Everyone Should Read Shonda Rhimes' Remarkable Speech, "On Ceilings Made of Glass"!
Shonda Rhimes received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter's 2014 Women in Leadership Breakfast yesterday. She gave an amazing acceptance speech that we believe will inspire you as much as it inspired us!
The text is below. Go forth and be inspired:
When my publicist called to tell me that I was receiving this honor, I screwed up my face and I said, “Are you sure? Me?” And he said, “Yes.” And I said, “Why?” And then I said, “No really, WHY?”
And I made him call and ask for some written reason why I was getting this award. Because I really and truly was worried that there might have been some kind of mistake.
I want to pause for a beat here to say that I don’t say these things to be self-deprecating and humble. I am not a self-deprecating, humble person. I think I’m pretty fantastic. But I also think that The Hollywood Reporter Sherry Lansing Award is extraordinary — as is Sherry Lansing herself. So…no, really, WHY?
They sent a written reason why I was getting this award. It said many nice things but the main thing that it was said was that I was getting the award in recognition of my breaking through the industry’s glass ceiling as a woman and an African-American.
I come from a very large, very competitive family. Extremely competitive. And by competitive, I mean, my mother says we’re not allowed to play Scrabble anymore when we get together because of the injuries and the tears. One of the rules in my family is you don’t ever get a trophy for participation, you don’t get a trophy for just being you. So getting an award today BECAUSE I’m a woman and an African-American feels…I was born with an awesome vagina and really gorgeous brown skin. I didn’t do anything to make either of those things happen. To get all Beyonce about it, people: “I woke up like this.”
Seriously. I know this isn’t an award because I’m a woman or BECAUSE I’m African American. I know that it’s really about breaking the glass ceiling that exists in the face of being a woman and being black in this very male, very white town. But I haven’t broken through any glass ceilings.
Do they know I haven’t broken through any glass ceilings? I ask my publicist. He assures me that I have. I assure him that I have not. I have not broken through any glass ceilings. If I had broken through any glass ceilings, I would know. If I had broken through a glass ceiling, I would have felt some cuts, I would have some bruises. There’d be shards of glass in my hair. I’d be bleeding, I’d have wounds.
If I’d broken the glass ceiling, that would mean I would have made it through to the other side. Where the air is rare. I would feel the wind on my face. The view from here — way up here where the glass ceiling is broken — would be incredible. Right? So how come I don’t remember the moment? When me with my woman-ness and my brown skin went running full speed, gravity be damned, into that thick layer of glass and smashed right through it? How come I don’t remember that happening?
Here’s why: It’s 2014. This moment right here, me standing up here all brown with my boobs and my Thursday night of network television full of women of color, competitive women, strong women, women who own their bodies and whose lives revolve around their work instead of their men, women who are big dogs, that could only be happening right now.
Think about it. Look around this room. It’s filled with women of all colors in Hollywood who are executives and heads of studios and VPs and show creators and directors. There are a lot of women in Hollywood in this room who have the game-changing ability to say yes or no to something.
15 years ago, that would not have been as true. There’d have been maybe a few women in Hollywood who could say yes or no. And a lot of D girls and assistants who were gritting their teeth and working really hard. And for someone like me, if I was very very VERY lucky, there’d have been maybe one small show. One small shot. And that shot would not have involved a leading actress of color, any three dimensional LGBT characters, any women characters with high powered jobs AND families, and no more than two characters of color in any scene at one time — because that only happened in sitcoms.
30 years ago, I’d think maybe there’d be a thousand secretaries fending off their handsy bosses back at the office and about two women in Hollywood in this room. And if I were here, I would serving those two women breakfast.
50 years ago, if women wanted to gather in a room, well it had better be about babies or charity work. And the brown women were in one room over there and the white women were in a room over here. From then to now…we’ve all made such an incredible leap.Think of all of them.
50 years ago trying to get out of separate rooms, 30 years ago trying to not serve breakfast or be groped by their bosses, 15 years ago trying to make clear that they could run a department as well as that guy over there.
All the women, white or black or brown who woke up like this, who came before me in this town.Think of them. Heads up, eyes on the target. Running. Full speed. Gravity be damned. Towards that thick layer of glass that is the ceiling. Running, full speed and crashing. Crashing into that ceiling and falling back. Crashing into it and falling back. Into it and falling back. Woman after woman. Each one running and each one crashing. And everyone falling.
How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared? How many cuts did they get, how many bruises? How hard did they have to hit the ceiling? How many women had to hit that glass to ripple it, to send out a thousand hairline fractures? How many women had to hit that glass before the pressure of their effort caused it to evolve from a thick pane of glass into just a thin sheet of splintered ice?
