We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
The First Monday in May
Not only did fashion’s biggest night of the year herald in the month of May, but it also hosted “the good, the avant-garde, and the absurd,” as headlined by the New York Times. The Met Gala’s theme this year was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.” The annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City raised nearly $12 million with this year’s ball.
We’ve rounded up our favorites at past Met Galas, but this year's pack was even more outrageous and odd. Most adhered to the avant-garde dress code. Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid donned outfits that were more “objects for the body” than clothes, wearing a crystal mesh gown and a catsuit, respectively. Celine Dion showed up in Versace, Janelle Monáe in frothing and foaming at the skirt Ralph & Russo, and Emma Roberts donned a Diane von Furstenberg sheath dress, to name a few. Amidst the ruffles and the corsets and the utterly bizarre was the elusive Ms. Kawakubo, who sported a white leather jacket and a black skirt—betraying her own dress code. As the New York Times put it: “It’s their party, and they’ll wear what they want to.” —Mary Brodeur
‘The Circle’ in Theaters Warns Against Hyper-Exposure Online
The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, came out this past weekend and is a thought-provoking film about how digital culture is consuming every aspect of our lives. Watson plays Mae Holland, an unsure woman who takes a job at The Circle as a customer service representative. The Circle is a well-off young company powered by Millennials—a fictional version of the Google Campus meets Facebook. The company is a powerhouse of social media, connecting every aspect of life. The idea is to encourage the creation of a society in which all citizens live transparently—the goal being to decrease corruption among politicians, child kidnapping, rape, and overall bad behavior. The Circle dreams of a world where every citizen is required to be a part of the system and uses it to do everything from connect with friends to vote. Mae becomes swept up in the Circle’s agenda and decides to live the “transparent” life, not realizing what she is truly getting herself into.
The Circle is a cautionary parable for what our world could look like if we continue to be overexposed online. Social media has allowed us to share our every move, from our innocent foodie photos to a live video of whatever activity we are doing. In theory this connectivity has helped make us more informed and in touch with the world around us; however, over the past few years we have seen the seedy underbelly of our world of overexposure. Prime examples would be Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat and Instagram presence that led robbers straight to her hotel room in Paris or individuals live-streaming murder or suicides. The Circle can prompt us to consider how much of ourselves we really want to expose online and what the costs of our presence may be. —Gabriella Patti
FGM Case Heard in Detroit this Week—a First in the United States
This week in Detroit was the detention hearing for a doctor and his wife for conspiring and conducting the outlawed practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Detroit News WDIV reports, “Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar, are accused of helping Dr. Jumana Nagarwala perform FGM procedures on young girls. . . . The Attars claimed it was Nagarwala who did the medical procedures and performed the ‘closely held and time-honored religious practice,’” but federal officials say a 7-year-old girl picked the Attars out of a lineup, and the phone text exchanges between Dr. Attar and his wife indicate they tried to cover up their involvement.
It just so happens that the beloved PBS show Call the Midwife is covering the topic of FGM in the episode airing this Sunday, which, as Rachel Wilkerson pointed out for Verily this week, reminds us of the complexities of an issue that is sadly still a problem today. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Research Shows Kids from IVF Are More Likely to Get Cancer
A new study is warning parents about the link between in-vitro fertilization treatments and cancer. According to the study, published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the risk for children who were born via IVF to get cancer is significantly higher than children born naturally. Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel examined 242,187 newborn babies until they were 18 from 1991 to 2013 to see if there was any association between fertility treatments and “malignancies.” Study results concluded that “children conceived after fertility treatments are at an increased risk for pediatric neoplasms [abnormal tissue growth associated with cancer].” Roughly 98 percent of the babies in the study were conceived naturally, while 1.1 percent were conceived via IVF and 0.7 percent were conceived by ovulation induction treatments. The study found that “during the follow-up period, 1,498 neoplasms (0.6 percent) were diagnosed.” The study continued, “Incidence density rate for neoplasms was higher among children conceived either after IVF (1.5 in 1,000 chance) or ovulation induction treatments (1.0 in 1,000 chance), as compared with naturally conceived children (0.59 in 1,000 chance).” This means that it is 2.5 times more likely that children conceived via IVF will get cancer compared to children not conceived via fertility treatments. Professor Eyal Sheiner, who helped carry out the study, said, “With increasing numbers of offspring conceived after fertility treatments, it is important to follow up on their health.” —Katie Faley
Miley’s Reinvention, Part Deux
This week a cover story for Billboard revealed perhaps the least expected reinvention of a musician’s image—at least since her last one. Miley Cyrus appears in whimsical form harking back to her country girl roots alongside an interview where she explains some changes in her music and life. Among the causes for her change in outlook, Cyrus explains her “refalling” in love with fiancé Liam Hemsworth, her hope for America to return to “unity,” and her giving up marijuana for three weeks. “I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better,” she said. “I want to be super-clear and sharp because I know exactly where I want to be.” Cyrus’ latest single “Malibu” will drop next week and is described by Billboard as “a breezy love song about Hemsworth—gimmick-free pop-rock unlike anything she has recorded before.” If it’s anything close to her sound with Dolly Parton covering “Jolene” on The Voice last year, suffice it to say I’ll be listening. —MRS
Photo Credit: Billboard