Sarah Nicole Landry's awesome as-is body photos are a vital message for swimsuit season.

Swimsuit season is a time great angst for many women. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Some of us do a pretty good job of appreciating our bodies, right up until it's time to put on a swimsuit. Then the questions start flying: Does this suit make me look chunky? Do my boobs look weird? Do my thighs look like cottage cheese? Is my pooch too obvious? Is my butt too big?

After that come the "Ugh, look" statements. Ugh, look at that cellulite. Ugh, look at that roll. Ugh, look at that back fat, those saddlebags, those cankles.

And finally, the judgments. I'm too out of shape. I should cover that up. No one wants to see that. My [fill in the body part] looks so gross. I'm too embarrassed to be seen like this.


This woman's powerful 'before and after' photos crush myths about body positivity.

And there it is. The swimsuit season body bashing that comes too easily to too many of us. We know it's not healthy to do this to ourselves. We know that we should love our bodies even if they aren't perfect. We know that we don't need to look like a Victoria's Secret model to go to the beach… and yet we end up back at this familiar place in front of the mirror every summer.

Sometimes we need a firm reminder that the way our bodies look in a swimsuit isn't something we need to fret about. Like, at all.

Sarah Nicole Landry's awesome as-is photos of her body come with this vital message.

Landry is the woman behind The Birds Papaya—a blog, an Instagram page, and a newly minted podcast—and her take on body positivity is inspiring thousands.

For example, in a post on Instagram, Landry shared a photo of the skin on her belly squished into a heart with her fingers.

"Many of us have skin like this," she wrote, "From whatever growth or change happened in our bodies.⁣⁣

Skin that wrinkles and folds, yet is soft and delicate. Skin that did a good job. Skin that did exactly what it was supposed to do."

"Sharing this was not an act of bravery," she wrote. "It was a moment of me wanting to show up and share something that I'd come to learn was normal. It was from the desire to find connection and peace in my own body by freeing myself of the holds of a lie that said this skin, MY SKIN, was the reason why I could never have a 'good body.'" ⁣⁣

Another photo she shared on Facebook and Instagram is resonating with thousands as we slide into swimsuit season.

It's a picture of Landry by the pool in a one-piece swimsuit, looking gorgeous—but not "model-perfect."

Landry's message with the photo drives home the point that we don't owe the world anything. We can show up just as we are.

There's something powerful in being seen and accepted just the way we are in this moment.

In a world of Photoshop and airbrushing, anytime a woman shares a photo of her honest-to-goodness body, it gives others permission to feel comfortable in their own.

Jameela Jamil has some choice words for Amber Rose about promoting a diet tea to pregnant women.

The body positivity movement has been around for a while now, and more and more women are sharing unapologetic photos of their real bodies. But honestly, there can never be too many reminders that our bodies are okay as-is. That we don't need to be embarrassed by cellulite or avoid the pool because we have a pooch. That we can show up and be here in our own skin.

Bodies are constantly changing anyway. Some of us are super fit in this moment, and that's great. Some of us have baby-bearing bodies, and that's great. Some of us are good with our girth, and that's great. Some of us want to lose pounds for various reasons, and that's great too. Whatever your body is right now is what it is. It may change, it may not.

But it doesn't have to be anything other than what it is in this moment for you to be here, worthy and accepted, just as you are.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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