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How one woman's tattoo journey allowed her to overcome bullying and beauty standards.

"I’m able to let people know that they’re not alone and things do get better, and high school — high school isn’t forever."

How one woman's tattoo journey allowed her to overcome bullying and beauty standards.
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L'Oreal Dermablend

Caroline Grace is covered head to toe in tattoos.

They make her stand out, but that wasn't always her goal, especially as a teenager.

Brand new tragic kingdom dress from @westernevil 🔥www.westernevil.com


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"I didn't like the way I looked," Caroline admits. "I started to wear makeup to feel good about myself. But then I'd get bullied for how I wore makeup."

It didn't help that her family moved around a lot, which resulted in her having to adjust to six different high schools.

"I got put down a lot," says Caroline. "I got made fun of. It was very hard for me."

As she struggled to fit in, it was around that time that she also developed a love for tattoos.

Just a few of Caroline's tattoos. Photo via Dermablend.

Caroline got her first tattoo when she was only 15, but it didn't turn out exactly as planned.

The tattoo was very large and on her chest, so she bought Dermablend to help her hide it from her mom, which worked amazingly well.

She had fallen in love with tattoos after that first one, though, and pretty soon, had collected a whole slew of them to the point where she stopped keeping count.

And the more tattoos she acquired, the more beautiful she felt.

Photo via Dermablend.

"When I look at tattoos, I see beauty and self-expression," says Caroline.

Her distinctive look, which she has grown to embrace, has inspired others to find their own definition of beauty as well.

It's a huge part of why the 24-year-old has over 380,000 followers on Instagram.

She started her account like anyone else — just posting photos she thought were cool — but she also made a point of really putting herself and her body art out there. Ironically, the thing she tried so hard to keep hidden from her family was the very thing that sparked her sizable fan base.

Now she feels like she can finally help teens and adults who might be struggling with self-esteem issues for one reason or another.

"I’m able to let people know that they’re not alone and things do get better, and high school — high school isn’t forever," says Caroline.

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Does she still cover up her tattoos sometimes? Sure, but not because she's hiding.

Dermablend allows her to change up her look, which is all about self-expression and fun.

"It’s pretty fun to be able to cover up just one tattoo," says Caroline. "My skin doesn’t really define me. My tattoos aren’t who I am."

She's been using Dermablend since she was a teen because it fully covers her tats, but still feels light, which is good for her sensitive skin.

Photo via Dermablend.

When she's sporting all of them, she tends to get a lot of attention in her small town of Newport, Pennsylvania, but she's usually happy to answer questions about her look.

"I'll talk to people on the street who approach me about my tattoos," Caroline says. "If they can walk away having learned something or with one less stereotype, I think that's cool."

After all, beauty comes in all sorts of packages. The more people like Caroline who are regularly challenging beauty norms, the more space we create for people to be their authentic selves.

I'm so proud of you.

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She may have a busy life of managing a clothing business and running after her 6-year-old son, but Caroline still makes time to sit in front of a mirror and take herself in. Whether she decides to put on makeup on any given day or not, she does it to enhance who she is rather than hide. And that person is beautiful, tattoos or no tattoos.

"At the end of this journey, I hope to fully love myself, and I know I’m getting close," says Caroline.

Check out Caroline's whole story here:

Her tattoos are a form of beauty and self-expression. And so is her choice to cover them.

Posted by Upworthy on Friday, October 20, 2017

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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