HBO Gives A New Voice To Girls

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“All I am asking for is $1,100… a month… for the next 2 years.”

So it turns out, I am not the only one who proposed this plan to my parents, obviously to no avail. But hearing this line in a promo for the new HBO series “Girls” I was hooked. This along with a million other moments ranging from internship woes (Its going to turn into a job… I don’t know when) to communication heirarchies (“Facebook. Gchat. Texting. Email. Phone. Face to face is, of course, ideal, but it’s not of this time.”) and everything in between this show goes there in all the best ways.

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LIFE: How To Date An Ambitious Girl

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With an increase in opportunities for women, its no secret that women today are becoming more ambitious. Even pop culture is taking notice, brought to life by songs like Wale’s “Ambitious Girl” and Beyonce’s “Girls (Who Run The World).” But despite the empowerment happening, one thing is resoundingly clear, some of the prettiest, most ambitious girls are usually single. It’s rare to see a girl on the path to greatness hooked arm and arm with a guy who is also trotting down that path.

The biggest issue? Guys may want to approach these ambitious girls, but fumble and foul in more ways than one. Making assumptions that the girl is busy, and crafting their approach around this idea is the biggest no, no. Check out the list of what to do and what not to do when asking an “ambitious” girl out.

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Steve Stoute Talks Passion, Being Heard & “Tanning”

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I only got the chance to attend one panel during influencer con NYC and I’m glad I did. Even though the organizers did have a live stream online, being IN the room while these talks are happening is another level experience.

The room I was in was one with Steve Stoute and Philip L. McKenzie, the founder of the influencer conference, in a conversation titled “The Tanning of America.” Though Stoute obviously was there to push his book, some gems were dropped including the importance of making sure you are heard, following through, and following your gut.

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SOCIETY: The Weight Of Possibility–Defining Millennials

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photo from a past PPR at one of Posse’s partner schools. [courtesy C. Moore Photography]


From Disney dreams to recession stained realities, this generation grew up on happy endings and heroes, and grew into a less rosy reality.
Conforming, civility and the Great Depression defined The Silent Generation, while war and activism defined The Baby Boomers. While, the civil rights movement and the growth of new opportunities defined Generation X. But the defining issues of the Millennials didn’t seem quite crystal clear as a few Millennials debated back and forth about whether their generation has struggled enough.
“Yes we’re struggling, but what are we doing about it? We’re sitting here.” Light applause and a lot of mumbling met that statement as 18-year-old freshman Sandy Tran, stood up amongst 170 DePauw students in a small meeting room in the middle of Bradford Woods in Martinsville Indiana.
The Millennials, defined as those born after 1980 [81-2000], fall within the age range of 11 to 30. The first crop of Millennials turned 30 this year and as a flurry of articles and studies begin to take form about this generation, this Spring a slice of the DePauw University community came together at the annual Posse Plus Retreat (PPR) to map out their own definition of their generation.

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HerAgenda.com Interviews Tina Wells

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HerAgenda.com launched the first in a series of interviews titled “A Peek Inside Her Agenda.”  In the series HerAgenda will feature different power women from across various industries who essentially embody the No one Ever Slows Her Agenda mentality through their career endeavors.  They took a chance on themselves, on their dream, on their skills and turned their passions into thriving careers.  The first in the series is entrepreneur and author Tina Wells who also just released her latest book this week “Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right.”  Its her first business book but its on an industry that she’s become an expert at through her work with her company Buzz Marketing Group.  
Check out a little snippet of the interview when you read more.  

What is a typical day like for you? 
Tina Wells: Depends on the day! Tuesday is my earliest start. I wake up at 4:45 (yes, I’m in bed by 9pm on Mondays!) and head to the gym. I train until 6, and then head home to get ready. By 7:30 (with Starbucks in hand), I head to my hairstylist’s salon. If I’m lucky and don’t do anything major to my hair (like color), I can be out of there by 9:30/10. While I’m under the dryer, though, I typically read all my morning news (every blog you can think of), check emails, and return calls.

