A brief history of the Halloween costume

A black-and-white photo from the early 1900s shows a woman in rural America, her face covered with a sinister white mask. In another, from 1930, a tall figure stands in a field tightly wrapped in what looks like a white sheet and black tape, while a 1938 image shows three people driving to a party in hair-raising skull masks.
Halloween costumes from the first half of the 20th century were terrifying. Drawing on the holiday’s pagan and Christian roots — as a night to ward off evil spirits or reconcile with death, respectively — people often opted for more morbid, serious costumes than the pop culture-inspired ones of today, according to Lesley Bannatyne, an author who has written extensively about the history of Halloween.
“Before it evolved into the family-friendly, party occasion we know it as, October 31 was deeply linked to ghosts and superstitions,” she said in a phone interview. “It was seen as a day ‘outside of normal,’ when you act outside of society’s norms.
“Wearing ghoulish costumes — not horror-inspired like today’s, but plain frightful — was an essential part of it.”

Ancient roots

The genesis of Halloween costumes may date back over 2,000 years. Historians consider the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain, which marked summer’s end and the beginning of the year’s “darker” half in the British Isles, to be the holiday’s precursor.

Photo taken in 1905 of a person wearing a ghost costume in a rural schoolhouse.

Photo taken in 1905 of a person wearing a ghost costume in a rural schoolhouse. Credit: Historic Photo Archive/Getty Images
It was believed that, during the festival, the world of the gods became visible to humans, resulting in supernatural mischief. Some people offered treats and food to the gods, while other wore disguises — such as animal skins and heads — so that wandering spirits might mistake them for one of their own.
“Hiding behind their costumes, villagers often played pranks on one another, but blamed the spirits,” Bannatyne said. “Masks and cover-ups came to be seen as means to get away with things. That’s continued throughout Halloween’s evolution.”
Christianity adopted October 31 as a holiday in the 11th century, as part of efforts to reframe pagan celebrations as its own. Indeed, the name “Halloween” derives from “All Hallows Eve,” or the day before All Saints’ Day (November 1). But many of the folkloristic aspects of Samhain were incorporated and passed on — costumes included.
In medieval England and Ireland, people would dress up in outfits symbolizing the souls of the dead, going from house to house to gather treats or spice-filled “soul cakes” on their behalf (a Christian custom known as “souling”). From the late 15th century, people started wearing spooky outfits to personify winter spirits or demons, and would recite verses, songs and folk plays in exchange for food (a practice known as “mumming”).

American influence

As the first wave of Irish and Scottish immigrants began arriving in the US in the 18th century, Halloween superstitions, traditions and costumes migrated with them.
Once Halloween entered American culture, its popularity quickly spread, according to fashion historian and director of New York University’s costume studies MA program, Nancy Diehl.
“People in rural America really embraced its pagan roots, and the idea of it as a dark occasion, centered around death,” she said in a phone interview. “They wore scary, frightening get-ups, which were made at home with whatever was on hand: sheets, makeup, improvised masks.
“Anonymity was a big part of the costumes,” she added. “The whole point of dressing up was to be completely in disguise.”

Three girls prepare for Halloween festivities in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, 1929.

Three girls prepare for Halloween festivities in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, 1929. Credit: Felix Koch/Cincinnati Museum Center/Getty Images
By the 1920s and 1930s, people were holding annual Halloween masquerades, aimed at both adults and children, at rented salons or family homes. Costume preparations sometimes began as early as August, according to Bannatyne. Falling right between summer and Christmas, the celebration also seemed to benefit from its timing in the calendar. “It was a way to come together before the turning of the season,” Deihl said. “Marketers played heavily on that as Halloween became more commercialized.”
Those same decades also saw the emergence of costumes influenced by pop culture, alongside the first major costume manufacturing companies. The J. Halpern Company (better known as Halco) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, began licensing images of fictional characters like Popeye, Olive Oyl, Little Orphan Annie and Mickey Mouse around this time, according to Bannatyne.
“People also became fascinated with impersonating characters at the fringe of society,” she said, adding that pirates, gypsies and even homeless people became common outfit choices.
Continuing the tradition of old practices like souling and mumming, Halloween pranks became a common phenomenon in North America — sometimes to the point of vandalism and rioting. By the mid-1940s, the press had dubbed the night’s anarchy (or its broken fences and smashed windows, at least) the “Halloween problem” — and costumes may have “partly enabled that behavior,” Bannatyne said.

