The one competition that no one signed up for, but everyone is in
True
SK-II

If you've ever felt as if life is one big beauty pageant you somehow wandered into, you wouldn't be wrong. It often seems as if society values a woman's looks more than it values her intelligence and ability. A 2017 Pew Research center poll on gender differences found that physical attractiveness was the top trait mentioned when asked what society values most in women. 35% of respondents said that beauty was the top quality for a woman to possess.


The constant pressure to fit into an arbitrary beauty standard is bad on its own, however many women also find themselves competing against each other, which is exacerbated by social media. It puts us in an unhealthy spot where we begin comparing ourselves to other women. However, the women we're comparing ourselves to are also comparing themselves to other women.

Simone Biles, the world's most decorated gymnast; LiuXiang, world-record holder swimmer; Ishikawa Kasumi, table tennis player and two-time Olympic medalist; Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo, badminton duo and Olympic gold medalists; Mahina Maeda, surfer; and Hinotori Nippon, Japan's volleyball team will all be competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - but they won't be competing with each other when it comes to their looks. These powerful athletes recently teamed up with global prestige skincare brand SK-II to take the competition out of beauty, sending the message that beauty is #NOCOMPETITION.

SK-II unveiled the #NOCOMPETITION campaign at the 2020 MAKERS Conference. "In today's society, if you want to be considered beautiful, you would have to look, act and feel a certain way. For example, on social media, to be beautiful is to have a certain type of physique, behave a certain way and portray to the world how happy and carefree you're feeling. More and more girls curate these 'perfect' social media profiles thinking this is the only way to be beautiful," Delphine Buttin, Global SK-II Olympic Games Program Leader, said. "But there should be no competing standards on how someone should look feel and act."

www.youtube.com

In a post to her Instagram account, Biles shared: "I've learned to put on a strong front and let most of it slide. But I'd be lying if I told you that what people say about my arms, my legs, my body ... of how I look like in a dress, leotard, bathing suit or even in casual pants hasn't gotten me down at times."

SK-II hopes that the #NOCOMPETITION campaign sparks conversations and inspires women to eschew toxic competitions when it comes to our beauty standards. "These toxic competitions dictate how we should look, feel and act, creating pressure that holds us back in our daily lives," SK-II said in a release. "It is the one competition that no one signed up for, but still everyone ends up in."

As part of SK-II's ongoing platform to #CHANGEDESTINY, they have declared beauty is #NOCOMPETITION. The heart of the SK-II brand philosophy celebrates how destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. Inspired by the stories of women from around the world, #CHANGEDESTINY sheds light on the pressures they have and the universal 'box' they are put in to be perfect in society's eyes. Award-winning #CHANGEDESTINY campaigns include 2016's "Marriage Market Takeover" that put a spotlight on the labels of "Sheng Nu" or "Leftover Women" in China, 2017's "The Expiry Date," 2018's "Meet Me Halfway," and 2019's "Timelines," a docu-series in partnership with Katie Couric about the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations women face globally.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Let's stop competing so we can start winning.

To find out more about #NOCOMPETITION and learn how you can support and lend your voice to the cause, please visit nocompetition.sk-ii.com


Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

Keep Reading Show less

Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

Keep Reading Show less