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This is actress Priyanka Chopra.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC.

If you live in the U.S., you might recognize her from the TV series "Quantico." If you live in India, you might recognize her from just about everything.


The Bollywood super star is on the October-November 2016 cover of the Indian edition of Condé Nast Traveller magazine. But it didn't go over all that well.

Can you spot why?

Yep, people took issue with Chopra's tank top. It turns out looping "refugees" in with "outsiders" and "travelers" isn't the best way to broach the topic of the very real hardships refugees and immigrants face.

Backlash was swift, with many folks pointing out that having Priyanka Chopra, a wealthy A-list celebrity, striking a pose wearing the shirt on the cover of Condé Nast Traveller — a publication that caters to those fortunate enough to enjoy the luxuries of global tourism —  trivializes the plight of world refugees.

In other words, as Huffington Post blogger Arpita Das noted, the cover reflects "a privileged view of a global issue."

"The lack of choice in removing one's home and hearth from the familiar to the alien is one fraught with heartbreak and the feeling of being cornered," she wrote. "[It's] very different from picking out the next attractive destination on your bucket list and surfing through AirBnb for that perfect place to park oneself."

Das wasn't the only one who pointed out the problematic shirt. Plenty of people on Twitter noted how insensitive the cover came across on an issue we so desperately need to get right.

To some, it was a shallow way to get publicity.

For others, it was the lives of the rich and famous at their worst.

And really, shouldn't we keep in mind what simple wish refugees want most of all?

Both the magazine and Chopra released statements in the aftermath of the fallout apologizing for the mishap.

“[Condé Nast] specially got [the shirt] made and implored me to wear it," the actress told NDTV. "They said they were addressing xenophobia, which is a big issue that is happening."

She further explained (emphasis added):

“I am really, really apologetic about the fact that so many sentiments were hurt. I mean, that was definitely not the reason. Me, of all people, I'm someone who always stands for no labels. ... The point the magazine wanted to make was actually something good.”

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

In a post online, Condé Nast explained the decision to have Chopra wear the shirt (emphasis added):

"We believe that the opening up of borders and the breaking down of walls can help us discover the world, and open up our minds and hearts. So, when we had actor Priyanka Chopra wear a T-shirt we created on the cover of the 6th anniversary issue, we had a point to make. It’s about how our labelling of people as immigrants, refugees, and outsiders is creating a culture of xenophobia. ... It’s about how we are allowing some powerful leaders to build barriers that make it more difficult for bright, motivated, and hardworking people to see more of the world, learn from it, and make it better for us all."

Chopra and Condé Nast had good intentions. But they really did miss the mark — even in their apologies.

Both the magazine and Chopra expressed the idea that labels are the real problem. And, on paper, that notion seems to hit the nail on the head.

Who needs labels anyways? Don't they just pit us against one another?

In a perfect world, maybe labels would be a hinderance. But in the real one, labels are oftentimes necessary and important.

Syrian refugees staying on the island of Chicos. Due to conflict in their home country, the world is dealing with the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images.

For example, many people use terms like "refugee" and "immigrant" interchangeably.

Refugees are uprooted from their homes due to factors like war and natural disaster. Immigrants, on the other hand, have moved from one place to another voluntarily — maybe to better their own circumstances, yes, but they haven't been forcibly displaced in the same way refugees have.

Labels help us understand these differences so that we can address the important issues facing each group of people. It's not the labels that are the problem, it's what we do with them.

The shirt Chopra wore doesn't help us differentiate between a refugee and an immigrant (not to mention a tourist). Blurring the lines between groups like these — and overgeneralizing them — can reinforce dangerous misperceptions: that refugees are the ones responsible for recent terror attacks in the U.S., for instance, or that all immigrants from Mexico are undocumented immigrants.

Syrian refugees, who now live in Turkey and work in auto repairs. Photo by  Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images.

It matters that high profile publications and spokespeople get this right because, right now, the world is grappling with a massive influx of refugees.

The civil war in Syria has caused "the worst humanitarian crisis of our time," according to Mercy Corps, with millions of families forced to leave their communities. Kids are kept from going to school. Mothers and fathers struggle to feed their children. And often, families are left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

If a magazine wants to find a way to address the refugee crisis, that's wonderful. But doing so takes care, context, and perspective — the type of nuance you can't convey on a cover model's tank top.

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

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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.’”

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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 Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

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According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


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