Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Combat Abilities Offer Powerful Choices

In fully embracing the RPG genre, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has put player choice front and center across the board. This doesn’t just apply to the branching story and new romance options, but also in the way you fight and the skills you bring onto the battlefield. We recently sat down with Odyssey’s Game Director, Scott Phillips, to discuss the redesigned fight mechanics and the addition of customizable combat abilities into the series.

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Emma Gonzalez Cries While Leading Powerful Moment of Silence During March for Our Lives Protest

After saying a few words at Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest in Washington D.C., Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre last month, began an unannounced moment of silence.

“Six minutes and about 20 seconds,” she began. “In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered.”

“Everyone who was there understands. Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands,” she added, before naming the victims of the school shooting.

Afterwards, Gonzalez stood silently in front of the microphone for several minutes with tears streaming down her face as the crowd was at turns silent and filled with scattered applause and calls of encouragement for the 18-year-old.

At one point, the crowd even began chanting, “Never again.”

RELATED: Thousands of Students Rally Against Gun Violence in March for Our Lives Demonstrations Across the World

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After Gonzalez had been onstage for 6 minutes and 20 seconds, a timer went off and she resumed speaking.

“Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job,” she remarked before concluding her speech.

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The March for Our Lives protest in Washington D.C. was planned by Gonzalez and fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, and Alex Wind within days of the Feb. 14 mass shooting. The event went on to inspire hundreds of “sibling marches” worldwide.

In addition to the student speakers in D.C., a group of celebrities joined them, including George and Amal ClooneyMiley Cyrus, Common, Jennifer Hudson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

RELATED: Jennifer Hudson Closes March for Our Lives with Emotional Performance After Losing Family to Gun Violence

But the March for Our Lives was not about star power.

As Stoneman Douglas Student Ryan Deitsch said in his D.C. speech, “Movie stars in the crowd, we might have videos on these screens but this is not the Oscars. This is real life, this is reality, this is what’s happening in our country and around the world today.”

“We’re done hiding, we’re done being afraid,” he said. “Though I know we March today, this isn’t the end. This is the beginning. It’s time to fight for our lives.”


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SpaceX successfully launches the world's most powerful rocket

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Anna Wintour is ‘most powerful woman’ in media

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Game of Thrones: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 1: Tasty Revenge and Two Powerful Queens

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Hear Janet Mock Read A Powerful Passage From Her New Memoir

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‘Powerful’ cyberattack on Ukraine goes global

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Woman’s Powerful Bikini Instagram Shows The Value Of Self Confidence

In just two photos, one woman made a strong argument for why everyone should be able to feel confident at the beach in a swimsuit. 

Rachel Spencer, a confidence and success coach, recently posted two photos of herself to Instagram. In one picture, she is 13 years old in a swimsuit, covering her stomach for the camera. In a present day picture, the 26-year-old is happier and more confident, identifying herself as a “self-love queen.” 

“I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a good caption but this photo just makes me sad when I look at it,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. “So how about I ask you a question: Who taught the young girl on the left to hide her tummy before taking pictures in a swimsuit? Who taught her that at only 13 years old, her chubby little body was unworthy of a photographic memory?” 

Spencer said the reason she hid her body was because of boys who bullied and teased her about her weight. Over the years, she also felt pressured by images and messaging in the media about things like cellulite and dieting. But thanks to a little time and some self love, she’s in a super positive place thirteen years later ― and she has a message for people who need to get to that place. 

“I have a message for all the women who are much older and STILL feel ashamed to show their tummy at the pool: Don’t be,” Spencer said. “Put on that bikini and smile. Don’t feel the need to let other people’s opinions ruin precious memories with your friends and family. Show your daughters what it’s like to flaunt their flaws at the pool. No shame. Your imperfections tell a story. Your body is beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL.” 

I've been sitting here trying to think of a good caption but this photo just makes me sad when I look at it. So how about I ask you a question: Who taught the young girl on the left to hide her tummy before taking pictures in a swimsuit❓ Who taught her that at only 13 years old, her chubby little body was unworthy of a photographic memory❓ It definitely wasn't her parents or family, so who was it? Well, did you know that this innocent young girl was bullied for her weight? Not by the girls. The girls were nice. But the boys…the boys were mean. From then on out, she never wanted to go to the pool, saw boys as a threat, cried to her teachers, etc etc. Things started to get better in middle school, but then came the media. *Knock Knock* Diet culture, fitness, cellulite cream–CELLULITE?? Why was a 13 year old worried about cellulite??? Because the media told her it was bad. That SHE was bad and needed to change. If you couldn't tell by now, the young girl was me. There's a big difference between the closed off, hiding, young girl on the left and the carefree, happy, open girl on the right. ❤️And that difference is self love.❤️ I taught it to myself. I had to. I had to find a way to be happy. The process wasn't quick. I'm still working on it at 26 years old. But I have a message for all the women who are much older and STILL feel ashamed to show their tummy at the pool: Don't be. Put on that bikini and smile. Don't feel the need to let other people's opinions ruin precious memories with your friends and family. Show your daughters what it's like to flaunt their flaws at the pool. No shame. Your imperfections tell a story. Your body is beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL.

A post shared by Confidence & Success Coach (@mylifecoachrachel) on

Amen to that. 

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More Than 5 Million People Have Watched This Mom’s Powerful Spoken-Word Poem

A spoken-word poem has gone viral for its refreshing look at how difficult it is for many moms to be seen as more than mothers.

In a video of her spoken-word poem that the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 News posted on March 30, poet Hollie McNish explains that she only feels like an individual at night in the few hours she gets before she goes to sleep and wakes up to do it all over again. 

“Cinderella’s clock strikes at midnight each time. My clock strikes loudly at nine,” she said in her poem, which has been viewed more than 5.8 million times as of Friday.

McNish rhythmically described the feelings of being described as “so-and-so’s mum” and the idea of mothers being “underpaid, overworked” as “snot rags” and “milk makers.” She also emphasized the strength of mothers, but stressed that crying every once in a while isn’t a sign of weakness.

“Someone said that moms are the rocks that never crumble,” she said. “I don’t think that’s true ‘cause I do.”

At the end of her poem, McNish reminds her fellow mothers that their “stories are many.” And the poem in its entirety proves that their stories are worth telling. 

The HuffPost Parents newsletter, So You Want To Raise A Feminist, offers the latest stories and news in progressive parenting. 

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Why This Video Of A Boy Zipping A Jacket Is So Powerful

A seemingly simple video is offering an important message about autism.

On March 8, mom and blogger Mandy Farmer posted a video of her 6-year-old son zipping his jacket on Facebook. In the caption, she opened up about the significance of this small task for her family.

“You know how we say autism families don’t take things for granted? This is what we mean,” Farmer wrote. 

The mom said her son’s fine motor skills lag behind those of other kids his age. He can’t write or draw a square and struggles with self-care tasks like opening packages, getting dressed and feeding himself with utensils.  

“People have no idea how hard our kids have to work to be able to accomplish these tasks consistently,” Farmer wrote. “There are so many therapies that can help, but so many do not have access to those therapies. He has been doing this program for about a month and is now zipping independently, but I want you to be mindful of how much effort it still takes.”

