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A Collegiette's Guide to Life

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    Whether your drink of choice this holiday season is a simple espresso with a hint of peppermint or a cup of coffee with some Bailey’s to keep you warm, you need something special to keep it in. What says "special" more than a gift for us coffee drinkers that understands that yes, coffee is life, and yes, you're on a budget?

    Give the gift of one of these ADORABLE mugs full of holly-jolly #feels to your girl gang and you will all be cozy af all season.

    1. Get snuggly with our More Snuggles, Less Struggles Mug ($12)

    Don't get it twisted - this cup is made for more than just a warm drink! Fill it with chips, soup, or even wine.

    2. Keep it sassy, yet classy with our Ho Ho Holy Shit Mug ($15)

    Perfect for showing you're still a queen, even in comfort (plus a little acknowledgement that, pre-coffee, you're in the mood to swear). 

    3. Make it truly cozy with our Cozy AF Mug ($13)

    All you need alongside this festive mug for a perfect night in is a fuzzy blanket and a puppy. 

    Can't tell whether to buy them for your besties or to save them for yourself? Why not both? Check out the for more holiday inspiration, stocking stuffers and ways to show yourself love all year round. 

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    Name:  Modjossorica "Rica" Elysee

    Age: 32

    Job Title & Description: Founder & CEO of BeautyLynk

    College Name & Major: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Political Science and Women Studies


    Twitter Handle(s):@ricaelysee + @beautylynk

    Instagram Handle: @beautylynk

    We all love a little primping. Though feeling our best has many different definitions for many different women, no one can deny that it feels good to feel good. Whether you find confidence through a fully contoured, “beat” face or you feel your best when just wearing your favorite mascara, everyone should have the ability to make themselves feel confident. However, for some women, this can be a challenge. Make-up companies have long lacked inclusive products for women of color, and even promote products that white-wash rather than promote the beauty of diversity. Beyond this, there are some women who are simply unable to primp and polish, due to circumstances out of their control. That’s where Rica Elysee steps in. 

    Noticing there was a lack of “spaces and opportunities” for women of color to “learn about their unique hair and beauty needs,” Elysee sought a way to fix that. Wanting to provide that space for them, she founded BeautyLynk, a company devoted to bringing professional makeup artists and hair stylists to people in the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, Elysee was inspired by her own sister — as a woman with a disability, Elysee’s sister was not always able to make a regular appointment with a hair and skin care professional. Elysee also wanted to advocate for beauty professionals and give them a supplementary income, as they are often underpaid. 

    Today, Her Campus chats with Elysee about making women feel confident, finding answers in unexpected places, and the importance of delegating responsibilities when life gets to be too hectic. 



    Above The Rim #topmodel #makeup #silverlined #trendtuesday #everyonebeauty #lynkedup

    A post shared by BeautyLynk (@beautylynk) on

    Her Campus: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

    Her Campus: No day is ever typical. I get the opportunity to work with my team on tech, marketing, and operations.  Every day is a learning and creative process.

    HC: What is the best part of your job?

    RE: Being part of the solution and the process of what makes people feel better about themselves.

    HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

    RE: My first job out of college was a Development Assistant for a non-profit. I learned the ins and outs of fundraising from grants, reporting, and annual appeals. I found it through a mentor who knew the Executive Director.

    HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

    RE: I currently don’t report to anyone, but one of my favorite quotes is, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer" from Zora Neale Hurston. It has left me with a passion for the problems I try to solve verse the solutions. 

    HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

    RE: I learned that I could not do everything and needed to delegate. It came when I first started the company and I would face challenges in meeting deadlines. Execution is key to success and I was not doing my best by keeping my hands in everything. When I would miss out on opportunities I would always think back about how could I have done better, where the reality was who could have done this task other than me.

    HC: What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

    RE: Being an executive has its moments, but every time I get the opportunity to see myself on TV it is always an out-of-body experience that I am thankful for. Most recently I was on Fox Business News. 

    HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

    RE: I look for someone who is creative, knows themselves to an extent and is a team player. It is how we built our culture and how we will continue to make an impact as a company.

    HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

    RE: Know the difference between advice and opinions. It will save you a lot of time. You can not please everyone and need your time to run your company. 

    HC: What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

    RE: Volunteer experience always stands out to me, as it gives me a great insight on where someone’s passion lies.

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

    Joe Biden & Beto O’Rourke 2020 Just Might Be A Thing

    Now that the midterm elections are finally over and the beginning of 2019 is fast approaching, the 2020 presidential elections seem to be on all our minds. According to The Hill, former Vice President Joe Biden and his advisors have tossed around the idea of a Biden-O’Rourke ticket for the 2020 president elections. 

    But for the former vice president, his biggest roadblock to victory could be his age. The Associated Press reports that Biden has discussed with his inner circle about whether his age might be a problem, if he ran for the White House. Biden is currently 76 and would be 78 at the time of his swearing in if elected in 2020. 

    A.B. Stoddard from Real Clear Politics’ thinks a 2020 Biden-O’Rourke ticket is Democrats’ “strongest chance at victory.” During the midterms, O’Rourke has generated significant voter enthusiasm. He narrowly lost to Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz. According to Stoddard, O’Rourke could increase the Democratic Party’s appeal.

    Further fueling the speculations, both men recently topped an Iowa voter poll aimed at gauging support for Democratic 2020 candidates. CNN reports that 32 percent of voters said Biden would be their first choice, 19 percent said Sen. Bernie Sanders, and 11 percent said O’Rourke.

    As of right now, Biden has not officially announced whether or not he will will run against President Trump. 

    Paul Ryan Faces Intense Backlash For Pushing More Irish Visas Bill

    Before Rep. Paul Ryan leaves office in January, he hopes to give current citizens of Ireland a little holiday gift. According to the Huffington Post, Ryan recently pushed a bill through the House that would give Irish citizens access to thousands of unused U.S. work visas. 

    The bill easily passed through the House last month, and it would give Irish citizens access to any E-3 visas that are unused or unclaimed in the previous year.  According to the current E-3 program, 10,500 visas are set aside for Australians offered employment in “specialty occupations” that require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The State Department records find that people haven’t come close to claiming the full amount for the last five years. The bill could give under 5,000 visas to Irish citizens each year. According to Irish Special Envoy to the U.S. John Deasy to Politico, the bill is a “reciprocal” with Ireland offering additional visas to Americans in exchange for unused E-3 visas. 

    But Ryan’s Irish immigration bill has received intense backlash for only advocating for white immigrants. On multiple occasions, Ryan has said he promises to create a “good, humane” immigration reform. He ultimately, though, never allowed for a vote on legislation that would have protected immigrants coming into the U.S. 

    Melania Trump’s Spokesperson Speaks Out Against Criticism In A CNN Op-Ed

    In a new op-ed published by CNN on Sunday, Melania Trump’s spokesperson says the media coverage of the first lady has been unfair. The op-ed was in response to a piece written by author Kate Anderson Brower who said the first lady has “proved that she doesn’t understand what it means to be first lady.” 

    Stephanie Grisham, who is Melania’s deputy chief of staff for communications, called Brower’s analysis both “condescending” and “another unnecessary attack.” She also said that the op-ed would be “framed as another assault on the press” but said she is just speaking on behalf of her boss. 

    In the op-ed, Grisham said how the media continues to ignore the first lady’s work for the country. “This holiday season, Mrs. Trump has made every effort to spread joy and good cheer to citizens across the country,” she said. According to CNN, she has volunteered at Toys for Tots drive at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., as well as her visit to patients at the Children’s National hospital on Thursday. 

    Grisham also wrote that Brower’s op-ed and CNN’s poll that showed Melania’s approval rating dropping by double digits was “to willfully ignore” her activities as first lady since January 2017. The spokesperson cited the state dinner Melania hosted for French President Emmanuel  Macron and Melania’s attendance to the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston. 

