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Times are a-changin.

In honor of International Women's Day, the makers of Barbie — who only a year ago turned their flagship doll into an engineer — are about to release a trio of diverse, fiercely feminist dolls modeled after Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, American pilot Amelia Earhart, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

The new series, “Inspiring Women,” is part of a larger initiative by the company to educate young girls about some of the most rebellious and daring women in history. Each doll will come with the real woman’s backstory.


“As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honoring its largest line up of role models timed to International Women’s Day, because we know that you can’t be what you can’t see,” Lisa McKnight, the senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In case you need one, here’s a crash course on these three badass women.

Photos via Barbie/Mattel.

Earhart, known as the “Queen of Air,” was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo. Kahlo is known as a legendary artist whose timeless paintings and self-portraits depicting the triumph and trials of womanhood. And in case you didn’t see “Hidden Figures,” Johnson was a mathematician who trail-blazed a path for black women in STEM. If it weren’t for her calculations, astronaut Neil Armstrong wouldn’t have made that “giant leap for mankind” on the moon in 1969.

The new line is the company’s latest effort to promote diversity, inclusivity, and representation.

In the past, the toy seriously lacked diversity when it comes to body proportions, cultural backgrounds, and skin tones. For years, Mattel has been on the receiving end of numerous critiques on how Barbie — a supermodel-tall, disproportionately skinny, white, blue-eyed blonde — sets an unrealistic standard for young girls.

In an attempt to fix that, Mattel has launched a series of campaigns to empower young girls with dolls with realistic body types and multiple skin tones. The “You Can Be Anything” line includes dolls with “three body types (tall, curvy, petite), seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hairstyles.”

Then, in May 2016, Mattel announced their “Sheroes” line of dolls featuring numerous notable women who shattered stereotypes and broke boundaries in industries where they are underrepresented. Some of the women featured are actresses Kristin Chenoweth, Zendaya, and Emmy Rossum; directors Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay; Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim; and first-ever African-American principal ballet dancer, Misty Copeland.

For International Women’s Day on March 8, the brand stated they will be honoring and sparking conversations about the 17 global female role models featured in the their “Shero” program.

One year later, Mattel announced fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad as their first hijabi Barbie doll. In 2016, Muhammad became the first American to compete in the Olympic Games while wearing a hijab.

Katherine Johnson doll.

Let’s hope this new line — as well as Mattel’s continued efforts to champion female empowerment and representation will inspire a whole generation of young women that they can do anything.

“Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real life role models to remind them that they can be anything,” McKnight said in the Mattel statement.

The doll company has made an entire fortune of Barbie pursuing numerous of ambitious careers from doctor to lawyer to astronaut. But with the “Inspiring Women” series, young kids around the world will learn more about the real women — some of whom look a lot like them — who overcame real challenges and made a real impact in the world.

And, just maybe, one of these young girls will grow up to have a doll made in honor of them.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

Pop Culture

John Cena sets new world record with 650 wishes granted with the Make-A-Wish Foundation

He’s become the foundation’s most requested celebrity—and he never turns anyone down.

"I'll drop everything."

The multitalented, mega famous John Cena might hold many titles, but this might be the coolest one yet—and it has nothing to do with wrestling.

The actor and WWE performer just broke the Guinness World Records for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As of July 19, Guinness World Records reports, Cena has granted a whopping 650 wishes. The highest amount any other celebrity granted was 200.

The 16-time world champion first became a wish-granter back in 2002. Since then, he’s become the foundation’s most requested celebrity—and he never turns anyone down.

"I just drop everything. I don't care what I'm doing," he said in a WWE produced video after granting his 500th wish. “I can't say enough how cool it is to see the kids so happy, and their families so happy, I truly want to show them that it's their day.”
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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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