The WW App for Kids Is Deeply Problematic for Me as a Mom

When Weight Watchers, now known as WW, relaunched itself as a wellness plan, it was met with optimistic skepticism. The WW app for kids, launched last week, however, has been met with downright outrage.

The brand has been synonymous with dieting for decades, but now that years of nutrition research has proven that diets don’t actually work, a pivot was welcome. But given the company’s new commitment to wellness, it seems like an odd move to introduce a WW app for kids. Little kids. Like starting-at-8-years-old little.

In case you missed it, the WW app is called Kurbo and it’s targeted to children aged eight to 18. The company maintains, it’s grounded in strategies for building healthy habits long term—something nutrition science does support. “Kurbo focuses on behavior change for healthier eating and more activity, not dieting or calorie-counting,” Gary Foster, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at WW, told Glamour.

I, along with much of the internet, still find it problematic. The app has been met with pretty unanimous rage—check the comments on their Instagram feed—coding foods as green (“great to eat anytime”), yellow (“watch your portions”), or red (“think about how to budget them in”). But a bigger question begs to be asked: In the era of body positivity, when diet is literally a four-letter world, what message does this send to kids?

Kurbo, the WW app for kids.Courtesy of Kurbo

Putting your kid on a diet could set them up for disordered eating: In a study of 14 and 15 year old girls, the National Eating Disorder Association found that “dieting was the most important predictor of developing an eating disorder.” Girls who moderately diet are 5 times as likely to develop an eating disorder—those who practice extreme restriction are 18 times (!) more likely. (Foster counters that studies show behavior-based weight management programs like Kurbo “do not cause eating disorders. They provide kids with tools to make balanced food choices and manage their weight in a healthy way.”)

Can we think about the indignity of a teenager at a sleepover having to enter every morsel of food she eats into an app on her phone? Shame and guilt actually have a counter effect on any attempt at weight loss, according to the American Association of Pediatrics.

I suffered from disordered eating and binging for most of my adult life. Now that I have my own children, I want to save them from the toxic relationship with food that’s caused me so much grief. When we put children’s eating habits under a microscope, we are taking away their agency over their own bodies. We are teaching them that they can’t possibly be left to their own devices to eat in a healthy way. And we are sending a loud and clear message: Your body is not good enough as it is. You need to be fixed.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Make History by Hiring an All-Female Senior Staff

As assistant private secretary for Markle and Prince Harry, Wong helps build strategic initiatives across issues like HIV/AIDS, youth engagement in the Commonwealth, and mental health. Prior to this job, she worked in the Obama administration as a political appointee.

Latham is a dual British and American citizen, and has a background in politics on both sides of the pond. She’s worked with Hillary and Bill Clinton, as well as Barack Obama, in addition to a major British public relations firm.

“Harry and Meghan have felt frustrated by the one-size-fits-all approach to being a working royal and are aiming their star far higher,” a royal source told Express UK. “It is clear they think Fiona is the person to do that. Internally, the hope is, as someone with enormous diplomatic experience, she will also understand that, whether you like it or not, there are limitations to being a royal for a very good reason.”

The Daily Mail reports that there are also two female press officers and a “team of female private office employees” on Markle and Harry’s official payroll. They do, however, reportedly have a man in charge of internal publicity, including the Sussex Royal Instagram account.

HBO Max Is Making a ‘Practical Magic’ Prequel Series—Here’s Everything We Know

I consider Practical Magic to be one of the greatest (and perhaps underrated) Halloween movies around. So the news that HBO Max—the yet-to-launch streaming service that will also be home to Friends once it leaves Netflix—is developing a prequel is extremely good news. The story of sisters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman) who are born with magical powers they try to avoid—until they can’t—is the perfect mix of comedy, drama, romance, and horror. Oh, and it features some extremely great hair.

Variety reports that the streaming platform has ordered a pilot for the one-hour show called Rules of Magic. It will center around siblings Jet, Franny, and Vincent Owens who have “abnormalities that have kept them isolated.” They soon discover that they are descended from a line of witches.

