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Pediatrician to parents: Treat conversations about tattoos, piercings like ‘the sex talk’

An Atlanta pediatrician says conversations about tattoos and piercings should be taken seriously and urges parents to consider treating the discussions like “the sex talk.”

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Cora Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital, and Dr. David Levine, a general pediatrician and professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, published a study Monday about health risks of tattooing and piercing in adolescents and young adults, a group that is showing an increasing interest in the body modifications, Breuner said. 

Some of the consequences include potential for keloids and infections such as hepatitis and tetanus and long-term regret or discomfort revealing tattoos in professional settings.

“Adolescents may overestimate the effectiveness of tattoo removal when having one placed and should be instructed that tattoo placement is permanent, and it is expensive and sometimes difficult to remove them,” the report reads.

Breuner told CNN she went with her daughter to get her navel pierced on her 18th birthday and she held the teenager’s hand while the piercer did his work. 

“I did my usual Dr. Mom thing and found out the person doing it had been a surgical tech before he decided to do piercings, and I watched him,” Breuner said. “I’m not saying everybody should do that, but at least for me, my sense of this whole world is that it’s changing right in front of us, and we can either have our eyes open and be supportive and help our children make informed decisions when they’re young adults, or ignore it and hope it goes away.”

Levine said conversations about tattoos and piercings are serious and important. 

“The big thing is that parents really should bring this up, to talk with their children intentionally, because the teenagers are likely thinking, ‘My parents will kill me, so I either have to hide (the tattoo or piercing), or I’ll just actually abide by my parents’ rules and get it when I’m 18.’

“Even then, 18-year-olds are still fairly impulsive. It still would be good for them to have had a discussion with their parents ...

“It’s very similar when we talk to parents about the time to do the sex talk is at age 11, before they actually need it ... Even if it's not right at that moment, it will open up the conversation and keep the communication open on these issues as kids negotiate adolescence,” he told CNN.

“It’s really our mission and our job to promote safety and healthy living for our children as our children go into adulthood,” Breuner told CNN.

Levine’s advice on when to get your child’s earlobes pierced? Wait until the child says he or she wants it.

“My biggest advice to the parents, unless this is a cultural issue where everybody in the culture gets their kids’ ears pierced in early childhood, I’d like the kid to actually want it,” he said.

Read more at American Academy of Pediatrics and CNN.

Study finds bald men are perceived as more attractive, confident and dominant

Men who are worried about being bald or going bald have little to fear following a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania.

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers conducted three tests to assess male and female students’ perceptions of bald men and shared the results in a study called “Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance.” The students were asked to rate pictures of bald men, some digitally altered to add or take away hair, in terms of attractiveness, confidence and dominance. Bald men received high ratings in all three categories.

There’s also good news for men who aren’t going bald: The study also showed that men who willingly shaved their hair despite social norms were seen as more appealing.

“Instead of spending billions each year trying to reverse or cure their hair loss, the counter-intuitive prescription of this research to men experiencing male pattern baldness is to shave their heads,” the study reported.

7-year-old among group living with uncombable hair syndrome

Many children can’t stand people yanking and tugging on their locks trying to get the knots out

>> Read more trending news

For one 7-year-old rocking a mane with a mind of its own, she’s got a great excuse -- uncombable hair syndrome.

Shilah Calvert Yin, of Australia, is among about 100 others in the world who have a genetic mutation that causes their hair to be untamed. 

Despite efforts, it can’t be combed down, and in some cases trying to do so causes the hair to break or become fragile, according to the National Institutes of Health. Usually it’s dry silvery-blond or straw-colored.

Shilah likes it, despite the fact that some kids have picked on her.

“It’s not ordinary and it’s not boring like everyone else’s. Everyone knows me and remembers me -- especially at school ... I think my friends wish they had hair like mine,” the Melbourne girl told The Daily Mail

Her mother, Celeste, is hoping Shilah will continue to find strength in her unique locks. She told the The Daily Mail that Shilah has tried modeling. She’s also created an Instagram account for her daughter, which has more than 1,000 followers.

