On February 2nd, New Yorkers of all nationalities banded together with thousands of Yemenis and Yemeni-Americans who took to the streets of Brooklyn to protest President Trump’s recent travel ban. Many of the Yemeni and Yemeni-American protesters were bodega owners, so their protest was more than just taking to the streets to chant — they shut down their bodegas for the day to show what America looks like when you eliminate immigrants.
More than 1,000 bodegas participated in the strike to protest President Trump’s immigration ban.
“The message that the merchants are sending is that they are part of the American fabric and the Muslim ban has devastated them and their families,” Debbie Almontaser, the woman behind the bodegea strike, told NPR.
Protesters had one message: refugees and immigrants are welcome.
Like anatomy in general, birth control can be intimidating, confusing, and even a little scary. But it doesn’t have to be! While there are endless ideas about how birth control affects the body (it gives you acne, it makes you gain weight, it changes your moods, lo que sea), the truth is that everyone’s experience is different. For some, all of these claims might be true—and for others, none of them may be. Yet although each form of birth control impacts individuals in unique ways, there are definitely certain trends to watch out for. So if you’re curious about how birth control might affect your body, get ready for some seriously helpful—and possibly surprising!—information.
For years, many healthcare providers and users of birth control have believed that hormonal methods can lead to excessive weight gain. While bodies fluctuate and weight gain happens naturally for lots of different reasons, people often avoid this type of contraception—which includes the patch, the pill, monthly shots, and some IUDs—in order to avoid that alleged extra poundage.
However, many decades of research seem to dispel the myth that hormonal birth control leads to weight gain.
A 2014 review of 49 trials comparing 52 different birth control methods led to the conclusion that neither pill nor patch caused significant weight gain. Although “the evidence was not strong enough to be sure that these methods did not cause some weight change,” the reviewers found “no major effect on weight.”
Some studies focused on the combined pill (a version of the pill that contains many different—and often synthetic—hormones), while others investigated pills containing real progesterone, a hormone that our bodies naturally produce. The result was clear: no matter the contents, neither type of pill has a side effect of weight gain. Why, then, do we associate a higher number on the scale with the use of contraception?
According to Maria Gallo, an endocrinologist at Ohio State University who co-authored the review, the notion of weight gain as a symptom of birth control is rooted in a natural human bias.
Gallo suggests that when people are influenced by certain ideas or patterns (for example, if a small number of people report gaining weight after starting a new medication), those ideas seem to manifest in real life—even if the data doesn’t support those observations.
“It’s the same reason why there’s this idea that vaccines can cause health problems,” says Gallo. “If you give them to a population, you’re going to have some people who have health problems, whether they’re linked to the vaccine or not.”
In regard to the connection between weight and the pill, Gallo acknowledges that adults of both sexes gain roughly a pound each year, beginning in our early twenties. She points out that this is also the age when people start using contraception. Yet while Gallo asserts that the pill-weight connection is ultimately a myth—and that weight gain is likely attributed to different external factors—she confirms that the pill definitely does change the body in other ways.
Reviews indicate that birth control can change a body’s shape and composition, affecting muscle growth, fluid retention, and overall fat distribution.
A 2009 study showed that women taking a pill with a certain type of synthetic progesterone were unable to achieve their desired muscle gains. The fake progesterone, it turns out, was competing with a natural hormone called DHEA, which helps promote muscle growth. The impact of the synthetic progesterone kept women from meeting their desired fitness goals, because without a certain amount of DHEA, their bodies were incapable of supporting new muscle development.
On top of that, another study found that different hormones have different effects on fat cells. Estrogen and progesterone are responsible for feminine features, like wide hips, breasts, and booty. The fat that lives on these parts of the body is called subcutaneous fat, and it contains a large number of estrogen receptors. So, the study demonstrated that pills with higher estrogen levels often resulted in more subcutaneous fat and, therefore, a more “pear-shaped” silhouette.
And finally, the puffy feeling we all know too well—bloating—may also be a symptom of the pill. While we might feel bloated after un par de tacos or a big bucket of movie popcorn, that sensation is different than bloating caused by hormones. Estrogen impacts the way our bodies metabolize water, so high-estrogen birth control methods can make the body retain more fluid. Sometimes, this fluid seeps into fat cells, causing them to swell and create the illusion of weight gain. This means that while we may not actually be gaining weight, our clothes might fit differently, and we may feel sort of uncomfortable.
