Planned Parenthood to Honor Cecile Richards, Laverne Cox

The 2018 Planned Parenthood gala will honor outgoing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and actor Laverne Cox, the organization has revealed. The benefit, taking place at Spring Studios on May 1, will include an awards ceremony and an after party hosted by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Chloë Sevigny and Marilyn Minter.
Last year’s gala, which celebrated Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary, honored Hillary Clinton and Shonda Rhimes. Expected attendees at this year’s function include Uma Thurman, Annette Bening, Naomi Campbell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson and more.
Richards has been president of Planned Parenthood since 2006. Prior to joining the organization, she was the deputy chief of staff for house Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. She revealed her plans to step down as Planned Parenthood president earlier this year.
Cox is best known for her role on “Orange is the New Black.” In 2014, she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy.
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When stars risk their lives on camera, they usually do it with the help of stunt doubles or CGI. But that doesn’t mean the rush of adrenaline is fake. We asked celebrities at the Academy Awards, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards to tell us about something that required real courage.
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Making of a Style Icon: The Stylist Behind Laverne Cox’s Fashion

She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s ruling the red carpet. Actress Laverne Cox, star of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, wherever she goes, is turning heads and wowing the press with her elegantly unique style.

After being named one of Time‘s 100 Most Influential People, scoring a coveted spot on People‘s Most Beautiful People list, and appearing on numerous magazine covers, it’s hard to keep up with this megastar.

But even a great deal more is going on. Laverne Cox is establishing herself as not just a leading figure promoting the transgender community, but also as a style icon.

It is often thought that behind most exceedingly successful individuals is a person helping navigate the tricky waters of stardom. So who’s the stylist working with Laverne to perfect her sophisticated aesthetic? Christina Pacelli, stylist to Laverne, shares with us the process of elevating someone into style stardom.

As most fashion boys and girls do, this Huntington Beach, California native discovered her love for fashion at a young age. She says she first became fixated on clothes in fourth grade. Back-to‐school‐shopping was the highlight of her year. With a mother from Mexico and a first-generation Italian father, Pacelli says her upbringing was anything but conventional, as she has been on her own and financially autonomous since the tender age of 15.

Clueless‘s Cher and My‐So‐Called‐Life‘s Jared Leto have all provided inspiration to Pacelli, who admires their hard-to-achieve “I don’t give a damn” look.

After studying Communications and Law at UCLA, she began her professional career as an entertainment and lifestyle publicist. She then transitioned to her love of fashion and began apprenticing for stylists such as New York‐based Anna Katsanis, who has styled editorials for major magazines around the world.

Through her publicist relationships, Pacelli was introduced to Laverne and it was fireworks from the start.

Pacelli says:

Laverne and I share the same stylistic approach. She has an admirable sense of fashion, and a great point of view when it comes to personal style and the fashion industry. She is very involved in her styling, which I believe comes through in her looks. In Laverne’s words, ‘I follow the guiding pillars of FFPS in fashion — Fit, Fabric, Proportion and Silhouette. If all are right, then the look will translate well’

But how do all of the buzz-worthy looks come together? From custom Marc Bouwer to Viktor Luna, Cox and Pacelli have procured show‐stopping styles.

Pacelli says:

When Laverne and I first began working together, we briefed one another on our individual stylistic philosophies. With Laverne, it is not simply about wearing a designer garment. What she wears embodies her personality, confidence and her role for the occasion, or it will feel out of place and naturally won’t be worn.

With so many notable moments, Pacelli says that some of her proudest times with Laverne include the 2014 Emmy Awards in custom Marc Bouwer, the Creative Arts Emmys and Entertainment Weekly party in Donna Karan and the White House Correspondents Dinner in Ines Di Santo. Pacelli notes, “Laverne’s style has always been feminine and pretty. Our work together has built upon that, to take her style to non-obvious places and further showcase her confidence, grace, strength and sophistication.”

Landing spots on countless best‐dressed lists, Christina does not disregard the strides they have made together.

Pacelli describes:

She has been called a style icon on the rise. I do not disagree with that. She is making history with her presence in the industry and I do not take the job lightly. As a transgender black woman who has already pioneered so much, and broken barriers, the way Laverne looks and dresses has an impact and influence upon so many people, LGBT or non‐LGBT. People have shared with me they have been moved to tears observing Laverne because of what she stands for and how she inspired them with her visual presence.

