Kim Kardashian, former breaker of the Internet and star of "That Show You Watch on the Treadmill," is pregnant.

But will she get her baby body back??? AMERICA NEEDS TO KNOW!!!


Unfortunately, pregnancy hasn't been all baby bump, push present, and smooth sailing for the reality star. Like most expectant mothers, Kardashian has suffered from occasional, painful bouts of morning sickness.

Fortunately, unlike most of her pregnant cohort, Kardashian was able to take that suffering, grab it by the collar, and monetize the ever-loving bejeezus out of it.


For those who hate squinting, that's Kardashian singing the praises of a morning sickness drug called Diclegis.

Just, you know, giving it some completely spontaneous love on social media. Like normal people do. For their 37 million friends. A genuine, heartfelt, totally-not-secretly-highly-compensated-stealth-endorsement from your bud, who definitely has real actual personal experience using the product in question.

Who wouldn't believe her?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for one.

An FDA official, seen here making sure some lettuce isn't a deadly biohazard. Photo by the FDA.

Turns out, Kardashian's post was, in fact, a paid advertisement. (I know. Try to remain calm.) Not only was it a paid advertisement, but it was a paid advertisement that left out some pretty crucial information about some of the drug's pretty nasty potential side effects.

Because of the vast reach of Kardashian's Instagram feed, the agency was compelled to issue a response — and it was an ornery one:

"The social media post is false or misleading in that it presents efficacy claims for DICLEGIS, but fails to communicate any risk information associated with its use and it omits material facts. Thus, the social media post misbrands DICLEGIS within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and makes its distribution violative. ... These violations are concerning from a public health perspective because they suggest that DICLEGIS is safer than has been demonstrated."

Two things should be immediately clear from the FDA statement.

1. It would make amazing Adele lyrics...

"Amazing."

And...

2. Taking medical advice from a reality TV star is a terrible idea.

Unfortunately, Kim Kardashian is just the tip of the iceberg...

Prescription drug ads in general — even ones that do get their facts right — are kind of the worst.

Abilify has been great for my anxiet ... AAAGGHH A SENTIENT BATHROBE IS FOLLOWING ME AAAAGGHH! Photo by Raza Syed, used with permission.

If you watch any TV at all, chances are you've seen at least a bajillion-and-a-half commercials urging you to "talk to your doctor" about Nexium, Cialis, Novorex, Fontainebleau, Prospector Pete's Tooth Caulk, or what have you if you experience any number of vague, over-broad symptoms.

Sneezing? Talk to your doctor about oxycodone. Photo via iStock.

And sure, you could demand your doctor write you this or that prescription. And they'd probably smile and nod. Most likely, they'd try to gently talk you down. But there's a chance they would just decide it's not worth the trouble and give you what you wanteven if it's a drug you don't actually need. And that's where the problem lies.

Asking a professional to disregard their hard-won expertise on the advice of a commercial is kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

How ridiculous? Just ... imagine any of the following scenarios:

"Donating to earthquake relief in Haiti? Talk to your charity about sending your cash to Sweden instead."

"Claiming a deduction for that charitable gift you just made? Talk to your accountant about turning it into a home mortgage interest deduction!"

"And speaking of home, why does your home have to be made of bricks and mortar? Talk to your builder about graham crackers and strawberry cream cheese."

Sturdy as a rock! Photo by rcstanley/Flickr.

That's what drug ads are trying to get you to do.

Doctors aren't perfect, of course. They're human, and they do get things wrong from time to time. But drug commercials are essentially hoping you'll go to your physician and say, "Sure, you've got professional integrity, six years of graduate school, and took an oath to do no harm, but what about this 30-second B-roll of women in bathtubs voiced by the third lead actor from 'Suits' that I just saw? How does that stack up?"

They're trying to Kardashian you.

Not only are these ads often misleading, they also help drive up the price of drugs.

It's no secret that Americans like things bigger and better.

A "small" in America.

Our towels are plusher. Our French fries are more fried. Our hats are larger.

And our drugs are the most expensive in the world — often double the price of what they are in other similarly wealthy countries.

The United States is one of only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer drug ads — and we pay extra for medicine because of it.

New Zealand is the other. Obviously, there's worse company we could be in. Photo by thinboyfatter/Flickr.

Turn on British TV, and you won't see Benedict Cumberbatch striding purposely across a cricket pitch, saying, "Pardon me, sir, but if it's not terribly much of a bother, would you mind inquiring with your physician about Crumpetrex?" Watch television in Germany, and no one will urge you to "ASKEN ZE DOCTOR FIR SCHNITZELGRAZ!"

We are the only suckers who get those ads shoved in our faces. (New Zealanders do too, but they get hobbits in exchange.)

And pharmaceutical companies go buck-wild on these ads ... spending $20 billion over the past five years.

That cost gets passed on to sick people (and to people who pester their dermatologist until she throws up her hands and signs over a prescription for Cialis so she can move on to her next wart-freezing already).

Regardless of our reasons for needing a medication, that's not a cost we should be paying.

Like Kim Kardashian's Instagram feed, drug commercials serve pretty much no practical purpose — and there's no reason they couldn't quietly disappear forever.

