These past few weeks seem to have been teeming with darkness, loss, and sorrow. In recognition of this, we at Darling want to make an intentional effort to notice and celebrate those who we have seen serve as ambassadors of light and progress. Even in the darkest times, there is reason to celebrate; in fact, the darkest times are the ones that most demand our effort to recognize those who bear light for us.

1. Jennifer Aniston’s Letter (7/12)

Why she’s encouraging:

In her, “For the Record” published on Huffington Post, Jennifer Aniston boldly took a stance to dismantle the lies that have become a foundation for the way that we have seen others, and ourselves, as women. Aniston’s clarity demonstrated the great power in vulnerability, as she recognized her place within the great tapestry of false truths that we women are rising up against today.

Aniston’s letter served women of all walks as a catalyst for positive change. In her words, “If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues. The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance… a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early. The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood.”

Closing her words to us all, she stated, “What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are.” May we all carry on Aniston’s boldness in reshaping our ideas.

…in fact, the darkest times are the ones that most demand our effort to recognize those who bear light for us.

2. New Prime Minister, Theresa May (7/13)

Why she’s encouraging:

Theresa May has just become Queen Elizabeth’s 13th Prime Minister. Not only has she entered into a line of great regard, but she is the second female to ever serve as Prime Minister, since Margaret Thatcher. Upon being asked if she is to carry on the “Iron Lady” name, British columnist Quentin Letts stated, “If not iron, she is certainly made of some sort of metal substance. She’s pretty tough.” May is undoubtedly facing a challenging time to enter into this new role, but it sounds like she’s one woman who’s well-equipped with toughness. Her strength is an inspiration to us.

3. Simone Biles (7/10)

Why she’s encouraging:

Simone Biles is 19-years-old. While many of us can only manage a wobbly somersault or the occasional cartwheel, Biles has not lost a gymnastics competition in three years. She even has a signature move named after her, “the Biles.”  She’s earned the title of World Gymnastics Champion three times, and this has made her the first woman to win the title three times consecutively.

This week she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team and is now headed for Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics. In an interview with abcNews, Biles shared, “I was missing out on public school and going to the football games, prom or homecomings…but I’ve been to three World Championships…so I think it’s like a win-win.” Is there anything nearly as encouraging as a young woman stretching herself beyond the world’s expectations? We’re not so sure there is.

Is there anything nearly as encouraging as a young woman stretching herself beyond the world’s expectations? We’re not so sure there is.

4. Bobbi Brown’s Latest Campaign (7/14)

Why she’s encouraging:

As Bobbi Brown celebrates the anniversary of her iconic makeup brand, she extends the celebration to all women. She just launched a new campaign, “Be Who You Are” to bring attention to the “most important thing about beauty,” being comfortable in our own skin, that will undeniably be unique to who we are as individuals.

While her love for makeup only continues to grow, it seems that her love for women grows alongside it. With this campaign, she continues her message of loving the skin we wear. Brown stands out to us with her words, “Even if it’s a lower selling shade [of foundation,] I still won’t get rid of it. I think that probably, a lot of the other competitive brands might look at things based on numbers and what is profitable. I look at the numbers, sure, but I ultimately make my decision based on need from my customers,” she said. Brown’s ruthless acceptance and inclusion of true beauty in differences certainly is a reason to celebrate.

5. Malala Yousafzai’s Birthday (7/12)

Why she’s encouraging:

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest ever to win the Nobel Prize, had her birthday this past Tuesday. While the mind naturally jumps to scenes of pastel-colored balloons and long candles, this young woman spent her birthday visiting the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. She spent the day being a voice for girls who are destined to be left with minimal options once the camp they’re in is closed. In her address, Yousafzai called out, “We must recognize that the young people in this camp are future leaders on whom we will all depend for peace.” This fresh 19-year-old is a reminder to use our voices for advocacy and our days, even those marking our birth, to encourage and serve others.

Image via Madison Holmlund; Written by Darling Editorial Intern Lauren Franklin


  1. Thank you for sharing good news in the midst of so much sadness and sorrow.. we should champion those carrying the light!!

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