By the time I hit my office I have a staff meeting, order lunch, and settle in for a day of calls and meetings. Occasionally I’ll head into NYC for dinner. I leave the office at 6, head home, cook dinner, and then proceed to watch a few hours of bad TV, write, and check emails until I head to bed.


How do you overcome doubt?
TW: Block it out. You just have to ignore it, or it’ll eat you alive.

Do you remember a moment where you had to prove yourself, not only to other people but to yourself?
TW: I honestly don’t. I think I was so naïve. I knew I was young, but I’ve always worked hard for what I want. I never made a conscious decision to work harder or prove myself. That was my strategy from day one – to just put everything into my company and see where it goes.

How do you feel your work is perceived as a female in our society?
TW: I hope people feel inspired. I’m just a normal girl who had a good idea, worked hard, and made it. I think for anyone to be successful, they need both the opportunity and the will. You can have one without the other and truly be successful.

What is something that women today still need to overcome?
TW: Our competitiveness with each other. We need to support each other. I’m so lucky to have the most supportive, wonderful group of female friends.


You can read the full piece on HerAgenda.com

LIFE: The Shoe Compliment

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When it comes to strangers and compliments, most just say thanks and keep it moving. But more or less these comments are made on a whim. The lack of initial reaction could come as surprising depending on what one is complimenting. Take shoes for example, complimenting someone’s shoes is like complimenting their taste, style and saying “I like your lifestyle.” Shoes say a lot about not just the person, but their lifestyle. Shoes are important. When I was a girl, shoes were a symbol. Patent leather shoes meant it was a special occasion. High heels were reserved for grown women and I could never wear them- though I desired to. Shoes were the most important thing when it came to back to school shopping, especially since I wore a uniform in school. It was the only way we could express ourselves. But the thing about shoes, they are easy to notice when they are great, and when they are not so great they just blend. Same goes for the opposite end of the spectrum, when shoes are terrible, they stand out, perhaps even more harshly. But I notice all shoes, my shoe senses are extra sensitive. And for a week I acknowledged all shoes, good and bad just screaming to be noticed, by four little words—I like your shoes.


On my way to New York from Indiana, I came across a lot of shoes. Navigating an airport in Indianapolis I came across the first screaming pair, on the security line— a pair of chocolate brown loafers on a tall man.

“I like your shoes,” I said forcefully and sincerely.

“Thanks,” he said without missing a beat. I noticed a little gleam in his eye but nothing more.

I hoped to get more of a reaction from the next person. As I waited to get food at Johnny Rockets there weren’t very many people near me. I turned around and noticed a guy who didn’t look like he was very into fashion or cared much about what he wore. He had on a white collared button up shirt, black slacks and a jacket that did not quite match the aesthetic of his outfit. But he had on a pair of vintage classic shoes, brown, hard shoes.

I turned around and quickly said “I like your shoes.” He was surprisingly delighted at this compliment and cheerful when he said thank you. I could tell he did not expect anyone to say that to him and he welcomed it.

Some people put on shoes with the anticipation that they’ll receive some sort of comment and when they do it’s simply a validation of what they already know. While others put on shoes just to walk on the pavement and keep their feet warm, never expecting anyone to notice them enough to comment.

It looked as if the brown hard shoe man wanted to say more to me but he didn’t. Moments later I ran into the same hard shoe guy. He happened to be waiting in the same terminal as I was. We exchanged glances, but no words were spoken. He seemed to be in a good mood and it made me feel good. He probably had a story behind those shoes, and in the moment I complimented him, he maybe considered sharing it but at the last second took it back. Yet, the memory was enough to make his day. Or, maybe, it was something else.

The thing with compliments—even the same one over and over—can mean different things to different people. There’s no way to tell. A Google search of the phrase “I like your shoes” turns up a definition on urbandictionary.com. Apparently, the hidden meaning of the phrase “I like your shoes” means, to some, “I want to have sex with you.” Shockingly I was oblivious to this as I dished my compliment out to almost anyone not intending for it to be a turn on.

