Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Whoopi Goldberg, born Caryn Elaine Johnson, is an American comedienne, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, author and talk show host.

She worked in a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway. She moved to California and worked with improv groups, including Spontaneous Combustion, and developed her skills as a stand-up comedienne. She came to prominence doing an HBO special and a one-woman show as Moms Mabley. She has been known in her prosperous career as a unique and socially conscious talent with articulately liberal views. Among her boyfriends were Ted Danson and Frank Langella. She was married three times and was once addicted to drugs.

Whoopi Goldberg first came to prominence with her starring role in The Color Purple (1985). She received much critical acclaim, and an Oscar nomination for her role and became a major star as a result. Subsequent efforts in the late 1980s were, at best, marginal hits. These movies mostly were off-beat to formulaic comedies like Burglar (1987), The Telephone (1988), and Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986). Goldberg made her mark as a household name and a mainstay in Hollywood for her Oscar-winning role in the box office smash Ghost (1990). Whoopi Goldberg was at her most famous in the early 1990s, making regular appearances on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987). She admitted to being a huge fan of the original “Star Trek” (1966) and jumped at the opportunity to star in “Next Generation”.

Goldberg received another smash hit role in Sister Act (1992). Her fish-out-of-water with some flash seemed to resonate with audiences and was a box office smash. Whoopi starred in some highly publicized and moderately successful comedies of this time, including Made in America(1993) and Soapdish (1991). Goldberg followed up to her success with Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), which was well-received but didn’t seem to match up to the first.

As the late 1990s approached, Goldberg seemed to alternate between lead roles in straight comedies such as Eddie (1996) and The Associate(1996), and took supporting parts in more independent minded movies such as The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998). Goldberg never forgot where she came from, hosting many tributes to other legendary entertainment figures. Her most recent movies include Rat Race (2001) and the quietly received Kingdom Come (2001/I). Goldberg contributes her voice to many cartoons, including The Pagemaster (1994) and “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” (1990), as Gaia, the voice of the earth. Alternating between big-budget movies, independent movies, tributes, documentaries, and even TV movies (including Theodore Rex (1995)).

Whoopi Goldberg is accredited as a truly unique and visible talent in Hollywood. Perhaps she will always be remembered as well for Comic Relief, playing an integral part in almost every benefit concert they had. Currently Whoopi Goldberg is the center square in “Hollywood Squares”(1998) and frequently hosts the Academy Awards. She also is an author, with the book “Book.”

Inspiration Of Motherhood

Toni Braxton

toni braxton

“Being a working mom in this business and having a son who has special needs (8-year-old son, Diezel, pictured left, is autistic) is very challenging. With my first son (Denim, 9), I took a limited amount of time off and I remember hating that. I remember feeling like a failure as a mom. Like, he should have his mom there. I’d be on stage singing a song and he’d be right there in the wings. I missed having the itemized time with my child. We’d do things — go to the zoo and things like that — but it was always in the midst of being a performer. I didn’t want that by the time I had my second kid. I said, ‘I’m going to stop doing this.’ So, when I got (to do my) Vegas (show, from 2006-2008), I said, ‘I’m gonna go to work but during the daytime I’m gonna be a mom and spend time with my kids.’ What was great about Vegas was that it allowed me to be in one spot. I got to go to work and come home. Now I’m on the PTA, I’m very involved. It’s great. I love being a mother.”
– Toni Braxton is a Grammy-award-winning artist

Women In The News

James Poulos, Contributor

Why Are Young Women More Career Driven Than Young Men?

They want it all, and they want it now.

A new Pew poll, reported by The Wall StreetJournal, shows young women seeming to surpass young men in ambition.

About two-thirds of women between ages 18 and 34 cited a high-paying career among their top life priorities, compared with just 59% of young men, the Pew Research Center in Washington said. That was a reversal from 1997, when 56% of women rated a high-paying career high on their list of priorities, less than the 58% of men surveyed back then, according to Pew.

Standard caveats apply: no single poll, or even many polls, can tell us everything we’d ever want to know about society. But the finding is so provocative precisely because it squares so well with what so many of us are sensing intuitively and hearing anecdotally. The default response to the news, of course, is celebratory: only an ingrate could frown at news that women in the first stages of their careers are more likely than ever to communicate preferences to pollsters that imply an unprecedented sense of optimism and professional self-confidence.

