USWNT crushed it — and their win sends a message

(CNN)By the time Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final came around, there was almost a sense of dj vu in the air. The level of competition throughout the tournament had been such that many of the games in the lead-up to the final (Sweden vs. Germany, USA vs. England) had felt like championships themselves — hard-fought battles that spoke volumes about the caliber of competition in the women’s game. Some takeaways: 1. No, the rest of the world has not caught up to the USWNT. First of all, a handful of the world has been there all along, winning the other half of the titles — Japan (2011), Norway (1995), and Germany (2003, 2007). But even more importantly, take a look …

Plus-size mannequins reveal our warped perception of ‘normal’

(CNN)Nike has introduced so-called “plus-size” mannequins at its flagship London store. They have been pictured in the shop wearing black crop tops and leggings, which has already prompted disgust from some who claim that their presence “celebrates obesity” and promotes a “dangerous lie.” The message that these underweight mannequins have been sending women for the last few decades is that they must be critically thin in order to look good in clothes or be considered attractive. This reinforces an undercurrent of negative pressure on women which, even if it does not result in damaging weight loss, can have a huge impact on self-esteem and body image. Woman shuts down body shamer on flight Promoting the thin ideal in sportswear shops …

Where exactly is Sesame Street?

(CNN)Sesame Street, despite a ceremony Wednesday that suggested otherwise, is not at 63rd and Broadway in Manhattan. Sesame Street is Pelham Bay and Old Mill Basin. It’s Flushing and Bed Stuy, Riverdale and Laurel Hill. Sesame Street is a tight-knit neighborhood with people (and puppets) of all colors and creeds. They sit on stoops on warm summer evenings and get yelled at by grouchy residents who live in beaten-up garbage bins barely large enough to fit them. None of that sounds like Manhattan. Sign up for our new newsletter. Join us on Twitter and Facebook Those not from New York equate New York City and Sesame Street with Manhattan only because they know no better, and those who grew up …

How Trump complicates the lives of his Democratic rivals

(CNN)Former Vice President Joe Biden is in and the race is on for the Democratic nomination for president. Now the field of 20 candidates must strategize their way forward in the take-no-prisoners era of President Donald Trump. With the leader of the free world unconstrained by niceties, unabashed in name-calling, and unpredictable on Twitter, how do Democrats respond and avoid a repeat of 2016? As for what Democrats should do now, some things are standard in the primary process. Having worked in communications on the presidential campaigns of the last three Republican winners of the Iowa Caucuses, I have learned a few nonpartisan rules of the road for the early primary states. Keep in mind: Free advice is generally worth …