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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

An English doctor named Edward Jenner took incredible risks to try to rid his world of smallpox. Because of his efforts and the efforts of scientists like him, the only thing between deadly diseases like the ones below and extinction are people who refuse to vaccinate their kids. Don't be that parent.

Unfortunately, because of the misinformation from the anti-vaccination movement, some of these diseases have trended up in a really bad way over the past several years.



Wellness involves a lot of personal choices and the tradeoff between personal liberty and shared public good.

Measles is the starkest example. There were about 61 cases of measles in all of 2012, but in just the first seven months of 2014, there have been nearly 600.

As this chart shows, vaccinations are not like taxes rates or even freedom of speech. The impact of one's personal health choices can have a significant impact on the population around them, in their communities and even on a national level. It makes that trade-off all the more complicated and one not easily distilled into one convenient political or religious ideology.

Obviously, the topic of vaccinations has become immensely more complicated since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. But history teaches us valuable lessons and information is power. No matter how you feel about vaccines today, this chart is a reminder that medical science can be used for incredible good. Without breakthrough vaccinations in the past, many of us would likely not be here to have the debate about our personal choices now and into the future.


This article originally appeared on 11.21.14 and this infographic is based on data from 2012.

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.

Pop Culture

Woman explains why she 'never returns' her shopping cart, sparking huge debate

“I’m not returning my shopping cart. You can judge me all you want.”

Photo credit: Canva, @drlesliedobson/TikTok

“I’m not returning my shopping cart. You can judge me all you want.”

The “shopping cart theory,” supposedly sprung to life from an anonymous 4chan user in May 2020, states that whether or not a person returns their shopping cart is “the ultimate litmus test” for if said person is “capable of self governing.”

The theory surmises that since returning a shopping cart is both an easy and “objectively right” thing to do, but not legally enforced, “good” people will do so in an effort simply because it’s the right thing to do. Conversely, “bad” people won’t do it out of selfishness or entitlement.

However, forensic psychologist and mom Dr. Leslie Dobson seems to disagree with the concept, and recently went viral for explaining why she never returns her shopping cart.

“I’m not returning my shopping cart,” she said in a clip posted to TikTok. “You can judge me all you want.”

From her perspective, it’s a safety issue. “I’m not getting my groceries into my car, getting my children into the car and leaving them in the car to go return the cart. So if you’re gonna give me a dirty look…F- -k off.”

@drlesliedobson #groceryshopping #shoppingcart #traderjoes #protectourchildren #protectourkids #educational #groceries #singlemom #drleslie ♬ original sound - Dr. Leslie

Dobson’s take left viewers baffled, many of whom shared criticism in the comments section.

“Shopping cart return stations are all over the parking lot — so never really more than 20 seconds away and you still can’t be bothered?” one person wrote.

“I’m a single disabled momma. I have a placard and thus park in the handicap spots. I rely on the cart to help me walk and still walk the cart to the corral and hobble back to my car,” said another.

This prompted Dobson to share a follow-up video in which she stated that "Last year, 265 children were abducted in parking lots in America, half of those were sexually assaulted. As a single mom returning your shopping cart, you are prime for a predator to watch and grab you."

@drlesliedobson

♬ original sound - Dr. Leslie

According to Fox News, that statistics comes from Kids and Car Safety, which reports that 265 cars had been stolen with children alone inside in 2022, though not all in parking lots. Also worth noting: the same fact sheet doesn't mention sexual assault, however, it does say that theives frequently steal cars not knowing a child is inside, and will then abandon the car or the child on the side of the road.

In her video. Dobson also noted that in many states, like California, it’s illegal to turn your car on and walk away in a parking lot, and said that in certain congested cities like Los Angeles (where she resides) it could be a “12 minute walk” from the car to back to the store to return a shopping cart.

With both her clips, people argued that there were obvious ways to both return carts and keep kids nearby at the same time.

“1) put groceries in the car 2) walk with the kids in the cart to the cart house 3) return cart 4) walk back to the cars with kids,” one viewer wrote.

Another seconded, “mom of a 6yo, 3yo and 9months. I simply unload the groceries, return cart WITH kids, and then load them in. Same way that we got out of the car. Simple.”

Regardless of whether or not you agree with Dobson’s specific stance, it’s fascinating how this universal aspect of daily life reflects how individuals view society as a whole.