    Grisham ended the op-ed begging the media to “learn to celebrate a woman who, through all the noise, is able to hold steadfast to her mission and stay true to herself.” 

    What To Look Out For…

    You know what I love to pair with my pancakes, waffles, and french toast? Maple Syrup. And on National Maple Syrup Day, you can have all your favorite breakfast foods and condiments all day.

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    The holidays are happening right now, like, this week as we speak. And while you might have every party, dinner, and festive event outfit planned, you cannot forget a manicure to finish off your lewks. Here are my top ten Instagram manicures to get you inspired for this holiday season. 

    1. Diamond Rudolf

    I'm always a sucker for that winter green, but look at that little bejeweled reindeer. Doobysnails is slaying the matte nail polish game, and we're totally here for it. 

    2. Pretty in Pink (Snowflakes)



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von NAILS BY CAMBRIA (@nailsbycambria) am

    The best thing about this look is that it's mostly just lines and glitter. Don't get me wrong though, it takes quite the steady hand to create a work of art like this – and Nailsbycambria is quite the artist.

    3. Hanukkah Nails



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Anya (@asp2016) am

    A manicure that lasts eight days? Count me in. The silver star and menorah accents have me swooning. 

    4. Sultry Winter Wonderland 



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Nina (@the_nailcanvas) am

    These maroon nails look incredible with these winter wonderland scenes, and The Nail Canvas's attention to detail is impeccable. 

    5. 3D Sweater Nails 



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von NAILS BY CAMBRIA (@nailsbycambria) am

    Who doesn't love a gray nail and sweater detail? It doesn't look like it'd be too hard to master, so I'm for sure planning to try this one out.

    6. Polar Bears and Christmas Lights 



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von carol (@mimi35c) am

    These nail stamps are perfect for anyone looking for a quick and easy manicure. I love that @Mimi35C layered her stamps to create the perfect Christmas pattern. 

    7. Cute Kwanza Nails 



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Nailedbycutie (@nailedbycutie) am

    I love this colorful take on Kwanza nails. The patterning is absolutely beautiful, so @Nailedbycutie really knows how to get it done.

    8. Bedazzled Winter Cherry Nails 



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Iky Nails (@ikynails) am

    These sexy nails have a sweet side. I love the hand painted nail art here, as it's perfect for adding some dazzle to your regular holiday work party.

    9. Multi-chrome Snowflakes 



    Ein von @mgielkam geteilter Beitrag am

    I know black nails for the holiday might not be everyone's cup of tea, but these multi-chrome snowflakes have me melting. Simple, but beautiful. 

    10. Bringing Home the Tree!



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von NAILS BY CAMBRIA (@nailsbycambria) am

    Last but not least, this festive little Christmas scene is exactly what I'm looking for this holiday season. It's simple, it's easy, and I'm totally obsessed with the little red Volkswagen Bug. 

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    So, you’ve finally come out to your friends and family, or maybe you’ve just come out to a couple of friends. Regardless, you’ve opened up about your sexuality or your gender identity (or both) to someone in your life, and they aren’t exactly supportive of you. After all, if someone rejects or invalidates your sexuality, romantic expression or your gender identity (or lack thereof), they aren’t just unsupportive of that aspect of your identity, they unsupportive of you.

    As someone who’s come out to my parents, who denied the existence of my bisexuality, and was immediately pushed back in that heteronormative closet, I get it. Coming out to unsupportive people doesn’t just sting, it can be devastating, and it’s OK to admit that. With young and newly-out LGBTQPIA+ people’s mental health at greater risk for depression, having a not-so-picturesque experience when you finally feel comfortable enough to tell others about your LGBTQ+ identity can put a strain on anyone’s mental health.

    I could tell you that it gets better (though hopefully, it does), but I'm also not here to feed you empty phrases without giving you some tangible tips on how you can heal from an unsupportive coming out experience.

    1. Talk to an LGBTQ+ support group

    Coming out to someone who doesn’t accept you is a very isolating ordeal. While it can be difficult to trust anyone directly after this, your local LGBTQ+ community can help empower you. Beyond becoming your new support group or strengthening your preexisting one, your LGBTQ+ community center or on-campus office can also lead you in the right direction when it comes to navigating additional resources.

    After my parents invalidated my sexuality when I came out at a young age, I felt more than a little bit invisible, especially since I personally had to revert back and say that I was just confused and was actually straight. Using the common biphobic stereotype allowed me to be physically safe, but emotionally I was a wreck. Growing up in a small farm town in Florida, I didn’t have an LGBTQ+ club at my middle school.

    However, I was very fortunate that the library in the town over had a librarian that hosted a sort of LGBTQ+ club, disguised as a manga and comic book club. To be fair, it was a legitimate literary club, but a lot of the members were also closeted members of the LGBTQ+ community, and we used that outlet to vent and to learn about the community. Depending on your geographical location, you could also find a pseudo-LGBTQ+ organization or community in your town.

    Whether you need to learn how to talk to your family to educate them about your identity or you need a mental health professional to talk to during (and beyond) this strenuous time, your on-campus LGBTQ+ center can navigate where to go and who to talk to, so you aren’t lost in hundreds of Google links.

    If your campus doesn’t already have an LGBTQ+ center, you can look for one in a neighboring campus. If you can’t find any campus-affiliated communities or groups, there are plenty of online LGBTQ+ support groups and chat rooms. Even if you have a physical center in your area, these online chat rooms or hotlines can be beneficial if you are anxious about meeting or talking to new people because there’s a level of anonymity to talking to a friendly member of the community from behind a screen.  

    2. Disseminate stereotypes

    Depending on your culture and upbringing, your family might be influenced by a particular set of misinformation about the LGBTQ+ community or your specific identity. This can obviously explain why some of your friends or family aren’t initially supportive of you.

    Explaining your sexuality or giving your family helpful reading material on your specific LGBTQ+ identity can help destigmatize their misconceptions. Otherwise, finding a mental health expert who specializes in family therapy can help act as a moderator as you teach your family.

    I don't have some personal tangents for how I elaborated my specific identity to my siblings and squandered some common misconceptions within our culture and religion, seeing as I don't feel comfortable discussing my family's closed culture in reference to how I helped explain the nuance behind specific LGBTQ+ identities. That's why I'll default to an experienced bi+ writer, Gabrielle Noel.

    You'll likely be able to gain some inspiration from Gabrielle Noel's experience and subsequent article on how she helped undo shame and stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community in her family. 

    Related: Understand What Do The Letters in LGBTQIA+ Stand For

    3. Find an LGBTQ+-friendly therapist

    Because of the long-standing history of stigmas about the LGBTQ+ community and Trump’s push for medical professionals’ “religious freedom,” searching for an LGBTQ-friendly therapist requires extra maneuvering. You might not want to out yourself to your healthcare insurance provider, if you have one, but you can search for LGBTQ+ talk therapists and individual call or research if they accept your insurance company.

    Otherwise, many campuses that provide health and wellness services, also offer talk-therapy to students. Some public and private universities also include mental health professionals who are inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community.

    Even if you don’t typically need to consult a therapist for your mental health, realizing that someone close to you isn’t supportive is going to be an emotionally stressful and traumatic experience. Mental health experts can help you cope with this and understand your grief over losing your friends if you do feel like you need to surround yourself with more supportive people.

    Beyond helping your cope with intolerant people, LGBTQ-friendly mental health professionals will also help you unlearn any latent homophobia that you may have internalized throughout the years, or suddenly adopted after your friends’ reactions. Psychology Today has a convenient search tool so that you can find an LGBTQ+ friendly mental health professional in your area. After you type in your zip code, you can narrow the search to your specific insurance company.

