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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.

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.

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One of the most amazing (and frightening) realizations one can have as a parent is that your child is always listening and they have incredible memories.

Alyssia, the mother of three-year-old Ayaan, was blown away when during their walk to school he began reciting positive affirmations she taught him a year earlier. When he was two she taught him to repeat "I am smart. I am blessed. I can do anything," when he is stressed.

"Well he shocked me this morning. Out of no where he started repeating it, so I pulled out my phone," Alyssia commented on her Instagram post. "He ended (with enthusiasm lol) once we made it to our destination. So proud of the little boy he is growing into."

Alyssia shared the video on Instagram where it received nearly 100,000 likes.

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It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

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Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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"There's only one thing more dangerous than a bad virus, and that's a bad vaccine," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's health emergencies programme, said in March. "We have to be very, very, very careful in developing any product that we're going to inject into potentially most of the world population."

Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have said that developing a vaccine and getting it through the necessary safety and efficacy protocols would take, at minimum, 12 to 18 months. Yet here we are, 7 months in, and Vladimir Putin has just announced that Russia has already approved a vaccine for the coronavirus.

According to the BBC, there are more than 100 vaccines in various stages of development and testing. Six of those have reached phase 3 trials, involving more widespread testing in humans. Russia's vaccine is not among those six.

Meanwhile, hundreds of U.S. doctors have signed a letter urging the FDA not to rush or politicize vaccine trials.

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