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Get ready to be glued to your earphones, ladies, because our favourite online store, PrettyLittleThing has announced a brand new podcast.

Introducing PLT: Behind Closed Doors is currently sitting at number one on the podcast charts, and for a good reason.

The brand have described the audio as, "A podcast that is true to its name. A way to connect to our audience in a different way with no subject off limits."

The podcast is essentially a slumber party with the gals, where gossip is the sauce served ALL NIGHT LONG, with some healthy female bonding to boot.

To kick off 2019, the crew are hanging out with their gorgeous girls who inspire them daily. It's time to get to know them a lot better, and luckily they're sharing the footage with their audiences and PLT fans globally.

From stories the models and ambassadors have never shared before, to their everyday routines; it's time to really get into the minds of you favourites and take down the barriers of social media. Real talk.

The nine-part mega series will have you blaring the volume and eagerly awaiting the next episode. On Tuesday 22 of January, the debut podcast featured the absolute BABE that is Maya Jama.

Jama is a face of PLT, a TV personality, fashionista and radio presenter herself, giving us purely good vibes. Describing the podcast in her own words, Maya said;

“So excited for PLT to be stepping into the podcast world with Behind Closed Doors. They flipped the tables and put me in the hot seat. Listen in to hear me talk life, face masks and dealing with stalkers."

Stalkers? This we HAVE to hear.

Behind Closed Doors is the latest gift that keeps on giving. PLT Brand Ambassador Megan Barton Hanson will be breaking boundaries, speaking on subjects personal to her;

“Stripper heels are not the easiest to walk in”, she reveals. “I know there has been a lot of talk about my previous profession, so it feels good to set the record straight and open up about my past with PLT in a fun and comfortable environment.”

It's always fabulous to hear women opening up and getting candid about their everyday lives. We can't wait to hear even more from the clothing brand, check out the first episode for some scandal and slumber party vibes.

Listen to the new podcast on iTunesSpotify & Acast, but leave plenty of time, because you'll be pure BINGEING it.

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It really is the year of nostalgia; Between the Spice Girls, Westlife and Carrie Bradshaw, it's clearly comeback o'clock. 

News recently broke that one of the biggest legends of the early 2000s is making a musical return, with her sophomore album expecting to be released before the end of 2019.

That's right gals, it's only SAMANTHA MUMBA.

We've all got more than fond memories of tunes such as Gotta Tell You and Always Come Back To Your Love, and soon we'll be hearing brand new music from the versatile singer.

We sat down for a chat with the woman herself, and once our starstruck fever calmed down, we managed to ask her a few questions.

There have been whispers of musical comebacks for many years now, considering her first album Gotta Tell You was released back in 2000 when she was only sixteen-years-old. 

While the rest of us were figuring out creative ways to abandon school for a few hours and day-dreaming of Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell, Samantha was making CHUNES.

So why choose now to release her long-awaited album number two? Samantha is a woman of many talents, trying her hand at Masterchef in 2017, as well as appearances in Dancing On Ice and on ITV's Loose Women.

“It’s been in the works for a couple of months, so for me I did Manchester Pride last summer, and I was so blown away by the response. As I was onstage I was literally like, why don’t I have any new music to perform? This is stupid, like it’s ridiculous. I’m one of those people who gets in their own way all the time. Even if I think of doing something, I’ll think of 20 reasons not to do it. I thought, ‘No, enough it enough’. I was afraid to do it again. The timing just feels good, and now I’m seeing that everyone is coming back, I thought, ‘What is going on?’ Hang on a second, I was coming back first!”

Needless to say, her fans are EXCITED.

Damn right she was. Samantha's popularity with a range of audiences and people of all ages has to be noted, but why do so many listeners seem to relate to her?

“That’s a great question, and I don’t really know the answer. It’s just one of those things, a nostalgia thing. I also think because I was so young when I started, a lot of people literally feel, and they have, like they’ve grown up with me. People have even stopped me in the street to say, ‘Oh hey, how are you?’ as if they know me. I’ve been around for a while, I think there’s that kind of connection where people have really gotten behind me, it’s like I’m a cousin of theirs. It’s that kind of thing, it’s brilliant.”

