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In one tweet, Simone Biles reminds the world to stop defining women by their trauma.

The greatest gymnast of all time refuses to be associated with terrible men.

In one tweet, Simone Biles reminds the world to stop defining women by their trauma.

U.S. Olympic hero Simone Biles just reminded us that she's in charge of her own destiny.

Just to avoid any confusion, Biles wants the world to know that her aspirations are not defined or determined by any experiences of her past.

She, and she alone, makes the calls for what path her career will take.  


Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.

On April 27, The Daily Mail published an article with a rather questionable headline framing Biles' plans for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 within the context of Larry Nassar's very public sexual abuse case.

In early 2018, Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics national team physician, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 150 women — including Biles — bravely stood up and exposed his years of criminal abuse.

Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images.

International Gymnast shared the story in a tweet that's since been deleted.

But Biles was not having it.

Biles made it clear that her sights were on the Tokyo Olympics long before Nassar's conviction.

Her ambitious nature isn't surprising, either.

The native Houstonian many refer to as "the best gymnast in the world" is the reigning world all-around champion. She earned four Olympic gold medals in the 2016 Olympics and has won the most medals in U.S. gymnastics history.

And those are just a few things on the 21-year-old's resume.    

Biles is an honorary cheerleader with the Houston Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

While Biles' tweets are a direct appeal to be recognized for her accomplishments and ambitions and not her abuser's behavior, she brings up an even larger point.

Women who experience sexual abuse or assault — whether Olympic champions, chefs, or domestic workers — deserve to be defined by their lives and their lives alone.  

As more women and young people continue to speak out against former and current abusers, people finally seem to be listening. Powerful men are finally being brought to justice, manipulative bosses are losing their jobs, and people are slowly but surely starting to listen to women's stories and experiences.      

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

But as we listen, we must also remember that women exist outside of their trauma, too.

Women who have survived sexual abuse should be able to live their lives without the cloud of their abuser hanging over them — whether that life is on the balance beam or the basketball court, in the kitchen or the newsroom.

When we treat women as humans with dreams, goals, and aspirations that extend beyond their experiences with (and mistreatment by) men, we continue to push toward a society that sees women as fully whole and fleshed out beings.  

Simone Biles is once again teaching us how to be the champion of our own lives: by defining it on our terms.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Last year, we shared the sad impact that plastic pollution has had on some of our planet's most beautiful places. With recycling not turning out to be the savior it was made out to be, solutions to our growing plastic problem can seem distant and complex.

We have seen some glimmers of hope from both human innovation and nature itself, however. In 2016, a bacteria that evolved with the ability to break down plastic was discovered in a Japanese waste site. Two years later, scientists managed to engineer the mutant plastic-eating enzyme they called PETase—named for polyethylene terephthalate, the most common plastic found in bottles and food packaging—in a lab.

Here's an explainer of how those enzymes work:

Ending Plastic Pollution with Designer Bacteria youtu.be

Now researchers have revealed another game-changer in the plastic-eater—a super-enzyme that can break down plastic six times faster than PETase alone.

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True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has become a beloved voice of reason, knowledge, and experience for many Americans on social media the past few years. At 88, Rather has seen more than most of us, and as a journalist, he's had a front row seat as modern history has played out. He combines that lifetime of experience and perspective with an eloquence that hearkens to a time when eloquence mattered, he called us to our common American ideals with his book "What Unites Us," and he comforts many of is with his repeated message to stay "steady" through the turmoil the U.S. has been experiencing.

All of that is to say, when Dan Rather sounds the alarm, you know we've reached a critical historical moment.

Yesterday, President Trump again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election when directly asked if he would—yet another democratic norm being toppled. Afterward, Rather posted the following words of wisdom—and warning—to his nearly three million Facebook fans:


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via DanielandDavid2 / Instagram

Editor's Note: We used "black" in lowercase for our headline and the body of this story in accordance with emerging guidelines from the Associated Press and other trusted news outlets who are using uppercase "Black" in reference to American descendants of the diaspora of individuals forcibly brought from Africa as slaves. As part of our ongoing efforts to be transparent and communicate choices with our readership, we've included this note for clarity. The original story begins below.

On February 26, 2019, Stacy and Babajide Omirin of Lagos, Nigeria got quite the shock. When Stacy delivered identical twins through C-section one came out black and the other, white.

The parents knew they were having identical twins and expected them to look exactly the same. But one has a white-looking complexion and golden, wavy hair.

"It was a massive surprise," Stacy told The Daily Mail. "Daniel came first, and then the nurse said the second baby has golden hair. I thought how can this be possible. I looked down and saw David, he was completely white."

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