Blog Posts by Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff

  • #WhiteWomanPrivilege: Evolution of a Twitter Controversy

    And there you have it, the tweet that launched 3.5 thousand other tweets in just three hours on Tuesday, flapping in the breeze like a little white flag—before quickly being hijacked, though not completely, by racist trolls and clueless braggers alike.

    The #WhiteWomanPrivilege hashtag, which had been used before, sporadically, without catching on with such lightning speed, was kicked off this time by @Auragasmic, whose intention, it seems, was to make a statement about being self-aware about the privileged race she belongs to. Her profile says that she’s an “Aspie. INTJ. Feminist. Purveyor of the Socialist agenda & #ProChoice Propaganda. Mouthy Tech Guru. Greyhat. Foreseer of great things.” But even she admits, in a later tweet, that she didn’t foresee the devolving of the #WhiteWomanPrivilege hashtag.

    Its fast explosion is not surprising (can you say “hot Read More »from #WhiteWomanPrivilege: Evolution of a Twitter Controversy
  • How a Year of 'Grateful' Facebook Posts Changed This Woman's Life

    Lynne Scrivens. Photo: FacebookWe’ve all seen it: the oft-dreaded Facebook status update of one word, “Grateful,” along with an envy-inducing photo of a Caribbean beachscape or a blissed-out couple selfie. But maybe there is more to it than making us all jealous. Australian news producer Lynne Scrivens, who just completed a yearlong experiment in posting daily gratitude updates — found love, sobriety, job satisfaction, and all-around happiness in the process.

    More on Shine: How Facebook Saved One Homeless Woman From the Deep Freeze

    “When I saw a friend posting daily Grateful status updates on Facebook, I thought I should do it too,” Scrivens writes in an essay about her year of postings in the Australian publication Daily Life. “I knew the grateful project would help me get back on track. I just had a feeling.” Issues the 38-year-old wanted to tackle included drinking “too much, too often, alone,” having “dark, deep, depressing thoughts,” her “sparse” love life, and lack of exercise, she writes.

    More on Yahoo: How

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  • Unlike Girls, Teenage Boys Don't Want to Be Skinny

    photo: CorbisWhile so many girls are busy striving for skinniness, some teen boys are fearfully trying to avoid it — to the point of being driven to depression and dangerous steroid use if they believe that they are too underweight. That’s according to a pair of new studies by Harvard Medical School researcher Aaron Blashill, who says that notions of masculinity are partly to blame. 

    More on Shine: The Truth About Male Eating Disorders

    “For many boys and men, having a muscular, lean physique is an outward representation of masculinity,” Blashill tells Yahoo Shine. “So a fear of feminization is intimately linked to these fears.” Some boys are so susceptible to cultural messages of having to be muscular to be manly that they start to develop body-image distortion, much like thin girls who see themselves as fat. And those who feel unable to achieve the built-but-lean ideal as dictated by popular culture, he adds, "are suffering, and may be taking drastic measures."

    The studies, both published online in

    Read More »from Unlike Girls, Teenage Boys Don't Want to Be Skinny
  • Meet 7 Women Who Can Eat You Under the Table

    Meet Molly Schuyler, devourer of steak. Photo: FacebookA competitive-eating star was born this week: Molly Schuyler, a Nebraska mother of four, who calmly devoured a 72-oz. steak in less than 3 minutes, obliterating the world record. She decided “on a whim” to take part in the 72-oz. Steak Challenge at Portland restaurant Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen, which dares diners to consume the massive cut of beef within an hour. Out of the 1,500 who have made the attempt, 500 have done it (only 10 of whom were women); and the record, up till now, was 12 minutes. But Schuyler didn’t exactly come out of nowhere: The 34-year-old set another record earlier this month when she put away a 12-pound sub with a pound of fries in just under an hour—and she’s won other contests by chowing down everything from fried mushrooms to beef patties since entering the scene about a year ago. Schuyler is also not the first breaker of the gorgers’ glass ceiling. Let’s meet some more in our slide show.

    Read More »from Meet 7 Women Who Can Eat You Under the Table
  • 12-Year-Old Dies Unexpectedly, Leaves Amazing Letter to Her Adult Self

    Sometimes sources of comfort can come from the most unexpected places. At least that’s been the case for a grieving mom and dad in Tennessee whose 12-year-old daughter died of pneumonia on Jan. 5. Just days after Taylor Smith’s death, her parents found a sealed envelope containing a letter Taylor had written to her 22-year-old self — and its sunny, wise-beyond-her-years prose appears to be a consolation to her parents.

    More on Shine: Parents Forgive Driver Two Weeks After She Killed Their Daughters

    “To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023 only unless said otherwise,” Taylor had printed on the envelope of the letter, written in April 2013, according to WJHL.

    “Sorry, baby, we opened it,” her father, Tim, told the television station, before reading it aloud with a sometimes-quavering voice. “Dear Taylor, how's life? Life is pretty simple 10 years in your past. I know I'm late for you, but as I'm writing this early, so: congratulations on graduating high school! If you didn't, go Read More »from 12-Year-Old Dies Unexpectedly, Leaves Amazing Letter to Her Adult Self
  • The Real Message Behind Disney's 'Let It Go' in 'Frozen'? Not So Cool.

