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"I Woke Up Like This" - Or Did I?

News

There's a trend on the rise. It's taking hold and creating a safe environment for the rising generation of women to feel comfortable expressing themselves and how they present their image to the wider world.


Honesty.

It's something we, as consumers of media, be it social or otherwise have been been denied for years. First, it was airbrushing, now, it's "I woke up like this." Really, they (the eponymous 'they meaning influencers, celebrities, your pretty BFF) did not wake up like this. It's an ironic lie. But where did it come from?

The nexus of I woke up like this began a couple years ago, and can perhaps even be attributed to Beyoncé with her hit "Flawless" and the Kardashians, who, airbrushed and blow-dried, have posted many photos on social, from bed, with the ironic tag line "I woke up like this" and people have seriously believed them.

And while perhaps this appears seemingly innocent, a joke even, research conducted pertaining to the trend has found, that because of this rhetoric, millennials are increasingly downplaying how long they spend getting ready so as not to appear too overdone or flawless. TRESemmê, who spearheaded the research, found that 7/10 millennials will not tell people how much time they actually spent getting ready, for fear they'll be judged.

Hosted by actress, model and entrepreneur Cara Santana, the panel included psychologist Judy Ho, who worked with TRESemmé on their campaign, Justine Marjan, TRESemmé Global Stylist, Rebecca Minkoff, and Cushnie et Ochs Co-founders Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie. Together, the ladies spoke about the importance of transparency in this age of social media, and encouraged women to talk openly about their beauty regimes.

"It's better to arrive late than arrive with bad hair"

-Justine Marjan

This campaign is a veritable lesson in empowerment and speech; don't let what you believe someone might think of you get in the way of what you say. Allow yourself to be completely honest about your beauty prep, own the fact that your hairdo took 2 hours of blood, sweat and tears that morning, because you look good.

TRESemmé hair statement

Judy Ho spoke with SWAAY about the campaign, and why it's so important for millennial women to embrace the beginning of the day as a kickstarter to success, and not an impediment.

"It started with some key figures and celebrities basically saying, 'I don't really work out, I just eat right - and I look like this' and this was a few years ago that statements like this began coming out" Ho begins, continuing, "and then millennials just jumped on it."

"Millennials then start thinking - those are the standards that I have to uphold. The problem, of course, is that it's impossible to uphold," says Ho. Getting ready takes time. No matter what level of sophistication or glamour you're putting into your look. Looking effortless, takes a whole lot of effort. And it's important that girls growing up see that yes, in order for their favorite influencer or actress to look as good as she does, she's probably spent between 1-2 hours - for just a single photo in many cases!

"Work your hair like it's your job"

-Dr. Judy Ho

Cara Santana, Actress, Model and Beauty Entrepreneur, founded The Glam App in 2015 with Joey Maalouf, which is basically an Uber, but for beauty. Order an express blow-out or makeover delivered right to your door (and while that's happening, go stalk her Instagram, because it's simply fabulous), and enjoy the at-home glam experience you've always dreamed of.

Santana saw the white space for a beautified and stylist-specific version of Seamless and dove head-first to wide critical acclaim. Coming to New York for the app's partnership launch with TRESemmé, Santana proved a worthy host for the panel of powerhouse women.

Cara Santana. Photo courtesy of WENN.com

And, until September 23rd, Tresemmé has teamed with The Glam App to get you blow-outs, or "Work It Waves" express delivered to your door, just enter the code "TRESWorkIt" for this hairstyle when you check out and be the glam queen you truly are.

So, in light of the fact that hundreds of videos will surface this week on social channels of the prep for fashion week - please take the "I woke up like this" fad with a grain of salt. Because it really is fake news. The Gigis, Kendalls and Kaias of the world will all spend hours on their appearance, and don' you forget it.

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.