The Wednesday 5: The Best of the Internet This Week

In this week’s Wednesday 5: Inside America’s subscription-box obsession; a new book, Frida Kahlo: The Gisèle Freund Photograph, gives us a glimpse of the artist’s inner world; a village in India plants 111 trees each time a girl is born;  a new VIDA study finds that male writers continue to dominate literary criticism; “Love Has No Labels” will remind you why we love.



Inside America’s Subscription-Box Obsession


You’ve seen the subscription-box craze—Birchbox, Glossybox, Barkbox—monthly deliveries of curated samples that allow us to discover local and global products. In the realm of online shopping, they have become nearly ubiquitous. A Fast Company article is asking some heavy-hitting questions about the craze, from questioning the viability of the business model to its mission of empowering women as not just consumers but experts. But the article’s author, Elizabeth Segran, is also wondering about how this new craze supports a culture of hyper-consumerism:

As soon as the success of Birchbox’s model became clear, other entrepreneurs rushed to offer competing beauty boxes. So much so that now one must wonder if we’ve hit peak Precious Box Delivery Services—and zoomed right past it to somewhere less satisfying and economically viable. Put another way: How many boxes can one country order?

Read more at Fast Company: From Socks to Sex Toys: Inside America’s Subscription-Box Obsession.



New Book: Frida Kahlo: The Gisèle Freund Photograph


This Spring, the exhibition “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” at the New York Botanical Garden will be the first to examine Kahlo’s keen appreciation for the beauty and variety of the natural world, as evidenced by her home and garden, as well as by the complex use of plant imagery in her artwork. To brush up on your Kahlo, a new book, titled Frida Kahlo: The Gisèle Freund Photographs, gives us a glimpse into the artist’s private life. These  photographs are among the last taken before Kahlo’s death and bear poignant witness to Frida’s beauty and talent.



Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Little Girl is Born

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you the story of the the village of Piplantri in Rajasthan, India, which celebrates every birth of a baby girl by planting 111 trees in her honor. Not just one tree, but 111. And there’s more:

When a girl is born, village members band together to raise a sort of “trust” for the girl. The parents contribute one-third of the sum of 31,000 rupees, equivalent to $500, and the money is set aside as a 20-year fund for the girl. This ensures that she will never be considered a financial burden for her parents.

Read more at about how this village is countering stigmas and cultural stereotypes by empowering its community’s girls from birth. 



VIDA Study: Male writers continue to dominate literary criticism

Here’s the data: Women buy two-thirds of all the books sold; however, reviews and critiques in magazines are mostly authored by men. A new study by Vida, which champions women in literature, looked at several major magazines and newspapers and who was behind their literary reviews and criticisms. Here’s what they found for 2014:

London Review of Books: Featured 527 male authors and critics, and 151 women.
New York Review of Books: Featured 677 men, and 242 women.
New York Times: Featured 909 male contributors and authors, and  792 women.

 Read more about the study at The Guardian.



Love Has No Labels

In this week’s dose of goodness and love, we share with you a video that went viral (50 million and counting!). It showed skeletons (that is, X-rays of people) who were kissing and hugging behind a screen, then surprised the viewers when those skeleton heads peeked around the screen to show who they were. In each pair, in each relationship there is a beautiful message about love, about loving, and about who we love. Visit and enjoy for more about the initiative. 



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