The stories we tell play a major role in determining our health and wellness, as individuals and as a collective. Public narratives around chronic illness shape our healthcare system and determine everything from funding for research programs and availability of treatments to protections for the disabled and the day-to-day experiences of those who are ill. Erin Berman, a former content strategist and brand designer for Silicon Valley startups and multinational corporations—recognized by Forbes as “a natural speaker with an art for telling tales”—understands this. Later this month she will launch Superbloom, a social media platform meant to expand the conversation around women’s health. The site, which gives chronically ill women a way to connect with one another, will feature resources searchable by symptom, diagnosis, or treatment and offer support channels designed especially for the millions of women currently living with the kinds of illnesses that evade proper diagnosis and treatment.
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. – US President Donald Trump drove past supporters outside the hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19, after announcing on Twitter a “suprise visit” to his backers. ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images
Four years ago, almost to the day, Donald Trump was on the campaign trail mocking Hillary Clinton’s bout of pneumonia and insisting that contracting such an illness rendered her too weak and unfit to be the president. The campaign ran what was called by some the nastiest political ad ever, called “Dangerous.” It depicted Clinton as a doddering invalid who was so incapacitated she couldn’t handle foreign policy and national security.
It’s not news that Donald Trump is a crude and cruel piece of work,
Sally Hawkins has a fondness for characters that, in her words, “fall in the gaps.”
“I’m aligned with people in life that may not be noticed or are generally stigmatized,” she tells EW. “Those stories are always more interesting. Every single person has a voice. Whether it’s somebody who’s not sorted out or is part of a section of society that is not necessarily treated with compassion. Spinning that on its head and seeing them with love — as soon as we open our hearts and our minds, then we can begin to change.”
Hawkins has earned Oscar nominations for her portrayal of two such people, the eternally optimistic Poppy in Happy-Go-Lucky and mute cleaner Elisa in The Shape of