In this week’s Wednesday Five: Barbie is attempting a reinvention of sorts, but some folks aren’t buying it; a documentary film, “Cyber Seniors” offers a humorous and heartwarming take on the growing generation gap; kids unpack the equal pay debate using a lemonade stand; a new app is designed around the benefits of Tai Chi; and the story of Quinn Duane — a 27-year-old California woman who turned her cancelled wedding into a blessing for others.


1.

Barbie Redux

Barbie is waging a come back. This week the Mattel company launched a heart-warming film titled, “Imagine the Possibilities,” in which young girls take on the roles of professors, business women, coaches, veterinarians, and museum curators. The premise of the film is that the girls are so inspired by playing these roles with their Barbie dolls that they go out into the world to pursue those career goals.

But some folks aren’t ready to be friends with Barbie again. Writing for Glamour magazine, Ella Alexander says, “Mattel’s new film is touching and necessary, but Barbie still has a bit of catching up to do if she’s to be a role model for young, smart girls.” What is still at the heart of the problem? Barbie’s dimensions:

“The well-documented statistic that if Barbie were real she would have the BMI of a severe anorexic (at 5 ft 9 in and 7.8 stone, which would make it difficult to walk on those inexplicably tiny feet) remains true. It’s a strangely archaic, frail image for a woman who seems otherwise so in control of her shit. Geisha feet are not empowering. And why if she’s so modern is she still so averse to wearing flats.”

 

2.

Cyber Seniors

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you a documentary film, “Cyber Seniors” — a humorous and heartwarming take on the growing generation gap. The film follows a group of seniors who, with the help of teenage mentors, step into the world of the internet—the web, email, Facebook, and YouTube. The film “renders a thought-provoking look at a spirited group of men and women who are enriched by digitally re-connecting with their families and each other.”

 

3.

Kids Talk About Equal Pay

How do you talk about equal pay? Well, you can start by using a simple childhood lemonade stand as a metaphor to unpack the debate. This week, Make it Work, an advocacy group for economic security, launched a video in its efforts to raise awareness of unequal pay for women. The group got help from Issa Rae, creator of the award-winning web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, to create the video, which explains the wage gap in a simple, but thought-provoking way.

 

4.

An App Designed Around the Benefits of Tai Chi

Designers are finding more and more ways to marry technology with mindfulness. A perfect example is the new app, Pause (loving that title), that literally encourages you pause and relax. Writing in Fast Company, Mark Wilson writes:

Pause is like Tai Chi for your thumb. You touch the screen, and you’ll hear a calming soundtrack infused with ocean waves, while an oil-like blob slowly condenses around your thumb. You have to move it—not too fast, and not too slow—all the time for the experience to continue. (Stop, and it just fades out.) After about a minute, the app tells you to close your eyes, and the phone becomes something akin to a set of prayer beads—requiring slight but constant tactile attention that can put your mind into a meditative state.”

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5.

What Happens When A Wedding is Cancelled

In this week’s dose of generosity, we share with you the story of Quinn Duane — a 27-year-old California woman was set to marry her fiancé in a $35,000 ceremony and reception. Take a look at what happened when the groom got cold feet.

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