The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.
In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.
As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.
And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.
In a TikTok that's been viewed over 17 million times, the Gardiner Brothers don cowboy hats while they step in time to "Texas Hold 'Em," much to the delight of viewers everywhere.
Beyoncé 🤝 Irish dancing #beyonce #countrymusic
Michael and Matthew Gardiner are professional Irish-American stepdancers and choreographers who have gained international fame with their award-winning performances. They've also built a following of millions on social media with videos like this one, where they dance to popular songs, usually in an outdoor environment.
The melding of Irish dance with country music sung by a Black American female artist may seem unlikely, but it could be viewed merely as country music coming back to its roots. After all, country music has its roots in the ballad tradition of the Irish, English and Scottish settlers in the Appalachian region of the U.S. And despite modern country music's struggle to break free from "music for white people" stereotypes, it has roots in African-American traditions as well. For instance, the banjo, which has long been used in bluegrass and country music, was created by enslaved Africans and their descendents during the colonial era, according to The Smithsonian.
People are loving the blending of genres and culture that the TikTok exemplifies.
"Never thought I’d see Irish step dancing while Beyoncé sings country," wrote on commenter. "My life is complete. ♥️"
"So happy Beyoncé dropped this song and exposed my timeline to diversified talent 👏🏽👏🏽," wrote another.
"Beyoncé brought the world together with this song 😭," offered another person.
"Ayeeee Irish Dancing has entered the BeyHive chatroom… WELCOME!! 🔥🔥🔥" exclaimed another.
"I don’t think I can explain how many of my interests are intersecting here," wrote one commenter, reflecting what several others shared as well.
The Beyoncé/Gardiner Brothers combo and the reactions to it are a good reminder that none of us fit into one box of interest or identity. We're all an eclectic mix of tastes and styles, so we can almost always find a way to connect with others over something we enjoy. What better way to be reminded of that fact than through an unexpected mashup that blends the magic of music with the delight of dance? Truly, the arts are a powerful uniting force we should utilize more often.
And for an extra bit of fun, the Gardiner Brothers also shared their bloopers from filming the video. Turns out stepping in the rain isn't as easy as they make it look.
Beyoncé Bloopers #texasholdem #gardinerbrothers
Beyoncé Bloopers #texasholdem #gardinerbrothers
One definitely has more "things going for it."
That debate would be whether it’s better to shower in the morning, or at night.
You would think the “right answer” would be largely up to personal preference, much like which way to face while showering and whether or not to snack in the shower…two previous hot button issues online.
But according to Singh, there are definitive pros and cons to each option, which could settle the debate once and for all.
Singh says in the clip that overnight, “your body can accumulate germs such as bacteria and fungus” through “processes like sweating and shedding skin cells,” all of which help create odor. When you shower off this residue in the AM, it brings your “skin microbiome back to a more hygienic baseline.”
Makes a pretty compelling case for morning showers, doesn’t it? Just wait.
Singh went on to say that nighttime showering has “ ‘three things going for it.”
One, it helps release melatonin to help induce sleep. Plus, when your body adjusts from a warmer temperature to a cooler temperature, that also helps your body prepare for a good night’s rest.
The second benefit is that it washes away “the entire day’s grime.” Which, let’s be honest, can be very therapeutic sometimes. And lastly, showering at night is the ‘better way to help hydrate your skin,” making it a better option for those with sensitive or dry skin.
Singh’s bottom line: “Overall night-time showers have more benefits to it but morning showers have really one benefit and that’s better hygiene.”
More debatable than pineapple on pizza♬ original sound - Dr. Jason Singh
Singh encouraged viewers to weigh in with their own opinions, and they didn’t hold back.
“You will never convince me to go to bed dirty,’ person wrote. Another argued “The worst part about night time showers is long, wet hair. I hate going to bed with wet hair!”
