5 GIRL POWER MOMENTS FROM OSCARS PAST

Everyone can agree Adele made an addition to the archives of girl power awards show speeches with her shout out to Beyoncé at the Grammys last week. So in anticipation for the Oscars, which airs on February 26, we’ve compiled a list of iconic, empowering acceptances from some of our faves.

HALLE BERRY – MONSTER BALL, 2002

Choking through her tears, which were entirely understandable as she was the first and only Black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress 74 years (yes, you read that right) after they began, Berry says, “This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for … every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.” She had everyone welled up, including me in my room right now as I’m typing this. No shame.

MARLON BRANDO – THE GODFATHER, 1973

What’s a guy doing on here? Well, Brando wasn’t the one to accept his award. In fact, he rejected the award entirely and sent Sacheen Littlefeather, an Apache woman, in his place. His reasoning for doing so was the mistreatment of Native Americans in Hollywood, a very prevalent issue that remains today. She stayed cool and calm as she delivered the speech, despite the booing from the audience. Plus, she looked totally gorgeous in her traditional Apache dress. Talk about bad a**.

SANDRA BULLOCK – THE BLIND SIDE, 2010

After complimenting every other actress who had been nominated for her award like the classy lady that she is, Bullock gave a shout out to all the mamas who have taken children into their homes regardless of their backgrounds. She finished up by thanking her own mother for “reminding her daughters that there is no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love.” Now that’s mothering done right.

CATE BLANCHETT – BLUE JASMINE, 2014

It’s no secret that the glass ceiling in Hollywood is still a very real thing, and this can partially be attributed to the myth that female movies don’t make as much money as those starring males. In her speech, Cate Blanchett threw some serious shade to “those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not … And, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people!” Cate, you’re my GALileo.

JODIE FOSTER – SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, 1991

Okay, maybe I’m biased because Clarice Starling is my favorite female character of all time, but Jodie Foster seriously slayed this. At the end of her speech, which I have a really hard time believing she made up on the spot because it was that freakin’ good, she says, “I’d like to thank the academy for embracing such an incredibly strong and feminist hero that I am so proud of. Thank you very much.” The only thing that could’ve made this more flawless is if she’d said the speech in Clarice’s phony West Virginia accent.

What would you say in your Oscars acceptance speech? Let us know in the comments!

(Featured image via buzzfeed.com)

WHY MY ADULT BFFS ARE SO IMPORTANT TO ME

Living in a city is hard. They’re fast paced, unrelenting, and sometimes downright cruel. Yet, cities are the place where most of our careers flourish,  we find our niche (and ourselves), and grow into the adults we’re meant to be. I would argue, like this article I recently read, that none of these things are possible, city or not, without your best friend.

I remember in middle school when we wrote notes (really showing my age here) and we’d sign them with BFFL (“best friends for life”), and BFF (“best friends forever”).

While I’m no longer signing texts “best friends forever,” I can honestly say that I still have best friends now as an adult, and I know these relationships will last for life.

Maia Dickinson really makes me think about my friendships and their importance in a completely different way. She talks about learning the importance of intimacy, when and how to be honest, “the art of unconditional support,” and the ability to lean on someone for support in difficult situations.

If you can learn to be a great friend, you’ve set yourself up for a lifetime of great relationships.

From this, we can argue that adult friendship is our first adult relationship. Dickinson goes on to say she’s learned companionship, compromise, compatibility, and complacency, all from her adult friendships.

She’s really onto something here. My adult friendships have taught me all these things and more. I’d even go as far to say I wouldn’t  be who I am or where I am today without my adult best friends. I’ve learned that adult friendship is the building block for any great relationship. If you can learn to be a great friend, you’ve set yourself up for a lifetime of great relationships.

Do you have an adult best friend? Share this with her and tag her in the comments below! Still looking for one? Download Hey! VINA on the app store and get ready to meet your new bestie. 

(Feature image via @curlswithapromise)

VINAS WE LOVE: SOPHIA BUSH

Hey vina, hey!

You know what the best part about being a vina is? We’re all freaking amazing. No, seriously. If you don’t consider yourself a vina but have other vinas in your circle, what are you even doing?! Everyone needs vinas in their lives! And more importantly, we all need vinas that are loving, inspiring, life-changing.

There is one vina that you must, and I mean must make it a priority to have in your daily life. Now, she is a little bit on the celebrity-status side, so you may not be able to grab a Frappuccino with her, but you CAN follow her everyday wonderfulness.

