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Families gathered around TVs across America to watch the biggest day on the sports calendar Sunday night: the Commercial Bowl.

Yes, a relatively important football game played out between the ads — congrats, Denver Broncos! — but for many of us, Super Bowl 50's real magic happened during the commercial breaks (and when Beyoncé slayed the halftime show in powerfully political fashion).

While plenty of the commercials deserve a thumbs up for a variety of reasons, here are five especially powerful ones that had important messages that last long past their air time:


1. NFL dads helped their daughters do their hair. It was adorable, and important.

Turns out, braiding your kids' hair can be a bit tricky — even if you're an NFL star. Take Pittsburgh Steeler DeAngelo Williams. He may be a beast on the football field, but even he struggles to understand "why they make ... barrettes so complicated."

Williams was one of three NFL stars who were part of Pantene's "Strong Is Beautiful" ad, encouraging fathers to spend quality time with their daughters. After all, dads can play a big role in shaping their daughter's self-esteem. If even just one dad penciled in some quality time with their young one after watching, I'd say the (millions of) ad dollars spent by Pantene was worth it.

2. Helen Mirren slammed drunk drivers in hilarious fashion. But the message was about more than a laugh.

Don't. Drink. And. Drive. If my serial periods don't stop you, maybe "notoriously frank and uncensored British lady " Helen Mirren will.

She was featured in an ad-meets-PSA for Budweiser that attempted to put drunk drivers in their place — and that place is anywhere but the driver's seat. Because, laughing aside, drunk driving's no joke; on average, it kills about 27 people in the U.S. every day.

Take a hint from snarky Mirren: Take a cab. Crash at a friend's. Do anything except drive drunk.

3. Serena Williams and Abby Wambach want you to think outside the box when it comes to cars (and life).

A "chick" car. A "gay" car. A "cute" car. A "slow" car. Mini Cooper doesn't care what you call the car, apparently — they just want you to find your ride.

In its ad featuring tennis queen Serena Williams and openly gay soccer champ Abby Wambach, viewers were challenged to "defy labels" when scoping out their next vehicle. Because who wants to fit into a box, anyway? It's a clever message that applies to cars ... and basically everything else in life.

Side note: It is super refreshing to see women — who aren't being objectified — in car ads. More of that, please.

4. The No More campaign reminded viewers domestic abuse doesn't take a break for the Super Bowl. In fact, the opposite can happen.

Not every Super Bowl commercial was all fun and games. For what was probably the most gripping ad this year, the No More campaign aired a 30-second spot encouraging folks to recognize the signs of domestic violence amongst their loved ones and speak up when a friend or family member needs them.

The ad was a powerful reminder that domestic abuse doesn't pause for an evening of celebration like the Super Bowl — in fact, some research suggests domestic abuse can even spike around large-scale sporting events. On average, about 24 people per minute fall victim to violence, rape, or stalking by a partner in the U.S.

It's no news the NFL has taken (much-deserved) heat in recent years for failing to properly handle domestic abuse cases among its players. And some have pointed to No More's Super Bowl PSAs — which came to be through the group's partnership with the NFL — as more of a public relations maneuver for the league as opposed to an authentic commitment to help curb domestic violence. There's probably some truth to that.

Still, one 30-second spot is better than nothing when it comes to shedding light on such a critical issue. As the PSA notes, you can text HELP to 94543 if you're in need of support.

5. A body spray commercial kicked the backward ways we perceive masculinity right to the curb.

Remember all the Axe ads that implied their body spray could turn bros into chick magnets? Yeah, they were obnoxious.

The bad news: You'll probably never be able to completely erase all of that objectification from your memory. The good news: Axe has finally grown up, and its new ad shows it.

In the Find Your Magic campaign, Axe Grooming encourages guys to be themselves, free of all those real man stereotypes that prove just how fragile masculinity can be. In the spot, guys who, say, love their large nose or flaunt their big brains or rock their high heels on the dance floor are the new faces for the brand — not shirtless dudes with six-packs.

"Who needs some other thing, when you got your thing?" the narrator asks in the spot, which has garnered praise for its inclusiveness. Clearly, Axe has gotten the memo: Authenticity is in. Conforming to backward gender norms? Not so much.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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