For now, they’re embracing that which can not be tamed. 

Princess Charlotte appears to wear Prince Harry's hand-me-down shoes from 1986

The royal family is in the midst of their visit to Poland, and all eyes are on the children of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Prince George was already spotted wearing some adorable shorts and ankle socks, but his little sister, Princess Charlotte, has gotten a different kind of attention drawn to her fashion choices.

>> PHOTOS: Charming Princess Charlotte, Prince George at ‘Trooping the Color’ parade

According to Hello!, the little princess was seen wearing some red shoes on the first day of the royal tour of Poland on Monday. However, an “eagle-eyed royal watcher” known by the Twitter handle @bojanana believes that Charlotte is wearing the same shoes her uncle, Prince Harry, wore back in 1986.

>> See the tweet here 

Hello! describes the shoes as “Start-rite” and said they “have the same bar strap, rounded edges, beige sole and round buckle.” Hello! also noted that the shoes on Charlotte look scuffed, which could indicate the shoes are aged.

>> Read more trending news

The site said “it’s not uncommon for royals to reuse clothing and keep traditional pieces for future generations.” George has worn clothes his father wore as a child in the past, such as wearing the same white shirt and blue shorts to Trooping the Colour last year.

Woman receives death threats after sharing photo of her baby’s ‘pierced’ cheek

A mother of six has been getting death threats after she shared a photo of her baby daughter sporting a cheek piercing.

>> Read more trending news

“So I got the baby girl’s dimple pierced,” Enedina Vance wrote on Facebook alongside the picture of her daughter. “It looks so cute, right? I just know she’s gonna love it! She’ll thank me when she’s older ... If she decides she doesn’t like it, she can just take it out, no big deal.”

Vance then went on to sarcastically address the possibility of being accused of bad parenting.

But the photo Vance posted was fake; the jewel in her daughter’s cheek was edited onto the photo, which was intended to protest body alterations to children.

“I’m the parent, she is my child, I will do whatever I want!” she continued, ending the caption for the doctored image with “#sarcasm.”

“I make all of her decisions until she’s 18. I made her. I own her! I don’t need anyone’s permission, I think it’s better, cuter, and I prefer her to have her dimple pierced. It’s not abuse! If it was, it would be illegal, but it’s not. People pierce their babies everyday, this is no different,” she wrote.

RELATED: Police are stunned and confused by what they discovered inside an infant’s coffin that was left on a sidewalk

Many social media users did not realize her post was was not meant to be taken seriously, and Vance was quickly bombarded with death threats, causing her to share two clarifications.

“Wow, so as (hopefully) everyone knows, my last post was fake. I photoshopped that picture of the baby to look like I had her dimple pierced,” she wrote in one post. “I seriously cannot believe how many people missed that this was purely satirical. I actually used the hashtag #sarcasm ... yet people were still threatening to beat me to death, call Child Protective Services and take away my children. I even explained within the comments that this was fake, that I edited the photo and that I’m actually an intactivist.”

At least one definition online defines intactivist as “someone who loves, honors, respects and protects the rights of the child to an intact body. Someone who sees genital mutilation of girls or boys as a contradiction to that fundamental human right.”

“Honestly, my post was meant to shock parents into seeing their children as human beings and to respect them as such,” Vance followed up in another post. “Every angry person who shared my post, did so in an attempt to shine light on an injustice.”

High-end denim company True Religion files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Retail clothing chain True Religion, known for its denim jeans, has filed for creditor protection under Chapter 11 in the U.S. bankruptcy court in the District of Delaware, the company said Wednesday, listing its assets and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million.

>> Read more trending news

It also signed a restructuring agreement with lenders that will cut its debt by over $350 million.

In October, Reuters reported that True Religion had hired a legal adviser to look at different options for debt restructuring. The company’s financial struggles have stemmed from a rise in online shopping as consumers move away from the shops and department stores where the retailer’s jeans are usually sold.

