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How a DIY dress helped one woman reclaim the power words had on her body.

'We should all be able to celebrate and love ourselves without fear of criticism from others, whatever shape or size we are.'

News flash: Words have power. This is something Jojo Oldham knows all too well.

Whether you're a soap star hearing lewd comments made by a politician 10 years ago or the average woman getting catcalled on her way home from work, what other people have to say about your body leave a lasting impression.

Over Oldham's 31 years of existence, she's received countless comments about her body — both good and bad.


After years of letting these words affect how she sees herself, however, Oldham was finally ready to release them and embrace herself.

She took all the comments she's heard about her body over the years and painted them on a dress. Posing for pictures, with a smile on her face, she took the power those words had over her and refused to let them dictate her self-worth any longer.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

"The love I have for my body these days is something I've had to learn. And it requires constant maintenance," Oldham wrote on her website.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

Like so many of us, Oldham says she's been in a love-hate relationship with her body for as long as she can remember. There are days when she's thrilled with how she looks, and then there are days when she wants to delete every unflattering photo ever taken of her. The comments she would receive fanned the flame of her own insecurities.

"I had 31 years-worth of other people’s comments about my body swirling around my head and popping into it on a daily basis, and I wanted to do something positive with them," Oldham explained over email.

The dress is a badge of honor, symbolic of the fact that, while Oldham may have been called these things, she is not defined by them.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

"The comments that made the final cut have all stuck with me for different reasons," Oldham wrote. "Some because they’re really weird, some because they’re really lovely, some because they’re funny, and some because they’re particularly nasty and they really crushed me at the time."

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

"Once I learned how to be happy with myself as I am, the negative things that other people said about my body just stopped mattering to me," Oldham explained.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

Comments can do serious damage to even the strongest, most self-confident people. Oldham hopes her dress will help curtail some of that damage.

"We should all be able to celebrate and love ourselves without fear of criticism from others, whatever shape or size we are," she wrote on her website.

She hopes the work will inspire women to remember they are not the sum of the comments made about their bodies; they are so much more.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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