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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Christina Aguilera took off her makeup, and the transformation was powerful.

Most everybody knows what Christina Aguilera looks like.

The singer has never shied away from big looks. (Did you see her on the season 10 premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race"?)

But there's a side you probably haven't seen of Aguilera no matter how long you've been a fan (and her career has spanned over two decades).

In the March issue of Paper magazine — with the theme of transformations — Aguilera went "Back to Basics" and "Stripped" off her makeup for the cover. No heavy lipstick or eyeliner here. Instead, the singer, who's known for her constant reinvention, opted for a dewy, natural look that's gorgeous but almost unrecognizable.

Who knew that Christina Aguilera had freckles? Certainly not the internet, which quickly exploded with support for Aguilera's cover.

But don't let the awe Aguilera's photo inspired get in the way of her message.

While the singer doesn't want us to "get it twisted" about her loving a "beat face" — she appears in avant-garde makeup throughout the rest of her Paper photoshoot and makes it clear that makeup/no makeup isn't a debate but a valid, personal choice. She told reporter Marie Lodi that appearing sans her signature dramatic look is liberating for her. Especially at a time in her career where she's poised to reinvent herself once more.

"I've always been someone that obviously loves to experiment, loves theatrics, loves to create a storyline and play a character in a video or through stage," Aguilera told Paper. "I'm a performer, that's who I am by nature. But I'm at the place, even musically, where it's a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty."

Raw beauty, of course, can be a loaded term.

Makeup is a form of artistic expression and everyone should feel confident doing what feels best for their style and body. But Aguilera's use of the word "liberation" is an allusion to the pressure that's placed on women to look "picture perfect" all the time.

It's a message that's been echoed by many other pop stars. Demi Lovato, for example, first bared herself in 2015, when she posed nude and un-retouched for Vanity Fair to promote body positivity and loving the skin we're in. More recently, in March 2018, Lovato shot a video for Vogue where she removed everything, from her makeup to her extensions, to show exactly what it takes to get her "performance ready."

"I think society tells us we need makeovers, but why can't we embrace the beauty that we naturally have?" Lovato said of her make-under. "I love makeup. I love doing my hair; I have extensions, but there's a time and a place for everything, and natural beauty needs to be celebrated."

Aguilera has no illusions about the entertainment industry and its double standards. "Either women are not sexual enough or we're not fulfilling enough of a fantasy," she told Paper, "but then if we're overtly sexual or feeling empowered in a certain kind of way, then we're shamed for it."

She's optimistic, however, about the future, saying that the criticism she's received for taking risks has allowed others to push the envelope further. "Madonna had to go through it in her day, and she paved the way for my generation to come up," Aguilera said. "And paying it forward, now a younger generation is coming up and I'm loving what I'm seeing. It's so incredible."

Empowering words. And an important reminder that we should always be ourselves. Let Aguilera inspire you to show off your "raw beauty" — whatever its form may be — every day.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.


Van Gogh never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.

But I found this and I thought, "Oh, what a vaguely interesting thing." And then I got to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, and, let me tell you: Mind. Blown.

We've got the set up here, but you have to watch the video for the full effect. It's all the way at the bottom.

Get this: Van Gogh was a pretty cool artist (duh), but as it turns out...

painting, science, psychotic

What’s the truth behind when you take off an ear?

assets.rebelmouse.io

...he was also A SCIENTIST!*

*Pretty much.

Here's the story.

While Van Gogh was in an asylum in France, after he mutilated his ear during a psychotic episode*...

(*Or, and I'd like to thank the entire Internet for pointing this out, there's a theory that his friend Paul Gauguin actually cut off his ear, in a drunken sword fight, in the dark. The more you know!)

science, premonition, predictions

Animated a thinking one-eared Van Gogh.

All Van Gogh GIFs via TED-Ed.

