The Circle Is More Than a Netflix Reality Show—It’s Challenging Fatphobia

Netflix’s new reality series The Circle is an undeniable hit, thanks to a premise that’s truly unlike any other show on TV. In it, contestants rate each other based on their profiles and interactions on a fake social network (called The Circle, naturally). But the wildest part is that the contestants’ profiles can be whatever they want—meaning a person can catfish other players. And in this week’s set of episodes, fans saw one catfishing contestant, Sean, face both support and backlash after revealing that she’d been using a friend’s photos on her profile.

Sean, a plus-size social media manager and self-proclaimed body acceptance advocate, shared her true personality, job, and hometown with the others in The Circle. The only difference: She used the photos of a straight-size friend. But after getting to know the other contestants, she eventually decided to share her real self with them.

Several were positive about Sean’s reveal, but two in particular, Shubham and Ed, were less than impressed. And they’re not alone—a quick Twitter search for “Sean The Circle” shows that many feel critical about her choice. “Sean using a catfish photo is such a shitty thing to do when she promotes body acceptance irl,” one user argued. “She had this huge platform to show HAES & continue promoting body acceptance. Instead, she decided to reinforce the idea that size & beauty is what matters most.”

But Ed, Shubham—and, I’m assuming, many of Sean’s critics on Twitter—don’t know what it’s like to go through life as a fat woman, and I think they’re missing the core point of what she’s doing. As Sean explained on the show, she didn’t use her friend’s pictures because she’s not confident. Rather, it was a strategy: She knows the harassment that simply existing while fat can bring, especially online. As a plus-size person myself, I was excited to see her reveal on-screen—and what she said about fat women being mistreated rang true. Sure, most of The Circle‘s contestants were supportive of Sean, but trolly, anonymous comments are what many plus-size women deal with on a daily basis on Instagram and Twitter. (Just ask Lizzo.)

Sean on Netflix’s The Circle.

Courtesy of Netflix

It’s not like the catfishers, Sean included, who made it to the final three episodes were pretending to be other people for fun. One, Seaburn, used his girlfriend’s photos because he wanted to show it was OK for men to express their emotions. Karyn says she chose to be Mercedeze because she didn’t want to be judged for her looks. And Sean connected with her fellow competitors without having to worry about potential snap judgments that could have come with using her real photos.

By using another woman’s photos, Sean challenged the show’s contestants—and viewers—to examine the unconscious biases society has toward plus-size women. Even The Circle players who responded to her reveal positively might be more cognizant of some of the challenges and harassment that plus-size people face every day after hearing Sean’s reasoning. What her critics are missing is that this isn’t a debate about whether or not Sean should just “be herself”—it’s a call to rethink internalized fatphobia entirely. And how often do we get that on a reality show?

Meghan De Maria is a writer and editor based in New York.

Here’s Why Kate Middleton Says She and Prince William Aren’t Having More Kids

Kate Middleton and Prince William have their hands pretty full with their three adorable kids, Louis, George, and Charlotte (who looks so much like Prince William that he recently confused her baby picture for his). Still, people have often wondered if they might expand their family at any point, and tabloids have certainly had fun encouraging the idea. But Middleton spoke to a few members of the public while visiting Bradford this week, and reportedly put the rumors to rest by saying she and Prince William aren’t thinking about more kids.

Sources say Kate Middleton made the comment to a fan who asked if she and Prince William planned on adding any members to the family. “I don’t think William wants any more,” Middleton said, according to Hello! That seemingly puts an end to all the speculation—for now, at least.

Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

Of course, Middleton has said a few things that have made people wonder if she might possibly have more babies on her mind. Last year, about a year after giving birth to Louis, she was out in Northern Ireland and crossed paths with a five-month-old baby, who she allegedly cooed over and admitted, “Makes me very broody.” She also joked, “I think William might be slightly worried.”

But feeling “broody” is one thing and full-on planning is another, and it seems like the Cambridges are committed to being a family of five . Plus, they have a ton going on, between a packed schedule of royal engagements and helping to figure out complications in the Sussex separation. (Prince William was reportedly part of a meeting that the Queen convened earlier this week.) And in between it all, Middleton has reportedly said she wants the kids to spend more time with Archie. Now, hopefully people will stop asking these two if they want more kids.

The ERA Passes in Virginia, Paving the Way for Its Passage Nationwide

Watching that decision on TV, hearing friends and classmates debate what the precise restrictions on her rights should be—that was the moment when Foy decided to go to the Virginia Military Institute. “I had a friend,” she said in an interview, “who told me he wanted to go with me to the VMI to watch me fail. He bet me a dollar I wouldn’t graduate.”

