A comedian went on TV and viciously insulted a fellow comedian. Here’s her eloquent response.

You might not know self-described “fat, one-armed stand-up comedian” Damienne Merlina, but you should.

Merlina recently posted a powerful, must-watch YouTube update about overcoming adversity, even when others try to make the world a darker place for you.

In her own stand-up act, she makes a few jokes at her own expense.

Some studies have suggested that being able to make these types of jokes can actually be good for your health.

For her, this means making a few jokes about the fact that she lost her right arm in a car accident.

It’s one thing to joke about yourself, but it’s entirely different when someone else makes you the target.

In a recent Comedy Central special, comedian Ari Shaffir devoted time to making fun of Merlina for only having one arm.


He also took some shots at her weight.

The biggest problem with Shaffir’s joke was that it wasn’t really a joke at all.

Whether or not someone finds it funny depends entirely on whether or not you find someone losing their arm in a car accident funny. It depends on whether or not you think that fat people are just naturally funny.

In other words, Damienne Merlina was the joke.

Some people might argue that Shaffir’s jokes are protected by the First Amendment, and they’d probably be right.

But that’s not what this is about. At all.

This isn’t an argument about free speech; it’s an argument about human decency and kindness to others.

He has every right to decide what jokes go into his set, and Comedy Central has every right to decide whether or not they want to put out his material.

It should be noted that in her video, she doesn’t ask that Comedy Central pull Shaffir’s special, demanding an apology, or anything like that. She’s just a person who seems really confused how she became a target and why someone would do this to her.

While he had every right to make the joke, it’s still really, really, unnecessarily mean.

On her Facebook page, Merlina explained exactly what it was about Shaffir’s set that upset her the most: the fact that he used her first and last name, making her a target.

Shaffir has a significantly larger platform than Merlina. By naming her by first and last name in his special, he opened her up to a massive amount of criticism criticism she did nothing to bring upon herself.

“In the many years I have been acquainted with him we have never exchanged more than 2 paragraphs of polite conversation.
***
It wasn’t even funny. I know that comedy is comedy. I understand that being in the public I risk criticism and unkindness. My issue is that he used my FIRST and LAST name. Per the US Census there is only one Damienne Merlina.”

Good comedy should “punch up.”

“Punching up” is a term used to describe comedy that takes aim at people or institutions better off than the person making the joke. This is how people like Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, John Stewart, and others usually operate.

What Shaffir did, though, was “punch down.” His joke wasn’t aimed at a large institution or powerful figure. The punchline of the joke was essentially “Hey, this fat woman only has one arm. Isn’t that hilarious?” That’s just mean.

She ended her video with an awesomely heartfelt speech about life, comedy, and humanity.

“You can have bad experiences in life, and you can still be a nice person,” is a concept that goes way beyond just the world of comedy.

No one’s life is perfect. Bad things happen to good people. Life isn’t fair.

Still, you don’t need to needlessly inflict pain on others.

Watch Damienne Merlina’s heart-wrenching response to Ari Shaffir below:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-comedian-went-on-tv-and-viciously-insulted-a-fellow-comedian-heres-her-eloquent-response?c=tpstream

Hey, Beautiful. (Yes, YOU!) Click Here.

You
know those days when you’re like, “UGH. I look awful. I feel awful.
Life is rotten.” Well, forget that noise! These sisters are on a mission
to “convince every woman to embrace the meaning of true beauty,” so do
them a solid, why don’t you? Watch this video, and pledge to love
yourself.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/hey-beautiful-yes-you-click-here

That One Body Part We're Too Scared To Talk About Isn't Really That Scary

Attention! There’s nothing weird about periods or vaginas! Whew! That. Felt. Incredible. And kinda scary?

In this clip, Kat Lazo goes out in NYC to talk to women about their bodies and find out why we’re so afraid of the word “vagina.”

Read more: http://upworthy.com/that-one-body-part-were-too-scared-to-talk-about-isnt-really-that-scary

Melissa Harris-Perry has a great point about Oprah’s new weight loss ad.

Last week, Melissa Harris-Perry was “a bit distressed” by a new commercial featuring Oprah Winfrey.

The MSNBC host responded to a recent TV ad Winfrey did for Weight Watchers after Winfrey bought a 10% stake in the weight-loss company last year.