So that when it was my turn to run, it didn’t even look like a ceiling anymore. I mean, the wind was already whistling through — I could always feel it on my face. And there were all these holes giving me a perfect view to other side. I didn’t even notice the gravity, I think it had worn itself away. So I didn’t have to fight as hard, I had time to study the cracks. I had time to decide where the air felt the rarest, where the wind was the coolest, where the view was the most soaring. I picked my spot in the glass and called it my target. And I ran. And when I hit finally that ceiling, it just exploded into dust.
Making it through the glass ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman’s footprints. I just hit at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot.
So I’m breaking my family’s rule today. This is a trophy for participation. And I am beyond honored and proud to receive it. Because this? Was a group effort.
Thank you to all the women in this room. Thank you to all the women who never made it to this room. And thank you to all the women who will hopefully fill a room 100 times this size when we are all gone.
December 10, 2014 Read More »
The Hollywood Reporter “Women in Hollywood” Breakfast
Styles We Want To Protect In Our Night Jewels: Kinky Curly Beauty Edition
We have so much fun on Instagram! We've made quite a few friends on the platform, and we love that we get to interact with our fabulous Queendom Members to see how they rock their Jewels!
Instagram is a world of inspiration. On there you can find some of the most awesome hairstyles, done by professional hairstylists and everyday divas who are just naturally gifted. Leslie of Kinky Curly Beauty is a stylist who always posts amazing pictures of her artistry. Here are five hairstyles by Kinky Curly Beauty that we'd love to protect in our Night Jewels!
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Queendom Inspiration: Watch How Sheryl Underwood Turned a Negative Situation Into a Positive One
We absolutely love Sheryl Underwood's approach to turning a negative experience into a positive one! Watch the video below to see courage in action:
What do you think about the way she handled the situation? Would you have done the same?Read More »
Watch Lupita Nyong'o and Elmo Talk About Loving The Skin You're In!
Queendom, we are loving this video of two of our favorite people, Elmo and Lupita Nyong'o! In the video Lupita and Elmo have an important conversation about loving the skin you're in. We know that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and complexions. It's so wonderful that because of Sesame Street this message will reach children everywhere!
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Oh what a night! My Crowning Jewel Awarded $5,000 by EforAll!
Last night was so exciting! We shared with you earlier in the summer that our Chief Queendom Member, Veronica N. Chapman, was chosen as a finalist in the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Summer Accelerator program. Last night 12 weeks of hard work culminated in an awesome and exciting awards ceremony.
There were so many great announcements last night! The first great announcement was that the Merrimack Valley Sandbox has officially changed its name to "EforAll" to further emphasize their motto and belief that entrepreneurship is for all. We couldn't agree more, and we are so looking forward to continuing our relationship with this awesome organization!
Another great announcement is that Veronica was one of the awardees last night! She won $5,000 to continue building our Queendom so stay tuned for new Jewels and new developments!
Veronica also had the opportunity to address the audience last night because she was nominated by her cohort to serve as the class speaker! Click here to read her remarks.
We are so grateful to have had this opportunity, and we are committed to making our fellow finalists; Queendom Members; and the awesome team at EforAll proud!
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Queendom Inspiration: First Lady Michelle Obama Recently Gave An Awesome And Inspiring Speech. Here It Is In Case You Missed It...
On July 30th First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders summit. Mrs. Obama's remarks focused on the importance of educating girls around the world, and on the role the men in her family played in making sure she was empowered and prepared to take advantage of life's opportunities.
It's such an inspiring speech! Watch it below, or read the First Lady's remarks online.
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A Few Favorites From The Emmys Red Carpet
When is the last time you got to dress up? It can be so much fun, but our guess is it can also be a lot of pressure! Here are some of the dresses we loved from the Emmys Red Carpet last night.
Who is on your list of Emmys best dressed?
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Queendom Inspiration: Don't let rejection discourage you. - The Misty Copeland Edition
Exciting News! My Crowning Jewel is a Finalist in the Sandbox Accelerator!
We just learned that we are a Finalist in the Sandbox Accelerator Program! This program will provide us with "three months of incredible mentorship & weekly workshops, free office space, access to technical experts, and the opportunity to compete for $30,000 in cash prizes!"
We have already shared our commitment to excellence in product design and delivery; our commitment to our social mission; and to making sure My Crowning Jewel becomes a sustainable company that addresses the needs and desires of our customers, while being an asset to the world.
We are so grateful for this opportunity; and we look forward to what's to come!
Stay tuned!Read More »
Must-See TV: Oprah's Original Audition Tape
Earlier today I came across this video of Oprah Winfrey sharing the original audition tape that launched her career in Chicago. It's so fascinating! So often we only consider what a person has achieved and we sometimes never really consider the hard work that makes people successful.
Watch below as Ms. Winfrey gives a quick overview of her early career. She describes how she wasn't prepared to submit all the application materials required for what turned out to be an opportunity of a lifetime, but she stayed up all night to make sure she completed her audition tape because she had to have that job!
