The internet loves Miss Iceland for quitting a beauty contest after getting fat-shamed.

This is 21-year-old reigning Miss Iceland Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir.

"We maybe don't understand each other," she once said of ending injustices, "but there is one language we all understand and should speak to stop the violence in this world — that's the language of understanding, kindness, and love."

Jónsdóttir was in the running for Miss Grand International, a world-famous beauty contest being held in Las Vegas.

But she just dropped out of the competition.


According to Jónsdóttir, she was body-shamed by the contest's owner.

And she's having none of it. Nawat Itsaragrisil, who owns the Miss Grand International contest, allegedly told Jónsdóttir that she was too fat to win, encouraging her to skip breakfast each day leading up to the competition, and to only eat salads and drink water to get by.

Jónsdóttir recently opened up about the incident in a Facebook post.

“I intend to stand up for myself, women everywhere, and the Icelandic people," she wrote. "I will not let them tell me I am too fat to look good on stage. I have quit. I will not be taking part in Miss Grand In­ternati­onal.”

“I am coming home a winner and the proudest Icelander in the world," her post concludes.

Jónsdóttir has gotten a lot of applause from people agreeing with her decision to quit.

“It’s a big disgrace how they [treated] you, not only for you, but to a lot of other younger girls," wrote one fan, The Daily Beast reported. "Wrong signal. You’re beautiful and please never change! We love you just like you are."

Not everyone was impressed by Jónsdóttir, though.

"Wait," wrote one Redditor. "She competes in international beauty contests, but this is where she draws the line against normative beauty standards?"

"So you're okay with being in a contest where you're solely judged on your looks," wrote another, "but only so long as they say nice things about you?"

Comments like that, however, forget that each of us have the authority to draw our own line when it comes to our personal comfort level, especially when it comes to the absurdity of beauty standards — after all, to some degree, we're all guilty of conforming to flawed cultural expectations around physical appearance.

One Redditor wrote in response to the critics:

"As much as you'd like to pretend that [everyday people] have no beauty standards, when you woke up today, you did some form of grooming, or hygiene. You showered or shaved or did something that conforms to a standard which was influenced by things you saw in the media and in the culture around you."

The debate over body-shaming and beauty contests has become a particularly hot topic in recent weeks, as Donald Trump's renewed attacks on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado became an election issue.

The GOP presidential nominee, who called Machado "Miss Piggy" about two decades ago, put immense pressure on her to diet and exercise after she gained weight following her 1996 pageant victory. He even had news reporters show up with cameras to document her fitness regimen.

The psychological burden on Machado — who was a teenager at the time — allegedly contributed to her years-long battle with anorexia and bulimia.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.

“Over the past 20 years, I’ve gone to a lot of psychologists to combat this," Machado said of the traumatic experience.

In Jónsdóttir's case, she has no qualms with saying goodbye to a pageant that won't accept her the way she is.

"If the owner of the contest really wants me to lose weight and doesn’t like me the way I am, then he doesn’t deserve to have me," Jónsdóttir said of the body-shaming, noting that she's proud of her broad shoulders because they reflect her time as an athlete.

As far as her plans to enjoy Las Vegas, now that she's in town anyway?

Eat good food," she said.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

When Donato Di Camillo was a kid, his family couldn't afford film for their Polaroid camera.

So instead, he ran around the house with a film-less camera pretending to be a hotshot photographer on an African safari, mimicking the heroes behind iconic photos he saw in the discarded National Geographic magazines his dad grabbed for him out of the garbage.

Years later, when Di Camillo found himself in prison after collecting a lengthy rap sheet of thefts, he discovered a library full of those same magazines.

While other inmates were working out or getting into trouble, he pored over old issues of National Geographic, Life, and Time.

Keep Reading Show less

There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

Keep Reading Show less