Mandana

Voting 101 with Mandana Dayani

Voting 101 with Mandana Dayani + I am a Voter         Obviously, we are voting in bed this year. What do you think one of the greatest benefits of voting absentee is? Voting as soon as possible is critical this election! And I think if you can safely vote early and in person, that is the best option. Otherwise, I would text MAIL to 26797 to find out if you are eligible to vote by mail and to request your ballot if available. Just make sure to send your ballot back as soon as you receive it (definitely prior to October 20th) to ensure it arrives on time and make sure to include stamps if your ballot requires postage! And don’t forget to support the USPS in any way possible. I am a Voter’s philosophy is that our democracy works better when we all participate. What are some ways we can activate our networks and communities to get involved? One of the most important things we can do is ensure or friends and family members vote! A reminder from a friend can make them up to two times more likely to vote! We are each a part of a community and we have a responsibility (and privilege) to check in on each other. I also think it is important to share registration deadlines and election reminders with your social communities and make sure your company gives you sufficient time off to vote if that is prohibitive for you. Lastly, I would suggest you go to iamavoter.com to check whether your state allows no-excuse vote by mail, and if it doesn’t, to call congress and advocate for it!! Scripts are provided. What are some of your favorite resources and tools to stay in the know with all things election related? Right now, it feels like my entire life is based around the election. I am just so grateful for the resources our organization is able to provide to our communities and partners and that we can always leverage our partners at TurboVote/Democracy Works whenever we have questions! I also make sure to watch Jessica Yellin’s videos on Instagram every day to stay current on all important issues. Any major callouts we should be aware of relating to COVID-19 its effects on the election? Do your research now to find out your options for how best to vote this election. The stakes have never been higher and we need every single eligible voter to show up!! And make sure to vote down ballot and in all upcoming local, state and federal elections!
Babba in Prima

Being the Prima, with Babba

The Prima Collection was inspired by the movement of dance and the grace, style, and power of Prima ballerinas. Feel like a strong, confident woman whether you’re strutting across a stage or your kitchen floor — that’s being the Prima. We’ve tapped three women that embody that energy in everything that they do.         Meet Babba — our ultimate girl crush. This Swedish Latina it-girl is an award-winning creative marketing professional who has worked in both fashion and tech in some of the coolest cities around: Stockholm, Berlin, and New York. When this mama-to-be is not running her marketing agency or working on HER USA, a brand she co-founded, or her newest venture, Ceremonia, you can find her decompressing in our favorite place — home. Get to know this marketing-mogul-meets-style-guru and find out what she thinks it means to Be the Prima.         How do you show up as the leading lady in your own life?   Babba: I try to show up in life with a sense of gratitude and optimism, finding beauty in the everyday and keeping a joyful spirit. Blue (my pup) is actually a big inspiration here; she finds her zen in any situation and is always happy to see other humans. That’s how I want to show up in this life, too!           SHOP THE PRIMA COLLECTION
Eva in Prima

Being the Prima, with Eva

  The Prima Collection was inspired by the movement of dance and the grace, style, and power of Prima ballerinas. Feel like a strong, confident woman whether you’re strutting across a stage or your kitchen floor — that’s being the Prima. We’ve tapped three women that embody that energy in everything that they do.         Meet Eva — she makes every floor a dance floor. A highly trained, independent dancer and dance scholar from New York City, her work spans everything from performance and choreography to writing and teaching. Is there anything she doesn’t do? Using ballet as a social practice and a tool for living a more beautiful life, she gives us that Big Ballerina Energy on the daily.          How do you show up as the leading lady in your own life?   Eva: Growing up through ballet is the singular thing I feel has shaped me most. A lot of people talk about dance as a wonderful tool for young people to learn discipline as well as have a sense of control over their bodies, and in turn their lives. This is all true, but I also feel like for me, it was also a pursuit towards a high art. Ballet taught me to rise above obedience.  One particular teacher I had really focused on us finding our own individual spirit, and revealing that through movement. It made me understand that the things that would help me stand out in a sea of dancers were the things that made me me (i.e my eyes, my smile, the way I tilt my head). And that the only way to be different is to be yourself, which is something I have carried through with me all throughout life.             SHOP THE PRIMA COLLECTION
Nana in Prima

