The Duchess of Cambridge and I are officially colleagues - well, sort of. The Royal formerly known as Kate Middleton is moonlighting as guest editor at Huffington Post, highlighting the mental health of youth under the #YoungMindsMatter awareness campaign.
Reading the words of the Duchess is a rare insight into the world of a population we barely ascribe as human. But from day one, Kate has proved herself to be kind, caring, and refreshingly human - leagues away from the hoity toity stereotype of monarchs. Though all the Royals undertake charitable assignments, perhaps it is this nature and the Duchess's relative youth that makes people so receptive to her message.
She and William, now parents in their own right, understandably have become particularly concerned with children's charities.
It's amazing that the Duchess is putting herself out there in the public eye - while so many Royals shirk from publicity - to bring awareness to the plight of children's mental health.
"The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health," she writes.
"For too long we have been embarrassed to admit when our children need emotional or psychiatric help, worried that the stigma associated with these problems would be detrimental to their futures. Research published today by the Huffington Post indicates that around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children."
She even refers to her husband and her children, Charlotte and George, by first name, making her infinitely more relatable and likeable to parents in the UK and all over the world.
Through the Young Minds Matter series, the Duchess and Co have assembled the stories and personal experiences of those with mental health challenges, as well as input from researchers that will help parents and teachers help today's children. Much like Bell's "Let's Talk" initiative here in Canada, the Duchess is broaching the conversation about mental health with a view to ending stigma.
"Together," she says, "we have the chance to make a real difference for an entire generation of young children."
If anyone stands a chance at getting the public to listen, it's Kate.
Image Source: WikiCommons
You have to hand it to Bunmi Laditan, the author of the hilarious Honest Toddler account, in that she knows how to make parents feel better about themselves. Or at least laugh about themselves in the process.
In a recent Facebook post, Laditan satirized the fast-food chicken nugget meal she served her kids:
Parents related. They related and then shared the heck out of that Facebook, with over 85K posting it on in a matter of days.
“We all know chicken nuggets and fries isn't the best meal, but we have to give ourselves a break,” she said. “I cook most nights but decided to treat the kids after an exhausting day. I was feeling terribly guilty that they weren't eating organic quinoa and then I thought... stop!”
And so much of that guilt resides in the feeds of social media - this new, pressing need to document and photograph the meals we feed our kids. Like it's no longer enough to put something in our kids' bellies, the food we dish up must also double as works of art. Bah!
Or we (falsely) assume everyone else is feeding their kids organic quinoa... Not everyone is Julia Child.
“It's such a hard gig, being a mom," said Laditan. "I just want people to read my work to feel understood and like they're enough. I want them to laugh. I guess deep down, that's what I want for myself. My posts help me find community with other moms.”
But does Laditan think she's enough? The author admitted that even she gets insecure about parenting; hence the jokes.
The struggle is real.
If you caught the Grammy's last night, then you'll have seen the David Bowie tribute. Although pop chameleon Lady Gaga was the perfect choice for the homage to the late legend, she pissed off a lot of viewers - including Bowie's son - for turning the performance into a giant ad for Intel.
"I like to do things that integrate technology and art with powerful experiences," said the 29-year-old Grammy winner. "[Intel] have really given me so much amazing technology to play with."
It's just too bad that play had to come at the expense of Bowie's memory. This is not the Super Bowl, after all.
Advertising bombards every aspect of our lives. And while I don't expect awards shows to be exempt, some exceptions should be made. Out of basic human decency.
Admittedly Gaga used a bunch of cool trickery by Intel throughout her performance, one which saw a digital spider tracking across her face. Still, sandwiching her performance in between two commercials for Intel was tacky at best and "shameless" at worst.
Interjecting a memorial - to honour the career of an artist who recently passed away - with commercials is crass and tasteless. Surely there could have been a more discreet way for Intel and Gaga to show off their commercial collaboration without detracting from the tribute.
Gaga had all the costumes in place as she ploughed through a 10-song medley, but I have to admit, something was missing. Soul? Emotion?
Even Duncan Jones, Bowie's son, wasn't impressed, as he tweeted the textbook definition of 'gaga.'
"overexcited or irrational, typically as a result of infatuation or excessive enthusiasm; mentally confused." Damn it! What IS that word!?— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) February 16, 2016
"I don't know who I'd be if I didn't have (him as) a figure in my life," said Gaga. "I don't know what my identity would be."
Though Gaga claims Bowie was her idol - heck, she even got a tattoo of him before the Grammys - it seems the real tribute of the night was to Gaga herself.