Blog Posts by Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff

  • Moms in Uproar Over 'Banana Girl,' 'TannyRaw,' Online Diet Gurus

    Following a steady pelting of complaints by anti-eating-disorder activists, YouTube temporarily suspended the channel of a popular raw-food adherent known as TannyRaw on Friday. And while the channel was only down for a few hours, the move touched off a social-media dustup about responsibility and blame regarding young, susceptible women, eating disorders, and those spouting diet advice, including TannyRaw and a YouTube star who calls herself Freelee the Banana Girl.

    The small but vocal group of about 15 critics — Mothers (and Others) Against Eating Disorders, or MAED — took issue with what they call TannyRaw's “dangerous” approach to dispensing weight-loss and nutrition advice, and say that in one video the South Carolina woman, whose real name is Tanya, even counseled a young girl to refuse treatment for her eating disorder. “That's unethical and dangerous,” noted one woman on Twitter, where an impassioned back-and-forth between people on both sides of the argument raged all day

    Read More »from Moms in Uproar Over 'Banana Girl,' 'TannyRaw,' Online Diet Gurus
  • Facebook May Hurt a Woman's Body Image

    Facebook obsessing might hurt your self image. Photo: Getty ImagesIt’s been pretty well established that media images of thin models and toned celebrities can cause a woman’s body image to take a hit. Now comes evidence to suggest that realistic social-media images — on Facebook, specifically — can add to that suffering, too. The latest study on the topic, due to be presented in May at the annual International Communication Association conference in Seattle, found that young women who spend a lot of time on Facebook tend to feel more negatively about their bodies than other young women.

    More on Yahoo Shine: Gwen Stefani's Comments About Her 'Chunky' Body Make Us Sad

    “The attention college women pay to physical attributes may be even more dangerous on Facebook than through traditional media because the impact is stronger when it’s people that they know, as opposed to celebrities,” researcher Yusuf Kalyango, an associate professor of journalism at Ohio University, tells Yahoo Shine. And the takeaway, he notes, is that “online objectification and social

    Read More »from Facebook May Hurt a Woman's Body Image
  • Portraits of Little Girls With Cancer Stir Emotions on Facebook

    From left, Riley, Rheann and Ainsley. Photo: Scantling PhotographyEach year in the U.S., about 13,400 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with a form of cancer, according to the American Childhood Cancer Organization. And while those numbers are staggering enough on their own, sometimes one simple photo speaks even louder than statistics — like in the case of this particular image, by Oklahoma photographer Lora Scantling, that’s currently yanking on the heartstrings of thousands of Facebook users. In it are three little girls, ages 3, 4, and 6, mostly bald from chemo and embracing each other with their eyes closed, in a pose that emanates a warmth and depth beyond their collective years. A caption notes, “Sometimes strength comes in knowing you are not alone.”

    “I thought of this project just because I wanted to do something that would bring out emotion and touch peoples hearts,” Scantling tells Yahoo Shine through a message on Facebook — where her photo of the three girls has been liked nearly 4,000 times since being posted on April 5. “My

    Read More »from Portraits of Little Girls With Cancer Stir Emotions on Facebook
  • Parents Are Naming Their Babies After 'Game of Thrones'

    The inspiration for baby girls named Khaleesi, from Game of Thrones. Photo: HBOOnce upon a time, baby names were a simple affair — Jane, Elizabeth, Susan. Then, for a time, with Sunshine and Autumn and Moon Unit, they got hippiefied. Now, with news spreading over Social Security Administration data showing that in 2012 alone, nearly 150 American girls were named Khaleesi — after a character’s royal title on “Game of Thrones” — the whole name game has become downright surreal.

    More on Shine: Amazing Wedding Ideas Inspired by 'Game of Thrones'

    On Wednesday, the website Vox reported on its discovery of the "Game of Thrones" baby-naming trend. After crunching the numbers, it found that the name Khaleesi had become more popular than Betsy, according to SSA data.

    “There are certain qualities about a character that makes the name really catch on,” Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard,” tells Yahoo Shine. “And in general, it’s shows featuring attractive young people with supernatural powers.”

    To wit: Katniss, from the "Hunger Games” trilogy, which was among the

    Read More »from Parents Are Naming Their Babies After 'Game of Thrones'
  • Families Protest Alabama Lawmaker's Racist Comments

    The Portis family, proving Rep. Holmes wrong. Photo: Grace Photography/FacebookAdoptive parents in Alabama are firing back against state Rep. Alvin Holmes and the race-based, controversial comments he made during an abortion-bill debate in March. In addition to claiming that 99 percent of white legislators would force their daughters to have an abortion if impregnated by a black man, Holmes also said, "I will bring you $100,000 cash tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama. I will go down there and mortgage my house and get it cash in 20 dollar bills and bring it to you in a little briefcase." Now he may need to head to the bank, as families who have done just that staged a press conference at the Alabama State House Wednesday.