Here’s everything we know so far.

The source material is based on a book. The series will be based on the Alice Hoffman novels Rules of Magic and Practical Magic, the latter of which was also adapted for the 1998 movie.

The setting won’t be Massachusetts, where the 1998 film mostly took place. According to the Variety report, Rules of Magic will be set in 1960s New York City.

There’s a strong connection to the movie. Fans of Practical Magic, of course, remember Kidman and Bullock’s magically powerful aunts from the movie, where they were played by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing. Rules of Magic is basically the Franny and Jet origin story. As for their brother, Variety says he will leave “an unexpected legacy.”

Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing played the beloved aunts in the 1998 film Practical Magic.

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

The series’s writer has a history of developing strong female characters. Per Variety, the show will be written and produced by Jessica Jones creator Melissa Rosenberg.

The release date and cast are still unknown. The show is still in preproduction, so it’s unclear at this time when it will premiere—or who will be playing the main roles.

This post will be updated as new details emerge.

Kit Harington Was Just as Surprised About Jon Snow’s Fate on ‘Game of Thrones’ as You

This post contains spoilers for the final season of Game of Thrones. Consider yourself warned.

It’s been three months since HBO aired the series finale of Game of Thrones, and many people, including the show’s cast, are still processing the fates of their favorite characters.

In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow, finally reveals how he felt about the decision to have Jon kill his lover/aunt Daenarys (Emilia Clarke) after she went “mad” and unleashed dragon fire across huge swaths of King’s Landing.

Harington went into the final table read for season eight without having read the ending, but with Clarke warning him that he was in for a surprise. “I didn’t realize what was going to happen the whole way through until maybe half a page before Jon kills Dany. I remember my mouth dropping open and looking across Emilia at the table, who was slowly nodding as I went, ‘No, no, no!'” he said. “It was a ‘holy fuck’ moment, pardon my language. Jaw-dropping. I was completely surprised by it, even though you can kind of see the path through the season of how it was getting there—and even the previous couple of seasons before that, once you can look back. But it was still a big shock to me.”

He says they shot the scene where Jon stabs Dany for almost three weeks, but that it was important to really get it right. And while Jon’s decision was a tough one, Harington saw the logic in his character’s choice. “But what it really comes down to, the real crux of it, is the decision is made when she puts it between her and his family,” he explained. “Jon essentially sees it as Daenerys or Sansa and Arya, and that makes his mind up for him. He choose blood over, well, his other blood. But he chooses the people he has grown up with, the people his roots are with, the North. That’s where his loyalties lie in the end. That’s when he puts the knife in.”

While many fans took issue with how the show ended, Harington disagrees.

“I loved it. When I read it [Jon leading the Free Folk back to the North], that bit really made me cry. What really made me cry was on the paper: ‘End of Game of Thrones,'” he said. “But as far as an ending for Jon Snow, this character that I loved for so many years and had grown so close to, and had meant so much to me…seeing him go beyond the Wall back to something true, something honest, something pure with these people he was always told he belongs with—the Free Folk—it felt to me like he was finally free. Instead of being chained and sent to the Wall, it felt like he was set free. It was a really sweet ending. As much as he had done a horrible thing [in killing Daenerys], as much as he had felt that pain, the actual ending for him was finally being released.”

Is Mike Johnson in a Relationship? Here’s What the ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Star Says About His Relationship Status

I’m not saying that I stayed all the way out of it. I wouldn’t say I’m not in any drama. I definitely wanted to stay out going into it. But I would say, being the man that my mom taught me to be—just being a good human being, a good person—helps to avoid a lot of conflict.

What’s your take, then, on the drama surrounding Hannah and Blake?

Hannah is such a sweet woman that I was kind of feeling bad for her because she’s growing and learning how to deal with, you know, letting someone down while on camera. You know, it’s not the easiest thing to do, but she handled herself well. You’ve got to continue to watch. With Dylan and Blake, I’m completely biased because Dylan’s my little brother. I love Dylan, and I tried to instill confidence in him and let him know that he has to speak things into existence and continue to go after Hannah.

