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In A Far Far Away Land: 18 Proven Storytelling Formulas That Will 2x Word-Of-Mouth For Your Brand

by Si Quan Ong @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

On a beautiful spring afternoon, ten years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable and both — as young college graduates are — were filled with ambitious dreams for the future. Recently, these men returned to their college […]

The post In A Far Far Away Land: 18 Proven Storytelling Formulas That Will 2x Word-Of-Mouth For Your Brand appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

How L’Oréal Became a Top Global Beauty Brand

by Monique Danao @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

L’Oréal is one of the world’s top beauty brands. In fact, Forbes estimates that it’s worth $107.5 billion! How does the brand maintain its seat at the top? In part, through innovations in technology, beauty and advertising. 1. Makeup.com – publishes great articles and social media posts A quick look at L’Oréal’s Makeup.com reveals beauty […]

The post How L’Oréal Became a Top Global Beauty Brand appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

People hate Dove's new ad campaign, despite well-meaning message

People hate Dove's new ad campaign, despite well-meaning message


SFGate

The six limited-edition Dove soap bottles come in shapes meant to emulate the body types of women.

A U.S. Nonprofit Is Funding the Fight to Imprison Women for Abortions in El Salvador

A U.S. Nonprofit Is Funding the Fight to Imprison Women for Abortions in El Salvador

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

A U.S. anti-abortion nonprofit is funding the fight against legal abortion in El Salvador, funneling between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to an organization that supports the Central American country’s punishing laws. Reproductive-rights activists are currently rallying behind a bill that would allow for abortions in cases of rape, nonviable fetuses, and life-threatening health complications. Since 1998, abortions have been prohibited by law under all circumstances in the country—by most accounts, the world’s strictest abortion ban.

The Guardian reports that Human Life International, a Virginia-based Catholic nonprofit, has financially supported Sí a la Vida, one of the major Salvadoran organizations behind the total abortion ban, since 2000. Between 2000 and 2007, according to the Guardian’s reporting, Human Life International gave Sí a la Vida $47,360; between 2008 and 2014, Human Life International sent $615,432 to “Central American causes,” which likely included Sí a la Vida, as Human Life International has identified the organization as its “representative in El Salvador” and “affiliate” in the country.

Sí a la Vida is still one of the biggest forces behind the opposition to any changes to the country’s abortion laws. Under the current policy, women are routinely jailed for miscarriages, since there’s no way to tell the difference between a natural stillbirth and a medically induced termination. In 2013, the case of a pregnant Salvadoran 22-year-old with a young son, lupus, and kidney failure made international headlines when she couldn’t get an abortion, even though her anencephalic fetus was nonviable. She was eventually given a Cesarean section when she was in critical condition, and the baby, predictably, died soon after. When Salvadoran women are prosecuted for having a miscarriage or getting an illicit abortion, they can be put away for years. Recently, a 19-year-old survivor of rape was convicted of “aggravated homicide” and sentenced to 30 years in prison for a stillbirth.

Human Life International leaders bankroll the advocates who lobby in support of this sadistic policy, but in public, they deny supporting punishment for women who seek abortions. “The woman who aborts usually does not have the knowledge about pre-born life or what an abortion really is,” wrote Human Life International leader Adolfo J. Castañeda in a 2007 piece titled “Women Who Have Abortions Should Get Help, Compassion Not Prison.” “If she is severely penalized by the law, chances are that will make it more difficult for her to come forward to be healed and reconciled.” The Guardian quotes another Human Life International leader as writing that “desperate women being pushed into abortion” should not be imprisoned for their actions.

These patronizing arguments are common among anti-abortion activists, who know that moderate women are less likely to support prosecuting women for things they do to their own bodies. But when abortion is illegal, punishment of women is inevitable. Women in the U.S. are already jailed for home abortion attempts, and abortion is legal in many circumstances in this country. Donald Trump ran up against this weird anti-abortion movement contradiction during his campaign, when he said women should be punished for getting abortions if abortion were outlawed. Mainstream right-to-lifers tugged their collars and tiptoed away from that statement, gently correcting the candidate. Still, 39 percent of Trump voters polled in December said women should be punished for abortions, and some anti-abortion organizations are trying to get abortion outlawed as first-degree murder in certain states. The El Salvador model isn’t too far from what the U.S. could expect if, say Roe v. Wade were overturned, allowing states to ban abortions within their borders.

If that happened, groups like Human Life International, which also supported Uganda’s far-reaching criminalization of gay people, would be well prepared to argue for putting “desperate women” in prison for terminating their pregnancies. “Abortion always destroys a life. There is nothing life-saving about it,” Human Life International President Shenan J. Boquet said in 2013, supporting the continued withholding of abortion care for the 22-year-old Salvadoran with lupus and kidney disease. The penal code he envisions lets women die in pregnancy, but calls them killers if they care for their own health and get an abortion.

Dove teams up with Shonda Rhimes on Real Beauty campaign

Dove teams up with Shonda Rhimes on Real Beauty campaign


latimes.com

Dove Real Beauty Productions will highlight how everyday women think Hollywood should portray real beauty.

Dove: Real Beauty Campaign

by ear5344 @ Erin Rogers

  Owned by Unilever, Dove is a company that sells beauty products, selling soaps and shampoos. In 2004, they launched a campaign that is still going on today. The campaign is called The Real Beauty campaign and targets women and the way they view themselves. Their first phase were billboards and magazine advertisements featuring pictures … Continue reading Dove: Real Beauty Campaign

8 Reasons to Believe Taylor Swift Was Inside the Box That Two Large Men Carried Out of Her Apartment

8 Reasons to Believe Taylor Swift Was Inside the Box That Two Large Men Carried Out of Her Apartment

by Heather Schwedel @ The XX Factor

On Monday, Splash News, an agency that specializes in celebrity news and photos, released a picture of some men on a New York City street loading a large case into a vehicle. What interest would a celebrity photo agency have in this sidewalk scene? According to a caption that went along with the photo, plenty: The men happened to be Taylor Swift’s security force, they were outside the pop star’s Tribeca apartment, and she was reportedly inside the case.

Per BuzzFeed, the mysterious caption read in full ([sic] to all spelling mistakes):

Taylor Swift has been reportedly being transported in a huge suitcase from her Tribecca apartment into her truck. A fleet of cars including two large cadillacs and three suv's arrive at Tailor Swift's apartment in Tribecca to move a large suitcase from apartment to truck. Almost a dozen of Taylor Swift security guards were present to move this package carefully as Taylor Swift remains to be unseen for a long time.

The agency soon retracted the caption. But Pandora’s box was opened, and the theory was out there: Taylor Swift! In a box! In the annals of memorable celebrity modes of transport, it would be hard to top Lady Gaga’s egg and Ariana Grande’s rumored preference for being carried like a baby, but if Swift was indeed inside that box, then the Trojan Horse would have nothing on her. And knowing Swift, despite the retraction, it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility. Let’s marshal the evidence.

