1. Mental Health Finally Gets Some Attention.
Could it be? Is mental health finally having its “moment”? This week certainly has us thinking so, considering that there were at least three major stories in regards to the importance of maintaining emotional and mental fitness. First, Selena Gomez canceled the rest of her “Revival” tour, claiming time for herself and her increasing complications with her mental health. After receiving a recent lupus diagnosis, Gomez says she’s had trouble dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks--all little-known symptoms of the immune disease. And while we were busy cheering for Selena’s courageous choice to prioritize her needs over the demands of her career, we almost missed our BFF Hill who came in clutch with a big announcement about mental health this week, to the tune of a $5 billion plan. This big budget job would fund community health center that will specialize in substance abuse and mental health treatment, as well encourage more basic research, partially directed toward brain functions. AND, on top of all that, there’s this woman who is highlighting the effects of racism on mental health for black British women through her incredible artwork. Such important ladies all around!
2. Mom-trepreneur Brings Imaginations To Life.
While some of our (adult af) doodles may be NSFW/Not-Safe-For-Shirts, this brilliant new company is turning children’s imaginations into wearable and adorable works of art, and we think it’s pretty cool. Jaimee Newberry, mom-trepreneur extraordinaire, was inspired by her daughter, Zia, to start Picture This, a new company that turns a child’s drawings into a wearable dress. Ummmm, can we travel back in time 14 years, please??? This HuffPo article highlights how the company grew after Newberry designed a dress for her daughter that was influenced by her artwork--and how, when Zia wore the dress, she started telling people that she was “wearing my imagination!” Ugh. Brb sobbing over this sweetness overload.
3. 12-Year-Old Software Developer Creates App For Alzheimer's Patients.
Speaking of wonderful young girls who bring a tear to the eye, meet Emma Yang, a NYC 12-year-old and software-developer-genius who developed an app to help elderly people cope with Alzheimer’s disease. And when we say that Yang developed the app, we’re not just talkin’ about simply coming up with the idea (though that still would have been impressive, TBH)--we’re talkin’ about full-on developing an app and doing its coding and other tech terms that we honestly don’t know anything about and could maybe Google but also probably won’t. Yang, whose grandmother lives in Hong Kong and has been struggling with Alzheimer’s for years, was inspired to create the app to make her grandmother’s life, and the lives of others afflicted by the disease, easier. Working off of scholarships she’s earned at the tender age of 12, Yang has been able to develop an app that will help those with the disease identify relatives and loved ones using facial recognition technology, as well as detect and intercept repetitive behaviors like continuously calling the same person. *sigh* We wish everyone in middle school could have been as cool as E Yang.
4. American Girl Announces Second-Ever Black Doll.
TFW you realize that American Girl only has one black doll, and she’s an escaped slave: yikes. This week, it was announced that the iconic doll company is putting out their second black doll, a 9-year-old girl named Melody Ellison, growing up in Civil-Rights- and Motown-era Detroit. This is one in a long line of milestones being reached for representation in children’s toys over the past couple of years, as scrutiny over the lack of representation has sharpened significantly. Melody is more than just another American Girl doll--she represents the changing of racial tides, both in the 60s and the recent resurgence thanks to activist groups like Black Lives Matter, and the importance of understanding history as a tool for the present. Yup, we’re definitely buyin’ what they’re sellin’.
5. California Passes Law For Mandatory Prison Sentences For Those Guilty of Rape.
California legislators have turned up the feminist volume in recent weeks, and we are all ears. This week, the state voted to implement mandatory prison sentencing for certain sexual assaults (why not all, tho??) in reaction to the heinous behavior of the white men who mishandled the Brock Turner case earlier this summer. Ya know, that one time a white dude was served six months in jail (and only served a fraction of that time) after he was found guilty of digitally raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford? Yeah, that one. This new law expands the existing rule that ensures any sexual assault under force must result in prison time, and now includes instances when the victim is unconscious or intoxicated and therefore incapable of giving consent. Not a cure-all for rape culture, but definitely a big improvement. Thanks for lookin’ out, CA.