    More on Shine: Mom's Photo Series Spotlights Racist Comments Directed at Daughters

    “Rep. Holmes’ statements were very offensive. He implied transracial adoptions do not happen in Alabama, which is far from the truth,” notes a press release about the demonstration that was posted on the Facebook page for

    Read More »from Families Protest Alabama Lawmaker's Racist Comments
  • Disney's 'Frozen' Memorabilia Shortage Causes Panic

    This Anna doll could be yours for $999.95. Photo: eBayWhat ever happened to imaginative, movie-inspired play? You know, like, where a 5-year-old reenacts the scenes from her favorite Disney film while wearing an odd pastiche of dress-up clothes that are mostly mommy’s castoffs? Or plays the soundtrack of said favorite movie while dancing or singing along or, simply, listening? What’s happened to it, apparently, is that it’s gone the way of the record player (just please don’t tell my daughter that). And how I know that is this: “Frozen” merchandise is pretty much sold out everywhere, and parents are totally freaking out about it.

    “Enterprising individuals are charging up to $1,000 for ‘Frozen’ items on eBay, which has driven parents completely insane,” Jezebel notes with an understandable tone of schadenfreude. “Frustrated moms are currently freaking out all over Disney's Facebook page, posting angry messages in the middle of the night.” An example, posted Wednesday afternoon: “What is up, Disney? Why are you not properly stocking Frozen

    Read More »from Disney's 'Frozen' Memorabilia Shortage Causes Panic
  • Life Lessons From Marina Keegan's Posthumous Book of Essays

    The new book, out now. Photo: ScribnerWith this week’s publication of “The Opposite of Loneliness,” Marina Keegan’s posthumous collection of essays and stories, comes a gift no one ever fully wants to receive — bright and youthful wisdom from a talent who died too soon. Keegan was just 22 years old and five days past graduating magna cum laude from Yale University when she was killed in a car accident on her way to meet her family for her father’s birthday party on Cape Cod. And while she had a brilliant future ahead of her — a job lined up at the New Yorker, a play about to be produced at a theater festival — the rising star had already made a major mark.

    More on Yahoo Shine: Forever Young: 7 Celebrities Who Died Tragically Early

    “When a young person dies, much of the tragedy lies in her promise: what she would have done,” notes Anne Fadiman, a professor and Keegan’s mentor at Yale, in the new book’s introduction. “But Marina left what she had already done: an entire body of writing far more than could fit between these

    Read More »from Life Lessons From Marina Keegan's Posthumous Book of Essays
  • Yale University Drops Threat to Kick Out Student for Being Too Skinny

    Frances Chan. Photo: FacebookA 92-pound Yale University student has finally ended her face-off with school officials who spent months insisting that she either gain weight or be suspended. And Frances Chan, 20, who contends she never had an eating disorder to begin with but is simply genetically thin, could not be more relieved.

    More on Yahoo Shine: What Dr. Drew's Daughter Paulina Pinksy Can Teach Us About Eating Disorders

    “It felt really bad to be this powerless,” the student told the New Haven Register Sunday. “I ate ice cream twice a day. I ate cookies. I used elevators instead of walking up stairs. But I don’t really gain any weight.”

    Chan’s problems with the Ivy League school began back in September, when she went to Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven to have a breast lump checked. Though the lump was benign, it led to Yale Health, the student health center, scrutinizing her general health and, in particular, her low weight.

    More on Yahoo: Eating Disorders Are Not About Food — They're About Emotional

    Read More »from Yale University Drops Threat to Kick Out Student for Being Too Skinny
  • The Viral French Feminist Film Everyone's Talking About

    (Photo via YouTube)
    A short French film that uses simple role reversal to illustrate sexism has gone viral, surprising no one more, perhaps, than the filmmaker, Eléonore Pourriat, who created “Oppressed Majority” four years ago but just recently added subtitles. “What’s happened to my film is fantastic,” she told the New York Times. “I don’t know if it’s just the subject or the buzz.”

    More on Shine: Snickers Ad Angers Some, Confuses Others. Is It Really Sexist?

    Though the 11-minute film — which, WARNING, contains female nudity — received little attention when it was originally released in 2010, Pourriat uploaded it to YouTube with the addition of English subtitles in February. Since then, it’s reached more than 9 million views (compared to the 700,000, interestingly, on the French-only version) and spurred an impassioned social-media dialogue about gender oppression.

    The film follows a harried father through his day in a society ruled by women (many of whom we see jogging past him, topless). And as he goes

    Read More »from The Viral French Feminist Film Everyone's Talking About
  • Chili's Cancels Autism Awareness Fundraiser After Pro-Vaccine Pressure

    The ongoing national debate surrounding vaccines has swept into its morass an unlikely player this week: the restaurant chain Chili’s, which canceled a planned fundraiser for the National Autism Association after finding itself under pressure by pro-vaccine groups.

    More on Shine: Do Celebrities Belong in the Vaccination Debate?

    The chain had announced plans to donate a portion of its Monday sales to the organization in honor of National Autism Awareness Month. But that prompted outcry on social media when critics pointed out the association’s controversial belief about vaccines. “The National Autism Association believes vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions,” according to the association's website. The idea goes against that of the medical mainstream, which points to various studies to show there is no link between vaccinations and autism.

    On Facebook

    Read More »from Chili's Cancels Autism Awareness Fundraiser After Pro-Vaccine Pressure


(514 Stories)