Kamala Harris Is the Politician America Needs Right Now

If you want to ask Senator Kamala Harris whether she’s planning to run for president, keep in mind her favorite Cardi B track: “Be Careful.”

The California Democrat will answer with polite exasperation because to discuss the race with her now, she believes, implies that political ambition motivates her work in the Senate. Instead it’s a deep sense of justice that drives her. “I’m just trying to get at the truth,” says Harris, 54. “I don’t believe my time is to sit here and spew poetry. It’s not for some kind of performance art. It’s not about grand gestures.”

Still, the narrative of her rise is the stuff great political careers are built on. Elected in November 2016, Harris is the lone African American woman in the Senate and its first ever Indian American. She was appointed by Democratic leadership to a seat on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and has pushed legislation centered around national security, civil rights, and bail reform (an issue on which she has found common ground with Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky).

PHOTO: Zoe Ghertner/Art Partner/Courtesy of Vogue

Outside Washington she’s gained fans and critics for her well-documented blunt talk. She’s been on the front lines of every major issue in 2018, and the viral clips add up: Harris grilling Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen about the Trump administration’s controversial child-separation policy; staring down Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his contacts with Russian nationals; pressing then Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh to name laws that govern the bodies of men (as abortion laws govern the bodies of women). After that exchange left Kavanaugh flustered, Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, tallied the scorecard: “Goddamn, Kamala Harris brings it.”

Harris credits her childhood as a daughter of immigrants for her confidence—even swagger. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a student from India, and her father, Donald Harris, an economics student from Jamaica, met as activists in the civil rights movement. As children, Kamala and her sister, Maya, followed them to marches. “It was the sixties and seventies, a charged time where everyone in my life was very actively involved,” Harris says. “One of the soundtracks of my childhood is ‘Young, Gifted and Black.’ It was about being told you can do anything you want to do.”

“My mother always told me, ‘You may be the first to do many things,’” she says. “‘Make sure you’re not the last.’”

But Harris absorbed another message too: You’re accountable. After her parents divorced when she was seven, her mother emphasized it. Harris remembers coming home and complaining about some mishap at school. “Other kids’ parents would give them a big hug, ‘Oh, what happened, I’ll handle that,’” she recalls. “My mother would look at me: ‘Well, what did you do?’ ” Harris learned to make her peace with it: “I was like, ‘You never took my side.’ I realized she was teaching us that you’ve got to identify your position of power in a dynamic and not let things just happen to you.” At Howard University, Harris joined the debate team and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the country’s first African American sorority. Jill B. Louis, who pledged in spring 1986 with Harris, remembers a calm about her even then. “She was always a model of stability and composure,” Louis says. “Night or day, she was never rattled.”

Harris went on to law school at University of California Hastings College of the Law and became a prosecutor, determined to enact criminal justice reform from within. “There is certainly a very important role to be played being on the outside,” she says. “But there is also a role to be played being on the inside at the table where the decisions are being made.” After, she served as district attorney of San Francisco and then was elected attorney general of California. There she worked in the trenches with now Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D–Nev.). “When you’re the top law enforcement officer of the state, you are going to be surrounded mainly by men,” says Cortez Masto, who was attorney general of Nevada at the time. “Some, but not all men, are going to be dismissive. You don’t let that slow you down. The Kamala Harris that I know is not going to be forestalled by anybody trying to get in the way of her doing her job.”

Sitting on a couch in her Senate office, across from a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Harris connects her time as a prosecutor to her responsibilities now. It’s the last week of September, and a vote on Kavanaugh looms. She knew the nation was overdue for a public conversation about sexual assault, she says. When she’d overseen jury selection for such cases as an attorney, men and women would often ask to be excused. Behind closed doors, they’d say, stricken, “I don’t want to share this in the open courtroom because I’ve never told anybody, but I cannot sit on this jury because that happened to me.” Not long ago, after a black-tie event, an acquaintance’s wife sent her a note. “When she was 14, she was raped by an 18-year-old student,” Harris says. The woman had kept it a secret for years, but now she implored: “Please fight for women everywhere whose stories may not have been told.

“Leaders need to do is speak truth, even if it’s an uncomfortable truth. I think it is really important that we are fighting for the best of who we are as a country, and I do believe we are better than this.”

Such stories are her motivation now, despite attacks from all sides. Both conservatives and even some progressives have taken up the hashtag #neverkamala to voice their concern that she’s either too liberal or not progressive enough. The White House Twitter account took aim at her in July, tweeting “@SenKamalaHarris, why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does,” after Harris called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be rebuilt “starting from scratch.” (Harris tweeted back: “As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations. That’s being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers.”)

In the meantime, Harris has raised over $5 million to help elect Democrats in the midterms, proof she’s a bankable leader. Her second book, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, is set for release in January 2019, well-timed for the unofficial kickoff for the 2020 race. About President Trump, she pulls no punches: He “has decided to, I think, spew hate and division,” she says. She’d like to take a different path. “One of the things that all leaders need to do is speak truth, even if it’s an uncomfortable truth. I think it is really important that we are fighting for the best of who we are as a country, and I do believe we are better than this.”

Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC.

The Quiet Power of Viola Davis

In a cramped trailer on the set of the hit ABC show How to Get Away With Murder, I get to watch Viola Davis go into makeup. “I come in here busted up,” she says playfully, still holding what appears to be an already hour-old paper cup of coffee. “I just sit here, and they transform me.” She is smiling, perched in a vinyl makeup chair, her head loosely wrapped in a brown silk bonnet.

