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There's 1 simple question every parent should ask their kids tonight. It's about Santa.

Unlearning gender-based stereotypes is actually pretty easy. Here's how.

There's 1 simple question every parent should ask their kids tonight. It's about Santa.

Christmas is just a couple short weeks away, and there's no better time to think about Santa's physics-defying ride around the globe.

7 billion people, 10,000 homes per second, and just 48 hours (thank you, time zones!) to do it? It's not a job for just anyone. Clearly you have to have some major skills to pull it off.

But — does Santa have to be a man?


GIF from "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Anomaly, which is a creative agency behind the #MoreWomen campaign, set out to find out how integral Santa's gender is to the job of being Santa.

In the video, a group of kids is asked if a woman could do Santa's job.


And they want you to try this at home! GIFs via Anomaly.

The answers were kind of, well, disturbing.

It's not so much the whole "Santa has to be a man" aspect that's disturbing, but more the reasons why a female Santa just wouldn't work that raised some eyebrows.

That's exactly the point the video is trying to make.

Many of the kids' reasons why Santa couldn't be a woman centered around stereotypes.

There's the bad driver ...

... the mom ...

... the migraine-prone ...

... and the weak.

The video encourages parents to use the question about Santa as a way to talk to their kids about stereotypes.

Studies show that gender-based stereotypes (such as "women are weak" or "men are good drivers" or — well, you get the idea) are often learned at home and at a young age.

Which is neither to say that the kids nor their parents are anything other than lovely human beings. They probably are!

"Subtle gender differences between how mothers and fathers act could be imparting important lessons to children about what it means to be male and female." — Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience

But when parents' subconsciously model of their own parenting style off of those same gender roles, kids pick up on that.

Here's how Clara Moskowitz at LiveScience describes one study:

"Fathers issued more imperatives (such as 'Put the toy in the bag') and polite commands ('Why don't you try pushing that') than mothers, while mothers gave more play leads, such as 'Wanna look at the book?' or 'Let's see what's in this bag.
***
Ultimately, these subtle gender differences between how mothers and fathers act could be imparting important lessons to children about what it means to be male and female. The kids might pick up on the fact that daddies are more assertive and mommies are more passive and incorporate that into their own behavior over time."

Great Christmas movie or greatest Christmas movie? GIF from "Jingle All the Way."

And the same thing goes for what kids see in the media.

If the only behavior kids of all genders see as a representation of girls and women in movies and TV shows are them shopping, playing with dolls, and doing other traditionally feminine things, that's going to have a lasting effect on their whole concept of what girls are like.

Not that there's anything wrong with enjoying shopping. GIF from "Mean Girls."

Talking to your kids about stereotypes is just one way to help them unlearn them.

Unlearning stereotypes doesn't have to be hard. Really, it's as simple as making sure kids know that there are people who exist outside of them.

Show your kids sports heroes like Serena Williams, who shows that women don't have to be weak; comic strips that show that, yes, men can be emotional (and it's OK); videos that demonstrate how odd some of society's gender-based double standards are; or even just the fact that some people exist outside the gender binary.

The path to unlearning some of those stereotypes can begin with asking kids a question like "Could a woman do Santa's job?"

The key is to get young minds thinking about the world, questioning the limitations and stereotypes in place (another example: "Why is it always that a princess needs saving by a man? Why never a prince being saved by a woman?") and understanding that there are no limits to what they can do in life.


"Whoa, whoa, whoa, guys. Who says you can just 'win' me?" GIF from "The Princess Bride."

All of this is a part of why it's important to have diverse representation in media.

When kids are little, they're sponges for the world around them. And if all they see are very narrow depictions of what boys are "supposed" to be like and what girls are "supposed" to be like, they'll wind up trapping themselves in those boxes.

By starting this conversation, you're helping them process the amazing potential that is life!

So go ahead, ask your kids if a woman could do Santa's job. At very least, it'll start an interesting conversation.

Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande duked it out on Jimmy Fallon's 'The Tonight Show.'

There are pop stars, and then there are singers. While recording studio technology can make people sound like amazing singers, the proof is in their live performances.

Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande took it a whole step further on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," delivering not only a jaw-dropping live performance but doing so in the form of revolving pop diva hits in an "impossible karaoke" showdown. In less than five minutes, they showed off their combined ability to nail pretty much anything, from imitating iconic singers' styles to belting out well-known songs with their own vocal stylings.

Watch this and try not to be impressed:

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via © Jakub Gojda/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021 and © Zoe Ross /Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Two of the winners of the Comedy Pet Photo Awards.

A few weeks ago, Upworthy shared the hilarious winners of the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and the winner was a well-timed shot of a monkey who appears to have hurt the family jewels on a suspension wire. (Don't worry folks, no monkeys were harmed for the awards.)

The awards were created six years ago by Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks to promote positive awareness of animal welfare issues. The competition has been so successful, the duo decided to branch out and create the Comedy Pet Photo Awards, where photographers can submit pictures of their furry friends for a £2,000 ($2650) prize.

Donations generated by the competition go to Animal Support Angels, an animal welfare charity in the UK.

This year's winner is Zoe Ross for "Whizz Pop," a photo of her labrador puppy Pepper who appears to be tooting bubbles.

“We never ever thought that we would win but entered the competition because we loved the idea of helping a charity just by sending in a funny photo of Pepper," Ross said in a statement. "She is such a little monkey, and very proud of herself, bringing in items from the garden and parading past you until you notice her. She is the happiest puppy we’ve ever known and completely loved to pieces.”

Here are the rest of the winners of the 2021 Comedy Pet Photo Awards.

