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They gave each kid a Barbie and a doll with real proportions. What they say next really says it all.

Barbie's supposed to be the "all-American girl" with the amazing wardrobe, perfect boyfriend, a million careers, and the dream house every girl wants. But when you compare her to the average American woman, things don't quite measure up. So an artist decided to create a doll modeled after the average American teenager, and the results are pretty amazing.

They gave each kid a Barbie and a doll with real proportions. What they say next really says it all.

What's wrong with Barbie?

Well, for one thing, her body dimensions are completely unrealistic. For a school project on eating disorders, college student Galia Slayen took Barbie's measurements and created a life-size version that is disturbing to say the least.


Barbie's unnatural body dimensions inspired Nickolay Lamm.

Artist Nickolay Lamm had the idea to create a new doll based on the dimensions of the average American teenager. He hoped that by creating a toy with a more realistic body type, it might help make kids feel better about themselves.

He took his concept for Lammily, the "average" doll, to Kickstarter in March 2014 to crowdfund the idea. The project quickly went viral, raising over $100,000 in just a few days. In November 2014, Nickolay took one of the first finished Lammily dolls to a local elementary school to see what children would think of her in comparison to the traditional Barbie doll.

What did second-graders have to say about Lammily?

Then the kids were asked a series of questions about Lammily and Barbie.

"Which doll looks most like you?"

"What job would Lammily have?"

"What job would Barbie have?"

Pretty powerful stuff right? For me, the way they answered the jobs question really stood out to me. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think conventionally beautiful or thin women aren't smart or deserve to be judged on their looks. But these children's comments are symptomatic of the messages our society perpetuates about beauty, intelligence, and body image. And that's precisely the problem.

This just goes to show that it's so important that kids have a variety of diverse and realistic representations of people in order to develop healthy body image and self esteem. That's why it's so awesome that a doll like Lammily exists. I can only hope other toy makers will take note and we'll see more diverse and realistic dolls for our kids to play with in the near future!

Take a look at what the other second-graders had to say about Lammily along with a special behind-the-scenes Lammily photo shoot below. And if you think kids deserve more realistic dolls like Lammilly, consider sharing this post!

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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