Verizon’s Powerful Inspire Her Mind Commercial

Verizon’s campaign, Inspire Her Mind, has come out with a very powerful commercial. The commercial centers around a statistic that was found by the National Science Foundation, which claims that 66% of 4th grade girls express a strong interest in science and math, but only 18% of female students end up majoring in engineering once they get to college.

The commercial shows how the socialization of young girls (throughout their life) often turns them away from subjects like science and math. The Inspire Her Mind commercial shows how words and other actions can impact a girl’s way of thinking more than we may think or realize.

Sentences like, “Don’t get your dress dirty,” or “Be careful with that. Why don’t you hand that to your brother?”, can be very normal to say. We may think they are subtle and harmless comments, but in reality, saying this to a young girl who shows interest in subjects that are traditionally male-dominated can discourage her from pursuing such career paths. The way we treat, teach, scold, and sculpt young girls only makes this stereotype and statistic stronger than it already is.10

The commercial is voiced by Reshma Saujani founder of Girls Who Code, an organization that we strongly support here at The Miss Information.

Hopefully, with people watching this nontraditional advertisement, they will start to think more critically of what they say and how they interact with young girls. We must keep in mind that kids look up to the older people that surround them; therefore the choices they make are impacted by the way they are treated from a young age.

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We must inspire young girls to pursue what they really want to do, let them know just how important they are, and empower them to be the change our world needs.

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Headlines You May Have Missed: July 30

Here are the headlines you may have missed from July 30:

Outbreak Continues To Get Worse
Changes are being made as the Ebola outbreak in Africa continues to worsen and increase its record breaking number of infections. With well over 1,000 people infected and a 55% mortality rate, health professionals and activists are going through a lot of hard work in the hopes to help save the infected countries from Ebola.

Most recently, Liberia has closed all of its schools in order to avoid the spread of infection. Meanwhile, the Peace Corps has withdrawn all of their volunteers from affected areas. Because of the frightening spread of Ebola, the World Health Organization says that there are drastic changes that need to be made. Although will happen next to try and stop the outbreak, we do know that desperate times call for desperate measures.

Six Police Officers Arrested
Six Philadelphia police officers have been arrested on corruption charges. The charges resulted from an incident in which the officers in question allegedly held a man over the balcony of an 18th story apartment as an interrogation technique.

However, the potential corruption doesn’t end there. These police officers have also been accused of kidnapping a drug suspect and keeping him in a hotel room; but the charges don’t end there, either . After a thorough investigation, it was also found that the officers made off with around half-a-million dollars in other people’s personal property, drugs, and money. Some of the charges that the officers are facing include robbery, extortion, conspiracy, kidnapping, and drug dealing.

Bipartisan Bill In The Works To Stop Sexual Assault On Campus
Sexual assault is a huge problem across the globe, but statistically, it can be a particularly troubling occurrence on college campuses. College women report cases of sexual assault or rape, and all too often nothing is done about it — and the college or university aims to sweep the incident under the rug.

To combat this, a new bipartisan bill (called the Campus Accountability And Safety Act) is in the works with the hopes of bringing the number of young women who have been sexually assaulted on campus from 1-in-5 to none. Zip. Zilch.

If the bill passes, colleges would have to do anonymous surveys among students about sexual assault; the results of these surveys would be published online. In addition, schools would not be able to punish students for violations such as underage drinking in the case of sexual assault. Under this bill, failure to comply with these rules could lead to major penalties to schools — such as a loss of 1% of their operating budgets.

Many colleges — and the sexual assault that goes on within their prestigious acres – have proven to be so problematic that over 50 schools are being investigated for how they handle cases of rape and sexual assault. Read more here.

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We Had A Shawn Mendes Giveaway…And We Loved Your Tweets

We know that many of you are HUGE fans of digital stars like Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, Jack and Jack, Shawn Mendes, and more. So we thought, what better way to show some love to our readers than to give away a copy of Shawn’s brand new EP?

We created a simple little hashtag giveaway, so we could read through the entries and eventually pick a winner. Little did we know, we’d get the strangest and most compelling mix of both heartfelt entries, LOLworthy entries, and spam that made us ask: How do you even have this much time on your hands?

All jokes aside, we understand the fangirl life. So in honor of all you lovely Mendes girls (and Shawn himself), we’ve compiled some of our favorite Twitter entries for your enjoyment.

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Headlines You May Have Missed: July 29

In case you missed the news, here are the headlines you may have missed from July 29:

Flooding At UCLA Causes Serious Damage
Around 10 million gallons of water inundated UCLA and Sunset Boulevard. The ankle-deep water spread throughout the campus, causing damage all over. Although mainly athletic fields and parking garages were affected, some buildings — such as the recently renovated Pauley Pavilion — took in damage from heavy amounts of water. A pipe break, which is the reason for the flooding, effects the Californians who are amidst a terrible drought and can’t afford to lose so much precious water.

