You know about the suffragettes, right? You know they fought, and eventually won, women the right to vote alongside men. You know the mum from Mary Poppins was one. You can sing the whole of Sister Suffragette, with appropriately strident dance moves.

But you might also be a bit hazy on the details. Plenty of us know that we ought to be grateful to those women, without knowing exactly why. You might have been told, the way my mum always has, that you must vote as soon as you have the chance – “because of the suffragettes”.

So let’s hitch up our petticoats and have a little march through history, shall we? Here’s everything you need to know.

Let’s start with the basics – what does ‘suffrage’ actually mean?

‘Suffrage’ means having the right to vote in public, political elections. So ‘women’s suffrage’ means women having the right to vote, while ‘universal suffrage’ means giving everyone the right to vote, regardless of their gender, race, social status, education level or wealth.

(Not age though. If you know an eleven year-old who has strong opinions, afraid they’ll be waiting a while yet.)

So hang on, women weren’t allowed to vote? Like, at all?

Nope. In 1832, the first petition to grant women the right to vote was presented in Parliament by a woman called Mary Smith. It was rejected – at the same time as The Great Reform Act was passed, confirming that women definitely, definitely weren’t allowed to vote. Just to rub it in.

Another 34 years passed before MP John Stuart Mill tried again to change the law, and again failed, which prompted people up and down the country to form suffrage societies and start campaigning to make themselves heard. Time and again, suffragettes presented petitions to parliament and had their efforts rejected, ignored or mocked – but the movement grew and grew in pace and power, as more women joined the cause.

The term ‘suffragette’ was first used in 1906 by the Daily Mail (and it wasn’t meant to be flattering to women – some things never change). By the time the First World War started in 1914 the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies had over 50,000 official members and more funding than the Labour Party, with loads more unofficial supporters taking their own course of action.

What did they actually do?

At first the suffragettes were peaceful, holding meetings and signing petitions to try to get their point across. But some began to think that only direct action would really change anything. After decades of unsuccessful campaigning, famous suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, along with her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, formed a breakaway group (the Women’s Social and Political Union) which kicked their protests up a gear and became louder, angrier and more forceful.

Known as the ‘militant’ suffragettes, these women adopted the slogan ‘Deeds not words’ and began staging rowdy, headline-grabbing stunts in the name of votes for women. They chained themselves to railings, smashed windows, started fires and defaced public property in an attempt to make themselves noticed – and more than a thousand were arrested in the process. In prison many continued their protest by going on hunger strikes, which led to them being brutally, and often dangerously, force-fed.

Who were they?

Although many of the most famous suffragettes were, like Mrs Banks, well-to-do women who had the time and resources to join the campaign, plenty were also working class with money to earn and children to support who were risking much more than just their social reputation by protesting. And some were even men.

But despite having some male support on their side, the suffragettes met with plenty of abuse and sexist ridicule. They were declared ‘unladylike’ and ‘unnatural’, accused of everything from robbing men of their masculinity to going against God himself. Watching the awesome, angry crowds assembled at the women’s marches earlier this year, it’s kind of incredible to think that 100 years ago just being a woman with an opinion was enough to brand you a freak of nature. Threatened much, guys?

The other kind of battle

A turning point came for the suffragettes with the outbreak of World War One. While Britain’s men were sent abroad to fight, more than a million women stepped into their place and took over running the country’s factories, farms and public services. Pay was low, the work was hard and conditions were pretty horrible – but naturally, they still bossed it.

Many people think that it was their effort during the war that finally ‘proved’ women deserved the vote (don’t get us started on that). But while it was an important step in the struggle, truth was plenty of men still expected women to head straight back into the kitchen once the war was over.

What happened at the horse races?

If you know one story about the suffragettes, it’s probably this one – on 4th June 1913, a militant suffragette named Emily Wilding Davison went to the Epsom Derby, climbed under a railing, and ran onto the track in the midst of the race, holding a ‘Votes For Women’ sash in the suffragette colours – green, white and purple. Throwing herself in front of a horse named Anmer, who was owned by King George V., Davison was violently trampled underfoot and later died from her injuries.

Nobody knows if she meant to die that day, or just attract royal attention with a dramatic public statement, but her desperate act became one of the defining points of suffragette history.

…and they won in the end, right?

Correct! But you knew that. Because – spoiler alert – tomorrow, women up and down Britain will go to the polling station and vote, the way they have for 99 years now. Women will be elected to new seats in Parliament, and the next generation of women (you) will be able to look at them and think, ‘yeah, I could do that.’ A woman may, or may not, continue being our prime minister. Leslie Knope happened. The suffragettes abso-bloody-lutely won.

