When it comes to Hollywood, there are plenty of high earners to choose from. Love them or hate them, these the people who grab the attention of the masses, and use their inflated vantage point to make a name for themselves, and quite a hefty living. Those who truly made an impact, in our opinion, were those who melded superstardom with artistic expression, education and philanthropy. When we cross paths with just one of these power houses (we're looking at you Beyoncé), it is an impressive feat indeed. When one of these unicorns pair with a like-minded counterpart, the effect is hypnotizing.
Although these celebrities net worth are head spinning indeed (honestly it's hard to believe how much we pay actors in this country), we wanted to shout to those top earning twosomes who made an awesome impact throughout the course of what has been an intriguing year, for everyone.
1. Michelle and Barack Obama
While these two may have been campaign trailing for much of their last months at the White House for Hillary, they made ample time to speak out for those causes closest to the Obama legacy before the close of 2016. Hard working and charitable, the Obamas will be missed not only for their accomplishments but also their character. After making a modest $400,000 a year as the President of The United States, Obama is reportedly worth $12.2 million. No word on what his wife brings to the table. Although it may seem meager in comparison to his Hollywood counterparts, he and his wife secured a place on this list because they have changed the face of American history. Michelle's commitment to causes like childhood obesity and international adolescent girls' education, make her heart almost as big as the impact she's made on this country and young women everywhere.
2.Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Bey and J's net worth is said to be in the region of $700 million and we know in 2017, it will only get bigger. Their ingenious decision to keep the 'Lemonade' album exclusive to Tidal earned them a whopping sum, while simultaneously raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter campaign. It is not of course just their involvement in the music industry that keeps the home however, as the man of the house earns much of his money from side projects: with his own champagne and cognac brands doing much of the work toward his more than $50 million 2016 salary. The pair also has a long history in philanthropy, and for Bey's part, she collaborated with three charities for her Formation World Tour, in the hopes that her followers would recognize the ease with which they could give back to causes she is passionate about, and #BEYgood.
3. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
While the brakes may have been put on the relationship of the millennium, it does not preclude them from a list of couples that dominated this year in and out of headlines. Pitt, worth an estimated $240 million, and Jolie, whose net worth is about $170 million, broke the hearts of all Hollywood lovers this fall upon the shocking announcement of their divorce and subsequent tattles of cheating.
Given their acclaimed status both as couple and individuals however, there's not much time for moping here. Jolie awaits the release of the movie she has directed with Netflix, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. The film deals with a subject very close to her heart and covers many aspects of her philanthropic ventures. Pitt has little time to succumb to emotion either, with Allied coming out shortly among a litany of other projects in the works. While both have taken a set back from their rigorous on-screen schedules in recent years, their involvement in causes they believe in, and commitment to giving back make them one of our rockstar couples of the year.
4. Kim Kardashian And Kanye West
Too soon to call out these two on a fabulous year in the spotlight? Apparently not. Apart from the Paris debacle and subsequent rumours of separation, these two spent most of this year ogling over one another while the rest of us ogled over them. Kanye's less-than precious lunch dates of late has us questioning his sanity (as does his Twitter account) and his wife, worth a cool $140 million, remains in the wind, nonetheless, Kimye still rank as one of 2016's most powerful couples. Money isn't everything as the saying goes, and don't ask us to tell you how much they're worth - we're as confused at their finances as Donald is by his, we do however know they aren't short on cash, especially judging by pictures of their newly finished home.
Between clothes lines, apps, emojis and countless other enterprise, Kardashian is estimated to have earned around $53 million in 2016 alone. Her husband is said to be worth anything between $145 million and $180 million, which brings their total earnings near quarter of a billion status. As many fashionistas remember Kanye's show debacle during NYFW (think: fainting models, lost editor busses and skin-hued spandex), and his unforgettable FAMOUS video, this isn't an artist, who sits in the background. A rise to fame that is one for the books, many await her return anxiously and speculate whether Kanye's next business dive will be into Trump industries.
5. David and Victoria Beckham
As Victoria Beckham stores continue to pop up, Spice Girls fans everywhere rejoice that the once-broke fashion line is most definitely in the money. Her soccer star husband's foray into modelling and Victoria's continued success as designer has everyone admiring the couple that was once rumoured in trouble back during his Manchester United days. Their son's Brooklyn rise to Instagram fame have many pundits hedging their bets as to when he will make his dent on the Beckham name and begin branding his own business with his singular name. Having both 'retired' from their initial jobs that rose them to fame, the couple wear retirement well, and expensively, with their estimated worth to be somewhere north of $700 million.
A special mention: couples to watch out for in 2017.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markie
Once they decide to come out and begin doing official tours for the crown, these two will rival Kate and Wills as the palace's fairytale couple. Having had a rough start to the relationship, we're hoping the U.S actress and her royal man, worth an estimated $40 million, is allowed the chance to stand her ground given her background in female activism and similar stance to feminism as us at SWAAY.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
Her daddy dearest and his father-in-law has given us all pause for thought at the end of a turbulent 2016, and this coming year could be one of Ivanka's biggest yet, with her set to acquire much of her father's responsibilities in the Trump Organization. Ivanka's outspoken nature on behalf of women, especially female entrepreneurs, and Kushner's empire will make them a pair to keep a close eye on in the coming months indeed! Love him or hate him, Ivanka's namesake lifestyle brand, which is making a killing at Macy's and Nordstrom, has certainly contributed to her net worth of $150 million.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."