We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Aziz Ansari Allegations Have Started a New Conversation in the #MeToo Movement
So far the #MeToo movement has experienced very little pushback. Women have bravely shared their horrifying experiences of sexual abuse, and others have supported them in that and vowed to help change it (and men have mostly been quiet). That is, until this past week when Babe.net published an anonymous account from “Grace,” a woman who says comedian Aziz Ansari “took advantage of her.”
Grace recalled what she described as consensual, if unenjoyable, sexual experiences she had with Ansari on and after a date. She says she felt pressured by him and that her nonverbal reactions were ignored by him but not that he forced her to do anything or denied her desire to leave when the time came. But unlike Weinstein and Lauer and the many men who have been justly felled for their behavior in recent months, Ansari’s accuser caused everyone to press pause. Many have come to his defense to point out the obvious: that merely bad sexual encounters aren’t sexual assault. Others have gone so far as to say that Grace has put the entire women’s movement at risk by acting like her story is the same as the others.
One thing is certain, the #MeToo movement was forced to address nuanced conversations that have thus far been under the surface. Questions of how to define sexual assault have always been there but are now much more at the forefront of this dialogue. —Megan Madden
CVS Says It’s Done with Heavily Retouched Ads
Big news in the beauty industry. The ubiquitous drugstore behemoth CVS has decided to end the perpetuating cycle of unrealistic beauty standards by halting the production of heavily photoshopped advertisements.
“We will not digitally alter or change a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color or enhance or alter lines, wrinkles, or other individual characteristics,” CVS announced this past Monday. “[W]e’re making a commitment to not materially alter the beauty imagery we create for our stores, marketing materials, websites, apps, or social media.”
More notably, it’s also introducing a CVS watermark that will show when an image is authentic and will label heavily altered images (from one of its partners) as such. Considering that these partners will include major cosmetic players such as CoverGirl and L’Oréal, many are expecting (and hoping) to see a ripple effect in the cosmetics industry as well.
As Verily launched as the first non-photoshopped magazine back in 2012, all we can say is: “It’s about time.” —Maria Walley
Life Imitates Art as Everyone Obsesses Over Google’s Culture App
If you don’t yet have the Google Arts & Culture app, what have you been doing for the past seven days? Social media was alive and well this week with its hilarious side-by-side comparisons of selfies and historical paintings. The process is simple: Upload a photo, wait a moment, see a list of five or so paintings that more or less resemble you in order of how close the match is, and, finally, laugh hysterically. Not only are the images hilarious, but the painting titles will also provide comedic relief to whatever’s got you down. If you have not yet met your match, I insist you do so right now! —Megan Madden
Chrissy Teigen Will Pay McKayla Maroney’s Fine for Speaking Out if Need Be
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney is suing the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State for forcing her to sign an NDA that would prevent her from speaking out at former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s sentencing this week. Back in October, Maroney was one of dozens of U.S. gymnasts who accused Nassar of sexual abuse. Nassar has been sentenced to sixty years in prison for charges of child pornography and has also pleaded guilty to ten counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault in two Michigan courts. Maroney claims that Nassar sexually abused her for years, starting when she was 13 years old. Luckily, Maroney doesn’t stand alone in her fight for a voice at the hearing.
Despite being complete strangers to each other, Chrissy Teigen has offered to pay Maroney’s $100,000 fine should she choose to break her NDA. “I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla,” Teigen tweeted to Maroney on Tuesday.
Maroney, who is not on Twitter, expressed her gratitude for the generous show of support. —Monica Gabriel Marshall
Pope Francis Ordained an Impromptu Wedding on a Plane
Pope Francis broke with convention and melted our hearts back in April of 2017 when he chose to wash the feet of twelve prison inmates during the washing of the feet ceremony at Holy Thursday mass, a tradition practiced in the Catholic Church the Thursday before Easter. And yesterday, aboard the papal plane headed toward Iquique, Chile, he did it again!
During the flight, attendants Paola Podest and Carlos Ciuffardi approached Pope Francis for his blessing and a picture. The Pope asked the couple if they were married, and they explained that they were married civilly but not in the Catholic Church because their parish was destroyed in an earthquake. Pope Francis asked them, “Do you want to get married?” to which they replied in the affirmative. “Are you sure, absolutely sure?” the Pope persisted. The couple said yes and gave him their wedding rings. Then, Pope Francis proceeded to bless their rings, place their hands together, offer a brief reflection, and pronounce them man and wife.
“It was something historic, really. Very exciting,” Ciuffardi said. “What he told us was very important: He told us, ‘This is the sacrament that the world needs, the sacrament of marriage. Hopefully, this will motivate couples around the world to get married.’” —Monica Gabriel Marshall