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Call her 'dark,' call her 'skinny,' call her 'beautiful.' Just don’t ever call her 'Iman.'

Man, she went through a lot. But you can just tell how strong she is, and it's no surprise she's such a success.

Call her 'dark,' call her 'skinny,' call her 'beautiful.' Just don’t ever call her 'Iman.'

Mari Malek went from terrifying violence in Sudan, to the hostile life of a refugee in Egypt, to freedom in America. But moving to New Jersey was far from the end of her problems — racism was just as bad there as it had been in Egypt. She was teased and harassed for being black and for being dark.

By the time she turned 16, though, modeling agencies had decided she had what it takes to become a fashion model. That's when she went from thinking about bleaching her skin (!) to thinking of her body as a temple.


But even the agencies tried to pigeonhole her, thinking she could fit into the successful look they created with Alek Wek, another Sudanese model. Instead, she started her own agency. After a life like Mari's, it's no surprise that she wasn't content merely strutting around in clothes or squeezing into somebody else's ideas about her.

"We are conditioned to be fearful." But to that, she says, "Fuck fear."

Need a mood boost to help you sail through the weekend? Here are 10 moments that brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces this week. Enjoy!

1. How much does this sweet little boy adore his baby sister? So darn much.

Oh, to be loved with this much enthusiasm! The sheer adoration on his face. What a lucky little sister.

2. Teens raise thousands for their senior trip, then donate it to their community instead.

When it came time for Islesboro Central School's Class of 2021 to pick the destination for their senior class trip, the students began eyeing a trip to Greece or maybe even South Korea. But in the end, they decided to donate $5,000 they'd raised for the trip to help out their community members struggling in the wake of the pandemic instead.

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