She didn’t fail. She graduated, even when all the men from her JROTC had dropped out. “I did everything those men did,” she said, “I put on that uniform. I fought with them. I graduated with them.”

Foy understands a battle. She worked as a public defender and campaigned for her seat in the Virginia House of Delegates pregnant with twins. She’s also a black woman in a world where black women are disadvantaged not just compared to white men but to white women as well—earning 50 cents to the white man’s dollar (less than white women do) and suffering from maternal deaths at a higher rate than white women.

The stakes of the Equal Rights Amendment are real to her, and so she took the fight to the capital. To pass a constitutional amendment, the effort needs to be ratified in 38 states. The ERA was first proposed in 1923 and the battle to see it implemented has taken every single one of the years since. Some states have rescinded their ratification. Others have pushed off the debate around it. Congress set an initial deadline for 1979 for ratification for the ERA. The deadline was extended to 1982. Of course, even that deadline has since passed, but whether those deadlines are enforceable or not is still a question. (The 27th Amendment, for example, was ratified almost two centuries after it was first passed.)

Even in the face of such headwinds, Virginia is now the 38th to back the ERA, securing its ratification on January 15, 2020, The amendment states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

With an unclear road ahead to formalize this much-anticipated development, the passage of the ERA in Virginia is at the moment a symbolic victory. But it’s not an empty one.

The erosion of equal rights is happening under this administration. Recently, 207 Republican lawmakers signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the decision which legalized abortion nationwide. In some cases, Roe is all that stands between women and regressive laws like fetal heartbeat bills and the continued effort to defund Planned Parenthood clinics. In Iowa, where I live, the governor announced her intention to pass an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting abortion. There are also laws in Iowa that prohibit trans women from access to medically necessary surgery covered under Medicaid.

“Our rights,” said Foy, “should not hinge on an election.”

I don’t need to imagine a world in which women are not treated like equal citizens. I live in it. And it’s not hard to picture how it could get worse. Because it used to be worse. Last year, my mother sent me a copy of the divorce decree from one of my relatives, who dissolved her marriage in the 1940s. The decree forbid her to get remarried without the consent of a judge. My mom can remember a time when women couldn’t get home loans or open up lines of credit without their husband’s consent. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood warned us of a near future in which women have no rights to their bodies at all. I can see that world, too.

The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair, Braids, and the Big Chop

No matter how long you’ve gotten to know your unique curl pattern in all its splendor, being blessed with curly hair can still sometimes feel like a (literal) handful. Crafting a routine that will nourish your spirals to their utmost potential isn’t easy, especially with the endless stream of products to consider. From hydrating masks to styling serums, a curly product lineup can go from zero to 100 real quick—but nailing down the best shampoo and conditioner for curly hair is the first step.

Wash day is the foundation of a great curly routine, since the products you use in the shower dictate how well your curls will hold up throughout the week. Personally, copious amounts of conditioner is the life-blood to my 3C curls, but keeping coils, kinks, ‘fros, and braids pristine means not sleeping on cleansers, either. Shampoo (or co-wash) and conditioner work in tandem for healthy, bouncy curls, but we wanted to know which ones our top curl crushes—and the most sought-after natural hairstylists in the industry—couldn’t live without. So clear out your shower caddy, and get ready to add the best shampoo and conditioner for curly hair to your routine ASAP.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

17 Best T-Shirts for Women, According to Diehard Reviews

They may be a humble wardrobe essential, but the best t-shirts for women are as hotly debated as the best denim. You can never have too many—winter calls for the perfect tee to wear under cozy jackets, no wardrobe is complete without a summer crop top, and the perfect layering shirt can give your dresses new life come spring and fall.

There are baby tees, ’tissue’ turtlenecks, and varying necklines from crew to boatneck and deep-V. Of course, with all this choice comes some seriously strong opinions (in the form of Internet reviews) about which styles and brands make the perfect tee. So we went ahead and waded through thousands of them—on Amazon, Everlane, Free People, and more—to come up with this list of the 17 best t-shirts for women. Dare you to buy just one.

Some reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

17 Best T-Shirts for Women, According to Die-Hard Reviewers

They may be a humble wardrobe essential, but the best t-shirts for women are as hotly debated as the best denim. You can never have too many—winter calls for the perfect tee to wear under cozy jackets, no wardrobe is complete without a summer crop top, and the perfect layering shirt can give your dresses new life come spring and fall.