In the three-decades-long journey to this moment, Davis, 53, has played so many parts she says she can’t remember them all. If there is a woman with a struggle, Viola Davis has been asked—and has found a way—to inhabit her. Wives and maids. Doctors and artists. Grieving mothers and desperate drug addicts. In the female-led thriller Widows, out now, she’s the wife of a fallen heist man. Her performance, which is already garnering Oscar buzz, manages to cut prototypical crime-boss badassery with a roiling undercurrent of personal grief.

PHOTO: Paola Kudacki in West Hollywood. Stylist: Elizabeth Stewart; hair: Jamika Wilson at Epiphany Agency; makeup: Autumn Moultrie at The Wall Group; manicure: Christina Aviles Audé at Star Touch Agency; production: JN Production. Solace London dress. Ariana Boussard-Reifel earrings.

Solace London dress, $560, solacelondon.com. Ariana Boussard-Reifel earrings, $300, arianaboussardreifel.com.

It is hard to say when Davis became an unofficial champion for overlooked women, but it’s a feeling she’s long understood. After graduating from Rhode Island College in 1988 with a degree in theater, she worked on stages from New York City to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a year before being accepted to Juilliard. (A monologue from The Color Purple served as her audition.) At the prestigious acting institution, Davis found herself struggling. She wasn’t prepared for the code-switching whiplash many black actresses experience going from playing barely literate slaves to Shakespearean queens. She also found that trying to speak in the stringent standards of prestige white theater didn’t connect with who she was internally. “I was angry a lot,” she says of those early days at Juilliard. “Nobody asked me to do [classical roles] as a black actress.” She ultimately found her voice through painful trial and error, “by really sucking at a lot of things,” she says, “giving a lot of bad performances.”

After college she spent several seasons honing her craft as a member of Trinity Repertory Company, in Providence, Rhode Island, taking whatever parts she could get. Her film debut wouldn’t come for another eight years, when she played an unnamed nurse alongside Timothy Hutton in 1996’s The Substance of Fire. I ask what kept her going during those long, lean years. “I was working,” she says. “I’ve heard less than one percent of our profession makes more than $50,000 a year. If you’re that actor who’s actually making a living—that’s what sustained me. Even if the work was bad, I was working.”

It would take another decade—and a devastatingly powerful turn opposite Meryl Streep in the 2008 film Doubt—for Davis to grab people’s attention once and for all. She had only one scene but blew a hole in the celluloid with her stunning portrayal of a mother tasked with an impossible decision: Keep her son at a Catholic school, despite possible evidence of molestation, or let him take his chances at a public school where he was bullied. “At first I didn’t understand her,” Davis says of her character’s decision to turn a blind eye to the abuse. An old acting teacher from Rhode Island College, she says, gave her the key. “ ‘I understand the choice,’ ” Davis recalls her teacher saying,“ ‘because she has no choice.’ That was the aha moment.”

“Winning,” Davis says of a childhood summer skit contest, “was our way of being valued and being seen.”

Carolina Herrera dress. Lizzie Fortunato earrings, $195.

Perhaps much of Davis’ life and career can be understood like this: really getting what it means to have no choice. She was part of the first black family in the working-class hamlet of Central Falls, Rhode Island. And they were poor. Not just normal poor, but something quite beyond. “Try telling your teacher that you can barely sit in your seat because your feet are two steps from being frostbitten,” she says. “No one can grasp that. Even people who have very little, at least they have very little. Try having close to nothing. You’re invisible.” This experience of being invisible, she believes, is what planted the seeds for not only her career as an actor but her work as a producer (JuVee Productions, the company she launched with her husband, Julius Tennon, focuses on projects dealing with race and justice) and a philanthropist. Davis is an ambassador for Hunger Is, a charitable program aimed at ending childhood hunger. Her upbringing, she says, “was ripe ground for me to have empathy for human beings.”

Along the way, there was some encouragement to help those seeds grow. At eight years old, she and her sisters performed a game show spoof at a summer skit contest in town. For costumes and props, the girls raided their parents’ closet and spent $2.50 at the Salvation Army. Davis recalls being the head writer, making last-minute changes to punch lines that still weren’t landing. The whole town was there, she tells me; kids who were her friends sat alongside the kids who called her and her family the N-word. The sketch was a smash, and Team Davis took home the top prize: a softball set and a mention in the local paper. From that moment on, she was hooked. “Winning,” she says, “was our way of being valued and being seen.”

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Brandon Maxwell top. Alexander McQueen pants. BaubleBar earrings, $36. For her tight curls, try L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Curve It Curl Taming Cream ($5, lorealparisusa.com).

At this part of our conversation, Davis dutifully unwraps the bonnet she’s wearing but not before making a handful of jokes about what it means to do this in front of a stranger. “It’s about to get serious,” she says, laughing. The character she’ll play in just a few minutes—the pugnacious and at times finespun law professor and defense attorney Annalise Keating—is infinitely put together. But Davis took the role on the condition that the character appear without a wig in some of her scenes at home. “I wanted to see a real woman on TV,” she explained during a panel discussion in the run-up to the 2015 Emmys. “I wanted to see who we are before we walk out the door in the morning and put on the mask of acceptability, ‘Please see me as pretty. Please love me.’ ”

At 53, with a Screen Actors Guild Award for The Help, an Emmy for Murder, two Tonys for King Hedley II and Fences, and an Oscar for reprising her role in the latter onscreen opposite Denzel Washington, Davis is far beyond the point of begging for love. The voices of everyone I spoke to, from costars to crew members, swelled with joy when I asked them to describe Davis. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this woman,” says her Murder costar Aja Naomi King. “Because, first of all, to be a black actress, and to have watched the evolution of her career, it’s altered the way I have looked at this entire industry. Every time she wins, it feels like success for all of us. Because here’s the face of this beautiful, tall, striking, dark-skinned, natural hair- wearing black woman who is basically saying, ‘I dare you to tell me no.’” For Widows director Steve McQueen, Davis’ power lies in the depth of her vulnerability. “She’s shameless,” he says. “That’s why she resonates with so many people…. You recognize yourself. It’s like looking at yourself in a mirror.” And when I explain to her Widows costar Elizabeth Debicki that Davis is one of Glamour’s Women of the Year, the actress corrects me. “The woman of the year,” she says. “Singular. Only one.”

“I was angry a lot,” Davis says of her time at Juilliard. “Nobody asked me to do [classical roles] as a black actress.”

Givenchy blouse. For her nude lip, try L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Les Chocolats Scented Liquid Lipstick in Bittersweet ($10, lorealparisusa.com).

Back in the trailer, Davis is revisiting her favorite roles. She loved James Brown’s Johnny-come-lately mother in the critically maligned biopic Get On Up (“I could recognize her as someone in my life,” Davis says). She loved Rose, in Fences—“she is woman personified.” But the one that makes her most wistful? The Earl of Kent, whom she played in a barely viewed staging of King Lear at the Public Theater in New York. “I wish more people could have seen me really transform into a man,” she says.

I want to take a picture with Davis, but I’m afraid to ask. So instead I tell her how much she means to me. How she is living a version of artistic humanity most of the black actors I studied with at Tisch School of the Arts never imagined would be allowed on a screen. She nods slowly—it’s hard for her to take compliments, but she’s working on it. “Because life is short and tomorrow is not promised,” she says. “And at some point you have to enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

Carvell Wallace is a writer in Oakland, California. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

Hair: Jamika Wilson at Epiphany Agency; makeup: Autumn Moultrie at The Wall Group; manicure: Christina Aviles Audé at Star Touch Agency; production: JN Production.

*This Is Us* Season 3 Episode 6 Recap: What’s in Store for Pregnant Kate?

The newest episode of This Is Us didn’t end with any cliffhangers, but after last week’s episode we’re not sure we could’ve handled any more. From learning that Jack received his signature necklace from a woman in Vietnam to Beth losing her job and Kate’s pregnancy rollercoaster, we needed a bit of a break.

But that doesn’t mean there’s any less to worry about for the Pearson clan. Kevin and Zoe are off to Vietnam to uncover answers the entire family may not be ready for, an emotionally-exhausted Beth is about to embark on a new political venture with Randall, and Kate is grappling with the excitement and concern of her maybe-baby and Toby.

With a third of the season already behind us, executive producer and co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker called us after a nine-day shoot in Vietnam and gave the scoop on what happening next. Get ready.

Glamour: Let’s talk about the necklace that Jack gave Kevin as a teenager. Kevin knows that it was given to Jack by this woman in Vietnam, but that’s if the necklace even belonged to the woman in the first place, right?

Isaac Aptaker: Totally. Yeah, he’s making a little bit of a leap there.

Glamour: One of my theories is that Nicky was actually involved with this woman, and Nicky gave the necklace to her, but when Nicky dies, she gives it to Jack.

IA: Hmmm, very interesting. Yeah, I mean, anything is possible. So far all we know is what Kevin knows, which is that this necklace was very important to his father, and eventually bequeathed to him is on this woman’s neck, and it’s very mysterious and opens up quite a lot of questions. So Kevin is determined more than ever to get some answers.

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PHOTO: NBC/Ron Batzdorff

Glamour: When are we going to see this woman next?

IA: We’re sort of…at the end of the episode, as you see, we’re sort of fully launched into this story, so we’re going to pick right back up with Zoe and Kevin going to Vietnam in our next episode.

Glamour: Back in March, I floated the idea by you and Dan Fogelman that there could be a half Pearson sibling somewhere in Vietnam…

IA: Yeah, and I’m reading a bunch of that now out there. [Laughs] The Big Three-Point-Five, some website coined it. I thought that was cute. So yeah, that’s certainly going to be on Kevin’s mind, too, as he’s like, ‘Whoa, was my dad romantically involved with this necklace woman, and do I potentially have a half-Vietnamese Pearson [sibling] somewhere out there?’

Glamour: And see, back in March, Justin [Hartley] made me think I was crazy for raising the possibility of another sibling, and now it’s a possibility!

IA: [Laughs] It’s totally possible!

Glamour: You just returned from filming episodes in Vietnam. When will those episodes air?

IA: Man, they are so cool. Our first one is going to be the next one, episode seven, so we’re rushing to get those scenes done. We work weekends around here to get things done! [Laughs] That’s the first chapter of Zoe and Kevin in Vietnam, which we shot all around location in Vietnam. We shot scenes from a few episodes there, so [that] takes us up through the middle point of our season.

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PHOTO: NBC/Ron Batzdorff

Glamour: At what point will Rebecca find out about all of this, and how will Kevin digging into Jack’s past affect her?

IA: She’s totally in the loop and he’s not secretly going to Vietnam. Everybody knows. I don’t think he’s like, ‘Hey mom, I think dad may have had a girlfriend over there,’ but she knows he’s off to get some answers. And certainly I think just like our Big Three, she has a lot of unanswered questions about her husband, but she’s also in a lot of ways I think come to peace with that. And having Kevin dig [into Jack’s past] and take these skeletons out of the closet is going to cause some upset as they have to re-examine the father and husband they thought they knew.

Glamour: Let’s move on to Kate and Toby’s baby, or maybe-baby as they call it. Tell me what was behind the decision to have this pregnancy take, considering the doctor cautioned her that she only had a 10% chance of IVF working.

IA: Yes, and so far [the pregnancy] works., but it’s still a long road ahead. We felt like we only have so many characters on our show and we’re trying to show a wide variety of experiences. We felt like even though it wasn’t IVF last year with Kate and Toby, we told the story of the heartbreak of losing a pregnancy, and the [10%] thing felt like it was enough of a chance that it wasn’t so crazy that we’d love to show when IVF does work and a pregnancy hopefully does make it.

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PHOTO: NBC/Ron Batzdorff

Glamour: How many weeks along is Kate?

IA: Our writers assistant diligently keeps track of how many weeks along she is. I can’t tell you off the top of my head, but we have a chart in our timeline in our writers room to keep track of all of this. But it’s a fraught road: It’s a medically-complicated pregnancy because of a variety of factors, and it’s a high-risk pregnancy. She’s not at all out of the woods, and it’s wonderful the IVF did work and she’s pregnant, but there is a long, long road ahead and it is going to be a complicated one for Kate and Toby.

Glamour: Speaking of Toby, you really took your time in tonight’s episode to showcase what it’s like to battle depression…

IA: Depression is so common, and we’ve all either struggled with it or know someone in our lives who has, so it was so important to us to be honest and get this right, and it’s not a story where in one episode someone is depressed and in another episode they pop a pill and everything’s back to normal. It’s a process, and we wanted to depict that process. It’s a real challenge for Toby to get on the right dose and get back on his antidepressants and just sort of get back to the status quo of that guy that we know and love. And for Kate, this episode is so much about her struggle of how she can be the best partner to Toby as he goes through this. Does he need someone to push him? Does he need someone to say take all the time you need? This is all unchartered territory for Kate, too, and she’s trying to figure out the best way to support her husband.

This is Us - Season 3

PHOTO: NBC

Glamour: Let’s turn to Beth. Is stress purely the cause of what she’s going through right now having lost her job, or is there something else health-wise going on? That’s not to say stress can’t cause health issues, because it definitely can, but obviously fans are still worried Beth is the woman in question that Randall and Tess are going to see in the future.

IA: We never intended for this to feel like a story about Beth’s health and Beth being in jeopardy. [Instead] it’s what happens when this alpha professional shark of a woman, who’s worked at one company and really grown it for her entire career, has the rug ripped out from under her and is all of the sudden unemployed and what that does to your whole sense of self when so much of it is wrapped up in your professional identity. So we see this ripple effect that’s going through her whole personality and she snaps at her kids, which is so, so uncharacteristic of Beth.

Glamour: I’m worried about Beth and Randall’s income, since Randall obviously isn’t making money campaigning for public office, Beth lost her job, and now they have another kid in the house to take care of.

IA: [Laughs] Totally. It’s a fair question. Randall did very, very well at his previous job, and he’s only been out of that for a little over a year, so I think he built up quite a nest egg for them. Beth’s only been unemployed for a matter of weeks, and when you’re let go like that, you do get a severance, and then they also have William’s building, so they are also getting rental income from that property. You don’t have to worry about them yet, but it is something we’ve talked about as Randall embarks on this campaign. What is the financial strain that he’s putting on the family when no one has a 9 to 5 at the moment?

Glamour: Finally, let’s talk about Jack and Rebecca. Dan Fogelman originally teased this super romantic, Ghost-like scene this season that ended up being Jack doing the dishes and Rebecca helping him, but I thought tonight’s scene with the boxing gloves was way more romantic! Are we going to see more of that this season, especially in their courting period?

IA: Oh, totally! That’s our favorite stuff. The show can get so sad because we do take on so much, but we always want to find those moments of levity. And I agree—that one really snuck up on us. In the writing it just felt like a cute little scene, and then in editing when you see Mandy and Milo give it their all, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is really romantic!’ They are so good at playing that and we love giving them that type of stuff. Especially, like you said, when they’re in their twenties and falling in love. We’re diving back into that time period actually in a big way in the next new episode. They have a very romantic one coming up!

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PHOTO: NBC/Ron Batzdorff

Glamour: Yes, milk that sexiness for all its worth! [Laughs] And finally, as we approach the halfway point in this season, what can you say about what’s to come?

