2021年5月29日 星期六

Children Make You Old in the Face

The allure of plastic surgery TikTok.
A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.
Golden Cosmos

Lately I have been watching TikTok videos to unwind after a long day of parenting and working. I resisted the lure of the Tok for months, thinking it was like a high-pitched sound that only people under 30 could hear and enjoy. But I have succumbed to the social media network's frenetic joys, and have been particularly mesmerized by posts featuring plastic surgery and cosmetic injections, probably because it feels like my face has aged 10,000 years since March 2020. (Though to be fair, even before the pandemic, I used to joke that the tagline of NYT Parenting should be: "Children make you old in the face.")


In an article I wrote about the "surgerytok" phenomenon this week, I investigate the allure of these videos, part of which is their authenticity and transparency. We are constantly bombarded with images of celebrities and influencers that defy the reality of aging, and many of these posts lift the veil. As Dr. Lara Devgan, a board-certified plastic surgeon put it to me, "Nobody believes it's kale and lemon water keeping you wrinkle-free."

In an essay, Glynnis MacNicol writes that after spending "the last 14 months staring at my neck," she has learned to embrace her natural self at 43, rather than go the route of aesthetic enhancement. "When I think about beauty standards these days — the ones my mother followed, the ones I have — what I mostly consider is all the space the not feeling good took up," Glynnis decides. As the mother of two daughters, I can only hope that my girls are filled up with that good feeling, rather than endless, soul-sucking critique.

Also this week: Moderna's vaccine has shown promising results in kids ages 12-17. As Emily Anthes notes: "The Moderna results are not a surprise and match what Pfizer reported in its trial of young adolescents. But they add to a growing body of evidence that the vaccines are safe and effective in children." Pam Belluck reports on a small study of children with Covid inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C. These children appeared to recover from their most serious symptoms, but still had muscle weakness and emotional difficulties six months after their illness.

Mara Altman explores why the art world may make it difficult for mothers to thrive. And finally, the world says goodbye to Eric Carle, the genius behind "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." He was the author and illustrator of more than 70 books for children.


When asked why he thought "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" had such lasting popularity, he responded that the book gave children hope for the future:

"Children need hope," he said. "You — little insignificant caterpillar — can grow up into a beautiful butterfly and fly into the world with your talent."

Thanks for reading.

— Jessica Grose, columnist, NYT Parenting

P.S. The Daily team followed one Texas high school's reopening during the pandemic in a four-part audio series. Join Michael Barbaro as he catches up with the people behind "Odessa," and marks the end of a school year like no other. Times subscribers can R.S.V.P. for this free event on June 10 at 6 p.m. E.T.


Tiny Victories

Parenting can be a grind. Let's celebrate the tiny victories.

We play a game called "Night Night, Mama," where I lay on the floor and my 2-year-old pats my back. — Tara Kotagal, Chicago

If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; email us; or enter your Tiny Victory at the bottom of this page. Include your full name and location. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. Your name, location and comments may be published, but your contact information will not. By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us.


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2021年5月28日 星期五

The Daily: Where’s Michael?

We explain why we've had so many guest hosts lately, and introduce you to one of them.

You've probably noticed something different about The Daily over the past few weeks.

There are new hosts. Several of them, actually. What gives?

Here's the back story: My wife and I had a baby, so for the next few months, I won't be working every day, giving you a chance to hear from a broader set of voices on the show — colleagues (and frequent guests) like the political correspondent Astead Herndon, the national correspondent Sabrina Tavernise and the technology columnist Kevin Roose.

I'm not going anywhere — I'll still be hosting the show several days a week and telling you, in a weirdly inflected way, what else you need to know today.

And over the coming weeks, in this newsletter, I'll introduce you to our guest hosts by asking them the kind of questions I'd ask anyone on the show.

Today, we're starting with Astead, a reporter whose work I've admired for years.

Astead's answer to my Olive Garden concern? "Only on never-ending pasta week," he said. "That's legit."Michael Barbaro

Michael: So Astead, within your aggressively Midwestern, not-quite-al-dente-pasta-loving world growing up, what were your early journalistic influences? Who did you read or watch and say to yourself, oh, I want to be THAT person!

Astead: I read The Chicago Tribune growing up, but mostly for the sports section. Early sports columnists were really my first introduction to the profession — particularly those who covered the Chicago Bulls and the N.B.A. In high school, I joined the school newspaper and had a column called "Get in Astead's Head," where I wrote about expensive prom costs and candy sales and other important issues. But when I went to college I thought I wanted to work in politics — particularly as a speechwriter — not write about politics.

Michael: OK, I'll bite.

Please give me a sample line from "Get in Astead's Head."

Astead: LOL — I'm not sure I have a sample line on hand. And looking it up would be really, really embarrassing. I will say I asked my high school girlfriend to the prom using the column. We made a graphic of us both in formal clothing and it was a huge success.

Michael: Bravo.

So you wanted to be a political participant, not just an observer? Did that ever happen?