If you don’t know who she is, get ready. I’m about to drop some knowledge.

SOPHIA BUSH

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Total feminist. Uplifter. World peace activist. Role model for vina power. Queen.

She is the embodiment of how every vina should aspire to live. Alright alright, take that with a grain of salt – we all have different beliefs, hobbies, and lives we’ve already built and committed to – but as far as characteristics? Oh yeah, she’s the one.

You may have first met Sophia as “Brooke,” on One Tree Hill. You know how Brooke went from total mean girl/wild child to total success story – kind, loving, generous, & the best vina anyone could ever ask for? Well, that’s actually real-life Sophia.

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I follow her Instagram and let me just tell you – her inspirational, positive, uplifting posts GET.ME.THROUGH.LIFE. Seriously. Some days I’m just sitting there like what is this day? I’m over it. And all I have to do is pop open my Insta, scroll down,  and there it is – the one post I needed to see, reminding me of life, love, gratitude, and that tomorrow is a new day. And whose post is that? Yep. You guessed it.

She doesn’t discriminate. She’s never hateful. She encourages peace, love, and gratitude. And of course, I can’t forget – she LIVES for friendships. With all types of people, in all types of places, taking on the world. She is constantly uplifting her vinas, praising them, and being grateful for every single one of them along the way.

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It truly is amazing to see. Sophia is a reminder that there are still amazing people that we can really look up to out there. Her confidence, generosity, and humility truly make her the perfect example of the type of vina we should all aspire to be.

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In light of us still being fresh into 2017..

“Process the good, the bad, & everything in between. Offer grace to yourself. To those you love & those you don’t know. & then kiss this year goodbye as you welcome what’s to come.” – Sophia Bush

Words to live by.

Be sure to bring Sophia’s inspiration to your everyday feed by following her on Instagram: @sophiabush

Who’s your celebrity-vina inspiration? Tell us in the comments! And who says you have to be a celebrity to be amazing, start meeting amazing vinas now!

VINAS WE LOVE: KRISTEN EGLINTON AND THE FOOTAGE FOUNDATION

I had been in New York City for less than three months when I first met Kristen Eglinton. Kristen is the Executive Director and one of the Co-founders of Footage Foundation, an international non-profit that works to amplify the voices of underserved communities. (Not to mention her work as a textbook author)! At the time, I was looking for a community in New York- something that Kristen and Footage Foundation has provided for so many young women, including myself.

image-uploaded-from-ios-3Upon recieving a State Department Grant, Kristen worked with her colleagues to create the project Girl-Talk-Girl. Participants of Girl-Talk-Girl used mobile phones to create digital stories about gender based violence they have faced in their lives. From Saint Petersburg to New York City, there were recurring themes, and the participants bonded over the similarities their lives shared despite geographic distance.

The work Kristen does reaches far beyond helping others tell their stories, rather, it focuses on growing them and empowering them. Because strong vinas empower other vinas, Footage Foundation was able to get an extension on their grant which allowed them to create a toolkit and train other women to become facilitators of the program. Kristen and her colleagues worked tirelessly to train young women to help others create and tell their stories, creating a chain reaction of empathy and empowerment.

In the last few months of 2016, Kristen worked to bring knowledge to the refugee crisis by launching the #AreYouBraveEnough campaign which focuses on the impact personal stories can have on others. This resulted in them being one of the 10 finalists in the annual GivNYC event hosted by Givkwik. As we move into 2017, Kristen continue to fight for all of those around her, and  most recently represented Footage Foundation in the Women’s March on Washington.image-uploaded-from-ios

Kristen and her work with Footage Foundation have been an inspiration to me and many of the people who surround her. She is a source of light in dark times as she continues to work to amplify voices around New York City, the Unites States, and the world.

VINAS WE LOVE: BADASS FIRST LADIES

At times in this political season, I have felt full of hope; at others, full of discouragement. Always, I have felt how important it is, in this historical moment, for women to continue striving toward great achievement, visionary leadership, and strong community with each other.

Since at least Abby Adams’s “Remember the ladies,” America’s First Ladies have often led the charge on women’s rights, education, and influence in society. This year, I’m inspired by the many ways women have conquered challenges and championed each other’s cause from the White House.

Edith Wilson practically ran the country as she vetted issues of state and gaged their suitability for her husband’s limited strength; Dolly Madison effectively established the First Ladyship, taking an active role in her husband’s work and founding an orphanage for young girls. Florence Harding was the first First Lady to vote, offering her political opinions freely, and Betty Ford shocked and helped millions with her open, honest discussion of breast cancer, addiction, and women’s health. She believed that “the search for human freedom can never be complete without freedom for women” (International Women’s Year meeting, 1975). We women have much to be proud of in the first ladies of our past.