But what you might not know is that reaching true voting equality actually took far longer. In 1918, the UK vote was granted to women (yay!) over the age of 30 (oh) – and only if they were married to a man who could vote, owned property, or had been to university (sigh). Women could also be elected to parliament from 1918, but it took until 1928 for ALL women over 21 to be able to vote.

Meanwhile around the world, the fight was far from over. In the United States, women of colour weren’t given the right to vote across all states until 1965. NINETEEN SIXTY-FIVE. The Beatles were in the charts by then. Your grandmother had a mini skirt. In Switzerland, it was 1971 before women were granted the right to vote – and astonishingly, 1991 before it applied to all local elections too.

And of course, even in your lifetime the fight has continued. It was only two years ago that women in Saudi Arabia finally had the right to vote and run for election. Love Yourself by Justin Beiber was in the charts. You had a fluffy keyring.

So let’s remember never to take those votes for granted. Because thousands of women fought, and many died, for your right to register to vote the moment you turn 18 (then have champagne and cake to celebrate). And until then you can still shout, good and loud, about the issues that matter to you – petition, protest, persist. Because if the suffragettes taught us one thing, it’s that angry women get things done.

@laurenbravo

Image: Suffragette (movie)

There are many things the world needs more of – love, peace, peanut butter Magnums, tights that actually stay up – but one thing we have no shortage of whatsoever is motivational quotes. They’re everywhere. On our walls, on our fridges, decorating our notebooks and cluttering up our Instagram feeds. They are the hot air that powers Pinterest like a jet engine.

But of course, they’re not always helpful. There are only so many times you can be told to ‘be a unicorn!’ before you want to smash your phone screen with your non-existent horn – and of all the genuinely cool and inspiring things Audrey Hepburn did in her time on earth, that quote about believing in pink ain’t one of them.

So as your antidote to all the whimsical sunsets, we’ve dug up 13 truly awesome quotes from some truly awesome women. Go kick some ass today – like yourself, not a unicorn.

(The hooves would just be impractical.)

“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

Marie M. Daly, the first African-American woman to to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

“However many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there.”

Nora Ephron, first lady of American screenwriting

 

“If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I’m going.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at four different Olympic Games.

 

“We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f***ing feminist and wear a f***ing Peter Pan collar. So f***ing what?”

Zooey Deschanel, your fringe icon and all-round comedy babe

 

“Everyone’s got some greatness in them. You do. The girl over there does. That guy on the left has some. But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it.”

Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, from her book Year of Yes

 

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

JK Rowling, everyone’s favourite dream auntie

 

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”

Zelda Fitzgerald, Jazz Age legend, from her Collected Writings

 

“Be brave and fearless [enough] to know that even if you do make a wrong decision, you’re making it for a good reason.”

Adele. You know Adele.

 

“Because you don’t live near a bakery, doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake.”

Hedy Lamarr, 1940s movie star and inventor, who developed the radio wave system that led to the modern creation of wi-fi (thanks Hedy!)

 

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Maya Angelou, author, poet and civil rights activist

 

“I say they should enjoy it while they can. You’ll be happy later to have taken pictures of yourself when you looked good. It’s human nature.”

Margaret Atwood, the Booker Prize-winning novellist, on (you guessed it) selfies

 

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai, female education activist and the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner.

What better motivation could you have before double Geography?

Image: Getty

When the results of this years Girls’ Attitudes survey by Girlguiding revealed that girls as young as 7 feel pressured to look ‘perfect’, we were upset. But not surprised.

Almost every woman and girl alive knows how it feels to be judged on our appearance – by friends and family, by boys in the street, by strangers, by the world – and how it feels to be so conscious of our appearance that it holds us back in life. From getting down and dirty on a sports field to seizing the most exciting opportunities, so much is sacrificed because of the pressure to be pretty.

But it turns out those 7-10 year old girls also have the answers sussed, saying loud and clear that the most important thing to improve their lives right now would be to stop judging girls and women on the way they look.

Got that, society? Stop. It. Now.

Newsflash: that means thinking twice about the nice comments, as well as the nasty. The ‘compliments’. Because obviously, being told you have great hair or a beautiful smile can make you feel great – but while we’re only praised on our appearance, it’s so much easier to believe that’s all we’re worth.

So inspired by Girl Guiding’s #YouAreAmazing campaign, we had a go at coming up with a whole list of lovely compliments you can give girls (or anyone really) that have nothing at all to do with their appearance.

And you know what? It wasn’t hard.

