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How To Create Fantastic Holiday Outfits With What's Already In Your Closet

Culture

The holidays can be a source of stress in many ways – with the pressure of finding the perfect gifts, working hard to finish the year on a strong note and getting ready to welcome next year with a fresh start. With so much going on, there is no reason your wardrobe should be contributing to the stress (or depleting your finances for that matter) during this already high-strung time of year.


To give you a head start, check out some great outfit ideas that you can pull together for your next Holiday Party or Get-Together – based on items that most likely already live in your closet. All you need are some finishing touches (think glittery nail polish, eye shadow & red lipstick), and you’ll be lighting up the party in no time! And honestly, who doesn't love saving some money?

Items to play with:

  • Chambray Shirt
  • Black Pants
  • White Button-Down
  • Suit Blazer
  • Camisole Top
  • Skinny Dark Jeans
  • Your Favorite Pumps
  • Shift Dress
  • Statement Piece of Jewelry (Necklace, Bracelet or Earrings)

Additionally, you’ll need: Festive makeup (Red Lipstick, Glittery Nail Polish, Shimmery Eye Shadow).

Office Potluck/ Company Christmas Party:

OUTFIT FORMULA: Chambray Shirt + Black Pants + Statement Necklace + Glittery Nail Polish + Your Favorite Pumps

Wear the shirt tucked in or tied at the waist to create an hourglass figure definition. Your statement necklace and glittery makeup and polish will give this otherwise simple outfit holiday power.

Friends Get-Together (that you might bring your date to):

OUTFIT FORMULA: Black Pants + Camisole Top + Your Favorite Pumps + Statement Earrings + Red Lipstick

The camisole top is revealing and sexy, playing up your curves in a demure way. Pairing the outfit with earrings instead of a necklace will make the top feel even more festive, drawing attention to your neck and face. Don’t forget a touch of red lipstick to put you in the holiday spirit!

Holiday Drinks With Clients:

OUTFIT FORMULA: Shift Dress + Suit Blazer + Statement Bracelet + Your Favorite Pumps + Glittery Nail Polish

Keeping your shift dress partially covered with a blazer will give it a more sophisticated feel, drawing attention to your arms with a bangle bracelet and glittery polish will add a nice touch of glamour to your look.

Family Get-Together:

OUTFIT FORMULA: White Button-Down + Camisole Top + Skinny Dark Jeans + Shimmery Eye Shadow + Your Favorite Pumps + Statement Necklace

Roll-up the sleeves on your shirt and leave it open so that your camisole top can show through – this way you’ll also have several hemlines at your disposal to create the proper proportions. The statement necklace and shimmery eye shadow will link together to create the relaxed polished feel, and you can still stay comfortable but fashionable even when hanging out with your closest relatives.

Hot Holiday Date:

OUTFIT FORMULA: Dark Skinny Jeans + Camisole Top + Suit Blazer + Shimmery Eye shadow + Statement Earrings + Your Favorite Pumps + Red Lipstick

Date outfits around the holidays definitely call for some added feminine glamour. Your skinny jeans always make you look comfortable yet… well…skinny, right? So why not pair them with a sexy cami & polish the outfit off with your well-fitted blazer. Opt for heels over flats to make you feel more confident, and red lips will create contrast with your teeth, making them appear even more dazzling as you’ll be smiling at your date all the way through your fun holiday-inspired night!

Culture

A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.


Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.