    4. Remind yourself of the positive: You did it

    Coming out to someone who’s intolerant of you can feel dehumanizing. Similarly, coming our to someone who is ignorant and just needs time to reacquaint themselves with your pronouns and who you are can feel emotionally taxing for you, since you have to repeatedly give them refresher LGBTQ+ lessons.

    Admittedly, it’s cliché to preach that you should look on the bright side, especially when your coming out experience is anything less than ideal (to say the least). But sometimes reminding yourself that you did accomplish something can help you emotionally recover from the experience, so you can rebuild your support system.

    Whether you’re coming out to someone new in your life or re-coming out to your childhood friend after you’ve learned more about yourself and your sexuality, coming out is stressful. You never know how people are going to react—even if you think your friends and fam are the most accepting people—and coming out can release that stress. That former apprehension might be replaced with sadness and depression, in your case and mine, but opening that proverbial closet door is a stand-alone step to healing.   

    Sure, you’ve come out to yourself before you came out to anyone else, but being open about your sexuality or gender identity is a cathartic feeling. And you should pat yourself on the back for being about to come out on your terms.

    Related: 5 Ways To Celebrate Your First Pride Month That Will Empower You & Your Community 

    5. Find your people

    Finding out that your friends and family—regardless of how exhaustive or reductive those terms are to your specific coming out experience—are unsupportive is emotionally and mentally dangerous because part of your support system just gave way.

    Searching for your new gay family is a bit tricky, especially in the wake of finding out the people you thought were your friends are only your friends conditionally. Part of what makes you, well, you shouldn’t amend those conditions. If you’re fortunate enough to have a gay bar or an LGBTQ+ community center in your district, then that’s a great place to start. Otherwise, Bumble BFF is a great way to find your people. Adding a brief “a somewhat friendly pan person looking to form an LGBTQ+ alliance” in your Bumble BFF bio can be enough to find friends who just get you; however, you can be as descriptive as you want in your friend-finding profile.

    I’ve used Bumble BFF throughout my college days to find more friends that I connect with and can feel refreshingly vulnerable around about my sexuality, gender identity and otherwise. However, I truly people who just get me (i.e. fellow LGBTQ+ pals) by getting more involved with on-campus organizations and my major itself. Even though I registered for the same university and dorm as my childhood friend, I was still hesitant about opening up to people during my first year of college.

    Related: My Pantsuits Made Me Feel More Feminine & Powerful As A Survivor 

    By my third semester, I was internally screeching to be open about my identity, and I took that risk again and had my second coming out experience with the people in my major. Being that my class size is small because my major at the time was less than 80-people strong, it wasn’t as intimidating as coming out to 1,500 chemical engineering majors.

    You could also wear your rainbow pins on campus and talk to people in your study groups face to face. If you do live in an area where LGBTQ+ people are vulnerable to job discrimination or more subjected to hate crimes or bigotry of any kind, I don’t recommend you to don your lesbian flag shirt in a bar when you’re alone and trying to find new friends. Wearing any rainbow emblem or LGBTQ-related apparel is the easiest way to light the gay Bat signal, but it can also dual as a beacon for abuse and hate crimes – so just practice caution.

    If anyone in your life isn’t instantly supportive of you after you opened up about your identity, hopefully, they just need time to educate themselves about your identity. However, if during any point in your coming out experience you don’t feel physically or emotionally safe with the people your life with, contact a 24/7 LGBTQ+ service, such as The National Domestic Violence Hotline or The Trevor Project. These helplines will be able to direct you to resources in your area to make sure you’re safe—and that you stay safe.

    Regardless of what steps you need to take to make your friends and family understand your identity or how you need to cope with leaving your old, unsupportive friend behind, you still did an important thing. You came out. Whether it was your first or 300th time, you came out about your specific LGBTQPIA+ identity, and you should celebrate that. Sure, you might not feel like celebrating following unsupportive responses, but hopefully, you feel like commending yourself on this accomplishment soon.

    In case nobody in your personal circle accepted you when you came out or you don’t feel like congratulating yourself: We support you, and welcome to LGBTQPIA+ community. (We’re happy to have you.)

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    (Female audience attending Rolling Loud, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    Rolling Loud festival co-founders, Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, threw yet another successful event in Los Angeles this weekend.

    The festival, which started back in 2015 in Miami, has become the largest hip-hop music festival in the world—making its way from Miami to the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Since its inception, Rolling Loud wasn't known for including many female artists in its lineup and was even the receiving end of some backlash for it. But female artist representation has improved significantly over the years.

    This year, the festival had seven great female artists take the stage, including none other than Cardi B. The "Ring" rapper became Rolling Loud’s first-ever female headliner, and we can’t stop smiling about it!

    On the first day of the two-day festival, we witnessed the first female act of the weekend, Bali Baby. Born in Atlanta, Bali Baby is one of the few openly gay female rappers in the business. On her albums Baylor Swift and RESURRECTION, which both debuted this year, Bali Baby takes listeners on a journey through her unique rock n’ roll take on hip-hop music. Bali Baby was the third performer of the day and she owned every minute of it. She took the stage sporting a leather black bra and black cargo pants detailed with chains, straps, and skulls. She rocked green and grey hair, making us all want to experiment with our own hair and add some fun, vibrant colors in it this winter season.

    Lolo Zouaï was the next female artist of the day and blessed us with her beautiful, angelic voice. Lolo immigrated to San Francisco from Paris with her family when she was very young. Her music is said to be influenced by the melting pot of San Francisco. “I’m from the Bay and I’m hella excited to be here right now," she shouted. All I can say is, we were hella excited to be there too!(Lolo Zouaï performing at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    The audience couldn’t help but move their hips and vibe to her chill tunes. Her performance was captivating to say the least. She looked amazing in a pair of simple jeans with rips at the knees, a white tank top, and a pin-striped cropped blazer to finish the look off right. Lolo’s performance gave us all the feels and is definitely a female artist to keep your eye on.

    Next up on Rolling Loud’s female artist roster was Yung Baby Tate. Tate has shared in the past that she began to make music at just 13-years-old. Her hard work and passion for music radiated off the stage through her whole performance on day two of the festival.

    Tate proudly showed off her stunning curves in a red latex bodysuit and black-studded belt, topped off with rainbow boots and snow goggles just to add her own flare to her OOTD.

    (Yung Baby Tate performing at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    Tate gave countless shoutouts to the female audience members, saying, “I want to know where all my Rolling Loud ladies at!” and “I f*ck with girls!” It seemed as though she truly wanted all of the female attendees to feel connected with her and a sense of belonging. We loved the empowering, strong, women-oriented messages she gave the audience throughout her performance. Her musical talents are incredible, as she made the whole audience dance and cheer throughout the entirety of her performance.

    We see big things in Tate’s future and can’t wait to see what she has in store next.

    (Yung Baby Tate after interview with Her Campus, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    After Yung Baby Tate’s performance, we hopped on over to the festival’s Zen Stage, to watch Melii. The Harlem rapper first blew away YouTube viewers by spitting bars on her remix of Cardi B's “Bodak Yellow." Reaching over 2 million views, she was determined to show the world that she was not just a viral sensation, but someone who deserves space in the hip-hop industry.

    Melii has not only created smash-hit songs like “Icey” and “See Me," but also never shies away from showing how versatile she is as an artist. She creates bilingual raps that represent and celebrate her Dominican culture. Melii was glowing on stage in a white bodysuit and black thigh-high boots during her energetic performance.

    A few acts later, we were blessed with Kash Doll’s presence. She came out radiating confidence in a crystal jumpsuit. The sun shined on her outfit and had her lighting up the stage like a goddess. Kash Doll has been featured on songs with Big Sean, Metro Boomin and more. Kash Doll and her dancers gave a spectacular, lively performance that left everyone shook.