Swift has been trying to keep a low profile lately.

Holing up in a box would be one creative way to avoid the paparazzi’s gaze. On that theme, she’s barely made any public appearances in recent months, and she hasn’t released a new album since 2014’s 1989 (though she did have a song on the 50 Shades Darker soundtrack). The star has spoken before about overexposure, and after last summer’s war with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and the end of her relationship with Tom Hiddleston, disappearing for a while made a certain amount of sense for her career. But how far would she go to disappear? Would she, say, hide in a large suitcase?

Do not underestimate her will and determination.

This is a woman who has smashed record after record, who collects squad members like trophies, and who elaborately engineered a public image so glossy that it felt like a historic feat of self-mythologizing.

Swift is not too big to fit in a box.

She’s on the tall side at 5-foot-10, I’ll grant you. That’s a lot of height to squeeze into a box. But she has a small frame and appears to be in excellent shape—you’ve seen all those stylish gym clothes she wears around. If she does any Pilates or yoga at all, which she definitely does, she can swing this.

To test out this theory, a Slate staffer (associate art director Lisa Larson-Walker) who is similar in size to Swift curled into the fetal position and we measured her.

We then compared her measurements to the dimensions of some of the cases sold on high-quality protective case manufacturer Pelican’s site, and the numbers check out. Lisa is 17" wide, 19" high, give or take lid compression, and 33–35" long, depending how much her feet are sticking out.

The suitcase itself is huge.

Rather than the type of luggage you can fit in the overhead compartment on a plane, it’s a monster protective case. Here's one plausible example: It's 28.20" x 19.66" x 17.63", so a lithe, contorted pop star could ride in relative comfort.

The company, and surely companies like it, manufactures custom cases, too: This one could totally be lined with foam and outfitted with airholes to make the chart-topping artist traveling inside more comfortable.

The case has wheels but instead of being rolled, it is being carried by two men.

A pair of human shock absorbers.

Look at the orange tape in the picture: possible airhole location No. 1?

Or just a reminder of which side has to go down so they don’t flip over the pop star inside? Or just random orange tape? All plausible!

Wait, though—if Swift’s whole reason for getting in the box was to hide from the public, how did Splash News find out?

Perhaps it was actually a bid for attention and she was only pretending to hide, a nesting doll of PR stunts but in no way too advanced a move for Swift to pull. Again, look who we’re dealing with.

Here's What Bothers Me About the New Dove Ad

Here's What Bothers Me About the New Dove Ad


Bitch Media

If you’re a human being with a social media account, you’ve seen the new Dove commercial already. ...

Dove Launches Real Beauty Pledge With Mario Testino

Dove Launches Real Beauty Pledge With Mario Testino


WWD

The campaign features 32 real women across ages and nationalities to show a diverse range of beauty.

Statement Jeans Are Fun to Look At, But an Insult to Pantkind

Statement Jeans Are Fun to Look At, But an Insult to Pantkind

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

When clear-knee jeans hit the internet this spring, regular jeans knelt on their sorry opaque knees and wept. For generations, jeans had been the trusty, self-effacing backdrop upon which other showier garments could shine. Jeans let lighter blues join navy in its coveted spot on the lineup of neutrals. They were humble, and in their humility, they found strength.

Now, weird jeans with the capacity to achieve viral fame are everywhere. They are, Slate has learned, called “statement jeans”—like a statement necklace, but for pants. Some stores (ahem) will file anything with distressing or a little embroidery under the moniker. These jeans count as their ancestors those pants with rhinestone pocket designs that were popular in the late ‘90s. According to Glamour, there are some pairs of statement jeans with subtler embellishments that “aren’t crimes against humanity,” including ones with rhinestone flower patches, giant grommets, and floppy denim bows. (Guess there’s many definitions of what constitutes crimes against humanity.)

Those are not the real deal. The true statement jeans are the ones that defy not only the traditional structure of jeans, but the entire concept of pants. Take, for example, these pairs that have taken on capes and skirts where the normal pants parts should be.

Or these, with lace ruffles that draw the eye to a part of the body eyes were not meant to be drawn to.

Or these, which ruin a perfectly fine pair of cigarette pants with the look of the pleated, baggy shorts your dad might wear to wash the car.

The only “statement” these jeans, descendents of JNCOs, are making is “help, I think a Juggalo is in me.”

Anyone wearing these pants, which come with a flannel butt-flap in case you’re too poor to buy a flannel shirt but can afford a $560 pair of jeans, should be forced to travel back in time and suffer the withering side eye of one Kurt Cobain.

But the mother of all statement jeans is this pair, brought to my attention by a friend of a friend. This garment offers the look of wearing a pair of jeans on top of another pair of identical jeans, for absolutely no reason at all. It looks like it was trying to be maternity pants but forgot that the top part was supposed to be stretchy and comfortable.

It also appears to be a ripoff of a pair of jeans from Rihanna’s clothing line circa 2013. The only thing worse than a bad statement is one that’s plagiarized, right Melania?

Coca-Cola Renew: “We Are Coca-Cola—And So Much More”

by Dale Buss @ brandchannel:

#CocaColaRenew US corporate branding campaign celebrates its brands and people

The post Coca-Cola Renew: “We Are Coca-Cola—And So Much More” appeared first on brandchannel:.

Humans of Leamington Spa

Humans of Leamington Spa

by noreply@blogger.com (Alexandra DB) @ Persuasion and Influence



The problem

Homelessness is on the rise in the UK and social stigma is not helping.

With 3,569 people sleeping rough each night in England (The Salvation Army, 2017) and twice the number of young people between 18-24 years old sleeping in the streets of London since 2009 (Comic Relief, 2017), we knew we wanted to change society’s attitude towards this issue.

Indeed, society currently has a tendency to alienate, stigmatise and blame homeless people for their situation instead of considering economic and social factors that can lead to a quick slip into homelessness (Belcher & DeForge, 2012).  Stigmatisation has two main damaging effects. Firstly, society treats itself as the in-group and those who are homeless as an outgroup (Becker, 1963). According to the Social Identity Theory (Tajfel, 1981) people prefer and help those who they feel are similar to them while maximising the difference with those considered outsiders. This tendency has alarming consequences, indeed Corrigan, & Wassel (2008) found that those who are stigmatised are aware of it and thus are likely to internalise it which contributes to drug and alcohol struggles (Room, 2005).

Belcher et al. (2012) proposed that the best way to break the cycle is by breaking the stigma. The good news is people want to help (Link et al., 1995).