Being the Prima, with Nana

The Prima Collection was inspired by the movement of dance and the grace, style, and power of Prima ballerinas. Feel like a strong, confident woman whether you’re strutting across a stage or your kitchen floor — that’s being the Prima. We’ve tapped three women that embody that energy in everything that they do.         Meet Nana. Besides having impeccable style, Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu is a true artist in every form of the word. This British-born, Ghanaian-heritage fashion designer and performance artist’s repertoire of movement truly tests the possibilities of sensuality. From stoic to seductive postures, Nana navigates how audience and architecture inform the physics of the black female body. In everything she does — from work to personal life, this unstoppable force truly knows what it means to Be the Prima.           How do you show up as the leading lady in your own life?   Nana: “I am my mother’s daughter.” She taught me to be strong, loving, honest to myself, and also forgiving to myself. Self love first and foremost...           SHOP THE PRIMA COLLECTION
Prima Care 101

Keeping Your Prima Stage-Ready

Prima has made its debut! We hope you love your pieces as much as we do. Now that you’ve got them (and busted a move or two in them — that’s right, we see you), here’s how to keep them looking stage-ready.          PRIMA 101 —   Machine wash Dry Cleaner? Never heard of her. Throw these in the wash and forget about it (or if you’re feeling super domestic, hand washing works too).   Cold water with like colors  Pink things are only fun when they’re SUPPOSED to be pink. Please use cold water and wash with like colors to keep your pieces looking fresh.   Lay flat to dry It could not be easier — literally lay it flat and let it dry.   Cool iron on reverse if necessary  Wrinkles happen, we get it. To get your pieces looking smooth, use a cool iron on the reverse side.        Prima Pro Tips:    Hang in the bathroom while you shower to freshen up.  If your pieces need a little smoothing and you’re in a rush, hang them in the bathroom while you shower and let the steam work its magic. Look at you, multitasking.    Roll in your drawer vs. fold to avoid harsh fold lines in this delicate fabric. A prima always knows how to look stage-ready. To keep your pieces looking smooth, roll them instead of folding them in your drawers.       SHOP THE PRIMA COLLECTION    
Tie Dye your Lunya!

Tie Dye at Home

We’ve been watching you tie dye oversized tees, sweatshirts, sweatpants… even your underwear at home. We figured if you’re lounging around, and DIY-ing at home (a place we know a thing or two about) it was time we got on board. We rounded up a few of our favorite pieces that make the perfect tie dye canvas. And naturally (no pun intended) we raided our cupboards and used what we had at in the pantry...here’s what we found: turmeric, matcha, coffee, and hibiscus tea.  Our process is a steep, dip and sun time method (and no, we aren’t talking about our latest staycation). Here’s how we created the look: What you’ll need: • Lunya     • Rubber Bands     • Bowls     • Natural dyes     STEP 1 Steep your ingredients in large bowls with hot waterSTEP 2 Choose your dye patternSTEP 3 Soak your LunyaSTEP 4 Remove the garments from the dye STEP 5 Let dry with bands on, the longer the betterSTEP 6 Remove bands and rinse with waterSTEP 7 Sun time for a natural fade Methods for creating our patterns: Tie for a blotch effect Dip for an ombre effect Fold and twist for stripes Bunch and twist for your classic rings 💛   TURMERIC Steep Time:4 Hours Dip Time:Depends on how bright of yellow you prefer – we recommend 2 hours for a richer yellow Sun Time:2 hours     🍵   MATCHA Steep Time:8 Hours Dip Time:This color takes the longest to absorb, so we recommend letting your Lunya bathe for a while – we did it for 3 hours Sun Time:2 hours     ☕   COFFEE Steep Time:2 Hours Dip Time:We’ve all had a coffee stain once or twice. Depending on your preference in brown hue, we recommended letting this one hang out for a bit – 2 hours Sun Time:2 hours     🌺   HIBISCUS Steep Time:6 Hours Dip Time:This is one of the richer dyes so it does not need to soak as long – we let it soak for 3 hours Sun Time:2 hours     Care:   Hand wash to maintain truest color. Machine wash with detergent in cold water on its own. We recommend washing a few times to ensure dye does not crock. Note that color might fade. Sun-time causes dye to fade. We left ours out for a few hours to create a more muted and faded look. For more vibrant colors, we recommend less sun time.     SHOP THE AT-HOME TIE DYE EDIT     *Please note that personally altered products such as DIY tie-dye, alterations or tailoring, or otherwise personalized will no longer be eligible for returns. Dyes used in this demonstration have been tested but are not guaranteed from fading or bleeding.       
brb, googling delegates.