As a toast to our vinas and a rallying cry for 2017, here’s what three of my very favorite First Ladies have had to say about friendship and life.

MICHELLE OBAMA

“We should always have three friends in our lives – one who walks ahead, who we look up to and we follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journeys; and then, one who we reach back for and we bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”
–National Mentoring Summit, 2011

“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.”
–Remarks by the First Lady at an Event with Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Students, 2011 (click to read the whole speech!)

HILLARY CLINTON

“I have always believed that women are not victims, we are agents of change, we are drivers of progress, we are makers of peace — all we need is a fighting chance.”
–Women in the World Summit, 2013

“If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard.”
–U.N. World Conference in Beijing, 1995

“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”
–Campaign suspension speech, 2008

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
–Unknown

“Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”
–As quoted in The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women, 1992

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”
–You Learn By Living, 1960

“There is no human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.”
–You Learn By Living, 1960

What first ladies do you admire? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to download Hey! VINA for more inspiring women in your life. 

(Feature image via @michelleobama)

MEET OUR VINAS: LEE, HEIDI, AND REHANA

Hey vinas! Today it is our great pleasure to introduce you to our new vinas Lee, Heidi, and Rehana, who all met on Hey! VINA!

Heidi, 35, is a health insurance specialist and one of our most enthusiastic vinas! She’s a super friendly, but equally fiesty babe, who loves yoga, shopping, reading, and generally adventuring with her vinas.

Heidi first connected with Lee, also 35! She’s a busy renaissance woman – running a fashion boutique, doing graphic design, and being a wife and mom to two kids. In true busy mama fashion, Lee organized a group meet up with some girls from the app, and she an Heidi really hit it off.

Then Heidi met Rehana, 25! Rehana is a full time Doctorate student in Clinical Psychology and she also works as a therapist at a local college. They bonded over their love of brunch and going out dancing…and well, the rest is history!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetWe caught up with these East Bay babes in the Mission District in San Francisco for coffee on a rainy Saturday morning. We chatted about life, love, friendship, and of course, Hey! VINA.

“Lee and I are proof you don’t have to have the same exact lifestyle to become good friends,” said Heidi. Even though Lee is a busy working mom with two adorable youngins, and Heidi is lovin’ and livin’ the single gal life, they’ve still been able to form an incredible bond.

“I live vicariously through her!” Lee laughed.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThese ladies will be joining us on Galentine’s Day for our party in SF! Want to come party with us? RSVP here!

So happy we could introduce you to our vinas Heidi, Lee, and Rehana. Want to share your story with us? Tag us on Instagram and/or Twitter @ilikevina!

BLACK WOMEN IN HISTORY WE ❤️

One of my favorite Solange lyrics is, “Don’t let anybody steal your magic. I got so much y’all!” Solange was singing about #blackgirlmagic. These four women have the kind of magic we admire:

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via NASA

KATHERINE JOHNSON

Johnson was one of the first black women to work for NASA. She is also a member of the first African-American sorority to be incorporated in America, Alpha Kappa Alpha. More of Johnson’s story can be seen in the new film Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer.

Shirley_Chisholm.jpgSHIRLEY CHISHOLM

Shirley Chisholm is known for being the first African-American woman to be elected to the United States Congress. She was also the first African-American presidential candidate, along with being the first woman to ever run for the Democratic Party. Astonishing, right? Outside of politics, she was a part of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the second African-American sorority to be chartered in America.

b2e49b9837462203467153f2f7ffb2b7.jpgRUBY BRIDGES

Ruby Bridges is an icon for every little black girl to admire. The movie, Ruby Bridges (1998), highlights the sacrifices that the Bridges family made in order for Ruby to attend an all-white school. Her bravery at William Frantz Elementary sparked a new strategy of resistance that is still practiced today.

Fannie-Lou-Hamer.pngFANNIE LOU HAMER

Hamer is known to be one of the most influential and vocal black women in history. She was never to be silenced. Fannie Lou Hamer fought for the right for black women to vote. She also criticized and challenged the dangers of voter suppression in America. To learn more, listen to this clip of her speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

Happy Black History Month! This month, I encourage you to learn more about black women and their influence on the world.

Are there any black women that you admire? Tweet us about it or tell us below!