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14 beach body cartoons that are just the right amount of real.

They're making a tote bag that can carry your beach gear AND your solidarity!

14 beach body cartoons that are just the right amount of real.

Beach body season is upon us!

It's time to drink ice cold lemonade, decide what is really going to be the song of the summer, don some swimwear, get some sun, and try to avoid annoying ads like this!


Image via My Body Does/Instagram, used with permission

Not cool.

But see that sticker that says "I am cultivating a loving relationship with my body"?

That sticker — fighting the idea that a "bikini fear" is even a thing — is made by an online body positivity platform called "My Body Does."

The founders of My Body Does have an incredible Instagram featuring inspiring, smart, and funny images of all kinds of bodies.

And they know that, too often, the signs of summertime are not the sun, the beach, and enjoying life ... but the objectification of human bodies, ads presenting a severely limited range of body types and races, and an assumption that everyone is straight and on a diet.

Image via My Body Does/Instagram, used with permission.

The My Body Does people weren't all about this.

They made an image that says something different about summer bodies, and they put it on a tote bag: "Don't Worry Beach Happy."

All images via My Body Does, used with permission.

One of the My Body Does founders, Ashley Simon, explained that, like the stickers above, they created the tote bag and illustration because they "wanted to create something that would serve as a counter-message to the content we tend to see around beach season."

The tote is available on My Body Does' merchandise website. Their goal is to sell enough to cover costs, and any extra funds will go toward more counter-messaging goodies.

I love these folks!

They reached out to Maeve Norton, a Brooklyn illustrator, and together created the "Don't Worry Beach Happy" tote.

While it might seem like body diversity and illustration go together, the reality is that animation and art training don't go hand in hand. Just a look at the Disney princesses.

But at the Pratt Institute, where Norton trained, all the amazing variations of the human form were front and center and celebrated.

"At Pratt, we had a wide range of models with all different body types," Norton said. "There was definitely an emphasis on knowing how to draw the human body in any form."

Her passion and her training led her to other women who agreed that all bodies are beautiful bodies. "All too often we only have one body type represented, especially in fashion, and that's just not a realistic view of all the different and beautiful people there are in the world."

I am loving these beachgoers on this bag — because it's like being at an actual beach!

Everyone is just living their life. They do seem pretty beach happy!

"The banner 'don't worry, beach happy' is not meant to be flippant," Simon said. "But rather, it's an invitation to celebrate the full diversity of body types, abilities, races, and gender expressions that you would actually see at a public beach."

Norton says her art is fueled by a joy in finding others who want to fight for what they believe in, so this was an ideal project for her. She wants to make a difference, one drawing at a time.

"More representation of different body types in art and fashion can make a real difference," she says.

So here's to that: to happy people, diverse beach bodies, and creating more things to fight for and not against!

My Body Does posted this goal list for 2016 too.

Image via My Body Does/Instagram, used with permission.

Check, check, check, and ... we'll get there.

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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