TOP TEN | Favorite Females

 

 

  1. Britney Spears

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“I’m miss American Dream since I was 17” – need I say more? Brit is absolutely fabulous.   For someone who is constantly in the spotlight, her every move being scrutinized and critiqued, she is so sweet and modest.  Brit is known as the “Princess of Pop”.  She has won a plethora of awards – a Grammy, six MTV VMA’s, MTV”s Lifetime Achievement Award, ten Billboard Music awards, the Billboard Millennium Award, and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Brit has sold 100 million albums worldwide, and over 100 million singles.  Talk about an accomplishment!

To See Brit struggle in 2007 was heartbreaking. I’ll never forget seeing her picture on the front page of some stupid tabloid, shaving her head.  My heart broke for her. She was clearly going through some personal struggles-  couldn’t everyone just leave her alone and let her be?  I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life under a microscope like that.  It makes me anxious to even think about it.   Despite her hardships, though, Brit bounced back, like all of her true fans knew she would.  Even while she was going through her own issues, she released Blackout in 2007, her fifth album.  To this day, it’s still my favorite album of hers.  It’s like a “I don’t give a fuck” album.  She was at rock bottom, and she still slayed.

Since 2007, Britney has only risen and grown in everything she has done.  She has full custody of her children, who are adorable and clearly love their wonderful mom.  She’s released 3 more albums, with a 4th on the way! (You can pre-order Glory on iTunes now!  It comes out 8/26/16!)  Her Vegas Show has been nothing but extremely successful, and I couldn’t be prouder or happier for Brit!  She’s amazing.  I admire her strength, her ambition and her dedication.  She is truly an inspiration.

 

 2. Ashley Graham

 

 

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I didn’t really discover Ashley until the Fall of 2015, though she has been modeling since 2001.  In 2016, Ash was the first “Plus Size” (hate that term!!) model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.  Since I started following Ashley, I’ve been a little bit obsessed.  She exudes self confidence in everything she does.  She promotes self-love and body positivity.  She is exactly what this generation needs.  She looks fabulous in her bikini, and she shows girls everywhere to be proud of your body, regardless of your size!  Love her!  Fuck yo thigh gap. 😛

 

3. Iskra Lawrence

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Like Ashley, I recently discovered Iskra Lawrence through Instagram, though she has been modeling since 2008.  Iskra is most famous for modeling for Aerie, American Eagle Outfitters Lingerie Line.  I love Iskra because she is all for Body Positivity, and has no problem calling out body shamers.  She refuses to retouch her Instagram photos – they are Au Naturale, just like her.  I love how real she is.  She doesn’t refer to herself as “plus sized.”  She’s beautiful, confident, and she doesn’t pretend to be anything she’s not.  Iskra is a refreshing face in the modeling industry!

 

4. Selena Gomez

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I love Selena Gomez. I’ve loved her since she played Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverely Place.  When she began her singing career, I quickly fell in love with her music, too.  After listening to Revival, I realized how much I truly admired Selena’s talent.  Revival was raw – she just let it all out there.  It was beautiful.  I think that she is a great role model for younger girls.  I look forward to seeing what else she accomplishes in the future.

 

5. Chrissy Teigen

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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 10: Model Chrissy Teigen attends Variety’s 2014 Power of Women Event in LA presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Variety)

Chrissy Teigen is someone I would want to BFF’s with.  She’s hilarious – she tells it like it is, and holds nothing back.  Her relationship with John Legend is so cute – absolutely love that pic of them when they’re in the pool, and Chrissy’s balancing a plate of chicken wings on her butt and John’s eating them.  Could you guys be any more perfect?  Their daughter, Luna, is adorable too.  They’re just such a cute little family!

Chrissy is best known for her modeling career.  She’s also a great cook, and her cookbook, Cravings, was released this year.  It was instantly a NY Times Bestseller.  I also really admire Chrissy for how open she was during her whole process with IVF.  It’s not an easy topic to talk about.  She slammed any judgemental haters as eloquently as possible.  Her bravery for speaking up for herself is truly inspiring.

