'I'm in the worst shape of my life': Will Smith speaks for all of us in revealing Instagram post
via WillSmith / Instagram

"Men in Black" star Will Smith posted a revealing Instagram photo on Sunday and a lot of people can relate. The actor, 52, posted a photo of himself in black shorts, an unzipped hoodie, and slippers showing off his new gut and chest.

"I'm gonna be real wit yall - I'm in the worst shape of my life," he captioned the photo. In a world where celebrities have to be hyper-sensitive about their image, especially when it comes to weight, Smith's admission was a refreshing reminder that A-listers can have the same struggles that we do.



The post inspired several of Smith's friends to send him messages of support.

Questlove wrote: "This is the most amazing post in the history of social media."

"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" co-star Nia Long said, "You still got it baby!!!"

Director Ava DuVernay said, "I see no 'worst' here."

Smith's admission received over five million likes, probably because it resonates with a lot of people who are also dealing with weight gain during the pandemic. A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that two in five Americans gained more weight than they intended over the past year.

The average person who gained more weight than they wanted added 29 unwanted pounds. One in ten said they added more than 50.

According to the APA, rapid weight loss can be a sign of struggling to cope with mental health challenges.

Another study by WebMd confirmed the APA's findings. A recent poll of over 1,000 readers found that 54% of respondents said they have gained weight "due to COVID restrictions. "Fifty-four percent said they were exercising less, 68% said they were snacking more.

Smith is getting ready to shoot his next film, "Emancipation," a big-budget true story about a runaway slave in 1863. In the film, Smith plays Peter, a fugitive from slavery who flees Loiusiana to find freedom in the north.

However, the film hit some roadblocks after Smith and director Antoine Fuqua said they were pulling filming out of Georgia due to the state's recent voting restriction laws. The new Republican-led voting changes require voter ID for absentee voting, limit the use of drop boxes, and restrict giving out food and water to voters waiting in line near polls.

The decision to move filming out of Georgia makes sense for a film that deals with racial oppression.

"At this moment in time, the Nation is coming to terms with its history and is attempting to eliminate vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice," the statement read. "We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access."

"The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting. Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state," they continued.

The film was scheduled to start shooting in June 2021.

Anyone who has gone through the process of disentangling themselves from an addiction knows it's an ongoing, daily battle. It may get easier, and the payoffs may become more apparent, but it's still a decision someone makes each day to stay detached from their substance of choice.

Seeing someone who has a long record of sobriety—especially after a very public struggle—can be motivating and inspiring for others in different stages of their recovery journey. That's part of why actor Rob Lowe's announcement that he's reached 31 years sober is definitely something to celebrate.

"Today I have 31 years drug and alcohol free," Lowe wrote on Twitter. "I want to give thanks to everyone walking this path with me, and welcome anyone thinking about joining us; the free and the happy. And a big hug to my family for putting up with me!! Xoxo"

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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