Portrait of party goers at the Chicago Art Institute's Halloween Ball, Chicago, Illinois, 1949.

Portrait of party goers at the Chicago Art Institute’s Halloween Ball, Chicago, Illinois, 1949. Credit: Robert Natkin/Getty Images
In an effort to discourage criminal damage, local and national officials attempted to recast the holiday — and dressing up for it — as an activity for younger children. The Chicago City Council even voted in 1942 to abolish Halloween and establish “Conservation Day” on October 31 instead.
“Throughout its history, Halloween has gone through changes of ownership,” said Anna-Mari Almila, a sociology research fellow at the London College of Fashion, over the phone. “Its original connection to death became more and more tenuous, which made space for altogether different kinds of (costumes).”
After World War II, as TV brought pop culture into family homes, American Halloween costumes increasingly took after superheroes, comic characters and entertainment figures. They also became increasingly store-bought: By the 1960s, Ben Cooper, a manufacturing company that helped turn Halloween into a pop phenomenon, owned 70 to 80 percent of the Halloween costume market, according to Slate.

Dropping the mask

It was around this time that adults started dressing up for Halloween again, according to Deihl. Like kids’ costumes, their approach was often more fun than frightening — and would eventually be just as inspired by “Star Wars” or Indiana Jones than by demons or ghouls.

A school age boy stands in his living room for a portrait of him wearing a clown costume.

A school age boy stands in his living room for a portrait of him wearing a clown costume. Credit: Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis/Getty Images
“Generally speaking, the ’60s marked a shift in the way we dress up for Halloween,” Deihl added. “Grown-ups, in particular, started ditching masks and full-on coverage, opting to show their faces. Costumes became a way to play a lighter, special version of oneself: showing the world you ‘were’ Wonder Woman, or Luke Skywalker, or what have you.”
But there was still a place for scary outfits, encouraged by a slew of splatter-horror movies that started emerging in the 1970s and 80s, from John Carpenter’s “Halloween” to Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” These decades also saw gay communities across the States adopt the holiday as an occasion to wear outrageous outfits and hold parades, contributing to a boom in Halloween parties and the popularization of provocative costumes that “in recent decades,” Deihl, said, “have oftentimes leaned towards the overtly sexy and campy.”
“Halloween costumes have gone from disguises to full-on exhibitionist,” Almila said. “Today, it’s one big capitalist celebration completely detached from any vestige of Christianity or paganism, and more centered around expressing people’s fantasies — which also explains its success globally.”
“I think they’ve certainly become more reflective of the times we live in,” Deihl added. “But there are also far fewer people making their own Halloween outfits now, and a lot less personal creativity going into what you wear, compared to the early days.
“We’re all drawing from the same range of costumes available for purchase. And creating immense waste because of it. I think people would express themselves much more individually if they crafted their own costumes like they used to.”


Perfect Prime Rib

Cooking prime rib can be intimidating—it’s such a big piece of meat and you’re usually making it for a special occasion, like Christmas or a formal dinner, so you want to get it just right. But it needn’t be stressful: This easy prime rib recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and lays out how to cook prime rib so it’s juicy, tender and full of flavor, without a lot of fuss. Cooking the prime rib low and slow safeguards the meat from cooking unevenly. See the Tips section below for more advice on making the perfect prime rib. And if you have leftovers, they make a killer sandwich!