Samantha still returns home to Dublin fairly regularly, and her little daughter Sage calls it her home too. We wondered if she had stayed up to date on Ireland's current homelessness crisis?

“It’s scandalous, it’s absolutely shocking. That’s why I thought this Just Eat campaign was just such a no-brainer. I’d love if they could double what they did last year, which in itself was incredible. Even especially being home at the minute, and it’s so cold, you just think, ‘Oh my God’, it’s not right. There’s a lot of young kids that are homeless, and it’s heartbreaking. Being a mother now myself, it’s just awful. You never know what goes on in someone’s life, it can happen to anybody, you just never know what kind of bad things could come somebody’s way. It can happen to everybody, and everybody should chip in," she says.

She's partnered up with Just Eat this year for their annual National Takeaway Tuesday to raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust, who do vital work for the homeless. To date, Just Eat customers have generated over €50,000 for the Peter McVerry Trust, enough to move five people out of homelessness and into better futures.

Samantha comments; "This takeaway campaign is perfect, because you can order food on a Tuesday, get a 10 percent discount and chip in 10 percent to 2019’s Just Eat charity of choice, the Peter McVerry Trust. So you’re doing something good."

Does she notice the homelessness which is also prevalent in Los Angeles too, while she's spending her down-time there?

“Again, who am I to talk about anything, but there are definite areas. Santa Monica area and Downtown area, what I find is that a lot of the problems there are mental health. These people should be in facilities, in LA for me I notice, it’s a lot more of that. Whereas here, it’s more people who are getting a bad run of things. It just seems to be different circumstances, I suppose," she emphasises.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Samantha Mumba (@samanthamumba) on

Her daughter Sage was born in 2015, with her husband Torray Scales. We're immediately jealous of Sage, because she's already heard some of her mum's new material;

‘Nightmare before Christmas is her thing. We listen to that soundtrack, and I love it as well, so it’s great. Sometimes she said, ‘I wanna hear mummy’s songs’, she approves of the new songs, thankfully. She’s very sweet, but other times she’s like, ‘Ok, back to Disney’, she laughs.

“She says she lives in LA and lives in Dublin, she loves being home. She gets totally spoilt rotten at home. The back and forth is her norm, she doesn’t know any different.”

We couldn't let Samantha go without trying to get the dates for her new music to be released, it had to be done. For the good of mankind. Luckily, she was ready for the question;

“I was hoping to have a date already. I have to have it within the next two weeks, because I want my first release to be latest end of March, early April. So we’re working on it. I’d love to have two singles out by the summer, and the album definitely will be later on in the year, but I’m on it.”

One core difference between now and when Samantha started is, of course, the power of social media. She's aware of it as a tool, and this time it's going to connect her even more to her fans;

“That’s what I’m enjoying the most, there’s no random people telling me what I have to do, I’m fully in control of everything. That’s kind of the most exciting part for me. The people I’ve been working with in the States are so creative, they’re really pushing me out of my comfort zone.”

In terms of teasing some collaborations in the pipeline, she's revealed a song with MNEK has been created, and we are SO HERE for it. The artist is known for working with some of pop's biggest names, among them are Dua Lipa and Zara Larsson.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MNEK (@mnek) on

“MNEK I have done work with, yes, I adore him. He’s incredible, he’s so talented. I have done one song with him, and I have my core group of people to work with. I think he’ll actually be in LA again in another couple of weeks, so we’ll do another session there as well. I’d love to bring him in with my people, because I think they’d all mesh really well. I’m excited for what that will bring. He’s such a talent and a joy to work with.”

Is there anyone she's especially got her eye on, in terms of new female talent?

“I just discovered her and I’m obsessed, it’s Donna Missal from the US. She’s incredible, I love her."

Samantha is 36-years-old, and time has only given her even more glamour, wisdom and thick-skin for the tough music industry.

Her new album is set to encompass that sense of maturity;

My new music is pop R’N’B, it’s current to where I am, I’m a grown woman who’s lived a life. I have a lot of things to say. I’m just expressing them, and hopefully other women will relate to it."

Samantha is the newest 2019 mood; let her reign begin anew.

