Caitlyn Jenner's heartfelt apology after her offensive 'man in a dress' remark.

Last week, Caitlyn Jenner messed up. Big.

While discussing what makes "a good image" during an interview with Time, the Olympian and trans activist said she works very hard on her "presentation" because she doesn't want to make others uncomfortable by looking like "a man in a dress."

Yeaaah ... no.


Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Nederlander.

"One thing that has always been important for me, and it may seem very self-absorbed or whatever, is first of all your presentation of who you are. I think it’s much easier for a trans woman or a trans man who authentically kind of looks and plays the role. So what I call my presentation. I try to take that seriously. I think it puts people at ease. If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable. So the first thing I can do is try to present myself well. I want to dress well. I want to look good." — Caitlyn Jenner, Time, Dec. 9, 2015

As you can imagine, the backlash was swift and critical, prompting Jenner to respond (which I'll get to in a moment).

But, unfortunately, it's not the first time she dropped the ball.

In August, Jenner failed to understand why it's critical that social programs are made available for the trans community. The following month, she claimed to be "in on the joke" when it came to an offensive Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume that mocked the transgender experience. And remember that time she gave a wishy-washy response regarding her support for same-sex marriage (which was a little odd coming from an LGBT activist)?

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Point Foundation.

Many fans were frustrated with her most recent blunder and rightfully so. In large part due to her reality TV fame, Jenner is one of the most visible trans activists out there — her words, and the messages behind them, matter.

Jenner's "man in a dress" remark is a problem for a few important reasons.

First of all, she implied it's valid for someone to feel uncomfortable by another person's expression of gender.

It's not anyone's job to make me feel comfortable around them through their gender expression. It is my job, however, to accept everyone — cis, trans, or otherwise — regardless of how they look or where they fall on the spectrum of gender.

Secondly, no matter what someone looks like — even like a "man in a dress" — they're deserving of the same respect as any other person.

Plenty of people choose to express themselves in ways that don't conform to the binary, the "man" vs. "woman" society we (unfortunately) live in. And that's not only just OK, that rocks. Our world is a diverse one — let's embrace it.

And thirdly, Jenner's comment shows her privilege as someone with the financial means to express herself however she feels fit.

Many trans people lack access to the health care (and teams of hair, makeup, and clothing stylists) needed to help them appear how they wish to look. And, considering how costly medical procedures can be, many can't pay out of pocket. The statement from Jenner — who clearly doesn't share this problem — was pretty tone deaf.

Fortunately, Jenner realized she messed up and apologized.

And this time, she hit the nail on the head.

In a blog post published Dec. 14, 2015, Jenner made sure to right her wrong and "promise[d] to keep learning" in the years ahead.

"I think I caused a lot of hurt with this comment, and I’m truly sorry."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Jenner poignantly touched on how she dropped the ball on all the points mentioned above (really, you should read the post), but here's one particularly important tidbit:

"I am only one person. There are a lot of ways of being trans. And I want to help create a world in which people are able to express their gender in any way that is true and authentic for them. And most importantly — a world in which how a trans person is treated isn’t dependent on how they look."

Yes, Jenner has had some harmful — not to mention cringeworthy — moments during the fight for equality.

And each and every time she fumbles the ball, we should make note of it. (After all, it comes with the territory of being a leader.)

But we should also applaud her when she makes an effort to make things right.

"I am guessing this is probably not the last time I will say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way," she wrote.

"I promise to keep learning, and to try to be more articulate in the future. We have a lot of hard work to do. I am looking forward to doing it together."

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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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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