Our solution

Through our behaviour change project, we focused on breaking these barriers: we hypothesised that making homeless people more relatable and introducing them as part of the in-group would encourage society to help them. Additionally, we ensured our video would give people the means to safely and frequently help those who are homeless, starting with a simple acknowledgement, “hello!”, to a donation towards the Salvation Army.

Steps 1, 2 and 3…

The first step our group took was contacting the Salvation Army in Leamington Spa to hear their ideas and thoughts on our project. Following the Yale Attitude Change Approach (Hovland, 1953), it was clear an authoritative and credible source was key to a persuasive message. After scheduling meetings with managers at the Salvation Army it was agreed that we would volunteer weekly at the drop in sessions and after gaining the trust of those using the Salvation Army’s services, we would conduct short informal interviews. The interviews with Shushi and Mel were purposely kept relaxed and informal in order to capture a real picture of the parts of their lives they were willing to share. Having real testimonies was another source of authority in our project. In fact, research showed that contact with homeless people increased people’s sympathy towards them (Farrell, & Link, 2004).

 In parallel, we had several filming days where we walked around Leamington Spa filming clips representing the wealthy consumer culture and contrasting them to the more isolated places in which homeless people seek refuge. We put together a powerful and informative video combining images, statistics, a voiceover and music.


Our clear message

The Yale Attitude Change Approach (Hovland, 1953) emphasises the importance of a strong message in order to increase persuasiveness. Therefore, our message was clear: “This could happen to You”. We emphasised this using repetition throughout the video. All elements in our video were directed towards one underlying message: homeless people are not so different from you. They do their laundry, have families, experience loneliness, live on the same street: they are “Humans of Leamington Spa”.

Our targeted audience

Lastly, as part of The Yale Attitude Change Approach (Hovland, 1953) we tailored our message to a specific audience in mind: students, in particular students living in Leamington Spa. Indeed, our title “Humans of Leamington Spa” would have more effect on them. Additionally, we hypothesised that those students would recognise the places shown in the video and thus feel more positively about the project. Our audience was easily reachable through the University’s numerous Facebook groups, we proceeded to share our video on the different pages dedicated to halls, degrees, Freshers, etc. The way we spread and shared our video was based on social loafing. Indeed, Weaver et al. (2007) found that a message heard several times was perceived as a more popular opinion, therefore we ensured that students would view the video message through multiple channels.

Our strategic format

We choose to create a video for our project such that we could share it on social media and our targeted audience could interact with it, leveraging two behaviour change techniques: consistency and foot-in-the-door technique. Indeed, once finalised, our video was shared over Facebook alongside the various captions “please watch, like and share”, “help us break stigmas by liking”, “want to help us break the stigma? Like this video!” etc. Firstly, according to the foot-in-the-door technique, people are more likely to accept a bigger request if they previously accepted to do a smaller one (Freedman & Fraser, 1966). In this context, first liking our video would be the smaller request and we hope that in the near future, people will start saying a quick “hello!” to the homeless they encounter and that this would quickly escalate to buying the big issue and donating to the Salvation Army. Indeed, according to Bem’s Self-perception Theory of Attitudes (1972) people seek to be consistent across their attitudes and behaviours, therefore having supported the homeless on Facebook, people would be more likely to commit to doing it on the streets.


Our measurable impact

Our video was shared more than 15 times on Facebook. It reached 200 views and accumulated over 40 likes. We are confident that our project will have an immediate impact on people’s behaviour, indeed while students are more reluctant to donate money, starting by acknowledging the presence of the homeless with a simple “hello!” could quickly escalate to sharing a coffee, buying the big issue and donating to the Salvation Army.


Alexandra de Buchet

 References

Batson, C. D., Chang, J., Orr, R., & Rowland, J. (2002). Empathy, attitudes, and action: Can feeling for a member of a stigmatized group motivate one to help the group?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin28(12), 1656-1666.

Becker, H. S. 1963. Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance London, , England: Free Press.

Belcher, J. R., & DeForge, B. R. (2012). Social stigma and homelessness: The limits of social change. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment22(8), 929-946.

Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. Advances in experimental social psychology6, 1-62.

Corrigan, P. W., & Wassel, A. (2008). Understanding and influencing the stigma of mental illness. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services46(1), 42-48.


Freedman, J. L., & Fraser, S. C. (1966). Compliance without pressure: The foot-in-the door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 4, 145-203.

Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., & Kelly, H. H. (1953). Communication and persuasion: Psychological studies of opinion change. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Lee, B. A., Farrell, C. R., & Link, B. G. (2004). Revisiting the contact hypothesis: The case of public exposure to homelessness. American Sociological Review69(1), 40-63.

Link, B. G., Schwartz, S., Moore, R., Phelan, J., Struening, E., Stueve, A., & Colten, M. E. (1995). Public knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about homeless people: Evidence for compassion fatigue?. American Journal of Community Psychology23(4), 533-555.

Room, R. (2005). Stigma, social inequality and alcohol and drug use. Drug and alcohol review24(2), 143-155.

Sosin, M. R. (2003). Explaining adult homelessness in the US by stratification or situation. Journal of community & applied social psychology13(2), 91-104.

The Salvation Army. (2017). An appeal to those who visit, work, and live in Royal Leamington Spa. https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/

Zajonc, R. B. (2001). Mere exposure: A gateway to the subliminal. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 224-228.



Louise Linton’s Latest Instagram Post Makes a Powerful Case for Just How Much She Sucks

Louise Linton’s Latest Instagram Post Makes a Powerful Case for Just How Much She Sucks

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

Therapists will tell you not to get too discouraged when flipping through Instagram, where everyone’s seemingly fabulous lives play out in streams of infinity pools and brunch plates that obey the rule of thirds. Those plastered-on smiles aren’t real, therapists will say—they mask the yawning void of despair that exists within us all, urging us to curate a better-looking version of our lives for the benefit and envy of others.

No moment in recent history has so perfectly captured this comforting truth than the massive muck-up committed by Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The 36-year-old posted a Monday night Instagram photo of herself stepping off a military plane onto the runway like she was someone who mattered, dressed in all white like she had all the Tide pens in the world. “Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside,” she wrote, as if #people were a useful hashtag and Kentucky were a desirable daytrip location. Then Linton tagged her #rolandmouret pants, #hermesscarf, and #tomford “sunnies,” as if any being in the universe gave a crap about the provenance of the treasury secretary’s wife’s Kentucky pants.

Manicured and serene as she looked in the photo, Linton exposed her inner gremlin in the comments, where a 45-year-old woman named Jenni Miller wrote, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.” SPLURBJJJ. That noise was Miller’s remark hitting Linton’s exposed class-anxiety nerve dead on! Like the man she was in Kentucky to serve, Linton responded to general political criticism with personal insults based on a truly perverted understanding of the U.S. government. “Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?” Linton wrote. “I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.” After getting guff for the comment, Linton made her account private and deleted the post, temporarily hiding her shame.

