This radical video by Shonda Rhimes and Dove is what unapologetic body positivity is all about

Fat girls dance.

That three word statement may seem simple and declarative. Yet, the assertion that fat girls do dance challenges a ton of assumptions and stigma around what plus-size people can and can’t do.

Cathleen Meredith, a self-proclaimed “fat girl,” knows the importance of dancing while people are watching. Meredith is the subject of the first video in an anticipated partnership between acclaimed producer Shonda Rhimes and Dove, called Dove Real Beauty Productions. The series spotlights real women redefining beauty and Meredith is no doubt doing just that through her brainchild Fat Girls Dance.

The video racked up over 1.5 million views in less than two days, exposing countless people across social media to Meredith’s story of self-acceptance. A shortened version of the video also appeared as an ad during the season finales of Rhime’s shows Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy on May 18.

Meredith started Fat Girls Dance in August 2016, pledging to post a video of fat girls dancing every single week for a year. Meredith calls the choreographed dance series a “radical act of fearlessness.” Her mission through Fat Girls Dance was to bring more visibility to the joy of plus-size women, and challenge ideas that fat women aren’t active, talented, or sexy.

“I had always loved myself and always thought that Cathleen was dope. But I didn’t think that Cathleen’s body was dope.”

Her story is one of resilience and radical body positivity, challenging a society rampant with fatphobia and bias to see the beauty in women like her.

“I think there is a negative connotation with the word fat,” Meredith says in the video. “But I never saw it as something negative, just something that I was. And I was not negative. I was awesome.”

But the year-long Fat Girls Dance campaign not only ended up challenging society’s views of fat bodies. Meredith says the watching herself dance on video began to challenge bias toward her body that she didn’t even known she had.

“When you’re dancing on a video and then you see it, you’re like, ‘Oh god, I am fat,'” she says in the Dove video. “And it’s very strange ’cause you knew you were fat. But you didn’t see it the way you see it on camera.”

Meredith says looking at herself over and over again in Fat Girls Dance videos helped her truly love her body, realizing its ability and power. Through that self-reflection and self-acceptance, she was able to truly embody a motto of Curvy. Confident. Conqueror.

“I didn’t know that it was a love affair I had been missing my entire life,” she says. “I had always loved myself and always thought that Cathleen was dope. But I didn’t think that Cathleen’s body was dope.”

That deep self-love is a lesson Cathleen wants to help spread to other plus-size women who are constantly told their bodies are not good enough. And she hopes to do that through Fat Girls Dance.

“If I could give that to every fat chick I ever met, then that would be worth it,” she says.

This thoughtful video on radical body positivity comes at a good time for Dove. The brand was recently criticized by some body positive activists for trivializing and capitalizing the movement by their body wash bottles reflect different body sizes for a campaign.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/20/dove-video-fat-girls-dance-shonda-rhimes/

Well, someone is spray painting condoms on graffiti dicks in London

Graffiti penises are “outdoor decor” you probably think you’d rather not encounter. But a safer sex advocate from the UK might just change your mind on that.

An anonymous 28-year-old Londoner is raising awareness of sexually transmitted infections and the importance of protection by spray painting condoms on graffiti penises. Yes, you heard that right. And it’s damn genius.

Sure, it’s technically illegal. But it’s also a pretty genius way of starting a conversation about safer sex.

“One night I did some research on STI rates, and then the idea just came to me to make stencils of a condom and a link where people can get free condoms then I just went out and did it,” the man, who is an art director by day, told BuzzFeed.

City Cock 5 #protectcitycocks

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The condom artist has been at it since April, with each fluorescent condom accompanied by the URL for Shine, a reproductive health organization in London providing free STI screenings and free condoms through six National Health Service clinics.

So far, he’s added about 20 dicks to his portfolio.

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The creative process is basically a graffiti dick scavenger hunt. Wherever the condom vigilante sees a spray painted penis already in place, he adds a condom. Simple as that.

“If there’s going to be cocks scattered everywhere that nobody wants to see, we might as well have people learn something from the cocks,” he told Buzzfeed.

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In 2015, there were approximately 435,000 diagnoses of STIs made in England, mostly impacting straight youth under 25 and men who have sex with men.

The mystery artist has been particularly focused on spreading his message to youth because he noticed many of the graffiti dicks were at school bus stops. Shocking.

“It just shouldn’t be the norm to just have your wang out, especially unprotected,” he told Buzzfeed. “I just thought it sent the wrong message.”

City Cock 2 #protectcitycocks

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The anonymous man-on-a-mission recently started an Instagram to document his safer sex project called @protectcitycocks. And while the creative effort is pretty goofy and giggle-worthy, the artist hopes it spreads a serious message.

“I just hope that this has some positive impact and that it could get more people to use condoms and eventually help lower the STI rates,” he said.

Insert cheeky “no glove, no love” joke here.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/20/spray-painted-condoms-penis-uk/

Facebook and The Trevor Project hope to help prevent LGBTQ youth suicides

Facebook has been working to make users feel safer on the platform for years, and in its latest effort to enhance the online community, the social media platform partnered with The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.

On Tuesday in the middle of Mental Health Awareness month Facebook announced that users will be able to connect with mental health resourcesfromThe Trevor Project right from their direct messages. The project rolls out over the next few months.

According to The Trevor Project’s website, the rate of suicide attempts is “four times greater for LGB youth and two times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth,” so it’s clear how helpful access to a supportive chat bot could be. And though The Trevor Project is aimed at helping suicide prevention in young people, the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 40 percent of transgender adult respondents reportedly made a suicide attempt during their lives, so Facebook users of all ages could certainly benefit from the helpful resource.

The messenger crisis support will also expand awareness to other areas of the mental heath community with the help of participating organizations likeCrisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The social media site recently received a great deal of backlash surrounding the spread of live-streamed suicide videos and earlier this month after a violent video of a Cleveland man shooting and killing a 74-year-old man was posted to the site founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted more human intervention is necessary on the site to ensure the safety of users.

The site also collaborated with mental health organizations back in 2016 to launch tools and resources aimed at supporting the mental health community. Users now have easily accessible support groups along with the ability to report concerning posts related to self-injury or suicide directly to Facebook.

Back in March the site was even testing a pattern recognition system that would use AI to identify posts that include certain keywords pertaining to suicidal thoughts.

Studies have shown that excessive social media us could increase levels of depression, so the more resources the better.

If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/17/facebook-lgbtq-trevor-project/