...he was able to capture one of science's most elusive concepts:

~~~TURBULENCE~~~

research, studied, proof, genius

Animated "Starry Night."

assets.rebelmouse.io

turbulence, fluid dynamics, energy cascade

Turbulence expressed through art.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Although it's hard to understand with math (like, REALLY HARD), it turns out that art makes it easy to depict how it LOOKS.

So what is turbulence?

Turbulence, or turbulent flow, is a concept of fluid dynamics where fluid movements are "self-similar" when there's an energy cascade — so basically, big eddies make smaller eddies, and those make even smaller ones ... and so on and so forth.

It looks like this:

figures, explanation, education, community

Pictures explain science.

assets.rebelmouse.io

See? It's easier to look at pictures to understand it.

Thing is, scientists are pretty much *just* starting to figure this stuff out.

reference, research, wisdom

Animation of referencing art to science.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Then you've got Van Gogh, 100 years earlier, in his asylum, with a mutilated ear, who totally nailed it!

illumination, luminance, pulsing

Science studying Van Gogh.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The folks who noticed Van Gogh's ability to capture turbulence checked to see whether other artists did the same. Most impressionists achieved " luminance" with their art (which is the sort-of *pulsing* you see when you look at their paintings that really shows what light looks like).

But did other artists depict turbulence the way Van Gogh did?

NOPE.

The Scream, historical, popular, famous

Animated “The Scream."

assets.rebelmouse.io

Not even "The Scream" could hold a candle to Van Gogh!

technology, star turbulence, sky, astronomy

Capturing concepts of nature.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Even in his darkest time, Van Gogh was able to capture — eerily accurately — one of nature's most complex and confusing concepts ... 100 years before scientists had the technology to observe actual star turbulence and realize its similarity to fluid turbulence mathematics as well as Van Gogh's swirling sky. Cool, huh?

Watch the video below to learn even more:

This article originally appeared on 11.14.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Kayleigh Donahue explains the differences between the U.S. and Europe.

American-born TikTok user Kayleigh Donahue is going viral on the platform because of her unflinching take on why it was a mistake for her to move back to the U.S. after spending 4 years in Ireland.

She now lives in the Boston area.

Kayleigh moved back to the U.S. from Ireland to make more money, but that didn’t go as planned. Even though she got paid more, the cost of living was so much higher that she saved less money than she did in Ireland. She also missed the generous number of vacation days she got in Europe as compared to America.


@kayshaynee

popping off always #americanabroad #usavseurope #movingabroad #livingabroad #europevsamerica #fyp

“Basically, I really got sucked into the American Dream way of living when I was abroad, which is funny because I loved living abroad,” Kayleigh said. “But you know, making more money, that’s enticing. Good job, that’s enticing. It’s not true. It used to be. It definitely used to be. You could come here and make a ton of money, make a great life for yourself. But the younger generation today, in this country — screwed. It’s literally all a lie that is sold to you. It’s such a struggle, and the older generation doesn’t seem to see how much of a struggle it is for the younger generation here.”

In the end, who wants to work harder for a lower quality of life?

“Needless to say, I will most likely be moving back to Europe where 20-plus days of paid vacation a year is literally the law, and I will make less money, but somehow, you know, the cost of living is lower there and I can save more,” Kayleigh concluded the video.


This article originally appeared on 1.17.24

@variety/TikTok

The way Brunson comforted Aniston speaks volumes.


For those not familiar with Variety's “Actors on Actors,” it’s a live interview series where two actors discuss various aspects of their craft and career. Often, actors will be paired together because of a common thread. Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy during the height of Barbenheimer, for example. Or Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt—both from “The Devil Wears Prada.”

So it’s no surprise that two comedy queens, Jennifer Aniston and Quinta Brunson, would be paired together for the latest “Actors on Actors” segment. What people are astounded by, however, is the way Brunson handled a very serious moment.

At one point during the conversation, a producer off camera suggested that Brunson ask Aniston “what it’s like to watch ‘Friends’ now.”

This clearly struck a chord with Aniston, who, already tearing up, said “don’t make me cry.”

Noticing this Brunson said in a soft voice, “You’re already crying. Do you want a minute?,” before assuring her “We don’t have to talk about [this].”

