Women com­mand the spot­light


The past few weeks have been buzzing with vi­ral sto­ries and it just hap­pens that pow­er­ful women have been at the cen­ter of most, from the sports and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­tries to fash­ion and so­ci­ety, re­sult­ing in an pre­dom­i­nantly fe­male-tastic so­cial me­dia roundup.


Le­banese pop star Elissa broke the stigma around breast cancer and sent a pow­er­ful mes­sage of em­pow­er­ment to the on­line com­mu­nity with her lat­est video clip, in which she re­vealed her per­sonal strug­gle with breast cancer and jour­ney to­wards heal­ing for the first time ever, bring­ing fans and fel­low artists to tears and tak­ing the in­ter­net by storm for days af­ter its re­lease. It all started on Au­gust 7 when Elissa posted the Youtube link to her new song ti­tled ‘To All Those Who Love Me’ along­side the words ‘You are the rea­son I am strong and healthy ... you are my strength. And this story is a thank you’. Fans spot­ted the true mean­ing of the re­lease within sec­onds, re­al­iz­ing the video is ac­tu­ally about Elissa’s real-life ex­pe­ri­ence as a breast cancer sur­vivor. Di­rected by Angy Jam­mal, the video clip start with a scene of a woman in­side an MRI ma­chine who is in­formed that she has an early stage of breast cancer and then goes on to show the singer in mul­ti­ple set­tings in­clud­ing home, the hos­pi­tal and the stage, fea­tur­ing a real record­ing of Elissa talk­ing to Jam­mal fol­lowed by a voiceover where she nar­rates her bat­tle against the dis­ease. Ini­tially di­ag­nosed with breast cancer in De­cem­ber 2017, the singer had kept it se­cret all the way through, even af­ter col­laps­ing dur­ing a con­cert in Dubai [footage of the in­ci­dent is fea­tured in the video]. “I do my ra­dio­ther­apy ses­sion, I go to the stu­dio, I fin­ish another ses­sion, I rest for two hours and go to the stu­dio again,” she de­scribes her jour­ney in the voiceover. The song reaches its peak in the cho­rus, which urges peo­ple to sing and be happy no mat­ter how hard life gets. The video heav­ily im­pacted the on­line com­mu­nity, with fans, friends, politi­cians, jour­nal­ists and fel­low artists flood­ing Twit­ter and other so­cial net­works with their full sup­port and ad­mi­ra­tion of the singer and how she uti­lized her art to de­liver an im­por­tant mes­sage about early de­tec­tion and shar­ing their pic­tures with her. In­ter­na­tional me­dia out­lets were also quick to re­port on the re­lease through touch­ing head­lines and videos, most of which were grad­u­ally retweeted by Elissa, be­ing one of the most ac­tive and fol­lowed Arab celebri­ties on the plat­form.


In an­tic­i­pa­tion of next year’s French Open, the French Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion is­sued a stricter dress code, ban­ning cat­suits from the court. “I think that some­times we’ve gone too far,” pres­i­dent Bernard Gi­u­di­celli ex­plained, sin­gling out Ser­ena Wil­liams’ Nike at­tire in the process. “It will no longer be ac­cepted. One must re­spect the game and the place.” And while the rea­son be­hind the ban re­mains vague, the ten­nis cham­pion had worn it with good rea­son to the tour­na­ment shortly af­ter giv­ing birth to her daugh­ter the birth, in or­der to pre­vent blood from clot­ting in her lungs. The In­ter­net was even­tu­ally not happy with the news, as tweets sup­port­ing Wil­liams and tear­ing apart the of­fi­cial de­ci­sion be­gan to flood the plat­form. And it did not take Nike longer than 24 hours to craft the per­fect re­sponse. “You can take the su­per­hero out of her cos­tume, but you can never take away her su­per­pow­ers. #Just­doit” the sports gi­ant tweeted along­side a branded im­age of Wil­liams. The tweet vis­i­bly de­lighted users, earn­ing over 110k retweets and 251k likes in less than a cou­ple days.

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