Internet creeps and a stolen photo, a landmark vaxx ruling, a ‘mature’ mum, KD’s big change and a hilarious blog. That’s what got us talking this week.
1. One Savvy Storyteller’s fight against the internet creeps who stole an image of her daughter
We were delighted to see that blogger Krista Rowland-Collin’s successful fight with a Facebook group who unlawfully used an image of her daughter made it to CTV’s PrimeTime Alberta this week. Krista’s daughter, Adele, has Down syndrome, and Krista writes about their family life in her blog A Perfect Extra Chromosome. Not long ago Adele was in a photo shoot for a children’s clothing company, a positive experience for both mother and daughter. In extreme contrast, an ignorant anti-vaccination group took one of the images of Adele from the shoot and turned it into a vile, sensational poster that says ‘Warning: Vaccines cause autism!’ The poster was shared on the group’s Facebook page, essentially holding Adele up as an example of what could go wrong if you get your children vaccinated, a suggestion rooted in crackpot science that’s especially random given Adele does not have autism. Krista contacted the group but they refused to take down the post. Infuriatingly, Facebook did not initially agree that the post violated community standards (!), despite Krista’s pleas with the social network to take it down. But when Krista’s friends, family and online community began to flood Facebook with complaints, the post was eventually removed. We’re proud of Krista’s perseverance and glad she took this stand both for children with special needs, and the rights of all of us to protect our children’s images online. Nice work, Krista.
2. A landmark vaccination ruling
Speaking of the anti-vaccine movement, a judge ordered a 10-year-old girl to receive a measles vaccine against her mother’s wishes earlier this month. Finding in favour of a motion put forward by the girl’s father, who is separated from the mother, the Brantford Superior Court Justice R. John Harper ruled that the girl must receive her measles-mumps-rubella vaccine before a trip to visit family in Germany later this month. His ruling described the mother as ‘an adherent to the homeopathic approach to health and treatment,’ and dismissed the witnesses she brought forward to support her position as ‘alleged experts.’ Amir Attaran, a law and medicine professor at the University of Ottawa, told the Toronto Star that ‘this case shows the courts sensibly disdain those with a blind spot for science, whether it be denying that vaccines work, or denying that the earth is round.’
3. The 65-year-old expecting quadruplets
A German mom of 13 is now the oldest person to become pregnant with quadruplets. Annegret Raunigk, 65, used a fertility clinic in the Ukraine to have four embryos implanted using IVF. Raunigk, whose eldest child is 43, says the decision to expand her enormous family was based on her youngest child’s desire to have a little brother or sister. But this child is already rich in siblings (and nieces and nephews, in fact, given her mom is already a grandmother of seven). And doesn’t somebody have to be the youngest? Of course we’re thankful for all the families that have come into being through the miracle of IVF. But is there a point at which it’s irresponsible for clinics to makes these pregnancies happen? And do we base a cut-off on maternal age, number of children already in the family, or some combination of both? Interesting to note: the chances of anyone conceiving quadruplets naturally is one in 13 million.
4. Kraft Dinner’s new look
Kraft announced this week that it will remove the synthetic colouring from its iconic Kraft Dinner. By 2016 all boxes of the popular instant macaroni and cheese sold in Canada will be coloured only with the spices paprika, annatto and turmeric. While processed foods are still far too prominent in our diets, the change reflects a shift away from these convenience foods and the artificial colours and flavours that usually come with them; a change.org petition with 360,000 signatures asked Kraft to make KD dye-free. This seems like a great move, but we’re betting that some Canadians will stockpile the original nuclear orange version, either to placate picky children or to indulge their favourite junk food habit. What do you think?
5. This hilarious illustrated blog
On one final light note, we came across a Tumblr blog we just know you’re going to love. Spaghetti Toes is one dad’s record of the craziest things said by and to his two-year-old daughter, Harper Grace. Each adorable quote is turned into an irreverent poster-style graphic, bringing the absurdity to life. Some of our faves include ‘My stomach feels like bad guys’ and ‘Mom, this food doesn’t taste gross in my mouth tonight.’
Okay, so we’ve spent a fair amount of time talking about the lovely spring weather that has finally arrived this week. But here’s what else had us abuzz at Savvy HQ this week.
1. Alyssa Milano’s breast milk
We felt the celebrity mom’s pain this week when Heathrow airport security confiscated a bottle containing 10 hard-earned ounces of pumped breast milk. 10! We know airport security is important, and that there’s always a chance a terrorist could try to bring liquid explosives on board disguised as shampoo or duty-free booze. But here’s the thing: Terrorists get away with crap by, well, flying under the radar, so to speak. In other words, by not being Alyssa Milano. And besides, there’s supposed to be an exception for babies’ milk. Infuriatingly, security told Milano it would have been fine for her to board with a bottle volume that high if the baby had been travelling with her. ‘Why would I need to pump if I had the baby with me?’ asked the actor in a tweet? When you think about it, that makes it kind of a pro-formula policy, or at least one that suggests breastfed babies would be discretely fed pumped milk from a bottle during flight so that nobody’s boob makes an appearance. Madness!
2. Fabulous photography celebrating girls
On a happier note for all female kind, we stumbled upon a photographer whose images of her daughters send a great message about what it means to be a girl. Kate T. Parker’s Strong is the New Pretty series captures her sporty girls in all their messy, sweaty glory. But what we love is that the Atlanta-based photographer is careful to point out that she’s not promoting her daughters’ tomboyish ways over those of girls who are into princesses and all things pink. ‘Whatever your kids are, celebrate that,’ Parker explains.
3. Wearing the same outfit to work each day
New York art director Matilda Kahl took the internet by storm this week with her post on Harpers Bazaar about the ‘work uniform’ she’s established to simplify her life. Her post explains that she was driven to switch to wearing the same white blouse and black pants each day (she has multiples, of course) when, after one of those mornings we’ve all had when nothing she put on felt right, she entered a meeting feeling less than confident. Wearing the same thing every day puts her creative focus where it should be—on her work, she says. This got us chatting about whether we’d be able to commit to a work uniform. I think each of us can see the appeal of having one sophisticated, understated outfit that fits just right and doesn’t require any thought. But we wonder if we’d get bored. What do you think? Could you do it?
4. Nutella at Tim Hortons
The venerable donut chain’s new series of pastries featuring Nutella arrived in shops this week. Some in the allergy community were outraged at the move, while others pointed out that Timmies have never been an allergy-safe destination. What do you think? Was it irresponsible for the company to bring these products into their stores? And do you plan to try them?
5. Ridiculous body shaming of Pink
It’s such a crime that the public can’t get enough of criticizing women’s bodies for being too skinny or too fat. We can’t win. Pink was the latest celebrity mom to come into the line of fire this week when, after tweeting a gorgeous picture of herself with daughter Willow, the interwebs lashed out with that other F word—fat. Happily, moms have rushed to Pink’s defense, proudly tweeting pics of their ‘squishy’ post-baby bodies. It’s just crappy that we’re still having this conversation.