@varietymagazine Jennifer Aniston gets emotional when asked about "Friends." #ActorsOnActors ♬ original sound - Variety

Tilting her head up to not let the tears fall, Aniston replied “No, no, sorry, I just started thinking about...” before Brunson quickly said “I know. Yeah.”

It’s evident that Aniston’s emotional reaction is triggered by the loss of her former “Friends” cast mate Matthew Perry, who died October 28, 2023. The pair’s friendship remained strong even after the show ended in 2004—Perry even revealed that Aniston was the member of their group who reached out to him “the most” during his sobriety journey.

All this to say, Aniston was understandably triggered by the question. Brunson saw that, and acted accordingly. She once again offered “we don’t have to talk about it,” waited while Aniston grabbed a tissue to compose herself, then masterfully guided the conversation to a joke.

“So, Jen, ‘Friends’ is turning 30…and you are turning 30…When you were a baby on that show, you were so advanced…your fine motor skills were insane”

Viewers applauded the “Abbott Elementary” star for “taking care” of Aniston’s emotional wellbeing.

”Quinta gets props for saying to Jennifer, ‘We don’t have to go there if you don’t want to.’ I get why the producers were trying to create that buzzworthy moment, but I also appreciate Quinta’s willingness to derail it for Jennifer’s sake,” one person wrote on Youtube

“Quinta’s little ‘I know’ — it was so simple but so kind and empathetic,” added another.

Over on TikTok, comments were just as complimentary.

“Quinta handled this masterfully,” wrote one person.

Another echoed, “How Quinta handled that- that’s why she’s where she’s at.”

Seeing people take care of one another never gets old.

You can watch the full conversation between Brunson and Aniston below:


Photo Credit: Times Of India/Wikimedia Commons

Roger Federer "graduated" from tennis in 2022.

Roger Federer will go down in history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but his popularity extends far beyond the tennis court. With a reputation as a kind and classy sportsman, a generous philanthropist and and all around "good guy," Federer has gained fans of all ages, even outside of his sport, making him an ideal commencement speaker for one of America's top universities.

Dartmouth' College's class of 2024 got to listen to the tennis great share the three biggest lessons he learned from the sport at their commencement ceremony, and people have been sharing snippets from it on social media.


Federer told the graduates that he left school at 16 to play tennis and "graduated" from tennis in 2022. He said he wanted to share with the students three "tennis lessons" he learned during his career that has helped him transition to life after it, in the hopes that they might help them transition to life out in the world as well.

Lesson 1: Nothing is 'effortless'

"'Effortless' is a myth," he began. "I mean it. I say that as someone who has heard that word a lot. The truth is, I had to work very hard to make it look easy. I spent years whining, swearing (sorry), throwing my racket before I learned to keep my cool."

He shared a story of how an opponent early in his career helped him understand that anyone can excel in the early part of the game, but it takes significant, sustained effort to reach a level where you can play well throughout an entire tournament.

"I didn’t get where I got on pure talent alone," he said. "I got there by trying to outwork my opponents. I believed in myself. But belief in yourself has to be earned…From this day forward, some people are going to assume that because you graduated from Dartmouth, it all comes easy for you. And you know what? Let them believe that, as long as you don’t."

Lesson 2: "It's only a point."

"Let me explain. You can work harder than you thought possible and still lose," he said. "I have."

Federer explained that he always tried not to lose, of course, but sometimes he did. Everyone does, even those at the very top.

He told a story about how he had started to doubt himself after an opponent scored a point against him early in a match, and he had to learn not to let a single lost point get under his skin. Then he used statistics to illustrate his point.

"In the 1,526 singles matches I played in my career, I won almost 80% of those matches," he said. "Now, I have a question for all of you. What percentage of the points do you think I won in those matches? Only 54%. In other words, even top-ranked tennis players win barely more than half of the points they play. When you lose every second point, on average, you learn not to dwell on every shot."

"Here’s why I am telling you this," he continued. "When you’re playing a point, it has to be the most important thing in the world, and it is. But when it’s behind you, it’s behind you. This mindset is really crucial, because it frees you to fully commit to the next point and the next point after that with intensity, clarity and focus."

He shared that whatever games the students play in life, sometimes they're going to lose, and to him, the sign of a champion is learning to master hard moments.