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Irish model is living it up in Bali for the festive season, but took the time to pen an empowering message to her Instagram followers about self love – specifically, the importance of accepting your stretch marks.

Roz detailed how she originally thought her stretch marks were cool as a pre-teen, but society's beauty standards quickly changed how she viewed them as she grew older and her body continued to change. 

'I remember the first time I noticed my stretch marks probably like 11 or 12, I was like i don't remember my cat scratching me,' she wrote, jokingly. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ROZ PURCELL (@rozannapurcell) on

'A few months of noticing more and more I was like this is so cool I have all these reptile markings no one else has & showing them off.

As i grew up, went to secondary I realised it was something I shouldn't think was so cool or show, no one in magazines had them I never noticed them on anyone else, it was not normal or considered beautiful.'

'Even now it’s rare you see an unedited photo in a magazine I'm like how is that girls butt so smooth.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ROZ PURCELL (@rozannapurcell) on

Roz admits that only recently has she become confident enough to wear clothing that reveal her stretch marks without worrying about what other people think.

'It hasn't been until now the past two years I can confidently walk passed someone in a bikini or shorts and not cringe inside thinking that they're probably looking at all my stretch marks and cellulite,' she wrote. 

'Maybe it's age( most likely) but you realise if someone is doing that they're 1. A nob 2. A nob. Stretch marks are normal, we all have them, big or small they're part of me & they're here to stay!'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ROZ PURCELL (@rozannapurcell) on

Roz also detailed that she would not be trying to get rid of her stretch marks any time soon despite that being advised to her.

'Got a few replies on stories early like you know what you need to do to get rid of them ”x, y&z” sorry babes I don't have time or the dedication to massage my but in some super oil for 30 mins before bed sure I’d slip out onto the floor,' she sassed. 

Faire dues to Roz for speaking out about stretch marks – particularly at a time like Christmas when people are certainly feeling more aware of their bodies ahead of the anticipated societalhealth kick of January

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Elizabeth Banks has announced that filming on the new Charlie's Angels reboot has officially WRAPPED, which means one thing and one thing only: our excitement has just quadrupled to unhealthy levels.

Banks directed and played her own role in the exciting new remake, which stars a brand new generation of badass angels- Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott.

She posted a photo to Instagram which showed herself and her gorgeous angels on set;

She captioned the image;

"That's a wrap. So much love and gratitude to these Angels."

Aw, don't they all just look sufficiently both radiant and empowered? The plot has not yet been released, but it's been confirmed that there are multiple Bosleys in the flick; Elizabeth, Patrick Stewart, and Djimon Hounsou are among them.

We're SURE you remember the original Charlie's Angels, possibly the greatest show of female badass-ery of all time.

Ella Balinska shared a photo of the unbelievable view they had while filming a scene back in October for the highly-anticipated movie;

"Needless to say, sitting on my Angel production chair whilst looking at an epic view 100% gets you in the zone," she wrote, not taking our incessant jealousy into account at all…

Resident internet boyfriends Sam Claflin and Noah Centineo are the two presumed romantic interests in the film, which hits theatres on November 1, 2019.

Only roughly 330 days to wait, gals. *deep breaths*

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We all have that friend that seems to have her head permanently in the gutter, and if you can't pinpoint which pal it is… then it's you, hun.

Every woman deserves to feel sexy and powerful, and some of your friends understand that notion more than others.

You know the one, the gal-pal that's always giving insanely detailed in and out's (pardon the pun) of her sex life, her favourite sex positions and toys, even her tips that you never really asked to hear. 

i wanna talk about sex GIF by VH1 Hip Hop Honors

If she's the mate you've been given for the Kris Kringle, never fear.

We have the ULTIMATE red hot, X-rated spice guide for buying the best gifts.

Strap yourselves in, fam. No, that wasn't an intentional BDSM reference, honestly….

1. Girl Boner: The Good Girl's Guide to Sexual Empowerment by August McLaughlin

August McLaughlin wrote a powerful book about how she overcame her eating disorder after embracing her sexuality.

The result is an incredible collection of her thoughts on what it means to be a 'good girl', slut shaming, prude-shaming, bondage, BDMS, body image, girl boners and orgasms, among other saucy things.

