This Target ad totally nails what it means to be an athlete. And yeah, it's a big deal.

An athlete is anyone who moves their body for the fun and thrill of moving it, regardless of size or ability.

Target's latest ad gets that in a major way.

The latest campaign for the company's activewear line, C9 Champion, showcases badass athletes kicking butt at any age and size and in any activity or discipline. These are real people with real bodies we need to see more of.


There's a black man doing yoga on a football field. And why shouldn't there be? Go 'head on, brother.

All GIFs via Target/YouTube.

A young kid shreds on a skateboard, having the time of their life. See you in the X Games, kiddo!

A woman with a disability zips up a rope, making a hard feat look effortless. You're killing it!

And teen ballerina Lizzy Howell even makes an appearance, doing dazzling pirouettes. Rock it, girl!

These athletes aren't the exceptions; they're the rule.

No matter your size, shape, ability, or activity, there is no wrong way to be an athlete.

It doesn't matter what your middle-school P.E. teacher said or what runs through your head while you're at the gym. You may not get paid for what you do or even be especially good at it. But if it makes your heart happy and keeps you moving, congratulations, you're an athlete.

Seeing people of different abilities, body types, sizes, backgrounds and ages celebrate their bodies and strength is empowering and affirming.

Actor Riz Ahmed said it perfectly in his lecture on diversity and representation at British Parliament: "Every time you see yourself in a magazine, on a billboard, TV, film — it’s a message that you matter, you’re part of the national story, that you’re valued. You feel represented."

Real representation and visibility connect us to people who aren't like us and challenge our expectations of what different bodies can do. Some people may not think of black men as graceful or lithe or even recognize that plus-size ballerinas exist, let alone shine.

Target's ad is proof that even 40 seconds of representation can change minds. But we need more. Imagine what a blockbuster movie or a slate of new children's TV shows could do?

Image via Target/YouTube.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

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A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

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