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5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

Here are five reasons to watch the Golden Globes 2016.

5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

The Golden Globes are Jan. 10, 2016. Get excited!

Why? Well, first of all, that means award show season is officially upon us. Secondly, alcoholic beverages are served during the ceremony (a rarity for televised award shows), which guarantees no shortage of interesting watercooler conversations the following day.

And thirdly, just look at this year's nominees! You'll see the Golden Globes really has its pulse on today's issues more than ever before, as reflected by who's getting recognized for what (although based on who wins, I may have to eat my words here). Here are five ways that's evident this year.


1. People of color are actually well-represented in TV categories.

Thanks to series like "Empire," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "Orange Is the New Black," performances by people of color are getting noticed — something that's not always (read: almost never) been the case. Actors Aziz Ansari, Taraji P. Henson, Gina Rodriguez, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, and Uzo Aduba are among the many people of color being honored for their praise-worthy performances in 2015.

Gina Rodriguez is nominated for her role in "Jane the Virgin." Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Nominees in the film categories, however, paint a slightly different (monochromatic) picture — one that, in many ways, mirrors the overwhelmingly white Oscar nods of 2015. And there's certainly a need for improvement when it comes to diversity among this year's presenters as well.

2. Thanks in part to "Concussion," chatter around football's traumatic brain injury problem is going mainstream.

"Concussion," starring Will Smith (who is up for best actor in a drama for the role), tells the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist whose research suggested a link in brain injuries to playing football. His efforts to shed light on the issue were ... let's just say ... not welcomed by the NFL.

Will Smith is nominated for his role in "Concussion." Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

The film, released on Christmas, got some important facts wrong about the real story (and then possibly took it easy on the NFL out of fear of ruffling feathers), so it faced its fair share of criticism. But it came on the heels of more recent research from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University that found a whopping 87 out of 91 deceased former NFL players examined by analysts tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease of the brain, The Atlantic reported. So it seems like Omalu was onto something important (and I'm glad Will Smith is helping move the discussion forward).

3. Feminist storylines are dominating this year's categories.

Feminism: Yes, it may have been one the clickiest, trendiest buzzwords of 2015, but that doesn't mean it didn't push gender equality forward offline as well.

Melissa McCarthy is nominated for her role in "Spy." Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

There are plenty of nominees to choose from in both TV and film categories that feature feminist characters and themes. "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Inside Out," "Spy," "Trainwreck," "Orange Is the New Black," "Transparent," and so many others — all empowering, thought-provoking, complex, depictions of women that, in ways both big and small, throw outdated gender norms out the window.

Also, can we take a moment and appreciate the amount of feminism squeezed into the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy category this year? Lily Tomlin? Amy Schumer? Jennifer Lawrence? Yes, please.

4. And speaking of women killin' it, take a look at the nods for best film.

One quick scan over the Golden Globes' top film nods proves 2015 was a stellar year for leading ladies and the films they starred in.

Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for her role in "Joy." Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

Three of the five films up for Best Comedy or Musical feature women in lead roles (shout out to "Joy," "Spy," and "Trainwreck") — an impressive feat considering that — yes, even in 2016 — we're still arguing whether woman are as funny as men. And films featuring female leads aren't just snagging nominations, by the way — they're cleaning up at the box office, too.

What's more, in the Best Drama category, female-led "Carol" and "Room" are nominated, along with "Mad Max: Fury Road," which featured a helluva badass (and feminist) performance from Charlize Theron.

5. For the second year in a row, LGBTQ characters and their stories are sharing the spotlight in powerful ways.

This year's awards will continue 2015's groundbreaking year of content giving a voice to LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Jeffrey Tambor is nominated for his role in "Transparent." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Movies like "Carol" (which tells the story of a lesbian love affair) and "The Danish Girl" (a biopic about Lili Elbe, one of the first-known recipients of gender confirmation surgery) are up for big nods. And in the TV realm, trailblazing series like "Transparent" and "Orange Is the New Black" continue being recognized for their thoughtful, eye-opening storytelling and characters.

Although some have criticized "Transparent" and "The Danish Girl" for casting cisgender actors in roles that should be reserved for trans folks (who face enough casting discrimination as is), it's difficult to argue projects like these haven't expanded visibility and promoted inclusion in big ways.

So there you go. If you didn't have a reason to watch the Golden Globes 2016, now you have five.