The logic in Linton’s argument could outwobble her pair of #valentinorockstudheels. Does being rich exempt hedge-fund managers like Mnuchin from criticism? Should regular people feel forever indebted to the wealthy just because they pay taxes, as is required by law? Do people whose families own literal castles, as Linton’s does, have more of a right to waste government funds than the rest of us? Maybe, maybe not—but as a public figure, Linton should have a better response to mean online comments than “lol ur poor.” If you can’t take the heat, get out of the devil’s White House!

“You’re adorably out of touch,” Linton continued in her comment to Miller, after stalking the private citizen’s Instagram account. “Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better.” Linton could have been writing this to herself in a therapy-mandated diary. Instagram sniping doesn’t dull the horror of human life on this planet. Only money does.

10 Years After Dove's 'Real Beauty' Campaign, More Brands Fight for Real Women

10 Years After Dove's 'Real Beauty' Campaign, More Brands Fight for Real Women


TakePart

It's been 10 years since Dove launched its “Campaign for Real Beauty”—a stark series of ads that were radical and simple in equal measure—featuring lovely, normal-sized women who didn’t need Photoshop to look radiant. The ads, which ran in 2004 and 2005, lacked any screed about the pressures that come with being a woman in a visual culture that’s awash in creatively lit, digitally manipulated images of dangerously thin models. The folks behind the campaign simply let us feel our own shock at seeing women with normal curves and natural faces being celebrated for their beauty in a national advertisement. Dove didn't stop there. The soap maker added rocket fuel to the conversation in 2006, when its time-lapse "Evolution" video went viral. The movement to expose marketers' use of trickery to convince us that we're failing if we don't have flawless skin and breathtaking bodies was here to stay. Significant progress has been made since Dove's campaign: The American public, the blogosphere, and the Twitterverse now routinely call out magazine publishers and marketers for digitally altering images of girls and women to shrink their bodies, smooth their faces, and otherwise morph them to fit an unrealistic, narrow ideal of beauty. The pace is quickening. In just the past few months, there's been even more progress and a few moments that drove the dialogue forward. 1. The more bare skin a campaign flaunts, the more Photoshop it typically gets. But American Eagle says its new campaign for the Aerie line of lingerie will not use any altered images of models. Instead, “real” girls and women can upload unretouched photos of themselves to a photo gallery. Sure, it’s pretty screwed up that selling underwear using real photos of gorgeous, skinny young girls (instead of digitally improved gorgeous, skinny young girls) is seen as groundbreaking. But moving away from the idealized versions of women who don't exist is a footstep Dove took, and the clothier is now following its lead. “It’s great that we’re beginning to break that down,” said Heather Arnet, executive director of the Women & Girls Foundation, of the fakeries that line the glossies. 2. Forever Yours Lingerie didn't stop working with model Elly Mayday when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year. It featured beautiful shots of her with surgical scars unhidden and no wig or digital fakery to hide the baldness that resulted from her cancer treatment. Rather than looking like something’s missing, Mayday’s baldness comes across as strong and sexy. It’s empowering for the rest of us to see a woman outside the beauty mold we’ve been sold for so long—and to find ourselves aspiring to emulate her sexy confidence and appeal. (Forever Yours also gets points for raising money toward Mayday’s medical expenses.) 3. A new time-lapse video released by Hungarian pop star Boggie shows her singing a pop song called “Nouveau Parfum” while being Photoshopped, a fresh take on Dove's "Evolution" that's amplified by the resigned expression on her face. As the song unfolds, pieces of her disappear and are overwritten: Boggie’s eyes, like everyone else’s, aren’t exactly symmetrical. So one is deleted, then replaced by an exact copy of the other. Not a single square inch of her face or hair is left untouched. 4. Earlier last month during the Golden Globes, actor Diane Keaton took the stage to honor Woody Allen, her tousled hair and menswear-chic outfit reminding us of the trend she set when Annie Hall hit theaters in 1977. It was also clear on high-definition screens across America that at 68, she's got (oh, the horror!) lots of lines on her gorgeous face. When her speech ended, the network cut to a commercial break featuring Keaton selling L'Oréal cosmetics without a line on her digitally enhanced face, seemingly sporting the skin of a 25-year-old. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook quickly lit up with scorn. That social media response is valuable, Arnet says, because younger women and girls are active on Instagram and Twitter and are participating in those conversations. 5. Former Cosmopolitan editor Leah Hardy drew attention for admitting that during her tenure the magazine routinely Photoshopped out the protruding bones of super skinny models to keep readers from seeing how emaciated the models really were. Since that admission surfaced, before-and-after comparisons of bone-thin models and their healthier-looking altered images have been popping up around the Web. Apparently the world’s top fashion magazines, despite the huge budgets at their disposal, cannot find a single woman on the planet who isn’t either too thin or too fat for their liking. It’s further reinforcement of the conclusion we’d love to share with every tween girl who’s just beginning to notice her appearance: The elusive “perfection” that every cosmetic company and clothing retailer is trying to sell you does not exist. 6. Mindy Kaling might not have minded, but many other people did: When Elle magazine published covers for its February 2014 issue featuring Kaling, readers and pundits immediately questioned why Kaling's cover was a black-and-white close-up rather than the full-color, full-body shots of the other (skinnier and more "conventionally" beautiful) actors. That's the key: We've begun to make a habit of questioning how women are depicted and what tools are being used to change or edit their appearance for public consumption. Yes, the visual landscape is still awash with altered images, surgically altered models, and the pressure to be thinner, younger, and closer to the narrow beauty ideal that so much marketing pushes on us. Marketers aren’t going to stop selling us

Some of the U.S’s Creepiest Anti-Abortion Men Are Running for Office in Alabama

Some of the U.S’s Creepiest Anti-Abortion Men Are Running for Office in Alabama

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

When Alabamians go to the polls next fall, they may have more than one extreme anti-choice man to vote for. They are Sam McLure, a nutso adoption lawyer seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general, and fellow Republican Roy Moore, who is currently leading in the polls and wants to unseat Luther Strange, the Trump-backed U.S. Senator appointed to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat.

McLure, a Macklemore-looking dude with a dimpled chin, lists four main issues of concern on his campaign website. The first is “Prosecute Abortionists Who Profit from Killing Children.” The man does not mince words! Rewire has done some excellent reporting on McLure’s history as an anti-abortion activist: He claims to engage in regular “sidewalk counseling” outside abortion clinics, though the director of one of the spaces he claims to harass told Rewire that he’s a “brand new” addition to the crowds outside, just there “to get his name out there because nobody knows who he is.”