1. You are so clever.

2. You are so creative.

3. You are so brave. 

4. You know the lyrics to so many songs off by heart.

5. You’re perceptive.

6. You’re a brilliant listener.

7. You give really good advice.

8. You give quite bad advice, but always with the best of intentions.

9. You have the fiercest moves on the dancefloor.

10. You’re completely hilarious.

11. You’re a fantastic problem-solver.

12. You’re kind.

13. You’re generous.

14. You’re amazing at whistling.

15. You are very good at seeing the best in people, even when everyone else sees the worst.

16. You are very good at seeing the worst in people, even when they’re not as great as everyone thinks.

17. You have the wisdom of a very old oak tree.

18. You always pick the best place to eat lunch.

19. You have an excellent sense of smell.

20. You can always pronounce the non-English words on a menu correctly.

21. You’re tough, resilient and not afraid to take risks.

22. You’re the person everyone wants on their team.

23. You can probably hang pictures perfectly straight, first time.

24. If I threw something at you with no warning, I bet you’d catch it.

25. You’re such a quick learner.

26. You have the best taste in books.

27. You always have the perfect reaction gif for every occasion.

28. You’re the kind of person who can sing the harmonies in Happy Birthday.

29. You make the perfect cup of tea.

30. You have an adventurous spirit.

31. You have the brightest future ahead of you.

32. If I ever went on Pointless, I would want you for my teammate.

33. You have the best sense of direction.

34. You embody all the best qualities of each Hogwarts house, rolled into one.

35. You inspire me.

Share the love! Tweet us your best compliments @bettycollective, and join the Girl Guiding campaign with #YouAreAmazing.

Emma Watson is a woman. And like lots of women, she has those lumpy things that come in various shapes and sizes and decorate a woman’s chest. You know, those things that get perkier in the cold and jiggle when you run down the stairs? Boobs. A girl’s breast friend.

In her latest shoot for Vanity Fair magazine, Emma Watson showed some of her boob. Not the whole knocker, though that would be fine too, but this was just underboob. And in a shocking turn of events, certain people of the internet went batsh*t about it.

For some reason, people took issue with the fact that Emma Watson, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN who is one of the most outspoken celebrities advocating for gender equality… had boobs? Showed her boobs? Wore a ridiculous looking and highly impractical top? Oh god, it’s just so confusing and stupid and WHO EVEN CARES?!

They’re her boobs to do what she wants with – if Emma Watson wants to knit nipple covers and wear them like tea cosies, that’s her prerogative. If she wants to guard them like a state secret, that’s cool too. If she wants to photocopy them and put them on every billboard all over the country, bras off to her.

Thankfully, there are loads of people on the internet who understand that feminism is about choice and that you can be a feminist and do whatever you fancy with your boobies.

But no one said it better than Emma herself, who defended the shoot during a press junket for her upcoming film, Beauty and the Beast.

Wow, all those haters must be feeling like real tits right now.

Watch the full interview below:

Image: Getty

Books are great for a variety of reasons. They look pretty on shelves, they’re useful for pressing flowers, they smell amazing. But one of my favourite things about reading book is uncovering great female protagonists (lead characters). The type who overcome the odds, the type who exceed expectations or the type who refuse to apologise for who they are.

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many books as there should be where the protagonist is a woman – and even fewer with girls. One study found that in 6000 children’s books, only 37% of them had female main characters. Since it was Day of the Girl on Tuesday and we are all about celebrating the sisterhood, we thought we’d have a look through our bookshelves and find our favourite literary girls.

1. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

If Destiny’s Child’s Survivor was written with someone in mind,  it would have been Katniss Everdeen(yeah yeah, we know it was written before the Hunger Games, but you get what we mean). We all know she’s tough, but perhaps the most wonderful thing about Katniss is how deeply she cares for her sister, Prim, for Rue and Peeta and Gale. And let’s be honest, isn’t it best to have a bit of both?

“Pity does not get you aid. Admiration at your refusal to give in does.”

2. Liesel Meminger, The Book Thief

Sometimes just thinking about this book can be enough to bring on tears. It’s set in WW2 and narrated by Death (stay with me). It’s a wonderful, quirky book about nine-year-old Liesel, who steals books but at the same time knows more about loss than anyone should ever have to.

“…She did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on…”

3. Scout Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

Despite being published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is still shockingly relevant today. Scout is the daughter of a lawyer who is defending a black man accused of raping a white girl in the deep south of the USA. Scout is a fearless young girl who refuses traditional ‘feminine’ behaviours and is generally an all around kicker of ass.

“I felt the starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary closing in on me, and for the second time in my life I thought of running away. Immediately.”