Astead: That was the plan. But I really hated political science classes and the small interactions I had with political campaigns during my freshman year. I switched to become a journalism major, but the big change for me was doing AmeriCorps and teaching small groups of kids on the north side of Milwaukee. And that led to an education reporting internship that I loved at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It merged the journalism I knew from sportsland with the social issues I cared about.


Michael: Ah. So that feels like a pretty pivotal moment — you start to see journalism as a kind of social good?

Astead: Yeah! And the experience in the newsroom was way different than the one I had in class. I felt like journalism classes were sterile, and that they were teaching us that being dispassionate was a requirement for success. At The Journal Sentinel, that wasn't true. I met so many people who cared a lot about their beats and about systemic injustice. Journalism was a way to speak truth to that — in a way that's more cleareyed than campaigns or political parties.

I've talked about this on The Daily before, but my father is a pastor. Basically I think I needed a job that felt like a vocation in that way, and journalism started to fulfill that.

Michael: Gotcha.

You make your way to Boston, which I swear is not me trying to get you to tell the story of The Bribe. But could you, in brief?

Astead: I appreciate you teeing this up!

I had an internship at The Boston Globe after college that turned into a full-time gig. And that first year I was a general assignment reporter that really focused on local crime, politics and just the news of the day. The story you're referring to was one day at an arraignment I was assigned to cover an alleged real estate scammer. At the courthouse, the alleged scammer's father offered me $10,000 to leave the building and not write the story.


I refused and we wrote a two-part series about the family's history of real estate fraud that ended with an attorney general investigation.

Michael: Now that's turning lemons into lemonade! And I have to say that's an extraordinary sum of money to NOT do something!

Astead: If he had the editor that I had at the time, he would know 10k was not enough to incur his wrath.

Michael: LOL. So, hosting! You've been doing it for a few weeks, marvelously. How has that been, to go from guest to host? Weird? Wonderful? Both?


Astead: There is a real difference between hosting and guest, and I think as a host I've learned to appreciate different ways to influence an episode. It's not YOUR thoughts or YOUR ideas, but I've learned to take real pride in talking to reporters and making them feel comfortable in a medium that can be hard (in the same way you helped me when I was first going on).

I've also just come to appreciate the extreme work ethic of The Daily team. You are juggling multiple topics at once, and for me there's a real fun in talking about things that aren't politics.

Michael: It's a pretty amazing team.

Astead: My favorite part, to be honest, is talking to reporters who I didn't know across the NYT newsroom. People like Jan Hoffman and Coral Davenport were bylines I knew and enjoyed, but connecting with them to do an episode really helps you feel like an ambassador for the newsroom. That's been the most unexpected joy.

Michael: Well, on behalf of everyone on our team, I want to thank you for being so game to work with us and humbly ask that you keep doing it, with your permission.

Astead: Offer accepted! I'm really excited.

Michael: Thanks, Astead.

(And that's a wrap!)

Astead: This was fun!

Talk to Michael and Astead on Twitter: @mikiebarb and @AsteadWesley. And check out this throwback of Astead doing his version of car pool karaoke to Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable."

Introducing: Day X

Franco A. in his basement in Offenbach, Germany.Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

A few years ago, a worker at the Vienna airport came across an old black pistol in the bathroom. A police sting operation revealed that the weapon belonged to an officer in the German military, known as Franco A. His story, however, would turn out to be darker and stranger than it first appeared — and part of an alleged far-right assassination plot to bring down the German government.

This is the story we tell in our new series, Day X, hosted by The Times's Berlin bureau chief, Katrin Bennhold.

Over five episodes, Katrin and the producers Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter and Kaitlin Roberts attempt to pick at a nationwide network of far-right extremism within Germany's police and military. Some have called it a shadow army, a loaded phrase that evokes the nation's dark past. Now, Katrin explains why this moment isn't just a reckoning for Germany, but instead raises a question that democracies across the world are waking up to: What happens if the threat is coming from within?

The music in this series was composed by Hauschka, an Oscar-nominated German composer and pianist. You can check out his website here.

You can expect to hear more of the series on Thursdays at nytimes.com/dayx or every Friday for the next month on The Daily feed.

The Daily, Live: Meet the people behind the Odessa series

This year, we followed one Texas high school's reopening during the pandemic. But where are those teachers and students now? And what lies ahead? Join Michael Barbaro and The Daily team as we catch up with them and mark the end of a school year like no other in Odessa. Times subscribers can R.S.V.P. for this free event on June 10 at 6 p.m. Eastern.

On The Daily this week

Monday: Could an investigation into financial misconduct be the undoing of America's most powerful gun rights group?

Tuesday: The story behind one of the most important student free speech cases before the Supreme Court in half a century.

Wednesday: A look inside the origins of Hamas.

Thursday: Why the leader of Belarus forced a commercial airplane to land in an effort to arrest a journalist.

That's it for The Daily newsletter. See you next week.

Have thoughts about the show? Tell us what you think at thedaily@nytimes.com.

Were you forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox.

Love podcasts? Join The New York Times Podcast Club on Facebook.

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