Why we really shouldn't laugh at those naked Donald Trump statues.

'When they go low, we go high.'

There are a lot — and I mean A LOT — of valid reasons to criticize Donald Trump.

There's the fact that he mocked a disabled reporter. There's when he said that women who have abortions should be "punished." There's his belief that the concept of climate change was "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

There's his insistence that President Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and might be a secret Muslim. There's his long history of misogyny. There's his praise of Saddam Hussein. There's the fact that he has a history of borrowing memes from white supremacists. There's his plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and put a (temporary) ban on Muslims from entering the country.


And, well, you get the idea.

Slate lists 183 things (and counting) Donald Trump has said or done that they believe make him "unfit to be president." In any case, maybe you support him or maybe you don't. The point is that there are some really valid concerns people have about putting the man in the White House.

Huuuuuuge reasons to criticize him. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

On the morning of Aug. 18, 2016, statues of this potential president-to-be popped up around the country. Naked statues.

In New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Seattle, the statues mysteriously appeared overnight in public areas.

Attributed to anarchist art collective, Indecline, the series is titled "The Emperor Has No Balls," a play on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes." As the title suggests, each statue is missing a certain part of its anatomy (and also represents a nearby body part as being on the small side of things).

Bystanders photograph and pose with a statue meant to resemble a naked Donald Trump in Union Square Park in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Even in removing the statue, the New York Parks Department had a bit of fun at Trump's expense. "NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small," said parks spokesman Sam Biederman in a statement.

At first glance, it's pretty funny, right? It takes one of Trump's deepest insecurities and puts it on full display to the world.

This is the man, remember, who used his platform during one of the Republican primary debates to defend the size of his hands.

"Look at those hands, are they small hands?" said Trump in response to a comment by rival Sen. Marco Rubio days earlier. "And, he referred to my hands — 'if they're small, something else must be small.' I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee."

"Look at those hands, are they small hands?" Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

While the commotion over the size of Trump's hands began as a joke written in a 1988 issue of the now-defunct Spy magazine (they called him a "short-fingered vulgarian"), it's haunted him ever since. In 2011, seemingly unprompted, he brought the insult up in an interview with the New York Post, saying, "My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body."

So clearly this is something that gets to him. As he's someone who has a tendency to attack others for their appearance (he once went on a two-minute rant against Rosie O'Donnell in which he called her "disgusting," "a loser," and repeatedly mocked her weight), it seems like he should be fair game for his own appearance-based criticism, right? Well...

In times like this, It's important to remember the message Michelle Obama delivered during her powerful speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

During a section devoted to how she and her husband set out to raise their daughters, Sasha and Malia, the first lady touched on an important life lesson: how to deal with a bully.

GIF from CNN/YouTube.

Mocking someone for their appearance? Yeah, that's something a bully would do.

On Facebook, writer Ijeoma Oluo called out the folks who are reveling in Trump's appearance-based public humiliation, echoing that same sentiment. "I hate how often I have to say this, but if we are truly committed to fighting toxic masculinity, cis-hegemony and body-shaming we cannot tie Trump's sexist, racist, ableist, Islamophobic, classist bullshit to his dick size," she writes.

I hate how often I have to say this, but if we are truly committed to fighting toxic masculinity, cis-hegemony and...

Posted by Ijeoma Oluo on Thursday, August 18, 2016

Is Donald Trump a bully? Yes, yes he is.

But do we have to stoop to his level in order to criticize him? No, we don't.

"When they go low, we go high." Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign. We don't do PSAs. We also need to update so to explain truth – the nonprofit behind the truth youth smoking prevention campaign – you could also say this in a funny way – best known for sharing the facts about smoking and vaping or pull from some old campaigns. Just layer in a description of truth and who the campaign is., is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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The fine folks at Forbes are currently falling all over themselves trying to clean up the mess they created by publishing their 2019 list of 100 Most Innovative Leaders.

The problem: The list included 99 men and one woman. For those not so good with the math, that means according to Forbes, only 1% of the country's most innovative leaders are female.

Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

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