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While You Were Out: Gilbert Blythe Actor Passes Away, Full House Is Back, Gina Rodriguez On Being Yourself, and More


“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 if it’s praiseworthy or cringeworthy. We’re pleased to bring you the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Twitter Announces New Moves to Stop Trolls

Twitter has a notoriously bad track record when it comes to trolling and online bullying, but hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past. The social media giant recently announced new safety measures that will filter abusive language directed at individual users. The idea is that the messages aren't deleted, but the offending tweets won't show up on the targeted users' feeds. Twitter is also planning on temporarily suspending accounts that abuse its policies. When the chief executive himself says he is “embarrassed” by the state of affairs, you know something has got to change.

Sophie Caldecott

Why This Woman Wears the Same Outfit to Work Every Day

Men who wear suits every day don't have to waste time planning a unique outfit each morning, so why should women? That's what art director Matilda Kahl thinks, and she makes a pretty convincing case for wearing a “work uniform.” As someone who spent most of my teenage years wearing a uniform to school, I have to say that I often miss it. It's not that I don't enjoy dressing up but rather that when I have to get ready quickly in the morning, not having to decide what to wear really cuts down on the stress. Wearing a uniform also increases your appreciation and enjoyment of your personal style when you're not at work. My 15-year-old self can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm quite tempted by the idea.


Full House Reboot

For all those TV fans who have been clamoring for someone to “have mercy” and create more nineties nostalgia projects, Netflix has a reply—“You’ve got it, dude!” Fuller House, a reboot of the beloved sitcom Full House, has been ordered for thirteen episodes. Fuller House will star Candace Cameron Bure (D. J. Tanner), Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler), and Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Tanner) and is produced by John Stamos (Uncle Jesse), who has promised to guest star. The storyline of the reboot is perhaps following a little too closely to the crooning of Full House’s opening number, which opines “whatever happened to predictability”—the reboot follows D.J., a widowed mom who moves in with her sister Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy so they can help raise her kids. Given that this is FullER House, Kimmy also has a teenage child. The powers that be are apparently in negotiations with the rest of the original cast, including Bob Saget, Lori Laughlin, and Dave Coulier—and are even supposedly pursuing the elusive Olsen twins to reprise their role as Michelle Tanner. No word on whether the whole gang is getting back together though. Word on the street is the Olsen twins hadn’t even heard about the project until it was publicly announced. In the immortal words of a young Stephanie—“How rude!”

Monica Weigel

Sandra Bullock, People’s Most Beautiful Woman

People magazine has announced its most beautiful woman of the year—Sandra Bullock. As a woman of grace and intelligence, Bullock most definitely is beautiful. Whether or not these awards actually mean anything of value, I have to say it’s refreshing that at 50, Bullock hasn’t “aged out of Hollywood” yet. You know, that trend where once actresses reach a certain age or appearance, they don’t get offered lead roles in as many movies? It’s a trend that male actors don’t experience. It’s how Sally Field went from playing a lead role across Tom Hanks in Punchline one year to playing the smaller role of his mother in Forrest Gump the next. It’s a trend that comedian Amy Schumer has pointed out in her brilliant if crude sketch this week featuring Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette bemoaning the arbitrary and sexist shelf life of women in Hollywood. With People’s recognition this week, it should be at least a while before Bullock joins their picnic banquet.

Mary Rose Somarriba

Gina Rodriguez’s Pure Brilliance

This week at HuffPost Women, actress Gina Rodriguez, who we love from Jane the Virgin,shared some wise words on body image: “We live in an industry that, it sells. Marketing, publicity, magazines, they sell, and the desire to be something that you’re not sells. Why can’t we make the desire to be what you are sell? Why can’t we make that profitable?” Why, indeed? Hey Gina, we think you’d love a magazine called Verily (wink, wink).


Scarlett Johansson Doesn’t Like Talking About Parenthood

Scarlett Johansson, who had her first baby this past September, recently shared why she doesn't like to go on the record talking about parenthood. “I always really hate it when actors or people in the spotlight make giant grandiose statements about parenthood because it's so, so personal,” she said. “I don't profess to know anything more about parenting than anybody else.”

The actress went on to mention how parenthood has changed her life, saying, “I think having any kind of huge life-changing event happen to you, such as having children, and it's such a different life now in the best possible way, is very, very inspiring. I think it will hopefully enrich my work as well as my understanding of myself.” It's refreshing to hear a celebrity talk about parenting in such a grounded, nonjudgmental way. Here's hoping more people realize that life isn't over when you have children.


Renée Fleming on Broadway

Opera superstar Renée Fleming made her Broadway debut in Living on Love at the Longacre Theatre in New York this week. Playing against type as a diva, Fleming shows her range as a performer in this comedy. If you haven’t seen it yet, catch Fleming’s recent PBS Great Performances special called American Voices. Surveying vocal music ranging from folk to gospel to opera to pop, Fleming curated an insightful show that nearly any music lover will appreciate.