The mom concluded her post by noting that this type of milestone is the result of giving kids with special needs the opportunity to reach a higher potential. 

“The policy makers, school districts and insurance companies that refuse to invest in these therapies now are keeping these amazing individuals from becoming the most independent version of themselves,” she wrote. “It is so exciting to see him meet these milestones, even if they’re met on a different timeline than that of his peers.”

The video reached over 100,000 views on Facebook. The popular Love What Matters page also shared the post, giving it another 220,000 views. 

Farmer told The Huffington Post that it has been wonderful to see the overwhelming response to the video. The mom hopes it puts things into perspective for people to see how hard her son works to accomplish tasks that most people take for granted. 

While some people see him and think he’s doing pretty well for someone his age with autism, onlookers don’t always realize the countless hours of therapy it took to get him to that point.

“We can tell people that it’s still hard for him to use a spoon at 6 years old and that he still can’t use a fork. We can tell people he still can’t dress himself independently or snap his pants,” she explained. “But I think watching this video clip of how much effort, determination and perseverance he puts in to zip a zipper says it better than I ever could.”

Farmer is also happy that her video can help raise awareness about individuals on the spectrum. “I hope legislators will see this and realize when they slash education funds, early intervention funds and Medicaid funds, these are the people they are hurting ― people who have all of the potential in the world if they are given the right tools to reach that potential,” she said.

“I hope insurance companies see this and realize that when they deny an autistic child or child with dyspraxia or cerebral palsy therapy, this is the progress they are impeding,” she continued. “I hope therapists and special educators will see it and be proud that they make such a difference in autistic individuals’ lives. And I hope others with children with special needs will be encouraged and know that milestones will come in their own time and with hard work the impossible is possible.”

Follow the mom’s Facebook page, “From Motherhood by Mandy Farmer,” to learn more about the reality of raising a child with autism. 

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Want to Know Who the Most Powerful Stylist in Hollywood Is?

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Janelle Monáe Shares Powerful Moment With Mothers Of The Movement

Janelle Monáe is ready to fem the future, and the Mothers of the Movement are joining her. 

During Saturday’s Women’s March demonstration in Washington, DC, actress and singer Monae delivered warned the new presidential administration to respect women and “get off our areolas and get off our vaginas.”

“It was woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,” Monáe said.

“It was woman that gave you Malcolm X.  And according to the bible, it was a woman who gave us Jesus… We birthed this nation and we can unbirth it when we want to.”

Calling for the protestors to fight against systemic abuse of power, performed a call-and-response song called “Hell You Talmbout,” encouraging the crowd to say the names of black women like Sandra Bland and Maya Young who have died as a result of police encounters, sexual violence, and transphobia. 

Monáe made a statement against police brutality when she invited the Mothers of the Movement (Sybrina Fulton, Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton, Gwen Carr),  to chant their slain son’s names as the crowd chanted: “Say his name!” 

The moment moved some people on social media to tears:

“This is not about me,” Monáe declared, “This moment is about you.” 

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Drag Legend Sherry Vine Takes On Donald Trump In Powerful New Parody

Sherry Vine is back with the latest offering in a long line of video parodies ― but this one is a bit different than you might expect.

This particular parody is markedly more political than the beloved drag legend’s previous videos and takes on major events that have shaped the LGBTQ community over the decades  ― and the past year.

Set to Billy Joel’s hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” Vine’s video highlights Russia’s alleged tampering with America’s 2016 presidential election, Trump’s anti-LGBTQ administration, the Pulse Nightclub massacre and much more.

“This is a very different kind of parody for me,” Vine said in a press release sent to The Huffington Post. “While most of my parodies tend to be funny and naughty, there’s an element of anger and cynicism in this latest. It reflects how many of us in the LGBTQ community feel today. We don’t know what the future has in store for us. At any moment, the other shoe may drop and we’re scared. Very scared.”

Check out the video above and head here for more from Sherry Vine.

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Afro-Latinx Poet Takes On White Privilege In Powerful Poem

Gabriel Ramirez is not mincing words when it comes to calling out those who don’t recognize their white privilege. 

The New York-based poet and teaching artist was featured in a We are mitú Facebook video on Wednesday. Ramirez, who is of Dominican descent, performed his poem “White Privilege” as illustrations and text appeared around him. 

“Excuse me, you dropped your white privilege,” Ramirez says in the poem. “Must be real hard, you know? Not being discriminated against. What was that? You got every job you applied for because your name didn’t sound black. With all that money you could buy the same clothes I wear and not be called a thug.”

In his verses, he also touches upon “Stop and Frisk,” gentrification and the high number of black deaths there have been in recent months. 

“The entire poem was spoken from the ‘I’ perspective, I was responding directly to things that white people have said to me that I didn’t have the answers or the language to speak against at the moment,” Ramirez told The Huffington Post. 

The response to the video has been mixed, according to the poet, who says he’s received plenty of hateful messages on Facebook. But Ramirez says none of those negative reactions take away the real purpose of his poem.  

“There are some white people who are like ‘yo, that poem is having me see the error of my ways, it’s having me think about the way I move throughout the world” and that’s all the poem is suppose to do,” he told HuffPost. “If it makes you uncomfortable, then it makes you uncomfortable. And if it makes you uncomfortable that means you have some things to work on. If you get angry it’s because you feel attacked, which means it relates to you. And if you think there’s a problem with the poem more than there is problem with racism, you’re wrong.”

Watch the Ramirez’s poem above. 

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27 Powerful Photo Stories That Captured Our Attention This Year

Another year over, a new one about to begin. What better time to remember the visual stories from 2016 that reminded us humanity is a beautiful, complicated mess?

From a ballet program in Kenya to the real-life mermaids of Korea, the fearless LGBTQ youth of Jamaica to a married couple dealing with depression in the U.S., the best subjects from this year were better captured in pictures than words. With that sentiment in mind, here are the photo projects we discovered, adored and shared this year:

1. These photos of the ballet program bringing strength to one of Africa’s biggest slums:

Read more here. 

 

2. This series that took us inside the last generation of Haenyo, Korea’s real-life mermaids:

Read more here.

 

3. The photographer who documented what students were wearing when they were sexually assaulted:

Read more here.

 

4. The photographer who chronicled her husband’s depression through intimate portraits:

Read more here.

 

5. The nude photos that celebrated the fact that “big and beautiful” people have love stories, too:

Read more here.

 

6. The photographer who documented early motherhood in unflinching detail:

Read more here.

 

7. The aerial photos that captured just how differently the rich and poor live:

Read more here.

 

8. The historic photos that reminded us what the North’s fight for civil rights looked like 50 years ago:

Read more here.

 

9. The breathtaking photos that captured Cuba’s legendary ballerinas dancing in the streets:

Daniela Fabelo & Daniela Cabrera #OZR_Dance || # || #Cuba

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on

Read more here.

 

10. Amaal Said’s portraits that shed beautiful light on women of color:

Read more here.

 

11. The woman who photographed 500 naked men in an attempt to normalize the nude male body:

Read more here.

 

12. The series that explored how a 14-year-old sex worker became one of photography’s greatest muses:

Read more here.

 

13. The photos that followed 12 couples over three decades in a unique study of aging:

Read more here.

 

14. The raw photo project that asked people to take off their clothes and discuss self-love:

Read more here.

 

15. The visual story of the fearless LGBTQ youth who live in Jamaica’s sewers:

Read more here.

 

16. The rare photos of Marilyn Monroe, taken by the man who fell in love with Norma Jeane Baker:

Read more here.

 

17. The series on poverty that, 30 years later, is as powerful as ever:

Read more here.

 

18. The photos that captured the beauty and grace of the world’s first Muslim hijabi ballerina:

Read more here.

 

19. The daughter who spent seven years documenting her mother’s bipolar disorder in photos:

Read more here.

 

20. The project that let viewers watch as Detroit neighborhoods fell into ruin with Google Street View:

Read more here.

 

21. The photographer who depicted the ways hijab and niqab can empower, protect and emancipate:

Read more here.

 

22. The never-before-published photos that revealed clues Bowie left before his death:

Read more here.

 

23. The photos of Nydia Blas, who only makes images of women of color:

Read more here.

 

24. The series that took us inside “Africa’s Little Rome,” an eerie city where time stands still:

Read more here.

 

25. The all-girls photo collective that celebrates womens’ bodies, unedited:

Read more here.

 

26. The biracial artist who dared us to define her through performative self-portraits:

Read more here.

 

27. The trans/trans couple that collected intimate photos of their life together:

Read more here.

 

BONUS: Photos by HuffPost’s own Damon Dahlen, who explored the bedrooms of NYC’s emerging ballerinas:

Read more here.

 

For even more of the most compelling photo stories from 2016, check out:

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5 Powerful Questions to Ask When Things Seem to be Going Wrong

When things seem to be going wrong and you’re stuck in a pit of fear, start getting curious and ask yourself some of these questions:

1. What opportunity is this giving me for growth, healing, evolution, or learning?
2. What would happen If I didn’t label this as bad?
3. What meaning am I adding to what’s happening?
4. Am I letting this situation define me?
5. What action is this situation asking me to take?

Using awareness to respond instead of react to the situations of your life creates the magic, change, shift or transformation you desire. Keeping yourself awake inside a mindset of curiosity, positivity and possibility will guide you. The five questions above can be used when you feel stuck or paralyzed about something that’s happening and you want a fresh perspective.

If something happens to you and the reaction in your mind is negative, judgmental or otherwise gloomy, take a giant step back and observe what’s happening. There might be a better way to think, believe or act that’ll serve your desire for health and happiness. There’s a giant spectrum of intensity when it comes to life’s events and the reactions they invoke, but if you look at things with awareness and curiosity, you’ll begin to have the secret to your joy.

The questions above all create more awareness, which is how you’ll be able to choose different thoughts, beliefs or actions in response to a situation. I tend to look at most of my daily events, especially the ones that feel negative, with this kind of curiosity. When I begin to feel sad, depressed, angry, fearful or frustrated I know that’s a signal to slow down and get more curious. It’s the slowing down and feeling that’s the key here.

After speaking with my almost ex-husband on the phone the other day I found myself triggered by his words. Our conversations are strained. Attempting to sort out custody and financial issues after twenty years of marriage is enough to test both of us. But this time I found myself feeling different. Even though my little powerless girl was sitting inside, ready to run and hide when she was told she was wrong, my current day warrior goddess stood firm and used awareness as her weapon.

I asked myself, “What if you don’t react but just listen instead? What if you don’t need to be right today, but instead chose to be love?” I asked some powerful questions that instantly shifted the feeling of powerlessness to confidence. This was a game changer for me, and for our conversation, which actually ended abruptly when he hung up, frustrated with my unwillingness to back down.

A feeling fully felt is the pathway through that feeling to something better. If we shove it down, numb it up or ignore it chances are it’s just laying dormant waiting for the next opportunity to trigger us. So I’ve learned to stop and feel when certain emotions, feelings, or symptoms show up. Slowing down and feeling before I rush to react is magic when it comes to dealing with the most difficult situations.

Because most of us were taught in some way that we shouldn’t feel, or that we should tough it out or not cry – feeling has become very difficult. We associate feeling with weakness, when it’s really this very vulnerability that’s our strength. We avoid it at all costs and are embarrassed when we can’t help ourselves and the tears fall.

Reality is, when we’re brave enough to feel everything, we end up having the most direct path to healing and experiencing the relief, shift or transformation we seek. So looking at the tough situations as opportunities for brave healing is how I roll…because I know it’s what I need to do to gain a perspective everyone else is missing.

Asking big questions is one way to practice this badass kind of awareness. Rather than shouting out the first thing that comes to your mind, try getting more interested in the feeling you’re having, and asking some of these questions to help you shift your perspective. “Wow, this is making me really mad, I wonder what’s up with that?” Is one I ask myself a lot. Observing yourself and your thoughts this way really changes how you respond because you’re taking responsibility for how you feel.

When we label things as bad we put extra meaning on it that may not be the truth. Look to your situations and figure out when and where you do this the most. What are your worst triggers or patterns of unconscious behavior? When do you react without thinking? Where are you so boxed into your feelings you can’t slow down? What triggers you so badly you react without thinking?

Many times the events of our lives feel like defining moments. Something we achieved, or failed at becomes who we are. This’s a chance to step back and be curious. Is this (event, situation or result) really who I am? The answer will always be no. It’s your attachment to it that makes it feel that way. The roles we play and the successes or failures we experience become who we are and when that ceases to be the case, we fall apart. What if who we are is way more than these things? (Another powerful question).

And lastly, in many situations that seem wrong, bad or negative, we’re instantly paralyzed, feeling out of control in our lives, depressed about our lack of influence on our own situation and made to feel worthless. The problem here is we aren’t seeing the nudge for action. Many times fear takes over and we forget we can move through it just by using awareness, choosing different thoughts, calling a friend, journaling about it, meditating, breathing, or moving our butts.

Action is the magic potion for all desires and for all pain. The definition of action is what gets us confused. Sometimes action is just slowing down, clearing our minds, feeling our feelings and processing what’s happening in a more calm, grounded, centered way. That’s some powerful action. And sometimes it’s getting motivated to speak or express ourselves. Action can be about reaching out to someone and it can be about drawing or painting through your feelings.

When things are going wrong and you realize you’re stuck in a pit of desperation, sadness or fear; remember to get curious. Feel what’s there. Step outside of yourself and observe your thoughts. Start to ask questions that’ll shift your perspective, and create healthier ways to think, believe and act. Then make the most powerful move you can make; take positive, on-purpose, inspired action, and sit back and wait for the shift.

Join me in the comments and let me know what other big questions you like to use!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Neiman Marcus’s Powerful Personal Shopper

At the luxury store in Beverly Hills, Catherine Bloom has a global client list and rare access to designers; dressing for the red carpet.
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FFXV: Find the Most Powerful Upgradable Weapons

Locate rare upgradable weapons and find out how to unleash their power in Final Fantasy XV.
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Will Ivanka Trump Be the Most Powerful First Daughter in History?