WTF is a Caucus?

We can all agree that voting is important, no matter how you do it. This election season, we’re helping you get politically active from your favorite place: bed.  But first, let’s start with the basics — what do some of these terms mean?!           Caucus. Primary. Electoral College. Delegate. We remember these words from our high school history books, but we could definitely use a refresher. With the first of the conventions happening this week, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your knowledge. Here are some of the key terms to know ahead of the 2020 presidential election.  CONVENTION Where political parties officially nominate a candidate for president (each party has one). It feels like a party and looks like one too — think: red, white, and blue balloons and usually a large crowd, but we're not sure what this looks like in a COVID-19 world. The conventions are also used to solidify a party’s platform leading up to the big day (Election Day!).  CAUCUSES No, it's not a growth on your foot. They are meetings run by political parties in which participants discuss a variety of topics, including their presidential nominee choice. These happen for local elections, but in presidential elections, some states hold caucuses instead of primaries. The process varies by party, but generally, voters show up in person (think: at a library or community center) to discuss the candidates and cast their vote. The process can take a long time, usually several hours. DELEGATES These are the people chosen to represent their state at national party conventions. First things first, to become a party’s presidential nominee, candidates need to win a majority of the party’s delegates. During each state’s primary or caucus, there are a certain number of delegates up for grabs, which are awarded based on how well a candidate does in that race. Then, at the conventions, the delegates are the ones who officially cast votes to nominate a party’s presidential candidate. There are two main types of delegates: pledged (who have to support the candidate they were given during the primary or caucus) and un-pledged or super (who can support any candidate).   ELECTORAL COLLEGE This is how the US chooses its POTUS. To win, a candidate needs a majority of electoral votes – 270 out of 538. If there’s no majority, the House chooses the president, and the Senate chooses the Vice President. When it comes to actually making it to 270 or more, it goes a little something like this: after you vote for president, your vote goes into a state-wide count. In 48 out of the 50 states (plus DC), the candidate with the most votes gets 100% of the electoral votes for that state. This is known as the winner-takes-all rule. Two states (Maine and Nebraska) give their electoral votes out proportionally.    ELECTOR The official certified rep that votes in the Electoral College. There are 538 electors. Each state plus DC has a certain number of electors in a presidential election. Electors are chosen by a state’s political party and are often people with close ties to the party (usually a state elected official). They later cast an official vote representing their state’s choice for president. From there, the electors’ votes are sent to Congress, which officially counts them.    INAUGURATION The day the who's who of politics shows up. Let's make it official — this is the ceremony where newly elected officials are sworn into office. Presidential inaugurations are every four years on January 20. If that date falls on a Sunday, presidents are privately sworn in ahead of a public ceremony on the 21st.    POPULAR VOTE This is a way of measuring election results. Whoever wins the most votes wins the popular vote, but that doesn't necessarily mean a win in a presidential election. Congressional elections are decided this way but not presidential elections. Because of the Electoral College system, in presidential elections, even if a candidate wins the popular vote, it doesn’t mean he or she wins the presidency. A candidate has won the popular vote but lost the election five times in US history.    PRIMARIES The election before the big one! This is when voters choose who they want as their party's presidential nominee. Some states have closed primaries — where you can only vote for candidates within your registered party. Other states have open primaries – no matter what party you’re registered with, you can vote for any candidate, in any party. And other states do something in between.   Now that you know, go share the wealth with your friends! @lunya    
Melissa in the Silk Robe