  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; set a wire rack in the pan. Place garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Drag the flat side of a large knife back and forth over the garlic to form a paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl. Add thyme, rosemary, pepper, oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt; stir until thoroughly blended.
  2. Rub the garlic mixture evenly over roast. Place the roast, fat cap up, on the prepared rack on the pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking; let stand at room temperature.
  4. Place oven rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 275°F.
  5. Roast the prime rib until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 120°F (for medium-rare), about 2 hours and 30 minutes to 2 hours and 50 minutes, or to 130°F (for medium). Remove from the oven and let rest for 1 hour before serving.
  • Tips:
  • Use kosher salt: This is the time to break out the kosher salt—its larger crystals provide crunchy texture.
  • The prime rib rub: There are no hard and fast rules for the rub you use for prime rib, so use whatever herbs you like. Some citrus zest, crushed red pepper, toasted and cracked spices, and mustard would all be delicious.
  • How to get a great crust on your prime rib: Drying the prime rib uncovered in the fridge overnight pulls out some moisture and creates a very dry surface that results in a crisp, deeply browned crust. This step also means you don’t have to crank up the oven to brown the prime rib, which can result in dry or unevenly cooked meat.
  • Use a thermometer: Use a meat probe to take the prime rib’s temperature close to the bone. This is not the time to use your sixth sense to judge doneness.
  • Let your prime rib rest—it’s worked hard: Allowing the meat to rest after removing it from the oven allows the juices to redistribute so they don’t spill out when you slice into the meat.
  • To make ahead: Prepare through Step 2 and refrigerate overnight.

Why did you become a parent?

Have you ever asked yourself why you wanted (or want) to have children?

Those who wrestled with the decision or struggled to conceive a child have probably thought about it a good deal. And some have always known the answer, maybe since they were kids themselves.
But for many parents and would-be parents, the question may seem odd or elementary — which makes it a great question to tackle.
One answer is that we, as a species, harbor an evolutionary drive to propagate. Our small part — at its most basic, perhaps unconscious and even (by design) pleasurable level — is to carry on our DNA to the next generation. If enough of us do that (and we avoid destroying the planet), human beings will thrive.
Another answer is simply social and cultural norms. The majority of the people you know, and most of those you don’t, are doing it. This is why people who don’t have kids often have an answer to “Why?” at the ready: because everyone asks them. Rarely, though, are parents asked what motivated them to have kids. There’s little need to explain behavior that is typical and expected.
But even with evolutionary hardwiring and societal peer pressure as part of the equation, that usually doesn’t fully explain the unique, individual drives that lead people to want to make other people.
Whatever your reason, it says something important about you and about the kind of parent you are or hope to be. I think it’s worth exploring.

You are the parenting expert you’ve been looking for

Why did you decide to have children? Why do you want one, or a second or third? What is it about your personal desires, history, influences and beliefs that led to such a major life decision? Why spend so much time and money, and take on all that additional stress, anxiety and responsibility?
Knowing why you got into this game can give you the insight needed to play it to the best of your ability. You are your own best guide to navigating the million and one parenting questions, conundrums and choices you will face from here on out.
Historically, people have had children out of economic necessity, to work the farm, for example. Conversely, children can be symbols of prosperity. They can be a reflection of yourself or a vessel for your own wishes and goals. Or parenting can be a noble act of sacrifice for the greater good.
Pete Seeger is credited with this sweet answer: “We do it for the high wages … kisses.”
When I asked friends and family this question, it was interesting to see how some knew their answers right away while others stared off in the distance with a puzzled look on their faces, as if they’d never pondered it before.
Here’s a taste:
  • Re-create my own childhood joys
  • Grow and share familial love
  • Make myself a better person
  • Start my own family after being on my own for a long time
  • Add to a greater sense of life’s purpose
  • Fit in and meet society’s expectations
  • Because kids are fun to hang out with and talk to
  • Help make the world a better place
  • Be a better parent than I had
  • A spiritual call to action
  • Repay what I owe my parents
  • Give in to a biological urge
  • Cultivate a strong relationship with my kids so they remain a part of my life after they move out
My wife had her answer at the ready: “I wanted to feel the intense love a parent has for a child.” It’s a desire she’s had since she was a young girl.
As I began to tell her my reason, I saw a nervous look on her face.
“I feel like we should have had this conversation before we had kids,” she said, cutting me off. “What if I don’t think your answer is a good one?”
“Too late,” I said.
My reasoning lies in the high premium I put on experience: travel. Film. Reading. Writing. Storytelling. Humor. Food and drink (more drink than food). Spirituality. Nature.
Being a parent is a unique experience. I am aware of the missed adventures and career options I might have pursued were it not for my two daughters. But still, being their father comes out far ahead.
I also hubristically thought I’d be very good at parenting. There’s a part of me that wanted to improve upon my own upbringing. Since I was a kid, I’d been convinced I would be an amazing father.
That was, of course, before I became one. Parenting, it turns out, is humbling in the way it exposes your insecurities and personality flaws. I’m getting better, and I try to live up to that potential, but I routinely fall short — which every parent can relate to.