Ivanka Trump is about to become the most influential first daughter since Alice Roosevelt Longworth. But can she do so without damaging her own brand?
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Sexual Assault Survivor Draws Powerful Comic About Election Day

In the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s win, one woman put her feelings on paper in the form of a gut-wrenching illustration.

Created by artist Amy Camber, the short comic illustrates what so many sexual assault survivors experienced during such a tumultuous and triggering campaign season. As a survivor herself, Camber told The Huffington Post that she felt compelled to create the comic. 

“These past weeks have shaken me to my core,” Camber said. “Every woman I know was reeling after hearing Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. What he said, along with his dismissal of those words as ‘locker room talk,’ reminded us every time we’ve been demeaned, treated as less-than, spoken to inappropriately, or touched without our consent.”

Over a dozen women have publicly accused Trump of sexual assault, and yet ― somehow ― our country still voted him into the highest office of power.  

“It was one thing to endure this [misogyny] during the campaign but, now, this is our President-elect,” she told HuffPost. “It’s sickening. And I don’t want people to forget about what he said.”

While Camber pointed out that this comic illustrates her specific experience with assault and the triggers she faced during the election, she realizes it’s an experience many survivors share. 

Now, more than ever, Camber hopes that survivors will come forward with their stories. 

“In the upcoming weeks, we will be asked to suspend judgement, to wait and see what he’s ‘really like,’” Camber said. “But just as we’ve seen a rise in hate crimes and despicable acts of racism and xenophobia this past week, the damage of Trump’s campaign is already done.”

Head over to Camber’s personal website to see more of her work. 

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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When Dyson makes a hair dryer, it’s going to be quiet, powerful, and pricey

In a few months, the hum of hair dryers at your local salon might get a little lower if Dyson has its way. From vacuums to fans to hand dryers, Dyson certainly likes to focus on suction and airflow. It’s not really a surprise, then, that its first beauty product is a very pricey hair dryer. The company unveiled its $ 399 Dyson Supersonic hair dryer today. Gray and purple, the blow dryer looks Dyson-made and resembles a handheld showe rhead or microphone more than a traditional hair-styling tool. It took Dyson four years and $ 71 million to develop the device, which includes its new V9 digital motor. In 2013, patents revealed the company was working on a “silent” hair dryer. While it’s not calling the Supersonic hair dryer soundless, Dyson does say the device’s pathway cuts down on agitation and its 13 motor impeller blades emit a tone that’s inaudible to the human ear.Related: Dyson is looking beyond vacuum cleaners to developing electric cars It’s less noisy, but it also won’t scorch your hair, Dyson promises. The device contains a thermistor, which is a resistor that measures the temperature 20 times per second, so the microprocessor can adjust the amount of heat delivered, depending on which of the four settings you select. Air is delivered in a high-pressure stream at a 20-degree angle and there are three different strength settings. There’s also a setting to deliver a blast of cold air when hair is dry. The three attachments — a concentrator for a “blade” of air, smoothing nozzle for a wider airflow, and diffuser for defrizzing — snap on magnetically to the hair dryer. Ultimately, the 1.82-pound Supersonic solves four problems often encountered with traditional hair dryers, company founder James Dyson said it a statement: They’re heavy, inefficient, loud, and damaging. The Dyson Supersonic doesn’t go on sale until this fall and will only be available through Dyson or Sephora. We’ll have to wait until then to see if the nearly $ 400 dryer does all it promises.

Yahoo Tech

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Victoria’s Secret Model Writes Powerful Letter About Consent

Leomie Anderson is on a mission to empower young women to say “No.”

The Victoria’s Secret model posted an impassioned personal letter, “An Open Letter About Consent And Saying No,” on her website on Sunday, which which addresses sexting, and the pressures some young women feel to go along with requests for nude pictures.

Anderson wrote that she wanted to have a “heart to internet” conversation with her young readers.

“With the uncontrollable rise of social media and mixed messages that young people are exposed to, more and more young girls are falling victim to being pressured to do things and having their most intimate moments shared on the Internet,” she wrote. 

She also touched on her career as a model — and how lucky she is to work for  an agency she knows will support her saying “no” to any shoot she feels uncomfortable about. Anderson also acknowledged, though, that younger women don’t often have this kind of support, or feel like they can’t say “no” without being judged. 

“I know so many girls who felt pressured into sending a picture or doing something with a boy because they liked him or believed him when he said he wouldn’t show or tell anybody and ended up the topic of tutor time,” she wrote. 

The letter is an empowering reminder to young women that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that powerful two-letter word:

Saying NO doesn’t make you scared or frigid, it makes you smart and mature — you never want someone to be able to hold something against you or expose you. So please, all my young girls reading this, know that you don’t have to do anything that you aren’t fully comfortable with and that your NO means something.

Anderson has a track record of awesomeness: She is incredibly engaged with her community of fans and followers online, and has used her website to empower the young black women in the fashion industry. Check out more of her work here

H/T Mic

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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The U.S. Marine Corps’ New Amphibious Vehicle Is as Powerful as a Hellcat

And it’s way faster on water.

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Vulcan Lyric’s Powerful Glory Denied

2015-08-20-1440090474-5616691-BrandonSnookandJasonSwitzerphotoBobBezushko.JPGBrandon Snook & Jason Switzer in Glory Denied (ph: Bob Bezushko/VulcanLyric)

Conductor Andrew Kurtz has established a new opera troupe in Philly called Vulcan Lyric, building on his previous venture, Center City Opera Theater, which focused on presenting new operas and collaborating with a roster of regular, mostly Philly-based singers.

Vulcan’s kicked off with a festival the first weeks in August, with of four productions running for at the Prince Theater in Center City. A mixed opera bag to appeal to different tastes, with Heathers The Musical, moving into more pop theater territory; the with a cast of 18, taking a critical drumming, but attracting young audiences; Mexican composer Daniel Catan’s La hija de Rappaccini, which featured elaborate video/set design; a Vulcan premiere commission , Maren Vargo: Satan’s Bride, by Jeff Myers and Royce Vavrek, about a Norwegian girl being accused of witchcraft.

The fourth production was Glory Denied, by composer/librettist Tom Cipullo,, proved the artistic breakout for Vulcan. This musically brilliant docu-opera based on the oral history of Vietnam vet Colonel Floyd James Thompson, who spent nine years in a POW camp only to return to an ungrateful nation and a shattered marriage.

Staged in the intimate cabaret theater at the Prince, suited for director’s Leland Kimball’s accessible staging, using elements of physical theater. The fine cast of singers moving back and forth through time and borders. The story of Thompson’s captivity and what happens to his heart, mind and soul unfold in gripping prison scenes. Meanwhile, the lives of those who love him without knowing if he is dead or alive, over years, is equal torture. When he comes home to reclaim his life at the end of the war, he must deal with even more trauma.

Haunting and disturbing visuals in such scenes as Thompson on the street begging for work or the stillness of Alyce trying to move on resigned to the fact that her husband was killed. Or the younger Thompson handing his older self a bottle of JD retrieved out of a trunk draped in the American Flag and the older soldier downing half in one gulp.