We advise you to grab it ASAP for your sexually empowered pals, or anyone who needs it for that matter. We've already ordered it from Amazon…*winks*

Buy: Amazon
Price: €14.52

2. Fuschia EROTIC eyshadow palette

Fuschia make-up has decided to gift us with a frisky palette full of delicious berries, bold blues and tantalising purples.

Endlessly daring looks for naughty nights can be created with this gorgeous eyeshadow extravaganza. These shimmers will ensure that you can dance the night away or get your freak on, either way you'll be looking STUH-NING.

Buy: Fuschia
Price: €27.50

3. Savage x Fenty lacy teddy

We honestly don't know a sexier feeling than putting on lingerie that BAD GAL RIRI both designed and wore herself.

She is the badass queen of sexual empowerment, and you can be too. While Savage x Fenty is on the pricier side, it's ideal for a Christmas treat=.

The gorgeous range of body types and diversity which the brand represents is worth the money, imagine how extra you'd feel wearing this beautiful lace body.

Buy: Savage x Fenty
Price: €98.28

4. Love Honey's weekend away sex kit

This sex kit features 11 specially selected toys for endless fun.

Included in this spicy set is the all-time favourite rabbit vibrator, butt plug, G-spot vibe, rabbit ears, beads, rabbit rings among other products, it's pretty decent value.

Welcome to the weekend, ladies. Treat yourself, or a sexually empowered mate of yours, if they're brave enough to unwrap the gift.

Buy: Love Honey
Price: 79.95

5. Glyde organic, natural condoms

Glyde condoms are vegan and made with sustainably harvested natural latex, so they're perfect for that environmentally friendly sexually empowered pal. I mean, they're even certified by PETA.

These condoms come in a variety of textures, flavours and sizes so they're just as good, if not better, than store-brand condoms like Durex, but suitable for everyone.

Sir Richard's Pleasure Dot condoms are also an unreal vegan choice, not to mention PETA certified.

Buy: Babeland/Amazon
Price: €13.22 for 12

7. YES organic lubricants

YES WB lubricants are some of the best in the business. 

Made from organic aloe vera, it's arguably the top water-based lube on the market right now. Perfect for moisturising and nourishing skin, as well as for solo or shared pleasure experiences.

It's called YES for a reason, don't you think? *wink* (Did you really think we'd write a sex-themed article without numerous cheeky winks?)

Buy: Love Honey
Price: €8.95 (50ml)

8. Bijoux Indiscrets Blind Passion mask

This soft plush mask is a fun way to change up the bedroom repertoire.

Coming in gorgeous black and white gold packaging, it's a great gift idea for anyone looking to eliminate their sense of sight to boost their sense of pleasure.

Buy: Bijoux Indiscrets
Price: €8.95

9. Rianne S Classic vibrator in deep purple

The RIANNE S Classique is the essential vibrator for any woman, sexually empowered or not.

The toy is 100 percent medical grade silicon and is available in three different colours with golden details, as well as a cosmetic bag for other saucy essentials.

Buy: Rianne S
Price: €29.95

10. ASOS DESIGN Emma velvet & lace padded plunge underwire bra set

Anyone can feel sexy in red, but a red velvet bra, thong and suspender set? You're on fire, gal.

We are GAGGIN' for this entire ensemble, can someone post this straight to our doors ASAP, please?

Buy: ASOS
Price: bra (€30.42), thong (€13.83), suspender (€19.36)

11. ASOS DESIGN button through maxi tea dress in jacquard

You don't need to be showing some skin to feel sexually empowered, are we right?

This beautiful, satin red dress is ideal for feeling sexy and free (like glitter's raining on me, @Jessie J).

Buy: ASOS
Price: €55.30

12. Long distance lamps…to give them a sign *winks*

Uncommon Goods are now stocking this majestic product, which is essentially the 2018 way of issuing a booty call from afar.

These hilarious and absolutely genius lamps allow you to let your lover know that you're thinking of them from afar with just one simple touch. 

The lamps are connected by WiFi, so each time either you or your partner touches a magical lamp, the other will light up with a sensual glow. It's fun, it's modern, it's damn sexy.