    (Kash Doll performing at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    As the sun began to set, Saweetie made a grand entrance with her whole girl gang, who were looking fire in matching pink outfits. “Do I got any icy girls in the building?" Saweetie excitedly yelled to the audience. Together, the performance was seemingly flawless. Saweetie delivered many numbers, including her hit song “ICY GRL” and the crowd went wild. This song is nearly impossible not to move your body to and the crowd proved that. Saweetie and her girl gang seemed like they were having the time of their lives, and the audience was certainly feeding off that contagious energy. “All my icy girls I’ve had so much fun with you tonight," Saweetie said as she began to make her way off the stage. The audience was sad to see her go as her performance was so great and we all wanted more!

    (Saweetie performing at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    The night was capped by Cardi B and I’m pretty sure everyone was fangirling. Her performance had the most packed audience I had seen all weekend and everywhere I looked, people were chanting every lyric, word for word. She sang all of her hit songs, with her badass, fun personality that she’s so famous for. As the performance was going on, all of a sudden this giant (and I mean GIANT) flower arrangement was rolled out onto the stage and it read, “Take Me Back Cardi." 

    Cardi appeared unamused and then all of a sudden, Offset walks out on stage. “I just want to tell you I’m sorry. In person. In front of the world. I love you,” he says. But Cardi wasn’t having it. She got him to leave the stage and then immediately went straight into performing her song “She Bad." Cardi absolutely killed it and turned the whole audience's attention right back to her. Whether the whole incident was planned or not, Cardi showed us how it’s done—don't take sh*t from anyone, stand your ground, and don’t let anyone steal your shine.(Cardi B performing at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Photograph by: Lydia Haug)

    As the festival came to an end and everyone started filing out of the venue, I reminisced on all of the amazing, inspiring female artists I had seen perform this weekend. Each gave me such a newfound appreciation for female hip-hop artists. They fight and work so hard to create a space for themselves in a male-dominated industry, which many don’t understand how truly difficult that can be. Each of the artists have been told by people that they wouldn’t make it and that they couldn’t achieve their dreams, but they are proving those people wrong. I appreciate all they do and the path that they are carving for other women who have dreams that no one else may believe in. Shoutout to all of the female artists I got to see this weekend, as well as all of the other performers at Rolling Loud Los Angeles this past weekend. You all are amazing and it’s been a crazy fun experience!

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    Move over chokers, oval sunglasses and gingham print, there are new fashion trends taking over our Instagram feeds this season. Trends go in and out of style in the blink of an eye, and it seems as though there’s always a constant stream of new fashion crazes on our social feeds  

    It’s safe to say that we’re glad we left galaxy print and unicorn-themed accessories behind in 2017. But with another new year upon us, there are a few new garments and ways to wear your faves that are flooding our timelines and shopping carts.

    But not all of these trends are entirely new. Some of the styles that influencers, trendsetters and that super stylish person on your campus are rocking are straight out of the ‘90s.

    1. Cheetah and leopard prints



    cheetah-print obsessed 🐾

    A post shared by MADELINE (@maddiebriell) on

    Cheetah and leopard prints are bringing the jungle to your closet, and your Instagram timeline, in a wild-yet-still-subtle way. Ranging from cute cheetah print pants to cozy leopard sweaters, the earthy tones of these brown and black-spotted animals are a match made in heaven for the simple pieces in your closet. Easy to pair with skirts, plain tees or overcoats, these prints can take your style to the next level.

    Emma Theis, a junior at St. John’s University, is completely here for the Cheetah print mania. “I honestly love the cheetah trend because it’s neutral. I think mixing in patterns can be hard, so cheetah helps, and I feel like the cheetah is so feminine and powerful,” says Theis.  

    These animal prints may seem scary to add into your wardrobe, but have no fear – they can be easily incorporated into everyday looks, and found in your favorite stores. We’re loving this leopard print motif tee from H&M ($9.99) that comes in XS-XL and can be easily tucked in or left out for a bold addition to any outfit.  Or, if you’re in love with the prints and ready to go all in, this New Look Curve Leopard Print dress from ASOS ($29) is a must-have for nights out, or even when you’re just feeling yourself. 

    2. Teddy coats

    We’re not sure if it’s the cold weather or the collective desire to be a cast member on Mob Wives, but large coats are definitely having a moment. The puffiness and softness of teddy coats are trending on social media in the most luxurious way—and the fact that they’re made out of faux fur is a huge plus.

    Exactly as it sounds, teddy coats are fuzzy and warm jackets that resemble the fur of your favorite stuffed animal: a teddy bear. Don’t worry though, no teddy bears were harmed in the making of these coats.

    Consider adding this cute teddy coat from BP ($79) at Nordstrom that can be both a coat and blanket if you try hard enough. The reversible teddy jacket has all the style and comfort a person can ask for and comes in various inclusive sizes. 

    RELATED: 7 Ways to Rick Faux Fur & Look Just the Right Amount of Extra 

    3. Gen Z yellow



    Behind every successful woman is a tribe of successful women who have her back. #girlssupportgirls

    A post shared by ANA ELIZABETH (@anapeli_) on

    Move over millennial pink, there’s a new generational color to obsess over. Gen Z yellow ranges from a muted lemon to a deep mustard hue, and it has been seen throughout the spreads of fashion magazines and all over the runways since the beginning of the year, but this trend isn’t dying down anytime soon.

    The Gen Z yellow trend embodies the newest generation; one that is becoming the voice of fashion, politics and pretty much everything. A statement piece in the cheerfulness of the color alone, Gen Z yellow is here to stay and an easy way to brighten up any outfit. Primark has a great collection of yellow looks that can be worn by all, their super soft sweater ($8) is both affordable and, of course, super soft.

    4. Platform shoes

    We’re talking platform heels, platform boots and platform sneakers. Platform shoes are not just for the vertically challenged, but for all who are looking for something edgy and chic that just screams, “Trendsetter.”

    While we definitely agree that Vans and Converse are an OG go to, the neglected platform boot is an OG we need to shed a larger light on. A favorite of many is the classic Doc Marten platform boot, but instead of going for the usual patent look, think about going for something printed or even in a glitter material like the Molly Glitter boots ($170). Adia Chaney, a sophomore at SCAD, loves wearing platform shoes, especially her Doc Martens. “I’m really into the platform shoes look. Like platform shoes/boots, Vans/Converse and Doc Martens,” she explains.

    Platform boots are a fun and simple choice that can be paired with pretty much anything. If you think you can handle the height, Dolls Kill sells epic platforms with designs like flames, snakeskin and holographic prints. The LALA platform sneakers ($100) are not meant for the gym but are definitely Instagram worthy. 

    5. Matching sets



    Harry Styles who???🌸

    A post shared by Ella Madonia (@ella.madonia) on

    I think we have Harry Styles to thank for the spread of matching sets on Instagram, and I’m not even a little mad. Whether it be a matching suit or skirt and jacket set, the desire to match prints and colors is both practical and bold. The matching set is a statement piece and fashionable choice that exudes confidence with the variety of prints and colors to display.

    Don’t worry about being mistaken for your grandmother’s old couch though. Floral prints, bright colors and funky graphics show your unique identity while still looking like you’ve walked out of the pages of a magazine. With a new pep in your step, any matching set can really up your fashion game and have you wonder why you ever wore anything but matching sets.

    The best part about sets is that you can wear them mix matched or together for endless style options. This warm colored, matching set ($105) from ASOS is both business and fun that looks good on anyone.  

