
December according to...
PEACH COUTURE | $9.95
PIXI | $8
BRANDY MELVILLE | $53.20
ETSY | $32
MODCLOTH | $15.99
FUSIANA JEWELRY | $9.95
MODCLOTH | $19.99
AMAZON | $16.99
DOGEARED | $58
UNCOMMON GOODS | $50
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December according to...
www.summerwind41490.blogspot.com SEPHORA | $39 NORDSTROM | $38 SHOPBOP | $70
J.CREW | $88
LILLY PULITZER | $78
SEPHORA | $30
AMAZON | $26
ZAPPOS | $54
NORDSTROM | $8.50
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MEET THE COVER GIRL: SANAH JIVANI
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interview by Leah Kashar
A Smart Girl is many things: savvy, empowered, a superstar. Our December covergirl embodies everything Smart Girls Group stands for, and more. Meet Sanah Jivani, our featured Smart Girl. At just 16, this Spring, Texas native knows what it means to truly be yourself. She is already an inspiration to millions of people everywhere, and sheâ€™s not stopping anytime soon. photography by Karley Crawford 36 smart girlâ€™s guide | DECEMBER 2013
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AGE: 16 YEAR IN SCHOOL:
junior in high school
HOMETOWN: Spring, Texas
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AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH ALOPECIA, A DISEASE WHICH CAUSES HAIR LOSS, AT AGE THREE AND LOSING ALL OF YOUR HAIR IN THE SEVENTH GRADE, HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT? I decided to get a wig because I could not stand the fact of not being beautiful or not looking pretty enough. People were just very mean about it and bullied me over it. I had just gotten to this state by the eighth grade where I was just so depressed. THAT’S ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. HOW DID YOU COPE? That summer, I decided there was only one way to turn my life around. I had to tell everybody what I was going through. I realized that I can’t expect the people around me to believe in me if I have so much trouble believing in myself. So, I posted a video on Facebook and I went without my wig. Everybody was so supportive. My first day of Freshman year, I went without my wig. Since then, I haven’t really touched it or needed it anymore. I’m just happier and more confident. IT’S SO FANTASTIC THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND. THE FACEBOOK VIDEO TURNED YOU INTO A PUBLIC FIGURE FROM BEING SHARED SO MUCH! HOW DID THAT FEEL? Eventually the pressure started becoming too much. I saw how Demi Lovato, a public figure, took pride in her issues and going into treatment. She accepted herself. I thought it was so inspirational how she had the courage, even while being in the public eye, to ask for help and to expose herself like that. SO, YOU’RE A BIG DEMI LOVATO FAN! WHAT IS ONE LESSON YOU LEARNED FROM HER? I realized that the thing that made her inspirational wasn’t that she was perfect. It was that she had
taken her imperfections and her struggles and made them into this beautiful story. I realized that was what I needed to do. I was striving to be perfect. Being perfect is impossible. YOU EVEN GOT TO MEET HER BACKSTAGE, AND APPEARED IN HER DOCUMENTARY! HOW DID IT FEEL TO MEET HER? At first, I started giggling because I was just so nervous. Eventually I collected myself and I told her that she inspired me to go without my wig. She helped me to know that I can be an inspiration. I felt so thankful and so excited. I was just speechless. Literally, speechless. I laughed the whole time. It was pretty crazy. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG OF HERS? I would have to say “Warrior” because it’s where she opens up about her struggles completely. That song made me so proud of her and made me want to open up even more. If you have a voice, you should definitely use it.
The day before Natural Day during lunch, I just went up to the front of the cafeteria on a microphone and poured out my story. I told them to try to love themselves for a day. I want everybody to feel that. Nobody should feel what I went through. Then one person started clapping and eventually the whole cafeteria got up and started clapping. It was so beautiful. The next day was just indescribable. It was awesome to see the impact that it had.
HOW DID YOU TAKE THE LESSONS YOU HAD LEARNED FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE AND FROM DEMI AND MAKE AN IMPACT IN OTHERS LIVES? When I first went without my wig and I got all of these positive comments, I thought about how good it feels to accept yourself and love yourself. I wanted to do that for other people. That’s when I came up with Natural Day. If for just one day if everyone could feel good enough just being themselves, they would be so much WHAT IS YOUR LIFE PHILOSOPHY? People only bring you down because you are happier. so much higher above them. You just have to HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET YOUR stay true to yourself and love everything about WHOLE SCHOOL TO GO WITHOUT yourself; everybody has flaws. When you just MAKEUP, DOING THEIR HAIR, ETC. FOR focus on loving yourself, and not caring about YOUR NEW PROJECT, NATURAL DAY? what other people think, you’ll just end up happier. TEENAGERS CAN BE TOUGH. DECEMBER 2013
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FITNESS | NUTRITION | RECIPES
It’s Cookie Time!
‘Tis the season for baking and we have some of the best cookie recipes, sure to make you the hostess with the mostess this holiday. DECEMBER 2013 | smart girl’s guide 41
by Mandy Engelman
he holiday season is just around the corner, and we all know what that means: Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and way too many hot chocolates. In other words, it’s two straight months of non-stop eating with no motivation to workout. We all get it; it’s the holiday season and you just want to curl up around the fireplace with a plate of your grandma’s world-famous chocolate chip cookies. But with spring break roughly five months around the corner, eating your weight in junk isn’t the best thing to be doing. And, by doing these five easy moves, you can burn off the holiday fat in no time.
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CROSS JACK Target: Arms, Legs
Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your arms at your sides. Begin jumping as if you were doing a normal jumping jack but cross one wrist in front of the other. Jump with your feet together by cross one foot in front of the other as you cross your arms in front of your hips. Continue for 45 seconds to a minute before beginning your work-out to get your heart rate up.
Target: Abs, back, thighs Begin by sitting up against the wall with your back straight and your knees lightly bent with your feet planted wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your hands in between your legs on the floor and engage your abs. Using your finger tips, press into the floor and lift your feet about six inches. To make this easier you can lift and lower your left foot and then repeat with your right to complete one rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps to burn the calories you consumed while drinking your grandma’s eggnog.
Target: back, abs, oblique’s, inner thighs, outer thighs Lie with your back on the group and arms and legs extended upward. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor.
Open your arms to the sides and open your legs to a 45-degree angle, keeping your shoulders and chest slightly lifted off the floor to ensure your abs are engaged. Return to your starting position with your palms and legs together. Do 10 to 12 reps to work off the extra helping of mashed potatoes you had at Thanksgiving dinner.
THE ROLLING SIT-UP Target: Back and abs
Lie facedown on the floor with your arms and legs extended, preferably not on carpet (you may want to lay down a blanket), keeping your head, arms, and legs slightly lifted off the floor. Roll over so you’re lying on your back and place your hands behind your head and bring your upper body and knees towards each other in a crunch. Stretch back out and roll into your starting position. Lift your arms, head, and legs slightly off the group and repeat for 3 reps of 10 to burn off that yummy piece of apple pie.
Target: spinal electors, hamstrings, abs, & quads
This easy exercise begins with both legs shoulder width apart. Bend knees into a squat and bring yourself up and jump as high as possible. Land in a squat with your knees bent. Continue for 5 minutes in order to burn off a ginger bread man.
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bake! What is the holiday season without cookies? Here are two of our favorites for this holiday season. by Abby McHugh
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LOLLIPOP COOKIES Makes 24 cookies in 30 minutes!