There ended up being some pretty funny responses as well. One person joked that they opted for morning showers since it helps them “Get my head together. Generate a to-do list. Fight with pretend people.”
Another person noted that timing preferences can be dictated by their schedule, commenting, “might showers during the work week and morning showers on the weekends.”
Many argued that two showers a day was the actual best option. That way you don’t go to bed dirty, and you're fresh for the morning.
Obviously, showering at any time consistently is perfectly find, but Dr. Singh offered some valuable food for thought.
Of course, you could always follow in this viewer’s footsteps, whole wrote:
“I prefer to roll around in dust like a chinchilla.”
She didn’t want the girl to “ruin” her photos of the trip.
A 42-year-old mother wondered whether she did the right thing by disciplining her 18-year-old daughter, Abby, who disinvited a friend from vacation because of her weight. The mother asked people on Reddit for their opinion.
For some background, Abby had struggled with her weight for many years, so she went to her mother for help. The two set up a program where Abby was given a reward for every milestone she achieved.
“Four months ago, she asked that I don't get her any more rewards and add it up to her birthday gift, and for her gift she wants a vacation I will pay for, for her and her friends instead of the huge party I had promised for her 18th. I said OK,” the mother wrote.
So, instead of a series of small gifts, Abbey wanted one large one, a vacation with two of her friends. The vacation would also celebrate Abby’s 18th birthday. The mother agreed and booked the trip for the 3 girls.
“Fast forward to last weekend, we started preparing for her vacation,” the mother wrote. “I called the other two girls' parents to confirm the girls would be and learned Abby's best friend Betty isn't going. Betty loves traveling and was looking forward to the vacation, so I asked why. Apparently, Abby uninvited her because ‘she is too chubby to look good in pictures.’”
When the mother approached Abby about the situation, she doubled down on her comments to Betty. “I calmly talked to Abby and reminded her how Betty would feel being left out for such a reason, and she went off with, 'I didn't work so hard for this vacation so my pictures will be ruined,'" the mother wrote.
Abby then asked Betty to contact her mom and say that she decided not to go on the trip because she wasn’t feeling well. Betty refused to lie, and Abby sent her a “ton of hateful texts and body-shaming insults.” Betty shared screenshots of the texts to the mother, and she promptly canceled the entire vacation.
Now, Abby’s father, who shares 50-50 custody with the mother, is livid, and Abby won’t speak to the mother. The mom asked the Reddit AITA forum to see if she was in the wrong, and the commenters overwhelmingly said she did the right thing. "Some of my friends agree on my approach, while others think I should have put my daughter first,” the mother said.
The most popular commenter was short and to the point.
"Teaching your daughter to not be a horrible human being IS putting her first," Due_Laugh_3851 wrote. "I commend your strength and parenting skills. This was the right thing to do and would've been hard to do. Well done, you deserve to go on the holiday yourself," Loud_Wallaby737 added.
"... uninviting someone because you only want skinny people in your pictures is a disgusting attitude frankly. Sorry, I just don't find a nicer word for it. I am totally with you that this needs to have consequences, and while I'm very much against breaking promises, I do believe this is an exception. Like you said, your daughter knows what it feels like. She (but anyone really) should be supportive of friends wanting to lose weight if that is the case and if it isn't they she should just mind her own
business body," SensitiveSires wrote.
One of the few people who thought she was in the wrong believed that the mother set her daughter up for failure.
"[You're wrong] for giving your daughter who is a child rewards for weight loss. Her behavior of value based on weight shows she likely has developed disordered eating patterns and attitudes and this will cause her a lifetime of pain," tamtheprogram wrote.
The silver lining to the story is that many people who commented said that even though her daughter did something very hurtful, she’s still a teenager and there’s a chance she’ll realize the error of her ways.
"The daughter is just a teenager, she still has a lot of time to learn and grow up. Writing off her entire future as a mean girl when it’s very rare to be the same exact person you were at 18 as you grow up is a lot," Stephapeaz wrote.
