Tag: Television

34 TV Shows That Happened To Help People During Their Depression

1. Master of None

Master of None

Master of None definitely put into perspective that life is hard for everyone, especially other people in their late 20s. It comforts me as someone with intense anxiety and depression that life is what you make it, to enjoy the ride and know there will always be ups and downs.”

 

2. My Mad Fat Diary

My Mad Fat Diary

“Not only was it brilliantly done, it managed to avoid so many places where it would’ve been easy to rely on tropes and lazy storytelling. There were definitely times where it was a less than perfect show, but there was something really powerful for me about watching a story that felt like it could have been that of my own depression.”

 

3. Frasier

Frasier

“That show is genius, and I miss it dearly. I will marathon Frasier on Netflix FOREVER.”

 

4. RuPaul’s Drag Race

RuPaul's Drag Race

“It’s the biggest and best distraction from any negativity, especially when you can binge watch on Netflix.”

 

5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

“Watching a young woman fight off demons helped me work through mine. Plus, who doesn’t feel better when they hang out with the Scoobies?”

 

6. Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

“I’ve been binge watching this before Netflix even existed! Nothing makes me feel better than seeing Anne become an amazing woman despite impossible odds – and of course Gilbert Blythe will always be my first love.”

 

7. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

“It’s funny and happy and one of the overarching themes is that you can fail over and over again but you’ll end up happy in the end as long as you keep pushing.”

 

8. Archer

Archer

“The ridiculousness of Archer grief banging his way across the South Pacific was hilarious and pulled me out of a hole and stuck me with a mass of quotes people have no idea about.”

 

9. Ace of Cakes

Ace of Cakes

“It’s just so wonderful when I have a bad day. I put on a DVD of Duff and the gang making these beautiful and crazy cakes and it just lifts my mood. And I know that there is nothing but safe and happy moments and that nothing is going to trigger a down spiral.”

 

10. Scrubs

Scrubs

“I was almost completely alone in a foreign country, suffering terrible insomnia, and so depressed I was barely functioning. Having the doctors of Sacred Heart to turn to when I couldn’t sleep was the main thing that got me by on some nights.”

 

11. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender

“The cartoon both made me feel silly and lighthearted, as well as reminded me that my trivial problems are not that serious. My ass isn’t trying to save the world, just pass class.”

 

12. Sherlock

Sherlock

“I watched the first two series when I was severely depressed, and it was the one show I remember that really took me out of myself. I was engrossed by the puzzles, focused on the characters, and in love with the cinematography. That show meant a ridiculous amount to me.”

 

13. How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother

“Everyone on that show was quirky and weird in their own right but they all loved and supported each other. I felt like everything was going to be OK watching that show. I was around the same age as all of them, so it felt like I was growing up with them.”

 

14. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

“I stumbled upon it after being released from a hospital in NYC. Seeing the main character reconnect with the outside world and overcome the humorous and honest obstacles of living in a new environment reminded me of the reasons why I deserve a chance to do the same.”

 

15. Adventure Time

Adventure Time

“It’s whimsical and funny and full of beautiful messages. And when I needed distracting but my concentration was shot to hell, I could handle its 10 minute long episodes.”

 

16. Supernatural

Supernatural

“Every time I feel terrified or feel overwhelmed, watching this show helped me. It was because no matter what monster they were fighting, Sam and Dean always found a way to defeat it. That gave me hope that I could defeat the monsters making my life miserable. In general the Supernatural family make me feel less alone in my depression.”

 

17. Black Books

Black Books

“I don’t think I’ve ever watched a TV show more. Every time I hit a depressive episode, fortunately it’s on Netflix and I can re-watch it!”

 

18. The Gilmore Girls

The Gilmore Girls

“Whenever I felt sad, I would watch the series and laugh. The characters, especially Lorelai and Rory, inspired me to overcome obstacles life threw at me. I have learned to embrace my quirky side and be more productive.”

 

19. Glee

Glee

“I started watching it in the loneliest period of my life. It really helped me not feel lonely and the characters became my friends. I continued watching the show even after that period of my life ended and even after the show started going downhill, just because those characters helped me get through that period of my life.”