Put your answer to good use

“Mindful parenting” is one of the most enlightened trends in the history of parenting techniques. It’s about being present with your children but also better understanding your motivations and feelings while parenting. Getting in touch with your motivation for becoming a parent gives you a perspective too often lacking at difficult parenting moments.
My answer, about wanting these unique and varied parenting experiences, has helped me embrace a wider spectrum of them. It’s easy to revel in a bear hug or a shared laugh, but I’m extending that love of experience for more challenging moments, such getting screamed at in the middle of a bath time. Staying present and connected to whatever is going on when I’m with my daughters gives them more of the attention they need from me and makes meaningful moments more frequent and poignant.
Your own answer to the question is something of a parental compass needle too, pointing the way when you are unsure how to parent in a given situation.
Get back to the roots of your parenting motivation. It could impact how you respond to frustrating moments, how you spend your weekends, what behavior you model and how you talk to your children about life.



How to Stay Positive After a Failure

How do you stay positive after a failure or setback?

stay positive after a failure

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND that no single outcome of failure is the defining moment of one’s life. Introspection and the perspective that each failure is simply a lesson on what approach doesn’t work has helped me stay positive and learn from my mistakes.

—Sohin Shah, founder of InstaLend



stay positive after a failure

KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE MAIN GOAL and larger picture is a great way to stay positive after a failure or setback. We all know and generally accept the idea of two steps forward, one step back. Taking what you can from each experience, positive or negative, and moving forward toward your main goal is the best way to stay positive.

—Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr



stay positive after a failure

NOTHING IS A FAILURE if you’re able to learn something from it, and you can almost always learn something from any setback. Work toward a mindset that every experience is about learning something, both good and bad, and you’ll find yourself on the positive side each time.

—Brandon Houston, CEO of Switch Video




Roasted Savoy Cabbage with Orange Vinaigrette

Easy Savoy cabbage recipes can be far and few between, especially ones that are as delicious as this whole roasted cabbage. The outer cabbage leaves blacken during the long cooking time, but when removed they reveal a meltingly tender center. Orange blossom water adds delicate aroma to the vinaigrette that’s drizzled on top. Serve alongside roast beef or pork, or over mashed potatoes as a main course.


  1. 1 head Savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus ¼ cup, divided
  3. ¼ cup orange juice
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  6. 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  7. ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  8. ¼ teaspoon sugar
  9. ⅛ teaspoon orange blossom water
  10. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  11. ¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
  12. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  13. 1 tablespoon sumac (see Tip)


    Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

  1. Remove any cabbage leaves that are wilted or falling off. Place the cabbage, stem-side down, on the prepared pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast until a skewer easily passes through to the center, about 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ¼ cup oil, orange juice, garlic, shallot, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, sugar, orange blossom water and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
  3. To prepare za’atar, combine hazelnuts, sesame seeds and sumac in another small bowl.
  4. Remove charred outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into 6 wedges and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Drizzle the cabbage with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the za’atar.
  • Tip: Made from the tart red berries of the Mediterranean sumac bush, this bright red spice has a fruity, sour flavor. Find ground sumac in Middle Eastern markets, well-stocked supermarkets and online.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate vinaigrette and store za’atar airtight at room temperature (Steps 3 & 4) for up to 3 days.

