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Meet Mr. and Mr. McBride — Nickelodeon's first same-sex parents.

Other cartoon networks, take note from Nickelodeon.

Meet Mr. and Mr. McBride — Nickelodeon's first same-sex parents.

If you haven't watched Nickelodeon cartoons in a while, here's a spectacular reason to jump back on the bright orange wagon:

The cartoon series "The Loud House" is about to become the first Nickelodeon cartoon to debut a same-sex couple.

Let's get an animated cheer for progress!


GIF by Nickelodeon Animation Studios/Tumblr, used with permission.

The cartoon features a family named The Louds (appropriate based on the title and above GIF), specifically their son Lincoln — the only boy in a family of 10 girls. So many different girl characters in one cartoon? Well, that's fantastic, for starters.

However, the episode entitled "Overnight Success", which is set to air Wednesday, July 20, could rocket the series to legendary status.

That's right, kids — those are two openly gay, interracial parents dropping their son off at a sleepover. But the best part isn't the fact that they're gay — it's how little attention the show draws to that fact. Well, except for the less-than-subtle announcement "Time to make history!" But can you really blame them for that? It is, after all, a huge moment for the network, and a little attention should be paid.


This is another major step forward in the history of gay characters stepping into the spotlight on television.

LGBTQ characters could be spotted on a number of animated programs, one example dating as far back as 1990, when a guest character named Karl (voiced by Harvey Fierstein) shares a kiss with Homer in an episode entitled "Simpson and Delilah." The episode racked up over 29.6 million viewers and is often touted as one of the best "Simpsons" episodes of all time.

Homer and Karl. Photo by The Simpsons/YouTube.

"The Simpsons" played a pivotal role in bringing gay characters into the foreground, as did "Family Guy" and "South Park," but "The Loud House's" move to show a regular same-sex couple may make even more of a difference.

It's one of the first shows aimed at young children to do so, and as such, it's teaching kids just how normal it is to have gay parents. These characters are no different than heterosexual parents: overprotective and overly emotional at milestones like sleepovers. But the more those messages can be shown on television, the better.

Case in point, these appreciative fans:




Let's hope other kid-friendly cartoons soon follow in "The Loud House's" footsteps. While this particular TV family is neurotic and even a little crazy, it's great to have one more example of families — of all shapes and sizes — to remind us that love is love.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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