Thursday, December 15, 2016

Think before you tweet, before you share and before you like

 Lizzie Velasquez was born with a rare, inherited condition, which means her body is unable to store fat. A few days ago Lizzie found herself in a meme mocking her appearance. Her response asking people to stop has gone viral. She has received thousands of messages of support.

The viral post said:

'I've seen a ton of memes like this all over @facebook recently. I'm writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice. Yes, it's very late at night as I type this but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human. I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite. Spread love not hurtful words via a screen.

Xoxo Lizzie'

As well as the unkind memes about Lizzie, other mean memes feature plus-size women, older people and those with a disfigurement.

A number of Facebook pages appear to be responsible for creating and sharing the images, which require people to tag a friend with the name referred to in the meme. One of the Facebook group’s responsible has been shut down following multiple user complaints.

In a thank you video to those who supported her Lizzie ending by reminding them:

‘When you see something online, remember that there is a human that is been affected by it. It might be funny at the time, but there is probably someone who is not feeling that it's that funny. Think before you tweet, think before you share, think before you like, because we just want to be accepted’.

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Technology and social interaction

 

Technology has and is changing our society; revolutionizing how we live, work and relate to each other.

At this year’s World Economic Forum Anand Mahindra (Chairman and MD of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd) voiced his concern about technologies effects on social interaction:

“You know I used to always be puzzled when people would talk about fear of technology and change, because the evidence is quite on the contrary. Technology has only helped humanity, quality of life.

“But a couple of images come to my mind which truly does scare me … scare me for human kind if you will. One was very recently, I was in New York and I was at dinner with my family. Next to us were four young girls having some kind of teen get together and the moment they sat down they pulled out their iPhones and we timed them. For 15 minutes they didn't say a word to each other they were just looking at their phones. And my daughter said, “do you know what the doing dad, their Instagramming their friends saying ‘girls night out, having a great time’ “.

“And I thought about that and I thought, ‘you know this will be recorded, so it will go out to multiple phones and everywhere around the world, maybe someone will pick it up in India, there would be people saying there was a girls night out. I know there never was a girls night out; it eluded them, the essence of the human interaction is being recorded, but it never existed. It's some kind of ghost world that people are talking about”.

Click here to listen.

I think we can all appreciate what Mr Mahindra is saying. Many of us have seen and even been part of a group where everyone’s attention is on their phone rather than on their companions. Lets hope technology is never allowed to take over personal face-to-face relationships; it would be a tragedy if we lost the most important and meaningful aspect of being human.

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Changing our perception of people with disabilities

Recently Megan Nash submitted photos of her 15-month-old son Asher who has downs syndrome, in response to an online casting call by the retailer Oshkosh, who were looking to cast a child model.

When she did not receive a reply, Megan contacted the advertising company and learnt that they had not forwarded her photos to Carters, Oshkosh’s parent company, because Carters had not specified that they were looking for “a baby with special needs”.

“I felt angry and I felt hurt”, Megan explained, “and I thought you know this is a form of discrimination. I wondered how many other babies and children and adults are getting turned down or not being submitted because they have a disability”.

Frustrated Megan posted her story and some pictures of her son online. The post with viral, eventually catching the attention of Carters, who decided to cast Asher in one of their upcoming campaigns.

“I see the way the world looks at my daughter”, said Megan, “and I see the way the world looks at my son [Asher]. I feel like it would change the world’s perception of people with disabilities.

“Our children are the future, just like anybody else's child. We all have to come together and we have to except people with disabilities, so that they can live amongst their peers and have a normal and happy life”.

We think Asher has lovely face; he will make a great model.

 

 

Friday, December 09, 2016

Obituary- a chance to say thank you

You have probably heard words to the effect that when people are on their death bed, they don’t wish that they were more beautiful or successful, but that they were more loving, generous and forgiving.

Before Sonia Todd (38) of Moscow, Idaho died from terminal cancer; she wrote her own obituary. It was published in the Idaho Statesman Newspaper on October 19, 2012. Today, years later, it is still discussed and shared world wide:

Excerpt:

“My name is Sonia Todd, and I died of cancer at the age of 38. I decided to write my own obituary because they are usually written in a couple of different ways that I just don’t care for….