 

6. Jennifer Lawrence

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I have loved JLaw since I first laid eyes on her in The Hunger Games.  Not only is she an amazing actress, but she is so real and genuine off-screen, how could you not love her?  She’s very outspoken, down to earth, and funny.  She doesn’t take herself too seriously.  She’s like the girl next door that everyone is able to relate to.  She is a huge advocate for feminism and gender equality, which is amazing.  She has openly admitted that she is pro-choice, which gives her more points in my book. She is the founder of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, which supports various charities and organizations.  She uses her fame for good – she truly wants to help people.  If more women were like Jennifer in Hollywood, the world would be a better place.

 

7. Emilia Clarke

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Emilia Clarke is best known for her role on Game of Thrones, as Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.  It wasn’t until I saw her play Louisa Clarke, however, in Me Before You, that I truly noticed her.  Emilia was amazing in the film, and I was surprised I hadn’t really seen her before.

Emilia has debuted on Broadway on Holly Golightly, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in 2015.  She was also named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive the same year.  She was offered the role of Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Grey, but she declined, due to the amount of nudity that was required.  I believe that fact alone says a lot about her character and the kind of person she is.  Emilia is beautiful, inside and out.  She’s a fabulous actress, and I’m excited to see her in more films in the future.

 

8. Reese Witherspoon

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Reese Witherspoon has been acting since 1991.  I feel like I grew up with her, though she’s 13 years older than me.  Majority of my favorite movies star her, however, and I’ve always thought she was just the cutest, sweetest, Southern Belle.  Not only is she a fabulous actress, but she’s a wonderful mother, too.  Reese owns her own production company, Pacific Standard.  She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and the Critics Choice Award for best actress, along with others.  She also has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Not only is Reese extremely successful, but she is really involved in children’s and women’s advocacy organizations, which I love and admire.  She is an avid reader, which just makes me love her more.  Reese is adorable.  She is always looking for ways to help.  Her positive attitude is refreshing and lovely.

 

9. Lana Del Rey

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I started listening to Lana Del Rey’s music in 2013, and I instantly fell in love.  Her voice was phenomenal, her lyrics were beautiful, and they had so much power and meaning behind them.  Growing up, she wanted to be a poet, which is something I can relate to, and immediately made me like her even more.  Lana has volunteered at homeless youth and drug & alcohol outreach programs, which I also find admirable.  She is kindhearted.

Her musical style is unique, and her songs really speak to me.  I can listen to her music no matter what kind of mood I am in.  I’ve said before, I feel like I relate to Lana on a spiritual level.  I read quotes of hers from magazines, and I just get her.  She’s a sad soul, in a way.  But it’s beautiful.  I adore her. She had a quick rise to fame, but that fame never got to her head, the way it does to so many others.

 

10. Lady Gaga

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Last but not least, is the Lovely Lady Gaga.  Lady Gaga is an absolute Queen.  She does whatever the hell she wants, and she doesn’t care what you think.  She wears her heart on her sleeve.  She’s real, she’s genuine.  She is passionate about her beliefs.  I went to her concert in 2014.  I was so inspired. I love how much she promotes gender equality.  Listening to her at her concert, I realized why so many people loved her so much. She was just so amazing, so understanding.  She truly loves her fans!  It was so beautiful to get to see that.

Not only is she an amazing singer, but she absolutely slays at acting. She killed it in American Horror Story last season, and I cannot wait until the new season premieres in September!  She recently broke off her engagement with Taylor Kinney, and she posted the saddest Instagram shortly after, about how they believed that they were soul mates, but they were going through some stuff.  She’s human, like the rest of us.  She’s not afraid to share her feelings or show her sensitivity.  I think that is a truly beautiful trait in person.  Lady Gaga is entertaining, a fantastic performer.  You’re crazy if you don’t like her! 😛

LOSS | Where there is deep grief, there was great love.

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I have never known what it was like to experience a great loss. Until last week.