This article originally appeared on 9.18.23
"And God, make sure it's a tree on a tropical island."
There are a lot of things that come with parenting that may be unexpected or may be a little different once you settle into the role. And while things are changing, it seems moms are still carrying the brunt of the mental load. Sometimes the mental and physical load of motherhood make you want to do something drastic like turn into something other than a human.
Brianna Frye has had enough of what it takes to be a woman in today's society and the comedian, who is also a working mom, took to Instagram to ask for a do over in her next life. The exasperated mom has some suggestions for the big guy upstairs that seem quite reasonable as she pleads her case.
"When I tell you I am so freaking tired of being the woman, I really just feel like God could've made me a dinosaur or a frog or even a tree at this point. I'm fine with being a tree," Frye says.
"But like this woman stuff," the comedian continues. "Y'all want me to bear children, take care of the children, get a house, take care of the house. Go grocery shopping, cook the food, buy clothes, wash the clothes and put them away" becoming more animated as she continues her list.
By the end of citing all the things that come with motherhood, Frye asks to just be a tree her next time around and women in the comments are putting in their reincarnation requests just in case someone's taking requests.
"Preferably a palm tree. On an island, Lord," one person prays.
"This is hilarious! Im with you girl! Why not a dinosaur," another asks.
"That Part!!!!! Bird me please. Hummingbird. Catch me if u can," a commenter writes.
"She's not lying and left a bunch more things out. Wife's and mothers are like offensive lineman in football. 'Over worked and under appreciated,'" another person says.
No, you don't need the most expensive stuff but parents are swearing by things on this list.
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From the moment you find out you're expecting a baby it seems like every store you've ever shopped at also received the positive pregnancy results. Suddenly you're getting emails and ads for every baby item imaginable. Your head is spinning with choices and no real idea on what you actually need, especially if this is your first baby.
It doesn't take long to figure out that baby items are expensive and there are a lot of them, but which items can be left on the shelf and which ones should make its way to the registry? A group of parents answered the question, which overrated baby item they'd absolutely recommend spending the money on and some things may be a surprise.
Parents in the Upworthy community were quick to jump in and help new parents not spend an exorbitant amount of money on unnecessary baby items. The list included things as simple as Boogie Wipes to actual furniture like a gliding rocking chair, and the reasoning is just practicality no matter the cost. Here are the top items mentioned:
My Brest Friend Pillow
1. My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow
"My Brest Friend. Works so much better than a Boppy pillow for nursing," Amy Terwilliger says. The pillow is ergonomically designed to comfortably sit around your waist while you nurse or hold your baby. It also has a pocket to keep a bottle or pacifier and conveinently clips around you to stay in place while you adjust your position for comfort.
2. Rocker Recliner Chair
"We bought a lazyboy rocker recliner. I didn't know how much I'd use it but my baby is 3 months old now and I can't tell you how many nights I've spent in that chair. Best money we spent," Amanda Legassie writes.
3. The famous Baby Brezza
Pretty sure you don't even have to be a parent to have heard of the Baby Brezza. It's just that fancy and that famous and at first glance seems like a colossal waste of money, but parents that buy it swear by it. Laurence Gareau shares, "For the moms who plan/have to go with formula, at 4 months old and more, a baby brezza. We call it the baby nespresso machine. Its quick, accurate and always the right temperature."
4. A Baby Bjorn or any high quality baby carrier
"A baby carrier! Or two. I liked having a soft structured carrier for most times, and a stretchy wrap for summer weather and hanging around the house. Having a good, quality carrier can help caregivers avoid back pain, hold their fussy newborns comfortably, and still have the freedom to walk around and do things if they would like to! I even took my wrap to the hospital with me when I birthed #2 (and used it!)," Catherine Weber reveals. Many others shared the same sentiment on baby carriers.
