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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.

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."

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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