Damn, Lena Dunham's feminist newsletter keeps knocking it out of the park, doesn't it?
We're finding it hard keeping up with the stellar names Lenny attracts to its roster on a weekly basis. You name it, Lenny's covered it. From Jennifer Lawrence's rally for gender pay equality; to lengthy interviews with potential President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton and feminist campaigner Gloria Steinem - Lenny's tagline of 'dismantling the patriarchy, one newsletter at a time', seems to be doing just that. And we're massively into it.
We're not the only ones, either: Lenny Letter reached more than 400,000 subscribers this year - and it keeps on rising. To celebrate Lena's burgeoning feminist empire, here's just a few of Lenny's best moments so far...
Nicole Richie On Having No Regrets
If you can believe it, Nicole Richie turned 35 last month. And while the ‘mother, wife and gardening extraordinaire’ felt ‘overwhelming feelings of excitement, gratitude, and eagerness for this next chapter’, she used it as a time for reflection on her younger self. Yes, The Simple Life version of Nicole Richie, who Nicole acknowledged made some ‘bad decisions. I was so used to hearing others’ views of my life that I found myself believing them’. But as she gets older, Nicole is realising that ‘being ashamed of your life is not OK… I am actually extremely thankful I was so beastly in front of the world for a few reasons. It’s so bad in people’s minds that there’s nothing that can embarrass me now. I don’t have to worry someone is going to put an embarrassing picture up on Facebook — the worst is already in strangers’ heads. How cool is that?! The biggest lesson? How to have the confidence to just go in there and be my own version of anything. Not somebody else’s, but mine. So as a mom at a school, as an actor on a comedy series, as a designer at Fashion Week’. Now that is a life lesson we can all take something from.
Ashley Graham Talks Body Shaming
The gorgeous Ashley Graham needs no introduction from us, however, her self-penned Lenny essay entitled 'Shamed If I Do, Shamed If I Don't' provides invaluable insight into the professional modelling world, and the social media activity that can quite often govern it. Ashley discusses the situations in which she's been photographed looking 'slimmer' — and the backlash she recieves because of it, we know, crazy right — and alternatively, the times she's been accused of promoting obesity because her stretch marks happen to be on show. Enlightening and well written, make sure you read this piece of body positive lit ASAP. Bravo Ashley.
Alicia Keys Throws Out Her Make-Up Bag
How often do we feel the pressure to look perfect? If you're anything like us, it's probably every morning as we slap on some make-up or pass a reflective surface and notice a hair out of place. Well, Alicia Keys is not having it anymore. Writing for Lenny, Alicia looked back to her childhood, where she tried to hide her natural hair in a tight bun, or when she started out in the 'industry' and fit herself into everyone else's ideal of perfect. Now, she's putting down the make-up in favour of letting her real self come though - so much so that she's even declared that she will be make-up free when judging this season of NBC's The Voice. Boom.
Jennifer Lawrence Hit Out At Hollywood's Wage Gap
Sure, she's a Holywood actress who earns millions for every movie she makes - but that doesn't mean she doesn't get screwed over by gender pay inequality. Last year she wrote about it for Lenny, asking: "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?" Good question, Jen. She also addressed for the first time the revelation we were ALL talking about - the Sony hack that revealed she earned considerably less than her male co-stars in American Hustle. Angry much? You betcha.
Hillary Clinton Talked Civil Rights, Student Loans...And Donna Karan...
Lena Dunham interviewed her BFF Hillary Clnton for Lenny's first proper release - which isn't bad going, right? Lena hasn't exactly been shy in backing Clinton publicly to become America's first female President. Suffice to say the two got on pretty well - and the Q&A included some pretty revelatory answers from Hill. Marriage jitters? She had a few. "I was terrified about losing my identity and getting lost in the wake of Bill's force-of-nature personality," she admitted. "I actually turned him down twice when he asked me to marry him."
Lupita Nyong Encouraged Us All To Take Control - And Shut Out The Haters
There are many, many reasons why we adore Lupita. Her penned essay for Lenny Letter only confirmed our love. Discussing the meaning of success and the pressures we all face to placate those around us, she really got to the heart of an issue we all struggle with in our daily lives. “I think as women, as women of color, as black women, too often we hear about what we ‘need to do.’ How we need to behave, what we need to wear, what’s deemed as too much or not enough, the cultural politics of what society considers appropriate for us and for our lives," the actress wrote. "What I am learning is that the most important questions you can ask yourself are ‘What do I want?’ and ‘Who do I want to become?’”
Gloria Steinem Revealed Her Fierce Belt Collection
Another Lenny Letter, another hero. This time Lena hung out with Gloria Steinem - the founding mother of second-wave feminism - and even got to discuss her love of Navajo belts (in addition to rage crying, cursing and superstitions).
Beth Ditto Admitted She Is Obsessed With Miss Piggy
The indie rock star shared what inspired her mission to change plus size fashion forever in an empowering Q&A. "To get back on my soapbox, we don’t have the privilege of walking into any store, just seeing something in the window and trying it on and buying it," she said.
Michelle Obama Revealed Her Personal Commitment To Global Girls' Education
How much do we LOVE Michelle? Let us count the ways...She penned a Lenny Letter this year - and it gave us a unique insight into just how passionate this FLOTUS is. Her call to action got us all talking: "I see myself in these girls — in their ambition and their determination to rise above their circumstances," she wrote. "And I believe that because you’re Lenny Letter readers — women who are talented, passionate, and ambitious — you’d see yourselves in these girls too."
By Kat Lister