I know you can’t share any spoilers, but what was your mindset leaving the show?

Great question. I’m happy that I went on Paradise. We’ll see in the near future what my Facebook relationship status is…

Speaking of relationship status, a lot of people would like to see you as the next Bachelor… What can you say about that?

I can say that it’s incredibly awesome and a great feeling that people even consider me or think I’ll be a great Bachelor. Quite honestly, that warms my spirit. Like, straight up.

Let’s just say for fun you’re single when you leave Paradise. What are you looking for in a partner?

I like core values. I like loyalty, ambition, and women who are feisty. I find that a feisty woman, I’m attracted to for some reason. Even if they get on my nerves, I’m attracted to it still. I look for sexiness. And I look for someone who can teach me something. Say you’re a dental hygienist or an astronaut, just teach me something.

Any deal-breakers?

Oh, deal-breakers. Yeah. I’m personally not into someone that smokes nicotine.

You talk a lot about how close you are to your mom and grandma. Who would they want to see you with?

I know this is cliché, but they just want me to be happy. I mean, they think they know what I like, but they just want me to be happy. You know how parents are. They’ll be like, “Oh, you’ll like this person!” And I’m like, “No, mom, I don’t like them.” [Laughs]

Have they given you good relationship advice?

Planned Parenthood Withdraws From Title X Federal Funds. Here’s What That Means

Planned Parenthood has announced that it will withdraw from Title X, a federal program which helps make birth control, pregnancy tests, and screenings for sexual transmitted diseases accessible and affordable. The decision is due to the Trump administration’s new “gag rule,” which restricts what health providers can tell patients about abortion. Under this rule, if Planned Parenthood wanted to continue to receive funds through the program, it would no longer be able to offer abortion referrals or even suggest where a patient could get an abortion.

The Trump administration first introduced the new Title X rules in May, but it wasn’t until last week, when a federal court failed to halt them, that Planned Parenthood decided to pull out of the program.

Planned Parenthood has received Title X funds since the 1970s, but these federal dollars have never been used to fund abortions. And according to The New York Times, “Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million of the $286 million given annually by Title X to about 4,000 health centers providing reproductive health care, as well as screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer, to about four million patients.” Without these resources, more than 1.5 million low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood for pregnancy tests, birth control, STI screenings, and other services through Title X support could be affected. The organization has shared that one of their programs, a mobile health center in Cleveland, will have to close and that other clinics will feel similar pressure from the cuts.

“By forcing Planned Parenthood out of the Title X program, Trump is fulfilling his debt to the anti-choice movement—a vocal, extreme minority in this country—for their work to put him in the White House,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue shared in a statement. “Millions of women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood for a full range of reproductive healthcare will be forced to pay the price for political payback by the Trump administration and their reckless Title X gag rule. The decision about when and with whom to have a family is one of the most personal and important decisions a person will ever make, and it’s definitely one that should be free from political interference.”

Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications at EMILY’s List, echoed Hogue’s sentiments. “Since day one, Trump and his Republican cronies have tried to defund Planned Parenthood and strip valuable reproductive care from millions of women. Today, those efforts have real and dangerous consequences for too many women in America. The Trump administration is using one of the largest and most valuable programs for providing affordable birth control and reproductive health care to bully providers, like Planned Parenthood, into withholding information on abortion. As the gag rule takes effect, millions of women will be left with nowhere to turn for essential health care like affordable birth control, cancer screenings, maternal care, and more,” she wrote in a statement.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood have also taken to Twitter to share their outrage. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke wrote, “Trump is taking tens of millions of dollars away from Planned Parenthood—jeopardizing the health of more than a million people across our country. Please donate to @PPFA today, so Trump can’t stop patients from receiving the care they need.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted, “Trump’s gag rule is forcing Planned Parenthood to withdraw from Title X. Last year alone 53,000 Minnesotans relied on Title X-funded clinics for cancer screenings, well person visits, birth control, and more. Losing access to this care puts lives at risk. Period.”

