Emma Watson

Emma Watson has been an idol of ours since she first appeared as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Not only did she inspire girls everywhere to embrace their intelligence, but she also portrayed a strong female character who was every bit (and often times more) capable than her male counterparts. But Emma’s influence extends far past the big screen. She is the face of the UN’s campaign He For She which promotes women’s rights all over the world. She is an active feminist, and one of the most intelligent actresses in Hollywood today – she got top marks in her A-levels people! Oh, and did we mention she’s GORGEOUS! Emma Watson is clearly the epitome of a Smart Modern Woman.

Here’s a few things that we think every woman can learn from Emma Watson:

  • Stand up for what you believe in, with compassion. Emma is not only a UN Ambassador promoting women’s rights, but she is also the face of other humanitarian causes. Our favorite part about her activism is that she never bashes anyone. Instead she points out logically why someone is wrong, and how the can fix their behavior. That type of courtesy is essential if you want to be taken seriously and enact real change.
  • Be multifaceted. Emma isn’t just an actress, or just a humanitarian. Instead she’s an actress, humanitarian, feminist, scholar, artist, friend, daughter, and a whole bunch of other things. Embrace what you’re passionate about and never let anyone tell you that you have to fit a specific stereotype.
  • Don’t get a big head. You won’t find her on the cover of a tabloid for some public disaster. You’re more likely to see her highlighted in the media for random acts of kindness and compassion. She has a lot of non-famous friends and hasn’t let her superstardom go to her head.
  • Read. A good chunk of her twitter is dedicated to books she loves. Every woman should read, take it from us.
  • Don’t take life seriously. Emma’s not afraid to laugh or make fun of herself. Just look at her performance in This Is The End and The Bling Ring.
  • Take risks. She isn’t afraid to take risks in fashion, roles, or her interviews…but these risks are always calculated and in god taste.

Overall, Emma Watson is a great role model and we should all be inspired by her general awesomeness.

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A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella premiered this week and it got me to thinking about the lessons that this (my favorite) fairytale taught me as a child and how those lessons apply to my adult life.

Here are some of the lessons:

  • Good will always triumph. It doesn’t matter how bleak life is. If you continue to live with hope and kindness at your core, you will eventually overcome the evil around you.
  • Losing your shoe isn’t a tragedy. We place too much importance in material possessions, sometimes letting these objects go can lead us to greater happiness.
  • There’s nothing wrong with wanting a night off to have a good time. Cinderella just wanted to wear a pretty dress and go to a party. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG ABOUT THAT. I personally think we all need to dress up and go out more, you never know when it will lead you to your Prince Charming (or a promotion, new friendships, lasting memories…it’s not all about finding a man after all).
  • Leave a little mystery. Too many women today reveal too much about themselves on the first date. Cinderella knew that not letting the prince know everything about her was a smart idea, plus making a quick exit in time for curfew (or Game of Thrones, we ARE adults after all) is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Life is not fair. It just isn’t, but good always comes from bad.
  • Choose to remain kind. Cinderella could have become bitter and hard, but then she would be exactly like her stepfamily. She instead taught us that even though we’re surrounded by bad behavior, we can hold ourselves to a higher standard.
  • Never chase after a man. Let him chase you, you’re worth being pursued and wooed.
  • Be accepting of where you are, but willing to move on to something bigger and better. Cinderella accepted the circumstances of her life, but when the opportunity came for her to become a princess she didn’t question whether or not she was worthy or ready, she took her chance.
  • Never ever give up hope. There is always a chance that you’ll be the one that fate (or the prince) chooses to smile upon.

Ivanka Trump

Last week our woman crush was chosen because of her effortless style. This week we chose to profile Ivanka Trump because of her business acumen. Nobody can doubt that Ivanka is a Smart Modern Woman. Not only is she beautiful, classy, and well dressed, but she is a successful business professional in her own right. Additionally, she does not define success as a material possession. Instead, to her, success is determined by how happy she is. That is something to be inspired by for sure.

That being said, we decided to pull some of Ivanka’s business and life advice from various resources (cited below) to share with you today.

  • Identify what you love doing, and do it. “It’s very hard to be great at what you do if you aren’t deeply passionate,” she said. “I know plenty of brilliant people who never went the distance because others were more passionate, worked harder, and had a laser focus.”
  • Choose the right partner. “If you’re in a relationship, it has to be the right person. If I had a husband who didn’t approve of my decision to have a professional life, that would stymie me in a real way,” said Trump.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. “Pessimists are toxic,” Trump said. “I love optimists — and by that I don’t mean people who are unable to see challenges. Optimists are solution-oriented.”
  •  Work Your Sexiness 24/7. “When it comes to the workplace, there’s no such thing as feminine self-expression,” she says. Emitting sex appeal on the job makes you alluring — just be smart about it. “Serious cleavage is not appropriate, nor is flirting with potential partners,” she warns. Instead, keep your voice at a captivating low tone, and evoke sensuality by saying you are “passionate about a project” or have “intimate knowledge” of your industry.
  •  Let Yourself Be Underestimated: “There are people who assume I’m daddy’s little girl or just a 26-year-old blond,” she says. But this fighter uses the underminers’ blind spots to her benefit. “If you misjudge someone, she’s more likely to get the better of you,” she says. It pays to play up your differences. “I’m strong yet I’ll exude feminine traits, like keeping the peace and managing people,” Ivanka says. Then the punches have more power.