This Cool London Label Is a One-Stop Shop for Summer Slip Dresses


In the hot, steamy throes of summer, what’s more appealing than sliding into a slinky slip? Enter Refine, a new London-based label inspired by the classic sweet-nothing from former Net-a-Porter editor Anina Hée. “I really wanted to make something that is resistant to trends because that’s the way I shop; I wouldn’t buy something that wouldn’t endure more than one season,” says the Swiss-born designer whose own closet is filled with discreetly chic pieces by The Row and Khaite. “The slip has been a staple for decades and it still is today.”

Taking inspiration from ’90s fashion icons such as Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and the Prada runway, Refine’s debut collection features six luxuriously spare styles—including a particularly alluring calf-skimming bias-cut dress and high-waisted skirt—cut from heavy silk satin and Crepe de Chine that’s been woven and dyed in Italy. “I’m very conscious of quality,” Hée says of the built-to-last range, which starts at $200. “My mom always used to say to us kids when we were buying things, ‘Check where it’s made!’” To that end, the silhouette-defining fabric has a reassuring heft (in other words, the new slip dresses skim the body rather than cling to it). “It has this way that it flatters all these different body types and drapes so nicely,” she says.

Just as considered is the brand’s palette: Alongside year-round black and white offerings, a handful of limited-run specialty shades—such as dark chocolate, a seawater blue, and a single ditsy floral print—will be in seasonal rotation. Also on offer? Au courant padded headbands and voluminous scrunchies to ensure no precious piece of silk is left behind. Says Hée, “It’s an easy way to reuse leftover fabrics”—and slide into summer, dressed from head to toe.


How to talk to kids about sexual harassment

I never imagined I’d be spending so much time talking to my girls, ages 10 and 11, about sexual harassment.

After the news broke early Wednesday that Matt Lauer, now the former host of the “Today” show, was fired for what NBC called “inappropriate sexual behavior,” I found myself starting the morning with yet another conversation about a famous person accused of acting inappropriately with women.
“The world is going to be a better place when you guys arrive in the workplace, and that’s a good thing,” I told them. With my older daughter, I talked about power and how a man who is more powerful in an organization could use that power to take advantage of women.
This is so much more than I ever learned at their age, but in my heart, I know these are teachable moments, which will benefit them in the years to come.
In conversations over email with parents across the country, it’s clear I’m not alone in talking to young kids about a topic as charged as sexual harassment.
“For us, what happened with Matt Lauer is just another talking point in an ongoing conversation,” said Avital Norman Nathman, a mother of an 11-year-old boy and author of the anthology “The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality.”
Since her son was a toddler, she and her husband have been having age-appropriate conversations about consent and his control over his own body. Now that he’s a tween, those conversations tend to happen more and more in relation to what’s happening in the news, said Norman Nathman, who is also an editor of the online community GrokNation, founded by actress and mother Mayim Bialik.
“While I hate that there are so many women being harassed, each time a story comes out, it’s just one more example to point to and show my son that it doesn’t matter who you are and what power you possess, harassment as well as taking advantage of anyone in the workplace is never acceptable,” she said via email. “I feel that so many young kids know better than these men who have shown propensity for these things and it’s absolutely shameful!”
Lauren Smith Brody, author of “The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Success, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby,” said she hasn’t made a point of talking to her young boys specifically about sexual harassment but has started to weave in messages about the importance of consent and protecting their own bodies.
For instance, if one of the boys happens to hit the other, she’s started to tell them “you hit your brother? No, we do not hit, ever, and by the way, actually we don’t touch another person’s body without permission, period, ever.” She has tried to reiterate the message about sexism in the workplace as well and believes some of the messaging is starting to rub off.
During recent parent-teacher conferences for her third-grader, his teachers relayed a story about how they read a book about women’s suffrage. Her son “raised his hand to comment about how even though that was a long time ago, there are lots of ways things still aren’t fair and then gave an impassioned description of the wage gap,” said Brody, who consults with companies to improve workplace culture for new parents. “Best conference ever.”
Debbie Greene, who has two grown children, said this is a great time to have conversations that teach children how to treat another person and to teach them what you, as a parent, consider morally right and wrong.
“It can be very uncomfortable, especially when it is all they see on the TV,” said Greene, who has a blog, Through Debbie’s Eyes. She knows that firsthand, noting how she had to explain oral sex to her then-11-year-old daughter because of the allegations involving then-President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Tricia Ferrara, a licensed professional counselor and author of “Parenting 2.0,” said ‎parents can and should be teaching their children about boundaries and power.
“From day one with kids, we need to be reinforcing boundaries within relationships — intimate, professional and personal — and that power is not about dominating another person or threatening them for personal gain,” she wrote in an email. “These conversations are more critically necessary in a day and age where technology amplifies the likelihood of boundary violations and harassment.”
Ferrara likes to always say that ‎”it’s not the talk — it’s the walk with your child.” A child raised in an environment where boundaries are in place and power is used “constructively and functionally” is more likely to know that sexual harassment is a violation when they encounter it and to speak up about it.
She also said a harassment incident doesn’t have to be what starts the conversation. “I’m always asking my own kids and the kids that I treat: ‘How are the boys treating you? How are the boys treating your friends? How are the girls treating you? How are the girls treating your friends?’ ” said Ferrara, a mother of two.