But what’s even poorer form is insisting that not even today’s young women can have it all without making substantial, or even painful, tradeoffs:

while young women now put a higher value than men on their career, roughly six in 10 women ages 18 to 34 said being a good parent was one of the most important things in their life. That was up 17 percentage points from 1997.

Women “are not saying they want career success at the expense of these other things,” said Kim Parker, associate director of Pew Social and Demographic Trends.

Why is it impolite to claim that a high-paying career should be replaced among one’s top life priorities by, say, a legacy of service to the poor? Because today’s prevailing orthodoxy requires that due fealty be paid to the notion that the former doesn’t necessarily rule out the latter for anyone. That might be true in an abstract way, but the no-sacrifices vision of success founders constantly in real life. Merely celebrating the Pew poll’s results forecloses an important question: why would young women be, as they now seem, so much more optimistic than young men?

Some conventional answers to this question would slot into fairly typical partisan cubbyholes. “Because of progress in the fight for social justice!” “Because of increasing human liberty!” “Because of a culture war waged by an ideological elite!” More interesting answers are to be found by dumping political ways of seeing the world altogether and looking at sociology.

One sociological view of optimism is cyclical: civilizations struggle from the bottom, develop, rise, enjoy a moment in the sun, then climax and fade. Another view is linear: humanity gets better and better, perfects the production of abundance and opportunity, and conquers the universe. But a third view is best described simply as transitional. On this view, optimism is the product of the  conditions that characterize a society after the collapse of constraints imposed by hierarchy, but before the onset of the subtle-yet-powerful barriers to ambition that are imposed by equality itself.

The transitional view is useful because it doesn’t imply a morality as strongly as the others. Our moral thinking is fairly constrained in a world where we are doomed to eventually fail or ordained to inevitably triumph. If mass optimism is only a phase, and after it has passed life will meander on in the middle zone of human fortune, we can count on more space for moral difference on matters of health, flourishing, duty, freedom, and a lot besides. If you think our society is going to remain more or less pluralistic, multicultural, and cosmopolitan, that’s political good news. If you hope your corner of society isn’t going to become that way, that’s also political good news.

The transitional view of optimism as a sociological phenomenon suggests that women are increasingly more career-driven than men because men are now beginning to run up against the barriers to ambition created by the onset of general social equality — whereas women still have quite a ways to go before they, too, start to hit these seemingly invisible walls. But the transitional view also suggests that it’s not exactly correct to say that as a result, relative to women, men are being systematically disempowered. If indeed the optimistic faith in the possibility of having it all is not as well founded for many as we like to think, women will discover that they are obliged to make serious choices about their life plans, implying that men will not turn out to be as irrelevant as they would be if women could do and have everything on their own.

In fact, ambitious working women will probably discover en masse what many men already have — that making decisions about what to choose at the necessary expense of other things is itself choiceworthy. The transitional view counsels that Pew’s polling results aren’t nearly as big of a deal as they seem to those who interpret them through a partisan or ideological political lens. According to the transitional view, those results are to be expected — they’re all part of the transition. The big political question is what kind of government we’re going to have when the transition is finished. Will mass optimism’s inevitable fade lead us into the arms of an all-seeing, all-caretaking despotism? Or will it lead us to be reconciled, in a deeply human way, to the benefits of liberty lived even with limited material success?

It’s already revealing that WSJ’s story on the poll captures one desire so potently: to succeed at business and at family, to the exclusion of other choices.

Inspiration Of Style

Flawless skin

Amber Schmitz: The Cat-Eye Specialist

Location: Lancôme counter at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

Specialty: “My trademark is a dark indigo cat-eye with a great wing.”

How-To Tips: “Curl your lashes and put on mascara, then dip a tiny brush into gel liner—it’s the easiest formula to use. Holding the skin of the eyelid taut, draw a thin line from the tear duct to the center using the tip of the brush. As you move past the middle, flip the brush to the flat side and flick it toward the corner for the ideal winged look.”

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