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Power Monday: JWOWW

Yeah, you heard me right. This week’s Power Monday EDF is the Jersey Shore‘s JWOWW.

For those of you who read my first post, eyebrows may have been raised when I mentioned JWOWW’s name as an example of an EDF. But I hold my stance.

 Harper's Bazaar-Jersey Shore -JWowwphoto credit

Why she kicks butt: Jenni JWOWW Farley kicks butt in my book because of HER book. That’s right, her bookThe Rules According to JWOWW: Shore-Tested Secrets On Landing A Mint Guy, Staying Fresh To Death, and Kicking the Competition to the Curb. Why did I read this book, you ask? Well, it was an accident, really and truly. A friend gave it to me as a gag gift – I’d never even seen Jersey Shore before (I now admit to watching a few of the first episodes just to get an idea of what she was like as a person and see if she was truly an EDF worthy of this blog). But it sat on my nightstand, and it was good “thoughtless reading” – that is, it wasn’t an essay on race theory, or a Dante novel. And as I read more, I realized I was actually enjoying reading it. Not because it told me anything I didn’t know (I am Queen B, after all), but because the book’s message is genuinely good. I didn’t expect this, since my made-from-a-distance first impression of the entire Jersey Shore cast was, “Yuck. Trash. Go away.” (Just being honest.) JWOWW proved me wrong, and I was humbled. In the book, JWOWW touts a message of straight-up-EDF. She encourages girls to go for what they want, to be who they want to be, to not compromise, to take care of themselves. I’m serious folks, this is a good book – go buy it. Never in my life did I think I would so hardcore endorse something created by a Jersey Shore cast member. But I am, and after seeing her on the show as a real-life person, I can also say she’s a woman I would want as my friend and that she would be hella fun to party with. I’m just sayin’.

10 things you might not know (sources: jwoww.com and her book, except where noted)

  • Jenni grew up in upstate New York.
  • She moved to NYC for college when she was 21.
  • She’s a computer geek and graphic designer by trade.
  • She started and still owns her own graphic design company, Jenni Farley Designs, Inc.
  • Her favorite places to shop include Affliction, Bebe, Cache, Guess, Armani Exchange, Le Chateau, Steve Madden, and Express.
  • She likes drinking vodka seltzers.
  • Her favorite clubs at home in Long Island are Glo, Neptune Beach Club, and Savannah Lounge.
  • She released a clothing line in 2010 but it was recalled shortly thereafter. She said it will be re-released.
  • Her upcoming business ventures include a line of bronzer, workout videos, diet supplements, and sports drinks.
  • In April of this year MTV announced that Jenni and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi are going to have their own show.
Happy Monday – go kick this week’s butt!

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Power Monday: Ursula Burns

Women have been present in the business world for a while now – but we’re still working on climbing the corporate ladder (not to mention getting paid the same as our male counterparts). I’m sure every woman CEO out there has some pretty incredible stories. Ursula Burns is one of these women. As the first African-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company (Xerox), she blazed her own trail to a place no one has gone before or since. For this and many other reasons, Ursula Burns is this week’s Power Monday EDF.

photo via michaelrubottom

Why she kicks butt: First and foremost, she’s never been afraid of being herself on her journey to the top. This year, she’s listed in Forbes as the 27th most powerful woman, a climb of epic proportions during her three-decade tenure (and she’s only 52!) at Xerox. Burns landed a job at Xerox after she was a summer intern in 1980; she joined the company full-time after earning her master’s at Columbia University. In my opinion, one of the coolest things about Ursula is that she loves what she does. Of course, that doesn’t make running a Fortune 500 company a piece of cake – but it sure as heck makes it a lot easier. I was lucky enough to see her speak at MIT Commencement this year, and I can tell you firsthand that she is an absolute inspiration.

