Hollywood has long put unrealistic body expectations on women, especially when it comes to pressure to be thin. However, men also deal with unrealistic expectations. As Hollywood produces superhero movie after superhero movie, men are exposed to bulky bodies like Thor's (who's literally a god). Yet, few physiques come with a "don't try this at home" disclaimer. Kumail Nanjiani recently posted a photo of his ripped body on Instagram, acknowledging the work it took to get there. Nanjiani is starring as Kingo in Marvel movie The Eternals, hence the suddenly cut abs.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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