Family

Her 'America's Got Talent' act was cut after Howard Stern fat shamed her. See her moves here.

"I'm black, I'm plus-size, and I'm a woman — that's a triple negative in fitness."

Her 'America's Got Talent' act was cut after Howard Stern fat shamed her. See her moves here.

Roslyn Mays is a professional pole dance instructor and self-described badass boss on stage.

Mays, who goes by the nickname Roz the Diva, is a 31-year-old woman from Long Island, N.Y. She was discovered on social media and was invited to audition for this season of "America's Got Talent."


All GIFs from Ruptly.

On stage, in front of the "AGT" judges, Roz performed a 90-second pole dancing routine, only to be left insulted.

In a recent video interview with Ruptly, Roz said it was judge Howard Stern who was her harshest critic, asking her, essentially, to defend her existence based on her physical appearance. Howard's main critique? Roz said that even after watching her perform, he said he felt that Roz was too fat to be a pole dancer.

And unfortunately, Roz's performance never made it to air, outside of a one-second clip in a promo montage. Which means we don't know for sure what Howard said to her, but it clearly made an impression.

As a plus-size athlete, Roz is used to harsh reactions from people like Howard. But she won't take it lying down.

“I'm black, I'm plus-size, and I'm a woman — that's a triple negative in fitness: I'm the antichrist," she told The Guardian, joking, "I'm just missing being a lesbian Muslim and then everyone can hate me."

She's pushing back on the misconceptions people have about plus-size people — namely, that they're out of shape.

She may weigh 228 pounds, but that doesn't mean Roz is out of shape. In fact, I'm sure she's in significantly better shape than a lot of other people can claim to be. A number on a scale is not the end-all be-all of health — not by a long shot.

Being overweight is not the same as being unhealthy. Look at the moves Roz can do on the pole:

Think about the upper (and lower, for that matter) body strength that goes into being able to lift yourself, climb, and do the moves she does:

"America's gonna die tomorrow because we're all obese," Roz says, listing the criticisms she hears most often due to her body. Or that "people who are carrying extra weight, they're lazy, they're fat, they don't care."

And to them, she has this to say:


And she's absolutely right.

There's nothing inherently unhealthy about being larger than stereotypical beauty norms, and science backs that up.

A 2014 report put out by the College of Family Physicians of Canada broke down seven myths about obesity related to cause and its effect on health.

For example, losing weight does not mean gaining health. "Obesity management should focus on promoting healthier behavior rather than simply reducing numbers on the scale," the report says. Being healthy is all about engaging in behavior that is healthy for your body, regardless of its size or weight.

And Redefining Body Image has its own list of myth-busting links that take on the "fat means not fit" messaging, if you're interested in further reading.

Want to see some of Roz's moves? Watch her interview with Ruptly below.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less