When I was 6, my Great Nana passed away.  She was 93 (I believe), and she lived a very long and happy life.  I remember feeling very sad when she died, but I was also very young.  Death wasn’t a concept I had wrapped my head around at that point.  I do remember my mother grieving though, which surprises me, because of my age.  I just remember her sitting in her rocking chair and crying a lot.  I didn’t understand what grief meant then.  I had no idea what my mother was actually going through.  I just knew that I felt sad.  My mom kept my Nana’s spirit alive, however.  To this very day, I still feel her with me, all the time.  And I truly believe she is with me, every day.

When you lose someone who is very young, though, and you lose that person tragically, I believe that the grief and mourning you experience is a different type of pain than the loss of old age.

When I was seven, my family moved from Medford to Stoneham.  My Mom, Dad, Brother (James, but I call him Jamie – no one else does, except for my mom) and I lived on Summer Street, right behind South School. There was a little boy who lived across the street from us, who was the same age as my brother.  His name was Dean.  He and my brother quickly became friends – best friends.  They were inseparable.  Dean was always at our house, or Jamie was always at Dean’s house.  Dean had a pool – I remember the two of them swimming all summer.  My Dad took them to Red Sox games.  They played baseball together in the back yard, or basketball at South School.  They were always at The Boys and Girls Club, too.

My Brother and Dean stayed friends throughout the years.  Dean had introduced my brother to Steve, Mark and TJ, and they all formed an immediate bond.  They became a tightknit group, and they still are.  In my own experience, middle school and high school friendships come and go.  There are many people I was close with growing up, who I just lost touch with over the years.  It wasn’t like that for Jamie and Dean, though.  They stuck by each other, through it all.  They stayed close through middle school, through high school, and after graduation.  They weren’t just best friends, they were basically brothers.  The bond that they shared with each other is rare, and beautiful.

Jamie and Dean are very similar.  They both had the same sense of humor, and they were always acting silly together.  The two of them would drive me crazy when we were younger, in the way that little brothers do.  (I know Dean was not my brother, but that’s how I viewed him  as – a little brother.)  I remember one night, I think it was my 22nd birthday.  My cousin Melissa and I had come home after a night of bar hopping, and I was dismayed to see that my house was full of people.  My brother was having a party – on my birthday!  I quickly kicked everyone out, or so I thought.  I could hear people giggling in the hallway near the front door.  When I went to investigate, there was Dean, hiding in the corner with a girl.  He smirked and laughed when I saw them.  “Dean!” I exclaimed, which just made him laugh more.  He was silly and mischievous.  His grin was so contagious, you couldn’t even get mad at him.  You just had to smile and laugh.

Last week, I received a call that Dean had passed away.  My first reaction was just shock.  Then disbelief.  I was at work when I heard, and I couldn’t focus.  I couldn’t go home, so I took a short break and sat outside, trying to process what I just learned.  I sobbed, still not fully believing it.  Dean was the most kindhearted person, the most amazing friend – it couldn’t be true.  My heart was broken – for Dean, for his family, for my brother.  How would he get through this?

The wake and the funeral were very hard.  I worried about my brother night and day, and cried for him.  Dean was his Day 1, as he called him.  Best friends since they were four years old.  I knew how much pain he was in, and I wanted to take it all away.  I still want to take it all away.

After the funeral, everyone went to Tulip to be together.  I felt better seeing my brother with his friends – I realized that they were such a good group of friends, and they were all there for each other during this horrible time.  I finally realized that my brother would be okay.  He has a great support system.  So many people had loved Dean so much, and they all came together to help each other through his passing.  I also realized that even though Dean may be physically gone, he will always be with Jamie.  Always.  His spirit lives on, and I like to think of him as his Guardian Angel now.

I don’t want to think of Dean and be sad, and I don’t think he would want us to feel sad either.  I want to keep Dean’s memory alive, in the happiest way possible.  I want to remember the good times, and all of the wonderful qualities Dean had.  In a way, it’s like we are keeping Dean alive in our hearts.

Dean, I’ve been praying for you so much.  I know that you are in Peace now.  You are with your mom and Dad, and you’re not in pain any longer.  We all love you.  And I know that we will meet again in Heaven one day.