Sustainable Skincare with Melissa Palmer

Meet Melissa Palmer, cofounder of the mother-daughter-run sustainable skincare line OSEA. Since 1996, OSEA has spearheaded a new environmental standard for the beauty industry. All of their products are plant-based and gluten-free, even eliminating the use of animal-derived ingredients such as lanolin, beeswax, carmine and beyond — as they believe animal rights matter. But the sustainability does not stop there. OSEA minimizes their impact in everything from packaging and their choice to bottle in recyclable glass, to their considered shipping and fulfillment practices. Impressive, to say the least. We chatted with Melissa about all things sustainability, from skincare to incorporating practices into your daily life.     Melissa wears the Washable Silk Robe     It is clear that sustainability is at the core of everything OSEA does. Where did the care and consideration for the environment start for you and your mom/cofounder Jenefer when starting OSEA back in 1996? When we founded OSEA in 1996 it was only natural that the brand values simply be an extension of our family values, which is why sustainable practices are a key part of OSEA’s brand identity.Growing up, my mom was always an activist when it came to environmental awareness and being mindful of our impact on it. We learned to compost, reuse and recycle from the beginning, and we even grew up sleeping outside and did so about 300 nights a year! In 2002, OSEA became the first company to sign The Compact for Global Production of Safe Health and Beauty Products, an initiative from the Environmental Working Group. Tell us a little bit about this accomplishment and why this initiative was so important for OSEA. When we met the Environmental Working group in 2002 we almost instantly signed the pact and were thrilled that they were taking action. We later found out that countless companies had refused to sign and we were the first. We are so proud to have been an early ally of the Environmental Working Group’s advocacy around safe cosmetics. Their mission to raise awareness and work on the legislative level ensure products “free of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects” aligns seamlessly with the ethos behind our products — so getting involved was natural. You and Jenefer are actively involved in campaigning, traveling to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento to meet with legislators, and continue to lobby for safe skincare. Are you happy with the progress you’ve made so far + started to see in the rest of the beauty market? When we founded almost OSEA 25 years ago, it was because there was a real need; at that time, natural skincare was not even really recognized as a category! My mom really just approached skincare the same way she approached food — if it wasn’t clean enough to go in her body, it wasn’t going on her body.Things have radically changed since the 90’s and I’m thrilled to see more brands emerging that embrace similar values. When we first got involved in legislation, it was a tiny initiative in Sacramento in the early 2000’s. Last year we lobbied in D.C. for national legislation. It’s been incredible to see the evolution of the movement. While great strides have been made on the the brand level, we recognize that there’s still a ways to go on the legislative side. We’re sure the sustainability efforts do not stop at the office. What are some sustainable practices you’ve brought into your daily life? Sustainability is a set of life-long choices that respect the ecosystem around us. I do my best to consider these choices everyday, from the foods I buy, to how many times I get into my car per day, to composting and growing my own food. It’s a daily practice of little actions. Becoming sustainable is no easy feat. For other companies looking to boost their sustainability efforts, where do you recommend is the best place to start? Take a deep look at your business practices and start with things that are achievable. Whether that’s eliminating single use plastics at your office or encouraging ride sharing, every little step is important to achieving the long term vision of sustainability!
OSEA products

Jenefer Palmer's Morning Skincare Routine

As founder and formulator of OSEA, Jenefer Palmer is all about ingredients. Inspired by her grandmother’s miraculous healing in the frigid waters of Long Island, she always knew that seaweed would be the cornerstone of her formulations. Today she works directly with a family-run collective in Patagonia to source OSEA’s USDA-certified organic seaweeds. Her dedication to create safe skincare that is good for you and the planet is unsurpassed. We had to know more.       Jenefer’s skin care journey began when she became spa director at one of Southern California’s first wellness spas in 1981. To complement the innovative spa treatments that she created, Jenefer searched for natural skincare products to use and sell at the spa. At that time, it was impossible to find a skincare line that wasn’t packed with harmful ingredients. She knew she could create something better, products that are both safe and effective. Her desire to create plant-based, non-toxic skincare was revolutionary and what began as a personal passion soon evolved into a fully fledged beauty brand in 1996, manifesting the seed of her idea into reality. A true skincare pioneer, we were curious about Jenefer’s own morning routine. Read on for her insider tips.       Jenefer's Morning Skincare Routine   1. I love starting my day with Ocean Cleanser. It has the most invigorating, uplifting scent plus it gently exfoliates my skin. Ocean Cleanser makes me feel like a morning person, which anyone will tell you, I am definitely not.       Pairs well with our Resort Linen Silk Collection       2. Hydration is really important for me, which is why I apply Hyaluronic Sea Serum next. When I was formulating this product, my samples kept disappearing as everyone in the family was “borrowing” them. If your skin is dehydrated, this is a wonderful, light burst of hydration that’s perfect for the summer months. I think a lot of people don’t realize the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, you can have an oily complexion and still be dehydrated. So this serum is great for just about everyone!             3. Next is Essential Hydrating Oil. This was the first product I ever formulated, well before face oils were a thing. Honestly there’s nothing better for my 65-year-old skin. It’s a blend of botanical oils that work together to plump skin and smooth fine lines, which is a dream for me. I also love to use it for an aromatherapy moment, cupping my hands and inhaling deeply before I apply to my face.             4. At this point, my skin has received all these wonderful nutrients and it’s really important to apply a moisturizer to help seal everything in. Advanced Protection Cream is a luxurious face cream packed with skin-loving ingredients including Gigartina seaweed, one of my favorites because of its collagen-protection benefits.             5. My final step is my body. People often forget that your skin extends beyond your face and neck. Your whole body deserves the same attention! So I’m not done until I apply my Undaria Algae Body Oil. If I could bathe in this stuff, I would! We take organic seaweed hand-harvested in Patagonia and soak it in luscious seed oils for 6-8 months to infuse all the hydrating and firming benefits of algae. Plus it smells like heaven: a kind of citrusy, botanical blend that’s even better than perfume!      
The Female Founder Collective