“Let your kids give insight on what’s happening, and why they think it’s happening. This allows them to articulate their posture on things — whether it be having a second cookie after dinner or something more serious. They need practice at articulating how they feel from an early age.”
Janeane Davis, a mother of four, said she has talked with her children about how they have “a right to keep others from sexually harassing and assaulting them” since they were small children. The message has always been that “no one, not their parents, friends, or doctors” can touch them without their permission.
“I started when they were about 3 and told them, ‘If Mommy touches your personals without permission, punch me in the eye and then go tell Daddy on me,’ ” said Davis, founder of the blog Janeane’s World, who has 10-year-old twins, a 14-year-old and a 21-year-old in college. “I told them the same thing about Daddy. I figured if they knew they had permission to punch a parent in the eye for inappropriate touching and that a parent could get in trouble for it, they would feel free to push anyone aside and not fear a penalty.”
Her children, she said, think that people “shouldn’t touch or say inappropriate things and it is good that people ‘get in trouble’ for it.”
Jim Higley, a father of three, parenting advocate and author, said the importance of this conversation isn’t limited to younger children.
He was at a local bar with his sons, ages 21 and 28, last week as they visited his childhood hometown of Fremont, Nebraska, for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“My conversation with them started, ‘Guys, I need to ask you both something because it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’m asking as my sons and as the brothers to your sister: Have I done my job in teaching you and modeling for you what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in terms of how you should always treat a woman in every aspect of your life?’ “
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Higley, author of “Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew” and chief brand officer for Camp Kesem, a camp for children whose parents had been diagnosed with cancer or died from the disease, said it wasn’t the conversation his children were expecting as they started their holiday break. “But given the number of stories emerging and still feeling the obligation to teach my children well, I’m glad we had spoken about the topic,” he said via email.
His sons initially thought he was raising the topic out of concern for their sister and the possibility that she might have been victimized in some way, Higley said. “I found that interesting (and confirming) that they first put the subject through the filter of their sister’s safety, someone they love more than anything,” he added.
Once his sons understood that the focus of the conversation was on making sure that Higley had taught them and modeled for them how a man should treat others, whether male or female, they definitely “took it seriously” and assured him that his lessons “registered loud and clear,” Higley said.
The “steady beat of stories” alleging harassment, abuse and inappropriate behavior is “gut-wrenching,” he said. “But it’s forcing all of us, even parents of older children, to pause, reflect and readdress this critically important topic, regardless of their age.”


Why it’s good for business to have a woman at the top

There’s more evidence to suggest putting women into top leadership roles is good for business.

