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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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How I learned that my body is beautiful just the way it is.

It started out innocently enough. I was born. They counted 10 fingers and 10 toes. Everything appeared to be in working order.

My arms were where they were supposed to be, as were my legs. Family and friends admired the adorable chubbiness of it all. Every inch of me was perfect from their perspective. Everything about my existence on this Earth represented possibility — the chance to make good, to right wrongs, and to make a fresh start. This is not unique to my experience; it’s what we do with children They are our window into what might be.

Image via iStock.


I moved predictably from infancy through toddlerhood and my legs carried me along on that journey. They toddled about, carrying my new little self to all the adventures awaiting me. No one had judgments about the shape of my face or the heft of my behind.

There was only wonder at the magnificence of my existence. There was still the possibility that I would be built like a goddess and fulfill the desire of many women to be beautiful, perfect, and without dimples on my thighs. There was still hope for me.

Yet, at some point, I began hearing things in my adolescence that changed my understanding of my body and its value.

Puberty hit me early — very early — and I had a woman’s body while I was still a child. Statements like “pinch an inch” or “I’m so sorry you got my legs” or “you need minimizer bras” began to shape how I thought about this suit that my consciousness had been born into.

I started to become increasingly self-conscious and developed my own judgments about what was bad about my surface self. I had glasses and braces, big boobs, and a terribly neurotic brain. I was now being betrayed by my own body, as it seemed to not live up to the standards or expectations of beauty set forth in society.

Let me be perfectly clear: No one every said, "You are ugly. You are fat. You are not OK just as you are." I was loved. I was deeply, deeply loved. But I did receive a message many of us do — that the way we look is not sufficient.

John Moore/Getty Images.

There is a vicious cycle in which generations of women hear their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts talk about their own bodily imperfections. They lament upon the disappointments at how their feet are shaped or the fact that they gain weight through the middle. Never once as I was growing up did I hear any women reflect upon the astounding capacity of their own bodies.

I have always hated my legs. They are ugly by traditional beauty standards. Throughout my 38+ years on this planet, I have never said one nice thing about them.

It recently occurred to me, probably much too late in life, that this body of mine has been with me since the beginning. Of course it has — what a ridiculous thing to say — but we often take our bodies for granted. We abuse them, talk badly about them, judge them negatively, and put unrealistic expectations on them.

How does my body withstand my unrelenting disappointment? Because my body is incredible. I have decided I have an incredible body.

It doesn’t look like the ones at the gym in their Lululemon, or on the covers of the magazines, or lounging at the beach. And, yet, I have an incredible body.

It has been with me from the beginning. My heart and my brain have withstood sadness, anxiety, and deep emotional distress. My whole self has been crushed under a car, broken then healed, and with beautiful scars to show for this accomplishment. This body has grown three lives; it has stretched to fit their growth, disseminating nutrients, building little brains and blood vessels, hands and toes. These legs have carried me through races, walked cities, climbed mountains, and bounced my crying babies through many sleepless nights. My stomach has experienced the butterflies of love. These arms have hugged and held and carried and cheered through all the moments of my life. My eyes have witnessed life and death, grief and joy, the miracles of nature, art, love, and family. My ears have heard the giggles of my children and my ears have listened to instructions on how to peel potatoes or make a hospital corner. What kind of weird, magical miracle makes all those things possible in one place for one single individual existence?

Through every pain and joy, and fluctuation of the scale, my body has been with me. The way it looks or the way it moves or even the way that all the parts don’t work the way they used to — those changes are only a part of me. We are the sum of our parts, the culmination of our life’s work, a massive piling on of beauty and pain, of successes and failures.

I want “I have an incredible body” to become our mantra and I don’t want it to have anything to do with what the outside looks like — but rather, what our bodies are capable of enduring and creating.

Let’s reflect this wonder and reverence to the young people in our lives. The next time you feel like saying something negative about your thighs or your jiggly arms, instead just look in the mirror and say, “I have an incredible body.” Because you do, you really, really do.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.






