+
True
Maybelline New York Beauty & Beyond

When '90s supermodel Christy Turlington had her first child in 2003, her life changed.  

After she gave birth to her daughter Grace, she started hemorrhaging because of a retained placenta. Thankfully, she was in a hospital surrounded by experienced medical practitioners and life-saving equipment, which ultimately kept her out of danger.

The distressing experience led Christy to learn more about the complication she experienced which is when she uncovered some harrowing facts about childbirth.


Christy Turlington Burns in Hinche, Haiti. Photo by Kassia Meador.

While a retained placenta only affects 2% of mothers and is usually easily treated in hospital, it has a high rate of mortality for mothers in the developing world.

"In trying to understand what happened to me, I learned that hundreds of thousands of girls and women die each year from the same and other complications," writes Christy in an email.

That was it for Christy. From then on, she made it her mission to break down barriers between mothers-to-be around the world and the health care they need.

Christy in Tanzania at Oldonyo Sambu health dispensary with local maternal health advocate Mackrine Rumanyika, mother Lightness Sisitivi, and her baby in 2015. Photo by Heather Armstrong.

Her first major project in this vein was a documentary called "No Woman No Cry." It focuses on the struggles pregnant women and young mothers face in the developing world as well as in the United States.

When Christy traveled to other countries, she saw firsthand just how difficult it can be for women to access proper health care. It was a defining experience and ultimately led her to get her master's degree at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in 2008.

"No Woman No Cry" ended up being her first of several documentaries that show how small facilitations can often be the difference between life and death.

The documentary came out in 2010, which is also when Christy founded Every Mother Counts — a nonprofit that advocates for improvements to maternal and infant care.

[rebelmouse-image 19533019 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Christy in Bangladesh in 2009 shooting "No Woman No Cry" with crew, Clancy McCarty, Dina Hossain, and Wellington Bowler. Photo by Josh Estey." expand=1]Christy in Bangladesh in 2009 shooting "No Woman No Cry" with crew, Clancy McCarty, Dina Hossain, and Wellington Bowler. Photo by Josh Estey.

"The point of both [the documentary and the nonprofit] is to educate the public about a global tragedy and invest funds raised to improve access to quality and respectful maternity care," explains Christy.

And that's not limited to countries in the developing world.

While 99% of maternal deaths occur there, the United States is only ranked 46 globally in terms of maternal health. In fact, maternal mortality in the U.S. is on the rise.

According to estimates, every nine minutes, a woman suffers from a life-threatening birth complication in this country. And since 1 in 4 Americans live in areas where medical care is scarce, a disproportionate number of those complications can lead to death.

Perhaps the most upsetting stat, however, is that 98% of maternal deaths worldwide are preventable.

Thanks to Christy and her nonprofit's tireless efforts, these issues are finally getting the attention they deserve, and things are slowly but surely starting to change.  

Happy International Women's Day! To celebrate #IWD2018, members of the Every Mother Counts team are in Washington, D.C....

Posted by Every Mother Counts on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Change, however, won't happen without improved access to three things: transportation, skilled medical attendants, and medical supplies. It might sound simple, but in countries where women have to walk miles just to get clean water, they're often incredibly hard to reach.

Every Mother Counts' priority is to increase access to these life-saving elements in the United States, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Uganda, Tanzania, India, and Haiti. So far, their work has positively affected the lives of over 650,000 women and children to date.

And they're not alone in their fight to improve maternal care worldwide. In 2010, Melinda Gates announced that the Gates Foundation would invest $1.5 billion over five years promoting maternal and child health, family planning, and nutrition in developing countries. And just this month, they declared they'll be adding another $170 million to that.

What's more, Maybelline — the beauty brand that Christy has represented for years — has stood behind her activism every step of the way.

You don't need to have a ton of money or influence to support this issue though. The nonprofit's site has a number of different ways you can get involved.

Inspired everyday by our founder, Christy Turlington Burns who completed the Kilimanjaro Half last month & the London...

Posted by Every Mother Counts on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You can follow Christy's example and be a running ambassador for the cause. There are official charity races you can participate in, too, or you can simply run on behalf of Every Mother Counts in the race of your choice.

Not a runner? No problem — you can also host a fundraising event or pledge to support bipartisan, no-cost legislation that will bring midwives and obstetricians to areas in the U.S. that are lacking them.

No matter your ability or capacity, you can be a part of the social change so desperately needed all over the world. As long as you have the drive, you can make life better for moms and new babies alike.

It just means taking your good intentions and acting on them as soon as possible.

Christy offers this Martin Luther King Jr. quote for inspiration: "The time is always right to do right."

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

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.

Blake's owner sings and he "sings" along.

When a dog howls along to music, are they complaining because the music hurts their ears, or are they actually trying to sing along?

Most likely, it's the latter—or something like it. According to the American Kennel Club, research shows that canines do actually have a sense of pitch and can differentiate between different tones. That ability stems from their wolf ancestors, who each howl at a different pitch as more and more wolves join in on a group howl.