4. Frankie Landau-Banks, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks 

This is a lesser-known (and in my opinion, better) book from e. lockhart, the author of We Were Liars. It centres around a girl called Frankie, who is enraged when she learns she can’t join her boyfriend’s all male secret-society at their boarding school. So, in the manner of a totally awesome lady, she created a society of her own.

“‘You have some balls.’

Frankie hated that expression, ever since Zada had pointed out to her that it equates courage with the male equipment…”

5. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

Feisty orphan Anne is sent to live with a grumpy middle-aged brother and sister on a farm after a slight communication error (it was the early 1900s, so Whatsapp wasn’t available). They had actually requested a boy, but Anne quickly shows them that anything a boy can do, a girl can do better. Including totally win their hearts.

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

6. Jo March, Little Women

Little Women follows the adventures of the four March sisters as they grow up as girls in 19th century America. Tree-climber and playwright Jo is the most headstrong of the four, if she were around today I think her report card would be decorated with unsubtle pleas for her to “keep her temper under control.” The March siblings are all pretty kickass in their own ways, but Jo takes the cake.

“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle – something heroic, or wonderful – that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day.”

7. Matilda Wormwood, Matilda

If you can read this book without spending at least 20 minutes staring at inanimate objects hoping to move them with your mind, I salute you. Matilda has pretty crappy parents but when her teacher Miss Honey notices how clever she is, she discovers her magical powers. And we’re talking actual magical powers, guys, not just ‘believing in yourself’. Though of course that’s great too.

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

8. Natasha Kingsley, The Sun is Also a Star

This book is about a girl who loves science and a boy who loves poetry. It’s a book about love, sure. But it’s also a book about Natasha, an illegal immigrant, who is about to be deported along with her whole family. Natasha is willing to fight really damn hard for her future – and when she meets Daniel, she’s willing to fight that little bit harder.

“He closes the file and pushes a box of tissues toward me me in anticipation of my tears. But I am not a cryer. I didn’t cry when my father first told us about the deportation orders, or when any of the appeals were rejected.”

9. Lily Owens, The Secret Life of Bees

Set in 1960s America, Lily and maid / stand-in mum Rosaleen run away from Lily’s dad and end up living with the Boatwright sisters who make honey (hence the title). This book is more adult than YA, which makes Lily’s role as the female protagonist even cooler. Lily is an amazing chick who isn’t afraid to go out and find the life she wants.

“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.”

10. Bee Fox, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

When her mother Bernadette grants Bee’s wish to go on a family trip to Antarctica (casual), she gets enveloped in the plans. One day Bernadette disappears and it’s up to Bee to find her. As she sifts through her mum’s emails and old documents, she comes across some incredible revelations about her mum’s past.

“My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like I’m going to die. But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I’m about to kick the shit out of life.”

So go and and get reading – there is so much kick-assery to discover.

February is the month of love. Sure, you could be celebrating an actual romantic Valentine, or you and your mates could be each other’s Galentines. But what about celebrating the person who has your back 24/7? The person who gets you dressed and feeds you delicious unicorn bagels?

That’s right, we’re talking about YOU, you wonderful human. Why not practice a bit of self-love this month with these awesome slogan t-shirts?

A is for Awesome

Why yes, yes, you are. And you know what will go perfectly with your awesomeness? This sweatshirt.

here-to-be-awesome

Long-sleeved jersey top, H&M, £12.99

B is for Babe

You’re an unstoppable force! We know that you’ve totally got this, babe.

yougotthis

Slogan tee, H&M, £8.99

D is for date

Dinner and a movie? Sounds perfect – and this way you don’t even have to share your popcorn.

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-14-41-22

I’d rather date myself, ASOS, £18

G is for Girl

You wanna wear an inspirational t-shirt with a bit of a 70s vibe? We say, ‘You go girl’.

you-go-girl

Ringer Tee, Monki, £10

P is for Power

You’re not just brilliant and clever and hilarious. You’re also hella powerful. Watch your vibes don’t interfere with the wi-fi.

babe-with-power-vibes

Message print, Pull & Bear, £12.99

S is for slayin’

Pride doesn’t always need to shout about it. This shirt is discreet, with a typeface you kinda have to squint to see… because you’re just slayin’ away, like NBD.

just-slayin

Slayin’, Monki, £8

T is for Texting

You don’t need anyone to text you a Happy Valentine’s Day. You’re an independent woman who has fabulous taste in tees.

dont-text-me

Rose envelope t-shirt, Pull & Bear, £12.99

Now all you need is to make yourself a handmade card and you’re good to go. Go on, be your own Cupid.

It’s official – awards season is upon us. The Golden Globes were held on Sunday, the BAFTAs are just around the corner and we can practically smell the Oscars in the air.