The Facebook Live video is McLure’s preferred messaging method. One from the beginning of August is titled “Babies are Murdered Here”; in it, McLure stands in front of pro-choice demonstrators holding a printed-out photo of a doctor who provides abortion care. “This woman…profits from deceiving parents into killing their children,” he says. Another video from September finds McLure pointing at abortion clinics, saying “I want to eradicate places like this.” McLure has posted links on his social media pages to one doctor’s personal information, including photos of what is allegedly her car and license plate, challenging anyone to give him one good reason why he shouldn’t prosecute her for murder. In a September 8 video, McLure says that although “it’s not nice” to dox abortion providers, “it’s not nice to kill babies” either. His repeated posts on abortion have prompted one Facebook commenter to wonder, “does he have any stances on other issues?”

McLure has argued in interviews and Facebook videos that, as attorney general, he could “eradicate legal abortion” by making life “hell on earth” for abortion providers and bringing homicide charges against them. He has proposed removing the abortion exception from the “fetal homicide” section of the Alabama penal code and establishing a state militia to defend any state official who might otherwise be jailed for disobeying federal court orders that protected abortion rights.

“A well-regulated militia is necessary for the protection of a free state,” McLure said at a summer gathering for the Alabama Constitution Party, according to Rewire. “Where is Alabama’s militia? If the governor or attorney general of our state defied the federal government and said ‘We’re going to protect babies from murder,’ and some federal law enforcement officer tried to drag our governor into a federal jail, who will protect our governor?” McLure reiterated that stance to Rewire, calling himself “a proponent of the idea that the states need to exert their sovereignty [and] ignore Roe v. Wade.”

Alabama’s got at least one other political candidate who advocates for ignoring federal laws establishing basic rights. Moore, who joined McLure in a 2012 attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that shot down Oklahoma’s proposed constitutional amendment on “personhood,” was twice kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court—once because he refused to abide the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of marriage equality.

On Thursday, in a debate against Sen. Luther Strange, Moore enumerated several evils that are plaguing America. “Abortion, sodomy, [and] sexual perversion” are hobbling the nation, Moore, said, in addition to a few other combinations of right-wing buzzwords, like “transgender troops in our bathrooms.” The militant wing of the anti-abortion movement loves this candidate’s commitment to the cause. Matt Trewhella, who once did jail time for blocking the driveway of a doctor who provided abortion care, is listed on Moore’s campaign website as a prominent endorser. In the ‘90s, Trewhella and several other activists signed a statement asserting that “lethal force” is “justifiable” to protect “the lives of unborn children”—in other words, that murdering an abortion provider is an ethical act. Between the company Moore keeps and his proven record of flouting federal law as a justice, it’s not hard to imagine the kind of absurd anti-woman (and, of course, anti-sodomy) shenanigans he’d get into in the Senate.

Taylor Swift’s Sexual Assault Testimony Was Sharp, Gutsy, and Satisfying

Taylor Swift’s Sexual Assault Testimony Was Sharp, Gutsy, and Satisfying

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

Taylor Swift took the stand on Thursday in a Denver federal courthouse to describe the moment in 2013 when she says she was “violated” by a then–country radio DJ in a way she “had never experienced before.” David Mueller, who was 51 to Swift’s 23 at the time, “grabbed my ass underneath my skirt,” Swift said in her testimony. He “stayed latched on to my bare ass cheek as I moved away from him, visibly uncomfortable.”

Mueller claims he never touched Swift’s butt, explaining at various points that he only touched her “rib cage” and that a colleague was probably the one who groped her. They were posing for a photo, he said, and their body language was awkward but not inappropriate. On the witness stand, Swift did not suffer that argument, insisting that the grope was intentional and could not have been an accident. “It was horrifying, shocking,” she said, according to a BuzzFeed report. “He had a handful of my ass. I know it was him. I thought what he did was despicable.”

On Wednesday, Swift’s mother, Andrea, testified that the family hadn’t gone to the police after the alleged assault because they didn’t want to cause a public uproar. “I did not want this event to define her life,” she said. “I did not want every interview from this point on to have to talk about it.” Instead, they contacted Mueller’s employer—he was backstage at Swift’s concert on a work assignment when the alleged incident took place—who fired him two days later. Two years after that, Mueller sued Swift for $3 million, alleging that she cost him his job for an assault that never happened. She countersued for $1, determined to prove that she wouldn’t back down from what she says is the truth.

When Swift and her team told Mueller’s radio bosses about the alleged assault, they enclosed a photo that appeared to show Mueller with his hand behind Swift’s butt. In court this week, both parties attempted to use that photo, a sealed document that leaked last year, to prove their respective points. Swift’s side says it shows that she’s edging toward Mueller’s girlfriend and away from him, and that his hand is clearly far below her ribcage. Mueller’s attorney Gabe McFarland asked Swift why the photo shows the front of her skirt in place, not lifted up, if Mueller was reaching underneath to grab her butt. “Because my ass is located in the back of my body,” Swift replied. She offered a similar response when asked whether she saw the grope taking place. When McFarland pointed out that the photo shows Swift closer to Mueller’s girlfriend than Mueller himself, Swift answered, “Yes, she did not have her hand on my ass.”

Swift has said several times that she wouldn’t settle with Mueller or let his claims stand because she wants to be a visible example of strength to other women considering their options after a demoralizing sexual violation. Full of rightful exasperation, her testimony on Thursday was a galvanizing example of a so-called victim testimony in which the victim refused to be victimized. Swift was confident in her version of the story, unintimidated by a cross examination that implied she was a liar and unmistakably incensed when McFarland tried to cast doubt on her behavior during the evening in question. Wasn’t Swift critical of her bodyguard, who didn’t prevent such an obvious assault? “I’m critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my ass,” she told the attorney. But, McFarland said, Swift could have taken a break in the middle of her meet-and-greet if she was so distraught. “And your client could have taken a normal photo with me,” Swift countered, explaining that a pop star has a responsibility to her fans.

For young fans of Swift’s, hearing a beloved artist speak candidly about the emotional damage of sexual assault and stand up to a courtroom of men trying to prove her wrong could be a formative moment for their developing ideas of gender, sex, and accountability. Swift certainly has advantages most women who endure similar violations will never have: the money and time to mount a strong case against her alleged assailant, the jury-endearing privileges of white skin and a beautiful face, and millions of supporters rallying publicly behind her. And since he’s suing her for money and she’s already one of the biggest superstars in the world, detractors can’t argue, as they so often do in sexual-assault cases, that she’s making up a story for money or fame.

But Swift also faces some of the same obstacles other assault survivors endure if they bring their perpetrators to court. She must relive a distressing moment over and over again to dozens of observers, recounting in detail how her body was allegedly touched without her consent, while lawyers on the other side try their hardest to make her look unreliable, petty, and fake. When McFarland asked her how she felt when Mueller got the boot from his job at the Denver radio station, Swift said she had no response. “I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault, because it isn’t,” she said. Later, she continued: “I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions and not mine.” Women who allege sexual assault are scolded all the time for ruining men’s lives, even if those men are proven guilty. Swift’s sharp testimony is a very visible condemnation of that common turn in cases like these. That’s an important message for women who may find themselves in Swift’s position someday, and maybe even more so for the men who’ll be called on to support or rebuff them.