So when Blake the rescue Rottweiler joins his owner in a viral TikTok video duet, perhaps he's really trying to "sing" along with her.

Keep ReadingShow less

As the saying goes, "You have to kiss a few frogs..."

Dating has certainly evolved over the years—we’ve gone from courtship being purely a financial arrangement (not that this trend has ever truly died) to knights jousting for a lady’s favor, to casual hookups … and now, romance is primarily found through an app more than anything else.

Technology used for meeting that special someone has become so advanced that you can base your search entirely upon specific interests. Like … oddly specific interests. Think a fellow cat person would be the purrfect match? There’s an app for that. Wish to “love long and prosper” with a fellow Trekkie? There’s an app for that too.

No matter the changes, one thing remains the same—dating is awkward. It’s got all the unspoken formalities of a job interview, disguised as innocent fun. The balance between playing it too cool and too eager is hard to find even for the smoothest among us, and usually results in total embarrassment. Even if we aren’t the ones committing those embarrassing acts ourselves, we are often the reluctant witness to them.

Terrible dates might not always be fun in the moment, but they can be just as important as the good ones. They can teach us a lot about ourselves and what qualities we want in a partner. And at the very least, they can teach us to embrace social clumsiness with a sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share a “funny or embarrassing first date story” for his ever popular #Hashtags segment. The best part—some of these awful first dates ended in marriage. There’s hope for us all.

Below, find 15 stories that are truly the best of the worst. How do some of your first dates compare?

1. "After a nice dinner, she invited me to her house. On the way up, inside the elevator, I decided to push the button to stop between floors and give her a kiss... She had a phobia of closed spaces and she smacked my face as a reflex, two punches after we were kissing and laughing.” – @PanqueAlgarvio

2. “His jeans were so tight he couldn’t sit down. Stood at a bar stool the whole time.” – @onlyintheozarks

3. “Waiting 4 my date when an older couple asked me for a ride. my date came up and said sure! We drove them home & they asked us to come in. Date said “sure”. I pulled him back & asked why he wanted to hang w/strangers. He said ‘sh@t! YOU DON'T KNOW THEM!?’ We bolted!” – @natashaham75

facebook dating

Talk about a fashion faux pas.

Giphy

4. “Before the date, we had been chatting about books we liked and I talked about a great book I just read. We went on the date. I loaned her the book. She ghosted me.” – @thenextbarstool

5. “The worst first date I ever had was when my date locked his keys in the car and I had a curfew so he had to break his car window out to get me home on time. Didn’t think I’d ever see him again but we wound up married.” – @csleblan

6. “First date movie ‘Basic Instinct’ not realizing how suggestive it was. We just thought it was a mystery thriller! We left the movie discussing how each character could have actually murdered someone. We're married now.” – @Southrnbell_Amy

black people meet

There are worse first date movies tbh.

Giphy

7. “First date with my ex husband was a double date with his parents. The preview for ‘Speed Racer’ came on, and she leaned over me to say to her son, ‘You know what your dad's nickname in the bedroom is?’" – @theostoria

8. “A friend asked me on a double date as a blind date with his date's friend. I went to the bathroom and came back just in time to hear my date say to her friend, ‘why do I get the ugly one?’ I said good night to all three and headed home, leaving her w/the bill.” – @StevenTrustum

9. “He loved cheese. I was subjected to a 2 hour conversation/lecture about cheese, and why cottage cheese is not cheese!” – @Optimist_Eeyore

bumble

I'd like to see this two-hour cheese lecture.

Giphy

10. “He took me to an Asian fish market. We walked around looking at live & dead fish for a while. I don’t like seeing dead animals & I don’t eat seafood. Then we sat on a curb & he pulled out a ziplock bag of pineapple for us to share. I don’t like pineapple.” – @markayhali

11. “My cousin set up a first date for me with a family friend. During a break from dinner, Mr. Man follows me into the ladies’ room, comes up close and says in a low voice, ‘I shave my butt.’ Can’t remember what I said in response but the evening ended abruptly.” – @carli_zarzana

12. “I once took out my high school crush to a sports bar and ordered the spiciest wings there in an attempt to impress her. Not only was she not impressed. The next morning I woke up with heartburn.” –@Dmonster38

tindr conversation starters

Talk about a hot date.

GIF

13. “My date showed up with his bestie and girlfriend, and they talked through dinner about people I don’t know. Walking to the car, he gave me a wedgie because he thought he hadn’t been paying enough attention to me.” – @surrealDazey


14. “I was taking my date home and was pulled over by the police for speeding. When the cop came to my car, she jumped out and told him she had to get home. She walked home and I never heard from her again. I'm not sure who's #WorstFirstDate it was mine or hers!” – @eastriverbear

15. “After an evening of dancing with a first date, leaving the dance hall, I had to take a quick pee break. Rushing out to the parking lot, I see a lady, I grab her and swoop her around, and plant a big wet kiss on the lips. She was another guy's wife. Oops!” – @seadogskamore

date you

Only Gomez could have gotten away with it.

Giphy