Which means red carpets. Loads of red carpets. Amidst all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, it’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful dresses and the hair so shiny you can practically use it as a mirror – and that’s all lovely – but let’s also remember that awards season is really about acknowledging how kickass these people are at their jobs. 

Unfortunately, some of the reporters of the red carpet seem to forget that these women aren’t just walking, talking clothes hangers. But the leading ladies of the big screen aren’t about to take it lying down. Here are some of our very fave women calling out sexism and stupidity on the red carpet. Give them ALL the awards.

Cate Blanchett 

Australian actress Cate Blanchett wanted to know why the cameras were only interested in the women’s legs. Aren’t all pins created equal?

Rashida Jones

Parks and Rec star Rashida Jones called BS when a reporter asked her about her ‘tan’. Mike drop.

rashida-jones

Amy Schumer

Stand up comedian Amy Schumer got real about the other sort of red carpet.

amy-schumer

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner wondered why no one asked her (then) husband about how he ‘balances work and family’. Now will someone please ask her something important, like if she did all her own stunts in Alias?

jennifer-garner

Mayim Bialik

A reporter made some big assumptions about the Big Bang Theory star’s calculus ability. He got schooled.

mayim-bialik   mayim-bialik2

Jennifer Lawrence

J. Law, winner of three Golden Globes and the highest paid actress in Hollywood, called it like she saw it when she was asked about her dress. Literally.

j-law

Emma Stone

Emma Stone, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in La La Land this year, sassed it up when a reporter cat-called her, proving, for the millionth time, there’s so much more to this leading lady than the way she looks.

Elisabeth Moss

In what has got to be one of most bizarre inventions of the 21st Century, the red carpet introduced the ‘mani cam’ where celebrities can show off their manicures. If flipped Elisabeth Moss right off.

Rihanna

When asked about her dating life, Rihanna made it clear than she don’t need no man. Preach, Rhi Rhi.

rhianna   rhianna-2

This awards season, let’s remember that there’s more to these ladies than the way they look. They’re the best in the business and they’re fierce as hell.

Image: Getty

Ok, winter you were fun for a while, but it would be really nice if you’d bugger off now so we could all have some time to regain the feeling in our toes.

Here are some of the other things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Taylor Swift and Zayn’s song was released

Finally, after weeks of teasing, Swifty and Zayn have released the music video for their brand-new song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” There’s a lot of brooding looks and coloured lighting, but let’s be real, we’ll probably keep watching it all day.

The boys in your class might be getting more allowance than you

Yep, according to a report by Childwise, on average, boys between the ages of 11 and 16 receive £17.80 allowance a week, compared to girls of the same age, who get £12.50. Not only that, the report found that boys are encouraged to have more financial independence than girls. Ladies, it’s time to get negotiating.

piggy-bank

Miss Canada, you’ve got our vote

Siera Bearchell, the woman who represents Canada in the Miss Universe pageant took to Instagram this week to talk about something really important: self-worth. Her message for everyone out there? Stop focusing on who everyone else wants you to be and embrace who you really are. Well, we’re backing Miss Canada for the win.

I was recently asked, "What happened to you? Why have you gained weight? You are losing points" This was a reference to my body of course. While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year, but I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before. 🙋🏻As soon as I started to love who I was rather than always trying to fit what I thought society wanted me to be, I gained a whole new side of life. This is the side I am trying to bring to the @missuniverse competition. The side of life that is so rare to find: self-worth and self-love. We always focus on the things we wish we could change rather than loving everything we are. #missuniverse #bodydiversity #IMG

A photo posted by Siera Bearchell (@sierabearchell) on

H&M to donate millions to refugees 

Over the holiday period, H&M made a pact to donate 5% of proceeds for every gift card that was sold in 4000 of their stores to help refugee children. They’ve dedicated the money to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help them provide education for children who have had to flee their homes. If you want to learn more about the UNHCR, you can read about them here. But in the meantime, we’re watching this adorable video that UNHCR Philippines put together – it’s giving us all the feels.

 

“I think you’re old like dirt”: Bad Lip Reading 

Need something to make you laugh? It’s seven days since President Trump was inaugurated, and it’s been an, er, interesting week. You may have seen the actual inauguration, but have you seen Bad Lip Reading’s version? It’s full of gems like: “the new kid smells like falafel and wants to shave my moustache” and “you think I won’t fling three eggs at you?” We promise it’ll have you in stitches.

Harry Pooper and the Chamber of Secrets

Every so often, JK Rowling answers a question you never even knew you had. This week on Pottermore she revealed that wizards used to…poo themselves. TMI? Maybe. But hey, now we know.