Meaning and sincerity come to the forefront in this scenario. I was especially careful to make sure I did not repeat my compliment in the proximity of the last person I complimented. It would more than likely make my compliment get dismissed and ruin the value of my words.

As I stood on line to board the plane I noticed a young woman sitting next to her mom. She had on running sneakers. I said to her as I stood on the line, “I like your shoes.” She looked down at them, then looked up at me, waited for what seemed an eternity then awkwardly responded with a dull “thanks.” She was caught of guard, and I could tell she thought it was a bit strange for me to have said that about her sneakers. And then, to top off the awkwardness of the moment, the line I was on didn’t move.

I felt like a liar. I am picky about shoes, rather knowledgeable about fashion and appreciative of personal style. They are reflective of where you are and where you are going. Some of the people I encountered just didn’t have the appropriate shoe for where they were going, sort of like when I see people with flip flops on in the winter. I had to tell people I liked their shoes, even if I really didn’t. It was the most difficult thing. It was like telling a 400 pound person they look slim. Some people know that they are not wearing shoes worthy of a compliment and my compliment then feels a bit like an insult.

I sat down on the plane, and peered over to the person next to me. I didn’t even bother to comment on her shoes. She looked like a prude librarian type, and I felt she would see right through my lie. I had a connecting flight and hurried off the plane. As I maneuvered further in the airport, late and practically missing my flight I noticed I was coming upon a girl with boots on. I had to try to catch up with her a bit and when I did I said to her “I like your shoes.” She told me “thanks” but in a dismissive and unfocused manner. She was one of those that expected to hear things like that and rattled off thank yous automatically without thinking.

I felt almost silly for even trying to compliment her, but I really did like her shoes.
People have an unlimited supply of socks, but only a certain number of shoes. You can buy shirts, socks, underwear and such by the bundle. But shoes, are bought carefully, selected from a display, like an award you take down from a mantle piece. But these strangers just didn’t get it. I couldn’t understand their lack of enthusiasm and interest at my effort to acknowledge their prized possessions. But I thought for sure my friends would have a better response.

My friend rang my bell. I hugged her and took a look at her and the first comment I made was, “I like your shoes.”

“Oh thanks! I had these since last year, you don’t remember them? I don’t wear them that much though.”

She had tall black riding boots with gold accents and clasps. They looked brand new and I figured the reason she hardly wore them was because she had so many boots that were similar. “I just threw these on to shake up the rotation a bit.” I laughed at her reply since I knew precisely what she was speaking of. With my friends and I (and any true fashion enthusiast) we have a rotation of shoes that we wear frequently in a particular season. This rotation is more than likely comprised of some new additions with a few oldie but goodies added in just to throw people off a bit. The words—I like your shoes— meant more coming from me since I know her rotation of shoes and I was still impacted by the change in her rotation that manifested through my compliment of her shoes.

But sometimes, when a friend compliments shoes, it leads to embarrassment. I went to visit my cousin at Parsons The New School For Design. I commented on her shoes and she thought I was making fun of her. They were suede short Pocahontas boots. She said she bought them as part of a shoe deal where she could buy one pair of shoes and get another pair half off and she just needed a pair of “knock around” boots.

When it came to compliments, embarrassment I found, would lead to explanation, or a need to share the wealth. Many of the compliments I gave to my female friends resulted in them telling a story about how and where they got the shoes, or the reason they chose to wear them.

The dishing of the phrase— “I like your shoes”— took me on quite a journey. The place the compliment is said and to whom it is said to creates the ultimate meaning of the exchange. Each person has their interpretation based on their experience and their expectations. Whether our meanings come from Google, or each other, is up for debate but the only way to figure it out is to get out there and test it out. So get up, and get out, put on your best shoes and your best smile, because you never know when someone might just “like your shoes.”

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