Hayley Williams has grown up since that regretful lyric 10 years ago. We should let her.

She's not in the business of misery anymore.

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.

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign. We don't do PSAs. We also need to update so to explain truth – the nonprofit behind the truth youth smoking prevention campaign – you could also say this in a funny way – best known for sharing the facts about smoking and vaping or pull from some old campaigns. Just layer in a description of truth and who the campaign is., is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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The fine folks at Forbes are currently falling all over themselves trying to clean up the mess they created by publishing their 2019 list of 100 Most Innovative Leaders.

The problem: The list included 99 men and one woman. For those not so good with the math, that means according to Forbes, only 1% of the country's most innovative leaders are female.

Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

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