Just look at this actual excerpt from Rowling's entry about the Chamber of Secrets:

The nail polish challenge 

This week, Lily and Anjali messed around with the NailsInc nail polish that came in this month’s bettybox to do a nail polish challenge. Let us know who you think won in the comments section!

Have a great weekend, we’ll see you Monday!

Yes, it’s freezing outside and no, the day isn’t quite over but no matter how your day is going, spare a thought for the team of people who will have five hours to move the Obama family out of The White House and the Trumps in. It turns out no detail is too small for this team to care about – even the room temperatures and humidity levels in the house are changed to suit the new family’s preferences (who knew people had humidity preferences?)

Here are some of the other things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

#WhyIMarch

On Saturday, an estimated 1.3 million women in 616 locations around the world will take to the street for the Women’s March. The aim of the march is basically to send the message to political leaders (*ahem* some newer than others) that women’s rights are human rights too. Or, as its Facebook page explains: “We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognising there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”

If you want to attend a march, visit Women’s March to find the one closest to you – and get your walkin’ shoes on.

 

Bond, Jane Bond. 

Do you always hesitate when people ask what you be when you grow up? Well, we’ve got your back. GCHQ’s (that’s the Government Communications Head Quarters) new National Cyber Security Centre has invited teenage girls to enter a competition that could reveal the cyber spies of the future. And yes, it’s exactly as cool as it sounds.

Teams of four girls aged 13-15 can enter the CyberFirst Girls competition, where they’ll have to complete a series of online challenges. The top 10 teams will progress to a national final in London in March. Plus, the winning team will all take home individual prizes and their school will receive £1000 of IT equipment.

We imagine it will be exactly like Spy Kids, but, you know, set in 2017.

spy-kids

Can’t sleep? It might be Instagram’s fault. 

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a sinking feeling in your stomach that no one will like your latest Instagram? Well, you’re not alone. According the Science of Us, a new study was released that found a fifth (or 20%) of teens regularly wake up at night to check their social media. The study showed that those who woke up in the middle of the night for a sneaky Snapchat session were THREE times more likely to say that they constantly felt tired at school, and were less happy than their better-rested peers. So if you’re reading this after 11pm, go back to bed! Like, now.

snoopy

How to be flawless in one easy step

Anyone who’s ever taken a selfie knows it’s all about the angles… but fitness model Anna Victoria stepped it up a notch when she posted this image on her Instagram this week, to show how misleading social media can really be. While Anna looks ridiculously 🔥 in both pics, she wanted to send a message to her fans about body image: “I will not punish my body I will fuel it I will challenge it AND I will love it,” she says. Flawed? More like floored.

Me 1% of the time vs. 99% of the time. And I love both photos equally. Good or bad angles don't change your worth ❤️ I recently came across an article talking about how one woman stated she refuses to accept her flaws, because she doesn't see them as flaws at all. I LOVED that because it sends such a powerful message that our belly rolls, cellulite, stretch marks are nothing to apologize for, to be ashamed of, or to be obsessed with getting rid of! As I'm getting older, I have cellulite and stretch marks that aren't going away, and I welcome them. They represent a life fully lived (for 28 years so far :)) and a healthy life and body at that. How can I be mad at my body for perfectly normal "flaws"? This body is strong, can run miles, can lift and squat and push and pull weight around, and it's happy not just because of how it looks, but because of how it feels. So when you approach your journey, I want you to remember these things: I will not punish my body I will fuel it I will challenge it AND I will love it 💗💗💗 If you're following my page, you're a part of helping me spread this message and creating this movement – thank you. #fbggirls www.annavictoria.com/guides

A photo posted by Snapchat: AnnaVictoriaFit (@annavictoria) on

 

Royally good news! Prince William gets serious about mental health 

This week, Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry appeared at a Heads Together event to urge people to talk about their mental health. Prince William encouraged people to not ‘keep quiet and carry on’ but to open up to a friend or family member about any mental health challenges they may be facing. Good work, Will.

If you’re worried about your mental health, visit Childline for more information.

In need of some LOLs? 

If you haven’t already watched Raised by Wolves, you should really get on that asap. Written by hilairo author and all-round Shero Caitlin Moran and her sister Caz, the show is based loosely on their own childhood growing up home-schooled in Wolverhampton. Despite the show finishing mid last year, Buzzfeed reminded us of its awesomeness with this week’s round-up of their fave moments – and the main character, Germaine, is just as fist-bitingly hysterical we remembered.

raised-by-wloves raised-by-wolves

 

One of the biggest mysteries of all time has finally been solved

No, not how they built Stonehenge. The other big mystery: are all the Pixar films related somehow? Well, there’s some good news for all the animation-lovers out there – Disney has finally given us an answer. Get ready to have your mind blown.