Queendom, if you want something, go for it!
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Mapping Our Growth While Striving For Excellence
As a new company that is always striving for excellence and growth, it is so important that we pause to celebrate our victories, both big and small. In honor of our growing number of Queendom Members, our CEO recently created a visual representation of our Queendom. The royal purple below represents all the states and countries where we have shipped Jewels. We really value our members and are truly committed to providing great customer service; designing exquisite, high-quality, head wrap Jewels; and to our social mission.
If you know some fabulous women in the states or countries where we don't currently have Queendom Members, or if you have some friends who you think should crown themselves Queens in our Jewels, send them our love and this discount code: QueendomConnect. As we continue to grow we will update our maps so stay tuned, and thank you for joining us on this journey!
My Crowning Jewel Queendom Map - USA
My Crowning Jewel Queendom Map - Global
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International Women's Day Sale! - Crown Yourself Queen!
International Women's Day Spotlight: Madam C.J. Walker
This Saturday the world will celebrate International Women's Day. To join in on the celebration we are highlighting women who spent their lives sharing their talents and gifts with the world. Our third spotlight is on the awesome inventor, entrepreneur, and pioneer, Madam C.J. Walker. Learn more about Madam Walker below!
There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard. ~ Madam C.J. Walker
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International Women's Day Spotlight: Katharine Hepburn
On Saturday, March 8th, the world will celebrate International Women's Day. We've decided to start celebrating a little early! This week we are highlighting women who spent their lives sharing their talents and gifts with the world. Our second spotlight is on one of the original "modern women," Katharine Hepburn. She is one of my favorite actors. I love how frank she was, and the fact that she was committed to women's empowerment. Learn more about her below.
Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around. ~ Katharine Hepburn
Be sure to check out our first spotlight on Celia Cruz.Read More »
International Women's Day Spotlight: Celia Cruz
On Saturday, March 8th, the world will celebrate International Women's Day. We've decided to start celebrating a little early! This week we are highlighting women who spent their lives sharing their talents and gifts with the world. Our first spotlight is on the awesome cantante Celia Cruz.
Watch the video below to learn about the musical contributions of this awesome woman.
Here is one of our favorite songs by Celia Cruz. Enjoy!
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Five of Our Favorite Pictorials on Instagram
Living Single: Why I Am Unfazed By Valentine's Day Hoopla
Queendom, we're family now, right? I feel like we are so I'm comfortable having this discussion. Last Friday was a pretty chill day for me. I worked most of the day and went to my weekly yoga class which is always an amazing and challenging experience. It was packed as usual. Afterwards I ran to the grocery store, showered, and cooked something awesome.
It wasn't until the next day that I was reminded that Friday was Valentine's Day. If the sales on overstocked candy at my local CVS were not enough of a reminder, a conversation with my local gas station homie was another.
This was the convo:
Homie: How are you? How was your Valentine's Day?
Me: Oh, Friday was great! Or are you asking if I had a valentine?
Homie: Yes, that's what I'm asking. Did you have a valentine?
Me: No I didn't.
Homie: Why? You seem really nice.
Me: I am really nice. - LOL! - Did you have a valentine? You seem really nice too.
Homie: No, I hung out with family.
Me: Well since we're both really nice I'm sure we will one day find awesome people.
Homie: I agree. See you next time!
Now, before you start with the "hey, why don't you guys date" comments, the title of this article is "Living Single" so let's stay focused. - LOL! The reality is that on Friday I couldn't care less that it was Valentine's Day. I am sure that a lot of women and even men who found themselves without a valentine on Valentine's Day may have been bummed. I wasn't bummed at all and here's why:
I Don't Have Time For Bandits
Do you know what a bandit is? Most of us have come across them. I know I have. A bandit is a person you are seeing who you really have no business with. It's not going to really go anywhere because you really aren't compatible. The bandit may be inconsistent in his or her actions or even disrespectful, but you continue spending time with him or her because you are lonely or "hungry". ;) If a person you are seeing is inconsistent and displays shady character traits, he or she is a bandit. And, if I rather run financial regressions than spend time with you it's a waste of time. And who has time to waste?
I Am Thankful For The Opportunity To Be Selfish
I am a Libra so we're all for partnership. So if the right person comes along who convinces me that I'm better paired, he will be a very lucky man! LOL! In the meantime, I choose to use this time to focus on using my skills and talents so I can leave my mark on the world, travel when I can, and do other things that make me a better me. - Being selfish can be good, right? LOL!
I Keep Good Company
If you don't have great people in your life, find some. Having great friends makes this life journey so much richer. If things are going well, celebrations ensue. If things are not going so well, great friends are there for those times too! And we won't even mention the game nights, parties, brunches, and all around silliness and joy that great friends bring.