 

20. Modern Family

Modern Family

“It’s impossible to not laugh and feel good when watching that show. I always watch it when I’m having bad days.”

 

21. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

“I love TV, but when there have been times where I’ve been so depressed that I don’t even want to watch my usual shows, I can still get by with the gang.”

 

22. New Girl

New Girl

“I used to be like Jess until I lost someone who used to be so important to me. After getting into the show Jess’ joyfulness became contagious and the dudes’ quirkiness cheered me up.”

 

23. Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

“I’m binge watching the bejeezus out of it now! When I’m down I need to watch this bunch of rich white people and their servants with all of their problems! I cry, I laugh, but mostly I stare at the hot British men.”

 

24. The Office

The Office

“I must have watched the entire series three times back-to-back in a span of a few months. Even now, when I’m feeling particularly stressed/angry/upset, turning on any episode instantly makes me calm and level headed. There were times when binge watching it was the only thing that kept me smiling and moving forward.”

 

25. Skins

Skins

“I lived out my wildest teen angst fantasies while enjoying tea and cookies under a blanket.”

 

26. Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman

“Sometimes I just wanna be sad and mope about for the day. The show doesn’t force me to laugh or be happy, I can just be human and feel bad and that’s OK.”

 

27. Lost

Lost

“All of the characters were broken and had to deal with various issues from their past. I watch it whenever I need to escape. It helps to remind me that even the most broken people can have a purpose and worth.”

28. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

“For me it was Game of Thrones. It’s one of those shows that completely drew me in, and long after the episode was done I’d sit in my bed looking up Targaryen history!”

 

29. Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones because seeing someone else who was a victim, who struggled with her issues, overcome her abuser gives me the strength to face my own daily demons.”

 

30. The O.C.

The O.C.

“I’ve watched the entire series numerous times. I always get so happy envisioning myself living in SoCal. After I had my miscarriage last year I was super depressed and watched season one and it kept me content.”

 

31. Friends

Friends

“I always go back and watch Friends when I’m struggling. It’s so light hearted and funny and works as a good distraction for me. It’s just comforting to watch it when I’m feeling low.”

 

32. Hannibal

Hannibal

“The tense, beautifully shot psychological thriller took me into parts of a mind darker than what I felt mine was at the time. It was such a rich, gorgeous looking show with characters that had such depth to them I couldn’t look away.”

 

33. The West Wing

The West Wing

“At a time when absolutely everything felt dark, it reminded me that there are people who care about even some of the smallest things.”

34. Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black

“I suffer from depression and anxiety and I sometimes feel incredibly lonely. All the women in the prison felt like my friends. They made me laugh and helped me to accept crying. They taught me about friendship and loyalty and love.”

*Originally published on Netflix.

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Is There A Strong Black Woman Trapped Inside Of Every White One?

Lifetime’s new show Girlfriend Intervention is not subtle about its message. Its premise is four black women giving a makeover to a white woman on the theory that, as they put it, “Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out.”

They don’t even have to say “weak white girl” or “lame white girl” or “ugly white girl” or “unfashionable white girl” or “boring white girl,” because all those things are, before long, implied.

The four makeover makers are Tracy Balan on beauty, Nikki Chu on “home and sanctuary,” Tiffiny Dixon on fashion, and many-many-many-time reality star Tanisha Thomas (most notably of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club) as your — this is real — “soul coach.” Thomas lays out her philosophy early in the first episode, saying that black women are taught that no matter what else is going on in your life, “as long as you look fabulous, that’s all that matters.” On the other hand, she says, “with Caucasian women, you get married, you marry the man of your dreams, you have his children, and now it’s time to stop taking care of you? Girl, I missed that memo.”

Are you a black woman? You might find this offensive. Are you a white woman? You might find this offensive. Are you neither? You might be thinking at this point that you’re lucky to be left out of the entire thing. (Be aware, though, that no one is safe. Near the end of the first episode, Thomas exaggeratedly compliments the hotness of the made-over white woman by yelling, “Muy caliente, salsa picante mucho!”)