The holidays can be hectic, and that’s why I love this recipe for Lollipop Sugar Cookies. You can decorate them any way you’d like, which means that they’re perfect for any winter holiday. I guarantee that if you bake these cookies, you’ll be the talk of the cookie exchange! Ingredients: 1 cup shortening ½ cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or 175 degrees C. 2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening, white sugar, and brown sugar. 3. Beat the egg and vanilla. 4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir into the creamed mixture. 5. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls. 6. Push craft sticks into the center of the ball. 7. Place balls, with sticks parallel to the cookie sheet, 3 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten them slightly using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. 8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven until golden brown. 9. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then put them on a wire rack to cool. 10. When they are completely cool, decorate and wrap in plastic wrap. 11. Tie in a ribbon and ENJOY!
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MUDSLIDE COOKIES Makes 30 cookies!
I know what you’re thinking: How can a cookie be healthy and delicious at the same time? But with the Mudslide cookie, you’re getting the best of both worlds. They’re easy to make, good for your health, and absolutely delightful! Ingredients: 1 ½ tablespoons butter 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon instant coffee granulates 1 tablespoon hot water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cups unsweetened cocoa 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 ½ cups sugar ½ cups egg substitute 2 large eggs ½ cup chopped walnuts ¼ semisweet chocolate minichips
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Place butter, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate into a microwave safe bowl, and microwave at high for 1 minute (or until chocolate is almost melted). Stir until smooth. 3. Combine coffee granules and 2 tablespoon hot water, stirring until granules dissolve. 4. Stir coffee and vanilla into chocolate mixture. 5. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and then level with a knife. 6. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. 7. Combine sugar, egg substitute, and eggs in a large bowl, then beat with a mixer at high speed 6 minutes or until thick or pale. 8. Gently stir ¼ of egg mixture into chocolate mixture, and then stir chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture. 9. Stir in flour mixture, nuts and chocolate chips. 10. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper, and drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. 11.With moist hands, gently press dough into ¼ inchthick rounds.
12. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until set, and then cool for one minute. 13. Set on wire rack and ENJOY! 46 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
Because You Simply
by Hannah Payne
One of my favorite holiday traditions is curling up by the warm fire and wrapping presents with my family. As light from the fire dances on the walls and I clutter the room with ribbon and wrapping paper, my mom walks in to offer me eggnog and freshly baked pumpkin pie. I take a bite and I feel the magic of this moment- but also a twinge of guilt. My attention unfortunately turns to the calorie count and fat content of the pie instead of the Christmas memory in the making.
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eginning every year around August, my thoughts start to wander to that wonderful, festive time. While my mind shuffles through all the to-do lists, obligations, and time constraints that fill every ambitious girl’s day, the occasional holiday memory slips into my thoughts. By the time October arrives, I am completely yearning for that special time of year.
I have found what is called the 80/20 rule to be very successful in my own life. This means that 80% of the time, you eat nutritious foods. For the other 20%, you eat what you want without worrying about it. The less you think that you are depriving yourself of yummy food, the less you will crave it, and the more likely you are to achieve long-term nutritional success. By living this way, you are building a lifestyle, not just following a diet.
The holiday season is a gift in itself. After all,
“The less you think that you are depriving yourself of yummy food, the less you will crave it, and the more likely you are to achieve long-term nutritional success.”
it only occupies a tiny section of the whole year! So let’s embrace it and give ourselves permission to not follow the daily routine of meticulousness and strict order- this includes what and how we eat. Our focus should be on simply enjoying ourselves with family and friends. When we gather with loved ones, counting calories shouldn’t occupy our minds. Occasionally eating a few meals that don’t follow your diet will not undo all of your hard work. In fact, it’s a good thing to not expect dietary perfection. Balance in your diet is the key to a successful healthy lifestyle. If you restrict yourself from ever eating anything outside the bounds you’ve set for yourself, your body and mind will go into deprivation mode. You will most likely crave your favorite unhealthy foods more and more until you finally crash and completely fall off of the healthy lifestyle wagon. This begins a vicious and ineffective cycle.
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Take time to enjoy the things you love this holiday season. Whether it be going for a jog in the snow, shopping with your friends for the perfect party outfit, or sitting by the fire, wrapping presents, while eating a slice of delicious pumpkin pie. We are smart girls. We work hard. We get things done. We are powerful, and resourceful, and motivated, and awesome. Reward yourself with joy, because you deserve it.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT | EMPOWERMENT | FINANCE | CULTURE | SERVICE
Working hard is always a good thing, right? Well, maybe not. Maggie will tell you why.
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recovering and reconnecting by Mimi Warnick
n life, people develop, become more mature, and gain new interests. Some might define these things as a person changing. Change is inevitable and goes along with growing up. With change come new relationships with new people. However, in the process of changing we can also lose old relationships that might not seem to fit into our new transformed lives. We sometimes view these relationships as tying us down or old memories. Nevertheless, we need to remember while some relationships might seem old or no longer important; those people supported you in your journey to your current transformed life. Especially during the holiday season people want their most loved ones surrounded by them to celebrate the past year. If you seem to missing your old love ones this December or want to reconnect with old friends definitely take time out the crazy holiday cheer and reach out to them. They miss you probably just as much as you miss them. The following tips will help you repair a lacking relationship and assist you in having the happiest holiday season!
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Reach Out and Reconnect.
If you have not spoken or been in contact with the person in quite some time give them a call, email, Facebook message, or Christmas card with a few goodies. This will show that you do care for the person and truly want to reconnect. If the person does not reciprocate the effort, just know that you tried your best.
should do the same for you. You should then tell them why you feel upset and express your feelings.
ACT: Together after both of you are finished expressing your issues, you should come up with ways to change and fix the problem. Both of you should show willingness and motivation to change. Be sincere in your apology; if you feel you cannot apologize immediately after you and the person exchange thoughts H.E.A.L. If you are not in contact with a on the problem, take time to reflect on person because of an argument or your relationship, and how you want to miscommunication, follow the H.E.A.L further your relationship with the other person. process to mend the relationship. LOVE: Once you and the other person have apologized and forgave, show each other appreciation! Express how happy you are that this person is now present in your life again. It is important to immediately nurture this relationship EMPATHIZE: Once you seem to so it does not go to the wayside again. understand what the person is saying and where they are coming from. Try If you follow these steps, your natural to see and understand their feelings instincts, and your prior experience in regarding the situation. Do not focus repairing relationships, you will have on yourself in this moment, but really a mended relationship. I wish you all a on the other person’s reactions, feelings, wonderful holiday season. I hope it filled and thoughts. It can be hard not to be with time spent with the most important defensive, but you need to understand people in your life. Smart Girls work so where the other person is coming from hard all year, and December is a great to solve the problem. After you hear time to celebrate our accomplishments the person out and show empathy, they with our most loved ones. HEAR: Listen to the other person’s side of their argument. Try not to think about your opinions and put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand where he or she is coming from.
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SAVVY SMART GIRL SHOP SMART THIS SEASON by Melissa Riordan
eing that this is the biggest commercial month of the year, it is one of the craziest months to go shopping – so many gifts to buy and so many stores to see! With all of this excitement, it is easy to forget about money and just shop until you drop, but beware of prices. Black Friday had great discounts, but this month, you may not find the same kind of deals. Use the tips we talked about in November to get the most bang for your buck, and you will save up a storm allowing you to treat yourself and your loved ones.
your phone, that way you can make sure you are not going over your budget.
