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For the very last time, President Obama and the first lady hosted a state dinner in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2016.

Photo by Shawn Thew - pool/Getty Images.

They graciously welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, to the White House with open arms.

Photo by Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images.


And the two power couples showed the world why diplomacy is certainly the most fashionable way to go about foreign policy, that's for sure.

Photo by Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images.

Unsurprisingly, however, it was FLOTUS' dress that really got people talking.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Because, yes, it was downright stunning.

Photo by Shawn Thew/Getty Images.

But the story behind why the first lady chose to wear it makes it an even more beautiful look.

The dress by Donatella Versace — who famously rescued her brother's company and turned it into a thriving Italian brand amid doubts she'd be able to do so — was a nod to the visiting prime minister and his wife. But Michelle Obama's choice to wear the rose gold shimmering waterfall of a gown had an even more underlying feminist message behind it, according to The New York Times.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Michelle Obama's dress was made of chainmail — metal armor, essentially. And that speaks volumes about the type of message she wanted to send.

The gown was symbolic of female strength — a testament to the resiliency of a woman willing to fight for her beliefs and protect herself from bullies that might come along the way.

"When they go low, we go high," the first lady said on stage at the Democratic National Convention this past summer.

Her dress from Tuesday night summed that message up quite nicely.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The first lady rocked the Versace gown in the wake of what's being called "the most powerful speech of the 2016 campaign" — an address she gave to voters in New Hampshire about the dire need to respect girls and women.

“I can’t stop thinking about this," she said during her speech, citing Donald Trump's discussion of sexual assault caught on tape. "It has shaken to me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

"I have to tell you that I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally, and I’m sure that many of you do too, particularly the women," the first lady said. "The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman."

“I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong,” she concluded. “And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough."

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

Like other first ladies before her, Michelle Obama often wears gowns that send a message above and beyond aesthetics.

Her royal blue dress at the Democratic National Convention, for example, was designed by Christian Siriano, an artist recognized for body positivity and inclusiveness within the fashion industry. Its sentiments fell in line with her powerful speech illustrating the value of national togetherness.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

In 2009, when she wore a white gown by designer Jason Wu to the president's Inaugural Ball, it was chosen as a show of hope and refreshed optimism — turning the page, in a sense, as the country struggled to climb out of the Great Recession.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

Michelle Obama's last state dinner is a tough pill to swallow for the many Americans who saw her as so much more than your standard first lady.

Much like her dress for this last state dinner, Obama's time in the White House represents what many of us aspire to be: strong, hopeful, and, even in the face of the most difficult of circumstances, having the ability to stay true to yourself.

Writing for The New York Times magazine, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie perfectly explained how the first lady's grit and resolve in the face of opposition shaped her into nothing short of an icon:

"The insults, those barefaced and those adorned as jokes, the acidic scrutiny, the manufactured scandals, the base questioning of legitimacy, the tone of disrespect, so ubiquitous, so casual. She had faced them, and sometimes she hurt and sometimes she blinked, but throughout, she remained herself."

Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images.

So, yeah. After eight years of being the first lady, chain mail was the perfect choice.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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