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Identity

57-year-old former model Paulina Porizkova had the perfect response to ageist comment online

"We have earned our beauty, we understand what it is, and we can see it so much better."

Paulina Porizkova
Photo by Malin K. on Unsplash

Paulina Porizkova took on a commenter who said she was in "pain" being "old and ugly."

Aging is a weird thing. From one perspective, it's something we should be grateful for. Few people would wish for the kind of short, uneventful life that would remove aging from the equation completely. The longer we live, the more we grow and learn and experience life, and "aging" is simply the mathematical sum of those experiences. All good, right?

On the other hand, our society does everything in its power to hide the fact that aging happens. Especially when it comes to women. According to Statista, the global anti-aging beauty market is estimated to be worth $58.8 billion. People will try all manner of creams, serums, masks, acids, lights, technologies and surgeries to try to prevent wrinkles, lines, sagginess, spots and other signs that our bodies are changing with time.

Most of us live our daily lives somewhere in the middle of these two realities, wanting to embrace our aging selves but also hoping to stave off some of the more obvious signs that we're getting older. It's natural to resist it in some ways, since the older we get, the closer we get to the end of our lives, which we certainly don't want to hasten—especially if we actually love living.

It can be helpful to see people who are embracing their age, which is why it can be inspiring to see someone like former supermodel Paulina Porizkova confidently sharing photos of her 57-year-old self.



In posts on social media, Porizkova shared a photo of herself in a bikini and a screenshot of a comment made by a person who felt the need to comment on her aging body. And phew, was it something. The commenter wrote:

"You must be in so much pain to keep posting bikini pictures at your age. I've always thought that getting old and ugly is hardest on the pretty people. The fall from grace is so much farther when you were beautiful. Ugly people were always ugly so getting old and ugly isn't a change. In summary, I feel your pain. I pray you can come to terms with your mortality. We all get old and ugly…you just had to fall from a greater height than the rest of us. Tears Times Infinity!"

So many things to unpack here.

Porizkova shared her thoughts on the comment on Instagram.

"Here’s a good follower comment- echoing a few others," Porizkova wrote. "A woman of 57 is 'too old' to pose in a bikini - no matter what she looks like. Because 'Old' is 'Ugly.' I get comments like these every time I post a photo of my body. This is the ageist shaming that sets my teeth on edge. Older men are distinguished, older women are ugly."

"People who believe prettiness equals beauty do not understand beauty," she continued. "Pretty is easy on the eyes, partly because it’s a little bland, inoffensive. It’s easy to take in and easy to forget. Not so beauty. Beauty can be sharp. It can wound you and leave a scar. To perceive beauty you have to be able to SEE."

"This is why I believe we get more beautiful with age," she added. "We have earned our beauty, we understand what it is, and we can see it so much better. There is no such thing as ugly and old. Only shortsighted and ignorant."

On Twitter, Porizkova was a bit more sarcastic, writing, "Thank you for feeling my pain, rickaroo777. As you can see, I’m suffering indeed."

That tongue-in-cheek response prompted others to share their aging selves in photos, sharing how their "old and ugly" phase of life is going. The thread turned into a veritable celebration of middle-to-late age, with posts about how much more comfortable people feel in their bodies as they get older and the freedom that comes along with not caring what other people think.

You suffer beautifully

There are two big ironies with the original trolling comment. Most obviously, Porizkova obviously looks freaking amazing in a bikini, so the whole "ugly" and "fall from grace" line of thought is object and off base. The second is that if you look through Porizkova's Instagram feed, she doesn't pose in bikinis very often at all. It's not like she's plastering her bikini selfies all over social media trying to make herself feel better about herself, as the commenter implies. She just…sometimes wears a bikini. Whoop dee doo.

People don't have to wear bikinis if they don't want to. But to tell strangers what they can wear crosses a line. All bodies are bikini bodies, and if the person in the body wants their body to be in a bikini, more power to them.

The "suffering" and "pain" in the posts were so funny to see.

The thread brought inspiration to those who may fall prey to the idea that people shouldn't wear certain things after a certain age or that only people with certain body sizes or shapes should wear certain things.

