We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
A Little Thing Called the Olympic Games Is Happening
“Is there something going on in Rio?” comedy writer Jeannie Gaffigan tweeted this week (by the way, you should read our interview with her). Starting August 5, the Olympics have not failed to astound and entertain viewers across the globe. Keep up with the happenings by reading our favorite highlights from this past week here. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Disney Released a Moana Promotional Video Featuring the ‘Real-Life Gaston’
As if we couldn’t get any more pumped about the new Disney princess movie, something just happened to make us even more hyped: Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame) recently posted a series of photos and videos on Disney’s Instagram to promote Moana, which he wrote music for, including clips of him singing ditties from Aladdin, Mulan, and The Little Mermaid. But the one that takes the cake is a duet with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson singing Gaston’s song from Beauty and the Beast. The Rock will be voicing the demigod Maui in the Moana film, but his impersonation of Gatson is pretty on point, too. During the Olympics on Sunday, Disney also released a new trailer for the film, which is set to come out in November. —Madeline Fry
Kim Kardashian West’s Body Confidences Comes from—Surprise—Her Body
Kim Kardashian West opened up about her post-pregnancy body image on a blog post Monday, but rather than celebrating her body for carrying her second child, she credited regaining her pre-pregnancy confidence to returning to her pre-pregnancy weight.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get back in shape after having a baby, but suggesting that dieting and working out with a personal trainer for ten months is the only way to be “better than before” is not what we’d call body positivity. West added that she has a responsibility to her daughter, North, to teach her positive body image. The question is whether West’s own body image is something we can or should aspire to.
Other celebrity moms, however, have recently taken a more positive stance toward the post-pregnancy body. Blake Lively, who is pregnant with her second child, told an Australian news outlet: “I think a woman's body after having a baby is pretty amazing. You don’t have to be Victoria’s Secret–ready right away because you’ve just done this incredible miracle that life has to offer. You gave birth to a human being! I would really like to see that celebrated.” —MF
H&M Campaign Falls Short
Images from H&M’s new clothing campaign featuring model Ashley Graham are showing everywhere, giving Americans hope that fashion is continuing to be more inclusive of people of all sizes. But as Verily style editor Lilly Bozzone wrote this week, this news comes tainted by the fact that “H&M won't be selling the plus-size pieces from the collection modeled by Ashley in stores; it will only be available online.” As Bozzone points out, it kind of feels like two steps forward and one step back for the industry. Here’s hoping in the future that clothing companies can have more follow-through when taking steps like these in the right direction. —MRS
Sheryl Crow Has Something to Tell You About Self-Care
As a speaker at the #Blogher16 conference last week, Sheryl Crow celebrated being cancer-free ten years after her diagnosis, and she had some words of advice for all of us. Crow was lucky enough to catch her breast cancer early because of a mammogram, and she took the opportunity to encourage women to get yearly screenings, which she still does. The singer also stressed the importance of knowing your family history. But taking care of your physical health wasn’t the only thing that undergoing cancer taught her. Crow added that it helped her learn to say no and reminded her that we have to take care of ourselves before we take care of others, and that’s OK. “It is OK to be strong and feminine,” she said. It’s always good to be reminded to take time for self-care, and as Crow reminds us, taking care of our feminine health is an essential part of that. —MF
This 10-Year-Old Is Wiser Than Most of Us
After he was bullied at the park for wearing “uncool” shoes, 10-year-old Nyeeam Hudson had a wise-beyond-his-years response that went viral. Rather than reacting with irritation or hurt, Hudson posted a video on his Instagram account in which he expressed genuine concern for those who bullied him—if parents teach their children to be material, he says, where will they end up when their status symbols are gone? Under the username King Nahh, Hudson has made a name for himself by posting inspiring content and focusing on encouraging parents to let children be themselves. This young motivational speaker now has more than 74,000 followers on Instagram, and he’s currently raising money for a book, We Are All Kings, encouraging self-esteem in other young men. Hudson may be young, but he says nothing should stop children from following their passions, and he is certainly following through with what he does. —MF
The Little Prince, Now in Theaters, Receives Rave Reviews
