We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Aly Raisman Speaks Out About Sexual Assault
Olympian Aly Raisman spoke out this week in People magazine about sexual assault in hopes of starting a conversation about the persisting problem, she says. The 22-year-old gymnast said that she wishes to make it easier for young women to have dialogue about the shocking number of sexual assault and abuse cases that happen. Raisman says, “The statistics are just alarming . . . one in four girls are sexually abused, and those are just the girls that speak up.”
She continued, “I can’t tell you how many girls I know that have been sexually abused at some point in their life, and it’s so sad.” While the one in four statistic is often misquoted to refer to rape as opposed to unwanted sexual contact, starting this conversation is important to help put many of the misconceptions about sexual assault to rest. Because any number of assaults above zero is too many. Raisman also spoke about how toxic social media can become, especially for young girls. “We all compare ourselves to other people, and I think it’s really sad that these younger girls are taught now that if you’re beautiful, you take a good selfie, you’re gonna be more successful than someone that’s hardworking, independent, and intelligent,” she said. “I think it’s really awful.” While we didn’t appreciate her comments earlier this year praising the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, these comments from Raisman are ones we can get behind. —Katie Faley
Pink Speaks to Accepting Our Bodies After Giving Birth
Pink is getting real when it comes to talking about losing the baby weight after welcoming her second child in December. The singer took to Instagram to show just how ridiculous scales and numbers are when working out. In her caption, Pink talks about what being healthy means to her. “Would you believe I’m 160 pounds and 5’3”? By ‘regular standards’ that makes me obese.” She continued, “The only thing I’m feeling is myself. Stay off that scale, ladies!” She encouraged women, especially new moms, with a handful of empowering hashtags such as #strongismygoal and #feelingmyself.
According to the Center for Disease Control, based on height and weight Pink’s measurements say her BMI is a 28.3, which puts her borderline between overweight and obese. However, as outlets such as Time have pointed out in the past, these measurements don’t take into account muscle mass and things like having recently given birth to a baby. Pink stresses that it’s not about how much weight you’re losing; it’s about how you feel and how healthy you truly are. “I know I’m not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2, but dammit I don’t feel obese,” she decreed. —KF
Author Beatrix Potter Gets Recognized on British Coins
Beatrix Potter has been commemorated by the Royal Mint as it issued new fifty pence coins featuring characters from The Tales of Peter Rabbit. Emma Noble designed the new coins, carefully sketching an alert Peter, a sassy Squirrel Nutkin, a regal Jemima Puddle-Duck, and their friends for the new series. As an author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservation advocate, Beatrix’s work deserves to be commemorated with such flair. Her work helped to establish the National Trust and preserve the Lake District, the home of her beloved characters. —Rachel Wilkerson
Selfies Are Also Dangerous for Other Reasons
A young woman in Northern California fell sixty feet off a bridge after posing for a selfie that was dangerously close to the edge, according to the LA Times this week. She was airlifted to a hospital and is expected to survive. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has since issued a stern warning: “You will be cited and/or arrested if found in any closed location. Worse yet, you can lose your life, and none of that is worth a selfie! Enjoy the bridge and canyon from the designated areas.” The unidentified woman herself, however, will not be cited. “This young lady is very lucky to be alive, and the consequences could have been worse for her, her friends, and her family,” the sheriff’s office said. Safety over selfies! —Mary Rose Somarriba
Academy of Country Music Awards Took Place on Sunday
The ACM Awards that took place this past weekend surely did not disappoint. We highlighted some of the biggest moments—from Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley’s tribute to Chuck Berry, to a duet by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, to Sam Hunt’s adorable snuggle with his fiancée Hannah Lee Fowler. Maren Morris, last year’s Billboard Women in Music breakthrough artist, performed a new hit “Love Song,” while Miranda Lambert performed a stunning acoustic version of “Tin Man.” Lambert, after clinching the most awards for Female Vocalist of the Year (eight strong!) in ACM history, exclaimed: “I’m just glad to see females kickin’ ass these days; I’m so proud to be a part of that. So cheers to all of us girls out there dreaming!” Other performances that had us grooving were Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town. Another year of pure talent and soulful performances in the books! —Mary Brodeur
Big Little Lies on HBO Concluded with a Fatal Finale
On Sunday night, 2.5 million people tuned into the climactic finale of Big Little Lies on HBO. While it did bring some intense moments of violent and sexual content, this seven-episode series offered significant value in the context of how women face complicated issues. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman played large roles in both acting and production of the series, which touched on important themes such as sexual assault, divorce, and domestic violence. The finale on Sunday night brought the powerful female leads together in a pivotal moment with Celeste's (Kidman) abusive husband. If you haven’t already, read Monica Weigel McCarthy’s piece on why we were excited about this book-turned-series to begin with, plus this piece by Julia Hawthorne* on what it was like to watch it as a woman who left an abusive relationship. What Hawthorne and others have commented on was how accurate the show’s portrayal of dealing with abuse is. If you missed the series and want to catch up, all episodes are viewable now on HBO GO, which is available for a free seven-day trial via Amazon right now, BTW. —MRS
(*name changed for her protection)
College Basketball Season Concludes in Dramatic Fashion
Against the odds, UConn women’s basketball didn’t win another national championship. They didn’t even make the championship game. Mississippi shocked the world when they took down the Huskies in overtime. That set up the unlikely championship game of Mississippi State vs. South Carolina. South Carolina dug deep and pulled out the victory. Congratulations, Lady Gamecocks!
On the men’s side, the Final Four teams surely busted most brackets with two teams who had never been there before (South Carolina and Gonzaga), one who hadn’t been there since the first ever Final Four (Oregon), and one very seasoned veteran (North Carolina). The championship game between Gonzaga and North Carolina was one of the closest in history, coming down to the final seconds. It was one of the most foul-heavy games, too. UNC ended up winning its seventh national championship, and, in the end, many brackets were OK after all. On to baseball season! —Emily Mae Schmid