Friday Faves: Madonna’s Instagram Mishap, Obama on Proper Punishment, and More!

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TGIF! The weekend is finally here and the Choices magazine/TeenBeing team has rounded up our picks for the best of this week’s web.

1. Madonna posted a photo on Instagram of her 13-year-old son and his friends flaunting bottles of vodka and gin with the caption: “The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014.” This sparked outrage from parents all over the country. She fought back, saying: “No one was drinking we were just having fun! Calm down and get a sense of humor! Don’t start the year off with judgement!” What do you think of her photo and her response?

2. President Obama has issued guidelines this week discouraging the use of zero tolerance in schools and telling administrators to instead focus on positive behavior. This change comes in response to earlier policies that increased arrests, suspensions, and expulsions of minority students for many minor, nonviolent actions such as cursing.

3. A new study has found that body weight can influence the way we view exercise. When watching a slideshow of happy people exercising, women who were either overweight or obese had negative reactions, whereas leaner women’s brains lit up positively during the viewing. So what can we take away from this? Find activities for your teen that they enjoy—emphasizing the pleasure of exercising will ensure a lifetime of healthy activity.

4. Lizzie Velasquez is one of three known people in the world who suffers from a rare disorder that prevents weight gain. In high school, when she found a video of herself on YouTube labeled “The World’s Ugliest Woman” with millions of views, she made a decision to focus on how she defined herself, rather than on how her cyberbullies defined her. She encourages us all to do the same. Check out her inspiring TED talk here.

5. Research has found that less than ⅔ of physicians talk about STDs, birth control, or other sexual health concerns with their teen patients. The doctors that do talk about sexual issues with their patients spent an average of 36 seconds on the topic, which is around 3 percent of the average 22 minute-long appointment. Talking to teens about sex can be awkward, apparently even for doctors, but their concerns about sexual health need to be addressed. For some help with how to broach the topic as not-awkwardly as possible, check out our blog post giving you the how-to.

Did we miss anything big from this week? Share your faves in comments below—and stay warm!

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