The hashtag #oldandugly started trending as people responded to Porizkova's call for a celebration of aging beautifully.

"Todays thread has been my absolute favorite of all time," Porizkova wrote on Twitter. "Thank you all you 'old and ugly' women (and a few men) showing the world how much we 'suffer' at in our old age. You’re all breathtaking!"

May we all age beautifully and gracefully in whatever way those words are meaningful to us, and show those who think that aging means "suffering" and "pain" due to being "old and ugly" that they have no idea what they're talking about.

(And here's an extra shout-out to Porizkova for using her beauty and her age to make an important point—not only about celebrating getting older, but also about how propaganda works. Brava.)


This article originally appeared on 05.03.22

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.


I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.


Ask yourself: Could I live on this small of a full-time paycheck? I know what my answer is.

(And note that the minimum wage in many parts of the county is STILL $7.25, so it would be even less than this).

paychecks, McDonalds, corporate power, broken system

One year of work at McDonalds grossed this worker $13,811.18.

assets.rebelmouse.io

This story was written by Brandon Weber and was originally appeared on 02.26.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Family

Debunked: Negative parenting images have zero impact on people's desire to have kids

People quip about misbehaving kids being "birth control," but that's not what the research shows.

"Baby fever" is hard to beat.

The desire to become a parent is at once an incredibly simple biological impulse and a complex psychological decision. As mammals, we have an innate evolutionary drive to reproduce and pass on our genes. As humans, we may feel compelled to nurture a child, to grow a family, to leave a lineage and legacy behind…or we may not.

Some people don't feel the desire to have children, but research shows most young adults do. The phenomenon known as "baby fever" is real, and it happens to both women and men. For women, the desire for a baby tends to start off strong and decrease with age and after having children, whereas for men baby fever tends to increase as they get older.

But how does popular culture impact that desire? Do parenting depictions in media and advertisements have an influence one way or another?


Those are the questions researchers from the UBC Sauder School of Business explored in a 2022 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

“Advertising and social media play an important role in how we view the world. In general, what we see on Instagram and Facebook are positive portrayals of parenthood, with #blessed and #bestkidsever. How often do we see parents post #mykidsareterrible?” asked study co-author Dr. Lisa Cavanaugh. “We wanted to see if, by simply showing pictures of kids in advertising, we could affect the desire to have children.”

The study authors observed 1,093 childless young adults between the ages of 18-35 as they viewed positive and negative parent-child advertisements and ads with the children removed (neutral images). Positive images showed things like a parent and child smiling while interacting or doing something fun and creative together, while negative images showed children having meltdowns or parents clearly exasperated with a child's misbehavior.

What they found was that positive parenting images increased the participants' desire to have a child by 22 percent compared to the neutral images. However, there was no inverse effect with the negative parent-child images.

In fact, there was no negative effect at all. Seeing parenting being portrayed negatively did not change participants' minds about wanting to have a child.

“These are people who don’t yet have children, so it could be they see the comedy in kids behaving badly. When it’s not you trying to clean up the mess or get a child to eat before you go to work, it can be humorous,” Dr. Cavanaugh posited. “But we can say with certainty that people without children who saw these negative parent-child moments were not dissuaded.”

One thing the authors found in measuring how negative parenting images impacted "baby fever" was that both positive and negative parenting images evoked a sense of empathy in participants, which correlated with a greater desire to have children. Even the negative parenting images tended to create an empathic response (though not as significantly as the positive parenting images did) leading to a slight increase in desire to have a child.

"Further bolstering the importance of empathic emotions in understanding the desire to have children, our results indicated that the depiction of negative parent–child moments also increases the desire to have children via empathic emotions," the authors wrote. "This finding suggests that the valence of parent–child images (i.e., that they are positive and sweet) may be less critical to the increased desire to have children. Instead, empathic emotions seem to be critical in predicting the desire to have children."

So perhaps the quips we see on social media posts of misbehaving children or stressed out parents about them being "birth control" really are just jokes. According to this study, "baby fever" isn't so easily brought down.


A woman looking at her phone while sitting on the toilet.

One of the most popular health trends over the last few years has been staying as hydrated as possible, evidenced by the massive popularity of 40-oz Stanely Quencher cups. The theory among those who obsess over hydration is that, when you pee clear, you’ve removed all the waste in your body and are enjoying the incredible benefits of being 100% hydrated. Congratulations.

However, according to Dr. Sermed Mezher, an NHS doctor in the UK, peeing clear isn’t always a sign of being healthy.


“If you’re peeing clear, that means you’re having more than 2.5 liters (85 ounces) of fluid per day, which means your kidneys are working overdrive to keep that water off your brain,” Dr. Mezher said. He goes on to add that when kidneys can't keep up with their water intake, it can cause water intoxication, which can lead to dangerous, even lethal, brain swelling.

Stop Trying to Get Your Pee Completely Clear #hydration. 

@drsermedmezher

Visit TikTok to discover videos!

According to Dr. Mezher, it's all about finding balance when it comes to hydration and the goal shouldn't be to pee clear all the time. "Of course, like most things in life, too much is not great, and too little isn't either," he continued. Two liters (68 ounces) [of water] is good for a healthy adult, and babies under six months shouldn't be given any water at all."

The news came as a bit of a shock to some folks in the comments. "One minute it's not enough water, the next it's too much... I'm tired," Tiyana wrote. "I always thought the goal was clear," Mountain Witch added.

If you have concerns about the color of your urine, please consult a doctor.


This article originally appeared on 3.26.24

A Trader Joe's location in Stamford, CT.

People love Trader Joe’s because it feels like a local corner grocery store with a big personality. It has cleverly named, one-of-a-kind items, fresh produce, a great selection of beer and wine and it’s all relatively affordable (2-Buck Chuck, anybody?).

Plus, they treat their employees well by paying a decent wage and providing great perks like generous retirement plans, paid time off and a chance to be promoted within the company. So, when people hear that Trader Joe’s is coming to their neighborhood, it’s usually cause for celebration.

Some clever teens in Pasadena, Maryland, knew their community was dying to have a Trader Joe’s, so they pulled the ultimate senior prank: tricking them into believing one was coming to their neighborhood in 2025.


The folks in Pasadena had reason to be excited about a Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood because the closest is in Annapolis, a 30-minute drive away.

Northeastern High School seniors showed their ingenuity by erecting a large sign near a closed Mars grocery store. The sign boldly proclaimed, "Coming Soon: Trader Joe’s," with a spring 2025 opening date and a QR code for more information.

The prank’s punchline was when people scanned the QR code, they got Rickrolled or linked to a YouTube video of Rick Astley singing his 1987 hit, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The prank fooled Marlena Calobong, who posted about it on Facebook. “The whole town was abuzz yesterday morning, thinking we were getting a Trader Joe's! AND again this morning to find out it was just a prank,” she captioned a photo of the sign the seniors made.

“We were extremely excited to see a sign pop up that we were getting another Trader Joe’s close to home,” Calobong told Today.com. “We were sad to find out the next day it was a prank. Definitely tricked us all.”

Another local, Alyssa Smith, shared the prank on TikTok, and she was blown away by the fact that the Gen Z kids who pulled it off knew about Rick Astley or a Rickroll. “These kids had to have had help from older millennials or Gen Xers because how do they even know what a Rickroll is?” she laughed. “I mean, come on. Too funny.”

@mrsalyssasmith

Epic senior prank Maryland fam. #annearundelcounty #marylandtiktok #marylandgang #pasadena #seniorprank #traderjoes #thingstodoinmaryland

The prank has inspired another group of seniors to follow suit. A few weeks after the Pasadena incident, a “Trader Joe’s Coming Soon" sign was found outside an empty Lidl. The QR code on the banner linked to a page that read “Just Kidding #SENIORPRANK. Trader Joe’s NOT coming soon but maybe one day ;)” with Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” playing in the background.

Senior Prank about new TJ's location
byu/Fancy-Asparagus9210 intraderjoes

Unfortunately, the fine folks of Pasadena, Maryland, aren’t getting a Trader Joe’s grocery store anytime soon. But they should take solace in knowing that the prank went viral, and the folks at Trader Joe’s know that they would love to have a location where the old Mars grocery store used to operate.

The seniors of Northeastern High School should also be proud that they pulled off a prank that was so good it got national news attention. That’s a high bar for the Class of 2025 to beat.

Education

The 'world's most livable city' has a proven, 100-year-old approach to affordable housing

More than 60% of this city of 1.9 million people lives in government-subsidized housing.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Vienna, Austria, is the "world's most livable city."

My family recently spent a week exploring Vienna, Austria, getting a first-hand look at why it's been named "the world's most livable city" for 8 out of the past 10 years. As we enjoyed the efficient public transportation system and meandered the picturesque streets filled with gorgeous architecture, we did find ourselves thinking, "Yeah, we could live here."

Part of that feeling was prompted by the beauty of the place, but as we spent hours walking through the historic heart of the city, something else struck me. Unlike every other big city I've visited in recent years, I didn't see anyone sleeping on the sidewalk. No tents as makeshift homes set up anywhere. It was so striking, I kept wondering, "Where were all the homeless people?"

Vienna is home to 1.9 million people—more than twice the population of Seattle or Boston, where you can't walk for 5 minutes through downtown without seeing multiple people experiencing homelessness. I began to wonder if perhaps Vienna was a case of homelessness being shoved out of view into slums or something. But after digging a bit, I learned that Vienna does have some homeless population. It just doesn't have the numbers or the homelessnessproblem that most modern large cities do, thanks to its 100-year-old approach to affordable housing.


In the late 19th century, Vienna faced a huge housing and economic crisis. It was bad, even contributing to a tragically young life expectancy in 1900.

To address the problem, from 1919 to 1934, the city poured tax revenue into public housing—but not like any public housing most of us have ever seen. Known as as Volkswohnungspaläste, or “people’s apartment palaces," the homes that were built were multi-story apartment blocks built with quality materials and beautified architectural details. They included green spaces and playgrounds and were built with easy access to medical facilities, schools, libraries, post offices and theater spaces.

The ideas was that government housing should be conducive to a good quality of life for all. And this novel concept has been at the heart of the approach to housing in Vienna ever since. Today, more than 60% of the Viennese population lives in government-subsidized housing and nearly nearly half of the housing market is city-owned flats or cooperative apartments. There is no stigma attached to public housing, which is interspersed throughout the city.

While other European cities began to privatize and commodify housing in the 1980s and 90s, Vienna held the course, viewing housing as a human right. And now it's being named the "world's most livable city" almost every year. Go figure.

In the fall of 2022, a delegation of 50 American tenant and homeless leaders, organizers, researchers, and elected officials visited Vienna to learn more about their social housing programs. Here were a few of their impressions they shared with "The Nation":

"The attitude there is so different than what we have in the United States. We have it ingrained that public things are supposed to be nasty, supposed to be the lowest of the low. But to see what we saw in Vienna, it was like, wow, it is achievable to have housing that is government-owned, for the people, and beautiful." – Julie Cohon, lead housing organizer at Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition

"I work hard. And, I still don’t have a safe place to live. In Vienna, we saw regular people who had not only safe but beautiful spaces. [When we were touring Sonnwendviertel, a 5,500 apartment social housing development not far from the city’s main train station], I kept noticing a lot of kids. And we saw how space was really designed for them: lots of day care centers and beautiful, car-free streets. What we saw is when the profit motive is taken out of housing, it’s a game changer." – Dorca Reynoso, board member of the Met Council Action

"My main reflections from Vienna was how long the culture of housing for all has been in existence. The quality of social housing was also interesting: the Viennese government chose maintaining well-constructed buildings, rather than demolishing and rebuilding every 30 to 50 years. The very first municipal complex was built in 1924 and is still fully occupied today." – India Walton, senior adviser at the Working Families Party

Is it possible to apply what has been learned in Vienna over the past century to other places? Why not? Considering the unaffordability of housing in so many cities, it seems worth a try. Housing isn't the only thing that makes Vienna a highly livable city, but it definitely plays a huge role. When housing is reasonably desirable at every price point and people aren't worried about affording a nice roof over their heads, it's easier to address the other things that make life good. It at least seems like a good place to start.


This article originally appeared on 12.9.23