Onto the fun part… holiday shopping! Giving is the best part of the season, and this is your chance to do just that, but do not forget about your finances! You set an overall spending limit, but choose one for each group you are buying for. For example, if you decided you have $75 overall, but you want to buy for three friends and the three people in your family, think about how much you want to spend on each person or group. You can limit yourself to $30 on your group of friends ($10 per person) and In the holiday spirit, here are some shopping $45 on family ($15 per person). Just divide up the expense guidelines that will keep you within your previous amount however you feel comfortable, budget while still allowing you to buy the things and again, stick to it. you want. Even if you are not shopping for seasonal presents, still put these tips into practice! They are Also, keep holiday sales in mind. Stores always universal and will help keep you on track no matter have holiday markdowns, so check to see what what the occasion is. shops have sales going on at that time, and go there! Saving a few extra dollars here and there adds up, Before you hit the mall, set a spending limit. This and if you have leftover money at the end of the amount is completely up to you, but once you come month, you can treat yourself when the stores have to a decision stick with it! While shopping, put last post-holiday sales! month’s tips into practice. Use that price checker cell phone app, and think about big ticket items. Have fun shopping this month! You saved all month Also, be conscious of the limit you set! A great idea in November, and this is your chance to enjoy it! is to record the total from each receipt into a list on
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SMART opportunities DECEMBER 2013
Welcome to the Opportunity Board!
GRAPHIC DESIGN MAJORS
Are you a Photoshop pro? An inDesign expert? An Illustrator extraordinare? Well, we are looking for more graphic designers to join our magazine team! Please send us your portfolio in your interest email!
These are featured opportunities that we have this month in SGG, but don’t forget, there is no limit to what you can do in SGG!
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
We are looking for some super organizers who love connecting with other Smart Girls and are interested in helping lead developmental committees within Smart Girls Group!
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS Are you a social media guru? Well we are looking for Smart Girls who know the ins and outs of social media strategy. Contact us with your resume if interested.
We are looking for superstar Smart Girls who would like to work on spreading the Smart Girl mission in their respective location.
The Smart Women’s Network supports the SGG community, sharing resources, supporting our Smart Girl Sisters, and spreading our message when appropriate. We send out monthly emails, where we list opportunities to connect with the Smart Girl Sisters as well as press opportunities. We are striving to unite the next generation of superstar women and we know with your help, we can do that. If interested, please click here.
SMART WOMEN’S NETWORK! Send all involvement emails to email@example.com DECEMBER 2013
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on fire or BURNING OUT? by Maggie Chaquette illustration by Christina Chung
Many girls tend to do it all: they’re captain of sports teams, club presidents, interns, hold jobs to earn money to spend on shopping sprees and dinner with friends, volunteer for local non-profit organizations, all while keeping up with schoolwork. As Smart Girls we want to do it all. And for a while it can seem pretty easy to do so. You are the definition of a girl on fire. The world is yours to take on; nothing can stop you from doing what you want and making a huge impact. But eventually you start to fizzle out. The demands of everything you have to and want to do are too much to handle so it’s time to make some decisions. It’s time to prioritize and find that perfect balance of what you can do and still maintain a great work ethic (and your own well-being). Making choices between the dozens of activities you love to do can be incredibly difficult; I’ve had to do so more times than I can remember. Start by making a list of everything you’re involved in and the amount of time you already dedicate to each. Ask yourself why you’re part of a certain team or club—is it just as résumé-builder? If so, and you don’t actually enjoy it, it shouldn’t be a priority in your life. Are you volunteering for eight different organizations and don’t feel connected to the people you’re working with or the actual work you’re doing? Try and focus on one organization or pick a new one whose mission you’re passionate about. Not only will the hours you spend helping
out be more enjoyable, but also they’ll be much appreciated by the staff and other volunteers who witness your unmatchable, Smart Girl dedication. A trend seen across the country in recent years is an increase in the number of activities high school and college students are involved in. However, I would urge you to understand that depth, rather than breadth, is what’s important. High school girls, colleges would rather see that you are extremely passionate about three to five activities, a balance of clubs, volunteer work, and paying jobs. This helps them learn more about who you are as a person. Therefore, choose activities that demonstrate how well rounded of an individual you are. College girls, you’re at the point of your life where you’re thinking about your future career. Get involved in activities (especially internships and jobs!) pertaining to that, but also prioritize that drama troupe or club sport you really enjoy. The key to being a successful Smart Girl is not overwhelming yourself to the point where you burn out completely. No one wants to work with, never mind be, the girl who can’t dedicate time and energy to all of her endeavors. It’s time to make some choices. If you choose wrong, you can always reprioritize! Focus on emerging as a Smart Girl on fire! DECEMBER 2013
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OPEN DAILY 10-10 56 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
A SMART GIRL’S GUIDE OPPORTUNITY OF THE MONTH interview by Eleanor Harte
ver dreamed about working in the magazine industry? Is Devil Wears Prada one of your favorite movies? Is Kate White on your inspiration board? Well, Ed2010 can help you become all of that and more. We sat down with Ed2010’s Fordham University chapter Co-Presidents, Julie Tortora and Madeline St. Amour, to learn more about this super cool opportunity.
TELL US ABOUT ED2010. WHAT’S ITS MISSION? HOW DO YOU CARRY OUT THIS MISSION AT FORDHAM? Ed2010 is a website that caters to the magazine industry. It’s a great resource for those interested in publishing, magazines, writing and journalism. The website provides inside industry information, as well as job and internship postings. At Fordham, the mission is to bring this resource to students who want to jumpstart their careers. Fordham is so close to NYC and therefore close to so many job opportunities, yet the vastness of the city can be daunting and hard to navigate. So, that is where our campus chapter comes in! By bringing industry professionals to campus to personally network with and give advice to Fordham students, it’s making getting that dream job a whole lot easier. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF ED2010? Julie: I like how to-the-point it is. We aren’t a typical club that has weekly meetings because we know how busy students are (ourselves included!). Our chapter is more about hosting events. Since our programs are only once a month, we make sure that the information being provided is both special and valuable. Madeline: The great professionals we get to meet. WHAT OPPORTUNITIES HAS ED2010 GIVEN YOU? WHY SHOULD SMART GIRLS WANT TO JOIN, OR START THEIR OWN CHAPTERS? Ed2010 provides a great opportunity to network. Our chapter invites speakers from the journalism industry to come give advice and do resume critiques. Use that opportunity to network! Introduce yourself, get a business card and ask for an informational interview. DECEMBER 2013
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Smart Girls should deﬁnitely join or start their Julie: This is old news, but interning is HUGE. own because it’s a unique opportunity to meet Making connections can truly help you get to actual journalism professionals. where you want to be. And guess what? Not every internship is going to be perfect, but you HOW HAVE YOU TAKEN THE LESSONS can learn something valuable from even the notYOU’VE LEARNED IN ED2010 AND so-great experiences. Another piece of advice CARRIED THEM INTO THE ‘REAL that I’ve only recently come to realize is that it’s WORLD’? ok to speak up (nicely). Yes, you are most likely Julie: Our chapter is still so new, but I’ve already an unpaid intern, but you are there to learn. If learned from the experience. Getting our you’re not happy, say something that will change chapter started has taken a lot of dedication and it. 99% of the time, your boss will take what you patience, and it has taught me that everything say into consideration and will work with you worth doing takes time. I see a lot of potential to make a change. It shows that you care and in Ed2010 Fordham, and this makes getting it that you WANT to be the best intern that you off the ground much more exciting. can possibly be. Madeline: Both the Ed2010 website and the Madeline: Network - get as many informational speakers that our chapter talks to both stress interviews that you can! Also, internships are how doing things now will help your career great - but if you only work at big companies that later. I’m a big believer in thinking ahead and have you get coffee, you won’t learn anything. thinking of things you can do now, no matter I’ve interned at a bunch of startups, and the your age, that will help you when you enter the skills I’ve gained are the ones I’ll actually use in real world. my career (although maybe I won’t be the best HOW DO YOUR CAREER GOALS RELATE at getting coffee). So don’t be afraid to take a chance with a smaller company with a cool idea TO ED2010? Julie: Writing is truly what I love to do. Ultimately, just because the name isn’t recognizable. I would like to become an editor at a magazine DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D in NYC, and Ed2010 can deﬁnitely help me get LIKE TO ADD? there. I’ve had many internships during my time Julie: Attend our events! They’re seriously so at Fordham, and Ed2010 has helped me ﬁnd a helpful. We’re bringing editors, writers and number of those opportunities. company CEO’s to campus for YOUR beneﬁt. Madeline: The ultimate goal, for me, is to start my It’ll only take up an hour or so of your time, own magazine. Networking through Ed2010 has and you may even walk out of the room with a been great, and hearing professionals’ opinions potential internship opportunity. on how the magazine world is changing is really Madeline: What’s really important when you’re helping me shape my business idea. still in college or high school is to use the FOR SMART GIRLS WHO MIGHT HAVE resources available to you. Now is when you SIMILAR CAREER GOALS, ARE THERE have the time to really take advantage of what’s ANY PATHS YOU RECOMMEND THEY out there. Ed2010 is one of those great resources. TAKE OR THINGS THEY SHOULD TRY If you use it wisely, it can open a bunch of doors! OUT? WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THESE GIRLS? 58 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
Culture Lifestyle smartliving
MICHAEL BUBLE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Nothing spreads the holiday cheer like a good sing along. If you didn’t catch it last year be sure to see multi-Grammy award winning, Michael Bublé’s holiday singing special on
NBC. The special includes some guest appearances by Rod Stewart, fellow Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen, and even Sesame Street cutie, Elmo. Get your chestnuts roasting on an open fire and sing along with the family and Michael Bublé to “Winter Wonderland”, “Jingle Bells” and “Let It Snow.”
