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Ulta Beauty ad with woman in wheelchair captivates girl with rare disease

While the majority of cosmetic ads promote unobtainable beauty standards and feature a limited variety of models photoshopped to "perfection," some companies are making it their mission to be more inclusive. Ulta Beauty is one example, whose ad featuring a woman in a wheelchair made a big impact on a little girl seeking acceptance.

According to Carolyn Anderson, her four-year-old daughter, Maren, is a "dance-loving, baby doll-toting, bike-ridinglittle girl with the most infectious giggle and smile." She also has a rare disease caused by a gene mutation, so Maren uses a wheelchair and doesn't talk very much. "Since day one, she's shown great motivation and tenacity and worked hard to overcome the challenges of her rare disease,"Anderson told Scary Mommy. "All she wants is to be accepted for who she is, and represented like everyone else," her mother said.

Maren had been learning how to use her new wheelchair and was finally to the point where she was more comfortable going out with it in public. On one outing, Maren was completely taken aback by the Ulta ad. "On this particular evening, Maren was cruising on the sidewalk in her wheelchair with a confidence we had not seen before," Anderson told Good Morning America. "She was so eager, we could barely get her to stop at crosswalks. Then, she suddenly stopped and focused all her attention on this image of a woman in a wheelchair like hers. It was amazing."


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The moment was meaningful for Maren. She finally was able to see herself represented, fostering a sense of belonging in the young girl. "She got to see herself in this picture, and that planted a seed for her to see that there is a place for kids like her in this world. She was included," Anderson said.

Anderson posted a photo of Maren and her reaction to the ad on Facebook, and it's totally adorable. "Well Ulta, you absolutely stopped my girl in her tracks this evening," Anderson wrote. "It was mesmerizing to watch her stop, turn, and gaze at this poster. So thank you." The photo went viral. Over 79,000 people were mesmerized by the photo of Maren mesmerized by the ad.

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Anderson shared the photo to raise awareness of the importance of representation. "It is our hope that families who see images like the one at Ulta Beauty will have open and continued dialogue with their children about inclusion," Anderson said. "Our wish is that one day it won't be newsworthy to see our daughter and other people with disabilities represented, it will be commonplace."

Ulta Beauty reached out to Maren's family, and Maren will get to meet the model in the photo, Steph Aiello. It's a touching end to a touching story.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.