We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Spice Girls Music Video Gets an Empowering Remix
For its twentieth anniversary, the ever-popular Spice Girls song “Wannabe” got an amazing new makeover with just a little extra girl power in the mix. The Global Goals remade the video as a launching pad for its new female equality campaign, #WhatIReallyReallyWant. The video features young women from around the world singing and dancing and showing what they really (really) want. Touching on everything from earning equal pay to ending child marriage, the video definitely gives new meaning to the classic Brit teen pop song.
While we can’t endorse all the initiatives of the organization who made the video, we do love the initiatives mentioned in the video, and love seeing women using creativity as a weapon in overcoming exploitation. —Grace Cooper
If You’re Looking for an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
Speaking of great music from our childhood … take four minutes to watch the latest of Chipotle’s adorable short videos, called A Love Story. It’s a tale of young love and lemonade stands. As if that isn’t nostalgic enough, the video is set to “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Chipotle has been scrambling to polish its image after last year’s health scare and the recent revelation that one of its executives was involved in a cocaine ring. OK, the company has some cleaning up to do. But does that mean that the video’s message of eating fresh and loving simply is less true? Not at all. —Madeline Fry
Marvel Unveils Iron (Wo)man
Soon it will no longer be Tony Stark, but a teenage girl, wearing the Iron Man suit, Marvel unveiled to TIME. For a franchise that jumped from no female comic book leads to sixteen superheroines last year, Marvel is now recognizing and filling an untapped market. (One of its new superheroines, Jessica Jones, even has her own popular TV show.) The new Iron (Wo)man is Riri Williams, a 15-year-old genius who made an Iron Man suit in her college dorm room. Even better, the new superheroine is based off a real-life woman who inspired writer Brian Michael Bendis by pursuing an education despite facing a violent inner-city upbringing. Bendis called her journey through adversity the most modern superhero story. —MF
Can Renée Catch a Break?
The recent trailer for the third Bridget Jones movie has the Internet anticipating another round of hilarious absurdity and lots of Colin Firth. Whether you’re excited or sort of concerned about this newest addition to this series, Variety film critic, Owen Gleiberman, just had one thing to say about the new trailer: What’s wrong with Renée Zellweger’s face? In his article “Renée Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become a Different Actress?” But, just as Gleiberman attributes the “Invasion of the Face Snatchers” to the degradation of our society, his own response to this trailer shows just how obsessed society is with women’s physical appearance. Twitter supporters and actress Rose McGowan flocked to Renée’s side in response to Gleiberman’s article. I, for one, would rather watch the film than scrutinize her beauty choices. —GC
An Interesting New Web Series
Maintaining friendships as an adult is definitely harder than it was as a kid, but millennials might be struggling more than previous generations because social media has changed the way we interact with even our closest friends. We know how to make a killer joke with a few well-placed emojis, but can we hold an emotionally vulnerable conversation? A new comedic web series, Keep Me Posted, explores these questions and tackles the ups and downs of friendship for millennial women. Director Hillary Nussbaum said the series was inspired by both comedic and saddening experiences in her own life. We all have felt the pressure to exude positivity on social media, while we wonder how everyone’s lives can be so put together while our own are falling apart. We’re excited to watch Keep Me Posted when it comes out; it’s powerful to see a production by a millennial woman, starring millennial women, for millennial women, touching on so many of the things we worry about and showing us we’re not alone. —MF
Music Video I’d Like to Forget
This week Fergie unveiled a music video to her new song “M.I.L.F.$. In it, we see such famous celebrity moms as Kim Kardashian West, Chrissy Teigen, Ciara, and others labeled as “Moms I’d Like to Follow.” “Changing the acronym to Moms I’d Like to Follow is about empowering women who do it all,” Fergie said to Entertainment Weekly. “They have a career, a family, and still find the time to take care of themselves and feel sexy.”
That’s certainly a mission worth celebrating, and there’s something awesome about seeing Teigen breast-feeding her babe with confidence as the music video starts. After all, the video comes at a time when topics like breast-feeding moms are reaching a pop culture fever pitch. Celeb moms such as Olivia Wilde and Gisele Bündchen have gone public saying that breast-feeding in public faces unjust scrutiny. Yet the visuals of the song are strangely out of sync with that mission, displaying the moms in the most sexualized ways possible—which is only empowering in a worldview that confuses selling sex with real empowerment. After Kardashian West was called out for showcasing an impossibly thin waist between her curves, she responded that it wasn’t Photoshop but instead a latex corset to make her waist look unnaturally thin. Is that really better?
I’m all about celebrating momhood, with all its craziness and sacrifice and changing bodies and breast-feeding. But turning moms into fantasy sex objects is not quite the best way to celebrate amazing women. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Demi Lovato’s Latest Song Sends Mixed Messages
Following a dramatic yet brief hiatus from social media, Demi Lovato dropped her new single, “Body Say,” last weekend. The lyrics are about as explicit as the song art for the single, which depicts the bare-backed singer in a bed with her bra trailing behind her. Although the song’s message of listening to your body rather than your mind when it comes to sex is commonplace in pop music, it’s still a problematic one. We don’t extend that sort of logic to other areas of our lives, and for good reason. While Lovato has shown resilience in the face of mental illness and addiciton, had she used body over mind logic in her recovery, she would never have been able to shake it. Here’s to respecting our minds and our bodies! —MF
Good News of the Week
Nine-year-old Karissa Mitchell’s prosthetic arm may not have Princess Elsa’s superpowers, but it does channel her style. Students at Siena College just gifted Mitchell, who was born without a right hand, an ice-blue, 3D-printed arm with a detachable Olaf light. By bending her elbow, Mitchell can open and close her Frozen-themed fingers. It even feels like a real hand, she said. Mitchell’s mother told the college, “Karissa really identifies with Elsa because she knows what it’s like to be different from everyone else. She doesn’t want to be seen as different, which has made her extremely determined to do things as well, if not better, than others.” —MF