Adult Coloring Book Trend

A large number of adults are returning to their childhood roots. Coloring books for adults may have officially become a trend, with varieties created expressly for adult audiences and topping’s bestselling books list. Some books seek to reconnect consumers to childhood stories like The Secret Garden, while others use the ancient practice of mandalas to inspire their pages. Whatever the subject, it seems clear that more and more adults are seeking ways to unplug and unwind, and coloring—with its soothing repetition of movement and easy path to success—seems to be just the ticket! So the next time you feel stressed and overwhelmed by everything being thrown at you by your computer, your phone, your boss, your spouse, your kids, your life—try grabbing some freshly sharpened colored pencils and a pretty design and just zone out. You might be surprised by how good it feels!


New Music Festival Outside of Nashville

A new arts and music festival is set to premiere this fall in a small town outside Nashville with headliners such as Willie Nelson and Iron & Wine. Unfortunately, the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival seems somewhat lackluster and borrows heavily from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival model, where the different clubs have music going constantly, but you go home or to a hotel at the end of a very late night and turn up the next day when the music starts again. Except rather than spending time in one of the coolest cities in America, this new festival is thirty minutes outside of one.

The idea of acoustic, stripped-down performances that wrap up at 7 p.m. as something worth the price of a $200 ticket/parking pass, and guests’ obligation to procure their own lodging, misses the appeal of, well, making a pilgrimage to attend an epic event.

Major music festivals have gained some pretty serious visibility in just the past few years, and this seems to be an attempt by these organizers to capitalize on that popularity sans the ongoing party and expense of fully electric performances.

Hannah Allen White

Ode to a Childhood Literary Crush

Before Mr. Darcy captured our imaginations with his gentility, there was Gilbert Blythe—the boy every young girl fell in love with when she read the Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery. That literary crush became further engraved in our memories from the moment we first saw Jonathan Crombie bring the character to life in the Canadian miniseries. To the grief of many, Crombie died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage this week. The news quickly went viral, as countless fans reminisced about his most famous acting role. It’s as good a time as any to ask: What was it about the character, and Crombie's reenactment, that stole our hearts?

Though every girl in fictional Avonlea flirted and batted her eyes at Gilbert, he was smitten with the only girl who did not behave in what he considered silly behavior. While Anne regarded him as a school rival, he admired her for her intelligence and vivacious personality. To him, a girl who was more focused on education than her looks stood out. In time, the former school rivals became the best of friends, so much so that Anne feared anything that might ruin their friendship—including love and marriage. Though Anne couldn’t see it, we all knew that Gilbert was a keeper.

Intelligent, good-humored, patient, and supportive—all qualities that made Gilbert a true kindred spirit. We may be adults now, but Jonathan Crombie’s perfectly acted Gilbert Blythe taught us at a young age what makes a faithful, trustworthy mate.

Blanca Therese Morales

Target Underestimated the Love for Lilly

When Target releases a new designer collaboration, it's expected that the limited-edition pieces will sell out fairly quickly. But when Target teamed up with Lilly Pulitzer, it didn't realize just how quickly the line would sell out—in mere hours, rather than the weeks they expected. People flooded Target's website looking to snatch up floral-print products on the cheap, only to have Target take the site offline for twenty minutes and slow down the site throughout the morning to keep it from crashing completely. Seeing as the Target website feels like a dinosaur on a good day, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that it had a meltdown with this collection. On the bright side (literally): It's nice to see such an unapologetically pink and peppy brand bring down the house.

Kara Eschbach


Kylie Jenner is rapidly becoming a style icon among girls in her age bracket. Somewhere along the line, though, using her look as a reference point has turned a little drastic, as girls are trying to get Jenner's signature pout through what's being called #kyliejennerchallenge. The technique involves suctioning one's lips into a small glass until it's air-locked—the idea being that more blood flows into the lips and causes them to swell. The result, as any sane person can imagine, is bruised and painfully swollen lips rather than the sultry look Jenner swears is created by clever makeup application and not plastic surgery.

The 17-year-old Keeping Up with the Kardashians star responded via Twitter, saying, “I'm not here to try and encourage people/young girls to look like me or to think this is the way they should look. I want to encourage people/young girls like me to be YOURSELF & not be afraid to experiment w[ith] your look.”


Lest You Need a Reminder to Not Be Rude to People

ESPN sideline reporter Britt McHenry was suspended for one week after a video of her being highly offensive to a towing company agent went viral. I don’t recommend watching; McHenry’s insults to the attendant’s job, weight, teeth, and education are as ugly as they are immature; this behavior reflects the worst of woman-on-woman stereotypes, causing many to suggest McHenry belongs in a sequel to Mean Girls. Given she refers to her job in “news” as a pedestal from which to look down on the woman she’s addressing in the video, McHenry’s lucky she didn’t get more of a penalty—not exactly a good representation for your news organization.


Feel-Good News of the Week

In a video that was released this week, 102-year-old Alice Barker was surprised when some kind strangers recently shared unearthed recordings of her professional dancing from the 1930s and 1940s. Viewers can see the sparkle in her eyes as she goes down memory lane and bops to the beat of the music. For a short video, it’s a lovely reminder of the value of honoring and brightening the day of seniors in our communities. Tucked away in a small nursing home, Alice Barker likely has a wealth of stories to share.