Facebook went on the rampage again. Did Miley flash her boobs for the zillionth time? Did a locker-room shot accidentally make it onto a public page? Nope. A stock image of a mammogram saw an entire team of editors banned from the site.
A mammogram. You know, that potentially life-saving medical procedure women have regularly to detect breast cancer. The image of a squished boob was so offensive it caused Facebook to block the admins of the parenting site, BluntMoms, and anyone else who had shared the post entitled "10 Do’s And Don’ts While Getting A Mammogram."
Editor Anne Radcliffe was angry at the way she and her colleagues were treated. "We all got punished. It wasn't just that they took down the post, they removed us from facebook until we logged back in, reviewed our personal profiles and vouched that there was no nudity in it."
The shitstorm took place only 15 hours after the image was posted to BluntMom's page, while - despite numerous complaints - images like this one (involving minors) remain in situ.
When it comes to applying its own nudity guidelines, Facebook takes a selective approach. For a time, any mom who uploaded a breastfeeding image promptly saw her account suspended. Ditto for those with post-mastectomy scarring.
Yet just as the #FreetheNipple campaign seemed to be convincing Zuckerberg & Co to come to its senses and allow such images to stand, we have the mammogram. Under its current community guidelines, Facebook reserves the right to censor any nude images that may cause "potential cultural sensitivity."
But a mammogram? It's not a political statement. It's not sexy and it's not exploitive; it's a medical fact.
"Frankly I was shocked," said Jessica Hoefer Land, who wrote the mammogram post. "Utter bullshit to deny the education of women by censoring a procedure that could potentially save a life. Facebook Is proving itself to be hypocritical on what they will and won't allow."
Which is rather unfortunate and short-sighted because the value of such posts far outweighs any potential "sensitivity."
Facebook, congratulations, you've just hit a new low.
Update: Facebook has apologized and reinstated the image on BluntMoms page.
By now you've probably heard that there's a new kid on Sesame Street. Her name is Julia and she has autism.
"Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" is a new initiative that aims to reduce the stigma of autism by featuring a Muppet befriended by Grover, Abby and Elmo.
Aimed at kids 2-5 and their communities, the free app incorporates videos (like the one below) and digital story cards for things like teeth brushing and crossing the street, as well as shareable resources for caregivers and educators.
"Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied," said senior VP of U.S. social impact, Dr. Jeanette Betancourt. "And with one in 68 children having autism, that's a lot of bullying.
"Children with autism share in the joy of playing and loving and being friends and being part of a group."
Instead of differences, the app will focus on commonalities, helping kids better understand how they can relate, interact - and befriend - kids who have this developmental disorder.
"If you're five years old, and see another kid not making eye contact with you, you may think that child doesn't want to play with you. But that's not the case," said executive VP of global impacts and philanthropy, Sherrie Westin. "We want to create greater awareness and empathy."
Autism is not a bad word, yet adults are afraid to say it. And that trepidation only fuels kids' natural curiosity.
When my son started kindergarten, a virtually identical situation played out at school. A boy would call out my son's name. When he didn't react, the boy became confused, upset. He asked me why my son wasn't answering.
I did my best to explain in terms he could understand. Yet this scenario kept on happening, and some kids had started calling him names.
So I visited to my son's classroom one day and explained how his brain worked a bit differently. The kids were so receptive and kind to him once they understood. But it could easily have gone the other way.
Confusion can breed ignorance which can in turn can breed bullying.
I'm happy to see Sesame doing what it does best: communicating a message of love and acceptance within a framework that children can understand.
I only wish that Julia wasn't some one-off app that many kids will never see, but a regular presence on the Sesame show.
Check out the app here, then share with all the kids you know.
RELATED: The Muppet Show Returns to Prime Time!
There's something so admirable about Drew Barrymore, which probably comes down to with her raw honesty. For someone who had the most messed up childhood - even by Hollywood standards (which is saying something) - Barrymore isn't the type to wallow in self-pity or shame.
And now that she's a mom in her own right, she has every intention of being truthful about her early life with her daughters, Olive, 3, and Frankie, 18 months.
"I'm just trying to figure this all out," admits the actress in an interview with People Magazine.
These days, Barrymore puts her children ahead of everything else in her life, including her career and marriage to art consultant Will Kopelman.
"I know everyone says you're supposed to put your coupledom first," she says. "But I really love it being all about the kids. Maybe that's my compensating for not having parents myself or a childhood but right now, the focus is about how we're figuring things out as parents."
To say that Barrymore didn't have a normal childhood is an understatement if ever there was one. The E.T. star was partying and clubbing at age seven, institutionalized at 12 and living on her own from 15.
"I'm certainly not known for being boring," she says. "But I also think things that are emotional and raw are also a lot lighter than they seemed. Someone once said to me, 'But your life… it's so sad.' And I was like, 'Well, no, it's not to me, but I could see how you would think that.' My life is amazing."
Not long ago, Barrymore made tongues wag when she said women can't have it all. These days, she has reframed that statement to read: ''You can't do it all.'
"... you just can't. It's not physically possible. I'll do my best. I'm a workhorse, I always have been, I always will be. But work is very much second to my kids."
While I personally disagree about putting your kids first all the time, I think there is a time and a place. When children are very young - as Barrymore's kids are - putting them first is kind of a necessity. But life ebbs and flows and as moms we have to constantly switch up our priorities, giving our focus to different aspects of our lives as circumstance demands.
As a woman it's a risky strategy to (forgiving the lame analogy) keep all your eggs in a single basket all the time.
Barrymore's book, "Wildflower," is a collection of personal essays about her life. Here's one celebrity memoir I actually want to read.
Image Source: Flickr