Skimm'd while reading about Black women changing the beauty industry

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile



Skimm'd while reading about Black women changing the beauty industry

Learn More

Quote of the Day

"We apologize for the inconvenience" – A University of Michigan spokeswoman after three venomous spiders caused the library to close down. That's scarier than any midterm exam will ever be.


The Story

Thousands of migrants have reportedly died while preparing for the World Cup.


The soccer tournament is one of the most popular sporting events in the world (think: over 3.5 billion people watched in 2018). And next year, the event's set to take place in Qatar. In 2010, the country won a bid to host the event – but it wasn't without controversy: FIFA was accused of taking bribes to make it happen. Qatar then began investing over $200 billion for things like new infrastructure and stadiums. And called for backup from migrant workers to help with the construction.

Go on.

Over the last 10 years, migrant workers from countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Nepal have traveled to Qatar. They've helped construct dozens of projects like a new airport, roads, hotels, and even a new city to host the World Cup final. Human rights orgs say migrant workers see the opportunity as a chance to work and provide money for their families back home. But according to a report from The Guardian, things have gone very wrong.

How so?

Over 6,500 migrant workers have reportedly died of things like dehydration and heat exhaustion while working toward the 2022 World Cup. Migrant workers make up over 90% of the workforce in Qatar. And there have been reports of employers mistreating migrants when they arrive: housing them in dirty and unsafe conditions, underpaying them, and confiscating their passports. The UN has found that migrants have worked under "extreme" heat stress. The number of true deaths could be higher since countries like the Philippines and Kenya haven't shared death tolls.

It's hard to believe.

Believe it. Qatar authorities have said they protect their workers from the heat by limiting working hours between June and August. But migrant workers have reportedly said that's not always the case, and that employers have refused to provide them with proper documentation to get medical help. In 2019, Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into Qatar's treatment of its migrant workers but has said it's seen little progress. As for FIFA, it said it has a "zero-tolerance policy to any form of discrimination and to wage abuse," and has reportedly said that Qatar's trying to improve conditions. But human rights orgs are saying 'no, not really.' FIFA's still holding the World Cup there next year.


For many in both the developed and developing world, the World Cup is an opportunity to escape, cheer on their favorite soccer teams, and gather with family. But that joy appears to be coming at a deadly cost, and pressure is mounting on FIFA to ensure it never happens again.

And Also...This

What's got the world's attention…

The US. Yesterday, President Biden ordered an airstrike in eastern Syria. Since last week, three attacks in Iraq have injured five Americans, including a US service member. The Biden admin had warned it would respond when it was ready, and now it has. The Pentagon said the airstrike hit facilities used by Iranian-backed militant groups – which the White House blames for the recent attacks – to move and store weapons. And that it consulted with its coalition partners before carrying out the attack. The airstrike wasn't meant to escalate tensions with Iran, but to show "President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel." But a spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry reportedly denied having any ties to the attacks against American forces and "strongly condemned" the US for trying to hold them responsible. The airstrike reportedly killed at least one militant member and injured several others. This is the Biden admin's first known military action.

  • Between a rock and a hard place: The strikes come as the US is flirting with renewing the Iran nuclear deal. And as Iran has reportedly enriched its uranium stockpile, which could make reviving a deal even harder.

Who people are talking about...

John Geddert. Yesterday, the former US Olympic gymnastics coach died by suicide after he was charged with two dozen crimes. Geddert was due to turn himself in for charges including sexual assault, human trafficking, and lying to police. He'd served as the head coach of the 2012 US women's Olympic gymnastics team and worked closely with disgraced doctor Larry Nassar. Geddert's recent charges stemmed from Nassar's case, with prosecutors saying he turned a blind eye to Nassar's abuse. He was also accused of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 16. And faced 20 counts of human trafficking by using "force, fraud, and coercion" against the athletes for his financial benefit, like making them perform when they were injured and subjecting them to physical and emotional abuse. Michigan's AG said this is "a tragic end to a tragic story."

  • Reaching out: After Geddert's death, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander – who'd been the first victim to publicly come out against Nassar's abuse – thanked Geddert's survivors for speaking out and said, "you have been heard and believed, and we stand with you."

Where some health experts are worried...