IA: The next episode [airing on November 13] is one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done, and I haven’t even seen the final cut yet cause we’re still editing in the Vietnam pieces. But it’s a really special episode. We’re going to dive back into Jack and Rebecca sort of right where we left them, which is deciding to go to Los Angeles, so it’s a road trip episode where Jack and Rebecca are heading to LA. We are picking up on Jack in Vietnam [also] on a road trip of sorts, and then Kevin and Zoe are not on a road trip, but they are on a much bigger trip as they begin their adventure and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. So there’s a ton of scope to it. We’re in L.A., and we’re in Vietnam in two different time periods, and you don’t see that a lot in one hour of television.

Meghan Markle’s Best Hairstyles Since the Royal Wedding

Since the moment Meghan Markle announced her engagement to Prince Harry, it’s been clear she’d be a breath of fresh air for the British monarchy—bringing with her both feminist ideals and an equally approachable sense of style. (Tights in public? Nope. Fast-fashion tops? Yep.) That sensibility, of course, extends to her hairstyles, too—which is exactly why headlines explode whenever the Duchess of Sussex does something different with her part.

Where hairnets and pristine updos are usually the choice du jour for royals, Markle’s famous penchant for messy buns and low ponytails feel refreshingly unfussy. In fact, they’re even considered a breach of royal protocol. And as we all now know, they often carry more meaning than what meets the eye. (Like, uh, an impending pregnancy announcement.) The past two weeks especially have been a real treat, thanks to the Duke and Duchess’s whirlwind tour of Australia. So, because now’s as good a time as any, let’s meticulously examine the messiest-but-somehow-still-put-together looks she’s worn since becoming a royal. Shall we?

Jenna Dewan Is Reportedly Dating Broadway Actor Steve Kazee

A few weeks ago, news broke that Jenna Dewan was casually dating someone, and now we reportedly know who that someone is: Broadway actor Steve Kazee. A source tells People magazine that Dewan and Kazee have been “dating for a couple [of] months” and that she’s “really happy.”

Kazee is perhaps best known for his role on the hit Broadway musical Once, for which he won a Tony Award in 2012. He’s also appeared on TV shows like Nashville and Shameless, and sang “A Thousand Years” for the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 soundtrack. Dewan is a dancer herself, so it’s very possible a reason these two connected was their mutual love for music.

A friend of Dewan’s posted a photo of both her, Kazee, and a group of their friends hanging out at a Los Angeles Haunted Hayride exhibition. In the pic, it appears Kazee has his arm wrapped around Dewan’s waist:

This news is coming on the heels of Dewan officially filing for divorce from Channing Tatum, who’s reportedly dating pop singer Jessie J. That (maybe) union set the Internet ablaze just a few weeks ago.

“We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple,” Dewan and Tatum said in a joint statement several months ago announcing their split. “We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now. There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.”

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How The Wing Became a Secret Weapon For Midterm Candidates

Four hundred women are packed into New York’s SoHo branch of The Wing—the women’s community and co-working space launched by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan in 2016—and they’re hanging on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s every word. Bowls of popcorn balance on their laps, iPhones raised to snap photos of the Democratic socialist darling in one of New York City’s most instagrammable environments. Though members are used to high-profile women coming in to speak, Ocasio-Cortez’s visit couldn’t have come at a more crucial time: Weeks before one of the most contentious midterm election cycles in history comes to an end, and days after Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in after denying sexual assault allegations brought forth by California professor Christine Blasey Ford.

The audience is fired up and The Wing’s core ethos—a safe space for women—feels particularly palpable.

It’s easy for the casual observer to write off the women-focused coworking and social club as a place where all-access members pay up to $250 a month (or upwards of $2,700 a year) to bask in flawlessly designed loft-like spaces that includes retro phone booths cheekily named after scrappy female fictional characters; a place where Glossier and Chanel products line the bathroom; a place to snack on ancient grain bowls and pressed juices from equally Instagrammable local cafes.

But in the span of two years, The Wing has quietly leveraged its brand of glamorous feminism to become an increasingly influential hub for 6,000 millennial women…and politicians trying to reach them.

“The Wing isn’t just a functional space, it’s a real symbol of what’s happening in our country,” Ocasio-Cortez told Glamour before her event earlier this month. The company represents “one of the most potent forces that we’ve seen emerge in politics this year,” she said, adding that she’s appeared before its members twice.

At all five locations—three in New York, one in D.C., and one in California—members can register to vote, get tips on calling elected officials to protest family separation, and interface with female candidates and politicians who drop by. The same way celebrities and professionals like Christiane Amanpour, Fran Drescher, Katie Couric, Tina Fey, and Aly Raisman drop by, so do powerful women in government including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, Sen.Tammy Duckworth, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The Wing

PHOTO: SARA WIGHT/The Wing

Wing women, photographed here in midterm election merchandise, encourage members to register to vote.

From its inception, The Wing has been primed for this level of connection—Gelman is a former press representative who worked on the 2013 campaign of the New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, while the company’s senior director of civic engagement, Giovanna Lockhart Gray, and its senior director of communications, Zara Rahim, both have political campaign work under their belts. Gray says the goal is to make politics more accessible to members while simultaneously impressing the importance of women’s participation. “We’re meeting people where they are—literally,” she said.

Though the language they use might not include “suffrage” and there’s now avocado toast on the menu, The Wing is the latest in a long history of women-focused organizations meeting to get stuff done—just perfectly optimized for the 21st century. According to Alexis Coe, a historian and host of The Wing’s forthcoming podcast “No Man’s Land,” there were over 5,000 women’s clubs in America by 1906.

