by Alex Halperin // June 4, 2014
Emma Walton had an easy pregnancy. She didn't feel as much movement as the books had led her to expect, and the fetus regularly passed ultrasounds and nonstress tests.
After many hours of labor at a local community hospital in northwest Pennsylvania, the baby appeared distressed and needed to be delivered by emergency cesarean section. "They pulled him out and there was no sound," Emma says. "You usually expect to hear a screaming baby and there was just nothing. Dead silence."
Baby Conrad was intubated and taken by ambulance 60 miles to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Erie. Emma's husband, Scott, traveled with him while Emma recovered from surgery. Conrad had been born with dangerously low muscle tone - "floppy," doctors say - and couldn't breathe on his own or swallow. After a few days, when doctors still couldn't determine the cause of his symptoms, they referred him to the nationally acclaimed Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
by Alex Halperin // January 18, 2014
Any discussion of Bethany Mota, 18, social media goddess and ascendant fashion icon, needs to begin with her metrics. Mota’s most popular YouTube channel has more than 4.8 million subscribers — more than Lady Gaga’s. As of this writing, upward of 2.2 million souls follow her on Instagram — more than Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan combined. Her Twitter following is a mere 1.15 million, not great but nothing to sneeze at.
Mota, who graduated from high school last year and still lives with her parents in a quiet northern California city they’d prefer remain confidential, is a “haul video” superstar. In this YouTube genre, women — almost always women — go shopping and then discuss their latest “hauls” for the camera.
It’s really as simple as that. No stylists, no editors, no models stomping down the runway: Just a kid in her room with a pile of shopping bags. In one recent video that has racked up more than 600,000 views, Mota shows off a series of blouses, hair accessories, and beauty products, as well as a sunflower dress. “I love sunflowers,” she notes. “They’re one of my favorite flowers.”