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When you think of a "women's" version of a product, what comes to mind? Pink, purple, flowers, butterflies — stuff like that? It's kind of (very) ridiculous and, honestly, usually pretty pointless. Do we need pens for women? Or razors? Or the host of other lady-specific products? Most of the time, they're completely unnecessary. Like, why do earplugs need to be gendered anyway?

Musician and all-around badass Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, recently helped design a guitar better fit for women's bodies. And no, it doesn't come in pink.

Now, if you're not familiar with her music, there are two things you should know: 1. It's suuuuuuuper catchy, and 2. She knows how to absolutely shred on the guitar.


She teamed up with the folks over at Ernie Ball to create a custom signature guitar that people have been describing as "made for the female body."


Here's Clark during a 2014 show in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

This guitar is different than other unnecessarily gendered items because it serves a function and solves a problem.

As someone who spends months at a time on the road, playing guitar for hours at a time, night after night after night, Clark learned that she simply couldn't play some of the classic guitars she'd grown to love.

"For me a guitar that is not too heavy is really important because I’m not a very big person," she told Guitar World in December. "I can’t even play a Sixties Strat or Seventies Les Paul. I would need to travel with a chiropractor on tour in order to play those guitars. It’s not that those aren’t great guitars, but they render themselves impractical and unfunctional for a person like me because of their weight."


Clark with the new Ernie Ball St. Vincent signature model guitar, coming out next month. Photo by Ernie Ball/YouTube.

Neither Ernie Ball nor Clark refer to the guitar they designed as a "women's guitar," and ... that's kind of the point.

The new guitar is lightweight and shaped in a way that makes room for, as she put it in a recent Instagram post, "a breast. Or two," and is made with smaller-handed players in mind. Does this seem a bit more geared towards women than men? Sure. Does that mean it's only for women? Nah.

Gender can be complicated, and Clark's even written a song about it. "Prince Johnny," a track off her self-titled 2014 album, deals with society's hang-ups with what it means to be a real girl or a real boy.

"We get handed down these ideas of gender and sexuality," she told Rolling Stone in 2014. "You're supposed to be this or that. What happens if you float around the cracks and don't fit into these narrowly prescribed things?"


Clark sits down with a team from Ernie Ball during the design stage of the guitar's creation. Photo by Ernie Ball/YouTube.

So maybe that's the best way to think about her guitar. It's a new shape, a new design, and a new set of solutions for guitar players who'd been previously ignored by the industry. It doesn't need to come in pink to be a women's guitar, and it doesn't need to take classic shape to be a men's instrument.

It just is, and that's pretty cool. Maybe that's what the world needs more of.

Check out this short video about the making of the St. Vincent signature guitar below.

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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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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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.

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Hayden Panettiere proves what's best isn't always easy.

Parenting isn't always easy. I don't think there's a single person on this planet that would proclaim it's easy to parent a child and to parent that child well. But there's an additional layer to trying to be a good parent when you're also struggling with addiction. Hayden Panettiere knows that struggle all too well and recently went on Red Table Talk to discuss her life and the difficult decision she had to make when it came to parenting her daughter.

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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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