    So, whether they’re new or old, these fashion trends are going to have you wanting to scavenge your nearest thrift shop and maybe even your parent’s closet for some cute pieces to up your OOTD game

    Instagram is a campground for new fashion trends and who knows what will be next. If you try out any of these trends or have a new style that you think is trendy be sure to tag us in your posts on Instagram @hercampus and @hercampusstyle and use the hashtags #HCXO and #HCWearsWhats for a chance to be featured.  

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    Lili Reinhart is done with letting the “cesspool” of Twitter trolls get the best of her. The Riverdale actress posted a series of Instagram Stories late Sunday expressing her frustration with the negative and “toxic” environment on Twitter. She also announced that she’s taking a long break from the social media platform.

    “Do people on Twitter ever get tired of being so negative and disrespectful to literally everyone and everything?” she wrote in her post. “Are they really that miserable?” “

    “There’s hate everywhere. But Especially on Twitter,” Reinhart continued. “It’s like a cesspool for evil 15-year-olds who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and have nothing better to do.Taking a break from that toxic site and the people on it who feel the need to attack me, my cast mates, my relationship and Riverdale.”

    While she doesn’t specify what lead her to take a break, everything she’s said is so true. No one has the right to be cruel and or to harass someone on social media or really in general—even if they’re celebrity. “Hate to break it to you online trolls,” Reinhart ended the story. “Spreading your hate and overall negativity online won’t make you any less miserable.” 

    But Reinhart’s break isn’t really surprising. According to Cosmopolitan, she came to the defense of her costar Shannon Purser after people attacked her on social media for kissing Cole Sprouse’s character on the show back in October. She quickly pointed out how unfair it was to be mean towards someone for something another person wrote in a script. Yeah, I would be done too after that incident.

    Honestly, I will miss Lili’s fiery clapbacksand relatable AF tweets on Twitter, but I’m glad she’s speaking out against the constant and unnecessary trolling celebrities receive on the daily. 

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    Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple Alice Walker has come under fire for recommending a book full of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in a Q&A with The New York Times Book Review, according to Tablet Magazine

    The New York Times profile, which focused on book habits, first asked Walker what books were currently on her nightstand. She included four books, one of which was And the Truth Shall Set You Free by David Icke. He is Britain’s most-known anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, according to Tablet Magazine

    “In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about,” Walker said in the profile. “A curious person’s dream come true.” 

    Tablet, who was one of the first news outlets to call out the author’s recommendation, wrote about the book’s content. The magazine said the book suggests that the world’s oldest Jewish organization, B’nai Brith, was responsible for the slave trade and ran the Ku Klux Klan. Icke also falsely claimed in the book that Jewish people funded Adolf Hitler and doubted that the Holocaust happened. 

    Some people have criticized The New York Times for not providing an editor’s note detailing Icke’s background and the books content as well as for not pushing back on Walker’s book suggestion. 

    “We’re deeply disappointed that The New York Times Book Review would print author Alice Walker’s unqualified endorsement of a book by notorious British anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke,” said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt to The Huffington Post. “He has a long history of scapegoating Jews, and Times readers should be aware of this before considering his work.” 

    But a New York Time’s spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the publication stands by its decision to publish the interview. 

    “By the Books is an interview and portrait of a public person through the lens of books; it is not a list of recommendations from our editors. The subject’s answers are a reflection on that person’s personal tastes, opinions and judgments. As with any interview, the subject’s answers do not imply an endorsement by Times editors.” 

    The spokesperson continued: “Moreover, our editors do not offer background or weigh in on the books named in the By the Book column, whether the subject issues a positive or negative judgement on those books. Many people recommend books Times editors dislike, disdain or even abhor in the column.” 

    This is not the first time Walker has endorsed Icke. According to HuffPost, she “expressed appreciation” for his work on her personal website in 2013 and 2015. As of right now, Walker has not released a statement regarding the recent criticisms towards her recommendation. 

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    The Supreme Court of Florida recently ruled that the state’s “stand your ground” law will protect police officers in addition to private citizens. According to CNN, this ruling could make it more difficult to prosecute police officers in shooting cases. 

    The Stand Your Ground law, which protects people who shoot another person in self-defence, came to national attention following the death of 17-year-old black teen Trayvon Martin in 2012. The law in Florida basically offers immunity to those who are able to claim that they killed another person in an act of self defence, according to The New York Times. A successful claim in the pretrial phase of a case means that the defendant can completely avoid prosecution, as The Times explained. Before, only private citizens were allowed to claim Stand Your Ground immunity, but now police officers will be able to claim immunity too.

    “Simply put, a law enforcement officer is a ‘person’ whether on duty or off, and irrespective of whether the officer is making an arrest,” said Florida Justice Alan Lawsone about the 7-0 decision, according to ABC News. “In common understanding, ‘person’ refers to a ‘human being,’ which is not occupation-specific and plainly includes human beings serving as law enforcement officers.” 

    The ruling is part of a 2013 shooting in which Broward County deputy Peter Peraza killed 33-year-old black computer engineer Jermaine McBean. He was reportedly walking down a street in Fort Lauderdale and carrying an air rifle on his shoulders. According to The New York Times, Peraza said under oath that he shot McBean after his orders to drop the rifle were ignored. He also said that there had been nothing stopping McBean from following his orders, and he believed that McBean was aiming the rifle at him. The Times later revealed through photographic evidence that McBean had earbuds in when Peraza shot him. This directly went against the police officer’s sworn testimony. The disposition also found that McBean was mentally ill and didn’t have the rifle loaded. 

    According to The New York Times, the grand jury indicted Peraza for manslaughter. But his case never went to trial because Peraza was able to claim immunity under the Stand Your Ground law. The state appealed Peraza’s immunity, and the case eventually went to the state’s Supreme Court.

    “Every unscrupulous law enforcement officer in Florida who kills a civilian now in suspicious circumstances will say he feared for his life, and even with eyewitnesses saying otherwise he walks and can’t be arrested or charged or brought to trial after this decision,” said David Schoen, who is the lawyer representing McBean’s family, to The Times. “It’s an injustice, it really is.” 

    The ruling has some serious repercussions. Specifically, it shifts the power from juries to elected local judges in the court. As The Times explained, judges often rely on the support of police officers to win elections and now a jury might not get the chance to hear disputed evidence. 

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

    Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Year Is….*drum roll please*


    Apparently people have been extremely curious about the exact definition of “justice” in 2018, dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster said in a press release on Monday. There was a 74 percent increase in searches in the last year, which made it Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year in 2018, according to the Associated Press.

    “The concept of justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice. In any conversation about these topics, the questions of just what exactly we mean when we use the term justice is relevant, and part of the discussion,” said Merriam-Webster in the press release. 

    The dictionary publisher continued, citing topics related to President Trump are primarily responsible for the words jump, “This year’s news had many stories involving the division within the executive branch of government responsible for the enforcement of laws.” 

    It further referenced how the Mueller investigation and the controversial confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh also played a role in the word’s frequent search in 2018. 

    Merriam-Webster also released the 10 runners-up: nationalism, pansexual, lodestar, epiphany, feckless, laurel, pissant, respect, maverick, and excelsior. and Oxford Dictionaries also selected their word’s of the year as“toxic” and “misinformation.”

    Advertisers Are Saying Goodbye To Tucker Carlson On Fox News After Controversial Immigration Comments 

    Multiple companies have announced that they are pulling advertisements from Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” following controversial comments about the ongoing immigration crisis. Last Thursday, the host suggested that the immigration crisis in the U.S. makes American “poor and dirtier and more divided.”

    Carlson made the comments on his show last Thursday while discussing the migrant caravan coming to the U.S. from Central America, according to the Washington Post. “It’s indefensible, so nobody even tried to defend it. Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept it. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided…” Carlson reportedly said. 

