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She's not a plus-size model; she's a model. And she's in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Last year, they almost banned her ad from the Super Bowl. This year, her ad will be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

She's not a plus-size model; she's a model. And she's in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Flashback to the 2014 Super Bowl...

This lingerie ad featuring Ashley Graham was almost banned from airing because it was considered ... too risqué.

It looked kinda like this:


She's gotta go meet Dan! I. Am. Scandalized.*

(*I'm not.)

But whhhyyyyy?

Was it going to be banned because it was *actually risqué* or because it showed a lady who looked like Ashley wearing as much clothing as say ... this gal?

Both lovely women with lovely, uncontroversial bodies!

A bajillion ads out there feature women wearing a similar amount of clothing, and they end up plastered in front of our faces. The "risqué" ad wound up airing anyway, but why the controversy?

What else remains?

The model in the almost-banned ad, Ashley Graham! And now she's gonna be in another ad in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2015!

Here's what the ad will look like, from Ashley's Instagram feed.

Secret's out!! So honored to be the face of #CurvesInBikinis for @swimsuitsforall! Can't wait for the ad's debut in the @SI_Swimsuit issue! 📷by @nomadrj 💄by @Vincent_Longo 💇by @sinavelke 👠by @the_line_up 👦 @tobias.lewis #beautybeyondsize #sexystateomind #lovetheskinyourein #curvesfordays #ashleygraham
A photo posted by A S H L E Y ✨ G R A H A M ™ (@theashleygraham) on


Looks cool, huh? That guy is falling into the pool, and she's just like WHATEVER. It's kinda fun and kinda funny, and I would like to be at that pool. Perhaps this ad has worked on me.

Anyway.

So why the publicity?

Wellll, she's the first model that looks how she looks to appear in an ad in the Swimsuit Issue. She's .... PLUS-SIZE!

Ahhhhhhh! The PLUSSES!

What does that mean, exactly?

It might be worth noting that Ashley is called a plus-size model, but she's apparently around a size 12, which is average here, right?

*These sizes are my estimate based on my life as a woman wearing clothing.

WHAT?

Watch the whole interview 'cause it's awesome.

And while we're at it, let's hear what Ashley thinks.

Cool.

UPDATE!

It was also *just* announced that Australian model Robyn Lawley, who comes in at a cool 6 feet 2 inches tall and a size 10 or 12, will be featured as one of the "rookies" in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue ... a model-model. Cool cool cool.

Sorry not sorry, but both of these ladies are gorgeous. ALL LADIES ARE GORGEOUS!

But frankly, *showing* women of all shapes and presenting their unique beauty is a powerful step in a very right direction.

If you agree, celebrate beauty with me and share this post. Or just bask in the beauty of Sports Illustrated getting real.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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