What do Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Obama and Kerry Washington have in common?
They’ve teamed up in support of our country’s veterans! The trio of power women grace Glamour’s May cover, and inside the magazine they discuss the challenges faced by America’s servicewomen, veterans and military wives.
The first lady, who helped launch the Joining Forces initiative in 2011 to support veterans, wants to urge women to ask for help. “Keep asking,” she says. “Because that’s the only way I survived. My women friends—how we get through is we reach out.”
“We have to keep encouraging women to know that asking for help is not a weakness; it is a necessity,” she says. “We all do it. Kerry Washington needs help a lot.”
“A lot,” admits the Scandal star.
“Sarah Jessica Parker needs it,” adds the first lady. “Michelle Obama needs a lot of help. A lot of help. Lots of help….”
Sarah Jessica points out, though, that those of us not directly involved in the military need to be offering this help up. “Being a working mother, serving, returning from Iraq or Afghanistan—I almost don’t know where to begin…. And I feel intimidated by their service; I feel ashamed that I haven’t served,” she tells Glamour. “So I almost feel like I’m patronizing by inquiring how to help. When you see a serviceman or -woman, you always—I always—say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ But you know that’s not enough…. What do we do? Every community has a community of veterans. Where do we begin?”
Courtesy Patrick Demarchelier/Glamour
The women talk about how de-stigmatizing mental health and PTSD is a start, and Michelle points out that Hollywood can help with that. She works with Got Your 6, a campaign uniting Hollywood, nonprofit and government partners to help bridge the civilian-military divide. Something that “…they’re trying to do,” she says, “is not have these stories set apart in that braver-than-thou, more-broken-than-thou view, but incorporate veterans and military spouses into the fabric of everyday life, like Hollywood has done with gay rights issues. Think of shows like Modern Family….Hollywood can play a powerful role in normalizing veterans into our lives.”
For more from Michelle, Sarah Jessica and Kerry on these issues (and more), pick up Glamour‘s may issue, on stands April 14.