5. A Pack n' Play with bassinet and changing table
Quite a few people explained how needed a Pack n' Play was when adding a new baby. It's an all in one portable sleeping space for your baby that comes in handy when baby still sleeps in the room with you and when going on trips. "A good pack and play... one with the little upper spot for changing.. a really good one is a life saver!," Jilliaine Hopper shares.
6. Bottle sterilizer and dryer
Sterilizing bottles can be a pain but it has to be done and now there's no need to stand over a boiling pot of water with a timer. Brittney Salaiz says, "The bottle sanitizer/dryer. We used ours so much and having dry bottles ready quickly helped a lot."
7. A baby swing that goes in multiple directions
"Baby swing....save me on so many nights when a baby was congested and needed to sleep upright. Also guaranteed nap and one of the few things that helped with one of my colicky babies. Get one that goes side to side or front to back," Kimberly Lungerman Allende says.
8. High quality car seat
This was repeated several times by parents expressing the importance of spending the money on a high quality car seat that will keep your child safe in an accident. "Decent car seats. Splash on that 25kg Swedish plus tested seat and see how it pays you back," Emma Mattingley writes.
9. Owlet Smart Sock
The Owlet Smart Sock was mentioned repeatedly but one parent gave a real life example of how it helped her. "The Owlet sock was irreplaceable for us- especially since my daughter had Covid, RSV, and croup before she was even 8 months old. It helped us monitor her oxygen and gave us so much peace of mind," Rachel Roundy discloses.
Of course, every baby is different but these were some of the top suggested items listed. Hopefully these experienced parents suggestions help new parents feel a bit more successful in their early parenting journey.
"Greatest parenting hack ever?"
In a clip posted to TikTok, Fogel explained how he had recently stumbled upon a study about the effect that “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” had on kids.”
“Kids who watched [the show] for whatever reason, seemed to be more patient, more calm, just more, like, emotionally attuned,” he said.
The study, published on ChildResearch.net, went to to predict that Mister Rogers’ signature soothing teaching style and well known “tools for learning” like curiosity, listening, and caring about one another “will grow even more important as the digital age evolves.”
That certainly seemed to be the case for Fogel, who explained that, like many parents, his kids are normally “bouncing off the walls” when they wake up between 5-6am. However, when he tried the Mister Rogers approach, everything changed.
“I am just going to act. I'm gonna pretend to be Mr. Rogers. I'm gonna speak like Mr. Rogers, like super slow-paced ... I'm just going to be Mr. Rogers…and see what happens to my kids,” he said.
The results were nothing short of magical.
Instead of “tearing up the house,” the kiddos sat in a circle, “patiently playing Lego” and “attentively attuned” to Fogel’s every word as he calmly and slowly asked questions.
Just think if he had worn a cardigan while doing all this.
@wholeparent Am i the only one doing this? Is this just a cheat code? #parenting #parenting101 ♬ Won't You Be My Neighbor? - Mister Rogers
Fogel’s hack quickly got a lot of views online, and many folks who watched the clip agreed this should be a new go-to parenting move.
“The impact of being calm and respectful toward tiny humans is amazing. They’re spongy mirrors. They absorb our energy and reflect it back at us,” one person wrote.
Another added, “Calm and slow, open and non-judgmental, you invite them to share their thoughts with you, they’re happy that you’re listening and paying attention to them.”
One viewer pointed out how Rogers has a special set of rules for talking to children, lovingly dubbed “Freddish” by his team of writers, which meticulously reconstructed language so that young children could understand what was being said to them in a positive way. Just one of the many reasons why the show was such a phenomenon in the children’s programming sector.
Others chimed in with praises of Rogers’ timeless appeal—for kids and adults alike.
“Mr Rogers is very ASMR…I’m 41 and still sing the theme song to my kids,” one parent shared.
Mister Rogers might be known for his educational work with children, but he’s taught many lessons to us "big kids" too, primarily when it comes to effective, compassionate communication. His legacy is a gift that keeps on giving.