The Fire Within

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The Fire Within
Badass Icon T-shirt @ Oakley Fight Club (Chicago)

Shara (5’9”, size 2) is styled wearing our size xs women’s badass women’s icon t-shirt in midnight navy.

The Fire Within
Badass Icon T-shirt @ Crossfit Notorious (Chicago)

Taylor (6’3”) is styled wearing our size medium badass icon t-shirt in midnight navy.

The Fire Within
Badass Baseball T-shirt @ Oakley Fight Club (Chicago)

Shara (5’9”, size 2) is styled wearing our size xs badass soundbox baseball t-shirt in gray/onyx.

The Fire Within
Badass Idol T-shirt @ Crossfit Notorious (Chicago)

Taylor (6’3”) is styled wearing our size medium badass idol t-shirt in midnight navy.

The Fire Within
Badass Idol Hoodie @ Oakley Fight Club (Chicago)

Shara (5’9”, size 2) is styled wearing our size small badass idol full zip hoodie in black.

The Fire Within
Multi-patch Idol Sweatshirt @ Crossfit Notorious (Chicago)

Taylor (6’3”) is styled wearing our size medium multi-patch idol sweatshirt in navy.

We fear and love fire. When controlled and managed, it provides comforting heat in the winter, delivers a warming glow on top of a birthday cake, and sparks the many engines that we depend on daily. Yet, even the smallest fire can be stoked and fanned, rapidly unleashing tremendous amounts of heat and energy with limitless destruction.

Our design and styling inspiration this month comes from an icon whose life is symbolized by fire, the original badass, Joan of Arc. A fifteenth century teenage girl who became a warrior and a heroine.  A girl so passionate in her beliefs, she was able to garner a royal decree to lead legions of French men into war against England. Her words mattered—with them she set off a firestorm that changed the outcome of the Hundred Years’ War. Her passions though were ultimately extinguished by actual fire that engulfed her as she was burned at the stake by male English capturers fearful of her wrath.

We all have had dreams and aspirations that were countered by stereotypes, rules, and expectations.  Boys don’t play with dolls. Girls can’t box.  A woman can’t be CEO. But society’s limitations can’t keep these dreams from continuing to live within us.  This month we celebrate the internal fire that ignites us to turn dreams into reality. The fire that is fueled when family, friends, employers, and even our nation’s leadership endorse opinions, viewpoints, and policies that threaten human rights, equality, and opportunity for all citizens—regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.

While we honor Joan of Arc as our iconic badass, we also acknowledge and recognize contemporary icons like Laverne Cox, Sonia Sotomayor, Jessie Williams, Janelle Monae, Serena Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Shonda Rhimes, Common, Laila Ali, Tim Cook, Hillary Clinton, and Barack and Michelle Obama, who refuse to let their authentic voice or aspirations be squelched by naysayers or societal prescribed stereotypes.

In the end, the voice of truth and justice, which may not be appreciated at the time, tends to become honored and celebrated. Centuries after being burned at the stake as a witch and heretic through coerced confession, Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint and still today maintains an undeniable, inspiring spirit.

If what you see happening around you or to you doesn’t reflect the life you want for yourself, your family, your friends, or your nation, do you stand on the sidelines or, like Joan, do you join in the fight?

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

Editorial:  Daryl Sneed, Drew Ferguson, Natasha Goburdhun

Editor:  Suzanne Claussen

Photography:  Bret Grafton

Models/Agency:  Shara & Taylor/Factor Chosen Chicago

HMU:  Andrea Samuels

Styling:  William Martinez

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