“While You Were Out,” is a Friday feature of short notes and commentary from the week. Whether it’s something you’d discuss at the water cooler or at happy hour, you’ll find it on our grid, together with our opinion as to whether it’s praiseworthy or cringeworthy. We’re pleased to bring you the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week!
Jennifer Lawrence Makes Billboard Top 20
Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t only have an Oscar, she also has a hit song on the Billboard 100. This, despite JLaw insisting in 2012 that she can’t sing , hilariously mocking it again on Letterman, and recently saying to Woody Harrelson on SNL, “I don’t think anyone wants to hear me sing.” It turns out, she was wrong. The actress’s haunting song “The Hanging Tree” featured in Hunger Games: The Mockingjay – Part 1 has skyrocketed on the charts. It would seem that Lawrence’s unique combo of self-deprecation and talent continues to surprise even herself.
—Mary Rose Somarriba
Jersey Bells for Snooki
Snooki has gotten married! Also known as Nicole Polizzi, the former Jersey Shore star appears to have left the party life and settled down, marrying longtime boyfriend Jionni LaValle. Polizzi has two children, aged two years, and two months old, with LaValle. Speaking of kids, if you haven’t yet readVerily's article on why committed marriage is the ultimate gift to one’s kids, you can fix that now.
The Red Tent Comes To Your Home
The Red Tent, the 1997 novel by Anita Diamant, is a unique story in two ways: First it tells a story of biblical fiction from a female narrator, and second, it’s a rare story about female rites of passage. Now thanks to Lifetime’s new miniseries airing December 7 and 8 including such acting veterans as Minnie Driver, this fascinating story is coming to a television set near you.
In Other “TV” News...
Netflix original series House of Cards will be returning on February 27. Meaning we have only a couple months left to catch up on the first two seasons!
I Have a Fever, and The Only Prescription is More Frozen!
Frozen fans celebrated this week when Disney announced Frozen Fever, a new short film involving Elsa and Anna to precede the live-action Cinderella due in theaters in March. If that wasn’t enough for Frozen fans to get excited about, we now have confirmation there will also be a full Frozen sequel. If that still isn’t enough Frozen for you, walk through any children’s section in a department store this holiday season.
Newsflash: Live Performances Are the Unairbrushed Photos of Music
Mariah Carey received some flack this week after singing her iconic Christmas carol “All I Want For Christmas Is You” live at Rockefeller Center in New York. Many on social media criticized the singer’s less-than-perfect version, which took place live after she missed a prior-scheduled taping. While we definitely agree people should honor their commitments to planned events, we applaud Carey for ultimately coming through to perform. Even if the live version means it isn’t as perfected as her studio recording, she still hits it out of the park.
Angsty Ladies Unite
Courtney Love and Lana Del Rey announced this week they will be touring together in 2015. Causing me to wonder is it too late to add Veruca Salt?
Reese Witherspoon Comments on Womanhood
Reese Witherspoon shared in an interview this week that motherhood is an experience that makes you “look inward.” The actress and mom of three, who is featured in the forthcoming film Wild, went on to describe why she chose this role: “It was the dynamic aspect of playing a really interesting, complicated person that was not readily available. Honestly, I don’t know a woman who isn’t complicated. It’s strange that you don’t see many complicated women on film; complicated meaning complex, I should say.” Here’s to that!
The Supreme Court Sees UPS Pregnancy Case
Is pregnancy a disability? And are our medical needs laws inherently sexist? Both questions are on the table and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Dec 3, arguments were made in the case of Peggy Young, a former UPS driver. While pregnant in 2006, Young presented UPS with a letter from her doctor stating that, due to her pregnancy, she cannot lift items weighing more than 20 pounds. UPS required drivers to be able to handle packages of up to 70 pounds.
UPS admits to allowing a transfer to “light-duty work” when an employee is injured and covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but pregnancy is not necessarily covered under the ADA (although a 2008 amendment to the ADA covers temporary disabilities, which the federal government has interpreted to include pregnancy for their own employment policies). Young was denied her request to move to light-duty work. On the other side is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is intended to protect women from being denied benefits that others receive in situations of being similarly unable to work.
You can be sure that we’ll be watching to see what the Justices have to say.
Women in U.S. Have Lower Body Image Than In Other Countries
Surprise, surprise. Women in the United States have lower body image than woman in the rest of the world, and especially dislike their stomachs, according to a new survey from PsychGuides. When American women were asked specifically if they had a positive body image, only 52 percent said yes—versus 89 percent of non-American women. When we’re bombarded with images of “perfect bodies” and told month after month by the media about how to diet successfully and get those oh-so-elusive flat abs, is it really any wonder body image has suffered?
But at Least The Kardashians Feel Good About Themselves...
Not to be outdone by her sister, Kourtney Kardashian posed naked in DuJour magazine hitting newsstands this week—the only difference being that Kourtney is pregnant. "I hope it’s maybe seen as something that’s artistic," she told DuJour. "This was something that initially I did for myself just to capture the moment in my life, but these photos are beautiful and I’m happy to share them.” Her sister Kim had similar comments about her nude photos in Paper magazine last month, “for me that was something I wanted to do to make myself feel confident," she explained. "As a role model I'm not saying anyone else should do that, but for me it was an art project ... I felt really positive and really good about myself. I love the photos, I did it for me, I hope other people like them."
Ladies, Move to Belgium
And the moment we've all been waiting for. For once, nice guys finish first. A new report by the OECD Development Center ranks 108 countries with best and worst quality of living for women, brought to light Wednesday by Fast Company's Co.Exist arm. This Social Institutions and Gender Index deems Belgium, France, Slovenia, Spain, and Serbia as the top five countries for gender equality while Chad, Mali, Gambia, Sudan, and Yemen rank last. And what's best—the report points out that countries giving opportunities to girls and women tend to do better economically. Finally, numbers and dollar signs actually supporting the moral choice. Unfortunately the United States, having not provided full data, was unranked, but you can view the enlightening profile to compare.
The Many Women Who Have #BeenRapedNeverReported
After a number of sexual assault allegations were made this past week in the media, including one that led to the firing of Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, women took to Twitter and shared their experiences with the hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported. It all started when Toronto Star writer Antonia Zerbisias tweeted support for alleged victim Lucy DeCoutere: “If all women who've been raped stepped out of our shame & shared, we would make the stigma go away! #BeenRapedNeverReported #ibelievelucy.” Soon after, countless women joined with their own personal stories of assault. I can’t help but be moved by this one: “How many women are typing #BeenRapedNeverReported tweets to cancel/delete them before posting. What you are seeing is tip of iceberg.”
Bill Cosby’s Moment of Truth
In a step that marks his first acknowledgment of the allegations against him, Bill Cosby stepped down from the board of Temple University this week. The comedian faces allegations from at least 20 women who have come forward saying Cosby sexually assaulted them over the past couple decades, most of which are too dated to take to court—as well as one 90-year-old man who admitted to working with Cosby as an enabler.
Later this week attorney Gloria Allred challenged Cosby to either drop the statute of limitations for his accusers and face them in court or set aside $100 million for a group of retired judges to assess the merits of each woman’s case. We'll be watching closely as this case develops; in the meantime, now might be a good time for a cultural discussion on why women frequently report rape long after the fact.