“Women’s social clubs promised greater political participation by women. And it terrified politicians,” Coe says, referencing a quote from former president Grover Cleveland, who once said the object and intent of these clubs “are not only harmful, but harmful in a way that directly menaces the integrity of our homes.” It “reeks of fear,” Coe adds.

Women’s club’s have been political in nature since their inception, not only in pushing toward social goals like suffrage, but by structuring themselves the same way a government would. “In major cities throughout the nation, larger women’s clubs were increasingly organized with ‘departments’ like Education, Social Economics and Industrial Conditions,” Coe says. And they were born of necessity—many of the issues important to women were not of interest (or completely opposed) by male municipal leaders in the towns where these clubs formed, Coe says.

In short, women aren’t new to this. And they don’t just know how to galvanize—they’re pros at organizing, too.

“Activism, and especially political mobilization, is the most important thing we can do as women,” said Oluremi Olufemi, 26, an all-access Wing member who was in the audience for Ocasio-Cortez and has come to hear Clinton and Gillibrand speak. But even she acknowledged that busy schedules makes it difficult to get out there. “Honestly, I work a lot, so there aren’t a lot of times where I can go to my community board meetings [and] interface with politicians on a day-to-day basis,” Olufemi said.

A visit to the Wing connects politicians to women who tweet, donate and vote—or know people who vote in their home district. For candidates, Wing members are “very influential, well-educated audience” to want to get in front of, said Gray.

In response to the 2016 presidential election, there’s a particular enthusiasm for supporting fresh faces to buck against the status quo and incumbents, making the Wing a welcoming environment for newbie candidates like Alessandra Biaggi, 32, The Wing’s first member to have run successfully for office. (Biaggi, a progressive, beat 58-year-old New York State Senator Jeff Klein in the Democratic primary for the 34th state Senate district in an upset this September.)

As an insurgent candidate, Biaggi could not count on establishment support. She called Wing members her “secret weapons” as she went up against a man who spent an astounding $2 million on his campaign. “One of the things that my opponent didn’t have was the support of these women—especially when they all learned that he was one of the reasons why women’s health was not advanced in New York,” she said. (Klein was also accused of sexual misconduct in January of this year.)

Valerie Jarrett at The Wing

PHOTO: The Wing

Valerie Jarrett, former top aide to President Barack Obama, speaks to Wing SoHo members at a midterm election event.

“[The Wing] goes against the narrative of women don’t help other women,” Biaggi said. “The Wing is a place where women are helping other women.” While Biaggi says she hasn’t added up exact numbers of donations from Wing members, she said the donations and volunteer support from the organization were “tangible enough to feel the impact.” And that matters, considering that women struggle with raising as much money as male candidates, according to this New York Times report.

“Women candidates start at a deficit,” said Stephanie Shriock, president of EMILY’S List, a political action committee that assists pro-choice Democratic women candidates. “The first people you go to when you fundraise are your friends. For women, those are often women—and let’s face it, females make less than men in this country and women of color make substantially less.”

Therefore, women who run for office have “a pool of potential supporters who just have less money,” she continued. “And that makes it challenging.”

This is significant because smaller contributions are making “huge, huge differences” this election cycle and those donations are “coming from women giving $25, $35, maybe $50 to these candidates,” Shriock explained. “[It’s] just adding up because of the power of the numbers.”

“By introducing their members to women candidates who care deeply about the issues that impact them, The Wing has helped foster new networks and inspire political engagement.”

Something else The Wing has over your typical campaign rally audience? Social media savviness.

Gray cited Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as an example of a candidate who “wanted to get in front of this audience, not because we could influence an election in Georgia but she knew that this audience would tweet about her,” she said.

The Wing

PHOTO: SARA WIGHT

Wing members listen in on a voter registration training.

“I’m excited to have had the opportunity to speak with women from Georgia and across the country at The Wing and engage in conversation about ways we can build community and connect women to opportunity,” Abrams told Glamour in a provided statement. “By introducing their members to women candidates who care deeply about the issues that impact them, The Wing has helped foster new networks and inspire political engagement.” (Abrams’ spokesperson did not respond to emails asking if her campaign had received a donation bump after appearing at The Wing.)

The Wing’s physical spaces also naturally solve a problem faced by grassroots organizers and political parties of how to keep people engaged: Wing members are always there, sitting on a velvet couch, refreshing Twitter and sipping a chai latte. The community exists, it’s just waiting to be activated.

“I think you’re going see a lot of the candidates want to come through The Wing because they know that this is a really valuable audience that they want on their side,” Gray said.

This is especially true given the fact that voter turnout for midterm elections can be alarmingly low—in 2014, one of the worst years on record, only 43 percent of eligible women voters cast their ballots (compared to the 63 percent of eligible women voters who came out for the 2016 presidential election). The Wing, and the candidates that come through, are well aware that the roots they set now can determine political engagement for the future, whether we’re facing an election or not.

“[O]ur mission, which is the social economic and civic advancement of women, does not just go away because there’s not an election” said Rahim. “2019 is not an off year. We are going to have to keep working at this, considering all of the issues that are important to many of our members — whether that’s immigration, reproductive rights, paid family leave. These things don’t just happen in midterm and presidential years.”


Jessica Wakeman is a writer in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Rolling Stone, Bitch, Bust, and other publications.