Dove Drives Its Successful 'Real Beauty' Campaign Into a Wall

Dove Drives Its Successful 'Real Beauty' Campaign Into a Wall


Inc.com

Acceptance is one thing. Asking women to visually categorize their bodies is quite another.

55 agencies with 120 projects enter BalCannes 2017

by Gašper @ Marketing magazin

This year’s BalCannes entries will be judged by separate panels of judges, consisting of marketers (clients), journalists and agency representatives. As every year, the best 25 campaigns will be chosen among submitted entries. Yet for the first time in BalCannes history, top 25 list will be presented by each of three juries on 22 September […]

The post 55 agencies with 120 projects enter BalCannes 2017 appeared first on Marketing magazin.

Homophobia Allegations From the Daughter of Bulleit Bourbon’s Founder Are Rocking the Beverage Industry

Homophobia Allegations From the Daughter of Bulleit Bourbon’s Founder Are Rocking the Beverage Industry

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

In January 2017, Hollis Bulleit announced that she was leaving her job at Diageo, one of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage producers, and owner of Bulleit Bourbon. The daughter of Bulleit Bourbon founder Tom Bulleit, Hollis is well-known in the beverage industry for her longtime service to her family’s company, her elaborate headwear—she recently sold a collection of six of her homemade fascinators to help pay her “legal fees”—and her winning demeanor. Many were surprised by her departure from the brand she’d repped for more than a quarter-century, but few knew why they’d parted ways.

Over the past few days, Hollis has published several lengthy Facebook posts explaining what went down, from her perspective. According to her, the Bulleit family refused to accept her queer identity when she came out 10 years ago, and they rejected her decade-long partnership with a woman named Cher. While the spouses and partners of her siblings were included in family photos and press for the company, Hollis writes, she and Cher were excluded from major events and slowly edged out of the picture. Hollis, who has been publicly out for many years, says she was informed in December that she no longer had a job with Diageo; Diageo claims it offered her a multi-year renewed contract but was unable to agree with Hollis on the terms.

She helped break ground on the company’s new distillery in 2014, but says Cher didn’t get an invite. Neither was asked to attend the grand opening in March, Hollis alleges. “In 2008, I was asked to come home for Christmas; yet Cher was not invited,” Hollis wrote on July 31. “The only holiday that we attended was Thanksgiving in 2016, and then we were promptly uninvited via text from the following core family Christmas.”

Her allegations illuminate the complex responsibilities a corporation that owns a family business faces. In these cases, family troubles are de facto workplace troubles, and family homophobia could amount to employee discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Because family was business and intertwined with a global corporation, I find it odd that I did not benefit from the departments and safeguards that are put into place to either intervene or provide mediation or educational diversity training as would be the expected protocol for employees in this type of situation,” Hollis wrote in one of her posts. For several years, the Human Rights Campaign has given Diageo North America a perfect score on its Corporate Equality Index, a measure of companies’ support for LGBTQ employees and issues.

Hollis declined to answer any questions, but told me that she and Diageo “have come to a 24 hour halt” and any press “could mess up legal proceedings.” A Diageo spokesperson had this to say in an emailed statement:

In advance of Hollis’ contract expiring in 2016, we offered her a multi-year extension. Despite it being an increase versus her previous arrangement, we were unfortunately not able to reach agreement with her on this new contract. Any implication that she was fired, or that failure to agree to terms on this contract was due to her LGBT identity, is simply false. We are very proud of our long track record of work, through many of our brands, to support the LGBT community. We are also appreciative of Hollis’s past efforts on behalf of the brand and the industry.

But as Hollis’ claims and Diageo’s clash in the press, the story of Bulleit family infighting has been rocking the beverage industry. “All that is evil, impersonal and dirty about the business is laid bare right here. It’s a rotten affair Bulleit and it’s gonna hurt your brand,” wrote the owner of a Louisville, Kentucky whiskey bar of one of Hollis’ Facebook posts. A representative of a Santa Cruz bar has said the establishment will no longer buy Bulleit “in solidarity with those individuals whom have been rejected by their families for living their authentic lives,” and will use the proceeds from sales of its remaining Bulleit stock to “benefit the LGBTQIA community of Santa Cruz.” Seattle Cocktail Culture, a bar-finding app, posted that Hollis “has been an incredible advocate for American whiskey & her family’s brand,” so the proprietor is “done with Bulleit; that might not help Hollis but I won't be apart of this gross mistreatment.”

“She was the reason the craft bartending community embraced the brand,” Seattle bartender Elizabeth Dingivan posted on Tuesday, “and given the attempts to erase her legacy and co-opt her work, we are prepared to move on from Bulleit as a brand altogether.”

Now, Hollis worries that she won’t be able to find new work in alcohol brand promotion at age 43 without recommendations from her former employer. And she writes that she was surprised to learn that she can’t trademark her own name and start a new whiskey company under that moniker because Diageo would legally be able to challenge the brand’s name for being too close to Bulleit Bourbon.

Among some in the beverage industry, though, Hollis’ name still means something, even if it has no more connection to the brand she helped build. New Orleans bar owner T. Cole Newton writes that he took the occasion of an annual gathering of bartenders “to respectfully tell Tom Bulleit publicly and in person how much harder it is to support his brand without someone like his daughter Hollis involved.” Diageo and Bulleit Bourbon may have to come up with a better explanation for Hollis’ dissatisfaction if they want to keep the business of such proprietors. For those bartenders and business owners, loyalty to the brand means loyalty to the woman who helped get them hooked.

Finally, a New Policy We Know Trump Truly Believes in: Protections for Sexual Assaulters

Finally, a New Policy We Know Trump Truly Believes in: Protections for Sexual Assaulters

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

Betsy DeVos gave credence to the fears of anti-rape activists on Thursday when she finally did the thing they’ve expected her to do since her confirmation. In a speech at George Mason University, the secretary of education announced her intention to roll back Obama-era guidance that forced universities that receive federal funding to take more aggressive action against campus sexual assault.

DeVos accused the federal government of using “intimidation and coercion” to make schools comply with stricter Department of Education directives that came down in 2011. The “Dear Colleague” letter, as it is commonly known, required universities to complete expedient investigations of accusations, lower the standard of evidence needed to hold an accused student responsible, prevent harassment of victims on campus, and stop making victims sign nondisclosure agreements. DeVos took issue with the new guidance’s more comprehensive definitions of assault and harassment. “If everything is harassment, then nothing is,” she said, claiming that students and teachers had been punished for Title IX offenses simply for “speaking their minds.”

