+
More

Elton John: How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic.'

After Dolce & Gabbana called the singer's children "synthetic," he responded in the best way possible.

Titans of the fashion industry Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (better known as Dolce & Gabbana) made a powerful enemy over the weekend after referring children born to parents via in vitro fertilization (IVF) as “synthetic children."

“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: Life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed. You are born to a mother and a father — or at least that's how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog."

Soon after, Elton John took to his Instagram account, tearing into the famed designers. "How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic.'"

In doing this, the hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana was born.

How dare you refer to my beautiful children as "synthetic". And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana
A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on


"How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic.' And shame on you for wagging your judgemental (sic) little fingers at IVF — a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil (sic) their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana"

Almost instantly, he was joined by celebrities, LGBT individuals and allies, children born through IVF, and parents who have had children through this method.

"Degrassi" actress Aislinn Paul chimed in, coming forward as an IVF baby.



She was joined by parents of children born via IVF.




One man swore off the brand after noting that he was twice adopted.


Another pointed out that lobbing what was sure to be viewed as an insult to LGBT parents was a slap in the face to many of the brand's most ardent supporters.


Since the first baby was born via IVF in 1978, more than 5 million children have come into the world through the method.

Statements like the ones put forward by the designers are more than simply a comment of personal choice; they're a condemnation of the existence of millions of babies born via IVF, a criticism of the parenting skills of the loving couples who have adopted or undergone fertility treatments, and — as saddening as it is — dismissed LGBT people as unfit parents. IVF is not a new concept, making their comments seem that much more outdated.

This, however, isn't the first time Dolce and Gabbana have chimed in on the topic.

In 2005, the two posed for a "family photograph" on the cover of Vanity Fair. Gabbana told the magazine he wanted to have children but added, “I guess you cannot have everything in life."

The following year, Gabbana elaborated on his position, which stayed mostly under the radar. At the time, it seems as though he was in favor of IVF, noting that he had asked an acquaintance to act as a surrogate mother.

"My dream is to have a baby, not to adopt one because I am not up to it and I don't feel strong enough. I want my own child, a biological child, the fruit of my sperm, conceived through artificial insemination because it wouldn't make sense for me to make love to a woman I don't love. The person I love today is my partner so I am looking for a civilized and refined woman. A week ago I asked a dear friend of mine, who is twelve years younger than me, if she would help. I asked her 'Would you like to be the mother of my child ?' She was left a bit shocked and the following day telephoned and said she was still shocked but thought it was a great idea. I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents. A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother."

The designers have since attempted to sidestep the backlash by offering statements of clarification, though the damage may have been done.

"We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it," Gabbana said. "We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love."

"I'm Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family made up of a mother, a father and children," Dolce added. "I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I've known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don't understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices and decisions."

The designers absolutely have a right to express themselves and their opinions, and those who disagree are free to take their business elsewhere.

Families come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. While Dolce states that he learned "the values of love and family" through "a traditional family made up of a mother, a father and children," the views expressed in their recent interview do cast aspersions on others' choices and decisions. Freedom of expression doesn't mean that others are in any way required to stand by as their loved ones are insulted. The boycott of Dolce & Gabbana is just as much an expression of free speech as the original comments, themselves.

There's always time to change, and as Dolce & Gabbana have done before, their views on this subject may shift as the years pass. They still might come around on this issue. Until then, though, you can't really blame Elton John and others for taking umbrage at blatant disrespect and dehumanization being projected onto their loved ones. True love and family — the very concept Dolce & Gabbana claim to uphold — means standing up for your loved ones when they come under fire, and Elton John is showing himself to be the type of wonderful parent the designers don't believe he can be.

True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Someone asked strangers online to share life's essential lessons. Here are the 17 best.

There's a bit of advice here for everyone—from financial wisdom to mental health tips.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Failure is a great teacher.

It’s true that life never gets easier, and we only get continuously better at our lives. Childhood’s lessons are simple—this is how you color in the lines, 2 + 2 = 4, brush your teeth twice a day, etc. As we get older, lessons keep coming, and though they might still remain simple in their message, truly understanding them can be difficult. Often we learn the hard way.

The good news is, the “hard way” is indeed a great teacher. Learning the hard way often involves struggle, mistakes and failure. While these feelings are undeniably uncomfortable, being patient and persistent enough to move through them often leaves us not only wiser in having gained the lesson, but more confident, assured and emotionally resilient. If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Co-Op and Pixabay

Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

The CEO of Co-op, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains has made an important statement about excess at a time when many families are struggling in the UK.

The Daily Mail reports that Shirine Khoury-Haq, the head of a company with over 3900 retail locations says she’s giving her twin, six-year-old daughters one present each this Christmas because she could not “in good conscience” give them more while millions of families struggle with inflation and high energy prices.

Khoury-Haq makes over £1 million ($1,190,000) a year after bonuses, so she pledged to give her family's present money to those in need. “It just feels like excess, given what’s happening in the world. In good conscience, I can’t do that in my own home,” Khoury-Haq said according to The Guardian.

“The rest of our budget will be given to Santa to provide presents for children whose parents can’t contribute to the elves,” she continued. “We’re going to go out shopping for those other presents and [we will] send them to Santa.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Cuban immigrant’s reaction to getting his first American paycheck has gone viral

Before coming to the U.S. last year, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher in Cuba.

The Cuban and American flags.

An Instagram post featuring Yoel Diaz, a recent Cuban immigrant, is going viral because it shows a powerful example of something many of us in America take for granted. The freedom to earn a paycheck for a day of honest labor.

In the video, Diaz is ecstatic after he opens his first paycheck after getting a job as a seasonal worker for UPS. CBS reports that before coming to the U.S. last year, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher in Cuba.

"This is my first hourly paycheck that I feel every hour counted," he told CBS News. "That every hour of work has importance in my life and that I know I can work hard for something. I can't compare that emotion with anything. Because I never had that in my country."

The new job was a big change from life in Cuba where he had trouble filling his refrigerator. He told CBS News that sometimes he only had two items: "Water, water, water, five, ten eggs, water."

Keep ReadingShow less