Surgeon General Issues Skin Cancer Warning
The U.S. Surgeon General has called people to action to protect themselves from the sun’s rays when he issued a warning about the risk of melanoma. Melanoma is an extremely prevalent cancer that affects about 5 million people and can be prevented by precautionary measures. Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak, a dermatologist, hopes parents can teach their children about skin safety as they would teach them about healthy food and dental hygiene.

9-Year-Old Girl Dies From Injuries After Plane Crash
The young girl who had been on the beach with her father when a plane had to make an emergency landing and landed on them has died. The girl and her father were the only people affected by the crash, and now they have both lost their lives in this tragic incident.  The pilot of the plane claims he never saw the two on the beach when making an emergency landing; he and his passenger were uninjured in the crash.

Are They Out There?
Scientists search and search for alien life forms, seemingly without finding anything. However, many scientists believe that all they need to do to find other lifeforms is find somewhere with liquid water. Recently, on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, water is believed to have been discovered. This water is thanks to the geysers that the planet is home to, and scientists believe that the water may possibly reach the surface of the icy planet. Who knows if anything will be discovered  on Enceladus beyond the potential existence of water, but if you’re into aliens, you’ll want to stay turned.

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Headlines You May Have Missed: July 28

Check out the headlines you may have missed from yesterday’s top news:

Same Sex Marriage Ban Reversed
On Monday, the same sex marriage ban in Virginia was reversed by the federal appeals court. While Maryland had already legalized gay marriage by popular vote, this is the first ruling in favor of same sex marriage in a southern state. The ruling also effects West Virginia as well as North and South Carolina, as they reside in the area of jurisdiction. Although it will be a few more weeks before gay and lesbian couples can marry in these states, their special day is on the horizon.

Multiple Officers Shot In Shootout
Charles Mozdir was a dangerous and violent criminal who was in trouble with the law due to his alleged molestation of a young boy. When the police tracked him down after he failed to appear at his arraignment, a shootout started between Mozdir and the authorities. Two U.S. marshals and one detective were injured in the shootout, but none of the officers have life threatening wounds. Mozdir lost his life in the shootout. Read more here.

Russia Breaks The Rules
President Obama is accusing Russian of violating the terms in a treaty having to do with ground launch cruise missiles. Obama claims the Russians were testing the prohibited weapon that was banned by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, which is a very serious allegation. President Obama has sent a letter to Vladimir Putin and he hopes that this issue will be resolved quickly. Read more here.

The Ebola Outbreak Continues To Ravage Parts Of Africa
The Ebola virus is deadly virus that is spreading through Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia like wild fire. The outbreak is continuing to worsen, as nurses refuse to work with patients and doctors continue to become infected. The doctors handling the outbreak have to tend to large groups of infected people at one time, and the short staffed medical teams are making the outbreak even harder to handle. This is the largest Ebola outbreak ever, with over 1,200 infected persons — more than half of which ended in death. Read more here.

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On The Record: The Week’s Best New Music (July 29)

It can be hard to sift through a sea of new releases each week, but lucky for you, we’ve got the scoop on the week’s most promising new albums:

Jenny Lewis – Voyager  (July 29)

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Former Rilo Kiley frontwoman, Jenny Lewis, returns with her third  solo collection after a more than 5 year break that followed the dissolution of her long-time band. Still treading in the waters of emotional turmoil, as Rilo Kiley did so well, Lewis has infused her smooth vocal approach with a range of indignance and lively resistance that was missing in her previous work.

Always unabashedly feminine and angsty, her admission that “I am still into you” on “Slippery Slopes,”  her  grown-up version of  Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” in “She’s Not Me,” with its tale of a lost love settling down with another woman,  or her decrying those who view her as “just another lady without a baby” on “Just One Of The Guys,” shows Lewis’ unapologetic emotional  openness. For her, vulnerability becomes strength and power.  Jenny Lewis doesn’t depart from her distinctive blend of retro pop, alt country, and mid 2000s indie rock on Voyager, but her clear, mournful voice continues  to act as an empathetic  rallying cry for women scorned.

The Muffs – Whoop De Do (July 29)

muffsRiot girl group The Muffs are also making a comeback with their first release in 10 years, giving us grimy pop punk led by Kim Shattuck’s battered snarl, as sweet and tipsy as a cupcake served with a side of whiskey and broken glass. Never age gracefully, Muffs. Do not go gentle into that good night of jazz standard cover albums and acoustic guitars like other career musicians. Keep on kicking and screaming until we say “stop.”