To infinity and beyond… or, you know, Monday.

Oh, 2016. You’ve been quite a year. The year of Brexit. The year of Trump. The year of Planet Earth II and Pokemon Go. The year Giant Pandas stopped being endangered. The year of Lemonade and Blac Chyna. Amidst all the highs and lows, there’s one group of people who have consistently been incredible: girls.

Here are some of our faves from 2016.

Millie Bobby Brown burst onto our screens 

Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown was one of our fave girls this year. With her totally cringe first kiss story, her ability to rock pretty much any haircut and, of course, her rapping, she’s our current pick for dream celeb BFF. 

Kiara Nirghin found a way to fight drought

This year’s winner of Google’s Science Fair prize is 16-year-old Kiara Nirghin. The South African teen scientist found a way to turn orange peels and avocados into water store units, making them a cheap and environmentally-friendly method drought. We feel a bit sorry for anyone who has to sit next to her in chemistry.

Bana al-Abed opened our hearts

Brave seven-year-old Bana gave a face to the awful conflict in Syria, after she set up a Twitter account with her mother’s help to tell people about the situation that was transpiring in Aleppo. Thankfully, Bana and many other children have now been evacuated out of Aleppo to safety.

This girl took the best shower photo of all time

When a guy in Reese Herbet’s class asked her for a shower selfie, she happily obliged. But it wasn’t exactly the photo he bargained for.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-10-54-55

Simone Biles took home a lot of gold

No list would be complete without Simone Biles. At the Rio Olympics this year she took home four gold medals and one bronze for Team USA to add to her FOURTEEN World Championship medals. Since coming back from Rio, she’s appeared in music videos, made a few appearances on Ellen and had Channing Tatum fan girl all over her. Tbf, can you blame him?

simone-biles

 

 

This girl taught us the secrets to studying

This university student in Texas became every student’s hero when she bought a mattress into the library so she could take a nap. Someone give that girl an A to go with her zzzzs.

Maisie Williams opened up about bullying 

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has continued being awesome in 2016. She talked frankly about being bullied for being cast in GOT and is now backing an NSPCC campaign to raise awareness of both bullying and child abuse. Her advice for young people being bullied? Speak out about it and don’t bottle everything up inside. Which is easier than learning Arya’s sword skills, to be fair.

Jazz Jennings taught us about being trans

Trans teenager Jazz Jennings has been documenting her experiences for 10 years now. She has a YouTube channel, a television series and this summer, she released her book Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen (and you thought your were busy)Her message for the next President-elect Trump? “Equality is what unites our society, and everyone needs to understand that not only do we all deserve to be loved, but we deserve to love ourselves for who we are.” We couldn’t have said it better, Jazz.

This girl rocked her ID photo 

June Kyra Dela Chica didn’t want a regular high school ID photo. Instead this genius 17-year-old decided to channel the matchmaker from Mulan, because why the hell not? We think she nailed it. Next year: Lumiere.

sub-buzz-1581-1472115340-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls of 2016: you are awesome. We can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2017.


So before I start, I want to make something clear: I wouldn’t describe myself as a huge fan of Star Wars. I have watched the old films and I liked them, sure, but while I can recite the Harry Potter books line for line and could probably write a 10,000 word essay on The Hunger Games, it was never that much of a thing for me, growing up. 

But now? Now, hand me a lightsaber and call me Padmé, I am a signed-up Star Wars geek. I loved The Force Awakens and now I love the new film Rogue One. I have never felt more elated than when Rey turned on that lightsaber for the first time, and Rogue One was similarly delightful. If you’re um-ing and ah-ing over whether or not you should tear yourself away from the Quality Street to go and see it, here are five reasons why you definitely should. 

1. It will give you All The Feels

Without spoiling anything, if you’re a fan of going to a film and crying off all your mascara, Rogue One starts with a scene that had me full on ugly sobbing and the final third had me crying so much I had to stuff my fist in my mouth so I didn’t make a noise in the otherwise silent cinema. If a film can make you so emotionally invested you start honking because of your tears, it’s probably doing something right. 

2. Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso is a delicately featured, five foot three badass 

She doesn’t have a single scene where she is in a bikini or treated as an object to be lusted over. In fact, she spends most of the film dirty, sweaty, and Getting Stuff Done. It’s amazing to have a female character who is vulnerable and strong and clever and impulsive and an action hero and respected and sometimes a bit of an idiot, and now Star Wars has given us two in a row. It’s awesome.