Christina herself has been tapped to be featured in a Viacom series, which will air on MTV and Netflix.

As Laverne continues to gain meteoric success and notoriety, it’s clear we have a great deal of fierce fashion to look forward to. And not only will the fashion be beautiful, but Cox and Pacelli will together be defying cultural norms and changing the world’s perception of the transgender community.

“I knew that styling Laverne Cox came with more responsibility than just vanity. She inspires people simply by what she is wearing. And then she speaks and inspires them more. I understand and take my responsibility very seriously. I know eyes are on Laverne from all over the world.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Laverne Cox’s Reaction To Caitlyn Jenner Reveals The Impossible Expectations Trans Women Face

There has been a din of voices — many of them cisgender — weighing in on Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair reveal. The majority of commentary has been support and praise. Aside from the usual string of transphobic comments from Internet trolls, most reactions have been positive, revolving around Jenner’s bravery, beauty and “realness” — concepts that the cis mainstream often clings to when embracing trans women. So when Laverne Cox posted a Tumblr blog yesterday celebrating Jenner, but also unpacking the politics of beauty surrounding Jenner’s warm reception, it was an interesting moment to gain real perspective from a trans woman.

“Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful,” Cox wrote, “But what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul.”

caitlyn laverne

Cox argued that the emphasis on trans women’s beauty can be dangerous, writing, “There are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody [cisnormative beauty standards]…we should be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves.”

Too often, mainstream acceptance is based on how traditionally feminine a trans woman can look, and often, a lack of material access, or a lack of desire to appear traditionally feminine makes it harder to achieve that acceptance. There’s no denying that wealth and whiteness inform Jenner’s positive and groundbreaking public reception.

What is perhaps most interesting about Cox’s commentary, is how just beneath the surface it seems to address (and maybe even critique) the parallels and differences between her own journey and Jenner’s.

“I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people,” Cox writes, a sentiment she’s expressed before to address the criticism she’s received surrounding her celebrity.

Cox has an enthusiastic following, but she’s been called out in the past for being a “bad” feminist or a “bad” trans activist. In 2010, She got flack for allegedly perpetuating patriarchal ideals of womanhood on the reality series “TRANSform Me,” where she and two other trans women instilled cis women with confidence via feminizing makeovers that included getting rid of “boy clothes that women should not wear.”

In April, she appeared nude in Allure magazine, and the photo shoot was both praised as an empowering moment for trans women of color, and drew ire from feminist critics, most notably the blog feministcurrent. Blogger Meghan Murphy wrote: “So we are to believe that…achieving a ‘perfect’ body, as defined by a patriarchal/porn culture, through plastic surgery, then presenting it as a sexualized object for public consumption equates to ‘radical self-acceptance?”

At her talk at The New School last October with bell hooks, the feminist author praised Cox as a “goddess for justice,” but in the same breath accused her of conforming to Eurocentric and patriarchal ideals of beauty with her high heels, designer dresses and signature blonde wigs.

Jenner, on the other hand, has not received nearly as much criticism about her traditionally feminine appearance. Some have suggested that there’s a double standard in the way Jenner has been accepted vs. how Cox has been, that as a white woman Jenner has been afforded less scrutiny and more accolades, and that her cover photo (as Marc Lamont Hill put it on Twitter) has “smuggled in the same old cis/Eurocentric narratives about womanhood.”

Of course, the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Jenner’s transition is ultimately a good thing, and it makes sense. She’s older, she was once a beloved Olympian who represented the epitome of hypermasculinity, and has been a reality TV star connected to one of the most talked-about families in America for the last nine years.

But whether intentional or not, the image of Cox’s Time magazine cover beside Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, speaks volumes. The timing of Cox’s blog post, and its simultaneously celebratory and critical tone, sparks questions about how the narratives of visible trans women are constructed. The Jenner buzz has a lot to do with celebrity culture and the current conversation around trans people, but it also brings up questions about race and privilege that have yet to be addressed in a meaningful way.