Beck – Song Reader (July 29)

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In 2012,  veteran alternative pop musician and all around cool guy, Beck, released an album as a collection of sheet music, intended for his audience to bring to life with their own instruments and voices.  Now, a collection of venerable and varied fellow musicians have been called in to perform Beck’s Song Reader for the long-awaited LP, from Norah Jones and Jarvis Crocker, to  Jack White and  Laura Marling.

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date: Book Review

When I first picked up Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, I was just joking with my friend. I remember grabbing it from the shelves and saying, “Oh, look! Someone wrote a book about my life!” My friend laughed at me and then I put the book back down. Before leaving the store though, I decided I just had to buy this book. I wasn’t used to reading memoirs, but I was looking for a new book to read and figured I’d give it a try.

I have to say I am so glad that I decided to read it! Katie Heaney brings you on a journey of all her crushes from when she was only 7-years-old, all the way to her current experiences as a 25-year-old woman.  You will find yourself completely immersed with her stories; all it will take is reading 20 pages into the book for you to feel like you and Katie are long lost best friends.

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The way Katie wrote Never Had I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date makes you feel like you’re reading a text your friend just sent you about her crush. Most girls will be able to relate to her stories, from thinking you are in a relationship with guys you have a crush on in elementary school, to freaking out over a cute boy in college and hoping he’ll text you back after you drunkenly made out at some party.

Through her incredibly candid writing, Katie illustrates that despite all those years of failed crushes and attempts at snagging a significant other, it’s not a bad thing to be single.

As we get older, it seems like we are hurled with constant questions about our dating status. “Still no boyfriend? Anybody you’re seeing? Nothing? Really?” This is not only annoying, but it can make us feel like there is something inherently wrong with who we are. It’s almost as if you’re expected to be miserable if you’re in your twenties and single.

Katie proves that this isn’t true, while showing us that girls don’t need a significant other to make them happy. That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t like to find that one partner and fall in love, but there is nothing wrong with being single until you find the person that you (and only YOU) feel is right.

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Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date goes beyond Katie’s failed dating life. While reading her stories and crazy adventures, you realize that Katie’s book focuses on her personal growth and developing friendships as well.

If you’re looking for a book to read, I highly recommend Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date. It’s a fun, laugh-out-loud read that you can relate to — whether you’re single or not.

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Vote for Knope – Great Female Leads: Part I

If you aren’t already a big fan of Parks and Recreation I suggest a date with your Netflix account — it’s time to binge! NBC’s Parks and Rec is a comedy that revolves around Leslie Knope, the Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. The show is filmed in mock-umentary handheld camera style that aims to embody an actual documentary. The characters even address the camera directly in interview-style interactions.

Leslie Knope is not only a great female lead in the show, she might just be the greatest female lead on television. Leslie Knope is played by Amy Poehler, who is most famous for her time at Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008.

Leslie Knope was born in Eagleton, Indiana and subsequently grew up in Pawnee as she discovered a love for public service. Leslie was a founding member and participant in several student activities in high school, including Debate Club, Model United Nations, and Young Democrats. As a Deputy Director of Pawnee’s Parks and Recreations Department, she has aspired to serve her hometown with ambition and enthusiasm.

Leslie is a member of the city council and has dreams of being the first female president of the United States. Leslie honors her role models: Hillary Clinton, Condolezza Rice, and Nancy Pelosi, and proudly displays pictures of them in her office. Leslie is not only ambitious and enthusiastic, but she also has a deep and unconditional love for her hometown. She expresses this love often, although at times the people of Pawnee do not appreciate her. She also loves waffles, her best friend Anne Perkins, and candy.

I would like to be president someday, so no, I’ve not smoked marijuana. I ate a brownie once at a party in college. It was intense. It was kind of indescribable, actually. I felt like I was floating. Turns out there wasn’t any pot in the brownie. It was just an insanely good brownie.

                                                                                    – Leslie Knope

Leslie gives the town of Pawnee her all and strongly believes that it is the government’s job to serve the public. She works in an environment that is still dominated by males, but that doesn’t stop her from accomplishing her goals. Leslie continuously manages to stand her ground and fight to get her voice heard as a strong leader. And Leslie Knope is not only great at her job, but she is also an amazing friend, girlfriend, and wife. She goes above and beyond for the people she cares most about. Not to mention, her naïve optimism makes her not only lovable, but hilarious.

Leslie Knope’s character is a great female lead because she represents the hardworking, successful American woman. Quirks and all, Leslie is a great leading lady.