Buy: Uncommon Goods
Price: €74.60 (excluding shipping)

13. Naughty Truth or Dare by Running Press

If you're looking to sprinkle a little spice for a date night-in, or a get together between your gal pals, then this is the game for you.

Naughty Truth or Dare features 104 gas prompts and one instruction card for some VERY non-PG fun. 

Buy: Book Depository
Price: €6.58

14. Sex Stack (Basically spicy Jenga…)

This game is possibly the greatest creative experience of foreplay invented. Sexy Jenga? It sounds absurd, but trust us, you'll have more than a few laughs playing it.

Each block has a number that coincides with a task or position, so it's pretty darn great for trying out some new experiences with a lover.

Buy: Amazon
Price: €22.09

15. Lovehoney Oh! XOXO Sex Cheques (26 Pack)

This flirty chequebook from Love Honey ain't about finances, in case you hadn't guessed.

26 cheques to choose from and two blank ones for your own filthy minds to fill in, these are a gas gift for a sexually empowered friend who needs a little creativity.

Buy: Love Honey
Price; €6.95

We hope these gift goodies will give you all the inspiration necessary this Christmas.

For your sexually empowered pals… and for treating yo'self too…*winks one final time*

james franco wink GIF

Every woman needs her pleasure, eh? Enjoy the presents, you saucy mixes.

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What does it mean to be an ‘empowered woman’ in 2019?

The phrase ‘empowered woman’ is intrinsically loaded with underlying meaning and misunderstood perceptions. When many of us hear the phrase, most people envision a sexually-promiscuous woman who refuses to have children and most likely drinks scotch.

Arguably, its meaning has dramatically changed in the last year, ever since actress Alyssa Milano’s ‘Me Too’ tweet went viral.

2018 has not been the easiest of times for Irish women.

Watching the news everyday has been a tortuous experience, with violence against women splashed across every publication, the media raining debilitating double standards upon anyone remotely famous and the paparazzi splashing unflattering female body images across the internet.

Two massively painful rape trials have illuminated the imperative need for changes in the Irish law regarding sexual violence and assault, and the horrific way in which women are treated and cross-examined in the courtroom.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Leah Beecham (@leahbeecham) on

The Repeal movement was draining for everyone involved, the right to bodily autonomy is still undeniably under threat.

It’s worth noting that standards are changing all around us, lines are being drawn, boundaries are being set. Finally, I might add.

Women are always hyper-aware of the need for self-protection, especially when it comes to sex and dating.

We’ve all held our keys in between our knuckles as we walk down a dimly-lit road at night, we’ve all experienced unwanted attention on nights out, and we’ve all worried about what we wear, and the negative consequences our clothes could potentially bring.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Guardian (@guardian) on

Standards of relationships are changing in conjunction, as women entering the dating world have new questions which they are asking of potential lovers.

This also stands for workplace relationships, women are fighting back against pay inequality and sexism which are prevalent even in first-world countries such as Ireland and the UK.

Watching Little Mix and Ariana Grande fight back against Piers Morgan's recent sexist comments has been such a breath of fresh air.

The #MeToo and TimesUp movements have been eye-opening experiences for men, women and intersex people worldwide, with every facet of society examining its own behaviour with a new lens.

Unlike most men, women are expected to be looking for love around every corner.

During our teens and 20s, being single is depicted as a hugely empowering, freeing experience, yet a shadow dawns on the eve of our 30th birthdays: the misogynistic view that our biological clocks are ticking, and where on earth is our husband?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I have learnt many things from relationships, mainly that learning who you are can often only become a reality when you face tough aspects of life alone.

This is not true for everyone, of course, but many women in this day and age have to shrug off countless societal pressures and notions which are veiled in misogyny and shame.

Female empowerment in this article can only be relevant to my personal experiences, women are extremely complex beings and each feels empowered in totally different ways.

For women with disabilities, of different ages, gender binaries, classes and ethnicities, feeling good about ourselves comes in all shapes and forms.

Sex is power, #MeToo has taught me that. I cannot speak for other women, especially those in the LGBT+ community, but as a heterosexual woman, I have also learned many other hard lessons about the need to empower myself and have control over my body and mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Women are not therapists, we cannot be expected to handle the emotional baggage of other people.