From opening doors for marginalized communities to shining a light on public health concerns, the Golden Globes are proving themselves relevant in 2016. Bravo! (And, if for no other reason, you can always tune in to see if anyone goes overboard at the open bar.)

Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande duked it out on Jimmy Fallon's 'The Tonight Show.'

There are pop stars, and then there are singers. While recording studio technology can make people sound like amazing singers, the proof is in their live performances.

Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande took it a whole step further on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," delivering not only a jaw-dropping live performance but doing so in the form of revolving pop diva hits in an "impossible karaoke" showdown. In less than five minutes, they showed off their combined ability to nail pretty much anything, from imitating iconic singers' styles to belting out well-known songs with their own vocal stylings.

Watch this and try not to be impressed:

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True

When Deidra Mayberry was a child, she struggled with reading. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed, she did her best to hide it. And she was pretty good at hiding it. As her family moved around a lot, due to her parents' military career, she adapted and kept hiding it — making it all the way through school without anyone really noticing.

After graduating from high school, she started looking for support to improve her reading skills.

"I was turned away because I was over the age of 17, and other private options like one-on-one tutoring were financially out of reach for me."

Deidra promised that one day she'd do something to fix it. After struggling for years, and eventually finding support, she started a nonprofit to help other adults facing their own challenges with literacy. Now she's striving to help the almost 43,000,000 adults who still are struggling. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), 21 percent of adults in the United States (about 43 million) fall into the illiterate/functionally illiterate category.

For Deidra, college was the first time she experienced and understood what functional illiteracy was. Someone who is illiterate is unable to read or write at all, but someone who is functionally illiterate has some reading skills — they're just not strong enough to manage daily living and employment tasks.

She was able to graduate by taking extra summer semesters, spending long nights studying, changing her major when it got too hard, and getting help from her dad.

"I was so proud that I actually made it through college and graduated," Deidra says. "But once I started to apply for jobs, reality kicked in fast. I never truly fixed my literacy problems. Instead, I found ways to work around them in order to spare myself the embarrassment and shame that I already felt daily."

"I relied heavily on movies to teach me and give me exposure to things in life that would help me relate to others," she says. "This caused me to live a life of fear, limitations, and hopelessness."

"I felt unworthy because I knew I had this big secret — and thought if people knew, they would see that I had no value."

Deidra continued to live like this for years until she had a lightbulb moment.

"I was working so hard to hide my literacy struggle in order to make it work, but I asked myself, 'What if I worked just as hard to fix it?'"

She found the courage to tell a friend, who began tutoring her. "The hope, courage, and confidence she helped me find was the beautiful moment of empowerment that reminded me to create and provide a resource for people just like me."

That's exactly what she did. On March 12, 2020, she and another friend decided to start a nonprofit to help other adults that were functionally illiterate. And even though COVID-19 shut down businesses and sent people into lockdown the very next day, she didn't let it stop her.

"I just believed God was with me and the time was still now because people have been waiting for this," she says.

She launched Reading to New Heights, an organization that teaches adults the fundamentals of reading with one-on-one, confidential and virtual tutoring sessions with certified educators.

"The curriculum that our educators teach from allows our adult learners to revisit the fundamentals of reading and comprehension as if they are learning them for the first time," Deidra says. "Basic reading foundations such as phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension are exactly what adults struggling with illiteracy need in order to build competent literacy skills and fill the gaps that illiteracy causes in education."

And most importantly, these services are provided at no cost, so that anyone who needs them has access.

"Though illiteracy and functional illiteracy can affect anyone, people in low-income and underserved communities of color are more likely to be limited in education, income, and workplace advancement opportunities because of it."

"Illiteracy and functional illiteracy can be directly linked to higher prison populations, lower household incomes, and inaccessibility to quality healthcare," Deidra explains. "By committing to developing the fundamentals of reading, our adult learners overcome both the psychological and environmental limitations of illiteracy."

Since they launched, the nonprofit has been featured on Fox 4 News, which gave them the exposure they needed to grow from three adult program participants to 20 — and they hope to continue growing. They have also been accepted into an Incubator Program with the United Way, which is designed to support them while they build their business.

Deidra is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to her new and growing nonprofit.

"It's kind of ironic, the very thing I was ashamed of and thought I had to hide for years was the one thing that, once I shared it, not only freed me but gave me hope and provided a way to help others," Deidra says. "I love that my story has been about helping others find the courage to share and take the first step to start their literacy journey."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen. Do you know an inspiring woman like Deidra? Nominate her today!

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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