The Female Founder Collective

With love, friendship and community at the root of all that we do, having love for our fellow female founded brands comes naturally. This joining of forces is our latest innovation in creatively supporting one another. It’s simple, really. We love each other’s brands. We’re consistently inspired by Elaina Bellis’s collaborations, while living in Lunya sleepwear, Janessa Leone hats, and Frēda Salvador shoes. We have been behind-the-scenes friends and mentors for years, now we are thrilled to join creative forces and partner by sharing each other's brand stories.       Meet Janessa Leoné   Janessa Leoné is an elevated accessories label based in Los Angeles. The brand creates sophisticated pieces with a focus on timeless, minimal designs that are both unique and classic. Each collection is hand made using a consistent foundation of the highest quality materials, yielding pieces that can be worn through many seasons.   Janessa’s goal is to create products that have the capability to tell a narrative of many generations because they’re well-made enough to withstand the stories themselves.   SHOP JANESSA LEONÉ         Meet Frēda Salvador   Frēda Salvador was founded by best friends Cristina Palomo Nelson and Megan Papay. With over 25 years of technical footwear and accessory design and 70+ years of footwear lineage, they design every collection of elevated, timeless and slightly unconventional styles that ease into your everyday. Their footwear is designed in California and handmade in our family factories in Spain and El Salvador. Their products empower non-stop women by offering pound-the-pavement utility.     SHOP FRĒDA SALVADOR         Meet Elaina Bellis   Elaina is an art director, model, and, most importantly, mother. In 2016, Elaina and her photographer husband James, joined forces to build a one stop shop for all creative needs. Their past collaborations include; Anthropologie, Madewell, Kate Spade, Christy Dawn, True Botanicals, Maisonette, and Blundstone to name a few. The duo reside in Los Angeles with their twin four year old daughters.   CREATE WITH ELAINA          
share a little hope

#sharealittlehope

We created #sharealittlehope as a movement to spread messages of hope and give philanthropic support to those in need.    A letter from our founder, Ashley Merrill:   Many of us are feeling some ramification from COVID-19 in our life, be it from income loss, illness exposure or the helplessness that invariably comes from being trapped inside and hearing bad news constantly.  As someone who has always leaned on “be the change” as a personal motto, I’ve been trying to figure out how that manifests in this unusual landscape… the change antidote that keeps surfacing for me is hope.    Hope can take many forms, but for everyone it can be a catalyst for necessary positive momentum, and that is surely what we’ll need on the other side of this mess.  Lifting a tide is not something we can do alone  - when there is a big problem it will take thought leaders creating a movement to reshape the energy of the moment.    We are created #sharealittlehope as a movement to spread messages of hope and give philanthropic support. It’s simple — for each message of hope shared, $20 will be donated to SoLa Impact in partnership with NaHCO3. These donations will go to the COVID-19 Retraining & Recovery Fund (CORE) which is focused on job retraining for in-demand jobs in healthcare and technology for low income families whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.   Our hope is to empower those who have lost employment and are seeking career paths that open access to living-wage jobs, financial security, and increased quality of life. At least 100 scholarship recipients will enroll in online or in-person certified training programs to garner a more in demand skill-set in healthcare or technology and have hope for a brighter future.   Together, with some positivity and intentionality we can lift one another up.     Ashley Merrill, Founder + CEO, Lunya     #sharealittlehope
Becoming an adult