While Harris-Perry was quick to note she certainly wishes Winfrey a successful 2016 even if that means achieving the goal of shedding a few pounds Harris-Perry took issue with one particular message within the ad, specifically, the part where Winfrey says that “inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be.”

Im thinking to myself but O, you are already precisely the woman so many are striving to be,” Harris-Perry said during the open segment of her show.

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Harris-Perry said she certainly understands why many woman, especially those in the spotlight, struggle with body issues because she’s been there, too.

“I know that your struggle with weight has been long and often personally painful,” Harris-Perry said in her open letter to Winfrey. “And having spent my 30s gaining and losing a few dress sizes more than few times, I get it.”

But still

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

As Harris-Perry pointed out, none of Winfrey’s many achievements have anything to do with her weight.

The whole segment is definitely worth watching below, but here’s an especially powerful snippet (emphasis added):

“From surviving childhood poverty and sexual abuse, you have become one of the most influential humans on the planet. You have Emmys and awards and honors almost too numerous to count. You not only are the first and only black American woman to make the Forbes’ billionaire list, you consistently rank among the most generous philanthropists in the world. Sister, you made the wealth, and you share it like no other black woman ever has. With a nod, you can generate a best-seller, launch a career, even help elect a president…

Who you are, what you have accomplished, how you have influenced and altered the world is all so much more important than your dress size. There is not one thing that you have done that would have been more extraordinary if youd done it with a 25-inch waist.”

Harris-Perry is on to something. Because not only should someone’s size be irrelevant to their self-worth, it’s not even necessarily relevant to their physical health.

Don’t take my word for it, though listen to Linda Bacon, Ph.D. She’s a researcher and author of the new book, “Body Respect,” and well-versed in weight-regulation science.

Bacon told Upworthy that, despite a lot of commonly held notions, you can’t tell much about an individual’s health simply by looking at their waistline.

“Even the heavily entrenched idea that heavier people eat more than thinner people isnt supported by data,” Bacon explained.

The host’s daughter shares the same birthday as Winfrey, and that means the new Weight Watchers ad hit especially close to home.

“I regularly remind [my daughter] that sharing a birthday with you means shes especially obligated to strive toward greatness,” she said. “And I worry as a mom, and as a woman, about the messages our daughters receive if they think a woman as phenomenal as you is still not enough unless she is thin.

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Bottom line? Your success and worth have nothing to do with a number on a scale. And that includes you, Oprah.

Check out the whole segment below.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/melissa-harris-perry-has-a-great-point-about-oprahs-new-weight-loss-ad?c=tpstream

Twitter Loved How Amy Schumer And Ashley Graham Handled The ‘Plus Size’ Thing

Celebrity feuds are entertaining, but respect, support and real celeb friendships have the power to create change.

Yesterday, model Ashley Graham and comedian Amy Schumer seemed to be disputing over their views on what it means to be “plus sized.” Both Graham and Schumer were featured in Glamour’s plus-size issue a few months ago.

Schumer doesn’t really see herself as plus sized because she fluctuates between a size 6 and 8. She posted an Instagram expressing that she was upset to be featured in the issue without permission. Yet Graham called Schumer out for relying on her size and describing herself as “bigger” in some of her jokes and material.

Two major role models for women butting heads like this doesn’t do the body positive community a ton of favors. Luckily these smart women know better than to bicker about labels that shouldn’t exist anyway.

They made up on Twitter yesterday and received a flood of positive and supportive replies.

Here’s the original convo between Ashley Graham and Amy Schumer.


Ladies on Twitter appreciated the positive vibes.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/women/ashley-graham-amy-schumer-plus-size/1547092/

You Know How You’re Supposed To Always Want To Be Younger? Well, Screw That.

From teenage runway models to wrinkle cream ads to the weird disappearance of older women from our media, there are messages everywhere that women are at their best when they’re at their youngest.

Check out these women who are defying that sexist baloney. Then share this if you agree that women get more wonderful with each year.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/you-know-how-you-re-supposed-to-always-want-to-be-younger-well-screw-that-9

Here's How Advertisements Might Look If They Stated The Things They Make Many People Feel

We’re so inundated with images of “ideal” women that whether we intend for it to happen or not, those superficial images — and the ones we never see that might actually represent so many of us — can sometimes affect our feelings about our appearance and self-worth. I know the standard response is, “Well, don’t let it bother you!” But that’s easier said than done, particularly when we are bombarded with the standards from a very young age.