“After a careful review, we are taking an important step to reduce our debt, reinvigorate True Religion’s iconic brand and position the company for future growth and success,” John Ermatinger, True Religion’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The company said it would continue to operate normally, and that its trade creditors crucial to the business were anticipating to be paid fully. The full payment of claims for its continuing trade creditors, a category encompassing continuing vendors, suppliers and landlords, is provided through the restructuring plan.

True Religion said it has also acquired post-petition debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing for up to $60 million from Citizens Bank.

It could take about 90 to 120 days to receive confirmation of the prearranged plan from the bankruptcy court, the retailer said.

Michelle Obama on Barack: 'For eight years he wore the same tux, same shoes' 

Michelle Obama revealed a secret about Barack Obama’s formal wear during his eight years in the White House: He wore the same tuxedo and shoes the entire time.

>> Read more trending news 

During a talk at Tuesday Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, the former first lady lamented on how every detail of her outfits was critiqued while her husband got away with wearing the same shoes and tuxedo for years, and no one seemed to notice.

>> Related: Obamas vacation in Italy; Michelle’s fashion draws praise

“This is the unfair thing,” Michelle Obama said. “You talk about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers -- no matter what we do, he puts on that same tux. Now, people take pictures of the shoes I wear, the bracelets, the necklace -- they didn’t comment that for eight years he wore the same tux, same shoes.

>> Related: People love pictures of Barack Obama's backwards hat in the Virgin Islands

“And he was proud of it, too. He’s like, ‘Mmm, I’m ready. I’m ready in 10 minutes. How long did it take you?’ I’m like, ‘Get out of here.’”

The former first lady also shared the story behind a photo of her fixing her husband’s bow tie. She told the audience that they would always greet visiting state leaders at the North Portico, and while they were waiting, there were 100 members of the press also waiting and clicking away with their cameras.

“So, we’re standing there waiting for the cars to roll in, and I was bored,” she said. “So I sort of thought, let me make sure my husband looks good.”

It’s unclear how many sets Barack Obama had of his signature outfit, but he was photographed wearing at least one different tuxedo jacket during his term.

>> Related: Barack, Michelle Obama sign multimillion-dollar book deal with Penguin Random House

Fashion wasn’t the only thing that Michelle Obama discussed at the conference. She also talked about her passion for education, especially the education of young girls.

>> Related: Before Michelle, Barack Obama proposed to another woman, book claims

“I’m very passionate about girls’ education, and we still have a long way to go on equality and access,” she said, talking about the absence of women in STEM fields. “We have to teach young girls they are smart and can compete.”

Woman designs dress made from 20,000 salmon bones

You could call this a fishy fashion trend.

An Alaskan woman has created a dress made from 20,000 salmon bones.

The one-of-a-kind dress was a creative project four years in the making, according to designer Cynthia Gibson. Vertebrae from the Chinook salmon were used to create the dress, according to JuneauEmpire.com. Gibson said she's had a fascination with nature since she was a child, and once she moved to Sitka, her passion for salmon was sparked.

>> Read more trending news

It was a painstaking process to clean and disinfect the 20,000 bones, then stringing them like pearls to construct the dress.

The dramatic results were displayed at the Wearable Arts Show, an annual fundraiser in Sitka.

Start-up aims to elevate men’s fashion with RompHim rompers for men

A Chicago-based start-up has raised tens of thousands of dollars in support of its aim to diversify the male closet with its recently unveiled romper for men.

>> Read more trending news

ACED Design launched a Kickstarter campaign Sunday for its RompHim collection.

For $95 -- $90 for the 200 people quick enough to snag an early bird RompHim – aspiring fashionistas can get one of RompHim’s three initial-offer styles. The male-friendly rompers come in red chambray, blue chambray and splatter paint cotton. 