The other telltale sign that the “Dear Colleague” guidance was not long for this world was the person sitting in the Oval Office. Donald Trump has given his rancid imprimatur to all manner of causes and policies about which he seems to know or care very little. He once identified as “pro-choice”; now he advances anti-abortion policies more punishing than those of his right-wing predecessors, even as he slips up on the anti-abortion talking points. While Trump was busy absorbing his twice-daily lathering of positive cable news chyrons, Steve Bannon, back when he was still oozing about the White House, could whisper a few epithets into the president’s ear and we'd all wake up the next morning to a nuclear clash of civilizations.

Sexual assault, on the other hand, is a cause near and dear to Trump, the rare political matter in which he actually has some experience. More than a dozen women have given public accounts of his various alleged sex crimes, giving him valuable insight into the plight of the accused. On this issue, his mind holds two mutually exclusive principles to be simultaneously true: that women are lying when they allege sexual assault, and that the actions they describe did occur but don’t warrant any accountability from the perpetrator. Groping is flirting, and barging in on naked beauty queens is a purchasable privilege of rich men. But also, the women who claim those things happened are liars out for fame and money, and plus, they’re too ugly to assault. Trump has convinced himself that he’s a victim of a witch hunt perpetrated by an inherently untrustworthy subclass—women—that’s trying to take down the good ol’ university boys, those original espousers of “locker room talk,” too.

The DeVos Department of Education echoes this paradigm through and through. When DeVos invited men’s rights groups to advise her on Title IX policy this summer, she included infamous trolls who claim that the “leading reason” for domestic abuse is “female initiation of partner violence” and dox women who accuse men of rape. Candice Jackson, who DeVos tapped to lead the department’s Office for Civil Rights, recently scoffed to the New York Times that a full 90 percent of campus sexual assault allegations “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.’”

Imagine the college student who has endured a sexual assault and looks online for her avenues of recourse, only to find that the woman charged with addressing all federal claims of harassment and discrimination believes nearly every college student with the courage to file an official rape allegation is full of shit. The chilling effect the DeVos Department of Education will have on sexual assault reports will certainly please Trump. But his larger goal is to send a message to women that the government is not on their side. Nearly every policy shift Trump makes that rallies his base without any real legislative accomplishment—the transgender military ban, the decision to cease data collection on race- and gender- based wage disparities, the ending of DACA—serves the general purpose of demoralizing marginalized populations by letting them know the country stands with their oppressors.

To accomplish this goal, Trump must manage some pretty impressive feats of intellectual dissonance. Police officers should rough up the suspects they arrest, but universities should go easy on accused rapists. Honor killings by immigrant men are a threat to American women, but grants to prevent violence against women are bogus. Sifting through the president’s actions, it can be hard to find any kernel of conviction. At the root of his few true impulses is identity politics—namely, his identity as a white man and his desire to protect the same. There’s one other identity at play, and he shares it with the accused sexual assailants DeVos championed on Thursday. That makes her rollback of Title IX protections one of Trump’s most honest moves yet.

Trump’s Evangelical Adviser Says God’s OK With “Taking Out” Kim Jong-Un

Trump’s Evangelical Adviser Says God’s OK With “Taking Out” Kim Jong-Un

by Ruth Graham @ The XX Factor

What’s the only thing more frightening than an unstable man with the nuclear codes? A unstable man who is being told that God himself has given his blessing to push the big red button.

On Tuesday, President Trump said North Korea would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continued to threaten the United States. Soon afterward, an evangelical adviser to the president released a statement saying that God has given Trump authority to “take out” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear,” Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Southern Baptist megachurch in Dallas, said in a statement given to the Christian Broadcasting Network. “God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary—including war—to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.”

Jeffress, who was one of Trump’s earliest and loudest evangelical supporters during the 2016 campaign, later tweeted praise for the president’s reliability and predictability:

In a follow-up interview with the Washington Post, Jeffress elaborated that he was referring to Romans 13, which includes a passage on how Christians should relate to political authorities. The passage says that government authorities have been installed by God, and a ruler is the “servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.” In Jeffress’ interpretation, that gives leaders freedom “to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un.”

Christian media outlets regularly cover the plight of the estimated 300,000 Christians in North Korea, where citizens are required to worship the Kim family and other religious practices are banned. The latest issue of the conservative evangelical magazine World, for example, features a long reported story on efforts by Christian defectors to draw attention to human rights abuses in their home country. (On Wednesday, North Korea released a Canadian pastor who had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015 on charges of using religion to overthrow Kim’s government.)

It’s one thing to pay close attention to religious persecution in a totalitarian nation. It’s another thing to give a confident thumbs-up to nuclear war, especially since many Christian groups have long been on the forefront of the anti-nuclear movement. (Catholic groups have arguably been the most consistently outspoken.) But evangelist Billy Graham, an influential spiritual adviser to American presidents starting with Harry Truman, also called the end of the nuclear arms race his “No. 1 social concern” in the early 1980s and set off on a college speaking tour about the need for disarmament.

But times have changed, and now evangelicals such as Jeffress have the president’s ear. Before last year, Jeffress was best known nationally for his occasional pronouncements on topics like the satanic origins of Mormonism, Catholicism, and Islam. Jeffress was a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board during the campaign and appeared with Trump several times at rallies, reassuring attendees that the thrice-married casino mogul would be a “true friend” to evangelicals as president. He preached at a private ceremony for the Trump family before the inauguration, and he has been a frequent visitor to the White House since then. Last month, his church’s large choir performed an original song titled “Make America Great Again” at the Celebrate Freedom Rally in Washington. Trump apparently loved it.

Jeffress’ statement about North Korea makes clear that he is not claiming to have received a new revelation from God that Trump should go after Kim. These days, that counts as reassuring news. Rather, the pastor is offering a controversial interpretation of a tricky piece of scripture he sees as applicable to the current moment. Still, in order to argue that God has granted political authorities the right to do evil to combat evil, he has to brush away significant other chunks of the New Testament. Romans 12—the chapter just before the one Jeffress cites—explicitly commands readers not to repay evil with evil. Jeffress brushed that off to the Post, saying the command applies only to Christian individuals, not governments. And what about Jesus’ sermon in which he sweepingly upends traditional hierarchies in order to elevate the meek, the merciful, and the peacemakers? “A Christian writer asked me, ‘Don’t you want the president to embody the Sermon on the Mount?’ ” Jeffress told the Post. “I said absolutely not.”

PETA goes after a postdoc for her research on birds, and academics cry foul

by Colleen Flaherty @ Inside Higher Ed

Christine Lattin, a postdoctoral researcher in biology at Yale University, describes herself as a bird lover. Yet she and her work with birds have become targets for animal activists, in particular People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The organization has called on its supporters to demand that Yale stop backing Lattin’s research, and she’s been the subject of protests, including a small one in front of her home earlier this month. She’s also received emails telling her to kill herself.