The power of Thompson’s memoir is transferred to lyrics so coherently locked into Cipullo’s orchestral score, makes this opera uniquely visceral. Conductor Benjamin Grow’s fine detailing delivered the ferocious power of this score. Cipullo orchestrates with violincello, viola, horn, harp, piano and a slate of percussive instruments. A disquieted violincello line, played with engulfing clarity by Nina Cottman, shadows Jim’s eventual breakdown, among the many standouts.

The cast is just as remarkable. As Younger Jim, tenor Brandon Snook carves out a harrowing emotional terrain in scenes of abuse and confinement. If there can be operatic subtlety with singing while being tortured, keeping himself alive by dreaming of freedom. The rendering of the 23rd psalm, just to name a few vocal challenging scenes, is never sentimental.

Kate Oberjat’s silvery soprano as his young wife Alyce steals your heart as she sings the letter she is writing to Jim, talking about their daughter watching The Wizard of Oz on TV in 1964 and letting Jim know that another baby is on the way. Keeping her fear at bay and vocally essaying a different story.

As Older Alyse, Darla Diltz is volcanic as she conveys how the brutality of her situation, waiting over nine year, eventually, kills all hope in her heart, and emotionally has to move on so she herself can survive. All three of these singers created these roles in the acclaimed Chelsea Opera New York production in 2010

Baritone Jason Switzer appeared in several CCOT productions and is an Academy of Vocal Arts alum, and delivers a towering performance. The steel and silk vocal qualities relentlessly on tap for this challenging role. “Turn on, tune in, drop out….Burn out” Thompson rages in his shattering breakdown that crashes his voice as his spews out a litany culture shocks confronting him as he realizes he is a stranger in his own country.

Thompson and Cipullo’s j’accuse about how vets are treated by an ungrateful nation during the Vietnam era, sadly, resonates today with too many veterans struggling to pick up their lives after serving their country.in two more disastrous wars.

Glory Denied is compelling, relevant opera and kudos to Vulcan Lyric for mounting such a fully realized artistic achievement.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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How to Clear Obstacles Using a Powerful Meditation Object

2015-08-19-1439950222-168534-buddhameditatingwisdom570.jpg

Many people resist getting to their meditation cushion. When I ask why, the occasional person will confess something that most of us feel deep inside: “I don’t want to face my own mind.”

Much of my first year in a three-year meditation retreat was spent clearing obstacles that blocked my mind from reaching meditative stillness. As tough as it was, I found great benefit in facing my personal failures and shortcomings so that my heart and mind could finally be at peace.

At times, meditation felt like cleaning out a garage. First, you move out the big stuff you know is there and then you discover things you’re still holding on to from over a decade ago — maybe even from high school.

Because agitation is a major obstacle you face when you first start to meditate, clearing mental obstacles is among the very first things you have to do.

I’ve found there are no short-cuts to spiritual progress. It’s better to deal with your stuff first. You can bury it, you can suppress it, you can pretend it isn’t there, but when you’re free of obstacles everything proceeds easier.

So when spiritual masters work with people, getting them to stop and let go of the things that are hurting them is often the very first thing done. This helps to settle the mind so it can stay on your meditation object.

We all have stuff that we are holding on to — baggage that is weighing us down — things that we have to let go of. We all know we have habits that are no good for us, that agitate our mind, and hold us back from becoming who we want to be.

But sometimes it’s not so clear what it is precisely. And even if we know, we don’t have a mechanism for dealing with it and letting it go.

So that’s what you’re going to gain today: the first of the three most powerful meditation techniques (I know I promised these for you in an earlier blog article). This is a problem-solving meditative technique to clearly identify your obstacles and let them go. You can call this process: Compare and Dare to Let Go.

Step 1: Invite your image of an enlightened being into your meditation and think about their good qualities.

Notice I said your image of an enlightened being. It can be Jesus. It can be the Buddha. You can also imagine what your enlightened self will be like in the future and have a conversation with them. Choose whatever enlightened image resonates with you. But don’t settle for an ordinary image, because the purification will be too slow.

Your mind is like silly putty. Whatever you expose it to it becomes. If you bring an extraordinary image to your mind, you will get extraordinary results. The great 9th century scholar-saint Dharmamitra, in his Clear Words Commentary, noted this principle: “Meditating is making the mind take on the state or condition of the object of meditation.” Simply, meditate on what you want to become.

Step 2: Compare your mind to the enlightened image you’ve invited into your meditation and ask, “What do I have to give up to be more like you?” This brings your obstacles to your attention.

Perhaps now the benefit of inviting an enlightened being into your meditation is even clearer. You gain a rare chance to see who you’ll be without all your blockers. See that it will be better.

It takes courage to let go of some of your stories, because you’re not sure who you will be without them. Having a goal in sight of the kind of being you want to become greatly speeds the process.

Amazing things happen in meditation when you’re willing to listen. Ask the question again, “What do I have to give up to gain more peace?”

Just listen. The answers will come.

Step 3: Once you have identified your obstacle, prepare to destroy the thing that is holding you back and causing you and others suffering. Decide to let it go. So you can be available to be the person you want to be.

Put your obstacle in a box and label it clearly. Recognize that your enlightened being wants you to be free of this obstacle so you can be of more benefit to more people. As you prepare to give it to them to destroy, remember once you give it away, it’s no longer yours. Don’t try to take it back.

When you give your obstacle away see it destroyed in a flash of white light.

Step 4: Enjoy feeling clear of your obstacle. With no obstacles in your way, bring your enlightened being into your heart. Radiate golden or white light throughout your entire body and mind. Send that goodness out into the world.

Letting go brings further peace and clarity to our lives. Experience will show you that purifying your mind of obstacles and growing in goodness are the two keys for reaching meditative stillness.

A complete guided meditation of How to Clear Obstacles is available for free at my non-profit website GoBeyond.org. A more detailed step-by-step outline of the meditation, authentic scriptural sources for this meditation, and teaching videos are also available for free too. Enjoy.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Powerful Women And Female Pleasure: Exploring The Feminist Themes Of ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Female viewers flocked to the theaters to watch “Magic Mike XXL” when the flick hit the big screen last week. And many of its fans have praised the film for its feminism.

The sequel, which follows Channing Tatum and his band of male entertainers as they make their way to their final performance at a stripper convention, has been applauded for its progressive depiction of women of various ages, body types and races, its  powerful female characters and its positive embrace of female sexuality. As the Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald noted, “Magic Mike XXL” even passed the Bechdel test.

As entertainment writer for Cosmopolitan.com Patti Greco told HuffPost Live, the film’s writers may have intended to make buddy comedy, but the end result was completely different.

“Ultimately, what came out of it was a movie that centered on the idea that women’s pleasure really mattered very much,” Greco told host Caroline Modaressy-Tehrani. “[There were] a bunch of great female characters who actually helped write their parts. Jada Pinkett-Smith, [who was] a revelation in this and arguably was the most empowering and feminist part of the movie, really brought that role to the table, same with Andie MacDowell.”

Greco also applauded the character development of the film’s male stars and responded to the critique that “Magic Mike XXL” objectifies men and promotes unrealistic body standards.

“If these guys were just chiseled lunks, nobody would be that attracted to them. They actually have personality,” she said. “They actually have sensitivity and so they are feminine in some ways and it plays with the idea that you can’t just be a hunk of meat. You also have to be sensitive to satisfy a woman.”

Still the movie had its flaws, Deadspin senior culture editor Puja Patel noted.

“There are times where the film is clearly pandering a little bit,” she said. “These women kind of become a prop to tell the males character development or the story that these men are healers in some way.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the feminist themes in “Magic Mike XXL” here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before.

Also On The Huffington Post:

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Powerful Women And Female Pleasure: Exploring The Feminist Themes Of ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Female viewers flocked to the theaters to watch “Magic Mike XXL” when the flick hit the big screen last week. And many of its fans have praised the film for its feminism.

The sequel, which follows Channing Tatum and his band of male entertainers as they make their way to their final performance at a stripper convention, has been applauded for its progressive depiction of women of various ages, body types and races, its  powerful female characters and its positive embrace of female sexuality. As the Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald noted, “Magic Mike XXL” even passed the Bechdel test.

As entertainment writer for Cosmopolitan.com Patti Greco told HuffPost Live, the film’s writers may have intended to make buddy comedy, but the end result was completely different.

“Ultimately, what came out of it was a movie that centered on the idea that women’s pleasure really mattered very much,” Greco told host Caroline Modaressy-Tehrani. “[There were] a bunch of great female characters who actually helped write their parts. Jada Pinkett-Smith, [who was] a revelation in this and arguably was the most empowering and feminist part of the movie, really brought that role to the table, same with Andie MacDowell.”

Greco also applauded the character development of the film’s male stars and responded to the critique that “Magic Mike XXL” objectifies men and promotes unrealistic body standards.

“If these guys were just chiseled lunks, nobody would be that attracted to them. They actually have personality,” she said. “They actually have sensitivity and so they are feminine in some ways and it plays with the idea that you can’t just be a hunk of meat. You also have to be sensitive to satisfy a woman.”

Still the movie had its flaws, Deadspin senior culture editor Puja Patel noted.

“There are times where the film is clearly pandering a little bit,” she said. “These women kind of become a prop to tell the males character development or the story that these men are healers in some way.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the feminist themes in “Magic Mike XXL” here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before.

Also On The Huffington Post:

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Arts – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Woman In A Wheelchair Gives Powerful Response To A Rude Question About Her Sex Life

 

 

“I get a lot of questions from strangers who think that because my wheelchair puts me at a lower height, the walls surrounding my personal life must be lower too.” 

So begins Kelsey Warren’s riveting spoken word poem called “My Body.” As a disabled woman, Warren discusses the rude stares and even ruder questions she constantly receives. Although she says these run-of-the-mill intrusions don’t bother her any longer, she points out one question she recently received that really got under her skin: 

“So do you like let your partner have a side relationship so they can have normal sex every once in awhile?” 

“Honey,” she replies to the question in her performance. “If they’re with me, they’re not looking for normal and I don’t mean because I’m crippled.” 

Warren goes on to explain that her sex is exciting and comfortable and sensual — really anything but “normal” and that’s why it’s so good. “Sex with me is never normal,” she tells the crowd. “Cripple copulation may be slightly more complicated, but it is always climactic. Not once has someone that I had sex wit said my sex was less than.”

She proudly proclaims her body is beautiful. “This body wasn’t made to meet your definition of desirable,” Warren says. “This body doesn’t exist to be taken or left. This body is broken but it is beautiful.”

With her powerful delivery, Warren nears the end of the poem with a truth all women can heed: “My body will not be denied its worth. My body will keep the job of being my body, perfectly.”

 

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Arts – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Powerful Women And Female Pleasure: Exploring The Feminist Themes Of ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Female viewers flocked to the theaters to watch “Magic Mike XXL” when the flick hit the big screen last week. And many of its fans have praised the film for its feminism.

The sequel, which follows Channing Tatum and his band of male entertainers as they make their way to their final performance at a stripper convention, has been applauded for its progressive depiction of women of various ages, body types and races, its  powerful female characters and its positive embrace of female sexuality. As the Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald noted, “Magic Mike XXL” even passed the Bechdel test.

As entertainment writer for Cosmopolitan.com Patti Greco told HuffPost Live, the film’s writers may have intended to make buddy comedy, but the end result was completely different.

“Ultimately, what came out of it was a movie that centered on the idea that women’s pleasure really mattered very much,” Greco told host Caroline Modaressy-Tehrani. “[There were] a bunch of great female characters who actually helped write their parts. Jada Pinkett-Smith, [who was] a revelation in this and arguably was the most empowering and feminist part of the movie, really brought that role to the table, same with Andie MacDowell.”

Greco also applauded the character development of the film’s male stars and responded to the critique that “Magic Mike XXL” objectifies men and promotes unrealistic body standards.

“If these guys were just chiseled lunks, nobody would be that attracted to them. They actually have personality,” she said. “They actually have sensitivity and so they are feminine in some ways and it plays with the idea that you can’t just be a hunk of meat. You also have to be sensitive to satisfy a woman.”

Still the movie had its flaws, Deadspin senior culture editor Puja Patel noted.

“There are times where the film is clearly pandering a little bit,” she said. “These women kind of become a prop to tell the males character development or the story that these men are healers in some way.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the feminist themes in “Magic Mike XXL” here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before.

Also On The Huffington Post:

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Wild, Powerful, and Passionate Humanoids: An Orc Erotica Story Bundle (An Erotic Story Bundle Featuring 3 Orc Stories)

Wild, Powerful, and Passionate Humanoids: An Orc Erotica Story Bundle (An Erotic Story Bundle Featuring 3 Orc Stories)


Warning: This is a bundle of three erotic stories containing romance, adventure, vibrant worlds of fantasy, and of course, sizzling, scintillating sex with orcs. This group of stories was written to unlock your darkest fantasies and innermost desires. It is not for the faint of heart and is not your mother’s erotica. All of the sexual descriptions found in this book are very explicit in nature. It’s not suitable for someone under 18 years of age. Read at your own risk. There is a total of 15,900 words in this erotic story bundle. The following stories are included. Story 1: Captured by OrcsOrcs have descended on an Elven village. Katrin’s younger sister has gone missing, and she is determined to trail the Orcs that took her and get her revenge. Captured and knocked unconscious on the trail, Katrin awakens in the Orc camp, face to face with their leader. Praying that help is on the way, Katrin dares him to break her. Can she bear his bestial touch while he torments and pleasures her? Will she give in to his demands?Story 2: Prisoner of LustKept captive in a human city besieged by goblins, a band of orcs bargains for their freedom. They agree to take arms for the humans if their basic physical needs are met and if they’re freed when the goblins are dealt with. Their “physical needs” include food, clothing, weapons, and sex. After some consternation, the city authorities call on Gaila, madam of the city’s most exclusive brothel. At first, she refuses to send any of her girls to service the beasts- she won’t take that risk with their safety. Eventually, Gaila consents on the condition that she tests the waters. If she can service the orc to his satisfaction and he does not damage her, she will select a few of her whores to tend to the orcs’ needs. What Gaila doesn’t realize is that orcs are more sexual than humans- much more- and these orcs have been locked up for a long time. Can she take everything that the orc dishes out?Story 3: Wild DelightsCaris has more freedom than m

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Powerful Photos Capture Impact of ‘Narco Aesthetic’ In Medellín, Colombia

“Beauties” is a photo essay I shot on the interpretation of beauty and female culture in Medellín, Colombia.

Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia. During the ’80s and ’90s, it was at the epicenter of narcotics traffic in South America. Today, plunging homicide rates, a public campaign to reduce violence, and urban development have helped new libraries, parks, schools and sustainable infrastructure flourish. This combination has qualified Medellín as a city of change on the international stage.

However, when a big phenomenon and transition like this happens in a society, it is inevitable that it affects all aspects of it; in this case, one of them was the interpretation of beauty. During these years, the female body became a reflection of a lavish lifestyle. Drug lords would visit the U.S to conduct drug deals and return with images of beauty that they’d seen on prostitutes there: blonde and voluptuous, with thin noses. Back home, they had the money to transform any woman into that canon of beauty.

This understanding of the female body, usually called narco aesthetic, had a deep impact on the female culture of the city. In Medellín, women have historically been seen as strong figures, mothers and hard workers. For many, it is still like that, but the 1980s and ’90s brought a very materialistic approach that changed the role of women’s beauty and bodies.

This is how cosmetic surgery went mainstream in Medellín. The photoessay introduces the viewers to teenagers with casual familiarities with liposuction; a diet pill seller so desperate to be “as pretty as her friends” she allowed an unqualified doctor to put bio-polymers in her buttocks (a procedure she’s now seeking to reverse); and handfuls of women who’ve spent millions of pesos on plastic surgery besides.

Even so, my main objective wasn’t to focus on the popularity of plastic surgery in the city, but on how social factors changed the understanding of our own bodies. I just wanted to investigate how women and beauty are interpreted in a particular space and time frame. However, it was inevitable that the love for plastic surgery in the city showed up in the essay; not taking it into account would have meant ignoring a big part of the reality.

Provoking girls to realize there are alternative ways of seeing beauty is a huge priority in my reportage. I would like to believe that my work will inspire other women to analyze what they see around them and realize that it’s just a culturally formed interpretation of beauty; you don’t need to take it in full.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost Spain and has been translated from Spanish to English.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 85 Most Powerful Comings Out Of 2014

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Print Magazine Covers Tell The Most Powerful Stories Of 2014

Though 2014 proved to be another troubling year for the print industry, Americans remained as transfixed by magazine covers as ever.

While today one can gather news from a plethora of high-speed, digital platforms, there is still something to be said for the way a bold headline, a striking photograph and a sheet of glossy paper can capture the day’s biggest stories and most iconic personalities.

From a man kneeling with his hands up amid the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, to Lupita Nyong’o posing in a red and white floral dress to the Advocate naming Russian president Vladimir Putin its “Person of the Year,” magazines covers reflected the arc of politics, protests, culture and celebrity throughout 2014.

Check out some of the year’s most unforgettable covers:

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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The Gender Gap Persists, Even Among Hollywood’s Most Rich And Powerful

Female actors in Hollywood are earning less than their male counterparts. On Friday, The Daily Beast released information from the Sony hack which reveals that Jennifer Lawrence received a smaller portion of the back-end compensation for “American Hustle” than her male co-stars, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner.

But according to a recent graphic released by The Washington Post (via the New York Film Academy), Lawrence is not alone. In the year 2013, the 10 highest earning male actors earned between $ 32 million and $ 75 million dollars, while the 10 highest earning female actors earned between $ 11 million and $ 33 million.


The Washington Post also notes that the charts points to other forms of discrimination faced by women in Hollywood:

The chart also suggests that age is a bigger factor for female actresses: Their median age is 34.8, while the median age for male actors is 46.5 … Part of the pay gap is undoubtedly due to women’s lower representation overall: Less than a third of speaking characters in the top 500 films between 2007 and 2012 were women, and only 10.7 percent of movies featured a balanced cast where half of the characters were female.

Earlier this month, leaked data also revealed a gender gap among Sony executives: of the 17 employees at the company who earn $ 1 million or more per year, only one is a woman.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Watch Harry Belafonte’s Powerful Speech On Social Injustice

Harry Belafonte was this year’s recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award during the sixth annual Governors Awards on Saturday night. The honorary Oscar is Belafonte’s first, and the 87-year-old singer, actor and social activist used the award as an opportunity to discuss Hollywood’s complicated history with racial injustice:

In 1935, at the age of 8, sitting in a Harlem theater, I watched with awe and wonder incredible feats of the white superhero, Tarzan of the Apes. Tarzan was a sight to see. This porcelain Adonis, this white liberator, who could speak no language, swinging from tree to tree, saving Africa from the tragedy of destruction by a black indigenous population of inept, ignorant, void-of-any-skills population, governed by ancient superstitions with no heart for Christian charity. Through this film the virus of racial inferiority — of never wanting to be identified with anything African — swept into the psyche of its youthful observers. And for the years that followed, Hollywood brought abundant opportunity for black children in their Harlem theaters to cheer Tarzan and boo Africans. […] But these encounters set other things in motion. It was an early stimulus to the beginning of my rebellion. Rebellion against injustice and human distortion and hate. How fortunate for me that the performing arts became the catalyst that fueled my desire for social change.

Belafonte went on to cite “The Defiant Ones,” “Schindler’s List,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “12 Years A Slave” and Sidney Poitier as moving the discussion forward in a positive way throughout the last 60 years. But he closed his speech with a call to arms for all of Hollywood, now and in the future:

I really wish I could be around for the rest of this century, to see what Hollywood does with the rest of the century. Maybe, just maybe, it could be civilization’s game changer. After all, as Paul Robeson said, artists are the radical voice of civilization. Each and every one of you in this room, with your gift and power and skills, could perhaps change the way in which our global humanity mistrusts itself. Perhaps we as artists and visionaries for what’s better in the human heart and the human soul could influence citizens everywhere in the world to see the better side of who and what we are as a species.

Watch the full video of Belafonte’s acceptance speech above.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Jonah Hill Gets Real On ‘Tonight Show’ With Powerful Apology

Things just got real.

On Tuesday, “22 Jump Street” star Jonah Hill stopped by “The Tonight Show,” and rather than promote his new movie right away, he got things off to a very sobering start first.

Over the weekend, Hill was caught on tape using a homophobic slur on a paparazzo, and he asked host Jimmy Fallon if he could take a moment to address the situation with “The Tonight Show” audience.

“My heart’s broken, and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s been affected by that term in their life. I’m sorry, and I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness.”

“Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke,” Hill began as he revealed the circumstances that led to the incident. The actor recalled how the paparazzo in question had been following him all day, calling him names and attacking him personally until he just couldn’t take it any more.

“In response, I wanted to hurt him back, and I said the most hurtful word that I could think of at that moment,” Hill admitted.

Though he claims he didn’t mean the term in a homophobic way, the actor went on to say, “Words have weight and meaning, and the word I chose was grotesque. And no one deserves to say or hear words like that.”

Hill has been a staunch supporter of gay rights throughout his career, even speaking out against Russia’s anti-gay laws amid the controversy surrounding the Sochi Olympics.

“My heart’s broken, and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s been affected by that term in their life. I’m sorry, and I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness,” said Hill.

Hill finished his apology by urging young people to use him as an example of what not to do, saying that using hatred and anger just “adds more ugliness to the world.”

Watch the full video above.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Do You Really Know How Powerful Your Intentions Are?

“Each intention — anger, greed, compassion, understanding — sets energy into motion… What you intend is what you become…Power is energy that is formed by the intentions of the soul. It is Light shaped by the intentions of love and compassion guided by wisdom. It is energy that is focused and directed toward the fulfillment of the tasks of the soul upon the Earth.” ~ Gary Zukav – The Seat of the Soul

If you were to think of the span of your life as a journey, how happy, how fulfilled, how peaceful would you be at this particular point of your life? Is it possible that, as Gary Zukav infers, our intentions shape our experiences which, at the end of the day, comprise the sum of our time spent on the planet? Is it really plausible that what we intend we become? Opening our mind to this question has profound implications because it beckons us to consider how conscious (or not) our intentions for the life we are living have been. Courageously exploring this question enables us to see that we play a crucial part in determining where the journey of our life will take us in the future. In other words, irrespective of the current state of our life, we can meet the new day with immense optimism by embracing the fact that our future is shaped by our deepest, consciously made, intentions.

Too often, in the busyness of our lives, our intentions are semi-unconscious, meaning they slip unnoticed directly through to the reactive habit-mind, circumventing the deeper contemplative self. As a result, we may make choices which spawn consequences that we may not anticipate. There is a direct correlation between the choices we make and our intentions. Every choice we make announces our intention to the Universe about what we desire and puts energy in motion to make it so. The root word for intention is intent, which means, “An aspiration to do something on purpose with an objective goal or target in mind; by design.” Whether we are aware of it or not, we each live by intention. While many of us believe otherwise, our intentions, whether our highest or our basest, conscious or unconscious, are always being served. If we find our lives to be “off course” it is only through the process of becoming consciously “Self aware” that we can begin to challenge and change the compass coordinates set for our journey thus far. Awakening to our spiritual nature gives us access to the wisdom of the soul which, as Zukav points out, brings us into alignment with our soul’s desire. It is comforting to remember that the intentions of the soul are always for our highest good through the actualization and application of love and compassion in our daily lives.

How conscious are the choices you have been making? Are they propelled by the Light, wisdom and energy of love and compassion, or something of a lower, more base vibration where the ego quietly lingers in the shadows? In other words, are your intentions arising from the infinite depths your soul, or the shallows of a reactive mind operating just under the radar of the fully aware self? It’s easy to discern. Just witness your feeling nature as you ask yourself these questions and you’ll know from where your intentions arise:

  • Are my daily choices driven by unconscious habits, fears, doubts, and insecurities, or love and trust?
  • Do my choices incorporate harmony, sharing, cooperation and reverence for Life?
  • Do my choices create authentic power within or do they cause me to look to other people and external things for my power, purpose and direction?
  • Do my choices include intentions that honor my body, my relationships, my world, and most importantly, my own soul?

The essence of these questions comes from Gary Zukav’s book, The Seat of the Soul. If you have not yet read it, I encourage you to do so. That action will, alone, demonstrate a conscious intention to honor your soul’s desire. I have read this book a dozen times over the past quarter century and each time I have garnered another gem or two that enriched my life immensely. I am happy to announce that The Seat of the Soul has just been republished in a special 25th Anniversary Edition which includes a helpful Study Guide written by Gary and his spiritual partner, Linda Francis, as well as prefaces by both Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou.

You really are on a journey of a lifetime. The rule of the road is to mindfully pay attention to your intentions. Know that where your life is headed now is not predestined by where it has been. You are at choice. Remember that your authentic power comes from energy that is formed by your soul. Take time to plumb the depths of your innermost being and listen carefully to the wisdom therein for what you intend today is what you shall become tomorrow. May your journey be a sacred one, where the intentions of your deepest Self rise and commingle with your daily doing, serving as the compass that points the way to the life you truly deserve.

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia Fatigue: The Powerful Program That Helps You Boost Your Energy and Reclaim Yo

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Beth Whaanga’s Powerful Breast Cancer Portraits Lost Her 100 Friends, But Could Save Many More Lives

Beth Whaanga posted images of herself after breast cancer surgery on Facebook, hoping to share her story and urge others to take preventative measures.

What she didn’t expect was the vitriolic responses from some of her Facebook “friends” — and the subsequent outpourings of support she received when the photographs went viral.

(Some images below are NSFW and may be considered graphic.)

Whaanga, a nurse and married mother-of-four from Brisbane, Australia, was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 32nd birthday. After finding out that she carried the BRCA2 gene, a genetic mutation that put her at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer, Whaanga underwent a double mastectomy last November, as well as a hysterectomy, lymphadenectomy and melanoma lumpectomies. Instead of hiding her scars, she chose to speak out in order to help others affected by cancer.

“Your scars are a physical or emotional representation of a trial you’ve been through,” Whaanga told The Huffington Post in an email. “They show that you came through the trial and survived.”

She teamed up with friend and photographer Nadia Masot to photograph her post-surgery body in a series of portraits called “Under The Red Dress.”

“I really felt during the shoot I wanted to portray [Whaanga’s] strength and resilience, but also have her vulnerability and pain come across,” Masot told The Huffington Post in an email. “She was unafraid of me pointing the camera at her exposed body, scarred as it is. She was confident in sharing it with me, and I think that came across.”

beth whaanga

Introducing the photographs on her Facebook page, Whaanga wrote:

WARNING: these images are confronting and contain topless material. They are not in anyway meant to be sexual. The aim of this project is to raise awareness for breast cancer. If you find these images offensive please hide them from your feed. Each day we walk past people. These individuals appear normal but under their clothing sometimes their bodies tell a different story. Nadia Masot and I aim to find others who are willing to participate in our project so that we might show others that cancer effects everyone. The old and the young, age does not matter, self examination is vital. It can happen to you.

beth whaanga

Despite Whaanga’s explanation, some people took issue with the images. Hours after the photographs had been posted, over 100 people had de-friended Whaanga on Facebook, and several reported the album to Facebook for violation of the site’s photo policy. (Facebook has contacted Whaanga to inform her that they will not be removing the images.)

beth whaanga

“The feedback that I’ve received was that people felt that the medium was not appropriate for these images,” Whaanga told HuffPost. “They were also concerned about the graphic and confronting content of the images.”

These objections, however, seem almost petty in light of the project’s goal: raising awareness about cancer and encouraging people to make their health a priority.

“These photos remind the viewer to be vigilant about checking their bodies and to be more aware that this could and and possibly will happen to you,” Whaanga told HuffPost.

beth whaanga

“If the ‘Under The Red Dress’ project helps one man, woman or family deal with their battle with cancer, or helps one person in their preventative journey, than I’m very happy,” Whaanga told HuffPost.

Learn more about the Under The Red Dress Project here.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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