Madalyn Parker wanted to take a couple days off work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she have plans to be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos under a palm tree.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.


Parker lives with depression. And, she says, staying on top of her mental health is absolutely crucial.

"The bottom line is that mental health is health," she says over email. "My depression stops me from being productive at my job the same way a broken hand would slow me down since I wouldn't be able to type very well."

work emails, depression, office emails, community

Madalyn Parker was honest with her colleagues about her situation.

Photo courtesy Madalyn Parker.

She sent an email to her colleagues, telling them the honest reason why she was taking the time off.

"Hopefully," she wrote to them, "I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%."

Soon after the message was sent, the CEO of Parker's company wrote back:

"Hey Madalyn,

I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health — I can't believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work."

Moved by her CEO's response, Parker posted the email exchange to Twitter.

The tweet, published on June 30, 2017, has since gone viral, amassing 45,000 likes and 16,000 retweets.

"It's nice to see some warm, fuzzy feelings pass around the internet for once," Parker says of the response to her tweet. "I've been absolutely blown away by the magnitude though. I didn't expect so much attention!"

Even more impressive than the tweet's reach, however, were the heartfelt responses it got.

"Thanks for giving me hope that I can find a job as I am," wrote one person, who opened up about living with panic attacks. "That is bloody incredible," chimed in another. "What a fantastic CEO you have."

Some users, however, questioned why there needs to be a difference between vacation time and sick days; after all, one asked, aren't vacations intended to improve our mental well-being?

That ignores an important distinction, Parker said — both in how we perceive sick days and vacation days and in how that time away from work is actually being spent.

"I took an entire month off to do partial hospitalization last summer and that was sick leave," she wrote back. "I still felt like I could use vacation time because I didn't use it and it's a separate concept."

Many users were astounded that a CEO would be that understanding of an employee's mental health needs.

They were even more surprised that the CEO thanked her for sharing her personal experience with caring for her mental health.

After all, there's still a great amount of stigma associated with mental illness in the workplace, which keeps many of us from speaking up to our colleagues when we need help or need a break to focus on ourselves. We fear being seen as "weak" or less committed to our work. We might even fear losing our job.

Ben Congleton, the CEO of Parker's company, Olark, even joined the conversation himself.

In a blog post on Medium, Congleton wrote about the need for more business leaders to prioritize paid sick leave, fight to curb the stigma surrounding mental illness in the workplace, and see their employees as people first.

"It's 2017. We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance," Congleton wrote. "When an athlete is injured, they sit on the bench and recover. Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different."


This article originally appeared on 07.11.17

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

How to tell if someone is lying.

Imagine being able to reliably detect when someone is lying. You could catch your kids in a fib or quickly find out when a used car salesman is trying to pull one over on you. If people could be 100% perfect in determining the truth, it would make the legal system so much easier for everyone involved.

In an interview with Steven Bartlett on his “Dairy of a CEO” podcast, former Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shared how she can tell when someone is being dishonest.

Poumpouras is the author of “Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, Live Fearlessly.” She also served in the Presidential Protective Division, working for Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.


In this TikTok video with over 350,000 views, Poumpouras shares some signs someone is lying and how it’s possible to detect lies.

I asked Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras how to tell if someone is lying… 

@steven

I asked Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras how to tell if someone is lying… #p#podcastp#podcastclipss#stevenbartlettd#diaryofaceos#specialagents#secretservices#securityevypoumpouras #lying #liar

What are signs someone is lying?

Poumpouras believes the key is to talk to someone for a while to get a “baseline” on their behavior. She used the podcast’s host, Steven Bartlett, as an example. “So if I sit and I speak to someone and the whole time they're speaking, like when you talk, Steven, your hands are usually here. You go on the iPad, you do this. That's your baseline, right? You do a lock, eye contact,” Poumpouras said.

Once she has established a baseline of behavior, she can tell when someone is being deceptive if it suddenly changes.

