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Loving her body hasn't just been good for her soul, it's key to her career.

It's a real joy to hear her talk — even about the hard stuff.

Loving her body hasn't just been good for her soul, it's key to her career.

Naomi Shimada is an exciting fashion model, but she's also a worthy role model.

Naomi was born in Tokyo, but she moved to the south of Spain when she was 11. (Her dad was a visionary vintage-clothing entrepreneur. No big deal.)

Then, at age 13, she was scouted by a modeling agency. Things started out well for the tall and lanky girl, and she moved to London.


But her body quickly started changing — which, for a teenager, it's supposed to! As she put on weight and curves, she was told to get skinny again. When she spent time with friends, Naomi found herself only talking about her weight and food.

She left modeling and focused on school and music for a while, but when she got back into it, the pressure to be thinner was there all over again. She gave dieting a try, and it really wasn't for her.

"I never wanted to be that girl," she says in the video interview below with StyleLikeU. "I was suppressing my soul."

"I never wanted to be that girl."

But in the world of so-called "plus-size" modeling, she gets to be exactly who she is.

Dieting was depressing. (No surprise there.) Luckily, she never has to go back there. "I would never want to be smaller again," she says.

Naomi's all the wiser for her struggle.

Here are some of her thoughts, which are words for anyone to live by.

Photos of smiling models can sometimes be deceiving, but Naomi's not just posing as a confident woman who's figured some things out for herself: She's really done it.

Check out how sincere and joyful she is in this conversation with StyleLikeU:

Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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