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Mattel is welcoming Ashley Graham, body-positive fashion icon, to the Barbie family.

The model and activist became the latest celeb to get the Barbie treatment.

Mattel is welcoming Ashley Graham, body-positive fashion icon, to the Barbie family.

Let's be real: The people at Barbie have been absolutely knocking it out of the ballpark in recent years.

Whether it's in airing ads that defy gender norms or by creating a wider and more realistic range of body shapes, a lot has been happening in the world of the iconic blonde.

One of the coolest additions, without a doubt, has been the Barbie Sheroes line, which pays tribute to real women doing really cool things in the world. They've featured the likes of history-making ballerina Misty Copeland, country artist Trisha Yearwood, actress Emmy Rossum, "Selma" director Ava DuVernay, and Disney star Zendaya, among others.


In comes the newest member of the Barbie Sheroes family: plus-size model Ashley Graham.

Graham made history as the first plus-size model to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. She's a major proponent for body diversity in the modeling industry, and she delivered a powerful TED talk on the topic of body positivity.

The team at Barbie wanted to honor Graham for "pushing boundaries within fashion and for promoting a message of body positivity, self-acceptance and female empowerment," so they did what they do best: They made a doll.

Here's Graham accepting an award at the 2016 Glamour Women of the Year ceremony in Los Angeles. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Glamour.

At this year's Glamour Women of the Year ceremony, Graham was presented with her very own Barbie — and she freaked out about it in the best possible way.

Graham worked closely with Mattel to make sure the end result accurately represented her look and her personality. She had a special request for the renowned doll makers: no thigh gap. They were happy to oblige. From the sound of things, she's pretty happy with how it turned out.

"She got a round belly. She got round hips. She got round everything, yes!" Graham told Glamour when she first saw the doll.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you'll be able to find Graham's Barbie on store shelves as of now — but that could soon change.

The Sheroes collection is largely a series of one-off models given directly to the women who inspired them, but in certain cases (like Ava DuVernay's, which saw high demand from consumers), they've been put into mass production.

At the moment, there doesn't seem to be plans to put the Ashley Graham doll into mass production, but with enough demand from those interested in buying one, it could be possible. Even so, the fact that Graham's doll exists at all is a sign of how the world is beginning to dismantle traditional standards of beauty — and it goes to show that Mattel can make a doll with a different body type if it wants to.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Glamour.

For as long as Barbie has existed, she's been upheld as a standard of beauty. By creating an Ashley Graham doll, Mattel is making some major progress.

“We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty and continue to push for a more inclusive world,” Graham said in a press release. “I’m thrilled Barbie has not only evolved their product, but also has continued to honor women who are pushing boundaries. It’s an honor to be immortalized in plastic."

Intentional or not, having one single type of Barbie body meant Mattel was reinforcing some harmful beauty standards that quite simply couldn't be met by human women. In undoing some of that work, Barbie is helping to make the world a better and more accepting place.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."