Like so much of makeover television, this is shaming dressed up as encouragement (they actually call the segment where the makeover candidate shows them how she currently dresses the “catwalk of shame”). It’s conformity dressed up as individuality, and it’s submission to the expectations of others dressed up as self-confidence.

Only now, with obnoxious racial politics slathered all over the entire thing!

It is not like those politics need to be introduced by the viewer, either: They are the premise of the show, and they are repeated over and over. Black women, we are told in so many words, are unerringly confident, gorgeous, stylish, unflappable, and — ah, yes — better at pleasing men, especially black men. In the first episode, the target, Joanie, has a good-looking black husband, which the women make clear makes sloppy dressing a worse crime than it would be otherwise. “A black woman would never let herself go with a man like that,” the soul consultant announces. The second episode, in fact, also features a woman, Emily, whose partner is a black man. “Now, I know there’s a hot mama hidden in Emily. After all, she got a black man!” says Tracy.

(By the way, just when you think the show can’t get more awkward, the second episode brings a moment in which Emily explains that she met her husband when she reached out and, fascinated, touched his hair. Do we need to talk about how one does not do that? One does not do that. This goes unmentioned.)

Black women are also presented as more fundamentally honest. Your white friends are lying to you: “With Caucasian women, everybody’s afraid to say how they really feel.” Your new black friends, on the other hand, are here to save the day: We are told that they “have the guts to tell you what everybody is really thinking.” But they’re not mean! “We do it out of love. Tough love, as a sister to another sister.”

All of this is overtly about the manipulation of identity. It is made clear from the beginning that dressing in the way these consultants suggest is, to them, fundamental to being truly black if you’re black, and to bringing out your inner black woman (who is presumed to be superior to your outer white woman) if you are white. The fashion consultant, as she observes Joanie’s clothes, says, “No self-respecting black woman would ever hide herself in this if she wants to keep her black card.” And the hits go on and on: In the second episode, Emily is taken to a studio to rap. And she’s given a gold chain. And a hoodie. For the empowerment, you know.

On this show, all toughness, and in fact all showing of spine among women, is associated with being black, as we learn when Joanie shoots one of the consultants an unhappy look about an unflattering outfit in which they’ve placed her, and they immediately seize upon how easy it was to bring out her “black woman.” With all due respect to these particular four women, I learned the throwing of a proper stink-eye from my mother, thank you very much, and I would put my stink-eye up against anyone’s.

The casually insulting way these consultants approach their white … clients? … is unappealing, certainly, but the show’s approach to the consultants themselves, and to black women in general, is hugely problematic, too. The black women on Girlfriend Intervention, like the gay men who did the work on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, are supposedly being saluted for their (stereotypically) superior style and knowledge and backbone, but are cast as helpers and facilitators for the benefit of, respectively, white women and straight men, valued for what they can offer and required to display sass at all times in sufficient amounts. (Among other things, it’s unfortunate that other than Thomas being the loudest, they don’t much distinguish the four stylists from each other, either.)

Popular entertainment targeted to white women is thick with obnoxiously other-ish fairy godpeople: the gay friend, the keeping-it-real black friend, the Latina neighbor, the wise black boss. There’s always some earthier, real-er, truer person whose task it is to flutter around to provide perspective, to fix what’s broken, and often to embarrass you for your foolishness. This is problematic for white women who don’t care to be cast as badly dressed, helpless dummies who need constant life coaching, but it’s no better for black women who don’t care to be cast as flashy-dressing, finger-waving, fast-talking fixers whose mission is making Cinderella presentable for the ball, or for gay men who don’t care to be asked to tag along on shopping trips.

It’s not your black friend’s job to tell you how to believe in yourself and keep your man (the concept of not having a man one is desperate to keep is seemingly foreign to the interventionists); it’s not your gay friend’s job to style you. Friendship is not quite so transactional.

(It must be said, too, that one of the show’s challenges is a simple and serious one: at least in the first couple of episodes, the woman doesn’t look very good or very comfortable in the things they choose for her. It’s one thing to be in charge of sewing Cinderella’s dress, but if she looked better when she was cleaning out the fireplace, you have a problem.)