Serious doctors mean business. Photo via iStock.

That's what the American Medical Association — the largest professional organization of physicians in the United States — wants, which is why it voted to call for a ban on the ads last week.

"Today's vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices," Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the AMA board, told the Chicago Tribune. (Come on, Adele, are you seeing this? So much gold here!)

That's a great first step. But there's still more that could be done.

Unfortunately, the AMA vote doesn't address subtle social media ads like Kardashian's, which could lead pharmaceutical companies to simply shift their ad dollars toward efforts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. (And let's be honest, who among us wouldn't share a Facebook-optimized George Takei meme featuring dancing arthritic cats, sponsored by Celebrex?)

Meow to your doc ... purrrrr about Celebrex! Photo via iStock.

It also doesn't address direct-to-physician marketing, in which drug companies use sales representatives to tout the benefits of their medications to doctors in person, which accounts for a huge portion of pharmaceutical industry spending — in addition to just being generally kind of shady. ("Funny, my doctor prescribed me the exact same medication that was featured on that nifty pen in his office!)

If we really want our drugs to pull even price-wise with the Canadas and Norways of the world, a federal law that calls for transparency, competition, and fair pricing needs to be passed and enforced.

As for Kim Kardashian? She ultimately made good on her endorsement deal...

...and satisfied the FDA in the process.

#CorrectiveAd I guess you saw the attention my last #morningsickness post received. The FDA has told Duchesnay, Inc., that my last post about Diclegis (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine HCl) was incomplete because it did not include any risk information or important limitations of use for Diclegis. A link to this information accompanied the post, but this didn't meet FDA requirements. So, I'm re-posting and sharing this important information about Diclegis. For US Residents Only. Diclegis is a prescription medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in women who have not improved with change in diet or other non-medicine treatments. Limitation of Use: Diclegis has not been studied in women with hyperemesis gravidarum. Important Safety Information Do not take Diclegis if you are allergic to doxylamine succinate, other ethanolamine derivative antihistamines, pyridoxine hydrochloride or any of the ingredients in Diclegis. You should also not take Diclegis in combination with medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as these medicines can intensify and prolong the adverse CNS effects of Diclegis. The most common side effect of Diclegis is drowsiness. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or other activities that need your full attention unless your healthcare provider says that you may do so. Do not drink alcohol, or take other central nervous system depressants such as cough and cold medicines, certain pain medicines, and medicines that help you sleep while you take Diclegis. Severe drowsiness can happen or become worse causing falls or accidents. Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Diclegis can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. You should not breastfeed while using Diclegis. Additional safety information can be found at www.DiclegisImportantSafetyinfo.com or www.Diclegis.com. Duchesnay USA encourages you to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on


Maybe not ... quite as catchy. But ... progress?

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Freya from Maya Higa's YouTube video.

Ever wonder what an ideal date for a lemur would be? Or a lizard’s favorite Disney princess?

Thanks to one YouTube poster with a passion for animals and an endearing sense of humor, all questions shall be answered. Well, maybe not all questions. But at the very least, you’ll have eight minutes of insanely cute footage.

In a series titled “Tiny Mic Interviews,” Maya Higa approaches little beasties with a microphone so small she has to hold it with just her thumb and forefinger. And yes, 99% of the animals try to eat it.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
True

The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

Family

2 photos of a woman's bedroom reveal just how powerful depression can be.

"We need to be able to talk to each other about our feelings, even the bad ones."

This article originally appeared on September 7, 2016

Jonna Roslund is a 26-year-old from Sweden who lives with depression.

Photo via Jonna Roslund, used with permission.

Living with a mental illness affects many areas of a person's life, including one annoyance most of us can relate to: the dread of household chores.

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Upworthy is sharing this letter from Myra Sack on the anniversary of the passing of her daughter Havi Lev Goldstein. Loss affects everyone differently and nothing can prepare us for the loss of a young child. But as this letter beautifully demonstrates, grief is not something to be ignored or denied. We hope the honest words and feelings shared below can help you or someone you know who is processing grief of their own. The original letter begins below:


Dear Beauty,

Time is crawling to January 20th, the one-year anniversary of the day you took your final breath on my chest in our bed. We had a dance party the night before. Your posse came over. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, closest friends, and your loving nanny Tia. We sat in the warm kitchen with music on and passed you from one set of arms to another. Everyone wanted one last dance with you. We didn’t mess around with only slow songs. You danced to Havana and Danza Kuduro, too. Somehow, you mustered the energy to sway and rock with each of us, despite not having had anything to eat or drink for six days. That night, January 19th, we laughed and cried and sang and danced. And we held each other. We let our snot and our tears rest on each other’s shoulders; we didn’t wipe any of them away. We ate ice cream after dinner, as we do every night. And on this night, we rubbed a little bit of fresh mint chocolate chip against your lips. Maybe you’d taste the sweetness.

Reggaeton and country music. Blueberry pancakes and ice cream. Deep, long sobs and outbursts of real, raw laughter. Conversations about what our relationships mean to each other and why we are on this earth.


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