    At least two companies have recently announced that they refuse to air advertisements on his show. The Hill reported that insurance company, Pacific Life, announced it wouldn’t air ads the day after. 

    The Hollywood Reporter later said Bowflex also withdrew ads on Monday.

     “We can confirm that Nautilus, Inc., parent company for Bowflex, has pulled its ads from the Tucker Carlson Tonight show,” the company said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We have requested that Fox News remove our ads from airing in conjunction with Tucker Carlson Tonight in the future. Aside from our decision to remove our ads from his show, we have no other association or affiliation with Mr. Carlson.”

    Indeed and SmileDirectClub also told BuzzFeed News on Monday that they would stop advertising with the show. 

    Fox News released a statement, which doesn’t directly mention Carlson’s show. “It is a shame that left-wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs,’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech,” the company said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.” 

    Former GOP Leaders Tell The Supreme Court That Trump’s Asylum Ban Is Illegal 

    A group of former lawyers who served in past Republican administrations and many high-ranking former Republican officials have filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Monday, saying that Trump’s attempted asylum ban is illegal.

    The lawyers and officials argued that the “government is simply wrong” in its reasoning that the administration can enforce the ban under federal law. 

    BuzzFeed Newsfirst reported the brief on Monday night, indicating that former high-positioned officials from the FBI and Department of Justice filed it. Former director of the FBI and CIA, William Webster, two former acting attorney generals, Peter Keisler and Stuart Gerson, former Republican congressman, Ray LaHood, former EPA chief in the Bush Administration, Todd Whitman, former DOJ official and Supreme Court advocate, Carter Phillips, and nine others filed and signed the brief. 

    “The relevant provision of federal asylum law begins with the command that ‘any alien’ who crosses the southern border illegally outside ‘a designated port of arrival...may apply for asylum,’” the brief said, which was written by Richard Bernstein The Hill reports. “The Attorney General’s regulation is inconsistent with the plain text and meaning of [the law]. That should be the end of the matter.” 

    Earlier this month, a federal judge form the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied the administration's attempt to delay a judge’s order to block a policy that would stop migrants from claiming asylum if they entered illegally. 

    What To Look Out For….

    To all our royal-family fans, it looks like Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Baby of Sussex will be coming to the U.S. in the Fall of 2019! 

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    Well everyone, travel season is officially upon us, and my skin is already feeling repercussions from the cold, dry airplane vent. There's really nothing worse than getting off a plane, train, or even out of a car after a long ride, and just feeling your entire trip on the surface of your skin. So, in order to prevent the inevitable toll traveling is going to take on your skin, here are a few ways to keep things fresh while you make the journey home for the holidays. 

    1. Wipe down ALL of your surrounding surfaces 

    Hit the window, tray table, the seat in front of you, the seat you're sitting on, EVERYTHING, with a handy antibacterial wipe. Basically, if you're gonna touch it, wipe it down. It'll keep you from spreading harmful bacteria all over your face and neck. It also doesn't hurt to keep makeup wipes and hand sanitizer in your carry-on, just in case you touch something you might regret later. 

    2. Bring along your favorite sheet mask

    When you're flying, the dry air is so dehydrating for your skin. If you're traveling during the day, use a sheet mask to cool and refresh your skin, and combat the stuffy airplane air. If you're traveling overnight, I definitely suggest you bring along a dependable over-night mask to pack in extra moisture. It might not be the most attractive thing to mask among strangers, but your face will definitely thank you in the morning.

    Related: 4 Reasons You Might Be Breaking Out RN

    3. Mist regularly



    🇺🇸 Oh, it’s ❤️ at first mist! Snap your flawless #selfie with our Caudalie Beauty Elixir available at @Sephora. This spa in a bottle does it all, from setting makeup, to toning, to boosting radiance (not to mention the scent is undeniably luxurious). 😍 What’s your favorite way to use the Beauty Elixir? #Flawless #SephoraSelfie 🇫🇷 On l’❤️ ! Notre Eau de Beauté est un véritable Spa à portée de main. Traits lissés, pores resserrés, maquillage parfait… Tout est là pour que vous réalisiez votre plus beau selfie ! Et on ne vous parle même pas de son irrésistible fragrance… Et vous, comment préférez-vous utiliser l’Eau de Beauté ?

    A post shared by Caudalie (@caudalie) on

    Plenty of brands offer facial mists in travel sizes, and 3.2 ounces and under is good to fly with. Honestly, what feels more luxurious than misting your skin in an airplane bathroom? If you're looking for something to calm your skin, and give you a fresh bit of moisture, a facial mist is definitely the way to go. Everyone around you will appreciate a clean scent too. It's a win-win really.

    4. Don't forget your lips



    On a scale of zero to 💤, how did you sleep last night? 👌👌👌#EverydayAgave in Lavender | @fluores

    A post shared by Bite Beauty (@bitebeauty) on

    There's nothing worse than chapped lips on vacation, especially when you're visiting your loved ones. No one wants a kiss from cracked lips, and no one wants to kiss with cracked lips either. So, protect your lips from the second you get going by regularly applying a heavy lip balm.

    5. Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE

    You've heard it a thousand times, but it doesn't hurt to hear it again. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your entire body, but especially your skin. When you're traveling, it is vital to keep hydrated in order to keep your energy up and get yourself going. Drinking water helps prevent you from that gross post-travel feeling of gritty skin, tired eyes, and all the things that make us feel run down. So make sure you're waving that flight attendant down every chance you get (or bring your own refillable water bottle). 

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    A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by 15 survivors of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, ruling that Parkland schools and sheriffs had no legal obligation to protect and shield students, according to the Orlando Sentinel

    Judge Beth Bloom dismissed the case and ruled that the institutions had no constitutional responsibility to protect students as they were not in custody of the schools.

    “The claim arises from the actions of [shooter Nikolas] Cruz, a third party, and not a state actor,” she wrote in the ruling, the Orlando Sentinel reports. “Thus, the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz.” 

    “For such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody,” Bloom wrote. As the Orlando Sentinel explained, “in custody” would refer to either prisoners in jail or patients at a mental institution.

    The students sued Broward County, the sheriff, the school superintendent and a school resource officer last summer. It was later revealed that an armed officer stationed at the school, Scott Peterson, stayed outside as the gunman killed 17 students and teachers inside the school, NBC News reports. The Florida sheriff’s deputy retired after the shooting, but he claimed that miscommunication prevented him from entering the school. Peterson, the school district, and the sheriffs office in Broward County were named in the filed lawsuit, saying the shooting had traumatized the students in a place where they were meant to feel safe, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

    “His arbitrary and conscience-shocking actions and in-actions directly and predictably caused children to die, get injured, and get traumatized,” the lawsuit claimed, The Hill notes. 

    The student’s lawsuit also claimed that the defendants had inadequate policies in place to protect students, and that employees “tasked with carrying out the policies” lacked “the basic fundamental understandings of what those policies are such that they are incapable of carrying them out,” The Hill reports.

    While this case has been dismissed, it’s important to note that there are still multiple ongoing court cases for the Parkland shooting. The parents of the students who lost their lives currently has filed cases, as NBC notes. 

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    Prepare yourselves for some magical and exciting news, witches, because Netflix has just renewed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for two more spellbinding seasons. 

    Salem the cat broke the news on Instagram today, asking fans if they “want more Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?” 



    Paws what you’re doing. Salem’s got some special news for you. Listen up right meow.

    A post shared by Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (@sabrinanetflix) on

    The streaming service renewed the show for a third and fourth season. These two new chapters will be split into parts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A premiere date has yet to be announced, but filming of 16 new episodes is set to start in 2019. The show is currently filming the second season’s finale in Vancouver, E News reports. 