Have some summertime sadness catching up to you? Give your soul a pop culture detox by heading to see The Little Prince. The animated film, which opened this past week in select theaters, has received a 92 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Named after the 1943 French children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the film is a retelling of the classic focusing on a modern little girl’s encounter with the book and the Aviator. While she embarks on a journey to “see clearly ... with the heart,” she’ll take you along with her. With voice contributions from Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, and Benicio del Toro, and the music of Hans Zimmer, this film is an artistic beauty not to be missed. —MRS
Renée Zellweger Responds to Criticism About Her Appearance
This week Renée Zellweger penned a responce piece for the Huffington Post. She didn’t write it to defend herself or rail against publications or writers who chose to focus on her appearance change in the last couple years. She wrote it to make this great point: “that tabloid speculations become the subject of mainstream news reporting” is a big deal. “Not that it’s anyone’s business,” she added, “but I did not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes. This fact is of no true import to anyone at all, but that the possibility alone was discussed among respected journalists and became a public conversation is a disconcerting illustration of news/entertainment confusion and society’s fixation on physicality.” Thanks, Renée, for being another Hollywood great to remind us we have power over what we consume. —MRS
Lady Antebellum Singer Shared About the Pain of Having a Miscarriage
Singer Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum has revealed that her new single “Thy Will” is a mournful song about her experience with miscarriage. According to Emily Carrington at The Federalist, this is “evidence that the hushed culture about miscarriage is finally changing.” Scott previously told Good Morning America, “This is something that is still not talked about very often. I also feel like there is this pressure that you are able to just snap your fingers and walk through life like it never happened.” But things don’t often work that way, as a woman shared with Verily this week in a piece titled “Why I Couldn’t ‘Get Over’ My Miscarriage.” Here’s to this common issue getting greater public attention and more individual women finding healing by reaching out to others and sharing their stories like Scott. —MRS
So This Is Why There Are So Few Women in STEM...
A recent study has pinpointed the exact moment when many women give up on pursuing STEM: college calculus class. Apparently "women are 1.5 times more likely to drop out of the STEM pipeline after Calculus 1 than men are," Education Week reports. The survey, which examined results drawn from around five thousand college students, concluded that 35 percent of women who intended to pursue careers in STEM felt that they did not have the skills to move from Calculus I to Calculus II after taking the class. This is compared to the 14 percent of men who switched out for the same reasons, despite having similar grades to the women. This study suggests that if women stayed in STEM at the same rate as men after taking Calculus I, women would make up 37 percent of the STEM workforce rather than the current 25 percent. It just goes to show how important it is to teach our daughters (and ourselves) the importance of courage over perfection. —Sophie Caldecott
Your Honor, I Object (Respectfully)!
The American Bar Association just banned discriminatory speech in the courtroom. Similar policies have been put in place by almost half of the state bars across the United States, but this is the first across-the-board ethics rule to ban “harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice toward others.” The National Association of Women Lawyers backed the policy because female lawyers frequently say the opposition will label them with derogatory, unprofessional terms (such as “honey” or “darling”) to throw them off. Some critics are concerned the ABA regulation will limit free speech, so it comes with a caveat: If offenders could conceivably be unaware that their speech is discriminatory, they’re off the hook. But, if the offense is blatant, they could be fined or even suspended from practicing law. The rule applies to comments directed toward opposing counsel and anyone else in the courtroom. —MF
Good News of the Week
Every fatherless bride-to-be dreads the "Who will walk you down the aisle?" question, but this bride had an unusual—and moving—solution. She chose to ask the man who was given her father's heart to accompany her in the ceremony.
Jeni Stepien's father was killed back in September 2006 when he was robbed at gunpoint and then shot at close range as he walked home from work one day. His family donated his organs, including the heart that saved Arthur Thomas’ life, through an organization called the Center for Organ Recovery and Education that allows donor families to stay in touch with the recipients. In an interview after the wedding last week, Stepien said, "I was just thinking, ‘My dad is here with us, and this man is here with us because of us.’” —SC