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5 ways Julie Andrews is even cooler than you already thought.

No one is practically perfect in every way ... but she comes close!

5 ways Julie Andrews is even cooler than you already thought.

On her 80th birthday, we decided to look into the ways that Julie Andrews inspires us all to be better humans. (Aside from the obvious, which are ... obvious! Voice! Beauty! Poise! Great at winking!)

As it turns out, there are more than many ways, so we narrowed it down to five!


1. She knows about the many different ways she can use her voice.

After surgery on some non-cancerous nodules in her throat, Ms. Andrews' voice was destroyed. She was so devastated she had to go to grief counseling! (I needed some grief counseling, and it's not my voice!)

So she focused her energy on something else. Using her voice not to sing but to write! 26 children's books and counting! From her own imprint.

As she told Vanity Fair, "My daughter Emma and I began to work together and formed our small book-publishing company."

“I was bemoaning my fate one day and said, 'God, I miss singing, Emma. I can't begin to tell you.' And she said, 'I know, but look, you've found a new way of using your voice.'"

2. She could handle a hater. Even one that didn't recognize her talent or her potential.

Julie Andrews was famously turned down for the film role of the musical "My Fair Lady" even though it was Andrews who built the role on the stage. The head of the studio making the movie musical, Jack Warner, decided to cast Audrey Hepburn, a non-singer. He just overdubbed another singer, and that was that!

In the meantime, Julie soldiered on and got the part of Mary Poppins in a little movie called ... "Mary Poppins." Maybe you've heard to it? Well, needless to say, "Mary Poppins" was a hit and Julie Andrews won an Oscar for her role.

http://lolololori.tumblr.com/post/130291125962/damejulieandrewsedwards-never

He gets it.

When she accepted the Oscar she won for "Mary Poppins," she thanked Jack Warner, the guy who didn't give her the part in "My Fair Lady." After all, without him, she wouldn't have been able to be Mary Poppins!

Hater handled.

3. She OWNS change, life passing by, and being differently abled from the years past.

“Well it's all right to cry. It helps a great deal sometimes..." Julie Andrews Edwards

It used to be that no one could surpass Julie Andrews when it came to singing. So magical. But since a surgery destroyed her voice, she can't sing like she used to.

So did she give up music entirely?

No! It seems like she can still hit a few notes, albeit in a lower register. And as this clip with Stephen Colbert shows, no one can take the magic away.

http://beeishappy.tumblr.com/post/127683548976/stephen-colbert-and-julie-andrews-sing

She's also gone on to write musicals as well. One of her books, "The Great American Mousical," was turned into a musical recently. It went up at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, and Dame Julie directed it!

4. She's kind of a gay icon!

http://bellecs.tumblr.com/post/28649379201


Sure, she's just generally iconic, so why wouldn't she be an icon? But when you look at the gender nonconformity happening in her film "Victor Victoria," it becomes clear why she's embraced by more than just the "I love 'The Sound of Music'" communities!

Julie is edgy. Julie is not here for your gender norms.

5. She doesn't allow women to be pitted against each other just because that's how the system works sometimes.

Many have asked her if she was mad about not being cast in the film musical of "My Fair Lady," to which she has responded with a huge heart and a hugely genius brain for the entertainment business.

http://lejazzhot.com.br/post/122333627800/julie-andrews-on-my-fair-lady

I love it how she makes sure to point out that she and Audrey Hepburn, who got a part that Julie Andrews seemed to be destined for, were great friends.

Sorry, messed up Hollywood, Julie Andrews has no time for your pitting her against other women.

Happy 80th birthday, Julie Andrews! You show us all how to age with grace and coolness.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."