We have enough of our own. Watching Ariana get blamed for Mac Miller's death is a primary example of the degradation placed on people for leaving toxic relationships.

 Ariana Grande has entered ultimate female empowerment mode, sporting a friendship ring instead of her recent engagement rock, and regularly posting images of classic film stars and female icon moments on her Instagram account.

Her new music video will be a tribute to classic movies with female leads such as 13 Going On 30, Mean Girls, Bring It On and Legally Blonde.

Thank u, next; Ari’s latest phenomenally successful single, pays homage to her past loves before declaring that her relationship with herself is now a priority.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ArianaGrande-5H-CamilaCabello (@ag_5h_cc) on

Reports claim that her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson, did not support her sufficiently following the death of Mac Miller, her former love.

Ariana explained how toxic her relationship with Miller was; she endured the pain of watching someone they love struggle through addiction but realised that it was expected of her to ‘fix’ his pain, to mother him through his issues.

Her realisation that she could not carry out this burden was imperative.

When Davidson joked about swapping Grande’s birth control pills on Saturday Night Live, the reaction was mixed.

Many wondered why controversy erupted over the comment, yet many reflected on the notion of literally trapping a woman into staying with you through pregnancy, a huge emotional and physical ordeal for women.

Realise that we are not defined by our relationship status, and to have a relationship with yourself can be an incredibly growth experience.

Letting go of the pressure to always have an ‘other half’ can be freeing in itself. Don’t underestimate the value of your friendships, especially female ones.

rihanna rogue man GIF

SEX is empowering:

Learning what you like (this applies to anyone with a sexual partner- in a relationship or not) is CRUCIAL.

Women have always been expected to satisfy men in terms of sex, the language was never granted to us regarding how to communicate our desires, and how to find pleasure.

Consent in this country has always been a murky topic, hidden under the surface.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

I never heard the word mentioned until I went to college, and by the time I learnt the word’s true meaning, I had already had unconsensual experiences without truly understanding them at all.

Educating ourselves about consent, and only having relationships with those who truly respect us and our bodies can be incredibly empowering.

Learn how to say no, be selfish.

Women cannot be expected to please everyone, all the time. Often we have to work incredibly hard, in our employment or relationships, to get the achievements we deserve.

Learning to put yourself first can be a massive way of respecting our own mental health and practicing self-love and acceptance.

Ask yourself, what do YOU want, instead of what does everyone else want of you.

bossy beyonce GIF

Learning new skills

Self -defence classes, a new language, a skill such as website building, graphic design, even calligraphy. Why not?

If you have valuable assets such as the ability to drive, and even do nitpicky jobs such as online banking or tax can be empowering in terms of releasing yourself from co-dependence.

why do you need to do this sandra bullock GIF by Ocean's 8

Don’t let opportunities pass you by.

Go with your instincts. Do what you’ve always wanted to do, but always found an excuse never to do it. You miss 100% of the chances you let pass by, and you never know how much you can gain from letting your fears dissipate and challenging yourself.

Mental health

The importance of having a health mind can never be underestimated. Take personal time whenever you know that you need it, don't succumb to pressure. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Body confidence

Society makes it so damn hard to allow you to feel secure in your own skin. In a world with such fascination with image and beauty, loving yourself is a completely rebellious act.

Beyonce Satisfying GIF

Everyone is unique, so don’t try to fit a beauty mould which will undoubtedly change in the next five to ten years.

In the 90s it was bone glamour with malnourished models such as Kate Moss on the runway looking like all they needed most was a McDonalds, and now the Kardashians have transformed cosmetic beauty into plastic surgery-induced curves, glossy brunette hair and big lips and bums.

Who knows what the next big trend will be, but why force yourself to look like someone else? You are worth so much more than what you weigh or what you see in the mirror.

Taking control of your love life

The laws of dating have transformed recently, with apps such as Bumble finally realising that women don’t always want to wait around for the right person to ask them on a date.

unbothered michelle obama GIF by Obama

Try asking someone out, the worst that can happen is that they say no.