"The best in the world are not the best because they win every point," he said. "It’s because they know they’ll lose, again and again, and have learned how to deal with it."

Lesson 3: Life is bigger than the court.

"Even when I was just starting out, I knew that tennis could show me the world... but tennis could never be the world," he said. "I knew that if I was lucky, maybe I could play competitively until my late 30s—maybe even 41! But even when I was in the top five, it was important to me to have a life, a rewarding life full of travel, culture, friendships, and especially family. I never abandoned my roots, and I never forgot where I came from, but I also never lost my appetite to see this very big world."

Federer shared what it has been like for him to serve the children of South Africa, his mother's homeland, through his foundation that focuses on the education of children across Southern Africa.

"It’s been an honor... and it’s been humbling," he said. "An honor to help tackle this challenge, and humbling to see how complex it is."

He shared that he was only 22 when he started his philanthropy work.

"I was not ready for anything other than tennis. But sometimes you’ve got to take a chance and then figure it out," he said. "Philanthropy can mean a lot of things. It can mean starting a nonprofit, or donating money. But it can also mean contributing your ideas, your time and your energy to a mission that is larger than yourself. All of you have so much to give, and I hope you will find your own, unique ways to make a difference, because life really is much bigger than the court."

Wise words from a wise man. You can find the full transcript of Federer's speech here.

What else was he supposed to do?

Parents, not kids, are the ones making sure that deadlines are met, that everyone gets to important appointments on time, and that things generally run smoothly for the family.

At least…that’s how it’s supposed to work. But many kids find themselves in the precarious situation of having a bit more savviness than their parents. This can be particularly frustrating for young adults when their parents refuse to see them as anything more than a know-nothing child.


For one recent high school grad, that dilemma happened during a cruise to the Caribbean Islands with his punctually challenged mom and dad.

According to his viral Reddit story, the vacation was meant to celebrate his 18th birthday. This would be the family’s first cruise together, and the teenager warned his parents that it would be different than the all inclusive resorts they’re used to going to. That if they went on excursion, they’d have to “follow the schedule no matter what.”

Apparently mom and dad didn’t take the warning to heart, and got “busy shopping and bargaining with the locals.”At a loss, the son said he was heading back to the ship, and his mother waved him off.

AITA for abandoning my parents at an island in the Caribbean so I could get back to our cruise in time?
byu/ProfessionalTax7753 inAmItheAsshole

A good 45 minutes after the departure, the boy’s parents messaged him on WhatsApp, upset that he didn’t get the ship to somehow wait for them.

“I wanted to scream that they were not going to inconvenience 3,998 people because two could not understand what a schedule was,” he lamented in his post.

The parents ended up taking an expensive flight to the next port, and the rest of the trip they took their anger out on the son.

Looking to Reddit for answers, the teens concluded, “I don't know what I was supposed to do. They literally told me that they knew what they were doing.I wish I had never asked for this. They are making me miserable because I left without them.”

Hopefully the overwhelming response in support of the son’s decision made him feel better.

plane passengers

Photo credit: Canva

"Do they think if they arrive late to the airport the plane will wait around for a couple hours? This is not rocket science. It's a mode of transport, you get there on time,” one person commented.

Meanwhile, another reasoned, “This is the bit that baffles me - even if OP had tried/asked, I highly doubt the staff would have even considered delaying departure. Did OP’s parents expect him to kick down the door to the bridge and commandeer the ship until they finished shopping?”

“And if op gave up and stayed behind with them that would have been an extra plane ticket, so even more money down the drain. They should be relieved that their kid has a good head on their shoulders but no, they'd Rather blame them," another person wrote.

One astutely suspected that the boy’s parents were simply projecting their own shame about the situation onto their son, writing “I expect they are just very embarrassed that an 18 year old was smarter than them and are taking it out on them.”

Another person agreed, “Yep, projection is a major defense mechanism for people who never learned emotional regulation skills as children. ‘I messed up and can’t handle/process these feelings of anxiety, so it’s actually all YOUR fault.’”

Seems like the role of adults and child got reversed here, but hopefully this kid can take solace in knowing he made the right decision. And hopefully his parents won’t miss the boat to apologize.