over 40 years, Dick Clark has been rocking in the new year with all of the year’s chart toppers and celebrities and has added in Ryan Seacrest as the leading host to keep the party going into the new year. Celebrate the last moments of 2013 watching performances of your favorite songs. You never know who may stop by before the ball drops!
DICK CLARK’S NEW YEARS ROCKIN’ EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST
Don’t live in the Big Apple? Hate freezing cold temperatures and big crowds? Watch Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC instead! For
by Maurissa A. Walls
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by Maurissa A. Walls
THE PREACHER’S WIFE
If you’re looking to curl up on the couch with a big mug of peppermint cider this December, then “The Preacher’s Wife” is the perfect ‘90s romantic comedy to get you in the Christmas spirit! This movie tells the story of a pastor of a small, struggling Baptist church in New York City, in desperate need of a Christmas miracle. In this remake of the 1947 movie, “The Bishop’s Wife,” Rev. Henry Biggs is in danger of losing his church due to financial hardship. His wife, Julia, played by the late Whitney Houston, and son are neglected as he puts all of his efforts into saving the church. Biggs prays for some holiday help, and it arrives in the best form you could hope for: A charming angel named Dudley, played by Denzel Washington, who begins to visit his wife. This movie is filled with great original holiday music and features Whitney Houston singing her classic songs, such as “I Believe in You and Me”.
RENT My all time favorite holiday films is “Rent.” This movie version of the Tony Award winning musical features nearly all of the broadway show’s original cast, including the husband and wife who met during the broadway run, Taye Diggs and Indina Menzel. The film retells the year long story of a group of friends living in East Village NYC beginning on Christmas Eve. The eccentric group of friends battle breakups, love triangles, HIV/ AIDS, overcoming stigma of the LGBT community and tragic loss while trying to survive in the big city and make their dreams into a reality.The rock opera features inspiring music, unforgettable characters and powerful messages. 60 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
Smart Smart Events Summits
By Emily Raleigh
by Rebecca Mill
by Maggie Royce
MASSACHUSETTS CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN
On December 5th, 2013 both local and worldwide speakers, presenters and panelists will be covering a large variety of topics including media, health, business and many more. This conference is the biggest in the country, giving women educational and networking experiences in Boston. A super cool thing this year is that Kerry Washington (from the TV show Scandal) will be a keynote speaker! Other cool speakers are Susan Cain (from the TED Talk “The Power of Introverts) and Blake Mycoskie (the founder of TOMS). More information here: http://www. maconferenceforwomen.org/
TED WOMEN 2013 The worldwide known podcasts come to life at a conference on December 4th-6th to By Amber Ausley inspire and motivate. At this event there will be real live speaking events, networking, and a breakfast where you can brunch By Rainbow Rowell ladies themselves. In the with the influential past some of the most influential TED Talks have come out of this conference, including Sheryl Sandberg’s talk that led to the book Lean In. “We celebrate the incredible work of women and celebrate the inventors, designers, chefs, thinkers, makers, leaders, local problem-solvers and general dreamers of every gender who dare to imagine more.” (TED Blog here: http://blog.ted. com/2013/08/06/tedwomen-2013-inventedhere-registration-now-open/)
Something quintessentially winter, to me, is ice skating. The thought of gliding over the frozen ice on just a tiny blade is amazing. Whether you find an indoor arena with year-round skate sessions or a seasonal outdoor skating spot, layer up in a sweater and vest, throw on a scarf, hat, and mittens, and get skating! And if I haven���t convinced you skating is fun enough, it’s also a great work out! Figure in the laughing when, inevitably, you take a tumble, and you’ll want to add skating to your daily work out routine! PLAYING IN THE SNOW
We all may be Smart Girls, but who’s to say we can’t have a little childhood fun? Depending on where you live, you might not receive any snow this holiday season, but should you live in a colder climate, I urge you to get outside! Make some snow angels, build a snowman, and best of all, have a snow ball fight! You’re never too old, so get out there and play around! And when you’re all done, don’t forget to warm up with a nice big mug of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream! LEND A HELPING HAND There’s no better way to wake up in the winter than with an alert of a school closure or delay. However, the massive amounts of snow that come along with these closures aren’t good news to everyone. Your elderly neighbor or family friend is probably dreading these alerts, as it means that he or she is going to have trouble shoveling their sidewalks and driveways. So Smart Girls, that’s when you lend a helping hand and use your snow day or delay to take the load off of your neighbor’s shoulders. Make it fun by working with your sibling or a friend that lives in your neighborhood! Be sure to make a clear path for your senior friend to get to their car and mailbox to avoid any injuries this winter! DECEMBER 2013
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1 JENNA GOUDREAU’S FORBES COLUMN
by Amber Ausley
Jenna Goudreau is a staff writer for Forbes magazine, writing about female leadership and business. For those interested in a specifically female perspective on the news, Goudreau is a perfect fit. Need some quick inspiration? Goudreau also examines powerful businesswomen and how they got to where they are.
2 EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: HOW TO FIT IN, STAND OUT, AND MOVE UP AT YOUR FIRST REAL JOB Emily Bennington wrote this book specifically for college women transitioning into the workplace. Bennington argues that the secret to success is much more than ambition and talent. If you are interested in the key to being an indispensable asset, especially in the current economy, give Effective Immediately a try. In the words of Jim Pawlak, “Effective Immediately will teach you what you didn’t learn in college.”
3 Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD In this fictional novel, Therese Anne Fowler glorifies the often-overlooked counterpart to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the fabulous Zelda. Fowler accounts Zelda meeting F. Scott, and their rise to fame together. With the rising popularity of The Great Gatsby, there is no better time to explore the muse behind Daisy.
