Dare to use your voice!
Women have been told to shut up for a long, long time. “Let the woman learn in silence, with all submission,” the Bible admonished us. But even before that, in the Odyssey, Greek hero Telemachus declared that ‘speech will be the business of men’. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century, and it seems that the ban on women’s speech has been broken. After all, we have Angela Merkel and Beyoncé; we are world leaders, film directors, TED Talk-givers. Don’t let that fool you, though! From legal threats to ‘mansplaining’, women are still discouraged from speaking up, in many different ways. To make yourself heard as a woman is still an act of bravery. That’s why, as this season’s muse, I chose Billie Holiday: the ‘Badass Queen of Blues’ who used her voice to turn female anger, pain and sadness into creations of staggering beauty. .
For this issue of Feminine Feminist, I thought it would be fitting -and fun! – to team up again with Ellen von Unwerth, the legendary photographer who has been empowering women with her playful, glamorous portraits for decades now. “I don’t objectify women,” she told me. “My girls are proud of their womanhood.” The fabulous pictures she took in Paris of models Liz Pinto and Mosh form a wonderful pairing with Emmanuel Katsaros‘ spellbinding illustrations. This multi-talented art director/designer/illustrator grew up in Rome, surrounded by strong, colorful women like his Ethiopian grandmother who fought her country’s oppressive regime or his blue-haired aunt who would not stop talking about her scandalous past. These women and their stories are still Emmanuel’s biggest artistic inspiration. No wonder Billie Holiday was right up his alley!
It takes blind, crazy courage to finally start using your voice. And it never gets easy, not even for the brave, outspoken women I interviewed for this issue. Sylvana Simons, the controversial Dutch tv presenter-turned-politician (and a very dear friend of mine) describes the moment she found her voice as both life-changing and irreversible, ‘like the moment Eve decided to pick the apple. There was no way back.” When musical legend Sophia Wezer‘s first heard Billie Holiday sing, she thought “wow, you can be black and unapologetically real, and still successful.” And Saskia van Uffelen, CEO of Ericsson Belux, encourages all women to use their voice to break the glass ceiling. “Be the CEO of your own career,” she advises us. Why not take that idea one step further and become the CEO of your own life?
“Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.” Billie spoke these words over 75 years ago, but I think they perfectly describe the way women all over the world are feeling right now. We are raising our voices and thereby transforming ourselves from victims into heroes. We are finally unlocking all our potential. To quote Nina Simone, another badass jazz legend: “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.” I am thrilled to be part of this bold new world, together with you. Let’s do this!
When I have trouble sleeping, I think of Donna D’Cruz. Or rather, I hear her whisper in my ear, in her incredibly sexy Australian accent: “Breathe in, breathe out…”. It works, every time. Meet the real life goddess who uses music, meditation, and the magic of sleep to reawaken women’s true power. “We are human beings, not human doings.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
What a beautiful whirlwind 2018 has been! As I’m about to ring in the new year, I would like to take a moment and look back at an amazing year with you.
JULIA & I
– 3 reasons why Julia Child is one of my favorite feminine feminists –
Dare to indulge!
All my work as a feminist designer is inspired by muses. Powerful female icons from past and present. Although women have been marginalized for centuries, archetypes of female power have always been there. Through my designs, I bring them to you. To help us shape the world of modern-day feminism.
Maison Marlies blog
The marlies|dekkers brand offers a wide variety of lingerie that can be worn by anyone and caters to every woman’s individual needs. Within our Maison Marlies blog you can read all about the life behind and surrounding the company. Whether you are eager to know where Marlies gets her inspiration for designing new lingerie collections, her lifestyle, healthy cooking ideas, or simply to share her taste in amazing art - you will find it in the blog. Our fearless creative director manages to find time to write about her business trips and even her shopping sprees and vacations for the times she can let her hair down for a while. And even while she is on holiday she will not leave you hanging.
Giving style advice
When you are feeling lost in finding the right fit or determine your bra size, Maison Marlies offers a set of guidelines so that you can continue shaking your bon bons without them falling out. You'll get style tips on how to wear and style your bras, and bikinis. You would not want a wardrobe malfunction which can actually be prevented when you are wearing high quality luxury lingerie. And when your breasts are kept in place in marlies|dekkers bras or bikinis, you can fully celebrate your femininity in all its glory and full potential. The blog offers advise on how to mix and match womens lingerie to boost, inspire your own fashion sense and keeps you updated on the latest fashion trends.
Marlies and friends
Her celebrity friends are also very pleased with that perfect fit a marlies|dekkers bra can offer you. These women proudly show off their marlies|dekkers lingerie sets in photoshoots for magazines, on stage when they're performing, during a cameo on tv or on the big screen in movies. Maison Marlies dedicates a special section of the blog to all gender equality related news so you are always updated about the latest developments around this special mission that embodies Marlies’ vision for the future.