Back in 2017, anthropologist and author Krystal D’Costa wrote not one, but two articles for the Scientific American dissecting all the ways in which someone might or might not return their shopping cart. After receiving thousands of comments from “Returners,” “Never Returners” and everywhere in between, she concluded that no matter what category you might fall into, “the main point is that we all need to look around us and think not only about ourselves and our comforts but those of others.” That includes both cart abandoners and those that might judge them for doing so.

Bottom line: it's often the way we handle the most mundane parts of our day that reflect our views on life as a whole. Maybe that’s why something like grocery etiquette becomes such a hot button issue so easily.

A mother confronts her daughter for judging her friend's weight.

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

Parenting

Mom calls on pediatricians to do better and encourages parents to advocate for girls of color

"The doctor said 'yes this looks like early puberty and if your daughter were caucasian we would order further testing and evaluations.'"

Mom calls on doctors to do better for little girls of color

It's not a secret that racial bias can sneak into medical setting. There have been studies that reveal some doctors still believe disproven beliefs like Black people have thicker skin, a higher threshold for pain or are "drug seeking" when requesting medication to manage their pain. These beliefs and others like them can become obstacles to appropriate and timely treatment.

When people think of these scenarios, they often think of these things happening to adults. Unfortunately, racial biases affect children of color as well which can delay vital treatment. A mom who goes by the screen name Nursebblay put out an urgent PSA for parents who have Black and Latina girls after her experience with her daughter's pediatrician.

Nursebblay is mom to a Black 7-year-old girl who started showing concerning signs of early puberty, which prompted the mom to schedule an appointment with the pediatrician. But to her surprise, her concerns about her very young daughter starting puberty were dismissed.



She explains that her daughter started to have increased perspiration, attitude changes and pre-pubescent hair growth. When meeting with the pediatrician about the puberty symptoms, the doctor informs the worried mom, "'yes, this is early puberty and had your daughter been caucasian we would order further testing and evaluations.' But because my daughter is Black and Black and Latina girls go through puberty really early he felt that nothing else was necessary, we were good to go."

Thankfully the mom isn't accepting of that answer and pushes to see a pediatric endocrinologist to double check. The specialist responds to the mom in an email expressing the same sentiment is expressed calling it "normal." Nursebblay replies demanding that her daughter be treated based on symptoms and not the color of her skin.

See her video plea here:

@nursebblay

As a mom I want personalized care for my children. All peoole should be treated based on the symptoms that they are having. My daughter was inly 7 years old when she started having symptoms, and we were dismissed. #parentingtips #parentingjourney #parentinghacks #tipsparenting #homeschooling #ilmuparenting #parentlife #homeschool #draisahdahlan #kidsbelike #gentleparenting #raisingkids #parentingana #parenthood #parentsoftiktok #toddlertantrums #childcare #kidsactivities #toddlerlife #labtestforkids #toodler #tumbuhkembanganak #sensoryplay #mom #prettyblackgirl #blackgirl #blackwomen #blackwoman #blackmen #blackgirlmagic #earthyblackgirl #blackgirlhairstyles #blackgirlcontentcreator #blackwomenoftiktok #blackgirlsrock #hairappointment #blackmenoftiktok #blackgirltiktokers #birminghamhairstylist #aliciakeysbraids #dreadslocks #locsoftiktok #pinkhair #blackgirltok #darkskin #brownskin #womenwithlocs #brownskingirl #darkskingirl #hispana #latinas #latinasbelike #hispanic #girlies #mexican #girly #prettygirls #citygirls #girlsbeinggirls #girlthings #womanhood #latina #latinastiktok #imjustagirlintheworld #girlproblems #imjustagirl #girlie #tallgirls #rbf #thickerthanasnicker #girlhood #girlll #girlypop #hottie #puertorican #imher #girlmath #oldermomsoftik #tallgirl #girlsnightout #girltok #girlsbelike #prettyprivilege #grils #yourworldwithin #evolved #questioned #threatened #buzzing #equally #ambitious #professionally #bouncing #klled #devastating #heavily #leapyear #grandkids #plotting #poorly #observation #disappearance #forsure #perceived #determined #thenvsnow #pandemic #terribly #procrastinating #tweak #realizing #thriving #embraced #thirty #sophomore #frostbite #tremendous #sexuality #flown #nutshell #TrendTok #TrendTokApp

After finally seeing the pediatric endocrinologist, the frustrated mom receives her daughter's results. They're abnormal. In fact the doctor wants to order an MRI and further testing to check the little girl's adrenal glands.

In her follow up video, the mom is clear that she's not using her platform to try to "take down" a doctor or the medical establishment. She's using her platform to educate parents on this bias so they can properly advocate for their children. The mom is also putting a call out for medical providers to take these situations seriously no matter the ethnicity or race of the child as things could be missed. Commenters flooded her comments with gratitude and heartbreak for their own experiences.