This photo series, called “Stop the Beauty Madness,” is intended to start conversations about ageism, racism, fat shaming, body image, eating disorders, sexuality, and more — all the madness that we’re presented with regularly thanks to today’s beauty “ideals.”

If ads (or a lack of certain types) displayed the words that we sometimes feel because of them:

If we could respond to the negativity, it might look like these:

And then, of course, there are the messages that begin for girls when they’re very young:

Wouldn’t it be nice if the images we saw better represented all of us? If you want, you can share this using the Facebook and Twitter buttons below.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/heres-how-advertisements-might-look-if-they-stated-the-things-they-make-many-people-feel

Finally, Pictures Of Gorgeous Women That Make You Feel Better About Yourself Instead Of Worse

Karen Walrond doesn’t know you, but she’s completely convinced that you’re beautiful. Give her three minutes, and she’ll prove it. P.S. Tell someone they’re beautiful today, why don’t cha?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/finally-pictures-of-gorgeous-women-that-make-you-feel-better-about-yourself-inst

This “Vandalized” Bible Page Just Went Viral& Heres Why The Girl Who Did It Is NOT SORRY

It all started when she was 9 years old…

A uniqueFacebook postwritten by SoulScripts by Jordan Leeinitially caught viewers’ attention because of the haphazard scrawls of color penned all over the left page of her Bible. She admits it’s what some call “vandalism,” but the powerful reason behind her carefully calculated scribbles will just knock the breath right OUT of you.

Her post reads:

“When I was 9, I cried in a dressing room because my thighs were bigger than all the other girls at school. So I wore sweatpants to hide my size.

At 11, I hid in a bathroom stall during lunch because the boys teased me for being the only girl wearing a bra. So I wore baggy sweatshirts to cover up.

At 14, I cringed when we had to take class photos because I was taller than all the boys and thought I was ugly. So I scratched out my face in the print.

At 17, I cried when that boy broke my heart over spring break because he met a prettier girl. So I quickly chased after a new one and posted photos to Facebook so that everyone would believe I was happy.

At 19, I collapsed on a long run because my body aches as I starved myself another day.

At 20, while listening to K-LOVE Radio, I realized that I had spent the first two decades of my life believing the lie that I needed to look like the page on the right. Clean, crisp, perfect, and poised. So I did all I could to hide my messes. My insecurities. My doubt. My discouragement.

But the truth is that I always felt out of place. I felt too messy and big and awkward and ugly.

And that’s half the reason why my bible is all messy and unusual and what many people call vandalism. But the truth is that it’s a sanctuary for me. A place where I can drop the filters and be the sad little girl that hid in a bathroom stall. Except there’s no hiding behind baggy sweatshirts, no comparison, no judgment, no holding back. It’s me, my heart poured out in every color, scratch, and squiggle. There’s kind of system to it, sometimes, but not really. & that’s okay.

Because at 20, I had found confidence in one place alone – at Jesus’ feet. And today, it’s still the only place I’m free drop the filters, to feel imperfect and ugly without wanting to hide, and free to be messy with a God who adores every ounce of me. That is radical. And my outpour on the page is my response.

It’s true for you, too. So if you’re feeling fat or ugly or heartbroken or discouraged or any form of messy: that’s okay. You weren’t made to be like the right page. You were made to be like the left: bold, bright, beautiful, and maybe a little messy.
Because messy in the Word = confident in the world.”

Read more: http://www.faithit.com/this-vandalized-bible-page-just-went-viral-heres-why-the-girl-who-did-it-is-not-sorry-spiritual/

3 clever comebacks for truly terrible comments. You’ll wanna grab a pen.

Pssst! Since each episode is so short, I went ahead and embedded all three for you to enjoy. Just use the arrows on either side of the play button to scroll through the entire playlist.

Don’t have time to watch the full series? No worries! Here are three of my favorite comebacks from the first three episodes of “A Series of Comebacks.”

1. Next time a man says, “Women can’t drive”

2. If someone asks, “Have you gained weight?”

3. When a nosy stranger asks, “Why haven’t you had a baby yet?”

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/3-clever-comebacks-for-truly-terrible-comments-youll-wanna-grab-a-pen?c=tpstream