Blog Posts by Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff

  • 'Dear Future Mom' Ad Celebrates Living With Down Syndrome

    A Down syndrome organization in Italy has just provided an expectant mom with more encouragement than she’d probably hoped for: personal assurance from 15 people with the disorder that her in utero child, already diagnosed, will lead a meaningful life. “Don’t be afraid,” says one woman. Others chime in with: “He’ll be able to do many things,” “He’ll be able to hug you,” and “He’ll be able to speak and tell you he loves you.”

    More on Yahoo Shine: Boy With Down Syndrome Gets Huge Surprise When He Receives Acceptance Letter From Clemson

    The two-and-a-half-minute video was created by ad giant Saatchi & Saatchi Italy for CoorDown, Italy’s National Coordination of Associations of People With Down Syndrome, in honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. It’s being shared on social media with the hashtag #DearFutureMom and already has more than 500,000 views on YouTube, where it was posted Thursday. Twitter fans are growing, with people declaring it “touching,” “wonderful,” “fantastic,” and “

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  • New Mom With Cancer Fights for Life After Birthing Preemie Twins

    Instead of bonding with her newborn preemie twins, upstate New York mom Jenna Hinman is in a medically induced coma and fighting for her life following the diagnosis of an extremely rare cancer, as her husband Brandon, a U.S. Army infantry sergeant, keeps vigils at both her bedside and their babies' incubator.

    More on Yahoo Shine: When Becoming a Dad Means Losing Your Wife

    “The whole situation is a tightrope,” Jenna’s doctor, gynecologic oncologist Wiley Bunn of Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, tells Yahoo Shine. “We have to treat her or we’ll lose her — and if we treat her, we may lose her.” Meanwhile, infant girls Kinleigh and Azlynn, just 3 pounds each at birth, are stable.

    Sgt. Hinman with his daughters. Photo: FacebookEfforts to support the family have been growing, with several fundraisers in the works and a GoFundMe page that so far has brought in more than $60,000. “My hope is that every single person that’s reached out truly understands how thankful [we] are,” Brandon, a sergeant based at Fort Drum, New York, who has served time

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  • Designer Responds to 'Anorexxxy' Sunglasses Controversy

    Model wearing the Anorexxxy sunglasses (photo Thierry Lasry/Instagram)Depressing celebrity trend alert: the limited edition “Anorexxxy” line of sunglasses by Thierry Lasry and Kelly Wearstler, so-named for their “slim” construction. Though they’ve been popular with the A-list for a while now, the $555 shades are catching the squinting eyes of the masses this week — thanks to their controversial name. (Note: This story has been updated, please scroll to bottom for new details.)

    More on Yahoo Shine: Doll That Won't Eat Causes Uproar

    National Eating Disorders Association
    President Lynn Grefe tells Yahoo Shine, “I think it’s appalling and out of line and absolutely ignorant,” adding, “There is nothing funny or sexy about anorexia.”

    Jezebel blogger Isha Aran agrees. “We are so past the idea that eating disorders are haute and sexxxy and edgy, that at this point, it's actually out of style,” she wrote, in a scathing call-out of the line on Sunday. “Maybe they should rename those sunglasses AnoreZZZy because the overplayed and harmful glorification of a

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  • News Anchor Dan Harris on the Pursuit of Manly Happiness

    Dan Harris, meditating away from his inner voices. Photo: ABC News NightlineDan Harris — the deep-voiced co-anchor of ABC’s “Nightline” and “Good Morning America” weekend edition — is cool, calm and collected in front of the cameras. But he wasn’t always so Zen. In fact, the newsman had a full-blown panic attack on the air back in 2004, in front of 5 million GMA viewers. It sent him into a doctor’s office, and onto a therapist’s couch, and though that quelled his panic attacks, there were lingering issues, from depression to self-doubt, that kept him both self-medicating (hello, cocaine) and searching for answers. Coincidentally, that’s when Peter Jennings assigned him to the religion beat, which included the self-help universe, and suddenly Harris’s professional quest merged with a personal one.

    He admits he was a hard sell, particularly being male, mainly because self-help seems “lame,” he says. But eventually Harris, 42, found surprising solace in meditation. He’s written a new book about his odyssey, “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced

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  • Rachel Canning Goes Home After Suing Her Parents. But It's Not Over Yet

    After enduring a media barrage that's lasted more than a week, Rachel Canning, the New Jersey teen who’s suing her parents for financial support, returned home to her family on Tuesday night. But the very next day Canning's lawyer demonstrated that the case is far from over by returning to court, requesting that the parents pay for a guardian to be appointed for their 18-year-old high school student.

    More on Yahoo Shine: Teen Sues Parents for Cash, College Tuition. Does She Have a Case?

    “Just a few days ago, Rachel Canning indicated she could not go back home with her parents and she required a promise of some financial assistance going forward," attorney Tanya Helfand wrote in her application to the court, highlighting the teen's quick turnaround in deciding to return to her parents' after living at a friend's for several months. “Now, after speaking with her mother yesterday, she said she is waiving her complaint and is receiving no promises or consideration in return.”

