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    If Thigh Gap and Hip Dip Weren't Enough, Now Women Are Supposed to Worry About Having 'Arm Vaginas'

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    I’m a woman with three vaginas. You probably are too. Let’s check: Go to a mirror, take off your top, and see if there is any skin where your inner arm meets your upper body.

    If there is—and there should be, because you are a human female—then you have “arm vagina.” We can thank Jennifer Lawrence for coining this phrase in 2014. “I know I have armpit fat,” she confessed on the red carpet at that year's SAG awards. “It’s okay… it’s armpit vaginas, it’s awful!”

    RELATED: These Are the Top Causes of Vagina Pain

    Lawrence's blithe self-deprecation served as the birth canal for a butterfly effect, spiraling women into despair and body dysmorphia. One celebrity stylist has even declared that this apparently unsightly and completely natural fold of skin is among her female clients’ greatest insecurities. Some have even turned to cosmetic surgery.

    RELATED: 13 Body-Positive Influencers You Should Follow on Instagram

    If you’re like me, you didn’t even know you had arm vaginas. I personally have always thought one set of lady parts down below was enough, although it would have been nice to have a back-up vagina during and after childbirth. Now when I think of how handy my armpits are for holding stuff while my arms and hands are otherwise occupied, I’ll congratulate myself on doing my Kegels.

    Ladies? Do we really not have enough going on, what with muffin tops, hip dips, thigh gap, underboob, and side boob that we needed to hit ourselves with arm vagina?

    I’m not sure I even understand the dis. Are we now supposed to loathe our body parts for merely existing? Because arm vaginas don’t necessarily have to do with excess fat. There’s an actual muscle underlying—or in some cases entirely comprising—your arm vagina. It’s called the “teres minor.” It flexes. So if you’re someone who does a few planks now and then, don’t be surprised when someone says, “Whoa, have you been working out? Your upper body’s looking…vaginal!”

    And is calling something a vagina an insult? My real vagina has come in pretty handy and has produced more things than my armpits ever have. I have a pretty deep cleft in my chin, and someone once told me it looked like a vagina chin. I took it as a compliment but only after asking him to call it “yonic.”

    RELATED: Kim Kardashian Says She Has Body Dysmorphia—but What Does That Really Mean?

    Look, naming things is powerful. It can lead to solutions. For example, “Hey dude, when you spread your legs on the train, pretending that your bald-and-wrinklies deserve their own seat, that’s called manspreading.”

    But when you name something for which there is no solution (even if you’re the beloved, irreverent J. Law), you’re not helping. You’re not helping women at large when you diminish us into body parts—parts which invariably fall short of anatomically impossible standards.

    There’s a culinary movement called “nose to tail” in which folks pride themselves on consuming all parts of a pig. I feel like women have created our own nose to tail movement, except rather than using all our parts, we abuse them—making ourselves sexist pigs in the process.

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    We’ve spent so much energy trying to keep predators and lawmakers out of the business of messing with our vaginas that the last thing we should be doing is identifying more of them on our bodies and attacking them ourselves.

    And I’m sorry if I was the one who introduced you to the notion of arm vaginas. At least we aren’t expected to wax them.

    This article was revised on December 6, 2017 to remove a doctor’s quote.

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    How to Tell If You’re an Empath—Plus 3 Self-Care Habits You Need If You Are

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    If you’ve ever felt happy for a newly promoted BFF or sad for a loved one who suffered a loss, you’ve been empathetic. But some people, called empaths, really feel those emotions. “Being empathetic is when your heart goes out to somebody when they feel joy or sadness,” explains Judith Orloff, MD, psychiatrist and author of The Empath’s Survival Guide. “But being an empath means you can actually feel their happiness or anxiety in your own body.” Best described as "emotional sponges," empaths don’t have the usual defenses or filters as other people, so they feel everything.

    There's no clinical diagnosis for empaths. Dr. Orloff uses a self-assessment quiz consisting of 20 questions that can help people determine whether they fit the bill.

    RELATED: 15 Ways Being an Introvert Can Affect Your Health

    The quiz asks questions like:

    • Have you been labeled "overly sensitive" or introverted your entire life?
    • Do you prefer to take your own car to places so you can leave early if you need to?
    • Do you prefer one-on-one interactions and small groups to large gatherings?

    If you answer yes to the majority of the queries, it’s likely you have strong empath tendencies.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing. Dr. Orloff, who is an empath and a psychiatrist (a tough combo!), says her ability to take on others’ emotions actually makes her a better therapist: “I’m able to tap into my gifts of intuition, depth of connection, and compassion to be really present with someone,” she tells Health.