Overall Winner: Zoe Ross "Whizz Pop," Penkridge, UK

© Zoe Ross /Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Did this puppy swallow a bubble?

Best Dog Category: Carmen Cromer "Jurassic Bark," Pittsboro, North Carolina

© Carmen Cromer/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"My golden retriever, Clementine, loves to stick her face in front of the hose while I water the plants. Her expression in this photo made me think of a tyrannosaurus rex, hence the title, "Jurassic Bark." Duh nuh nuuuh nuhnuh, duh nuh nuuuh nuh nuh, dun duh duuuh nuh nuh nuh nUUUUUUhhhh," Carmen Cromer.

Best Cat Category: Kathrynn Trott "Photobomb," Ystradgynlais, UK

© Kathrynn Trott/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Jeff stealing the limelight from his brother Jaffa.

Best Horse Category: Mary Ellis, "I said 'Good Morning," Platte River State Park, Nebraska

© Mary Ellis/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"I like to visit the stable horses before I begin my hike at the State Park. This is the reply I received when I said 'Good morning,'" Mary Ellis.

All Other Creatures Category: Sophie Bonnefoi, "The Eureka Moment," Oxford, UK

© Sophie Bonnefoi/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Cutie and Speedy are two chicks hatched from eggs placed in an incubator at home in August 2020. They spent their first few weeks indoors. In the photo, they are just over two weeks old. They were curious about everything. This is the day they discovered their own shadow. It was hilarious to see them wondering and exploring that 'dark thing' that was moving with them!" Sophie Bonnefoi.

Junior Category: Suzi Lonergan, "Sit!" Pacific Palisades, California

© Suzi Lonergan/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Our granddaughter gave the command to sit. Beau is very obedient," Suzi Lonergan.

Pets Who Look Like Their Owners Category: Jakub Gojda, "That Was a Good One!" Czech Republic

© Jakub Gojda/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This photo was taken by accident during the photography of my ex-girlfriend with her beloved mare. For this cheerful moment, I thank the fly that sat on the horse's nose and he instinctively shook his head," Jakub Gojda.

Highly Commended: Chloe Beck, "Hugo the Photobomber," Walsall, UK

© Chloe Beck/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This is my best friend Faith, her husband Alex, and their cheeky Sproodle, Hugo. Faith wanted a photograph to mark a special occasion—her first outing after shielding at home for 14 months. Hugo jumped into the frame at just the right moment!" Chloe Beck.

Highly Commended: Luke O'Brien, "Mumford and Chum," Coventry, UK

© Luke O'Brien/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

​"Losing the opportunity to play with my human bandmates during lockdown, Flint, my rescue dog, soon taught me that we didn't just have sharp bones in common, but musical ones, too. He soon became the perfect substitute for a collaborative stomp up at home, so much so that we felt we deserved our own band name (Muttford and Chum). With my camera set up remotely during this shoot, I think it's fair to say that the image is proof that his conviction as a performer matches my own," Luke O'Brien.

Highly Commended: Kathryn Clark, "Wine Time," Clichester, UK

© Kathryn Clark/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"It's that time of day again! Little Blue enjoys it almost as much as me," Kathryn Clark.

Highly Commended: Diana Jill Mehner, "Crazy in Love with Fall," Paderborn, Germany

© Diana Jill Mehner/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

This is Leia. As you can see, she definitely loves playing with all the leaves in autumn. It was really tricky to take this picture because you never know what the dog is going to do next," Diana Jill Mehner.

Highly Commended: Christine Johnson, "Boing," Crosby Beach, UK

© Christine Johnson/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"I was busy playing with my dog on the beach and this dog came to play. I liked the shapes he was making in the air," Christine Johnson

Highly Commended: Manel Subirats Ferrer, "Ostrich Style," Platja del Prat de Llobregat, Spain

© Manel Subirats Ferrer/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Nuka playing hide and seek at the beach.

Highly Commended: Colin Doyle, "Nosey Nieghbor," Bromsgrove, UK

© Colin Doyle/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

​"According to Ozzy, we need a new fence panel ASAP. He is fed up with Chester our nosy next door neighbor spying on him every time he has a meal," Colin Doyle.

Highly Commended: Corey Seeman, "A Warm Spot on a Cold Day," Michigan

© Corey Seeman/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Two of the morning regulars at the dog park are Gary (hound mix with the jacket) and Kona, one of the most chill dogs ever," Corey Seeman.

Highly Commended: Lucy Slater, "So What?" San Diego, California

© Lucy Slater/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This is how I like to sit!" Vincent the cat.

Highly Commended: Mollie Cheary, "Photobomb," Poole, UK

© Mollie Cheary/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Bailey was so excited to see her friends, she couldn't sit still for a photo!" Mollie Cheary.

via PixaBay and PixaBay

A cat sitting funny and a happy pug.

When my old dog Murray really wanted to tell me something and his barking or pawing didn’t get the job done, he would start making sounds that I swear mimicked human speech. Now, I’m not entirely sure that he was attempting to get through to me as a member of my own species would, but I don’t know how else to explain this quirky behavior.

It’s pretty amazing when we see our pets cross the imaginary line that separates the species by exhibiting human-like behaviors. But if you were to try to explain them to someone who’s never had a dog or cat (or parrot you will soon see) most of them would probably just shrug it off.

So, I never really talked to anyone about my dog’s strange but funny human impersonation.

Reddit user DMLorance created a safe space for pet owners to share their stories that no one believes on the AskReddit subforum.

“Pet owners of Reddit. What quirk does your pet (past or present) do that nobody believes when you tell them?”

Here are 16 of the best responses.


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