All in all, birth control can absolutely impact the way your body functions—it’s designed to do that! The trick is understanding your own body and finding a method that works for you and keeps you feeling healthy.
The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is just 16 years old but she sure knows how to get the best of men in power. The environmentalist who managed to grasp the attention of the world within a matter of year and refocus our attention on the health of our planet has done so by condemning world leaders through passionate speeches and damning essays. Speaking to the world at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York in late September of this year, the teen shamed leaders for their inaction in the climate crisis. “You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” she spat out. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you?”
Her scalding words and personal strike at Donald Trump, during her visit at the time seemed triggering for the U.S. president who in true-Trump fashion mocked her on Twitter. In a belittling tweet the president wrote “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
The tweet only inspired the bright men further, choosing to respond indirectly to his attack and embrace his title she added the words “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future” to her Twitter bio.
The Swedish activist and inspiration is back at again, this time after Trump got a bit too green for his own good after she was giving Time’s title of Person of The Year.
It was announced the Thunberg had been named Person of the Year by Time magazine this week for her uncompromising contribution to changing the course of the climate crisis. Most watching were relieved to find that the magazine had selected Thunberg in favor of a figure like Donald Trump. ( In 2016, the magazine selected Trump after his presidential election and disruption of traditional politics.) His selection had disgusted those who’d watched his horrendous campaign and attacks on women, people of color and other minorities throughout his campaign. So to say that the selection of a person devoted to changing the world for the better delighted most of us, would be an understatement. Donald Trump however, proved to be extremely unhappy.
In a tweet about her newest title, Trump called the decision “ridiculous.” “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” he tweeted. Taking a tip from his last attack, Thunberg used his words for her latest Twitter bio update.
Now it reads: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
In case you’re still left wondering, who exactly is Greta Thunberg and what is she campaigning for, ask no further, we got you covered. Here are just a few facts on the relentless teenage activist who has called out world leaders and scolded their actions on this hugely important issue.
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg told the summit. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
Greta first gained notoriety after staging a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year.
CREDIT: @SHALLOW_NEL / TWITTER
Thunberg’s idea of a global walk-out in the name of climate change drew millions of young people around the world demanding change. Last year, she was along in front of the Swedish parliament demanding action.
She continued to gain popularity after speaking at the U.N. Climate Talks in Poland in December of 2018. “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced,” she said to UN secretary-general António Guterres before the conference. “First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”
Her strike for climate change inspired young people all around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of students to join her #FridaysforFuture school walkout demonstrations. Young people in more than 123 countries skipped school to demand tighter climate policies and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.
Her actions to fight against climate change caught the attention of the people at the Nobel Peace Prize.
Greta was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, which would make her the youngest recipient of the award won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees.” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård in an interview with The Guardian.
She is leading by example.
The teenager traveled to the US on board a zero-emission sailboat to draw attention to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air travel. A single round-trip flight between New York and California generates roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gases your car emits in a year. In Sweden, she is said to be credited for the spread of the term ‘flygskam’ which translates to “flight shame,” which has encouraged Swedes to avoid traveling by air.
She has Asperger’s and won’t be shamed about it.
Four years ago, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism. “Being different is a gift,” she told BBC. “It makes me see things from outside the box…If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”
Her biggest inspiration is an American Civil Rights icon.
Rosa Parks is reportedly Greta Thunberg’s inspiration. “One person can make such a huge difference,” she said to Rolling Stone magazine about the civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus.
Thunberg’s glare at President Trump is a social media mood.
Greta’s speech this Monday didn’t go down well with President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate change and has challenged every major U.S. regulation aimed at combating it. He took to twitter to mockingly comment on the 16-year-old activist: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
Her fight is not slowing down.
Greta continues to miss school on Fridays to protest climate change. This year on September 20, she led the largest climate strike in history, which included an estimated 4 million people across 161 countries to combat the use of fossil fuels and their catastrophic effects on global warming and future generations worldwide.
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