And yet, it’s difficult to know where and when it’s right to leverage these kinds of critiques. Did Cox’s essay detract from Jenner’s history-making moment? As it critiqued the beauty-conscious culture that informed support for Jenner, was it also critiquing her glamorous look? It’s hard to say.

Defending herself last year against bell hooks’ accusations that her feminism is compromised by her highly feminine presentation, Cox said: “This is where I feel empowered, ironically, and comfortable. I think it’s important to note that not all trans women are embracing this, but this trans woman does. And this trans woman feels empowered by this.”

Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, similarly, is an empowering moment — even as we complicate its implications. That, perhaps, is the biggest takeaway from Cox’s essay. The expectations put on the current group of visible and successful trans women, both white and WOC, are becoming increasingly unrealistic.

Why is it the responsibility of trans women, as they knock down doors, to also subvert gender norms, to smash the patriarchy, and to defy deep-seeded standards of beauty? It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be. Cox, Jenner, and all trans women should have the freedom and the agency to make their own decisions, and to walk in their own truths. There’s a larger conversation to be had, of course, about what Jenner’s Vanity Fair spread means going forward: how it will trickle down to less privileged and visible trans people, and if it will in fact effect political change. Caitlyn Jenner has cited Laverne Cox as an inspiration to her, and in spite of everything, there’s a power in that. Today, Jenner has not only graced the cover of a respected mainstream magazine and garnered the support of millions of people. Finally, she is being seen, and heard, on her own terms.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Laverne Cox, Lupita Nyong’o And More Talk The Best Style Advice They’ve Ever Received

Each year, Glamour’s Women Of The Year Awards honor a slew of truly inspiring women and their efforts to make the world a better place. This year’s top-notch guest list boasted the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Laverne Cox and Chelsea Clinton, not to mention our own Editor-In-Chief, Arianna Huffington, alongside Karlie Kloss and Shonda Rhimes (just to name a few).

And while the crowds came out in droves to honor these amazing women and what they are currently working on, we here at HuffPost Style had some questions about what they learned before hitting the red carpet. Namely, the best style or beauty advice they have ever received.

And while we sadly didn’t get a chance to ask presenter Stephen Colbert to share his beauty regimen, we did learn a thing or two about heels, eyebrows and of course, moisturizer. Check out some of our favorite quotes below.

“Dress for your body. Know yourself. Honor your body and celebrate who you are.” –Laverne Cox

“Don’t wear heels you can’t walk in!” –Lupita Nyong’o

“Do not wear high heels! Kitten heels are OK, but never more than kitten. If we have any editor [at the Huffington Post] that is a size 9.5 or 10, they can have all my high heels. I’m going to put them all in the kitchen.” –Arianna Huffington

“My mom always gave me great style and beauty advice. She said to be confident in what you’re wearing, no matter what it is. Just own it.” –Karlie Kloss

“My grandmother forced me not to touch my eyebrows. I have always touched them very little, and I think it worked out!” –Natalia Vodianova

“Always wash your face at night… don’t be lazy! Even on those nights you want to crawl into bed, just crawl into the bathroom, slowly wash your face and then crawl right back into bed.” –Alana Haim

“Always moisturize. Always.” –Este Haim

Style – The Huffington Post
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Laverne Cox Weighs In On ‘OITNB’/’Transparent’ Trans Writer Debate

The creators behind two of today’s hottest queer-championing shows, “Orange Is The New Black” and “Transparent,” recently got into a little tiff at the New Yorker Festival over whether trans people should be writing and acting out trans stories.

“Transparent” showrunner Jill Soloway argued hiring trans writers is “absolutely necessary” when telling an authentic trans story, while “OITNB’s” Jenji Kohan said a truly great writer can write for any character.

Another voice joined the conversation when one of the biggest faces of the trans movement, “OITNB” actress Laverne Cox, spoke with HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill about the MTV documentary on transgender youth, “The T Word.” Asked about Kohan and Soloway’s difference of opinion, Cox explained:

I think that it is really important that trans folks are in positions of power in terms of creating our stories. I think that’s crucial. I think it’s vital. I don’t think you necessarily need to be trans to bring humanity to trans characters. I think you have to be human and understand that we are human beings too, beyond our bodies and beyond anything sort of salacious.

Watch the full segment with Laverne Cox and stars from “The T Word” here.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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