See her follow up here:

"This makes me so angry. This happened to us as well. Unfortunately by the time my daughter was seen her growth plates had closed. She was only 12 at the time," one mom reveals.

"As a father of a Latina girl, I really appreciate this information, thank you mom," one dad says.

"I always had symptoms and doctors dismissed it..my parents trusted doctors. They trusted their education. It's not my immigrant parents fault! Now I'm in my 20s dealing w pcos & so many side effects," another commenter writes.

"The same applies for boys...My son is 13 at 6'2" at 200lbs. The doctors only focused on his weight and finally one listened and ordered an IGF test or insulin-like growth factor. His range was that of a man in his 20's. Based on my own research if left untreated can lead to diabetes and endocrine, cardiovascular issues. Makes sense for PCOS," a mom says.

This mom isn't done advocating. In a more recent video she reveals she has taken the matter up with the hospital group's policy makers to make a systematic change on how they treat different races of children. Hopefully her advocacy goes a long was as it doesn't seem like she will be stopping any time soon.

Joy

8 life hacks that are so simple and effective it's surprising more people don't use them

From how to willingly get a cat in a carrier to handling annoying drivers, here are some solid life tips.

There are more creative ways to handle annoying drivers than flipping them the bird.

Have you ever come across a piece of advice that seem so obvious and awesome in hindsight that you can't believe you didn't think of it before?

"Life hacks" has become a bit of a buzz phrase in recent years, but there really are some habits and practices, often requiring minimum time and effort, that can be life-changing. Someone on Reddit asked people to share some of those "simple and effective" life hacks that people surprisingly don't know about or use, and the responses are a trove of "Oh, that's brilliant" tidbits of wisdom.


Here are some of the top tips:

How to get a cat to be comfortable in the cat carrier

Some cats don't mind the pet carrier, but a lot of cats act like it's made of lava.

"Leave the cat carrier out and open all the time. Then they don't panic when you get it out to go to the vet." – Mistie_Kraken

"That's a fantastic tip for reducing stress during vet visits! Keeping the cat carrier out and open as part of their environment helps them become familiar with it, making it less scary when it's time to use it. It's a simple adjustment that can make a big difference in your cat's overall well-being." – designsbymtj

"There’s probably still some anxiety inducing unfamiliar smells and sounds at the vet and also in the car. But at least he seems to like his carrier, that’s one stressor reduced." – twilightramblings


kitchen sink

Pipes can get funky when they haven't been flushed in a while.

Photo by Andrew Valdivia on Unsplash

A quick and easy sink pipe swipe

Stinky pipes? A little regular maintenance of hot water and gravity can take care of it.

"Every now and then, maybe once a week, fill up your kitchen sink(s) completely full of water, then pull the plug and let the water go down the drain in a big rush. The force of the water pushes out a lot of the slimy crud that has gathered in the pipes. No more clogged sinks." – PaulsRedditUsername

"Use almost boiling water to cut any grease in there as well!" – sunshinesmileyface

"I had a strange smell coming from my kitchen sink but fixed it by boiling some water and then pouring it down my sink." – dirtymoney

"Even better, first pour some vinegar down the drain. Then 10 or so minutes later let the sink fill up with hot water. (as hot as you can make it) And let that drain. Gets rid of even more slimy crud!" – Sanquinity

Write down those fleeting moments of potential brilliance

We always think we're going to remember, but we always, always forget.

"Always write down momentarily good ideas. Don’t lean on your memory." – bunny_shortcake

"And in complete sentences! Don't write "fridge pants," write out the whole thought like a stranger needs to understand it." – NeuHundred

"Yep. I shower before going to bed and I get some good ideas then. After the shower I write the idea down on a pad of paper that I keep at my desk just for ideas." – tc_cad

"Keep a journal near your bed. I've gotten AMAZING ideas in dreams. No, you won't remember when the alarm goes off, spend two minutes jotting down details at 2 am. Trust me." – Conscious-Shock7728

Be as kind and courteous as possible to customer service people

A little kindness can go a long way.

"Being genuinely nice to a customer service person (hotel, phone center, server, whatever) will get you way more free stuff then the people who yell and escalate for it. I had gig speed internet for a year for $20 a month because I asked the guy with genuine sencerity how his day was while dealing with an issue I should have been mad about. (He told me at the end of the call that he updated my internet package and to not question the bill next month)

Sometimes, you get nothing free out of it. But customer service people get yelled at all the time. They recognize people being jerks for free stuff. What they don't see often is kindness in a difficult situation.