What makes this particularly disappointing as a Lifetime show is that Lifetime is a network that has actually tried to appeal to more diverse audiences, as NPR’s Priska Neely reported just last month. It’s entirely possible, moreover, that there’s a good show to be made in which black women and white women talk about beauty, confidence, self-care, and how they may see and experience some of those things differently. There’s such a thing as the politics and emotional weight of hair, of style, of body image. But you don’t get there by appointing black women as essentially beauty and style assistants to white women they treat like dolts.

Speaking personally, I walked away unconvinced that I have an inner black woman. I probably have an inner white woman who’s more confident than the outer one. I probably have an inner white woman who’s better at dressing myself, and I probably have an inner white woman who’s better at interior decorating. I definitely have an inner white woman who wears better shoes. But no matter what women I manage to raise from within, they will all be white women. Nothing I say, nothing I do with my hair, no color I put on my walls, will make that any less true. And frankly, I feel neither entitled nor required to act otherwise.

Black woman

*Article originally published on NPR.

Support The Companies That Support Black History Month

I support those who support me. As we wrap up Black History Month, I wanted to take a moment to shout out the companies who have dedicated their resources to helping us celebrate the contributions of African Americans. Whether it is was a commercial, a landing page on their website or giving discounted purchases, I’d like to highlight some of those companies:

1.  McDonalds – Honoring the History Makers of Today and Tomorrow.

As one year fades, a new one gains momentum. There is no better time for African Americans to reflect on our culture’s achievements than during Black History Month. Traditionally, we do this by celebrating heroes of past decades. Here’s an idea; let’s build on that notion by also celebrating the history makers of today, tomorrow and beyond. McDonald’s supports this idea with the annual 365Black Awards.

Celebrating Black History Every Day – The McDonald’s 365Black Awards, launched in 2003, is an extension of the company’s 365Black platform which celebrates the pride, heritage, and achievements of African Americans year round, not just in February. And, at the 2013 365Black Awards show, the list of honorees was nothing short of inspirational.

365Black Award Honorees: History Makers of Today and Tomorrow – Gladys Knight. Dr. Steve Perry. Roland Parrish. Beverly Johnson. Kenny Williams. Leanna Archer and Charles Orgbon III. These history makers not only broke down barriers with their leadership and philanthropy, they left footprints in the sand for the history makers of tomorrow. Click below for full bios on each.

Micky D's

2. Macy’s – Join our salute to ten decades of culture-defining African American style. Come Celebrate. Get Inspired. Feel Empowered. 

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3. American Airlines – BlackAtlas was created as a platform to bring together and share the unique cultural perspectives of the African-American community in a meaningful and relevant way. As a leading global airline, we strive to highlight the cultures and diverse communities from around the world, giving us a broader understanding of each other.During the month of February, American pays special tribute to Black History Month by featuring modern and historical iconic black films in our inflight entertainment selection. Films such as “12 Years a Slave,” “42” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” showcase strong messages of hope and perseverance that resonate deeply.

Celebrating Black Film

As American pays tribute to remarkable African-American films, we continue our tradition by supporting the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). We invite you to enter for a chance to win two (2) passes to the ABFF in New York City, June 19-22, 2014, with hotel accommodations provided by Marriott and airfare courtesy of American Airlines. Visit aa.com/iconicblackfilms to learn more.

american air

4. WEtv

wetv

5. Verizon – Since the first Black History celebration more than 85 years ago, the observance of Black History has expanded from one week to a month and is a time where individuals celebrate the legacy and contributions of African Americans to society.

In recognition of the month-long celebration, Verizon Wireless is encouraging the public to build upon that legacy that others have paved as part of its Potential of Us program. The company announced that it will partner with actors Morris Chestnut, Lance Gross, Regina Hall and Keke Palmer to inspire the public to give back to the community and tap into their own potential to build stronger communities.

“I’m excited to be a part of Potential of Us because it’s something positive,” said Palmer. “The biggest thing I want to accomplish is to inspire people.”

