A girl made a comment about my body at the beach. This was my response.

Can you really judge how 'healthy a woman is by the thick, fleshy curve of her hip?

Standing in the kitchen, my thick thighs rubbing together underneath my skirt, I am slowly working the premade pizza dough to stretch.

It came in a plastic bag, this dough, from one of those “cook at home” meal box programs — the kind you try because you have a coupon for a free week and then ultimately pay for a few more weeks because you forget to cancel the service (because it costs way too much).

The meals I have ordered from this service are touted as both “healthy” and “vegetarian,” which are not, in case you didn’t know, synonymous terms in the least. I know this because I am primarily the latter (a vegetarian) and aspire to be the former (health-conscious), but it’s a difficult reconciliation.


I want to be “healthy.” I try to be "healthy."

I don’t eat much meat, but I eat a lot of cheese and brussels sprouts. And spinach. I read ingredient labels; I put back the bread where the first word listed is "enriched."

I drink a green smoothie every morning. Whir, whir. Pulsing the blender with my fingers, adding the chia, the flax. I like the taste, the texture. The green. I imagine the antioxidants swerving through my veins, Go Go Gadget Vitamin E.

Of course, I also eat dessert. Everyone knows there’s not much meat in dessert. And I really like dessert.

If you’re into that sort of thing, perhaps you can judge how much I like dessert by the way my thighs rub together. You can judge how much I like brie by the soft wobble of my upper arm, the part that keeps on waving long after my hand has signaled hello. You can judge every part of me that you see, if that’s the kind of thing you like to do.

If that’s the kind of thing you like to do, I won’t judge.

But what about the spinach? And the smoothie? Do you see my love for flaxseed in the strong sloping hardness of my back? Are you looking at the whites of my eyes and the thickness of my hair, a braid down my back, a silver-dollar-sized hunk? Can you see my sturdy bones? The pinkish hardened healthy half-moons of my nails?

It’s not about the way you look. I’m concerned for your health.

But really, can you judge how healthy a woman is by the thick, fleshy curve of her hip?

Does being a size 12, 14, 16 alone really mean my days are numbered? Is this the only answer that matters? Those who want to judge are much more apt to assess my healthfulness based on the number inside of my bathing suit versus the number on the paperwork from my doctor’s lab — they believe the measure of a healthy woman is the measure of her thighs. Forget science. Forgo numbers. Screw you, doctor. It’s modern beauty we should worry about. This tells me all I need to know about this woman.

If you are into that sort of thing, if you are the type to make a judgment based only on what you see, then you are not really my type at all.

It’s your health I worry about. It’s not about the way you look. Oh, but it is. It’s about the way YOU look at ME.

In a dress, as I sing karaoke. In soft pants, as I order some spaghetti. In my bathing suit, my beautiful bathing suit, at the ocean.

When you look, what you don’t see:

I’m strong. I can teach an 8-year-old girl to ride a two-wheeler in one Saturday afternoon and carry six bags of groceries in one trip from the car.

My brain is fueled by flaxseeds and sometimes chocolate croissants — it writes essays about love and sex and skin and kindness and dresses and teenagers and addiction and death and gratitude.

Sometimes my thighs rub together while I knead pizza dough.

Sometimes I am the only one in the house strong enough to open a jar of dill pickles.

Once I carried a bed up two flights of stairs, all by myself.

You can’t find those things, these intangible things, in the thick knot of flesh above my knees.

So they do not matter.

Here is what matters:

A girl at the beach whispered, “I like that fat girl’s bathing suit!” when I walked by.

I swam way out to where the waves drowned that girl’s voice.

Then I swam back in again.

I am the fat girl in the green bathing suit. It’s emerald, really, against the porcelain slope of my flesh. Green like a mermaid’s fin. All this flesh, my glorious oyster.

“They only make this suit for fat girls,” I said quietly to that girl, as I sifted my way back to my place in the sand. And her face turned red, but I smiled kindly at her anyway. Maybe she didn’t know I could hear her. Maybe she hadn’t meant it with disdain.

I smiled at that girl.

Sometimes the careful measure of my words, the beautiful measure of my style, the growing measure of my strength and my character is far greater than the size of my hips.

If only someone were interested in judging that.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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