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For a whole lot of little kids, Doc McStuffins is a role model.

Photo by Wilton Taylor/Flickr.


For those of you out of the loop, "Doc McStuffins" is a Disney Junior program that features a 6-year-old girl as the titular "Doc" whose mom is a doctor and whose dad is a stay-at-home parent.

Doc McStuffins wants to follow in her mom's footsteps and be a doctor when she grows up, so she's getting her practice by taking care of her dolls and stuffed animals, which come to life when she's alone with them. You know, as toys do.

What makes Doc McStuffins stand out for many is the fact that she's black.

For parents who are working hard to instill a strong self-esteem and a sense of pride in their black daughters, Doc McStuffins is particularly important.

I'm a white (adoptive) parent of a black daughter, and I was overjoyed when Doc McStuffins came out. My daughter loved it, and I loved that she was able to relate to a character who looked like her. It's also important for kids of all colors to see diversity in media so that diversity becomes the norm for everyone.

Recently Jamilah Lemieux shared photos of her daughter, who is a Doc McStuffins fan, on Twitter and encouraged others to share pictures of their kids with the hashtag #thankyouDocMcStuffins.


After retweeting a New York Times article from July 2014 that noted sales of $500 million in the preceding year and sharing a photo of her daughter with a cart full of Doc McStuffins toys, Lemieux decided to start the hashtag.



"I love Doc McStuffins!" Lemieux, who is a writer, the senior digital editor for Ebony, and a feminist, told Upworthy. "We covered the launch of the show at EBONY.com a few years ago and I am so happy to see what a huge phenomenon it has become."

Diverse representation in media matters.

I asked Lemieux about diversity in media and toys and she told me that it's important to her because "as a parent, it is a real struggle to find toys and TV shows/movies that look like my daughter, but it is incredibly important to see herself reflected as the norm in media. I work hard to surround her with diverse and positive images of her culture in order to bolster her self-esteem and racial self-identity."

Here are some of the responses Lemieux received on Twitter:

(Get ready for some more super-cute kids!)



And when it comes to diverse representation, "Doc McStuffins" is multi-dimensional.

"Doc McStuffins is a real feminist show!" Lemieux told Upworthy. "Her mother is a doctor, her dad seems to be a stay-at-home parent, at least part time. Doc has diverse interests, particularly in STEM. The show teaches character values, while also presenting science careers as attainable to children of all genders."



Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


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Holly the delivery nurse.

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Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

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