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The MTV Video Music Awards happened last night. It's OK if you missed them.

The show went until almost midnight, and (if you're like me) you're probably too old and uncool to recognize half the performers. Hey, I totally get it.


Here's what you'll be seeing in many of the headlines recapping the event:

  1. Kanye West announced he's running for president in 2020.
  2. It looks like Justin Bieber started crying on stage after his performance.
  3. Nicki Minaj definitely has a beef with Miley Cyrus, and she wasn't afraid to talk about it on stage.
  4. Nicki did, however, seem over her feud with Taylor Swift, whom she performed with to open the event.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

But if you ask me, the coolest and most underreported part about the 2015 VMAs had nothing to do with 1-4 above. (Or any of the red carpet looks. Or any surprise Moonman wins. Or any of the performances ... although, Tori Kelly was amazing).

The coolest part came and went at the end of the event, without the glitz and glam we're so used to seeing on award show stages.

Miley Cyrus' squad from her Happy Hippie Foundation announced a surprise performance from the VMA host.

They weren't A-listers. They didn't dress in flamboyant outfits to grab our attention. But Miley's friends from Happy Hippie (you can learn more about all of them here) welcomed her to the stage, shedding a light on an important issue that deserves our attention: homelessness of LGBTQ youth.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

The Happy Hippie Foundation, which Miley launched earlier this year, advocates for young people facing homelessness — particularly those young people who are LGBTQ.

Young people in the LGBTQ community account for an alarmingly disproportionate chunk — somewhere between 20% and 40%of the total homeless youth population. Tragically, family rejection a big reason why so many end up on the streets.



Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Sharing her time on stage with her Happy Hippie squad shouldn't come as surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to Miley. She's been pretty clear on her intentions to give a voice to young people who don't have one.

"When you have all eyes on you, what are you saying? And that's what I had to ask myself a lot," Miley told the Associated Press of her activism in May 2015.

"It's like, I know you're going to look at me more if my [breasts] are out, so look at me. And then I'm going to tell you about my foundation for an hour and totally hustle you."

She's not afraid to hustle us at award shows, too. Last year's VMAs were no different.

At the 2014 award show, Miley won Video of the Year for her single, "Wrecking Ball." But instead of giving a speech, she gave the spotlight to then-22-year-old Jesse Helt, who'd battled homelessness while living in Los Angeles.


Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

His heartfelt words went down in VMA history:

"I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now. I know this because I'm one of these people. ... I've survived in shelters all over the city. I've cleaned your hotel rooms. I've been an extra in your movies. I've been an extra in your life. Although I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight."

You may not be a fan of her twerking, her choice of wardrobe, or the ... unique ... name of her new album. But there's no denying Miley's heart of gold when it comes to an issue that should be a bigger priority to all of us.

To learn more about and support the Happy Hippie Foundation, visit the organization's website here.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

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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