If you've been to the LCBO lately, then you may have seen this poster urging pregnant women not to drink lest they harm their baby. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Yet the campaign with FASworld Canada that ran from Aug. 25 to Sept. 12 to raise awareness of the risks of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder rubbed at least one customer the wrong way.
Laura Jamer described the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's "Love your body, love your baby. Don’t drink while pregnant” poster as “offensive and wrong on so many levels,” and filed an official complaint to LCBO.
“I thought the message behind it was very condescending and that it implied if you have a glass of wine, it meant you didn’t love your body, and it meant you didn’t love your baby, which is really what I take issue with,” said Jamer, a mom of two, who cited research about the safety of moderate drinking during pregnancy that claimed drinking two units a week may cause "fewer behavioural problems and higher reading skills" in boys. Sounds dubious.
Some people are saying the new iPhone 6 Plus may not be a good fit—literally—for women. Sexist drivel or a legitimate concern? You see, the new model is large, possibly too large to fit comfortably in woman-sized pockets and woman-sized hands.
Ridiculous as it may sound, such pragmatics could actually curb sales of the iPhone 6 Plus, or at least lead to a lot of bitching by women whose phones keep dropping out of their back pockets.
At 5.5 inches, the latest model is rather long and sleek. Yet if the phone ultimately doesn't fit, many will think twice about buying it. Or will they be too dazzled by the new, supposedly stellar iOS 8 software and amazing camera and video options to care?
Even the regular iPhone 6 is bigger than the 5 and 5S. And as we all know, size does matter. No matter how groovy the features, a phone that's always dropping or slipping out of your hands grows tired fast.
So sure, women use handbags and purses a lot of the time and this obviates the whole question of practicality (unless you are an aficionado of the very tiny handbag). But I don't know about you. I often slip my phone into a back jeans pocket or even a coat pocket when I'm just dashing out to walk the pup.
Then there's the question of working out. If you listen to music on your phone, then all bets are off for strapping the 6 to your arm for a run.
Ah, gotta love Sesame Street. Judging by a recent episode featuring actress Lupita Nyong’o, the show is still keeping it real after all these years.
If you haven't seen the clip already, by all means round up your little ones and watch Lupita and Elmo talk about skin. In less than two minutes, the two discuss the reason we have skin on our bodies. (Hint: it protects our bodies and helps us feel whether something is soft, rough, or, in Elmo's case, furry.)
More importantly, though, Elmo gets to grips with the idea that skin comes in all shades—even red—and therein lies its beauty. It's a message you kind of wish all kids (especially in the US, which is still plagued with race-related tension and violence) had driven into them from the tenderest age. After all, kids aren't stupid. They notice shit. They get curious.
Case in point. Several months ago, my 5-year-old—in a sour mood over some now-forgotten grievance—told my neighbour point blank that he didn't like "his brown face." Although I knew my son's comment had exactly zero to do with my neighbour and the colour of his skin, as you can imagine I was hunting for the biggest, nearest rock under which to throw myself.
I apologized profusely to the man, and of course later sat my son for a big chat. But coming from me, it just wasn't enough (where's Elmo when you need him?). As luck would have it, we had already invited our neighbours over for brunch shortly thereafter. Again, as we're all munching on our bacon, my son politely asked my neighbour why his skin is brown.
This time it went down beautifully. My neighbour handled my son's genuine intrigue about race with grace and aplomb, articulating a better explanation than I ever could. That's it. My son was satisfied.
Bottom line: we should never just assume that our kids understand and accept difference. Some may wonder quietly and if we're not diligent, they may come to their own (false) assumptions and judgments. Or else take their cues from intolerant-minded people.
By all means let Elmo act as a conversation starter, but be there to answer questions and tease out the need to appreciate all forms of difference, including—but not limited to—skin colour.