MORE: The Wing’s Next Big Move? Child Care For Working Moms

Priyanka Chopra Explained Why She Wore a Marchesa Gown to Her Bridal Shower

Priyanka Chopra celebrated her bridal shower at Tiffany & Co. in New York over the weekend, and both the party and her dress—a strapless, feathered-hem gown by Marchesa—made headlines. In a new interview with WWD, Chopra explained why she chose to wear a gown from the brand co-founded by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig.

“Georgina’s a friend of mine, and she has been,” Chopra told WWD. “Women supporting women: that’s what we’re all about.”

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - October 28, 2018

PHOTO: Gotham

Marchesa, once a label frequently spotted on the red carpet, has been less prominent among the celebrity crowd since 2017, when the New York Times first published its report on Harvey Weinstein, then Chapman’s husband. (They have since separated.) The connection between the brand and the disgraced Hollywood producer came under scrutiny, and its presence on the award show circuit noticeably subsided.

Chopra explained to WWD that she thinks Chapman’s label shouldn’t be sullied by the controversy surrounding her former husband: “[It’s] not her fault. And I don’t think it’s right to take it out on a self-made woman what somebody in her life did. That’s the wrong attitude. I’ve known her for years, and that was a beautiful gown, and deserved to be worn by a bride-to-be. And it made me feel like a princess. It was the right choice.”

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - October 28, 2018

PHOTO: Gotham

In recent months, Marchesa has slowly begun to reemerge: Scarlett Johansson wore one of its gowns to the 2018 Met Gala (the first celebrity to wear the brand on a red carpet since the article was published in October 2017), and one of its designs was featured as part of a climactic scene in Crazy Rich Asians. Chapman also gave her first interview following the Weinstein allegations to Vogue in its June 2018 issue.

Celebrities who have worn Marchesa in 2018 have echoed Chopra’s sentiments. Following the Met Gala, Johansson released a statement about her look, saying: “I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful and it is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers.”

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Kylie Jenner and Baby Stormi’s Matching Costumes Just Won Halloween

If you woke up today thinking to yourself, “Wow, I really hope Kylie Jenner and her daughter Stormi wear matching costumes for Halloween,” then you’re in serious luck (and also maybe psychic). Yes, the makeup mogul and her 8-month-old baby decided to break the Internet by wearing mommy/daughter butterfly costumes in honor of All Hallow’s Eve. I won’t lie: The duo looks pretty darn cute. Take a look at the photos for yourself, below, and then we can discuss.

“My baby butterfly,” Jenner captioned a photo of herself and her smiling baby. Their choice in costume could be a hilarious nod to the theory from earlier this year that Jenner actually named her baby Butterfly. (Long story short: She had a bunch of butterflies around her house, and fans jumped to conclusions.)

Here’s a solo snap of Stormi, which will melt the heart of even the most cynical Kardashian-Jenner critic. How can you not smile? It’s a baby! In a butterfly costume!

And last but not least, a pic of Jenner in all her butterfly glory. “Butterfly Effect,” she captioned the pic.

Matching Halloween costumes can go either one of two ways: tragic or adorable, and these are definitely the latter. That’s probably because Jenner’s partner is an 8-month-old, but still! If this doesn’t bring a ray of light to your day, then, I don’t know, you must be afraid of butterflies or something.

In June, Jenner decided to delete all the photos of Stormi’s face off her social media accounts, but she’s slowly been sharing moments again. Here’s hoping this isn’t the only matching costume she has up her sleeve.

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Mammograms Don’t Have to Be Terrible, Thanks to This Breakthrough Screening Technology

As far as conversations about your breasts go, cancer screenings aren’t exactly the most fun topic. Mammograms are a powerful tool for catching breast cancer early, but they’re also, let’s be honest, extremely uncomfortable. According to current guidelines, women should be getting screened once a year starting at age 40, but even that’s too much for some of us—studies estimate anywhere from 25 to 46 percent of women skip their regular screenings.

To improve the exams, who better to ask for insight than women getting them? An all-female team of engineers at GE Healthcare did just that when developing their latest breast cancer screening technology. The goal: “How do we get patients to, quite frankly, not hate this exam?” Kathleen Schindler, global mammography clinical product leader at GE, explains.

Instead of an anxiety-inducing, awkward experience, they wanted to design a mammogram process created by females, for females. “Women are the ones who are having the exams done and women are [often] the people who are performing the exam, as well,” Schindler says. “If we’re going to really focus on why women don’t like having mammograms, then we should be talking to women. It’s an incredibly intimate and powerful exam—the patient should be involved, not just simply having the exam done to them.”

After talking to over 1,000 mammography technologists, radiologists and patients, the answer was clear: To make mammograms suck less, put the women having them in control.

Called “Senographe Pristina,” the resulting mammogram technology developed by GE’s team of female engineers allows you—the patient—to control the speed and intensity of the screening using a small handheld device called Pristina Dueta. After the mammography technologist positions your breast, you get to control the compression using plus and minus buttons. “You know where your limit is more than I do,” Schindler says, speaking as a former mammography technologist.

So, when exactly does getting a mammogram matter? “Women should begin screening mammography at age 40 and continue yearly mammograms as long as they are healthy,” says Laurie Margolies, M.D., system chief of breast imaging at Mount Sinai Health System. (Official guidelines vary: The American Cancer Society advices starting yearly screenings at 45.)