For Model Halima Aden, World Humanitarian Day Is Personal

To most who know or have heard of me, I’m Halima Aden, model. But long before I was the first model to wear a hijab on the cover of a major magazine or the first woman to wear a burkini in Sports Illustrated, I was just a child in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where my family resettled after fleeing the civil war in Somalia. My childhood was happy, despite bouts of malaria and nights where I couldn’t sleep due to hunger. Through it all, I knew that I was safe.

That isn’t the case for all refugees.

This month I traveled with UNICEF USA to Italy where I met with migrants and refugees who have been through hell. Since 2014, more than 70,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived, and 86 percent of them are between the ages of 16 and 17. Imagine that: These kids aren’t thinking about getting their driver’s licenses or going on first dates. They are thinking about taking a journey that will put their lives at risk to escape conflict, trafficking, and other crimes against humanity.

The route is not an easy one. After walking through the desert for weeks or months, they face a harrowing passage across the Mediterranean Sea that one in 11 people do not survive. When they reach the shores of Italy, they are safer, but their troubles are not behind them.

I met with eight resilient young women at a UNICEF-supported reception center in Palermo who survived the journey, but are still waiting to receive legal documentation. I met with Petra, who made the trek to Italy without any family, but continues to light up rooms with her infectious laugh. I met with Gabby, who has experienced pain and violence that no girl should ever know, but has the voice of an angel that could move anyone to tears. I met with Patience, who has been waiting for documentation in Palermo for almost two years, but whose conviction has never wavered.

“We refugee girls in Italy have a bright future and want a bright future and have plans to become something amazing in life. We don’t want to stay at the reception center,” she told me. “We want jobs and we know we need education to make that happen. Living here is not easy, but every day I work to show the Italian community that we are capable of being a part of this country. We are not just depending on their documents; we have skills, we have ideas and we want to change the world.”

Patience wants to become a lawyer one day. She knows nothing will be handed to her and that she needs to optimize on every opportunity that is presented to her to make her dreams come true. But she needs our help. Unaccompanied minors like Patience need to be protected from exploitation and violence and provided access to psychosocial support. Lawmakers around the world must take action to combat the root causes of violence and poverty pushing children and adolescents to flee. And it’s our responsibility to stand up for what is right and to remember that no matter their status, their location or their background, children are children.

We must use our collective voice to remind those empowered within our governments that there is no place for politics when it comes to children. As a former refugee, I implore you to remember that and support organizations like UNICEF that are working to make sure children all over the world have opportunities not just to survive, but to thrive. We will all be richer for it.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Latest Vacation Is Causing Controversy

Elton John is not here for the latest controversy surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

For context: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just returned from a vacation at John’s palatial estate in the South of France. They traveled to and from the quick jaunt via private jet, which some are branding as hypocritical due to the couple’s environmentalism work. One tabloid even referred to Prince Harry and Markle’s mode of transportation as “gas-guzzling.”

But John is coming to the royals’ defense. It turns out the pop icon both paid for Markle and Prince Harry’s private jet and ensured it was carbon neutral—thus shutting down all the people who think they aren’t practicing what they preach. (According to the cyber-gear initiative Go Green, making something “carbon neutral” means calculating how much a flight makes in greenhouse emissions and then donating that amount to a charity or project that’s striving to reduce emissions.)

“I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” John wrote on Twitter. “Prince Harry’s mother, Diana Princess Of Wales, was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death. After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight.”

John continued, “To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™. I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis.”

See John’s tweets for yourself, below:

Twitter/@EltonJohnOfficial
Twitter/@EltonJohnOfficial

How to Dye Curly Hair Without Damaging It

Every curly-haired woman has a curly hair horror story. It might involve going to a salon that doesn’t know how to properly cut and shape. It might have to do with a stylist getting a little overzealous with heat and causing your subsequent fear of flatirons. It might even center on someone using a relaxer to “tame” your curls a bit (yes, this happens). We have trust issues, and rightfully so. Our hair is high-maintenance and sensitive at the same time. Anything that threatens our natural curl pattern—which we’ve spent years coddling, moisturizing, and detangling—is met with a lot of well-justified hesitation.