Going Deep on Adult-ing

From the Editor of The Deep:   This year, at age 38, I had a realization: by anyone’s standards, I guess I’m a full-fledged adult. I have a mortgage, two kids, retirement accounts, and even a living will. My husband and I attend parent-teacher conferences and discuss things like whether or not our city councilman is doing a good job. Other signs I’m a real adult: I spend a fortune trying to treat wrinkles, spider veins, dark circles etc. … and I regularly have to turn on subtitles (yes, to English-language TV shows) because I guess I can’t hear very well anymore.         Apparently I’m #adulting all the live-long day.   So ... why don’t I feel like an adult?  And what qualifies someone as an adult anyway?  Is it age? Experience? Wisdom? Or is it something else entirely … something intangible and ambiguous, a quality or a mindset? In other words: at what point do we literally grow up?       Ashley Merrill, founder of Lunya     On the day you turn 18 in the United States, you gain a lot of rights and privileges. For example: you can vote, buy a house, get married, get sued, buy a lottery ticket, join the military, change your name, donate blood, book a hotel room, walk into an adults-only store, open a brokerage account and trade stocks, be called for jury duty … and even adopt a child. In your opinion, are most people mature enough to handle these rights and privileges at the age of 18? Ashley: Yes. The reality is, I think most of us are never ready to handle most of these things, but at a certain point, when decision making capabilities are “good enough,” people have to be pushed out of the nest. I lived abroad in Italy when I was 20 and made some Italian friends. Often we would go to a parties together and I realized the Americans were trashed and the Italians weren’t. They grew up with alcohol as a non-momentous part of a family meal, and thus had a more casual, less forbidden-fruit relationship with the substance. Weirdly, it led me to a "give responsibility and exposure early" takeaway. I was reading The Boxcar Children to my kids the other night, and back in 1924, a 9-year-old had a job, so I think for the most part humans are capable of a lot; they just need repetitions with independence and decision-making vs being dramatically turned loose.   Given the significance of the rights and responsibilities you unlock as an adult, does it make more sense to use an arbitrary threshold (such as your 18th birthday) to determine adulthood? Or should the government administer tests to confirm that you are intellectually, emotionally and/or physically mature enough to handle these responsibilities? Ashley: Arbitrary threshold — I tend to be more of a personal-freedoms person and wonder if we start allowing the government to micro manage freedoms that it might turn into a creepy authoritarian situation.   We all know that teenagers sometimes make poor decisions. It turns out that there’s a physiological reason for this: their brains aren’t fully formed. Research shows that the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that controls logic/reason and that takes long-term consequences into account) does not fully develop until people reach their mid- to late-20s. Because their prefrontal cortex is not fully “online” yet, teenagers tend to make decisions using the amygdala, the part of the brain that governs emotions. In other words: teenagers’ (and even young adults’) brains may simply not be capable of making good decisions. Given this evidence, should we raise the age at which you are legally considered an adult? Ashley: No. I can see the argument for 25, but on the other hand, I know plenty of 18-year-olds with better decision making than my mid-thirties friends, so age is just a rough benchmark. As a parent, I also think 18 tends to be a natural time for kids to push away and seek independence, so holding their rights longer than we expect them to love being home with their parents feels problematic.   At what age did you feel like an adult? Ashley: I think my thinking really matured mid-twenties, but I became an adult adult when I had my first child. I started to have to operate with a larger amount of responsibility and my life didn’t orient as much around me.   What does it mean to be an “adult” to you? Ashley: Freedom and responsibility. These two things are not usually bedfellows and in a way, one kind of restricts the other but... I perceive adulthood as when you have the true freedom to act as you want. You can turn into a wandering beach bum who lives it up in #vanlife or a career-family person, but whatever path you have the freedom to choose; it’s a time when you alone must carry the responsibilities for your decisions. As I’m unpacking this I’m seeing it as less of an age and more of an independence thing.         Hillary Peterson, founder of True Botanicals     On the day you turn 18 in the United States, you gain a lot of rights and privileges. For example: you can vote, buy a house, get married, get sued, buy a lottery ticket, join the military, change your name, donate blood, book a hotel room, walk into an adults-only store, open a brokerage account and trade stocks, be called for jury duty … and even adopt a child. In your opinion, are most people mature enough to handle these rights and privileges at the age of 18? Hillary: I am going to say yes because I believe that, as a parent, the goal should be to prepare kids to handle this transition to adulthood when it comes. I have observed that a lot of teenage rebellion comes from kids wanting more responsibility than they are given. As we loaded more responsibilities onto our kids’ plates, they were busy rising to the occasion rather than finding ways to rebel.   