“Other than giving birth to my two wonderful, lovable, witty and amazing sons (James and Jason), marrying my gracious, understanding and precious husband (Brian), and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior – I have done very little….

“The truth, or my version of it, is this: I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, most of the time I failed, but I tried. For all of my crazy comments, jokes and complaints, I really did love people. The only thing that separates me from anyone else is the type of sin each of us participated in. I didn’t always do the right thing or say the right thing and when you come to the end of your life those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that hurt other people.

“My life was not perfect and I encountered many, many bumps in the road. I would totally scrap the years of my life from age 16 to 20 … OK, maybe 14 to 22. I think that would eradicate most of my fashion disasters and hair missteps from the ’80s. But mostly, I enjoyed life. Some parts of it were harder than others, but I learned something from every bad situation and I couldn’t do any more than that…

“Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. Those who loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile”.

As you live your life and interact with others, family, friends, work colleagues and even casual acquaintances, remember that you have the ability to affect and perhaps leave a lasting mark (good or bad) on their life.

 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Unattractive maid of honour dilemma

A relationship dilemma that was posted on Reddit has recently been bought to our attention:

The post:

My (32) Fiance(30) thinks my BF (30) should not be in our wedding party because she not very attractive.

Me and My fiancé are starting to plan our wedding. It has been brought to my attention from my fiancé that he does not want my BFF (Best Friend Forever) to be in our wedding because she is not attractive. He says he doesn't want her ruining our wedding photos and only wants attractive people in our wedding party. I think that this is absurd. I did ask you of my other BFF what he thought of my possible maid of honour. He agreed with my fiancé. I don't care whether or not people in our wedding are attractive.

I feel like my BFF will be assuming she is in the wedding party, but when I don't ask her she will question it. I would feel horrible knowing I didn't ask her because my fiancé wants good looking people in our party.

I don't know how to handle this. I’ve asked my fiance to remove someone in his groom party but he doesn't want to. Sadly I don't have many girlfriends to pick from so I'm at a loss. Please I'm looking for advice if any.

My fiance does not want my "ugly" BFF to be in our wedding party.

Needleless to say, the question brought forth a deluge of responses. This post exemplified the general consensus that was the groom who was the "ugly" one:

"[He] is so hideous on the inside,that she should probably just tell him she's canceling the wedding until he gets plastic surgery on his f***** up personality."

Other commenters urged to bride-to-be to consider her friends feelings and how she herself would feel in the future, if she excluded her friend purely because of her looks.

E.g. "If your best friend isn't too ugly to be your best friend, to be with you in public, to be in all of your other photos, she is not too ugly to be in the wedding party.

"When you look back at those photos, her absence will ruin them for you. And excluding her based on her looks alone would be ugly indeed."

Friday, December 02, 2016

Never to late to have cosmetic surgery?

Youth is highly valued in our society, yet it is one of those things (like happiness) that are not fully appreciated until you no longer have them. This fact is exemplified by the famous quote attributed to George Bernard Shore: ‘youth is wasted on the young’.

A few days ago 76 year old Sir Cliff Richards and 76 year old Gloria Hunniford discussed their joint intention to undergo cosmetic surgery in order to look younger. Speaking on on ITV’s Loose Women Gloria Hunniford revealed that their decision to have cosmetic surgery is not a recent one.

“Cliff and I have had an agreement for about 30 years, that we’re going to get it together”, she said.

Detailing the rationale behind his decision that the time for surgery had come, Sir Cliff said:

“I’ve been looking in the mirror, I am slowly, but devastatingly fast, ageing in front of myself. I only want a little bit done – nothing more than a huge tuck!

“But I’ve got six lines here,” he said, pointing to his eyes. “And I’d like three.”

This will not be Sir Cliff’s first venture into age defying procedures. In the past he confessed to trying Botox, but “went off” it because his “eyebrows seemed to drop and I didn’t like the look of it.”

The assumption that at a certain age, usually 50’s or 60’s; its time to admit defeat (looking youthful) and age gracefully is not true in Sir Cliff Richards or Gloria Hunniford’s case and I’m sure that there are many others who feel the same. The £17 billion health and beauty industry is founded upon and depends on our appearance based society’s perpetual desire to look good and young(er). For the industry the message that ‘your re never to old’ will in all likelihood be a very profitable one.