That said, there are a few risk factors that might prompt you to start screening in your 30s or even younger. “The most common risk factor for early screening is a family history in a first-degree relative (i.e., your mother, sister or daughter),” says Margolies. In these cases, doctors recommend you start getting mammograms 10 years before the age your relative was diagnosed. So, if your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 37, you’d want to start getting screened at 27.

To assess your individual risk, online tools like Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk Quiz can help, but always make sure to talk to your doctor to create the health plan that makes the most sense for you and your breasts.

How to Wear the Orange Blush Trend

I’m no blush expert; expertise requires wearing it regularly, and I’ve applied it to my face a grand total of one time. Thanks to a natural permaflush that’s been attached to my face since birth (it’s either a sign of good health or mild rosacea), I just haven’t felt the need. The closest I ever got to making it a part of my beauty routine was when a former boss, shocked at my revelation, hurled a tiny Korres pot at me and melodramatically screeched, “You’d better wear this tomorrow!” And I did—for one day—before going back to my old, blush-free ways.

But that was until images of orange blush started permeating my feeds and dare I say it’s the first time I actually considered wearing it on my own. At face value, “orange blush” doesn’t sound like something a beginner would dive right into—actually, it doesn’t even sound like something people who wear blush on the regular might consider putting on their face. According to Pinterest’s 2018 Global Beauty Report, though, blush in all shades of orange is becoming increasingly popular (searches are up 250 percent, based on their data). The fall trend has also been a mainstay on Japan’s beauty scene for quite some time now.

After going down a rabbit hole of reference photos, you can definitely see the appeal; the color stands out more than red or pink, yet lends a surprisingly flattering glow to any skin tone.

Ready to confirm my conclusions, I set out to put the trend to the test with a little phone-a-friend help from celebrity makeup artist Ralph Siciliano, who has somehow mastered the ability of making every shade of the rainbow look stunningly wearable. “I just did an orange blush look minutes ago,” he informed me when I texted for help. Coincidence? Or it’s just that much a thing now? Either way, it was perfect timing.

Eager to dive right in, I kicked things off with the fiery 515 Tangerine HD Cream Blush from Make Up For Ever. While the name sounds subtle, the neon shade is so bright that it almost pulsates in the pan. (For a powder equivalent, I love MAC’s Bright Response.)

When I asked Siciliano on advice for choosing the best orange for my skin tone, he kept it simple: “Usually, the first orange I grab is the one I’m drawn to and I just make it work.” As my eyes were immediately drawn to the blush that screamed “ORANGE!” the loudest, I too was determined to make it work. I sheered it out on my cheeks using a double-ended brush from the same brand, picking up the cream formula with the densely packed contour side, then flipping it over to the blush brush side to blend everything out.

“Placement really depends on the look I’m going for,” Siciliano says. “But for everyday, it’s best to just smile and hit the apple of your cheek where you’d naturally blush.” I followed his instructions with my best cheesy smile and spent the next 10 minutes admiring the results from multiple angles.

Since the cream formula had worked out so well, I decided to step things up a notch and go for a darker orange in a powder formula. Siciliano told me that the orange he gravitates toward depends on his mood at the moment, as well as the vibe he wants to create. “I often go for matte—Kevyn Aucoin makes a good all-around matte orange blush that works for most skin tones,” he says. “But you can use any orange.”

Taking the second part of his advice to heart, I erased my Tangerine glow with a makeup wipe and went in with Nars Taj Mahal. If you haven’t tried Nars blushes before, know that they’re pigmented and proceed with caution. The burnished orange powder, flecked with golden microshimmer, was the most intense of all the shades I tried—intense, but beautiful.

“The trick is to apply it with a super light hand,” Siciliano warned me. “Use very little product and pressure on the brush and build it from there. As long as it’s light, it won’t look ridiculous in real life.” If you’re looking for something that’s almost impossible to overdo, he recommends a mineralized formula: “They have less pigment usually, and they give a great dewy effect with less color payoff.”

Another option to keep things subtle is to search out shades of orange that “make the cheeks look fresh and sunkissed.” On my complexion, this translated to paler peach tones with a touch of shimmer. I layered one coat of Make Up For Ever’s Artist Face Color in B306 Mandarin under Charlotte Tilbury’s Beach Stick in Moon Beach for an orange highlighter-blush hybrid that made me look incredibly dewy.

Having discovered a newfound love of blush (when it’s orange), I texted Siciliano a final time to ask what he recommended pairing it with. “If you want to wear it alone, go for it,” he replied. “If you want to wear it with a nude lip or a dark lip, go for it. Or go monochromatic and match it with your eyeshadow or lipstick.” I ended up wearing all four shades with my usual winged liner, mascara, and brushed-out brows. The one constant that I found really made the color shine was a smooth base. While I usually can’t be bothered to wear foundation, a thin layer of Nars Foundation in Vienna acted as the ideal canvas.

I loved every single shade I tried for this experiment, but there’s no need to buy four new pans of blush if you’d rather work with what you already have—or want to test-drive the color before fulling committing. Lipsticks and eyeshadows can easily pull double duty; I found that Catrice’s $15 Paradise Desert palette contained plenty of options that wore well as both blush and eyeshadow.

I leave you with Siciliano’s most helpful piece of advice, which successfully ended my existential crisis over which orange blush to try first: “The only rules are that there are none.”

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