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Zendaya just debuted her look-alike Barbie doll, and it's just as cool as her.

'When I was little, I didn't have [a Barbie] that looked like me.'

Zendaya just debuted her look-alike Barbie doll, and it's just as cool as her.

Barbie has become synonymous with bright blue eyes and long blond hair.

That's why a Barbie doll that emulates anything other than a statuesque blue-eyed, blonde-haired model isn't just cool — it's important. Because every kid should be able to play with a doll that looks like them.

That's where actress and singer Zendaya comes in.


Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for DCP.

Earlier this month, it was announced the Disney star — who's built an impressive singing, acting, and modeling resume all by the age of just 19 — would be partnering with Mattel to create a Zendaya Barbie doll.

And on Sept. 26, 2015, Zendaya's doll debuted on Instagram...

A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) on


...and strutted the red carpet with the star at the Barbie Rock 'n Royals Concert Experience in Los Angeles.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

And the doll is badass.

Black- and darker-skinned Barbies have been around for a while, but the Zendaya doll's whole look is especially notable.

Not only does it help diversify what it means to be a Barbie doll, but it's modeled after Zendaya's look at the 2015 Academy Awards. It's rocking a floor-length gown by Vivienne Westwood and even has her beautiful dreads.

Zendaya on the 2015 Academy Awards red carpet. Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.

If the ensemble looks familiar, it's probably because it made waves during E! News' red carpet coverage, when "Fashion Police" host Giuliana Rancic had said Zendaya must have smelled like "patchouli" and "weed" while sporting the dreads.

The statement wasn't just unkind — it perpetuated racially charged and offensive stereotypes about being young and black.

Although Giuliana offered a heartfelt apology after Zendaya responded to the remarks on Instagram, the new Zendaya Barbie doll is symbolic of one person's harmful wrong being turned into an awesome right.

Nicki Minaj was one celebrity applauding the doll on Twitter:




Although Barbie still has a long way to go, Mattel is making a big statement by debuting Zendaya's Barbie.

"When I was little, I didn't have [a Barbie] that looked like me, so I couldn't connect with her in that way," Zendaya told Yahoo. "But getting to visit the Mattel offices and see Barbie's vision for the future… it was really cool. I was able to see how they plan to diversify, broadening the horizons and the image of Barbie, and make it more, you know, open. I left the office feeling it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

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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