Misty Copeland has a pretty straightforward message for all the magazine cover women who claim “water and sleep” are the secrets to their beauty and health: “Shut up!”
In her new book, Ballerina Body, published by Grand Central Life & Style on March 21, Copeland discusses the lifelong habits ― both physical and mental ― that have helped her achieve the body of a ballerina. And while she hardly denounces the benefits of water and sleep, she’s quick to correct anyone who claims those two simple necessities are sufficient beauty “secrets.”
In fact, in a segment with CBS This Morning, the American Ballet Theater icon, who made history in 2015 when she became the company’s first black female principal dancer, explained why mental discipline and emotional strength are just as crucial to her health as drinking water, sleeping, and any other aspects of her extremely disciplined dieting and exercise regimes.
“Performing live, just dealing with all of the pressure and what it is to be in a competitive field ― I think it’s so important to be mentally and emotionally prepared and strong,” she told CBS. “I think every woman, every person can relate to that. It’s not just about being physically strong, it’s about believing in yourself.”
Ballerina Body is Copeland’s first health and fitness book, which provides step-by-step advice, meal plans and workout routines for women looking to emulate Copeland’s fitness regimen. The book, Copeland says, is geared to anyone and everyone (though the introduction singles out women) who wants to enact the kind of long-term change she embarked upon to achieve her physique.
Copeland’s figure does not reflect the centuries-old ballerina ideal: impossibly long, lean and white. And she acknowledges this, and how her presence as an acclaimed ballerina has subsequently helped reshape the image of a dancer onstage. “It’s no longer about looking childlike and brittle,” she writes. “We are real women and ballerinas, and we, as well as those who aspire to a similar physical ideal, want to be lean but also muscular, feminine but also strong, lithe but also curvaceous.”
While her form doesn’t necessarily adhere to outdated conventions, Copeland’s body is still nothing short of exceptional, requiring diligent exercise and self-control. But, aside from the book’s emphases on sculpting “toned derrières” and “crystal-cut curves,” Copeland focuses on the mindful attitudes necessary for success, too. The first section of her book is aptly devoted to topics related to the “Mind,” and outlines how Copeland herself built up the emotional strength necessary for her career longevity.
“It took me my entire career, I think, to really understand how to take care of my body,” she told CBS. “To respect it. To understand that I’m an athlete and that it’s a long journey of figuring these things out. That it’s about creating your own version of a healthy image ― of a ballerina body.”
Whether your nose is long and narrow or short and wide, you may have your ancestors’ climate to thank.
New anthropological research finds that nose shape is formed through a process of natural selection responding to the temperature and humidity of the local environment.
For the study, published online last week in the journal PLOS Genetics, researchers from Ireland, Belgium and the U.S. used 3D facial imaging to collect nose measurements on nearly 500 participants of South Asian, East Asian, West African and Northern European descent.
The researchers analyzed specific measures including nose height, nostril width, distance between nostrils, protrusion and total surface area of the nose and nostrils. Then, they compared these measurements with local temperatures and humidity in various geographical regions. The findings revealed that nostril width was strongly linked with climate. Wider nostrils were found in more hot and humid areas, and narrower noses were more common in cold and dry areas.
This makes sense, considering that one of the central functions of the nose is to filter and condition inhaled air before it reaches the lower respiratory tract. Air should be warm and moist when it enters the body, and a narrower nose can more effectively condition cold, dry air in this manner. Therefore, people in colder climates who had narrower nose would be more likely to survive and reproduce than those with wider nostrils. So, among peoples living further from the equator, evolution would favor narrower noses.
The findings add heft to a theorum developed in the 1800s known as “Thompson’s rule,” which suggests that long, narrow noses occurred in colder areas, while short, wide noses were more likely found in hot, humid areas.
“The link between nose shape and climate has been suspected for a long time and the correlation between nose shape and climate has been shown before, several times but using the shape of the human skull,” the study’s lead author, Penn State anthropologist and population geneticist Mark Shriver, told The Huffington Post. “We have expanded on this body of evidence by studying the variation in the external nose and the underlying genetic variation, both of which have not been examined so far because of methodological challenges.”
It can be tough to determine whether these types of effect are the result of randomly occurring processes of genetic change ― what scientists know as “genetic drift” ― or if they’re caused, instead, by natural selection. But the differences that the researchers observed were much greater than what could be explained by random variation alone, suggesting that “survival of the fittest” played an important role.
“The nose is related to climate to a degree that is greater that chance evolutionary forces would determine alone, but not as much as skin color,” Shriver said. “And not all the variation in noses across populations is due to climate.”
Sexual selection may factor in, too, with people choosing potential partners because they find a smaller or larger nose to be more attractive. There’s a good chance that our ideas about what’s beautiful are informed by how well-suited a particular nose is to its environment, the researchers noted.
The implications of the findings extend beyond improving our understanding of why our noses look the way they do. Anthropologists have studied how features like hair color, skin color and face shape evolved differently across cultures and geographic regions in order to better understand how disease risk varies cross-culturally ― shedding light on why conditions like sickle-cell anemia and lactose intolerance occur at wildly different rates in different demographic groups.
(CNN)Dubai has announced yet another pioneering initiative, but this time it’s not the world’s first rotating skyscraper or 3D printed office. It’s a fleet of flying taxis.