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Japanese women are fighting their country's insanely sexist high heels "dress code."

Women in Japan are being discriminated against for not wearing heels to work. But now they won't stand for it anymore.

High heels used to be worn by men, then they were like, "Oh, no. These hurt. Let's let women wear them. They give labor. They're used to feeling unspeakable pain."

Sure, heels elongate your legs, making them look better, but is the pain even worth it? We don't think so, and it turns out, a group of Japanese woman that is 20,000 strong don't think so either.



Alice McCall - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2018 Getty Images


Recently, a group of Japanese women petitioned their government to ban the requirement for women to heels to work or in job interviews.

The movement, which is known as "KuTu" or #KuToo, was launched by Japanese writer and actress Yumi Ishikawa. The name is a play on words. Kutsu means shoes, and kutsuu means pain, making the moniker very appropriate.

Ishikawa has her own experience with shoe pain, saying she had to change careers after a hotel made her stand in heels for eight hours during her training. Ouch.

The movement has been gaining a lot of momentum, with nearly 20,000 people signing the petition to relax the standards on footwear for women at work. The campaign went viral after Ishikawa tweeted about having to wear heels at her part time job at a funeral parlor. "It's hard to move, you can't run and your feet hurt. All because of manners," said Ishikawa.



But it's not just high heels that are the issue. It's what the heels represent, which is deeply rooted misogyny in Japan.

In the World Economic Forum's ranking of gender-equality, Japan sits at 110 out of 149 countries, so it really isn't about the shoes. "Expecting or imposing a feminine standard at the workplace is the issue here," Shino Naito, vice senior researcher at the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training in Tokyo, said. Some people have even said the practice of making women wear heels to work is only a step above the practice of foot binding. Anyone who's ever had to spend more than an hour in heels would have to concur.






The women might have a longer road to walk, and they'll unfortunately have to do it in shoes that hurt their feet. Takumi Nemoto, the minister of health and labor in Japan said that wearing heels to work, "is socially accepted as something that falls within the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate." It makes sense if you don't think about it.

If you don't have to spend eight hours a day with your foot wedged into a heel, you probably shouldn't be the one to say it's "necessary."

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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