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We laugh about how girls are so mean to each other like it's just a given. Why?

Can we ever get to a point where that's not considered the norm?

We laugh about how girls are so mean to each other like it's just a given. Why?

Lauren Parsekian set out on a nationwide tour to find out why girls can be so mean to each other and how she might be able to help stop it. Ambitious, right?

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All of this leaves me thinking:


Via BuzzFeed.

Now, look. We know that bullying is not a gendered thing — it happens to girls and boys.

But the boy bullying dynamic is a bit different because of how boys and girls are socialized to express pack acceptance and rejection — boys are more often involved in more physical violence, while girls are more likely to engage in or be subject to verbal degradation. And girls are often playing these sick social games with each other because of internalized misogyny.

But think about it. "Mean Girls" was such a popular movie because the dynamics are SO universally relatable.

So many of us have been on the giving or receiving end of the mean girl epidemic, and it felt good to see a movie skewer it. But a lot of times people laugh off the girl-cruelty thing, like it's just a rite of passage for growing up.

Why? Someone should change this!

Like us. We should be those someones.

What if we taught our girls instead about sisterhood?

About the beautiful strength and grace we can find in lifting each other up and helping each other succeed?

There are ways we can build healthy sisterhood into the curriculum for our daughters:

  • Ask them before school if they have any girl in mind they want to give some encouragement to.
  • Ask them after school if they followed through with that, or if there was a particular moment in the day when they chose to be kind to another girl who needed it.
  • Talk to them about their lives. If drama is happening, they need your help in figuring out how to navigate it gracefully. They need to learn how to fortify themselves against abuse if a friend turns on them, and, conversely, how to end friendships they no longer want without turning on the other girl or letting other girls turn on her.

We all share this sense of common woe from surviving complicated adolescent social problems with our friends. But instead of taking it as a given, let's see it as an opportunity to do better and raise more empathetic, gracious daughters.

After all, a lot of us women know we wouldn't have gotten very far without our best female friends.

Let's all be pushers and push for an end to the played-out mean girl thing.

Via Gurl.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.