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In the summer of 2007, Paramore unleashed a pop-punk anthem on the world with "Misery Business."

The song — the first single from the band's second album "Riot!" — details a true story about singer Hayley Williams (who was 17 at the time) feeling betrayed and backstabbed by another girl. It was 100% undiluted high school drama. It was also catchy as all hell.

While the song is still a banger a decade later, a few of the lyrics haven't exactly weathered the test of time. Specifically, the line "Second chances, they don't ever matter / People never change / Once a whore, you're nothing more / I'm sorry, that'll never change."


Williams sings the infamous line at iHeartRadio's 2013 Jingle Ball concert. GIF via iHeartRadio/YouTube.

People have been criticizing Williams for that particular lyric for a while now, calling it "anti-feminist." So she's addressing it head on.

In a recent interview with Track7, Williams acknowledged the backlash, saying that she was a bit annoyed because she "had already done so much soul-searching about it, years before anyone else had decided there was an issue."

"When the article began circulating, I sort of had to go and rehash everything in front of everybody," she said. "It was important, however, for me to show humility in that moment. I was a 17 year old kid when I wrote the lyrics in question and if I can somehow exemplify what it means to grow up, get information, and become any shade of 'woke,' then that’s a-okay with me."

She recognizes now how she was unwittingly "feeding into a lie that [she'd] bought into, just like so many other teenagers — and many adults — before [her]," about being a "cool girl" and tearing other women down. In other words, she's a more mature person at 28 than she was at 17.

In May 2015, she addressed the lyric in a Tumblr post, saying that she's not ashamed of her mistakes because they've helped shape her into the person she went on to become.

Williams with bandmates Taylor York (left) and Jeremy Davis (right) in February 2014. Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for DirecTV.

Williams was a little more self-aware at the time than even she gives herself credit for.

David Bendeth, who produced the "Riot!" album, opened up about the process in an interview with Billboard to mark the record's 10th anniversary, touching on Williams' reluctance to sing the infamous lyric.

"Hayley was upset about that girl [who was the subject of 'Misery Business']. In fact, in the lyrics she wrote, 'Once a whore, you’re nothing more' — and I remember at the time, she looked at me and said, 'I don’t think I can sing this. I don’t think I can say this. This just isn’t me,' and I said, 'Hayley, it is you and you wrote it. You have to sing it,' and she says, 'I just don’t think it’s right. I think morally it’s wrong to call somebody that.' I said, 'You’re not [calling somebody that]. You’re explaining the situation,' and she said, 'Okay, I’m going to sing it. I’m not going to like it, but I’m going to sing it.'"

We can all relate to regretting things we said or did when we were younger. It's how we react when those things resurface that says the most about who we are as people.

Learning to admit our mistakes and grow from them is part of being human.

In a world where kids are growing up online, posting to social media sites at younger ages, these mistakes are more likely to be the type that are not only public now, but will be public 10 years from now. The type of scrutiny previously reserved for rock stars, politicians, and public figures will increasingly seep into the lives of everyone.

While there are things people can do to keep their information private to avoid embarrassing revelations years down the line (always check your privacy settings), there's also a lot we can do as individuals in society to create a more empathetic culture that allows people to evolve beyond past mistakes and grow into their best selves — or not make those embarrassing mistakes in the first place.

In the years since the release of "Riot!" Williams has done advocacy work in support of LGBTQ people, the environment, survivors of sexual assault, music education, and the fight against breast cancer. One way to start creating a more empathetic society is by accepting and acknowledging Williams' statement at face value, bolstered by her actions, as a sign of her growth, humility, and most of all, her humanity.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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