    Of course, absorbing others’ emotions is also taxing. “The key skill for an empath is to learn how to not take on the stress of others,” says Dr. Orloff. Here, she offers three simple self-care habits that can help you stay mentally healthy while you navigate your relationships as an empath.

    RELATED: 9 Easy Ways to Practice Self Care This Week

    Set limits

    We all know people who drain us emotionally, whether they're narcissists or psychic vampires. But empaths are especially affected by strong personalities, so it’s important to set limits.

    The next time a friend is venting to you, kindly lay down some ground rules: “I suggest people do a five-minute phone call if their friend is in a 'Poor me!' mode,” says Dr. Orloff. “Lovingly tell them that you are happy to help them with solutions if they want that, but you will have to put a five-minute limit on a conversation if they’re going to continue venting. Letting them go on and on will destroy an empath.”

    If your friend balks at the time cap, explain that you are trying to be supportive while also practicing necessary self care.

    RELATED: If You Struggle to Find Time for Self Care, These Clever Apps Can Help

    Make your home a sanctuary

    Since empaths tend to be sensitive to crowds and loud noises, it’s easy for them to get overwhelmed when they're out and about. Making your home a safe haven can help you decompress.

    “Be sure to have a sacred place at home where you can take deep breaths, calm down, and connect to yourself,” encourages Dr. Orloff. “Being alone can replenish an empath.” Candles, flowers, and soft music can also help turn your living space into the sanctuary it needs to be if you’re an empath who gets overstimulated during the day.

    To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

    Spend time in nature

    According to Dr. Orloff, empaths love the outdoors. “Nature has so much positive energy that when empaths are around it, they start to feel better.” Make it a point to spend time in the woods or a park regularly–as opposed to a busy city.

    Water is also healing for empaths, adds Dr. Orloff. “They get very replenished in a bath, shower, or hot springs,” she says. “Besides just cleaning off dirt, water cleanses your energy fields so you feel like a different person afterwards.”

    Continue Reading »

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    The Ladies of SNL Welcome You 'to Hell' with Anti-Sexual Harassment Music Video

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    This article originally appeared on People.com.


    In the past few months, a slew of powerful men — from Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer — have been outed as sexual predators. Though many may be shocked, the ladies of Saturday Night Live are here to tell you that this kind of bad behavior is nothing new.

    Set in a Candy Land-like setting, host Saoirse Ronan and castmembers Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon posed as pop princesses to say “Welcome to Hell.”

    “Hey there, boys. We know the last couple months have been frickin’ insane,” said Strong before Bryant chimed in, “All these big, cool, powerful guys are turning out to be — what’s the word —habitual predators?”

    The catchy tune let guys in on a “secret that every girl knows” and addressed the harsh realities of navigating the world as a woman. As Bryant pointed out, “This ain’t a girl group. We just travel in a group for safety.”

    The ladies also showed how women have been suppressed through history, featuring flashbacks to the Salem witch trials, the suffragette movement and the ’60s sexual revolution.

    Leslie Jones then jumped in to remind everyone that “it’s like a million times worse for a woman of color,” to which they all agreed without hesitation.

    “Now House of Cards is ruined, and that really sucks,” sang Ronan, referring to allegations against Kevin Spacey that led to the cancellation of his hit Netflix show. “Well here’s a list of stuff that’s ruined for us: parking, and walking, and Uber, and ponytails, and bathrobes, and night time, and drinking, and hotels, and vans.”


    RELATED: Everything We Know About the Allegations Against Matt Lauer

    SNL wasn’t done with the new wave of sexual harassment allegations. Later, on “Weekend Update,” Colin Jost briefly touched on Lauer, who was fired by the sketch comedy show’s network on Wednesday following sexual misconduct allegations.

    “A new survey finds that four out of five Americans believe sexual harassment is happening in the workplace. While one out of five couldn’t respond because their boss’ penis was blocking the keyboard,” joked Jost. “I almost forgot about this week’s batch of predators. It’s just a whole segment of the news now. I’ve just got to announce the names every week like Powerball numbers.”

    RELATED VIDEO: Matt Lauer Frequently Pinched Katie Couric’s Butt & Once Told Meredith Vieira to ‘Keep Bending Over’

    In the background, Lauer was shown alongside Russell Simmons and Garrison Keillor, both of whom faced their own sexual misconduct allegations over the last several days.

    Focusing in on Lauer and his famously contentious relationship with former Today co-host Ann Curry, Jost joked, “On Wednesday, the Rockefeller Christmas tree was lit and so was Ann Curry.”



    Continue Reading »

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