3. It’s making a lot of stupid people on the internet very angry

I know this sounds like a weird reason to see a film, but stay with me. Whilst making people angry isn’t usually something I’m a fan of, these people are angry because the last two Star Wars films have had a black man and women as the main characters. They are insistent that women aren’t strong enough to lead rebellions (er, have they not heard of Boudica, Leymah Gbowee or Joan of Arc?) and that black men can’t be heroes because… well. I dunno, really. They’re just idiots. But the success of The Force Awakens and Rogue One is proving them wrong, and long may it continue. 

4. It is wondrous escapism

I spend most of my life in an anxious tizzy about something or other, but sitting staring at a giant screen that’s filled with utterly beautiful pictures telling me stories of rebellions and space battles is enough to take me away from it just for a few hours. Rogue One does this perfectly. It’s hard to care about your holiday Maths homework when the future of the galaxy is at stake. 

5. There’s an incredibly sarcastic seven-foot robot played by the guy who voiced The Duke of Weasleton in Frozen

Which is reason enough to see it on its own, tbh. 

@jimsyjampots

Christmas is just around the corner and 2016 is almost over, so to quote our brilliant editor, Lauren: “It’s time to start winding down… or ramping up, or… something!” Now that school’s (hopefully) out for this year, you have plenty of time to catch up on all things betty and watch Christmas films to your heart’s content.

In the meantime, here are some of the things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week. Enjoy.

What’s in our search history?

Google has put together a video of the most searched events of this year and we’re not going to lie, it’s really freakin’ beautiful. We would suggest having tissues close by for this one – as it’s been a hell of a year and this is a hell of a video to match. Google’s take away message? Love is out there.

Let’s be YouTube stars, shall we?

There’s a point in everyone’s lives where they’ve thought, “Sod it, why don’t I just quit school and become a YouTuber?”. Well the idea just got a whole lot more tempting, as this week Forbes released a list of the world’s highest paid YouTubers. For the second year running, PewDiePie topped the list, making a whopping $15 million (£12M).

New business plan: check if the handle ‘PewDiPi’ is taken.

pewdiepie

Pretty Little Liars will live on

The final series of Pretty Little Liars is hitting our screens next year, but there is a silver lining. PLL and PocketGem have announced that they’re going to be releasing an interactive app, so you never have to really leave Rosewood. According to Variety, the app will let fans follow their fave characters with a brand-new storyline set way back in the first season of the show. The choices you make will change how the plot unfolds, so this time it’s you – rather than A – who’s pulling the strings. Zomg.

pll

Felicity Jones would rather play male roles

The latest instalment in the Star Wars franchise hits the big screen today (finally!), with your new imaginary best friend Felicity Jones in the lead role. Felicity told Female First this week that she would often rather play male characters, because the roles are more interesting – but luckily she’s plenty happy with her Star Wars alter-ego. “Jyn is a fantastic woman,” she says. “I saw her as being tough and decisive and I tried to capture that attitude and portray her as an extraordinary heroine. We rarely see a woman like this in film.

Here’s to seeing more kickass women on the big screen!

These amazing girls blew the whistle on the FA 

Some girls in County Durham properly kicked off this week when they were handed the Football Association’s plan to get more girls involved in the sport. Some of the FA’s suggestions included: allowing girls to take breaks to check their phones and tweet, providing “colourful bibs that smell nice”, using a smaller ball to avoid the fear of being hit by a heavy one, and, the biggest stroke of brilliance – using pink whistles.

In response, girls from Lumley Junior School in County Durham wrote letters to the FA, including one from 10-year-old Ruby that said: “We aren’t brainless Barbie dolls. We don’t all like the same colour (pink). We are not fussy about colour or the smell of our bibs – would you be? And we are not afraid to get hit by a ball, so why would we need light ones; in case we break a nail?”

Mike drop.

bilb

Look how cute! 

Christmas is coming, so it’s time to dust off your glue guns and glitter. In typical betty style, we weren’t just about to make any old Christmas decorations. Why would we do that when we could make TAMPON ANGELS? Look out for our tutorial explaining how to make these celestial beauties on our YouTube channel.

slack-for-ios-upload

Flying high

And why stop at a tampon angel when you could have a whole tree loaded with feminist baubles? We love this one of the Queen of the aviation world, Amelia Earhart. Fly, pretties!

amelia

Amelia Earhart Decoration, Zazzle, £10.15

See, 2016 wasn’t a complete disaster 

Sure, there’ve been plenty of times that 2016 has got us down – but Buzzfeed has rounded up 33 good things that happened in 2016 and it made us smile and cry simultaneously. For about 20 minutes. Spoiler: includes love, puppies and a kid licking a dolphin.

Enjoy!