  • Think Commanding, Not Demanding: “There’s something unappealing about someone our age being too authoritative,” she says. Don’t get her wrong: “I can’t be a sycophant, so I stake my ground politely and don’t sugarcoat things.” You actually get more power by deferring to higher-ups in public or backing up a colleague’s ideas. And when you disagree, a little diplomacy (“You make a great point, but I see it another way….”) builds a solid rep.

  • Learn to Read a Room: In addition to being respectful, always take the temperature of whom you’re dealing with. “Know your audience,” she advises. “People like aggressive styles or gentle styles or want to feel they’re your best friend.” By sizing up a situation with small talk — ask about their last vacation or how their family is doing — you sense whether they’re in buddy mode or need kid gloves.

  • Handle a Bitch the Right Way: Sometimes you’ll meet a heinous beast whose number-one goal is to make you squirm. “You have to rough some people around tactically so they respect you or get intimidated,” advises Ivanka. “I’ll make light of the fact that they’re an aggressive human being.” If you fight the bitch head on, you’ll lose; instead, defuse her by using humor and your power not to get ruffled, then move on.

  • Have a Secret Weapon for Negotiating: Competitors bank on an easy win with Ivanka because she’s young, but they get tripped up because she won’t let on that she’s done her homework. “Always allow the other person to throw out the first offer, because you often overcalculate things and want to spill information you’ve gathered to prove yourself,” she says. So when you’re negotiating a raise, let your boss say “Sorry, no money in the budget” before you spring the fact that you know a junior coworker makes more than you do. “Don’t ever show your hand until you really have to,” says Ivanka.

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Make an Ass of Yourself: “Some people in my industry are shocked by the brazenness of my requests, but they’re more shocked when the answer I get from the decision maker is okay,” Ivanka says. “You have to be willing to embarrass yourself by laying claim to something so egregious that you may get laughed at for it.” When you ask for something outrageous, like the nicest office, they may be so taken aback, they’ll relent on a lesser point you really want, such as your own private workspace.

  • Love What You Do: The Trump business may live and die by one bottom line, but the family abides by this one: “My best advice from my dad is ‘Love what you do,'” Ivanka says. “It’s as basic as that. You could be a genius, but if someone else in the room is less intelligent but wants it more, they have a leg up. The only way to succeed is to have more motivation than the next person.”

  • Why Being Ballsy Matters: Ivanka didn’t get where she is by waiting for daddy to drop plum projects in her lap. The Donald doesn’t like to travel, so she took charge of huge deals in Hawaii and Dubai. “If you think you can do a job that is a stretch but will test your confidence, let people know,” she advises. And use the element of surprise to catch the boss’s eye, like putting an unexpected idea memo on her desk. “So what if she says no?” Ivanka says. “She’s never going to not respect that you asked for something above your duties.”

And there you have it. What do you think of Ivanka’s advice? We love it, but would love to hear your opinions.

Content courtesy of:
Business Insider & Cosmopolitan Magazine

Catherine Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge. Her title evokes power but her name, Catherine (Kate) Middleton, evokes style. Very few women have managed to move through life as fashionably at Kate. That is why she is this week’s Smart Modern Woman. There are quite a few things we can learn from the Duchess, but today we are going to focus on how she dresses. Here are a list of fashion lessons based on Her Royal Highness:

Hats are in

Whether it’s a grand, wide-brimmed garden hat or a fedora, hats can be used to add pizzaz and interest to an otherwise modest outfit. Headbands, tortoise shell clips, and combs have a similar effect and are just as worth of your wardrobe.

Dress Your Age

The Queen’s outfits would look too matronly on Kate, and the clothing she wore while at university would not cut it for the young mother and monarch she now is.

wear what you have

The Duchess is famous for repeating outfits. If you like something enough to buy it, you better wear it more than once.

You don’t need designer duds

Kate always looks great, but it might surprise you that much of her wardrobe consists of items from Topshop and Zara. Don’t feel like you have to purchase the most expensive items in order to look like fashion royalty.

Wearing Two Wedding Dresses Is A Do

Many women tear themselves apart choosing between two of their favorite dresses for their big day. Instead have a ceremony dress and a reception dress…if you’re really undecided have an exit dress too for when you leave the party. It’s your day and you only do it once, so do it right.

There you have it! Do you agree? Are there other women you think would be great style icons for SMW to feature, let us know in the comments!