Naturally, when I decided I wanted to get highlights recently, I experienced an unsettling combination of feelings: cautious, skeptical, and extremely nervous. Even with the research I’d done on how to dye curly hair—an essential step before any salon visit—I still had a deep-seated fear that something could go wrong.

Thanks to my extensive research, it turns out I had nothing to worry about. My biggest piece of advice from this experiment: Find a great colorist. That’s undoubtedly the most important part of the process. Below, seven more tips on how to dye curly hair that’ll ensure you walk away with perfectly colored curls.

Book a Consultation—And Explore Alternatives to Bleach

Before any color appointment, you should always book a consultation. It’s helpful to bring in reference photos, then work with your colorist to see if it’s possible to duplicate those results on your hair type. Seventy-two hours ahead of my appointment, I went to London’s 3Thirty Salon to meet with stylist and owner, Tiff J. During our consultation, she asked what I was looking for and gave me more than enough time to ask all of my burning questions. Since I was shooting for a warm caramel shade and had “virgin hair” (meaning it hadn’t been colored before), she informed me that we would skip the bleach and opt for a permanent tint instead. If I had wanted a lighter tone, though, bleach would have been necessary.

That’s not to say bleach isn’t safe; you can use it on curly hair and retain your texture when it’s applied carefully and properly. Curly girls are often told that this step can ruin our texture and the only way to save it is to cut it off. This is and isn’t true—many factors go into taking your hair from healthy to fried. For instance, if your hair has a lot of elasticity to it and you’ve been moisturizing, you’re likely a better candidate than someone who uses a lot of heat and skips their deep conditioners. Another factor is your colorist, which is why the consultation is so important. Ideally, they’ll talk through some alternative techniques with you and work out a plan to limit damage instead of immediately pulling out the bleach. If that’s the case, you might want to book elsewhere.

“[Some colorists] think any dark hair that needs to be lifted more than four shades needs bleach,” says Tiff. “That’s where people go wrong.” However, keep in mind that if you already have color in your hair and want to go cooler-toned or lighter, your colorist may need to use bleach to lift it and cleanse the cuticle.

Load Up on the Olaplex

According to Tiff, a big saving grace for women who color their hair—both curly and otherwise—has been the invention of Olaplex. “That’s our best friend,” she says. “Colors break down the natural bonds within the hair, so what Olaplex does is rebuild as much as possible. That way you don’t feel like your texture changes so much.” She mixes the salon-grade product into the color itself, then shampoos and conditions hair with the rest of the range.

Netflix’s The Politician: Everything We Know So Far

At last, we finally have a first look at The Politician, Ryan Murphy’s first TV show for Netflix. (The prolific producer signed a deal with the streaming giant in April 2018.) Starring Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, and Zoey Deutch, this comedy-drama seems to mix the campy comedy of Glee with the biting wit of Scream Queens. So, in other words, Ryan Murphy is quite literally in its DNA.

Here’s everything we know about the show so far:

The release date. September 27, 2019.

The episode count. The first season will consist of eight episodes, and a second season has already been green-lit.

The premise. Per the show’s first official trailer (watch below), The Politician centers on a vicious high school presidential campaign set in an upscale suburb. Platt stars as Payton Hobart, a type-A, whip-smart student keen on winning the race, while Lucy Boynton plays Astrid, his biggest competition. Meanwhile, Zoey Deutch portrays Infinity Jackson, a seemingly sick female student who runs alongside Payton as his vice president. Thrown into the mix is Jessica Lange as Infinity’s mother and Gwyneth Paltrow as Payton’s mom.

Watch the trailer for yourself, below:

The cast. A full list can be found here. According to Variety, both Bette Midler and Judith Light are slated to make guest appearances in The Politician, as well.

Jessica Lange in The Politician.

Netflix