Food and health

I lived in San Francisco for four months and had the most atrocious diet, and when I came home I vowed to learn at least ten easy home-cook meals that are quick to make, and have health benefits. Having independence in terms of your body and health can be crucial to an empowering mindset, especially for women with chronic health problems.

Career

serena williams tennis GIF

Finding career success can be a huge morale boost, especially for women. Success shouldn’t be based on how much you earn, but how much you love your job and how you contribute to bringing a positive energy to the world around you.

Fight to be heard at the table, realise how intelligent you are and how you should be valued in your workplace. Don’t let anyone invalidate you.

You have the key to your own happiness, no one else.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

To be totally independent, ‘empowered’ single gal has countless benefits. Find your own definition of ‘empowerment’, some women are empowered by their style, their job, their relationship, their sex life, and others are empowered simply by being happy in their own skin.

Whether you're feeling great and powerful totally covered up or completely naked, do whatever makes you happy.

we did it mic drop GIF by U.S. Soccer Federation

As Ru Paul the Great regularly claims, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

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Dublin Feminist Film Festival is back, and better than ever.

The DFFF takes place from 20 until 22 of November at the Light House Cinema, and will prioritise shining a spotlight on women in film and promoting and celebrating female filmmakers.

The huge gem on Dublin’s cultural calendar hopes to inspire and empower others to get involved in filmmaking, and after the turbulent year in cinema with the rise of #MeToo, the DFFF has more meaning than ever.

The festival is run entirely voluntarily, and all proceeds go to charity.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This year, the theme is REFRAME/REFOCUS.

Instead of foregrounding particular topics, this year features films which are directed by women but also shot by female cinematographers.

The emphasis is to get women as involved as possible in ALL aspects of film, not just in front of the camera.

The dual-aspect of showcasing and celebrating fantastic female film-making parallels with the hope to demonstrate women as compelling and complex characters and subjects.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The weight placed on cinematography this year is down to a very important fact: Rachel Morrison was the first woman ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for cinematography in 90 years of the Oscars.

Her work on Mudbound was breath-taking, and she worked hard for her nomination.

Historically speaking, cinematography has always been the hardest aspect of film for women to break into. One nomination simply isn’t enough.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rachel Morrison, ASC. (@rmorrison) on

Production roles have nearly always been male-dominated domains, but recently some of the most exciting and visceral films in global cinema have been created by women.

For the fifth DFFF, thinking of film from the point of view of a woman behind the camera asks questions about how women see the world.

TimesUp and #MeToo have asked hard questions which need answers, and women are stepping up all over the world to share our stories and experiences.

This includes screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing and acting.

If someone won’t share your story and represent your experience, go out there and do it yourself. You can do it best.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We’ve seen it this year with black female actresses taking control of their own projects to finally get the roles they have consistently been deprived of: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P Henson to Lupita Nyong’o are currently producing and seeking out their own projects.

From documentaries to dramas, short forms to features or foreign films to intersectional feminism, there are facets of every side of cinema on show.

Their current aim is to expand the notion of who ‘makes’ a film and what ‘films by women’ actually means, while raising questions about the idea of the gaze.

Do films shot by women encompass a whole other gaze? There’s only one way to find out… see you gals there.

As part of the festival there will be a talk by an esteemed academic on female cinematography, and a roundtable discussion with two Dublin-based female cinematographers as well as screenings of female-made films only.

Ready yourselves for some serious empowerment, ladies (and gents).

The deets:

The DFFF: 21st & 22nd November 2018 – Light House Cinema Smithfield Dublin 7

Launch & Special Events 20th November – The Generator Hostel Smithfield Dublin 7

Feature image: Instagram/@rmorrison

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Given that this Sunday, March 8th, is International Women's Day, there's no better time to recognise just how strong and powerful each and every girl and woman in the world can be.

Always aired their first #LikeAGirl ad during this year's SuperBowl, asking viewers to change their opinion of the words "like a girl." Rather than telling someone that they do something "like a girl" as an insult, the words should be used as the best form of praise.

Their follow-up ad is just as powerful, showing girls and women all over the world doing things "like a girl" – and owning it!

This ad will definitely leave you with a smile on your face!

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