We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Britney Spears Speaks Out About Her Mental Health
This week Britney Spears opened up about her very public breakdown, back before it was a thing for celebs to open up about mental health issues. In a recent interview with the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot, Britney Spears spoke out about the struggles she faced in her twenties, including her infamous 2007 breakdown, where Spears says that she needed to take responsibility for her mental health and give herself more breaks rather than letting others make the decisions for her.
“Each and every one of us that starts [a career in entertainment] at a young age needs to take into account that you’ve gotta be balanced in order to stay in this industry and to manage your personal life,” Spears said. She also said if she were to do it again, she wouldn't have carried that snake on stage. It was refreshing to hear Spears speak candidly about her less than ideal situation, and the interview produced a reflection that was incredibly heartening. Her statement is generally good food for thought for anyone struggling with mental health issues, whether in a high intensity career or personal situation. —Gabriella Patti
Adele Confirms She May Never Tour Again
The singer/songwriter personalized a public statement about the future of her touring at her most recent concert in Wembley Stadium in London. Adele shared the news in a handwritten note, tucked into the show program, explaining that touring wasn’t really for her.
“Touring is a peculiar thing, it doesn’t suit me particularly well. I’m a real homebody and I get so much joy in the small things. Plus, I’m dramatic and have a terrible history of touring. Until now that is!” she writes.
Adele also said she wanted her last concert to be in her home of London. While she may not hit the road again, she promised that she’ll continue making music and that this experience will be something she remembers for the rest of her life. There’s a wisdom to knowing what you realistically can and cannot expect of yourself, and knowing when to end things that aren’t doing you any favors emotionally or mentally. While we’re definitely bummed that we might not get the chance to see her live, we really can’t begrudge Adele for knowing her limits and taking a step back. —Krysta Scripter
The Bachelor in Paradise Scandal Continues
This week DeMario Jackson spoke out in a three-part interview on E! News about the recent Bachelor in Paradise scandal involving himself and fellow cast member, Corinne Olympios. Olympios and Jackson were alleged to have had a non-consensual sexual encounter while she was in a drunken and unresponsive state. A producer on the show filed a third-party complaint after being disturbed at how the incident was handled. Since then, Jackson was let go from the show but returned after Warner Bros. revealed they found no evidence to support “allegations of misconduct.” The show has resumed filming.
In his interview with E!, Jackson said that Olympios was the “aggressor” and that he believed at the time that the interaction was consensual. Olympios has yet to make a statement about Jackson’s interview. This situation makes us squeamish all around; while we can't say what truly happened, that the hookup culture and heavy drinking produce a dangerous cocktail is becoming impossible to ignore. —GP
Michelle Rodriguez Has Some Words for the Fast and Furious Franchise
This week actress Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Letty Ortiz in the Fast and Furious movie franchise threatened to quit unless they improved the overall treatment of women in the script. Rodriguez made the statement on Instagram, saying that her time in the series might be over unless “they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one.”
As the franchise has evolved, women have begun to take on a more prominent role, including the introduction of Charlize Theron as a villain and allowing the women to take on more dynamic scenes, such as fights, which are usually only regulated to male characters. This isn’t the first time that Rodriguez has stood up for women in the series; co-actress Jordana Brewster told Entertainment Weekly that Rodriguez has always insisted to director Rob Cohen that Letty was going to be more than arm candy. “Michelle was like, ‘Absolutely not, this is how she’s going to be.’ She fleshed her out and made sure she was strong. It was so cool to see her work, so I really credit Michelle with bringing a kickass woman to the screen from the very beginning.”
Gotta love a woman in entertainment who's not satisfied with being reduced to eye candy. You tell ‘em Michelle! —GP
Don’t Like the Face Filters on Snapchat? Now You Can Customize a Geo Filter
Social-media gurus rejoiced this week to learn that Snapchat has added the capability for users to creat their own custom geofilters to their snaps within the Snapchat app (formerly, custom geofilters could only be made with image editing software or via Snapchat's webtool). The filters will be starting at $5.99 and can be customized for different events or with emojis and stickers. They can last be made to last for as short as an hour and up to ninety days.
This new feature was added just a day before the ten-year anniversary of the release of the iPhone. Here’s to technological advancements—may we use them “smartly.” —GP
Something’s Wrong When . . .
Horror movies are the only film genre that show women and men with equal speaking parts. Hollywood has long been criticized for it’s lack of female representation, both in front of the camera and behind it. One study found that only 50 percent of films today pass the Bechdel Test, where two female characters talk about something other than a male. Similarly, a study done by Google and the Geena Davis Institute found that men are seen and heard twice as often as women.
Yet, surprisingly enough, horror films are the one exception. Quartz’s article this week discusses how more female characters are taking more prominent roles in horror films, moving past screaming victims to capable protagonists who overcome a terrifying foe. That being said, as someone who doesn’t particularly like horror films, it would be nice to find empowering roles somewhere slightly less . . . bloody. —KS
MLB Umpire Saves a Woman’s Life
There are moments in life where we are faced with incredibly impactful choices that can change someone’s life. For John Tumpane, an umpire for MLB, he experience that moment when he prevented a woman from jumping off the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA. The woman told Tumpane she hopped over the railings to get a better look at the river below, but Tumpane said he wasn’t convinced. He approached her and grabbed her arm.
"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane told ESPN. "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding, and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times, she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'Not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."
Two other bystanders helped hold the woman to the rail while another called police. Tumpane described the experience as surreal, calling his wife after. “Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment." —KS
I Am Woman, Watch Me Run
This week, an Olympic runner flaunted her baby bump in an 800m race at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Alysia Montaño, seven-time U.S. 800m champion, completed the preliminary round of the 800m while four months pregnant. The result may have been a bit slower than her past records, but her smile made up for it. While I couldn't personally do that myself, I remember when pregnant that my doctors only recommended exercise you were already used to doing pre-pregnancy, which was clearly the case for Montaño. I, for one, can't get enough of seeing pregnant ladies embracing their passions. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Photo Credit: ABC News