A new study from S&P Global Market Intelligence found that public companies with women CEOs or CFOs often were more profitable and produced better stock price performance than many of the companies that had appointed men to those roles.
The study looked at new CEO and CFO appointments for companies on the Russell 3000 Index over the past 17 years. All told, it considered 5,825 new appointments, of which 578 were of women.
Two years after appointing a female CEO, companies were perceived by investors as being less risky, the study found. And the companies saw improved momentum in their stock prices.
Companies with women CFOs were also perceived as less risky bets by investors and were more profitable. Looking across the entire 17-year period, the study found that the women CFOs’ companies, during their tenures, generated a combined $1.8 trillion more in gross profits than their sector averages. For example, one of the firms with a female CFO generated $208.6 million in gross profits in a given quarter. That was nearly $33 million more than the $175.7 million average gross profit for companies in the same sector.
Gender diversity on boards improved as well. Researchers found that companies that appointed a female CEO had twice the number of female board members than the market average during her tenure. And they found firms with high gender diversity on their boards were more profitable than those with low gender diversity.

Women executives may be held to a higher standard

Why did the women CEOs and CFOs do so well? Did they perform their jobs differently than their male counterparts?
The study analyzed the language used in the newly appointed executives’ biographies, especially key words that reflect achievements, education and personal traits associated with success — words like productivity, technology, Wharton and leadership. It found a strong correlation between key words used in all of the women’s biographies and those found in the biographies of the most successful male executives. There was not a strong correlation, however, with the key words in the biographies of the less successful men.
The S&P researchers suggest this could mean that common attributes drive success among men and women, but that boards held the women CEOs and CFOs to a higher standard than the men before hiring them.
Or, put another way, boards hire men much more frequently, even though some of the men they appoint aren’t necessarily as qualified as some women candidates, as suggested by the outperformance of the women executives in the S&P study.
“The high male-to-female ratio of executives in C-suite positions supports this premise. Being more selective with female appointees means that the board of directors may pass over a more qualified female in favor of a less qualified male,” the researchers wrote. “If this is the case, it follows that the remaining pool of female contenders for C-suite positions remains richer with talent.”


Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi is a favorite dish at many Italian restaurants but our version takes just 20 minutes to prepare, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner at home. Large shrimp are cooked with garlic and then served over linguine pasta with a buttery-wine sauce—it’s so good your family may think you ordered takeout!


  • 1½ pounds fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells
  • 6 ounces whole-wheat or plain linguine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or parsley


  1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact, if desired. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 15 seconds. Add shrimp. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque, stirring frequently. Transfer shrimp to a serving platter using a slotted spoon.
  4. Add wine, butter, and salt to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat to loosen any browned bits and to melt butter. Pour butter mixture over shrimp. Sprinkle with chives. Serve over linguine.

The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week

Want to learn how to capture a really good selfie? Then take a leaf out of Bella Hadid’s book, of course. This past week—which has been fairly eventful for the model, thanks to her multiple birthday celebrations—she uploaded a snap that showed off quite the outfit. With a French manicure and gold rings on full display, her selfie in an XXL-striped jacket came via the reflection of a splotched car mirror. But, at the end of the day, a bit of dirt means nothing: Hadid’s bold Moschino phone case more than elevated the otherwise casual photo. Someone else enjoying themselves and leaning into their outlandish wardrobe is Marc Jacobs. It’s the umpteenth time that Jacobs has worn his now-signature platform red boots, but while on set a few days ago, he freshened them up with a red hoodie, tiger stripe print jacket, and rolled up jeans. In other words, the fashion work uniform has never looked cooler.

But it isn’t just the fashionistas who took the spotlight this week: Entertainers have also been channeling a certain glow and energy. For one, Lady Gaga celebrated the one year anniversary of A Star Is Born holding a platinum plaque marking six million sales. Her ensemble was just as celebratory, consisting of a pink plaid tube dress by Adriana Sahar—and, for that extra oomph, Gaga’s hair was dyed in a matching bubblegum shade. Meanwhile, the rapper Junglepussy also gave some shine to the camera, wearing a green jacket bedazzled with sequin flowers. It was fresh, bright, and should serve as inspiration for your wardrobe this coming week.