Smart Sounds by Sophie Raleigh
“Just Like Heaven” by Kat Edmonson “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Springsteen “Just Another Girl” by The Killers “You’re the One That I Want” by Angus & Julia Stone “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by She & Him “This Is The Thing” by Fink “Easy to Love” by The Jezabels “2000 Miles” by Pretenders “Graceless” by The National “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)” by Frank Sinatra
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SPOTLIGHTS | COLLEGE | HELLO FROM HOME | DEAR SMART GIRL
See Her Smarts
Meet Stephanie Ruhle, a woman who is changing the face of finance, first on Wall Street and now on television. DECEMBER 2013
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interview by Quincy Bulin SO FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON’T KNOW, WHAT IS YOUR BOOK ABOUT? Scrap centers around a young orphan named Tucker, who lives on the brutal streets of Hellip, a village in the vast empire of cruel King Ibis. Along with her friends, Ash and Kally, she spends her time keeping one step ahead of the unjust laws and stealing what she needs to survive. Now, both her friends have vanished from the orphanage, perhaps headed for the faraway city where Ibis still rules. When a mysterious girl named Vivian arrives in Hellip with a strange invitation to Tucker, the leader of the orphans decides that this may be her opportunity to find her missing friends. But more than this, it may become an opportunity to recover her hidden inheritance, and to change the fate of an entire kingdom. YOU’RE NOT EVEN OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AND YOU HAVE PUBLISHED A BOOK! WHEN DID YOU START WRITING IT? I wrote the first draft of Scrap when I was twelve years old and continued to develop the plot and characters for the next four years. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO HAVE THIS BOOK PUBLISHED? From the start I had hoped to get
my work published. I knew Tucker’s adventure would be a series, so I started by channeling my energy into the first book. When I was fifteen I had the first half of the story drafted, and was lucky enough to meet with Christopher Reich, who worked with me as a mentor. Then, once the manuscript was mostly completed, I started looking into the publishing process and how to get my work noticed. I was sixteen when I signed with Greenleaf book Group/River Grove Books and seventeen when my first novel was released. WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO FIND A PUBLISHING COMPANY WILLING TO TAKE ON YOUR NOVEL? I researched local publishing houses until I had narrowed my list down to ones that were known to publish young adult, fantasy and teen fiction novels. My top choice was a selective publishing company, but I was lucky enough to flag their attention and get signed. THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK REGARDING SCRAP. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY NEGATIVE COMMENTS AND IF SO, HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THEM? The positive feedback has been really motivating! However, I’ll admit that the negative comments were pretty devastating at first. But, like all authors, DECEMBER 2013
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I just had to grow thicker skin and accept that critics will be critics. I handle the negative reviews by reading the positive ones. ARE THERE ANY MORE PROJECTS WE SHOULD BE EXPECTING FROM YOU? Scrap is the first novel in the Grimmic Chronicles, so I’m hoping to put out the sequel within a year. After I finish up with this series I’d like to try out a more mature writing style and maybe put out something of the science-fiction genre. HOW DO YOU HANDLE WRITERS BLOCK? Traveling. I’ve learned that you can’t always wait for inspiration, most of the time you have to get up and hunt it. When I’m in a rut, moving and writing somewhere totally new always gets the ideas flowing again. That’s why I do my best writing in airports. I’ve realized that people watching can really spark a landslide of creativity. HOW HAS BEING A TEENAGE AUTHOR AFFECTED YOUR PERSONAL LIFE? Splitting my week between school and writing is like working two jobs. To make room for my social life I usually have to sacrifice a little bit of one thing or the other (and it’s usually school). I work hard to have the best of both worlds, but it’s been pretty difficult. WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE MAINLY A FANTASY AUTHOR, OR HAVE YOU DABBLED IN 66 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
DIFFERENT “MEDIUMS”? When I first started writing, fantasy and science fiction were my passion. Now that I’m older (well, a bit older), I enjoy writing more modern and comical stories. I have a handful of new novels in the works and am excited to put out something different in the future. HAS THIS BOOK AFFECTED ANY POSTGRADUATE PLANS OF YOURS? I’m still applying to university, but having published a book has helped open doors at schools I wouldn’t have previously considered. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR TEENS TRYING TO HAVE THEIR WORK PUBLISHED? Write! I’ve never had anyone say to me: “I’ve written a novel, how do I get it published?” Most teens who ask for publishing advice haven’t actually finished anything yet and don’t realize how huge of a project writing a book is. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m just saying it’s a lot more glamorous to have written a book than to be in the process of writing one. Remember, Scrap took me five years. It’s tempting to fantasize about being a published author, but don’t put the cart before the horse. Start by outlining your plot from beginning to end and then work on fleshing it out. (There’s not actually a known method to the madness, but that’s one way to try and keep your work straight). Once you have a complete manuscript, start searching for a reputable publisher and send in an application.
YOU STUDIED INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AT LEHIGH. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THE FINANCE ROUTE? When I spent my undergrad years, I studied abroad I was in Italy, Guatemala and Kenya. I absolutely loved the experience and I wanted to continue that experience in the real world and banking is an extraordinary business that has a global footprint and you can, at a relatively young age, work around the globe. It’s also an amazing industry for women. Wall Street is an amazing place to really get the most bang for your buck.
S T E P H A N I E
R U H L E
We always say that this magazine is for the next generation of superstar women. Well, Stephanie Ruhle is definitely a superstar. With an international business degree in hand, she headed to Wall Street, where she made a name for herself on the male dominated trade floor. After years in finance, she took on television as the anchor of Bloomberg News’ “Market Makers.” For this edition of See Her Smarts, we sat down with Stephanie to learn what it takes to go from Wall Street to TV. Read on for some guaranteed inspiration. Interview by Emily Raleigh.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK ON WALL STREET? With the exception of professional sports, there’s not many places where you bring 110% every day and there are winners and losers. It is a bold, tough place, but if you are willing to really give it your all, it’s a great business that doesn’t have a lot of women. I always knew in the back of my head I was very interested in the media, but I was blessed to have a great career on Wall Street and have great sponsors who helped me. People always talk so much about sponsors and mentors. You don’t get them by accident. People aren’t going to choose you out of obscurity and say, “I’m gonna lift you up and help you have a great career.” You have to offer them a lot, too. Wall Street is a business where hard work and tenacity pays off in a big way and when people above you recognize that you have a skill set and that skill set can help them, they in turn help you. I like that. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A WOMAN ON WALL STREET? Wall Street is scary and there’s this idea “you’ve got to see it to be it,” so often times women aren’t drawn to businesses that don’t have women because they look around and they say to themselves subconsciously “well DECEMBER 2013
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there’s no one who looks like me and sounds like me here, so I guess I’m not cut out for that.” I say hell no to that. That makes absolutely no sense if more than 50 percent of the people graduating from college are women. If you look at SAT scores, if you look at law school graduation rates, it simply doesn’t make sense that women don’t end up champions in the most competitive industries so it’s our opportunity to change that. It’s difficult, but wouldn’t you rather be a pioneer than a follower? My husband and I were in the same financial industry for years and let’s say we had identical careers. I feel more proud about mine because as a woman, you have a chance to be a change maker. That’s a great opportunity and I think people have to get their head around the fact that every industry is competitive! Don’t shy away from something because you think it doesn’t fit you. HOW WAS IT BEING ON THE TRADE FLOOR? For me, the first time I ever saw a trading floor, I thought, ‘This is the perfect kind of environment for me.’ I don’t want to wake up in the morning and try to hit a single. I want to wake up every morning and go to work to try to hit the home run. Finance is the kind of place you can do that.
the great parts about finance is you get financial rewards and promotions based on what you put out there and if you can perform, it doesn’t matter your race or your age or your sex. You will win. It’s hard getting there, but if you’re willing to tough it out you’ll get there. I don’t think it plays favorites. The people who are the favorites are the people who have the skills. I’m very very lucky that I got to be in that business and I hope more women do, and especially from a financial independence perspective. I think once you realize that you’re always going to work for someone or some company, whether you work for yourself or whether you work for your husband, having financial independence is hugely liberating and gives you the opportunity to make, I think, better choices.