Given the significance of the rights and responsibilities you unlock as an adult, does it make more sense to use an arbitrary threshold (such as your 18th birthday) to determine adulthood? Or should the government administer tests to confirm that you are intellectually, emotionally and/or physically mature enough to handle these responsibilities? Hillary: Given the implications of potentially discriminating against people who do not have equal access to education, the idea of adding barriers to participating in civil society concerns me. It’s a basic right.   We all know that teenagers sometimes make poor decisions. It turns out that there’s a physiological reason for this: their brains aren’t fully formed. Research shows that the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that controls logic/reason and that takes long-term consequences into account) does not fully develop until people reach their mid- to late-20s. Because their prefrontal cortex is not fully “online” yet, teenagers tend to make decisions using the amygdala, the part of the brain that governs emotions. In other words: teenagers’ (and even young adults’) brains may simply not be capable of making good decisions. Given this evidence, should we raise the age at which you are legally considered an adult? Hillary: No, in my experience, giving people — even teenagers — more responsibility makes them more responsible.   At what age did you feel like an adult? Hillary: For me, becoming an adult happened in stages. It started with living on my own in college at 18 and solidified when I became financially responsible for myself, upon graduation at 22.   What does it mean to be an “adult” to you? Hillary: See above.         Jessy Dover, co-founder of Dagne Dover     On the day you turn 18 in the United States, you gain a lot of rights and privileges. For example: you can vote, buy a house, get married, get sued, buy a lottery ticket, join the military, change your name, donate blood, book a hotel room, walk into an adults-only store, open a brokerage account and trade stocks, be called for jury duty … and even adopt a child. In your opinion, are most people mature enough to handle these rights and privileges at the age of 18? Jessy: Yes! It’s hard to ever feel ready for any of these things in my opinion, but you have to get on the horse and start learning at some point. Although all people are different, it was around 16 when I felt the powerful itch to break free of my parents and make my own decisions! These things are valuable life choices and moments to be learned from. I think it’s incredibly important to prepare children to make the right decisions for themselves, and let them make mistakes so they have the opportunity to learn. When I was 16, I REALLY wanted to get my tongue pierced, and I was dying because I needed a parent to sign the consent forms and I KNEW mine would say no for obvious reasons. Once I gathered up the courage to ask, she responded with a calm, “sure”. I ended up getting it pierced, and taking it out a year later because I decided that it was not my vibe anymore. No fight, no judgement, just a life experience. My mom knew that I needed to experience the feeling of having the power to make my own decisions before releasing me into the world (2 years later). Although it seems young from an adult perspective, I think that people can handle these rights and privileges.   Given the significance of the rights and responsibilities you unlock as an adult, does it make more sense to use an arbitrary threshold (such as your 18th birthday) to determine adulthood? Or should the government administer tests to confirm that you are intellectually, emotionally and/or physically mature enough to handle these responsibilities? Jessy: I do not believe the government should administer tests to determine if someone is an adult or not. In my experience, people learn in different ways, mature at different rates, want different things, and that is what makes the world such a fascinating place! I’m not sure that “tests” could really determine the answer. I believe there is an opportunity to make the entry into adulthood a tradition that carries more social weight, and something that’s a privilege and an honor, and perhaps that would make the rights and responsibilities that one “unlocks” at age 18 deserving of more careful consideration. For example, when I was in middle school, I remember talking to a girl (while we rode on the tire swing) about getting our periods. I remember thinking “why would I want to get my period??” but her perspective was much different. She was so excited to become a woman, and had spent a lot of time considering what products she would use, how she would manage school during her cycle, etc. Looking back, it seems it was presented to her as a coming-of-age privilege, and something to be proud of, whereas for me, it had always been expressed to me as a burden or annoying extra thing that women had to deal with which made me disinterested. All I’m saying is that there may be opportunities to improve the ways in which we prepare our children for adulthood as a society, but I do not think government tests are the answer.   