New York City. This week, two research teams published early studies revealing that a new coronavirus variant (B1526) is spreading all over the Big Apple (and parts of the Northeast). While variants aren't typically cause for concern, some health experts are ringing the alarm on B1526. The reason: it can contain at least two different mutations and can reduce the efficacy of vaccines and antibody treatments. But some health experts criticized the studies, saying they weren't peer-reviewed and caused unnecessary panic. In the meantime, researchers will keep tabs on the variant.

Who's feeling energized...

Jennifer Granholm. Yesterday, the former Michigan governor got the Senate's green light to serve as the Biden admin's energy sec. Her track record on jobs and clean energy in Michigan earned her some big fans in the upper chamber. And she reminded lawmakers that clean energy can create jobs. Granholm said she's ready to "get to work."

Who can't (Game)Stop, won't stop

These "Rugrats."

Black History Month

The cosmetic industry has historically served white women, leaving women of color with less options and more reasons to feel othered. But inspiring Black women have been working to change that narrative for generations to come. Here's who to thank for that.

Skimm Reads

"Super Host" by Kate Russo

Get ready to smile. In this debut novel, a middle-aged painter who's going through a rough patch rents out his West London home to make ends meet. While he moves into his art studio, a series of guests move in to his home and offer him a new chance at life. It's a sweet story and the perfect antidote to the chaos that's been 2021.


Need recs for your group chat? We got you…

1. A program that teaches you the 'why' behind your decisions. So you can make better, healthier ones. And build habits that will actually stick…without adding more restrictions to your life. Try it free for 14 days.*

2. A shirt to support the cause against anti-Asian violence. You can get involved with a single purchase. Proceeds go toward Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks and responds to incidents reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Because nothing changes if nothing changes.

3. How to store every type of fruit and vegetable in your house. One day your beloved avos are in. The next day they're a pile of brown mush. Here's how to keep 'em so fresh, so clean.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life…

1. Your new go-to pants. Athleta just released their fan-fave Brooklyn Pants in new colors. Pro tip: get a pair for every day of the week. They're so comfy, you'll never wanna wear anything else.*

2. 16 pet products that'll solve common problems. Like when you've got fur everywhere. Or unexpected stains on your carpets. It doesn't have to be a ruff life if you have the right tools. Check 'em out.

3. Your new favorite nightcap. These chewable vitamins support alcohol metabolism and help keep your liver happy. Take two before bed anytime you drink, and wake up feeling...better than you should.*

4. A grocery, home, and beauty marketplace that makes life easier. Shop online, and they'll ship everything right to your door. Become a member today to get 25% off your order – and a free gift.*

PS: Like what you see here? Make sure you're signed up to get more picks like these in your inbox every Monday. We've got exclusive shopping recs, streaming ideas, life hacks, and more.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


It's Black History Month so to celebrate we're recognizing Black leaders and Black-owned businesses & organizations for doing great things in their community.

Lights, camera, action...Jameelah N (CA) and Allyssa L (GA). They directed, edited, and animated "Shaping Our State." It's a series of three short videos aimed at educating, encouraging, and empowering young Black women in Alabama to engage in all levels of gov, from voting to running for office.

Fighting for justice...Sam L (CA). He's the executive director of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, a justice reform nonprofit. Formerly incarcerated people help staff the org, which provides housing, counseling services, and workforce development. ARC has helped pass dozens of new pieces of legislation.

(Some) Birthdays...Bill Mack (NY), Sara Blakely (GA), Cristy Hollin (PA), Michael Martinolich (NY), Amy Schulman, Alex DiIorio (OH), Dustin King (PA), Jennifer McUne (OR), Bonnie Murtha (PA), Cindy Kastanes (IL), Katy Fort (FL), Mandy Burr (AZ), Alexa Essenfeld (NJ), Mandy Riber (SC), Danielle Foster (WA)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm More

COVID-19 vaccine programs look different around the world – from West Virginia to Israel to the UK. We spoke to two experts on this week's episode of "Skimm This" to understand what others are doing and what can (or should) be replicated.

And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

  • Listen to our news podcast "Skimm This" for clarity on the biggest stories of the week.

  • Tune in to our career podcast "Skimm'd from the Couch" for tips to build your resume.

  • Subscribe to our "Skimm Money" newsletter to keep up to date with your wallet.

  • Sign up for our "Press Pause" newsletter for curated shopping, reads, and entertainment recs.

  • Follow us on the gram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

  • Download our app to get it all in one place.

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain