June 25, 2015 6:25 AM EDT


Joel Stein’s June 29 cover report on the growing ubiquity of plastic surgery prompted a segment on The Insider that dubbed the trend “the new normal.” But some readers, like Joanne Drake of Fruita, Colo., were angered by doctors’ profiting from “giving selfish people makeovers” when they could be helping people in need. And Lynn Buschhoff of Denver lamented that “women continue to let themselves be snookered by the beauty industry.” Mary Anne Johnson of Crown Point, N.Y., meanwhile, predicted a future trend: one in which people “will be crying because their grandmothers don’t look like the grannies in their picture books, and a whole new branch of plastic surgery will emerge.”


Can people choose their own racial identities? In an essay in the View, contributor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar warned against demonizing Dolezal, the former president of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP, for pretending to be African American throughout much of her career. “Bottom line: the black community is better off because of her efforts,” he wrote. Some readers agreed with him. “Her life, her choice, what’s the problem?” said commenter Letliv2010 on TIME.com. Julie Stenken of Fayetteville, Ark., concurred, calling Abdul-Jabbar’s perspective “refreshing.” But others felt he was too easy on Dolezal and that she had hurt the community she tried to help. “We need more allies to the civil rights cause,” wrote kori_cooper on TIME.com, “not people who make a mockery of it by gaining their position through deceit and manipulation.”


For injured or ill veterans–including the more than 600,000 whose service in Iraq and Afghanistan left them with a disability–sports can provide a life-changing way to show that their strength endures. That strength will be seen in action at the Defense Department’s Warrior Games, which got under way June 19 in Quantico, Va. Below, four of the 15 Wounded Warrior athletes recently profiled by TIME. Read more at time.com/wounded-warriors

1. Benjamin Koren, U.S. Air Force technical sergeant (track, archery, volleyball)

2. Jenae Piper, retired Marine Corps sergeant (cycling, field, sitting volleyball, shooting)

3. Rey Edenfield, Air Force staff sergeant (sitting volleyball, shooting, archery, track)

4. Lisa Marie Hodgden, retired Air Force master sergeant (cycling, field)

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This appears in the July 06, 2015 issue of TIME.

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