    It’s no secret that Disney has another crazy hit on its hands with “Frozen,” which has raked in more than $300 million so far, putting it on track to becoming the highest grossing Disney animation film in history.

    Also not a secret: that the film has been a media darling, with reviews proclaiming it “wonderfully enchanting,” “delightful” and “moving,” with “positive messages.”

    What doesn’t appear to me to be known — or noted, rather, even by the typically reliable feminist bloggers who have joined the ranks of ravers — is the real, subtle message behind the film’s viral-video scene, “Let It Go.” And that, as far as I can see it, is this: “Get it, ho.”

    Sorry to be harsh. It’s not that I’m unable to recognize the power-girl messages, catchy tunes and cool animation of the film (or that my 5-year-old daughter didn’t go gaga over it). It’s more that I refuse to accept as “feminist” and “empowering” more tarted up, oversexualized crumbs. I mean, are we really so desperate? (Don’t answer Read More »from The Real Message Behind Disney's 'Let It Go' in 'Frozen'? Not So Cool.
  • Was This School Principal Axed for Defending Low-Income Kids?

    Noelle Roni, fired principal, and her two boys, students at the school. Photo: Courtesy Noelle RoniIt’s a case of he said, she said at a public elementary school in Lafayette, Colorado. That’s where fired principal Noelle Roni claims she was “bullied” out of her job at Peak to Peak Charter School after standing up against a policy requiring kids in the free and reduced lunch program to get identifying hand stamps.

    More from Shine: Bus Driver Takes Weapon From Kid and Loses Job

    “The kids are humiliated. They’re branded. It’s disrespectful,” Roni tells CBS News. “Where’s the human compassion? And these are little children.” She adds, "If we have to, we'll file suit. When I see something that I feel harms children, I speak up."

    But school lawyer Barry Arrington tells Yahoo Shine, “She wasn’t fired for bringing [hand stamping] to anyone’s attention. That’s nonsense.” Though he will not “get into the weeds with her about why she was fired,” he adds, “we will address false statements, and this is false.”

    More on Yahoo: Student Rallies Continue for Catholic High School Principal Fired Over

    Read More »from Was This School Principal Axed for Defending Low-Income Kids?
  • What's the Teen 'Snow Challenge'? Trust Us, Don't Ask.

    What do you do when you’re a bored, invincible teen and it’s 10-below outside? Strip down to your socks and shorts and run headlong into the polar vortex, natch. It’s what a growing avalanche of Midwestern kids are doing this week as part of the oddly compelling “Snow Challenge,” which entails rolling around in the snow for 30 seconds before uploading your video evidence to Instagram or Vine or Twitter. Call it the landlocked Polar Bear swim.

    No-brainer, right?

    And now, just for kicks—and to remind you to be grateful for making it through your teens—some prime examples of the shriek-inducing fad, before it melts away: 

    Read More »from What's the Teen 'Snow Challenge'? Trust Us, Don't Ask.
  • Next Time Your Kid Says, 'I'm Bored,' Be Grateful

    Photo: Getty Images/David De LossyIn an age when adults can barely stand a second alone without texting or tweeting or checking stocks on their smartphones, it’s no wonder that kids are often pushed into lives of constantly structured activities — anything to help them sidestep boredom. But this week a leading UK educator made a case for the latter in her essay, “It’s Time to Be Bored.” 

    More on Shine: Kids of Tiger Moms Are Worse Off

    “It’s all too easy for parents to be sucked into a competitive busy-ness, ensuring that children are constantly occupied and stimulated,” writes Julie Robinson, education and training director for the UK-based Independent Association of Prep Schools, in the association’s magazine, Attain. “We should not fear boredom however. Quiet, reflective time is just as important as purposeful activity…youngsters are not well served by being forced into an exhausting stream of clubs and extracurricular activities.” 

    More on Yahoo: Pediatricians: Recess 'Crucial' for Kids

    Robinson, whose organization

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  • 'Bikini Bridge': Here's What's Ticking Everybody Off

    From the Bikini Bridge Tumblr.Been to Bikini Bridge yet? It's a hell of a place — one where a woman's hip bones protrude sharply enough to create an over-tummy span of stretchy fabric, perfect for skinny selfies that get Twitter worked into a collective, body-shaming frenzy.

    What am I talking about? Good question. Before this morning, I was innocent too.

    But then came the flood of #bikinibridge tweets, and the Daily Dot's story of an Internet hoax, and at least one shamefully clueless body-image story, and I put it all together. For those still in the dark, allow me to break it down: "Bikini bridge" (which truly is the name of the aforementioned fabric span between hip bones, apparently), like "thigh gap," is a thing, at least within certain slender-lady circles. There's even a Tumblr to prove it. But the concept hadn't had its moment in the sun, so to speak, until some pranksters at 4chan (a social media site where users can post random images) got involved.

    That's where, according to the Daily Dot, some anonymous

    Read More »from 'Bikini Bridge': Here's What's Ticking Everybody Off


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