DO YOU SEE PEOPLE BEING REALLY HARD ON THEMSELVES IN THE MEDIA? Media is the worst! The thing that made me so sad was how subjective it is. People’s popularity or impact blows like the wind. I think that if I had started in the media from the get go, at a much younger age, I think I would have had a very hard time with it. You know, one minute people like you, WHAT HAS WORKING ON WALL STREET the next minute people don’t like you. I had the TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOURSELF AND benefit of having a career before this. ABOUT WOMEN IN BUSINESS? I like the idea of working really hard and seeing IS IT HARD GOING INTO THE MEDIA results. I think when you’re in very competitive INDUSTRY LATER IN YOUR CAREER? businesses, people tend to be very hard on I started very late. I didn’t get into television until themselves, women especially. We’re apologetic, I was 35 years old. There are women who start as we’re too apologetic; we don’t know how to ask for weather women in Tuscaloosa when they’re 22. more and I think something that I learned from I started 15 years later. But the upside of that is, I working in finance is it’s really important to work could lead with my content. Because I really know hard on yourself but not be hard on yourself. Let the industry and the content that I cover, I was me tell you, your male counterparts are not. We able to circumvent being a favorite, or being on the don’t want to give a presentation unless we’re 100% A-Team, or having the right time slot because right sure it’s right. We don’t want to ask for a job because now, it’s all about content. People can get their news we want someone to offer it to us and recognize our from everywhere. I needed to come to the media worth. and deliver content and deliver an understanding I tell my kids all the time ,“I’m sorry you didn’t get of the business and that is what helped me sort of picked for that team; you know life isn’t fair.” Well separate myself and not get caught so much in the grown ups need to realize that life isn’t fair. One of subjectivity of it all because the media is very, very 68 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
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difficult. People like who they like but what they like more than their personalities is they like the real news and real insight. If you can provide that, I think the other stuff falls away. DO YOU THINK IT WAS A NATURAL PROGRESSION GOING FROM BEING ON THE TRADE FLOOR TO BEING IN BLOOMBERG? It was something I was always interested in doing and I think one thing that’s unfortunate is people don’t follow their dreams when they have a day job. I had a day job and two kids at the time. In 2008, I was involved in pretty complicated stuff with credit derivatives and the media hates derivatives. I thought this would be a really great opportunity for me to start to be a real Wall Street insider, telling my story. It all really came to be because I was involved in a number of women’s leadership organizations. I was speaking at one, a group called The White House Project that I was very close to at the time, and the founder was talking about how women need to help one another to get those next big jobs. Remember, only 20 women represent Fortune 500 companies. It’s just not enough. The math doesn’t make sense. She said everyone in this room has a very senior position. We need to get someone else in this room to their next goal. And when it was my turn, I thought, the media. The media is the next platform for me. Bloomberg ended up being the perfect transition because I care about the content so much. I’d been working with this company as a Bloomberg user, as a Bloomberg client for 15 years and it’s been an extraordinary ride. To work with skeptical, smart, responsible people every day has been an absolute honor. WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE INTERVIEWING SUCH INCREDIBLE PEOPLE? Well, if you think about it, every single story has a business angle. So I just sat down with Martha Stewart and you think of Martha Stewart as a lifestyle person, a brand. Martha Stewart is an extraordinary businesswoman. Something that stuck out to me about the higher profile “nonbusiness” people. 70 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
When I interviewed Diane von Furstenberg and I interviewed Martha, I had the same takeaway from both women. Neither of their successes, to me, had anything to do with fashion or cooking or design. They had to do with the desire to succeed. Both of these women exhibited, to me, a true survivor and thought leader skill set. It was my belief that they were going to be at the top of their field whatever they did. To get to tell their stories--not just women, anyone--to get to tell their stories, that’s what’s inspirational. There isn’t a formula for success for anyone and I think women struggle with so much! Like “What do I want to be? Do I want to have a husband? Do I want to have kids? Do I want to be good at my job?” There isn’t a formula. But the more stories you can hear or you can learn about, whether it’s P. Diddy, whether it’s Martha Stewart, hearing people who’ve lived the American dream is amazing. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PERSON TO INTERVIEW SO FAR? OR DO YOU NOT HAVE ONE? I would say in general I loved to interview selfmade people who work for themselves. Because they are the boldest and the gutsiest. They can tell their real story. They don’t tell a story that needs to please shareholders or a board. They speak their mind, and that’s what you want to hear. It’s amazing to see the viewer response we get. It’s extraordinary for me to meet amazing, successful, influential people who are also committed to social change. That inspires me, amazes me, getting to sit down with Leon Ponetta, the head of the CIA, who told me how he felt the night the US got Osama bin Laden was amazing. IS IT HARD TO FIND TIME TO RELAX? It’s so cool for me to get to lead two lives. I spent the summer, for the first time in my whole career, really disconnected. I had my third child and I had the chance to take the summer off and live at the beach, which, when I had my last two kids, would not have been something that I would have considered because I was so wound up in work. Now, I’m more
tied up in work than ever, but some great mentors of mine told me to disconnect and that I needed to do this. The reason it makes sense and why companies should worry about sabbaticals for top workers or long-time employees is that it’s a true chance for people to recharge. One of two things could have happened. I could have spent my time off and while I was gone all the grass could have grown around me and everyone could have been a big success and not needed me to come back. I guess that would have hurt my feelings but maybe that would have been a telltale sign that I wasn’t the best person for the job. And I do have a huge pull to be home and with my family. So I could have come back and been like you know what? Maybe this isn’t for me. Instead, I felt super invigorated. I felt like my company couldn’t wait for me to get back. When I got back we tackled a ton of great things. But I think stop thinking about what societal norms are. Just there’s a huge value in disconnecting. More people two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs made an amazing really need to think about doing it. announcement that they want their junior bankers In New York, so many of us forget to disconnect. to work less. So many people said, “Is that real? So many men and women, spread ourselves so thin Could they be telling the truth?” It’s banking because we think we need to be the absolute best at culture to put in 120 hours a week. I think it’s an everything we do. I think it’s more important to be extraordinary step for a company to say, ‘You know what? I want to see you at your best. I don’t want the best version of yourself. you at your most.’ HOW DO YOU SUGGEST BEING YOUR BEST DO YOU THINK THAT WILL BECOME THE INSTEAD OF THE BEST? I think we need to work hard and stop being so NORM? hard on ourselves. We have these notions of what I do think there is a shift happening where the best banker looks like or what the best reporter corporations and individuals care about their well being. When you are happy and fulfilled, you’re looks like or what the best mother looks like. going to be the best at everything you do. I think the best mother looks like a person whose kids are doing really well. I don’t know what the People talk so much about work/life balance being definition of a great mother is, but I know what the a women’s issue. It’s not a women’s issue. Right? definition of great kids are because I have them. I Let’s say I had someone on my team who said to me, know that I get to come to work every day with an “I want to climb Kilimanjaro and I need to devote 8 amazing team that supports me and makes me push hours a week to doing that. I need to give this show, myself harder and I’m so lucky for that. I’m married this company, 8 hours less a week during the next to someone who is my real partner. 4 months while I’m training.” I’m thinking in 1999, To me, those are huge successes. Are they textbook that’s something that people wouldn’t buy into, but successes? I don’t know but I think we all need to I think an unintended consequence from the DECEMBER 2013
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financial crisis and from a cultural shift in America they were just these awesome glasses and he said is that we now applaud that. that these are my lucky glasses. He said that he got them somewhere, somebody gave them to him. He I want someone who’s that much of an outside the said, “One day, I put them on and I got an impossible box thinker on my team. I look up to them. I think dinner reservation.” that we should stop thinking about like can women do it? What’s the right thing? Are they there for So I put them one day and I started wearing them every single thing at their kid’s school? I don’t think and they caught on. My guests wear them, my kids there is a right model. wear them. At one point, I lost the glasses and they showed up on eBay! I don’t know if they were the real pair, and then two got mailed to me. At this point I have 15 or 20 pair that random people have mailed to me over the last few years. Somebody dressed up as me for Halloween and wore them. My kid’s kindergarten class all got them and wore them, and went crazy for them. They’re just a special little quirky little thing for me. I love them. Sometimes I start to think they’re real. They don’t help me see but they give me vision.