Starting Feb. 1 and running through the month, the community can join Palmer, Chestnut, Gross and Hall to participate in a series of live challenges that include donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories to HopeLine from Verizon to benefit domestic violence victims and survivors; teaching an elder to use technology; meeting someone who inspires them; and participating in a healthy run/walk. Those who cannot take part in the live events can participate in online challenges that range from reading to a child to performing a random act of kindness.

Share how you are doing on the Potential of Us challenges by sending your photos via Twitter to @VZWnews or @VZWcameka using the hashtag #PotentialofUs.

Verizon

7. AT&T – AT&T is celebrating Black History Month by helping today’s dreamers make history happen. 

att

8.Southwest – At Southwest Airlines, we value the meaningful relationships we have built in the communities we serve. The month of February is a great time for us to celebrate Black History, but for us, it’s not just a month-long celebration. Through relationships we develop with organizations throughout the country, we get to make a difference every day. Celebrate Black History Month by making a year of it. Get involved and make tomorrow fly today. If it matters to you, it matters to us.

9. AARP – Black Community: How To Live Your Best Life 

aarp

READERS: Black History Fact of the Day – Read About BEULAH, The 1st TV Show To Star An African American!

In 1950 The Beulah Show was broadcast for the first time. This was the first American television situation comedy to star an African American.

The Beulah Show ran on radio from 1945 to 1954. The Beulah TV shows ran concurrently for three seasons, Tuesday nights until September 22, 1953, on ABC. Beulah was a housekeeper and cook for the Henderson family: father Harry, mother Alice and son Donnie. Most of the comedy in the series is derived from the fact that Beulah, referred to as “the queen of the kitchen” had the ability to solve the problems that her white employers could not figure out. Other characters included Beulah’s boyfriend Bill Jackson, a handy-man who is constantly proposing marriage, and Oriole “acting white” a puzzled maid for the family next door.

Originally portrayed by white actor Marlin Hurt, Beulah first appeared in the early 1940s as a supporting character on the popular Fibber McGee and Molly radio series. In 1945, Beulah was spun off into her own radio show, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show, with Hurt still in the role. After he died of a heart attack in 1946, he was replaced by another white actor, Bob Corley, and the series was renamed The Beulah Show.

African American actress Hattie McDaniel took over the role in 1947, continuing in The Beulah Show until she became ill in 1952 and was replaced by Lillian Randolph, who was in turn replaced for the 1953-1954 radio season by her sister Amanda Randolph. In 1950 Roland Reed Productions modified it into a TV situation comedy for ABC with Ethel Waters in the title role from until 1952. McDaniel, Louise Beavers, Butterfly McQueen and Ruby Dandridge were used at various times.

The show for TV was directed from time to time by Richard L. Bare and Abby Berlin. Beulah was canceled at the end of the 1952-1953 seasons. From there, black characters in effect disappeared from television, with only small and occasional roles surfacing. The next television program to star a black woman in the title role would be Julia in 1968, starring Diahann Carroll.

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Would you like to see the show? Click here to see an actual episode.

 

NFL For Women

In preparation for Super Bowl Sunday —

I am not the biggest sports fan, but one thing I learned from many of my single sister friends is that being a fan of professionals and college sports can bring lots of excitement and fulfillment to the single girl’s life… from tailgating, to cheering from the stands, to tuning in from a local sports bar, to attending watch parties… there are plenty of opportunities to have fun AND meet men! (But don’t become a fan just to meet men. Do it for yourself. You’ll be happier with yourself in the long run. Trust me.) Since football season is underway, why not jump right into the good times by hosting your own watch party. Like with the game, there are some key rules to follow when it comes to throwing a great gridiron gathering. I recruited the help of some experts… New York Jets fan Andrea Price and Atlanta Falcons fans Pamela Reid and Holly Reid… to assist you in scoring big on game day.

1. Talk the Talk
You want to know the game. Don’t worry, even though the new NFL season already kicked off, you still have time. For the beginner… get your hands on Holly Robinson Peete’s book “Get Your Own Damn Beer, I Am Watching The Game”. As the wife of a former NFL player, Robinson Peete gives great basic football info in a way ladies can relate to. You’ll be ready to get in on the conversation in no time and really enjoy the game. (For more tips on how to get into the game, keep reading!)

