We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Hurricane Harvey Rips Through Texas
The nation is still in shock over the tragic fallout of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and its surrounding areas. First making landfall as a category 4 this past Friday, Harvey has since made landfall two more times as a tropical storm and a tropical depression. The resulting flooding has caused devastating damage and loss of life. ABC News reports that in Houston alone, some 40,000 homes are destroyed. And the New York Times reported thirty-eight deaths as of Wednesday. One of those was a 41-year-old nurse named Colette Sulcer from Beaumont, Texas. Sulcer’s 3-year-old daughter was spotted bobbing in water by a rescue boat thanks to her bright pink backpack, according to The Times. When the girl was brought aboard, rescue workers realized little Jordyn was clinging to her mother, whose body was unresponsive. “Mama was saying her prayers,” Jordyn was quoted as telling her relative, referring to the long period of time they spent in “yucky water.” Colette is one of many who have died trying to save others during this desperate time. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this natural disaster. —Megan Madden
Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Each Donate $1 Million
During times of great tragedy, we see inspiring acts of kindness. For those of us not in Texas, that primarily means donating money and goods. For Sandra Bullock, who has a home in Texas, it meant giving $1 million to the Red Cross. Despite the political criticisms emerging in the wake of this storm, Bullock said, “There are no politics in eight feet of water. There are human beings in eight feet of water.” A staunch environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio has also given $1 million from his foundation to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund.
On the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Miley Cyrus tearfully announced she donated half a million. Kevin Hart started his own challenge on social media urging his famous friends to match his $25,000 donation to the Red Cross. Nicki Minaj, Wendy Williams, the Kardashians, and more accepted his challenge and donated in varying amounts. Houston native Beyoncé has not publicly shared a donation; rather, she said she is hard at work connecting with those she knows in Houston to activate a plan for hands-on help. Meanwhile, country megastars Lady Antebellum played a show in Dallas and donated all proceeds from their merchandise sales. It’s nice to see the country uniting around such a worthy cause. Here’s more information about how to give to those in need. —MM
Corinne Olympios Blames Alcohol and Medication in Bachelor in Paradise Scandal
After months of scandal following the production shutdown of reality TV show Bachelor in Paradise in June, Corinne Olympios, who by some accounts appeared incapacitated with bachelor DeMario Jackson while he made nonconsensual sexual advances on her, has spoken out about her experience. Speaking to People in a cover story this week, Olympios said, “I drank a little too much when I was on medication. I shouldn’t have been drinking that much and mixing different alcohols.”
The show, which continued production and premiered mid-August, was described by such outlets as Buzzfeed as tasteless: “Bachelor in Paradise is meant to be stupid fun, but its two-night premiere dabbled in the very real issues of binge-drinking, consent, racism, and sexual assault—and trivialized all of them.” Sadly, it appears Olympios is on-script as well, trivializing something that, by the public outcry that occurred in June and continues to draw scrutiny, it seems many of us know is far from trivial. —Mary Rose Somarriba
New Study Shows 15 Minutes of Looking at Pictures Can Change Body Image Perception
This week it was announced that researchers from the University of Neufchâtel, Switzerland found that looking at photos of thin women changed people’s conception of their “ideal” body image. The scientists exposed men and women from a remote village in Nicaragua who did not have access to TV or Internet—and little exposure to slim women in media and advertising—to images of thin and plus-size women. After just 15 minutes of viewing these images, the participants were asked what they thought was the ideal body type. Those who saw images of thin women chose a body type that was thinner than what they had initially chosen, while those who saw images of plus-size women chose a body type that was fuller. The researchers conclude, ‘One key sociocultural contributor to body dissatisfaction is the thin body ideal and its omnipresence in the mass media.’ The science is clear; objectifying social media affects our body image more than we think. Read an expert’s tips on how to use social media in a healthy way (like culling accounts that make you feel less than). —Krizia Liquido
Pink, and Taylor, and Miley, Oh My!
This past Sunday, the MTV Video Music Awards took place, hosted by Katy Perry and including live performances by such musicians as Alessia Cara, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Fifth Harmony, and Miley Cyrus. Pink, who won the Vanguard Award, performed an inspiring mashup of “Just Give Me a Reason” and “Pretty Pretty Please” to send a pro–body image message, and Taylor Swift’s music video for “Look What You Made Me Do” premiered. Watch our favorite moments from the evening here. —MRS
New Research Shows Women Are More Positively Emotionally Expressive Than Men
Scientific American reports on recent research findings that women show more happiness-based expressions (e.g., eyebrow raising and smiling) while men show more anger-based expressions (e.g., brow furrowing and frowning). The studies used an automated facial analysis program to record how men and women’s faces reacted in response to several ads that elicited different emotions. The results held across different cultures in different countries. As scientists explore further questions like whether or not women express certain emotions more intensely than men, the study concludes one thing: “Despite Hollywood portrayals, women are not universally expressive and men are not consistently stoic.” —KL
Remembering Princess Diana, 20 Years Later
This week, we remembered the loss of Princess Diana, whose death rocked the world twenty years ago on August 31, 1997. To commemorate the iconic and trailblazing People’s Princess, we’ve compiled our favorite streaming specials on Diana that beautifully rekindle her memory. —MRS
New Film Opening Today Confronts Our Culture’s Problem with Marriage Commitment
Opening in select theaters this weekend is a film called I Do . . . Until I Don’t, actor and comedian Lake Bell’s latest project that, as The Cut describes it, comes off as an evocative defense of marriage. The film is “an endorsement of family and commitment...one that Bell actually considers to be the more radical stance in our jaded, commitment-phobic era.” In The Cut’s interview, Bell explained what intrigued her to take an unpopular route with the anti-rom-com: “In the Tinder generation, you’re just a quick swipe away from someone, so it feels like you can dispose of someone really quickly. The more provocative relationship in this day and age is to commit without waver.” We certainly think so! This is one story I’m interested in seeing. —MRS