I think my mom’s the greatest woman ever and every single day of my life, I’m 37 and a half, she calls me on the phone and she tells me that I can do anything. My mom spent her life raising her children. She doesn’t say to me that I’m making the wrong choice. Can any of us say that we’re making the right choices? I don’t know if you can say it real time. I think you can do the best you can and be the best version of yourself. And when I look back on my career and my family, I think I’ve made really good choices. And the mistakes that I’ve made are just growing pains and we should all make them. WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THE SIGNATURE RED GLASSES? I love them! One day, the head of all digital content here at Bloomberg had them on his desk. I thought 72 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF THE SMART GIRL? A girl who believes in herself. I think we accidentally define success in the wrong way. We define it externally. We think that we’re going to be successful or happy if we have a good job or a boyfriend or a great apartment or a kid. All of those things are like an external checklist that we need to wipe out. Being smart is being happy and happiness is simply defined by waking up and feeling good about who you are and where you are. I think the key to being smart is believing in what you do and who you are. If you moved to New York City because you think the glamorous thing to do is to work at Vogue magazine but guess what…you’re not interested in fashion magazines? Don’t do it. There are so many young guys who go to work on Wall Street because they think it’s the thing to do and then they spend the next 8 years of their life faking it and wearing a mask. The Smart Girl is the person who’s true to themselves. THAT is what smart is. And if a person defines “smart” as being wealthy or married or a parent…go fish. None of those things are the definition of being smart or being happy. But you have to know who you are and you can’t let external influences define you.
college spotlight UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS by: Nadia Senter
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had yet to be nervous to go to college. Not during my senior year, or graduation, or even once over the summer. I knew in my heart The University of Texas was the best possible school in the country for me and though I’m not even a little bit psychic, I knew I was going to have the best possible experience. But, the day before move in, sitting on my family room floor and looking at my dogs, I lost it. I was terrified to move out of my house, be away from my family, and be forced to make all new friends again. That feeling I had is nothing new. I’m sure all of you who have already left for college know what I’m talking about, and those of you that haven’t yet will eventually. No matter how confident you are in your experience, we are built in with a fear of the unknown. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not ready, nor does it mean you made the wrong decision. I know this for a fact! I know this because everything ended out just about as perfectly as it could for me. I knew forever that I wanted to be a sorority, and it wasn’t about the parties or the free t-shirts (although, admittedly, getting a new wardrobe is a huge plus!), but about the opportunity to be a part of an organization that allowed me to gain leadership experience and put me in a group of friends right off the bat. Make no illusions, Rush Week, especially if you go to a big school, is unlike anything else in the world. The best way I heard it described was “the best week of my life I never want to do again.” It was stressful and overwhelming, but I did my best to go with the flow, and it ended up being pretty nice, talking to girls who had a lot in common with me! I also get to spend some time picking out cute outfits for each day, so that’s always a plus. I was fortunate enough to end up in my idea of the perfect sorority, and all my friends in other houses did too. I think the key to success is not going in with any predispositions as to what sorority you should end up in, because that left so many girls brokenhearted. If you keep an open
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mind, you WILL end up in the right one. I promise. The sororities know much better than we do where you belong! So much of the sorority stereotypes are not true. Not everyone drinks alcohol, nor is everyone blonde or stupid. I have been so blessed to say I ended up in the best possible place I could be, and the experience only gets better every day. The friends in my sorority are irreplaceable, and I can’t wait to see where we go over the next few years. Today, I can’t imagine my life at UTexas without my sorority. It has provided me with opportunities unlike any other organization on campus and I have met some pretty amazing people I never would have met otherwise. All the nervousness I felt over the summer was completely out of place, and I only have my sorority to thank. Even though I miss my family, it’s always a comfort to know I have another family keeping me safe here at school. I know sororities are a lot of money, but there are a lot of scholarships available to those who are struggling. And, like a wise person once told me, “If I paid for my sisters, I surely didn’t pay enough.” You really can’t put a price tag on the Greek Life experience. I promise, it’s worth your time to check it out. That being said, there’s so much more to Texas, and college in general than Greek life! I have found that I needed more than just my sorority to be happy in school. I was fortunate to be in the Business Honors Program (BHP) here at UT, and it provides me with another group of friends and family here (we call ourselves the “BHPhamily”!) If you have the opportunity to be involved in an honors program or a small major, I encourage you to take it. Being in an academic group connects you with people you have a lot in common with and makes a big school a lot smaller. I hang out with them just as much as my sorority sisters and it’s so nice to have another group of friends to turn to. We also have a bunch of classes together and have the best study sessions! It’s a lot more entertaining to study when you like the people you’re with.
Our sorority’s “Red Dress Gala”.
So much of the sorority stereotypes are not true. Not everyone drinks alcohol, nor is everyone blonde or stupid. I have been so blessed to say I ended up in the best possible place I could be, and the experience only gets better every day. The friends in my sorority are irreplaceable, and I can’t wait to see where we go over the next few years.
Besides my honors program and my sorority, I try to find time to do other things I enjoy! I’m a member of Grammy U, a music business club, and Club For Environmental Outreach at UT. It’s great to find a couple things you really care about and find an organization that matches that passion. The best part of college is being exposed to more opportunities than you can imagine. Texas has over 1000 student organizations! Past the studying and organizations, I try to find some time for fun! It’s a blast going to a huge football school, even though I never saw myself as a football person. We spend the whole afternoon tailgating and then the evenings cheering in our 100,000- seat stadium. I love hanging out with friends and watching our Longhorns take down the competition! My friends and I also take time to get to know the surrounding area. Since UT is downtown Austin, there are lots of opportunities to try new restaurants and shopping areas. Lake Austin and Town Lake are nearby, so we’ve even had some time to go out wakeboarding and swimming! When choosing your college, it’s always good to consider whether the location and environment are somewhere you fit in. All in all, it wasn’t one thing that made me feel at home here in college. It was more of a composition of all the things I love: great friends, classes, organizations, and the environment. After being in college for a semester now, I can say with true
My pledge class for a ‘Risky Business’ themed event.
confidence that I did make the right decision! I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. As for the advice I can pass on, UT is a great school, but I know it’s not for everyone. There’s a perfect college out there for you somewhere, and you WILL find it. I know I make it sound like you’ll be overwhelmingly busy, but it’s all worth it! I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Written By: Jenmika Alspaugh Photography By: Abby Dawns, Alex Keessler and Karmen Barlow
When I ask my friends from back home in the States what their first thoughts are when they think of Thailand, I always get responses such as “buffaloes, mad party scene, Bangkok, and lady boys.” Occasionally, I’ll even get asked, “Thailand? Is that in China?” DECEMBER 2013
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First off – no, Thailand is most definitely not in China. It’s one of the eleven independent countries located in Southeast Asia. Yes, Thailand may have buffaloes and Bangkok is notorious for its glamorous nightlife scene and lady boys, but there’s so much more to Thailand than just these things. Thailand’s one of the best vacation hotspots in Southeast Asia. The beaches and islands in the south are to die for! The best beaches are down near Phuket or Krabi – way to the south of Thailand. Just imagine lying out in warm, pearly white sand with a front row seat to the most breathtaking view of miles upon miles of turquoise seawater. However, good beaches aren’t just restricted to the far south; there are many just outside of Bangkok city. Pattaya City is a few miles out from Bangkok and it’s a popular beach resort to tourists and natives. My family and I vacationed there in 2011, and though it’s no Phuket, it was still incredible. We spent about four days swimming, sun bathing, banana boating (you cling onto a tube and get pulled around in the water by a speed boat – major adrenaline rush) and eating to our hearts’ content!
full of surprises and things to do. Now, being as westernized as I am, there are things about the Thai culture that I haven’t – and might never – be able to adapt to. Being raised in America, I’ve become so accustomed to wearing shorts and tank tops – normal western clothing –I was rather taken aback when I learned just how conservative Thais are when it comes to the way they dress. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s looked down upon, but if you’re Thai and you happen to be a girl, you’ll definitely strike up some chatter and looks of disapproval if you’re seen outside with anything that shows the slightest bit of cleavage or pants that don’t reach your knees. However, Thais living in large cities such as Bangkok or Chiang Mai (the ultra modern cities of Thailand) are more lenient towards the Western fashion than those who live in the rural provinces.