I Know Myself
I have accomplished and experienced a lot while single including traveling long distances and living in foreign lands, or staying local and spending quality time alone. Times of solitude are great times to check in with yourself to see how you're feeling, assess where you are, and where you want to go. If you are someone who does want to be in a partnership at some point, knowing yourself can also help you identify people with whom you are most compatible, and help you communicate your needs when you are in a relationship worthy of your time, love, and compromise.
Are you single? Were you affected by the Valentine's Day hoopla?
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Whether in a relationship or single, everyone should try these five things this Valentine's Day!
Whether you are happily single or happily paired this Valentine's Day, these five things will make February 14th and the days beyond special!
1. Send Someone Your Love
When is the last time you dropped a friend or loved one a note? We send so many texts and e-mails we sometimes forget how wonderful it is to receive a card in the mail. Make someone's day and send them a note. Maybe they'll send you one back!
2. Be Creative
Have you ever tried painting? There are so many paint party locations popping up around the United States. In some locations you can bring your favorite wine and even a dish while an artist leads you in creating your own masterpiece! Try it! Who knows? You may be the next Jacob Lawrence!
3. Go Dancing
Nothing can be more energizing and exciting than moving in rhythm (hopefully) to your favorite jam. Dancing is freedom. Dancing is sexy. Dancing is love. - OK, we may be exaggerating a little but dancing is SO much fun! Don't you agree?
4. Be Extra Thoughtful
People often say that it is best to "treat others the way you want to be treated." What a horrible idea! We are all unique. We show love differently, we receive love differently, and we want and need different things to be our best selves. This Valentine's Day treat your loved ones the way they want to be treated!
5. Eat Some Soul Food
We've all had the experience of eating the first thing we see when we're hungry, regardless of how unfulfilling it may be. It can happen when you're driving and fast food is the only option, or when you're too tired to cook so you grab your peanut butter and jelly or a bowl of cereal to settle your empty stomach. - Don't do that this Valentine's Day! Make something that makes your soul smile or go to a restaurant that is tried and true.
If you do decide to cook, try foodgawker for inspiration! And you must try this Butternut Squash and Basil Bechamel Lasagna. It's mind-blowing!
What would you add to this list?
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My Crowning Jewel Is Headed to Atlanta!
It has been over ten years since our CEO, Veronica N. Chapman, won her first business plan competition in her Management class at Spelman College. She is very excited to return to Atlanta this spring to spread the word about My Crowning Jewel, and to welcome the fabulous women of "ATL" into our Queendom!
Come visit us at the World Natural Hair Health & Beauty Show! We can't wait to meet you!
Check out some of our Jewels below!
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Silk vs. Satin - Both Protect Hair From Breakage So What's The Difference?
Our “Night Jewel” head wraps are made of the finest quality silk and satin-woven polyester. But what is silk? What is polyester? What is satin?
Polyester is a man-made (synthetic) fiber or thread. Picture threads of polyester like your fingers. When woven, these threads produce bolts of fabric. Imagine weaving like a lattice top pie crust or your fingers interlaced.
There are three ways in which fiber is woven into fabric: plain weave, twill weave and satin weave. These ways of weaving are distinguished by the direction in which the weaving takes place: horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Of the three types of weaving, satin is the most expensive to manufacture because it is the most involved.
Satin-woven polyester produces a fabric with beautiful drapability, enabling our head wraps to be shaped to the contours of the head. It is also wrinkle-resistant, allowing our Queendom Members to go from the bedroom to the boulevard! No one would ever guess it was slept in since the shiny side of the fabric is against the hair, enabling the hair to glide smoothly all night long, keeping hair moisturized, and both protecting the hair from breakage, and the hairstyle. The dull or matte side that is on the opposite side looks like a regular scarf. Except it isn’t “regular” at all, it’s a Crowning Jewel!
Satin woven polyester is long-wearing and easy to care for. And, because satin is a weave, and not a fabric, other fibers can also have a satin weave. For example, when cotton fibers are woven with a satin weave the result is what is called sateen.
Whereas polyester is man-made, silk is a natural protein fiber that is produced by the larvae of the silk worm. The filament is reeled off and boiled to remove the stiff natural glue, and woven into fabrics noted for their soft luster, luxurious feel and strength. Because it is in short supply and labor intensive to produce, silk is expensive. Silk can have a plain weave, such as china silk or it can have a satin weave. Some of our Night Jewels are made with a silk satin. Unlike polyester, silk will wrinkle and should be hand laundered to be safe, while polyester can be machine washed and does not wrinkle as much. Many prefer silk because of its exquisitely soft feel. Think of silk as the “Rolls Royce” of head wrap fabrics and polyester as the “Mercedes Benz.” Which “car” do you prefer?