There are baby tees, ’tissue’ turtlenecks, and varying necklines from crew to boatneck and deep-V. Of course, with all this choice comes some seriously strong opinions (in the form of Internet reviews) about which styles and brands make the perfect tee. So we went ahead and waded through thousands of them—on Amazon, Everlane, Free People, and more—to come up with this list of the 17 best t-shirts for women. Dare you to buy just one.

Some reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Gigi Hadid, Well-Dressed Patriot, Dismissed from Jury Duty in Harvey Weinstein Case

In spite of her determination to serve the cause of justice (while serving fire business looks), Gigi Hadid has been dismissed from consideration for the jury in Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape case.

Page Six reports that the 24-year-old supermodel was called for a second day of jury selection on Thursday but was dismissed just 15 minutes later.

To quote one iconic tabloid column: Stars—they’re just like us. They get out of jury duty.

Earlier in the week, Hadid had strutted toward the State Supreme Court in Manhattan to fulfill her civic responsibilities and report for jury duty. Hadid was one of around 120 New Yorkers who answered the selection summons for Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial. If chosen, Hadid would help decide whether Weinstein serves a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in 2013 and forcing oral sex on another woman in 2006. (He denies the charges; Weinstein is also facing a trial in Los Angeles, where he has been charged with forcible rape and forcible oral sex, as well as sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. The former movie mogul claims these interactions were consensual.)

Molly Crane-Newman, a court reporter for the New York Daily News, reported that Hadid raised her hand when Judge James Burke asked whether any of the potential jurors knew anyone on the defense or prosecution. She was seated just 20 feet from Weinstein.

“I have met the defendant,” Hadid said. “I have met Salma Hayek and possibly Ryan Beatty.”

But she added, “I think I’m still able to keep an open mind on the facts.”

Hayek, currently starring in Like a Boss, published an op-ed in the New York Times in 2017 in which she claimed Weinstein harassed her when she starred in his 2002 movie Frida. Ryan Beatty is a pop singer.

Crane-Newman tweeted that Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, responded to the possibility of Hadid sitting on the Weinstein jury, saying, “She can be fair like everyone else.”

Earlier this week, per Deadline, Weinstein’s team submitted a motion that would have barred the media from being present during the questioning of potential jurors. Judge Burke denied the motion—and good thing, or we might have missed out both on our rights to transparent criminal justice proceedings and visuals of Hadid’s iconic courtroom fashion. (Peep her immaculate white tee, oversized men’s blazer, and gold-rimmed aviators here.) But in all seriousness, it’s nice to see a famous person be a responsible citizen.

More than 2,000 New Yorkers have reportedly been summoned for selection in the Weinstein case, and hundreds have already been dismissed over scheduling issues or concerns with bias. Better to be like Hadid—show up for your country, show up for justice, show up for appropriating menswear to quietly telegraph that the violence-prone boys’ club in Hollywood is over, and our time has just begun. Then put that in your leopard-print bucket hat and smoke it.

This post was published on January 13 and updated on January 16.

Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour.

Watch Prince William Confuse a Baby Picture of Himself with Princess Charlotte

Prince William and Kate Middleton got back to work yesterday amid all the drama surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family. The couple traveled to Bradford in the U.K., where they made lassis at a Pakistani restaurant, greeted huge crowds, and visited the town’s City Hall, as well as a community center.

They also got to meet Siama Ali, the Cup Caker Bradford, who created an elaborate cake in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. “This amazing lady Siama Ali from Bradford spent three days baking these amazing cup cakes & main 🎂 to depict Kate & William’s childhood, meet, engagement, wedding & children. Lovely explainer from her & she is Cup Caker Bradford if you want to check her out!,” royal reporter Emily Andrews tweeted.

In a particularly adorable moment, Prince William pointed to one of the edible photos and said, “Is that me? Because that looks just like Charlotte. That is incredible.” Middleton agreed, adding, “It looks so much like Charlotte.” They also referred to the princess by her sweet nickname, “Lottie.”

The Windsor genes are very strong in Princess Charlotte. We can’t see the exact photo used on the cake, but just check out the resemblance between a young William and Charlotte, below. She is definitely a (very cute) spitting image of her dad.

Getty Images

But seriously, how cool would it be for someone to create a “This Is Your Life” cake marking all the significant times from your childhood to having your very own children?

Charlotte Graham/Getty Images

Even for a royal, that sounds incredible, and it’s making us nostalgic for moments like the Cambridges’ engagement announcement and the first time they introduced Prince George to the world.

Getty Images
Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Those were definitely less complicated days, right? What a time to be alive!