“I was appalled to learn about the abuse of birds at the hands of Yale experimenter Christine Lattin, who's capturing these sensitive animals from their natural homes and intentionally tormenting and killing them,” reads a template protest email about Lattin on PETA’s website. “These cruel experiments are also wasteful, since they're not applicable to humans or any other species.”

PETA has responded to Lattin’s public attempts to defend her research, including in a point-by-point rebuttal called “PETA to Bird Torturer: Here Are the Facts.” The organization says Lattin’s work is unnecessarily cruel and essentially pointless, despite her assertions that her studies on stress in birds could be applicable to other species.

Lattin uses advanced imaging technology to study how wild birds’ neuroendocrine systems respond to changing environments. Her research, mostly on wild house sparrows, looks at how different neurotransmitters and hormones help these birds survive and thrive, with an emphasis on the stress response. How much stress is good and how much is bad, under which circumstances, and among which birds?

Lattin says that understanding stress in bird populations is important because habitat destruction, climate change and species invasions exist in their natural environments. And because the hormone and neurotransmitter pathways she studies in birds are similar to those in all vertebrates, she hopes her research will have implications for animals broadly -- maybe even humans.

The rub, of course, is that studying stress in birds in the lab environment means exposing them to stressful situations. In the interest of transparency, Lattin has posted all of her studies on her website. Examples include one in which she explored the possible effects of oil spills on birds’ stress response; it entailed mixing small amounts of oil (1 percent of food weight) into the house sparrows’ food and then seeing how they responded to what she called a “standard” stressor: a brief period of restraint in a breathable cloth bag. Subsequent blood samples suggested that the birds were not able to secrete normal concentrations of a stress hormone, meaning that could be a marker for oil exposure in future spills.

Another study involved making four-millimeter incisions in anesthetized sparrows’ legs, to study the role of stress hormones in healing small wounds that commonly occur in nature.

To study receptors in the brain and body, Lattin must euthanize the birds, under anesthesia. But she's also developing medical imaging techniques for studying live sparrows. She recently worked with an engineering student to design a 3-D printed plastic bird holder for scanning purposes, for example, and says she hopes to one day re-release her subjects into the wild.

Still, PETA says what Lattin's been doing at Yale is unethical.

“Snatching sparrows from the backyard, injecting them, wounding them, shaking and yelling at them, using them in several different experiments and then killing them -- this is what is at issue,” said Kathy Guillermo, a senior vice president at PETA. “She says she wants to help wild birds, yet her opening move is to cause them as much physical pain and mental anguish as possible. She has captured from the wild, tormented and killed more than 250 songbirds.”

Along with critics, the controversy has earned Lattin some senior supporters who say that her work is not only ethically managed but vital. And some of those supporters accuse PETA of choosing an easy target in Lattin, who is young, female and has yet to secure the kind of tenure-track position that has enabled other animal researchers to weather similar controversies in the past. Science recently asserted that Lattin is “much younger and less established than any scientist the group has singled out before,” for example.

Kevin Folta, chair of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida, was a past target of activists opposed to genetically modified foods, who said Folta failed to disclose funding from Monsanto (which Folta called negligible and which he used for public science outreach). He recently defended Lattin in a post on Medium.

“If they intimidate her out of research, or even destroy her presence on Google, they will steal the star of a young researcher on the rise, and that has incredible repercussions throughout the research community,” Folta said. Other young aspiring scientists “are collaterally affected by the intimidation,” he added. “Nobody wants to be a target. If Lattin succumbs to their campaign, someone else will be next, and most scientists would rather change projects than deal with threats, intimidation and harassment.”

Matthew R. Bailey, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, mentioned Lattin in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week, saying that scientists like her help animals live “longer, healthier lives.” Discouraging studies only “condemns animals to unnecessary suffering and death from preventable illnesses,” he added. “Real animal lovers should be proud to support animal research.”

Guillermo, of PETA, said Lattin is fair game and that “age and position had nothing to do” with PETA’s opposition to her.

“If we’d read about the experiments and found that a middle-aged tenured male professor with a nasty chip on his shoulder was doing them, we’d still have launched a campaign,” she said.

Lattin said Thursday that it’s “scary and upsetting to receive hate mail from people who don’t understand what I’m doing and just believe the misinformation PETA has spread about me and my research.” Some of the claims that bother her most are that she didn’t correctly medicate birds before giving them the superficial leg wounds and that her research isn’t relevant to other species. (For the record, PETA says that Lattin didn't give the birds in the leg-wound study pain medication, and contends that the anesthetic she used, isoflurane, isn't sufficient in that she should have used an analgesic to proactively address pain, too.)

Before PETA’s campaign, she said, “I thought I was doing a pretty good job communicating with the public about my research.” The situation has made her realize she wasn’t doing a good enough job, and that it was probably naïve of her to expect people to download her papers from her website to read about her experiments for themselves.

The silver lining, she said, is that she’s “gotten much better at communicating clearly about the importance of my work, and why it is necessary to use animals to do it. We can’t expect the public to understand why this work matters, and why it has to be done this way, unless we tell them.” It’s an “uncomfortable experience for a lot of scientists, but it is necessary,” she added.

Lattin has frequently said that her research is overseen by Yale. Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for the university, said via email that it “takes seriously its responsibility for the appropriate care of animals” and that its laboratories “comply with or exceed all federal regulations and independent accreditation standards.”

As the campus continues “to advance scientific knowledge and modern medicine, providing hope for millions of patients and their families, Yale scientists will sustain their commitment to the appropriate use of animals in research,” Peart added. “Our faculty members employ animals only when there are no alternative models for advancing their research.”

Of the complaints against Lattin in particular, Peart said Yale’s overseers of animal care “found that all of her research activities were approved and there was no evidence of noncompliance or inappropriate care.”

Those findings were shared with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, and it “concurred that the allegations could not be substantiated and found no cause for further action,” Peart said.

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Why Dove's "Real" Beauty Campaign is a Load of Crap

Why Dove's "Real" Beauty Campaign is a Load of Crap


Ravishly

A father began a petition asking Dove to fess up to their Photoshopping. Request? Denied.

Christina Brown of LoveBrownSugar Shines Bright in New Dove Ad Campaign

Christina Brown of LoveBrownSugar Shines Bright in New Dove Ad Campaign


In Her Shoes

On January 10, 2017, Dove celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the iconic Beauty Bar and the evolution of the beauty standard. Digital media maven Christina Brown of LoveBrownSugar has partnered with Dove to celebrate the legacy of the Dove Beauty Bar in an...

Go Out Without

by noreply@blogger.com (Liah El Fadel) @ Persuasion and Influence