For an extra $100, fashion-forward patriots can get a red, white and blue, striped Fourth of July edition RompHim, with guaranteed delivery before the fireworks go off.

Just two days after ACED Design unveiled its rompers for men on Kickstarter, the company had raised more than four times its $10,000 goal, selling more than 400 RompHims and gaining the support of over 430 backers.

The RompHim is the result of a brainstorming session between four Chicago-based business school buddies, frustrated by the lack of male fashion that wasn’t “too corporate, too fratty, too ‘runway’ or too basic,” ACED Design said on its website.

“Why wasn’t there anything out there that allowed guys to be more stylish and fun without also sacrificing comfort, fit, and versatility?” designers wondered, according to ACED Design. “The more we thought about it, the more we realized that a romper hits all of these attributes – they can be dressed up or down and they’re unique, fashionable, and cool. But the one thing a romper didn’t have? A version for men. So we set out to fix that.”

ACED Design is offering the RompHim through Kickstarter until June 3, after which the company plans to move its storefront to its website.

Parents call school's 'hair policy' racist

Parents are calling a "hair policy" at a Massachusetts charter school racist after they said black female students are being suspended and disciplined for wearing braided hair extensions. 

>> Read more trending news 

“I was kind of shocked because for years everyone has been able to wear braids,” said Maya Cook, a sophomore at Mystic Valley Regional Charter in Malden, Massachusetts.

Parents of two students told WFXT that their daughters have been kicked off their sports teams and barred from prom at Mystic Valley Regional Charter as discipline for refusing to take out their braided extensions. Others have been suspended, but the parents said they're not backing down.

Cook said school officials first pulled her aside two weeks ago after she and her sister, Deanna Cook, both African-American, had their hair braided at a local salon.

Their adoptive mother, Colleen Cook, received a call from the school.

“The school basically said that they didn't want anything artificial or unnatural in their hair,” said Colleen Cook.

The school's policy says students cannot have a hairstyle that is distracting to other students, and hair extensions are not allowed. Colleen Cook argued that the policy targets only black students.

“We told them there's nothing wrong with their hair the way it is. Their hair is beautiful, there's no correcting that needs to be done,” said Colleen Cook.

Deanna Cook said hair extensions and braids are integral to African American culture.

"It makes me feel like my culture and my hair was not important enough to be represented around the school," Deanna Cook told WFXT.

The Cook girls refused to take out their braided extensions and were punished with daily detention. Colleen Cook said it became worse last week.

“All the little black children were marched down for a hair inspection, whether they had braids or not, and asked, ‘Are those extensions? Are your braids real or not?’” said Colleen Cook.

In a statement, school officials told WFXT: “Our policies ... foster a culture that emphasizes education rather than style, fashion or materialism. Our policy on hair extensions, which tend to be very expensive, is consistent with ... the educational environment that we believe is so important to our students’ success.”

Colleen Cook said the school’s policy doesn’t send a message of success to her daughters.

“It really affects them to their core and tells them, ‘You're not good enough, you need to change,’” she said.

She has filed a complaint with the NAACP and the anti-defamation league and said that so far, there has been no response from school officials.

Mystic Valley Regional Charter released the following statement from Alexander J. Dan, the school’s interim director:  

“The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School serves a diverse student population from surrounding communities that include Everett, Medford and Malden, among other cities. The school consistently ranks among the top schools in Massachusetts in MCAS testing, SAT testing and college admissions. We send students from all walks of life, including those of color and those from limited means, to the best colleges and universities in the nation. 

“One important reason for our students’ success is that we purposefully promote equity by focusing on what unites our students and reducing visible gaps between those of different means. Our policies, including those governing student appearance and attire, foster a culture that emphasizes education rather than style, fashion or materialism. Our policy on hair extensions, which tend to be very expensive, is consistent with, and a part of, the educational environment that we believe is so important to our students’ success.” 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story used the colloquial term “braids” to refer to braided hair extensions. This story has been updated to clarify the wearing of braided extensions. 

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