Be genuine and out of your way kind, and the amount of free stuff you will get will surprise you." – mybossthinksimmormon

"Can confirm. Am customer service. Terms & agreements are the law of the land for assholes. Nice people? Wavy, gravy with those rules & what can I throw in for cheap or free." – bagolaburgernesss

"I worked in a high end hotel for the better part of my early twenties to early 30s. I couldn't tell you how many upgrades and free shit I gave to guests that were just decent to my staff and I. Literally for just not being jerks. Suite? You got it. Free room service? Absolutely. Comp Concert Tickets? I got you." – NotYourGoldStandard

closeup image of a shower head

Vinegar is the key to a clogged shower head.

Photo by Caleb Wright on Unsplash

Clogged or covered in minerals? Soak that sucker in vinegar.

It's incredible how much vinegar can do.

"People throwing out shower heads because the stream gets weak. Soak that shit in vinegar for 24 hours and you’ll have a brand new shower that will be as powerful as the day you bought it.

Edit: white or cooking vinegar. If you can’t remove the shower head, plastic bag and rubber bands." – Trytolearneverything

"Honestly, cleaning anything with vinegar is a huge life hack. It’s non-toxic, cleans really well, disinfects, keeps bugs away and can kill your weeds without poisoning the soil/ground water. It’s also a fabulous fabric softener and is great in the dishwasher too.

Editing to add that cleaning vinegar is better than cooking vinegar for these things as it’s more concentrated but both will do the trick. :)" – girl_in_flannel

Make it near impossible to forget something on the way out the door

Pair what you need to remember with something you know you can't forget.

"If you need to remember to take something with you the next day, put it in a bag and hang it on your doorknob the night before. If it's paperwork or mail, tape it to your door to where it's covering the handle. Usually if it's left on a kitchen counter or a side table or something like that, it will be forgotten if you're one of those get-out-the-door-at-the-last-minute the last minute type of people (like myself)." – goodmeowtoyou

"If I have something I have to take (from home/work whatever) I literally put my keys in the bag. Physically can't leave without touching the bag." – SerpensPorcus

"Or put it on top of your shoes if you keep your shoes by the door you go out.." – somercurial

Read the instructions. Seriously.

Sounds simple enough, but there are a lot of people who simply refuse.

"Read. Manuals, directions, instructions, etc. Most of your questions will be answered." – tabitharr

"I used to joke about this when I sold electronics. 'Real men don't read instructions....they come to me to tell them how the magic device works....'" – OddgitII

"I stick the manuals in a file folder in case I need to refer to it later. Plus if I sell the item it’s nice to have it to pass on." – kindlycloud88

"Once bought a $50 carbon monoxide detector. Took it out of the box, put the batteries in, lights turned on on the front: there was a funny looking little tab on the back, and impulsively, I depressed the tab.

Lights turned off, and did not turn back on.

Huh.

I read through the directions. That tab was the 'kill carbon monoxide detector completely and permanently' button, for when it’s useful life is over and it won’t stop emitting “I’m dying” chirps.

Felt like a massive dumbass." – spooky_spaghetties


Man in a van smiling and giving a thumbs up sign

Thumbs up, buddy!

Photo by RDNE Stock project/Pexels

Alternative 'hand signals' that work better than the bird

No need to fuel anyone's road rage. If you have a twitchy middle finger, try these alternatives.

"Instead of flipping people off while driving, give them a thumbs down. Flipping them off makes them defensive and angry. A thumbs down makes them feel stupid." – dragon0069

"Oh, my God. A few months back I was at a stop sign, trying to turn left. It sucked because it's one of those roads where you have to continuously look in each direction due to bends and hedges blocking the view. After some back and forth I finally thought I was in the clear. Right as I pull up a little more, this guy comes barreling down the hill GIVING ME A THUMBS DOWN. I will never forget it. I didn't feel stupid but like such a let down lmao I'd rather get the finger, laying on a horn or someone yelling at me. Literally anything else. It will haunt me forever. I'm still sorry about it!!" – popperboo

"I actually go the passive aggressive route & give a thumbs up 😂" – gallad00rn

"Or, if they are really annoying and want to provoke you, just smile at them and give them a friendly wave (and laugh as you watch them get even angrier)." – islandhopper37

"Blow kisses. It really seems to make them annoyed." – Unique-Union-9177

"I’ve always done a queen wave with great success." – eastofliberty