“This whole time I'm talking to Steven, he's locked in with me. He's got a certain posture. I asked him this question. He just showed me something different,” she said. “And then now I know to be curious… when you're done asking or answering my question, I come in with good follow-up questions. Cause you're showing me something is happening here.”

Once Poumpouras sees a dramatic shift in the subject's body language, she begins to ask some follow-up questions. The key is to be measured and not too pushy during the interrogation. “You don't want to be nosy, but you want to be curious,” she adds.

Poumpouras says you should always trust your gut when you think someone may be lying. “You can figure out who's full of B.S. and who isn't one,” she continued. “You feel it. I think your intuition is a huge thing and we dismiss it.”

On her website, Poumpouras adds another dead giveaway that someone isn’t being honest: if they take a longer time than usual to answer a question. She says that this is part of an F3 response, short for flight-fight-freeze. When some people are placed in situations where they are experiencing high anxiety or sense danger, their response is to freeze and become incommunicative.

“Long pauses or silence after being asked a direct question can be a huge indication of deception,” she wrote. “When the liar doesn’t see the question coming, their F3 kicks in, causing them to freeze as they frantically try to think of what to say or what lie to spin.”

Brielle Asero lost her job after 2 months.

TikTokker Brielle Asero, 21, a recent college graduate, went viral on TikTok in October for her emotional reaction to the first day at a 9-to-5 job. The video, which received 3.4 million views, captured the public’s attention because it was like a cultural Rorschach test.

Some who saw the video thought that Asero came off as entitled and exemplified the younger generation’s lack of work ethic. In contrast, others sympathized with the young woman who is just beginning to understand how hard it is to find work-life balance in modern-day America.

“I’m so upset,” she says in the video. "I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don't get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don't have time to do anything!" Asero said in a video.


“I don’t have the time to do anything,” she continued. “I want to shower, eat my dinner, and go to sleep. I don’t have the time or energy to cook my dinner either. I don’t have energy to work out, like, that’s out of the window. I’m so upset, oh my god.”

@brielleybelly123

im also getting sick leave me alone im emotional ok i feel 12 and im scared of not having time to live

On December 16, Asero gave an update on her professional life, and sadly, things aren’t going too well. After just 2 months on the job, she was laid off. It had taken her 5 months to find the job and she had recently relocated to New York City to be near the office.

"I worked for a startup, and they didn't have the workload or the bandwidth they needed to train me and to give me work to do," she said. Being laid off during the holidays makes Asero's situation even more difficult because most employers are closed for business in late December and early January.

Asero had some stern words for those who would blame her for losing her job.

"I know that I'm a hard worker, and my boss literally said that I'm one of the smartest people he's ever had working under him, and he knows that I'm going to land on my feet, and he will give me a great referral to anybody, so don't start," she warned.

@brielleybelly123

can someone tell me im going to be okay !!!! feels like the world is ending i need a job immediatley i am feeling so lost rn like i moved for this...!?

"I have done everything I possibly could have, and it's still not enough," she said. To supplement her income while looking for her next big break, Asero says she will look for work as a server or nanny.

Even though Asero took a lot of criticism for crying after her first day at work, the comments on the new video were overwhelmingly positive and supportive. There were also a lot of people who shared how they had recently been laid off, too.

"Just want to note that there’s no shame in taking a service job while you’re still looking. You’re going to be okay, you got this," Baby bel wrote. "It happened to me, seems like ur life is ending, but I promise it's just getting started. You’ll laugh about it at some point," Rachie added.


This article originally appeared on 12.22.23












America's Got Talent/Youtube

That was so fun to watch.

The art of quick change has captivated viewers since the 17th (or perhaps even 15th) century. Perhaps it’s one of the more enduring styles of illusion because it can adapt along with ever changing fashion trends. Or maybe the concept of taking mere seconds to do any mundane task will always baffle us. Either way, it’s an act audiences love time and time again.

And yet, even if you have seen quick change magic before, Solange Kardinaly’s “America’s Got Talent” audition offers a fresh take.