    “Praise Satan! I’m so grateful to my partners at Warner Bros., Netflix, Berlanti Television and Archie Productions for supporting this darker vision of the world’s most famous teen witch,” said creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to The Hollywood Reporter. “And I’m thrilled to be continuing to tell Sabrina’s chilling adventures with our incredible cast and crew, led by the unstoppable Kiernan Shipka.”

    The show of course stars Shipka as our favorite teen witch along with cast mates Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Ross Lynch, Michelle Gomez and more. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the cast will be joined by Jedidiah Goodacre and Alexis Denisof in parts three and four. 

    We, luckily, won’t have to wait too long for even more Sabrina (and Salem)! Netflix released earlier this month a bonus holiday episode of CAOS. Season 2 also will premiere on April 5, 2019, and it promises to be even more sexy and witchy, according to E News.

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    When I first began scrolling through Instagram with the intention of commenting on people's posts, I was surprised by how out of the ordinary it felt. But why? Do I normally just scroll through Instagram, become overwhelmed by FOMO, like a few posts (mostly of cats and motivational quotes), and waste my precious time refreshing my feed with no true purpose? Yeah, it seems that I do. Still, it was surprising that giving people compliments felt so awkward to me. As someone who cares about women's empowerment and aims to be a positive person, why do I not compliment people on Instagram more often? 

    At first, I was being ridiculous, thinking, "What if people think I'm weird for randomly commenting on their photos? What if they recognize that I'm not someone who normally comments, and then think it's really weird that I'm suddenly professing my love for them?" But, of course, this was the wrong thought process. I have never received a compliment and thought, "wow, I can't believe that person likes my outfit — that's so weird." 

    It became evident to me that I needed to get better at giving compliments and try using Instagram in a more positive way. So, instead of just refreshing my feed mindlessly, I commented on any photo that caught my eye, whether it was a selfie, a fashion-focused photo, a cool travel image or a piece of artwork. I approached this task with authenticity, only giving compliments that I truly meant. What I realized as I did this is that I have so many positive feelings about people that I normally keep to myself. People are so interesting and cool, creating incredible artwork, traveling the world, and looking great. Why do I not normally tell them that I think they're cool AF? I'm not sure. The photos that I commented on were photos that I would normally just "like." Likes are good too, I suppose, but they feel so much less personal than a comment, I came to realize (though I was also very like-happy during this experiment, liking almost every photo in my feed, because why not?).

    Instagram gets a lot of criticism for a variety of things. One of the most common is the idea that people only post seemingly perfect moments, causing others to compare themselves based on what they see on Instagram. Instagram doesn't tell the whole story and often, it can seem pretty unauthentic and impersonal, almost making you forget about the real people behind the screen. Many of the photos I commented on were posted by people I hardly know or perhaps don't know at all beyond the social media world (I already comment on my friends' posts, so doing that wouldn't really be experiment-worthy). I follow tons of people, see what they post and become familiar with the details they choose to share with the world — yet I don't interact with them much. Most of the interactions I had were minor when I left positive comments on people's posts; people would say "thank you" or something similar. But I found that I had much more positive feelings about Instagram when I was focusing on spreading positivity, rather than focusing on perfecting my own image, worrying about what people thought of me or comparing myself to others. 

    Regularly commenting on photos, even with simple messages like "love this!" or "cute outfit!," made me realize that Instagram doesn't have to be a negative bubble I get sucked into, where I think about how much fun other people are having or about how other people look so much better than I do. What is the point of using Instagram to compare myself to others? After all, though people might portray themselves a certain way on social media or seem "perfect," you don't know how they actually feel about themselves or what they're going through. Feelings of FOMO and insecurity are not unique to me and they can be difficult to avoid at times, but I found that commenting on Instagram posts with love left me feeling better than I normally do when I use the app. I hope the comments provided encouragement, empowerment or at least a bit of positivity for others too. Besides, in my daily life, I'm a big proponent of women supporting women. If I want to practice what I preach, I should be complimenting people on Instagram more often. Other women are not my competition, so if they look amazing, succeed at something or take an awesome trip, I should celebrate that — not have negative thoughts about myself (or them) because of it. 

    Though Instagram can make everything seem a little too perfect sometimes, there are also many people who embrace their "imperfections," acknowledge their insecurities and seek to uplift others through their posts. When I saw posts like these, I left thoughtful comments, telling them how the post impacted me or made me think differently. When people posted about their insecurities or worries, I shared how I can relate. Instagram is social media, yet often when I use it, I find myself feeling more alone. Through positive, relatable and encouraging messaging, I hope some of these feelings can be combated.

    I realize simple comments don't seem like much — that's probably the exact reason I never bothered to comment on posts before. A comment might have little to no impact sometimes. Some people might not care about the comments. Some people might've actually thought, "wow, I can't believe this girl likes my outfit — that's so weird." But so what? People will have no idea that they inspire me if I don't tell them, and though they seem incredible to other people, they might not always view themselves that way. This experiment reminded me that if I have this opportunity to spread love so easily, even if it's in a small way, I should take advantage of it. It's evident to me now that instead of thinking, she's so much more stylish than I am when I see someone sporting an amazing outfit, I should think, she's so stylish — and then tell her. 

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    The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that bump stock devices have been banned. Bump stocks—a type of handgun accessory that allows shooters to fire bullets from a semi-automatic weapon faster than normal—rose to national attention following the shooting of 58 people in Las Vegas in 2017. According to CNN, anyone who owns the devices will have 90 days to turn in or destroy from when the regulation is officially published. 

    When announcing the new policy, the Justice Department said that bump stocks will now qualify as machine guns because they “allow a shooter of a semi-automatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.” Machine guns are currently illegal to own, but only law enforcement agencies can use them, according to The Washington Post.

    “A semi-automatic firearm to which a bump-stock type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger,” wrote the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in it’s ruling. “With limited exceptions, the Gun Control Act [of 1968] makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machine gun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute. The bump-stock type device covered by this final rule were not in existence prior to the effective date of the statute, and therefore will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective.”

    Bump-stock owners will have 90 days from when the ban is published in the federal register to turn them into a local Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office or destroy them, CNN reports. 

    The ban is expected to have legal challenges from gun rights activists. 

    Hours after officials announced the ban, three gun rights advocacy organizations reportedly have already filed a lawsuit. BuzzFeed News reports that the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, and bump stock owner Damien Guedes have filed in order to “prevent ATF from enforcing this new rule.” 

    More push back from gun rights organization is expected, but the Justice Department argues, according to BuzzFeed News, that “we will be ready to defend no matter who files [a lawsuit].” 

    President Trump announced that he would ban bump stocks earlier in the year. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced a similar, yet unofficial rule back in March. 

    Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who was Sessions’ former chief of staff, signed the final rule on Tuesday. After Sessions resigned in November, Whitaker assumed office without Senate confirmation. There are currently multiple lawsuits challenging Whitaker’s appointment, according to CNBC. The three gun rights organizations who filed a lawsuit against the ban on Tuesday argued that his appointment and signing of the ban was unconstitutional. Whitaker “lacks authority to oversee the new rule because he should never have been appointed,” the gun rights organizations told BuzzFeed News.

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

    The Senate Finally Passes A Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Bill

    The Senate voted 87 to 12 on Tuesday night to pass a package of bipartisan criminal justice reforms, according to The New York Times. 

    Major reforms in The First Step Act include lessening prison sentences for repeat and first-time non-violent offenders, expanding job training and other programming to reduce repeat offenses, and expanding access early releases. 

    The measure is meant to reduce the number of people in the U.S. prison system, which is the largest in the world, according to the Huffington Post. The bill would allow judges more freedom in sentencing non-violent, specifically drug related, offenses. It would also bolster rehabilitation programs for previous prisoners.

