+
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.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

Keep ReadingShow less