The Portugal-born magician, who just so happens to hold the Guiness World Record for most costume changes in a single minute, stunned the crowd with a number that had 5 seamless outfit swaps, along with a color changing purse and money that appeared out of nowhere. Talk about living the dream.

Besides the quick changes, part of what makes the act so magical is Kardinaly’s charisma and stage presence. She’s clearly having so much fun strutting to Madonna’s “Material Girl” as her character goes on a shopping spree.

Watch:

After her performance, Kardinaly got nothing but praise from judges Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell, who agreed she was “the best quick-change artist [they] had ever seen” and voted for her to move on to the competition’s next round.

Of course, the judges weren’t the only ones who were impressed. Check out some of these lovely comments from online viewers:

“She's not doing quick change only,but she's a magician as well.this is mind blowing

Great concept and great storytelling. Awesome job!”

“If this isn’t magic, I don’t know what is! Absolutely enchanted by your performance!”

“Even when slowed down to 25% speed you cannot see how she does it, incredible.”

“Not many people know how much work n how much detail goes into a quick change act like this , she truly a wonderful craft lady.”

“Even though I understand how this sort of trick is performed, I was still very impressed. She pulls it off flawlessly. Her transitions are lightning fast with no pulling or bunching. It is obvious that she has spent A LOT of time perfecting her technique.”

“Freaking awesome...She is really good and knows how to present her craft to the audience.”

Now, if you please excuse me while I take at least 45 minutes to get into ONE outfit today…

Man points out racial bias in coverage of Angel Reese's 'flagrant' foul

Whether you're a basketball fan or not, there is no escaping the names Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark. The two powerhouse players catapulted into public consciousness when their friendly rivalry went viral in 2023. There's no denying that each player is amazing at the sport. In fact, they were both drafted to the WNBA right after their last college season and almost immediately hit the court as professionals.

Their rivalry has brought more eyes on the WNBA breaking viewership and attendance records but some fans have noticed a discrepancy in how Clark is treated versus Reese. Mr. Ernest Crim III, a former classroom teacher took to social media to highlight what he believes is racial bias, and he brings some receipts to back up his claims.

Clark is a white player who transitioned from the University of Iowa to the WNBA's Indiana team and Reese is a Black player with the Chicago Sky whose Louisiana State University team won the 2023 championship.


The two have explained that they respect each other's game and have no ill intentions toward each other, but this doesn't seem to stop the inflammatory headlines or comments. Crim brings up how fouling is applied differently for similar instances depending on if the person being fouled is Reese or Clark. The former teacher tied in statistics on how what he sees as implicit bias leads to harsher punishments for Black girls and women.

Implicit bias isn't something that people do on purpose. In fact, most people don't even realize they may be acting with any sort of bias because it's not intentional.

"This reminds me of how Black girls are disproportionately treated at school and as a former classroom teacher, I just gotta keep speaking on it. Because Caitlin Clark was intentionally bumped and it was upgraded to a flagrant 1 but when Angel Reese was intentionally bumped it was just a regular foul," Crim says.

Reese came to the defense of her teammate who received a flagrant foul for bumping Clark, encouraging reporters to review the clip, "go check the clip, it's the same."

Crim presents multiple examples in the video below:

The man wasn't the only one thinking there was something off with the treatment of the two basketball stars, commenters shared their thoughts as well.

"THIS. Thank you for your support. Appreciate you," one person says.

"Angel Reese is also one of the main reasons the WNBA is getting a larger support base. Not just Caitlin Clark like so many are saying. I will say I am disappointed in the WNBA alumni in their treatment of Reese and Clark," someone says.

"Not to mention the fact that she waved her hand at the ref which is whatever and Caitlin has done it several times and not been thrown out although she was assessed technical fouls. I love them both but the BS narrative continues but she will continue to fight against it and the difference now is she has a lot of support whereas in past years or decades she might have been run out of the league," another commenter explains.