2. Size Does Matter
The ladies say in this situation, screen size is important. In other words, don’t even think about hosting if you don’t have a large flat screen. Price insists your tv should be no smaller than 49”. If you want instant cred, set up a second or third tv in another room.

3. Get Your Tech On
Once you get the proper tv, you have to take game watching to the next level. First, make sure you have a strong internet connection. This way all of your serious NFL fans can log on to their tablets or smartphones and keep up with their fantasy football action. Second, if you plan to make this an ongoing thing, make sure to subscribe to the NFL network or get the NFL package on Direct TV. Both will allow you to simultaneously watch multiple games. If you want to get gangsta with it, get the Redzone network. Redzone bounces to multiple games at once in real time, once a team reaches the red zone (20-30 yards to the goal).

4. Hot Wings and Tofu
Remember that more and more people are eating healthy. So be sure to include healthy options on your buffet table of game day grub. Based on your guests list, a few ‘good for you’ items will do. Don’t get carried away. Also don’t get to fancy with the finger food. You want to make sure guests can eat whatever you serve from a plate that is sitting in their laps, while their cheering on their team. Also, make sure you are done in the kitchen BEFORE the game begins. It is important at football parties that the host watch the game with the guests. Two other important rules to follow… whether you order in or cook, make sure you are aware of ingredients, just in case anyone has allergies AND don’t run out of food!

5. Beverages
You’ve provided everything else, why not have your guests provide the booze? Depending on what you want to serve, make suggestions. But also encourage them to bring what they like to drink. (BONUS: Chances are you’ll have some stock left over for you to keep for your next soiree.) Make sure you are stocked with bar staples on hand, such as red and white wine, champagne (no sense in pretending), vodka, rum, gin, as well as plenty of juice, soda and other mixers. If you want to roll Trump-like, then go ahead and buy all of the booze. (Check our Live Happy at Home section on how to stock your home bar for entertaining!)

6. Guest List
You want a good, fun crowd, but make sure you have enough seats that are IN VIEW of the tv. You want to make sure everyone can watch the game comfortably. Make sure your serious football fans have the best seats. Be sure to invite a mixture of men and women (more men than women if you like). Whatever you do, make sure there are plenty of core football fans in the room. It’s not a football party unless you have some couch quarter backs shouting out their opinions.

7. Uniforms
This is important. Do not dress like you are going to the club or trying to catch a man (stomach out, too much make up, too tight or too short anything). There will be plenty of commercials during the game objectifying women, so no need to do it to yourself. Give your female guests the same advice. The dress code should be casual, comfy. You can do that and look cute. You do want to put on a little make up and have a nice hair do, because pictures will be posted!

8. How Long?
If you’re smart, you’ll choose a good team match up for your event. If that game is early, you could be in for a long day. Many football fans love to watch various games throughout the day. That means your party could go well into the night. Plan your schedule accordingly and have plenty of food and beverages on hand.

9. Music
There should be none… especially after the game begins. Not even during commercials. Before the game, your early guest will probably want to watch pre game coverage. Save your music for after the game!

Now you’re ready to get your game day fun on! Once you’ve thrown your first party, the next one will be a breeze! Here are more tips on how to get into the game if you’re new to football:

•Pick a team.
Suggestions: For college football, pick a school you attended or wish you could have attended, or a school in your hometown or home state. For a professional team, pick the team in your home town/state or where you currently live. You can also pick a team based on personalities. Yes, teams have personalities. If you appreciate attributes like a high scoring offense and a tough and gritty defense, or something as simple as a hot quarter back… then there is a team out there for you.

*Listen Up
A great way to learn about the game is watch and listen to the play by play announcer. Also, on Sunday mornings, tune in the pre-game tv coverage. There is plenty and it’s not only informative, but also fun to watch!

Join a Fantasy Football League
Fantasy football forces you to learn players and pay attention to stats. This will give you a vested interest in most of the games on any given week.

Find a Sponsor
That is, find a friend that is a hard core fan, but doesn’t mind answering basic questions. Watch games together as often as you can and ask away!

Now get in there and enjoy yourself!!

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*This article was originally published on Single and Living Fab.