A weight-loss clinic used her photo without asking. So she called them up.

'So here's the thing. Umm ... you can't do that.'

Meghan Tonjes awoke to an interesting Facebook message a few days ago.

It didn't bring the best news.


GIF via Meghan Tonjes/YouTube.

The message was from one of Tonjes' 237,000 subscribers on YouTube. She's a popular vlogger, so getting a message from one of them isn't that uncommon.

But this message was particularly ... interesting.

A subscriber asked her about an apparent photo of Tonjes being used as an ad at a weight-loss clinic in Georgia.

Yep, the photo was of her. And nope, it was not being used with her permission.

GIFs via Meghan Tonjes/YouTube.

"I was in shock," Tonjes told Upworthy. "Shock soon became anger."

The story that accompanied Tonjes' photo in the ad made matters worse. It claimed that Tonjes' initials were "D.A." (nope), that her weight was 230 pounds (wrong again; she's actually more like 270), and that she was a mother trying to shed fat after having a baby (three strikes — you're out).

Here's what it looked like:


"It's such a misrepresentation of my weight and why I'm at that weight," Tonjes explained.

It's not even that the clinic alluded to the fact Tonjes is fat. In fact, as a fat activist, "fat" is a label she wears proudly.

Tonjes is an outspoken advocate for loving yourself regardless of your shape or size and has been working to end misconceptions about what it means to be fat for years.

"I think it's important to remember that the word 'fat' is not in itself hurtful," she explained in a video back in 2012, noting she's not offended by the label. "It's all the things that you attach to the word 'fat.' Call me lazy, call me unmotivated, call me ugly, call me sloppy, call me unhygienic, call me all these other things that people associate with the word 'fat' — that is not true."

GIFs via Meghan Tonjes/YouTube.

She's onto something. Because while there's no shortage of harmful stereotypes about being fat — like that fat people are certainly unhealthy, that they must lack willpower, or that they're surely desperate for dates — the over-generalizations don't hold up. (So before you think, "But isn't Meghan encouraging people to live unhealthfully?" — nah, not at all.)

Tonjes was outraged because the clinic used her photo to promote a method of losing weight she certainly would not endorse — even if they had asked for permission.

"This business is selling a dream of meaningful or long-term weight loss through injections and special drops," she told Upworthy. "Now, I'm not a doctor, but..."

Tonjes did what many of us would do — she called the weight-loss clinic's office and demanded answers. The doctor in charge was apparently on vacation, so Tonjes left a message with the receptionist.

GIFs via Meghan Tonjes/YouTube.

“I just wanted to let the doctor know that I hope that he had a good day off, and I will be contacting my lawyer," she says on the phone with the clinic in her video. "Because that's incredibly illegal to use my face as advertising without payment and without notification."

Although Tonjes threatened legal action in her video, she told Upworthy she believes the conversation around using photos without a person's consent — especially to promote something that person might not support and that might not even be true — is the most important thing right now.

"Be critical of businesses using photos like this," she said. "Be critical of any business that sells you a dream of overnight change. Protect your brand and your work. "

"I just want people, wherever they are with their bodies, to know that they are worthy of love and respect," she said. "There's no magical weight or size where life magically starts, so start doing what you love now."

So far, Tonjes said she has not been contacted directly by (let alone received an apology from) the clinic.

Upworthy reached out to the business that used Tonjes' photo for comment but had not heard back by the time of publishing. The article will be updated should the business respond.

Watch Tonjes' video below:

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Youtube

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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