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Headlines You May Have Missed: July 25-27

In case you slacked on watching the news this weekend, we’ve got the headlines you may have missed:

Israel and Hamas Agree On 24 Hour Cease-Fire
On Sunday, Israel and Hamas agreed to stop the fighting with a 24-hour cease fire, which followed the 12-hour cease fire from the day before. This is a temporary situation that provides another break for humanitarians to help citizens in need.

During the cease fire, Israel continued to locate and neutralize Palestinian tunnels, while officials try to close the deal on a cease fire that would last a week.  Secretary of State John Kerry continues to work towards an end to the violence.

A Wave Of Bombings Takes Place In Nigeria
The Nigerian city of Kano got hit hard with bombings over the weekend. First, a bomb was lobbed over a wall into a predominately Christian area and detonated as church-goers were leaving Sunday service. In a different part of Kano, a women detonated a bomb on herself when police officers stopped her and attempted to perform a search. The bomb killed the woman and injured five officers. The third attack was attempted via car bomb but, thanks to a helpful tip received by the police, a bomb squad managed to disassemble the remote detonated bomb successfully.

A Man And Daughter Hit By Plane In Florida
A small plane had to make an emergency landing on a beach in Florida and, in the process of landing, tragically hit both a man and a girl who is assumed to be his daughter. The man was killed by the crash and the girl, in critical condition, had to be rushed to a local hospital via helicopter. A witness to the horrific incident was taken to the hospital due to stress induced cardiac problems, however, the pilot and passenger of the plane were unharmed.

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“Do you wanna be white?”

“Do you wanna be white?”

What kind of a question is that, you ask? Well, it was one posed by a Korean skincare brand recently that has sparked an immense amount of controversy and backlash.

Korean skincare brand Elisha Coy, in an attempt to make an entrance into the U.S. cosmetics industry, posed this horrifying question on a billboard for its makeup in New York’s Queens-based Koreatown. The advertisement features Elisha Coy’s new tinted moisturizer with “skin-whitening” abilities.

While there is a long history of skin-whitening, common across the world, this kind of practice is controversial in the United States. This advertisement especially, so blatantly charged with notions of white-power and racism, is extremely detrimental to the development and confidence for Korean-American women and men. It is well known that South Korea is home to some of the strictest beauty standards in all the world, but that same trend traditionally has not been present in the United States. In fact, celebrities like Rihanna and Beyonce have actually faced immense criticism from the media in the wake of allegedly lightening their skin.

It is concerning that in this day and age, children can walk down the street and see this advertisement. This kind of advertisement only promotes fear and inadequacy in individuals who do not fulfill this (impossible) beauty standard. Meanwhile, it is spreading more beauty and racial issues to the United States.

South Korea is infamous for its desire for whiteness. In fact, it is estimated that nearly one-in-five South Korean women will have plastic surgery in their lifetime. This preoccupation with appearance begins at an early age for many Koreans, and affects not only girls, but boys too. The social pressure to be “beautiful,” is defined by the white-European woman—light skinned, big eyes, light hair.

Contemporary Korea accepts only one measure of beauty, and Koreans will do anything to meet these standards of what they deem to be white perfection. Eye reconstruction surgery is an obsession for many Koreans. In fact, many boys and girls receive the surgery as a birthday gift on their sixteenth birthday. Plastic surgery, which in America is considered very “hush hush” and is commonly kept private out of embarrassment, is openly spoken about in Korea.

The eye surgery results out of an obsession with the Caucasian eye and a belief that these larger eyes are more beautiful. Asian women are striving to appear more Caucasian in the belief that the Caucasian individual is the picture of perfection and beauty.

The South Korean belief that their bodies, faces, and unique features as a racial and cultural group are flawed is extremely detrimental and saddening as well. Children grow up believing that they are defective and not beautiful — in dire need of fixing by means of plastic surgery and radical reconstruction.

There is a need for a radical change to this culture that believes their natural being is flawed. The incessant focus on being Caucasian is wiping away and entire racial group and the features that make them unique. It is saddening to hear the way Korean women speak about themselves and what they are and what they are not.

This is a beauty standard promoting racism and discrimination, even within and among Koreans. From speaking with friends that are Korean Americans, I have been informed that they face extreme backlash for not having undergone plastic surgery. Upon a return to South Korea to visit family, they feel out of place and shamed for not adhering to the Caucasian standard.

Here we have the case of a racial group trying to erase themselves and their own identity. How can we advocate for change? How can a whole culture rethink a beauty standard that has infected the minds of millions?

“Whiteness” is not “rightness” and it is important to promote self-acceptance and racial differences in order to preserve the uniqueness of each human individual in this world.

What do you think?

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