    She noted that

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  • Blogger Unwittingly Becomes Diet Poster Girl. Now She's Fighting Back

    Rachele Cateyes in the stolen bikini photo. Photo: Courtesy of Rachele CateyesWhen fat-pride blogger Rachele Cateyes posted an online photo of herself in a bright blue two-piece swimsuit last summer, it signified a major moment of empowerment. “Wearing a bikini as a fat woman is an act of rebellion,” she’d written on her Fat Babe Designs blog. “I felt glorious and glamorous all at the same time.”

    More on Yahoo Shine: 'Fatkini' Sells Out! Why the Plus-Size Swimsuit Is Summer's Hottest Look

    The feeling was short-lived, though. The Oregon woman later discovered that her photo was popping up in a diet company’s Facebook spam ads — as the dreaded “before” photo. Now she’s embroiled in a frustrating battle with the company and its affiliates to try to get her stolen image removed from the ads. “It made me feel exposed and not in control of my own image,” Cateyes tells Yahoo Shine. “I’m used to negative attention [online], but for somebody to make money off of me? That really infuriated me.”

    The 31-year-old caseworker began documenting the situation on her blog on

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  • Smart Move: Betabrand Clothing Uses PhDs as Models

    The Del Ray Perfect Dress, modeled by nuclear engineering PhD candidate Sasha. Photo: BetabrandJust like computers are replacing cashiers and bloggers supplanting, ahem, journalists, it seems as if the trend of actual everyday humans filling in for professional models is a growing one. The latest label to give it a whirl is Betabrand — a hipster San Francisco–based company that's enlisted women with PhDs to model its new spring line.

    More on Shine: Meet Diesel's Awesome, Unconventional New Spokesmodel

    “When you look beyond the ranks of the professionally beautiful, photography becomes a lot more fun,” Betabrand founder Chris Lindland says in a statement. “Our designers cooked up a collection of smart fashions for spring, so why not display them on the bodies of women with really big brains?” 

    Asha, with a PhD from Stanford, in a Gray Confetti Popover Shirt. Photo: BetabrandThe bookish beauties (and they are, naturally, all beautiful) all either have a PhDs or are working toward one. They include a woman with a doctorate in education from Columbia University Teachers College; a nuclear engineering PhD candidate at University of California, Berkeley; and a

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  • Everyone Is Loving the 'First Kiss' Video, Even If It Is an Ad

    If reference to just one viral video passes your lips this week, it’s bound to be this: “First Kiss,” by Tatia Pilieva, a 3-and-a-half-minute lineup of strangers making out for the first time, which has racked up more than 6 million views since being posted to YouTube on Monday. Oh, and by the way, it's a clothing ad — an interesting little fact that just emerged on Tuesday, thanks to a recent tweet from the Los Angeles–based brand behind it, Wren Studio, a chic women's label:

    More on Yahoo Shine: The Science of Kissing

    But commercial or not, it's really fun to watch (even if it was sneaky to not label it as an ad).

    “We asked 20 strangers to kiss for the first time …” is the explanation that flashes across the screen at the start. Then we see all the pairs — two women, two men and the rest men and women — one at a time, standing and facing

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  • This Bloodhound Dog Is a Member of the Wyoming Legislature

    LeRoy, at Rep. Watt's feet on the House floor. Photo: Alan Rogers/Star-TribuneOne of the most popular members of the Wyoming state legislature just happens to be a dog named LeRoy—a brown, 80-pound bloodhound who has been a godsend to his owner, Rep. Stephen Watt. “Everybody says good morning to LeRoy when they say good morning to me,” Watt, a Republican from Sweetwater, tells Yahoo Shine.

    The dog, nearly 3 years old, has an important spot on the Wyoming House floor, right at Watt’s feet. He’s a service dog for the legislator, 58, who suffers from chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stemming from a roadside shooting he suffered as a police officer more than 30 years ago. And as far as anyone knows, LeRoy’s the first and only dog to have ever regularly worked the floor of the House. “It’s the first time I’ve seen it in my 10 years, other than the bomb dogs that come through every morning,” House Speaker Tom Lubnau, who granted permission for Watt to have LeRoy at work, tells the Billings Gazette.

    Rep. Watt. Photo: State of Wyoming.Watt adopted LeRoy nearly a year ago from a local

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  • Martha Stewart on Reddit: It's a Rad Thing

    Martha Stewart may be 72 — theoretically old enough to remember the days of party line phone calls — but it’s not slowed down her social-media savvy one little bit. To wit: She’s a wiz on Twitter, where she averages around seven tweets daily to her 2.92 million followers, and has actually been called out for over sharing on matters from food pics to her shattered iPad. On Thursday, she conquered another platform — Reddit, where she spent a couple of hours at the helm of an AMA (Ask Me Anything) chat. The subject matter veered wildly from apples (Gravenstein or Macoun are best for apple pie) to “House of Cards” binge watching (oh yes she did) to sex (not surprisingly, cleanliness is important to her), and her straightforward inspired Redditors to call her “cool as hell,”  “badass,” “a total babe” and “one of the classiest, nicest people to ever hold an AMA.” Herewith, some of the highlight topics:

    R: Is it true that you paint over the soles of your Louboutins because you don't

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