    According to USA Today, Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana proposed amendments, requiring the Bureau of Prisons to notify victims of a prisoner's release. It also would have required the bureau to track previous offenders once released. The amendments were shut down by the Senate.  

    The bill will now go through the House, where it is expected to easily pass. President Trump has confirmed his support for the reform bill, and said he would sign it. 

    The Trump Foundation Shuts Down Amid Allegations 

    The Donald J. Trump Foundation agreed to shut down on Tuesday amid an ongoing lawsuit filed by the New York state attorney general. According to CNN, Trump’s foundation will also have to give away any leftover assets under court supervision.

    The lawsuit, which the attorney general Barbara Underwood filed in June, accused Trump’s foundation of “functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” The New York Times reports. Underwood also alleged that the foundation engaged in a “shocking pattern of illegality.” 

    The New York attorney general also seeks financial restitution of $2.8 million with additional penalties, CNN reports. In addition, Trump might be barred from serving in New York nonprofit organizations for 10 years. The lawsuit also asks for a one-year ban on all three of Trump’s children, all of whom served as board members for the foundation. 

    “This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone,” Underwood said, according to the Washington Post

    Judge Postpones Former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn’s, Sentencing

    A federal judge on Tuesday expressed “disgust” with former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, but allowed him to delay his sentencing, according to The New York Times. In Flynn’s request, he asked the federal judge to postpone his sentencing until his cooperation with Mueller's investigation was finished

    Flynn pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the FBI about conversations with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to the Washington Post, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan told Flynn that he “sold out” his country, and that the delay would not necessarily stop him from serving jail time.

    Sullivan did offer Flynn the chance to take back his guilty plea as his lawyers previously suggested that Flynn possibly didn’t know about the 2017 interview with FBI agents, Politico reports. But Flynn restated his guilty plea in front of the judge and asked to continue with the sentencing.

    Despite the delayed sentencing, Sullivan said the postponement might not make a difference and that jail time is still an option. Mueller previously recommended no jail time for Flynn, according to The Post

    “This is a very serious offense—a high-ranking senior official of the government, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House,” Sullivan said, The Post reports.

    The next update to his sentencing will be on March 13, 2019.

    What To Look Out For...

    A bunch of new music features are coming to Instagram soon. You will soon be able to use music with the questions sticker! It’s basically a new and fun way for you to create the ultimate playlist. Just remember that features tend to roll out slowly on Insta and that you’ll have to update the app. 

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    Lyft is offering $2.50 rides to grocery stores for Washington, D.C. families living in food deserts. In a partnership with local nonprofit, Martha’s Table, Lyft’s new program hopes to make it easier for families to shop for food. 

    Residents who qualify for the program must have children in the elementary schools that the partnership agreed to cover, according to The Verge. From January until June 2019, the program will only cover 500 invited families in Wards 7 and 8 in order to test the program. 

    “Through the program, Martha’s Table and Lyft aim to reduce the time, transportation barriers, and financial burden as hundreds of families plan their shopping trips to select grocery providers, and further Lyft’s mission of improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” said Lyft in their blog post announcing the pilot program.

    In D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8, 81% of residents are living over a mile and a half from grocery stores, said MarketWatch. People living in food deserts often have incredibly limited access to fresh, healthy food, which can hurt their overall wellbeing and increase likelihood of obesity. 

    Plans to roll out the program nationally have not been confirmed at the time of publication. 

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    A new study by Amnesty International analyzing the online abuse of women found 1.1 million million toxic tweets were sent to women in the US and the UK over the course of 2017. And women of color are more likely than white women to be receiving these toxic messages. 

    The study sorted through 288,000 tweets sent to 778 female politicians and journalists in 2017. Through the use of Element AI, the organization was able to extrapolate the data to apply it to female politicians and reporters more generally, where they found that that abusive or problematic tweets were being sent to women every 30 seconds.

    “We found that, although abuse is targeted at women across the political spectrum, women of colour [sic] were much more likely to be impacted, and black women are disproportionately targeted. Twitter’s failure to crack down on this problem means it is contributing to the silencing of already marginalized voices,” the report said.

    While one in every fifteen tweets mentioning white women politicians and journalists were abusive or problematic, that figure shifted to one in every 10 tweets for black women. Women of color were generally 34% more likely than white women to be mentioned in such tweets.

    In an interview with Bustle, Amnesty International’s senior advisor for tactical research Milena Marin said, “We’ve been doing public stunts, we’ve been doing research, we’ve been publishing experiences of women on the platform. Now we want to put out the numbers to back all the rest of our research — to give them further evidence, from our point of view, [of] how this is a problem.”

    While abusive content generally violates Twitter’s guidelines, Twitter responded to this study by asking Amnesty International for “clarification on the definition of ‘problematic’ ‘in accordance with the need to protect free expression and ensure policies are clearly and narrowly drafted.’” Marin also told Bustle that research and studies like this will continue to be published until online platforms seek real change. 

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    There's no better time than a Christmas card photo to really show off your Christmas spirit. Turn up your favorite Christmas tunes, trim the tree and get camera-ready — it's Christmas card time. Picking your outfit for your annual Christmas card shouldn't be as hard as picking your gifts for the fam. When you know your Christmas card picture will be on every relative's fridge for the entire year to come, you want your outfit to shine! 

    This year we've got a foolproof formula for the perfect photo-ready outfit. By sticking to these three holiday-approved styles, you'll be sure to have a picture you'll love and cherish all year round. 

    A classic 'fit that makes for a timeless family photo and a great post on the 'Gram!  

    Going for an effortless 'fit in classic colors is guaranteed to keep you the center of attention in your photo. Plus, it provides a great blank canvas for accessorizing with holiday favorites like a cute Santa hat! We love how festive this classic turtleneck sweater and jeans combo can be. Use a half-tuck to show off a cute belt while elongating your legs and adding shape to your figure. 



    A post shared by Hannah Wolfinbarger (@hannahlew22) on


    Let's be honest, plaid is the unofficial print of the holiday season!  

    Your accomplishments for the year aren't the only thing you'll be showing off this year! Opting for a mini-skirt shows off your legs and your cute sweater! A fun plaid knit keeps you looking festive and fashion forward. Finish the look off with a pair of statement ankle boots like this studded pair. 



    A post shared by ✖️ Haley | halesyeahchi ✖️ (@halesyeahchi) on  


    This year we're going for the totally ugly yet cute sweater look.

    We get it, your family loves to embarrass you, but don't let them ruin your holiday spirit. Even if your holiday card is ugly sweater themed, you can still look stylish. Opt for a cute play on the classic ugly sweater by keeping the rest of your outfit on trend! We love how this H2T Christmas look tied in her sweater theme with matching slippers! 




    A post shared by ELLEN • SEATTLE (@elorabee) on  


    Change it up this year and take a cozy pajama pic next to the tree.  

    Does your family go all-out decorating the house? Show off your tree by posing in front of it for a candid family photo! Instead of putting the whole fam in matching pjs, let each member of your family show their personal style by wearing their favorite Christmas cozies. You can shoot your whole Christmas card without ever leaving the house (or putting real pants on). 




    A post shared by makayla mcafee (@fashionablykay) on


    Family photo in the snow? Bundle up with layers and warm knits.

    It's hard to look your best when you're freezing! We're all for bundling up in layered looks and coordinating knit accessories. Layering a plaid flannel under an oversized cardigan is an easy way to look put-together while staying warm. Still chilly? Sneak a thermal long sleeve under your flannel. Nobody will know and you'll be nice and toasty! 




    A post shared by Ashley (@twentiesgirlstyle) on

    Show us your Christmas style by tagging @hercampusstyle on all your festive pics! 

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