My personal favorite city is Chiang Mai. It’s the northern, smaller version of Bangkok, where I’ve called home for the last three years. Chiang Mai is full of tourists and expats families, and there are a variety of activities and places to explore. Chiang Mai is known for its elephant riding camps – huge I love Thailand. For the past three years it’s been my camps where you’re able to see elephants showing home. It’s been an adventure and the place really off their painting skills, and afterwards you can pay knows how to keep you on your feet – it’s always about ten dollars to ride one out into the jungle. It’s 78 smart girl’s guide | DECEMBER 2013
an incredibly cool experience, but not my favorite thing to do considering I’m terrified of heights. I tend to lean toward exploring the Old City, located in downtown CM and otherwise known as Pra Thoo Tapae – and spending my time checking out the Walking Market that’s held there every Sunday evening. This place is filled with vendors selling clothes, souvenirs, and most importantly, food.
succumb to my American needs about once or twice a week.
As I’ve mentioned, I love Thailand. The diversity of people here is astounding. Especially in Chiang Mai, I’ve made friends with people from all over Thailand, Australia, the UK and even people from countries that I’ve yet to experience. Not only has this country given me a better understanding of Thailand is big on food. When it comes to lo- a world outside America, it continues to teach me cal food, they’ve got everything from Kao Mun every day to be patient and open-minded towards Gai (boiled chicken on rice) to fried crickets. Yes, other cultures and people of the world. fried crickets. Don’t judge them until you’ve tried them! I love the fact that food is so easily accessible in Thailand, and it’s so cheap! Bowls of Guey Tiew (Thai noodle soup with pork, meatballs, and veggies) are about seventy-five cents! However, reasonable prices usually only apply to local food. Western food joints usually charge fifteen to thirty dollars for a meal, so I’m only allowed to
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Hi. I’m Clara, I’m 21, and I’m supposed to write you a motivational letter. The problem is, I have literally no idea how to do that, so instead I’m going to tell you why you don’t need a motivational letter from me.
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First of all, I don’t even know you. I have no idea what you should be doing with your life. Obviously the answer is “follow your dreams,” and I totally endorse that message, but here’s what people don’t talk about: it’s really hard to know what your dreams even are. Which brings me to my second point: I’m not exactly the best role model. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. This time last year, I thought I wanted to go to law school. I was procrastinating studying for the LSAT when I started the Twitter account, @FeministTSwift, which has more or less changed my entire life. A year before that, I thought I wanted to get a PhD in Linguistics. Or maybe go to Journalism school. Or sell hand-painted picture frames on Etsy. Honestly, my greatest “career success” so far has pretty much fallen into my lap. It didn’t occur to me that I was doing anything that would go in my obituary. I was just walking home from work, listening to “You Belong With Me,” and I had the crazy idea that a feminist remix might be funny. But I digress. The third reason you definitely don’t need any motivational letters from me is this: You’re probably already motivated, if you’re doing the right things. The one lesson I’m sure I’ve pulled out of all this is that life can and should be really fun. If you’re going to make a difference, you’re going to make a difference by doing the thing you are best at, and if the world makes any sense whatsoever, the thing you’re best at is something you love. And you probably don’t know what that is yet. But it exists, I bet. You just need to discover it. So I guess my real advice is to pick up as many weird and lame hobbies as possible until one of them inspires you to greatness. That’s the kind of motivational rhetoric you see painted onto little rocks, right? “Believe!” “You can do it!” “Maybe try learning to crochet and/or code in jQuery!” It might not be textbook advice, but it’s all I’ve got. And you don’t need motivating anyway.
follow @feministtswift on Twitter!
Clara (of That Girl Magazine and @feministtswift) DECEMBER 2013
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Goals of the Month
We believe that if you are going to take time to do something, you deserve tangible proof that you got something out of it. That is why we created the Goals of the Month page. This page is where we tie in pieces of the magazine to create a fun fill-in that will empower you to Live the Smart Life. We leave it up to you to determine exactly what the Smart Life means to you by having the goals be fully customizable. Smart Girls are all different, so our goals are, too. I am smart. This month, I will share my smarts with ____________ by __________________. This issue is all about celebrating the present. I will live in the moment this month by __________________. Shelby Knox defined feminism in this issue. This month, I will figure out my personal definition of feminism by __________________ and will determine if I feel I am a feminist. Healthy living is essential to Living the Smart Life. As a Smart Girl, I will ________________________ to stay healthy this month. Our covergirl, Sanah, leads an amazing natural beauty movement. This month, I will appreciate __________________ about myself and I will show that appreciation by __________________. I am part of the Smart Girl Sisterhood. This month, I will show sisterly love by _______________________. The Smart Girls Group is all about inspiration. This month, I will be inspired by _______________________ and inspire by _______________________. Smart Girls are ambitious girls. They look toward the future and start working towards their goals now. I aspire to _______________________, so this month, I will _______________________ to work towards that.
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The Smart Girls Group is rising! With each issue, we go where no Smart Girl’s Guide has ever gone before. We Smart Girl Sisters know that we have a lot of people to thank for making this issue, and all of our issues, a reality, but here are a few that deserve an extra special thank you for their help on our December issue. SANAH JIVANI, for continuing to inspire us Smart Girls and for being our covergirl for our December issue. We are thrilled to end 2013 with a covergirl as remarkable as you. STEPHANIE RUHLE, for taking time out of your crazy busy schedule to provide us with so much invaluable advice and inspiration. You are the exact kind of Smart Woman we aspire to be. SHELBY KNOX, for fighting for the rights of women everywhere and for being the voice of our generation in feminism. We are honored to have someone as amazing as you in this issue. EMORY SHARPLIN, for such an enlightening interview. We cannot wait to see all of the amazing things you have in store for the book series! CLARA BEYER, for providing such a wonderful “non-motivational” letter. To say you are awesome would be an understatement. Thank you for inspiring us. JENMIKA ALSPAUGH, for giving us a tour of your beautiful country. We are so happy we have Smart Girl Sisters all over the world! JULIE TORTORA & MADELINE ST. AMOUR, for giving us the 411 on Ed2010. We have no doubt we will be seeing your bilines in big magazines soon! And of course, we thank all of our SMART GIRL SISTERS, whose tireless efforts have made this magazine and relaunch possible. Thank you for believing in this mission and the power of smarts. Finally, thank you to all of our SMART STORY SPREADERS AND SUPPORTERS. You are uniting the next generation of superstar women and we could not be more fortunate to have people like you cheering us on.
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“Passion is truly a beautiful force when it can serve as inspiration.” Maureen Towey
Happy Holidays! Stay Smart, Smart Girls Group
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