We all know that teenagers sometimes make poor decisions. It turns out that there’s a physiological reason for this: their brains aren’t fully formed. Research shows that the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that controls logic/reason and that takes long-term consequences into account) does not fully develop until people reach their mid- to late-20s. Because their prefrontal cortex is not fully “online” yet, teenagers tend to make decisions using the amygdala, the part of the brain that governs emotions. In other words: teenagers’ (and even young adults’) brains may simply not be capable of making good decisions. Given this evidence, should we raise the age at which you are legally considered an adult? Jessy: No. Although the above statement is true, I do not think we’re ever truly “ready” for anything. Becoming an “adult” at a certain age only trains a person for what is to come! Practice makes perfect! Also, I’m a bit concerned that changing this age would result in quieting the voice of an important generation of people. For example, I started my company at a young age, and I was very much a child in many ways, but the experience of starting it led to my ability to understand what “being an adult” really means, and the responsibility that comes with that. On the flip side, I think deferring adulthood should be something that is available to all, but that’s another question!   At what age did you feel like an adult? Jessy: 23 because I energetically disconnected from my parents. I am very close with them now, but before that, they would give me money when I needed it, take me on vacation with the family, etc. Once I finally disconnected from them, I became my own person, and it allowed me to make my own decisions independent of what they thought or said. I was finally free.   What does it mean to be an “adult” to you? Jessy: I think adulthood is an elusive concept, and doesn’t really mean anything, if I’m 100% honest. For the sake of answering the question though, I imagine it could have something to do with being responsible for yourself and any humans you bring into this world, and to have enough life experience to have an awareness that considers the collective over the individual when necessary. But honestly, I’m still trying to figure this one out. :)         Sophie Kahn, co-founder of Aurate     On the day you turn 18 in the United States, you gain a lot of rights and privileges. For example: you can vote, buy a house, get married, get sued, buy a lottery ticket, join the military, change your name, donate blood, book a hotel room, walk into an adults-only store, open a brokerage account and trade stocks, be called for jury duty … and even adopt a child. In your opinion, are most people mature enough to handle these rights and privileges at the age of 18? Sophie: I think it really depends on the person. I’ve known people who acted like adults when they were 12, and people who still don’t act like adults at 45. The cutoff at 18 makes sense to me in the sense that this is the age people usually leave their parents’ house and therefore need to have rights to ensure their independence.   Given the significance of the rights and responsibilities you unlock as an adult, does it make more sense to use an arbitrary threshold (such as your 18th birthday) to determine adulthood? Or should the government administer tests to confirm that you are intellectually, emotionally and/or physically mature enough to handle these responsibilities? Sophie: While an arbitrary threshold is far from perfect, I would 100% opt for that. Administering tests can be a slippery slope and lead society down a dangerous path. The administration of tests can just exacerbate things such as economic and educational inequality that already pervade society. The rights to adulthood are kind of like democracy, there are a lot of flaws in it, but there’s no better alternative.   We all know that teenagers sometimes make poor decisions. It turns out that there’s a physiological reason for this: their brains aren’t fully formed. Research shows that the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that controls logic/reason and that takes long-term consequences into account) does not fully develop until people reach their mid- to late-20s. Because their prefrontal cortex is not fully “online” yet, teenagers tend to make decisions using the amygdala, the part of the brain that governs emotions. In other words: teenagers’ (and even young adults’) brains may simply not be capable of making good decisions. Given this evidence, should we raise the age at which you are legally considered an adult? Sophie: Not necessarily, but there are a few things to consider. For instance, motor vehicle fatality is the leading cause of accidental deaths amongst teenagers (roughly 1/3 of all deaths). Why then allow kids to drive at 16? I would raise this age, similar to what Europe has. At the end of the day, kids take higher risks due to their underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, so ideally society should protect them by removing the triggers where this can lead to fatalities (drugs, alcohol, guns, cars) until they are older.   At what age did you feel like an adult? Sophie: Somewhere around 18. This is when I left home, moved to a new country, and basically set up my life on my terms. Growing up in Europe, you actually have a lot of freedom when you’re much younger vs. the US, e.g. kids bike to school alone starting at 8 years old, you can drink at 16, I travelled to Spain alone with friends at 17. So by the time I was 18, I feel like I was mostly an adult — of course I’ve matured since then (or at least I hope so) but the foundation was set.   What does it mean to be an “adult” to you? Sophie: To be able to control your impulses and emotions and instead to be able to think rationally, with empathy, and assume responsibility for your actions and for others (basically the opposite of my 3-year old toddler).    

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