It’s 2020 and Periods Are Still Holding Women Back

What defines January better than making a solid resolution? On New Year’s Day 2015, I did just that. While sharing photos of my annual ritual—a “polar bear plunge” into the icy Atlantic—a Facebook post caught my eye. Two teens in my community were seeking donations of tampons and pads for a local food pantry after learning about the hidden plight of our own New Jersey neighbors. Girls and women were missing days of school and work—and dealing with shame—because they were unable to afford period products.

My reaction was visceral. A public interest lawyer by day, I was consumed with questions about the ways public policy—or lack thereof—could impact the millions who menstruate. How many women in America were living paycheck to paycheck (or without a paycheck at all, or in prison), unable to manage the costs or burden of having a period? And why would something that’s a basic biological fact for half the population be excluded from policy making—in this case, food pantry budgets?

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf at the Women’s March. 

I’ve been grappling with addressing these questions for the last five years—and what I’ve learned isn’t pretty.

The Cost of Having a Period in 2020

For the nearly one in five American teenagers who live in poverty, lack of menstrual products and support can lead to compromised health, lost classroom time, even disciplinary intervention. Those experiencing homelessness report isolation and infection caused by using tampons and pads for longer than recommended or by improvising with wadded toilet paper, paper bags, or newspapers. Incarcerated women and those held in detention—including the latest wave of girls separated from their families at the border—often must beg or bargain for basic hygiene needs, part of a degrading and dehumanizing power imbalance.

One of the many mind boggling problems here is that tampons and pads are ineligible for purchases made with public benefits like food stamps. They’re not classified as “necessities” to qualify for an exemption from sales tax in the vast majority of states, and they’re not covered by health insurance or Medicaid, or included in Flexible Spending Account allowances.

Worldwide, the cost of having a period is also high. In Sierra Leone and Rwanda, around 20 percent of girls are reported to miss school because of their period. In Iran, nearly half of girls are so lacking in accurate education about menstruation that they believe it to be a disease. In parts of Nepal, menstruating girls are temporarily exiled, sent to makeshift huts with no protection from the elements—a practice that results in deaths every year.

Change. Period.

Thankfully, periods have gotten a lot of attention over the past five years. Women are throwing period parties and influential women like Meghan Markle are speaking up, joining a global cohort of activists. We’re fighting for better education around women’s bodies; for more affordable access to tampons, pads and menstrual cups; and against laws that make life more difficult for anyone with a period. And we’re making real change.

Since reading that Facebook post, one of the ways I’ve been putting my lawyerly skills to use is to end the “tampon tax.” For years, menstrual products have not been exempt from sales tax (while a dizzying array of items, ranging from fruit snacks to gun ammo to erectile dysfunction pills go tax free). Kenya blazed the trail on this issue, scrapping the national tax on menstrual products in 2004 and more recently, activists have won victories in Australia, Canada, India and Germany. A massive petition and campaign in England even forced the issue into negotiations over Brexit. In the U.S., thirty-two states have introduced legislation and eight have succeeded in permanently ending the tampon tax. (As of January 1, California has joined the list, but only temporarily until July 2023.)

Selena Gomez Just Got a New Tattoo—and It Has a Very Sentimental Meaning

Selena Gomez has been busy lately. She’s been on a major promotional tour for both her album, Rare, and her role voicing a giraffe in the new Robert Downey Jr. movie, Dolittle.

But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been able to take some time for herself for activities like…getting a new tattoo. The singer/actor posted a video to Instagram revealing her new ink: the word “rare” written in script on the side of her neck. “Did it again @bangbangnyc 🦋 rare,” she wrote in the caption. Rare, of course, is the name of Gomez’s new album which dropped on January 10, and will also be the next single to be released.

Selena Gomez’s third studio album (and first since 2015’s Revival) features a number of lyrics fans think are references to her high-profile relationship (and breakups) with Justin Bieber, though she has not said as much directly. She has opened up, however, about how personal this project is to her. “I’ve said this before, but I used to be terrified of saying anything. I would find myself protecting people that never protected me or cared for me,” Gomez told Billboard. “And I wouldn’t want to say the wrong thing, and I wouldn’t want people to think that I had any other motive, other than just being a kind person—though that is who I am and I am proud of that. I was just done, you know? Just done being silent, and I felt like I deserved to have a moment for myself, after going through so much, and throwing that all into this album. It wasn’t even a thought in my mind that I was doing the wrong thing.”

She also said she’s in “happiest place I’ve ever been in my life” so perhaps she wanted to mark the occasion permanently, as she’s done in the past. Gomez also recently revealed the tattoo on her arm was in commemoration of her kidney transplant.