10 things you might not know (source and source, except where otherwise noted):

  • Burns was raised by a single mom in a NYC housing project.
  • Her mother scraped together the funds to send her to Catholic school and on to college.
  • She is married and has two children.
  • Her elder son attends MIT.
  • She oversees a staff of 134,000 people (that’s the size of Warren, Michigan).
  • She serves on a number of boards, including American Express, Boston Scientific, FIRST, National Association of Manufacturers, University of Rochester, the MIT Corporation, the Rochester Business Alliance and the RUMP Group.
  • At a Fortune dinner in 2008, she said, “I’ve had many mentors, but the one that has the most impact was my mother.”
  • Along with Anne Mulcahy, Burns “saved Xerox in a historic turnaround” (source). You go, ladies!
  • The CEO baton-pass between Mulcahy and Burns was the first ever woman-to-woman CEO succession in the Fortune 500.
  • Burns has a sign in her office that reads, “Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your mom proud!”
Happy Monday – go make your mammas proud!

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Power Monday: Madonna

First let me take a step back: What the heck is Power Monday? EDF is going to kick off the week by choosing a real-life Exceptionally Desirable Female and highlighting exactly what makes them so amazing.

In honor of this year’s VMAs, yours truly went on a search for females in the history of music videos. I buried my nose in Google and found:

  • a Wikipedia article on the history of music videos that said nothing about women;
  • lots of articles on sex-role stereotyping and visual exploitation of women in music videos;
  • links to the “hottest” music videos, “featuring 2 beautiful women making out,” or the like.

When you think about it, this isn’t too surprising. I think of the music videos of my past, my memory churns up images of skinny girls in bikinis, skinny girls in bikinis on motorcycles, skinny girls in bikinis rolling around in questionable substances. I don’t think I have to spell out what the common themes are here.

Of course, there’s a fine line between exploitative and sexy. There’s nothing wrong with struttin’ your stuff, especially if you’ve got it goin’ on to the degree Shakira does inher video for “Gypsy,”  or JLo in “I’m Into You”. And of course I have to mention Gaga‘s videos, which, though she is often scantily clad, belong under the category of art more than just about any other artists’ videos today.

That said, there is a huuuuuge difference between these and the way other videos portray women. For example, the video for “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” (Mike Posner feat. Lil Wayne) is disgusting. You couldn’t pay me enough money to be one of the women in that video, who act disinterested in Posner and Lil Wayne until they flip a magical switch, emitting an obnoxious noise that is apparently a universal cue for women to jump whatever bones happen to be lying in front of them. Not to mention Lil Wayne’s feature begins with the oh-so-memorable line, “I got a leather couch.” Yeah? So? You ain’t gonna see me on it any time soon.

I could keep up this rant, but I’m getting off-topic. Despite the fact that my search yielded very little information on the female side of music video history, I finally decided that Madonna was the perfect first-ever Power Monday EDF.

Madonna 3 by David Shankbone

Why she kicks butt: Well, she’s Madonna. ‘Nuf said.  She released her first single, “Everybody,” in 1982, and since then hasn’t stopped rockin’ everything from the stage to the silver screen.  And if there’s anyone that SHOULD be in the history of music videos, it’s Madonna. She’s won 20 MTV Video Music Awards. One of the twenty is the lifetime achievement “Video Vanguard Award,” which she took home in 1986. The short story: not many stars can claim to have the sort of epic career she has had.

10 things you might not know (source)

  • She was born in Bay City, Michigan. Midwest respresent!
  • She’s been vegetarian since age 15.
  • She’s been in 22 flims.
  • There’s a 13-foot statue of Madonna in Pacentro, Italy, where here grandparents immigrated from.
  • Her true name is…Madonna! Yep, she was born with it.
  • Gwenyth Paltrow was her maid of honor in 2000.
  • She designed a clothing line for H&M in 2007.
  • In 2010 she started a chain of fitness centers called “Hard Candy”.
  • Sting is her son Rocco’s godfather.
  • She published her first children’s book in 2003 and has since published nine other books.

Here’s to a happy Monday and a fabulous week!
Queen B.

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